Monday, May 25, 2015

Get Your Pretty On!

Happy Monday Morning!

I have a sink full of dirty dishes, gobs of laundry to fold, Brad's suitcase still packed after almost a week, dust in places it shouldn't be, a party to prepare for this weekend, but I'm not working on any of it. Instead, I'm thinking about FASHION.

To be more specific, I'm thinking of the Get Your Pretty On Summer Challenge! Have you heard of it?

A friend told me she thought I would enjoy Alison's blog, and she was right. When the email came out about the Summer Style Challenge, I jumped all over it. Who doesn't want to have cute outfit suggestions sent to her email box for 21 days? I'm planning to combine these outfits with the free outfits from a  previous challenge I also received, and I'm set for the summer.

Signing up includes access to a private facebook page and I can tell already I'm going to get some great ideas from the friendly challengers who are posting like crazy and VERY WELCOMING! They range in age from 20-70 somethings, so don't let those cute shorts in the picture above scare you off.

The suggested items can be found at every price point and at a variety of stores, including Target and Kohl's and JC Penney. I really like this feature because many of the other fashion bloggers I enjoy spend a bazillion dollars on clothes, which I am NOT willing to do. I want to wear my clothes, not marry them for life.

Early bird sign up for the Summer 2015 Challenge is open and is only $29.00 until May 28. That is just the price of a few magazines or a top that is bought and stays in your closet because you just don't have anything to wear with it.

So, what do you think? Want to join the fun with me?

You can read my other fashion ramblings here, or here.


In the spirit of full disclosure, if you purchase from my link, I will be compensated. This is the first ever affiliate link in which I have ever participated, and I'm only doing it because I think you will benefit, too. I'm planning to use any moula I make to purchase large bolsters for my new restorative Holy Yoga class. Namaste!
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Fight the Frump: Camo Pants, Anyone?

We live in a land of hunters and I come from a family of them. My granddad hunted all kinds of birds and what he brought home was often the food for that day.An empty red or yellow shotgun shell was a familiar sight at their house, along with the dusty stuffed quail and the pheasant feathers stuck in a container on the desk.

My dad also hunted birds and his high school buddy, who became an airline pilot, often visited for a "hunt." To me, Jack lived a very exotic life, flying around the world. Our family wasn't able to take many vacations because LIVESTOCK, and we certainly didn't fly anywhere. One time Jack brought us sourdough bread from San Francisco-yum! I still haven't visited that city, but I sure hope to some day.

Anyway, I tell you all of this to bring up camo. When I washed my boys camo sweatshirts, coveralls, hats, and overalls, I never imagined that I would ever wear the brown, gray and tan pattern myself, but I started getting a hankering a couple of years ago when I began seeing them styled in adorable ways on the internet.

via pinterest

I resisted for a long time because I thought I was too old for the trend, but then I decided to live dangerously and jump into the camo pool. We live in the boonies, remember, and I didn't have time to drive close to an hour to shop for any, so I started looking online.

I found a pair by Kut From the Cloth on the Nordstrom website. I ended up ordering them from Amazon just because I could do it with one click and have them uber quickly since we are Prime members.

via pinterest

She Thought She Could

Aren't these outfits adorable? They are kind of winter-y, but you get the idea, and I'm sure you can come up with lots of ways to summer them up. To me, they have become my new neutral and I'm going to wear them with lots of different colored tops and shoes.

Not convinced? Here are some more ideas from Pinterest Told Me To, which is a great little fashion blog, by the way.

Yesterday, in the sermon, the speaker reminded us that as Christ followers, we are clothed in the righteousness or Christ. That, of course, is the prettiest outfit of all! However, I think God gets a kick out of HIS girls dressed appropriately in outfits that make them feel great. Afterall, HE DESIGNED THE FIRST GARMENTS FOR ADAM AND EVE!

Isn't that a cool thought?

So, what do you think? Will you join me in wearing cute camo pants?


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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

This and That and Please Join the Fun!

Do you ever feel like you are just "out of it"? The other day at a track meet one of my dil's mentioned airbrush makeup. My response was "Huh?" I've never heard of such a thing, and I probably desperately need it!

