I Spy A Trench Coat

I’m a huge James Bond fan, from the early days of Sean Connery and Roger Moore to today’s Daniel Craig. But I have to confess that none of these dapper secret agents can hold a candle to the one and only international man of mystery. His teeth may be crooked, his hair a mop of messiness, and his style choices a bit flashy, but Austin Powers is and will always be the grooviest spy in my world. Yeah baby! Continue reading “I Spy A Trench Coat”

Dreaming of Paris: A Long Denim Vest and a Striped Shirt

My sister-in-law invited me and my husband on a trip to Paris sometime within the next few years. We have not been there but she and her husband travel frequently and have visited the City of Love. With four boys in high school and college on the horizon, we are not sure exactly when we’ll be able to make this trip, but it’s nice to plan and look forward to it sometime down the road.
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A Fall Dress and Lots of Chili

I was planning a visit to my parents and thought that I would bring them dinner. I figured they could freeze it for later or we could eat it together when I arrived at their place. They live in another state and it’s not often that I get to see them so I was excited to cook for them.

Chili is one of my favorite dishes and I started cooking early in the day so that the flavors would have time to meld together. I picked the best lean ground beef and used black beans because I knew how much they like them. I added my own special touch – a little cinnamon – and after a quick taste test, deemed it ready to go. The evening before my trip my dad sent me a photo of a meal that their next door neighbor had just brought over. Guess what it was? Chili!

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Olive Safari Jacket and Some TLC

When our family first adopted our dog Harper a little over a year ago, we weren’t sure what to expect. She was afraid of everything and ran away from all of us. But with constant and reassuring TLC, she became my sidekick and eventually warmed up to my husband and sons. Continue reading “Olive Safari Jacket and Some TLC”

Goodbye Big Red, Hello Black Leather

If you follow my blog, you may know that when my husband and I married, we each brought two sons to our family. We struggled for a couple of years with transporting them around together in one vehicle because we didn’t own one big enough for six people. Then we found “Big Red.”

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Falling For Florals

Happy Labor Day! Today celebrates the hard work and achievements that American workers make to the strength, well-being and prosperity of our great nation. We have celebrated Labor Day since 1894 when Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. It’s a great tribute to our workforce and I am so honored and thankful that I have the opportunities I’ve had in my professional life and with this blog to forge my own career path and contribute to our country in my own small way.

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Seeing Red

A quote by American author Alice Hoffman sums up how I feel about the color red: “How could I have been so stupid to have ignored everything I’d had in my life? The color red alone was worth kingdoms.” I couldn’t agree more. Red is my favorite color. According to the fashion experts, we will be seeing a lot of this color in the coming months.

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Animal Prints: A Trend or a Classic?

I always find it interesting when magazines and retailers start touting the new trends at the start of every season. It seems to me that some of the trends they are referring to are things we’ve all seen before in some shape or form. For example, according to the fashion industry, animal print is going to be big this fall. But I’ve had animal print pieces in my closet for years! I’ve got leopard and cheetah gloves, scarves, purses, shoes, belts, tops, sweaters, and coats. You can see one of my leopard print tops here and my leopard print shoes here. I also have a zebra-striped poncho that I love (and bought last year). Personally, I don’t consider animal print a trend, but a classic, which is why I rarely get rid of any of my animal print pieces. I know I’ll wear them every year all year long.     Continue reading “Animal Prints: A Trend or a Classic?”

Fall Transition Outfit No. 2 and the American Dream

Last week, one of my neighbor’s kids knocked on my door in the middle of the afternoon. When I opened it, he said “We are selling lemonade and muffins. Do you want some?” I looked across my yard and sure enough, there was his brother and another neighbor’s daughter sitting at two tables loaded with goodies, an umbrella to keep the sun at bay and a few handwritten signs. I told him I needed to get some money and would be right over. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one who they queried. The kids took turns running up and down the street, knocking on doors, asking people to come outside and have some lemonade and muffins. They had all their earnings in a Mason jar. I loved that these little entrepreneurs were trying their hands at the American Dream. Maybe they will expand their operation next year to run all summer long. Continue reading “Fall Transition Outfit No. 2 and the American Dream”

Fall Transition Outfit No. 1 and a Rare Compliment

When you’re a mom of teens, compliments from them to you do not come fast and furious. At least not in my household. My teens seem to be mainly concerned about themselves. I don’t say that to be insulting or critical; it’s just a fact of life in Teen World. But last week, I received a compliment from one of my boys and it’s one of those moments that will stay with me forever.

Before my son Hunter had his knee surgery in July, he went on a hike with some of his friends. He said they were complaining about their troubled relationships with their mothers. I think at one point they looked at him to add some validation to their diatribes and he said, “Honestly guys, I don’t have that type of relationship with my mom. She is actually a lot of fun and I like being around her.”

Say What?

I asked him if he really said that or was he telling me he said that just to make me feel good. He assured me that he said that.

Wow. I know I felt my eyes well up with tears but I didn’t want him to see that because you, know, teens don’t want to be caught hanging with their crying mom. So I turned around quickly, grabbed that moment and locked it away till later.

And when it was later, I couldn’t stop thinking about what he said. Remember Sally Field at the Oscars (yes, I’m that old). You like me! You really like me! I was Sally Field in all her tearful glory. My son actually liked me and he wasn’t afraid to tell his friends. I’m welling up again.

Parent Performance Evaluations?

In a blended family of step-kids and step-parents, the blending takes time. Even when the blender is going really strong, things don’t always come out as smoothly as we’d like. But my husband and I try our hardest to ensure that each one of our kids knows that we love him no matter what.

Sometimes, it is hard to know how we’re doing. At work, most people are evaluated on their performance. I always knew I did well based on my boss’ feedback, the scores in my evaluation and subsequent raise. But parents don’t receive a performance evaluation (unless you base it on the number of rolled eyes, grunts and time spent in their bedrooms as feedback from teens), and we certainly don’t receive a raise from our kids. Sometimes it feels like we’re just grasping in the dark. But then you hear a compliment from your kid masked in a story about an afternoon out with friends, and all I can say is that I’ll take that over a raise any day.

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