Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stressed.... but still Blessed :)

It has been a lovely day, despite the weather outside.  At least, my outlook was sunny this morning even though it was rainy outside.  I love Thursday!  It's Bible study morning at my church.  We are currently doing Beth Moore's study on the life of David.  Very good study.  If you haven't gone thru it, do so.  If you have, do it again if you get the chance.  :) 

This is what I wore today:

Wow...I had my picture taken in a different spot in my living room.  Imagine that!  LOL  Today, my official photographer was my 14 year old son, Daniel. 

Felt great, looked good.  Had a fabulous time at the study.  Lunch was nice (at home with Daniel, who stayed home with a stomach virus).  Worked on dinner for tonight (enchiladas and Ranch beans) and did a little housework.  Spent some time watching tv (DVR'd shows I missed last week) and played on my phone a bit.  Then, hubby came home. 

Hubby coming home is a good thing.  Really.  It wasn't him coming home that sent my mood from sunny to sour.  It was the discussion we had.  Tomorrow is April 1.  His last day being gainfully employed is May 31.  We went over his paperwork for retirement and all the "other stuff" that goes with retiring from the military.  The hard cold reality hit.  And, it hit hard.  Right between the eyes.  I couldn't breathe for a second or two or three.  Almost cried.  Told hubby that "I hate this."  He understood.  He's not exactly thrilled either.  We know God will see us through.  We know we aren't supposed to worry.  But.... we have two months remaining.  Then what? 

I am working really hard at not letting this stress me too much.  I really don't want the kids to know.  Also don't want to let it rule my life.  Some days, this is so hard.  Today is one of those days.  Tomorrow will be better.  Prayer helps. Then I "fish"...I cast my cares onto Him... and then I pull them back in...and cast again, and reel them back....  It's a vicious cycle.  I need to do what one of my former pastors said.  I need to cast and cut the line so I can't pull it back in. 

Did you notice I was MIA yesterday?  It was my first full day home and I was a busy Mom.  Didn't even take the laptop out of the case until a few minutes ago when I pulled it out to blog.  Unreal, but true.  This is what I wore yesterday:
I really liked my make up yesterday...
Take a look:

The good news is, I made it home safely from my trip.  Had a FABULOUS time with family while I was gone.  And, we have a new to us vehicle.  It's soooo nice to be a two vehicle family again.  It was wonderful to spend the time together and it was good for our family to compromise and work together the past year with our schedules.  But, to have the luxury of two vehicles is incredible.  My hope is we don't forget how blessed we are and how far we have come this year.

Coffee:  Gevalia Royal Vinter Spice.  New to me flavor.  Quite good.  Simply needs a spash of cream and a bit of sweetener. 

Writing:  None today.  Probably none for the next few days.  However, my mind is whirling with ideas.  :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

I've Made A Discovery

It's true.  I have made a discovery.  And, must admit I'm a bit surprised by this discovery.  Are you ready?  Here it is:  I do not like travelling alone.  Flying alone wasn't a problem. However, I do not like driving alone for two days. It's not the driving part that I mind.  It's the alone part.  I am accustomed to having people with me constantly.  I am a people person, so this is a good thing.  I like being alone - when I so choose.  Enforced aloneness, not so much.  I can't text while driving.  I can't FaceBook while driving.  I can't blog while driving. And, let's face it, talking on the cell phone - even with the speaker - isn't a good idea.  So, I've been forced to be all alone.  Me, myself and I.  I. Do. Not. Like. This.  Just thought you should know.  Strange for a girl who lived alone before getting married and LOVED it.  Oh, but I CHOSE it then...and had people over when I didn't want to be alone. 

Which brings me to my next point:  I am soooo excited to see my family tomorrow!!  Even though I have spoken with them daily - sometimes more than once - I missed them so much.  It will be wonderful to hug my 5 boys (hubby and 4 sons) and pet the dogs.  Even Benji.  Benji, my mini schnauzer that I love to distraction, was a bad boy today.  He's apparently very upset that I've gone missing.  So, today, he peed in the middle of our bed.  I foresee a doggie who isn't allowed upstairs again for a while.  *sigh*  Thank goodness for a washer/dryer and multiple sheet sets. 

I'm sure by now you are wondering about my trip.  I had a lot of fun!  Did my best to divide my time evenly between the two families.  Had tons of fun with both, talking and laughing and just spending time with everyone.  That's the best.  Saw a childhood friend.  Attended my childhood church - and even played hymns for service. I really enjoyed my time with my parents.  Haven't had uninterrupted time with them for years.  It was nice to be able to sit and talk and not worry about anyone "needing" something every 15 minutes.  Simply put, I had a wonderful trip.  All that's left is to drive the remaining 400 miles home tomorrow.  My plan is to leave E.A.R.L.Y.  - yes, even I am laughing at that statement.  I love to sleep in.  However, I plan to set my alarm.  I plan to get up when it sounds!  Starbucks is nearby.  :)

OOTD:  I must apologize as I didn't take any pictures while I was home - OOTD or otherwise.  I spent too much time talking!  Imagine that.  Me?  Talking too much?  Never!!  Ha ha ha hahahahahaha!!  :)

Coffee:  Lots.  With either creamer or milk and sugar substitute.  Copious amounts of it consumed daily.  Tomorrow will be more of the same.  However, I must confess to longing to be home, sitting on the deck, sipping Gevalia with Trader Joes Organic Half & Half and talking with hubby or a friend.  :)

New installation:  Writing update:  I am currently attempting a children's book.  A friend's daughter has read it and likes it, so I'm feeling energized and plan to continue.  And, today as I was wandering thru a bookstore, I thought of an idea for a novel that combines some of my favorite things; the main one being food.  We'll see what happens. 

I've heard it takes 21 days to develop a habit.  I was finally blogging daily...and then stopped due to my trip.  Now to get back into blogging again and adding other daily writing into the mix.  Oh my....

