CHRISTMAS in the crooked house

My house looks so happy and festive right now. I love it so much that I'll probably "forget" to take the decorations down till a month after Christmas. Oops! ;)


daily duds & WIWIW

Happy Monday!

So, I have this problem. My interests are all over the place. I love the fashion blogs, the decor blogs, the crafting blogs, the personal blogs, and the fashionista blogs. It is all so different and interesting. I don't really have a single category that I want this blog to fall into. I have shyed away from posting any "what i wore" photos because I am definitely not a photographer and I am also not a fashionista and I tend to look ridiculous in the photos I attempt to take. But as I appreciate seeing all aspects of blogger's lives, fashion forward or not, I am going to try to share some of my daily outfits here and there. You will probably never see me wearing heels or extravagent outfits or $500 jackets like the bloggers I love to spy on (she is a fave), but I will share nonetheless.
Shirt: Forever 21 - Cardi: Old Navy - Pants: Urban Outfitters - Shoes: Toms

This is my outfit from Saturday. I prepared to go out grocery shopping, but my dear husband called me asking for a grocery list and ended up doing it for me. He is pretty great. At least my intentions led me to get out of the sweats I would likely have stayed in all day had I known I wouldn't be leaving the house. As much as I hate to admit it, sweats are like my second skin.

And here is what I wish I wore (WIWIW):

Love it. Here's to a case-of-the-Mondays-free Monday to you all!


DIY felt phrase garland

This year I have been crafting away as the stores don't hold many holiday decorations that I like. While I would love to just hop on etsy and buy, buy, buy all of the beautiful decor, the money to do so doesn't exist. Last year there was a happy holidays garland I wanted desparately from Anthropologie, but it was something like $120, so, of course, I bought 12! Ha- kidding. No, I was disappointed it was out of my reach, but with all my pent up crafting energy, I decided to make something similar although much less adorned. I chose a line from Joy to the World for my garland, bought a bunch of felt, and crafted away. I'm happy with the result and wanted to share a half-hearted tutorial with you. Half-hearted because I didn't take detailed photos and I stopped taking photos when I ran into the problem of floppy felt and had to run back to the craft store to get foam and then cut foam letters to glue to the back of the felt letters. Hopefully it makes sense even though it is not as complete as it could be. If you have problems completing any steps- let me know and I'll add more photos and more detail. Enjoy!

Supplies needed:

-felt -scissors -pins -sticky backed foam -a computer with a printer -yarn and big yarn needle

1.) Start off by getting on a word processing program on your computer and finding a font you like. Type out the words you would like on your garland as large as you would them to be. I believe mine were size 500. I had one or two per page. Print up your word/s. You will be using the printed letters as a pattern.

1.5.) I didn't do this step but think it would make things much easier than the order in which I did them. You can get some of the foam with the sticky backing and stick it to the pieces of felt you will be using before moving onto step 2.

2.) Pin your first letter to a piece of the felt (that has the foam backing) like you would with a sewing pattern. Hold the felt and paper firmly together so you don't have wrinkles as you cut around the outside of the letter. Do this with each letter until your words are all cut out.

3.) Put your letters in order and thread your yarn. Sew through the top of each letter to string them up. When you are done your garland should look like the top photo.

The cutting takes a while, but it is easy to do while watching a Christmas movie. If you make some garland, please send me a link to the finished product. I'd love to see it!



Merry Christmas! It's been another month of no blogging and limited internet access. The excitement in the last week for me is that my little babe has finally started sleeping in her crib. For the last 7 months she has been sleeping in bed with me. Go ahead, shake your head at me. I shake my head at myself too. It was one of those things where it was okay and convenient in the beginning but then it was habit and I didn't want to bother with training the girl to sleep in her crib because I was afraid I'd be horribly sleep deprived from her waking a million times a night. After one horrible night where she wiggled all night in bed and kept me awake I decided it was time. She cried for a while the first night before falling asleep but then slept through the night in her crib! Oh, the glories of not having to go to bed at the same time as your child because they sleep with you. Uh-huh. I know. It's ridiculous. I'm ridiculous. If I had known the wonders of relaxing after your child has gone to bed, I would have tried to send the girl to her crib sooner. In the last week I have caught up on some e-mails, painted my nails, cleaned the house, eaten Spekulatius and goat milk icecream, and simply rested while baby has slept in her crib. Glorious. Hubby and I had a discussion of the whole new world that has opened up to us without a child in our bed all the time. It is a life changer. All that to say- #1. Let me be a lesson in what not to do with your child. I am much too laid back at times and it ends up biting me in the rear. Or for you nursing moms, it ends up nipping me you know where. #2. Here I sit without the child, blogging in the quiet with a lit Christmas tree and frogs croaking outside. I am happy to have found a time to do so again. So lovely.
--- Photo by Elsie Marley. You must check out her DIY Christmas decor. With all the amazing tutorials out there, I am likely to be crafting Christmas decorations up until Christmas Eve!


nice to meet you, KIDDINS

My friend Jess recently opened up the etsy shop Kiddins and I am so glad. She is a talented graphic designer and has an amazing imagination that feeds perfectly into her work. She is selling fabric and notecards and will hopefully start a line of baby clothes someday- someday before I am done having children. Right, Jess? : ) Check out her etsy shop and also check out more of her fabric designs on Spoonflower.


