Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a blessed and very merry Christmas! From our house to yours!

Friday, December 21, 2012

High Five, It's Almost Christmas

I can't believe we are in the single digits before Christmas! I am sooo close to being done with my shopping. Thank goodness for the weekend to finish it all up! I always manage to still be shoipping at the last minute.

I had such a good week that I almost did a High 10 instead of High 5!

  1. I had such a blast designing and sending out our Christmas cards this year!
  2. Ever since my mom broke her leg on Thanksgiving, we have been trying to help around the house when we can. Putting up my parents' 12ft Christmas tree is always a project. Loved seeing two of my favorite boys working together!
  3. I have the best friends in the whole world. Can we talk about this hat?! I am in love with this hat. It's warm, cozy and my absolute favorite character!
  4. We had our first annual company holiday party and white elephant gift exchange this week. It was a blast! One of the VPs' wife made this! She nailed the logo!
  5. On Saturday we had our department holiday party and I got to debut the famous tulle skirt! This is my manager and I at dinner. Aren't we cute?!
And what's even better than my High 5?! The fact that you're reading this post means the world didn't end and the Mayans were wrong! WOOOO

Try not to waste your whole weekend at the mall with all the other last minute shoppers!

Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk and Jeannette @ Life Rearranged.
Photobucketlife rearranged

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sew Me Marie

I've received a lot of encouragement through your comments and after thinking about it for quite some time, I've decided to open my very first Etsy shop! I am actually opening it alongside of my friend. She is the one responsible for turning me into a crafty person.

I love our shop name: Sew Me Marie. Finding names that aren't already taken on Etsy is pretty challenging, but with a little brainstorming, we found one! We share the same middle name, Marie, so that definitely had to be incorporated into the name. I'm pretty happy with our end result.

For now I'm selling what you've already seen here on my blog:
  • Ribbon wreaths (of any kind)
  • Burp cloths
  • Pacifier clips (these are actually new!)
  • Grown-up tutus - just added due to the overwhelming response from yesterdays post!

I'm sure as I explore more DIY crafts, I will be adding them as well. I hope you check it out! If you want something you don't see there, feel free to email me and I would be happy to accommodate in any way I can.

Sew Me Marie Etsy Shop

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Grown-Up Tutu - DIY

Drum roll please.....It's the moment you've been waiting for! The official unveiling/tutorial of my tulle skirt! Why don't we call it what it really is? A TUTU! (grown-up, of course!)

I must start by saying I did not come up with this idea on my own. I found it here on a fellow bloggers' site (Bonnie @ Delusions of Grandeur).  The moment I saw it, I knew I just HAD to have one! Isn't it precious?!!

I followed her DIY and took a few liberties to make it work better for me and my skill set (amateur). Helpful tip: drink wine.

First step is fathering your materials. Everything cost be a whopping $22. I bought everything at JoAnn Fabrics so I of course had a coupon (that's a must!). I loved how cheap tulle is!
  • 2 colors of tulle (see below for how much of each)
  • Short zipper
  • 2.5 inch satin ribbon
  • 2 yards of  light colored fabric for inner skirt  

When deciding how much of each fabric I needed, I did exactly as Bonnie said. measured my waist and multiplied it by 4. This is the number you use for each layer. I wanted 4 cream and 2 white so since the fabric was folded in half I only needed to take that number and multiply it by two for the cream and just the one for the black. Confused yet? Ok for example: My waist is 30in. 30 times 4 is 120in. Take 120 and divide it into 3 and that is how many yards is needed for each layer. Since I knew the length was just right with the fabric folded in half, I only needed two of these for the cream and 1 for the black. Hope that makes sense. For the inner skirt, get 2 yards and that should be more then enough.

Ok now you take each layer of tulle and make pleats using pins and then sew with a basic stitch to keep it in place. Then right above that stitch, sew a basting stitch so you can gather each layer. I gathered them until they fit around my waist with 1 inch to spare.

If you look closely you can see the two stitches and the pleats. Sorry for the bad pic.

WARNING: Do not let your cat near your tulle. They think its a bed/scratching post

Once all 6 layers have been pleated and gathered, begin sewing them to one another. Start by sewing your inner most layer to a scrap piece of fabric and keep stacking the tulle until you have all layers sewed together.

