Saturday, June 23, 2012

Baby Shower Breakdown

Well, you already saw the invitation.

A Personal Touch for the Gift Table
So, I made this little "board" with pictures that ended up in the album on the left. (Later, I put a strand of flower lights around the top to give it a girly flair.) At the top, it says "Gifts for Juliana" in little diapers that are pinned to the board. Let me tell you how I did it!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Walking in a Wardrobe Wonderland: Part 1

So, I have been cleaning out my closet (no reference to Eminem there) since 8 this morning; it is now 2:50. Why is it taking so long, you ask? Well, I am trying everything on and making outfits. I already have three huge bags of clothes I plan to yard sale. I developed some systems that might work for you when you clean out your closet. I'll just talk about the dress situation.

Dress Situation: I own a lot of dresses. When I go shopping and see a dress, my brain says, "OH! An outfit all by itself; how handy!" I then drag it home to find that there is no room for this dress, or it sits in the closet in spite of its splendor. I needed a remedy. Here's what I came up with:

  1. If the dress is a little too short for my liking, I see if it can either 
    • Work as a shirt (tuck it into a skirt that's a little longer)
    • Work as a beach cover up
    • Work with leggings or tights (many of these end up in the fall/winter collection)
  2. If the dress has a weird top half, but I still like the bottom half, I see if it can work as just a skirt (either cut off the top OR just throw another top over the dress). For one of my dresses, it had this weird tank top as the top half, but there was an elastic band separating the top and bottom. I cut off the tank top, and I had a skirt :)  
The blue "top" is actually a dress. For some occasions, it's too short. If so, I can just throw a knee-length skirt over it!
Here's the same dress with a yellow skirt. I'm really in love with this pairing.
Woo, this dress is much too short, but I LOVE it. I threw a fun black skirt over it, and ta da. Please don't mind my creepy pooch in the background. She has a staring problem. 

When I want to see whether or not I still think about an item of clothing, I put it in my office's closet. If I go back to it, then it's a keeper. It regains its residence in my bedroom closet.

However, some things I like, but I just haven't given them a fair chance. Today, I've given many of them a chance. I tried to pair them with something that I knew I already liked and wore. Here are some of my findings.

1. Blue sleeveless sweater (odd ball) with khaki skinny jeans (love 'em). I liked the pairing, but this sweater is still on probation.

 2. Blue tank top (odd ball) with standard brown/khaki shorts. I like this pairing too, but it's kind of boring. I need some ideas here.

3. Teal shirt (odd ball) with my favorite white skirt. This teal shirt can still live because I really love it with the skirt. It's a keeper.

4. Blue and white blouse (odd ball) with standard navy blue shorts. This outfit works. I think I'll keep it.

5. Okay, this was the weirdest one. I kind of hated this top because it came with these weird jewels attached to it, but I couldn't seem to get rid of it. Today, I decided to take off the weird necklace/jewels (they weighed down the top of the shirt, which was uncool) and pair the shirt with a necklace that I love. BAM! I now love the top. It's so soft. Mmmm. 

6. Geometric tank top (very wonderful, silky fabric...ahhhh...but an odd ball) paired with good ol' white shorts and matching blue cardigan. Originally, the shirt was not tucked in. Once I tucked it in and added the cobalt blue belt, I loved the outfit. See? Some clothes just need a little extra thought. I feel nautical without wearing stripes, which is good considering I have WAY too many articles of striped clothing.

 7. Navy and white polka dot shirt (odd ball) with white shorts. This top has a weird cut. I think it might not survive, but I'll give it a month.

8. Teal shirt (odd ball) with favorite khaki skirt. This outfit makes me want to go to work.

9. Neither of these is an odd ball, but I wanted to shake it up. I like the cobalt pants with this shirt.

10. I revived this frock, and I'm quite glad that I did. It's comfortable, light, and quite perfect for the Bahamas.

11. I just decided to find out how many shirts could go with purple shorts. I liked this top the best.

12. These shorts needed a longer top. I do believe this one fits the bill. 

13. I was going to pitch this top, but I rather like it with this outfit. I'll see what else I can do with it. Still on probation. 

