Friday, January 30, 2009

Fashion Tip Friday: Shopping Thrift

We're all suckers for good deals. It doesn't matter who you are, what your income level, if you have ten kids or none... a good deal makes your heart beat faster, your eyes widen and your mouth curve into a slight grin. Or, if you're me, you jump up and down while squealing, "Eeeeeeeeee," clapping your hands and laughing. Yes. All at the same time.

So, why not take advantage of places where good deals abound? Where treasures await by the dollar? I know thrift stores have a certain dirty-smelly-used stigma, but... and I say this in the kindest and gentlest of ways... get over it. If you've followed this blog for any length of time you know some of the amazing deals I have found. My house, my family and I are all better dressed because of it.

But today I want to focus on HOW you shop thrift for CLOTHES. I hear all the time, "Well, I went, but I didn't find anything." "I just don't want to search through those racks." "I wouldn't even know where to start or what to look for." I have many more tips on shopping thrift for furniture, and just in general. But, since this is FASHION Tip Friday, we're going to focus on the apparel side of the "previously loved" industry. You can do this. YOU can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! And, in today's economy, you really SHOULD be doing this.

Angela's Guide To Shopping Thrift, Abridged:

*Know Your Stores*

~Check around. Listen for where others are scoring their finds. Some stores are better for clothing, others for furniture and household items. This just may require some ground work, which means you getting out there and visiting the stores themselves. *gasp* Pretty soon you'll have a good feel for each place.

~Find out what sales stores have. (Yes, thrift stores have sales. It's a beautiful thing.) When is their 50% off day? Do they discount things after a certain time in the evening? (Goodwill 50% off days are marked in red on my calendar.) When do they change which color tagged items are a dollar? Know and go. Know and go, baby.

~Find out what days their trucks come in and when they put certain merchandise out. (Clothes in the morning? heavy items in the afternoon?)

~Get to know the employees. Often they can tell you when an unexpected shipment is coming in or if an unadvertised sale is on the horizon. Sometimes they will even hold back an item if they know you're looking for it, or price it lower if they're standing there with the pricing pen and your drooling over the large solid wood frame that would look awesome painted black and placed in the corner of your living room. (What? Did I do that? I can't quite remember.)

*Be Prepared Before You Go*

~Have a designated Thrift Outfit that you can try clothes on over. Many thrift stores don't have dressing rooms, but they also may not have a suitable return policy. We're in to saving money here, so there's no sense in spending $3.00 for those jeans if you're not sure they're going to work. Wear something you can try clothes on over. My outfit of choice includes leggings under an elastic waistband skirt, that way I can try on pants without feeling like I'm flashing the world. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Also, wear a very fitted tank top under a zip-up hoodie. You can try on any shirt over the tank without dealing with bulk, but won't feel too revealing because you have the hoodie to wear while you're shopping! Also, if you want to try a dress on, just slip the skirt off as you're pulling the dress down/up. Remember, you'll still have on the tank top and leggings. This way you won't come home with things that don't fit! And you can feel excited about them as you're paying, instead of unsure.

~Don't wear jewelry that comes off easily or that can snag on clothing as you're trying it on.

~Carry hand sanitizer and lotion in your purse.

~Also a water bottle.

~And a little bag of hard candy. (Okay, that's a tip for all the time, not just thrift shopping.) It can preoccupy the kids, silence another mother's whining child (she'll think you sweet and brilliant), or bring a little taste of joy to your shopping.

~If you have to leave at a certain time to pick up the kids or make that meeting, set the alarm on your cell phone so you're not constantly checking the clock. Set it for twenty minutes earlier than you need to leave so you can make your final decisions and check out.

*Have a Plan*

~Get a cart at the door so you can pile things in. If there's no cart available, see if they have a stroller for sale and use that. No, you can't feel guilty about not buying it in the end. Someone will be grateful it's still there later in the day. It's as if you saved it just for them.

~Be systematic about shopping the racks. What do you need most? Start there, then work your way down.

~It's okay to skip the row of button down dress shirts if you don't wear them. Don't feel guilty. Move on.

~I've found it most productive to, as I'm standing looking at the rack, move from left to right. Stores tend to hang things with the labels facing left, so it's easier to eye them as you go.

~When your cart starts getting pretty darn full and you can't navigate aisles easily, move to the closest mirror and try everything on. Discard the "no's" and put the "yes's" and "maybe's" back into the cart. If there's something you're wavering on, hang on to it and try it on again in the second round. You might see it differently, or a friend might show up and help you make the decision.

