Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Christmas-y Without Spending Big Bucks

The Merona tiered tees from Target have been some of my most favorite shirts to wear, so when I saw a tiered dress on clearance online, it went directly into my cart! Actually, I put two dresses in my cart - one in red, size large, and one in gray, size extra large. For the tees, size large fits me best, but knowing that I'm somewhat pear shaped, I thought I might need a little extra room in a dress. It turns out that a large works best for me in the dresses, too. I'm glad, because I really, really love the dress in red!

I wore the red dress to church on Boo's birthday. I was going to wear it to his party, too, but ended up wearing jeans instead. We did play on the floor together, so it was a good choice.

 Merona dress - Target
Scarf - hmmm....I can't remember!

 Nurture booties - thrifted

Vintage wool coat - thrifted
Hat - eBay

This winter, I've been looking at coats when I visit Goodwill or the church thrift store in Little Town. This winter white vintage wool coat was only $4 at the church thrift store, and it fits me perfectly! None of my hats looked right with it, so I had to go hat shopping, of course. Nothing in stores looked right, either, so I went online and found this wonderful leopard print hat on eBay. I think it's a perfect pairing!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Going Back in Time

We'll begin a new year on Wednesday, and I still have a few outfits and a craft project from the past couple of weeks that I never got posted. This week, we'll go back in time a bit and catch up.

This outfit was worn on Dec 13, and I think I went grocery shopping that day. I went somewhere, anyway, because I was wearing a coat. Our furnace works well enough that I don't need to wear a coat in the house. Thank God for that!

 Merona tee - Target
Sweater - Old Navy
Fleece lined leggings - Walmart
St Johns Bay boots - JCP

 Coffeeshop Red coat - Target
Snowflake earrings - Target

Wool hat - gift

Monday, December 23, 2013

Twas the Night Before a FHH Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Dachshund;


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;


The chickens were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of grub worms danced in their heads;


And me in my 'kerchief, and Some Postman in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.



The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,


When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reinducks,


With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Jitterbug! now, Disco! now, Hokey and Pokey!
On, Congo! on Can-Can! on, Boogie and Woogie!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now splash away! splash away! splash away all!"


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the duckies they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The slapping and splatting of each little webbed foot.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.


His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.


He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,


And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,


"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letting Go of Expectations, Keeping Perspective and What's Really Important

Well, now, that's a lengthy title, is it not? And that was version number three!

It's the Christmas season.

That's not news to you, dear reader, obviously. It's impossible to miss the signs.

I always think of this scene in Bruce Almighty when someone says "show me a sign".

Stores have had trees and Christmas decorations on display since October (or earlier, in the case of craft and sewing retailers). Commercials on TV lure us to shop, shop, shop for all the perfect gifts for everyone we know, knew or might possibly know in the future. Radio stations are cranking out Jingle Bells and White Christmas. Grocery ads have all the baking supplies, hams and trimmings on sale for The Perfect Christmas Dinner. Even stop lights blink a bright red and green!

All of this creates pressure on us women, particularly, to do it all and make the holidays perfect in every way, even if it kills us. Expectations....which leads to the post-holiday blues the day after Christmas when it didn't turn out like a Hallmark movie despite all that tearing about like the proverbial chicken.

This is why I have scaled down my Christmas "doings". Instead of baking a dozen different kinds of cookies and making six different kinds of candy, I turned it back to two cookies and three candies, all very simple and small batches, too. I did most of my shopping online this year, as well as my usual clearance shopping throughout the year. My dear husband bought us a new tree this year - a slim, pre-lit one that was so much easier for me to decorate. (Although, next year, I'll forego the garland. I got dizzy winding it around the tree!) There used to be a time when I decorated every room in the house with lights, greenery, shelf-sitters, etc. I still enjoy doing that, but it's not in every room anymore, and only takes one day instead of three.

What's really important about all that craziness? Is that REALLY what Christmas is all about? Of course not! Christians chose this winter celebration date to remember the birth of Christ. Before that, pagans celebrated the winter solstice this time of year. Neither of these celebrations were intended to drive people crazy. Let's keep perspective on the season and get back to enjoying it.

For me, the Christmas season is a time of gathering with family and friends, spending time with people we love. Sometimes that involves gift giving, but in my circle of loved ones, we keep it simple. Christmas is a time of joy, remembering how God sent His Son to live among us and save us from our sins. Christmas is a time of thankfulness, of sharing, and of peace.

I'll never host a Hallmark Christmas gathering. Mine are probably more Charlie Brown in nature. I once hosted a Not-So-Martha-Stewart Thanksgiving dinner in my bedroom! Ask me about that sometime...it was great fun! But I am perfectly happy with the simple, uncomplicated ways we celebrate Christmas in my family. We're thankful to be together, enjoying one another's company, strengthening those family ties.

