checking myself

 Old school style Goodwill jeans and Target tee 

You know, back in the olden days before I started blogging, I never thought I'd ever be caught up in what amounted to wardrobe warfare with myself.  Let me explain or set the scene for you.  2008 was a tough financial year for us it sat me down and opened my eyes to any wasteful spending and I began to really embrace simplicity.  I started my blog as a journal based on the premise of living a simple, beautiful life on a budget.  Then things went sort of off track.

Before blogging, I never used to count my clothes or be so obsessive about them.  I basically wore jeans a tee shirt, a pair of black flats and I was done.  I always felt presentable and a little stylish.  I owned 2 or 3 handbags, minimal jewelry and I was fine.  So what changed? Being able to peek into strangers closets is what changed. And guess what? They had a helluva lot more than me and it created DESIRE.

Prior to 09 I thought Hermes was for the ultra wealthy.

Then I came across Project 333 and I thought that was the ticket.  I embraced it, but then I began to obsessively count my clothes and accessories. The whole swapping out seasons thing posed issues too. Look, I only have one small closet in my home and I didn't want to be boxing up and moving clothes every few months. Plus honestly my lifestyle does not require a ton of clothes. I'm not an executive going to the office every day needing a professional wardrobe, I really do work in yoga pants.  But I will say the Project was very worthwhile in that it taught me to pay attention to what I already had, what I needed and why.  If you are going to have a limited wardrobe, you really want each piece to be awesome. There's no room for ill fitting clothing or things you don't love.  That's my biggest takeaway from 333.

Please don't get me wrong, I adore fashion, I really do.  But Lord, I need to get a grip and chill. Being up here has really made that evident.  The small closet I'm operating under has been more than adequate and reminds me of how I used to be (and I liked her.)   But if small ain't your thing, so what, have fun, it's all a matter of personal choice.  No matter who made them or how many clothes are hanging in your closet, I personally think you are gorgeous just the way you are.  x


100 years of fashion


Have you seen this?  100 Years of Fashion in 2 minutes 

Thank you to Melissa at All Things Simplified for sharing on her blog.

I think I live somewhere between the 50's and 70's.

What about you???


sunday things

Hard to believe but fall is coming to this part of Utah.  Our warmest temps have been in the low 70s and the nights are cold.  You can see the tinge of red coming to the hills and meadows.

I'm not sure the name of this plant but they are all turning this rusty red and I adore them.  They would be spectacular in big vases.

It was so cold the other day I had to get a warm sweater.  We were in Salt Lake City and I popped into Forever 21 and grabbed this sweater which already appears to be sold out.  But it just blows me away that in mid-August I'm cold. It reminds me of a robe and also if you've been reading a long time, it reminds me of the day I semi-stalked a woman in the market.  Sorry it is sold out but had I seen this one I would have been torn.

What else, what else?  We are going to see Straight Outta Compton today and I cannot wait.

And one more thing that is literally driving me crazy.  The comments on the How are You? post have overwhelmed me.  Your stories are so real and inspirational and it proves we are not in this alone. We all have struggles and we are all survivors.  From the warmest place in my heart I thank you all for sharing.  The part that is driving me crazy is that I've not been able to respond to each one like I want to.  Larry is my witness in that I've tried for days to answer them.  I had a big Windows update the other day and I think that is what has gone wrong.  Some comments post and some don't.  Some I've answered at least 7 times.  They don't appear on my blog but they do on Larry's computer.  It is so frustrating.  I will keep trying but I want you to know I've read each one and can relate to you all. I've said it before and it's always are the best.  x


everlane ryan tee shirt and tank top review

Target Shorts and Tote

Back in May when I was packing for our trip here, I really had no idea how long we'd be gone and was in a big rush. Country Living magazine actually squeezed me into their schedule because they knew I was coming here to care for my FIL. Normally I'm quite the efficient packer but things were hectic and I wound up just throwing stuff in my bag knowing I would make it work and besides, we were going to Utah for heavens sake, not the moon.

Anyway, I knew an Everlane Ryan Tee shirt and tank top were coming with me. I bought these back in the summer of 2012 when I first heard of Everlane.  If you don't know about them, check them out right here. The tops are made in Los Angeles and definitely have that casual LA vibe. The tee's are now 3 years old and honestly still look new. In the above photos I'm wearing the tee and tank top backwards. I like to do that with tops because 1. my decolletage is wrecked and 2. it's like having 2 tee shirts in one.  Everlane if you are reading please make a boatneck, 3/4 sleeve tee for me and my friends.

This is the most accurate photo of how the tee looks in real life. The drape is what I love about it, as it skims instead of clings and hides lots of things you want hidden. The length of the dolman sleeve make the shirt a bit dressier yet still casual. The fabric is soft, opaque and great for layering.  I would say the Ryan tee fits a little large so keep that in mind. I am a size small but I prefer a looser fit so the small fits perfectly. I machine wash them in cold water, line dry and have never had a problem yet.

