Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hot Air

I fell in love with hot air balloons when we lived in Battle Creek. We enjoyed the air show every year, which always occurred during the week of the 4th of July. I found 5 balloon looks (links below) I wore back in 2012.

Look One
I am so happy that, even after moving, we still live near a city that has a hot air balloon show (Jackson). The balloon photos in this post are from the show this July. Many of my clothes from 2012 no longer fit but I was lucky enough to find some new pieces recently to stay festive! I took the boys by myself this year, and it just so happen to be the Saturday after the crazy week I outlined here. So yeah, I am just going to call that the week from hell because our trip to see the balloons was just as challenging. We took the highway to get there, and Carson gets carsick sometimes and that was one of the times he threw up. Since I knew he wasn't actually sick, and his blanket took the majority of it, we forged on. When we got there, the traffic to get into the park was the worst I had ever seen it. I think it was because it was the first day of the show where the weather was going to cooperate for the balloons to go up. I finally inched up enough to get into a parking lot outside the park where I knew we'd have quite a walk. The lines for the food vendors were insane, but we all had to eat so we had no choice but to wait. Once we got our food, I tried to balance holding it all while pushing the stroller to find a place to watch the balloons. The launch ended up being an hour late and I was so discouraged from the entire week. But, once they started going up it was so amazing we forgot about it all. 
 Apt 9 Embellished Crewneck Tee : Kohl's
Pilcro Superscript Ultra High Rise Crop Jeans (black) : Anthropologie
Rampage Sandals : Meijer
Sunglasses : TJ Maxx

I got this sleeveless top at TJ Maxx the night we were walking back from getting pretzels and I discovered the cheese that dripped down my chest. So yeah, I knew I was treating myself when I saw it. This is what I wore to the balloon show with jeans, but here it is dressed up for work with wide leg pants from Old Navy, Rockport wedges and belt.

 Apt 9 Georgette Tank : Kohl's
How cool to find 2 pieces at Kohl's this Summer! This is actually a sleeveless top with a cool zipper up the back, but I wore it over a black t-shirt because it was too hot to wear a jacket or sweater over it and I didn't like the look of it alone.

High Rise Jeans : American Eagle
Seychelles Tigre Wedge Sandals : Anthropologie
Necklace : Maurices
Sunglasses : TJ Maxx
I would love to take a ride in a hot air balloon someday! I guess I know I'll have something to wear if I ever do.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Side Tie

Keeping it short and sweet at the start of yet another busy week....... I was drawn to this pretty top because one of the panels has a peacock print! The front is a "prism" of different patterns on satin like fabric, and the arms/back is a knit material. It's so effortless and the tie detail adds a little twist to it. Keeping it real simple here with a pair of jeans and sandals. Happy Monday!
Prism Wrapped Tee : Anthropologie
Mossimo High Rise Jeans : Target

Sunday, September 17, 2017

An Ostentation of Pictures

I had the hardest time getting good pictures of this t-shirt because the graphics are so faint. And I didn't realize it was wrinkled until I took the first picture and reviewed it on my camera. How does a t-shirt get wrinkled!?!?!? Anyway, it says "An Ostentation of Peacocks". Ostentation is one of the words used to describe a group of peacocks, which makes sense because the meaning is: a display intended to impress others.
Carson got into the picture taking today, and ended up wanting to "take turns", so there are just as many pictures of him as there are for the blog! It was funny to watch him start to imitate some poses! 
This was just an easy, comfy look for the weekend running around. Nothing too exciting, but I like to show how my day to day differs so much. And I always have to showcase peacock items! I wore some embellished sandals to try to pull the silver detail on the shirt which is from Anthropologie. I've been getting great sale codes, a birthday code and birthday money so I've bought a lot from Anthro this month.
Carson is wearing a Paw Patrol shirt, black shorts, and shark sandals - all hand me downs courtesy of his big brother. Hee, hee. Oh these boys are all about Paw Patrol lately!
Illustration Tee : Anthropologie
Rock & Republic High Rise Jeans : Kohl's (old)
Candies Sandals : Kohl's (old)
The delicious smells from The Common Grill started wafting down the alley, but we had to get going. Are you seeing a theme here? My major interests are fashion and food!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Crazy Crochet

