Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Bye For Now

My sincere apologies to those of you who regularly read this blog. I've neglected to write very many posts over the past several months, for numerous reasons. Real life is keeping me busy, and quite honestly, I haven't been very inspired to write much lately.

Rather than leave you wondering why it appears I've abandoned my blog, I thought it would be kinder to let you know that I'm going to take an hiatus from blogging. I don't know for how long; I may eventually start up again...but I may simply be done.

Until we meet again....

Friday, September 15, 2017

What 8¢ Can Buy

My lovely sister-in-law C and her fiance spent a few days visiting us last month. They timed it perfectly - our local thrift store was having their semi-annual $1/bag sale. C and I got in line about 20 minutes before the door opened, ready to stuff our paper sacks!

We spent a good two hours shopping. C got two bags crammed fuller than I ever imagined a person could manage. I used 5 bags to get almost the same number of items. One of my bags was mostly shoes, tho, which takes up a lot of space. Still, it's obvious that C is a better packer than me! Ha ha!

When we got back home, we sorted through our treasures and figured out how much each piece cost us. She had about 50 items, so each piece cost 4¢. I had a little over 70 items, costing me about 8¢ each. We were both thrilled with our thriftiness!

The next day, C wore some of her "new" clothes. Here is her 8¢ outfit:

Notice the cute details at the cuffs of the capri jeans. I love the graphics on her t-shirt!

Here is my favorite 8¢ bargain - a LuLaRoe Classic T! (The leggings are some I already had.)

Three cheers for super awesome thrift shopping! 

Friday, August 4, 2017

2nd Week of Work Outfits

Week 2 of filling in for our church secretary went pretty well, although I still didn't quite get the bulletin printed totally correctly. When Alice returned home from her vacation refreshed and happy, however, it made me glad to give her a much needed break. She asked if I'd be willing to fill in for her again sometime, and I agreed, mainly because I would really like to get that bulletin done right for once!

Once again, I took Monday off to get my own work done at home.

I'm not a fan of wearing shorts. They don't do my chunky legs any favors. Capri pants are OK, but still feel too hot to me. I did like this all-neutrals outfit, however, while I was working at church in the air conditioning. As soon as I got home, I switched to a skirt.

Outfit details:  top & cardigan ~ thrifted;
pants ~ JC Penney's; Vionic sandals ~ zulily.com;
necklace ~ JCP (I think?)

Please forgive the wet hair. In the middle of watering the garden, before getting dressed for work, it began to rain. It was just a few drops at first, and since it seemed unlikely we'd actually get enough rain to justify not finishing the watering...I finished watering. And it poured on me until I was winding up the garden hose.
Wearing a maxi skirt that day wasn't one of my better ideas. I don't understand women who say they are cool wearing a maxi skirt. Once again, it was tolerable in the AC, but I hiked up the skirt to my knees driving home, and practically stripped as soon as I got home! Maxi skirts are better suited to fall and winter for me, I think.

Outfit details:  t-shirt ~ Thrivent;
LuLaRoe maxi skirt ~ Facebook group;
BOC sandals ~ Vanderbilt's;
bracelet ~ yard sale

Print the bulletins day! A twirly skirt and tshirt is my ideal summertime outfit, so that's what I wore for a day of darting around the office. And it was fine for getting stuff done at home, too! I didn't think to get a close-up picture of the vintage fishy pin...but my explanation for why it goes with this outfit is that God created birds and fish on the same day, so a fish pin goes perfectly with a bird skirt.

Outfit details:  tshirt - JCP;
LuLaRoe Azure skirt ~ FB group;  sneaks ~ JCP;
vintage fish pin ~ MIL

There wasn't much left to do in the office, so I went home after about an hour. If it hadn't been so stinkin' hot that day, I might have worn this outfit around the house, too, but even being indoors, wearing black on a hot day isn't cool. I got a great deal on this skirt on eBay. The person selling it must have found it second-hand and didn't know anything about LuLaRoe. I'm surprised I found it! Glad I did, tho - not only does the Madison skirt have pockets, but this one is a BIRD print!

