Rural King is awesome.  It is literally astounding the variety of items you can find there.  I mean, the potato chip selection alone is worth the trip!  Yes, that’s a link to previous post I wrote.  Go read it if you don’t recall or are new here.  Or read it again just because.  Go on, scoot scoot.  But come on back because I’m not done.

I’m really thinking this might be a regular series.  We sure go to Rural King often enough to make it a regular series.  Okay, it’s decided.  From now on every time I go to Rural King I’m taking pictures for you; pictures of whatever I find of interest that day.

I can’t believe I didn’t notice this before but there are chicken foot prints painted on the concrete when you walk in.  Either calling or mocking (boock boock boock boock).  In other news Sweetey Petey does an excellent chicken impression these days.

Chicken Feet RW

More chickens.  And ducks.  This time in lawn ornament form.  My now duck obsessed husband seriously wanted the duck statue.  I threatened him with bodily harm, because, well, they’re ugly.  I have standards people.

Rural King Chx Statue RW

Chicken travel cups.   The Husband is actually in the market for a new travel cup but I didn’t quite get the joke.  It’s supposed to be funny right?

Rural King Mug 2 RW

I mean King of the Roost?  No.  Cock of the Walk is a classic but King of the Roost I just don’t get.

Rural King Mug 1 RW

More lawn decorations.  It got me thinking I might do something whimsical outside for the kids to enjoy, but not exactly like this.  Because, well, they’re ugly.

Flower RW

The best part of this trip was the clothing!  Camo overalls but with white ruffles for girls.  My daughter will wear this over my dead body because this may have been the ugliest thing in the store.

Outfit 3 RW

Wait, no.  This may have been the ugliest thing in the store.  No, no, the camo is worse I think.  Hard to decide, really.  There are both so very very bad.

Outfit 1 RW

All the clothes weren’t bad, though.  I’d let my daughter wear this one (after I cut the lace off the top of course.)

Outfit 2 RW

Possibly the most controversial item I found was a drunk Smurfette lounging sluttily in a cocktail glass.  Ummmmm aren’t Smurfs supposed to be for kids?  Smurfette – stop with the come hither stare, stop hiking that dress above your knees and join AA already!!!!

Rural King Smurf RW

It wasn’t all bad this trip.  Petey got to pet a bunny so that was totally cool.

Rural King Bunny RW

See you next time we walk through Rural King!

– Joanna

P.S.  Congrats to a friend who just had her baby!  You know who you are and he is absolutely beautiful!  On a selfish note I’m excited to have another new mom friend I can chat with in the middle of the night because babies don’t sleep.  That whole “sleeping like a baby” cliche is false.  False advertisement I say!

Question of the Day:  What, of all these items, would you be willing to buy?

Much like my Throwback Thursday posts of late, I’m continuing to step out of my normal routine and blog about topics I don’t normally blog about.


And not food styling, people.

DSC_0091 RW


And not food fashion, people.  Actual fashion.

Butternut Squash Fashion RW

Yes, I did put a hat on a butternut squash specifically for this post.  I had to.  I mean, when I googled “butternut squash wearing clothes” no butternut squash wearing clothes appeared.  It was all recipes and butternut squash colored clothing.  Fortunately, thanks to me, no one will ever be disappointed by this search query again.

You’re welcome.

Right then, back to the fashion.  I mentioned before that I was attempting to banish all some of the black from my wardrobe and in my quest I had ordered a box of gently used clothes from ThredUp.


My box arrived and honestly, I couldn’t be happier.  And what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share my happiness?  A bad one.  Although the crappy pics of me in my bathroom mirror with my IPhone in front of my face in my attempt to retain a shred of dignity and anonymity kind of make me a bad blogger.  But whatever.

ThredUp is a fairly simple concept.  It’s pretty much an online high(er) end clothing thrift store.  You can buy or sell.  I created an account and signed up for their e-mail alerts.  I wasn’t ready to take the plunge until a 40% off entire order offer popped up in my inbox.  40% off?  My entire order?  Yes and please.

I picked out nine items and of the nine, eight worked.  For not having tried on a single piece I’d say that’s darn good.  Damn good even!

Here’s the piece I didn’t like.


I knew from the pictures it was a risk but I was willing to chance it.  I’m a daredevil that way.  Just call me Evil Jonievel.  It’s a little large and the collar just wasn’t doing it for me.  Also I don’t think the color works for me.  ThredUp has a return policy but since it’s only one piece, wasn’t that expensive in the first place, and I really don’t want to mess with it I’ve decided to find it a new home instead.  Any takers?  It’s new with tags and everything.  I’m willing to mail it out to one lucky reader who doesn’t have collar issues.  It’s a (seems Large to me) size Medium if that helps.  Speak up now or off to Goodwill it goes.

