Monday, November 23, 2015

Moving Day...

See here for my post about decorating a room for Caroline.
Well I have made GREAT progress!

The movers came last week to move her furniture upstairs....
was not sure her armoire was going to make it to the third floor,
but the movers were awesome and figured a way to make it work!

I am going for an "updated classic" look,
and since toile is pretty classic and conservative,
I wanted to add a fun print to the mix to add a little bit of a trendy feel.
My mom and I found this green and ivory geometric print that matches perfectly!
The plan is to find a bench for the end of her bed and cover it in that print.
This is a very accurate picture of the colors...
the photos I took of her room don't show how pretty and bright the shade of green is.

I'm also looking for a small upholstered club chair I can slipcover in an ivory twill (shown above),
and I'm going have it piped in the green and ivory geometric print.

Also added these glass lamps with a silver finish for a more updated look.
Gotta LOVE HomeGoods

So here is where we were two weeks ago...

And here is where we were at the end of moving day.....

I've decided it's unrealistic to try and have this painted before Christmas.
It will take me at least a month to find the right shade of green!
Clearly, there is still work to be done....
accessorize and hang pictures, but I'm on track to get it done within the month.

I'll post her finished room in the New Year!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Little Kitchen Bling

Lol it's been a year now since my kitchen renovation 
and I still have not blogged about it.
My excuse it that I can't get very good pictures of it.
I will use Teddy's camera to do it one of these days.

I was just commenting to my mother that I don't love how I have accessorized my new kitchen.
I do not want a "beachy" feeling kitchen,
but the kitchen is done in "beachy" colors.
The cupboards are white, but not a bright stark white 
and the walls are a light blue that would remind you of a beach house.
You will see what I mean when I eventually post about it.

Here are a few things I am hoping to add to my kitchen add a little more bling to it:

Can't have the tea kettle without the canister set...

I'm also looking for a foot bath to put on the island....
the natural choice is a blue and white porcelain one similar to this one
I have some blue and white porcelain cache pots in my kitchen right now,
however I don't feel like they look very good on the counter.
 You would imagine that blue and white porcelain goes with everything.
I'm moving out the blue and white and looking for something else.

Here's a foot bath that I think might look better...
Sadly, this is out of stock.
So I'll keep looking....I think a pink and green foot bath would blend better with my color scheme.
I'm planning to keep seasonal flowers potted in it.
Or silk ones....let's be realistic here.

These things happen to be on my Christmas list.....
Hopefully they will find their way to my kitchen!
What do you accessorize your kitchen with?

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Stitch Fix Review

Has anyone heard of the clever online fashion service called Stitch Fix?
I just found out about it from my fabulous supervisor at work,
(her name is also Christine)
and had to try it out!

Basically, Stitch Fix sends you a box of five items every so many weeks
based on a style profile that you create when you sign up.
They hand select items just for you based on your preferences,
and you can select from tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes, and accessories.
I did not want to get shoes or handbags.

They send you the box,
you try it on,
send back what you don't like,
and keep what you do like!

I was super excited to try this out,
especially because I gravitate towards the SAME brands and the SAME styles
almost all of the time.
I thought it might be a good idea if I stepped outside my comfort zone...
a little.

Stitch Fix has a Pintrest board,
so I checked them out to see if they would have the kinds of things I might like.
I came across this outfit on their "Preppy" board
and thought Stitch Fix could definitely work for me!
Clearly my style....classic and timeless.

So my box came today!
 Impressed with the packaging.....
 And here are my five selections....
 Two tops and a sweater....
 This is an A-symmertical zip knit jacket...
 And this is a knit black dress with a scoop back.

Tried to be positive so I tried the things on.
Not photo-worthy.
To be honest, I hated all of it.
First, I did not like the colors of anything they sent.
Well, ok a little black dress is a must have, but not this one.
I also did not like the fabrics.
I did not feel like any of the items were even close to what I put in my profile.
Disappointed would be an understatement.

I did like how they send a style card with your box....
 Very handy and a great tool to use if you are keeping what's in your box.
It reminds me of the fashion boards you can make on Polyvore and share.

Just because I did not have a good experience does not mean that Stitch Fix is a bad thing.
If you are a lot less picky than I am,
and your style is more trendy and less preppy,
then I think this would be something really fun to try.
Christine (supervisor) has had great luck with it and she is very stylish...and picky like me.

Once you get your box, you log into your account online and "check out" 
and you have the opportunity to tell your "stylist" why you are returning an item.
This helps them to get a better idea of what to send in your next box.
Sadly, I am returning all of my items in the pre-paid label that comes with your box.

My overall review of Stitch Fix is that it's a fun concept that will work for many people.
If you are pretty set in your style and you have go-to brands that you don't really deviate from,
then it may not be for you.

I'm going to give it a whirl one more time and then decide if I want to keep it going.
Let me know if you've tried it....

