Sunday, January 31, 2016


I'm a goal-oriented gal.  If I make a goal, write it down, and make a plan, chances are I'll check off the steps until I've seen it through.  If I don't do those three things, well, I'm disoriented.
I'm one of those people who has never stopped carrying a paper calendar.
And one of those people with a personal mission statement.  
I spent most of 2015 disoriented.  I completed plenty of projects on my new house, but I did very little to nurture and support my physical and mental health and balance.  2016 is already off to a better start.  For January, I set goals to blog four times, work out three times per week, list items for sale on ebay and etsy, and clean the house for 15 minutes each weeknight.  Effective the end of this post, I've completed those goals.   It's 9:30 pm on January 31, so I'm squeaking just under the wire.

January was a good month.  I'm ending it happier and healthier than I began.  I got to visit my mom and my sister..  I helped a friend set up his very cool esty shop, Skulls and Skullduggery.  January was good.  Hopefully February will be even better.  I'll be back to post at least four more times.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pack Rat: Unpacked

My packing skills have gotten better and better over the years, but I can't seem to find the sweet spot.  I always end up with a couple things more than I need.  My most recent trip was to visit my mom and sister in Portland.  For a five-day trip I brought:
  • Two sweater dresses
  • My Boston terrier sweater
  • A turtleneck
  • A cowl-neck sweater
  • One pair of skinny jeans
  • One pair of leggings
  • Two pairs of tights
  • One pair of boots
  • Two pairs of yoga pants (for sleep/exercise)
  • Two athletic tops (for sleep/exercise)
  • One pair of tennis shoes
  • A rain coat
  • A wool coat
  • A scarf (that I forgot on my first plane)
Wow, that looks like so much once I wrote it all out, but it all fit in a small, carry-on roller bag.  I wore a sweater dress, turtle neck, and jeans on the flight out, and I wore a dress, cowl-neck sweater, and leggings on the way home.  The other days I mixed it up.  I wore the boots the whole time.  Since I had washer/dryer access, I didn't have to worry about packing enough for the whole trip.  
This is what I wore on the plane.
And these are the gorgeous Frye boots I
got for a song right before the trip!
 Where did I go wrong?  I didn't wear any of the tights.  I would have been more comfortable with an extra pair of leggings instead of the jeans.  I could have used a sweatshirt for cozy relaxation.  

Where did I go right?  Layering.  I am not a fan of the cold, but the turtle neck and cowl neck sweater are slim fitting enough to wear under the dresses or Boston terrier sweater.  Wearing a sweater dress over leggings or jeans is cozy.  It was cold and drizzly, but I wasn't too bothered.  

How do you optimize your packing?  How do you identify the things to leave behind?  

Friday, January 15, 2016

Life is Merrier

I saw a bumper sticker once that said "life is merrier with a Boston terrier."  It's true.  It's also true that life is merrier with a Boston terrier sweater.  This one was a Christmas present from my dad and stepmom.

Blazer, Apt 9, thrifted; sweater, Bass, gifted; blouse, vintage Karen Scott, gifted (thanks Chenille!); skirt, Alison Brittney, Amazon; fleece tights, No Boundaries, Walmart; Boston terrier socks, Bass, gifted; shoes, Bare Traps, Younkers; earrings, gifted (thanks, Kristin!)

I highlighted my Boston terrier sweater with Boston terrier socks and earrings.  To make the socks as eye-catching as possible, I wore them over coordinating tights.  I complemented the puppy accents with houndstooth, because those things clearly go together.

I'm thrilled by the way the divergent patterns and themes come together in one big graphic explosion.  I felt great in this outfit.  I would wear it every day.

So why is life merrier with a Boston terrier (or a Boston and  a half like Widget and Ursa)?  They are adorable dogs.

 They know when to be helpful, like when I set a laundry basket on Widget and he didn't move for 15 or 20 minutes.
They help you keep your obligations.  In this case Widget has a library book date slip stuck to his lip.  I know to return library books, Widget.

I hope your days are merry and if you're looking for a merriment increaser who will also keep you active and well-socialized.  Adopt a Boston Terrier!

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Lost and Found

My New Year's Day was spend with these dogs.  Please note that
I'm still a style blogger so I coordinated the dogs to the sweater and
the sweater to the couch.  
2015 was a hard year for me.  It was a year of loss.  My beloved pug died after 16 years of being my daily companion.  I adopted another dog, Toro, and he was a bad fit for me and Widget.  And, as I mentioned in my previous post, I got divorced.  It was a hard, hard year.  On top of the big losses, I had myriad little ones.  All the little things I haven’t been able to find since my move.  Treasured Christmas ornaments that didn’t seem to make it into my boxes.  Things that were fairly distributed to my ex-husband, but the absence of those things still stings.  Such is life. 

In spite of the losses, large and small, I feel like I am starting 2016 richer.  I found a home.  I’ve worked very hard and made it mine.  I have two dogs who love me and each other. 

This evening I finally sorted through my jewelry chest.  It was heavily jostled in the move, and everything was tangled and out of place.  I knew it would be an ordeal- and it was- and that’s why I had put it off for the nearly 10 months.  I’ve been wearing the same half-dozen or so pairs of earrings for nearly a year. That had to end!  I found so many treasures buried in the clutter of those drawers.  I found trinkets from my travels, family mementos, and things that touched my eye or my heart for various reasons.  I also found a lot of junk.  I found things I don’t like.  There were gifts I’ll never wear again.  Things that were cheap, unsentimental impulse purchases.  The things that didn’t bring me joy had to go.  I sorted through and dumped handfuls of beaded confection into a gallon Ziploc bag.  When I was done, all I could see were the things I love. 

I lost a lot in 2015, but I found so much more.  I found strength that I didn’t know I had, love and support I didn’t feel I deserved, and I found the will to let go of the parts of my life that don’t bring me joy. 

Life is good for me and Ursa today.  Ursa's life would be even better
if I would just share my waffles. 
I am going to post more this year.  My life is good, and I want to share it. You can expect to hear some about loss, but much more about finding my place. 
Happy New Year.