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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Dog Days of Summer...

Let me tell you what Spring Break brings to the forefront of my mind...  Summer.  Yep, the long days of summer with a zillion kids running around barefoot and a lifetime supply of Otter Pops in the freezer and/or dripping across the kitchen tile.  You guys, I love these chilluns' of mine.  But really, having a week with no preschool/swim lessons/soccer practice -you name it- is enough to make me shake in my boots about the forthcoming MONTHS of no preschool.  You know?  
And preschool is a drop in the bucket!  I almost feel the pain from here of those of you who are used to having kids in school full-time who then have to revert back to having those kiddos all to yourself to have and hold, and to entertain, feed and clean up after, all the days of your summer....

Whoa.

So, forgive me for being so blunt, but WHAT THE HECK ARE WE GOING TO DO?

I'm not trying to be funny.  I'm not.  This is anything but a laughing matter.  I'm seriously searching for some solutions to keep us all off the funny farm.  Just yesterday my usually similarly tempered boys were fighting over the Clorox toilet wand, arguing back and forth over who would get the illustrious privilege of cleaning the bowl - this because I told them they had to help me clean the bathrooms - in an effort to teach them discipline, hard-work, yadda yadda.  I have three boys and three toilets people.  Which I explained very clearly and deliberately.  Did they get it?  Did it resonate?  Nnnnnope.
I have done little chore charts before, you guys, and the stickers are a hit for about a day and a half and then the whole things ends up being just one more paper fluttering on the fridge with a hodge podge of colored smiley faces glaring back at me.... laughing at me.  I have enforced quiet time when I'm about to pull out my hair and it works for my younger two for sure - who end up collapsed in a heap of sweaty exhaustion on their beds.  But it never, ever, ever works for all three - especially at the same time, and when that last hold out finally closes his eyes, it's too late and I have to rouse him five minutes later.  I have done "Wet Wednesdays" and "Friend Fridays" but it's hard to be so stringent when the cousins come and want to go to the pool on a Tuesday.  Where is my backbone, you ask?  At the hospital with the placentas, apparently.  I mean, come on, there is no way we are going to pass that up.  And blah-diggity-blah blah blah.  You catch my drift.
Sending my kids away to summer camp or boarding school was always on the list of "Things I'll never do when I have kids", but during this last spring break I asked myself, "What's life without a little addendum to your crazy a$$ lists anyway?"  I kid, I kid. 

The point is, I want the summer to be fun and memorable with a side of productivity and order please.  So I guess maybe I'm trying to make all aspects (even the work part) fun without having any more repeats over the toilet wand war of yesterday.  

And thus, hear my plea... HELP ME.  Send me your genius ideas for managing the dog days of summer.  PURTY, Puh-lease?  Or as our girl, Katy Perry, sings, "You're gonna hear me roar."

XO.
Amber

Monday, April 21, 2014

Lost Locks...

This post is for all you lucky long-locked ladies.

 Oh how I wish my hair was this long...

For pretty much my entire life, I have dreamed of having long hair. When I was little, I would put a towel over my head and pretend I had long, flowing hair.
 
But it just wasn't in the genes for me. Nope. I was blessed with thin, stringy, non-voluminous hair. And it's OK. I've come to accept it...sort of.

You see, for my whole life I have had chin (or shorter) length hair cuts. And I was good with it up until a year or so ago. I needed a change...something different. Mid-life crisis? Maybe.  So I started growing it out. And every time it got to about my shoulders, I couldn't stand it and into a ponytail it would go. Every. Single. Day. So off I'd head to get a trim. And back to the chin-length style I'd chop. This went on and on for a little more than a year. Ask my stylist. Bless her heart to put up with my unrealistic vision ;) 

And I have even looked in to different kinds of extensions and the new "Halo" thing. But I just couldn't bring myself to endure such maintenance every day. Plus I'm a tightwad.