I'm not being paid to review this tee shirt. I purchased them with my own money. But if you sign up and use this LINK I will get a store credit from them if you make a purchase.  It's kind of a cool set up they have. So if you refer a friend you get store credit too.  Also, if you make a purchase within 24 hrs of signing up you get free shipping. They ship quick, returns are super easy and the packaging is recycled and quite chic.

If you prefer to not use my link click Everlane.  Hopefully this review is helpful to you.

ps - still working on all the amazing comments you left.  your stories are SO inspiring!
pps - I just spent an hour answering comments and not one published.  I'm so upset right now. :(


daily strength

yesterday's hike

Good morning dear friends.  Just wanted to pop in this beautiful Sunday morning and give you guys a very very helpful link.  It's called Daily Strength.  On this website you will find an online forum with over 500 topics that you can either read or register as a user and become part of the conversation. Every situation that you can think of is there.  There is no need to suffer alone.  It's a great resource if you are struggling with any sort of health or relationship problem.  Plus it's all anonymous.  In addition to that my friend Charlie over at  The Privileged Addict writes an incredible blog all about addiction.  I've been studying this topic for close to 10 years and I've never found a resource like his. It is excellent and I highly highly recommend.

And I cannot believe all your stories. What a great group of people you are.  I have always known I have the best readers in the whole wide internet but your stories once again prove it. I'm humbled and honored that you would share your heartbreaks and your triumphs with me.  Thank you all for sharing and I promise to respond to each and every one.  Mucho love...x

how are you?

You know it's not fair. You guys know so much about me and I know virtually nothing about you. Of course I don't share everything about my life but believe it or not, I share most of it.  You know for instance my profession, where I live, what I eat and how I spend my money.  You know I walk, hike and do yoga.  You have seen every corner of my home. You know of some of my challenges in life too.

Living temporarily in Utah poses problems that are piled on top of my regular challenges, so while it is beautiful here and we both feel it's what we need and want to do, some days are stressful.  I kick myself for not bringing more clothing here.  We are still trying to get our house paid off so spending money on clothes I already own is frustrating. Being away from family and friends is harder than I thought it'd be.  Some days the isolation up here can drive a person nuts.  Knowing adult children are struggling, the worst.  And no matter how organized and careful I try to be, things still go wrong. But overall I'm ok and like the quote up there states, even with problems, life is pretty amazing right? This morning I'm wondering how you are? Do you argue with your spouse?  I do.  Do you argue with your children? Yes.  Are finances a challenge?  Uh huh. What about health issues? Are you happy where you are living?  I would really love to know more about you.  x

tender loving facial

I would have never guessed that one of the things I miss the most about being away from home is my job.  I miss my clients, the actual work and of course...the money.:)  But really I miss pampering people.  I love transforming their day from stressed to serene.  I see their shoulders relax the minute they walk in. Laying down and listening to the music and being surrounded by beautiful soft scents does it for them.  I miss getting my facials too so now it's up to me to deliver that same tender loving care to myself.

The climate up here is so dry it makes Southern California seem downright humid.  The altitude combined with the dry air here produces legendary snow, beautiful summers and super dry skin. I still use my favorite moisturizer, olive oil, which you can read about here and here but hiking for hours everyday in the sun is taking a toll so I've had to call in the big guns, otherwise known as my favorite Aveda products.  If you don't mind I will share what I use and how I use them.  This is not a sponsored post but I have been an Aveda esthetician for ten years and I honestly love them.

So after our hike I gave myself a tender, loving facial. Larry had to come into the room to check on me because my skin felt so good I was purring like a cat.  I'm not kidding.


After a cool shower and a tender cleansing with Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser (my favorite) or Cetaphil Ultra Hydrating Cleanser or anything similar, I left my skin damp and applied a pretty thick application of Aveda Tourmaline Charged Radiance Mask.  Now some of you may be asking why no exfoliant? Don't worry because this mask has a built in chemical exfoliant and because my skin has been parched the last thing I'd do to it is scrub it with a mechanical exfoliant. So apply the mask liberally and lovingly and don't forget to apply it over your eyebrows because this area notoriously hides dry, flaky skin.  I would normally apply it to my lips but Larry wouldn't stop talking to me and I didn't want to be rude.  Apply it right up under you eyes and don't forget your neck either. And whatever you do, please don't rinse your hands off yet...

Apply any excess to the back of your hands.

After laying down for about 20 minutes while the mask does its work, rinse off with water and spritz your face with a soothing toner (my absolute favorite) and then apply a good moisturizer, I swear by Aveda Green Science Moisturizer and Green Science Firming Eye Cream but use whatever suits your skin type and works best for you.  Now go lay back down...all day if possible  x

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