All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Friday Favorites – Blah

I did a TERRIBLE job of remembering my favorite things of the week.  I snapped some photos here and there, but I must have been in a funk.

Favorite Parenting Moment(s) of the Week:

Straight out of my FB post:

My kids do really well at the mall until… I’m in a line. They both lost their minds as I was ordering their Chipotle and the guy behind me told me how much Matthew reminded him of his son… And that it really does get easier every year. Truly what I needed to hear (it’s usually men who say the right thing in situations like this). We chatted, I thanked him for his kind words, and we went on our way. Until he came back 10 minutes later with a cookie for each of the boys, saying he waited until he saw that they ate a good lunch. He told the boys to be nice to their mom the rest of the day. And then Matthew said, “that man is very nice!”. Yes… Yes he is.


This parenting moment reminded me that we have ALL been there, and that the only thing to say to other parents in difficult situations is that… we have ALL been there and that they’re doing great.

Favorite Outfit of the Week:


Here are those camo leggings again, and the “Don’t Shoot” bear shirt… but I edged it up with buckled tall black boots and let me tell you – I looked badass.  I got a few, “whoa, edgy, love it” comments from the moms.  😉

Favorite Family Time of the Week:

Our weekend was soooo busy with family!  My aunt and her guy were in town on Saturday for a visit.  The boys LOVE them like grandparents – well – differently than grandparents because they are so young at heart and act like kids with the boys.  They do everything with my kids that my parents don’t.  They are engaged, loving, and fun, fun, fun!  I took these quick photos of the boys dancing with them outside our favorite restaurant!

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We headed to Hottie’s parents’ on Sunday for his dad’s birthday.  The boys and I made him a chocolate cake with super rich ganache frosting.  The boys decorated it and we headed up, made lunch for everyone, had cake, and over-stayed our welcome (not really, because they are never ready for the kids to leave).  Hottie’s parents are everything my parents aren’t, and the boys feel sooooo loved by them.  We love going there!

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Favorite Surprise of the Week:

New Year’s Eve is almost around the corner and I have the dress and earrings, but no necklace.  I have been shopping for something to match the earrings and just could not find anything cheap.  I do have an old marcasite Judith Jack necklace but the style doesn’t match the earrings.  So Hottie and I started searching on Ebay for something that would match the earrings and we found something that I LOVED, but it was more money than I wanted to spend.  I really wanted to spend $20.00 max.  HA!

So Hottie said, “just get it,” and I said no way.  There was no way I’d spend more than I wanted to spend on a necklace I’d wear just a few times.  I had the necklace in my watch list and headed to the mall to search for something cheap (again).  NOTHING.  I was lamenting my frustration to Hottie via text and he wrote, “by the way – I already ordered your necklace.”

He is still so thoughtful after 9 years together!  He said he knew I wouldn’t spend the money, and he didn’t want me to have to worry about it so he got it.  My heart melted!

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Favorite Workout of the Week:

I live and breathe my FB feed – but I don’t pay too close attention to where the posts come from.  I saw some fitness challenge and assumed it was for the fitness group I’m in, so I did it.  It.Was.Not.Easy.

Again, straight out of FB:

So I saw a daily challenge in my feed, and assumed it was from this group. So I did it. Turns out, it was a photo that Jos was tagged in, not a challenge here. But I found that out too late. PiYo Core done (30 minutes), and then I did the Name Game thing, where you get an exercise assigned to each letter of your full name. I have a long ass name. Here’s what I did:
30 Squats
40 jacks
30 second arm circles
15 Push Ups
15 Squats
25 Burpees
1 min wall sit
10 crunches
30 squats
1 min wall sit
30 squats
30 jacks
3 min wall sit
15 push ups
40 jacks
30 burpees
50 jacks
2 min wall sit
15 push ups
30 burpees
40 jacks
30 burpees

Took me 27 minutes, and burned 200 calories, so I added 3 minutes of abs to get me to a full hour today. I’ll be doing that again!



Favorite Quiet Moment of the Week:

We had a busy weekend and the drive home from Hottie’s folks’ put both boys to sleep.  I took one, Hottie took the other.  This never happens, and I really eat it up when it does.  Double quiet loves at the same time!

