Archive | March, 2012

Frenemies, Hairstyles, and Cothes on Monday

18 Mar

Shoes are a girl’s best frenemy.  Then again, maybe only I feel that way.  This morning dawned bright and beautiful.  The sun shone, the clouds stayed at bay, and I decided to wear my birthday shoes.  It was like learning to walk all over again.

I don’t care what anyone says, walking in 3 1/2 inch heels is not easy.  It’s like walking on stilts minus the clown outfit.  I should even be careful making that claim since I have no idea what you think of my wardrobe.

I also have an Achilles heel, only it’s in my ankle.  When I was about 15, I tripped on a loose manhole cover in Manhattan and gave my ankle a good twist.  God just didn’t see fit to equip us humans with fully rotating ankles.  It would have been a good idea though.  After injuring my left ankle, I proceeded to walk another 50 or so city blocks.  My family has zero tolerance for sympathy and didn’t care.  A few days later, when I had kankles (thank you Loyalist Cottage Mum for teaching me that term), I realized my foot would never be the same; however, I am nothing if not persistent.  So, weak kankle and all, I still almost walk in 3 1/2 inch heels.

I got giddy when I made it down my front steps, traversed the terrible incline to the road, and crossed the street before the speeding black car scuffed my new shoes.

I’ll pause for applause.

That little tale was purely a ploy for sympathy since I never got any from my mom.

Moving on.

I’ve been trying to do my daughter’s hair in the morning.  Yes, she is ten.  No, I haven’t done her hair in the past.  Since she grew hair, she’s hated having anything in it.  For about 8 months a year she covers her head in stuffed animal hats.  Sometimes I forget she has hair; however, she’s turned a new corner in her growth and development.  She now wants fancy hairdos.

So I give her Fain-Cy.  Ok, I do the best I can.  I’m not magician when it comes to straight locks.  Everything slips right out!

Messy Bun

Here’s my “Messy Bun”.  I had to consult YouTube to accomplish this look.  I did photograph the picture after school, so it survived a full day of school complete with gym.  I was pretty impressed.

Here’s a front view of my diva.  She says the girls are all jealous of her side bangs, because it seems that hair hanging in your line of vision is all the rage among fourth grade girls.

This is what I like to call “The Princess Up-do”.  Ya, I totally just made that up.  It was picture day and I didn’t have one clue what to do with her semi-wet hair.  She was eating corn flakes and rushing me like crazy, so I just started rolling and clipping till I couldn’t roll no mo’!

The Princess Updo

Again, these photos are after a full day of school, so all in all it worked.  I wouldn’t be able to do anything without those tiny claw clips.  They are the only thing that holds her hair.

If you talented ladies have any cute hairdos that work for your girls, I would appreciate a tutorial.  Ok, I’ll settle for a snapshot. :-)

Today I’m playing along with Not Dead Yet Style:  Visible Monday.  I totally stole this idea from the Broken Poet.  Thanks Laura!

I’m also linking to Monday Mingle and Transatlantic Blonde.  Go check out their blogs!

Fridays are school spirit day and the school color is purple.  She’s the Kool-Aid Girl.

This is the H&M dress I bought on my birthday shopping trip.  I paired it with leggings because it was still chilly out.  I also wanted to wear a cardigan, but my cardigans all looked stupid with it, so I froze a little.  The things we do for fashion.

I wore this outfit on my date night to the questionably safe Mexican restaurant.

Dress - H&M, Leggings - GAP, Necklace - Franchesca's, Shoes - Hand-Me-Downs

I also wore a pink Half-Tee under the dress.  Ok, peoples.  I adore Half-Tees.  It’s the best money I’ve spent on clothing.  Nearly every v-neck top requires me to add a tank.  Tanks never stay in place on me, so they are terribly annoying.  The Half-Tee just solved all my problems.  Tiffany did a post on them and I used the coupon-code she included in her post.  I am SO glad I did!

For fun – A Mommy & Me photo.  She’s almost as big as big as me and she’s only ten!  Help me Lord.

So now we’re visible.

I have one word for this weekend – Fantabulastic!

Sunshine + Warm Temps = Happy Me

How about you?

How was the weekend??

Go check out Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday and check out all kinds of inspiring spring looks.

