Saturday, May 31, 2014

DIY Ballet Flats

For a while now, I have been admiring this new trend of ballet flats. I saw a pair on a lady on Target and she informed me they were by Jessica Simpson. I googled them online and found that they were $70. Sheesh. After further research, I found another pair for over $400 dollars!

These are those crazy expensive flats. 

Since I don't have seventy dollars laying around, I decided to make my own. It was very simple and easy and cost about $10 total. 

The above photo was so, so difficult. I mean, I had to take at least one "ballet" pose in these shoes. So imagine this, I am standing on a picnic table, feet as straight as I can, then leaning way over to take a photo. I nearly fell over on my head. 


DIY Ballet Flats

  • Plain black flats - look for soft material 
  • 1 inch wide black elastic - I used two 16 inch long pieces
  • Black thread 
  • Needle and scissors

1. Put on the flats. Wrap the elastic around your ankle and position one of the ends inside your shoe. Hold with your fingers or use a clip while your slide your foot out of the shoe Sew the elastic in place. My shoes were suede so it was easy to push the needle through the shoe. 

2. Put the shoe back on and re-wrap the elastic around your ankle and position the elastic on the other side. Make sure the elastic is comfortably tight. It will stretch over time so you don't want it to get floppy too fast. This part is a bit trickier as you have to slide your foot out while keeping the elastic tight. 

3. Sew the opposite end to the shoe. I clipped the excess elastic off inside the shoe to about 1/2 inch long. I can't feel it when I have the shoes on so it doesn't bother me that it is loose and not sew down flat. If it bothers you, just tack down the ends. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

The house is dark except for the light of the computer screen and a low light over the stove.

Pandora is playing Brahms and Chopin.

My homegrown roses spill over the side of the blue ceramic vase, wilted petals scattered over the chipped counter tops.

Ian is asleep on the couch behind me, causing me to turn and look at him every so often as he stirs and sighs. He was acting peculiar and couldn't sleep so I kept him near at hand.

I am still in my workout clothes from this morning, proof of a busy day.

If I have to kill another spider tonight, I will have a nervous breakdown.

The dishwasher is humming quietly. The dryer is whirling. The AC is roaring. All my minions are performing their assigned tasks to perfection.

My empty Baking Soda tin sits on the counter, a reminder so I don't forget to put it on my shopping list.

My mind is full; of thoughts of projects to be completed, of list to make, of family and friends who need prayers, of our everyday blessings.

I long for David to be home. Long for him to have this stretch of hard work, long hours, and headaches to be over. I miss him. The kids miss him.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

DIY Patio Chair Makeover

This was my Memorial Day project. Or I should say, the project I wanted finished before we had company over for a cookout. You know how you clean like mad before company comes just so they can see the house clean when they walk in the door? It doesn't matter that it will look terrible after all the cooking, swimming and playing. As long as they saw it clean first, you know that THEY know that your house was, in fact, clean at one time. 

Same thing goes for DIY projects. I only tried to finish the one chair so that they would know that the ugly chair would soon look like the pretty chair. 

I bought the pair for $25 at Savers. They sat on my patio for almost 3 years before I attempted to do anything about the chipped brown paint and the faded 70's print cushions. I initially was attracted to the clean lines and the low framework which reminded me of Bertie Wooster's armchair in the BBC Jeeves and Wooster movies. Watch them here

Almost an art deco look. I stress the almost. But they looked like, with a little elbow grease and imagination, they could turn into something fun and comfortable. 

The before almost makes me want to cry. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

on my wall

It was only a sunny smile, and cost little in the giving.

But like the morning light, it scattered the night, and made the day worth living.

  -  F.Scott Fitzgerald                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Saturday, May 24, 2014

in the merry, merry month of May

  1.  the cowboy comes home; dirty, tired and mourning the loss of his horse
  2. budding gardeners
  3. everyone gets to help 
  4. fierce face
  5. medals from the Mayor
  6. teammates
  7. Go Purple People Eaters!
  8. a day in the life of Daddy
  9. helmet hair

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot

If you only ever try one recipe that I post on this blog, this is the one to make the cut. 

This is the best crockpot chicken I have ever had. 


I will not pretend that I was smart enough to make up this recipe. 

So here is a link to the website

Go home and try this. 

It is so, so good.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

10 things

1. I know it has been way, way too long since I have posted photos of the kids on here. But our laptop died and David's job let him borrow one till we can somehow get another. It doesn't have an SD slot so I can't upload photos. Hang in there Grandma's! They will come eventually.

2. Lillie and I cut our hair. For some reason, I always give us similar cuts. Not on purpose. It just comes out that way. Lillie's hair is shoulder length and straight. She looks older. Mine is a long, long bob. I like it a lot.

3. Ian's new word is "delicious". But you have to add extra syllables and a lisp. "That is delishishous!"

4. Elsie is speaking sentences and we have seen a new side to her stubbornness. But mainly I am just in awe that she can talk like she does and she is not yet two. It is is little unnerving to have an actual conversation with a 21 month old.

5. David is working around the clock. After work, he starts in on his committee meeting preparations. He is very low on sleep and it constantly amazes me how he stays as cheerful as he does.

