Friday Favorites: Colors

By now you guys know that I frequently change my mind.  I had another favorite that I was going to write about today, but I changed my mind. I got dressed this morning and it made me think about something totally different.  Everything that I was wearing was all the same color…shirt, shoes, necklace, and earrings were all the same.  That got me thinking about my favorite color.  Going back to me changing my mind, my favorite color has changed more than once over the years.  When I was young, I am pretty sure that my favorite color was green. I know that is odd for a little girl, but I think maybe I wanted to stand out and be different. I don’t know. I just liked green.  Then when I was in my later years of high school and through my college years, my favorite color changed to blue.  I still liked green, but I would have told you that my favorite color was blue back then.  Again, not the most popular color for a girl to pick.  I would have even gone as far as telling you that I did NOT like pink. I honestly don’t know what I had against pink, but I was very much opposed to it back then.  Even when my oldest was born, I was dead set on not having everything pink, so I did the nursery in yellow and blue.  We knew she was a girl, but I chose blue and yellow for the nursery anyway.  I got a lot of flack about that from people too. Even her car seat and stroller were blue.  Of course, my husband was totally ok with that because he is a man; and just like girls are supposed to love pink, boys are supposed to love blue.  It is just a ridiculous rule that society has forced upon us all.  Maybe that is why my oldest hates pink and dresses and anything girly, which drives me nuts. Maybe it is my fault she is that way.  Even though I had something against pink, I was always girly.  I always dressed up, loved clothes, wore makeup as soon as my parents would let me, and was all all-around girly girl.  I was just one that didn’t like pink and loved blue instead. 

A few years down the road my favorite color changed AGAIN.  I don’t know why I can’t just stick to one color.  Anyway, about the time my second daughter came around, surprisingly my favorite color changed to PINK! Shocking, I know! To be so opposed to it for so long that it suddenly becomes a favorite is pretty crazy. Guess what color my youngest daughter’s nursery was…pink and green.  Going back to whether or not my nursery colors had an effect on my children’s personalities or not, my youngest is the girliest of girls.  She loves dresses, high heeled shoes, make up, you name it.  Is it a coincidence that they both turned out the way they did? Maybe, but who knows? I guess my color choices could have possibly had an influence on that.  You may have noticed, too, that my blog logo is pink and green. I think it is a tribute to my first favorite color and my current favorite. That all brings me to today’s outfit and the reason for this post, my outfit is all pink except for my jeans.  I am totally drawn to pink shoes, clothes, jewelry, bags, and more now.  I admit it; I love pink.  It is hard to say that when I was so opposed to for a huge chunk of my life, but it is true.

Top-Lularoe

Jeans-Target

Necklace-Trades of Hope

Earrings-Kate Spade (similar)

Shoes-Famous Footwear (similar color)

I will tell you, though, that my love for pink is wavering just a little these days.  I am starting to love purple more and more.  It could just become my new favorite color.  It really does seem to be hard for me to stick to one favorite color for very long.  Maybe I should just say that I love all colors and call it a day.  Is this normal? Do you all change what your favorite color is, or is it just part of my weirdness? I would love to know. 

In honor of my love for pink, check out Trades of Hope’s newest edition, the Valentía Bracelet, made by Artisans in Guatemala. This bracelet was created to raise awareness for breast cancer.  Each bracelet has a small silver charm with the fingerprint of the artisan that created it. With every purchase of the Valentía Bracelet, 10% of the net proceeds will be given to provide cancer exams to Artisans at Papillion in Haiti. You can also check out an old pink favorite made by Artisans in India, our Triumphant Earrings.  With every purchase of the Triumphant Earrings 10% of the net proceeds will be given to the Pink Ribbon Girls organization which provides the following services to individuals in the United States with breast and women’s reproductive cancers, free of charge:

  • Healthy meals targeting the nutritional needs of cancer patients, prepared by executive chefs and delivered to the home
  • Housecleaning by professional cleaning agencies
  • Transportation to cancer treatments by trained specialists
  • Peer support in the patient’s community for their whole well being

