Freckles in April
Freckles in April is in semi-retirement but I'm hard at work on a new passion project- Lark Skirts. Check it out!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lark Skirts

Oh hey there, long time no talk. If you've visited my blog any time in the past 10 months you'll have maybe seen a note at the top saying I was enjoying my time at home with my sweet baby while exploring other projects.

Definitely enjoying the baby part. She's so adorable, I just die.

As for the "other projects" part? Well, let me tell you about Lark.

If you've been around for a bit you know I'm a skirt person. One spring I sewed myself a ton of skirts and blogged them. A lot of my outfits include skirts. I like skirts of all kinds but what I've really been wanting is an everyday type skirt with pockets. You know, the kind of skirt you can wear with a t-shirt and flip flops and feel pulled together but not overly fancy.

Right about the time I decided I needed to retire from blogging I made a couple sketches of what I wanted from a skirt. Roomy pockets with plenty of room for my iPhone. A flat front waistband so I could tuck in my shirt and not look like a 5-year-old but elastic in back so I could eat a burrito in comfort. Knee-length so I could sit on the floor with my kiddos. Pretty patterns that would hide graham cracker shmutz and boogers.

Next thing I knew I was registering for a domain name and ordering fabric. Which makes it sound a lot easier than it really was (so many months and lots of road blocks. I get why more people don't do this). But this morning, Lark Skirts officially launched! My little dream is officially a little reality!

I carry two pocket styles- patch and inset- and they're both great for carrying everything you need. I have 6 different fabrics and they're all super pretty. The whole thing is exciting and terrifying and I'd love if you'd hop over and pay a visit to Lark's website (that I built myself! Look at me go!).

You can also follow Lark on Instagram, twitter, or FB.

I miss you guys and your comments! I hope you're all having a lovely summer and life is treating you well.


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Friday, December 4, 2015

That One Time We Were on Good Morning America

On Tuesday morning I got a tweet from a girl who said she was a producer for ABC news and asked me to give her a call. I was skeptical...she only had a few followers and her profile picture seemed too pretty for a news producer...seemed scammy. I tweeted back asking for more information and she told me they were doing a segment on holiday gift giving and wanted to chat with me. As a blogger I sometimes get approached about stuff like that so I told her I'd call her soon.

I didn't get a chance to call her until noon while driving to meet a friend for lunch. She told me she was a producer for Good Morning America, she had seen my tweet about my husband buying me a paper shredder for Christmas a while back, they wanted to include us in a segment about gift giving and were we available to film that afternoon?

Uh wha?

Surprisingly, Aaron was down with it and a few hours later a film crew showed up at our house and took over the rest of our day AND our next morning. The piece morphed over the day until they had us Skyping in at 6:15 on Wednesday morning so I could open a gift on air (NO PRESSURE).

And so it was that we were on GMA this week with an announcer asking if my husband might be "the worst gift giver in America" (he's not, by the way. He's given some pretty terrible gifts but he's also given me some awesome stuff. That part of my interview unsurprisingly didn't make it in).

Note: the video doesn't seem to be showing up in some feed readers but it's embedded in my blog so hop on over if you'd like to see our segment.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

I'd like to disclaim that they couldn't get permission to film in a bunch of stores so he was totally stuck when it came to picking out my on-air gift. He was pretty embarrassed by it but he legitimately did well- the body lotion was unscented because he knows I'm crazy sensitive about my body products being perfumed and the candles were a nod to the fact that I burn candles like crazy this time of year and I was just complaining that I'm going to have to go get another batch. He was as thoughtful as he could be within the very limited scope he was given! I was impressed.


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Friday, September 11, 2015

A Week of Helping to Make the World a Better Place - First Responders, Soliders and Veterans

From our trip to Fort McHenry in June

I feel like, for me, anything related to September 11 will always be "too soon."

Like that 2010 film Remember Me with a surprisingly not wooden Robert Pattinson and the lovely Emilie de Ravin where (SPOILER) he dies in the attacks at the end. I was on board with the movie until that point and then I had to turn it off. "Too soon," I said.

Today my 2nd grader brought home an I SURVIVED book about the September 11th attacks. I shook my head, "Too soon."

But it's been 14 years. I guess, for some people, it's not too soon?

Anyway, as I've been reflecting today and seeing other people's thoughts on social media I've run across a few charities I wanted to highlight.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation | A charity devoted to remembering fallen firefighters and providing resources to those they left behind.

Fisher House Foundation | Among other things, you can donate your airline miles to bring family members to the side of injured or ill service members.

Wounded Warrior Project | Helping wounded service members find education and employment, among other services.

Operation Gratitude | Today would be a great day to write a letter to a man or woman serving our country.

Various 9/11 Charities | A great list of charities doing good for or in behalf of those affected most by the attacks.


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Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Week of Helping to Make the World a Better Place - Climate Change

Another Aaron snap from our road trip

Climate change is one of those things that I was relatively unconcerned about until recently. When I lost my religion I started thinking about all the various post-mortal options now open for my consideration, including reincarnation. When I thought about that one I had an immediate negative reaction. "Oh I sure hope not," I thought, "It's only going to get more polluted and melty around here."

That was a big lightbulb moment for me.

