Love Thursday-Love the 20 year old You

This is a love letter to who I was and how my past makes me who I am and who I will be. "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you going to love somebody else?"' Ru Paul


It’s me fifteen years from now and Girl, I have some stuff to tell you. This year is HARD. Like rock your world hard. Not academically. Thank God. The only mistake you ever made academically was taking Russian. Let us not speak of that again. No. This year goes down as one of the worst because someone very close to you dies very unexpectedly. There is no one to blame and you will spend the better part of 2 years processing things. It’s OK. You need to ask those questions. You need to make this journey. Believe it or not, you actually emerge stronger and with a better sense of your faith than before. I have to tell you, you never forget. In fact, you make good on your promise and one of your children is named for her. The only piece of advice that will make any difference is to ask for help. You’ll need it. You’ll need friends too. Those people you think are your friends, they are not. They are mean girls and always will be. I wish I could say to cut them out of your life. But, what you go through with those girls will teach you very valuable lessons. By the time you reach your final semester of college, you are a very good judge of character and 9.9 times out of 10 you are 100% right. It’s a hard-learned lesson.

Try to relax. You spend a lot of time obsessing about things. One issue that takes up a lot of your energy is love and romance. You feel deep down that you are not going to find “the one” in college. And, you’re right. But he does show up. In a most unexpected place. In fact, to this day, I’m quite sure you are the only two people to have met in that place and gotten married. Yes, you’re married. It all works out. And sweetie, you both “just know” immediately. So, stop wishing it would happen and just enjoy. But, not that guy. The one you go out with because he sort of fit the list? Yeah, he screws you up for a loooong time in a very dangerous way. That teaches you something too. But it’s a lesson I wish you never had to learn. When you have questions about a guy and get a weird feeling in the pit of your stomach, that’s intuition Honey and its telling you to get the hell out. You make that last mistake in law school too. Oh yeah, that works out. Stop worrying so much. Geez. You are like a world class worrier! Good call on those two classes that are supposed to prep you for law school. They do. But, extremely bad call on registering for Economics. Your College Career Counselor is wrong YOU do NOT need that for law school and it stresses you way the heck out. Take a photography class instead. You love art and it would be quite useful later on.

Be easier on you. You expect so much of yourself. Too much. Nobody is that perfect and you shouldn’t try to be. You manage to make the right decisions most of the time, even if most people would take the other road.

Good call on all the involvement with collegiate athletes. It’s one of the best parts of being at Texas. As a result, you know a ton of Olympians and NFL stars. That never ceases to be cool. Hang out more with the athletes. The frat guys are a dime a dozen, but the Olympians are where your stories are at…trust me. There’s a time when you can’t take all the defeat anymore. Stay strong, the Horns manage to pull it out in a few years and you will want to be around for those games. But, when someone offers you tickets to see the 2001 Big 12 Championship game in Irving say NO. I know the tickets are cheap and you’ll go with a great friend. But, trust me. Chris Simms hands the game to Colorado and it takes you years to recover. Years. And, you’re still bitter about it. So yes, Chris Simms is as big a douche as you think he is.

Get ready self, once you get through this year, things really start looking up. Just take it a little easier on the night of your 21st birthday. You end up taking way too many shots and the result is. Not. Good. Take a few more risks in your clothing. Your body will never look better. Start buying clothes that fit-really. You are tiny and you don't need to hide it. You are so confident in most areas of your life except your body, it's yours, learn to love it. But, don’t cut your hair. I know you are tempted. However, super short is not a good look on you. Trust me. Oh well, you’ll have to learn that lesson the hard way. Another hard lesson- when you are tempted to (rightly) tell your in-laws that they are being selfish ass-holes, send them the edited version of that letter. The one page you write does enough damage. On the up side, you never have to see those people again. Yes, they are completely selfish a-holes and you end up hating them for how they treat your husband. In this case your first impression of them is completely wrong. That lesson sucks for how much pain it causes your husband. Stock up on wine around the time your second daughter is born, you'll need it.

In general, drink more water, eat more vegetables, stop spending money on cheap things and always buy for quality. Also, buy some Apple and Starbucks stock, that'd be great.

you +15 years, a husband, 2 kids, and a couple degrees

Part of Joanna's Blog Hop and Love Thursday, inspired by Cassie Boorn.

Let's Play Dress-Up!