Outfit details:  tshirt ~ JCP;
LuLaRoe Madison skirt ~ eBay;
sneaks ~ JCP; bird pin ~ thrifted;
bird earrings ~ ???

Monday, July 24, 2017

A Week's Worth of Work Outfits

Our church secretary is taking a well-deserved vacation, and I am filling in for her while she's away. It's gone OK, although I did make a couple of mistakes last week. And I'm sure there will be more this week. This is not my normal gig, so it takes all of my concentration...and I still goof up!

While there isn't a formal dress code for church workers, I believe it's important to look nice. It's also important for me to be comfortable and able to move about easily. This is not a job where one sits all day! Each outfit I wore last week featured at least one LuLaRoe clothing item, because the very definition of LuLaRoe is "Simply Comfortable!"

Monday is Pastor's day off, so I have taken off Mondays as well. I'd planned to use that as my grocery day, but I've found that I need ONE day in which it is not required to get in the car and go somewhere. Some Postman gets home earlier on Tuesdays, so we decided that would be my grocery day because he can go with me and put gas in the car, a chore I dislike. Gasoline is stinky and the smell doesn't wash off easily.

There wasn't a lot to do in the office this day; most of my time was spent tidying up the sanctuary, which involved a lot of bending, reaching, and walking. In the afternoon, Some Postman and I did the grocery shopping and went out for dinner. This simple outfit was perfect for all the day's activities.
 LuLaRoe Carly Dress ~ eBay
Dansko Sandals ~ zulily

This outfit was just right for doing work at the computer and answering phone calls, but it also allowed for searching high and low for pens (which I did not find until Friday!). The LLR Cassie may be a slim pencil skirt, but it's VERY stretchy, yet keeps its shape. And even though the top is too big for me, I could not resist buying it - it's a constellation print! I'm not entirely pleased with belting it this way, but it was far too sloppy to leave it hanging loose with a pencil skirt. 
 LuLaRoe Classic T & Cassie Skirt ~ Facebook groups
Sandals ~ eBay; Necklace ~ MIL's collection

The BUSIEST day of the week at church! It's the day the bulletins get printed. I was only slightly nervous about it, and only wasted one sheet of paper trying to figure out alignment of the large print music sheets. As it turns out, I made two mistakes in the weekly calendar section of the bulletin, which was pointed out to me on Sunday. Sigh...it's a good thing the regular secretary will be back in another week! 
Dachshund T ~ Walmart.com
LuLaRoe Azure Skirt ~ Facebook group
Sneaks ~ JCP

I didn't anticipate being at the church for long on Friday, because the only thing to do was check email and tidy up the office for the weekend. But the computer decided it needed to update Windows first thing...and took almost 2 hours to complete! Tidying up lasted about 5 minutes; next, I set up a display of library books, answered a few phone calls, chatted with the older gentleman who drops by the church every day, and finally ♥'d pictures of my cute grandkids on Instagram until the computer was finished updating. (On a side note, my personal computer at home also updated - and now it makes me upload photos from my camera in a totally different way and I do NOT like it one bit! Gotta figure out how to change it back.)
This LLR Carly dress is probably my most favorite one in my collection; it's 100% cotton - cool and comfy!
LuLaRoe Carly Dress ~ Facebook group
Belt ~ saved from an old dress
Floral sneaks ~ zulily

As you can see from the above photos, I've found a "new" location to take outfit pics with the timer on my camera. Our latest House Project was remodeling the upstairs gable room, which used to be our guest room / storage area. It is now my sewing/craft room and eBay inventory storage area; my old sewing/eBay room is now the guest room. It's tiny, but it makes a cozy private place for guests to stay - without a bunch of totes and boxes making it feel like they've been squirreled away in the attic. The chest of drawers turns out to be the perfect height and distance from the opposite side of the room for taking outfit pictures, too! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday Style ~ Denim, Dress, & Boots

Outfit details:  Dress ~ LuLaRoe Facebook boutique;
Denim Jacket ~ Christopher & Banks;
Boots ~ Target (old); Belt ~ thrifted;
Earrings ~ ??; Bracelet ~ flea market.

