Accomplishing: unpacking some boxes. We’ve been in our house two and half years! Oy! Some of boxes are full of decorating-type things that I didn’t use when we first moved in. Now I have the itch to change things up, so it’s a good time to sort through those items. Other boxes are full of stuff we dragged from house to house during our Air Force career. I need to just. get. rid. of. them.
Feeling: excited! We’re getting ready for our trip to Alaska! …
Spring is officially here, and I’m pretty excited about it! Autumn fashion rocks my world. It rocks my world for MONTHS since I live in Coastal Georgia. (No winter here!)
Now it’s time to change things up. We’ll have highs in the 80s all week, so it’s DEFINITELY time to change things up in a springtime direction!
My spring wardrobe could benefit from just a little updating. Know what I mean? I finally got a good handle on my wardrobe a couple of years ago with the Get Your Pretty On Style Challenges. I learned how to shop wisely and how to put together multiple outfits from just a few pieces of clothing. And it was FUN, y’all! …
My happy meter is pretty much pegged out these days, and I thought I would share a few happy things with you guys today!
1. We’re camping this weekend! It’s our first time out this year, and we were READY! We stayed pretty close to home and don’t have a lot of stuff planned. Maybe a short hike tomorrow. Lots of relaaaaaxing is the primary goal!
2. I recently purchased this awesome, custom necklace from my local Plunder consultant! I just love it! It makes me really happy!
3. Gene and I are going to the insanely crazy St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Savannah next week! Yikes! I’m equally excited and terrified! We purchased tickets from the Savannah Theatre, so we’ll have reserved seats, security, bathrooms, and lots of food. Hopefully it’ll be a fun experience. Stay tuned!
4. I’m gearing up for my first homeschool convention of the season! I’ll be representing Sonlight Curriculum at the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators (MACHE) Convention next month. My team and I are excited to get back in our NEW, BEAUTIFUL booth and talk to families about homeschooling with Sonlight!
5. We’re getting details nailed down for our trip to Alaska in May! I’ll be working at three homeschool conventions there and then we’ll get to see our son! He’s stationed there with the Air Force, and I just can’t wait to see him and explore Alaska together!
Add to this list a visit from my oldest niece (#gabfest #shopping), the new Beauty and the Beast movie, flowers blooming everywhere, gorgeous weather, all kinds of great stuff happening at our church, getting to know new friends, a great Bible study for Lent…the list goes on and on! I thank God for these opportunities!
What’s something happy going on with YOU today?!? Leave a comment and let me know! I’ll be happy to be happy with you!
Let’s talk fashion today! I want to share two fun outfits I’ve worn lately, but FIRST I want to share one of my favorite things with you!
Get Your Pretty On is now offering a PERFECT wardrobe capsule for only $29!!! I’m really excited about it! If you’re wanting some basic wardrobe direction, this is where you want to start. The seasonal challenges all build off of the basics in this one!
It’s called the SAHM Casual Wardrobe Basics Builder. It provides you a list of 20 clothing items for you to gather. You probably have a lot of them already, so shop your closet first and THEN go shopping to fill in any gaps. You’ll also receive 20 days of outfits using those 20 pieces of clothing. You won’t have to figure out what to wear; it’s all there for you!
(I want to say that this is a great wardrobe builder for ANY woman, not just stay at home moms!)
I discovered these style challenges a couple of years ago when I was REALLY struggling with how to dress this 40-something-year-old body of mine. I didn’t want to look too young and I sure didn’t want to look too old! The GYPO wardrobe challenges taught me how to shop well and how to coordinate great outfits from basic pieces and maybe a few special, pn-trend items.
The challenges gave me a LOT more confidence in shopping and looking trendy AND age appropriate. I now refuse to buy anything if I can’t style it in at least three different outfits. Turns out that spending a little money on challenges like this one has SAVED me a lot of money!
So hurry and sign up for this wardrobe builder! I know you’ll be pleased with it! The signup for this ends in a few days, so check it out right now!
Here are a couple of outfits I’ve styled lately, all thanks to what I learned from Get Your Pretty On!
This is a swing dress from Old Navy worn over a sweet pair of LuLaRoe leggings. To finish the outfit off I added an olive scarf and a pair of ankle boots. (The olive and blue tie into the pattern on the leggings.)
