Monday Musings

After traveling to Phoenix this past week, I just need to state for the record that it was fantastic to be home!  We stayed with my youngest brother No Neck and his fiancée Sonnet and they were a blast.  We got to see Darth B, Tree Hugger and Ry-Bear too, and I got to spend a lot of time with my Mom.  We had such a great time that we’re (tentatively) thinking about moving back.  It was so cool to watch Ry-Bear and J3 play together, plus No Neck and Sonnet are planning on having kids as soon as they get married in February therefore it would be amazing for all the little cousins to play together.  We didn’t get that as kids (our cousins were much older since both of my parents were bonus children and much younger than their siblings) and it’s important to me that my children are surrounded by family.  So we’ll see…

 

With that in mind, here’s my Monday Musing for this week- here’s to family!!

 

‘Til next time,

Nicole

What I Wore Wednesday

Woo hoo it’s Wednesday!  For anyone joining from The Pleated Poppy or …Meet Virginia, I posted earlier in the week that I was headed to Phoenix today, and so if you’re reading this later than 1pm CST, then I am either on my way, or already there.  Although I grew up all over the Pacific Northwest (mainly Spokane, Washington and with all my extended family in the Seattle area),  I consider myself to be from Phoenix.  I lived there part-time for 1991 and 1992 while I was in college up in Utah, but then transferred to Arizona State in 1993 and lived there until 2006 when J2 and I headed out to Texas.  At the time, I needed a change of scenery, but now I am anxious to get “home”.  This visit will bring back summer dresses and shorts for six days (since it’s still in the mid 90’s there), but if that’s what it takes to see my family, so be it!

With that in mind, here’s what I wore while it cooled down here in North Texas…

Wednesday, September 29th– Second to last day of my 30 day challenge!  Of course, I had class in the morning where both my classrooms are freezing and that morning I woke up late so I threw on the first thing that was fairly warm and clean (oh, and that I hadn’t worn!)

Blue top:  NY & Co from two years ago

Black tissue cardigan:  Old Navy from this spring

Jeans:  Joey style BCBGirl jeans, thrifted from Buffalo Exchange in Tempe, AZ probably five years ago easily (you can tell I was getting down at the end of the jean pile)

Socks (black and blue striped): NY & Co, bought the same time as the shirt

Shoes:  men’s Oxfords, thrifted from the Industrial Blvd (Bedford) Goodwill

Tuesday, September 30th– Running around with J3 and not in the mood to do anything.  I felt sloppy and gross, but needed to find the little guy a Halloween costume.  I had seen a couple at Goodwill (because I’m too darn cheap to pay $30 for something he’ll wear for 30 minutes) and knew I needed to go before they were all gone, so out the door I went.

Top:  Old Navy and a XL, can’t you tell?!?  I wore it when I was pregnant even though it’s not maternity and somehow it missed going up in the attic.  Ifound it buried in my closet and it seemed perfect for the mood I was in at the time.

Tank Top (you can’t see):  Charlotte Russe (because my 14 month old is fascinated with pulling on my shirt and showing everyone my goods)

Capris:  Adriano Goldschmied “the Split” jeans, purchased from the Buffalo Exchange in Tempe, AZ back when AG first hit the scene.  Yeah, I’ve had these awhile!

Moccasins: Preview International, thrifted from the Haltom City Goodwill.  At first I was a little unsure about the stones on them, but they’ve grown on me.  I thought at the time they’d match a couple of hard-to-match bronze colored things in my closet, so I bought them and they did.  Yea!

Friday October 1st-YAY!  The 30 outfits/30 days challenge is done!  The first thing I did was throw on one of my favorite pairs of jeans.  As you can see from the background and lack of cropping, J2 and I took J3 to his first baseball game at Rangers stadium.  I was a little hesitant, thinking J3 was going to be a crazy baby, but he was great and everyone around us loved him.  I had planned on buying a Rangers shirt while we were there, but it just didn’t happen, so I was stuck with plain white. Oh well!

Jeans:  Big Star “Kayla” straight jeans

T-shirt:  Awake Couture, bought at Macy’s three years ago.  I love it because it’s long and I love it so much I have it in black as well!

