Monday, November 29, 2010

Like Mother Like...

I'm not sure how I got such a girlie girl...

But, I did...
I simply don't know where she gets it. She loves to try on clothes and shoes (Me? Not so much), changes her outfit multiple times a day, loves make-up and cares for her baby. All. Day. Long...

Like I said...I simply don't know where she gets it...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thrifted Threads Thursday...

I think it's still Thursday...or it's barely Thursday almost Friday. So, this post is almost obsolete. After much deliberation and a very sophisticated process of elimination (eenie, meenie, minie, moe), I settled on Thrifted Threads Thursday for my weekly post on all things cheap. Each week I'll post a few items that have been thrifted, repurposed, or snagged on the cheap. Sound like fun?

Well, so far, I'm already behind and running to catch up. My day started a bit off kilter as I needed to take the little Mr. to the doctor to check out a nasty cough. This is what he lie...

I love how the blue in his superman pj's compliments the blue in his dragon wings. I believe I will be promoting him to On Location Fashion Correspondent.

Anyway, after a quick run to the doctor, and a little celebratory trip to the Dollar spot for a good behavior treat, I realized I hadn't even got my post up! So, when I got home, I quickly grabbed my camera and here's Take 1:

Oops...I forgot to peel off all of the stickers the little Mr. stuck to my shirt at the doctor's office. So, I reset the shot and then...

Take 2:

The little Miss was a bit curious as to why I had the camera balanced on several boxes...not sure why my face looks peeved...cause I'm not.

And Take 3:

This time she did it on purpose. Oh well, better luck next time. She's so cute.

Cargo Pants: Goodwill $3.00--pardon the wrinkles

Scarf: B's cast-off that I adopted FREE

Gold flats: Target $4.00

Tee: Walmart

Cardigan: Target

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holla If You Wanna Keep Yo Dolla...

Or simply raise your hand...that's okay too.

I love a good deal. I love bargain racks, dollar bins and discount duds. I love sales as much as Homer Simpson loves donuts....mmmmm, saaaaaaales. I'm so spoiled by good deals, that I refuse to pay full price for anything. I love good deals so much that if I can't score a pair of name brand jeans for ten bucks then back on the rack they's ridiculous, I know, but, sadly very true. I have high expectations for low-cost goodies. I don't believe that I am the one to blame for the market crash...but, I may have contributed due to under spending.

So, in honor of leaner times and good sales, I'm thinking of starting a weekly post to highlight my finds at high-end retail stores like Goodwill, the D.A.V. and the ever popular Salvation Army. I have titles swirling in my head like the wordy but catchy, "Frugal-Fashion-Friday". Or, "Thrifty-Threads-Thursday," has a nice ring to it too.

Now, I don't consider myself to be particularly scrupulous when it comes to fashion. I have been known to break a rule once or twice (hello, white after Labor Day). But, if I could show you a piece or two that's made me happy, spruced up my wardrobe and saved beaucoup bucks, then friends, I've done my job. When it comes to fashion, I have taken a cue from my kids and found that in some regards fashion is:
A) subjective, and B) If it feels right, go with it (even if it's rubber caterpillar boots paired with a down vest--the little Mr...not me). So, meet me back here either Thursday or Friday (sorry, I have commitment issues) and we'll talk shop on money saving fashions.
Here's a little sneak peak from Monday's Goodwill excursion:

                                       Place:  Goodwill
                             Cardigan:  Abercrombie $3.48
                                     Jeans:  Seven  $5.00
                                  Boots:  Nine West $6.00

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sew, I Sew...Sew What?

Okay...sorry, about the title. I couldn't help myself. 

I would not consider myself to be particularly crafty.  My grandma is an excellent seamstress, my mom can sling a hot glue gun like nobody's business, but the crafting gene seems to have skipped a generation.  When my girlfriends were whipping up friendship bracelets left and right, I couldn't make it through one.  When we made gym shorts in home economics during sixth grade, mine looked hideous with wonky stitching and threads hanging out all over the place.  My sister-in-law tried to teach me how to crochet when I was pregnant with the little miss (I had a goal to crochet a pair of booties for the bean) I wound up with half a scarf and no booties. I'm gung-ho to craft and then I peter out.  Hello, my name is Nikki, and I don't finish what I've started.

In walks the blogging world into my life, and I start seeing these amazing projects all these ladies are doing and I start to think, "Maybe crafting isn't so bad...maybe I can do this."  I started saving all of their detailed tutorials and found myself with "DIY" and "Sewing" folders crammed full of their bright ideas.  This new found peer pressure has been just the push I've needed.  I've been feeling sentimental lately about my grandma and her sewing machine.  Growing up she made me beautiful dresses, the most amazing costumes for Halloween and school plays, lovely dresses for vocal performances and even made the bridesmaid dresses for my wedding.  I remember it being so much fun to go pick out patterns and fabric with my mom and then hand them over to my grandma so she could work her magic.  She would hand back the finished product and I remember being so amazed that it looked exactly like the picture.  No wonky seams, no threads hanging out all over.  I would tell her over and over through the years, "Someday I want you to teach me how to do that!"  She would smile and tell me, "Any just say when."

