What is my Style?

My life has been pretty crazy lately with the house renovations, preparing to move, gymnastics (Meet season is finally over!!!) and cheer competitions (We were in Atlantic City this past weekend).  Unfortunately, that means that I haven’t had time to go shopping for you guys, photograph my outfits, or do any research. Because of this, today’s style post will be a little different. I wanted to talk to you about style in general. Recently, I told someone about my blog and mentioned that I share style tips and tricks and affordable fashion finds.  That person asked me what my style was.  I have to be honest and say that I have never really thought about that question, and I really didn’t know how to answer it. I guess if I really think about it, I am a mixture of several styles.  I don’t really think that I fit into one style box.  Some of you that know me and see my daily outfits or those of you that read this blog may have a different opinion on my style, and I would be very interested to hear what you think.  A lot of people will say that your style sort of helps define who you are and what you are all about.  I would agree that is true for the most part.  I think people dress how they feel, to show their personality, and, in a way, to show what their interests are or what their profession is.  I even wrote a post recently about how you can tell a lot about a person by just their shoes.  I think my style kind of reflects my weird idea of perfection and my OCD tendencies. I feel like I am always “put together” or at least try to be. I don’t think that is a real style, but it really does describe mine in a way. You will probably never (or vary rarely) see me without makeup, my hair done, and dressed nicely with accessories!

When I think about different style types, there are so many that come to mind. It is hard to even list all of them.  There are some that I can say that I am definitely not, like grunge, rocker, or Gothic. Then there are some that I think could definitely describe me like classic, preppy, and a little trendy. I think that classic probably fits my style best now, but I think in my younger years I was more preppy.  I do think that I try to stay on trend, but I tend to go with more classic trends than the trends that are a little more out there. What makes me more classic is that I look for small ways to add in the latest trends into what I already have, those classic basics.  For example, you all know that I love the camo trend, but I am not going to go full on camo.  I will add in a cute pair of camo print shoes with a simple white tee and jeans. Another example is with the animal print trend.  As you can see above, I just added an animal print scarf to a pretty basic outfit to give it a little more edge. I am certainly not edgy, but you get what I mean. Check out this post from HerInterest entitled 20 Types of Fashion Styles. I think that I fit could fit into the Trendy and Casual styles, with a little bit of Preppy, Girly, and Girl Next Door based on their descriptions. I also took a Style Type Quiz from Visual Therapy, and the results showed my style as 70% Classic and 30% Chic. It read, “If you’re Classic, you like simple, clean, and traditional pieces. You opt for a timeless look because the silhouette and colors rarely change. It’s always ladylike, classic, and often tailored.” Then it defined Chic as, “a powerful look and sharp lines that seem to come together in an effortless way. It is often monochromatic and combined with bold accessories.” I would tend to agree that both of those could describe my style.

I like to say that my style is fairly casual on a day to day basis when I am at home or running errands, but I have friends that will tell you that my idea of casual is not the same definition of casual that they have.  Whenever we go somewhere and everyone says not to dress up, I get fussed at because they always think my outfit is not casual enough. My idea of casual is a pair of jeans and a cute sweatshirt or sweater with boots like the star sweatshirt above with cute jewelry or the anchor tee and cardigan with jeans and boots.  I even think that a simple cotton dress with some converse is casual. As it begins to get warm, you will start to see me in a lot of dresses with sandals or cute sneakers.  My friends think that yoga pants and a t-shirt is casual. While I do love some comfy yoga pants, you will rarely ever find me out in public dressed like that no matter where I am going or what I am doing.  Even if I am lounging around the house on a rainy day and not going anywhere, I am going to get up, shower, get dressed, add jewelry, put on makeup, and do my hair. It’s just who I am. I can’t be any other way.  

If you were to walk into my closet, you would see a lot of black.  Black is classic.  Black can go with anything.  You can take a simple black dress, a black t-shirt or a black pair of pants or jeans and really add anything to it to step it up a bit.  Black is a staple in my wardrobe.  You will see colors in my wardrobe but nothing too bright or outrageous, but you will see a lot of black. I believe everyone should have a basic black dress, black t-shirt (long and short sleeve), black blouse, black cardigan, black tank top, black pencil skirt, black leggings, black jeans, and a black pair of dress pants. I know that sounds like a lot of black, but you can do so much with just those pieces. Maybe I will do a post on just that soon and show you how you can transform those basic pieces into numerous outfits.  You can see just a few examples above.  Black really is a go to for me.  I would even venture to say that probably 50% of my wardrobe is some version of black.  