Flip Flops:  Old Navy

Saturday, October 2nd-J2 had a company event at the Fort Worth zoo…

Believe it or not, that’s not me 😉

I let J2 play with the camera while we were walking around and something on the darn thing freaked out before we had a chance to take any human pictures, therefore the red baboon’s butt is what you get.  Sorry about that, but dang, it’s better than what I was wearing!  I walked out of the bedroom in a simple shift dress and J2 suggested I change, saying I would be overdressed and out of place (like that isn’t the story of my life).  So I put on a very unexciting gray Arizona State t-shirt, old faded black capris from NY & Co and silver cushy flip flops from Old Navy.  Now aren’t you glad you got to see a monkey instead?!?

Sunday, October 3rd– I was lazy until it was time to go get a massage.  I have THE BEST therapist in the world, and from someone that has received hundreds of massages, that’s saying a lot.  Oh, and I’m not exaggerating either on the hundreds.  I worked for a massage therapy school for almost two years that had a clinic on the weekends and staff got free massages so that the students would get their hours (and the clinic admin would let us bring friends for free if it was slow).  I would receive five or six in a weekend and then I worked for Massage Envy (where I get my massages now).  I have back issues and my therapist Fil is wonderful.  I have to book at least two weeks out to get a spot but I feel amazing afterward!

Dress:  Gap, thrifted from the Goodwill Boutique

Scarf:  ???, thrifted from the Rufe Snow Goodwill.  I’ve never been big on scarves, only because I think I look stupid, but I liked this one.  It was buried in a bucket and I saw the color peeking out, so I grabbed it and for only 99 cents it was mine!  Muhahaha!

Sandals:  Reaction by Kenneth Cole from T.J. Maxx.  You’ve seen these plenty of times, but they used to drive me crazy because the back strap would slip off my heel.  I mentioned it to my (wonderful) cobbler/shoe god and he fixed them for me.  Have I mentioned how important having a good cobbler is when you’re a shoe fanatic?!?  Does everyone have a good shoe guy/cobbler?  If not, you need one, or at least need to know what one can do if you do decide to look for one.  That may be a post in the making…hmmm…

Monday, October 4th– Class and it was a little chilly in the morning.  Fall really came crashing in here in North Texas, but it’s supposed to warm up over the weekend.

**Side note on the tunic-I put it on with leggings and boots originally and then walked out in front of my husband who kindly proceeded to tell me it was not my most flattering outfit.  I am one of those women that expects my husband to honestly tell me when I don’t look good in something, so I was grateful, but sad that the whole legging thing didn’t work.  Tunic was just too short and momma’s got too much junk in the trunk to pull leggings off with this one.  {SIGH}**

Orange tunic top:  Ashley 26 International, thrifted from the Saginaw Goodwill (told all about here)

Jeans:  Big Star Maggie jeans

Boots:  Bandolino, thrifted from the Campus Drive Goodwill four years ago, right when booties started getting big.  They are definitely a throw back from the 90’s, but they’re such a rich brown suede with a medium heel they’re timeless.  And they were on sale that day half off ($2!) so heck yeah!

Gold chain belt:  Funny story on this one.  I’ve had this belt since my junior year of high school (back in the 90’s).  That year for Christmas this arrives from my aunt over in Seattle; I call her and say “Thank you for the necklace Aunt K” to which she laughs and replies “honey, it’s a belt.”  I almost died from embarrassment, but have held on to that thing for 20 years and have worn it as a belt, a necklace AND a bracelet!!  I hardly ever wear gold, but it just seemed appropriate with the pumpkin colored tunic sweater.

Huge gold Guess watch:  a left over from the late 80’s/early 90’s that I found in a box up in the top of my closet.  It is HUGE!  I had a battery put in and now have a gold faced watch for when I venture out and wear another metal other than my usual silver/platinum.

Tuesday, October 5th-Hair appointment at Shampoo Salon with Ally.  If anyone in DFW needs a fantastic hair stylist, she is it!  Plus her husband went to ASU and she lived in Phoenix, so we gab it up about all the things we miss about the desert.  And she’s super cute too (little petite thing that she is).  Seriously, if you need someone great, she’s worth the money (actually, all the stylists there are, which I can profess since they’ve all cut and/or colored my hair at one time or another in the past four years).