This will be the first Christmas I've ever celebrated without my Grandpa. He went to heaven a couple of weeks ago. It will be different without him, but I am so very thankful for the years we had with him. He was the leader of our clan and we all wanted him to be proud of us. We were certainly proud of him!

Being thankful is definitely a key in keeping the holiday season in perspective. Gratitude for what we already have will keep away the greed for more stuff, which only weighs us down anyway. Heather, a blogger friend, recently contacted me and asked if I would share a bit of her story. She lives a life of gratitude. Heather is an 8-year survivor of mesothelioma, a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. You can read her story on her blog at www.mesothelioma.com/heather and learn more. Thank you, Heather, for asking me to write about something for which I am thankful...it's helping me keep my perspective in this busy time of year!

My Not-So-Martha-Stewart Christmas tree and "mantle".

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Soft and Cuddly

The North Door has been left open in Kansas, which means it's gotten downright chilly around here. We've had January-style weather in two rounds already since Thanksgiving. It might be shaping up to be a remarkably COLD winter!

All the more reason to wear cozy warm outfits like this one, which I wore to church this past Sunday. As the congregation went about greeting one another at the beginning of service, I received several hugs that lasted extra long so the hugger could enjoy my cuddly softness!


a.n.a. shirt - JCP
Chadwick's skirt - thrifted
Scarf - ???

 Faith 21 sweater-jacket thing - thrifted

I found this ultra-soft sweater-jacket thing hanging among the men's jackets at Goodwill, as if someone had either changed their mind about it, or "hid" it so they could get it later. (I've worked in retail before, and have seen this done. A customer tucks something where it would least likely be found by someone else who might want it, then they can go back later when they have the money for it and it will still be there. Unless, of course, the retail workers are doing their job.) It's a size 3X and came with a hideous 4-inch wide elastic belt. Yes, it's enormous on me, but since the shoulders aren't overly broad, I think it works as a swing jacket, especially without that awful belt. After looking at the pictures, I can see that it really doesn't do anything for my shape, but who cares when it's so soft and cuddly, even the high school boys at church can't resist petting my arm? (Just so you know - I consider all our church youth to be my own children, so it's not weird! Really!)

Mossimo western boots - Target

Vintage Sarah Coventry pin - Heritage Collections gift shop, Wamego

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Advent Season is Here

Merry Christmas, all y'all in blogland! Advent season is upon us, and it is a very busy time of year. Do you have your house decorated, cards mailed, menus planned, gifts purchased and wrapped, cookies baked? No? And you think I do?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, ohhh - HA ha ha!

OK, so yes, I do have a few of those things done: the house is as decorated as it's going to get and I have most of the gift buying done. The rest of it still waits patiently on my to-do list. It will get done eventually. I refuse to stress out about getting it all done and making Christmas "perfect". If you strive for a picture-perfect Christmas that dwells only in Fantasy Land, you're going to be sorely disappointed and bring on the post-holiday blues faster that you can get a licked candy cane stuck in your hair.

Perspective...that's what keeps me from stressing out this time of year. We just laid my dear hero of a Grandpa to rest yesterday, fittingly on Pearl Harbor Day (he was a WWII POW). Last year was our final Christmas with him. This year, he will celebrate Jesus' birth in heaven. Now there's a perfect Christmas for you! Thinking about my Grandpa, I realize that all the decorations, gifts, cookies, etc are nice and wonderful ways to celebrate the season, but they are not what is important. Family, friends, the people you love - they are what is important. And what is most important of all is remembering why Jesus was born in the first place. He came here to save me from sin and death. If all I do this Christmas is sit and ponder that fact and thank Him for his most wonderful gift, then the holiday has been properly celebrated.

On to an outfit...the fluff part of this blog!

This very casual outfit is what I wore to do some grocery and Christmas shopping last week. We had a bit of a reprieve from the Deep Freeze so I was able to wear a lighter coat and actually enjoy dashing between the car and the stores.

 Merona tee - Target
CJ Banks jeans - thrifted
Born mocs - eBay

 Coldwater Creek coat - thrifted


Snowflake earrings - Target, I think
Partridge in a Pear Tree vintage pin - thrifted

This color combination feels festive to me without being overtly Christmas-y. It was fun and comfy to wear while out shopping. That's about all there is to say about such a simple outfit, and so I will leave you with a view of my favorite part of the house decorated for Christmas:





Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Busy Week!

The week of Thanksgiving is always a busy one, it seems. Some Postman had Monday off, so we made a trip to Town after I got back home from my hair cut in Small Town. We had lunch at Carlos O'Kelly's, which is fairly vegetarian friendly, I learned. We did a little Christmas shopping, picked up some groceries and ordered a new mattress set. Oh, I am looking forward to that arriving! The mattress we have now is at least as old as our daughter. I have a difficult time finding a comfortable way to sleep on it. Some Postman could sleep like a puppy dog just about anywhere. I wonder how he does that?