This outfit was worn on a Sunday in late May, when it was still cool enough to enjoy wearing a jacket. I do love a twirly dress with a denim jacket and cowgirl boots! The "Nicole" dress from LuLaRoe is so comfortable and easy to wear; I don't save it just for Sundays. I've worn it to the grocery store and even around the house, although I don't wear the boots for those occasions. Print sneakers or simple sandals look nice and allow for dashing about.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday Inspiration 6.11.17

Kansas Prickly Pear Cactus Blossom

The desert and the parched land will be glad;

    the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus,  it will burst into bloom;
    it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
    the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
    the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands,

    steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
    he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
    he will come to save you.”

Isaiah 35:1-4

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Sunday Inspiration ~ 5.21.17

This past week has been the most painful time ever for someone very, very dear to me. That person is constantly in my thoughts day and night, and is continually lifted up to our Father God in prayer. My heart cries for them, and my hope is that this ordeal will result in peace and restoration. Please listen to this heartfelt song by Matthew West:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Much Ado About Nothing

This afternoon, I caught up on some blog reading. One young woman had not posted on her blog in a while, and it made me happy to see a new post. She began by saying she was not going to apologize for not posting in over a month. Life had been full for her lately, and that is nothing for which to be sorry. I will take a cue from her and NOT apologize for neglecting my blog in over a month, too! 😊

Even though I'm not going to apologize for my silence here, I would like to explain why I haven't written lately. .... Yes, I would like to explain it ... if I honestly knew why! I've been mulling it over off and on all day. Am I bored with the topics about which I typically write? Do I have writer's block? Have I simply been too busy?

Topics about which I write on this blog...that would primarily be outfit posts, with occassional thrifting posts and food posts. Taking photos of myself for outfit posts has lost its appeal. It's not quick or easy to take your own outfit photos.  My husband is willing to take pictures of my Sunday outfits, but I haven't been very good about allowing enough time to do that before we leave for church. And then there's the problem of feeling like a big fat blob no matter what I wear. Sure, I'd love to hop on the "body positivity" bandwagon, and sometimes I actually do, but not at the moment. Right now, I'd love to shed a few inches off my lumpy belly, but am finding that increasingly difficult to accomplish. So, outfit posts...I'm feeling kind of "meh" about them. Not bored, just not happy with how I look.

Thrifting is something I seriously doubt I'll ever get bored with doing or writing about! Yard sale season is in full swing in our area, and I've been scouting out bargains almost every weekend with my daughter. Last weekend, we hit up some community sales, and both of us took home good hauls! We took pictures of our finds, too. I haven't yet taken the time to gather the photos together and create a post. Since last weekend, I've been busy with cleaning windows, washing curtains, and a million other things.

I'll admit to being bored with food. My body hurts in new ways now, and it tires me out faster than ever. By the time evening rolls around, I could care less about what I'm eating. It's enough work to prepare a decent supper for my husband; making a seperate meal for me is too daunting a task, so I usually just pick around his food for what my stomach can handle. And then I snack in the evening because green beans and plain mashed potatoes simply aren't satisfying. Yes, I really need to do something about this. Not only is it not satisfying, it's also not well balanced or healthy. My daughter has inspired me to make some changes in my diet. Perhaps that warrants a blog post of its own.

I do not believe that I have writer's block. After all, when I do sit down to write, the words usually flow right along. And I often find myself thinking as I go about my days, "that would make a great blog topic!" But I don't stop what I'm doing and go write about that topic immediately, and by the time I do, my brain is too tired to string words together coherantly anymore. Perhaps the trouble is that I don't write early enough in the day. But that's when I need to do things like chores, laundry, baking, cleaning, a bit of yoga, grocery shopping, eBay sales....