I then just folded and pressed my satin ribbon in half to create a little pocket to put all the tulle in. This is to help give your skirt a nice clean waistband. I am by no means a skilled seamstress so, like Bonnie I found an inexpensive belt at H&M ($5!) and new that would make everything clean and pretty. The picture below is before the black satin ribbon waistband.

Set all that aside and begin the circle skirt. I folded my fabric in half and cut two half circles. One for the waist and the other for the hem. Again, there is a little math involved. I took my waist, 30in and divided that by 2 for the diameter of my skirt which gave me 15in. Then I halved that number again and that is what i used to measure from the corner in a diagonal down. Then I made a mark and used that as a guide to draw a half circle. Since my tulle was 27in long I took my tape measure and measured 27 in from the line I drew for my waist. Then made my second half circle and cut.

Whew! Sorry I don't have any pictures of all that, but if you need a better visual, just google how to sew a circle skirt. Since I would be sewing the waist to my tulle I didn't bother sewing that part. I sewed the side seam and then the zipper by following the directions on the package. Now all that's left is to hem the skirt.

Sew your inner skirt to the waistband of the tulle skirt and your almost done! My circle skirt ended up fitting like a glove, but my tulle was a little big so all I did was sew a small hook about 2 inch in on the tulle waistband to give it a snug fit.

Look at that, it's all done! I know that was super long and a TON of info. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away. I'll do my best to help you. I knew this was not going to be an everyday wear so I was OK with it not being perfect.  A few quick things to note: I trimmed the tulle to be closer to the length of the inner skirt, and I only used 5 layers in total. 3 cream and 2 black, partly because my cat destroyed one of my cream layers and I felt it was getting quite poofy.

I must say, I was rather happy with how it turned out. What do you think? If you get around to making one send me pics please!

My tutu in action at my comapny's holiday party.

As always, I am linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW. Have a good rest of your week!
pleated poppy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Getting Back on Board

Ever since I lost 25lbs right before my wedding (read about it here), I managed to gain back 10lbs almost instantly and have since then tacked on another 5-10lbs depending on the month. I'm getting dangerously close to my original starting weight, so now it's time to get serious. I will NOT let myself get back there!

Since I'm no longer running the marathon, I figured this would be a good time to embark on a new journey. A journey of eating healthier and running regularly (short distances only please) to become comfortable in my own skin again (and to not have to buy back all my too big clothes I donated two years ago). Not to mention it's the perfect time to get in shape before my Disney cruise!

AHHH!!! We're so close!

Today is week one of my weekly weigh-ins. I'm sure your asking, "Why is she trying to lose weight right in the middle of the holidays?" Well my friends, once you find the motivation to make a change, you can't wait until it's convenient to you and those around you, you must cease the moment, never look back and run with it (no pun intended)!

For starters, I will pack my lunch, drink tons of water, run after work and cook a descent dinner. I am not doing a crash diet or eliminating any major food group. I am just focusing on moderation. I've learned that's the only way for me to be successful. If I start too strong and make drastic changes, I will fail. You will see that I am by no means a health nut, so my focus will be portion control and eating at home instead of going out.

So without further ado, here are this weeks stats:

Weight - 154lbs
Waist - 30.5in
Hips - 41in
Thighs - 24in
Arms - 11.5in

I will do measurements once a month in hopes to see a more significant change.

In other news, I can't wait until tomorrow to show you my completed DIY tulle skirt tomorrow!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Crafty High 5

One more week down, means one more week closer to Christmas! It's so strange to think that we are already half way through December! This week went by super fast and I'm looking forward to a nice weekend at home (with some fun thrown in there of course!)

Here are my top 5 fave things from the week!

  1. Another ribbon wreath! I FINALLY finished it. I know the husband is getting tired of these wreaths (here, here and here), but I just can't get enough!
  2. I finsished! This is the skirt I'm going to wear to my company's holiday party. I cannot wait! Don't worry, a tutorial will be up next week along with pictures of how I wore it.
  3. My friend got me this festive iPhone 5 case for me from Zulily! (I told you, polka dots are my thing right now)
  4. I have the best Blogging Big in the whole world! She redesigned my site and gave me a new logo, color scheme and buttons. I am so lucky and owe her big time! What do you think?!
  5. Of course I can't resist my photogenic cat, Milo. He is such a handsome man! (insert crazy cat lady comment here).
I hope everyone has a fun weekend! Let me know what you're up to!

Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk and Jeannette @ Life Rearranged

Photobucketlife rearranged

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

It's been a while since I've done a Disney post so what better way to get going again then to post about the most perfect and festive event Disney has to offer! Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP). You are probably thinking "this sounds very similar to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP)."

Well you thought right! It is! the premise is the same: You buy a separate ticket for a select night in December, you get a special parade and fireworks show, AND (the best part) free cookies and hot chocolate all night! Maybe it's just me, but this sounds like a much better deal then the trick or treating at MNSSHP. Don't get me wrong, I love both, but if I had to choose, MVMCP all the way!

You walk in and you are greeted with a very picturesque scene of snow falling on Main Street with a spectacularly lit Cinderella Castle at the end. It is one of the most magical memories you will have. The castle is covered in lights that make it look like it was dipped in ice.

Again, since you have to buy additional tickets to this event, you will see less crowds. This is a good opportunity to get on those rides you might not have been able to ride during the day when the park was open to the public.

As far as the parade and fireworks go, they are magical! There really is no other way to describe it. The parade is complete with dancing reindeer and nutcrackers. Just go see it for yourself!

If you love the holidays as much as I do then this is the party for you! There's still time to plan a trip to Disney for the holidays! Be sure to check out their website for available dates buy your tickets early as they will sell out!

Other must do's at Disney World in December:
Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights - Disney's Hollywood Studios
Candlelight Processional - Epcot
Gingerbread House - Grand Floridian Hotel and Spa

 And in the spirit of Christmas at Disney World: Here we are on our trip from last December!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gold, Blousy Polka Dots

For this week's What I Wore Wednesday (WIWW) I kept to my theme of, yep you guessed it, polka dots! I promise I own non-dotted clothing. Maybe next week I'll prove it.

I found this shirt from Target a few weeks ago and I instantly fell in love with it. Sheer blousy shirts are very popular right now and this gold glitter polka dot blouse shirt was just my style! (Not to mention comfy) It reminded me of a Kate Spade shirt but for like 10% of the price at a mere $18!

Pair this shirt with some skinny jeans (I'm wearing black) and some pumps to dress it up or flats to make it more casual and there you have it. A fun outfit for a night on the town!

Another way to dress this outfit up is all in the accessories (something that is NOT my strongest suit). I'm really starting to get into gold (hence the shirt) so I dug up this bracelet from the Kate Spade outlet (now all I need is the ring and earrings to match, just in case the husband is reading). ;)

What are your thoughts on blousy shirts? Do you prefer gold or silver?

I'm linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW!
pleated poppy

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekends in December

I love weekends in December. It's hard not to wake up happy when your house smells and looks like Christmas! Weekends in December are busy, not the bad kind of busy where you hardly get a moment to breath, but exciting and fun busy. There is shopping to do (one of my most favorite things!), parties to attend and crafts to be made. This weekend we did it all.

Friday night we went to see Rise of the Guardians at a "new to us" movie theatre. The theatre was in a local town center we had never been to so we enjoyed walking around and seeing all the shops before the movie. Seeing Christmas-y things like this never gets old.

Saturday we woke up early and ran errands (only fun ones of course). I am attempting to make a skirt I found over at Delusions of Grandeur (tutorial to follow next week) so the fabric store was top on the list! Apparently everyone and their mother needed to craft Saturday too. I successfully got all my supplies for $20 which made me super happy!

We had a holiday party to go to on Saturday night which was a blast. Not only do I enjoy my Christmas decorations but I LOVE seeing how other people deck their halls too! Look at the unique tree topper my friend does!
A top hat! How cute is that?! She bought the hat from JoAnn Fabrics and cut a hole in the bottom so it would fit on the tree. Isn't she crafty?
Sunday was another busy day. Church in the morning followed by a beautiful Redskins victory! The rest of the day was spent working on my tulle skirt. I can't wait to debut it this weekend at my company's holiday party! Too excited to wait, here is a sneak peak:

Please note: This is a work in progress!

