How I “did” the jeans….

Ever since Yomaira posted about our store “makeover” I’ve been asked repeatedly how I got my old Habitual skinny jeans distressed and bleached etc.

makeover_03

Step 1: Find a jean that just needs an update. Preferably one that’s not so worn thin that it can withstand some abuse.

My 7 yr old Habitual skinny jeansGathered stitching.

Step 2: Decide where you want the bleaching or streaking and in those areas consider running a simple sewing stitch through to create gathering. (try to use synthetic thread but either will do). If you don’t care about a pattern or placement just throw those bad-boys in the tub/shower and get ready to bleach (“resist-dye”)

Step 3: I began using as prescribed on some crafting websites a solution of bleach/water of 1/10. I found that the high-quality of my Habitual denim (Same happened with my NSF by the way) was not allowing any change to happen! I gradually increased the bleach porportion until it was 1/1. I used a spray bottle at first but then eventually just found myself throwing the solution all over the jeans.

my supplies

my supplies

Step 4: Wait. I monitored carefully to make sure i didn’t go “too far” as i was using such a highly concentrated solution with bleach. I didn’t want to burn a hole in them (or did I….hmmm. next time!) I think I left it on at least 15 minutes but depending on the saturation of the original dye in the denim the time could be shorter.

Step 5: When I achieved the effect I wanted, i put the jeans in a bucket and used hydrogen peroxide as a “stop agent” to prevent further discoloring or even holes.

Lastly: I just washed alone on cold in the washing machine.

Oh, and as far as the paint splotches. You just have to get busy and do a little makeover on your own walls and undoubtedly you’ll get paint on yourself. Pretty silly.

There you go.

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the latest on the simplified living experiment… (this is part 6)

We are finally into some kind of groove down here. Writing about it seems almost forced in that i already can’t imagine NOT living here. The kiddos are so happy down here. There are all the normal bumps (and bruises) of dealing with a 1 and a 6 yr old but nothing that i can imagine would be better/helped/more healthy in a big ole’ house. MY own “stuff” has however been severely rearranged. At one point if i didn’t put down a meal with all the colors and mostly organic and/or fresh i though myself less of a parent. If I turned on a movie for them for more than 45 minutes i thought i was frying their brains. If i got a babysitter I thought i was taking my time with such young ones for granted.

Things are changing-mostly with me. The kids eat a completely white meal from time to time. I buckled and put on cartoons this morning for Beatrice after a 6am wake up that i just wasn’t equipped to deal with.  I kept unfinished loads of laundry on the floor for 2 weeks until this past weekend.  My being relaxed about these things has had a clear affect on them and their level of comfort. I’m not saying my new thing is to “phone-in” my parenting but actually the opposite in that i was getting crazy, impatient, short, explosive etc from the lack of space as well as lack of another adult partnering in this mad-house! I think taking responsibility for that Mommy-Dearest behavior is the best way for me to parent. To end the madness: Cut  a few corners, skip a bedtime book or two, choose myself once in awhile.  Every day still ends with a huge amount of kissing an hugging and snuggling.

This is a matter of Survival. It has been over 85 degrees most of the summer and we have no air circulation (or A/C) down here and I’m still keeping up at least 4 days at the shop despite being a single parent.  This is why things had to shift! Clearly right?

DIY Denim Owl Toy from Old Jeans

DIY Denim Owl Toy from Old Jeans.

 

I loved this quick and easy idea from fellow-blogger Zhenya. I think i’ll make this on Saturday at the shop! Stop by with your fabric if you want to give it a try on our sewing machine!!

xoxo

anne

A tweak here and there makes a difference…(Simplified living experiment part 5.)

While Baby Business was at her Dad’s on Sunday Arthur and I got SO much great stuff done! Our two favorite little projects to improve the apartment were the handles on the inside of the infamous cabinet, “The Housssse”, and the new gate on the steps to the bunkbed. Arthur was so excited to work on these very important tasks that he drew up some plans and a shopping list the night before including our “schedule” for working on the projects: 7am-12noon.

Plans for the big day.

So damn funny. He was so elated when the gentleman at Home Depot checked Arthur’s list and directed him to the correct aisle for hardware…I haven’t seen Arthur so proud and happy in awhile!

The climber who thinks we’ll leave it open…yeah, right!

The end result of our efforts is that now Beatrice can close herself into the cabinet (her preference) but can NOT get up the steps to Arthurs top bunk!

handles help

Life gets easier in some way or another everyday down in the basement!

Ready to love again…

It’s been awhile since i’ve had this feeling...the flutter…the utter excitement of new love.

The Puki dot booties and Muton fur-trimmed boots both from, Chie Mihara, are my new favorites. I’ve been patiently waiting since placing the Fall ’12 order in February for these to arrive!!! They are here and they are FABULOUS!!

I actually went to Hoboken Glass yesterday just to have another glass shelf made for my curio at home where i keep my special pairs…pics soon to come!

I’M SO EAGER TO SHOW YOU THESE AND ALL THE NEW FALL STYLES FROM CHIE MIHARA!!

4th of July photo recap!

Yomaira & her husband Tacuma (“DJ” Dr. Peters) hosted a 4th of July shindig to rival them all!

