Wednesday, August 31, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Fix something

This challenge was great for me.  have a heap of things that I have to fix. A heap, I tell you. Since I HAD to fix at least one thing, it got me motivated to get a lot more done. I not only fixed the skirt I used for today but I also made an entire new waistband on a skirt that I made a while ago (never measure a waistband when you are pregnant and expect to wear it afterwards, haha), fixed ripped stitches in my fav vintage dress and repaired Matt's cassock. Phew! Thank you Kayla. I have been meaning to do these things for days. Actually, I left the sewing machine out for nearly a week so I could get this done.

I have mixed feelings about this photo that you are about to see. I waited ALL DAY for Matt to get home to take a picture. As I was finally going to ask him, I came in the room to find the poor man falling asleep on the couch. This morning he got up for me to take Katherine as I had a headache. He took care of her until he had to get ready for work. After spending the day working he went to church and served, came home and helped me a little more with the babies. This man deserved to rest and not be pestered to take pictures! So, sigh, I realized how incredibly easy it was to make a makeshift tripod. Now I know that I can do these pictures myself when the lighting is so much better. I am pretty psyched about that, but wish that I realized it sooner! I did all kinds of editing trying to make the picture look less dark.

Cardigan: Gap; dress: Burligton Coat Factory (my re-mix item); layered skirt: tag in foreign language; shoes: Walmart.
So, this was my re-mix item. I went to Plato's Closet yesterday and found this adorable brown skirt with a lace trim. It is *perfect* for using as a petticoat and layering under a dress to either have a little lace show OR to simply add length to a dress that is a little too short. I promise, the layering is a lot more even than how it looks in the picture (bows head in shame). I have seen this technique on other blogs and love it. I am pretty psyched to have a skirt to do this with in the future.

The repair I did was to fix the ribbons on the inside of the petticoat. It is meant to be able to tie up inside to create varying lengths for the hem. Some of the ribbons were about to fall off so I fixed them.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Menswear

Part one:
This one had me stumped. All day. I even considered giving up.

Part two: I have been practically drooling over Oxfords. I have spent way to much time looking them up online and trying to find a good deal. Today I made the plunge and got them. While I was happily trying them after getting home it suddenly occured to me that they would count for today's challenge! Woot! Thank you Kayla for posting Oxfords as an inspiration because I would never have made the connection.

Top: Forever 21; cardigan: Gap; skirt: Banana Republic; socks: Chinese Laundry; Oxfords: Target
I really really really wish that our lighting was better. It was too late to go outside to get a better shot.

Vintage makes my heart melt, lol.
I have learned a lot from this challenge. I hate to say this but looking at some of my posts in this challenge makes me cringe. It is not because the prompts were bad- not by any means. I cringe because after I have been looking at other people's posts and really contemplating my choices, I think that some of my selections were rather frumpy. I am glad though because if it were not for this challenge I would not have realized and would have kept doing the same thing. I think I have benefited a lot from this.

Monday, August 29, 2011

21 Day Challenge

This challenge took up so much of my time because I was then inspired to look up all sorts of hairstyles that I have been meaning to try. Vintage styles are by far my favorites. So I decided to try the Gibson Tuck. I obviously need to work on it more- use more hairpins to make it more secure, but I was happy with how it looked. It is pretty easy to do.


You can learn how to do it yourself here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Twelve? Eleven? IDK

I really regretted what I wore after leaving the house this morning. Since we were being hit by the tropical storm from Irene, it was, well it was wet. Very wet. I was drenched just walking to the car and buckling Daniel in. I was so cold! Fortunetely, my shirt dried during the hour+ drive to church and I, after that, felt fine.

I don't think I met this challenge very well: copy an outfit from a blog or lookbook. Heh. I spent a long time just trying to find an outfit picture that had clothes like what I own. It was probably harder because I was tired when I was doing it. I copy ideas from blogs, etc... but have never before copied a whole outfit.
This is the outfit that I like from the Ruche lookbook for spring.


