Wednesday, January 22, 2014

the great capsule wardrobe adventure: days 12 & 13

staring up at the spiderwebs; items 9 and 11

This heatwave is still going strong and I had kiddos to wrangle so jeans and short sleeves it was. The mornings are kooky cool and the afternoons are hot. It's nuts! It was even colder and hotter the next day!
I layered up the smock and went for it, industrial old lady shoes and all. The morning temperature around 9am was 48 degrees and the afternoon hit 80something...absolutely nutty.
going for the wardrobe dream; items 6 and 7
So this crazy layered mis-matched print look is something I have been striving for even before we left L.A. I'm not sure I am pulling it off in person but the photos work and make me happy but maybe that's just the lipstick talking.
Here I am all garden girl upped with stripes and checks and bloomers exposed. It pleases me more than it should maybe....nah. Tomorrow (today really) is the last day and with the heat I am going to be hard pressed to pull of style but I will try. I will probably end up in either 1 and 5 or 10 and 11...or maybe I will extend it a day and do both...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

we interrupt the adventure... show you the surprise ball I made for the nephew a-go-go! I have a large jar (okay fine, I have many large jars) full of nifty that I have been holding onto specifically to make surprise balls. It's still packed up but what with the nephew's birthday here and all of the surprise ball fun on the internet I thought this would be perfect for the oddball assortment of martian stuff we had for him.
Back in 2010 I did a diy for a surprise ball/egg for can see the diy here.

Monday, January 20, 2014

the great capsule wardrobe adventure: days 10 and 11

I've said it before and I'll say it again, this winter has been funky! Our temps were the highest in the nation! Here, in little old SLO where last year at this time I was cold, cold, cold! Or chilly at least. Long sleeved weather at least. I think.
sunny day delight; items 8 and 6
It was a birthday day and it was warm. I pulled out the smock and paired it up with the black t-shirt as the other tops were in the laundry and we're now officially in a drought so I need to be extra mindful of our water usage (we're already silly mindful but you can always improve on mindfulness, methinks). I wore my grey leggings which I also wore with the linen skirt on day six.
The skirt of the smock kept sticking to my leggings....ah I popped on my old lady petti-pants and went for it. They remind me of my old cotton split slip I wore with all my dress back in high school now more than two decades ago. Eeps!
A wee bit on the boring side; items 1 and 11
On Sunday I had a work meeting and knew it would be hot so I went for the comfy shirt that was finally washed. I was feeling blah and all dirty-haired so paired this ensemble with my happy orange flats. Meh.
Ho-hum...I'm getting tired of the too-warm January...and my hair. My hair is not playing nice. I've been trying to replicate the hair fabulousness from day 7 but so far it ain't happened. Tomorrow will prolly be a smock day...maybe I will pair it with the skirt too!

Friday, January 17, 2014

the great capsule wardrobe adventure: days 8 and 9

loving these mary janes but sheesh they are clompy sounding
Okay, the weather here has been freaky hot. Hotter than even our usual summer temps. I am now wishing I added another short sleeve top instead of all these long sleeves but I still have the smock to wear which will be worn tomorrow for sure! Sunday I have a staff meeting so will be wearing either the jeans or the trousers as I'll be camping out on the floor surrounded by children's books.
for a hot winter's day; items 1 and 11
So yeah, yesterday was 88 degrees. I had a dentist's appointment in the morning and then it was errands, errands, errands. It got hot. I got sweaty. It was not pretty. My hair was all clumpified and so right after I took this photo I jumped in the shower and pj'd it the rest of the day. Awwww.
teacher day in the summery winter; items 10 and 12
Thank goodness for thrifted linen trousers. It was another hot day, I think even hotter than yesterday. Spent the morning and early afternoon as acting teacher's aide for our Friday Enrichment class. It was busy and full and fun and I am really happy I have found this place.
My hair was too clean to cooperate. I'm never fond of my hair after a shampoo. Perhaps if I knew how to girlify it with product and stuff it would be more cooperative but I don't and so it's not. Though I do think it played well for this photos. It was weird though. All flat at the crown and flippy only on the left side. Oh well, its just hair, right?
I brought one of the kitchen rugs from the old apartment to the classroom for the kiddos to dump sand on when they come in from our tiny play yard. It adds a pop of color to the classroom and I like it. I also quite like the look of these flats I picked up at Target back in 2008 or 2009. My sad feet and back however do not like them as they offer not one iota of support. After being really good about wearing good shoes I now know that it isn't worth the pretty when yer in pain for the rest of the day. These shoes are now nestled in the trash along with my favorite, favorite glitter shoes. The holes in the toes keep them from being donatable. Sigh. I did love them though. Speaking of shoes I just got two pairs dumped in the porch from the UPS driver...only one will work. The other while super nifty in looks ultimately will be a wash so I better return them now and keep looking for the right one. Ooof! 