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Friday, October 30, 2015

What I've Been Up To....

OK so blogging in the Fall is just hard for me.
It's the sports.....which I LOVE,
but there's not enough time in a day!
Junior Varsity volleyball just finished this past week,
 and Junior Varsity football ends this week.
Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night have been spoken for
 with games and matches on those nights since the beginning of September.
Then add our USNA season football tickets into the mix with weekends in Annapolis,
and fall is just about gone!
I can't complain' been GREAT!

When I have not been cheering on my boys or the Midshipmen, 
I have been frantically trying to get Caroline's new room ready.
Many of my Blog friends are participating in Linda from Calling It Home's
One Room Challenge
and I seriously thought about doing it,
but I just couldn't commit the time to blog about my progress weekly.
You can see here why I'm working on a new room for her.

My poor baby girl has been living like this for over a year now....

And Jack has been a SUPER STAR about not complaining about
the bags and bins of clothes in his room for the past YEAR.

Caroline has her own apartment at school,
but she still needs a bedroom at home to stay in when she's home for breaks.
And she needs a place for her "off-season" clothes...and shoes....and handbags.

So here is my inspiration for her room....which met with her approval.
And here is my own inspiration board...
Caroline's Room

Why, you ask is this such a major project for me?

Because THIS is a SMALL example of what the state of my husband's office has been.
I'm embarrassed to say my husband's "home office" quickly became a "storage room."
And we DO have an attic for storage....we just have A LOT to store.
So, imagine not seeing a square inch of the carpet in this room and that is where WE started.
I say "we" because my sweet husband was responsible for about 75% of the "items" stored in here.
I gently reminded (nagged) him to PLEASE sort (throw out) the things in his office
so that I could progress with getting Caroline's new room cleared out.
I an VERY happy to report that MANY garbage bags have been filled,
and "we" are almost done!

I am moving Caroline's furniture from her old room to her new room upstairs,
which is a "cottage style" armoire, bookshelf, and chest.
We are also getting her a new queen size bed....a grown up bed!

Here is a peek at the progress I have made....excuse me, I mean WE have made....

Scored this amazing custom fabric covered headboard at a consignment shop last month.
You can't tell from the picture, but it is a sage green toile on an ivory background.
It has a matching bedskirt and duvet too!
Teddy and Jack set up the bed frame and Caroline and I are going mattress shopping next week.
Got the nightstands at HomeGoods....LOVE that store.
And the lamps are moving....they were being "stored" in this room so I just set them there for now.

My goal is to have her room totally done before Thanksgiving.
I think I can do it.
We will have a house full of children and I want her to have her own space by then!

Here's my To Do list:
schedule movers
buy lamps for nightstands
pick out a mattress with Caroline
ivory queen sheet set monogrammed in sage green
Queen duvet and Euro shams in ivory
move Caroline's clothes from Jack's room to her new room
purchase under-bed storage bins

I will blog about her finished room....I have three weeks!

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Leggings or No Leggings?

I love the current trend of tunics with leggings.
My daughters look adorable in them.
The key word being DAUGHTERS.
I am stepping WAY outside my comfort zone
 and just invested in my second tunic to wear with leggings.
It's a cute three quarter sleeve chambray blue one, 
and I plan to stye it similar to this set....

Casual Fall Classics

Even with the blessing of the daughters,
I still feel a little self-soncious about wearing leggings.

What do you think?
Is there an age where ladies should no longer wear leggings?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Week in Review

Last week was a busy but FUN week!
Here is what we were up to....
(please pardon the iPhone picture quality)

Of course we have the fall sports,
so it was football games and volleyball matches...
My sweet boy allowed his mama to get a quick pic with him following his game!

Went to Parent's Weekend last weekend at Virginia Tech!
Katherine LOVES Tech and is very happy!

While we were at Tech we got together with Nick's family and some friends
 to celebrate his birthday a little early!

The siblings.....
It was a fabulous evening!
Nick and Katherine
 The key to my husband's Volvo that has been missing since April
was mysteriously found in the "man chair" on our third floor.
Teddy's wallet was also found in the "man chair"
so I guess if anything else goes missing in this house we will check the "man chair" first.
My baby boys turned 15 over the weekend!!!!
And the boys went to their first high school dance on their birthday!
Deep Run High School Homecoming!
We rounded out the week with our annual family birthday dinner at Maggiano's....
we have so many October birthdays that we celebrate them all on one night now! 
Teddy and Caroline...
The birthday boys....

Horrible picture but here are the girls....
It was not the same without Katherine an Grace!

That was our week in review...
this one is a little slower paced with a relaxing weekend planned for the end of the week!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Rain Rain Go Away.....

I woke up this morning to a cloudy day,
which is an improvement over that last NINE rainy days we have had!
Tomorrow the sun will shine!

Here's a little rainy day fashion...
everyone around here are big fans of the Hunter rain boots,
and I am too.
But I'm LOVING the Joules rain boots this fall,
and they are having a SALE
right now....50% off select styles!

