Monday, September 30, 2013

30 for 30 Outfit Challenge Week 4 and Lessons

Here are:
Week 3Week 2Week 1The Mostly 30 Pieces and the Background

Here we are at the end of Week 4.  This past week, I was feeling discouraged and painfully insecure about the outfits I picked.  

I'm still finding it hard to match head coverings with outfits.  When I got to Israel in November, I will look for solid coloured scarves, although I'm not sure if the lack of pattern will help matters.  I feel that I am adding too much extra colour or pattern with a scarf on my head and somehow it takes away from the outfit.  I don't really look very good in berets and I don't want to start living in 3-4 hats all the time either.

I'm open to ideas...should I just stick to a certain set of colours in my wardrobe? I've received feedback that certain colours definitely look better on me (earth tones, warmer colours, a few of the cooler colours too but definitely in what would be considered neutral/safe tones).

I feel overall, I look best in the tighter fitting skirts.  The jean skirt and the brown corduroy skirt has been less of a favourite of mine and also of some readers (please keep in mind I was using what I had in my closet too, so be gentle on me :) ).  I'd like to have a basic denim skirt, so I am on the look out for something better.  I do have a denim-y pencil that wasn't part of the challenge, but it tends to look dressier which is why I opted for the more casual one.

The green chiffon blouse...sigh, I think that is one I'll have to give up, I think I've given it a bunch of tries and it's one of those, looked great on the mannequin, should have left it in the store.  I love all the other blouses (3 recently purchased) used for the challenge (chambray, blue, white, purple/black).

By far, this outfit was one of my favourites.  I don't know why, I just really liked the combination of casual with fancy.  My black pencil style skirt from Old Navy was also a favourite piece, I guess it's just really versatile.  If you've been following along, you know by now I love black and white stripe skirts, and I really like mine and I am looking forward to wearing my newly acquired one (more pencil like style).

I'm glad I gave my sheath style dress some new life by wearing them with blouses (rather than only shells).

Here are the pictures for Week 4.  One outfit is missing, striped skirt with dark red t-shirt/white shell.  It looked bleh, but I was feeling pretty bleh that day and I didn't care.  One of those days.

I was rushing to get my son ready so I  missed the top buttons on the sweater.  They got done up later one.  
Taking Sprout out for a little wagon ride
for sure not my favourite, but i needed something for that day and too much was in the laundry (or previously worn combinations)!
I know it all looks dark, but I was in fact wearing burgundy tights.  I happened to try on black mary jane heels in a store and it really looked much better than my black ballet flats.  This beige sweater thing is a hand me down from a friend, I feel mixed about it.  I kind of like the idea of it, I'm just not sure it suits me, what do you think?

I didn't mind either of these outfits (worn during Yom Tov, thrown back on for picturing purposes).  Quite honestly, I think a lot of these outfits would look far better on me if I had on a little eyeliner and concealer.  

and for Day 30....

A big lesson after all of this...with the right pieces you really can have a closet with only 30 items (crazy i know!) and wear 30 different outfits over a month.  I think there are still a few more combinations I could have made if some of my pieces were a bit different.  
Thank you for following along!  Have you ever done a 30 for 30 outfit challenge?

(what 30 day challenge should i do next???)

I appreciate all comments. Please don't be shy and share your thoughts! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Holiday Burn Out

I have been feeling depressed the last week.  I have had so much on my mind.  I feel like my faith is doing the ebb/flow thing.  I don't know where I belong in the Jewish community.  Infertility.  Holidays.   Reflecting.  Cooking.  Cleaning.

The best way to describe the feeling has been a burnt out exhaustion.  It started around Rosh Hashanah.  After I finished that 30 day writing challenge, I didn't really feel spiritually ready for the Jewish New Year.  I felt.  Empty.  Like a "so what?" kind of feeling.

Those feelings have been staying right through Sukkot, a time that is supposed to be filled with joy.  I put my son in extra day care hours this week to give myself some mommy alone time.  It has helped a bit.  One more set of three day Yom Tov this weekend.  I admit I'm not feeling spiritually or emotionally ready to do it again, but, like all my hard races, I will do one more push to the finish line.

