Freckles in April: February 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Flour Sack Project

I have a kind of crazy love for flour sack dishtowels. I'll sprinkle one with flour and lay pasta to dry. I always use one to cover rising loaves of bread. When we're having a really messy dinner and a regular bib won't cut it I'll use one to cover as much of Baby 2 as possible. They are such a fantastic kitchen tool.

At some point I realized they might also have some pretty good crafting applications as well. I use them for kid projects all the time and started getting inspired for other DIYs as well.

Have I mentioned that you can get a four pack for $1 at the dollar store?

So a couple weeks ago I forked over my hard-earned dollar and got started on various projects. And, of course, I will be blogging about them. I hope you can contain your excitement.

The first project I'm going to share with you is super easy. The next one involves sewing AND painting so soak up the simplicity while you can.

Furoshiki is a Japanese wrapping technique that uses squares of fabric to wrap gifts or create totes to carry things. I think it feels rather fancy and is super fun in prints (plus: good karma for being eco friendly!). You can find directions for the otsukai tsutsumi (the wrap I did) and a whole bunch of other ones here.

It was a lucky thing that I had these dishtowels on hand. Furoshiki wasn't what I had in mind for this project but a sweet friend is having a baby girl soon and it turned out I wasn't going to be able to attend her baby shower (go and see what I missed. I was really sad) and I told her I'd drop by with my gift. Ten minutes before I needed to leave I realized that I had NO non-Christmas wrapping paper. Flour sack dishtowel to the rescue! Her gift was neatly wrapped AND she got a new dishtowel in the process. I added some girly ribbon and a little hang tag and had enough time to snap a picture before walking out the door. Easy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Target shirt, Gap jeans (similar), mens suspenders from WalMart, Charlotte Russe shoes (similar-y), F21 bangles

I've decided suspenders are slimming. You're pretty much drawing two thick vertical lines along the sides of your torso, which is like Dressing Yourself Skinny 101. I wear my suspenders a lot but I'm only just now putting this together. Why yes, I DID go to college.

And I know I'm like 2 years late hopping on the mustard train but I haven't loved it on myself until now. I think it's because of my change in hair color. In any event, I need like 13 more of these shirts because I have been wearing this one constantly with just about everything and if I could just get like a two week rotation going that would be great.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I wrote a crazy long post about our cruise (I am incapable of recapping vacations in a brief way. I insist on writing down every single detail) and then I was like, " one cares, Kayla." and put it on our private family blog instead.

So here are the bare bones: I got this crazy idea to surprise Aaron with a vacation for Vday. I e-mailed Shawna, who is married to Andrew, who is one of Aaron's really good friends from his BYU days and who we haven't seen in almost five years. She suggested a cruise and it was a brilliant suggestion and a week later we were on a boat. It was awesome. The best part of the whole trip was their lovely company.

Outside Grauman's right before heading down to Long Beach

In Ensenada

Andrew and Shawna at our muster station


Just a little lost

 We found a beautiful furniture shop and spent a long while wandering around and dreaming of being rich enough to be able to ship any of it back to the US (it was quite affordable without the shipping part).

Aaron owned a butterfly knife for a few blissful hours before it was confiscated by ship security.

I'm not pregnant. Just sitting really unattractively.

Why yes, that IS my old ugly diaper bag.

Farewell, Ensenada

The best part of sailing Carnival

This was the highlight for me.

I miss them

The most exciting part of the drive home to our children who were not in the least bit happy to see us

When customs asked what we bought and I responded, "A Christmas ornament," they gave me a weird look. I guess that's not what the average cruise passenger brings back from Mexico.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Old shirt (similar), thrifted vest, F21 jeans, Charlotte Russe shoes (on sale!), Target watch (similar*)

There was some lightning last night right after I finished taking pictures and it reminded me of this story about how I'm kind of a gullible idiot-

When I was little I must have asked my dad where thunder and lightning came from. He either didn't know or wasn't sure he could dumb it down to my little kid level so he told me that storm clouds were quite dense and they would collide and rub against each other. The sound of the collision was thunder and the rubbing caused friction which would then create lightning. This sounded quite plausible to my elementary school brain. I went on my merry way.

