Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My birthday dress tutorial

 Needed: Scissors, measuring tape, 22" zipper, pins, a bed sheet, matching thread, hook and eye, embroidery floss or yarn, and patience

First, I cut away all elastic and opened up the corner seems. I've used the strapless Simplicity 2176 for the bodice and added 1 1/2" straps. You'll see in the last picture that I scrunched it up where the strap meets the bodice.

Next, I folded what was left of the sheet (which was A TON!) in half. I think it was somewhere around 30-45" wide and cut it the length of my skirt. Normally this would be about 20-25" for me but because I wanted a banded bottom without having to sew it on separately I cut the skirt 30" long. I then went ahead and hemmed the skirt before attaching to the bodice just to get it out of the way. I folded the bottom edge (unfinished) up the full 5 extra inches, ironed, pinned, and sewed straight across. It was very easy to keep the hem even because of the fact that the skirt was just one long piece instead of two or three.

I never knew how to do a gathered skirt until recently. It's kinda hard to explain but I'll do my best because it's actually really really simple to do! I set my zig-zag stitch and width to the longest settings, even though my machine clearly disagreed with me. About an inch from the edge of the top of my skirt, I placed embroidery floss in the center of my zig-zag stitch. Idk what this particular foot I used is called but it has a slit in the center and the floss fit snuggly without moving. Just make sure you don't move around and accidentally catch the floss in the actual zig-zag stitch. Otherwise this method will not work! As you can see, it acts as a channel for the floss. Similar to an elastic casing... actually it's more or less the same thing.

  1.  I wrapped one end of the embroidery thread around a pin in the fabric just to secure it while I gather. 
  2. Then I simply pulled the blue string (to the right) while pushing the fabric in the opposite direction (to the left). It's almost impossible to break the string so you can be as aggressive as you'd like. 
  3. I kept going until I got my desired length. My waist is actually 23" but I stopped at 25" to allow for  seam allowance when I added the zipper later on. I placed another pin on the opposite end and wrapped the tail of the thread around it to secure it until after the bodice was attached. 
  4. I matched up the center front of the bodice with the center front of the skirt (right sides together!) and pinned all the way around. I sewed directly on top of the zig-zag stitch. You can sew right underneath it, but I prefer to use it as my guideline. Plus this way I won't need to pull out the blue thread afterwards. 
 Snip off the excess fabric and any extra threads hanging off, put in your zipper, add whatever straps you'd like and voila!! All done!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial! Lemme know if you use it or if you have any questions!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Exercise much?

I've never been one to willingly exercise. Back in high school my girlfriends and I were known in Phys-Ed for cutting every possible corner. We'd hide behind the scoreboards when we had to run a mile, only stretch when the teacher was watching, and request to go to the restroom just so we could hang out somewhere else. I'm sure almost everyone on the planet knows what I'm talkin' about with the get-out-of-here-quick tactics. Growing up I tried my hand at sports- running track, basketball, girls football (powder-puff), volleyball, and even cheerleading. To be honest half of them I quit because we couldn't afford it and the other half I never even made it past try-outs. I love to play sports for fun but I'm just not built to be any sort of athlete, I guess. By the time I got into high school I had stopped trying all together. Once I had met my physical education credit requirements I saw no need for anymore exercise. I mean, I was walking to-and-from school every day which was about two miles. That's ten miles every week! I figured that was good enough!

Unfortunately this carried over into my life three years later. I always stop at the 'good enough' mark. Like as long as I'm not walking around with a gut, my thighs aren't touching, and I go for a walk every once-in-a-while I'm good. NOT TRUE! I find that I'm exhausted almost all the time, no matter what I do I can never seem to get enough sleep, aches and pains are a daily occurrence among other things.

SIDEBAR: My whole life I've been sort of discouraged from really working out/watching my diet or anything of that nature. My fellow skinny-mini's I know you understand when I talk about the "omgbutyoursothinalready" remarks, right? But I digress...

