Friday Favorite-Lands End Canvas

I never thought of Lands End for fashionable clothes. I know they have great quality for kids' clothes, and I've ordered swimsuits before, but never anything that I would wear. After a number of fashion bloggers began blogging about Lands End Canvas, I decided to try it out. Fortunately, Land's End has pretty great pricing, which combined with frequent discounts, meant that I could try a couple of pieces relatively inexpensively. I ordered this navy skirt that I thought would work well in both Spring and Summer. I can imagine wearing it to birthday parties, BBQs, ball games, and work. In fact, I've already worn it to work. I have to say that I really like it. What I like better is Land's End amazing customer service. A few days before my order arrived, I received a hand-written note about my order and the Land's End guarantee. I did need to return part of my order and the people at Land's End at Sears could not have been nicer. In fact, I got a cardigan while I was there that bears a remarkable resemblance to the J. Crew Jackie cardigans I love, but about $40 cheaper! I saw a number of great pieces while I was snooping around the Land's End department, like this dress that will need to join my closet. If you haven't thought about Land's End for your closet, take a look at their Canvas line. I think you'll like it and their customer service will make it your favorite too!

Land's End Canvas- my Friday Favorite

*FCC: This is not a paid advertisement. I bought all the pieces with my own money and this blog represents my own thoughts.*

Love Thursday-Popsicles

My post today is late because I spent most of the day with my older daughter (Em), trying to help her recover from a nasty bout of strep throat. Em never acts sick until she is really, really sick. She could be walking around with a insanely high temperature and you would never know it. Poor girl was not herself all day long. She fought the doctor when he tried to get a throat sample, she only nibbled at her food, she rarely smiled. It wasn't until late afternoon that I was able to entice her to eat a Popsicle. After another dose of Tylenol, she ate another Popsicle and gradually her fever broke. I feel so helpless when m,y kids are sick. I hate not being able to ease their pain. Thank God for Popsicles.

Love is sitting in bed with a cup of water, a Popsicle, and sitting through Disney and Nickelodeon. Love is snuggling a sick child and knowing that somehow mommy can make it better-slowly, and with a little help. I hope you find that Love (Thursday) that makes you feel better today.

*Edited: Em feels 100% better today. My husband asked her, "Aren't you glad that the doctor was able to give you antibiotics to make you feel better?" She replied, 'No, daddy, it was the Popsicles that made me feel better."

Flowers for Tuesday

I thought about giving you these flowers on Wednesday to get you over the hump day, but they were too sweet to save. My girls are obsessed with picking flowers, we have to watch them very carefully or they will pick flowers from our neighbors' yards. They loved being out on the ranch this weekend since they could pick all the flowers they wanted. I loved each bouquet. Little known fact: I selected Texas wildflowers for my wedding flower displays, along with hydrangeas, and roses. I still love those arrangements.

Rustic Rusted Texas

We spent this weekend in the Texas Hill Country.We explored.
We taught the girls to fish and skip rocks.
We picked wildflowers and hung out at the ranch.
And, of course, I took about a hundred pictures! I was so inspired by the great weather, great times, and rustic barns on the property. These are the first few images from the weekend; I hope you enjoy them.

Friday Favorite-Cards

Yesterday I received a number of calls, cards, and gifts, but these two cards are my favorites. How could they not be? Both of my girls made me cards during the school day and were so happy to show me when I picked them up. I love them. I love that they remembered it was my birthday and used their free time to draw and paint for me. I especially love how my older daughter spelled "Birthday" in her card below. These two cards are keepers, just like the artists.

Art and love from my kids- my Friday favorite.

Love Thursday- Birthday Greetings

Today is my Birthday! Whee- I don't look like I should be 25, do I? (Probably because I'm not.) No, today I am firmly in my mid-30s. What I love most about my birthday is not the presents part (though that is admittedly, great). It's the little calls and notes you get throughout the day. The call from your friend you haven't talked to in months; the early morning texts and calls from family. That's what I love. I love that people remember the day and choose to celebrate what you mean to them by making personal contact.

Today for Love Thursday, and as a birthday gift to me, reach out to someone you love-give them a call, send them a note, show up with flowers. I think a little act of love will make such a big difference. Happy Love Thursday everyone.

Favorite Photo 3

Holbox Island, Mexico

It's almost vacation time so I'm warming up my thoughts and mentally preparing. I can't wait to return to Mexico. I'm excited to take new pictures and revisit some of the places we went on our honeymoon; Las Brisas Hotel puffy shrimp tacos, I am coming for you! This shot was taken in the "town" part of Holbox Island. What a fabulous location. Have a great Wednesday!