Date Night: Taking Chances

17 Mar

Last night I went on a date with my husband.  That’s two months in a row, possibly a new PC (post-child) record.

I woke up feeling like Mexican food, because, honestly, Mexican food combines all my loves – cheese, fried, meat, cheese, chips.  Throw some salsa on it and a side of refried beans with cheese (of course) and you have a spicy meal.  It’s all good and it’s generally cheap.  Besides, I love bright colors and Mexican restaurants are usually full-on tacky.


We just don’t have any Mexican restaurants near where we live.  It’s kinda spooky.  If we had known enchiladas would be so hard to come by, we may never have moved here in the first place.  Even our Taco Bell is a case of food poisoning waiting to happen.  Note:  I happen to like Taco Bell and they are usually fairly clean; however, this one is an exception.   When an eleven year-old boy, my son, even thinks a place is too dirty to eat, it’s bad.  Health Department where are you?

For this cause, FringeMan took to searching the internet.  He came up with a Mexican name, claiming to serve food, about 30 minutes from our house.  We’re adventurous, so we set out, our tummies rumbling for spicy.

As we pulled into the parking-lot, my spidey senses kicked into high gear.  At first glance, things didn’t appear quite right, but the lot was full, so we proceeded.  I entered, took one look around, and would have bailed, but FringeMan thought it seemed worthy of a try and we had very few alternatives.  McDonald’s was around the corner.  Enough said.

We stayed, we ate, we survived to tell the tale.  Besides, they had a beautiful mosaic on the wall below the counter.  If I ever live in the southwest, I am so gonna pimp my place with mexicali mosaics.  Rest assured we would have the tackiest house on the block.

Why is it some dives have the best food?

I had chili cheese enchiladas that came with rice and refried beans.  They were more than I could eat, but I gave it my best shot.  They were very cheesy, very good.  I’m not sure I’ll ever go back, because let’s face it, I’d be pushing the odds of getting food poisoning; however, I have no regrets.  Sometimes you have to risk your abdominal well-being and eat on the fringe.

What about you?

Where do you enjoy eating out?

Would you test fate and risk eating at a dive?

A Talk About Marriage

15 Mar

And they shall become One

“What’s wrong with the car?” I nervously asked my husband.

One hand gripped the seat and the other held on to the door handle while our car fishtailed through three inches of slushy snow. My husband pulled over, attempting to locate a mechanical malfunction while brushing persistent flakes from his face.

“I don’t know what it is.” He said. “We’ll just drive slowly. There’s nothing we can do right now.”

Night settled across the sky, our thirty minute drive stretching to sixty. Emergency lights blinked out a S.O.S at twenty miles an hour. I prayed. I prayed we wouldn’t plummet over the cliff’s edge so close to the road. I prayed our kids would live to see gray hair. I prayed I would get to wear the new summer blouse I just bought.

I thank God each day for His protection. Turns out we had a bad tire. The bad tire plus the swirling snow and slush covered roads caused each of our back tires to pull in a different direction. A car cannot move forward when each tire treads its own way, pulling free of the others.

I’ve been thinking about how so many marriages are just like the tires on my car. Each partner pulling in his/her own direction and getting nowhere.

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,

and shall be joined unto his wife,

and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:31

One sacred day in white, we women vowed before a holy God and witnesses to become One, each day of matrimony binding us tighter. Now 5, 10, 15, 20 years later, the binding is frayed loose. One marriage torn in two, each pulling in different directions – none too sacred.

Kindred spirits, soul mates, best friends, and heart-throbs are now strangers sharing one house, one bed, one responsibility.

We have different schedules. The kids need us! We are moving up the long reaching corporate ladder. We don’t know who he is anymore. We’re a different person than the girl in white. We have no time left. We did not work to stay one, united.

Are you married to a man you hardly know anymore?

Have nothing in common with your husband?

Can’t think of a thing to say that doesn’t involve one of your children?

Does he have his friends and you have yours?

Do you even remember why you married?

Are you strangers sharing a house?

Is your marriage more of a business arrangement than a sacred covenant of love?

Once upon a time, we became one. We allowed ourselves to separate in mind, body, and spirit. How do we unite once again?

There are so many aspects to that question. The answer is not simple, but I’d like to share what I’ve learned in my own marriage.

