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!!!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

This Is Why I Do What I Do

Our church made a video about a child who's been changed by the 1:1 Team and his family,
and here's the result.

THIS IS WHY we volunteer, why Greg and I value the work we do with kids who have special needs, and why it's worth every single challenging moment (even just for this one child!)

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Style Catchphrase

I was feeling lousy this morning, so I decided to help myself feel better by playing around with my new video editing software. It's easiest to play with it first and then use it for work purposes after I figure it out. Today I taught myself how to insert photos, do voiceovers, and do split screens!

I also did some yoga and some cooking to help myself feel better, and both helped a lot. I tried out two new recipes - zucchini crust pizza and cauliflower crust pizza. The cauliflower turned out very well (video of the process will be posted soon!) but the zucchini was too wet and soggy. It went in the trash. 
Here's a photo to whet your appetite!

I have my next doctor appointment on Friday and I assume my T3 (thyroid hormone) dose win be raised.  I'm feeling draggy and sad and not great again, AND my bloodwork says I'm still not in the Healthy Zone. Getting better all the time, though! 

Here's how I soothe myself on sad days:

1.) Soft comfy flowing clothes that feel like a hug

2.) Healthy nourishing plant foods

3.) Prayer and Bible reading

4.) Meditating
Here's my favorite guided one:

5.) Cooking

6.) Walking outside in beautiful surroundings

7.) Ambient music 
Here's my very favorite artist:

8.) Reading

9.) Certain TV shows or movies.
I like all the Star Trek versions, Northern Exposure, and Red Dwarf best when I'm down.

10.) Cat snuggles!!!

How do you help yourself feel better on difficult days?

Friday, May 5, 2017

San Tan Mountain Hike

On Saturday, the weather was expected to be breezy and cool and wonderfully sunny, so 
Greg and I went hiking!

Here's a little video I made of our fun experience:

We slept in a little bit and didn't want to drive an hour or more to get to any of our favorite sites, so we went to the closest park with good trails, San Tan Mountains Regional Park.

It's really close to "civilization," and my favorite trail (the Goldmine Trail) looks out over the city at the top, which I don't particularly like.  
I like it anyway because I like an elevation change when I hike (I like to reach some sort of high point during a hike, then come back down) and I really like the abundant animal life I've seen on that trail.

At the top (looking away from civilization):

The first half of the trail is flat and sandy.
There are interesting cacti and scrub bushes all around. 

Near the parking lot is a little pond with a windmill (that squeaks!)

Globe Mallow:

Saguaro blooms:

First lizard sighting!
He was not very excited to see us and ran away quickly.
We were happy to see him at all
and even happier when we realized we were able to capture some images of him!

Cholla ("CHOY-uh") or jumping cactus:

If you kick them with your toe by accident, they LEAP UP and stick on your leg or pants.
They're sneaky and dangerous!
That's how the plants spread and grow far away from the mother plant.

Greg suggested a back-to-back selfie: 

 But I wanted one of both of us from the front, too.

This hike had rocks with very interesting textures.
 It is/was a volcanic mountain range, after all.

Goldmine trail BOTH WAYS!

There's a temping trail right up to the top of a steep hill, but it's
not okay to climb because they're working to prevent soil erosion.

It's okay; there are plenty of other trails!

 Then we got to the steep and more interesting part of the trail! 

There was a small cairn to remind us we were on the right path,
but we didn't need it because the trail is very noticable! 

It got steeper!

 Here's another cairn we saw:

But we were happy!

 Looking back on the steeper part of the trail:

There's Greg!

And there I am! 

This last part of this section was extremely steep.
It looks as if the trail goes right off the end of the world.

 But it didnt!  You can see Four Peaks 
and the Flatiron at Lost Dutchman State Park in the distance.

A view slightly more to the East:

There's a little bit more to go UP before we get to the top.
That's Greg in the background.

 Along the way, we saw this amazing chubby guy!!!

At first I thought she was a Gila ("HEE-la") Monster
because she's so thick, but she's not. 

Maybe he lives in this nice hole?

Greg was very brave, even standing on the edge to get the best photos.

There are more trails along the other side.  

If you look carefully, you can see downtown Phoenix in the far distance.

It was extremely windy on the edge!

 I did a little more exploring, because last time I was there, I saw a tarantula and I was hoping to see another one.  No luck on that.


Perhaps next time we'll go all the way up there.  It's steeper and farther than it looks.

I tipped over on the way down and braced myself against a sharp rock,
which brought about First Blood of our adventure and left me a memorial wound.

Not too bad, of course!
Just enough to make me feel intrepid and outdoorsy.

Similar to the rock that sliced me:

On the way down, we saw this hummingbird delicately sipping from the cactus blooms.
Click on the photos to see them bigger.

Greg got this amazing one!!!!

On the way down, I decided to climb on top of some big boulders. 

There were staff people along the route, setting up signs for a night race that was going to happen that night.  It would be scary to run in the dark on pebbly trails.

And then we saw a Gila ("HEE-luh") Woodpecker drinking from the cactus blooms!!!
They are beautiful.
  You can see his lovely laddered back and distinctive red cap on his head.

I love being reminded how creative God is and I love seeing His attention to detail in
all His animals and plants!