Kiddie pools, home-cooked Puerto Rican food courtesy of Yomaira’s mom, and every possible side dish & snack you can imagine!  The grills were a-grillin’, and the liquor was bountiful. Tons of new friends to be made were all a plus! Check out our photo recap below (courtesy of our own Brenda Armendariz)

some refreshing lemonade ❤

bea was way into the grub!

mini cupcakes never hurt anyone!

yum!

grill going strong!

the sangria went so fast!

the kids went bonkers for the pools!

tacuma & the cenz watching the fireworks!

spectacular spectacular!

captain fabulous!

Our favorite Hoboken fire captain (Peggy Diaz) stopped in today dressed in Peper & Parlor from head-to-toe. So we decided to dedicate this blog post to her fabulous fashion sense!

You make us proud Pegster!

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butter by nadia princess seamed dress + chie mihara wanja esmeralda

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showing off her badge tattoo: proud to be the first female fire fighter in our mile-square city

 

do you have any photos of your peper & parlor outfits? share them with us! send them to parlorshoes[at]mac.com

He said it…(simplified living experiment part 4)

This morning Arthur said what i’ve pretended i’m not really dreading:

“Can’t I just be ALOOOONE?!”

I answered, “No, you can’t.”

How do you tell your good boy who asks for one thing (OK, maybe three at most) for Christmas, who tells people, “I’m sorry your Dad died”, who takes his job at Mommy’s shop really seriously that no, he can NOT be alone?

Damn, it’s only been 2 weeks or so and he wondered what to do with his anger, energy, annoyance, and need to be alone. Don’t get me wrong; Arthur is one of the most touchy-feely-clingly 6 yr old I’ve ever met. BUT there are moments, clearly, that he wants to not be seen, heard, or touched. Few moments.  I questioned myself and my decision to put him living in one room with his baby sister and me around the clock…but just for a moment. I know this is right. Every time I come home and see the surmountable clutter or the safeness of our bunkbeds I know this is right. I love those children and although they drive me nuts with the constant chatter and perpetual face-raking (Arthur and Beatrice respectively) I know I want to be near them and them me.

So we continue. Tomorrow is a new day. I guess some more clear boundaries need to be ironed out. Maybe a “safe” word for Arthur.  Maybe he in the front area where the bed is while i take Bea in the yard or for one of her cherished showers…

I’m working on it.

picnic: à la peper and parlor

We are sooooo HOT! And we’re sure you are too!

We wish we could pitch a tent on the breezy waterfront  (or at least spread a blanket there) and cool down with some yummy goodies and a cute outfit! Here is our wish list for a hot summer day!

Enjoy!

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some sparkling wine…in a can = genius

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a delicious sandwich

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farmers market basket (& gorgeous bike)

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the perfect koi printed dress by koch

recycled sari throws (to avoid those grass stains)

a little something sweet…cupcakes from sweet

and these beauties from Chie Mihara!

now that’s a perfect afternoon!

xoxo!

We’re getting there! (Simplified Living Experiment part 3)

Our room dividers: A work in progress! (you’ll see me working on these at the shop on Saturdays!)

It’s been 12 days since we’ve been sleeping in the new apartment. The relief of being in such a manageable, small space has set in.  The children seem so at ease with it all. Mommy is always right nearby. (Arthur seems to benefit from that even more than little Beatrice!)

My independent girl!

Already we’ve settled into a routine. Bea wakes up at 5:30ish (GRRR) and peers her tiny face over the side of her baby-cage and greets me with the cherished little “Mama?”.  Arthur just snoozes and rolls over. I get up with Baby Business and sit quietly having milk. She likes to wander out to the yard early in the morning by herself but i recently had to put a stop to it because as she was yelling her nonsense words up to the sky i realized it was only 6:30 and perhaps the rest of the neighborhood would prefer to be sleeping!

Arthur playing “school” with his animals. NOTE: strategic positioning up at the counter to keep Bea from wrecking the groups of pupils.

As always Arthur is thrilled to get up as soon as he realizes the party has started without him! Typically they start the day with a little chase ending with a bit of stowaway time in the cabinet in the chimney. This adorable little storage spot (above) has been dubbed the “housssse” by Business. She fearlessly sits in there and closes the (un-latchable) doors so she can sit in blackness.  She’s been dubbed my “creepy” child by her Auntie Yomaira.  Clearly i won’t be using it for storage any time soon…

Where we terrorize the baby…

The “family-shower” time has become a favorite of Arthur’s and mine but not so much of Beatrice. She just hasn’t gotten the hang of it yet. We’ve coaxed her a number of times but she’s not having any real part of it. I even went so far as to go in myself the other evening and let her wander to the edge fully clothed until i scooped her into my arms to participate. She did better that night but it will be harder getting her clean if she showers in pants and shirt!  I’m sure she’ll adjust with time.

Sink? I’m not a big fan.

The only thing really getting on my nerves so far is the sink. It’s about 14″ x 17″ if that. It’s basically a bar-sink (without the handiness of actually being part of a BAR!). It took so much effort and counter-flooding to wash the 3 baking pans we used that i considered having “family-shower” time with the pans and getting it over with.

So, all in all: so far so very very very good.

The front construction site…YUCK.

Now if only the contractors would finish the work out front on the steps and sidewalk so our “bedroom” right inside the front door wouldn’t have cement and brick dust all over the floor…