Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday's Threads!

Back to our regularly scheduled frivolity today folks! Time for another edition of Thursday's Threads! They're predicting some thunderstorms later today, and while it's partly sunny right now, I decided to bring my own sunshine to work. That's right, NEON! Woohoo! Here's the full length:

I kept it super casual today. It's the weird in-between weather... To wear sleeves or not to wear sleeves? THAT is the question. So I went with 3/4 length sleeves. Let's break it down:

Top: baseball tee from Deb
Cost: $5.00
I love these burnout tees. They're so soft and comfy! And $5? I should have bought more!

Belt: from Zulilly 
Cost: $3.99
This is a great little plastic belt. I love that it actually has a nice metal buckle instead of a flimsy plastic one you often see on jelly type products.

Jeans: Vigoss
Cost: $19.99
I call these my plain jeans. I have three pairs, this one darker pair and two others that are a shade lighter. I really love this brand. The length works perfectly for me. (I'm somewhere between short and normal, and finding the right length is tricky!) They also are not break the bank expensive which is a big deal to me. We all know I love a bargain!

Shoes: Rock & Candy
Cost: $24.94
Right?! Neon boat shoes! Best. Purchase. Ever. I do wish they were real leather as that would make them a little more comfy, but they're not bad as they are. I love love love the color of course!

Accessory time!

Necklace: Homemade
Cost: Not much
I made this in pink too. It took a lot of self control when I discovered these glass neon beads to not order ALL THE ONES ON THE SITE. I still might. We'll see.

Left arm:
My bracelet descriptions will be a bit lame today as I can't remember where some of these came from. But I'll make some guesses! The first one on the left is part of a stack that I THINK came from Forever21. I think. I'm not really sure. It might have been from Loehmann's. The chain with neon ribbon came from Zulilly. The string bracelet next to my trusty watch is from PuraVida.

Right arm:
We should pause for a moment and full appreciate that big leather bracelet on the left. It's nothing short of amazing. And sadly I can't remember where I got it. I'm pretty sure it was from Loehmann's, but it might have come from Baublebar. Hard to say for sure. The other two are both from Forever21. They both have pink twins too, and I can't remember if they were sets or if I bought them all separately. Ahhh senility!

What are you wearing today? Do you ever feel the need to supply your own sunshine? And you're welcome for getting "Steal My Sunshine" in your head for the rest of the day... (Did that not happen for you? Just me? Well now it is!)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Moment of Reflection

Twenty years ago today the farm where I boarded my horse succumbed to a devastating fire. 8 horses were lost. I remember the day still as though it just happened... Settle back, grab a decaf, and let me tell you about the day that changed my life.

I was your typical 14 year old barn rat. Since it was summer, I spent about 9 hours every day galavanting around the farm, riding horses, cleaning tack, and generally loitering about.  That Sunday was more or less a normal Sunday at the farm. I got there around nine and got to do a lot of riding that day! I rode my own horse Bud, he was just flatting that day. I had a project pony named Short Sleeves (Abbey for short) who I also worked that day. She was a 3 year old pony and sassy as they come!
Abbey the winter before the fire. Pardon how not photogenic we are!
I remember we were practicing lead changes that day over ground poles. I also got to have a lesson on a horse that I had ridden only a few time named Step Aside (Step was his nickname).
Step and I the week before the fire during a horse show at the farm
I had a tough time with this horse, as he was MUCH bigger and stronger than what I was used to riding. But that day, I had the most amazing lesson. We jumped big jumps, made almost no mistakes, and just generally started figuring each other out.

My dad picked me up from the barn around 5 pm, and we went to our favorite local Chinese restaurant to pick up dinner. While my dad and stepmom were unpacking the food, I went to wash my hands. As I was returning to the kitchen the phone rang, so I answered it in the den. My friend Tricia was on the line. Her dad had a police scanner in the house, and she had heard there was a structure fire at the barn where my horse lived. I remember asking her if she was joking, and she said of course not! I was a bit in shock, but I thanked her for telling me. I walked back into the kitchen, sat down, and picked up my egg roll. I repeated very calmly to my dad what Tricia had told me, and he said, do you want to go over there and see what's going on? I said yes, so we got up and got in the car. My dad lives at the bottom of a hill, and as soon as we reached the top, we could see the black smoke billowing up. It was terrifying. He lives maybe 3 miles from the stable. We arrived quickly to a somewhat chaotic scene. There were horses loose and running all over the place. Some were contained in the large field behind my trainer's house. And the barn... It was all in flames, except for the newer aisle. The eeriest thing I remember from that night was this sign that hung over a doorway to the indoor ring. It was just a piece of plywood, painted white with the word PHONE on it in black paint. (Way back then only really rich people had cell phones. The rest of us used pay phones, which is what this sign was referencing.) That sign never burned. Yellow, red, and orange flames were everywhere, but that little sign shone through. So weird. I wonder what kind of paint they used on it?!