~Don't skip the glass cases! I know there's a lot of junk crammed in there, but often there's good costume jewelry or a designer handbag stuffed in the back. Don't be afraid to ask to see the stuff out of the case! That's what the workers are there for. My friend found a $100 handbag, never used, with the receipt still inside. To think she almost didn't ask to see it out of the case... oh, the travesty it would have been.

*Other Tips*

~Feel the fabric as your going through items, instead of just moving the hanger. You don't have to linger, but sometimes just touching it can alert you to quality material you might have missed otherwise. One of my good finds was an Ella Moss black top that was folded OVER the hanger (not hanging on it) so I missed the label. I almost passed it by in the myriad of black shirts, but my fingers touched the material and I instantly knew it was quality. When I pulled it out and saw the label I was thrilled!

~Notice I've said a few times to keep your eyes on the labels. That's because you need to keep your eyes on the labels!

~But don't buy something just because of the label. I have seen Christian Lacroix (Authentic! Yes!), Betsy Johnson, Free People, and other awesome names that truly should never, EVER be removed from that store rack... unless they're to be made into a pillow or recycled. Ever. (A bright orange shrug with mermaid sleeves? Maybe on the runways in the late nineties, but not now in my closet.)

~Be willing to pay a little more for something you KNOW you're going to wear and love. Yes, we're all for cheap and deals and whatnot. And I'd rather go on 50% off day and pay $3.00 for those crisp, white pants than $6.00. But $6.00 for $80.00 pants is incredible, and if you'll wear them, pay the six bucks! The worst thing is to leave something behind that you SHOULD have bought, then the next time your at the grocery store thinking, "That jar of pickles is the same price as those pants! Why didn't I just get them?"

~Take your girlfriends with you! What fun to make a morning of shopping Goodwill, then hit a laid back place for lunch and dish about your great finds. It's therapeutic. Also, they can help you try stuff on and give a thumbs up or down when you're wavering.

~There are GREAT clothes for EVERY size and shape, from 2 to 24. (Wednesday I saw a double zero AND a 3XL that were BOTH cute and fashionable.) Don't you tell me they don't have anything for you. They DO!

Now you have some ideas and a game plan. No more excuses! Let me know what you find! Dish on your deals!

What other tips have you found when shopping for clothes at thrift stores? And, let me know how these work for you next time you go!
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Shoes on Sale!

I just had to alert my readers! Victoria's Secret has some of the most yummy shoes around. (And they carry Steve Madden, as well as his Steven line.) An extra 20% off already reduced prices? I'm SO swooning. (Although, Nate may not be. Hmm.)

So, go here. Fill your shopping bag FIRST. And then go through it deciding which ones are truly essential and which ones you could pass on.

But, remember, shipping is not free. (They may have a "free with over $100 purchase," but...) Also, I'm not sure flat out returns are free, either. You can exchange for free, though. (Which is why I usually stick to sites like endless.)

Just a heads up. I've already filled my shopping bag. I need to survey the potential damage before proceeding.

Sale ends Thursday.
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Monday, January 26, 2009

My First Ever Giveaway!!!

I've never done a giveaway, and I've always wanted to. So, I might as well start today since it's the Bloggy Giveaway Quarterly Carnival! Why not join in the fun and live my dream all at the same time?

My thought was, "What would I like to win in a giveaway?"

Hmmm... *coffee with Patsy Clarimont and Mary Graham (and Sheila Walsh and... blast it... any and all of the Women of Faith ladies.)

*An all expense paid trip somewhere tropical.

*A weekly housekeeping service.

*A spot on the main stage at Creation West.

*Amazing designer clothes and accessories.

*A hair and makeup overhaul with Nick and Carmindy.

*A year's worth of pedicures.

*A custom blog layout.

*Someone to come and organize my home from floor to ceiling.

I could keep going on... but I have none of these to give away. (Unless you want to come over later this week and we can paint our toes together while watching What Not to Wear. Then I'll get out my guitar and serenade you.)

So, I'm going to give away coffee... of sorts. A $5.00 Starbucks gift card will be mailed to a randomly selected (I'm sure my children will be involved) winner. All you have to do is leave a comment. Be sure your email is connected to your comment, or that you leave your email address in your comment so I can contact you if you win! I'll close the contest Friday at midnight.