Tomorrow is birthday day for the nephew-a-go-go and so I can dazzle the family with my funky smock. I hope the temps cool but it doesn't look like they will. Ya gotta love global warming or you don't and have to really rethink how you live even though we can't really reverse it we can do small things to make our footprint smaller. Every little bit helps.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

a picture of pretty and a heat wave

lookie! new pretty tape! *

It was 88 degrees today. Hot. It's also supposed to be winter. It was 88 degrees and what do I do? I bake a pie. Granted I baked said pie around 6:30 this evening when the temps were around 60. It has been noted that today in SLO our crazy summer temps are record breaking. We're hot and our fruit trees are sporting blooms and are not going dormant. The freesias are blooming a bit ahead of schedule and yesterday I ate a handful of homegrown strawberries that were delicious. We are also seriously lacking water. There is barely any snow in the mountains and our lakes are drying up like crazy. Ain't that grand? I won;t even go into how parts of our town are selling off agricultural land to build homes. Lots of homes. More homes than we have water for. Crappy homes that aren;t for struggling adults like me and the mister. Nope, homes for college students whose parents purchase the overpriced uglies then turn around and sell them for even more moolah.

It's enough to make me want to move. I troll zillow and trulia looking at homes in New Mexico (I'm not allergic there) or Oregon (a whole lot of people I enjoy live there) and wondering what we could do for income. I also hate that  because I love this area (I say area and not town because all of the people who own properties, all three of them, are raising leases and our downtown has all of these small businesses closing left and right)  and my job and our family.

Oy! Enough with the (poodles) whine already!

I also had a date with the dentist this morning and lucky me, I have a chipped twenty-year-old filling and a cracked twenty-year-old filling...they need to be replaced...and they will be needing crowns. I don't have dental insurance and now my idea of getting that lens finally for my birthday has gone out the window. I need to figure out how to make um...2500 by then....yikes! Anyone need a vintage dress or dilly pack or two or three or hundred? I can do custom garlands and/or packs...Wheeee!

The great capsule wardrobe adventure continues even through the heat! Man, I wish I picked out a few more short sleeves. Photos tomorrow.

*the tape has nothing to do with anything other than it being pretty and you can't really have a ranty blog post without a pretty picture. Right?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

the great capsule wardrobe adventure: day 7

I'm in the thick of it; items 5 and 9 plus stripey leggings that are hiding
Week one has been conquered! Today the temps were in the mid 80s and it was hot! Even though I knew it would be chilly in the morning (it was 44 when I left for work), I planned for warmer weather. I got a bit heat sick as my delicate constitution often dictates (though it is possible it was the snow cone I doctored up with coffee and sweet cream but we'll blame the heat, okay?) but still felt cool and refreshed in my linen skirt and stripey leggings.
The boots are by Qupid and came from Zulilly. The little skull beads fell off within the first half hour of wearing them and all I did was sit. I do not recommend them. They are comfortable enough for a days work but again not good for any sort of zombie apocalypse.
And still the hair is rocking it! Oh and the lipcolor is Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Stain in Adore. Tomorrow is errand and laundry day so nothing fancy. It will still be hot so I think I'll be wearing either the checked dress  or jeans. Stay tuned!

