Freckles in April: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011


I almost wore my Halloween costume to church yesterday since it's just a pretty dress but knew the universe would probably send some kind of dress-ruining mess upon me so I opted to leave it in my closet until tonight. Instead, I took inspiration from the same iconic beauty that thousands of little girls girls are also dressing as this weekend. Can you figure it out?

Wearing old sweater and lace undershirt, skirt by me, thrifted belt, Payless wedges (recent), F21 bangles

I actually wanted to do this for my last OTI pick but since we had already done so much yellow I went with my second choice.

Figure it out??

Snow White! It was kind of fun wandering around all day feeling like I was wearing a costume without really wearing a costume. I should do that more often.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? I'm ridiculously excited for our costumes even though only like 3 people will know who I'm talking about after I tell them who we are.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011


I recently rediscovered this picture again. It disappears into the depths of my computer for a while and then I rediscover it and it makes my day every. single. time.

That is my mom. Wearing a shiny purple jumpsuit. And my dad. Wearing a mustache and hair that is venturing forth into quasi mullet territory.

I love my parents.

Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Open to Interpretation


I love seeing how we three girls pull different things from the inspiration when there's a lot going on but I kind of wanted to see what we would do with something really simple. Erica commented that this is the closest our outfits have been to one another and to the original.

Michael Kors via Pinterest

I think I could do an entire 30 for 30 based around this outfit. I actually wore 3 or 4 versions before I finally got around to photographing one and I thought of 4 or 5 more off the top of my head I could do in case I didn't get home in time to pull out the camera. It would be a rather dull 30 for 30 but I would comfortable. T-shirt + skirt = my comfort zone. I'm kind of boring. But you knew that.

Thrifted blouse and skirt, Aaron's sweater and belt, Mervyn's shoes

Someone told me I look like Robin Hood. I'm down with that.

We are super excited for the next round of Open to Interpretation because we will be welcoming a special guest interpreter! She picked the inspiration and will be joining us in our interpreting and it will be lovely.

Click below to go check out Amy's and Erica's interpretations!

(and cross your fingers the dang buttons work because I'm only 1 for 3 since the beginning of this series and I'm about to lose my mind over the stupid HTML) (I blame Blogger)

(Edit: I give up. The buttons work in Google Reader but not on my actual blog. WHY!?! Blogger hates me. Just use the links above)

(Edit 2: Holy crap, commenter Loren just reached her magic mind through my computer and told me what was wrong with the button. It was an easy fix. Next child will be named after her)

Erica Amy

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whole Foods Recipe: Green Mac and Cheese

Last week, on the worst day of my cold, I broke down and reached for a blue box from our food storage to feed my kids for lunch.

"I'm going to blow your little baby minds!" I told them. I was actually kind of excited for them to experience the mac and cheese of my childhood. It was practically a food group for me growing up and one of the few members of the elite Foods Kayla Will Eat club for many years.

I don't know if they've changed the recipe or if I've just grown up but it was awful. Baby 2 reached over the side of his tray and unceremoniously dumped a handful on the floor. Stinky just sort of pushed it around and then declared he was ready for quiet time and went off to find his blanket.

A few days later I decided to try again with real foods. I was just throwing things together but tried to pay attention to amounts in case I wanted to make it again.

And I DO. We all hoovered it. Baby 2 ate his weight and Stinky came back for thirds. Aaron made appreciative noises from the depths of his bowl. I thought we would have enough for another meal but all we got was a tiny tupperware that I suspect ended up as Aaron's late night snack.

Green Mac and Cheese

1 batch spinach pasta (I think the equivalent might be 1ish pound dried pasta if you choose to go that way)
2-3 cups broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (I used white whole wheat but all purpose works)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced (or put through a garlic press)
Salt and pepper to taste*

*This is one you may want to salt at the table. Cheese can be pretty salty, depending on the type and brand, so sometimes my homemade mac and cheese needs no salt at all and sometimes it needs a small sprinkle at the table.

Get a large pot of water boiling. Add the pasta. Three minutes before the end of cooking time**, add in the broccoli and boil for 3 minutes more. Drain and return to pot.

**Note: store bought dried pasta and homemade spinach pasta boil for 8-10 minutes but regular homemade pasta only boils for 3 or so. If you make regular homemade pasta, put the broccoli in at the beginning with the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir for a couple minutes. It should bubble but not burn. Pour in the milk and stir.

Let the flour and milk mixture cook for a few minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. It should thicken a bit but try not to let it bubble. When thickened, stir in the cheeses and garlic. Let cook for a couple minutes until the cheese is all melted. Pour sauce over pasta and broccoli. Stir and serve!

