Thursday, October 25, 2012

The boot giveaway winner is...

Sometimes the universe just aligns.

The winner of my blog boot giveaway is the fabulous Beth Bobbitt, whom I still call Beth Goodwin when I forget that she just got married.

Stephen Ironside/Ironside Photography
This will probably embarrass Beth, but I've decided to use this entry to love on her a little bit.  She is, hands down, one of the kindest and sweetest people I know.  She has a great smile and laugh, and always tries to make people feel important.  She also happens to be a very valued member of my staff, and in fact, sits just two doors down from me in my office.  She was a blogger long before I was (I'm not sure if she still blogs), is a talented artist, and is also lovely and stylish.  I mean, check out the shoes she wore for her wedding.  Seriously adorable. 

If you recall, my boot giveaway entry focused on articles of clothing that make us feel kick ass.  Beth's comment on my blog was anonymous, but I could tell by what she listed that it was her.  She loves tights, and she has all kinds of them, in bright, bold colors that make me positively green with envy of her style (and how great the tights look on her).  New Country Outfitter boots will go very, very well with many a Beth ensemble. 

So congrats, Beth, on your win.  For all the others who entered to win the giveaway, thank you for sharing your kick ass clothing stories.  Here's to us all having more moments of feeling kick ass.  I hope you'll come back and read my blog from time to time.  You could even sign up to receive my posts via email (at right). Who knows, maybe I'll stumble on some other booty (pun intended) to give away in the future. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

BLOGtober Fest Day 5: Foodie Friday

I'm traveling this week.  I pre-scheduled some of my posts for the Arkansas Women Bloggers blogging challenge, but couldn't for the life of me figure out what to write about on Foodie Friday, since I'm most decidedly not a foodie.   And I confess that, with all the arts administration talk and email checking and spending time with friends I don't see often, my heart just isn't in recipe sharing at the moment. 

So in the spirit of being in Wisconsin, I give you my idea of a perfect Friday food line up.





Let the clogging of the arteries begin.  Have a great weekend, y'all.

BLOGtober Fest Day 4: Promote a post from the past

Well, this title is self-evident.  This is day 4 of our BLOGtober Fest challenge from Arkansas Women Bloggers, and I'm in Madison at a conference.  So here's a post from last fall about fall in Madison - seems appropriate.   What makes me laugh is that the post (from last fall), references an earlier post about the PREVIOUS fall.  Seems like I have a habit of being in Madison in the fall and trying to write the awesomeness in my blog.

The photo below was from the driving art tour I did that is referenced in the post - there's no art in it, but it is such a gorgeous and accidentally well composed shot that I wanted to include it.  We'll hopefully be doing the tour again tomorrow, so maybe I'll have some comparative photos...oooh...that sounds like fun.

From Farm Art to Football - Fall 2011

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

BLOGtober Fest Day 3: Fall Traditions

Tradition.  Tradition!

If you know me at all, you know that I just went off on a little Fiddler on the Roof riff.  I'm done now.  Thanks for being patient.

Anyway, this is my 3rd post in the Arkansas Women Bloggers BLOGtober Fest blogging challenge.  And it's meant to be about "Fall Traditions."

Being a single gal who's lived in a bunch of places, having a fall tradition that stands the test of time isn't something I can claim.  So here are a few of my favorites.

The High School Fall Tradition I remember most
Having a booth at the Sandwich Fair - selling corn chowder, usually in the rain. And for those who are wondering - the Sandwich Fair is not a fair about sandwiches (though how awesome would that be?). Sandwich is a town, next to my hometown, and they have a fair every Columbus Day weekend. 

The Fall Tradition I want and can't make happen
Apple picking.  Seriously, why is it so damn difficult to find an apple orchard in Arkansas?

The Colby College Fall Tradition I love remembering
Walking home after volleyball practice and having dinner with the team in Roberts Union.  (However, the tradition that MY CLASS started - swimming in Johnson pond on the last day of classes - is the best, but that's in the spring.  Still, I think it's worth of an honorable mention here.)

