Thursday, June 26, 2008

fairly new "Modest Clothing" magazines

I can be slow to contribute a promised blog entry (I promised one earlier on this subject), but eventually I do deliver...


I've been intrigued over about the past ten years or so with what seems to be an increased demand for modest clothing: or more correctly, also, a backlash at times at what seems to be a lack of "modest" clothing. And no worries....I won't present opinions on that here. I'm hoping to share two of my favorite resources of late: Eliza and Jen magazines. Now, to be sure, what can be defined as "modest" is fairly subjective.
But even including what could be a very broad definition of "modest", I applaud the efforts of what continues to seem to be a growing number of fashion industry professionals who are willing to help us out with the search for modest clothes.

Today I'm going to be brief and, instead of trying to tell you everything I've found out about over the past year while trying to learn more (as a non-industry professional), I'm just going to post links to them. From both of these magazines, you should be able to continue finding all kinds of fun new online stores and other links pertaining to fashion, which will include most of what I'd found on my own anyway; and much more, of course. Jen Magazine (online) and Eliza Magazine (online, subscription, and at select Barnes and Nobles and other retailers listed here). And yet another favorite find, today I discovered the Eliza blog.

One note about Jen magazine (a free online magazine): the front "page" calls it "A Modest Fashion Magazine for Young LDS Women," but quickly adds, "*Jen* is a free online magazine. We welcome anyone who shares our (modest) values." values.

*Jen* has a page, which I believe is only accessible once you register, of dozens of links devoted entirely to online clothes shopping. As with what you see in Eliza, the links include clothing from major retailers and smaller online boutiques. Both magazines, though still well in their beginning stages, (they've been around just a little over a year each) show a lot of potential, and I hope they'll be around a while.
The photography in Eliza is excellent, and the spreads and articles include both professional models and articles featuring "real-life" people sharing, say, their favorite skirts; or a fashion designer wearing her favorite dress. The designer in Eliza's spring issue looks more like a person in the supermarket than like a contestant on America's Next Top Model, which makes me a bit more comfortable reading it for some reason. It makes Eliza a bit more like a Dove ad with clothes. And no offense meant to professional models, of course, but it's always nice to see that someone in the clothing industry finds beauty in more than one kind of reality. ;-)


This site lets you "race" other people by typing lines from movies, books, and songs. I am so addicted right now. You can also have a private race with your friends by sending them a code or link.

Simple & Enchanting and Beautiful

For all you women who may be interested in "interesting mom products," you may want to check out the blog Simple Reviews. This is a new blogspot site I just discovered and already love because of the ease of navigation and plethora of wonderful information (not to mention give-aways and coupons).

And recently, they reviewed (and raved about) a product made by someone I know. I haven't yet tested the shampoo & conditioner, but I have sampled the wonderful (and natural, which is even more wonderful) lotions made by the company, Enchanting and Beautiful. There is currently a give-away for free shampoo & conditioner, so check it out.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Free Printable Owl Envelopes

We found this darling printable owl envelope over at Rubbergob! Head on over there for printing directions and to check out the rest of their chic crafting blog.
Our suggestion: Brighten the day of someone special by enclosing a hand written note expressing how much you love them!

I don't know about you, but my printer keeps cutting off parts of the envelope... so if that is happening to you too, you can click here to download a smaller pdf version!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quick and efficient way to fold laundry, the Chinese way!

I came across this video some time ago and ever since then it's how I've folded all our shirts. It works a lot better on men's shirts than on women's, which are more curvy.

The video is in Chinese, but it is easy to follow, I didn't understand what he was saying either (my Chinese is incredibly limited). It really is very easy and it's second nature to me now. It has also cut my laundry folding time in half!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Recycled Denim Fiesta Skirt: A Tutorial

I love this tutorial from Crafty Daisies and I am sure to find the perfect pair of pants to try this with when I clean out my daughter's closet next week. Recycled Denim Fiesta Skirt: A Tutorial

Children's Books

One of my favorite things to do is read to Grayson while I'm feeding him. I feel like it creates an even deeper bond between us, as well as benefits his mental and language development. I have accumulated a very small collection of children's books over the years and they currently sit on the bookshelf in his bedroom. Among them are classic Dr. Seuss books, several by Max Lucado, and of course Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. But how many lesser-known authors am I missing out on?

