Located in the wilds of Wyoming, the name Freshwater was chosen as a Western analogy to Christ. Just as He is the Living Water, and we must have Him to have eternal life, any desert dweller knows the importance of fresh water to life, both for self, and the nourishment of crops or livestock. By taking nourishment in God and His word, we strengthen our own relationship with Him, our faith, and the quality and abundance of our fruitfulness.

Our keystone verse is from Jeremiah, Chapter 17, Verse 8: "For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see whenSave heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

The fruit that we speak of is mentioned in Galatians 5:22
"22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

And the heat could be anything we experience that might test our faith in God; trials and tribulations, relationships, anything that focuses our love and attention anywhere but on Him...

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Teacher Togs Part 2

 Welcome back to more of my wardrobe. I did buy a new winter coat this year. This one I found at TJ Maxx. It's an AvalancheSki Jacket with a hood, lots of pockets, a gaitor so the snow doesn't crawl up underneath, thumb holes to keep your sleeves in place, and it's heavyweight and warm. And I think it's a pretty color!

I honestly don't remember what order I wore them in, just giving five outfits for the week!

This outfit got a lot of compliments, and one of my coworkers really loved my jacket especially. The skirt is a little bit of an asymmetrical hem. It's a blue flowered pattern, Lola P. from Fashion Crossroads, and I just realized it's a Small, when I went to look at the label, so I'm pretty amazed I can still wear it. It is an elastic waist. The tshirt is the same navy tuck T from the last post, it's by Jones New York, also from either FC or the FC Outlet. The jacket, that jacket is a dream :). I tried on the skirt and the jacket together, the day I bought the skirt, and the jacket was just too much at that point. They somehow still had one that made it through the season and just was there for awhile. When it went on sale, I could not resist anymore, and it went home with me. Clara Sun Woo, Liquid Leather. It's double zip, and I love it.

There's that Marshall's cardigan again, with the tie black tshirt and a leopard print skirt from Fashion Crossroads, by Tribal.

I know I wore this one on a Wednesday, because we were going to have a meeting and I decided the first time I wore pants this year would be to a meeting in my school colors.

I picked up the red pants at Ross (Soho), and the black and white button down is from Fashion Crossroads by Foxcraft. It's got a little stretch, but it's kind of stiffer, heavy fabric, so it's comfortable, and I don't feel like I'm squeezing out all over the place. 

I have had this skirt for a very long time. I am almost positive it came from Christopher and Banks, and the long sleeve top may have come from there as well. I had struggled for ages to find something to wear with this skirt, and almost gave it away this summer, then realized that it matched the leaves in the skirt and thought I would try them together. The sweater is my oversized, fuzzy, peach cardigan from Fashion Crossroads.

On Friday I wore a pair of jeans and this year's school tshirt, which is a red and black tie dye.

My mom gave me a pair of Lee Riders Relaxed jeans that she found at New Horizons Thrift store near where she lives, and they are very comfortable. 

On Saturday we went to a wedding by a lake. It was a beautiful setting, but it was cooler, and I'd never been there, and I thought since it was by a lake I wouldn't dress up too much. I wore this shirt, which my mom gave me (NY Collection), and a dark pair of nice jeans (NYDJ from Fashion Crossroads). I did feel a little underdressed and if I were to do it again I would have at least worn slacks. I am glad I wore pants, because the wind kicked up over the lake and it was cool, and the chairs kept sinking into the sand so people were having to struggle out of them!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Viking Hair

 I did post a few weeks ago about Halloween Costume Prep this year and how we put everything together. It was probably the most work we've put into costumes since Bert and Mary Poppins (though the wig for the Beast was quite a project). 

That post was already long, and I had a feeling the hair was going to be a project all on its own, so here we are! As I started writing, I was finishing up a breakfast of Lemon Blueberry Scones. I didn't want to start the actual hairstyling till I washed my hands! 

First of all, I found a great resource at SweetHearts Hair, with this Quick and Easy Viking Hairstyle Tutorial. She is very easy to follow, straightforward, and interesting. If I actually did my hair, I would probably check here a lot for new ideas and tips.

My first challenge was that Lagertha has long, flowing, curly, blonde hair, and I have short, frizzy, brown and grey hair. To overcome that challenge, I bought a wig. This is one I found that looked fairly close to Lagaertha's color and waves. 

It came in a bag, with the net wig cap. 

I also bought a bag of tools, because she mentions in the video using a Topsy Tail, little elastics, a comb, and metallic bead clips to cover the elastics.

My second big challenge was figuring out how I was going to hold onto this wig and style it at the same time. There is no way I can backwards style it with my arms up above my head...I can't even do my own hair! I don't have any kids at home to rope into this kind of thing anymore, and though Paul would do it if I asked, I don't want to put him through that! I thought about buying a stand, but I figured it was a pretty sizeable investment for something I would probably never use again. This morning, I was trying to figure it out, and I saw Orson the teddy bear peeking out at me, so he is drafted as a wig holder/hairstyle helper, and we'll see how it works!

I'll try to stop and take step by step pictures as I go, when I have the hands :).

It is a little tough to find the arch of the eyebrow when the wig isn't on a person...and I'm struggling because I don't want to comb out the curls that are there! 

One problem I am running into is where it parts naturally you can see the cap underneath, so that won't work, and there are short little stubby hairs at the hairline, which are going to stick out when I get the front pulled back. 

After 15 minutes of trying to get the first ponytail, I am thinking that maybe I should have just figured out how to do this to my own hair, or hired someone! AAAAAAARGH!

Exact match, right?

I am laughing so hard right now. I have no idea how I am actually going to do this, but I don't think this is going to work on this wig.