the great capsule wardrobe adveture: days 5 and 6

nice bags...
So, the real days 5 and 6 were spent in pajamas in bed sleeping and drooling away the ick. The official day 5 took place on January 13 and as you can see up there, even with all the napping I have not been getting any real rest...cough, cough. I recently did however get my hair cut and colored and that makes me a smidge happy even though I was/am sick. Sick or not I had kiddos to teach and it was off to work I go (have I told you how much I love my job?).
my hair was acting up; items 8 and 11
This Worthington t-short from Penneys is really pretty cool. It is some sort of t-shirty material with a sheer fabric over the front that also makes u the puffy sleeves. Comfy and quirky. I tell ya, Penneys is a bit secret weapony for me. Everything I have worn from there (save for my skivvies) receives compliments. I do get my skivvies there but am not in the habit of showing just anyone how cool they are. Ahem. On my feet are my Keens sans socks (which always makes me think of Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? which makes for unpretty bare feet but is a sacrifice I must make in the name of style.
I know I said I hated belts but belts and sashes are not the same thing. I seem to really like this scarf. It's pretty nifty and has a cool print but I am blanking on it and feeling far too lazy to get up and look at it so I can tell you what the print is. Besides, I think I left it in the car...
I don't mean to brag but I think I nailed it; items 10 and 5
Okay, this makes me especially happy. It photographed as good as I thought it looked in my head. Also? My hair was super cooperative and that is so rare so a photo documenting it where I am not triple chinning it and my eyes are open makes for extra happy giggles. Yes. I giggled. The top was a Penneys purchase back when I was attempting another round of 31 Days of red, white, and blue. It was a super bright red and I was feeling so over the bright red I dumped it into a bucket of black RIT dye and it turned bergundy or wine or maroon or whatever you want to call this and I love, love, love it! Sure the sleeve length is probably a fashion don't for my not-so-fit arms but you know what? I don't care. When you love what you are wearing and you feel good in it, you ted to beam and spill over with joy and that my friends make you absolutely stunning. So yeah, I'm gonna say I felt stunning and I laughed a lot and I smiled my goofy, wonky smile and I did not worry or care how I looked. One big annoying thing though? Talbot's clothing fits large. The skirt is a large but I had to roll up the waistband three times to keep it from slip-slip-slipping over my gifted hips. It dyed super nicely and I think this shortened length is fantastic. I need to alter it so that I can wear it a little less clumsily. Even with all the tugging I was still pleased...though I did at one moment imagine I must have looked like a female equivalent to a nutty professor and that thought made me guffaw out loud. I hope no one saw that. I was at work when that happened.
These shoes? Oh these shoes were such a hassle but I think they worked out. They are Softwalk and the first pair I bought were the perfect length but the width at the heel was much more narrow than my actual heel. Combined with the smooshy soft sole and my um...sturdiness my body sank down, down, down into the heel so much so that the hard wood frame of the shoe bit into my foot and was quite painful. There was no way I was gong to be able to walk in them so I sadly returned them. Then the sister-a-go-go bought a pair and made me want them all over again so I bought them in a larger size (and on super sale) and am happy to report that the width works even if the right shoe is a bit too long for my foot. They have an adjustable heel strap that works for my larger left foot but the right foot needed one of those heel cushion thingies. They are comfortable enough to wear all day at work but I do not think I should pick them in case of a zombie apocalypse. They are also quite noisy...clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk. Oh fashion.

the great capsule wardrobe adventure: days 3 and 4

Don't ask, I couldn't tell ya; items 7 and 11
Don't say I didn't warn ya. I have no idea what is going on here. I was only slightly mocking pose-y photos, I thought I would give it a shot and I think I need to stick with the toes turned in pose. I don't know.  I did begin the day with item 4 on as well but it is far more comfortable than attractive. It tends to frame um...the girls, more than I wish. Sigh. Shoes are my trusty Clarks (which I now have blisters from, stupid eczema). Scarf is the F21 find.
I call this my old lady top. It is from Kohl's and was found in the corner where the ladies of a certain age shop. I find myself more and more wandering over there. Lord help me. The top however is really nice and stupid comfy. This was the first time I wore it and I got four (four!) compliments! Go me!
I'm happy and comfy (and blurry); items 1 and 12
This is stupid blurry because my timer focus dealio refused to focus on the wall and I though I manually had it covered (I did not). Oof! Golly but I love these trousers. If you have ever checked out my pinterest board you may have noticed my fondness for all things grey and linen-y. They are a bit on the large side on me even with the draw string but darn it all I'm going to wear them anyway. The t-shirt too is stupid comfy. My friend Amy thought I pulled it off well and was super sweet and positive about this adventure.
Shoes are my old Keens that I wish would make a comeback. The new Keens have stupid footbeds that  do not play nice. Grr. I picked these up in 2009 after my brown pair. They weren't cheap but totally worth it!

