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This fall, I discovered Shopbop.  I have shared about them a few times, but never explained how they spoil their shoppers.  Shipping is free, and arrives within a few days.  Returns?  Also free.  Plus, you can share your favorites and they even email you when they go on sale.

And speaking of sales, Shopbop is having their BIG Spring Sale.  Starting today, March 3 (6:30 EST), until March 8 (4am est).  You can save 15% on orders over $250, and up to 25% with orders over $1,000.  Here is the coupon code…get shopping!

Shopbop is also introducing some new brands.  Koku has incredible spring looks, and I love the delicate jewelry from Phyllis and Rosie.

A few of my favorites for spring are these cute distressed jeans, that would look perfect with this top.  And my favorite way to kick off a new season is with a gorgeous new handbag (I’m looking at you Tory Burch).

 

My goal for February was to make my hallway look better.  Here is where I started.  I then added some stripes.  And built a few picture frame ledges.

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The only thing I am still contemplating, is spray painting the frames.  I have lots of spray paint, so it could be a quick fix.  I am debating about leaving some white, and making a few navy.  Or else I have different colors I could add on top of that.  What do you think?  Leave it or paint it?

It is almost time for me to renew this lovely little space of mine, and I ran into a slight issue.  For you bloggers out there…my blog is on wordpress, hosted thru bluehost, but my domain is thru another company.  Bluehost told me I need my EPP address, and to contact the domain company.  The domain company told me to contact wordpress, wordpress sent me to bluehost.  I am getting a little worried about straightening this all out before my whole blog vanishes!  Anyone know where I can find my EPP address??!!

HJ had his conferences tonight.  And I’m gonna brag for a minute.  I am so proud of my boy.  His teacher said that he is so kind, such a great helper, sweet and has learned so much.  He is already past the goals for the year.  He is a great role model with the special needs classroom.  He loves helping his teacher, and she thinks he is such a “love”.  I almost cried when another teacher came in to tell me how much she loves my son.  Maybe I am doing some of this parenting stuff right?

This past weekend, our local library had a book sale.  They provided a bag for you to fill, and the bag of books cost $4.  There were WAY more books than I expected, and I learned that people come prepared.  Many people had duffel bags on wheels, and lists of authors to look for.  I still feel like we scored, and came home with 21 books.  For $4.

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This past summer, I hurt my leg/foot running pretty bad.  I slowly eased my way back into running, and finally got back to 3 mile runs.  And then I hurt my leg again.  After spending the past week with a swollen foot, I have determined running just might not be in the cards for me.  I wish I could do it, I had even started the Couch to 10K program.  But every time I get hurt, it is another month before I can even work out again.  I am feeling frustrated with my work outs, and need to find a new cardio activity.

With all this cold weather, I have started to go stir crazy.  I am in need of a night out.  With adults.  ASAP.

IMG_3865I have been digging through old recipes and cook books to find healthy alternatives that HJ will love.

I have always loved lettuce wraps, but usually the recipe list is long.  Calling for a pinch of this and a tsp. of that, leading to a large expense.  So I had not made them at home.

That’s when I decided to put my own spin on the lettuce wrap, and I made it with things I already had in the house.  My only purchase was a pound of ground turkey.

Luckily, I have a child that loves lettuce.  This recipe is awesome.  I was surprised with all the flavor that the turkey mixture had, and I am sure you can customize it with your own seasonings at home.

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Easy, healthy and yummy.  Perfect week night dinner!

 

I have talked about my reading problem before, but I have a book addiction.  I limit how much I go to the library, because I don’t just read books, I become engrossed.  Meaning, I usually finish books within 3-4 days.

Meaning, I am having a hard time remembering all the books I read this year.  Yeah, it’s that big of a problem.

I will try and give a recap of 2015 so far…

Last Letter from Your Lover Jojo Moyes

Amazon says:
It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.
Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

I liked this book.  It was definitely not as good as Me Before You (her other book I have read), but I still enjoyed it.  I thought it was slow moving at first and a tad redundant.  After the first half, it definitely picked up.  I recommend this read!