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Weary Traveller

Today is THE day!!  I am on my way to see my in-laws and my parents and any other family members who come to see me while I am at their houses.  Can't wait to get "home" and see everyone.  It's going to be a quick trip, but I plan to enjoy each and every moment I am there. 

So far, I've had a wonderful day.  Precious time with hubby this morning.  I miss my boys - all 5 of them - so much.  Even though I know I will have a good time on my trip and that they will be fine at home without me, I miss them and wish we were all travelling together.  I'm SUCH a Mom, huh?  Wouldn't trade it for the world.  :)

Arrived at the airport in plenty of time and was helped by a very pleasant gentleman at the United counter.  He took my confirmation numbers, printed all my tickets for me and tagged my luggage.  Yes, I know I'm only going on a 5 day trip, but a girl needs options and shoes.  Lots of shoes.  Anyway, had plenty of time to get thru security (minus the pat down, which I've learned I paid for and didn't get.  Where do I request a refund of that fee??  LOL)  and to my gate.  Uneventful flights thus far from Norfolk to DC and DC to Charlotte.  Praying for the last one to be as uneventful.  Seriously.  I pray each and every time I get on a plane.  I pray for the pilot, co-pilot, attendants, passengers, weather, safety, you name it...and continue to do so off and on for the entire flight...with a prayer of thanks when we land safely. 

The aiports have been interesting....strike that....boring.  The worst part of travelling alone.  Dulles requires you to PAY to go on-line.  Needless to say, I didn't pay $8 for the priviledge of going on-line for 2 hours.  Seriously? I just used my phone.  Battery power is almost gone and I haven't taken an OOTD photo yet.  Oops. 

Had the fun of eating a Cinnabon earlier.  I haven't had a REAL cinnabon since leaving TX back in 2007.  I forgot how much I love them.  But, since I'm working very hard to lose weight, I'm GLAD I can't easily get one in VA.  :) 
Me sitting at the airport, waiting to go to Huntsville, AL.

Me in the bathroom, only way I could get an OOTD today.  LOL

OOTD is the following:  Top by
Sweater by Ann Taylor Loft
Slacks by Banana Republic
Boots by 9 West

Coffee by Starbucks all day.  Grande brewed coffee in a Venti cup so I can add lots of fat free milk and a small splash of half & half.  Food has been sporadic at best.  Trying to make good choices (with the exception of the Cinnabon, of course) for the most part.  Eating sandwiches - minus mayo and most of the bread.  Boring, but hey, I want my waist to continue to shrink during my trip, not expand! 

Will attempt to chronicle my adventures over the next few days so I can post an update on Monday.  Earlier if I get the chance.  No internet access at inlaws or parents houses.  *insert crying face here!!!*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Busy Wednesday...A-A-A-Achooooooo, *sniff, sniff*

What a day!!  I started my morning by dropping hubby at the bus station and then being the first in line at Noah's Ark Grooming to drop off my mini schnauzer for a VERY needed hair cut.  He is so cute now!!
Here he is with "Daddy".  Benji would not pose for a picture tonight without help.  LOL

                                                               Aren't they sweet?

Since I did all my errands (minus Benji) yesterday, I was free to clean house today.  My list was as follows:  Bathe Sam (he doesn't need clipped), SCRUB bathtub, clean all 3 bathrooms, sweep kitchen and entry, declutter downstairs, dust, vac...and the grand finale:  clean and rearrange my bedroom.  I promised myself I would do everything else first so if I didn't get to the bedroom, I would still leave the house in good order.  I put on some 80s music (love the music channels on tv) and got busy.  Worked from 8:00 - 10:30 and accomplished my tasks!  Then, I started on the bedroom.  I won't describe it.  Suffice it to say, one room took me 4 hours to clean and rearrange....and made my allergies go into high gear.  A second claritin and a few hours later and I felt better. 

Tonight was church.  Wonderful night.  Afterwards I took the boys to Sonic for a snack.  Had a bit of a "discussion" with them as they were not being kind, polite or even encouraging to each other.  Why do they think it's appropriate to belittle each other?  I just don't get it.  Maybe it's been too long since I was a teenager.  *shrugs shoulders*

This was today's OOTD - be warned Patrick and I were being silly.  I thought I'd share a funny pic with you today.  Enjoy!

Top by Essentials
Sweater by New York & Company
Capris by Ann Taylor
Shoes by Avon

I felt like an updated Audrey Hepburn today - with color pieces added vs. all black. Think of her in Sabrina.  Love that movie, love her classic look and style. 

Coffee:  Le Procope with splenda and half & half.  Perfect.
Dinner:  Whole wheat penne with home made spaghetti sauce and garlic bread. 

That's it for tonight and possibly for the next week...depending on how/when/where I'm able to access the internet on my trip.  Enjoy, be safe and God bless!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cloudy Tuesday

It was so nice being able to post my blog before 10 pm yesterday that I'm going to try this again.  I started my blog yesterday morning and added to it throughout the day, edited quickly and VOILA! posted early.  This may become a trend. 

This morning, after transporting hubby to the bus stop, KLOVE on the radio, I was inspired by the beauty of Virginia Beach as Spring arrives.  The Bradford Pears, the cherry blossoms, the daffodils are all beautiful.  But, even more, the GREEN that is showing up all over makes my heart sing!  The budding trees, the grass, the growing flowers.  God's majesty is everywhere!!  Yes, praise and worship happened in my van early this morning. 

My plan for today was to get a few things accomplished in the house and then run errands.  When folding the laundry, I got bogged down as it was MY laundry.  (I wash my things separately from the guys clothing for obvious reasons.)  I started thinking about my upcoming trip and what I am going to wear.  I spent almost 2 hours trying on outfits and seeing how many ways I could style the new pieces I recently purchased.  My apologies now to the baggage handlers Thursday afternoon/evening.  There will be a heavy piece of luggage going to Alabama.  Sorry.  I have too many things I want to take "just in case".  A girl has to be prepared, right?  :) 

After 3 hours of mixing, matching, trying on and debate, the following will be packed:  3 pants, 1 skirt, 3 dresses, 5 (or 6) tops, 2 cardis and 4 pair of shoes.  I will be wearing the 5th pair.  The travelling outfit is yet to be decided, but has been narrowed to two outfits, one with pants, the other a dress.  I'm sure the weather will decide which I wear Thursday. 

