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Thursday, April 5, 2018

the good, the bad and the grumpy


Ok, so here are some Easter pics and a tragic tale.
Ok, it's not tragic... but it is bittersweet I guess you could say.

Here's the story:
My husband and I were evicted from our home last Friday.
Yup. You read right.

I'm sure you guys remembered that I was griping about being broke and my husband having job issues a lot a while back. Well, we got behind on rent.
It's happened before. We get caught up and move on about our lives.

Well, this time - the owner of the mobile home park we were living in decided she didn't want to hang with us anymore.
Fine. I get it. But the way they went about it was pretty ugly.


After they lead us into believing that they would wait for our tax return check to come in so we could get caught up they kicked us out. 
The constable came and gave us 24 hours to get out.

Time began to tick down. I only had a handful of diaper boxes we were saving for a future move and no clue where or how to get started to pack up or where we were going to go.
My mom told me to "come home". 
Uuugghhhh.
No adult wants to hear that!
Being an adult hearing my mother say "come home" was like being handed the Official Certificate of Failure to Adult.

We didn't have much of a choice there but we're grateful we had a place to go.


My husband rented a second storage space and an army of church members cancelled bible study and came help us. They brought pizza, water, trailers, huge moving boxes - the works!

I was so grateful but overwhelmed as everything was happening so fast. My head was spinning. There were so many people there asking how they could help I wanted to cry with gratitude and frustration.

It was an awesome experience having so much help but it was incredibly chaotic. Especially since all I wanted to do was hop in my car, chain smoke all the way to a hotel in Vegas and drink myself into a stupor while I listed to dramatic opera music. 


Sunday, we went to our church's Easter festivities. Being there, trying to pretend like I wasn't stressed to the max and emotionally fatigued was exhausting. Getting to wear my African print maxi and Afghani glass bead necklace together made me feel a little better... 

I got Cedar a gorgeous lavender and silver brocade 60s-style shift dress for Easter but it got misplaced in the move. Luckily Cedar's granny rush delivered a dress she made for her to wear for Easter and we got it just in time.

Anyway. I am super grateful we had a place to go, but good heavens I'm ready to get out of here!

My patience is paper thin and my nerves are absolutely frayed. The change is making my kids act horrible! (And me too!)
I.
Need.
A.
Vacation.
And a beer and a grilled cheese sandwich.


Right now, we're house hunting. My husband is driving over 50 miles total to and from work so it would be great if we could get back to our town as soon as possible.
Please forgive me if I don't get to visit your blogs this week. I hope you understand, it's a little crazy around here.
Phew! Pray for me, ya'll.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

the yellow flowers



Me and the fam went to the 50th annual Jonquil Festival at the Historical Washington State Park in Arkansas. It's about an hour away and we try to go every year because the weather is usually still pretty decent, the park is lovely, the vendors are very diverse and have great prices and of course greasy fried stuff on a stick.

As it was St Patrick's Day I put on my girdle and squeezed into the only green dress I own: a too-tight dress that I only wear around the house in the summer.

Sorry if some of the pics are a little lackluster. I'm not much in the mood to edit all of these.
Aunt Irma came for a visit a little early and she's not being a very nice guest...
In other words. I feel like POO.

Since the historical park has been "frozen in time" in the Civil War era, it's not uncommon to see young maidens in 19th century attire waiting for their "bloomen onions" to finish cooking. 
She's most likely a tour guide. Sadly, people don't wear costumes for this event. I kind of wish they did. I had to chunk my hoop underskirt after I broke a hoop beyond repair at Mardi Gras last year and I haven't have much a reason to buy a new one.


Yes. We eat alligator in the South. Preferably deep fried on a stick.
It's not an incredibly common food but it can be found from food vendors like this at carnivals and festivals and Cajun restaurants and we eats it. We eats it up.

I, however, do NOT eat that deed-fried sweets crap. I tried a deep fried Oreo a couple years ago just for kicks and it was terrible. A soft cold Oreo covered in a thick fried pancake batter is gross. Just plain gross.




Mennonites watching a martial arts demonstration.
(We have quite a large Mennonite population in this area.)