As I was reading blogs the other day, one of my favorites, Flowerpatch Farmgirl, went old school and posted a list of sentence starters. I loved reading her answers and some of the comments, as well. I learned about some new this and that, so thought I would play along here.

Please share in the comments or post a link to your own blog so we can all learn from one another. Help me get in the loop of popular culture!

Reading: I've got a whole stack of books in progress. I used to read only fiction, but now I'm reading mainly nonfiction. The two on top are Yes Please  by Amy Poehler and Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus. SOOOOO Good!

Playing: We usually play a card game called "Hand and Foot" several times each winter with my aunt and uncle, but card playing season is over once the time changes. Now, my guys work until dark, but I am teaching myself how to doodle and to do hand-lettering, so that is the game I'm playing!

Watching: Brad and I are always behind on TV series and often just start watching right before the final season. We did it again this year. We have laughed uproariously this winter while having marathon sessions of Parks and Recreation. (See Amy Poehler above.)

Cooking: Just made a batch of Cinnamon Granola with real Maple syrup collected from local maple trees by a group of neighborhood men. It is DELICIOUS, and I love that these guys spend days and days every February making it.

Eating: Too much! Blech.

Drinking: I am now officially a coffee drinker, going this winter from an occasional cup in the morning to 2 cups, always. My favorite is either French Vanilla or Hazelnut light roast from Aldi. It is DELICIOUS, people. Try it. How about at my house?

Pinning, Crafting: I'm not spending a lot of time on pinterest, but when I am, I usually pin things for Holy Yoga or my new obsession-doodling!

Doing: I'm preparing to lead a new series for our Friday morning small group. We are doing Fight Back with Joy, and after watching the first two videos and reading a couple of chapters in the book, I know it is going to be just what the doctor ordered. I would like to make some graphics for everyone, but do you think I can teach myself graphic design by Friday? Heehee! You might remember JOY is my word of the year, and it just keeps popping up for me!

Going: Nowhere too exciting for a few weeks, but I did just get back from Holy Yoga Touch training in Memphis. And we took Pearl, our vintage airstream, and stayed on Blue Suede (I think that was its name) street at the Graceland campground. Fun!

Loving: Holy Yoga TV-It is a very reasonably priced monthly subscription to some great Holy Yoga classes. This month we are working on Bird of Paradise pose. Yowzers. I may never be able to do it! But it doesn't matter because it's not about the yoga.

Hating: That our lawn looks like a hay field because of all the rain we have been having. It has been way too wet to mow twice a week so it needs to be raked. That isn't going to happen because-5 acres. Hate is way too strong a word for this, so I'll say it is annoying.

Discovering: We are way more alike than different. Last Sunday evening, we had a Baptismal Renewal Service at our church. No, we didn't get re-baptized, but we did share how we came to the Lord. It was beautiful, and so many of us shared similar stories.

Enjoying: Evening gator rides with my husband. It is so fun to journey on the road less traveled with the air in our faces and our eyes wide open to the beauty of nature!

Considering: Last night I heard a tip that I may just adopt. I guess in Mary Kay, sales people are told to make a list every day of 6 things that you want to accomplish. Sounds like a good idea to me!

Thanking: I am so thankful for the beautiful cards on my windowsill, and that I have lovely friends who took the time to send them to me.

OK, friends. Now it's your turn. Can't wait to read your responses!

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to Take a Sabbatical

Back when I was a much younger person and dreamed of an “As the World Turns Life” minus any personal drama, I briefly imagined I might teach at the college level. I had no clue what I would teach, but I liked the idea of the life of a college professor.  Doing research, writing a syllabus, and having office hours sounded great. Taking a “sabbatical” every few years to study something new or to travel or to rest and rejuvenate sounded so sophisticated and la-di-da to me.

Now, the idea that a college professor needs to take a year off to recover from his hard labor seems hilarious. I think farmers need a sabbatical to rest from their 18 hour days during the busy season and their sleepless nights during the rainy or drought season and the heartsickness at the “God has blessed us with a big crop and now the prices have dropped to nothing and our inputs are through the roof” season.

