Archive | January 2012

A Wardrobe Makeover – What I wore Jan 18 to 24

Last week I mentioned that I had a short list of some pieces I wanted to find.  With a $20 gift card in hand, I headed to Macy’s last Tuesday night after my husband was home and my family was fed.  With $20, I knew I wasn’t going to find the jeans/pants that were on my list but I did come across an enormous clearance section.  I took a quick stroll through and found two cotton cable knit sweaters for about $10 each.  I found a faux wool sweater that I think is super cute for about $6 and a “statement” sweater that ended up being about $12.  That is my kind of shopping!

Here is what I wore this week-

Wednesday

Belted one of the cable knit sweaters with a pink jacket on top.  (That jacket was thrifted back in August for about $5.  It’s a Liz Claiborne and it still had it’s original tags on it when I found it in the thrift store!)

As a side note, my children clearly are not used to this.  One child told me I looked beautiful, another asked me if we were going to church and the third asked me why I was so dressed up.  Ha, ha!

Do you know what is great about participating in WIWW?  Looking at a picture of yourself when you think you’ve done good with your appearance.  Pictures don’t lie.  For example, that lipstick you see above?  It’s in the trash now.  Moving right along…

Thursday

Today, my big effort for WIWW was to color my gray sideburns.  Yikes.  Other than that, it’s a pretty Plain Jane outfit.  This is that new $6 sweater from Macy’s that I mentioned above.

I’m also actually wearing earrings today.  Baby steps.  That’s what I’m all about.  The hair is still a little wet…  but it was time to stop playing dress up and move along with my day so what you see is what you get.

Like our rabbit?  Her name is Rosie.  My daughter was playing with her when I asked her to snap the pictures so I had to hold the rabbit.  Isn’t she cute?

Friday

This was probably my favorite outfit of the week.  All the components have been in my wardrobe for awhile but I never thought to put them together until I was “playing dress up” the other night trying things on.  It was actually fun to get dressed for Classical Conversations co-op today!

I can’t believe I live in a world where we are allowed to wear leggings again.  Ah!  Life is good.

I have to confess, the purse is new.  And so are the boot socks.  I wonder if the boot socks cut the line of my leg too much.  I’m bummed that the picture didn’t come out better so I could ask your opinion on that.  But it was time to go so…  this is the only picture we’ve got.

Saturday

We got snowed/iced in here last night.  Hubby and I decided to reorganize the kitchen cabinets today since we had the luxury of time at home together.  We got about half of them done and it feels GREAT!  But that is for another post.  Since we were working and no one but my blog friends was going to see me, I kept it simple.

Sunday Morning

The outfit I showed last week – but with boots and grey tights.  It was cold and icey so I’m really glad I skipped the peep toe shoes from last week.  😉

Sunday Afternoon

I went to a friend’s house to scrapbook so I thought I’d share that too.  Imagine the shoes as snow boots – because that is what I actually wore.  And I was thankful too – because there was a load of ice at her house.

Monday

I didn’t have the camera handy when I left my room and I forgot to go back and get it.  I wore a big fluffy sweater, jeans and snow boots.  You aren’t missing much – it wasn’t anything spectacular.

Even though we had a ice storm that delayed the federal government and shut down lots of activities around me, none of our out-of-the-house activities were cancelled.  Bummer.  So it was all practical and nothing at all fun.

 

Tuesday

Nothing terribly exciting but I felt cute since I curled my hair.  I guess that’s really the point of this whole thing isn’t it?  A few small easy things that make you feel more put-together?

All in all, it was a better week than the week before that.  I’ll take it.

Cheers!

pleated poppy

 

Wardrobe makeover and what I wore Wednesday

Yesterday, I mentioned how much I love Pinterest.  While I was there, I came across a woman who has an ebook out about a nobrainer wardrobe.  Although I didn’t buy the ebook, I did go check out her blog series she did on the subject back in October.  (You can find it here – http://www.thetinytwig.com/category/wardrobe-beauty/page/3/)

As a mom at home who has three elementary age kids, homeschools, cleans her own toilets, is approaching 40 this year and doesn’t have a ton of cash, the series appealed to me.  I am not one to put a high priority on what my wardrobe looks like but it is still a priority to me.  I’d like to look presentable most of the time.  However, a lot of the ideas I see on-line are just out of the question for me to wear in my daily life.  The high heels with jeans trend?  Yeah, that’s not gonna happen here.  It may look cute, but it’s totally impractical for my daily life.  But still, I’d like to kick up my game a bit from my daily uniform…

(Please forgive the quality of the pictures – my 10 year old daughter took all of these and they are a wee bit fuzzy.)

Over the last week, I’ve begun working through some of her suggestions.  I began thinking I was going to purge my closet.  Lots of stuff I simply don’t wear.  That went from purge the closet to shop the closet instead.  I’ve recently been having a pitty party about my lack of appropriate church clothes for winter.  I wear a lot of jeans in my life.  Spending a bunch of money on a dress to wear – maybe once a month – is simply not very practical to me right now.  While I was in my closet, I looked again at a suit I’d bought for myself.  I probably bought it 4 years ago and it still has the tags on it.  It’s an Evan Picone, pin stripped, lined suit.  I actually think it’s rather nice.  But I don’t wear suits.

