Saturday, March 31, 2012

Because...


Some days you just wake up with the shortest, darkest hair you've ever had.

I guess, I'll stop cutting it now...
 seeing as there is nothing left to cut.





(and if you didn't catch General Conference today you can watch it here)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thrifty Thursdays: Mall Shopping

Yes, I know that shopping at the mall won't generally get you the best deals.

But, lemme tell ya, that's when you are shopping alone. 

First off, get familiar with the sales and scout out stores you might not normally go into if they are having special sells. 

Examples: Wet Seal's buy one get one for a penny sale, Claire's 10 for $5 sale
yadda yadda yadda

But here is the secret...well hopefully it's not so much a secret but you can always get better deals at buy one get one sales (Payless) if you bring a friend along and split the cost of similar priced items.

For instance, I got a pair of shoes for $5 because they sale was buy one, get one for $.01. 
The shoes were on sale for $10 but, my sister-in-law also wanted a pair, so instead of buying two pairs of shoes (there was nothing else in my size) she got a pair and so we each paid $5. Score!

I recently chopped off all my hair (even further, yea, IIII know) and so I picked up some spunky sunglasses to help me still feel girly:


AND I got a striped shirt all for a grand total of

babaBAHHH

$14.00

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday: What the?!

Do you ever see something and think to yourself, "What THE?!?".
You know, the moment you realize that several, if not dozens, of people had to pass off on an idea before it came to fruition. 

(like the whole state-pride knickknack section by the check out of every Walmart: shot glasses, wolf statues, you know the stuff)

Russ and I have both been sick kiddos this week, so we've been getting real friendly-like with some (generic) Nyquil.  

In my half awake, snotty, coughing, groggy, stupor I looked at the front of the bottle and read this:



The MAKE it taste like that??? AGHCK!

I mean I'm a fan of the occasional black licorice but c'mon, what group taste tested this and said, yes ma'am that's Good?

....

Alcoholics, that's who. Alcoholics who just wanted some free alcohol in any way they could get it.

----

Does anyone actually like the taste of this stuff?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tutorial Tuesdays: Setting Pleats

I absolutely love feminine touches on clothes! One of my favorite girly touches are pleats and tucks, but if you've ever tried hand pleating something (even with a pleater board-ick) you know that it takes forever!

And, here's the big bummer, when you don't do anything to set the pleats; all the hours of measuring and ironing and pressing and pinning and basting are for not.

They will just come out in the first wash. :{ So here's a quick way to chemically (don't worry, you already have everything you'll need) set those pleats to end up with great looks like these:
 





(ohhh Pinterest...before I get sidetracked...) 

You will need: 
A spray bottle 
A Press Cloth (muslin will generally work)
1/2 c. white vinegar
1 c. Water
an Iron

Mix the vinegar and water together in a spray bottle (be sure your bottle has a fine mist setting...) As you pleat (however you decide to do this; basting, pleater board, measure and pin...) spray the fabric with the mixture until it is lightly damp, also spray the press cloth (if you are using a fabric with a high heat tolerance, you may not need the press cloth) until it is damp, place over pleats and iron. 

Repeat until all of your pleats are set. Now all your hard work won't come undone in the first wash!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thrifty Thursdays: Hunger Games For Free!!

Okay, so I've been dreaming about the Hunger Games.

lame, right?

Anyway, movie tickets are far too expensive for cheap-o-maniacs like us, so when we stumbled across this offer from Fandango, it was  deal we couldn't resist!

When you sign up for Netflix (just do the month free trial and cancel it before your free month ends) you get not one, but TWO free movie tickets through
Fandango worth up to $12 a piece. 

That's free Hunger Games!!!!!!

(You have to be brand spankin new to Netflix to qualify though)


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cruxing

I got spanked at the wall today.

S-P-A-N-K-E-D

And the hardest thing I climbed was a 5.9-

And as I was getting repeatedly shut-down by a gaston on a corner (a gaston, on the corner of my own route; to add insult to injury.) my frustration kind of owned me.

Not only was I getting beat up by the wall, but I was beating myself up mentally as well. 

Instead of taking a deep breath and saying "Self, you can do this. Your arms are tired and your fingers sting, but you have this. Chalk up and get some!"

I said...

"Self, you suck. Bad."

And then I began to talk myself out of things that I really wanted to do. Like go to Zion for spring break, and fill my Etsy store, and finish my bachelor's. 

