Fashion Friday Y’all

March 6th, 2015

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Hot dog it’s Friday!   I love the weekend almost as much as chocolate and dinner out.  Plus, it lasts 2 whole days and in my warped mind that equals 2 chocolates and 2 dinners out.  So, yeehaw!

How about some fashion love?

Have we talked Hunter boots here?  I can’t recall.  So, it’s only right that we give them first place on today’s fashion post.  I love the comfort,  the trendy look and most of all the dry feet warmth they provide.  Every girl NEEDS a pair of Hunter boots.

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These are around  $148 at Zappos.  Watch carefully if you’re shopping for a pair,  the Hunter website has great sales.

I adore this raincoat.   It is classy and functional.  Also, it is on sale for $34.99. WOW.

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Find it here.  http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/jones-new-york-hooded-striped-raincoat?ID=1231675

I’m not a big fan of t-shirts but this one from Marley Lilly is so cute.  On sale for $9.99

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https://www.marleylilly.com/product/marleylilly-neon-pink-selfie-t-shirt/

Here I  go with the pink stuff again, right?  I can’t stop myself.  This dress is seriously spring inspiration.

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On sale at Macys.  $54. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/charter-club-icon-print-belted-shirtdress?ID=1777232&CategoryID=24118&LinkType=#fn=PAGEINDEX%3D2%26sp%3D2%26spc%3D2278%26ruleId%3D%26slotId%3D44

How sweet is this striped cowl neck dress?  For $21.99 it is a must have!

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http://www.6pm.com/hatley-cowel-neck-dress-navy-red-stripes

I’m throwing another white shirt in the mix……I know,  I’m a sick pup.  But, I love them darn it!

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Look how adorbs.   See why I added it?  On sale at H & M for $ 1 5. Dollhairs!

http://tablet.hm.com/us/product/56966?article=56966-A#showSlideshow

Well, it’s wrap it up time.  I’ve just started a new book and my brain is fully immersed.  So, enjoy your weekend while I’m deep into this http://www.amazon.com/The-Girl-Train-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B00L9B7IKE  It’s rumored to be even better than Gone Girl.   Hmmmm, I’ll let you know.

Wednesday Re-cap of the Working Blues

March 4th, 2015

Obviously, I struck a nerve for many yesterday when I posted about workplace blues.  I heard from several who were either in the midst of struggle, knew of struggle in the past or just wanted to pass it along to someone else struggling.  Thanks for the validation, friends & family (readers of this here blog)!  I don't think too hard about my blog topics unless you count scowering the internet for grand ideas that will BLOW YOUR MINDS too hard?!  Every now and then, I come across an idea that burns a hole in my heart and I just can't keep quiet.  Those tend to be some of my favorite posts and when you respond that it hit you between the eyes or zinged your heart…..

I am beyond encouraged to keep blabbing!

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I don't have a cure for trouble in any genre of life.  My coping advice for the workplace blues was simply my own "thinking outloud" kind of encouragement for anyone feeling beat up and frustrated with work and the people they have to deal with on a day in day out basis.  Each of us have to battle on in our own way whether it be a boss that just won't see the forest for the trees or a fellow employee who pushes all your buttons with glee.  Somehow, you have to plug on believing it will and can get better.  Be encouraged, God sees it all.  Your faithfulness will not go unrewarded!

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I mentioned working in an environment that kept me in a stressed emotional mess and I can honestly tell you….looking back, I don't know how I did it.  I was over-the-top depressed for a big part of that experience and I clung to the promise that God would deliver me from the evil clutches of the enemy.  He did.  Just not when I thought He should have or could have.  Funny enough, I stuck it out and the enemy almost slipped away unnoticed but I knew, God had intervened FOR ME!  I don't tell this to make you think everything was perfect after that because challenges still plagued me.  However, because of my steadfast keepin' on attitude….I did survive it and I'm so grateful that I hung on!

Perhaps that's why I feel so strongly about pushing my encouragement onto others who are fighting the good fight in the workplace.  Jobs are important to every detail of our lives.  We need money to live, we need to earn our pay as the reward for a job well-done…..but we don't have to be doormats.  Ever.