Do you feel holiday burn out?

I appreciate all comments. Please don't be shy and share your thoughts!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

30 for 30 Outfit Challenge - Week 3

Has it been 3 weeks already?  It seems to be going by fast.

Week 2, Week 1, The Mostly 30 Pieces and the Background

This week included outfits for Yom Tom (Holy days), some of which were just casual meals out.  The outfits are out of order, (sorry), but you get the idea.  Jean skirt got featured a lot this week.  Usually I might be out for maybe an hour or so, and then change back into yoga pants for hanging out at home.  The one thing I didn't really like is how the button and the fly kind of show through whatever I am wearing on top of the skirt.  I don't like how things look tucked into this particular skirt, so maybe it's a sign I might need something different?

I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  Oh well.

I appreciate all comments. Please don't be shy and share your thoughts!
I kind of liked my retro tichel with this outfit.  
Blurrrry.  Oops.  

I'm wearing a sinar (apron) tichel with this outfit.  I was mostly happy with the ensemble.  

See what I mean?  Bumpy.  What do people do about that?  

I have to admit, this outfit makes me happy.  

Comfy and casual

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our Sukkah: The inside

Our Sukkah has come together nicely (You can read about the building of our Sukkah, here).  I don't think it's anything glamorous, but it's ours and I am happy we finally have a Sukkah we can enjoy.

The thing about Sukkot in Canada is that it can be cold and wet during September (or October), so all decorations need to be waterproof.  Here is a run down of the crafts/decorations I made:

  • I prepared a few of these, I guess I will follow up later and let you know if it helped at all.  I know from friends' Sukkot, bees and wasps can be problematic and generally causing freak outs. 
  • My husband helped me make a simplified version of this.  
  • I didn't make a garland, but I made the plastic pom poms.  
  • I tried making a couple of these, but I didn't like the way they turned out.  
  • I got a couple of the banner ideas from here.  The Bruchim HaBaim Banner (Welcome Blessing) is made of foam sheets.  
  • I made a variation of these using dried beans, electric tea lights and large mason jars.  I like the colours.  

I created a few print outs of the list of Ushpizin (guests) because I couldn't find anything online, they are obviously very basic.  It's one of those things I plan on improving, just looking for the right print out and idea.

A beautiful idea I've seen at my Rebbetzin's Sukkah is a collage of pictures of Sukkah's past.  I'd like to make something like that for ours too.  What a beautiful way to keep memories.

Anything out of paper got laminated using clear sticky book covering stuff from the dollar store.

A really great resource for crafts for Sukkot (other than searching through Pinterest) is Creative Jewish Mom.  She is absolutely an inspiration.

I think that covers the crafts.  Without further ado, here is a look inside the Sukkah.

I know, they are basic and simple, but they'll do for now.  

"Those who reap with tears will sow with songs of joy"

A view of the pom poms

My husband made the welcome a little too Halloween-y, I think, but he says it's Dr. Seuss.  What do you think?  

Our cute little centrepiece


I appreciate all comments. Please don't be shy and share your thoughts!

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Monday, let's talk: Modest Fashion

I'd like to start a "It's Monday, let's talk..." series.  We can share insights on different issues, parental, spiritual, fashion...whatever I think of.  If you have a suggestion, please let me know!

For the first one, I decided on Modest Fashion (as you might have guessed).

The laws of Tsniut (Modesty) extends beyond dress, and applies to behaviour and certain activities (such as a man cannot be alone with a woman who is not his wife, or there must be a divider between the men and women in a Synagogue).  (As well as other things, but these are just examples). 

I would like to chat about modest dress.  I only know from what I learn from my Rebbetzin (Rabbi's wife), so I won't quote specific references online.

