March 31, 2015

Lucky Girl! The Studio by Fashion + Feathers!

jeans: American Eagle
shoes: Target several seasons ago
blazer: JC Penny
lips: Revlon Moisture Stain Barcelona Nights

Y'all.  I am so not a fashion blogger.  This is my great attempt.  Photos taken by a surprisingly willing husband on my iPhone.  It is what it is.  Anyway, on to the point of this post.

My sweet friend Claire is taking a leap of faith and diving into a dream she's had for a long, long time.  And if the blog world is one thing, it's supportive, y'all.  It often times feels like one giant hug (at least the blog world I hang out in does).  So I'm here today, asking you to give this girl and her adorable shop a chance.  

Claire is one of the first people I spoke to about self-publishing my book.  She was hugely supportive and completely believed in me.  And I can say the same for her.  She is just the kind of person you know will do great things.  I know I'm supposed to be talking about her shop, which is great--but more so, Claire is great.  

But anyway, on to the shop.  The Studio by Fashion & Feathers is her Etsy shop.  It currently houses this absolutely charming Lucky Girl shirt (which I wore, incidentally, to an Irish Pub over the weekend), iPhone cases, and some inspiring prints!  I strongly urge you to go snag this top, which is the softest t-shirt I own, but to also support a fellow blogger.  Who doesn't love seeing people chase their dreams, huh?  

Claire has been generous enough to offer y'all a discount code for the next week good on anything in her shop!! Use the code HODGESPODGES10 and get yourself something super cute!

March 30, 2015

A Difference 8 Weeks Makes

On Sunday morning, I woke up to the dog crying to be let out.  With sleep in my eyes, I stumbled down two flights of stairs and froze in the unseasonably chilly weather while she did her business.

I sat quietly with my coffee when I got back upstairs.  When it approached ten, I started getting ready.

All of this is mundane, typical stuff.  The dog needs to be let out.  I sit quietly with my coffee.  I ease in to my morning.  Going through the motions.  Just another day.

Our new neighbor happens to attend the church that was on our list to try.  After an exchange of texts, we decided we'd ride into the city with her then ride the light rail home.  She works on Sundays.

The church was beautiful and welcoming.  The music was phenomenal.  And then somewhere in the middle of the service, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  I bowed my head and tried to force back tears.

You see, it was only eight weeks ago that I stood in a different church in Buies Creek with my head bowed, fighting back tears.  Everything was such a mess.  We were so unsure of our next steps.  I've never leaned on God more than I did in the months between December and now.  We couldn't do it alone.  We weren't sure what our next day looked like never mind where the next month and beyond would take us.

I've never been more scared for our future.

And yesterday, on that particularly chilly but beautifully sunny March day, I stood in a new church between my husband and a new friend.  It was undeniable what God had done for us in the last four months.  Our lives are His.  And I could hear Him over the last several months telling me not to be afraid.  I felt an odd peace amidst the fear.  I told J back in December that there would come a time in the near future that we'd look at each other and say "well, that worked out quite nicely don't you think?"

That worked out quite nicely, don't you think?

If you're going through something.  If you're scared.  If you're unsure.  If your world has been turned upside down, I know the feeling.  Please don't hesitate to share your story.  Besides leaning on God, there is no way I could have made it through the last several months without those of you who reached out and begged me to lean on you.  
Thank you.

March 27, 2015

Spring into the Weekend!

Sally Hansen Lacy Lilac
Pure Ice Beware

Cheers to the weekend, friends!
linked with Jennie.

March 26, 2015

Stuff & Things 3/26

++ I think I've admitted before that I have a very weird relationship with food.  Especially with breakfast.  While I get hungry in the mornings, I'm not hungry enough to eat when I first wake up.  My priority is coffee.  Always the coffee.  But then I get busy and don't feel like dealing with food making decisions.  Therefore, I usually skip breakfast which results in a hangry Joey.  No bueno.  I'm telling you this because this is a problem I've had for years.  We're talking since at least high school.  So when I accidentally created the perfect, easy, breakfast sandwich that took the thinking out of my mornings, I almost threw a party.  It's so simple I could practically kick myself for not having it sooner.  Ready?  Here it is.
thomas plain bagel + one egg + american cheese.

