Wednesday, December 28, 2011

dressember week 3: (december 18-24)

week 3..

day 12- december 18
dress: forever 21
cardigan: loft
tights & belt- target
flats- old navy

day 13-  december 20
 blazer and flats: loft
dress:  rodarte for target
belt, tights and tee: target

day 14-  december 22
dress: tucker for target
belt and tights: target
oxfords: swapped

day 15- december 24
dress & shoes: old navy
tights: target

one week to go...
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mommy reads: dear john

i think i've reached my limit of nicholas sparks books. first i read the notebook- the 2 main characters die together at the end (sad, but happy b\c they loved each other so much), then i read a walk to remember- sad because the girl dies at the end when she's only 18.  then i read dear john.  surprisingly, no one died at the end, but i wanted to kill myself for reading another nicholas sparks book....  read on... unless you're going to read this at some point (which i've already advised you not to)... in which you shouldn't because... spoiler alert.

john tyree bad boy turned soldier meets savannah curtis while on r&r.  she's a college student building houses for habitat with a bunch of other college students, including her friend tim, who happens to be in love with her.  they immediately fall in love- but john's only home for 2 weeks.  savannah also meets john's reclusive, distant father, who she diagnoses with asperger's, much to john's dismay.  john happens to pay more attention to his father after this though and realizes savannah is probably right.  john's father is a big time coin collector, and he used to collect with his dad until they got into a huge fight about it.  after the 2 weeks john goes back to germany and they write letters to each other.  everything's going to work out though because john's time in the army is almost up- but did i mention they met in the summer of 2001?  oops.  well, john decides to reenlist after 9-11 adding another 2 years on- but him & savannah continue to write letters.  he comes home to visit again, and you can tell there is distance between him.  john gets sent to war (i swear i thought he would die, but he doesn't) and while he's gone he gets a real "dear john" letter- savannah is breaking up with him b\c she's in love with someone else.  john reenlists again, but is soon called home b\c his father is sick.  his father dies eventually and john comes home to settle his estate.  while at home he decides to pay savannah a visit, it's there he learns that she has married tim and they are the caretakers of tim's brother alan b\c tim's parent died in a car accident.  tim is no where to be found though... but wait... the next day savannah takes john to see tim- he has lymphoma and really needs expensive experimental treatment that insurance won't cover.  it's obvious that savannah is still in love with john, and we know john still loves savannah, but john leaves, sells his father's entire coin collection (except for one) and anonymously donates all of the money to tim.  in the end, we find out that tim took well to treatment and is going to live.  

seriously?!  all i could think about when she dumped him (in the middle of a war, no less) was that she was such a rotten b.  then, she halfway tries to seduce him, and then he sells his father's entire coin collection and donates it just so her husband will live.  the husband that she fell in love with while they were still together...  

the movie was a completely different story... literally.  it should have been entitled "dear john (very) loosely based on the book dear john."  i mean, some of the details were the same, but so much of it was different- if you don't like the details of a book- then don't make a movie "based" on it.  

disappointments, both of them.  

book 2/5, movie 1/5. 
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

q&a- christmas style

a little christmas q&a from my friend maegan at chesterrific

i'll be back sometime in the next week or so to share lots of fun stuff!

hope everyone has a very merry christmas remembering the true meaning of this day!

  1.  Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  ho cho or wassail in our house!
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  both.
  3. Colored or white lights on the tree and house?  colored.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe?  No.  
  5. When do you put up your decorations?  after thanksgiving.  we still don't have our tree up!
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish?  honey baked turkey (store bought) my grandfather's stuffing (homemade).
  7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? going around on christmas eve to see lights in different neighborhoods.  you don't see a lot of lights like that anymore.  :(
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?  8-9 ish (i was way old)
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?  nope- but dave & i always do.  mostly b\c we get so excited about our gifts that we can't wait
  10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?  lights, tinsel, my ornaments from childhood and other favorites.
  11. Snow!  Love it or dread it?  used to love it.  now i dread it.
  12. Can you ice skate?  i used to be able to.  it's been a long time.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  a doll, but i can't remember what it was called.  it was a mystery doll and you didn't know if it was a boy or girl until you dissolved its diaper in water (that sounds so weird)
  14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you?  Family.
  15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?  peppermint bark, pumpkin pie
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?  christmas eve candlelight service followed by mexican food!
  17. What tops your tree?  An angel.
  18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving gifts?  Both.
  19. Candy canes ... yuck or yum?  meh.
  20. Favorite Christmas show?  how the grinch stole christmas.  my favorite movie- it's a wonderful life.
  21. Saddest Christmas song?  i'll be home for christmas
  22. What is your favorite Christmas song?  o holy night
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

dressember week 2 (dec 11-17)

here is week 2 of dressember!!

