Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Slow Summer Days: What I'm Wearing And Enjoying



The cats and I have been doing a lot of SLOW things.
It's irritating.
(Having to be slow, not the cats!)
I can't seem to get my energy levels back up where I'd like them to be.



Two weeks ago, I went to a 12-step meeting for people who have chronic pain and/or illness.
Learn more about my experience in this little video I made:



I was careful and purposeful over the weekend,
and on Monday, I was able to run all our errands - yay!
I really liked my outfit that day (outfit video on its way soon!)
blouse: Maison Jules (Macy's)
skirt: Max Studio (Amazon)


Lighting in this photo was weird, but I loved this outfit, too.
In fact, I've been extra careful to wear my favorite things this past few weeks
because I enjoy it and I want to do as many things that I enjoy as possible!

I love how the stripes on the shirt and the stripes on the bag echo each other.
shirt: Target
skirt: MICHAEL Michael Kors (Amazon)
bag: Betsey Johnson (Ross)



Here's another one . . . 
I sort of want to wear this dotted blouse every day.
blouse: Maison Jules (Macy's)
skirt: Recuzzi (Amazon)

blouse: PerSeption (Ross)
skirt: Vince Camuto (Amazon)
bag: The Sac (Ross)
shoes: Target

Here's a little video I made about my favorite things right now.
Enjoy!

Hieroglyphic Trail Hike

I realized I never posted this video of a QUIET hike I did all alone.
I barely saw anyone else on the trail because it was a weekday and it was late in the year.
Happily, it was unseasonably cool at the time
(we're making up for it now - it reached 110 again today!)


Enjoy the beautiful desert with me!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Let's Talk About The Heat


Whew!  I took this a few minutes ago, and I think that's as hot as it's going to get today
because the temperature is on the way down (at least for now).

A private Amazon delivery man delivered a book to me this afternoon and his scanner wasn't working properly, he said because of the heat.  He told me that many of the private Amazon delivery drivers refused to deliver today.  I understand why!  I told him to be careful and turn his a/c up high in his car, and he said it wasn't working . . . (!!!) I asked if he needed water and if he'd be okay, but he said he's part gecko or lizard and would be fine.  
Juildeen's uncle (in his 30s) died from heat-related kidney damage, and we know another person whose kidneys shut down from a short stint in extra hot weather (thankfully his started up again).


Can you see the two hummingbirds and one dove in the fountain?


If you look in the roof rafters, you'll see three hummingbirds waiting out the heat.
There was one more in the fountain.


I'm doing the best I can to provide a creature-friendly backyard desert paradise.
Red yucca, birdseed, water fountain, trees, cacti . . . 
I hope these little guys do okay.
I'm pleased that we have FOUR of them choosing Casita Priem!

One good thing about the increased fatigue I've been having lately is that I haven't gone out much in the heat.  In fact, I've been doing a lot of this . . . 


It's been a bummer to have to curtail things again for a bit, but it seems to be lifting slightly the past day or two.  At my most recent visit with my doctor, she said that my thyroid numbers are within the normal range now.  That's great news!  In fact, I have needed to decrease the does of one of the thyroid replacement medications I take because I was having a rapid heartbeat and some other side effects of too much.  I'm nervous to decrease it because I'm still not completely well, but my doctor says my current difficulties are likely caused by something else.
It's disturbing that I'm still not feeling wonderfully healthy and well.  The doctor wrote a lab request for some additional blood tests in a month or so to check on my thyroid AND to check on possible additional auto-immune things.  Grr.

I did have to go out yesterday to get groceries, and I decided to make it a quick morning trip pre-shower.  I put on the same clothes that I wore the day before, since they were going to get all sweaty anyway, and put my hair in a ponytail (happily, the waves lasted just enough to make it interesting).
I little make-up and lip balm and I felt presentable!


Due to the hot weather, I have un-assembled the beautiful patio for the hottest part of the summer.
I brought in the vases and greenery and the pillows and the little gold table.


They look pretty inside, too!

Another thing that's changed recently inside our home is that these beautiful 
bent-wood artworks have been installed!


They are a textural addition to the room and I love seeing them there each day.


I like how each square has two swooping arcs, but put together they make a circle!



I realized I needed a pair of navy flats, and I found one on Amazon!
Look at the pretty flowers on my toes!
I might order the gold pair, too.


I'll leave you with some amazing comforting cats who help me heal and be happy.