Here I Go Again Jen Lancaster

Amazon says:

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn’t understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped…beloved…feared. Present day, not so much. She’s been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband, and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she’s struggling to start a business from her parents’ garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it’s not like she can go back in time and change who she was…or can she?

This book was a quick and easy read.  But it wasn’t all that good.  I have loved many of Jen’s books, and was excited when I found this.  However, it was sort of dumb.  Not at all as fun as Bitter is the New Black.

Under the Wide and Starry Sky Nancy Horan

Amazon says:

At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

This reminded me a lot of The Paris Wife.  Only,  more dull.  It was very slow moving.  Great book to fall asleep too.

The Silver Star Jeannette Wells

Amazon says:

It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations.

I thought this book was really good, and would recommend it.  It is not an easy read, as it touches on tough subjects.  However, I really enjoyed it and read half of it in one day.

Chasing Harry Winston Lauren Weisberger

Amazon says:

Meet Emmy, Leigh, and Adriana. Best friends since college, each has seen her share of career foils and romantic foibles over the past decade. Now, as they approach thirty, they’re looking toward their future…but despite all the success and luxuries they’ve attained—they’re not quite sure they like what they see.

I loved the Devil Wears Prada, and was hoping for a book at that level.  However, I actually almost stopped reading this book.  I don’t ever do that.  Definitely at the bottom of my list for the year.

 

What are some of your favorite books?  I need to add some to my “must read” list.

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Continuing with my hallway makeover!  I started by painting thick stripes on the wall.  I knew I wanted to still have some pictures up, so I scanned pinterest for ideas.

Between the hallway wall and the door frames, it is pretty narrow.  This made shelves out of the question.  Then, I came across picture frame ledges on pinterest, and thought they might work.   There were many posts on these, with the ledges ranging from 1 foot to 8 feet.  My wall is just over 3 feet, so that is what I went with.  Also, knowing how narrow my area was, I adjusted the size of wood I bought.

I ended up getting 4 pieces of 1×3, cut down to 36″ and 2 1×2 cut down to 36″ inches.  Also, if you really want to annoy the workers at the Cedar Falls Menards, ask them to cut it down.  The wood I got was 6 feet long, I figured getting it cut in half would be easy.  The first guy I asked said, “I dunno, you’ll have to find someone else”  Thanks.

The second guy said, “I guess I can, but I need a saw”.  No shit, Sherlock.  He did find a handsaw.  And proceeded to cut it on top of a counter with it moving all over.  I was thinking about what I was going to do when he sliced his hand off, as his co-worker was laughing and telling him he was dumb for using a handsaw.

Then he told me he had to charge me $2 ($1/piece).  After he cut it.  Lowe’s and Home Depot do it for free, for the record.

Anyway…back at home.

I used wood glue to piece the shelves together.  Once that dried, I used finishing nails to hold it secure (why yes, I did just learn what finishing nails are).  Then, I sanded it down.  I used a white paint/primer in one spray, and did a couple of coats.  I attached it to the wall with anchors and screws.

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I am not 100% sold on how it is currently arranged, but it is easy to move around.  I had a lovely friend even draw a picture of how to arrange it, but I still need a few things to complete that look.

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Originally, I had wanted a canvas on each shelf, but it looked a bit full.  What look are you liking the best?  Do you think I should paint some of the frames a different color or leave them white?

Here is the hallway progress so far:

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With it being Valentine’s weekend, I thought I would remind you of how my day went last year.  HJ puked on my face in the middle of the Chinese food line at the grocery store.  It’s a throw back Thursday….

When I say grossest, I mean it.  If you are eating, you might want to wait to read this.  If you aren’t a parent, you might not want to read it at all.  Parents have a different threshold for grossness like the one I am about to tell you.  It is bad.

Valentine’s Day was Friday, in case you missed the memo.  I only know this, because everyone seemed to post flower and chocolate pictures on facebook and instagram.  And most blogs seemed to cover the loves of their lives.

After work on Friday, I got a quick run and ran to HJ’s daycare to pick him up.  He chatted with me while we drove to the grocery store.  I had decided I did not want to make dinner.  And I felt like the thing for single people to do on Valentine’s day is to eat Chinese food.  And chocolate.