the great capsule wardrobe adventure: days 1 and 2

Hi there! 
The first day was a no brainer. As it was a pretty cold morning with afternoon temps in the low 70s, I went for jeans and the sweatshirt with a taupe camisole underneath. It was surprisingly chilly in the morning. Chilly enough for me to roll down my pant legs as my poor thick ankles were cold!
Items 3 and 11 plus a scarf and thrifted shoes
I'm a preschool teacher folks (can't you tell?) so jeans that stay put are ideal. I found these Lee's at kohl's and LOVE them. They present well and I have yet to expose any part of my derriere. Plus, they do not bag at all so I am not constantly hiking them up like I do all my other jeans (I hate belts).
cuffing my's a jek thing
The scarf was a Forever 21 clearance item. I picked it up for $2! The shoes are Clarks and came from Goodwill...$8! They were barely worn and fit my wide feed and are a bit on the cute side. Yay for versatile black flats!
I am so not a supermodel; items 2, 9, and 11
I have no idea what I am doing here. I do know that this was the best photo out of twenty or so. I suppose it is a good thing I did not try to go into modeling. Posing is not my strong point. The shoe are Born and were about $100. I picked them up from a local old fashioned shoe store in town. They are very comfy. The scarf was another $2 score but this one came from Penneys.
It was chilly enough for most of the day that I did not take my sweater off at all. I am rethinking the top though...when you bend over it gets a bit chesty...and as a preschool teacher I am often stooping over something or someone, this could get embarrassing. This is also a day where I assist the other teacher in the room (I share my room with two others) and so I end my shift a little after 1pm...I think it did get much warmer afterwards and the sweater came off in the car.

So how am I doing so far?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

the great capsule wardrobe adventure

Have you ever heard of a capsule wardrobe? It's where you invest in your basic pieces and build from there. It's also sometimes known as a french wardrobe. I liken it to packing light, only yer not actually traveling. Ever since I can remember reading magazines and being an avid purveyor of fashion, I have aspired to owning a perfect wardrobe...of sorts. I blame all those fashion articles on eight easy pieces where you have a handful of items that all miraculously go together so you can combine them into a zillion different outfits and be all snazzy and such. I aspire t have a minimalist wardrobe, I really do but the problem is, nothing I own really and truly fits properly...and I seem to be a magpie and get all wanty with fashion and this needs to stop. I am embarrassed to write that I just did a second closet purge since we moved into the homestead which means that somehow I acquired an entire closet's worth of new items between August and January. Thank goodness for thrift shopping but still, that is ridiculous. Enough is enough, it is time for a change and so, after a visit or two or three to my pinterest board  (is it okay to admit how much I love my own board?) I have decided to try to actually become fashionable once again and that means I need to wear items other than jeans and my old focals t-shirt.

So, right before I got sick, I cleaned out the closet and had a pile of thrifted items I really liked but the colors were meh. So, channeling my old friend Margie, I did not cut them but I did dye them all black which warranted exactly what I was looking for...various shades of grey. Three of the items ended up a purplish bergundy and most all of them looked really nifty together. That was it, no time like the present, a mini capsule wardrobe was born (that collage up there took me forever to put together). I'm going to try going two weeks, only wearing the above items but mixing them up with various shoes and scarves. So far I've had five days which should have been eight only I got sick. Not pictured up there are two pairs of leggings, one grey with darker grey polka dots and one black and white stripes. We're experiencing freaky summer temps here but I'm really committed to this. In fact, after this, I will pull together another mini wardrobe and wear that for two weeks and so on and so on. I really have too many things in the closet that do not get worn. It's silly really.

