Birdbrain

April 27th, 2015

I’m not a bird expert, I just love watching them do their thing.

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Hummingbirds might be my favorite. They never act afraid of me when I’m standing right beside their favorite hangout.

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I could watch them all day. Some days, I do just that.

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It’s probably a good thing I’m leaving Texas this week because I’ve fallen in love with a whole gaggle (I have no idea what you call a large number of Hummingbirds) of birds.

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I’d build them a giant feeding castle. So they could eat and eat while I snap their pictures on my porch.

See, I might be a little birdbrained.

Need a DIY hummingbird feeder recipe?

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Fashion Friday – That’ll Cost Ya

April 24th, 2015

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Lest you believe that this week’s fashion post is how I blow my hubby’s money, let me put that to rest right now.

I am cheap! As in, cheap cheap…beep beep cheap!

Now, do not confuse that with wishin’! I’m always wishin’! I wish for this and I wish for that…but the honest truth is I WANT THE GOOD STUFF but I want it for a bargain!

My biggest indulgences will always be on Frye boots and Dooney bags. I will not give those up! Ever. Unless of course, we need food and electricity. I mean, priorities….right? I know when to fold em’ and when to hold em’. Okay? I’m not a total animal!

Last week I spent the day shopping with a friend and while it was stressful coming back home, the day was glorious. I had a front row seat into the world of big girl shopping and I LIKED IT! I liked it, a lot.

Now that I’m back to (my) reality, I thought I’d share a few special items that are out there for the gal who wants to spend a little a lot to look her best. I’m talking fashion’s latest and greatest.

First up, SHOES! I managed to find a corner to stand in while the women of Dallas Nordstrom’s had the shoe dudes hopping grabbing their favorite designer shoes. Sure, I felt a little jelly. Gosh, who wouldn’t? Did you know, some people spend more money on a pair of shoes than most do on a month’s worth of groceries? A PAIR OF SHOES – A MONTH OF GROCERIES!

Have you heard of Attilio Giusti Leombruni? Or A G L’s as the savvy of the savviest called them. I hadn’t, mostly because I do not wear flats very often. They hurt and make me feel dumpy. The word is that these shoes are the MOST INCREDIBLY COMFORTABLE SHOE made right now. If I had an extra $300+ or so to throw around, I might find out. Since I do not….you’ll have to get your own or whatever you do to get the answers you’re looking for.

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Cute, right? But over $300 for flats? I don’t know, y’all. I’m still not convinced. If AGL would like to win me over, they’re welcome to send me a pair as a “research” project. ;)

I suppose I should just zip it on the price of AGL’s when Valentino is getting away with charging $745 dollhairs for this seriously precious pink beauty. Huh?

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Wow, that’s cute! But, $745? Really!? Errr, I don’t know guys!

Well, if you’re like me and would rather wear a sandal….here’s the other option by Valentino. They’re a little more at $1045. Yea, you read that right. One thousand and forty-five American dollars. Get ya some, y’all.

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Sham wam lama ding dong!! They’re cute, but they are also more than my home mortgage. Which is a dead give away that I am shopping out of my league.

I’ve talked up buying expensive jeans on here and I’ve never mentioned any above $150 because….seriously? They would have to do MAGICAL rearranging of my old lady body for me to even consider. I literally have an exact replica of these jeans (which I get a ton of compliments on every time I wear them) except mine were on sale for $39.99 at Marshall’s and they are Nine West brand.

Have you heard of Current/Elliott jeans? These are $228 at Nordstrom’s.

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No joke. These are clearly for the girl who zings her money left & right and still eats a fabulous dinner out that night. In other words, she ain’t fretting over a dollar or two-hundred and twenty eight of them. In case you were wondering, this isn’t the highest priced jean either. You can go much higher.

Looking for a casual crepe top to go with your Rockstud sandals and Current/Elliott jeans? This one is perfect. Only, it’s $265 and you’ll never want to eat at Fazolli’s lest you drop spaghetti sauce on it and ruin it forevs!

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I like it. Chic & comfy, just out of my “I don’t want to go to work” budget.

How about a Bird & Branch Silk dress? This one is a steal for $395 if you’re skinny enough and your wallet’s fat.

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What about a Basket Weave Skirt dress? If you’re going for a washed up on the beach look this dress is only $3250. Obviously, it costs more because of the name or could it be they’re charging for each strand?

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I love this silk dress by Fabiana and it’s only $1155. Should I splurge? Naaah! I’m rather good at finding the cheaper version of everything! It’s my secret talent.

