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Let me begin by saying that I am not a runner. I am not even a borderline athlete. Of all the sports available to play in high school, I chose French Horn. Sedentary is my favorite kind of lifestyle. I am convinced that the concept of a runner’s high is a conspiracy theory, because the only high I’ve experienced is shoveling a guilt-free high-calorie meal down my gullet after running.

13.1 miles and even that goose knows I smell bad.

That said, I am not getting any younger, and apparently exercise is an important part of staying healthy as you age. Unfortunately for me, unless there is a high risk of very extreme, very public failure at some point, my hatred of exercise is so great and my willpower so small that I just can’t stick to a consistent workout routine. This is where the half marathon comes in: the $100 registration fee coupled with the fear of face-planting or having to walk in front of thousands of spectators keeps me sufficiently terrified enough to stick to my training plan.

If you’re thinking, “I can do it if she can do it!” then you’ve never been more right. If you’re thinking, “I want to know her exact routine because it’s probably great!” then allow me to encourage you to check yourself before you wreck yourself because I have no idea what I’m doing. But here’s my step-by-step routine anyway:

  1. Execute 12 week training program found through the power of Google (2 short & 1 long run each week).

  2. Run race. Goals are: (1) don’t walk and (2) don’t die, in that order.

  3. Cross finish line. Swear off running forever.

  4. Take 9 months off, during which period no running occurs unless an ice cream truck is involved.

  5. Start all over again the next year. You will have retained exactly 0% of your progress from the prior year. You will start over at 1 mile and think, “Not only will I never be able to run 13 miles in 12 weeks, I don’t think I ever have. It must have been a hallucination.”

I would not recommend this exercise ‘routine’ to anyone else, nor would a doctor, but this is my truth and I share it with you.

As terrible as I am at this, both years I’ve run the half it has amazed me what my body can learn to do by just sticking with the training plan. This year I finished in 1:59:37, shaving a whopping 14 seconds off of my time from last year (I’m nothing if not consistent). I attribute that 0:14 burst of speed to my high performance apparel this year: specifically, the beautiful tank my sweet friend JoAnna sent me from the clothing line she started!

^The face of someone actively retiring from running

In love with this color!

Glory Active

JoAnna and I met several years ago on a sunset cruise around San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m not sure what the odds are of meeting another Oklahoma girl on a 6-person sailboat in the middle of the Caribbean, but probably about the same as running into a colleague at the Pantheon in Rome (which I’ve also done- I have an odd knack for this kind of thing). Anyway, as fate would have it, Noah and I hit it off with JoAnna and her brother Jon and spent our romantic evening sunset cruising and eating dinner with our new pals. We’ve kept in touch, and since then I learned that JoAnna started Glory Active- a Christian faith-inspired active wear line for women that I’d like to highlight.

I am constantly impressed by the creativity and ingenuity of people, but I reserve a special level of awe for those who summon the courage to go out on their own and start a company from the ground up; JoAnna is one of those people. After spending years marketing a wide variety of products for different companies, she reached a point where she needed a change and craved a career doing something she was passionate about. When I told her how brave I thought she was, JoAnna laughed and said, “I really wanted to ignore the idea in my head because it was so scary, but I just couldn’t let it go.” Her idea, combining quality women’s athletic apparel with faith-inspired messages of affirmation, went live in 2017. JoAnna hand-selects the apparel, chooses the Bible verses, oversees the design process, and has even been known to press some of the designs herself. What started with just a few items has grown into a full-fledged athletic apparel company, complete with everything from tennis shoes to skorts.

What I love about my Glory Active tank, and everything that JoAnna has carefully designed, is that they provide constant reminders of a woman’s strength and value from God’s view. As discussed above, there are few things more humbling for me than exercising (am I doing this right? Is that body part supposed to jiggle? Is everyone staring at me and silently judging me?). The affirmation that “I can do all things” or “He makes no mistakes” is surprisingly effective at reminding me that all I need to worry about is taking good care of the vessel I was entrusted with. It also doesn’t hurt that the Glory Active designs are feminine and understated, and printed on high quality, comfortable apparel for the 98.7% of our lives where it’s now socially acceptable to wear athletic apparel with or without any intent to engage in actual physical fitness the times you need to run a few errands on the way to the gym. Plus- should that ice cream truck happen to drive by, you’re prepared!

