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,

Fashion Finds: Target

I am getting a late start today. I had a bunch of stuff to take care of this morning before I could sit down and focus on this post.  We have had a crazy few days with so many things going on.  My youngest had a two-day cheer competition over the weekend where she and her team rocked it and are the new BATC National Champions! It was insane! I lost my voice from screaming and cheering so much.  As I have said before, we are still getting used to the whole cheer world as it is very different than the gymnastics world that we have been in for years.  The 2.5 minutes that they are up there performing is so nerve wracking and exciting at the same time. Anyway, that took up all of my weekend so I feel like I am way behind on everything now.  The laundry has really piled up! Then you have the whole dumb daylight savings thrown in the mix, and I feel like I am going to be playing catch-up all week long. Oh well, it is what it is, I guess!

Today I have some new cute outfits that I found for you at Target.  Even though we had snow last week and it’s still cold here, I figured it was time for me to check out the spring/summer pieces that are out in all the stores. I tried on a ton of things and found some really cute pieces and some pieces that looked way cuter on the hanger than on me. I even tried on a couple of bathing suits! Gasp! I know! My pale self was not bathing suit ready for sure! Needless to say, I will NOT be showing you pictures of that! LOL! If you are looking for a bathing suit, though, they do have some cute ones. I know the dressing room ladies are getting tired of me. I try on so many things, and I try to put them all back so they don’t have to. They still have to count how many pieces I have each time. Oh well! Check out some of my favorite pieces that I found.

Dress

I LOVE this dress! It can pretty much be worn year round.  Adding a red scarf with tights and booties would be so adorable for the colder days or adding a statement necklace in turquoise or yellow would be cute for the spring with some wedges.  

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Shorts

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Shorts

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Shorts

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Shorts

Jumpsuit

I am still on the fence about this one.  I love a cute romper/jumpsuit, but I’m not sure if the flowers are a little too overpowering for me.  I would not normally wear a pattern quite this bold, but I kind of like it. I do like the fit of this, too. The legs are a little long so I would definitely have to wear a heeled wedge with it.  I think I could probably have gone down a size in this as well.

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Skirt

Ok, I am obsessed with this skirt! I love wearing high-waist skirts like this with a shirt tucked in because it defines the smallest part of my body.  It has an elastic waist that can be tightened with the bow on the side.  It has pockets, and it’s super comfortable.  I LOVE it! I am wearing a medium, but I think I could wear a small in this as well because I had to pull the ribbon a good bit to make it tight.  I think the sizing is very flexible, though. You can’t tell in this picture, but the skirt drops just below my knees.

There were so many other cute things there that I wanted to try on, but I ran out of time.  If you have the chance, go to Target! You know it is my favorite store, and it never disappoints.  As I was perusing the bathing suits, I also saw some cover-ups that were adorable.  They have tons of shorts too in lots of different colors. There is just so much goodness! Go check it out!

Anchored,

Friday Favorites: NKOTB

Cardboard cutout at Six Flags

I was totally going to write about mascara as one of my favorite things today, but then my favorite boy band was on Good Morning America AND Live with Kelly and Ryan this morning so I decided to switch it up. First, this is going to age me a lot. Second, it’s going to make some of you laugh really hard.  I have been in love with New Kids on the Block since I was a young girl.  That’s right! I was obsessed back then, and I am still obsessed as an adult.  You better believe that I had my DVR set to record both shows this morning so I wouldn’t miss it. As a kid I had all the posters on the walls in my rooms that I ripped out of all of the teen magazines, the huge buttons, the cassette tapes, and even the dolls (I still have a Joey doll in the box around here somewhere)! Jordan Knight was my favorite! I had a huge crush on him, and Joey McIntire was a close second.  I was totally the typical kid that was head over heels in love with the boy band.  I had every album they made including the Christmas one. I knew every word to every song (still do), and I was totally smitten.  I went to my first NKOTB concert when I was 11 years old and although we had terrible seats, I loved every second of it.  We had our binoculars trying to get some kind of glimpse of them from way up high in the stands.  I went with my childhood best friend, and I will always remember it.  

My love for NKOTB was renewed back in 2009 when my very best teacher friends actually became my forever friends as we bonded over New Kids. We heard about them coming back out on tour, and we knew that we had to go.  It was confirmed when we heard they would be coming to our area.  One of us was sitting at the computer waiting to grab tickets the minute they went on sale.  We managed to grab the absolute best seats.  We were on the 5th row!!! We were so excited that we had a countdown to the concert on the back of the door to one of our classrooms.  It was insane, but it was like we were kids again! The night of the concert came, and we had gotten ourselves old school shirts that matched. We were bouncing off the walls because we were so excited. The concert was at an outdoor amphitheater, and it just so happened that night was rainy and stormy.  We got to the concert and it was pouring, but we didn’t care. We were going to go no matter what. We were just praying that it wouldn’t get canceled due to the weather.  We got to the amphitheater early and were sitting in my car in the parking lot as sirens were going off for a severe tornado WARNING! It was scary! We were scoping out a nearby ditch that we could run jump in if we spotted a tornado.  We were laughing and practically crying at the same time, and it is a memory that I will never forget.  We finally got the all-clear message from the radio and the word that concert was still on.  We went in, got soaked, sang “Step by Step” on the news, and had the time of our lives. We all screamed and sang our hearts out until none of us had a voice.  It was the best time ever! 