I began talking myself out of things that were important, things that were good, things that-- all of a sudden-- I didn't feel good enough for.

--- 

After venting to Russ and seeing the hurt that beating up on his wife caused him, I took a deep breath, stepped back and, well...I pouted for a while.

But!

As the night went on, I remembered a time in my Canyoneering class (this all makes me sound super outdoorsy, don't get side-tract with that). 

(I'm the dot in the middle)

Around the middle of last year, was one of the hardest times of my life. I had just gone through a divorce, and was dealing with the backlash of insecurities that came with it. So, I ran to the wilderness...literally.

I was sitting on the top of Corona Arch just outside of Moab, Utah and as I looked out over the canyon and the swells of the sandstone desert, I was consumed with how non-monumental I was in comparison...and, suddenly, how high up I was. For the first time in my life, I had a panic attack. It was hard to breath, and I couldn't convince myself that I was going to be safe. In complete fear, I looked over to two of my classmates sitting several yards away.

"Tell me I can do this"
 I begged.
"Tell me I am going to be okay"

At the time, I didn't realize I was asking for so much more than the strength to rappel from a great height.

These poor guys, "You're going to be just fine! It's completely safe! You know exactly what you are doing, you're in control and it'll be okay."

I believed them just enough to inch my way over to the anchors (the dot farthest to the right) hook into the bolts and set up my rappel device.

Before I could think anymore about how scared I was, how badly my hands were shaking, how hard it was to breath, and how little I believed in myself, I lowered off the edge of the arch.

As soon as my feet left the rock and I looked above to see the vast, red arch, contrasted against the most vivid, clear-blue sky; I was okay (dangling 100 feet in the air) but totally okay. 



The feeling of conquering my fear and being in complete control over how fast or slow my descent was, lifted a heavy weight off of me (or maybe it was the adrenaline, regardless...). I could do this.   

The rest of the week felt like a blur of personal accomplishment. It was the happiest I had been in a long time...it was the happiest I had let myself be in a long time.

----

Even though it took the words of someone else to help get me to let go of my fears and self doubts, I believed them. I made the choice to have enough faith in myself, no matter how brief it was, to do what needed to be done.

All too often I get down on myself for not being 'strong enough'--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or otherwise-- and I let my insecurities get the best of me. But what I'm realizing is that there are enough hardships that come my way, without me lending them my own will to use against me.



I am stronger than my self-doubt. I deserve good things. I can do hard things. And, I am so very loved.
(And I'm totally one of those nuts who believes in affirmations- Whatever works, right?)




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tutorial Tuesdays: Sponsor Style

I'm pretty excited to introduce a new sponsor this week!


If you are looking for a new blog look, or some great information on HTML, LDC Designs is a great place to start!

For today's tutorial, check out her easy-peasy guide on how to make your pictures the same width as your text. (Just follow the link above)

She also has pages full of DIY and Free things!
So, if you aren't already following her, you're going to want to do so quick!

cross



stinking adorable, right!?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Connecting...


I've been in a bit of a creative shlump lately. I went through all of my fabric and rid myself of the tiny scraps I convinced myself I could make something with, folded and sorted remnants and yardage, and became re-aquainted with this little plaid gal.


I met this fabric in my Grandmother's stash that she has long since given up busting. I had no plans for it at the time, but as I encountered it again, I was reminded of one of my favorite moments with my Grandmother.

She had come to visit my family in Maine and found that I had been trying my hand at sewing (I was 15 at the time) she patiently, but effectively --as is her way-- sat me down and helped me make the black and white plaid pencil skirt I had been attempting. We finished it, working into the late hours of the evening, only to find out that it was about 2 sizes too small. 

Defeated, we said goodnight and I drudged off to my room only to wake the next morning to find an identical (although 2 sizes bigger) plaid skirt, skillfully cut from the remaining fabric. She had stayed up by herself into the morning and finished a second skirt so that I could wear it to the dance that night.

---

This memory of my Grandmother is not one of my favorite simply because she made me a skirt, but I was taught in that moment a lesson on service and perseverance. 

As I find myself sewing, measuring and pleating this plaid beauty from her personal stash, I can't help but feel a little connected to her and hope that in some small way, I am like her.



It's been the perfect motivation.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wanderlust

As Russ and I were talking, we (I) decided that we should go be climbing bums and just get a motor home of some sort and go camp and climb and run amuck for a summer.

