The Great Break Down

April 19th, 2015

I don’t know who decided that I was strong enough to “handle” it all but someone did and poured down an epic bucket of stress….right on top of me. It started with the Dallas shopping trip.

GPS on my phone = EVIL!

Friday at 5 traffic, downtown Dallas…..person driving sick and neither of us good with cellphone mapping turned our fun day away from the ranch into a nightmare complete with tears. Yes, I cried (after I got home).

Judge me, I don’t care. It was my party and I’ll cry if I want to.

FYI: We only made it back home because I called my hubby on the phone and he literally talked us through the mixed up winding confusing roads of Dallas! THAT IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION!

I thought that once I made it back home (to the ranch) I’d just spend Saturday catching up….on my nerves! Which, I did, for the most part. I put on comfy clothes, curled up on the couch and even put a big ham in the oven for my guys who were busy working.

I felt so proud of myself. Until…

I got a text from my son asking if there was lunch and I proudly sent one back telling him YES! Ham in oven, ready and waiting. Then, I noticed how sunny it was outside and thought, “Hmm, I should put on my swimsuit and sit on the deck for a bit!” I’ve probably NEVER (I know I’ve never) EVER sunbathed on the deck outside here at the ranch. Why I decided this day would be a good one, I DON’T KNOW!

I was only there a few minutes when I see my hubby driving up the road and for a flash of a second, a thought popped into my head – I wonder if anyone’s with him? Oh how silly, who would be with him? As he pulled up RIGHT BESIDE me (in all my ugliest glory) and see HE IS NOT ALONE! He has the new General Manager/Vice President of Operations of the Reserve in the passenger seat and they look at me and drive s l o w l y on by (a thoughtful gesture, but still too late)! and instant humiliation washed over me! I wanted to crawl under the deck and never come out!

Ever have an idea in your head about how your first meeting with someone important will go? Yea, me too and this was not how it went down in my head.

He graciously stayed on task and headed on to another meeting where people were more than likely wearing real clothes. I hid inside until he was gone. Cause, I’m classy like that!

Meanwhile, I sent one of my girls a text wishing her a great day and she quickly sent one back saying her day was going awful. Her boyfriend had purchased very expensive concert tickets for her as a birthday/anniversary present and it was the big day but HE LOST THE TICKETS! They were most likely not going now and her heart was broken. I told her I’d pray and started my mom hand wringing (not knowing just how crazy this day was about to get).

A few hours later, she messaged me back. The tickets were recovered and all was well. They would be going after all. YAY! I sent her another message later in the day when I thought they’d be traveling to Indy and wished her a fun evening. She responds with, “Pray for us, we are broken down in the middle of the street in downtown Indy!”

WHAT?

We’re in Texas, she’s in Indy! No one is there to help her. Freak out time!

This story is long and complicated….so I’ll just tell you the end result. They had to call a wrecker(chaching $$) to pull it to my house so they could trade with my car in the garage and make it to the concert back downtown Indy. All of which, caused them to be very late to the show. The expensive, good seats, concert, show that they almost missed because of the lost tickets.

WHAT ELSE? DANG IT!

Meanwhile, back on the ranch (like, literally). Hubby & I thought we’d redeem the messed up meeting with the new boss by taking him to a fun dive restaurant for dinner. Off we went and a good time was had by all, until….

The car we were driving started pulling all over the road as if something was terribly wrong. Uhm, it’s probably a good time to mention that we are in the middle of no where and it is almost 8pm on a Saturday night.

Black cloud? Evil curse? Is it me?

We struggle to make it to a gas station and realize, we have 2 flat tires! Oh no, not just one….T W O !!! Both back tires on this jeep are flat! Hubby begins trying to get one off to change while I’m on the phone with the roadside assistance company seeking HELP! Six cans of Fix-A-Flat later, we drive it very very carefully down the highway to the restaurant (which had not a single seat left in the house) and wait for a wrecker to come get it and tow it back to a town.

I love my life!

Within a few minutes, we had a table….ordered some food and the wrecker showed up to rescue our broken down wagon. Luckily for us, the greatest human being alive (Norma our amazing chef back at the Lodge) was just finishing up her busy evening and agreed to come get us in one of the Suburban’s.

I wanted to kiss her!

We headed home a little after 11 just in time for a big ole’ Texas sized storm. Because, why not? Right?

