Sunday Lately | Holding, Closing, Going, Watching, Expecting

This is my first time participating in the Sunday Lately blog post from Blogger Tribe...a Facebook group that I joined to help me stay on track with my blogging, so far I've been too late to the game to post this on a Sunday! Oops!

Holding On to the hope that spring will be here sooner rather then later. We got a taste of some warmer weather last week and I was spoiled! Really wishing we didn't get a whole new batch of snow here this weekend. I'm really looking forward to being able to wear my cute and comfy new sandals! Oh well, I guess that just means I can still be comfy wearing my sweaters, spending my free time reading and drinking tea! Ha!

Closing Getting ready to officially close out the year financially speaking, by getting our taxes done and over with this week. Always hate this time of year.

Going I will be going to the area middle schools this week to read to the students in the 4th-8th grades, for Read Across America week. It will help make the work week fly by I am sure and be fun to be in a different environment for a bit. Though I am a bit nervous about what to choose for reading to the 4th and 5th graders, being the YA Services librarian I am usually more geared to work with the kiddos that are 6th grade and up!

Watching I watched the movie Manchester by the Sea this weekend and LOVED it! Hoping it gets some awards tonight at the Academy Awards. We are excited to watch the Academy Awards tonight all together as a family. We kind of have a tradition and always watch it together and we all fill out our own ballot and have snacks and a special dessert. Today I am making a double layer chocolate cake from scratch for the occasion.

Expecting This week to be another crazy week again. Ethan's busy pretty much every night which means most of the house, school, kid and dog stuff falls on me. I'm ready for things to settle down a bit but wonder when that will ever be. Blah.

Sunday Lately is a weekly linkup presented by the Blogger Tribe.
Next week's themes: Fangirling, Building, Winning, Organizing, Being.

Sunday Lately with Blogger Tribe

Rainy Days + Fun Finds


It's been rainy here lately, kind of strange since usually at the end of February we're still in the thick of winter. I've heard though that we are supposed to get more snow this coming weekend, but until then, I will dream of spring while I can! I was bookmarking some favorite finds that would be perfect for this in-between weather that we've been having lately. I wore a dress one day to work last week and a skirt on another, but it looks like I'll be back to pants again here for the rest of the week since it's definitely going to be chilly again. Boo...hoo. These Hunter rain boots sure would come in handy though! I didn't realize that they came in both wide leg and/or short boot styles. Loving the field jacket too, I actually have a friend that gave me a similar one but it's a bit heavier so I don't wear it often. I also like how this one from Gap is longer than the one that I have. Do you have any recent fashion finds that you're excited about?

I've been cleaning out my closet in little stolen moments that I have here and there. This week I was able to take care of cleaning out a lot on Monday while Zoey had a friend over. I've been hanging on to clothing that is three different sizes just in case they will fit "someday". Well, someday is a day that I'm waiting for no longer! I have a HUGE bag filled and ready to go to Thred Up this week. It feels so good to have a more organized and functional closet! I'm really going to try and be more intentional about what pieces I purchase from this point forward. I did find some clothing that Zoey begged to keep, like this suit jacket that I probably wore before she was born and when I was working in a more professional environment.

She looks pretty cute in it, even if it is several sizes too big for her! She looks even more grown up while drinking her tea and reading. :)

Speaking of reading, it's been awhile since I've been able to find myself in the middle of a good book. One that I don't want to put down or can't wait to get back to. My current read is Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson. I just started it last night and am into it already. I also have home from the library the book titled, Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller.

This week we've been busy with school, appointments, and I've been dealing with a pulled  muscle in my back the past few days and some drama with the dog (unexpected vet appointments!)...not fun! Hoping to finish out the week with as minimal fanfare as possible.

Wishing you the best!

Afternoon Hike


It got up to 55 degrees today, it's actually the second day in a row here with warmer temps so Zoey and I made sure to make a point to get outside this afternoon and enjoy it. The smell! The smell of spring is like nothing else...the dirt, the scent of the drying wood from the trestle bridge that we crossed and trees...I just love it! There is nothing like the smell of the first thaw of spring.