Create common goals and work towards accomplishing them together. Even individual goals can be supported by the other person.

Give 100%. Marriage isn’t 50/50. That’s a lie. God calls us to give it all, to go two miles when someone requests one, to give the shirt off your back if someone needs it.

Talk and Listen. Sounds so simple, but you know it’s not. Find out what’s going on at your spouse’s workplace and at his ball team. Find out his stresses and worries and share them – pray, encourage, support.

Have fun! Once we marry, fun is blindly traded for maturity and responsibility. Find something fun to do and make time to do it. Regularly. It’s not just your kids who need to have fun. The Bible says a merry heart does good like a medicine. (Prov. 17:22)

Dwell together. Don’t settle for being roommates. Be mates!

Take on a project. I know, I know…this one will surely send you to divorce court! Not so. The greatest thing my husband and I have ever done is to buy a falling down, nearly condemned old house and work on it together. We fought. We cried. We hated. We loved. The house shaped our entire marriage. An extreme statement? Maybe, but we learned to work together, something two pig-headed people don’t learn easily. God knew only a ginormous project could teach us to be one.

Date. This is the hardest thing for my husband and I to do. We don’t live near family/babysitters, so we don’t often go out alone. We date in. After we put the kids to bed, we’ll have a special meal together, watch a movie, talk and laugh, do whatever. It’s our version of a nearly free date. We also use the two hours our children are in Awana to grab a coffee, go for a walk, brows through local shops, or sit in the car and talk. It’s our time to be together.

Pray for your spouse, yourself, and your marriage. Pray even when you don’t have the words to express your heart. (Rom. 8:26)

Be a team. My husband and I always whip out the little “There’s no I in team” phrase when one of us starts moaning and groaning about lending a hand.

Have Sex. Become one physically. Often. Fully. (I Cor. 7:5)

These ten things have helped my husband and myself to live as one, even after fourteen years of marriage. For some fourteen is a drop in the bucket of life, and I’m sure those wrinkled with time can add to my list. I hope they will in the comments. For my marriage, these are the lesson we have learned. I know God is waiting to teach us so many more.

One flesh is more than sharing a bed, a house, a life. It’s also sharing your thoughts, your days, your dreams, your work, your heart. If you’re struggling with being one, I pray you’ll aline yourself in covenant with your husband, leaving a single tread to heaven in the sometimes slippery road of life. Don’t be like my car with each tire pulling in a different direction, become one and go forward in your marriage.

Ten Trivial Things I Know

15 Mar

I admittedly do not know much, but these few things I know.

My son’s room will never be truly clean.

Laundry is a constant.

In America, free speech is welcomed until it clashes with mainstream media.  Then you best be silent or grow a very thick skin.

My daughter is growing up because she wants me to do her hair every single morning.  This is a first in her ten years of life.  Now I’m watching YouTube videos and scrambling to learn how to create any other look besides bedhead.

My body needs a diet.  My mind hates that idea.  My clothes like me a few pounds slimmer.

Every year when winter melts into spring, or even when it hesitates, I buy a new pair of shoes, as seen here and here and here.  (The first pair is terribly ugly. The second two pairs are much cuter.)  Shoes seem to be my lifeline out of winter’s depression.

I really cannot think of a good reason to bungee-jump.  Ever.

My Facebook friends are very wise.  Last night I put together an advisory board and they fixed my problem in moments.  Really, we have an amazing resource called friends and family.  We ought to tap into that resource from time to time.

I am very picky about which foreign countries I would like to visit.  There are many on  my must-see list, but others tend to fall off the little “earth” I’ve created in my mind.

I don’t do “puke” well.  Just yesterday a little girl riding in the back seat of my car uttered the words, “I’m getting car-sick.”  Immediately I panicked.  “You’re not gonna throw-up – Are you gonna throw up – Tell me if you feel like throwing up – Please don’t throw up in the car!”   I scared the car-sickness right out of that poor child.

Now it’s your turn.  In this world of constant unknowns, tell me what you know.


A Dr. Suess Kind of Day

14 Mar

FringeMan just returned after two weeks on the road.  I haven’t said anything, mainly because of all the blog stalking serial killers out there in url land.

What?  You didn’t know about them?

