Friday, August 5, 2016

Closet Shots & Striped Shirts

I've been working hard on my wardrobe.  Making conscious choices about clothes from how they fit to the best colors.  Here's a shot of most of my wardrobe.

I've never met a striped shirt I didn't like.  

Apparently, I am not the only person who has this issue.  Behold a shot from a closet in South Africa.

                               last week i posted this photo on Instagram without even thinking twice, which resulted in an unprecedented number of comments of women left and right chiming in that they, too, had this particular problem. i mean – we basically all want to look like French mimes, right? these aren’t even all the striped shirts i own you guys. …:

I would say yes and yes and yes and yes to all of these:

Casual Stripes:     Elbow Patch Striped Long Sleeve Tee

Utility, Stripes and Cognac • BrightonTheDay:      autumn classic #sperry:

The original striped shirt was called a Breton and it had exactly 21 stripes on it that was a numerical totem that showed Napoleon's militant victories.  (I am totally not making this up).  Worn mostly by the French Navy in the mid 1800s, it became mainstream in 1917 by non other than Coco Chanel.

And we haven't looked back since.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Chore Chart

I've decided to initiate the chore chart in our house.  And while I am still trying to find the best one, something that can have multiple kids and chores on it and isn't ugly, here's a few fun ones.

Free Printable Star Wars Chore Charts (instant download!):

Star Wars.  Fun and I'm tempted to use this one, but then I'd have 5 of these on my fridge and I think it may drive me insane.  Here for the download.

Printable Chore List from Thirty Handmade Days:
Daily plus weekly chores.  This would work well for Ava and Owen's ages.

Chore Charts for Kids - The Idea Room:
Love this for the kids who can't read yet or who do much better with a little visualization.

free printable lego chore chart:
Lego Themed, which may (or may not) make the chores seem more fun.

And some chore humor, because we all need it.

Absolutely awesome. Kids chore incentives:  

Funny Pictures Of The Day  69 Pics:

We are gonna do all the chores then we are going to eat homemade healthy dinner together and then we will scrap book all of it! :

Monday, August 1, 2016

Jess Reads July

July was slower.  We started our school year up again on the 11th which means less free time for reading.  Unfortunately, my book picks weren't all that amazing.

1.  The Forgetting Time

I actually really liked this book which is about a little boy who has some serious mental issues.  He keeps talking about and screaming for his "other" mom and has a serious aversion to water plus knowledge of things he's never been introduced to.  His mother reaches out to as a last resort to a Dr. who no longer holds any clout in his profession because his researched has focused on kids who have whole memories of other people who have died.  It's an interesting story, one made even more interesting by the fact that The Forgetting Time is based off actual research into children who remember other people's past lives down to scary obscure details. Makes me want to research it in depth.

2.  Wishing Day

Here I go again with another book that's a trilogy and I didn't know it going into it.  Aimed at youth, this book follows a set of sisters raised by their aunts because their mother disappeared.  The book follows Natasha who just turned 13.  Their town has a history of magic and making three types of wishes at a wishing tree on their birthday.  We get to know what Natasha's wishes are and follow her story as they sort of come true.  There are some really great spots in this book in terms of interactions between the sisters which are done quite well.  But the truth of the matter is, when you look at the book as a whole nothing happens.  And then it ends, but continues, because that's all people do anymore- write a book only to set up the second story to set up a third.....  Someone please make it stop.

3.  The Sea of Tranquility

This was actually a pretty great book.  It follows two characters, Nastya, a girl with a huge tragedy in her past who has decided to stop talking for the past year, and a boy Josh, who's whole entire family has died and he finds himself emancipated and on his own.  Nastya has recently switched schools and city to get away from something that has happened to her and has decided to live her visual life aggressively- dressing pretty much like a prostitute and not talking to anyone.  She comes across Josh at school and slowly they insert each other into their lives.  This book falls into the trap of high school kids acting older and making much more mature decisions then you would expect, but somehow it all works. Cautions though, there are multiple drug and sex references in this one, but they aren't as crude or as vulgar as in other books that I've read.  There is also a supporting character who is very sexual and interacts with Nastya in different ways, but again, somehow the interaction of all the characters blends together to create a surprisingly good book.  But I still wouldn't want any young teenagers reading it.  This book handles tragedy and recovery extremely well, and the very ending is awesome because it brings you back to something you read about in the beginning and then completely forget about until literally the end.

