7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 37)

June 12, 2009 | 37 comments

— 1 —

I have had it with laundry. HAD IT. Unfolded baskets of clothes have sort of become part of the decorating theme around here, and it seems like every time I think I’ve caught up I open the dryer to behold the crushing sight of an entire load that I’d forgotten about.

I’ve decided that the situation requires a bold move: I am going to invent disposable clothes. I’ll even use environmentally-friendly biodegradable paper material so that we can use them as compost for the garden when we’re done with them.

“But won’t feel like an idiot leaving the house in a glorified paper bag?” you ask. Perhaps. But we’ll see if I still feel like an idiot when I’m kicking back and reading blogs while all the other housewives in the world are doing laundry!

I took the liberty of Photoshopping a preview of my design concept on a model. As you can see, it’s fashion-forward and contemporary with a rustic twist. Look for my new “paper bag chic” collection on runways this fall.

— 2 —

So I finally switched from Bloglines to Google Reader. Rather than transferring all my feeds I decided to just start fresh.

One tip I’ve found for keeping your blog reading load from getting out of control: start a “Waitlist” folder on your reader for new blogs you come across that you think you might want to follow. Then you can keep up with them for a while to see if the content is something you enjoy before you add it to your main list.

Anyway, starting over with the blogs I follow has allowed me to stumble across some great new finds. Some new-to-me blogs I’m really enjoying: Pursuing Titus 2, Owlhaven and Domestic Felicity. I highly recommend them!

— 3 —

I was thinking the other day that I’m not sure if I ever posted the quote that inspired the name of this blog. When I decided that I wanted to change the name I had a few ideas I was toying with, but after I ran across this quote from Pope Benedict (from his excellent book Journey to Easter) I knew I wanted to call it Conversion Diary:

“To be converted” means to follow Jesus, to walk with him, on his way. But let us again insist on the fact that God “brings us back, ” converts us. Conversion is not human self-realization, and man is not the architect of his own life. Conversion consists essentially in that decision by which man ceases to be his own creator, ceases to seek his own self and his self-realization, but accepts his dependence on the true Creator, on creative love, accepts that his dependence is true freedom and that the freedom of autonomy emancipated from the Creator is not freedom but illusion, deception.

— 4 —

A public service announcement for PR people: when you’re trying to personalize a form letter, watch the font changes. I get a surprising number of emails that look something like this:

Hi Jennifer, I really enjoy your blog, Conversion Diary. I was thinking that you might want to tell your readers about an exciting new book called…”

(And the rest of the email is in the latter font.) Personally, I don’t mind. I think that any attempt as personalization is a nice touch. But I just thought I’d throw that out there since it’s a mistake I see all the time.

— 5 —

It has been way too long since I did a “book chat” post. I keep meaning to get to it but those posts aren’t as easy to write. Since I can’t stand going too long without talking about what I’m reading, here’s a list of things I’ve read over the past few months:

Reviews coming soon!

— 6 —

It must be exasperating to people who summit Mt. Everest that you often can’t see anything in the background. A friend of a friend recently did it and sent out a big email announcing his accomplishment. When I opened the attached picture it just showed him in a parka with his hair blowing around against a white background. Maybe it’s because I’m so unbelievably lazy that I consider walking to the mailbox exercise, but if I made it to the top of Mt. Everest you’d better believe that I’d want it to be VERY CLEAR from the pictures I sent out that that’s where I was. Shoot, I’d probably pack my own “rugged mountain landscape” backdrop to put up behind me in case the weather was cloudy to make sure that people got the point.

If I’d known this guy better I would have thrown on a parka, turned our box fan on full blast and had my husband take a picture of me against a white wall, and sent it to him saying, “Me too!” But then he might get the impression that I’m some fool with too much time on my hands. I wouldn’t want him to get that impression.

— 7 —

This week’s wine pick:

2007 Louis Jadot Macon Villages chardonnay which we bought for about $14 (seen here with some mozzarella cheese I got to use in a recipe with basil from the Darwins‘ garden). My husband says, “Lots of nice, complex flavors. I think it’s as good as many $40 bottles of Sancerre.” I say, “It’s good and cheap.”

Below is a Mr. Linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.

I look forward to reading your posts!