The other day I got the BEST surprise, one of my dearest friends asked me for fashion advice! I was so excited and replied with about a million exclamation marks. Even though the specifics of her situation might not apply to you, the general ideas will. I hope you will find something to inspire you. None of my suggestions involve buying new articles of clothing or following a trend.
My friend Amanda just had her second baby (adorable little Lucy) and returned to work Monday. Her main question to me was how to look stylish with the clothes she already has. Easy answer: Accessories! and Color! I am not one to follow trends. I believe in finding pieces you love that work for your body, regardless of what the designers say is in fashion. Your style should reflect you and should be FUN. If you don't feel comfortable in something, you won't wear it and that's just wasted money.

The items I'm highlighting are selected for new moms, meaning, they will draw the attention up to the neck and face, rather than the waist. One trend that is still office appropriate and Amanda can wear now (she lives up North where it is currently not the temperature of the sun) is scarves.

Lands End Canvas

Banana Republic

I love chunky necklaces and wear them frequently. I feel like they can make an outfit. I suggest pairing a white shirt with black pants and a bright necklace like red or turquoise. Or, a navy or dark shirt would work too. Just be aware of necklines. You don't want your necklace to "kiss" the neckline-above or below only, not on. I love this necklace from Anthropologie and this one from Francesca's Collection for turquoise options.


A great bag serves two purposes, it holds diapers, wipes, and keys and adds pop to your outfit. I know Amanda loves Vera Bradley, this bag has a similar look at a great price. Again, you can pair this with a basic black ensemble, or navy with a pop of yellow or light green.

In addition to accessories, another great way of updating your wardrobe is trying out new color combinations. Combine navy and yellow with a pop of red (a necklace or pair of shoes). Bright green works well with navy or white and red. Purples and blues will also complement each other.

As the baby weight starts fading away, I suggest accentuating your waist with a bold belt or sash. As far as clothing, I love the idea of a tunic over a pair of pants with a belt during the week and jeans or khakis on the weekend. I would look for swimsuit cover-ups to use as tunics, like this one or this one. (Yes, they're both Liberty of London-big surprise!)I'd also suggest looking for shirts and dresses that have details near your neck and face.

Amanda, I hope these ideas helped you a little. Let me know when you are ready to shop!

Things I've Learned About Running...So Far

I have less than a month left before I voluntarily run 13.1 miles in my first half-marathon. I honestly never thought I'd be at the point where I can run over 12 miles (heck, I was worried about running 5 miles) without dying. I am not a runner. I do not get a runner's high. I do not look forward to long runs. I do not really look forward to any runs. However, I have set a goal for myself, and I intend to achieve it. I'm really proud of where I am and what I've accomplished so far. For anyone else who is thinking of jumping off the deep end and training for a half or full marathon (even a 5 or 10k), here are a few things I've learned along the way:

The right equipment is critical. Good running shoes make a world of difference, as do the rest of your running outfit. Cotton is rotten-cotton undies, socks, shorts, and shirts are not good for running. Well, I guess you can wear them if you like being sweaty and getting blisters. My favorites- Lululemon running skirt, Under Armour unders, Nike and Champion tops and jackets.

Chocolate Gu is good, all others taste like Poo.

A good running music mix is crucial-without Britney, Kanye, and some old school 80s, I don't make it past mile 3.

When running in the summer, bring a towel.

That stuff you feel on your legs when you sweat during runs? That's salt. Yeah, gross.

Leave Gatorade, water, and Gu in the car and refuel each lap (I run around Memorial Park and stop after each lap).

The Galloway 4:1 method is pure gold.

I do not look pretty when I run. If you know how to look pretty while running, please leave a comment!

There are not enough cute male runners at Memorial Park on Saturday mornings. I love my husband, but he doesn't run with me and I need something to look at.

I eat more than I think I have ever eaten in my life after running, counting the two times I was pregnant. I always want to eat the worst foods after I run-like chocolate, milkshakes, and hamburgers...ahem.

Try signing up for a race in the winter or early spring- summer training is brutal!

I am crazy enough to have signed up for another half marathon, but nowhere near crazy enough to sign up for a full marathon.

Do any of my running buddies have anything else to add (T, Alex)?

Friday Favorite- Mini Design Flea Market

My friend T has joined forces with two amazing ladies to host a one of a kind design market this weekend. Anything T touches turns to gold and Holly and Linsey have amazing taste. I think this is going to be a huge success and a ton of fun!
If you are in Houston this weekend, you should stop by. I think you'll find something amazing...I plan to.
Houston's First Mini Design Flea-my Friday Favorite. See you there!