Linking up with Molly @ still being [Molly] for YOLO Mondays


Friday, December 7, 2012

High Five for Fun

Looking back, my week was pretty awesome! Sure I was tired and cranky at some points, but who hasn't had those moments by the time Friday rolls around?!

I get more and more excited about Christmas as we get closer every week. I love the way the house smells, all the parties and just seeing everyone's lights as you drive down the street. It really is the best time of the year!

We had a busy but super fun week. I seriously considered making this a High 10 instead of High 5!

  1. I made these onsies for my nephew to take his monthly pictures in. Super easy, I just bought the template from etsy at: www.etsy.com/shop/braikdesign and then printed it out on iron on transfer paper.
  2. Speaking of my nephew. Here is little Jacob! He and my sister-in-law came up to visit last night and today. Isn't he cute?!!
  3. I got this beautiful Kate Spade bag at the outlets this week for a steal! Ready to hear the breakdown? It was originally $298 marked down to $125 then 50% off that and an additional 30% off of that! It came down to $45! You can't get a knock off at that price.
  4. We were able to go to the Redskins vs. Giants game on Monday night and it was a BLAST! Thank goodness we won!
  5. I decided to get a festive/fun manicure last weekend! Its a dark purple with gold on top. I pretty much love it.
I hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoy those holiday parties these next few weeks!

Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk and Jeannette @ Life Rearranged.

Photobucketlife rearranged

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Polka Dot Time

I know you've seen it everywhere this season, including here, but I am totally in love with polka dots of any kind!

I am also really in to colored jeans this season. Who would have thought?! Remember when colored and patterned shorts and jeans where HUGE in the 90s. I still giggle when I see some of those outfits we wore. Now don't get me wrong, I am in love with colored jeans and have totally jumped on that bandwagon, but why patterned jeans?!! I'm not saying I'll never try it, but for now, I think I'll pass.

I digress. For this week's What I Wore Wednesday, what do you get when you mix bright yellow jeans and polka dots? A super fun outfit that stands out in a crowd! Ok, so maybe these are a little bright for everyday wear at work, but I say if you can't express yourself at work what fun is that?!

I have to apologize again this week for my poor photos. I can't seem to get my act together and have the husband take pictures of me with the real camera. Maybe I need to figure out my self timer and invest in a tri-pod.

Top: Old Navy
Jeans: LOFT
Shoes: DSW (old)

Who knows, maybe next I'll find some cute polka dot pants and then give patterned jeans a try! Baby steps....

Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW!

pleated poppy

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Training Tuesday - The End

I don't even know where to begin. I have been struggling with my marathon training for about a month or so now and have let myself fall behind. Not just a few miles behind, like nearly 10! I have hit a point with training that I need to decide to either commit and accept that I won't get all my miles in or walk away (also known as quitting).

This weekend was pivotal for me. If I got my miles in, then I think I could have stuck with it. But alas, I didn't. I have used every excuse under the sun to talk myself out of these runs so I got to thinking, "Is this something I actually WANT to do?" Yes I know, we've all been through these moments when it comes to running and I've read so many success stories of people just pushing through. I feel that this is deeper than that. I'm not nervous excited about the race, I'm dreading it. Is that how it's supposed to be?

I hate the idea of quitting and throwing away my registration fee, but there isn't an ounce of desire left. Here are some of reasons excuses as to why I'm walking away from my marathon aspirations:
  • It's winter which means its cold. I do NOT want to get up at 6am to run in 30 degree weather. That is torture to me.
  • The thought of spending 3 + hours running on the weekends when they are getting so jam packed with the holidays is an incredible time commitment I guess I'm not ready for
  • I prefer running after work and with my hour plus commute home, it's dark by the time I get home.
  • No one is running the race with me in Disney nor do I know anyone training for a marathon who would do long runs with me. Which makes a long run alone an even more daunting task
Again, I know these are nothing but excuses and I have no REAL valid reason, but to me it comes down to happiness. I'm a firm believer in doing things that make you happy. In the beginning, running was hard but it made me happy. I loved the way I felt after a run even a 7 mile run. But these long distances are strictly painful. I'm not getting the joy out of it that I used to. They are mentally and physically hard.