Oh, yes.  They are so real they live in our little blogger brains.  It’s called imaginative overload.  Before long you’ll be susceptible as well.

Before he left, FringeMan installed a new lock on our back door and I carried on as if he were hiding in the attic day after day.  Rumors of a bad guy attempting to break into my neighbor’s house drifted through the neighborhood, but I didn’t give it thought.  It all sounded suspicious to me.

I’m a professional private investigator you know.

What?  You didn’t know that either?

Oh, yes.  It began with Magnum P.I. and a book on picking locks.  Before my parents could worry, I was stalking the neighborhood, convinced the corner house was laundering money.  Turns out I wasn’t completely wrong.  The day the police staked out their house and took it by force may have been one of the proudest moments of my childhood.  I stood in the street, jumping up and down in circles, screaming, “I told you!  I told you!”

I think the laundry was full of drugs and not money, but still, I knew they were up to no good.

That’s why I played smooth these last two weeks.  Nobody would even miss FringeMan’s presence around town.  I was on the job, covering up for my elusive main squeeze.

Until Sunday.

Snow fell fast and furious Friday afternoon.  We didn’t see the sky until late Saturday morning, but then a strange climatic weather condition occurred.  Winter turned into late spring.  By Sunday afternoon the entire town was drawn from their musty homes.  It was sixty-five and sunny.  Traces of snow lurked in the shadows along with serial killers and would-be burglars.  It was a Dr. Seuss kind of day.

Dogs walked their owners

Children squealed while painting themselves with mud.

Geese flew overhead in v-patterns, frantic to get back to Canada.

Chubby women walked.

Hope ruled the world, even if just for one better than usual afternoon.

I sat on my front steps finishing the third book of The Hunger Games.  My son’s former teacher stopped by for a chat, the neighbors brought their puppy over, and every other walker yelled out “When does your husband come home?”

Gracious me.  The serial killers!  Didn’t you see them hiding behind that snow mound?  Or maybe it was behind that url.  I’m so mixed up.  Maybe it’s the snow one day and shorts the next, but I suspect it’s just an affliction I’ll battle the rest of my little life.  Imagination.

A Rustic Stew for March

12 Mar

I shared this recipe a few years ago, but while looking for something to make for dinner, I stumbled on this recipe once again.  It was so good, I thought I’d share it again.

P.S.  How do you like my new blog banner?


Several weeks ago I tried a great new recipe that included white beans and sausage.  Everyone in my family enjoyed it; however, everyone had an opinion on how I could improve on the dish.  After pooling ideas and tweaking ingredients, I’ve developed a dish that my entire family enjoys, even the FringeKids.

This new dish shares little similarity with the original recipe, but it’s a keeper.


1 tbs. butter, 5 small red potatoes, 3 carrots (chopped),  1 bag spinach, 7 cloves garlic, 3 c. chicken broth, 1/2 c. white wine (optional), 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomato, 1 can small white beans, 1 pack (6 links) hot turkey sausage, 3 tsp. basil, salt & pepper to taste

Preparation Instructions

Precook sausage in water for about 15 minutes.


While sausage is cooking, chop carrots and slice potatoes.


I suggest a food chopper unless you’re a culinary queen or king and dice by hand without chopping off the tips of your fingers.  I stick to the food chopper.


In a large non-stick skillet melt your butter.  Add chicken broth, wine, carrots, potatoes.  Mince or press your fresh garlic.


With this much garlic in your system, you’ll not only be a germ fighting machine, but you’ll repel mosquitoes.


Ok, I don’t know if the mosquito thing is true, but you will repel friends and enemies alike.

Go ahead and add your diced tomatoes.


Salt and pepper to taste.  I like to use sea salt because it makes me feel worldly, in a cosmopolitan sort of way.

Hey, if you want to be mundane and use table salt, go right ahead!

Add your basil and stir.  Did I mention you need a large skillet?  Because you DO.


Slice your sausage into bite-size pieces and add to pot.  Add your rinsed and drained white beans also.


Bring to a boil and let simmer, uncovered, until all the veggies are soft and the sausage is fully cooked.  (about 15 minutes)


Some of your liquid will cook off and your entire house will begin to smell delicious.  Dogs, cats, friends, and neighbors will follow the scent to your front door.

