Sunday, January 26, 2014

Apron or sinar style tichel

I always admire it when ladies can wear a scarf without looking like a babushka. Some styles look so artful,  stylish and Bohemian that I have to give them a try,  even if it is just within my own home.   One of these styles is the Israeli style sinar (apron) tichel. I pulled out the sewing machine today and decided to make a layered version of my own.   Through some trial and error,  I managed to create a moderately heavy but quite comfortable piece.  When I made this,  I underestimated quite how long the tails have to be so I ended up adding on extension ties.   This is actually an amazing design feature.   Due to the thickness of the layered top piece, it was bulky and hard to tie.  Adding on sturdy but thinner ties really cut down on the lump of fabric at the back of my head.  Now that I know how to successfully create this design,  I am looking forward to modifying it even further for greater comfort and adding more layers of fabric.  I will be on the lookout at thrift shops from now on for interesting fabric, notions and ribbons because this was a very enjoyable project for me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ethnic churches and language instruction

As a member of an ethnic church which preaches in  Romanian,  I feel like it is our duty to educate or children about our language.  It has been such a rude awakening for me to see that I am one of the few people that cares about this and our leadership is almost against it!  I proposed the idea of having language classes every other week which would not conflict with English language Sunday School. Many families were interested and the idea went to the church committee.  It was then said that the children should not be taken out of evening church for this activity.  Honestly,  the children don't understand the sermon in Romanian and we are not giving them the tools to do so. 

It's like they can't see that when these children grow up, they leave the ethnic church because they are essentially alienated.  The only church in our area to offer Sunday School in our language is super conservative and not very welcoming.   I feel like my daughter is losing out on an opportunity to learn while she is young from others in the community because their priorities are, in my opinion, short-sighted.

I tried my best to serve in this capacity, but it seems like it is a lost cause. I just hope that my daughter will one day desire to learn the language from her own motivation.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Resisting Temptation

One of my favorite hobbies is getting up early on a Saturday morning and stopping by a few rummage sales.  I have not been to a single rummage sale this season though!  You may ask why, since it is a relatively cheap and satisfying hobby.  The answer is that we don't need that much stuff.  I am the type of person that is very "out of sight, out of mind" and the best way for me not to see enticing things is by not going rummaging!  This has been a huge challenge for me because I really enjoy finding a nice item or two, or even finding something one of a kind to enjoy. 

I try to declutter and donate items to charity whenever I have the time.  One of my rules is that if all of my clothes do not fit in my dresser (I don't have a closet), I need to get rid of things.  This rule becomes a little more complicated when I come home with a bag of intriguing items from a rummage and have to wash, try on and potentially alter the clothing to make their way into my dresser.  Another example may be home goods...I may find a pretty set of silverware or some nice dishes, but are they better than the items I have now?  Most often, not.  It is hard to make these decisions at the sale when items are often priced at five dollars a bag.  Since my mantra is often "if it's pretty, put it in the bag, ask questions later" that causes me to bring items home to sort through.  I am trying to avoid the temptation this year even though a handful of primo items can really make my day...

Ah well, we will see how I fare with this commitment...and if I can resist rummage sales for the season...oh, ok...for a few more weeks, anyway.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Throwback Book Review: Spirit Controlled Family Living by Tim and Bev LaHaye

I just finished reading a recently acquired copy of Spirit Filled Family Living by Tim and Bev LaHaye.  This book was published in 1978 and is reflective of the issues of the time.  There are several mentions of the Equal Rights Amendment and other concerns of the time, but the heart of the book is still very relevant. 

This book discusses the four basic personality types (Choleric, Sanguine, Melancholy, Phlegmatic) and how they interact with each other within the context of marriage.  It also hints at the "Love and Respect" perspective that is often discussed in Christian circles today.  The Biblical basis for the material is strong and the book is an easy and compelling read.

I found the book to be a very neat and all encompassing text that mentions many of the concepts that have since been expanded upon in modern Christian books.  I found that Pastor LaHaye also references Bill Gothard within the book and has many wise quotes and words of wisdom from other prominent pastors.

Overall, it was an excellent read and good reminder of many of the ideas from other good Christian marriage books that I have studied.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

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Modest Clothing Shocker! Forever 21!

I have never really shopped at Forever 21 in the past, primarily because I felt the clothing was too poorly made and immodest.  Also, I found the cut of the clothing to be very straight, so even if it fit me, it did not fit me well.  That all changed when many of the stores in my area switched to "full line" stores and began carrying plus sizes.  For those of you who might not consider yourself plus size, hear me out if you are at the border.  Their plus size line starts at a size 12 or XL which is equivalent to many department store large sizes.  Now here is the difference between my perception of Forever 21 and the reality:  Their plus sizes are actually cut for feminine shapes.  I have tried several dresses, skirts and tops and found the fit to be excellent.  No gapping between buttons and no sagging, oversized shoulders or other problems often encountered while shopping.  Here are a few modest selections from Forever 21 and Forever 21 Plus that you might be interested in:

Please forgive the modesty issues, I could not crop out the arms and pants.

 This black and white colorblocked dress is 22.80 from Forever 21 Plus.  Although I would pair this with a cardigan, I like the long and loose cut and sophisticated look.  If I had an occasion that required something simple and timeless, this would be a good choice.
 This stunning top is 24.80 from Forever 21 Plus.  I love the flowing chiffon and bright spring color. 
 This cardigan is 17.80 from Forever 21 Plus.  It is such a simple and basic wardrobe staple that I could find at least five outfits it would work perfectly with in my closet today.

Overall, I know that not everyone has good luck at the thrift shops and sometimes you just can't find what you need second-hand.  I just wanted to show that there are some well-fitting and suitably modest pieces that can be found in the malls as well.  I have heard mothers and daughters lament about the lack of suitable clothing at the mall today.  I know that it can be challenging to find modest clothing nowadays, but I hope that with a combination of frugal thrifting and modest shopping in moderation, we can outfit ourselves and our daughters in God-honoring ways.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Haitian Poulet en Sauce

Our family sponsors two Haitian children through Worldvision.  My daughter asked me what they would have for dinner so we decided to learn a little about Haitian food. I decided to try a common Haitian dish called "chicken in gravy" from a wonderful blog called and I had to make a few changes, but the result was still delicious. Here is my modified version of the dish, served with rice and peas and fried plantains.
Poulet en Sauce:
4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks, marinated in lemon juice, salt,garlic and a halved jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 green pepper,  chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups chicken broth
Brown the chicken in oil until golden brown, add onion and pepper and saute until translucent.  Add tomato sauce, lemon juice and jalapeno (from marinade). Add chicken broth and simmer for about 15 minutes. This was a great, simple recipe that was flavorful and unique. What a great way to share the child sponsorship program with my daughter.