Anchored in Pink,

A “She Shed” on Wheels

Necklace/Earrings/Kimono

I posted this not so great picture of me in the car last night on my personal Facebook page with the following caption, “I really should tally up the number of hours per week I spend just sitting in my car.  I’m always just sitting and waiting on one kid or the other. It’s really sad! If only I could turn my car into a luxurious ‘she shed,’ it would be much more bearable. “ It is totally true.  I swear I spend more time just sitting and waiting in my car than anything else in a day. People always talk about the number of hours spent in the car driving their kids to and fro.  While I do a lot of that too, I think I spend more time just sitting in park.  I have to get in my middle schooler’s school carpool line at least 30 minutes before school gets out just to get somewhere in the front of the line.  Why do I need to be in the front you may ask? Well, I do that so that I can quickly get out and get to my high schooler’s carpool line at least 30 minutes before school gets out for her to also be near the front of that line. If you are counting, that is at least an hour just sitting in carpool lines.  I have to be in the front of the second line, so that I can quickly get out of the parking lot to get her to gymnastics on time with no time to spare whatsoever.  I’m not kidding when I say people start getting in these dumb lines up to an hour before school gets out.  It’s insane.  It forces me to play along and be one of those dummies too.  Otherwise, I get stuck in the back of the line, which takes at least 30 minutes longer to get through making her late for practice. It is so crazy. 

I then spend on average anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour at night waiting on one of them to get out of gymnastics or cheer practice.  My OCD self always has to get there 15 minutes early and then they are inevitably late getting out so I just sit and wait some more.  Sometimes, like last night, I sit there for an hour because it is only an hour-long class.  With the crazy traffic around here, it is not worth fighting my way back home only to turn right around and fight it on the way back.  I just sit and wait.  I HATE sitting in either hot, smelly gym watching them practice.  I would much rather stay in the parking lot in my car than sit in there.   It is just a never ending cycle of me sitting in the car.  

I do really wish I could somehow turn my car into a “she shed” like Sheryl had before hers burned down. Ha ha! If I could figure out how to do it and have a enough space to park it at school and both of their gyms, I think I really would.  It could be one of those tiny houses on wheels.  Wouldn’t that be nice? Maybe then I could actually get something done while I wait.  Maybe I am on to something! Maybe I should invent the miniature “she shed” on wheels! Ha ha! My kids would be mortified and likely refuse to ride in it.  I would love to see their faces if I ever pulled up in one.  A girl can dream, right? 

Anchored,

I’m NOT Ready!

Last night my husband and I took our oldest daughter to a required parent/teen driving meeting. At the meeting they stressed the importance of the parents’ role in teaching your child how to drive safely, as well as, some of the laws and dangers to be aware of.  First of all, the presentation was 90 minutes long. That was way too long, in my teacher opinion, for the kids to sit there listening to a driver’s ed. teacher reading from a script.  Even I was loosing attention after a while.  Second of all, they threw a lot of information and requirements at us so fast that neither my husband nor I are 100% sure of what they all are. It is so much different here than it was back in South Carolina where I grew up.  Back then, I could get my permit the day I turned 15 and then was able to get my regular license after 180 days. That means I had my license at the age of approximately 15 and 6 months of age and could drive without an adult.  There also were no restrictions on how many underage passengers I could have in the car with me. The only restriction we had was that we couldn’t drive without an adult from 7 PM to 7 AM until we turned 16. There was no driver’s education requirement. You only had to pass a written exam to get your permit and a road test to get your license.  I don’t know if the law is still the same down there now or not. Looking back, I am pretty sure that it SHOULDN’T still be the same law!  A 15 year old has no business driving a car without an adult, much less with multiple teens in the car.  I honestly don’t know how my parents were comfortable with that. Thankfully, where we live now, the requirements are much stricter, and I am very happy about that. You have to be 15 years and 6 months of age before you can even apply for a permit. Once you get your permit, a licensed driver, 21 years or older, must accompany you at all times when driving for the next 9 months.  You must complete a driver’s education course, have logged 45 hours of driving experience including nighttime driving experience with a parent or legal guardian, and have held a driving permit for 9 months before you can get your license. That means you have to be at least 16 and 3 months of age before you can even get your license and drive without an adult.  Then there are still restrictions once you get your license until you turn 18.  You may drive with only one non-family member passenger under the age of 21, and you may not drive between midnight and 4 AM without an adult.  Boy am I glad that the law now is so much stricter than it was when I learned to drive.  I already cannot imagine turning my kid loose with a car when she is 16, and I certainly can’t imagine it at 15 and a half like I was! 