One of the greatest lessons I've ever learned regarding job bullies, I learned from my wise hubby.  He hasn't been immune to issues (like most people who work), he has a long line of people to keep happy and if you know anything at all about people (since you are one and I am too…you know) it's impossible to keep EVERYONE happy ALL THE TIME!  People get their panties in a wad, they lash out (some send scathing bullyish emails), they overreact and they spout off words or threats in order to get their way.  Those things can be super discouraging but DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY!  I know, I know….how can I say that when they are pointing fingers right at you?  Right?  Just listen.  People are stressed everywhere.  They face a boss too.  They feel pressure to perform just like you do and when things get out of control emotions can get out of hand.

Still, don't take it personally.

Respond with integrity.  Don't dream up ways of lashing out and trying to make them look bad.  Diffuse the situation with words that soothe or speak positively about the problem.  You'll be surprised how effective a little warmth will be to a sizzlin' hot situation.

So, for every one of you that have felt all kicked around by work….hang in there!!

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Working Man Blues

March 3rd, 2015

You would think…. now that I don’t work full-time, workplace frustrations wouldn’t affect me.  But, I’m a wife to a working man, a mother to working young adults and a friend to many that punch a time clock every day.  I see the annoyances of work relationships, I hear the stories involving disgruntled or trouble making co-workers and worst of all……I cringe at the temper tantrums and back stabbing that occurs in just about every place of employment.

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People can be toxic.  Too often,  they are allowed to be toxic in the work place.

It’s no secret, if you want to bring the best out in your employees….a great leader must make the way by treating each person with respect, by modeling integrity and most of all practicing self-control.  Workplace bullies cause more harm in jobs than any other issue.  I can recall some rather miserable days spent at a job that I loved…..but struggled at because of mean-spirited team members or cruel treatment from a weak leader.

Since GOING POSTAL isn’t logical or a humane way to deal with workplace blues, I’ve come up with a few ways to cope instead of flipping out.  So, this is for you! 

1.  Think before you SPEAK & ACT. 
Remember the advice of your mother when you were growing up.  Stop and give yourself a few minutes before responding to a beligerant employee.  Oftentimes, that person will regret their behavior and by your not joining in on their crazy….you remain a model of character that everyone can trust and rely on as steady & sure.

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2.  Be CONSISTENT.
Strong leaders should never be wishy-washy.   If you’ve ever worked for or with someone who constantly changed gears then you understand the rocky foundation felt by everyone.   It makes the work environment very confusing.   A poor leader often thrives on keeping employees on their toes with this kind of leadership but the truth is, stressed out or afraid of getting fired workers do not perform their best.   Be fair, be considerate and be trustworthy.

3.  Give 100%.
No matter if you are a beat up stifled employee or a loaded down boss, give it your all.  It may go unnoticed but YOU will be able to say that you did your best.  Always be the hardest working person at your employment.  Always.

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4.  Never MUDSLING.
We’ve all worked with THAT person who stirred up trouble with their gossip and “get ya” attitude.   It’s miserable but even more it’s wicked.   Don’t be a part of it and never be the one responsible for doing it.  Your reputation will suffer…..even if the people around you agree with what you are saying.  Keep a lid on your emotions.

5.  FORGIVE.
Workplace relationships are important to the health of your company and to you as employees.   Just like in families,  forgiveness will be key in dealing with a multitude of personalities.  Be quick to offer your offender a pass and move on without holding grudges.  People know when you haven’t gotten over a mistake.   So does God!

In writing this list, I’m reminded that there really is no ideal place to work.  Every job has stress, every employer has weak spots and every person is human (flawed by nature).  Your mental and emotional well-being will forever be tested when combined with these combinations.  You deserve to enjoy what you do for a living but you also play a giant role in making work a positive experience.   If you’re unhappy …..

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My Broken Downton Heart

March 2nd, 2015

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I'm handling the season finale as good as can be expected……I'm boohooing my way through the day!  I should've known time was here already when I watched last night's episode, as if… the show would just go on and on.