Apparently I never thought to question this explanation. In my second year of college, I took a physical science class. My professor started talking about thunder and lightning and I kind of started to relax a bit cause, hey, I got this. Except then he was all talking about positive and negative charges and stuff. And I kind of started to raise my hand but turned it into a head scratch at the last moment while I pondered a bit. Where did I learn the friction thing...

I finally remembered that my information had come from my dad, the same man who had my sister and me terrified of something called "The Dreaded Trinity Squirrel" (large flesh eating squirrel with a taste for small children, in case you're wondering) while we were camping at Lake Trinity in northern California when I was five.

I figured I could probably trust my professor on the positive/negative thing and I put my hand down.

*Just kidding. This is actually more like it.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Open to Interpretation

I love the colors in Amy's pick for this round (plus: I spy Missoni for Target heels! The only thing I really liked from the collection)-

Source. Used with permission.

Unfortunately, between our cruise, a sudden influx of blog design clients, and a barfing baby, I have barely managed to squeeze in a shower lately. There definitely hasn't been makeup or hair or real live clothing (there has, however, been large amounts of these amazingly comfortable Target pajama pants that I picked up in LA about 30 seconds before boarding our ship because I forgot my pajamas in the dryer at home).

Anyway, let's pretend I got dressed. And I had a much better closet than I currently do.

1. Madewell V-neck Pocket Tee - Pretty color, comfy silhouette, very affordable. Style blogging has taken me away from t-shirts in a big way but...I'm starting to miss them. This tee would look great with skinny jeans and sandals when it gets a bit warmer.

2. Muubaa Albany Fur Collar Jacket - I'm totally dreaming here ($700??) but look at it! It's beautiful!

3. Melissa Borrell Lace Pop-Out Earrings - To bring in the lace element from the original. These earrings are super cool..they come attached to the piece of metal they were machined from! You pop them out yourself and attach them to (included) earring hardware.

I'd probably wear everything with my go-to gray skinny jeans from Gap and my black Target peep-toe heels. Or, more realistically, thick socks. This winter has been ridiculously warm but I am still almost always freezing. Poor Aaron gets the job of foot warmer at night. He doesn't love it.

I promise to actually participate in the next round but, in the meantime, go see Amy's and Erica's interpretations!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!


We normally don't even recognize Vday round these parts (we barely even do our anniversary) but this year I pulled off quite the gift. I surprised Aaron with a cruise! Not too shabby considering I thought of it just over a week ago. So we celebrated a little early and got home yesterday evening. I'll share some pictures and an excessively wordy recap later but, in the meantime, here's some love for your Valentine's Day:

Some tips for a really great marriage from Mara and Danny of A Blog About Love. A hearty amen to all of it.

It's business time. Please tell me you already know this one by heart. The other day Aaron was giving me a massage and wimped out early. "That was like two minutes long!" I complained. He replied, "Two minutes in heaven is better than one minute in heaven." Touche.

Ruche regularly posts love stories on their blog. If you want to laugh, cry, and generally wallow in sap, it's a good place to go. did a wonderful piece on couples who have been married 50 years or more. My favorite was one sweet wife talking about how she and her husband have become so alike and she said, "It's the years. The years." I can feel the weight behind that. What an amazing thing to stand on that side of a marriage and be able to look back on so much time, experience and love shared.

Happy Valentine's Day from our nest of lurve to yours.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Old Navy

One of my sort of unofficial goals for the year is to keep my clothes shopping to a minimum. I have a tendency to go shopping out of closet boredom rather than necessity but this blog has taught me time and again that my closet has tons of awesome options if I'm willing to put forth a little effort. As a result, I have spent very little time doing any kind of online window shopping. Why tempt myself?

Then Madeline posted some of Old Navy's ridiculously cute spring dress offerings and I found myself delving into the website and THEN I had to hide my car keys from myself. I. don't. need. anything.