The Madison Fall Tradition I miss the most
Badger football - tailgating, student section cheers, the 5th Quarter.  And with apologies to my adopted hometown, a sea of red that made sense. Let's go BUCKY!

The Arkansas Fall Tradition I just revived
The Fayetteville Fire Department Pancake Breakfast.  We went this year, and realized the last time we went was FIVE YEARS AGO.  Good grief, I can't believe I've been here that long.

Well, I have thoroughly enjoyed re-remembering all these traditions.  Traditions are fun.  They root us to our friends and family and location in a way that sticks with us as time goes by.  I'm thankful to Arkansas Women Bloggers for this challenge, which will hopefully become a tradition of it's own. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

BLOGtober Fest Day 2: Halloween Memories

Growing up in rural NH, Halloween was about driving.

It wasn't like the fun Halloweens I've had since I lived in Madison and Arkansas, where we all dress up our kids and dogs and walk around in strange things called "neighborhoods."  In my hometown, the neighborhood was an 8-mile road that dead-ended in a lake.

I don't remember a lot of Halloweens, but I know they always involved a car.

Except one year, we had a van.

I think it was my sophomore or junior year...maybe senior.  I don't remember my costume (it might have been "mad scientist" year).  All I remember is a bunch of us taking my friend trick-or-treating...for the first time.  He had to be at least 14 or 15 years old.   Let me say that again.  For one reason or another, this guy had Never. Been. Trick. Or. Treating.  As far as I'm concerned, that's blasphemy.  (Well, I guess technically celebrating the pagan All Hallows Eve might be more blasphemous, but who's counting?)

So we all dressed up and piled into the van, a bunch of high schoolers acting like little kids. I couldn't tell you where we went, what we wore, or who was in the van other than the trick-or-treating virgin.  We drove around on a perfectly windy, creepy New England night, accompanied by the perfectly spooky rattle of branches and rustle of leaves.  Adults looked at us with varying degrees of indulgence or skepticism as we rang their doorbells, but we didn't care.

I remember laughing.  A lot.  And though visiting Eureka Springs' White Street on Halloween a couple of years ago ran a close second, I think this night back in the '90s wins for "Best Halloween Ever."

This post is the 2nd a series I've written as part of Arkansas Women Bloggers BLOGtober Fest Blogging Challenge.  Lots of bloggers are writing posts on pre-selected topics - and you can view them all at Arkansas Women Bloggers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

BLOGtober Fest Day 1: About fashion/decor I have nothing to add

Happy fall, y'all.  This week, I'm participating in BLOGtober Fest, a fun and delightful challenge from Arkansas Women Bloggers. We must write something each day from October 15-19.  They even give us the topics, which this working gal loves; a few decisions I don't have to make.

And our first topic and decorating. I'm being perfectly honest; when I saw this topic, I thought...le sigh.

I'm aware that there are many, many blogs that are full of good writing about such things.  But I don't read a lot of them, and mine isn't one of them.

Here's the thing.  I'm not crafty or decorative.  My halloween/fall decor consists of a sparkly cat my dad bought me at Lowe's and a silver pumpkin candle my mom bought me two years ago.  I love this new little silver leaf knicknack my friend got me as a present last week, and the OTHER pumpkin candle another friend gave me (both pictured at left), but that's about as far as it goes.

On the fashion front, yes, I've become obsessed with boots lately (and through 10/23 you can still enter to win a pair of kick-ass boots here), but aside from wishing I was more fashionable (or at least skinny enough to wear more fashionable clothes), I don't have much to contribute to the dicussion.

And at this particular moment in time, when so much of such importance is going on in the world, I wish that we could have supportive, civilized discussion (like we do about fashion, decor and cooking) about politics, world events and social issues.

But I know that's a pipe dream.  So instead, I'll link you off to a few of my fellow bloggers who are talking about fashion and decor, with so much more skill and passion than I have.  