I go through these times when I get a boost of motivation (probably from fitness-related tumblrs and pinterest boards) and do crazy workouts nearly everyday for two or three months which leaves me completely burned out. Needless to say I avoid anything fitness related afterwards. But I have decided that I need to get serious about my health. Regardless of what season it is, how I'm feeling, where I am, I have put together a small routine to get myself fit. There is such a huge difference between being skinny and being healthy. Or skinny and physically in shape. Or a ton of other comparisons I could make. The point is to make you understand that the two are in no way related! It's sad that a lot of people don't get that- but that's a whole other topic in itself.

I'm no expert, but personally I think it's wise to start small and ease yourself into a solid workout routine. Do what your body can handle and what fits into your lifestyle and build on it as you go along. And that's exactly what I'm doing. Starting today, for the next two weeks I'm going to commit to getting outside these four walls and taking a walk every day. Considering the fact that from my house to the shopping center is just over a mile, which makes the total trip about 2 1/2 miles, it'll be well worth the trip. Did I mention there's a yogurt place there? It'll be like a little reward! As long as I can restrain from pigging out while I'm there hehehe ;)

The only thing I'm concerned about is the tightness I get in my right calf and my weak ankles. I'm sure that stretching properly before and after should help with the tightness. But as for my weak ankles... I'm at a loss. I've had this problem my whole life. So if you have any tips or suggestions on how to strengthen weak ankles I'd be greatly appreciative!!

Til next time, wish me (and my ankles) luck!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fabric shopping with Belle


This week I've been binge-watching Disney movies. One of my favorite things to do! This morning I watched Beauty and the Beast and felt inspired to dress like Belle for my trip to the fabric store. I had planned on walking there and back but my mom decided to come along. Thankfully she saved me the walking and drove us there. She picked out some patterns and some fabric for a top she wants me to make for her to wear to the baby shower. Which reminds me... I have nothing to wear! The dress code is purple and of course when I need it I cannot find my ONLY purple top. But there's plenty of time so I won't worry much about it. There was a sale for Butterick patterns today along with fabric clearance sales and you know I can't pass up a good deal! I probably won't get around to making them for a while just because I plan on making them fall/winter dresses because the fabric I chose is a bit heavy. Plus the colors are more appropriate for colder months. I'm not antsy to start them though, there's a ton of things on my plate as of late.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy birthday to me!


I wasn't expecting anything. I never do on my birthday... It all started just after midnight. My dad came to me with a riddle. That led to a trail of riddles from everyone in the house. Almost like a game, it was so cute and thoughtful! Usually, I hate surprises and I always find a way to figure it out. So I have no idea how he was able to pull this one off but he did! Little by little the clues led me to a brand-spanking new kindle fire! Complete with pink case, of course. He must have known my little iTouch thing was on it's last leg. Now it's to the electronic graveyard for her LOL.

Being the night owl that I am I didn't wake up until around 1pm, oops. But I had a voice mail and a couple text messages from a few lovely people which is always great to wake up to regardless of birthdays. In my head I had envisioned a quiet day at home not having to lift a finger all day. But I was instructed to get up and get dressed. My reaction was nooo why... I just wanted to sleep! But I hopped in the shower, put on the pretty dress I had just made the day before, found my tiara, and we headed out to a *secret location.* My sisters must have remembered me saying I wanted sushi when we were hanging out on the 4th. Don't you just love it when people remember the little things? After ordering it took longer than I would have liked for everyone to get their food... but it was well worth the wait. I hadn't had sushi in two years. Two years people!! So you can imagine just how good the food tasted simply because I was deprived. BTW- we finally got my mom to try sushi and she loves it! Win! One parent down, one to go. Anyway, we went back to my sisters house for cake. Sadly, my sister put the ice cream cake in the refrigerator instead of the freezer so it was half melted. But it was absolutely hilarious! The letters had melted off to the side, strawberries fell off, just melted. However, it still tasted amazing! Red velvet with strawberry ice cream- so so delicious! Whoever picked it out knows me very well. 

