Minimal Wardrobe: Pants

Pants Inventory:

  • black slacks 
  • khakis 
  • Skinny jeans  
  • Bootleg jeans
  • blue nylon material pants
  • navy warm ups
  • black athletic/running pants
  • plaid PJs
  • black sweatpants
  • brown thermals
  • grey capri length leggings

11 pants total.
Unlike the shorts & skirts, most of my pants are neutral colors and basic cuts.  The first four are essentials (yes, it is essential that I own two pairs of jeans). I don't necessarily like the black slacks or the khakis but I wear them almost exclusively for work so it doesn't really matter how I "feel" about them.

I've considered getting rid of the blue nylon pants more than once (the button and drawstring are both on the inside of the waistband = annoying) but Mr A keeps telling me how great my butt looks in them so I can't bring myself to do it!  I need to find better, not-nylon pants that are similarly constructed in the back.
The blue warm-ups were a recent gift from my mom.  There is a zipper.  I'm still deciding how I feel about that.
I don't like the black running pants at all.  I'm probably only holding onto them because a) The North Face logo is on the leg (shallow, I know) and b) the pockets zipper.  

Ah, lounge wear!   Could probably use the black sweatpants for running/working out.  I originally got the brown thermals thinking I would use them as leggings, but they stretch/bunch at the knee and are slightly too long.  The result is a little sloppy for skirts.  I mostly wear them as jams or as an under layer for super cold nights.  I'm still on the fence about getting another pair of full length leggings to better serve this purpose.

I think I'm going to finally part with the black runners and the blue nylon pants.  I'm keeping those old black sweats until they are replaced with new sweats from a sister's school of choice (perhaps from a Turkish University???)

I want to replace the black runners and navy warm ups with some pants/tights that could be exclusively for running (either full or capri length).  Or I could make my own from recycled wool sweaters.  Nice!

Maybe pick up some cords in grey or olive.  Bonus if they could replicate whatever those nylon pants are doing in the back.


What I Did (and didn't) Today

Today I...
  • went through the entire kitchen and came up with a big box of things for the thrift store
  • made some lotion
  • lifted weights
  • took pictures of my pants and jackets
  • went to a new parent orientation at Ikaika's preschool (!!!)
  • ate a delicious Kona mango
  • used a stove top peculator (I'll stick to a french press, thanks) 
  • packed away the Pack N Play - Koa is officially in a bed!
Today I didn't...
  • Run
  • write the actual post about my pants or jackets
  • fix my sister's blog like I said I would
  • send my niece's birthday present
  • worry, complain or stress out


Minimal Wardrobe: Shorts and Skirts

Today I took an inventory of my shorts and skirts.

The SHORTS I own are:

  • black knee length cotton shorts
  • purple cotton from The Limited with lined pockets (I would consider these "dressier")
  • karate pig shorts from Thailand
  • Adidas sport shorts, thicker material
  • black & white board shorts
  • red Nike running shorts, thin/quick dry material

 My SKIRTS are:

  • White stripe cotton skirt (drawstring waist)
  • khaki GAP mini 
  • black, knee length cotton pencil skirt with dragon applique
  • ROXY calf-length wrap skirt 
  • American Apparel Le Sac dress (can be worn as a skirt)
  • grey pinstripe, knee length pencil skirt (not pictured)
  • 2 Thai silk pencil skirts that are part of a 2-piece suit

To re-cap I have 6 pairs of shorts and 8 skirts.

I have the same problem here that I do with shoes.  4 of the 6 items basically serve the same function - athletic wear.  The thin shorts were ideal for marathon training because I can sweat my life into them and they will never chafe (they also have built in underwear which eliminates the need for excessive layers).  Board shorts are ideal for ocean and beach activities.  I'm pretty sure either the Adidas, the pink pigs, or both need to go.  But how to choose?!

The Adidas are more acceptable to wear in public than super thin marathon shorts.  Perfect for taking long walks on hot days.  The pink pigs essentially serve the same function but, whereas I love them because of their nostalgic value, my husband hates them and cringes when I wear them to the grocery store.  I find the fit more comfortable and the pockets are roomier, but the Adidas are neutral and match with more tops (do pink pigs really "match" anything?)   

