30 before 30

Chad again.  I’m playing quite a bit of catch up on my posts so you’re gonna get a lot of days in a row.  So let’s get to it!

Day 13: I thought I needed some color for this one so I added a tie.  I felt really super fancy all day but overall I think it was a winner. 


Shirt: Banana

Shoes: DSW

Jeans: Target

Day 14: I look so dumb in the picture!!! I’ll be so glad when I don’t have to photgraph myself everyday!  Overall, I like this.  I think it shirt it pretty good and I don’t think I wear it enough.


Shirt: Banana

Jeans: Target

Shoes: Dillards

Day 15: Not sure why this pic looks so yellow?  Oh well, I was probably just jaundiced from being sick for like 3 weeks when this was taken. Who knows.  I got this shirt for christmas from my mom (Hey, Mom!) and I really like it.  Good call, Mom!


Shirt: Dillards

Jeans: Target

Shoes: DSW

Day 16: This one was okay for me.  This was probably more like day 22 then day 16 and at this point it’s getting pretty hard not to repeat things.  I think I picked to may cardigans and sweaters and not enough shirts.  Lesson learned in case I do this again.


Shirt: Banana

Cardigan: Dillards (also from mom for xmas)

Jeans: Target

Shoes: Dillards

Day 17: Since it snowe for like 2 weeks straight or something like that we got to wear jeans to work a lot so my poor slacks I picked haven’t been getting much use in the 30.  But if you don’t know me I LOVE the color purple (just to be clear…it’s the actual color not the movie) which makes me feel really good about this look.  I think it looks good on me and I will most likely wear it like 1,000 more times. 


Shirt & Sweater: Macy’s

Jeans: Target

Shoes: Dillards

So that’s all for now.  Check back really soon for more picks of my 30.  I finish up this Saturday but I have way more pics to post by then!!

Chad Out!


HI!!!!  Remember me?  That guy who posted on Kim’s blog like a month ago?  Well…..I’m back.  After a few snow days and a month of being sick, I’m finally starting to become a functioning member of society again.  I think I’m like 5 days behind in my 30 which is supposed to end on Tuesday but i’ll try to get up what I have over the next few days in what I’m calling 30 for 30 MEGAPOSTS!!!!!!!  So here you go 5 days of of my 30.  I pretty much fail at remembering to take pics of myself everyday so I’ll post what I have so they may not be in chronological order but oh well.  Here we go:

Day 8:  I really like this shirt.  I feel like it was a good purchase when i got it.  Pretty sure this was just a day in while I was sick so I didn’t really try to hard.


Shirt: Banana

Jeans: Target

Shoes: Target

Day 9: I wore this to church on Ash Wednesday.  I like this one overall.  I’m not crazy about it.  I think the best thing I like is my shoes.  I didn’t wear them for a long time cause they hurt my feet but now I’ve broke them in and I really love them.  I get so many compliments on them.


Shirt: Dillards

Caridgan and Jeans: Target

Shoes: DSW

Day 10: Y’all.  I love this caridgan. It’s like my favorite thing. I’m glad I’m learning to wear it with different things. This whole outfit came from Target except for the shoes.  They came from DSW.


Day 11: This one is kinda the opposite of my Day 5 outfit.  But I really like it.  I would have never guessed that purple and brown looked so good together.  WHO KNEW!!! I didn’t.  And sorry about all the bad photos.  I really hate posing for pictures.  I always feel like I look so dumb.  Oh well.


Shirt: JC Penny’s

Caridgan & Shoes: Dillards

Jeans: Target

Day 12: This was another lying around the house outfit I think.  The whole thing came from Target and the shoes were from Dillards.