Plaid shirt:  No Boundaries, thrifted from the Industrial Blvd (Bedford) Goodwill

Jeans:  Big Star “Kayla” straight jeans (yes, again)

Belt:  I think Target…about ten years ago

Shoes:  Wearing the Bandolino’s again.  I have a pair of Nine West ones that I wanted to wear, but I think J3 has hidden one of them since it wasn’t on the rack in my closet where it should have been.  Thanks kiddo!

And that’s it!  It felt good to really wear some of the items in my closet, but it felt better to be able to wear my favorites and not be so restricted.  I think now that my tripod and timer have arrived, I may just take a few pictures during the week, because I feel like what I’m wearing is really not that exciting.  I can amp it up a few times a week, but everyday…not so much.

As usual, linking up with Lindsey and Morgan!

the pleated poppy blog

‘Til next time,

Nicole

Monday Musings for an exciting upcoming week!

Ever have a Monday where you’re so excited you can barely stand it?  Me neither, except for this one.  See, Wednesday afternoon, J3 and I hop a plane (home) to Phoenix!  I haven’t seen my mom and brothers in almost a year, and due to J2 not being able to get time off around either Thanksgiving or Christmas, we figured going home to celebrate my and Darth B’s birthday would be a fun alternative.  J2 will join us Thursday (on my birthday) and goes back Sunday, but I get until Tuesday to see my friends and family, plus to soak up some more summer sun since it’s still in the 90’s in the dear ol’ Valley of the Sun.  No complaints though, at least it’s a dry heat!

So in honor of my venture home, here’s my thought for the week…

My happiness in Phoenix?  That’s easy…

  • Seeing my family, especially my mom whom I miss so incredibly much (no offense to my brothers, I miss them too but I really, really miss my mom lately…ugh…)
  • Watching J3 play with his cousin Ry-bear
  • Telling stories about when we were kids to our significant others because my brothers were hellions!  How my mom survived the three of us I will never know.
  • Eating Alfredo the Dark and drinking Bellinis at Oregano’s Pizza Bistro (the Bellinis there are so good, I named my dog after them-for anyone reading that knows Belle, THAT is what she is named for, not Albert Bell like Darth B claims)
  • Seeing gorgeous desert sunsets that top any other sunset out there
  • Being surrounded by mountains (even if that means crappy air quality half the time)
  • I could keep going on and on, but seeing my dear friends that I haven’t seen in almost a year (most of them) is another thing that makes me happy.

So Phoenix, BRING ON THE HAPPINESS!  See you Wednesday, you sprawling inferno of a town!

‘Til next time,

Nicole

Sunday Confessionals

Yes, I know it’s Tuesday.  Yes, I know that I really am the crappiest blogger on the planet.  But, alas, if I don’t sit down and finish writing this today, I will never get on a schedule.  And I love writing, almost as much as I love reading other people’s posts and since my husband makes fun of my blog addiction, I guess maybe I’ll write so he’ll stop.  So here I am, starting this little series I’m going to call “Sunday Confessionals”.  Basically, I get to “confess” all the things I love and hate and then let people discuss them (if I ever have any followers–hey, it could happen).  I’ll start off slow–10 things today and maybe more next Sunday, but for now, here’s some tidbits about me that might (or might not) be interesting…

1.  I have lived all over the western U.S.-I was born in Washington State, have lived in Oregon, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and currently reside in Texas (Fort Worth area to be exact).  I grew up in Spokane, lived in Phoenix for 15 years and moved to Texas four years ago.  I love Texas, but miss my family in Phoenix like crazy (and the food…and mountains…and the fact everyone has a swimming pool in their backyard…but I digress!  I could write an entire post on Phoenix and probably will some day-stay tuned).