Finally finished with the clothing dilemma, got off the computer and ran errands.  Picked up everyone from their respective places - those who were where they should be (hubby at the bus stop, two eldest at the Rec Center) and those who were where they shouldn't be (#3 missed the bus, #4 had no key and was at an approved neighbors house, but neglected to CALL us...why did we get him a cell phone if he's not going to use it for its intended purpose???  Child had it OFF....  *sigh*)

Came home, fixed dinner, ate and ran out to do more errands.  Hubby and youngest went along for company. The youngest loves to play.  Hubby thinks he's still 13 with him.  They decided (after much bickering) to have a race as we were leaving the NEX.  Just after they started running, I blinked.  When my eyes opened, I saw hubby hit the ground.  Somehow, he fell forward, rolled and ended up with his foot caught in the cart corral.  He hurt his hands (bleeding palms) and scratched his knee (but didn't tear his pants?) and, of course, is sore from falling. He limped to the van.  We laughed all the way home.  :)

Here is today's OOTD:
Top by Wet Seal
Sweater by Croft & Barrow (tired of this one too??)
Jeans by Gloria Vanderbilt
Ankle Boots by 9 West
The above photo was taken by Patrick, my 13 year old son and official photographer.
The below picture was taken by my husband on our deck.  It's a bit bright, but I love the view behind me!

Below is a pic of me in the van after I bought a new color of lipstick today.
My friend Kara recommended not only this color for me, but also the way to check it - either by a window in natural light or in the rearview mirror after you leave the store.  Obviously, I couldn't wait to try it!!

Messy hair, but CUTE lips.  :)
Oh, and you can see some of the detailing around the collar of my top.
The lipstick (I know you are wondering) is Are You Red-dy by Maybelline.
Purchased at Target.  GREAT price.  :)
Next lip color will be Maybelline Very Cherry.
Oh...for all you make up types...both colors are from Maybellines color sensational line.  :)

Coffee today was Gevalia's Le Procope.  I really enjoy this coffee.  Rich, full wonderful flavor.  Pairs wonderfully with flavored creamers or simply with a splash of half and half (or skim milk, depending on what I have on hand and my mood). 

Dinner tonight was boneless skinless chicken breasts browned in olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.  Served with a home made white bbq sauce, angel hair pasta, corn and cresents....and the ever present Sweet Tea.  In the South, we capitalize Sweet Tea.  It's that important.  :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rainy days and Mondays....

And when it's a Rainy Monday... 

But, I'm determined to keep a smile on my face and to do what needs to be done.  Today, that means cleaning my closet and beginning the transformation on my bedroom.  I didn't take a before picture.  Too ashamed.  Honest.  It wasn't ready for an episode of Hoarders or Clean House....BUT, it also wasn't "clean enough" for me to let anyone see it.  Funny, I shared a photo of that HORRIBLE closet, which is 10 times worse than my room, but I won't share the true state of my bedroom.  Silly, yes, but I never claimed to be otherwise.  ;)

Today's OOTD is basic and boring for several reasons:  I was deep cleaning a closet, it was raining and I had grocery shopping to accomplish.  Here it is:
Top by Liz Claiborne Sport
Jeans by French Connection
Shoes by Airwalk for Payless
Earrings.... circa 2005, Dillards

Coffee today was Gevalia Traditional Roast.  In one cup I finished the Peppermint Mocha creamer.  Next cup finished off the Cinnabon Creamer.  Next cup was Coconut Cream creamer...and the other two cups were protein coffees (protein powder mixed with water and then coffee mixed in - different than a protein shake, tasty and I got protein.  Win/win!)  Yes, it was an entire pot of coffee and YES, I have HUGE coffee cups.  :)

Tonight I had a Venti Cafe Misto with fat free milk and sugar free vanilla syrup.  This drink has definitely increased in price.  Next time, I'm ordering a grande in a venti cup with sugar free syrup. (I'm a Gold Card Member at Starbucks and get free syrups.  Yes!)  Then, I can add skim milk (it just won't be steamed) and it will be 1/2 the price I paid today. 

Dinner tonight was a recipe from called "Anns Dirty Rice"'s basically a stuffed pepper casserole.  Easy to make and easy to adapt.  We really like this recipe as it does not include tomatoes OR cheese, but maintains the stuffed pepper flavor.  You COULD add them and it would be wonderful.  But, we like it as is.  Tonight, I chopped fresh mushrooms and sauteed along with the peppers, onions and beef and it was superb.  Next time I may add celery and garlic also. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday, Sunday...

What a lovely day!!  Great services this morning.  Wonderful music. Fun lunch afterwards with my fellow Beach Head laborers.  Nice afternoon with the family.  Fabulous nap.  Ahhhhh...  Allergies...  Yes, but trying not to let them slow me down.  Evening movie time with the kids (Despicable Me, cute) and now fun on the computer while everyone else is sleeping. :) 

OH...can't forget talking with my MIL (love that lady!!) and my parents.  I am so looking forward to my trip.  Not enough time at home, but it will be great to spend a couple of days with everyone.  It's going to be busy! I gave them my schedule for the weekend.  Arriving late Thursday, splitting Friday in half, Saturday in AL, Sunday in TN and leaving Monday. 

Here is today's OOTD:
Top by Nicola
Sweater by Croft & Barrow (tired of seeing it yet?)
Belt - thrifted
Skirt by Casual Corner
Shoes by Rampage

Started the day with hot Irish Breakfast Tea...and managed 4-5 sips before running out the door for church.  Coffee at church was some generic something with 1 International Delights French Vanilla creamer and 1 half and half and two splendas.  At home, I had half a pot of Gevalia Velvet Noir and Southern Pecan creamer.  Yummy!! 