CRAFTING adventures

I've been in a crafty mood lately. Don't worry, I don't mean crafty like evil crafty, but crafty like I just want to craft all day. I've been giving into the urge and have been spray painting frames, making Christmas decorations, playing with clay, and I also have plans to finally get around to decorating our bedroom starting with an upholstered headboard. I've found that crafting is such a stress reliever. I'm hooked. All the DIY projects that I've been bookmarking on blogs for the last 3 years are finally going to get done. Who knew.

excuse the shadows- I'm not a photographer
This wreath took me a year to complete... okay, maybe it was just 4 days, but it felt like a year. With all the time it took to make and trim each yarn pom pom, I am so happy that I did it. It is such a fun Christmas decoration. I think I'm going to have to make one to have up year-round.

I've also been wanting to play with clay for a while. I actually asked for polymer clay for Christmas last year, and I got it, but hadn't touched it yet. I kept thinking of a forest of white clay trees so a friend and I got together last week and started building trees. The terror that I am in the kitchen, I ended up burning the clay in the oven and had to paint them with 7 coats of white acrylic paint. Crafting is an adventure. I'm not quite sure where these trees are going to live or if more will sprout up around them, but playing with clay is too much fun to not do it again. I am so glad the time, energy, and desire to craft has returned to me!


birthday BOOTS

I have a quick minute and must share with you my favorite purchase of the year made a couple of weeks ago with my birthday money. I love birthday money. It's so much better than regular money because you can just buy fun and slightly frivolous or extravagant things with it. My extravagant birthday purchase was these Born boots.

They make every outfit I wear 100 times more exciting. That much excitement packed into one outfit element is definitely worth the dollars hubby earned, gave me, and I spent.


DIMyself Christmas Decor

Oh my goodness. Will our internet ever stop acting up and will I ever return to blogging on here regularly? I wonder. As I type, I am sitting on the floor at my parents' house while the little one plays on a blanket next to me with Nana. I can usually get a few things done on the internet this way. Today's 15 minute internet goals were to check Amazon listings, check Facebook- which is beginning to bore me lately, and to look up a pom pom wreath tutorial. I plan to make a few Christmas decorations in the next few weeks. Due to our remodel and our health, hubby and I spent the last 2 Christmases living with my parents and we are ECSTATIC to celebrate in our own home this year. We are so excited that we plan to put up our tree as soon as possible after Halloween and have a nice long Christmas season all November and December. Yep, I'm skipping fall decor and going straight to Christmas. I hope to be able to hop back on here and share my Christmas decor once it is finished. Christmas project #1 is---

this Pom Pom Wreath from Bleubird
I was planning to make a wreath with store bought pom poms, but I can't get over the fun texture of the DIY yarn pom poms. Do you have any fun Christmas decor that you've made? I'd love to see it. Just link to it in the comment section...... aaaand baby is fussing. 15 minutes are up. I miss you all dearly and hope you are enjoying autumn. xoxo
P.S. Bleubird is officially my new favorite blog. Talk about style.


jumpin' JEGGINGS

I haven't been to gap.com in a while so I don't know if this is a new feature or not... but I just got on to look at their jeggings and nearly had a heart attack when the legs started moving and posing for me. I felt like I was looking at a trading card Harry Potter-style -- (nerd alert). (And yes, I am jumpy.) But I must say that it's a helpful little addition, being able to see the way the pants move. I'm not sure if I'm on board for the whole jeggings fad because of way too many sightings of painted on ones that looked as though they were about to burst at our county fair... but if all jeggings were as tasteful as these, I'd probably give the fad a thumbs up and throw some into my own shopping cart as well.


playing CATCH-UP

Well we finally have the internet back up thanks to my husband and our tech-savvy friend who plays tech support for us via text message. I can't believe I haven't been in the swing of blogging for 2 whole months. I've missed it but life has kept me busy enough with other things. I have been:

-- on a family vacation to a Clear Lake lake house with my parents, sister, bro-in-law and 7 month old niece. Vacationing with a 2 1/2 month old is not vacationing. We came back more tired than before. 
-- deciding to be more social- I am an introvert and a bit of a hermit by nature- and had dinners and chats at home with friends a handful of times. They were relaxing and enjoyable and are forcing me to come out of my shell more.
-- writing down real life scenarios I want to someday weave into a book. As creative as I try to be, life is even more surprising and random than what I can come up with on a high-functioning brain day. 
-- trying to "finish" decorating the house. There are still lots of projects I want to do but things are coming together more and more every week. I look forward to having it done enough that I can share photos with you.
-- amazed that I was on call for jury duty and didn't get called in. Wonderful.
-- watching Adelaide smile and laugh and babble and finally come through some seriously grumpy and high maintenance weeks. She was nursing every 2 hours day AND night for over a month. Insanity. I am slowly catching up on sleep and returning to normal life tasks. 
-- learning that the little girl loves being out to see new things, so we've been spending lots of time shopping, well, mostly the window sort, and she has been l-o-v-i-n-g it. She's a shopaholic already. Scary.
-- debating whether I should chop my hair off again or let it grow out. Every time I see a pixie cut on a stylish woman I want to chop mine back off. But then every time I see someone with long bedhead curls or hair thrown up into a fabulous ponytail with a tiny french braid twisted in, I want to grow my hair out. The longer I debate, the longer my hair gets, so I suppose by I am deciding by not deciding...
-- learning to speed date with my husband. We used to go on long, carefree day dates, but those days are on hold for the time being. Now we drop the girl off with grandma or nana and see how much we can jam into 2 hours. Or we just go home to relax in a babyless home. I love those glorious hours with just my husband. He is a fun one to date.
-- dreaming of a perfect life not sitting in a crooked house surrounded by laundry and a crying baby while I try to function on little sleep and attempt to make myself look presentable. But how boring would perfect be? I wouldn't be covered in teething baby drool that leaked out of an enormous baby smile. I wouldn't be able to laugh with my husband at yet another crack running up our kitchen wall. I wouldn't be able to appreciate freshly shaved legs after a week (or 2... this is real life, people!) of hairy ones. And perfection can stay a dream... Imperfection creates a much more interesting reality.

What have you all been up to? In real life and in your daydreams?

P.S. I wrote this post one-handed as my other hand is trapped below a sleeping baby. Motherhood is throwing all sorts of new talents my way.



I love this little cutie!
Hi all! Just wanted to let you know I'm still alive and kicking. Our internet has been down for a couple of months and with the busy life of parenthood and life in general we haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. I hope to be back on soon. I have lots of things rolling around in my head to share. I hope you are all having a fabulous summer!



I have decided to start a series of posts on living naturally- using things from nature rather than things fabricated by man to nurture our bodies through nutrition and beauty and medicine. Due to some health problems in the last years and finding that natural medicine and products were the only things to help my body heal, I am very passionate about nature's healing abilities. I believe God created our bodies to thrive off of what grows from the ground. I want to share with you the things that have helped my body get back on track in hopes that they'll help some of you.

For the first time in my life I love the skin care line I use. I have been using it for a couple of years and don't see myself finding anything better. I finally feel okay going out in public with no makeup because MyChelle has given me skin I don't have to hide. (And if I happen to want light coverage, my MyChelle foundation is perfect.) MyChelle's products are natural, paraben-free, fragrance-free and made up of mostly fruit and vegetable ingredients. I am all about putting natural things on and in my body and I am confident my skin is soaking up all sorts of goodness with my MyChelle products. It doesn't hurt that most of the products smell yummy because of their ingredients. I love their skin care line so much that anytime the subject of skin care comes up, I have to join in and recommend MyChelle... as I am to you now! The products I use and love daily are:

Fruit Enzyme Scrub: Made up of fruit acids and bamboo and jojoba beads, this fine scrub is gentle enough that I use it daily to clean my pores and remove the grime and dull skin from the day.

The Perfect C Serum: I swear by this stuff. Made of 17% vitamin C, it strengthens collagen and minimizes the signs of aging. It has made my skin tighter, smoother and brighter. I just love it.

Fabulous Eye Cream: This is a thick cream that has smoothed out some of my smiley eye lines. Other eye creams irritate my eyes but this one just nourishes.

Pumpkin Renew Cream: I love anything pumpkin and love being able to slather pumpkin on my face. It smells divine but most of all, the shea butter and organic pumpkin seed oil truly feed my skin. My favorite face cream ever.

I've loved each and every MyChelle product I've used, even those not mentioned. I want to get my hands on one of their masks next. If you want to try their products, check out their trial sets that include sample sizes of most of their products.