These guys below even demonstrated how to escape someone pointing an AR-15 in your back... a horrifically handy survival skill to learn these days... *sigh*


 
Nope, I'm not pregnant. My girdle is mostly to tame the muffin top but it squishes all my floppy belly in and rounds it out in the front. Oh, well. I'm more comfortable looking like I'm 6 months pregnant than being seen with my belly sagging down to my thighs in a too-small dress, so there's that!


This leather worker dude was nice enough to let me invade his personal working space for some pics.


Daddy!



Just a little bit of the horse parade. That wagon is being pulled by mules... I think. I cut their heads off, but I'm pretty sure they're mules.


And then shortly after the horse parade comes the most adorable thing I've ever seen in my entire life.
I NEED IT!!!!!

So here are some questions for you:
Did you wear green on St Patrick's Day?
Are there Mennonites in your area?
Can you tell the difference between a horse and a mule?
Will you buy me a pink Jeep?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

there's a thing going on over there

 Yeeeeeeaaahhh boy!
What's going on folks?
With me? Same ol' same ol'.
I've always got something to complain about these days but to be honest, I'm not in the mood.
That's a good thing right??? Not being in the mood to complain?



So anyways. 
These pics were to serve as outfit photos on this blog and photos for a giveaway I'm doing on my other blog.

So, how do I come about these giveaways anyway?
Wellllll, companies contact me and ask me to review their products.
I get a lot of offers from reps who either just don't understand my lifestyle or just don't care. 

No, I don't wanna review your fitness app! Be outta here!

Most of the time they're asking if I would like to share their article on my blog.

Those emails usually go something like this:
"Hello, Hollie! I came across your blog today and I love your style! So groovy! I have a website called Tax Prepping Soccer Moms and I would love it if you could share one of our articles on your blog, Quirky Bohemian Mama."

To which I am often tempted to reply: 
"What part of "Quirky Bohemian Mama" made you think that I or my audience would be interested in something like that? Shoo!!"


 Now, with all of that being said - here's my shining moment as a big fat hypocrite.

A wooden sign company asked if I could review a product. I briefly looked at the site and thought,"I can make this work," so I agreed. They sent me $100 gift card to buy with and a $100 gift card to give away.

I was like, cool! I can work with that!

Well.... the signs I could choose from were very nice, but just not really my style. 
I've been wanting to do a series of posts about old-fashioned etiquette and had an idea for a post about being a good hostess in your home. I thought this sign was very fitting so that's what I picked.

Soooo.... if you're interested in entering the giveaway for the $100 gift card to giftedoccasion.com  just head on over to my other blog for more info. 

Like I said, it's nice stuff! Just not 100% my style. That doesn't mean it won't be up your ally though so have fun!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

laser tag


HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYY.
I'm here.
I am so ridiculously behind on everything.
Sleep, bills, work, cleaning, world domination.
Phew! What's a girl to do?! 


The flea market booth is doing ok. It's still 90% just our junk but I'm stocking it with the Bohemian Bazaar merch as it comes in.

I've got a little bit of stuff arriving every day but unfortunately I can't put out a lot of it until I get a locking display case. Yeah, small items like jewelry tend to disappear quite often at flea markets.

 I've got about a dozen pieces of handmade jewelry I've been hanging on to from my Etsy store days and about 50 rings and dozens of bracelets I can't put out so if anyone has a 6'x3' display case they'd like to give me for free, just holler. I'll take it.



So fare I've gotten in child size belly dance coin belts, Indian parasols, incense, Hmong tribe hair doodads for kids, chopsticks, wood bead bracelets, Indian shoes and leather bracelets.

I don't feel like uploading photos of what's come in yet so check me out on Instagram. I'm sharing photos of the really good items as they come in.

What's on the way: adult size belly dance coin scarves, more incense, Rajasthani style bags, bamboo flutes, art print necklaces including Frida Kahlo paintings and more.


I'm starting super small, y'all but at least I'm starting. 
Moving forward slowly is better than not moving at all.


What kind of mom lets her daughter jump on the bed in cowboy boots??
This mom.

I'M the reason why we don't have nice things.

And I'm also the reason why my daughter will know that stripes and polka-dots are perfectly acceptable together.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

What does the cow say?


Right now I'm ordering my first round of stock for the miniature Bohemian Bazaar and I'm so excited, I'm about to wet my little knickers.

