BOO! {a photo review}

we have hermoine in the house, y'all


{and her hair too}


the last few days have been filled with
pumpkin carving and porch posing
extensive wand waving


fierce face practice

{did it work?}
trunk or treat after church with good friends
trick or treating with pappo and grandma
halloween carnival-ing
{ hosted by her school's church}
bouncy houses, bean bag tosses, washer throw, gourd bowling, sponge splash and our hermoine's hands down favorite: the donut challenge.

{she did this twice. ahem.}
fun with friends

traditional viewing of the classic it's the great pumpkin charlie brown

{my favorite scene is Sally's breakdown in the patch after snoopy's shadow bursts linus' bubble, i've been robbed!!}

and don't forget oodles of candy.

happy halloween, y'all!!



Here we are the last week of October and we've finally fall-ed up our front porch.

I know!

We are nothing if not timely.

The good news is when you wait this long you can get mums on serious markdown (we bought several different sizes, they're just not pictured) and pumpkins were buy one get one free.

In other late breaking fall news, the inside of our home still has no inkling of Halloween or fall like it usually does. Nary a cute pumpkin, jack-o-lantern plate, big furry spider, leaf garland, morsel of candy corn, bric brac place mat or ghost dish towel in sight. And I think I'm okay with that. I miss the festive decor a smidge, but not enough to dig through oodles of Rubbermaid tubs. And another thing, my people haven't even noticed the lack of fall surrounding their space. Hrumph.

Yesterday I baked pumpkin bread in a fit of spontaneous fall-ness, following my trusty red Betty Crocker cookbook to a T, substituting whole wheat flour, like she said you could, and ended up tossing one and 3/4 loaves promptly into the trash after sampling. Hrumph.

Annelise took two small mums to her teachers earlier this week after we made simple tags and I wrapped each pot with jute. I am a fan of simple.
Since Annelise didn't have school on Monday (some random weather make-up day) we had a lazy morning topped off with a late breakfast at IHOP.

I kinda love our little family of Chucks.
Family happy hour.

We've fallen into the weekly habit (sometimes two times a week) of getting snow cones after school. (Well, Annelise and Scott do, I get a Starbucks.) Maybe it's just the shifting of the seasons or a staffing problem but their favorite place is only open on random days now. Bummer. This week instead of driving off heartbroken we consoled ourselves at Sonic. It was much cheaper anyway.
And finally, some random clouds with the sun barely peeking through caught my eye yesterday on the way to school.

And they made me happy.

Be sure to pop over to Life Rearranged for more InstaFriday fun.
life rearranged
Happy Friday, y'all!


Texting: A Cautionary Tale

Ever wonder what can happen when two friends start texting?

Let's take a peek, shall we?
(I'm the blue bubble, just FYI)

Look what we'll be doing in early March...(cue squeals of glee and fear)
13.1 miles baby!!

It's been far too long since my last race and I really, really, really am the type of slacker that needs a goal, and a goal with $$ on the line is even better. 

The Rock and Roll Half normally costs $90, which is kind of ridunkulous anyway, but since the Saints won their recent football game they offered a discount of a dollar off for every point scored, so by entering a special code we saved a whopping $55!!

That in itself made me giddy.

But then I remembered I'll have to, you know, actually train for this and, like, run regularly and stuff*.

That in itself made me pause.

So, my friends, let this serve as a cautionary tale to spontaneous texting.

In a good way.

P. S. Like re-re-re-commit to cross training with things like P90X. Ay, yi, yi. I started Tuesday with Chest & Back and can not fully straighten either of my arms ever since thanks to all the push-ups and pull-ups. Starting over is hard, good but hard. 


What I Wore Wednesday

Are y'all sitting down?

Thanks to my re-re-re-commitment (honestly, I've lost track of how many times I've fallen off the wagon) to What I Wore Wednesday I managed to get myself together and document this feat with photos almost every day last week.

I know!

Nothing too fancy, nothing really new, nothing really fashion forward, but still dressed enough to show an effort was made. Yes, this is a big deal, y'all.

