Cookout OOTD

This is what I wore to a casual family gathering on Memorial Day.  This was the third day in a row of visiting with various family members so I was getting tired and feeling pretty casual.

I wore a loose black cotton top with a tank top underneath along with my hundred-year-old shorts from the Weathervane.  Ha ha!  I also had on black flip flops from Old Navy and a silver Alex and Ani bracelet that says "granddaughter" that I got for my birthday this year.  I had second day hair so I had a fair amount of dry shampoo going on along with about a gallon of sunscreen on my pale winter skin.

When we left Steve's mother's house the next day we saw this deer hanging out by the side of the road.  We slowed way down to try to get close enough to get a good picture.  This one was the one that came out the best.  It's a little grainy because I zoomed way in with the camera on my phone.


Minnetonka Moccasins

I went into a leather goods shop yesterday and there was a wall full of Minnetonka moccasins.  Since I knew that they are a thing and that some people get them in a bunch of colors I assumed that they'd be expensive.  They actually weren't.  I have been wearing these for most of the past 24 hours and my feet are loving it!

Minnetonka has been making moccasins since 1946, according to the nostalgic story full of Americana written inside of the box.  They are handmade and they stretch to fit your feet.  The sales lady told me to get a size smaller than I normally get because of the stretching.  They definitely run big anyway because I'm normally a 7 - 7.5 and the 7s were too big.  I got a size 6 and my toes are just bumping the front of the shoe but aren't squished at all.  If they stretch even a little I think that they will fit perfectly.

Kilty Suede Moc Hardsole - $42.95

Today the ground was a little wet because it has been raining on and off all day.  The soles are thick so the shoes stay dry, unlike the million pairs of flats I am usually wearing.

I also watched a video on the Minnetonka website that talked about the history of the company and showed clips of the manufacturing process with clips of people hand stitching these shoes.  Anyway, I really like my shoes and am completely happy to give Minnetonka some free advertising with this post.  :)


Tasty Tuesday: Larabar

This is just a quick post to say that this bar is so delicious.  If you like lemon then get this.  Seriously.  It has dates, cashews, almonds, lemon juice concentrate, and natural lemon flavor.  That's it.  I've had a few other Larabar flavors but I think this might be my new favorite.

**This is not a sponsored post.  This is legitimately just a really yummy and good for you snack.**


Weekend Recap: Memorial Day


 On Saturday I was at my grandparents house.  We ate chips and watched the hummingbirds fly around the garden as we sat on the deck and hoped the clouds would go away.  They didn't so we went inside to make supper.

 The shrimp and linguine was garlicky and only a little spicy despite the five jalapenos that were put in it.  After we were done digesting we had chocolate cream pie which I did not take a picture of because you can't take pictures of the inside of your belly and that's where my slice of pie went immediately after it hit my plate.



Cookout number 1:  This was a big party we went to with my husband's extended family.  People were playing badmitton and vollyball, kids were throwing giant frisbees, and there was even an inflatable jousting pit.  We basically just ate constantly all day long.

Of course I wore a white top so I was paranoid about dropping a meatball or dumping wine down my front but I was successful in staying clean.

The home that the party was at had a huge yard with a stream running behind it.  I found a few flowers growing in the shade along with some giant mushrooms back there.

They also had a pretty nice chicken coop so I spent some time standing next to it saying, "Hey chickens!" trying to get them to look at me.  They were not listening.  Ha ha!

At the end of the night this fire was lit with a giant blow torch.


Selfie Saturday: Working at Home

I really do get dressed in real clothes most of the time but I don't hate the fact that there are some days that I don't need to leave the house.  Although I guess it doesn't matter if I'm just going to put a picture of my sweatshirt wearing no makeup self on the internet anyway.  Writing while sitting on my bed isn't the worst either. :)


Cloudy Day

More clouds today!  I'm really looking forward to this long weekend with all of the cookouts and food that comes with it.  But for today I'm doing laundry and cleaning my house and pulling out clothes to wear to all of these official-unofficial start of summer parties.

