Coffee with Friends

July 2010 005This post was inspired by Back Home Blue.  Those of you who click over will see first-hand that the JLC really does have some of the most delightful women in the world!  She’s droll, sweet, confident and sometimes sassy, and she’s also a podunk native with the cutest Yorkie-boy terrier.  I hope you’ll love her – and Knox (the dog) – as much as I do.

The premise – as I understand it – is I’ll post as though we were hanging out, chatting over coffee, tea or whatever, just a couple of friends catching up on life.  I might even let you use one of my favorite mugs – blue, in honor of sweet Sarah of BHB!

If we were having coffee (tea, a glass of wine, whatevs), I’d tell you…

  • Evidently, I don’t look in a mirror much during the day, because I’m really not sure what color my hair is, but I like it.  In fact, I think it kinda’ matches the furgirls, from back in the day before Sissy started fading out to not quite white.
  • Sometimes, you don’t know how precious family and traditions are until you have to skip one.  While we missed going to the farm because I had a migraine, it was nice to have a good chat with my aunt this evening and know that we were missed too.
  • I have a rather disgusting fondness for Reeses Pieces eggs.  They’re roughly twice the size of regular Reeses Pieces, so that means more peanut butter yumminess.
  • Maybe I’d serve Tazo Zen, a lemongrass and spearmint green tea.  I have some every single day, plain.
  • I’d ask you to click and give a free book to a child, because reading is as natural to me as breathing and it breaks my heart that not all children have access to books.
  • And after a while, I’d get restless and ask if you’d like to go for a walk… or maybe shopping.  Does hair color change what colors I can wear around my face?  I mean, I know it makes my eyes pop…

What would you share?

Stress Awareness Month

So I stumbled across the fact that it’s National Stress Awareness Month.   That’s almost funny, given that it seems nearly everyone I talk to is under more stress than usual.

1667Here’s my take on it…  Stress is inevitable.  Life is going to continue to throw us curve balls, so the only thing we can do is have a plan for how to handle it.  I used to worry constantly, but at some point I realized that Mary Engelbreit knew what she was talking about.

I’m a woman of action.  Despite being a philosophy student, somewhere along the line, I decided that if I can’t do something about it, there’s no point in worrying about it.  That changed my stress level significantly.

As for stress management, I have the two best stress busters in the world.  It’s hard to stay wound up when the furgirls greet me so enthusiastically and want nothing more than for me to pay attention to them and to lace up my running shoes and head out with them for still more stress reduction in the form of a walk or a run.

What stresses you?  How to do you relieve that stress?

Hair-brained

UntitledSo, I had a regularly scheduled hair appointment last night.  I think I’ve been using the current stylist about a year, maybe more.  I trust her, we have a friendly rapport and I told her I was too blonde and something had to give.

Untitled

Neither of these photos are accurate.  The top left selfie was at 10  pm last night, after my appointment.   The right photo was taken outside in cloudy conditions, and is too orange.  There is a copper glow, but not THAT much!

We arrived at this hue after a lengthy discussion.  That’s one of the things I like about my standing, Friday evening sessions.  She’s a night owl engaged to a musician, and I am not in a hurry to get to anything, so there’s time to strategize before the work starts.   I had gotten too blonde for my liking (see here), but I also didn’t want to just glaze it on back to my natural blah brown.  Interestingly, on my laptop, the photo on the right is representative of the auburn highlights my natural color gets when I spend a lot of time in the sun in the summer.

Neither photo includes any make-up.  Maybe Easter family time will yield some good photos.

Have you ever made a wild swing in your hair color?  Any advice for the new redder me?

ON inspiration

While I don’t shop Old Navy much – even though we do have one in podunk – I do often like their outfit looks for inspiration.  Here are some that inspire me enough that I might either actually purchase what’s in my cart or toodle into town and see what I can see.  Because I’m a little lazy – it is Sunday, after all – more information can be found at Outfits We Love.

cn7780755 What about this strapless dress (I don’t wear strapless much because despite custom fittings and great expense, I don’t own a strapless bra that actually works) with a pink cardi or denim jacket?  With a peplum cardi and nude sling-back kitten heels for the League annual meeting/dinner?  (Think garden-party, not business and definitely not cocktail attire.)

If I vow not to remove the cardi no matter how hot I might get, dare I wear a regular bra?