Wednesday: school drop off, early bird matinee date with hubby to see the new Footloose, errands, church that night, etc.
rose-mauve-y bubble tank: Stein Mart
grey boyfriend cardigan & silver ballet flats: Target
jeans: Banana Republic

Thursday: So I wore my workout clothes most of the day--and never worked out--and then finally got myself together for school pick-up and dance. Not the most intentional day.
beige asymmetrical tank: TJ Maxx (or was it Marshall's? I forget)
grey layering tank: Old Navy
grey boyfriend cardigan (again), jeans and leopard ballet flats: Target
initial necklace: The Vintage Pearl
I've made a promise to myself to wear what I have more often and no longer (or at least not that often, hey, I am a girl after all) give into those feelings of I can't bear it one more day without something new, in other words, practice contentment. I'd been coveting chunky flower rings but decided I'd be just as happy wearing my three Dianne Malouf rings more often. And I am.

Friday: (early release day from school) afternoon showing of Dolphin Tale, early Tex-Mex supper and stops by Hobby Lobby and Goodwill.
orange flower-y top: Stein Mart
brown layering tank & necklace: Target
jeans: Lucky
brown bling-y flip flops: Yellow Box
polish: Devil's Advocate by Essie (a black with a hint of burgundy)
I pinned my bangs over with two bobby pins in an effort to tame them. Cute? Not so much?

Sunday: church, lunch, etc.
dress & mustard flats: Target
 mustard rosette necklace: Allora Handmade
Yes, I know there is no mustard anywhere in this dress, but I went out on a limb with a punch of color.
I am a rebel.

Monday: (school holiday) family breakfast at IHOP (translation: throw on some clothes and go)
grey tank & white top: Target
olive distressed khakis: Old Navy
grey Chucks: Dillard's

I hate to leave y'all with such a blah last outfit, but such is the bitter truth. And no, there are no photos documenting Saturday or Tuesday. Trust me, this is a good thing.

So to recap:
* this week was waaay better than last week, with 5 or 6 outfits to last week's, um...1
* we saw two movies last week (what in the world?)
* I always, always pose the same way
* yawn
* I'd like to take some photos outside but the mosquitoes are taking no prisoners around here lately
* I really, really like my grey boyfriend cardigan
* I'm trying to practice contentment
* It's not as easy as it sounds
* and yes, I have a muffin top (loaf?) and we ate at IHOP
* getting myself together really makes for an all around better day (even though I know this, I forget)

Be sure to stop by The Pleated Poppy for more What I Wore Wednesday fun!
pleated poppy


InstaMonday (or I totally dropped the ball on InstaFriday)

I totally did not plan on doing another InstaFriday post on a Monday again, because twice is the beginning of a pattern isn't it? And not just any pattern, a slacker pattern.

Oh well, here I am.

And, as a public service announcement, brace yourselves not only for mediocrity but gigantor photos as well. On a whim I clicked on extra-large instead of original size, and oh my, these pictures are super sized. 

(Do you want fries with that?)
01. I was planning on doing a separate post about Annelise's second grade field trip to the Children's Museum last week, but guess what? I changed my mind. In a nutshell, it was the perfect field trip. They had their own guide, a cute girl dressed as a peacock, and we chaperones just traipsed along behind them from exhibit to exhibit. And by exhibits I mean play areas because the Children's Museum is totally hands on with tons of things to do and experience and role play and so forth. Annelise's favorite area was Kidtropolis which was a city street lined by a bank, market, news station, clinic, diner, vet, etc. where they could role play. 
02. Friday morning Scott and I chased a few hot air balloons around town in the futile effort of trying to get a good photo with my iPhone. The ones I took of them in the air looked like dots, but here are some closer dots landing in a field at JSC (not pictured but over to the side were several longhorn cattle dozing, you'll have to use your imagination).

03. We rewarded our efforts with doughnuts. As you do.

04. These are my feet outside of Annelise's dance place. I'd just signed up for another year of Mother-Daughter tap and had to take a minute to collect myself. We don't start until January, so I still have time to gather my courage.
05. My bangs were tormenting me so I tried to restrain them with bobby pins. I ended up feeling nine again. But they stayed out of my face.

06. Friday afternoon Annelise had early release (not sure why), so we treated ourselves to an afternoon movie. and gave Dolphin Tale six enthusiastic thumbs up.

