Wednesday, February 22, 2012

High Waisted Jeans are a Mom's Best Friend.....Until the Zipper Rips Out of Them

Today, I knowledge share....

In this post here I told you how I was on the search for some new jeans.  This was a result of the crotch of my last fitting pair of jeans ripping out (after 2 years of use).  I got that pair at Banana and then posted how to hem them and I'm currently typing this post with them on.  I love them; super comfy and stretchy

I scoured the Banana Republic website hoping to find more jeans just like them - but to no avail.  So back I went to the Gap.  (Is it Gap or The Gap?  The sign says Gap, but I feel like they've always been referred to as The Gap.  Did the branding change?)  Anyway, at the Gap I bought a pair of Long and Leans and a pair of the Curvy Skinny fit.  I heart Gap because they offer Tall, Regular, and Ankle length inseams.  GBG.  God Bless Gap.  While I use to be a regular length kind of girl because I was always wearing heels; now I'm a mom that is usually in flats or Crocs (GBC) and hate when the bottoms of jeans get torn up from stepping on them. 

The Curvy Skinny was just what I needed to wear with boots and I might go get a pair of the bootcut Curvy as well. 

I was super happy with the Long and Leans which have a trouser look to them and the first time I put them on I had a hard time taking them off for 2 days.  I washed them (inside out, with vinegar) and then hung them to dry.  Put them on the second time and zipped up and heard a rip.  I check the crotch - nope, still intact.  So I shrug my shoulders and went on with my day. 

Fast forward a few hours later I'm an hour south visiting my parents for the Dad 70th birthday and I hit the potty.  I stand up after business time, and go to zip and my hand ends up in my panties.  This is because the zipper had completely ripped out of the seam.  Anger and Sadness follow, and then Acceptance.

Fast forward a few days later (yesterday).  So I go into Gap with my jeans and talk to the manager (I'm assuming he was the floor manager at the time).  This is how it went:

Manager:  Welcome to the Gap. Can I help you today?

Sidenote:  If a movie was made about my life, the Manager would be played by Lloyd from Entourage, but skinnier, bitchier and a tad younger.  That should help you get a better picture of what I was dealing with.

Me:  Yes, I bought a pair of Long and Leans a few weeks ago and the second time I wore them the zipper ripped out.  If you look at the seam it looks like part of the zipper was never sewn in correctly.

Manager:  Well, did you wash them?

Me:  Yes. Once.  I washed them inside out and then hung them to dry exactly how the instructions say.

Manager:  Well, our policy is to not let you return anything after you wash it. *He said this head shake while the head was cocked to the side and he made a sad face after. 

Me:  Well, I'm pretty sure me washing the jeans had nothing to do with the zipper coming out of it....

Manager then eyerolls toward the other employee.  Which made me almost pull my "I need to speak to the Manager or someone higher ranked than you" default statement when I get annoyed. 

Manager:  I'm sorry.  That's our policy and there's nothing we can do.

My face turns red and fire comes out of my pupils.  Then I speak.

Me:  No, I'm the one that's sorry for paying $65 for a brand of jeans that I thought was a brand associated with quality.  I could have just lied to you and said I hadn't washed them, but that's not how I roll.  Now, I'm pretty sure that Customer Service would agree that this is a MANUFACTURING DEFECT -

The words "Manufacturing De" were barely out of my mouth before he snapped to attention and started walking toward the register.

Manager: So do you want a full refund?

Me:  Um, no. I want another pair of jeans exactly like these.

He went and got them and pulled up the receipt they had emailed me when I purchased the jeans.  Isn't that crazy they email receipts now?  Pretty handy for peeps like me that toss them when they get them usually. 

Anyway, I walked out of the store with calls of "Have a nice day!" and "Come back and see us" and a new pair of size 8 ankle length jeans in hand.

Manufacturing Defect is a term I actually learned at Banana Republic about 4 years ago when I had just bought a new top and Joe noticed that I had holes in both the armpits the second time I wore it.  I took the top back to Banana and some college age associate told me I couldn't return it without a receipt because - and I quote - "How do we know you bought it here?"  Well, genius, the tag in shirt says Banana Republic so that's a clue I actually DID buy it here.  I avoided that convo though and just asked for the manager who was as surprised as I was. 

She explained that this was a Manufacturing Defect and she would fully refund me or let me exchange it.  I exchanged it for a different shirt - but since I didn't have a receipt, listen to what they did.  They took my credit card (the one I bought the original shirt with) and scanned it and they were able to find my purchase history in their system with it!  Um, privacy protection please America?

Anyway, if something like this ever happens to you with a newly purchased item.  Take it back and say MANUFACTURING DEFECT and if they are all "you need a receipt to blah blah blah" be all like "can't you just run my credit card like they do at Banana and find the purchase history?"  BAM! Take that Retail Companies!!!

