28 July 2016

End-of-Summer Bargain Shopping Deals

It's a great time to score on lots of end of season bargains you might need for your home and yard. Our bare backyard could definitely use some furniture and other things and we'll work on that little by little.

image via Houzz

Here are a few great items to be watching for here (both instore and online) in the last week of July and beginning of August.

  • Beach Towels -- Last year I picked up 10 matching beach towels to have on hand for pool parties for just $6 a piece. They are beautiful striped towels that we keep for when we have guests. We have a huge stack of more worn but plenty serviceable towels for everyday use but it's great to have a stack of guest-ready towels on hand all the time.
  • Patio Furniture -- many retails stores have already cleared out most of their summer furniture, so it's good to start looking mid-July. But there are lots of great deals on dining sets, outdoor sofas and sectionals and comfortable seating online and there is still lots of time to enjoy it outdoors before late fall. Maybe you need a replacement umbrella or replacement cushions for furnitures. There are some great options out there at good prices.
  • Pool Toys & Equipment -- You can find all kinds of toys and swimming gear on clearance right now. This year we've added quite a bit to our water toys stash but I am hoping to grab some workout fins in the next couple of weeks. Have seen the on clearance online for $12 in a multitude of colors.
  • Swim Wear -- Lots of great deals out there right now. It's the perfect time to pick up a new suit for your winter, tropical vacation or to get new sizes for growing kids that will see them through Summer 2017. Think about water shoes and cover-ups if needed too.
  • Summer Clothes -- When I lived in a coastal climate, this was a great time to load up on clearance priced sandals and summer wear that would carry me throughout the year. Warm weather shoes were always an especially good deal right now.
 I try to remember to put a little extra money aside each July to purchase some of these items that I know we'll need when I can save a bundle on them. Back to school shopping starts up about now too, so that's another expense to add to the budget.

This year I think we may completely skip school shopping all together because kiddo somehow ended up with so much clothing last year that still fits her that she has barely worn. Since she's just gone through a growth spurt, I imagine there will be another one in a few months so I'm thinking we save our money for mid-year when it's very likely that all the clothing in her closet will suddenly, overnight be too small for her and we'll need new everything.

21 July 2016

A Gift For Self: Indian Handcrafted Turquoise & Sterling Silver Jewelry

A few weeks ago I completed a pretty big personal journey and felt it deserved to be marked with a reward. I decided to stop by a local downtown jewelry and handcrafted arts shop to see if there was a special something with a unique New Mexico flavor I could add to my jewelry collection - turquoise and sterling silver jewelry.

I have always loved the more classic side of Boho Style and turquoise and silver definitely live in that space. So it seemed the perfect end of something, new beginning of great new things present for myself.

I walked around that jewelry department at least five or six times. There were beautiful necklaces, earring, bracelets, watches, silver and leather belts -- so many amazing things! At some point I narrowed down what I wanted to a bracelet and perhaps a pair of earrings. I tried on a lot of bracelets in different colors and designs. I wanted to find something that really spoke to me.

That has been a theme of mine that I've been thinking about a lot lately. I am reaching a point in my life where I just want to be authentically and uniquely me. I don't want to wear or own things I don't love. I don't want to do things because I feel like I should when it's absolutely 100% something I don't want to do. I had a funny conversation with a friend about that a few days ago. It went something like this. To set the stage, there was a big event cultural event I felt I "should" go to.

Then I said, "I don't like that form of art at all...why would I go to that? No one is telling me I should.....I'm not going. I don't need to go and I don't need to feel like I "should" go. I just don't have to go." Now granted I am a complete believer in the power of just saying yes and trying something new, but that doesn't mean I need to do things that I already know don't make me happy because I think I should. There's a fine line.

So anyway, (tangent recovery) the store was really warm and as I was shopping I was getting more drenched with perspiration. But I didn't want to let that impede me from making the best choice possible. I really wanted to make sure I made a good decision and didn't just spend money on impulse. By the time I got to the cashier, the entire underneath side of my hair was dripping wet from the heat in the store.

