Fashion Friday: Edition time for the fall!

Yesterday afternoon it rained here for about five minutes but it ushered in just the slightest hint of a cool front. And I do mean slight. Although I did get a little bit cold during Caroline’s soccer practice and I’m not even kidding. But you should know that I’ve been known to put on a sweater when it gets down to 74 degrees.

And while I’m excited that fall is right around the corner, I wasn’t that excited by most of the things I saw online this week. I think it’s still that weird time when there’s a lot of summer stuff on clearance and all the fall/winter things haven’t come in yet. And I never like to buy much right now because I don’t know what I’m going to feel like wearing by the time it gets cool enough to actually wear it and I have plenty of summer clothes and don’t need another sundress or tank top.

All that being said, I did find a couple of cute things.

1. colordrop tunic

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I really like this because it’s a good transitional piece and is long enough to wear with leggings. It comes in a couple of other color combos and I think I may like the blue version the best, but this is a close second.

It’s $29.95 plus extra 20% off with code SUNNYSKIES at checkout, along with everything on sale at Anthropologie right now.

2. barranco embroidered tunic

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This is really pretty. Sadly, it’s not on sale, but I do love it.

3. made well mix up patchwork scarf

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I’ve seen a lot of tunic-type tops paired with leggings and a cute scarf lately. And that’s why this scarf caught my eye. It’s on sale for $34.99 and would look great with gray or black.

4. hosting for the weekend tunic

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I love shirts like this because they are so easy to throw on with jeans. This one comes in other colors and even plus sizes.

5. tiered trapeze zip up sweatshirt

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I bought a version of this about four years ago and it is one of my favorite things ever. It’s so soft and you can wear it with everything from leggings to jeans to yoga pants and tennis shoes.

6. blank canvas tunic

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This is one of the tunics I’ve seen lately. It’s appropriately called a blank canvas tunic because it is a blank canvas. Add a scarf, add a necklace, throw on a long sweater vest. Whatever. It’s very versatile.

7. diagonal stripe slipdress

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Listen. I have no need for this dress. And I’m past the point in my life of wearing this dress because it would require a lot of undergarment configuration. But I’m including it because if I were younger and cheered for a school located in Austin, I would totally buy it for game day.

8. lucky brand betwixt bootie

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There are a million booties in the big city and these are just one pair. But I really like these because this moss green color is calling to me.

9. zella live in capris

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I’m at a point where I need a lot of these capris because this has basically become my weekend uniform. Who am I kidding? It’s my daily uniform. And these Zellas are super comfortable and flattering.

10. strummin’ sesh top

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I love a plaid top for fall and this one has great colors.

That’s it for today. Next time I see you will be a day that required me to pack a lunch.

Have a good Friday.

Feeling productive from all the productivity

Well I thought we’d done everything we needed to do around here to be ready for the first day of school next week. For heaven’s sake, we bought school supplies at the end of July. But apparently I was mistaken because this whole week has been filled with running errands and doing things that were on the summer checklist.

Please don’t think I had an actual summer checklist. It existed only in my mind, but it was full of goals and good intentions.

In fact, Gulley and I had a whole summer bucket list that we compiled over the last school year of all the activities we wanted to do with the kids over the summer and I think we checked off maybe three things on it. The problem was we usually added to the list while drinking wine. Combine that with the fact we forgot that all our ambitions to create summer fun die sometime in mid-July when it’s too hot to care about much of anything and you have yourself an unfinished list that was high on optimism and low on reality. Although we did take the kids to the pool on Monday and stayed until closing time which was something we haven’t done much, but as we were leaving, Jackson and Caroline said, “What about Barton Springs? When are we going to Barton Springs?” And they weren’t happy when I announced, “Maybe next summer!”

On Tuesday morning I had to deal with several customer service issues that didn’t get my day off to the cheeriest start. I felt like I was back in high school breaking up with a boyfriend and finally had to blurt out, “Look, we had a good thing but I’ve found something better and it’s OVER! Just let me go. I don’t believe you can change.” Thankfully, I stopped just short of asking, “WHAT ABOUT PROM, BLAINE? WHAT ABOUT PROM?”

And then Caroline and I drove out to Staples because we’d ordered a binder online for school and it didn’t turn out to be the binder of her dreams once it arrived. Jackson decided to go with us just to get out of the house and on the way there I told them, “Just think! A trip to Staples is almost just like Barton Springs!” Which cracked me up and got me a couple of junior high eye rolls.

We also ventured into Dick’s Sporting Goods because Caroline needed a couple more shirts for school and she’s a big fan of the athletic apparel.

Wednesday morning Caroline had an appointment to get her haircut at 8:00 a.m. I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I scheduled it that early, but I believe it was something along the lines of feeling it would shock our system back into more of a school time zone instead of a college frat house. And I’m sad to report that based on the stupor we were in when the alarm went off at 7:15 a.m. that we’re about to have a rude awakening to the real world.

However, I was shocked later in the day when I looked at the clock and realized how productive we’d managed to be before noon. It’s amazing what you can get done when you’re not in bed. Look for that sentiment to be emblazoned soon on motivational posters everywhere!

So after all our errands were finished, we spent the rest of the day cleaning out closets and the playroom. And not much makes me happier than getting rid of stuff we don’t need. Except for maybe not buying that stuff in the first place. But, still. We have a few bags to drop off at Goodwill and that’s always a good day, plus I’m caught up on all the laundry for a glorious three hours.