When suddenly...


Be still my fluttering heart! Right? I found this beaut on Craigslist  down in Pocatello. 


Yea buddy, that's a bed, and $3000? A steal! 


As I pose this idea to him, he is going back and forth between accounting homework and practicing tying a double bowline on a bite through his belt loops.

I just need to catch the climber in him at the right moment instead of the accountant/business major and present the idea then.

Until then Fozzy (oh yea, I've already named it)
Wish me luck.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Greek Yogurt "Aoili"



In the middle of nowhere, (you know the one located in the Columbia River Gorge on the Washington side?) There is a little town called Bingen and in that little town there is the most amazing pizza (ahem, all local ingredient, brick oven, sustainable pizza) place I have ever been to, The Solstice Wood Fire Cafe.

Aside from the amazing, and unique pizza offerings, they have wonderful bread and side dishes--seasonally offered. One summer when I found myself in the cafe's cozy grasps, I ordered the seasonal veggies with aioli. 

I had never heard of aioli, so I asked my waitress who all but made it in front of me to give me the details of what is in it. In short, it's a fancy mayonnaise. But, oh buddy, does it taste goood.

(Un)fortunately, Russ and I are on our whole better-eating-as-a-lifestyle-not-a-diet...life...and so huge globs of mayonnaise (fancy as they may be) aren't really friendly for a veggie topper.

So! Tonight, I whipped up a little healthier version to accompany dinner (slow roasted cherry tomatoes and basil, with lemon chicken and couscous--much easier than it sounds!)

The trick is to use greek yogurt instead of mayo.

Greek Yogurt Aioli
(These measurements are pretty rough, play with it and the herbs to suit your taste)

2 tbs Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp smashed garlic
1 giant leaf minced basil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine everything into a little bowl, whisk, whisk, whisk, end up with a slightly runny concoction and pour over any assortment of veggies or vegetable thick dishes. Also makes a great salad dressing

....and let's be honest, anything fancy sounding that is super easy and delicious? 
For the win. 

If you are curious about a traditional Aioli Recipe, you can find the one pictured below, here.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thrifty Thursdays: Guest Post Style!

Emmy, over at Love Woke Me Up This Morning, was kind enough to share her two cents about some of her more thrifty findings!

When Cambra told me about a lot of the things she blogs about, I'll admit that I was pretty stumped when it came to writing a guest post.

I'm a horrible cook. This one time I almost burned the kitchen down boiling water. True story.

I don't do crafts. In college I had to make a pair of shorts for our welcome staff "uniform" and it took me all summer with a lthot of tears because I learned the sewing machine and I don't get along well. 

However, there is something that I'm learning to be good at - and that's grocery shopping for a post-college 20 something who doesn't know how to cook.

So ladies, if you are like me and would make a horrible house wife, this is for you!

First , buy what you actually use and not what you think you need. I used to make this mistake all the time! I would go grocery shopping and pick up a bunch of the basics that I thought I needed because they were staples on my mom's grocery list. A perfect example for me would be buying a loaf of bread. For one person, a whole loaf of bread is way too much unless you make sandwiches and toast every single day. Therefore, I started buying tortillas because I found that I really enjoyed wraps, tacos, and used them for snacks on a regular basis. Besides- tortillas have less carbs than bread. 

Frozen food is your friend. I'm not talking about gross TV dinners. Found full meals in frozen bags. They take fresh meat and veggies and put them in a freezer bag. You usually put them on the stove for 10-20 minutes and voila! You have a full meal ready to go. The best part if you are a single, is that you can keep half of it for tomorrow's dinner. My favorite is this chicken and spinach Florentine dish. It's completely delish and I feel like a fancy Italian chef when I cook it.

Salads in mason jars are God's gift to busy people who still want to eat. This was an idea I found on Pinterest. Grab a mason jar (you can find them at most craft stores for pretty cheep!), put a tasty salad dressing on the bottom, and then layer by layer add your favorite salad items in with the lettuce on top. Make a few of these for the week and keep them in your fridge. These are perfect for long days when you don't have a chance to go out to lunch and eat at work, or you get home late and don't have the time or energy to cook. These salads can stay fresh for a long time! 

Don't be afraid to be a mooch. I work at a church, and I cannot tell you how many times we have leftover food in the church kitchen from some sort of event. People leave it there and just say "the staff can have that for lunch this week if they want." In our office we almost always take them up on the offer. During December, I rarely have to go grocery shopping because people LOVE to give us food! 

