Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Fun Day...plus my latest Stitch Fix!

Today I'm watching The Grammys (DVR'd from last night.)  The downside of living on the East Coast is the Oscars, Grammys, and even The Super Bowl start and end later than I'd prefer.  That's what DVRs are for I suppose.  ;)  I think Taylor Swift's performance is my favorite from what I've watched so far.
 
I picked up Essie Big Spender at Target today.  We still have snow on the ground, but I'm loving this shade of pink and am ready for summer.
 
I took DD to the toystore and bought her a Disney Princess Carriage with a giftcard she received for Christmas.  It was nice for her to pick out a new toy a month after the holiday craziness, and it's kept her entertained this afternoon.  
 
I also got my latest Stitch Fix.  My stylist picked out some cute things this time around.  Which items would you keep?
 
 
Pacific Chevron Print Skirt


This skirt is cute but too voluminous for me.  I also have a very similar skirt that I already own pinned on Pinterest.  My stylist said she based this skirt on my board, so while it's great that she looked at what I like, I don't need this particular item. 
 
Adora Skinny Jean
These jeans just didn't work for me--they were a little snug, and I don't like olive green.  I'll be honest, I haven't had good luck using Stitch Fix for skirts or pants.  Maybe I'll request only tops, dresses, and accessories in the future.
 
Wilam Zig Zag Top
I'm still debating on this top.  I like the colors and print but think I would grow tired of it too quickly.  It's still really fun though.
 
Dellora 3/4 Sleeve Zig Zag Blouse
Love, love, love this!  No surprise since I love stripes, chevron, and black/white or navy/white color combos.  A keeper!
 
 
Minna Dot Print Blouse
 This is okay but doesn't really "wow" me, so it's going back.
 
 

 
My last Stitch Fix was back in October, so I was surprised to see the style cards all printed on one sheet and not attached to each item in plastic sleeves.  I have to admit I like it better this way though.  Everything is on one page, and you still can keep the outfit ideas even if you aren't purchasing the item.  The plastic cards used to snag on some of the sweaters and delicate items that they were attached to, so I'm happier with it this way.
 
Ready to try Stitch Fix yourself?  Sign up here: Stitch Fix

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kid's Corner: Marshmallow Crafts

Is anyone else over this cold weather?  I haven't gotten a chance to blog at all this week because I've been entertaining my preschooler.  Schools are closed all week here--no preschool, no ballet class, no regularly scheduled activities.  The frigid temperatures don't make me want to play outside.  DD wanted to go play in the snow this morning, but it was literally ONE degree--I don't even want to know what the windchill was.

We did a few store-bought crafts earlier this week, and I'm getting ready to do our latest kiwi crate later this afternoon.  Those are a little advanced for a toddler/preschooler though and require a lot of adult assistance, so I needed an easy craft to entertain DD after lunch today. 

Below are two easy marshmallow crafts for toddlers and preschoolers.  The best part is, you probably already have these craft supplies on hand.


Marshmallow and Toothpick Sculptures

You only need two supplies for this fun activity: marshmallows and toothpicks!


Marshmallow and Toothpick Sculptures



My kiddo loves crafts and building things, and this activity kept her entertained for over an hour.  Once I showed her how to insert the toothpick into the marshmallows, she quickly caught on and loved it! 

She also created this when I found some colored toothpicks:





Marshmallow Snowman Craft

This next craft was even simpler.  I drew a snowman and DD glued marshmallows or "snow" to the picture.  It was perfect for a snowy day!

 
Marshmallow Snowman Craft
 
How have you been entertaining your kids this week in the cold?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Writing Wednesday: Using Pop Culture References

I enjoy reading books with pop culture references--as long as they're current. Which means that most references have an expiration date. Unless you're reading a book the month or year it came out, the references can feel really dated, really fast.

If I'm reading a new release, the references feel fresh and current. I relate to the characters more. I laugh at the jokes involving current TV shows, books, celebrities, etc. And as an author, it's fun to describe exactly what show my characters are watching or what book they're reading.

If I'm reading something from a few years ago, the references can feel stale. Celebrity couples break up, shows go off the air, and instead of drawing me into the story, the references instead make me think, I forgot about that.

I noticed so many outdated references in a book I read that I started jotting them down:
  • Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt. Does anyone even remember when they were a couple? Brangelina is the only story now. Of course, if someone stumbles upon this post in a year or two, will they look at that reference and wonder Bran... who?
  • The Today Show with Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera. Maybe the author should have left out the names of the hosts? The Today Show has been around for a long time.  The book I read was only a few years old, and we're already on the second new host since Meredith left.
  • Teenage vampire movies. It's true they were wildly popular for a while, but now The Hunger Games in all rage.
  • TomKat. Again, does anyone remember this old news?
It's hard to know when to incorporate lots of details into your books and when to purposefully be vague with the idea that someone reading it years later will still appreciate the story without stumbling over outdated references.

Do you enjoy books that contain elements of pop culture?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cold Weather Favorites

It's finally warmed up after a chilly week, but it's about to get cold again!  A few of my cold weather favorites today.






What are your favorite things to wear in the winter?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year, New Look!

Happy 2014!

As you can see, I've been busy revamping my blog.  I love the clean look of it, and it finally has a navigation bar at the top--no more sorting through labels if you are searching for a post on a particular topic.  This is something I wanted to add last year, and I'm glad I finally got it working.

It seems I have a lot of blog readers that are coming from Pinterest.  Welcome!  And if you're not following me on Pinterest, find me here.

It's hard to believe January is almost half-over already.  I've been busy trying to stay warm during the 3-degree weather we had earlier this week, cleaning up after the holidays, and doing more reading than writing.  We had a great Christmas and New Years seeing lots of family and friends.  It was the perfect end to 2013!

I look forward to getting back on schedule.  With school holidays, snow closures, and cold weather
cancellations (yes, it was really that cold!) my daughter hasn't even been on her regular preschool schedule for a while. 

I've got several new writing projects in the works, so stay tuned for more info on them later this year!

I just finished reading this.  I know the holidays are over, but it was a fun read that I'd recommend. 

I'm making this cake today. Anything that includes chocolate, pudding, and cake in the name has to be good, right?

Tonight I'm looking forward to watching The Golden Globes.  I don't care so much who wins but love seeing what everyone is wearing!

I've been listening to this.  Apparently it was one of the most-streamed songs last year, and I still love it now!

I scheduled my next Stitch Fix for later this month.  My last fix was in October, so I'm looking forward to seeing what new pieces my stylist sends!  (Wondering how it works?  Read about my first fix.)

Happy Sunday!  I hope you've had a wonderful weekend.