Wednesday, October 31, 2012

7 Deadly Sins for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween today I am sharing a list I borrowed from Shane at Whispering Sweet Nothings. I think it was a linky party at some point, but I total missed out on it! Enjoy! And don't eat too much candy tonight :)

seven great things in your life.
1. My son
2. My husband
3. The loving extended family I have
4. My job
5. My blog
6. My college degrees
7. Taking control of my health

seven things you lack and covet.
1. clear, beautiful skin
2. Hardwood floors instead of carpet
3. A NEW car
4. A bigger house
5. Stay-at-home wives/moms
6. Full-time writers
7. Women with naturally perfect hair

seven things that make you angry
1. Slow Drivers
2. Speed Traps
3. Other people who take to long when I'm in a hurry
4. Always picking the SLOWEST line at Wal-Mart
5. People messing with stuff that doesn't belong to them (I deal
with this a lot as a teacher)
6. Misplacing my keys
7. Disrespectful teenagers

seven things that you neglect to do.
1. Laundry
2. Cleaning the litter box
3. Loading the dishwasher
4. Clean out my hair brush
5. Tidy up after myself
6. Take out the trash
7. Brush my teeth before bed

seven worldly material desires.
1. Fossil RVI bag
2. Perfectly broken-in vintage cowboy boots
3. Diamond studs
4. A super awesome new mattress
5. A boat (and a lake house with a pier to dock the boat)
6. Unlimited plane tickets to visit friends
7. Can I say a new car twice??

seven guilty pleasures.
1. Napping
2. Eating fast food
3. Tweezing my eyebrows
4.Watching scary movies
5. Reading YA horror fiction
6. Television (all the time)
7. Old Hilary Duff music

seven things you love about love
1. Cuddling
2. Sweet text messages
3. Back runs that lead to...foot rubs (get your head out of the gutter)
4. Being yourself
5. Watching TV in bed
6. Holding hands while falling asleep
7. Making out in the car after "date night"

Shirtdress- Old Navy
Belt- New York & Co.
Boots- Steve Madden
Necklace- Cato's

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pick- Me- Up

Sometimes when I decide to share a story I have to ask myself things like:

  • is it appropriate?
  • is it believable?
  • is it hilarious?
  • would I wanna read someone else talking about it on their blog?
These two stories from Friday absolutely meet all requirements. 

In the middle of third period, I am handing out study guides when an African-American student randomly blurts out, "Man, you dress like a black girl!" I mean totally random. I was a little taken back, but I thanked him.  I am assuming that was a supreme compliment, right? I didn't ask him to elaborate on exactly what that meant, and if it was a good thing to dress like that, because I was afraid things would get really inappropriate really quickly!

Then on the way home Friday afternoon, I notice out of my peripheral vision a truck driving RIGHT beside me on the interstate. You know how awkward that is, right? Like you can feel them looking at you, and you are thinking, "Is this person road raging on me? Are they trying to warn me of a gas leak? or a flat tire? Or a killer wielding a knife in the back seat?" Nope none of those things. This guy was beside me, a grown man no less, waving at me and blowing kissy faces. I mean he looked perfectly normal, but who the heck does that? I narrowed my eyes and gave him my most withering "WTF" face and flipped him off. Come on, dude. It's 3:30 in the afternoon and I am driving a mini-van for crying out loud. You really want to be hitting on me in the fast lane??

Button-down- Target
Leggings- Eloquii
Boots- Old Navy
Owl Necklace- Cato's

When I called Curtis to tell him about my two crazy experiences, he just laughed and told me I needed to tune down the "hotness". Yep. That was his sage advice. Oh yeah, and "You need to tell that story on the blog!"

Friday, October 26, 2012

Beautiful Boy

I've had several people ask about my tattoos from last week's post "10 Things You Don't Know about Me", so I dug way back in the archives (AKA my old blog) and I am republishing/reposting this. It was originally posted on July 1, 2009, and this is the story behind my third tattoo. Hope you enjoy!

The original John Lennon Sketch
Close your eyes,
Have no fear,
The monsters gone,
He's on the run and your daddy's here,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Before you go to sleep,
Say a little prayer,
Every day in every way,
It's getting better and better,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,

Out on the ocean sailing away,
I can hardly wait,
To see you to come of age,
But I guess we'll both,
Just have to be patient,
Yes it's a long way to go,
But in the meantime,

Before you cross the street,
Take my hand,
Life is just what happens to you,
While your busy making other plans,

Beautiful, beautiful,
Beautiful Boy,
Darling Sean.