Party fouls of the day:
  1. The wind blowing our dresses up
  2. Food taking waaay too long to get to us in a relatively empty restuarant
  3. Melted birthday cake
  4. No birthday candles
   But it was all in good fun.

 My birthday was so great thanks to my family :)<3

Friday, July 19, 2013

Five on Friday!

  1. My sister and I are currently in a custody battle over these sequined tap shorts. Can you believe she wants to be selfish with these babies?!
  2. Dog and I have been on the same page all week. Neither of us wanna do anything. I feel you, dog.
  3. Two things... cookies baked after midnight is a GREAT decision. It always tastes better after midnight :) And PINK eggs! Well okay, the carton is pink... but c'mon! That just makes baking even more fun am I right ladies?
  4. I've been eating like a rabbit all week. Strictly fruits and vegetables. 
AND FOR THE BIG FIVE- my birthday is on Sunday! WOOO!

Can you guess how old I'm turning?!
Go on, give it a shot ;)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Impromtu bible study at the wash house

We found a bunch of lost items... turns out the owners of the place just leave 'the lost things' on the clothes buggies. "Finders keepers!"

I was in desperate need of getting out of the house today, so I volunteered to tag along with my dad to the wash house. There's a brand spanking new Walmart that just opened up across the street so naturally I snuck away to grab some snacks for when I got back home. Popcorn with extra butter + peach tea.
When I came back we had about 35-40 minutes until all the clothes were dry so I suggested we put the time to good use. I cracked open the tea and dad cracked open the bible. There aren't any chairs here, just benches near the front entrances. So we actually sat on our overturned laundry baskets. Dad: "Don't put too much weight on it, it'll buckle and you'll fall." Me: "I don't have much weight to put on anything." As usual, we ran out of time and we folded the clothes + towels so we could make our way back to the house.
Dinner, a quick clean up, and we set up for movie time in the living room.

A good day.


Feeling lonely? I've got just the thing!

Naturally I go straight to the interwebz to find solace. I listen to sad songs, eat a bunch of crappy food, and do all the pitiful things that YOU SHOULD NOT DO!

Before you roll your pretty little eyes, it never lasts more than a few hours. Something comes up or *dare I say it* a happy song comes on and I snap myself out of it. I could sit here and give you a bunch of warm fuzzie quotes or playlist of cheery-get-up-and-go songs... but I won't. That my love is what Pinterest and Pandora are for.

However, I do have bookmarked and favorited a couple of videos that make me feel a heck of a lot better. The first is quite a few years old and it's a poem by Tanya Davis that I randomly came across in high school. The second is fairly new by a really cool chick named Anna Akana. I swear I see so much of myself in that girl. Definitely binge-watched literally all 55 of her YT videos ;) (and you should too)


Email me, Tweet/DM me, find me on FB, whatever... I got you
All my love

What I've been up to

As some of you may or may not know, I often go through periods where I throw myself completely into something. Like, I can't stop for days or weeks! 
This time, that something = sewing

Mainly because my sisters baby shower is in about 3 weeks and I have so much to get done before then. Also because I'm just feeling very inspired! I've made bows, bibs, nursing covers, car seat covers, headbands, dresses, blahblahblah. Some for me and some for baby ;) I know I've been hinting at it for a few weeks now but y'all know me...I really don't wanna show you guys 'til I have everything absolutely PERFECT! Lol not even my roomies have seen any of them yet. I will say though, that I think I'm a little bit in over my head. I'm known to get way over excited about things and over-estimate what I can handle. There are about 4659783789 projects on my every-growing list of things I want done before the month is out. Woops... But like the lil perfectionist I am, mark my words they WILL be done in time and they most definitely WILL be perfect!!!

Sneak peak?

*here's to a busy month*

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bow purse tutorial!