Jeans are a staple in my wardrobe as well. I wear jeans year round.  I just really like jeans.  I think they are comfortable (my youngest would totally disagree) and easy to wear. I love that they come in various shapes, styles, and colors.  I love that they can be casual or dressed up.  I love that you can wear them with just about anything.  I love jeans! I have so many pair that it is kind of obscene. I have skinny jeans, cropped jeans, cuffed jeans, boot cut jeans, straight leg jeans, capris, shorts, and jeans in just about every color or shade you can think of.  They really are a daily staple for me. 

I guess that is my style in a nutshell, classic chic, put together casual with a little bit of trendiness.  LOL! I think I just made up my own category.  How do you think you would describe my style? What is your style? Let me know your thoughts. 

Anchored,

Friday Favorites: Top 5

It is time for another top 5.  Today I am going to share with you 5 quick things that I am loving right now. 

1. App: Pixel Art

I have actually been loving this App for a while.  I don’t know why, but it is soothing for me to color on this app.  It is totally like a kid’s color by number, but I am obsessed with it. It is like a time to calm my brain as I am doing something mindless.  I’ve been using it a lot this week as the hits keep coming. It is a great way to distract me.

2. Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner

I love these two products.  I have been using this shampoo and conditioner (Amazon) for years. Yes, they are on the pricier side, but I believe they are both well worth the money. Plus, you really don’t need a lot of either product to get your desired results so it will last you a while.  My hair can get dry and start to feel like straw, but these two products keep it hydrated, shiny, and soft. I love the cool, tingling feeling you get from the conditioner on your scalp. It has sort of a peppermint smell to it that is great too! I LOVE this duo!

3. Song: “Beautiful Crazy” by Luke Combs

I am a long time country music fan, and I have become a fan of newcomer Luke Combs.  I have loved every song he has put out. Currently I am in love with his latest song.  It is a song that gets stuck in my head that I don’t mind being stuck with.   Maybe it’s because I identify with it.  I think my husband thinks I am crazy all the time, so I hope that my crazy is beautiful to him.  Haha! Wishful thinking, right?

4. Posture Corrector

I have been looking at this posture corrector on Amazon for over a year.  I have always had hunched over shoulders.  My mom and my grandmother used to (still do) always tell me to stand up straight.  Anyway, I had my eye on this contraption for a while.  I thought that it might help with my back pain.  Then I found out that a friend uses one to help with her migraines. You all know that I suffer from migraines as well.  That was the tipping point for me and convinced me that it was time to pull the trigger and buy it.  There are many different ones on Amazon.  This is the one I chose.  I really do think it is helping with my back.  The jury is still out on if it is helping my migraines or not. I don’t think I have been using it long enough to determine that, yet.  It recommends that you ease in to it and only wear it a little each day at first.  I am slowly building up to longer periods. So far, I am loving it.

5. Trading Spaces

Back in the 90’s the pioneer for home-remodeling shows was the show Trading Spaces on TLC. I was obsessed with the show back then and was dying to be on it.  My sister and I tried to convince my mom to apply to be on it. In the show two sets of neighbors switch houses for 2 days and redecorate one room in each other’s house.  It is all completely a surprise and the big reveal was always exciting waiting to see what the couple’s reaction would be to seeing their new room.  Sometimes they totally love it and sometimes they totally hate it and it is very clear.  Anyway, I was so excited when TLC announced the reboot of the show with many of the original cast members last year.  The second season of the reboot began last week.  I really love this show.  Yes, it is a bit corny now, but I love it anyway.

That’s a wrap on my top 5 this week!

Anchored,

D.O.N.E.

What a week this has been. I either want a do-over or for it to just simply be over.  The whole mess with Facebook and Instagram has about sent me over the edge.  It is so unbelievably FRUSTRATING because I am totally helpless in the matter.  There is NOTHING I can do to fix it, to get back all the contact that they deleted, or rectify the situation because I can only talk to robots, who just give automated and generic answers.  I’m not going to write a whole post on this again, but just know that I am still angry and very FRUSTRATED.  

To add to the disaster that is this week, my oldest has some ear issues.  For some reason her left ear doesn’t work properly.  She always feels like that ear is plugged and can’t hear as well out of that ear.  He ear doesn’t drain properly and it gets a HUGE buildup of wax and has to literally be flushed out by the doctor pretty much every 3 months.  It’s really gross to see what comes out of her ear every time they do it.  In addition to the wax build up, she somehow gets swimmer’s ear constantly even though she hasn’t been swimming in months.  I know this is gross, but I can actually see the crazy amount of puss that is in her ear right now.  It’s disgusting.  (I actually have a picture of it but she has forbidden me to share it. LOL) Her doctor has finally decided that none of this is normal and that she should see an ENT. I tried calling them yesterday to make an appointment because her doctor wants them to see her ear while it is infected, but I kept getting put on hold forever only to have to leave a message. No one ever called me back. Again, I am FRUSTRATED. 

