There is something about the adrenaline of shopping and finding a good deal. As an affiliate with Nordstrom, I thought I would put this shopping habit to good use and share my favorite finds! I have been eagerly awaiting the Nordstrom Anniversary sale which is a Pre-Fall sale where Nordstrom offers its new Fall line at a deep discount! These prices go back up August 1! ( I have listed this bag below first, because I believe it’s the best bang for your buck under $50.) Swipe and select the photos below for my favorite finds. I will be sharing my other Nordstrom favorites throughout the sale, but I thought I would share my favorite under $50 deals first!Continue reading “Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: Under $50 Finds”
I made the big move from the city to the ‘burbs a month ago to be closer to my horses and (supposedly) save money! I have not done much saving because I made it my purpose to design my dream apartment even with a shoe-string budget.
My design inspiration was a bit tough to accomplish and still incomplete. I wanted mid century modern design elements that include some bold pieces and stark color. My apartment has so much natural light, which I adore. However, white walls, white counters, and a beige sofa as my foundation created a very bland foundation. (See my desire for statement color.) I have slowly been adding these elements, but right now I am very happy with the current progress!
Hair Pin Desk – Room Essentials™TV Stand // Opal House Llama Basket //I picked up some greenery from Hobby Lobby for my Opalhouse Texture Green Vase // Threshold Chunky Knit Throw Blanket // Succulent and Moss Vase Filler in OpalHouse Glass Terranium // the flowering cactus is a Yellow Grafted Moon cactus and the prickly cactus is a Pilosocereus pachycladus found at Home Depot.
Coffee table in Rustik Oak // I think magazines are a lovely focal point and love a Garden & Gun subscription which is actually under $20 a year// OpalHouse Bamboo Coasters are under $10!// Boho Ottoman. (This is a dupe as I purchased mine from a local boutique.)
OpalHouse Textured Green Vase // Hammered Gold Bowl // Aloe Vera Plant// I found this gorgeous gorgeous rattan shelf at the Salvation Army for $25! If, they knew how much these are worth! I am so in love, but I found a similar Rattan Homemade Wicker Shelf and a Rattan Wicker Bar Cart under $120 with a similar aesthetic. (I will be purchasing this exact bar cart myself very soon)// My stacked Vogue provides my needed news and substance.
Crosby Glass Shade Floor Lamp Brass // My rattan wicker chair was the largest investment piece. I found it in the back of a local design shop. Here are some dupes. This is probably my favorite find in the whole apartment. Here is a Similar Rattan from Target// I chose stark blues and greens in my pillow choices, the Velvet Pillows, the Mina Victory Throw, and decorative Henna Pillow
Shibori Wall Art – Threshold™ // My throw is so worn, but hoping to upgrade to this Throw but if this is too rich, find a Similar Dupe Under $30// My bedding was another transplant from my previous apartment, but I found this similar comforter set from Target, the Kay Comforter Set // I wanted to incorporate different textures so chose to add additional throw pillows in white and off-white. Such as this Oblong Cream, the Faux Fur, and the Mina Victory Woven Stripes.
So, so obsessed with this trend especially as I am right now designing my first place! The styles range from floral to abstract and I adore this signature wall trend!
Carter + Main is a new brand of peel and stick wallpaper that is designed to give you an easy and attractive way to decorate any space in your home! All of products are made in the USA, re-usable, and Greenguard certified eco-friendly.
So, I cannot tell you if it is the Sertralin in my system or the dopamine boost from jumping two horses today, but tonight as I was about to go to sleep I started thinking about the orchestration of every moment of my still young and very unimportant life, and if any small portion that at one point I was yearning to be away from, hadn’t occurred, I would have missed out on some incredible and awe-inspiring moments that are happening in the now. And it sounds like a hopeful country lyric, but these thoughts have really resonated. I’ve just carried them in my heart this week.
Tonight I was spinning in my head through moments a year, five years, fifteen years ago that I was initially so frustrated and heartbroken with. I was thinking tonight how if those little moments hadn’t adjusted the focal point and shaped my future decisions, the things I have now and people around me might not be here.
It’s fixated my attention so much towards my faith and this illustration of the Lord orchestrating such small seemingly insignificant moments. And in the same instance, I realize that on my own, in my own decision-making, it’s just futile. Not that having dreams or goals is bad, quite the opposite. But, through reading God’s word and understanding the beautiful work he’s accomplished, I don’t want to try to do it myself. I don’t have to.
