Thursday, October 30, 2014

National Cat Day

Yesterday morning it was ALL OVER the news and social was apparently National Cat Day!  Says who, I have no idea, but it was.  Since I have a cat this was a huge deal so I decided to bust out one of my cat themed garments.  Yes, that is plural. 

I (a.k.a. Mrs. Cyclops Eye) picked this out as a Christmas present from my mom a few years ago.  It is not as neglected as some of the crap you have already seen but I haven't worn it since last winter so it's almost in the "if you haven't worn in for a year get rid of it" parameters.  Which is NOT happening because it's a cat sweater. 

It is from LOFT.  I don't think I am alone in my feelings toward LOFT cardigans, which is that they are some of the best for the price.  I think my sister, who until recently giving birth was rapidly climbing in an office setting, had one in every single color and style and that is no exaggeration.  Back in my office days I often received compliments on my mix and matching skills and intrigue about how I had so many colors to coordinate.  My office was generally casual (like wear whatever you want and some people wore sweatpants casual) with some business casual days when visitors from other offices came.  It wasn't hard to stand out in a place where a lot of people considered business casual to include wearing khakis instead of sweatpants with a sweatshirt and tennis shoes and I loved getting compliments on my clothes.  It was a way to deal with the daily monotony.  They came from my close group of about 10 co-workers, people I didn't know from around the office, and once the IT guy even told me he liked me coat.  Yes, a married IT man who wore the same three polo shirts in rotation noticed my coat.  It is still one of my most treasured compliments (regarding superficial things like clothing, that is.)
That was years ago now but there is no denying that I feel more on top of things when wearing something slightly pulled together instead of gym clothes. 

And here is the cat of the day himself, Allan, doing what he does best and laying around like a pile. 

Here he is a few weeks ago, squishing himself into a too small empty box, which is a favorite hobby of his.

Here's a cute one of him looking his best back in 2013 at our old house. 
And here I am in my other cat shirt on my 30th birthday in 2013.  It's a more subtle pattern.
With a closet like mine, National Cat Day could happen every week!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


I admit that I, as a 31 year old mother, still own a few items from Abercrombie & Fitch.  I probably will never again since the only branch in North Dakota, the one in West Acres Mall in Fargo, is now closed.  I think the company has taken a few hits since the CEO said the company only was interested in selling to skinny attractive people and that they purposely made the clothes too small for anyone over...well they are pretty much too small for me except for the men's zip up sweatshirt that I like to wear from there.  So any woman over a size 8 with a bust over...well anyone with any bust at all.  Also, all the conservative types got ticked because all of their advertising featured naked guy's with their pants a millimeter away from showing "everything" and topless ladies with exposed side boob even though the company was supposedly advertising clothing.

But, back in 2009, I entered came upon a rock bottom red line sale there where all the $70 sweaters and sweatshirts were selling for $9.99 and purchased this sweatshirt tunic thing along with a few cute tank tops.

I really like this shirt.  One good thing is that it doesn't scream "Abercrombie" because it just says 1892 New York on it.  It is a good length for coverage and I like the wide neckline.  What makes me not like it is the off white color, which does nothing for my skin tone and also hides nothing, as you can see around my lower waist area there (why can't it be black? WHYYYYY?).  Also, since it is like a sweatshirt it feels like I want my arms covered but putting another sweatshirt or sweater over it is weird.  It's just kind of a strange garment.  I forgot about it because it ended up shoved in the very back of my short sleeved t-shirt drawer.  It's not really a t-shirt's a sweatshirt...except it has short sleeves...ugh... 
In other very big news, Tessa has taken a few steps!  Justin saw it happen a few days ago (I was in the basement cleaning the cat box.  Yeah).  I saw it for the first time last night!  She's a big girl who apparently loves scarves!  She found this one in my room and came out with it looped around herself!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Outlet Mall Classics

Today I decided to wear two shirts that have been neglected for a long time.  The shirt is from J.Crew and the cardigan is from Banana Republic.  In the interest of full disclosure, they are both from an outlet mall.  Yes, I admit it...I love outlet mall shopping.  I am fully aware that much of the clothing is made just for the outlet and can be of cheaper quality.  I don't care though.  Place me at an entrance to a Premium Outlets location (preferably Albertville, MN or Las Vegas but Oklahoma City or some remote Chicago suburb would be OK) and I would be happy all day.  Walking into a Gap outlet is like heaven, regardless of the disheveled racks and tables.  With my sister and mom by my side we can tear that place apart. 

Anyway, that low budget imagery aside, I purchased the cardigan from the Banana Republic outlet in Albertville and the tank in Vegas from J.Crew.  I have no problem with the cardigan.  It just only goes with very specific items and it just got buried in my piles of cardigans.  The tank was a favorite item of mine the summer I bought it, which was in 2011.  I thought the little striped button placket was a perfect summer accent.  Much to my chagrin, on one of the first days I wore it, I put a hole in it!  At my job we had to wear these name badges around our necks and the swivel hook made a hole in my new shirt.  I was so ticked off that day.  I was just home from vacation and returning to a job situation I wasn't very happy about.  And then my cute new shirt got a hole in it because of my stupid name badge!  You are probably saying that you can't see a hole in this picture.  That is because I cut a little piece of cotton from an old t-shirt and patched it with an iron on patch from the back.  The patch still holds to this day.  I stopped wearing the shirt because when I was nursing for 8 months after my son was born it felt like my bras were always showing and they were not cute colorful numbers to have showing around your tank top straps.  Then it was winter and then I was pregnant again and it just hung in the closet, waiting to come out again!