So that is one of my favorite John Lennon songs, mostly because it's about his son (Sean), and it always reminds me of my son (Sean). It's just a really beautiful song. I was sitting in class last night and thinking about all the tattoos I want and playing around with song lyrics and quotes and so on, and I thought "John Lennon sketch". Years ago Curtis and I saw an exhibit of Lennon's works and I remember being struck by not only the simplicity of his work, but the love in it. It sounds cheesy but you could "feel" the love he put into these little haphazard scribbles.

I did a ton of searching and found a sketch I loved, except the boy had "his" Sean's straight black hair, and I thought this would be perfect if I could get a tattoo artist to rework it with some crazy blonde hair. The opportunity presented itself today and 30 minutes later, I had it.

Guys, I am so in love with this particular tattoo. It is by far my favorite and so special to me. Sean is at such a magical age right now; everything he does or says it so cute or so smart or so funny. He is the MOST BEAUTIFUL child ever! I just can't imagine life without him. It has been a really tough summer. I have been in classes four nights a week and most Saturdays, so I rarely see him. Thankfully Curtis takes lots of video and tells lots of great stories. I feel like I miss so much, and I know in a couple of years, it will be worth it, but it's hard to think that far ahead when you are right in the middle of it. I've been very discouraged lately, trying to balance school and work and family.

Sean is twenty-one months old... do you still use months at this age? His vocabulary has to be over 100 words, and the things he says are sometimes full sentences. The other day at a very fancy bridal shower (Love you Sara B!), he was admiring all the knickknacks in this museum of a house, admiring them in a very physical way, and he caught me looking at him and he said, in all seriousness, "Don't touch!" I was so impressed; I assumed he got it. Well, next thing you know he's running around with this probably 2000 year old box, yelling "Mine! Mine! MINE!" Oh well.

He loves brushing his teeth and elephants and cars and trucks. He's learning colors, but everything tends to be "blue." He will blow goodbye kisses to anyone. He's awesome, and this tattoo is a permanent reminder of this magical time, and that makes me happy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"FOX"y Lady

As you may know (or may not, it's cool if you aren't keeping up with the day-to-day of my life), I have been looking for a fox sweater for about a month now, ever since I saw a super cute one on Modcloth back before my birthday. I think foxes are supposed to be the "new owl" and you know how I feel about owls (ok, if you don't then you aren't paying enough attention to me!). I've never even thought twice about owning something with a fox on it, but now that sweater haunts me.

So, this top from Dorothy Perkins was a nice consolation prize. Not exactly what I was looking for, but it was cheaper and probably a bit more realistic than a ginormous fuzzy fox on a grown woman. I'm all about running a hipster trend into the ground (see birds, owls, and mustaches for examples) and there is some seriously cute fox stuff going on. Seriously. You can buy any of it for me. Seriously.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are some of my favorite fox pieces (including the sweater that started it all)!

Foxy Lady

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What a Difference a "Belt" Makes

I have talked before about the importance of belts in the wardrobe of every woman, but especially the curvy and plus-sized. Belts can do wonders at givings us the desired "hourglass" silhouette and can really defines a waistline. But today I'm showing you something else belts are good for!

I love belting things. I really hope it doesn't go out of style! I belt dresses, sweaters, skirts. I own skinny belts, wide belts, colored belts, leopard print belts. You name it, I got it! Belts are your friend, ladies!

In my first Gwynnie Bee shipment I received this beautiful tunic top, and I was so excited to wear it. However, I guess I think I am an Amazon or something because the photo clearly showed the top as being quite long like a dress, and I was imagining a flowy, to the hips top. I could have been disappointed, but instead I was resourceful!

If you don't have a wide belt in your arsenal, you are missing out! It is so versatile. I turned this dress-length top into the perfect kimono top by simply folding up the excess material and covering it with my belt! Such a difference, right?

Top- c/o Gwynnie Bee
Skinny Jeans and Belt- Old Navy
Booties- Cato's

Monday, October 22, 2012

Introducing Gwynnie Bee

Maybe I think too highly of myself, but often I come up with a great idea, only to see someone else develop it and make a living from it. It's not sour grapes, just a stated fact. The idea of buying songs for a buck a piece instead of the entire album? Yeah, that was totally me. As a young teen, I spent a lot of time in the now nearly non-existent music store, but I rarely wanted to part with my hard-earned money on an entire album when I only knew for sure that one song was good. I thought it would be brilliant to allow customers to "mix and match" song purchases and make their own "mixed CD" of singles. Brilliant, right?? Fifteen years later, iTunes was introduced...