As I was sitting there last night, not only was I thinking about how irresponsible the law was when I learned to drive, but I was also thinking about my daughter’s maturity.  She will be 15 and 6 months next month and can get her permit.  I am not sure she is ready for that, and I am 100% sure that I am NOT ready for it. You hear it all the time about how fast kids grow up, and it is so true.  Just this past Sunday night, we were at a restaurant for dinner and a family with an adorable little girl between one and two years old was sitting in the booth next to us.  She had her hair fixed the exact way I used to do my daughter’s hair when she was that age (we used to call it her water spout), and she reminded me so much of my daughter.  I think I was annoying my whole family as I couldn’t keep my eyes off the little girl and commenting how much she looked like my daughter.  It is so hard to believe that sweet little girl is now this young lady I see before me about to start driving.  It seems like yesterday.  I honestly don’t know that my daughter is mature enough to drive a car.  She has ADHD and is so easily distracted, and her maturity level has always been less than her age in my opinion.  I just don’t know if she is responsible enough.  I am sure most parents feel this way, though.  None of us are really ready for our kids to be behind the wheel, especially in this day and age of cell phones.  It’s scary to think about her driving.  I am not ready.  On the way home from the meeting last night, she asked, “What if I’m not ready?” Part of me is happy to hear that because it is her recognizing the seriousness of driving and maybe knowing that she isn’t mature enough yet.  The other part of me is sad that she isn’t as excited about this rite of passage as most kids her age are.  I don’t want her to be afraid every time she gets behind the wheel, but I do want her to take it seriously.   How do you know if your child is ready, mature, and responsible enough to drive a car? I honestly don’t know.  I do think that my husband will be a better judge at that than I am because he can separate his feelings and emotions from the situation much better than I can.  I also know that he will not let her drive alone if he doesn’t think she is ready, which does make me feel a little better.  

The other debate we had in the car on the way home was who was going to be the one to really teach her how to drive.  She says that she wants it to be me because she thinks I will be calmer than her dad. She said she wants “the actual teacher” to teach her how to drive. I honestly don’t want to be the one that does it, though.  I will be a nervous wreck and don’t think I would be calm at all. I already don’t like her driving her Pop Pop’s Gator utility vehicle thingy around in the fields when we go visit him. It makes me very nervous.  I really think her dad would do a much better job at teaching her than me. He has more patience with those types of things than I do.  I can see myself over-reacting and stressing her out by my stress.  Maybe a part of me also doesn’t want to do it because it makes this so much more real.  I don’t want to accept that we are at this point, and it is time for her to grow up. Regardless of whether or not SHE is ready, I’M not ready.  I don’t know that I ever will be ready, though.  I just wish she was still that sweet little girl with the water spout on top of her head like the little one at dinner the other night.  I wish I could stop time.  

Driving is a big deal and it is so dangerous these days, especially with phones and technology.  People drive distracted so much more than years ago.  I am guilty of it all the time. We all put our lives at risk every time we get behind the wheel.  A 16 year old doesn’t have the experience or knowledge to really know how to react in dangerous situations.  Let’s also not forget that teens do dumb things all the time.  It’s a fact. They are still learning and growing, and their brains are still developing.  They make mistakes. It is just a part of the growing process. There was actually a state trooper at the meeting last night that told us 85% of the kids in that room would have a wreck as a teen. That is a scary to think about.  I know I will be praying every time she gets behind the wheel in the future.  In the meantime, I will pray for my mama heart to accept that this is coming way too fast.  

I AM NOT READY!

Anchored,

Fashion Finds: Walmart

I have told you all many times before that Walmart is really trying to step up their style game.  You really have to take your time and look to find them, but you can find some really cute pieces there for great prices. I did a little dressing room photo shoot for you guys with some of the adorable pieces I found over the weekend. I will say that the photo quality is not that great.  My Walmart’s dressing rooms are super small and dark, and the mirror is right next to the wall, so it was hard to get good pics.  I tried to edit them to brighten them a little bit, but they still aren’t great. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the multiple layers of dust on the mirror, which makes the pictures look grainy too. Sorry about that! I just had to go with it.  As you will see from the pictures, plaid, camo, animal print (especially snake print), and shades of cranberry, mustard, and olive are really popular for fall. While I did find some cute clothes, my favorite finds were in the shoe and purse departments. Check them out below.

