Birth of a project

I was getting dressed for a friend's birthday party and I didn't know what I was going to put on my body. I looked in my closet and it seemed empty, unpromising. I've had these moments before; everything was old, ill-fitting, or blah. I thought to myself, "Ugh! I have NOTHING to wear!" Then I began rifling through my closet and saw a forgotten shirt I loved and many more, and I realized I was crazy. I had plenty to wear, and plenty to choose from. My closet was FULL of treasures! At that moment I decided I would take a year to explore my closet and to add NOTHING new to my wardrobe.

I would create a NEW outfit for each day in order to maximize my wardrobe and shake up my style.

Basically, I would try to "snap out" of my fashion rut, and appreciate what I have.

It was my New Years' project:
One Closet, One Year.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Cute Kids!

I hate to brag about my kids. I really do. I mean, I do go on about them to a small select group of folks I think might be interested, but otherwise I just go on about how crazy and wacko they are. And they are crazy. But in a good way. Most of the time.

Now today, I was crazy because I had the idea of "working" in the classroom while the kids "entertained" themselves. Why was this crazy you ask? Because two of my children are just not quite able to entertain themselves without parental participation. There is one who likes to climb anything stable, or unstable for that matter. There is another who manages to play by himself beautifully, but has to show me everything he has made, or tell me 18 million stories that start off with, "Mom, look...".  And he won't tell me the story unless I am giving him 100% eye contact. I tell him I'm working and it stops him for a bit, but by then Haha has spilled something, or tried again to start the computer, or taken a dump, or grabbed a sharpie, or unraveled an entire spool of string. Really, it was just a perfect illustration of why little kids and the workplace don't work so well. Or, maybe it was a reminder to me that I need to have reasonable expectations for my kids.

Oh. My kid brag of the day? Making dinner while the three little ones drew together on the white board. I have to thank Jordan for hauling it out of the garage at Char-bar's request. It was so sweet!

Outfit:

Grey heather tank (underneath): Urban Outfiters. This is very old and I adore it. Unfortunately, it has a small hole...

Striped tee: Hand me down. Gap.

Skirt: Salvation army. I got this in high school! I can't resist anything sparkly!

Gray cardigan: I gave this to my friend many years ago, and she was getting rid of it, so I took it back!

Shoes: American Eagle.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In The Stars!

Today, when I got into the faculty lounge, the first thing I did was look at my horoscope in the Calendar section of the Los Angele's Times. Here is what it said: "Aries (March 21-April 19): The way you put yourself together is a gift to others. The special care you take assembling an outfit pays off." Ha! Today I hated my outfit. My shirt especially. I got it for a friend's Sunday morning summer wedding. At the time, it seemed to fit the bill. Now, however, I feel like it needs to go. It will go in a few weeks at the clothing swap I am hosting. Thank goodness! This is definitely a "What was I thinking?" shirt.

Now, as for the outfit as a whole, it lacks inspiration. After yesterday's declaration of getting to bed early, I finally put my head on my pillow at 1:09 a.m. I woke up four hours later to a crying HaHa, and I got out of bed an hour and 15 minutes after that. I felt awful, so I grabbed my black death garments and threw on a "fun" top. It didn't cheer me up, but being with my new summer-schoolers did! I have realized after doing this for half a year, that how I dress is very much dictated by how I feel. It's nice to know.

My half-way mark is in two days! I feel hopeful!

Outfit:

Black Shirt: From Friend. Alicia Lawhon.

Black Skirt: Forever 21. Pregnancy buy.

Tan skirt: (underneath) Thrift store.

Polka Dot Shirt: Goodwill. Forever 21.

Black Sweater: Old Navy Maternity.

Shoes: American Eagle.


Back room business!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Infomercial Mania!

I have been staying up until one or two in the morning for at least two months. My posts, which I had been doing at a somewhat reasonable hour, kept getting pushed back later and later, and, as I've said before, I'm a night owl.The first couple of months I tried to post as early as possible. I gave up that dream because it just didn't work with my schedule and my obligations. It's hard to say, "No, HaHa, I can't read to you right now. Mama's blogging... Dinner? You will all have to wait." I have said it once or twice. But I try not to.

Now, truth be told, I am not only blogging in the wee hours. I am folding laundry, I am reading some of the beloved magazines my mother-in-law and Ayiko so kindly pass on to me, I am viewing a movie Richard isn't in to, and, on occasion, I am watching infomercials. Hey, it's my alone time. I can do what I like!