I think this one is going to take some practice!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Teacher Togs Part One

When I went back into the classroom, first as a sub, and now as a full time teacher, I really struggled to figure out how to dress. I come from the era where teachers dress professionally, my colleagues dress appropriately for work, and our district and administrators ask that we "dress in a manner that promotes a professional image. As role models, all staff shall dress in a manner that clearly distinguishes them as professionals and is appropriate for their particular job assignments and/or responsibilities."

Frankly, I don't want to dress like one of the kids. I am the professional, the responsible adult, and I would like to hold that image. One day a few years ago I was substituting at a school across town. I was on the other side of the room, taking attendance, when their principal came into the classroom. I was dressed in jeans, because it was a Friday, and this was before I let my hair go grey, so when she glanced my direction she apparently just saw another middle school sized person in jeans, because she announced that they were waiting on their sub and she should be here soon. I spoke up and said "I'm right here", and went right on doing the job. The fact that she couldn't tell I wasn't just another one of the kids is one reason I like to dress professionally.

I searched and searched all kinds of blogs and articles and videos for how to dress as a teacher, and most of the things I found I just couldn't bring myself to wear. Either I'd look silly because I'm 5'2", rather rounded, and almost 50, or just because I would be plain uncomfortable. Most of the supposed teacher blogs I saw had jeans everyday, or dresses to mid thigh. Yes, I guess I am old fashioned, but those just aren't me. 

I do wear jeans on Fridays, or holiday weeks, and I absolutely dress up on Spirit Days, but I want to be recognized as the adult in the room. After ranting about the lack of style ideas for teachers, I started looking around at other people whose styles I admire. 

Several of my colleagues have impeccable style and always look amazing, though I would not feel comfortable in some of the bolder choices, they look stunning. A local boutique owner always looks fabulously put together and has given me fantastic advice about choosing quality pieces of clothing that fit well and I will wear over and over. And one of my favorite style icons is Catherine, though I definitely don't look that elegant!

These days I (usually) wear clothes that are comfortable, but professional. I have tried to bring my own personal style to my clothing choices, so that I will wear what I buy, and carry it well. 

I often get compliments on the clothes I choose, so I think I am doing okay! After lots of compliments during the first week or two of school, I had the brilliant idea to take photos and write my own Teacher Togs blog post. As the picture files grew, I realized this will probably be multiple blog posts. 

I had to go back and model some of the outfits later on to actually take the photos.

This is what I wore on the first day of school, black She & Sky tie front blouse from Fashion Crossroads, black and white checked skirt I found at Rescued Treasures (thrift store) , and a bright red cardigan I found on Amazon. Pretty sure I was wearing red Croft and Barrow sandals from Kohls.


I'm pretty sure I wore dresses for the entire first week of school, but I have to tell you I always wear shorts or leggings under my dresses. 

Darker colors get my capri black and white ones, and I found a couple of pairs of white leggings to wear under lighter colored skirts and dresses. They are very comfortable, and they make me feel more comfortable. These are both on Amazon, I linked the page to the photos if you're interested, and no, I don't get anything for sharing, they have just worked for me. I like the super soft ones on the left better, but the ones on the right have more structure and hold me in more snugly.

I wore this dress the second day of school, and while I love it and it's still comfortable, I won't be able to wear it again unless I lose some weight, because I spent the entire day pulling it down. I wore black sandals with this one, and a teal cardigan I found at Marshall's.

I do have a fairly big sweater collection, because I wear them all the time  Cute and comfortable, and enough to keep me warm if it's chilly that day.

I also had shaper shorts on underneath, something similar to this, though I didn't add a link since I wasn't sure they were the exact same. The tag says Life by Jockey, but they shorts I found online are lower waisted than the ones I bought.

I've actually worn this one twice now I think, once with the red sweater and once with the black. It has pockets :). The dress I got from a Nadine West shipment during the couple of months I tried it.

This fabulous skirt I picked up at the Fashion Crossroads Outlet! It's by Talbots, and is navy with pink and white flowers. The first time I wore it to school I had a pink vneck from Croft and Barrow, but it was pretty worn, so it retired, and these photos are with a She&Sky pink top from Fashion Crossroads, and a navy tee also from Fashion Crossroads (or the Outlet), with the fun tuck in the front.

This denim jacket is one of my favorite new pieces, and I have worn it and worn it and worn it. It's also from Fashion Crossroads, by Tribal, and falls just below my hips. I have a shorter one from FDJ that will probably show up later on, also from Fashion Crossroads. 

The first Friday of school I didn't wear jeans and a school tshirt because I took off part of the day to go to my former teacher's funeral. This is one of my favorite dresses, by Charlie B, from Fashion Crossroads. I got loads of compliments on it, and I wore it all summer too, including on the airplane to vacation with that Tribal jean jacket. The fuzzy white sweater is by Sacred Threads from Fashion Crossroads Outlet. I have several fuzzy sweaters, and they are cozy and a big hit.

That's it for week one! I think I wore sandals most of this week. I tend to wear a pair of shoes and carry a pair of shoes, because it seems to help my feet revive if I switch part way through the day. I have a pair of flats I really love that came from Fashion Crossroads, by Spring Step. I have several pairs of Croft and Barrow sandals, dressy leather ones and the more athletic looking ones, and a pair of black Merrells. I'll go into shoes in more detail in other weeks, but though I am thrifty that is one place I don't skimp. If I find a good, supportive and attractive pair of shoes, I am all in. It's very important to have shoes that fit and support. I'm on my feet way too much to have lousy shoes! 

One of my favorite brands to wear with slacks or jeans is my Danskos. 

Happy Dressing!