Shopping ideas for black Friday


Let’s play a little game where we pretend that we are going to go Black Friday shopping to buy gifts for other people…….

And here are a few things that “other people” might want.


Madewell is having 25% . How about this lovely classic, updated sweater, long enough to wear with leggings and boots.

The always turtleneck sweater, 3 colors, on sale $74



I’m going out on a limb here because, of course, we don’t know what the  actual sale will be, but I can bet that Banana Republic will  have at least 40% off most things. This is a great time to buy your holiday outfit(s)!

This drapey jumpsuit is fabulous!! In black or gray $74 at 40%off.


Banana Republic jumpsuit
Banana Republic jumpsuit

Dick’s Sporting Good‘s website has a few pre-Friday deals. We all need a cozy Nike sweatshirt to add to the rotation of tops we wear with our Lulu Lemon legging/yoga pants….

Select Nike fleece 25% off.  Nike swoosh out printed hoodie, 5 colors, sale price $41.25


Nike sweatshirt
Nike sweatshirt


J. Crew is having 30% off select items and maybe Friday they will add some more deals to the sale. This blouse is so beautiful with a pair of slim black pants.

Mixed media bib blouse $90.

J. Crew blouse



The Limited is having 50% off now, so it is kind of hard to imagine that there will be any more % off this weekend.

This one button blazer is $44 on sale! Deal!




The Limited blazer
The Limited blazer


Nordstrom has a few things on sale. They don’t have any door busters or anything but there are markdowns up to 40% off and sale items are extra 20% off on Friday only!

These Sam Edelman booties are 33% off,  $149.95 to $100.46 in black or brown.

Sam Edelman booties
Sam Edelman booties


At Zara, they are killing me! The website just says that there will be a sale on Friday, not on what and not how much. Did I mention that I love this store? So many gift giving ideas here? LOL.


Check out this faux fur jacket. I need to get me some faux fur. (oops I mean someone else)  Regular price $129.00, and if I got to pick the sale, I would say 50% off! = $64.50.



Zara faux fur jacket
Zara faux fur jacket

Ann Taylor has started their 40% off everything sale. So many classic pieces at this store-cardigans and blouses.

This sweater dress with some thick tights, boots and a scarf would be super cute and cozy.

Boatneck cable sweater dress, $139 less 40% =$84!


Ann Taylor sweater dress
Ann Taylor sweater dress


Have a fabulous Thanksgiving! Carb up for the marathon shopping weekend!

Like everyday, count your blessings and get on your knees and say thank you.



sick and crabby



So, I have been sick for the last week. Coughing and coughing and coughing. My family is tired of it, my husband is like, “Um, how about you go stand in the hot shower”, I know he just wants five minutes of non-coughing peace. It has also dampened my spirit and brought out the serious crabby patty in me. I couldn’t even come up with my Friday Favorites because I was too crabby to think of 5 “good” things.

So on that note, I am just going with 5 things that are irritating me right now besides coughing:



1.) In style magazine’s gift guide. Why do I still get so excited when my monthly magazine shows up in the mail? Because 5 minutes into it, it just usually makes me mad. In the gift guide they have suggestions for giving a $400 espresso machine and $165 candle. Who gives gifts like that? To who? Please, if you bought me a $165 candle, reconsider, nothing can smell that good.

2.) This Tory Burch sweater. Why does it make me crabby? Because, the “fashion bloggers” wear this sweater to kick around in the beautiful fall leaves in front of their big mansions or on their way to work in L.A. on a “cold day”. I don’t have a $350 sweater and I don’t want one because I would feel guilty if I didn’t wear it every single day and I have never owned anything that I wanted to wear every single day. And furthermore, it is never cold enough to wear a sweater, but warm enough to not need a coat in Chicago.


3.)Dumb and Dumber To. ‘Nuf said.


