Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#FMSPhotoaday Round up

This year, one of my goal is to take more photos; of trips, events, and just the little things. To help with this I've started doing the photoaday challenge hosted by Fat Mum Slim on Instagram. So far it's been a lot of fun trying to find something for each prompt. Here's the first 12 days of the year! Have any of you been taking part in a photoaday challenge?

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Sew Similar #20

Sew Similar #20

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! Over New Year's, we received quite a bit of snow so we stayed in and welcomed 2015 by playing Disney Scene-it. I ended up being asked to stay home from work because of the snow, but my husband still had to go in. I drove him to work without a problem but our poor car couldn't make it up the hill to go home. Thinking that the snow would let up, I decided to walk around Target to kill some time. Well, it proceeded to snow even harder and didn't let up until the next day. I walked home and my husband's coworker was kind enough to drive him but our our car was stranded in the Target parking lot. Fast forward to the next day when we had to walk to Target and shovel the car out of the snow drift that had been plowed around it! I had on several layers as well as my warmest coat but I certainly wasn't what you would call warm.

Lately, when I am just hanging around the house, I huddle up in a pile of fleece. Fleece pajama pants, fleece robe, and fuzzy socks. It may not be flattering, but it gets the job done. While we were shoveling our car out of the snow, I was thinking about how nice and cozy my fleece cocoon sounded. I think this coat is the next best thing. The original coat can be purchased from ModCloth for $149.99 (on sale now for 50% off) and is made of a wool/ polyester blend. For this handmade version, I've suggested a red fleece lining. Now you can have the comfort and warmth of a robe without the look of one! If you do decide to add a fleece lining to a coat, you will need to make sure to account for the slightly bulkier fabric.

For me, black and white houndstooth goes best with pops of red. The original coat is actually mint green and black but I didn't realize this until later on. This beret has also been on my wishlist for a while. I think I might need to break down and get a few colors!

Have any of you added a fleece lining to a coat before? How do you stay warm in the winter?

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Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

For the past couple of years, I have been setting a reading goal on Goodreads and it's kept me pretty motivated to reach a certain number of books. This year, however, I found a reading challenge on Pinterest and decided to make it a bit more interesting. I am hoping to complete this challenge without making any new purchases since I have a mountain of books I haven't read yet. 
Phew! That's a lot of reading to do but I'm really excited to get through all of these books that are just sitting on my bookshelves, begging to be read. I've started picking out my books for each category and have already begun reading the memoir (Bossypants by Tina Fey). The most difficult category so far has been finding an author with my initials. So far, the only person I could think of is Sigmund Freud. Any others you can think of? I'll be doing a little update here each month to share my progress as well as sharing on Instagram with #popsugarreadingchallenge which books I'm reading for each category. 

Do you have any reading goals this year? I'd love for you to follow along and share what you're reading!

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

Goals for 2015

Wow! I can't believe it's been almost two months since I last posted anything. I've taken a bit of a break from everything with finals and the holidays keeping me busy. Hopefully with things slowing down a bit, I can get back on track! I don't usually make new years resolutions but I decided to list out a few goals for myself and the start of the new year seems as good a time as any to start working on them. 
1. Send More Snail Mail
I've actually started working on this already. This winter I participated in a scarf exchange hosted by The Arbitrary Fox and I enjoyed it so much! Picking out the perfect scarf for someone was so fun and I received the most adorable handmade raccoon scarf from A Retro Rabbit. After my first online swap, I was really eager to sign up for another one. As soon as I saw the Vintage Secret Santa Swap over at Chronically Vintage, I knew I had to participate. This swap was so much fun and I really lucked out again. I received this amazing set of 1940's paper dolls. Aren't they great? I love the little jacket and pinafore. I also signed up for swap-bot, which is a site where you can participate and host swaps. Have any of you used this site before? I'm thinking of posting a review after I've used it for a while.
2. Manage My Time More Effectively
I am definitely the kind of person who takes on a million things at once and then gets overwhelmed and super stressed out. I really want to make sure that this next year I take time for myself and relax a bit. I've been searching for a planner to use for all of my school and work stuff but haven't found anything worth spending the money on. Since it's been so difficult to find something that will work my friend and I have decided to make our own. 
3. Work On My Etsy Shop
I listed a couple of items in the shop this summer and then got super busy and wasn't able to focus on it at all. I really want to work on getting several products listed and promote my shop more, and hopefully participate in a craft fair this summer! 
I also have lots of little things I want to achieve this year but those are the big three. Have you made any resolutions or goals for the new year?
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Sew Similar #19