And now I think we are truly ready for school. We pick up Caroline’s school schedule on Friday but there’s no meet the teacher or anything because this is junior high and this is where you learn that life doesn’t always involve a trip to Barton Springs.

Or even Staples.

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Vacay in Port A

Well.

Before I write anything else, I have to say thank you for all your kind words about Scout and for sharing stories of your own pets. I read through the comments and shed more than a few tears because how do these creatures become such a part of our families?

The irony is I’m typing this as I maneuver around Mabel’s head which is currently resting on my stomach.

Yes. That’s right. Mabel is up on the couch where she’s not supposed to be but I’m still in a little bit of mourning and Mabel and I understand each other. I’m sure we’ll write some haikus before it’s all said and done.

But even though our beach trip ended on a little bit of a sad note, we had a great time. We left San Antonio on Sunday afternoon after our Community Worship Service and after we’d loaded down P’s truck with enough stuff to make me hum the theme from The Beverly Hillbillies as we pulled away from the house.

The good news is if we’d found ourselves stranded somewhere along the two and half hour drive, we would have plenty of assorted brands of potato chips to sustain us. We are a people who believe that no beach trip is complete without both Honey BBQ Fritos and Chili Cheese Fritos, along with regular Fritos for the bean dip. Which I believe are all the building blocks of the Whole 30 Diet.

We were almost to Corpus Christi when P realized that while he’d remembered to pack forty-two different fishing poles and various nets, he had forgotten his swim suit and his swim shirt. So we made a quick stop by Roy’s Bait and Tackle where he found a swim suit and then I ran in a surf shop and bought swim shirts for P, Caroline and Gulley’s boys because we are all about some SPF awareness. But I was in a hurry because we were trying to get to the beach and they had the long sleeve shirts hanging way up high and the sales girl couldn’t have been more annoyed that I was in her store trying to make a purchase. Which is why Jackson and P ended up with the exact same shirt.

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The first day we just had a little time on the beach because we arrived late afternoon, but Monday was a full day and we set up camp. The kids swam with the dads while Gulley and I talked about how our twenty-something selves would be disappointed in our forty-something selves for not getting out there and riding in the waves, but we were okay with that because our forty-something selves are much wiser.

And we were vindicated when our people caught not one but two – TWO – sharks right where they’d been swimming only minutes earlier.

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P said they’re just baby sharks. But you know what most babies have? Mamas and daddies. Which is why I prefer the comfort of my beach chair and a good book. There’s a 97% less chance of getting eaten while sitting at the water’s edge in a lounge chair munching on Fritos. That’s just a scientific fact.

But the kids loved the adventure and P had also come up with the idea to go crabbing. I was excited about this because I have the best memories of crabbing with my Pa-Pa when I was little and the kids loved it. It turns out that catching crabs basically requires not much more than putting a fish head on a string and checking it every few minutes. And so the kids reeled in their crabs while Jon and P took turns filling the crab bucket with fresh water to keep them alive so we could cook them later that night.

Because here’s something you may not know, do not eat a crab that has died. I read all about it when I googled “How do you cook a crab?” on the internet. You have to drop them in the pot while they’re alive which gave me pause. However, you can sedate them by putting them in a cooler of ice for ten minutes or so which I highly recommend to save yourself and the crab undue trauma.

Here are our crabbers. Caroline is doing her imitation of a crab. Clearly, it’s a remarkable re-enactment.

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And here are our crabs after we cooked them.

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I have to say we felt no small amount of pride over the fact that we caught and cooked our own dinner. It was like we were Jacque Cousteau and Julia Childs all rolled into one. The only problem was we didn’t have any legitimate crab-eating utensils so P got a pair of pliers and a hammer out of the back of his truck. So in hindsight maybe we were less Julia Childs and more rednecks of the sea.

The next day was a little more low-key. There were no sharks to speak of or really any fish out in the surf, so the kids just played around and built sandcastles and rode waves most of the day. Meanwhile, I read a Texas Monthly article all about the 35th anniversary of Urban Cowboy that was maybe the most informative piece of journalism I’ve read in a long time. I learned all about the history of Gilley’s, the dawn of the mechanical bull, John Travolta wore Gap jeans in the movie, and that Michelle Pfeiffer almost played Sissy instead of Debra Winger. That’s a full day of knowledge right there.

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And the last day it was just P, Caroline and me because Gulley and her family had headed back to San Antonio the night before. The surf was so calm that last day that it looked like a lake when we first got there around noon and so Caroline and I built sandcastles and we all searched for shells and just enjoyed the day.

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P couldn’t find his big hat.

And right before we said goodbye to the beach for another year, we all decided to take some pictures for posterity. We felt they should be very serious.

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And then I tried it and they wanted to mock me and said I have no ups.

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Of course I don’t. I can’t remember that I’ve ever claimed otherwise. It’s like they had me mistaken for an extra in Bring It On. You know what’s a victory for me? That I didn’t twist my ankle on the way down.

Which is why I prefer to stick to this pose.

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We’re now officially into our last full week of summer so I’m sure I’ll be back at some point this week. Or I might just soak in every last minute of freedom before the calendar rules our lives again.

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