Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gettin' It Done

My mommy is a crafty lady. She sews wonderfully, is a picture-framing wizard, an avid garden, and much much more. She knows her way around a toolbox as well as any man. Last spring, while my husband was out of town, she came over to help me do some painting. I made mention of the horrid condition of the privacy fence dividing our patio from the condo parking lot. I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden, the two of us are smashing the thing to smithereens. No more ugly fence. Let's go buy big planters and put pretty flowers in them! OK! Let's put up bookshelves and a pot rack! OK! She's like that. She gets stuff done.

It's spring once again and Steve will be out of town this weekend. I want to renovate my small walk-in closet. Who am I gonna call? Mom. Hopefully I will have Before & After pictures to share.

It's a TINY walk-in closet yet somehow it holds all of my shirts, pants, skirts, jewelry, hats, socks, panties, and lingerie. My dresses, jackets, shoes and purses are stuffed in another closet (to be dealt with at a later time).

Ultimately, here's the goal:

1. Easily see everything in my closet. Right now, I have a hard time getting to the bin where my hats are stored. Finding a particular scarf or belt can also be challenging. And finding the right slip or camisole...nearly impossible. Oh to be organized!
2. Replace hangers. Long ago I rid every closet of every wire hanger. Now, I will be upgrading to wood. This may have to be a process considering the price of wooden hangers, but I am counting on IKEA to get me off to a good start.

Who knows...maybe I'll find my camera in all that mess.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Polka Dots

I like prints. Plaid, stripes, animal, floral, hounds tooth, I enjoy all of it. But there is no other print I enjoy more than the polka dot.

There's just something about polka dots that does it for me. They speak to my heart and put a smile on my face. I like them big, but not ridiculous or clown-like. Being a child of the 80's, I was drawn to them then and am still a fan today. In the past, I've tried to avoid the magnetic impulse to buy polka dots whenever I see them in good form, with the thought that perhaps they are too juvenile or silly for my place in life. Just recently I've decided that they will just have to be an element of my signature look. I can't help it. I love polka dots and I'm not going to hold back anymore.

These are on my "must have" list.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Give and Take

Are you a Giver or a Taker?

When I first asked myself this question, my automatic reply (to myself) is, "Jill! You're a giver, of course!" As if I couldn't possibly be a taker. No, no, not me, never.

I referred to my trusty right-click in Microsoft Word (favorite feature ever) for synonyms for "Giver" and "Taker". Here we go:

Giver = Donor, Contributor, Philanthropist, Benefactor, Provider, Supplier

Taker = Stealer, User, Beggar

I didn't realize "Taker" was so negative. Yikes.

"Giver" on the other hand, looks pretty good, right?

For the most part, I do believe I am a Giver. And I like it just fine the majority of the time. It's certainly better than the alternative. However, some days I wish I could be neither Giver nor Taker. Some days, I just want to be. Being the Giver-type, I'm overly susceptible to Takers. In fact, I often feel that Takers have taken over my life (I'm exaggerating, of course). My husband is also a Giver. This simply means that we're both busy giving to Takers all of the time (again, slight exaggeration). But really, I don't know what to do about it.

Some Takers are okay. The nice ones. The ones I don't mind giving to because their sweetness and appreciation is in turn giving back to me. These Takers would likely be Givers if their circumstances were different. You follow?

Then there are the Mean Takers. The ones who are nasty and mean until they want to take something from you, then they suddenly turn sweet as pie. Mean Takers don't care how valuable it is to you. They want it. They justify taking it in their selfish, distorted minds. They take it without so much as a smile or a "Thank You". Then once they have it, they treat it like it's worthless. But it meant something to you... (it= your time, energy, emotion, money, ect.)

Ugh....Mean Takers. This type wears me out. And I tell ya, today...I'm worn.

Being a natural Giver, I often don't know how to respond. A few years ago, I would've just given in and been sad about my loss. Now, I'm learning to compromise. "No, you can't take that, but you can have this." Hopefully, sooner or later I will find a way to just say "No, this is important to me and you cannot have it." (This would never apply to a Nice Taker).

Obviously, this is what's on my mind today. Not exactly sunflowers and pussy willows, sorry.

On a happy note, I'm wearing my darling button shoes today, Yeh!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Shoot. Still no sign of my camera.

This may be the first time I've worn green on St. Patty's Day...on purpose. I'm not Irish and I don't like beer, so this is not a holiday I typically pay any attention to. I received several reminders yesterday, "Be sure to wear green!" Well, what a great motivation to create an ensamble with a green jersy dress I bought at Gap last season!