Another reason why I am doing this and posting it thus being super vulnerable to fashion criticism is that whenever I look up capsule wardrobes online so far, every post I look at is of someone who is fabulously young, thin and gorgeous which is awesome for them. I however am not exactly fabulously young,  thin or gorgeous. I figure someone needs to represent the middle-aged frumpster so why not let it be me? And, to put myself out there even more I'll let you in on a secret. I'm just shy of 5' 6" and weigh about 190 pounds. I wear a size 12 to 16 depending on the item fabric, and manufacturer and am always, always startled at how wide I appear in photos, I don't feel wide. Sigh.

To break it down for you here is some background info on the items in case you are interested:
1. Khaki colored Banana Republic T; thrifted for about 75 cents
2. Taupe Linen sweater wrap; thrifted $1.50
3. Mossimo 2-tone grey sweatshirt; thrifted $2
4. Taupe Cardigan; thrifted $1.50
5. Linen skirt from Talbot's dyed by me; thrifted $3.99
6. Checked smock dyed by me; thrifted $3
7. Black and khaki Croft & Barrow smock; Kohl's $22
8. Black puffed sleeve T; JC Penney $7
9. Mossimo Black and brown printed cowl neck top; Target $12
10. Bergundy dyed by me Joe Fresh top; JC Penney $10
11. Jeans by Lee (elastic waist band, sssh!); Kohl's $25
12. Dyed grey linen trousers St. John's Bay; thrifted $2

Sit back, take a gander, ask questions, say hello and enjoy this adventure with me...please? Let me know what ya think.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

the first cold of the year and already i have cabin fever...

there are 47 birds in this photo...
 Unlike most people who catch colds, I am knocked of my feet and walloped in a BIG way. While most people tend to pretend they are not sick, I need to take to my bed for as much sleep as I can cram, stuff myself silly with vitamin C, and drink hot stuff till I'm tired of peeing all the time. And if yer one of those who carries on at work like you're not actually sick? It's. All. Your. Fault! It is! Stay home, take a sick day, watch hours and hours of Doctor Who, drink the sweetest hottest tea you can stand...just stay home! I caught mine from the mister who carried it home from his work as it has been a very busy work week at his place and everyone has been coming in sick. Blech. Thank goodness I got my flu shot and managed (knock wood) to so far evade the holiday ick that hit everyone at my school.

So here  I am, buried under blankets listening to the birdies (and the neighbor's dog) enjoying the breeze that sneaks in through the window. I have laptop in lap and am positively bored. I don't feel like looking at pinterest, I canceled Netlfix in December, and am on a Facebook hiatus that should be a drop but darn if Candy Crush doesn't keep me there (not that anyone noticed save for you). I'm having an existential crisis in regards to the living me and the online me. If I fade away from Facebook will anybody notice and if nobody notices do I cease to exist at all? I've been feeling this way ever since we returned from our BIG road trip. Most will probably roll their eyes but I am a person who needs friendships validated via letters, email, and phonecalls. Liking a post on Facebook doesn't cut it. I am bummed by the large number of emails, fb messages and voicemails I have left for old friends that have gone unanswered. I've been tending a garden full of drought tolerant plants methinks. Sometimes I think I should drop it all..this blog, flickr, facebook, etc. but then the sad raccoon creeps out and vanity hits and I tether myself again to this thing called social media but fnd myself more often than not depressed by it all. I used to be gung-ho for it. I used to think the internet could cultivate real solid relationships. And it did, it did not long ago but now we are all so used to instant gratification that unless you are a constant you are out of the game. I am aware that we all have our own lives to live and families to raise and be with but if you have time to instagram something you have time to tell an old friend you re thinking of them, do you not?

