Since my dad died, I’ve had a really hard time getting out of bed in the mornings. There is a lot contributing to this problem, but one that stands out the most is that I want to sleep more, because sometimes I dream about him, and when I wake up, I want to go back to sleep to get back into the dream. When I can’t go back to sleep, I cry because then I have to force myself to remember that he’s gone.

I dreamed of him last night. I wish I could remember the whole dream, but it’s already fading. There were a lot of us, friends and family, and in the dream I knew we were at my parents’ house, but it wasn’t exactly their house. The only part I vividly remember is that we were upstairs by his stereo, and he and I were talking about the weather.

A few days after he died, I dreamed that he was able to come back, but just for half an hour. I was walking up the stairs at my parents house and he was at his stereo, making a tape of a record. I hugged him and told him I loved him and asked him why he couldn’t stay longer. I can’t remember now what we talked about, and I wish I had written it down then. Then our half hour was up and we walked down the stairs, and sat about halfway up on the steps, and hugged and I cried until he was gone.

Earlier this week, I dreamed I was in the garage at my parents’ house, working on the old Mustang. The floor of the garage was sunken, like at a mechanic shop, and I was under the car. Then my dad and my uncle came up the driveway and came into the garage to help me. We were covered in oil and grease in no time, but we had managed to fix whatever it was we were working on, and my dad was happy with the progress we’d made together.

In my dreams, he’s so real. He looks like just like he did over the past few years, with his gray ponytail and beard and crows feet around his eyes. He’s never young in my dreams. Sometimes he talks to me in the present, knowing that he’s passed, and sometimes it’s like it never happened. He never says anything profound in the dreams that make me suspect that he’s come to give me comfort…no last messages of love or guidance. More often than not, we just talk about what’s happening in the dream or in real life, like we were talking on the phone and catching up.

I know I can’t stay in bed half the day…I need to work, and take care of my family and myself. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing the bare minimum to get by, and I feel so guilty about it, because my family deserves better and I know my dad would be disappointed to see me like this. It’s just so hard, and the dreams are so wonderful. But I know I need to do it, and I’m really going to try…starting tomorrow. Maybe I can give myself one day a week to sleep in as long as Kyla is covering for me with life…and maybe I can still, occasionally, get to see my Diddy in my dreams.

Mourning What Might Have Been

I don’t know why I feel like I need to get this out. Maybe I think if I just let myself think about it, the thoughts will stop creeping up on me all day and all night. Maybe I think if I can put it out there in the universe, it won’t seem so overwhelming.

I don’t know. But I feel like I need to write it anyway, even if it doesn’t do any good. Sometimes, missing him physically hurts, and I can feel the grief clawing its way up from my chest and into the back of my throat, and something just has to come out. This is one of those times, and this is what comes out.

I’m pissed that my dad will not be here to watch his granddaughters grow up.

He was a good dad, don’t get me wrong, but he was a great grandfather. His normally tough exterior always melted when his girls were around. If we were coming to visit, he would decline invitations to play golf or anything else, because those girls were his priority. Every time we left their house, he would stand in the driveway and do a “silly dance,” waving and shaking his legs and making funny faces so they would laugh and not be sad about leaving (which happened sometimes, especially with sweet, tender-hearted Sadie). If I posted photos of the girls on Facebook, he would always like and comment. He would move mountains for them, and he made sure they knew it. He loved their birthdays, he loved Christmas with them, and he loved making them smile. Every visit was an adventure, even if it was short. He was so proud of them, and he always told them so. He was supposed to be at Sadie’s first piano recital and clap the loudest, and Ruby’s first Spelling Bee to cheer her on, at their high school graduations to give them big hugs, and maybe even their weddings to stand beside them in photos and shake the hands of their new husbands.

I’m pissed that this new baby will never even meet him.

I think of all of his interactions with my two girls, and it’s just not fair that this baby will miss out on all of that. He won’t be in her baby pictures, his name won’t be signed on her birthday cards, he won’t get to hold her or splash around in the pool with her. To this baby, the house I grew up in will always be “Granny’s house” instead of “Granny and Grandiddy’s house.” To her, “Grandiddy” won’t be a memory, but a story. And that sucks more than I can say.

I’m pissed that my mom won’t grow old with him.

My dad died when he was 60 years and 7 months old, so in eight months, my mom will be older than he will ever be. The man she has loved for 37 years, the man who took care of her when she was sick, held her when she was sad, made her grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches…is gone. Just like that. I know 60 isn’t young, but dammit they should have had so much more time.