And really all of this round-about hair chit-chat brings me to a very valid hair point. A little high-class info on a serious secret about women (and men for that matter) who have long hair..one that we short-haired people never hear about. But since I am in the "growing-out" stage once again (and it's the longest I have ever had it) I'm spilling the beans. It's this "hair-in-the-crack" syndrome that I was never privy too before. Like, before you get out of the shower you better go fishing for stray hairs because your crack is officially the catch-all for the strands that shed. No lie. So consider yourself in the know. And now when you decide to grow out those strands atop your head (hopefully with better success than yours truly) you can now be prepared for this crazy anomaly that never happens to us 
 short-haired folks.

 Oh my god laughing so much! Major long hair problem!! And in my kids, and my husband complains about it. Lol

Your welcome

XO. 
Ashley

Friday, April 18, 2014

Man Basics...

So, on Monday I wrote about the ever evolving and amorphis wardrobe essentials for women.  Today, I'd like to address the simplicity of the men's essential wardrobe list.  Which is pretty much black and white and supremely less complicated than the most stark female closet. 

Just go ahead and place a check mark next to all that apply to the men in your life:
Cargo Shorts
Jeans
T-Shirts
Button Down Shirts
Suit (you know in the off chance there is a wedding or a funeral)
Hoodies
Dress Shoes
Athletic Shoes
Khaki Pants (for work and church - what a drag)
Belt
Socks
Undies
Workout Clothes (which double as PJs and yard care attire)
Baseball Hats
& Camo (if you're from our neck of the woods this is an essential, y'all)
Oh, what's that?
Nailed it?
Dude I freakin' know!
It's like the easiest equation that ever my desk did see.  And if you're man is like mine, he owns several of the above listed "basics" in bulk.  Like khaki colored cargo shorts?  You guys, no lie, 8 pair of those babies - exact same make and model - but varying in the degree of wear and tear are in his dresser drawer even as I type.  What the?
Jeans?  I mean, maybe I'm kinda dating the guy, but never has he met a pair of original Lucky Jeans he didn't like.  And Under Armour Camo gear?  I should own a significant portion of UnderArmour by now is what - between the camo and the workout gear.

His socks and undies might as well be military standard issue and he really dislikes varying from the norm there, as well.  Like, what -- his toes might not love the placement of the sock seam of a different brand?  Oh, wait, I forget, all parts of men are "bigger and more sensitive" hence the "man cold".  Listen guys, your words, not mine. :)
Anywho... I bring this up because A) You know you've pulled the old, "Oh that?  That's SO old.  I've had that since college," which you've said about a brand spankin' new dress or shirt at least once in your life.  And B) I don't want to hear, "ANOTHER pair of shoes?" ever again for all the rest of my days.  Dude, if I had to wake up, look at my closet and decide amongst five things:  jeans, khakis, cargos, athletic shorts or suit -- I would only need a handful of shoes too.  But we are talking about an exponentially more difficult equation with hundreds - nay - thousands of factors presented to us women.  It's like a freakin' quadratic formula or something else really, really intense in the arithmetic world.  (A world I go to great measure to steer clear of)

And on that note - I'm off to buy myself a new Easter dress.  Hey, there aren't too many holidays with a built in excuse to go make a pretty addition to your closet, eh?  And gents?  You're covered if you placed a check next to the "suit" or "khaki" categories above.  Which leaves a little extra cash for mama's new shoes.  SUCH givers.  :)

XO.
Amber

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Slip Up...

Since Amber talked about the basics in her last post..I decided to add one more item to the "basic" list. And it just may date me and confirm that I am indeed a lady from yesteryear. But ladies..this one is a must have...

It's called a Slip people...
 