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me…” Psalm 16:6-9
It’s so encouraging just to know the weight of having to keep going is lifted, and the Lord can tell me to rest in this battle I always have with myself just to trust in him.
I really want to take this promise and adjust my own outlook. Rather than fear what is happening next, taking that energy to becoming the very best steward of what I have now. I want to use whatever platform he’s bestowed upon me to carry out His purpose. I can set all my personal goals and wants: the funding to compete at the upper-levels, all the horses, but not so many that I cannot make a few lake weekends and girls trips with my friends, a raise. Those are just things I can place down in front of the Lord, and I just need to utilize what I have now. I come to him with a servant’s heart, and I know that whether these Earthly things are given to me abundantly or taken away, it’s all ok. The conductor is so, so much better than my own skills. I have the best ally who has already orchestrated amazing things for this little Georgia peach from small-town Alabama.
From looking for change in the side pockets of the car with Mom so we could afford 99-cent tacos at the Taco Bell on Monday nights when I was seven years-old to bestowing the most priceless both angelic and fire-breathing at the same-time, horse to take me on to my first FEI event in a two-time Olympian’s barn only after securing my dream position that only requires working three days a week twenty years later? You can’t make these things up! Oh, and he brought my Mom this amazing person who literally encouraged me to take a break from college to go ride horses (Thank you for changing mom’s mind!), and now he’s building her a dream house with ship lap! This orchestra has been so fine tuned, and each moment perfectly planned in His timing. You can’t want to do it by yourself.
Within this time of planning my move (currently in progress), my work schedule became a bit more busy, I ended a healthy but plateau’ed relationship, and slowly the shackles of depression and anxiety crept back into my day-to-day schedule. It seems to do that when my plate gets shifted.
I’ve also always been fairly emotional. Commercials use to make me cry fairly regularly, and my quick temper while short-lived is firey hot (Thanks Dad.) So, for most of my life have considered the other stuff just a normal way to go.
And for me, its peculiar and a bit embarrassing. (Which is why I write about it. If it embarrasses me, of course I should publicize it.) I don’t completely understand why I feel this way. Sometimes, I worry if these feelings are just a product of a weak character. Essentially as the day progresses, what starts with just re-processing short conversations or memories turns into a really anxious guilt-trip that I place on myself for maybe a job, financial, or relationship failure. The events change. Within one session I can swing from being upset a peer gave me solid advice that I take as admission that I failed her in some way to my own interactions with family members. This strings through the day and into the night. It’s suddenly 2AM. Insert nightmares, not of the True Crime podcast I listened to, but of family members and people I care for abandoning me or locking me out of the house. Choose your scenario. Insert a few cry sessions.
The alarm sounds. I drive to work in the morning. Snap back to reality. But, I’m completely embarrassed at the prior twelve hours that haunted me. It’s like the strike of 9AM and I click back into, “Ok Claire, crying about some guy you went on one date with like eight years ago is a bit ridiculous.” “Why would I feel this way?” “I have a very plush and blessed life, surrounded by friends and family who love me. If I have all these things, what kind of selfish person would feel this way?” The self-deprecating thoughts I had in the evenings, eventually take, or took over my day. Because when I’m not anxious about some event or what someone told me during the day, I just feel guilty and embarrassed for allowing myself to think those things.
Getting back on Zoloft again, for me, it really alleviates the weight that I feel on a day-to-day basis. But, at the same time I do wonder if I’m led to call my doctor again because of fear. I’m a little embarrassed that I feel these things, and while I know this helps tremendously what if it is a crutch, and I should be fighting on my own. I don’t deny that I worry that by not having outside help, the relationships around me will be affected in a way that I can’t fix. Especially as a Christian, I have struggled to grasp why I have had such a hard time with depression and anxiety. You know, and I have had to really discuss this with the Lord because my faith in his promises are there.
This time, I’ve felt the emotions before. I’ve been here before. I knew that I needed to get some professional help. Honestly, to be frank, (thankfully, I know this is such an odd and uncomfortable topic, but it is one of the first questions the professionals ask you.) I’ve never considered harming myself, which is something a lot of people do . But for me, I finally made the call when the anxiety led for multiple days of not wanting to wake up. As I’m writing it, it makes me shivver, because “Geez Claire!?” I am so overwhelmingly blessed with the most gorgeous horses in the very best barn, I’m good at my day-job, I could probably convince a boy to like me if I really wanted. Life is pretty swell.