See…  I REALLY want a soft floral dress, and this is the only one I’ve found that isn’t garish, doesn’t have mis-matched seams, and I have high hopes it would fit (unlike the Vineyard Vines beauty I whined about for a whole post), and even if it doesn’t, I can invest a little in alterations.  Heck, should I buy two and have my tailor make 1″ or wider straps?

cn7781210Next up… neither the shorts, nor the hat.  But I love the blouse (and it IS a different print than the dress above), and I own plenty of other jean options that would be work appropriate.  I also have a beloved pair of minty crops that would be very happy with said top.

Oh, I do like hats, but not indoors, and I don’t know that I could wear one all day long even if I was so inclined.   Anyone else get a headache from headbands, even if they aren’t too snug?  My head sure is getting fussy in its old age.

cn7630473Then, there’s this number.  I want the whole outfit, minus the boots.  Much as I love boots, for some reason, those are awful to my eye.  And no, I can’t explain why after years of hating “camo” I’m suddenly drawn to that and what I call Army green.  I confess to having a pair of leggings in a very similar pattern.  I’ve always had a thing for coral, and I was stealing Daddy’s oxford shirts as a cover-up and just to float around in on hot days long before it was trendy.  I’m pretty sure I’d wear the dress with a pair of cropped leggings to work.  I intend to stock up on cropped leggings and wear some of my shirt dresses this spring.

To be clear, I like boots and bare legs, but I just don’t know about ankle boots in the warmer weather.  I have worn ankle boots and tights with dresses in the cooler months, but it’s not my favorite look there either.

And since I have an awesome pine green twill “utility” jacket, can I justify this trendy piece, even at Old Navy prices?  I will need jackets all summer long, as the office at work stays quite cool to offset the ambient temperatures in the shop area…

cn7637741Last but not least, someone remind me that I don’t wear scarves in the summer and I already own a bushel and a peck.  However, I don’t have a lovely natural background with bright florals, and see above…  I do anticipate being COLD in my own office for the next 6 months…

Where do you find your inspiration?

 

Do-over

Sadly, I can’t even remember everything I put in the lost post.  However, I do know that I had blogged about the latest Chewy delivery, so we’ll start there.

47387,1389673065$SS172$It’s another Sissy-friendly product!  Before Sissy’s extensive allergies were diagnosed, they ate – and loved – EVO kibble, so it was exciting (for me) to see an EVO treat that is Sissy-approved.  (For those not accustomed to my Sissy-centric vocabulary, that means basically no land animals, no corn products at all.)  Despite some “expert opinions” that insist dogs don’t like variety, my girls’ reactions to new treats suggests precisely the opposite, and while there are no photos (in part because the treats are Gretchen-sized and also because they were excited and thus, no photo opportunities presented themselves), the girls LOVE the new to them herring flavor of the Wild Cravings.

(Now… how weird is that?!  The post/draft is gone, but the “media” I uploaded was saved.  Go figure.)

They are training treat sized for Sissy and most dogs, but for Gg, they’re just the right size for a snack, although the round shape does seem to break in the package, so there are Gg training treat bits too.  If your dog likes fishy treats – and you don’t mind fish breath – give these a try!  There are other flavors and a cat variety too.  Thanks, Chewy!  I’ve truly lost track of how many months in a row you’ve offered Sissy-approved options for us to try, but I do know that the past couple of months, there have been at least TWO options on the list of products for your bloggers to review.

Courtesy of CAbi

Courtesy of CAbi

In a drastic shift of topic, this blog’s media library suggests that I also FINALLY shared my CAbi purchases.   It was basically this very look, but with darker ankle jeans and some in and out of fire truck friendly metallic flats.  If you click on that link, it will show you the top in more detail – sure to be a three-season favorite for years to come – and the grey-yellow jacket, which I had to be all but held down and forced into, because I can’t wear yellow.

I am a CAbi fan now.  All-day comfort, machine-washable, and I wasn’t too over-dressed at work but I was perfectly poised for an important League meeting after work.  I look forward to actually being able to attend a show and add to my “collection” soon.  I have my eye on several other pieces that should work well in my very casual work environment and with my general preference for … not too casual attire.

Sorry the selfie is so washed out.  The walls in my office are actually a lovely, light tan, but with Untitledthe lighting and the light-colored jacket…  Yeah.  Anyway, it proves that I can wear yellow, strategically.

Another new love is my most recent Lilly Pulitzer purchase.  I found the wristlet at the register, and while my Lifeproof encased iPhone 5 doesn’t fit in the little interior phone spot, it does sit happily inside the case.  There’s no coin zipper, but my large checkbook-wallet holds coins, so this is the perfect grab-n-go for me.   I had a terrible time choosing which print I wanted, but given how much I hate to change bags, there’s no chance I’ll go back for another.