I have to share this quote by Martha Beck in Chicken Soup for the Coffee Lover's Soul:  "Almost all my middle-aged and elderly acquaintances, including me, feel about twenty-five, unless we haven't had our coffee, in which case we feel 107."   I can soooo relate.  :)

Tonight's dinner was Corned beef and cabbage (crockpot).  YUM.  Served with a loaf of Farm Fresh Deli's pumpernickel bread.  Real butter.  Delish.  Too bad you weren't here.  :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ahhhh, a quiet weekend (sort of) for a change!

Yes, today was sort of hectic, but nothing like our weekdays.  Hubby graciously transported the two eldest sons to school this morning to catch the bus for a BIG NJROTC competition.  We call it "Area 5".  It is an invitation only competition between the top 10 schools in our district (Area 5).  The top 3 schools from today's competition then advance to the National Competition.  It was a long day of practice and competition for them.  Even winning the Academic portion of the competition (highest amount of points toward the overall score) and placing 2nd in Armed Standard Drill and another event, their school did not place in the top 3.  Congrats to Green Run High School who placed first and is the only Hampton Roads school which advanced to Nationals. 

Son #3 was invited to a friends house for overnight.  Hope he's having a blast!!  Will pick him up after church tomorrow.  It's strange having him gone...

Hubby and I went out for dinner (sorta date night) at DJ's Mongolian Grill.  LOVE that place.  The kids just don't seem to understand why we go out without them...  One day, they will understand...and I'm so looking forward to reminding them about these days.  :)

Today's OOTD was nice and relaxed.  Still had a slight vintage feel with the top.  Felt as if I were channeling (NOT that I believe in that, lol) Jackie O when I put it on.  Something very classic about this style.  What do you think?  BTW, I didn't really like any of my pics today, so I am posting the top 4.  Which do you like?





Top by Old Navy
Trousers by Sonoma
Shoes by Avon (yes, again)

Coffee was Gevalia Signature Blend with Southern Pecan creamer.  Dinner was OUT!!  The offspring were kindly provided with their choice of Taco Bell or Hardees.  :)  

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fabulous Friday

Happy Weekend!!  Woo hoo!!!  What a day it has been.  Nothing too strenuous, but definitely busy.

Today started with sleeping until 7:00 which was absolutely wonderful.  How I love having teens who not only get themselves up on time, but they make their beds, fix breakfast, pack their lunches and get to the bus stop on time by themselves. 

Hubby had appointments this morning so I went along to spend the day with him.  First stop was Navy Legal for a General POA (that's Power of Attorney for you non-military people).  We don't know if I will need it when I go to AL/TN next week.  Better to be prepared, right?  :)  Then it was a quick stop at the Navy Exchange for Starbucks.  Afterwards, it was hubby's medical appointment for a med refill, referrals and medical record updates.  Then back to the NEX for more shopping! Finally, lunch at Applebee's.  If you haven't tried their Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp, do so immediately.  YUM.  The potatoes are incredible also....and I absolutely adored the mushrooms and onions too.

The weather today was incredible. Once at home, we opened the windows and sat on our deck to enjoy the lovely weather and scenery.  It was so nice to sit in the sun, talk, listen to the birds and watch the squirrels.  Nature is so beautiful.  I feel so blessed to live here.  We enjoyed our afternoon so much, we decided to serve dinner on the deck! 

Just as I finished eating, our two eldest called to say today's NJROTC competition was over and they were on their way to school.  Did the transport home, went for a lovely twilight walk with hubby and came home to have a serious talk with the eldest.  How do people raise their children without faith in God?  It's my only comfort and my place to find wisdom.  I certainly couldn't do it alone. 

Today's OOTD was chosen because this is my hubby's current favorite outfit in my closet.  I love the way it makes me feel as if I've stepped back in time to the 1940s or 1950s.  Retro inspired style is so much fun!

Dress by Lily
Cardigan by Croft & Barrow
Belt - thrifted
Purse  - no label, bought in TX at an outlet shop.
Shoes by American Eagle
Hubby took the picture this morning.
This afternoon Patrick, my 13 year old son and my official photographer took this picture:

This was on our deck.  You can see a bit of the view.  Nice, huh?
Oh, that's hubby's knee on the left. 
I forgot to show off my nails yesterday.

Appropriately painted green for St. Patrick's Day and such a fun color, I will be using it often.
The color is called "Wild Thing" by Pure Ice (Wal-Mart).

Coffee today was a Starbucks Misto this morning with sugar free vanilla syrup again.  This afternoon, I brewed a pot of Gevalia Signature Blend coffee and splashed lots of Southern Pecan creamer into my mug.  YUM!  Dinner was boring.  Leftovers from last night.  Tomorrow I will cook again.  Who knows,  maybe I will include another recipe.  :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Top o' the evening to ya!  Hope you've been having a wonderful Spring like day.  We certainly did here in Virginia Beach.  Lovely weather.  Could've been a tad bit warmer, but overall, twas quite nice.  (Tell the read the above in your best Irish accent, didn't you?  LOL)

Busy day, as all Thursdays are for me.  Started out with a wonderful Bible Study this morning.  If you've never taken a Beth Moore study, take one!!  If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.  Yes, it's work, but it's so worth it.  I have learned so much about King David, God, and myself thru this study.  I'm sad we only have 3 week remaining...and especially sad that I will be missing the next session.  Will definitely have to go view the video  when I return from my quick trip to AL/TN. 

The afternoon was busy, but nothing noteworthy.  Dinner tonight was yummy.....Yummi Setti (as I see it called in my Amish Christian fiction novels), or as my cookbook spelled it Amish style Yum Setta.  Quick, easy and delish.  Yes, I will tell you how I made it.  Note....I have made a few alterations from other recipes you may see for this to suit our families taste.  Brown a pack of 93% lean ground beef or very lean ground chuck with onions till the beef is done and the onions are translucent.  Stir in 2-3 TBSP brown sugar and a can of tomato soup.  Let cook into beef so it's nicely flavored. Sprinkle with pepper and stir.  While you are browning the beef, put water on to boil with sea salt to flavor the noodles.  When the water boils, pour in about 8 oz of medium egg noodles.  Cook al dente.  Drain.  Put a pat of real butter in the noodles to melt.  Gently stir in a can of cream of chicken soup.  Pour noodles in a buttered casserole dish.  Top noodles with either cubed Velveeta OR slices of American cheese.  Cover cheese with hamburger mixture.  Cook in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes.  Yummy!!  Add some veggies and you have a delicious meal. 

