Saturday, February 20, 2010

Wardrobe Challenge Days 38-40 & Come Together Now

January 12th.

That's when the earthquake struck Haiti.

The news reports have lessened, marathon fundraising has stopped. Not much publicity now unless you look for it.

But the people there are still struggling, still not knowing where their loved ones may be buried, and still trying to make it to tomorrow.

Just a sobering reminder of why I'm doing this silly Wardrobe Challenge at all.

is the flower placement here totally corny?

I'm coming up to the very end of my tops. Sunday I even wore my tube top and shorts as it was a toasty 57 degrees on my balcony! (Ok, without any wind and in the shelter of the patio it was much warmer...)

I do have to admit something, though. I may have cycled through all my dresses and pants once, but 'round about last Thursday I desperately needed to wear a pair of jeans and I caved. I still am trying to mix it up and wear more than just jeans, but I kinda sorta gave up on that part. I'm almost through all my tops anyways and was almost through my pants again as well...cut me some slack I'm not wearing all my slacks? :-)

On another note, I have to retract a statement. On Sunday I admonished you to purchase an online album from iTunes known as Hope For Haiti Now.

Well, I bought it, and all I have to say is save your poor ears and just donate $8 to the Red Cross. It is not worth $8 and I am just chalking it up as pure donation.

All of these were recorded live, and maybe I should blame the sound techs for not having the monitors loud enough, but it seemed everyone was flat! The whole thing is just not enjoyable to listen to...just wanted to give you an honest report. You may love does have a lot of big name artists, but for me I would rather have dropped the money in a Salvation Army bucket.

Roy knows how to "hug" now...

more flower goodness

In regards to the play we went to see last Friday, all I can say is with live theatre you win some and you lose some and you REALLY lose some. This production falls in the last category.

I was coming-out-of-my-skin excited to see this play. I have all the songs memorized and couldn't WAIT to see it brought to life! Sadly, every actor was lacking any luster of life at all. There was no made me tired just watching them drag their feet around the stage and half-heartedly singing their songs.

Quietly singing, I might add. Their microphones were turned down so low, and that coupled with their lack of diction and projection made for an evening of us straining to hear what they were saying. By the end of the first number I was giving Matt the "I'm SO sorry for dragging you here!" look! I kept pleading with him, "Can you at least see the potential???" I think he nodded just to get me quiet since it was hard enough to hear the actors...

Well, the play may have been a bust but the dinner prior to that was outstanding. Do you know that cheese and I are good friends? Yes. Good, good friends who love each other. I love the way it tastes in my mouth and cheese loves the way it gets to hang around forever on my backside. Bosom buddies, you could say.

Well Matt and I started with the cheese plate. Oh heavens. When they brought out the wedges and dollops I thought there was no WAY we could eat all that cheese. Haha, what did I just say?

I wish I could remember their exact names and origins but I don't remember anything excepted the exceptional way they were each paired with something unique...goat cheese and raw apples, some sort of aged cheese with candied hazelnuts, a chalky strong smelling cheese paired with a sweet pear was like being a kid and discovering something new with each bite and getting way too excited about it!

We kept shoving bites in each other's faces--"try the blue cheese with THIS!!! Okay, take a bite of that then a sip of THIS!!!" Explosions of taste played on our palettes and I felt almost dizzy from the thrill of it all!

I know right now most of you are probably laughing that someone could get so excited over a cheese plate but I don't care! Matt was right there with me so I know I'm not the only one a little kooky over cheese!

My dinner was pork over mashed yams with poached pears and was good, but Matt's dinner--the pan-roasted chicken, was out of this world! Really, nowadays you don't come to expect much from chicken. But having tried a few of Julia Child's recipes and now THIS delectable dinner? Chicken is the new beef, I declare!

Moving on.

The beer was great too.

Really moving on this time.

Sunday brought another deliciously sunny and warm day. Far too wonderful to spend it inside! Matt's co-worker John and his dog Cooper came over and we all piled up in my car and headed off to the dog park.

Cooper is a chill dog. Excited but not spastically obnoxiously excited (but of course I'm not talking about Roy). Happy to see you without being attached at the hip (Roy isn't like that either, of course). Who am I kidding? Roy was the picture of absolute maniacal excitement next to Coop's cool composure.