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Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

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Friday Favorites – From a Rough Week

We have all been sick for 3 WEEKS.  Bryson got a one-way ticket to the doctor the minute they opened for walk-ins at 7:45 on Tuesday because his eyes were crusting over for two days every time he slept.  He has a sinus infection and the doc put him on antibiotics.  His eyes are better, but he’s got a fever today – awesome.  Hottie went to the doctor on Tuesday because both of us are so down and out every night with a wretched cough and it turns out we both have bronchitis.  We’re on antibiotics.  Matthew has a nasty cough, but otherwise, is fine (after a major fever and puking last Friday night)… for now!

But there were a few shining moments…

Favorite Parenting Moment(s) of the Week:

For the first time in my life, I made caramel apples!  I’ve never wanted to do it – but something got into me (or out of me… ummmm… BCP from hell for 20 years) this year and I bought the apples while preparing to make my winter stash of apple pies (3 large in the freezer, 1 oh-so-cute-mini-pie).  I didn’t short-cut it with the caramel wraps either – I bought the caramel cubes and melted them on the double broiler with Bryson’s help.  Bryson LOVED stirring and then watching me cover the apples.  He had me dip them in the sprinkles, but he kept a close eye on me to be sure I was doing it right.



No one ate my apples, besides me.  They were good.  I had 2 in one day, gave one to a little girl who visited with her mom, and did myself the favor of tossing the other one out.  I really felt like I was maximizing the holiday spirit of fall by doing this, even if the kids could have cared less about them.  HA!

Another favorite parenting moment happened this week as late on Friday as it could have happened.  After trick or treating, Matthew wanted to take his glow stick to bed with him, and of course we said yes.  When he falls asleep at night, I can’t see his face because it’s so dark in his room and because he wears his Hawkeye hat to bed and the bill shadows his face.  But tonight, his glow stick lit up his face under the bill of his hat and I got to watch his little eyes drift off to sleep.  It felt magical.

Favorite Outfit of the Week:


I waited forever for this shirt from Etsy.  It was worth the wait!  I love it, and I love the thin sweater under it.  I bought the thin sweater for our Christmas photos that we had taken on Sunday, and it turns out it’s quite versatile and turns my short-sleeved shirts into winter fashion.  The boots are new, also bought for family photos, and they could not be more comfortable.

Favorite Family Time of the Week:

Hands down, my favorite family time spent this week was at the pumpkin patch!  Hottie had taken Matthew to this small pumpkin patch just the weekend or so before, but we hadn’t gone as a family yet to a local patch and time was running out!  It was windy – gusts of 30 mph – but it was fun!  We got the obligatory apple cider donuts, went on a tractor wagon ride, and picked out some gourds.  It was great!


Favorite Purchase of the Week:

I bought frames for my paintings!  I had to get a custom one for my hummingbird painting because of its size and when I picked it up today, the framer taught me how to frame my own canvases.  I grabbed a couple of frames for the two sizes I knew I had at home and anxiously tackled the project the minute I walked in the door.  Framing the moose painting took it from my least favorite, and one I’d considered just putting in the closet and painting something different for his room, to, “Oh my god, I freaking LOVE it!”  I knew the plane would look great framed, but I did not expect to love the moose so much!

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Favorite Project of the Week:

As everyone URL and IRL knows, my favorite project of the week has been preparing to sell my in-law’s vintage finds!   We’re headed there this weekend to take better photos, get some measurements, and plan my work!


Favorite Fa.ceB.ook Flashback:

FB doesn’t always give me a “two years ago…” memory and honestly, I can’t figure out when they do and don’t do this.  But when this little gem popped up, I melted.  I instantly made it my lock screen photo on my phone.  This is my favorite photo of Matthew from babyhood, I cannot get over it.  Getting this little pop-up memory encouraged me to print a for the year Matthew was born, and I think it arrives Monday (I paid for rush shipping, I was feeling so nostalgic!).  I am so excited to take the time to page through the first 6 months of his life!