The next two pieces I like . . . but I don’t like right now.  One of the reasons I wanted new clothes was to easily shirt snack the baby in.  I assumed from the pictures they were button up.  They aren’t.  The buttons are purely decorative.  So while I like them, they are going to hibernate in the closet for the next year.  The one on the left is Express.  The one on the right is Ann Taylor Loft and a little more Soccer Mom than I normally go for but I’ve got two kids and one of them might end up playing soccer so I’d best get used to the wardrobe now.

Buttons 2 up

These next four pieces are my favorite from the bunch.  All from Express.  All super cute, comfy, easy, and flattering.  I  live in Target Long and Lean tank tops and these four shirts do a great job of pulling some focus away from that fact. Well, other than the fact the tank is blue.  I’m not suggesting these color combos, just too lazy to change.


This piece is a bit more bohemian than I normally go for and I’m not sure it’s 100% flattering.  But I have continued to lose a few baby pounds since this picture was taken so it’s probably no big deal.  It’s a crocheted kind of weave in maroon and I like it, especially with the little cap sleeves.  I think without them it would be a no.  I don’t do vests, even vests from Express.  That’s my favorite clothing store btw, in case you somehow missed that.


Lastly we have a scarf, again from Express.  I’m trying to add scarves into my wardrobe since it’s apparently a thing now.  This won’t get much use till the fall.


Here are my tips for shopping ThredUp:

1)  Shop a brand you know.  This will make picking the right size a breeze.

2)  Be patient and wait for a sale.  You can get $10 off for signing up with my referral link (gah, I can’t believe I just typed that) although to be fair I’m pretty sure every new account gets $10 no matter what.  Be even more patient though because a percentage off deal just might be better.

That’s all I’ve got.  It’s shopping people, not rocket science.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: Well, how do you think I did for my first ThredUp order??

P.S.  After reading this post preview my husband informed me I needed a disclaimer on here about how I wasn’t compensated for this review and all opinions are my own.  I sorta hate the fact that the blog world is so PC these days.  But because I always do what my husband tells me to do (hahahahahahaha did you all just die laughing cause I almost did) I’d like to state for the official record that I snark too much for most companies to have the balls to send me free stuff in exchange for a review.  I’m not into blogging for the free stuff.  Although if you want to shop my Amazon affiliate store so I can buy cool stuff with my commission that’d be totally cool.  Amazon didn’t sponsor this post any more than ThredUp did by the way.  So there’s that.

I’m on a mission these days.  A mission to banish the black.

I read once that wearing bright colors makes a person more approachable.  I’m not always the most outgoing and it often takes me awhile to connect with people.  If I’m wearing black and someone can’t get past that how are they ever going to get past my snark?

Hi, I’m Joanna and I snark.  A lot.

I also have a lot of black clothes.

At the very least I’ve decided I need to seasonalize (yes, I made up a word, I do that too) the black.  Summers are hot in the Midwest and black just sucks up heat.  I certainly don’t need that.  So black in fall and winter is okay-ish.  Black in spring and summer is BANISHED!

Banishing the black has two phases.  Phase One: stop buying black clothes.  Phase Two: clean out the closet of not only my excess of black, but anything that is dated or unused.

I’m doing okay with Phase One so far.  The Husband let me out of the house kid-free for a few rainy hours the other day and I spent my time clothes shopping at Marshall’s.  I came home with three cool white shirts, two teal sleeveless shirts, one running tank (also in teal) and a summer romper for Baby Charwee (more teal).  I seem to like teal this season.


I realize I’m wearing black under the teal.  I’m a work in progress.

I picked clothes for comfort and feedability.  Yes, I made up another word.  Baby Charwee eats a lot and I’d like to make it as quick and easy on the both of us as possible.

Then I tried online thrift shopping and picked up nine pieces for just over $50 from ThredUp.  Most are used but in like new condition and two pieces still have the tags.


Okay so there are some black accents in there, but nothing solid black.  It’s a grey area, but grey is not black so I think I’m still on the right path.  And look at all the pink!  I’m embracing it now that I have my own daughter.   More on ThredUp another day.

How is Phase Two going?  I’m not doing quite so well on cleaning out the closet.  I have started pulling out all items in less than stellar condition.  It’s embarrassing now much I found with damaged buttons or rips.