I’m pissed that he’s not going to be here for me.

There is so much that I still don’t know, and so many things I wanted him to teach me. All my life, I knew that no matter what, he would always be there for me, and now he’s gone. He’s never going to call me on my birthday again, and remind me about how I kept him up all night, waiting on me to be born. He’s never going to send me another morning email again. He’s never going to make passive aggressive comments about my housekeeping or how late I sleep. He’s never again going to tell me he loves me or how proud he is of me. He’s never going to look at some project I’ve just finished and tell me how great it is, or remind me that I “can handle it” when I get overwhelmed. He’s never going to hug me when I leave his house, or call me “Miss P.” He’s never going to play me another “new song.”

Neither my brain nor my heart can possibly imagine a way that life is going to go on without him–he was the one who always held everything together, always had an answer, always knew just how to fix it. I always assumed that one day in the long-distant future when I lost him, I’d have learned everything from him, and that I’d be prepared to take the reins. But the long-distant future snuck up on me so quick, and I feel wholly unprepared.

There’s no one who can ever take his place…not for me, not for my mom, not for my girls or the rest of our family and friends…and I just hate, hate that he’s gone. All the grief resources say that you never stop missing the person you’ve lost, but you find a new way to live a life with them not in it, but right now, it just doesn’t seem possible to fill a hole so big.

There are thousands and thousands of things he was still supposed to do, and there are thousands and thousands of things that will happen in the rest of my life that will feel not-quite-right because he is not a part of them. I feel like I spend every day now thinking of all of these things that won’t happen or things that will have to happen without him, and it kills me. So I make this list of all the things that should have been, and cry, and hope that one day, when one of these list items actually happens, maybe I’ll be just a tiny bit prepared for it and won’t completely lose my shit. I’m not going to hold my breath on that one, but it does help to share the list.

The Master of Toy Organization

When I was a kid, I was terrible at keeping my room clean. Honestly, I’m not great at it now, but this character flaw was especially pronounced when I was young.

Everyone in my family joked about how awful my room was. My Pepa, who often made calligraphy signs for the grandkids, made a sign for my bedroom door that said “Tornado Alley: You can’t see it, but you can see where it’s been.”

I rarely made an effort in keeping my room clean, but I always had a series of “clearings”–small circles of clean floor you could use like stepping stones to get from the door to the bed.

My dad, who was extremely neat and orderly with most things in life, hated the state of my room. Once, when I was about 6 or so, he pulled out every single toy I owned and meticulously organized them on my bedroom floor. We’re talking finding each pair of matching Barbie shoes, putting the pairs together, and making a separate pile of the odd shoes. All of the toys that went together were put together in piles on the floor.

I had the My Little Pony Paradise Estate (don’t know what that is? Seriously, Google it…it was amazing), which came with a large number of these small plastic flowers. Now, the flowers had these prickly leaves on them, and whenever I tossed these flowers into my toy box with Barbies and My Little Ponies, the leaves would become entangled in the doll’s hair. We’re not talking just a little…we’re talking entangled to the point where you basically had to cut the hair off and just toss it and the flower away.

Well, my dad did not accept this, and sat there picking each flower out of every doll’s hair, then brushed all of the hair so you couldn’t tell there had even been a tangle.

This man was meticulous.

Now, my mom and I rarely get rid of things…we’re extremely sentimental, and clearing out things we don’t use or need anymore is probably one of the biggest chores in the world for either of us. As such, most of the toys I had as a kid were still in my parents’ house when I started having children of my own. However, these toys were stored in about five different places in the house and garage, shoved in random boxes over the years.

So, when my girls started getting a little older, my dad decided he was going to go through all of these toys. His method was very reminiscent of the great clean up of my childhood. He pulled everything out, and started making dozens of piles all over the dining room table. I’d come visit and he’d have a box of random items to ask me about, to see if I could tell him what went with what. “Oh, that’s a flag for the Quints tricycle” or “That’s a piece of the Barbie bathtub” or “That’s just a Happy Meal Toy.” He knew where each pile was, and he was ready to place every random item where it belonged. His granddaughters would have fun toys to play with at Granny and Granddiddy’s house, and they would have all the pieces.

Christmas of 2012, the girls and I came to visit and were greeted with a treasure trove of awesome 80s and early 90s toys. Popples, Polly Pockets, Pieworks, you name it. My girls had a blast! And, to be perfectly honest, I had a bit of fun playing with the toys as well.

