Suit up.

By ‘suit up’ I mean don a jumpsuit, of course.  Summer formal-wear, if you will.

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This is my new favorite item of clothing.  And I’m as surprised by that as anyone.  You see, I’ve resisted the urge to try rompers or jumpsuits for a long while.  I guess it just takes me much longer than the average person to begin to like a new fad, let alone be willing to dip my toe – or whole body, as the jumpsuit case may be – into it.

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It’s comfy.  It’s one piece.  And maybe I’m delusional, but I think it looks kind of adorable.

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There was a moment of sheer glee when I slipped it on and found jumpsuit love.

“You mean…I get to wear this out into public?  And it’s socially acceptable?  But…but…it’s comfier than some of my PJ’s!”  Score.

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This one is from Forever 21 (I don’t believe in spending a lot of money on ‘fad’ clothes).  I am tempted to run out and buy up a few more in varying patterns.  And then wear them far past their vogue prime.

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Do you own a jumpsuit or romper?  Is it a fashion fad you like? 

 

Sweekend.

It was a sweekend of simple things.  And the weekend was so sweet, convincing me that the sum of simple things is immeasurably great.  Don’t you agree?

The company I work for has several locations around the state and one in a nearby city moved to a new office last week.  I went up on Friday to provide some brawn and help with the move.  I arrived home late that evening, tuckered out.  Kevin ordered a pizza in and we watched episode after episode of The Big Bang Theory.  And he rubbed my poor tired feet.  I married a gem.

Saturday morning simple included a trip to the farmer’s market where we snagged some fresh basil, squash, and garlic.  Then we stopped by the library so I could pick up three books that had been placed on hold.

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We then embarked on a very special outing.  We had decided to have Flo cremated and she was ready to be brought home.  Naturally, there were a few tears and shared “remember when…” memories.  We read and watched some John Wayne on AMC.  Then we went to the mall and Target – always a fun, if expensive, experience.

Dinner that night was so unbelievably delicious.  It’s the dinner that I want to eat every day.  At least once a day.  Maybe twice.  Kevin was in the Seattle area a few weeks ago and he picked up a pound of basil fettuccine at Pike’s Place Market.  We combined that with some of his besto pesto, made with the basil and garlic we’d scored at the farmers market that morning.  So. so. so. delicious.  There was a lot of silence and contented sighs as we ate.

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Our sweet little Kiki cat wasn’t interested in pasta but did keep us company.  Kiki and Flo lived together for 11 years, so we have been keeping a close eye on Kiki – she’s a genius cat, but even she can’t say, “Hey, humans, I’m feeling sad and lonely without my pal here.”  She has been eating well and drinking, so we think that physically, she’s doing okay.  She has been spending more time with us (she’s very independent and has a fair amount of Kiki-time), which we love.  She is most definitely a comfort to us.

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After dinner we watched American Hustle – a Netflix disc that we’d (embarrassingly) had in our possession since May.  It was pretty enjoyable.  The sound was terrible though – lots of whispering and mumbling that had us hitting the + on the volume…just to have the music (great soundtrack) BLARING out unexpectedly.  Kids these days and their lack of enunciation and their loud music….  As Ross says, “There is nothing WRONG with speak-ing correctly.”

Sunday brought breakfast with my great aunts and uncles (the breakfast crew).  And a trip to Whole Foods for provisions.  Then we read and relaxed a bit on the back patio before braving the rain to make a trip to the gym.  I huffed and puffed my way through 2 miles on the treadmill.  We were home in time for more relaxation to the sounds of a lovely rainstorm.  The traditional Sunday night dinner was taken at one of my favorite restaurants with Kevin’s parents.

Such a sweet weekend, filled with simple things and time with my favorite guy.

Have you seen American Hustle?  What simple, wonderful things did your weekend include?

Current obsessions.

Thank you for the kind comments, texts, phone calls, thoughts, prayers, and LOVE that you have offered Kevin and me since our sweet white cat passed away.  We have felt so supported and cared for as we grieve.  Thank you. 

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Current obsessions – face edition.  I am recognizing the importance of buying quality face products as I age.  After all, skin is both an organ and an envelope.  It needs to be around for as long as I am, so I want to treat it nicely and take good care of it.  These are some of my current obsessions for face care.  My starting five – dream team, if you will.

(All opinions are my own and this post was not sponsored by anyone.  If any of the companies below want to send me free products, well, I wouldn’t say no.)

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This primer.  It feels like silk.  And it has an illuminating part to it that makes me feel like I can just wear it on days that I don’t want to deal with full makeup but DO want little light coverage.

This illuminator.  This stuff is awesome.  It really brightens up my eyes and highlights just the right amount.  Today I’m even wearing it all over my face (foundation-like) and it makes my skin look dewy.  It’s light too – perfect for summer.