Top/Pants (Olive Reach)

Top/Pants (Olive Reach)

Sweater

Top/Pants (All Spice)

Sweatshirt/Joggers

These two pieces are both soooo soft. The sweatshirt is lined with fleece inside. 

Top

Top

Top

Sherpa Pullover (This particular one is not available online, but others are.)

Tote: Pink/Camo/Mustard/Grey

Crossbody: Camo/Cranberry

Hobo

Mini Backpack

Ankle Boots

Grey Wedges Booties/Buckle Booties

Snake Print Booties/Red Booties

Snake Print Mules

Flats: Pink/Leopard/Mustard

Quilted Slip-ons/Leopard Slip-ons

Grey Flannel Slip-ons/Corduroy Slip-ons (not available online)

Don’t count Walmart out when it comes to shopping for clothes, shoes, and accessories.  You can really find some hidden gems if you take the time to look.  Happy shopping!

Anchored,

Friday Favorites: Television

Before I dive in to my Friday Favorites today, let me tell you about how Friday the 13th and the full moon are shaping up in my house.  As a former teacher, I can tell you that all of the teachers you know will have a tough day today.  We will all swear by the full moon.  It really does make kids go crazy.  Add in the fact that it is also Friday the 13th, and you are just asking for a disastrous day. To all teachers, I am sorry and will pray for you today! Anyway, I may not be in the classroom with crazy kids anymore, but our dog is more than making up for it.  Let’s just say that she got very sick starting right at 12:00 AM, and we spent the night and morning cleaning up nastiness from both ends. I know you don’t care, but it really was so gross.  We are pretty sure she ate something she wasn’t supposed to eat and it made her sick.  We are all really tired today because if it. My poor oldest child got the worst of it since it all occurred in her room.  I’m not sure she got much sleep at all, especially with the horrible smell. As you can see, we have had a great start to the day. Oh, and let me not forget to mention that it is dark, gloomy, and rainy outside! I can hardly wait for whatever else this day will throw at us.

Now, I am totally changing topics, and I have to make a confession. I know some of you are going to be surprised by this and some of you are going to judge me, but that is okay. I own it. My own husband thinks I am insane when it comes to this favorite of mine.  He shakes his head at me all the time about it.  I can’t help it, but I love reality TV. There, I said it. It is totally true. I don’t know why it fascinates me or why I get some kind of entertainment from it.  I know that most of it isn’t really real, but I watch it anyway. I sit there watching it sometimes and think about how dumb it is or how fake it is, and I keep on watching it. Sometimes I even feel like I am getting dumber by the minute, but I can’t stop.  My husband always says, ‘I don’t know how you watch that trash.” I really don’t know how I do either.  I’m just drawn to it. Some of my favorites are SurvivorBig BrotherThe Real Housewives of New YorkProject RunwayAmerican Idol, and Southern Charm.  There are tons more but they aren’t all coming to me at the moment.  I used to watch The Bachelor and Bachelorette, but I have grown tired of them and haven’t watched the last couple of seasons.  TLC, Bravo, and HGTV are like my favorite stations. I can turn to any of them and watch all day long if I had the time.  I guess it is like a guilty pleasure or something. I never talk about it with anyone so it’s not like I get joy from chatting about it to my friends.  Maybe it is because it is all so out there and so far from my real life that it allows me to escape from reality for a bit. I don’t know.  I just like them all. 

The other kind of TV shows that I may have a mild obsession with is real-life crime shows like Dateline, 20/2048 Hours, and anything on the ID channel.  No, I do not want to commit a crime or find out how to get away with murder.  I am just fascinated by these shows.  Any Lifetime movies that are based on real cases like JonBenét Ramsey or Casey Anthony fascinate me too.  I was also totally into Making a Murder on Netflix.  I guess I also like fictional crime shows, too, because I love Criminal Minds.  It is one of my favorite shows ever. I just love trying to figure out the mystery and looking at all the evidence.  Maybe I could have been an investigator or detective in another life.  Who knows? 