Along with that - Tupperware is amazing.. 

My last few tips are for the coffee snobs out there. Get to know your baristas. If you go to your favorite coffee shop enough, they'll just throw free things at you. Also, keep your own creamer and sugar at your desk at work. I really hate powder coffee cream, but I have found that International Delight makes individual size creams that you don't have to keep refrigerated. I keep a box on my desk for the days that I can't make my usual run to Starbucks.

So, there are my food tips for post-college girls who can't cook.

What have you found that works for you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lots of climbing firsts

Over the past year, I don't feel that I have necessarily gotten stronger at climbing, but I've been racking up firsts like nobody's business. 

-I did my first ever lead climb
(on-sighted it, on trad!)

-Did my first crack climb

-rapped off my first bridge and arch

and last night I set my first route and (nervous as I was about it,) did my first self belay.

------

Now to just get stronger for Zion next month!

-----

Do you have any firsts you've accomplished?



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Whoa! Why hello there Tuesday!

My mom and three of my brothers came into town this last weekend to celebrate my niece Lil Miss Olivia's 1st birthday! Consequentially, I totally forgot about introducing another one of my sponsors! oy~

Noelle did such a wonderful job decorating and putting everything together, there was a great turn out including This week's Sponsor intro:


The ever adorable Lauren! From over at Peace Love Lauren
Don't you just lover her new dark hair and spunky bangs? Me too!
(oh and, ahem, I uh, totally made Olivia's dress!)

I've had the great privilege of getting to know Lauren personally and in the blog world! She has such a warm personality and is a fabulous aspiring interior designer (her little home is just about to die for because it is just full to the brim of adorable and well coordinated touches of her as an individual.)


Click the button to check her cute self out!

Weekends and tuesday tutorials!

We had the awesome chance to go to my cousin's wedding reception.

We at great food, saw good friends and just hung out with the fam.

My sister-in-law and I also took our husbands (and little brothers) to an indoor 
Nerf Gun arena... (yes it was made of cardboard boxes)



it was. AWESOME! 


Anywho!

Today's Tutorial is just a quick four step one for when you're feeling like a homebody.

A sassy home body that is.



Cheetah Print Fingernails:

               

You will need:
3 coordinating nail polishes
1 for the background
1 lighter for the inner spots
and 1 darker for the outside of the spots
1 Bobby Pin or toothpick

(I used a gold, blush pink and maroon)

Step One: 
Prime your nails and apply your base coat.
(if your base color is transparent, add coats until desired color)

Step Two:
With the polish brush, make various sized splotches on your nails.
I found that for my fingers, 3 spots were the best number.
Don't worry about consistency in size, just don't make them too big. But if you do, not to worry! You can fix that in the next step.
let dry.

Step Three:
After the polish has dried. Take a bobby pin (with the rounded end still on) and dip it into your darkest color and trace around the outsides of your spots in a rough "C" pattern. If there are little wiggles or free standing dots, good job! It all adds to the effect.
let dry.

Step Four:
Be sure that all polishes have dried so you don't smudge your work, and apply a clear top coat.
Voila! You're done and super sassy with your cheetah nails and sweat pants!


A long lasting tip:
Instead of brushing the polish simply from top to bottom or bottom to top, stroke upwards and then curve the brush parallel to the end of the nail, in somewhat of an upside down L. This helps the polish not to chip off the ends of your nails!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Best Friends...

For the past couple weeks, I've been thinking about what it means to be a true friend. 

A friend who brings out the best, works through the worst and appreciates the jumble in between.

Someone, whose greatest happiness comes from the other's positive state of well being.


Russ and I took advantage of one of Idaho's scarce sunny, late winter, days and as we walked, talked, laughed, fell through the snow and paused for quick kisses, I think I figured out a little more of what being a true friend, a best friend, really is. 

The words of Aristotle looped in my head:

"Friendship is one soul...


...living in two bodies"



We talked about memories we had shared over the years, and of moments that we cherished from our individual childhoods. We wished that there was some way to share all the joyful moments that formed us into who we are, so that we may better understand, better love, more swiftly grow into the companionship; perfectly aged by time, trial and love, of our future. 

I asked him, "Won't it be weird when you know all of my stories? When there is nothing new to tell about 'back when'?"