07. Annelise had brain freeze with her free ice cream cone after our late lunch-early supper at Gringo's. Totally worth it though.
08. This has taken over our dining room table, 1000 pieces of fun and family togetherness otherwise known as a jigsaw puzzle. I'll keep you posted on our progress (and our sanity).
09. Lunchy-brunch after church yesterday. I heart La Madeleine. That is all.

And that, my friends, was a peek at my week brought to you by my iPhone, InstaGram and PicFrame (for the collages).

Be sure to pop over to Life Rearranged for more InstaFriday (or Monday) fun!
life rearranged


Let's Hear It For The Boy

When I first heard rumblings and rumors about the remake of my beloved teen flick, Footloose, I vehemently opposed it. I was a true blue Kevin Bacon-ite and no way no how was I going to darken the door of any theater showing a remake with a Ren McCormick wannabe.

At some point I saw the trailer for the new Footloose and was briefly tempted to change my strict no-remake policy (it's not just for Footloose, I tend to boycott remakes on principle) because I do like Julianne Hough (from DWTS), but I strengthened my resolve.

Until the movie opened last weekend. Suddenly I forgot my stance, my resolve and my principles regarding remakes.

Weak. Is what I am.

We weren't able to see it right away, so I used some down time over the weekend to prepare. I dug around and found the original, on VHS no less, and popped it into our last surviving VCR to do my homework, you know, brush up on the far reaching, deeply moving themes of the original.
Or just enjoy a little date with Kevin Bacon. Whichever.

And really, this movie has no far reaching, deeply moving theme.

The kids just want to dance.

As I settled in I was quickly surprised that I was allowed to see Footloose back in 1984, when I was 14 or 15. I'd forgotten all about the language, the teen s*x, and stuff, nothing too explicit (especially by today's standards), it was PG, but still. I think at the time I was all about the music, the moves and Kevin Bacon. 

Watching it again was the perfect time capsule back to the 80s what with the ruffle shirts, big hair, cut-off sweatshirts, acid washed jeans (some with pleats!), skinny ties, cassette tapes, jam boxes the size of Rhode Island, Sony Walkmans, high waisted jeans on girls with skinny belts and Member's Only jackets. My favorite parts are (still) the tractor chicken race, Ren teaching Willard to dance, and Kevin Bacon's solo dance/gymnast routine in the empty grain warehouse. The ending dance scene is fun, but Lori Singer's cheesy fake screams are highly annoying. In fact, Lori Singer is just annoying, but I heart  Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Penn.

By the time Wednesday rolled around I was giddy about seeing the new version at the early bird matinee with Scott (one of the small perks of unemployment).
I know. 180s. Am a fan.
And guess what? The new Footloose is good.

Really, it is. They changed a few things, which actually improved the story a bit and of course updated the music (by keeping the original songs but with different, I don't know, styles and adding some new songs), the dialogue (but also kept some of the original which warmed my true-blue heart) and the outfits (get ready for some skimp). I liked the new Ren, the new Ariel and the new Willard was. a. doll. (Seriously, who came up with the names for these characters?)  If you liked the original, you'll probably like the new one too (I know, I can't believe I typed that, but it's true). It's a cotton candy kind of movie for sure, but like Ren and King Solomon remind us, there is a time for everything...even a time to dance.

Just between us, I did kind of keep hoping for a cameo by Kevin Bacon though.

Do you love the old Footloose?
Who's your favorite character? What's your favorite scene? Song?
 Will you see the remake?


What I Wore Wednesday

Please pardon me while I state the obvious:

I've fallen off the What I Wore Wednesday wagon.



I need the accountability otherwise I schlep around in the t-shirt I slept in and ratty shorts or my workout clothes for the majority of the day. Shower and make-up optional, heavy on the optional. Needless to say the schlumpiness outside makes me schlumpy inside too. So I'm going to try and shake off the schlumpy, get myself together and document this feat with a photo each day. Or at least most days. Again.

This week is super short and sweet since I only recommitted to WIWW yesterday. This is what I wore to accompany my sweet daughter on her second grade field trip to the Children's Museum (post on that adventure to come soon).
patterned top: Stein Mart
boyfriend jeans: Lucky
super comfy, blingy-flips: Yellow Box (here in Texas flips are almost year round footwear)
grey modern statement necklace: Allora Handmade
dangly silver earrings: Stein Mart
Later that evening we went out to our favorite Tex-Mex place and we were actually experiencing a cool(ish) spell, so I tossed on a coral sweater from Target and changed my flips for mustard flats (also from Target). I love being able to switch things up as the mood strikes!