There is a good chance I've been too busy to blog, but it's more likely that I've been feeling overwhelmed lately and blogging is the easiest thing to put off. After all, it's not a job; it's not a necessity. It's a creative outlet, but it's not something I'm required to do.

So...what am I going to do about this lack of regular blog posts? Set up a writing schedule so I can feel like a failure when I don't meet it? Quit the blog altogether? Neither! My solution is to embrace the unpredictability!  I'll surprise you (and myself!) with a post every now and then, out of the clear blue sky, with no rhyme or reason, and just simply write about whatever's banging around in my menopausal brain whenever the heck I get inspired. Deal?

(Here's a recent picture I took of Etta Pooka. It has nothing to do with anything I've written in this post. It's just a funny pic I shared with my weight management group for Weigh-in Wednesday.)

Friday, April 7, 2017

Best Thrifted Clothing Item of Winter 2017

So much for putting away my winter sweaters, boots, etc. The past two weeks have been rainy, gloomy, and cold, much like winter in England (according to one of my book club friends who's been there). The temps weren't really all that cold, in the 40s or 50s, but steady rain and north or northeast winds gave the air a damp chill, even in the house. I considered asking Some Postman to start a fire in the wood stove one evening, but it didn't seem nice to ask him to bring wood in from the barn after he'd been out delivering mail in the rain all day. So we snuggled under a blanket on the couch with the dog instead and watched tv.

Sometime in January, I bought a sweater at Goodwill that has turned out to be my favorite thing to wear on a damp chilly day. One half of the snap closure at the waist was missing when I got it, so I removed the other half, wearing it loose at first. The sweater fits better with the waist drawn together, though, so I use a pin to do the job. It's not exactly the most flattering piece on me, but I don't care. I love it anyway!

Outfit details:  top and sweater ~ thrifted;
leggings ~ Charlie's Project;
boots ~ JC Penney's; 
vintage Dachshund pin ~ antique shop.

The sweater came from Maurice's originally. It is very soft, and keeps me perfectly warm without getting too hot, thanks to the short sleeves. If it had pockets, it would be The World's Most Perfect Sweater. It's hands down my favorite piece of clothing I've purchased at a thrift store in quite some time!

According to the weather man, spring will be back next week, so hopefully I'll get to swap out my heavy winter clothes for breezy summer things soon. I've been scoping the thrift stores for cotton dresses and skirts, and already bought this summer's everyday sandals from Zulily. Bring on the sun!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Winter Outfits in Review

My plan this week is to begin going through my closet and dresser, pulling out the heavy winter pieces to store away, and cull anything that doesn't spark joy. Today I prepared the bedroom for such activity by dusting and sweeping up dust bunnies. Of course, the weather this week is chilly and damp, more suited to keeping those fuzzy sweatshirts handy. But I am determined...I can wear layers, after all.

A few weeks ago, while hunting for something among the totes in our storage area, I ran across a tote full of winter clothing that I'd missed back in October. Inside were some long sleeve tees, fleece lined leggings, and a sweater dress! I managed to squeeze in two wearings of the sweater dress before it warmed up too much (and I could probably wear it again this week, considering the chill). This reminded me that there are a few winter outfit photos in my blog folder that were never published. And so I'll squeeze them in now...

This outfit is one that I would actually wear right now, but it was late October when this photo was taken.

Outfit details:  LuLaRoe Carly dress ~ eBay;
denim jacket ~ Christopher & Banks;
scarf ~ thrifted; boots ~ Target

Here's a dressy-casual outfit worn to church one Sunday in November:

Outfit details:  dress ~ zulily; scarf ~ Walmart (I think);
LuLaRoe leggings ~ Facebook group;
Vionic boots ~ eBay.

My wardrobe has undergone a shift towards the casual end of the spectrum over this past winter. It seems silly to have so many dressy clothes when 95% of the time, they simply hang in the closet. The discovery of the comfort and ease of LuLaRoe clothing could not have come at a better time for me!

Outfit details: LuLaRoe Classic T and leggings ~ Facebook groups;
sweater ~ thrifted; scarf ~ JC Penney's; boots ~ JCP.