Now I know these, along with nylons are practically extinct in today's society. But honestly, not all of us can rock the see-thru butt look. And by "all of us" I mean no one. Not even Lady Gaga. It's just uncomfortable when you see someone standing in a thin skirt that when the sunlight hits just right, you see all of what your mama gave you. Not OK...on a million different levels.
 In Case You Were Wondering That's a See Through Dress  ---- funny pictures hilarious jokes meme humor walmart fails
And really, it's an easy fix. Sure it's another layer that we don't want to bother with. And sure they ride up to just beneath your boobs or fall down to below the skirt hem line. Not to mention the twisting and bunching. But it's just one of those things that comes along with being a girl. So suck it up ladies and dig those puppies out from the back of the sock drawer and put it back into your wardrobe rotation. 

You'll thank me when you are saved from embarrassing, mortifying moments like these girls..who obviously don't have girlfriends who have their backs.
And upon seeing all of these pics, we obviously need to have a "proper underwear fitting" conversation with America. Not all bums are created equal.

XO
Ashley

Monday, April 14, 2014

Back to Basics...

I saw a blog post a while back about basics.  And that got me to thinking, whose to say that my basics should be your basics, should be her basics?  I mean, there is no one-size fits all basic for every girl in the universe is what I'm thinking?  And for sure, my "basics" change with the seasons out of necessity.  So these Pinterest lists of "wardrobe must-haves"... I'm not so sure I'm convinced is what.
I'll be blunt with you.  Button down shirts and my line-backer, gymnast-built shoulders just never, ever provide a flattering look for me.  Not to mention I have a serious aversion to ironing.  And yet, in every fashion magazine you ever read, they'll tell you to have a sleek, white, button down in your closet because it's a total go-to.  I will see your white, but counter with a tee-shirt, because, I always do.

Let's move on to jeans.  I love a boot cut and always will, especially in a dark wash.  But lately, I also love a skinny jean for the simplicity of pairing them with ballet flats, chucks, wedges, sandals, booties (yeah, I said that... I'm a convert and I take back all the malicious bootie comments I ever made) - you name it.  The absence of bulk down there makes the shoe game a win-win-win.  What I don't yet have a testimony of is boyfriend jeans?  Maybe because unlike any boy I've ever met I actually have hips.  It blows, but then I did get this pear shape courtesy of my mama and she rocks it - so I'm learning.  I also dig some mega distressing lately - and I don't think that "distressed skinny jeans" is on the official list of basics anywhere in the world except for right here at mi casa where when paired with a cool vintage t-shirt, some flips, and a top knot I'm pretty much ready to keep pace with my little crew of rowdies.  Don't tell me that top knots are "so yesterday" because I might just curl up in the fetal position and die.  That's how much I love them.
I love baseball shirts more than I love most other things in life.  I go a little gaga for "Mad Men-esque" dresses of the A-line cut these days. I'm a fan of capris and I don't even know if they're in at all this season, or ever will be again, except in my closet.  I never go anywhere without packing my jean jacket because I've only ever met a handful of dresses and get ups it doesn't totally gel with.  And I adore any shade of blue next to my face to bring out my eyes.

And I bet you're thinking - "Not I".  And I get it.  Because, back me up on this one… but it just might be that the little black dress is THE only thing that actually should be on a universal "basics" list.  Fine, I'll give you diamond stud earrings, but that's it, y'all.  After that I must draw the line in the sand.  
So, do tell, what are your basics of late?
And if you're like me and you'd like to declare war on the fashion editors of all my {secretly} favorite magazines and their crazy "basics" lists - Cheers! 
You're in good company.
Or so I tell myself.  :)
XO
Amber

P.S. Our girl Holly was SO right on the Kirkland brand exercise pants.  You guys... they SHOULD be a basic in your workout wardrobe.  Because that shiz stays put on the old waist line no matter the number of miles you run (cough) walk.  Miracle of all miracles I tell you!  Point for team blog in solving that crisis!  :) 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Yard Sale 101...

