26 April 2013

A Woman of a Certain Age's Apparel

This is a conversation that I have had with friends and family for seemingly years. As a lover of classic clothing, this has not truly been an issue until a few years ago. I was about 32 and visiting Mother. I was wearing a cute black A-line dress that hit about an inch above my knees. My hair was long, but not 3/4 of the way down my back is it is currently. I had a black headband in my hair. I do not remember what shoes I was wearing. All of a sudden, Mother said that I'm dressing far too young for my age. I need a haircut, sensible shoes, and to wear pants or skirts that hit below my knees. Hurmph. Well, I thought I looked cute. By the way, my sister's hair is about the same length now as mine was when my mother told me it needed cutting and my sister is 6.5 years older than me. Her style of dress is nothing like mine...at all. She was an 80's girl.

I recently read a post by Syd stating that because she has always dressed older than her age. As a girl, I was usually in frilly dresses. In middle and high school I usually wore polos and either khakis or skirts with penny loafers. I still wear that outfit all of the time! I've also worked at The Limited, Talbots, and Laura Ashley. My college closet was representative of those stores. So, maybe I always dressed older than my age. Is age ever an issue with dress and hairstyle? When someone has children, does that mean that they have to wear mom jeans and cut their hair to a bob?

Practicality has it's place. Having long hair that a baby can yank on isn't fun. Pearl necklaces ripped off of a neck by baby can be expensive. Bending over in a shorter Lilly P. shift chasing a toddler can give people a personal view. So, in one way I understand why clothing, accessories, and hairstyle may change with children, but that doesn't mean it has to (besides the short skirt, nobody needs to see that). When my son graduates high school I will only be 39, so obviously I was a young mom. 20 year olds do not wear mom jeans, nor should they be required to.

I like bright colors. I like my hair this long, even though it often stays in a bun there's the possibility of it being long, straight, and pretty. I prefer to wear skirts and dresses and I think hitting right above the knee is modest enough for anyone as long as they have the figure to pull it off. I can't wear heels so the shoe thing is taken care of on its own. I hope that I don't sound like a 15 year old rebellious girl, but as a woman that prefers classic clothing but owns a few Forever 21 dresses, I think that age does not determine how you dress. I hope that if the Lord decides to keep me here on Earth in my 90's I still have on a pearl necklace, headband, and decide how I want to dress without anyone telling me what to do.


21 April 2013

Tiny Visitors

These photos are from my new hummingbird feeder that my sweet husband bought me.



14 April 2013

It's All Good


For years I've always admired Gwyneth Paltrow's acting abilities, long blonde hair, and aristocratic good looks. She is a devoted daughter, wife, and mother. Now, in addition to starring in my son's favorite movie franchise (outside of Star Wars), Iron Man, Paltrow is a healthy living advocate and cookbook author. I read her first book, My Father's Daughter, but did not purchase. I was not into healthy eating as much a few years ago. Since then, I spend much more time to focus on all aspects of healthy living. Fish oils and multi-vitamin will not cut it any more. Nutrition is medicine. Paltrow feels that way and lives that way. She has received much criticism for her feeding her children nutritious food. My husband is a Dr. Oz addict, and we watched an episode last week where Paltrow was demonstrating her cookbook recipes, and she mentioned that her children do eat gluten free Oreos or something un-healthy sometimes too. 

Paltrow's new cookbook It's All Good, is about healthy comfort food. Being in the land of Paula Deen, comfort food is where it's at. On Oz, she shared her recipe for fish fingers, so I believe I can share it here without breaking any copyright laws:

Mustard + Old Bay Fish Fingers
.25 Vegenaise
2 Tbsp. coarse seeded mustard
1 Tbsp. Dijon
1 C plain gluten-free bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
1 tsp. fine sea salt
4 mild white fish fillets cut into 3" fingers
olive oil spray
lemon wedges for serving

Preheat the oven 450. Line baking sheet with parchement and set aside.

Whisk together the Vegenaise and mustards. In a separate bowl, whisk the bread crumbs, Old Bay, and salt. Coat the fish fingers with the mustard mixture, then dredget them in the bread crumb mixture, tapping off any excess. Lay the fish fingers on the baking sheet. Spray lightly with spray, turn fish fingers, and lightly spray the other side. Bake for 8 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil for 1-2 minutes, just to get the fish fingers nice and brown. 

One of my favorite aspects of the book is that in the back she has menu plans for elimination (cleansing), body building, families, and generally healthy eating. I'm trying a few recipes this week and if it's as good as I think it is then, it will be a purchased book, which is rare. 

09 April 2013

Simple Woman's Daybook




Visit The Simple Woman for more Daybook's

FOR TODAY

Outside my window... Spring has definitely arrived in Georgia! The trees are budding. Birds are singing me songs. Pollen has covered my entire car. (Yesterday I had my iPhone out as I was in the car with the windows down and within minutes my phone was covered!) The temperatures are warming quite quickly.

I am thinking... about how this is the first day I've had a few hours to myself in weeks...it's a nice change. :)

I am thankful... Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee. 6:25 came a little too soon this morning!