Love This Thursday- The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway

All images from Grosgrain Fabulous

Normally on Love Thursday I try to be a little insightful or deep or talk about "Wuv, true wuv" (name that movie). But, today it's just the love I have for this dress. Because that love is deep and abiding. Godhelpme, Kathleen's dresses speak to me. It's like she makes them just for me, but then I never win...One day I will and this dress would be perfect to win. How fun! What gorgeous pictures you could take in this dress. I love it. Kathleen's creativity and ideas continue to astound me. Even if you do not sew, or sew poorly (like me), her site is full of inspiration, color, style, and creativity.
So, I am entering the The Streamer Frock Grosgrain Giveaway.

Drilling on the Horizon?

For the past couple months, I’ve been thinking and thinking about how to blog about a topic that is really important to our lives. I couldn't find a good way of addressing everything I want to say. Over the past few weeks, a number of friends and family have asked me how the Horizon oil spill is impacting our lives. After seeing this story online today and seeing some online chatter, I thought it was time to tell my part of the story why I'm pissed, and sad, and angry, and a little bit hopeful. I also thought it would be easier to just put it out there so everyone would know how we are and what the future might hold.

I was really happy to see that a judge took action to halt the drilling moratorium. For those of you who don’t know, my husband works in the deepwater oil industry. Drilling for oil quite literally provides for our family. When I first heard about the Deepwater Horizon explosion, my first thought was, Oh my God, please don’t let any one we know be on the rig. Thankfully, none of our friends were on the rig. But, it is the exact type of rig that my husband has worked on before. *Note that my husband rarely goes to work on the rigs. He is a business guy and will go on rig every once in awhile, but not to the extent of the other guys in the company.* My second thought was, We have to make sure that the rest of the guys (who work for the company) have enough work because this is going to get bad before it gets better. My third-Great; from what I’ve heard about BP, this is going to be a long process. We know several guys who have worked for and with BP on similar projects and BP is notoriously bad about making decisions and delays.

Of course, I worried about the oil spill’s effect on the economy. I knew the Gulf economy was going to be hit through fishing and tourism as well as a rise in the price of oil. I also knew that there would be a domino effect from the rig workers and engineers that can’t work as a result of the spill. The life of an drill rig worker involves long periods of time on rigs at a moment’s notice. So, most of the wives in the company don’t work. If rigs are not being drilled, this means that these families have no way of bringing income to their homes. We needed to make sure that our guys were taken care of. Thankfully, over the past year, some of the drilling projects the company works on have migrated somewhat out of the Gulf to other areas of the globe. If we can keep working outside the Gulf, we should be fine. It's been an anxious couple of months for me, but I think we should be fine. But, that certainly doesn’t help the other families who work only in the Gulf. It doesn’t help the shrimpers or birds or the thousands of others affected by this mess.

One problem with relying on oil is that obtaining the oil (whether on land or at sea) is dangerous. Inherently dangerous. We have accepted the risk as a society. Until a better solution is discovered, we accept the risks of drilling for oil. There are mechanisms to make drilling somewhat safer and kinder to the environment, but it will never be 100% safe or 100% clean. The Horizon well (if it had been drilled properly) would have been a solid source of oil. From the beginning, it was apparent that the only way to slow the spill was to side drill to siphon off some of the oil. Of course its going to take time to set up a new well. But, it seems like everything should be moving much faster than it is. I heard a news show touting several clean-up solutions that, for whatever reason, have been blocked or denied. We are a very green family. I have been heavily involved in conservation efforts for decades-I was green long before it was cool or trendy. We live with a finite number of resources and we need to protect and preserve what we have. The lack of action cleaning up the spill and protecting the rest of our coastline is maddening.

I think the time is right to start drilling again. However, this time the government should demand full drilling and spill remediation plans from every company seeking to drill. (BP did not have to submit these plans since the government deemed an explosion/spill was low risk!) The remediation plans should be realistic and able to be readily deployed. Many companies are already employing additional testing prior to drilling, and I think that will and should continue. As long as there is demand for oil, there should be investment in oil remediation methods-whether by private or public investment.

I am incredibly sad for the families of the men who went down with Horizon. I am also sad for the families who are in limbo, for the Gulf waters and shore. Most of all I'm mad at BP. I'm not alone feeling sad or mad at the situation. I just hope it resolves quickly-for everyone involved.

Friday Favorite- Lululemon Best Running Skirt Evah!

I've already mentioned how impressed I am with Lululemon's philosophy. I also think their clothes are pretty great. Even though I only have one piece from Lululemon, it is the best running skirt. It's really cute and performs great. I wear it on my long runs and there is no sweat-during Houston's summer no less! I really like that the skirt says in place and doesn't ride up when I run. I've worn this for several long runs and have never had a problem with chafing or bunching maybe because it has built in shorts? Oh, and it makes your butt look really great!