Rip 3 Up

Despite the fact I don’t go anywhere I need to look nice, I think I’d like to look nice.  For me.  For my husband.  In preparation for when my kids are old enough to be embarrassed by their parent’s fashion choices.

Cleaning out the damaged pieces has been easy.  Cleaning out the black pieces?  Not so much.  I started small by banishing the black . . . to the back of the closet.

Closet Way Way Way Back R Title

Out of sight out of mind right?  Right.

Also, the difficulty for me right now is I’m not wearing most of my wardrobe.  I still have a few pounds I’d like to lose, which will hopefully be shed soon since I’ve picked up jogging three times a week again (seven baby pounds down in a month so far WAHOO).  And there’s that pesky feedability issue.  If a top isn’t easy for Baby Charwee to shirt snack in, I don’t wear it.  And if I’m not wearing it, how do I know if I still like it or not?

Oh and confession time . . . I have a clothes hoarding problem.  I have two schools of thought on this.  One, everything comes back into style and Two, OOOOOOH A CRAFT PROJECT!

You read me right, a craft project.  Men’s ties aren’t the only things I squirrel away with dreams of upcycling.  I also have neatly organized collections of tank tops (some from college!!), jeans, mismatched socks, and skirts.  I have grand ideas of turning the tanks into art quilts, the jeans into whatever my Pinterest board tells me to make, the socks into sock creatures (this is a thing I swear, my mom made me one), and skirts into handbags.

The moral of this story is if you come stay at my house, don’t look under the guest bed.

– Joanna

Question of the Day: What is the last item of clothing you bought yourself?  Was it black??


I have to say, I’m really enjoying doing these Throwback Thursday posts all at once and scheduling them in advance . . . although I feel like I am cheating a little bit on the current Midwestern Bite.  The Midwestern Bite of Tuesday, January 7th.  We’re at the tail end of a record setting cold spell around these parts so hopefully this is my last of three days housebound.  Tomorrow is supposed to shoot up in the 30’s and I couldn’t be more thrilled!  I love winter and all, but it’s a whole new ballgame when you have small children to consider.  I can’t drag Sweetey Petey out in sub zero temperatures just because I have cabin fever.  I’m a little like my Father-in-Law in that respect – while I appreciate home, I can’t stand sitting around it all day.  I need at least a few hours of outside stimulation.

Cold weather talk aside, how is May treating you all?  I’m scheduling this post for May 29 so I bet it’s pretty dang nice out there.

Ok, ok, back to it.  Here’s a picture of me I really like and let me tell you why.

Aquarium PM RW

This picture is very indicative of me from back in the day.

One – Long jackets.  Anybody familiar with the song from Cake called “Short Skirt Long Jacket”?  I love that band and I love that song.  Cutesy long jackets used to be my thing, my bag, my schtick and I totally rocked them for years.  I just ran across this particular jacket a few months ago and I’m pretty sure I finally donated it.  It’s not like it fit anymore, but I have a tendency to hold onto things for sentimental reasons.  It was adorable.  Tuxedo black with skinny, shiny, barely there silver stripes.

Two – While we are talking about wardrobe, you can’t miss the bare belly here.  Remember when that was a thing?  Now that I’m in my thirties I’m really glad it’s NOT still a thing, but back then?  Yeah, I had my share of shorty shirts.  We all have our body issues and wish we could make changes to something about ourselves, that’s human nature I suppose.  This picture always reminds me of a part of myself I’ve never wished to change.  Skinnier thighs?  Heck yes.  Easier to manage hair?  Hell to the yeah!  But I’ve never felt subconscious about my waistline.  I find it ironic to be typing that now considering I am almost seven months pregnant and don’t currently have a waistline.  There’s nothing wrong with celebrating our positives amiright?  I’m right.

Three – Gym Shoes.  I’m not the kind of girl to wear impractical stiletto heels to walk around an aquarium (that’s where this picture was taken in case you can’t tell) for hours just for fashion’s sake.  Sure, I like cute shoes just as much as the next woman does but I’m not about to sacrifice my feet for them.  That brings me to point four.

Four – The aquarium.  I love fish and I love the aquarium.  I have an entire gallery wall in my house dedicated to fish art.  I had an aquarium pass for years in my college days.  I have GOBS of fish ornaments to adorn my Christmas tree.  I named my dog Koi after a fish.  I.  Love.  Fish.  They are also quite tasty, if I might add.

That’s all for today.  Enjoy your last few days in May my friends!

– Joanna

Question of the Day:  What is one thing you love about yourself?  It’s okay to toot your own horn every now and again.