Make sure it’s locked!


Add your rinsed spinach slowly.  If you add it all at once, it won’t fit in the pot.  Trust me.  Sprinkle with about a tsp. of flour to thicken the sauce.  Stir and simmer for a 2-3 more minutes.


Dish up a healthy portion and enjoy.


It’s filling and relatively healthy.  It also tastes better than it looks.

I just noticed that this pictures looks scarily similar to v*m*t…I can’t even bring myself to type the word after I’ve just shared a meal with you.

Sorry for my lack of photographic skills.  You’ll have to take my word on the taste.

It’s good!  Mikey likes it. :-)

feed my family friday

Fashion: What to Wear at Any Age – 10 Principles

9 Mar

Preface:  (You know it’s going to be a long post if I have a preface!)  After reading an article banning flip-flops on anyone over the age of thirty, I was inspired to think very carefully about what I believe women should wear.  I’m happy to report I think flip-flops can be worn well into old age.  These are my other musings.  Twenty years from now, I may change my opinions, but for today, this is what I believe about fashion at any age.

Aging Gracefully – What does that mean?  Why do some women seem to do it instictually while others struggle, often looking like gray haired little girls playing dress-up in their mother’s closet?

I’m not sure I have any pat answers for you.  I cannot give three rules, that if followed, will ensure fashion success from this day forward and even forever more; however, I think we can explore some principles that may guide us as we attempt to present the best version of who we are to the world.

Some say it doesn’t matter what we look like.  It’s the person inside who matters.  While I agree, we can never be truly beautiful if our inner self is ugly and mean, most people will be judging us based on our outside.  While God looks at our inside, our heart, everyone else sees the outside.  Is that superficial and unfair?  Yes.  Most definitely, but that’s also life.  We need to have a kind, attractive cover so others will take the time to read the words written on the pages of our hearts.

I asked Facebook followers if there were any trends, styles, items of clothing, jewelry, etc. that women should avoid wearing as they age.  I got quite a few responses.  What I find fascinating is that fashion is very personal and subjective.  While some won’t wear shorts, others will wear short-shorts.  Some think it’s important to look classic, while other want to look trendy.  Who is right and who is wrong? Are skinny jeans really a tool of the devil?  How do we navigate the sale racks and walk away looking appropriate for our age?  

Today I will sacrifice my pride on the altar of “greater good”.  Although I am in no way qualified, I will attempt to give you my opinions and possibly insights on how to age gracefully, at least in the way we dress.

A boy I babysat when I was a teenager was going through some boxes in his parent’s garage and came across my high school graduation photo.  He posted it on my facebook wall.  I think it was an attempt to get even with me for putting him a time-out chair when he was four.  All I can say is We Are Even!

The first photo is me at seventeen.

God love me.  I am certainly glad someone was looking at my heart.  I honestly never realized I looked like THIS.  I wish someone had told me to wash off some of that hideous makeup.  And the hair!  Mercy me.  I believe I am solely responsible for the hole in the ozone layer and global warming.

The second photo is me exactly 20 years later.  I know.  I told you I am sacrificing my pride for you.  I not only showed you my graduation photo, but I also admitted my real age. I’m just thankful my makeup lightened and my hair shrunk.

The only thing I miss from the girl with the graduation hat is her weight; otherwise, I think a few years of fashion mishaps have helped me.  It must be true that gray hairs are a sign of wisdom, at least when it comes to choosing a shade of blush.  Then again, I’ve seen grannies with their pept-bismol rouge, so who knows?

I’ve compiled the following list of suggestions that I hope will help us as we navigate the challenges of dressing our ever-changing bodies.

1.  Wear what fits.  The extremes are stretch pants stretched so thin that you can see through them and t-shirts so big they look like a sumo-wrestler is hiding inside.  Both extremes are bad.  Don’t hide behind your clothes.  Wearing baggy clothing rarely ever makes a person look thinner, so don’t feel like you’re doing your physique a favor by dressing it in a potato sack.  On the same token, tight clothes will make you look like you’ve just gained 20 pounds and are in total denial.