I hope you are well.
STAY COOL and safe and I'll do the same!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Wardrobe Additions


As I've mentioned, and as you can see from my Pinterest Wardrobe Inspirations board,
the things I have in my closet at the moment for hot weather don't match my style goals very well at all at the moment.  My winter wardrobe is WONDERFUL - I just wish it were winter all the time!
It's hard to dress for Arizona desert summers because it gets so hot.  Skirts and dresses are my favorite.  I used to wear patterned skirts (easy to find!) and plain t-shirts, but this became too causal and too young for me.  I discovered that it's somewhat difficult to find solid skirts that aren't pencil skirts (which don't suit me).  So I switched to dresses.  
Most of my dresses have big patterns rather than the smaller patterns in the outfits I like best (see my Pinterest board for examples).
I have a number of dresses (mostly purchased over the winter with my sweet Mom) that are working great, and I'm wearing them in HEAVY rotation.  A few dresses I bought did not work out. 
For example, there were two that seemed fine in the store, but once I wore them a few times, I realized they didn't define my waist at all and I felt frumpy and self-conscious every time I wore them or caught a glimpse of my reflection.  Those two dresses are on their way to the consignment store.  Every time I make a shopping "mistake," I see it as a step on my way to better defining what suits me and what doesn't.

I have been browsing online and have purchased a few things in the stores, some of which is working as additions, and some of which isn't.



First, let's talk about what IS working!
I LOVE THIS OUTFIT!!!
Look at the cute little flounce on the skirt!
top: Maison Jules from Macy's
skirt: Tommy Hilfiger from Macy's
shoes: Target (I would not wear these shoes with this outfit!)

I styled it with cobalt blue shoes to match the stripes in the shirt

Here's a close-up of the bag:

It's smaller than I normally prefer, but it's worth it just for the adorable factor.

Here you can see the yellow and blue stripes better,
and the fact that the CAT is wearing GLASSES
and the shirt says, "Le Meow"!  This might be my favorite t-shirt ever.
AND they were on sale for $11.03.  I bought two.


I also found this skirt (Maison Jules at Macy's).
It has a stretchy waistband, but manages to still be slim-fitting enough in the waist and hips to be flattering.  I already had the top.  I have learned that these little mesh blouses are a great partner for skirts - they tuck in without a lot of bulk.
skirt: Maison Jules from Macy's
camisole: JKY by Jockey from Target
blouse: Ross
bag: Betsey Johnson from Ebay
shoes: Target
necklace: Etsy

And then there's THIS SKIRT!!!
It's on the short side for me, but I love the buttons down the front and the cute a-line shape.
skirt: Michael Michael Kors
camisole: JKY by Jockey from Target
blouse: Ross
bag: Betsey Johnson from Ebay
shoes: Target


Here are some things that did NOT work out for me.
Looks okay in the dressing room photo, but this skirt is shaped like a bell
and it's not what I'm looking for (it's from Loft).  I bought it and brought it home, but after much deliberation, I decided I can (hopefully) do better, though I LOVE the tie-up front!!!



This skirt is exactly the same (also from Loft).  I love the style, the button front, and the cute length, but there's a lot of room in the hips and then it slims down again around the knees, and it's just a bit of an awkward fit.


I will keep you updated as I add items to my closet!

It wouldn't be a proper blog post without cat photos.
Let's start with Stephen.

Delivery of supplies for the many Chirp Curriculum binders I shipped out over the past few weeks meant that there were a LOT of shipping materials in my office for a few days while I got everything put away.  The cats used it well!
Stephan liked that this box was at an angle, sitting on top of another box,
and he pretended it was a cave and he was a bear.



Side-by-side box cats!





Terrible lighting, but cute stretchy cat!



Blurry face, but that belly is irresistible!


The newest recipe I've tried lately is this one for vegan buckwheat pancakes
I made them for Greg and me over the long Memorial Day weekend
and then I made a double batch on Tuesday because I was craving more!
I still have some in the fridge for snacks.  I added blueberries and mini vegan chocolate chips.
The only problem is that there is too much flour in the original recipe . . . I used HALF the flour and ended up with perfect pancakes 
(I just used the buckwheat flour, not the spelt, since spelt isn't gluten-free).


Yum yum . . . is it time for lunch yet?!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Seven Days Of Style: Early Summer




Check out my most recent style video,
and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get an e-mail every time I post a new video!

