So. Biggest hiatus ever in the history of this blog. Jeepers.
Suffice it to say I’ve been itching to write – oh, so many posts in my head – but was away for a whole week at leadership camp (MOTL) and returned home just in time for my firstborn’s fifth birthday (as yet herein uncommemorated! What?? MOTL) to throw myself into the maelstrom of yearbook and report cards.
So yeah. I’m breaking the silence with a frouffy post about my daughter in tennis dresses.
(It’s also slightly possible that I’m procrastinating because my reports aren’t done but my brain is friday-fried. Perhaps.)
Best part: it’s Then and Now.
First, classic tennis whites for a child too small to walk, cute pastel stripes because who doesn’t love stripes?
OMG she was so little and fuzzy-headed.
Then we have the outfit she wore on her big brother’s birthday, approximately a year later, in honour of his love for Angry Birds. This little number was handed down to us by a thoughtful friend who knew about AB’s nickname and knew she must have this.
Still kinda fuzzy-headed. 🙂
I imagine you don’t see a lot of pink-with-sparkly-buttons-and-plaid-trim on the courts, but I’m sure my kid could pull it off. She may be even be a fashion leviathan someday.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been attracted to things that are tie-dyed. I love the fluid shapes and patterns and the vibrant colours. Fortunately for me, tie-dyed clothing is one of the 80s trends I like that came back! (Along with some that make me wince a little, such as crimped hair.)
I have also always wanted a pair of Converse high-tops, ever since Grade 9 when I spent many hours drawing a beat-up black Chuck featured in my culminating still-life in art class. (We got our still-life materials from a closet in the art room that was full of interesting crap.) At age 14, I did not feel I could pull off the necessary coolness/attitude for high-tops. Now that I’m an adult, I know what’s important, which is: I don’t care if I pull them off.
I ended up putting those two ideas together after getting all excited about design-your-own shoes on the Converse website and then having my dreams crushed because Converse.com DOES NOT SHIP TO CANADA and furthermore DOES NOT ACCEPT PAYMENT FROM ANY CANADIAN INSTITUTION INCLUDING PAYPAL ACCOUNTS FROM CANADA. (Not that I’m bitter.)
The solution? Dye my own. (IN YO FACE, Converse.com!)
I went out and procured two “One-Step Tie-Dye” kits by Tulip. I had to get two, because I wanted all the pretty colours, please.
If you’ll notice, one kit says it will dye up to 20 projects, and the other up to 30 projects… and the dye apparently starts to lose potency after 45 minutes. Ergo, by my calculations, that meant: dye a whole truckload of stuff!! Or as much stuff as I could reasonably afford.
Here are a few things I learned from the DIY Tie-Dye Extravaganza chez Dilovely:
Paper towels: YES.
Plasticized tablecloth: YES YES YES. (Dye washes right off with water.)
Plastic gloves from the kit: nice idea but they SUCK. Rip at the slightest provocation.
Reading the whole instruction booklet first: a good idea. It’s full of solid advice.
I would add to the advice: if you don’t want to have droplets of the wrong colour in random places, put your fingertip over the tip of the bottle when positioning it.
Also, if you want lots of control over what the dye does, use a sponge to apply dye instead of tipping it straight from the bottle.
We tried three of the different techniques for shirts described in the instructions: bullseye, spiral, and “scrunching”.
They all work! Make sure you use lots of dye to penetrate the folds.
If your helper is a small child, make sure he has had a full snack before you start.
If your small-child helper is a mini-perfectionist, working with liquid dye might produce tears and/or screaming.
If the end result is cool enough, your small-child helper will forget all about the tragic parts of the adventure.
The rinsing part takes forever – but you can make it more efficient by squeezing in a top-down direction.
As to the staining of rubber soles: tiny spots that got in around the tape washed right off the Converse and the adult shoes, so my precautions were probably unnecessary. The only soles that seemed to stain were the kid shoes. I’m hoping it’ll come off with baking soda and a toothbrush.
We kept the bottles, and there’s a refill dye packet for every colour… so I may be ready to try this again in a year or so.