day 6:  december 11
 top- liz lange maternity (still wear it all the time)
dress: missoni for target
tights & boots- target

day 7: december 12
sweater- forever 21
dress: charlotte russe
tights: target
flats: old navy

day 8: december 13
top & tights: target
skirt & flats: loft

day 9: december 15
cardigan: loft
dress: fishbowl at nordstrom rack
tights: target
flats: old navy

day 10: december 16

cardigan and tights: target
dress: modcloth
flats: old navy

day 11: december 17
dress: modcloth
tights & boots: target

week 3 & 4 still to come....  but for now, we're off to atlanta!!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

steppin' out saturday - breakfast with santa!!

while we were at dave's company party friday, we took ian to spend the night with grammy & grampy.  his cousins annie & ellie were there too, so it was a big party.  the next morning, his other cousins christian, jason & gavin joined them for breakfast with santa at grammy & grampy's church.  there was sausage & pancakes and then santa arrived.  ian still refused to socialize with santa- he wouldn't even let me put him down...  his cousin annie however walked right up to santa and climbed into his lap without a second thought.  silly kids.

 this is as close to santa as ian was getting.  notice my nephew jason, (who won't even look at santa) in his mother's arms next to us
seriously, stop taking me to see that bearded guy!

 i refuse to pose for any photos, mother!

on ian:  top- carters, overalls- vintage (they were mine), shoes- reebok
on me: dress- modcloth, tights & boots- target.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

photo challenge: red

i don't usually do these kinds of things b\c 1.  i don't take very good pictures and 2.  ian refuses to be photographed.  however, today was different.  behold!

look at that little stinker.  not only is he marching around being a totes cutes patoots, but those overalls that he's wearing... used to be MINE (oh, the 80's).  unfortunately, the leather on the suspenders decided to give out by the end of the day, and they'll be unwearable again unless they're repaired, but they are about 30 years old!  i wish i had a picture of me wearing them for comparison, but i'll have to see if i can dig that up while at home.  regardless, this outfit was perfect for our breakfast with santa (he's still scared)...

The Paper Mama

ps.  when i went to preview this post the "you might also like" was showcasing "week 16: baby avocado" next to a picture of guacamole.... Pin It!

dressember: week 1 (dec. 1-10)

as promised, here is week 1 of dressember- the 1st 10 days.  i don't have 10 days of dresses because i don't get dressed every day, you know since i'm a mom that's how i roll...

day 1: december 1
decided to start out easy here..
dress: old navy
leggings: old navy
flats: old navy

day 2: december 3
look how tall i am...  
dress: old navy
tights: target
heels: target

day 3: december 6
top: modcloth
dress: loft
tights: target
shoes: loft

day 4:  december 8
top: victoria's secret
dress: target
tights: target
shoes: swapped

day 5: december 10
cardigan: loft
dress: charlotte russe
belt: bitten sjp
tights: target
boots: target
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Friday, December 16, 2011

wish list friday: foods to make & bake

i love love love to cook.  there are a lot of things that i am mediocre at, but cooking is not one of them.  and while i have the occasional kitchen mishap, more times than not i am making something that makes me say, "dang, that is good."  i'll stop tooting my own baking/making horn and show you what's on my wish list of things that need to very quickly make their way to mah belly, or another reason pinterest should be called "fat-terest."

