I basically can’t live without

You know you did very well in gifting when your child shares with her nearly 10K followers on her business Instagram account  that which you gifted her.

Seriously, this bag is pretty awesome. All the more awesome is her Pinterest board because she really is hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, she gets it from her mama! But this last year I gifted her well. Thank you Pinterest and Hollie pinning all the things.

I just might need a bag like this because, like my darling daughter, and pretty much anyone, there is absolutely a bunch of shit I basically can’t live without.

  1. like my favorite face wash because the oil slick that is my face keeps waiting for the dry, flaky, crepe-y skin that is all part of the joy that is menopause. Sure it might feel like a certain body fluid, as someone I know compared it to, but it works very well for me…and that is all that matters.
  2. Sunscreen! All the sunscreen because ginger girl problems are real.
  3. This lip balm because more sunscreen and because I am always licking my lips so why bother with heavy lip color?
  4. My latest favorite Acoustic Chill playlist on Spotify because the drive to work is too stupid and too real

    Honestly!
  5. My old, well-worn, gray sweater I got from Costco years ago.
  6. Eyeglass cleaner because the glasses I wear every waking moment are always smudged and dirty and I just might be obsessed about cleaning those glasses of mine.
  7. This whiteboard calendar which just might be ridiculous if I were to carry it in a bag.

    Then again, I am not the only one living under The Big Top who basically can not live without it which is why everything and everyone on the calendar is color coded.
  8. My blackout curtains because I am Vampira, the night shift nurse.
  9. Coffee, nectar of all the nurses.
  10. My Amazon Prime account
  11. Dental floss. I blame my dentist for lecturing me about gum disease while deep cleaning for what has become an addiction.
  12. My cameras…Canon 60D and iPhone because I am indeed the Mamarazzi
  13. My favorite pen…don’t ask to borrow it…ever.
  14. My Moleskine notebook
  15. a bottle of Coke Zero, just one, for my lunch break at work
  16. My ASU ball cap to hide the epic bedhead when I take my son to school in the morning. Not that my son’s principal would ever call me out for the bedhead or the pajama pants I might be wearing (if I’m not wearing scrubs) because she isn’t nearly as judge-y as Kate Chisholm and because at least I am wearing a bra. There’s that!
  17. My Caffeine and Kilos ball cap for when I can’t find my ASU cap.
  18. A good bra.
  19. My water bottle. I blame Jodie and my membranes rupturing at 26 weeks while pregnant with her for my ALWAYS carrying a water bottle and ALWAYS drinking all the water.
  20. A Sharpie marker…you never know when you need to mark something permanently.
  21. Altoids, you are very welcome Day Shift!
  22. My Asics
  23. My favorite Scünci hair ties…they are discontinued which would explain why I am hoarding them.
  24. My favorite hair clip because thick hair can be a problem, even thinning, menopausal, thick hair. But hurray for the fact that my hair is long enough 20 months after my latest pixie cut to twist up into an undo with my favorite hair clip…it’s the little things that make me happiest, really.
  25. Scarves…I have no idea how many I have. That might be a problem. But who cares because I basically can’t live without them.

What shit that you basically can’t live without would you stuff that duffel bag with.

celebrating resilience

So I treated myself, because I deserve a treat sometimes…as we all deserve a treat every now and then…in moderation, always in moderation. But yes, I treated myself.

The packaging alone is enough to make me smile…and feel pretty…even if I didn’t bother to put on makeup or fix my hair or wear jewelry.

And then I opened the box and put on this lovely called Resilience.

I bought it because it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I bought it because 20% of the profits of this cuff will benefit The Noreen Fraser Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for breakthrough research that advances precision medicine for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers.

I bought it because as it delicately encircles my wrist, it reminds me of my own resiliency; my own remarkable ability to bounce back from some really crazy, awful, no-good, horrible, very bad things over the last half century…literally…stretched, bent, compressed and stretched in ways I could never imagine that I could come back from…and yet I did; no matter the direction life has taken me. Someday I might have a long heart to heart with some of the crazy side roads Life took me on, especially when I was too young to have any control but for now I will look at this lovely delicate cuff and remind myself just how strong I am.

I will also pause to think about and celebrate people I know who right now are proving their own resiliency as they are coming back from some pretty fucked up things:

  • starting over with a family who depends on them as they leave a dangerous, abusive situation strengthened by a tribe of people who love her
  • taking the chance to try again after living through the most unimaginable loss that you never get over…again surrounded by family and a circle of people supporting with so much love and so much encouragement and so much prayer
  • finally figuring out what education and career path is the one you want to be on after a few starts and stops and fails along the way…again surrounded by family and friends cheering you on because they believe in you and cheer for you…especially when you stumble and when you get back up to try again.