Sidenote:  I also bought a pair of Modern Fit bootcut jeans at Ann Taylor Loft and love them too.  I'm really into these higher waisted stretchy fabric jeans, and I love the price too!  Gone are the days of my 7's, Joe's, James', and Citizen's. 

Long gone are the days are making the signs of the cross with my fingers at high waisted jeans.  Us mommies know you need the extra help to keep the flab tucked in.  I remember 10 years ago jean shopping and actually thinking and saying "These are low waisted enough."  What was I thinking?!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Recycling Windows

Each time I'm antiquing I always see salvaged windows for so cheap!  I always look at them and see a $5, $7, or $10 price tag and I SO want to buy them, but I hadn't come up with a perfect use for it yet.  That was until Saturday when Beth at Unskinny Boppy posted this blog about her antique window turned shadowbox which is her most prized possession. 

I adore and covet it!

She gives instruction on how her husband made the window into a shadow box and tells the sweet story of how it came about.  I love her wedding dress - and what a great use for your wedding day bouquet!!!

I didn't keep my bouquet (big regret now), but I'm going to brainstorm some other items I can put inside.  I think I'll do one with a mix of pics from Joe's and my wedding and maybe a pic from the honeymoon and one of Evelyn as a baby.  What a great idea! I'm really excited to get working on this project.  You know, after I finish the other 15 projects I have on tap.

Some other ideas for salvaged windows include:

Hang them as wall art

Frame a mirror

Photo courtesy of Madigan Made

Mount floating pictures

Both of the above photos courtesy of Pacific Mutual Door

Turn it into chalkboard/magnetic board/dry erase board

Courtesy of Red Hen Home

Paint or etch a saying or quote onto the glass

Courtesy of Paint Me Shabby

You could also place scrapbook paper or fabric behind the windows to use as wall art as well!  Share any ideas you might have. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vintage Brooches - Part Deux

Hello, My Name is Beth and I'm an Etsy Addict.

I'm starting to have a serious problem.  I've been Etsy-ing for about 3 hours a day the past 4 days in search of brooches, trinket dishes and china plates for my walls.  Since I got lots of great feedback about the last brooch post I decided to share a few more I found that I loved. 

More ideas on how to use brooches to jazz up outfits:  Pin them to your lapel of your suit jacket, add them to the shoulder of an asymmetrical top or dress, or pin them to multi-strand bracelets!  I noticed in pics that they are used a ton on wedding cakes and bouquets now too. 

I love the paper towel background
Courtesy of Etsy shop bettysworld4u

Courtesy of Etsy shop FlirtTreasures

Courtesy of Etsy shop asw52811

If only this were 50% off I'd buy it immediately!
Courtesy of Etsy shop yummiesmummy

Courtesy of Etsy shop PolliniAtelier

Courtesy of Etsy shop TheLastCurtsy

Courtesy of Etsy shop TheGirlFromYesterday

Courtesy of Etsy shop TotallyScarves

Courtesy of Etsy shop thehopetree

Courtesy of Etsy shop affordablevintage4u

Courtesy of Etsy shop ChezVous

And that's just what I found an Etsy.  Make sure you check out Ebay and too!

I just found this quote about brooches I thought I'd share:

"If you want to start a collection, start with a brooch because you will find
most use for it. It can be pinned on a suit lapel, collar or pocket, on a hat,
belt, or evening gown."

~Coco Chanel

Wise beyond her years.   

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I THINK I'm a Skinny Bitch

Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day whether it be full of big celebrations or small.  Evie and I are picking up Joe from work to have a lunch date and then we are baking him some sugar cookies that we will decorate all together later tonight.  Not sure what we will do for dinner - maybe make pizza together?  We usually don't do gifts except for E.  Last year our gift to each other was a Blu-Ray player.  This year I guess we'll say we got each other curtains for the den. 

Since today is a day that is celebrated with chocolates and sweets I thought I would update you with how my weight loss/getting in shape New Years resolution is going. 

Tuesday is my weigh-in day each week.  I chose Tuesdays because that gives me a day after the weekends to drink 8 gallons of water and flush all the sodium and bad stuff out of my body as well as eat the healthiest and tiniest meals of the week so I can feel my thinnest when I step on the scale Tuesday morning.
Step on the scale time is right after I wake up, but not until after the morning pee break.  I never eat before the weigh in because I totally count ounces as well as pounds.  As of this morning, I have lost a total of 5 lbs exactly (not rounding up the ounces)!  Yay me!!  I know that's not much, but it's something AND that's 5 lbs of loss with an entire birthday celebration week and not working out at all the past 3 weeks because all 3 of us household members have colds we can't get rid of.  Looks like Joe and E's have finally cleared up so I have a few more days of ab workout quality coughing left.