But seriously, Old Navy has been upping their game. On top of the pretty dresses that Madeline posted I found quite a few other things I'd love to take home with me:

1. Colored chambray - a fresh take on the more traditional chambray from last year

2. Black and white color block top - graphic black & white is very on trend right now but still feels crisp and classic. I love the flattering silhouette- this is my FAVORITE shape for shirts. Very kind to tummies that have carried babies. Wear it with skinny jeans and feel like a million bucks. (I actually went to the store in search of this one but the stores apparently don't have it yet.Thwarted!)

3. Striped tie waist dress - add a messy bun and strappy sandals = what I want to wear all summer long.

4. Tea length jersey skirt - I have a couple jersey skirts from ON and they carry me through the summer. Mine are boring solids though...LOVE the colors here. (although I saw it in the store when I went in search of the B&W top and it didn't strike me as much in person)

5. Striped keyhole swimsuit - It's like my skirt in swimsuit form. The angled stripe on the sides is really slimming.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Janssen and I had so much fun doing our under $5 gift guide for Christmas that we decided to do a quick Valentine's version. We gave ourselves a bit more leeway in the price this time, since you're probably only buying gifts for a special significant other and maybe a girl friend or sister or something instead of your whole extended family. There are still some under $5 options but we threw in some cool stuff on the higher end as well.

Also, I asked Aaron what a guy might want for Valentine's Day and he said,
I know exactly what every guy wants for Valentine's Day. Are you listening? I mean really listening? Ok, the perfect Valentine's Day gift is to be let off the hook for Valentine's Day. Or maybe like, sex with some french fries waiting for afterward.
And that about sums Aaron up.

1. Sex - FREE
Just sayin'.
(don't forget the french fries. Apparently guys like that)

2. A massage - FREE. Plus maybe the cost of some massage oil.
Most people love massages but professional ones are pricey and involve being naked while a stranger rubs you down. Look up a few massage techniques online, grab a bottle of coconut oil (or real massage oil, if you're fancy), put a towel down on your massage surface so the oil doesn't stain anything important and start attacking those knots.

3. Star Walk app - $2.99
 Star gazing is romantic. Star gazing with this app is freaking awesome. My dad has it on his iPad (though there is also an iPhone version) and all you have to do is point it at the sky and it displays the stars in front of you and which constellations they belong to. You can tap to pull up all kinds of information about what you're seeing. It's fascinating and super fun.

4. Custom chocolate bar from Chocomize - Base price $4.50 + add-ins
It's build-your-own chocolate bar. Pick your base (dark, milk or white) and add in whatever your (his) little heart desires. I'm dying to try this.

5. Foam Disk Shooters - $6-10 apiece
Back in my working days we each had one of these in our offices. Every once in a while you'd hear one power up followed by some shrieking and the sound of running. Occasionally there were wars. For Christmas this year my parents got the ones I linked to above (the non-electric kind are better for sneak attacks). SO much fun. Grab one for you and one for your lovah and have at it.

6. Tie - I've found them for $10 and under at places like Marshall's.
Instead of gift wrapping it, give it to him Jennifer Aniston on the cover of GQ style.

7. Custom phone skin or case from Gelaskins - starting at $14.95
Make him a pretty new skin or case for his phone! You can pick a pre-made one (like the one above. Which Aaron wouldn't actually like but I sure would) or you can create your own using a picture, pattern, words, artwork, whatever. Compatible with a whole bunch of different kinds of phones.

8. Helicopter - $25.75
Not the most romantic gift in the world but if your husband is anything like mine he'll think this is the best. thing. ever. One of Aaron's friends got him one for Christmas and it has been a prized possession in our house ever since. I'm kicking myself that I didn't think of it first. 

9. Sheffield Cider -$10 a bottle + $10 shipping
Several years ago some friends of ours introduced us to fancy juices. It makes dinner feel so much more special if you're a non-drinker! My mom discovered Sheffield Cider while in Utah last year. The juice is fantastic and their shipping is quite fast. All four flavors are good but we love the Harvest Crush and Classic Sweet. Of course, you could always go with classic Martinelli's or one of Ikea's sparkling juices if you're a little strapped for cash.

