Good morning Monday! I hope y’all had a great weekend! Thank you SO much for all the love on the Nordstrom vs. Amazon post. I truly enjoyed putting that post together for you, and given your enthusiastic response, I’ll definitely do more for you.
In fact, I found these chain link mules on Amazon that look identical to the Steve Madden pair at Nordstrom. The Steve Madden pair sold out in the tan color, but they have other colors still available. The Amazon pair looks like it might not ship until September, but I’ve often gotten things way earlier than I’ve expected from Amazon.
Today, I thought I’d do one of those random This & That posts with you where we just chat about all kinds of things! I love these, so grab your coffee or tea and let’s dive in!
THIS & THAT
COLLEEN ROTHSCHILD GIVEAWAY
First up, I’ll be announcing the winner of the Colleen Rothschild giveaway on Wednesday, so if you haven’t entered, it’s not too late! All you have to do is follow Colleen Rothschild on Instagram & subscribe to my blog. I never spam, only send happy mail! ♥
I cleanse my face everyday with the balm, and those last two products I credit for reducing my hyperpigmentation.
BACK TO SCHOOL
We have two weeks until the kids go back to school and now I’m suddenly full of all the emotions. The last six months have been hard and wonderful and crazy and stressful and I’m sure you can relate. I was really ready for the kids to head back to school in August.
But now I’m feeling sad about not having them home all day. We are in such a tight little bubble and I don’t want it to burst.
Our school is implementing a host of new policies and procedures and now I won’t be able to walk James and Jordan into the school building. I think that will be so hard on Jordan, but maybe she’ll surprise me. I bawled my eyes out when she started PK3 last year and I think it will be the same this year. #sadsack
And some of you have kids starting college or returning to college and I can only imagine the roller coaster of emotions that brings. Or, you’ve decided to homeschool or virtual school, which is also new and different. I will say we are all in this together and we can support each other through it.
On the other hand, I’m always a fan of the FRESH START the school year brings and the new beginnings. We will all be back to better routines and there’s so much comfort in that.
Back to school time always makes me want to clean out things, and start thinking about Fall and the holidays to come. More on that at the end of the post!
CLOSET CLEAN OUT
I kicked off the weekend by cleaning out my closet. Rhonda came over and helped me reorganize and it was so good to have a second pair of eyes and second set of hands. As a ‘fashion blogger’ I keep a certain amount of inventory on hand so that I can always mix and match pieces and share more outfit inspiration with you.
What you might not know is that, 99% of the time, I buy all the clothes myself. There is no way I could keep all of the things I share with you in a dressing room post, so a majority of it gets returned. Only the things I know I’ll keep wearing or have actually worn outside do I keep.
Sometimes, if I do a collaboration with a brand, they will provide a gifting allowance that covers the cost of an outfit, but that’s a rare occasion. I’m also not one of those bloggers that gets tons of PR packages. I barely get any. I prefer to shop for the things I like (and think you may like) and do that on my own terms.
I often laugh because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become much more ‘minimalish’ at heart, so having so many clothes can sometimes stress me out. I’ve spent many years decluttering my home and getting it to a place where there is a good mix of clear spaces, everything has it’s place, but it still feels comfortable and cozy.
A closet clean out was long overdue and I’m so happy to have paired down and cleaned out so much!
I’ll give gently worn clothing to my mom or nieces or donate to a local women’s shelter. I know they all appreciate it and it just feels better to pay it forward as opposed to trying to sell them.
When I finish the entire closet clean out, I’ll give you a tour (I already shared a sneak peek on Stories).
I have one whole section dedicated to Amazon because I’ve found so many things I truly love to wear and feel comfortable in!
Top 10 AMAZON for 2020
I also looked back to see what YOUR top Amazon picks this year have been so far.
Crop Wide Leg Pants (I cannot say enough great things about these. They simply pull on without any zipper or button (so sleek!) and they feel amazing on, being nice and thick.)
Skinny Belts (4 pack) (probably my most worn accessory, looks great with jeans and over dresses)
HATS are big this year : Sun Hat (still a fave after several years) • Sun Visor ( you can let your cute top knot poke through the top and I love the major sun protection with the wide brim) • Ponytail Hat (we all love the ease of this handy hat)
Fake Bake (I haven’t used this in awhile, but applied it yesterday and now I remember why I love it! I feel so much better with a little color and this one looks the most natural without any orange color! It’s also so easy to apply with the mitt).
During the closet clean out, I tried on every.single.pair of jeans and almost all of them felt so tight! Like 3 sizes too tight. Some I could barely pull up over my hips.
They MUST HAVE shrunk. #rude
Well, I’m sure I’m not used to wearing jeans lately, instead opting for loose fitting jean shorts and more comfy summer/at home outfits, but, it really made me want to get back in better shape!
Which leads me to our next fitness challenge!
I’ve had several of you comment that you are in the same boat, asking me if I’d do another fitness MOVE CHALLENGE. Yes! I really need it myself. I plan to officially kick it off on September 1 and it will last all month. The goal is to move 20 minutes 6 days a week.
Are you in??
OUR PAINTED HOUSE
I shared a sneak peek of our exterior house painting recently and today I have all the details for you including the paint colors and process.
I’ve always preferred a cooler color palette and have never really been crazy about the Austin stone on the exterior of our home. It’s been over 10 years of the brown/tan color and I was definitely ready for a change.
My favorite painter of all time, Ruben, came back with his crew and it only took three days to power wash and paint the entire exterior of the house. On Day 1, they power washed the house and let it dry.
On Day 2, they started by spraying the siding. And by the end of the day, the whole house was painted!
I was out running an errand and when I came home and pulled up to this view of my house, I barely recognized it! The grey siding is such a difference from the previously tan color.
After they sprayed the siding, they got started painting the shutters and the window trim. BUT, I didn’t see enough contrast between the siding and trim, so we made a mid-way color change decision.
On Day 3, Ruben came back to do minor touch ups. I couldn’t believe how fast the job was completed and how different the house looks with the grey paint.
Although I’m crazy for the new grey color combo, I couldn’t help but think that the stone clashed so badly with it.
I asked Ruben if he could paint my front doors, but he said he wouldn’t recommend it because of the finish on the door, the paint wouldn’t stick to it.
I started looking into alternate options for changing the stone. Of course, you could totally replace it, but that would be so expensive.
A cheaper option is to paint the stone, but then you lose all the cool variations of color, as well as the texture of the natural stone.
A third option is to limewash the stone and that’s what I’m probably going to do.
Limewash is a heavily mineral-based paint that produces a very chalky and matte finish. The minerals seep into the porous surface of the brick or stone to which the is applied and gives the brick or stone an authentic and aged look.
I will say, the stone and paint color has grown on me since I first had the house painted. I don’t hate it like I initially did, but I’m still excited to see the limewash samples and see if that looks good.
FALL DECOR ALL ON AMAZON
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Do you have the Fall decor itch too? Are you cleaning out things in anticipation of school starting? I think getting things cleaned and organized just makes me feel more in control and at peace. And, I’d love to hear who’s in for the Move Challenge! I’ll start getting it ready and we’ll launch it September 1!
Now let’s go kick Monday’s booty!