Inauguration Dresses

When I studied American History when I was younger I could have cared less about battles, policies, or explorers. Instead I loved to learn about the social history or culture- homes, entertainment, and clothing.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to view the First Lady’s Inauguaration Dresses at the National Museum of American History in D.C. I enjoyed this exhibit immensely and hope to take Caroline one day.

Seeing as today is Barack Obama’s inauguration I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the dresses the first ladies have worn to the occasion.

Mary Todd Lincoln, 1861


I have to be honest and say this is not my favorite look because it seems over the top even for that time.

Add 100 years and then we have…

Lady Bird Johnson, 1965


Looks like Lady Bird tackled a bear before coming to the inauguration.

Pat Nixon, 1969


The picture actually doesn’t show how bright this yellow was – I’m talking vibrant yellow – Might have been better in white or a pale blue.

Rosalynn Carter, 1977



Nancy Reagan, 1981


I like the dress but thought Mrs. Reagan was a little old to wear it the one shoulder number.

Hilary Clinton, 1993


Hilary Clinton, wearing an unknown designer, was slammed for this dress. I think it could have been better without the flowy bits on the bottom half.

Michelle Obama, 2009


This dress, designed by Jason Wu, received positive reviews, and gets two thumbs up from me.

picture source

Can’t wait to see what Mrs. Obama wears tonight!

Wonder Woman Costume

This year for Halloween Caroline has decided to dress up as Wonder Woman.

I was all for this costume choice and eagerly jumped at the chance to “make” her costume.

First, I researched googled Wonder Woman and came up with Linda Carter.

(As a side note, I was convinced when I was younger that my aunt had played Wonder Woman – she looked exactly like her).

Those costume designers must have really hated Linda since those blue shorts, in my opinion, could not be more unflattering.

With that in mind, we added a bit more fabric for my little WW.

I know.


Red shirt – consignment store – $2

Blue skort – Goodwill – $1.99 (new with tags on it)

Red boots – consignment store – $6 , then spent $4 on spray paint to make them red

Crown & cuffs – made by me – gold fabric from JoAnn’s – probably $10 – 15.

Gold Lasso which hooks onto her belt- gold string from JoAnn’s – probably $5

Gold Belt – gold material from JoAnn’s- probably $5

Attitude and confidence?

All her own!

A Mary Poppins Carousel Cake

Several months ago Caroline had a Mary Poppins birthday party.

So for a Mary Poppins party we had to have the proper hat...

play a bean bag M.P. toss game

ride wooden “carousel” horses…

play pin the bow tie on the penguin

play in the cardboard chimneys…

and have a Mary Poppins cake.

I started out this cake as I do all cakes – from a box mix.

Frost the cake and set aside.

To create the carousel, I used cake dividers (not sure of their official name but they are placed in between cakes with multiple layers) and ribbon.

First, I attached the bottom of a piece of ribbon with hot glue.

I continued to do this until I had gone completely around the circle.

I then glued another cake divider onto the bottom in order to cover up with glued bottoms.

I then glued a piece of ribbon along the side in order to cover up the opening between the circles.

Next, I glued a candy stick wrapped in ribbon to the center of the top circle.

I then took each ribbon individually and glued it to the center post (candy stick).

I topped the whole thing off with a little white pom pom.

I then attached the “legs” to the structure.

The legs are candy sticks wrapped in ribbon.

For the horses I found a picture online that I liked and printed it out on card stock.

I then cut out the horse and glued it to yet another candy stick.

Three horses late and the cake was done.

Caroline seemed to like it although it’s honestly not one of my better cakes.

Now that she is about to be three and half I’ve finally shared everything from her party.

And if you had any doubt about next years party, Caroline started talking about it roughly 10 seconds after her last guest left.


HookingupwithHoH The 36th AVENUE

July Goals Revisited

Unbelievably, it’s already August, which means it’s time to update you on the progress of my July goals.

Add item to etsy shopCheck! I added the “All About Me” form for kids to fill out.

Clean Out Game Closet with KidsFail! We’ve worked out way through about 5% of the closet.

Bring Clothes to an Environmentally Friendly Dry Cleaner Check! and WILL NEVER DO AGAIN! Umm, people. Do you know how much an environmentally friendly dry cleaner costs? I took one dress in to be cleaned and was stunned when the price came to $10.93. I seriously had three one dollar bills in my hand waiting to pay and had to dig through my wallet for more money.I am all for helping the environment but this is one area where I will not be switching.

Add Crown Moulding in the Guest Bathroom Fail! I was wishing and hoping but sadly those by themself don’t put crown moulding up.

Go on a Date NightCheck! We actually went for a lunch date and went to IKEA and grocery shopping without the kids – amazing how fast you can accomplish both of these when there are only adults in the mix.

Create items for Amanda’s Shower Check! I shared some decor from the party – (food flags), (felt garland), (cupcake decorations) with hopefully another crafty post soon to follow.

Make Wonder Woman Costume for Caroline Three-Fourths of a Check! So far I’ve made the crown, the cuffs, spray painted her boots red, and bought the red shirt and blue skirt. All I need to complete the outfit is a little golden lasso.

Did you accomplish anything you wanted to in July?

The Socks Debate

After scouring the area for a pair of Wonder Woman boots for Caroline, I finally found some at a consignment store.

Since they are black I will have to paint them but I’m happy since the fit is good.

While I don’t mind shopping at consignment stores, the shoes can give me the willies.

