4.22.2015

Another Stitch Fix Win


Another month, another Stitch Fix post. If you didn't know yet, Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service for regular ol' people like us. Once a month, you get shipped five items, all personally chosen for you based on an extensive style questionnaire you fill out. You keep what you want and send back what you don't in a prepaid package. For those of us too busy to shop (ha!) or too poor to afford a full time personal stylist, this program is awesome.

The cost is $20 a month, however! that $20 goes towards the price of whatever it is you decide to keep. Also, if you decide to keep all five items? You get 25% off the entire purchase.

I decided to keep the gray skinny pants and top I'm wearing in the photos above. Super comfortable and casual. Right on point, stylist!

As much as I loved the below flowy top, it just wasn't a "had to have" item right now.


these earrings were super cute and I was super tempted but passed...only 'cause I'm on a budget right now!


and this top...so not my style, but hey...one dud in the pack? Not too bad. 


Seriously, if you haven't already, check out Stitch Fix and start filling out your style questionnaire. 


4.21.2015

A Response To That Viral Birthday Invite

If you've been around the internets lately, have a Facebook account or an interest in really silly people, you've probably read the viral story heard 'round the world about a mom who wrote a detailed email about what gifts she would and would not accept for her son's first birthday party.

I know I'm a little late to the party (pun intended, and had I gotten that email in my inbox, I wouldn't have shown up at all!) but the more and more I thought about it, the more I just had to voice my opinion. (Because bloggers always have to have a say, didn't you know?)

In case you missed it, below is the original email (or you can click here to read the full story):


I'm still not completely sold that this story is the truth and not just a hoax. I mean, can people really be that stupid?! Even so, if it is or isn't, I do know that people like the supposed author exist in real life and you can never waste an opportunity to rebut idiocy.

So below, I have penned my own invite letter. I used the original as a base for what I had to say, except I went about my own invite a little different.

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Dear friends and family, 

with the boys' birthdays coming up, we thought we would ask for your company to help celebrate their special day. However, as it may be special to them (and us - the gushing parents), we realize that not everyone's lives revolve around our bundles of joy and if you have previous plans, please don't feel bad or pressured to attend at all. We love you and very much appreciate every effort you have made in our children's lives thus far. 

I have not provided my mom and sister-in law with a detailed list of toys my children would like for their birthday because I am not a treacherous she-devil. I also want to teach my kids to appreciate what they are given and to realize it's the thought that counts. By demanding party goers to buy only what I specifically tell them to would not only be an abhorrent reflection on the person I am, but it would also serve as a huge disservice to my precious angel babies. 

Since I don't have a precise list of acceptable things to buy for my kids' birthday, please feel free to bring whatever gift you like. Furthermore, if you don't want to/can't bring or purchase a gift for my heavenly beings from above, that is absolutely okay. I actually feel like a complete ignoramus for even bringing up the topic of birthday gifts on an invitation but people these days can be so greedy and inconsiderate and I would never want to come across that way to the people I love.

Also, please don't feel the need to include a gift receipt with the gift. (Here I go again...talking incessantly about gifts for my impressionable offspring. What is wrong with me?!) Like I stated earlier, I am trying to instill in my children that it is the thought that counts, and I would never return a gift given out of love just because it wasn't exactly what my child wanted. 

Did I mention formula is super expensive though? Like, really super? It's so expensive, however you shouldn't give one crap about how much I pay for formula and I sure as hell shouldn't be bringing it up to you in my childs' birthday invitation. Or ever.

If you do so choose to purchase a gift for our golden accomplishments (so so sorry, again with the gifts...I am getting pretty embarrassed over here, I can't believe anyone writing this would ever push "send"), books are a totally acceptable present! Not only are they cost affordable, but one can never have enough books, don't you think? At the moment, our little cherubs of pure bliss don't necessarily love when we read to them, however reading is something we really value and will continue to do so with our boys until they hopefully realize the importance in learning and being creative. 

By the way, we don't have a stash of newly boughten toys piling up and waiting for our kids in storage. That would be wasteful and unnecessary, not to mention promoting self-indulgence and excess. We do however have some gently used toys packed up in some cartons and would love to donate them to a local shelter or children's group if you happen to know of any.

Please refrain from reading stupid viral articles on Facebook about dense and senseless moms who send out ridiculous invites to family members for their toddler child's birthday. Reading these types of articles is the #1 thing that leads to anger and frustration that there really are such insufferable people in this world. 

As an important person in our and our childrens lives, please let us know if there is anything at all we can do for you to make your stay at our home easier. We appreciate you more than you know and we know how hard it is to find good people like you all to come by. 