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I am so good at sticking my head in the sand!

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Honestly, WHAT ELSE DOES JULIAN FELLOWES have to do?  Can't he just put his nose to the grindstone and write words?!?  More Downton Abbey words?

Like these –>

“Why do you always talk of me as if I were a salmon who laid my eggs in the gravel and then swam back to the sea?”   (The Dowager to her son the Earl of Grantham at the train station.)

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I read this morning the sad news that dear old Granny will not be traveling along past Season 6 of Downton.  In her words, she has to be around 120 years old based on the current show's timeframe.  Who lives that long?  Not even a grand Dowager!  I don't know how I'll get along with all the changes to come but especially seeing her go!  She's done a great service to Downton watchers everywhere with her wit, regal stiff love and her ever growing bestfriendship with Isobel.  Thank you, Maggie Smith!  You are a star at 80 years old!

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Since I don't want to give away any spoilers for you fans that didn't watch last night's show….I'll just move on along with my ever pushy encouraging words for you to WATCH SOON!  And, if you are someone whose somehow skipped out on watching Downton Abbey altogether — what are you waiting for?

WATCH THIS SHOW!!!

Start at Season 1.  I promise, you will be hooked!

Pardon me while I go tend to my broken Downton heart.

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Fashion Friday — You Might Need This

February 26th, 2015

march fashion friday

I really wanted to call this week's Fashion post the I'm Not Sick Edition!  However, that would mean that I'm completely healed with no head congestion or gack coughing which is not the case.  I'm still lingering in the world of I may never get totally well again.  Dang me! 

I'm never going to take a healthy body for granted ever again.  I MEAN IT!

I really love the look of a white button-up shirt with a great pair of boyfriend jeans.  It's good for a casual look and it can work for a snazzy night out.  Win win!  So, I've searched around for something on trend yet affordable for most budget savvy chicks!

Broken-in Boyfriend Jean J. Crew

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Now, these are much lighter than I wear normally but at this sale price for J.Crew?  You can't beat it.  $69.99

Chaps Crinkle Gauze White Shirt

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I have a real issue with white button-up shirts.  I buy them and hoard them forever.  They go with anything and I really like this gauze one.  It's perfect for the J.Crew jeans above!  On sale at Kohls for $45

Single Button Boyfriend Blazer

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I think a great way to jazz up that shirt and jeans is a cute boyfriend blazer.  This hot pink is perfect to compliment a little pink closed-toe high heel.  I'm also in favor of buying this in a navy blue.  It will be a classic look that will NOT go out of style anytime soon.  A girl can get a lot of wear for a long time out of a cute jacket!  $32.99 at Charlotte Russe.

Layered Teardrop Necklace

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No matter what color you decide….this statement necklace will help you complete your look and the matching earrings!  Oh so affordable too at $13.00 at Charming Charlies!  Please tell me, you've heard of this store?!  It's amaaaaaazing!

Today I stumbled upon the deal of the week at a Goodwill not far from my house.  Someone in my area tossed out a gorgeous Free People cardigan.  I paid a whopping $4.59 for it and here is a close replica (mine is seriously prettier).

Free People Long Sleeved Oversize Sweater

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This one is on sale for $84.99 at Macy's.  I can't believe my good luck, can you?

And because my best friend's son is FINALLY getting married this year and I love him and his sweet girl Dawn like they were my own punks…. I couldn't help but post this gorgeous gown.  If you follow 19 Kids and Counting, then you know about Jessa choosing a beautiful blush gown.  I'm kind of partial to that color and when I saw this gown, I just knew it would be perfect for a BEACH wedding.

Annabelle Dress

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This romantic soft tulle gown is designed to be versatile and can be worn 15 different ways.  It was originally created as a bridesmaid gown but for the perfect girl….this would be stunning as a wedding dress.  It comes in several colors including white, but I just can't get over the blush.  $260.00  Thank you Anthropologie!  Wow!

I'm off to spend the day in Art class and the weekend loving on my other MINI-ME.  I can't wait…..WE'RE MAKING WAFFLES!

