Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Utility Jacket & Shopping Anxiety

Hello and good day. Georgia is getting much needed rain this week, though it seems to have stopped for now. Even still the grey pallor hangs in the air, leaving one with the desire to stay inside and snuggle up with a book, or in my case a laptop. 

While we're on the topic of rain, I feel I should mention that I sill don't own a pair of rain boots. How do I even call myself a blogger? And what kind of blogger waits 2 to 3 years to get an amazing, trendy utility jacket? Maybe that's why I consider myself more of a lifestyle blogger than a fashion blogger. Besides the fact that I'm far too ADD to stick to one thing, I have brain-fog issues when it comes to shopping if I don't stick to my list. 

We know there is no shortage of beautiful pieces of jewelry, fabulous shoes, purse styles and colors, and the list goes on!! In a nutshell: choices. There is no shortage of choices! And one decision made often leads to the making of another decision. Wouldn't it be nice to have another purple accessory to go with these purples shoes I'm trying on?? Unless of course were talking staples or basics.  My indecisive nature can't handle it, which is why I love being surprised when being presented with a gift. I don't want the stress of choosing. This happens in a matter of seconds...
  • What if there is another color that will suit my overall wardrobe better? 
  • How much bang for my buck will I get with this item? 
  • If I get it will I need to get other items to make it work?
  • Do I "need" it? Ick! Hate that question the most. 
  • Will this get marked down more if I wait or will another store have a better one with a better price??
  • Wait, what about that item? Which one? Which one? Which one?????

My pulse goes up as the swirl of questions clamor around my brain until I flee from the store, weighted down with stress from a "bad" purchase or frustrated that I wasted so much time and came out with nothing. Anyone share in the shopping anxiety with? Anyone?  Hopefully, this sheds some light on why I still don't have that "perfect" pair of rain boots and why I'm not even sure about this jacket!!!! Funny, this is not an issue when I'm helping a friend select something. I'm all..."yes to that" and "no way to this". I should go to counseling. Get them to explain this to me. ;)

Let me bring it down a notch and comfort us both by stating that I'm not like this all the time. I think it's the fab sales of the season that put me in a tizzy, while bringing out those anxiety flare ups. Now I will take a deep breath and say this out loud. 

From this time forth I shall research well, consult my list, remain powerfully focused and controlled. I shall forget about better deals that may or may not exist elsewhere, and be confident in my preparation. In addition, I shall focus on what truly matters and it sure isn't stuff.

There. That's better, right? Let's see how I do.  In meantime, how to you handle the sales of the season? OH! What do you think of how this jacket fits? Is it a keeper?

Outfit Breakdown:

Somewhat Squashed Hat: Altar'd state clearance
To Keep or Not Keep Utility Jacket: the GAP (scored a super deal, sold out online)
Polka Dot Top: LOFT
Jeans: Judy Blue Exact and More
Necklace, Watch & Bracelets: Premier Designs (Online Catalog - contact me for great deals this week and next!)

I think that's enough for today. ;) Thank you for reading and please tell me - jacket or no jacket??


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Inspirational People & Tradition

Hello my reader friends! I hope you had a memorable Thanksgiving full of quality time spent with loved ones. To close out this holiday week I thought it would be an appropriate time to write about someone I'm thankful for and inspired by. I'm inspired by my mom and her courageous, unrelenting spirit; my sister and her loyalty, quiet strength and many talents. I'm inspired by friends who sacrifice for their families, encourage others and work so very hard. Yes, I'm inspired by many, but since this week was spent in the company of my mother in law and she shares my interest in fashion, I'll start with her for today...

I remember one of the first articles of clothing I received from my MIL, Karen (Mom Rowden), over 16 years ago.  My hubby and I were just engaged and his parents were down visiting to help with wedding preparations. She handed me a box and to my surprise, I discovered some lingerie. Quickly, she referred to it as "attractive, but still comfortable" lingerie for our soon to be wedded bliss. Of course it was tasteful. That is my MIL. Classy, tasteful and stylish. And NO, I am not about to do a feature on lingerie so don't panic.  

