Last week, I posted a weeklong wardrobe for guys based off of things in the husband's closet.  The funny part of that, is that he was actually using pinterest to find out what he was wearing on what day.
This week, I thought it might be fun to do the same with mine.  I won't need the visuals the way the husband does though, I hope.

If you're looking at what I'm putting together and thinking I don't have anything that looks like that, let alone in that color, don't worry about it.  Style isn't about running to the store and buying exactly what someone else is wearing.  It's about dressing your body, with things that look and feel great on it.  Your fit, size, and color palette will be different than mine, and that's ok.  Hopefully, it will reflect a part of who you are too.

My outfits started out with pajamas on Monday.  Yeah, I just couldn't bring myself to go to work.  I spoke with the Bob's, decided I really wasn't missing it.  For those of you that have been following along with the blog, you'll recall I was put on some new drugs last week.  They work, they're just keeping me awake, so at day three with about an hour of sleep, I may really have been talking to the Bob's.  Readjusting the meds, and am sleeping once again.  But if any of you see me talking to myself this week.  Do me a favor and just pretend it's not happening, plzkthx.

I've found that the more under the weather I feel, the more ridiculous I want my pj's to be.  I personally prefer yellow duckies, in flannel.  They make me feel better.  A comfy blanket, my ipad, some netflix with a documentary, and if you're lucky enough to have anything in a light blue package with a white bow, you're bound to feel better, at least at some point.

Tuesday was much better.  I was back to just feeling silly around the edges from lack of sleep, and left the duckies at home.  Some comfy cords, sweater, vest and jewelery made by yours truly rounded out the ensemble.

Wednesday I'll be moving equipment around at a client site, so I wanted something easy to move in.  Being a woman in the IT field can be annoying at times.  You have to figure in your shoes and hairstyles into your schedule so you're not carrying equipment around in 4" heels, or trying to keep your hair out of your face as you're squished under a desk hooking up cables.

Thursday, for fun, I went with a nautical theme.  The stripes are big for winter and spring, and I was missing my heels.  I'll toss a pair of flats in my tote, just in case, but with any luck, I can enjoy being tall.  Ok, so I'm still not tall, but I can at least reach some shelves with heels on.

Friday is casual at our office, and being that our dress code for everyday is smart casual, we can wear jeans.  I'll be sporting my DKNY skinnys with a pair of Aldo boots.  I managed a really neat vest (Old Navy) at a consignment shop a few weeks ago, as well as an orange Relic bag.  Both have which have become wardrobe favorites and staples for me.  Pairing them up with some fun jewelry, also made by me and with any luck, the guys and I will be interviewing some poor guys who sent in resumes.
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Dino Poo
For those of you who are familiar with Logan, you're also aware of his love of dinosaurs.  The fascination has been going on since he had personal interests, and we tend to indulge it as much as we can.  A few weeks ago we visited the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.  They have a wonderful dinosaur hall where both boys, ok three boys, were more than happy to gaze at the bones of some long dead critter for hours.  In typical man fashion they even got to look at poo.  That's right, they have petrified dino poo there.  Mostly I think it's just to fascinate the male of our species.
Some of the highlights were pretty spectular though.  In the lab, a few students were cleaning up a new dinosaur, one that hasn't been published yet.  We got to watch as some of the plaster packing was opened and the specimens were cleaned.
Dave proving he has successfully tamed the T-Rex.
We looked though the animal halls of more dead, mounted creatures.  Many which are endangered, or are able to lick their own eyeballs and clean out their ears.  Yeah, makes for a good visual doesn't it?  Also in the collection there, more dead things, Mummies!
The entire museum is well done and laid out.  Great for kids as all the exibits are at their level, and even the notes for the exibits are written at their reading level.

