Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Thankful Thursday – Citizenship

I have lived for significant periods of time in four countries and have traveled to many other countries. I love other cultures, I love being in countries that are not the United States of America, I love that my husband is from New Zealand and that my children are dual citizens. At the same time, I am so thankful to have been born in the US of A. I think the United States is a truly amazing place. We have it so good. There are a tremendous amount of things right about America.

I am not blind to the many shortcomings of this nation as well. I won’t list any of them, there are other places and people who would gladly talk about them. I am certainly willing to discuss them and I pray for this country to grow and change, but today I want to talk about the good stuff.

Having lived overseas, I have had friends, family, acquaintances and strangers wax poetic about what is wrong with the USA, but I also see the people who believe in what America is about as far as freedom, independence and opportunity. There are so many amazing cultures within this country, amazing stories and things like Slurpees!

I have a worldview of life, a love of “other” places and I’m not crazily patriotic, but I am, indeed, proud to be an American.

I am also thankful for my husband who has joined me in building a life here in the US. He has left his family in New Zealand, things that are familiar and comfortable for him and it’s not always easy for him. That’s a big deal.

Last year, we decided to start the naturalization process for him to become a citizen. He had a green card, but we figured it would just make life simpler if he had US citizenship. It was a reasonably simple process – paperwork, money and a couple of trips to Portland. It culminated in our final trip to Portland last Tuesday for Colin’s final interview which lasted ten minutes and then a naturalization ceremony in the afternoon. All of the sudden, I was married to a US citizen!

It was fun to be a part of the whole thing. There were 29 people from 16 countries in the ceremony, each representing a different story. Colin was the only one from New Zealand.

Here are a few pictures from the day.

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God Bless America! (And New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and Jamaica and the whole wide world!)

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Tasty Tuesday – Three Ingredient Cookies

A quick post today. I tried this recipe last week – I had some ripe bananas that needed to be used and this is the easiest recipe in the world. They can be made as Two Ingredient Cookies, but I added chocolate chips. Oats, bananas and chocolate chips!

They look pretty good…

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They were met with mixed reviews in my home. I liked them. They’re not overly sweet and I like the flavor. They do have a bit of a gummy texture that some might not like. My husband and my oldest son didn’t like them, but my youngest son, who is a notorious difficult eater, liked them and had several.

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I personally like them warm. Super healthy and easy to make.

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Make It Monday – Embroidery On the Go

I like to keep my hands busy if I’m watching tv or just hanging out with the boys, but if it’s not easy and to hand at the moment, it’s hard to get motivated.

What I’ve been doing lately is to prep several embroidery designs so that they are ready to go when the mood strikes.

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I keep an eye out for free embroidery patterns online – there are heaps! Lots of great vintage designs. I have them organised on my computer by subject. I also design my own patterns on the computer or hand draw them. For phrases, I just find fonts that I like and use them in the phrase or quote.

I mostly use vintage sheets as my fabric, but I also use white flour sack towels, felt and regular fabric.

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I decide what size hoop I am going to use, size the design correctly on the computer, print it and then use carbon paper to copy the design onto fabric.

Then I put the fabric into a hoop, grab some thread and a needle and I’m ready to go.

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I keep a few supplies in a bag – scissors, thread, needle. I have a hoop with me in my (gigantic) bag with me most of the time so I’ll be ready when I have a few minutes of down time. It’s surprising how many stitches you can get done in five minutes.

Here are a few of my recently completed projects.

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Here are those same projects, and Chess.

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I have three ambitious projects that I will be embarking on soon. Maps of the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Phew! Lots of little details!

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Fashion on Friday – February 8, 2013

It’s been a bit of a short week for me. My husband and I went away for a few days to Ashland, Oregon as an early anniversary getaway. Next month we’ll have been married 14 years! I’m pretty excited about that. I’ll say something about our time away and those 14 years in another post.

Here’s a look at a few outfits I’ve worn recently…

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When I wore this outfit, I felt tall and willowy. Looking at the photos, I realise I will never be tall or willowy, but I do love this outfit. So comfortable.

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I love my flats – I have quite a few pairs and I wear them year round. I was in need of a pair of black flats and have been looking for ages. I am trying hard to be intentional about my purchasing – not just getting something because it’s on sale, but waiting to find something I love. I’ve passed up heaps of black flats waiting for a pair that I really wanted. I wanted them to have a cool detail. Finally, I came across this pair of Blowfish flats with an amazing bow. I love the Blowfish brand and these were in Ross for a great price. Score!

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Not sure where I got this ring – I think it might have been a gift from my sister. Super fun.

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Details: Shirt – Torrid, Skirt – Old Navy, Tights – Forever 21, Shoes – Blowfish

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Shorts and tights – one of my favs!

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I love this necklace/collar.

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Details: Sweater – Old Navy, Shorts – Torrid, Tights – Forever 21, Shoes – Torrid, Collar – Glint and Gleam

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Let’s talk for a moment about taking outfit photos. I usually take my own photos using a tripod and remote. I am definitely NOT a model and have a hard time channeling my inner Tyra. I feel silly trying to come up with poses. I should work on that. Anyway, these photos were taken in Ashland by my husband. It’s much easier to take fun photos when you’re with someone.

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Fun print. Oh, these sunglasses. So fun. My youngest son, who often dresses up as superheroes, calls them my superhero sunglasses. I’ll take it!

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I love the last photo. It’s me and a lamp post! Lamp post!

Details: Dress – Target, Shrug – Torrid, Leggings – Walmart, Boots – Ross, Sunglasses – Target

Hope you’ve had a lovely week.

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Fashion on Friday – February 1, 2013

I love the stories that clothes can tell. The memories that they can evoke.

Take this dress. Love it, super comfy, bright, fun. It also has a bit missing where a goat had a nibble when we went to a petting “zoo” at the pumpkin patch with our kids and some friends.

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And the boots. These are my Moon Boots. When I was growing up, I wanted a pair of Moon Boots so bad, but we couldn’t afford them. It wasn’t the end of the world and I got over it, but when this pair of shiny pink Moon Boots crossed my path on clearance many years ago, I knew it was destiny!

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And yes, that is a fabulous 80s pin featuring a rainbow, a lightning bolt and a dolphin. Wonderful!

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Outfit Details: Dress – Torrid, Shrug – Ross, Boots – JC Penny, Earrings – ?, Pin – Thrifted

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Chambray and leopard print. Love this outfit.

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Outfit Details: Dress – Target, Shirt – Forever 21. Leggings – Ross, Boots – Ross, Earrings – Kohls

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The shirt I’m wearing in the next outfit is a custom-made shirt from eShakti. It’s an online store where you put in your measurements and they will custom make clothes for you. I found that the two things that I have had from them so far are sized a little big so when I get something else, I will drop my measurements by an inch. Anyway, I love the shirt, I will have to figure out a way to alter it so that it fits a bit better. The quality is great.

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Tights with shorts is one of my very favourite looks.

Outfit Details: Top – eShakti, Shorts – Torrid, Boots – Ross, Ring – Made by Me

This ring is one that I made by upcycling vintage cluster earrings.

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I love this dress! The style, the bird print. I don’t have many things in navy blue, so I wasn’t sure what to wear on my feet, but I think my grey boots work really well.

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Outfit Details: Dress – Target, Leggings – Walmart, Boots – Ross

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This last dress is the other thing that I had made by eShakti. They were having a good sale and I had a discount code as well. It is amazingly comfortable and of course, I love the owl print!

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Outfit Details: Dress – eShakti, Boots – ?, Necklace – Vintage/Thrifted

I hope you have had a lovely week and that you are loving what you wear.