Frank’s Visit To The Boyd’s

If you follow me on Instagram or even on Facebook you know all about Frank and his month long vaca at our house. For those that don’t or that were curious as to how things went in greater detail, let’s talk about my buddy.

This is Frankenstein (or Frankie or Frankie Figs as I started calling him)
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he belongs to our friends Kristie and Duvain and he’s a French Mastiff aka Dogue de Bordeaux.

I fell in love with him when we met him last year in Wales on Sprog’s graduation trip, because COME ON look at this face!

Obviously when K&D asked us to watch him while they were out of the country, I said yes immediately but of course I had concerns in the back of my mind because of our girls. Mayday is fear aggressive to pretty much anything in the world and it’s only made worse by the fact that she’s mostly deaf after her latest stroke. Maddie is a sneak, she acts like she loves everyone but then snaps at any dog that gets within face reach of her. So, clearly, we were going to have issues bringing this giant dog into our home.

At first, and as expected, there was a lot of growling and avoidance by our ladies. Frank is awesomely trained so I would have him in a down stay and slowly bring the girls out into his space. Introductions happened with my hand firmly on a collar or body of one of the girls and lots of reassuring tones were used. We also walked them all together as much as we could (14 year old ladies vs 3 year old pup is vastly different in energy levels)
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but eventually 2 of the 3 had solid friendships
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and the other one would tolerate him, mostly.
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We got into a routine of taking Frank out in the morning to play ball with me and in the evening to play ball with Willy
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and took him to do things like get puppy whip at Starbucks or brunch at Barnaby’s
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and he really loved swimming in the pond next to our bayou
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Sprog was even willing to get his precious interior dirty for Frankie.
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He is well loved and a member of our family, now. I can’t wait to get him back at Christmas when it’s cooler and we can take him to do even more fun things outside.

Maybe even get him back to the beach
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Playing Fashion Blogger With The Help of eShakti

**I was provided an article of clothing of my choosing to review for this post. My thoughts are always my own**

I am no stranger to eShakti and if you have been around my blog for any length of time, you shouldn’t be either. I have partnered with them before on this red and blue dress and this blue and white dress.

I also wore a dress of theirs, snatched on clearance, to see Wicked with my husband.
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I always receive a ton of positive feedback on every eShakti item I own and I absolutely love that I can have them custom fit to my exact measurements or tailored to look the way I’d like: adding longer sleeves or shorter sleeves, changing the neckline, removing embroidery, etc. So when they asked me to partner again for their Fall/Winter line I obviously said yes. My main issue was deciding on what to get. I put this question out to the Twitterverse: “If you received something for free would you choose something out of your price range but in your comfort zone or closer to your price range but in your comfort zone?” Resoundingly the answer was the former as most people felt that they just wouldn’t wear something out of their comfort zone but I went the other way because the item that held my attention the most? Something definitely out of my comfort zone. I just couldn’t get it out of my head and I figured I may as well go for it, no harm, no foul, right? I figured that tailoring it to my specific measurements and preferences might make it more likely to get worn.

This is what I chose*

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That’s an embroidered deer pencil skirt with flowers in its antlers and I am OBSESSED with it. It’s tailored to my measurements and I had it lengthened to below the knee to amp the retro vibe.

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*unfortunately it’s out of stock at the time of this post but if you love it like I do, check back because I so recommend it. If it’s not your bag, that’s cool. eShakti posted a thing on their Facebook page asking people how they would style it and some people said some not nice things about the skirt and well, different strokes for different folks because it makes me HAPPY. I LOVE IT SO MUCH.

I don’t intend on it being just a holiday skirt either. It’s a nice heavy fabric that stands up to the embroidery and since the flowers are not traditional holiday colors, I think I can get more mileage out of it with different styling choices. The skirt is lined which removes the need for an additional layer. Plus the placement of the seaming nips, tucks, and elongates in all the right places.

eShakti is giving me two $30 gift cards to giveaway, so I’ll be posting details of that very soon.

And of course, I highly recommend you take a gander at their website in the meantime, you could find something that makes you happy too!