Monday, October 24, 2011


Thrifted blouse, Gap jeans, Aaron's belt, Charlotte Russe booties, F21 bangles, DEB cocktail ring

When I walked out on Friday morning Aaron's immediate comment was, "You're really tall today!" Between my high heeled booties and the bun I topped out at over 5'11". That's a good day for me!

I've also never gotten so many compliments from random strangers before. A girl at Shane Company and another one at the grocery store liked my blouse. The girl behind the counter at Baskin Robbins like my bun and we ended up having a quick how-to discussion (hint: lots of teasing). Two girls at the mall liked my turquoise booties. One happened to comment on them as we were walking by Charlotte Russe, where my exact ones were on display not five feet away. Good timing. 

I think I have an internal fashion pendulum. For a long time my thinking each morning was, "Skirts! I love skirts! I want to wear skirts every day!" And then it swung back the other way and I think, "PANTS. Pants are the greatest thing ever! I LOVE pants!" It probably has something to do with the weather since as soon as the rest of the world turned Fallish I suddenly wanted to wear pants all the time. We aren't really there yet, weatherwise, but I am pretending.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Sunday Share

Landscapes: Volume Two from Dustin Farrell on Vimeo.

Just a little something for your Sunday. Watch it with the sound if you can...the music is beautiful.

...[A]ll things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Friday

A friend posted this picture on facebook and I DIED.

Princess Bride! Reunited!

It's missing Andre the Giant because he passed away ages ago, which makes me quite sad. But still! Everyone else is there! Even an ROUS!

Apparently they all got together for an Entertainment Weekly thing. I approve.

Anyway, here are some lovely people you should go visit.

1. Lazy Saturdays - New to me but I was hooked from first read. Krista has fantastic style and she's just so darn cute.

2. Cotton & Curls - You're probably already reading Liz's wonderful blog, but if you're NOT, well then, hop on that train, my friend. She inspires me to greater DIY heights.

3. Fancy House Road - written by a group of sisters and their mom (who lived in my neighborhood in high school! Deb was even one of my leaders at church for a couple years). Lots of fun decor projects and general eye candy. Plus they host regular get-togethers for locals that I really look forward to.

Have a wonderful weekend!

(As you wish!)

(Anybody want a peanut?)

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Blazer from church swap, shirt by me, gap jeans, F21 bangles, heels from Marshalls (they were brown- I painted them neon pink)

This is the outfit I chose for my "What are you wearing?" interview that I posted about last week. Did you happen to see Ashley and Angela's interviews? Lovely girlies, those two.

I've been really sick this week. AGAIN. Dark under eye circles and chalky skin mean that I've been avoiding cameras and all reflective surfaces. I'm kind of scary right now.

Yesterday I had to get a cavity filled (just so you know, trying to cough while someone is drilling in your mouth isn't as fun as it sounds) and when I got home the kids had destroyed my house. Aaron swears he was keeping an eye on them but considering half our backyard ended up in my living room I have my doubts.

To recap: I sound like a frog, I got a tooth drilled, I spent hours yesterday taking the outside back where it belongs while being froggy and freshly drilled. Childless people, you may now make your comments about dodged bullets.

Speaking of my little hurricanes, my sweet Baby 2 is 18 months old today. Which somehow feels too old, too young, and just right all at the same time. Kids really mess with your sense of time.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Wednesday Want


I don't believe this requires further commentary.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Recent Reads

Non fiction, for me, is either a total win where my face is buried in the book for hours at a time or it feels like the worst college class I've ever taken and all I'm trying to do is keep facts and dates straight and glean something useful from piles of dullness.

I read Bill Bryson's memoir The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid a couple years ago and loved it. I have since picked up a few of his other books and found them really interesting (although, by the end of A Short History of Nearly Everything I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by information).

So when I saw Bryson's newest, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, on my in-laws' shelf I had to take a peek at the first few pages and ended up taking it home with me.

Bryson and his family inhabit a centuries old former church in England. He uses the rooms of his own home to give a brief history of domesticity and explain why our homes are the way they are. For example, Bryson explores why, of all the spices and condiments, salt and pepper have found such an enduring place at our tables. He explains the history behind the term, "make the bed." He devotes a couple pages to the agricultural significance of guano.

At 452 pages, At Home is not a light read, but I found myself totally immersed for long stretches and was constantly looking for people to share my new facts with. Since my reading coincided with our short trip to Utah, my poor mom was frequently the one going, "Uh huh..." when I blurted out things like, "Did you know that the world comfortable was first used in 1770 in a personal letter?" Which is interesting when you realize that, prior to that time, people weren't really concerned with comfort at home. It was just sort of the place you survived in. And then! Stuff happened (you'll have to read to find out what).

