Saturday, October 31, 2009

Baby Shower Gift

Here's one of the other baby shower gifts that I had finished but couldn't post pictures of yet, for fear of spoiling the surprise. She already knows I was making a swaddler for her little boy, so it won't completely ruin it if she happens to check my blog between now and 2 pm tomorrow.

I decided to make a matching hat. Whether or not it will actually fit his little head, only time will tell. Looks cute just sitting there, though. :)
The swaddler is my own knock-off of one I saw on Etsy called the Pod.

The top can be folded down or not. The baby's arms can be inside or out. (My white fleece baby is demonstrating the arms tucked in.) And the bottom can be folded up for a fetal position or left out to allow baby's legs to kick.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Uncomfortableness that is Halloween

We didn't celebrate Halloween when I was growing up. I agree with the choice my parents made and I never missed the candy. When I was in grade school, our church had a "Hallelujah Night" and I remember playing games and dressing up as a princess or other non-scary character for a few years running.
Not only did I not know I was missing anything when I was little, I don't remember ever having to explain to friends why I didn't go from house to house threatening a trick if I wasn't given a treat. It was just what it was. My parents explained their reasoning to me, but I didn't really relay it to anyone else.
Now, as a parent, I realize how hard choices like that sometimes can be. Not only are you not doing what everyone else is, but explaining why (or just mentioning your inclination not to participate) can get very uncomfortable. After all, doesn't a particular choice on someone's part usually mean that they consider the other choice unacceptable and even wrong? Therefore, without saying it, I feel as though I am not only explaining my family's choice, but also condemning the person to whom I am speaking (assuming their choice is different from mine). Not to mention we are probably considered the fuddy-duddy family in our neighborhood for not passing out candy.
All that being said. I wasn't sure I even wanted to write this post... but my blog is about getting to know me. This is what's on my mind right now and is something that will be a part of me for years of Octobers to come. I found a pretty concise explanation on the K-Love webpage that explains more of my reasoning if you're interested. You can read it here.

Oh geez. Butterfly Kisses just came on. Excuse me, but I HAVE to change it before I start bawling...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


My Pick of the Week this week is adorable girl clothing. I have discovered and fallen in love with boutique clothing and all the fun fabrics and patterns that go along with it. I have to say that, although I oooh and aaaah at the pictures of these cute little girls modeling this cute, cute clothing, I don't think I could really dress my girls like this every day in real life (even if the budget allowed it... which it most definitely does NOT). I think these looks are pretty over-the-top, but still fun to look at and glean ideas from.

This beautiful creation is from the Lily and Ebony Etsy shop. The bright colors really appeal to
me. Somehow, the dress still seems very casual and wearable even with all the ruffles (you can't see in this pic, but there are ruffles all down the back). Maybe it's just the casual stance of the model... Oh, and I love that cute pocket too. You can have this little treasure all for yourself for the eye-popping price of $149.00.

Did I mention the budget was restrictive?

Isn't this lovely? I love the color choices, the simplicity of the design and the extra detail of the
sash. You already know I am loving sashes. This is from the Momi Boutique Etsy shop and is priced at a very reasonable (only in comparison) $40 for the dress and $27 for the pants.

If you're like me (provided you're a woman) you might be thinking, I know I'm too old to wear that stuff, right?? but I WANT to anyway. I wonder if a ruffle pant would look silly... Would it be unacceptable to wear a pillowcase top? Well, here's your, our, answer. Boutique Mia by CXV on Etsy. They offer pillowcase tops, dresses and, yes, even ruffle pants for women. This is one of my favorites in their line. It's a simple, elastic top, strapless a-line dress with a ribbon for waist definition. It's *cough, cough* $64... but wait... look at this versatility!

Wear it as a high-waisted a-line skirt with a sash and voila! a new level of sophistication and a dress that can be worn in every season. I love it. And one day... I'm going to make it. You just wait.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Asymmetrical Debut

Here it is! my new asymmetrical haircut. She just cleaned up the ends, so I still have the same layers as before and she shortened the back a bit so that the angled cut would still work with my hair longer like it is now.
Do you like it? huh? Isn't it just the right amount of interesting? If you live in or near Jackson and you are looking for an awesome hairdresser, go see Heather at Noggins!
You looooove it. Muah! I can tell...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I'm getting a haircut in two days and in an effort to still have something fun and unique in the way of a hairstyle while I grow it out (once again), I've been scouring the net looking for medium length styles. I ran across a really nice look modeled by Gwyneth Paltrow. I've never really been a fan of her long limp locks, but I think she really did a great thing here and jazzed it up a bit with some waves and a bit of asymmetry.