I'd really like to expand Grayson's library. Tell me, what were your favorite books as a child? What are your children's favorite books? What is the one (or two or three or...) book that no child should live without? All books are welcome - boy books, girl books, board books, educational books, religious books, or just plain silly books! Please leave a comment with the book title and author's name. I want to hear from you lurkers as well! Thanks!

1. I Like You by Sandol Stoddard Warburg
2. Fanny's Dream by Caralyn Buehner
3. The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein
4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
5. Just In Case You Ever Wonder by Max Lucado

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I thought this was awesome!

Plus, it saves money on having to buy clips that break all the time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Online children's journals

I stumbled across a website I really like last week. Kidmondo is still a baby, as it was only publicly launched in April, but it's a wonderful site for sharing your children's growth, 'big news', pictures, videos, and stories with friends and family. My favorite part is the Growth Chart, where you can input your child's weight, height, and when their teeth come in. You can even choose to track this information in pounds and inches or kilograms and centimeters! And the growth charts provide you with your child's percentile information for weight and height. No more trying to recreate what your pediatrician gives you at the office - just print it out from this site and paste it into your baby book.

Kidmondo has three types of accounts available for use. The free account allows you to record information for up to three children and gives you 25mb of storage, but requires your account to allow online advertising. For just $5.00/month, you can go ad-free, track five children, and up your storage to 100mb. The max account costs $10.00 per month and allows you to track unlimited children and gives you 500mb of storage.

The site is simple - there are only four color schemes to choose from - but it gives you a separate url for each child's journal for easy sharing with friends and family. Toggling between different children and journals is very easy (just use the drop-down box in the upper right corner). Subscribers can choose when to receive updates about your child, but you get to choose those subscribers, and decide who sees what information about your child.

So check out Kidmondo if you have a few minutes. Even if your children aren't brand new, the online diary is a great way to start keeping a journal for them if you haven't already begun, or if you want to share stories or names you don't feel safe sharing on your blog.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Great find!

Flame Decals for Kitchen Aid mixers.

I think I want the purple flames.

My black Artisan is already pretty dang pimp. But can you imagine the PIMP FACTOR of a black kitchen aid mixer with flames?

I think it would make my bread and cookies ever more awesome.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking

If you are a digital scrapbooker, or want to start, check out the 50% off sale at
For 5 days only, save 50% off their 50 best selling products of all time. (sale ends Friday, June 20th at midnight EST)

Also, I have to give a shout out to Her digi-scrap items are some of my favorites ...
& not just because she's one of my very favorite people in the whole world :-)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer Retention

My daughter and I spent the summer between kindergarten and first grade doing virtually nothing. It never occurred to me to help her retain her math and reading skills, but then, when she started first grade, she struggled. She was put in the lowest reading group even though she had been in the highest the year before, and the first month or so of math was a nightmare. She was frustrated and had a hard time keeping up with the rest of the class. As first grade drew to a close, I knew I had to make the coming summer more productive. But I also wanted her summer to be fun and relaxing. I needed to find a good balance between work and play. That summer we came up with some fun ideas and activities that have become tradition with her and now my other children as they start school. Here are some things we do.

We plan family outings, one for each week of the summer. By planning an outing a week, they always have something to look forward to. This summer our outings include the water park, aquarium, dinosaur museum, and beach. Pick a mixture of outings. Plan some that are simple, like a picnic at a favorite park, and plan some that are more extravagant, like a trip to the zoo.

We learn about something they enjoy. I talk to the kids about what they want to learn over the summer. This summer my daughter wants to learn about poetry. has a list of different poetry types. I had her look over them and pick out one type of poem for each week of summer. Every morning during breakfast we talk about the poem type of the week and she writes a poem. We could have done the same thing with art styles, artists, musicians, or musical genres.

We don’t avoid math. Though it isn’t necessary to learn new math skills over the summer, it is a good idea to review the skills they’ve already learned. You can always buy math workbooks, some, like the School Zone Interactive series, come with software. If you aren’t interested in buying a full-fledged math workbook, you can ask your child’s teacher for extra worksheets, or you can print out work sheets online at places like Saxon Basic Fact Sheets and Discovery School's Worksheet Generator.

We also visit the library regularly. Librarians often provide book lists by grade level and subject that will guide your children to books they are sure to enjoy. And don’t forget that libraries aren’t just places to find books. As well as story time and summer reading programs, our library offers weekly science and craft classes.