Approaching Joy - the lovely, sweet and talented Paige can give you all kind of fashion inspiration, and plus, she's just a really nice gal, so go check her out.

In the "not a blog" category I give you: There are about about a million boot giveaways happening via Country Outfitter right now, so check out this pinterest page or just go like Country Outfitter on facebook.

You'll also see some pins about cool fashion/refashion tips on

Catalog Living - ok, this is a humor site, but it's one of my favorites because it takes pictures from catalogs and creates stories about the people who live there. Their names are Gary & Elaine.

The Inspired Room - I found this blog on a google search for "decor" - such pretty pictures.  I want to live in those pictures.

Happy fashioning and decoring.  Until tomorrow, when I will hopefully have something more interesting to say.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Blogging 'bout buddies & boots (featuring a boot giveaway!)

Buddy is a strange word.  I mostly hear guys use it to describe what we ladies would call our girlfriends.  However, buddy starts with a B, and I love alliteration, so there it is.

This past weekend, my buddy from college came to visit.  Living in here in the 479, it's safe to say most of my friends from other lives have NOT visited me.  But with Adella's visit, I've now had two of my college roommates make the trip.  Very exciting.  As usual, she fell in love with this little corner of the world, which all of us who live here already know is awesome.  We explored Fayetteville, Eureka Springs and Bentonville, we experienced 80 degree weather that changed to a freeze warning in 24 hours, we took in some art, did some shopping...and we ate.  Boy, did we eat. 

But by far the most unusual part of our visit involved boots.

Many of you know that I went to the Arkansas Women's Bloggers Unplugged (AWBU) conference back in August, and came away with a sweet new pair of Tony Lama Golden Tan Navajo boots.  I have really enjoyed learning to wear them, and lest you think I'm being silly, I mean it; you do have to learn to wear them.  In my case, I had to learn the right socks to wear, the right outfits to pair them with, and also how to get over a little bit of irrational fear of shoes that are hard to get off (yes, I know, I'm weird, and I have high arches).  I've also had to learn to walk in them: to slow down, saunter a bit, tilt the hips forward.  These are not easy things for a fashion-challenged Yankee to learn, but I've found that once I have my boots on, they contribute to a general feeling of...well...being kind of kick ass.

Anyway, as part of the conference, I got these boots, and I also get a chance to give some away!  So it seemed appropriate that, while my Yankee buddy was in town, we would go explore the boots at the Country Outfitter store in town, and preview a few of the kinds you could buy with your $150 gift card.  Little did I know that my buddy would walk away with TWO pairs of boots.  But more on that later.

First, we browsed.  And for the record, my apologies for the quality of these photos - the light in the store wasn't great for IPhone photography.

Disclaimer: The Country Outfitter store in Fayetteville has a limited selection; if you don't find the size you want on the floor the super-nice staff will order it for you. So it's best to come in without any expectations of what boots you want.

Then, we started to pull all of the size 9 boots from the shelf, and Adella went on a little trying-on binge. If you recognize the boots below, you either went to AWBU or you read my friend Jody's blog (she's also doing a boot giveaway), since they are the ones she got at the conference.  I figured it wasn't cool to have two Jody/Jodi's in town with the same boots, so I hoped Adella would buy them (they were on sale).

Next up: Tony Lama's Tan Saigets Worn Goat boots, with pink detailing.  Sturdy looking, casual, rounded toe.

Then we found the Ariat Women's Legend boots, in Distressed Brown.  These quickly rose to the top of the list for their comfort and pretty blue/green details.

After that, it was mostly trying boots on just for the sake of trying them on.  Like these bad-ass Corral Women's Distressed Black Winged Cross boots, which we felt we'd need to accessorize with a motorcycle.

Anyway, Adella wound up buying TWO fabulous pairs of boots and wearing one out of the store:

Then, of course, we had to show them off, so we walked around in downtown Fayetteville for a bit, and every few minutes, Adella would look down at her feet and giggle "I LOVE THESE!"  We discussed that we felt...well...kind of kick ass in our new boots (because I was wearing mine, of course).