And after looking at these photos I think I need to switch out my summer Bare Minerals foundation for a lighter shade. Oops. (Twist my arm, Sephora here I come!)

Be sure to visit The Pleated Poppy for more fashion inspiration and fun looks.
pleated poppy

Happy Wednesday, y'all!


InstaFriday on Monday (Otherwise Known as InstaMonday)

I thought about doing an InstaFriday post on Friday.

Obviously that's as far as I got.

So I guess I'll call this InstaMonday.
01. I helped sort papers for Annelise's teacher one morning last week. It's definitely not rocket science, but I was happy to help just the same.

02. We became that family. The one whose child does her homework at a restaurant because we were rushing from dance to dinner then to football. 

03. Our waitress asked us if we were our daughter's grandparents. And no this didn't bother me at all or cause a sudden anxiety attack or anything. Okay, it bothered me a little. We are older parents (49 and 42 respectively) and all,  but grandparents to an 8 year-old? Really?

04. Thursday night lights. Not quite the same as Friday Night Lights but since there are five high schools that share district stadium, someone has to draw the Thursday night short straw. We were  cheering on my old high school (Clear Creek) against last year's 5A Texas State champs (Pearland). We were losing when we left after halftime and missed a strong come back (this always happens to us). We still lost but at least it wasn't as humiliating as 50 something to 7.
05. Look what arrived in my hot little hands Friday afternoon (!!!) thanks to FedEx and a timely pre-order from AT&T. Of course we were holding out for the iPhone 5 and were initially a tad disappointed when we heard about the release of the 4s instead, but decided to jump in anyway since moving up from the iPhone 3g to the 4s is quite a leap up for us.

06. Of course we had to trek over the mall Friday evening so I could get a case for my new precious baby phone. A little browsing at the Apple store and an AT&T kiosk led to a new pink Otter case and a very giddy girl (me). We ended up at the food court, as you do, for supper. It was like I was 15 all over again. Except I had a kid.

07. We spent the rest of Friday evening at a fundraiser for Annelise's school, which ended up being lots of fun. We felt kind of guilty because we'd never made much of an effort to attend in the past, thinking (wrongly) it would be a high-pressure hit up for $$$. As it turns out, it was very relaxed and informative, no pressure to donate on the spot and there was coffee along with yummy desserts.

08. I actually got up early Saturday (!!) and hit the street wogging. Thanks to the clear skies, ever so slightly cooler temps and good tunes in my ears, I ended up doing 5 miles. (!!) 

And then we got Shipley doughnuts.

And in case you don't know, fresh, hot, glazed Shipley doughnuts are a little slice of heaven.

And I'm confident they didn't completely negate my five miles of sweat and effort or anything. Ahem.

(What? Don't you lie to yourself too?)

I'm linking up with Jeannett again for InstaFriday. Or in my case InstaMonday, which is basically the same thing.

Or not.

life rearranged


12 on the 12th {October}

01. coffee, coffee, coffee.
02. quiet time.
03. kix. it's what's for breakfast.
04. packing annelise's lunch.
05. bank drive-thru (those new fangled, fancy schmancy cameras freak me out a little, i was fine with just the static-y speaker and a little anonymity).
06. mulled cider candle burning, my only acknowledgment of fall so far (though there's rumor of a cool front coming).
07. my breakfast (spinach-kale smoothie).
08. after school smiles.
09. after school mcflurry treats (i think we'll stick with dairy queen from here on out).
10. after school room cleaning frenzy (thanks to my morning tantrum).
11. someone thinks mad libs are the coolest thing ever (which of course they are).
12. my supper (see #09).

there you have it, a little peek at my 12th. how was yours?

i'm linking up again with amy's blog. be sure to pop over there to peek at more 12on the 12th posts.

p.s. i think this might be my last post without capital letters as i'm starting to feel guilty about disappointing all my elementary school teachers. i also worry if i continue to eschew capitals what else will i do? i fear it's a slippery slope.


parenting fail #342

have i told y'all how much i love (okay, adore) the show parenthood? no?
well, i do.