My own horse was safe, people had seen him leave the barn, and assured me hadn't run back inside. But it was awhile before I would find him. As soon as we were able, we led him and a few other horses to an old abandoned barn at the back of the property. He generally couldn't be contained with just a fence as he would jump out of any enclosure we put him on. Hence him being sent to the old barn. The others that joined him were those that didn't play well with others. We had to walk past the fire to get to the old barn, but not at all close. Probably half an acre away at least. And it was still so hot from that far away. So hot.

My friends' horses were all safe outside too. But then I realized who we hadn't seen. None of the school horses. Very few of the sale horses. Both my girl Abbey, and Step who I had just started to figure out, had not made it out safely. Nor had Daisy the old lesson horse that EVERYONE learned to ride on. Myself included. Crackers, Ben, Eddy, Jaz, and a one other who's name is escaping me were all lost that night.

The firemen were amazing at keeping the fire contained, and eventually putting it out. I stayed until about 2 in the morning when my parents dragged me away to go home and get some sleep. There would be a lot of work to do in the morning. A LOT. So I agreed and went home.

The next morning was tough. I arrived early to help and to hug my horse until he couldn't handle it anymore. There were fireman and reporters everywhere. People were delivering all kinds off food and supplies. A tent came and temporary stalls to house the horses in. There were some terrible things that had to happen, such as extricating the lost horses. The adults did an amazing job of distracting us kids while that took place. They gave us a pile of burnt tack and asked us to clean it up and see what we could save. Obviously none of it as it had so much heat and water damage, but we didn't know any better, and were spared any gruesome sights going on in the rubble. Being a "big kid" I stayed strong and businesslike about everything, right up until one of the little girls asked me where Abbey was. I didn't know how to respond... Do 7 year olds know about death? Before I could find some words or maybe utter an "I'm not sure" my eyes welled up. Well that little girl hugged me tight and said "don't worry, you can ride my pony any time you want." Honestly, they don't make kids like that anymore.

Eventually things got back to normal. We went to horse shows. The barn was rebuilt. New school horses came to work at the farm. But that night will always be with me like it was yesterday. I still think about Abbey often. Ducky has her sass that's for sure!

If you're still here, thanks for reading my story. That devastating event has been with me ever since, as I'm sure it is with many of my friends who were there that night. I can't believe it was 20 years ago.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Truthful Tuesday

Confession: I've filled all the closet space. ALL THE CLOSET SPACE. And the dresser too. I didn't fully realize it until I went to put away the laundry and couldn't... I think my recent online shopping binges are to blame... partially at least. So amidst my Tuesday confession, I will show you all the items I've wasted money on in the last couple weeks that have caused my closet to explode.

First, I finally caved and became a VIP at It's a the sportswear division of and is the brainchild of Kate Hudson (you know, the actress) supposedly. I've resisted because I REALLY don't need more workout clothes. Especially given my lengthy running hiatus... But then again, I'm back at it, and new outfits do help motivate me ;) Also, they were offering a special deal of an entire outfit at 75% off. That meant for $18.00 I could have the running skirt I'd had my eye one, a sports bra, and a tank. That's pretty tough to pass up. Of course I had to also add on the items I'd been coveting that were still in stock too... Here's what I ordered:

running skirt
 Love this skirt! I was afraid it might be small, but it actually fits pretty well.

sports bra
 I got this in an XS because, well..., I have an XS chest! But it's really tiny. I'm too lazy to send it back though, I think I'm just going to give it to my coworkers daughter.

 LOVE THIS TANK! Yes that much. It's so soft, and fits perfectly. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

capri length sweatpants
 I like to call these weekend pants. They are great for lounging around and can double as jammy pants. So long day of horse showing, running, whatever... Take your evening shower, hop into the weekend pants! No need to change to jammies after, just head straight to bed! Best pants ever.

capri length wind pants
 I honestly had no specific need for these. But I really really wanted them. They are the best fabric, it's really soft, but still wind proof. I have no idea what I'll wear them for... but they are fantastic!

full length wind pants
This is a terrible photo. They're navy blue with a pink waist band. These are the same amazing material as the green pair above, but full length. They're actually a tiny bit too long for me, but I think with sneakers on they'll be fine. These will be great for morning runs in the fall, when it's a little too cool for shorts, but not so cold you need tights.

After spending a total of $115.00 on clothes I didn't need at Fabletics (so much for the $17.00 outfit right? I'm such a sucker), I then stumbled on the HUGE end of season clearance sale at TJ Maxx online. And yes, I bought more workout clothes. Seriously, I think there's something wrong with me. Here's what I got there:

Pink and blue capris
 Most of my leggings are black... so obviously I needed a blue pair. Duh.

pink and black leggings
 I honestly can't even justify these. But they were only 9.99.

Hind Tank Tops
 These I can totally justify. I love this brand. I love the fabric. So much love!

Sports bra
 Hey the Fabletics one didn't fit...

 Um... I just like it. A lot. Stop judging.

