The Big 4-0

In a little over a month or so, I’ll be celebrating my fortieth birthday. Which, holy shit, you know? I don’t know why but that number is majorly freaking my shit out. Usually for my birthday I run a scarf swap and I have already been asked by more than one person about when this year’s swap is going be. The short answer is, it isn’t happening. Here’s the deal: in both the scarf swap and flip flop swap people have been let down by their swap partners. They, in good faith, have sent items only to receive nothing back or to receive something not equal to what they sent and that bums me out. I’m really, really not happy about it and if you were one of those people, I’m so very sorry. I don’t want to host something that leaves people with a sour taste in their mouth. I thought about trying to find some way to do it where I limited the participants or had some sort of rating system so I knew who could be “trusted” but frankly that takes what is supposed to be a fun thing and turns it into a huge admin nightmare and just no.

I’d really like to try and take a negative and turn it into something positive if I can, however…

Today, on twitter, Andyouknow mentioned grabbing another wishlist/adopt-a-kid tag off the tree at work and while I think it is SO GREAT that she is helping so many kids, it just breaks my heart. That so many kids are left wanting all the days of the year but especially at the holidays…they shouldn’t have to ask for basic essentials as gifts, they should get to open fun things just like other (more privileged) kids. So, I had a thought. What if I asked that people grab one of these tags? If forty people could help forty kids in honor of my big 4-0? That would be pretty amazing, to me. I would gladly make you a custom pair of earrings, flower pin, headband or send you a print of any of my photos in return. Obviously this wouldn’t wait until January but would need to happen now, in time for Christmas, so I’m tossing this up now.

Please let me know if anyone is interested in participating and we’ll figure out how to move forward.


Scarf Swap Time Again!

Woohoo! It’s almost time for me to turn another year older which means it’s time for another scarf swap! Unlike last year, it’s actually COLD this year so I’m really in the spirit for some cozy scarves. Here is last year’s post but essentially it’s the same deal every year:

You Don’t Have To Be A Blogger To Participate
You Can E-Mail (e-mail address located under contact me), Tweet Or Comment On This Post To Sign Up
You MUST Provide Me With An E-Mail Address To Assign Your Match/Allow Correspondence Between You

Sign-ups are open from now until Friday Jan 3rd (to compensate for holidays and people on vacation)
Matches will be sent Saturday Jan 4th
Scarves should be sent no later than Saturday Jan 18th

The shipping date is a guideline, sooner is obvs fine. If you need more time, make sure that your match is aware; I just don’t want anyone feeling like they’ve been forgotten.

If you have any allergies to fabrics or strong style/color preferences please note them in your comment or e-mail to me and I’ll make sure they are included in your match e-mail.

We have a flickr pool if you’d like to share photos of your cute new scarves or feel free to send me any links to posts and I’ll share them.

Here is my post from last year with the scarf I received from the lovely Miranda!

Flip Flop Swap Shopping

There are some adorable flip flops and sandals available now. Yay new shoes!

Reef Mallory Scrunch Tan Sandals

Volcom Be Nice Dark Turquoise Sandal

Sam & Libby Three Strap Sandal with Toe Loop (avail in three color combos)

Multi-strap Thong Sandal (avail in metallic or neon pink)

Sanuk Yoga Spree Funk

I know for a fact there are a ton more out there, I have been holding myself back from buying any new pairs.

Happy shopping!

Flip Flop Swap: late but still good? **UPDATE**

I’ve had a couple of people ask me if they missed the flip flop swap this year and, no, it just didn’t happen. Sprog’s graduation and impending college (even though community college or junior college or whatever) has taken over pretty much everything. Add the dog stroke and emergency spleen removal and well…waysides, you know?

But. I’ve also been asked if it could still happen because it’s currently balls hot in a great portion of the land and may well be that way for the foreseeable future. I tried a mini poll on twitter last night but that’s not always the best way, so possibly anemic participation or no, a swap there shall be.