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While I was out last week, I stopped into an Alexander McQueen store because ya know, why not? I was drawn like a magnet to a hot pink purse from the Heroine line. I cannot find it anywhere online, go figure. But, it was a whopping $2950 so I quickly set it back down and backed away.

My hand may have held it long enough that it got into my bloodstream. Hence the name. Here’s a blingy version that’s a few bucks less at $1497.

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And yes, it is tiny.

Need something a little larger? How about the Stella McCartney metallic tote? It’s $1420 and has plenty of room. However, you cannot sleep in it for a week which would be the equivalent of about a 7 day stay in a hotel at the beach.

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When it comes to sunglasses, the bigger the better is what I live by. However, they also have to be cheap enough for me to destroy. You can count on my throwing them in my purse, dropping them on gravel and losing them. So, dropping 3 bills on a pair of eye-ball protectors will never happen. Unless my hubby strikes it really rich and then I probably still wouldn’t do it.

These Jimmy Choo’s are adorable. Really. Big, flashy and Italian. $355

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I know not everyone bothers with a watch anymore but if you do and you’ve got a few bucks to blow, how about this Swiss beauty?

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This is a steal too at $899. It’s regularly priced at $1800. You’re welcome.

Now that we’ve traipsed all through the racks of the rich & famous (trust me, I held back on what I posted) let’s be real. Would you spend that kind of money on clothes, shoes, bags and jewels?

Even if you had it?

If you’re like me, you do your best to find great deals and stay up to date with every item you buy. There’s not a single thing wrong with that either. The world is full of over-priced stuff and that includes what we wear. Don’t fall into the trap of name-brand rules, if you like it and it’s affordable for your budget….get it! Lookin’ good does NOT have to cost ya!

Happy Friday friends!

A Day in Texas

April 23rd, 2015

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Ever wonder what I do while I’m in Texas? Besides shop, get mine and Miss Lizzy’s hair done? It’s all really glamorous, actually. I can pretty much fill my day with a whole lot of nothing or I can get out and get busy while trucking all over northern Texas. I learned a long time ago to make the best of whatever my situation might be and my long weeks in Texas are no exception.

Every single day at any particular moment, these guys wander up to the house. Sometimes they are just munching on by and other times they are moving from one pasture to another.

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They walk right up to the porch steps and so I try to keep a look out for that when I let my dogs out to potty. Miss Lizzy is the queen of cow arguing. If she sees them, she tells them off. They pretty much look at her like she’s crazy. Which….. is truth.

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Sometimes, these beauties come running by like a scene out of a dramatic movie.

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They like their life okay. I mean, they are the bosses of the cows, so there’s that. They get a little hot-shoddy sometimes and take off chasing the cows to another pasture. Talk about bossy!

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Gracie runs this place, at least that’s what she thinks. She patrols the porches and keeps an eye on all the land that her dog eyes can see. She knows when someone is coming and kicks in to bark-your-head off mode. It’s funny for the first 5 minutes!

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She lives the life!

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Lizzy gets in a little porch managing as well.

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She even sneaks in a few winks when time allows.

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I climb up on whatever I can to get the best hummingbird pics. Yes, my life really is this glamorous. This same wooden bench is the one I busted my knee on while I was chasing wasps to spray. I should’ve looked down. I still have the boo-boo to prove it.

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This guy does more than make IT magic. He climbs up on the roof to patch leaks and he climbs under the house to work on a/c vents after the skunks invade and wreak havoc. He’s more than just an IT stud, y’all!

But my favorite thing about him? Is this ——>
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When he pulls on his boots and gets lost in thought before UNTUCKING his pants. He is my favorite c o w b o y! Just look, he’s so darned cute!

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Some moments are just meant to be spent relaxing. I don’t want to mislead anyone and make you think I leisurely hang out in the nail salons. I don’t. However, there are days…

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The only bad part of getting a great pedi is NOT having my best girls with me. Guess I’ll suffer alone.

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Sometimes, the power goes out on the ranch. When that happens and it’s time for The Voice, I head to the lodge to watch. It’s really exciting being here in Sulphur Springs with Hannah Kirby still going strong on Team Blake! The whole town is proud of her!

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Downtown on the square, the community gathers around and watches The Voice broadcast on big screens. I can’t help but join in with cheering her on.

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I love Texas. It’s my kind of place. What’s a day like in your town?