Not every resilient person finds themselves surrounded by unconditional support and love…at least at first glance. Still we survive and we thrive as we embrace our ability to handle whatever direction life takes us…in spite of the pain, the unbelievable grief and every other shitty roadblock along the way…because there is also a lot of love and blessings too.

5,6,7, fixed

So about Stitch Fix…

It’s been awhile and three boxes later, I have to confess that I came very close to thinking that perhaps the scrubs and t-shirts and shorts and jeans kind of girl that I am just might not be Fix-able.

Stitch #5:

Looked very cute packaged in the box and on paper. But nope times three. Sorry. Can’t lie. Bu-ut, there was two wins.

The London Times Sandra Maxi Dress

and the Bash Eaton Knit Top

Don’t judge, it was an incredibly bad hair day, no makeup and sleep deprived because I remain, always, Vampira the Night Shift Nurse.

Stitch Fix #6 came the following month.

And it proved to be a lot of nope because one can have too many maxi dresses…really. Also I was becoming weary of all the polyester. Being the scrubs and t-shirts and jeans kind of lady that I am, I was beginning to realize that I am also a natural fibers kind of girl too. Yes, I told my stylist that. I also included that one of the tops I actually did kind of like (in spite of the polyester) except it was missing a button. It was then that I learned that I could always request another. The fact that my stylist followed up apologizing for the product defect really pleased me. I’m all about good customer service and follow up. But there was one keeper because there was a wedding reception to attend.

The Le Lis Raven Dress

Then came Stitch Fix #7 and I was glad that I offered so much feedback and listened to my stylist.

It’s Fall y’all and it was all packed up in this Stitch Fix delivery. Too bad it was literally over 100º when it arrived because that, my friends is Fall in the Central Valley. Still…

The Urban Expressions Valerie Convertible Satchel doesn’t care what the temperature is.

Literally the most amazing bag that holds everything and looks good, so good. When your 13 year old son, your darling husband and your 21 year old daughter (who is pretty much never home because of school, work and 21 year old life is in the way) notice the bag and tell you what a great looking bag that is you know it is a keeper.

The Loveappella McGraw Two-Tone Stripe Knit Top

Fit like a dream with the perfect drape…and the cut-out in the back…perfect and kept.

Ignore the dirty mirror as I was ignoring the fact that it was 104º when I was wearing this and taking this picture. It’s better that way.

Next the Just Black Faye Skinny Jean and the RD Style Giana Open Drape Cardigan

With the bag too…we’re both ignoring the dirty mirror and the triple digits, right? Right. It might be hotter than balls but that sweater will be perfect come Winter…El Niño or no…please El Niño! Please, please, please! And the charcoal grey skinny jeans fit like a dream and definitely a keeper for Fall and Winter and Spring. Keep and keep!

Finally the Renee C Edmondo Stud Detailed Split-Back Blouse

LOVE! But this one pictured in the dirty mirror was too tight. But I wanted it…and with the 25% discount if I kept all five fixes it literally would be free because 25% off. I wanted it even more. But it didn’t fit. So I emailed my stylist with my dilemma asking if I could get the next size up? Of course, she answered back right away!  Oh happy day! I sent the too small blouse in the postage paid bag included in the shipment and three days later the right sized blouse arrived.

So the lesson learned for me is feedback is so important with fixes. So is taking advantage of social media so your stylist can see what interests you…that bag, those jeans, more natural fibers…pinned them all. I also learned that exchanges are just too easy. So is the follow up after the exchange to make sure that I was more than satisfied. Who knows what the next Fix will bring next month?

We shall see.

Want to know more? Check it out.

Want to get your own Fix? Use my referral link and go for it!

fixed again #4

After last month’s Stitch Fix, I could not wait to see what I might find in this month’s Stitch Fix box.

I requested Suzanne as my stylist again since her picks last month were so perfect. I also specifically asked for a little black dress for my sister Ange’s bachelorette party in August. With a quick peek I could see that she was listening and looking at my Pinterest boards.

But first, let’s see what else is in the box. First up, Skies Are Blue Abiga Lace Detail Knit Tank:

Ignore the dirty mirror, okay? Thanks. From the front it appears to be a simple tank. Comfortable and light enough for a hot summer day.

The main interest and detail is in the back. Very pretty. I like it a lot. But I have already a couple of navy tops so…returned.

Next is Brixon Ivy Coco Swiss Dot Lattice Detail Blouse:

Out of the box this blouse and camisole is adorable but…

It’s a little too tight in the chest which is kind of disappointing for an average sized bust kind of girl. So…returned.

Next is Skies Are Blue Karla Textured Short which I am wearing in the above photo.

Cute detailing the front but the material was just too much polyester which seemed to call attention to assets that I’d much rather not call attention to…returned.

