2015 Review

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Happy New Year!

2015 brought lots of changes my way. We moved (again), Little One started pre-school, I went back to work part-time…

We love our new house and have settled in nicely. After 3 moves in 5 years we’re going to stay put – for a long time!

Little One has been doing well at pre-school for the past 4 months. Instead of crying when I drop her off, she now runs into her classroom and can’t wait to see her friends. Thankfully, she only had one breath-holding spell back when she first started school, and I was there to make sure she was ok. I don’t want to jinx it, but the breath-holding episodes have been fewer and fewer lately.

At the end of September I started working part-time, 3 days a week, at a small law office. This has been great for me to “do my own thing” a few hours per weeks without the pressure of trying to balance full-time work and childcare.

Oh! I’ve also been crazy enough to take some classes online. Since I now have a few things going on, I won’t be renewing the blog next month. I do have a Pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com/mrsjason21/ and an Instagram @gracefullyjason if you’d like to follow!

Wishing you a happy, healthy 2016 and many thanks for following along in 2015!

 

 

 

Update: Child Care Success

Just a quick update to say: WE FOUND A PLACE! Little One successfully completed a 1/2 day trial on Thursday. The teacher said she loved painting and also enjoyed being “teacher’s helper” by handing out supplies. This coming week we will start her attending 1/2 days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I can’t wait for her to get into a routine and continue learning with kids her age.

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Frustration: childcare search and breath-holding

Frustration

For those of you who aren’t familiar with toddler breath-holding spells, please read my post here to understand what I’m talking about.

I’ve recently started to reach out to a few local childcare places, both for the sake of Little One’s socialization and also for a bit of a break for me, only to be faced with the same response: we’ve never heard of that. I’ve spoken to 3 different organizations, all of which have years of experience with children, and so far none of them have given me enough of a feeling of confidence so I feel comfortable sending my Little One into their care.

The frustrating part of this is that all of the doctors we’ve seen (pediatrician, neurologist, cardiologist) have said the same thing: that sounds like a classic case of breath-holding. Apparently it’s CLASSIC to doctors, but not to any childcare providers around here!

One place we toured said they would have to speak to their medical advisor to figure out what their protocol would be in case Little One had a breath-holding spell in their care. I completely understand the need for procedure and liability issues on their part, but it was supposed to be a day or 2 to hear from them. They never called me back. I got the impression they just didn’t want to deal with the situation, but couldn’t turn me away to my face. I’m not going to beg them to take us either.

I’m starting some online classes next week, and may or may not continue actively looking for part-time work, so now would be a great time to have Little One spend a few hours a week playing with other kids and learning how to “go to school” for when that time comes. Do I gamble on a place that has no experience with breath-holding? There’s also a chance that she won’t even have a breath-holding spell in their care, but I’d like to at least have a little confidence that the provider is familiar with it on some level.

My next step is to call the doctor and ask if they can somehow recommend a childcare provider with breath-holding experience, but I’m not sure if they will even know that information. Wish me luck.

Do you ever get frustrated when experts seem to lack knowledge that others tell you is “common”? 

  • UPDATE: 8/31/15 Today we toured a facility that was welcoming and warm. The teachers did not look at me like I had two heads as I explained breath-holding to them. I’m happy/anxious to report Little One will be doing a half-day trial later this week!

IG Style Challenge

I haven’t participated in any style challenges for a while, but I loved today’s idea…

Challenge for August 21:

  • #wearwhatwhereaugust // inVESTed

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After putting this together I realized everything (except the shoes) came from Stitch Fix! I love (love, love) this utility vest, so I had to do this challenge. Although it’s still humid here, I went for a look I can wear when it cools down. The striped top is super soft and easy to wear. I love the ankle zipper detail on the skinny jeans. Since this is technically my only real statement necklace, it’s usually on repeat in these outfits! Finally, I scored the shoes at Target last month for $8.50 – boom!

Do you follow the utility vest/jacket trend? 

1 Pair of Pants, 2 Ways

I recently had the occasion (twice) to dress a little more formal than usual. I chose to wear a pair of black Worthington slacks from JCPenny. At first glance they appear solid black, but they actually have tiny white dots on them, a detail I love! I originally bought them with a black blazer, but the days I needed to wear them were SO hot, I opted to skip the extra layer.

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For the first look I mirrored the dots on the pants with a polka dot blouse from NY&Co. I felt put together despite the heat that day.

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For the second look, on a day with torrential rain, I chose a summer scarf and Liz Claiborne cap sleeve blouse.

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Do you choose neutrals with a subtle pattern/detail to break away from boring? Which look do you like better?

August 2015 Stitch Fix Review

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I took a little break from Stitch Fix due to our recent move, but my latest one just arrived! I wouldn’t say this one was love at first sight, but after trying on each item and looking to pieces I already own to figure out wearability, I think it’s a pretty good fix. I’ve also started looking for part-time work, so I’ve been keeping that in mind when looking at clothes – would this be something appropriate for an office setting? Most of these could be worn to work.