My dad was so proud. He had painstakingly sifted through all of these boxes and piles so his granddaughters could play. The girls were too young to understand how much time he spent getting these toys ready for them. They had no concept of him spending weeks sorting and cleaning every tiny piece. But seeing the look of joy and satisfaction on my dad’s face while he watched the girls gleefully jump from toy to toy, excitedly yelling that each one was the coolest thing EVER, I thought my heart would burst. He loved them so much, and I think seeing how much he loved my children made me love him even more.

One day, I’m going to have to go through those toys at my mom’s house and finish organizing them, and bring them back to my house. I’ll sit in the same place he sat while he sorted and sifted and mumbled to himself “What the hell does this go with? Ah…you put this piece here, and this goes..there” and I’ll remember how he did this for me, and then for my girls. And I’ll do my best to follow his example, and not tell them how long it takes.

Grief Activities

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks looking at resources for dealing with grief. I’ve found some I liked, some I didn’t, and mostly a lot of resources where I find small bits that look like they could be helpful. The thing I seem to be drawn to most, though, is the activities.

I think maybe the idea of going through an “activity” feels more productive somehow. Like if I’m doing an activity, that I’m actually doing something. I think this appeals to the need to feel in control of the grief…like if I do the activities, I’m actively taking steps to lessen the pain and “get over it.”

Of course, when I think about it, I know there’s nothing I can do to get rid of the sadness. My dad is gone, and two of my grandparents as well. They’re gone, and regardless of what happens on the other side, they’re never coming back here. I can’t call my dad to ask his advice when my car starts making a weird noise. I can’t ask Mama Leen to tell me again the story about when they moved away from the farm to live in town. I can’t eat Pepa’s boiled peanuts. These truths are what hurts so much…the knowledge that, forever after, their physical presence will always be missing from my life.

But, the idea of completing an activity is still somewhat comforting, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Couldn’t hurt at least.

I chose an activity from a daily grief support email I subscribed to. The idea is to draw or create a visual representation of your grief, so you can see how it changes over time. I suppose I cheated a bit since I used Photoshop and made more of a collage, but it did help a little. Just a teeny tiny bit, but these days, that’s something at least.

Maybe one day I’ll look at this collage and feel like I’m past this…like it’s better. God I hope so.


Jar Spaghetti Sauce

A year or so ago, I called my parents one evening to check in and see how they were doing. We usually talked at least a few times a week, just to catch up.

My dad answered the phone, and I remember thinking how much I wished my mom had answered. Sometimes my dad was just grumpy for no reason, and if I was already in a less-than-awesome mood (which was the case on this particular night) and he was grumpy too, the conversation would leave me feeling very agitated.

During the conversation, he asks me “What y’all having for dinner tonight?”

This was a common question during our phone calls: whether we had already eaten or when we planned to eat, what we were having, and if we had already eaten, how the girls ate…it was a side discussion covering all aspects of dinnertime. Sometimes this annoyed me, and I wondered why we needed to discuss dinner in such detail. Now that my dad is gone, I’d love more than anything to just pick up the phone and talk to him about what he was going to have for dinner.

Hey Diddy, we’re having chili tonight. Kyla is even making it without so many ingredients and spices so the girls and I might like it better. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I love you.

(Damn I wish I could call and say that and get his response.)

So, during the phone call in question, he asks what we’re having.


He then proceeds to perform a monologue on the inferiority of jar spaghetti sauce. And how my mom bought it once and he hated it even more than he hated those TV dinners she used to buy that were barely edible. And how he told her to never buy that nasty stuff again, under any circumstances. This monologue went on for several minutes (maybe five), but it felt like an hour, and I hated every second of it. By the end of it, he was obviously angry over the memory of how terrible the sauce had been, and he was quite worked up about it.

When he was finally through, I said “Well, we’re not having jar sauce.”

And as far as I can remember now, his response was “Ok,” and then he just moved right on to another topic. He stopped sounding angry, just went on with the conversation.

I remember using this as an example of how he would sometimes just be negative about something for no good reason when I was talking to a friend about dealing with your parents as an adult. At the time, this conversation drove me nuts…why did he need to get so angry about jar spaghetti sauce, especially since that’s not even what we were going to eat? And who the hell has such strong feelings about jar spaghetti sauce?!

