Sunday, September 30

Nike Shorts Alteration

The title on this post may be a little misleading. These shorts are actually Under Armour. Whatevs. I have several pair of Nike shorts and Nike-like shorts that ended up being too big. For awhile I didn't wear them because they made my legs look like sticks. Which is uncool. But then I realized that for five minutes and some thread, I can easily make them fit me. 

Here's the "Before"

I started by turning them inside out and separating the shorts part from the lining part. All I did was sew a new seam an inch above the existing seam between the two legs. It makes the shorts fit smaller and shrinks the leg holes a little bit also.

Just sew that one seam!

And then you have a pair of shorts that does not balloon out in the leg holes. Which is stellar.

This is the easiest, quickest way to alter nike shorts. However, if the shorts are way too big, you will have to alter them in a more complicated way, which I will post about later this week.

Thursday, September 27

Shorts to Skirt Attempt

Sometimes sewing projects go great. Like here and here. And then other times it turns out like this. I bought this pair of shorts at Salvation Army because I love the color and fabric. However, they started out as very too big, so rather than simply take them in, I decided to make them into a skirt. 

I cut the middle seam apart and re-sewed it. However, it turned out way. too. small. :( Boo.

Too small, slightly asymmetrical, but maybe I'll wear it with tights this fall. We'll see. Or maybe I'll just cut it up and make it into something else. That's a lot more likely, actually. So basically, the lesson I have for you today is this: You win some, you lose some. But you should always keep sewing. Hopefully eventually I'll win more than I lose. :D


I love this quote. And I love Emma Watson. I just noticed the quote was by her when I uploaded it. I guess I'm a bit unobservant...

So in honor of being honest and not hiding behind a facade of perfection, I give you *drumroll*... my awkward photos! These are the pictures that I usually delete as soon as I see them. But that's dumb. Plus they're freaking hilarious, so it would be rude not to share them. Here are all the outfit pictures gone wrong. :)

Almost falling over while still trying to cheese. Yah, sounds about right.

 There are no words to describe this picture. No words. 

"Uh, hey... Chase? I've got something in my pocket to show you. If you want."

Tuesday, September 25

Tuesday Date Night

I had today off work, so I spent the day rearranging my clothes. We don't have enough drawers to have all of our clothes accessible at the same time, so I brought all of my winter clothes down from the closet and put up a ton of t-shirts and shorts. Also I watched approximately six episodes of 90210 while I cleaned and organized. It was a really nice day. Chase was at school for almost the entire day, so we he got home at 7:00, he decided we should go on a spontaneous date night.

It was so fun! Here's what I wore:

Here's pictures of my ridiculously attractive husband. :) Aren't his shoes cool? We found them at Salvation Army for somewhere around two dollars. They're like a much classier version of toms.

I decided I'm a fan of Tuesday date nights. But only every once in awhile.

We went to Macaroni Grill for dinner, and then walked around Target for awhile. I love Macaroni Grill because they cover the tables with white paper and give you crayons, so you can entertain yourself during the meal. We played tic-tac-toe, dots, and discussed politics on the tablecloth. Perfect.

Outfit Details:

Shirt -- Salvation Army $.96
Tank Top -- Salvation Army $.66
Jeans -- American Eagle via Salvation Army $4.99 (here)
Heels -- Thrift shop $2
Purse -- Dooney & Bourke via Salvation Army $8 (here)
Necklace -- Gift

Total: $16.61

Monday, September 24

In Which MaryBeth Rants about Feminism

It's been awhile since I've had a good rant. I know you guys are missing it. Only kidding. I think probably only my husband would miss my rants.

So let's talk about feminism. According to, it means:

"The doctrine — and the political movement based on it — that women should have the same economic, social, and political rights as men."

Here's a simplified definition:

I really don't know many people who would argue that women ought not to have the same rights as men. However, many people do act like feminism is a negative thing. Growing up, I had the idea that a feminist was a person who went around disrespecting men (which was the ultimate sin, basically), who probably didn't shave her legs, maybe had short hair, and would never get married. My parents certainly did not intentionally make me believe that feminism was wrong, but when you grow up in a conservative, Christian circle, that's usually what happens.

Somewhere during college, I started being discontent and frustrated with gender stereotypes. I can't tell you how many Bible studies I've been to and how many books I've read that focused on submission, motherhood, respect for men, being a pure and beautiful flower waiting for Prince Charming, guarding your heart, and being the Ultimate Helper to your future husband. 

If anybody knows me on more than a superficial level, you know that I am competitive. I am aggressive. I am not usually a compassionate listener. I am results oriented. I am independent. I am assertive. I am passionate. All of those are masculine character traits. For such a long time I tried to change that part of my personality to being more Proverbs 31-like. You know, being tender, gracious, sensitive, supportive, caring, a good cook, a good homemaker (whatever the hell that means), and such. I even journaled about the type of man I wanted to marry and wrote that he should have a strong personality so he could overpower mine. That way I wouldn't be too outspoken. All the books and sermons told me that as a woman, that's what I should be. That's why I was created. 