Favorite Realization of the Week:

Sleep begets sleep.  YES, I was told this over and over and over again while trying to get my kids to sleep longer and longer, but this was not true for Matthew.  The earlier he went to bed, the earlier he got up.  We’ve only noticed since dropping Matthew’s nap that going to bed earlier is not making him get up earlier.  We’ve been progressively moving bedtime back for both boys and have landed at 7:45 for Bryson and 8:00 for Matthew (he’s dozed off by 8:15).  I don’t know if it’s the recent sickness for Bryson, but he has finally gone from a 5:30-6:00 riser to a 6:30-7:00 riser.  He slept until 7:20 yesterday, a good 10 minutes AFTER Matthew woke up.  Bryson has never slept longer than Matthew – NEVER.

Of course, Bryson was up at 6:20 this morning (Saturday) but he did sleep 2.5+ hours for his nap yesterday so I’m not concerned.  He’s gotten a lot of sleep lately.

I fully expect DST tonight to mess this up for me.

Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:


Friday Favorites – Discipline!

Here they are, my favorites of the week!  Knowing that I’m writing this post each week, I’m trying to be (and succeeding at being) aware of the good things each day.  I feel like this is a little “gratitude journal,” which is always a good thing!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

Grocery shopping with Bryson – for an hour – with no fits or frustrations from either of us!  Check this out!


I usually put him in my cart, but that just isn’t working out these days.  He screams, fusses, tries (and succeeds) to climb out, and then I lose my shit.  I had a TON of groceries to buy for the week (it’s fall, remember?  Soup, Pies, squash, BULK COOKING!) and I just didn’t want to deal with his temper so I let him shop behind me with a kid cart.  And it was… HEAVEN!  Yes, I said HEAVEN!  We shopped together, for an entire hour, and he stayed behind me the entire time and only ran into my ankles twice (and promptly, without solicitation, said a very sincere, “oh, sorry Mommy!”).  He was the star of the store – lots of senior citizens shopping at 9:30 AM on a Tuesday – and I was so proud of him!  Yes, he fooled everyone into thinking he’s this well-behaved most of the time (believe me, I assured them that this was NOT the norm – keeping it real!), but that’s OK if it means our little charade brings me a peaceful shopping experience with kids!

Favorite Outfit of the Week:


Yeah yeah, so this is very similar to last week’s favorite outfit, but I just love these camo pants!  I got compliments everywhere I went, and I did on the GnR shirt as well (which I totally understand, because it is awesome!).  The shoes, pants, and graphic tee are different from last week, so cut me some slack.  A close second this week, though, was an outfit you’ll see below because of the shoes.  I nailed it with the red shoes.

Carry on!

Favorite Meal of the Week:

Oh good lord, we made one of our favorite, FAVORITE paleo recipe this week.  Pork and pear stuffed acorn squash.  YUMM!  I have the recipe pictured in this post.  We have a quarter hog in our freezer, all free-range, lean hog (she processes them at 200 pounds when the big farms wait until 300 pounds) and it tastes way better than the other pork out there.  I think I touched on this last week.  Anyway, this meal hit a warm spot in my heart, being fall and all!

Favorite Purchase of the Week:


As the world knows, I’ve been obsessed with updating our home with photos.  While on Shutt.erfl.y the other day, their banner splashed this beautiful holiday dinner table with a table runner with photos.  COULD IT BE?  Well YES, it was!  I got to shopping right away and found this very cute Christmas themed one that goes with my “winter” snowflake dishes so you know, I just had to have it.  They were running a 40% off special so YES PLEASE!  It came today, it is beautiful, and I’m making one for Hottie’s parents for their housewarming gift (with pics of the entire family – not just us – in case you were wondering!).  It is going to kill me not to buy a more “general” themed one for us… but I can control myself.  I mean, the boys will destroy this in a New York minute  😉

Favorite Project of the Week:

Pumpkin painting!  Yes, I said it – pumpkin painting!  I do enjoy carving pumpkins, but honestly… it’s a pain in the butt.  I’m so glad that this is a trend right now because my kids do not have the attention span to carve pumpkins and Hottie doesn’t like doing it and I’d get stuck with 3 to carve once they all dropped off like flies.  So painting (and foam stickers) it is this year and we were all very happy!  Bryson didn’t do one, so I did his and it was awful, as expected.  But they’re on the porch, and it looks like we are fun, crafty, involved parents.  The pumpkins joined a collection of pumpkins and gourds on our porch which is a first for me… EVER.  See, I told you all I’m feeling way better being off the pill!