2.  That leads me to #2-I grew up with my stay at home mom, retail big-wig manager dad and two younger brothers, whom shall be called Mom, Dad, Darth B and No Neck from here on out.  They’re a pretty funny bunch, although I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer in 1997.  Yeah, cancer sucks.  The same form of cancer got my dad’s dad too, so it really sucks in our family, as that’s all we seem to go from in the end.  Darth B has a long term girlfriend, Tree Hugger, and a little girl, Ry-Boo.  No Neck has a girlfriend that I hear he’s very serious about that I will call Sonnet for an inside joke.  She did graduate from Arizona State though, which is my school of choice (no, I didn’t end up graduating from there, but my blood runs maroon and gold as I attended there for many moons in the Jake Plummer/Chris Tillman years), so I can’t knock her too much.  Together, we are quite the dysfunctional, yet hilarious, family.  Just ask my BFF’s, T-spot and BBKF.  They are always highly entertained at our family gatherings.  We are rowdy, irreverent and are constantly bantering.  My poor, poor mom.

3.  I got married young to someone that wasn’t right for me, go figure, because at 22 you barely know your own darn name.  I divorced him a year later right after my father died, which is another story for another day.  I met my (now) husband in 2005, we were married in 2007 and in 2009, two days after our second anniversary, we had had our son.  From here on out, DH is J2 and DS is J3 (yep, he’s a third…).  Both are my world, my universe, the sun(s) that I revolve around.  I couldn’t be more lucky.  Granted, there are days where I wonder if I could put both of them on Ebay or Craigslist because they’re driving me nucking futs, but those days aren’t enough for me to sell either one of them (yet).  J2 is a registered nurse and works in the cardiac and regular ICU at the hospital where J3 was born.  He is one of the best nurses I know, and having worked in the health care industry for a long time, I know quite a few.  And I’m not biased, I swear, he really is that good.  He makes me proud to be his wife every single day.  And J3?  Well, he makes everything worthwhile.  🙂

4.  After having J3, I got about three weeks of maternity leave before I started working from home, and was back to work a month after his birth.  I got pretty damn screwed on the whole maternity leave thing, but when you work for a small company, that’s how it goes.  The upside of that is that I got to take J3 to work with me every day-until I was laid off December 19th from the company that I had worked for going on six years.  Best damn thing that ever happened to me (besides the usual things like marriage, baby, etc).  I never thought I could be a SAHM, but I am and loving it!  Take that corporate America!  I plan on being my own boss and watching my child(ren) grow up, not punching the clock to make someone else money.  I am done with those days.

5.  I am about to finish up all the prelims on my business (Mommy Moxie) and am hoping to launch by July 1st.  I am an anal, analytical yet creative person (there’s the Libra in me, gotta be balanced) and I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row so that I don’t have to go back and do things over.  I spent almost six years watching my CEO/owner of the company get screwed left and right by decisions that didn’t work out, so I’m trying not to go that route.  I know there will be some but I’d like to keep those to a minimum (insert sarcastic laugh here).

6.  Let’s see…what else.  Well, I guess you could say I’m really tall.  Like as in 5’11” tall and am a total shoe/high heels whore (which then raises the height to around 6’2″ or 6’3″).  I LOVE shoes.  I used to have about 150 pairs before an ex-boyfriend made me get rid of a bunch of them.  Now I have built the reserve back up to about 80 or so.  Granted, that’s not counting the flip flops that I am totally and completely addicted to, and Old Navy flip flops are my fave.  I have Roxy’s, Havaianas and many other designer ones, but Old Navy ones are perfect, especially the metallic ones.  Oh, Teva’s mush flip flops are up there too.  Flips flops are another 50 or so in the ol’ shoe collection, much to my husband’s chagrin.  When you live in Phoenix, you can wear them year round though and I’ve never  broken the habit.  Plus, I’m not a barefoot kind of person, so I wear them all the time around the house, which is all tile except the bedrooms, the media room and the den.  Because stepping on dog food grosses me out.

