Dressember 30: Life's a beach

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 2:10 PM


If there is a way to choose the order in which my pictures show up in the Blogger app, I haven't yet found it.

Yesterday, That Guy I Married was "Rob" on our vacation. So he was golfing all afternoon, and I knew these kids had to get to the beach on this trip. Since I didn't know what else to do with them, I loaded them on the downtown-waterfront shuttle and let them play in the sand and surf for a couple of hours.

I was scared. I was pretty sure it was a bad idea. One of me, three of them, plus the Treacherous Ocean Currents.

But it went perfectly. We had a lovely time, and they were much less trouble at the beach than they are contained in a house. Their energy levels are just much better suited to the great outdoors!

So I present to you, in no particular order:

Devlin building an elaborate trench-and-retaining-wall system

Iris looking mischievous

Eve playing very happily approximately a mile away from the water line

All three kids in one frame: Devlin and Iris frolicking in the waves and throwing rocks, and Eve screeching in terror every time the water came in contact with anyone's toes

The seagulls, which Eve called "eagles"

Three kids and their treats outside the Anderson bakery on State Street, which is where I have spent more money than any other establishment in Santa Barbara. I thought we all earned a yummy reward on the way home from our successful beach trip!

My Dressember outfit, which we not a dress, because I was at the beach alone with three children. I was dressed for action! And on day 3 with no shower. Yay hats.

Hat: Banana Republic, thrifted
Cardigan: Anthro
Striped top: Bailey 44, Anthro
Bracelet: So Good Jewelry
Pants: Level 99, Anthro
Flip flops, not pictured: OluKai

Dressember 29: Supah Cazh

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 4:14 PM


I don't know. How do you spell the shortening of "casual?" I'm completely at a loss.

Today, I was "in charge" in Santa Barbara, along with my sister. This meant the day began with a yoga class, then moved on to a visit to Yves Delorme for tea towel shopping, Indian buffet for lunch, and a lot of walking outside.

And a chocolate croissant to replenish my energy.

Earrings: So Good Jewelry
Cardigan: Target via a clothing swap
Top: Talbots (yes, I also wore it yesterday. Very efficient).
Bracelet: Urban Yoga boutique
Skirt: Anthropologie
Shoes: Converse

Dressember 28: Mixing patterns 401

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 at 12:42 PM


So I bought this skirt yesterday (50% off the sale price!) and I challenged myself to wear it on this trip, using only the items I brought with me.

What do you think? This spotted top probably wouldn't have been the very first thing I tried if I had access to my entire closet, but out of what I had to work with, it was the clear winner.

I like it, and I decided to double down on the crazy print thing and throw on the zebra belt. Why not? I don't know any of these people!

Earrings: So Good Jewelry
Cardigan: Anthro
Top: Talbot's
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: Anthro
Tights: Last Chance
Shoes: Exchange by Charles David, also from Last Chance

Dressember 27: Arriving somewhere but not here

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 4:20 PM


I didn't quite get around to the Christmas post yet, obviously.

And now I'm in Santa Barbara for the week, trying very hard to enjoy the beautiful scenery, wear some cute clothes, avoid making a single bed, and bonus points for keeping some or all of my children from being run over or drowned.

So it's not happening until next week. But trust me, Christmas was beautiful. Devlin says his top four gifts were Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (which he is too scared to watch for more than a few seconds), his Pillow Pet, his electric toothbrush, and his wind-up robot that walks to the edge of the table and then changes direction.

I think we should get the boy a Roomba.

Today's outfit:
Earrings: Target via Aunt Holly
Bracelet: So Good Jewelry (when you're here in SB you really have to check it out - its like being inside a disco ball)
Gray cashmere sweater: thrifted
Cream tee underneath: Downeast Basics
Skirt: Banana Republic
Socks: Target
Boots: Report

Dressember 25: Just the facts

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM


No, I am not only going to post about what I wore on Christmas. Christmas is for the children, silly! I will be back later tonight, when we have finished part three of our ongoing festivities (our immediate family, my family, and his family) and I have pictures of everything.

But for now, allow me to present my Very Last Dress, the only one in my possession that I haven't yet worn. I showed up to my parent's house (after we opened our own presents) at 9 am this morning in this getup, thank you very much, because that was just what had to happen so we could go straight back to our church choir rehearsal (I'm the pianist) and services at 11.

So I figured as long as I was there and dressed, I might as well document it, so that I could come straight home and change into my pajamas and have a proper lazy Christmas like a normal person!

And good grief, are my legs really that color? Why didn't someone tell me?!

Earrings: Target

Sequin bolero: thrifted for $5, people! I love the little bohemian ruffle detail, makes it very "me". It had a shoestring tie, but I cut it off and added a hook and eye because I thought it looked tidier that way.