This is another really basic outfit. A pair of olive corduroy jeans with a striped swing top and a cardigan. Add in a fun scarf (I love pattern mixing!) and boots, and voila! One of my favorite winter outfits! (The scarf ties together the colors in the jeans, shirt, and cardigan.)
If you’re interested in a more extensive wardrobe planner, check this out! It’ll set you up for the rest of the year! Four seasonal wardrobe planners for the price of three! Annual Membership
Thanks for stopping by today!
For legal reasons I’ll mention that the links in this post are affiliate links. If you purchase a wardrobe planner, I’ll make a small commission.
What a fun year here at OutAndBack! Thank you for stopping by, reading a while, and cheering me on! Here are the ten most popular posts for 2016 (based on number of views).
1. Electric Pressure Cooker – YES! My initial foray into the world of electric pressure cookers. I started with the Farberware model; here’s what I thought of it. (Coming soon: a post comparing this to the Instant Pot that I purchased later.)
2. Michael Ann’s Kitchen Day One of the Write 31 Days Challenge. Welcome to my kitchen! Let me show you around! You’ll find the complete list of posts in this series here.
3. One Carly, Three Ways LuLaRoe posts have been VERY popular this year! LuLaRoe fans abound, and for good reason! If you’ve not succumbed to the LuLaRoe world yet, Carly is one of their wonderful dresses.
5. Currently – December 2016 Each month I link up with Anne at In Residence for her “Currently” posts. The topics change every month. This is a fun post to write AND a fun way to quickly check out bloggers I don’t know. The variety of responses each month always amazes me! Beautiful Thomasville, Georgia featured prominently in this “Currently” post.
6. In the Beginning This was Day 2 of Michael Ann’s Kitchen, my response to the Write 31 Days blogging challenge. On this day I shared what Mama taught me about being a successful cook. She knew what she was talking about! (Do you suppose my kids will ever say that about me?!?)
7. Capes! This post is nearly a year old now, and it’s cape season again! Check ’em out and see what you think! (I like THIS cape post a lot better!)
So, I’m curious. Did YOUR favorite post(s) make the top ten?!? Leave a comment and let me know! I plan to list MY favorite posts tomorrow, and most of them ARE NOT on today’s list! (You KNOW you’ll need to come back tomorrow, right?!? HOW will you ever sleep tonight?!?)
Y’all won’t be surprised if I tell you I bought another pair of LuLaRoe leggings. Really though. I own only a few pair, but I DO love them! And when I saw these over at Brittney & Teresa’s LuLaRoe group, I just HAD to have them! Here’s how I’m styling them.
This is my favorite way to wear LuLaRoe leggings. A little crazy can go a long way, so I like for just a bit of them to peek out between a long tunic/short dress and a pair of tall boots. I’ve talked about this pintuck top before (here). It’s from Old Navy. The boots came from Payless last year. All of my favorite colors pop up in this outfit! Gold, olive, burgundy!
On this day I worked up my brave and wore the same leggings with my blue suede booties. I chose to wear a longer dress to, again, cover a little of the crazy so it wouldn’t be too overwhelming. I feel more comfortable in the tall boots (I’m just not sure if short boots work well for me), but I wore this with confidence (like my mama taught me), and I received several compliments! [The dress is from Old Navy, and the booties came from Off Broadway shoes.]
The ladies over at The Blended Blog are talking cozy fashion every Wednesday this month. We are just beginning to get cozy-worthy weather here in Coastal Georgia. We’re not doing a lot of sweaters yet, but I still consider these outfits to be cozy. So I’m linking up with confidence–like my mama taught me!
Any other LuLaRoe lovers out there? Is it cool enough to wear cozy fashion where YOU live?!? Chime in below and let me know!
Hooray for a new Currently link up! Here’s what I’m currently up to!
Doing: Visiting new friends in beautiful Thomasville, Georgia! I met some ladies at the #READSavannah event back in September, and two of them live in Thomasville. I had been here once before and discovered a delightful downtown area with loads of unique shops and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. (I’m looking at you, Jonah’s Fish and Grits!) I’m here now to invest in these fledgling friendships and to eat more great food! What a joy it’s been! I’ve truly enjoyed getting to know Julie and Mary Jane better.
