Wednesday, November 29
What would I do if my daughter didn't enjoy being feminine? Though some may doubt what I am going to say next, I feel very strongly about the topic. I think that little girls have an inborn desire to be feminine and that they need to be encouraged to develop that femininity completely. Many women today (including my mother-in-law) weren't trained up in a way that honored the God-given roles of masculinity and femininity. I feel that it is my job as a mother to cultivate these tendencies in my children! Though it will be a hard task, I am excited to try! Please let me know if you have any hints for us!
Monday, November 27
Borrow different exercise videos from the Library or from friends. Once you find type of exercise that you like, invest in a few DVDs for yourself and use them frequently.
Spend time taking walks, hikes, or bike rides.
Go the extra "mile:" park your car farther away from entrances, walk to get the paper or pick up the mail, or even put on some music and take a twirl around your kitchen!
Play games from your youth: hopscotch, jumping jacks, hop on one foot as long as possible, or run sprints.
Play sports like tennis, badminton, basketball, or ping pong.
Lace up your roller skates or ice skates.
Play tag, hide-and-seek or manhunt.
Take an exercise class.
Get an exercise partner for taking walks, going to the gym, etc.
Bat a balloon around and try not to let it hit the floor.
Sunday, November 26
When I was a single woman going through college and I worked as a waitress, spending money didn't matter too much. The only bill I had was for car insurance. Once I completed college and became a teacher, I had an income that I was free to do whatever I wanted with. I didn't save at all and bought treats for myself, John, and my family all of the time. After getting married, I was still working and though we were far from rich, my husband and I were able to live very well.
Now that I am staying at home with our daughter and my husband is supporting us financially in an increasingly expensive world, I have begun to realize I am too frivolous with our money. Though I don't make large purchases, all of the little things I "need" add up quickly. When I saw the spread sheet Microsoft Money spit out of our October expenditures, my heart fell to the floor... My household purchases were triple what they were supposed to be.
I am now going to be writing down each item I buy (with the exception of groceries) in a little notebook I keep in my handbag with the hope that I can begin training myself to eliminate frivolous spending. I am going to try to spend as little as possible for the next ten days. Please say a little prayer that I can be more mindful and more feminine when it comes to managing money for my family.
Monday, November 20
The 50 Percent Solution
"If, as one critic commented on French Women Don't Get Fat, it's "all about portion size" - it's not, really, but if - then change indeed is a tall order. It's generally known that Americans on average eat 10 to 30 percent more than we need to every day. This is not such a surprising result of an increasingly knowledge-based economy, in which jobs of many individuals involve sitting all day. It is simple deductive reasoning to connect this situation with the fact that Americans are also on average 30 percent above their ideal weight. It was a sixteenth century Frenchman, Montaigne, who rightly observed that gluttony is that source of all our infirmities. In the land where there's honor in being able to eat the most hot dogs, what is one to do?
Portion control is more and art than a discipline, one grounded in a useful bit of self-deception. I have written about the power of incrementalism, cutting back portions over weeks and months as you introduce new variety. Though very simple, the method sometimes requires a scale and can be a bit too unstructured for some.
One trick I use to control my intake is to ask myself if I can live with half the amount being offered; indeed, will I be just as happy eating half as much? I put this approach into play in a variety of different ways, from splitting dessert with my husband to counting the number of pieces of bread I eat at a restaurant (Bread is one of my "offenders," a food I'm particularly vulnerable to overeating, and I can mindlessly eat three or four slices if i don't pay attention.) I use this simple alternative regularly, especially when not sure about the "hidden" ingredients of what I've been served or when the portion I've been offered is obviously large. I eat half. Slowly, of course, chewing well. I then ask myself whether I'm content, and therefore whether continuing would be a matter of pleasure or merely routine."
"Often I do continue eating, but I have only half of the half that's left. Then, after pausing, I consider half of what's left again. Edward calls this my Zeno's Paradox of portion control. To paraphrase the ancient principle, if you continue eating only half of what's on your plate each time, you will never eat the whole thing. That's a theoretical explanation. I'm content to call it the 50 Percent Solution and think more practically about why it works. The act of stopping and reflecting slows down consumption, allowing the brain to catch up with the stomach and release the hormone that tells us, "Mmm, that was good, but I've had enough." Contentment is largely a matter of the clock - not how much you ingest but also what you've eaten during a given interval.
If you implement the 50 Percent Solution routinely, your sense of a satisfying portion is bound to shrink. I've been doing ti so long it even works on a banana."
Painting: Picking Fruit By Georges Lemmen
Sunday, November 19
Look Better Than You Feel:
- De Puff with the Right Stuff - To deflate your face, massage in moisturizer with upward strokes to encourage circulation and drain fluid. Use tea bags (brewed, then cooled) as eye compresses for five to ten minutes (chamomile tea works well).