In the end, I purchased this beautiful cuff bracelet with rows of small, squarish turquoise stones set in four rows. The sides are punched sterling silver and it is one of the most beautiful bracelets I've ever laid my eyes on. I love it that day and every time I look at it I feel like I hit the nail on the head. Will keep it for a family heirloom.

I also picked up a pair of earrings and this time I went with a complete, quintessential New Mexico style. Can't you just see me in a white blouse with a sterling silver chain belt, a ruffled denim skirt and cowboy boots headed to a New Mexico social event. That might be a little over the top, haha, but it's fun to imagine. I do love that these will go with just about anything and work well with my bracelet too. It's fun to splurge every once in a while and I think it's good for the soul. I'm looking forward to enjoying these pieces for years to come.

13 July 2016

Wisdoms From Stasia Savasuk at Design Mom

Sometimes you read something that speaks to you and you realize that what you are reading has encapsulated things of great importance to you that you have not been able to so succinctly capture until the moment you read them in someone else's words.

The amazing thing is that after I read this week's "Living With Kids:Stasia Savasuk" post at
Design Mom I went to the comments and starting reading comments from others who had been strongly moved by Stasia's words. Surprisingly in the comments I saw more amazing quotes from the piece that I obviously totally and complete missed. I will definitely go back and read this one.

This post is a great read for anyone who has ever not felt quite themselves, has struggled with how to express themselves through what they wear and how their home looks and how they care for themselves. I really think there is something for everyone here.

The things that stood out to me most were three things and I almost don't want to mention them so that I don't color your own perspective if you go over and look at this post. But here they are:

1) When we hide (protect ourselves from shame, vulnerability, and Oh-my-goodness-what-will-they-say) we make ourselves LESS POWERFUL. Knowing who you are, and presenting that knowing on the outside is life changing.

2) There is no such thing as balance, just choices. Be better at accepting those choices rather than getting flustered because I can't do all thing perfectly all the time.

3) Adversity when paired with fierce love, creates whole humans. Whole humans are flexible, honest, confident, creative and above all else loving.

You can read the full post and see Stasia and her expressions of home, family and personal style here.

I'd love to hear in the comments below what stood out to you. I'm very interested to see this piece through other's eyes!

11 July 2016

Shoes For Summer And Fall: Clogs

I should've posted a story yesterday about an encounter I had last week with a rattlesnake but writing it stressed me out so much I couldn't finish it. Agh. Traumatized. So instead I'll post a pretty shoe update. Since the broken foot and cast season which has lasted pretty much the first seven months of this year -- and I still haven't started official physical therapy sessions yet.  Anyway, the foot is still causing problems and the daily swelling still makes it impossible for me to wear most of my shoes. So I was definitely in need of some new footwear that doesn't make me feel like Frankenstein or look like I'm headed for the beach.

I have been wanting some medium height clog sandals all year so I finally went for yesterday. These are all Clarks brand 'm going to share by the way. I got a good sale price by doing some price comparisons online. I love these, they're named Ledella Trail. I don't know why but I seem to have a thing for footwear in funky colors.  I think these will look great with jeans, a skirt or dressier pants as well. Fun color for summer and fall. Now I just need to get a pedicure. Pedis aren't lasting as long as usual being in the pool multiple times per week

These also come in a black and tan. I couldn't find a good deal on the tan but I did also pick up the black pair. I am a girl who buys multiples when I find things I like and I thought a black pair would go with anything this grenadine color doesn't.

Heeled clogs always seem to work for me and just make me feel very much myself. I've been a clogs fan since birth I think or at least since I was very, very young. I may be half Polynesian, but my quarter Danish side - the sweater and clog loving side - is definitely strong.  I haven't had a pair that I really loved for a while, even though I do have a few pair -- in fact one very high pair were what I was wearing when I broke my foot...eeek. Anyway I always love a good classic pair of brown leather shoes for fall when everything feels tweedy, wooly and cozy. I saw these and sensed perfection.

Don't these just shout "Back to School" and wool tights and cable knit sweaters! They're named Ledella York and the color is Nutmeg - a perfect name for a fall shoe, no? Can't wait to get all of these. I got free expedited shipping so they should be here by the end of the week. Just in time for the weekend and an upcoming little trip.