10. A watch - prices vary but I love this one for $48
One of these days I'm going to get Aaron a cool watch. I don't even know if it's something he wants but I think he'd love this one. As an engineer he's always fascinated by parts and pieces and cogs and all that so a watch with visible inner workings would be perfect. Target, WalMart, Overstock, and about a million other places have all kinds of different options. There's bound to be one that suits your smellier half and fits your budget!

Hope on over to Janssen's blog to see the other half of the gift guide!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Scary Stuff

Macy's dress (you can't see the details thanks to funky photo contract but this one is similar), thrifted scarf and belt, Miss Mooz shoes from Last Chance (but you can find them here)

I'm kind of proud that I had to think long and hard to come up with things that scare me. I've definitely got a few though!

1.Red lipstick - or lipstick in general, really. I think it ages me and makes me look clowny.

2. Scarves - They look so nice on other people. They make me look like a flight attendant.

3. Ponytails- I know, it's a weird one. Aaron thinks ponytails are the hottest thing ever. Half the time I come out in the morning and he'll say, "You know what would look really good with that outfit? A ponytail." But I feel so BLAH in a ponytail. I always worry they take my outfit down a notch.

So I braved all 3 and felt super awkward all day long. But I did it! Pat on the back to me.

And to you! Link up below or add your photo to the Flickr group!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Winter Edition: Day 10 > Something that scares you

This one was suggested by Miss Nemesis toward the end of the last round and I filed it away in my brain box. I think most (if not all) of us have some trend or ensemble we'd love to try if only it didn't scare us silly. We've tried it in the safety of our bedrooms only to turn chicken at the last minute and change into one of our go-to backup outfits before walking out the door.

Miss Nem said her thing was red lipstick (which she then decided to go for with fantastic results)

I have a friend who is terrified of skinny jeans. She owns a great pair and they look fantastic on her BUT she can't bring herself to wear them in public.

My sister is scared of tucking in her shirts.

A friend from my old neighborhood would love to become a girl who wears hats but is worried that she looks ridiculous (she doesn't).

I used to be scared of wearing red. It was a long slow road but I finally got over that one. I've still got a few more fashion fears lurking in my closet though.

What are you scared of? Bright colors? Boyfriend jeans? Winged eyeliner? Well, tomorrow I want you to take a crack at that fear. Jump right in and give it a try.

Come back tomorrow to link up or go add your photo to the Flickr group!

Open to Interpretation


Picking an inspiration picture for a group OTI is kind of hard. When I showed Erica my initial pick I could see her shaking her head through gchat. Not accessible. People would balk. So I sent her this one and she said, "Perfect!" And she's right, of course. This is the kind of classic outfit that pretty much anyone can interpret with stuff they already own.


I really wanted to wear a cozy sweater but, strangely, I own zero cable knit. So this is what I came up with:

Button up free from swap (similar), thrifted and altered red top, khakis from American Eagle altered (similar), Target heels (similar), bangle from a trip to the Bahamas

Bright + neutral + layers. I actually started out with something a lot closer to the original but I hated it and declared a last minute re-do yesterday. I was much happier.

Link up your OTI below! Or you can also add it to the Flickr group!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winter Edition: Day 9 > Group OTI

As a reminder, here's the inspiration image-

From J.Crew

Come back tomorrow to link it up or you can always add your photo to the Flickr group!

Dressing Up My Coat

Charlotte Russe coat (similar)and boots (similar), flower and skirt (similar) by me, tank from Last Chance, necklace from Old Navy, belt from a skirt I bought at JCPenney

This prompt was difficult if only because we've had so very few coat days lately. I did mine out of order and ended up doing this one dead last, just waaaiting for a cold day. This day still didn't call for a coat but oh well. I put a flower on it and I wore it and I liked it.

Link up your outfit below or, as always, go link it up in the Flickr group!

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