Don’t you want to go try it yourself? 🙂
P.S.: If you’re a shoe-lover and a Canuck, I can recommend ShoeMe.ca. My Converse came from there, hassle-free, free shipping and returns on everything – but they ONLY SHIP WITHIN CANADA. Just so you know. The company tells me you can get $50 off $100 with your first order – just for being MY friend!! – by using this link. http://shoemeca.refr.cc/4822RKB
I look forward to our friend Karissa’s Oscar party every year. Good friends, yummy food, fun trivia, and unfiltered commentary. Plus swag bags. And this year, I was kidless, which is an automatic PARTAY and de-stressing moment. (No offense to my wonderful kids.)
I didn’t know if I was just my mindset that evening, but I found the proceedings in L.A. to be kind of lacklustre. I thought maybe I’m just getting jaded, but then my sister Em was feeling the same thing at a different Oscar party across town, so it wasn’t just me.
Perhaps it was the accumulation of awkward moments. Not just John Travolta introducing Idina Menzel with an unheard-of name, or Kim Novak appearing as the poster woman for the Not-Allowed-To-Age-In-Hollywood syndrome. There was also Jim Carrey pulling the rubberface (I love Jim Carrey, and I’ve loved his hilariousness over the years, but this throwback felt forced and out-of-place); Bette Midler singing “Wind Beneath My Wings” after the memorial slide show (again, I love her and that song, but the timing made it feel surplus); and Pink singing “Over the Rainbow” whilst sporting décolleté that completely distracted from the point of the song (AND breathing in the middle of a word at least three times, which drives me bananas).
Plus, the recited descriptions of the Best Picture nominees reminded me of high school book reports. I think montages are a much better way to titillate the audience.
Wow, I sound like a grump. I swear I wasn’t grumpy that night – I was totally stoked to be there.
I have to admit that this year, I only saw two of the Oscar-nominated movies. Well – three, if you count The Great Gatsby, which was nominated for Costumes and Production Design. (Didn’t that used to be Art Direction?) I haven’t even seen Frozen yet. Having taken in only Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street, I didn’t have much of a feeling for the odds in any category… but I am looking forward to seeing a bunch more nominees – someday. They all sound pretty awesome.
So! How ’bout those Extra Oscars?
Best Dressed: Sandra Bullock. Gah, SO GORGEOUS.
Next Best Dressed: Kerry Washington (go maternity stylists!) and Jennifer Garner (as a belly dancer, I have a total soft spot for sparkly fringe).
Worst Dressed: Whoopi Goldberg. Hated the dress but enjoyed seeing her up there – and the witchy feet were cute.
Best Musical Performance: Pharrell Williams and manic backup dancers with “Happy” – he even got some keen nominees in the front row dancing with him (although nothing beats the original video).
Best Joke (by host Ellen Degeneres, to Jennifer Lawrence): “If you win tonight, I think we should just bring you the Oscar.” (Made more funny by Jennifer’s excellent sense of humour about her own tripping incident last year.)
Best Presenter Gag: Jamie Foxx doing a Chariots of Fire impression (vocal theme song and slo-mo run) against Jessica Biel’s teleprompts.
Runner-Up:Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor – for thanking his Mama properly, and daring to mention Venezuela and the Ukraine at a time when most mention only those in the celebratory bubble.
Best Host: Ellen Degeneres. Yes, she was the only host, but honestly, I just love her. She teases without being mean, she jokes without making you cringe, and she just seems to want folks to relax and have fun, as if they were in their living rooms with their yoga pants on (like we were). She will go down in history for those three large pizzas and the Selfie that Broke Twitter.
And on the personal side…
Best Snack Name: “Spinach and ‘I will (arti) choke if Leo gets an Oscar tonight’ Dip.”
Yummiest Snack: WHO CAN DECIDE? (I made cheese wontons – The Wontons of Wall Street. Recipe to follow.)
Best Surprise: As is tradition, pregnancy was announced… by not one, but TWO of our friends! GO OSCAR. I don’t know how you do it.