Favorite Fashion “Lesson Learned” of the Week:

I was a project manager of multi-million dollar technology and security projects prior to deciding to stay home with the kids.  I tend to run things in my life like I run projects when I’m working.  If I don’t have a project I’m working on, I’m not happy.  My obsession with data, metrics, budgets, etc. is probably understandable now that I’ve mentioned my past “working” life.  (I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned it before… weird.)  So when I’m working on a project in my life, I do manage it iteratively like my IT projects, which means constant review and feedback, even if only for myself.  HA HA!  This fashion “project” has been fun, and involves weekly reviews.  I still take daily photos of my outfits and look at them (hell, who am I kidding?  I scrutinize them!) each week.  The “lesson learned” this week?

I don’t like “boyfriend jeans.”  I do not like them at all.  They look cute in these photos, but they don’t in person.  And I can honestly say that when I see people wearing them in public, I think the same thing.  My local fashion guru wears them once in a blue moon and she is thin, thin, thin and they make her look sloppy and not toned.  I know they make me look that way too.  I’ll still wear them on “off” days when I don’t care too much, but I’m writing them off.


(But look at those red shoes!  And the top, that’s in honor of my late grandpa who referred to himself as “the old rooster”)

Favorite Realization of the Week:

Matthew loves his dad, needs his dad, all of the time.  Bryson loves his dad too, but Matthew is happiest when his dad is with him.  I love watching this, and I love hearing about their adventures when I’m not with them.  Hottie took Matthew to a small pumpkin patch on Sunday while Bryson and I ran (to induce his nap).  They’d planned to go out to a smaller town, look at some building lots and homes, and come home – but they passed a little pumpkin patch along the way and decided to stop.  They had a great time, and I loved looking at their photos!  I didn’t feel left out at all – even though we still have to get the boys to the orchard or our local pumpkin patch together.  This was their special time, and I love it!

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Favorite Photos of the Boys This Week:

Favorite Thing I Heard This Week:

So I’ve been in a workout funk, and I know it irritates people when I say that because I’m still working out more than most people… but it’s been hard to do it.  It’s been hard to get out there and run, or run on the treadmill while I get my ONE quiet hour of the day.  We’ve had absolutely beautiful weather and on Wednesday evening, I took Bryson for a neighborhood run in the dark with me for what I thought would be 3 miles and ended up being over 5 miles (because, you know, it was just so nice outside!).  The next morning was just gorgeous, and both kids were in school, and I just knew I had to run because it was so nice out and we’re on borrowed time in regards to the weather.  But I didn’t want to.  I drove to a good starting point about 2 miles from their school and decided to run “South of Grand,” an area of old majestic homes and, wait for it… lots of hills.  What was I thinking?  The entire time, I thought to myself, “I hate this.  This was stupid.”  My muscles ached after the 5 miles not even 15 hours earlier and it was windy, and hilly.  I couldn’t catch my stride, I walked up a hill (so embarrassing), my breathing was off.  I was shooting for 3 miles, but felt like a wimp so went 4.5.  I angrily got in the car and saw a message from Hottie to meet him for coffee if I wanted.

I wanted.

I picked him up, still grumpy.  I apologized for my attitude and said, “that was a hard run, not fun.  You know, I did it because I had to, because I felt it was a missed opportunity if I didn’t.”

And he said, “No, you did it because you’re disciplined.”

And I smiled.


Friday Favorites!

I’ve pretty much figured out what I have in my closet now and how to put it together, so I’m not going to post my weekly outfits anymore.  I’ve also figured out that I don’t have to hit it out of the park every day to feel good about how I’m presenting myself.  A couple of great outfits a week is a win, and the rest just need to be “put together” which could simply involve a good pants and shoes selection.