This one is the size of a pygmy hippo.
The next day, we bundled up and headed to prison.  Eastern State Penetentiary is a unique relic in Philadelphia, that if you have the chance to go see it, you should.  The outside is imposing.  The place looking more like a medieval castle than early 19th century prison.  30 foot stone walls surround the entire property and make it seem more imposing than modern prisons with just chain link, razor wire and armed guards.  The fact that it's crumbling doesn't help the matter, and you do get an eerie feeling as you pass onto the property.
Eastern State.  Just inside the property.
The have both guided and self guided tours.  We decided on the guided one, which was the way to go, the guide was friendly, and knowlegeable, happily answering questions as they were asked.
Logan, being the intrepid watcher of Ghost Adventures that he is was wanting to look at all the 'haunted' places and was more than happy to relate the ghost story of Al Capone's cell to the husband.  There's no doubt about it, the place is creepy and imposing.
Inside one of the cells.
In it's time it was meant to be a place for penitence.  Even the doors to the cells are designed to make the prisoners bow their heads as they enter and leave the cells.  Unless you're short, like me, then the design is lost on you.  Each cell had a window made to look like an eye, as though you were being watched.  And after hearing about the state of indoor plumbing in 1829,(toilets flushed once a week, and the heat and waste line running next to each other) I'm thinking that was all part of the grand scheme of punishment.
After numerous discussions around here of late about the ill-will I bear our home, it was decided that we fix that.  It was even jointly decided that we fix that, which is a huge thing.  Huge!

Originally it was thought to put up some photos, make things look nicer, but adding some photos wasn't going to make me like it here more. I had kind of reached the end of my rope with this house, the things in it and how I was really the only one who cared what it looked like.  To top it off, I'm sick to death of tan and brown.   So, with a resolute attitude, and the effects of the prednisone with me, the husband and I embarked on tearing apart the family room.

The family room, previously had a custom bar in it that used to be jewelery cases, they were cool, but their time is past. An amazing slate topped pub table (bought for next to nothing at the Salvation Army, brand new too!), which is now gracing the eat-in kitchen and my collection of books, some of which are now at the local book shop being traded in for credit, rounded out the room.

Once we unloaded everything out of the room, and it was nice and echoy, we each got busy with the crow bars, pulling up the trim.  Now, trim on paneling is just as craptastic as you're envisioning.  Quarter round at the celing and general moulding at the baseboards.  The quarter round came off easy enough, but the baseboards...
Well, let's just say when we put the click-lock flooring in, we did a great job.  It's so tight to the baseboards, it took some serious tinkering with it to get it out without damaging the floors.  Once we had a system going, everything came down pretty easily, and quickly.

After taking a number of long, long looks at some takes on French Cottage style and visiting a few resale and antique stores we have some great ideas for the family room.  Yes, I said we.  Things we agree on.  Once we have the wallboard hung, taped, mudded, room painted, windows caulked, mantle for the fireplace built...
You see where this is going.

For the now though, we are triumphant!  We came, we attacked with our crowbars and we gave that paneling what for.  Then, in white trash style, we dumped it on what passes for our curb.

Please hurry trash day, I don't even like the paneling outside the house.  Even if it does match the mud.

P.S.  Below are some photos of said room.

Bar Area, pre-demo

Fireplace pre-demo

From where the door was removed - last year.  Yes, I had a hole in my house.  Yes, the husband and I had words about it.

Kitty, inspecting the demo.  She says we are up to code, and happy we don't have to insulate.