Nice to meet you, new boss. Welcome to Texas!

Fashion Friday – Texas Edition

April 17th, 2015

I feel I must confess, I’m shopping like a boss today. Dallas is my city destination and The Galleria Mall is one target spot as well as Highland Park Village. So, while you’re here browsing over my fashion post…. I am out there beating the streets like it’s MY DANG JOB!

You’re welcome!

My partner in crime for the day (Sandy) has a few goals set for our adventure: 1) Find a Dallas based Personal Shopper. (Uhh, for her. Not me) and 2) Locate a very special pair of 7 Jeans she’s been looking for.

I’m in it all for her, y’all. Hehe!

The state of Texas is unique. It’s full of wide open spaces, little one-horse towns and happening bustling cities. Honestly, the never-judge-a-book-by-its-cover motto must have come from Texas solely based on the kind of dives on the side of the road that turn out to be some of the best eating you’ll ever find AND THE PEOPLE! People in Texas are very unassuming. What may look like a dirty cowboy very likely might be a millionaire land owner. All I know is that I love it here and I try my best to soak up every bit of fun and friendly that I can when I visit.

So, what do Texans wear? Pretty much all the stuff you think they do, actually. Here, let me show you…

Luchesse Cowgirl Boots $155.60 at 6pm.com

luchesse

Ryan Michael Denim Dress $107.20

denim d

Junk Gypsy Not All Who Wander Tee $28

tee sh

Miss Me Jeans $79.60

missme

Turquoise Earrings $50

ear ring

See, I told you. They wear all the cute stuff you think they do. More reason for me to love the place. Now, if you’ll excuse me….I’m off doing Dallas right with my buddy!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Along the Way

April 16th, 2015

your story

I’m smack dab in the middle of BigMama’s newest book, Nobody’s Cuter Than You and I have to tell you….it’s fantastic! If you’ve ever had a best friend (and I know you have) then you will laugh, cry and scream at all the stories she tells about her own sweet friendships. I left her a comment this morning that I’m purposefully setting it down every little while because I don’t want it to end.

Like a sweet friendship.

Her story could be mine or even yours. Each of us have weathered life long enough to experience real friends and fakes. We’ve been burned, broken up with and found deep forever friends somewhere along life’s path. It’s what we do with that stuff that makes us who we are as women and what kind of friends we will be to others that God sends our way.

not compete

This week, I was talking to my friend Deonne about finding forever friends. She mentioned how close she had become to a few of her younger cousins and that she had missed out on years of friendship with them because she was always the “quiet one”. Now, they are inseparable and she loves the relationship they share together. I thought about one of my very best friends (God sent my way, years ago) and how I almost missed her being in my life because I just wasn’t looking. Once I really noticed her, I have never let her go (Tabbi)!!!

Friends don’t always come in the packaging we are expecting.

For me, I’ve learned to NOT compete with or for friends. If I have to do any of that, they are probably not the friend that God has for me. I’ve also learned that MY STORY is important. It’s important for me to be willing to share it, grow from it and help someone else who can relate to it. Surprisingly, not everyone has a perfect life and not everyone has had perfect experiences. Honestly sharing what good can come from not-so-good situations can build some of the strongest friendships.

Don’t be afraid to be YOU. Ever.

5 Ways to Spruce Up Your Front Porch

April 15th, 2015

I’ve been missing for a few days because my life has been consumed with HAIR! Monday it was Miss Lizzy’s day and Tuesday, mine. The glamour we have to contend with is literally indescribable.

I’ve told you I’m in Texas, right?

Both days, it has stormed! I’m talking the hardest, pouring down, can’t see the road in front of you, raining! Which means, I had to drive in that weather to get to said hair do-er people! There’s some things about the south that everyone should know — the highways or roads? They are old and worn out. They’re heavily traveled which only makes them more worn and dangerous. Holes, patched-up road and tire worn rivets make for very scary driving. You’ve probably heard of “hydroplaning”? Well, my two days of traveling this side of Texas have been full of rooster spraying hydroplaning moments.

No, I wasn’t speeding either!

But hey, Miss Lizzy and I look amazing! Our hairs are beautiful and we both got in some serious toning exercises driving through the big storms. Use your imagination, people.

Today the sun is still hiding and I just heard on the weather channel that the rain, will, continue!!! Curses!