14. Revived this tube top. Not sure how I feel about the white flyaway cardigan. Big fan of the coral belt.

15. I think I like the top better with this cardigan. Maybe I'll try white shorts, black cardigan, this top, and the same coral belt. Hmmm. Off probation.

16. I liked 'em both, so I put them together. Really comfortable. How can I go wrong with red and white?

17. I'm on safari, and I'm never coming home. (No, I'm not already standing in my bedroom.)

18. Without the jacket...

19. A little boring with brown shorts

20. Brown shorts, you still stand a chance. 

21. These pants still stand a chance, but they're sort of capris. I don't know how I feel about that. They're SO old. Maybe 10 years old, hahaha.

Have a favorite? Have ideas for better outfit pairings? Get any inspiration? I'm already inspired to finish cleaning out my closet. Thanks for joining me! 

The Man I Look Up To...

When I was growing up, my dad spent a lot of time working as a railroad engineer. We had this phone, the "railroad phone" we dubbed it, in the house that rang only to call dad into work. I remember dreading the sound of that ring. Its sound tore through the house to pull my dad away from us. I harbored a lot of ill will for that phone and what it symbolized, the absence of my father, but I never resented my dad. I always knew that my dad spent time away from us only to provide for us; he sacrificed time with us in favor of his love for us. He also knew that his long hours meant my mom could stay home with us. He figured that one full-time parent was better than two part-time parents. Maybe his approach does not work for everyone and it's not to say that other parents' approaches are wrong; it's to say that every parent does the best that he or she knows how to do and we as children need to be understanding of how tough our parents' job is. I'm not a parent, but I fully understand that no fool-proof book on how to raise a child actually exists.

I think he might feel guilty about all of the time that he spent working, but my dad was there in the lessons that he often unknowingly communicated. He taught me the sacrifices that unconditional love often requires. He taught me how to commit to something and to lead by example. And, when the railroad granted us time with him, he showed me how to be serious but not take myself too seriously. Most importantly, he taught me to stay true to myself. My dad makes no excuses or apologies for being who he is, and I'm so grateful to him for setting that example. (Both of my parents did, in fact.) I should be conscious of and sensitive to other people's feelings, but I should be who I am without regret. Other people's opinions of what I should do or say should not lead me astray from being an individual who feels good about herself because she is a good person, no matter how goofy she might be for thinking the English language's funniest word is poop.

Photo Credit: Eric Stocklin Photography
To be honest, I think my dad's best move as a parent has been this: be the really good person that you want your child to become. Neither he nor my mom had to belabor what was right and wrong; they demonstrated right and wrong through their own actions. I was blessed to follow two great examples. My IQ might not rank at genius level, and my pay check might actually be something to sneeze at, but I'm emotionally balanced and incredibly introspective. I have my dad to thank for helping to instill those qualities.

I have my dad to thank for a lot of qualities, in fact.

  1. My dad once told me that one of the reasons we are  similar is that neither of us needs to make a mistake in order to learn from it; we can watch someone else's blunder and say, "No, that will no be me." 
  2. My dad also has a very irreverent sense of humor, but it's one of his qualities that makes him all the more endearing. People will say to him, "Danny, you're so skinny." He responds, "Well, you're a fat slob." People need that dose of honesty because it's so rare anymore; we're so worried about minding our manners that we're actually being rude by allowing people to get away with more than they should be allowed to get away with. I think my frankness is one of the reasons that my students like me so much; people love my dad for that same quality. (Granted, this same quality runs in the women on my mom's side, so I "inherit" it from all angles.)
  3.  Yesterday, my dad spent the day first helping my brother prepare the baby's room and then helping Jeff install countertops in our kitchen. On his day off, he spent all of his time helping his children with their houses. What a man. 
  4. My dad relies a lot on logic; he's a practical man. He makes a plan, but he also makes room for the plan to go awry. He allows some expletives to eek out of his mouth, but he carries on in spite of the obstacles. He tenacity inspires me. 
  5. My dad is such a wonderful man. No wonder my mom has been married to him for 38 years (as of yesterday)! He might seem a little gruff, but he has such a good heart (my big brother inherited this same combination). Thanks to the man he is, I did not settle for marrying a mediocre man. So, not only did my dad help shape me into the person I am, he also provided a model for the kind of man I should marry. 
Daddy, thank you so much for your guidance, support, love, honesty, dedication, and sense of humor. I'm blessed to have your blood course through my veins. I love you. 