"When" was a couple of weeks ago.  I started thinking how terrible it would be if I never made the time to learn from my grandma.  I called her up and asked if she would come stay with me and teach me all she, being the awesome grandma she is, she said "YES!"

Grandma came with her old sewing machine (she's since graduated to a swanky Janome), lots of thread, bobbins, needles and PATIENCE.  She's had her old sewing machine a matter of fact, it's about as old as me and still works perfectly.  She babied that machine, took it to the shop for regular 'tune-ups' and has kept it in mint condition all these years.

We immediately set to work and started with the basics of  threading the machine, filling bobbins, straight stitching, and how to read a pattern.  I never knew a person could screw up filling a bobbin...I proved that, in fact, one can.  We worked hard, laughed a lot, reminisced and by the end of the weekend, I found a new love for sewing and an appreciation for my grandma's passion and talent.

Before she left for home, she passed along a few reminders (like make sure the bobbin is actually FILLING and not just winding thread in a tangled mess), some encouragement, and even a reminder to call if I'm having trouble. Then she passed her old machine on to me, and everything that came with it.  The same machine she made all of my costumes on.  The same machine that skillfully handled the material as she gently fed it through.  The same machine that she sat before while I would sit and watch her sew and chat with her about subjects like junior high angst.  The same machine that I will now use to make wonderful things for my children (or at least try). 

I love that I have something of hers.  I've since sewn (sewed?) a few things and have plans to start on some of those projects building up in my file.  I know it sounds cheesy, but I do think of her when I use the machine.  When it starts to make that "whirring" noise and I feed the material through, I hear her voice saying, "Don't rush it...nice and slow...keep a straight line," and, I think of the weekend we spent sewing together. I  think the crafting gene isn't so recessive anymore.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mmmmmm...You Smell Nice...

Twice a month I volunteer to teach in the little Mr.'s Sunday school class...a class of approximately 15-20 four-year-olds.  A class of chasing-around-the-table, make believe playing, hiding in the bathroom, crawling under the tables, four-year-olds who are only quiet at snack time.  In all honesty, I love it and look forward to my rotation every month...mostly because I'm crazy and my brain is a bit wired like theirs, in that I do something for about five seconds and move on. 

My favorite part is Bible story time. 

The children listen to the first 10-20 seconds of the story and then pipe up, mid-story, with their interpretations (not relating to the story whatsoever), what they ate for breakfast, snippets from the things their mom's and dad's say (oh, yes my grown-up friends...I now know some of your little habits), and confess the naughty things they did before coming to church (like that tantrum in the car).  If I were a stand-up comic, my schtick would be based solely on the life of a four-year-old.  I know, Bill Cosby already went there, but it's just too good.

After story time and craft, they get more free-play where they get wired-up before moms and dads come.  You're welcome.

Yesterday, my little Mr. found a kindred spirit in a sweet little girl, who like him, hates to wear socks and shoes.  The two of them were hiding under a little table, plotting, scheming and whispering back and forth before both of them promptly removed their socks and shoes.  They continued laughing and playing when all of a sudden the little Mr. says excitedly, "Hey, you wanna smell my socks?!"  She frowned a bit and shook her head no...then he proceeded to smell them himself.  I love my son and think he's so adorable...but, even I was a bit grossed out.  I don't believe I have to worry about girls for a while with a proposition like that.  In fact, I can think of a few more statements to add to his repertoire like, "I've got some worms in my pocket," or how about, "I just picked my nose," or the ever popular, "I just ate some dirt."  Statements like these are common social graces amongst preschoolers, so he's right on track.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Four-Year-Old, Astronomy And Facial Hair...

I love times in the car with the little Mr.  He talks and talks and talks (well, mostly he asks questions).  I love the way his mind is working and wondering about the world around him.  Most of the time he stumps me.  I think my intelligence jumped a few percentage points after having him, as I am always having to theorize about why this or that happened.  Sometimes I say, "Let me get back to you on that one." I'm so thankful for google, it helps me save face.

A couple of nights ago we were in the car and the little Mr. stopped singing along to the radio and piped
up from the backseat, "Why is it dark now?"  I've answered this question before, so this I knew the answer to.  I told him how when the day is done, the sun goes down so we can go to sleep (I chose to spare him from the whole, 'earth rotating around the sun while spinning on it's axis' talk...very lazy of me.).  Then his little mind jumped from astronomy to facial transition.