please forgive me for not mentioning it sooner, and by all means set your dvrs for 9:00 tuesday nights if you're not already because it really is delightful. laughter. tears. dreams. reality. kids. parents. messy. hope. life. family. it's all there, and they get it right, mostly, without cheese or a laugh-track.

and yes, i talked about tv again. shoot me.

this morning i got up early(ish) and had some quiet time with my bible, a notebook, coffee and prayer before the house woke up and the morning scramble started. i prayed specifically for me to choose my words today carefully, to speak gently, with love, to hold my tongue when i should and not allow sarcasm or irritation win. you know the drill, right? my emotions tend to bubble up to the surface, sometimes surprisingly fast, and often erupt with a raised voice or harsh word or frustrated tone directed at the people who live here (and sometimes the pets).

right after amen i carried a basket of annelise's laundry upstairs and woke up my still slumbering daughter.  as she was stretching and starting to get up i started to put her socks and undies away in her drawer and hopefully find the missing partners to 4 freshly laundered socks in the process. i opened her top drawer, and it was as i expected, a jumbled mess. we've been down this road before. too many times i've straightened her creatively folded (read: mess) shirts, shorts, jeans, pjs, etc. before putting the neatly folded fresh laundry away, all the while my blood is boiling and i'm pontificating about the need for her to keep her drawers tidy. i've also had the not so proud moment of dumping her drawers out on the floor and having her refold everything. lately though i've tried telling myself that it doesn't matter what the insides of her dresser drawers look like as long as they're shut, because really, the whole drama only stresses me out (read: boiling blood and raised voices) and ends in hurt feelings (read: both of us).

are responsibility and respect directly tied to tidy dresser drawers? maybe. are messy dresser drawers at eight-years old a prediction of her future or a reflection on her parenting? maybe. should i be a drill sergeant about this (and the state of her room in general) or be more relaxed? maybe.

as i rummaged in her drawer and looked around her room at various piles of toys in mid or forgotten play, books needing to be reshelved, scraps and do-dads from crafts and spontaneous art, i felt those frustrated emotions start to bubble up. uh-oh.

she was getting dressed and her wednesday was just beginning. at that moment i had a choice to either nag and pontificate and complain about the state of her room or i could wait until after school. i could give either guilt or grace, which would it be?

i'd like to say it was grace.

but it wasn't.

i could have sent up a quick prayer or two for control of my tongue and emotions, but i didn't.
i resorted to nagging and complaining and frustration and expressing disappointment.

all before cereal.


before we left for school i talked more gently to her and apologized for getting so upset. we hugged. she told me she forgave me.

she extended grace.
just like that.

why can't i do that?

p. s. we're tackling her room, together, after school
p. p. s. even though she was quick to forgive,  i know my outburst put a damper on her morning just the same. i hate that.
p. p. p. s. i guess this post didn't have a hill of beans to do with the tv show parenthood after all, except that is seems easier on tv.

*do you often feel challenged by a weakness soon after you pray about it?*
*do messy drawers bother you much?*
*what are your expectations for your child's room (neatness wise)?*
*do i need to take a big ol' chill pill?*

edited to add: i think i knew all along that getting upset about her drawers or her room was ridiculous, because 1.) they weren't really as terrible as i was making them out to be, b.) in the grand scheme of things, and at the expense of her feelings, this wasn't worth it and xyz.) there was a better way to address the issue. but i let my feelings take over anyway and spent the rest of the day feeling guilty and small. after school we did tackle her room and her drawers and things are much better. (!!) having fewer things in each drawer will help a ton (i hope). there was even a goofy moment near the end where i burst into her room and sang like jasmine from aladdin "a whole new world", but i sang room and dressers instead.


running: same song, different verse

at 5:30 this morning the alarm on my phone went off and i did not ignore it.

this was progress.

i didn't actually rise and shine right at that very moment, but soon(ish) thereafter i found myself outside about to go for a woggle (walk, run and waddle) which was a feat not performed in quite some time.

i could tell you that this is the turning over of a new leaf, a jump back on the wagon, an insert your favorite idiom here, but i won't because i've told y'all all that before and that tends to set me up for failure. so i'll just say i had a good time and hope running calls me tomorrow morning for another date. a girl can dream.

