Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Disney Checklist

As briefly mentioned on Friday, we have decided on a quick last minute trip to Disney this weekend! The sound of that stress you out? Not me! We have Disney down to a science and no matter how long the trip, packing is a breeze (we should probably just leave suitcases packed since we bring the same things every time). However, for most of you, going to Disney is magical yet stressful because there are so many things you want to remember!

Aside from the array of "Must Do's" and "Things to See", I am going to help you with the "What to pack" aspect of your Disney trip. (Note: kids are not included in this packing list as I have yet to do a Disney trip with kids so I have no idea all the accoutrements they require).

Must Bring:

2 outfits per day - This is key as you never know what the weather is going to do. You could get soaked and need a dry outfit for later. There are many other reasons such as a fancy dinner you may have planned and you want to dress up, or when the sun sets the temperature suddenly drops 10 degrees so your shorts and t-shirt won't cut it and lastly, you might just need to freshen up after sweating all day in those clothes

Cross body bag/purse or a backpack - You want your hands as free as possible when walking through the parks and going on rides. You also want a small enough bag or backpack that has a zipper closure so when you go on rides all your belongings don't fly out when you're upside down. Disney has some lockers at the front of the parks, but it makes more sense to just have everything on you. We usually designate one bag for the both of us and we take turns on who is responsible.

Walking shoes - Don't think you have to surrender all fashion sense when going to Disney. In fact, you should be aware of what you are wearing because these are the pictures that end up in scrap books for the rest of your life! Sure, you want to be comfortable, but that doesn't mean sneakers and high knee socks. I usually bring my Toms, Rainbow flip flops, and a pair of Jack Rogers. These are my summer staple shoes and therefore are nice and broken in. The last thing you want is to get a blister on day one.

Sunscreen - Unless you want to pay $15 (not lying) per can

Extra bag or suitcase - Whether you fly or drive, make plans to come home with souvenirs. You might not be the merchandise type, but everything is a souvenir in Disney. Your room keys, park maps, autographs and the list goes on. Also, you are most likely to bring a little treat home to those who weren't able to come. There really is something for everyone and it sucks you in every dang time! iPhone cases, kitchen accessories, cook books, designer purses... I could go on for days.

Leave at Home:

Cash - What? Why wouldn't I bring cash on a trip? Two reasons: You will lose it and it slows transactions down. I know this might sound crazy, but I promise you, the last thing you want to bring into a crowded park is a wad of cash. It falls out of pockets and purses way too often (trust me, it happened to me). Also, when you are trying to buy a quick snack or soda, one swipe of your credit card is all you need. Disney takes credit cards for everything. An even better option (so as not to have a 30 page credit card statement next month) is to authorize your room key for charging across the property. This will make your entire trip show up as one transaction on your credit card bill. Plus, every day you can stop by the front desk and see how much you've already spent which helps you stay on budget.

Refillable water bottle - I'm all for saving the environment and money, but let me tell you, Florida water is NASTY! Especially if you are not used to it. You are better off buying a case of water at Wal-Mart (so you don't spend $2.50 per bottle in the parks) and bringing it into the parks.

Stress - There is so much to Disney World and unless you've gone many times before, don't expect yourself to know every little secret and nook and cranny. It's supposed to be vacation, so don't plan every second of everyday. Anything can happen, buses run late, parks get crowded and mother nature has mood swings. Don't sweat the things you can't control, it's ok to take a break and kick it back at the resort for a few hours. Absorb all the little details in what makes Disney Disney and RELAX!

There is so much more I could go on about, but I'm going to leave it at that. I hope you find these tips useful when planning your vacation. If you ever have any questions, no matter how big or small, feel free to leave a comment. Consider me your personal wealth of knowledge. Happy planning!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Playing Catch-up - H54F Style