"Does Mr. 'J' at church have a mustache?'  I confirmed his question.  "Why does he have a mustache?  Does it tickle his nose?"  Great question, I've always wondered that...I couldn't help but think of Tom Selleck and his HUGE THAT would tickle your nose.  I told the little Mr. that as long as a mustache isn't too bushy then it probably does not tickle your nose.  He piped up, "Mr. Noodle has a mustache...and it's bushy...I think it tickles his nose.  Will I have a mustache when I'm a grown-up dad?"  I told him he could grow one if he wanted.  Then he asked about daddy's beard...

"Does daddy have a beard?"  Yes.  "Does daddy brush his beard like his hair?"  Choking back laughs I assured him that daddy does not brush his beard.  This kid has a way of putting hilarious images in my head.  "Does uncle K.K. have a beard like daddy?"  Yes.  (K.K. is little Mr.'s rock-star uncle...seriously way cool).  Little Mr. shouts from the backseat, "K.K's beard is SO DONIMATED!"  I believe he means doMinated, but, seriously, how does a four-year-old know the word dominated, and how does he know how to use it in the correct context to refer to something a person views as pretty amazing?! 

At this point I was dying laughing and the rest of the car ride and bedtime was him using his new found word in any way possible, "That light is so donimated, my cereal is so donimated, my p.j.s are so donimated, bedtime is so donimated (that's a new one)." 

To give you a visual, I've added side-by-side photos of Uncle K.K. and Daddy.  For the sake of family dynamics, I will not take sides, but will let you decide who's beard is truly donimated:

K.K.                                    Daddy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I don't have a lot of time to get creative today...I'm sort of putting out fires...
I've cleaned crayon off the walls, taken away a tub of vicks vapor rub, washed hands that played in toilet water, pried a tube of face wash from tiny death-grip hands and re-made lunches that were fed to Stella.  I'm not naming names but the picture above is a very good likeness of the culprit.  15 minutes until naptime.

*Update*  Today I'm not feeling so hot...kind of feel like the above I'm cheating and making yesterday's post, today's post.  Now, I'm confused...

Anyway...go, embrace the know you want to!  Post your picture then link back to Emily's blog!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sugar Induced Fun...

This is my final post in the 'sugar induced fun' category.  I would say this is a post to show off my kiddos costumes, but because they were on a sugar binge, all of my pictures are blurry.  We spent most of the evening prying candy from their little hands and chasing after them.  *Disclaimer* This post is probably more for the grandmas...

Woody and Jessie...

Of course, no Jackson family outing is without a little story...
My sweet grandma so lovingly gifted the little Mr. with a bag of blue cotton candy.  Of course, I was unaware of this.  I joined the group just in time to see him polish off that bag and look at me with a crazed, "I've had more sugar than my system can handle" look in his eyes.  He smacked his sticky, blue lips together and shouted, "I'm ready to go in that big jumpy thing now!"

Even though bedtime was a mere 45 minutes away, I could only hope he would exert enough energy to counteract the mass amounts of glucose surging through his body.  I have never been so thankful for those blow-up bounce house thingies in my entire life!  Sorry, I don't have a picture...he was jumping too fast and too furious to get a good shot.

Party Like A Preschooler...

Friday was the little Mr's fall party at school.  Imagine with me a room-full of sugared up preschoolers singing, dancing, crafting and playing games at speeds I didn't know were possible.  Attention spans were short and volume levels were high.  It was super fun! 

All this fun almost didn't happen for the Jackson's...E was having second thoughts about his costume.  Like the rest of the nation of children obsessed with Toy Story, the little Mr. wanted to be 'Woody'.  After procrastinating working hard on his costume, he tried it on, and decided it wasn't "Woodier enough".  So, after coaxing, coaching and stroking his ego (that in fact he was the most amazing Woody ever) he decided he would leave the house in his homemade costume...

The costume parade was the highlight of the quickly went south.  One of the little boys (Mr. Dragon above) looked out the window and discovered a dead bird lying on the patio.  He called it to my attention and I checked...indeed the bird was toe up.  Mr. Dragon announced, "Guys, there's a dead bird outside!  It's been shot!  And it's dead!"  (For the record, the bird was not shot).  All at once the uniform line of costumed children broke and the kids converged on the window shouting to one another about the dead bird.  Little faces were smashed against the window, straining to get a better look.  Their teacher exclaimed, "Treats back in the classroom!" and like that, the kids were back in line and hurrying back for more sugar.  Thank goodness for short attention spans.

The little miss had a great time too...she discovered the nature center!

Sheesh...little sisters are SO embarassing!