So that was our plan, pick up Chinese food and a cupcake.  While waiting in line for take-out, HJ asked me to pick him up so he could see the food.  We decided on rice with cashew chicken and an egg roll.  I just finished saying, “rice” and I noticed HJ moving his lips strange.  He looked right in my eyes about 5 inches from my face and goes, “uhhh”.

At that moment I knew what was about to happen.  He was about to throw-up.  I started saying, “hold on!” and took a step to the left.  And…it happened.  He started projectile vomiting on my face.  MY FACE.  While I was talking.  Vomit in my mouth.  I tried covering his mouth, which resulting in the vomit pouring down the sleeve of my coat.  It JUST.KEPT.COMING.  By this point, he was standing on the ground, but still vomiting.  We were covered.  Our faces, our hair, our coats, they were all dripping.  I started taking his coat off, unsure of how to proceed at this point (after pondering this a few days, I should have grabbed him and ran out the door).

Behind me in line had been 3 high school age girls and one of their moms (actually, they were 2 people behind me, but the man right behind me kept on ordering his food).  The girls grabbed some napkins and ran over.  The mom mentioned HJ looked cold, and one of the girls took of her coat and wrapped him up.  At this point, one of the workers at Hy-Vee handed me some paper towels.  I wiped off HJ’s face as best I could, and the high school girl offered to take him to the area with tables while I continued cleaning.  Her friends started wiping up the floor until I told them not to worry about it (because, gross, it was vomit).  By this time a worker came out with a garbage can, and I started cleaning the floor.

I realized at this point, vomit was drying on my face.  I can not imagine what I looked like.  I had our coats laying in a pile, dripping of vomit, while trying to wipe my face and arms as best I could.  I also spent a good minute trying to scoop a puddle out of my purse.  And wipe off my phone that was of course in the puddle.

Did I mention this was right in front of the main entrance?  So everyone walking in had to witness a panicked mom, covered in vomit, wearing a short sleeve shirt in freezing weather, sitting on the floor scooping up vomit.

At this point I asked the worker what else I could do.  I thought he was going to vomit on me.  Clearly, this was not as common a thing as when I worked at a bar in college.  I stuttered something about needing to find my son, and carried our dripping coats to the eating area.

When I arrived, the young girl was wiping HJ’s hands off with her shirt (seriously, what a saint.  I would never use my shirt for a strange child’s vomit covered hands).  She offered to stay with him if I needed to get groceries.  However, I was still covered in vomit and had enough embarrassment to last a while.  I wanted to get the hell out of there.  As we got close to the door, HJ started crying because he was so cold and wet.  I had my hands full of coats and purses, and was wearing short sleeves in work-out capris.  I wanted to start crying too.

We made it to the car after the treacherous walk of shame and just sat in the car for a minute.  At this point, I thought for sure I was going to lose it.  Instead, I looked at my vomit covered child in the back seat and started laughing.   I thought of the poor people who just witnessed that.  They were waiting in line for their dinner, and end up witnessing a scene from the Sandlot.  They had to watch the whole thing unfold, while I think my body went into some sort of shock.  The poor worker who had to help me clean!  I mean, how did they decide who had to come out from behind the counter?

So laughing is what I went with.  My child and I laughed on the way home and jumped in the shower immediately.  I had to wash our coats and clothes about 3 times before they looked clean.  It took me an hour to clean my purse.  HJ’s shoes are still drying and may never look the same.  Also, I am terrified to bring him shopping with me.  And I might be banned from Hy-Vee.

And HJ immediately asked for chicken nuggets.

I don’t watch tv much at all.  I have never been one of those people who has to have a tv on for background noise.  We don’t have cable.  Besides watching a movie of HJ’s, I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched TV.  Until last Monday.

I have quite a few friends who have religiously watched the Bachelor/Bachelorette.  They have viewing parties, and fantasy football type drafts, and I have always been all, “holy cow, these people are all nuts”.