Or maybe you are in the 3- kids- under-5 season and haven’t had a good night’s sleep in so long you can’t remember, and the baby wants to breastfeed 24/7, and your house is a mess with caked on oatmeal on the highchair and dried milk splatters on all your kitchen chair legs that won’t come off no matter how hard you scrub because they have been on there too long.  (Can you tell I was there once?)

Or the what-am-I-supposed-to-do- with –my- life season when you look around and everyone seems to be settled in and content and doing exactly what they were created to do, while you bumble around trying to do everything or hide out at home doing nothing.

Or the I-retired-so-why-am-I tired season with unlimited opportunities to serve others and the inability to say “enough is enough”.

I could go on and on and on, and if I haven’t acknowledged the season you are in, forgive me.  The point is many of us need a REST from the madness that our life has become.  It is no wonder that so many of us feel disheartened, worn out and unsatisfied. We are forgetting to participate in one of God’s great gifts to us-the Sabbath. 

There are many references to Sabbath rest throughout the scripture, starting with God on the 7th day, continuing to the Israelites during their wilderness travels, and Moses receiving the 10 Commandments. The Sabbath was such a part of the life of the Hebrew nation that by the time Christ began his ministry, the Pharisees had developed an entire list of “do’s and don’ts” surrounding the practice of it.  Remember when the religious leaders scolded Jesus for healing on the Sabbath?

Can you relate to the Pharisees and their rule-loving ways? I sure can. I like to follow rules and I’m learning that I also like to make them for others. That is one of the things I need to take a “rest” from.

I’m no expert on observing the Sabbath, believe me, but I’m willing to learn. Holy Yoga has taught me that I can be still and calm and restful in the midst of a busy day by coming back to my breath and refocusing my mind on Jesus.

As some of us are working our way through Breathe by Priscilla Shirer, I’m struggling as I usually do in the midst of any kind of group Bible study, trying to dovetail what I’m learning with what I thought I already knew. For me, the work He is doing in me isn't all that much fun. It’s more like a raking or flossing of my heart as He keeps drudging up areas of unbelief or lack of love for Him or others.

Just how much ugliness is buried there?

Honestly. It would be easier to get back on the treadmill and anesthetize myself with work, possessions, exercise, food, a full schedule. But there is NO FREEDOM AT THE END OF THAT.

So, I’ll stay in the “WORD” even when I want to run the other way, and RESIST THE URGE TO CONTINUE doing things my way.  God wants to transform and restore my heart and mind-and yours.  And in that transformation and restoration, we are FREE!


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Friday, March 20, 2015

Farmwife Fashion -Packing for the Beach Edition

We are at the beach this week and the weather has been perfect. I've been wearing shorts which just seems crazy since we had 8 inches of snow a week or so ago,  and have spent a lot of time in my swimsuit.

Once again, I drug way too many clothes down here. It is no big deal, but I spent too much time putting it in the suitcase and will have to hang it all back up when I get home. That is just a waste of time and effort.

I'm lazy like that.

I like clothes and I enjoy putting outfits together and looking my best, That doesn't mean dressing up or wearing expensive clothes. Maybe that is why my mind often goes totally blank when I pack for a trip. I tend to drag way too many shoes and enough separates that I probably could go for a month without repeating.

It is silly because MANY times, I wear the same 3 or 4 outfits over and over and over.When most of the day is spent in a swimsuit and we go to different places to eat, and we don't really see a lot of people we know, repeating is just easier! And we have a washer and dryer, so I DO NOT NEED TO PACK A FULL SUITCASE.

So, I think I need to create a "Florida" capsule- that I can repeat and tweak. I'm going to base it on our vacation routine.

Maybe this will help you, too.

Outdoor Stuff-We normally spend most of our time here outdoors-biking, hiking, walking on the beach. For those activities, I need a comfy pair of shorts (my favorites are drawstring knit Dan-skins from Walmart), a loose fitting t shirt or 2 (usually free ones from some event or another), socks and walking shoes, and a sweatshirt.  All of that stuff I can leave down here.

