What 6 and 8 looks like

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I keep find myself saying, “I love this stage”, “I love this time”.  I love taking them to a museum.

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I love handing over a sketch pad and pencil and instead of worrying about them defiling works of art, they draw their own interpretation and give me their thoughts and feelings about the piece.

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I love taking a walk and listening to their jokes and stories.  I love sitting down and having them read to me, instead of me reading to them – although that still rocks too.

I love hearing them discuss things like:  Who wrote the Bible?  Why is this called a car?  Why do you wear high heels if they hurt your feet?

I love hearing my son talk about his second best friend and when I ask, “who’s your first?”  He answers, “my sister”.

I love being able to say “Calm down, let’s talk about this” and they can and we do.

I love that they have music tastes, favorite restaurants and movies.

First words and first steps are cool.  Late night nursing, shoveling in the first bite of food, embracing the concept of the toilet – all wonderful.

But feeling like I’m sharing my life with kindred spirits who are so uniquely themselves is heaven.

All photos are from The Modern Museum in Ft. Worth, TX.

 


Power to the shopper

Image via shopbop.com

Image via shopbop.com

With fall approaching  (even as most of us sit here sweating) it’s time to review your fall stuff.  I usually take an afternoon, try everything on, create my piles for:

donate – If it’s past it’s prime, Goodwill can still create rags from your riches which still keeps it out of the landfill for a bit longer

alter/repair – sew buttons, fix a moth hole, shorten/lengthen a skirt, repair a boot sole

consign – if you have something in your closet that just sat there last fall/winter/spring- maybe it doesn’t fit right, the color is wrong, you don’t feel good in it.  Consign it.

So, now you are ready to plan your shopping using the snazzy tips listed below that I just read on another blog created by a “seasoned professional”….in the realm of shopping and style that is.  I think it’s pretty solid advice, in fact I plan to follow it myself this fall – HAPPY FRIDAY

 

Before you leave, prepare a budget and a list divided into 3 sections:

  1. 800 arrows note:  Make a list of your local resale, consignment, thrift and vintage stores.  You may not be able to fill all your needs at these little gems but it’s a smart place to start.
  2. The Replacements – items currently in your wardrobe that need to be replaced (worn out, damaged, wrong size, etc.)
  3. The Completers – pieces you need to make a complete outfit (you have a fabulous skirt you never wear because you don’t have an equally fabulous top to wear with it)
  4. The Trends – trendy clothes, shoes, and/or accessories to update your look for the season

Ask someone to join you:

  • The person you ask should be someone who will give you honest feedback. This person has to be comfortable with your budget, your figure, and the stores you choose.
  • Shopping with someone who can view you in person and from every angle is an advantage you can’t get even with a 3-way mirror.
  • Shopping with someone allows you to keep ‘the power,’ so you’re less likely to be the victim of a sales associate who’s chief concern is her commission check and not your long-term happiness.

Choose stores wisely:

  • Go to stores that carry lines you know fit your body type and fit within you budget.
  • Make sure you understand, and are comfortable with, the store’s return policy.
  • When you find a store you like, stick with it. Not only will it save you time, it also will give you an opportunity to develop a relationship with a salesperson who will have a vested interest in your long-term happiness; be more likely to call you just before the out-of-budget piece you’ve been lusting after goes on sale; and be motivated to quickly resolve a problem, should one arise.

As you shop, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • Buy whole outfits (unless your buying a piece from your 3-part list)
  • If you find something you love, but it’s not on your list, make sure you have at least 3 other pieces in your closet you can pair with it to make a complete outfit.
  • Don’t buy something just because it’s on sale. Ask yourself if you’d buy it even if it wasn’t on sale.
  • Consider cost-per-wear. Even though something may have a seemingly steep price tag, think about how much wear you will get out of it over the course of the season. On a cost-per-wear basis, it may be less expensive than your daily Starbucks habit!
  • My personal motto: When in doubt, leave it out!

After you get home:

  • Keep the tags attached to your new purchases and keep the receipt handy, in case you decide to return it. Some stores will issue a credit for items that go on sale within a specific period of time after the initial purchase – another good reason to keep your receipt handy.
  • If you experience buyer’s remorse, learn from it, so you don’t make the same mistake again.
  • Most important, have fun.

Do ya speak-a my language?

 

Clem and Ro

We had the wonderful opportunity to host a couple French girls at our home in Texas this summer.  They are sisters, ages 15 and 16.  They traveled, for their first time, to the US leaving behind their parents, younger brother and their dreamy sea side town near Marseille.  I have a feeling we hit the jackpot with these lovely girls, they baked for us, worked hard at using their english, played with our children for HOURS, helped clean up, did dishes.  Yes I’ve since heard not everyones’ foreign exchange is quite as……..beneficial.  The best was their overall attitude, up for anything and eager to enjoy.  Touring around Dallas during the hot months of summer is far from ideal but what unexpected surprises it delivered!  

When was the last time you played tour guide in your own town?  Personally speaking it had been a LONG time.  It rekindled a fondness I had lost for my home base, showed me new sides to a city I’ve lived in for decades, brought appreciation to the fun surrounding Dallas whether 30 minutes or 3 hours away.  

The French girls marveled at the size of hamburgers they were served, at waffles shaped like the fair state of Texas, they squealed in delight at the awesomeness of Buffalo Exchange loving that their dollars could accomplish so much!  They had opinions about art and music.  They had ideas about what they planned to do with their lives.  The girls seemed happier in museums and parks than in shopping malls.  During quiet moments neither grabbed for an electronic distraction, they journaled, edited photos, sketched, napped.

As for our side of the experience, their stay was one of the greatest gifts I could have been given.  Living with teenagers opened my eyes to what a truly short time it is until I have teenagers of my own; who can do things like travel to far away places all by themselves.  It reminded me of the things I want them to know and practice as they grow-up.  It reminded me more of what my role as their mom is……lately my role has felt like the “No Police”.  Can I do this?  NO.  Can I have this?  NO.  May I eat this?  NO.   You get the picture, I hate that lady, everyone hates that lady, she’s so controlling!  My kids require guidance, support and love, I no longer need to save them from the dangers of electrical outlets, those days have passed.  I need to get with the new program if I want teenagers who will bake a pie for their foreign parent hosts’.

Merci Clem and Ro, thanks for teaching me a new language.