Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday–August 20, 2014

Hey all!  Welcome to my Weekly What I Wore Wednesday post!  Every week, for several months now, I have been taking pictures of my outfits and joining the What I Wore Wednesday link party with The Pleated Poppy.  These posts are something that I really enjoy, because I have always had a passion for fashion.  I love putting together new outfits, and shopping my own closet to wear things in different ways.  Let’s get straight to it, here is what I have been wearing for the past week or so. 

This was a typical work day.  The white skirt is ancient.  But I still love it. 

Plaid Shirt- Old Navy
They no longer carry this shirt, but the above link takes to to lots of other really cute plaid shirts that they do carry.

This was the day of Open House at my school.  We were asked to wear a school shirt, and this is one!


Blue cardigan- Gap
White jeans- Loft
Red Sandals- Amazon

This was the first day of school.  I bought this dress years ago at Target, and I still wear it a lot.


This was casual Friday.  I bought this shirt at Twice.  It is from Banana Republic originally.  If you read my WIWW post from last week, I told you all about Twice. 

Mint shorts- Gap
Flip Flops- Old Navy

This was soccer practice attire. I will never tire of my Sarah Jessica Parker tee!


And another day at work.  The blouse is old, from The Limited.  The wedges are a few years old, from Nine West.  The pants are from Loft, last fall. 


Thanks for stopping by for my WIWW post today!  If you would like to stalk my other WIWW posts, click here!  I also have a Pinterest Board where I post all of my daily outfits.  I also frequently post on Instagram!

Happy hump day!

BTW, I am loving these for fall right now!

I am linking up here:

The Pleated Poppy
I Feel Pretty
Because Shanna Said So
Whatcha Wearing

Monday, August 18, 2014

Give Me Just a Second

Life has been hectic, to say the least!  There has been a lot going on, and I mean A LOT!

For starters, this guy started his first year of high school.  And cross country season is underway. 


And this guy started first grade.  His soccer games start tonight.


Had to throw in this one because it is rare to see them smiling and being nice to each other. 


And this girl just moved into her first apartment over the weekend.  She started her first day of college today.  We spent the entire weekend moving her in.  This picture was taken during our final moments together.  The looks on both of our faces says it all, doesn’t it?  The 18 Year old daughter happy and excited for what lies ahead.  The mother who can’t bear to walk out that door and drive back home.  How many of you are feeling me?


And our last hug.  You are also seeing a glimpse of her bedroom in her apartment.  I will share lots of pics of her apartment soon. 


So, after all of that, I need a second.  Just a brief moment – or a couple of days, to gather myself up and go on.  To get used to the fact that life is changing.  To make sense of the fact that my daughter is no longer under my roof and my control.  It’s not easy.  But I will be back soon with lots of fun stuff, and hopefully feeling a lot more cheerful. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Our Experience Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student- Part 2

Many of you probably know that my family hosted a foreign exchange student during the 2013-14 school year.  She was with us for 10 months, and recently returned to her home country.  I thought I would share a little about our experience today.  This is not a sponsored post. I apologize in advance for these first two pictures.  They were bad iPhone Pictures taken in poor lighting, but they are all we have of her arrival. 


This is part two of our story.  You can read part one here.  I left off right after she arrived.  When we agreed to host an exchange student, we were to be her arrival family.  An arrival family usually keeps a student for 6 weeks, and then they move to a different family for the remainder of the school year. 


For a couple of weeks after her arrival, she was really jet lagged and exhausted.  She started soccer practice for our high school soccer team a couple of days after her arrival, and she also started school.  When she wasn’t at practice or school, she mostly stayed in her bedroom.  She said that being engulfed in the English language was exhausting for her.  She had been learning English for 9 years, but actually being in America surrounded by the English language every day all day is a lot different than speaking and learning English.  She had to try to translate every word people were saying from English into Swedish, and then translate every word that came out of her mouth from Swedish to English.  She said all of her thoughts were in Swedish.  And that her goal was to start thinking in English.  This was the first day of school. 


Her soccer team were very inviting and accepting of her.  I was so glad for that!  It was really hot here compared to Sweden, and she had a difficult time adjusting to practicing in the warm temperatures.  She also said that the game of soccer was much different here than it was in Sweden.  Many more strict rules and less physical contact.  She is the girl in red and white with blonde hair in this picture.


High School football is huge in our town, so going to her first football game was very exciting for her.  And soccer season was underway.  She was on the starting team for most of the games, and I became a soccer mom for the first time.  I will never forget the evening that I was sitting at one of her soccer games watching her play, and I realized how much I loved her!  It just hit me like a ton of bricks.  I knew that I was in for a heartbreak one way or another.  This is her with some friends at a football game.


What was it about her that I loved so much?  Well, let me tell you.  She fit in so perfectly with our family, that it felt like a match made in heaven.  She had such an easygoing personality, she was so friendly, so cooperative, so willing to go with the flow.  She was one of the most genuine teenage girls that I have ever known. And I hate to say this, but it is a quality that many American teenage girls are seriously lacking nowadays.  I always felt that the American girls could really learn a lot from her example.  And she and I would sit and talk a lot.  I loved every conversation with her.  I had so many questions for her about Sweden, and I ate up everything she was teaching me.  She got along with our three children swimmingly.  And Mr. 6 Year old just loved her.  For the first couple of weeks after she got here, he was a little obsessed with her.  He wouldn’t leave her alone!  I think that is normal for a small child.  I feared that he was annoying her, but once he got used to her, it was OK.

