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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

IMG_8378

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!

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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!

 

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Amazon Prime Day – Worth The Hype?

Is it Black Friday or the middle of July?  With Amazon Prime Day and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale it feels a bit like the holidays, no?  I must admit I got sucked into Amazon Prime Day.  Truth be told, Amazon has been my saving grace as a busy woman.  Diapers, wipes, detergent, shoes, you name it – I’ve bought it with the click of a button.

Working full-time got in the way of too much Amazon Priming.  Is that a real word, I don’t think so.  Anyways, I did manage to snag a few deals and let a few others pass by.  I’ll start with the big one I didn’t get.

Instant Pot – This thing has a cult-like following with some of my mom friends.  It seems you either love it or you don’t.  It’s application is ridiculously convenient especially for someone like me who forgets to thaw most everything.  My reason for not getting one is somewhat silly or perhaps paranoid.  I just couldn’t do it for safety reasons.  I know, I know.  There are safeguards in-place, but my brain couldn’t do it.

iRobot Roomba Vacuum – With a 70 lb lab dog at home the struggle with pet hair is REAL.  I’ve used a Swiffer, Dustbuster, and the beloved Dyson Animal vacuum.  I’m sick of spending so much time cleaning pet hair; hence the Roomba purchase.  The reviews left me uncertain this was the right choice but I went for it anyways.  Figure with Amazon’s great return policy I couldn’t go wrong.

Greenies Dental Dog Chews – It appears my dog was the focus, eh?  Amazon’s hype was worth it for this purchase.  These dental chews are painfully expensive.  I think I scored them 40% off.  I do love a good deal.

Kids Bento Box – This is the deal that got away from me.  I really, really wanted to snag a few of these during the Prime sale, but alas real life got in the way.  By the time I checked there was a waitlist for ’em.  Hoping they’ll run more deals on Black Friday.

Overall I think Prime Day is worth the hype with one caveat – you have to be available to check when new deals are released.  I’m not able to be glued to my phone all day which made it difficult to snag the popular deals.  First world problems, my friends.