Monday, March 18, 2013

Colored Jeans?

Can we talk about the colored jeans trend for a second?  What's that?  You were hoping to?  You've been thinking about them a lot?

Well, great - you've come to the right place!

So when I was going into 6th grade, my mom gave her credit card to my sister and me and told us we could each pick out 2 back-to-school outfits at the mall.  I don't remember what we got my sister, but I remember we headed straight to Limited Too to get my outfits.  I ended up coming home with some cool stuff.

Outfit #1:
-black and white checkered flannel shirt
-red waffle shirt (to go under flannel - layering was hot)
-red jeans!

Outfit #2:
-White/teal/blue plaid flannel shirt
-white waffle shirt (to go under flannel, again)
-teal jeans!

I also remember I owned bright cobalt blue jeans that had a matching blue and white striped shirt.  I wore all of this stuff for a couple years, max, and then colored jeans were waaaaay out of style.  Like, could-not-be-seen-wearing-them-at-RVMS-no-way-no-how out of style.

And look where we are now.  We've fast forwarded a few years (almost 20, right?) and colored jeans are everywhere!  And I get it, most things go in and out of style over the years.  But I'm having sort of a tough time with the colored jeans because I remember how quickly and strongly they went from being awesome to awful.  Poof - it was that quick.

I'm also sort of curious if a non-skinny person could wear them.  In fact, the only people I've seen wearing them are thin, or at least on the thin side of average.  And all the colored ones I've seen are skinny jeans.

I'm thinking about myself, for example, in a pair of pink skinny jeans.  And I'm thinking it doesn't look that awesome.  I have a couple pairs of dark-wash skinny jeans, and they are fine(ish) because of the dark wash.  But I imagine if they were light pink, they would not be fine - they wouldn't even be fine-ish.  They would be awfully unflattering.  But then when I read reviews on and for their skinny, colored jeans, people say things like, "I'm a curvy size 16 and these fit great."  So who knows?

What do you guys think?  Do you own any colored skinny jeans?  Do you think the trend is cool or a little too reminiscent of those early 90s years?

(I know Patti's current project is to make her own pair [because she's crafty like that] - so we can all tune in to her blog to see how they turn out.)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A First Birthday!

Bates turned one on February 26!  We decided to have a super low-key birthday celebration with grandparents the weekend before.  We're saving money this year so we can rent a pony or something when he's older.  (Probably not, but whatev.)

So Saturday afternoon, between naps, we went out to my in laws house to have lunch and cake and open presents.  Again, we didn't want anyone to feel obligated to get him a ton of presents since he will not remember this birthday.  But he still got some cool ones.

And his most favorite of all (from my in-laws):

His new wagon!  (We put it together at our house the night before his party.)

He also got a great musical instrument set (not pictured) with a drum, maracas, a clapper, and a hand cymbal.  Some mini-sized Nerf balls (soccer, basketball, and football).  And a stuffed animal of his favorite llama (from Llama Llama Red Pajama).

We had to let him try cake, since he had never really had any sweets before.  He loved it, as expected.

Not sure if the video will work or not...

Overall, it was such a fun day.  I can't believe it's been a whole year with our little man!  I'll do a post about him at 12 months on another day.  Happy Birthday, Batesy!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Reviews: Beautiful Creatures and The Gods of Gotham

I realize these book review posts probably aren't my most interesting.  I get that.  It's just that I really want to have documentation of what I've read all year, so I'm going to keep writing them.  But I'll try to keep them brief, at least.

Also, for those of you that do read these blog posts [crickets], I'll never put any spoilers or anything - so please feel free to read the review even if you haven't read the book.

So here we go.  Two in one post...

Beautiful Creatures (Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl):

I had seen the preview for the movie a few times in theaters and thought it looked cool.  The book also seemed like it should be right up my alley: teen fiction, teen love story, and paranormal activity.  (Yeah - that's my alley.)  As you know from seeing the movie preview, it's about a teenage girl who's a "caster" (fancy word for witch), who is in love with a mortal guy and who has to chose to be either "dark" or "light" on her 16th birthday.