Umbro 2-in-1 shorts pink

Umbro 2-in-1 shorts black
 I actually really did need shorts. I'm a little... ahem... chubby for the ones I have currently. And I have fallen in love with 2-in-1 shorts. So therefore I had a need. They actually make my butt look weird, they kind of bubble out. But they're so comfy I don't even care. I've already worn them both!

work top!
 I loved this so much I wore it right away. You can see it on Thursday's Threads last week.

Neon yellow striped tank
 It's neon. Clearly I needed that.

Cotton Dress
 I got this to wear as a beach cover up. It's perfect for that job!

macrame slip ons from Esprit
I've been searching my house for these shoes, but apparently I didn't actually own them. Now I do! Which leads to confession number two... I bought another pair the same day from without realizing it. Thankfully they're a slightly different style... SLIGHTLY.

I initially went to just to get a sunflower infinity scarf to go with my adorable sunflower sunnies. But then they had a giant clearance sale and $5.00 shirts. It was all downhill from there.

 So I mean I DID accomplish the goal of getting the scarf. But then I also found some cute bracelets and neon sunnies. Of course I need neon sunnies, especially for 4.99!

These would be the second pair of macrame shoes... See, they're different! (a little)

 And $5.00 sweatshirts... You don't pass that up! Especially when they are neon or reference cowboys. The top middle one with the stripes I am passing on to someone younger. It's cropped which I didn't realize. I'm too old for that nonsense!

 Panda bear bikini in mint? What about this would lead you to NOT buy it? I couldn't find a reason.

Pants... So as a runner who runs solely to be less fat, I HAD to get french fry leggings. HAD TO. Believe it or not, I have a tank top that matches the kitty/pug pair already. The sunflower ones I am giving away. I thought they were leggings, but they're more like MC Hammer pants. I'm not sure I can pull that off. And sadly the neon pants are too small for me. It would cost me more to ship the items back than I paid for them, so I'm just going to pass along the things that didn't work for me to my coworker's daughter.

 Tanks! I think the My Little Pony one goes without saying... The white one is really cute, it has a muted flower design throughout. The peach top is REALLY cute, it has a ruffly bottom. The mint one is just a cute lacey tank. Love the color!

Cami's! I wear cami's under everything and have a bunch that are getting threadbare. So these are replacements.

I was hoping this would be adorable with my matching sunnies. But alas, it's a bit too cropped for my liking. I'll pass this along too.

 Long sleeve t-'s! I love these. They are SO SOFT! And cute colors too!

Neon pansy dress. I had figured this would be cute at the beach, but it's actually really nice and heavy duty and not made for beach wear. Also the top is too big for me. I would really like to have it made into a skirt though... Going to see if I know anyone who's capable of doing that...

I thought this dress was so cute when I saw it! But once I got it home I realized I saw a pre-teen wearing it at the awards banquet last year, and decided I'm probably too old for it? I still really like it though, so I'm keeping it for now. It fits great, and looks nice... Just not sure. Thoughts?

So... that's my confession for today. I'm a shopaholic with no more space. Once I have a free weekend, I'm going to have to go through the closets and drawers and make up some goody bags for all my friends' kids!

Anything on your mind today? Find any good deals lately?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Road Race weekend!

So I managed to run the 4 miler Saturday morning. Phew! I was feeling a little out of place when I got there and didn't recognize a single person. And they all looked fast! See:
Thankfully they weren't all as fast as they looked, and I held my own. I did take two walk breaks. One short one at 2.3 where there was a water stop, and the other at 3.4 where I was tired and there was a decent hill. I'm a little disappointed in myself for walking that hill, but my time was 41 and change, so really it wasn't THAT bad! All things considered. Plus, I had a full day ahead still!
After race time, I took a short break outside with the puggers and had a snack. After that was barn chores and riding.

I ran a few errands in the evening, and then was exhausted so the pugs and I napped on the floor till bedtime.
I woke up Sunday and prayed to the weather gods to hold off with the rain until after barn chores. Thankfully they listened to me! I had the horses out for 2 hours while I did the barn and cleaned out the hay shed. Got them all tucked back in to their clean stalls with their lunch just in time for the rain to start! I was a little bummed because I wanted to go to the farmers market, but decided to fuel up the car and the gator and see what the weather was doing. Worked out pretty well for me, as it stopped just as I arrived at the market. Woohoo! I didn't take a photo of my farm fresh goodies this time though, sorry!
After I put away my tasty food, I headed out to visit Ducky at cowboy camp. He's doing very well according the trainer, but is definitely a tricky case. Not shocking to hear! Here he is being a western hony:

After my visit with Ducky, I stopped at the store to get the rest of my food for the week. Started the laundry and took a 45 minute time-out in the sun with a delicious smoothy (which I also used to make popsicles!)

I followed that up with pony dinners, puggy dinners, and some housework. Finished the night off the best way possible:
These busy weekends are exhausting! Did you do anything exciting this weekend?