Grosgrain Fabulous Dress

Photos- Grosgrain Fabulous
From time to time I like to peruse the wesbites and etsy stores of talented designers and seamstresses for inspiration. Not that I have gotten my sewing machine out in a while. But, I fully intend to start a project... soon. Until then, I love to look at what other people have created. One of my favorite places to go is Grosgrain Fabulous. Kathleen makes the loveliest dresses for her and frocks for her girls. I also love the way she repurposes clothing . But, when I saw this dress everything stopped. That. Dress. Is. Me. I must have it. Must Must Must. I think it looks like the perfect blend of ModCloth, Shabby Apple, Anthropolgie, and Boden. Love it. Great job once again, Kathleen. I am inspired!

Bedroom Makeover- Phase 1

I love design and decorating. I love finding inspiration. However, I find it next to impossible to actually make design decisions for myself. I'm not kidding when I said it took me three years to buy a kitchen table. This is why I get so excited over small decorating triumphs. A few months ago I decided that I needed to actually decorate our bedroom. Please tell me that I am not alone in leaving the bedroom sadly undecorated while concentrating on the rest of the house? Since it takes me so long to make design decisions, I sought professional help from Layla. She provided me with a wonderful inspiration room and was really helpful in suggesting several pieces. (Those curtains were the first set from Anthropologie I feel in love with but didn't buy, darn it.)
One suggestion I really liked was the idea of a metallic sunburst mirror of some type for the wall above the bed. I tried about 4 different sunburst mirrors and didn't like any of them-size was wrong, coloring was weird, style, etc. I really liked this mirror, but I am cheap-I mean frugal-I mean crafty. So, I decided to improvise. I found an interesting mirror at CostPlus-the rope wooden inset mirrors (ha ha he he) a design element in our bed.
*Please excuse, these are all iphone photos
The mirror was a steal $60 and just needed a little work.
I wanted a mottled look that blended both silver and gold. A couple cans of spray paint, about an hour later, and I had a different mirror. It turned out a bit more gold than I wanted. So, I attempted to bronze it a bit---you don't want to see what happened there. Let's just say that the mirror got another couple of coats of paint and I decided gold with a touch of silver was just fine
Here's a close-up of the finished product.

Project 1 done- only about 6 more to go! *I'm linking to Kimba's DIY Day even though this was the easiest DIY ever because I love her DIY days and always get so many great ideas.

Friday Favorite- My favorite accessory

This ring stayed on my mother’s right hand ring finger for at least 20 years. I remember growing up looking at this ring. I played with my mom's rings (this one and her wedding ring) during long church services, while sitting next to her. I loved the deep blue of this ring and the delicate setting. We believe that the ring originally came from my great grandmother, given to my grandmother when she was a child, then handed down to my mother. Mom estimates that the ring is at least 110 years old. It survived discovery when the Nazis blazed through Belgium during the war (the ring lay hidden at the bottom of an urn, I guess the Nazis weren't smart enough to steal from the urns). Very few of the family heirlooms survived the war which is a shame since my grandmother and great-grandmother had exquisite taste. Both were Belgian and everything passed down from these women is spectacular. Since very few pieces survived the war, this ring has tremendous sentimental value. I love that my mom wore a family heirloom on a daily basis. What good is an awesome piece of jewelry if you are not going to wear it? (A side note- one other piece that survived, a pair of gold and black earrings are in my regular rotation.)

I love this ring and desperately wanted to use it for my own engagement ring. Around the time I left for college, the ring disappeared. My father was in the military, so we moved quite often. It was not unusual for something to disappear into a box during one move and not reappear for several years (or several moves). After a few years, I assumed that the ring must have been lost. The time came for me to select my engagement ring. After a long summer in Europe, I was determined to have a simple Sapphire ring. The current style at that time in America was a big solitaire diamond while Europe favored a band of stones. I guess I cultivated European tastes from my mother's side of the family. My then boyfriend (now husband) exclaimed, “I just don’t know why you’d ever want a red ring!” Um, because I don’t. Can you imagine? Gee honey, real sweet proposal and all, but, I hate that ring. Anyhow, we shopped, selected, and he later designed my engagement ring. Pretty, vintage looking, very me. I still wondered about my great grandmother’s ring. Fast forward several years to my first daughter's birth. Our daughter is a September baby, whose birthstone is a Sapphire. Shortly after my daughter’s birth, my mom brought me a package. My mom told me that the package contained something for the baby, "I hope she’ll wear it when she is older. I want her to have it, from her namesake." In addition to loving my gradnmother's jewelry, I also loved her name and we gave our first daughter the same French/Belgian name, which is a story unto itself. Inside the package was a pink heart box and inside the box was my great grandmother’s ring! I told my mother that I really wanted that ring, but thought it was lost. "Oh, no." she said, "I just put it away for safe keeping." Bummer. I was so upset. I would have worn that ring every day, but it looks weird having a Sapphire, platinum and diamond set on one hand and a Sapphire gold and diamond set on the other. Oh well, at least it is now safely tucked in our fire safe for our daughter.

I hope my daughter will love this ring as much as I do.

Lesson learned. I now tell my mom exactly what pieces I admire and would like to have-she usually brings me the items to wear now! This ring and the story behind it are my Friday Favorite.
This post is also up at Accessory Whore.

No Book, No Problem!