Dress: Adrianna Papell, Nordstrom Rack

Watch: Kenneth Cole

Shoes: Steve Madden. I thrifted these as a teenager - less than 15 years ago, but more than 10. If you look up close they do show their age, but I mostly just don't look close.

Dressember 24: Christmas Eve

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 10:17 PM


At the 11th Annual Dalton-Dixon Christmas Eve Extravaganza (see my festive red and green?) I've worn it all before, but I haven't worn it all *together* before - that's the key!

The party was absolutely lovely, in case you were wondering. (Almost) all of my favorite people were there. I am so blessed to have my family! There really is nothing else that matters much at all.

I really think I'm starting to see a little bit of extra muscle in my legs from the running - I'm so excited for this!

Earrings: seen 'em - they're small and gold, what can I say? I think maybe i need some new ones.
Top: Anthropologie
Skirt: Banana Republic
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Belt: Anthropologie
Shoes: Michael Kors

Then we came home and opened our traditional Christmas Eve jammies (would you believe I found a ballet dancing pig set for Eve?)

Then we put the kids down as quickly as humanly possible, because we still had a LOT of wrapping to do. More than wrapping, actually - I had some finishing touches for the doll clothes, and David aka "Father of the Year" scrubbed Eve's secondhand bicycle with Simple Green and a toothbrush to get it looking brand-spanking-new.

This year is "brown paper packages tied up with strings" - except Eve's bike, which got the old tried-and-true blanket treatment:

Then Mr. Claus and I made sure that Santa's cookies were duly nibbled, milk drunk, and Rudolph's water tinged pink (from his red nose, obviously).

The trash and recycle bins are emptied so no observant 8-year-olds-who-still-believe-we-THINK-anyway spot the evidence and put two and two together. (He locked himself in his room tonight, I have no idea why. I'm thinking he must still think something magical is going on, though.)

I think something magical is about to happen - my bed is going to feel pretty magical after all this hard work!

Warmest, loveliest, most joyous, magical Christmas to each and every one of you.

Dressember 23: Goes with everything

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 4:04 PM


This top was supposed to be my concert attire for last night. The neckline is very open and wide, so I added some lace to the neckline of an undershirt I already had to fill it in without taking away too much from the beautiful design. I think it works!

Then, just to be fun, I wore these black lace leggings to tie the whole thing together. And yes, I went to the park this morning looking exactly like this. I felt a tiny bit silly in black lace on the kickball field at 10 am, but that's just how it works out sometimes.

Plus, whether tonight's activities involve a nice dinner out, opera tickets, or the Rocky Horror Picture Show, all I will need to change is my shoes!

Sunglasses: Sean John
Earrings: Target
Top: Anthropologie
Lace undershirt: jerryrigged by me
Skirt: Anthro
Lace leggings: Last Chance
Boots: Report

Dressember 22: Sans Photo

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:51 PM


Today, I wore a purple polka dot dress with purple striped over-the-knee socks and my brown boots.

I wore my open green cardigan (sorry, I know you must be so sick of it, but it is just so snuggly) and a scarf my friend Kim made for me.

But between a morning date with friends, a visit to Santa, a couple of hours of sewing, a hundred other errands, feeling sorry for myself because I've lost my voice and won't be able to perform tonight, little daylight and an 8-year-old wobbly photographer, I just don't have the mojo left for a picture.

Maybe tomorrow I'll show you the shirt I spent all afternoon altering in the hopes that I could wear it to the concert?

Dressember 21: The Secret Garden

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 4:00 PM


I've been at the park all morning, and working in the yard all afternoon, so I thought when I finally got dressed at 5 pm, I would don my most favorite, beautiful flower skirt (with pockets!) in honor of this beautiful December day.

I actually don't mind raking leaves a bit - they're a nice, minimally intrusive souvenir of those things other people call "seasons". Since we only have two (Hot and Gorgeous) and the leaves fall in Gorgeous, I am happy to participate.

Earrings: you've seen them
Top, skirt, and belt: Anthropologie (yes, it's one of those days)
Socks: Sock Dreams
Shoes: Miz Mooz

Dressember 20: Grubbies

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 10:11 PM


I was in charge of the craft station at Devlin's third-grade class Christmas party this morning.

In other words, "wear something you wouldn't be heartbroken to get a big Sharpie mark on."

So I present my oldest denim skirt, a bunch of t-shirts, and my least-favorite pair of tights (they're green, but sheer, so it looks like my legs are just green. weird.) I put the sweater on later in the afternoon when tut tut, it looked like rain.

When I was a kid, my best friend was my cousin Caleb. His favorite color was green, and mine was purple, but out of loyalty to each other, we each adopted the other's favorite as our own second-favorite. It kind of stuck, and I still think they look good together.