Dried stranger sweat tends to do that to me.

So each time we tried on another pair of boots I would say, “Caroline, leave your socks on.”

She promptly told me, “No, Wonder Woman doesn’t wear socks.”

Breathing deeply I would reiterate each time that she needed to keep her socks on.

We persevered though and finally found the perfect pair.

As we were driving home, Alex asked Caroline what else she needed for her costume.

She must have had our previous conversation on her mind because she said, “Wonder Woman doesn’t need socks.”

And yes, she occasionally refers to herself as Wonder Woman in the first person.

I said, “I think she does wear socks.”

“No she doesn’t.”

Alex asked her, “Does Wonder Woman fly?”

“Yes but she doesn’t need socks.”

I responded, “I think she wears the socks underneath her boots.”

Exasperated she let out a sigh and said, “No. She doesn’t wear socks. It’s not on the super hero show.”

I couldn’t let it rest, “Maybe you just can’t see them.”


I’m still not convinced.

Can you imagine with all the running around Wonder Woman does how sweaty her feet must get without socks?

Instead of her lasso and cuffs, she could use her stinky feet to fight for justice.

Wonder Woman Crown

So the Wonder Woman crown and cuffs are done.

I’m pretty sure Linda Carter would be impressed.

So far they have made an appearance at the grocery store, the shopping mall, and swim practice.

They were quite simple to make so I thought I’d show you.

First, draw the crown shape you desire on a folded piece of paper.

Once you are happy with the shape, cut it out and you have the front shape of the crown.

Measure your child’s head and figure out how much more paper you need to add to the sides. It’s important that you leave about 2-3 inches in the back free (you will be putting elastic back there eventually).

Cut out 2 crown shapes – one a little bit larger than the other.

Find an old red t-shirt and cut out one star from the fabric.

Sew the red star onto the crown that you would like to be in the front.

Sew the crowns together inside out first. Remember to leave a little opening to pull your fabric through.

Pull the fabric through so that the outside fabric is now on the outside.

Place a little bit of stuffing into the crown.

Sew on a large piece of elastic on the back of the crown.

(In the picture you can see that I used 2 smaller elastic pieces. If I make another crown like this I will use thicker elastic – less things for little hands to pull on).

Connect the 2 sides of the crown by hand sewing the elastic to the second side.

Have your very own Wonder Woman model the final product.

(I forgot to take a picture of the cuffs but trust me when I say there is lots of posing going on when they are worn).

Caroline loved her crown so much she insisted on putting it in her bed the first night.

Now onto finding some Wonder Woman boots – in a teeny tiny size.

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For our recent trip to Indiana, I packed each of our boys a backpack full of activities and books. I expected the boys to be responsible for their backpacks but thought I would carry everything for my 3 year old in a big bag.

That was not the case.

Caroline insisted on having a “pack pack” while we were getting ready and continued to insist on one throughout the trip.

She adores her two older brothers.

Whatever these big guys do…

she wants to be a part of it.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Operation Junk in the Trunk

Today is my 3rd day of Operation – Junk in the Trunk.

After viewing some rather unflattering backside vacation photos someone took of me,  I realized it’s pretty ugly back there and something must be done.

So here are my self imposed rules for the next 3 weeks:

1) Eat bread only once a day (I’m including rice, potatoes, cereal, chips, pasta, tortillas, and actual bread into this category.)

2) Use some exercise DVD’s at home. I used this for the first time yesterday since it came from Netflix.

This DVD is OLD. I’m talking banana clips in the hair and triangle spandex old. But like the title said it’s a great buns and thighs workout. Sadly I didn’t get passed the introduction before I sat down to watch it and I don’t have a step to use with it BUT I worked out to it.

I’ll keep this video for another workout, send it back, and then give Denise Austin or Billy Blanks a try.

3) I am going to swim 3 days a week with our masters team.

4) No eating after dinner.

In order to combat my love of snacking at night, we will now be eating dinner at 9 pm.

Maybe not.

4) I will be allowed a few sweet treats over the course of the next 3 weeks but I know I will be chewing lots and lots of gym.

I’ll let you know how I progress in Operation: Junk in the Trunk.

And no, there will not be your typical before and after pictures.

You’ll just have to take my word for it or check me out when we’re at the pool 🙂


Remember when I went bathing suit shopping?  Here’s a little snippet of that trip.

I found the bathing suit department in Dillard’s and quickly scanned the racks and racks of options.

I spent the next twenty minutes loading down my arms full of tops, bottoms, and full suits.

The dressing room was full so I had to wait in the little waiting area until one became available.

A teenager came out of the dressing room in this horrible little dress and looked at her friend who was standing next to me.

“What do you think?”

I thought the answer was obvious.

You look awful! You look like you should be walking the streets! Take that off!

Apparently I was wrong.

“You look great. I love that on you.”

People. Let me describe this doozey of an outfit to you.

It was a short black, teal, and white dress with the white part in the back covering her rear end.

There were cut outs on each side of the dress which exposed her stomach plus it had a cut out in the back.

The girl was squeezed into this dress which was obviously three sizes two small.

It looked painful and pitiful.

And this girl was pretty. She could have looked amazing in a different dress but instead she looked awful.

But there her friend was insisting, “You look great. You can definitely wear that to the movies.”

The girl decided to buy the dress and I just hope her mom had an ounce of sense and refused to let her wear it.

If asked, I would have suggested ditching the dress and the friend.