I guess I talked myself into it because it was a nice brand name, lined suit.  The jacket was $20 and the pencil skirt was $10 according to the tags that are still hanging on them.  I even bought myself a red blouse to go with the suit.  It, too, has been hanging in my closet for probably one year less than the suit has been.  (I literally dusted a layer of white off the shoulders to snap that picture above.)

The blouse looks alright.  I actually like most everything about it.  Except that if I were to lean forward anyone near me would see everything I have to offer.  It’s a bit low cut for my taste.  So, it too has been just hanging there with it’s tags still on it.

But after searching around on Pinterest and making myself a wardrobe board, I began to notice a trend.  I like scarves around my neck.  So, I ditched the jacket and put a grey scarf on with it and – Voila!

Now that is something I would actually wear to church!  But it’s COLD here right now so most likely, I will be wearing some charcoal tights and black boots on Sunday morning instead of bare legs and peep toe shoes.

About 10 minutes of play – with things I already owned – resulted in something I plan to wear on Sunday.  Not a bad investment.  Thanks for the inspiration, Hayley!

Then I grabbed a long sleeve t-shirt to go with my beloved Levis 512 jeans – standard uniform.  But today I added some ballet flats and a scarf.  I threw my hair up in a messy, curly up-do and went about my day around the house.  It sure was nice to look a little better than average when someone stopped by unexpectedly that afternoon!

There is just one thing – now I remember why I haven’t worn these flats in ages.  I need to figure out how to stretch them so they don’t rub my feet into a blister.  Anyone know a good tip to do that?

After summing up my wardrobe quickly, I came up with a short list of 6 items I’d like to add to add a bit of variety.  I’ll let you know how that goes next week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheers!

pleated poppy

Pantry Re-Org

I’ve been rather unsatisfied with my pantry lately.  See Exhibit A, B, C, and D below.  It has been in a big ‘ole state of confusion for awhile now.  Yet, I haven’t taken the time to reorganize it.  I wasn’t exactly sure where to begin or how to do it.  Enter Pinterest.  Don’t you just love Pinterest?  I do.  It is my on-line cork board for every fabulous idea I see on a blog that brings me inspiration.  Most often, when I find these fantastic ideas, I’m not in a position to act on them immediately.  Then later, when I’m ready to show the idea to my husband, or follow through on the idea for myself, I can’t find it.  Pinterest solves that problem for me.  In addition to seeing several people use containers to organize their pantry on blogs and Pinterest, I came across the idea in my Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  So, I ripped it out and taped it to my pantry shelf where it’s been hanging for at least a month.

Here are my before shots of my pantry –

Look at that floor!  I couldn’t even close the doors.  How ridiculous.  But I wanted you to see the real deal.

About two weeks ago, I took measurements of my shelves (height and depth) and went to my local Walmart searching for options.  I bought one Sterilite container that I thought would work along with two mini bins.  Total cost was less than $10.  Probably closer to $7.  I brought them home to see what I might make of them.  I decided to purchase five more of the big Sterilite containers and that I was satisfied with my two mini bins.  This past weekend, I finally had time to go back to Walmart where I discovered another size/style of bin that I hadn’t seen before.  I bought two of those along with the 5 original big bins I’d planned to buy.  Total cost for the second trip – less than $35.  Grand total of my pantry re-org is less than $50.  Everything else you see, I already had on hand from other areas where they were no longer required.  All are easily purchased and if bought new would still bring your re-org budget in under $100.

I pulled everything out, wiped down the shelves, mopped the floor and started stacking things back in.  Mostly like-with-like in bins that fit.  I know there are some women out there who know how to use pretty baskets and lovely printable labels.  I just wanted neat, labeled and easy to clean.  This is what I ended up with.

On the floor you see my two large food grade containers that hold my 25lb bags of white rice and white sugar in each.  In the center is my bread machine where I can access it easily.  Hopefully easy access will translate into more homemade bread (which I love).  You can’t see it in the picture above, but I used one of the Sterilite big bins to store all our Easy Lunchboxes bags along with any other lunch carriers I own.

In the picture above, you can see the clear bin that I found on the second trip to Walmart.  Next to it is one mini bin with handle that I found on my first trip.  It holds the dog’s treats.  Above it, you can see a purple bin that I found in Target’s dollar spot at least two or three years ago.  I like the idea of these bins because they prevent things from being lost at the back of the pantry.

My big Sterilite bins are organized by baking items, pasta/beans, open snack bags, disposable utensils, cups, paper plates and napkins, and the final bin contains open cereal bags.  When we buy boxed cereal, we just take the bag out of the box, clip it and stash it in this bin.  This allows a small variety in breakfast but not allow the children access to every box of cereal in the house.  Believe me, they wouldn’t think twice about having them all open at the same time.  This just allows me to manage the cereal consumption a little better.