I always bring two or three sizes of one article of clothing into the dressing room, and I always try things on.  Just because it looks great on a the hanger doesn’t mean it will look great on you, so try it on.  If you are in doubt about a size, ask someone.  The young girls who work in most stores will generally by happy to give you an opinion and get you a different size.  If you’re shopping for the tough items like jeans or swimsuits, maybe it’s time to call your lifeline and bring your best friend.

Just remember, if it doesn’t fit you, don’t waste your money on it.

2.  Be modest.  No one wants to see your boobs, or worse.   Seriously, do you want everyone’s eyes to go directly to the girls?  Showcasing all your goods often makes a woman look desperate, or day I say, trashy.   Look in the mirror.  Be mindful of what others see when they look at you.  Don’t make someone else uncomfortable in your presence because you’re dressed immodestly.  Besides, sometimes one of those wayward girls gets loose and pops out.  Believe me, if that happens, you’ll wish your blouse hadn’t been so low cut.

For shorts and skirts, my rule of thumb is that they should not be wider than they are long. Take a minute and let that sink in.  It’s good advice.

3.  Know your personal style.  Don’t wear something just because someone else says you should.  Know what you like to wear, what feels comfortable for you, and what clothes you feel good in.  Personally I think a nice little jacket hides a multitude of tortilla chips sins, but if you hate jackets, find another alternative, like a cute cardigan or a flowy blouse.

On the flip side, don’t be afraid to try on pieces outside of your comfort zone.  Who knows, they just might work and become your go-to item.

4.  Wear the appropriate outfit for the appropriate function.  This is a biggy.  You wouldn’t wear a silk dress and stilettos to the swimming pool, would you?  Of course not.  It’s inappropriate.  Think about where you are going and try to dress accordingly.  If you’re singing a solo in church, you might not want to wear the clothes you went clubbing in.  Just saying.  I’ve seen similar mishaps and it’s not pretty.  When in doubt, ask the hostess or another guest what they will be wearing.

pajamas in walmart

photo courtesy of Pinterest via

5.  Have fun with fashion.  One of the most fashionable women I know is in her 70′s.  She wears up-to-date clothes and even trendy styles.  Dare I say I’ve seen her shop in the juniors section.  What sets her apart is that she is always appropriate for the occasion, she’s never immodest, her clothes fit her body, and she has fun with what she wears.

Even if you’re not the daring type, you can add a splash of fun with jewelry, scarves, handbags, or shoes.  Enjoy your clothes.  Embrace your style and don’t be afraid to have fun.

6.  Don’t let others dictate how you feel about yourself.  Some women have strict rules about what and what not wear.  There are many that would burn all clothes with the word “skinny” in them.  Others prefer women in dresses.  Some think you should stick to neutral colors as you age.  No makeup.  Too much makeup.  To wear eyeliner or not to wear eyeliner, for some that is the question.

You need to be happy with what you wear.  As long as you have a clear conscious before God and you like what you have on, don’t let others steal your joy.  It feels wonderful to be complimented on an outfit.  The words “you look nice” can boost our self-image, but our worth is not based on what we wear.  It’s so much more valuable than that. Guard your heart. You are worth a whole lot to the creator of the universe, so don’t let a sideways glance or a role of the eyes make you feel bad.

7.  Get out of your rut.  I don’t think there’s anything that ages a women more than being stuck in a style that was in fashion twenty years ago.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  At the age of 50, some women are still wearing Farah Faucet’s feathered hair.  What about the forty year-olds with a mullet?  Sometimes we should let go.  Just because it looked great when we were in our prime, doesn’t mean it will look great for the rest of our lives.  Change is good.  It keeps you young.  Never be afraid of change.  Embrace it and allow yourself to evolve into better-than-ever version of the wonderful woman you are constantly becoming.  Personally, I am glad I set aside my can of Rave hairspray.  Thank you very much!

8.  Ask your daughter.  In response to my Facebook question, my mother said that she stops wearing, “All the things you tell me to stop wearing!!!!”

There’s no one more honest than your offspring.  My daughter has exclaimed over my jiggly mid-section in front of fitting rooms full of women.  She hides no emotion, spares no remarks.  She is brutally honest, almost to a fault.

photo courtesy of Pinterest via facebook

One Christmas vacation when I came home from college, the plane landed and I walled the long corridor to my waiting family.  Back in those days, you could roam the airports even without a ticket.  In fact when I was little, my parents would bring me for entertainment, just to watch the airplanes take off.  On this particular day my mother wore her new, very colorful (as in many colors on the same pair) of glasses.  She also wore a sweater vest, similar to the coat Joseph’s father must have given him.  I took one look at her and said, “Never go shopping without me.  Ok?”

