21 Day Challenge: Day 17

I feel a little valentine-y today. And girly.

I had forgotten these pants were in my repair pile. In fact, I was thinking about wearing them yesterday, but went with their gray twin instead. When I went to check out my repair pile to find something to resurrect, I was surprised to find these, but then remembered that the hem had come out entirely on one leg. So I quickly re-hemmed them, and ta-da!

Shirt: Shade Clothing
Sweater: DKNY Jeans via Costco
Pants: Old Navy
Shoes: Oh wait, I'm not going anywhere today
Flower and Necklace: me and available in my shop


21 Day Challenge: Day 16

I think this outfit looked better in pictures than in real life. The green shirt (remix!) was too long for the shirt tail to hang out, so I folded it up, and same with the sleeves. I love the look of a shirt/sweater over a button up in theory, but in practice it's always weird, maybe that's just me. I liked the look of the belt, but I should have just used it on my pants, since they are at least a full size too big. I think they are going to be retired. I loved the tie. I used Rico's so it would be nice and short. Loved. I'm pretty sure my kids thought I was crazy.

Ella took the picture (I think I broke my tripod, the camera just flops... not so good for taking pictures). I think she did pretty well for her first try. Also, Lou insisted on posing with me. For cute.
{Black shirt: Lady Hathaway via Costco, Green shirt (remix!): Calvin Klein via Costco, Pants: Old Navy
Belt: Tom's closet, Tie: Rico's closet, Shoes: Madden Girl via eBay}

I do love the shoes, though. They have such fun details. This is probably the first time I have worn full-on pumps with pants and I liked it.
And as for the hair, I've tried this before, but never so successfully. I have either a large head, or small headbands, because, while I was intending to wear the wrapped look most of the day, I couldn't even make it an hour before the headache started. Plus, I realized that I'd be meeting Ella's new teacher, and this wasn't quite the look I wanted to be sporting. I don't know if you can tell, but I actually did two rows of curls. It splits right behind my ears. Next time I'd make the top one smaller.
Since I was pulling it out early, I heated it with my blow dryer, let it cool and hair sprayed it before taking it down, and I ended up with some pretty nice looking curls. Wahoo!


21 Day Challenge: Day 15

When I was in high school, I wore my hair up pretty much every single day. And we're not just talking about a ponytail, though I'm sure that happened on occasion. I remember reading in some teen magazine that if you're having a bad hair day, maybe that was a good day for an up-do, and I thought: "It's a bad hair day if my up do isn't working."

{Shirt: Costco, Undershirt: Shade, Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Steve Madden, thrifted
Necklace: Gift, Pendant: Lia Sophia, Earrings: Me, Watch: Pulsar}

Lately, though, it's down more often than not, usually with a clip of some variety or another.

I decided to try out the front braid thing that seems to be in, although I went with a twist. It could have been better, but I like it.
Forgive the weird facial expression. And the post-baby short hairs that refuse to be tamed.


21 Day Challenge: Day 14

I found my inspiration here. I knew I needed something fairly conservative to copy, A) because that's what predominates my wardrobe, but B) because I was going out with Tom and he's nothing if not conservative. And I kind of like him. 

I had to combine two chains to get a necklace that long, because all of mine are much shorter. But it worked. And I swapped the brown belt and bag for black, because that's what I had. And because of the black shoes... I'm not quite ready to break that rule yet.

Shirt and undershirt: Shade clothing
Necklaces: gifted
Pendant: Lia Sophia
Belt: random shop in Paris
Skirt: don't remember
Shoes: Steve Madden, thrifted
Earrings: Me


21 Day Challenge: Day 13

My grandmother has a nativity set with only two wisemen. When asked about it, she has been known to reply, "I can't remember if they were sold out of the third one, or if he was dressed in orange." Either, in her mind, would be an equally valid reason not to own him.

I, however, currently am having quite the love affair with orange.

I had intended to use only orange to accent this outfit, but when I decided I wanted a ribbon belt, I couldn't find any orange, though I know I have some, somewhere. So I swapped out my earrings for yellow and added some green and red.

