Modest Monday: Lavender and Black Skirt and Cardigan

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Wow! It’s been exactly a month since I last blogged! I’ve been busy, busy with a trip to the Choose Joy conference, a family wedding, a visit with our English friend while she was here, and then a visiting frenzy, two week trip to Oregon. Whew, I’m knackered!! :)

I’m happy to be back home with my Sweetie and trying to catch up on sleep, laundry, crafting, etc.

Anyway, I figured it’s time for another Modest Monday post…featuring this lovey skirt and pretty cardigan.

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And I actually got to wear my hear down! Oregon had exceptionally nice weather while I was there, sadly for me, and there was a “rare storm” here that I missed out on. Boo hoo! : / But it was cooler on Sunday for me. :)

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See how pretty the back of the cardy is?

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Wonder of wonders, we weren’t fighting while taking the photos. Hard to have a real smile when you’re fighting! :)

I was feeling uncomfortable as usual about all of the lookie loos around while we take these photos though. Bleh! Just keepin’ it real folks!

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On that note, my wedding ring is too snug right now, even more so with the constant warm weather and swollen fingers. So I ordered this shamrock ring to wear temporarily in it’s place, and one of the stones fell out 10 days later. I was sad to be without it during all of my traveling, as I waited for the new one to arrive. It turns out that it arrived the day I left for Oregon with my favorite cousin-in-law. Ack, so close!!

Coincidentally, when I was a teenager I designed the wedding ring I wanted, a shamrock with emeralds for the leaves and a diamond in the center, but we couldn’t find one when we got married. This comes pretty close. :)

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Have a great week!!

Modest Monday: My Favorite (Flowered) Dress

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I shared about this dress before HERE, but it never received it’s proper attention, as it IS my FAVORITE dress!!! I rarely pay full price for things like clothes, but I was too scared to lose out on this pretty dress, so I bought it, then and there!   A year and a half later and it’s still my favorite!! :)

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The dress was a tad short, so I added a strip of lace along the hem.

I just ADORE flowers!!

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I still love this jewelry from Connor Inspires Amy on ETSY.

We tried a new spot for photos at my in-law’s and I LOVE seeing the GREEN behind me!!

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I found the beautiful dress at Target.

Happy Monday!

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My Safer Hair Care Routine That Actually Works

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After two years of trying to find a way to wash my hair without all of the chemicals, I feel like I’ve finally found something that works!! Yay!! I went through so much frustration and a lot of gungky hair days to get here. I tried horrible baking soda and both kinds of vinegar, lemon juice, all of the Trader Joe’s shampoos, Burt’s Bees, African black soap, etc, etc, etc. Blech! And my hair was always dry and gunky. My scalp was completely out of control. Needless to say, I was frustrated, and even shed some tears over that horrible, untouchable hair. :(

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You can see the thick layer coating my hair here. It was so hard trying to hide it as much as I could all of the time…and not touching it, yuck.

Then we got a filter for our shower head, because, guess what? Most people raving about these methods have soft water…and we have super, duper HARD water. Ack! I miss that super soft Oregon water. The filter helped a little, but not enough. Then I started this routine: aloe for the scalp and Suave Professionals lower sulfates shampoo and conditioner, rinsing with reverse osmosis water from my in-law’s vacation house.This was the BEST my hair had been for a year and a half!!! But it wasn’t great, my scalp became very irritated and I had to warm up the water every time, and carry some with me when I traveled. All of these were a pain. I started pouring brewed camomile tea and using it for one of my rinses as a natural way to lighten my ever darkening hair. ( I accidentally bought the one for blonds, instead of rooibos for redheads, but who cares because I now have a more important reason to use it. :) ) And occasionally mixing Tea Tree Oil into my shampoo for my poor scalp.

Then about a week ago, our water jugs were empty on the same day I decided to give Peppermint Oil a try instead of the tea tree oil that seemed to make things worse for me, and I found my new routine!!!!! :)

So here’s my new wonderful routing that gives me back my freedom from carting around the water, and gives me back my softer hair again:

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Aloe on my scalp, rinse with Camomile tea, brewed and cooled. (Sometimes I skip the aloe now).