So on Fridays, I’ll post my favorites of the week, and this is going to be all over the board.  Parenting, fashion, projects, productivity, activities with the kids, etc.  There is no “fomat” to this.  “Formats” can be boring!

Favorite Parenting Moment of the Week:

This has been a tough week with Bryson – he is very needy and clingy after his naps and whines for about an hour every day.  Matthew, on the other hand, has been so easy and sweet, it’s a nice balance.  We’ve had a really good month or so with him, and I think 4 is treating us much better than 3 did.  This morning, Matthew climbed into our bed because “my toe hurts,” which is code for “I want to snuggle.”  I said, “get in and snuggle buggle with me,” and he was out cold almost immediately.  It was 4:15 and I could not sleep, because he was in full-on snuggle mode and I couldn’t get comfy.  He woke up around 5:30 and couldn’t get comfortable, and I was in a lot of pain  in my belly, but he snuggled up on my tummy and finally fell asleep again.  He slept like that until 7:15, and it felt magical.  I couldn’t sleep from the belly pain, but I was more than happy to let him stay where he was!

Favorite Outfit of the Week:

Sanctuary plaid pants, black cami, Junk Food C'est Bien tank, Zara drape cardigan, Enzo boots

Sanctuary plaid pants, black cami, Junk Food C’est Bien tank, Zara drape cardigan, Enzo boots

I LOVE this outfit – and so does Hottie!  He sent me a text an hour after I left the house telling me how much he loves it, and asked me to send a pic so he could show his coworker (a female who I talk clothes with).  I got lots of compliments on this outfit which was surprising since those pants are love ’em or hate ’em.  THIS is what I was going for with these pants!  And I now know why people love cardigans!

Favorite Meal of the Week:

When we eat at home, we’re pretty much a paleo family.  We do not bring grains into the house (unless they’re in the form of Or.eos – HA HA HA!) and there are ABSOLUTELY NO WHITE POTATOES.  As people know from my “Paleo Adventure,” I have a fantastic cookbook that we use quite a bit.  We bought a quarter hog (free range, grass fed, from my friend’s farm) that’s in the freezer so I made pork and apple sliders last night with my famous carrots (skin on, roasted) and they were great!  I ate my 2 patties (5.4 ounces total), Hottie ate his 2 patties, and Bryson ate 1 patty and asked for another (he ate 1/4 of the second one)!  (Matthew ate leftover pulled pork – still a win!)  The free-range pork is so much better than anything you can buy in the grocery store.  Living in Iowa, I know all about hog farms and it’s not good – so we buy very little pork labeled as Hor.mel or grocery store brands.  We buy local pork almost ALWAYS, and it is the best choice out there!  (My friend also sells me free range chickens and eggs – she’s delivering some this afternoon!)

Favorite Purchase of the Week:

Zara printed blouse (size M, $38), BR skinnys, Ugg boots

Zara printed blouse (size M, $38), BR skinnys, Ugg boots

I have found a new store (Zara) and it is going to be a very addictive relationship.  I love their sweaters and tops, and really want to try a pair of their colored jeans.  I ordered our family photo outfits from there and the prices range from cheap ($20 for a dress) to rather expensive ($300 for a coat – don’t worry – I didn’t get one and won’t).  Their kids clothes are great and the quality is fantastic.  The mens sweaters seem good enough ($22) and the women’s things are just so fun!  SPOT ON for me!

I’ve had my eye on this top for 2 weeks and finally ordered it when I ordered the cardigan (above) and our holiday clothes.  When it arrived, I knew I was going to love it as much as I had hoped!  There is a little ruffle on the back, which I did not realize when I ordered it, but it added a feminine touch.  I can always use that!

Favorite Project of the Week:

I have been moving things around, making room for the Halloween stuff.  We’re also gearing up for new family photos since our family is complete, and I decided to get out the last ones we had taken and printed that I never got framed.  I don’t know what my problem was, I just wasn’t into it.  But now with this new wave of energy, I’m actively looking for things to do with the house.  I went out and bought reasonably priced frames and got to work.  The photo in the middle is a canvas from 4 years ago, and the others are from 2 years ago.  I also replaced the “Daddy/Matthew” photo with the “Daddy/boys” photo from our photo shoot 2 years ago.  I LOVE this.  Our house feels so much warmer now!

