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Archive for March, 2012

A take on Tuesday’s outfit, newly named…

Rocker Chick (Thanks Everyday Mom Style!)…

Rocker Chic'

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You never know what you’re going to get in March, the lion or the lamb.  Last week the lamb teased us with it’s presence, bringing us hope of an early spring. This weekend the lion decided to take its rightful place and show us what March is supposed to look like here in the tundra, I mean great northwest.

Yes, we’re back to normal, or somewhat normal, temperatures for March in Wisconsin.  I’m trying not to complain, since we’re still above average temperatures.  Actually, besides that I can’t wear some of my new clothes, I don’t mind at all.  I’m not a summer person, can’t stand the humidity.  Having temperatures near 80 last week was making me a little nervous for what our summer would be like.

Even though I don’t mind the coolness, I do mind that I can’t wear the clothes I want to wear.  It’s hard to come up with an outfit that matches my spring time mood but wont cause me to freeze in the glaciate 33 degrees waiting to greet me as I step out the door in the morning.  I no longer want to don my winter coat.  I want a bright, pretty blazer or jacket, or no jacket at all.  Not to mention that I’m still sick of all of my “30 Wardrobe Challenge” items.  So with a great degree of difficulty to meet dressing requirements for this mad March weather and my need for color I came up with this…

Jacket, jeggings, gray cami & jewelry - Maurices, dragonfly tank & boots - Charlotte Russe

It’s not as colorful as I’d like but I got a bit of color in there.  Note it’s coral!  I think coral is one of my obsessions this season!

On this day I was fighting with three of my adversaries; sun, wind and allergies!!!  I love bright sun shiny days and the feel of the rays soaking into my skin, but it’s so hard not to squint while being photographed.  Wind and hair just don’t go along and as for the allergies…enough said.  I think a third of the pictures from this shoot I’m either sneezing or trying to stifle a sneeze, as in the bottom photo.

Hmm…speaking of allergies leaves me wondering, “Why do I like spring?”

Because it makes me think of new beginnings, bright colors, beautiful aromas, long walks, fresh produce, cook outs, camping and fun outdoors with my family…

Okay, getting excited for when the weather turns warm again and I’d like to kiss my husband in a field of flowers because of the third photo!  Can someone please be there with a camera to capture it so I have a picture just like that one?

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Tie-Dye Cookies!

 Last Tuesday, at about 2:00 p.m., I was looking at my calendar and discovered that I was in charge of snacks for my sons story hour the very next morning. Gasp, I didn’t think I was the snack mom until the end of April!  The snack theme…silly cookies.

I no longer had time to cut out and decorate sugar cookies to fit the silly role, which is what I had originally planned to do!  I thought of making lolly pop cookies but when I brought it up to my son he reminded me that he’s been asking for white chocolate chip cookies.  I knew I had the white chocolate chips and I quickly rummaged through my pantry and refrigerator to see if I had everything else I needed.  I was only missing butter.  A quick text to my husband to “Please pick up some butter on your way home?” and then I was on to the next conundrum.  How to make white chocolate chip cookies look silly…

Okay, so they aren’t exactly “silly” but it’s the best I could do since I was a space cadet and didn’t leave myself enough time for something sillier.  The main point is that my kids, as well as the story hour kids, thought they were pretty silly and cool!  Thumbs up for forgetful mother!

Here’s What I did:

I followed the Original Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe (HERE) and before adding the chips I separated my dough into four equal balls.

I added my son’s color choices to each ball and once the color was thoroughly mixed in I supplemented the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips.

I then put all four dyed balls into a large mixing bowl and gradually mixed them together by hand to carefully wrap the balls around each other without blending the colors together too much…

I then spooned the dyed dough onto a cookie sheet, baked according to the Nestle Toll House recipe and voila … Silly Tie-Dyed White Chocolate Chip Cookies!

(Same photo as featured above.)

You certainly don’t have to use white chocolate chip cookies you can feel free to stay true to Nestle Toll House’s recipe and use chocolate chips, but per my sons request, I used white chocolate chips.

