Shoe Freak

My grandmother loves shoes (and handbags); my mother does too.  So when I see my closet full of shoe boxes and purses, I blame my genes.  What can I say?  Spending tons of money on shoes is in my blood!  😉

I’m also very picky about the shoes I purchase.  The shoes have to speak to me if I’m spending my hard-earned coins on them.  I tend to go for higher heels–the higher the heel, the closer to God (in my opinion).  If I wear flats, I want them to be stylish.  Want proof?  These are just a few pairs from my collection:

Purple suede with a satin bow–gorgeous!

Patent leather stiletto Mary Janes–classic!

I don’t always wear heels–sometimes I hit ’em with the Jordans too!

So imagine my shock when I walked out of a shoe store with these babies:

my shoes.jpg

Not what I’d usually go for…

Definitely a departure from my usual style, but with good reason.  My mom and I are taking a trip to Costa Rica in the fall (!!!) and I needed something that would take me from the jungle to the beach and back again.  After some research (online and talking with friends who’ve hiked a million more miles than I ever will) I decided on the Chacos.

Honestly, they are pretty comfortable.  And they are kinda cute when you put them on too!  I promise y’all, the intent of this post isn’t to brag about my shoe collection.  It’s to brag about how super #adult I felt buying them.  I’m almost 30, y’all.  I need to cast away childish things.  I need to quit focusing on how I look and focus more on how I feel.  Because the shoes don’t make the woman–the woman makes the shoes.  And I’m making these Chacos fabulous, henny!

So whether I’m hiking the jungle or walking the runway…

 

#truestory

 

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Surviving, Snacks, and Family Vacations #100HappyDays

Day 80:  Surviving makes me happy.  This was my sixth day in a row of teaching customer class and my voice started going out.  I was able to get through my class anyway though–sometimes you just have to be happy you made it through.

Day 81:  Buying snacks makes me happy.  For our upcoming family vacation (more on that below) I was in charge of buying the snacks.  Who doesn’t like buying snacks?!?  The hardest part was trying not to eat them before the trip (and remembering to load everything into the car).  For the record, I did try to buy healthier snacks…but some s’more ingredients may or may not have made their way into the cart too.

Day 82:  Fridays make me happy.  Especially Fridays before a long weekend!

Days 83-87:  Family vacations make me happy.  My family and I camped near Mammoth Cave for the holiday and it was really fun!  We had the most awesome RV in the park (and that’s not me bragging–people came by multiple times a day to compliment it).  We hiked a trail near the cave, which was somewhat challenging in 90° weather with 1,000,000% humidity.  But we made it–and rewarded ourselves with great food and lots of laughs.  Check out the view from our campsite and my new friend Belle below!

 

Kentucky is so beautiful!

Victory (a.k.a. the baddest RV in the park).

Belle!  She protected us by barking at everyone who walked past our campsite.

 

Days 88-89:  Short work weeks make me happy.  That’s the awesome thing about coming back to work on Thursday–you’re already basically at the weekend!  Is it bad that I’m already counting down the hours until the weekend officially starts?

Mail call! #100HappyDays

Day 59: Getting things in the mail makes me happy. 

Quick clarification: Getting things in the mail that aren’t bills makes me happy. 😉 I ordered some pictures to hang up in my home and they finally arrived! For so long, my walls have been bare. But my boyfriend’s recent home decorating inspired me to do a little decorating myself. Family, friends, travels, and of course my favorite drag queens–I’m covering the walls with them! 

Looks like I’m gonna need to do some thrifting to find frames for all these (and the ones I still need to order)…

Yes, the picture of me with RuPaul is an 8×10. To quote Queen B, “And I don’t feel bad about it.”

Vacation Days and Handwritten Notes #100HappyDays

Days 19-22:  Vacation days make me happy.  And before you ask–no, I didn’t go anywhere (unless you count the grocery store).  I originally took the days off to attend DragCon 2017 in Los Angeles, but that airline ticket just wasn’t in the budget this year unfortunately.  Since I’d already gotten the vacation days approved, I figured I’d use the time to reminisce about my wonderful DragCon 2016 experience and get some adulting done.

