Thursday, March 31, 2011

Layering for style and modesty

Layering isn't just for style... its for modesty... and warmth.  I'll show you here not only how to not be afraid of turtlenecks (which I don't think are essential for modesty, although they are usually ultra-modest) and second, be creative with all those odds, ends, and basic dresses, tank tops, cami's, and shirts.

First, start with your dress. 
This, obviously, isn't the first thing you will be putting on, but will be (sorta) what we will be building our style off of for our outfit.  (For example- you probably wouldn't wear maroon tights with a purple dress, or brown shoes with a white dress.)   
First discern your optimistic side of the dress. ;)  By negative and positive colors for dresses in this case, I mean whether the color or shade of your dress is darker or lighter than your "under-scheme", or, basically, your turtleneck/leggings/shoes.  See pictures below.

"Negative" color

"Positive" color

Then, your "under-shirt", or your Turtleneck, if you so choose.
You will want one fairly neutral - either white or creme, or darker than the dress, but the same color as leggings and shoes.

A nice warm woolly, neutral-
colored turtleneck.

An example of a coggle neck.
Its like a turtleneck and a scarf
all in one
Legs: Tights or leggings -
Usually a dark color, such as black, brown, or dark purple or dark navy blue. 
{Sometime you might so boldly try something like this: Black dress, high-heeled, fancy black boots, black turtleneck, creme fashion scarf, and red tights.}
full-length leggings

Only time I would ever endorse
"jeggings" (jean leggings) would be
with a dress.

The soul of a women - shoes
The shoes can make or break it.  Here are some great winter pair-ups.

The "flat foot". A comfortable fit
with no big heel;  Casual; cute.

Old-English and oh-how-classy!
Lace it up high with a heel to-

Short-n-tall.  High heels with a
"short cut".  A somewhat western
flair that gives the impression of
hikin' out in the Rockies, but cutting-
edge and stylish.

Studded beauty.  This will go with
most anything because of its
versatile "rings" and studs in metallic,
natural colors.

Most common or effective accessories are scarves, belts and jewelry.

belts are in fashion now, and so easy
to find in cute colors

Finished Product:  Ta-da!

Glam or deliciously drab... you choose!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A character in need

I am part of a drama team, and this year for our summer performance, we have put together several scrips and such - four of which I am in.  I'm sure I can memorize and act, but thats not what I'm thinking about: some of those skits I'm in are back to back, I just may go from an insane villan who is apt to snapping her fingers and tapping her knees when coming up with an extra evil plot, to a tract-passing evangelistic who gets all her Bible-verses mixed up with song-lyrics and quotes by the Beetles.
These are the characters I'm assigned.
  • Critical, black-and-white doctrinal hypocrite.
  • Insane, Suicidal-Solutions type firebug.
  • Rejected.
  • Confused and looking for something, normal-person.
You see, I can definately get into a character, almost become it, but four of them in the span of an hour or two?  Yikes.  I may just devolope Multiple Personality Syndrome... well... no, probably not.  I'll just deal with it.  I'm thinking of wearing just black and white (and no jeans! ;) for my doctrine-self, all black and plenty of eye-makeup for the firebug-self, regular clothes, or a big sweatshirt for my rejected-self, and probably just normal clothes for my normal-person-self.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Caution - Blind Sinner Ahead