I don't remember if I mentioned here or not that I'm going to transform my new flea market booth into a tiny version of my store that I was trying to open in the mall. I've had a lot of people suggest I do it this way since I want to start debt free and I think it's a darn fine idea.

Through GoFundMe I raised $300 to go toward opening the shop but um... yeah, I was about $3,600 shy of reaching my goal and $5,600 shy of what I actually needed to start with bare minimum. I was trying to raise money because instead of taking out a loan because I was certain the community was going to be excited enough that I'm replacing Romancing the Stone that they'd be willing to contribute. If there's a way to go debt-free, I'm going to go that way.

Meh. No biggie. I was totally prepared for that idea to not work out and I had no intentions of quitting if it didn't. There are plenty of other ways for me to skin this cat.


So, I closed the GoFundMe and I am no longer accepting donations(?) and I'm using the money I raised to get beautiful merch for my booth. 
I'm starting small. 
Very small...
BUT there's nowhere else in this town to get the kind of stuff I'm going to sell like belly dance accessories, Banjara handbags and Rajasthani parasols so I'm pretty confident that no one will complain that they have to go to a flea market to get it.

$300 might not sound like a lot for a start up, but I've already had a shopping list waiting of wholesale goods from India, China and Bali and I already have a little bit of stuff left from my renaissance faire booth. I have tons of jewelry I've made over the years and stuff I've bought wholesale. I just need a display case for those smaller items so my goods don't get knicked.

 

The booth is already stocked full of our stuff we've been trying to get rid of for years. We have accumulated a lot of stuff in our almost 8 years of marriage. Good heavens so much stuff. Purging the house has been an absolute delight. Getting rid of junk is very therapeutic. 

Well, we don't really have junk. We have stuff. Lots of stuff and nowhere to put it. So off to market it goes! As the booth empties of that stuff we'll start replacing it with the bohemian/hippie goodies.

Since the flea market has massive spaces, even entire rooms to rent we might just settle in there for a while. I mean  - think about it, I don't have to man the booth, hire employees or pay utilities... just  stock the booth and pay rent!

So there's that and here's my awesome offspring.
I stopped trying to get River to join because he turns into a grumpy old man when I try to get him to cooperate. Eh. Boys.



❤❤ Polkadots and plaid, a velvet blazer and a cow brooch. ❤❤


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

the technicolor dreamboat


Well, well, well.
Look at what the cat coughed up.
It's me!
Hi.



I'm surviving over here. Just barely... but I'm pulling through like a duck swimming in jelly.

I've recently started taking an ashwagandha and rhodiola supplement and dandelion detox tea and my physical stress symptoms have calmed down to a dull roar. Not even a roar. More like a wee little mew compared to what was happening to my body. Physically, I feel SO much better and brighter.

The pills make me a little aggressive though. Like, super type-A aggressive about weird things:

I'm going to clean today!
VACCUMING!
EFF YEAH!
DISHES! I HATE THEM! LET'S DO IT!
GET OUTTA MY WAY! AAAAGGGGHHHH!!!
DANG IT'S A LOVELY DAY!
GROCERIES!
TOILET PAPER!
RAWWWRRR!!

And then I rip my shirt off like Hulk Hogan and flex my muscles while barking at my children like a Tibetan mastiff.



So life is still pretty poopy right now and I'm still stressed but I don't feel like I'm about to have a stroke anymore! Yay!

GOOD NEWS REPORT:
My husband finally found a job after being "self employed" for over a year. He's not exactly sure when it starts but it will pay well. The bad part of all of this is it's a travelling job that will have him away from home for weeks at a time. Meh.

I already scratched of my New Year's plans of opening a flea market booth. We got an 8x8 booth in a very large and popular flea market. Since we opened it on Saturday afternoon and it's Tuesday now, we haven't had a chance to add everything and decorate but just yet but it's about 3/4 full so far.

The downside is, the market only allows 5 articles of clothing per booth! WTF??!?! Almost the entire booth was supposed to be kids clothes! OMG, we're drowning in kid's clothes piled up in trash bags here and we can't afford to just give them away so I'm hoping maybe I can butter the market owners up to get them to be a little lenient with me.


So here's what we wore to church Sunday.
ME: Handmedown blouse over a handmedown ikat print sundress layered over leggings and a tank top because it was in the 30s that day.

