I did a lot of sewing over the long holiday weekend,
but my favorite out of all the items I crafted
was this dress that I made for Stella.
 I've made this pattern before (here, here and here)
but this is my best, by far.
The construction is my finest, and I am in love with the fabric combination.
 I happen to think the model is adorable, too.


Fashion Week

I tried my hand at sewing clothes for me this weekend. This dress was made from a Gap tank top, a strip of elastic, and the bottom half of a dress from The Limited.  I plan on wearing it tomorrow, so look for photos of me in it next week!
Top: Antrhopologie
Sweater: Target
Belt: J.Crew
Pants: NY&Co
Shoes: Payless
 Dress: Arttie
Shoes: White House/Black Market
 Tee & Pants: Gap
Sweater: Anthropologie
Shoes: Payless
Sweater: Target
Tank: Old Navy
Belt: The Limited
Pants: Gap
Shoes: Chinese Laundry
Necklace: Forever 21
Skirt: Athena Pelton
Shoes: White House/Black Market
Belt: Target



Moore, Please

If you know me, you know that I am not above shameless self-promotion.
I am the finest hat-knitter this side of the Mississippi.
I make a mean meat-loaf, too.

I also have no qualms whatsoever about shamelessly promoting a product that I cannot
in any way
imagine my life without.

A couple of years ago, I was scouring the internets for a camera bag that was both form and function.  Style and substance.  I was looking for something that had a certain, je ne sais quois...
I tried Epiphanie, but they just weren't...me.  I tried Etsy, but everything seemed so flimsy.  I almost, I mean put-it-in-the-cart-and-was-three-point-seven-seconds-from-clicking-"place-order" almost bought a Shootsac.  But something in my gut stopped me.  I loved the idea of a lens bag, but I wanted something that would carry my camera, too.  "I need to take more everyday photos" I told myself.  I need a bag that will allow me, ahem force me, to carry my camera everywhere I go.  Without looking like I'm lugging a camera bag around with me.

Enter Kelly Moore.  My savior.  My bag-making bff (who has absolutely zero idea that I actually exist).
The first bag I purchased (after cashing in my birthday, mother's day, and anniversary gifts into one fell swoop) was the Classic:
It fits all my wedding gear perfectly.
In the photo above I have a 60mm Macro, an SB 800 flash, a 70-200 zoom and a spare body..
Two front pockets usually hold my wallet, cell phone, and business cards.
The side pockets are perfect for pens, and Stila lip gloss.
And when I'm not using the Classic as a camera bag,
it nicely doubles as the perfect diaper bag.
Seeing as how I am a glutton in everything. I couldn't have just one.  It came to my attention one day last winter, that I needed something smaller.  Again, I almost bought a shootsac.  But then I saw the Kelly B-Hobo, and it was all over for me.  I had to have it.
Would you just look at it?!?!
It fits all my gear, if I need it to,
including the most important accessory of all
Plenty of Stila lip gloss.
My favorite part about the B-Hobo is that it looks like a purse.  No one knows I'm carrying a camera bag.  The creepy guy at that booth over there has zero clue that I have a D700 strapped to my shoulder.  And that cute-as-a-button infant hasn't the faintest either.

If you are in the market for a new camera bag, go see Kelly.  Please.
You don't even have to tell her I sent you...she has no idea who I am.  But you need to know her.

The same way I need the Juju bag.

So much, it hurts.

So scoot.
Get on over there and scope her out.

Her photography happens to be top notch, too.




This is technically a family blog.
I started it, nearly three years ago now, to keep family up to date on...well...the family.
Which I have been horrible about doing lately.

If the idea of this bores you, please, turn the channel.
Leave the room.
Navigate to another page.
Like this one, for example....

If you're still here, and I haven't scared you away, below, in list format, is what's happening with
the family pelton.

*Stella still doesn't sleep through the night.  At a whopping 17 months, she wakes up at precisely the same wee hour each night. We've tried "Sleep-training." She cries so hard she causes herself to vomit. A condition our pediatrician tells us is completely normal. And un-curable. Like some airborne toxic disease or a bite from a brown recluse. "Wait it out," she says.  I convince myself that some day I am going to miss being horrible sleep deprived all of the time snuggling my little girl for the better part of the night. Unfortunately for me, I am a horrible liar.