-Daughty Waughty Woo Woo

My dad is the one on the left. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nautical Love. (My outfit AND one of Jeff's)

 My love of all things nautical might be rubbing off on my husband. It might be rubbing off because I'm the one who buys his clothes most of the time.

Shirt: Express (I love love love the collar)
Skirt (maroon): Target
Necklace is a bicycle (from American Eagle)
Sandals (which seem to captivate everyone) are J.Lo from Kohls
Oh, and the firming up of my muscolinos (how Jeff refers to muscles) is thanks to Reebok and lots and lots of push ups. Weird, eh? 

Haha, he hasn't removed the medium sticker yet, and I also need to iron this outfit. However, we were deciding whether or not we liked it. I LOVE yellow, so I'm a big fan. Thanks to Marshalls for the lovely Chaps wear. 

You know, I told him that I was NOT going to buy him any more clothes. I buy him nice clothes, and what does he do? He goes out and works on the car/yard in whatever clothes he's wearing. Because he's a pig pen, he then sloshes all sorts of questionable fluids from the car all over his nice clothes. Most normal people would have a set of "let's wear this junk outfit EVERY time I do something messy." No, not my husband. He just ruins clothes like he's wiping his butt with toilet paper. So, I said I wouldn't buy him more clothes. I then realize that he looks like a schmuck wearing the same shirt over and over again because it's the only one he has yet to mar. I give in and buy more clothes. I'm saving the receipts. If he ruins the clothes, he's paying me back. I think that's fair. 

Anyway, what do you think of his outfit (minus the wrinkles)?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fiber Makes Me Saaaad.

Actually, it doesn't make me sad. 

In fact, I am alluding to one of my favorite commercials. I especially like the Youtube remix below:

It doesn't make me sad because it keeps me regular, and that makes me happy. I tell you what, the worst thing EVER is when you feel like a bear after hibernation. Whew, can you imagine what all those twigs and foliage do to a sphincter? Of course, I'd imagine you'd need a big, vegetational cotton ball to truncate the junk in your trunk while you slumber for an extended period of time. Still, if reincarnation exists, please don't let me die and come back as a bear. I couldn't bear to willingly constipate myself (bahaha, I'm so amused by my intentional pun.)

Anyway, this concoction should prevent you from feeling...stopped up? I use no measuring cups because I'm that lazy awesome. I'll just tell you what I dumped and poured into the blender.

Ingredients for Fibery Fun:
* Frozen strawberries
* Frozen blueberries
* Frozen mangos
* Agave nectar (low in the glycemic index but give it a nice little sweetness)
* Vanilla flavoring
* Almond milk (regular milk and I are not friends)

I used to put ice in the blender. Terrible idea. It constipates the blender, which is no bueno. Since the fruits are already frozen, who needs ice? Not me.

I drank it in two seconds (not actually because I didn't want a brain freeze to ruin the fibery fun), and if Jeff doesn't stop playing Call of Duty, I might take his smoothie away and finish it for him.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Evolution of Partying

I would venture to say that this poem speaks for itself and needs no introduction, but obviously this little blurb is an introduction of sorts. I hope you enjoy my second post of the day.  Yes, this poem includes "bitches" and "shit." Get over it. 

The Evolution of Partying

When you're seven, parties are filled with
Barbies, ponies, princesses, and pink galore.

When you're sixteen, parties are filled with
Short skirts, chaperones, and grody boys hoping for more.

When you're eighteen, parties are filled with
Hot tubs, invincibility, and acting too old for your britches.

When you're twenty one, parties are filled with
Alcohol, debauchery, and fights between crazy bitches.

When you're twenty five, parties are filled with
Alcohol, late nights, and the realization of
"I'm too old for this shit"
At this point, you've probably started
Taking care of others who are beyond lit.

When you're twenty seven, parties are filled with
talk of engagements, weddings, and little ones

My, how parties change along with our idea
of what's fun.