Roy isn't great at sharing.

Somehow I was in the backseat with the dogs (ok I volunteered) and while Cooper kept my company sitting right next to me the whole way Roy didn't stop pacing for a second. Oftentimes pacing right on my poor thighs which now have a number of bruises on them...he does way upwards of 80 lbs...

Roy is thanking John for bringing Cooper. Meanwhile Cooper has wedged himself inbetween the front seats.

The men and their dogs...

Disclaimer: I did get permission to print photos of John and Cooper and when I become rich and famous I'm sure they'll line up to collect their share...

And for Day 39...

It had been a long day...

Monday morning...Day 40! Can you believe I've gone this far! You saw the pics of my closet on Day 1...just one side is tops! Well here it is getting tired of the smiling and posing pics again...

Today's Charity Spotlight goes (definitely not to Hope for Haiti Now), but is just one song on iTunes and is what I think my mom was talking about when she first mentioned something on iTunes for Haiti.

The song is called Come Together Now (Music City Unites for Haiti) and even though I'm not the biggest Christian music fan out there, this one is worth the $1.29. Its a collaboration of over 100 artists but the only one I needed to see what that redhead front and center--Wynonna Judd. I've been a fan of hers since I was in the third grade and my mom bought her self titled tape casette (remember those) and my dad came home to find us all dancing on the coffee table...

Back to the song. Begins a little Christianese, if ya know what I mean, but the chorus grabs you. Here's an article that explains more about it, but for being only $1.29 I thought it was worth the buy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 33-37 & Hope For Haiti Now

Quick Recap on The Challenge: I came home with a new shirt one night to realize I had PLENTY of shirts hanging in my closet. As a result, I wanted to go as long as possible without recycling one top, and each day I could do that I would make a donation to a charity helping in Haiti, and highlight the charity or fundraiser here on my blog.

Spring is a comin' here in Seattle. A couple of weeks ago I saw the first crocuses poking up through the mud. Then, seemingly overnight, the cherry trees blossomed into pink oblivion and daffodils bloomed and the tulips are budding.

I love being somewhere where I can see the change of the seasons, even though it feels like we didn't really get a winter compared with last years' snow and ice nightmare. Except for a week in December temperatures have stayed pretty warm, and my studded tires have definitely not been needed as of yet.

I've got this itching to get up in the mountains and see spring announcing itself there. Yesterday morning when I took Roy out everything was bright and quiet. The wind was blowing and it sounded like a friend standing behind you playfully boxing your ears. It made me want to turn around and chase it, giggling.

On another note, Thursday was Matt's birthday! Happy Birthday Matt! He's a whopping 27 years old now!

For my Valentine'd Day present Matt got me tickets tot he musical "Company." This will be Matt's first Sondheim musical...I, on the other hand, was taken by my mom to see "Into The Woods" when I was 6 years old. That play is about what happens in fairy tales AFTER the "happily ever after." I don't actually remember it, but apparently the wolf was entirely anatomically correct. I got culture young, baby. (And not complaining, Mom!)

Day 33.

Heater was broken in the office and a sweater was needed.

Also needed: Blue Steel facial expression.

Day 34

She's gone country, look at them boots, she's gone country, back to her roots...

I hear that song in my head every time I wear this shirt...even though its a technical quick-drying shirt from North Face.

My vacuum cleaner made a cameo appearance as well.

Day 35

I got sick of these boring stand and smile photos so I thought I'd show you how high I can jump.  Only I didn't set the camera low enough so it just looks like I'm making a silly face.  Guess I can't jump that high after all...

Oh, random side note: this is the Valentine's Day card I got for Matt. Being bored was the reason I never dated anyone longer than 3 months before I met Matt...I just flat out got bored with 'em! Matt? He's always kept me interested :-)

The actual day of Matt's birthday I was a bit under the weather and headed into work late...and forgot to take a picture. Well, Matt took a picture of me making roasted potatoes and garlic for dinner that night and it wasn't the most flattering one...

Day 37.

The day of many outfits.

Off to work I went for the morning...