I'd like to think that with research and practice my sense of style continues to improve, but this fashion journey I'm on began with her. Over the years she has blessed me with tokens of fashion and many shopping trips together.  Of course she has given so much more, but I will save that for another post. :) 

Let's take a moment here. This picture, from my early years of bloggerdom, is straight up hilarious, but Mom Rowden was a good sport to go along with it.  She had purchased a pair of these shoes for each of us at WHBM, so we (I) decided that we had to have a photo. I still have these shoes!

Now let's hit the fast forward button on time here --->>>>>>>> 

The parents come to town for a visit right around my birthday. The boys were in school and the guys were invited out to go do guy stuff. We took the opportunity to go do girl stuff and she spoiled me.  This doesn't happen each visit and I don't expect it so it is always a nice surprise. Being a mom of boys, I thoroughly enjoyed an enthusiastic shopping buddy!

"These shoes, or these shoes?" 
"How do these pants look on me? Doesn't make my butt look flat, right?"

Now we fast forward to Thanksgiving week---->>>>>>>>>>

Every Thanksgiving we load up our family of 6 and head to Thanksgiving. The kids begin their countdown as soon as November begins. They love time with their cousins, fishing with grandpa, playing at the park and our early Christmas. It's tradition. The heartwarming, sweet tradition that draws family together.

The girls have a special tradition. Mom Rowden takes us clothes shopping! This is one of the best times of the year to shop for clothes. Stores have 40%  This is our system...we play in knick-knack patty wack type stores (like the Mole Hole) and chuckle at all the written signs or hand towels.

This is totally me

Then we move onto stores like the GAP,  the Limited and then the LOFT, WHBM and even Soma, the lingerie store for maybe a new bra or two. Each year is a productive year, with finds for all, but it's also a special time. The daughters are treated and spoiled, but the fun banter; the chatter; the laughs at a preposterous style that none of us would wear; and the quality time together is medicine for the soul.

Here are a few pics from our adventure...

GAP for Athleisure...

The Limited for Sweaters and Vests...

Talbots was a win for Debbie, my SIL...

A couple of my finds from the day...

I'm very thankful for a mother in law who loves the Lord, loves me and teaches me about fashion, entertaining, servanthood, and dedication! She is an inspiration. )

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?

(Linking up with Not Dressed As LambShelbee On The Edge)


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Olive Green & Comfy Jeans

Hello my reader friends. Today's outfit had so much promise... Trending colors. Trendy style. Not to mention the beautiful olive green color and the soft, cozy textures found in the top and vest. This ensemble felt like a winner for sure. But one must remember that when you're in a hurry, there is risk involved. You may not notice how prominent your bra lines are!

"Gee Chrissy, what fabulous bra lines you have!"

The soft, enticing turtleneck mocked me and my choice of bra. But really, IS there a bra that would not show through this fabric?  Outfit fail. Well, this chico's turtleneck was a $6 purchase, recently acquired from an adventure I took with a friend of mine at Chico's Warehouse. Only those with employee connections may shop in the warehouse. It's who you know, right?

Anyway, there are quite a few racks, brimming with styles that make you question how long they've been hanging in storage. Ten years? Maybe twenty? But with a little digging you may find some great deals, especially on the shoes. I found and purchased 4 pairs of WHBM shoes for $6 a pair. They are not practical, but I couldn't pass up the price. I'll be sharing those in another post.

Now let's move on to the olive green vest, which has turned out to be a little controversial. I mean this vest gets a lot of response.   Some love it. They "ouu" and "ahh" over how soft and cute it is. But there are others...you know who you are. ;)

First humorous remark.

"Chrissy, did you steal part of Glen's ghillie suit?!" 

In case you're wondering, this is a ghillie suit...

Haha! You have to laugh. I can totally see where the guy was coming from. I live in hunting country for sure.

Next comment, said by more than one person.

"Chrissy, did you take John the Baptist's vest?" 

In case you need a visual of the camel hair vest of John the Baptist...

Wow. It's close, right?!

Just the same, this vest is getting a lot of wear this fall season and will continue to do so. But I'm curious. Are you on team "ghillie" or team "John the Baptist"?? Do you have any secrets to camouflaging bra lines to share??

As for the jeans, they are so comfortable. If you don't have a boutique nearby that carries Judy Blue maybe try ordering directly from their website. 

