Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blogs About Clothes

I've suddenly gotten really into clothes. I mean really into clothes. As in I shop clearance racks and thrift stores like it's a competitive sport. And I dress up at home for no reason. The kids always look at me funny and ask, "Where are we going, Mommy?" Um, nowhere. Sometimes, it's fun to wear heels, even if the only people who see me in them are under four feet tall.

I thought I'd share a few of the blogs that have been feeding my obsession.
How Not to Dress Like a Mom is one of my favourites so far. Not only is the author a Canadian AND named Jacqueline (just the more fancy-schmancy version of MY name), but she's sarcastic and hilarious. Just the way I like to think I am
My Thrifty Closet is one I've only just recently discovered, but I have skimmed through a lot of her archives. I love her easy style, and they way she combines clothes. Plus her accessories are never over-the-top like so many other fashion bloggers. Also, she's a SAHM, and so we're kind of the same. Except she lives on the other side of the world and she has a build my child-bearing hips and line-backer shoulders can only dream of.
La Vie Petite. She's stinking adorable. Honestly, I wish I could just steal her wardrobe. Except that she wears a 00P pants. Um, how about one pair for my left leg and one pair for my right? But I love that she's short, so it gives me a great idea of what kind of looks I can pull off at my height. (FYI she's 4' 10 & 3/4". I'm about 5' 2".)
Wearing it On My Sleeves is one of the first I started following. She's also how I discovered the whole world of Mormon fashion bloggers (who knew there was such a niche?!). She's eclectic and gorgeous and I aspire to have her courage with colours and styles.
Creamy kind of freaks me out. That woman can wear some crazy heels! I only wish I could get away with shoes like that - or that I'd even have places to wear shoes like that! Again, there's just something I enjoy about her style, even though most of her combinations would look awful on me. (She's a tall, skinny blonde. I'm a short, non-skinny bald woman.)

Since I've also recently gotten really interested in sewing, I'm totally intrigued by the possibilities of refashioning clothes. I'm starting small - taking some shirts in (rather than always replacing things as they get too big), making a few simple items from scratch, and starting my first real refashion. (My dad's XL shirt into something for me. I'll post photos when it's done, even if it's a giant craftfail.) I've found two different blogs written by women who have taken up the challenge of refashioning something new every day for a year.
Refashionista is the one who first really got me interested in clothing refashioning. Some of her transitions are really inventive, but they also seem pretty accessible, even for a novice like me.
New Dress A Day is also really enjoyable, and I love that she has reader submissions. The one thing that kills me about both of these blogs is that the stuff they're making-over is generally around $1 or less. If I had access to clothes for that cheap I'd feel a lot gutsier about hacking into things. I even went to Value Village once with the intention of buying ugly things to re-do - but I walked out of there with several already-awesome items. I just don't want to spend $6 and risk having it bomb!

So there you go! A few things that have piqued my interest and sparked my creativity. What about you? Do you think much about your style? Anyone whose look inspires you?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday, May 29th

Here's the scoop on yesterday:
Breakfast - Sauteed kale and scrambled eggs. Two cups of half-decaf with coconut milk and cinnamon.
Snack - Homemade granola bar (Yummy, butnot a good choice!)
Lunch - Coconut curry cabbage and three homemade Paleo chicken strips. Hadn't planned on eating chicken strips, but two out of three kids decided they weren't in the mood for chicken, so I ate their rejects.
Supper - Roast chicken, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and a handful of potato wedges (the wedges were definitely not a good choice - they were most definitely an emotionally-driven choice).
Evening snack - Small bowl of strawberries, and two small cookies. (I made them much smaller than what the recipe called for. They would have been too big otherwise.)
Exercise - Early morning "run". I've restarted my learn-to-run program after taking too much time off. A friend has decided to join me three days a week, so I'll have accountability to keep me going.

Today I've had a huge to-do list, and a combination of procrastination-overload, and an uncooperative/napless baby. Tonight is the kick-off for the young women's ministry I'm starting in our parish, and my talk still. isn't. finished. I've just run out of steam! Yet I managed to find time to make myself a new skirt this morning, so at least I'll look cute while I'm unprepared. (This is why I keep my sewing area in the kids' playroom.)

Today's food:
Breakfast: Leftover coconut curry chicken & veggies, two cups of half-decaf with coconut milk and cinnamon.
Lunch - Same as yesterday.
Supper - "Spaghetti" (with spaghetti squash instead of pasta).
Snacks - Three of those cookies from yesterday. I'm glad they're out of the house now!

I'm going to experiment with intermittent fasting. The plan is to limit myself to a 10-hour "eating window". (In my opinion, it's the least drastic form of IF - lots of people do it and just call it "not eating after supper".) I know the evenings are prime time for mindless snacking, so if I make a point to "fast" between supper and breakfast, I can hopefully learn to break that habit of mindless munching. I expect I'll have to learn to beef up my breakfasts a little more, but that'll just be yummy.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Changing it Up

I've decided to change the focus of this blog. Since ending my Whole30, not only has a lot changed for me, but it seemed funny to have such a narrowly-focused blog.

My eating and fitness have both been through some ups and downs since completing the Whole30, but my husband and I have recently made a commitment to a Primal diet, following Mark Sisson's approach of 80% strict eating, 20% "treats". (I really hate referring to off-plan foods as "cheat" meals. Can't we just stop moralizing food?) The problem is that I have a hard time with staying on this plan without some sort of accountability. We agreed that we'd both keep a food log (which the other person is allowed to check out) to help us stick to the 80% and enjoy the 20%. I figure I may as well keep that log here. I'll keep track of my fitness efforts here as well. Maybe this will help keep me on track!

I've also found that as a result of losing weight and hair, I'm completely changing the way I see myself physically, including the way I dress. I've been spending some time reading some really great "fashion" blogs, and doing a fair bit of thrift-store-shopping. I've been wearing things I never would have considered wearing before losing this weight. And, surprisingly, having very little hair has made me more adventurous as well. I figure people are already staring at me, so why not wear a giant pair of earrings or a bright purple dress? From time to time I'll post photos of outfits/accessories to get your opinions on them.

And, mostly, I hope to be able to record some reflections of my thoughts and feelings through all of this. I keep thinking about the fact that I'm the same age Jesus was when he died. Since turning 33, I feel like I've been going through a sort of re-birth in my identity as well. (Heck, on my birthday in February I still had all my hair!)

I'm not sure whether this will make this blog more or less interesting, but at this point I'm writing mostly for my own sake - to keep track of what is going on with me right now. If anyone keeps reading, that'll be a big ol' bonus.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

"It's Not So Bad"

I’m not sure what I can write that would do justice to what I experienced last night, but I need to get something down, to remember a little of what I felt.
To say that I felt supported and loved is an understatement. The outpouring of comments, emails and messages from friends on Facebook was touching, and the community of women who gathered around me last night showed me what real beauty is. One dear friend even offered to shave her head with me, just so I wouldn’t feel alone – just so she could carry this burden with me.
They brought flowers, and notes of prayer and encouragement. We ate, drank and made merry. And when the time came to shave my head, they gathered around and buoyed my spirits with their joy.

One last shot with Francis when he dropped me off

The first pass

Getting there. Feeling okay.

Cleaning up

The butterfly seems fitting

Seeing myself for the first time. The women had decorated my head with markers, and just over my ear says “GI Jaclyn” and “Sing”

I only cried for a minute, and then I said, “It’s not so bad.”

Now my headscarves can actually just be *scarves* again
For all your prayers and messages – I thank you. I held all your kindness in my heart throughout the evening, and it gave me strength. God’s grace was abundant in that kitchen and in my heart last night!