However, that can’t stop us from talking about sprucing up our front porches. It’s time, the weather is just doing its part to wash away winter and bring out all the green and luscious colors for us to enjoy. More proof that God knows what we need, huh?

The first thing we need to do is WASH DOWN the porch. Scrub the grime away and all the salt and yuck that has built up over the last 6 months. Cleaning up the dirt and throwing out any broken or unused pots, chairs or whatever you let pile up on your porch will make an inspiring canvas to start your great spruce up. So, GO….WASH!!

clean porch

What I do — I take everything off my porch. Sweep down any spider webs or insect nests/bird nests (yes, the birds LOVE MY DANG PORCH!). Spray a household cleaner (you could use a pressure cleaner, if needed), brush away the grime with a broom or scrub brush and rinse heavily with the water-hose spray nozzle. Step back and notice the sparkle! ;)

The second thing? If anything needs painting, DO IT! I know, not everyone can pull the trigger on this….but if you’ve been wanting to paint that front door of yours, do it! Be brave. Maybe it’s not the door but the porch floor or the woodwork around it. Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and buy a color that is going to make you smile every time you pull in the driveway. Then go home and paint. You will feel like a SUPERSTAR for doing this. It’s empowering!

paint porch

The third and most important thing I do is pick out some pretty items that I know I will want around me on my porch for a few months. Plants, furniture….lighting. Even pillows for the chairs. On my current porch, I have a few walls that are perfect for decorations and I love changing out wall art depending on the season. No, there are no flamingos in my yard nor are there any concrete bunny rabbits. No trolls either! I keep it classy, y’all.

diy planter

porch sign

porch bench

Fourth, I choose a rug. Rugs can make it cozy. Pick something that matches the look you’re going for and don’t forget it needs to be weather proof to stand up the changing climate.

rug

porch rug

Last, I haven’t done this but I’ve just recently passed a house that had and I FELL IN LOVE and almost wrecked my car oggling! Put up curtains! This is really for a specific type of porch and you just might have it. I don’t. Mine is a little too modern (for my taste). Plus, that HOA!!! Grrr. I don’t want to risk a chance of getting ANOTHER letter from them after they nailed me for having white lights on my sweet little innocent porch! However, if you have no HOA to fight….hang up some flowy curtains and make me jealous!

curtains on

curtain on

Aren’t these awesome? And look, there a million ways to hang them too.

curtains on porch

I can’t even get them out of my mind. One of these days…..

If you are like me and spend a lot of your time outside on your porch, make it your favorite spot. Sprucing up doesn’t have to cost a fortune or cause you to need to hire a handy-man. It’s an easy DIY that just about anyone can do all alone.

And, don’t forget to live by the PORCH RULES –>

porch rules

Fashion Friday – Tassels, Shorts & More Edition

April 10th, 2015

fashion fri

Ahhh, summer days are coming and since I’m in the heart of hot Texas today…guess who has no NO AIR-CONDITIONING? Yes, ME! What better way to get inspiration than to sweat my buns off cleaning up the bachelor pad so I can actually sit somewhere here at the ranch house. Our son lives here full-time and works a lot of hours (he ain’t cleaning much), our visits ensure a very germ-a-phobe mom will clean as if IT’S NEVER BEEN CLEANED before.

THIS PLACE IS SPARKLING even if it’s hot!

But, you don’t care about my cleaning habits or how hot it is… do you? You want to see what I’m posting for Fashion Friday, right? Me too. Let’s get to shopping.

I’m so excited because the season change is bringing with it some of the cutest summer styles. Shorts are getting fancy, tassels are hanging from ears, necks and clothing and I can’t get enough! Funny thing, I packed for Texas with a chill in the air in Indy. So, I have a pile of clothes that I WILL NOT BE WEARING here. It is so HOT! Lucky for me, my job while I’m here is shopping! :)

Look at this Seersucker Bow short by Lauren James $72

lauren james

Aren’t these adorable? I love the bow, I adore the seersucker and for goodness sake….they are decent!

RXB Embroidered top at TJ Maxx $19.99

tassel

Remember back in the day when tassels and embroidered clothes were hippie clothes? Yea, back up girl. It is all coming back! You could pair this with jeans or shorts and be the cutest chick there, wherever your there is.

Need a new cover up? Well, look no further.

Chick Ivory Crochet for $37 at LuLu’s

cover up

Well, of course you’ll be needing some white denim shorts. Right?

