Blogging tips

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gauchos or Wide Leg Crops?

My closet is very full. Like ridiculously full.
Last year I did a 30 for 30 challenge with Kendi to try to fall back in love with my closet.

The thing is, I probably have hundreds of pieces of clothing that I just can't seem to get rid of when I go through it every few months.

So now I'm trying a new challenge- I'm challenging myself to pull out some old pieces, things I haven't worn in years...literally, and put these clothes to good use again.

I'm hoping you will tell me if they should stay in my closet or find their way to someone else's.

First stop in the back of the closet- these lovelies..or are they?


Gouchos? Wide Leg Crop pants? Bermudas?


Whatever you want to call them, these brown Ann Taylor Loft bottoms have been in my closet since I started staying home with Madison over 5 years ago.


I always thought they looked weird on me, but gave them another go today.
I think I dig 'em now.

Maybe it's the sassy shoes.

Same shoes, different day.

Or maybe the curls and sassy red lipstick?
Can someone tell me how to keep my lipstick from spidering out from my aging lips, please?

{emerald green ruffle top - NY & Co, brown pants - Ann Taylor Loft, Fabulous shoes -Charlotte Russe, new lip gloss- Revlon Fire}

So? Pants- Keep? Donate? What's your vote?

Let's Meet Polkadots and Lemonade

This weekend was gorgeous out in the desert. Temperatures in the 80s and 90s, breezy and downright lovely. These small tastes of fall get me all excited for warm, comfort food (and football season!).

Seems the perfect time to introduce one of the newest members of the Fairly Fabulous sponsorship family, Rachel the gal behind Polkadots and Lemonade and Handmade Parties To Go. She is sharing a yummy recipe with us today- just in time for Fall cooking! Wahoo!

Hello, new friends! I'm Rachel, from Polka Dots and Lemonade. Meagan is so graciously allowing me to write a guest post for her awesome blog!

First off, a brief bit of background info:

I'm originally from Texas, although I've recently become a Californian. The hubby is from Connecticut (he made it to Texas as fast as he could...). However, he's a Yankee at heart. They're an interesting breed of people, those Yankees - although I always know I'm in for a laugh when I'm around them!

But, without those same Yankees, I wouldn't be able to cook Italian food like I do. Which is a good thing, considering the hubby is part Italian. :-)

So, I'm sharing a staple in our house - Sauce. And, yes, that's what we call it. Sauce. It's one of my absolutely favorite things to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! You can see how much my girls enjoy it here!


106 oz (approximately) can of crushed tomatoes (easily found at your local Sam's or Costco, or you can use a few smaller cans)
28 oz can of tomato puree
28 oz can of tomato sauce
28 oz can of italian-style diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz can of tomato paste
Yellow onion, chopped (I actually puree mine because the hubby can't stand onions if the can see them, but you can chop them however you like!)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4-5 shakes of crushed red pepper flakes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese (or 1/4 grated)
1/4 cup dried basil
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
Palmful of white sugar
2 bay leaves
Black pepper, to taste

Add EVOO (just enough to saute with, about one turn around the pot), crushed red pepper flakes, onion, and garlic to a large stockpot. Saute over medium-high until onions are translucent in color.
Pour in all tomatoes. Stir.

Add all remaining ingredients. Stir.
Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Allow sauce to simmer on stove all day, stirring occasionally. The all day simmering is, in my opinion, imperative to the success of your sauce. I feel that it really allows the flavors to blend together. You could probably keep it in a crockpot on low all day, if you have to leave the house for whatever reason, I've just never tried it.

Taste your sauce periodically, as well - remember, you can always add more seasonings to taste, you just can't take away!

Serve over your favorite pasta, paired with a salad (and garlic bread, if you're a carbaholic like me!).
Super easy, right? And, you can even freeze your sauce for a quick meal later on!

Thank you so much to Meagan for allowing me to share one of our favorite recipes, and thank YOU for reading! You can learn even more about me here.

Thanks for sharing, Rachel!!! Rachel blogs about her husband, two sweet girls, and their recent move from Texas to Sunny Southern California. She's a hoot!

Rachel is hosting a giveaway from her awesome party shop next week here at Fairly Fabulous, too! Have you checked out her shop Handmade Parties To Go yet?

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter, too!

Monday, August 27, 2012


I have a heavy heart today.
Lately, I feel like I'm just failing. At everything.
Being a mediocre mom, an insufficient wife, a downright lousy housekeeper, super crummy Christian and blogging? Well, needless to say it has become second fiddle. Or maybe like 15th fiddle to well, life.