Our pastor talked a little bit about preparing ourselves for the holy week coming up next month.  He talked about Judas, who betrayed Jesus, and how easy it is for us to say, "Look at that bad sinner, I would never do that!"  Ah, but you see, the reason God allowed Judas to hand Jesus over to be killed was so that He could justify us, all betrayers of God just as Judas, so that we might not try and get to heaven on our own, and so fail miserably, but for Himself to take our place in the inevitable wrath of God against sin.   "Have you ever noticed how easy it is for us to identify sin in others lives?" He continued.  "Sometimes, us church-goers are known for that finger pointing, yet we seem to blindly stumble about in our own wretchedness."  (That was a bit Valary-Mac paraphrased, but in essence it catches what he was saying.)
For me, personally, I find that when I seem to hurt people the most, I don't even know I am doing it.  I may even be basking in my own righteousness - unintentionally of course, but completely oblivious to what I have just done.  As horrible as it sounds... and is... I know that this happens sometimes, so I ask God to open my eyes to see when I do so.  When He does so, I am shocked at the multitude and magnitude of my sinful self that I though was virtually nonexistent in that particular area.  I end up thinking "I am so blind".  But we all are.  We are all blind sinners!  So don't just honk your horn when you see me mess up... once again, (although you have my full-fledged permission to do that to me also,) but get out of that vehicle of self-holiness, or perhaps guilt, that you are not only driving, but hauling, and help your brother out.  Whadya'know, he may just have a few tips for you also.  Hey, we are all in the same boat, bro.  Some of us have been saved, and some of us have not been.  As to those, including me sometimes, who tend to point fingers at the "ungodly sinners", I would say stop! I'm talking to myself too, ya know.  God is increasingly deriving me from that ugly tendency.  But I can't help looking at who I really am without Christ... an obscure wrong-doer... in my own view only.  But not now... because God has made me see, and now I can not only recognize my sin, but put it to death on the cross with Him, banishing it from my life.   So, in case you happen to see me make a no-no, or know that I'm coming up in the times ahead- Please Caution, there is a blind sinner ahead!
Judas, in his blindness, traded Jesus for 30 shekels of silver, a slaves price. 
Peter, Jesus' devoted disciple, denied even knowing him, thus betraying him as a friend. 
Both responded in different ways. 
Judas was driving in his own vehicle, and not only hauling his guilt on his own shoulders the very night Christ would take it from him, but was relying on his own load of "self-righteousness".  And he didn't drive it, it drove him... to his death.
Peter took his blindness as a sign that he needed light, and lead many people to that light in the life he lived after he accepted Jesus as His Light.
Caution... but don't be afraid... be prepared to be given sight.

Supplements that rock!

Believe me, working in a health food and supplement store, People come in with some crazy requests.  Also, with all the bias-brands-game that gets played by the media, and one's own experience, price-range, or preference, we may have perfectly good vitamin D, but it is rejected because of its perfectly good brand.  So all this makes for rows and rows of bottles, boxes, tinctures, and capsules in our store.  Which one is the best?  Moreover, which one works?  With some of our regulars, we can get a good idea of what works, what doesn't, what any possible objections may be, (pills are too big; smelled like fish; tastes bitter; etc,) and what other's open judgment may be.  Researching products, health, and the body for nearly 2 years now... I have founds some duds, and some dandies.  Wanting, in my career, to help others struggling with health, I thought I'd compile a few of those here with links directly to the source.
All of these supplements can be found in the store where I work.


LifeShield Breath by New Chapter


Zyflamend by New Chapter

Curamin by Terry Naturally

Probiotics/General health/Cleanse/Yeast infection:

RAW probiotics by Garden on Life

Weight loss/Brain health:

Synaptalean by Nature's Plus

365 Diet by Garden of Life

Protein Supplements:

Spirutein GOLD by Natures Plus

RAW meal or RAW protein by Garden of Life

Fish Oil:
(Good for - Inflamation, Brain health, memory, mood function, joints, skin/hair/nails, blood, cardiovascular, etc.)

Omega Swirl by Barlean's

Fish Oil by New Chapter



Olive leafMAX by Olivus



Sea Buckthorn Beauty Secrets by Sibu


Digestive Cleanse and Probiotic Replenisher Kit by Nature's Secret

Oral Health:

Probiotic Lozenges by Nature's Plus


Nasal Spry by Xlear


Tissue A Insomnia by Nu Age Labs

Calm by Natural Vitality



Friday, March 25, 2011

VM styles it: Spring-ify your room

Paper lanterns

Idea #1-The floor and walls get decorated, but why not the ceiling? Fairly easy to hang, they add volumes, and lift the scenery up from the messy floor to a clean white ceiling with a splash of exotic color.
Paper lanterns II
Hang them with invisible string for a floating effect, or with colored ribbon for the tropical flair. 
Compile them artistically at varying lengths in a corner of your ceiling, or in a pattern all across the span of your room.