I cannot get enough of P90X, Meaningful Beauty, or Joan River's riveting advertisement for "The Right To Bare Legs". I so wanted to pick up the phone for my extra tube of tubular leg-blemish cover up, but I did not. I also want a Shake Weight. I mean, you can get totally toned arms and abs in only 6 minutes a day! However, all this night owl stuff is going on hiatus because I am teaching for the next 6 weeks and I have to wake up two hours earlier than usual! Yikes!

Outfit:

Shirt: Another handed down gem from my cousin Taylor. Old Navy.

Floral Skirt: Goodwill. To The Max! Seen in: Showers!

Pink Slip: Goodwill. Calvin Klein.

Shoes: Airwalk.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Graduate!

Today I was supposed to go to Royce Hall to watch my fabulously talented cousin walk in her graduation cap and gown (which was compostable by the way). However,  I got a call in the morning from her asking if it would be okay with me if she skipped out on the ceremony and we celebrated at her house instead. Being someone who did not attend her own graduation, I was fine with it. In truth, I was relieved because she said the ceremony was going to be 3 hours long! The rest of her family was fine with it too, I suppose... Congratulations Taylor!!!
There was a period of time when HaHa would leap out of my arms and into Taylor's whenever she had the chance. Once Taylor and I came home after being out all day and HaHa ran into Taylor's arms when the door opened. At least HaHa has good taste!

Outfit:

Shirt: Salvation Army. This is a skirt that I have looped a tie through the belt loops to make a halter style strap. I got this skirt in high school and I am in love with the butterfly print. Seen in: V-Day! and Re-Fashionista!

Black Tank: (under) I have no idea where or when I got this. It is at least a few years old. I got it to exercise  in.

Jeans: Hand me down from friend. Express.

Shoes: Miz Moos by Gazith.

This is Taylor and her Fiance Adam! They are newly engaged and our whole family is thrilled!
Taylor is modeling her cap for us!

The best picture of my outfit did not include my face, but that's fine with me! Hopefully people won't think it's too weird.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Welcome Escape!






Today, I got to get into the classroom I will be occupying this summer, and I got to go to a graduation party for a very promising young lady! The graduation fete was called a "Get Out of Jail" party because the young lady who was being honored did not really relish high school. That is to say, she received more enjoyment from working after school with children, people with Down's Syndrome, volunteering, and participating in theater. She realized that there was much more life to live beyond the walls of her school, than in her school, where her peers seemed concerned with shallow and trivial pursuits. And, apparently, she is not a fan of teenagers.

We have something in common.

One of her teachers was at the party and he had nothing but glowing things to say about her, so it is not that she doesn't enjoy learning and studying. There were also many other guests with praise for the graduate. It was a very fun and happy occasion, and I am so glad I got to be there. I will leave out the antics of my children while we were at the party...

On a completely different note, today when I was working in the classroom, I was trying to help HaHa turn on a computer, which she was determined to do, and she pushed my hand away and said "I do it!" It sounded like, "I'll do it", and Richard and I started cracking up! She said it again later, and I'm sure she'll be saying it again. That's my little independent HaHa bear!

Outfit:

I got a sun burn when we were at the park a few days ago, so I opted for a racer back tank today. These past couple of days my shoulders have really killed me. I wanted to be comfy so I paired it with these kick around corduroys. Of course when I got dressed this morning I wasn't thinking about the party later, but I manage to spruce up my outfit with just a couple of tweaks!

Print Shirt: Forever 21. I really can't resist a fruity print!

Brown Pants: Goodwill. I.N.C.

Sweater: Hand me down from cousin. Merona.

Shoes: Fit Flops.

Tweaked by adding:

Gold Crop Jacket: I got this for 5 buck at Walmart when I was visiting my mother in Hanson, Mass. 

Shoes: Patricia Field's for Payless  that I got for 12 bucks! I was looking for shoes for the boys a couple years ago, and I went to peruse the 10's. I saw these and snapped them up! I wish I had bought a second pair because they are soooo comfy!

Pants: I took the elastic bands I had around my wrists earlier in the day and gathered the pants at the bottom so they were more stylish, and less frumpy... At least I hope they were!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back To Class!

Today I had to go to school to get ready for the summer session. We had meetings and greetings. I found out that I will have an assistant who is a college senior. Man, that makes me feel old! As I was talking to her and some of the other college students, my cheeks started turning red. I felt like the old person trying to be down with the cool kids. What can I say? I am a middle aged woman with four children. To college age people, I am old.