ALSO... because I'm all in to fun and deals and Goodwill... I'm going to throw in a fashionable surprise!!! Can't you just hardly STAND the excitement?

For additional entries, you can subscribe to this blog (or "follow" me, if you're on Blogger), peruse my other posts and leave comments there, or link to this post from your blog! Yay! Just make sure you leave a comment for each letting me know so ALL of your entries are counted.

Woo-Hoo! Free stuff! I love it!

Check back this Saturday to see who won and find out what mystery gift will accompany the Starbucks bliss!
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Free Movie Rental

Want to kick back tonight? Was your weekend crazy and you need a little Monday down time? Grab a Costco pizza, then run by your nearest Redbox and pick up a free movie. (Tip: put the Costco food court phone number into your cell and call to order as you're leaving the house. It will be ready when you get there.)

Just plug in this code: 57VH9L.

You still have to swipe a card in case you return it late, but the rental should be free. The code will only work until tonight (Monday) at midnight, and you have to return it by tomorrow at 9pm.

Also, the movie Fireproof comes out on DVD tomorrow and should be at all Redbox locations. You can rent that free with the code DVDONME later in the week, which shouldn't expire. Nate and I never did get to the theater to see it. (I know! Back off! We've been busy.)

Happy Monday all! (Maybe I should say "y'all" instead. I'd sound cooler. All Jessica Simpson and such.)
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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Next time, remind me.

When you're standing next to me at Target in front of the holiday clearance M&M's that are 75% off, remind me. Remind me that the last three times I've been in that situation I've disappointed myself. Not at that exact moment. At that exact moment I was proud. But, weeks later, I've been disappointed. Because the last three times I've thought, "Oh, I should only get a couple of bags. You know, it's really not good to have it just sitting there in the pantry. It's so tempting. And I really don't need it. I really shouldn't have it. A couple would be a good treat, but too many would be indulgence."

Yet this morning, I go to the pantry craving that little bit of chocolate-y goodness and... gasp... they're gone.

I finished them off yesterday.

Oh, the agony! Oh, the pain! My mouth is craving just a few little golden pieces (actually, they were read and green) that would compliment my Super Yummy Coffee so well and... THEY'RE ALL GONE.

I know. I know. Thank you for your condolences.

So, I did the only thing I knew to do. (Well, that's not true. There was another thing, which was walk upstairs to my amazing closet and get some of the chocolate I have stashed away up there. But I didn't want to walk upstairs. If you take that much time and thought to do something, then it's meaningful. Sneaking impulsive chocolate can't be meaningful, because then it would count. If it's impulsive, then it's not meaningful. Therefore it doesn't count. Follow me?) I ate the only chocolate left in the remains of the Halloween candy... Almond Joy. I believe the thought was, "These can't really be THAT bad. I mean, there IS chocolate on the outside. That should suffice." I took a bite.

The other half is in the trash can.

So, next time I'm at Target deciding how many bags to get, remind me. And I'm so excited that the next time will bring pink and white M&M's, because the only thing better than 75% off red and green ones is 75% off pink and white ones. And in the chaos of the after Christmas sale, I mistakenly thought two bags of milk chocolate plain (one for me and one to share) and two bags of dark chocolate plain (one for me and one to pay back my friend for all the ones I ate at her house... see below) would suffice.

Also remind me that I have found I love dark chocolate M&M's. I tried them at my friend's house because it was what she had... and we were drinking coffee... and when there's coffee and girl chat it's really somewhat imperative that chocolate be available. And I usually am not an overwhelming fan of dark chocolate, but it IS chocolate. I also think my tastes may be changing, because I've enjoyed dark chocolate a lot more lately, and at times milk chocolate is almost too sweet. *gasp* (I know. How dare I? That's something that should not have been said.)

I tried them.

I loved them.

Maybe even more than my beloved plain ones. They aren't quite as sweet, but still have the candy coating, which makes them perfectly sweet. And you don't eat as many, for some reason, so they can be justified easier. (But, as you see, I really have no problem justifying things.)

So, next time I'm at Target staring at the 75% off holiday M&M's and trying to be practical and healthy and reasonable, remind me not to be. When you're standing next to me listening to my back-and-forth rambling as to why I should and why I shouldn't, remind me. If you're on the phone with me at the time, remind me.