We hiked along the Bearskin Trail and while it wasn't the most beautiful (with all the mud and puddles) it sure was a welcome sight to behold. While hiking we had three adult eagles fly directly overhead. Last spring we discovered an eagles' nest on this trail and we found today that it's still in use. One eagle flew overhead with a fish in it's clutches, dripping water over us...simply amazing.

It was kind of a crazy weekend...not feeling the best mentally, so it really did my heart good to get outside and spend some quality time using these lungs of mine, along with my beautiful and amazing daughter. I never, ever, want to take advantage of this life of mine. It makes me so sad when I see individuals that are so caught up in themselves, in the importance of  the race that can be life according to what society tells us, in the details that are meant to trip you up and keep you so busy that you will never succeed the way you think you are supposed to. There will never be happiness only comes from you, not some outside source, more money, more recognition, or from some other person. From within. It's a decision. You have to decide to see it. To live it. To be it.

There is so much beauty in the world.

In my world.

I will always choose to see it.

I will never, ever, let anyone paint my skies anything other than how it is I choose to see them.

A quote from a favorite song...

And I'm sorry that you don't like your life
I fought for my own victories and for the beauty in my life
My joy, my joy, my joy takes nothing from you
no, my joy, my joy takes nothing from you

and the actual song. Pretty much an anthem, these days. I also adore Littlest Birds by the Be Good Tanyas. Littlest Birds was playing on the radio when we drove back home from our afternoon of hiking. Driving home with the windows down and that sweet music playing, made me smile both on the inside and out. 

And these women. #girlpower #wegotthis #myjoytakesnothingfromyou

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead and the ability to see the beauty that surrounds you.

MOD CLOTH Refer a Friend $20 off Special!

Just hopping on here for a quick post to share a special promo link with my blog readers! I made a purchase recently on Mod Cloth (a first!) and if I share a link to their site (click the link below) you and I both will receive a little perk. I'm currently loving these sandals and this fun cardigan.

Everyday Nonchalance Sandals in brown // Charter School Cardigan get the special perk I mentioned previously, check out this link and we will both get $20 off a purchase of $50 or more at Mod Cloth. I also believe that if you are a first time shopper at Mod Cloth and sign up for their email list you will get 20% off of your order as well! That offer was extended to me when I placed my first time order so it wouldn't hurt to give it a try!

Happy (maybe at the least, window) shopping!

An Outfit Share!

I worked on Valentine's Day and so did Ethan so I decided to have some fun dressing up in my new dress from LOFT which I paired up with some black tights, my Frye boots and a denim jacket for my exciting night working at the library. I felt pretty but still casual, definitely not too dressy for work. I'm always hot at the library and the dress was the perfect material for keeping cool. I was worried that the skirt would be static since the air is so dry in the library but I didn't have any issues with static electricity either! I got three positive comments too while at work about the dress, four if you count my daughter being enthusiastic about it! :) It felt good to wear something new to work finally! 

I've been really having fun discovering fashion bloggers as of late. If you have any favorites to share please send them my way! It's always fun to get ideas from others. Especially since I'm just starting out trying to update my wardrobe!

Happy Valentine's Day + Other Things


Our valentines were pretty simple this year. I found these printable ones online from The Little Umbrella and printed the owl and deer ones and added a little treat to them. We are planning on handing them out to some of Zoey's special friends and family today.

Since Zoey and I get to be home for most of the day (in addition to her schoolwork) we're baking up some simple heart cookies courtesy of the Pillsbury Dough Boy. We are jazzing them up a bit with our own frosting and sprinkles though.

Zoey got some special treats in the mail from both of her grandparents, it was fun watching her open her little gifts this morning at breakfast too.

Lunch was a simple heart shaped affair...

Yesterday she attended her homeschool co-op group and they had a special beauty luncheon for the girls that wanted to attend. Zoey really felt special and enjoyed eating with her friends before her drama class. They had floral arrangements, a special table set up with treats, place cards, etc. It was a very sweet afternoon for Zoey and her new friends.

I'm so tickled with the discovery of shopping for clothing at Loft online that I'm already getting started on putting together a possible wish list of items for a future purchase.