More demo.
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There comes a time  in every relationship where you're getting ready to go out and your date/spouse/significant other comes to you and says how do I look?  You have no good answer for them, because you had no idea they even owned stuff that old, that bad, and that out of style.  And OMG in a few different colors.  How did that happen?  And were you guilty of buying it?
It's a long process to get that other person to really care.  I won't lie to you.  But, there is an easy way to approach it.  You put time effort and energy into looking nice for that person out of respect for them.  Don't they want to do the same for you?  Just deliver it nicely.  If you're a guy reading this and you've heard that line in some fashion, sorry, but that's just how we women roll.
I think, finally out of desperation, I was called in to assess the disaster that was my husbands closet and fix it.  I also think he finally got tired of looking like he was dressed in garanimals every day.  So, we went shopping. He tried on clothes he didn't like on the rack, and then came out saying I look fantastic, this feels great, can we get one in every color?  The answer is a resounding no the last one, just in case you were wondering.
This week I put together outfits for each day.  Most of these are things in his closet, or something very close.  Polyvore is not the best for men's clothing, but you guys who are looking can at least get an idea.
Keep in mind too when you go shopping you MUST try things on.  And reread the rules I posted last week about clothes shopping, don't just buy things to buy them.
Without further ado, here are the outfits.  Go forth and accessorize, guys!
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This has been one of those weeks where nothing goes the way you think it should.  And I really do mean nothing.  There were the things I had scheduled, and the things that cropped up that weren't.  The things that are expected and then the ones that aren't.
This was the week of things that every woman dreads.  The yearly physical.  It's not that I don't like my family practioner.  I do.  Her name is Lorraine and if you live in Central Pa, I highly recommend her.  It's more just that there is nothing like having another woman feel you up and not even so much as offer to get you a drink.  She even asked me at one point as she was groping me during the exam to let her know if I felt anything out of the ordinary.  Apparently, that means other than another woman feeling up the girls.
Who knew?
We also had a lively discussion about various drugs and options for a few of the issues I have.  For those of you just joining in on the fun of Dawn on Drugs, I'll sum it up quick.  What drugs are supposed to do for people, they don't generally do for me, and if there are side effects to be had, I get them, in spades, sometimes even new ones.
In the end, we finally decided on a short course of some pretty nasty drugs that may in fact do great things.  I'll let you know how it goes, and if I end up with a tail, or something equally amusing, I'll include photos.
In the mean time, after a nutritious dinner of gf chicken nuggets, fries and some beer tonight, I'll be playing Monopoly, the Spongbob edition with the fam.  I can only hope I get to be Gary.

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When you can't have wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, kidney beans, things from the nightshade family and certain meats, your food options are fairly slim.  I don't know how others have handled it, but after the shock and awe of it all I realized that if I ever wanted to feel like a person again, I was going to have to eat differently.

Food shopping at first was a nightmare.  A quick trip to the store to pick up a few things turns into a three hour tour of hell when you have to read every label and call the manufacturer to verify things. 

Gluten free food, let me clarify that, PACKAGED gluten free food, for the most part, tastes bad.  And by bad, I mean you don't want to smell it, let alone put it in your mouth.  There are some exceptions to this (thank you, good people from Enjoy Life!) but for the most part, it's unexciting and doesn't make you look forward to meals.  So, I don't generally buy it.

A lot of people ask me, "just what is it you eat?"  The answer to that is the same things you do, just prepared differently, and I make a lot of it from scratch using fresh ingredients.  In addition to the no eat list above, I have to watch my sugar intake, and anything that's been fermented, like alcohol.

What happens if you don't eat gluten free, is usually the next question I get asked.  The answer is, you don't really want to know.  Trust me.  It isn't pretty and can include anything from pain to massive infections.

The other thing I should mention is living with others who aren't gluten free, or in my case, everything but air free.  Gluteny people are messy.  Their crumbs get everywhere.  They stick their gluten covered knives in the peanut butter, wipe their hands on kitchen towels, and they have the nerve to drink out of your glass!  Basically, they contaminate your world. 

Next Friday I'll be posting our menu here for the week and one of the recipes that we use.  Right now I'm only thinking ahead to breakfast tomorrow morning, and that's going to be muffins.  Normally we use a modified version of the Big Banana Muffins by Karina Allrich.  Tomorrow morning I think we're going to try her orange almond muffins, maybe with some craisins thrown in for good measure.

Happy eating!
For some time I've been collecting photos.  We have a large bin just hanging out in the basement of everything from school pictures to candid shots of life in general. We also have a second larger bin of picture frames of various shapes, sizes, colors and materials.  Then, there are the gigs of photos on our pc's that will need to be sorted through.  The thought of that really gives me a headache, but it needs done before they get deleted, or one of the pc's dies and we lose a bunch of them.  I have two little projects in mind to get the photos out of the basement, and the digitals out where they can be enjoyed.

Project #1 is a wall photo arrangement.  The plan is to get all the frames out, see how many I have and what shapes they are.  Paint them so they all match or coordinate in some complementary way.  Then hang them in a manner that's visually interesting and appealing.  Lucky for us, we have a number of walls in the house still lacking decoration.

