Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fall Fashion Finds

Here are seven things I'm loving for Fall.

1. bebe's smocked ruffle jacket.  As soon as I saw this picture of Charlize Theron I fell in love with the idea of my own ruffled "leather" jacket.  I was in White House Black Market last Spring and there was a woman complaining to her husband how she hated all the ruffles she was seeing. I think her quote was, "There are ruffles everywhere you look. I mean, who wants to wear THAT?" I smiled to myself and thought, "Me. I do!" The ruffle is as strong as ever.

2. A Pewter handbag in a decent price range. Francesca's continues to be a favorite spot of mine for accessories.

3. A black and white tunic for $14.99!  Add some pearls and chains and it's Coco Chanel, dahling.  Admittedly, I will have to buy an extra large at this store. (SW, you know what I'm sayin'!)

4. Because pearls and chains can be expensive if you already have a string of pearls (real or imitation) just add these chains to create that look. Now that's inexpensive!

5. Loving this black cardigan jacket from the Limited.  I love a structured jacket and this is slightly more casual...not as casual as a cardi and not as formal as a jacket. You get the idea. Add a brooch, flower, or scarf. Whatever is you. And yes, this is one of two black jackets I have on the list...can you have enough black? :)

6. My favorite jeans. Silver jeans are my favorite. And this is their mid-rise version for those of us who appreciate keeping our muffin from topping.

7. Because I don't feel that orange is a complimentary color for my face, I don't wear it. But in the Fall, I crave it. I yearn to see other people wear it. I am loving this henley in "heather agate".  It screams Autumn. Jealous...way jealous of you if you were blessed with the complexion that is enhanced by this color.

I am anxious to hear what you are finding to love about fashion this Fall. I have a feeling I may find some more things to love. It won't be long...

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Birthday Giveaway!

Today is my friend Nicole's birthday, and she's celebrating it by doing a very fun giveaway. Send her some birthday love and click here to enter.

Nicole, Are you Nic, now? I prefer Kimberlee, and someone else I know is going by Meg. Are we having an identity crisis???? Well, let's just say we are so we can form a group and get together once in awhile, okay? I love you no matter what you're calling yourself these days. :)

Habitat for Humanity ReStore---Wichita

Last Thursday I went online and found out that Wichita has a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Apparently, they've been there forever. Please don't tell me I'm the last one to know about this.

Habitat's website describes a ReStore like this:
Habitat’s ReStore resale outlets sell reusable and surplus building materials to the public 
While every ReStore is a little different, most focus on home improvement goods like furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances. 

ReStores accept donated goods which are sold to the general public at a fraction of the retail price. The proceeds help local Habitat affiliates fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities.

I had heard that there were great deals to be had, and even my dad was raving about the ReStore near his home in North Carolina the last time he visited. Here are a few things that peaked my interest on Thursday:

At the ReStore, things are sold that are brand new and used. The white dishes, tiles, and some of the cabinetry are NEW!!!! There is furniture, brass chandeliers (I was having a huge spray paint itch), hardware, trim, ceiling fans, etc. And all of it was beyond reasonable. I can't remember what everything cost, but I can tell you what I bought and what it cost, and you can decide if it's worth it to get over there.

Antique Bronzed door knob (new): $3.00. Uh, hello Home Depot, $14 a piece????
Fiestaware mugs (new): $5.00 ($2.50 each) They don't make this color anymore= valuable to me.
Chandelier (used and lovely!): $10.00 Are you kidding me? I was checking out when they were bringing it from the back, and I said, "Where are you going with that? How much is it? Can I see it?" I'm sure the girl thought I was a total spazz. Oh well, the truth will set me free.

My total was $18. I would've skipped out of there if that chandy wasn't so heavy. Instead, I think I just giggled all the way to the car. I cannot wait to go back. I am kicking myself for not buying those round end tables. They were $12 a piece. A little grayish white paint...sigh.

If you want to find out if there is a ReStore where you live, click here for locations in the US and here for those in Canada.