8 skirts, 4 of which are pencil skirts.  Are we starting to see a theme?!

The justification here is I can't bring myself to get rid of the black one because I got it when travelling in Laos and its just so unique and I love the way it fits.  I probably don't wear it as often as I could/should, but its not something I can easily replace.  I haven't worn the grey pinstripe for at least 3 years, but its perfect for job interviews and/or teaching.  Which is something I don't do now but will be doing in the foreseeable future.  The Thai silk suits are - again - something I wore when I was teaching and haven't had occasion to wear very often since. I would rather try to make better use of these as separates than completely get rid of them.

I know the answer is to get rid of at least one of these pencil skirts but that is a mighty tall order.  If I had to make a choice about skirts at this moment and never look back I would probably let go of the ROXY wrap, the purple Thai silk suit (ugh, painful)...maybe the dragon skirt...(wait! no!)...(maybe)...and I guess I should say the grey pinstripe since I never wear it.  Besides, I could probably get away with a silk skirt at a job interview, this is Hawaii not Wall Street!


Quote for Working Moms

"She never quite leaves her children at home, even when she doesn't take them along."
-Margaret Culkin Banning


Minimal Wardrobe: Shoes

Here are my shoes as of yesterday:

  • Nike cross trainers
  • Adidas running shoes
  • Black work shoes
  • black flip flops
  • brown Uggs
  • Pink converse
  • Minnetonka moccasins (not pictured) - my "house slippers"
Taking this picture was a huge revelation for me.  How is it that 4 out of my 6 pairs of shoes are sneakers?  

The rationalization: 
the Adidas are old but comfortable for running.  Like running barefoot.  The Nikes are too heavy for distance running but newer - nice for walking/working out and look less ratty.  The black shoes are only for work and meet all the uniform requirements of the company.  The converse have been with me for over 10 years and hint to the fact that I may be a hipster at heart.  Besides, they look better with jeans than running shoes.

Based on this picture I know that 
A) I have too many sneakers and
B) I am missing a few key pieces

I need to get rid of at least one (hopefully two) of the sneakers.  The converse for sure have to go.  They are 10 years old, faded, holey, and I barely wear them anyway because in Hawaii we take our shoes on and off so much.  Wearing anything with ties is extremely inconvenient. 
Their purpose would be better served with a flat.  Something I could wear with jeans or a skirt, dress up or down.  I'm thinking metallic.  
I am also completely missing any kind of heel.  I have nothing that would be appropriate for a job interview, date night, wedding, etc.  I don't have occasion to wear them very often so I need them to be classic, not trendy.  Thinking black kitten heel.

So these two items will go on my "look for it at the thrift store" list.  The converse will travel with me to the mainland in July and remain there - hopefully replaced by something amazing!


Change of Content

In order to exorcise these incessant thoughts about my closet, I've decided to take a short hiatus from blogging about the kids.  I'm going to be blogging about clothes for awhile.  Tomorrow, I'll start with shoes.
Your welcome/Sorry in advance.  This probably won't take more than a week or two.


Minimalist Fashion

In the last few weeks my mind has been totally preoccupied with creating a minimalist wardrobe.  At work, at playgroup, in those moments before sleep, I lose myself meditating on these kinds of questions:
  • What would the perfect balance of clothes look like for me?  
  • What types of clothes in what combinations would be the most functional?
  • How can the clothes I have now be even more functional?  
  • What needs in leave in order for that to happen?
  • What needs to stay?
  • What needs to be slightly different?
Sure, this all sounds kind of silly, but its also fun.  I'm thinking about doing some kind of minimalist fashion project.  Project 333 sounds most realistic and could probably be a good exercise in determining which pieces truly should stay or go.
I'm also completely fascinated with multi-functional, versatile clothing.  I got a Le Sac dress last month and love it.  I was wanting to get/make a circle scarf, too...until I found the Versalette.  The $20,000 question is "does it actually look good?"  

***well, that seems easy.  Why don't you just make something similar?  Because I would just never believe that I am doing it right.  And I appreciate seamless/overlocked hems on jersey knits.***  


Thrift Store SCORE

 The other day, Mr A came home with a sweet surprise.  Board shorts (for me) from a local consignment store.  He even got green tag ones, which were 30% off that day.  What a doll.

