Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A Long Weekend Getaway

For the last two years part of my family has convened at a cute little island bungalow on the Isle of Palms (near Charleston), South Carolina. M, Hewitt and I just got back this afternoon. Below are some highlights of the weekend in photos. Basically the weekend consisted of alternating fishing on the tidal creek, eating, sunset watching, playing music, mosquito biting, eating, fishing, playing games, applying sunscreen and more eating.

It was nice to get away and relax for a few days, but there's truly nothing like getting back home into your own bed. AHHHHH.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Recovering from Ostrich Syndrome


Ostrich Syndrome is defined as: when people prefer to 'stick their heads in the sand', much as an ostrich does, rather than accept some uncomfortable facts.

Let me be the very first to admit I've long suffered from Ostrich Syndrome. I'd much rather go about my day-to-day life and pretend that there's nothing wrong. Dealing with unsettling news or uncomfortable facts isn't something I would ever choose to do. Some people call it avoidance and others refer to it as isolationism. Regardless of what you call it, it isn't healthy.

I'd much rather stick my head in the sand than talk about what is going on in our country right now. As I awoke this morning to news of violence in my very own city, (Charlotte) I struggled with so many emotions but mainly anger, frustration and sadness.

I'm angry because I don't understand why we continue to allow violence towards people of color by government-appointed officials to keep happening. I'm angry because I don't understand HOW this is still happening. I'm angry because every time I think we are taking a step forward it appears we take two steps back as more and more cities become media targets because of gun violence towards people of color. I'm also angry because the actions of some police officers have bred a rampant distrust of authority and government institution.

I'm frustrated because as a white female I feel powerless to do anything. What can I do? How can I help? How can I affect any real change? I'm generally a very non-confrontational person so how can I use my ethnicity to bring about real change and healing or is that even possible? I definitely agree that there is a disproportionate amount of violence and brutality aimed at people of color and that our justice system has failed so many people so often but I'm frustrated because I do not know how to help.

I'm sad because lives are being ended unnecessarily. Lives are ending. Human beings are ceasing to exist. Families are left without fathers or brothers or sons and there doesn't seem to be an end. I'm sad because people believe that violence is the answer to having your problems heard. I'm sad that people think it's okay to murder police offers in retaliation. As someone who is deeply affected by the emotions of others, I can understand the utter hopelessness and sadness that people are feeling.

This morning a new feeling washed over me as I began to "remove my head from the sand" about racial violence in America and actually think about it and process it. As the emotions of anger, frustration and sadness washed over me I was overwhelmed with a command and an immediate answer.


Pray for the victims' families. Pray for justice. Pray for healing. Pray for peace. Pray for reconciliation and harmony. Pray that the police will have mercy and grace and use supernatural wisdom in dealing with calls. Pray that the unity that comes only from the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ will wash over our country. Pray that the love of God bathes our country from coast to coast. When I can do nothing else, I will pray.

It's time we remove our heads from the sand and acknowledge that there is a real problem with racial violence in our country. We should listen, share and most importantly, pray.

Signed - someone recovering from Ostrich Syndrome.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Summer Goals Report

My original summer goals post can be found here.

Spoiler alert, I failed just about as miserably as I expected. More details below.

one. Save extra money for our Banff vacation in August. Welp, we did save extra money and went into our vacation with more than we budgeted for...but we still spent over. UGH. So...technically...pass.

two. Go to 9Round at least 3x per week. I took like 2 sets of 6-7 days off while I was traveling in May and it is KICKING MY BUTT right now. I don't want to miss so many days again. Fail. Miserably. But to be fair we had some illness in the family to deal with so that took up a bit more time.

three. Cook brussel sprouts. I always thought I was anti-brussel sprouts but I had some sweet chili lime roasted ones at a restaurant and they were DELICIOUS. I'll be on the hunt for a similar recipe and trying them this summer. Fail. I didn't even buy any brussel sprouts. I'm afraid they will stink up my house. But I did eat them a ton this summer thanks to this delish new Mediterranean place that opened near my work. :)

four. Get away to the beach even if just for a short weekend trip. I'm hoping that we can find a good hotel deal and do a 2 day, one night thing just to get to the beach. Pass! This is actually happening this weekend. Isle of Palms, here we come!

five. Get my passport renewed. Pass! 

six. Kayak the Catawba river. Sort of pass. We ended up tubing the Catawba River and it was less than fun. Sigh. More on that in another post. I'm sure kayaking would have been better!

seven. Try a new dessert recipe that's non-chocolate. Basically my life revolves around chocolate so I'd like to find and try a new dessert recipe that is not chocolate. Maybe strawberry something? Fail. 

eight. Learn all the words to "Guns and Ships" from the Hamilton soundtrack. I love the LaFayette rap so I think I should learn it to impress my friends. Um, partial pass? I learned part of the song but  then got sidetracked and forgot.

nine. Host a get together at least once this summer. Pass! I had friends over a few times this summer so this was a definite pass.

Maybe if I technically do the non-chocolate dessert recipe before the first day of fall it would count, right? RIGHT?!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

My Five Skincare Essentials

I'm not one of those people that spends a ton of money on skincare products. But I AM one of those people with the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mindset. With that said, these are my tried-and-true skincare essentials that have proven themselves to work for me and my epidermis for years.

1. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer
How did I exist without before this was invented? I can tell you that I did exist but it was with greasy, lotiony hands. This stuff is truly moisturizing and dries quickly and I love the aloe fresh smell.

2. Aveeno Eczema Therapy
This works great for when my dry skin patches erupt. For the most part I only use it a little in the summer as needed but I do use it pretty regularly in the winter. It gets the job done and stops the itch of dry skin from eczema!

3. Equate Sensitive Skin Facial Wipes
These things are the bomb. (is that still used??) They are for sensitive skin so they don't irritate and have aloe and cucumber to soothe. They also have a knubby side for mild exfoliation. I've been using these for YEARS! And they are like $4 from Walmart!

4. Aquaphor Lip Repair
Not kidding when I say this has transformed my lips. I'll admit I had to get over the fact that it doesn't have any menthol or "tingly" feeling like my beloved Carmex, but it's worth it once you get used to it. I felt like Carmex (Blistex, etc.) was actually drying my lips out and making them more dependent on chapstick. This Aquaphor is awesome. I put it on at night and am good to go from a chapstick perspective all day!

5. Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer
This is another one that's been in my repertoire for a while. I use it every day, all year long and it never fails. I love the spf it has in it so even when I don't put on any makeup I still am protected by just moisturizing.

What are some of your skincare essentials?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Insta-Outfits v. 8

Unintentionally, in all three of my outfit pictures I'm wearing mustard yellow. It's my new favorite color to wear...I think because I feel like it makes me look tanner? Or it makes my hair look blonder? I'm not sure exactly why. It could be because being blonde I've ALWAYS shied away from wearing yellow simply because my hair is yellow. But this shade of yellow is just doing everything for me and I have no plans to stop.


Shortly after I wore this I discovered a third hole in this cardigan that was a former hole I'd sewn shut. I decided it was time to retire this beloved member of my cardigan family. I've had it for more than 5 years and for a Target cardigan that's a LONG time. 
Outfit details: Dress | Cardigan (similar) | Shoes (similar) | Necklace

This top was my first venture into mustard yellow in a non-cardigan form. I really liked this top that I got from Amazon and it works well for the office! 
Outfit details: Top | Cardigan (similar) | Shoes (similar) | Necklace 

This is the latest edition of mustard to grace my closet. I swiped this cardigan from Amazon as well. Also, I just realized (as I'm typing this) that I paired mustard with leopard print. Weird how you don't notice those things right away! 
Outfit details: Cardigan | Top | Shoes (similar) | Necklace

Would you or have you ventured into wearing mustard yellow? Follow me on Instagram to see outfit posts, pictures of the sky, my dog and other random things.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

It's (Almost) Sweater Weather!

Cardigans and sweaters are kind of my jam. And though I wear cardigans all year, the rest of the world jumps on the sweater bandwagon in the fall. I try to add one or two nice sweaters to my wardrobe each year (cycling out some old or ratty ones). This year, I'm looking to replace my beloved mustard cardigan since it now has 3 holes in it. (Two of which re-opened after having been sewn closed!)

Clockwise from top left:
This mustard yellow cardi is a contender to replace my holey one. And it's Lands End so I definitely know it will last quite a few years!

This mossy fern green cardigan is not a color I've worn a lot of before but I'm really digging it for fall. I would look awesome with mustard yellow, berry, blush, gray or even pale blue!

This marled wrap cardigan just looks extremely cozy. Like you could curl up with this, some leggings and a good book on the couch.

This plum/berry color is really popular this fall and it goes with almost anything! They even have the matching shell if you're into the twinset look.

If you see or hear of any good cardigans on sale, let me know!!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

An Ode to the QuikTrip Gas Station

I've never paid much attention to gas stations in the past. Usually I'm just there for a bit to get my gas and/or snacks/drinks for my travels.

Well, that was the case until I discovered QuikTrip (QT for short). These are not a new chain but they've definitely only recently popped up in the area I live. (Charlotte, NC area) These are, hands down, the best gas stations I've ever ventured in to. The ode below tells why...

Oh QT -
How do I love thee? Let me count thy ways...

Your snacks are delicious and your protein bars, nutritious
Your assortment of food is outstanding

I can take my time to order what's on my mind
And your employees stand smiling and not demanding

Your restrooms are clean and your employees are not mean
Your store is always organized and spacious

Checkout is quick even if you need lottery tix
And the people behind the counter are gracious

Your hot dogs are famous and doughnuts, not heinous
Your slushies number the dozens

There's nothing like a slice of pepperoni pizza baked fresh from the QT kitchen ovens

Never has a gas station actually put me into a better mood leaving than I was when I arrived. This is the Publix of gas stations and I will gladly go out of my way to patronize a QT than another gas station/convenience store.

This is proof that you can still have an effective business centered around quality and excellent customer service in a fast-paced consumerist society. No, I was not compensated in any way to write this post. I just genuinely love QT. Um...well I can't really think of a good way for me to end this quasi-awkward love fest of a post so I'll just stop. Happy Thursday!

Photos are not mine