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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

American Bank of Texas: "And...I wanna be on TV. Yesss!"

Hm, well I don't have photo or a movie clip to plop in here, but -BUT- I have a link!  A great, lovely link to the commercial I'm in airing regularly on regional TV.

Officially linked: http://www.fueldfilms.com/on_tv.mov

Yup, cornball through and through.
Done by the fabulous folks at Fueld films here in lovely Austin, Texas.

Currently Trending: Cheap 'n Easy

Fresh flowers are something I (unfortunately) do not grow, but -heck- I've got bushes!  While pruning a bit o' the landscapery, I've got a healthy bundle of green to decorate my kitchen using a recycled glass jar.  Now, that's what I call "going green."

Hmmm....rosemary and just a wee bit of time.
Oh, ho, ho - another  bad joke bites the dust.

Vines and vintage.  Trimming up the overgrown Butterfly vine in the front yard, I braided and wove the long strands together to make a wreath.  My Indian name is "Runs With Scissors."
I picked up a few elegant vintage luggage pieces yesterday at a local antique shop for a total steal.  The brown one pictured is a new purchase, the cream Samsonite was my grandmother's that she took to nursing school.  Very special.

ShaZZAM!  Two more fabulous finds (under $25 each) at the antique store.  I am still in awe of the stellar shape of the interiors of the luggage.

The $1 vintage shirt from the thrift store.  (I was a busy bee yesterday.  A gloriously happy, busy bee.)

And, of course, Thomas the Tank Engine.  Boots for a couple bucks at the thrift store.
Wilder insists on wearing them on the wrong feet.  Every. Day.  At least he's wearing shoes now!

Oh!  And here, I must share my not-so-sinful sweet indulgence:

Creamy Faux Crisp a la Strawberries
(makes one delicious serving)

  • Frozen Strawberries (4-5) microwaved until thawed
  • 2 heaping tablespoons low fat or fat free cottage cheese
  • 3 heaping tablespoons low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3  to 1/2 cup Kashi's GoLean cereal (GoLean Crunch is yummy, too, if you have strong teeth...)
  • 2 big dollops of fat free cool whip

UGH!  So stinkin' delicious.  I have this for breakfast, dessert, etc.  Protein packed, low fat, sweet and scrumptious!

The Scent of a Woman: Choosing Your Fragrance, The Smart Way

Spring Fragrances
This nose was made for sniffing, and that's just what it'll do.  One of these days this nose is gonna... well, it won't sniff all over you.  I save that for my kids.

Recently I broke the top off my "signature" bottle of scent, so it was time to hit up the store to sniff out the competition.  I could purchase a fresh bottle of the fragrance I had, but I believe that just as we evolve over time, our scent should.  Time for something new and fresh!

After wearing my olfactory out and narrowing my selection down to two top choices (believe me, no easy feat.  I was at Sephora for a good hour.  Make that an hour and a half.  Just sniffing) I felt overwhelmed at selecting just one.  The budget wasn't large enough for two bottles, so a decision had to be made.  Aha! -or so I thought, until I happened upon a small station brimming with purse-sized roller-ball fragrances!  They just so happened to have two fragrances in each stick, priced at about $20 each.  Four scents for the price of one!

True, these are much smaller volumes than one large bottle, but your paying for choices.  Now I have several months to decide which fragrance I want to invest in, plus I have so much variety -which, as any girl knows, truly is the spice of life.

Spring Fragrances

Tips on Selecting Your Fragrance:

  • Smell Your Age.  White Shoulders might make you feel warm and cozy, reminding you of Grandma, but please don't smell like an old woman when you're not.  Also, don't grab the cheap body sprays that are meant for adolescents when you wore the original 80's clothing you see trending now.  Age appropriate scent is the way to go.
  • You'll Know "The One" When You Smell It.  Know thyself.  Embrace the scent that resounds with your being.  Now, this may be way over the top for some less whimsical romantics, but, like music, scent feeds my soul.  Food may win men's hearts, but scents win mine.  Take your time, sniff around, don't pressure yourself to leave with a bottle.  Spray as many paper strips as you want, walk around, go shop elsewhere, and return (be it that day or next week) to make your final decision.
  • Where It Awhile.  Walk around wearing the fragrance.  And don't spray on your skin until you've narrowed it down to just two or three choices.  Choose neck/upper shirt and each arm for different scents, then let it settle on your skin and see how you feel about each scent after it's had time to mature and mix with your natural oils.
  • Variety.  If, like myself, you can't decide on one -or you just like to have several to choose from- grab some samples or travel size bottles.  The last thing you want is a counter full of partially used bottles that sit there for years collecting dust and turning rancid.
  • Buy Online.  Found your new favorite?  Well, check out ebay and google shopping options because you can almost always get a better deal buying online.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Allowing Yourself

A very dear friend of mine shared that she had just learned to allow herself to grieve, or perhaps feel would be a better term.  There were several traumatic events that she had plowed through with a stiff upper lip, chin poised upward, doggy paddling through the flood of emotions in order to cope and cross to the other side.  Never had she allowed herself to look at the situation, acknowledge and release her feelings, and then move forward.  It was always about moving on.

My philosophy: When crap happens, you deal with it.  In my case, dealing with it meant you stuffed it below the surface and got on with life.  The proverbial baggage of unresolved issues and emotions build up until you collapse under the weight of them, often coping in not so very healthy ways.