This is what I've bookmarked so far. I love the blue dress and think it would be something that I would be able to easily dress up or down depending on what it was I needed. The black short sleeved cardigan I would actually purchase in blue I think...I have a ton of black, grey and brown already. I'm really trying to step outside of my comfort zone a bit when it comes to both color and style! I'll be sure to share if I purchase any of these items or if I add anything to my ever growing and ever changing wish list!
Wishing you a lovely Valentine's Day! XO,

Closet Refresh Challenge

In My Closet - February

For whatever reason my closet remains to be one of the most severely neglected areas in my life. I have no problem purchasing nice clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. for my 12 year old daughter (who will grow out of these items!!) but for whatever reason I seem to have the hardest time spending money on myself! I'm challenging myself this year to stop putting myself on the back burner when it comes to clothing. Granted, it's very difficult finding clothing that looks nice, is of good quality and fits where I live. We just don't have shopping around our area. I've been on the lookout for some style ideas online and happened upon a few blogs that I think are really going to help me out with my personal challenge.

Teal and Polka Dots 
Putting Me Together

The photos these ladies share alone are enough to inspire some serious wardrobe changes for me. I'm the type that if something fits, I'll buy it...without taking into account whether or not I have something that will go with it already in my closet. I also tend to wear things just one way, I don't play with stuff and I tend to wear my outfits completely out until they are way beyond being done and over with. I have clothing from when I was in high school...and I'm approaching 40! Shoes are another story altogether. I hardly have any...the ones that I do have I wear all the time, again...until they are worn out. I've had a pair of black Dansko clogs that I've worn to work for the last 5 years and both soles are completely split across, but I still wear them. Why?

The goal is to refresh my closet a bit, a little here and there. Perhaps a couple items every month or so or as my budget will allow. (That's another thing, I really don't have a lot of income that is disposable so I'll have to be savvy when it comes to shopping sales).

For the month of February this is what I got to start my closet makeover. I tried to get smart, functional items but also some things that I never would have looked at previously. I'm trying to dress more authentically rather than to just throw something on that fits.

I was able to purchase all of the items on sale. The clothing items were all found at Loft during their 40% off sale and I had a $25 off code on top of free shipping. I had never purchased anything from Loft before and was just trying them out based on blog posts shared by Erin at Teal and Polka Dots. I am SO GLAD that I tried them out! I got the order in the mail today and EVERYTHING...every, single, thing fits!!! This NEVER happens for me. I'm just so tickled and I know that I will wear these things...the black skinny leggings will force me to be a little bit braver than usual, but I feel so good in them, I know I will do it. I can't wait until I have a little bit more spending money so I can make another purchase from Loft again. I just love their clothing. The boots were a belated Christmas/birthday (and we'll throw Valentine's Day in there too!) gift to myself and were purchased from J.Jill during their 30% off sale where I also had a code for free shipping as well. I feel like these purchases are smart purchases that I'll be able to mix and match a bit with things I already own. I'm thinking that I'll wear my blue jean jacket over that cute dress and maybe that short sleeve tee too. The button down shirt I can layer or wear alone and can wear with pants, jeans or skirts. I'm so excited! 

I can't wait to start bookmarking favorite fashion finds for next month!

Summer Fun | Scrapbook Layout


These papers and photos have been sitting on my desk for awhile now...I knew exactly how it was that I wanted to put this layout all together, it was just a matter of my actually getting to sit down at my desk and get to it! Some weeks are like that!

These photos were taken last summer at a place we like to call Crayfish Beach (not really it's name) because of all the crayfish we see. It was pretty wavy on this day so there weren't many to see!

Here we are in the northwoods, still in the thick of winter and it's safe to say that I'm dreaming of warmer days. I can't wait until we can hit the beach with friends again...I know that Zoey is feeling the same. :) Until then...we'll be drinking our cups of tea and bundling up on the couch reading our books. The novelty of playing in the snow is somewhat wearing off.


Fun Mail Day!


Guess what came in the mail today?! My order that I placed through Grove Collaborative last week! I've been so anxiously awaiting this order, I know, strange because it's pretty much all cleaning supplies, but nonetheless, I'm excited!