Beachwear: I have 2 swimsuits that are 5+ years old and 2 cover-ups that need to be replaced, so I am in the market for those. Boo. Does ANYONE enjoy shopping for a swimsuit? If so, please tell me what I need to do differently. I also have a couple of hats that I look ridiculous in and some cheap sunglasses. All of that stays.

PJ's and Such-I leave all that stuff there, so not packing any of that.

Yoga. I usually just practice in our condo or somewhere outside, but I also enjoy visiting at least one studio class per week. I need actual yoga clothes for that, so I'll leave some here. Some comfy slip on-y shoes- something with arch support. I NEVER want to have plantar fasciitis again, thank you. I need a new pair because I've been wearing my Uggs all winter.

Shopping and Lunch-There is great shopping on 30A and I generally spend at least one day out and about. I want to be comfy but not too "fussy" so I can easily try something on if I want to. For this, a nice pair of shorts or jeans will usually do the trick. Here is where I start to go cra-cra, throwing way too much into the suitcase. For a week, I bet two bottoms and 3 cute tops will do the trick. A pair of wedges in a neutral color will go with all.

Dinner and Music-There are many great venues for listening to great music or for watching theater. Nothing fancy is needed but, I like to have a fun outfit to wear. I can also wear this to church. I am a skirt fan, and a white jean fan, and a shift dress fan so ONE of these would be appropriate. I can add a statement piece of jewelry, a cute belt, and fit in. My cowboy boots usually work for this.

Have you heard of the Fashion Rule of 3? 

I read this somewhere. Put on your outfit and add one more thing that elevates your look a notch: a scarf, statement jewelry, jacket or cute sweater. I've been following the rule and it works!

To summarize for my future reference:

Shopping List:

cute hat
yoga pants to leave
yoga slippers to leave

Packing List:

jean shorts
boyfriend jeans
white jeans
3 tops
one other OUTFIT
statement necklace
cowboy boots
flat sandals

All of that will fit into a carry on bag and take about 10 minutes to pack and unpack.

Goodness. I feel better!

See you next time. The beach is calling.....


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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

One Little Word.....JOY

Have you heard about One Little Word? It’s a project that has been popular in the blogging world for several years and one in which I have participated. The idea is to choose a “word” that will be your focus for the year. 

Last year, I chose LEARN as my word with a goal of trying to learn a lot of new things. I even had a charm stamped with my word on it to put on one of my many bracelets.

I guess I should have made a large banner instead, because as is my all-too-frequent habit, I started with big plans and then promptly forgot all about it. I did learn new things, but I didn't focus on the enjoyment of the learning process like I intended.

The New Year brings a new chance to start over, so I did. Back the first of December, I decided my One Little Word for 2015 would be JOY.

I had a feeling that our family was going to face some hard times, knowing our sister, Amy, needed a kidney transplant and her husband, Robert, was the best match. I imagined long hospital stays and many doctor visits and the need for quite a bit of care-taking. She had walked the transplant road before, so we knew it wasn't going to be easy.

However, I wanted to FOCUS on the JOY not the struggle.

God had other plans for Amy, and she went to her heavenly home and total healing on January 3.

The irony of my OLW has not been lost on me.

However, I haven’t forgotten or abandoned my word even though this has been a very sad time for all of us.  I am learning about JOY in a different way than I imagined. Now, I’m learning there is a big difference between being happy and being joyful. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit not a result of my present circumstances.

Joy is a gift that I choose to receive.

When I awaken each morning and face the fact that Amy is no longer physically with us, I am understandably sad all over again. But, I am trying to make the choice to be joyful anyway as I look for the blessings God has for me this day.

These beautiful blessings have come in many small ways- in nature, kind words, the perfect song at just the right time, comfort from scripture, the sweet release of tears, hugs, and peace that can only come from my Heavenly Father. I have had glimpses of JOY in the midst of grief.

I don’t know the struggles that you are facing, but I am sure you have some. Want to join me in choosing joy in the midst of them?

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”      Galatians 5:22-23

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Farmwife Fashion: Episode One-Cute but NOT Cheap

Well, it isn't really episode one, but I'm too lazy to look back and see how many times I actually have posted Friday Fashion Fun, so we are starting FRESH today with a new little series with a new name!