But that's bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. All of those character traits are gender stereotypes. I honestly felt like a Bad Christian for awhile because I didn't fit the mold of what a "goodwife" should be. And that's about the time I found the Episcopal church and a blogger named Rachel Held Evans. Her article on feminism is wondrous. You should read it. Here's what she says about the passage about wives submitting to husbands: the famous “household codes” of the epistles,  instructions for women to submit to their husbands are either preceded or followed by instructions for slaves to obey their masters. And so comparisons between modern marital relationships and those of an ancient near eastern culture should always be approached with caution and with attentiveness to context.

The Episcopal church doesn't insist that women must always submit to men. It doesn't insist that men and women follow socially constructed gender roles. It doesn't insist that women must be silent in church. It empowers women, gives them a voice, and gives them the freedom to be who God created them to be. Many other churches are similarly supportive of women, but the Episcopal church is the denomination I've found where I feel like I belong. My thoughts and feelings are not considered less important because of my gender. 

I can't tell you how much I adore Chase. He doesn't make me feel like a bad wife for not cooking dinner. He cooks dinner with me. He helps me clean. When there are decisions to make, we make them together. When we can't agree on something, he doesn't veto my opinion and do whatever the hell he wants, rather we talk about it and come to an agreement. I'm incredibly, incredibly thankful to have married somebody like him rather than somebody who "lovingly" folded my personality into a box so that I could resemble the Proverbs 31 woman. 

So basically, I am very much a feminist, although I do shave my legs (usually), do not usually disrespect men, I am married, and I will probably have short hair soon. :) I guess I only fit into two of the four categories I thought about feminists when I was younger. That's not so bad. I still get frustrated when I hear Mark Driscoll (a ridiculously popular "restless and reformed" pastor) say a quote like this:

“If your wife is working, you are a selfish bastard. How dare you make her shoulder her half of the curse and part of yours as well?”

"Women will be saved by going back to that role that God has chosen for them."

"We do not believe in feminism because we believe that men should responsibly lead homes and churches with sacrificial love like Jesus Christ.”

And even though it makes me mad, I am thankful that I don't have to change who I am to and silence my opinions and voice anymore. I have a church that treats women as intellectual equals. I have a husband that does not "outvote" me on issues, but loves all of my personality traits--not just the Proverbs 31 traits. 

And for that I'm grateful. Also, if you read this entire thing you're basically a superhero. 

Sunday, September 23

Peplum 101

Okay, so because I was lousy at updating my blog this week and because I love all of you blog-readers so much, I'm posting a bonus post today. :)

Here's my newly refashioned peplum top styled into an outfit.

Let me tell you a story: Today before church, I spent about twenty minutes figuring out what to wear, and I ended up wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt. Yeah... And then when I picked out a blog outfit to photograph I picked out these clothes in about forty seconds. Basically I think I should pretend that real life is like a blog, and then I would be much better dressed.

Also, my new hair straightener does rocking curls. I think I've worn my hair curled with it for the last week. I mean, when I wash and fix it, that is. :)

Outfit Details:

Peplum top -- Old Navy via thrift shop $1 (refashioned)
Sweater -- Hand-me-down 
Pants -- Ross $10
Blue Heels -- Thrift store $2

Total Cost: $13

Plain Tank to Peplum

Once upon a time I bought two tank tops from a thrift shop with great plans for them. One of them was this pink shirt. The other one sat in my refashioning pile for months, until I saw this tutorial on Kaitlin's blog. This shirt was perfect for it!

 It started out as an extra-large tank, which is just a few sizes too big to wear, but it's perfect to turn into a peplum top. I tried on the tank and eye-balled where I wanted the peplum to start. I cut it off at the waist. I turned the tank top part inside out and sewed the side seams to make it fit tighter.

I changed the stitch on my sewing machine to the longest stitch length, and sewed around the cut part of the strip.

Next, I pulled the strings to make the strip of fabric gathered so it would match the tank top section.

I matched the two pieces together, pinned the heck out of it, and then sewed it. I know what you're thinking: Why would somebody use light blue thread on a black shirt? Annnnd, the answer is whenever I run out of a color of thread I forget to buy a new spool. Yeah... so I just use random colors. My mom gets stressed out when I don't match the thread color to the clothing, but I figure it's one the inside, so it doesn't really matter anyway. :)

And, it's done! To see how I styled it, you can go here.

Friday, September 21


This is me. On a normal work day. 

I'm lying. This is not a normal work day. Normally I leave for work at 5:15 am, and I do NOT fix my hair or wear eyeshadow. It's nice to go in a little bit later and have time to blow dry my hair.

And time to take nerdy pictures. That's always a nice start to a day.

I also love my shoes I wear to work. Even though they're Payless knock-offs of Nike shoes, I still love them. It's okay, Payless. You're the underdog, so I will support you. Can I also say how much I love dress codes? I wouldn't normally choose to wear a black polo shirt, but whenever I leave for work I never have to think about what to wear. I pick one of my three black shirts and wear jeans and leave. It's great. I'm a giant fan of dress codes. It's one small way to simplify life and simplify the many decisions we have to make each day.

Have I mentioned that I love my job? I also love coffee. That's always a good thing.

