Athleta Sets the Mood

Athleta puts together looks that are so aspirational to me.

Like this:

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This outfit evokes a desire to live somewhere that makes me feel relaxed, comfortable, peaceful and happy.

Someplace simple and clean, where the windows and maybe even doors are wide open.

Candles are lit. Possibly there’s a fire, although it is not necessary.

Bonus points for the sounds of the ocean.

In this scenario, I am not cleaning up after our dog, hibernating indoors due to subzero temps, stepping on Lego pieces with my bare feet, and generally existing in a world that is 180 degrees from my current iteration.

Both worlds contain wine, though, just to prove I’m still Me.


P.S. The shoes in the picture above are not currently for sale at Athleta. I had to track them down, but if you love them, they’re the Vionic Women’s Splendid Lou X Band.




The One That Got Away

Last week I posted about house hunting.

Spoiler: the search goes on.

Spouse and I have been going back and forth about putting in an offer on a groovy 70s house.

Not this one. Possibly worse looking.

It’s so intimidating, though.

The 70s house needs A LOT of work. The punch list starts with:

  • New master bath
  • Convert an upstairs bedroom into a master closet
  • Re-configure an upstairs hallway bathroom to an en suite with one of the bedrooms
  • New lighting fixtures in the dining room, kitchen and entry
  • New front doors
  • New garage doors
  • De-popcorn ceilings EVERYWHERE

Plus we are without sufficient furniture for at least nine rooms. The 70s house is huge.


We asked our realtor to write an offer on Thursday night, and then like magic! I found a brand new house in our neighborhood that called my name.

We asked him to set up a showing at the new property. This was Friday after work and he had an event to attend. He showed up in a tuxedo.

While the house wasn’t 100% to my taste, it came really close.

The inside was light and bright. The lines were clean.

There were two master bedrooms. The bathrooms were free of popcorn ceilings, tacky gold fixtures and wallpaper.

It smelled NEW.

I even loved the doorknobs.

It had price and location going for it. I loved the design of the interior, not to mention the sound system, energy efficiency and other high tech features.

But the tiny garage – with zero room on the lot to expand – made it a non-starter.

We had to immediately cross it off the list.

I wanted to sob.

Our realtor had brought all of the paperwork for the offer on the 70s house, but I was too sad about losing my dream of a modern house to sign at the moment. The realtor was gracious but I am sure he was not impressed by how wishy washy we (ok, me) were.

Spouse and I spun round and round on Friday night and Saturday morning, trying to decide what to do.

I think I am over-thinking at this point.

Historically, I have viewed the inability to make a decision (a non-decision, if you will) as a decision in itself. Having to hem and haw, and then talk myself into the 70s house probably isn’t the best case scenario.

The search continues.






One of The Few Things I Bought For Spring

I’m going through one of my phases where I feel like my closet is exploding, and while I have too much to wear, I still seem to have nothing suitable for most occasions.


Not my closet, but you get the gist.

I’ve also lost some weight recently and I’d rather strive to fit into the aspirational pieces of my wardrobe (they already exist, sigh) than buy something new that may prove to be transitional.

Plus I need to save money for a new house and move what I do have into it, so the net sum of all of the above is that I’m not acquiring at my usual pace.

This is something that feels quite good.

I saw this scarf on a capsule wardrobe blog that I love, Classy Yet Trendy. 

[I really, really like the styles put forth at Classy Yet Trendy. The author puts together multiple capsule wardrobes each season – French minimalist, athleisure, work outfits – and I find myself loving most of the picks. I’m ultimately striving to be like this].

Back to the scarf:

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This Gap scarf combines so many of the on trend colors of Spring 2018 (dusty pink, olive, sky blue) in a cute camo print.

I had to have it.

There are so many ways to wear this. It would look great to dress up or down. I think it would look fantastic with a chambray shirt.

Here is is with an open gray cardigan from J. Crew Factory (bought last fall):


Ok, let’s try that again:



The colors are slightly more vibrant than in the photos.

This scarf is also currently on sale for $21 at the Gap. So glad I bought it for spring.




House Hunting Update

We’re still looking for a permanent place to live.

The four of us are ready to shed our temporary digs, especially now that we’re squarely stuck in mid-winter and figuratively on top of each other in our tiny rental house.

Weekend days are long.

We dipped our toes into the real estate market about a month ago. We initially planned to start looking for a place to buy in early spring, but an open house in mid-December caught our eye.

I don’t want to post pictures of the house we looked at, but it’s a funky 1970s gem, replete with popcorn ceilings and un-retro-cool brass chandeliers.

It needs some work.

On the other hand, the proximity to work and the school district are perfect. The garage is huge, which is a major deal considering a lot of properties we’ve seen have two or even one car garages. Three is a relative anomaly, but this garage is even bigger. This is a major selling point for Spouse.

The kitchen appears to have been remodeled about ten years ago. It’s definitely not to my style but too nice to rip out.

This house is also spacious, probably to the point of being too big for the four of us. We wouldn’t have enough furniture to fill half of it at this point.

And then there is the pool. While I wouldn’t build a house with a pool (this is Minnesota, after all, and a pool is useful for about ten minutes per year), I have to admit I am intrigued about the possibility of buying a house with one already in place.

We’ve been going around and around about this property, and I’ve been scouring real estate websites for anything and everything that comes on the market. Nothing’s been right so far, even when I dream and stretch our budget beyond what is realistic.

Fortunately, we’ve got 4 1/2 more months on our lease. This sounds like a lot of time but when I do the math, it could easily take a month or two to get an offer accepted and take possession of a house.

And if the house we buy needs some work, that cuts our timeline closer to have it done by the time we need to move in.

Final thought: at least buying a house seems easier than selling a house. Spending money has always been much easier for me than making it.

Fingers crossed to find something that feels like Home.









Cheap and Cute, #3

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This headband has proven to be a really useful item.

Technically described as a “beauty band,” it’s meant to hold your hair back and keep it gunk-free as you apply makeup or skin care products.

On Sundays I often use face masks – sometimes several in a row – and this keeps all the weird bits out of my hair as the masks dry.

This is a slightly different concept. It’s an absorbent hair wrap that is supposed to help dry your hair after washing it.

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I saw this on another blog last fall and was excited to order it, since it suddenly seemed like something I needed in my life.

Turns out I haven’t quite gotten the knack of twisting it into place, so while I still like this in theory, I haven’t been reaching for it that much. For people with really longest hick hair, though, I think it could be a game changer.