Little Boy Bowtie Tutorial

So way back at Easter I promised that I’d show you how I made Ascher’s super easy bowtie, but then I tossed it, candy and strawberry smeared, into the washer and it kind of fell apart.  Downside of too easy, whoops.  I was mulling over how to fix it or create something better for my tutorial, and I kept mulling and the idea just fell out of my head and I totally forgot about it.  Then about 6 weeks ago kind reader Mary told me that she was eagerly waiting for the tutorial(sorry Mary!) so I got back to thinking about it and figured out something more durable.  After all, a bow tie for a two year old definitely needs to be washable.

So, finally, I present to you the bowtie tutorial.


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Day 20 of 31- Dance of the Zebra Dot Princess

Wow, almost three weeks into this experiment!  I think I’m seeing lots of good things from this, but I do need to get serious about keeping the computer shut again.  Slacked off in the last few days!  If I’m really tired I’m really tempted to excuse the computer time, but my babies don’t need me any less when I’m tired than not, and I have an even harder time when I’m tired with moving my eyes and hands and attention away from the computer to engage with my little needy people, which isn’t good for anyone’s moods or energy levels.  It seems like it should be easier to just zone out, but that’s not how my job description works, how about that.  :)  So that’s one thing I’ve been thinking about.

I’ve also been feeling very inspired to get fit, (Ben’s race was so much fun yesterday!), so I’m hoping this week to work in exercise a few more times and really start moving more regularly.  Haven’t decided which ones yet, but a really want to do a few races next year and maybe one before this year ends.  I’m trying to decide if I’m brave enough to set myself a goal of a race longer than a 5K.  I think if I leave it till closer to the time I’ll just stick with 5ks, so it might take signing up waaay ahead of time and just challenging myself to go further via terror of the impending, haha.  Hoping that with time and practice Wilona will get more patient with the stroller.  Also thinking of weightlifting and in-home exercise videos.

She’s trying to be a thumb-sucker!

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Had to have more of this hazelnut caramel toffee cream… I mean coffee… deliciousness this morning.

I bought this sweet little dress for her in March and she only just now fits it, so it needed a bit of layering to work for the present weather.  So she was a zebra dot princess for our visiting today.  Utterly adorable, oh my.

That’s about what’s going on.  Bedtime now, the new week loometh!

Review – Mikarose “Rebecca” Dress

When I found out that there was an opportunity to try, in exchange for a review, one of the lovely dresses from Mikarose, I jumped at the chance.  I had known for several months that we had a wedding to attend when I would be 8 months pregnant and I was expecting to have trouble finding something appropriate that I could enjoy wearing.  Hopefully Mikarose could solve the problem.

When I entered the site and started hunting through the dress listings it was admittedly daunting to be looking at all of the tiny, slender women wearing the pretty dresses and try to imagine my very pregnant self fitting into the same dresses.  There were several styles that caught my eye as a good possibility, but the “Rebecca” was the one I kept coming back to.  The red(the color I requested) was gorgeous, the details were pretty and it certainly looked nice on the model.

When it arrived I was extremely pleased.  The material is a very good quality knit that has a lovely drapey, flowing feel to it.  The length holds up well to having a baby bump shortening it.  A different dress I got recently got enough shorter that it is for home wearing only, despite it being a maternity brand.  You can’t tell from the picture on the site, but the front of the dress is actually two full panels of fabric in a wrap format.  This is an extra layer of security in the bump area, where a lesser quality knit might stretch and start looking thin.  No such issue here!  I don’t at this point need to test it, but the criss-cross front on the bodice would make it easy to nurse a baby in, which is definitely a bonus for anyone with a nursing baby and an event to attend.


My only issue is related more to myself than the dress.  I found that, given extra pregnancy curves(oi.) a shaping undergarment was a useful addition to the fit of the dress.  Possibly if I had gotten the next size up it would have been less of an issue?  At any rate, I found it to be a dress that just makes me feel pretty to wear and it was perfect for the wedding.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks on my more normal shape.

I would definitely recommend the Mikarose site to anyone looking for a good quality, modest dress and the “Rebecca” dress in particular for anyone in need of a pretty pregnancy/nursing dress.



Erika is reviewing a different dress from Mikarose over on her blog too, so go check it out!

31 Days – An Assessment and My Favorites

Waaaay back a whole month ago I set some goals for the month of October.  I did ok with some of them and not terribly well with the others.  But, even though I didn’t manage to do exactly what I set out to do, I did get some stuff done more or more frequently than I had previously been doing it.  I did do some cleaning and organizing and prettying up the house.  I also did some sewing and hairstyling and more attentive dressing.  I didn’t do well with reading anything useful or limiting internet(probably because I never did decide exactly how I was going to do this) or blogging as often as I thought to.  Overall it was a fun month and I’m pleased with what I did get done.  I’ll definitely be trying to keep doing interesting, useful stuff more often.  I know I enjoy the effect of a good project long after it’s complete.

Favorite projects from my month –

You should go here and check out how everyone else refreshed their lives with fun and useful projects this month.  Everyone did really well!

I especially enjoyed seeing how Erika’s strict internet rules improved her time with her husband – here and here.  Makes me wish I’d really buckled down and made some rules about the important stuff.  I got lots of fun stuff done, but maybe have less to show in the areas that required more mental muscle.  Always room for improvement though, right?