Outfit #2.
I was off work early and headed home to celebrate Matt's birthday. While waiting for Matt to decide what he wanted to do Roy and I soaked in some rays on the balcony...

Outfit #3

We went for a two hour walk around Queen Anne and it was so warm I donned a tank top! I did get a few furrowed brow was 52 degrees out but in the sun it felt so warm! Didn't get a pic of me during the walk, but here are my boys...

And Outfit #4

Off to the theater!

We went to The Stumbling Goat Bistro for dinner (wow, sooo delish!), and then went to see the musical Company. 

More on that later, but at least dinner was great!

Today's charity spotlight goes to an album, actually. Hope For Haiti Now is available on iTunes and all the proceeds go to a whole slew of nonprofits, including the Red Cross. 

Seeing as you get 20 songs for $7.99, its a good deal even if the proceeds weren't for charity!

You can download it HERE

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Challenge Days 28-33 & St. Boniface Haiti Foundation

No, I have not given up on the Challenge.

Yes, this is beginning to get a bit old.

And yes, I do have a lot more clothes than I realized. Just one closetful has produced 34 days so far! You saw the pictures on Day 1...only one side of my closet has didn't look like that many!

But lo and behold, here we are. Today will be Day 35, and I'm preparing myself for interesting combinations. I spent half an hour this morning trying to make this summery tank work with these wintery gray pants. I gave up on that one...the tank will have to wait for a round of jeans, I think.

Here's a crash course of pictures:

Day 28

My favorite thing about this picture is the way Roy's ears make him look like a bat. I've got an armful of all hit toys stuffed with hidden treats to keep him busy while we're at work...he doesn't mind us going to work so much now.

Day 29 I forgot to take a picture which is a shame since I like my outfit that day. Professional chic. But you'll have to take my word for it.

Day 30...again Roy with the Bat Dog ears.

Bat Dog...doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo BAT dog! (Ok, that was the old Batman theme in case you didn't catch that)

Oh, and this was the day that I threw on these big ugly boots I wear to take Roy out when its raining...and forgot to take them off when I went to work. The combination of the hat, sweater, and boots led a coworker to call me the Bolshevik.


Day 31 was Saturday, and I threw on something semi-respectable since we went to look at an apartment in Issaquah (we're probably going to move soon).

No luck with the apartment...or taking a picture for that matter.

Day 32.

Ah Valentine's Day.

The day where most men are guilted into roses and chocolates and women are guilted into wearing lingerie. Just kidding. Maybe.

I'm not a big Valentine's Day fan as I think its hyped up, but there's never a bad reason to tell my Matt I love him, or eat a nice dinner, or look nice for that matter.

I originally had the table set and ready for dinner (I cheated and got a gourmet organic frozen dinner from a little place called Eat Local...40 minutes in the oven and we had superb Beef Wellington!). The Olympics are going on, in case you haven't noticed, and I planned on watching the figure skating at 7 (when they claimed they would show it) and when Matt would still be at work or walking Roy. Then we could enjoy a nice dinner.

NBC had other plans. They stretched the figure skating from 8 until nearly midnight! To show what a good sport he is, Matt let me move the dinner to the coffee table and we spent Valentine's Day watching pairs figure skating. That's love.

I thought I'd give him something nice to look at since he was having to put up with triple axles and all that jazz.

Today's Charity Spotlight goes to Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation.

Their mission reads:

Founded in 1983, the Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation's primary mission is to provide health care to the poor of Haiti in the rural area of Fond Des Blancs and the surrounding region. This is done through the Saint Boniface Hospital, work retreats, and other projects. The secondary mission is to improve the quality of life in the Haitian community through educational programs and humanitarian aid. The final mission is to raise awareness in the United States of the extreme poverty endured by the Haitian people. In the past year approximately 50,000 patients were seen at the Saint Boniface Hospital.

Since the earthquake over a month ago (can you believe its been that long?), they have worked with other organizations to get supplies for the hospital, which is currently still full. It was far enough from the epicenter to avoid any structural damage, though some of their other buildings did sustain some damage.

To donate to the Saint Boniface Haiti Foundation, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wardrobe Challenge Days 26,27 & Mission Aviation

First off I'm sure you're getting a bit tired of just seeing boring ole' pics of me in my various concoctions of outfits. Frankly I am too.