We are in the process of painting the kitchen cabinets in our new house because I hated the wood color that they were originally, and it really wasn’t going to look good with the new, darker floor. Anyway, my husband sent me to the store on Tuesday to get a gallon of the paint in the color/finish I wanted because he was almost done with priming. I get there and the lady doesn’t really seem to know what she is doing and tells me that she can’t find the paint. Okay, whatever, I’ll come back. I went back yesterday and there was a guy there.  He actually seemed to know what he was doing and tells me, “No problem.” A few minutes later he comes back and tells me that don’t have the paint.  Are you kidding me? He says they only have it in these really small cans.  FRUSTRATION is setting in yet again.  Now I have to choose a different finish.  All I wanted was white, satin-finish paint, the most basic of all!  Now I have to settle for white semi-gloss paint.  It’s fine!  I can live with it, but it’s not what I really wanted.  We are really trying to get it all done before the floor guys come in on Monday to start refinishing the hardwood.  There really isn’t time to go somewhere else to find the paint I want.  We don’t want to take any chances in spilling oil-based paint on the new floors, so it needs to be done now.  

Today I am supposed to be at the new house again while some different floor people come to measure the room in the basement that will be my office.  Of course they give us a timeframe of 8:00-5:00.  How FRUSTRATING is that? Why do service people do that? They know their schedule, they can certainly give us a shorter window than 9 hours! No one has time to sit and wait for that long.  I certainly don’t. Well, it is 8:10 and I am not there.  It is POURING outside!  My daughter usually walks to school, but my mama heart will not let me leave and force her to walk in the rain.  She doesn’t have to be at school until 9:00, so I am just praying that they don’t show up at the house before I can get there or that they will at least call me when they are on the way.  

There have been a lot of other little things (changes to an order, a party not going as well as planned, practice going over by 20 minutes when I have other stuff to do and it’s already late, a missing order, a friend sharing some tough news, etc.) that have FRUSTRATED me this week as well, but I want go into all of those details for your sake.  The actual definition of the word frustration is “the feeling of being upset or annoyed, especially because of the inability to change or achieve something.” I think that is exactly what has me feeling down…the inability to change any of it. I’m a fixer.  I like to fix things and get them done, but I can’t seem to fix anything this week.  I hate uncertainty. I hate the unknown. I know it all may seem small to you, but added all together, it has me wanting to just erase this week and for it to be over. I don’t think the dreary, rainy day is helping either. I apologize for another downer post. It has just been one of those weeks.  I told you all I was always going to be honest and this is reality for me this week. It sucks! Sometimes these kinds of weeks just happen.  It happens to us all.  If it doesn’t, you aren’t human! I said on Tuesday that I was trying to smile through it.  Well, I will admit that I was trying (I AM trying), but I am not succeeding.  I’m just done.  D.O.N.E.  There is no other word for it. Let me just go to bed, wake up in the morning, and everything be back to normal.  Please? Is that too much to ask?

Anchored, Frustrated, and DONE,

Organization: Closet Makeover

The day has finally come where I reveal my new closet! I know you guys are probably getting tired of hearing about it, but I can’t help it.  I am so in love.  I will start by saying that I highly recommend Closet America.  They were so great to work with from the designer to customer service to the installers.  It was a great experience, and I would totally use them again.  The finished product came together last week, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.  It looks exactly the way I had envisioned it in my head.  It is going to make organizing all of my things so easy.  We went with white for a couple of reasons.  One is that I like the nice clean look of the white, and the second reason is because it was the least expensive.  The natural light from the windows in the room in conjunction with the white, really brightens the space. 

As you walk into the room, you see the island and shoe rack right away.  I am so obsessed with the island.  There are 4 drawers on each side of it, and I am not 100% sure what I will put in all of them yet. I am thinking it will probably hold jeans, leggings, and t-shirts. The top drawer on one side has double layer jewelry trays.  It is one of my favorite things in the room.  All of the drawers have the slow automatic close when you push them slightly, which is really nice. Then the giant shoe rack is right behind the island between the two windows.  I am super excited about it.  My shoes are going to look so good displayed on it.  

The wall to the immediate left (same wall as doorway) when you walk into the room is currently blank. It will be the location of my antique vanity with a mirror.  It fits perfectly into that space.  The left side of the closet contains shelving and clothes racks for various lengths of clothes.  The shelves are adjustable so I can make them larger or smaller depending on what I decided to put there. Again, I am not certain how I will organize everything until I get it all in there and see how it flows.  I may remove one of the bottom shelves and use that space for my tall boots.

The wall to the immediate right when you walk in (same wall as doorway) has a tall tower of shelves. This is where I plan to put my purses and bags for display.  There is also a pull out valet rod for hanging clothes for when I am pulling outfits to photograph or to prepare for then next day or even when I am packing.  

