What We Wore Sunday

Plus thoughts on the Latin Mass and Lilly Pulitzer:

The past two Sundays, we’ve taken very seriously the idea of Sunday as a day of rest.  One parent gets up with the girls while the other sleeps in, then when the sleeper-in parent awakes, the other parent goes back to bed for a nap.  When we’re both up, we all take our time eating lunch and getting ready for the afternoon Spanish mass.  It feels more pious to get up and go to Mass early, but I tell you what–the past two Sundays have been very restorative.   (So much so that I’m up on  monday morning typing this before 7 a.m.)

I don’t love going to Mass in Spanish, but our parish is funny.  If you don’t make it to Mass by 8:30 a.m., your choices are two Latin masses and the Spanish mass.

We never make it to 8:30.

Latin is the universal language of the Church, etc. etc. but if my kids go to any other Catholic church anywhere in the country, there’s a 99% chance Mass is going to be in English, and they’re not going to know the responses.  still don’t know all the new translation responses by heart.  It’s embarrassing.  . . . Well, maybe there’s a 90% chance Mass at any other parish will be in English, and 9% chance it will be in Spanish.  So going to the Spanish mass has its advantages, I guess.  Anyway, as long as 1:30-3:30 a.m. remain the waking/witching/bitching hours in our house, early Mass is not an option.

So anyway, here’s what I wore—a dress I got in my first Stitch Fix.

Here’s what the girls wore:  

     I’ve watched with some interest the Target/Lilly Pulitzer collection, and the response thereto.  (I may even have grabbed a few items left on Target’s racks for resale on an inflated price on eBay.  Maybe.  I’ll never tell.)

I’ve had a mild fascination with Lilly P. for a long time.  Ever since I heard about it from a fellow law student during a summer internship.  She was from a totally different social echelon than I and she did not hide the fact.  We were discussing this hoity toity party we’d both been to and she was like, “I was surprised there weren’t more Lilly Pulitzers.”  I–and another intern of humble lineage–were like “What’s Lilly Pulitzer?”

And she was like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of Lilly Pulitzer!”

So Lilly P. seemed to me to represent this whole other type of life–it does–that I don’t really aspire to (I really don’t) but it still fascinates me.  It’s very “other,” as my Mom would say.

And now I dress my girls in it.  Ironically.  From Goodwill and Ebay.  That’s totally normal and healthy.  Right.  But anyway they like it.

I’m linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday (finally!  It’s been so long!).  Have a lovely week!

Some shopping successes

Mossimo Supply Co. Printed Skinny Pant and Puma Caroline wedge

Classy little girl dresses for $4, man repeller fail, and clown shoes . . . .


1. I was thrilled to find these at Wally World the other day.  They rang up at four bucks–four bucks!!–at my local store.  They’re $5 something online.  The cute prints are quickly being sold out online, but there are some sizes left in this print.  And it’s worth a check at your local store.


Faded Glory Girls’ Elbow Length Sleeve Dress




It’s what all the cool kids are wearing.


2. After another stressful Monday, I took a solitary evening prowl through the Target clearance rack.  I found these, which what I thought were a prime example of a man repeller.  (They were $10 at my store; very thin material but they had me at “elastic waist.”)

Mossimo Supply Co. Printed Skinny Pant and Puma Caroline wedge

I wear them today and Pat says, “Wow!  Great pants!”  Curses!  Foiled again.

3. I like them with my Puma Caroline wedge sneakers.  (Order a full size up.)  The more restrained color options were sold out in my size.  I’ll probably look back at this year as the year I wore clown bowling shoes, but for now I don’t care.

4. Hmm, that’s about it.  No, no wait!  I bought a can opener at Williams Sonoma and it’s the bomb.  Just a basic, standard, non-fancy can opener.  It’s $10 but made in the USA and worth every penny.  Beat the pants off the $3 Walmart store brand model I bought that lasted about two uses.