Courtesy of Lilly P

Courtesy of Lilly P

It’s significantly smaller than my previous go-to wristlet, which is a plus for me.   While the previous trusted friend served me well for at least two years, it was really too large to really be a wristlet.  I mean… if you can’t dangle it from your wrist without discomfort, it isn’t really a wristlet, even if it has the strap.  And best of all, it’s printed PVC, so it’s easy to keep clean and it’s lightweight.

I’m pleased enough that I’m pondering the Lilly P iPad Smart Cover too.  I found a “previous season” print on a discount website for significant savings, so what’s not to love?!  (The shipping, but anyhoo… it’s still a great deal.)

Have you had any great finds lately?

Hide and Seek?!

For the second time, a post I set to publish later didn’t.  Last time, I found the draft when I got home and hit publish.  This time though, I’ve looked in drafts, trash… everywhere, and can’t find it.  Time wasted.  Thoughts lost.  Pout.

I’ll try again after the taxes.

 

There’s a word for that

I’m all about making up words – SNOL, furgirls, PANK… but evidently, there’s already a word for “kinda’ vegetarian when it suits me.”

Flexitarian – According to About.com,  “Flexitarian” is a term recently coined to describe those who eat a mostly vegetarian diet, but occasionally eat meat. Many people who call themselves “flexitarian” or “semi-vegetarian” have given up red meat for health reasons while others, for environmental reasons, only eat free-range or organic animals and animal products.

Now… this girl isn’t giving up squat, but I was a pescatarian (didn’t eat land animal flesh) for a while many years ago, until I sincerely dreamed about a nice, rare filet mignon night after night and finally realized that I just couldn’t do it.  And I have followed a pescatarian when convenient diet ever since… right up until Marjie shattered my world with the announcement that shrimp is high in cholesterol.

Pescatarians on the hunt – not by choice… as long as you don’t count the prescription rabbit kibble era.

You have to understand…  I am the product of farmers.  My mother’s people, on both sides, farm and have farmed since the beginning of time, as near as I can tell.  My father’s grandfather was a gentleman farmer back when it wasn’t cool and trendy to play in compost on your days off, and while I lack that gene for spending hours on the tractor or nurturing little seeds into edible goodness, I got a double-dose of the pass me some fresh produce, straight from the chicken coop eggs, and by all means, I’m okay with looking my protein sources in the eyes.  (My apologies to those who aren’t…  Good for you.  My once-removed cousin with the chicken houses DID assure that I am incapable of enjoying chicken without worrying about growth hormones and free range, etc.)

Of course, I credit my farmer-relations with my ability to enjoy tofu too.  My uncle by choice (or by marriage… but as he put it years ago, marrying my mother’s sister made us kin, but we’d choose to claim each other even without that legal union) was farming soybeans long before I’d found Tofutti in my grocer’s freezer.

But don’t look for me to begin haughtily announcing I’m a flexitarian;  I still have enough trouble explaining that Episcopalian isn’t a medical condition.   No, I think that as much as I love silly words, I’ll stick with just dodging red meat most of the time, because I was also raised to feel it’s rude not to eat what’s put in front of me, or to ask non-life threatening questions about my food.  (I’m allergic to scallops, so there is a time and a place for said inquiries, and I can issue a “NO – LEAVE IT!” with such authority that even a food-driven basset draws back.)

I shared the mango-edamame salsa recipe a few posts back, but now, I’m in search of a … four-bean? salad?  Garbanzo, red, black and green, with some red onion, cilantro and …  I ate it all, so I have only my fond food memories to help me.  It seemed pretty similar to the traditional three-bean salad, but … better.  If anyone can help a gal trying to flex more and meat less, it would be awesome!

And in other almost healthy food news, did you know that gluten-free (homemade) chocolate chip cookies are basically ALWAYS chewy, not crispy?  My friend used Alton Brown’s Chewy Gluten Free recipe, and since dogs can’t have chocolate anyway, there’s no need to substitute around the corn starch for Sissy.  They aren’t close to low cholesterol, but as long as I don’t eat shrimp with them, I’m going to say it’s fine.

Don’t hate me, but with no other changes to my routine (well, add in extra stress, but evidently, only Sissy’s eye problems and my mother’s death are stressful enough to stop the eating), I’ve dropped nearly three pounds in two weeks.  I’m pretty sure I’d heard somewhere before that high fat diets aren’t healthy…  hem.