I think I have decided that I need to train for a marathon that maybe takes place in the fall so I'm not stuck training in the winter. I am not giving up this dream of someday running a marathon. I just don't think this year was my year.

Sorry for the Debbie Downer post, but I wanted to be honest and do my best in justifying my decision. I'm still a little disappointed in myself and this decision, but all in all I think it's the right one for me. I will continue to run on my treadmill short distances to stay in shape, but as for long distances, I'm taking a break.

I can't thank everyone enough for their support in my training up till now and I hope to have your support in the future when I can put my whole heart into a marathon.

Friday, November 30, 2012

High Five Catch-Up

I know I didn't do a high five last week so here is a little catch-up since then.  I was really dreading this week after a short week, but surprisingly it went by fast! We have lots on the schedule for this weekend, but all in all it should be a good time.

Here are my top five things from the past few weeks:
  1. Milo can just be so sweet sometimes. I brought home a few new "steals" and found him sleeping on them.
  2. We finally found a media console with a fireplace that we both liked! (You've probably already seen it here). We got this little gem at Lowe's. We were able to fit this into the budget because my parent's were willing to pay someone to paint their bedroom and bathroom. I of course saw the opportunity and volunteered.
  3. On Thanksgiving the big Dallas vs Redskins game was on so I of course had to send an "intimidating" picture to my mom (HUGE Cowboys fan). I found a really good use for my newly purchased yellow jeans. :)
  4.  LOVE this time of year and came home to a surprise from the husband. He bought Christmas cookies for dessert one night. I of course couldn't resist the urge to pull out the "Santa's Cookies" plate.
  5.  After a long Monday I found these little beauties in Target and had to restrain from purchasing. I could see myself wearing these everyday after work. I'm sure that's perfectly normal right?
Happy weekend everyone. So excited its almost December!

 Linking up with Lauren @ From My Grey Desk and Jeannette @ Life Rearranged. 

Photobucketlife rearranged

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NEW Fantasyland

So excited that the NEW Fantasyland expansion is officially opening next week! The grand opening is set for December 6th, but luckily, most of the area has been available to preview since October. They call it a dress rehearsal which means that at any point they reserve the right to stop letting people into the area.

Good news for me as I went down in October twice, and got to see the whole area between the two trips. I have already given you the low-down on Belle's cottage area in a previous post. So today I will focus on the Ariel section.

Isn't she pretty?!

The Journey of the Little Mermaid is a ride inside Eric's castle and around the corner, you can actually meet Ariel herself in her grotto!

 I was so stinkin' excited!

 Just like over in Belle's area, not a single detail was left out. I only got to see this part at night so I will have to get some better daytime pictures in January when I'm down again for the Marathon!

 I know it's hard to see, but the theming of this area is impeccable!

Below are some pictures I took from inside the ride (don't worry, I didn't have a flash so no one's experience was ruined). Oh and don't judge my picture taking skills. These were not only done at night but with my iPhone instead of my good camera. Ooops!

 So there you have it! If your familiar with other rides in Disney, I would tell you this ride is a cross between The Living Seas with Nemo and Haunted Mansion in terms of technology and how the ride feels. The overall concept fits right in with the rest of the "kiddie" rides in Fantasyland. It's an abridged version of the movie just like Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Snow White (was).

So if your planning a trip to Disney this year, be sure to plan for extra time in the New Fantasyland section as there is a ton to see! Also, the Be Our Guest restaurant is in Beast's Castle (I've heard GREAT things about it. It's a quick service by day and a sit down by night), Gaston's Tavern where you can get these little beauties (Le Feu's Brew), and Belle's Cottage is all open starting next week!

Stay tuned as there are more sections to be opening as part of this expansion. Such as the Dwarf's Mine roller coaster and an entire Fairyland (curious to see how this turns out).

Now get to planning your Disney vacation!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lumberjack Wednesday

With the weather growing increasingly colder, I've decided that with today's outfit warmth was going to play a key factor. Easier said than done because not only do I want to be warm, but I also have to dress for a typical day at the office.

Here is what I came up with. My husband so lovingly refers to this as my "Lumberjack" look. Not sure how I feel about that, but I guess he could call me worse things right?! :)

Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW

pleated poppy