Now I don't know about you, but after 5 lbs. of weight loss I am feeling pretty sassy.  Everytime I put on my clothes I look in the mirror and think - or maybe say aloud - "Girl, you are looking good.  Look at that!  Those skinny jeans just buttoned without having to lay on the bed and suck in to pull up the zipper"  I also find myself strutting around in my underwear more often and using my peripheral vision as I walk past my full wall of mirrors in the bathroom to gaze upon myself.  "That's right cellulite, you better be scared.  Momma's getting skinny. That booty is definitely lifting."

So now I just have 5 more pounds to lose to get back to pre-move to Arkansas weight which is the weight I maintained since deflating post-pregnancy.  I'd like to lose a few more past that and get back to wedding weight........we'll see how that works out for me.

For those of you who have had kids (and a warning for you that haven't), do you now carry your weight differently?  Even before the Arkansas move weight gain, I wore a smaller size pant than I did before pregnancy, yet I am carrying all my weight from my hips to my knee and I weigh more.  Gravity took all the fat cells in my body and sucked it down to my thighs, booty and hips and it just all stayed there.  It's the weirdest thing!!  Also, when I was at wedding weight. I wore the same size I did in high school - yet I weighed 10 pounds more than I did back in the 90s!  Body's are so weird.  I'm not sure how it's all possible but it is. 

Alas, I must persevere!  I didn't gain any weight until month 4 of Evelyn's pregnancy - and then I gained 55 lbs. but that's besides the point - but I think being in the best shape of my life beforehand really helped me lose the weight after and kept the weight off the first few months.  Hopefully that will be the case with #2 as well. 

Have a wonderful day doing something memorable with the ones you love.  X's and O's to you all!  I haven't done a recipe in awhile.  Any requests?  Sweet or savory?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Big Girl Panties

Lil E and I were checking out at a retail store the other day, and the lady helping us asked E her name.  "I Evelyn", she replied so proud from her stroller.  Being the doting (showoff) mother I am I then asked "Evelyn, do you know what your full name is?" This is after an intense 2 weeks of explaining to her about last and middle names and trying to imbed in her memory her entire 11 syllable name.  My chest puffed up a bit when she said "Yes..." Pride was washing over me.  Here it was, my defining moment showing what a great stay-at-home mom I truly am. 

Look at me world, my 2 year knows her entire 11 syllable name!    What other 2 year old can do this?! Not little Jack Jones or sweet Kate Smith with their short names.  All that Nick Jr. I force her to watch while I craft and blog didn't fry her mind after all.

Then, Evelyn continued her answer with "...Baby Evelyn."  The nice lady and I got a good laugh from that.  How cute is she?! That was happiness I felt.  Next, about 2 seconds after E answered I felt an overwhelming sadness waft over me.  "But...she's not a baby anymore" I thought.  And she isn't.  She uses the potty by herself, she feeds the dogs by herself, and we now have intelligent conversations.  She's gone from my little sleeping, eating, pooping machine to an actual person.

  The poop machine days.  This pic taken on day 3 of life.  Back when she looked just like Joe. 

9 lbs., 10 ounces.  I know 5 month olds that don't weigh that much.  And Yes, I pushed her out.

I'm a big kid now.   

I could not be happier that she's a healthy, happy big girl now, and I love having a little helper that takes direction and wants to emulate my every move; I'm lamenting the loss of my baby girl.  When this child was born, she could not survive without my love, attention, and nuturing.  Now it's all "Stop, Momma!" and "I can do it myself".  It's very rewarding to see her turning into an inquisitive little human, but I'm going to have a pity party for a few days and miss my baby. 

So now that my baby is no longer a baby.  The redundant question I've been asked since E's birth of "When are you having another baby?" seems more reasonable now.  That's it! That's how I'll fix this feeling:  I'll get even more emotional and fat and then have to birth another 10 pound baby (I'm rounding up).  So I sidenote mention this to Joe in the middle of a conversation about our taxes.  Something like this....

Joe: Are we getting a refund this year?

Beth:  Surprisingly yes! I still have to figure out how to handle the moving expenses that were grossed up on your W2.  (Sorry readers, but this is how we actually talk to each other~Accountants married to accountants use the term "true-up" a lot too).  You know how we could get a bigger deduction in the future?

Joe:  How?

Beth:  Not waiting until Evelyn's in kindergarten to have another baby. (More kids=more dependent deductions). 

Awkward silence.

Pretty sure Joe is going "YIPPEEE!!!!! I LOVE BABIES!!!! GIVE ME MORE!!!" in his head.

Joe:  Okay.