Ever since I was little, my mom instilled in me a perfectionists heart that can really get me in trouble sometimes. That perfectionism extended to hairstyling as well. Mom used to be a hairdresser, so she cut, permed, colored and styled my hair as I was growing up. Yes, permed. I grew up in the 80's people and she did her best to keep me stylish. Failed miserably, but did her best.
During college, I remember deciding not to use a comb to perfectly part my hair one day. I'd always made sure in the past that each hair was on it's own correct side of the part. No single hair mussing up the straight line of scalp. This gets especially tricky with hairstyles parted all the way down the back. I would often devote more time in the mornings to doing my hair before dance class if I intended to do two "Princess Leia" buns or two braids, or other center parted updos (which I used to break up the monotony of the single bun chosen most often by dancers).
I felt daring and even naughty for not bothering to make sure each hair was perfectly placed that day. From that time on, I stopped being so meticulous about my parts and just let my hair fall naturally where it liked. I found it freeing. :) It's still hard for me to totally give in to the trend of the "messy" updo, or to not take the time to make sure each curl has the same spring as the others when using a curling iron to style my hair.
So, with a background like this, you can surmise that getting an asymmetrical cut is not in my nature. I think the nice thing about this one is that it's not too obvious and you could emphasize or de-emphasize it depending on your mood. I want options people! There just aren't that many when you're trying to grow your hair out. We'll see what I end up with on Thursday. I'll post a pic, of course, so you can see too.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Life in General

At the moment, I feel like I've got quite a few different trains of thought all running on different tracks through my brain. Often their dischordant "ca-lack, ca-lack" ing and "chuga-chuga-choo" ing keeps me up at night.
I feel like I've become somewhat of a different person during the course of this pregnancy. It's like I've had a new awakening to creating, crafting, sewing, fashion and makeup. I'm afraid I can't really say that I've grown into a different person spiritually, although God's definitely working on me... just no drastic changes yet. And I can't say that I've grown into the kind of housewife and mom that I really want to be. I've just changed in superficial areas. sigh. I guess those superficial areas are still part of me and it's ok for that part of me to evolve.
Anyway, back to those trains. One of them is totally dedicated to ideas about house organization, a place for everything and... you know the rest. I want to organize the storage room, declutter the hall closets, actually create a sewing nook with places to put projects and fabric and patterns and tools.
Another train is all about continuing to decorate the house. I have sooooo many ideas and projects in my head. Paint the hall. Draw more artwork with a gold paint pen in our bedroom. Pick some pictures from my parent's trip to Italy to blow up, frame and hang in the guest bedroom, Prod my aunt about the magnolia painting I commissioned from her a while back to hang in the living room. Get vinyl wall lettering for the living room and the master. Paint a decorative flower/scroll pattern on the living room wall across from the accent wall in the dining room. Replace the old, dingy fabric in the doors of the buffet with new fabric. I could really go on and on....
The third train charges through my brain with sewing projects galore. I have at least 4 unfinished projects waiting right now and three more that MUST be completed before Arielle arrives. Then there's all the stuff I want to make that's not necessary, just a want.
A couple days ago, the Christmas train arrived. It's really a conglomeration, hauling cars from almost all the other trains. I'm thinking of how I'd like my house to look this Christmas, what I could craft for presents and what I need to do relating to Christmas before the baby gets here that I might not be able to/want to afterwards.
Of course, you all know about this new makeup train that just rolled on in not that long ago and now I can't stop wanting to learn all about brands, ingredients, tips and techniques. It's a big, loud train. Sephora has become a weekly haunt as I find new products on YouTube that I want to try for myself. I'm really surprised the sales people don't recognize me... maybe they do and just don't let on. I mean, how many other red-haired, extremely pregnant women with cute little blonde-haired toddlers come in there?

I went in today to try the Korres Wild Rose Foundation and the Tarte Cheek Stain stick thingy. Seriously, I am now totally in love with both of these products. I already ordered my Laura Mercier foundation from Ebay, but after that's used, Korres' foundation is probably next in line. I didn't even know about this brand a week ago. But it's really everything I want in a foundation. Their products are on Sephoras "green" list because they are formulated without mineral oil, parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances etc. It's a brightening foundation (not matte and not dewy) with great coverage and buildability. The only possible downside is the SPF 20, but now that I'm using a primer, that should cut the risk of blemishes.
And this foundation (from reading the reviews on Sephora's site and elsewhere) actually improves peoples' skin the more they wear it. Ladies are talking about their skin looking better and better every time they wash the makeup off. How's that for a perk? Although it's color formulations are limited (only six shades to choose from) and they are really more olive based, whereas I'm ruddy, I think my skin has never looked better than it does with the Wild Rose Foundation I have on today. The Sephora rep made me a sample to take home and I'm really looking forward to trying it again tomorrow and seeing if I still love it as much as I do today. Other big plus to Korres? Their foundation is $28 compared to Laura Mercier's $42. Nice.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Arielle's Christmas Dress

Here's the mini version of the dress I made for Eden. I love the idea of matching sisters!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Makeup Time Again

I thought I'd do a video on my current faves and some new stuff I've tried that I like and some that doesn't really work for me. There are a couple of bargain hunter drugstore finds and a couple of application tips too.
I posted on YouTube again. You can watch here.