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Patio Updates, Food, Outfits


I bought some new pillows for the patio and I LOVE how they go together!
The modern print of the triangle pattern and the floral sort of old-fashioned print are a wonderful match.  I bought the triangle pillows from WalMart online (find them here)
and the floral ones at Target (also ordered online).
I compared them in side-by-side windows and guessed they'd look great together,
and I was right!


They look good with the rugs, as well.
The turquoise matches the turquoise of the rug,
and the darker blue matches the chairs around the table.
The mustard/gold just brings extra happiness to the patio!


I bought four of each, so I can throw them around all over the place to bring lots of excitement and joy.  I love being outside (though now that summer's coming, it's less often) and even looking out the windows makes me happy with all this prettiness.


Now even the OUTSIDE of our house expresses my personality.




This little cactus is happy, too.

While checking in on my parents' condo the other day, I saw the moon peeking through the branches of this wisteria tree.  Isn't that beautiful?


Shopping at Target the other day, I saw this great mirror set,
and when I looked into it, I saw this amusing sight!
My pieces are put together all wrong!

Even a plain mirror with a cardboard strip in the middle was sort of funny.
There's some new jewelry in my wardrobe!
I bought a lovely new bracelet recently (it's been about a month already, I guess,
I just forgot to post about it).  I stalked it on Etsy for about a month before deciding to purchase it,
but I"m thrilled I made the choice to do it!
It's beautiful and feminine and I love the contrasting textures and the dangling teardrops.




I also sold an old claddaugh ring (Irish style ring) I bought about 17 years ago when I was an Irish dancer) and used the proceeds to purchase a necklace.
This is pink sapphires.

The rest of my wardrobe has been chugging away nicely,
though I've decided to switch things up a little and add some skirts back into my wardrobe for this summer.  I'm already a little bored of just throwing on a dress every single day (after only a few weeks of doing it!) Summers here have no layering for about six months, and it gets incredibly BORING to not be able to mix things up at all.  Tops and bottoms allow for a little more creativity.  
I'm finding myself influenced by this blog and this YouTube channel, though I'll have more color in my outfits, of course.  I created a Pinterest board of my inspirations, which you can see here.

I'm adding a few things here and there, which I will document for you soon.

Here are some recent outfits.

Greg and I went out for a late evening dinner with some friends a couple of weeks ago, and it was windy and chilly.  I wore a navy and blue wrap dress with a denim jacket.
dress: Tacera
jacket: ABS
bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction
shoes: Bandolino

The bathroom was bright lime green, not the most flattering color.


Here's a safe for the internet photo of my jammies
with a light hooded sweatshirt over the top.
And look how cute and cuddly Claude was!!!
pajamas: Target
hooded sweatshirt: Target
socks: Target
slippers: Ross


Here is some more delicious cat tummy for you!
Allistair went to the vet on Saturday, and afterwards he was EXTREMELY cuddly and sleepy.
I didn't mind! 


I was wearing a lovely flowy dress and my new pink sapphire necklace.
dress: Target (xhilaration)


I went to Ross with Cindy a couple of weeks ago and was wearing this outfit:
dress: Tacera
bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction
shoes: Bandolino

Now that the weather's warmed up quite a bit (it was 106 today),
the cats are stretched out when they sleep rather than curled up tightly.





Stephen's favorite position is drooped off things.



But they still like to be as close to us as possible!
Here's the view while I was working hard in my office the other day
(I got some great big curriculum orders - hooray!)



I had a stomach virus (food poisioning?  I don't know!) over the weekend
and have been queasy since then.  I haven't been eating much, and what I have been eating is very simple.  Rice & veggies, dried cranberries, potatoes, grapes.  Nothing I expect to taste good is tasting good yet.  But I found these photos of meals I made before the illness that hit the spot at the time, so I thought I'd share them.

Looks like steak, but it's a huge portobello mushroom, marinated in balsamic honey sauce with vegetable rice.  I need to change the sauce a bit, but it was pretty good and it looked good on the plate.


Rice rotini, black bean rotini, and roasted vegetables with all-seasons salt
Almond butter with mini chocolate chips (vegan)
hibiscus tea

That was a good meal!

Mango-banana n'ice cream ( = NOT ice cream)


This was a long winding post about nothing in particular, and now I will leave you with this lovely sentiment, which I saw on a piece of art at Ross.

Go forth into the world and light thousands of candles!!!