{Shirt: Hand-me-down from my [other] grandma, Pants: Victoria's Secret (?) via eBay, Shoes: myshoeshoppe.com
Collar: Lia Sophi, Pendant: Gift, Flowers: Me, Earrings: Ike & Co, Belt: random ribbon from my stash}

This is the first time I've tried a flower at my waist, and I think I like it. This particular flower is a little big for anywhere else.

Also, I know I've said before that I never tuck things in, and I never wear belts. Based on the outfits I've posted for this challenge, I can see you might have a hard time believing me (see belts: here, here, and here and tucked: here and both: here, here, and here, and obviously here). But prior to this challenge, I swear that was the case.


21 Day Challenge: Day 12

I was so impressed with myself this morning: I was showered and dressed and out the door by 9:15, including a workout! It helps that I got up before 7. Which was helped by the fact that I was in bed before 11. It's a good thing.

But anyway, here's the outfit of the day: jazz up jeans and a tee. I tried to pick a boring-er t-shirt so that my accessories could have the spotlight.

{Shirt: Shade Clothing, Jeans: St. John's Bay, Shoes: myshoeshoppe.com, Earrings and Necklace: Ike & Co
Flower: Me, Belt: Hand-me-down from my sister-in-law}

And here is another shoe story for you. Unfortunately this one is not nearly as happy as the last one.

Once upon a time I never wore flats. And then I bought a pair of suede quasi-moccasins. I wore them with pants, skirts, anything I wanted. I wore them until they died. And I was very sad.

So I began looking for a replacement; something cute and comfy that would go with anything. And I found these online, and it was shoe-love at first sight. I promptly ordered them and was thrilled when they came. I loved the color, the texture, and the fact that at first glance they looked like flats while they really have a 1 1/2 inch wedge.

But after wearing them maybe four times, they started falling apart.

I emailed the customer service person someone I had ordered through and she offered to refund them in full, though I could keep the shoes.

While I got my money back for them, I still wish they would have lasted longer. They are so bright and cheerful, but go with everything at the same time. I keep trying to wear them, but they're getting really pathetic. So I'm back in the market for some comfy goes-with-anything shoes that don't cost an arm or a leg.

*I may or may not have photoshopped that first picture, because my right hand was making my shirt bulge all funny. 


21 Day Challenge: Day 11

I think this is my favorite outfit so far.

Which is saying something, as I've like several of them.
Kayla's post about eShakti's sponsorship of the challenge was not the first time I'd heard of them. But I like $20 off as well as the next guy, so I perused their website again. I'm not one for paying full price for anything, so I was looking in their overstock section, where everything is cheaper. I saw this shirt and had to have it.

The blouse is way outside my comfort zone. I generally wear solids, but the print was so cheery. And I ordered a red skirt to go with it.

{Shirt: eShakti, Undershirt: Shade Clothing, Cardigan: Mossimo chopped by me, Skirt: GNW via ?, Belt: Wilson leather, Shoes: Candies via garage sale, Flower: Me (out of the belt that came with this skirt)}

Unfortunately, it was not as I expected. The fabric is stiffer than I though it would be, the neckline lower, and the ruffles, oh the ruffles.

I am not opposed to ruffles, but these ones make me look like a football player (and the stiffer fabric doesn't help). I attempted to tame them with a cardigan, which I like, but it is hot today (all the way up to the low 80's) (yes, I appreciate the fact that many of you won't consider that hot, at. all. What can I say? I'm a wimp with no air conditioning), so it won't last long. Plus, it still looked like I was wearing shoulder pads.

Which is not okay.

It's hard to tell from these pictures, but that second row of ruffle goes all. the. way. around my arm, as though it were trying to be a sleeve.

And failing.

I considered returning it, and the skirt (which is another story, thanks to my lack of a proper waist), but between the promo code, the shipping, the return shipping, and the fact that overstock items are not eligible for cash back, I decided it wasn't quite worth it.