Here is an informational post from a past year about how things go. Sign-ups start today and end Sunday midnight end MONDAY MIDNIGHT. I’ll assign matches by Tuesday morning and then we’ll have 10 days of shopping before flip flops or sandals need to be sent out. As always this is supposed to be fun so if you need more time, no big, just let your swap partner know.

You can sign up by commenting on this post, twitter, e-mail etc. To assign matches, I just need a viable e-mail address so that you and your match can exchange shipping address, shoe sizes, preferred colors and any other important info.

Yay shoes!

NOTE: Due to an impromptu trip out of town, sign-ups have now been extended to MONDAY night at midnight.

scarf swap admin

Hopefully by now everyone has either 1) sent their scarf or 2) been in contact with their match to let them know when their scarf might arrive. I’ve seen some photos on Instagram of some really cute scarves so I hope that everyone is enjoying the swap/new scarf.

Just as a quick reminder there is a flickr pool you are welcome to upload your photo to, if you’d like to share. You can also let me know it’s okay to snag your photos and upload them for you if you’d rather.

I need to take another photo with my new scarf but I did a full outfit #wys photo for it
Scarf swap 2013
Love it, thanks again Miranda!

Thanks to everyone that participated! I hope you might play again for the flip flop swap in June :-)

Scarf Swap Time Is Fast Approaching

So, another month is gone again and I should probably do a little update for those of you that follow me here and not on twitter where I run off at the “mouth” every day of the week but today is not that day. Today it’s time to start thinking about scarves, even though my A/C is still running, I’m still having to shave my legs and my boots are getting dusty. Someday soon, PLEASE, it will get cold-ish and I will get to break back into my stock of scarves. I will get to shop for new ones. I will buy one for someone else.

Thankfully, the scarf swap always helps on that last one.

If you haven’t played along before, you can check out these posts for more info: post 1, post 2 and there are more links contained in that first post if you want to read even more.

The swap admin is essentially the same every year:

    You Don’t Have To Be A Blogger To Participate
    You Can E-Mail (e-mail address located under contact me), Tweet Or Comment On This Post To Sign Up
    You MUST Provide Me With An E-Mail Address To Assign Your Match/Allow Correspondence Between You

This is much earlier than I usually post about doing the swap but maybe that will be better? I know a lot of stores have some GORGEOUS scarves out now, so maybe grab one now and if you do, I might be able to match you with a person that is interested in that color or style? Just let me know if you’ve already shopped or plan on pre-shopping and we can sort all that out later.

You have until Monday Dec 31st to sign-up
Matches will be sent out Tuesday Jan 1st

Scarves should be sent to your swap by Friday Jan 18th. Again, the mail out date is a guideline and not a hard and fast rule. I have extended it a little this year (because at least in my world time is FLYING by this year) but if you are ready earlier, please feel free to send it earlier. If you need to send it later, all I ask is that you inform your swap partner so they aren’t left wondering if they were forgotten.

If you have any specific color aversions, preferences, fabric allergies or anything of that sort, please include them in your comment, tweet or e-mail! It just helps your swap partner pick something that you’ll love.

The flickr pool is still there for uploading pictures of your scarves or you can send them to me and I’ll add them, just make sure you let me know that it’s okay to do so.

I look forward to seeing everyone get lovely new scarves!


bullet pointed for your pleasure (not much with the caps or grammar or punctuation though, fair warning)

* my back has been kicking my butt for over two weeks now with little to no improvement. I’ve had x-rays and multiple dr appts. I’ve had multiple medications. I’ve had an MRI and fights with my insurance. Last night it was decided I will now be doing PT for at least the next two weeks if not more. Good times.