This was dinner for me, hubby and the two youngest.  The two eldest sons had the fun of attending a birthday dinner for a friend and then going to his house to "chizzazzle" for a while.  LOL  Love teenagers and the weird words they use.  :)

Here is today's OOTD:
Top by Elementz
Skirt by Signet
Shoes by Rampage

Today's coffee was brought to you by Gevalia - German Chocolate Cake flavor today, with Coffee Mate Coconut Cream creamer.  Been sipping on it all day long.  At Bible study it was some unknown brand with International Delights French Vanilla creamer.  And, for all those who were wondering after yesterday's blog...a misto is the same as a cafe au lait:  half coffee, half steamed milk and I had sugar free syrup added to make it taste more like a latte, but at half the price.  Yes, she even bargain shops coffee.  :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Best laid plans.... Much shorter than yesterday's post. :)

I remember this from Senior English (thanks Mrs. Newton!!):

The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray,
And leave us naught but grief and pain for promised joy.

What does this mean for me today?  Simply that I did NOT clean my room today as planned.  Nor did I exercise.  WHAT did I do, you ask.  Not much.  This time change has totally done me in.  I had to sleep today.  Thus, after dropping hubby at the bus stop this morning, I came home and went back to bed.  As in, back in jammies, under the covers, totally asleep.  I woke long enough to make sure the younger two were up, ready for school and that they walked the dogs.  Finally at 11:00 I woke up and decided to get out of bed. Considered exercise and changed my mind as I realized that not only was I still incredibly tired but I had a horrid headache (verging on migraine, but not quite).

Decided to accomplish something, so I got ready and left the house.  Not fun shopping, though.  Birthday presents for upcoming parties for the kids and a quick trip thru the grocery store.  Off to do the afternoon transport, home to fix dinner and off to church. After that, home to prepare for tomorrow morning's Bible study (did ALL the reading tonight) and now I'm finally, for the first time today, on the computer. 

Dinner tonight was simple.  Hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries. Actually pulled out the deep fryer to make the fries tonight.  The house still smells oily.  *sigh*  Candles are lit, but it's not helping much.  Will have to get the Lampes Berger going once the wick is ready.  Hope it doesn't take too long.

Coffee today was good.  Only ONE coffee today.  Starbucks.  Cafe Misto with fat free milk and sugar free vanilla syrup.  Venti.  Yum.  Should've stopped back in for a refill.  After all, I'm part of the Gold card club now with them.  YES!!!  I have 30 stars now in the reward program.  Go me.  My new card is on it's way according to today's email. 

OOTD time!!! 

Sweater by Croft & Barrow
Dress by Ronni Nicole
Shoes by Avon

Not pleased at how the dress looks in this photo.  A lot of the detail is lost.  But, it's almost midnight.  I am not taking another.  Next time I wear it, I promise Patrick will photograph me inside.  :) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Closet Almost Killed Me! Long post/Lots of pics

Let's boycott the time change!!  I'm serious.  Let's get up at the old time and do everything on that schedule until the rest of the world sees our genius and joins us in ignoring DST.  *sigh*  If only it were that simple. 

My day started early when I got up to drive my hubby to the bus stop.  I was so exhausted.  All I wanted to do was to come home and sleep.  However, I must be responsible until the two youngest leave for the bus.  By that point, I had already had two cups of coffee and was playing on the computer trying to wake up.  It worked.

Once I could function and not harm myself, I opened the closet door and took this picture. 
Scary, isn't it?  I promise there are shelves in there.  All the junk isn't just piled in there haphazardly.  Promise! Apparently, it was very dusty in there as my allergies went crazy while I was working on it.  Achoo!!!  Sniff, sniff....

To prove there were shelves under all the stuff, I took this photo when I got everything out. 
Just as I started putting everything back in the closet, I hear a knock on my door.  The exterminator shows up.  Great.  The dining room table is buried under the stuff from the closet.  (No pic, sorry.) Things are scattered everywhere.  At least the rest of the house was semi-presentable.  Finally, over an hour later, I had it all back together and now it looks like this. 

Much nicer, don't you think?  You can't see details, of course, but everything is together in like groups.  Things are in the back that aren't used very often.  Top shelf looks SO much better!  I have several bags of things to donate and a bag of trash.  While I was going thru everything I found some Easter decorations and put them out. 

Cute, huh?  Oh, you can see me in the mirror wearing my new apron.  (Debra, I love it more every day!!)  I love the bunnies.  Don't you?  The bear on the left with the bunny ears is just too sweet.  :)  I also found some outside decorations (didn't take a pic, oops) that I put up...and took THIS down...

It's March 15.  I think it was time for the Let It Snow wreath to go....  Don't worry.  It's put away in an upstairs closet awaiting next winter.  :)

After all that AND clearing the refrigerator of icky stuff (no other way to describe the science projects in progress) I laid down for a grand total of 20 minutes.  Back up at 2:00 to work on general home maintenance. Yup.  Laundry and floors.  Washer and dryer going.  Clean stuff folded and put on respective dressers and the downstairs floors vacuumed.  Finished in time to do the afternoon transport run around town.  Eldest retrieved from Rec Center.  Hubby retrieved from bus stop. Rush home to finish dinner.  Tonight's meal was a yummy crock pot roast that was sooooo tender.  YUM!  Add mashed potatoes (made with real butter), gravy, green beans and homemade biscuits. A feast.  :) 

After dinner, the eldest and I were off to Orchestra practice at our church.  I was wiped out by this time.  At the beginning of practice, I couldn't concentrate and kept losing my place in the music.  I would stop playing to try to find my place in the music.  Instead of finding my place, I would fall asleep. This happened more than once.  I am very afraid there are Sleeping Not So Pretty pictures of me which will soon be on FaceBook.  Oops.  Color me embarrassed. 