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I also moved the first birthday “cake smash” photos into the kitchen frames and am moving the photos that were in those frames to our bedroom.  Because of the difference in how I feel in my house with photos up versus no photos up, I am in a hurry to make our bedroom “warmer.”  And I cannot wait to get the photos from our family shoot in a week – I hope they’re as great as the last two shoots!

What were your favorites of the week?

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Fashion Overhaul Week 4

This week – well – I’m just skating by.  It’s another hot week here and I’ve taken to wearing jeans and graphics.  It’s an acceptable look, but I’d like to put some fall things on! I went out with the girls on Tuesday night so dressed up a bit – I figured a graphic tee and Keds would be no good for a night out with a few of the gals whose style I envy.  HA!

So Thursday I got my IUD, andI was going to be comfortable for that – no one at the OB clinic cares what I wore in there when I’m wrapped in a drape from the waist down – not even Dr. H.  HA!  I’m glad I was comfy because that was NOT FUN, holy hell.  I vegged the rest of the night in those soft pants, oh yes I did!  Friday, I got out my awesome new moccasins because it was chilly!  By mid-afternoon, I was crampy and sick as hell (head cold), so changed jeans.  Take a look – the only difference is the jeans – and look how much better the skinnys look with the same sweater and shoes.  AMAZING.  (In all fairness, those jeans are size 10 and I’m a 4-6 in BR now, but I bet those would have been an 8 in today’s measurements so they are 1-2 sizes too big.)  The BR jeans were what I would have worn before this overhaul.  I’m so happy I’m doing this!

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I know my goal is to look like a put together preschool mom, not a work-outside-the-home mom. When you run 3 mornings a week while your kid is at school, it leaves little time to get ready for the day. I get home, shower, dry my hair (if I’m lucky), put on my minimal makeup, and get dressed quickly before going to pick up Matthew. It’s a whirlwind. The fact that I’m not slipping on running shoes or Chacos is a big deal. And the fact that my jeans are all current trends and not 3 + years old is a win! So, I’m not trying to be hard on myself!

Now that I’ve got some fun graphic tees on the way to my house, I thought it wise to inventory what I have already.  Here is my collection… the red and white one is not something I’d wear in public, but it’s a tender joke between Hottie and me so I wear it at home.  🙂  The pink one was in the bottom of my drawer and had been 100% forgotten for years – what a find!


And finally, my two tops that I bought for those plaid pants arrived today and…. “hello, lover!”  I am in love… I feel like I’ve been waiting for that off-white blouse my entire life!  And the tank, well…. that’s just perfection!

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(Hottie picked up my delivery today from the porch and I think he may be starting to fear that little red tag you see on the white top – what he doesn’t know is that I STOLE that shirt – it was one hell of a deal!)



Fashion Overhaul Week 3

We’ve been experiencing an “Indian summer” here, at least that’s what I’m calling it.  This is our second week of INCREDIBLE warm, dry weather, and we are soaking it up!  We’ve spent our days outside, and nights on the deck,  as a family and it’s been awesome!  This, of course, requires summer clothes and I don’t have a lot that fit well, so please forgive the baggy shorts on Monday  🙂

The weather turned fall-like on Tuesday, so I FINALLY got to wear some of my new stuff.  I LOVE the things I’ve gotten.  I stopped into the store I like to return a shirt and ended up finding something for those pants, FINALLY.  It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough for the transition weather before winter.

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It’s been a fun week to get the jeans and boots out and ready for fall!


Fashion Overhaul Week 2

I’ve been exhausted this week, but still working hard at looking respectable!  We’re between seasons here, and I have a few new things I’m dying to wear, but it’s still too warm for them.  In the interim, I’m making the best of what I have in my closet.  Oh.. and I bought a couple of tops (Thursday and Friday outfits).

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It wasn’t the most exciting week, but I I think I looked presentable each day, which is the goal, afterall!