I am a Shoe Whore

Isn’t there a line from the Jennifer Weiner book “In Her Shoes” about fitting into the same size shoe even when you gain weight? I can’t remember the exact quote but I certainly live it. Shoes never let you down. A fabulous pair is always waiting to be found. I am known at work for my shoes. I like to think my fashion style is classic with a modern twist and a slightly outrageous pair of shoes. I really rely on my shoes to let my rebellious side out. Ok, so it’s a pretty minor rebellion but I need to stay on the good side of the law, keep a job, and be a good example for my boys. So, cut me a little slack for saying my shoes are my rebellion. 🙂

Yesterday I went to Dillard’s and bought these two pairs of shoes:

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Pretty fab – right?!

I have a dress on order from The Limited to wear with the yellow shoes. I also have a couple of ideas running through my head on other outfits to wear with the yellow shoes. I think shoes with some color are essential for this season. Color is big this year. Let’s embrace it!

What I am Wearing

So I thought I would start blogging about what I am wearing and my fashion choices. As a 46 year old woman I try to make choices that are still fashionable without looking that I am trying too hard or younger than my age. I don’t always get it right but I have a lot of fun trying.

I recently bought a pair of pants from the Gap. They are the broken in straight khakis in an olive green color. I created a few outfits, for work and casual, using shirts, shoes and accessories already in my closet.

First up an outfit I wore to work on a casual Friday. I wore this awhile ago when the weather was cooler. I probably won’t wear the shoes again until the fall. The vest is a lightweight knit that I purchased from American Eagle a few years ago. The scarf was a gift from a friend. The silver hoops are a staple in my wardrobe I wear almost everyday.

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Next up a dressier work outfit. Same pants teamed with a white linen blazer and a white tank top underneath. I wore the jacket buttoned up for a more polished look. Lots of silver bracelets, silver earrings, nude belt and nude platform sandals.

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Third up another casual outfit. I wore this out to dinner with friends. I just switched out the linen jacket for a denim jacket. The denim jacket is from the Gap. I purchased it this spring and it is really soft and comfortable. I may not have lots of opportunities to wear it in FL over the next few months but if I travel anywhere else I will bring it. Plus, you can never go wrong keeping a great denim jacket in your closet.

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Finally, I wore the pants today with a plain white t-shirt and this scarf:

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Sometimes you need to kick it up a bit, even if your husband says the scarf makes you look like a pirate. 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts and for you to tell me what you are wearing.

What Happens When…

What happens when you wake up one day and realize that all of the goals you set for yourself as a young woman are mostly complete?  You are now in your 40′s and have checked the boxes you set for yourself in your early 20′s.  Things like:

Attain a bachelors degree – check

Get married – check

Start career and climb up corporate ladder – check

Buy first home – check

Buy 4 door, practical car for future family – check

Have first child – check

Work on climbing corporate ladder more – check

Have second child – check

Buy larger home – check

Continue climbing corporate ladder

You realize you’ve checked all the boxes.  Everything seems to be going swimmingly.  Your oldest is approaching the end of high school.  Your youngest, still in elementary school, but growing quickly.

What now?  What goals do I set now?  I am interested in setting goals?  I have had a good career and while I’ve done well I haven’t attained all the career goals I have thought I would.  But is it worth to reach for more?  Will it fulfill me?

This is where I am at in my life.  And so far I discovered that this has been a wonderful time to discover more about me.  Who I am, what I’m doing and as Oprah would say, how to live my best life.  I’ve spent a lot of time working on myself and it’s been a tough but satisfying journey.

I have re-discovered friendships.  For so many years we were all so busy raising children and running them around that we didn’t have time for friends.  Now we are all starting to free up and we actually get to socialize with them more.  The teenager can babysit the younger one on occasion.  We can meet for dinner.  We can meet on a Sunday afternoon to listen to a band at the local watering hole.

I have time to work on my relationship with my Savior.  I get to think deeper thoughts and explore where I want to go with my relationship with Him.  I am learning to surrender myself to His will.  

You also get to find out that your children are pretty cool.  You can start to have real conversations with them.  Talk about their hopes and dreams.  Enjoy their sense of humor, which is for me is the most amazing thing.  I love to laugh with them about stupid stuff and family jokes.