The only thing I can think to do, is remove the second ruffle and try to fashion some sort of cap sleeve out of the material.

But that sounds like a lot of effort, so we'll see what happens.


Seven years

A lot can happen in seven years. We went from this:

To this:

And I love it.

Happy anniversary, my love.

[Photo credit to Jason Moodie and Jonathan Hardy]

21 Day Challenge: Day 10

When I was in high school I wore button down shirt nearly every day. In college I discovered Old Navy's "Perfect Tee" and converted to t-shirts. Obviously, I still had a number of button down shirts, but I rarely wore them. Between pregnancy and nursing I wore them even less. (I really don't get the people who say that button shirts are great for nursing... I don't get it AT. ALL.)

When we moved into this house, we discovered that the closet in the master bedroom has 44 inches of hanging space.


And as Tom takes up more than half of it with his work clothes, my rarely worn button ups (meaning all of them) got relegated to the kids' closet. And then I wore them even less. If that were possible.

This particular shirt is one I've had since high school, I think it may have belonged to Sarah at one point, but I don't remember. Either way, I haven't worn it in eons. It feels rather fallish, but seeing as it rained all day yesterday and is partly cloudy today, I feel good about it.

The headband I made, and thought I would wear often. But I never do. I just can't figure out how to wear it without looking like a school girl.

Shirt: Dockers (OLD)
Undershirt: Shade
Pants: Gap
Cuff: Gift
Necklace: Mother-in-law, knotted (worn as bracelet here)
Flower and headband: Me
Shoes: Maurice's via eBay


Answered prayer

{Disclaimer: This post is of a very feminine nature. For those readers in possession of a Y chromosome, be aware that you may wish you had not read this. Of course it is up to you, I am posting it on the world wide web after all, but consider yourself warned.}

As you may recall, my body is quite capable of lactating and menstruating at the same time. While this is, naturally, annoying, it is at the same time very reassuring. Reassuring me that I am not pregnant. Which is a good thing when you have a baby young enough to be nursing.

Despite my history of early menstruation, I was not surprised when my cycle did not pick right back up after the twins were born. I was, after all, nursing two babies, which requires a little more effort. But lately I've been feeling a little off. I've been craving sweets more than usual, and despite regular exercise and not eating sugar, I've been slowly and steadily gaining weight. (And I do mean  s l o w l y, but still, gaining is gaining.)

So without that annoying reassurance, (and despite *ahem* precautions) I've begun to worry that I might be pregnant. Since I don't get morning sickness (yes, you have my permission to hate me) to tip me off, I was almost to the point of buying a pregnancy test.

But I don't like wasting money, and it really seemed unlikely that anything would come of it.

So Sunday night in my prayer before bed, I mentioned my concern to my Heavenly Father. I asked for reassurance that I was not pregnant, but asked that if I was somehow, that I would be inspired to take action to discover it.

And Monday morning, I started.

Even though I'm still nursing twins. And I'm okay with it.

21 Day Challenge: Day 9

As tempting as it was to wear shades of gray and black as my monochrome, I went with blue. While yes, jeans are practically neutral, the shirt is essentially a closet orphan and I rarely wear the bracelet and necklace (despite my undying love for them).

And I'll have you know, even my eye shadow is blue. And so is (are?) the inside of my glasses.

Blue linen shirt (in need of an ironing): Old Navy
Undershirt: Shade Clothing
Jeans: Gap
Shoes: Qupid via myshoeshoppe.com
Necklace and bracelet: by me from a beaded candle holder
Ring: who knows, possibly a gift
Watch (with a blue face): Pulsar


What I should have done

Four years ago, if you want to know.

When we moved into our house, we quickly noticed that the key to the deadbolt on the back door was not to be had. {As a side note, our house is sideways to the road. The front door is on the east, the road on the south, the carport and back door on the west. We ALWAYS use the back door.} The deadbolt and knob on the front door used the same key as the knob on the back, but the back deadbolt was different; our key wouldn't even go in.