It got me thinking about articles of clothing that make us feel this way.  For me, there's not many, but my boots are defintiely one.  And now we arrive at the real reason you've read this far in the post.  Your chance to win some boots to increase the feeling of being...well...kick ass.  Because let's face it; you are kick ass, but sometimes we all need a little reminder. 

Country Outfitter is giving you a chance to win a $150 gift certificate to go shopping on them!  They have men's, women's and kids boots of all styles and colors.  There are JUST TWO STEPS.

1. Click here & submit your email address to Country Outfitter (you may receive occassional emails from them).

2. Leave a comment below letting me know you submitted your email to Country Outfitter and if you'd like, tell me about a piece of clothing or accessory that makes you feel...well...kick ass.

A random winner will be selected Tuesday, October 23rd.

And finally, there are bunch of boot giveaways out there in the Arkansas women bloggers network.  If you check out this board on Pinterest, you can enter for more chances to win!

That's it!  Thanks for reading my blog, y'all.  And here's the requisite DISCLOSURE: CountryOutfitter, a retailer of Tony Lama boots, gave me these Women's Golden Tan Navajo boots to review.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Still a Mama (and Daddy)'s girl at 36

***NOTE: My Country Outfitter boot giveaway will start October 9th!  You still have time to subscribe to this blog so my witty and profound musings (and giveaway announcements) find their way to your inbox.***

The other night at volleyball, I realized I'd been playing that sport for 25 years.  A quarter of a century.

I never get carded anymore.

My parents are trying to decide when to take social security.  How did I get old enough to have parents who are even thinking of social security?

These, plus the occasional grey hair I find, are simply indications of the passage of time. I'm getting older. Not old, mind you, but old enough that no one says "oh, you're just a baby!" when I tell them how old I am. They used to.

It's for these and many other reasons that I take such pleasure in the fact that, when I get together with my parents (who live a good distance away at Camp Grown Ups, aka retired Florida), I retreat to the version of myself that reminds me of my youth.

It's the version that just loves when mom cooks for us (even while feeling guilty at the hundreds of meals she's cooked while we sat around being lazy).  This version of me never fails to let dad get under my skin with some comment/feedback about something, only to realize later he's 100% right (but not about politics.  Sorry, Dad.  It's your fault for sending me to a liberal arts college.  :)  )  And I confess; I love that my parents always bring me presents and/or take me shopping.

This year, there was some serious imported booty being delivered.  Mom brought me this bright, cheerful new quilt for my guest room.

Dad went a little nuts with the Halloween decor for my office, and also got me this pretty little thing from Alaska.  Note that the "raven" is a symbol of intelligence and wit.  Dad is clearly not biased.

However, that was just the beginning.  As per usual, Mom and I had to go shopping for supplies, since I inevitably have nothing but two bottles of cider and a four Laughing Cow cheese wedges in my fridge.  We generally end up with food and, of course a "few little items" for the house.  This trip included a coffee table-turned-luggage rack for my guest closet, as well as a new rug for the hallway.

And then, tradition follows that we all go shopping together and Dad gets me something, usually something whimsical.  This time, it was a pretty/colorful doormat (I wasn't aware I needed a new one, but Dad was determined) and flowers for my front stoop.  He even swept the grass cuttings for me.  And I managed to wheedle my way to this spiffy new lamp for my bedroom.

Guess where that painting is from?  It's where
I'll be spending Christmas this year!
It's comforting that even after 36 years, my parents still want to "buy me stuff."  It wouldn't bother me if they stopped, but I won't protest too much either, methinks.  We all get too much pleasure from the rituals of shopping and gift-giving, both spontaneous and planned.  I don't take it for granted.  It's another sign of just how lucky I am to have their everlasting support.

I drew the line at the Romney/Ryan bumper sticker, though.  That one went back to Florida.  But the goofy sparkly cat for Halloween...he stayed.  :)

Sadie the superdog is unimpressed with my new decor.