(Isn't blogging fun? I can imagine all of you (5? 10? 1?) smiling and saying you are fine with that as we rub our hands together with the excitement of pretty clothes.)


I got a facebook message the other day telling me I should share some clothing that I think everyone should have in her closet. I was shocked and flattered that someone wanted fashion advice from me, but I also thought it would be fun. So here we go!

My Current Fab Fashion Finds-Pricey Edition..........

ONE......The Blardigan

I learned about this little jewel (stay with me here-it's a 6 degree of separation thing) from one of my best friends who received one from her daughter who read about it on the great fashion blog Pinterest Told Me To. Debbie told me I HAD to have one the first time I saw her wear hers. 

It is a little piece of fashion-heaven here on earth-versatile, comfortable, cute. The only draw back is the price. It is an expensive little thing but I think it is worth every penny because you will not want to take it off. I have worn my gobs in the month or so that I have owned it. 

I even had to set boundaries for myself.....

Susan-You CANNOT wear this half blanket/half cardigan every single day. 

The cost per wear will be a negative number before it is worn out. So see. It's basically free!

This cute blogger is wearing it very well!

I got mine from Nordstrom in white/pewter ombre.

Two........The booties

I started seeing these cuties on fashion bloggers and knew I wanted a pair. This was my first time wearing Sam Edelman shoes, but once again these pricey booties are worth the price to me. 

They are more fashion forward than the tall boots everyone and their dog (including me) has been wearing and wearing and wearing.

And they are comfortable-wear all day comfy, the first day out. Adorable with cropped and rolled jeans, I also think they will look great with a skirt or dress that is the right length.

Here they are in this little outfit which I am totally going to copy tomorrow.

I ordered mine from Amazon with free shipping and no tax. But now Illinois has changed all that and we are charged tax now. Thanks, Springfield.

Three......J Crew Military Jacket

I have pined for this jacket for several years, but I just couldn't justify shelling out the dough. I didn't know how much I would wear it and how versatile it would be. 

I finally bit the bullet when I found it at a J Crew outlet store with an additional percentage off. I think I paid around $75 or it. You can buy it 25% off here. If you look, you might find something similar at TJ Maxx or Marshalls. I bought a similar sleeveless vest at a reasonable price at Marshalls that I have worn a bunch, too. 

And I am so glad I did. I have worn it several times and love how it ramps up an outfit and it is warm. So far, I have mainly worn it as I would a blazer, but I know I will enjoy it a lot this spring and fall as a lightweight coat.

I love the way this fashionista paired it with a skirt. I haven't done that yet, but now I will.

Four.....Black Leather Jacket

I bought a vegan black leather jacket at Marshalls last year and have worn the heck out of it. It keeps me warm and adds an extra sumthin' sumthin' to whatever I wear it with. I have worn it over dresses, with jeans, with skirts, blouses, sweaters, t-shirts. It is really a 3 season jacket for me. 

You need one!

Love this cool outfit from whowhatwear, don't you?

I really like this Topshop number and it is under $100 and is soooooo cute. 

Five......Gingham Shirt

If you don't have a gingham shirt, you must order one ASAP. They are the cutest things ever and for me, they are a neutral that can be mixed and matched with just about anything.

Mine is navy J Crew Outlet, but I think any color would be great. I've had mine for probably 3 years and it still looks great even though it has been laundered many times.

Don't know what to wear?

 Gingham Shirt + Just About Anything + Cute Shoes=READY!

I follow Mindy Mae's Market on Instagram. Do you?

I haven't ordered anything yet, but have been sorely tempted, especially by this.....

If you search pinterest for gingham shirts, you will get tons of outfit inspiration.

BTW-Look for me on insty under vintagefarmwife.

Well, ladies, that is it for today. I'd love to hear what you think about the five pieces I love from my own wardrobe that have become  go-to items. 

What are your closet favorites? Please share in the comment sections. 

Let's help each other avoid the frump and fashion-up! You can catch up with my other Friday Fashion Fun posts here.


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