This face lotion for day.  30 spf for a little protection against those UVA’s and UVB’s and it goes on really lightly.

This oil for night.  I live in a very dry climate.  My face would feel tight and uncomfortable within seconds of drying it off after a wash.  This oil has worked wonders.  My skin feels healthier and so well hydrated.  My makeup goes on more smoothly too.

This moisturizer for night.  I just began using this one and I love it.  It’s smooth and light and smells like roses.  Win-win-win.

No matter how nice it is to use a pretty scented moisturizer or a silky primer, at the end of the day it’s the beauty inside that matters most.  I hope that’s what people see when they look at themselves – pure beauty from the inside out….  That kind of beauty is not fleeting and it doesn’t need any lotions, primers, or products.  Kindness is free, and it has the ability to make a lasting, positive impact on the world.

This is a nice reminder of that sentiment:

What are a few of your current obsessions – beauty related or otherwise? 

Little cat, big personality.

We’ve known all along that the smallest being in our household possessed the biggest personality – real cattitude, in fact.  Rarely would we walk into the house without a greeting at the door by this little gal.

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She would stake out a comfy nook on the bed with us each night and voice her displeasure sternly if disturbed.  If a cabinet door was open, she would be set to explore the interior.  If there was ledge or a window sill to jump on, she’d feel called to jump on it.

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She was a cuddler – on her terms, of course.  If there was a lap to sit on, she’d declare, “Well, don’t mind if I do,” and curl up to nap or bathe.

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She looked forward to her wet food each day – starting to chow down at her bowl enthusiastically, then moving over to Kiki’s bowl to finish what Kiki had abandoned, and finally making her way back to her original bowl to finish off what she’d started.  She was all girl – from her pink collar to her love of Gossip Girl and Fashion Police.

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She had a little black spot on her nose and a few black marks on the bottom of her paws.  Pure white, except for a bit of grey on the top of her head.  She’d bathe for hours each day – a white coat doesn’t clean itself, you know.  She loved gazing out the window, and her mischievous self even made it outside a couple of times, much to her humans’ dismay.  She loved suitcases and boxes.

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For over three years, we have known about her heart condition.  She has been on medication since the beginning and she would eat her pill pocket treats each day like a champ. (We did ruin salmon flavored pill pockets for her though, when we gave her a cherry flavored children’s Benadryl following an allergic reaction.  Apparently salmon and cherry Benadryl are not a nice pairing and she would look at us with disdain if we tried to give her a salmon pill pocket!)  She was the queen of photo bombs and home repair projects – always there to offer a helping paw.

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For nearly 12 years, she was a faithful sidekick to Kevin – or, more likely, it was the other way around and he was her sidekick – and cat-roomie to Kiki.  I came along four years ago.  She seemed happy to have double the lap options, and I was happy to fall in love with her.  On Thursday, July 17, 2014, in the early morning, our beloved Flo passed away.  It was probably a blood clot, and we hope, pray, and tell ourselves that it was fast and painless.  We are relieved that she was her healthy, mischievous self to the very end – it would have been horrid to watch her decline and lose her Flo-spirit.  But still…she has left a void in our big house.  Her body mass may not have taken much square footage, but her personality filled the place to the rafters.

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We are very grateful for the love and companionship that she offered and…gosh, we miss her.

 

Road trip by the numbers.

Destination:  Lubbock, TX

The why:  To provide moral support, opinions, gleeful exclamations, and squeals of excitement while Tiffany tried on wedding dresses. 

Miles driven:  638

Hours in car:  10

Speed limit zones:  10

Stops for fuel:  2

Fuel prices at aforementioned fuel stops:  $3.55 and $3.59 per gallon

Strong smells that tickled the nostrils:  2
(oil and feedlots/dairies – people in each industry would say that it “smells like money”)

Number of times I sighed and thought, “Good job, God,” about the scenery:  I lost count.

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Songs:  approximately 150
(assuming an average length of four minutes per song)

Sobriety checkpoints:  0.5
(One was closing up shop as I approached, so while they waved me right through and I didn’t have to stop, I count it as half a checkpoint.)

Number of times I felt lost in Lubbock:  5
(They love their loops in Lubbock, and I kept looping.)

People in the dress shopping entourage:  6
(Plus the bride!)

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The dress shopping crew + Tiff’s dad, who had no interest in dresses but did have an interest in LUNCH.

Dresses Tiff tried on:  approximately 15

Bridal shops visited:  2

Dresses seriously considered:  4

Narrowed down to:  3

Then finally: 2

Dresses purchased:  1

Which one?  Your guess is as good as mine!  She loved these two and bought one of them – but isn’t telling anyone which one she chose.

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Which gets your vote?

The halfway point in China – China letter VIII.

{This year I am sharing the letters that I sent to my family and friends when I lived in China back in 2007.  This is the eighth letter I sent home.}

Written (approximately) in early July 2007.

