Friday, September 30, 2011

Eat This, Not That: Green Spaghetti.

We've been trying to eat a bit healthier around our house, but it's not easy. I'm trying to take one not-so-healthy ingredient from every meal and swapping it with something healthier. I love to swap! :) Last night I tried Spinach Spaghetti instead of the regular old stuff, and it turned out great! Actually the hubs didn't even realize it was spinach--win!

I picked this up from Natural Health Organic Foods here in Cape for $2.39. That's over $1.00 more than the Schnucks brand spaghetti that I usually buy, but I think it's worth it for the organic and spinach factor.

It looks kinda funny cooking, huh? I promise it tastes great though!

See? Once you add the sauce and meatballs it just looks like regular ol' sketti. Tastes just as yummy too!

Have you heard of the book, Eat This, Not That? This book compares different restaurant menu items and chooses healthier options to help you make better decisions. It's also a cookbook and an iPhone App! Once I get the iPhone that'll be one of the first apps I buy.

Do you try to eat "healthier" menu items when you go out to eat? Do you have any healthy ingredient suggestions for me?

also, p.s.....we got a new puppy! Picked her up yesterday from the humane society.

What's different about this puppy is that John is SO proud to be her owner. She's very tiny (only 6 weeks old!) so John has no problem picking her up and carrying her around. He's learning to "be easy" and hold her softly. He held her in his lap in the car yesterday the entire way home--so sweet!

Don't forget! Tonight is the HOW? Jewelry Soiree. I'm in charge of the wine and will be pouring selections from South Africa as well as some local Missouri wines. Come, browse the jewelry, eat some yummy appetizers and try some new wine! Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Event Spotlight: H.O.W? Jewelry Soiree

Hey! Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. I'm excited about Friday already (anyone else?)! I'll be pouring wine at "The Soiree" showcasing HOW? Jewelry.

"HOW? Jewelry is handmade by African women striving to break the cycle of poverty. Many of them are widowed and live with HIV/AIDS or are caring for orphaned children. We purchase the jewelry from the women at fair market value and then sell it in North America. A portion of all profits are re-invested into improving the lives of women and children living in poverty." -from the HOW? website.

This is truly a great company with an amazingly passionate mission. The comany president is Raelenna Ferguson, a friend of mine who lives here in Southeast Missouri. Raelenna makes no profit whatsoever for all the work she does organizing the sale of this jewelry. HOW? Jewelry is also a partner with Heart for Africa, another Christ-centered company that I whole-heartedly support.

We will be pouring South African wines Friday with some local wines as well, mostly Montelle Augusta.

The event will be from 6-9pm this Friday, September 30th at the Walden Park Townhouse in Cape Girardeau. There will be over 3,000 pieces of jewelry for sale, as well as the wine tasting and appetizers.

I'll be there pouring wine and wearing some of my pieces of HOW? Jewelry, including this hand-carved wooden cuff bracelet. If you go to the website, they have some pieces for sale, but there will be much more to choose from at the party Friday.

Me and my favorite ceramic pumpkin and mums. Fall is here!
 This piece is perfect for casual plaid shirts and jeans. It makes the entire outfit unique, don't you think? The cuff was only $20 and there will be pieces like mine for sale Friday, come check them out! Also if you can't make the wine tasting, there will be another chance to check the jewelry out Saturday morning from 9-noon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

For the Love of Mustard.

Oh I love all things this color....dontchaknow? It's bright and muted all at the same time, and it's seasonless--which is exactly why I wear it all the time without shame. One of my favorite blogs, Annie Laurie's Antiques, recently featured some styling suggestions for this color--love them all.

Mustard Check Top: Old Navy
Jeans: Big Star via The Buckle
Oxford Booties: JC Penney
Necklace: Made from African Seeds via How? Jewelry

I've become a tad obsessed with Etsy lately. Here are a few pieces I haven't bought, but have been added to my "favorite's" list. Best part about all of these pieces is that they're vintage!

Pure silk mustard blouse $19.99. Add skinny jeans and boots and go!

Yellow and Grey Pencil Skirt $26.00. Very "Mad Men-esque." Can you imagine it paired with a grey top, or maybe even teal?