How about you? What natural beauty products make you glow?



I am in love with this living room. From the amazing yellow couch to the rug to the chartreuse (one of my favorite color words) table to the dog silhouettes and the pendant lights... it's all perfect. I'm sold. I'll take it. I'll be home between 8am and 10pm tomorrow. You can come by and set it up for me then. Thanks.


i need a WEDDING

I most definitely need an occasion to wear this J. Crew silk chiffon skirt for. C'mon, friends... give me a wedding to go to!


With the beautiful summer-is-near weather that showed up on my doorstep this past weekend, I am loving this sunshiny house from Hus and Hem. It would be hard to have a gloomy day in such a bright place! And what kid- or adult- wouldn't love a bunkbed or reading nook like that? Hubby and I are inspired to create such a nook in our guest room. The only problem is that we might fight over it. We'll just have to make it big enough for the whole family to snuggle in!


GRANDPA was a stud

1. My grandparents on their wedding day. My grandma was gorgeous, wasn't she?
2. Grandpa and his buddies just hanging out on a roof like any other day.
3. He started smoking a pipe at a young age and did so till the day he died.
4. Grandpa and more friends. It looks straight out of Leave It To Beaver.

My grandpa was a stud. I wish I could travel back in time and meet him as a spry young man, but then I'd run the risk of falling in love with him and messing with the space time continuum and we don't want that now, do we?


i love me some KEDS

Back in the day I thought of Keds as mom shoes, then while I was in college, I found a pair of cute slip-on Keds at a discount store for $10 and snatched them up. I was ecstatic when I found that they were comfortable as comfort and shoes were two words I never used together in a sentence. (I was still trying to find a husband at that point, so comfort had to be sacrificed for beauty..... ironically, it wasn't until I stopped trying to impress and started dressing for fun and comfort that I did find my hubby.) Later that year I found another pair of Keds at the same discount store and bought them immediately. To this day, my Keds are some of my favorite shoes and I haven't paid more than $12 for a pair... not because I refuse to, but because I keep finding them at discount stores. Well, the day I may end up paying full price is drawing near because Keds has come out with some pretty fabulous summer styles and colors and I want to get my hands on them... or rather my feet in them... before they are discontinued. Cute, comfortable shoes cannot be denied access to my feet.


EATING like a queen

I have been eating like a queen for the last few weeks. Hubby has made steel-cut oats with cinnamon, apples, and cherries (now I never want to return to my mirowaveable oatmeal!), dark chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with coconut, peanut butter cookies with dark chocolate chips (we like dark chocolate- Ghirardelli dark chocolate to be exact), BabyCakes NYC cornmeal peach muffins (the recipe adds ginger, but I don't like ginger), and a host of other things. When I married my handsome guy almost 4 years ago, I had no idea I married a chef! Score!


the KITCHEN view

Despite the crack in our front door that lets spiders and rollypollies roam free in our living room, the slant of every interior surface that gives me a headache if I focus on it too hard, the spring pollen that lets itself into our home and noses, and the paper thin windows that allow us to hear every crackle of every leaf at every hour of the night... I truly love living here for sights such as this- the view out my kitchen window yesterday.


I'm not one for mother/daughter matching, but if I could get my hands on these in my size too, I might just change my mind this once.


america's next top HAIRSTYLE

I admit to being an America's Next Top Model addict. I've seen every cycle and manage to jinx my favorites every year. They never win. Poor girls. It's all my fault. You know how you have a secret "If only I had done or tried such and such" dream? Maybe a sport or art form or career? ANTM is my "I wish I had done that". I don't really wish I had done modeling but I wish I could see how it would turn out in a "Choose your own adventure alternate ending" sort of way. So I love to watch ANTM to live vicariously through the girls... and to see the amazing photography and fashion. I'm not so much a fan of the drama, but I love the cycles where the girls actually seem to get along. So there you go- I love the show. I watched the entire Cycle 14 yesterday (not my favorite) and found my new hairstyle! (Yes... all this talk is to show you a haircut.)

My hair has grown out from the pixie cut into a choppy chin length shag. I'm rocking my natural waves and hair color and am loving having a low maintenance 'do for once, but it needs a little fine tuning. Ren's cut is just perfect. I'm going to add some bangs and define the layers a bit more and I'll have myself a new mommy cut. I'm pretty excited to have found a new cut so easily. Maybe I'll post a pic when it's done... after I get a chance to leave the little darling with a grandparent and can actually make it to an appointment. I guess ANTM is good for a little more than daydreaming this year.



I just have to share a close-up of my beautiful girl. I can't get enough of that face! What a blessed woman I am to be a mother on this Mother's Day!

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