But, yeah, up until about a week ago, I’d stare at the ceiling not convinced I deserved to wake up.
It’s not something I really like talking to friends and family about. In the moment, all of the feelings feel so real.
It’s something I don’t understand completely. I am appreciative that I have this to help me. I would much rather not take anything. It’s not wonderful to be on. I have to remind myself to eat meals and get extra nauseous. You get use to it, and those symptoms have gone away in the past.
I’m still concerned about moving, and I’m a bit nervous that now that my horse is back in work my budget will be a bit harder to keep. My job has slowed down, but I still have a lot of responsibilities. Those are tough, but it means I have job security. These things, they deserve my attention, but are not so overwhelmingly difficult to maneuver. I’m not having nightmares and crying over it. That’s so freeing. It really took, saying to myself that this wasn’t something that was going to be fixed by character-development or retreating in my own corner. Ya just got to get some help sometimes. Again.
When I was in elementary school, so early two-thousands, I remember inwardly deciding that even though I lived in a split home, I would not act out on this like my peers who were witnessing the same events in their families. And my family split when I was fairly young. I had already started school so I still have a few memories still of pre-two households, but not many. I knew through listening to adults, that my peers who were continually in trouble whether for fighting in school or kissing really early all came from split-households. And I was not going to be a product of a split household like this.
And I saw it through high-school and college. I can still pretty easily pinpoint whose parents are together and whose aren’t. It’s interesting too, the kids, or not kids now, whose families split much later or earlier, the difference is still uncanny from those whose are still together. I don’t think each child reacts the same, and I don’t believe that those who were raised in one household fended completely better. But, for myself, I don’t think I was completely unscathed by the whole thing, like I thought I was. This has more been a reflection on myself as an adult. I have always assumed that because I inwardly decided that I would not be a trouble-maker, I would be among one of those who you’d be surprised to find out. (Find out that my parents aren’t together.)
Yet, here I am late twenties writing a blog about my feelings, pursuing an obscure extreme sport, and making a move to the city after growing up in rural Alabama. (I digress…)
But really, I really did think I was fine. I am fine. (I’m fine Mom.) But, I look back now at some of the reactions I had to breakups, or being turned down, how I deal with my father’s not-quite-girlfirend, girlfriends, and I think maybe, maybe I haven’t been as coy as I thought I was to avoid the trauma that is living in the aftermaths of divorced parents. And I call it a trauma, not to point fingers or negative blame on my own parents or others at all. I only insinuate that from my observation of Ciara dancing on the desk in my 3rd grade classroom singing “Hot in Herre” by Nelly and my own actions and reactions to life in general, the remaining ashes from that initial fire still smolder.
You can certainly argue that these events have made us stronger in some ways: more aware of the relationships that we find ourselves in, expanding the respect of the parents who raised us, being independent. But, did our parents know we’d be affected like this? Is the affect of a child whether young or adult a required city to be hit in order to win the war? I certainly don’t know. And, I needed so many of the people, now family, that I gained as a result. I’m an accountant with a blog who rides horses, just a reflecting here.
But today, when my father’s maybe-girlfriend, girlfriend messages me about a horse, I immediately wanted to take her camping and drag her air mattress into the pond while she sleeps. I will “Parent Trap” you so fast. Dears, I’m twenty-six years old. Why am I bothered by this so much? Our parents have their own independent lives. I adore the additional family members that have joined us along the way; they are our new families.
But deep down, always selfishly, and even to the detriment of those around me I will always want to “Parent Trap” you. I will put spiders in your camp bags, and the same thirteen-year old girl who made faces in every single one of their wedding photos and puked in their handbags and threw that goose tag that one found away on purpose; I’d do it again.
I wrote this draft a year ago. I felt it fitting. Even more now, as I’m opening up my packed schedule to teach a few sporadic lessons again and trying to figure how to achieve my next riding goals..
Psalm 27:14 – “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
This is dedicated to my sweet vegetable friend. Continue reading “Losing Furniture and Choosing the Wrong Car Insurance.”
“Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at your feet.”
Trust in You, Lauren Daigle