So, Jon is away for the weekend racing. I had some moderate plans with the boys, nothing too stressful since we haven't had the best track record lately. Saturday morning we had to run to the Boy Scout store in Ypsilanti (Ann Arbor area) since Richard joined scouts and we needed to get him his shirt, patches, book, etc.... Maybe make a few stops on the way home and grab lunch. Sunday morning I had invited my friend and her son over for a visit/play date. Richard went to bed last night completely fine..... and then woke up this morning not feeling well. My Mom instincts knew he had strep throat, and just like that your plans completely change. Luckily, our pediatrician has Saturday hours so I got him in right away and got meds. Our doctor is in Chelsea which is on the way to the Boy Scout store, which we still had to get to. We were able to get the prescription filled at the Meijer in Ann Arbor so I wouldn't have to double back to Jackson. The clerk at the Scout store was so helpful in finding us exactly what we needed quickly. We stopped at Meijer and suddenly, the road to get back onto 94 was completely blocked off by police. I couldn't tell if it was an accident or impromptu construction..... but, why not, right? I had to take the back roads (what would we do without our phones) to get to the next on ramp. Ann Arbor, I love you, but eff your traffic!!!
So the rest of weekend, we'll just be relaxing.... bummed we had to cancel our play date (yes, it's just as important to the Moms as it is to the kids). I am catching up on a bunch of stuff, including blogging. I've had this outfit in the queue for quite some time. I am a serious lover of handmade (or handmade looking) knits, especially the granny square pattern. I just can't resist. You can see a post here I did a couple of years ago that rounded up my collection (links within that post to each individual outfit). 
When I saw this cropped number at Anthropologie, I couldn't help but love it. It's by a Brazilian brand called Farm Rio. Here is what Anthro describes:
What began as a handful of goods at a local fashion fair booth has grown into one of Brazil's most recognizable labels for sun-soaked dressing. With vibrant colors, bold silhouettes and feminine details embedded in every design, Farm Rio's cheerful creations are crafted with an exotic, toes-in-the-sand spirit that's simultaneously fashion-forward and vintage-inspired.
I love knowing the background of this brand and am thrilled Anthro is carrying it as it is not widely  available in the US yet. I took the simple route here by layering it over a black dress, but I need to experiment with some other outfits. 
Farm Rio "Crocheted and Cropped Pullover" : Anthropologie
J. Crew Dress : consignment shop
Latigo sandals : Anthropologie
Tahari Sunglasses : TJ Maxx

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Long Dress, Long Stories

As a follow up to my last post about running errands, I had my second Shipt grocery delivery order. As the day wore on, I hadn't heard anything but didn't think much of it. Right before my 5:00 office delivery, I received a text that my shopper had a family emergency and they had to have someone else fill the order. It would be a little later, but they would credit me $15 for the inconvenience. I was happy with that solution. Jon was able to pick up the boys as I waited for our necessities. As I was driving home, I remembered that our driveway got resealed that day so I'd have to park in the street and make several trips to bring everything to the house. I know, first world problems, right? I am merely venting about my continued bad luck with trying to make life easier. It was a Monday at 7:00.... I was tired and hungry! Third Shipt delivery went 100% perfect yesterday so I do believe it was a fluke thing that happened.
I've been getting good feedback so far about sharing my crazy life on here, so I thought I would keep it up today. I know I enjoy reading Mom Blogs or Mom articles that have a sarcastic sense of humor to them and it helps me to know that I am not alone in this struggle! Doing the outfits help me feel like I have a piece of "me" to focus on, but writing about life has been very therapeutic. I mean, didn't blogs start out as "online diaries" anyway? I have a handful of wonderful friends who hear all these stories, but when they are not around I need to let it out! So here I am preaching about how I am trying to make my life easier with all of these services, and justify spending the money on them (saving in gas, time, etc...). It is hard for me to do that though when it comes to what I wear. The fit, sizes and quality of clothing and shoes can vary so much, that I prefer to shop in person when I can. I love stores that have the "find in store" feature on their sites, so I know ahead of time if it's even worth my while to go if I'm looking for something specific. The closest Anthropologie to me is in Ann Arbor which isn't the most convenient to get to sometimes with traffic and such. They didn't have this dress so I went ahead and ordered it online with free shipping. And I'll continue this part of the story in a bit.......
So now I will jump back to another "bad luck" week, which eventually involves this dress. When Jon travels for work, I like to plan little things for the boys and I to do to keep distracted that he is not there. Okay, truthfully I also don't feel like cooking dinner or cleaning the kitchen. So one night, we planned to go to a new splash pad that had opened in Jackson. I work in Jackson, so after work I ran to Grass Lake to pick up the boys and then headed to the splash pad which is back on the other side of Jackson. That alone is a lot of traveling. I planned to run through the McDonald's drive thru for Happy Meals for them to eat at the park. The debit/credit machine was not working at the McDonald's we went to and I did not have any cash so we had to head to another one, maneuvering all the construction that was going on in the city. Meanwhile, some road rager got mad at me for something, I have no clue what. Got our food, got to the park and it looked like the splash pad was closed! I was sure I checked to see that it was "family night" on Wednesdays.... what the hell? We parked and got out to eat and I told the boys they could at least play on the playground and we'd have to come back to the splash pad another day. I spread all of their food out on the picnic table, to find that there was no ketchup even though I had asked for some. The park has a little concession stand, and luckily they had ketchup. Start eating and Richard announces he has to go to the bathroom. The bathroom is....... quite a long way away. He's too young to go by himself, so I explain to him that we can't just leave our food (and I wasn't packing / unpacking it again). We finish eating and start the trek to the bathroom which is by the splash pad which is now up and running. The grass was uneven and filled with goose poop and since I wasn't planning on that I didn't have the greatest sandals on for the adventure. There was a huge line to get into the splash pad now. The boys had to change into their swimsuits in the bathroom, so I had to help them with that all the while yelling "don't touch that" or "get off the floor". Whew! Finally though, we were ready to have a great time and it ended on a good note!