I mean, really. M&M's don't expire. And, although red and green ones may look dated come the end of January, pink and white ones will be "IN" year round. They're just so darn, stinkin' cute. And yummy.
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Fashion Tip Friday: Make Any Outfit Cuter

For those of you who already accessorize, this post probably isn't for you. But for the rest of us...

I hear all the time, "But, how DO you accessorize?" "How do you know?" "Where do you even start?" "I wouldn't know what to buy!" "I'm not sure, so I just wear the same studs all the time." "I just forget the jewelry altogether. I mean, who has time?"

I will address other accessory issues in other posts, but I want to start you off with a simple, simple philosophy: everything looks better with hoops and a bracelet. Everything.

This isn't to mean these are the only accessories in your repertoire, but it's a darn good place to start. I race around just as much as anyone, and 80% of the time I'm not going to go through my jewelry box trying on different things to see what looks perfectly right. But I do have a few different sizes of hoops and a couple different bracelets I can throw on as I'm slipping my feet into my shoes. It takes nothing extra, but adds so much.

A good rule of thumb is to have small, medium, and large hoops in both gold and silver (I only have medium and large in silver, though.) If I'm in my velour pants and hoodie, I go with smaller earrings and a smaller bracelet. If I'm in heels, the larger earrings and chunky cuff. (Unless I'm wearing a chunky necklace, then I stick to the smaller ones so it's not visually too much.) Make sense?

It's really not an overwhelming thing, and you get the hang of it so easily. Plus, hoops look super cute when worn with a hat. (Hats. Yay! We'll address that in another post, too.) They just add that something extra you were thinking your outfit needed, but didn't want to take the time to figure out.

"But, Angela! I don't want to run out and spend a bunch of money on six new sets of earrings and four new bracelets!"

You don't HAVE to!!! Go look in your jewelry box right now. I know you have some bracelets shoved in the back. You don't have to stick with gold or silver, either! I'm just giving you a simple little philosophy that will make things easier. Expand on it!!! Be creative! If you have a bunch of little bracelets, pile them on together for a chunky look!

The next time you're at Ross or TJ's pick up one of those three packs of hoops for a few dollars. You can even spend that extra four bucks on the funky cuff you passed on before because you didn't know what to wear it with. Then on Monday when you're heading out to run errands, throw the medium sized hoops on with your jeans and tee. Slip on that funky cuff. Look in the mirror and you'll see what I mean. You'll initially feel like it's too much... but it's not. You'll feel a little cuter, a little more fun, and there will be an extra spring in your step.

Now it's easy. You'll have your fall back accessories for any outfit, and the guesswork is gone!

Side note: For those of you that have questions, email me with "Fashion Question" in the subject line and I'll attempt to answer it in a post! Some of you have emailed in the past, and I've been remiss in not getting back to you like I've wanted. I'm going to work harder to be diligent at this! Send me your queries and let's see what we can do.

Thanks for stopping by Fashion Tip Friday!
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Thursday, January 22, 2009


What an awesome, awesome story. I found it today on a blogging buddy's site, and cried just as she had when I read it.

We are called to love God and love people. There is no difference in His eyes. This football coach did exactly that. Wow.
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pray for our President


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A Good Reminder

"Watch out for the doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, 'I'm the One,' or, 'The end is near.' Don't fall for any of that. When you hear of wars and uprisings, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history and no sign of the end...

"Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Huge earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. You'll think at times that the very sky is falling.

"But before any of this happens, they'll arrest you, hunt you down, and drag you to court and jail. It will go from bad to worse, dog-eat-dog, everyone at your throat because you carry my name. You'll end up on the witness stand, called to testify. Make up your mind right now not to worry about it. I'll give you the words and wisdom that will reduce all your accusers to stammers and stutters.

"You'll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. There's no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head!—is in my care; nothing of you will be lost. Staying with it—that's what is required. Stay with it to the end. You won't be sorry; you'll be saved.

"When you see soldiers camped all around Jerusalem, then you'll know that she is about to be devastated. If you're living in Judea at the time, run for the hills. If you're in the city, get out quickly. If you're out in the fields, don't go home to get your coat. This is Vengeance Day—everything written about it will come to a head. Pregnant and nursing mothers will have it especially hard. Incredible misery! Torrential rage! People dropping like flies; people dragged off to prisons; Jerusalem under the boot of barbarians until the nations finish what was given them to do.