Peeking Through the Window

April 22nd, 2015

I’ve got it bad for old windows! Everywhere I look, someone is posting another fancy way of incorporating them into their home decor. I don’t even know what it is that pulls me in and captures me. I just know that I’m in love and you can’t trick the heart into forgetting something it loves so easily.

Therefore, I swoon and pine for anything window related.

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Last summer, I wandered over to my neighbor’s yard sale pile and noticed he had 2 old rustic windows laying on the ground for sale. He could’ve charged me $50, that’s how much I wanted those old suckers. However, he was moving and seriously getting rid of everything clogging up their garage. He said, “Oh, you can have them!” to which I said, “NO WAY!” So, I paid him $5 each and ran off with them back to my house. Then, I remembered….I’d seen those windows before, somewhere.

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When I was house shopping and found our home online, this was a picture of our front porch. The owner of my house either sold or gave them to my neighbor when she moved. Hence, my windows….were back home. As in, MINE ALL MINE DUDES!

I’ve since moved them around inside my house for decoration reasons and I love them everywhere they’ve sat.

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Here is where the wheels come off (inside my window lovin’ heart). As soon as I can get my hands on a fresh pile of old windows…..I will have my hubby creating this dreamy porch divider on my front porch.

Y’all, the love. Oh, the love I feel for that pretty junky window beauty! Ka-thump ka-thump, goes my porch addict heart.

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window porch love

For the entire year plus that I’ve lived in my house….I’ve debated over and over in my head just what I could do to my stairwell wall. It is plain and boring! This is inspiring me to do something special with my wall and including old window frames. Stay tuned.

Look at this!!!! OMG OMG OMG!! I can’t even hide my giddy love for this look. Maps make me crazy, I love them!!! Marrying them with an old window? Double crazy!

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Gorgeous!

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Make it stop!!! Now I can’t wait to get back home.

What’s your weakness? Old stuff? New? Modern? Vintage? Shabby chic? Rustic? Whatever it is, buy yourself something soon and change your whole attitude. Home is where the heart is, right?

Unexpected

April 21st, 2015

Maybe your life is everything you dreamed it would be.

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Maybe it’s not.

I bet you’re like me and many other women who’ve dreamed big, yet experienced the unexpected.

While you were busy chasing your dreams, life happened. It stopped you in your tracks and knocked you around.

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This morning I was perusing a coveted neighborhood here in the Dallas area (just out of curiosity, I’m not moving) and I stumbled upon the most amazing home. It instantly captured my heart and I drooled as I wandered through each room from my laptop screen. My hubby who was working close by had no idea that I had escaped to a world that I didn’t belong. I asked him with a giggle, “Honey, do we have THREE MILLION AND ONE HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS to spend right now?”

He said, “No!” and I snapped out of my fantasy and remembered that’s not who we are, gazillionaires. We’re Don & Wanda, parents to three young adults, owners of the 2 sweetest dogs in the world and gratefully, a part of the working class who actually have jobs and can afford to live a modest lifestyle.

A 3 million dollar house wasn’t necessarily on my dream list for my life. But, there were plenty of other things on it that I’d placed a high value on. Some of it might seem silly to you or someone else, that’s what makes the dream mine and not yours. Right? However, the unexpected moments of our life can change everything.

A divorce. I can’t recall ever meeting anyone that entered a marriage hoping for a big break-up in the future. Just about everyone steps into that dream with the hopes of a real happily ever after. When love falls short and relationships come apart, dreams are crushed.

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Until you’ve had to start over and learn how to do life without the person you’ve pledged your heart to….remember to love on the divorced woman. Many are souled out, devoted mama’s who are left to hot glue the pieces back for their children.

That’s a picture of life unexpected.

A death. I was listening to a beautiful song today at the suggestion of my daughter. The words were personal to the writer and full of emotion as he sang of letting someone go. Our lives here on earth are so fleeting, yet we live as if we’re dying most days. We don’t pursue life with joy, we hum-drum our way through many of our days and miss out on living life to the fullest.

Death doesn’t ask if we’re ready.

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I have good news for you and me. The unexpected isn’t always bad.

What we scribble on our hearts and watch life erase doesn’t always have to mean the end. Oftentimes, it’s only the beginning. God has transformed so many of my own painful moments into victories during my life and I’m convinced that my unexpected was never a surprise to Him. He knew it was coming and He stepped in on my behalf….

Because, He loved me. And, He loves you. Your unexpected is not news to Him. He is well aware of all your crushed dreams and I believe, He has something even better in store. So, brush yourself off friend and get ready.

Expect…the unexpected.

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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!