Internet, meet Tish

11 years ago I owned a red VW Cabriolet convertible that was rapidly (it was 12 years old when I bought it) falling apart. We had to make the decision to trade it or invest quite a bit of funds into it without knowing where it would end. I loved that car. It was the exact car from the movie “Can’t Buy Me Love” (except red) and every girl my age dreamed of having one in high school. I didn’t get mine until way, WAY, after that, obvs.

Sprog was 7 and decided I should have a PT Cruiser with flames just like his favorite matchbox car and so I went and got one. Not the exact one he wanted (it didn’t come in cobalt blue with orange flames, thankfully) but black with purple was an acceptable compromise.

And now here we are 11 years later with a rapidly falling apart PT Cruiser that is requiring way more money than it’s worth to keep going. I had a list of vehicles. I did my research. I did multiple test drives and yet, I bought a VW.

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The night I brought the car home still unsure if I had a “he” or “she”

And of course I had to name the car and called out to the internet for guidance which is what eventually brought me to Morticia (as in Addams) and the nickname Tish

Please to enjoy some more pictures of my new baby
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The seats are custom and I love them, you know our family and it’s weird thing with matching.

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All the buttons are red at night so everything goes together. You can also see my name right there in between the speedometer and tach since it pairs with my phone via bluetooth.

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Tish’s first trip to Target…where I parked way out in BFE and my husband teased me.

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The first VW selfie :-)

I absolutely LOVE my car. It’s so great having a car with some fire (hi turbo, I love you), the PT had no pep whatsoever, and yet still good gas mileage. Plus, it’s a standard, which Sprog doesn’t know how to drive so my car is safe from ÃœBER JEALOUS teenage clutches at the present time. BONUS.

the costume closet

I’ve had a BFF in Arizona since the third grade, her name is Jamie and since we are both turning (I already turned) 38 this year that means we have known each other 28 years. TWENTY EIGHT YEARS. There are a lot of awesome things I love about her and our life together over the years (because seriously, we have lived A LIFE by now) but one of the things that has always stuck with me is her mom’s closet. Renee, oh Renee, lover of all accessories and always completely accessorized with matching (clip) earrings, necklace and bracelet sets had a closet of wonder. My senior year of high school I got a wild hair that I wanted to go to school in costume for Halloween. You are all shocked. Anyway, I didn’t have access to anything or the funds to buy anything, living on my own at the time, so I went to Jamie’s house and asked for help.

It was FANTASTIC! Renee starting pulling option upon option from her closet and piling them on the bed. It was like the Rachel Zoe of costume moments! I could be Pebbles! I could be a Fighter Pilot! I could be a Hula Girl (complete with coconut bra)! I could be a Clown! I could be a Flapper! I could be Pocahontas!

Ultimately I went with the last option which included wearing Jamie’s fringed white boots from middle school (our feet are vastly different sizes even though we look enough alike that people mistake us for sisters on the regular) and that day I SWORE that I would be just like that someday. I would be able to slap costumes together from the depths of my closet at any given time. It has always been my dream and so far, I have been living it. One year for Halloween I was able to make Sprog a fairly passable Slash from GnR in under ten minutes just from stuff in my closet and one of the guitars in the house. He even wore a pair of my platform stompy boots, a wig I had and a top hat we had from another costume.

This past weekend we attended a Dazed and Confused Quote Along at Alamo Drafthouse.
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Perfect opportunity for a last minute costuming.
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My initial plan for my outfit included a Jordache shirt, but in reality it was too short for my low-slung flares so I had to swap it for an equally 70’s esque shirt instead.

Final outfit
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How can you go wrong with colored eyeshadow, turquoise, braids, a flow-y eyelet embellished top, flares, fringed leather bag (that i am still carrying btw) and platforms? NAILED IT.

Let’s talk about the shoes for a hot second longer okay?
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Because, right? They are EVERYTHING. You will be seeing them a crap ton this summer. BANK ON IT.