Like I said we had a lot of fun eating these cookies (Who doesn’t enjoy eating cookies?!) but equally as fun, was finding hidden pictures in the cookies!  We found dolphins, puppies, elephants, houses and smiley faces…

Note the two green eyes (upper left) the little bump out nose and perfect kissy lips! Pucker up!

So, an on the spot cookie idea has now become a favorite of our household and I’m certain there will be many more tie-dyed cookies in our future!

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AND LOVE IT!!!

I discovered it less than an hour after publishing yesterday’s post “Spring, Spring, Spring”

and really wish I had seen it sooner so I could post this outfit.

Another take on the sea green – coral combination…

Sea Green-Coral

Would totally love to own every piece of this outfit!!!  Guess a girl can dream!

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The title was sung like the song from the musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, one of my favs!

May I have a moment to say, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last!”   It feels so good to be wearing clothes that aren’t a part of “30 Wardrobe Challenge”!

To welcome in spring and to celebrate my first day off of “30 Wardrobe Challenge” I chose one of my favorite color combos…

Sea Green & Coral

We spent our morning in Duluth, MN and stopped to let the kids play at Lake Superior and try to get some pictures.   It was cold and windy on the beach which meant my face is entangled in a web of my hair in most of the photos. Major bummer.  So we left the wind and 43 degrees to head back home to 79 degrees where I could stand still and not shiver.  Though trying to walk to the woods behind our house through the tall grass in my heeled sandals was a lot of fun…eek!

My family enjoying spring!

My 10-year-old daughter captured some pictures of my husband and I.  When our bedroom is finished I want it to be full of pictures of he and I so I’ve been trying to get a lot taken lately, which he absolutely loves (sarcasm)!

“Yay Spring!” Is what my children were yelling in these first two photos , but more fun than posing…

I love capturing them as they play!

Just curious…Did anyone notice, that “Life Exquisite” received a spring time face lift?  I have a feeling my blogs backgrounds will change with the seasons and my moods!

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First off I just have to say that I am so ECSTATIC to finally be done with the 30 Wardrobe Challenge!  You have no idea how many times in the past week and a half I wished I hadn’t been sick on day seven so that I didn’t have to extend this challenge an extra day.  I feel like I should receive an award or something now that I’m all done.

There were a few people who thought I was crazy for setting out on this little clothing adventure and towards the end I think I was starting to agree with them. However, I do foresee another 30 Wardrobe Challenge somewhere in my future. The distant future, I might add, when I forget how annoying it became at the end of the 30 days.

That being said, I am glad I did it.  It was fun trying to piece 30 different outfits together with limited clothing items.  The words “I have nothing to wear” took on a whole new meaning to me and became, “I have so many clothes I want to wear and I can’t because I’ve committed myself  to this stinking challenge!”  I think I’ll be a little more appreciative of all my clothing items that weren’t included in the challenge for at least a little while.

During this challenge I discovered a few things…

1)  Having to be primped and parlored for my photo shoot each morning was very inconvenient.  There were days, like when my kids were sick and I was scrubbing puke off my floor, that I did not want to do my make up and play the “model” role. Those sick days and nights were also exhausting and looking back at pictures I can see what days followed sleepless nights.  There were days when my kids weren’t sick and I still didn’t feel like being all dolled up, so I just said, “Ah, the heck with it, I’m dressing comfy and not doing much to my hair today.”  I won’t point those days out to you but I’m sure you can figure it out on your own.

2)  It was pointless to wear nail polish during this challenge.   I love nail polish and almost always wear a color that accents my outfit when I’m going out, but trying to keep up with nail polish to match 30 days of outfits, back to back…ugh…forget it.  Too hard.  During this challenge I omitted nail polish unless I was going out. While I wear nail polish regularly, I don’t normally make sure it matches my outfits each and every day because, being a stay at home mom, only my husband and children see it and I would have to change the color daily.  What mom has time to do that?  As long as it matches when I go out is all that matters.