The very best part of JoAnna’s company, though (and JoAnna herself, for that matter) is that she donates a portion of all of her proceeds to charities benefiting under-served women and children. When I asked her what her goal for this company is, her immediate response was to be able to give jobs to women who struggle with employability due to disabilities or other personal challenges. Eat your heart out, Lululemon- this is the kind of company I want to support. If you agree, you can learn more about the company and browse all of JoAnna’s lovely designs at the Glory Active website.

Here are a few of my other favorites:



Toodles, tlo

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Happy Thursday! Feeling very 80’s teacher chic on this fine day- somebody give me a box of chalk and a pull-down map and I’m ready to go!

This dress is a bit of a fashion stretch, even for me, but the fantastic gold buttons had me at hello. I wanted to modernize the look a bit, so I paired the dress with some fun (albeit dangerously tall) leopard wedges and then spent the day putting all of my energy into not falling down a staircase. Good news on that front- no broken ankles, and today was another 100% thrifted outfit to boot!

Hand for scale

You could probably eat a decent meal off of these things, but <3 <3 <3

Modeling the buttons, obviously. My dream job as a chiid was to be one of Bob Barker’s Beauties, and I very clearly missed my calling.

The Outfit:
  • Dress: vintage wrap by Joseph Ribkoff. Have you ever seen such glorious buttons?

  • Cost: $8.39

  • Vintage: 1980’s

  • Shoes: Steve Madden leopard wedges (thrifted for $6!)

Hope your weekend is a great one!

Toodles, tlo

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The little onion blog by Lindsey Mccarty - 3M ago

A few weeks ago my sweet friend sent me this picture and said, “next DIY??”

They’re so cute! And festive! And whimsical! And bright! And … *cue record scratch noise* …

THEY COST SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS??

If you are a person who spends $700 on flats, I respectfully have so many questions:

1) What is it that you do for a living, and is that skill set teachable?

2) Are you scared to walk outside in your shoes? Do you maybe wear those little scrub booties that they make me wear on our neighborhood home tour, but every time you leave the house? What if it rains? Do you ever get the heel stuck in sidewalk cracks and scratch the leather, or is that just me? Do you keep all of the dust bags your shoes come with and actually use them, or do your shoes live in tiny climate controlled shoe houses?

3) Can we hang out? Obviously I won’t stand too close to your shoes and I’ll leave the county to sneeze or ingest any food or beverages.

As for me and my house, we will buy our shoes at Target or Goodwill. But now that I know pompom flats exist, I can’t un-see them. Time for a little DIY project!

I had fun putting these guys together, and realized that if I attach them to my shoes using a sturdy but removable clip, that they’re suddenly versatile and can be worn on virtually any shoe:

Dress them up…

or down!

You’ll Need:
  • Assorted colors leather (I used 2 different assorted colors from Hobby Lobby)

  • Alligator clips

  • Scissors

  • Hot glue

Assembly
  1. Cut each color of leather in half, one half for each pom pom

  2. Make two pom poms out of leather ribbons (tie each with a ~6” piece of one of the colors of leather, or another strong cord)

    • If you’re new to pompom making, you can see how to make one the easy way (using your hands) here, or using a pompom maker here.

  3. Hot glue clip onto pompom (I picked the ugliest side because this will become the bottom)

And now you have leather shoe poms that you can put on ANY pair of shoes you want! These cost $7 to make (leather and clips were half off), ringing in at 1/100th the cost of my inspiration.

Compared to the Louboutins, I think the ability to wear mine on any shoe is preferable, but Christian’s pompoms look fluffier. If I make another pair, I may buy 50-100% more leather to make the poms bigger and fuller, although I suspect it would be very hard to tightly secure the pom pom around the middle with much more leather than I was working with (it doesn’t compress like yarn does). You really have to put your back into it to securely tie these poms.

And the search continues for something that doesn’t get better when you add a pom pom to it…

Toodles, tlo

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Last week when Noah and I were in NYC we popped into a local Goodwill store (because thrifting is a lifestyle that doesn’t stop when you’re on vacation). This happened to be the same store where I scored the cutest leather Tory Burch boots last year, so my hopes were high for another great find. Noah’s hopes were high for a shirt deemed acceptable to wear to a Broadway play as he had elected only to pack graphic tees for unknown reasons.

We both found a few items and were checking out when my eyes landed on a pair of patent leather Doc Martens behind the counter. The hair on my arms stood up: it was happening.

Me: They’re my size!! Aren’t they fun? I’ve been wanting some of these!

Noah: LOL what?! There has never been anything less your style. Ever.

Me: These are very in fashion right now. And I’m an enigma- how dare you put me in a box??