Old Navy Sweetheart Shorts for $22.94

denim short

Nice length, perfect color and at your local Old Navy!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, this tassel monogrammed necklace will get you a bazillion compliments. Not kidding!

Monogrammed Long Tassel for $29.99 at Marley Lilly

tassel neckl

How about this fun little tee? Old Navy can be a cool place.

Women’s Plus Graphic Tee $19

lover t

I might be the biggest fan of the designer Adrianna Papell, ever. Her clothes are so perfect for MY taste. I love everything she makes and this dress is perfect for summer.

Adrianna Papell Scoop Neck for $149 at Zappos.com (free shipping both ways always)

adrianna p

Your feet need to look their best too. Don’t you think? I love a leather sandal especially if it has a little bit of a heel. Like these — >

Softspots Rhode Luggage shoe fo $79.99 at Zappos

leather sandal

Don’t complain that they are a sandal or that sandals shouldn’t be $79.99 either. The name alone tells you they are comfortable, Softspots?! These can be worn with shorts, jeans, capris and even dresses. ALL SUMMER LONG!

Here’s a fancy little dress to wear for just about anything. I love the denim color and the fact that it’s sleeveless. For those of you who don’t show the guns or the flab, whichever your vice is….throw on a little jean jacket or summer sweater. You’ll look fab!

Jag Jeans Abra Dress for $62.99 at 6pm.com

denim dress

And, I’ll end with this swimsuit, because we might as well face it….it’s that time again! Like pulling a band-aid off super quick – here’s a look at something those of us with old lady bodies can actually wear!

Magic Suit Tankini top for $114 at Soma

tankini top

Look, what more do you need? It says it right there in the name, MAGIC! So, I’m counting on this pretty tankini to do magic when you wear it. Just make sure to grab some bottoms, ok?

And, because I know how hard it is to find a nice decent swimsuit that matches most body types. I’ve found a site that offers some really adorable choices. SWIMSUITS FOR ALL – go check them out.

Happy Friday!

4 Things To Let Go Of, Now

April 9th, 2015

Ladies,

Can we talk? I have some very important news. You don’t have to hold onto toxic junk any longer!

There. I said it.

Signed,
Me, the most clingy crazy tox-a-holic person that I know.

What is it that stunts our growth as people or women? I’ll tell you what I think, it’s the toxic garbage that we believe about ourselves.

I’m not good enough.
I don’t look like her.
I missed the cool bus.
I’m fat/skinny/weird.
I have issues.
My body isn’t what it used to be.
I’m divorced.
I’ve failed as a mom.
My hair is too thin.
I missed my chance to do what I really wanted to do with my life.
I hate myself.
Someone told me _______!
I’ll never be _________!

Garbage. Throw it out! Don’t listen to the lies.

I’ve thought about this so many times, how I’ve been stuck in the molasses of my own doing because of the stuff swirling around in my hard head! I hate that! I hate that I’ve missed opportunities and I really hate that I’ve let lies stunt my growth and take hostage my JOY!

Here’s my 4 things to let go of right now and if you’ve been trapped in a bottle of your own. Take heart!

1 — THAT VOICE – YOU weren’t good enough.

Record over that voice. Replace it with a new message. One that comes straight from God’s own word. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You have always been good enough and shame on the one who told you otherwise!

2 — THAT FANTASY/DREAM – The one that REALLY IS impossible.

Make peace with that dream that didn’t come true. I’ve told you about my hubby going back to grad school?! He’s struggling already but HE IS DETERMINED! He wants it and he wants it bad. Not everyone gets the chance to go back to school and that’s OKAY!!! Don’t beat yourself up over whatever it is you “thought” you were supposed to do, anymore!

3 — GUILT

Forgive yourself. Don’t tell me you aren’t holding onto something that is crippling your life. I know you are, we all do it. Get over it. Love yourself enough to let your current life live in peace. God is the most gracious example of forgiveness. Copy-cat Him.

4 — COMPARING

Stop it, I tell you….stop. it. You aren’t supposed to be like her or whoever it is you’re sizing yourself up against. Be the best you, it’s all you can do – so you might as well, RIGHT?

I challenge you…

Step back and examine your life. Is it perfect? Probably not. Is it manageable? Probably so. Can you improve it? I know you can. Let your mind be free from whatever it is that falls into the toxic junk category.

just assume