I've posted a few of my ideas to pinterest to conceptualize for the husband who's extremely visual.  You can check them out here.

The wall decals I'm considering are from DaliDecals.com.  Though in one of the photos you'll find words in the photo frames which is a great idea too.

I'll be sorting through the photos this weekend and figuring out which wall to put my hair-brained scheme on.  My options are the wall going up the stairs, the dining room, pretty much any of those walls and the back hallway between the kitchen and family room.

Project #2 are the digital photos.  We use XBMC connected to the TV in the living room to control the audio and video functions.  It also allows you to turn your tv into a giant digital photo frame.  I'll be importing our photos there and backing them up properly so they're not lost.

Next Thursday I'll be posting the finished products along with a tutorial of how I put it all together.

See you next Thursday!
Throughout my day, as I visit clients, or even when out to lunch, I'm frequently complemented on my outfits.  It's not because I spend a fortune on my clothes.  Far from it.  In fact, rather often you'll find that a good part of my wardrobe is thrifted.  That's right, the Salvation Army is my bff.  Consignment shops, my buddies.  And, like all good relationships, we agree to abide by some rules.

  1. You must love it if you going to buy it.  And I mean LOVE it.  Not just say it'll do for now.
  2. Don't get attached to size.  I'm a 2, 4, 6, 27, 36, 0, XS, S, and shoes 7.5, 8, 8.5 and 38. 
  3. It must fit like it was made just for you.
  4. It must be of good to great quality.
  5. It must make you feel beautiful.
  6. It should be worth what you're paying for it.

I'm not an overly vain person, but I see enough people every day that have the 'given up' look going on.  I can only hope that one day they go into their closet like I did a few years ago and say I don't feel beautiful (or totally badass, if you're a guy or a honey badger) in that.

The above is what we'll be wearing tomorrow.  Many pieces are thrifted, a few were sales so awesome, I'm still gloating years later.  But no matter what, I know I'm going to feel beautiful.

What did you wear today, and how do you feel?
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Each day is an adventure here.  I think I forgot what normal feels like a long time ago.  I'm not sure when normal left, but it's gone, baby, gone.
Normal these days consists of the same things everyone does.  We get up, go to school, or work, do our thing, then come home, have some family time, some time to pursue our interests and we sleep.  So what's not normal about that, you may be asking.  Try, for a day, doing it wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, egg, refined sugar and kidney bean free.  That's right, I said kidney bean.  Not too hard right?  Awesome, now juggle your own business.
Still going strong?  Add in a 13 year old with PDD-NOS.  That's autism for any of you not up to date on your DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) codes.  Oh, and before I forget to mention it, he has a pacemaker too, due to be replaced in a few months.  And then there's the other one with ADHD, he's 10.
The husband, only has a broken spine with a nifty erector set holding him together.  That almost doesn't count.  And did I mention he and I work together?  Yeah, some days that can be fun.  More fun when clients know  we're married, but not to each other.
So how do we do it?  I have no clue.  Really.  I get up, do what needs done, beat down the dust bunnies when I have a few minutes I'm not asleep and do it again the next day.  Each day I find a little gem in there somewhere.  Today's little gem was the autistic wunderkind did not have a flaming meltdown at the doctor's office over a shot.  A few tears, yes, some fear, absolutely.  Did it take 2 of us to hold him down?  Nope, not today, today my friends, was a win.

Tomorrow though, is another day.
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I really love reading a few personal blogs.  I follow them rather religiously.  The rest, as I peruse, I find myself amused at how perfect their lives are.  The 2.5 children, perfect marriages, the activities they do, the crafts they make, and the time these women have to photo it all, write about it and keep up with their blogs. On top of all that, they're all perfect!  These families have no problems, issues, I don't even think they have dust bunnies (if photos can be believed).  It makes me tired.
My life, not nearly as perfect.  I have problems, issues, and dust bunnies.  I'm married, have kids, a business, hobbies, and of course a home to take care of.
So what is the point of this blog?  Sharing my interests, thoughts, and feelings on everyday life.
Feel free to comment, constructively.  Those that aren't, will simply be deleted.  There's enough hate in the world, I'm not going to foster more of it.