5. Check back with Jenna for more of this week’s Favorites!

Long Live Polka Dots! {What I Wore Sunday}

Don’t you just love Kendra’s and Mary’s points in this post?   There is no shame in wearing the same thing frequently, nor in posting about it.  This attitude is one of the many reasons I love What I Wore Sunday over all other what-I-wore blog link-ups. (**Update: I also love Audrey’s One Piece Many Ways link up! **)  😉

Today I wore this:


This skirt  was thrifted and altered to fit, and I’ve worn it over and over again.

IMG_2052 IMG_1457 IMG_1105

Mandatory Looking Down photo.

I say: tell the fast fashion industry to take a hike!  They really must think women are idiots: they manufacture crappy merchandise that falls apart almost immediately because they know they can convince us to buy new stuff every season.

That being said, my shirt is from Target.  :-S

Linking up with Audrey at Putting Me Together:

What I Wore Two Sundays In A Row, Plus a Burning Question

Here’s what I wore to Mass yesterday:


And here’s what I wore the Sunday before:


Would anyone at my parish have noticed I wore the same outfit two weeks in a row? Probably not, especially since we went to different masses. Would my husband, even? Probably not. But here I am, confessing it to the world. Anyway, I found this skirt from Target (believe it or not) via Goodwill, and I luv it. It goes with just about every top in my closet, so I’ll be wearing it a lot.

Let’s discuss: nude pantyhose–good, bad, or meh? The style mavens in my life (one, two) indicate that ‘hose are passe, if not completely taboo. But what else do you do with temps still hovering in the low 60s? I’m so sick of tights and boots at this point in the year. But bare, goosepimpled, white leg flesh just seems indecent in chilly weather, not to mention uncomfortable. And somehow that thin layer of nylon makes my legs much warmer. So I ask you:

By the way, if you choose “other” please put your answer in a comment to this post for all to enjoy.  I can’t figure out a way to make it visible to other readers, otherwise.

My sister Lizzie‘s very witty response: “You were brought up right.”  (Can you place that quote??)

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

Style and the Stay-at-Home Mom: Building the Uniform, Part 2

Before I go further with this series (you can read the first two posts here and here), I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the man who is my inspiration, both in fashion and in life: my husband. Patrick has perfected the art of the fool-proof everyday uniform, as shown in his fall/winter work wardrobe:


Sweater: Lands’ End (no longer available in Tall)
Jeans: Old Navy
Shoes: New Balance

Same style, same color, different sweater

Same style, same color, different sweater

Same style sweater, different color

Same style sweater, different color

3 sweaters, 2 looks.

But don’t worry, sometimes he cuts loose and does something a little different:


(Clearly, I’m fortunate to have a husband who doesn’t take himself too seriously and sometimes lets me have fun at his expense.)

So back to my fall/winter uniform:


My current line-up includes both new and old purchases. I must admit, I’ve been buying things here and there before doing a complete closet clean-out and reassessment. But it worked out okay (with they exception of a few flubs, described below).

For example, this outfit has a Gap Outlet cardigan from 2009. I pair it with a new, striped tee (a (rare) Old Navy clearance rack purchase of recent months) and a skinny belt.


This next outfit has another cardigan from the same Gap Outlet shopping trip of 2009. I pair it with a floral tank I bought from Lands’ End last summer (no longer available).

Until recently I wouldn’t think of combining a print with argyle, but I like how they go together (also seen with a polka dot skirt one recent Sunday):


One of these days I’ll clean that mirror.

Here’s yet another sweater from that same fateful Gap Outlet trip of 2009. I pair it with a scarf I found at a yard sale.


But with jeans.

One of my favorite recent purchases is this sweater (which I wore in this What I Wore Sunday post):


I’m trying to accessorize more when I go out, but I’m not quite sure what to do with this one. This necklace (discussed in this post) would be good in a different color, but I see red + green and think Christmas tree:


These earrings look the part, I think, but, I dunno, would you wear them to story time at the library? (And would you trust your toddler not to rip through your earlobes with them?)



So I’m on the lookout for a scarf or necklace to wear with the polka-dot sweater.

Next in my current line-up, I have a cable knit white cotton sweater:


This, however, is next in line for the give-away pile. You see, I bought this sweater at a consignment store recently. I wish I had Mary with me because I ignored the fact that it didn’t fit quiiiiiiiite right.