3)  It was really hard to find time to take the pictures for “30 Wardrobe Challenge” every day.  I tried to schedule it for after my oldest two children left for school in the mornings and before my youngest two were awake but that perfect arrangement seemed to rarely work out.   Thus I would have to try to fit it in elsewhere, which was usually when my youngest two were eating breakfast or during nap time.

4)  I seriously need more shoes, jewelry and colored pants!  I felt like I was wearing the same shoes, necklaces and bracelets with every outfit and as you can see, I sadly only have one pair of colored pants.  (Well two now because I bought some when we were shopping at Mall Of America.  I can’t wait to wear them!)

My favorite things about doing the “30 Wardrobe Challenge”…

1)  The feedback that I received from you, my followers.  Thank you so much. Your words were very kind and encouraging.  It was nice knowing that there were some of you actually keeping up with the past 30 days of outfits.

2)  Though it was a bummer that I often had to take my pictures while my youngest two ate their breakfast instead of sitting and eating with them as I usually do, I loved that they sat there watching me and telling me how to pose. Yes, you read that correctly, my children, well one, was telling me how to pose.   My son was frequently giving me pointers as he watched from his stool at the peninsula…

This picture was taken from where I stand during picture time. This was my view most morning the past 30 days. It was from this spot that my son poured out his infinite modeling pointers. (He's going to kill me someday for posting a pic. of him in his undies but for those of you who are my FB friends, it's nothing you haven't seen. He's always in his undies!)

3)  I loved the days when my kids would get in on the picture taking with me and I could be silly with them…

Whether it was my 7-year-old daughter showing me how to pose, “shootin'” bad guys with my son or having my baby girl don a pair of my heels and lipstick, picture time with them was, by far, the most fun part of this challenge!  I only wish my oldest child had gotten in on the action but she likes to sleep in more than have her picture taken.

When the “30 Day Wardrobe Challenge” became a “Challenge”…

When embarking upon this challenge I picked “winter” type outfits because I, obviously, am not psychic and couldn’t predict the unusually early spring we would have here in northwestern Wisconsin.  Seriously, our weather turned from cool and 18″ of snow one week to upper 60’s and mid 70’s a week and a half later.  Normally we’d still be wearing sweaters at this time of year.  This mild March weather made it quite difficult to keep up with this challenge.  It was extremely tempting to throw in the towel and cry “uncle” just so that I could wear something bright and colorful instead of dark and long-sleeved.  I didn’t though, I stayed the course and made it through!

Number one lesson learned during this challenge…

Don not attempt a new hair styling technique when you have to take a picture of yourself that day.  On day 28 I decided to try out sock bun curls…mistake!   It worked, in fact, it worked really well.   This day was my first time trying this no heat hair curling technique and, as recommended by a blog I read,  I used a child’s sock.  The curls were too tight and my hair was so BIG. I looked as though I’d just stepped out of the 80’s.  I had to control my curls somewhat so opted for a pony tail and felt like I was back in my high school cheerleading days.

This was taken after they were tamed down a bit, but you can see it's still pretty poofy. I wore my hair like this for cheerleading all the time.

I’ll admit that I do like the sock bun technique, but now know to use an adult men’s sock for the bigger waves that I prefer.  I did the sock bun curls on day 31 also and those curls were much more to my liking, though I still prefer a curling iron.

Thank you so much to all of you that followed “30 Wardrobe Challenge” and especially to those of you who commented on my outfits.  It was fun hearing what outfits were your favorites and found that your favorites are the same as mine.  To view all 30 outfits go to https://lifeexquisite.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/30-wardrobe-challenge/ .

I think I might spend today in my pajamas!

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Emotional?  Me?  Never!Lord help me to remember it's only but a moment that they are little and mine.

Okay…so maybe a little bit.  Okay, a lot.  And there are very few things that make me more emotional than the four times a year that I celebrate my children’s birthdays.

