About hooleywithaz

Posts by hooleywithaz:

these days.

not to harp on it or anything, but work has been kicking my butt lately. i was there until 6:00pm on FRIDAY for gosh sakes! who stays at the office that late on a friday?? but i have an 8:00am meeting monday morning, and for everyone’s sake, i needed to iron out some stuff. and i’d rather stay late than do work on the weekend. amen.

all that to say, i did not have the time or energy to write this post for friday. my priority lies with my husband and family and friends, so that’s what i spent my time on this weekend. but now it’s sunday, which means watching football, and working on the house, and eating giant waffles for brunch.

hope your weekends were full of goodness! what are you guys up to these days? link up below with your wrap-up posts if you want!


these days i’m…

eating avocado toast. because i am a boss. and avocados were ridiculously cheap at the grocery store the other day, i’m talking like 68 cents cheap! so obviously i got as many as they would allow me to (which was only 4, those jerks!), and i’ve been doing work on them this week. i try as best i can to share with the husband, but i’m only human.

planning a way to trick Mister Man into taking me on a weekend trip this fall. preferably up to northern minnesota to watch the fall colors change. he travels so often that spending a weekend away from home doesn’t always sound appealing to him, so we’ll see if this works. any tips for me?

watching season 4 of the league!! i’ve talked before about the reasons why Mister Man and i work so well together. well, our taste in crappy, vulgar comedy shows is one of them. and it’s finally on netflix. what WHAT!?

praying for peace. in syria and everywhere in the world that needs it.

wearing my new stitchfix dress. i would live in this thing if i could! have you guys tried stitchfix yet? they don’t sponsor me, i just love ’em! (although oddly enough, i just found out that the company was started by one of my cousin’s friends from her MBA program…the world is very small people!)

drinking herbal tea. because you guys, i’m trying to cut back on my caffeine intake. it was a terrible time to start this goal, but when is there ever a good time to give up your favorite beverages? coffee is my life force and i enjoy  an ice cold diet coke every once in a while. this is going to deserve a post in and of itself i think.

loving this quote from Thursday’s post about why i choose to look at things through a positive lense. i basically have it memorized at this point, and frankly i’m surprised i haven’t taken to whispering it to myself like a crazy person, rocking back and forth at my desk. i’m teetering on the edge people, seriously, look at the side of my cubicle:

not loving that the Mister’s travel season is starting in full force again this week. although, if i look on the bright side, it means more popcorn dinners and netflix nights for me!

working on updating this here blog and its look. you might start to see changes every now and again when you visit. you may have noticed i’ve already added disqus comments and a new sponsor page. if any of you blogger friends are looking for blogs to sponsor, click here to find out your options with me! i’ve recently started to sponsor blogs myself, and i love the community it builds as well as supporting my lovely friends (because blog friends ARE real friends!).


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accentuate the positive.

hi, my name is susie silver lining. 

if you know me, or follow me on any sort of social media, you may notice (or i hope you notice!) the absence of negative or snarky posts/tweets/etc. this is intentional in every way. you see, i have a philosophy that my attitude is the most important thing about me. and my personality and my writing better reflect that.

when i was younger, my dad told all of us kids that we needed to tape the following statement to the insides of our bedroom doors, so that we would see it before we started our days:

i thought dad was really silly back then, because who cares about stupid motivational quotes DAD? but wouldn’t you know it, this one stuck.

it made such an impact that this quote is now hanging on the wall of my cubicle at work (let’s be honest, it’s easy to get a baditude at work). i look at it every single day, and i let it shape my behavior. before i get upset with something, i think to myself, is this worth it? spoiler alert: it’s usually not.

this might piss some people off. sometimes you just want to vent and you don’t want somebody like me telling you what the silver lining of every situation is. i’m sure some of my friends get really annoyed with me over this trait. i know it’s easier to vent about things, and you know what? sometimes it feels damn good to vent. therapeutic even. but there are other ways to get rid of your pent up frustration or anger. write. walk. jog. love on your husband. do yoga. sing in the shower. cook.

do i always succeed in keeping up a good attitude? no. hell to the no. i have my share of days where everything going on around me makes me feel like i don’t have the energy to have a positive attitude. but i find that once i let my attitude slip to the negative side, the things in my life that are causing that feeling seem even bigger and it’s that much harder to get out of the slump.

i mentioned last week that i am dreading some upcoming stuff at work. so i needed a little reminder to accentuate the positive and not let my attitude make things worse. you better believe that i will be looking up at these words a lot in the next few weeks so i don’t forget that i’m in control of only one thing, so i better make the right choice with it.