*While she doesn't sleep very well, she's the most amazing child. Ever. Already saying "Please" and "Thank you." She's a bruiser, too. Doesn't mind being knocked over. Walked into. Stepped on. Tripped over. Pushed. Must be the side-effect of second-child syndrome.  I am taking advantage of her toughness and training her for roller derby already.  Seems only fair to give the kid a head start as she's likely to have received the gift of my unimpressive stature.

*Elena is drawing every day.  Just today she drew her first stick-person. Complete with ears, which is perfect. I'm not raising a Van Gogh: in this house we draw heads with all the necessary appendages. We also try to write letters every day. This usually requires a bribe of some kind.  She wants to learn reading, and bugs, and everything about the universe, but she could care less about writing. Typical. This kid is totally a replica of me, even down to the tutu she wears on her head instead of her waist. Because, duh, she's a lion.

*It's currently hotter than a sweaty armpit outside. It was nearly 100 degrees yesterday, with the humidity up over 80%.  In Minnesconsin, when the humidity gets stifling, it storms.  Tornadoes, hail, fire and brimstone. Michelle Bachman is driven back into her crazy cave for fear of melting.  Once the smoke clears, the air is left cooler, drier, less palpable.  The only moisture Texas gets is in the form of humidity and beer.  A Tornado Watch typically occurs in the middle of the afternoon when one would be about as apt to find a 1 in the Twins win column as they would a cloud in the sky.  Needless to say, we don't exactly run for cover.

*I've become addicted to Pinterest. It's the most amazing place. Request an invite. You won't be sorry.  Promise.

*I shot a wedding over the weekend in Port Aransas (a teeny town on an island just north of South Padre where the humidity there is just about 94% and no matter how hard you try you're never really dry).  You can see some of my favorites over at my photography site here.

*I also took photos of DRL and the girls playing on the beach. Then accidentally I deleted them all.  Because I'm awesome.

*I really don't like the word 'alright.'  Mostly because I don't actually think it's a word.  I just had to slip that in there.

*We are planning a two-week stint in the middle west come July.  A sleepover with some friends in Omaha on our way to Minnesconsin. I'm still trying to get my hands of four pairs of adult-sized footie pajamas.  We might have to settle for snuggies and bug spray. Nadia's baby shower. DRL's birthday. Time with Rebecca and her family. Some engagement sessions. A trip to madison to see Anda.  Food. Family. Friends. Oh My God friends.  And the new Harry Potter.  Duh.

*I've given up gluten. Not forever, but for now. I've made it two days.  I'm hoping it sticks. At least long enough for my body to decide to shed some of this baby weight.  I keep telling it there is zero fear of future pregnancy so there's really no need to hang onto it. But, like my kids, it just doesn't listen to me.  I think I need to have DRL give it "Mad Face." Everyone in this house responds to Mad Face.....

*I'm addicted to "The Hunger Games" trilogy and have just started reading the third and final book of the series.  Read it. F'real. It's engrossing and perfectly paced.  And unlike the Twilight series (which it is being compared to, for reasons beyond my grasp) (which I also read and devoured and aside from their horrid writing and complete lack of substantial main character, I fully enjoyed) the main character isn't a whiny wimp. She's got guts. And a personality. Of her very own!

*My brother is living with us now. It's great to have family in town. Even better, he's just down the hall. Can you say "babysitter?"

*Abby is coming to visit next weekend.  We are beyond excited to see her.  Elena thinks Gramma Abby is going to take her back to Mexico when she leaves.  I don't have the heart to tell her that's not going to happen.  She really wants to go to Mexico...

*Elena completed a six week spanish course at the YMCA.  All she retained was a song.
(To the tune of Frere Jacques)

Buenos dias, buenos dias
como esta? como esta?
Muy bien, gracias. Muy bien, gracias,
Y tu? Y tu?

Although she much prefers to sing "Uprising" by Muse.  Oh, no, wait. I take that back. Her current favorite song to sing is "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha. I love my kids.

That's the news for now.
Happy Thursday!



Fashion Week

I do have to dress "business professional" during my day.
Though I love dresses with sandals and socks
and cowboy boots,
I have an "Ideal image" that I must "make every effort" to adhere to.