Well, the halfway point has arrived.  The first three months were the hardest.  Once the homesickness passed and I adjusted, I really started to enjoy my life here.  Half of the OSU representatives have left, as well as many of the management and non-management employees at the hotel.

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One of the doctors in the clinic at the hotel has a 16-year-old son who will be going to study in England next year.  She wants him to practice his English with a native English speaker, so she asked me to spend some time with him to practice his conversation skills.  Well, technically, she had one of the trainers at the hotel (Linda) ask me because she (the doctor) can’t speak English.  You can’t really say no to a request like that so that’s how I wound up spending one Saturday afternoon with Michael (the kid), Linda, and Michael’s parents.  Michael seems very nice, and luckily he can already speak English quite well. Not that he spoke a great deal. Apparently I’m intimidating. Linda really is intimidating.  When she tells you to do something, you do it.  Whenever I would say something in English, she would make him explain what I had said to his parents in Chinese.  What they said in Chinese, he had to communicate to me in English. Poor kid.  We had an enjoyable afternoon though, watching table tennis on TV (ESPN baby) and walking around the neighborhood.

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For dinner, his parents took Linda and me to a Chinese restaurant.  They were impressed with my ability to use chopsticks and my ability to handle really spicy food.  I explained that I picked up the chopsticks quickly when I decided I couldn’t go a year without eating and that I was raised on Mexican food.  Speaking of Mexican food, everyone eat some for me this week.  I’m craving it.  Anyway, about a quarter of the way through the meal, the electricity went out in the restaurant.  We ate by candlelight for the next 30 minutes or so.  That was probably how I managed to eat some of the fish head, which, by the way, was delicious.  FYI, at a restaurant it costs more to order the fish head than the entire fish.

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Other weird food that I have tried recently includes cow stomach and pork intestines. Look at me…broadening my horizons.  I’ve learned to not stare at a dish too long trying to figure out what it is, because if you have to analyze it that hard, you probably just don’t want to know.

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I have also taken to carrying an umbrella in my handbag at all times.  It rains more than I’ve ever seen in my entire life (I know–I’m from the desert so that’s not saying much).  A few times, I’ve been sure that we were about to have a typhoon.

Last weekend was the 10th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China.  Huge deal.  Hong Kong was packed.  We went to the island on Saturday and stayed the night in a hostel (more like a guesthouse) ran by some Scandinavians.  Sunday afternoon we participated in a pro-democracy march, which was much more peaceful than I had anticipated.  No fights or riots.  I was a little disappointed.  I did sign a petition to save RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong), which seemed like a very important issue for me to take a stand on.

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Hope everyone is well!  Let me know how you are and as always, you’re all in my thoughts and prayers.

Love,

Amy

Sweekend.

It was a celebration kind of sweekend, appropriate for America’s birthday.  It has been hot and humid (relatively, of course) with lovely afternoon rain showers coming through to cool things down.  Not a bad setting….

Friday:

On Friday morning, Kevin and I road tripped two hours south to a little place in the middle of wide open spaces.  My family reunion was happenin’ in those parts and we had a great time.  Chatting with people, watching the kids bust open a piñata, and eating.  The theme was Mexican food for Friday and it was quite the buffet, including a toure de enchilada casserole with around six to choose from.  Not one to discriminate, I tried each and every option.  We sat on benches at the long cafeteria style tables, watching and listening to the rain on the tin roof of the open-sided cover.  A lovely way to spend the 4th.  My patriotic scarf kept me warm in the fresh, cool summer rains.

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We left the campers to their RV’s and tents and cabins and headed home late that afternoon.

Saturday:

On Saturday morning my car and I made a trip to the car spa for an oil change and a car wash.  She felt so pampered.

We ran errands and prepared for a BBQ that we were hosting that night.  My husband, the Grillmaster, whipped up some excellent burgers and hot dogs, and we had some tasty sides to go along.  Around a dozen friends stopped by and it was the perfect size group to sit outside on the covered patio and eat and talk and listen to the rain.

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Sunday:

On Sunday morning, I met up with the lovely Leann for a trip to the farmer’s market and brunch on a cozy patio.

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We stopped by a bookstore to peruse and managed to get our hands on a couple of Advanced Reader Copies to review.  Pressure!  The afternoon was spent relaxing at home with the Kevster.  We read, taking a short break to nap and then run to Starbucks.  He’s reading the second book in the Harry Potter series and I’m reading it over his shoulder.  He We finished it last night.  We had dinner with Kevin’s dad at our house and then his dad had to go to the airport to pick up Kevin’s mom.

It was a very sweet weekend!  Rain!  Good food!  Great company!  And Harry Potter.  Sweekend indeed.

How was your weekend?  Did you enjoy any firework shows?