the stars were still shining in the predawn sky and i was tempted to plop right down in the grass and gaze for a while. but i didn't. stars always take my breath away when i stop long enough to notice. i saw a young deer in the early morning misty fog and it was beautiful. and skittish. i also smelled fresh grass, exhaust, coffee and what i'm 92% sure was a skunk, but not all of those smells were sniffed at the same time so it wasn't terrible.

over the last month(ish) or so(ish) i've been doing turbofire and chalean extreme workouts at home, and i've really enjoyed them, but i've missed running too. i'm sure there's room for both but i've got to stop laziness and sloth from getting in the way. and sweets. i'm not certain, but i have a hunch that a lot of my food choices are canceling out 86.2% of my sweaty workouts. either i make good choices through most of the day, and exercise, and blow it that night or i have a good week with food and exercise and blow it to bits over the weekend or both.

i hate that.
stop it.
no really, stop it, holly.

fingers crossed.

(is this whole lower case, i'm too good for capital letters thing annoying or artsy? i can't decide.)


saturday confessions

good morning y'all.

i'm sipping on my green smoothie and feeling smugly good about it because even if i eat not one more morsel of healthy food today at least i've had my green smoothie.

i realize that's totally twisted and can't even be remotely true, but it's working for me.

i've also had too large mugs of coffee so this post may be interesting.

i think i'm typing faster.

scott is in the midst of a softball tournament this morning and i am the not so dutiful wife sitting at home not cheering him on. but he's totally okay with that. which is nice. because of his neck surgery he had to sit out from softball this summer and has only recently been able to return to the field, but then half his team had to bail for this that and the other so it hasn't been quite the stellar return he was hoping for.

annelise is over at her pappo and grandma's house and is having the time of her life ruling the roost i'm sure. she hasn't had a sleepover in several weeks and was chomping at the bit to haul her little self over there. or ride her bike. whichever.

i hesitate to tell y'all this, since admitting you're just watching tv and typing a blog post on a beautiful saturday morning while sipping a green smoothie sounds so incredibly lazy and pointless, but i'm all kinds of hooked on the show damages right now. streaming netflix is a joy. and a curse. but have y'all seen it? glenn close is scary. and fascinating. my head is spinning with all the intrigue and mind games and lies and paranoia and murder.

it's good.

i love tv shows (and movies) set in new york. the city is like another character. sometimes that fact alone is what keeps me watching. mad men (when oh when will it return?), white collar, suits (i only saw a couple of episodes but liked it), and now damages are some ny faves. oh, scott and i started watching (well, dvr-ing) person of interest and prime suspect which are also set in ny.

we haven't added too many new shows to our already tight tv/dvr schedule this season. along with person of interest and prime suspect*, we added the x factor after friends raved about it. now we're hooked. in other shocking news, we broke up with dwts. it's true. no more sequins and spray tans two nights a week. and that's okay, our dvr stays busy without the body glitter. we have dishnetwork, which we're quite happy with, that is until there is a conflict and both tuners are busy recording and scott loses all ability to channel surf (oh the humanity!) or we have to drop a show because we can only record two at a time.

i know, first world problems, right?

scott's dream is to someday get att&t uverse so we (he) has plenty of dvr recording options and not lose the apparently essential freedom to channel surf.

yesterday i had a sudden urge to do something crafty. something involving burlap and ribbon and hot glue and pins. i may have even had the urge to do two crafty somethings.

but then i realized this urge would also require a trip to hobby lobby and home depot in order to come to fruition and i had to shut it down.

there's no way i'm heading into either one of those places on a saturday.

i'm rescheduling my crafty urge for early next week instead.

now i have plenty of time for damages.

happy weekend y'all!

*in the spirit of full bloggy disclosure i should tell you that i started watching ringer because i'm a semi-closeted buffy the vampire slayer fan and have a soft spot for sarah michelle gellar. and switched twin identities shrouded in mystery and intrigue with a side of cheese. oh, it's set in new york too. win-win.


Five for Friday

I've been rather quiet on the blog this week.
Nothing's wrong, just not a whole lot to say either, I guess.
And that's okay.

But now I suppose I'm over the quiet and managed to rustle up a few randoms to share.

Y'all know I like me a good random.

And improper, homey grammar when applicable.