Every once in a while a modern creation is so groundbreaking, so cool, that I have to stand up and take notice. Cell phones, iTunes, DVR, Netflix- all of these things aren't necessary to live, but they sure make living more fun. Why buy a movie when you are only going to watch it once? What a colossal waste of money. It makes much more sense to "borrow" movies and pay a monthly fee than to throw away $20 every time you want to watch a new release, right?

I think most of you will agree with me on that. So what if you could do the same thing with your closet? What if you could "borrow" pieces and pay a monthly fee? Well, now you can! I have partnered with Gwynnie Bee, a New York-based company, that specializes in "clothing without the commitment for women sizes 10 and up". I rarely seek out partnerships, sponsors, gimmicky things for the blog, but I felt so strongly about Gwynnie Bee and their vision for the oft-overlooked and ignored fashionable plus-size woman that I reached out to them. I wanted to introduce you to the company and provide you with some awesome offers for new members.

Once you request an invitation and subscribe to Gwynnie Bee's services, you have full access to their collection of name brand plus-size clothing (like J.Jill, Kiyonna, IGIGI, Eloquii, Michael Kors, DKNY, and others- not my usual Target and Old Navy). I think of myself as a pretty savvy shopper, but they have so many brands that I've never heard of, and would never have access to in my small Southern town.  Gwynnie Bee updates their collection with new arrivals every two weeks, so there's always some new to drool over. They will quickly ship out your pieces along with postage-paid shipping bags to return the clothing when you are finished with it. Even better than the turn around on Netflix (too slow for me), once you email Gwynnie Bee and tell them you are sending an item back, they immediately work on shipping your next item. You literally having a revolving closet of new, trendy pieces.

My virtual closet :)

With my trial membership I picked out so many cute items, and only a few days later I received my first package with a tweed jacket from Coldwater Creek, a silk dress from J.Jill and a beautiful silk tunic from Evans. The package included a sweet hand-written welcome from Dina and all three pieces were carefully wrapped in tissue paper. Each item has two hang tags- one with laundering instructions, the other with a review and feedback form. In the bottom of the box were my preaddressed shipping bags for sending back each item when I'm ready for something new.

Like Netflix you can keep each item as long as you want- no late fees ;) Everything arrived looking brand-new. Well,  better than brand new because it was ready to wear, not full of wrinkles, like everything I order online. Surely I'm not the only person annoyed by that?! In addition you don't have to return the item washed and clean. Gwynnie Bee will take care of that after you return it! The lazy fashionista in me rejoices!

My first order!

As a partner with Gwynnie Bee, I do believe in full disclosure and I will receive a free month if any of you sign up and mention me, but that's not what this is about. I receive emails from so many women who were just like me a year ago. Unsure of their bodies, uncomfortable with their clothing choices, and uninspired with their own closets- with Gwynnie Bee I see the opportunity for each of you to feel beautiful and special- whether it's for an upcoming holiday party (sequined peplum anyone?!), an important job interview (so many awesome blazers), a wedding or special event (dresses galore- pretty dresses, not shapeless, drab sacks) or just trendy, everyday items (don't even get me started!!).

Just a small sample of the selection GB has!

If you want to know more, I encourage you to visit their Facebook page or their website. I also encourage and invite you to ask any questions in the comments- I promise to give you a truthful, honest answer. As I've already stated, I don't lend my name and my blog to a company and a cause with out fully believing in it myself.

If you don't need any more convincing and you are ready to try it out, I've got a great offer for you!
Gwynnie Bee is offering my readers one free garment for their first two months. That means if you pay for 3 items at a time, you'll get a fourth one free! This promotion is valid until midnight on November 5.  Click this link (and be sure to let them know you heard about it from me)  to learn more and get started!

Don't forget to get the free item, you must let them know that Hems for Her referred you!

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Leaves That Fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
- Emily Bronte

I guess the weather has me feeling poetic. I've always thought we have a wonderful fall here in 
the Deep South, but now as my world has expanded via the blogs I read, I realize I am totally 
getting ripped off! The weather here is still unstable. We have cool, perfect mornings followed
by hot, sticky afternoons. And then before I know it- the leaves will be gone and the days will 
be gray.