I just love the look of a white cable knit sweater. So crisp.

So Brideshead:

Alright, maybe fictional, effeminate Oxford boys of the 1930s are not the best fashion inspiration. But Kate is!

But mine just doesn’t fit exactly right. And one thing I’ve learned is that fit is everything. If you don’t have fit, you don’t have style. My white sweater would be better a bit longer and preferably a little fitted at the waist. And maybe a v-neck would be better?


Not quite the right fit.

Also it could use some accessorizing. Since becoming a Color Me Beautiful aficionado, I’m convinced that white and black wash me out and it’s better to wear color near my face.

I thought perhaps a collared shirt underneath would work, like this:

But no.


Sarah Vickers I am not.

I have a hard time with collared shirts under sweaters. I don’t know what it is.

I also tried it with scarf, but nope. Maybe I’ll try tying the scarf a different way, or a different scarf.

Maybe if I'll try tying the scarf differently.

Maybe if I’ll try tying the scarf differently.

So, a better-fitting white sweater is also on my look-for list. In the mean time, I still wear the sweater because . . . well, I still kind of like it. My new rule for buying clothes, whether at a thrift store or elsewhere, is to buy something only if I’m 100% satisfied. In a world of unlimited wants and limited resources, though, my rule for keeping things once I’ve already purchased them is maybe . . . 75% satisfaction. 😉

I learned a few things just as I was taking pictures for this post. For example, I have worn this combination a few times. But after taking a picture I mended my ways. Meh.


Belting it didn’t help much:


I bought the striped shirt from a thrift store a few months ago (duh duh DUN), and it has now received what most of my thrift store purchases have received (i.e. the boot). The cardigan was a Target purchase and, like most things I’ve bought there, it hasn’t kept its shape. For some reason, though, it looks okay with the chambray shirt, so I’m keeping it around for a while longer.

But with jeans.

But with jeans.

Sometimes I wear the chambray shirt (another recent Old Navy clearance find) on its own with this scarf:


I also have a heavy wool sweater for very cold days, like this past Thanksgiving:


Just recently, when I should have known better, I bought a $9 striped, dolman sleeve top from what is truly the dregs of the retail market: Ross . . . in the junior’s department {hanging head in shame}. I don’t have a great picture, but you get the idea here:


When I bought it, I didn’t notice the tag saying “HAND WASH ONLY.” Right, like that’s gonna happen. I machine washed it in cold water, hung it to dry, and it didn’t fit as well afterward. Now, a couple more cold-water washes and drip-dries later, it’s pilling, it has threads coming off, and it’s lost even more shape. $9 down the drain.


Well, there you have it: my everyday uniform for the colder months.

Except that I haven’t discussed, you know, the entire lower half of each outfit. That is a post in itself, (make that two posts or three) for next time . . . .

A Few (Five) of My Favorite Things

Today I’m joining Hallie’s fun new link-up over at Moxie Wife and sharing five of my favorite things:

  • Dorothy Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey mystery series.  Not just mystery but romance and loads and loads of character development.  An Anglophile’s dream.  Lord Peter’s way of speaking is a bit grating in the first book.  The rest of the series is worth it though.  Love these.

Not as risque as the cover implies.

  • Husband shoveling not just our driveway but our elderly neighbors’ as well.  And our little girl playing in the snow.  


  • Shadowbox-style picture frames from Target.  A great way to display photos in a way that lets you swap them out from time to time.  Easier than framing. 


  • My friend Annie’s stationery line, Nice Girls Ink, and her calligraphy business, Pretty Mail Calligraphy.  No affiliate link here, she doesn’t even know I have a blog.  I just love her stuff.

Pretty Mail Calligraphy

  • Almond butter from Kettle.  No additives, just almonds and salt.  We are trying to stay away from peanut butter, and this is such a delicious alternative.  Mmm.  I’ve been eating it by the spoon.

Thanks, Hallie, for hosting this fun link up!!

7 Quick Takes, Quick Edition

— 1 —

We gave Girl 1 her Melissa & Doug princess castle, after all.  (I got it for about half off, a while ago, thanks to a deal my friend Liz posted on her blog.)