The right side of the closet contains more hanging space with a few shelves. This is where the bulk of my clothes will be hanging.  As you can see the racks are various lengths to accommodate dresses and things that are longer and things that are shorter in length.

The whole system is very clean, neat, and modern looking.  I really love that there is still plenty of space even with the island. I was worried that it would take up a lot of space and it would feel cramped, but it doesn’t feel that way at all. Of course there are a few things that we still need to do to the space for it to be complete.  At the top of the list is to put blinds on the windows so that I don’t give everyone in the neighborhood a good morning show every day! The second thing is to install some kind of chandelier because there is no overhead lighting in the space.  There is great light in there during the day from the windows, but I definitely need some lighting for the evenings or early mornings.  The one other thing that I want is a large, full-length mirror. Obviously, it is not going to be in there because there is no place to put it, but I need a full-length mirror somewhere.  Overall, I am very happy with how well it turned out and I can’t wait to get all of my clothes and accessories in there to see how it all comes together.  It really is an organizational freak’s dream come true! LOL! I absolutely love it!

Anchored and Organized,

Facebook Jail

I know that I change directions a lot, but I really was going to write about something totally different today. I can’t, though, because I am angry.  Yep, that’s right! I am angry today.  Facebook has taken it upon themselves to remove all posts from my Anchored Piece by Piece page containing links to this blog.  They did this without warning or explanation.  I only realized it yesterday when I couldn’t load my newest post.  At that time I got an error message saying “Query Error.” With no idea what that even meant, I began a problem report after having to Google how to even do that because nothing is easy on Facebook.  It was then that I realized that everything had been removed from the start of my blog until now.  I then tried to make the post again without the link to the blog to just trouble shoot and it actually posted, which was puzzling.  I then tried to edit the post to add the link in.  Only at that time did I get a message that popped up stating that I was unable to use the link because its contents went against their Community Standards.  I have since read their Community Standards in its entirety and cannot for the life of me figure out what could possibly go against their standards, especially when I think about all of the horrible things that are on Facebook on a daily basis. How can my little blog with less than 20 followers, where I share style and organization tips along with life lessons I have learned with the intent of helping women be their best selves, possibly go against their standards? Can anyone that knows Facebook better than me, please explain this to me? Oh, AND they have removed the link from my Instagram bio as well.

If that in it self isn’t infuriating enough, I think the worst part is that there is no way to contact anyone. There is no way to get an explanation. There is no way to get it resolved.  At least I can’t find a way.  I found a place that said, “If you think this doesn’t go against our Community Standards, then let us know.” The problem is that when you go to the page to let them know, it says, “While we aren’t able to review individual reports, the feedback you provide will help us improve the ways we keep Facebook safe.” Basically, you can file the report, but we aren’t going to do anything about it because we can’t respond to just you. How absurd is that? If you are going to do this to someone, you better notify her, give her an explanation, and provide a way for her to be able to resolve the matter. I am more than happy to fix whatever it is that they think I have done wrong, if I only knew what it was. I really am just sick over this because I have no idea if it will be resolved or not and I feel helpless.  

I know that I have loyal readers that will still come check in here each day, and I am so grateful for that.  I just want to be able to share with more people.  My goal with this blog has always been to share my life with others so that maybe, just maybe, it will help brighten their day or feel like they aren’t alone or just get joy from my style and organizational skills. I can’t imagine what is offensive, vulgar, aggressive, discriminatory, or inappropriate about that. I will get over this.  I will move past it.  I am going to pray that it gets fixed.  Until then, I am angry, but I am going to choose to smile through it!   I hope Facebook can make this right. 

Anchored,

Fashion Finds: Shoes

Let’s talk shoes.  I’m not sure that I really know very many women that do not have an intense love for shoes.  Shoes are something that we all need to protect our feet, but a woman’s love for shoes goes much deeper than the need for protection.  If we only bought shoes to protect our feet, then we would never buy heels or shoes that don’t really fit but you had to have them anyway. Designers have really captured women’s love of shoes and have capitalized on it. They have helped to create women that are obsessed.I know I am!  I love strolling through the shoe aisles at various stores and own way more shoes than I could ever wear, yet I am always wanting to buy more.  Shoes are one way to really demonstrate your personal style.  Whether you are heels kind of girl or a sneakers kind of girl, shoes can tell your story.  They can tell if you are a business woman, a teacher, a nurse, an athlete, or a stay at home mom. They can tell if you are fun and flirty or casual and comfortable or even your social status.    Sometimes you can be a little bit of everything like me.  You can even tell the personalities of my daughters by their shoes.  One is all about style and fashion and she would wear heels and wedges every single day if we let her.  She hates athletic shoes or any kind of sneaker.  Then my other child is sporty and chill. She wouldn’t be caught dead in heels or wedges.  She would have 50 different pair of athletic shoes if we let her. I even have to force her to wear sandals with a dress. 