How cool, right? So I've been pretty much obsessed with KL from SecretLifeOfABioNerd since her days with ThreadBanger. She's a fashion school grad who has a YouTube channel all about her DIY's, fashion tutorials, skincare, and a bunch more. She's extremely sweet and bubbly- my kinda girl :)

Anyway, a while ago she posted a tutorial for a cute bow purse and I had an old skirt I needed to get rid of so I got to work... It features a couple of handy-dandy pockets on the bow strap, button and zipper closures, and surprisingly has a lot of space inside!

Mine is a little on the flimsy side because I didn't have interfacing at the time, but it's not a big deal. Once I put my things inside it didn't even matter. Did I mention how quick it is to put together? I'm talking less than an hour people! 
I'm not the best at making tutorials so I'll let the master take it away! Be sure to check out her other videos as well! :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Be whoever YOU want to be : Tumblr Tuesday

(source Neryl Walker)
This isn't going to be some well thought out post. I'm not going to beat around the bush and say a bunch of sweet quotes and cliche's or be very heartfelt. This is for anyone who needs a bit of a kick in the pants. But quite frankly, this is more for myself than it is for you...

You do NOT need anyone's permission to be who you are.
You have every right to change who you are if you so choose.
You have every right to experiment, try, fail, try again and grow as a person.

  • If you want to wear a ton of make up - cake it on, girl. Or boy, I don't judge.
  • Into the natural look? That's cool too. Grace the world with your God-given beauty. Look your self in the mirror right now and say Yes, I AM beautiful
  • Wanna wear those sky high heels you've got saved in your closet? DO IT- Stand up straight and strut your stuff like the fierce woman that you are.
  • Feel like bumming it out for a while? Cool. Sweatpants are more comfortable anyway.
  • Itching to break into song and dance? Sing your precious heart out honey.
  • Have a lot to say? Tell anyone who'll listen, people are friendlier than you'd think.
  • Partying not your thing? Indulge in 'YOU' time, I'm sure you don't get enough of that.
  • If you want to do something, do it.
  • If you don't want to do something, don't.
  • If you end up changing your mind, fine. Switch it up. Do something else.
  • Change your mind again, and again, and again.

(source: unknown)

There are NO RULES!
Only the ones you set for yourself.

If someone criticizes you or tries to put you down for something you're doing or for simply being you, forget them. They're dead to you. What they're really showing you is how upset they are that you have the guts to do your own thang while they're stuck trying to fit into the mold of someone they don't even want to be.

I forgot to blog this...

About a month ago, my sister and I went to the fabric store so I could get started on making some baby items. We went into Walgreen's for some boring stuff and one of the cashiers was the cutest thing on the planet! I'd seen him before, but I couldn't remember where or when... But I remembered that a few months ago or something I complimented him on his hair (long + curly) and he told me that he was actually growing it out so he could donate it to Locks of Love! Aaaaand he just gained like 50 brownie points.


And now for a sneak peak of a few of the fabrics we selected!!

It's been about a month and I can happily say that I'm almost 100% finished with all my sewing projects for my sisters baby :) I just need to do all the finishing touches. I'll be sure to let you guys know alllll about it with TONS of pics!
Till then!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Nothing like retail therapy

This week has been a weird roller-coaster. Last weekend was a bit of a downer, Monday it picked up, and Tuesday/Wednesday I was an emotional wreck! So like the girl that I am I went out and got a new dress. I then proceeded to get dressed up and do my errands. YES I get dressed up sometimes just to run errands! It makes me feel better about myself so judge all you want. 
Anyway, you might remember me raving about it HERE a few months ago. Can you believe I forgot about it on layaway?! 
  2. It's padded so no need for an annoying bra! Fabulous because on a hot July day ain't nobody got time fo' that. 
  3. The flare is perfect for girls like me with no curves. 
  4. It's chambray so it's very light-weight. C'mon... you don't get a more perfect dress than that am I right ladies?