Outfit Breakdown:

Turtleneck: Chico's Warehouse (only those with connections. wink, wink)
John the Baptist/Ghillie Suit Vest: Marissa Jill's Boutique 
Jeans: Judy Blue, Marissa Jill's Boutique
Shoes: Target clearance - old, Fun Option!
Belt: GAP - old
Necklace: Phoenix by Premier Designs, Christmas Collection!
Linking up with High Latitude StyleClassy Yet TrendyTwenties Girl Style (yeah I know. I'm not 20.), Elegance and Mommyhood

Here are a couple more outfits that I threw together over the past week.

Camo Pants & 3 Quarter Length Sleeve...Off to Church

Outfit Breakdown:
Sweatshirt: LOFT (old)
Camo Pants: LOFT (last year's clearance)
Booties: Clark's ON SALE!
Bracelets: Leather Wrap by Curry and Curry Innovations, Pop of Posh by Premier Designs

And this cutie snapped my picture real quick during band practice. Meet Amelia, our sweet keyboard player.

Bright Red Leggings - off to run errands

Outfit Breakdown:

Shoes: Vans
Backpack Purse: Clarks

Have a wonderful week my friends!


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Statement Necklace & Date Night

Hello! I hope November is off to a good start for you. :)

My hubby and I recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary! Despite our full schedules, we were able to carve out a few hours to steal away together, with no extra riders. Rico's World Kitchen, a favorite of ours, ended up being our stop. With an eclectic assortment of delicious food, good prices and a fun atmosphere, Rico's makes it difficult for us to try another place.  After, filling up on strawberry salad and cuban sandwiches, we made a pitstop at the mall for a phone repair and decided to peek into our favorite stores.

See you in a few, honey. He went to Dick's and I went to Altar'd State.

I've trained myself to go straight to the sale racks before browsing the rest of the store. This training paid off and I was rewarded with this $7.00 hat find! It went great with my outfit, so you know I just had to have it.

And this statement necklace? I've had it since April, but it's been way too hot to experiment with it. Not to mention the fact that I've never been into statement necklaces before. My instinct, while throwing an outfit together, is to reach for a long necklace. I'm afraid I've fallen into a necklace rut. Here's to trying new things!  Only problem is I need some bracelets to go with this copper and glass beauty.  That should be easily remedied soon!

Do you wear statement necklaces?

Outfit Breakdown:

Denim Jacket: Old Navy
Top: Target Clearance
Green Jeans: Marisa Jills
Booties: Clarks

Extra Thoughts on Dating
As I mentioned above, it was our anniversary and we kept it sweet and simple. There was no pressure to do something extravagant. Why? Because this year we made extra efforts to pour into our marriage. Escaping for a short respite was icing on the cake, though if a cruise was possible, I'd have done that as well! ;)  

Notice I said "this year". I say this because our last anniversary we came to the startling realization that we had begun to neglect each other.  We were becoming all business. How did we not notice? With four boys and a full schedule, our home is a bustle of activity. Not to mention a money vacuum. However, living disconnected can't be an option. So, we wrote a list of things we thought would be fun to do together.  

The list is done. Now what? How do we make this happen? It's not as easy as I would have thought. In fact, it took us a few months before we started getting some sort of system in place. Grab dinner, but make time for a walk. Once in awhile, take a full day to ourselves and go for a hike.  Another thing, go roller skating as a family. Yup. If we're all having fun together, those are sweet moments shared and great memories made. 

Wait. There's more. We realized that for us,  it's more than getting out together. How do we have connecting moments on a day-to-day basis? That may look like encouraging texts, praying together, acts of unsolicited service or surprises:  chocolates or flowers for no particular reason, etc.

These small connecting moments can add up to big ones. Like money in the bank.  Of course every couple is different. So to each has its' own connecting moment. The important thing is to make sure you're having them. We still fall into a rut at times, and there are just some seasons that are going to be crazy. Here is where I have to remind myself to show grace. We are not perfect. We are a work in progress!! 

This past weekend we went on a marriage retreat. Those are great investments! If you have one nearby coming up, try to go.  I always come home with good reminders and new insights. 
I leave you today with a small way that we connect. And that's being just plain silly.

While waiting to be seated, we made good use of the time by snapping a few blog pictures. I'm sure others waiting to be seated were entertained by our ridiculousness...

Glen's Blog Pics (He doesn't have a blog.)