 looking at this list is causing me to gain weight

1.  homemade samoas - girl scout cookies are sold once a year so i don't eat a box week... but now you're telling me i can make them myself?  uh oh.
2.  buffalo chicken tacos - you had me at buffalo
3.  cilantro lime chickpea salad - i love salads like this.  it looks so fresh and yummy!!
4.  7-layer greek dip - welcome to the party in my mouth!
5.  christmas cake - a gorgeous, but simple cake from my friend maegan!!
6.  crockpot breakfast casserole - sounds like a great christmas morning meal
7.  malibu pina colada cupcakes with lime cream cheese frosting - love lime & coconut!
8.  creamy avocado salsa verde - combine 2 of my favorites + i love dips!
9.  gluten-free shirley temple cupcakes - these are just so pretty + they're gf!
10.  red velvet brownies with white chocolate buttercream - uh, yum.  love red velvet- although i used to despise it!

is your tummy growling yet... mine is...  : \  yummmm! Pin It!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

getting into the christmas spirit

we've been hustling and bustling at the mchousehold with all of the christmas to dos!  we finished shopping in early december and now our gifts just await wrapping paper so they can go under our tree that just went up on sunday!  in the meantime we are ready for dave's office party and breakfast with santa this weekend!  i will have pictures of our decorated house (and our new house in general very soon), but first: christmas cards & a visit with santa!!

last year it took us about 100 shots to get this family gem:

look at that sweet boy.

the years before that were pretty easy...

2007. 2008. 2009.

taking christmas card photos with an almost 2 year old who can't sit still even for a millisecond... impossible.  this year there weren't nearly as many takes b\c there was nothing to take a picture of... but we got a really cute candid photo of dave & myself...  too bad we couldn't photoshop baby in...

aren't we sweet?

almost every photo we took that ended up having ian in it captured him either screaming, trying to get away, or moving so much that he's just a little blur...

but we did come up with these 2 gems...  

so, i sent these pictures to my friend mel for her opinion on what i should choose...  and she turned it into this magic...
i really need to learn photoshop....

on the santa front- things were also different this year with an almost 2 year old...  walk with me down memory lane?

we weren't sure how ian would react to santa- we knew with him there would probably be no in between- it would be either love or hate.  saturday night we had dinner at chick fil a and the santa cow made an appearance- ian was in love- he was waving at him, giving high fives, mooing...  so we thought the santa thing might go okay...

giant cow costume santa = cool.  real guy as santa = not so cool

not so much...  poor ian.  dave & i were in hysterics...  the things we do to our kids.  oh well, better luck next year.  of course, he does nothing now but walk around the house saying "ho ho ho."

do you do christmas cards?

do you take your little one to see santa?  was their reaction as you expected?

linking up here:
The Paper Mama


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Friday, December 9, 2011

wish list friday: modcloth duds

1.  look on the bright cider tunic - i have a weakness for bright red, holiday themed sweaters, and this one does it without being ugly sweater party material.  looks warm too, and i need it- it's 26 today!
2.  lieutenant lovely cardigan - love the colors and button detail.  would be cute alone or over anything.
3.  new hire and higher dress - this dress looks slimming and classy.  can't go wrong with that.
4.  what's the peter plan top - adorable top.  i know i'd feel just like madeline!
5.  strawberry waffles dress - adorable dress that could be styled so many ways
6.  freedom of the dress - lovely dress- and it has sleeves!
7.  streetcar tour dress - a classy dress that comes in a variety of colors that's appropriate year-round!  yes!
8.  london collar-ing dress - love this sweet dress.  the color is a winner
9.  loving care dress - another sweet dress.  i think it could be hit or miss on me though!
10.  three square teals dress - knit retro-looking dress.  very cute
11. double your output top - stripes and lace.  i think so
12.  presidio pose dress - cute, but way out of my price range
13.  snow news is good news dress - perfect sweater dress for illinois weather
14.  radiant ruby dress - i'm in love with everything about this gorgeous red dress
15.  evergreen and gorgeous dress - love the color of this pretty maxi dress
16.  brunch date top - i really love this top, can't figure out why it was only available for about a month!

like anything you see?
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

hair diaries: no heat curls (photos)

one of my dear readers requested that i do another post about my hair.  i apologize for not sharing any fancy 'dos lately- my hair has gotten really long- and when it gets too long and hasn't been cut in oh, say, 8 months (which is torture for a pre-baby religious every 6-8 weeker) it starts to get a little cray-cray.  when it gets too long, i need to start doing as my grandma used to and sleep on a silk pillowcase... but i don't have one, so i wake up with crazy matted hair every morning... therefore, it's lots of ponytails for me.  gosh, this sounds like an argument for more hair tutorials instead of less...