The cardigan was the inspiration I used to upcycle one of my old silk shirts. You can see the tutorial here.


Cardigan: made by me; skirt: J. Crew; necklace: Icings
I do not own grey pants, so I wore a grey skirt. Does this count? I don't know, but it was the closest I could get due to all of the crazy schedule we had this weekend.



Saturday, August 27, 2011

21 Day Challenge Day Twelve and Daniel's Baptism

Wear a neutral with a pop of color.


OK, so I am going to do a more in depth picture post of baptism pictures, etc..., but since I am super tired and have to be up early tomorrow, I want to get my challenge picture posted.
Our priest (also the abbot of the monastery) me, Daniel, Matt, Katherine and Jesse (godfather)
Since so many pictures were being taken at the baptism, I decided to use an outfit picture from that. I guess I probably should have taken one of just me so you can see the outfit, but I didn't and now it is too late. I like this picture a lot though, so just take my word for it- I am wearing a hidden belt.
(Top: Nursing shirt from Gap; skirt: the one that I made yesterday; scarf: vintage; shoes: DC; belt: Nine West.

21 Day Challenge Day eleven

Ahh, finally a day of jeans- perfect for a Friday.

Shirt: Forever 21; jeans: Old Navy; shoes? They are hidden. They might be $300 shoes from Nordstorm or it might just be bare feet... your guess.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Eleven

Wear a dress or skirt.

When I was little I wore dresses all of the time. Seriously. I remember once my mom told me I had to wear pants. What did I do? I wore a dress as a shirt and stuck the skirt part into the pants. I probably looked ridiculous, but I obeyed and my mom probably thought twice about how she told me to dress the next time. Though I took a hiatus from dress/skirt wearing for a while, I now wear them all of the time- especially in summer.

I decided to make this skirt today. It was super super easy as the fabric did not have to be hemmed. I wish I had a closer view of the skirt in this picture, but oh well- a future post!

Shirt: Charlotte Rouse; skirt: made by me; belt: Nine West; shoes: Walmart
I am glad that I have been doing this challenge as it has been helping me to see how I can get more use out of my clothes without feeling I have to buy more. I also like how a few simple techniques can reallyget dress up an outfit. What I don't like is how self-conscious I feel! I feel like such a poser compared to so many other participants. I wish I was a fashion blogger, but yeah. lol.





Question of the day: I have been thinking about getting Oxfords. What do you think?



Favorites





21 Day Challenge: Day Ten

Closet Orphans

Today's challenge was to use something that you haven't in a loooong time. This was easy. I have been pregnant for just short of the past two years, haha. No, in the spirit of the challenge I found something that even before I was pregnant I wasn't wearing. I actually used a shirt and a skirt that I haven't worn together in forever. I used to couple these things, but I stopped liking the look, thus abandoning both of them. I decided to try to give them both a new look: belt them. I was pretty happy with the new look with the belt that I wouldn't feel weird about wearing this in the future.

Ignore the awkward crease in the skirt to make it look like horrible shorts. I found this out too late. It is a skirt, I promise.
I would like to say where I purchased these things but it has been so many years I have forgotten. The cami is from Forever 21, the belt from Peobles and the shoes were recently thrifted.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Nine

Monochrome

Today's challenge was to wear all one color.

Shirt: Forever 21; skirt: TJMax or Marshalls
I really like this skirt. It is also a dress.  I should have done more, but today was a very long day... and is still going. On the plus side, for the first time I made meatballs. I am freezing them for later meals.

Daniel started smiling yesterday. :) He is getting baptized this weekend.

Monday, August 22, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Eight

Mix casual with dressy

I am not going to lie. I wore something totally different this morning. I couldn't figure out what to do with this prompt. Well, my outfit was puked and pooped on. Fun times.

  
Skirt: Banana Republic; cami: debs; tee: ?; socks: Gap; shoes: payless

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Seven


Layer accessories

I usually wear two bracelets, so I thought I would add to them for today.