As I said, shoes can tell your story.  With that, there are so many different styles, shapes, and colors of shoes. Shoes range from heels to flats to wedges to flip flops and more. I went online shoe shopping for you all and have compiled a list of some of my favorites styles for spring.  

The Wedge

The wedge is a great shoe for spring and summer.  I typically think of fun and flirty when it comes to a wedge wearer. Then again, I have several wedges that I wear all the time, and I’m not sure I would categorize myself as fun and flirty. LOL! I love every single one of these! These are my top 4 types of shoes that go great with any spring or summer outfit.

  1. Ankle Strap Wedge (Target)
  2. Animal Print Wedge (Target)
  3. Espadrille Wedge (Target)
  4. Classic Wedge (Famous Footwear)
  5. Espadrille Wedge (Famous Footwear)

The Flat

When it comes to a great work shoe, you can’t go wrong with a cute flat. They are much easier on your feet than heels and way more comfortable. All of these come in various fun colors.

  1. Chambray Flats (Old Navy)
  2. Sling-back (Old Navy)
  3. Ballet Flat (Target)
  4. Animal Print Flat (Target)

The Flip Flop

Flip flop wearers cover a wide range of people and are all about comfort and ease! Choose ones that are comfortable and stylish. The plastic, rubbery flips flops are fine for the beach, pool, or hanging around the house. However, you should go for a more stylish pair to up your outfit for any other occasion.

  1. Rocket Dog Flip Flops (Famous Footwear)
  2. Billabong Flip Flops (Famous Footwear)
  3. Wedge Roxy Flip Flops (Famous Footwear)
  4. Flip Flops (Old Navy)
  5. Braided Flip Flops (Target)

The Slip On Sneaker

Sneakers are sort of a universal shoe.  I can bet that almost everyone has at least one pair of athletic sneakers, but that is not the sneaker I am talking about today. I am talking about the new trend back from the 90’s…the slip on sneakers! These are especially popular with teens, but I think that anyone can wear them.  They are a great with jeans, shorts, and some casual dresses.  You guys know that I practically live in my converse! Honestly, I love this trend and I am glad that it seems to be sticking around. There are so many great pairs. It was hard to limit the ones I wanted to show you, and I want them all!

  1. Roxy (Famous Footwear)
  2. Dr. Scholl’s (Famous Footwear)
  3. Camo (Famous Footwear)
  4. Slip on Athletic Sneaker (Target)
  5. Quilted Sneakers (Target)
  6. Slip On Sneaker (Old Navy)
  7. Converse (Famous Footwear)
  8. White Vans (Famous Footwear)

What story do your shoes tell about you? My story and shoe collection is always evolving. When I was in the classroom daily, I was a flats and wedges kind of girl. Now I am more of a slip on sneaker kind of girl. I think that my shoes say that I love fashion and trends but without breaking the bank! I certainly don’t need an expensive pair of Luis Vuitton shoes, but I do like everyday, affordable style. Oh, and I am all about comfort! Comfortable, affordable, and stylish…that’s me!

Anchored in Style,

Friday Favorites: Mascara

I have been on the hunt to find the perfect mascara for years.  I have had a few that I liked okay that I would use for a while, and then I would decided that I really don’t like it all that much and try another one.  I have used a wide variety of brands in a wide price range including Clinique, Maybelline, Mary Kay, Bare Minerals, Younique, and many more. There was nothing major wrong with any of those brands. It is really all about personal preference and what look you are going for.  For me, the wand matters and the clumpiness (I just made up that word) is a big factor for me.  That includes clumping on the wand and clumping on my lashes when I apply it. When I started using Rodan + Fields’ Lash Boost and my lashes started to look fuller and longer, I realized my current mascara just wasn’t doing if for me anymore so I was on the hunt for a better mascara.  I guess that I should mention that I have deep set eyes so sometimes it is hard to really see my lashes without a good mascara.  It’s just the way my eyes are built.  On top of that, I wear glasses all day, every day, which also distracts from my lashes.  I really need a mascara that is going to make my lashes look longer and fuller.

After getting feedback from several people, I started using Roller Lash by Benefit (Ulta) a couple of years ago.  It is said to be “super-curling and lifting” by the maker.  I don’t know so much about curling part, but I do feel like it lifted my lashes and helped them to stand out better. I would say that it is a pretty decent mascara, and I was happy with it for a long time.  I really feel like it makes my lashes appear longer. The one thing I don’t care for is that it doesn’t really give my lashes a fuller look.   I do really like the thin applicator and the way that it glides on so easily. It has very short bristles, and that style works really well for me and is the kind I prefer. I have never had this brand clump on the applicator or on my lashes.    I would recommend it to anyone because it is a solid choice, and I really have no major complaints about it other than the fullness factor.