What I wasn't expecting when I opened the book (on my kindle, that is) was the way it was written: 1st person narration from the boy's point of view.  I mean, you barely see the boy in the previews.

Anyway, overall, the book was really engaging (as most popular teen fiction tends to be), but it didn't leave me dying for more.  In fact, I chose not to read the next 3 books in the series.  I tried to get Jonathan to tell me what happened (yes - my almost-40 year old husband read all four), and he told me little snippets, but wouldn't really get into the nitty gritty.  But honestly, now that it's been a month or so since I read it, I could care less what else went down.  That was not how I felt about the Twilight series, FYI.

So I'm not sure I recommend this one.  I won't suggest you avoid it, certainly, but if you're going in expecting the next Twilight/Hunger Games/Harry Potter, you won't find it.

The Gods of Gotham (Lindsay Faye):

The was our book club book for February.  We picked it because it had just won an award for mystery novels.

I started about 5 days before book club and realized: 1) it's a period piece (not my favorite), 2) it was not going to be a fly-through read, and 3) it was long.  I told Jonathan after I had read about 10% that no one in my book club would finish it.  (I was correct, actually, and sort of wish I would've trusted my gut instead of doing nothing in my free time the five days before book club but reading.  And actually, some people hadn't even started it [and no one else had finished it], so we decided not to talk about it at all!  Sort of a bummer - but since I love all the ladies in my book club, I'm not holding it against them.)

Anyway - it's a period piece that takes place around the time the first police force (the copper stars) was forming in New York City.  Think about that for a second: there haven't always been police, even in big cities.  Anyway - it's sort of complex to try to explain the plot.  There are dead bodies found in an abandoned field outside of town; and prostitutes (many of them children); and lots of tension between the Irish (Catholics) and the Protestants; and a huge fire in the city; and local politics; and a large cast of characters.

It was really well written.  The story was engaging and interesting, but because of the language, it didn't read as fast as a typical mystery (I'm thinking a la  Gone Girl).  I wish our book club would have discussed it because I would've loved to talk about some issues brought up by the book: the "class system" (for lack of a better term) created by religion; the role of women; specifically Silkie as a character (a woman who owned/ran a brothel); the children prostitutes and their lives in the brothel vs. the outside world; and/or the corruption in the police force because of outside politics.

It was a good book.  If you like period pieces, I think you will like this.  Also, I'm usually a pretty big wimp about mysteries and this wasn't scary at all.  In a good way.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I freaking love daylight savings time!  Or are we out of daylight savings time right now??  I don't know...but whatever, I like the one we're in right now.  I looooove when it stays light for a long time at night - it makes the day seem so much longer.

I'm a little curious to see what happens with Bates' sleeping routine.  We had some trouble with "Fall back" in November - but with "Spring ahead," even if we have trouble, it seems like good trouble, right?  That is, if he'd normally sleep until 6am, it's now 7?  We'll see.

I hope everyone had a good weekend.  The weather here was awesome on Saturday (70 degrees and partially sunny).  We enjoyed a family run on the Greenline and then a family trip to the grocery store.  This morning was still somewhat warm, so we did a wagon ride around the neighborhood.  But then the rain and cold came, so we were inside the rest of the day.

One thing about Bates is that he's always on the go.  He hates to snuggle, he hates to curl up with us, he basically hates to be still when there are things he could explore.  It's both fun and tiring, as you can imagine.  Well, tonight (after his 2nd nap but before dinner), we brought him on the couch with us and put on Yo Gabba Gabba to see if he'd chill out long enough to see the show.  I wouldn't call it a 100% success, but he also didn't go absolutely crazy trying to squirm and get down.  It was definitely the most interest he's ever shown in tv, so I feel confident that if we ever need a break, it's something to try again.