Cardigan- JC Penny's
Feather Top- New York & Co.
Skirt and Boots- Old Navy

 That's really all I have to say about that. I choose to linger in fall. Embrace the crunchy leaves and the golden sun this weekend. I know I will.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

10 Things You Don't Know About Me!

By the midway point of the week, my brain is drained. I am totally frazzled. I can't think about much except the weekend. So I thought I'd share "10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me". Prepare to be amazed, disgusted, astounded, and shocked (maybe all at the same time, but hopefully not).

1. I can burp on demand. I don't know why I learned to do this, but at some point in my elementary years my step-sister taught me how. It amazes my high school students and amuses my son. It's a win-win.

2. I love horror movies, but I hate haunted houses. I had a terrible experience in one as a YOUNG child (like 2 or 3 years old) and I have been too scared to try again. Don't ask me why my father thought it was a good idea- clearly it wasn't.

3. I hate showering. I know that's disgusting. Let me clarify. I hate showering but I still do it regularly. It is the BIGGEST waste of time, and once I get out, I am exhausted and I don't want to do anything except go to sleep. That's bad in the mornings.

4. I would take a nap every single day if I could. Most days I do. Seven years ago I was "diagnosed" with idiopathic hypersomnia (not nearly as awesome as it sounds). A sleep study showed that for no known medical reason I wake up dozens of times through the night. These min-awakenings do a number to my restful sleep patterns, so I am ALWAYS tired. Every day around 3:00 PM I feel as if I have hit a wall. It sucks.

5. I've always wanted to write a book. I mean since like the first grade. That's all I've ever wanted to do. I don't know if I will ever actually write a book and that bums me out a lot. I think I could write a book. It's publishing the book that stresses me out because that's a really tough, competitive market.

6. I am a total perfectionist, and the worst kind. If I can't do something well, I just won't do it. It's a terrible attitude to have and something that has plagued me for years. This is why I won't start writing a book. This is why I hate Zumba. And Running. And math. Should I continue? Fear of not being perfect, or being laughed at for not doing things right is the main reason I don't do many things. Sob.

7. I have five tattoos. Curtis HATES tattoos, but I love them. It's a tough compromise. I sometimes wish I could have the type of life where it would be totally acceptable to be covered in tattoos. I also wish they could create ink that would fade over time, so I could replace old tattoos with new tattoos. That would be awesome.

8. I have had my ears pierced no less than five times over the years. As a child they would get terribly infected, so I would lets the holes grow up. When I was twenty-one I decided to get them pierced again for the first time in over 10 years. Curtis went with me to the Claire's at the local mall. I got my ears pierced, hopped off the stool, walked over to the register, and promptly announced that I was going to throw up. And I did. The girl working the register had just enough time to hand me a shopping bag to puke in. A Claire's shopping bag, a.k.a the tiniest accessory bag ever. Not my proudest moment.

9. My clock in my classroom is five minutes slow. My clock in my car is five minutes fast. My watch is set on actual time. There's a method to my madness, but it doesn't really matter.

10. These boots don't belong to me. They are my best friend's, and they are more expensive than all my boots combined. She left them at my house. I'm trying to see how long it takes her to realize I've got them ;)

Monday, October 15, 2012


o·ver·in·dulge  (vr-n-dlj)
v. o·ver·in·dulgedo·ver·in·dulg·ingo·ver·in·dulg·es
1. To indulge (a desire, craving, or habit) to excess: overindulging a fondness for chocolate.
2. To indulge (a person) excessively: overindulges his children.
To indulge in something to excess.

This weekend I was the very definition of overindulgence. I'm not proud of it, but I'm pretty sure if you looked it up in the dictionary today, you'd find a picture of me in there. Curtis and I had a rare full Saturday alone, and we really went all out. We aet out for all three meals and napped (well, I did) and watched football (well, he did) and were pretty worthless.

Of course, if you follow me on Twitter then you witnessed the debauchery live and with photographic evidence. Pizza and pumpkin beer for lunch, hamburgers and mixed drinks for dinner, and the dessert to end all desserts, A Samuel Adams Ocktoberfest Beer Milkshake. Yep, you read right- a BEER milkshake. Guys, it was amazing! Get thee to a Red Robin IMMEDIATELY!

Tunic and Leggings- Eloquii
Wedges- Target (Clearance!)
Lips Revlon Lip Butter- Fig Jam

It's no wonder I woke at 2:00 AM Sunday feeling like trash. I wanted to puke; I felt that miserable. So I chugged some Pepto-Bismol and stayed up reading until my stomach felt settled enough to go back to sleep. Lesson learned. I've been really watching what I eat and eating healthier the past few months, so my body rebelled against all the grease and alcohol and fat. Or I'm getting r-e-a-l-l-y old. Either way, I'm too old for that crap!