That’s all for now.  Looks for Days 14-18 coming up in a couple of days!!!


so, I was an overachiever on quilts due to baby fever 2012.  (and this is not even counting the aloha mod one for addie).  so here is #4.  (I should mention that both this one and selah’s one were finished a few months ago, and I am just now getting around to uploading the pictures).  greta belongs to my friends pat and heidi, whom I adore but don’t get to see very often since they live in memphis.   pat is an old friend from camp, I worked with him all three years.  and, he was actually one of my counselors on the island the first week with the fire.

so, this fabric?  it was an impulse buy.  I saw it as a charm pack on sale when I was buying the fabric bundle for selah’s quilt, and online it looked so cute.  like super, super cute.  and then…when it arrived?  it was so…….not cute.  I mean, it wasn’t horrible, but it REALLY wasn’t my style.  it was really juvenile and cutesy, which is just so not me.  it was not even a little modern, and I wasn’t thrilled with the colors.  how did it look SO cute in the online picture??

ultimately, I decided that, since I am afraid of points, but have always wanted to try a value quilt, using a charm pack I didn’t love was a good opportunity to try it out.  if it didn’t work out, I would scrap it and pick something else.  so I got to work, and was loving how it was turning out, but when I used up the whole charm pack, it was just a little bigger than a placemat.  so….pretty small.  so, I actually had to buy more of this fabric-I-didn’t-love, and lucky me, quilter’s haven had a handful of the charm packs.  I also bought a few quarter yards of a few other lighter-value prints, because the charm pack had a few too many that were darker-value.  it was hard for me to actually pick up a bolt of fabric with dragonflies on it.  ugh.  but you know what?

I love this quilt.

I love how it came together.  it makes me want to make so many more value quilts.  it took fabrics that I was not excited about, and made me love them.  it was such a fun quilt to make!  and making the half-square triangles from the charm pack (2 squares making 2 identical half-square triangle squares) was SO MUCH less scary than actually sewing triangles.  I also know myself well enough to know that I had to give myself some wiggle room, so I squared up each block to a smaller size than if it was perfect.  I know that that’s kind of a sloppy technique, and wastes a bit of fabric, but for me it was totally worth it to keep my sanity and actually enjoy this project.  and I would have had to do some trimming anyway to deal with the pinked edges.

I love learning more about color, and fabric choice, and how to use them to my advantage, and this project taught me a lot about value and how to use that to my advantage.  I am pretty proud of how this project turned out, and I had no reservations about going with it and mailing it off to greta.  (um….even though it took me like 2 months to get to the post office!!  sorry pat & heidi & greta!  does anyone else have trouble making it to the post office??)  the backing was one of the only prints I really liked on it its own (so glad that quilter’s haven had some yardage of it).  the binding is a solid color, and I think it was a good choice.  I quilted it stitch in the ditch, because that is apparently all I do.  I think that more intricate quilting should be my next goal.

hopefully linsey and I will have lily’s quilt done before too long, so that I can move on to the largest (but I am hoping not most difficult) project I’ve ever attempted.  hooray!

so for some stupid reason, I decided to challenge myself on my spring quilts this year for baby fever 2012.  sometimes it was okay and worked out, sometimes it made me angry and was a challenge.  this one had a little bit of both.  this quilt is for selah (say-la), who belongs to robbie and mel.  robbie is my oldest friend.  we have been friends for almost 25 years.  that is a long time.  here is a picture of selah showing that we are kindred spirits due to love of jeggings.  way to go selah.  just remember, that if your jeggings have a fake fly, and you wear them every day for the entire winter, know that when you wear a pair of normal pants, you have to remember to zip the fly.  I speak from experience. 

overall this was a pretty challenging project.  I’d had the fabric for awhile–it was a custom bundle from fabricworm.  I was nervous at first, because all of the echino prints were kind of a weird fabric–more linen-y and canvas-y than normal quilting cottons.  I went back and forth over whether or not to use them, and in the end lindsey convinced me it would be okay.  also, I have a strict NO POINTS rule when I quilt.  only rectangles or squares (or even circles!  circles are better than points!!)  but….with all the chevron business that is so trendy right now, I decided to give it a go and see how it went.  and honestly, it wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t an idiot.  really, that should be my tagline when I sew,

“it wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t an idiot.”