We create a summer journal. This helps them focus on what they are doing and to helps them later remember what we did. I buy hard-backed composition notebooks when the school supplies go on clearance each year. Then, at the beginning of summer, each child gets a notebook to keep as their summer journal. This is where my daughter writes her poetry and my son draws his plans for robots and rocket ships. They glue in ticket stubs and postcards and fill it with anything else that strikes their fancy.

All of that said, however, we allow plenty of time to play. Try to have any curriculum done first thing in the morning. This way your children have some free time in the afternoon—it is summer after all!

Turquoise Flower Earrings

I recently purchased these earrings from Lisa's Etsy shop, and let me tell you, I am in love!

Dainty, dangling, turquoise... One glimpse, and I couldn't help myself but immediately purchase them. They arrived super quick, which is good, because I was waiting for them! I was even more pleased to find her jewelry is really well-made and looked just as pretty and perfect as they did in the photo.

So hurry on over to Lisa's shop as I've noticed several pieces have been going quickly!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Cooking Vegan

This is my first post on the Hip Homemaker. Yay!

So this year I decided to become a vegan. While I am very excited about this decision, others (mostly my mom) are concerned about how I will raise/feed my children with this lifestyle. For the record I don't have kids nor am I dating anyone seriously but whatever. So being the brilliant girl that I am, I decided to search the internet for some vegan recipes. The first one I stumbled on was when I had some left over Butternut Squash soup that I needed to use. Imagine Foods has some awesome soups but I tire of soup fast. Luckily they have a page of recipes and it just so happened that they had an animal free one using the very soup I needed to use up. It is called Shells w/ Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce :

2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 zucchini, about 1 1/2 cups, small dice (broccoli may be substituted)
1/2 red or green bell pepper, small dice (optional)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Brown Rice pasta Spirals
3 to 4 cups Imagine Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

The recipe calls for pasta shells but there is a better way! Brown rice pasta is far more healthy than white pasta and much more tender than wheat pasta. Seriously, if you haven't switched to this, do so NOW.

In a large sauce pan, sauté the garlic, onion, mushrooms, zucchini and bell pepper in the olive oil. Cook until tender, about 5–7 minutes.
Add the soup, shells, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, stirring well.
Serve hot and garnish with fresh chopped parsley. So Delicious!

Love scrambled eggs but hate the cholesterol? You would not believe how good this tastes! Behold, Tofu Scramble:

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 block tofu (I prefer extra firm), drained and pressed
2 tbsp oil or margarine
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (I use Brewer's Yeast. You can find it at health food stores)

Directions: Slice the tofu into approximately one inch cubes. Then, using either your hands or a fork, crumble it slightly.
Saute onion, pepper and crumbled tofu in oil for 3-5 minutes, stirring often. Add remaining ingredients (be sure to sprinkle on the yeast slowly and evenly so it does not clump), reduce heat to medium and allow to cook 5-7 more minutes, stirring frequently and adding more oil if needed. Wrap in a warmed wheat flour tortilla with a bit of salsa for a breakfast burrito. I got this recipe from

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies? You're kidding me!

All you do is take a standard chocolate chip recipe from the back of any package of semi-sweet (non dairy) chocolate chips. I used one from Ghiradelli. Please pay attention to the butter and egg substitutes.

2 1/4 C unsifted, unbleached flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 Cup Earth Balance (I like the shortening cubes)
3/4 C Sugar
3/4 C Brown Sugar
Ener-G Egg Replacer mix for 2 eggs
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (you decide how many)

Heat oven to 375 degrees, mix flour salt and baking soda together and set aside. In mixer, mix Earth Balance, Sugar, Egg replacer mix and vanilla until creamy. Slowly mix in dry ingredients. You will notice your mixture does not have the same consistency as regular chocolate chip cookie dough. That is where the Almond milk comes in. I add it until the consistency isn't dry yet isn't to runny. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes. I like to leave mine a little gooey in the middle. Play around with the recipe. I have a friend who likes to ad maple flavoring. Yum! I promise once you find your way around the substitutes, these cookies are to die for!

I cannot wait to find more ways to cook without using animal products. My next attempt will be coconut blueberry pancakes (I'll include pictures once I have mastered this and share the recipe) And my mom was worried!

Facebook for "Grownups"

It's no longer just for college students...