There you have it. You now know 2 of my guilty pleasures when it comes to television.  I’m not proud of the fact that I get enjoyment from murder and insane reality TV. There are so many other things that I could do with my free time instead of indulging in that, but I guess it is what it is.  I guess I can’t help what I find entertaining.

Anchored,

A Day to Remember

Yesterday, September 11, is a day that most of us will never forget. It is a day that is hard for many people.  It stirs up memories, what ifs, and fears.  It reminds us of how short life can be.  It is burned in the memory of all of those who were alive and old enough to know what was happening on that day.  My youngest daughter came home and said her teacher told them to ask their parents where they were and what they were doing when the events of September 11, 2001 occurred.  I vividly remember standing in my classroom in Georgia (only my second year as a teacher) when we were told over the loud speaker to not go outside.  No one knew why at first. Sometimes we would get told not to go outside because there was a big dog running around out there or something small like that.  At first, we really didn’t think much of it, but word quickly traveled down the hallway. We only had bits of information and were really confused by what we were hearing.  All of the teachers were all standing near our doors trying to find out more while also trying to do our job. I can remember one little boy in my class who was working on the computer close to the doorway.  He looked up at me with his sweet, innocent face and asked me if everything was ok. He had sensed that something was wrong.  I did my best to reassure him that everything was fine, not knowing myself if that was really the truth.  I swear his sweet little face will be forever in my mind and connected with that day. It was such a tragic, scary day.  

Yesterday was made scary for me yet again.  I think September 11 will always bring up fear in all of us, and the events that unfolded here yesterday were likely made worse just because of what day it was. As my oldest daughter was getting ready for school in the morning, she started to get messages from classmates about a Snapchat message that was floating around detailing an organized mass-shooting plot naming several area schools as targets.  The more she was seeing and reading, the more nervous she was getting.  She started telling me that she didn’t want to go to school and saying things like, “What if I die?” I immediately started looking into the threat and found mention of it on the county sheriffs’ page and the school district’s page.  It basically said that they were aware of the threat, that they had not found any credible evidence other than the Snapchat message to prove that it was a serious threat, and that there would be an increased police presence at all schools just in case.  We did not know if her school was one of the ones that was listed in the threat as the police and school officials were keeping that information confidential. I immediately called my husband at work asking his opinion about whether or not to keep her home from school. We both came to the conclusion that she should go to school based on the information I had.  It appeared that the parents of the students in the schools that were named had received an email from the school system the night before making them aware of the threat.  We had not gotten an email so we took that to mean that my daughter’s school wasn’t on the target list. I talked to my daughter about the threat, made sure she knew what to do in the event that something did happen, and tried to reassure her that it was likely a hoax.  When I dropped her off at school, she said to me, “I hope I’m not dead when you come to pick me up.” I know that she was half kidding and half serious, but it almost made me tell her to get back in the car and go home.  Instead, I drove off leaving her there and went home to worry.  I scoured social media and the news trying to get updates on the threat and it’s validity to try to reassure myself that I did the right thing by sending her to school. I did end up getting an email from the school system about 30 minutes after I dropped her off basically saying the same things that were posted online by the county sheriff’s office. However, I then started to worry that it meant that her school was included in the threat and my anxiety kicked into overdrive.  About an hour later, I got an automated call from one of the assistant principals at her school saying that there were rumors that there was an active shooter at the school, but they were false.  I guess some kids were texting from the school saying that there was a gunman in the building.  Talk about being scared! I spent the whole day second-guessing my decision to send her to school and texting her randomly just to make sure things were ok.  It was a long 7 hours until I picked her up. She said everyone was talking about it at school and everyone was nervous.  She even told me that one of her teachers told them that if there had been a shooter in the building, they would have all been dead. Seriously? Why would you tell them that? 

Would I have been as worried had it been any other day of the year that this happened? The answer is probably yes, but I do think that the fact that it was September 11 made it a little more intense than normal.  Will we always experience this day with fear? I don’t know about you, but I honestly think I will.  It is just like I will always worry about my kids. I am not writing this post to get into any kind of political debate or for any other reason other than to say that I was afraid. I was afraid for my beautiful girls who still have so much life to live. I was afraid for my husband as a member of our military and as someone who lost a classmate on that terrible day. I was afraid for my fellow teachers who are willing to risk their own lives to protect their students.  I was afraid of the unknown.  It was just a scary day. I pray that my girls never have to feel that fear like we did on that day 18 years ago or like I did yesterday when they send their own kids to school one day in the future. The police and school system have since reported that there is no threat to the schools and that the situation is under control. My fear has subsided and things are back to normal today, but I will never forget.