The black one is really a hairband. I just like them- I like the simple black band look, plus a hairband is always nearby. I know it isn't super fashionable, but whatevs. The blue knotted bracelet and the wooden beads are both prayer ropes. The words on the blue one are in Slavonic that says "Save and protect." The wooden beads are, I think, from Jerusalem. I got them from a monastery in Arizona. The nuns were making and selling them to help raise money to build a church. The last bracelet has mini icons on it. I usually only wear the blue and wooden bracelets, but I like the look of the others, so that is what I did differently today. Obviously, the reason I wear them is for personal devotion, but since I always like how they look, I thought it would count for today's challenge.

21 Day Challenge: Day Six

Creative
This was supposed to be something used for a purpose that it is not generally meant for.

I took this scarf:


And tied it around my torso to use as a shirt! I layered it over a cami so that it wasn't see-through. I also tucked it in with a belt and wore a cardigan with it.

Scarf: vintage from my grandmother; cami: Forever 21; cardigan: Gap; skirt: thrifted

The knot is in the front
I like how this came out, but it is not practical to go out with if you are going to be holding babies.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Five

Belts
I am late for posting this because Matt and I were visiting friends and family in NY yesterday, but ended up unexpectedly staying last night at my parents. I wore my outfit and took pictures, but no more. Well, here it is.
Shirt: gift; skirt: J Crew; belt: ?


This was taken at a friend's house. She wasn't there, haha. Her landscaped gardens should be in a magazine. Just so you know, this outfit was spit up upon. Most of my outfits from the challenge have had something.



Momma Go Round

Thursday, August 18, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Four

Color Blocking

This is pretty much all that I wear. I like solid colors. I probably wear then in a boring way though. I am glad that I decided to try this challenge because it has helped me to realize I am not a fashionista.

Shirt: Target; Skirt: made by me

Ha! You may notice that my shirt is STAINED. Well, as I said in a previous post that my clothes are 24/7 in risk of being soiled by babies. This one, however, I did not expect: blood. Yes, a few minutes before the picture, Katherine basically spit blood all over me. I felt so badly for her. She bit her tongue pretty hard. She is ok, but my shirt needs a cold wash.

And now, a final moment from Katherine:

This was recorded yesterday.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My little buddy

Cutie!
Even though he keeps me from sleeping, he is still my buddy. :)

He has been wearing 3 month sized clothes for a couple of weeks now. Tomorrow he will be six weeks old.
Silly, silly.
I find the above picture awkward and hilarious.

21 Day Challenge: Day Three

Pattern mixing Horror of horrors
 This is scary stuff for me. I have been awed by other real fashion bloggers who pull this off with great success. I even laid awake this morning trying to think of what to combine. One of the hardest parts is that I have barely any patterned shirts. I was kind of surprised to realize this.

Cardigan: free; Tee: Aeropostale; dress: Charlotte Ruse; shoes: The Shoe Depot; necklace: Icings 
I really have to find a better way to pose. I tried another, but it is kind of funny. Why does Matt have to be working when I want him to take pictures for me?

You can laugh.
If you didn't notice this, I will point it out. I decided to mix three patterns. Ha.
Somehow this picture is brighter than the others.
This necklace was a gift from my mother when I had Daniel. I love it! I only have two long necklaces. Since I like to wear my cross necklace all of the time, I like having a longer one to go over whatever shirt I am wearing. 
If you are interested, check out the other participants in the challenge. They are amazing. It really helps to see what other people are doing when you have a limited wardrobe/budget. Seeing other people's work has helped me to create new outfits from stuff that I already have that I would have never thought to combine.

21 Day Challenge

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day Two

Well, I don't think this photo is going to win me any awards. I should have waited for my husband to come home, but I was impatient and this could be covered in baby puke at any time, lol. So, here it is:

Top (dress) Burlington Coat factory; skirt: I forgot; belt: Burlington Coat Factory; shoes: thrifted 
Today's prompt was to tuck something in. This is still relatively new to me. I just started doing this a couple of weeks ago when I realized I could stretch my wardrobe a lot farther by doing it. What you see here is a maternity dress tucked into a skirt with a belt. I think it looks a little weird (would like your opinion) but, of course, I could just blame it on the photo, lol. After looking at the other gorgeous entries, I think I am going to have to try harder over the next few days- at least take a more creative picture/pose!