P.S. You have until Tuesday to enter to win the Paul Mitchell Giveaway to celebrate my Bloggy Birthday! So head over HERE for your chance to enter!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Comin' Up Katie

I feel like my life is on an upswing right now, and frankly it's long overdue! My blog just celebrated a birthday. I've got an awesome Paul Mitchell giveaway going on. I've got another awesome giveaway in the works for next week. I'm super excited about a collaboration I'll be announcing in a few weeks. My husband has been cooking dinner. Everything is comin' up Katie!

Paisley Chiffon Shell- New York & Co.
Round Toe Wedges- New York & Co.
Cable Stitch Belted Wrap (Similar)- New York & Co.
Ankle Pants- Target (no longer available online)

I really love this outfit. It may become one of my favorite fall outfits. I've had the ankle pants for months now, but I wasn't sure how to style them until I found these pieces from New York & Co. One of the big tends for fall is big chunky sweaters, and this cable knit sweater cape fits the bill perfectly. I left is loose and untied to show of the paisley shell, but I also can't wait to bundle up in it with skinny jeans and chunky boots! Have a great weekend! I know I'm going to :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Baby! (and a giveaway)

My sweet little baby turned one this week and I can't wait to celebrate with you!

When I started this blog a year ago, it really was just something fun to do when I left work. But now it consumes me with such a passion. I am humbled nearly every day by the emails and comments I get. I know I am still small potatoes in the world of blogging, but I feel like I have the coolest, unpaid job ever.

To celebrate I thought I'd be like Oprah and give away some of my favorite things over the next few weeks. I wanted to thank you for reading and being so awesome.... So follow this link over to my new giveaway blog to take a look at the prizes up for grabs and enter to win!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We're Off

This past weekend two awesome things happened at just about the same time. Fall showed up, and so did some new fall clothes I ordered. I was pretty excited. I know I'm not the first blogger to say this, but I really love the fall. For me it is the real new year- school starts back; the air is crisp; it's acceptable to drink hot drinks and make hot soups and stews; the clothes are my favorite colors- warm browns and golds and jewel tones. Fall is also the busiest time of the year for me. We traveled to attend Curtis's brother's wedding, and I got to wear a new dress.

In the small town where the wedding was being held, we ran across this Halloween display outside of a beauty salon. Too cute, right? I love The Wizard of Oz (I was actually a beautician in a production of it two years ago), so I had to pose with the guys! The dress is a silk number from Old Navy. It's that beautiful oxblood, burgundy, chianti color that's so popular right now. Luckily it's a color I already like. The wedding was outside so I did layer with some cable knit tights, and boy was I glad!

Dress- Old Navy
Shoes and Scarf- New York and Co

Granted this week we are supposed to have highs in the 80s AGAIN, but for now I am enjoying the brisk weather and the cozy clothes.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hair's the Thing

I got my hair cut and colored over a week ago, and finally managed to get some good photos to show you! I have such a love/hate relationship with my hair. I love it when I'm having a good hair day, but I hate washing it and styling it. And when I say hate, I mean hate. I've already discussed this on the blog, but it's been a while. My hair is so coarse and dry that I only wash it twice a week. And that's a good thing because it is seriously so thick that it takes forever to dry.

Skirt and boots- Old Navy (no longer on-line, but in stores!)
Sweater- Target (no longer on-line)
Owl necklace- Cato's (stores only, no website)
Scarf- gift from BFF

I know lots of women say they have coarse, thick hair, and I'm not discounting them, but as far as I can tell from over thirty years of hair cuts and stylists, my hair is like abnormally thick. Like three people's worth of the hair on top of my head. It's ridiculous. I've been growing it long for over five years now, and there's not a morning that goes by that I don't fantasize about cutting it all off.

I'm no stranger to short hair and I have also discussed that on the blog as well. I used to take photos of Halle Berry's signature pixie cut into the salon and come out with a super short cut. I love the ease of short hair. It truly is wash and go. But I also love long, curly hair. It's quite a conundrum. I decided I wanted to cut some hair. My BFF and hair stylist extraordinaire talked me down from a full chop and she ended up cutting off four inches, giving me tons of layers, and some kick-ass ombre coloring.

Kick ass Ombre ;)

I felt like a totally new person- super fashionable and spunky, and NO ONE noticed. I mean you ladies did, but no one in real life said anything about it. It was so funny. Hair is so important, and here I thought I was doing something super drastic, and it was completely unnoticed. Gotta love that.

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