In Wichita they are open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 am-5:30 pm.
They are at the corner of Harry and Hillside.
And FYI...they are having a lighting sale in September...20 percent off!!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

What I Love About Sunday: CBS' Sunday Morning


This is one of my favorite shows. Bruce and I used to watch it every week before we had kids. I think it's time for Tivo, babe.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Day on the Farm

For 15 years a lovely couple in our county have been hosting a FREE event called "Day on the Farm". I have been calling it Day at the Farm for three of those 15 years. At. With. On...it all means we're livin' it up at the farm!!! Which reminds me, I totally forgot to lead the van in a round of Old McDonald as we're driving down the dirt road to get there. Shoot. My Grandpa Krienke used to say shoot a lot, and he was a farmer who drove green tractors.
We took Grandpa and Grandma this year. I'm not sure who had more fun?!
The Kansas prairie. What you don't see is the 150 cars parked to the north and more to the south. :)
Animals abound.
Ella's favorite thing? The thing she talks about all year? Riding the horses. 
Last year she rode Maggie. This year Jazz was her horse.
 She smiled like this for at least an hour afterward.
It was a great day. It wore us out.
Thanks to everyone who works as a volunteer 
to make this event spectacular. 
If we had hats we'd tip 'em to ya.
Shoot. We're already looking forward to next year. :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What Excites One or Two

What is it that makes Talia smile this big at Day at the Farm?
It's not the horses.
It's not the pigs.
It's not the goat milking.
It's hand sanitizer. 
You can see it in her hand. Yes, she is rubbing it all over herself like "sunscream".

The only other person I know who loves the stuff more is Bruce. He's nuts about it. I mean, I like clean hands just as much as anyone, but I'll save my excitement for things a little bit more like this.

I should've taken a picture of this raspberry deliciousness, but it was gone too fast. There were 12 of us at lunch today, and I doubled the recipe. PW's Raspberry Crisp with real whipped cream...one of the most exciting desserts I've eaten in a long time. 

If you want to kick up the excitement notch a bit, you can use the hand sanitizer after you've licked your bowl clean. At least two peeps in my family would be excited by that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday Derailed

I did not have the Monday I had hoped for.
1. I had planned to post pictures from our weekend. My laptop blue screened.
2. I met with a mentor friend of mine yesterday and she had specific words for me: Let it be.
    (Not what I wanted to hear but what I needed to hear.)
3. I locked my keys in the van.

I am thankful this Tuesday for:
1. Pictures recovered.
2. A softer more open heart and by the end of the day, Lord willing, follow through.
3. A McDonalds Playland with our name on it. Keys in my purse.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Mean Mom Devotional

Oh yes, I can be a mean mom. I've been feeling it lately. So this morning when I got an email from a friend saying that she had come across this devotional about being a mean mom and it spoke to her, I knew the Lord was going to speak to my heart as well. Gulp. Double gulp.

When I was in Kindergarten,I learned the song, "Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar." This is immediately where my brain went when I started thinking about moms. We all are mean, aren't we? I just seem to have more days lately than everyone else.

"Who me? 
Yes, you. 
Couldn't be. 
Then, who? "

Instead of pointing to someone else in the group, I'm guessing most of us would point to ourselves, and be surprised by the seemingly perfect mom pointing directly at herself, too.
If you're mentally pointing to yourself, read Mean Mom, Kind Mom. Be prepared to be challenged. I'm a little wounded because there's so much truth there, and I've got a bit of homework on my plate after reading it.

Thanks, dear friend for sending this to me. I love a good word, even if there's a bunch of pruning that's going to need to be done.

I'm guessing my girls would thank you, too.

My dad is going to Haiti tomorrow with a group of men to help rebuild a church.
Would you all pray for him?

I love you, dad. I am so very proud of you. May God be glorified in every moment of this adventure. I believe He will be.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Back to School Coffee

I believe this thought came from the Lord last year: On that first day of school, if you, the Mom, don't have to head straight out of the classroom and into the office, then you probably need a place to be. You could be the place to be.

I advertised my first Back to School Coffee for moms in the area last year when Ella went to Kindergarten via Facebook and announced in church that "there would be Kleenex provided to those who need it and high fives for those who wanted to give them" when they got to my house that morning. In other words, we would weep with those who wanted to weep and cheer with those who were cheering. I also added that there would be no judgement in either direction and that anyone who needed a place to be at 8:30 am on the first day of school was invited to my house.

This summer I was thrilled when people began asking if I was having the get together again. 
You bet. A tradition had been born. 
I made Bakerella's Cheesecake Bars and cut them into bites (I used Pam Buller's crust , thanks Megan), Pioneer Woman's French Breakfast Puffs and my dear friend Molly's White Chocolate Cranberry Scones. I ate plenty of all three. Delish!

And then the Moms arrived---the Young and the Seasoned.

And with them there were at least six babies. Look at these lips. I love baby lips. 
This is the newest babsie in town. Sweet Maddox. This is not his mama. 
She was sharing the love. I love it when they share.
Of course we had kids---I didn't count but there had to be more kids than adults.
 There may have been around 50 of us total. I lost track around 40. 