Idea #2 - Clean up and look good while doing it.   The garbage can, that is.  They never get any recognition or show!  And they just do such a good job!  Now instead of a stinky can, make it a lovely centerpiece... well, not quite.
Trash bin cover

Hibiscus coasters
 Idea #3 - They can be used for so many things... only starting with a solid place for your summer slushy, or spring smoothie.  We can get much more creative than that!  Hang 6 different colored coasters on your wall, 3 on top, 3 below for a modern "pieced art" look. Place 1/2 inch to 1 inch away from each other.
Then use them as a "tiled table top" for your desk, or a special platform for a special picture frame.  In fact, use them as a picture frame.  Just use strong glue for sticking them around a large wooden frame, as to cover it with squares of hibiscus... bringing out the color and lively memories in your favorite photo.

Idea #4 - Use your crafty skills for this one.  Use a make-shift party table cover, or cheep fabric to make chair covers.
You may sew the sides down, use ties, or colorful brads, such as these.
Table cover

Colorful brads

Table-side decoration

Idea #5 - In the summer, we like to use light, cool sheets and fluffy pillows.  Add to the effect with a "grass skirt" bed skirt.  Bias tape, or double sided tape will stick it to the side of your bed, (not your mattress!), or just attach it to a plain sheet about the span of your bed, so when placed on the box-spring, the "grass-skirt" will hang down around the edges. Make sure that the flowers don't get crushed when you place the mattress on, or make your bed.

Flowery garland
Idea # 6 - If your feeling really festive, why not hang colorful garland around the edge of your room?  Where the wall and ceiling meet, place little hooks, so you can run the garland around easily.  Its like one big giant luau!

Idea #7 - Walk into a beach party.  These are so much fun! Simply hang from the inside of your door frame.  Be met with a breath from the Pacifics.

Hibiscus door hangers

Idea #8 - There are almost 101 ways to use toothpicks... and one is to make a lovely centerpiece, or decoration. You can get faux potting foam at most any craft store.  Pick out a pretty pot, or pull together some lace over a chunk of the green foam, and tie with a colorful ribbon.  Break some of the toothpicks in half, and leave some whole.  Using your feminine creative juices, stick them into the foam base to create a bouquet-look.  You can place this most anywhere to look cute and pretty.  But most of all, ready for summer fun!

Fruit picks

You can find all of these products pictured above at for a low price.  They also sell beads, craft supplies, trinkets, and candy... most in bulk packages, and bulk prices. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

3 little piggies - and other strategies

This little piggy went to market;
This little piggy stayed home;
This little piggy ate roast beef;
This little piggy ate none.
But this little piggy went
"Wee, wee, wee!"
All the way home!

Familiar with this?

Its the little rhyme mommy did with our toes. Biggest toe is the piggy who went to market, the next is the piggy who stayed home... and so forth.  The littlest toe is the fun one... the one every child holds his or her breath for, waiting with rapt attention on the fingers on their toe, anticipating their tense posture to be broken any second by a tickling wee, wee, wee that only mommy can do.
Its hard to do This Little Piggy on more than one foot.  Even harder when those two feet belong to two different children... especially when those two children are not used to playing quietly and peacefully together.  But then, when a third joins the group, beware babysitter!  You are playing with matches. (Although I don't advise setting your client's "piggies" on fire, although it would take care of the problem of too many happy children wanting a "3 little piggy".)  This is when your long-practiced and brilliant-minded tactics come in.  Observe each child, look at their strong and week points, their pet peeves, or simply put, whether or not they mind if their toes are pinched every single time.  Some would not stand for the audacity of skipping the little piggy who ate roast beef, while others are only going for that last little piggy, when Valary-Mac pauses for effect, gives a little wink and that devilish smile, and tickles them up to their chin with a cry of "wee, wee, wee!".  But a whim that just must be burned out is the plee for "little piggies" on both their feet and their hands.  Hard to believe that a two year old can know that his fingers are the same number as his toes - 5... I didn't even know that!  But I do after tonight, believe me. ;)

What do you find your baby-sat kids like best?  A certain book, craft, or game?  Maybe just something that makes them laugh.