Since then, we have seen them in concert 2 more times, once with The Backstreet Boys and once with TLC and Nelly.  That last one began with one of my friends leaping over chairs to touch Donnie Wahlberg as he walked on stage near us. I swear I have never laughed as hard as I do when we are all together at a concert. We actually already have tickets to see them again in June of this year, and I CANNOT wait! The concerts now aren’t as much about NKOTB as they are about our friendship and just feeling young and excited again.  I think I will forever be in love with New Kids on the Block, and my friends and I will continue to go see them in concert as long as they keep having them.  One of these days we might just end up on one of their cruises. You never know! I think we would all die if we got that close to them.  LOL! I think that every generation has their own boy band, but I am not sure that there are any that have the following and loyalty as NKOTB does. They are just the best and by far my all time favorite! 

This post is dedicated to my favorite Blockhead Sisters! You know who you are!

Anchored and a Blockhead for Life,

Sense of Smell

Today’s post is going to be totally random! LOL! Sorry! I want to talk about the sense of smell. Some people who are visually impaired would say that they have a heightened sense of hearing because they are forced to zoom in on that.  Children with autism sometimes have heightened senses that cause sensory overload. You hear about things like this all of the time.  I on the other hand seem to have a heightened sense of smell, but I have no reason to or anything to force me to zoom in on that sense.  I think this has been the case for most of my life.  I guess you could also call it a sensitive nose, meaning a lot of smells bother me. I smell things that other people don’t smell. It’s weird.  I will tell my husband for days that something smells in the refrigerator, but that I can’t figure out what it is.   I make him smell it repeatedly, and he always says that he never smells anything. Sometimes, I will be cooking some ground turkey or something like that and it will smell weird to me.  I immediately will stop cooking it and throw it out because I think it is bad even when my family will tell me that it smells like it normally does.  I think that my husband thinks I am nuts sometimes because I am constantly asking him to smell things or asking him if he smells something.  Smells also trigger my migraines.  For years, I was not able to wear any kind of perfume because the smell would give me a migraine.  I finally found one that I can tolerate.  If I am in the car with anyone that has on perfume that is strong smelling, I get carsick. I was even late to the essential oil game because I was too afraid that the smells would bother me.  Now I use them all the time, but I have learned which oils that I have to avoid and which ones I can use in only small doses.  It’s really weird. 

Check out my new blue-light blocking glasses from Amazon!

I started thinking about all of this yesterday because I was having a particularly sensitive smell day. I ordered some blue-light blocking glasses (Amazon) because I am on my computer all day long, and I think it is contributing to my migraines.  Yes, everything gives me a migraine! Anyway, they arrived yesterday, and I put them on. I couldn’t even wear them for a full minute because they had this ridiculously bad smell to them.  I decided to let them air out for a while hoping that the smell would go away, but after a couple of hours, it was still there.  As soon as my husband got home, he put them on and said he didn’t smell anything! I don’t know how because it was so strong to me.  Maybe he has the opposite of me and has a damaged sense of smell! I eventually tried cleaning them with soap and water and that seemed to get rid of the smell! Thankfully, I am able to wear them today. 

Hat (Amazon), Scarf (similar Amazon), Jacket (Amazon)

The second smell issue yesterday happened at my daughter’s school.  In the afternoons, parents have to park at a lot across the street from the school and then stand outside at one of the doors to the building and wait for them to be released. Yesterday, when I picked her up, there was a wind chill of 20 degrees so it was really cold standing out there. That didn’t bother me nearly as much as the horrible smell.  It was clear to me that a skunk had been around the school somewhere and had sprayed because there was a very strong skunk smell.  It was so strong that it was making my eyes water (trust me, it was from the skunk smell and not the cold)! No one around me seemed to be bothered by it, though.  No one even commented on it anywhere around me.  Maybe I am nuts.  Maybe there wasn’t a skunk.  I sure smelled one, though! I kept burying my nose in my scarf so that I couldn’t smell it. 

Then the third incident occurred that evening when my husband and I were headed out for our weekly Wednesday date night.  We were in his car on the way to a restaurant.  He likes to blast the heat as soon as we get in the car.  He turns the temperature to like 80 so it starts blasting in your face.  It drives me nuts, but he has always done this.  Anyway, the heat was blasting, and I started feeling like I was suffocating. The air was so thick and hot, but it also had this weird burning plastic smell to me.  It was like the heat and smell were taking my breath away. Of course he couldn’t smell anything so I again looked crazy.  

Things like this happen to me all the time.  I don’ t understand it. Why is my sense of smell so strong? Is it all in my head like my husband thinks? Maybe?  I don’t know. I just know that I smell things that don’t smell good to me and they trigger a migraine.  I don’t know if there is some correlation to smell and migraines or what. By the end of the day yesterday, my head was definitely hurting. Does anyone else have a sense that is exaggerated? Tell me I am not crazy and other people feel this way too. 

Ok, before I hit publish on this post, I looked up “heightened sense of smell.” You guys!!!! There is something called hyperosmia that is defined as a “heightened and hypersensitive sense of smell.” According to healthline.com, “People with hyperosmia can experience strong discomfort and even illness from certain smells.” It goes on to say that it is sometimes caused by migraines.  OMG! I just self-diagnosed myself with something else! Don’t you love Dr. Google? Haha! Maybe I’m not crazy! Or maybe I am!

Anchored and Rambling,