4.) I hate Comcast. Why is there a service that is cheaper if you include a phone line in the “package”  for a home phone that doesn’t exist? We don’t use a home phone line but it is cheaper if we keep that in the package. That makes sense. And furthermore, why when KN called to add the NFL Red Zone to our “package” {which is crazy expensive} does it not even WORK WHEN WE ARE PAYING FOR IT???? I am going to start my own cable company. $50 a month, I mean seriously, I would have ALL OF THE CABLE CUSTOMERS.

5.) Starbucks coffee cup selfies or whatever you want to call it. Starbucks started in 1971, that is 43 years ago, and yet everyone thinks it is just the cutest thing to take a picture of their afternoon latte and let everyone know about it. It used to be unique to have a Starbucks, now there is one on every corner, it used to seem like a luxury to spend $4 on a cup of coffee, now it is considered a necessity. I don’t care about your Starbucks, ok? Or your lipstick print on the lid. Or how often you buy one.

I warned you I was in a state. But it is Thanksgiving week so I am going to turn that frown upside down and keep counting my blessings ;)



alternative workout

just-browsingI know I have brought up workout wear or athleisure before. I guess it’s because I am obsessed with comfortable clothes and I do work out just about everyday.

Here are a couple of sites that have work out clothing {that do not rhyme with mumu yemen}:


SODO. This is a men’s only site. KN and I stumbled upon it in Seattle which is where it is from. He has quite a few pieces and really likes it for working out and lounging around and yes, he wears it to work too. Great fabric and washes well. sodo-apparel-sports-workout-clothing-for-men-text-logo

Elevate 1/4 zip
Elevate 1/4 zip



Long sleeve cool down





I came across this website because they mailed me a catalog! First off, yay, how did they know how to find me? Second, how fun are these tights? I mean I can’t wear black e’ry day, right?
Sweaty Betty is from the UK and they are starting to open stores on this side of the pond. sweaty_betty_logo

I have these:

Sweaty Betty
Sweaty Betty


Have you heard of Fabletics?

This is the the new thing that Kate Hudson is promoting. I have not tried it but it is kind of interesting. You become a member, then pick things you like and they will send you a new 3 piece workout outfit, every month, for $50. You have the option to opt out by the 5th of the month.   Cute stuff!


This online sight is called Cozy Orange. They are geared toward yoga but work out clothes are work out clothes, right?


Cozy Orange
Cozy Orange
Cozy Orange
Cozy Orange

Okay, that’s all for now.

Guess I should go work out….




friday favorites


How could I never say SHOPPING as one of my Friday Favorites? Here I am at Zara, I took KN in there to show him how cool everything is, maybe to try and help him understand why I love this place…..

1.) I put on a few things and KN took pictures, made me feel like it was mine even though I left it all (most) behind. It was kind of like when I online shop, I fill up my cart with “oh I have to have that” and ” these stilettos! Got-to-have” and “for sure I need this knee length faux fur vest” then I hurry up and X out before I go find my Visa.  Here are a few pics of things I wanted and absolutely did not need.

white coat
This would be a great work look, if I had a job….

(Zara wool coat here, Handbag, Boots)


There is realistically probably only one day out of the year to wear this awesome cape jacket in Chicago.
There is realistically probably only one perfect weather day, out of the year, to wear this awesome cape in Chicago.

(Zara Cape here)

2.) Taylor Swift’s new song and video!! Did you know that there is an app for her new video that is interactive? It is an app  for a phone or iPad, you can follow them around this mansion and click on things,  and tilt your phone this way and that to look around and go in different rooms in this mansion. Very cutting edge, even if you have no interest in this at least you know what the kids are doing. {Oh, and ladies, I was definitely not checking out the stud muffin in this video, but you should,  even if you can’t stand T Swift you should watch the video just- to- check- him- out.}

Blank Space video here.


3.) Salad in a bag. I know these have been around for a long time, but you are still saying you don’t eat a healthy lunch because you don’t want to take the time or you don’t have the ingredients.  With these you don’t have to, so quit making excuses. Everything is in this bag and it is better for you than a string cheese and 2 chocolate chip cookies and a latte.  I have tried a few of these, I recommend the Southwestern, Sweet kale and the BBQ ranch. (I did not like the kale with brussel sprouts).

