Thursday, January 31, 2013

Unexpected adventure and swooning.

Ben and I often go on lunch dates. We have a few favorite places that we go to, and when we went out today, our favorite hole-in-the-wall Chinese food place was closed. Although terribly disappointed, we ventured into a new restaurant. As a side note- trying a new restaurant here can be an adventure (or misadventure) in digestive strength, so walking into a new place is a big deal.

The restaurant was clean and modern, and they even had a football game (soccer for my fellow Americans) being projected on the wall. After the game, a commentary show came on and one of the co-hosts had the sweetest outfit on. As soon as I saw the bow tie, cardigan, and yellow trainers, I was smitten (with the outfit, not the guy). He looks so dapper yet the jeans and the trainers make it casual, and appealing to the "I only wear jeans" crowd. Even my dear, sweet, ultra casual husband said he would wear something like this. He did have a few conditions though, he would not wear it to work, and not while we live here, as it it too hot to sport a cardigan. Nonetheless, he would wear it! I call that a winner.


I give you my bodacious inspiration:

P.S. Did you notice the use of trainers rather than sneakers or shoes? Trainers is what my five year old calls his shoes now that he goes to his hoity-toity international school. You know, when in Rome...or a former British colony...


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Black and White. Music Video Inspiration.

Clapping at my child being amazing.

Because not every picture captures perfection.

Shirt: JCrew
Skirt with Belt: Neiman Marcus
Colar: Nordstrom
Bracelets: Local, Nordstrom and
Shoes: Macys (Long, Long, Ago)

One of the AWESOME things about living in Sri Lanka is that MTV and VH1 actually show music videos.  I love it!  
The other day this video came on, and all I wanted to do was make my life video record in black and white mode.  Since that is not possible, I opted for wearing all black and white.

Enjoy a little music and black and white inspiration. 

Everything At Once by Lenka from James Gulliver Hancock on Vimeo.

You're Welcome.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dots and Mint. And contemplating red hair.

Shirt: Macy's (VERY OLD)
Undershirt: Shade (demi-half shirt)
Belt: From another skirt
Shoes: Aldo (Old)
Necklace and Bracelet: WontonMommy
Earrings: India

Ben was out of town today, and it is always a harder day when he is gone.  Especially since today was Sunday, and he is good at keeping order at church.  Luckily, the boys were pretty good at church, and no one had to be taken out into the hall.  

Now on to other matters; my hair.

My hair is getting long, and I keep it up most of the time.  Even though I try to do different things,  like braiding, pinning, curling, it is almost always up.  Usually when I get to this point, I chop it off, but I am really nervous about getting my hair done.  There are some horror stories floating among some of the ladies here, that I just think I might wait until we go to Utah this summer to get it done.  I have been pinning short hair styles on Pinterest, trying to be inspired.  Then the other night, I was watching "In Time". You know the movie with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried? Well, in it, Amanda's character has short red hair, and I thought to myself "self, you need to be a red-head".  
I think this summer big changes are coming to my naturally brown locks.  My only reservation is that red hair can be quite high maintenance, so we will see.  Perhaps in the five months that I have until I actually go to Utah, I will change my mind.  Or take the plunge and get it done never know.  I have done crazier things.  Like bleaching my own hair with hair dye I bought in Russia. Not a good hair day; clumps of my hair were falling out.  Then I tried to fix it by dying it back to brown.  Swamp thing.  That is what I looked like. It took a lot of time and money to fix that mistake.  It has been over 10 years since that error, and I still have nightmares.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Did I tell you that I am taking online classes? Yes, I am. You see about 10 years ago when I was supposed to be going to University and working towards a degree, I decided that school wasn't for me. I took some classes here and there, and in fact met my husband in a class about 8.5 years ago. However, it wasn't what I wanted to pursue. I got lazy, and left behind my education. Well, a few years ago, I decided I needed to do make education a priority. I want my boys to know how important education is, and what better way to do that then to show them? I started taking classes online, and now I am taking my last class before I earn my Associates degree. It is a math class, and even though I have come to appreciate math a lot more, it still takes a lot of work for me to get good grades. So why am I mentioning this? Well, my friends, I'll tell you. I'm going on a trip. A magical trip with some friends to the City of Lights. One of my friends currently lives there, and she has kindly opened her home to us. Which brings me to math. Who wants to do schoolwork on a vacation to one of the most incredible cities in the world? Certainly not me, so I have been doubling my work so that I will not have to, which means hours and hours of equations and fractions and calculations. I did take a few breaks here and there, let's be honest, I can only take so much. I must confess that most of the week was spent in lounging clothes with only a few actual outfits thrown in. So I give you my week in pictures.

