Wednesday, March 30

Massaging Sensations Thanks To Kushyfoot

**I was given free samples of the following Kushyfoot products in exchange for my open and honest review. All opinions are my own and I have license to use all the following awkward cocktail party photos. Cheers!

Sometimes the best-laid plans fall to complete ruin. At least, that's my life lately. I guess it has something to do with having twin toddlers and a husband, a full-time job that has me traveling, various volunteer commitments, a Pure Barre addiction, this little ole blog and a few IRL friends. Oh, and tennis. I also play tennis. And I have a penchant for getting sick. Like real sick: You have a cold? Ehh, give me those germs and watch it become pneumonia—sick.

So back in January I traded emails back and forth with a representative of Kushyfoot, and she sent me some samples for me to review. I was so excited! Of course, our mail is as slow as Christmas; I am convinced it has something to do with having in-door mail slots over the traditional boxes at the end of the drive. I received the products in February and was super excited to put them to the test.

Then we had a heat wave and the last thing I wanted to do was put on knee high socks and knee high boots. But because this is Alabama, our February heat wave quickly gave way for a March cold snap.

During the middle of that cold snap, Mark and I attended a cocktail reception for a society I am a member of through the Junior League. The society celebrates our League's founding president, Lillie Lee Milliner, who got together with a group of her friends 90 years ago and formed what is now our League. She left a pretty awesome legacy. To honor that, we all donned our cocktail best and snacked on appetizers and enjoyed some libations.

Since we never get truly "cold" in Alabama, I never know how to dress for dressier occasions in the winter. I had this adorable French Connection purple dress I wanted to wear to the reception but it was short sleeve and short. THEN I REMEMBERED I HAD THE KUSHYFOOT TIGHTS. And the closet angels sang hallelujah!
So at first I was a little concerned that the tights, which came equipped with ribbed gel at the base of the foot, would drive me nuts and not work. Especially since I knew we'd be standing for hours on end as we mingled, and the only shoes I had that would work with the dress were five-inch stilettos.

I was wrong, oh so wrong. Not only did the little ripples of gel not bug me, they actually worked!! My feet didn’t hurt even the tiniest bit during the evening. I comfortably was able to move from the bar to the food, to groups of friends and acquaintances without worrying that my feet were throbbing. See, this action shot clearly shows my feet weren't a concern. Or maybe it shows I had one too many gin and tonics on an empty stomach and less than five hours after this picture was taken I would wake up with the flu, which would turn into pneumonia, but I digress.
The tights were thick enough offer some warmth traveling from the car to the door, without being too hot once we got inside the building. Don't you hate when the heat is cranked up somewhere and you are wearing warm clothes? I always feel like I am a little sweaty once I step back outside. Not cute.
Black tights are literally the answer to every outfit question I have now in relationship to cocktail parties and cold weather.

In addition to the tights, in my little Kushyfoot goodie bag, I also got some of their knee highs, which worked really well under my Frye boots. Typically I hate to wear knee highs with them, just because the socks always end up poking out the top and that’s just not my style. Kushyfoot's version actually hit below my knee a bit so they were completely covered by the boot, giving me the sock I needed while maintaining the look I like.

My final Kushyfoot product I am now in love with is the flat to-go. I've seen these before: ballet flats that are designed to fit in a purse or glove box and be completely packable. In the past, I was worried that these type of shoes would be cheap plastic and not look good.

Again, Kushyfoot proved me wrong. As fate would have it, our new puppy recently actually ate one of my black ballet flats, so I was in need of a black flat for work. I grabbed the Kushyfoots and headed about my day. They didn't look cheap at all; they are the perfect basic black flat. They are comfortable—feels like I'm not really wearing a shoe at all. I haven't tried the "packable" element to them yet, mainly because with pneumonia and work travel I've gone exactly nowhere I would need a packable flat. But Mark and I have a gala to attend in the coming weeks and I have a feeling they will definitely be making an appearance.

Kushyfoot's online store is currently closed while they transition to spring, but I was able to score a few extra pairs of tights at Nordstrom Rack in Atlanta, on some major sale. One of the benefits of being constantly off-kilter is being able to shop super sales because you're buying tights while the rest of the stores wants you to buy swimsuits. I have spent years working in retail and I still will never understand beginning to sell shorts in January when it is still only 40°. 