I never miss a Friday post (I look forward to them every week!), however, with work travel last week, I was all sorts of thrown off. So as promised, this week's edition of "High Five for Friday" will cover the last two weeks. Ready? Set. Go!
  1. It's old news by now that I'm obsessed with my cat, Milo. You should consider yourself lucky I don't post daily photos of him (yes, I take a picture of him everyday)! I just thought this was too cute. He was just laying there pretending to sleep and when I went to pet him, he grabbed hold of the string from my sweatpants and a game of tug of war commenced.
  2. An old friend from high school is getting married this weekend and asked me to make hair bows for her flower girls. I just loved how these turned out!
  3. Last week, we were in Tampa for a trade show, so I of course had to take a quick picture of our booth all set up!
  4. This might have been the coolest thing I've seen in a long time. It's hard to see, but this guy had on a jet pack over the water and was just flying around. It looked like something out of a movie! I asked my husband if I could get one......
  5. I hardly ever take pictures while on a plane (mostly because I'm sleeping), but the clouds were just too cool looking to not take a pic.
  6. Right by the convention center in Tampa, there is this little outdoor bar that sits on the water (where we saw the jet-pack-flying-man). Always a favorite spot to catch some rays and a refreshing adult beverage.
  7. The Columbia Restaurant is my favorite! This is the original, down in Ybor City in Tampa. They have the best food!
  8. While at The Columbia, it's a sin to not order the champagne sangria. They make it table side and it is the one thing I look forward to the most when in Tampa.
  9. Last but not least, I adore this little baseball bracelet I made. Anyone who likes baseball even a little should make one! Full tutorial here. (They make great gifts for girls AND boys of all ages!)
Whew! That was a long post. So there you have it, all the happenings in my little life these past few weeks. I am so excited for a three day weekend, but even more excited for a three day work week. Why you ask? Because on Thursday after work, we're going to DISNEY WORLD as a last minute impromptu trip to check out Star Wars the Weekend, check out New Fantasyland and get one more use out of our annual passes. Let me know of any Disney questions you may have and I'll write a post to answer them!

Enjoy the weekend and the official start to summer with the opening of the pools! See you Monday!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F.
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Baseball Bracelet DIY

In an effort to get back on track, I had to decide what I was going to do for this week's edition of: Saw it. Pinned it. Did it. This actually turned out to be easier to figure out than I thought. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this awesome tutorial on how to make a bracelet out of a baseball. And with baseball season in full swing (see what I did there?), this was a project I just had to do. The best part about this project is I didn't have to go spend $50 at a craft store. All you need is a baseball and an exacto knife.

The first step is to detach the leather from the ball. To do this, you will take your knife and begin outlining on either side of the stitches. You might have to go over it a few times but eventually you will be able to peel away the leather. 
The leather comes off pretty easily. You will have to tug a little bit because it is adhered to the ball with glue.

Eventually it will all come off and you are left with three pieces. One long curvy stitched piece and two plain leather pieces. You can now discard the ball, and those two leather pieces as you will no longer need them.
Next you will find where the stitches begin and cut the circle. In order to make two bracelets out of this one piece, you will need to find the center and make another cut. Just be cautious to not cut any of the thread. ONLY cut the leather.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of one of the most important steps. This is where you begin to unravel the stitches until you have about 4 inches of thread on both sides and about an 1 1/2 inches of leather with no stitching. You will then take your knife again and cut up to the point you unraveled. Again being careful not to cut the thread. Do this to both sides. Once that is done, you can finish the bracelet however you like. I braided the thread and then knotted it off at the end so it looked clean. Then I trimmed the thread to make it even.
This next step is optional, but I found it cleaned up the bracelet quite well. I took my knife again and made a closer cleaner line to the stitching. Of course I couldn't resist a picture because Milo looks like he is actually attempting to learn. In reality he sees the string and thinks it is a toy.
And there you have it. Two bracelets from one baseball. As I was doing this, I began thinking about how cool it would be to do this with a baseball that means something. Not one of value of course, but one that has a little sentimental meaning. It would be a neat way to show off your baseball other than having it sit on a shelf in your house.  This way people will see it and ask about it which will give you the opportunity to tell your story.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

WIWW - Memorial Day Edition

Ok, I think this is the longest I've gone between posts. Shameful, I know. I have been on travel for work and  wasn't organized enough to blog while I was away. Good news is I'm back! And just wait until you see my H54F post! It will be more like "High 10" to catch you up on all my adventures!

For today, I'm trying to get back on schedule and go with a What I Wore Wednesday post. It has been a super long time since I've given you a peak of what I've been wearing. With Memorial Day just around the corner, I decided to bust out the red, white and blue for a patriotic outfit. Not only is it patriotic, but navy and red happen to be one of my favorite color combinations! I wore a similar outfit here. (Told you I love it!)

Dress//Target (Jason Wu collection)
Cardigan//Target (old)
Shoes//Old Navy (old)

When looking for a picture of the Jason Wu dress, I stumbled upon this little gem: Michelle Obama wearing the exact same dress! I love that our First Lady has a Target dress. I also love that she chose to wear a red belt instead of the yellow that came with it. 

I hope everyone has some good plans for the weekend, but also remember why you are at the pool  enjoying a day off. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for all those current and past who have fought for the freedoms we have today. So enjoy your BBQ's but also thank a veteran if you see them.

Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW
pleated poppy

Friday, May 10, 2013

My High 5's

Another slow week on the blog, but I promise its for a good reason! I have been crazy busy this week with various embroidery and sewing projects. I'm making flower girl tutus for my friends wedding and various miscellaneous embroidery projects. So needless to say my evenings have been super busy and blogging didn't make the list. HOWEVER, next week should be better and I have a few post ideas up my sleeve so stay tuned! Now, onto my favorite weekly post - High Five for Friday!
  1. One of my embroidery projects for a friend. I thought this was such a great idea! His nieces and nephew are coming to down and visiting DC so he got them a bunch of touristy stuff (hence the fanny packs) for their visit.
  2. While waiting for my car to get fixed I found myself at a Goodwill. When I saw this just sitting there all by itself, I knew I HAD to have it! Can't beat the price - $5!
  3. My in-laws came to visit on Saturday and they brought their sweet dog, Penny. She and Milo seemed to tolerate each other pretty well.  Still unsure of one another, but I think this picture means they are friends.
  4. No weekend is complete without getting your sweet fix at Sweet Frog! 
  5. There is this great seafood restaurant practically in our backyard and the outdoor bar was open with a live band! I think this is going to be one of my favorite summer hang out spots.
This weekend is Mother's Day so we are heading to Richmond for a friends' graduation party and to see Christopher's family. Should be a nice weekend. We are hoping to drive top down so pray that the weather holds up!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!
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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Giveaway Winner and a Little Lilly

Today is the day (yes, I'm aware I'm a day late). Who is the BIG winner of a custom Pom Pom necklace by yours truly?!

Drumroll please....... Marie V.! Yay!!!! I will send you an email with all the details!

In the mean time I am supposed to be telling you what to wear. After all it IS a Wednesday! I would be lying if I told you I'm lacking a little inspiration lately. It's more like a lot! I think the rainy, chilly weather has taken my spring spirit away! We can't let that happen now can we?!

Good news. We are getting some warmer, sunnier weather for the rest of this week so I should be back on board! That's right ladies, it's officially Lilly Season! I have my eye on a few new dresses that are coming out this season and I'm desperately hoping one appears in my closet for my birthday (hint hint, husband).

What is even more exciting than pining over the new Lilly's online, is finding one at a consignment shop for cheap! That's right. Go to your local consignment shop or thrift store and start digging. There is nothing more satisfying than paying a fraction of the price for a Lilly. In fact, the majority of my Lilly's come second hand or through last season sales online from a site like RueLaLa. Shhhh....don't tell anyone, that's our little secret ok?

Want to see my most recent deal? I snagged this dress for a mere $38! Believe it or not, it's quite comfortable. And what says spring more than a new (to you) Lilly?!

So even if it is rainy where you are, break out your Lilly's or any bright colored clothing and put a little spring in your step! Trust me, it will chase away those rainy day blues and you'll be happy you did!

Show me how you wear your Lilly!

Linking up with Lindsey @ The Pleated Poppy for WIWW
pleated poppy

Friday, May 3, 2013

High Five for May!

I love that it's already May, one of my favorite months! The weather is what makes May one of my favorite months. Although I can't forget about June! Even though it gets hotter (which I'm not a huge fan of), it's my birthday month! Woot woot!

So what were my high fives for this week?
  1. Thanks to Shopkick (read about the app here), I got my very first Chi using my kicks and didn't pay a dime!
  2. Milo the cat is entertaining as always
  3. Found this really pretty light purple nail polish, Essie's "Go Ginza". Definitely my new fave!
  4. My office is now having fruit brought in once a week for a healthy snack option, so this has been my breakfast lately....LOVE.
  5. My embroidery machine and I have been on the rocks. Sometimes it wants to work and other times it wants to eat my projects. So needless to say, when I finally completed this koozie, I was a happy girl.
This weekend, my in-laws are coming to visit on Saturday and then I will be crafting the rest of the weekend. Of course I'll be taking nice long breaks to go outside and enjoy the weather. All in all pretty excited about relaxing this weekend. Starting next week, it seems we have something planned for every weekend until July. Whew!

Hope you had a good week and I can't wait to read everyone else's high fives!

Linking up with Lauren Elizabeth for H54F!
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Necklace Giveaway!

Better late than never right? Today I want to celebrate YOU! The people who make this little blog what it is. The amount of inspiration and encouragement I get from each and every one of you is what keeps me going. Not to mention, all the love and support I've gotten from my fellow blogging friends who have given me tips and tricks along the way. This is for ALL OF YOU!

Enough mushy stuff, let's talk about this giveaway! I am going to make a custom pom pom necklace like I did here in your choice of color! I know it's not much, but I wanted it to be something personal that came from me.

So all you have to do is enter below and YOU could be the winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A winner will be chosen on Monday and announced Tuesday. Good luck!