So here's a little break from the norm and a highlight of, not exactly a charity, but a product that my mom got as a stocking stuffer for me this last Christmas.

Yes, ladies and gents. Certified 100% pure chicken poop. Actually its lip balm and as it says on the tube in small print "CONTAINS NO POOP."

That's such a funny word, poop. See? Even you're smiling now.

Poop. Poop. Poop.

Haha, I'm crackin' myself up over here.

Their explanation for the name of this lip balm is:
Grandpa says:If ya got dry lips put chicken poop on 'em so ya won't lick 'em.

There's even a website:

Funny stuff, I gotta say. And darn good chap stick, too.

Secondly, you know what I forgot to tell you about? My early morning trip with Roy to drop Matt off at the airport. Gong!

Matt flew out early Saturday morning to go to San Francisco for a wedding and needed to be at the airport around 7ish. At the airport we said our goodbye and I told him I would hold Roy’s leash while he opened up the back of my 4Runner to get his bag.

In my pre-coffee haze, my thought process was I’ll get in the driver’s seat and then turn around to hold Roy.

Only it didn’t take Matt that long to walk from the driver’s door to the back…

I was halfway to the driver’s seat when I hear the rear door open and Matt go “Woops!” I realized what happened, gave a little yell and turned to see Roy halfway out of the car and Matt holding Roy like a linebacker holding off a charge. With superhuman strength, Matt shoved Roy back into the car and I grabbed his collar. Matt waved goodbye, I buckled in and drove away.

Then the real fun began.

Roy was jumping from the back seat to the rear of the car and whining like a maniac as he watched us pull away from Matt. Then his leash got caught in between the seats and in his state of panic he turned ‘round and ‘round, effectively hog-tying himself. When he could turn no more he gave a pathetic “Harumph!” and literally fell over sideways onto the seat.

If you think I’m some horrible mother for letting him do this without trying to help, I was actually merging from one freeway to another and still trying to get him to untie with my free hand. He was pulled so tight, though, that I couldn’t even unlatch his leash from his choke chain. Poor baby.

After he flopped over he began chewing on his leash in an attempt to free himself. An exit finally appeared and I pulled over and let him loose, whereupon he immediately crawled in the front seat and tried to deposit himself in my lap. We compromised and I let him lay in the front seat with his head on my lap and one paw on my leg…he’s a touchy-feely kinda guy.

Feeling sorry for my Roy Boy, I decided to take him to the dog park to blow off some steam.

My reasons were as follows:
1. It was still early and there probably wouldn’t be many dogs.
2. It hadn’t rained much in the past few days so it wouldn’t be muddy.
3. If it was a bit muddy, I had a towel in the backseat.

People, never trust my reasons before I’ve had my first cup of coffee.

First off there were dogs there, which launches Roy into his insane-crazy-hyper dog mode.

Second, there was a good four inches of mud.

Dismissing the mud because of the aforementioned towel I let Roy romp away. When it was time to go, though, I discovered that I did not, indeed, have a towel.

And when I opened the passenger door to look for one Roy bounded up without an invitation…leaving my seats soaked in mud.

I did manage to scrounge up some paper towels and got the majority of the gunk off his feet, but if you’re in the area and I offer you a ride, you may want to ask if I’ve had my car cleaned recently.

We returned home where after a game of fetch and tug-o-war and a big breakfast, Roy promptly passed out.

It was 9:00 am.

Here's Day glad to be back in a pair of blue jeans! It seemed like forever!!!

I look awfully proud, don't I? Hmm.

And here's yesterday, Day 27. Once again forgot to take a pic at home but snapped one in the car with my phone on the way to work. My favorite part about this whole outfit were the yellow plastic rose stud earrings. Love 'em.

Thanks again to Abbey Ludwig for more charities! Today's spotlight goes to Mission Aviation Fellowship.

Their Mission Statement reads:

Sharing the love of Jesus Christ through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed.

Click here button to watch Transforming Lives, a short video about the ministry of MAF

Serving 1,000 Christian and Humanitarian Organizations Through …

A fleet of 55 aircraft flying some 2.59 million miles each year in the remote regions of the world.
More Info...