Yes, new clothes actually make me happy

LOL 'til next time lovebugs

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My (almost) First Love

We don’t get many chances in life at the same thing. Once is pure chance. Twice is a coincidence. But three times? Honey, that’s a true miracle!

I met him when I was 14. Life led us down different paths and we lost touch.
He came back when I was around 16, but only for a brief period.
And when I was 17, like a miracle there he was.

You ever hear that phrase “you wouldn’t know _____ if it walked up and bit you in the butt?

Well there I was at 17. Love (or whatever it was) literally sat right next to me. Staring me straight in the eye, ready to take my hand. I was in a fog. Kind of like when you're driving and there's too much fog all around and you can't see past the cars directly in front of you or where you're headed. All you can do is sort of look for a safe place to pull over so you can wait for it to clear. I didn't know which direction to take, what to say, how to feel, or anything! All I could do in the moment was freeze; emotionally, I pulled over. Hoping for the sun to shine and give me some clarity. But it never came. Never in my life have I experienced something like that so naturally I didn’t recognize it for what it was. Couldn't even put a name to it. I didn’t realize that it was exactly what I’d been wishing for. Unfortunately some things you only learn once you get a chance to look back on them. At that time in my life I simply hadn’t learned how to love myself yet. So when he came along and wanted to be closer to me and to care about me I wouldn’t let him. Honestly I didn’t feel that I deserved anybody's attention. But it’s really weird because it wasn’t intentional. Never meant to shut him out. But now I realize that is exactly what I was doing. I believe that at the time I was too young of heart. I came to this realization after yet another long night of tossing and turning. My heart aches. And all I can do is cry. Not necessarily for him, but for myself.

Yeah I know, I know, I'm being really dramatic. Maybe even a little ridiculous. But honestly everyone has heartbreak. Whether it's self-inflicted or done by someone else. I've had my heartbroken by a silly crush I once had but this time it was all my own doing. Self sabotage at its best, or should I say its worst.

It's times like this when I wish I had a best friend or just any friend to hug and cry it out with. And stay up to crazy hours in the night doing all the silly things that us girls do just to let loose and have fun. Laugh about a silly movie while pigging out allllll night. I need a good old-fashioned girls night. Yeah, I think that would help. Because right now, sitting here typing like a mad woman, feeling sorry for myself, and crying at 4 in the morning is not helping the situation at all.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

It's not 'goodbye,' it's 'see you later'

Today we had a memorial service for a wonderful man I know to be my Uncle. Technically wasn't my uncle, but I don't live on technicalities. This man was as much a part of my family as anyone I know. If you look back in our family pictures I can guarantee he's in at least  50 of them.

I remember him as a fun-loving person. One that was easily excitable. He loved children. Oh man, every time I was at a family event he was there with a whole bag full of magic tricks, games, puzzles, anything to entertain and engage us all. I remember he had a play when I was younger (maybe around age 10?), and myself and all my cousins were participants. It was so much fun! He had produced, written, and directed it all on his own.

What I didn't know until today was that he had written, produced, directed TONS of plays. I'm talking murder mysteries, dinner theater, game shows, music, all kinds of things! It's funny, because he wasn't a bragging man. He was always very humble. And that's something to be admired. God put it in his heart to entertain, to create, and he did exactly that. He left us much too soon.

The last song he wrote is called "You don't need magic to believe." His niece sung it today at the memorial and it was absolutely adorable. The song itself was very beautiful and inspiring. I hope I can get my hands on the lyrics, because it is really a beautiful song. And the fact that he wrote it makes it even more special.

The latest project he was working on was called "Faithful Feud." A gospel-based game show. Sad that he won't be able to see it's debut, but the people he was working with are so amazing that they've made a promise to finish it out. They loved him as well and they are even creating a scholarship fund in his honor! This I have no doubt, in addition to all of the friends and family, will keep his legacy alive.