 

 

Lost MoJo

February 26th, 2015

My face while riding in the car during a white-out blizzard!

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It's really me.  I'm still alive.  It's been a long journey of coughing, aching and nose blowing that I hope and pray is finally getting behind me.  I'm almost embarrassed to admit how tired I am from being sick.  Like, exhausted tired!  Being sick is harsh on the body and sucks every bit of energy out of you.  For the last few weeks, I've probably gotten dressed a handful of times and that's it.  The world probably thanks me for staying in my hole…..

But, I am ready to live again!  I want to join the world and do normal things.  Not that life didn't continue to plug along while I was deep in the trenches of Flumaggedon 2015, just I want to be a normal and active participant in real living like everyone else.  Minus the constant coughing!

While I was down, lots happened:

I traveled with hubby to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  So what that I hung out in the hotel in my pj's!  I was there, we were together and of course, Michigan hit record temps of freezing and the snow was blizzardly dangerous!  Being sick through the adventure was just icing on the cake.  My life is so glamorous!  No, you can't be me!

I think my HOA is out to get me!  No, I'm not being dramatic!  Well, maybe a little.  What else could I think is happening when I receive 2  "courtesy" letters and a visit from a police officer explaining that my HOA lady called him to tow one of our LICENSED and INSURED cars?  Sounds a bit like harrassment, huh?  I'm trying to play it cool, honestly.  But my mama bear is really wanting to fight back!

You can't win when you're fighting THE MAN!  Everybody knows that, right?

Snow.  Lots of snow.  Oh and it was accompanied by lots of very cold temps.

The long awaited flooring finally came in from Home Depot.  Hubby spent most of last night cutting the boxes open to get to the actual boxes of flooring.  Who in the world wraps a box with cardboard and tapes up every inch of it?  It was comical!  I almost thought the man trying to break into the boxes was going to lose his cool!  Okay, he did…..a little!

My fancy pants ring finally came in from being repaired after weeks of living without it.  While I was in Washington, I noticed a loose diamond and it had to be sent away forever to be made new again!  Sadly, they DID NOT call me when it came back in like the clerk assured me when I dropped it off.  I'm just grateful that it was there yesterday when I went in (by chance to check).  No hard feelings lady!  Thank you for my ring!

I purchased the world's scratchiest sheets and even slept on them one night before ripping them off and declaring in my best Scarlett O'Hara voice, "AS GOD AS MY WITNESS……."  I will be taking those evil white straw imposters back!  Sheets are supposed to be a place to dream on not feel like you're being tortured all night!

I cried my eyes out over the most incredible (it's rated R) movie!  By chance, I was lying miserably on the couch when it came on.  I decided to watch a few minutes just to see what it was all about and before 15 minutes went by….I knew that I had just discovered something incredible.  It is now one of my favorite movies.  I loved it that much!  PS- my hubby was no stronger than I was, big tears!  The movie?  About Time

I caught my oven on fire baking a lasagna.  Okay, it wasn't my fault that the element decided to flame up and burn out.  However, it was a little scary for a second.  All is well, Superhubby ordered a new part and it will be working again soon.  Rats!  I was a little excited thinking about going out for a great Japanese dinner! 

My other favorite favorite show came back on!  THE VOICE!!!  I missed the first part on Monday but while watching it on Tuesday night, I realized the whole time I watch this show — I SMILE!!   Like, huge cheek hurting smile!  I love every single detail!

I've been reading the book The Women of Duck Commander and I love it!  These women are amazing!  They each have incredible testimonies and in the book talk very openly about their lives as Robertson women.  Love it!  Don't want it to end!

That's enough to assure you I've been living while I thought I was dying, right?  All is well.  If I don't get moving and hit the grocery store with some gusto in the next few minutes….I may miss my chance as MORE SNOW is on its way and I hate driving in scary weather.

See the roads?  Yea, me either.  This is why I'm making the face up top!  I've been on 3 CAN'T SEE THE ROAD trips in the last 10 days!

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Hope you've had a great week and thanks for not writing me off forever while I was out sick!