21 Day Challenge

Monday, August 15, 2011

21 Day Challenge: Day One

Today's prompt was to remix something. Well, what do you know but we went to Syracuse, NY to help out at the parish on Sunday. However, we unexpectedly ended up staying that night at a hotel so Matt could help the priest that night and the next morning for Dormition. Since this was unexpected, I only had the clothes I was wearing and an extra cardigan in my bag. Instant remix!

Cardigan: Forever 21, Dress: Burlington Coat Factory, Shoes: The Shoe Depot

This was after I got home. What you don't see is that Katherine peed all over my lap (diaper leaked) just before we left Syracuse. By that point, my dress also had coffee stains.

As a side note, yes, it is possible to stay at a hotel on a whim with two babies. I had an extra outfit/s for each of them in case of emergencies. Boy, it was a good thing I did because, in addition to my lap, they each had another diaper leakage problem.

21 Day Challenge

Momma Go Round

Thursday, August 11, 2011

21 Day Challenge

Well, well, well, I am going to be trying something new.

 I am going to be participating in the 21 Day Challenge hosted by Freckles in April. Yep, that means I am going to be washing dishes and changing diapers in style.

Why? Well, I love putting outfits together. However, due to having one car and Matt taking it to work, I don't get out much. You see, I am used to either going to work or class every day for the past 8-ish years. Now I have a good excuse to dress up a bit more while I am home. Plus, this event has AMAZING prizes *crosses fingers, looks to the sky and begs to win one.*


21 Day Challenge

If you are interested, it will be starting August 15th. You don't have to participate everyday. You also don't have to be a fashionista- anyone can try (like me).

Monday, August 8, 2011

The fourth plague hits our kitchen

"...Else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are." Exodus 8:21


Fruit flies. Everywhere. It started several weeks ago when Matt and I both forgot about garbage night. They came. We have been sore troubled trying to get rid of them. Since we have a lot of fruit in the house, it has been nearly impossible trying to get rid of them. Cleaning everything hasn't been working- especially when fruit can over-ripen so quickly.


After many unsuccessful attempts of ridding ourselves of them, we bought a fly tape and that has worked wonders. But really- who wants a nasty tape hanging around? 


I looked up ways of ending this infestation. I found this site to be very helpful. This great resource had a guide on making a trap. I did it, and it has worked so well.


To make one yourself, just take a canning jar and fill the bottom with delightful nastiness. I added a little red wine, and fruit and vegetable scraps. Mmmmmm. After that, make a funnel (with a tiny opening) with paper and tape it to the jar. They can't get out! Genius. Thank you WikiHow.


The outer circle is a reference to Dante's Inferno. 


I found this to be very disturbing, but the site also recommended flushing your sink drain with a cup of hot white vinegar. Apparently drains make nice hatching grounds. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I can barely take the thought of it. Yuck yuck yuck. You can believe I dumped vinegar down our drains, haha. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Lenten scallops, vegetables and soba stir-fry... just in time for the end of the fast

I invented this recipe a few nights ago. It turned out very well.

Lenten scallops, vegetables and soba stir-fry
1.5 bundles of soba noodles (or any spaghetti like pasta)
1 head of Bok choy juliened (cut into strips)
1 C. fresh sliced mushrooms
1 stalk of green onions juliened
Several shoots of baby corn (I divide a can into thirds) cut into inch length pieces
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
2 Tbsp Coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
1 C. Scallops
(optional- a few thin slices of fresh ginger)
*Measurements are approximate

The trick to this recipe is timing. Soba noodles should be boiled for two minutes. If you are using a different type of noodle, make sure it is ready when the scallops are so it doesn't get soggy. While boiling water for the noodles, prepare the vegetables. Once the water is boiling, heat the wok (on high) and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the scallops. Cook for about two minutes. After two minutes put the soba noodles in the boiling water and add the vegetables and soy sauce to the wok and cover. After another two minutes, drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir fry for a minute or two uncovered and presto- you are done.
This recipe serves 2. It can be stretched by adding more noodles.
I promise it tastes a lot better than how the picture looks.