Wool Vest $30.00. I'd attach a faux fur collar to add a bit more pizzazz. 

Oh and I just had to add this last one, although I don't know if I'd ever be brave enough to actually wear it!!

Mustard and Leopard Print Tunic $24.00

What do you guys think of this hue? Too retro for your taste? Or has it become a new wardrobe staple?

Friday, September 23, 2011

For the love of retail....

I used to turn my nose at the thought of my local JC Penney store. Snobby, I know.

"Ugh, it's all the way on the other end of the mall!"

"Ugh, all the clothes are so drab!"

Then, when I stopped whining and actually paid attention to the quality and prices of the clothes, I had a change of heart. Not only is JCP an American founded company, but they opened their first store over 100 years ago and Cape Girardeau actually had a JCP store downtown on Main Street. The building is listed in the National Register for Historic Places.

The JC Penney we all know today is located inside West Park Mall. Some of my favorite brands include ANA, MNG by MANGO, St. John's Bay, and Worthington. I recently scored this pair of ANA jeans on the clearance rack for $4. The top is also ANA and it was $18.

I'm loving chunky knit sweaters for fall. Not just for grandma, a chunky sweater looks modern with cropped trousers and flats. I love these by St. John's Bay because they are perfect worn alone, no layering necessary (I'm not a layering fan, by the way! Too much trouble!) I'd like one in a size small for a more fitted look, and in a medium to be more relaxed and wear with skinny jeans. Look at all the colors they have to choose from! Right now, all the V-Neck Cable Sweaters are $20.00.

All of the brands I've mentioned are marketed for young adult to middle aged women. JCP is making an effort to appeal to style-conscious women by their new partnership with People Style Watch magazine. The editors handpick styles straight from fashion runways and season appropriate trends that JCP has to offer.  I love all the tie-front blouses out for fall, but I'll check my favorite vintage stores first before I buy new from JCP. This top looks straight out of the 70's, wouldn't you agree?

What do you think of JC Penney? Do you think their clothes are affordable and trendy, or would you prefer to shop somewhere else?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Student Wannabe

Am I the only one who swoons over the life of an art student? They have an excuse as to why their head is constantly in the clouds and can wear black from head to toe and not be expected to attend a wake. I like to pretend that I'm an art student sometimes and wear glasses and all black and sip espresso from tiny cups.

What? You don't?

On a side note, who else is excited about fall weather? Time to bust out the tights. This dress is a perfect compliment to tights/leggings because it's a bit on the shorter side. I'm going to try to be more daring this fall and wear colored tights--I'm thinking this dress would pair nicely with cranberry, don't you?

Silk Dress: Coldwater Creek (on the sale rack, present from my Nana)
Black Tights: Target clearance
Cognac Boots: 80%20% via (Christmas present)
Watch: Timex via Macy's (birthday present)

Have a great Thursday, everyone! Keep your head in the clouds, whether you're an art student or not.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Handmade Spotlight: Leighana Paige Boutique

I've shared with you before my appreciation for Jesus-loving designers, so today I want to bring your attention to another local lady who makes high quality, handmade designs.

Leighana Paige Boutique features handmade garments for girls and boys, but I can't help buy be partial to her unique boy designs. Laura is one of the most genuine, lovable ladies I know so I love ordering pieces from her. Purchasing something from a designer that loves what they do, and works with a love for Christ in their hearts is a win/win way to shop! My little man looked adorable on July 4th in his patriotic tee.

I also don't know where I'd be without my unique (and handy!) wipes clutch.

You can check out Leighana Paige Boutique on Etsy or Facebook.

Do you know of any local, Christian designers? Please share!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ketchup Monday.

You know, normally I would feel guilty for my lack of writing inspiration and blog posts....but hey, all you other bloggers out there that I follow are slacking in the post department too. So, let us declare today KETCHUP (catch-up) MONDAY where we all sit down and plan out posts. Posts with substance, dignity, and poise. Posts that have nothing to do with how it's only 9am and I'm craving ketchup. I think my body is majorly lacking in the veggie department so while I run to Schnucks and get a V8, enjoy this pic of my little monster. Like his mother, he wears what he wants and doesn't look back.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mayhem and Birthday Love.