(there might be one or a few cocktails involved to help the process along too.)


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my first stitchfix.

i may never go shopping again.

because i have found the holy grail, and it is called stitchfix. stitchfix is a personalized styling service, which for those of you who are behind the times like me, means that you fill out your sizes and let them know your style preferences, then they send you a package on a day of your choosing (or monthly if you’re fancy). the package includes five different pieces (accessories, pants, shirts, dresses, etc.) that your stylist thinks would be a good fit for you.

then the fun starts. you get to try on the pieces and decide which ones you like and want to buy, and then you throw the ones you don’t want to keep into a pre-paid mailing bag and send it back within 3 days. (you do get charged $20 to have the stitchfix sent to you, but that money goes towards the price of anything you want to buy, which is pretty great.)

i got my first stitchfix right before labor day weekend, and decided to take some bad photos on my phone to share with you. no need to thank me. why did i choose to get a stitchfix during my shopping freeze? great question. if you can figure that out, please let me know.

item #1: tank top.

this would have been really cute on anyone else but me. when you have a short torso and big ta-tas, fitted is your friend. shapeless tops are just not flattering, and make you look pregnant, but in that way where no one can tell for sure and don’t want to ask. plus, i need longer tops, because otherwise i run the risk of flashing that midriff.

item #2: cable-knit sweater.

i love big sweaters. i’ve stolen at least three of Mister Man’s huge cable knit sweaters for myself over the years. this was adorable, with a double breasted button situation going on in front, and an awesome navy/red color combo for fall. definitely potential here.

item #3: chambray tunic.

you can’t tell in the photo, but this is the most comfortable fabric ever, just soft like a blanket. and you can never go wrong with chambray, it goes with everything. i could see myself wearing something exactly like this on an airplane when i travel. it’s just polished enough. (this one was a little big for me though.)

item #4: striped dress.

puffed sleeves. “it would give me such a thrill, Marilla, just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves.” (if you can name that book, you and i are friends forever!) this adorable little dress has stripes, puffed sleeves and an a-line skirt. and it fit like a glove. you go stitchfix stylist!

item #5: burgundy skinnies.

the color was perfect, and the stretch was perfect, but the waistband was a little bit too snug. and even though it might be an okay thing to assume that pants stretch out, my own personal mantra begs to differ. i do not buy if it does not fit. period.

now, i was able to keep myself down to just one item, so can you kids guess which one i went with?

if you said “dress” or “vestido”, you would be correct! you guys, it is just everything. i did a little fashion show with all the pieces for my husband, and when i put this one on, he said, “wow, that looks really pretty on you babe! i think you should get that one!” and if any of you have women’s fashion-averse husbands, you know how amazing it is when they want you to add items to your closet…yea, it’s that good.

i will definitely try stitchfix again, mainly because it’s so much fun! there are times when i just don’t want risk ordering things online and hassling with returns, or i don’t want to deal with going to the mall and trying things on there, so having a package delivered to your door full of clothing tailored to your style is the perfect solution. it’s like getting a present that someone picked out from your pinterest boards (no joke, my stylist wrote me a little note saying she checked out my pinterest and that’s why she sent the sweater!).

if any of you are looking for a way to get in on the personal styling box fun, without the monthly commitment, i highly suggest trying out stitchfix! if you do, let me know how it turns out!

*stitchfix does not sponsor this blog, all opinions are my own, but the links to stitchfix do connect to my referrer id, which gives me credits when you all get your first fix. feel free to use it or not, you won’t break my heart, i promise.


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these days.

after a half day of work, the Mister and i will be on our way to the cabin for a long weekend of play. and this cabin is incredibly quaint in the sense that it gets little to no cell reception, so i will be mostly off the social media train for the next three days. and if that doesn’t scream vacation, i don’t know what does!