A month or so ago, a friend mentioned a different mascara to me.  It is one that has actually been on my list for a while as one to try, but I was in no hurry to purchase it because I was happy with the Roller Lash. Anyway, she convinced me to give it a try.  Now, let me first say that my friend has amazing natural lashes that I have always been envious of, so I knew that the mascara wasn’t going to perform for me as well as it does for her.  I was willing to give it a try, though.  I hopped over to Ulta that same day and purchased Too Faced Better Than Sex (Ulta) mascara. Yes, I wish it had a different name, but it is what it is.  When I first opened it up, I could already tell that I wasn’t going to love the applicator.  It is big and bushy.  It has thick, long bristles and I typically avoid that kind of wand.  I was set on giving it a solid try, though.  I must say, that although I am still not crazy about the wand, I really like this mascara.  Not only does it give me the length, but it also gives my lashes a thicker appearance.  I have only been using it for about a month, but so far I am fairly pleased with it. I have this feeling that it could get clumpy, but I am hopeful that it won’t.  The jury is still out on that.

 I tried to do a side-by-side comparison for you, but it is really hard to photograph my eyes myself, and it just doesn’t translate as well to the picture as it does in real life.  However, I think that you can still tell the difference. You can see that the side with the Too Faced mascara is definitely more prominent than the side with the Benefit mascara. While both mascara’s are very different, I would recommend both of them to you as good options for mascara. If you take a look at the two pictures at the beginning of this post where I am wearing the Too Faced mascara in one picture and the Benefit mascara in the other, you can see that they both are good mascaras separately.  It is only when you put them side by side with one on each eye that you can really see the difference. Again, it is totally a matter of preference. I am not sure which one I will choose to go with for the long hall because I love them both for different reasons. I love the Benefit Roller Lash because of its applicator and easiness to apply, and I love the Too Faced Better than Sex for the fullness and length it gives my lashes. I also feel like the Benefit mascara gives you a more natural look than the Too Faced mascara. I’m not sure if that matters to me, though. It is really hard to decide which is my absolute favorite. I like them both! You just have to choose the one that works best for you because they are both great options!

Anchored,

This Too Shall Pass

I am currently sitting at our new house, which is completely empty, waiting for Closet America to arrive. It is kind of weird to be here with it so quiet.  I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that we can finally begin to move in.  I have said this a million times, but I am ready to be settled.  Nine months of living in a house that never felt like home has been rough.  I’m so ready! I am also sitting here struggling with what to do with my youngest child.  I believe I have mentioned before that due to all of her medical conditions, she has developed an anxiety disorder.  She doesn’t do well with change.  She really struggled with the move here, and now she is struggling with the move to the new house even though nothing is changing but the address.  She will still be in the same area, same school, same cheer gym, and same everything else.  It is just enough of a change, though, that it is about to send her over the edge.  That, coupled with the ever-amazing daylight savings time and adding a couple of classes at her gym, has her in the worst mood possible.  I am seeing her anger and irritability return, and she and I are like oil and vinegar when she gets like this.  It had really gotten under control and things were better, but not this week. I am the one that she takes it all out on.  I am the one that bears the brunt of it all.  She claims that she hates the new house but can’t give a reason why other than she prefers our current house.  It is simply that she doesn’t like change.  Something about change scares her.  

In an attempt to make things easier for her, we allowed her to choose new bedding for her new room as her birthday present. We are also letting her choose the color to paint her room. We were hoping this would help ease the transition, but it doesn’t seem to matter with her this week.  Knowing that we were officially getting the house this week has sent her anxiety into overdrive.  I wish I knew how to help her.  I think it is tougher for me not only because I am the one she attacks, but because this was my job. This was what I did for a living for 17 years, and I was darn good at it.  I worked with kids like her that had difficulty with change and transitions. I have worked with so many kids that have anxiety.  Somehow it is different when it is your own kid.  All of the tricks I have up my sleeve just don’t work with her.  Maybe my delivery is different because she is my kid and I live with her day in and day out.  I don’t know?  I just seem to make it worse. My husband handles her much better than I do when she is like this, but I think that is because her anger is directed at me and not him. Dealing with it day in and day out wears on you, and I admit that I loose it with her more often than not.  I raise my voice and then she just gives it right back to me and we get in a yelling match. It is really sad.  In the moment I am just frustrated and angry too, but then afterwards I feel horrible because I let an 11 year old get to me.  I would never respond to my students that way, so why is it that I do with her? I wish I knew the answer.  I do think, though, that overall I have come a long way with her in the last year or two.  I have really made an effort to do better, and I see an improvement in her behavior for the most part. I think that part of the improvement is due to me changing my approach with her, and the other part is that she is getting older and maturing a little bit. Then weeks like this one happen, and we take two steps backwards. I really am at a loss yet again.  Being a parent is hard.  Being a parent of a child with special needs is even harder.  The struggle is real.  You want to be able to just fix it, but you can’t.  There is no easy fix.  It is not like a scraped up knee that you can just put a Band-Aid over. It doesn’t work like that.  It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of worry, and a whole lot of prayer. I can do hard things. I may not want to, but I can. This season will pass and we will be able to move on. I know that.  It is just hard in the thick of it.  It is going to take some time and a whole lot of faith, but this too shall pass!