As much as we are scaling down, de-cluttering and purging, I will ALWAYS have my costume closet. I ALWAYS aspire to be Renee in this small way.

eShakti Spring Line

**Disclosure-I was provided my choice of item to review for this post but my opinions are my own and I would state them good or bad**

A week ago, I mentioned a dress that I would be posting about the next day and then Texas went all Texas with its schizo weather and turned super cold and super windy out of nowhere so that wasn’t happening. Here we are a week later and it’s 80 degrees again so I can finally talk about this ADORABLE dress I received from eShakti. I love eShakti so deciding to agree to review an item from their new Spring Line wasn’t hard, the ability to customize anything is a HUGE selling point for me, as is their catering to so many sizes (0-36W), but deciding which item was a whole lot harder. In the end I selected this dress


(which is apparently so popular it’s currently sold out, boo)

because of the keyhole back. You know me and special details, I swoon for that back. I had it customized to a shorter length as it comes in a below knee length and also had it tailored to my exact measurements and it fits like a dream. It’s so great ordering something online and knowing that I’ll be able to pull it out of the package and have it fit perfectly. I also completely love the side seam pockets and the way they somehow add no bulk yet are deep enough to hold my phone if I want.

When we were shooting these pictures this afternoon a woman walked through the breezeway to her car and told me I looked beautiful, which was awesome and only a little bit embarrassing. I feel like such a lady wearing this dress and even though it’s made of cotton, the details allow for it to be dressed up, as I’ve shown here, or dressed down with some sandals and a long necklace this summer. It’s definitely one I see getting a lot of use out of but what to do about getting one for you? I’m so sad that this particular dress isn’t currently available BUT! Fret not! There are so many fantastic options in their Spring Line and I have a 20% off promotion code for you fair readers.

First some suggestions:

Tux Front Poplin A Line Dress
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Dots Large and Small Halter Dress
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Illusion Mesh Print Dress
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Colorblock Stripe Poplin Dress
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Dandelions Knit Dress
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Not all of those dresses are from the Spring Line but there are just so many on the site that are great, I wanted to make sure you saw some from other sections as well. Also, don’t forget to check out the blouses and skirts too! You can customize those as well.

Now for the promotion code: from now until March 20th save 20% by using code RVENDRKHLM
The following conditions apply:
Code has to be entered in the ‘Promotional Code’ box. No Minimum Order Value. The discount code is not case sensitive. The code can be used any number of times until the validity period. This code can be clubbed with any other gift coupon or gift card in the same order. This discount code is not applicable on our Overstock category. Not applicable on previous purchases.

Special thanks to Sprog for snapping these photos for me. It was crazy windy this afternoon and we were lucky to get two that turned out so well. I was also lucky to only partially flash the parking lot as we were leaving.

bringing (my) sexy back

The title of this post is a bit of a stretch. I’m not sure that I ever had my sexy, really. I’ve never owned the type of clothes that one “goes to the club” in. I always am way self conscious in skirts on the shorter end of the spectrum and my definition of “short” is DEFINITELY not what other people consider to be short. I constantly question the age appropriateness of anything I even consider wearing even though my child is constantly making fun of me for my “long dresses” so obviously he doesn’t really care or think that I am even remotely close to being inappropriate.

Now, none of that is to say that I am hiding. I’m not wearing sweats or giant, two sizes too big shirts or anything but more that I don’t buy anything that is designed to *show* anything, specifically.

And then Alice, you know Alice? I blame Alice (sorry, I had an Arlo Guthrie moment there) sent me these awesome feather earrings

and I got a wild hair to wear them. Not just wear them but wear them. I figured they needed an outfit. Something fitting of their crazy appeal and since we were going to a Mullet Boyz show, you remember The Mullet Boyz, yes? I decided to get out of my comfort zone a bit and make myself something a little sexy.
I had pinned a DIY one shoulder no-sew top on Pinterest and that’s what I decided to go with, the original was black but I happened to have a gray mens shirt laying around so that’s what I went with

and I LOVE IT.

Not to be a totally bragging brat face but for a FREE shirt that was way outside of my comfort zone stylistically? I felt sexy, confident and stylish. Major win!

I think it showed

Just a bit

a few things

It’s been a week since I launched my site and in that time I’ve also set up a twitter @JustE_Photo and as of today a FB page either of which could use some love so feel free to follow/like if you so desire.