Now, I use this as a different kind of example. He hasn’t even been gone two months now, but I miss him so much that I would gladly repeat this phone conversation every night for the rest of our lives if I could just have him back. I want to call my parents’ house and have him answer the phone…I don’t care if all he does is complain about something that doesn’t even make sense. I don’t even care if he insults my husband’s cooking, or gives me unrequested advice. I just want him to be there. Knowing he’s not and he never will be again, and that I’ll never even have the chance to have another unpleasant conversation with him hurts so much that I feel physically ill.

That night he told me his feelings on jar spaghetti sauce, I never imagined that one day I’d look back at that conversation longingly. But I do.

I miss you Diddy.

Another Year, Another January Blog Post…Kinda

For the past few years, I always come back to this blog in January and make big plans to start posting again. I make plans about all of the positive things I want to do with my life and how I want to chronicle those changes on this blog. I never seem to make it into February though. Will I do the same thing this year? Who knows.

But right this minute, I feel like writing, so that’s what I’m going to do.

And this time, it’s much less positive.

2014 ended up being a pretty crappy year in a lot of ways. Kyla lost his job in April, and we’re still trying to recover financially almost a year later. A good family friend (one of those uncles who is not really related to you, but feels so much like a part of your family that you don’t realize they’re not actually blood-related until you’re a little older) passed away around the same time. Then my maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather passed away within days of each other in the summer.

And after all that, my dad died just before Christmas.

That sentence just looks so damn insignificant compared to the feelings it brings when I write it. It feels like there should be more caps, exclamations…something. Something that conveys the deep-in-my-gut anguish that came with the event the sentence is describing. It just seems grossly inadequate.

Thinking about all of these amazing people being gone, especially my Daddy, hurts so much that I can only think about it for a second before it becomes too overwhelming and I have to start googling photos of puppies and kittens or Mitch Hedberg jokes. My heart just can’t figure out how the world could keep going on without them. I know my grandparents were old and lived wonderful long lives, and I know it’s expected that your parents will go before you, but none of those things make it hurt any less. Knowing that I’m lucky to have had them as long as I did doesn’t make me stop wanting them to have been here longer…it doesn’t make me stop wanting them here now.

As much as this hurts, and as much as 2014 sucked in a whole lotta ways, there was definitely one silver lining. A month before my dad’s diagnosis, and two months before he passed, we found out we were expecting our third child.

Now, at first, we were pretty stunned. Our youngest is five, and though we had talked about more kids, we weren’t really intending to move forward with it any time soon. The timing seemed terrible. Then, as we went through losing my dad, I realized that this baby was supposed to be here. I started really feeling the baby move around in my belly just a couple of days after my dad passed, and through his service and the weeks that followed, that little fluttering was more of a comfort than I could ever begin to describe. About a month after my dad’s passing, we found out that baby number three would be another girl. Of course, we would have been happy if we were having a boy, but I could just feel that she was going to be another girl. We are so excited to meet her, but it is definitely bittersweet news. My Daddy loved his granddaughters, and was such a wonderful grandfather, so it hurts more than I can say to know he won’t get to meet her.

In dealing with all of this loss, and all of this change, I’ve really missed this blog. I’ve missed writing. I want to write about my dad, and my amazing grandparents, and all of the people we’ve lost, so that maybe I can preserve the memories before they all slip away. I think that’s my biggest fear…the memories fading until I can no longer bring up my dad’s face in my mind, or remember my grandfather’s voice, or my grandmother’s smile. I’m scared I won’t be able to remember the stories I want to tell the new baby as she grows up, or that I won’t do a good job of teaching the girls all of the lessons that these wonderful people would have taught them had they still been around.

So, if anyone still visits this blog looking for something crafty or something about parenthood, maybe I’ll write about some of that. Who knows. Maybe I’ll use this space to emotionally vomit all over the internet. Maybe I’ll write this and decide it hurts too damn much and abandon it again. I really have no idea.

Pinterest Win – Simple Scarf Organization

You may remember my little Pinterest To-Do List I posted last week. Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve crossed one off the list!

Simple Scarf Organization

I said this: Now that I finally have some cute scarves, I thought I should have them organized in some way other than draped across the coat rack, door knob, chair and floor of my closet. When I happened to run across this idea, I got unreasonably excited. I mean, who gets so excited about shower curtain rings on a hanger? That would be me. Now, let’s see if I actually do it, and, more importantly, if my scarves still get left on the coat rack, doorknob, chair & closet floor.