Today's coffee was wonderful, of course.  I brewed a full pot and enjoyed it to the last drop.  It was Gevalia's Le Procope - a coffee inspired by a French coffee house.  Very wonderful.  I recommend a minimum of sweetener and a splash of organic half and half so you can enjoy the full flavor of the coffee.  It's ok with flavored creamers, but this coffee is so good, you don't need flavors.  I drank my coffee today in my new favorite mug:

Cute, huh?  Thanks again Dana!! You are so thoughtful!! And, this was VERY appreciated!!

Now, for today's OOTD.  I went simple as I knew I was going to be cleaning most of the day. 

Top by Liz & Co.
Jeans by French Connection
Shoes by AirWalk
Jewelry - thrifted in TX 5 years ago.  :)

The top does have some cute detailing to it, but my son Patrick, who is my "Official OOTD Photographer", wasn't able to get a good picture of it tonight.  Those pictures have been deleted.   
Wow...I just read (and edited) this post.  I didn't mean to detail every moment of my day.  Sorry!!  Hope you weren't too bored. 
Tomorrow will bring pictures of my bedroom make over.  Or at least it's beginnings...  That room is going to be a HUGE project.  Plus, I need to do some shopping - for some new furnishings, food, clothes....and birthday gifts.  How to fit all this into my schedule.....  ???

Before you ask, NO, my activity level (ie exercise) wasn't what I intended for today.  I chose to clean and walk the dogs vs. going for a walk/run.  Maybe tomorrow....  Hee hee hee.....  At least I did really well with my food choices today - until tonight when I admit to making a trip to the Taco Bell drive thru after Orchestra. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Busy, busy, busy....

A busy day for a busy girl.  Plans were to meet a friend for brunch, which got changed to lunch, which actually worked out better for me. This morning I decided to begin my house transformation.  The dining room was the focus on my effort this morning with the kitchen and entry getting attention this afternoon.  Here are the before and after pics:
Before (above)
and After (below)

It only took 2 hours to accomplish!  :)  Then I moved to the kitchen and did this:

Before (above)
and After (below)

And, this in the entry:

Before (above)
and After (below)

Lunch (at Panera) was a wonderful break.  Time to relax and enjoy spending time with a friend.  Not to mention the food was good, coffee was adequate (no flavored creamers *sigh*)  and the company was exceptional.  I always walk away from conversations with this particular friend knowing not only more about her, but more about myself.  She has a way of asking questions that make me think or just saying something that sparks some deep reflection later.  Today she reminded me that I need to stop worrying about things and let my husband lead the family as I fall under the umbrella of his protection.  Not sure I LIKE it, but I am deeply considering this and being convicted of it's truth.  I will thank you later, Debra.  Promise.  ;)

Funny kid story (how was that for a change of subject?).  So, my son calls this afternoon while I am out transporting other family members home and says "So......Mom..... I came in the house and balance.  Next time, warn me!"  This made me laugh.  I asked if I should put a sign on the door next time?  I'm thinking it should be bright yellow and say something along the lines of "Beware!  Mom in Spring Cleaning Mode.  House has been rearranged!" 

Of course, with all the cleaning, rearranging and spending time out at lunch and then Target shopping I didn't cook tonight.  Thankfully, I had planned for this.  It was left over night!  Wooo hooo!!  Left over BBQ, gumbo and potato salad.  I did make french fries to go with the sandwiches so technically, I did cook.  I get extra credit for that, right?  The kids weren't thrilled, but they did eat.  I'm guessing it had something to do with my on-going threat of "if you don't eat it tonight, you will see it again tomorrow."  But, that's just a guess. 

Coffee today was only at Panera.  It was adequate.  Obviously.  I had 3 or 4 cups of it.  But, nothing really special.  I drank the dark roast with skim milk and a light splash of half and half....until the half and half container disappeared.  Then I used skim milk only.  At home, I drank several cups of Irish Breakfast Tea while cleaning.  Not sure why.  It was just a tea kind of morning.  Maybe it's because St. Patrick's Day is this week. 

On to what you are all waiting to see.  My OOTD.  Yes, I know, you are dying to know what I wore today.  You probably skipped all the words just to find the picture of my outfit.  LOL  I hope not.  I said some very nice things today.  Go back and read it.  Then you can proceed to the final pictures.  Be sure to look at the shoes.  They are super cute!!

Sweater by Ann Taylor Loft
Top by August Silk
Jeans by Lee Rider
Shoes by Fioni
Aren't they cute?  The flowers are so adorable and really pulled the outfit together. 
I do confess to taking along and wearing a pair of black flats when I went to Target.  It was supposed to be a quick in and out to buy a hammer.  It ended up being an hour long shopping trip where I bought several items for my house transformation.  It was worth it.  However, I need to go shopping again soon.  I need more storage bins/items for my transformation...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I have a quandry... and other stuff. :)

Yes, I have a dilemma.  A problem.  A quandry, as it were.  I have been working on losing weight since December 28, 2010.  I've done really well (losing over 15 pounds so far!!!) simply by making good choices and taking the dogs for a long walk at least once a day.  Now, the weight is ceasing to fall off.  I apparently need to, gasp, actually exercise.  I have Wii fit plus, which is great fun, but I feel as if I need more than this.  Last summer I bought some awesome running shoes that sadly have been run in very little.  They are practically new.  Honestly, I've only worn them maybe 10 times and used them for their intended purpose 2. 

As you know, I am now committed to upping my cute factor and am documenting it with my OOTDs.  I am up, dressed and have a photo taken every morning before my two youngest leave for the bus at 8:20.  And, as any girl knows, you look best fresh out of the shower, hair and makeup perfect and no wrinkles in anything yet.