Green Dress: Gap
Khaki Jacket: Target
Tommy Hilfiger Blue/White Striped Espedrilles: Burlington Coat Factory

Once again, the majority of my days this week will be spent in training sessions. But no excuses - I'm still working on my style and professional appearance. Today, I give myself a B+.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Visual Interest

I want to go a bit further with this blog. I didn't intend for it to be quite so fashion oriented, but it seems that it's what I like to write about most. I used to really enjoy taking pictures back when the trusty 35mm was the best thing goin'. Although I currently do not know where my cameras are (35mm or digital), I realize that this blog needs more pictures. This weekend I will attempt retrieval of said lost camera(s) and begin my enhanced blogging post-haste. In the meantime, I'd like to introduce my 2 best buddies in the whole wide world. I'll be with them tonight participating in a little Arbonne spa party at Elaina's house.

Me (Left), Katie (Middle), Elaina (Right)

They're both beautiful, inside and out.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Superman is Mine

A glimpse of Steve's creativity.

(Really, truly our faces in cartoon form)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I was supposed to fly home to Minnesota from Dallas last night. Steve and I arrived at our DFW gate a couple hours early after an attempt at shopping with the hubby fell a bit flat. Knowledge of an earlier flight to MSP being cancelled came with a delightful little money-saver for us. We gave up our seats on our awaiting flight in exchange for one this morning, a free night's stay at a nearby hotel, food vouchers, and $300 each in airline credit. And with that, our airfare to Florida for our cruise in September is taken care of - Holla!

Although totally worth it, I didn't sleep much last night: Got up at 3:50am, on the shuttle by 4:15am, in the air around 5:45am, in Minneapolis at 7:50am, and at work sometime before 9:00am. Whew! Steve switched seats with me so I could ride first class for the first time ever! It was lovely.

Good thing I had packed my new purchases in my carry-on bag. Several items just happened to be perfect air-to-work attire. I'm wearing a gray, long-sleeved fitted turtleneck ($7, Macy's) under a navy jersey dress ($20, Macy's) with purple leggings ($7, Macy's) and my flat brown boots.

Unfortunately, my makeup shipped out with our original flight so I had to make do with a little concealer until the cab ride to work...even then, not my best look.

I spent a few glorious hours at the Galleria in Dallas while Steve played Disc Golf. This mall was a bit upscale for me but I found certain chain-store clearance opportunities a-plenty to occupy my time and attention:

Old Navy: 2 light-weight sweaters
Forever 21: Dark denim skinny jeans, gray turtleneck sweater
Payless: black peep-toe booties
Macy's: 2 turtlenecks, jersey dress, leggings, pencil skirt

My cheap Dallas excursion was full to the brim with golf, Six Flags, shopping, food, relaxation, and quality time with my Fave.

Good stuff.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fun Purchases

I was in training all of last week and comfort was the name of the game as far as my attempt at workplace fashion went. Still cute, still appropriate, but ya know...training. This week, I'm fully aware of my appearance and challenging myself to take it up a notch.

My husband is traveling for work once again, leaving me to my own devices. Yesterday afternoon my mom and I raided the clearance racks at our local Herbergers. I got 3 turtleneck sweaters in beautiful, saturated colors for just over $4 a piece. I bought a lightweight coat - very European inspired - for $12, a funky black oxford for $6, and a purple knit shirt for $5 (which I'm wearing today). We then shuffled across the street to Walmart where I purchased a beautiful new pashmina for $3.

On my lunch break today I speed-walked to Macy's where I made a new friend in the bra department. I walked away with one to try (didn't have time to try on), and will be reporting back to her if it doesn't work. I'm going to try a 34D minimizer and padded inserts for cold days (or everyday).

I'm very excited about my new purchases but need to hold back as I'll be joining Steve in Texas Thursday through Monday and one of my free days will be spent at the Galleria Mall. Oh boy!

I wish I could take a picture of my outfit today. I feel very sleek and slim. I'll just describe it: new purple shirt from Herbergers, black suit vest from H&M, charcoal gray trousers from Gap, homemade dangly necklace my friend Lori made, dangly pearls in my ears, black oxford-style boots.

I need some blond highlights in a bad way. This long winter has made my hair look and feel muddy, which does not go with my outfit. (Sigh...) Add that to my 'to do' list.