One day I needed some extra study time, so I took the kids to McDonalds play place. Win-Win.
This guy is carrying propane. On his bike. In crazy Colombo traffic.


We took a little break to go to the pool, to enjoy some sun and a virgin piƱa colada. Oh, and I love this swimsuit, from JCrew.


And for those of you who follow me on Instagram, I went with the belt.

Amazon sells Trader Joes items, and I found this treasure. So much better than Nutella, IMHO. I like to spread this on a banana for dessert. So yummy.

For my confession about not loving Nutella, see this.


Happy Weekend!


Monday, January 21, 2013

Who is "they"? Thoughts about Labor Day and Wearing White.

Dress: Local
Earrings: Stella & Dot
Shoes: JCrew

You know "they" say not to wear white after labor day*?  Well, I have a few questions about that.  The first is- who is they?  Did a committee get together one day and decide what the "rules" for what to wear are?  How often do "they" meet?  Do "they" ever change "their" minds?  Next question- Labor Day (the first Monday in September) is a holiday in the US, but what is the rule outside of the US?  IS there a particular day that the white rule starts? When is it?

Today I decided that I was going to wear my white dress since:

1.  I don't live in the US and Labor Day (first Monday in September is not celebrated here). 

2.  Winter doesn't happen here.

3.  Because I wanted to.

This dress is a perfect dress for warm weather, it is 100% cotton, lightweight and obviously, light in color (which I have heard keeps the mosquitos away).

There you have it.  

*I know there are "winter whites", however, this dress does not qualify as "winter white".*

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hula Hoop and Lunch.

Shirt/Skirt/Necklace/Belt: JCrew
Shoes: Target
Purse: Steven by Steve Madden via Nordstrom

You will notice that my pictures were taken in two different places today.  That is because Ben and I went out to lunch, and I asked him to take some pictures for me. However, he has a limit as to how many he will take, so I came home to further document my outfit.  Because, as I have mentioned before (maybe not here, but in other realms of my life) if an event/outfit/anything does have a picture taken, it is questionable as to whether or not it really happened. It explains the need for Facebook, Instagram and every other method we have of documenting our lives these days.  I must say, I am a big fan.

On another note, in case you were wondering, I am a self proclaimed expert at the hula hoop.  Seriously, I could go for hours hula-hooping.  I might try to make a career of it or something. AND since I am so magnanimous, I try to pass on my skills to my children. Obviously, Thomas is a natural. One note about Thomas.  He is naturally cool. Some kids are cute, some kids are smart, Thomas is cool.  The end.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dinosaur slide and blue shoes.

This is a cactus.  Totally unexpected in a tropical climate.  And what is that face?

Our favorite part of the park- the dinosaur slide.  This thing is huge and falling apart, but it is still fantastic fun.

Shirt: Ebay
Skirt: Shabby Apple
Shoes: JCrew (I think they might be my new favorite)
Bracelet/Earrings: Stella & Dot

Going to the park with my boys is always an adventure. Every time we go, we discover something new.  Today, we found out that there is a little ice cream stand that sells popsicles for about $0.25 a piece. This particular park is close to our house, and convenient to go to when the boys need to release some energy.  The problem with this park is that a lot of the equipment is falling apart, and some of it is quite dangerous.  However, it is good enough for our needs.  The boys just need a place to run, jump and climb. Besides, the park has a ferocious dinosaur and chickens and other birds roaming around, a Buddha statue, AND a man that sells ice cream, which makes for a good afternoon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A sweet treat makes everything better.

Cardigan and bracelet: Kohls
Tank: Gap (old)
Skirt: Marshalls
Shoes: Toms via Nordstrom
Link Necklace (gift from Ben) and Link Bracelet (gift from my mom): Tiffany
Brooch: Stella & Dot
Earrings: Target

Today I had to take Thomas to the doctor.  He was bit by a mosquito and his forehead and eyes were completely swollen. He was so nervous to go to the doctor, but we came away with some medicine and a treat, so he was a-ok.  

I have two hints for wearing a knit maxi skirt:

1. Always shave your legs right before you wear it.  Otherwise it can be quite itchy and uncomfortable.

2. Wear a slip.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Going out for bread.

Shirt: Gap
Shorts: JCrew
Shoes: Born
Purse: Mexico

After our adventure yesterday, I did not feel like leaving the house, however, we were out of bread.  That meant that I needed to go to the store.  I didn't want to go, and no one else did either.  Instead, I convinced everyone that we should go out to get a treat, so we went to a bakery called Bread Talk.  They have croissants, rolls and of course bread, all made on site daily.  Yum.  We picked up a few things, and headed home.  On our way home, we stopped at the park for a few minutes so the boys could play.  Now I need to relax for a minute or two, my muscles are tired.