This is what I wore to have one last coffee date in late January with my dear friend and former next-door neighbor before she moved out of state. Miss you, Cassie!

Outfit details:  dress ~ Target; tunic top ~ Amazon;
LLR skirt worn as a scarf ~ FB group;
LLR leggings ~ FB group; boots ~ JCP

Once again, this LuLaRoe Carly dress made an appearance, this time worn to church the Sunday before Valentine's Day. I love, love, LOVE this dress, and have worn it many times. I hope it is exceptionally durable, because it's going to be worn a LOT more and I don't want it to wear out!

Outfit details:  LLR Carly dress ~ eBay;
cardigan ~ thrifted; underdress (barely peeking out) ~ eBay;
LLR leggings ~ FB group;
Born ankle boots ~ Vanderbuilt's.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Maple Oat Date Scones

Despite knowing that it's best to focus on what one is eating during a meal, I like to read while having my breakfast and lunch. (Hubby is home for supper, so we watch the news on tv.) I love to bake yummy things for our breakfasts, especially things like these scones, that makes a big batch. Half goes directly into the freezer, so Some Postman can have a quick but tasty meal before he is off to deliver the mail.

Scones are so easy to make, and can be changed up simply by varying the add-ins. I found a basic scone recipe on AllRecipes.com and altered it to suit my tastes.

Maple Oat Date Scones

1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup quick oats (not instant; can use old fashioned, tho)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Cream or half-and-half
Coarse (turbinado) sugar

Heat oven to 425°F. If using metal baking sheet, line with parchment paper. (I use a well-seasoned stoneware 11x15 pan, so it doesn't need any pre-treatment.)

In a 2-cup measure, stir together the egg, buttermilk, maple syrup and extracts. In large bowl, stir together flours, oats, cornstarch, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, salt, and sugar. Drop in chunks of butter; cut into flour mixture with a pastry blender. Add dates and pecans (if desired). Make a well in the center. Stir in liquid ingredients with a fork, just until all dry ingredients are incorporated. May need to add a tablespoon or two more buttermilk if the dough seems too dry.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to make the dough hold together. Divide in half. Pat each half into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel, cut each circle into six wedges. Place on baking sheet. Brush each scone with cream; sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes:  Instead of buttermilk, this time I used regular milk that had gone sour. It worked just as well, and made good use of icky milk. Also, Some Postman doesn't like nuts in his pastries, so I make half with fruit only and add the nuts to the other half just before kneading it. And, of course, the measurements for the add-ins (dates, pecans, even the cinnamon) are approximate, since I just toss in however much looks good at the time.

You can easily change up the flavor of the scones by subbing out the dates with raisins, dried cherries, dried peaches, or chocolate chips. I like to make a tropical scone using dates, dried pineapple, and coconut (no coconut for Some Postman).

Monday, March 13, 2017

Book Review: Life After, by Katie Ganshert

Earlier this year, I signed up to be a part of the WaterBrook & Multnomah book launch program. The first book for which I was invited to be an advanced reader is Life After, by Katie Ganshert. My copy arrived a few weeks ago, and I finished reading it last night.

Life After is the story of Autumn Manning, a young woman who is the sole survivor of a train bombing in Chicago. She struggles with survivor's guilt and is haunted by the victims who didn't make it. Paul Elliott's wife was one of those victims, and when Autumn and the Elliotts' lives intersect, both must overcome their fear and grief to find the answers for which they search.

Life After is the first book of Katie Ganshert's that I have read, and I enjoyed turning every page. Her novel is beautifully written, capturing your heart from the beginning to the end. The characters are well developed and authentic. The story could have been taken from today's headlines, making it very relevant to our modern lives. It is touching, heart-breaking and heart-warming all at the same time.

Even if you've not been the victim of a tragedy such as this, it is easy to relate to the characters in Life After. Everyone has questioned their purpose in life at some point; this book explores that purpose, and offers hope and meaning when we struggle to see either. One of my favorite quotes in Life After is towards the end of the book, when Ina May, who was widowed by the Tragedy on the Tracks, says, "We worship a God who might not give us the miracle, but He will always give us the comfort."