Last night I joined a fun group of bloggers to welcome Bossy to Houston. It was a really nice get together to promote Bossy's (No) Book Tour. It was such a great time that I think all my favorite bloggers should go on (No) Book Tours...cough Mir cough! We were a small enough group that everyone had time and opportunity to get to know one another, but large enough to be fairly diverse. Two of my favorite bloggers were there. Jenny amazes me by somehow remembering who I am and not turning the other direction. Also, the lady brings the FUNNY (and is so super sweet). If you've read this site for any period of time, you know that I love Karen, who is probably the most true and gracious individual I have ever met. I was fairly confident that the evening would be fun, even if it was just the four of us-how cool would that have been?! I can't remember all the names of the other attendees (I know I will find them later through Bossy's write up). But everyone was so nice and welcoming. We even had a cameraman there (Hi Niko) to document the meeting. It was a little weird at first, but we managed to bring him into our fold soon enough-mwah ha ha. I'm glad there were other cameras there because mine stayed in my purse-stupid rookie mistake. Karen was nice enough to take another portrait of me! I know, I am super lucky-I love her work. If you visit my house and see a whole wall of pictures of me (from her photos), don't be surprised.

I have to say Bossy's No Book Tour was definitely more my speed than when Ree came to sign her book. I was able to talk with Georgia and get a taste for her life on the road. (I was 300 people back to see Ree.) The poor woman is driving 12,000 miles! Away from her family and friends for the sake of all of us. Austin, show up, meet her, you will have a blast. Georgia, next time we will provide all the pulled pork you could ever want. 12,000 miles deserves some award winning BBQ.

Another Texas Tour in Pictures

I think my blog is in danger of becoming a pictorial homage to bluebonnets. I'm ok with that. I've saved you from scrolling through too many pictures, I had 78 pictures just from this weekend! The photo above was taken out of my car window (husband was driving) on our way to Austin this weekend. Insane.
We drove through a rural area where there must have been at least 100 acres of wildflowers, look at that!
Amazing. Here you can see a little of the 'road" my husband took us on. I don't think the ranchers in the area had ever seen a minivan drive down that road!

This race is the reason we went to Austin. I forgot my Tutu for Tanner, but I had a good race. My friend Tobin told me about a new running method (4minutes running:1 minute rest). It went really well. I finished the 10K about one minute faster than my first 10K, but with hills and walking 11 minutes, so I had several miles at 9 minutes. Not too shabby!

Friday Favorite- Hello, Gorgeous

These bracelets are not super cheap, but they are so versatile. I got my first set of bracelets in October (on sale!) and have worn them at least once a week. They bring a little bit of glitz and shine to everyday outfits but are still work appropriate and can also dress up an evening look. I stopped in Anthropologie the other day and saw another set of five bracelets and thought-Hello, Gorgeous- and snapped those puppies up. I think they are a great addition to your accessory wardrobe and a nice little pick me up. Definitely my Friday favorite this week...also, I did not think I should post another bluebonnet picture even though I wanted to!

Love Thursday-Spring in Texas

I love Texas in the Spring. Wide open spaces of nothing but wildflowers.

Evidence that God blessed Texas.

I can think of nothing better to post for this week's Love Thursday; Texas, wildflowers (Bluebonnets!), and my camera. I hope you find Love in Spring, in an open road, in nature.

Being an Adult is Hard -#156

You can tell you are really an adult when, (now that Lent is over and I can shop again) Anthropologie has a sale and all I can find that I want to buy is a pair of curtains for our bedroom. Sad. Even worse was when I discovered that I still had the receipt for the ones I bought several weeks ago from another store and could return those. I want to have cute curtains, I just don't want to pay twice for them! Have I told you it takes me f-o-r-e-v-e-r to make decorating decisions? Back and forth, back and forth. It took me 3 years to buy our kitchen table-and I had a gift certificate, so money was not the problem. Hopefully this pair of curtains will be the winners! Ok, so I might go to the store and check out a few tops...

However, I did finally figure out how to redo my header. I'm much happier now. Yea me! No, I will not say how long it took. Years of school folks, years.

Spring in Texas in pictures

Bluebonnets and barn- Smithville, Texas
Field of Flowers- Brenham, Texas Photo courtesy of my 3 year old, M
Photo courtesy of my 5 year old, Em
Lest you think this weekend was all about wildflowers, here's a shot from the dining room of a place we stopped to eat on Friday. Don't all fine eateries have deer and bobcats mounted on the wall?

Friday Favorites-Tickle Monster

This Friday favorite is for all those mommies, daddies, aunties, grandparents, or just folks who need a great children's book. I bought Tickle Monster this past Christmas; we have really enjoyed reading this book ever since. It is written by Josie Bissett (yes, that Josie Bissett). It is a funny, cute book that involves LOTS of tickling. My girls love it. It helps get the wigglies and gigglies out before bedtime.
My girls love the illustrations and the fun lines. It is a fun book, definitely one of our Friday Favorites.