And this is what that looks like:
Top: Banana Republic (outlet)
Pants: Gap
Shoes: Payless
Belt: Target
Pants: Gap
Top: Lauren Conrad for Kohls
Shoes: BCBGirls
Necklace: Francesca's Collections
Sweater/Belt: (because let's face it, that photo on the left makes me look W_I_D_E): Target
Pants & Sweater: Gap
Ruffled Halter: The Limited
Shoes: Target
Child: My womb.
Skirt: The Limited
Top: Gap
Belt: Unknown origin
Bracelet: Silpada Designs
Shoes on Left: Nine West
Shoes on Right: Target
(I went with the ones on the right.  I had to attend a conference all day downtown Austin, and since I had to walk a few blocks from my car to the convention center, I toted these with me and walked in my yellow TOMS.  S-T-Y-L-E.  I was waiting for the Sartorialist to show up....)

Top: Haberdashery
Pants: gap
Shoes: Target



Princess Smarty Pants

This weekend we went to Port Aransas so that I could shoot a wedding.
Today, we acted like tourists.

Elena climbed into the mouth of a giant shark that protected the entrance
of a local swim and surf shop.

This is the face I got when I asked her to
"Look at Momma and smile!"

As of right now, this is the only photo I have.

In my get-them-on-the-computer-and-separate-them-from-the-wedding-photos haste,
I accidentally permanently deleted all the photos I took
of DRL
playing in the sand and surf.

Or maybe, the photos were the weekends only victims of the rapture...

Here's to hoping this data recovery software works...


(PS: The wedding photos are fine!)



Not so long ago, I was feeling a little down.
As if the dreams I was so desperately after were never going to come true.

Then I happened upon my facebook inbox, and found the following message:

""It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." E.E. Cummings 

The change, courage and strength that you have gone through have been inspirational...particularly for me. 

Thank you. 
For going after 'it' with a motivation greater than your fears. 
Thank you. 
For being transparent with us and making yourself easier to relate to, more than you'll ever know.
Thank you.
For showing, that when there's a will, there is a way.
Thank you.
For being the living example that the only boundaries that we have, are the ones we create ourselves. You do a magnificent job of showing us that you have set no boundaries and therefore continue to go further and further forward with your endeavors in which you enjoy to pursue. 

As I "sit back" and watch you grow to become who you really are (again, from my cheap seat behind the computer screen), I am in such awe. I wonder what it's like to have such courage, strength, determination; persevering on the fronts in which you've gone after.

I do know this, though. While observing it all, it gives this meak and weak lil lady on this side of the computer the positive reinforcement and encouragement that with one decision at a time, I too, can be there."

It floored me.

How can little 'ol me be motivating, 
to anyone,
when I can barely motivate myself sometimes?

I re-read this message a gagillionty times.
The most recent of which was last night,
as the woman who wrote it to me is currently having a bit of a rough time.

A place with which I am all too familiar.

And to her, 
to anyone who needs it,
and to myself, at times
I simply offer the following:

"Just because today is a terrible day doesn't mean tomorrow won't be the best day of your life.  You just gotta get there."

You are not meek.
You are not weak.
You are not small.



From Rags To...

A few months back, 
I happened upon some clearance charm packs
at a fabric shop near our old apartment. 

They weren't colors I'm traditionally drawn to,
but they were so inexpensive, I couldn't pass them up.

They sat in my fabric bin for weeks.
I had no idea what I was going to do with them.
I started sewing 1" strips of fabric to two sides of each square.
110 squares, total.
Then I started piecing them together, and realized I had erred.
Something huge.
And what I had envisioned was absolutely not what was developing.

So I ripped the seams from those white strips of fabric.
From all 110 squares.

And I started over.
Something easier, this time.
A rag quilt.

It came together in a day.

  And while it is not something that is my typical color palette,
I'm rather pleased with how it turned out.
It actually matches my living room rather well.
A happy accident.
I really like how the back turned out.
I am happy I decided to use more than one color.
It sort of looks like a game of Tetris...



Fashion Week

Top: NY&Company
Skirt: Gap
Shoes: Target
Sweater & Top: Arttie
Shoes & Belt: Target
Pants: Gap
Entire outfit: Target
Sweater: Arttie
Dress: Gap
Shoes & Belt: Target
Necklace: Blue Elephant
Sweater: Arttie
Boots: Steve Madden
Dress: Anthropologie
Belt: Target

As you can see,
I like dresses.

I also like a certain knit shrug I recently acquired.
It's sage. Olive. Basil. And it goes with everything.



Maybe She's Born With It...

Maybe it's Maybelline?

