Saturday, November 13, 2010

Days of Play--Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box

It's hard to believe that Christmas is coming so quickly.  But it is. 

One of our favorite holiday traditions is packing a shoebox for Samaritan's Purse "Operation Christmas Child."

Here's a little video that demonstrates why I do this yearly:

Operation Christmas Child is a program that collects shoe boxes filled with gifts and delivers them to children around the world.  It is such a great program and my daughter LOVES picking out toys, hygiene/clothing, and sweet treats for a special friend a world away.
 As a family, fill a few shoe boxes today.  It's super easy, super fun, and makes a super big difference!

How to do it:
1.  Use a standard size shoe box or plastic shoe box.
2. Wrap the box and lid separately.
3.  Determine gender/age of child the box with be for.  Ages 2-4, 5-9, 10-14.
4.  Fill with gifts.  Consider toys, school supplies, clothing/hygiene, and a sweet treat.  For example, a doll or ball, some pencils and a pencil sharpener, a toothbrush and comb, socks, a ball cap or hair clips, and some Jolly Ranchers.
5.  Go here and print a label.
6.  Secure with rubber band and label.
7.  Include a check for $7 to cover shipping of your box to a child.

Please DO NOT include: Used or damaged items; war-related items such
as toy guns, knives or military figures; chocolate or food; liquids or lotions; medications or vitamins;
breakable items such as snowglobes or glass containers; aerosol cans


 For locations and dates, call 1-800-353-5949 or visit

You can also send your shoe box gift to:
Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child,
801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607

Friday, November 12, 2010

Frugal Fashion Friday--The 3-2-1 Fashion Formula

How often do you want to throw an outfit together but you can't--because you don't know how?

I've been there.

Quite a while back I read a guest blog piece from Jill at Jillgg's Good Life For Less and I've been working her formula for roughly two months now.  It works.

Here's how it goes:

3 top + bottom + shoes
2 two accessories
1 outerwear for the season
Functional and fashionable outfit

Here's my take using some of the "basics" in my closet.

3-Embellished top, jeans, ballet flats
2-Wide belt, orange earrings
1-Khaki trench
One outfit that I like (even though I look miserable in it!)


3-blue T, khakis, moccasins
2-belt, gold necklace
An easy way to dress up a T (which I'm happy about despite what the picture shows)

3-Shell/Cardi, skinny jeans, rainboots
2-skinny belt, turquoise bracelet
1-puffy vest
A cozy, fun outfit
(Now I just need to work on *not* looking miserable in photos).

Who knew pulling together an outfit was as easy as 3-2-1?

And by the way, you can stalk my 30/30 outfits to see that I'm working the same formula with those outfits too.  This formula is a keeper.

5/30--The Key to Getting A Lot Done .. getting up and getting ready (see why here).

I'm so much more productive when I get dressed head to toe in the morning. If I'm up an at 'em by 7 or 8 am, I can take on a day of packing and errands and buying paint for our basement finish ...

We are getting ready for our water park adventure so I knew I needed to dress practically today. I'm comfy and pulled together--what's better than that? (Except my sparkly zebra striped shoes.)

P.S.  Don't be surprised if you don't see outfits 6 or 7 until next week.  I'm going to a water park for the start of our family holiday memory-making extravaganza and posting things on my blog won't be a high priority.  Boo to me, I know.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4/30--BrEaKinG alL thE RuLeS!

What's the biggest fashion DON'T rule?  You can't wear brown and black together.

I've previously blogged about why I think this rule is bogus (click here to read that post).

If you think wearing black with brown is the ultimate fashion no-no then you might not want to see outfit 4/30 because I'm breaking all the rules!

Black turtleneck--Gap
Khaki pants--so old I can't remember
Brown Blazer--thrifted

{Holiday} Things I Love--Sweaters

When I was in grad school (the first time) there was this amazing professor who didn't like sweaters.

How do you not like sweaters?!?!

I practically LIVE for sweater weather!

To me, there is nothing better than bundling up in layers, topping it off with a sweater, grabbing a hot drink and going for a fall walk where I can enjoy cool air and soak in the smell of decaying leaves, wet dirt, and wood burning stoves.

What's better than chic sweaters are tacky, holiday sweaters.  Who doesn't love a nice reindeer or snowman on their sweater? 

Oh wait, NO ONE since the 80s have liked those (except for ugly sweater Christmas parties). 

Instead, this holiday season enjoy some of these lovely sweaters from Gap and Target!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

3/30--Ruffles Galore!