"Valary, guess who I am!"
"Hmm... a Venus fly trap?"
"Well then, a bottle of nail polish?"
"No, silly!"
"I know!  Your Mr. Man!"
"Um... no."
"Oh, I know now, your a shoe box."
"I'm a puppy!"
"A puppy?  I never would have guessed!  Are you a purple puppy?"
"No! Puppies aren't purple!"
... etc.

BarlowGirl - Tears Fall

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

DIY and improvisation

Being a bit funky, and the DYI-type-of-person that I am, I tend to get things at garage sales, thrift shops, make them myself, or totally remodel beyond recognition.  You can also bet that if I find a pillow that I like at my St. Vinny's, I probably wont be ever finding one like it.  That's where not only DYI [Do It Yourself] comes in, but improvisation!
Just a few scenarios:

When Super chic[k]'s CD looks a bit... well... dark for your tastes, just cut out their heads and arms.  Be creative!  I used plain 'ol note book paper as the base, and used only multi-colored highlighters besides pen and pencil.

Glue their heads on first, one at a time where you want them,
and draw in the bodies, adding arms, and anything else you
want to use from the previous cover. Then decorate like a
wild thing. Choose all sorts of backrounds, and decide
whether you want some color in there.

Up closer

When you can't find your teaching visuals for the ABC club [After-school Bible Club], and you need to do something.  Go for the clip art!  Our supported missionary is in Haite, so every week, I teach a little about that country.





Main-teaching card

Then for my crazy bedroom set:

The polka-dotted sham came with my bed blanket, the green
one with my sheet set, and the horrid little cute bug I colored
and designed myself.  To tell you the truth, I find the thought
of laying my head down on a gient beetle a bit exhilarating.

When hanging my tissue paper pom poms, I ran out of pink
ribbon, and used a wide, yellow, polka dotted ribbon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The 15 dollar store

Imagine every fashionable item you've ever wanted to buy... for 15 dollars. Check out the link below.

complete athletic sets

All jeans, all sizes
(yes, even skinny

skirts galore

hundreds of tops

winter jackets for $15!

is that leather?!

peasant top, empire
waist, short sleeves,
tank tops, you name it!

Cutest dresses ever

your summer wardrobe

Easter Invite

Dont be afriad to witness, but concider others as loved by Christ as you are.
So go out and invite somebody to church for easter

Saturday, March 19, 2011

That stuff I like


Yikes, huh?  That's what most people see in their minds when they think of green smoothies.  Especially when they hear that there are no sweeteners and preservatives, are usually completely raw, and include freaky ingredients such as kale, cauliflower, and spinach.  Yuck! Right?  Well, I would be the one to differ.  Here is what I see when I think of raw greens:

Beautiful, isn't it?

Or perhaps in more a modern view:

Its all in perspective, really.  Take a look at the picture below:
Just think of all the stuff that could be
in there!  Thick enough to spoon into
your mouth with a spoon.  Green is a lovely
color, isn't it?
And now this one:

Makes me hungry just lookin' at it.

What is your food fear? 
What crazy foods do you like?
Something like a mayo/banana/peanut butter/strawberry sandwich in rye?
Maybe you take after Lucille Ball, and crave a mango shake with a big ol' dill pickle.
Maybe you abhor blueberries, or can't stand ketsup.
Personally, I strongly dislike mustard - although I rather like juiced mustard greens.  ;P