I knew in my heart that she was supposed to stay with us for the entire 10 months, but how was I going to convince LC?  I knew I had to find a way.  There were a couple of obstacles.  Number one, she was sleeping in my daughter’s bedroom, and my daughter was sleeping on the sofa in the downstairs family room.  I talked to my daughter about it, and she said that she couldn’t keep living that way for the entire school year- her senior year.  Plus, LC was concerned about whether we could afford to keep her.  I started brainstorming a way to keep her.

I was talking to a coworker about the situation one day, and she gave me the perfect solution!  She said that we could move some of our furniture out of our family room and store it in an empty apartment that she and her husband owned.  I was so grateful to her for making that offer that really pretty much changed the course of our lives.  So now, all we needed was a bed for her.  And, I still had to convince LC that we could afford to keep her.  He was skeptical.  But he could see how much I wanted her to stay, so he agreed that if our utilities didn’t go up too much after the first month, and we could find a bed for free, she could stay.  And my daughter was Ok with her staying if we could move her into the family room.  This is the room that became her bedroom. 


My daughter’s boyfriend offered to loan us a bed that his family was not using, and it ended up working out for her to stay.  I was over the moon!  And when we told her, she was so happy!  So in early October, we put a chair and one end table in storage and moved in a bed for her.  It worked out perfectly, because she had a TV, a bed, and a sofa in her room, and she loved the set up. 

Her first semester was in full swing.  She was playing soccer, doing great in school, going to football games, and she even made a friend who she hung out with sometimes on the weekends.  She was asked to the homecoming and she bought a gorgeous dress to wear.  At school, they held an assembly before the homecoming game, and she loved it!  She said it was just like something from the movies!  She dressed up for Halloween and went to a costume dance at school.


Her soccer team had a great season, and ended up making it to the state tournament, where they made it all the way to the championship game!  They ended up losing the game, which was sad and disappointing, but it was such a great experience for her! 


We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our home, and she really loved her first Thanksgiving.  At Christmas time, her family sent her lots of gifts, and we had a wonderful Christmas.  Some of the things we did during her first semester were to take her to a West Virginia University Football game, we made a couple of trips to Pittsburgh to go shopping, and she bought lots of clothes during that first semester.  She said clothes were so much cheaper here!  In Sweden there is a 25% tax on clothing.  We spent a day at Coopers Rock State Park in the fall, and she thought it was so beautiful.  she couldn’t believe we lived so close to such a beautiful place.  We went ice skating, we took her to church, and LC’s family had a big fall barbecue in her honor.  We carved Pumpkins too, which was a first time for her.  She also travelled to Charleston (WV capital) with friends to watch the cheerleaders compete in the state tournament.  The picture below is her decorating gingerbread cookies.  The dough and cookie cutters were sent from Sweden. 


I think this is a good place to stop for now.  I will write a third part to our story and tell you all about her second semester soon!  Has your family ever hosted an exchange student?  If so, what was your experience like?  If you have questions in particular that you would like to ask me about hosting an exchange student feel free to ask me in the comments, and I will be sure to reply.

The exchange program we used was called Youth for Understanding. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday- August 13, 2014

Hey all!  Welcome to my Weekly WIWW post!  Every week, for several months now, I have been taking pictures of my outfits and joining the WIWW link party with The Pleated Poppy.  These posts are something that I really enjoy, because I have always had a passion for fashion.  I love putting together new outfits, and shopping my own closet to wear things in different ways.

This dress is a vintage dress that I bought at a vintage clothing store in Philadelphia.  When I bought it I wasn’t sure if it was “too much vintage” for me to handle, but I like the way it looks with this military inspired jacket.  The jacket belongs to Miss 18 Year Old.  She leaves for college on Saturday, what am I going to do when I can’t raid her closet anymore??  I can’t remember the brand of this jacket, but when I have a chance I will come back and update this post with a link to it, because she bought it recently. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Trashtastic Tuesday- Spray Painted Magnetic Letters

Welcome to another edition of Trashtastic Tuesday! This is a little series around here where I show you something that I thrifted, sometimes I make it over, sometimes I don’t.  Or it may be something that I have owned and I am tired of, or no longer like, so I make it over.  But nevertheless, it is usually something that I paid very little money for. Today I am sharing my spray painted magnetic letters. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

One Year Later- How my Brown Paper Floors are Holding Up

brown paper floor pin

Do you remember back in the summer of 2013 when I installed brown paper floors in my downstairs hallway?  Yep!  I did!  That was my big project during my summer break.  Well, it has been a little over a year so I thought I would give you an update- one year later- how my brown paper floors are holding up. 
Do I still like the floor?  Yes, I do!  I really do still like the look of this floor.  And for the price, you can’t beat this solution.  If I remember correctly, this floor set us back maybe $100, if that.  If you would like to view the original post I wrote about these floors, click here.  This floor was originally half carpet and half linoleum.  You can see how I removed the carpet and how I removed the linoleum

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

What I Wore Wednesday- August 6, 2014

Hey all!  Welcome to my Weekly WIWW post!  Every week, for several months now, I have been taking pictures of my outfits and joining the WIWW link party with The Pleated Poppy.  These posts are something that I really enjoy, because I have always had a passion for fashion.  I love putting together new outfits, and shopping my own closet to wear things in different ways.

This is what I wore on my first day back to work.  School hasn’t started yet, so I was just going in to get my office organized.  Soooo hard to start getting up early every morning again!  Can I get a little sympathy here?