And boy, did this gal adult something FIERCE!  I completed a ton of personal care appointments I’d been putting off for wayyyyy too long, got all my grocery shopping done, and (with the help of my wonderful boyfriend) took care of some #homeownerproblems.  This was definitely a stay-cation, but having Friday and Monday off work made me very happy indeed.

Day 23:  Handwritten notes make me happy.  My boyfriend’s mom mailed me the sweetest thank you card in appreciation for the dinner I hosted over Easter weekend, and today I come into my office to find this adorable note from my office mate’s family!

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Bright and Blooming #100HappyDays

Day 11: Fresh flowers make me happy. 

Things are just starting to bloom around here, but not fast enough for my liking. After what felt like a decades-long winter, I need to see some flowers blooming! That’s why I really appreciated the fresh flowers my boyfriend’s dad brought over this weekend when I hosted dinner at my house. Today I saw that a few of the buds have opened and those bursts of color made me so happy! Photo below for your viewing pleasure:

Bright and blooming flowers!

Bonus: My Granny Loma loved fresh flowers, and every time I have some in my home I think of her. She made me–and everyone who knew her–very happy. Check out my tribute to her here

Safe Travels, Staff Meetings, Dinners, and Open Doors #100HappyDays

Four days of happiness comin’ atcha in three…two…ONE:

Day 7:  Safe travels make me happy.  My parents headed back to Kentucky on this day, so it was bittersweet for me.  I was sad to see them go, but happy when I got the text from my mom telling me they made it back safely.  I always worry about them when they travel–too many crazy drivers out there for my comfort–so getting the confirmation that their travels were safe put a big smile on my face.

Day 8:  Staff Meeting (oddly enough) makes me happy.  Most folks wouldn’t say they enjoy attending a staff meeting at work, especially when that meeting is over two hours long.  But I enjoy attending the monthly staff meeting at my company.  I like learning what’s new with the company and the software and hearing our CEO speak about topics related to the business we do.  I also appreciate the monthly grammar tip–who doesn’t want to improve their grammar?  🙂

Day 9:  Making dinner with my boyfriend makes me happy.  I’ve always been able to throw a recipe together, but wasn’t really someone who enjoyed cooking.  That changed after I started cooking with my boyfriend.  We make dinners together a few nights a week and it is always more fun cooking with him than when I cook solo.  Whether we’re trying something completely new or making an old favorite, we always have a good time.  (And the food usually turns out pretty great too!  Check out my Instagram for photos of some of the meals we’ve made.)

Day 10:  Being appreciated makes me happy.  After pinch-hitting for a coworker who was out with a sick kiddo this week, my team lead (TL) told me I was “the reason why we keep the doors open for HIM training.”  Apparently this isn’t the only time someone has said that–she said she stole the phrase from another TL who supervised me while my TL was out on maternity leave!  In a company of 9,000+ people, it’s easy to fly under the radar.  I love helping others and I don’t need to be recognized for it, but knowing that someone notices and appreciates the ways I help out makes me very happy indeed.

Family Fun #100HappyDays

Day 6: Spending time with family makes me happy. 

Most of my family is still in Kentucky, and since I’ve been living in Wisconsin I’ve often felt disconnected from them. I was born and raised in Kentucky, surrounded by family, and I miss being able to see them whenever I want and keep up with the ins and outs of their daily lives. Today though, I got to spend quality time with my parents. We sat around watching tv and talking and had lunch together. That might sound like a boring day to some, but I enjoyed every single minute with them. 

And on top of that, my parents and my boyfriend’s parents finally met! I made dinner for everyone at my house and lots of laughs were shared. I am so glad that everyone hit it off and I’m looking forward to the next time we can all get together again. 

Bonus: My mom and I got makeovers today at Sephora. I am always happy in Sephora. 🙂 (And our makeup turned out great!) 

Gladiators and Good Reviews #100HappyDays

Happiness abounds! 

Day 4: Scandal makes me happy. Are y’all surprised I am obsessed with Scandal? If so, you shouldn’t be. Fierce Black woman solving problems and saving lives while rocking designer clothes and carrying exquisite handbags? That’s got me written all over it. Yesterday was the show’s 100th episode and to celebrate, they did a “what if” storyline outlining what might have happened if important events turned out differently. I’ve been watching Scandal avidly since the first season–I am an old school “gladiator”–so I enjoyed seeing old characters and situations revisited. 