First off, I don't want to imply that college students aren't "grownups." But I can't think of a shorter term for "those of us who aren't in college anymore but still might want to find out what the buzz is about this Facebook stuff."

So there it is.

I first heard of Facebook from my younger sister, Kaitlyn, when she was in her first year of college at BYU. Then one day, about a year later, I received my first "invite" to Facebook from our beloved Laurie, or the creator of the "Hip Homemaker" herself. I resisted, as I figured the last thing I needed was more "group e-mails" or access to more internet message boards.

Finally one day, half on a whim, and half because my niece Emily was also now away at college, on Facebook, and claimed to be posting photos...

I gave in and joined.

It's now one of my favorite websites.

(If you don't already belong, you can find it here: )

Now be warned: it is possible, especially as the months tick by, to join Facebook and, though not meaning to add any "applications," and then once you've begun adding friends, to start accepting invitations from your friends and little by little feel overwhelmed. So here is my guide to keeping Facebook simple:

1. If you receive an invitation to Facebook itself, don't be afraid of it. You can easily opt to keep your profile (and information) viewable only to your friends.

2. You don't have to accept invitations to applications if you don't want to. If you keep the number small, Facebook makes them pretty easy to keep track of on your own "applications" page.

3. Facebook is a social networking site, but it isn't geared towards dating. To be sure, there are applications on it that can be used for such; but they're by far only a very small part of what's offered there.

4. Individual photo albums make it easy to keep up with what friends and family are up to, even if they're far away. And you *don't* need to upload anything, yourself, to be able to view others' photos, as long as you're on their friend's list and they've chosen the option for "all friends" on their own profile news and photo options.

5. There are groups you can join on Facebook, only if you want to, geared towards just about any interest you can imagine. Through some of these groups I've been able to find friends I made in France in 1993 and 1994; friends from high school and elementary school; political groups (but no arguments allowed here on the HH) ;-) : and groups for two new "modest clothing" magazines, one in print and one online. (I'll write more about those later. If you have an interest in modest clothing, you'll be pleasantly surprised at all the resources you can find through Eliza and Jen magazines.)

Of particular note: none of the "old friends" I found on Facebook was "unwilling to be found," so to speak. Your privacy options allow you to be "found" (name and your chosen profile photo only) solely by the groups you choose to allow. You can even choose to remain completely invisible, or not viewable in searches of any kind.

6. My favorite part of Facebook: an application called "We're Related."

Once I've found family members on Facebook, I'm then able to keep track of their birthdays and profile updates through this application. My cousins and siblings and nieces and nephews can then also contact each other if they wish; again, only if their chosen privacy settings allow their profiles to be "found" or seen. It also gives me a way to contact them all at once, easily, in if I need to.

7. My most recent find: a former roommate from college from South Africa. We'd gotten out of touch, and I hadn't been able to speak with her in over ten years. Now, thanks to Facebook, I'm browsing through photos of her daughter's first birthday from thousands of miles away. I realize that this sort of thing is becoming, in some ways, so "ho hum...more of the internet age." But seeing those photos posted yesterday on her profile gave me pause.

As long as I keep things simple on Facebook, I've found that it can possibly be, after e-mail, my most valuable tool on the internet.

8. Now, if someone can just explain to me why the video of my son's solo in a school play won't upload to my profile, my day will truly be complete. ;-)

9. Last, but not least, as another example of what you can find there, one of the most recent groups I joined: someone I knew in high school sent me an invite to a group she'd helped to start recently. It's called "Movies You Enjoyed To Watch (And Would Even Recommend It To Your Priest)." (Which could also be Pastor, Rabbi, Bishop, parents, etc. of course.) It only has 30+ members at present, but I already feel like I've found a wealth of excellent movie options for both myself and my kids to watch, through this simple idea of "join a group and share ideas." There are currently 10 conversations going on in the group about different movie recommendations, ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to foreign films and films for children.

If you have an area of interest you want to talk with others about, it's probably on Facebook somewhere. If not, you can start a group yourself.

I hope this this has helped someone to become a bit less scared of Facebook. I now seem to know more about the daily happenings of my niece and little sister than I did when they lived just twenty miles away! It seems like every month, other friends of mine who once resisted Facebook are now joining. For someone like me, who has lived in seven different places during the last eighteen years, it's been the perfect way to keep up with friends and family who now live all over the globe.

mom of 2
Orange County, CA

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