I did actually do it, so that’s a start. I still have two scarves on the coat rack, but that’s because it is freaking cold here this week, and I need those babies every single time I go outside. They have made it back to the fancy scarf hanger whenever it warms up, so I feel like this is something I can keep up with on a regular basis.

Here’s mine!

Paperclips & Play Pens - Pinterest Win - Simple Scarf Organization

Now, for the issues…

First I tried this on a regular hanger, and that little guy just couldn’t handle the load. Even doing half of the rings on one hanger made it droop pretty bad. So I ended up using one of those heavy duty plastic coat hangers (the that are as big around as a thumb).

I’m also having trouble keeping them from all going to one side and hanging down to the floor. I’m actually keeping it in the closet (just took it out to get this photo), and it’s kind of annoying that I can’t get them to stay upright. I’m considering adding some kind of small weight to the middle, but I haven’t figured out the best way to do this yet. Will keep you updated, because I’m sure everyone is on pins and needles about the state of my scarf storage!

Also, I’d like to say…

Happy Birthday!

to My Mama. You are the most amazing lady in the world, and I feel so lucky that I can call you my friend as well as my mom. I love you!

Pinterest Win – diy Pomander: Paper Hydrangea

Occasionally, I actually use get around to using an idea I found on Pinterest. Given the thousands of pins on my personal account, I should have a few Pinterest Wins to show off.

Of the few I do have, this is one of my favorites. The first time I saw this, I knew I had to make one, even though I had no idea what purpose it would actually serve to have one.

Isn’t is lovely? Pretty much useless, but lovely just the same.

Yeah yeah, I know it’s just for decoration, but even as far as decorations go, I’ve had a hard time figuring out what to actually *do* with these little guys. That’s besides the point though…since they are terribly cute.

I was completely in love with light blues & greens at that time, especially mint & robin’s egg blue (like half the world). I grabbed a few sheets of scrapbook paper at the craft store and I assume I picked up the craft punch mentioned in that tutorial since my petals look like theirs. I don’t really remember punching all of those tiny flowers, but I do remember this project taking a lot longer than I had planned. Maybe I used the Cricut for this and the part that took so long was skewering all of the tiny flowers with corsage pins? Either way, this mess took a lot of patience to finish.

Paperclips & Play Pens - Pinterest Win - diy Pomander: Paper Hydrangea

When I was done, I was reasonably happy with how they turned out. Instead of styrofoam balls, I just bought small foam balls at the dollar store (you know, the ones with Princesses and other characters on them) because styrofoam balls at the craft store cost a dang arm & a leg. I painted over the graphics on my dollar store balls with white craft paint, but in my haste, I didn’t bother with multiple coats, so you can kind of see the brush strokes between the petals, which gets on my nerves to no end. You may catch a glimpse of said brush strokes in the photo above if you look close.

Still, I thought they were pretty cute, and I used them as part of the centerpiece when I co-hosted the Best Baby Shower Ever.

Paperclips & Play Pens - Pinterest Win - diy Pomander: Paper Hydrangea

That’s the centerpiece in all its glory, as well as the dessert bar in the background. You may notice that I never finished posting the photos from that epic baby shower, but I really should try to do that at some point since it was so stinking cute. Maybe I’ll add that to the to-do list.

Paperclips & Play Pens - Pinterest Win - diy Pomander: Paper Hydrangea

That’s one of the little guys close up at the shower. You can really see here that my balls were just too small (heehee) for this to look as full as the Pinterest image.

Compared side-by-side:

Paperclips & Play Pens - Pinterest Win - diy Pomander: Paper Hydrangea

I definitely still consider it a “win” though. Unless you compare it to the original, you wouldn’t even notice. So yeah, solid win in my book.

Check out the great tutorial for Pomanders (Flower Balls) here.

Pomander Tutorial at Pizzazzerie.

I Want to do Something Fun!

Ruby is in a 3k Montessori program at school, and is only in school for a half day. Now, a half day is apparently 7:30 – 10:30AM. This means that she gets out of school before recess, before PE, before art, before music. She’s only there for the morning work time, although it should be noted that the work they do is definitely not digging ditches or anything I would complain about spending my time doing.

Almost every single day since she started school, when I pick her up at 10:30 AM, she immediately starts asking if we can “do something fun,” which quickly turns into her demanding that I find her something fun to do. Her idea of “something fun” is pretty narrow, and mostly consists of playing at some other child’s house or the playground with other children. This definition doesn’t work out very well, since I have to come home and get to work and most of the children we know either live too far away or are at school at this time of the day. She does not want me to take her to the playground to play by herself…she insists that the playground is “no fun” unless there are other kids there, and it is required that she is previously acquainted with the children. I have tried to explain to her that she needs to be able to make her own fun, but having a sibling so close in age (as far as she’s concerned, a constant play companion here solely for her amusement) for all of her life has left her with a severe distaste for playing by herself.