The next night, I promised Richard I would take him to Toys R Us to spend the gift certificates he got for his birthday. I planned for this to be a "quick" trip so we could get back home to eat dinner and take baths. Well, I should have known it would take longer than I anticipated for the boys to look through the entire store. By this time, Richard is begging for a pretzel which is at the other end of the mall. Calculating the time it would take us to get home and make dinner, I agreed because I knew he was hungry. The last time we went to the pretzel place, Carson was not interested but I figured he might have changed his mind. I ordered "bites" and a drink for all of us to share as a before dinner snack. Once we sat down, Carson threw a fit because he did not want to try the pretzels and because the pretzel place did not sell milk. Worked through that and as we started our long trek back to where we parked (Carson is at that almost out of stroller stage for shopping) and I did not have a stroller so it took a very long time. At one point, I looked down and saw I had dripped pretzel cheese down my shirt. It's times like this when you regret all your Mothering choices. Here, I was trying to plan a few fun things for the week - was what I was trying to do that difficult? Then you start giving into the requests that you didn't originally plan on and the next thing you know you want to break down and cry knowing you still have to make food, give baths, unpack backpacks, etc when you get home.
The last night Jon was gone, I was dead set about staying home. The two previous nights were enough. When I got home, this dress had arrived and when I tried it on it was like a foot too long! Sure, I could have had it hemmed but the cost of that would have eaten up the sale price I had gotten it for. I hate returning things in the mail because the processing takes so long and with my luck it would have gotten lost! Knowing that my schedule would not allow me to get to Anthropologie after Jon got home, I thought about running there to return the dress and check out their sale. Then my mind said, "no Heather, don't do it!"...... but then I thought about Olga's Kitchen for dinner. By the time we got on the road, I figured all of the rush hour traffic would be done. We're cruising down the road aaannnndddddd come to a stop. I check my phone and see there has been an accident. Oh, and not just any accident that closes one lane.... it was one that closed that entire side of the highway. Yep, should have stayed home. The closure was near an exit, and the highway was open again after that same exit, so all we had to do was wait to get off and get right back on 94. Got the dress returned and picked up the shirt in this post, all the while the boys are not listening and slobbering on the mirrors and the sales girls think they are being so cute. Stick a fork in me, I'm done!
So how am I wearing a dress I supposedly returned? I spent my recent birthday in Chicago and I found the "petite" size version of the dress at the Anthropologie there! And even got a better sale price on it (extra 40% off)! But look, even "petite" is touching the ground. Seems to be a design "miss". The vibrant skirt has peacocks in the print and the top has some beautiful embroidery. It's a spaghetti strap style, so I'm thinking I might try the "90's trend come round again" by wearing it over a t-shirt.
Jean Jacket & Sunglasses - TJ Maxx
Sandals - Younkers
*I am also wearing an amber stone necklace Jon bought me in Poland, but my hot mess self has it all caught up in my jacket.*