1. Peace Garden Mama
2. IngridAiram
3. puella
4. Venite
5. Enbrethiliel
6. Sarah Reinhard (Philosophy of Jesus)
7. NCSue
8. Laura
9. Elise@Anything Goes
10. Debbie
11. Trena @ The Third Prayer
12. Katherine @ The Domestic Church
13. Tami @ The Next Step
14. Pharmgirl @ Adventures in Pharm Land
15. Tina @ Multiple Mom T
16. Sarah @This Heavenlylife (Now with more hormones!)
17. Sara @ A Shower of Roses
18. Charlotte @GTH
19. Mary
20. Rebecca @ The Momologue
21. Lenae
22. Tiphaine@frog’s life
23. Elena
24. Annemarie
25. Wendy from Zoom
26. Scarlett
27. LittlemaryBT/Alyssa
28. WeaverMom
29. violingirl
30. Amanda
31. Mrs. B
32. joy@joy in the morning
33. Amy @ From the Desk of Mom
34. Jamie
35. Rebecca
36. Missus Wookie
37. Mrs. Bubbles
38. Char
39. Amanda @ The Mom Job
40. Kathryn @ The Bookworm
41. Koala Bear Writer
42. Baroquem
43. Sing Me the Old Songs
44. Becky (Beck’s Three)
45. Elena @My Domestic church
46. stephanie (LSL/Bold Avenue)
47. Cheryl (My Thoughtful Spot)
48. Gill-Life of a Photographer
49. Nicole @ As Many As We’re Given
50. Jenny @ Heart of a Mother
51. majellamom
52. Salome Ellen
53. SandyC.
54. entropy
55. Shannon
56. Melanie @ The Wine Dark Sea
57. Julie Stiles Mills
58. Betty Duffy
59. AgnesRegina @ The Steel Lily
60. Erin
61. Simply Catholic
62. Anne Marie – Tour of My World Edition
63. Annie
64. Catherine @ To Mark Time
65. Em @ Gratitude. Simplicity. Frugality.

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.


  1. Roxane B. Salonen

    Jennifer, I definitely think you need to pursue your fashion idea. I would be the first in line for one of those pretty little bag dresses. πŸ™‚ If it means less laundry, bring it on!

  2. Tres Angelas

    1) It would not surprise me to see that very thing on a runway. I recommend the addition of a folded-newspaper hat.

  3. Laura

    I like the bag idea. I think you're on to something there.

    Also, that book about Real Food looks like something I might be interested in reading. Was it helpful to you in understanding this new way of eating????

  4. Faith

    The only books I haven't read yet on your list are the one about the Duggars and the one about food. I am so bored with cooking and trying to feed my family right now. A good inspiring book about food would be just the ticket. So is it that sort of book?

    I just finished Karen E's rosary book. It's lovely.

    Your Everest photo idea had me laughing. Too funny!

  5. Erin

    I love reading about the good (and cheap) wines that you're drinking. I think my favorite good (and cheap) wine to date is still the Chateau St. Michelle Riesling… if you're looking for something a little sweeter. They have a Dry Riesling too, and I'd bet it's good, but I haven't tried it yet.

  6. Tami Boesiger

    Your solution to the laundry problem is so funny!

    Have a great weekend, Jennifer.

  7. SuburbanCorrespondent

    Like the quote!

  8. Pharmgirl

    #5: Oh, the Duggars. I've watched their specials on TLC since they had 14 kids and counting. In some ways they seem like a nice family, and in others they seem very… off. I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on them.

  9. Trena

    I would love if you invented disposable clothes. You have a buyer here!

  10. Mary

    I tried linking to the Quick Takes. Thanks for hosting this.

  11. Rebecca

    Your post made me laugh. I agree about the laundry. Looking forward to the book reviews!

  12. Elena

    I would have taken the fake Everest shot. Oops.

  13. SAHMinIL

    I just had to say the first one made me laugh!!!

  14. weavermom

    Love the laundry idea – maybe they would come up with some interesting colors that way! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the waitlist tip – I did not know you could do that I have wished before that I could separate out my "regulars" from the possibles.

  15. beyondhomemaking

    laundry is practically swallowing me alive these days. I feel like there is ALWAYS. ONE. MORE!

  16. Maria

    I'm reading Three Cups of Tea right now. It's a great story and amazing what he accomplishes.

  17. Darwin

    1) From the picture, this reader's immediate question was what your fashion model was wearing before you bagged her.

  18. Elizabeth

    I think they actually made paper dresses back in the 50's! I am SO with you on the baskets of unfolded laundry…thankfully I leave them in the basemant…

    Love good cheap wine, but I'm tee-totalling these days…Baby on board" πŸ™‚

    Thanks for the reading list…I'd like to read the food book & I like the Duggers…I have quite a few very large families in my ancestry…12, 13, 15…they were all farming families, but it does make for a wonderful family reunion! I also belong to a homeschooler's co-op where the "median" family has 7! There are also 12, 9's. etc.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  19. Kelly @ Love Well

    When I moved to Google Reader, I brought over my whole list. But I finally got around to grouping my blogs by category — and one of those categories is "Checking Out." If I consistently like the blog, it gets moved to my daily or weekly folder. It's an idea that's served me well.

  20. Kelly @ Love Well

    OH! Forgot to say — I'm getting ready to read "Real Foods." Looking forward to your review.