She whines and complains off and on for the rest of the morning. She’ll find something to play for a while, but she inevitably comes back to me with whines of exponential strength.

Now, I thought I was doing great this week. One day, we went to the playground when we picked Sadie up from school, with the plan of staying there for at least an hour, if not two, at a time when we knew at least 15 other kids from school would be there as well. Included in this group of children at the playground on this particular afternoon were at least three of the children that Ruby always asks to play with during her long whining sessions. I figured I was totally rocking motherhood and that I had just bought myself at least a moderately cooperative evening from Miss Ruby in exchange for my awesomness.

After we were there for about 10 minutes, I notice Ruby playing over in the sand by herself. I go over to see if she’s okay, and her response?

“Mom, I don’t really want to play with the other kids right now…I’d like to just play by myself.”

You are killing me, child. Killing me.

Favorite Friday – Outfit Posts

Favorite Friday

Continuing with my efforts towards the goals I set in my to do list for this year, specially the one about improving my wardrobe, I’ve been spending some time looking around the internet for websites & blogs that discuss fashion for real people. Not the real people who wear shirts that look like they’ve been sliced up by chipper shredder or the real people who wear leather shorts. Those people are totally fine, and I’m very happy that they’ve found their style. But looking at those types of images doesn’t really inspire me to dress cute. They really just inspire me to get some fuzzy socks and comfy pjs because all I can think is how uncomfortable I’d be in anything like that.

But seriously, there is no way anyone is getting my fat rear end in a neon shredded top & leather shorts.

So I need clothes for real people. They don’t have to be my size (I have an imagination and can pretty well picture an outfit plus 30 pounds), but just people who make an effort to look cute and put-together but who aren’t too far removed from what I consider to be realistic.

I also don’t care to look at images of shoes that cost $400 or dresses that cost $1200. Splurging on clothing to me is a $60 dress. If I can see that I’d wear it often in many outfits, I might go a bit higher than normal, but this budget does not have a ton of wiggle room.

With those criteria, most of the blogs I’ve come across that discuss fashion are just not cutting it for me.

So, I was extremely excited when I ran across this blog while browsing Pinterest (yeah, I know, I spend way too much time on there).

I just happened to catch the site right before her two year anniversary of blogging and caught some of the blogger’s back story…

    This site was started two years ago when my work environment changed from going into in a corporate office each day to working from home. It was intended as a way to motivate myself to put on an ‘outfit’ instead of my pjs/workout clothes each morning. I really only thought that my best friend, sister and mom would ever stop by.

As I read that, I realized this lady was speaking my language. You also work at home and are inclined to stay in your pjs all day? Sold!

The biggest thing is that the site is exactly what it says it is: outfit posts. She takes a photo of what she wore, shares the inspiration photo if there is one, explains what items are included in the outfit and where to buy them (or similar, often more affordable versions).

My favorite is the year end wrap up showing all of the different outfits she wore with individual items, like this white button down shirt.

Favorite Friday - Outfit Posts

This is a collage of a ton of her year end wrap up outfits. There are so many! And they’re all so cute! Go to her blog Outfit Posts to see them big enough to tell what they are

And then there’s the One Suitcase Series where she shows all of the different outfits you can make with a small number of items that would fit into one suitcase for business or leisure travel. I mean, not that I ever go anywhere, but since my wardrobe is fairly limited now and I’d like to start purchasing pieces that I can wear with lots of different things, that series looks like a good place to start for picking out good versatile items. I hear those are called “closet staples”…see, I’m learning!

I love that she links to where you can buy items she’s wearing in the photos, or similar items. If you see something you like, she usually gives several options for how you can get it. Even the clothes she wears that she’s had for a long time, she’ll still find items elsewhere that are similar. Now, some of the items she links to are a bit steep for my budget (I clicked on this cute chunky necklace once and I swear it said it was $80), but usually the similar items at least are much closer to my price range.

I’m really excited about all of the inspiration in one place. Looking through her blog actually made me kind of look forward to clothes shopping. Pretty crazy huh?

Anyway, head over there and check out the blog if you’re looking for some cute, everyday fashion inspiration.