++ I binged The Good Wife on Sunday.  A couch day was just completely necessary after the craziest week ever.  Y'all?  It's getting so freaking good.  I'm on season 5 and cannot get enough.  

++ I love my new running path!  While I loved running at Campbell, something about running here makes me feel like I'm actually going somewhere.  They go so quick here!  There's always people to see, new places to explore, things happening!  I went out for a run at 6AM on Tuesday. I thought I'd feel super unsafe since it was still dark out when I started--but the path I run is completely lit up!  Bail and I ran down to a yummy little soda shop (who, by the way, is always baking through the night making those late night dog walks tempting when it smells like freaking funnel cake outside!) then we turned around!

++ I came home to a cooked dinner on Monday night.  Crab stuffed salmon, mashed cauliflower (our new jam.  seriously.  so freaking good) and asparagus.  I mean...I could get used to this life!  As for the cauliflower (because I know you're going to ask).  I am a potatoes kind of girl.  I just am.  But these have me converted.  Remove the florets from the head.  Boil for approximately 12 minutes.  Add butter and salt to taste.  Mash with potato masher.  I promise, it's so freaking delicious.  We always go back for seconds.  OF VEGETABLES! 

++ I had a whole thing typed up here about how the First Lady looked bald on a recent episode of Jeopardy and I just deleted it.  Because who cares?  I was watching the episode with J (yeah, we're old, whatever) and I definitely thought she looked bald.  But apparently it's something that's taking the internet by storm.  So I wasn't the only one who thought 1) she was bald or 2) that her stylist should be fired for allowing her to go on camera like that.

Anyway, that about does it for today I'd say.  I'm both so thankful and completely shocked that it's already Thursday.  This week was another insane week.  My days seem to be on turbo mode and before I know it it's time for bed.  If nothing else, it makes the days go by quickly!  Life, y'all!  It's happening!

Now it's your turn!  

March 25, 2015

Skin Care Routine

If you've hung around here long enough, you know that I've been in a pretty constant battle with my skin.  I've dealt with breakouts, including cystic breakouts, since college graduation.  I don't get it.  Aren't I too old for this crap?  Isn't part of the trade off of working our lives away that we ditch the acne with the braces?  Ok, that's not fair. I never had braces.  But you get my point.

Not only is my skin acne prone, it's super oily.  But when I made the transition to Charlotte, I was dealing with a lot of stress and a lot of different outside elements.  It would snow one day then be 80 degrees the next.  My face was freaking out.  I was breaking out and dealing with such dry skin it was painful.

I've been on a system of using the Clinique Acne Solutions every morning.  I stopped using it twice a day because it wasn't necessary anymore.  I was using some off brand cleanser to remove my makeup then following up with the Clearasil Ultra Acne + Marks Wash & Mask and my clarisonic.

Anyway, I think it was the cleanser that was causing my skin to freak out.  When J joined me in Charlotte, he brought a package that Lipton Publicity sent with the Lindi gentle skin care system in it.

Y'all?  This stuff is like silk for your skin.  All the discomfort and dryness I was dealing with went away in just a few days.  My skin is bright, hydrated, but not oily!  And soft...oh gosh so soft.  

This system was originally developed for cancer patients undergoing chemo.  But once the patients were through with their treatments, they continued using the products because of the great results.  It's no wonder my skin irritations disappeared after just a few uses!

This line is the perfect partner to my Clinique Acne Solutions.  The acne solutions battles those pesky breakouts and this line handles all those important things like infusing my skin with vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients that keep it looking and feeling healthy and young!

And just for proof that I'm 100% obsessed, you get a really attractive makeup-less, tired-eyed, half blurry iPhone selfie.  You're welcome.

**The Lindi products were sent to me via Lipton Publicity.  All opinions are my own.  I would never recommend a product that I don't actually love.