Lululemon running skirt, today's Friday Favorite.

*Not a paid post. I used my money and a gift card to buy this product and I would buy it again. If Lululemon wants to give me a skirt, I'd be happy to review and keep it. Or even a coupon...a discount of some sort... But, they didn't.

Love Thursday-Love the Moment

A couple weeks ago, I purchased a running skirt (LOVE!) from Lululemon. I had a gift certificate and always heard great things about their clothing, so I was excited to try them out. One thing that I really liked was their packaging. I received a laminate bag (reuseable) for my purchase and it has all these great sayings on it.

Breathe Deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life.

That which matters the most should never give way to that which matters the least.

Do one thing a day that scares you.

Life is full of setbacks. Success is determined by how you handle the setbacks.

Your outlook in life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.

The world is changing at such a rapid rate that waiting to implement changes will leave you 2 steps behind. Do it now, Do it Now, Do It Now!

Creativity is maximized when you are living in the moment.

Dance, Sing, Floss, and Travel

The conscious brain can only hold one thought at a time. Choose a positive thought.

I’m not sure who is behind Lululemon, but I really like their message. I’ve been thinking of these little mantras ever since I got the bag. It goes back to loving you and loving where you are, who you are at this moment. That’s my Love Thursday- you, the power of you, and how we live this moment.

Another Crafty Piece of Art

I am finally decorating our master bedroom. You may recall that craft projects take me forever to complete; this project was no exception.
I have a blank wall in between the hallway door and the door leading to the master bathroom (above). I realize that the picture above jumps to the finished project, but how boring would a picture of a blank brown wall be? The space has always bugged me, what should I use to decorate there? I saw this sign in a catalog early this Spring and loved it. Not enough to pay over $100 for it, but I loved it. A few days later, I saw a tutorial on younghouselove for their subway sign and thought that method might allow me to mimic the idea of the wooden subway sign.

I bought a plain 24x24 inch block of wood (MDF, I think) from Lowe's that I think cost less than $1. I had white and red craft paint and mod podge, and I was ready to begin.
I was ready to work on my piece when I realized we were heading to our friend's ranch that weekend. Darn, another weekend and no project. Until I remembered that the ranch also is home to this "shop"/craft room extraordinaire (below). So, to the ranch I went with my supplies.After sanding the wood, I painted it white to pop against the dark wall color. I used a dry brush and wiped off with a damp paper towel. After the paint dried, I selected a phrase "Every day I Love You More" and enlarged it. I printed the saying with a space for the "Love" and with the word "Love." I tried both painting the Love red and using alphabet stickers. I liked the look of the stickers better, but if you can print it in color (regular was $6, color was $64!), you would certainly save some time. It probably took me 2 months from paint to mod podge because I tried different fonts, lettering, colors, etc. If you are less...ahem, shall we say concerned with how things look, it wouldn't take you as long!
Once I was happy with the look of the letters, I was ready to mod podge. Those are not air bubbles you see, it is the wood grain underneath. I liked the grainy texture of the wood coming through my piece of paper. If you don't want that to happen, I suggest gluing a piece of cardboard or poster board underneath the paper first.
The final product.Not perfect, but I like it-at least until I add this to the room (um, probably in its place-oops)!
*I'm linking to Today's Creative Blog Get Your Craft On Tuesday since I get tons of great ideas from her site.
I'm also linking to Jen's Weekend Wrap Up Party because she finds the best projects (I add at least 3 projects a week to my to do list from her ideas!) and has one of my most favorite blogs ever.
Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend wrap up  party!
because Jen is linked with the CSI project and this project also fits the Wall Decor theme, I'm linking here

Guest Post-Effortless Anthropologie

I have a guest post up today at Effortless Anthropologie while Roxy is enjoying herself in Mexico, lucky duck. Please stop by and check it out. Roxy has a great site full of lots of Anthropologie fashion; I've gotten lots of great styling tips and ideas from her. I love her site and her style and am excited to have a guest post there.

Friday Favorite-Anthropologie

If you know me in real life, you know about my latest obsession, Anthropologie. I've made no secret about my love for fashion and dressing up. I like clothes and enjoy finding the "right" pieces. For years I've been drawn to Anthropologie's stores and styling; the stores are truly an experience, not just clothing displays. About 2 years ago, I decided to dress for me-to find my style and only purchase things I loved. Enter Anthropologie. I've steadily added new Anthro pieces bit by bit and rarely go more than 2 or 3 days without wearing an Anthro piece (clothes or accessories). I love Anthro pieces because the tailoring is impeccable and I always get tons of compliments because a little pop of Wow does a lot for an outfit.

