Saturday, July 3, 2010

4th of July Gear for my Littles

Here's some American as Apple Pie looks for my kiddos!

Days of Play--4th of July Crafts

Yesterday we went to a 4th of July craft extravaganza at my friend Sarah's house.  I love to make Fourth of July crafts.

Today, make a craft with your kids.  It could be as simple as drawing American flags on the driveway with chalk or making sugar cookie star cutouts.  Of course you could try this red, white and blue recipe if you want something simple and simply decadent.

Need more ideas?  Head on over to Family Fun Magazine and check out their selection of themed crafts and recipes.  Isn't this welcoming wreath too cute?!?!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Frugal Fashion Friday: White Out!

Have you noticed that WHITE is hot right now?  Pants, skirts, tops, accessories ... you name it, and people are wearing it right. I've even seen people breaking the white/cream rule and, you know, wearing white and cream together *gasp*!  But read here for how to do it right!

Anyhow, here are some little outfits to get your mind focused on how to wear white.
A sweet and sexy little dress (and I'm not a dress gal)

White with Military? Yes, please!

Okay, okay. If you are like me you probably can't commit to wearing a major clothing piece in white because your kids will inevitably get ketchup or mystery goo on you. Therefore, I present:

Accessories in White

Are you sold or are you still waiting for Labor Day so white will be out (don't hold your breath, that fashion rule is simply outdated!)

The "IT" List


Hooray for a holiday weekend... hopefully you have some fun and some blog reading scheduled for this nice long holiday weekend! Take some time to check out all of these lovely blogs, you will be glad you did! (say hello while you are there!)
  • sweetie pie pumpkin noodle turns an old mirror into a fun new chalkboard... she's definitely got an eye for style. I love this DIY!
  • good life for less celebrates Independence Day all week with "red, white and blue week" - these beach outfits are perfect for a long weekend in the sun!
  • one hundred inspirations brings you Jessica Alba's chic-mom-on-the-go outfit for less than $100!
  • where is the me in mommy dresses in red/black/white for the Eclipse premiere... I am loving this look! (ps, how was the movie!?!?)
  • the pretty bee makes old frames into fun jewelry displays... fun for jewelry creators and collectors alike!
  • style your life pulls together an amazing ensemble for a summer pool party... I love that she included a cocktail, my kind of gal!
  • merci blah blah once again pronounces her love for ASOS (this time accessories) and you will fall in love too!
  • a spot of whimsy honors female legends... this month it is Princess Diana. So, so lovely. These photos are just amazing and it was inspiring to re-visit her amazing life. LOVE.
  • penguins gift has the Tour de France in mind with these bicycle inspired gifts... I have a lot of bike lovers in my family. Such fun finds!
  • spry on the wall has an amazing knack for hunting down the best in runway style... don't think runway style is for you? Check out how her take on Chris Benz's Resort 2011 collection. Nice!
  • really cute stuff has an opportunity to win their new monogrammed card collection before you can buy them - hurry! Go check this out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Things I Love--Inexpensive Art

Don't get me wrong. If I had my way, this would be hanging in my entry way niche.

Jackson Pollock's Blue Poles

Until one of Pollock's paintings is on the wall, we're making due with some of inexpensive artwork.

What I love about this artwork is that Matt and I put it together.  

Okay, what I really love is that it was cheap!

How?  With the exception of the photos, all the artwork is scrapbook paper (around $.50-$1.00 a sheet). 

Dining Room Ecological Prints
The square frames in the dining room were $8 each.  With paper we spent $34 dollars on art.  If you add in the quart of paint for my brown tree-trunk stripe, the artistic wall cost $40!

I love the ecological feel of this green, leafy work in our dining room.

The art pieces are arranged on a chocolate turtle stripe that compliments our brown leather furniture and cake platter blue opposing wall quite well.  It feels like my own little garden!

Stair-Step Conversation Piece
We spent the most money on our living room art because we knew it would double as a focal point AND a conversation piece.  Three frames cost $5.  One frame cost $10.  One cost $12.  The biggest frame cost $20.  

Even though we had $57 dollars on picture frames, the photos were cheap to develop.  We spent less than $10 getting photos from our European vacation printed.

What we love about this little collection is explaining to people what the photos are of--a crowd of umbrellas on a rainy day in Prauge, a six hundred year old castle ruin in Baden Baden, The Colosseum...

Photographs of Europe hang over our couch.  The stair-step pattern mimics 
the stairway right behind the wall.

Bright and Bold Master Bedroom
The 12x12 frames for our master bedroom were $4 each (that means with paper, we spent about $27 on artwork for our bedroom).

These bold colors and patterns make our master bedroom spicy!

The full layout--clearly we love geometrical design.