7.  That leads me to the hounds.  We have two Boxers, a 12-ish year old brindle female and a 6-ish year old flashy fawn male.  Both were adopted from a local rescue agency, Legacy Boxer Rescue, which if you’re in the DFW area and want to adopt from a great rescue group, Legacy is the one.  Our female was the first fur baby, adopted in 2006 a month after we moved to Texas.  We fostered for Legacy after that, and after five fosters, “foster failed” and adopted our male.  Currently, our boy is having thyroid issues, so he is Fat Dog and the female is Momma Dog.  They are the coolest dogs on the planet-neither of them bark, bolt out the door or fight, they stay off the furniture (when we’re home) and they love to be wherever we are.  Fat Dog lets J3 climb over him like he’s Mount Rainer, but not so much for Momma Dog.  She just gets up and leaves, poor thing.  Can’t blame her there.  Of course, them being rescue dogs and us once being volunteers, I am VERY pro-spay/neuter and am 100% for adoption.  I also tolerate professional, responsible breeders, but if you are a backyard breeder selling your puppies on the side of the road or in a parking lot and are selling them for what professional breeders sell puppies for, I will probably stop, get your info, and turn you over to the IRS, especially if I find out you’re using your female as a puppy mill and she’s on her fourth litter of pups this year.  Grrr….

8.  Another passion of mine is recycling and thrift shops.  I love finding new uses for old things and I have no problems shopping at thrift shops for clothes.  In fact, I’m thinking of doing a “Thrifty Thursday” post to show what I find and how I’ve re-purposed or re-fashioned it.  There is another blog that I read that does this on occasion, so I need to figure out which one does it and link up.  Some of my favorite finds are shoes (go figure) and t-shirts.  I love re-fashioning old t’s them into something new and funky.  Granted, I don’t have much luck with pants from thrift stores.  But when you’re trying to find jeans with at least a 35″ inseam, that’s not surprising.  I am frugal/cheap when it comes to a lot of things, but I will fork out for a good pair of pants.

9.  I am also an avid book knerd.  Yes, I know, I spelled that with a “k”, mainly because there is a really cool pub here in Fort Worth called The Flying Saucer that spells their knerd as knurd and I think it’s fun.  And it’s my dang post so I can do what I want.  Anyway, I was heavily into children’s lit in college (could’ve been that I was an education major at the time), and the love has never died.  J3’s room is filled with all kinds of books, many of them that were mine as a child.  My mom is now a librarian (she went back to work when the youngest, No Neck, was 12), and she has collected quite a few for me, so I have everything from Nancy Drew first editions to Chris Van Allsburg picture books.  I also read “grown-up” books and can usually be counted on to have my library card maxed out.  I don’t watch too much TV, so while my husband is watching, I usually have my nose buried in a novel.  Oh, and I read REALLY fast.  As in read-the-last-Harry-Potter-book-in-six-hours kinda fast.  That’s what happens when you’re the kid with the flashlight under the covers reading a book.

10.  Last but not least, I am also a music junkie.  If I’m working or doing chores around the house, I’ve got some tunes on in the background.  I’ll listen to almost anything, but my faves include Dave Matthews, Lady Gaga, Three Days Grace, Nickelback (don’t hate-Chad writes some thought-inspiring lyrics) and a band from Phoenix called Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  Remember The Refreshments?  Roger was the lead singer for them and then broke off when they got too big to form his own band, taking the drummer, P.H. Naffah with him.  In short, they rock.  They put on a huge show in Rocky Point, Mexico (Puerto Penasco) at least once a year that we used to drive down from Phoenix for and it’s one huge par-tay.  I mean hell, Roger passes tequila around to those in the front row and partakes himself, so by the end of the show he’s having the audience sing because he’s a little tipsy.  The shows used to be held in a big vacant dirt lot with a stage put up in front, but since we’ve moved to Texas they moved to a different venue and I haven’t been able to go.  Still, they’re a riot and very fan friendly.  Maybe I’ll write a post on the time the bass player, Nick Scropos, tried to pimp me out to Mike Tyson at the bar.  No joke…I might have to remind him of that when T-Spot and I go see them play on the 18th of June up in Denton at the Boiler Room.   The Peacemakers have been a big part of my and J2’s relationship–in fact, we were married on the beach in Rocky Point because we loved the area after having been to so many concerts down there.  It really is a beautiful, sleepy little town, just south of the border (hehehe) and right on the ocean.  Where I would kill to be right now…with a marg in hand and a book in the other.  What a life!!

Well folks, that’s it for today!  I could go on and on, but J3 is up from his nap and I need to go to the fabric store (and maybe a thrift store or two).

Until next time!

Nicole