And that was it.  My dropping a subtle hint to my husband.  Nothing else said about it.  Pretty sure we then watched The Biggest Loser while eating a ginormous bowl of ice cream.  So I thought our communication was done until his company filed the 10-Q.   Then, the next day I get this text:

Whoa Buddy!  T Your B's (tap your brakes).  I mentioned what I mentioned to get the thought out there and maybe get use to the idea.  I was fine having just one kid.  I'm an only child, my mom is an only child and many many of my friends are only children and we're all pretty awesome.  I pretty much had an anxiety attack for 15 minutes and then and answered his text with "Can we afford a baby right now?" No, we can't.  Actually we probably could, but it would be nice for money to not be tight for a little bit.  And who said anything about wanting a February/March baby?! 

He followed up my response with "I have some arguments for a Feb/Mar baby that we can discuss further tonight."  Yes, I know.  We actually talk to each other like this.  His argument is that with his work schedule (I don't see him for about a month and then he's home for 2 months), it would be "optimal" to have the baby right after Q1 close so he would be able to help out more before year end - which is when I don't see him for 2 months.  He did, however, remind me that since taking over his position he has "created many efficiencies and with the integration of their new reporting software he'll be able to work from home more."  I love it when he dirty talks. 

He then finished it with "But, I see the look on your face right now and I can tell you just aren't ready for another baby yet."  So considerate.  Instead of saying what I was really thinking and feeling I tried to be positive and said "You know, May is 4 months away.  Maybe by then I'll be ready." The man's eyes actually lit up.  He was probably daydreaming of dancing in the field at the beginning of The Sound of Music with the Mavericks and it raining Mike and Ikes.  Puppies and babies are this man's weakness.  But we already have 2 dogs so getting a puppy as a baby substitute is out.

As we told Evelyn to do just a few weeks ago, it's time to put on my big girl panties and get this house in order and get ready for another baby.  Yes, I have decided that there will be a #2.  1 was fine with me, but the happiness the mere thought of having more children brings to my hubby fills me with hope and joy as well.  I still have lots of questions though:

Will I love Evelyn less? Or does the love multiple?  (I can't imagine loving anything as much as I love E)

How will I do it? I can barely handle the one as it is AND I stay home with her. 

How do I make sure I split my time between the kids? I don't want Evie feeling left out or that Mommy loves the baby more.   

If it's a boy - what do I do with the penis?  It honestly freaks me out a bit.

I'm sure that I will figure all this stuff out in time, but some reassurance from the public would be helpful!  Thanks for listening.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vintage Brooches

This isn't a new obsession for me, but a revisited one.  I'm crushing on vintage brooches lately.  I think they make any outfit look polished and put together.  I've started pinning mine to cardigans, scarves, and using them at the waists of dresses to gather the fabric. 

I got my first vintage brooch with the intentions of wearing it in my hair for my wedding.  But when the one I ordered from Etsy came in the crystals had a blue and purple tint to them when the light hit them which wouldn't have matched my champagne colored lace dress.  So instead of returning it I had the idea to pin it on my purple coat and I get more compliments on that thing than you could imagine! 

Here is Laura modeling the coat for me

Wouldn't that coat look blah without the brooch?
As usual, my dear friend Laura had the great idea to pin a brooch of hers to one of her necklaces.  So I started to do it and now I'm noticing a lot of people are doing the same.

Since Laura was forced to stop by and model on her way home I also forced her to model a scarf.

Of course, when I make something my obsession I want LOTS of it.  So I spent probably 3 hours surfing Etsy and Ebay looking for some new pieces.  I look everytime I flea market and antique shop too to try and find something to add to my collection, but haven't found the perfect piece just yet.  I'm looking for a brooch for my white coat and some to pin to my jewelry as well. 

When I started my search today, I was surprised by how many big player names there were being sold for so cheap! Dior, Gerrys, Juliana, Weiss, Sarah Coventry, Trifari, Yves Saint Laurent - all available!

Here are the pics of my favs I found looking around on Etsy and Ebay.  Etsy alone had over 100,000 hits for "brooch" so there was no way I could view them all.  Hope you find something you like!  They all include links to purchase the items. 

Christian Dior circa 1963
Image from Etsy shop MindiLynJewelry

Image from Etsy shop denise5960

Image from Etsy shop VintagePennyLane

Yves Saint Laurent
Image from Etsy shop brocantic

Image courtesy of Goodoldjewlery

Image courtesy of Etsy shop musarraandcompany

There are several like these; entire lots of brooches.  I'm loving the one in the center with the red center stone. 
Image courtesy of Etsy shop SteampunkArtSupplies

Image courtesy of Etsy shop kiamichi7

I love the filigree work on this one
Image courtesy of Etsy shop ArtiFects

Image courtesy of Etsy shop kiamichi7

Image courtesy of Ebay shop 1213studio

Update on February 15, 2012 - Check out post Vintage Brooches - Part Deux here


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