* yesterday was my 7 year wedding anniversary to my most excellent husband. we didn’t do anything and I’m totally okay with that. we hopefully will get a date night this weekend, instead.
Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 9.20.44 AM

* my most excellent husband still gave me a gift anyway, a pair of the new strappy Toms wedges, I heart them long time.
Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 9.18.44 AM

* our Keurig is leaking water all over the counter. this is the second morning in a row without coffee (this would be the reason I can’t be bothered to care about the rules of proper writing)

* attended the lovely engagement party for Kristie and Duvain hosted by A’Dell and Jennie. I love them all and I hate that I don’t get to see them more often. I miss being around people I like.
Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 9.15.42 AM

Screen Shot 2012-06-12 at 9.22.48 AM

* On the way back from the engagement party we happened across a CRAZY HUGE field of sunflowers, it was amazing and I had a ball taking pics. I got some really good shots. I’ll share those tomorrow.

* Flip flop swap match e-mails have all been sent (it wasn’t until they were all sent that I realized I called it the scarf swap in the first sentence. SEE NO COFFEE)

flip flop swap: shopping

Tomorrow is the final day to sign up for the flip flop swap, so if you are interested, I hope you’ve let me know.

I thought it might be helpful to do some internet window shopping for y’all and give you a head start on some cute options.

Yellow Box flip flops many styles and sizes to choose from, super cute and super comfortable available at Dillard’s with a buy 2 save $10 deal right now.

Sanuk Yoga Mat flip flops are made from real yoga mats, available in many color combinations and are vegan.

There are a ton of choices in the Reef Essentials line of flip flops the Mallory (shown above) is just one among them.

American Eagle has several of their flip flops currently on sale for buy one get one 50% off!

Teva has some cool options including these Ombré style flip flops

I’m sure I’ll do another post with more as I find them but hopefully this helps give y’all some ideas!

flip flop swap year 2

Hey all, it’s that time of year again, my 7 year anniversary is coming up in 10 days so that means it’s time for this year’s flip flop swap!

Here are some helpful links that pertain to last year’s swap

Post 1

Post 2

In that outfit post, I’m wearing the flip flops I received last year from my fab swap partner Christina. I love them and wear them all the time.

Some quick highlights of how this works:

Everyone who is interested in joining either: 1) responds to this post 2) tweets me @justexpressive or 3) e-mails me at raven dot darkholme at gmail dot com

Please include any color preferences, your shoe size and your contact e-mail in which ever contact method you choose. Once I have that information, I match people at random and send an introduction e-mail between swap partners. From there, y’all exchange shipping addresses and any further preference information (like what flip flops you already have, maybe, to avoid duplications or what flip flops you absolutely hate/can’t wear) or even if you’d rather have a summer sandal instead of a flip flop.

I usually give 10 shopping days after the match e-mail is sent before they are due to be shipped out to give everyone plenty of time.

Once received, I am happy to host photos of your new flip flops here.

Sign-ups start today and will close on Tuesday June 5th

scarf swap results show post 1

Even though I was lax about sending my scarves to my swap peeps, my peeps WERE ON THE BALL and not only sent my scarves out on time but they also included little bonuses, for my birthday, BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME!

This is just my initial post about the scarves I got with some fairly extreme close-up pics because I’m not feeling so great and every shot was marginally blurry if I tried to get everything in the frame, good times. I think the antibiotics didn’t kick my sinus infection all the way OR this wonk ass weather we’ve been having has riled up my allergies enough that I am threatening sinus infection part deaux. UGH.

Anyway, enough bitching, this is a happy post about happy things: CUTE SCARVES FROM LOVELY WOMEN!

From Tara
Scarf Swap 2012
Teal with pink birds! So cute!

And from Emiliy I received two

Scarf Swap 2012
Skulls! (bonus scarf)

Scarf Swap 2012

The second picture makes me laugh because the lighting is SO VERY OFF, I am in no way that tan. NO WAY. I seriously am one of the palest people I know, I practically glow from the pale and yet there I am looking all, days in Arizona. Haha.

I shared my photos in the Scarf Swap Flickr Pool, have you joined yet? Join! Share! Let us all see your new lovelies!

I hope everyone enjoyed the swap and that y’all will be back for the flip flop swap this June :-)

I’ll be back with another post in the future which will include info on my bonus items and better, full length pics.