The basics:

  • Tops should cover collar bones
  • Sleeves should cover elbows
  • Skirts should cover knees, even while seated
  • Hair is covered (up to a fistful can be showing, and I know there is discussion as to what that means, but I won't get into that.  I don't look good in bangs so I'm not worried about that too much).  
Some people wear longer sleeves, long skirts, wear tights all the time...

Why have I started to do any of this?...It felt right?  I guess it is just some irrational reason I cannot fully explain.  When I started to learn and I wanted to take on more Mitzvot, dressing modestly just seemed like the right thing to do.  

I admit, I have a hard time finding skirts that are the appropriate length, so many of my skirts may cover my knees, barely, and definitely don't while I'm seated.  I am short, so I don't really like very long skirts, I end up looking like I wear a blanket.  (I'm not a petite short build).  I'm sure some people might consider that an excuse.  I want to feel good in my clothes and I won't enjoy or appreciate the Mitzvah (Commandment or Good Deed) of dressing modesty if I feel bleh every time I get dressed.  

For the summer I find it challenging to find tops that cover what they should cover and I end up relying on shells under T-shirts, and I'm starting to get tired of that look.  Not to mention how very hot I feel wearing layers on the hottest days of summer.   

I started covering my hair full time since May.  I like covering my hair.  I admit in part, it's because I hate my hair.  I don't think my hair ever recovered from my pregnancy and it is always up in in a pony tail anyway.  I have found that matching scarves to outfits a bit difficult but I am slowly figuring it out.  

I have been working on rebuilding my wardrobe and dressing more fashionably, yet modest.  I have been learning since I am quite fashion-challenged.  You can check out my Pinterest Board and see that there are ideas out there.  

Do you dress modestly?  Why?  What rules have you chosen to follow?  Where do you find clothes?  

Let's talk!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Building the Sukkah

Sukkot is a few days after Yom Kippur which means a lot of scrambling to get it all together before the next set of Yom Tov (Holy) days.

In a nutshell, the Sukkah is a booth (hut?) that needs to have certain characteristics.  The roof must be made so that it provides shade during the day but the stars are visible at night.  These huts commemorate Jewish people's housing as they travelled the 40 years in the desert after leaving Egypt (as in the story from the Bible).  

Our Sukkah went up today.  This is the first year we have a full sized Sukkah.  Last year we used a Pop Up Sukkah which was very cute and very cozy.  We recently had the backyard redone (you do not want to see the before pictures, we're talking dead grass, decaying deck...).  We added a pergola to the design which would act as our frame for the Sukkah (and give us shade the rest of the warm season).  

The area and our son acting as general contractor.   

The Schach (roof).  This one is a 10x16 roll of bamboo mat.  

My husband is proud that the schach covers the area.  

Added support for the tarp walls. The walls can't sway too much, since we are using tarp we needed to find a way to keep the walls more secure.  

A very massive tarp.  It was cut in half before being installed.   The walls are secured to the frame with bungee chords.  

And there it is!  

Next Sukkah post will show the inside (which will give me a chance to actually decorate the inside!).

30 for 30 Outfit Challenge Week 2

You can view Week 1The Mostly 30 Pieces, and a bit of a Background on my doing this.

Week 2 and we're almost half way there.  I find the one thing that's challenging is that I'll find a combination I like, then I can't wear it again for the rest of the month.  Doh!  I'll probably do a post at the end of the outfits that I liked the best/least.

So here are the outfits from this week.  I apologize for the clothing mess for Yom Kippur's outfit, it's horribly wrinkled, and I had an AMAZING head wrap with two scarves only I haven't been able to recreate it. Doh.  I was also home all day one day this week, so I didn't do the challenge and stayed in comfy clothes.  Maybe that's cheating?

I have been focused on necklaces as a statement, and patterns in general.  I realized I can use my head scarves as my statement piece and just use an slightly understated necklace too.

I realize I've been wearing my new brown shoes lately too.  I guess they just worked well with my outfits I chose.  My legs are also painfully white.  Sorry.  I don't tan.  The weather is starting to be cool enough for tights, so at least those will get hidden a bit more.

Thanks for reading!