On Tuesday, I'd planned to get some prep work done for the food I'll be taking to our family Thanksgiving at my uncle and aunt's house. But early that morning, my aunt let everyone know that Grandpa was in the ICU and the doctor said the family should come. So as soon as SP got home from delivering the mail, we went back to Town and spent the rest of the day at the hospital. I'm very pleased to say that Grandpa responded well to the treatments he received, and today he was moved into a regular room! Praise God for answered prayer!

And so today has been spent finishing the laundry that had to be left half-done yesterday. (I think my dryer is about to give up the ghost. It's been making a clunking noise when it first starts up, but today it also paused numerous times. I begged it just to finish up today and then it can die later! It's much too cold to hang laundry on the line.) I donned my apron, too, and made a Big Huge Mess in the kitchen. So far, I've made Honey Wheat Rolls, Caramel Cranberry Bars (with dark chocolate instead of pecans, in case my nephew with a nut allergy wants to sample them), and Old Fashioned Fudge (gluten-, dairy- and nut-free, but NOT workout-free - I believe I burned enough calories beating the daylights out of that fudge to earn several "free" pieces!). In a few minutes, I'll get a beef roast in the oven for SP's supper, then make a batch of Quinoa Dressing. Thankfully, I don't have to make cranberry sauce, because Grandma Hoerner's makes the best sauce ever. My beverage contribution to the Thanksgiving meal will be egg nog; the grocery store had half gallons on sale for 99¢. I am sure our dinner table will be overflowing with delicious dishes!

Going back to Sunday...this is what I wore to church that morning. I must say that I really, really liked this outfit. This dress lends itself to being worn so many ways, I am tempted to wear it again next Sunday! But I will try to wait at least another week. Or wear it to a meeting or to the grocery store, so as not to wear it too soon to the same place. How I do love the colors!

Xhileration dress - Target
Next ♥ Era sweater - thrifted
Merona tights - Target
Ciao Bella boots - eBay

I'm still not fully familiar with how the photo program on this new computer works, so the above picture isn't cropped, like I wanted it to be. For some reason, it's a copy. I have no idea what happened to the original! I'll get this thing figured out eventually...

Necklace - JCP, I think

Looking at these pics, I almost miss my longer hair. Yeah, I got it cut short! Ah well...it'll grow. 

 Ring - JCP


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Transitions

It's been a few days since I made a post here on the Flint Hills Hausfrau...not because I haven't been wearing decent outfits, at least most days. Rather, it's due to my slowness in learning how to use a new computer. This new one uses Windows 8, which some folks don't care for, I've heard. I've found it to be fairly easy to navigate, although there have been times I've had to hunt all over for the obscure little thing for which I'm searching. No, the biggest problem has been transferring files from old Putie to new Rosey. (I named the new computer Rosey after the robot maid on The Jetsons. Yeah, I'm weird like that!) And setting up my husband's email was a bit challenging - I had to call tech support for that. And then I had to learn where and how to store and edit photos. Kind of hard to create outfit posts without pictures! I think I'm finally ready to make a post, tho, so here we go....

This is what I wore on Thursday. Book Club met that evening, so I wanted to incorporate some items given to me by book club members. The pants were given to me by Ursula and the scarf was made by Sharon. As it turns out, I didn't end up going to Book Club because the weather got nasty. I hear the few who did make it had a really great time....now I'm sad I missed it. But not sad I snuggled on the couch with my Postman and Pooka all evening instead.

Mossimo sweater - Target
Cecil pants from Germany - gift from Ursula
Hand-knit scarf - gift from Sharon

My plan, if I had braved the sleet and bitter cold north wind, was to wear my congnac tall boots and that fuzzy soft cozy sweater/jacket thing draped over the chair behind me in the above photo. Instead, I wore these comfy shoes all day until after supper when I donned my slipper booties.

Merrell shoes - eBay

Check out these super Fun Socks! I enjoy wearing goofy socks in the cold weather, too, even though they aren't seen much, being covered by shoes and pants most of the time. I really like the socks from Dressbarn, as they don't develop holes too quickly and they stay up without cutting off my circulation or leaving a band mark around my lower calf.

Socks - Dressbarn

The scarf stayed on most of the day, too, except when I was cooking and eating soup for lunch. That sweater has a wide, drape-y cowl neckline so I got cold without the warmth of the scarf.

Earrings - Target

Yeah, I have a hard time with selfies. Always cutting something off or angling the camera oddly. One thing I like about Rosey's photo editing is the auto adjust. It fixed a lot of the color issues in my photos. Now if I could just find an editing tool that will fix my goofball expressions...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Feeling Like Myself

Some Postman had this past Friday off from work. After I got back home from my cleaning job that morning, he said we should go to Town for lunch and some shopping. This sounded good to me! I didn't want to delay things by showering and putting on nicer clothes. He said what I had on was fine, so away we went.