 LOL! I love the frankness of this yard sale sign.
Listen y'all...I have done my fair share of yard sales. And every time I do it, I swear I'll never do another one again. You know..it's like having another kid. It sounds like a good idea..until you are in the thick of it and there is no going back. It's like a memory trap. God makes you forget about all the hard stuff so you'll do it again. He's a smart one I tell you ;)

And really...I do forget how much work they really are to get ready for. And I get suckered in to it EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And really... is a few hundred dollars (if you are lucky) really worth it? That's a negative! 

And I really pride myself in my abilities to de-junk and let go...so I'm usually making weekly donation trips to our local thrift shop. But then I start getting a few bigger items and have a hard time parting with them..knowing I could make a few, easy bucks. Money trap!
http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/95/9f/ce/959fce5aed020900af2da8521cd9676b.jpg
So then I get this genius idea to have a garage sale! (I'm shaking my head in disgust right now). Because as I type, my garage is filled with tables, and colored price stickers and lots and lots of junk. I've even convinced a few of my neighbors to join in on this "fun." I know..I'm the devil right? 

But really..there is something to be said of a good find. When you actually come across something in good condition...that's super cheap...that you really do need right? It's the best feeling..like you just won gold in the Olympics or climbed Mt. Everest. And bragging rights  are definitely in order.
May the garage sale odds be ever in your favor.
 So if you are bored this Saturday and you want to add more crap to your house and more money in my pocket. Then head on over..because really, I'm not gonna lie. There is some good stuff. And the old adage is true..Another mans junk..is another mans treasure. And for the last hour, my neighbor and I have been swapping junk. Sighhh...

XO.
Ashley


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Road Trippin...

It goes without saying that road trips are rad. Just the mention of the words "spring break" or "vacation" conjure up the best images and make my lips turn up into a smile.

Wanna know what no one talks about when they tell you stories of their road trips? 
The dark side of road trips also known as the part involving kids.  Dun dun dun....
The constant schlepping. The sleep scenarios gone awry. The tantrums at the pools and the parks and everywhere in between due to the complete abandon of any semblance of routine. The comatose children in the car seats who are sunburned and over-tired and hungry, who you desperately want to have a nap but puh-lease not right now since it's too late, and if you can stave them off for one more hour you'll just lay the little lambs in bed and hope they        make it through the night and not wake up before the butt crack of dawn. The laundry piles     that resemble the great pyramids of Egypt. The five days of nothin' but fishy crackers and       juice boxes and otter pops. 
It's all so universally horrid and perfect that I know you know exactly what these marathon     days feel like because you've been there, done that. And the ironic part is we all keep doing  it and will do it 'til the end of time for those little breaks from routine and the freedom to           explore somewhere new with those little monsters we totally adore and can't imagine your     life without who wreak of sunscreen and stickiness. 
 
You guys. I am in the trenches even as I type. And I'm flying as the solo parental figure which makes me equal parts hero and inflictor of all great injustices. I am going on day three of a   diet solely comprised of diet coke, strawberries, and chocolate that is consumed at one         sitting each night when those kids are blessedly asleep. I haven't washed my hair once         because on day one I had no intention of getting into the pool but then I had to jump in rookie            lifegaurd style to save a kid sans floaters and now what's the point since the same      scenario will repeat itself a dozen more times in the next few days intermixed with some         running, some sunscreen, and another chlorinated splash park, and, well, I've embraced the trucker hat one hundred percent. The fact that I am about to lower myself to swimsuit and      coverup status for the rest of said road trip means I am completely immersed because what's the point in primping and getting ready? It's spring break after all... Time to stop and smell the roses or something like that.
 
Bottom line, if you run into me in delightful Dixie just turn and walk in the opposite direction.   It's all good. No hard feelings. Because with certainty, I'll be the chick holding a flailing little man who doesn't want to leave the carousel who is pulling her hat down further over her       greasy hair to remain anonymous while luring the other two closer to the car with lollipops     like a crazy person.
God bless us, every one. Face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye And happy road trippin' to you and you and you!
 
Xo
Amber