So in review...if you're in a rut and not connecting here are a few of my unprofessional, but hopefully helpful suggestions:

  • Plan a working date immediately! This is important! 
  • Assess the situation. Can we identify a big problem or is it a conglomeration of little things? (Bigger problems may need outside help - that's ok!! This is important!)
  • Make a list of things you both enjoy doing together.
  • Make a plan! You may have to put some dates on the calendar. You may need another "work" date to get it done. But do it. This is important!
  • Ask each other what are some small day to day things you can do for one another to make each other feel special. (Small investments add up!)
  • Go On Marriage Retreats
  • If you pray, pray together! We need all the help we can get.

Ok, so what do you to connect with your loved one? I'm always looking for creative ideas. 

Have a wonderful day my friends and remember to be silly from time to time!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Plaid & the Bloglife

Outfit Talk:

Thank you Altar'd State for 50% off clearance sales! That's where I snagged this turquoise, coral, and lavender plaid. And considering Georgia's temps are back into the 80's, I find this fitting indeed. This plaid gave new life to my #bloglife tank and I couldn't resist adding rose gold accessories, along with my latest skinnies and booties.  

As a sales rep for Premier Designs, I earn most of my jewelry, which helps me stay current without blowing our budget. Leaving a little more cash to invest in better quality shoes is a bonus. I love my black Target booties I purchased on clearance a few years ago, but they hurt my feet! These stone colored booties from Clark can be worn all day, with little to no "damage".

Outfit Breakdown:
Plaid: Altar'd State $9.00 (Similar)
Skinny Jeans: Judy Blue So comfy!
Tank: Old Navy ($2 clearance), heat skills - little sister ;)
*Tassel Necklace: Sway by Premier Designs*
*Round Rose Gold Necklace: Part of Blush set by Premier Designs*

By the way, today's outfit was inspired by this pic I came across on IG.

Now for some Heart Talk: Why I like #bloglife

A friend of mine took these photos and I love how she captured so much of my personality. I can go from playful and silly to somber and pensive so quickly. Of course the older I get, the more I find myself being serious rather than playful. Anyone with me? I'm trying to remedy this. More often than not, it's the little things that bring us down. Small agitations. Things that don't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

For example, the insurance company not paying a bill they should pay; which means you have to call yet again. Annoying and stressful, but we're all healthy, together, and secure in our home. Give thanks and do what needs to be done. 
Technology blowing up in your face? Computer running super slow? So what. Anyone hungry in my house? Did I have hot shower this morning? Shoot. Do we have clean water to drink?? Give thanks and deal with it. 

Do you ever find it necessary to give yourself this reality check chat? I find in cases like these, it's all about perspective. As a follower of Christ, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all available to me, but I have to tap into the right power source and choose wisely. No time devoted to prayer and reading? Then distraction is going to chew me up and spit me out. Nightfall comes, leaving me baffled and empty by the meaningless endeavors my precious time preoccupied. It gets hard to "feel" peace and joy.

Thank God  that they are days when I'm a champion over distraction in Jesus' name.  I give of myself for the right reasons. I invest in others and leave my prideful insecurities discarded like dirty gym socks. (Dang it, if some days I don't pick those smelly offenders back up and WEAR them.)

Every day is new day, my friends, and His mercies are NEW everyday. We're in a battle that begins in the mind. Isn't it great when we can encourage, uplift, and embolden one other in the faith? Go ahead friends. Help me get my head on straight. NO allowing small grievances to cause separation or dislike; distraction and wasted time.  

And this is one of the many reasons why I like the bloglife. Encouragement. I admit that having photos taken of myself and then posting them for all to see feels weird at times. What is this blogging phenomenon? I honestly don't understand it myself, but I do know that I love sharing my heart and hearing yours. I love gaining inspiration from others, while hopefully inspiring them. And yeah, I like playing with colors, textures and prints and using them as a way to express the person God made me to be. He is so creative. He is so artistic. He is never boring and He loves variety, which evident in each human, animal, plant etc that walks or lives on the earth.

Once more, I love gaining outfit inspirations from all of you incredibly creative people out there. I learn much. Thank you! And thank you to my wonderful family that puts up with all my pictures, Instagram post, Snapchat craziness and Instagram STORIES!

Have a wonderful day!

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