Tag Archives: mid-length skirt

Day 174: Back in the Saddle

I think a good look that almost always works for me is the “tennis skirt” look. It’s casual and comfortable and nice all at the same time.

 

And thanks so much for the feedback yesterday. I would love this blog to include more people than just myself (aka YOU!) , so I need to get to work figuring out how to do that. Thanks for being a reader here and for the support!

Have a wonderful day!

 

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Day 159- Why I appreciate the beauty message in The Hunger Games

I know that a few days ago I lamented having an apparent “hole in my soul” for my lack of enjoyment of fiction writing. With all of the hubub of The Hunger Games I decided that I simply MUST be a part of this latest cultural happening and read this very talked-about book. So having had the book on my shelf for about two weeks, I finally picked it up at 9pm on Wednesday night and regretfully put it down at 2am. I proceeded to ignore my children the following day so that I could finish it up. I really did enjoy it! It was like watching a movie. (And I do hope to see the movie as well.)

One aspect of the novel I appreciated is the moral beauty message that Suzanne Collins weaved into the plot without being preachy or heavy-handed. The reader is led to deeply admire the heroine Katniss for her strength, independence, survival skills, maturity, and love of family. Collins does not lead the reader to admire her for her physical appearance whatsoever. (Which is quite different from most female-led tales.) While we do have a sense that Katniss is attractive physically, this is not the point of why we the reader like her, nor why the two young men in her life Gale and Peeta like her. 

In fact, being admired for her physical appearance alone, as she is when ablaze in her arena fire dress becomes a clever commentary on the vast efforts that go into creating a “media image” for celebrities. Because of the disdain the reader feels for the Capitol’s sacrifice and using of children, we come to disdain the practices of the Capitol in general. Katniss undergoing a full-body waxing, for example, seems a harsh stripping of her humanity. The Capitol workers with their excessively stylized hair and outfits and plastic surgery to stay looking forever young are regarded as shallow, materialistic, and self-centered. It is as though they have never really experienced life. Katniss suspects that they behave this way due to having so much time on their hands. She wonders what sort of personal identity she would have and how she would spend her time if she wasn’t spending it hunting for food everyday.

The Hunger Games raises the question: Does a modern society that no longer needs to spend its days in survival-mode need to guard against the practice of sacrificing others for entertainment? Does it need to guard against a type of hyper-vanity that sacrifices their very humanity? 

In fact, the only person in the Capitol whom Katniss likes and trusts is Cinna. It is observed that his only facial embellishment is a touch of gold eyeliner. Collins seems to be making the point that “a little bit of something is ok”. The overall intensity (and painful) beauty efforts in the Capitol contrast significantly with how Katniss is prepared in District 12. In getting ready for the reaping she wears a simple, but nice, blue dress and her hair is expertly braided by her mother.

These questions of what amount of beauty participation is ok, and even healthy, and what isn’t are important considerations in our time given the amount of media manipulation and social pressure that our young people face. The Hunger Games raises these questions (and more) and is a valuable contribution to YA lit.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 152- White Dinner!

First of all, I was happy to have my last post featured on This is a Woman’s Weekly Awesome list. Thanks Bonnie!

I haven’t done a Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real in a few weeks and I’ve missed joining the fun. One silly thing we did this week was have a White Dinner. I had some cauliflower in the fridge and white fish in the freezer so I told the kids “Guess what? We should have a white dinner where everything is white!” and they thought that was a great idea and came up with all sorts of things we could have for our dinner.

Because some of my motivation for having a white dinner was to use items we already had on hand, the final menu ended up being:

White fish, cauliflower, rice, white corn tortilla chips, milk, and vanilla ice cream with bananas.

Francesca had the idea to use a white table cloth and our white plates and cups and white plastic ware. I thought that was a great idea!

We are already planning next week for our Yellow Dinner. I’m currently thinking about something along the lines of curry chicken, corn or squash, cornbread, maybe saffron rice, lemonade (a neighbor gave us a bunch of lemons). Maybe some canned pineapple for dessert. We’ll see!

I haven’t been quite as skirty as of late (even though there are two times last week that I forgot to take my picture) probably because it is cold and I’ve learned that I really prefer cozy-wear when it’s chilly. So I’m not able to post quite as frequently, but I’m still here!

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 151- The good thing about having small breasts

I read a lot of blogs about positive beauty for women and often the topic is about unrealistic depictions of weight in media. I totally agree and see it everywhere how only one body type is ever featured as beautiful or “healthy” and it just so happens to be a specific lean type. For me, I’ve never had real anxiety about weight probably because overall I happen to have a leaner frame and was a big exerciser in my youth. What I DO have anxiety about is the fact that women with a leaner frame tend to be lean all over, meaning they also have a smaller bust size and it pains me to no end to see the changing landscape of women getting breast implants.

