Fashion Friday: Edition everything is $50 or less

I didn’t know what my intro for today’s Fashion Friday was going to be. But when I finished linking to all the items and uploading all the pictures and pulling out all my hair, I realized that there isn’t one item featured that costs more than $50. So, basically, it’s just like my closet.

1. Vintage lace knit top

I’ve really wanted to add some lace to my wardrobe ever since I fell in love with a gorgeous lace top I saw earlier this spring, but I haven’t found anything that looks quite right. Actually, I’ve always been drawn to lace because I came of age during the early Madonna years. If you were a teenager in the mid-80’s and didn’t wear fingerless lace gloves or a lace bow in your hair, then I don’t know if you can truly understand the lasting influence of the material girl.

I think this top would be a great piece to layer under a jacket or even just by itself during the long hot summer.

2. Buenos Aires peasant top

When I first saw this top, I was kind of on the fence. I LOVE the style. Obviously, I love the lace accents. But I’m still not totally sure how I feel about the color. I mean, it’s a beautiful color but I have conflicting emotions about anything that remotely falls in the purple category.

Still, I can totally see it with my jeans and pair of cowboy boots. I love it in spite of myself. And I will refer to it as aubergine instead of purple.

3. Coquille tube dress

I saw this dress and my first thought was that I’d never actually wear it as a dress, but thought it would make a really cute swimsuit coverup. But when I looked at it again, I decided it would also be a cute dress with a denim jacket or fitted cardigan worn over it.

Or maybe you might just want to wear it by itself because you are in your twenties and you can.

4. Knit rosette top

I am a big fan of this shirt.

It comes in several different colors and it’s $10.80. What else do you need to know?

5. Roman candy tote

Who comes up with these names?

I love the turquoise. I know that comes as a shock.

6. Spring Break scarf

I adore this scarf because it just looks like summer. It would go great with so many different t-shirts and tanks and add a little pop to a plain outfit.

7. Genie dress

When Sophie arrived in New York, she surprised me with the cutest dress.

Except the one she gave me was in the turquoise color because she knows my color love language. And I know myself well enough to know that there will come a day when I’ll wonder why I was so obsessed with turquoise and will want it banished forever. I will just turquoise myself sick.

But until then I’ll probably wear this dress at least once a week all summer long. Twice, if I can get away with it. It’s so soft that it’s like wearing a nightgown. Not that I wear nightgowns. Unless you consider a twenty-year-old shirt that says Texas A&M Baseball on it and is covered in small holes a nightgown.

8. Hawaiian flower brim hat

Mamaw has to get herself a new hat every summer because the sun hates my face. And, in return, my face hates the sun. They fight with each other like they are a couple of Real Housewives.

Speaking of, I need to make an appointment to see my dermatologist. I seriously need to do something about these brown spots on my face that have become too large to call them freckles.

Dang me and those teenage years when I thought there was no such thing as too much sun. Had I known then what I know now, I’d have been the only fifteen-year-old at Crystal Beach wearing an enormous floppy hat. Which wouldn’t have added at all to my high school insecurities.

9. Yellow sandals

I don’t really know that I have any use for a pair of yellow sandals, but I think these are really cute. Personally, I kind of wish they came in silver because I have a great many uses for silver sandals right now.

I seem to be having issues with color choices today.

10. Two-tone canvas beach tote

I really like this beach tote because it’s the right size to hold a decent amount of stuff and it comes in many cute color combinations. And I don’t have a problem with any of them.

11. Embroidered crinkle gauze tunic

I really don’t need another white shirt in my closet. I have way too many of them as it is, but I have some sort of addiction to the crispness of white. You would think that this addiction would cause me to be more careful about spilling things on myself, but you would be wrong. Instead I go through life with the motto “That’s what bleach is for.”

Actually, that’s not really my motto because that would be sad.

And if you don’t like white, then I thought these floral print gauze tops were really cute.

As a bonus today (as if having eleven items instead of ten wasn’t enough!) I wanted to tell you about two great things and you may already know about both of them. Just humor me and make me feel like I told you something new.

I recently discovered Retail Me Not. Before I buy anything, I go on their site, type in the name of the store and see if a coupon code comes up that will give me additional savings. I can’t tell you often I find a code that at least offers free shipping.