Too bad...
a) the fit was awful ("my ass ate them alive" doesn't even do it justice)
b) the velcro was worn and the placement of the ties was truly strange/completely impractical
c) that consignment store is notoriously overpriced - I never go there
d) they were over $4 after taxes, which is more than I like to pay unless its an upscale brand in good condition, which is wasn't
e) they have a no return or exchange policy
f) I already have board shorts
g) there's a reason I don't buy pants or shorts if I can't try them on...

So, it was a sad waste and Mr A was understandably bummed out.  Despite the epic fail, I was pleased to see him gifting with frugality.  He *gets* me.  Aww.

Move over, Dear.  Let the master show you how it's done.  

Here's today's score from Mamas House Thrift Store:

  • Old Navy flannel pajama pants with glittery ties
  • blue cotton pants - planning to use the fabric in my sister's quilt

aren't these patterns cute?  love the blue.

  • Awa Tshirt - awa is Hawaiian for kava/native booze root
  • Small Tshirt from Punanaleo O Waimea - aka Ikaika's preschool
  •  Medium long sleeve - good PJ top to match the pants.  The white part is all stretched out and needs to be removed.
  •  Tshirt for my little sister for when she travels outside the US to all those conservative countries in the Middle East

  • 100% Lambswool GAP sweater.  Going to make another pair of pants for Koa.  I'm thinking about saving the body pieces and trying to collect enough to make a wool quilt like THIS
  •  wool hat - for felting/crafting

  •  ROXY Medium wrap skirt.  Got this for the fabric but then I tried it on and love it.  Can also be worn as a dress. 
  • sarong - gift

  • Shorts, Aeropostale.  In some kind of poetic justice, these fit even WORSE than the ones Mr A got me.  Gross.  They will be returning with my next donation!
  • Old Navy pointelle sweater.  So soft, so light, so feminine.  I am very in love with this...but I have no idea how (what, where) to wear it. 

  •  Tshirts for Ikaika

  •  PJs for Koa - he has the exact same ones in a different color.  The size tag is missing so I hope they fit.  
  • Gymboree cotton sweater, 18-24M.  Hoping to squeeze it on Koa a few times before passing it along.
  • Japanese towel thing from the town temple - wearing this to the next Bon Odori festival.

  •  Bunny Newborn onesie
  • Classic Winnie the Pooh burp cloth

  • ROXY baby dress.  Brand new.  The chest pocket is a little heart...I melt.

American Apparel onesie, 6-12M.  This was really my favorite find of the day.  Its in perfect condition.  My boys are all old and huge (grumble, grumble).  But, I'm going to tuck this away for [someone else's] future babies.


There were other things, too.  A Snuggie, a Fisher-Price Soothe and Glow Seahorse, two white pillow cases, and a few other baby items (all gifts) that I don't need to show off here because I think you already get the point.

Grand Total: $2.13



Mothers Day and To-Do List #24 - Getting There

Happy Mothers Day!  Nothing like waking up to my three boys bringing me freshly foraged flowers and blueberry pancakes.  Then I played a little piano, ran a little run, crocheted some yarn and will shortly be heading to the beach.  Purr-fection.

A little update on my To-Do List:

I made some headway on #24 (read Lord of the Rings trilogy) this past week when I came down with a terrible stomach bug.  I was can't-get-out-of-bed ill for an entire day, which gave me time to finally finish Fellowship of the Ring!  I liked Boramir even less in the books.

So excited to start on the next one.

As for other things on that list - I might have to wait on finishing a full marathon.  Just found out that my running buddy got stress fractures in her foot and I don't know if I can complete it without her encouragement (and I don't want to enable her to completely damage her God-given means of transportation).  Might just go for a half marathon this year. 13.1 miles is nothing to sniff my nose at!



In the last election, I kept rolling my eyes at Obama's stance on gay marriage.  He was just supportive enough to get the supporters support but without actually supporting it at all.  Good for you, Mr President.  Way to pick a side and go with it.

And, frankly, way to pick the only side that makes any wink of sense.  The fact that Americans are still holding onto this "one man, one woman" garbage is astounding.  

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," he told ABC.

"I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties.  And quite frankly, I don't see much of a distinction beyond that."


First Dentist Visit

just look at those beautiful chompers!