Need to spice up the walls on a dime?
  • Head to your local craft store and look at scrapbooking paper
  • Hit some thrift stores or garage sales and get some frames
  • Buy a can a spray paint for frames as needed
  • Go through you photos and find ones that would make good works of art (play with color--black and white, sepia ...)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Red, White, and Blue

I seriously can't believe it is almost the 4th of July.  Doesn't that mean summer is half over!?!

Stop hyperventilating ...

Need some red, white, and blue inspiration?  Feast your eyes on these!

Backyard BBQ

Fireworks at the lake

As American as apple pie

A 4th with (fashionable) friends

What are your plans for the 4th?

What I Think About--Capital Punishment

Two Fridays ago I put a little post on my personal Facebook page saying Utah was on my poop list because 1) They left the Mountain West Tournament (money over 80 years of tradition--slime balls--sorry if you're a Ute fan!) and 2) They executed Ronnie Lee Gardner.

I put it like that, in that order.

Boy oh boy did that start a firestorm!  I ended up having to delete comments.  It was dramatic. 

One comment simply asked: “Are you anti-capital punishment?”

Why yes I am.  Here's why.

Whenever capital punishment is mentioned, I hear the same arguments.

If we killed more people there would be less crime. 
Sadly research is conflicting.  The data in this research indicate that after an execution, there are 18 fewer murders.  The problem is, correlation does not equal causation.  The moon phases could play into those 18 fewer deaths just as easily.  Other data found there is no correlation because those who commit violent crimes rarely think of consequences prior to committing the crime.  It’s a draw. 

What isn’t a draw is the fact that since DNA testing has been used in courts, many people serving life sentences have been freed and 8 others have been “executed but possibly innocent.”  39 more executed people have been killed in the face of evidence that they were innocent.

Why do I mention this?  Because what I generally hear is my dad people saying, "even if it only deters one crime, even if it saves just one life, I'm for the death penalty."  In my estimation, being against the death penalty might save innocent lives as much, or more, than hoping for capital punishment to be a deterrent.  I guess I'd rather keep one proven and convicted killer in prison for life than "accidentally" killing a person who actually WAS innocent.

We save money killing criminals 
Hate to say it, but WRONG-O!
One study counted death penalty case costs through to execution and found that the median death penalty case costs $1.26 million. Non-death penalty cases were counted through to the end of incarceration and were found to have a median cost of $740,000.   You do the math.  Want more info on how much more money taxpayers pay to execute someone?  Click here.

Lethal Injection is humane
Really?  For some reason I think the majority of humans fear death whether it is "humane" or not.  New data suggest that lethal injection is not as painless as first believed.  And it can be botched.  Actually, the man in Utah who was recently executed chose the firing squad because it is 100% effective.  The same thing can't be said of lethal injection.  Or the chair. 

He Deserved It
Don't even get me started on the systemic issues that skew capital punishment.  Borrowing from Thomas More, "We create criminals and then punish them." (Don't believe me?  Gardner was alone on a highway at 2, addicted to sniffing at 6, a robbery lookout at 10, sexually molested by his state-paid foster parents ... don't tell me he wasn't partially failed by his culture and society.) 

Eye for an Eye
Ah yes, and now the religious excuse for capital punishment.  

It is true that you'll find this statement in the Old Testament (Lev. 24:19-21).  However, you have to look at it contextually.  In ancient days, punishments generally FAR exceeded the crime (think of stoning a woman to death for adultery--not exactly just).  Thus, this command, "an eye for an eye" was actually a call for mercy--that the worst you could do to someone was what they did to you.  This original command was set up so people wouldn't capriciously seek revenge and retribution.  The intent was to solve problems with justice--not revenge.

What I want people to know is that they can't throw Leviticus at me while forgetting Matthew 5:38-39.
You have heard it said, "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." But I say to you, Do not resist and evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.

Again, it is all about context. Jesus ISN'T saying we have to be pacifists and never defend ourselves.  He is saying "don't compete with an evil person through retaliation." Don't do to them what they do to you.  

Some other good New Testament stuff: 
  • James 4:12 says God is the only lawgiver and judge who can take a life in the name of justice. 
  • Romans 12:17-21 warns us against answering evil with evil and assures us that God will see to justice in the afterlife. 
  • In John 8:7 Jesus points out that all humans are imperfect, and are therefore unqualified to decide whether someone lives or dies. 
  • And a personal little favorite James 1:20: “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”
The Bible doesn't steadfastly say YES or NO to capital punishment (so it's probably best not to use the "eye of an eye" defense).

What I Think:
As a Christ following woman, I am against capital punishment.  I believe and trust that Christ came for the "least of these" and that He can redeem people (heck, look what He's done for me!). 

I believe this is a heart issue, not a salvation issue.  If you disagree, you certainly have that right but I personally can't reconcile "loving your neighbor as yourself"with capital punishment.  