I remember when I was in high school that I thought my teachers were so ancient. When I moved back to L.A. at the ripe old age of 28, I remember seeing some of my teachers and thinking that they were so young! The decade or so between us seemed inconsequential now that we were all adults. It really tickled me. How our perception changes as we grow more mature is fascinating. When I was 10 I thought that 40 was close to death, now I'm pretty sure it's 90.

Outfit:

Camisole: I've been wanting to wear this for a while, but just never got around to it. I found it at Goodwill. I decided to pair it with black, so that it is not overly sweet. I feel like this is an homage to The Pink Ladies. Grease was one of my favorite films when I was younger. I still love it to this day!

Tank: (Underneath) Old Navy.

Black Crop Cardigan: Clothing swap. Gap.

Jeans: I got these from a Big Sunday fundraiser. Bu from Malibu.

Shoes: Airwalk.


This outfit HaHa is wearing was put together by Richard. It is all handed down clothing. When I came home she greeted me at the door in this and I thought she looked so adorable!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

Today I spent more summer leisure time with the kids before I head off to the office tomorrow. I haven't done summer school for a few years, so it should be fun. I also think that it will be the perfect way to ease into a full-time work schedule in the fall.

We went to the library. It was peaceful and sweet to see the boys grab books they found interesting and settle in at a table, while I looked for books for my class. HaHa was kind enough to nap during this time. We left and came home to bake a cake for my lovely friend Ayiko. She is a truly wonderful and brilliant person, and I've known her since I was 9! That's a long, long time, and I am so glad our crazy paths crossed those years ago.


Richard had to work until 2:00 a.m., so I needed to scramble for childcare this evening. For some reason, I guess because of experience, I cannot leave Jordan alone with all of the kids for more than a little bit of time. He is almost there, but not quite. I was getting paid to watch four kids under the age of 7 when I was 15, so it is hard for me to understand why I can't have Jordan stay with the kids for several hours. I just can't. Maybe soon.


Anyway, I am rambling, so let me just say that Ayiko's birthday dinner was filled with laughs, good conversation, yummy food, and cocktails! They were strong, so I only had one. And, I was lucky because Richard's brother agreed to sit with the kids while I was out. I was home by 9:45, and all three kids were awake.

Outfit:

Black Shirt: This was given to me by a friend who used to work for the designer of the shirt, Alicia Lawhon. I love the simplicity of this shirt with the rainbow detail.

White skirt: Ayiko gave this to me several years ago, so I decided to wear it today. Free People.

Black Leggings: So old, I don't know where or when I got them!

Shoes: Miz Mooz by Gazith.

Bag: I usually do not carry a purse and would do anything to not carry one, but sometimes, I just have to. I found this purse at a thrift store long ago and it was five bucks. It isn't leather, and that's fine with me. While I appreciate really gorgeous handbags and the ilk, they're just not something I covet.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Polling!

I realize that I never addressed the poll results of my "Did You Vote?" question. The total number of votes was quite low, especially in comparison with the last poll. I can't say that I am surprised. It is actually quite apropos.

When I saw the number of votes on the June 8th elections, I was shocked. In a city of millions, the votes were in the thousands. To be more precise, out of 1.6 million registered Los Angeles voters, 290,000 of them actually managed to vote on June 8th. That's fairly discouraging considering you have the opportunity to cast your vote by mail. You don't even have to get to the polls anymore...

I must say, I am not surprised, but it is a bit disappointing. How do we take our right to vote for granted? How do we not vote when the city and state is in such crisis? What happened to the overcrowded polling places of November 2008? Where did the hope go?...

I guess the hope, like everything else in politics, is going down the crapper. And why wouldn't it? Almost two years into the Obama era, and everything feels pretty much the same as before. The hope that was palpable that November eve feels lost and empty. Afghanistan. BP. Health Care. Bail outs. Our further estrangement with our "allies", Guantanamo Bay, Don't Ask, Don't Tell...

I'm not asking, but I'm telling you, something's rotten in Denmark.  

Outfit:

Thai Skirt: I decided to wrap this and wear it as a shirt while I was fooling around with what to wear today. This was one of the first gifts Richard gave to me. He got it while he was touring South East Asia.

Sweater: Hand me down from cousin. Merona.

Jeans: Hand me down from friend.

Shoes: zoe & zac.

I've included a family "portrait" that shows what I have in store for me when parenting HaHa.  She is crying because I am holding on to her while she is perched on the four- foot slanted wall. She wanted me to let go...




