September 30, 2014

Share the Covers--Heartless

The original by Kanye West . . .


And the cover by The Fray . . .

To be honest, I used to hate this song.  It came out when Kaden was going through hard times and he became obsessed with it.  So it doesn't bring the best memories.  And I am not really a Kanye West fan--music-wise or person-wise.  But I do think his version is superior to the new version by The Fray.  Just my opinion.

It's so amazing what music can do.  It can bring forth so many memories and so many emotions.  It can remind you of times in your life--good and bad.  It can remind you of people.  It can remind you of exact moments in time--when you got your first car, when you got to dance with your crush, when you went out to dinner with your grandmother.

And somehow I swear the universe seems to coincide music with what is going on in my life.  It could be a perception thing, it could be a coincidence or maybe it is legit.  When I found out my ex was cheating on me, the #1 song was Take a Bow by Rhianna.  When I moved from towns in middle school from friends I'd had for years and years, The Sweater Song by Weezer had just come out.  It's crazy.

And this is why I love music.  I love that in just a few bars of No Scrubs by TLC I can be taken back to high school, driving down Main Street with my two best girlfriends (one of whom was Patrick's girlfriend at the time . . .) honking our horn at cute boys.  I love that when I hear Heartache Tonight by the Eagles I think of the dance that my brother, sister and I made up for the song.  I love that when I hear Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain I can hear my grandmother's voice as she requested the song on the radio with the dj that she personally knew every time that we spent the weekend at her house.

Music is magic.  And I can't tell you how fortunate I am to hear it, to live long enough to hear so many generations of it and to be surrounded by music lovers in friends and family that give me so much variety of music to learn and love.  Plus, my brother plays the guitar.  And he's been staying with us.  Awesome.

Maroon Lace Dress-c/o Pink Blush Maternity; Leopard Print Belt-Target; Football Booties-Charlotte Russe; Earrings-gifted; Sunnies-Target; Love Bracelet-gifted by Mom; Elephant Cuff-vintage

September 29, 2014

Make it Monday #4--Strawberry Lemon Angel Food Cake

So this Make it Monday was actually made last month for my brother's birthday.  My brother is not a sweets guy--he doesn't really care for many desserts so finding a sweet to celebrate his birthday was challenging. 

I found this recipe for Strawberry Lemon Angel Food Cake and decided to give it a go.  I didn't modify the recipe at all.  Here is how it turned out:

Difficulty Level:  Not hard at all.  Because the cake part of the recipe called for boxed angel food cake, it made it extremely easy.  My daughter, of course, even helped me with the recipe without issue.

 Taste Test:  Amazing.  Very good cake.  Even my brother, the sweets snob, was impressed. 

 Modifications/Tips for Next Time:  My only problem?  I had never made angel food cake before.  And I didn't have a bundt pan.  Instead of making one cake in a bundt pan and sawing it in half to insert the whipped cream and strawberries, I opted to use two 9 inch metal pans and then place one on top of the other.  I don't know how difficult it would've been to cut the one cake in half, but let's just say that the plan to merge two cakes to one didn't go exactly as planned.  Also, angel food cake raises A LOT in the oven.  Like a lot.

All in all, this was a perfect dessert--sweet and easy.  I would recommend it to one of you and I will be making it again myself.

Dress-Vera Wang; Military Vest-Old Navy; Leopard Print Flats-Payless; Bubble Necklace-Charming Charlie's; Earrings-vintage from Grandma

September 26, 2014

Mission #42, Day 5--Knit Cape

Aw the last day of Mission Week is always so bittersweet.  This has been a super fun challenge, I must say.  But it's always to go back to the nonrestrictive weeks of "free fashion".  So on this day, I wore a knitted cape.  For some reason, it always reminds me of Little Women.  And that's why I love it. 

 So how many of you out there are parents?  Any of you dealt with the Tooth Fairy yet?  Well, for those of you who have not, let me tell you this: it never happens when you have cash.  Never.  Your kids will tell you that they lost a tooth and you will feel a sense of pride, joy, panic and various levels of neurosis.

Kaden found out at nine that there was no tooth fairy.  Because he lost a tooth.  And I didn't have cash.  And I forgot to get some.  And the Tooth Fairy never came.  And he was plagued with guilt that it was something he did.  And so I had to come clean.  And ever since I have been absolutely adamant that I will not let that happen again.  I even have an alarm programmed in my phone that I set every time a kid looses a tooth.

So a few weeks ago, Conner lost a tooth.  I happened to be out and about at Target with my bestie Matty.  When I got to the cashier I asked got some cash back and asked for two $5 (I also have a psychotic paranoia about taking too many $1s from businesses because I used to be a retail clerk/waitress/etc.).

Matty gave me a confused look and I told him that it was for Tooth Fairy duty.  Our cashier, who was about 132, if I was to estimate, got a disgusted look on his face.  "What?  $5?  Foratooth?!?!?  When I was little, we got a nickel.  A nickel!  Who gives $5 for a tooth???"

He had a point.  And he scared the bejesus out of me.  So I got $1s back and Conner got $2 from the Tooth Fairy.  Sorry dude. 

White Dress-thrifted; Knit Cape with Hood-Marshall's; Cognac OTK Boots-Charlotte Russe; Earrings-Kohl's; Sunnies-Target

September 25, 2014

Mission #42, Day 4--Plaid Cape

Welcome, blog, to my favorite cape and one of my most boasted thrift finds.  When I found this cape hanging lonely-like in the thrift store, I had one of those moments that all thrifters are more than familiar with--I hastily scooped it up and clenched on to it for the remainder of my shopping trip.  I was sure someone would realize the huge mistake they made donating such a gem and come back to reclaim it.