By the way, a formal invite will be arriving in your mailboxes soon, and you will never see this impossibly offensive email as we are decent people and would never do something so loathsome as to send something so disrespectful to the very people we love, and who claim to love us!

Sincerely,
Not Total Assholes.

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Now let's go out in the world today and prove to human kind that the majority of us are not, indeed, pathetic self-centered turds.


4.19.2015

I Love My Cat And So Does God.

Peep laying with my youngest when he was sick

I had something in mind to blog about today however something happened yesterday that I feel I just need to share. 

A little over a year ago we brought a cat home from the humane society. I've never been a huge cat person and where we live, a cat can only live indoors, as any outdoor cat would promptly get eaten by coyotes if and or when they ventured around the property. But, my boys really really wanted one so we got a five week old black fluffy kitten and named her Peep.

As much as it pains me to admit, I loved Peep from the start. She was cuddly and sweet and always jumped on my lap wherever I was. She slept in bed with Rob and I every single night and don't even get me started on the alternative words to "cat" jokes that Rob made about us all. The first one was almost semi-funny. All the other 50+ were not. 

My kids loved Peep. They could hold and carry her around and even though she wasn't declawed, she never bit, scratched or was aggressive with either one of my boys. More often then not, one of them would be sitting on the couch playing their iPad or watching not Spongebob (no Spongebob allowed!) and Peep would be curled up right there by their side. 

She became our cat, our beloved pet and seriously a member of our family. I never thought I would love a feline like I did Peep, but I eventually grew seriously fond of her and looked forward to getting home and having her greet me at the door.

You may be wondering why I am writing this blog post as though Peep was a "past tense" cat...and she almost was. As I mentioned earlier, where we live, cats have to stay indoors. They can't have free play time outside as they will get too comfortable with the outdoors and stray a little too far one day and never come back. The coyotes are pretty aggressive around here and would take a cat for dinner in a second.

She had gotten outside a couple times when the door was left open, however someone always realized right away and got her back inside asap (and also, she never really wanted to go outside that bad. She lived a pretty posh life inside that the outdoors were no real allure to her).

Except a few days ago. 

On Thursday specifically, my boys had a few friends over. It was a nice day and they were going back and forth between inside and out. I always stress at them to close the doors when they come in or out, however with a group of crazy kids running around, open doors are bound to happen. I would always close a door when I saw it ajar, but now I know that Peep happened to get outside sometime Thursday afternoon. 

I didn't realize at first that she had gotten out, as she roams free around the house and does her own thing quite often, but by Friday night, I got a little worried and went looking for her in closed closets and drawers. When I didn't find her, I stressed my uneasiness to Rob and he asked if there was a possibility she had gotten let outside...and it was then I concluded that yes, she had probably gotten out when one of the doors had been left open.

Even then, I knew that all the other times she had gotten out, she never strayed far at all, and she was always back inside within minutes. Her going missing over 24 hours was a huge red flag, and Rob and I both knew that if she hadn't made it back yet, she probably wasn't going to. 

I talked to all our neighbors and put a missing cat post up on craigslist, but by Saturday night, there was still no sign of her. By now, it had been over two days with no sight of Peep, and I knew the chances of her surviving the outdoors that long were nil. 

Neither of the boys had asked about her yet, as they probably just assumed she was hiding or sleeping under the guest bed as usual, but by Sunday afternoon, I knew I had to break the news to them that their first cat was gone and wasn't coming home. It would be the first time I would have to tell something like this to my kids...give them bad news and break their hearts. I was prepared for tears and sadness and honestly, got a little teary eyed myself.

I was standing at the kitchen counter debating how to start the conversation with my kids when I got a text from my best friend asking about the cat. I responded with, "it's been over 48 hours. I want to think differently but I know she most likely got killed by coyotes and it's so sad because she was such a good cat." My friend responded with a sad face emoticon and I set the phone down, walked out onto the deck and gained my composure before I went back inside and told my boys about Peep.

I was outside on the deck for about five seconds when I heard a cat meow. I thought to myself, "no way..." when I heard it again. And again. I banged on the window to our bedroom where I knew my husband was in bed asleep and when he came out onto the deck I said, "do you hear that!? It's a cat! I think it's Peep! Except I have no idea where it's coming from!"

We both stood silent and listened until Rob realized the meows were coming from underneath our deck. We had to remove three cinderblocks just to be able to get her out and even then, she was so scared and skittish from being trapped underneath that it took her quite a while to come out to us. 

BUT...she did! I was honestly ready to tell my kids that their precious cat was gone forever and at that exact moment, I heard her cries. And for some reason that I can't even explain properly now, I felt the second I walked out onto the deck and heard that first meow, that it was divine intervention. I kid you not, the very first thought that popped into my head was, "did someone just pray for a miracle?!"