The outfit in this post is from a few days ago but, if the sweater weren't hanging to dry right now, I could be wearing the same thing today.  I'm not really complaining about the weather because I'd rather have a gloomy spring day than a freezing winter day or a sweltering summer day any time.

My sweater is pretty thin and it isn't wool so it's only really warm if I'm using it as a layer.  The lack of sun recently makes it so I feel like I need long sleeves but don't need to put a tank top underneath.  It came from Nordstrom Rack (my favorite!).  My jeans are a kind of wide leg flared trouser style and they are pretty good for casual Fridays at work.  Mostly, when I wear them I reminisce about the 90s and when I used to wear gigantic flared pants that covered my feet completely.  Oh 90s.  I loved you. :)

This really comfy outfit camouflaging me in with the clouds felt a little boring, especially as it was also a no makeup day.  This awesome bow made it a little more exciting, although the color palette is still not very Spring-like.  Oh well.

Have a nice weekend!
(more colorful posts to follow...I can't help it!  I like black and gray!)


Book Haul: May 2014

I was at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA over the weekend and I bought a few books, because that is what you do in a bookstore.  Porter Square Books is small but has a cafe and a really friendly staff so I feel like it is worth the trek over there.

They also always gives you these red bookmarks when you buy a book there.

 Heartless and Timeless are the fourth and fifth books in Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate Series.  The series revolves around Alexia Tarabotti, an eccentric, not-so-young woman living in Victorian England who has no soul and who's weapon of choice is an umbrella.  The Parasol Protectorate universe is full of werewolves, vampires and scientists.  The first three books (Soulless, Changeless and Blameless) in the steampunk urban fantasy series were full of the strange and often funny adventures that Alexia often finds herself in.  The only reason I left such a big gap between finishing the third book and getting the fourth book is that I tend to read about six books at once and that can get a little overwhelming.  I decided to buy both books so that I'm not screaming for the last one at the end of the fourth.

This might seem like a strange purchase for a childless adult to buy but I'm a former teacher and old habits die slowly.  I found A is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara, while digging through the cheap damaged book shelf.  Since it's a board book for little kids it will eventually get destroyed anyway so I think it was worth it.  I love it because it promotes being an active citizen and it is an alphabet book, which is my favorite.

I read A is for Activist over supper the other night because it is a short children's book.  I am itching to start Heartless but that might have to wait a couple more weeks because I just finished the second book in Stephen King's Dark Tower series and because we are borrowing the books from friends and I'm currently only one book ahead of Steve I feel like I need to widen the gap a little just to be on the safe side before I move on to something else.  But I think I'll binge on both Parasol Protectorate books when I do get to them and then it's on to the Manga versions, which I also already have sitting on my bookshelf.


Casual Wednesday: Fluctuating Temperatures

Spring in New England is kind of annoying.  When you wake up in the morning you are cold in your house.  You dress in layers and walk out the door and immediately start sweating.  Then you change into shorts and a cute summery top and an hour later the sun goes behind a cloud and you're freezing.  Don't even get me started on the alternating freezing rain and humid cloudy days!

I wore this on one of the hot outside/cold inside days.  I was actually going outside to take breaks in the sun to warm up.  This was the first day that I actually wore shorts and I think it was just wishful thinking about summer.  The flannel was a good layer inside where it was cooler and it helped with keeping the sun off of my shoulders when I did go outside.

I have had most of the things that I'm wearing forever with the exception of the navy tank top that I got at Nordstrom Rack not too long ago.  It is the kind with the built in shelf bra.  I am definitely dating myself with this next piece of information but the oldest piece in this outfit are those shorts and they are actually from Weathervane....yes, I bought shorts at the Weathervane while in college and I still have them.

A casual Wednesday wouldn't be complete without second day hair.  My curls didn't look too terrible when I woke up so I didn't want to brush them out.  I sprayed dry shampoo in and then just rubbed it in with my fingers on my scalp.  Other curly girls will sympathize with me not wanting to brush it through to create the giant frizzy puff ball look.  I twisted it back to keep the greasier parts off of my face and I think it came out pretty good.

Here is a close up of one of the twists.