Anchored,

Freedom from Possessions

Today is the day! Today is the day that we take possession of our new house from the previous owners who have been renting it from us since closing a couple of months ago.  I could not be more excited to get in there and start making it our home.  We are not moving in right away because we are having some work done there first.  I think I am most excited about tomorrow! Closet America is coming to turn a little sitting room in the master bedroom into my dream closet.  I cannot wait to see it all come together.  I have already met with a designer and designed it just the way I want it, and they are installing it tomorrow! If you are new to my blog, my closet is my sanctuary.  It is my happy place and the place I go to think, to have a mental breakdown, or just to get away from all the noise of life. It is a very important room for me. Closet America is also going to be transforming the mudroom into a functional space with a bench, coat hangers, and storage.  It is going to be amazing! I have never had a mudroom before and I am super excited about it.  It is pretty small, but it is big enough for our needs.  Then next week, we have someone coming in to remove the carpet runner from the main staircase and stain all of the wood flooring on the main level a darker color.  There was an area in the sunroom that had been destroyed by a rolling desk chair, so we had to refinish the floor there anyway.  Our thought was that since that had to be done, we might as well just go ahead and stain it all to a color that we preferred.  It is going to be gorgeous and give the house a much needed update. 

We are also planning to paint all of the kitchen cabinets white to give it a more modern feel and maybe add new hardware. We are going to attempt to do this ourselves.  I have been all over Pinterest looking for ideas and instructions on how to DIY it.  Hopefully, it will turn out the way I am envisioning it in my head. I want to eventually update the counter tops (I hate the current one) and backsplash, but that is going to have to be a project for later down the road (according to my husband). The only other thing that has to be done before we move is painting two of the bedrooms. They are currently painted pink and purple with a wallpaper boarder in one room and sponge-painted flowers all over the other bedroom.  That will not work for either of my girls.  We will likely do that painting ourselves as well.  I know we can handle painting the walls because we have done it many times before.  It’s just the cabinets that make me a little nervous.

Once all of these projects are done, we will begin the move-in process.  We have until the end of April to be out of our current rental so we have plenty of time to get everything moved over to the new house. We hope to be finished with all of the renovations by the end of March and then begin moving in at the beginning of April. I envision us loading up one room at a time and carrying it over and unpacking it before we move on to the next room. I am sure it won’t work quite as I plan, but that is what I am going to try to do.  

I am so thankful that I have been working on purging things over the past few months in preparation for the move.  I think it is going to make the move so much easier to manage. I am thankful for this blog because it really forced me to do the hard stuff so I could share it all with you. Getting rid of so many things has really been freeing.  I am far from finished, but I think I have really made a good dent in most rooms.  I have not yet finished the mound of teacher stuff that I talked about last week, but it is a lot to do.  I have the kitchen and office left to do, too.  Hopefully, I will get it done by the end of the month. Even if you aren’t about to move somewhere like me, I highly encourage everyone to go room-to-room and purge.  Think about the things that you own.  Do you really need them?  Are they bringing joy to your life or are your possessions weighing you down? I know that I was being weighed down by a lot of things. I was holding on to things for no other reason than to just hold on to them because I might need or want them one day in the future.  They were serving no real purpose in my life other than taking up space.  I had it in my head that it was okay to have all of this stuff because it was put away and it was organized.  You all know that I am all about being organized and having a system. All the organization in the world is not good if you are being ruled by what you own, by stuff. Go ahead and get rid of it! You don’t need it! 

What do you do with all of the stuff? If you need the money, there are tons of options that you can tap into to sale your items that you are letting go of.  You can sell on Facebook Marketplace. A lot of areas also have a resale Facebook group where you can sell things locally.  You could post it on ebay or Craig’s list.  You could sell it at a second hand store in your area. You could have a yard sale.  There are so many options.  However, if you don’t really need the money, I highly encourage you to donate. That is what I have been doing. Donate to a women’s shelter in your area. Some schools will take donations of children’s clothes for kids that need it or for the school nurse to keep for when kids have accidents or fall in the mud at school.  Organizations like Goodwill, the Salvation ArmySamaritan’s PurseThe Purple HeartDress for Success, and so many more all accept donations for a good cause. Some women’s groups will also accept donations.  Find an area of need in your community and help to make someone else’s day a little brighter. Free yourself from your possessions and make a difference for someone else!