I don’t have much of a voice in this world, but I feel the need to express in some way that small breasts are beautiful. They are not a beauty flaw. They are lovely! And even if having a small or asymmetric bust prevents some women from having “ideal” proportions can we not just agree that that does not represent the equivalent of a needing a double mastectomy with reconstruction? The fairly constant message to lean women is “you’re sexy if you’ll agree to this major surgery”. And I think that’s horrible and untrue! All I can think about are all of the young developing girls out there who are faced with these messages daily and have so much angst over their healthy small and beautiful bust. To them I say- Yes you are fully a woman. Have no doubt.

So I have a list here of some really great things about having small breasts.

1. Small breasts make you look like you weigh about 5-10lbs less than you do. When you have a lean upper body, you project leanness in general even when you gain weight.

2. They never bug you when you run or do any other physical activity. I really don’t even need a bra at all although I wear one of course.

3. Ballerinas have small breasts and ballerinas are beautiful. The one and only time I have ever seen a very small busted woman represented as a man’s fantasy was in this scene from the movie “Whose Life is it Anyways?” with Richard Dreyfuss. The main character has become paralyzed and while in the hospital he has a dream/memory of his girlfriend. This is a beautiful dance scene and it was lovely to see a natural woman. (It’s about 3 mins long at the beginning of this clip.)

Ballerina dance scene

5. As a breastfeeding mom, I have never had milk supply problems. Having a small bust does not have anything to do with having enough internal structure of glandular tissue.

6. Likewise, I’ve never experienced mastitis. I wonder if shorter milk ducts has something to do with it? Fewer problems with plugged ducts? I don’t know. But my point is that my small breasts have performed just great for their “milk delivery” purpose.

7. People focus on your face.

8. Greater sensitivity

9. There are plenty of men out there who really like a small bust. Just like there are men who prefer a thicker lady. Read the many comments left by males on the 007b.com website. That site is for every woman of every breast shape and size. Mostly though, men like whatever bust happens to be on the lady they’ve fallen in love with. So I’d encourage any woman to allow her husband to love all of her, yield to his affection, and not stress.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 145- Dishwashing Tip

I know, I know. Super glamorous title there. But what can I say? This is my life.

Anywho, the other day when I was taking pics of my home for the Day 143 post, I thought to zero in on this little tip that has made my life a bit easier-

Before:

After:

Buy a tub to fit into your sink so that you can lift the dishes out all at once. Instant clean sink ready for dishwashing!

I realize that there is a big black machine right there under the counter that will wash my dishes for me, but I mostly wash by hand because it is faster, and many of my dishes are plastic and get kind of gross in the dishwasher. I’m also the type that tends to forget there are dishes in there and they never get put away.

Actually WASHING the dishes? I can’t help you with that part. I don’t like putting my hands in soapy water. Ugh.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 143- How I go about cleaning my house

Over the years I’ve developed a routine, a rhythm, whatever you want to call it, for how I approach cleaning up my house. I’m not so much talking about deep cleaning, but moreso that first layer of cleaning that needs to be done every single day if life is going to progress without major stress. Not attending to this layer every single day is a recipe for chronic cleaning problems and disorganization. In my household, it’s also a recipe for a grouchy husband since one of his primary “love languages” is a clean home. This layer of cleaning I often refer to as “The 4 o’clock Shuffle”.

When I’m about to clean my home, I do what Don Aslett of Is There Life After Housework? says. I momentarily visualize how nice it’s going to look when I’m all done. I focus on that and take my place at the front door.

I always start with cleaning up the entryway. This is a Sidetracked Home Executives recommendation and I’ve been doing this for awhile. Today it’s pretty much clean, but no matter what I always start here. Sometimes there are shoes all over the place and clothes. The baby shoes in the back by the stairs count as the entryway.

Next I go into my front bathroom. I put away the hair stuff, and wipe down the counter and toilet.

Next it’s into the kitchen. Because the kitchen is always a WHOLE THING, I focus more on clearing counters and wiping them down and I do dishes later. I always start at the right corner of the kitchen

and work my way around. Tossing dishes in the sink, putting food away, wiping down the stove and just working counterclockwise until everything is cleared off and wiped down.

Next it’s into the dining room to clear dishes. I pile stuff on the bar area to attend to later. I’m focusing on clearing the table and floor. I’ll spritz down the table and likely sweep the dining room and kitchen at this time.

Last I go into the living room and pick up toys, organize the top of the tv console, and vaccum the floor and cushions and entryway mats. I let the kids nibble on snacks in here so there are always Cheerios and food bits that need to be vacuumed.

To finish things off I attend to the junk that piles up on the bar and hutch area. These are hotspots that I have to keep on top of. I am quick to throw stuff away if I don’t see an immediate need for it. Here is a video of Flylady talking about hotspots. Hotspots make our homes look messy!!