I ended up ordering all three pair in a size larger than normal to accommodate foot swelling which I anticipate will be happening for a while still. By the end of the day my foot always hurts and is swollen. My right foot had been painful this year as well after taking on so much wear and tear while my left foot was immobile and then continuing to heal. Poor tired feet. Well I know these new additions to the closet will be just the ticket for helping my poor feet get back to their normal spunky selves!

Now my next move is that I need to sell some shoes. I have a few pairs that I have purchased that I am not wearing and know that I'm not going to be wearing. So they are headed for ebay or some other shoe resale site very soon.

In the stores there are already Christmas decorations going up. Back-to-School sales flyers are already everywhere. Are you ready for fall, school, and the holidays or can you stay sanely in summer for a while longer. I feel like I just started summer at the beginning of July so I have a lot to do still before I think about fall. But it terrifies me a bit that the first day of school is a month from today. So not ready for that! But let's not talk about it.

05 July 2016

Workout Equipment For The Pool

The long July 4th holiday weekend really woke me up to the fact that it is summer and I have been missing out! We went to two pool parties on Monday with a 90-minute nap between the two. We were wiped out by the time we got home at 10 p.m. Last week I really started focusing on feeding my family all the good summer foods and making lots of salads. I can't tell you how happy this new summer spirit has made me feel. Last night I was at the kitchen sink preparing dinner feeling so elated that I was enjoying summer and I felt so happy.

After we realized we were buying a house with a pool last year, I  took inspiration from a friend and decided that during the hot summer, working out in the pool sounded a lot better than chugging away in a hot, stuffy gym (although I'm still going to the gym) or outside in the blazing sun and heat (I'm still plannung more hikes and walks too). So last fall I created a pinterest board, called Pool Life, for all things swimming pool including every aqua workout I could find. The next step was to buy some workout gear for the pool.

I was going to buy the same aqua belt that my friend had, which cost about $55-$130 depending on features. But then I did a little more research on Swimoutlet.com and found customer referrals that said the one for $17, from Sporti, worked just was well as the more expensive brand. I was thrilled! I ended up order a belt for both me and a junior belt Kiddo which cost $14.

My husband has purchased sneakers from Swimoutlet.com, their product line isn't just swim gear. He has always been happy with purchases from there so I knew they were a trusted resource.

 I also wanted to get webbed gloves and water dumbbells and found the best prices for both at Swimoutlet as well after comparing major retailers, especially that big one that starts with A. Swimoutlet also has a really robust customer comment link. All the products I looked at had several hundred positive reviews and I read through enough to know that I could trust what I was hearing from the users.

In the end I ended up only spending about $80 for all that water workout equipment for both Kiddo and myself rather than expecting to spend that only for a belt and gloves for myself. Plus shipping was free although it took about 5 days to arrive, which in the day of Amazon Prime feels like an eternity, but it arrived nonetheless and I didn't pay shipping. Such a great deal. I was so glad I did my research instead of just going with what I thought I knew about pool workout belts and gloves. We've already broken a pair of goggles this week so I imagine my next purchase may be a bunch of new goggles.

We've done two days of pool workouts so far and we've used all the equipment and loved it. The belts are great. Yesterday I did about 90 minutes of arms and legs workout in the pool. We have also found that pool noodles make great barbells and other tools to help with our workouts. I continue to add new moves to the routine and to read up on suggestions each day. I can definitely feel the burn. Last night six hours after the workout my arms still felt like noodles. I was feeling it in the core and legs too. The other great part about pool workouts is that it gets us outside in the fresh air for a nice chunk of time and I'm getting a little sun on my cheeks which they needed after the winter and too many hours indoors since we moved.

Once I started getting in the pool every day I realized that my swimsuit situation is in need of attention. After being invited to two pool parties this week, plus daily workouts, it's clear that having a good supply of swimsuits you can rotate through is a good thing. So I ordered some new stuff last weekend and will share it with you soon.

If you're working out in the pool this summer I'd love to hear what you are doing! Please share in the comments.
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