The other new discovery is a style blog called She’s Still Got It. I love Lindsey’s style and that she features reasonably priced things that can be worn by real people who often have to bend over to tie someone’s shoe.

Lastly, you may want to check out Jo-Lynne’s blog for more fashion tips.

Y’all have a great Friday.

P.S. We have not one but TWO soccer games this weekend. Pray for me.

The worst is behind me

This is one of those times where I keep clicking over here in the hopes that some words have magically appeared on the page. But, alas, the cursor and all the white space continue to mock me. For some reason my tried and true writing method of checking Twitter six times, playing five rounds of Pathwords, and searching the internet for anything that happens to pop in my head isn’t working for me.

But you may be interested to know that in the last several hours I’ve learned that Texas Governor, Rick Perry, shot a coyote while on a morning jog. I’ve also fallen in love with this surfside kurta from Athleta and become completely conflicted about which pair of Havaiana flip-flops I’d like to own.

Seriously. How am I supposed to choose? It’s ridiculous.

I’ve discovered that Sandra Bullock has adopted a baby boy from New Orleans, Siobhan got voted off American Idol, and read several different television recap blogs because I can’t remember if anyone ever found the body of that parole officer that Dana Walsh stuffed in the vent at CTU and I’m worried sick about it.

In other words, I have wasted two hours of my life.

But, frankly, I kind of needed the down time. Caroline and I both woke up yesterday morning with what can only be described as a Sea World hangover. Her eyes were slightly red and glazed over and mine were so swollen that I couldn’t even curl my eyelashes to try to make them look better. Of course maybe it was the resurgence of pollen rather than the Sea World trip that got us, but I’m tired of talking about allergies and would rather blame Shamu.

I got her off to school and then I came home to get ready for Bible study while I self-medicated with copious amounts of caffeine. My eyes and I finally made it to the church even though we were fifteen minutes late. It was our last meeting of the season and we ended with a lovely brunch and an egg casserole made with fontina cheese that changed the way I will view egg casseroles forevermore. Delicious.

After I left, I ran by Target to pick up a few things and then stopped by the mall in search of a few cute t-shirts to wear this summer. I found nothing. Well, nothing except a large Diet Coke and an M&M chocolate chip cookie at the Great American Cookie Company.

Then, for reasons I will never understand, I decided I should try on a few swimsuits. After eating an egg casserole made with fontina cheese and an M&M chocolate chip cookie. And experiencing some PMS. Nothing like mixing up a little cocktail of insecurity and hormones.

I pulled several different options off the rack (no pun intended) and headed to the dressing room to let the horror and sadness commence. The first one I tried on almost made me swear off swimwear forever. Picture a swimsuit that makes everything look better and accentuates your best features and then picture the opposite of that. I sobbed quietly in the dressing room and vowed to recommit myself to the 30-Day Shred starting this Monday.

Or the next Monday.

But I made myself try on the rest of them because I have to have a new swimsuit for the summer. We go to the pool almost every day. It’s not an option. And I didn’t buy a new suit last summer so I really need one this year.

(Actually I just remembered that I did buy a new suit last year but ended up having severe buyer’s remorse and hardly wore it all. So it doesn’t count.)

(P, if you’re wondering, it only cost $15.00. It’s all good.)

Finally I put on one that didn’t make me want to hurl. It was a lovely shade of turquoise (unlike my kitchen), had a top that was flattering and supportive, and offered two different options for the bottoms. Therein lay my dilemma. One was more of a traditional bottom with a ruffle and the other was more like a fitted swim skirt with ruching. I was a little concerned that either one of them might make me look like Vienna from The Bachelor, not to be confused with Vienna from the sausage. Although that was also a possibility.

But I had to make a decision because they only had one pair of bottoms left in my size. So I did the only thing that could be done in such a desperate time and called Gulley to see if I could text photos of myself in each swimsuit option and get her honest opinion. It wasn’t as good as having her there in person, but it would have to do.

I cannot even express how many times I checked and double-checked to make sure she was the only person I was texting those pictures to. Can you even imagine the horror of inadvertently sending a photo of yourself in a swimsuit to the wrong person? I have no idea how many various friends and acquaintances’ numbers I have stored in my cell phone, but I can say with all certainty that 99.9% of them don’t need to receive a picture of me in a florescent lit dressing room wearing a swimsuit.