Clever Little Pairings

So, what is so clever in this post? I'll tell you: I am making use of clothes that have been taking up space in my closet. When I find a new outfit in my closet, I am less likely to feel compelled to shop more.

So this outfit uses a dress I haven't worn since my sister-in-law's bachelorette party! I paired it with my sparkly (can't really see that quality) cardigan that I do wear often. 
Bachelorette party fun.
Now, the next outfit takes this same awesome cardigan and pairs it with a more daytime dress.      


This dress feels a smidge short, but it might just be that I'm a teacher with a heightened sense of clothing fit awareness. Even shorts make me feel scandalous.

The cardigan is from NY & Co.
The dress is old and from H&M.

For the next outfit, I took the same dress and put a rarely-worn pink shirt over top of it. I rather like that look.

Yes, that is a dog nose between my legs because she is a dirty perv.
For this outfit, I took my old LOFT dress and paired it with a blue tank top. I like this idea of putting shirts over dresses. Genius. Wish I had thought of it first.
I wanted a look I could wear to work, so I took a white dress from Old Navy (no idea when I purchased it) and paired it with a yellow and white gingham shirt. I wore this same shirt here. I love the button-down + dress look. I feel as though I'm channeling my inner Carroll County.

This is my new plaid shirt from Old Navy. I love it because all of these colors show up frequently in my wardrobe, so I paired it with a rarely worn yellow dress (way old from Express). 

I was wearing the dress here, too...back when I was brunette for a hot second. 

 The next two purple shirts have just been hanging in my closet even though I like them. I need to find a mate for them. And look at these shorts I just revived from my summer collection of clothes. Match made in sartorial heaven. Okay, maybe I wouldn't go that far, but they look pretty sweet with the shorts.

So, what do you think of my clever little pairings? I think spending time shopping your own closet is well worth the price you save. Yeah?
Anyone else putting together some outfits using clothes that haven't seen the light of day in awhile?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

10 Points for a Pedestrian

Confession: I'm a troll in the mornings. I'm that ugly, horrible, cranky troll who lives under the bridge in The Three Billy Goats Gruff story. Okay, maybe I'm not that bad, but it takes me awhile to adjust to human interaction. Luckily (and not so luckily) for me, I have an hour commute to work; it helps me adjust to the sight of other people. Unfortunately, it does not quell my agitation when I'm driving into the school parking lot and I'm greeted by a horde (or sometimes just a pair) of lazily meandering teenagers. I do realize that pedestrians have the right of way; however, why would someone walk down the middle of the parking lot? It's as if this person is asking someone to hit them...hard. I'm usually tempted to oblige. I wrote a poem to deal with my frustration. Do not worry. I would not actually hit a pedestrian, even if they asked for it.

Beep beep.
Why are you in the way?
Don't you know that
I'm feeling rather homicidal today?

Beep beep.
Did you leave your brain in the cereal bowl
this morning?
Don't you know that
This horn is a friendly warning?

Beep beep.
Is the music on your iPod too loud?
Don't you know that
This bowling ball will wreck your crowd?

Beep beep.
Have you earned your license yet?
Don't you know that
It's 10 points for the pedestrian you get?

Beep beep.
I'll just continue to creep, creep
Until you make parking easier for me.

Owl-Shaped Baby Shower Invite

So, you probably saw my baby shower ditty. Well, now that Jess has officially received her invitation, I'll show you the invitation itself. Owls may or may not be making an appearance in the decoration of the baby's room, so I wanted the invitation to reflect that, especially since Jess plans to put the invitation in the baby book. I cannot have some half-assed job in a keepsake book. Not that I really make a habit of half-assing much of anything. However, I wanted this little dear to be as cute as possible.

I used no template. I made my own. I looked up (and looked up and looked up and looked up) pictures of owls. Using those pictures as inspiration, I crafted this little imperfect beauty. 

The ribbon was a last minute touch. What do you think?

I rather like animal-shaped invitations. They make me happy. 
Almost as happy as googly eyes make me.

Note: The starbursts do not exist past Picasa. I needed to edit the photos so that no one could see any of my identifying information. Whew.