What Should Mermaids Wear to Mass?

Here’s what I wore today:

J. Crew Factory ponte flare dress (no longer available): thrifted scarf

J. Crew Factory ponte flare dress (no longer available):
thrifted April Cornell scarf 

And what I wore last week:

J. Crew Factory ponte dress; Lia Sophia necklace

J. Crew Factory ponte dress; Lia Sophia necklace

Which accessory do you think is better?

Here is what Girl 1’s doll wore to Mass today:

What mermaids wear to Mass

Not recommended.  Although it got me thinking, what should modesty standards be for mermaids?  If all mermaids bare their navels, is it immodest?  Perhaps it would be acceptable at an all-mermaid mass.  At a human, Tridentine Mass, though, it gets a little more dicey.  Thankfully, we didn’t get kicked out.

Here’s what I wore a few weeks ago.


I’ve been less enthusiastic about outfit posts lately, since packing on a few pounds.  But I know I don’t want to see only perfect-bodied people’s outfits.  So here I am, doing my part to keep WIWS real and imperfect.  🙂


Happy Sunday!

Mama’s Gone Shoppin’

A little Anthropologie action for you . . . and can Crocs be cool??  Read on.

I made my first Anthropologie purchase ever.  I’ve yet to set foot into one of their stores.  And I didn’t have the courage to venture beyond the Sale page on their website.

I’ve resolved to stop automatically shopping the clearance racks when looking for clothes.  Instead, I try to buy fewer but better quality items that are perfectly suited for me and my life.

But . . .

Anthro’s expensive, yo?  Baby steps, baby steps.

1.  So I love this shirt, the Tail Stripe Tee.  I’m up to maybe . . . five nautical stripe tees now.  But I don’t care.  Pat said, “I like your shirt.  It’s very . . . you.”  Yup.

Anthro tail stripe tee

Except that it has a tail.

IMG_6124 (2)

Has anyone watched that show Orphan Black?  There’s this character with a tail.  And it gets more disgusting from there.  *Shudder*  I would prefer a little less tail, but I still like that it’s interesting in the back.

Also, it runs very large.  This is a size down from what the size chart says I should be.

2.  New Birkenstocks (see first pic).  I just love the way Birkenstocks feel on my feet.  It’s like getting a massage with every step.  I kid you not.  I did not like how my former pair looked.  So I sold them on eBay (can you believe it? (not that I came even close to recouping my costs tho)) and bought the Gizehs.

3. Some other Anthro winners:

This tee (the seamed scoopneck):

IMG_6192 (2)


Zebra sweater (pardon me . . . the “Quagga pullover“).  How cute is this?  Can’t wait for Fall now.  Kind of.

Anthropologie Quagga Pullover


This blouse (the Estrie Henley).  Hard to see the detail in the photo.  But it’s a nice date night/ dressy blouse, which is something I was lacking.  Looks better with white jeans.


Anthro Estrie Henley


4.  Moving on to shoes, can you believe these are Crocs??

IMG_6183 (2) IMG_6185 (2) IMG_6188 (2)



They’re Crocs’  “Ballerina Estiva” designed by some guy named Stefano Furiano.  Stefano don’t know bleep about punctuation.

IMG_6193 (2)

But he knows his sh . . . shoes.  He knows his shoes.

So expensive, but I think I’ll wear them a LOT.  They aren’t quite as comfy as my Birks, but they’re nice and cushy.

They run large though.  I ordered a full size smaller than I regularly wear.  Probably the first time I’ve worn a single-digit shoe size since Girl 2 was born.

Full disclosure, these are not as cushy as regular Crocs, which I tried on for the first time recently.  (Gotta love free both-way shipping from Zappos.)

My feet went “Ahhh.”  And I went,  “So that‘s why everyone wears Crocs.”  The leopard print Kaydees looked cute from a distance but the print is just horrible close-up.  See how the spots are stretched out in the back?  That’s exactly how they look in real life.  So they went back.