I ended up not even wearing this outfit out of my house because we had to stay home this morning because Ben picked up a case of what looked like pink eye yesterday and that evening at the walk in clinic we discovered that his ear tubes have fallen out sometime since his 2 year appointment and he has an ear infection!  Greeeaaat...that kid has fooled me so many times by being sick without actually acting sick. I have no idea how long this has even been going on. So we had to stay around the house today since he could have pink eye (but it could also be related to the ear infection).  I may still leave the house but this afternoon I decided to tackle a project a few weeks late: processing the carrots from our garden. 

Yeah, those and more have been sitting in grocery bags in our fridge taking up the whole bottom shelf and a drawer for almost three weeks.  I finally decided to clean and peel and slice them.  I should have worn an apron or an old shirt because it was a messier job than I remember and my outlet outfit is now splattered with garden mud residue and carrot juice.  Also, my hands are dyed orange.  I was working fast and watching "Breaking Bad" on the ipad at the same time so I didn't even notice until I was done. 
At least we have our fridge back to full capacity now.  And also we have a freezer full of carrots for all of our winter soup and crock pot needs!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Back From Wedding Chaos

I am back from my break, necessitated by travel to two weddings over the weekend.  When we were travelling on Thursday I chose to wear some old items from my closet, including this black ruffled shirt from Loft.

I bought this in 2012 in the fabulous Las Vegas.  On our last morning there my plane left around lunch time and everyone else's plane left before dawn so I had all morning to myself.  I shopped and then, when I knew I had limited time to work with, decided to sit down at my favorite slot machine (It had a Breakfast at Tiffany's theme).  It was there that I proceeded to win $150.00 and drink about five complimentary bottles of beer before getting in a taxi for the airport.  It felt pretty strange being in Vegas completely alone for a whole morning but I think I made the most of it. 
I stopped wearing this shirt because when I tried it on after my second pregnancy it hit my stomach in the very worst place and left a "spare tire" between my waistband and the bottom of the shirt.  Even a tank underneath didn't help.  I'm glad I tried again all these months later because it looks a lot better now. 
I also tried out an old pair of jeans.  These were purchased at Old Navy on clearance for the rock bottom price of $7.00 back in 2009.  They are wide leg and have patch pockets on the front as well as the back (you will NEVER catch me wearing jeans with no pockets in the back!)  Regardless of their cheapness, I wore these often to my old job. 

It was hard to take a good picture of my own pants.  This one makes me look pretty slim but it is just a flattering angle.  They were quite tight and not as comfortable as I remember them being.  But, since they actually button I will be keeping them until until all the dye fades away, which seems to be the difference in cheap jeans and expensive jeans.  These were very dark when I bought them.  I will also be keeping the shirt. 
The weddings were good.  I will post a wedding entry later but here is a preview.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mystery Jacket

Yesterday I unearthed a jacket that I bought in 2008, back when  was in my third year of law school.  I remember finding this oddball, the only one at Old Navy, and thinking it was kind of weird but maybe it would be useful.  And useful it was.  I wore it so many times with different shirts because it would just make them look more like an outfit.  I remember wearing it on my birthday when I went to watch Hilary Clinton and President Obama speaking in Grand Forks (it was an election year and I was hoping Oprah or Bruce Springsteen or some other famous democrat might show up on the campaign trail but they didn't!).  I think it probably fell out of favor because I just got tired of it. 

It is just a single layer of windbreaker material.  I don't know if you would call it an anorak or a moto style jacket or what.  It has some cute details though.  I am posing like that so you can see more of the pockets (not so my arm looks smaller!).

I always thought the snaps were unique and I also like the snaps on the shoulders.  The whole thing seems quite out of character for Old Navy in the way that it has so many little details.  It seems very in character for Old Navy in that it has no lining or signs of extra quality.  That's OK though, since the arms are already slippery inside and I wouldn't wear this for warmth anyway. 
I probably will keep this for a long time and will probably start wearing it more often again. 
Also, this is a major deviation from the challenge, but we are leaving this afternoon for a wedding rehearsal dinner, and have the wedding tomorrow, and have another wedding on Saturday which happens to be my cousin's wedding!  Due to the fact that the weddings are in two different cities that are several hours apart, neither of which is where we live, and the fact that we have a family wedding we have no choice but to drag our kids with us all over the state for the next three days (fortunately, we have family meeting us both evenings so the kids don't have to go the wedding receptions and dances).  So, even though I might have been able to bring my computer to use tomorrow during the day or something, with them on the trip it's just not happening.  So I'm out until Sunday.  I will maybe try to wear some old jewelry or accessories over the weekend so I have something to show and so I have an excuse to show off the NEW shoes and dresses I will be wearing! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Necklace Shirt

Yesterday I wore a shirt that I have had for a long time, longer than I can remember, and I can't even think a time I have worn it.  It is DKNY, and was purchased from a seasonal clearance rack at Macy's. 