Judging by my graduation photo, my taste was no better.  The point is, I spoke my mind freely.  There’s nothing like asking your daughter for fashion advice.  They will probably be only too eager to help.

9.  Enjoy life.  Clothes are a means to an end.  They allow you to go out in public and enjoy life.  Where would we be without them?  I don’t dare guess!  Sometimes the best thing we can do is to forget about what we’re wearing and enjoy ourselves.  There will always be those who are better dressed and worst dressed, fagettaboutit.  You’ll never get today back.  Don’t stress about whether your jeans are dark or light wash.  Are they clean?  That’s what matters most!  Heck, even a little dirt never hurt anyone.

10.  Attend to your inner diva.  Just like we must take care of skin, so our makeup will look nice, we must attend our soul, so our outer flesh will look nice.  We can be fashionistas on the outside, but if our inside is filled with pain, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and stress, we’re not going to be very pretty. You are not what you wear.  You are so much more than a cute outfit.  Fill yourself up with things that are good, pure, right, and true.

Make your inside healthy by being right with God.  Don’t ignore the part of you that longs for something greater than this world has to offer.  Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you.

I think we should care not only about how we look on the outside, but also about who we are on the inside.  What is inside always bubbles to the surface and we want it to be pretty.

In my opinion, and that’s all this is, I don’t think you have to swear off skinny jeans just because you’re not in your twenties; however, I think we should all pay attention to how we clothe our bodies.  It’s important that we live and dress with care, that we age gracefully.  After all, our daughters are watching and learning.  We want them to know how to live well and look respectable.

I hope when photographs are taken of me twenty-years from now, I’ll look better than I do today.  I hope I’m wearing my wrinkles and age spots with pride and dressing my body in what looks and feels good.  I hope I don’t keep the same hairdo or heaven forbid, the same clothes.  More importantly I want my heart to be in the best shape it’s ever been, physically, but also spiritually.  I want my inner love and peace to outshine any outfit I put on in the morning.

I don’t know all the ins and outs of fashion and I don’t always dress in the best of clothes, but I do care about what’s on the outside, because it’s a direct reflection of what is on the inside.  I want to age gracefully, embracing this life God has given me.

When Little Girls Grow Up

8 Mar

I’m sitting with my coffee in a silent house feeling a bit nostalgic.  I just sent my daughter to school looking more like a teenager than a little girl.  All of a sudden, I don’t like that.

I’ve seen her in a silly animal hat so many days that I forget how quickly she’s growing up.  It’s hard to tell the true age and maturity of a child with a red and gold chicken on her head, but this morning, while she ate her toast and drank her milk, I took the time to give her a top-knot with a bunch of little twisties and baby claw clips.  The bangs I’m making her grow out because I can’t stand to cut them every two weeks fall into a very chic swath nearly covering one eye.  Then she put on her glasses and it was over.  It seemed she went from two to twenty in two seconds.  Now I am in shock.

She already talks about boys following her around and poking her with pencils and I know I’ll be tempted to lock her in her room before too long…with FringeMan standing guard.

My mother put this up on facebook.  I wish I knew the source.  If anyone knows, please pass along the info and I will give that person/site appropriate credit.

At first I thought this application was funny.  Now I think it’s necessary.

Her Easter dress came in the mail yesterday.  (See dress here , sweater here, and shoes here.)  I’m thinking I’d better throw a bear hat on her head, even for Easter, because she’s the kind of kid that I want to keep a child forever.

My son grew up at two months old.  My daughter is just beginning at ten and still, I’d like to slow her down.  I suspect this is the plight of many a mom.

So for now, I’ll keep brainwashing her into thinking marriage is only for thirty year-olds and brothers always go on all dates with their sisters.

The end.

WIWW: Clearance Can Still Mean Cute

7 Mar

I said I wasn’t going to participate in WIWW anymore, but then I got some encouragement to keep going and I found a cute dress for a nice price.  Now I’m back in WIWW business, at least for this week.