Pixley – Ivy Petal Print Blouse $58

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Fun2Fun – Janina Split Neck Tulip Sleeve Blouse $44

 

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Laila Jayde – Keene Knit Top $48

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Renee C – Porsha Swing Dress $44

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Octavia – Henry Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf $28

 

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So here are my thoughts: I LOVE the scarf, it’s so soft and the color is one of my favorites! The bird print is really cute too.

The swing dress is SO comfortable, it literally barely feels like clothes, but it’s also very thin. I will probably wear it around the house, or as a swim cover-up. I also tried it on with a longer vest, from a previous fix, which looked good too.

The Laila Jayde top looks better in person, and the hubby liked it.

I like the sleeve and hem details on the Fun2Fun red top, and it can be worn on date night or tucked into work pants or a pencil skirt.

Lastly, the Pixley Ivy top wasn’t my favorite when I first saw it, but once I paired it with dark jeans and fun sneakers I liked it a lot more. I think it would also be great for the office.

Cost – after the 25% discount (for keeping all 5 items) they average out to $29.30 per piece. Genniva, my stylist for all 7 fixes, has continued to take my Pinterest board into account when choosing my items and I’ve been so happy with her choices for me!

I’ve been seeing more ladies trying Stitch Fix lately, what are your thoughts? Would you like a personal stylist to help build your wardrobe?  

What I’ve Been Reading

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a reading list, so here are some books I’ve enjoyed recently:

To Speak For The Dead by Paul Levine:

A doctor in love with his patient’s wife…

A fatal mistake during surgery…

Accident? Malpractice? Or murder?

Defending a surgeon in a malpractice case, Jake Lassiter begins to suspect that his client is innocent of negligence…but guilty of murder. Add a sexy widow, a deadly drug, and a grave robbery to the stew, and you have Miami’s trial of the century.

Cold Black Earth by Sam Reaves:

When Rachel Lindstrom fled from her rural hometown in western Illinois to join the State Department and see the world, she never expected to return with her life in tatters. But after the horrors of war and a painful divorce, the only place where she can rebuild is the town she once escaped.

At home, however, there is little comfort. Her brother, still reeling from his wife’s suicide, struggles to run the family farm and handle a hell-raising son. Rachel’s arrival also draws a pair of rival suitors: her brother’s handsome friend and a rough-hewn sheriff’s deputy who pined for her in high school. Romance is the last thing on Rachel’s mind, but a little comfort would be nice—except for the complications.

When a deranged killer escapes from a local prison, the far-flung farmsteads go on high alert—especially when the bodies start turning up. And in a county where the miles outnumber the people, it soon becomes clear that the madman is close behind Rachel.

The Night Crew by Brian Haig:

Lieutenant Colonel Sean Drummond, a cocky US Army lawyer who’s not afraid to be blunt, finds himself up to his neck in a case he didn’t ask to take.

Five US soldiers, tasked with guarding Iraqi prisoners, stand accused of committing depraved atrocities against their charges. Drummond is assigned to defend one of them: a hardscrabble young woman who is either incredibly naive or deceptively evil…and whose incriminating photos made the case an international scandal.

Drummond and his cocounsel, the fiercely antiwar Katherine Carlson, have a complicated and combative history, but they can’t afford to get distracted now. They must determine what drove five young patriots to fall so far to the dark side of human nature.

A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White:

Twelve years ago, Sarah Baker was abducted by the Watt Lake Killer and sexually assaulted for months before managing to escape. The killer was caught, but Sarah lost everything: her marriage, her child, and the life she loved.

Struggling with PTSD, Sarah changes her name to Olivia West and finds sanctuary working on Broken Bar Ranch. But as her scars finally begin to heal, a cop involved with her horrific case remains convinced the Watt Lake Killer is still out there. He sets a lure for the murderer, and a fresh body is discovered. Now Olivia must face the impossible—could the butcher be back, this time to finish the job?

Finally Settling In

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The last month has been pretty crazy. We sold a house, spent a few weeks in limbo, bought a house and finally two nights ago we moved in. I wasn’t able to do much blog updating, but hopefully now I can get back on track.

Stay tuned for another Stitch Fix review in about a week or so.

Also, on a personal note, about two weeks ago I went to a job interview. I’ve been struggling with the idea of going back to work, but I felt like this position (within the court system) would have been a great opportunity for me. This was the first interview I’ve been to in about three years, so I was really nervous, but I’m glad I went. I know the next one, whenever that might be, will be easier and hopefully I will find something right for me (and the family) when the time is right.

Do you find it difficult to balance work and family? 

Weekend Outfit

I’ve skipped the last few IG Style Challenges due to moving – my clothes are in boxes, totes and bags! We’re in between houses at the moment, staying with family, so the blog posts might be a bit sporadic until we’re settled in again. We did manage to get to a cookout this weekend and had a good time with friends.

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I ended up adding a brown belt and swapping the flip flops for brown sandals. Tee and jacket are Stitch Fix, pants are thrifted from Savers, and earrings are Nickel & Suede.

Did any of you get a head start on 4th of July celebrations?