I need to catch my breath.

I've been busy this week, and here's why.

1. I recently started doing some freelance work for the Southeast Missourian. It's fun, it's new, it's exciting....and it's work. Work that has a by-line. I won't be posting every article I write to the blog, because I want to keep things separated. I encourage you to get a subscription to the paper if you don't have one already. It's important that we keep news in print.

2. Hubs had a birthday.
I love birthdays. I love watching someone open gifts. I love making them feel loved and special on their special day. He had a great day, and I'm glad he was born :)

A "Happy Birthday" banner so he can feel special when he wakes up to get his coffee.

A special coconut cream pie.

Special birthday gifts. Golf lessons and driving loafers.

Hazelwood Men showing love early in the morning.
 Happy birthday hubs. Love you!

3. We've been partying like it's 1999 around our house. So much partying that my little guy fell asleep during a demolition derby. Who sleeps while cars are crashing into each other and 3,000 people are cheering around you? This guy.

Now that I look at this list, I guess I havent' been all that busy. And actually everything I've been doing is by my own free will. So shame on me for feeling overwhelmed. I will go ahead though and take tonight to relax, make dinner and catch up on some reading.

How have you been feeling this week? Any stress? Any love?

Be loved and stress free friends, have a good thursday. xoxo.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Handmade Spotlight: LilyWhite Designs

Good Monday morning to you! I wanted to share with you my love for a handmade designer, LilyWhite.

I met sweet Abbie through a mutual friend one day over dinner and she gave me her business card. I knew I liked her instantly because of her

 a.) sweet, outgoing personality
b.) love of all things Jesus
c.) her amazingly beautiful hairstyle.

I don't know why it took me so long to call and order a dress from her, but I'm so happy that I finally picked up the phone, err email. Ordering was simple, I sent my measurements/sizes, an idea of what I wanted....and BAM she produced a one of a kind, Jesus garment just for me. It fits perfectly, and is way more beautiful than I could have imagined.

Front View.

Back View. Beautiful witnessing tool.

The dress is made using vintage fabrics so is delicate, but should wash well by hand. Abbie also included with the price of the dress a removable belt and handmade brooch.

Check out LilyWhite's website here for ordering info and prices.

Read Abbie's blog to learn more about her heart for Jesus and how she spends her days.

and see LilyWhite Designs on facebook to see samples of their work and customer reviews.

Have you ran across any Jesus loving designers lately? Please share! We need to be supporting our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ugly is the New Sexy.

My new glasses are so great I can't stop wearing them...probably much to my dear husbands dismay. You see, I am a firm believer in Man Repeller fashion. Stop right there. Never heard of it? Allow me to enlighten you.

Man Repeller is an entire fashion movement devoted to the styles that women covet and men can't stand. We're talking swing jackets, harem pants, plaid on plaid, and yes, dorky glasses. Think about it: if it were up to men, wouldn't we be wearing our sexiest, most figure flattering outfits all the time? Wouldn't we be dressing to impress THEM instead of wearing what we really like? Or wearing trends that we're dying to try out? Now, I'm a new passenger on this gravy train so I'm easing into it with the new specs. I may or may not be seen wearing any one of the following this Fall though, so watch out gentlemen. You might want to walk a few steps ahead of me for fear of being associated with the woman in the black tights and cut-off shorts.

1. Animal Prints.
Rawr. How cute is this big cat scarf? Kinda hoakie. But cute.

photo from Lucky Mag.

2. Maxi Skirts.
Think Grandma vs. Pentecostal Movement. No, I'm kidding. Think totally comfy and chic vs. fashion forward and church appropriate.

Photo from The Good Life for Less

3. Man Shoes.
These shoes break all the rules. No, they aren't feminine. No, they don't lengthen my legs. But do I like them? Yes. Will I wear them to work with trousers and on the weekend with skinny jeans? Yes and hell yes.
From Old Navy only $25!