When everything is done, THEN I do the dishes. I really hate dishes and I usually have to call a friend or my dad just to have someone to talk to while I’m doing them.

And that’s how I go about cleaning the downstairs.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 136- Simple joys

1. One of my most cherished simple joys is doing my daughter’s hair.

This is a fish-tail braid that I twisted the first two side pieces to start.

You know the “college co-ed” style of pulling hair half-way through a ponytail? Well this is the exact same thing except the excess hair is on top with the bump underneath rather than the bump being on top and excess hair underneath. (Did that make sense?) Begin the ponytail by first twisting the side pieces.

2. I often move about my day and “discover” visions of peace and happiness. Last week I came into my kitchen and saw this:

chairs pulled up to the kitchen counter by my smoothie helpers. It’s a simple thing, no big deal really. But when I walked into my kitchen I just felt at peace seeing something that only the home of a mother with small children sees.

For the kids, a simple joy is drinking anything out of a bendy straw. 

(Add frozen spinach to a smoothie and the kids don’t even taste it.)

3. This pillow was given to my great-grandmother as a birthday present from my parents. So this pillow reminds me of all of them and it makes me happy to see it. Right now I have it on my daughter’s piano chair just to boost her up a bit. The piano is another thing in the house that makes me happy since I love to hear my daughter learn to play and really all the kids play with it since it has so many songs programmed.

4. Ok now this next one may seem like the most silly one of all!!!

A napkin holder. When I bought this napkin holder I seriously felt like “Wow. I have a place for my napkins. I’m like a real adult now and homemaker now. Only people who sit down to eat at the table even bother with napkin holders. We’re like a real family.” And to this day everytime I use this napkin holder and everytime I see it, which is every single day, I still have the above thought in my head!

It’s silly, but these little things are markers that I’ve made something of my life! It’s like a dream that I had long ago, and I get these glimpses that my dream is in fact real.

I’m not playing with dolls anymore (I used to always do my dolls’ hair)…I get to do my daughter’s hair! Wow! I have a daughter! (Then my mind goes…) Oh wait! I have TWO daughters! I can’t believe it!

What are these chairs doing in my kitchen?” Oh wait! I have KIDS! Like little ones, and they like to help me.

Hey wait a minute? Am I like really a MOM? Like one who gives her kids bendy straws and puts spinach in smoothies? OMG it’s true.

Hey now? What is this pillow and napkin holder thingy? Are you like a homemaker? Like one who cares about her home? OMG it’s true.

I sometimes can’t believe I became this person. A person with nice kids and a nice home that I take care of. I became a real mom.

5. And not to forget the one who made this all happen with me:

My husband. I’m not a fan of laundry, but there is a strange simple joy in seeing a pile of my husband’s shirts. As I fold and pile up and put away his things, it is a tactile and visual reminder that he’s real too! I have a man, a great man by my side. And he’s out there working hard for us so that I can be here working hard for us. I’m so lucky.

My life may be simple, but it is a joy.

Sorry for the not-so-great skirt photo. I tried to crop out the flash from the mirror.

Have a wonderful day!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

7 Quick Takes

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Day 134- Epiphany!

How lovely to celebrate Epiphany since we’ve never done so before. Nor did either of us even know about Epiphany. But it was fun to “finish” Christmas in a special way. (If you don’t happen to know about this, since I didn’t, and I don’t want to assume that everyone reading does know, Epiphany is the 12th day of Christmas or when the wise men presented Jesus with the three gifts. In some countries, this is a bigger feast day than the Nativity.)

One last time lighting our candles. (Francesca really wanted that Angel candle lit too.)

I did decide to save one last present for the kids to open on this day.

Then we put them in the van for a surprise night-time run to The Donut Man. You see, if you go at night when they are making the donuts for the next day you can get the super fresh ones.

Watching the donuts being made.

It was a fun treat and a fun simple night, just us.

Have a wonderful day!

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Day 131- Happy New Year’s Eve!

Thanks for joining me on my little bloggy journey here in 2011! I’ve been encouraged so much by your comments and presence and hopefully you’ve been encouraged too!

Hope you enjoy ringing in the new year! We are going to a friend’s house and will probably be home by 9 o’clock! :)

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Day 116- At the gym

I’m enjoying the gym a lot. I know it’s not possible for everyone to join a gym, but I just don’t have the personal discipline to work out by myself at home.

Here I am after I'm all showered up and ready to go get the kids from the Kids Club.

Ideally I would just run. It’s the cheapest form of exercise!! I did do the Couch to 5K program once and actually did work up to running the 5K, but running is just no fun to me! (The program is a good one though.)

But Zumba? That’s fun!

My friend is doing aerobics videos from Netflix. She says they have obnoxious titles like Party Cardio Jam but they’re fun and interesting.

So do what you can!

Have a wonderful day!

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