Friday we bought Sprog his first car. Holy crap y’all. As much as it worries me and as much as it stresses me out that he’s driving on his own? I am so happy to never look at another car posting on Craigslist again. I’ve referred to Craigslist as Walmart in writing and OH MAN is it ever. I swear that looking at those listings was simultaneously making me dumber and threatening to make my eyeballs bleed. SO AWFUL. And the cars? For what they expected people to pay? Can we just say delusions of grandeur? People be huffin paint or hittin the crack pipe.

This is his baby

It’s a ’94 Honda Accord which would be one year older than he is and has manual windows and door locks. It also had the lowest mileage (102,000) of anything we read about or looked at, with close to perfect interior and minimal body issues. The trunk does seem to be leaking and it looks like it’s been popped in the butt (which is causing the trunk leak) but everything else is structurally sound (knock on wood) and he is super excited about it so that is the good thing. It passed state inspection with flying colors and the boys spent all weekend working on it. In fact we all did as a family. I scrubbed the interior out with a bucket of hot water and bleach as well as cleaned all the windows and helped Sprog Armorall it after its disinfecting. The boys changed out a non working interior light and reverse lights, removed the moldy trunk liner and checked out some stuff under the hood. I helped Sprog recondition the headlights and then on Sunday my softhearted husband bought the kid a new stereo system and back speakers since the old one wouldn’t work with his iPod and one speaker was blown out.

Today we are headed to the courthouse to try and get the title/registration so he can finally drive it. It’s been sitting since Friday and it’s making him CRAZY.

Next week is my last insurance approved PT appointment and my therapist and I will sit down and evaluate if we will be going back to the insurance to extend or if they will end. I am really worried that insurance will fight me on continuing…my headaches are SO MUCH BETTER now that I am worried what will happen if I stop and the last two visits my collarbone has been out again so I’m wondering what is going to happen with that alignment once he’s not there forcing it back into place every week.

Finally, I haven’t even started decorating for Halloween this year. I KNOW. I would like a break from stress for a moment so I can get my creative back, please.

yes, I’m blogging about the teenager again

If you told me last year that my kid would give two shits about school this year? I would’ve told you to lay off the crack pipe. If you read this blog or my twitter feed regularly or had been around me last year to hear me rant about our battle with him about school you would even be shocked to see him care about school and yet?

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There he sat last night ranting for over an hour WITH DIAGRAMS, ON A WHITEBOARD, about how lame it was that other kids in his Architecture Design Class couldn’t grasp the fundamentals of Autocad. AUTOCAD. My son, Mr. Slacker in a beanie who aces his standardized tests but blows off school, is ANNOYED that other kids in his class are slowing down his LEARNING. Can we just pause there a second? Not only is he annoyed about his ability to learn being compromised but he’s so annoyed about it that he’s willing to pull out his PERSONAL WHITEBOARD and show me how much he already knows about the subject. He is pulling himself away from his dedicated Minecraft, Youtube, Facebook and Texting schedule to have a conversation with HIS PARENTS ABOUT SCHOOL.

How I avoided fainting, I’ll never know. Wait, I do know, it was the laughter and the need to take a picture and put it on the internet.

And, AND, he’s in Culinary Arts. CULINARY ARTS, BY CHOICE. Mr. Jack-in-the-Box himself made butter. He MADE BUTTER. He made sweet potato fries. HE MADE THEM AND HE ATE THEM. He ate pineapple mango SALSA. OMFG. He said that if he’s making something himself, of course he’s going to eat it. He’s going to eat REAL FOOD like a normal person. It’s amazing. He came home with burns! He is PROUD OF THEM. You guys, I wanted to cry. Who is this kid?

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Of course, he made his “Chef” look like this, he is still Sprog, don’t get it twisted. When we walked into the classroom and looked on the tables for our kid’s “Chef” it was totally easy to pick out his. I laughed. His teacher cracked up when I picked his out from the stack on the table. Like anyone else would do that. Even his construction paper self has a knit cap.

He’s also totally in love with his Economics teacher and LOVES the class. HE LOVES Economics. He has discussions with the teacher about politics and the economy. He watches an online news program every day so he’s abreast of what is going on in the world. THE NEWS. He knows what is going on in the world.

You guys, I can’t even with this kid.