01. There was a flier in Annelise's school folder this week about a HUGE charity garage sale this weekend where a part of the proceeds would help the 5th grade trip to Washington D.C. in the spring. So I put on semi real clothes this morning--and lipstick--and Scott and I checked it out after we took Annelise to school.

There were several HUGE charity sale signs marking the way, which were helpful, but oh so misleading.

The HUGE charity garage sale was all hype.

I mean, unless you wanted gobs of Christmas decorations, old VHS tapes and clothes.

Which we did not.
But we had fun anyway.

And drove around a bit looking for more garage sales just for kicks.

I'm more of of a drive-by, quick scope out type of garage saler (yep, that's a word, at least to me), and Scott is more of a looker and talker, like he's worried it's going to hurt the garage sale-ee's feelings if you only dart in and out. I'm more ruthless.

Are garage sales only an American thing? Do people in other countries dump all of their crap treasures on their lawn for complete strangers to peruse and haggle over too?

02. Since the garage sales were highly disappointing, we consoled ourselves with cupcakes on the way home.
As you do.

We also felt the need to get a few cake balls too.

Hello? The CandyMan called and wants his sweet tooth back.

03. As we were driving through different neighborhoods we saw tons of fall and Halloween decorations on proud display. Some arrangements were festive and fun and others were highly disturbing.

When did fake graves on the lawn with skeletons or zombies rising up out of them become popular? Or the inflatable skeleton on a motorcycle?

I'd like to see who puts out that kind of stuff.


Maybe I wouldn't.

04. Speaking of fall, and the fact it's the end of the first week of October and all, I feel the need to tell you I have not been able to find my fall decorating mojo yet.

And I might not look very hard for it.

I have a mulled cider candle burning and that's as fall as I'm prepared to go right now.

Festive and fun. Is what I am.

05. So my super cute girlfriend Lacie told us all about her favorite new lipstick during our fabulous girls' weekend and of course we all had to get one to try for our selves.

I've been leery of long lasting lip stains because the ones I've tried have ended up looking dry and crackly and icky after applying. Plus it's a big commitment because if the shade is uggo, well, you're kind of stuck.

But let's meet Maybelline Color Stay 24, shall we?
You apply the color first--and you must let it dry (until your lips feel sticky), this is key--and then you apply the lip shine balm, conveniently located at the other end of the wand.


This lipstick lasts.

Like, I ate a hamburger and still had lips kind of lasts.

All day color. I'm not kidding.

I don't want to know what the chemicals might be doing to me in order for the color to stick around for so long, but I like the lipstick just the same. I bought Constant Cocoa on our trip and then Endless Toffee (I copied you Heather) and am pleased as punch with both of them.

Happy Friday, y'all!

Do you like garage sales? What kind of garage saler are you?
Have you decorated for fall yet?
Any freaky decor in your neighborhood that worries you?
Have you tried long lasting lipsticks?


Girlfriend Getaway: Salado

I can promise you I did not plan to not blog for like, what, six days or something.
I can't promise you I am proficient at writing clear sentences though.
However, I can promise you that I just returned from a delightful girlfriend getaway weekend.
You'd like to hear more?
Well, okay then.

Friday morning four girlfriends, along with two tween and teen offspring of one of the girlfriends, and all of our essential luggage piled into my car and we hit the road Jack. Since there were a couple of pairs of extra ears in the car (even though those ears had earbuds plugged into things) we delayed some of our discussions until 1:00 which was the planned drop-off time with the grandparents of those extra ears. So until then, when certain topics or other adult silliness would threaten to escape our lips, we'd say "1:00".

Imagine our delight when we pulled up in The Ville and parked right in front of a store with this sign.

You could not have stopped me from taking a picture.
We ate a delicious BBQ lunch at Zimmerhanzel's, where the BBQ is tender and everyone knows everybody.
On the way out of Smithville we saw the devastating evidence of the raging wildfires from a few weeks ago as we headed into Bastrop. Scorched blackened trees, ash instead of green grass and destroyed homes. For miles.
It was sobering and mind blowing to see properties with only debris and the fireplace bricks remaining and then an undamaged house right beside it. The mystery (and destructiveness) of fire reminded us of the mysteries of a tornado. Why did one house burn and another not?