I left a little out over my ear on the side opposite my part because there was too much hair to twist back without using a million bobby pins and if you do this with too much curly hair it looks cute above the bobby pins but then it explodes out from under them and you look ridiculous.  Volume and curls are good; hair sticking straight out to the side is bad.


Tasty Tuesday: Breakfasts

I love breakfast!  I actually rarely ate breakfast until a few years ago but I realized that the problem was just that my body doesn't want to eat before the sun comes up.  During the week I try to eat a pretty hearty breakfast and usually eat fruit.  When I make oatmeal (which is most days) it has a million things in it and ends up being really calorie heavy so on those days I usually eat a smaller, and later, lunch because I don't get hungry again for a long time.

Here is a week's worth of breakfasts.

Sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and seedless raspberry jelly
Scrambled eggs with green onions, garlic and kale
Black coffee

Oatmeal (cooked with water) made with flax, blackstrap molasses, raisins, walnuts and cinnamon; banana, peanut butter and unsweetened almond milk on top
Cinnamon coffee

Sprouted grain toast with peanut butter, raw honey and banana slices
V8 (low sodium)

Oatmeal (cooked with equal parts water and almond milk) made with flax, cinnamon, walnuts, raisins and a mashed banana added while cooking

Sprouted grain toast with peanut butter and banana (mashed together)
Coffee with almond milk


Selfie Saturday: Ready to Go

All made up and ready to go out to dinner with friends.  I used my Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette and the sample of eyeshadow primer that came with it in Original.  I have been using a combination of Naked and Buff to do my eyebrows and I like that a lot better than what I had been using before which was a darker color that is part of the Almay Neutral palette for blue eyes.


May Flowers - Part 2

I meant to put these pictures in with the other May flowers post I put up earlier in the week but Mother Nature doesn't just do what I want.  Lilacs always bloom where I live by the time my birthday rolls around but this year they were late.  I'm not sure if it was due to the longest winter ever that we had this year or just that this particular lilac bush is a lazy slow bloomer.  Growing up we had a gigantic purple lilac bush and then some kind of white lilac tree in our yard.  The one in my yard now isn't very lush but even though there are fewer flowers they still put off a pretty big scent.

This last picture of the bouquet of tulips that my mom brought me on my birthday. :)


Birthday Haul

I got some nice presents for my birthday this year!  There are a lot of pictures (because makeup and nail polish!) so to keep things slightly organized, I have three sections in this post: beauty, accessories, and other things.

I'm not trying to be braggy, I just like seeing what other people get for birthdays and Christmas in their blogs and videos so I thought I'd do my own birthday haul.

I got lots of nail polish, a couple of nail files and nail polish remover pads.  I have the lilac color on my toes and the teal shade on my my fingers.  Both have the matte top coat on them.  

Wet & Wild Wild Shine
Clear Nail Protector 401A, Matte Top Coat 407C, Protective Base Coat 406C

Sallie Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear
Jazzy Jade 280, Lacey Lilac 270, Red Carpet 390

Sallie Hansen Jazzy Jade with Wet & Wild Matte Top Coat
I also got the Urban Decay Naked palette!  I'm so excited to use this!  I also keep rubbing it because it's frickin' velvet!  I'm not sure that I've used enough exclamation points!


 This ring is so awesome.

More skulls!

Muscles, Paper & Cookware:
About a month ago I saw that I could get all four Riddick movies but I didn't want to buy them because I was already buying horror movies.  So I convinced Steve to buy them and wrap them up for my birthday.  I sort of forgot about them so they were almost a surprise!  Ha ha ha!  I really like Vin Diesel.

My sister also got me an Alice in Wonderland coloring book and a little notebook that looks like a Wonderland passport.  I looked up the website on the back of the passport because it said it was by The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild, which I thought was funny.  Anyway, I just thought I'd mention it because these people have a sense of humor and they sell puppets, t-shirts, and a bunch of other things.

My mom gave me this small saucepan.  I already have the same one but in a bigger size that I use exclusively for cream sauces.  (Yeah, I know I'm crazy.)  I used this little cute one for oatmeal yesterday and it was the best day ever.  Nothing stuck to the bottom!

That was the longest post ever.  Congratulations and Thank You if you made it the end and actually read everything!