So this past weekend we went to Lake McConaughy.  If you're unfamiliar, it's a lake in Nebraska that I would dare to say rivals that of a beach on the coast.  The sand is fine and perfect for sand castles.  The water is pretty clear and calm.

We've gone quite a few times with the kids.  We like to stay at Eagle Canyon Hideaway.  It has adorable cabins, showers, bathrooms, a park, an outdoor swimming pool, a convenience store--all the elements that I like to "camp" in.

And it has wi-fi.  Sort of.  It's pretty spotty.  On the way up, my brother and cousin announced that they didn't bring their phone chargers.  My family is not big on social media.  In fact, I'm the only one in my immediate family besides my dad (who is rarely on it) to have a Facebook (well, my mom very recently joined--at my request) and I very recently convinced my sister and dad to get an Instagram.   I gasped.  How could they do that???  But then it gave me an idea.

I decided to go the weekend without my phone.  I turned it off.  I didn't check Instagram or Facebook.  I didn't text anyone.  I didn't Pin anything or check my blog stats or read other blogs.  I just . . . hung out.  The old fashioned way.  And while it was admittedly embarrassingly difficult, it was nice.  I think I might be a little more plugged in than I thought.  And now I know that I may need to unplug a little more often.

Mustard Dress-Free People; Plaid Cape-vintage and thrifted; Suede Wedges-Target; Cognac Bag-Taget; Earrings-Kohl's; Prada lookalike Sunnies-shop in mall

September 24, 2014

Mission #42, Day 3--Camel Cape

A camel cape goes with damn near everything.  But it looked really freaking good with this orange tee, black pencil skirt and animal print heels.  I know that sounds quasi conceited, but whatevs.  I'm still 20 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, still can't fit into a good chunk of my closet and I have to take all the feel good days and outfits I can get.  #dealwithit

Speaking of confidence and feel goods, let me tell you a little story about a recent first time experience I had.  For the first time ever I made a purchase on Craigslist.

For weeks after Reilly's birth I scoured garage sales, thrift stores and online for a cheap bicycle trailer for Reilly.  I love riding my bike and Patrick had recently fixed mine up.  But I couldn't very well ride it until I could take Reilly with me because, you know, #attachedatthehip.

And then--behold!!!!  A Schwinn bike trailer for $65!  On Craigslist!  So I contacted the seller and set it all up to be picked up the next day.  I was so stoked!  Until . . .

The moment came and I got a twinge of anxiety.  OMG.  I am about to go to a stranger's house.  To pick up a too good to be true dream item.  What if I'm about to be murdered?  What if I get mugged?  Why didn't I research this better?

Before I could talk myself out of it I found myself parked in a posh Boulder neighborhood in front of the most American pie house on the planet.  Out bounces a tiny, young, vibrant woman in yoga pants and a ponytail.  As we stood and spoke, she waved to the neighbors and called the kids walking home by name.

The moral of this story--sometimes my anxiety makes me feel ridiculous.  Woops.

Black Pencil Skirt-Old Navy (maternity); Orange Tee-thrifted; Animal Print Peep Toe Pumps-BCBG, thrifted and gifted; Necklace-Charming Charlie's; Camel Cape-Marshall's; Diamond Stud Earrings-gifted; Prada-like Sunglasses-shop in mall

September 23, 2014

Mission #42, Day 2--Tweed Cape

Today I'm styling a more classic kind of cape.  The tweed cape.  The grey cape.  The quasi conservative serious cape.  So I did what Anna Wintour refuses to do and went head to toe black on this bad boy.

So are you all familiar with the brain teaser about the fox, the chicken and the sack of grain?  Basically, it goes like this--you have a fox, a chicken and a sack of grain that you need to take across a river.  Your boat is very small and can only hold one item at a time.  You have to get all three across the river--what do you take first?

The predicament lies in that you can't leave the chicken and the fox alone together or the fox will eat the chicken.  You can't leave the chicken and the grain together or the chicken will eat the grain.  Not only do you have to worry about which to leave together to make the first trip, but you have to worry about who to leave on the other side when you go to get the last item.

It's an interesting situation isn't it?  Well guess what?  I relate that to just about every instance when it comes to seating and my children.  I voiced this metaphor to my brother this weekend.  We took a road trip to Nebraska.  We took our minivan and in our minivan we were going to seat me, Patrick, my brother, my cousin and my four kids.

And so we had to seat the kids in such a way that, in a four hour drive, we wouldn't hear fighting and arguing.  We had to separate Conner and Brielle for sure, but Brielle and Kaden wouldn't be able to sit together either.  We wanted Kaden and/or an adult next to Reilly to help with possible feedings.

And any parent with two or more children can relate.  It's seating arrangements in the car, at the dinner table, during plays and movies, on the couch--EVERYWHERE.  It's kind of ridiculous.  But if you've ever listened to siblings bicker, you know that it's worth the trouble. 

I don't know what the answer to the kid situation is and obviously it differs every time, but if you want to know the answer to the chicken/fox/grains problem, you can find it here.  

Case in point: raising kids is a constant brain teaser.

Grey Tweed Cape-Rue 21; Skinny Black Jeans-Old Navy (maternity); Embellished Blouse-Kohl's; Black Booties-Old Navy; Earrings-gifted; Glasses-Bebe
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