In the kitchen... Funfetti cupcakes, Blueberry salad, and I just had a Chobani greek yogurt with Nature's Path Granola for breakfast. I'm making the children pizza for lunch this afternoon. Dinner will be chicken pot pie and salad. Of course the cupcakes & blueberry salad too.

I am wearing... LL Bean navy with cream stripes sailor shirt and navy jersey skirt, pearls, and J. Crew flip flops that are cream with navy anchors, wedding band, and charm bracelet.  

I am creating... sketches of some spring dresses that I would love to make.

I am going... to pick up the teenagers from their respective locations, Publix (bread is BOGO!), library, post office, and Michaels.

I am wondering... so many things...why 3 powerful women died this week (beloved Lilly Pulitzer, the Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher, and Disney's Annette Funnicello), will we go to war again with North Korea, schooling for the kids, etc. 

I am reading... The Happy Herbivore and Being Dead isn't an Excuse.

I am hoping... to have direction on my career path.

I am learning... in homeschool we are studying sentence diagramming in Grammar, writing paragraphs correctly, and studying Europe in Geography. 

Around the house... continued spring cleaning. It isn't going as fast as I'd like, but our weather has been erratic so it has been delayed a few days. I need to clean the children's closet then I can finish the baseboards. I'm hoping a child will need money so I can have them do the boards like they did the windows. :)

I am pondering... what life must be like for the birds outside of my window.

A favorite quote for today... “I'm only a housewife, I'm afraid." How often do we hear this shocking admission. I'm afraid when I hear it I feel very angry indeed. Only a housewife: only a practitioner of one of the two most noble professions (the other one is that of a farmer); only the mistress of a huge battery of high and varied skills and custodian of civilization itself. Only a typist, perhaps! Only a company director, or a nuclear physicist; only a barrister; only the President! When a woman says she is a housewife she should say it with the utmost pride, for there is nothing higher on this planet to which she could aspire.” ― John SeymourForgotten Household Crafts

One of my favorite things... Listening to Podcasts.

A few plans: finish spring cleaning, focus on getting back into our routines from spring break, continue workouts, pray about what to do next, and enjoy my family!

Photo of my day: These are the Funfetti cupcakes I made on Sunday.





05 April 2013

Sinful Chocolate Cake

My husband told me that he didn't want any desserts this year for his birthday. That's nonsense!  I told him that just because he didn't want cake doesn't mean the rest of us should miss out, even those of us, namely me, that are looking a little too Nigella-esque (old Nigella, not new and improved Nigella) as I am back on crutches and eat little more than Jello Pudding made with whole milk. I digress. We wanted cake to go with the Trader Joe's ice cream that we purchased. So, I made everyone, sans husband, their favorite cake, Sinful Chocolate Cake. My friend Rebecca gave me this recipe several years ago and it is always a moist, chocolatey, hit.

Sinful Double Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer bowl) add:

2 C all purpose flour
1 C sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp cocoa
1 C mayonnaise
1 C water
2 tsp vanilla (I prefer vanilla with bourbon from Trader Joe's)

Combined until well incorporated and mostly smooth, but there will be some small lumps. Place in a greased 13x9. Put in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. In the meantime make the icing.

Icing

1 stick of butter
1.25 C milk
1.25 C cocoa
1 C sugar

Add all ingredients to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, while continuously stirring. Boil for 1 minute.

When cake is finished baking, poke holes in it with a wooden spoon handle. Pour the icing on top of the cake. Put a bag of whatever chocolate chips you have on hand on top of the icing. Allow to harden and cool for minimum of 30 minutes. You can do it. I promise it's worth the wait! Then ENJOY! (I had mine with moose track ice cream.)

04 April 2013

Made in the South

"Southern girls are God's gift to the male population. There is no woman finer than those raised below the Mason-Dixon Line, and once you go Southern, Lord help you, you never go back."-Kenny Chesney

01 April 2013

Mornings with Martha

In a marketing class in college I did a presentation on Martha Stewart. Why you ask? I learned everything domestic from Stewart. Seriously. I never learned how to do any cooking, laundering, and little cleaning. It was sad. Every time my parents mentioned cooking I was all, I'll hire someone. Well, that didn't work out. In college I remember calling a friend and asking how to make a hamburger. Sometimes I wonder if I should have learned to cook as I was skinny back then! ;)

When I was married & pregnant, I had severe morning sickness and this is when I found Martha. What a blessing she was to this non domesticated Mother to be! I would lay on the couch watching Martha Stewart Living absolutely dying with my bucket beside me and soaking in every single word from Martha. My family lives 400 miles away so they could only be of so much help. Martha was my mentor for what would be the rest of my days.

Martha taught me to boil eggs, stack a dishwasher correctly, have a container garden, make a craft for every season, and the best, fold a fitted sheet:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-a2FR1iwqg

I've enjoyed Martha Stewart Cooking School on PBS, and hope they air her old shows as well.

Who taught you domestic skills?

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