Earrings: Nordstrom Rack
Purple long-sleeved T (underneath): Jessie May, from this really cute store in downtown Mesa called Closet A La Mode that closed a few years ago
Green short-sleeved T: thrifted
Cardigan: Anthro
Necklace: Target
Green tights: Nordstrom
Purple argyle socks, tragically not visible: Last Chance
Boots: Born

Dressember 19: Love At Home

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 19, 2011 at 6:40 PM


This weekend, Eve went to play at a friend's house.

Her friend, not my friend.

(Usually I am the kind of mom who gets together with my own friends who have children, ostensibly so our offspring can play together, but mostly so I can have at least the promise of adult conversation.)

So it was kind of a big deal to arrange a time specifically so Eve and Rhiannon could roast marshmallows and pretend to be ponies and play in a tent in the backyard.

When I picked Eve up, she miraculously did not protest, and instead made her goodbyes with several rounds of hugs and kisses. When we got to the car, I asked Eve if Rhiannon was her best friend at school.

She put her head to the side. "She is a good friend in my class, but not my best friend at school."

"Is it Ryan then?" I asked, thinking of our next-door neighbors' granddaughter.

"No, not Ryan either. My best friend at school", she said quietly, "is Devlin".

I think I am going to put that one in the bank so it can gather interest, and I can pull it out some time when I need to be reminded that this whole parenting thing is really going to turn out okay in the end.

* * * * *

I am ashamed to even put this next picture in the same post, but a promise is a promise. It's so terrible because I didn't change out of my gym clothes until 4 pm (did you know that as long as you actually do break a sweat at some point in the day, it's totally okay to stay in your yoga attire as long as you want? True story.) By the time I had a spare moment for a photograph, it was pitch dark and I had to take it myself in my filthy mirror while my daughters were (hopefully not drowning) in the bathtub.

(And no, I didn't shower today either. Not that you were probably even wondering at this point. Pretty much unless I announce otherwise with skywriting or a billboard, I didn't shower.)

C'est la vie.

Dressember 19: This is how I like to do black-and-white: with a pop of color (or two, or three).

Earrings: You've seen them twice already. They are still lovely.
Necklace: Target
Top: Banana Republic
Cardigan: Target via a clothing swap, so FREE
Watch: Kenneth Cole (I only have one, it's always on)
Skirt: Anthro
Tights: Spanx
Boots: Report, from Last Chance

Dressember 18: Fake it 'til you make it

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM


Rachel's Daily Epiphany: There may come a point in one's life when "simplifying" by merely not volunteering for things isn't enough. You may find that you have to actively decline when people hunt you down and ask/request/invite you. Even if they're all lovely, worthy, wonderful things.

If you, like me, should realize this after it is too late and you have already said yes to everything - and literally the only thing you have control over is the way you look - then you should definitely wear something that makes you very happy.

It really does help.

(A tiny bit.)

Earrings: no idea
Necklace: Anthropologie
Cardigan: Anthro Cashmere Swing
Top: Anthro Gathering Blossoms
Belt: thrifted
Skirt: Banana Republic
Shoes: Michael Kors

Dressember 17, and an Eve Funny

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM


It's been too long since we had a funny from Eve, don't you think?

Earlier this week, Eve came home wearing clothes that I did not send her to school in. Clothes that don't belong to us, in fact.

This could only mean one thing.

Me: Eve, did you have an accident at school?

Eve: No.

Me: Um, okay. Where did you get those clothes?

Eve: I peed in my pants.

*mystified silence*

(Sounds like "an accident" to me, kiddo.)

Eve: It wasn't an accident though.

*curiouser and curiouser*

Eve: It wasn't one of the times to go to the bathroom, and I knew if I asked, I would get my apple tipped, and I didn't want to get my apple tipped. But I had to go really, really bad. So I peed in my pants.

And there you have it. Each child in her class has an apple, representing their behavior. Poor choices get your apple "tipped", and if it tips too much, it falls off, and then presumably you are in Big Trouble. Eve tipped her apple a couple of times the first week of school, and has solemnly vowed not to ever do it again.

It seems she is very, very serious about that.

(Now, I have since talked to her teacher, and Ms. Etzen is actually very nice, and not in the habit of using small people's bodily functions as punishment against them. Eve has since been informed that if she REALLY REALLY REALLY needs to go, she is free to do so without fear of botanical repercussions.)

And now for Dressember 17 - "Spots and Stripes Day"!

Earrings: a gift from a lovely friend
Cardigan: Maggy London, via Last Chance
Spotty top: Banana Republic
Spotty skirt: Vintage, "made in West Germany", so it's old enough that they had to specify. Pretty cool, I think!
Tights: Last Chance
Booties: J Shoes

Dressember 15: Runner Up

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 15, 2011 at 1:16 PM


That Guy I Married is doing much, much better today, thank you. <3

So well, in fact, that he was able to snap this photo of me wearing a dress that I have been putting off wearing. I saved it for last of all my dresses, because last year it was a component of my favorite Dressember outfit, and I was feeling pressure to top that one this year.