"It will seem like all hell has broken loose—sun, moon, stars, earth, sea, in an uproar and everyone all over the world in a panic, the wind knocked out of them by the threat of doom, the powers-that-be quaking.

"And then—then!—they'll see the Son of Man welcomed in grand style—a glorious welcome! When all this starts to happen, up on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high. Help is on the way... Look at a fig tree. Any tree for that matter. When the leaves begin to show, one look tells you that summer is right around the corner. The same here—when you see these things happen, you know God's kingdom is about here. Don't brush this off: I'm not just saying this for some future generation, but for this one, too—these things will happen. Sky and earth will wear out; my words won't wear out.

"But be on your guard. Don't let the sharp edge of your expectation get dulled by parties and drinking and shopping. Otherwise, that Day is going to take you by complete surprise, spring on you suddenly like a trap, for it's going to come on everyone, everywhere, at once. So, whatever you do, don't go to sleep at the switch. Pray constantly that you will have the strength and wits to make it through everything that's coming and end up on your feet before the Son of Man."

~Jesus, Luke 21, The Message Bible
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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Brit's Big Day

She was our third baby, but our first girl. I remember the showdown clearly. Nate wanted her ears pierced right away, because, well, that's just what you do. I said "absolutely not!" (This has been one of the few showdowns in our marriage I have actually won, by the way.) Each family does what is best for them, and in ours this would be a right of passage. Something Brittney could have done when she could know how special it is, when she could take care of them herself. It's a big responsibility, one of the steps a girl takes in her journey toward becoming a woman. It was going to be something anticipated, earned, looked forward to, exciting...

a momentous occasion. One that happened a little over a week ago.

She was pretty nervous when we walked in. Sitting in the chair made it worse. Good thing Sarah was there to hold her hand.

Then she was brave and excited.

The cleaning of the ears.

Then everything kind of fell apart. Lots of tears. Not sure. But still wanted to do it so badly. Lots more tears. My heart was breaking. We finally got the first side done.

Then it was over. Yay, Brit! Hugs all around. I don't think the lady doing the piercing had much fun, but in the end Brit was super ecstatic. I think she picked the perfect earrings: rhinestone daisies.

Turns out, Brit thought the lady was going to push the sharp earrings through with her hands. The whole "piercing gun" concept was kind of lost amid the tears and excitement. Poor girl. No wonder she got so scared.

Now all is done. She's been doing an excellent job keeping them clean, and can't wait to be all healed up so we can go pick out some more earrings. I watch her face shine when she receives compliments, and I'm so glad we waited.

My little Brittney is not so little anymore.
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Monday, January 19, 2009

Free Movie Rental

If you have a redbox nearby, you can get a free movie rental today (Monday). It will expire tonight, though. Just put in the code: K6W3G4.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kate Spade

I have found some aMAZingly incredible thrift store deals in the past few months. In fact, there was a lady today at Goodwill (Fifty percent off, baby! Oh, yeah!) who scored eight authentic Coach handbags a bit ago. Eight. Did you read that? Eight. Okay, maybe they could have been really good knock-offs. But I have seen an authentic, albeit older, Coach come from just such a place. (I have connections.) So, I know it can happen. And in this Goodwill, where I've scored more than a few high end labels, it IS possible.

But, when I came across this a few weeks back, it took me a while to know whether or not it was a fake. I mean, it looked just like the real deal. I simply couldn't be sure. It even had an authentic looking label. But there was just something about it that left me uneasy.

What do you think? I don't know. Maybe I should have gone for it. =^)

(Yes! Great deals today! A new tea kettle, thanks to my amazing friend. Banana Republic pink silk cashmere for me, among other cute tops. And Brit now has her own Juicy sweatshirt. God DOES so spoil me.)
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Monday, January 12, 2009


So real. Remember this happening? This is the rest of the story. Amazing.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do you see what's happening?

God speaking to Abraham, the father of Israel, in Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you; those who curse you I'll curse."

From a Comcast news article this morning: "And with neither side ready to step down, the death toll in two weeks of fighting rose to more than 800 Palestinians, according to Palestinian medical officials, and 13 Israelis."

Did you read that? 800 Palestinians. 13 Israelis.

Further in that article it reads: "Israeli defense officials say they are prepared for a third stage of the offensive, in which ground troops would push much further into Gaza, but are still waiting for approval from the government.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were discussing classified information, said the army also has a fourth stage planned that calls for a full reoccupation of Gaza and toppling of Hamas."

