Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DIY Maternity Maxi Dress

Sorry for my long absence! But I have a good excuse. Well, I think it's good. So back in August, I was  asked to be one of my college roommate's bridesmaids. Well well well, what a predicament. The other 7 or so bridesmaids and I did not have something in common that would make dress buying much, much more difficult because I would be 21 weeks pregnant at her wedding! Luckily, the bridesmaids got to choose their own dresses which meant I would make my own dress. I decided to go with a maxi dress thinking it would be both easy to make and accommodating to my growing baby belly. This was far more wayward than I thought but I learned from my mistakes!

What you'll need:
2-2 1/2 yds jersey knit (depending on your height)
Thin elastic
Matching thread

Instructions:
1. Measure from under your bust, over your shoulder to mid back (equal to where your under the bust measurement is on your back). Measure down lengthwise on the fabric. This is the length of A and B. Mine was 30 inches.

2. Hem one side of each A and B pieces. This will be the neckline. Overlap A and B 4 inches right side on top of right side. Pin and sew.

3. Next, sew C to A and B, D to the opposite side, wrong sides together.
4. Fold along mid line of A and B top panel. You may need to trim both sides depending on how loose and flowy you want it. Sew sides of dress (wrong sides together) from bottom to a couple inches above where C and D meet A and B.
5. Measure where you would like to put on the elastic. I measured under the bust to accommodate baby. Cut the elastic 2 inches less than your measurement. Overlap the ends of the elastic about 3/4". Sew forward and back a couple of times. You'll need to put 4 pins in your elastic 4 equally apart: one in the middle front, middle back, and sides. This is markers to match while sewing.
6. Pin your middle front marker of the elastic to the middle front (middle of where A and B overlap), the back marker to the middle back, and sides to where C and D meet on the sides. Your elastic should be smaller than the fabric, this is on purpose! (I added a few extra pins due to how wayward everything was turning out for me. But I pinned in the middle of where the fabric was between pins to the middle between markers and match to fabric. You must be very careful if you are adding extra pins!)
7. Now sew with a zig zag stitch on the elastic to the wrong side of the dress, stretching it to meet the length of the fabric between pins. This will create gathering in the dress.

8. Cut and hem skirt to desired length, hem sleeves at length you want.
9. Optional: I sewed a small piece of where A and B overlap (6 inches from edge of waistline) for added modesty.

And here's my wayward adventure:

I measured wrong both the fabric and elastic, twisted the elastic while sewing, had to unpick thread so many times, etc, etc, etc! .

And here's the finished look!
Note: these were taken at 29 weeks not 21!! Hello belly button!






Thursday, December 4, 2014

St. Nicholas Day: A Family Tradition

One of my favorite Christmas traditions growing up was St. Nicholas Day. Although we are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes known as "Mormons" my mom instituted we celebrate St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. St. Nicholas Day is commonly celebrated in European countries. It is thought that Santa Claus bringing gifts is based off St. Nicholas Day. Read more here.

 We set our shoes out on the fireplace hearth on the 5th of December. In the morning they would be filled with a small surprise, like hair things, candy or a small toy. It was a simple tradition but one we looked forward to. As a teenager, I liked to set out my most daring shoe for St. Nicholas. When we went to college, St. Nicholas still found us, via US Mail! His handwriting was strangely similar to my mom's ;)

I plan on carrying on this tradition with my family as well. Just another magical way to make December memorable!



In my husband's basketball sneaker: The Beach Boys's Sounds of Summer.(affiliate link)

In my bootie : Welch's Fruit Snacks, (affiliate link) because I love fruit snacks

In my daughter's boot: We Belong Together by Joyce Wan. (affiliate link) I LOVED this book when we got it from the library and I'm so happy we own it now! It's got really cute illustrations and I think it's perfect for a parent-child relationship or for siblings.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Wrapped and Done by December One RESULTS!


If you'll remember, it was my goal to be done with all my Christmas preparations by December first. This included my Christmas cards, gifts and decorations. Here's how I faired


Cards: Done! My sister-in-law took our pictures, I got that great Groupon and then addressed and sent them on Friday the 28th.