Eegads...I just had an unsettling thought all wrapped up in ego. Everyday I have moments where I am reminded of people who have wandered through my life. When those moments happen and they are people I can contact, I do (everyday in fact with no reply) if they are not in my life, I try to find them even though I have tried before. I think how lucky I am to have these memories and to have these people in my life and to be honest I want people to think the same of me. Selfish isn't it? Vain? Now I feel like an ass.

Let's chalk it up to cold meds had I been taking any...I just want to say I appreciate you and you and you and here's to 2014, making new friends and saying goodbye to the old.

(This post was not planned in the least. I was going to write about my adventure in attempting a capsule wardrobe but that will have to come later....especially since I have missed two days now to being sick...but I do have three for ya...)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

this and that..hello winter?

Why is it that no matter how many errands you run, it takes about three hours? Without fail, I dash out to do a thrift drop off and hit the market and three hours later I'm home. Need to do returns and pick up a prescription? Three hours. Get my hair done and fill up the gas tank? Three hours. Winter so far has felt like spring...or how summer usually feels which is like how spring usually feels to someone outside of Central or Southern California. It is crazy warm and it is making me cranky as I pine for sweater weather and hot tea.
The mister and I spent three hours dashing all over town looking for a curb alert washing machine, dropping off stuff to the classroom, picking up gardening stuff, dropping off old oil from the last oil change, and picking up some oilcloth for the school. It was busy and productive and everything happened save for the washing had already been snatched up which is fine as we're not looking for the machine itself but the drum inside. Mister is building a fire pit.
I've been making a tiny bit of headway in the scary room taking breaks now and then to walk a few blocks over with the mister to pilfer a curb alert of pallet wood or to repot some succulents so that they create new plants or you know...plopping down on the sofa for a read or pinterest browse.
While the mister worked in the garden, and ukulele necks, I gathered up an assortment of thrift pieces I liked but didn't love the color of and tossed them into a black dye bath. The results were what I expected and wanted...various shades of grey (with a smidge of  bergundy). Of course, the entire time I was dying everything I could hear my old favorite margie-girl's voice saying "cut it and dye it black". Oh margie, where are you? I miss you!In between dying things, I snacked on my favorite winter apple. Yay for opals!
Other than that I baked up another batch of eggnog poundcake (using  mixture of eggnog and buttermilk) and de-pommed my last pom of the season (drats), and pulled out my afghans for the new blanket shelf that the mister built by repurposing and old bookcase. It is ugly as all get out but super useful and thrifty. I need to put stuff on top...that might help.
This week it is back to work and all things schoolish. I have pom-poms to make for the classroom, grids to write out and curriculum stuff to work on. To pass the time in the evening, mister and I have been competing to complete colorku puzzles.  I'm both excited and ready for a nap...happy January!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

diy: party wreath

This is another one of those projects that has been kickin' 'round the noggin for a few years now. After months of not being outside-of-school crafty I was determined to get it done! The party blowers were a dollar store purchase and the sparkly bits came from Target' holiday clearance. They were thirty-cents for two silvery puff balls. I bought five packs and if I had bought more, the wreath would have been larger. As it is, it is a mini wreath built upon a six inch embroidery hoop. I first attempted it on a twelve inch hoop but it was a mess so mini wreath it is!
Gather up your materials...blowers, festive bits, hoop (I ended up with a smaller hoop), and tacky glue. I suppose you could use a glue gun but I have such bad luck with them...nothing ever really I used tacky glue. Play with the bits before gluing up the hoop. My first attempt was to create a wreath made from blowers only but I could not get the bits to round out and it kept looking like a pentagon. Everything was coated in glue from all the moving around I was doing I ended up fleeing the room with a frustrated scream, hands up in the air, fingers covered in tiny bits of tinsel. It was a mess!
Once items are arranged to your liking, add glue and affix. I used three blowers and extra tinsel from two other blowers that got eaten by the glue. The entire cost of the finished wreath was four bucks! The hoop was a fifty cent thrift find, blowers were a buck and the tinsel puffs totaled a buck fifty. Whoo-hoo!
Hang in a happy place or pro it up somewhere inside. Either way, it brings a bit of festive cheer to your day. Use leftover blowers and bits for a party or string 'em up into a garland! Happy New Year!