Necklace and earrings: gift from Granhopper
Sweater coat: Anthropologie
Dress: Max and Cleo, via Nordstrom Rack
Tights: DKNY
Shoes: XChange by Charles David, from Last Chance

I don't think I've done it. But I still think it was a good look. I'm really feeling the monochromatic purple legs right now, apparently. They seem to go with everything!

And I'm going to make you a deal right here, right now: with today's offering, I have officially exhausted my supply of dresses (well, I am saving one last showstopper for Christmas Day church attendance). I really don't want to restrict myself to just the clothes I have already worn for the rest of the month, and I think I've already expanded my perception from last year by sticking to true dresses thus far (last year I included skirts from the get-go).

So from here to the end of the month, I will continue the *spirit*
of Dressember, but I will include dresses *and* skirts in my allowable wardrobe options. Okay? Okay.

It's so nice that my blog always agrees with me. Very supportive, this blog.

So, what random trend are you rocking right now? Are purple legs even a trend outside my private domicile, or is that just me?

Day Off

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 at 4:17 PM


I'm taking today off of documenting my Dressember journey. I've got more important things to do today.

Because this guy had surgery this morning to fix the inside of his nose - partly non-functioning because he broke his nose as a young boy, and partly non-functioning due to bad genes.

I sure do love him.

Either way, it didn't work so good. He's looking forward to being able to breathe through it, and perhaps smell things as well.

(He's lucky it wasn't fixed in time for him to smell the patient next to us in recovery defecate in his or her bed. David escaped nausea as a complication of the anesthesia, but my nose works great and I had plenty of stomach churning for both of us over that little incident.)

In the meantime, I'm busy making sure he has enough pillows, popsicles, and Percocet.

See you tomorrow?

Dressember (unlucky) 13

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 10:08 PM


I hate all the photos of today's outfit.

Probably because I hated my outfit.

Earrings: who knows?
Scarf: London souvenir, mmmmm cashmere
Sweater: J. Crew, thrifted
Dress: Target
Tights: Last Chance
Boots: Born

"Hate" is too strong. It was cold and gray and rainy today, and the only dresses I own but haven't yet worn are a) a slinky cocktail dress (yes, I have one more!) and a synthetic jersey dress that also has a very cold feel. I wanted something snuggly, so I thought I would layer over this one and try it a different way.

Spirit of Dressember and all.

But this stupid sweater always makes me feel dumpy. The neckline just does me no favors. Every time I put it on, I feel like it have to break up the vast expanse of horizontal woolen stripes with a necklace, or a scarf. I wanted to give it a fair shot before I alter it, or upcycle it, and I think I've reached the point where I'm ready to move on. Maybe I'll make it into a cardigan?

Or maybe...I'll make it into fingerless gloves!

I made those for the kids out of old felted wool sweaters, and I lined them with, respectively, a Hanna Andersson long john top from Goodwill, and a pair of tights whose waist elastic had given out.

I'm going all Little House On the Prairie on you guys. Next I'll be churning my own butter and weaving hats out of straw left over from the threshing, or whatever.

Anyway, laugh if you want, but they love them (Devlin sleeps in his). I'll tell you this much: making a pair of gloves that Eve will wear without complaint all day is a feat of crafting that anyone should be proud to claim.

P.S. That same Hanna long john top has also been the source material for not one, but TWO hats. And I still have a whole sleeve left to work with!

If you ask very nicely, I might let you take a peek...

Dressember 12:Blue/Orange

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM


When I was 19, I spend a summer studying abroad in the UK and Ireland. While in London, we went to see a play called Blue/Orange, which was a commentary on the nationalized healthcare system there, British classism, racial tensions, etc etc.

I thought the coolest thing about it was seeing Gillian Anderson in the back of the audience. Keep in mind, I was 20, at which time I was not yet very smart. Maybe you fared better than I did.

Anyway, I always did like blue and orange together. This dress was an easy excuse to continue yesterday's theme, and I'm nice and warm because this is my one and only long-sleeved dress.

Earrings: Lia Sophia, thrifted
Sweater coat: Anthropologie
Dress: Boden (this is the dress I was wearing this day, under the coat)
Tights: Spanx, via Last Chance
Booties: J Shoes

Dressember 11: Wild and Crazy

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 1:51 PM


Before I left for church this morning, I had to stop and ask David for a sanity check - because this outfit was feeling like A Lot Going On, even for me.

But I'm feeling fun today, so I'm just rolling with it. Besides, I've got these new completely fabulous shoes, and I am working them into my wardrobe, bit by bit.

