Wednesday, June 15, 2016

What I can do.

If there is a day to act on the Love in your soul it is today, it is this moment. ~Mike Dolan

The tragedy in Orlando has me and my husband shaking our heads. We have sat in this very office and talked all the way around the issue, over and over and over.

Why did he do it? Was he part of ISIS? Was this a hate crime? Or terrorism? Who was his intended target? Why was it so easy for him to get such a powerful weapon? Why does this keep happening?

I don't know all the details. And, frankly, I don't need to know ALL the details. Because what it comes down to is this. He was a hate-filled man. And he was able to hurt a lot of people with an easily obtained powerful weapon. That's it.

It doesn't matter what color his skin was. What religion he was. Where he was from. Who he claimed to be part of. What his motives were.

He was a man.

He killed a lot of people.

With an easily and legally obtained powerful killing machine.

So, of course, that leads us right into the never-ending "gun debate".

Why do people even need to own those kind of guns? Just because they want to? Because it's their "constitutional right"? Why can't the government find a way to make it a little harder for people to get those guns? Why does nothing ever change? Why do we keep allowing this to happen?

And that brings us to money. The government body will never move towards any type of bill/law that will hinder the NRA's ability to sell guns (any guns...all the guns). Because the NRA has lined enough pockets with enough money to make it so. As long as that type of bribery is allowed to happen in our government, nothing is ever going to change. And I don't see that happening any time soon.

So, after all of that discussion...when he and I have talked it all the way realize that there is nothing we can do to fix this...I'm left feeling broken, sad, disappointed, angry, and useless.

I keep asking myself...what can I do? What more can I do than change my Facebook profile pic and post my thoughts and prayers (hashtagged, of course)? I have no faith in my government. I have no faith that my vote would ever make any difference (because of the money in the pockets...remember). So, on that level, I am totally and utterly pointless.

But, what I can do is always strive to be better to the person next to me.

At work, at the grocery store, in my neighborhood, on my social media accounts. I can always try and be the love that this world so desperately needs. I can always try to remember to look outside of my self-absorbed little bubble and not be shy about reaching out to those around me.

I can always try to be kinder. To be more helpful. To be more loving. To be more understanding. To be more compassionate.

And, like Jeremy says, 'That will have to be enough'.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Big Birthday Fundraiser

Is anyone else tired of all the bickering on social media? I do not want to see another thing about public bathrooms or gorillas. It's not that I don't think topics should be's just that on social media rarely does anyone ever really discuss anything. It's more like a bunch of people being in a big room just screaming their opinion at the top of their lungs.

I want to talk about something else instead. Animal rescue. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a huge soft spot for rescued animals. I don't really agree with breeding or purchasing "designer breed" animals for a ton of money. I am 100% pro-rescue/shelter adoption.

My birthday is coming two and half months...but I need the time to try and get this set up and get the word out. Usually I am a pretty big diva princess when it comes to my birthday. I want to celebrate all month and I want ALL THE PRESENTS. And cupcakes. And cake. But this year, I want to try something different.

I want to try and raise money for an animal rescue. I want to try and get pledges, at least one for each day of the month of August. $1 for day 1, $2 for day 2, $3 for day 3, and so on. If I can get one person to pledge for every single day of August, we could raise nearly $500. But if I get more than one pledge for a day, I'll gladly accept that. More pledges equal more money. After collecting pledges for the next two months, I would set up a Gofundme account to be opened at the first of August and hopefully start collecting the pledged donations. At the end of the month, I would announce how much was raised and donate it to my animal rescue of choice.

And that rescue would be A Place to Bark, located in Tennessee. Bernie is an animal rescuing machine. Along with a handful of worker bees she makes magic happen for many, many animals. Please feel free to check out their Facebook page, read the posts and watch the videos. It really is a worthy rescue that can use every single bit of help.

SSSoooo, that's my big birthday fundraising idea. I'm officially opening up the fundraiser to pledges. Just comment your name, email, and which day you'd like to place your pledge. If you don't specify a dollar amount, I'll assume you are pledging the amount of the day you select (August 6th would be a $6 pledge). Remember, a pledge is just that...a commitment to pay the pledged amount in August. To kick it off, I'm pledging to pay $36 towards my fundraiser..since that's how old I'll be!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Target Beauty Box #2

DDaaaaammmnnnn, Jonessa...back at it again with the Target Beauty Box.