Taylor Farms website here.




4.) Pureology Curl Complete.

Biggest hair problem for me is dry hair and frizz. There are all kinds of combinations of hair products that I mix together, depending on the level of humidity, to try and contain the frizz. Just got this curl complete this week and it seems to be a good product for the current  frizz/humidity/star alignment conditions. Also, got the shampoo and conditioner.


5.) The fashion world takes itself very seriously. WhoWhatWear has this as a topic: “9 life-saving style secrets to get you through the winter“. Being the fashionista that I am, I am studying and taking these tips very seriously, life saving serious. I mean, I am even putting it on the friday favorites. Me to KN ” Of course I need $140 mittens, I might not see spring 2015 with out them!!”




Acne Studios mittens here


Enjoy your weekend! Remember to contemplate your blessings too, not just your problems. XO




weekend wrap up



First off, confession. {I am not a Nascar fan.}

But yes, I did find myself with a garage/pit pass at the Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. Don’t be a hater. I know that’s how it always goes, right? The non fan gets the pit pass, the “I love Nascar so much I even have a Nascar bedspread fan” never even gets to go to a live race.

{sorry not sorry}

Anyway, we had a terrific time. I loved being behind the scenes, seeing the cars close up, being right in the pit when the cars came in for the pit stops, seeing the driver’s wives, and almost getting run over by the winner, Kevin Harvick as he turned off the track onto Victory Lane. (We were so not supposed to be standing there, but we really had no idea what we were doing).

Since, I have been doing some quick travel trips with KN lately, I am trying to be a professional at packing. It’s a process I am still working on because when I got out of the shower in Phoenix I realized that I did not pack my comb.  I’m yelling in the bathroom “Oh, this is not good,  this is a serious situation”.

KN says I can use his. {hahahahahahahaha}




I do not like to over pack.
1.) Since you have to pay to bring a suitcase, I only take a carry on.
2.) You have to be able to hurl that carry on into the over head compartment all suave like, not like you have a weight set in there  when you don’t even lift weights.
3.) If you pack more than you wear, then you have to wash everything anyway. Otherwise your dirty clothes and shoes are all jammed in with the clean stuff, there is no way I am hanging that back up in the closet.

My packing theory is about maximizing outfits and shoes.

{2 pair of shoes, 2 jeans, one dress, one dressy top, one t-shirt, one long top, one pair of leggings}

I wore these jeans that are stretchy and comfortable, a long shirt, out, (no tucking), a light jacket, because I am always freezing on the plane, and comfortable shoes.



{ AG jeans here, J. Crew shirt sold out, similiar here, Converse sneaker here , H&M jacket no longer available, similar here}


We landed, went to the hotel, changed and then went out for drinks.  Kept my jeans on, changed my shirt and my shoes, and we were off.




{bcbg top here, similar shoes here}


We ran into Michael Waltrip.

Michael Waltrip


I had no idea what to wear to a Nascar race. {My funny ha ha sister suggested a Nascar t shirt, daisy dukes and cowboy boots.} But since I don’t have that……

Also, I was told I had to wear closed toe shoes and no sleeveless shirts. So I adhered, but as you can imagine, everyone there had on tank tops and sandals. Oh well.


{white jeans here. J. Crew t-shirt (old)}

That night for dinner, I wore the same heels as above with this dress you have seen here, which is perfect for packing because you can roll it up and it won’t wrinkle. {We were so tired that I didn’t remember to take a picture.}

Then to fly home, I wore the same converse sneakers with black leggings and a long shirt, because I needed to look presentable for the meeting at school that we went straight to.

I had to mention the black leggings because I really like them and they are from Soma intimates, which is probably not somewhere you would think to buy leggings! They are called slimming leggings. (no this is not me!!)