I pushed the thought aside and got my cat, rushed her inside, got her food and water and gushed over the fact that she wasn't dead. She was alive and okay and my kids never even knew she was ever gone.

I got to my phone and enthusiastically texted my friend with, "oh my gosh, you'll never believe it!!! I just found her!" in which she responded, "are you serious?! I was just praying for a miracle!"

And it stopped me. It stopped me in my tracks because the very first thing I thought when I stepped out onto the deck and heard that meow was, "why am I just hearing this now?" I had been outside on that deck a majority of the past two days she had been missing. I sat quietly on that deck in the mornings drinking my coffee...I was outside on that deck watching my kids play and I never once heard a thing. She had been trapped under the deck for two days and not one meow. Not one sign she was under there. 

Until I had that conversation with my friend that she prayed. Prayed to God that we found our cat. And not two minutes later, she was found. 

Coincidence? I think not.

I actually asked her again, "so you prayed right after we got done texting, right then, for a miracle that we would find our cat?"

And she said, "yes, I did."

It was like God was saying, "I'm gonna keep her gone until you ask me," and the truth is, I hadn't asked. But then my friend did, and she was found.

And now my cat is sleeping at the food of my bed.

GOD IS GOOD. And amazing and wonderful and guess what else. Miracles happen every day.

4.12.2015

Life Lately...And Why I'm Inspired To Blog Again!


- Blogging. For the longest while, I just wasn't into it. I remember first starting out and loving it and then really loving it and then getting a high from it and then slowly descending until I dreaded it. I got totally burned out and didn't want to write and had no motivation when it came to putting thought into a post and so I half-assed it a little and completely gave up the rest. 

Until now. The fire is simmering and I have a lot to say and a lot to write about and a lot of things to discuss that have happened in recent months...you know, the things you can't really talk about while you are in the midst of them happening but once you come out the other side...well then, game on. In other words, I'm back bitches!


- Starting a garden. I'm doing it. I've always wanted to and I have the perfect space and really, why in the world not? I spend an insane amount on organic produce that I might as well just grow it myself. I have the perfect raised rock garden area already set up and I picked up this little planter pot at Costco today. Onions, tomatoes, basil and strawberries coming right up! (And whatever gardening tips ya'll have for me! I'm a gardening virgin so I can use all the help I can get!)

via Pinterest

- Books plus movies but books turned into movies! Of course I went and saw the second installment of Divergent...and DAMN ME but my favorite number is Four. Tris could really use a bra but whatevs. I don't wear one either. Of course, I have scoured the net for books that are being made into movies this year and ones that are on my short list of have-to-read-before-the-movie-comes-out are Child 44, Paper Towns, The Martian and Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children. Anyone read those? Thoughts??? Thoughts on them being turned into movies?

And, books I have read that are being made into movies this year include Room (one of my favorites! albeit a bit disturbing), The Scorch Trials (book two in the Maze Runner series, again one of my favorites series ever) and Dark Places, by the author of Gone Girl. 

I. cannot. wait. I also currently have about ten new books to read in the meantime sitting lonely on my bookshelf. If anyone wants to babysit for the next four months let me know, k?


- Summer plans. Nothing more than the usual. Actually that's not quite true. Rob turns 50 (!!!) in June, so I'm sure we'll be doing something on a beach while he swerves left and right from the whiskey. I mean, if there's anything to celebrate, let it be turning half a century old. SO. OLD. I can't even imagine...

The hottest couple I know, my cousin Seth and his gorgeous bride-to-be Jaianne, are getting married in July. I'm hosting a bridal shower for her in June, and then all the girls are going to Crescent Bar in July for the bachelorette party and then we have the wedding, then boat races, then a huge family reunion Lake Roosevelt trip for Rob's side of the family. Basically, lots of time spent in a bikini. Speaking of...



- I had a friend offer to let me try the 30-day Isagenix plan. Have you heard of it? Guys, it's awesome. It's a cleansing and fat burning 30-day program and the before and after testimonials are legit. You substitute a shake for two meals a day...the other meal is up to you. And? The shakes are good. They taste good and really fill you up. There are a few cleanse days during the 30-day period and being completely honest, I was shocked at a) how easy the cleanse days were for me and b) how much weight came off during those days. 

I'm actually about halfway through the program and I'm down approx. 10 pounds. And...I took a "before." Yikes! I hate befores! BUT. I'll be back here on this little space in about two weeks to show you all the final before/after photos. If I keep on track, I think the change will be pretty awesome. Stay tuned... 

(Also, if you have any questions about this system, you can ask Erica on Facebook HERE. She's my go-to girl when it comes to all things Isagenix.)

K guys! I think that's it. It's another week and another day to get it right! It's also Monday and on Monday's, I drink!