Madison started public school two weeks ago. Monday, August 13th to be exact.
It was a tough decision for us, but one we felt God directed. Breadwinner helped walk her in to her class, then left for the rest of the week on travel for work.
Single mom for the first week back to school. The first week of a brand new schedule- which included very early mornings (and we are not morning girls), no more napping, early bedtimes, and did I mention many, many more hours of me working at the preschool with creative projects, decor, marketing, and web works on massive changes because an awesome preschool consultant was hired to make humongous changes and grow the school asap?
Yes, I know that was a run on sentence and I'm sure the punctuation was not correct.
I have seen more sunrises the past two weeks than I've seen my ENTIRE life, I'm sure of it.
Wednesday night was our second consecutive week attending family night at church- Awana summer program for the kids, parenting class for us (us minus breadwinner this week). We know it's important for us to be more involved at church and work on a great Christian foundation for our girls. Unfortunately, Awana runs until an hour and a half after their new bed times. Makes for a challenging evening.
Thursday, August 16th, Madison turned 6. Madison woke up to a room full of balloons, streamers, and cupcake bunting along with party hats and cake for breakfast. She even had a special birthday girl badge to wear to school.
It was Breadwinner's b-day, too. He made it home in time to rush off with us to Madison's back to school night, then come home for a few presents and bedtime.
Friday, he picked up Madison from school and took her for a special afternoon just the two of them, including shooting in the desert- with a real gun (gulp) (did I mention I didn't grow up with guns? and they make me kinda nervous? but I realize the major importance of gun safety- wow, talk about a tangent), out to lunch, then to pick out her very special birthday scooter and helmet.
Meanwhile, Kennedy and I worked at the preschool until well after 5:30pm prepping for their 1st week of school last week.
Saturday both girls took Madison's new scooter and helmet for a spin.
Our pastor asked that more people try to attend the Saturday evening service, so we decided there wasn't enough new happening this week, let's try that, too!
Another much later than the 'new normal' bedtime night.
Sunday was Miss Kennedy's birthday-4 years old. Her birthday lunch choice was In and Out, then a special trip to Target to pick out her new scooter and helmet, a few more errands, floating in the pool, dinner, and prepping for another week.

Monday, was Kennedy's first day of Pre-K. She was so tired after school, grumpy was the best I could get.
First day of school all the teachers were extra cute, so it seemed the perfect day to take new staff photos for our school website. I didn't realize how much sun I'd gotten in the pool the day before until I looked at the photo one of the teachers snapped for me. Oops!

Monday night, I donned one of my many aprons (this one was my grandmothers) to make a healthy dinner again.

We've been eating less than healthy, grab and go type food for too many weeks. Time to get back in the swing of healthy dinners.
The rest of last week brought challenges for me. Changes at the preschool have trickled down to me and are now causing us to make decisions about our girls' education. Sometimes being a mom is harder than I realize. I'm learning that the best decisions for my family aren't always the most comfortable or easiest.

Living our lives the way God intended, well, as I told Breadwinner today, it isn't always rainbows and unicorns. God has been SO good to us- and our sacrifice has been so minimal. Obviously it's time for us to be a little 'uncomfortable'.

It's just taking more adjustment than I realized. In our lives, and in my heart.
I've been apologizing a lot on the blog lately. For not being here, for sharing too deeply...I don't want to apologize anymore. This is my little space on the internet. It may not be pretty, but it is representative of me, and this stage in my life.
If it helps one person to read my struggles, well, that's great.
But if it's just a place for me to document and look back, well that's ok, too.
I'll do my best to be here providing small snippits into our lives and all the furniture refinishing, re-decorating, crafting, and creating I've worked on the last year or so. Oh, and yes, I've put together pretty stinking cute outfits lately, but no, I have not taken any photos.

Our lives seem to be changing lately, so it seems only natural the blog should change. I guess it's really nothing new, this little space has undergone lots of change since last November- content, of these days I'll figure out what this space is supposed to be. In the meantime, it's just nice to be blogging.

Tomorrow, a new friend is sharing on the blog. Be sure to come back for a yummy fall recipe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

What I Wore...Sunday?

This week when we got home from church Breadwinner asked me,

"So, is this like a What I Wore Sunday thing on your blog now?"

For the past two weeks, the only time I managed to photograph an outfit was Sunday after church.
It's Summer, for another few days anyway, and we've done our best to enjoy it.
Lazy pool days, visits with friends, catch up on laundry don't really want to see what I wear these days. It's not usually very impressive.
So it has become, What I Wore Sunday or What I Wore When I Actually Got Out of the House to do More Than Drive My Girls to Swim Class or Grocery Shop.

Either way, school starts back next week for Madison-1st grade and our first go at public school.
Lots of things are changing at our house.
Hopefully that means more cute outfits and more scheduled blogging.
For now- the past two Sundays...

It's been several months since I wore this skirt. I have it in white, too.
Sometimes you just need a little ruffle in your day.

And a pop of color
And big earrings.

{ stripe open shoulder tee, black ruffled skirt, tear drop animal print earrings-NY&Co, green bracelet-Allorahandmade, hot air balloon stamped necklace-Elevate Swag from Bragaboutit }

Last week a box arrived in the mail. An amazingly glorious box from GA.
My best friend Kimberly sends the BEST boxes.
This one had some belated birthday happies for me and a few birthday happies for the girls (Did I mention August is birthday month here? Madison and Breadwinner share August 16th and Kennedy follows August 19th-sheesh!)
I loved this dress so much I wore it into town for a few quick errands (birthday related of course) Saturday and again to church and a birthday party Sunday!

Do you love it as much as I do?
I'm guessing it came from her shop, Eclectic Elegance. Did you know they carry clothing now?


Did you see my new necklace, too? I love it so much I couldn't stop looking at it for two days!

{ new dress-gift from Kimberly (I'll get confirmation on where you can get one!), black tank and belt-Forever 21, anchor necklace-gift from Kimberly, white enamel bracelet-old from NY&Co }

Are you ready for back to school? Structure? Change?
This will be Madison's first year in public school and they start at 7:30am! Did I mention I don't do mornings?

Goodbye Summer, Hello new life! Wish me luck!

Linking up with Lindsey, again- number 122 this week! Check out her link up for some fashion inspiration.

Did you see the winner of the GroopDealz giveaway announced? Wasn't you? Don't worry- there will be more fabulous GroopDealz giveaways in the future!