BONUS: I was also able to meet up with Susie, a “virtual” friend of mine I met on the GYPO Style Challenges. It was our first time to meet in real life! Talk about a blessing! Oh my! So this friendship, too, has taken great leaps forward this weekend. I thank God for prompting me to come and spend time with these ladies!
Enjoying: Eating my way through Thomasville! I had lunch yesterday at Savannah Moon Bakery & Cafe; monster grilled cheese and tomato bisque! Dinner last night was at Jonah’s. The hush puppies were JUST as amazing as I remembered! I nearly wept over them the first time I had them. For real. Last night I chose (along with hush puppies) grilled mahi and grits with tasso gravy and a side of collard greens. Y’all! I was one happy Michael Ann! This morning I’m blogging from Grassroots Coffee, and in a minute I’m meeting Mary Jane at the Q Cafe for breakfast. Lunch plans are to be determined. I’m not ruling out a return trip to Jonah’s!
Cooking: I tried a new pressure cooker recipe for Chicken Cacciatore last week, and it was a hit! I used this recipe as a starting point and added a couple of cloves of garlic, a tablespoon or so of capers, and about 1/4 cup (maybe less) white wine. I used chicken thighs and cooked the whole thing for 15 minutes as the recipe said, then served it over brown rice (cooked in my second pressure cooker).
Wrapping: I’d love to say I’m wrapping up my Christmas shopping, but I’m just getting started! Thomasville offers some amazing shopping! Did I mention that already?
Playing: Christmas music. Lots of it! Jordan Smith’s album is still a frequent flier, and I just located my Christmas in Velvet album. That was my favorite album when I was growing up (back when it really was a physical LP album!), and I still love it.
Link-up: Be sure to click over to Anne and Kellie to see what they (and a lot of other fun folks) are CURRENTLY up to!
So, what are YOU currently doing, enjoying, cooking, wrapping, and playing?!? DO tell in the comment section below!
Chinwag #1: Of Kittens and Wrap Skirts and Recliners
Hey there! Grab a cup of coffee and pull up a chair! It’s time for a chinwag!
“Chinwag” is one of those fun words we picked up when we lived in England. It means “a friendly conversation, a chat.” I contacted one of my English friends (Hi, Mary!) yesterday to make sure I had the definition and connotation right. She confirmed that it truly does mean just a chat, not a mean-spirited gossip session. Yay!
First up I have to tell you about my perfect weekend! Don’t you love those?!? Last Friday my husband was off work, and the weather was finally feeling slightly autumn-ish, so we headed out to the range to shoot for a while. He had fun breaking in two new guns, and I had fun watching HIM having fun with that! I stuck to the pistols. My accuracy was less than stellar, but I enjoyed the time anyway. I’m still fighting a flinch when I fire. I’m working to get past that, but it’s taking time.
That evening we went to the cinema to see the new Jack Reacher movie. Okay. I have to stop right there and ask why in the world did they cast Tom Cruise (for crying out loud) as Jack Reacher?!? In the books (yes, there are books) Jack Reacher is 6 feet 5 inches tall and 250 pounds! His sheer size is a HUGE factor in the stories! ANYWAY. Back to MY story. Gene and I went to our local cinema to see the new Jack Reacher movie and discovered that the cinema has upgraded to recliner seating! WHAT?!? Seats are now assigned, and/but they are WONDERFUL! This might not be so great for those of you who go all Sleep Mode as soon as you put your feet up, but we liked them A LOT!
Saturday was another gorgeous day. We had been invited to a special party in Jacksonville, Florida (more on that in a minute) for that evening, but we decided to head out early and make a day of it. We ate lunch at Popeye’s (a guilty pleasure of ours!) on the way down and then headed to the Jacksonville Zoo. We hadn’t visited it in a few years. We enjoyed walking around and watching the animals and the kids, none of whom we were responsible for! (I’ve decided that going to the zoo without kids is both a little sad AND a wonderful, beautiful thing!)
That evening we enjoyed a great anniversary party for friends of ours! Michael and Sheila were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, and Sheila’s parents were celebrating their 50th! They renewed their vows, committing to keeping up the hard work that marriage requires. Yes, I got a little choked up! This marriage thing is something special, something to treasure, for sure! I LOVE dressing up, and Gene, bless his heart, was a really good sport about it! You can read more about the party on Sheila’s blog!
We spent the night at a great hotel in Jacksonville then nipped back up I-95 to take up our posts as greeters at our church and to celebrate our church’s 16th birthday! God stories and worship abounded!