And, random thought of late... I want to get hair extensions, not in a salon, just off a rack. I've said that before, but I'm really curious if anyone who was not a professional hairstylist and just bought the Jessica Simpson ones could really put them in and look natural. I've seen videos and it doesn't look that hard. Just seems like the perfect solution to my hair desires. I like it short because I feel like I have more of an individual style, but I like the option of long hair (I've always idolized Aurora from Sleeping Beauty) and all the updo opportunities that come with it. I also would love to be able to do some highlights or lowlights, but I'm not about to shell out $50 or more every month for maintainance. Hair extensions (reasonable length ones, not down to my butt or anything) seem like a possible solution. hmmmm.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Something that turned out right the first time! Sewing is MUCH more enjoyable when I follow a pattern (an easy one that includes step by step instructions with photos) and just take things slowly. Talking to myself while I work seems to help to. :)
I used the Peasant Top/Dress pattern from Whimsy Couture and added the sash with the flower. I'm loving the sash idea and I've seen it a lot. It's a nice option to make the dress something special and you can use the flower or not (it's on a clip) and you can tie it in the back or the front, in a bow or a knot... so versatile!
I have a couple of options for Eden to wear for Christmas, but I really wanted to make her a dress myself.
So I did it. And now that I've done one, I'm not as scared to try to make Arielle's.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Gotta Love a Deal

I always get excited about saving money... not the kind of saving money where you don't spend any at all, but the kind where you spend less than you thought you might have to.
I've been Ebay hunting and I discovered a listing about 3 days ago for the Laura Mercier foundation that matched my skin so well. It goes for $42 full price and this listing began the bidding at 99 cents. (is there really no cents sign on my keyboard? hmmm) I was the first bidder and the only bidder for 2 of the 3 days. Needless to say, I was getting very excited about getting it for $4 including shipping. Then the inevitable happened and someone else bid $10. My cap was $14.50 because that's about all that's left in my part of the budget this month, so I went for it, afraid I would forget to be in front of my computer in the last few minutes of bidding. Apparently the other bidder wasn't interested in paying more than that either because I won it! $17.50 total for a $42 product. Yea! That's almost like buying a "high-end" drugstore brand like Physician's Formula.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Being Someone Else

Here's today's hair experiment. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on hairstyling last night and got inspired to try something new. I never ever tease, but It makes hair much more interesting. I think that my side-swept

pouf is a bit too "perfect" and therefore looking dated. I don't know what era, but it's not looking "rocker girl" like I envisioned. maybe it's the choice of adornment that's adding to lack of modernity...

Anyway, I decided to try and wear this out and I felt very much stared at and very much not myself. But it was kind-of fun to be someone else for a while, whoever else it is that would do their hair like this. :)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