Two year celebrations have always been the hardest for me.  When my youngest turned two this January, it was Niagara Falls around here.  I cried the whole week before and after her birthday.  I barely let her out of my sight, or arms for that matter.  I just needed to hold on to her little baby body as long as possible.

I napped with her every day the week of her birthday, though sleeping was only done by her.  I spent the time crying as I held her little body as close to mine as I could and looked at each chubby little finger and reminisced over how tiny they were two years ago.  As I smoothed my hand over her blond curls that use to be downy soft and brown I thought of how much smaller her little head seemed in my hand two years ago.

It wasn’t just with her that turning two proved to be difficult on my heart-strings. It was this way with all of my children’s second birthdays.  It marked them being a kid.  No more shopping for clothes by months.  It was now 2T’s.  T means toddler, which means they aren’t baby’s anymore.  They are miniature little people who run around and become too busy to snuggle like they once use to.  Passing that baby phase has always been a bit depressing for me.

The rest of the birthday’s have passed by fine, maybe a few tears shed, because they are a little older but, all in all, much better than second birthday’s.  I can do any other age without feeling like my heart is tearing out of my chest.  That was until yesterday when…

My oldest daughter turned ten!  Did you catch that? TEN!!! 1-0!!! She now has two digits in her age.  She will have the same number of digits in her age as I do for the rest of her life (unless she or I to live to be 100).  She is definitely not a baby anymore.   She’s close to being a teenager!

As I watched her yesterday, and this weekend while we were shopping at Mall Of America, I realized what a young lady she has become.  She’s at the age now where she cares about fashion, she wants to pick out her own clothes, do her own hair, paint her own nails, and be a grown up.  She has more in-depth conversations and looks upon things with more maturity.  My husband told me last night that when he and she were at lunch (He always picks them up from school on their birthday’s and treats them to lunch at a place of their choosing.) he too noticed how mature she suddenly seemed.   It’s so hard to watch her become more and more like an adult(said with a whimper).

My 10-year-old trying to teach my two-year-old how to blow a bubble this weekend! Fun times! Click this image to bring you to "Ten Ways To Love Your Ten Year Old". Has some great ideas to show your preteen you love her!

However, this coming of age is also fun.  She’s able to hold her own against her dad while playing Play Station games.  One of her goals is to be as good as him or better one day soon.  She can joke around with us at a different, older, level.  She’s starting to have a desire to sew and cook, which is fun because I get to share with her these things that I enjoy doing, and have some good conversations with her at the same time.  I’m able to watch some “clean” chick flicks with her now and it’s fun to laugh along with her as we watch a movie that isn’t a cartoon or other “kid friendly” movie.  She wants to be one of the adults now, which means she can scrabble it up with us or play aggravation and she’s good at it too!

Shopping with her this weekend was a lot of fun.  It was the first time that she was interested in clothes, jewelry and things that I myself would buy, rather than toys or kids stuff.  She really enjoyed this weekend also and requested that just she and I go on a little shopping trip with all her birthday money.  Mmm-hmm, my heart swelled with joy at that request.  What fun, me and my girl shoppin’ ’til we drop!

Admittedly, yes, it’s hard as each year speeds by faster than the last, and my children become more and more independent.  Watching them grow and mature into independent young women and men is extremely hard for emotional mothers such as myself.  However, each stage brings new joys.  There are fun and exciting things about each age and phase they pass through.  Reminiscing can be good and fun but I know that I need to learn to not be sad that time has passed by, but to live in the moment that is before me.  Not to look back on what was nor look forward to what will be, but to enjoy each of my children where they are at now.

Someone once told me that our job as a parent is to work ourselves out of a job.  Crazy isn’t it?  That basically, as a parent, your working yourself towards unemployment.  After all, every chick has to leave the nest eventually.  However, I hope to not be completely “out of a job”.  There are times that I still need my mama and I hope that all of my kids will still need their mom at times too.  I know that I’ll always need them.

Love my kids!

Love this saying, and so true!

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