Camera: Nikon D700
Focal Length: 60mm (Macro Lens)
Aperture: 3.5
ISO: 640
Shutter Speed: 1/160



We Two

I've known him since I was 16.
We have been together an entire decade.

In most ways,
we are polar opposites:

I'm a Packer,
he's a Viking.
He's a baseball fan,
I am a Twins fan.

There's a HUGE difference between those last two.

I'm a tosser-outer,
he's a holder-onner.

I'm a talker
he's a thinker.

I'm flighty.
He's pragmatic and pensive.

Yet, in spite of all our differences,

we can get dressed in two separate places
without speaking
and come out matching.

We have an equal obsession for shoes.

We finish each other's sentences.

We make the other half
of each other's

Wait a minute...
strike that,
reverse it.

Either way,
it's we two.

Who made us four.

And I'm quadruply blessed



A Hole New Look

I'm very lucky that I have a husband
who likes to wear simple
colored tees from the Gap.
His easy fashion frees up all the extra clothes money
for the girls and me.

A consequence I'm learning to cope with...

DRL also wears a belt buckle that tends to tear tiny little holes in his tees.
After much begging, pleading, and oh-dear-god-honey-can-we-just-get-new-ones-already-ing from me, 
he eventually throws them away and we venture out to the mall 
to buy me new outfits replace his wardrobe.

On Saturday, I asked if I might be able to
oh, I don't know, 
maybe repurpose one of his hole-y shirts
into a dress for our wee babykins.

Was the response I received.
And it was all the go ahead I needed.

As soon as these photos were taken,
I set off making one for Elena using a slate blue tee.
It took a few extra modifications since she's bigger
and, well, the T-shirt was the same size as the first
but it turned out equally as great.

I'm hoping they don't shred apart in the wash.



Fashion Week

When I posted my Haute or Not photos last week,
a friend of mine suggested I post weekly fashion photos
on the bloggity.

I do not claim to be any sort of fashionista.
I'm not even sure what I'd call my style.
How I would define it.
I suppose it would depend on where I was going..


Here are some outfits that I wore last week:
The get-up that started it all.
Dress: Blue Elephant
Sweater, Shoes, Socks: Target

Top and Skirt: Gap
Shoes: Payless

Dress: Francesca's Collection
Top: Gap Outlet
Sweater: Anthropologie
Shoes: Target
Knee fat: Pregnancy #1

Sweater: Adidas Outlet
T-Shirt and Pants: Gap
Shoes: DVS (via Ross Dress for Less!)

And there you have it.
A week in the life of me.

Almost a week anyway...



I May Be On A Rant Here...

There are a certain number of things I simply don't understand.
Probably never will.
Most of the time,
I'm able to tolerate them.
I exercise patience.
But occasionally, I'm driven over the edge.

Turns out, I'm as good at exercising my patience on a regular basis
as I am my cankles. And jiggly middle.

The infrequency may be alarming.

The first of my many woes is shopping carts strewn haphazardly in parking lots.  On curbs.  Clustered on the outskirts of what must have been, at some point during the day, a busy shopping center.  Is it really so hard to put them back? So horribly time consuming? I may be on a rant here, but I once watched a woman wrestle her half-sized Marshall's shopping cart up and over the giant Texas-height curbs so as to avoid putting it back in the corral.  She nearly fell over.  Twice.  The cart return was 25 feet from where she was parked, yet she fought and wrestled and wrangled that cart up over the curb and left it lying on its side next to a drought stricken tree.  And, while I am certain the shade of that decrepit little tree would have turned that tiny cart into a nice shelter for a very small homeless man, returning it to the appropriate receptacle would have actually saved her time.  And energy.  Of which she was apparently lacking.

I have said this once, maybe even thrice, but I cannot stand the constant, incessant misuse of contractions.  Namely on social media sites.  I admit it, I'm guilty of the occasional slip up.  Generally when I'm sleep deprived and status updating with my thumbs.  But unbridled use of your when the obvious usage is you're drives me up the wall.  I may be on a rant here but what's the deal?  Lack of qualified English teachers? Laziness?  Sheer idiocy?  You+Are=you're.  Something you own=your.  It's simple really.  A baby could do it.  Secondly, I get that you're on facebook, and probably don't care about your virtual grammar, but other people read what you write.  If you present it poorly, you present yourself poorly (see? It's not you'reself.  Therefore, it's not you're. Easy!)  "Words are the dress of thoughts; and should no more be presented in rags, tatters, and dirt than your person should." ~Lord Chesterfield.  That man was on to something. (No, he was not onto something...but that's another lesson for another time.)