Anchored,

Liar

Yesterday I heard one of the leaders of Trades of Hope talk about believing in yourself, and it stuck with me.  I think this is something that ALL women struggle with. At least it is with every single woman I know.  I know I struggle with it every day.  Would you ever tell your best friend or your daughter that she’s not good enough, pretty enough, or kind enough? Would you tell her that she’s terrible or that she sucks? Would you ever make her feel like she is worthless? I can almost bet that the answer is a resounding no! That’s my answer for sure.  I would NEVER do that to anyone…EXCEPT myself.  Those are things I find myself saying in my head about me all the time.  If you are constantly telling yourself those things, you will start to believe them.  You will doubt your abilities and second-guess yourself all the time.  If you continuously tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, you will begin to feel worthless.  Why do we do that to ourselves? If you wouldn’t say it to your own child, why do you say it to yourself?

I know that I am constantly telling myself that I am failing as a mom or a wife or a business woman. I tell myself that I can’t do something because I will screw it up.  I constantly doubt myself and my abilities. What does that negative talk do to me and my psyche? It makes me believe those horrible things are true. It makes me self-conscious.  It makes me useless.  It makes me a failure.  It prevents me from trying new things because I believe that I’m not good enough.  I always have the feeling of “I can’t” because I don’t believe in myself and my abilities. If those negative things are what you constantly tell yourself, they will become your truth.  It will become who you are.  Is that really who you want to be? Is that the example you want to set for your kids and others?

Well, I am here to tell you that all of those negative things you believe about yourself are LIES! Every time you tell yourself that you aren’t good enough, you are lying. Every time you feel worthless, it is a lie.  When you tell yourself you can’t, you are not speaking the truth.  You are lying to yourself every day.  You are a LIAR just like me.  As much as I try to fight them, those lies creep in all the time, but we have to work hard to stop the lies.  We have to break the cycle.  We have to speak truth to ourselves and ditch the lies.  Turn those negative lies into positive truths. Don’t let the lie become your truth. Instead of “I can’t” say “I can.” Instead of saying “I’m a failure,” say “Look what I can do.” Instead of saying, “I’m worthless,” say “I am valuable.”  Speak those truths aloud. Start believing the truth and not the lie.  Turn the lie upside down. As soon as you say it aloud, you will begin to feel weight lifted from your shoulders. You will begin to see yourself in a new light and new doors will open for you. I have talked so many times about speaking positivity to yourself and using positive mantras.  I really believe in that.  I believe it will allow you to retrain your brain to think in a more positive way. I also believe that it will help you see value in who you are and what you can give to the world. Do it every morning when you wake up, every night when you go to bed, and whenever those lies start to creep in.  Post it on the mirror or write it in your calendar each month. Stop lying and start telling the truth. By doing so, you will begin to believe in yourself. It will change your outlook on life. You are worthy of being loved by yourself. That is the simple TRUTH.

Anchored,

Fashion Finds: Target

I follow a bunch of people on Instagram that post Target finds all the time.  I have been seeing some really cute things in their feeds, so I decided to head to my favorite store and see what I could find. Surprisingly, a lot of the pieces they had been posting were not at my Target, but I did find my own cute pieces that are perfect for this time of year when the cooler fall temps start creeping in. There were tons of cute cardigans that are perfect for layering during the cool mornings and evenings, and there were several cute dresses.  Animal print is huge again this season and it was all over the place.  I’ll do another post about just animal print coming up. Check out my finds.

Shirt (Green/Black)

Hoodie

Blouse (not available online)/Necklace

Cardigan/Necklace

Dress/Necklace

I think this dress is the perfect color for fall and would look adorable with a denim jacket. The website says that it is brown, but I think it is more of a burnt orange color. I will caution you, though, because the hook to hold the top together in front to keep from showing everyone your business is not very well made.  It can open very easily, which is not really great for bustier ladies!