She’s been playing with it more than we expected.  She’s also surprisingly patient when Girl 2 crashes on her play.

— 2 —

Girl 1 was, however, more excited about receiving this:

Not the exact wand we gave her, but similar.

One dollar at Target.  $1.  Gah! Gah! Gah!

— 3 —

I would post a picture of he girls playing cutely with the castle, except that I lost my iPhone which was my only camera.  I have not seen it since December 31, 2012 around 2:00 pm.  I was at home.  It’s here somewhere.  If you have an iPhone, please take a second to make sure that your “Find Lost iPhone” setting (or whatever it is) is on.  If it’s off, there ain’t a think iCloud can do to help you find it.

I had this idea that I was not very attached to material possessions.  Then I lost my iPhone.  I’ve written a little song about the self-realization that occurred:

Hah.  Ha ha.  Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha!

— 4 —

We were all sick this past week.  I spent one day crashed out on the couch and then sleeping in bed.  Pat was able to take a “family leave” day fortunately.  After just one day of my being MIA, the house was in chaos.  I’ve told Pat I don’t mind that he’s not able to get anything else done while watching the girls, as long as he appreciates it when I, occasionally, do.

— 5 —

Here’s a hypothetical for you:

You take your girls to the library, thinking they are recovered from their stomach bug.  All is going well until you look over and see your Girl 2 has vomited all over a stuffed horse belonging to the library.  Do you:

(a) stuff the vomity horsey in your own tote bag, to contain the filth while you consider next steps?

(b) leave said bag in play area while you go to a different area to talk the situation over with another mom?

(c) run back to play area upon hearing disgusted shrieks of other children who have pulled the horse out of your bag?

(d) take the vomity-horse-in-bag to the fourteen-year-old boy volunteers who are manning the children’s library desk–no adult librarian in sight!–asking what their vomit-on-horse protocol is?

(e) take amusement at their reaction and wait while they bring the vomity-horse-in-bag to the main circulation desk librarian, who says that yes, you can take the horse home and launder it yourself,

(f) all of the above?

— 6 —

I wrote several New Year’s reflections earlier this month  (here here and here).  I looked back at my 2012 resolutions, written when I was due-any-day with Girl 2.  They were: (1) Go to confession every month and (2) “Make it through the year with both kids alive and my sanity intact.”  I’m glad I kept it simple.   I was maybe 10 for 12 with confession.  Both girls are alive and kicking (and screaming).  As for my sanity, well, they haven’t committed me yet.

— 7 —

Despite being on the Perfect Health Diet for months now, cutting out all sugar, bread, and processed foods, my weight is approaching the highest it’s ever been (other than while pregnant or post-partum).  I broke down and counted calories for the past few days, and I’m not consuming too many.  I’m thinking I’m hypothyroid . . . or a hypochondriac.  Problem is, I’m sure to sound like the latter even if I am the former.  I’m imagining the conversation with my doctor:

Me: “Doc, I’m gaining all this weight.  I think I’m hypothyroid.  I know I just had my thyroid levels tested recently and they were normal and all, but I really think the condition is hidden and would really be improved by some supplemental pig thyroid if you could just prescribe .. . .”

Doc: “Hmm well, let’s see.  Just some routine questions, first.  Do you exercise regularly, you know walking, jogging, aerobics?”

Me: “Well, no . . . but I was reading all about hidden hypothyroidism on this website and . . . ”

Doc: “Let’s see, have you made any changes to your eating habits lately?”

Me: “Well, *ahem* I have been following this high-fat diet . . . ”

Yeah, I can see that going real well.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thank you, Jen, for hosting.  My prayers are with you!

7 Quick Takes: Target Edition

7 Quick Takes Saturday-is-the-new-Friday.  Thanks, Hallie, for hosting.

— 1 —

I’ve been praying the St. Michael prayer for Jen Fulwiler.  So amazing that she chose St. Michael, patron of the sick, as her saint of the year, seemingly at random but obviously not.