so, the big blog thing this summer in hair that kept catching my eye was the "no heat curl."  i have to admit, i never actually viewed any of the tutorials, or did anything more than look at the pictures of girls with their curls.  of course i kept thinking "no heat curl... isn't that what i do with my hair every day simply by letting it air dry?"  of course, i then realized that not everyone is cursed with has curly/wavy hair.  some people have to work for it...  so i went to the first place that i saw the nhc- the paper mama (view her photos & tutorial by following the link) and realized that this was probably the easiest thing in the world.  it's a style you make simply by sleeping (and i love to sleep).  ready to see how it's done?

step 1

start with hair that is mostly dry.  you can see how long my hair is getting + how it curls on its own.  

step 2
channel your inner mischa barton circa 2008 and wrap a headband on the outside of your hair (i use goody's no slip headbands).  

step 3
 starting from the front and working your way around take strands of hair and loop them around the headband until you're all the way around your head (see video tutorial on the paper mama's blog for help).

step 4.
 go to sleep!!  zzzzz  (bonus points with me if you can name the film whence this mask was originally seen)

step 5.
good morning- time to take the hair down!  (very carefully)

here at is at 1st glance- very curly.  now i'm going to shake it out a bit...

yikes... it got a little pageant-y....

then i had this one crazy piece that refused to curl that i ended up having to pin curl for a few hours

but overall... i'm impressed.  this is something you can tweak to fit your needs- pull thinner strands for more curls and thicker strands for less (i'm trying that next time).

these last 2 pictures were taken around 5:30- so for me it lasted ALL DAY!  if your hair isn't naturally curly like mine, i would suggest that you spray it pretty generously with hair spray and let that dry (i saw that in another no heat curls video).  as far as how you normally style it before you do the curls- i guess that would be up to you.  i stopped using hair products on my hair back last year when i stopped washing my hair for a while- however, i did use a pea sized drop of dave's gel and lightly ran it over the top, since it was a little fuzzy from being slept on.  i'll definitely be trying this again and experimenting with the types of curls i can get and ways i can style it.  

have you tried the no heat curls before?  do you think this is a look that will work for you?  let me know!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

mommy reads: push

i wanted to read the novel push by sapphire after hearing about the movie adaptation "precious" that came out in 2009.  i read the book once back in 2009, but just recently got around to seeing the movie- so i wanted to re-read the book to refresh me before viewing the film.  

precious jones is 16 years old, and pregnant with her 2nd child- by her own father.  she's illiterate, abused by her mother, and has just been kicked out of school for being pregnant.  her principal sets her up in an alternative school where her teacher sees precious not just as another casualty of harlem and the system, but as a person with an opportunity to become somebody. 

this book is a hard read.  it's written from the point of view of precious and i guess you could call that a ghetto dialect.  you must remember that although she has gone to school, that she is for the most part, uneducated.  if you can read through the dialect, then the book is a pretty "easy" read...  the novel is short (less than 200 pages).  you begin through precious's thoughts and dialogue with people around her, and by the end you are reading through her writing.  what makes this a tough read is the actual words and nature of the story.  precious explains her sexual, verbal and physical abuse in very graphic detail- it's hard to stomach, and hard to believe that people actually go through things like that in life.  that people are hurt by those they trust the most.  hurt by those who were put on this earth to be their protectors.  precious goes to show that despite your past, you can pick yourself back up and work to have a successful life, despite whatever plans the "system" may have for you.  so as painful as the book is to read, you're definitely cheering for precious to pick herself up and get her life together- and what's in store for precious will definitely have you cheering!
the movie is equally painful to watch in that you actually see the abuse with your eyes, but it can't touch the book in getting into the innermost thoughts of precious.  it also doesn't give you as deep of a look into precious's journey to literacy and her journaling with her teacher, blue rain.  
overall, i enjoyed both.  great read, despite the heavy subject matter.  award-winning film.  