Suave Professionals Shampoo, rinse with shower water.

Suave Professionals Conditioner, rinse with shower water.

Finish rinsing with shower water. (Sometimes I still use the reverse osmosis water for rinses).

I use a little aloe as a gel for straightening my fringe (bangs) and taming in general if needed. And we now have our own aloe plant!!

Deep condition with coconut oil when needed.

Mix a couple of drops of peppermint oil into shampoo when need for scalp healing.

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It is actually in better condition now than in this picture, but you can see…no gunk!! And no more fuzziness on top, it was quite ridiculous!

And enjoy your soft and luxurious hair!! :)

It’s so much easier to travel with a tea bag and a big cup than carting around soft water!

I’m still in shock over this fabulous discovery!! I think the tea does for me what the lemon juice/ vinegars do for others, but didn’t do for me. My hair has always been on the oily side, and they just made it oilier, the tea does not. This routine works better than any of the others I tried, and is so much easier for traveling!

Have you found a natural hair care routine that works for you and isn’t part of the “No Poo” fad? Share it here in the comments! :)

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Modest Monday: Green and Cream Daisies

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Happy Monday! It’s the day after Resurrection Day and time for a Modest Monday post, so here’s what I wore yesterday! I bought this gorgeous dress from Kohl’s last summer for my Ellie costume from “Up” for a Pixar themed party. I LOVE it!!!

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Here are the beautiful details of the dress:

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I wore a tank halftee underneath for more coverage and my white cardigan. My friend gave me the “He is Risen” necklace, but it didn’t exactly match, and necklaces looked odd with this beautiful lace neckline. So I took the pendant off of the chain and pinned it onto my cardigan. :)

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My brand new shamrock ring!!! When we were engaged and looking for my wedding ring, we couldn’t find what I had always dreamed of since high school, a shamrock ring with three emeralds and a diamond in the center. I finally found one at Avon, but it was silver coated. Then I found this one months ago at shopirish.com, but it was sold out. :( I figured my chance was over…but then it finally showed up again!!! Yay, sterling silver so I can wear it everyday. I’m super happy! It isn’t exactly what I had imagined, but i”m happy with it! :)

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Hope you all had a wonderful Resurrection Day!!

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Our Irish Party

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Ack! I’m finally sharing about our Irish party with our friends! I started it days ago, but kept getting interrupted by more urgent things. Anyway, here it is!

We have some friends that love to celebrate the Irish culture like we do, so we sometimes have get-togethers in March and mix the American with the Irish cultures.

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So here’s our serving table with drinks, dessert and the food I forgot to photograph as I was hostessing. My mother-in-law brought some green carnations for the table. We had Bewley’s tea (my favorite tea!) in our Carrigaline shamrock tea cups, punch made from rainbow sherbet and 7up for an American touch, Shepherd’s Pie, Steamed Cabbage and White and Brown Soda Bread, served with Dubliner cheese.

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For dessert we had a field of shamrock cookies and some rainbow cupcakes. All yummy!!!! :)

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And here’s our table, festive and fun!

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Some of the decorations:

Gnomes, mushrooms and egg cups as tea lights.

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Shamrock and flower plants and this adorable painted rock my Sweetie found for my anniversary gift!

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I made this table cloth several years ago, and collected the napkins from somewhere?

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We had loads of fun eating, visiting and listening to Van Morrison and The Chieftains. The girls were even surprised to hear they ate Brussels sprouts sneaked into the gravy of the shepherd’s pie…and didn’t hate it!!! :)

The girls spent hours in the Bear House and Secret Garden, on the swing and saying hello to the horses next door. The adults spent that time catching up, visiting, eating and cleaning up.

And HERE are the recipes if you’re interested!! :)

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Modest Monday: Shamrock Edition

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Haha! Two weeks later, here we go! Celebrating and having WordPress issues has made my Irish Day posts take longer, sadly. I like to share photos and the photos weren’t loading any way that I tried! But here we go finally! So, For Modest Monday, here’s what I wore the Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a good thing we enjoy the Irish culture year round! :)

I made this little jacket several years ago  and I still love it. :)

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I absolutely LOVE these new shoes! They are a Mary Jane style with wee heels and would be great for swing dancing or a more comfortable version of character shoes…says the dancer. :)

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See what I mean?