I loved this account of how having the right tools for the job makes the job more pleasant.  I also loved her pretty jewelry organizer.

Recaps of weekends with my family(along with some lovely table decor!) always make me smile and this sign makes me want to get more truth written up on the walls of my home.  So important to be remembering truth.

This recipe looks amazing.  It will be made sometime soon, I’m quite sure.

So much useful stuff going on in this post!  It keeps reminding me that I haven’t yet made my applesauce for the year….  Yummy!

Good job, everyone!!


These lovely things are the last thing related to my 31 days project.  I’ve wanted some brown, knee high boots for a while, but never found quite the right pair.  These caught my eye at the beginning of the month, but I decided I’d better wait to see if they fit into my budget for the month before buying them.  A couple days ago I decided they did and they should be here soon!  I’m very excited to see them(and praying they fit right!).  Providing they work, I’ll have to see if I can style them for you upon arrival!

Easy Updo How-To

I’ve really been liking how this hairstyle works for me.  I spent so long doing the same old bun or ponytail that I kind of feel like I never really learned how to “do” my hair well, but this style turns out well consistently and works with minimal fuss about pins or product for my long hair.

Hopefully this makes sense, but feel free to comment if you have questions.  I think this style would work well on shorter hair too.  You can change the look by making it as smooth and neat or loose and messy as you want.  As usual, stuff you find here is what works for me and I encourage you to experiment and figure out what works for you.  Enjoy!

Vintage Coat and Fall Decor

Sunday and Monday, what did we do…? We made the rounds at the local thrift stores, picked about 100 pounds of spaghetti squash(between this and all the tomatoes I’m canning we certainly won’t starve this winter!), did some grocery shopping, stopped at Big Lots, did about 75498672 loads of laundry(except for the part where they’re still half folded on the living room floor. Ahem.), made the most amazing hamburgers(with bacon, lettuce, garden tomato, portabello mushroom and swiss cheese. Are you drooling yet?), realized Castle was playing again(yes!), placed some of the fall decor I found, and probably some other stuff that I’m forgetting right now. It was altogether a lovely couple days, especially because Ben was home for both of them.

Pictures of the best stuff!

I went thrift store browsing on Sunday with the idea of looking for some fall decor, tall boots and more fall/winter clothes for my growing-like-crazy Ascher.  I found him a couple things, as well as a couple fall decor things, but this coat was the real treasure.

I know my family is probably shaking their heads at me.  I already have two purple coats and why do I need another?  That’s a good question and the answer is probably that I don’t, but it was sitting there on the rack being beautiful and ignored and calling my name.  So yes, I bought it.  It fits really well and looked well made and had some interesting features and looked a bit vintage-y, so I took it home.

There’s not much info on the tag but a wpl #, which ebay informs me means that the coat was made sometime between 1941 and 1959, so yes, vintage.  The coat has a zip-out liner and the hood is removable.  The buttons on the back of the skirt of the coat are functional, to what intention I can’t guess.  The coat is in perfect condition.  I love it.  But not so much that I wouldn’t sell it if it’s really worth something to someone.  (Know anyone?)  I’ll have to do more research, but at the moment I’m going to enjoy it.

I also found this fun sign, and for the grand ole’ sum of 95 cents it now hangs on our wall.

Our trip to Big Lots got us this fun wooden trough/bowl thing and the yummy smelling gingerbread pumpkin candles.  The jars had other candles in them previously and I had the popcorn and beans on hand.  It spruces up the top of this bookshelf quite nicely.

It’s fairly little stuff, but between these things and my pretty little pumpkins I’m feeling very festive for fall.

Have you been decorating for fall?  


This is part of the 31 Days to Refresh and Focus series.  Click over to see what it’s about and what we’ve been up to!

Hair Styling and Organization

The day started with beginning the process of cleaning up my closet and getting rid of some surplus clothing.

The day started with re-folding the basket of clean laundry that has been living in our room for a few days since time unremembered.  Once baby got tired of watching me fold clothes we had food and nap and exercise and more food and another nap, during which I got a shower and tried to do something interesting with my hair.  I’ve been trying to figure out a hair style that gets all my hair up and out of my way without being the stranglehold bun or ponytail that I lived in for years far, far overused in the past.  I’ve been trying to get some height and some texture and some stylish looseness with still having something that is secure and not needing repinned every time I move my head.  I’ve been working on this one for a while(there’s only so many times a day I have patience to pull down and put up my hair in pursuit of perfection!) and there’s still room for improvement, but this is what I came up with today.  

I used five bobby pins, one ponytail holder, four little butterfly clips and a couple handfuls of product. Pretty good for waist length hair, I think.

In the evening we went to my parent’s house for dinner and visiting, which was a lovely fun time.  I so much enjoy spending time with them all and watching my siblings goof off together.

Once we got home again Ben and I watched an episode of one of our tv shows.  I offhandedly mentioned something about our bed set up that wasn’t quite working out, which led to brainstorming for a solution which led to rearranging our entire room at midnight.  It’s a good fix, I think, if a completely unplanned way to finish the day and I’ll share some pictures with you tomorrow, once it’s tidied up a bit more.  Busy day!  Time to brush teeth and head to bed now!

Did you do anything interesting or extremely unplanned recently?