Soma leggings


Have a great week and try and stay warm, since the polar vortex is starting early this year. XO


friday favorites

Not your everyday sweatshirt.
Not your everyday sweatshirt.

You have no idea how badly I wanted to make one of my friday favorites nutty bars….. (see Wednesday’s post).

But that would be weird or #funnynotfunny.

Now that its chilly willy, I am mad for the sweatshirt phenomenon. Every single store has some sort of trendy sweatshirt. This is fabulous for us and bad for the dry cleaner. Cute, warm and washable, I say yes to that. Also, those crew necks are an invitation for a scarf. Yes, we love scarves too.  I better load up.

1) Saw this cutey at J. Crew yesterday, as soon as it goes on sale I am grabbing one:

J. Crew

2) Details here, on the back! Still a sweatshirt but fancy. At


3) Quilting is another on-trend option. It can be a traditional look or very current. This one at Nordstrom.



4) How about this drawstring waist? Unique! At Mango.


5) This sweatshirt has a built in shirt tail! You don’t even have to come up with the shirt-it’s already there. From bcbg.


Have a superb weekend and stay warm in your new sweatshirt! I’m going to Phoenix where it is 82, so I’ll be leaving my sweatshirts behind.



partially hydrogenated snack attack


I do not usually pre -plan my blog posts because I usually have some random inspiration that gets me going. {As you know, it is usually something related to clothes or the mall.} Inspiration comes in many different ways and places. This morning my inspiration was an empty box in the recycle bin at the gym where I work out.

Yes, it was this empty box of Nutty Bars. I grabbed the box, went straight to my trainer and exclaimed: “WHO EATS THESE?”

He said it was the other trainer at the gym, he said he has terrible eating habits.


How does this fit guy, gym owner, not know about this bad for you JUNK?


Seriously, you need to know about things that are not good for you.  Anything that has a shelf life longer than your car warranty IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. I am not a health food fanatic or a nutritionist. I am not saying that I do not consume crap and only eat organic, green things. I love junk just as much as the next guy. My point here is: try, try, try to be aware of what you are putting in your pie hole. Be informed. Maybe if you know that Nutty Bars have partially hydrogenated oils you will have a Kind bar instead or have someone make you a chocolate chip cookie from scratch that has butter in it and not oil or margarine.

If there is an ingredient, on what you are about to shove in your mouth, that has partially hydrogenated in it, you need to reconsider. Here is why:

1.) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is no longer “generally recognized as safe” and should eventually be phased out of the production of food.

2.) Since we really don’t believe anything the FDA says anyway, here is another reason: Doctors worry about trans fat because of its unhealthy effect on your cholesterol levels — increasing your LDL and decreasing your HDL cholesterol.

3.) The completely unnatural man-made fats created through the partial hydrogenation process cause dysfunction and chaos in your body on a cellular level, and studies have linked trans-fats to: cancer, diabetes, decreased immune function, reproductive problems, heart disease…. really, do you want me to keep going?

4.) Partially hydrogenated oils make you gain weight the same way that saturated fats do — by making you consume even more fat to get the the essential fatty acids you need. But partially hydrogenated fats are even worse. Not only do they produce disease over the long term, but they interfere with the body’s ability to ingest and utilize the good fats!


I am not going to continue on with this list because that is the primary reason we don’t read about this stuff. It is overwhelming and there are so many long scientific words and processes that we just check out and say to ourselves: I can’t do it,  I don’t get it.

Therefore, I am just telling you and you need to take my word for it. Try to eliminate it and don’t feed it to your kids, ok?

Check the labels for these ingredients: Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Trans Fats, Trans Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Canola Oil – any Soybean oil.

Places it could be hiding other that Nutty Bars:

Peanut butter (but there are tons of options without it) , Keebler graham and club crackers, Ritz crackers, animal cookies, french fries, potato chips (curses), Dunkin donuts, coffee cake, anything made by Little Debbie, (she is not looking out for your health) and more…..