Communications and Information Technology
Communications services to isolated areas worldwide, including email, HF/VHF radios, VSAT broadband Internet access, and networking solutions.
More Info...

Learning Technologies
Strategic distance learning tools and support to help meet the critical need for trained Christian leadership in developing countries.
More Info...

In Haiti, MAF has established a satellite communications center at the Port-au-Prince airport, allowing relief agencies to effectively communicate with those in and outside of Haiti. The MAF hangar has become a logistics point for aid organizations bringing food, water, medicines, and other relief supplies into this devastated country. MAF relief flights transport teams of medical and relief workers to remote areas.

To donate to Mission Aviation Fellowship, click HERE.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Challenge Days 23-25 & Samaritan's Purse

Y'all might be wondering how my man is faring through all this Wardrobe Challenge stuff.

Well, he's felt the need to step up his dress attire from REI's uniform of technical shirts and windproof pants.

I love the barefoot look + the short tie. Nice combo.

I'm just kidding, y'all. Matt hasn't crossed over to the corporate look, he was just getting his clothes together for a wedding.

I almost said outfit, but no man wants to be told he's wearing an outfit. Am I right?

Anyways, this picture was really taken for Ammah because two years ago when we were going to a wedding every other weekend Matt had no dress pants that fit him well. Then for a birthday (or Christmas or something), Ammah got him a nice pair of slacks...that still didn't fit. She made us solemnly swear we would replace them with a pair that fit nice. So over a year ago we did. And until then that pair has hung in the closet with the tags still attached.

Until now.

So Ammah, be happy. Matt is wearing pants that actually fit.

And on that note congrats to our friend Paul Fazzio who tied the knot last Saturday!

On another note, here's the latest look from the other male in my life. Yes, my Roy Boy. Matt was snapping one of the Wardrobe Challenge shots for me and couldn't resist taking this of Roy who was sitting so nicely.

I think he was expecting treats to pop out of the camera or something.

So here's Day 23--last Friday, that is. I keep finding skirts stuck waaaay in the back of the closet. I think this may be this skirt's final hour, though. This was originally one of those cheap, Forever 21 skirts that I got for my Africa trip. Though it has served me well I think its lasted one season too long and is beginning to pill and the belt is falling apart. But you can't tell from the picture, right?

And I was getting a bit tired of the plain old black/grey combo. It needed some life and color.

Enter cheapie fun flats.

Those boxes in the background? Christmas decorations. Yup. They were still waiting to be put away...thanks for doing that last night, honey!

Saturday, Day 24, I meant to take a before and after picture of my haircut.

Do you know that other than my haircut from the fabulous Michelle Talbott (click HERE to see her website, she listens to what you want and does a fantastic job!), every single hair cut I've gotten in the past FOUR years they have straight ironed my hair?!

EVERY S.I.N.G.L.E. one.
No matter what I say at the beginning, "I don't flat iron my hair. I will never flat iron my hair. Do not flat iron my hair. Do not cut it so it only looks good flat ironed..." they always always always finish with the flat iron!

And they say in this condescending tone, "It really isn't that hard and won't take that long!" as they whip out the iron and proceed to spend 40 minutes making my hair look lifeless and like a rat chewed on the ends.

I'm having deja vu...have I blogged about this before?

Well, anyways, I had this whole speech lined up and was prepared to walk out of the salon should I see one more beautician whip out a flat iron. Luckily my stylist acutally listened to me and stayed far away from that limp-hair-inducing tool. I think she was new because she kept scraping my ear with the comb and burned my forehead with the blow dryer, but she was meticulous in the cutting and I think it looks pretty good. Not as good as yours, Michelle, of course.

Needless to say I forgot to take either a before OR after picture. That's what happens when Matt goes out of town. I lose my mind and forget to take pictures and go shopping and buy shoes and stay up way too late.

Oh wait, I do that anyways.

So this is Day 25 Version 1. I thought we were going to church after I picked Matt up from the airport and we were too late for the first service so we went home and made breakfast. Then looked up and were too late for the second service. Oh well, one more dress down!

And this was for the Superbowl party. As you can see, I was rooting for the Colts but really it was a win-win situation since the Saints had never been and Katrina and all that other heart warming stuff about them. I still like Peyton, though.