I looked at this blouse and missed when it went on sale. I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I called Anthropologie customer service and they helped me look through every store until we located a top in my size and color in Louisiana. Called, ordered, shipped (for free). It is now one of my favorite tops.

This dress-will be mine-it is perfection.
The skirt? Again, perfection.

You can see some of my latest purchases here and on Sunday I will have a guest post up at
Anthropologie is my Friday Favorite. What about you? Are you an Anthroholic too? Do you have a favorite Anthro item you've been eyeing, or do you prefer to shop somewhere else.
*As much as I love fashion, I love college football equally and this week has been a blast from the sanctions FINALLY levied on USC (CHEATERS) to the conference realignment, it has been a great week. I am working on a few posts on the subject and will post my thoughts once all the moves are final. I will quote DeLoss Dodds "Texas didn't start this, but we're going to finish it." (paraphrasing). Oh yeah, how long until college football starts?!

Love Thursday-Family Celebration

Wednesday was my husband's 40th birthday. Since we had a weekend of celebrating and a huge party to plan for next weekend, we had a simple dinner, cake, handmade cards, and balloons. We dined on pizza rolls and chocolate cake. Just the four of us. And, it was nice. We were full of laughter, funny questions, and love. That's what it is all about for us-family. Finding out that it isn't necessary to have a big party or amazing dinner out (though those are nice), it's spending time with those you love most and simply being. Happy Love Thursday.

The Big 4-0

My husband turns 40 today. He insists it isn't a big deal, but I still think I should acknowledge this milestone. Instead of writing some smooshy post about 40 things I love about him (which he will not read since he does not understand this "blogging thing"'). I thought I'd share some questions and answers about daddy from his girls (full list of questions found at E is almost 6 and M is almost 4.

What does your daddy do that makes you laugh ?

How old is your daddy?
E- 39

What is daddy's favorite thing to watch on Tv?
M- Hunting

What does your daddy do when you are not around?
E-Go hunting

If your daddy becomes famous, what will it be for?
E- Hunting
M-Go hunting

What is your daddy really good at?
E- Hunting (notice a trend?)
M- Food

What does your daddy do for his job?
M- Computer

What is your daddy's favorite food?
E- Salad
M- Meat

Where is your daddy's favorite place to go?
E- Lowe's
M-Tool store

How do you know your daddy loves you?
E- When I laugh
M-So Much

What does your mommy love about your daddy?
E-I don't know
M-I love you so much

Fun, Fun, Birthday Fun.

In celebration of my husband's 40th birthday, I planned a weekend full of the things he loves: BBQ, adult beverages, fishing, swimming, some shooting, and good friends.

He's an easy man to please-give him a fun weekend kicking back with friends on a ranch in Texas and he's happy. What makes you most happy? If you haven't had your 4oth birthday-do you have any fun plans? I think mine will be lazing on a beach somewhere.

Friday Favorite- Modern Bird Studios Art

Modern Bird Studios Photo

I love decorating with photographs. The more graphic and compelling the image, the better. I have a series of close ups on canvas in our dining room that make such a statement. I'm always interested in unique ways of using my photos. I found the perfect combination of modern/graphic asthetic with sentimentality that results in a great design impact- Modern Bird Studios. Their work is all over the internet and I have fallen in love. In fact, I'm sort of obsessed with winning at least one of their pieces. (Ok, I will likely break down soon and buy one, but I really want to do a series of photos, so I need to win one!) I follow them on Twitter in case there's ever a giveaway or discount for their pieces (which happens frequently). Modern Bird takes photos, enlarges them, and paints them on wood. Oh, what amazing results, like the one below.
Modern Bird Studios Photo

Modern Bird Studios custom art, my Friday favorite.

*This is not a paid post. I just really love Modern Bird's work and want to share it with you. Although if Modern Bird wants to give me a free piece, I will gladly take it!

Love Thursday-Love You More

I've been working on a project (which I hope to finish and post soon) that uses a large poster. I've printed out a bunch of different phrases and have given the rejected ones to the girls to use. The girls love to cut the paper, use stickers, colors, etc to make their own art. I found this sign hanging on our back door the other day.Em colored the sign and added "Mom" to "Every Day I Love You More." What a sweetheart. A perfect example of finding love everywhere. Happy Love Thursday.