5.  And to round it all out, another nautical striped tee (same one I already have, but in a different color).  I just can’t help myself.  J. Crew Factory was having a sale (and today, they’re having an even better sale–50% off everything).  What could I do?


You can go make dinner, Laura, that’s what you can do.  And put a diaper on your nekkid two-year old before she piddles on the floor.

Signing off.

But not before I link up with Hallie.





Men’s “Fashion,” Gluten-Free Bread, and Occupational Therapy: All In One Post, Lucky You! {7QT}

— 1 —

I enjoyed this piece in the Wall Street Journal, a sort of “but the emperor has no clothes!” observation on men’s fashion.   I especially like that it calls out the dress-shoes-with-no-socks thing.  I so very much do not get that.  Speaking of which . . .

— 2 —

Is this not the worst thing you’ve ever seen?

J. Crew Summer 2013, image via

Well, no this is:

Actually, even that’s not the worst.  The worst was in the J. Crew July 2013 catalog: guy wearing tight denim jacket over floral blouse with rolled up pants, no socks, and white dress shoes.  I just spent half an hour looking for it but can’t find it.    Half and hour wasted in search of ugliness.

— 3 —

Moving on . . . .

Girl 2 has had eczema on her wrists for, roughly, the last ten months.  On a hunch, I stopped feeding her gluten and–voila–eczema gone.

— 4 —

I’m trying not to wallow in mother guilt: Pat and I have followed (mostly) a gluten-free diet since October, but I’ve still fed the girls bread and such.

Girl 1 had eczema, too, when she was the same age.  We eliminated gluten from her diet for a while but it didn’t seem to help.  Girl 1’s eczema went away on its own.  So I kind of presumed Girl 2 wasn’t sensitive to gluten, either.  Poor kid has always been kind of fussy and a bad sleeper, and she’s been on antibiotics several times in her young life, and I wonder if it’s all related and . . .

— 5 —

Yeah, trying to avoid mother guilt.

— 6 —

I’m used to cooking gluten-free for all of our main meal, but it’s hard to get away from sandwiches when I need something quick and filling for the girls.  I’ve tried GF breads from the supermarket, but they were distasteful and expensive.  So, hooray for this:

Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free bread mix

which I made in the bread machine just yesterday.  Really really yummy.  (When it’s warm anyway.  Heat it up once it gets cold.)  Not compliant with Pat’s and my diet, but at least it won’t irritate Girl 2.

— 7 —

Girl 1 had her first occupational therapy appointment today.  It went well.  The therapist doesn’t think she has a big problem–maybe not Sensory Integration Dysfunction per se–but she acknowledged the issues I pointed out and said she thinks a few sessions plus some “homework” can help.   This is pretty much what I hoped for: nothing insurmountable but also not all in my head.

Thank you, Jen at Conversion Diary, for hosting today’s link up and giving me an excuse for stringing so many random topics in one post!

Women Think They’re Ugly, Simcha Readers Think They’re All That, J. Crew Is Messed Up, and My Back Hurts

— 1 —

My family is visiting this weekend!  They’ll be here in about five hours.  No stress.  None whatsoever. . . .

— 2 —

Ever noticed that J. Crew’s models tend to  look like really tall, twelve-year-old boys?  Or, at best, thirteen-year-old girls?  And their clothes are fit for the models (though some will disagree with me here)?  Perhaps because their creative director, you know, the one who oversees the clothes’ design, likes to go for ten days at a time without eating.

— 3 —

Pat and I just watched the  Queen of Versailles documentary on Netflix.  Rather garish, but it was an interesting insight into the financial meltdown of 2008, as well as a frightening/ fascinating look at extreme wealth at its trashiest.  Also, the “King of Versailles,” David Siegel, claims he single-handedly got George W. Bush elected president.  God help us all.