Want to look up a specific food item for ingredients or facts? This website is awesome!

Hope you have a great day and reconsider your afternoon snack! XO



barn wood wall

barn wood

I do not have a “DIY” blog or even a “DIY” category on my blog for a reason. I do not know how to “DIY”.

However, I married a project guy…
Oh, how KN loves to have a project! The good news is that he will figure out and perfectly complete an entire project, no matter the pitfalls and time involved, without complaint. I may accidentally say, “wouldn’t it be cool to put wood on the wall”, next thing you know, KN is figuring out where and how we are going to put wood on the wall.
Me, however, these are a few things I might say regarding any project, even a simple one like hanging a picture: “Oh we can’t do that, can’t we just pay someone to do it?, I’m so tired, arg this is making a total mess, can I take a break?, do you have any idea what you are doing?, does this look dumb?, how long are we going to work on this with out eating and laying down?, are we done yet? No, seriously, do you know what you are doing? I’m just going to go to the bathroom I’ll be back in a minute or an hour… are you sure you know how to work a saw? you work in an office.”

Despite all of that, KN stayed the course on this project and “we” made the coolest barn wood wall in my son’s room.

First, he scoured the internet for a recycled wood source. There are many options! Then one day, the lightbulb went on. My brother, who is a farmer with my dad and my other brother, used wood from a barn, in a room in his house and he had leftovers. Now this wood is unique. It is from a barn that was on a farm that was owned by my grandpa and then my dad, that needed to be taken down after 60 years. Although, the process of taking it down and storing it is a laborious project unto its own, my brother had already done that and graciously said he would share the wood with us.

So we headed out to the farm to check it out. The side of the wood that was on the outside of the barn has that weathered, peeling paint look and the inside does not have paint, it just looks weathered a bit. Also, the barn had been vandalized, which I thought was fantastic! I screamed “I want that!” Instantly, I knew this would work, and I wanted to use the “inside” side. For a 16 year old’s bedroom — graffiti—how unique!!! We do not have a truck so we had to coordinate when we could use my brother’s truck to haul it to our house which is an hour away, and then get his truck back. {This is already the point where I would say, oh this is way too much work.}

Here we are laying out the pieces. And of course, it had to pour rain for the hour we were there. There was a huge math problem involved on how much we would need and if we cut 10 pieces to 10″ and cut an inch off the ends and how many 7″ pieces and then there is a window and we don’t want to use this part but we could use this….. {Me: …..NO IDEA} Um, just make sure we have enough.

barn wood
Here we are with the wood, sticking out of the truck. For us non farming city folk, we were highly entertained by driving this big truck around. We even went out to dinner like this.

After we got the wood to our house, there were all these steps involved that are part of any project for novices. Loading and hauling the wood somewhere to get it cut only to find out that they won’t cut it, power washing the wood, letting it dry out, in the garage, out of the garage, renting a saw from Home Depot on 2 different Saturdays, cut all the pieces to 7 inch and 10 inch widths. Taking each individual piece into the house, up the stairs, determine the length because you don’t want them to line up or all be the same, carry back down the stairs, to the garage, measure, cut it, back in the house up the stairs, nail it to the wall, next…… {KN had to do all of the measuring because I don’t know what all of those black lines are on the tape measure between the 1 inch and the half inch}

Here are some pictures of the process:

the layout after first time through the saw
the layout after first time through the saw

I know all you really want to see is the end product, but here are the pictures of putting it up on the wall:

Worked bottom to the top.


we considered just going right over the outlet, but we didn't!
we considered just going right over the outlet, but we didn’t!
we put this trim at the corners
we put this trim at the corners
half way-no turning back
half way-no turning back
The finished project!
The finished project!





friday favorites

midi skirt

Hi Friday, hi winter…. I already decided I would rather stay in the house and clean toilets and change sheets than go out in the 50 mph winds…. Maybe I will be inside until May.

