Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow & A Date Night Ensemble

This week Georgia actually had snow. One moment it was clear and the next moment snow quickly rained down outside my kitchen window.  Along with the falling flakes of wonderment came an instant pull to the kitchen.  We need soup for warmth and what's a snow day without dessert? (Down in Georgia if we get snow with a promise of freezing conditions we know the schools will be closed and quite possibly some businesses.  Let the mini-vacation begin!)

So with soup simmering on the stove and the house tidied, there was only one thing left to do - get some pictures with a couple outfits I've had hanging in the closet waiting.

(The larger person wearing coveralls is my husband. Nothing like a redneck snowsuit to keep warm out there! ;))

Next time, I may go fix my hair and makeup...maybe

My husband is not a huge fan of the high waisted look of this skirt, but I had to at least try. My solution will simply be to untuck the shirt for our date night.  Man! I should have snapped a picture like that. Next time. :) Confession: I don't think I could eat anything wearing this shirt tucked in. While bending over to pick something up off the floor the snap popped open. Yeah, I better wear it with the shirt out.

Inspiration came from this picture I saw on the Forever 21 website..

Outfit Breakdown:

Plaid: JCrew (last year)
Leather Skirt: Thrift Store
Leopard tights: Target
Black Booties: GoodWill
Clutch: Khol's
Wrap Bracelet: Premiere
Bangle: Gift
Ring: Lia Sophia

I hope you are staying warm and cozy this winter.



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Berets & Little Bundles

Progress on our sunroom continues. Today's background features installation. Three cheers for added warmth in the winter and keeping cooler in the summer! Goofing off in the privacy of this enclosed room has been entirely too much fun. With tripod in hand I escape to the one room in our home that is now full of natural light. As much as I look forward to completion I will miss, what is for our family, a wide open space.  However, the anticipation of being able to host a few extra guests far outweighs the value of blog play.  :)

On this day there was little time to play with tripods and poses. The boys and I had big plans to meet my new niece born just 2 hours south of us. As I was packing I found this knit beret and decided to go for it. While exciting the bedroom I was serenaded with "Raspberry Beret" by my very funny husband and my eldest son asked if I was going to be in a Shakespeare play. Um, I wish the hat was raspberry and Shakespeare didn't wear a hat like this. Help me - I live in a house a boys!

Cold Outside + Bad Hair Day = (Just Black) Beret

Dancing to Prince...Without My Beret

Outfit Breakdown:
Knit Beret: Handcrafted by...I can't seem to remember
Sweater: Limited
Jeans: Gap 
Sherpa Booties: GAP (last year)
Scarf: Express (old)
Jacket: GAP (old)
Purse: OLD - back when GAP used to do leather. :)

Meeting Lexi

Of course I could not close without introducing this sweet bundle...

Lexi Raye
I cannot wait to get back down for another visit. :)



Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's Winter, But We Can Keep It Bright

I'm noticing a pattern of dress as of late.  As I begin to reach for my cute denim pants my fingers recoil at contact. It's as if they have a mind of their own, making a decision to instead grab for the cotton, cozy and giving feel of leggings.   If I continue to make these stretchy wonders apart of my everyday wear I may have to change this blog from Granola-n-Grace to Leggings-N-Grace. Seriously. At least the weekend wear is providing a little variety.

So without further ado, I bring you my next legging ensemble...

Brights, Polka Dots & Pattern Thrown in for Fun

With the crazy winds blowing around Georgia these days there is no point in spending time on hair prep - reach for a hat! Just don't let those nettlesome kids (and sometimes grownups!) grab it off your head in public to reveal hat head.

With a bright floral scarf and bright cross-body purse there is no need to slap on much jewelry. One simple bracelet will do. Also, it's hard to tell but I'm wear some over the knee socks for warmth.

Unafraid to mix black with brown any longer! 

For those who are timid about wearing leggings, a longer skirt is a great way to start.

Well, I will give an outfit breakdown but only the purse and socks have been added to my closet within the last year.  I need to go play with one of my sweaters from Christmas! 
Soon I hope to be writing a post on what is going on in our backyard. Until then I shall enjoy using the mess in our backyard for photo opportunities. 

Underneath the Zara dress and sweater in ANOTHER layer - Stay warm my reader friends. :)


Outfit Breakdown:

Polka Dot Dress: Zara - old
Sweater: Sam's Club - old
Leggings: Sam's Club - old
Jacket: Eddiebauer - old
Boots: Target
Scarf: a friend's
Purse: Clark's (last spring sale)
Over the Knee Socks: Khol's (Christmas gift)
Hat: GAP (old)


Friday, January 3, 2014

Until I Lose 'Em - Hide'em

Yeah, this is what I'd wear to drive that bobcat around. It's almost as if it has become a permanent fixture in our backyard. And it is most definitely what happens when you start projects close to the holidays. Live and learn.

"Hey Kids! How many times I gotta tell ya to keep off that construction equipment!" And stop throwin' yer brother in the mud. Confound it." Well, we aren't even letting them go back there but that is what I imagine it would be like if we did.

But mud and mess isn't keeping me from taking advantage of some photo opps. I know you're digging my Hollywood backdrop. :)

I enjoy this roomy, graphic sweater from Wet Seal. However, the material is clingy despite the roominess so if I wear bottoms that are snug around the waist, an extra layer must be added due to some handles I need to get a grip on (haha - pun totally intended). Happily I reach for the army green jacket to camouflage what I don't like.