Monday, September 11, 2017

Running, Running

 In my newish effort to "keep it real" on the blog here, I thought I would chat about running errands. Yes, us women (especially Moms) seem to have a never ending list of errands to run no matter how organized we try to be! A few weeks ago, it seemed nothing was going right in this area of my life so I thought I would share some stories so we can all laugh together. To preface all of this, I tend to run a lot of errands on my lunch hour, as it is a bit easier without kids. But then when things don't go as timely as I planned, I am stressing about getting back to work and when (and what) I am going to shove into my mouth for lunch.
 If you've followed me for a bit you know that to keep my closet in a constant rotation, I sell my clothes at consignment shops. That was one such appointment I had, during much lunch hour, that fateful week. The morning of that appointment, my husband decided to work from home which meant I would be dropping the boys off at daycare on my way to work. This normally is not a problem, but at the time we were trying to eradicate a gopher family from our backyard. Jon would have trapped one daily (sometimes more) and "relocate" it in the field behind the boys school. As I was getting ready, he announced he'd be loading a gopher into the back of my car to drop off - the transport method a smelly tote that was wet from sitting outside. I explained that I would have to come back home then because I could not load these clothes I wanted to sell with the tote. (Clothes have to be on hangers nicely, not thrown into a bag). Thankfully, we don't live far from the school so that is what I did but I was still annoyed. Why did this effing gopher suddenly become my problem when I already had so much on my plate? Fast forward to lunch and as I drove to Chelsea the beautiful sunny sky parted ways to start raining as I had to haul my clothes into the shop. Thankfully, the shop accepted all the items I had so I didn't have to haul anything back out! Most of my items have already sold so I'll be getting a nice check this week - go Mama!
 The next errand that went wrong was a trip to our vet to pickup these specialty chews we'd been giving the dogs since we paid a hefty sum to have their teeth cleaned earlier this year. As I pulled up, I saw a sign on the door: "Closed from 12 to 2 for Staff Training". Of course, the day I picked to go there, that has to happen so I had to go back another day.
 Lastly, I received an offer in the mail from a bank to get $250 for opening a new checking account. I usually don't look twice at these things because there is always a catch, but after reading the fine print the requirements were pretty simple - you had to make $250 worth of debit card purchases within 60 days of opening the account! I am always looking for ways to save money, make money... I mean, who doesn't? I saw they had a branch in Chelsea and an ATM in Jackson. I went to the branch to open the account, and since I wasn't going to change up my direct deposit I figured I could just make deposits at the ATM. When I went to the ATM, which is 22 miles in the opposite direction of the branch but closer to my work, I found out that ATM does not accept deposits of any kind. I couldn't make it all the way to the branch during lunch so I went after work knowing they'd already be closed. Guess what? Their ATM doesn't accept cash deposits which is what I had. So I had to go back the next day when they were open. I did tie in a load of donations to drop off at the Goodwill right there when I went back, so that helped make it feel a better use of my time. Guess that money isn't so free anymore with all the work I've had to do! Sometimes I wonder why I even bother. I ask myself this all the time. Nothing I ever try to do is simple.
In an effort to make life easier, I was ecstatic to see the new grocery delivery service at Meijer: Shipt. Unfortunately, they don't delivery as far as my house yet, but not to be deterred, they do deliver to my work. We would just need to plan better, knowing it would only be a M-F service with my work schedule. I had already heard from several friends who had tried it how much they loved it. I usually spend 2-3 hours on the weekend for a big grocery trip, and then a few lunchtime or after work runs during the week for things we forget or run out of quicker. I got an offer to get the yearly membership, normally $99, for $50. That's just over $4 a month for this service! So worth it! Think about your gas and your time - I can be doing something much more enjoyable on the weekends. And at lunch, I can actually, oh I don't know, eat lunch? Read a book? Take a walk? Run home and get some other task off my list? You get sale prices, just like in the store, and it records your MPerks. If you order over $35, delivery is free. I am not sure what the fee would be if you are under since I don't plan to be under. You can create a list right on the app, save favorites, etc.... My "shopper" texted me with questions (like if they were out of something and what to substitute) and then let me know when she was on her way. She met me at 5:00 as I was leaving so I got my groceries and home I went! You can tip your "shopper" which would be the only other cost for those who are wondering - you can do it right on the app, even days later, after you ensure all of your items are okay. I am loving it so far!
Anyway, this outfit I featured here is a great "running around" outfit. It is exactly the same as I wore in this post, I just swapped the white shirt for a pink one! For quick reference, the jean jacket is from TJ Maxx, pink shirt from Anthropologie, pants from Target, sandals from Payless.