Day 5: Customer evals make me happy. These evaluations (evals) I’m referring to are submitted by customers at the end of each class. They rate the overall course, training materials, and me (the trainer). This morning my team lead called me first thing and asked if I had read my evals from Thursday’s class. I immediately got anxious that something was wrong, but they were some of the best ranks I’ve ever gotten! I appreciated the positive comments my trainees left and also the fact that my team lead noticed and called to congratulate me. 

Bonus: Today when I got home from work, I was able to sit down and eat dinner with my parents. I am so happy they came up to spend Easter weekend with me!

Like We Used To

This post comes after a long weekend of family, food, and fun times. For the past few years, my parents journeyed to the frozen north to spend Thanksgiving with me. This year, I headed back to my old Kentucky home to celebrate Thanksgiving in my hometown or, in the words of my mother, “like we used to.”

Airport chic.

For as long as I can remember, my great-aunt (or as I called her “Granny”) Aloma hosted Thanksgiving dinner at her house. The whole family would come over to eat, play games, watch football, and cut up in a way that only family can. Since her passing, we haven’t had a Thanksgiving celebration that’s been the same. This year though, we all got together and had that down home gathering.  

My “ready to eat” face.


I think it was hard for all of us without Granny Aloma there. We had a great time though, eating traditional southern dishes and laughing for hours. Family and friends all together, bonding over food and fellowship–my heart was so full (and my belly was too). 

 

This turkey was for the post-Thanksgiving dinner.

 
We kept our tradition of seeing a movie on Thanksgiving night alive too. The five of us (my mom, stepdad, brother, stepsister, and I) saw the late showing of Mockingjay, Part 2 and even ran into a few distant cousins at the theater! We got home and went to bed for a few hours in preparation for the next day…

Coffee required for 6am shopping.

Black Friday! My mom, stepsister, and I got up around six to go shopping.  We got some awesome deals at the mall, and I purchased my very own selfie stick (at 50% off). I even found my favorite soda from middle school!

Testing out the selfie stick!

Ahhhh, tastes like sixth grade.

We had breakfast, then hit a few other stores before making our way back home. After a nap, we went out shopping again and got even more deals. Mom and I managed to mark a few people off our Christmas lists (and picked up some goodies for ourselves too of course). 

 

Shop until you’re drop dead gorgeous!

 
Saturday I made a country breakfast of sausage, biscuits, and gravy before we went to watch my brother play basketball. He made some great plays! The fact that he’s dang near 7′ tall probably doesn’t hurt–I call him my “big little brother.” 🙂
 

Ready to rebound.

 

Later that day, we had visitors come through–cousins! Clearly cute runs in our family because these little girls are the most adorable people ever! The big sister is a cheerleader/gymnast who is smart as a whip. The little sister is the sweetest, calmest little baby; this was my first time meeting her and she stole my heart right away. 
 

Sisters!

 

To make the night even more awesome, my stepdad brought me a delicacy I’m unable to get easily in Wisconsin…White Castle! 

The deliciousness is indescribable.

 

Today consisted of a lazy morning at the house before the family took me to the airport. Hugs were given; “I love you’s” and “be careful’s” exchanged. And here I am, writing a post about my wonderful weekend on a plane. 

Bags packed…

I love my family so much. I am so thankful to have grown up with people and traditions so honest and real. I’m glad we are able to come together and support one another “like we used to” and, hopefully, how we always will. 

My Old Kentucky Home: Memorial Day Edition

Another trip back home–this Kentucky girl was tickled pink! I celebrated Memorial Day with my fantastic family, including my stepdad (who is retired from the Air Force). I greatly appreciate his service as well as that of all of the other men and women who protect our country–especially those who gave their lives doing so. 

The weekend consisted of a motorcycle rally, mommy-daughter pedicures, watching a middle school basketball tournament, and hanging with my brother and grandfather. I hope y’all had an enjoyable Memorial Day!