MISS CEDAR: Handmedown cardigan, Christmas gift dress from her Mimi, electric melon tights with unseen gold threads woven in and her favorite brown boots!






Soooo how are you all doing? Have you been sleeping well? Are you brushing twice a day and flossing?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

dear 2017, you sucked

I started this post a  last week and I had to take a break from it because it depressing the heck out of me to write it. But I've recovered and here I am.



2017 has been probably the worst year of my life so far and I pray I never find myself stuck in another year like this again. If it's not the worst, then it's definitely at close to the top of my "Hollie's Top 5 Worst Years Ever" list that doesn't exist.

I don't want to go into much detail but I will say that this year has been filled with crippling stress and anxiety, money trouble, martial problems, weird religious situations you guys couldn't possibly relate to, loneliness, depression and a whole bunch of other negative adjectives.

I think STRESS has been the leading lady this year for sure more than any other emotion. She's been a real shining star (sarcasm). I have reached stress levels that have gotten to points of chest pains, hands tingling, eye twitching, left arm going numb, sleeplessness, rage, sweating, excessive drinking and more.

Nothing has worked out the way I wanted this year. I understand that things happen for a reason and that's the only thing keeping me afloat, but for the love of all things holy and something PLEASE work out in my favor?!?!


Almost every bad thing that has happened this year has been because of someone else's shitty decisions. I NEVER play the victim and I always take responsibility for myself no matter what others have done but a lot of what has happened year and the years before that wasn't even my fault and I can't take responsibility. I can only try to fix things (and I do all day every day) but if the other people involved aren't willing to make a change then... what can I do?




Good news though: The manager of the mall did have to go ahead and lease the storefront, BUT the shop is temporary and that he'll be willing to work with me somehow so that I can open up shop in March. That gives me more time to try to get a loan, my stock, fixtures, etc. If the store in the mall doesn't work out, I will still open a store.... just somewhere else. Not a problem at all. I'm only after the mall so hard because it has reliable and predictable traffic and low fees.

▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲

I announced a while back on social media that I will be releasing a comic strip this year (mostly for my other blog) and I've been keeping it a secret that I'm working on a book... er three books actually. I've been keeping the books on hush hush because I'm kind of embarrassed to let people know that I have an extraordinary amount of time on my hands because I have no car and no friends. Plus, I can multi-task like a muthah.

Right now, I'm writing this post, promoting my blog in various Facebook groups, managing a client's Instagram on on my phone, keeping my kids from killing each other and I also drew a comic strip during a 30 minute break I took from this post. There are 24 hours in every day and when you don't have a a life outside of your home... you learn how to occupy that time.

So on the plate for 2018: Release a comic strip twice a month, a blog post on Quirky Bohemian Mama twice a month, get more clients for my social media management service, open a flea market booth to get rid of all the junk we've accumulated and inherited over the past 8 years (husband's going to take care of that mostly), lose 100lbs, finish writing one of my books and open my store and document it all for our vlog on YouTube (last priority). Of course when I open the store, I'll let go of some of that stuff.

If you read all of this and you made it this far, thank you so much for taking the time to read it.
If you skipped over some parts, heck I don't blame you at all! No one likes a party pooper! I just needed to get that mess out.

Pray for me, wish me well but don't worry about me. I'm a fighter and I'm painfully optimistic. My glass is always half full of wine so I will survive!

I hope you all (as well as myself) have the best freaking year ever! I think we all deserve it.

Quirky Bohemian Mama Comic Strip

Thursday, December 14, 2017

thanking my elders (yeah, you'll want to read this)




Most of my readers here are old enough to be my mother.
I'm 32 years old.
How did this come to be?

A few years ago I started following the "over 40 blogger" crowd because I was so bored with the hipster millennial moms who only talked about cloth diapering a coconut oil.  I'm not quite sure how I came across my first "over 40" blogger, but I remember is was Krista with Peetee's Palace(?). Surely you remember her? She's was an adorable little woman with hot pink hair who dressed mostly in fun pink clothes and awesome leggings. I don't think she's blogging anymore so I'm not sure what she's up to - but I'll willing to guess she still has the hot pink hair, or least I hope she still does! (She made my awesome pink and orange necklace by the way!)