book 4/5.  movie 4/5
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Monday, December 5, 2011

mommy reads: eat pray love

as with any very popular novel there is a line drawn- people who love the book- and people who hate the book.  with me and epl- i would say i'm somewhere in the middle.  this is my 2nd time reading elizabeth gilbert's memoir chronicling her year long travels in italy, india & indonesia following her divorce.  the book begins with gilbert filing for divorce.  she never mentions the reasons behind her divorce (and they're no one's business but her own), but from the way she describes it, it definitely doesn't paint her in a good light.  she basically walks out of her marriage and into the arms of another man (that she meets after filing for divorce)- so basically she leaves her marriage without even trying to fix it, and rebounds into an even more tumultuous relationship.  basically, she's a walking disaster.  after her & her boyfriend split again, and she meets a medicine man while traveling for work in bali (who tells her she'll return one day)- she decides to take a year away from everything to travel- to italy to experience pleasure, to india to experience spiritual life and to indonesia to balance the two.  

gilbert is a wonderful writer- she's funny, self-depreciating, and she makes you feel like you're there with her experiencing everything.  her book is split into 3 books- italy, india, and indonesia, and each of those books is split into 36 stories.  in italy i'm dreaming of eating the pizza she eats and describes with such detail that you're drooling on the pages, in india, i'm feeling the frustration at reciting the gurugita, and in bali i'm falling in love.  gilbert really is a fabulous story teller, but sometimes you just sit there thinking "i don't feel sorry for you-  you got yourself into this mess."  other times you're thinking that gilbert must have the best luck in the entire world- and all the money to be able to travel (even though she was supposed to have lost it all).  the book is definitely worth the read for the story gilbert tells, but don't expect a life-changer.

the movie stars julia roberts as gilbert, james franco as david (her new boyfriend), richard jenkins as richard from texas, and javier bardem as felipe (her boyfriend/future husband).  felipe is actually in his 50's when he and gilbert meet (a father of grown children), yet bardem is younger than roberts...  the movie hit on some of the highlights of the book, but could never come close to telling all the stories.  it fell way short of the book, but not of my expectations b\c i honestly didn't expect much from it.

book 3.5/5.  movie 2/5

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Friday, December 2, 2011

wish list friday: shooooes

shoes, shoes and more shoes.  i am a lady after all.  i don't wear heels much anymore- i'm a flats girl.  i call that embracing my height.  here are the cute heels & flats on my wish list.  

1.  spotlight heels- modcloth.  adorable cut-out oxford heels
2.  naughty monkey combat heels- piper lime.  i could use some new black pumps- they're always classic.
3.  all tide up flat- modcloth.  these canvas rope-trimmed flats are so cute.  summer, where are you?!
4.  room to bloom flats- modcloth.  another easy way to wear mustard this fall/winter
5.  kiltie conscience flat- modcloth.  adorable loafers.  i could use more shoes like these.
6.  how do you dewey heel- modcloth.  oxfords in a fun color.
7.  can't hardly slate wedge- modcloth.  adorable perforated wedges- and they're vegan. 
8.  the to-toes heels- modcloth.  these are seriously too cute.
9.  seychelles- ampersand.  love these.
10.  naughty monkey untamed heels- piper lime.  cute heels.

do you prefer heels or flats? Pin It!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

sos- thanksgiving edition

i decided to dress it up this year for thanksgiving since i feel like i have a closet full of dresses that i never get to wear.  i don't think i've worn this dress since easter, and i was excited to put it back on and give it a little kick- with some colorful tights of course.  my father in law decided to wear zubaz pants and a tunic that we brought him back from our honeymoon (quite a sight to see, really), so as he said, it was up to us to bring color into thanksgivng.  gee, i'm flattered.  yellow is not my color by any stretch of the imagination, but put it on my legs, and it's not so bad.  this was before i gained at least 2 delicious pounds...

 my hair:  needs to be cut
dress:  tucker for target
tights: target
heels- old navy

ian has been pretty sneaky lately when it's come to picture taking.  of course, he learned to say "cheese" last week, so now he's all about it... here he is caught in the act of eating a crayon...

shirt: chaps

speaking of pretty dresses i never wear- i'm participating in dressember hosted by blythe hill.  for someone who doesn't get dressed every day, this might be easy.  or at least a reason to get dressed.  so i'll try this every day, except at work, where it's pants and tops only.  boo.  but it looks like that's not even going to be an issue...  i'll do these posts weekly too, to spare you the daily torture.  ;)

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