Life After is available for pre-order at http://wmbooks.com/LifeAfterBook and if you order before March 16, 2017, you'll receive some lovely bonus gifts ~ a signed bookplate, a beautiful bookmark, and a copy of Everything Beautiful coloring book.

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(Note:  I do not receive any compensation for my review, other than getting an Advanced Reader Copy of the book free. All opinions are my own.)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Sunday Inspiration 3.12.17

Taken on Friday, March 10:

Taken on Saturday, March 11:

 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:6-7

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Adventures in Thrifting: A Good Haul Week!

The Thrifting Fairies must have scattered some pixie dust on me this week! If you're a regular thrifter, you know that sometimes it's like fishing with a dead worm and coming up with an old boot. Other times, it's like when Jesus told the disciples to cast their nets on the other side of the boat, and they caught so  many fish the boat started to sink! I came home with a good haul this week; not quite sink-the-boat big, but better than an old boot!

On Monday, I visited Goodwill during my weekly grocery trip to town. I've been in the habit of stopping in there each week ever since I found a few pieces of LuLaRoe clothing about a month ago. I keep hoping whoever donated those pieces will clean more out of her closet (she hasn't yet). Here is what I found this week:

I'm not a huge fan of polka dots, but something about this Quacker Factory jacket appealed to me; the red tee with stars looks cute with it. Add jeans and there's an outfit! The blue Aztec print top is made from super-soft material - the exact blend as LuLaRoe leggings - and it's Bobbie Brooks, a brand from Walmart. Apparently I really love olive green tunic tops; this one joined three others already in my closet. (One of which got culled, because I like the newest one with the lace hem better.) The purple print boho top is Mosimo from Target, and is similar to several other tops of the same brand I found at a yard sale last summer. They are cool and breezy for summer.

Do you wanna read ABC books with a snowman? Ha ha ha! Olaf will be a birthday gift for a certain niece of mine who loves the movie Frozen. The vintage-looking (but completely modern) letter shape books will be a birthday gift for my grandbaby Miss Pie.

I stopped at the mall on Monday, too. While JC Penney's is a department store, NOT a thrift store, occassionally one can score a very thrifty deal, especially when combining clearance sales with coupons. I spent a total of $3.00 for everything seen in the two photos below:

 Outfits for Miss Pie

Valentine pin for my collection; card of pins to add to niece L's birthday gift.

Remember the $1/bag sale at the local thrift shop I mentioned in my previous post? Well, the sale is now in the history books, but I did get over there for the first day of the sale. In fact, I was one of the first people in line. I came home with three paper grocery sacks filled to the brim! Much of that will be eBay fodder, but I did get a few pretties for myself.

The black hooded swing-style all-weather coat is a tad big on me, even though it's a size medium, but I love it enough that it doesn't matter. The floral top is another of those Mosimo boho tops from Target. Pretty plates speak to my heart, and when I find one as sweet as this fruity one with gold trim, it's an easy purchase. Books are another easy purchase...and when I saw one of my favorite Nancy Drew titles, of course I had to buy it! Three bags cost $3, and since I bought about 30 items, each piece cost a neat dime. Not too shabby!

While placing The Hidden Staircase on my bookshelf, I thought it sure would be fun to get a few more of the first books in the Nancy Drew series. And so I went hunting online...and found a listing on eBay for the first five books in perfect condition! I've put in an offer, so we'll see if I get them.

Today was the monthly sale day at the Catholic church in another town; normally, I would have gone to the sale with my daughter. However, our early spring weather is taking a break and allowed Winter to remind us that she's not finished yet. It's snowing and cold. Bleh. So my dear daughter went to the sale by herself. She shared some pics of the goodies she found:

Laundry sign

Shirts for Miss Pie

For a future birthday party

A yellow pail for holding chalk
(She has a chalk wall just around the corner).

If you're out thrifting this weekend, I wish you happy hunting!