4. Shorts and Tights.
This might be the scariest one for me, but I'm excited to give it a go. I'll probably debut the look for a girls night out first vs. date night just to be safe.

Photo from Lucky Mag
 and, last but not least:
5. The Geeky Glasses.
One part sexy librarian, one part debate team captain. Doesn't that just about define who I am?

DISCLAIMER: It is sometimes in your best interest to dress "for da man" if you get my drift ladies :)

Got any man-repeller trends you've been dying to try?

Good and Healthy.

I eat whatever I want. It's true. I don't think there's anything necessarily wrong with that, IF you take care of your body in other exercising. And let's just be honest here, I don't do that very often.

So I have come to a point in my quarter century here on this earth that I need to take better care of myself. In our house we've started actually thinking about what we eat, or I should say I'VE started thinking about what I cook and how it affects my health and my family's health.

Here's a yummy healthy recipe I tried last week. Everyone ate it and didn't that's a start!

Healthy Chicken Pockets

4 thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
4 carrots, chopped
4 handfuls of chopped mushrooms
1 bag of frozen broccoli florets, cooked according to directions on package.
dash of dill weed
dash of lemon pepper
lemon juice
dash of garlic

1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut four squares of tinfoil. Spray each foil square with non-stick spray.
2. Divide mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli amongst the four foil squares. Lay each piece of cut chicken on top, then season with dill, lemon pepper, garlic, and lemon juice.

3. Fold the foil up and place each pocket on a baking sheet. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!!

Picture is a little dark but you get the idea. I also separated the broccoli instead of cooking it with the chicken for my little picky eater.
 Do you have any "extra healthy" recipes you'd like to share? I could use some help in this department since I usually am not thinking "lean" when I cook!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fashion Friday: The Dorky Wedges.

You may or may not remember my very Fashion Friday post about a pair of granny booties that I absolutely loved and wore the heck out of last Spring. I bought those shoes because I couldn't find a pair of oxford wedges in my price range. Well, the fashion world has heard my cries and thus Old Navy came out with a pair in their Fall line....only $35!! I saw them, I bought them, and I can't stop wearing them. They are just too darn a-dork-able.

Of course my favorite thing to wear with them is jeans. Rolled up and showing a bit of ankle.

Half country girl, half work girl. I love the color of this simple checked shirt, and the khaki's make it work appropriate.

I am in love with this denim dress. It will look equally as cute with leggings this fall.
 Do you have a new fall addition to your wardrobe that you love? Who else is excited about this weather and busting out your favorite pair of fall shoes??

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ice Skating and Leopard Shoes.

Do you guys remember this place? The old Plaza Galleria Ice Skating Rink?

I only remember skating there just a handful of times, but I remember frequently visiting the Christmas decoration shop they had inside, with the toy trains running non-stop and the bright lights. It was a pretty neat place, and another old Cape Treasure that I wish someone would re-store.

My handy friend Brad took these outfit photos for me when we went by to check it out. I would love to take a peek inside...check out all the cool plants growing INSIDE the front windows.....some of them are still alive!

Skinny pants and a blousy shirt are pretty much my work uniform. I'm casual and comfortable at the same time, without wearing jeans. Only jeans on Friday's!

I am NOT a heels kind of girl, but I do love a kitten heel. Just the right amount of height to be sophisticated and comfy at the same time. I've had these for about four years and recently just got a new heel put on them--they're like new now! Also, remember what I said about Daniel not liking leopard shoes....well that's just something he's going to have to get over because I love them :)

The trees growing on the inside of the windows are seriously fascinating to me. How the heck are they staying alive in there? It's like a ghost building that's somehow supplying nutrients to these plants.

I don't think I've shown you this before, but it's my sweet little watch I got for my birthday. Kind of vintage meets preppy. It's a Timex and I love it! Also, notice my little sausage fingers. Yes, my hands are tiny. No, I was never on display at the circus.

I'm seriously obsessed with the plants. What the heck is going on in there??

Do you have a "work uniform" that is comfy while still looking professional? What's your take on "loud" accessories like leopard shoes?
Happy Thursday Everyone! Be curious today and look for something beautiful in the ordinary.