I make so many ridiculous mistakes it’s not even funny.  I know I say this all the time, but it is the honest truth.  see that light blue solid-ish on the left? I did an entire section of the quilt using the WRONG side of this fabric.  don’t ask me how these things happen, I don’t know how I get out of bed in the morning.  but I didn’t have enough of everything to redo it, so I had to rip it all apart (FUN!) and then redo it, only I redid it with the exact same mistake (HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN!) and had to rip it out and do it again.  only since it had been cut on the wrong angle, I couldn’t just flip it over, I had to sew two scraps together and then cut a new parallelogram.  which I had been avoiding all along by sewing horizontal strips together and then cutting them at an angle.  ugh.  it was horrible.  there might have been tears, swearing, or a combination of the two.

since it had points, I was very nervous, and tossed around three different options for sewing the columns together.  I knew the more sashing I had, the more I could fake it if my points were bad.  so the one with more sashing would have been the easiest.  I asked the opinion of several friends, and the consensus was to go with…NO SASHING.  what in the heck.  I was very scared, but they all told me “you can do it!”  and guess what!  I did!  I am glad I went with no sashing.  it was okay.  it just took a lot of pinning.

I think the echino fabrics turned out okay.  I think the colors probably match their style pretty well (mel likes a lot of bold colors), and I really, really like that print on the back.  can you see all the crazy animals?  my only concern is that I have reservations about the strength of the thread I used to tack down the binding.  I don’t know why it turned out so sketch–it’s gutterman, so really it shouldn’t have been too bad, but after I washed it, the stitching seems pretty loose and it makes me nervous.  I hope that mel isn’t too shy to tell me if it falls apart and I need to fix it!  maybe it had something to do with the weird echino fabric?  who knows.

it took me several tries to decide how to quilt it, I ended up just stitching in the ditch along the zig-zags, and I tried many options of thread colors.  I ended up using teal on the front and plum on the back.  in my head I heard bon qui qui saying “but don’t get crazy” but I did it anyway.  I will cut you.

overall I am happy with the way it turned out.  the points still freak me out.  ps, thanks to cindy for her helpful tutorial business!!!

so….30 is here!  my birthday was monday, and it was THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER.  by a landslide.  I have a few pictures to share from our incredible colorado trip, but I think it would be better if I cleaned up my 30 before 30 list.  I accomplished about half the things on my list, but I’m not going to get upset that I didn’t get more done–it gives me something to do in the future!  I will have separate posts for the last quilts (2 more quilts!  exceeded my goal!), but here is the smaller stuff I haven’t written about:

7.  lose 5 pounds.  just 5.  I’m going to call this good.  my weight fluctuates a lot all the time, but the number it is around is about 5 pounds lower than it was.  this is hard because of my headache medicine (I think I’ve mentioned that before), but I’ve been trying really hard to pay more attention to how much I’m eating.  I’m pretty good at eating healthful stuff, I just eat WAY too much of it.  so I’m getting better at it.  serious running season is gearing up, which might actually make it tougher because when I’m running all the time I’m hungry all the time.  speaking of running, I still want to run a marathon this year.  I have my sights at least set on the kc half, with a full hopefully a few months behind it, I’m thinking maybe december.

8.  grow fresh herbs.  DONE!  I bought some cute little planters to hang on our porch and have been trying to keep them alive.  so far everything is doing good except for one of the mint plants.  I planted four mint plants, one lemon thyme, one purple basil, and two kinds of lavender.  I plan on making a lot of mojitos this summer!  and pasta stuff with herbs.  I’m hoping to dry the lavender to use for filling things like pincushions and scrap bags (since I didn’t yet make myself a better scrap bag–#30).  our porch is pretty much the cutest porch at the homestead right now.

19.  babysit for babies.  I have done this a bunch of times now, both for junebug and for effy (and also for a few older girls a few times).  I love hanging out with babies and get excited to build relationships with them as they get older.  I love my sunday school kids, and I can’t wait to interact with the babies in my life the same way.  here is a picture I took of effy on our date to the park last week.  she’s pretty great.