From the back cover:
So the history of household life isn't just a history of beds and sofas and kitchen stoves, as I had vaguely supposed it would be, but of scurvy and guano and the Eiffel Tower and bedbugs and body-snatching and just about everything else that has ever happened. Houses aren't refuges from history. They are where history ends up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

How Do You...

...see how many subscribers you have in Google Reader?

1. Pull up your blog in Reader. I subscribe to mine and keep it in its own special folder so it's quick and easy to find.
2. Click "show details" in the upper right hand corner.
3. Look next to "Subscribers"

...see what people have pinned from your blog?

The people liked the skirt.

1. Go to

Omit the http and all that before your web address. For example, to see what has been pinned from Freckles in April, go to

Have a technical-ish question? Ask away.

Because I KNOW someone is going to notice this, Delicious displays my recently bookmarked websites and I feel like I should explain that the "Designing Your Death..." button visible in these screen shots goes to this. I am not designing my death, but I AM making sure all our pertinent documents are handy, just in case one of us kicks the bucket in an early and unexpected fashion.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

For Meredith

Shirt from Italy (gift from my mom), lace vest from Meredith, black vest from Goodwill, old skirt, F21 bracelets, Steve Madden sandals from Marshalls

My sweet bloggy friend Meredith has been battling a crazy eye infection for the past little while. This week she was put on bed rest to encourage the infection to stay out of her brain and blood stream (scary!).

While she convalesces, Meredith has been sporting some pretty awesome huge shades. And if Meredith is sporting grandpa glasses, well then, I will be hopping on that style train. I think it says a lot about her that she still looks so pretty even when you can't see a large portion of her face.

AND! Hello, lace + herringbone. As it turns out, I owned herringbone all along. I have a very VERY small pile of winter clothes in the back of my closet. I went through it before my quick trip to Utah last weekend and TA-DA! Herringbone skirt. I promptly stuck it with the lace vest I got from Meredith's swap-or-shop and I was happy.

I'd be a lot happier if Meredith's eye was back to normal though. Get well soon, Meredith!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial

There are about a million freezer paper stenciling tutorials out there but I still get questions whenever something I've done pops up, so here's a quick and easy tutorial.

Freezer paper - look near the parchment and wax paper in the grocery store
Razor blade - My little blade cost 99 cents at Ace Hardware and I prefer it to the fancier types. Real X-actos will run you a bit more at places like JoAnn or Michaels
Fabric paint - JoAnn or any other craft supply store will carry all different brands and colors
Paint brush - I prefer the cheap black spongy kind for this. I think I paid like $2.50 for a 6 pack.
Stencil - the sky is the limit here. I've printed images I liked off the internet or created my own. Just make sure it's a stencil. Stencils have bridges to connect the pieces and keep it all together. If you're interested, there are internet tutorials for turning photographs into stencils (although, I haven't had the best of luck with those). Also, don't go too crazy with a super elaborate stencil. You will hate yourself by the end of if you have to cut out a million tiny pieces.
Iron - with steam turned off. On my iron I need a pretty high heat setting to get the freezer paper to stick but start low and work upward until it sticks well.
Press cloth - I use a cheap flour sack dish towel

Self healing mat - this is an awfully handy thing to have around anyway if you're a crafty type. Use a coupon and grab yourself one from the quilting aisle. They're awesome. I use mine all the time.

Freezer paper has two sides- a shiny side and a dull, papery side. Draw or transfer your design on to the paper side. If I've printed something on another piece of paper I just tape it to the freezer paper and cut through both layers. Use your razor blade to carefully cut out your design.

This is a step I haven't seen in some tutorials but it is vitally important to getting crisp lines and keeping the design from shifting. On the wrong side of your project, iron a piece of freezer paper, shiny side down. Make sure it covers the whole back side of your design area.

Flip your project to the right side and iron your stencil, shiny side down. Make sure you get all the little points and pieces all secured down. Your fabric should be sandwiched in between the two pieces of freezer paper.

I got all caught up and stopped taking pictures at this point because this is the fun part! Sponge brushes work best for freezer paper stencils because you can just mash the paint where you need it. Brushing back and forth with a regular paintbrush can pull up small sections of the freezer paper so you end up with paint where you don't want it.

Sponge your paint into all the open areas of your stencil. Double check when you're done because I ALWAYS have a couple corners that didn't get quite coated.

Let it dry. It shouldn't take long. I had to paint little sections at a time because this paint dried SO quickly that sometimes parts of it would be dry before I had a chance to spread the paint every where I wanted it.