On the shelves above, it may not appear to have rhyme or reason to you.  However, I let height and visibility dictate where I put things along with stashing things I didn’t want my children to access without permission.  I like the fact that everything is pretty easily accessible and there is still room for me to go grocery shopping for the few items I need to make complete meals come together.

I hope this inspires you to take some time to think through your pantry and make sure it’s working for you.  I’ll update the blog if I find that this is not working for me and how I intend to fix it.  But for this week, I love it!

Cheers!

 

Project Life – Begin Where You Are

With the beginning of the new year, Project Life inspiration is everywhere. If you start visiting around the various blogs who talk about Project Life, it won’t be long until you feel like you need a whole room dedicated to your Project Life book, along with a series of extra products that are too cute to pass up and you are right back to traditional scrapbooking.

I say STOP THE MADNESS!

A lot of these women bloggers are either professional bloggers and/or affiliated with the scrapbook industry some how. And that is great. I have no beef with them or what they are doing with their albums. My beef is how it is affecting you.

If you have never done Project Life before, I have one piece of major advice for you. Just get the kit and start. You don’t need anything but the core kit and the basic pages. $50 total. Buy a 3 ring album that you like – either from Amazon or your local retailer. And at the end of the year, you will have a lovely album.

The only other thing you need is a photosafe pen and that is it. Nothing else. If you want to start really fancy, get Becky’s package of variety pages for those times you take pictures in various orientations.

I have had a scrapbook room for years. Yes, a room. I have loads of supplies. And they can overwhelm me on any given day.

The whole reason I have a completed album from 2011 is because I kept it simple. I kept it in my kitchen where I could access it daily. It didn’t take up an entire counter.

As your year goes on, you will find other things that you think are cool and you will add them to your book too. But don’t wait until you have all those things to start. Just begin with the basics. Who knows? Perhaps we will morph into one of these scrapbooker extraordinaires. But if we don’t, we have a beautiful album that our family can remember the year with.

Here is what I kept in my kitchen last year.

One 12×12 plastic envelope (available at any craft store chain) and a leather-ette looking two drawer desk top organizer.  (Found at Kohl’s on clearance)

The envelope had 8.5 x 11 cardstock and a *small* smattering of decorative paper that I thought coordinated with my kit well enough.  This was used when I had a large picture to insert (via regular old page protectors that I already had on hand) or several smaller pictures that didn’t fit in the book.

The top drawer contained my cards from the kit, the date stamp that came with the kit last year and my 3 pens.  The scissors don’t actually belong in there but got shoved in there this week for some reason.

The bottom drawer included the stuff (mostly from the kit) that I didn’t use daily.  Plain white journaling cards (now included in the kit), the arrow and number stickers, a package of photo splits (adhesive for when I inserted a picture or pictures onto one of those 8.5×11 pages I mentioned above) and a package of flip-flaps (from Close to my Heart – adheres to the page to add two more pictures to an event when I needed them).

That’s it.  And even that is too much for some of you.  But being streamlined, sticking to the kit and keeping it neat in my living area is how I completed the album last year.  As much as I love some of these fancy albums I see people post on line, I love my simple album even more.  Because it’s mine.

Keep It Simple Sweetheart.  You can rock this too.

 

*edit to add – This year you don’t even need the leatherette drawer thing.  Last year the kit came in a huge 12×12 box.  Now that the core kit comes in such a cute little box, you can just set that on your counter.  One less thing to buy.  Or reason to postpone starting.  No more excuses.

Project Life 2012 – Hello!

For 2011, I did Project Life for our family album and it was great.  I am ordering pictures for the last of December and I hope to have the album completed by the end of January.  I can’t say that I’ve ever had a year of our family album done by the end of January of the following year!

A couple of my girl friends have asked to see my album from 2011 so I will make an effort to share that with you when I have it completed.  In the meantime, here is a video I did earlier this year of my Project Life album.

*note – Turquoise album is now available again on Amazon.

Last year I started out trying to do a picture a day but I quickly moved to using a week to highlight the best of that week. Some days just don’t have anything special.

I plan to show you how I set up my PL station in my kitchen last year – which is a major factor in staying up to date for me. That will come, but in the meantime, here are some fantastic posts from around the net of how some other ladies set up their PL stations. Keep in mind, some of these are pretty intense and remove the whole point of keeping the album simple. But the beauty of PL is that you can use it straight out of the package and make it work for you from there. Just start. Play with it and figure out how it works best for you.

This year I ordered both the Clementine and Cobalt collections. I ended up selling the Cobalt to a friend since I didn’t care for it as much as I do the Clementine. Additionally, I bought the digital version of the Original kit (via Jessica Sprague). Now I’m sorting out how to use them. Whether I will use the digital version on old pictures and the Clementine for this coming year. I’ll let you know when I get going on that.

Here are a few resources for you as you decide if this project is for you and if so, how to get set up for your own personal success.

The Mom Creative

Mish Mash

The Moments in Between

Marcy Penner

I love that Marcy pulls in various pictures into Photoshop and resizes them to her desired size and prints it all on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of photo paper.  I will be implementing this in the coming year!

I’m excited for another year or preserving our family history in a touchable way that is current.  I wish the same for you.

Cheers!