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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Adventures in Babysitting

One of the many things about moving so far from home is missing my family. Christmas break has flown by. I missed Southern cooking, Chik-fil-A, church, the weather, the accents, and the people. I missed my large extended family and friends that I've known forever. And this year, we had SEVERAL new members to the family. Of my seven second cousins on my dad's side, three were under a year old. All seven are under seven years old. So there was lots of toys and coloring and crying and exhausted parents.

One of the perks of being the cool, older cousin who lives out of town is all the toys I can play with when I babysit.

Case in point: Ruthie's Justin Bieber doll.

Justin sings "One Less Lonely Girl" and comes with his own guitar!
Mobs of tween fans and the their moms not included.

Because I'm the coolest cousin ever, we held a Justin Bieber concert for her Barbies. The stage is constructed with Tinker Toys and pipe cleaners. Ruthie got the new Barbie RV Camper, so that became Justin's tour bus. He invited Skipper, Stacie, and big sister Barbie (or mom. Seriously, Matel? Who's heard of a 40 year old with teenage sisters?) backstage. Why wish for a dream house when you can have a world tour?

Please note that the dog was bored. He's a BSB and NKOTB fan.

Of course, no tour bus is complete without a hammock! 

Girls, here's my advice: never say never.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tim Gunn says I need to update my closet

Tim Gunn's wardrobe essentials
I don't know if these have been posted before, but I ran across this list and it seemed relevant to the community. It's Tim Gunn (the very greatest part of Project Runway)'s list of wardrobe basics every woman of any size, shape, or age should have.

Embarrasingly enough I have 3 of them. Maybe 4, depending on what you think of my jeans.
  1. Basic Black Dress - The basic black dress has been around for a long time. It is often called the "Little Black Dress" or "LBD", and it's true that shorter skirts on the basic black dress,when they hit you in the right place, can be more flattering than a long black dress.
  2. Trench Coat - The trench coat is one of the pieces that is both classic and currently a hot fashion item. Most any store sells this piece now. It is great for fall and you can pick it up in a wide range of lengths.
  3. Classic Dress Pants -Although it doesn't say black, this is probably what you want to look  for. Black is flattering on all figures and goes with everything.
  4. White Shirt -The white shirt is a definite classic. But it can also come in many different styles to make it look trendy and not dated or like a man's piece of clothing. Find one that accentuates your best attributes and minimizes trouble spots. For example, if you have wide shoulders, stay away from large collars.
  5. Jeans - Everyone has a pair of jeans, but does everyone have a pair of jeans that make them look great? The wider leg, low-rise jean style has been popular (and still is) but a narrower leg is coming back along with a higher waist, which eliminates the unflattering "muffin top" look.
  6. Cashmere Sweater -This is one item probably not many people own. But including it forces people to buy a piece of clothing that is high quality and that is also a luxury item. Having a cashmere sweater in your closet is like givinga gift to yourself. And aren't you worth it?
  7. Skirt -If you need dress pants then you also need a skirt. A skirt is womanly and can be flirty or businesslike. Nowadays women do not wear many skirts or dresses, which makes a lot of them fall into a rut of dressing sloppily or like men. See number 8.
  8. Day Dress - Women also are not wearing as many dresses anymore. It was certainly liberating to go from the '50s when women wore dresses every day to wearing more practical pants for gardening, exercising, and so forth. But the dress does not have to be abandoned altogether. They can be very flattering, and there is nothing wrong with "dressing up" for daytime.
  9. Blazer - The blazer sounds very masculine, but when you get the right one with a proper shape it isnot. Women's blazers should follow the silhouette of a woman's body and accent the hourglass curve at her waist. It is also a perfect piece to put with the skirt or dress pants, and white shirt. Or make it casual with a pair of jeans.
  10. Sweat Suit Alternative -As mentioned before, women wear fewer skirts and dresses these days. But some women have taken casual to the extreme and spend days on end in sweat suits. It is possible to be casual and comfortable without looking like a slob. Find a comfortable material (that's why this doesn't say jeans again – denim is not as comfortable as a nice soft cotton) that you would want to wear every day. It could be khakis,cords, a cotton dress, or much more.
Bonus: One Indulgent Trendy Item

Moral...I need to shop