He asked if I ever thought that day would come.

"Well, at least the stories worth telling, I guess you'll know."

---

But, that's the thing about friendship, about true, persevering love, all the stories--the fear of sturgeon, the preference for mangoes, the opinions on sheet quality-- hold some worth for telling at some point or another.

Accepting that there will be quirks, accepting that there will be differences, understanding that the other half is still just trying to figure out their place in the world, just like you, but in their own way; and embracing them as a companion, as a help mate, as a piece of a whole that is your shared entity...

I think of Jane Eyre:

"sometimes I have the strangest feeling about you. Especially when you are near me as you are now. It feels as though I had a string tied here, under my left rib, where my heart is, tightly knotted to you in a similar fashion. "



I have a lot to learn, a long ways to grow; but, I am abidingly grateful for the strength, peace and love provided through true friendship and trying my best to be a true friend.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My favorite bread recipe

I love baking bread. 
Yea, you read that right. 
I LOVE it. 

I began baking bread about 2 years ago and now I go through phases where I have two fresh loaves every week (or as needed).

The recipe I use makes two loaves, and since I'm a firm believer that home baked bread is best during the first two days, I'll often give away my second loaf so I have an excuse to bake more fresh bread during the week. (and, let's be honest, so I don't eat two loaves of bread to myself in a week)

Without further ado, here is my (still adapting) go to bread recipe:

2 cups warm water 
(110 degrees, or if you don't have a thermometer, I just make sure the water is a little warm to the touch, not hot or you will kill the yeast)
1/3 c sugar (I have also used honey here)
1 1/2 tbs dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup ground flax seed
5 2/3 cup bread flour (I prefer wheat)
(this recipe will not work as is with regular flour)

1. In a large bowl dissolve sugar into water until the water is almost clear. Add the yeast and let proof until creamy and foamy looking (I usually set a timer for 7 minutes so I'm not tempted to stir or mess with it before it's ready).
2. Mix salt and oil into yeast. Mix in flour and flax in one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. 

(fun fact, the act of kneading bread actually activates the gluten in the flour and causes it to form elastic web looking patterns that hold air and make your bread wonderfully fluffy, so the more air, the fluffier your bread, hence the saying "the more you love your family the more you knead your bread")

3. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth and let rise until doubled or 1 hour.

4. Punch down the dough, knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place in two oiled (I flour the bottoms after an unfortunate sticking incident) bread pans and let rise until 1 inch above the bread pan (at least a half hour)

bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I like to cut little designs into the tops of my loaves so when I take them out of the oven, not only does my house smell like warm, yummy, bread but I feel extra fancy too. (Google image search if you need ideas)

If your bread isn't rising, your kitchen may be too cold; try turning on your oven and setting the bread on top of the burners (not above the one that exhausts heat from the oven itself, if your oven features this)

An interesting thing about this (if you don't use honey) the bread is technically vegan!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thrifty Thursdays: A month of dates for Nad

One of the most important things to keeping a strong and fun marriage is to keep courting each other.  Keep oogling his nice arms and he'll keep sneaking pinches each chance he gets.

And it will be so much fun!

But, starting out, generally doesn't provide the funds for weekly big dream dates and adventures. Sure, someday we'll fly somewhere awesome on a whim or drive up to Yellowstone for the day, but for now; these will more than suffice.

1. Go on a walk together: the weather is just starting to warm up and those sunshiney rays will do you, your heart, and your love for each other so much good!

2. Go throw rocks: what? No, seriously though. Find a little pond or lake and skip rocks. Frozen over? See who can break through the ice first. Activities that may seem a little juvenile (but not in a way that will land you in jail or with a misdemeanor seeing as you are an adult now) will help break down defenses that you may have up and help you to communicate things that you may at other times feel to silly to bring up.

3. Spice up dinner: You're already going to eat, so why not shake it up a little bit? Eat dinner picnic style or build a fort and eat it inside. Finish up with a dessert you can just nibble on and play a board game together. 

4. Watch the sunrise: yes I know it is cold out right now and yes it is very possible that the whole excursion will be less comfortable than romantic, but sometimes when things going  a little wrong and you feel really silly about them later, it creates the best memories. So, when you are old and grey, or just feeling lack-luster on an off day, you can think about that time you guys woke up at the crack of dawn, bundled up with homemade hot chocolate and traipsed out into the snow to watch a winter sunrise. and froze.