And with that outfit (actually the one before since these are actually yoga pants. Stretchy pants are a must for parties where you expect to fill up on beer, chips and pizza), thus endeth round one of the pants/skirts cycle.

I can wear my blue jeans again! Hooray!

Wow, this is a long one.

Spotlight today goes once again to Samaritan's Purse. I know I did them Day 2 but my friend Abbey reminded me about them again with this quote:

The cost of just one Superbowl ad slot could provide daily clean water for 167,000 families in Haiti. Sobering!

And that's worth mentioning again.

Click HERE to donate to Samaritan's Purse.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wardrobe Challenge Days 20-22 & Booooooom Auction

Once again I ran out the door forgetting to snap a picture of the outfit of the day.

Its getting down to the bare bones, ladies and gents. There are a few things that are just too light and summery to do when its 45 degrees outside...those are in the spare room closet anyways so out of sight out of mind, right? That said I'm drawing close to finishing my first round of "bottoms."

Anyways, when I got home Tuesday evening I asked Matt to snap a pic of me and the Roy Boy for a post. Roy was on the couch with me, way over-excited that I was home (isn't that a great feeling?), and I took the camera from Matt and was scrolling through the pics.

Deciding to try a self portriat I held the camera at arm's length and said Roy's name to get him to look at the camera.

He did this instead.

A big slobbery kiss right in the ear!

Gotta love dogs, right? You don't see that kind of affection from a cat.

Day 21 was the day of my last pair of jeans. I've held onto them until the end...they're my favorites. With heels and a blazer I felt 20 pounds they say on What Not To Wear, "structured jacket, straight leg jeans and pointy toed heels are all you need!"

And all God's children said "amen."

I'm running out of posing options, can you tell? I mean, did you really want to see me brushing my teeth?


Too bad.

That night I came home to find Roy had reached a new low.

Now, its been awhile since he really chewed anything up and we're good not to leave any books or magazines within easy grabbing...those being his guilty pleasures and all.

That dog pulled two books out of the bookcase. I don't know how he did it without disturbing the rest of them but, dexterous as he is, he got them.

One was just a pamphlet (extra papery, his favorite), and the other was Dave Ramsey's book that kicked us off on the No Spend Month in July.

Roy hasn't gotten quite as many treats or goodies since then...I think this might be his way of telling us he doesn't like the new budget.

Anyways, after yelling at him until he was sufficiently sorry and taking up the respectable amount of silent treatment I went to work wearing him out for the next day so there wouldn't be a repeat.

Oh, and I moved the bookshelf into the living room to avoid future displays of rebellion (in the form of eating books, at least).

After indoor fetch, a half hour of training and playing "Find It" (I make him stay in one part of the house, hide a treat in the other and say "find it!" and he sniffs it out), we ventured into the rain for a looong hour walk. Up and down many hills.

Then I made him work for his dinner by putting it in his Buddy Ball that he has to knock around to get the food out. By the time he was done he plopped down by my feet and passed out. And guess what? No torn books the next day!

I swear that dog has PMS or something and just goes a little haywire every now and then!

On to Day 22.

Only skirts left, now. This one I was putting off...another hippie one. But browsing through some of the Spring 2010 runway looks it seems the little house on the prairie look is back in style.

What I'm grateful for about this challenge is that it reminds me why I have certain things. After wearing this skirt I vowed to wear it more often...something about having a skirt swishing around my ankles makes me kinda happy.

Charity spotlight today is actually a big different. I first heard about it from Daily Candy's emails that get sent out. Its an art fundraiser online through Booooooom. Artists have donated some of their works and the proceeds all go towards Haiti. More specifially it links to Google's relief page for Haiti and the proceeds go either towards UNICEF or CARE (artist's choosing, I believe).

Some of these may already be sold but I thought they were rather nifty and wanted to give you a sample of some of the work being sold.

I don't know why I like that last one so much. Its called "Gullshrooms." hee hee.

Anyways, you can go online to to see the other pieces of art and maybe get a piece of art in exchange for your donation!

Coming up: the end of my first round of pants/skirts and a return to beloved blue jeans!