- Fake Looking Awake - To mask dark circles, you need a yellowish concealer, slightly lighter than your normal skin tone - but not just under the eyes: lids, the hollow above them and the inner corners by your nose are key. To add sparkle, dust shimmery, white based shadow around entire eye; use grey or taupe line on top lids for soft definition. Curling your lashes and using clear mascara can help you look extra alert, as will a whitening solution (Visine) to help with bloodshot eyes.
- Get a Healthy Glow - To turn a sick, pasty complexion into a model of radiance, use cream blush, not powder. Go with bright tones (red, pink) rather than murky ones (plum, brown), and rub it in evenly on the apples of cheeks, temples, and your chin. If you have a cold, you can hide a Rudolph nose with concealer (moisturize first). Chapped lips? Exfoliate with a toothbrush and use gloss to minimize the appearance of dry, flaky skin.
- Use Clothes as a Camouflage - Avoid wearing colors that echo the same ones you are trying to downplay. If your nose is red, don't wear a red sweater. If you're hiding dark circles, stay away from black or navy. A touch of white always lightens the face, so try a v-neck sweater with a white tee or collar peeking out, a white turtleneck, or a small, white scarf.
-Taken from an article by Nathalie Zimmerman. Mademoiselle. January 1999.
For some great ideas on making your little one feel better, visit Anna's blog and this entry:
Friday, November 17
Among the books that I decided to check out were a few DVDs - The Law of Attraction (with Julianne Moore), Dial "M" for Murder (with Grace Kelly), and "The Buccaneers (Based on Edith Wharton's Book). It seems like all of the movies have beautiful wardrobes... interestingly enough, they are from all different time periods! I am hoping that I will get some feminine inspiration from all three!
On our way home, we stopped at our local health food store for a few things and finally, we popped into the children's bookshop located next door. Though we were just supposed to window shop, I couldn't resist "Peek-a-boo! (http://www.amazon.com/Peek-Boo-Board-Allan-Ahlberg/dp/0670871923/sr=1-1/qid=1163802264/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-5959158-0812857?ie=UTF8&s=books)." My mom had a copy for us when we were children and I absolutely love the illustrations!
After putting the baby to bed, I spent some time relaxing, picking up the house, and painting my nails. It is a nice feeling to have them done! I feel very glamorous!
Wednesday, November 15
Here are some of the feminine things that I have accomplished today:
1. I wrote some favorite recipes down on pretty recipe cards... they had previously been printed from the computer and looked messy sticking out all over the place in my recipe box.
2. I took my time when eating today: I tried to take small bites and I ate slowly. With a baby that seems to fuss as soon as we sit down to eat, I've been wolfing down my food... I will try to do this no more! After all, microwaves were invented to reheat Mama's food!
3. I lit my Autumn Wreath candles in the family room.
I have been perusing your blogs and have been very inspired by what you are all doing! I am sorry that I have not commented... I have wanted to very much, by my husband has had a lot of work to do on the computer (he was up until 2 am last night) and so my time on-line is limited... Tomorrow will be better!
Tuesday, November 14
As far as domestic femininity is concerned, I have been trying to prepare colorful and filling meals. Last night's dinner was mozzarella crusted chicken, sweet potatoes, buttered peas, and cranberry sauce. We enjoyed eating it at a nicely set table! I hope that I can keep this up when Lent arrives tomorrow!
I have been trying to give myself a spritz of my favorite honeysuckle perfume each day... It is nice to smell that springtime fragrance every so often.
I forgot to mention that I successfully wore my 'church' clothes all day on Sunday... that was a feat for me because I love cuddling up in warm slob clothes (as my dad calls them) on rainy days.
Sunday, November 12
Saturday, November 11
- Anything can be made more feminine: your outfit, your home, your car, your yard, your cooking, etc.
- It has to be more than what you always do... for example, if you always wear your hair femininely, it won't work for the challenge. However, if you always wear your hair in a ponytail and you add a fancy clip or bow, it counts.
I can't wait to see what we all come up with!
Wear clothing that is touchable. Some great fabrics are: soft and crisp cottons, soft or fine woolens, and anything soft, silky, and womanly.
Be sure to apply lotion to your skin daily to prevent roughness.
Use conditioner in your hair to promote soft, silky strands.
Add texture to your decorating by using soft blankets, throw pillows, and other linens.
Be sure to keep surfaces in your home clean and dust free.
Use fabric softener or dryer sheets when doing laundry.
Wear soft slippers around your home during the day to keep your toes pampered and warm.
Use baskets of different weaves to hold odds and ends around your home.
Keep fluffy towels in your kitchen and bathroom.
Just as your husband gets into the shower on a cold day, toss his towel into the dryer so that it is toasty when he's ready to use it.