Dress/Necklace

I absolutely adored this dress.  However, it was a bit short on me for my comfort level. I considered purchasing it in a smaller size for my teen, but I highly doubt she would wear it.  On the other hand, my husband says that it looks like I stepped out of the Flintstones cartoon, so there’s that. I still think it is really cute! 

Cardigan/Long Sleeve T-shirt/Necklace

Oversized Waffle Cardigan/Long Sleeve T-shirt/Necklace

This cardigan is designed to be oversized.  However, I am wearing the M/L in this picture, but I think if I were to buy it, I would go with an XS/S. I felt like it was a little too oversized for me.  It comes in a few colors and is super soft and lightweight. 

Dress/Cardigan

Dress (not available online)/Necklace

This dress is super soft and also comes in pink.  It would be great with a denim jacket or with a cute pair of leggings.  

Dolman Sleeve Sweater/Jeans/Necklace

Leopard Sweater/Necklace

Sweater/Jeans/Necklace

Head over to your local Target and check out these cute pieces and so much more to give your fall wardrobe a little update.  

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Book Club: The Silent Patient

I was unable to give my review of my August Book Club pick last week, so here it is today.  Better late than never, right? Anyway, last month I chose The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides as my August pick.  It had great reviews and I even had a few friends tell me that they loved it.  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same.  I won’t say that it was awful because it wasn’t.  It was suspenseful and had an unexpected twist to it.  However, it didn’t really hold my attention.  I found myself distracted while reading it and having to reread paragraphs multiple times because I had not been paying attention.  I can’t quite put my finger on what I didn’t like about it other than it just didn’t grab and hold my attention. I love books that I just can’t put down until I finish it, and this book certainly didn’t do that for me.  I felt like I had to force myself to finish it. I know that this will be an unpopular opinion as so many seem to love this book, but I promised to always be honest with you all.  It was ok, but I didn’t love it. 

This book is about an accomplished artist, Alice Benson, who was accused and convicted of murdering her husband.  She was not sentenced to jail because they found her guilty by reason of insanity. She was instead admitted to a mental institute for the criminally insane. From the moment her husband was murdered and she was found next to him covered in his blood with the murder weapon nearby, she had gone mute.  She refused to speak at all.  Her one bit of communication was a painting she did immediately after the murder.  It was a self-portrait entitled, Alcestis.  People always took to painting as an admission of her guilt.  Theo Faber, a psychotherapist with his own troubled past, became obsessed with Alice’s case and treatment.  He managed to earn a position at the facility where Alice was being treated.  He quickly set his sights on treating her and eventually became her doctor.  He was convinced that he could help her and get her to speak again.  The story chronicles his attempts to reach her with multiple twists and turns along the way.  This story is told both from Theo’s point of view as well as Alice’s point of view.  It was a suspenseful story that had an unexpected ending. I did not dislike this story per say.  I just didn’t love it.  I won’t say that I don’t recommend this book because there are obviously a lot of people that liked it.  I just wasn’t one of them.  

I decided to go back a couple of years and choose a book that is a little older for my September pick. It was published in 2017 and was a New York Times Best Seller.  My pick for September is The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff.  It from the historical fiction genre and is set during World War II. It involves some of the individuals who protected Jews during the Holocaust.  Here is what the publisher had to say about this novel.

“A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan’s Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival.”

Will you come along and read with me? Let’s dive into this book together! Happy Reading!

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Chaos Central

Necklace/Earrings/Shirt

I totally had a post all planned for yesterday to give you an update on my office renovation, but unfortunately life turned to chaos yesterday.  There is really no other word to describe the day I had other than that. It was pure chaos.  It all started the moment I woke up.  I had to get up earlier than normal because I had to be up, showered, and ready for the day before I took the girls to school. Normally I get up, get the girls up, pack lunches, take them to school, work out, and then shower and get ready for the day.  Anytime my routine changes, it just throws me off.  Anyway, I needed to take the girls to school a few minutes earlier than normal, but they, of course, were moving like snails.  They seem to have this innate ability to move as slow as possible when they know I need them to hurry.    It is like they physically cannot move any faster just because I want them to.  My youngest is the worst.  Rushing her causes her anxiety to ramp up and her to start yelling.  It is like a chain reaction and everyone starts yelling.  It’s awful.  It was just a bad start to a day that was going to turn out to be a disaster.  