21.  (learn to use my camera properly).  this is done and not done at the same time.  I took a workshop a few weeks ago, and it turned out to be way below my skill level.  I guess it showed me that I know more than I think I do, but really, I don’t know how to put it all together anymore, and I don’t practice enough.  I used to know TONS about photography back in high school, when I shot a lot of my dad’s old film camera, and while most of the general knowledge is still there (like knowing what aperture, shutter speed, and ISO are), I have really forgotten how to put it to use and take good shots.  so I am not much better than I was before.  I took my camera with me to colorado, but ended up not using it since 1, the battery was almost dead and I forgot to bring the charger, and 2. landscape pictures of things like mountains are just not that great.  you can be standing there, looking around, thinking “this is amazing!  it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before!” and then you take a picture, and look at the screen, and think “oh.  this picture looks like every picture I’ve ever seen of a mountain and doesn’t look that impressive.”  not really worth it.  so really, I need to practice more to get anywhere.  the workshop did, however, get me a couple of tips in regards to shooting my quilts, and how to use the flash outside better.  so at least that helps.

26.  (clean up my inbox once a month).  well, I definitely didn’t do it once a month, but often enough that it’s under control and not at like 600 emails.

29.  only buy clothes that are flattering.  I think I can say I accomplished this one!  it was hard, and there were a few things I had to return after realizing I can do better, but I’m definitely getting better at this.  I know it seems ridiculous to buy things that aren’t flattering, but it can be so hard sometimes when your body is not built like a model’s!  I’m not saying I hate my body, but some things are made for people with different body types, and we need to at least be aware of that so we can make better decisions.

so……that leaves a bunch of things still to do.  ON IT.

(up next: quilts!)

rankings; plus some additional movie commentary.

1.  through painted deserts–I just love donald miller.  that’s all there is to it.  we saw blue like jazz this week and I liked it.  it really, really resonated with me, but I don’t think it has mass appeal.  which is fine.  it was weird, but after reading several of his books, I get it, and I know what he means.  I don’t think a lot of people would necessarily pick up on it from just seeing the movie, they might just be like “umm….what?” but I get it.  it really speaks to where I think I am in reference to God and culture, “christianity” and society.  my facebook feed is weird.  I have friends who are theology students who post wordy and judgmental quotes about how God hates our society, and friends who think God is crap and post links to articles discrediting Him.  and I don’t think those first people are accomplishing anything for the kingdom.  and it makes me mad.  I digress.  I just love mr. miller.  I love his writing.  I am so glad he went to reed.  he has a gift, and every time I pick up his pages I benefit.  I feel like we are friends.  and I think he would say the same about me.

2.  the help–oh boy, I still haven’t gotten over how much I loved this book.  if you haven’t read it yet, do it.  it is so very good.  as far as movies go, I got this one but haven’t watched it yet.  which is a little nuts.  lindsey and bobby and I have been watching sunday night movies and popcorn, maybe I can sneak this one in soon.  I am expecting great things.  will I be let down?  I hope not.

3.  true grit–people.  this book is so good.  anyone would like it.  and it is such an easy read.  you can read my post about how much I loved this book, but for now I MUST address the movies.  first, the one from 1969.  oh man.  I’m going to go ahead and say it:  this movie was bad.  not horrible bad, but definitely bad.  it was not terribly true to the book, but it mostly missed the tone of the book.  the thing I loved so much about the book was the attitude, the snark, the hilarious dry humor.  and none of that was present in this version.  especially in mattie–I think I can say that this was one of the most terrible casting decisions of all time.    kim darby was so awful.  she didn’t look like mattie (in fact, she looked very much like my best friend’s husband, I am not kidding), and her attitude and character was so off.  it made me really angry.  I said so like 40 times during the movie.  bobby and lindsey kept saying “you will like the new one better, we promise.”  the other thing I have to mention is how hilarious the rating is.  it is rated G.  G people.  let me tell you about some of the things that happened in this movie:  3 people got hung (shown), like 10 people got shot point blank, a guy chopped another guy’s fingers off with a hatchet, and they said sonofabitch and dammit several times.  none of this is offensive to me, just hilarious that it was rated G.  what in the heck 1969!  second, the one from 2010.  YES.  yes yes yes.  this movie was great.  hailee steinfeld was spot on and played such a better mattie (ps she is going to be petra in ender’s game!!!!  omg so excited, that is one of my all time favorite books).  the people who made this movie must have actually read the book, and they did it justice.  matt damon was hilarious, and so was jeff bridges.  (the only character that was better in the old movie was mr. lee).  so much better.  so very much better.