— 4 —

I love reading Simcha Fisher’s articles, but I have lost hours and hours of my life reading the comments thereto, with no corresponding benefit whatsoever.  

(**Update**  I really do not mean to deride all people who leave comments on Simcha’s blog.  A lot of them raise good points, and I’m sure most of the commenters are perfectly pleasant people.  I just get frustrated with myself for spending so much time reading them, when it doesn’t do me any good.  And I was pressed for time when coming up for a title to this post.  😉

— 5 —

It’s been a rough week, starting with the baby puking for a few days, followed by her wanting to be held all day every day, and screaming until she got her way.  Then my back was killing me.  Then Girl 1 got a ‘tude the size of . . . I don’t know . . . bison.  By 4:30, I was counting down the minutes (120) to the time Pat would be done with work.  I then handed the girls off to him and went to sleep at 7:30.

[Wah wah wah.]

My sweet husband hung a curtain rod for me after I went to bed.  I no longer have to look at this and die a little inside every time I go into our bathroom.


— 6 —

Here’s a fascinating little video in which an FBI-trained sketch artist draws portraits of women–without seeing them–based only on their own self-descriptions.  He then draws the same women based on a stranger’s description of them.  We women think that we’re ugly  So sad.  (So I just realized everyone has seen this already.  Grace has a link to a funnier one.  Go watch that.)

— 7 —

Girl 2 got this toy in lieu of candy for Easter.

The girls play the music and dance around together like the kids on Charlie Brown’s Christmas (my girls haven’t seen the movie; it just comes naturally).  It’s been a bright spot in a rough week.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary Camp Patton!

Style & the SAHM: Spring/Summer Uniform, Part 2

Last week’s post on my online shopping wins and losses was well received, so I’m doing another this week.

First, here’s an outfit that I’ve worn several times over the past few weeks:

Variation 2 (top from J Crew Factory)

Variation 1 (top from J Crew Factory)

Variation 1 (top from Lands' End)

Variation 2 (top from Lands’ End) (mirror smudges from Girls 1 & 2)

(Blatantly copying the lovely Erika; who wouldn’t? )

I am LOVING my leopard scarf, which I found for cheap at Walmart.  (Woot!)

I’ll do another outfit post as soon as I can . . . .  My photographer, you see: he has his faults . . . but over enthusiasm isn’t one of them.

Yeah, you.

Yeah, you.

And my selfies in the mirror are awful.

Does iPhone’s camera have a self-timer?  Can I get a tripod for it?  These are all things I need to look into.

Anyhoo, here are some winners and losers:

Definite a winner.  Very comfy, perfect length, perfect rise.

I got them in Eucalyptus (a grayish blue).  Very pricey, but Boden was running a 20%, free shipping, free returns deal.  They are 98% cotton, 2% spandex.  The tag says not to put them in the dryer, to which I say, “Pfft.”  If they shrink up, I want my money back.

I ordered the same shorts in terracotta, but they are still backordered.  Good thing too: in the meantime I found some Tommy Hilfiger shorts in almost the same color (the same as this pair, I think) for $4.  They are big and need to be taken in, but still, that’s only $14 for a nice pair of shorts.

For only $10 (or less with the current 20% off promotion), you could buy these from J.C. Penney:

I tried them and they’re cute.   The rise is not too high, not too low.  However, the tie is sewn on in front, so you can’t use other belts.  Also, I’m not crazy about the patch pockets, so they’re going back.  (Note that they run a little smaller than Boden.)

I am keeping this basic pencil skirt from JC Penney, modeled here by moi:


I’m moving from black to navy as my go-to neutral, plus my black pencil skirt is showing signs of age, so I was in the market for a basic navy blue skirt.

I am returning this one from Boden:

Boden Everyday Mini (order in long if you want it, well   . . . longer)

I ordered it in a Long length, which makes it hit right at the top of the knee for me.  It’s lovely and would be versatile if you wear skirts for casual wear.  I’d rather have a skirt I can dress up more, though, so I’m sticking with the non-denim variety.