I'm so thankful for all of the memories I have with him. I shed a few tears today but I also shared a few laughs hearing stories and memories that others had shared. Even though I'm sad to lose him I know that this isn't the end. We'll see him again. He was a God fearing man, and I believe his spirit is with the Lord. Betcha' he's directing a special play up there right now for all of heaven to enjoy.

My heart is a little heavy, but it's still warm knowing that he's in a much happier place than anywhere on Earth.

Victor is home now.
He's home.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Obligatory 4th of July post

Yes I know, I've been away from the blog for some time... but it's my blog and I'll do as I please :)
Long story short- I've been going through a really rough time. June was a very hard month but it's over and I'm getting myself back on track. PLUS my birthday is in a couple of weeks! So I'm light weight excited for that. 
By now (even though it's only the day after) I'm sure you're sick of all the 4th of July talk... So I will hold no grudges if you choose to skip right on by this post, honest. I had a fabulous day and I'd like to share it cuz datz wat i do.
My day started around 10AM: I was getting dressed, painting my nails (so last minute), eating (more like snacking), singing (howling), shaving (reluctantly), and checking the weather. Not to my surprise it was predicted to be about 99-101 degrees! I don't mind the heat, as long as I'm inside. But I knew that we were going to be right on the water once we get to the marina so I wasn't too worried. Remember THIS DIY project I told you about, like forever ago? Well my darlin' I finished it! It's actually been finished for a couple of weeks but I decided to bust it out today! I was so proud of it and got a bunch of compliments from my fam :) I'll give an official reveal probably Monday- so be on the lookout for that!
1: My preggo sister L // 2: Hangin out under our canopy waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive
3: A few of the MILLION other people on the lawn picnic-ing + a Ferris wheel // 4: View of the "others"

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the first photo? I have always wanted to take a picture like that, don't ask. But I haven't been around too many pregnant people so I got my chance!! How cute is she?!
There were so many people there today, oh man! But my picture doesn't do it any justice. My sister T (who you'll see below) got there at around 10AM so she could secure us a perfect spot right in front of the water just left of the DJ. Across the water on the opposite side of the marina were the vendors and behind THAT was more food, and at the END of all that was the stage where there were some lil performances. 
 5: My Nonnie and I // 6: My amazing sis T // 7: My super sexy cousin K // 8: Teeny tiny sis B

Most of us were eating or have already eaten by the time the entire party had arrived. I was still just snacking because the heat completely knocked out my hunger and just made me thirsty!! My aunt R brought some tamales, the woman she had make them for us didn't speak English very well so when she wrote down 'chicken' and 'beef' so we knew which were which we got:
This became the running joke of the day :D I mean, look at the lil chicken! Look at it! I think we all laughed at it much more than we should have *Kanye shrug*
We weren't allowed to have alcohol  out in the open... but my sister already made the 50million jello shots, brought the wine+margaritas... And you know us, WE AIN'T WASTIN NOTHIN!!!

L: "We can't have alchohol out here?!"
 T: "I can in my red cup."

9: B and I being silly waiting for the show // 10: Trying to surprise a photo on T but she's always ready for photos, ALWAYS! // 11: GOT HER! // 12: Got T too! // 13: Group photo just before the show started
I have videos IN A PLAYLIST HERE of me *sort of* live-vloging throughout  the day if you care to watch.
(disclaimer: I suck at taking videos)
  • We got icecream, danced + grooved, walked around a LOT, and laughed like crazy people.
  • OH did I tell you a woman lost all three of her children? We found one of them.
  • Jokes, good food, nice 'neighbors', a great fire work show, and A FIRE.
  • After packing up and finally getting out of that frantic parking lot we headed back to T's house. We kept the doors open because the air outside was cooler than it was inside lol. LOVE summer nights like that, don't you? Catfish, more food, more jello shots (still had about 20 left over), talking, and finally headed home 'round 1130. Washed up, drank tea, and took my little butt straight to bed!

I hope wherever you were, whatever you were doing, that you had the time of your life!
Until next time!