P.S.  The reason I am holding the bag is because when I thought of putting it down for the sake of the pictures, all I could picture was ants and other bugs attacking it.  There are a lot of bugs here, all of which seem to love food as much as I do.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Wrong Shoes Can Make Big Difference.

This weekend Ben and I hiked "Adam's Peak" here in Sri Lanka.  Adam's Peak is supposed to be where Adam first stepped foot after he was cast out of heaven, or where Buddha last stepped on his way to paradise.  You see, there is a stone with a footprint in it, and many different religions believe it to be the footprint of someone of significance. Thus, it is the sight of pilgrimage for many believers of many different faiths.  I would not say that Ben and I were on any sort of pilgrimage, but it was certainly a significant event.

The hike itself is about 7 miles round trip (I was also told 7 km each way- I will give both numbers just in case one is wrong), and most of that is stairs. We did our hike at night so that we could reach the top to watch the sunrise. I must say that both Ben and I underestimated the immense feat that was before us.

We arrived at our hotel at about 7:00 p.m., had dinner, and went to bed.  We had to be up and ready to go at 2:00 a.m..  We went to bed at 8:00, and things were looking good.  That is until 11:00 p.m. when I woke up with the thought that I didn't pack my shoes.  Ridiculous, I thought to myself.  Who goes on a hike and forgets to pack their shoes?  I tried to dismiss the thought, but I jumped out of bed, and looked in the suitcase.  IDIOT (this word is a bad word at our house, so I am practically swearing here) I. FORGOT. MY. SHOES. WHAT. AN. IDIOT. (Again with the bad word)
The only shoes I had were my flip flops.  IDIOT.  
My cries of anguish woke Ben up, and we both searched the bag again.  You know, in case I missed my shoes the first 1000 times I had already looked.  
I decided I would wear my socks, and just go like that.  Ben looked at me with that face that screams IDIOT, and told me that I could borrow his flip flops, which were a little more sturdy than mine. I decided that I would have to climb the mountain in flip flops.  
I didn't go back to sleep after that, and at 2:00 am.  We loaded the bus.  

Here is the rest of the trip in pictures and captions.

The top of the mountain from the beginning of the hike.
I am pretty sure that the movie "Joe Versus the Volcano" was highly based on this mountain.

Statue of Buddha at the start of the hike.
  Oh, so you want to climb this mountain, huh?  I will just lay here and watch.

I didn't take any pictures of the hike up, but let me describe it for you.  Stairs.  The entire climb was stairs, well 89% stairs.  And, it is about 7 km up and 7 km down.  Have you ever done a stair climber machine for 5, okay, closer to 4 hours straight.  No?  Probably because that is crazy.  Yes, crazy. That is what this felt like.
The good thing is that there are many tea shops and other stores that sell water and snacks along the way.  In fact, they were almost all the way to the top.  My thought when I saw them was that someone had to carry all those water bottles, soda bottles, and EVERY. LITTLE. ITEM. up those stairs.  It made me feel like a wimp.
We made it to the top at the same time as every other person who wanted to watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain.  We made it to the top, but couldn't really see, so we started the climb back down to find somewhere to watch the sunrise.  We didn't even see the famous footprint.  However, in order to see it, you have to take off your shoes and your hats, and it was really cold and crowded so we skipped that part.  We found out later that the actual "footprint" is buried several feet underground, so we wouldn't have even see the "real" thing anyway.

We did find someplace to watch the sunrise, sans the crowds and the noxious odors.  I didn't mention the odors, but you know, we have a crowd of people that have been climbing stairs for hours all packed together, and well, I am sure you can imagine.

Victory.  We watched the sunrise.

Ben beginning the descent. 

Some of the stairs.  This part was seriously steep. Okay, most of it was seriously steep.

Once the sun came up we had such beautiful views, which made the journey so much easier.

What a cute couple. And my favorite picture from our trip.  I'll make it extra large to show its importance.

And we mustn't forget my footwear.  Yes.  I am in fact wearing flip flops and socks.  Surprisingly my feet stayed warm and pain free the entire time.  I must add that there was a lot of praying going on in my head.  As an interesting note, most of the Sri Lankan people climbing were also wearing sandals or barefoot.  So I really fit right in...well not really, I think the socks gave it away that I was not local.

This is the mountain we climbed. Mighty impressive if you ask me.  

Overall it was a great experience.  I am grateful that my feet didn't hurt.  I am also grateful that we did not bring our kids.  Some people brought their kids and carried them up the entire way- I am incredibly impressed with them.  One of the marines also helped carry one of the kids up, and I am seriously impressed with her as well. One of the things that made the trip great was the wonderful people we went with. 

I am glad I did it, but probably won't do it again.

And from now on I will always double check to make sure I have my shoes.