So, have fun with your free dates and let me know what you do for your impromptu, ultimate budget friendly, dates.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tutorial Tuesdays: Shirt to Yoga Pants

Double Tutorial Tuesday! Weee
Since the releasing darts tutorial is more of an informative-if-you-are-making-something deal, I thought I'd throw in this super quick, super comfy tutorial:

-------

I saw the idea to make a shirt into yoga pants on Pinterest, so I went for it!

(The original tutorial is here, mine is a little different)

Take a men's long sleeved t-shirt:
Small Shirt= Small Pants
Medium shirt= Medium pants
Large Shirt= Large pants
XL Shirt = XL pants

you get the picture.

 (Sorry this is upside down, I was in a hurry)

Step One:
Lay your shirt out on a large flat surface, making sure the side seams are lined up and cut off the sleeves and down the center. Next, cut off the neckline.


The body of the shirt will now be both of your pant legs.

Step Two:

Cut out two rectangles from the sleeves. They should be the same length as the top (by where the neck was) of your pant legs.


Open up each rectangle and sew them to each other on the skinny ends, then fold so the seams are enclosed.

Step Three:

Turn both sides inside out (so the previous serging is on the outside) and
Sew the side leg seams together on the outside edge.


Step Four: 
Turn one leg right side out and put it inside the other leg, matching up the curve of where the armholes used to be and sew together. Pull the leg back out.

Step Five:
You should have something that looks like pants now! To lengthen the waistline (highly suggested if you have any sort of fanny to speak of) add the waistband by matching up the side seams of the band to the side seams of the pants with the pants inside the waistband and the raw edges of the band and the pants facing up and sew together.

Step Six:

Put them on and go work out!


Happy sewing!


Tutorial Tuesdays: Releasing Darts

The next several Tutorial Tuesdays combined with this dress top will turn you into the ULTIMATE Modcloth  dress hacker!

When sewing (especially with woven--non stretchy-- fabrics) you will run into pesky little things called darts.



And oh buddy are they important! They can make or break the fit of a garment and can be converted into release (as in today's post) pin-tucks, pleats, gathers and seam lines. Whew!

On a women's sloper/block (pictured above) pattern piece, there are typically two darts (the one pictured only has one) one at the waist (shown) and another coming from the side to the bust. These darts must be fitted to each individual for a perfectly tailored fit...

Lucky for us, a lot of popular styles today are over-sized and drapey.

So using the thrifty dress from a past Thursday, 


lets talk about releasing darts.

The top for this dress pattern can be found (for free!) on the burdastyle  website. 



I made several changes to the pattern based upon personal opinions of modesty (sleeves and length) and (at the time) personal distaste for zippers.

As you can see in the outline of the dress, there is a jabott of sorts that I also omitted. 

To avoid putting in a zipper, while still using a woven fabric, I converted the waist darts to release. What this means is simply, instead of sewing the darts closed, I left them unsewn. 

Referring back to the top picture of the front sloper, you can see the sew line on the dart. Just don't sew it, you rebel you. 

Since converting the darts to release made the top too big at the waist, I gathered in the excess fabric to the skirt with an elastic encased in the seams. (Darts released and gathered)

With these little steps I was able to create a dress that can still fit over the head and bust without installing a zipper in the equation. Easy peasy, and now you're a pro. Even if you don't have your own slopers/blocks (which most people don't) you can still easily manipulate any commercial pattern (as I did with the Coffee date dress) into whatever you like.

With todays tutorial (if you can really call it that, it was so easy) you can recreate dresses similiar to these:







Monday, March 5, 2012

Cold, Cold

Winter has made it's official mark. 
I have my second cold of the season. 
This usually means we are about halfway to spring.

But halfway isn't soon enough!

So in spite of the cold outside, and in my sinuses, Russ and I had a little summer dance party.

Complete with, 

Cranked up heat, 
Swimsuits, 
Beach boys, 
....
and drawn shades.


Russell always asks me if there is anything he can get me, so I told him to get me summer.

He said he would pray super hard to make it come faster.

I told him that I didn't think it worked like that.

He said it does, because he already did and now we are a little closer.


------


Summer, we are enthusiastically awaiting your return.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Dear Craig's List Spammer,

The other day, Russ took some pictures of some musical equipment he has but doesn't use; to be sold on Craig's List.