Noah: Uh-huh. There is no way you can fit those in your luggage. I saw you sit on it to zip it when you were packing.

Me: Luckily you only packed graphic tees. *bats eyelashes and smiles sweetly*

And with that, the [very clunky, very heavy] boots were mine. I spent the rest of our trip pointing out every single person wearing combat boots (this was exhausting because as stated THEY ARE VERY MUCH IN FASHION, NOAH). And my sweet spouse still lugged them all the way home for me. #trueluv

The Outfit:
  • Boots: Doc Martens 1460 Combat Boot in black patent leather (retail for $125 new)

  • Cost: $25

  • Vintage: Not sure, but they don’t look that old. Probably just a few years old.

  • Clothing: vintage sweater and tulle skirt, also thrifted

  • Earrings: Kendra Scott

  • Hair: pink velvet ribbon from Hobby Lobby, a total throwback to my middle school days when I had themed ribbons for every occasion (soccer practice! A rainy day! Band concerts!). Please tell me I wasn’t alone.

Just in case my photos appear effortless and professional (HA), approximately 90% of them contain at least one dog and at least one boy. Today said photo bombers were particularly helpful:

4-yo: [yells] MOM, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO STOP TAKING PICTURES OF YOURSELF??

Neighbor: [turns to look]

Me: [pretends I’m just standing in front of a tree enjoying the weather, as one does]

Doesn’t that kid know I have a BLOG TO RUN?!

Toodles, tlo

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Another Thrifty Thursday is here, and today I’m throwing it back to last week when I was floating on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico. I found this gown a few months ago and have been salivating over it ever since. I don’t get a chance to rock formal wear very often, so I knew formal night on my upcoming cruise was my shot. To say I was excited is most certainly an understatement: I made a tearaway calendar to help me count down the days. I took it out of the closet from time to time, just to pet it and make sure it was actually as awesome as I remembered.

It was.

The dress is by a designer named Jill Richards. Via the power of Google I now know that she was an actress-turned fashion designer famous for her gorgeous and often ruffled gowns. She was even dubbed ‘Ruffles Richards,’ which is both the coolest nickname ever, and what I’ll be answering to from now on.

I always like to google vintage designers I find at Goodwill for eduational and sentimental purposes to mentally calculate how great of an investment I just scored with my nothing but my street smarts and frugal bad-assery. This time I almost fell out of my chair:

This is hands-down the best bargain I’ve ever found. I didn’t see another one like this online, so I have no idea what it’s worth, but I’ll probably still be talking about this well into my 80’s. I mean, it is in perfect shape and even still has the matching belt.

One final note: I had visions of Titanic-esque photos on the stern of the cruise ship, wind whipping through my hair (but, you know- beautifully), sun setting in the distance, dress billowing glamorously, onlookers gazing. But in real life, dinner took so long that the sun set, my kids wanted ice cream, and the only place I could catch both a breeze and adequate lighting was in the elevator bank between the pool and the all-you-can-eat buffet. So please do me a favor and envision these photos, but with the background described above. And go ahead and throw Leonardo DiCaprio somewhere in the mix if you’re feeling generous.

Many thanks.

The Outfit:
  • Brand: Jill Richards

  • Cost: $8.35

  • Vintage: 1970s

  • Time: I sent this through the washing machine before I realized it was worth more than my car… luckily, it turned out just fine!

  • Accessories:

    • Shoes: Old Navy glitter heels

    • Earrings: Kendra Scott

  • Backdrop: automatic doors outside the all-you-can-eat buffet. Personally, I think the miniature sailboat over my left shoulder really adds something.

Toodles, tlo

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The little onion blog by Lindsey Mccarty - 4M ago

For the past few summers, floppy hats have been everywhere with fun and witty phrases on them. Not only do I have heart eyes for witty phrases, but my pasty complexion and I love giant sun coverings. ‘The bigger, the better’ is our motto. The best option is always a tarp, but those can be tricky to travel with.

When we decided to set sail on a cruise this Spring Break, I decided I wanted one that:

a) didn’t use ‘beach’ in lieu of the b-word, and

b) had to do with knitting.

Sunbathing knitters are apparently a narrow market, so I had to make my own!

funny… but not the family friendly vibe I was going for.

Initially, I wanted to write ‘when I sits, I knits’ on my hat- but decided that was a bit long and ultimately went with ‘probably knitting’ (which, in hindsight, actually consists of more letters… but whatever).