Decorations: Done! I like what I did this year, but miss most of my ornaments. A one year-old baby and breakable ornaments just don't mix. It's nice to have enough room for everything. Here's my nativity:



Gifts: All my gifts to my extended family and in-laws have been shipped! I left my husband and daughter's gift shopping until last week because I wanted to make people who lived far away a priority as to get their gifts shipped. This was good and bad. Good because that got done, bad because I didn't factor in that I'd be ordering gifts online and would need to allow for time to wrap those gifts. So I have 2 gifts coming that I haven't yet received which need to be wrapped. I still feel like I was successful because I won't be stressing about the gifts and I actually enjoy wrapping gifts.

So I think I did really well!! How did you you?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Advent Calendars!

I love a good advent calendar and now's the time to make them! There are so many fun and beautiful ideas out there. We have shared a few of ours in the past.



Musical Advent Calendar Garland is so easy you can make it in an afternoon AND the commitment is pretty low. Can you sing a song a day? Then you can do it!


Jordan's Felt Advent Calendar reminds me of the advent calendar we had growing up. Oh the fights we had over whose day it was to hang up the ornament.



Countdown to Christmas is almost an advent, so it should be included =)


Are you counting down the days yet?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hashtag alert and Progress Report: Wrapped and Done by Dec 1

Hey everyone, how is your holiday prep going? It's still my goal to be Wrapped and Done by December 1! We've been posting some on Instagram but we want to see what YOU are working on for your holiday prep! Please post using the hashtag #HolidayPrepYall so we can see what you're up to! Plus we will feature you on Instagram!



 Now, here's some of what I've been doing:

Ordering my Christmas cards! I just bought this Groupon to Staples, 100 cards for $19--that's the best deal I've seen ANYWHERE by FAR! But it's EVEN BETTER, knocked down to $8 for 100 because it's been shared with enough friends. There's also a deal for 50 cards Get the deal too before Sunday! Here's one I liked:

(Thanks Brooke, for sending me the link!)


Painting--making my own gift tags!



Wrapping



Bing-ing (Searching using Bing to earn rewards. I've earned $25 for Christmas presents so far. Read more here)




Ibotta-ing (Rebate app, I've earned $18.25 so far )



Shopkicking (App to scan products in store, I've earned $15 to Target so far)



Ordering: presents from Amazon using my Bing Rewards! Win!


(no picture because I can't ruin the surprise!)

Getting our pictures taken, here's my favorite face I made:




Things that still need to be done: Christmas cards addressed, holiday baking, holiday decorating (I refuse to do it until after Thanksgiving, but the day after is just fine), ordering, wrapping and sending more gifts.

So let's see YOUR photos!! Use the hashtag #HolidayPrepYall and we will re-gram it on Instagram!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting Facebook Notifications

Do you follow us on Facebook? Why would you want to follow us on Facebook?

  • We post updates about our posts
  • It's a great place to ask a question or for advice (so is email, Twitter, or in our comments section)
  • It has a link to the pins for each post
  • We are trying to post more often on other social media so we can engage with you more (hence the push for Instagram and Facebook).
Do you already follow us (or any other page) and don't see our posts? Here is the simple fix that will take a couple seconds.
  1. Head over to our page. 
  2. Click "Liked"
  3. Click "Get notifications"

That's it!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Teddy Bear Picnic 1st Birthday Party

A few weeks ago we celebrated KZ's first birthday. Her nickname is "Bear Bear" so we decided to have a teddy bear picnic. It was one of the last warm weekends (even though it was mid-October) before fall has fully set in. It was the perfect day! We had the picnic in our backyard with some of our family members and everyone had fun!

The best part of this party was I only had to purchase a few things! The decorations were all the teddy bears, mason jars, and baskets we could round up in the house. I did purchase the tablecloths (from Party City) but the flowers were leftover from events we attended earlier in the week.




I served sandwiches on kaiser rolls, pickles, chips, teddy bear crackers, and red and green apples. We also served lemonade.

 I had big plans for a beautiful cake but I opted for a simple cake. In addition to the chocolate frosting I used 4 vanilla wafer cookies, and half a pink Starburst. 



For the favors I ordered flavored honey on Amazon, and had gummy bears, and Bit of Honey candy.  The papers said "Thank you for BEE-ING sweet and coming to my party"


Those are some happy people having fun!!

This was one of my favorite parties that I have attended. Mostly because it was the most simple and I got to have fun enjoying the party without the stress!
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