 


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Up The H!ill

Today we spent the day at the park. There was tree climbing, riding downhill without helmets, snacking, walking through a swarm of bees, playing, climbing up a huge, huge hill, and a lot of merriment.

One of the most hysterical things was HaHa pushing me away and saying "No, mama", as I tried to spot her during her tree climbing. She is so stubborn and fearless that it is quite scary. People on the playground were watching her and shaking their heads in disbelief as she climbed a 6 foot ladder and launched herself down slides without any hesitation. They were also surprised by her heckling of much older children. "No! No!" she exclaimed as she tried to dominate the equipment. She is really something. Her desire to be like her big brothers overshadows everything. Whatever they are doing, she is doing. She is like the chihuahua who thinks it's a pit-bull. She is cray-cray.








Outfit:

Grey Tank: Urban Outfitters. I got this a million years ago and it is starting to die. I will definitely get another one of these in heather gray in the future.

Silk Dress: Goodwill. I got this to wear under things. But I thought I'd wear it as a top layer today. I wore it backwards for "ba-ba" purposes.

Print wrap skirt: Goodwill. I always love anything sparkly!

Under skirt: Thrift store. Also a million years old.

Shoes: Fit Flops. I would have worn better shoes, but I knew I was going to be doing a lot of walking today. 



Here are some moments from the day. You can see HaHa's antics as she tries to prove she can hang with the big boys. By the way, the equipment HaHA was climbing with abandon was designed for 5-12 year-olds, according to the sign...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Procrastination!

Why am I so good at procrastination? I don't know. I can't say I was born with this particular talent because, in truth, I was two months premature. I should have been born a Gemini.
Thank goodness I popped out early! Geminis are so complicated.

Just kidding! I don't really know that much about Geminis. I am sure they are no more or less complicated than their astrological brethren. But they are weird. Kidding again. If you are a Gemini, please don't leave me any angry comments...

So, procrastination. A skill I have cultivated and nurtured over the years. Always, always, waiting 'til the last moment. To start. To leave. To finish. To plan. I actually was very worried there was something pathological about my behavior until I heard a lecture by a neurologist who said that procrastination was the norm. I was so relieved. Soooo relieved. I was normal!

And now, I don't worry about it so much. And everything always gets done.

Unless, of course, I forget... But that's another story...


Outfit:

Tie: I pulled out this tie for Leo last week to wear at his culmination, but he said "No thanks". After I found it again, I wanted to wear it. But, I have learned that I have no button down shirts that I can wear ties with. Actually I have one classic collared shirt, but it is dark brown and has some detail on the front that wouldn't work with this tie. So I decided to wear it without a collared shirt. I'm going to start looking weirder and weirder as the days go on, so why not start now?
It was given to me by a friend.  It is vintage and was hand painted. I really love it and I'm glad I've kept it all these years.

Shirt: Hanes.

Sweater: Hand me down from my FRESH friend. H&M.

Skirt: George. I got this at Walmart when I was visiting my mother. I don't usually shop at Walmart for clothing, but, if you visit my mother, you will find that it is one of the only stores close to her town. So when I'm there I go to Walmart, and I find myself perusing the clothing. I was working in admissions at the time I bought this.

Leggings: Don't know where these came from, but I've had them forever. Probably about 17 years.

Shoes: Miz Moos.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day!

We had a lot of Father's Day festivities, so it was go, go, go around here. Richard's mom returned home, and we were sad to see her leave, and sad also that we apparently gave her some form of the sickness we had. Every time she visits, we get her sick. We also expose her to more noise, mess and chaos, than she probably gets all year in her lovely Northern California town. What can I say, we are a wild and crazy bunch! I'm sure it will calm down here in a few years.

I only took three pictures of myself in my outfit before I dashed off to the car, so please forgive me for the lameness. One of these days I'll get it together. Famous last words...

Outfit:

I was going back to fourth grade today- rockin' the pink and purple! I wore so much p and p it hurts to think about it!
Purple Shirt: Emma & Sam. This was a bubble shirt that I deconstructed. I am wearing it inside out because I like the effect. I will never, ever wear any bubble clothing again. It's a look I don't think most women can pull off. I call it a "nut storage shirt." Here is the original in Facehook! but it's hard to see...

Purple cami: Old Navy.

Pink Skirt: This was given to be my friend, but it turns out she got it from her amazing mother Maia. I love the movement of this skirt, and I always feel earthy in it!

Sandals: Capezio. Same as yesterday.

I'm including some family photos in lieu of writing about our day!