I started off using a hot glue gun and a string of sequins, but it was really hard to do this legibly. I got half way done and then very dramatically ripped all the sequins off. Good thing hot glue peels off easily, right?

Wrong.

So for those of you keeping score, the longest step in my hat-making process was using a hair dryer to slightly warm up 8 letters written in hot glue juuuuuust enough to peel off of the hat, but not so much that it turned back into liquid glue. It was a labor of hate an exercise in patience.

At this point it is 10 AM, we’re leaving for our cruise at 11 AM, and (naturally) I am the picture of grace and composure. I thought about trying hot glue again with a thin ribbon instead of sequins, but frankly I didn’t have time to go through the Hot Glue Debacle of 2019 again. I turned to Old Trusty (my Cricut machine), cut my phrase of choice out of the iron-on vinyl, and then ironed it on to the brim in the nick of time.

Noah: I loaded the car, buckled the kids in, have the dogs all ready for the kennel, and pre-ordered us a latte for the road.

Me: JUST ABOUT DONE IRONING “PROBABLY KNITTING” ON THIS HAT, BABE!

Noah McCarty: the man behind the blog, and also the real MVP. I truly don’t deserve him.

But look how cu-uuute…

You’ll Need:
  • Hat (mine was $5 in Target’s dollar spot)

  • A method for making letters:

    • I used iron-on vinyl with my Cricut. You could probably also use regular adhesive vinyl unless you’re a full-body contact hat wearer. My hats lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle, just like their mama.

    • I think the hot glue and ribbon/rope idea could be done well- but just not quickly enough for my timeline.

    • If you don’t have a Cricut machine, you could still make a cute hat with pre-made iron-on letters or durable and very sticky letter stickers.

Assembly:

This obviously depends on the method you choose:

  • For an iron-on option, simply follow the instructions provided by your vinyl or iron-on letters

    • If you’re using a Cricut to cut out the letters like I did, I estimated the curvature of the words by ‘drawing’ a flat version of the hat in the maker software. I measured the diameter of the brim (big circle) and head part (small circle) and then recreated those using circles in the software. Then I just aligned the words in between the two circles to get the size and shape right.


  • For sturdy stickers, just stick them on!

  • For the hot glue/ribbon option, hindsight tells me it would be helpful to lightly draw out your mantra before you start gluing. Apply glue in small increments (~1” at a time), lay ribbon, and then move on to next 1” section. It is a good idea to lay out the ribbon for the next section before you glue just to ensure you know how it will lay, ensure it isn’t twisted, etc.

And then pack, transport 9 hours via car, carry onto cruise ship, and proceed to wear for 1 hour… while crocheting.

Toodles! tlo

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Ahoy! It’s thrifty Thursday all day today, and I’m celebrating in my best nautical wear. I am not sure I’ve ever successfully walked past a vintage pleated dress at Goodwill, and I’m not sure I ever will. I also love the print, color, and lightness of this dress, even if it does have a collar large enough to double as a flotation device. Or handkerchief. Or possibly even hand towel.

Me: Is this dress ‘cute’ weird, or ‘weird even for Lindsey’ weird?

Noah: You look like you should be teaching Sunday school.

He never really answered my question, but whatever. It’s not like I was going to change, anyway.

Collar for days

The Outfit:
  • Brand: Kathy ‘J’

    • I found a few other dresses in this brand for sale online for up to $60!

  • Cost: $8.35

  • Vintage: 1970s

  • Time: so far I’ve just removed the shoulder pads and washed it, but it is fairly baggy so I think I may attempt to take it in a bit before I wear it again. It would also be fairly easy to remove the collar and convert this to a V-neck dress, but I can’t decide if that’s the way I want to go.

  • Accessories:

    • Shoes: BCBG cut-out heels in red

    • Earrings: Baublebar


I hope you have a lovely day!

Toodles, tlo

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The little onion blog by Lindsey Mccarty - 4M ago

I’ve been itching to do this DIY for months now! Hobby Lobby has dozens of fun, quirky patches just begging to jazz up some shoes. The problem was, I didn’t want to spend $20+ on this project, and shoes aren’t cheap. I finally found some slides in my size at Goodwill- a fun, furry pair to boot!

I intended just to make one pair of shoes, but as you’ll see, I couldn’t limit myself to just one set of patches:

After all, a girl needs custom shoes for all seasons, right? These are so quick and easy, and make an inexpensive, mass produced pair of shoes look higher end and custom. My favorite part about each of these is that they are asymmetrical (loafers) and miss-matched (sandals). Whimsical fashion is my favorite.