Today I combined the ruffled green sleeveless blouse with skinny jeans, boots, and brown ruffley cardigan. I topped it off with a turquoise bracelet and brown ear rings. DH liked this outfit (though he was trying to get me to take photo in a *little* less clothing ... naughty, naughty!).

But I couldn't decide--should I wear it buttoned?

Or unbuttoned?

I actually really like the layered ruffle look.  I can be a "more is more" person.

What I Think About--35 Things

Dear Big Sister,
I'm interrupting my Wednesday rant on Annoying Christians this week in order to tell you all what I think about my big sister.  Part III of Annoying Christians will be up next week!
Dear Randean,

It seems just like yesterday you were a little boy ...


I'm just joking.  She actually looked good in short hair.   This is the ONLY bad photo I have of her.  Well, except for the one where she has a mullet (I already posted that one).
Today you are thirty-five.  Thirty-five.  Wowser--I can hardly believe it.  I still remember when you turned 16 and got the hot pink Mustang! 

Anyhow, to celebrate you on your special day, I am going to share the top 35 Things I Love About My Big Sister!

35.  I love it when you let your hair be red.  The blond is pretty but no one can pull of red the way you can.
34.  I love that you never grew into your knees.  You have to have one flaw.  Fair is fair
33.  I love that you get crow's feet when you smile big.  Some people hate crow's feet but I'm on the side of--"hey, it's proof that she's got a lotta reasons to smile."
32.  I love that you think super-full wine glasses equal one martini glass.
31.  I love that you are afraid of spiders.  I do wish I knew this when I was younger.  I probably would have made your life hell.
30.  I like the face you make when you are making a fake gagging sound.
29.  I love that you make Mr. Clean seems like a guy with a dirt problem.
28.  I love that you taught me the fabric softener on the carpet trick.
27.  I love that we once broke into uncontrollable, simultaneous laughter about a hairy mole in a restaurant.
26.  I love that you totally get how I feel about Magic Erasers.
25.  I love that you let me "shop" in your closet and "borrow" clothes until the end of time.
24.  I love that you always stress over what you "should have said."
23.  I love that you once drove a car that closely resembled the interior of a cockpit.
22.  I love that you call me to talk about nothing.
21.  I love how we can talk about nothing for two hours.
20.  I love that I can send you a text at 5 o'clock a.m. and know I'll hear back from you.
19.  I love that you wear heels even though you are plenty tall and your legs are long enough already.
18.  I love how you embrace your body in a bikini.
17.  I love thinking back to the days of doing crazy dance routines in dad's cowboy boots and boxer shorts.
16.  I love that you love kids' cereals.
15.  I love that you make the best lasagna ever.
14.  I love that you aren't afraid to get wild and silly (see #17).
13.  I love that I saw Dumb and Dumber for the first time EVER with you.
12.  I love that we once fought so badly that I jumped out of your moving car.
11.  I love that we used to have competitions to see who could create the cutest salad or 4 inch round at Subway.
10.  I love that we used to watch shows together (Days, 90210, Friends, Sisters) and discuss them like there was some deep meaning behind them all.
9.  I love that you used to hang up posters of boys (NKOTB) on your wall.
8.  I love that I have pictures of you with big, and I mean BIG, bangs. (Of course you could pull them off).
7.  I love that I can talk to you about everything and you get me.
6.  I love that you are a good mom.
5.  I love that you inspire me to be kind and patient.
4.  I love that you like Nattie (because deep down inside, you know you do).
3.  I love that you aren't afraid of color--on your walls, in your closet.  The more color the better.
2.  I love that you will always be older than me.
1.  I love that we have the same smile--mom's smile.

Happy Birthday, Randean!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

2/30--It looks like Autumn, not Winter

Today I commuted to work and there was a lovely little snow--which turned into sixish inches of the fluffy white stuff in about two hours.

When I got dressed this morning I actually thought, "This looks Autumny." I guess that's why it snowed.  I'm sorry.  Or you're welcome.  Whatever.

This skirt was a hand-me-down of about 12 years from my sister. I always wear it the same way--black skirt and heels.

Not today!

Hello brown blouse, boots, and orange scarf.

After yesterday's easy start, I felt really adventurous today. And I felt really great.

Tuesday's Too Clean Tip--{HELP!} Unclog the Drain!

Here's too much information for you.

My mom threw up in my bathroom sink and then it got clogged.  Ewwwwwww..............

When I cleaned it up it was all hair and goo.  I nearly died.

Matt gagged and left the room.  Guess unclogging drains is the "woman's" job at our house.

To unclog (and clean) the drain, drop two Alka Seltzer tablets into the drain and pour in about 1 cup of white vinegar.  After about twenty minutes rinse it all with piping hot water.   Good as new but I wish I would have called a plumber.