4.  northanger abbey–this book also ranks number 4 on my list of jane austen books.  pretty great, but not as good as some of the others.  I did like the movie, but you know I am a character person, and it is just harder for me to relate to catherine.  the movie was very well done, however.

5.  the kite runner–had I not read the four books above, this one could have easily taken the top spot.  so good.  so well written, such deep characters, such a compelling story.

6.  of mice and men–classic steinbeck.  an easy read, but at the same time, a really, really hard read.  this book affected me a great deal.

7.  the pearl–again, steinbeck is my homie.  I enjoy his writing a great deal.  the grapes of wrath is next on the list.

8.  the devil in the white city–I really wanted this to be higher up.  this is a classic case of expectations set too high for me.  a likable book, but a little slow for my taste.

9.  life of pi–such a weird book.  if I was basing my rankings solely on endings this one would be way higher up.  the rest of it was too slow for me.  I still have a lot of questions about this book and would love to discuss it with someone who has read it!

10.  let the great world spin–I had no trouble putting this at the bottom of this list.  I did not like this book!  it was hard to get through, and though there were some redeeming parts, not nearly enough to make it worth it.  lame.  don’t read this book.

so there you have it.  it has been good for me to be motivated to read more.  I’m currently reading birdsong, which, let’s be honest, I am only reading because I want to watch the masterpiece miniseries with eddie redmayne in it  (I’ll love you forever jack!)  so far it’s pretty good, but MAN is there a lot of sex!  I mean really!  I think the war is about to start so maybe the focus is going to shift?  the love story is pretty great, but the author is really toying with my emotions right now.  the characters are pretty interesting, and I am curious to see where it goes.  it’s feeding my 1910s anglophile self while downton abbey is on hiatus.

I still have 9 or 10 books in my queue, but….any recommendations?  I will gladly take them!

and with this, goal 5. read 10 books is accomplished.  yes!

so this book.  it came highly recommended from my friend tommy (or timmy, as my iphone likes to say).  and I think my expectations were too high.

I did like this book.  my only issue was that it was a little too slow.  it jumped around a lot, and while sometimes that is a good thing, it was a little confusing.  overall I would give this book a B+.  I loved all the architecture, but not as much as I wanted to because I think I wanted more pictures.  I think I need to investigate the world’s fair of 1893 a little on my own.  I wish I could go and see the exposition…walk around and see all the buildings.  I had a hard time picturing them in my mind.  also?  I love chicago.  it is such a great city.  I love big cities in general.  so it was pretty great to read about it some more.  and it was crazy to read about hh holmes.  what in the heck.  why did he kill all those people?  I think my favorite thing to read/learn about was the ferris wheel.  even though ferris wheels are my #2 biggest fear, it was so fascinating to learn about the first one.  honestly I think I wouldn’t have been as stressed out by that one–the cars were all enclosed.  my main fear with ferris wheels is the lack of restriction–I feel as if you could fall out really easily–so I don’t think it would have been as scary in an enclosed car.  did you know that, at the time, it was taller than every skyscraper in chicago???  this is insane to me.  I mean, buildings are a lot taller now than they were in 1893, but to think of a ferris wheel that was taller than every building so far just blows my mind.  and that nothing like it had ever been built–it was based on just what the builders and engineers knew thus far about the properties of steel.  this just blows my mind.  even as a math teacher, who has confidence in calculations, I feel like I would never be confident enough to say “my calculations are correct, so this crazy dangerous thing will most certainly be a success.”  (also, I mean, I make a lot of mistakes.  like a lot.  I can’t even cut fabric in a straight line with my ruler & rotary cutter half the time, and I make ridiculous math mistakes in front of my students all the time, so I would not be the person for this job anyway).

but, I did like the book in general.  I just really, really wanted to LOVE it.

up next:  30 for 30 book rankings!  and movie commentary.  stay tuned.

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