Once again, I came home to a Target Beauty Box that I was not expecting. My girl, Jonessa, did me another solid and sent it to me. I have the best BFF ever.

This box seems geared towards skin care. There are four different kinds of moisturizer/skin creams and two facial cleansers. Not that I mind. I've been trying to get myself into a habit of cleaning and moisturizing my face in the morning and the evening. My sister brought me some Mary Kay cleanser and moisturizer that I've been using lately. 

I'm game to try it all, but something tells me you cannot turn back time {Cher knows}. My face is what it is. But I still need to take care of my skin the best that I can. So, I used the CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser and Andalou Age Defying Night Repair Cream last night.

The facial cleanser comes out as a clear liquid and you have to rub it in your hands to get it to foam up. It has a slight soapy smell but nothing overwhelming. It was light and gentle on my face. I'm not a big makeup wearer so I couldn't say how effective this would be to remove all of your makeup. The repair cream came in a sample tube that distributes it like a spot treatment. So it was a little strange to try and get enough to apply all over my face and neck, as the directions advise. But it looks like the normal size comes in a pot, which makes more sense. It wasn't overly greasy and absorbed very quickly into my skin. It also had a very mild scent..almost no scent. Which was a little strange too. I guess if you are very sensitive to scents, these products would be great.

Those are the only two products I've used so far other than trying on the L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lip Pen in Matte-r of Fact. I liked this shade much better than the red lipstick that came in my first beauty box. Again, I don't wear a lot of makeup and I don't normally wear lipstick at all, but lip gloss. This is the first time I've tried on a matte lipstick. When you are used to something being a little more shiny and wet, it's a different kind of feeling. But it went on very smooth and stayed put.

I'll get around to trying everything else in the box, but two other products that I am super excited to try are the Hair Food Kiwi Dry Shampoo and L'Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Towelettes. I'll report back after I try them out.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stitch Fix #2 {Updated}

I wasn't expecting my next Stitch Fix box until Friday at the earliest. So, it was a nice surprise to come home yesterday and find it waiting for me on the kitchen table.

I like to think of my first Stitch Fix box as a 'getting to know you' box. The stylist are trying to figure me out so I opened it with that in mind. The styling of my first box wasn't spot on, and that's ok. I provided as much feedback as I could in hopes that this next box would be tweaked. And I wasn't disappointed. I can tell that this box has been styled to try and match my taste.

Item #1 - BC Footwear Dash Slip-on Sandal ($60) - {return}

These slip-on sandals aren't really my style. I found them to be a little clunky on my feet. Someone else might love them, they would go with many things. Very easy to just throw on but looks a little more put together than flip flops. But they just aren't for me.

Item #2 - Kut From the Kloth Hadleigh Wide Leg Denim Trouser ($80) {kept}

I mentioned that I was on the hunt for the perfect pair of trouser jeans. So my stylist (who is different than the stylist from my last box) sent me these. The fit is spot on (I'm not sure how they are doing that), but the length I'm not sure about. These are petite and I can't decide if they are too short with heels/wedges (see top photos) because they are slightly too long to wear with ballet flats (see bottom photos). What do y'all think? Would I be ok wearing them with my wedges? They don't look too short do they? If I couldn't wear them with my wedges then I would have to get them hemmed up slightly so I could wear them with ballet flats.

I need your advise!! Help a sister out!

Item #3 - Fun2Fun Katniss Crochet Yoke Top ($44) - {return}

I love the pattern of this shirt. The crochet detail at top is different and unique. I'd probably keep it, but the bottom hem of this shirt was a little tight around my hips and booty. So the style is right, but the fit was just a little off.

Item #4 Pixley Edolie Mixed Material Top ($54) {return}

I like this top a lot. It's more casual than the other tops in this box, which is fine with me. It's comfortable. I like that it has contrasting sides. I know it's hard to see in the photo, but it has a little bit of a hi-low hem, the back hem is longer than the front hem. I could dress this up or down.

Item #5 Daniel Rainn Sheera Split Neck Knit Top ($58) {return}

Another cute top that could easily be dressed up or down. It's not as casual as the top above and it's less of a "tank top" style, so I could probably get away with wearing this blouse to work.

I really loved that all the tops in this box were easy to throw on and go, but they all had really great pattern and color to them. The shoes were another miss, but that's ok. I'm really torn about the pants. They make me look skinny, so there is that, I'm just unsure of the length. I have a day or two to think it over before I decide. Tell me what y'all think of this box.