And that's your lovely Tuesday dose of things you wish you didn't know and hope you don't have to use.

You are welcome!

(At least there were no photos this week)

Monday, November 8, 2010

1/30 Slow and Easy

After an emotional four hour closet purge to find 30 items for the 30/30, I stressed all night. Why didn't I pick my red Mary Jane's? How could I NOT pick a Cowboys graphic T (my DH's biggest complaint)? Why so many neutrals?

When I got up this morning, I really had no idea what to put on. Then I decided that for my first day, since last night was soooooooooo long, I'd start off slow and easy. I mean, you can't really go wrong with a white T and jeans, can you?

Confession: I chose this linen blazer as a part of my 30/30 because I bought it at Gap for $8 and it still had its tags on (you know, MONTHS later). It looked better in the store than in my closet. I've decided that if I don't like it at the end of 30 days it will find a new home at Plato's Closet.

Today I paired the linen blazer with the long-sleeved T, with clogs, navy striped socks, a navy floral Gap scarf and a royal blue and yellow paid bangle (courtesy of the .25 bin at Goodwill).

I'm not lovin' the outfit (I feel like I took the easy way out) but it works.

30/30--I Start TODAY!

Have you ever opened your closet (the one that is so stuffed with stuff that you can't find your favorite long sleeved T-shirt so you go to Target and buy a new pair of boots to help lessen your grief and then realize, upon moving things around in your closet to make room for the new boots that your T was in there all along) and declare "I have NOTHING to wear!"?

Welcome to Monday night at my house.  Wednesday night too.

Why is it that despite the fact that my closet is bursting at the seams, I have nothing to wear?!!?

Lately I've been really struggling with my propensity toward materialism.  Rather than feel guilty and make no change, I'm embarking on a new journey--because I really believe that conviction ought to lead to action.  At least I do today. Ask me in 22 days and I may have a different answer.

What is this journey?

It is nothing as bold as when I read the Bible in 90 Days (B90X) or when I did the "real" P90X.  But it is a huge move.  For me.

I am doing the 30/30 challenge.

The 411:
The 30 for 30 challenge was the brain child of Kendi from Kendi Everyday and encourages people to pick 30 (or fewer) items from their closet and mix, re-mix, and re-re-mix them into 30 stylish outfits.

The reason:
To prove that with just a little bit of creativity,  you can work with what you've got!

The rules:

1. Pick 30 items or less from your closet. Shoes are included, but accessories, jewelry, underwear, and outerwear are not (thank goodness because I couldn't make it into December without a ski jacket).

2. Remix the 30 items into 30 different outfits.

That's it! Well not entirely ...

3. Don't shop for 30 days.

I'm going all in (and so are 337 other bloggers).

Here are my BOLD choices.

The Basics:
Black T--Gap
Graphic T--Target
White long-sleeved T--Gap
Grey frilly T--Old Navy
See the green shirt in the middle?  It got axed.  I counted wrong :(
The Sweaters/Cardis
Black Turtleneck--Gap
Cream Turtleneck--Gap

The Tops:
Teal--garage sale

The Coats:

The Skirts:
Khaki--Banana Republic

The Jeans:
Left--Old Navy Diva Skinny
Middle--American Eagle Favorite Boyfriend
Right--American Eagle Boyfriend 77

The Bottoms:
Black trouser--Express Editor
Brown plaid--Gap
Khaki--so old I can't read the tag

The Shoes:
Brown boots--Thrift
Black heels--Target
Black slouchy boots--Thrift
Brown ballet--Gap
Brown Clog--thrift
Zebra ballet flat--Target

4 basics
4 sweaters/cardis
5 shirts
3 coats
2 skirts
3 jeans
3 bottoms
6 shoes
30 Items

For the next 30 days, this is all you'll see me in.  Wish me luck.

(FYI--I was totally emotional picking out the clothes.  My fave red Mary Janes didn't make the final cut. I feel like I'm cheating on them.  Oh, and I TOTALLY am going to wear my snow boots to work but take them off to put on dress shoes.  Even the 30/30 isn't worth risking heels on icy WY sidewalks).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's Cookin'--11/8-11/14

I am so excited for this weekend. We are meeting my sister's family for a fun family adventure here:

But, until we leave, here's what we'll be eating!

Monday--Alicia's enchiladas with white sauce
Tuesday--Balsamic thighs with salad and tomatoes
Wednesday--Broccoli cheese soup with crusty bread and fresh veggies
Thursday--Lime Chili steak wraps
Friday-Sunday--WaTiki baby!