On Monday I drove out to Indiana to help my mom set up her annual garage sale. There are repeat shoppers from year to year,  they save up their birthday money to use at her garage sale! That is crazy awesome. Most of the garage sale consists of clothing from her, me, my sister and my sister in law. We are all shopaholics. My mom had almost an entire rack of clothes with the tags still on it. She has a disease, we tell her. She doesn’t listen……..

I do not like having my own garage sale, it gives me anxiety, and I get all nervous and mean and want to yell “just take it!” don’t ask me if I will take less than a dollar!   Seriously? That North Face coat, you can’t pay a dollar for it?!?!  aaaauuughhghghgh!!!

Anyway, I am not sure of the best way to amp myself up to clean out the closet, it is not for a garage sale. Mostly it happens out of desperation, no hangers left and a pile on the floor that starts out folded and then falls over and then you kick it under the rack so you can close the door.

So speaking of full closets, I will start my friday five favorites with a couple closet additions:



My wonderful husband bought me this jacket at Lansky’s in Memphis this week. I went with him on his work trip AND I got a present. {He is such a smart man.} I told him I would probably be wearing it in the house this winter, as my “house coat”.{ Kuhl flight jacket here}



THESE SHOES! So fun and modern. {from Zara here} They can make a pair of jeans and a t-shirt more edgy or a midi skirt not-dumpy. Although heels make my feet hurt, these sky high, track sole numbers don’t hurt because the front of the shoe is also high which prevents all the pressure from being on the ball of your foot.

Zara heelsmidi skirt
20060803095059!Number_3The Movie “The Judge”. I know I recommended seeing Gone Girl too. That was also a really good movie along the thriller lines. This movie with Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr., is a real life story. It is about a family, a father son relationship, aging parents, right and wrong. It is so, so good and emotional and happy and sad. Well worth the moolah. Oh, and I unexpectedly left with a crush on mr. downey, can I say “mcm” on Friday?




number-solid-4-204x204I love these Kind bars. All of the flavors are good, but this flavor is fantastic. Chocolate and cherry. I never feel guilty after eating one because it’s all good stuff. I recommend buying in bulk because they are so expensive. {Do not buy them at the airpot, $3.50 each!}





imagesMy brother and his wife had their second child yesterday. I know, I know, babies are born every 4 seconds… The uniqueness of this little guy beside all of his wonderful perfectness,  is his name! They named him Oliver, after my dad, his grandpa. He is the 10th grandchild, but he is the only one to carry on the last name, and now the first name as well. That is heartwarming.

Here he is, little Oliver.


baby Oliver



freeze frame

southwest cardigan{sweater here, black jeans here , boots here, t-shirt similar here, sunnies here}



When I bought this southwestern  sweater, I didn’t realize how perfect it would be on these beautiful warm fall days that start and end cool.


Why freeze frame? Because of the perfect weather? Yes! But no….

I want to stop time and keep my kids the age they are. It happens multiple times through out raising kids, right? When they are infants you want them to stay that way and never be able to roll over so you can just lay them on the bed. Then when they start to understand what you are saying and can interact with you and smile and crawl around, you think, this is fabulous. What a great age this is! Just stay this way! Don’t learn how to walk because then I have to worry about you falling down. Then they walk and amen! you don’t have to carry them everywhere. But they still need to hold your hand and oh, I just wish he could stay this way forever. Then they can walk to the bus by themselves and you can stay in your robe longer and wow, this is such a great age. Around 4th grade they finally don’t get sick every other week and you think, hey, this is cool, just stay this age forever and be sweet and hug me tight.

My kids are 13 and 16. I never imagined myself with these big boys. That was always the older moms that knew what they were doing and were prepared for big kids. I love being independent because my kids are independent. But when does the preparation for having “young men” around happen? They live in my house! I don’t know what I am doing! But I could sure keep on, keeping on, the way it is.  Everyone can manage on their own but not all of the time. Doesn’t it feel good to be needed?  Can they please STAY this way? I could definitely use a freeze frame right now.

Counting my blessings minute by minute.



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