4.  A Swiftly Tilting Planet

The last book in Madeline L'Engle's time quintet, it's about the family going in and out of past history and making slight changes to what happened to correct potential tragedies in the future.   I have to say that this one was more than a bit weird.  It didn't really fit with the other two, and while a decent story, I felt like it was so far out of left field that it just didn't belong with A Wrinkle In Time, and A Wind in the Door.  I don't know, maybe I read it too fast and missed what I was intended to get out of it.  Honestly, you could skip it and would never be sorry.  It has 4 1/2 stars on Amazon, so hey, what do I know though?

5.  I Am the Messenger

Written by the same author as The Book Thief.  I admit that I am the only person I know who didn't love The Book Thief.  To be fair, I never finished it.  I got about 1/3 of the way through and quit.  But the concept of I Am the Messenger sounded awesome.  Ed Kennedy accidentally stops a robbery and then suddenly he starts receiving playing cards in the mail with names on them.  He basically realizes that he needs to impart something to every person on the cards.  This book was engaging and very fast paced.  I actually really liked it and was looking forward to how it all ended.  And then the ending happened and I was so disappointed and irritated it ruined the whole book for me.  Some people say it's a great ending full of existentialism, and that may be true, but it was terrible.  I can't even tell you what it was about because it will literally ruin it for you.

6.  Before the Fall
  Before the Fall by [Hawley, Noah]

Before the Fall tells the stories about a group of people who died in a crane plash, all but two of them. It sets up everyone's lives just before the crash happened and shows how they were intertwined and all came to be on the same plane.  I appreciate the way the story was told, mostly in the past but with occasional current plots.  What I didn't really like about this one was the ending.  A little bit far-fetched with the main character who survived the crash not wrapping up nicely.  It was okay, a new release for 2016.  My suggestion would be to get it from the library.  It's not a terrible book, just not one you'll want in your forever collection.

7.  Escape

Wow.  That's about all I can say about this book told from a former Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints member (yes, the polygamy branch of Mormonism not recognized by the main Mormon branch).  It's the story of her flight from the cult with her 8! children and her history growing up in the church.  I literally had no idea how tight a ship the FLDS ran and how indoctrinated everyone is.  I also couldn't believe the horrible interactions between the wives and how crazy insane Warren Jeffs is.  Did you know that the FLDS has a history of kicking out boys when they are older teenagers because they focus on the older men marrying as many wives as possible?  Horrible.  There's actually a non-profit in Utah to help these boys.  A little long winded at times, but fascinating and horrible all at the same time.  This is still happening, I almost can't believe it.  Read it.

8.  At Home with Madame Chic & Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic
At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life by [Scott, Jennifer L.]     Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic: Lessons in Everyday Elegance by [Scott, Jennifer L.]

These are both follow ups to the wildly popular Lessons From Madame Chic, a book I loved.  I was excited to read these two, and At Home didn't disappoint.   It focused on running your home as wonderful as possible, and again focusing on living the best life that you can in how it relates to your house.  Polish Your Poise was less exciting and I honestly ended up skimming a lot of it.  Polish focused more on things like hair care and nails and body maintenance.  One reviewer on Amazon said it read a little bit like it was for prepubescent readers, and I have to agree.  However, I will say this, Ava saw all of these books laying around and has been absolutely infatuated with them.  I bought Lessons from Madame Chic, am considering buying At Home with Madame Chic, but will probably skip Polish Your Poise unless I am buying it for my teenage daughter.  If you have tweens to high schoolers I definitely think you should give them all three.  There has been a decent change in Ava on how she has gone through her clothes, kept up her room and helped with chores.