All By Myself

I don't know how I can get some really good lighting but here's a picture of me with my own take on a make up look using some of the things I learned from my makeovers. I'm sad you can't see it very well, but I'll tell you what I used anyway.
I primed my face with the oil-free primer sample from Lorac I got with my Sephora order. Then I used some of my Arbonne liquid foundation in shade 1C. Unfortunately, this foundation is SPF 8 and I'm trying not to use SPF on my face for a couple of weeks to see if it helps my acne issues, but maybe having the primer on my face first will protect it. ??? I then used my BareMinerals powder foundation as a concealer around my eyes, and nose and all over my eye lids as a base for shadow and liner. I used a drugstore brow pencil in an auburn shade to define my brows. I decided to go with the more dramatic MAC eyeliner look on the lid using a drugstore brown liquid liner. I used Queen Phyllis (my daily sandard) shimmery gold powder shadow from BareMinerals on my lid and tear ducts and then accented with a blue-green color called Freedom on my lower lash line. I used the NARS blush/bronzer duo for my cheek color and contour and finished it off with BareMinerals Buxom lip gloss in Bunny.
We went out to see an air show earlier today and there was definitely some dewiness involved (that's the girl term for sweating), but my makeup really lasted. This picture was taken at the end of the day and probably the only thing that needed touching up was my lip gloss. I'm really noticing the difference of using a primer. Not only does my makeup have more staying power, but I'm having to use less to cover.
Onward in my makeup adventures.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I promised that by the end of the week, I would make a post about some "deep thoughts" I've had. It's only a few more hours until the end of the week, so I'd better get crackin'.
We went to a different church on Sunday. We attended a Vineyard church in Augusta and thought we'd probably want something different here in Jackson, but the familiar is easy and comfortable. We tried the Jackson Vineyard this past week and, boy was it a great week to go! I'm so, so happy we visited. This may not become our new church, but we were really blessed by this Sunday's service.
They had a guest speaker, but even before he spoke, I was impressed by the pastor's (I'm assuming he was the pastor) opening prayer. He prayed that we would show Jesus to the people we saw through the week and that we would seek boldness from the Holy Spirit to share Jesus with those whose paths crossed ours. Boldness... good stuff.
Worship was very lively. There were lots of people, men and women, raising their hands. There were also a couple ladies dancing on one side in the front and a young girl with some flags on the other side. I like to see that, of course. The "skit," as the pastor called it, was a duet of the two dancers I had noticed earlier in worship.
Everyone was dressed VERY casually. There was a whole troop of bikers and the congregation seemed generally to be lower to middle class... just judging from the cars in the parking lot... um... and by the haircuts and fashion choices.
I have to be totally honest here and say that I felt like I really didn't fit in. I had to confront my snootiness (snootiness I didn't even know I had!) and realize that it would probably be really good for me to get out of my own "class" and mingle with people that aren't exactly like me. Huh, imagine that.
Now I'd like to share the main thing I took from what the speaker said. He was a former member of a band called Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section aka The Swampers. He had a radical conversion experience and now plays his guitar for Christ and speaks. He used to pastor a church as well. The first thing that struck me was how he could play guitar, and play well, and I felt drawn to worship, directed to worship. I grew up with parents that were uncomfortable with guitar solos during worship. Something about guitar and it's relation to rock music, which they don't care for... They were just always distracted by a guitar solo. The felt like it detracted from worship and brought focus to the musician. I, by default, have had the same discomfort in the past.
I think I posted here about the minister who came to Christ Life a couple of times and ministered with singing before he preached. I was just uncomfortable with that, but then I had to ask myself why it would be different to dance to direct the congregation toward worship. I didn't have an answer, but all I knew is that I felt like his singing performance did, in fact, detract from worship and make me focus more on him.
So, same question here. Why was it any different for him to play his guitar for us (for God really) than for me or others to dance a performance? Well, in this case, I didn't feel it was any different at all. I wasn't made uncomfortable by his playing. It brought me toward God and I was able to appreciate the talent God had given him and be inspired by the fact that he was using his abilities to honor the One Who had provided them.
He said, in between songs, that he used to play only mediocre guitar in church settings when he first got saved because he was afraid of just what I've been talking about my parents and I feeling. But then he thought "Why should I play worse for Jesus than I did for the Devil!?" I thought that was a really great "aha" moment. That's just so true. He went on to say that to waste or diminish his talent didn't make sense, ESPECIALLY in a setting of worshiping his Creator. That clicked for me.
All that being said, I think that there is a very present temptation and danger of slipping into self-promoting performance. But I totally think that if your heart is fully towards worship that using your talents with excellence and sharing them in the corporate worship setting is completely acceptable. It's all about your heart.
He said a lot of other really great things, so many nuggets that were worthy of an audible "That's right!" from me.
God is so good. We were both so glad to have the chance to be blessed by Him and that guest speaker.

MAC Makeover

Back to YouTube again. Blogger doesn't like my videos apparently.
My MAC experience was very different from my Laura Mercier experience. I really appreciated the consultant being honest with me about her opinion of MAC's products, but what she had to say pretty much let me know that I didn't need to be using them. There's soooo much buzz on YouTube about MAC cosmetics. They seem to be somewhat of a standard of comparison for other cosmetics, so I just assumed they were awesome. Not for me.
Check it out if you're curious.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Impromptu Laura Mercier Makeover

I'd like to share with everyone the results of my free makeover at the Laura Mercier makeup counter in Maison Weiss. I do tend to babble on (I've really got to work on that), but if you've got 12 minutes, you might learn a tip or two about makeup. I thought I knew how to do my makeup well, but the makeup artist did some things with me today and told me some things that I would have never known otherwise.
I also mention my awesome new glasses and my awesome 40's inspired 'do. :) Totally unrelated, but... I knew you were dying to feel totally up to date on my life in the minutest detail. right?

I couldn't get it to upload here this time, so it's on YouTube here. Scratch that... My rambling on got me in trouble. YouTube vids must be 10 min. or shorter apparently. I'm going back in to re-edit.
Ok, now I've done it. Here is the link, for real.