Uncertainty

I have gone back and forth on writing this so many times. Part of me wants to tell the world, while the other part wants it to remain hidden. I want to grieve, but refuse to let myself believe that it is over. You see, we have decided not to have any more children of our own. This is due to all of the problems surrounding Daniel's birth. Thank God, we were both fine, but in slightly different circumstances, it could have been extremely different. Now my risk of this happening again is very high- 10-15%. Obviously, 10-15% isn't a high percentage in itself, but when it is your or your baby's life, it is a high number. Especially when it can easily be prevented.

Empty.

That is how I feel about myself. It kills me to think of all the maternity clothes in my closet. Since I had expected to have several children, I have slowly been building up my collection. It is not the fact that the clothes will be unused by me- I could easily sell them or give them to friends- but that I will never need them. I complained a million times of how much I hate pregnancy. Now I wish so much that I could be pregnant again.

However, a tiny part of me is relieved. I do hate most of being pregnant. For both pregnancies I had about a month worth of false labor. Every day. It was not enjoyable. Though I savor the idea of a large family, I am afraid of it being too large. My lack of trust in God made me worry about having too many children or poorly timed pregnancies. Our belief was to allow God to plan our children- not us.

But now that has all changed. I still trust God, of course. Instead of having a large family of our own, we want to adopt. I love the idea of adoption. I see this as being God's way of providing for needy children. If we were to have several more of our own, we would maybe never adopt. I really love the thought of it, but I still can't easily let go of my own feelings.

In addition to it all, I refuse to let myself believe that it is truly over. I know plenty of pregnancies that happened that were not necessarily supposed to. God can do anything. Also, my doctor seemed less concerned about the risk than we were- maybe it isn't so bad (though nothing in me wants to knowingly risk it- when there are plenty of orphans). In a way the unknown keeps my hope alive while it also keeps me from closure. That is why I feel I am half grieving.

I am very sad, but not in a depression, so don't worry. God doesn't give us more than we can handle and lets everything happen for a reason.




Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

James 1:27

New King James Version (NKJV)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Hobbit corn, or in other words: Why I should have used fertilizer.

Oh, wouldn't it be lovely to go to the back yard and bring in some fresh no-pesticide corn to have at a meal? Remember, this would be the corn that grew from the lot that you weeded, cultivated and planted... when you were pregnant- very pregnant.

Well, that would have been my dream. This is what I found:

The chair is there to offer a size comparison.
 So, the corn is super small.

Kind of cute though, right?

Frodo and Sam would have approved.
Katherine thought it looked like fun.
My mom, with many years of corn growing experience, told me that it happened because the soil was not rich enough. I even HAD fertilizer, but didn't think I needed it. Next year!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thought of the day: Fathers

I realized this week something in my life that I found disturbing. I thought I would share it as it is kind of thought provoking, though I don't consider myself a sage of parenting by any means.

Basically it is this- I have seen many times fathers who are not very involved with their children. It is something that I have never wanted in our family, but I also realized that I, myself, was cultivating it already. You see, when it comes to our babies, I generally consider myself to be more knowledgeable than my husband in a lot of areas. Whereas it may be true that I have more "baby experience" it doesn't mean that I am always right (even though I think I am). Consequently, when my husband and I have a disagreement on some act of parenting, I don't usually seriously consider that he may be right and I may be wrong- or -gasp- we may both be right. Basically, what I have found myself doing is forcing my way over his. I had an epiphany a couple of days ago I really am obstructing my husband's role of father.
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