It's okay to feel sad, mad, disappointed, frustrated, hurt, deflated, dashed, shattered, empty, etc.  It's also okay to rejoice, celebrate, do victory dances, laugh 'til your sore, and share contagious smiles.  When we deprive ourselves of these emotional recognitions and releases before we "move on" we're robbing ourselves of life, as well as piling on unresolved issues.  Societies and religions marks special days for celebration and remembrance.  It's important stuff, people!  We're meant to acknowledge and release emotion, just as much as we're meant to keep progressing.  

I don't want to suck it up, ignore the pain, settle down and stop being so happy, and so on.  I'm going to allow myself to acknowledge and release, then move forward.  There's a flip side, though, that I'm not advocating in my life: getting stuck in emotions.  We are not victims of life, we are victors.  I will not let my feelings run my life or hold me hostage, keeping me from growth.  As Brian says, "You learn, you move on."  But as I am now injecting to that philosophy, "You learn, you deal, you move on."

Today I am going to grab a few minutes, acknowledge my situation, feel, release, then onward-ho in a positive and constructive direction.
This life stuff is full of learning material, ain't it?

Thank you, to my dear friend who shared her growth so that I can benefit and live richer because of her courage to share.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mama-Son Fun: Wilder Shoots in the Studio

My three year old is quite the artist.  Master photographer.  At least Master Remote Presser.
With full control of when the camera clicked, Wilder let me have a few shots with him in the newly remodeled studio.  Here's what he got.



Wilder instructed me to throw Ba.
I try to follow directions.









Brought to you by Wilder.

Shot with a Nikon D90. 50mm 1.4/f portrait lens.  Enhanced using Adobe Lightroom.

Upcycled T-shirts: Head Banging Headbands

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So, what do you do with the scraps from your upcycled retro-thrift-store t-shirts?  Make headbands, for one thing!

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Tada! New redone shirt and hair accessory, to boot!

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Here's whatcha do.

  • Take a longish length of your t-shirt snippings, create a loop that comfortable fits over your head as a headband, and tie in a double knot.
  • If you don't have a longish length, take two smaller ones and sew them together (as I did with this one) and follow the knot instruction above.
  • Using smaller scraps, tie to knot to create a pom-pom (or starfish, as I like to call mine.)
  • Slip it on and high five everyone you meet that day.

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Friend #1:  "Wherever did you get the charming hair accessory?"
You:  "I made it!  Amazing what you can do with t-shirt scraps, isn't it?"
Friend #1:  "Oh yes, quite amazing.  I think I'll make one, too!"
You:  "Now your thinkin'!"

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Thrift, upcycle, have fun!

Thrift Store Style: Recycled T-Shirts

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Yesterday I had the joy of joys of happening upon a multi-family garage sale.  They handed me a large paper bag and said I could shove as many items of clothing into it for only $5.  Well, heck!  I couldn't pass that up.

As I browsed the tables piled with clothes, I found a few t-shirts that were, well, not quite my size.  But I knew just want to do with them:  revamp, reuse, recycle!  Here are some photos of how I made over two shirts.  Totally easy, super fast, and quite fun.

Items needed:
T-shirts (helps if they are slightly bigger than you'd normally wear)
Sewing machine (optional, but I like to have it on hand.)
Classic Rock (okay, optional.  But fun!)

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Basic Instructions:
1) Try the shirt on and see if you want to take it in on the sides, make cap sleeves, a tank top, etc.

2) Pinch the sides if you are going to take it in and estimate how much you'll need to go in.  NOTE: Don't over do it unless you want a shirt that will fit like spandex.  Not usually a good look...

3) Take that puppy off and start cutting (or sewing.)  Easy does it while you're still getting used to the project.  Cut a bit, try it on, sew a bit, try it on.  You get it.

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This tee was very boxy.  Though you can opt to have the new seam showing by sewing it right-side-out, I turned this one inside-out to sew a more fitted inseam.

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If the shirt fits at the underarms well, use the ready-made seam as a guide and don't sew deeper.  This one fit great in the underarms, but was like a cardboard box in the bodice.  Shazzam!  Oooh, I got a new shirt on...

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It's Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

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This Batgirl shirt had a bleach stain on one shoulder (between sleeve seam and neck) and needed the sleeves revamped.

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I cut an asymmetric boat neck to get rid of the regular collar and cut out the bleach stain.  Chopped the sleeves to make caps, and check out what I did with the sliced off pieces...

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I took a strip from the area I cut out of the neck, punctured two holes in the bottom left of the shirt, inserted the fabric strip and made a bow.  The material is slightly gathered, creating a bit of a loosely fitted bodice, and I have a girlified retro tee!

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Wristlet made from doubling one of the cut sleeves.  Wick away that dew on a perspiring forehead with chilled style.  Yeah, man.

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That's how I roll.
It ended up being about 12 items for only $5, including a new pair of shoes, several scarves and some brand name dress shirts and sweaters.  These two t-shirts?  Estimating these revamped, thrifted styles put me out about $0.40 each.

Shop. Cut. Sew. Wear.


Want some more craft ideas?  Check out these awesome tutorials for homemade headbands and no-sew jersey knit scarves!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Recent Shootings

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I haven't done this in awhile -and I try not to cross post between the family blog and my photoblog- but I was too excited not to share some of my favorite recent shots from work.
Work?  Heck, the fun thing I get to do and get paid for.  Work, shmerk.  *Happy sigh* It's a fun life!

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Bridal portraits at the McNay Museum in San Antonio.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Much is That Child in The Window?

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"And make sure you include ketchup with those fries, 'kay?"

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My beautiful babies.



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