Thursday, September 20

That Time I Played Ultimate Frisbee...

Oh, here are some pictures of Harper I took the other day while she was taking a nap. Is she not the cutest thing in the entire world? I love her. 

Onward to frisbee...

Chase's PsyD class put together an Ultimate Frisbee team in the Intramural game. I don't love frisbee, but I do love Chase, so I always go to the game and hang out with the other non-frisbee players. However, yesterday when Chase and I got to the game, they were short a few girls. Which means I had to got to play. I'm okay at catching a frisbee, terrible at throwing it, but good at running, and great at yelling at people while I guard them. I had so much fun playing frisbee. I may have accidentally on purpose yelled at the other team during the game... But oh well. We lost by 9 to 2, but had so much fun playing.

Whenever Chase first got accepted to Wheaton, I was kind of worried that he would have all these great doctorate friends and I would never hang out with them since I wasn't in the program. But it's been great. We went to a White Sox game with some of the PsyD people, had game nights, movie nights, t-shirt making days, and frisbee games. I'm actually really, really glad we ended up here in this program.

And that's all. :) I hope you're enjoying your Thursday.

Wednesday, September 19

The Story of Three Dooneys

Remember way back when I wrote my very first blog post? It was about the Dooney and Bourke purse I found at a Salvation Army in Texas. I have used that purse every single day since then. A few days ago I was at the Salvation Army store here and I spotted a Dooney and Bourke purse hanging on a rack above the clothes. I practically ran over a lady and her little girl to snatch that sucker up (If you're reading my blog, I sincerely apologize for almost running you over). I picked up a green D&B, but quickly realized it was obviously fake. But behind that was a beautiful black Dooney. It was real, and twelve dollars, so I did a happy dance and bought it. 

My older sister, Becky, had a birthday a few days ago, so I gave her the new D&B purse. 

Okay, later that afternoon, I went to Goodwill. I had the whole day off, so why stop at just one thrift store? I browsed the purse section and found another authentic Dooney and Bourke. I was shocked. And thrilled. And I bought it. But the zipper was broken. But I had a plan. More on that later. I'm planning on repairing the zipper and sending it to my younger sister, Ruth. We'll be the three sisters with Dooney's. What more could you want? 

Here are the bags:

Baby Dooney, medium Dooney, and large Dooney
The little Dooney for Ruth
My purse! My little brother calls it my "Mary Poppins purse" because I can fit my entire life in here. 
The beautiful Dooney for Becky. 
Stay tuned for a zipper-fixing post on the black and tan Dooney. I think I will be able to replace the zipper, but I'm not completely sure. We'll see. :)

Sunday, September 16

Lace Dress a Different Way

My younger sister got married a little over a month ago, and her stipulation for the bridesmaids was that we had to buy a blue dress. I love love love shopping, but I'm picky as hell about my clothes, so I was happy to get to choose my own dress. I found this in-between-navy-and-cobalt colored lace dress at Kohls and knew it was the one. 

Here are all of the dresses together. Don't they look great?

Me, my mom, Ruth, and Becky. You can't really tell, but Ruth's hair piece is the one featured in this post. My mom is wearing a similar one, and Becky and I are wearing small bobby-pin versions in our hair. Also, does my mom not look rocking for being the mother of nine (!!) children?

I love my dress, but I couldn't wear it in everyday life, really. So I made some adjustments and wore it with a shirt and sweater on top. I can't pull of a lace dress at church, but I can definitely rock a lace skirt. 

I know you're asking yourself a burning question. What shoes are you wearing with that, and what color is your nail polish?

Never fear. I photographed them just for you. I love these yellow sandals. And I basically wear them anytime I'm not at work. Yeah...

Outfit Details:

Lace dress -- Kohls $48
Striped shirt -- Gap via Salvation Army $1
Sweater -- Old Navy via Salvation Army $1
Sandals -- Payless $4

Total Cost: $54

Saturday, September 15

Of American Eagle and White Sox

Here are my recent thrifting treasures. I almost never buy jeans from thrift stores--mostly because they're so hard to match size in waist, length, hips, and everywhere else, not to mention the huge selection in color, denim wash, fading, style, rise, and stitching. However, I went to Goodwill, which is insanely well organized, and was able to look at only the jeans in my size. The organization made it a much easier task! I tried on three different pair and bought these dark wash American Eagle jeans. They were a little bit too flared, so I hemmed them to be more of a straight leg jean, and I love them! 
I actually bought these boots the day after we moved into our apartment in June, but I forgot to post a picture, so they're getting stuck into this post. :) They are Paris Blue brand and were on sale for $2.03. I'm so happy to add to my boot collection for the fall and winter. I keep hearing horror stories or how cold it is, so anything I can find to make the cold more bearable is a huge win. 

And last of all is this White Sox tee. We went to a White Sox game with some Wheaton friends of ours, and since I only have Cubs shirts, I went to Salvation Army in search of the other Chicago team. I found this shirt in the boys section and it fits great! Best of all was the thirty-three cent price tag. Awesome.

The Game!
The White Sox lost 8-5, but the people we went with were Tigers fans, so we were rooting for the Tigers anyway. So really, we won.

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