This meant that while the deadbolt remained locked while we were home, when we left, only the knob was locked. If we wanted the extra security of the deadbolt, we would have to lock it from the inside, then go out through the front and around the house to the car. This would then need to be repeated in reverse when we returned home.

It was an annoyance, and we toyed with the idea of replacing the knob and deadbolt with a pair that matched, but it never seemed worth the expense. Even though knowing from experience how easy it is to break in to our house made me a little uncomfortable.

There was one time when I went out (to the temple, maybe?) while Tom stayed home with the kids. When I came home, I found that he had locked the deadbolt and gone to bed. I went to try the front door, but the screen door was also locked, and I didn't have a key to that with me. I had to resort to calling him from the neighbor's house, as I didn't have a phone with me. 

Nevertheless, it remained.

It occurred to me some time ago that we could just swap the deadbolts on the front and back doors. That would mean we couldn't open the front door with a key, but as we never use it, that would not be a problem. We talked about doing it from time to time, but never took the time.

Finally, the other day (Friday, maybe?) while Tom was at work, I grabbed a screwdriver and swapped them. The swap took all of five minutes, give or take. Unfortunately, something was not lined up ideally, so it was amazingly hard to lock or unlock the deadbolt inside the back door, and nigh unto impossible with a key.

I unscrewed the strike plate, and tried repositioning it. Eventually, after busting out the hammer (when in doubt, give it a few good whacks with a hammer), I was able to freely lock and unlock the door, inside or out.

I should have done it the week we moved in. It is nice to know that our doors are securely locked whether or not we're home, and without such inconvenience.

21 Day Challenge: Day 8

As my "little black dress" is very much NOT nursing friendly, I went with a little black skirt and shirt with pearls. That's about as fancy as things get around here. Then I threw on my denim jacket with a bright pink flower and called it good to go.

Shirt: Shade Clothing
Skirt: Mikarose via Costco
Shoes: who knows?
Earrings, necklace, bracelets: Tres Chic Boutique
Jacket: Old Navy
Flower and hair clip: Me


21 Day Challenge: Day 7

Or: in which I confess to working ahead of schedule.

And I've been working a day ahead the whole challenge. So while you're reading this on Sunday, this is what I wore grocery shopping on Saturday.

Layering accessories is a little new to me. I mean, sure, sometimes I wear multiple bracelets, but that's about the extent of it. I tried it with necklaces today, but it didn't work like I wanted to with the neckline of my (remixed) shirt. Nothing terrible, but not quite what I was hoping for and a little busy looking. I'll try again, I'm sure.

Shirt: Calvin Klein via Costco (remixed)
Undershirt: Shade Clothing
Shorts: Dockers via Costco
Shoes: Steve Madden (thrifted, practically new)
Bangles and turquoise bracelets: Gifts
Faux-diamond bracelet: Random shop in Paris circa 2001
Turquoise necklace: Lia Sophia
Other necklace: Claire's maybe?
Earrings: Giveaway on Salsa Pie
Hair clip: me again


21 Day Challenge: Day 6

Get creative.

That was the prompt.

This coming from a girl who wears a skirt for a dress, dress for a skirt, and who knows what else and looks amazing doing it. Me, I'm really a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.

Despite that, my other outfits have come together fairly quickly; just a tweak here, an addition there.

But today? Um, yikes.

I had in my head some vague idea that I'd use one of my skirts as a dress with something over/under it, but hadn't really firmed up the idea when the time came to get dressed.

I grabbed this pink paisley skirt and while it was not long enough to be a dress, I tucked it in and thought it made a reasonably nice shirt. But I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to complete the look. I tried a couple shirts over, couple of sweaters over, a couple of shirts under. I tried belted, not belted. Nothing looked right. I even tried making a scarf into a shrug of some sort, but it really didn't work out.

I finally settled for a cardigan, only to change my mind and go with one of the under options. But I wasn't loving it, and it was really too warm for today.