The reason that I had to get up earlier and the girls had to go to school earlier is because I had to go to my husband’s work to renew my military ID. I had an appointment and it takes a little over an hour to get there. I was already pushing it to get make it for the appointment anyway because I couldn’t drop the girls off any earlier than I did.  I finally got the girls out of the house, dropped them off at school, and began the drive to the Metro station so I could ride my way there instead of fighting the intense traffic around here.  Well, by the time I got to the Metro station, the parking garage was already FULL.  I drove around in circles through the garage for probably 15 minutes. There was absolutely NO WHERE to park.  I was getting pretty anxious by now because I needed to get on the Metro soon to make it in time.  My husband told me to leave and drive up to the next Metro station and go from there.  I got back on the interstate and found the bumper to bumper traffic I was trying to avoid. I was crawling along at sloth pace. Then I missed my exit because I couldn’t get over in the traffic in time. I ended up having to circle back to get to the station. Well, when I got there, there was NO WHERE to park there either. I was driving around and around the station.  It turns out that there is no parking at that particular station. It only has a Kiss and Ride area. Needless to say, I was beyond stressed at this point.  I was starting to see that there was no way I was going to make it in time for my appointment.  In my anxious state, I was fussing at my husband as he was trying to figure out how to get me there on time.  It was becoming all too clear to us both that with the traffic and no Metro, I was not going to make it.  He finally told me to just go back home.  I got back on the interstate and headed home.  I got about halfway back when my husband called me back.  He had gone and talked to the people at the ID office and they told him to have me come anyway and that they would work me in.  I turned back around (by now I had paid like 4 tolls as this particular interstate is a toll road) and began the long drive to his work.  We were giving up on the Metro, and I was just going to drive the whole way in.  I was back in the bumper to bumper traffic which is stressful enough alone as my husband was giving me directions on how to get there.  He was going to meet me at the mall parking garage near his office.  I got to the parking garage at about 10:55. My appointment was at 10:30 and the people at the ID office go to lunch from 11-12:00. As I turned into the garage, my husband jumped in the back seat.  Believe it or not, we couldn’t find a parking spot in this garage either! I am not making this up! I drove around and around as both of our anxieties continued to increase until we finally found a spot. By now it was after 11 and we still had to walk about a mile to get to his building.  Let me not forget to mention that it was 93 degrees yesterday and we were walking as fast as we could.  I was sweating profusely by the time we got there. I needed a new shower for sure! The ID guys were, of course, already at lunch and the office was closed by the time we got there.  Frustration is an understatement.  They only do IDs until 11:00, so we had no way of knowing if they would take me when they got back from lunch.  My husband and I decided to walk down to the building’s food court for lunch ourselves while we waited for them to open back up.  At this point, I had wasted most of my day and he had not gotten any work done. We were both stressed to the max. We quickly ate and headed back up to the ID office so that we would be the first ones in when they opened back up hoping they would be nice and take me.  It is a fairly simple process to get a new ID if you get a new one BEFORE your old one expires.  Mine expired on the 7th.  It is a HUGE hassle to get one if yours expires.  It requires tons of documentation and stuff.  It was really essential that I get it now.  We waited so close to the expiration date because my husband was promoted a couple of days ago and he wanted to make sure his new rank was on my ID card. Many praises to the little guy that opened the door and agreed to take me! We were beyond grateful. After all the craziness, I got my ID!!! Let’s just say that it was quite the stressful few hours.  

I got back home with just enough time to catch my breath before having to spend my daily hour in the carpool lines and then begin chauffeuring everyone to their practices. In the midst of all the chaos, I did receive an email from my daughter’s doctor stating that her biopsy results miraculously came back normal.  I am still in shock over the news.  I reread the email like 10 times thinking I must have missed something.  I just don’t understand how it came back normal after what she told us she saw during the scope.  I was totally convinced that the news would be bad.  God heard our prayers and provided us with some incredible news, and I am so grateful.  Despite the chaos of the day, good prevailed.  Needless to say, you will all have to wait until next week to see the progress in my office.  That just gives me more time to work on it. 

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