 
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Photography by Carter Photo & Design

Friday, March 25

Audible Review: Elin Hilderbrand's The Rumor

One of the biggest challenges about traveling for work is the obscenely long amounts of time I spend in the car alone. I don't mind being by myself at all, but spending upwards of six hours alone in a rental car every day gets old. Quick.

When I first started, I would go to our local library and check out books on CD so I would have something to hold my attention while I navigated the back roads of America. For some reason I fell out of the habit and relied solely on the radio. I don't care what anyone says, there's only so long before listening to the radio gets repetitive. I am convinced satellite radio only has three CDs to pull from.

Over four days on my last trip I spent 17 hours in the car alone. I was dying. My husband, in one of his more annoying habits, is addicted to listening to books on tape through Audible. I swear the man never not has his earbuds plugged in. During what seemed like my third desperate call of the day to get him, someone, anyone, to talk to me, he suggested I download Audible and listen to a book.


I really liked being able to have a book through my speakers without having to remember to go to the library, or be at the mercy of their selections. Since I was searching for a title while I was pumping gas, I saw Elin Hilderbrand's The Rumor, and went for it pretty quickly.

I wish I hadn't.

This is the second of Hilderbrand's books I've read, and while I did enjoy parts of The Rumor. It was seemingly a little repetitive of the first I'd read, Nantucket Nights.

Both books are set on Nantucket, are focused on a group of extremely close girlfriends, and are propelled by a scandal. Granted, the scandals in each are different, but both stories felt very similar.

I don't know if I would have drawn the parallel, and been as disappointed in the writing as I was, if I hadn't read them back to back.

I have a third Hilderbrand book, The Blue Bistro, that a friend passed to me, and I will admit I buried it a little on my shelf to give myself a Nantucket summer scandal break.

All in all, I would give The Rumor three stars, if only because it seems like Hilderbrand is just writing what she knows, as a Nantucket resident herself. The story was filled with trite suspense and lots and lots of sex.

Monday, March 21

Currently

*Linking up with Becky*
Currently around the Johnson Anderson house we are...

Finally recovered? I kept saying the flu and pneumonia and walking pneumonia and all the nastiness was finally out of our house last week. And that was a lie. I still felt terrible and had more than a few "struggle" days. Every time I said I was fine, I made it worse and relapsed. So I'm not saying I'm fine, I'm saying I'm officially done being sick. Don't have time for this ish.

In love with this Redbox find from Saturday night. It's a great quick movie that didn't get rave reviews online, but that I am so glad we rented. In my opinion, a few of the plot lines could have been a little more developed, but overall, I thought it had a very clear story with some good acting.
 

Stressing about what to bring as a "chip and dip" for the twins' Easter party. By the time I got around to looking at the sign up sheet for the twins' party pickins were slim. Ergo, we're bringing chips and dip (????) Thinking I'm either going to make some sort of ranch dip and make veggie "chips" or this Pinterest find that isn't really a chip and dip but more of a fruit dip. Anyone have any suggestions?
via Wearychef

We're heading to Callaway Gardens Friday for a little Easter fun with my parents, so this is my mood all week—including during a quick trip to south Georgia for story gathering—just. keep. swimming.
Buzzfeed via Pinterest


Tuesday, March 15

#posituesday

A few years ago, a very dear friend of mine started a social media campaign called #posituesday. The "rules" are simple; you share something positive on Tuesday. Last year I pushed myself for every Tuesday in July to "shake it up" posting my own #posituesday here—so I could forget some of the bigger, heavier things on my mind and remember all the things I love about my life.

I told myself for 2016 I was going to try to let go of the negative clutter in my mind and bring back #posituesday on the first Tuesday of the month. That has been an epic fail. I have been posting a #posituesday each month, they just haven't been on the first. Forgive me internet, I'm trying my best.

What do I love today?

We are finally all just about back to healthy status.
 

What are you loving today?

Friday, March 11

Friday Favorites

For the last ten days, survival has been the key to my days. First, Fitzy just wasn't feeling his best. Then he started having a fever and coughing. Then Alex slept one day for almost 18 hours. He too had a fever. By day four, I was sleeping 18+ hours a day: The flu hit the Anderson house like a ton of bricks. I'm still trying to dig us out of the mess.
The last two weeks have been anything but normal, I've been back at work for three days and have no idea which way is up. It's funny how much the world doesn't stop turning when you do. Life is humbling like that isn't it? I saw a meme on Facebook the other day that I thought described it perfectly: Adulthood is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.