And let's talk VERY briefly about hiding away those few extra pounds I may or may not have put on over the last two months. Afterall, I don't plan on keeping these lovey-dovey handles brought on by some major comfort food and sweets or maybe in part by dare I say it - age!! (Goals and resolutions to come...)

  1. Layers, layers, layers.  Is it a clingy material? I add a vest, sweater, or light jacket over top like in the pics above.   Note - Sweater on top of clingy material equals clingy together and defeats the layering purpose.  Still shows and I know from experience. 
  2. Bulky is in. Go ahead and take advantage of the bulky styles and wear those big sweatshirts. I just make sure that I wear fitted bottoms so I don't end up looking sloppy.  
  3. If it still shows...I choose something else! I don't want to be uncomfortable or self-concious so I will just put it away until later. Hopefully, this will also aid in motivation. I have a couple pairs of pants that I just cannot pull off right now.  Another motivation - no upsizing.  
  4. Spanks? I don't own any and it may be better that way for me. More motivation...I hope. 
Do you have any secrets or tips to share?? Granola Girl went a little wayward!

Outfit Breakdown:

Jacket: Banana Republic (Christmas gift)
Shirt: Wet Seal (last year)
Jeans: GAP (early fall)
Boots: 5th Anniversary (OLD)
Necklace & Bracelet: Premiere
Earrings: Charming Charlie
Purse: Liz Claiborne (Goodwill)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Waited 20 Years For this Item!!

A Genuine Leather Jacket!!!

Ok. This is not a sob story about a poor girl who has been deprived in life. Nope. On the contrary, I have more than I could ever need.  The truth is a "right now" mentality grips my senses from time to time!  Over the years I've doled out cash for multiple small items (take for example last years faux leather jacket that was a bit too tight for my shoulders - but it was $15!) when I should have been saving for the bigger items with more value, or even better - padding a savings account! Even after graduating from the Dave Ramsey course I struggle with saving.

And it's not just in the area of money.  I battle with the long term goals in, well, pretty much all areas.  The concept of taking small steps at a time makes sense to me, but staying consistent is a discipline I have yet to master. (There is also a negative mindset that unbeknownst to me, until now, has dominated my thinking patterns...this thought continued at the bottom of the post for those who want to read.)

But seriously, I first asked for a leather jacket as a young teen and have been eyeing and trying them for about 20 years now. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened one of my gifts and found this jacket. It's better than I deserve and better than  what I'd choose for myself! I love the smooth, buttery soft feel and sleek look.  I may wear this so much folks will begin to think I've joined a biker group.

Finally, these shoes make me feel better about sporting the jacket. They are a GoodWill find and thereby helping me stay true to mixing old with new. :)

GoodWill Find! They had no signs of wear. :)

Outfit Breakdown:

Leather Jacket: from "Santa"
Sweater: the Limited (November early Christmas)
Jeans: WHBM (old)
Shoes: 9 West (GoodWill - $6)
Purse: Tommy Hilfiger OLD

There is also a negative mindset that unbeknownst to me, until now, has dominated my thinking patterns...

Without realizing it I have cowered and lived in a defeatist mentality. What I can't do is my focus rather than what I can do. What is wrong with me was beginning to take over and I struggled to see what was right with me. The shameful part? I'm a believer. The fact that I am a child of God, created by God and loved so much by Christ that He gave His life for me has not been enough, makes this struggle so much worse. Did I mention that my husband and I have been in ministry since the day we got married?

Believers are supposed to be victorious, seeking out the Master's plan. Not focused on things that pass away or our inabilities. A believer should know that our power comes from the Creator, not from within ourselves. I'm very aware of that, but I felt He had limited me too much. He gave me desires and then shorted me with what I needed to accomplish them. Not true of course, but this is what I believed!!! Hear me. I'm not drowning in depression, but I do hit rock bottom quite often. It's a cycle that I'm not proud of.

Why am I sharing this on a blog post that is supposed to be about a leather jacket? Cuz it 'aint about the jacket! It doesn't matter what I own, where I live, who I know, how smart or pretty I am etc! If I am not walking and abiding in the One who made me, designed me and is the only one that 100% unselfishly wants what is best for me, than it is ALL meaningless. So I want to change my mindset. This cannot be done on my own, but a spark of hope wells up within me as I consider the fact that I am aware of my hurtful, self-destructive thought patterns.

Where do I go from here? I'm not sure quite yet. Maybe I will actually just take it one step at a time. Heal. Cast out the once camouflaged and debilitating thoughts and replace them with Truth. I may have setbacks and I'm sure a lifetime of habit will not be changed overnight. But I won't focus on that.

I will close with an excerpt from a new devotional my MIL gave me because I just now read it. And "coincidently", it goes right along with my heart's struggle.

"All God ever expects of you is failure. But He has given you the Holy Spirit so that you need never fail."

It goes on further to add,

"...have you stopped making resolutions because of repeated failure to keep the old ones?  Do your past failures discourage you in the present and paralyze you for the future? Then join me in praising the God who expects us in our flesh to fail, but who is also the God of the second chance!" (Fixing My Eyes on Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz)

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

With this outlook I feel nervous, but ready to start the year 2014. 

Happy New Year my reader friends. :)

Chrissy (definitely needs grace)

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