— 2 —

Baby woke up puking this morning.  So far she’s holding down the four ounces of Pedialyte we’ve given her since then.

— 3 —

Baby sick means Girl 1’s birthday party won’t be held today, as planned.  She taking it very well, and I’m amazed.  We let her pick out a whole a mess load of Disney Princess decorations the other day, so she was really looking forward to this party.

— 4 —

I went to Target last night and came back a whole lot happier, without much else to show for the $200 I spent.  Well, I did buy some clothes for the girls (obviously I saved sooooo much money because it was all on clearance) and some odds and ends.  I get all mushy now when walking through the little girl toy aisle.  I want to buy Girl 1 every Disney princess thing I see.  I even pondered a Barbie princess ballerina for several minutes.  Oh how the haughty have fallen.  I got all depressed and sentimental realizing that since Girl 1 is size 5T, I soon won’t be able to shop in the toddler section for her anymore.  Took a peek at the big girl section and just about threw up.  I’ll have to switch to Hanna Andersson or something.

— 5 —

I gave Girl 1 a few of her gifts this morning, first of which was a Rapunzel tiara, to replace the Aurora one that has disappeared.  Her first words were, “Oh, now we need a Rapunzel [pronounced “A-pun-zee”] dress!”  Gah! Fortunately, she was put off by the little gold party dress and shimmery pink cardigan I got her.  I got a matching cardigan for Girl2, so now they both have shimmery gold dresses and shimmery pink cardigans.  Girl 1 is thrilled.  Still haven’t decided when to give Girl 1 the rest of her presents.

— 6 —

I’ve been obsessed with Velcro hair rollers, bought some more at Target, and put them on last night . . . along with my mouth guard and sleep mask and garish flannel PJs.  NFP at its simplest.

— 7 —

TMI, sorry.  Anyway, it’s just the baby and me up right now at noon.  She’s quite perky, toddling around in her zebra fleece shirt and pink leggings from Aunt Bernadette.   I bought her two pairs of pink leggings last night.  They’re the ultimate clothing staple for little girls.  Anyway,  Pat and Girl 1 (miracle!) are napping.  We all got up at 5.  I just woke up from a nap.  Dreamed both girls, and my Grandma, were in the hospital.

So these were this was pretty much the most boring post ever.  Sorry folks.  Hope you’re having such a fun weekend you haven’t even had time to read this.  😉

For more Quick Takes this weekend, visit Moxie Wife!

What I Wore Sunday: Santa Is Here!

This guy is all that Girl 1 knows of Santa:


He shows up in the yard across the street every year.  If you ask her anything about Santa, this is who she’s thinking of.

This is what I wore to mass today:


A warmer version of the outfit I posted about yesterday here.  I am continually amazed at the pictures of Mary at With My Sisters because she’s mentioned that her 4 year old takes all of them.  When I’ve asked Girl 1 (almost 4 years old) to take my picture in the past, the results have looked like this:

IMG_0554 IMG_0556

But today Girl 1 took this picture.  Not flattering but a vast improvement.

Girl 1 wore her “church coat” from Aunt Lizzie.


She was boycotting coats for a while  Fortunately, she’s wearing them again now that she’s figured out how to put coats on without her sleeves getting bunched up inside.  She got new church shoes.


Her old pair was a silver version of these:

Ultra cheapo from Walmart. They shed copious amounts of glitter on the pew every week at Mass.  I felt a little bad for anyone sitting there at a later mass.  But hey, everyone looks better with a little glitter on his derriere right?  Right?     (The new ones have sequins instead of glitter and are from the infinitely more upscale Target.  😉

By the way we got a new furnace on Thursday.


It started leaking oil yesterday.  Argh!  But the guy who installed it came right out and tightened the line.

Our house is toasty warm now.  We deliberated quite a bit over our options but decided to get another oil furnace.  At a later point we may add a heat pump and/or a wood stove to supplement the furnace and bring fuel costs down.  For now, we are just sooooo happy to have this behind us.

Happy Sunday everyone!  For more Sunday finery check out the other blogs linking up at Fine Linen and Purple.  Thanks Emily and Kendra for hosting!