I ended up returned all the tops. I just couldn't justify the price of them. I adjusted the pricing on my style profile so we will see how my next box turns out. I did decide to keep the jeans. Everyone told me I should, so I listened to them.

If you'd like to try Stitch Fix, please use my referral link to sign up.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The red headed man with a witch for a wife

As we've been watching the Outlander series on Starz, Jeremy has found himself connected with the character of Murtagh. He is no nonsense, extremely loyal, has a robust disdain for all things froofy, and he likes to settle minor disagreements with a good punch in the face. Jeremy says, 'If only all disagreements can be settled that way. One punch and done.'

So, I updated my Facebook status with "Jeremy's spirit animal" and shared this photo:

And shortly after I received this text from him:

{insert a bunch of heart-eye emojis here} *swoon*

 Someone has been memorizing the '10 tips for husbands if your wife is obsessed with Outlander'

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Vacation Revelations

We recently went to Florida for a family vacation with my mom and sister. My mom turned 60 and what she wanted to do was go to the beach. So, that is what we did.

We had a great time visiting my aunt and the beach was great. I didn't have a concern in the world about wearing my bikini while we were there. I didn't obsess over who might be looking at me, what they might be thinking about me. I didn't feel self-conscious at all...until I saw the pictures.

Photo-bombed by my bat arm
I'm really glad that I was able to enjoy myself in the moment. But..I'm not happy with where I let myself backslide to. If you're a new reader you might not know that a few years ago I lost 60 lbs. At my heaviest (known) weight I was 211. I've done very well at maintaining, for the most part, but I have found over the last year that the weight is creeping back on.

Near my heaviest weight
Near my lowest weight
My current weight
I've put on about 20 lbs from my lowest weight. And it's not like I didn't know it was happening. The scale doesn't lie. But I was turning a blind eye to it, putting on the back burner. Until yesterday..for the first time since I lost all the weight I couldn't wear a top because my arms were too big.

Talk about eye-opener. As I sit here, if I listen to my body, it's telling me it's not happy. I'm not comfortable, just sitting here.

So something must be done. And it will start with re-evaluating what I'm eating and how much of it I'm eating. I wish I could say with confidence that this will be easy...since I've done it before...but I'm not so sure that will be the case.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

All the beautiful words!

Let's talk about the Outlander series, shall we?

Many, many years ago...I was introduced to the Outlander series by a coworker who was listening to them on tape (yes, tape!). At work, this series started a conga line of woman impatiently waiting for one coworker to hurry up and finish listening so it could be passed down to the next person on the list.

It starts off as a story about a woman, Claire, who travels back in time through magical stones in Scotland and ends up married to a very dashing Scotsman named Jamie. I know it sounds a little out there and really like your typical romance story. But it is just way more than that.

When I found out that they were doing a TV series on the books, I was beside myself with excitement. I know fans had been asking for a movie for a really long time. I am so glad that they decided to take it to TV instead of a movie. There is just NO WAY that they could have done this series justice in a movie (or even a handful of movies). And I have to say that so far, the show is doing an amazing job of bringing the story to life. Jeremy has been watching it with me and even he is held captive by the twists and turns of the story.

So, I decided to re-read the books...or I guess read the books for the first time since I listened to them the first time. We are up to eight books in the series...with the possibility of more. I sounds kind of crazy, right? Who on earth could keep a story going for more than eight books? We'll see if George R.R. Martin strings us along that long.

I managed to wrangle one of my aunts into reading the books (she has read them all twice now). I have another aunt who I just loaned the DVD's for Season One of the show. AND a third aunt has now ordered the books as well. Plus a cousin who is also watching the show after I introduced her to it. I'm starting my own mini-fan club.

My mom keeps saying its because of the sex. And while there is sex...and I do read many, many, many romance novels that do revolve a lot around the sex...these books are so much more than the typical romance novel. I don't think I could have kept myself interested for eight books if it was just about the sex.

No, this series really has everything. It is an epic story which spans over a lifetime for the main characters and many of the secondary characters as well. This story has you in several different countries, during several different wars, during a couple of different time periods.

But through out the different plot lines and side stories, it always comes back to Jamie and Claire and their love for one another. It is a love story, to its very core.

I'm getting ready to start reading the books again. Jeremy was like "Again?! But you just finished!" Yeah, and?! They are just that good.