This is turning out to be a really awesome time.  It’s making me look forward to my 50s.  I am hoping that I’ll get to travel more with my husband and continue to watch my children grow and start to fulfill their own dreams.

What happens when you reach your late 30s and early 40s and you realize that you accomplished most of your goals?

I am pretty sure I don’t have the definitive answer for it.  But for me, so far, it’s been about re-discovering who I want to be, to have the luxury of more time for friends and watching my children blossom into young adults.

Did you see this?

Here’s an article that I read today on dailymail.co.uk website.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2297227/The-Gwyneth-Paltrow-guide-spring-fashion-warned-itll-set-nearly-half-million-dollars.html

I should first explain that I am not a Gwyneth hater.  I know a lot of people are but I try not to hate on anyone that is expressing their opinion.  I may not agree but that doesn’t mean I hate.

In this particular case I might make an exception.  Not to hate on Gwyneth but to express how her suggestions are so completely different from how I live my life.  I appreciate that she is posting pictures that are aspirational.  But her suggestions just don’t fit in with my life.  Cost of the clothing aside, the outfits themselves aren’t well suited to my lifestyle.

The first outfit shown, for an evening out, is just laughable for me.  I don’t care to bare my stomach at the age of 46 and having borne 2 children.  My stomach isn’t my best asset – at all!  And short shorts…please.  Shorts for the evening, yes.  Short shorts – uh, no!

The second outfit, with the big skirt, for hanging around the house; how would I run the vacuum with that thing on?  Can you imagine trying to do laundry or unload the dishwasher in that thing.  It’s just not realistic.

The final outfit.  Let’s just say that it is way too warm to wear in Florida.  I’ll leave it at that.

Maybe I need to start posting some stuff about my fashion choices.  They may not be the best but they are a heck of a lot more practical.  In the meantime, I’ll tell you what they consist of.  Mostly clothes from the Gap, The Limited and Ann Taylor Loft.  With some Old Navy thrown in there.  Casual sandals and flips flops with some killer heels.  I love some killer heels.  Bracelets.  Earrings.  A good denim jacket.  Scarves, lots of scarves.

That pretty much sums it up.  I will add that Gwyneth does look fabulous in all of her fashion choices.  You go girl!

Sometimes You Gotta Be Sneaky

My oldest son is very thin. This isn’t a bad thing. My husband and I were both really thin growing up. So there isn’t a worry about his weight itself. But I do worry about his nutritional intake. Left up to him he would subsist on Chick-fil-a sandwiches (which are delicious). So, over the last few months I have been attempting to inject more nutrition into his diet. Here is my approach.

Approach 1 – Keep more stuff in the freezer for him to eat instead of running to the fast food joint

I made burritos with his favorite fillings. I wrapped each one individually and placed in the freezer. Now all he has to do is just heat it up in the microwave. This way I know he has eaten something that is lower in sodium than the burritos you buy in the grocery store. Next time I make them I will post details on how I did it.

I made individual sloppy joe pies. I have a post on Pinterest with all the details. You can find it here:

The key is all homemade ingredients and trying to inject vegetables. I try to sneak in puréed spinach whenever possible. Using fresh ingredients also helps keep him away from processed foods and higher sodium foods.

Approach 2 – Smoothies

I am trying to get up in time to make a smoothie for the boy in the morning that he can drink on his drive to school. Right now he seems to like one with frozen bananas, frozen strawberries and orange juice. This morning I tried a monster green smoothie and modified it by adding some strawberries and a little agave syrup. He drank it but prefers the one above. Maybe I will sneak in a little spinach in the regular one. Here is the link to the monster green smoothie:

http://iowagirleats.com/2012/01/04/my-top-secret-diet-weapon/

Approach 3 – Healthy Snacks

This past couple of weekends I have made Banana Nut Bread. I try to up the nutrition by using wheat flour. I slice the loaf up and wrap individual slices. This way he can grab a slice and head off to school. Here is the recipe I use:

http://www.food.com/recipe/starbucks-banana-walnut-bread-384181

This morning I made chocolate covered banana slices. I plan on keeping these in the freezer so either of the boys can grab as a snack.

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Overall I think I am making progress. I am nowhere near where I would like to be but I keep trying. My youngest has even worse eating habits and is picky. We do make dinner at home most every night and keep trying to get him to eat new things.

Wish me luck and let me know what you do to try and inject more nutrition into your lives.