After going for a long walk, enjoy a hot beverage or an icy cold one... depending on the weather.
Take a cat nap in the sun and feel the warm sun on your skin.
Take a long, luxurious bath complete with bubbles or bath oils.
Give yourself a manicure and pedicure.
Exfoliate your lips and use a lip balm to help them stay soft.
Learn to move more slowly, elegantly, and purposefully.
Walk in a light graceful manner.
Practice feminine facial expressions.
Keep your legs smooth by shaving or waxing frequently.
Thursday, November 9
We celebrate St. Nicholas Day (December 6th). The night before, children put out their shoes and during the night, St. Nicholas puts treats in each shoe (sort of like a Christmas Stocking). In addition to the treats, we are going to buy our children their "Christmas" shoes and those will be put out instead of shoes they already own.
We have also decided to purchase one ornament for our tree each year... since this will be our second Christmas, we only have one so far. I think that we're going to get the star for the top of the tree this year because it is our first Christmas with the baby. We compensate for the lack of ornaments by using a TON of lights on the tree.
I'm also going to try to put out one decoration each day leading up to Christmas. I'll start small on the 15th of November (which is the start of Lent (Advent) for Orthodox Christians) and build up as Christmas draws near.
Wednesday, November 8
Tuesday, November 7
Monday, November 6
Sunday, November 5
Pick a special scent and be sure to wear it each day.
Spritz paper with your favorite perfume.
Follow this simple recipe to make your home smell delicious:
1 1/2 cups cinnamon sticks broken into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup allspice
1/2 cup whole cloves
1/2 cup dried bay leaves, broken slightly
1/4 cup dried rosemary leaves
1/4 cup dried orange peel in 1/2-inch chunks
To use: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons potpourri, and lower heat to a simmer. Add water as needed. You can simmer the potpourri for a short time and reuse it later if you store it in the refrigerator between uses. Makes enough for thirty uses.(http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1216/is_n6_v193/ai_16506086)
Bake bread or a batch of cookies.
Light scented candles throughout your home... especially in you bedrooms and bathrooms.
Choose a favorite shampoo and conditioner and enjoy the scent as your wash your hair .
Arrange a vase full of fragrant flowers.
Place pots of herbs on your kitchen windowsill and enjoy their fragrance and use in your cooking.
Purchase household cleaners that clean well and also smell great!
Be sure to wash and air out your household linens frequently.
Throw open the windows in the house an car upon occasion.
Go for long, rambling walks and enjoy the seasonal scents.
After eating a citrus fruit, toss the peels down the garbage disposal to freshen it up.
Enjoy scented bubble baths.
Put an air freshener into your car.
Use scented drawer liners.
Hang a bunch of lavender wrapped with ribbon in your closet to keep away odors and moths.
Place bowls of potpourri around the house.
Spritz a bit of card stock with perfume and tuck it into your handbag.
Put sachets into the linen closet and your lingerie drawer for a delicate fragrance.
Saturday, November 4
Friday, November 3
Keep a tidy and well organized home.
Wear feminine clothing that a man would not be caught dead in.
Be sure to be as well groomed as possible.
Improve your mind through reading.
Work to make your movements feminine and delicate.
Try to see the good in everything.
Add a touch of elegance and beauty to your daily routines.
Keep a journal of all that you are thankful for and read it when you feel blue.
Learn to improve your penmanship and begin collecting special stationary so that you can write real letters to your loved ones.
Begin to work towards becoming more active and fit.
Educate yourself on the art of applying makeup and arranging your hair.
Bestow a lovely smile upon all you meet.
Improve your disposition, making it as cheerful and loving as possible.
Be sure to emanate a calm, quiet air.
Be as creative and thoughtful as possible when it comes to doing mundane things.
Decide on a signature... perhaps you always use white satin ribbon to wrap around your gifts or maybe you write letters on violet colored paper.
Learn what it means to be refined and work to make this a part of your interaction with others.
Let go of bitterness.
Try to learn a new skill or art as frequently as you can.
Look to the past to show you how feminine women lived. Use this knowledge as inspiration.
Wednesday, November 1
A little over a year ago, I spoke with Bridgette Raes on the telephone using her new DialStyle feature. What an Amazing experience! In only fifteen minutes I was able to not only learn the answers to questions that have plagued me for a long time (What are my colors? What interesting outfits can I create using primarily skirts and tops? What can I do to make my body look more proportioned in clothing?) but also to offer advice and ideas to help me work on creating an even better wardrobe capsule then I have already! Bridgette spent quite some time looking at photos that I sent of myself the night before our call and even sent a Adobe Acrobat file full of ideas for simple additions to my wardrobe. I highly recommend this service to anyone looking for a more streamlined and chic wardrobe.