Since we're (we+are) already on the topic of grammar, I'd (I+would) like to take another moment to mention that I especially loathe ex-specially.  I may be on a rant here, but there is no "x" people.  E+S sounds like "ess."  That's the exact same way I explain it my three year old.  Esssssspecially.  While we're at it, I should also mention that there is only one "u" in nuclear, two "r's" in library, and the use of the word irregardless is redundant.  And wrong.   Moving on...

Automated systems.  For the love of all that is holy can companies please go back to doing business the old-fashioned way?  I may be on a rant here, but hire an operator.  Or two.  Or fifty.  I'm certain that in today's economic climate there are a whole host of folks who would gladly trade their extended unemployment benefits for a job behind a mahogany-esque desk answering gagillion-line phones and playing Minesweeper on a computer older than they are.  I don't want to listen closely in case the options have changed.  I'm never going to por favor primo el numero dos.  Give me a person. Now.  And if you won't, I am going to dial zero until someone picks up the phone.  Every. Single. Time.

Texas politics.  And I'm leaving it at that.

People who complain about taxes, how high they are, how low they are, how unfair they are, and yet they vehemently oppose funding for social programs.  I may be on a rant here, but how exactly do they think these programs are funded?  Magic and wizards?  Super-fruity unicorn juice?  I really don't want to have to sit through another diatribe about how "I don't have kids, why should my taxes pay for education?"  Because.  Education benefits everyone.  Dumbass.  I would delve into this further, but chances are, if you don't believe in education, you are not reading my blog.  Or reading at all...

The added layer of adipose that has taken residence on my thighs.  Leave.  Your services are no longer needed.  I get that you were necessary when my mammary glands were working overtime, but now that I'm graciously endowed with the upper body of a 13 year old girl, you can be on your way.  OkThanksBye.

Lastly: People who think they are better than everyone else.  Really  By whose count?  I may be on a rant here, but for the sake of argument, let's say they're right.  What do they win?  Money?  3 wishes?  A parade complete with ticker tape, vuvuzelas, and Ferris Bueller singing on a hijacked float? No?  What then?  A mere ego boost? A shitty attitude?  Sounds to me like the title of "better than you" doesn't pay well.  I'll keep my "just as good as anyone" and raise "Better Than" actual happiness.


I feel better now.
Thanks for listening.

Pet peeves are just that.
Things that annoy me.
These annoyances might not be yours,
and that's okay.

But this here?
It's my blog.
And I'm super happy you come to read
the place where I get to share
my opinions.

See that "comment" button below?
That's where you get to share you'res.


I mean, yours.



Macaroni Love Story: A Strip Quilt

I finally finished the Heather Ross Macaroni Love Story quilt.
I chose the binding fabric,
stitched it on
and c'est fini.

I am so happy with how
the quilt that took me one day to cut, piece, and sandwich
and three months to actually finish
turned out.
For the back,
I made some wonky blocks using scrap fabric
and some selvedge pieces.
I also threw in a couple strips to tie front and back together.
I kept the quilting to a minimum and did straight lines.
I stitched in the ditch of every strip and then 1/4" on either side of each seam.
I love the straight, unevenness of it.
 When I first started quilting this,
I was using a wavy stitch.
After I had about 16" finished, I realized I hated it.
So I cut the bottom of the quilt off,
and turned it into two doll quilts
for my two girls.

Waste not, want not.
I used different binding for each
so they could tell the blankets apart.
Elena's is on the left,
Stella's on the right.

Although it's difficult to tell in the photos,
I machine stitched the binding on this quilt.
It's the first time I've not hand-stitched the back of the binding
on a large quilt,
and it turned out rather well.

I have a few more quilting projects in the works.
I'm going to try my hand at a rag quilt,
and I'm going to make something using Aneela Hoey's Sherbet Pips line.
Which I was lucky enough to receive from my father
for my birthday.

(Thanks, Dad!)


PS: Happy Cinco de Mayo! May you have a very festive holiday-from-another-country-that-is-only-celebrated-in-America.  Also, happy birthday to my dear friend George, and a belated HB to Lance Throttle, and Angie!