Is it wrong that I wish all y’all could meet him?

assumed learning

Now that Sprog is almost an adult (who are we kidding, he acts like an adult, he sounds like an adult, he’s almost graduated…I think we are pretty much there, yes?) it’s dawning on me how many things in life he needs to know how to do, that we all know how to do, that are so commonplace, I forget he needs to be taught how to do them.

Like how to properly get gas in the car: which octane/type of gas you want, swiping your card, entering your pin, knowing how to tell which side the gas tank is on in a car that isn’t yours, etc.

Using an ATM: of course getting cash, but also making a deposit-what do you do if it doesn’t register the amount on your check or if it doesn’t count your cash properly, what other things can you do at an ATM.

How do you renew your license?

What things do you have to go to the county tax accessor’s office/court house for and where is it/how do you find it if you don’t know it off hand?

Using the self-check out at the grocery store.

Making dr’s appts.

Which insurance cards are used where.

What do you have to do to get your car inspected and how often does that happen?

What about your registration?

These are all recent things that have come up and have been things that he’s had questions about so I’ve been taking him with me on every one of these errands and making him do them. I’ve made him do the check deposits at the ATM. Yesterday I took him with me to get my car inspected and explained that it happens once a year (he thought it was like once a month or something HORRORS) so he could witness and understand the whole process. Today we are going to the county tax office to get replacement plates for Willy’s car and the next time registration is due, he’ll be the one handling that errand. He’s been sent to the grocery store with a debit card and a list and he’ll make his next dr appt himself.

I know there is still a ton more he has to learn, the bigger stuff: utilities, rent, car insurance (but he already knows what happens in an accident, HA) and handling his own bank account when he gets his first “real” job (he’s worked at his father’s company before) so lots more big things to come. I just marvel at how many milestones we are crossing at breakneck speed this year. Things that I never even really considered milestones because they just exist everyday all around you, they are just part of life you know?

Beyond all of that, Sprog is enrolled in Culinary Arts this year and already he’s made butter. HE MADE BUTTER. My son, who worships at the shrine of Jack n the Crack (sorry Jack n the Box) has made something with his own two hands! A food product that didn’t come out of a can or microwave, that doesn’t come on a crisping tray or out of a crisping sleeve.

Milestones.

the bouts and bouquets (picture heavy post)

The car dramz is getting worse so I’m just going to pretend that isn’t happening and use this space to talk about something pretty. The fabric flower bouquets and bouts that I made for Kristie’s upcoming Welsh wedding to Big D.

Food with friends!

So that would be the Bride and Groom (squee) on the left there and for the past few weeks (seems like 8 years) I have been making her bouts and bouquets out of fabric flowers for her wedding. I have an Etsy shop, I make fabric flowers on the regular, I do have TWO fancy ass cameras, you would think I would’ve taken at least ONE picture with a real camera, wouldn’t you? But no, no I did not. Hopefully I’ll get some next month AT HER WEDDING but in the meantime here are the ones I snapped with my iPhone.

Please keep in mind I have never made a bouquet this way before and some of these flowers I’ve never made before either. It was quite the undertaking and way above (in time) what I thought it would be, but I loved making them for her and she loved the end result so I’m really excited about it.

I should also mention that Kristie lives north of Ft Worth and was not with me in person during the crafting of these and that she also pretty much gave me free reign on making them so I made some flowers that didn’t end up making it into the final bouquets (I’m not going to bother showing those pics) and some other ideas (like ribbons on the bouts were nixed in the end)
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This is the trial bout pic that I sent to Kristie. She asked if I could add some leaves or something to give more green to the finished look and also some way to make Big D’s look different from the rest.
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Here they are finished. They all have leaves but D’s has two fabric leaves which I embroidered with their initials and the date (in Brit format) of their nuptials

For the bouquets I’m going to go in opposite order.
Here is Kristie’s bouquet finished
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with a hanky that her mother got her in Italy and ribbons on the handle and everything.

Here are the detail shots of some of the flowers and such
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Here are the bridesmaid’s bouquets finished
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and detail shots
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Each bouquet has a different flower center and they are all balanced in their distribution of the colors of white, cream, gold, green and navy blue.