When it's completely dry, carefully peel the freezer paper off front and back. It should leave crisp lines behind.

Cover your painted area with the press cloth and give it a really hot ironing. This helps set the paint and should make it so you see very little fading when you wash it.

Speaking of washing: inside out, cold, lay flat to dry. The heat of the dryer can cause your paint to crack and look gross pretty fast, so avoid it if possible.

Ta-da! You're done. See? Easy peasy.

See some of my other freezer paper stencil projects here, here and here (very last picture).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Open to Interpretation

It's that time again! Can I just tell you how much I love this series? It's so much fun for me.

This installment of Open to Interpretation is brought to us by Erica! Her pick:

 I opened the link and went, "Oh heavens. I have nothing." In my closet you will find no camel, no pussybow blouses, no herringbone, no polka dots, nothing! Plus it was 100+ this week so I couldn't even throw a coat over a top and call it an interpretation. I was a bit worried.

This is where I must make a confession: I don't really love polka dots. I don't dislike them, I'm just not drawn to them the way I am stripes and solids, which means I own none. Then, right after Erica sent us this week's inspiration image I came across a spotted top at Goodwill. It was $4 but it had a blue tag and it happened to be blue tag day, which meant it was 50% off. And, for $2, I will give polka dots a shot.

Thrifted polka dot top, striped top from Marshall's, Gap jeans, head scarf from a thrifted dress I cut up, sunglasses from the grocery store, stupid face I was born with

Meh. Still not in love with polka dots (although, I DO love the top in the inspiration photo). But it did cover up the grease stains that refuse to budge from this striped top, so that's something.

Next round is my pick!

Now go see Erica's and Amy's interpretations!

Amy and Erica

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Wearing thrifted vest, Gap jeans, Charlotte Russe sandals, Target watch, Hanes v-neck painted by me
This is an EBEW I can totally get behind. DIY? Don't mind if I do.

Hey pretty lady, wanna buy a watch?

I LOVE freezer paper stenciling. It's a kind of instant gratification project. I sat down with my ruler, an x-acto knife and a pen and came up with this design while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (don't hate). I pulled one of my many Hanes v-necks out of my closet, did a quick paint job and ta-da! Eighties inspired shirt. Aaron assures me that its 80s in a good way though, so I've been wearing it with pride (and, occasionally, with neon. Just for kicks).


Monday, October 10, 2011


Gap shirt, Boston Proper skirt (thrifted), Target shoes and headband, necklace from giveaway win

That top picture wasn't the best one in the bunch BUT I thought my ears looked kind of elfin and...well...that just meant I had to choose it. Last year I tried to convince Aaron to do a family Lord of the Rings costume for Halloween because Baby 2 looked VERY elf-like at the time and I thought it would be awesome if we dressed him as an elf, Stinky as a hobbit (being all smallish, as an almost 3 year old is wont to be), I could go as one of the 3 token female characters and Aaron could dress as whichever of the hundreds of male characters he wanted. Perfect! He kind of liked the idea but worried people would think we were nerds. Which we are, but we generally try to hide it.

On an unrelated note, Janssen shared this post via Google Reader last Wednesday and I found myself nodding in violent agreement. My 9th grade English teacher insisted that everyone should be read to every day. Accordingly, we began each class with a chapter from Holes by Louis Sachar and, when that was finished, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It was far and away my favorite class of the whole year. I actually think about that teacher fairly regularly. I really hope she's still out there, teaching creative composition and reading to her classes. The world needs teachers like her.

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Friday, October 7, 2011


I woke up yesterday morning to the text I've been anxiously awaiting for weeks. I dripped tears as I quickly packed a bag, grabbed Baby 2 and hopped a plane with my mom. And then! There was snuggling.

If the squishy baby face does not kill you a little bit inside then you might have no soul.

I'm sorry, WHO looks this good after giving birth?? I suspect witchcraft. I had c-sections that required me to lay there like a dead squirrel and I still looked like I had been hit by a truck. Nikki had labor all night long capped off with that pushing stuff and looked like THIS. And you should have seen her by the time we got there. All dressed in a cute top and made up and eating dinner with this tiny baby in her lap like it was a normal day.

Welcome, baby EJ. We're so excited to finally have some pink in our lives!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Aaron's shirt (reworked), Shade skirt from church swap, thrifted shoes, F21 bangles

I got this skirt for free from a church swap. The girl who brought it actually pulled it off the rack and handed it to me after she found out we were the same size. It still had the tags on and everything. She said it was just too full for her and it definitely is fuller than it looks in the picture. I wasn't sure how I was going to wear it but then I ran across this outfit from What I Wore on Pinterest and my brain said, "Ah HA!" The internet comes to my rescue yet again.