Other than that, nothing too exciting to report.  My in-laws bought us a subscription to The Week magazine, which I love!  It comes once a week and re-caps all the major news stories.  There aren't many pictures or anything, but it just gives you a little snippet of what's going on around the World.  There's also a crossword puzzle in the back.  I think I did 6 of the crosswords this weekend (digging into past issues) - they are very similar to the USA Today ones (ie, not as hard as the NY Times, but not too easy to be boring).  Maybe I added a couple years of life to my mental health?  Who knows.  I hope you guys enjoyed good weather if you had it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Movie Weekend

This weekend, Jonathan and I saw two movies.  One was even at a theatre!  It's definitely rare for us to see movies in the theatre now that we have the wee babe, but we don't really rent many, either, for whatever reason.

So Friday night we decided to rent Pitch Perfect - the one about college a cappella singing groups.  This movie is right up my alley (I sang in all kinds of choir growing up and love a cappella groups) and it's actually sort of up Jonathan's as well (he also sang in choir growing up and just loves music generally).  All in all, it wasn't quite the comedy I was hoping for, but I loved the music.  I also thought the main character was a little annoying - but whatev.  Pop a cappella songs made up for it.

Then Saturday we weren't really planning to do anything, but my mother in law called and volunteered to babysit so we could see a movie.  A problem we encountered this past month when we wanted to see some of the Oscar movies was their length.  Most of them were at least 2 hours, if not approaching 3.  We never wanted to go to a 7pm movie that was 3 hours because then we wouldn't be home until the 10 o'clock hour (and I would still need to pump...blah blah blah).  But a 3-hour movie is perfect when you hit the matinee!

So we went to see the 4:30 showing of Zero Dark Thirty.  And we both really liked it.  It was so tense! (Even though you knew what was going to happen.)  I think Jessica Chastain is so cute - and she was great in this role.  Some of the scenes of torture freaked me out, but I think they were sort of meant to do that to the viewer.  But overall it was a great movie - I recommend.

We followed our movie with dinner and were home by 9pm.  That was a major win, in my opinion!  Actually, in retrospect, it was an awesomely-timed date night: my in laws came over at 4, so they got Bates up from his nap, fed him, bathed him, and put him to sleep.  It was a nice break for us vs. the usual date night that begins right when it's time to put him to sleep.

So we had a good weekend.  I had a pretty intense church day on Sunday (I ushered, we had a 1st Sunday of the month luncheon, and then a Diaconate meeting), but I guess that's more meaningful than a "Sunday Funday," right?

Friday, March 1, 2013


What are everyone's thoughts on Toms (the shoes)?

I've always thought it's an amazing cause (if you live under a rock and don't know, for every pair purchased, a pair of shoes is given to a child in need).  BUT, I've always thought they are really ugly.  Am I right?  They are ugly....

Or are they?

For some reason, I've started looking at them differently of late.  And maybe I don't think they're so ugly.  Maybe, in fact, I might want a pair for myself?

As a stay-at-home mom now, I think Toms might fit into my life pretty well.  When I used to go to my 40-hour/week formal business attire job, I didn't have a ton of need for casual shoes.  I wore my work shoes at work and then I had other shoes (mainly flats and boots) I would wear outside of work.  (And we're talking cool weather; in the summer I live in sandals.)  But now that I'm mostly home or out running errands with Bates, I need comfy, easy, casual shoes.  My flats and boots work, of course, but there are many days when I just put on jeans, a t-shirt, and a fleece jacket (because there are many days we don't even leave the house).  Nice flats feel a little dressy on those days and boots require a little bit more time than I'd like.  I often end up wearing my Keen water shoes (which are really cute and don't look like water shoes, but still) on those days.  I think a pair of Toms, instead, would work nicely.

One of my main hesitations is the fact that teenagers wear them.  In fact, my mom is a middle school teacher and says they are HOT for 6th-8th graders right now.  Ha.

So what do you guys think?  Toms for adult casual wear?  Also - if any of you guys happen to own a pair, what's their comfort level like?  Could I wear them when I take Bates and Hank on a leisurely walk around the block?

(And oh my gosh - I just looked on their website and saw they have BABY SHOES!  Bates and mama could match!)