Next out of the box is Bay to Baubles Staten Pendant Necklace

Very pretty. But I already have a similar piece…returned.

But saving my specific request for last, out of the box is Kut From The Kloth Lanee Lace Dress.

Suzanne was right. This dress is very similar to the LBDs that I had pinned recently. On the hanger, I just loved all the details of this dress. I told Suzanne that I needed a LBD suitable for an evening on the town in Seattle with a wedding party that is twenty years younger than me. I wasn’t looking to dress like my grandmother but at the same time Idid not want something that would definitely look better on my 32 and 28 year old younger sisters.

This is perfect, Suzanne! Thank you! I knew that you would come through…kept!

After four Stitch Fix boxes, I am kind of hooked. I’m seeing fashion finds that I don’t always find in and around the Central Valley and that I might not consider even trying on. I get to try on in my own home and style it what is already in my wardrobe thanks to the style cards included. It’s fun. It’s convenient and it’s affordable. I can’t wait to see what the next Fix brings me.

Stitch Fix is the first fashion retailer to blend expert styling, proprietary technology and unique product to deliver a shopping experience that is truly personalized for you. Simply fill out the Stitch Fix Style Profile and our personal stylists will handpick a selection of five clothing items and accessories unique to your taste, budget and lifestyle. You can buy what you like and return the rest!

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Fill out your Style Profile
Begin by filling out the Style Profile. This helps us understand your size, style, shape, budget and lifestyle. Completing your profile should only take about 10 minutes.

Pick the date you’d like to receive your shipment
We’ll send you a selection of five clothing items and accessories handpicked by personal stylists on the date you choose. At the time your stylist selects your items, you will be charged a $20 styling fee. That $20 will be applied toward anything you keep from your shipment.

Try everything on in the comfort of your home
We encourage you to try on everything our personal stylists have picked for you because you just never know what will look great on! Create new outfits by pairing what’s in your shipment with the items that are already in your closet.

Buy what you like and return the rest
a. Take three days to decide what you’ll purchase and what you’d like to send back. You’re only charged for these items when you tell us what you’re keeping and returning.

b. Check out by logging in to your account to pay for those items you want to keep. The $20 styling fee will be applied toward any items you purchase. If you buy all five items, we’ll give you 25% off the entire purchase!

c. Simply return the items you don’t want in our prepaid mailing bag and drop it at any USPS mailbox. Stitch Fix clients enjoy free shipping both ways as a benefit of using our service!

Interested? Curious? Want to freshen up your own wardrobe from the comfort of your home? Click on my Stitch Fix referral link. Full disclosure: if you receive a Fix, I will receive a $25 credit. To those of you who have got started with Stitch Fix and received a Fix through me, thank you! I do hope that you will pass on your referral link to your friends too. Sharing is caring!

for the uncommon dad

Father’s Day is coming!!!…because June is all about the dads…and the grads…and the brides.

That’s my darling husband adding the grads and brides with just a hint of snarky bitterness because dads must share June with grads and brides and…then I roll my eyes just a little reminding him of the fact we married the day before Mother’s Day on his grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary which, 13 years later would also be our 4ht circus clown’s birth day.

Whatever, my darling husband!

But this year especially, we are all about celebrating dad…my kids’ dad because so many reasons and yes, we intend to celebrate him being here to celebrate everything with us for as long as we can because he is…here.

The thing about my darling husband, the father of my children, is he likes to celebrate Father’s Day in his own uncommon way. Please, no ties or golf or gardening stuff. Just let him chill with the family, grill some meat, enjoy a brew or more and maybe fall asleep watching a movie on Netflix.

Perfect Father’s Day level unlocked.

Easy.

Even easier now, the challenge of finding the perfect Uncommon Father’s Day gift for our uncommon dad here under the Big Top is not so challenging after all because this dad definitely does not want or need another necktie. Of course he is not the only Uncommon dad which is why I am sharing with you all now Uncommon Goods and the wonderful, uncommon gifts for dads, grandfathers, husbands, boyfriends and more. From the grillmaster dads to the sporty dads to the geeky dads to the musical dads to the veteran grand dads to the newborn dads, Uncommon Goos has so many original gifts to choose from that is most definitely not your ho-hum necktie kind of Dad’s Day gift.

For our Uncommon dad the perfect gift was something to enjoy and share a little refreshment while doing exactly what he is wanting to do this Father’s Day.

Chilling with the family, grilling some meat, enjoying a brew or more and maybe falling asleep watching a movie on Netflix.

The perfect Father’s Day celebration unlocked.

Be sure to check out Uncommon Goods and their amazing Father’s Day gift ideas for the very best uncommon Dads and Grand dads.