Even if reincarnation is not a thing, we should still be treating the earth as though we have to come back to it in 60 years. Because no one wants to live on a planet that's polluted and melty.

Once I realized that I actually AM concerned about climate change I had a " what?" moment. I'm not a big factory. I don't dump chemicals down storm drains. Aaron works from home and my boys take the bus to school so we don't drive much. What can I, suburban housewife in Mesa Arizona, do to help climate change? I need a list!

So I googled. And I made a list.

Turn off lights. You've heard this one before (and so have I) but sometimes I need a reminder. I stopped in the middle of typing that sentence and went to turn off three lights. It's really easy to just forget but it's also easy to get back in the habit of turning off lights when you leave the room. I've heard of parents charging their kids for electricity when they forget to turn off a light, which I think is a genius way to help them realize that they are consuming something of value and they need to be mindful of that.

Replace your bulbs with energy efficient ones. Not all at once or anything, but as they burn out just start to replace them. You'd be putting in new bulbs anyway so you may as well put in ones that help cut your energy costs and aren't so hard on the environment.

Recycle, reduce, reuse. We were visiting friends at some point in the past year and their city didn't recycle. That blows my mind a little. Recycling isn't a perfect process but it's still a good way to reduce waste! Also, please enjoy this Recycle Rex video.

Recycling is important but I think reducing and reusing might be even more so. Be mindful about what you spend money on. Think about the energy and environmental cost. A more minimalist life makes for a cleaner house, a happy budget and less pollution and waste.

Compost. We had a compost bin in our last house and I loved taking all our vegetable peelings and stuff out there. Time to get another one! Our city will drop a compost bin off at your house for $5 (which is refundable when you give the bin back). Your city might have a similar program- call and ask!

Be smart about your transportation. If you live in a city with awesome public transportation, great! Use it! If not, carpool whenever possible. Or ride a bike! It makes a difference. When the weather is nice here we like to walk or ride bikes to visit friends. Exercise + environmentally friendly!

Eat less red meat. Last year The Guardian wrote an article about how giving up red meat would be better for reducing carbon emissions than giving up your car. The environmental cost of raising cattle for meat is staggering! It's also a change that's not too difficult to make. I need my car to function but I do NOT need red meat. We eat it once a month, if that, and we don't particularly miss it.

Be conscious in your food choices. Organic, local produce can be hard to find (I feel you) but the environmental impact is way lower. As demand grows, so do the options! Ask your local grocery store to carry more organic options. Shop at farmer's markets for local produce. If you're in the Phoenix area, check out Backyard Farmer! Fresh, local, seasonal produce delivered to your door by the people who grew it. It's phenomenal.

If you have the budget, take a look at your house. Did you know that you can use a blower to shoot more insulation into your walls and attic if there isn't much in there? You can also switch out windows for more energy efficient ones. It will help reduce heating and cooling costs AND energy loss.

Pick up garbage. Last year my neighbor friend and I gave our kids some plastic grocery bags and latex gloves and took them around the neighborhood to pick up garbage. We talked to them about being community helpers and helping the earth. They had a great time, the neighborhood got cleaned up, and our kids got to do a good service. It's a good way to get your kiddos involved! Just watch out for broken glass- it's freaking everywhere.

What are you doing to try to lessen climate change? Anything you'd add to the list?


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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Week of Helping to Make the World a Better Place - Helping the Homeless

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where homelessness is rampant. At Christmas we'd always take BART into the city to see the lights and glitter and there were a few times we took paper bags filled with food with us to hand out to the homeless we saw. Some were old, some were young. Some had animals with them. Some had pleas for help written on cardboard and some were just trying to get some rest in the small space they had created for themselves.

It left an impression. My heart still breaks a little when I see a sleeping bag on the street or someone pushing a shopping cart full of their belongings down the road. Here are a few things we can do to help ease the burden of homelessness-

Do a Google search for local shelters to see what they need. The closest one to me has a website complete with a list of things they need, like toys and sanitary supplies, as well as an option for donating money or sponsoring something specific, such as public transportation for a week for a person trying to find a job.

Keep a few items in your car. Last winter I saw a skinny young man- a boy, really, he had to be barely out of high school- begging on a street corner. He had a ragged backpack full of stuff hanging off a bony shoulder and he was shivering with cold. I was just down the street from a TJ Maxx so I ran and bought a sweatshirt. As I was stopped at the light opposite from the boy I saw a man climb out of his truck, take off his sweatshirt, hand it to the boy with some cash, and then drive away.

Ever since then I've kept the sweatshirt in my car, ready to hand out if I see someone who needs it. I've also got a few granola bars and a couple water bottles. And, ever since reading this incredibly thought-provoking blog post, I've started keeping a handful of $5 bills in my car. I recognize that some of the people I have given things to are likely scam artists but that's a risk I'm willing to take in hopes that I'm also occasionally helping someone who is really in need.

Volunteer. Soup kitchens, shelters, Habitat for Humanity, etc. They do the good they do because of volunteers.

If you're local, you can donate bottled water to the homeless to stay hydrated while the heat rages. Visit the city's hydration donation page for info.

Support your local library and needy libraries. Libraries are an incredibly valuable resource for homeless people. They can use the tools there to find a job or gain the skills necessary to find a job in the future!


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