As with just about everything listed for sale over $100, we got a spam message saying that the purchaser is leaving the country to (insert out of country location here) and he would have his assistant come and pick it up for him, AND because of the inconvenience and delay (his assistant wouldn't be able to come for another couple days) he would give us another $50.

Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Russ was a little bummed that he just got spam, so I told him we should rebuttal the offer.

We told the spammer that we wanted an extra $200 and use of his personal assistant for a week. We also wanted a personal phone call from him impersonating Mr. Bean, (which; Russ noted, is pretty hard to do.)

We were surprised when we got a new e-mail notification from the spammer.

We quickly thought of all the things he could say to us, for a moment we panicked and thought this may not have been a spam, until we opened the e-mail.

it read:

go and die

......

I guess he won't be having his personal assistant come pick up the equipment.
bummer.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Meet My Sponsors!

Today I have the delight of introducing you to one of my sponsors for this month;


Emmy is a city girl, who after graduating college found herself working as a youth minister in a small town. Other than adjusting from the culture shock, you'll most likely find her reading a good novel (probably Harry Potter), writing in her blog or one of her short fictional stories, hanging out with her dog, or helping with her local community theater. 

Check her out on her blog to see how she braves this crazy "real world" one day at a time with a little bit of love, coffee and God by her side.




Keep an eye out for some guest posting this month from Love Woke Me Up This Morning!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tagged!

So my friend over at Peace-Love-Lauren tagged me in a little questionnaire.
(You can see her original post by following the link!)

1. Where are you? I am home in my little studio apartment/converted hotel room.

2. What is your most recent "pin" on pinterest? A long (tea length) tulle skirt with a huge silky ribbon at the top (Kinda like the Carrie Bradshaw skirt Lauren is making! But without layers)

3. Dream little girl name? Boy name? hmmm I really can't set my heart on anything until I find something that husband and I both like, and we haven't really found anything that we LOVE yet, but then again we have time :)

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? SOOOO graduated from school! Hopefully with a couple babies living somewhere relatively near the West Coast

5. When you meet someone new, how do you decide if they have friend potential? I automatically assume someone will be my friend until they prove me otherwise. I was ALWAYS the new kid and we never stayed in one place for a super long time, so I just set out to work as soon as I got somewhere.

6. Favorite blog of the moment and why? hmm, I actually don't have a favorite! I just love reading and checking in on people I know and seeing how awesome, funny, clever and great their lives are.

7. One thing that you would change if you could just one? Juuust kidding, I would have graduated already!

8. If you had to fast for 40 days & 40 nights... what food would you want to scarf first? That is so tough! This one time, when I was 16, I was out and about with friends on a long weekend and we had been so busy that we hadn't eaten anything for at least a day so we went to Chili's and split a Molten Lava Cake. Not that it is my favorite food by a long shot, but anytime I'm super hungry, I think about that cake. So I'd probably live that dream again. :)

9. Favorite thing about the state you currently live in? I was born in Idaho so it has always had a soft spot for me, but I love how many outdoorsy things there are around here! Mountains and rivers and lakes and streams and camping and climbing and mmmmm :}

10. When was the last time you stayed up past 3am and why? Last night, because I couldn't sleep. I think I did something to offend sleep a couple weeks ago because it has not been around ever since.

11. What are you looking forward to the most this week? Getting some actual pictures up for my Etsy store!

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And for this, I'm going to tag, YOU!
Post in the comments or post a link to your blog where you have filled out the survey :)

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1. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
2. 3 Things you want to see before you kick the bucket?
3. How did your first kiss go down?
4. What is your best talent?
5. What is your favorite summer-time activity?
6. Do you have any weird ways of eating a specific food (I have to eat the center of a Reese's first, then get all the peanut butter out, then eat the edges)?
7. If you could make something really well, what would it be?
8. What is your dream job?
9. If you could pick just one, what would you say is your best quality as a friend?
10. Something you don't like that most other people do:

and!

11. What is something you are most proud of yourself for?

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Happy blogging!!! If you send me a link to your post I'd be more than happy to feature it in a compilation!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Happy March!

Hope everyone's Leap Day was amazing!

This month I have some exciting things going on! 

Including....

drum roll please.....

Sponsors!!





cross








You can check them all out on the right there by clicking on their cute little icons.  I'll be introducing them each Saturday of this month, so stay tuned!

yay for bloggy friends!

(the month is young, if you'd like to do a sponsor swap let me know!)