This will happen. I sit with baited breath watching biblical events unfold before my eyes. The words of Isaiah rolling out in real time. How can people not see? How can people not believe? How can people deny God's truth and His word?

Again, Genesis 12:3 "I will bless those who bless you; those who curse you I'll curse." As said by a good friend (Once again, start your blog and I'll link you, darn it!) this is God's foreign policy. Those who bless Israel will be blessed, those who curse them will be cursed.

Oh, Lord. Help our nation be on Your side, Israel's side. All others are fighting against You. Open the eyes of those who have been blind! Bring Your people to You!

(Read the full article here.)
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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Works For Me Wednesday: Fielding a Compliment

You do it, too. Someone says something nice and you don't know what to say. You get a little embarrassed, or feel a tad self-conscious. Maybe you brush it off and say something a little berating about whatever it is they just said was great about you. Or maybe you pretend you didn't hear it and change the conversation.

But think when YOU compliment someone ELSE, and they in turn say something a little berating about themselves, or pretend they didn't hear you. Or, worse yet, become obviously insecure. Then you feel badly for even saying anything.

I can hear my mother now, "Just say 'thank you.'"

Somewhere a few years back I actually started doing that. Rather than growing insecure or saying something negative to counteract their positive, I'd just say, "thank you," and smile. There are still times when I'll revert to my more immature, "Well, you know. It's not really THAT great." But for the most part, I hold my head high, smile big, and say a very heartfelt, "thank you so much."

It has something to do with confidence... and grace... and knowing there are things about you other people DO like. And the thought that when I compliment someone else on something, I really want them to know it. So, wouldn't my complimenter feel the same way?

If the person doing the complimenting goes on about whatever it is, there are different appropriate ways to direct the conversation. It's always good to share the credit, because rarely do we accomplish everything ourselves. (I mean, really. If someone is saying how well I've organized something... I didn't. Because we all know that's a huge weak-spot with me.)

So, the next time someone compliments you, smile, look them straight in the eye, and simply say, "Thank you. Thank you so much." You will exude grace and confidence.

(This is a fashion tip as well, because everyone looks better when exuding grace and confidence.)

You can find more great Works For Me Wednesday tips at Rocks In My Dryer.
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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Warrensburg, Missouri

So, evidently someone from Warrensburg, Missouri likes my music. They bought all four of my songs on December 13th. Craziness! I'm not sure I know anyone in Missouri. (Technically, if you count both versions of Be There, I have five songs. But we'll say four for posterity's sake, since two versions don't equal a new song. Just the same song. In a different way. Which is so cool. Thanks to the amazing Scott.)

I haven't put anything new up in so long that I often even forget the songs are there. But, I did record something new over the weekend! Thanks to my awesome friends Matt & Jen. (If you had a blog or something I'd link you right here, by the way.) However, we're having a little technical difficulty getting it into mp3 format. I'll post it on my page as soon as I can. It's nothing fancy... but it IS fun.

(Wow! Two posts in one day. I am on a ROLL!)
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I have other posts.

There are all these posts floating around in my mind. All these fun ideas that include fashion... or introspective quandaries... or both. There's a new year's one, and an old year's one, and a kids and family one. There's even a crafty one. But all I can think of are the taken down Christmas decorations laying in a heap in my living room begging to finally be put away. Or the laundry that is crying out to be washed and folded. Or the floor that is saying, "Clean me! Clean me!"

I know I haven't given you a real post in a few weeks. And we're truly past that point in time where I can blame it on the "busyness of the season." Except that it really is due to exactly that. Well, the aftermath of that. (It sounds like I'm talking about an earthquake, here.)

The kids are home for another two weeks. TWO WEEKS. Did you read that right? Two weeks. Which is equal parts wonderful, horrible, and unexplainably time consuming.

So the post on what I learned last year will have to wait, even though I've already started to type it out. Hopefully Fashion Tip Friday will come to you later this week... well, on Friday... but I can't guarantee anything.

I haven't even recapped the great time we've spent with family and friends over Christmas and New Year's. And there's been no mention yet how excited I am to watch the events in the Middle East play out. (Holy cow! Are you WATCHING the prophecies unfold? Do you see the significance of all this? HOLY COW!)

So, for now. Know that I love you and miss you, my faithful blog readers.
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