Finally, I thought of the demin jacket I wore on day 1. (I should have chosen that to be my remix item, but that would have been a little too easy.)

It was perfect.

I added a necklace, a necklace as a bracelet, a necklace as a headband, and a necklace as earrings. Okay, just kidding about that one, they are just plain old earrings.

Also, Tom has my camera and phone, so I experimented with photobooth. Not too shabby, but not great, either.

Skirt as shirt: New York City Design Co. via some random giveaway online
Jeans: St. John's Bay via craigslist
Jacket: Gap via Lisa
Belt: who knows via Lisa
Necklace and earrings: Gift, purchased in Okinawa
Necklace-as-bracelet: Hand-me-down from my mother-in-law
Necklace-as-headband: me (in use as necklace here)
Shoes: not pictured, because I'm not wearing any.


21 Day Challenge: Day 5

Today's prompt: belt it.

Um, yikes. I don't belt anything, because I feel like it draws more unwanted attention to my middle, much like tucking, discussed here. But because I don't do things half way, here we have it.

My first attempt at belting a cardigan. I like it, but doubt it will become a common occurrence, partly because of the annoyance when nursing. (Also much like tucking.) Also because I feel more self conscious of my love handles while wearing it.

On a side note, these jeans have a funny story. I moved home in the middle of my sophomore year of college. At the end of the year my roommates sent me these jeans, thinking they were mine, since no one else claimed them. They were not. Um, I don't buy anything in long. And they were a size (or two, depending on the month) too small. So I stuck them in my closet and hoped they would fit someday. Now they fit, but they are obviously still too long. And today when I put these shoes on I said to myself, "Self, this would look better with a skinnier leg (on the pants, though I'm sure I could use that to)." So I whipped out some bobby pins and temporarily made them skinny jeans.

My biggest problem today was taking a picture. Normally I take 5 or so, pick the best and I'm on my way. Today it was more like 30 and I didn't really love any of them. It was too close, too far, no head, no feet, no head again, weird face, hair flip, talking, out of focus, you get the picture.

Shirt: Shade Clothing
Cardigan: Mossimo sweater from forever ago that I cut down the middle
Belt: My dad? maybe?
Jeans: Gap via a long story (see above)
Shoes: Thrifted (unworn-I've had some good luck with thrifted shoes, let me tell you.)
Flower: Me
Necklace: Forever 21? Claire's? I have no idea
Earrings: Me and available in my shop


21 Day Challenge: Day 4

While today's prompt was much more in my comfort zone (color block), I still tried to push my own boundaries, since this is, after all, a challenge.

So I went with shorts (which I rarely wear), the full tuck (which I NEVER do) and a belt (also very rare). Overall, I was quite pleased.

Shirt: Shade Clothing
Shorts: Dockers via Costco
Belt: Some random shop in Paris circa 2001
Shoes: Candies via a garage sale years ago (unworn! for $3!)
Watch: Pulsar via freecycle
Earrings: Ike & Co
Necklaces: Gifts

And let's pretend that my calves are not pasty white and mysteriously bruised, shall we?


21 Day Challenge: Day 3

Apparently the goal this week is to get me out of my comfort zone.

Today's prompt is mixing patterns.

To begin with, I only own about 3 shirts with any pattern at all. Okay, make that 4, but I wore one of them yesterday. I've got a couple of patterned skirts, but nothing that would remotely look okay with any of my patterned shirts. So, I kind of copped out and used a patterned (albeit only slightly) scarf. But I'd like to point out that my shoes are patterned too.

(And yes, I realize I should have painted my toenails a different color. But at least they're painted.)

Shirt: Kersh via Costco (are you noticing a trend?)
Scarf: Shade Clothing
Belt: off a sweater I got as a hand-me-over from Tom's grandma.
Pants: Victoria's Secret (?) via eBay
Shoes: myshoeshoppe.com
Earrings: me


21 Day Challenge: Day 2

Today's prompt was to tuck it in.

I hate tucking things in. For several reasons.