Sometimes we see fashion blogs and look longingly at outfits that cost more than our monthly grocery bill.  It can be discouraging, or not.  My philosophy is to take inspiration from great fashion and then recreate looks with items you can afford, because let’s face it, sometimes you find yourself living on Walmart budget.  I do too.

I believe you get what you pay for and better stores sell better quality clothes that will last from season to season.  It’s true, but if you don’t have the money to invest in great pieces, wear what you can afford, even if it’s hand-me-downs.  Just do the best you can with what you have.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  That’s life.  There’s always tomorrow.

So in honor of budget conscious fashion, I present thrifty finds.

I was in Kmart shopping for a sweatshirt and gym shorts for my son when I happened upon three racks of clearance clothes.  I felt the gravitational pull of the red sticker and poked around for bit.

I pulled out this little gem.  It’s got a bow, ruffles, and dots…what’s not to love?  I’m sure I could have dressed it up better for this photo, but…some days you just have to do the best you can.  After all, it was snowing.

Here’s the out-take.  I was reaching for the camera so I could make a mad dash back to the house and the warmth of my woodstove.  My son likes taking funny pictures of me.  I suspect he’s collecting them for future punishment.

Anyway, the shirt was around $11.  I can’t remember exactly.  I am happy to say it washed perfectly.

Yes, I cut my head off, but there’s a good reason.  Originally I thought I was just having a bad hair day; however, when I looked at the photos, I realized I was having a bad face day.  Glad I didn’t know it until the day was over.

This dress is from Walmart. $9.98.  I could wear this outfit every single day of my life.  It’s that comfortable.  It’s like wearing pajamas without the social awkwardness.  I suppose I could also wear this in the summer with a white tank top underneath and cute sandals.  I’ve had the green t-shirt for years and I paired the dress with leggings and boots from Target. This dress also washed very well.  I suppose it might look cute with a brown belt around the waist, but I don’t have any cute belts, so it is what it is.

I think a girl can dress cute on any budget.  What about you?  Have you ever been forced to look for deals from less than desirable retailers?  Find any gems among the rocks?

Do you have an outfit you love to wear because of it’s comfort?

Share your thoughts in the comments, and then check out Pleated Poppy’s WIWW.

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200

6 Mar

This week the FringeFamily will get to experience winter and spring all in the same week.  It’s pretty incredible really.  Monday was snow flurries and Thursday will be fifty-seven degrees.  That’s shorts weather in these parts.

Apparently the excitement in my life has hit an all-time low, because I feel the need to blog about the weather.

I did beat my kids in a riveting game of Monopoly on Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure what’s more exciting than swindling a ten year-old out of St. James Place, because you need it in order to buy a house.

Monopoly is our go-to game.  I think every family has a certain game that the kids gravitate towards when they are bored.  I only wish our go-to game was tic-tac-toe.  I’m confident in my ability to come out a champ in that game, not to mention it’s about 3 hours 28 and half minutes shorter.

FringeKid always adds her own unique spin to the game.  The boot, bag o’ money, and top-hat aren’t good enough for her.  She insists on using characters with bug eyes and flashy colors.  At times she insists we all use them.

It’s a direct reflection of her personality, but while she may look goofy, she has all the Chance and Community Chest good luck fairies on her side.  She generally only buys railroads, never bothers with property that requires houses, and hoards stacks of money.  She never ever picks a card that send her to jail without passing Go.  Dare I admit I get a little frustrated with my daughter’s lack of strategy and luck of the draw?

Even FringeBoy gets a bit annoyed by her good fortune.

And don’t let her fool you, it’s not just Monopoly she’s good at.  She sweeps hand after hand of UNO without giving one thought to the cards she’s throwing down.

I guess we must come to terms with the fact that she’s a natural-born winner and we may be not so natural.

So while we began this week with snow and board games, we may finish it with sunshine and a swim.

You just never know what excitement lies around the next cold front.

What about you and your family?  How are you passing the long cold days of winter?  Or are you a lucky dog living in a place with palm trees and blue skies?

On a serious note, my heart is sad for those whose lives have been forever changed because of tornadoes.  My thoughts are with them and my prayers for them.


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