Since this is my first time ordering from Grove I thought it would be fun to share my experience with you. In case you haven't yet heard about them or have been on the fence as to whether or not you should give them a try, this might help you make your decision!

My first thoughts upon opening the package were that I was super impressed that they had taped all the bottles the way they did to prevent any possible leaks or spills. They also packed the box perfectly so there was little to no wiggle room for the items to bounce around in the box. I appreciate that! (A little side-note...I even kept the pretty blue masking tape to use for my scrapbooking projects because I'm thrifty like that! Don't be surprised if you see it pop up in my future projects). The packing slip and invoice were right at the top of the package upon opening so I could easily verify that everything that I ordered, was indeed in the box. I'm happy to report that my order was perfect!

I already knew that I LOVED Mrs. Meyer's cleaning and body care products...I appreciate that there are no parabens, phosphates or phthalates in their products. Something that I am really trying to get better about steering clear these days. Grove has a very nice selection of their products so it just made sense that my first order (as you can see) primarily consisted of their products.

This is our first order with won't be our last. I've already done a load of laundry (it smells SO GOOD!!!), plenty of dishes and have used the hand soap and lotion today. I'm thinking I'll save the toilet bowl and shower/tub scrubbing for the weekend!

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

Hello Today | Scrapbook Layout


I took Zoey to the movie Hidden Figures on Saturday and wow...I'm so glad that I did! I knew I wanted to see it with her, just wasn't sure if it would end up being at the theater or when it came out on DVD. So glad that we got to see it on the big screen. Very good!! I cried and cried and cried. Zoey loved the movie so much...saying over and over that she loved it. I think it's an important one to take your sons and daughters to. Very powerful for so many different reasons!

I was able to eek out a bit of creative time this afternoon after helping Zoey with a paper that she had to write for her dance class. These are some photos that I knew I wanted to scrap at some point. All papers and supplies are from my stash of old supplies. I'm having fun just mixing things up!

Now I'm off to start on dinner and perhaps watch the Super Bowl commercials! :) Happy Sunday!

A Crane in the Woods


For the past few months, every time that I am at the kitchen sink doing dishes (which is often), I look out the window above the sink and catch sight of a crane. Do you see it?

It's on a tree that's directly in my line of vision. Every day I think, "Wow, that really looks like a crane. I should go out and take a picture of it. I should get a closer look. I should tell Ethan or Zoey." etc, etc. I never went out to take a closer look, or took a picture or shared it with anyone.

It was just there.
I knew it was there.
I thought about it every morning.

I know that it's a tree. A tree where the bark is peeling away or has been scratched and pried away by some animal in the woods. I know this. But, I also know that for the past few's been a crane. I see it, so clearly and did from the first day that I noticed it was there.

Today I went out into the woods and took a closer look. I took a picture of it. And shared it with Ethan and Zoey. my frustration, could not see the crane at all. They couldn't get past the logic (it being bark, peeled away from a tree).

For curiosity's sake, I looked up what the image of a crane and what the bird itself means and here is just some of what I found...

  • Cranes are often regarded as messengers of the gods. An ancient Egyptian legend tells of a two-headed crane seen flying over the Nile to announce the start of a joyful and prosperous new season.
  • Cranes are masters at killing snakes. In Christian symbolism, cranes are seen as natural enemies of Satan. Due to their long migration season, they also became a symbol of endurance and their wings were once used as talismans to aide weary travelers. The spring return of cranes is a symbol of Christ's resurrection.
  • In Roman mythology, the crane was sacred to Demeter, the mother goddess. Demeter was said to renew the earth each spring when her daughter, Persephone, was released from the underworld.
  • Cranes are associated with good luck in many Native American tribes. Native fishermen, especially, used to consider it a good omen to see a crane while fishing. In some Native American folklore, Crane plays the role of peacemaker. To the Anishinabe tribes, cranes represented leadership and skill at speaking, and the Cheyennes associated sandhill cranes with lightning. 
And here is even more on the meaning of cranes.

I'm choosing to continue to see the crane at the start of my every day. I am soothed by the thoughts of  the many possibilities of messages that it's trying to send my way.


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