Talia was there, too. Showing love to the babies. Not so much love was had for one of her best friends who wanted to "share" her special blanket though. We're still working on that sharing thing. 
Heck, I'm personally still working on that sharing thing.
A little proof that I was there. Really. Modeling my back to school shirt. 
Do you buy a back to school shirt for yourself? 
That's another little tradition I have.
Forever 21 I love you....$7.50 with tax!
This is the shirt I was more interested in. I loved it. I asked her if I could take a picture of her beautiful tummy. She's a good sport...but seriously, I never had anything this cute to wear when I was pregnant.
You're beautiful Amanda!
Three hours later, my party ended.
My stomach and heart were both full. Such a fun morning.
I love each of you that came over.
Come again next year, and bring friends!
I read this verse yesterday morning and knew it was for me, and potentially for the Mom's attending the Back to School Coffee. I posted it on my chalkboard.

Psalm 25:5 (NIV)
"Guide me in your truth and teach me
for you are God my Savior,
  and my hope is in you all day long."

As you guide me in your truth, teach me, Jesus, to put my hope in you all day long.
That means every second.
When I worry about Ella: Not eating lunch. Making it to the bathroom on time. Paying attention in class. Obeying her teachers. Loving others. Listening. Learning. Being a friend.
Guide me. All. Day. Long.
I need you and your truth.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First Day of School

First, an apology goes out to Grandma and Nana. I am so sorry I have not posted these pictures earlier than this instant. I had to take a nap this afternoon after hosting the Back To School Coffee (pics tomorrow) and that nap turned into two hours for me. Talia slept three hours, and I will pay for that later I'm sure, but at least I'll have the energy to deal.

 Ella was ecstatic to visit Mrs. Linnens' classroom yesterday. We did a practice run to be ready for today.

This morning when Bruce, Talia and I walked into the classroom with Ella, Mrs. Linnen's greeted her with so much fanfare I felt like I wanted to stay and be a first grader. And every student was treated that way.

I love Mrs. Linnen's already. I just wonder how long it's going to take me to stop thinking, "Mrs. Linens and Things." Ha. Like she's never heard that one before. I'm putting more stock into this Linnen's than anyone should've put into Linens and Things.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vegan Thoughts

Some thoughts on being Vegan...
1.There is very little beyond fruits and vegetables that do not have animal products in it. I know this because I read nearly every label in our house and at the grocery store. In the end, I mostly ate spinach salad and other vegetables for my main courses. For dessert I ate fruit. I was burning up too many calories reading labels to come up with new recipes to try.

2. I felt amazing. Once I got passed day two (you know the one with the cheesecakes I was fine. My head was the clearest it's been in a long time. Instead of thinking about food, I spent time thinking about how strong I felt. Until day five when everyone I knew was making pizza or eating pizza. Not fun. I love pizza. And I usually eat vegetarian pizza. But vegans don't eat cheese. And I love cheese. I almost live for cheese.

3. My body would function well as a Vegan. I have read The Body Type Diet  and it says the same thing---I should eat as many fruits and vegetables as I can. (Your body type might be different. Get the book, take the quiz to find out.) Meat, cheese and cream are things I should rarely eat and those last two could be major food groups for me. While on this self imposed cleanse, I had zero cravings after day two. On my to do list was to bake for an upcoming event. I made things loaded with butter and cream and had no desire to taste them. I felt completely balanced without them. This is not normal for me.

4. My family would not function well as Vegans. Bruce, Ella and Talia are not vegans nor do they want to be. Bruce had the first lunch of the week with me and when I thought we were finished, he said, "Raise your hand if you're a satisfied vegan?" He then went and ransacked the cupboards for anything he could find.

5. I am not staying a Vegan. Due to my all or nothing personality I doubt that I can find a moderation that I could really do. And it really is a lot of work to prepare a meal for your family and a separate meal for yourself. I had one hot meal all week. I cannot imagine doing this in the winter...a freezing Vegan I could not be.

For those of you who are curious about weight loss,  I lost four pounds and an entire half inch on my hips alone. And I exercised three days last week and did yoga twice.

Weight loss is not enough to convince me.
Clarity of thoughts are not enough to convince me.
Cravings subsided are not enough to convince me.

In the end, cheese wins.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mango and Black Bean Salad

For the past 24 hours, I have been eating this Mango and Black Bean Salad like it's going out of style. I am nearing the end of my vegan cleanse and this definitely falls into what I can eat. (And mangoes were on sale this week!)

Fortunately for me, Bruce also loves it. All the Jost men in my life do. I found it several years ago in Cooking Light magazine. Click here for the recipe.  I go heavy on the lime and cilantro because I'm just a lime and cilantro kind of girl.

Tomorrow I'll have a few thoughts on my short attempt at being a vegan.

Enjoy what's left of your Sunday!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Snowcones and Swimsuits

There are really only two things that you can do when it's still 100 degrees at seven in the evening.