We eventually made it a few hours and a hundredish more miles west to our hotel in Killeen, where we met our fabulous fifth girlfriend who drove down from her home to the north. After steering a highly unruly luggage cart and cooling off in our room for a bit, we loaded up again and headed into Salado.
Salado is a sleepy little town in central Texas filled with cute shops, artisan galleries, restaurants and wineries. It makes for the perfect girlfriend getaway backdrop.
First on the agenda was to check out a few shops before they closed, as shops in sleepy little towns are wont to do. As it turns out most close at 5:00, so we only made it to two. Next on the agenda was food, glorious food. Since we'd had BBQ for lunch we weren't necessarily hankering for more sides of beef, so our restaurant choices were rather limited. One bistro sounded promising but they were rather proud of their menu (read: shamefully overpriced) and in all honesty were not very welcoming (read: snooty). It was a tad embarrassing to exit a place after being seated, but we hadn't even ordered water, so we didn't feel too bad.

Thank goodness there was a pizza place right next door.
And it was yummy.

So take that snooty bistro.

Since they roll up the streets around 6:00 (unless wine bars are your thing), we decided to head back into Killeen and see a movie.

I know, girls gone wild stuff.

We couldn't find the theater in time for the early show so we decided to get some shopping in while we waited for the 9:55 show. And browsing at Target while sipping lattes and chatting at Barnes & Noble are much better when you can do them without little (or big) darlings pestering you to buy them something or hurry up.

What movie did we see? Why, The Help of course. It was even better the second time.

(Not that we watched it twice that night or anything, some of us had already seen it with our big darlings though.)

I can't tell you how many times over the course of the remaining weekend someone would bust out with, "You is kiiiiind. You is smaaaht. You is impohtant." and we'd all chime in grinning from ear to ear. As you do.

Saturday morning dawned and after coffee and chit chat, we eventually got ourselves together and into Salado just in time for lunch at a darling little tea room.
Here's Robyn, Heather and Kim...
and then moi with Lacie.
We dined on tasty Chicken avocado salad on croissant, Chicken Bravo soup with peach tea followed by...
warm Pumpkin Crunch for dessert (we shared dessert).
After lunch it was time to hit the streets of Salado. 

(Maybe I should say street since there is only one main drag.)
You know we had to take a feetsie picture. Can you guess which flip-flop is mine?
It was delightful to leisurely stroll along with no agenda, no schedule, no little (or big) darlings pestering you to buy them something or to hurry up.

Are you sensing a theme?
We went to a craft fair.

It was hot.
We took pictures.

We chatted and laughed.

We stopped back into The Pizza Place for restorative ice cold cokes.

Then we walked, and shopped and took pictures and chatted and laughed some more.
(We didn't eat here, I just liked the weathered sign)
I didn't buy anything except for a huge chocolate dipped marshmallow for Annelise and a piece of fudge for Scott, which turned into a huge commitment because you had to carry it around everywhere with you like the fake egg baby you had in high school so that it wouldn't melt (read: die). I was so over my little brown bag of treats by the time we got home Sunday evening.

I guess I was in more of a flea market junk mood instead of overpriced speciality gift shop kind of mood.

I even reached the point where I was fairly sure I'd come unglued if I saw one more blinged out cross.

But I held it together.
It was fun just hanging out together.
And being silly together.
Once the shops closed and the streets started to roll up, we headed for sustenance. As you do. Since we can't go three days without chips and salsa, we ended up here:
Are y'all really surprised?

Before we called it a night we stopped back by Target in order to play with lipstick and nail polish and then back by Starbucks before heading back to our hotel for late night chit chat and crafts. Kim helped us each make a cute-ed up frame with a bling-y magnet for our scripture memory cards. I don't have a photo because it was late and I was possibly delirious so you'll just have to imagine the cuteness.

After lunch Sunday we loaded up and made our way back home. We got to The Ville to pick up The Tween and The Teen just in time for some afternoon coffee and cake with Heather's darling Mama and Nana and eventually made it back to our respective little (and big) darlings later that evening.

So in a nutshell we drove halfway across Texas to eat, drink coffee, see a movie, walk around Target twice, carry fudge and of course browse lots of little overpriced shops.

But it was perfection because we were together.

And I bought a new lipstick at Target.

Are y'all really surprised?
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