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Wide Calf Riding Boots

Every fall I admire the display of riding boots and every fall I’m disappointed when I can’t find a pair to fit my legs.  Genetics blessed me with squatty legs as I call them.  If I added another 2 inches in height my legs would be perfectly fine, but alas God added the 2 inches to my calves.  That doesn’t mean I don’t want to look cute in a pair of nice boots! This year I’m determined to find a pair that will work for my 16″ calves.

Since I don’t have time to get schlepping from store to store, I’ve started my search on Zappos.  Here are the candidates:

Ralph Lauren – Makenzie Wide Calf ($159)

Sam Edelman – Penny Wide Calf ($149.90)

Timberland – Banfield Tall All Fit Waterproof Boot ($220)

Aesthetically I like the look of the Ralph Lauren boots best.  The dark color is gorgeous. But the fact the Timberland’s are waterproof is a huge bonus.  Who wants to buy a pair of boots to have them ruined by a slushy winter day?

What do you think?  Found any wide calf boots you’d recommend?

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Save Not Spend – PB Kids Adirondack Chairs

Maybe it’s back-to-school season, but I’m suddenly knocking things off my to-do list left and right.  Next up are these Pottery Barn Kids wooden adirondack chairs I scored off Craigslist.  Sometimes Craigslist is hit-or-miss but in this instance it was a HIT.  Now the chairs didn’t look like this when I bought them.  They were in excellent shape; however, the previous owner told me to not leave them in the rain.  Ahem, I’ll let you piece together what happened.

In an attempt to salvage these beauties, I tried my hand at spray paint.  I wanted this project to be quick and dirty.  No extra step with priming please!  Valspar’s Color Radiance paint and primer fit the bill.  After a bit of sanding, I was ready to get started.  At first I was skeptical until I started spraying.  Then I was in love.

BEFORE

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In Progress

AFTER

Since our twins were newborns we’ve color coded everything pink and purple.  Fast forward four year, and they’re requesting pink and purple items.  Parenting win or brainwashing, I’ll let you be the judge.  In any event, I didn’t want bright neon colors so went with Rosy Cheeks & Lavender Lake.  Looking at these colors online they look so bright, but in reality they’re a lovely muted pastel.  I ran out of the Rosy Cheeks color quicker and need to pick up more to do one final coat.  It doesn’t need it, but I’m picky and missed a few spots.

Time to find my next project with this paint.  I’m thinking those barrel cane chairs I’ve been putting off.  Happy Monday!

DIY · Home Decor

Faux Roman Shades

My list of home projects I want to tackle is loooooong, and I have a history of starting a project yet never finishing it.  Life has a habit of getting in the way.  It’s because of this that Friday’s finished project is extra exciting for me.  I actually completed something – faux roman shades for the laundry room.  My inspiration was the Evolution of Style Blog’s post about ’em.  She followed the tutorial from Imparting Grace.  Without further ado….

Whoever built this house made it way too narrow but that’s a story for another day.  This window had a valance that I ripped down upon immediately moving in; hence the brackets in the trim.  Note: I was doing laundry during the making of this project.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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The window faces trees and bushes so there wasn’t need for privacy.  I selected a window panel at the Ballard Design Outlet for $45.  A little more than I wanted to spend for this project but it was lined.  Since this side faces west, it provides decent sun coverage.  The only other cost was 3 cheap tension rods and no-sew fusing web from Target.  It took maybe 45 minutes from start to finish.  However, I may have been watching TV and doing laundry while doing it.

If you’re looking for a quick, cheap and relatively easy project this weekend I highly recommend the Faux Roman Shade.

 

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Is Blogging About Real Life Possible?

Something has been on my mind lately especially as I try to jump-start this little blog.  By day I'm a project manager, and I started thinking about this blog with my PM hat on.  Why is this helpful, you ask?  Well, without a clear vision and objectives I worry I veer into unwanted territory.  What is this unwanted territory?  At its core it’s me trying to be something I’m not and looks a little like this:
 
Excessive selfies
 
Excessive affiliate links
 
Non-stop consumerism
 
Picture perfect images
 
Now I understand there are countless successful blogs who incorporate those characteristics into each and every post.  Wonderful!  I believe they fill a need that clearly exists for readers otherwise they wouldn’t be so popular.  I just can’t fit that mold.  Here comes the raw ugly truth.
 
Part of why I’ve been so, so, so, so slow to get moving with posts is this overwhelming feeling of “it’s not good enough.”  What I have to offer isn’t glossy images of a picture perfect life.  Trust me, I love scrolling through Instagram to see some of the beautiful displays of flowers, food, and fashion.  But.  And this is a big but. 

My life doesn’t look like an Instagram pic. 
 
My life is genuinely messy working full-time, managing three toddlers, maintaining a house, and just surviving each day.  I had a painful realization the other day.  I’m not what women aspire to be when they click through Instagram or flock to a blog.  That alone is a powerful statement and realization.  I feel like the before photo in one of those makeover shows.  I say that not as a woe-is-me moment but more of a valuable ‘ah-ha’ moment. 
 
What do thirty-something women aspire to be these days? Do we want to live glossy, picture perfect lives? Do we benefit from reading blogs that reflect perfectly curated and staged days-in-the-life? Is it possible to succeed as a blogger that doesn't follow that model?

Is blogging about real life even possible?

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Channeling Dory – Just Keep Swimming

This summer has certainly been a bit of a downer for my personal health.  Last week I had my second surgery of the summer and was diagnosed with a third chronic, yet related, illness that I’ll deal with the rest of my life.  While it wasn’t a shock, it still just stinks.  It’s humbling when you realize certain things in life are far outside your control.

finding-dory-movie

While I’ve been recovering I caught up on some favorite TV shows and books.  I binged Big Little Lies:Season 1 (2017) and Divorce on HBO.  Both are dark, funny, and witty.  I’ll always love some SJP, too.  It took me a bit to really get into DIVORCE S1 (2016) but by the end I was hooked.  SJP’s character is the antithesis of Carrie as she’s devoted her life as the family’s main breadwinner.  Her life in Divorce is neither enviable or sexy to be honest.  What it lacks in glossy sex appeal it has in rawness and realness.

The downtime also enabled me to actually finish a book for once.  I cannot recommend A Hundred Summers enough.  It’s set in the 1930’s and involves a rather complicated set of love stories.  I wouldn’t classify it as chic lit as it weaves complex characters and captures some of the cultural dynamics of the 1930s without being too focused on history.  For some reason, I find books set in the 1800s and early 1900s to be fascinating.  If you’re into that sort of thing, then you’ll enjoy this book, too.

And, of course, I spent a fair amount of time on my iPad scrolling through blogs.  Some new-to-me blogs I discovered and fell in love with are:

http://www.franishtheblog.com/   – Ok, I really like this blog.  Finally a typical sized woman blogging about clothing!!!!  As a fellow size 10, I enjoyed the way she shared the trials and tribulations of dressing in a world that loves size 0s.  To top that off, she’s also smart and graduated med school.

http://lagliv.blogspot.com/   – A working mom who’s a lawyer by day and juggles a ton with kids, working out, normal responsibilities like cooking, etc.  I found her extremely relatable as she chronicled everything from law school to childbirth to in-law issues.

http://www.themoneyhabit.org/  – I stumbled upon this blog thru the click-bait CNN article on the author retiring at 28 years old with $2M.  Um, yeah.  That got my attention.  Her blog got my mind thinking about ways we can trim the fat in our budget.  I’m a proponent of women taking control of their own finances at any age.

Keep swimming and have a great weekend!