All the Sun For You

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


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.


On Sale = Big Win!

That graphic tee at the store a couple of weeks ago has been haunting me. I LOVE it, but I’m not spending $50 on a tank top.

It went on sale today!

I ordered it (oh yes I did!).

They also had some leggings I’ve wanted that were on sale and a shirt that goes with just about everything, so I bit the bullet and ordered those things as well! Be warned, some of you will hate the leggings, and that’s ok. But I just have a thing about camo…. I love it!

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I also placed my Etsy order for those fun graphic tees. I ended up not ordering the kids’ because they’re short sleeved and it’s going to be winter soon, and they have more than enough tees in their current sizes. I’ll order them in the spring. I’m super excited to get these… I feel like they’re going to complete me. Ha! And if you’re wondering, I found the rooster shirt while looking for a shirt for my late grandpa’s birthday celebration… He called himself “the old rooster!” ❤

And… Because my poor Keds have gotten so much air time, I decided to order a few pair of low profile shoes to add variety to my lower half.

All items were on sale, so I am super excited! I can’t wait to start incorporating these things into my wardrobe!


Let’s Talk Graphic T’s

While in my new favorite store on Thursday, trying on anything and everything with those plaid pants, the gal suggested a printed tank.  This was the second suggestion to put a printed t-shirt with the pants, something I just wasn’t sure of.  But when I put it on, well…. it looked AMAZING.  I was so glad, though, that the shirt had a snag because I was not paying $48 for a sheer tank top, no matter how perfect it looked with those pants.  That just is not happening.

So, as I do so well, I’ve been on an obsessive hunt for graphic tees since then.  I did buy one on Thursday that I wore on Friday, and it, along with that stupid tank top, pretty much got me hooked.  There isn’t a ton online that I LOVE, but I thought, “what about Etsy?”  Let me tell you, Etsy has tons of options… GREAT options!

I found a store (Zen Threads) on Etsy that has so many prints I like, that I asked for a coupon code so I could order a bunch for the family.  I found them while searching for “food truck shirts” a couple of weeks ago (I could write an entire post on my boys’ obsessions with food trucks) and immediately thought to check them first.  I encourage anyone looking for a great, original print that you won’t see passing you on the street to check out their store!  All graphics are their own original works, and they are awesome!

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Another store on Etsy that I like (not love, like Zen Threads) is Mad Moon Clothing.  I don’t have a favorite image just yet, but I favorite them because they have a lot of things up my alley.

Here are a few other little finds:





I have a charm on a necklace that says “She thought she could and so she did.”  I love it – it’s sort of my motto.  I got it after I worked so hard to get back in shape last fall and I wear it a lot.  I started looking for a shirt last night that has this same saying, and I found two that I like on Etsy, of course.

There are a couple of graphic tees at regular online stores that I’m looking at as well, but I prefer to support those on Etsy if at all possible.  One was a suggestion in the comments (thanks, No Baby Ruth!) and the other is the same brand (Elements) as the shirt I wore on Friday.

So that is what’s on my fashion mind right now.  I haven’t bought a thing yet, so that’s good (and progress!).  The California Redwoods shirt will be the first up, along with the food truck shirt.  Priorities!



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!


Let’s Try This Again – Plaid Pants

I returned the vest, on EVERYONE’S suggestion.  It was the easiest return ever:

Me: “I blog my outfits for help, and I got 100% feedback to return this vest.”

Her: “Really?  It’s so cute.”

Me: “Yep, the comments ranged from ‘too matronly’ to ‘too long.'”

Her: “I can see that.  Do you blog every outfit?”

Me: “Right now, yes.  I need lots of help.”

And off to the dressing room she took me.  I bought two new shirts (none that work with the pants).  I tried on HEAPS of tops with those pants on in the store, and nothing was quite right.  But as I mentioned in a comment, I remembered a few things in my closet to try.  I am keeping those pants, come hell or high water!

They taught me a little something – to add a visual between your top and pants to create interest and break up a look that may not match at first glance.  I tried that here (#1), and I think the blue sweater looks better now with the pants.



(My God, these pictures look just terrible… I need a better way to take these photos… more natural light needed.)

Up next (#2), a grey top that I had completely forgotten about.



Here they are with a grey cable knit (#3), something they told me in the store would add interest.  Notice the black shirt again underneath to add a separation 😉



And now, for the two that I think you’ll all rule out.  I thought this first one (#4) would be a winner… I’m thinking no:



And finally, the last one (#5) knew from the start that this would not work.



OK – so that’s what I have in addition to the black turtleneck sweater and the chambray shirt that I bought with it (I LOVE that shirt…. I wish I didn’t, but I do).




Help and Honesty, Part 2

Hi, all! I need more input.

I bought this complete outfit the other day, but can’t wear it for a bit (hot weather here). I have thought about this outfit since I bought it and I love it, in theory.

The pants are way off reservation for me, but I like them!  They are expensive, so I wanted to be sure they work WELL with at least a couple of things I currently have. Here is what I’ve paired with them… I don’t think the light grey sweater works. The last photo shows the back of the pants.

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What do you think of all 4 pairings, including the entire new outfit? I have gotten 2 no votes on the vest. I think it’s interesting (and enlightening) to hear how others see me, and I LOVE the input!

Thanks, ladies!!!