For one, in my opinion, it has never looked good on me. I'm a middle figure, in that my waist is similar in size to my bust and hips, so the tuck just feels/looks bulky in an area where I don't need extra bulk.

Secondly, I've had five kids in the last six years, so regardless of my body type, my middle has yet to recover. Again with the extra bulk.

Also, I tend to wear higher rise pants, and I think shirts look better tucked in to lower rise pants. Or super high, I guess, but mine aren't that.

And finally, I'm still nursing. So tucking must de undone and redone multiple times a day. Gah.

BUT, despite my misgivings, I did it. And it's not like anyone will see me in real life, because, let's face it, I don't get out much.

Shirt: Lizwear via Costco
Undershirt: Shade Clothing
Pants: Victoria's Secret (?) via eBay
Necklace: Ike & Co
Earrings and flower: Me
Shoes: oh wait, remember that part where I don't get out much? Yeah, didn't bother with the shoes.

And I realized after looking at the pictures that this outfit is ridiculously similar to yesterday's. But it's not entirely my fault. These pants are the best option for tucking, as they are lower rise than my others. I should have picked a different undershirt. But there's always tomorrow.


21 Day Challenge: Day 1

So I wasn't going to blog about this, because this really isn't a fashion blog. And because I don't intend to turn it into one. So I might not blog every day of the challenge, but I'm in the mood at the moment. 

Introducing the 21 Day Challenge.

Hosted by Kayla over at Freckles in April, she posts a daily prompt for your attire. You dress, photograph and post. For 21 days. (Hence the title.) You can get more details on her blog.

Shirt: Calvin Klein via Costco
Undershirt: Shade Clothing
Jacket: Gap (via Lisa)
Skirt: Mikarose via Costco
Shoes: Wild Diva via Goodwill
Earrings, necklace and flower: by me, available at my shop
Cute baby: Morty

But now that I'm on here, let me just tell you about those shoes. They are my favorite shoes of all time. My mom and sister and I had a girls night when Sarah was in town, and after dinner we went thrifting. I as was looking for a shelf (found!) and some nude heels (also found!). But while I was scoping out the shoes I saw one red peep toe stiletto with no mate.

And I was in love. Almost in jest I put it on, and it fit perfectly.

I had never owned a pair of stilettos before; all my heels were chunky or wedges. Also, I had only recently gotten over my peep toe/toe cleavage apprehension, and this shoe had both.

But like I said, I was in love.

But there was only one.

(There was also only right shoes of this wonder. So I put them both on.)

I lamented to my sister (who thought I was crazy).  (On the left is her idea of a cute shoe)

I lamented to my mother (who laughed). And then she asked an employee who brought the partner out of who-knows-where. And then she bought them for my birthday.

And I was in heaven.

The end.


Moving forward

Morty and Ferdie, that is.

They had been happily rolling about for months, covering plenty of territory, but slowly.

Now? Not so much in the slow department.

Ferdie was first, though we expected Morty to take off long before Ferdie. Mostly because he (Morty) was constantly up on hands and knees rocking and always moving while Ferdie was content to lie about doing nothing, having his toys and entertainments delivered.

But, to our surprise, Ferdie was the first to figure out the squirm, as I call it. It would be generous to call it an army crawl, and it looked more like slow swimming than anything else. However, both have now perfected it, and it can now be rightly call an army crawl. I have to keep them in long pants and long sleeves, or their poor elbows and knees get quite the ridiculous rug burn.

There is nothing (on the floor) that they cannot and do not get into. They most especially like it when we the kids leave paper or books lying about. They also adore the laundry room and all its exciting contents (dirty diapers!) and the bathroom (when the door gets left open--Lou!).

And for your visual pleasure, let's play a little game called "Guess Who?" This is the only time (other than their baby blessing) that they have been dressed identically. In fact, Tom didn't even know we had two of these sleepers because I stuck one in a diaper bag as emergency back up. (And, for the record, the kids had no problem determining who was who. Except Lou, but I never expected her to.)