When I saw Krista (in her early to mid 40s I think) I was absolutely CONFUSED.
"She has pink hair! She's in her 40s with PINK hair!"
I had never seen anything like it.
I wondered, "A grown woman with pink hair?! Is that even allowed?!?!"
Not only did she have pink hair but she was wearing a vintage dress.

At that time where I live, vintage clothing was a trend for the hippest of hip teens and cool cats in their 20s. Older people didn't wear vintage and they despised it! I thought there was some kind of law somewhere that stated, "Thou shalt not wear vintage over 30" because that just wasn't a thing.


Anyway, I was so intrigued that I looked for other older bloggers through the comments on Krista's blog and started seeing what they were about. My brain almost exploded!

"Look at all these women wearing vintage and hand-sewn stuff and red lipstick and bracelets up to their elbows!!"
I honestly didn't know you could do that past 25!

Another blogger I came across was Vix.
Vix's tribal jewelry fascinated me the most. "I have jewelry like that," I thought. "But I only wear it when I'm in costume. You mean I'm allowed to wear it any time I want?" Vix has long black hair and wears bold psychedelic vintage dresses and I can honestly say that there is NO ONE where I live like that. Not even a young person, so I was blown away.

Then came other eccentric bloggers: Helga VonTrollop, Desiree of Pull Your Socks Up (I don't think either one of them are blogging any more),  Mel with Bag and Beret and most recently Suzanne Carillo.  There are SO many others so if I left you out please don't be offended. If I'm following your blog or following you on Instagram, then you're one of them too!!!


All of that to say that every last one of you has inspired me SO much and that if I hadn't discovered your blogs, I never would have gained the courage to be myself again. I used to not care when I was younger and it wasn't that long ago! I was weird and didn't care to change but I wanted to be seen as an adult so badly. At 26 I was already preparing to settle into a nice pair of mom-jeans and a tee shirt because that's what I thought I was supposed to do in order to be a respectable adult. 

2006, me in my favorite outfit, a vintage Army medic's dress jacket and jeans.

2009, in vintage jacket and fallen pompadour.


I had been restricting myself so much that I began to have anxieties about wearing simple things like  over-sized sunglasses and big chunky necklaces. "OMG, people will stare!" 
I was so worried about what people would think of me but when I finally started wearing what I wanted to wear again, I was only met with praise and compliments. 
Now I get offended if people DON'T stare.

"Um, excuse me, sir. Are you really going to act like you don't notice my new handmade earrings? Psh. Rude." 

And people do stare. In this town, I'm as eccentric as they come (yeah, boring town), so it's gonna happen. Some stare a little too long and it makes me sliiiiightly uncomfortable but I understand that sometimes there's a lot to take in. All my fake hair and patterns and jewelry take a few seconds to process so I totally get it so it doesn't bother me much. 

Now I'm being approached by older women who say they wish they could dress like me or that they wish they had the confidence to dress like me. That actually makes me very sad. I try to tell them that it's never too late to dress the way they want and I tell them about all the bloggers I follow but they shake their heads and say, "It's too late for me".



I want you all to know that you've given me hope and you've helped me realize that aging is what you make it. There are no laws stating that you can't wear certain things after 30 or 40... just fashion magazines that like to tell you how to dress. 
Their words aren't law and neither are the opinions of others.

I'm not afraid to be myself anymore.
I feel as free and as carefree as the teenaged me who used to wear my grandmother's dresses with glitter painted sneakers and feather boas to school.
 But I also think that naturally, the older I get, the less I care about what other people think of me in general. They're not paying my bills, raising my kids or cooking my dinner so poopoo on what they think.

You ladies blog to help inspire other women your age, but never forget that this little girl has been looking up to you cool big kids for years now. I'm inspired and encouraged to embrace aging by staying true to myself. 

I say, thank you. 
Thank you all for saving me from someday reaching mid-life, looking back and saying,
 "It's too late for me".

.
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Bonus pics of my kids!
In the photos above, I'm wearing a vest thingy I made myself from a shawl I wasn't too crazy about. I folded it in half, cut the front part open, sewed the sides closed and hemmed the edges. It wasn't my intentions to dress us all in neutrals with pops of color but that's what happened!





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