Earrings: a gift from Marta, one of our exchange students, when I was probably 12
Necklace: Sora Designs, which I won in a giveaway from this fun blog
Jacket: Anthropologie
Dress: Boden
Tights: Spanx via Last Chance
Shoes: Michael Kors

Yes, indeed, I am feeling like such a Fun Mom today that our dinner plans are eating Lucky Charms and Crunch Berries on the floor in front of a movie, and then eating our gingerbread house which we constructed...yesterday.

I helped, but I honestly think it would have looked better if the kids had done it entirely by themselves. I have no talent for, or interest in, decorating gingerbread houses.

I have to say, it feels very light and refreshing to not have a strong opinion about something! I think maybe I should try it more often.

Dressember 10: Sparkling Saturday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 5:30 PM


Just to dispel some of the mystique that may or may not be forming around me, my wardrobe, and this whole Dressember process:

- I did not wear this outfit to go to Beads Galore, Basha's, the park, or the Dollar Tree today.

- If you look closely, I'm sure you can still see lines on my legs from where my skinny jeans were tucked into my boots until 3 minutes before this photo was taken.

- I did not shower today. Or yesterday. And I went to an insanely sweaty 2-hour yoga workshop last night too, which means I still have all that sweat in my hair at this very moment. I didn't think that through until just now. That is really pretty disgusting.

That said, here is me, posed as if I were on the red carpet (because that is kind of how I felt!) with all my sparkliest sparkly things, standing in front of the Christmas tree just for good measure:

Earrings: So Good Jewelry (in Santa Barbara)
Dress: Ralph Lauren via Ross
Brooch: NY and Company
Shoes: Poetic Licence

Dressember 8 and 9: Two for One

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 8:23 PM


I am way too tired to post anything but outfits today. Maybe tomorrow I'll take pictures of my kids kneeling angelically in front of the Christmas tree praying or something, to make up for an entire straight month of nothing but me-me-me fashion posts!

Dressember 8: some tried-and-true favorites:

Necklace and earrings: gift from Granny D (my mother-in-law)
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Dress: Boden
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Last Chance

Dressember 9: trying this dress a little different way, which I think was very successful:

Earrings: gift from Aunt Holly
Red top: Anthropologie
Dress: Maggy London via Nordstrom Rack
Tights: Spanx (Iris put a huge run in these today, so kiss them goodbye!)
Boot socks: Target
Boots: Last Chance
(piggy watering can: Tuesday Morning!)

A Brief Departure

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 12:35 PM


I ran 6 miles this morning.

(Just let that sink in for a bit. It's still sinking in for me.)

The last time I remember "running", on purpose, before I started this adventure a few months ago, was in ninth grade. We had to run a mile for PE, and I didn't actually think I would die, but I was virtually certain I was going to toss my cookies. My friend Nica insisted that I go to the nurse's office when I finished because my face was so red.

Today, I ran and ran and ran.

I ran through water breaks.

I ran through unfamiliar, rocky terrain.

I ran through a lengthy conversation with first one animal control, then another, then the police department (non-emergency) about a brown lab who had fallen in the canal and needed rescue.

I ran past landmark after landmark where I used to have to stop and walk to catch my breath.

I never thought I could do it.

But I can.

And I know I can do more.

* * * * *

Your free tip for the day is: for an additional, inadvertent arm workout while running, have your child lock the front stroller wheel and try to push it normally. One-handed, while you are on the phone for 20 minutes about the dog in the canal.

Dressember 7: Whirling Wednesday (minus the dress)

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 7:41 PM


Today was Whirling Wednesday for Dressember, which I thoroughly enjoyed last year.

I do love a good twirl, for no reason at all.

But since I do not currently own a dress that is remotely satisfying for whirling purposes, I decided I would wear Eve's pink pettiskirt - for the photo op only, don't get all excited. And I dressed however I pleased for the rest of the day.

Call it cheating if you like.

I documented my (non-dress) outfit this morning for another purpose, and intended to do the big pink Dresember switcharoo in the afternoon sometime.

Then I ran over a GIANT staple on Dobson road. Seriously the biggest staple I have ever seen, like a 10-gauge, 6 inch long staple that would hold shut a crate containing three rabid elephants. And you would not even worry for one second that they would escape.

And the rest of my daylight was pretty much sacrificed resolving that little situation. But now I totally know how to change a tire - and I could do it in a pink pettiskirt, too.

Earrings: a gift from my mom
Scarf: hand-knit by my lovely friend Kim (I seem to have a scarf for every occasion, don't I?)
Cardigan, top, and pants: Anthropologie
Boots: Born

Dressember 6: Won't Get Fooled Again

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 3:32 PM


Yesterday, I froze my fashionable fanny off.