Then came Monday! Ah, Monday! LOL! I present for your entertainment the condensed version of my leaving for work Monday morning!
Our kitten repeatedly jumped up, grabbed the ties, and pulled on them, slightly loosening my skirt.
I ignored said kitten and focused on gathering my Tervis of tea and travel cup of coffee.
The kitten tried to scamper out the front door with me, but my mad ninja skills kicked in and I blocked her escape. Victory!
Also, my skirt got caught in the door.
Oh, did I mention I had just touched up my fingernail polish on my right (dominant) hand?
I managed to get my skirt out of the door and noticed that it was even more loose now. (Yeah. Wait for it!)
I juggled my purse and beverages to the car, opened the door, leaned in to put my coffee in a cup holder so I wouldn’t spill it, and poured copious amounts of tea from my Tervis onto the front seat.
Simultaneously my skirt…well…let’s just say I had a *slight* wardrobe malfunction at this point! Thankfully Gene had backed my car into the driveway the night before, so I was shielded from the world by my car door, my car, his truck, and multiple layers of clothing (since it was a brisk 50 degrees, and this is Georgia, so we must bundle up). I just cracked up laughing!
A frantic search for napkins or paper towels then ensued whilst I was trying to get my skirt wrapped again AND trying not to mess up my fingernail polish! HA! It really was hysterical!
Oh, goodness! Sometimes all you can do is laugh! To close this out I’ll share a photo of the kitten (Mattie) and the sari wrap skirt.
Thanks for stopping by! What’s been going on in YOUR world lately?!? Leave me a comment, and we’ll keep the chinwag going!
Fall fashion is my favorite! And the weather here in Coastal Georgia is FINALLY cooperating with the calendar! Hooray! Today I’m sharing a great fall fashion find, an affordable, comfortable dress from Old Navy.
I’m 5’6″, and a lot of Old Navy’s dresses are too short for me to wear as a dress. I have to wear them as a tunic instead. But this dress is JUST the right length for me! PLUS it’s an A-line swing dress! That means it’s forgiving and works well for multiple body shapes.
With the wine colored dress I’m wearing a Land’s End scarf, Target tights, and Payless boots. This outfit is perfect for …
It’s time for Currently! Here we go! I am currently…
Discovering: Well, REdiscovering just how clever the movie Alice Through the Looking Glass is! I posted a review of the movie when it was in theaters, and now it’s out on Blu-Ray. This is an excellent movie on every level. It’s a feast for your eyes, your ears, and your heart!
Celebrating: Meeting a big goal! I signed up for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge, and I did it! I wrote my series, Michael Ann’s Kitchen, and posted every single day of October! As is typical when we push ourselves to do something hard, I learned a LOT! I learned tons about blogging in general, WordPress, and the powerful tools available to me via remarkable apps like Canva and Pic Monkey. I’m exhausted, and I’m exhilarated!
Starting: Well, REstarting a concerted effort to make wise food choices and to exercise. I’ve been off my game for a while, and then Hurricane Matthew threw me for a loop emotionally (even though we made it through just fine). That emotional exhaustion plus two birthdaypaloozas (mine and my daughter’s) plus the Write 31 Days challenge totally upset my apple cart! It’s time to right the cart and get back on the wagon. (Oh dear! My tired is showing! Moving on…)
Wearing: Let’s talk about what I’m NOT wearing. The temperatures here in Coastal Georgia are STILL pushing 90 degrees. In November. Ugh. So I’m NOT wearing my beloved hoodies, boots, or jackets. It’s sad really.
(Well, there WAS that weekend camping trip last month near Chattanooga, Tennessee when the temps dipped to just shy of freezing! Bliss, I tell you! And, yes, we tent camp. Stay tuned for more about that trip!)
Googling: More electric pressure cooker recipes and charts. I wrote about how much I’m enjoying my pressure cooker several weeks ago, and I’m still loving it. I’m considering buying an Instant Pot because (1) I’d like to see how it compares to my Farberware pressure cooker, and (2) some days I’d like to have TWO of them to use!
That’s what *I* am up to these days! How about you? Let me know in the comment section!
I’m linking up today with Anne of In Residence and Catherine of A Short Blonde. Be sure to see what THEY are currently up to as well!