(sidenote: my dad used to make us physically leave our phones at home when we took family vacations. he was very anti-connection-outside-the-family-during-family-vacays. and then he got an iphone and it was all over from there, because he realized the beauty of having a camera and group text messaging. although i wouldn’t be surprised if he brought that rule back sometime soon. and it will be my fault for bringing it up. the end.)

enjoy the long weekend little ones, relax your butts off and eat some hamburgers for me. because this is america, and you should.


these days i’m…

eating peaches on everything. most recently, on cherry vanilla granola for breakfast, which was like eating cobbler for breakfast without the guilt. i can’t get enough of these things, and i’m thinking i need to make a peach pie next week just so i can rest easy knowing i didn’t let the season pass me by.

planning the next home improvement project we want to take on. Mister Man really wants to tackle repainting the ugly basement rooms (although they are nothing in comparison to how bad the bathroom was!), but i think it might have to be touching up the paint and painting the baseboards in our bedroom. a boring project, but one you just have to suck up and do.

reading that real simple magazine i told you about last week. yep. haven’t finished it yet. there always seems to be laundry to do or a dr. who episode to watch, so i’m not exactly surprised…maybe this winter i’ll start reading books again?

praying for all the lovely friends and family that have gotten married over the last few months. now that we are almost out of wedding season for the year, my hope is that their marriages grow strong and that they keep that newlywed feeling forever. (yes, forever, i do believe that is possible!)

wearing pink mustaches with mags and hanna at the lyft launch party in st. paul on thursday. if you haven’t heard of lyft, i would highly suggest looking into it if you live in a city where they’ve launched. it seems like one of the coolest apps/rideshare ideas yet. their launch party was insanely fun! there was a s’mores bar! exclamation point!

drinking water water water because it is hot as hades up here lately! even beer seems like it’s too much to handle at these temps, so i’m excited for fall to come so i can back in the festive mood.

loving the sidewalk cement poetry around the neighborhood. we used to have a lot of this back in the old neighborhood, and i cannot tell you how overjoyed i was to find even more in the new one! sidewalk poetry is done when people stamp the wet cement with nonsensical poems and phrases, and it’s so fun to discover them as you explore the neighborhood. this is one of my favorites:

not loving how much stress i am anticipating at work in the next few weeks. we were told by our manager to more or less hold on to our butts, so we will see how my mood gets as we progress into september. (my wellness coach friend kali would not be happy to read this,  but don’t worry kali, this is why i’m coming to your workshop! self-care is necessary in this time for sure!)

working on establishing a better wakeup time for myself during the week. i’m pretty sick of being rushed to get to the bus on time. i am not anticipating this to be easy, because one cannot coexist as a night owl and an early bird. and it’s way easier to be a night owl, let me tell you. give me a quiet, dark house at night over a quiet dark house in the morning any day.


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finding God in the northwoods.

it’s that time of year. labor day weekend. the time when all minnesotans head to one of three places:

  1. the state fair (pass, it is way too full of sweaty bodies for me).
  2. one of our 10,000 lakes.
  3. northern wisconsin.

Mister Man and i are choosing option #3 this year. and actually, will be choosing that every year. we’ve been going to our family friend’s cabin in northern wisconsin for the last few years with his family, and it’s just absolutely the best. relaxing and fun and down home and wonderful. there is something about playing swedish golf with a beer in your hand in the woods that just feels so right, you know? beergaritas would work just fine too…


probably staring down Mister Man for scoring against me. not competitive at all…

this sounds a little silly, but i get all sorts of contemplative when i go to the cabin. i’m surrounded by people i love and who love me. i feel the need to journal, to plan, to sit on the dock by myself to meditate on God’s plan for me and my life. after living in the city for so long, there is a real sense of calm and connection that comes over me when i get to the woods. like i finally have the space to stretch out and the quiet to really think.

but then of course i fill the space and the quiet with the people there, and constantly finding someone to talk to. you see, i am a talker. the people that know me in real life know this all too well, and it can be a problem. i never shut up. it’s one of the things i struggle with the most…feeling comfortable enough to just be still and quiet, to not feel the need to fill the space with my noise and my jokes.

i used to be very comfortable with silence. in college, we had perpetual adoration on campus, and i signed up for a weekly hour in which i was responsible for being there to sit with the Body of Christ and just BE. that’s it. just be. it was an hour in which i could sit and think of nothing, read spiritual books (i got to know thich nhat hanh and gandhi really well in there), or pray. it’s where i learned to read the bible, at the age of 20. it was an hour dedicated to my spiritual life and nothing else until the next adorer got there.

it’s on my list to start this up again, but until that happens, i think a good start would be to make time to be quiet on my own too. and what better place than the cabin, where He feels present all the time anyway? the first step is reminding myself that people are going to be okay if i am quiet for a while. they don’t need to hear my voice as much as i might like to think they do. (WHAT? that’s crazy talk, but okay.)

so here’s to making time for contemplation, and to finding God in the northwoods this weekend.

(and to bonfires and beer and swedish golf thrown in there too.)


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photo credit goes to danny smylie.