Here is the problem:  I am NOT an early riser, by choice.  I feel better and lose more weight if I work out in the morning.  This is also when I do my pictures.  So, when do I work out?  In the morning BEFORE the picture so I can be showered, dressed and wrinkle free?  OR do I get up and dressed, let the kids take the pic, then workout after they leave, shower AGAIN and redress in my OOTD?  Decisions!!!  I knew exercise was evil.  This is just another example of how it's ruining my life. 

Not really.  I'm just frustrated and dramatic at the moment.  Ok.  Overly dramatic. Happy now? :)  But, do I do this?  I need opinions from others who have BTDT. 

Now, onto the "other stuff" of my day.

This morning at church my dear friend Debra, who is moving, stopped by my seat and left a surprise.  THANKS again Debra.  I am currently new apron!!  She read that I've been looking for a new one, saw this and voila!  I have a CUTE apron.  :)  I LOVE the big pockets and absolutely LOVE that it wraps around my hips so I don't get anything on my sides when I'm in the kitchen...or cleaning house.  Yes, I wear an apron to clean house.  Just call me Donna Reed.  I wear pearls too.  :)

Another great day of music at church.  At the 11:00 service I was so moved by Eddie Lawhorn singing "Bring The Rain" that I was in tears while playing.  Very touching.  My heart was so full and overflowing after having the Lord's Supper and then to have that song...  Wow.  Words escape me.  As you know by now, that's unusual.  :)  I think I can best express it by saying it was beyond human emotion. 

The afternoon has been quiet.  Hubby had to work today.  :(  The boys are all doing something.  No loud noises and not too quiet either, so all is well.  Yes, you still have to check on them when it's "too quiet" even when they are teens.  LOL  I've spent the afternoon working on tonight's BBQ (and especially the sauce) and playing on the computer.  Also spent a crazy amount of time trying to get a decent shot for my OOTD pic.  Although I LOVE this outfit, I couldn't find a cute way to model it where I didn't look like I weigh 20 pounds more than I really do!!!  Some outfits just aren't slimming in pictures.  This is one of them.  Which is weird because I think in person it is very flattering.  So strange....

Here is today's OOTD!!

                                                                  Sweater by B. Moss
Skirt by Michael Kors

Shoes by American Eagle
Necklace - same as yesterday.  :)

Here's close up on the shoes.  Love the bow. 
It's all about the little details.

And, an update on the house.  I decided to work on the dining room this week.  It is driving me INSANE with all the clutter. I don't know how to keep the clutter under control without either yelling at my family (which does no good.  I know.  I've tried it.) or continually cleaning (NOT at the top of my list of options) OR getting rid of everything we own (also not an option).  Guess I'm stuck with option 2.  This is how the area currently looks:

My plan is to remove the table cloth (check!!), remove the jacket(s) and REFUSE to let people store them there (I don't care if it's convenient.  Put them in your closet!!!).  The bookshelf to the left will be leaving.  Not sure where it's going yet, but it IS going somewhere.  The small table to the right is also leaving (again, don't know where).  And, will be moving two darker wood bookshelves into these spots.  I am going to ATTEMPT to keep the tops relatively clutter free.  Also planning to change the decorations....  I have some awesome plates I want to display so it's time to find the plate hangers and get them on the wall.  It will be so cute when I get it together.  It's just going to take time.... 

Coffee:  same as yesterday.  I'm so boring....  LOL

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Not the day I expected...

My brain cells are dying...a slow painful death.  ICarly is on my tv.  It's like driving by a train wreck.  You just can't HELP yourself.  You HAVE to look.  *sigh*  If the rest of this post makes no sense, you know why. 

Today didn't go quite as I expected.  The teens were ALL up and moving before me this morning...and instead of waiting for me to make breakfast, they took matters into their own capable hands and made cinnamon rolls. YIPPEE!!  Then hubby took the youngest to school - yes, I know it's Saturday.  But, he's in Band and today was their Festival competition.  What did they score?  Thank you for asking.  Yet again, they scored straight 1s!!!!  Woooo hoooo!!!!  I'm so proud of them.  :)

After dropping him at school, he took the older two and their friends to the mall to hang out.  They apparently had a good time.  They stayed there till 4:30.  Isnt' it weird that I am so NOT a mall girl and my kids LOVE to go to the mall.  Oh well...  Maybe I should send them with a list of things I want so they can shop for me.  Oh, wait, that wouldn't work....Never mind.  Momentary insanity there...

I haven't accomplished much today other than transporting everyone home...and taking the dogs for a walk with the hubby.  I spent a good part of the morning in my pjs and playing on the computer as I didn't feel well.  I was very head, throat and ear hurt.  They have hurt all day long.  But, I refused to give into it and instead got up, showered and dressed so I could "do stuff".  After today, never let it be said I let feeling crummy keep me from dressing cute.  :)

This is what I wore today:
Sweater by Croft & Barrow
Top by Pendleton
Jeans by Lee Riders
Shoes - same kitten heels :)
Jewelry - Wal-Mart clearance rack  :)

Coffee today was basic.  Gevalia Traditional Roast with Peppermint Mocha creamer.  This afternoon I had a Starbucks coffee with fat free milk and a splash of half and half. 

Food was nothing special.  Lunch was Wendy's...dinner was what I lovingly call Find Your Own (FYO).  I "found" some taquitos - 1 steak, 2 chicken, with salsa.  Tomorrow will be better.  I am making pork bbq in the crockpot for dinner.  Lunch will probably be another FYO event.  

Still didn't make it to shop for the house.  Big surprise, right?  I know I won't tomorrow either, so it looks like next week.  I'm sure there is more cleaning that needs to be done before I start bringing new things into the house anyway.  At least, that is what I keep telling myself so I feel better about accomplishing nothing on my redecorating list.