6. We finally planted the vegetables in our raised beds. I called Grandma to get some advice on how and when to plant the seedlings that I purchased and found out that I had purchased about 60% more plants than could fit in my beds. Back to Lowe's I went.

7. We discovered the side of our cabinets were damp and found out that our dishwasher was leaking. It was deemed un-fixable so we had to buy a new one. It is stainless steel and shiny and I love it but I hate that we had to spend money on a dishwasher when it was earmarked for something else.

8. David has been on an exercise and eating right lifestyle change and now weighs only a few lbs more than I do. sheesh. (but he looks foxy with his beard, glasses, and lean self so I guess I can put up with it...)

9. Elsie might stay blond.

10. Our coffee pot broke this evening. can we survive?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New Favorite

As a result of my attempt to not spend a fortune on new clothes, I have been re-vamping some of my old clothing. A pair of mid-calf Capri pants fell in my radar. I cut them off and made Bermuda shorts. It was very quick and easy. Now, I don't have photos of the actual process but the process is fairly simple.  Scroll down below the photos to find the how-to steps.

I wore the pants last summer but didn't really feel that great in them. Now, after hemming them into shorts and adding some whimsical dots, they are my new favorite shorts! I could wear these every day and probably will end up destroying them this summer from constant use. I would love to see your version of this project!

top ~ Kohl's 
shorts ~ Goodwill (altered by me)

Bermuda Shorts

  • pair of pants
  • pinking shears
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  • coordinating thread
  • paint marker
  • iron

1. Find a pair of Capri pants that fit through the seat and thigh. I found a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt Capri pants at Goodwill for $3.50. Put on the pants and take a pair of chalk and make a mark just above one knee. Take off the pants and lay flat on the floor, taking care to smooth out any ripples in the material on the front and back. 

2. Using a pair of pinking shears, cut a straight line across the leg of the Capri on your mark. Place the cut piece on top of the other leg and cut again, using it as a guide. Following me so far?

3.  Turn the hem under 1/2 of an inch and press with iron. Turn the already pressed hem under 3/4 inch and press. Now your raw edge should be folded inside the hem. Pin the hem so it doesn't slip. Try on the pants and make sure you have the desired length. (If it is too long, then unfold the hem and cut off an inch and repeat the steps.)

4.  Going slowly and carefully, sew a 3/8 seam around the leg opening. Remove the pins. If you want, sew another seam just above the first seam. Use the edge of the pressing foot as your width guide. 

5. You can stop here and just enjoy your new shorts or you can take it a step further. Using this tutorial as my guide, I added white polka-dots to my pair. I messed up in a few spots with the paint pen, uneven line and a few paint rings around the dots, but as the saying goes "it wouldn't be noticed from a trotting horse."

Friday, May 9, 2014

silent daggers

Several years ago, when we still lived in Dallas, I was working the closing shift at DSW. It was two store fronts over from a Barnes and Noble. One night after closing, I was walking to my car and noticed a long line of people wrapped around the building. I wandered over and inside, squeezing around all the waiting customers. Once inside, I realized what all the hub-ub was about. The last Harry Potter book had been released.

I walked up to the massive display of books right in the middle of the front of the store, around which the line snaked. I opened the book to the last page and started to read. At first I silently gasped in anxiety, then slowly let my face relax and chuckled warmly. Then suddenly I leaned back, gasped "No! Are you kidding me?", slammed the book shut and down on the stack, and stomped out of the store.

It was a great day.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

mother of invention

I had a Facebook conversation with a couple of my fashion conscious cousins. I am in the middle of trying to re-vamp my wardrobe and asked if Capri's were still in style. 

They flatly informed me they were not. 

Okay then. 

Now, what to do with the four pair of Capri pants in the tub under my bed?

Answer: cut off the legs and make short! But how many pairs of cutoff shorts can you have without looking like you are wearing the same thing over and over? I am going to have to vary them somehow. 

A few ideas have presented themselves. 

I can dye a khaki pair a nice color and use a bleach pen to do this.

Maybe add some hem detailing like these.

Other sources of inspiration
this pair with orderly polka-dots
these whales are just too adorable

Hopefully in the next few weeks, I will have some photos of my re-purposed Capri pants.

Monday, May 5, 2014

On trend

Don't you love it when you snag a great deal on something that is currently trendy? I almost never buy current fashions because they are (1) too expensive and (2) it take me a while to warm up to a new concept. I am a snail in the fashion world.

I was running through Plato's closet and saw a group of these hanging on a peg. After thumbing over them, I found one with an initial I could use. After all, I couldn't come up with a reasonable excuse to wear an "R" necklace. So I bought a "D" for my hubby.   (Shout out to him because he reads this blog, "Love you sweetie!")

I googled around that these are some similar pieces I found.

What do you think about the monogram trend? Too kitchy or adorable and sweet?

Friday, May 2, 2014

To whom it may concern (mainly the 3 readers of my blog)

I haven't left town. I am still here.

To be honest, I have come to a place of indecision. I like posting about food, books, funny kid moments. But I do feel that it lacks something. What that is I don't know. I am trying to figure it out. Hang in there with me. Until then, I leave you with these thoughts.

Phillipians 4 : 4-13