My New Happy

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fun Friday Randomness

Happy Friday, friends!  I came across this quote a few months ago and it really resonated with me.  During those moments when I feel too old or too anxious, I try to remember that I'm the youngest I'll ever be again - and I can do this! 

Earlier this summer I took on a new job, editing a newsletter for the Forever Fierce Revolution, a community of amazing midlife women working together to put a new, fresh frame and perspective around midlife and beyond.  I've never edited anything before, and I had no idea what I was doing.  I decided to take the leap, and I'm so glad I did.  I'm still learning, but I'm having a blast and enjoying the opportunity to use my creative side.

Each newsletter includes an interview with a fierce woman, a travel piece, and links to fun and informative articles from around the web.  Today I thought I'd share some of the interesting things I've come across lately...

--Grey nails are trending for fall.  10 Shades of Grey Nail Polishes Worth A Manicure Immediately.

--Positive affirmations actually work.  Here's how to start.

--Continuing to learn is good for our mental and physical health.  Here are 250 Ivy League courses you can take on line, right now, for free.

--Have you tried dry brushing?  Check out these 5 benefits and see if it's right for you.

--Amazon Prime Wardrobe has officially launched.  See how it works here.

Hope you have a great weekend!  This kid turned 21 on Wednesday (there I go, feeling old again), so we're off on a little birthday adventure.  Follow along on Instagram to see what we're up to!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Layering With A Fall Kimono

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Fall Fashion Frenzy with The Blended BlogToday we're talking about fall kimonos, one of my new favorite ways to layer.

Admission time - a few years ago I bought a kimono on a whim, and never really liked it.  Which meant I didn't wear it - even one time - and eventually it went to the thrift store.

Then this one arrived in a Stitch Fix box, and I liked the colors so much, I decided to give kimonos another try.

It really is the perfect fall layering piece!  As Stacy London writes in her book "The Truth About Style", "if you layer with thinner fabrics, you can create visually interesting outfits without the bulk.  Details like sheer fabrics are provocative and feel powerful without being outright obvious".

I've also layered this kimono with a dress and as a top piece over a jumpsuit.  Pretty soon it will be too cold for the sheer fabric, but for now, it's just right!

Thank you again to Larissa from Lovely Roots Photography for these fun pictures.  Do you think she'd want to move to Seattle?  It's warmer here!

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge 

And now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.   

Monday, September 17, 2018

All Things Blog Related: Two Party Authentication

Happy Monday!  Hope you had a good weekend.  We spent ours visiting with friends at their cabin on the river.  It was so peaceful and relaxing.  The week ahead is busy - my son turns 21 on Wednesday, and we're heading out for another short trip on Friday.

Today I'm linking up with The Blended Blog and we're talking about all things blog related.  Even though I've been blogging for four years, I'm no expert.  However, recently I did learn about something very important:  two party authentication.

You may have heard about all the Instagram accounts that were hacked this past summer.  In some cases, the owners even got ransom notes demanding money to regain control of their profile.  I had several friends experience hacking, and one of them wrote a blog post about what she did to get it back. 

There is one simple step you can take, with all of your social media accounts, to prevent this from happening to you:  two factor authentication.  It's very simple to set up.  Simply go into your settings options, look for "two factor authentication" and follow the steps.  Basically, you are adding an extra layer of protection, by requiring a code if anyone tries to log into your account from a different computer or phone.  If that happens, a code is sent to the number that you provide, and has to be used to complete the sign in.

It's also important to never click on a link that is sent to you from a potential collaboration, until you have verified the information and know that it's valid.  Always check with other bloggers or the company themselves to see if it's a safe link.

Head over to The Blended Blog and link up your blog advice.  I can't wait to read it all!

And be sure to come back next week for our special Blogaversary Giveaway!  Have a wonderful week, friends!

Friday, September 14, 2018

Try Something New: Summer Edition

This year, George and I are trying to do something new every month.  Now that we're empty nesters, there's more time to do different activities.  So far we've gone snowshoeing, and floated in a sensory deprivation tank.  During my blogging hiatus we tried a few things - with mixed results.

First up was Goat Yoga.  Ever since starting yoga a few years ago, I had wanted to try this.  There is a goat rescue not far from our house, and twice a month they hold a yoga class to raise funds.  It's very popular, so it took me a few tries to find an open spot.  Usually the class is held outside in an open field, but on our day it was pouring rain, so we were moved to the goat barn.

The first half hour was spent getting to know the goats.  The rescue has many different species of goats, but only some have the temperament to participate in yoga.  Eventually we laid out our mats amongst the poop (there was A LOT) and started class.  Sadly, the goats weren't very interested in climbing or interacting with us.  They wandered by looking for food, but that was about it.  Still, it was fun and different and the baby goats were adorable!

The next month we met some friends to try an "Escape Room".  I'd seen these on different reality shows and loved the idea of solving a puzzle with a time crunch.  Recently an Escape Room business opened in our town, to great reviews.  What I didn't know is that their version is more like a haunted experience.  As we arrived to check in, I could hear other guests screaming somewhere.  Um, what?

Our scenario actually involved four rooms, each one more difficult to get into than the next.  It included intense music, scary props, and even live actors.  I was on pins and needles the entire time, waiting for something or someone to jump out at me.  Needless to say, we failed.  Although we did make it into three rooms, so there's that.  It would be fun to go back with the boys and see if we could be more successful.