See you tomorrow!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Teens, food and OOTD

I remembered (with hubby's help) the great story about my son from last night!  This may not make sense to everyone, but my Bible study girls will definitely get it.  :) 

So, I am having one of those serious, heart to heart discussions with my 18 year old.  Won't go into the details of it as it is private, but it was definitely quite a conversation.  Apparently, I was quite getting into my topic and speaking with conviction and my son starts smiling at me.  This, of course, prompts me to stop in the middle of a sentence and ask "What?" to which he replies, "You sound just like Beth Moore."  LOVE IT!!!  I took it as a huge compliment.  When I asked why, he said it was a combo of my Southern accent and what I was saying.  I smiled, said thanks and finished my point.  Still smiling over it.  :)

Today was another busy day in my neighborhood - for me, at least.  Not sure about my neighbors.  Except for the ones next door who are moving!!!  Insert happy dance figures here.  I know I should be nicer about them, but these people drive me totally insane.  I am glad they are moving...and I seriously and sincerely pray that NICE people move in after they get the place repainted and fumigated.

Still need to do some massive shopping for the house.  It was on the POTD (plan of the day) for today, but didn't happen.  Maybe tomorrow....or next week.

Dinner tonight was fun.  My two eldest have friends spending the night so I have 6 teenagers in my house.  They eat a LOT.  I decided to go easy but yummy.  We had gyros with chips.  Oreos for dessert because I did not feel like baking cookies.  Tomorrow I will be making massive amounts of pancakes for breakfast.  How much gyro meat did I make?  2.5 pounds of it.  There's enough left for maybe one more. Lunch for me tomorrow!!  YIPPEE!!  :)

Coffee today was.......hmmmmm.....I didn't have ANY coffee until after dinner tonight when I brewed another wonderful pot of German Chocolate Cake coffee and of course, used my Coconut Cream creamer.  Ahhhhhh.....  Yes, I drank almost the entire pot. 

Today's OOTD!!  I really like this.  VERY comfy.  Plus, I felt super cute in it for some reason. 

It was so pretty outside this morning, we decided to snap a picture by the tree. 
Sweater by Croft & Barrow
Blouse by Citron
Slacks by Sonoma
Shoes by American Eagle
Jewelry - clearance at Wal-Mart

A better view of my blouse and necklace...and my purple nails.  Cute, huh?  :)

Love the detail on these shoes. 
Trouser socks helped keep my feet warm and added a little interest too.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

OOTD (x2),house stuff, food and a funny...

Whew...  What a long day it has been!  It all started with the alarm going off at 0500 for me to go pick up my hubby from his overnight watch standing duty.  We got home in time to tell the older boys "bye"and wake the younger two. Hubby went to sleep as I got ready for Bible Study.  Rushed and frustrated, I forgot to take my bag filled with paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins and decorative bowls for the creamer, sugars, etc.  I was not a happy camper when I arrived and church and realized it was still at home.  *sigh* However, Bible study was great!  I am learning so much about King David and in turn learning so much more about God. 

This is what I wore to Bible Study this morning:
Tunic by H&M
Trousers by Banana Republic
Shoes by Alfani (these are my red shoes that I love so much)

After Bible study, I came home and started laundry (it's a never ending chore) and began my house transformation by decluttering downstairs.  I didn't take before pictures because I simply couldn't bear to document the clutter.  Seriously, it was hard to see the wood due to all the stuff.  Here are the 2 areas I decluttered today.

This is a bookshelf my Dad built for my 13th birthday.  I have always loved books.  My hubby does too.  We have 6 bookshelves in our home and need more.  Seriously.  I know this doesn't look fabulous, but I am not finished.  These are the"before" pictures.  Now to figure out how to transform my living/dining/entry area on a budget...

This is the bookshelf in our entry at the bottom of our stairs.  Yes, the basket to the left is full of shoes.  Everyone pulls off their shoes the minute they come inside.  This was a somewhat neater way to keep the entry from becoming a danger zone.  I am determined to find a better/neater/cleaner/cuter way to store the shoes.  I know the bookshelf isn't the greatest either, but compared to how it looked 30 minutes prior to this picture being taken, it's a vast improvement!  This bookshelf may move into the dining room.
I didn't have to declutter my mantel.  But, I DID remove the Christmas Poinsettias (finally) and replace them with daisies...and I removed one vase and replaced it with my hubby's globe. Not certain this will stay the same either, but right now I am quite happy with it.  

I spent the rest of the afternoon working on comfort food:  Chicken and sausage gumbo with potato salad, rice and cornbread. Something about a rainy day...I want to either curl up with a good book and read, clean house or cook.  I did 2 out of 3 today. I really wanted to read too.  Maybe tomorrow.

After dinner, hubby and I abandoned the boys, um, er, I mean we went to Barnes and Noble to have a cup of coffee and chat.  Sometimes you need to leave the house to have a conversation.  This was one of those days.  Since it was STILL raining, I changed into this:
Same top but with French Connection jeans and Airwalk shoes. 
Comfy, cute and better for jumping puddles in the parking lot.  :)

That sums up my day.  I've had a variety of coffees.  You KNOW you want to know what I had to drink today.  At Bible study it was the basic coffee provided by the church with French Vanilla creamer.  At home, I've been drinking Gevalia German Chocolate Cake coffee with Coconut Cream creamer.  And, at Starbucks, I had brewed coffee with whipped cream.

Now, to share a funny from my family.  Today my cousin Lisa posted this as her status on Facebook.  It was so hysterical, I asked permission to share it with everyone.  You need to know that Evan is her son who is 10/11-ish and Dwight is her husband.  And, I quote:

"Evan, who is always hot, always wears short sleeves and has decided to give up wearing coats no matter the temp.  Tired of arguing about it we decided to let him suffer the consequences by paying the "stupid tax."  This morning in the car Evan, in his usual short sleeves, was shivering.  Dwight looked back and said, "Still paying the stupid tax, huh?" Evan, without missing a beat said, "Yep, but they raised it today!"

Is that hysterical or what??  :)  Gotta love kids and the things they say!!  Now, for a confession, I had something to share today from my eldest that was great too...and I can't remember what it is!!  What a time for "Mommy brain" to strike.