It was when looking at these pictures that I realized the mirror needs some Windex.  I didn't notice because this is actually the "kids" bathroom and not where anyone normally does the usual mirror splashing activities.  I do wash my hands here all the time so I'm sure I splashed water around while rushing to remedy some toddler catastrophe in the living room. Either way, next time it will not look like that.  Anyway, back to the shirt.  I have nothing against this shirt and actually think it is really fun.  The difficult thing about it is the strange asymmetrical cut.  It's hard to see in the picture but it is short in the front and longer on the sides and back.  It also has a weird little gather in the back.  I like to wear cardigans with sleeveless shirts unless it is the hot months of summer and this one would look weird with a cardigan because of the unusual details.  This is another one of those garments that I thought seemed a bit maternity before I actually knew what real maternity clothes were like.  When Ben saw me in it he called it a "necklace shirt" which I thought was cute of a two year old to notice.  Also, you may notice that my hair looks different.  I got a hair cut!  That's why it look so salon polished.
I chose a sleeveless shirt to wear yesterday because:
For those of you who are reading from the 31 Day Challenge who haven't figured it out, I live in North Dakota.  A few days ago I spent several hours outside tailgating and freezing because it was 40 degrees at 2:00 in the afternoon.  This rollercoaster of conditions is typical seasonal weather here.  But, we just enjoy what we get!  I took the babies out to play in the pile of leaves under our single tree yesterday afternoon. 

The following shall enter into my favorite pictures ever album along with various other cute baby pictures and many hilarious party photos from college. 

There was nothing scary going on here and I had cleared a little patch of grass for her head so leaves wouldn't tickle her.  I guess she just didn't want to lay down by her brother although it looks like she sees an approaching air raid or something.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Old Boot Cuts

In my closet, scattered on several shelves, are various piles of jeans of all ages and styles.  There are the VERY skinny jeans which I should just give away but for some reason I don't.  These generally have zippers that are about two inches long.  They were expensive and have fancy embroidery on the pockets.  That pile, like the swimming suit box, should have a sign, like the entrance to Hell, saying "Abandon all hope".  Then there are the jeans in the current rotation, which include a few cheap pairs from Kohls and Old Navy that I own because they fit until the other ones fit again. Uh huh.  They wll fit again. These are almost all skinny (referring to the shape of the leg, of course, and not the size). 

I admit sometimes that I miss the day when flare leg jeans were the most in style jeans.  They never really go out of style, but I will always feel that they are the most flattering.  I don't know how we lived through most of the 80's and 90's without them.  I don't wear them much lately in fear of being that person who still wears the same trends from high school or college and everyone can tell exactly how old they are. 

So yesterday I decided to wear a pair of older jeans.  They are the "long and lean" cut from Gap which I find to be one of their most generic but versatile styles.  I can't remember when I wore these last but it was probably between my two pregnancies, sometime in 2012, because they pretty loose for their size.  They definitely don't feel as loose as they did in 2009 when my sister and I bought them on sale together and later both regretted not getting a smaller size because they stretched out a lot during the day.

OK, I admit it...I felt youthful and slim in these pants.  I wore them with a t-shirt and almost felt like a college student again.  That illusion was shattered, however, when Ben and Tessa resumed their usual routine of following me around all day and hanging on my legs screaming whenever I tried to do anything not related to them.  In fact, Tessa is standing by the bar stool I am sitting on right now, clawing at my leg and screaming.  I gotta go.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2014

Fall isn't fall without a series of fun photos of kids frolicking at a pumpkin patch, among changing leaves and hay bales.  Or, that's what everyone on Facebook and Pinterest would have you believe.  So of course, that is what we did.  Last Thursday our nephews came to visit because it was ND Teacher's Convention and there was no school for a few days.  We went to this pumpkin patch last year too, and Ben loved it.   This is a flashback to last year. 
Look at that little 18 month old baby!
Here is the big boy today.  I realized when looking at the old album that we went on October 16th last year and also this year!  So these were taken exactly one year from each other.

Tessa hung out with Auntie Michelle instead of playing in the corn.  The kernels would have been shoveled into her mouth in no time.

There are little miniature bird houses like this all over the property.  They are cute!

Everyone picked out a pumpkin even though the selection was dwindling. 

As you can see there are some left but compared to last year there are barely any.  I heard that they sold out by the time the weekend was over.  This is what it looked like last year:

Tessa looked so cute in the leaves. 

Then she got bored!

Ben and I climbed a pyramid of bales.  That is Justin down there in the black jacket.

Dylan and Blake did the zip line.  I wish I could have done it but I think there was a weight limit!

Ben took a pony ride.  Another activity that probably had a weight limit...

We got a few nice family pictures. 
The cousins!

I thought these rainbow colored squash were pretty cool. 

Time to go!