Here are a few of my favorites...

Could these Navy rain boots be any more adorable?
Love the bow in the back!

These polka dot with the pink have caught my eye...
Perfect with my pink rain coat and half off!

Loving these Kelly Green ones!
They are half off and only $30.75!!!

These are in my top three.....LOVE!

Can never have too much pink....these are also cute!

A classic.....these are not on sale but I also love!
And if you are not a pink lover like me, these would be fabulous!
I actually love the red too....not just the pink!

So go check out the super sale happening at Joules!!!

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jail Life

I suspect that most of my readers have never been in jail.
Am I right?
As I mentioned in a recent post, 
I am now working as a clinician in our maximum security county jail.
It's awesome.
My job that is....not being in jail.
I only work on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
And NO "on call" in this job....yea.
This is the jail where I work, with the Sheriff's office on the first level.

You may be wondering what a clinician in a jail does....
and if you're not, I'm going to tell you anyway.

My primary function is to complete psychosocial assessments
of newly incarcerated inmates
who have a history of mental health issues,
and those who are currently having new issues.
After I assess, I either diagnose and refer to our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
(who happens to be a darling preppy-Lilly-loving cute blonde)
to be evaluated for medication management,
or I send them on their merry way back to their cells.
(we get a very large number of "fakers"...the clinical term would be "malingering")

I also handle crises....which there are a lot of.
Jail can be a little stressful for some people, 
and many people become suicidal or are at risk of harming themselves or harming others.
I conduct risk assessments to determine if someone needs to be put on a watch,
and what level of watch they will be on.
I also determine when someone is ready to come off of a watch.

And finally, I facilitate three support groups.
They are all focused on coping skills and recovery from addiction.

My office is a cell.
Not kidding.
I work on what's called the SHU (pronounced the "shoe')
which stands for Special Housing Unit.
The SHU houses the day room for the inmates with serious mental illness,
who must be monitored regularly for their own safety and the safety of others.
I am talking about the schizophrenic and psychotic inmates.

The SHU also has the "hole" where you go if you are either VERY naughty,
or if you are very actively suicidal.
We also have the camera cells on the SHU,
for those who need supervision, but not constant one on one supervision.
And the clinicians' offices are on the SHU in what used to be cells.
Fortunately they took the toilets and beds out of them.
Thank God.
So I am locked in my office.
I can get out, but no one can get in except my supervisor
and all of our awesome Deputies
who have a master key.
I have a master key.
I can get anywhere I want in the jail.
There are some places that I do not want to go though...yikes.
This is actually inside the jail I work in.
My office/cell is on this floor.
Found this picture on the internet, and not sure how it got there since there are 
NO photographs allowed.

I will probably do several posts throughout the year on jail life...
here are a few things I have learned about myself while working in the jail.

First, I miss windows.
I didn't even think about this aspect of working at the jail,
but the only windows in the jail are on the second floor outside of the units/pods
and face inside the courtyard where the inmates have recreation.
They are seriously about a foot wide by two feet long...
so it's hard to even see the sky when you look out...
you really only see the other side of the brick jail.
I have come to work on a sunny day and left work in a thunderstorm.
Talk about taking something simple for granted...
I miss seeing the sky during the day.
I love sunshine and I also love rain....and just watching the way the sunlight changes during the day.
My husband reminded me that he would not see the sky for days, or even months at a time
when he was on his submarine.
I would not like that at all.
So I am grateful on the days I don't work, for whatever weather is currently happening,
and that I can see the sunshine.

Second, I am not judgmental.
Or at least as judgmental as I thought I was going to be.
Actually, I would never consider myself a judgmental person,
however I was not sure how I would react working with
murderers and child molesters, rapists, and other violent felons.
I surprised myself.
Of course I don't condone in any way the actions of the inmates.
But I am able to view each inmate that I see as a human being,
and I can feel empathy or sorrow for these individuals
and think about who they are in their soul.

Lastly, I am shocked by the amount of drug addiction.
I went into this job knowing I would see a lot of addiction and substance abuse.
No idea it was as wide spread as it is.
And it's NOT just the "sketchy" people who are the addicts.
They are housewives who are addicted to Percoset,
and switched to heroin when the prescriptions ran out.
They are successful businessmen who drink excessively
and then drive and kill someone on the way home from a golf outing.
Addiction knows no social class and it does not discriminate.
I pray for these inmates to find peace in their hearts,
and for them to be released from the emotional pain
that is most often fueling their addictions.
This photo is inside our jail and shows the only windows in the jail.
This picture is from a FASCINATING article that was written about addiction.
Please visit here to view the article and read about seven women in my jail,
and their addiction to heroin.

There you have it.....a few things you may not have known about jail life.
If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them in my next "jail life" post.
I was very curious to know what it's "really" like.
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