Today, I wised up in wooly goodness.

Sunglasses: Sean John (Rx)
Earrings: a gift from my mom

Scarf: Chico's (I told the sales ladies it was a gift for my grandmother *wink wink*)
Cardigan: Banana Republic
Dress: BCBG Max Azria (my mom just handed this down to me yesterday - for now, it is safety pinned up 2 inches at each shoulder until I get time to take it in. Extra fabric in the top half = story of my life.)
Tights: Last Chance
Socks: Sock Dreams
Boots: Born

Dressember 5: Old Faithful

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, December 5, 2011 at 5:14 PM


I got this dress for Eve's blessing day.

Just as a reminder, Eve will be 6 years old in not so very long.

Because of its flexible fabric and kind and generous cut, this dress was one of the last things I grew out of when I was pregnant, and one of the first items to fit again post-birth.

It has seen a lot of action.

For better or for worse, it still looks brand new, so while I might be sick of the sight of it, it still has a lot of life left, and I resolved to find a new, winterized way to wear it today.

My feet were freezing, but it was worth it.

Earrings: a gift from That Guy I Married, some where in Etsyland
Sweater coat: Anthropologie
Dress: BCBG Max Azria
Brown cami: Shade Clothing
Leggings: Last Chance
Shoes: Steve Madden

Dressember 4: Who Says Red and Purple Don't Match?

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 6:51 PM


Yesterday, my kids were magical, spritely beings, and I was a Mother Goddess.

Today, I'm thinking if they gift me another precious piece piece of artwork, or leaf, or if Devlin asks me one more time, with a roll of his eyes, if I can "make Iris put a sock in it", we're all going to be on the evening news.

My cup floweth over, and it's a little bit more than I can swallow just at the moment.

However, the only photo I have of today is my outfit, which was pretty awesome, so hopefully that will be all I remember.

Turns out I didn't get a shot of the dress under my coat, which I guess means I get to dust it off for some other Dressember day and pretend I haven't worn it yet. Bonus!

Earrings: Nordstrom Rack
Necklace: a gift from this sweet lady
Trench: Banana Republic, thrifted about 15 years ago
Dress That You Can't See: Boden
Tights: DKNY
Shoes: Exchange by Charles David (from Last Chance)

Dressember 3: The Magical Edition

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2011 at 8:12 PM


For Dressember 3rd, I spent the morning at the Desert Marigold School Winter Faire.

I have often said that it is a waste of time to cart your kids all over town to go to a "special" school. Education is what you make it, and I still think a person's home life and their personal commitment and attitude toward learning make more difference than anything else.

But Desert Marigold is the kind of place that makes me seriously rethink that philosophy.

It was amazing. I don't know if any of you locals know anything about this place - it was my first time there - but it has seriously good juju. It's a large, sprawling campus with a ton of beautiful outbuildings, hidden play cottages, a pond, gardens, livestock, and just such a magical feeling.

I'm someone who normally feels content to be in the minority. I just sort of think what I think, and I don't feel weird if everyone else thinks differently. I don't require my friends, or anyone around me, to mirror my beliefs in order to feel comfortable. But spending time at this school this morning, I felt surrounded by kindred spirits, and I have to tell you it was really, really awesome.

I felt like the way I talk to my kids was normal. I felt like the way my kids talk to other adults was normal. All the mothers - not just one or two - caring for their babies the same way I do. The activities were ones I would have chosen myself, the prizes were things I was glad to take home, and the food was food that I would eat in my own home. Everything was so clearly designed to allow children to be their best selves.

It was just...comforting.

So when I saw this big tall stump and thought "that, my friends, is where I am going to take today's Dressember photo", I just hopped right up and handed Dev the camera.

I didn't feel like anyone was staring at me strangely.

I just felt free, and happy, and beautiful.

Hat: Banana Republic, thrifted about 100 years ago
Earrings: a gift from this lovely lady
Scarf: cashmere, another souvenir from London last year (I got THREE scarves. I definitely have a problem.)
Dress and t-shirt: Target
Tights: Last Chance
Boot socks: Target
Boots: Born (yes, I still wear them that much)

Dressember 2: Autumn

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, December 2, 2011 at 1:09 PM


When I was 12, I was obsessed with Color Me Beautiful.

(Who am I kidding, I still kind of am!)

I take those quizzes every time I find a new one, and the same thing always, always, always comes up. No doubt about it: autumn.

When you're colored like me, it's a sure bet that if there are costumes to be distributed, everyone knows who is getting the pea green, poop brown, or pumpkin orange number. And don't get me wrong - I love those colors, and I do look good in them. But there comes a point when a person decides she doesn't want to go through her entire life looking like a suite of 1970's appliances.

So I kind of stayed away from those typical "autumnal" colors for a while.