Also, remember those wedges that I talked so longingly about on yesterday? I went back to Target and the wedges I would have sworn on my life were a lovely light brown were...gray. Which makes me think that my subconscious knew I wanted a pair of cognac brown suede wedges and was really hoping Target would provide. Alas.

The hunt is on, apparently.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Wednesday Want

My fall wish list is short but sweet.

1. A closed toe pair of wedges that is comfortable and low enough for daily wear (as opposed to 3-hours-on-Sunday-church-wear). I saw these at Target, tried them on and loved them but they didn't have the color I wanted in my size. Strangely, they have completely different colors online than they did in the store, but the pair I loved was a nice cognac brown. I kind of want to check out Last Chance too, just in case. I've had good luck with shoes there in the past.

2. Herringbone...something. Skirt, blazer, I don't even care. Ever since I saw this pin I've been dying to pair lace with herringbone and my mind cannot rest until I've done it. I've been looking for a couple months now but the Goodwill gods have been surprisingly stingy with their herringbone. I'm pretty close to just buying myself some fabric and whipping up another pencil skirt. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

3. Vests. Sweater or otherwise. I saw a cute slouchy sweater one at JC Penney this week but I think I want one with a little more structure, like this one. Plus I didn't want to pay $30. I am cheap. I bought a vest pattern from JoAnns not all that long ago but, despite their claims of "sew easy", it is...not.

What's on your fall wish list? Do you have some herringbone you could lend me?

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sleep Cuddles

Shirt from church swap, Gap jeans, Charlotte Russe sandals, ATL necklace, F21 bracelets, Target watch

Before marriage I assumed my husband and I would cuddle each night and wake blissfully in each other's arms each morning. Because, you know, why else would you get married?

I have since learned many times over that cuddle sleeping is miserable. The other night Aaron fell asleep snuggling with me and I was feeling kind of neglected so I decided to just roll with it. Several hours later I peeled my aching body away and limp-crawled to my side of the bed. We both felt awful the next day.

Over the course of our marriage we have spent two separate nights in hotels that came with a pair of queen beds, including our trip to Utah a couple months ago.

Best. nights. sleep. ever.

I'm kind of considering separate beds for our room. Would that be weird?

PS Did you read the comments from yesterday's post? Fascinating stuff, I tell you!

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Monday, October 3, 2011


From Flickr via Pinterest

Confession: I kind of want a tattoo

I'd never get one, of course. For one, I am absolutely terrified of needles (should you ever happen to meet the poor woman at my OB's office that had to draw my blood throughout my pregnancies, make sure to give her a hug. She's earned it). For two, they are strongly discouraged in my religion.

And, mostly, I'm just not sure there's anything I'd be willing to etch on my body with the complete certainty that I'd still love it in 50 years.

Even though I'd never get one I've spent an inordinate amount of time deciding what I WOULD get if I somehow got over my fear of needles and Aaron got over his extreme distaste for tattoos and the Church suddenly decided tattoos were kosher.

I think I would go with the words "Fear not" in pretty script on my wrist. Kind of like this one-

Source via Pinterest

 When I was a kid I had a debilitating fear of the dark. I memorized scriptures like Isaiah 41:10 to help me sleep and they still come back to me when I need them. There's a verse of a hymn based on that scripture (third verse of #85) and it has always been one of my favorites. Another option would be the word "Endure" 'cause I think I would like the permanent daily reminder. Hypothetically.

Now that my brain can finally rest on the tattoo question (seriously, why do I agonize over these stupid things?), I'm super curious what other people would get (or already have?).

So let's just say you have unlimited funds and no moral issues and you laugh in the face of needles. What ink would you get??

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Sunday Share

I know an embarrassing number of Veggie Tales songs and it's not even because my kids watch them.

Back in my BYU days I worked in a back office at the library checking in periodicals before they went out to the shelves. All our computers came equipped with iTunes and a network of music to listen to while we worked. Someone's computer had a large amount of Veggie Tales and one of my coworkers told me I had to listen to the Hairbrush Song and the Cheeseburger song. They were hilarious. So I listened to a few more songs from the list and continued to snort with laughter at my desk.

And then "My Day" came on. I got a little bit teary. Between school and boy trouble I was feeling rather overwhelmed by my life just then. The thought that I could tell God my ups and downs and have His love with me all day gave me a sense of peace and comfort I had been lacking.

It's a strangely difficult song to find (tons of covers, none of which struck me the same as the original) but I finally found this one video on YouTube with the original song. It's a short and incredibly sweet song, so I hope you'll take a minute to listen and enjoy!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
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