I'm celebrating the end of this week, and the sickness, with some Friday Favorites.
Friday Favorites
I've kinda fallen off the Pinterest bandwagon, mainly because it overwhelms me—I always feel like I don't "do" enough, after I browse it. I mean, where the hell do these other mothers find time to make three meals a day from scratch plus craft, and refresh their towels and read five books a month and read the entire Bible and write in their Erin Condren planners? My Erin Condren planner is scribbled with all kinds of things, and half the time I'm still late to meetings. HOWEVER, I needed a recipe for something I thought I pinned long, long ago, and stumbled across this illustration. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. I'm not a huge #lillylover, but this illustration is my new motivation for summer.
Lilly Pulitzer Print Studio via Pinterest

My other Friday Favorite is an excerpt from a reader-contributor email I received today. Usually, when people take the time to email me they do not have a single nice thing to say. Imagine my surprise when this popped up! Thanks Sam in Indiana, I think you're pretty awesome too!

"I actually thought of you during the sales training!  We were learning about the four main personality types, and one of them was called an 'influencer.'  We were told that one of the first things we'll notice about an influencer when we meet them is that they tend to have a big grin from ear to ear.  The times that I've seen you at the EXPO in Louisville and your picture in the magazine came immediately to mind.  You carry the biggest smile I think I've ever seen!"

I love this picture of Alex from this past Tuesday. He was starting to feel better and instead of reading just one book, he decided to read all the books. Stumbling into these moments is my far my favorite part of being a mother. Not pictured my ashen face covered in the sheen of a 102° fever with the glaze of Tamiflu in my eyes. 

Wednesday, March 2

Getting Cutesy With Erin Condren: February

Leap Day is throwing me off, majorly. I conceptually knew Super Tuesday was March 1st, but in my mind I kept thinking it was already the middle of March. Then, I completely spaced on March entirely and wrote a check with Feb. 27th as the date. I swear if I'm not late, I'm early. I'm never on time.

I wish I could blame that on my current "season of life" but I've never been a particularly punctual person.

I've had an Erin Condren Life Planner for a few years now and I love them. I hate the nearly obscene turnaround time (and the accompanying nearly obscene cost) but they work really well for my schedule and me.

What I haven't been good about with the planner is using the full month view, or getting cutesy with stickers—mainly because I have giant handwriting and nothing ever fits in the damn squares. Plus, I have a lot of stuff going on during a given day/week/month that I don’t always stop to write everything down. Or find some cute sticker to tell me I need to get my brows waxed in three weeks at 3:30.

As part of my non-resolutions for the New Year, I am trying to take time at the beginning of every month to plan out what goes where. I'm also taking the opportunity to look back at the month I just finished. I've got some lofty goals for 2016 (500 Pure Barre classes being one) so hopefully this new system will help me attain them. 

Previously, when a month was finished I would rip out all the pages and recycle them responsibly—toting around a year's worth of paper when you already had that meeting six months ago got annoying. Now I am getting rid of just the weekly pages, and hanging on to my month view. Hoping this will also help me track goals better and have a realistic look at my year come December 31st. Paper clips on the front side of the monthly view help me keep little notes and invites I want to save to remember how fun and special things were.
I also keep a copy of Dr. Jonathan Meisel's card as well as Alex's hospital bracelet on the inside front cover to remind me that no matter what fills these pages, there's something a few someones much more important. Because life is all about perspective.
 

I set a goal of 20 PB classes for February and that went out the dang window. I had a week long trip to Memphis and Atlanta I wasn't planning on, plus a stomach bug. Despite writing my niece's birthday in my calendar (and purchasing the gift) I still mailed it late. It was a busy February and that's exactly how I like it!!
March looks to be just as ridiculous with three work trips to three different states in three weeks—plus St. Patrick's Day events and Easter. Can't forget the 20 Pure Barre classes in 31 days challenge I stupidly signed up for, in addition to three full length feature stories to write and one complete magazine to put together. Good thing we get more daylight, I sure could use more time…

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