Here are a few more lovelies that are going back:

J Crew Factory Flutter Pocket Skirt.  You don’t need a pink skirt, Laura.  Put down the pink skirt and back away slowly.

Boden printed cardigan.  Scratchy + I don’t need it + really friggin’ expensive = what was I thinking?


Oh how I love, love this beautiful cardigan but I just. don’t. need it.

You see, we only have one tree in our back yard:


And we can’t even get it to grow peaches, much less money.

I’ll write later, in more detail, on how I’ve dealt with this depressing topic.

For now here are fun striped outfits I found on Pinterest:

Can’t find the original source.

And some vintage summerwear for good measure (check out the terracotta shorts on the left!):

Life Magazine, 1950, via Yeh Yeh Grace

Frenchwoman/ Airline Stewardess Wannabe (WIWS)

Happy Sunday to you all.

Here’s what I wore to Mass today:

"Honey, do I look like an airline, stewardess?"

“Honey, do I look like an airline stewardess?”

If I turn my shoulder at an awkward angle will it make me look thinner?

“If I turn my shoulder at an awkward angle will it make me look thinner?”



Skirt from JCPShirt from J Crew FactoryShoes are Naturalizer; Scarf from Goodwill; Blazer is LOFT (old).

I was going for this look, found on Pinterest:

Original source unknown

Original source unknown

And kinda-sorta this look from The Evangelista:

The girls wore their Easter dresses for the third time in a row, at Girl 1’s request.  Get your money’s worth, that’s what I say.  😉

Poor Girl 2 is sick–yet again–this time with a stomach bug.  (Didn’t realize it until after Mass.)  Poor baby can’t get a break.  For a while I distracted her with a little Janelle Monae:

Then Girl 2 started crying for her bottle but I need to let her stomach rest.  It’s for her own good, but all she knows is that she’s hungry.  So sad.

Thanks to the ladies at Fine Linen and Purple for hosting today’s link up!


Style & the SAHM: Spring/Summer Uniform, Part 1

**Update: Some of these images are no longer showing up.  I will try to fix this ASAP.**


Warm weather is finally (finally!) here.  Like Lisa, I’ve tried to put some thought into the clothing I buy this summer, so I don’t run to the nearest store (LOFT) in desperation, on 50% off day (like I did last year) and buy everything in sight (resulting in about 50% duds).

A few weeks ago, the only warm weather clothes I had that (a) fit and (b) were not detestable were these:


Five shirts, one pair of shorts, one pair of crops.  And even this includes a recent purchase.  AND three of the shirts are on their last leg.

That’s all.

Here are some outfits I like that I found on Pinterest:

via.                                                         But as soon as it’s warm enough for shorts, it’s too hot for a scarf and sweater. So sad.


Forget the shorts, I want that tank! (But apparently it’s no longer available.) 😦

Clearly, my most pressing issue is . . .  just how often can I wear striped shirts before it gets ridiculous?  Can I alternate stripes with polka dots and make that my uniform???

I’m still not sure.

But I’ve been online shopping like a mad woman.

And this is just a small small fraction of it.

And this is just a small small fraction of it.

I’ve only had 1 winner for every 9 or so losers.  Such is one’s lot who lives far far away  from decent shopping.   Thankfully I have free return shipping for most orders.  Here are some winners from my online shopping extravaganza so far:

The shoes: Lands’ End Espadrilles.                                          They also come in polka dot!

Plus a rare thrift store win:

Similar. Dockers via Goodwill.

Pat said, “I like those shorts.”  Really?  Boring navy blue shorts??  Maybe because they are a size-that-shall-not-be-mentioned and I don’t look like a stuffed sausage in them.

Anyway, some losers so far:

Boden pretty ruffle tee.   The dark pink color is lovely. Neckline is just right BUT runs small. I’ll try it a size up.