You’ll Need:

Assembly
  1. Lay patches on shoe and get ‘em where you want ‘em

  2. Glue patches on with superglue. Try not to glue fingers together.

  3. Spend 2 hours trying to get superglue off of fingertips.

But seriously, what is the trick to using superglue without getting it all over your hands? Please advise. I may be forced to start donning a full hazmat suit during craft time.

Toodles, tlo

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This DIY has been on my list for several months now. It all started one day at Goodwill when I was innocently eyeballing the cart of the lady standing next to me and noticed the prettiest chambray collared work shirt with a little bling on the collar (from LOFT). I was sad that someone else got to it before I did, but as I like to consider myself to be a decent human, chose to be happy for her. And then I chose to stalk her from a distance until I was sure she wasn’t going to put it back.

I know what you’re thinking: “I really wish I could see what this stalk-worthy shirt looked like!”

Well, you’re in luck. Because what kind of stalker would I be if I didn’t sneak a photo through a crack in the door from the cover of my fitting room?

V. v. sneaky photo of target

Zoomed in. There she is in all her beauty.

So from this obsession was born this week’s DIY! The options are endless here- you could put embellishments all over the collar, or spread them out on the front of the shirt, or on the pocket, or replace buttons with rhinestone buttons. I think the look is fun and still sophisticated, and you can DIY for very little money, especially if you thrift your shirt. Here’s how I made mine!

Supplies:
  • Collared shirt of your choice (I found this cute JCrew shirt at Goodwill for $5!)

  • Rhinestone buttons or embellishments (I used 6 total)

    • Hobby Lobby has many different options in the button carousel that are reasonably priced

    • I ended up deconstructing this bracelet from the jewelry aisle at Hobby Lobby because it was half off and I liked the different shapes

  • Needle/thread

Assembly:
  1. If you purchased buttons, skip this step! If you purchased a bracelet like I did, you’ll need to use small pliers or carefully just twist the pieces so that the jump rings holding each piece together open up and you can slide the charms apart.

  2. Lay your pieces on the collar to get a sense for how you want these to look. I ended up using 3 on each side, but this is totally up to you. I also really like the collars with embellishment all the way around, but I was afraid it would get too heavy for this lightweight shirt and make the collar sag.

  3. One by one, stitch buttons/charms onto collar using needle and thread. If you’ve never sewn buttons on, here’s a video tutorial from my embellished winter wear DIY tutorial:

How to sew on a button - YouTube

That’s it! Took me 10 minutes, tops.

Cost

The shirt was $5 at Goodwill and the bracelet was $4.50 on sale, for a total of $9.50. Not too bad for a custom shirt that is very similar to these much pricier versions:





Top left: Dolce & Gabbana, $342 | Top right: Ted Baker, $195 | Bottom left: Mango, $50 | Bottom right: Dolce & Gabbana, $512

Can you believe mine was only $10? No way could you buy something like this for only $10.

See?

It’ll set you back at LEAST $11.

Oh well. It was fun and easy and I regret nothing. And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a black shirt so I can recreate that $342 black D&G shirt.

Toodles, tlo

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Thrifty Thursday, in the house! Today I’m rocking some of my very favorite power pants in the form of high-waisted trousers. I am now, and always have been, completely obsessed with the high-waisted look. Do I care that they make my middle look like the broad side of a barn? I do not. They make me feel tall and fashion forward even if in reality I look like a giant, walking abdomen. If you’ve got it, flaunt it- right?

Paired with the tummy trousers is this vibrant HAND-MADE silky blouse. Growing up, my mom hand-made all of my Halloween costumes and Easter dresses and to this day, I get a special thrill when I find something handmade with love years ago.

But wait- there’s more! My suit jacket and shoes are thrifted, too (I award myself extra brownie points for an all-thrifted outfit). All the details are below. Happy weekend eve!

These tiny velvet patches are my favorite part of the entire outfit.

The Outfit:
  • Trousers: Nine West high waisted pants, $6

  • Shirt: hand-made silky tank, $4

  • Jacket: Max Studio peplum jacket, $8

  • Shoes: French Connection ‘Elmyra’ studded heels, $7 (BRAND NEW!)

  •  Accessories:

    • Tortoise earrings from Izzy Anne Society (on Instagram!)

  • Temperature during photo shoot: 22 degrees

  • Speed of photo shoot: probably set a land speed record

  • Highlight of photo shoot: accidentally locking myself out of the house in a 22 deg ice storm

Toodles, tlo

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