Gulley helped me decide on the more traditional bottom. In the end, we felt like it was the right choice.

No pun intended.

The trip afield

Wow. They aren’t kidding about that whole killer whale thing.

Shamu – 1 Melanie – 0

That’s not a photo of the real Shamu leaping out of the perfectly landscaped flowers, by the way. I wish I had one to share with you but my iPhone doesn’t come with a telephoto lens and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because I was too busy counting heads and making sure no one decided to run off in search of cotton candy to take close up photos of a whale. Plus, I’m assuming you’ve seen one before and don’t really need a visual aid.

Yesterday morning I got up a little earlier than usual because I knew I’d need the extra time to pack two sack lunches and get us all sunscreened up in preparation for our day o’ fun. I dropped Caroline off at school so she could ride the school bus to Sea World with her class and headed to meet them in my own car. Her teacher had sent a note home asking parents to please take their own cars because there wouldn’t be enough room for everyone on the school bus and for that I am forever grateful. I didn’t really handle the school bus experience that well when I was actually in school, so you can only imagine what my late thirties have done to me in terms of transportation flexibility.

I arrived about thirty minutes before the bus and huddled together with a group of parents as we attempted to stay warm. What none of us counted on was that the temps (What am I? A meteorologist? Temps?) were in the high 50’s and we’d all dressed like it was in the high 80’s because we live in San Antonio and it’s the end of April and it’s always in the high 80’s by the end of April. Who needs to watch the weather this time of year? The forecast is HOT AND GETTING HOTTER. Except for yesterday. If any of the gift shops had been open they would have made a killing selling Shamu sweatshirts for $50 a pop.

Eventually the kids arrived and I was assigned my own little group of five girls, including Caroline, to guide through the park. We spent the morning learning about the differences between sea lions and seals, how many pounds of snow are produced in the penguin exhibit each day, and why you should never, EVER pick up a fake fingernail that you find on the ground. (I personally conducted that last lecture and I feel it will be a life lesson that will benefit and perhaps scar them all forever.)

The girls fed the sea lions and the dolphins.

They tried to feed the alligators but they weren’t hungry. I didn’t miss the opportunity to tell them that the alligators were probably full from eating a first grader that wandered away from their field trip chaperone. Don’t judge me. That park was swarming with kids and I did what had to be done.

Caroline fell in love with the shark exhibit and the coral reefs full of fish and asked for my phone so she could take pictures. At the end of the day there were about 276 photos of everything from someone’s foot to the sandwich she ate for lunch, but she did take one picture that I think looks a little bit like a piece of colorful, yet blurry, art.

Or maybe I just think that because I’m her mother. And I’m really tired.

After lunch, everyone was herded into Shamu’s stadium for an educational lesson on killer whales and then when it was over we walked five miles to listen to a two minute presentation about sea lions. Totally worth it.

Finally it was time to get the kids back on the bus. I walked Caroline and the other girls to the meeting spot, told her I loved her and asked for a hug. She said, “MOM. I NEED TO GET ON THE BUS. I’M GOING TO BE LATE.” and got on the bus just like she was fifteen years old. Whatever happened to “Thank you, mama, for spending your entire day at Sea World when you could have spent that time trying to get your eyebrows under control or folding the laundry that’s been sitting on top of the dryer for two weeks.”?

I got in my car, turned on some music to take me to my happy place, and headed to Happy Hour.

Many of you have mentioned that you aren’t familiar with Sonic or that they don’t have them where you live. I’m not one to tell people what to do, but you really need to put your house on the market and move TOOT SUITE to a town that has a Sonic. You are living a shadow of what your life could be.

Then I got home and made Ree’s French Breakfast Puffs for Bible Study tomorrow morning while I sang “I’m Every Woman” by Whitney Houston.

And I ate one of them. Or maybe two.

Three at the most.

And then we ordered sushi for dinner because we are cold and heartless creatures who were apparently unmoved by all the sea life we communed with throughout the day.

A long time ago, before I had a child, a woman told me in all seriousness that the worst part of raising kids was having to endure the theme parks. Even after yesterday’s field trip, I don’t agree with that statement. I still contend that the worst part of raising kids is having to take them to the zoo.

Because, the smell of the penguin habit notwithstanding, Sea World is not a bad place to spend a day.

Especially with a six-year-old who won’t be six forever.