Then today, I felt like wearing them all at once.

I look, as That Guy I Married would say, "seasonal". I think that's what he says when he wants to say something about my outfit, but isn't quite sure which direction to go.

(I just realized, this very moment, that it looks like I was photographed from a stepladder of a certain height. That is actually just my very tall, wonderful wonderful friend Kim holding the camera!)

Earrings: Target, I think, via Aunt Holly
Scarf: handmade by this amazing, wonderful lady
Cardigan: Anthropologie
Top: Anthropologie
Bracelet: Urban Yoga boutique
Dress, worn as skirt: (I like it, I love it, I bought it at) Ross
Leggings and boot socks not seen, but felt - it was chilly today!
Boots: Born

Dressember 1: The Red and the Black

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 7:17 PM


Les Miz reference, anyone? Anyone?

* * * * *

Right then. Dressember the first. Let's get to it!

To kick things off with a challenge, I wore a dress, and a color combination, that is not really a slam-dunk for me. It was such a lovely cloudy day that I wanted some strong color - and some snuggly layers!

It is hard to take a photo of your entire outfit yourself:

Harder still to photograph your own awesome legwear:

But I try.

Cardigan - Banana Republic (merino wool, I swear this thing wears like iron. I bought it three years ago, wear the daylights out of it, and it looks brand new. I wish I could buy three more).
Dress: Boden
Earrings: Target
Scarf: some souvenir shop in London last year - all the British men are, or were, wearing them like this
Leggings, socks, and boots: Last Chance

Dressember Eve

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at 7:34 PM


Remember, remember, last year's Dressember?

It's happening again, people. Some of my newer followers from Effortless Anthropologie (yes, there are entire blogs devoted to My Favorite Store, and yes, I read some of them. You either think I am even cooler now than I was 5 minutes ago, or you have closed this tab) will be glad to know that the entire month of December, I will be blogging my outfits darn near every day.

Dressember is about rediscovering and reinventing the items in your closet, embracing femininity and creativity, and hoisting yourself out of the Schlump Slump, should you happen to feel you are lodged in one.

Sound fun?

(I'll give you a hint: it IS fun.)

If you want to join in, grab a frock (official word is "dresses only" - I say if a skirt is way out of your comfortable rut already, then it's good enough for me) and link your blog post or Flickr or Tumblr or whatever the blue blazes people are using nowadays to post photos in the comments.

If I get enough interest, maybe I will even do a Sweet Spontaneous Dressember Reader Roundup on Fridays or something.

I haven't really thought it through that far.

Just ditch your jeans, and climb aboard!

Doll Junkie

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 8:48 PM


I'm all done.

Well, almost. I still have to do a few buttons and buttonholes, a snap or two, and a couple of grosgrain bows. Finishing touches.

But all told, I have made two dresses (with bloomers), two footed rompers, two hats, two jackets, and two knit jogging suits (let the record show that I am never EVER sewing with furry, shiny, slippery synthetic knit fabric EVER AGAIN. Soooooo many cuss words.)

As I plowed through the Fuzzy Yellow Beast this afternoon, I could feel my sewing mojo slipping away. It's been so fun, but I'm ready to hit the pause button. I have spent every free moment working on this stuff for the last two weeks, striking while the iron was hot, as it were - and it's a good thing too, because Christmas is December 25th whether my mojo fizzles out or not.

I've done enough that I can take a break for a little while - perhaps to tend to this publication more regularly, or to chase the fruit flies out of my filthy neglected kitchen - and still have time to finish everything up in time for Santa to put it under the tree.

(Who am I kidding? There's no way I'm letting that nice fat man take credit for all my hard work!)


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 28, 2011 at 11:50 PM


David is out of town until tomorrow.

Iris has a terrible, nasty cough that just won't leave her alone.

Looks like somebody is going to be (not) sleeping on the couch tonight.

Sparkly Friday

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Friday, November 25, 2011 at 10:18 PM


I never, ever go shopping on Black Friday if I can help it.

I didn't mean to go today, exactly...

...but somehow I did end up with these shoes. For me.

(Don't worry, I didn't pay nearly that much).

I think I'm going to wear them to the grocery store tomorrow, because they are just that awesome.

What's your weakness? Sparkle? Color? Ruffles? Feathers? Bows?

*raises hand five times*


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, November 24, 2011 at 7:31 PM


"It's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world.

Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much; my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst.

And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain...

...and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life."

- American Beauty


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 7:57 PM


Remember how I said "you can do anything, but you can't do everything"?

Right now, I am making doll clothes for my girls for Christmas. I have three more outfits to make, and then I think I will be done. There may not be much blogging happening until next week, unless one of my small people does something especially hilarious, picturesque, or life-endangering.

Anyone else in a crafting frenzy?