Last week, I turned the tv onto The Bachelor while HJ and I were playing chutes and ladders.  Just to see what the fuss is about.  You know, I gotta give my Iowa boy a little love.

Chris Soules  Craig Sjodin/ABC

And the episode was so horrible awkward.  It started with some girl on a date where they met with an intimacy coach.  A first date.  Luckily, as she was supposed to strip him down (yeah, you read that right), they both said how uncomfortable they were and just made out in front of the coach instead.

The next date was with a girl that he woke up in bed.  Her make-up was flawless.  She was sleeping, with make-up.  And part of their date was spent ordering room service and bonding over a “nap”.  Nap my ass.

And I haven’t even started on the 2 craziest of crazy ladies.  One is a wanna be Kardashian (Ashley I),who has horrible fake eyelashes, and the other appears to be a psycho (Kelsey).  Literally.

So yeah, I got hooked.

That and it’s hard to not be intrigued when my facebook news feed is constantly saying things like, “Just saw the bachelor at Target”  “Bachelor is drinking at Mulligan’s tonight”.  And I’m all, “I go to that Target!  I love drinking at Mulligans!”

And watched it again this week.  My smart Iowa man kicked both the crazies off.

But seriously…how do people go on a show like this?  He is basically dating 10 women at a time right now.  And kissing them in front of each other.  How can these women possibly fall in love with a guy who is clearly falling in love with other people as well?  I would imagine even the most non-jealous type would have to have some type of jealous rage over this.  I think that would make it impossible to be yourself and let your guard down.  I would feel like I would always have to be “better than the other women.

And the women?  I would be so self-conscious.  How are they all in perfect shapes, with flawless complexions and not a hair out-of-place?

Clearly, I would not do well on the show.  Unless I was the Bachelorette.  With my pick of men, and an amazing wardrobe budget.  How can I make that happen?

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My goal for February is to have a hallway that doesn’t drive me crazy.  When I was thinking of ideas, I kept coming back to wide stripes.  The wall is already painted a tan, so I thought a crisp white would look good next to it.

I looked to pinterest to find the best ways to paint stripes, and borrowed tips from a pin I found.

I started by measuring floor to ceiling, and included the baseboard in the measurement.  I knew I wanted 7 stripes, so I divided that by the measurement.  It came out to around 13.53 per stripe…and of course it had to be a non-even number.  Then, I used my laser level to start taping the lines.

I knew I wanted white at the top and bottom, that way I could use the baseboard as part of the lowest stripe.  When taping, make sure you tape on the inside of the stripe you won’t be painting.  And to make sure I wouldn’t accidentally paint the wrong stripe, I made a line through it with tape.

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The taping is tedious, and took about 45 minutes for that little wall.  After it was all taped, I re-measured to make sure the stripes were even.

Then, it was time to paint.  Once I had the paint ready, it only took about 5 minutes to paint the stripes…with HJ’s help.  One tip I am glad I read, was to make sure to pull the tape off towards the wet paint.  This helps to keep the lines straight with no bleeding.

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I think the stripes turned out great, and I am surprised at how much shorter it makes my hallway appear, I was not expecting that.  But, I do love how it looks and cant wait for the next steps in my hallway makeover.

HJ and I both had sick days this week.  Nothing throws off your schedule like being sick.  I apparently have an ear infection (yup, not just kids get those!), and HJ has some crazy cough.

I am sure most of you have seen the Jimmy Fallon Saved By the Bell reunion, but if not…you should.  It is hilarious.

Sunday evening, I will be sharing my adventures in painting stripes.  So far, I am digging them.

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When I picked HJ up from school today, I asked him how his day went.  He responded with, “I burped 5 times and tooted 3″.  I’m not entirely sure, but I think that means it went well.  And what is with boys and potty talk?

In addition to being under the weather, our puppy has an injured toe.  5 years ago, he had a toe amputated due to a tumor.  Somehow, he has a huge sore right on that spot.  It has been looking better as the week has gone on, but I am worried the tumor is coming back (can that even happen?).

HJ and I have no plans this weekend, and I am looking forward to being lazy.  Anyone else looking forward to a lazy weekend?