We did them both tonight.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ten on Ten:: August 2010

This morning I came across the blog Ten on Ten. Their idea?

Take a photo every hour for ten consecutive hours on the tenth of each month. 
Document a day of your life and find beauty among the ordinary moments. 

I instantly loved the idea--- even though I am not a photographer. Someday my girls will be able to look back and remember what a day in our life was like when they were seven and two and a half. 

Someday I'll be able to look back and wonder why I was Screaming, Running, Naked half the time. 

What I have learned about today is that there really is beauty in the ordinary things of my life including: fly swatters, spinach, and ceiling fans. And if I stop and pay attention once in awhile, it's amazing what my eyes see that my camera cannot. This causes me to stop and think, what else am I missing? I look forward to finding out.

The One With All The Cheesecakes

My friend  Marjie and I decided to go Vegan. No meat, cheese or animal products whatsoever.
I am doing it for one week to clean out my system. I have been eating too much junk lately.

It's day two and all I can think about is "The One With All the Cheesecakes." (I picked this version for clarity...not sure what language the subtitles are in. Click to watch it on youtube, the embedded feature has been disabled.)

Day two is always the hardest when you set out to do anything, right?

I may or may not be Joey today...waiting for cheesecake to fall.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Puppy Love

I can't believe we did it. We went and looked at puppies. 

We cuddled them.

We talked to them.

We told them how much we already love them.
And then we went home without any of them.
One exhausted. One in tears. One with relief.  And one much too hopeful for her own good.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sleepless Thoughts...

Last night I was awake for a long time. Hours. This is what I remember thinking about:

1. Coffee. I had an incredible urge to get up and make coffee at 2:30. I got up and made a cup of hot water instead for fear that I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep again. How old am I?
2. Ella will not have a bathroom in her classroom this year. Will she remember to tell the teacher in time before having to walk down that long hallway? Or worse, will she remember that the bathroom is down that long hallway and try to get out of class every day by walking very slowly and taking a very long time to wash her hands, and then never really take care of what she was suppose to do there?
3. I hated math in school. It made my stomach hurt. I am so glad that I don't have to go to a math class this fall. (I thought about this way too long, and it made my stomach hurt.)
4. I should take a Spanish class, a pie baking class, a French class, a guitar class and a swim class.
5. Rachel and Leah and Jacob. What a mess. Jacob---so not a favorite Bible person to me right now.
6. Donuts.
7. My shoulders hurt from yoga. 
8. I need to change my workout.
9. Oblivious and obvious are very similar words that are completely different. I wonder where the words originate? I wonder if it's obvious and I am oblivious to it's obviousness?
10. Puppies. I want one, or two.

Is anyone else having sleepless nights? What are you thinking about?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Eat Your Heart Out Pottery Barn

It's been at least a year that I've had my eye on this pillow.  To borrow a phrase from Stevie Wonder, "Isn't she lovely?"
Sweater-Knit Pillow Cover by Pottery Barn.

When I would visit a Pottery Barn (PB), I would pick her up, carrying her around, and then put her back on the shelf and leave, empty handed. I could not justify the money, even though every time I went in I had planned on the purchase. I did this at least three times.
One day I told my real life friend, Carisa, of A Little Knitting fame, about my pillow crush. She had just begun to do cable knit. I sent her the link to PB to show her why I was so in love.

Weeks later, Carisa decided to do a giveaway. She would knit something for whomever won. I thought that if I won, I would have her make me a scarf like her daughter Emersyn's.

And then I ended up winning! Carisa asked me if I wanted her to try and make a cable knit pillow cover.    Of course---but I thought it was WAY beyond what she probably set out to give away. She wanted to try it, and one thing Carisa loves is the thrill of finding out if she can do something.  Because she knows she can. Even if she's never tried it before. I wish I had even a little bit of that. What do you call that...drive?  A little competition with myself would do me some good once in awhile.

Yesterday, she gave me this little beauty. This is the front side. 
Look at the buttons. 
And this is the back. Equally lovely.

I have explained to Ella and Talia that this pillow is very special to me and they can pet her. 
They may not poke her.
They may not throw her.
And they may not eat near her.

Now the question is, where will she call home? Where will she land?

The quiet time chair?

The chair and a half?

The couch?

Ella is willing to share the couch with her.
(She's on her way to a full recovery from the tonsillectomy.)

An old rocker with a great creak?

Or, the turquoise kitchen chair?
Wherever she lands, the piece will certainly be improved. 

Thank you, dear friend, for a gift that means more to me than anything that can be purchased at Pottery Barn. 
I feel significantly loved. 

Leave Carisa a comment telling her how much you love her work.
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