What Do You Think?
Even if we disagree, I'd love to hear your side of this issue.  Respectful comments are welcome
~I trust we can all disagree without being disagreeable~ (Comments will be moderated as needed).

Sorry for the photo.  Turns out there aren't many inspirational capital punishment photos!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

To Do Tuesday--Make Your Butt Look Smaller

There are seven words that make men shrivel up into raisins.

You are guilty of saying them.  Admit it.

Say it with me.

Does this make my butt look fat?

If you've said this to your husband, lately or ever, take a few minutes today to rid yourself of FOUR of the issues that make your butt look bigger.  Of course if you actually want your butt to be smaller, and not just appear smaller, I suggest diet and exercise.  Doctors have been recommending it for years!

Get rid of high waisted pants.
  • High waists cling to the width of your bum while accentuating the length. All this means is high waistbands make your arse look like a football field.  (P.S.  Those high pants don't cover up tummy flab either. They just make you look like you have a front butt.  Not awesome.  Don't pull up to cover up!)
  • If you have a pair (or many pairs) of these jeans, it's time to say adios! 
  • Replace your mom-jeans with some hipsters to half the size of your bum in no time. (Something 1 inch below your belly button will suffice but if you can go a bit lower, do it!).  
  • Remember not to go too low or all you'll do is switch mom butt for muffin top.

Friends don't let friends have mom butt (or mom jeans).

Get rid of pants that have words on the derrière.
  • Here's a news flash but if you don't want to draw attention to your backside, it's probably best not to advertise on it.
  • Even if it is Juicy, do you really want everyone to notice it?
  • This goes double for other cute "look at my butt" words like: PINK, Sexy, and Baby (because sweetie, if that thing looks like there's a baby under there you shouldn't brag about it!).
  • If you have pants with words on the butt, wear them when you are sick.  Wear them to bed.  Wear them to mop the floor.  Don't wear them out in public and then wonder if they make your butt look big.  They do. (There.  I said it!  Now leave your husband alone).
Did people miss Clinton Kelly's diatribe on the casualization of America?  
Pajamas are for bedtime, people!
Stay away from skinny jeans.
  • Alas, one more trend that celebrates anorexia.  If you have a large bum, it is best to steer clear of skinny jeans because the lack of volume at your feet makes your tush look tremendous.
  • Love the look? Then you'll love this caveat.  If you have bigger bum just even out your skinny jean proportions by tucking them into chunky, high-heeled boots.
Not that these gals need help, but you see how the boots even out the bum?

Avoid excess bulk below the belt.
  • Layers are hot.  Cardigans are hot.  Purposely wearing thirteen shirts in hopes of hiding your butt is not hot.
  • Adding more layers to your bum region just makes it look thicker.  Thick does not equal small.
  • Choosing tops that cover your waistband is smart.  Stay away from short shirts.
  • If you want to wear a longer shirt, make it well-fitted and a thin fabric.  
  • Repeat after me.  The less bulk the better.
Is this look on or off?

Know what you can wear to make your butt look like a million bucks!
  • Dark colors on bottom are key.  
  • Don't wear jeans that are distressed on your butt.  It draws attention there.  This goes for  "look at me" pockets, too.
  • For jeans, get a great pair of wide-legged jeans or boot cut jeans.  Both help with proportions.
  • Wear low slung belts to make your bum look smaller and higher.
  • Have clothing hug your body--not cling to it.  
  • Wear A-Line skirts (it's all about proportions!).
  • Accentuate another part of your body to take the focus off your tush.  Wear a bold statement necklace, a top with interest, a low-cut top if the girls are worth showing off a bit ...

Monday, June 28, 2010

ECLIPSE--My Outfit, Your Words

I've been on a real black/white/red kick (maybe because Eclipse comes out this week?).  The last time I tried the red/white/black combo, though, a woman looked at me and said, "Oh. You look so cute--just like a pirate."


I almost retorted with a line from Dodgeball "I'm more of a pirate then you'll ever be" but instead just smiled and said "thanks" as sincerely as possible.

Here's my latest, layered attempt to combine black, red, and white (in a less-piratey manner).

Tank, tee, and leather jacket.

My necklaces were layered which Matt thought would be weird but decided was hot!

Pirate?  I think not!

So now it's time for YOUR WORDS.  
  • Are you going to Eclipse?  
  • Are you going in Black/White/Red gear?  
  • Is it a girl's night out?  
  • Do you hate all things Twilight?  

Dish, girl! Dish!

Stopping by from the "IT" list?  Please take a moment to share your views on the Twilight Saga.  Love it?  Hate it? Do tell!

And if you want to know more of my rambling thoughts on Edward Twilight, click here. For my general thoughts on chick flicks, click here.   To see more outfit inspiration (on a dime), click here!