It’s been a memorable holiday season. Christmas that was both black(out) and crazily white… So much awesome family… Yummy food and festive music… Gratuitous cuteness….
Now here we are. Gearing up to go back to school and normal life tomorrow, while also battening down for another storm. Bracing for back-to-school germs, now that both kids are finally almost done coughing and E is getting over his second bilateral ear infection since JK started. Feeling a bit of the blues, but also glad to be getting back to a routine.
And today, my Hubbibi spent the day cleaning house (while I got the kids out of there) so we could all feel fresh and ready for NEW YEARNESS. (Thanks, honey. What a difference.)
We’ve had some festive times lately, and I do tend to milk those, fashion-wise, when it comes to Baby AB.
The wedding in Cape Cod was obviously an important opportunity to wear this pink gingham with satin roses. The dress being sleeveless – and Cape Cod being quite windy – we added the sweater (beautifully hand-knitted, but it’s a hand-me-down so I have no idea who made it), and the striped BabyLegs. And the sandals fit better than the first time they were featured. I think she pulls it off.
Then there was the first birthday! Which of course was celebrated multiple times. This navy sailor dress was for the combination birthday-Auntie-Em’s-housewarming.
Then, of course, there was Thanksgiving! Little schoolgirl dress (the pleats at the back are adorable but the photo doesn’t do them justice), more BabyLegs, and that cutie hat with crocheted flower. (Also a hand-me-down.)
E was also quite stylin’ that day. Can’t get enough of sweater vests on boys.
Last week, the weather showed us how flexible it can be in September. On Tuesday it was 34C (93F), feeling like 42C (108F) with the humidity. (Inside my school, ’twas even hotter.) So although school has started, we were reminded that IT IS STILL SUMMER, Y’ALL.
Then a few days later, it got down to almost freezing at night. What the what?
Let’s look at some differing ensembles worn by Baby AB this past spring and summer, in honour of the dazzling temperature acrobatics.
Here’s a skimpyish one, from May. I call it “Butter Me Up.”
And ZING, here’s a cozy one. I call it, “Hug This Bear.”
Back to skimpy! “Sweet Pea”, because obviously.
And toasty again! I call this one “Cordurosy”, because the jacket is fine-wale corduroy and so is the trim on the jeans.
And finally, here’s a hybrid. Let’s call it “Too Cute To Be Named.”
When we were kids, we had one jillion pencil crayons, courtesy of my dad. Mostly Laurentians and Prismacolors. They were kept in three old sorbet containers, one for warm colours, one for cool colours, and one for neutrals. We spent a lot of time colouring, and knew well the nuances of Deep Yellow versus Lemon Yellow, Dark Brown versus Photo Brown, etc.
One of my favourite colours was Carmine Red. The pencil itself had a rich, waxy consistency on the paper, and was a stunner when you used it wisely.
The pants and trim of this lovely set, which I call “Paislicious”, are Carmine Red. It’s a nice change from straight-up pink. Super-sassy gift from a family friend. (I’ve also always had a soft spot for paisleys. The majority of my dad’s neckties are paisley – though not carmine – and he used to go to work in them looking very elegant indeed.)
The softer sister of Carmine is Salmon. I don’t recall a coloured pencil named Salmon, but I’m sure I would have overused it if we’d had one. And the delicate details of this knit one-piece are so gorgeous I almost can’t stand it. (See it paired with long sleeves here.)
And the shoes, the shoes. (Hand-me-downs, in perfect condition). Ach. SO GREAT.
Jeans on a baby are undeniably cute. Any time you see a baby in “grown-up” clothes, it just tickles the medial ventral pre-frontal cortex, amiright?
Unfortunately, they’re not very practical – hard to get on the baby, and hard for her to sit properly with them on. Especially because she’s cloth-diapered and therefore has bubble-butt. Jeans are especially not designed for her.
So we’ve tried them a couple times, and always end up leaving them off after the next diaper change – but it’s okay, because that’s enough time to take a photo and immortalize them.