  21. Rebecca

    1. This reminds me of an old Archie comic, in which Veronica, who was, in the words of my eight-year-old stepdaughter, "always fashion", wore a paper dress. I don't know if this was ever an actual trend or just something from an Archie comic but apparently, it made an impression on me too.

    4. That font thing is just bad.

    7. You want cheap wine? I wonder at the wisdom at admitting this for all and sundry to read, but my husband and I (okay, really mostly him) made some homemade wine out of ten cans of grape juice, sugar, and wine yeast and then, instead of bottling it, put it in a keg. Yup, that's white trash right there. (He doesn't even drink wine, he just did it to amuse himself.)

  22. Koala Bear Writer

    I've been meaning to read Rome Sweet Rome for quite a while. Right now I'm working through Fulton Sheen's book The World's First Love, about Mary. It's amazing. Otherwise, I have a long list of books to read and review… πŸ™‚

  23. Stephanie

    1. Hilarious! I suddenly feel so passe selling apparel that's meant to be washed and worn again. Clearly, you have the fashion of the future here!

    4. Public Service Announcement for PR people! You're on a roll today! I think I could have a whole blog of those.

    7. Thanks for the wine pick! As I mentioned before, those are always welcome!

  24. Clare Marie-Therese Duroc

    Thanks for the laugh today! Regarding #1, I think it's a superb idea, and I wouldn't have to worry about coordinating colours if we adopted such a fashion. I'm thinking it would extraordinarily versatile. Rather than the tedious embroidery, I could just draw pretty decorations on each day's outfit. I could write out favourite quotes on the dress. Gee, I could even do a War and Peace series and wear a new chapter every day until I reached the end of the book.

    Purses would be out too, right? I find those things so cumbersome. Maybe as a substitute to go with the paper bag dress… well, a paper bag. Wouldn't have to worry about matching a purse to my dress anymore.

  25. nicole

    Laundry is a constant around here. I take the not very healthy approach of washing all week, and then having the kids sort on Fridays. I fold and we all put away. So clean clothes sit in baskets in the hall until Fridays. I need to work on that.

  26. antonina31

    Fun, Jennifer! Well done, as always!

  27. Salome Ellen

    What a blessing "Quick Takes" are to an idea-challenged blogger like me!

  28. Sandy

    I love your fashion design!

    When my two kids were little, I could NEVER stay caught up on laundry. Finally, a few years ago I tried something that usually works. I threw away all laundry baskets. Yep. I am forced to empty the dryer and fold the clothes before putting a load from the washer into the dryer. Before, I would pile baskets of clean clothes that needed folding on beds, tables, top of the dryer, etc. Now, the dirty clothes hamper may overflow but unless I can finish the process (i.e. folding the load), I don't start a new load.

  29. Melanie B

    I love that quote about conversion.

    I know what you mean about laundry. Finally sorted and folded and put away about six loads worth after dinner tonight thanks to Dom for volunteering to do dishes. The kids didn't get to bed till after nine; but at least the clothes are finally not leering at me from the baskets in the corner of our bedroom.

  30. Agnes Regina

    Jenn, if Dior comes out with a paper-bag dress next season, we know who he stole the idea from… πŸ™‚

    Thanks for another delightful series of Quick Takes, and I might pass on the wine recommendation to Mom and Dad!

  31. camomiletea

    About item #5. I highly recommend the site Goodreads.com, if you don't know about it yet, as a way to keep track of books you've read, currently reading or wish to read at some point. It's very helpful. After I finish a book, I update my rating and put down some impressions about the book. Occasionally, I'd update the status while I'm reading a book, if something catches my eye particularly.

  32. Kingdom Mama

    OK, YES, I would wear that. I look like that in most of my post pregnancy clothes anyway!;)

  33. Catherine

    This post is a scream. I love it!

    I just finished the Duggars' book recently and look forward to your review!

  34. The Burgess family

    I actually had a dream recently about wearing a garbage bag as clothing!

    LOVE your blog, it's very inspiring. And I can't wait to hear your book reviews, some of those sound very interesting!

  35. Angie

    Oh man — I hate laundry too! I can't stand that I can work on it for hours, and then there is still more. I like your paperbag idea! I just would be afraid of paper cuts. πŸ˜‰

    My husband and I both read Rome Sweet Home during the summer right as we started the RCIA process in 2006. I really enjoyed it.

  36. Jess

    I'm all for the disposable clothing. I have often said that if I could convince my family to go naked and starve for an entire day I may be able to catch up on the chores. Someone is always making something clean dirty in my house!

    I am into foodie books too right now, a couple that have been amazingly informative and part cookbook are Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Full Moon Feast: Food And the Hunger for Connection by Jessica Prentice. I still ate a Snickers bar today though, even though I know now how very bad modern, nutrient depleted, processed food is. I am thinking that modern, processed food can be compared to the lure of sin. It is fast, easy, feels and tastes really good and is hard to stop yourself from indulging in. I have little self control even though I know better. Gah.

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