And this pretty, elegant jewelry was a gift from my in-laws.

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I’ve had this barrette since college…so just a little while…ahem. Haha!

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It was yet another hot day, so my hair was up in a messy bun with the barrette around the hair bands.

Now, how about these brand new rings? The shamrock one is from Avon and the flower is from Kohl’s. I LOVE them!!!

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I’ve been needing a temporary wedding ring as I’ve gained weight and live with hot, swollen fingers a lot in our summery climate. So, I wore this one while I waited for another one to arrive.

I find it fun to dress in festive clothing, do you?

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Ways to Celebrate Ireland Day

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I’ve written a bunch of posts about the ways we celebrate Ireland. Our anniversary is just a few days earlier, and we both have Irish roots. I also lived there for two years as a missionary, so we like to celebrate the friendliness, beauty, food, music and dance of Ireland’s emerald shores. We sometimes do something more Americanized like lime and 7up punch, but we mostly do things the Irish way. So I’m including the links to all of my previous posts right here, nice and handy!

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Shepherd’s Pie

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Irish Soda Bread

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Mince and Potatoes

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Our Irish Anniversary

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Lily’s Brown Bread

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St. Patrick’s Day outfits, accessories, Irish Stew and Barry’s Tea

So, take a peek and see if there’s something here to help you celebrate Irish culture and all things shamrock!

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Recipe Exchange: Lily’s Brown Soda Bread

Truly Skrumptious:

Lily’s Brown Bread for St. Patrick’s Day!

Originally posted on Truly Skrumptious:

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Tuesday means the Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange, and since it’s March I like to celebrate Irish culture. One of the ways we celebrate is with Irish food! So last night I made Shepherd’s Pie and Brown Bread, otherwise known as Brown Soda Bread, as opposed to White Soda Bread. I lived in Ireland for two years as a missionary and made some lovely local friends over that time period! Last June we went over for our Irish friend’s beautiful wedding. :> This is her mother’s recipe, and it is FABULOUS!! It goes perfectly with their wonderful spirit of hospitality. I have NEVER been to their house without being offered food! I have always been warmly welcomed and served with love alongside my tea, brown bread, etc. The Murtaghs embody a similar welcoming attitude you will find all over the Emerald Isle! :>

It felt so good to be…

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Modest Monday: “Irish” Anniversary Date

Truly Skrumptious:

Our Irish anniversary date!!

Originally posted on Truly Skrumptious:

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I planned to write this post about our anniversary days ago, but we’ve been so busy! So I’m incorporating it into this week’s Modest Monday post. We had to put our celebration off for a week, because I was sick on our actual day and the live Irish session only happens one day a week. We like to celebrate with Irish themes since we had an Irish themed wedding during St. Paddy’s week! :>

Here are some of the musicians.

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The Irish session plays at a British themed pasty (pass-ty) restaurant which also serves Irish food. I could eat something different there EVERY week! That’s saying a lot from a picky eater! My Sweetie had a local mix, with the Tri Tip Pasty, Santa Maria style. I had one that married the two cultures of Ireland and England,  a Shepherd’s Pie Pasty. And I forgot to take a photo before…

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Recipe Exchange: Mince and Potatoes

Truly Skrumptious:

Mince and Potatoes for you Irish celebration!

Originally posted on Truly Skrumptious:

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I can’t believe I haven’t shared my “company” dish before! Since I haven’t cooked anything new and exciting lately, I was scouring through my photos, looking for something I could share today for the Old Fashioned Recipe Exchange. That’s when I realized I have a couple of photos of and have never shared my Shepherd’s Pie recipe, so here you go! It’s such an easy, forgiving dish that you can play with until it becomes yours. I ALWAYS make it the same way, the way we made it when I lived in Ireland, where I first ate it. But the whole idea of this dish is that you (the shepherds) use whatever you have on hand and throw it all in together. The original would have had, and still does sometimes, lamb instead of the ground beef or “mince” that I use. I can’t believe I don’t have any photos…

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