Anchored,

Introvert…Yep! That’s Me!

To say that I am an introvert is an understatement.  I am very good at making it not appear that way when I have to, but those that know me well, know that it is true.  If you observe me with my friends, you wouldn’t believe me because I can be loud and joke around with them.  I really have a hard time in groups of people that I don’t know well.  I think that is why it takes me so long to develop good friendships every time we move. I have even had friends tell me that when they first met me, they thought that I was stuck up because I didn’t talk or interact with them much.  When they finally got to really know me, they saw that wasn’t the case at all.  I am just very shy and awkward around people I don’t know well.  I like to stand back and observe and not really interact until I am more comfortable. I keep to myself.  It is why I don’t like to talk on the phone even to my friends and family.  I would much rather text or email you any day of the week than talk to you on the phone. I am much better with talking on the phone when I initiate it than I am when someone just calls me and I wasn’t expecting it.  I don’t like parties and most social functions unless it is with my very close group of friends.  I would rather hang out with my best friends inside a beach house than go out and party any night of the week.  It was the same way even back in college.  As a military wife, we have to host and attend a lot of parties and I hate every one of them.  I would rather just stay home in my little bubble. Social gatherings make me uncomfortable.  It is kind of funny because my husband is the exact same way.  He will even go as far as saying that he just doesn’t like people. We are both awkward and extremely introverted together, and that is why we work so well. We can both sit in the same room for hours and not speak to each other and be totally ok with that. We both like our space and our time to ourselves.   It is just who we are.  

This is all on my mind after this past weekend at my daughter’s cheerleading competition. I have a really hard time interacting with the other moms on our team.  It isn’t because I don’t like them.  It is just about me being shy and uncomfortable in the situation because I don’t know any of them that well.  I tend to stand off to the side with my husband or by myself and just observe.  I know they all probably think I am anti-social and stuck up, but I’m really just awkward.  I don’t know what to say or do in those situations. During the weekend my husband walked away from the room we were in at one point (he couldn’t stand the crowd himself and had to leave), but I was really trying to interact the best I could with some of the moms.  I was putting in a solid effort even though it was hard. Anyway, there was a point where most of the moms kind of scattered and I was left with just a couple of them. I suddenly felt like I was the odd man out in the conversation and became VERY uncomfortable. I was just kind of standing there awkwardly, so I made up some excuse about needing to leave. I left and tried to locate my husband.  There were a million people at this event and there were people EVERYWHERE.  The more I couldn’t find my husband, the more anxious I got for some reason. I did not like that feeling.  I wanted out of the situation and I wanted to find my comfort zone and couldn’t.  My husband was getting annoyed with me as I was sending text after text trying to find him. It was ridiculous.  I am a grown woman and should not feel that way! 

When I was younger, it was even worse. I used to make my little sister do stuff for me all of the time because I didn’t want to talk to people.  For example, if I was at Chick-fil-a and needed a refill on my drink, I would make her go up to the counter and ask for it because I was too afraid to do it myself.  I was that painfully shy. I will sometimes still make my husband do things like call and talk to the insurance company or something when I am too shy or uncomfortable to do it myself. It’s crazy, I know! I was forced to get over some of that, thankfully, because of my husband’s career.  With him deployed so much, I was forced to learn to do things on my own and overcome my fears of interacting with others.  When he is home, though, I do sometimes revert back to my extreme shyness like I did this weekend.  I just can’t help it.  It is who I am. I wish I could change it, but I don’t know how.  

I see myself in my oldest daughter all the time.  She has the same awkward shyness that I had as a kid. Sometimes I think she is even worse than me. She is almost 15 years old and ordering food in a restaurant is nearly impossible for her. At the doctor’s office, the doctor will ask her questions and she won’t say anything. Instead she looks and me and waits for me to tell him how she feels like I know what it going on inside her body.  It’s sad. I also see her making her little sister do things that she is afraid to do herself just like I did. I worry about her. I wish I knew how to help her overcome that so she doesn’t struggle with the same things that I have struggled with my whole life. I wish I could give her boldness.  I wish I could take away the shyness. I wish I could convince her that it is ok to talk to others.  How can I do that when I can’t even do it for myself sometimes, though? 

It is funny to me that I can write about all of this and put it out there into the world for everyone to read, but I could never have this conversation with anyone in person.  I guess you could say that I hide behind my computer and my phone. It is much easier to type than it is to actually interact in person for me.  Maybe one day I will get over it, but I certainly won’t be holding my breath. I think I just have to accept that it is a part of me. It is who and I am, and I just have to continue to learn to cope with it the best I can.

Anchored and Introverted,