A few weeks ago we got tickets to visit the Amazon Spheres.  This urban office space made of glass, steel, and concrete, was built in downtown Seattle, and provides common areas and relaxation spaces for Amazon employees.  With over 400 different species of cloud forest plants from all over the world, it also acts as a huge greenhouse.  It's only open to the public on two Saturdays a month, by reservation.  Between the pleasant temperature and all the things to see, we could have stayed all day.  And now I want to get a job with Amazon.

To be honest, I'm running out of ideas for new things to do.  Any suggestions?  Have a great weekend, friends!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Calling All Camo

Today we're talking about camo, which is one of my new favorite prints.  Honestly, in the past I wasn't a huge fan - it made me think of hunting or the military.  But I finally gave in because there are so many cute styles!

Last month when I visited Deena in Saskatchewan, she arranged a photo shoot with the adorable and very talented Larissa of Lovely Roots Photography.  Bo from Bo's Bodacious Blog joined us, and we had the best time.  The weather was perfect, the scenery was beautiful, and it was so much fun.

I am not a natural model, but Larissa was patient and sweet and worked with my awkwardness until I felt more comfortable.  She spoiled me, and now I don't want to ever take my own pictures again.

Which brings me to my favorite quote this week from Stacy London's book:  "Style is a way to play with possibility.  It's about seeing how the path to getting there is always available to you.  Stop fighting reality.  Accept what's yours.  Get out of your own way and sparkle like crazy instead".

My t shirt came from the cutest store in Saskatoon and features the Saskatchewan Prairie Lily.  The jacket is from Sanctuary, and I love the ruffled sleeves.  Last spring I saw it in a local boutique for $120, and then found it at Nordstrom Rack for $30.  Which is practically free, right?  

Truth be told, this is what I looked like most of the evening.  The perils of long hair and wind.

Happy Wednesday, friends.  And remember, go out this week and sparkle like crazy!

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge 

And now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.   Next Wednesday we'll be back with "Fall Kimono". 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Me

Happy Monday!  Today The Blended Blog is sharing "ten things you didn't know about me".  I feel like you guys already know everything, but I thought hard and came up with some random stuff!

1/ I've colored my hair for so long, I'm not at all sure what my natural color is anymore.  Probably lightish brown with plenty of gray thrown in.

2/ Since I paid my own way through college, I had lots of jobs, and some of them were pretty strange.  One year I audio recorded textbooks for students that were blind.  It was really monotonous to read about chemistry for hours, but the pay was great.

3/ I have never had a hangover.  It only takes one drink to get me tipsy, so I've never managed to over indulge.  Such a cheap date.

4/ I hate seafood of any kind.  Which is a waste, living in Seattle. I'm happy to help catch it, but don't ask me to eat it.

5/ I got straight A's my entire school career, even through college.  Which I kind of regret.  While everyone else was out having fun, I was studying.  And seriously, does anybody care now?  Nope.

6/ George and I dated for eight years before we got engaged, and when he finally proposed, I thought he was breaking up with me instead. See, straight A's doesn't mean you have any common sense.

7/ Although I'm a West Coast girl, I lived in North Carolina for five years during elementary school.  Which makes me a little southern.  Can I start saying y'all?

8/ The people in my family, on both sides, live forever.  Grandpa Ed just celebrated his 100th birthday, and my boys have had three great-grandparents that they've grown up knowing.  

9/ Since moving to Washington, I've experienced two big earthquakes, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and several hurricane strength storms.  And they say nothing exciting ever happens around here!

10/ I grew five inches in 6th grade to my current height of 5'9".  I had such bad growing pains that year I could barely sleep at night, and I was taller than every single person in my class, even the boys.

That was fun!  Can't wait to read about everyone, so I hope you'll link up with us on The Blended Blog, or share on social media with the #tbbasks.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Two Years Later, In My Empty Nest

Apparently, time flies when you're in an empty nest...somehow it's been two years since we dropped Thomas off for his first semester of college.

He's doing great, which I never doubted.  He just started his last year of undergrad, and next fall he'll begin his veterinary medicine program.  He loves it there, and there's no question that he's where he belongs.  Conner is also a rock star.  He's got a new job with huge responsibility...and a big, shiny truck to show for all that hard work. I'm so proud of both of them...I feel like I might burst some days.

Clearly, they're doing just fine.  But what about me?

I won't lie and tell you that I'm used to it now, or that I love being an empty nester.  Every time they walk out the door after coming home, my heart breaks all over again.  If I had my way, they'd be 10 and 8 forever, safe under my wing where I could protect them and do all the things that mama's do.  I miss them like crazy, and some days I still catch my breath when I realize they won't be home for dinner, that I can't hug them whenever I want.  But that's not the way life goes.

And it does get easier, as time passes.  I'm getting used to the new normal.  There's less crying, less sadness.  I've realized that it's okay to feel all the feels whenever I want to feel them.  I put everything I had into these human beings for over twenty years, and that doesn't stop just because it's time for them to move on.

For the record, there are some definite perks to an emptier house.  There's very little laundry and fewer trips to the grocery store.  I get more sleep and much more time for me.  George and I are having a blast, trying new things and having fun being together, just the two of us again.  

So what have I learned these past two years?  Mostly that worrying and feeling a little sad will never completely go away.  Pieces of my heart are still walking around outside my body, and that will be true until the day I die.

But they'll always come back.  Maybe not in the same way, and not for as long as forever, but we're friends now.  They call and check in, and they still need me.  In a different way, but still.  And I won't stop being their biggest cheerleader or a shoulder to cry on when they've had a bad day.  Just from a bit more distance sometimes.

Yep, they're doing just fine.  And I'm doing okay too.

To see my post from the day we dropped Thomas off at school, go here.
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