This morning, Ikaika, at 3 years and 7 months, had his very first dental appointment!

I'm sorry to say that I'm not the kind of mom who remembers to take pictures of these types of momentous occasions.  Predictably, I thought about it just as we were pulling out of the parking lot.  Lame.

Either way, he did a great job.  We practiced for several days leading up the appointment.  When they called his name, he trotted off after the dental assistant, leaving me to complete the paperwork.  A few minutes later I heard sobbing (they tried to recline the chair - we didn't practice that part), so I went in there and held his hand.  He wore cool red sunglasses, opened his mouth wide, and allowed the dentist to do a full count/cleaning/floss.  I was very impressed.

On the way home I told him, because he did such a good job, he could have whatever he wanted for lunch.  What did he want?  Strawberries.  And, they were on sale.  I've never been so proud.

HOWEVER - I had an epic fail as a mom.  Some of you may recall that I'm not too keen on fluoride.  When the dentist mentioned it I kind of nodded my head and smiled dismissively.  When she suggested different poison-filled mouthwashes and toothpastes I wondered how she would feel knowing that I regularly brush his "so healthy!" teeth with water or, on rare occasion, baking soda.  I was feeling all smug until she told him she was going to brush some fluoride on his teeth and I just stood there.  Shocked.  Sweating.  Upset.  But not really willing to "make a big deal" about it.  I rationalized that every 6 months won't kill him and there are kids who are inundated with this stuff everyday....blah blah blah.  Maybe it is good for him?

DENIAL.  Come on, Katie.  Stand up to the dentist.  You know how you feel about it!  Just tell her you don't want it!  You don't have to tell her why!  It doesn't have to be a big deal!  UGH!  I'm such a coward sometimes. 


Night Time


not sure what part of "one at a time" they don't understand
its all fun and games until bully starts tackling
"I didn't do anything"

Professional Sports: A Waste of Time?

I read an article online today that I knew would send a majority of my immediate family into a fit of rage...so here's the link
Professional Sports: A Waste of Time, Money and Energy

Seriously, I've never understood pro sports.  I've always questioned why so many resources (ie. fat paychecks) go to people who do so little practical good for society.  I watch them.  In fact, we watch quite a bit of NFL in this house and I have spent more Sundays than I care to admit zoning out to some golf tournament (is it just me, or is the Masters on every weekend?!)  I've dreamed of my children finding success in the you-name-it athletic acronym.

But, why?  I'm not asking about why I watch - frankly, I like watching high school sports just as much - but why do I equate pro sports with success?  Maybe because these are the cream of the crop...or are they just the ones who stuck with it?  Maybe because they are rich...although they have higher lifestyle expectations and will probably not manage their money very well.  Maybe because they are famous...although fame nowadays isn't exactly enviable.

Anyhow, I thought this article was amusing and I like how he admits at the end that, like me, he still enjoys Monday Night Football.  


Down With Plastic Cups!

How can I describe the perfect travel cup?

I don't want anything that leaches potential hazards into my beverage.  Something my kids (or husband...or self) can't easily break/destroy.  Recyclable is a bonus.  Doesn't encourage mold and/or bacteria.  Keeps hot, hot and cold, cold.  Interchangeable parts so if a lid breaks I don't have to replace the whole shebang.  Spill proof.  Easy to clean.  Lightweight  Stylish.  Devoid of obvious logos.

Am I being too picky now?

I've come to discover that stainless steel meets the most of these requirements.  I've heard that stuff tastes better out of ceramic, but my second (much-loved) ceramic travel mug just fell pray to my husband's dish washing method, so I'm now willing to overlook slight discrepancies in flavor if it means more durability.

I'm already a fan of our Klean Kanteens.  We have four, one for each person, and have had to replace a lid with no love lost for the bottle itself.  I'm making the investment in the insulated mug and doing away with all my other plastic tumblers.

You can drink smoothies out of these...but sometimes I just want a straw.  I don't want smoothie all over my face or the frustration of trying to suck it out of that little cafe lid.

Thank you, Starbucks.  A stainless steel cold tumbler with a stainless steel straw.  Do your worst, children, you won't be able to chew through this one or crack it in half during a wrestling match.  My collection of reusable drinkware is now complete.