What I've learned from running, part 1

Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 7:12 PM


I say part one, because I only started 6 months ago. I am sure there is much, much more to learn. But on my long run on Tuesday, I had a few bullet points float up to the top of the pile.

It doesn't matter if you run. It doesn't matter if you never leave your couch, or your office, or your pajamas. Apply to any aspect of your life, it all works.

1. You can't do everything.

I have been loving yoga for the last 3 years. LOVE. Can't get enough. But while I'm focusing on running, no matter how much I love yoga, I can't do it 6 days a week. Usually 2. Someone very, very wise once said "You can do anything. You can't do everything." We can love lots of awesome things, but we can't make them all first priority all the time. A season to every thing.

2. Be open to obstacles.

I used to think it would be way more fun to run if I didn't have to push a kid in a stroller while I did it. But I actually find that I run better when I have Iris with me, because it forces me to run a bit slower, and much steadier. I can go farther, I enjoy it more, and it's more sustainable. Sometimes things that we think will hinder us actually make us better. Give it a chance.

3. Equip yourself.

If your feet hurt, get better shoes. If you're overheating, get smaller clothes. :) Make sure you have what you need to meet your goals, and to do it joyfully. It doesn't matter your budget, you can get what you need. (I find tons of great workout clothes at Goodwill.) You just need to allow yourself to take care of yourself. You are important, and it's okay to make room in your life for the things that feed your soul.

More than okay.

4. It's okay to be uncomfortable for awhile.

I did not learn this dancing, probably because I was so young. I did learn it having two babies at home in my bathtub, though, and I have learned it again and again running. Some things that are good things, worthy things, are painful in the moment.

You won't die. No one ever died from being uncomfortable. Keep going.

That stitch in your side, or pain in your ribs, or ache in your leg? You can stop or you can press on - either way, it will pass in a minute or two. Might as well keep going.

5. If you have the mojo, DON'T STOP!

Once you find a groove, a stride - do not allow yourself to be sidetracked. It is much, much harder to start again than to just keep going. Ride the wave you caught.

6. If it's not working, drop it like a hot potato.

I don't care how awesome everybody else says it is - if it's not serving you, throw it overboard and don't look back. You can't fake running. In the end, you can't fake life. At some point, the truth will out and you just need to do what works for you - otherwise, you can't keep moving forward.

7. Finish with inward honor.

There is not an award or a medal waiting for us at the end of every run, or every race, or every stage or moment in our lives. But if we are lucky, there will be someone we love at the finish line, screaming our name, arms open, waiting to welcome us.

And that, my friends, is pretty friggin fantastic.


Posted by The Wizzle | Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 7:06 PM


Your motivation running post is once again delayed - this time, by my fanciful, capricious, mysterious, impulsive, confounding middle child.

And her scissors.

I think the rest blew all around the cul-de-sac.

You see, this afternoon, Eve needed some scissors for a perfectly harmless project. She couldn't find them, because Devlin hoards them all, but I happened to have a seen a pair in the back seat of the van that morning, so I sent her out to retrieve them.

(Also, scissors in my car? We can revisit that later, I suppose.)

When she returned, I was at my sewing machine with my back to the garage door. She came in and proceeded to putter about, humming to herself.

Then I heard a sniffle.

"Mom, I did something really bad".

I stopped, afraid to turn around.

But I did anyway...

...and beheld the most pitiful sight that I ever did see: my Eve, whose beautiful blonde locks I had trimmed just that weekend, with her braids lopped straight across the bottom (except for the piece on her right side that she missed).

And a more wretched, sorrowful countenance you never laid eyes on. (As sad as it was to see her like this, I was secretly delighted at her quick change of heart. If I'm lucky, this will be the only time I write a post like this).

So we trimmed off the errant bit, revoked scissor privileges from all children until further notice (yes, Devlin, even you - if you put the darn things away when you were done, this probably wouldn't have happened!), and I hugged her and told her how proud I was for owning up to her misdeed, even though she knew it was wrong and she knew I wouldn't be happy.

(Please, karma, repay me this Good Mothering Moment when this child is a teenager and does something much more serious than cut her own hair).

Apparently, Eve's "friend" at school, who is not in her class, and whose name she does not know, but who "smiles at me every day at lunch, so she must be my friend!" had her hair cut last week, and Eve has been pining for a windblown short cut ever since. It seems my waiting period had grown tiresome to her.

Family pictures are this weekend, for both sides, and I don't know if I want to send her in front of the camera with short hair like she wants, a hairstyle so radically different from the flowing-locks girl I have always known.

I'm sure I'll get used to it in a couple of days. But seriously, I just got done grieving Iris's lost tooth. Can I just have one quiet month here with no sudden changes in the appearance of my beautiful children?

Who's in charge around here, anyway?!