Boden stitch detail top. Lovely, perfect neckline, lovely fit. BUT 100% high-maintenance viscose. Never mind.

Boden pocket Breton. (I bought it in Navy.) The placing of the top stripe makes *ahem* the girls look droopy.

Lands’ End cropped chinos. Either these run small or . . . (duh duh DUHN) I’m a size bigger than I think I am.  But anyway, the rise is a little high.

  • Shorts/crops in neutral colors 
  • Tank tops (preferably polka dotted!)
  • Skinny belts (I’m thinking leopard and bright pink)
  • Comfy, every day sandals

By the way, you should always check retailmenot.com before ordering anything online, to make sure you’re getting all the available discount codes!

What about you?  Do you have a warm weather uniform put together yet?

What I Wore Sunday: Green and Pink Ruffles

Happy Sunday everyone!  Anyone else ready for Spring?  Given the state of the weather, I needed some bright colors this morning:


I’m also wearing a black skirt, black leggings, and black boots. In case you were wondering.

You know, I almost gave away this cardigan?  It has a small stain on it that bothered me, and it was a little too big and boxy.  I took it out after it had spent months in he giveaway bin.  I had to look hard for the stain, so I figure no one else will notice.  And it’s not too big anymore!  Wonder how it shrunk in the closet.  Crazy, huh?

Does anyone else get Boden‘s catalog?  I got my first one the other day, and I am in trou-ble.  Beautiful stuff, and I can see myself wearing just about every outfit.

So many spots and stripes this Spring!

A lot of ladies I know really enjoy J. Crew’s catalog, but I just can’t get into it.  For one thing, there’s the sticker shock   Also, I have to think too hard.  “Okay, I wouldn’t wear the distressed, denim cut-off shorts with the sequin peplum jacket and the neon knee socks with the ankle-strap peep toe heels . . . but maybe I would wear the white tee-shirt peeking out from underneath.”

Kind of like this. Seriously. You know?

Ain’t nobody got time for ‘dat.  Not me anyway.

Apparently J.Crew doesn’t have time for me, either.  They stopped sending me catalogs.  I think the last thing I ordered from them was my wedding dress.


Oops! How did a wedding picture get there?

Okay, enough of my silliness.  Check out Fine Linen and Purple for more Sunday finery!

What I Wore Sunday, Confessions of a Late Mass-Goer

I ran late for mass today.  Suffice it to say, I was running late for reasons 100% my fault, I am very repentant, and I shall never make the same mistakes again.  And God cut me a break because Father started mass a few minutes late, which means I wasn’t late after all.

You see, Pat and I have determined three very important guidelines for determining whether you are late for mass:

  1. If you are inside the church before the priest processes in, you’re not late.
  2. If you are in your seat before the priest reaches the altar, you’re not late.
  3. If one of you achieves #1 or #2 while the other parks the car, the car-parking spouse is not late by virtue of the first spouse’s being not late.

No. 3 didn’t apply today because we went to mass separately, for the third time in a row.  The girls are sick yet again.  Please, please Spring come soon!

I went to an English mass for, I think, the first time in at least a month.  I attended the Spanish mass the last two times, and Latin the times before that.  Because we usually go to a Latin mass, I still have to look at the cheat sheet for the new responses when we do go to an English mass.  Very humbling.

So anyway, this is what I wore:


My jacket is from Old Navy, at least 5 years ago.  It’s a testament to how their clothing used to be of good quality.

I like to think my outfit looks a little bit like this get-up from J. Crew:



                     See it now?

J. Crew says that “a denim jacket makes everything seem a little more effortless.”  Does anyone else out there get annoyed by the idea that our outfits are supposed to look “effortless”?  At this stage in my life, “effortless” is pajamas.  Just getting dressed at all is an effort and I don’t care who knows, dammit.

For more Sunday finery, check out the link-up at Fine Linen and Purple.  Thanks, Kendra and Emily, for hosting!