We had a good time together, but I felt ill at ease and not like myself the entire time we were out and about. The problem was that my hair felt yucky and I was wearing lounge pants, a t-shirt and a flannel shirt. It wasn't until we popped in to Walmart that I felt appropriately dressed. Not that I "dress up" to go to Town, but I don't normally wear grubbies, so I just didn't feel like myself.

After we got home, I showered, did something to my hair and put on jeans, a long sleeve tee and a drapey sweater, with a necklace and earrings. Nothing fancy, by any means, but it certainly felt more like me! Some Postman and I attended the high school musical that evening, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It's amazing how much more I enjoyed that outing, simply because of my clothing! It really does set the mood.

Now, today, for church, I wore pants. Definitely NOT the norm for me, but a good idea, as it turns out. The wind is quite ferocious today! A skirt or dress would have been up around my ears. Eek!

 Xhileration top - Target
George pants - either Walmart or thrifted, I can't remember which
Scarf - gift from Bestie



Earth Spirit Classics mules - Walmart


Monday, November 11, 2013

Sunday Morning and Letting It All Go

 Liz Claiborne top & pencil skirt - JCP
Studio 1940 cardigan - Fashion Bug
Clarks shoes - thrifted


This outfit was purchased at least a month ago, on sale, with a coupon, but I have felt too self-conscious to wear a pencil skirt lately. The black knit dress with the floral print sides a few weeks ago seemed daring enough. Anything close-fitting feels like it accentuates my belly entirely too much. But....I am doing my best to wear these things anyway. They fit; they are comfortable; they are nice styles. Just because my body doesn't fit the mold of perfection doesn't mean I cannot wear any style I choose.

Earrings - from MIL's collection
Necklace - JCP



While I am not throwing in the towel in regards to my diet - I'm trying to reduce sugar intake and weaning myself off coffee - or exercise routine, I've come to the conclusion that this is the size my body has settled upon and I might as well accept that fact. No more wishing to be a smaller size. No more slavery to the bathroom scale. (By the way, I had to move the scale out of the bathroom to make room for a stack of paint cans [house project, see my personal Facebook page if you aren't already aware of it]. The scale now resides in the laundry room in plain view of the porch door. I don't get on it very often at all anymore! Should have done this ages ago...) 

I am a size 12 or 14. My weight hovers around 150 - 155 lbs. My arms and legs are chunky, and my belly is soft. So what?!

I am a wife. My husband likes - no, LOVES the fact that I can cook and bake food that he enjoys eating. He likes to snuggle with me on the couch of an evening. He doesn't spout compliments to me very often, but I know that he loves me just the way I am.

I am a mother. My kids don't seem to mind that I'm not perfect; at least not now that they are grown up. They don't seem too embarrassed by me anymore. I'm sure that will change in another twenty years or so, though! Ha ha!

I am a Grammy! My Boo likes to snuggle with me and read books. I can pick him up and hug him tight. (He's growing so big, tho, it won't be long before I can't pick him up any longer!) I have just enough energy to run around the yard with him. Boo loves me just the way I am.

I am a sister and a daughter. My parents and siblings love me just the way that I am. So do my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.

I am a daughter of the King. God loves me more than I can even imagine! He sees every aspect of my being, flaws galore, and transforms me into His very own child, perfect in every way, by His mercy and grace. 

If the people I love most in this world love me just the way I am, and the God of the universe deems me perfect, then how can I wish to be anything than what I already am? What makes me ME is so much more than my size and shape.  There is absolutely no reason at all for me to hide behind fear and shame any longer! I'm letting it all go...

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Leaning Teapot, Short and Stout

You all know one of my theme songs is "I'm a Little Teapot", right? Well, the quick mirror shots I took of yesterday's outfit made me change the lyrics a bit to "I'm a leaning teapot, short and stout..."


Cardigan - Old Navy
Danskin Now tee - Walmart
Maurices skirt - thrifted
Faded Glory leggings - Walmart
Boots - JCP
Scarf - thrifted
Earrings - thrifted

Mirror shots don't work in the bedroom; I end up being back-lit, so the mirror image is dark. The only other alternative is the bathroom mirror, but in order to get a full shot, I have to angle the camera wonky. Mirror pics almost always turn out blurry for me, too. Ah, well, it'll just have to do...I didn't have time to use the timer and attempt decent pics. I wore this outfit without the scarf and boots most of the day, and only remembered I wanted to document it with a blog post minutes before I needed to head out the door for a meeting at church.

My other theme song, of course, is "Fat Bottomed Girls" by Queen. We make the rockin' world go 'round!