Sew Similar #19
skirt pattern fabric top tights shoes
This week's Sew Similar is another work appropriate ensemble. Generally, I can wear what I want for work, but, I have a meeting this week that I need to dress professionally for and realized that I don't have too many options in that department. I have a few dresses, but would like to build up my separates. Some neutral staple skirts are something that I'm really lacking in my own wardrobe. The skirts I have are generally very colorful and patterned; they're fun, but probably don't make anyone take me seriously. I love this skirt because it looks grown up without being stuffy. You can make it fun with the maroon tights and long sleeve polka dot blouse, something I need to cover up my tattoos. 

This skirt is originally $64.99 from Ruche. The total for the handmade skirt and outfit comes to $50.61. Do you have a job you need to dress up for, or can you wear what you'd like?
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Caution: Quarantine Zone!

I mentioned that I haven't been able to post in a while because of a big project; now I can finally share it in all of it's glory! Our apartment complex had a Halloween decorating contest and the grand prize was $300 off of your next month's rent. Crazy, right? We decided to take part and work with our neighbors to make it even better. After discussing themes for a while, we decided on a zombie quarantine zone. Now, keep in mind, these are daytime pictures since I wanted to be able to show all of the detail. While the trick-or-treaters were visiting, we had a fog machine, strobe lights, and theme music from The Walking Dead and 28 Days Later playing. I definitely think we scared some of the smaller kids.
Did you catch our nod to The Walking Dead? (Spoiler: Carl is still alive, I just don't like him.) The most important part of the theme, were the zombies of course. Our neighbor painted the masks and my husband constructed the bodies. They turned out incredible! There's a close up of some intestines for you, as well. It's a little hard to tell from the pictures but we had another zombie busting out of the plastic quarantined area with a cleaver in his head, too.

I really am so amazed we were able to do so much with so little. We either got most things from the dollar store or made them ourselves. Seriously, a ton of kool-aid and cardboard went into this project. 

The good new is, we ended up winning the grand prize as well as "Scariest". Yay! We were so excited and proud of ourselves for all of the hard work we put into this project. The bad part is, the complex owners decided that the original prize offered was too generous and after all of our work changed it on us. We still received a little bit off of our rent, but definitely not what we were expecting. We did have a ton of fun though and I'm glad we were able to create something so unique. Did any of you decorate for Halloween?
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Monday, November 3, 2014

Weekly Tidbits #19

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Whew! It's been a while since I've been able to post anything. I'll be sharing tomorrow the project that has been taking up most of my time, but for now, here's a little bit of what I've been up to lately!

Watching: Son of Batman- My husband and I have been wanting to watch this for a while and finally picked it up at Redbox. It was an okay movie. The dialogue was pretty funny at times but I didn't like the style of animation. I'm glad we watched it, but I probably won't see it again. Another thing is, I hated Talia al Ghul's outfits! Seriously, why? No one dresses like that. 

Working on: my cat scarf. I've made so much progress lately. I work on it while in my anthropology class because it is the most boring class ever... Seriously, it's the worst. I'm a pretty slow crocheter but, now that I am working on the body of the scarf it goes by really quickly. I've been going through all of the free patterns on Ravelry looking for my next project already. I really love those big bow ear warmers and they look fairly easy. 

Making: a list of recipes to try for Thanksgiving. I love cooking all year round but now that it's getting cold, I'm craving warm soups and roasted veggies. We are actually having three Thanksgiving meals this year, one with my husband's family, one with mine, and then on another day we are having dinner with our friends. That's a lot of food, but I don't mind :) My usual dish is a veggie stuffing but this year I'll probably end up making a few different things. What's your favorite holiday recipe?

Reading: I'm still reading The Maze Runner. Did anyone feel like it was really similar to The Hunger Games? I'm only halfway through so I guess I'll have to wait and see. Any recommendations for my next read?

Loving: putting up all of our Christmas decorations! On Nov. 1 I broke out the box of ornaments and our table top tree. I couldn't wait! Halloween is my favorite holiday by far but Christmas is a close second. After getting out our decorations I realized that we really don't have much, mostly just ornaments and our stockings. I think after putting up some lights it will really feel like Christmastime.

Excited About: The Arbitrary Scarf Exchange! I have a milk crate full of scarves, but one more can't hurt, right? And plus, now that I'm wearing a scarf every day, it's nice to have some variety. I love snail mail and am so excited to be a part of this swap. I can't wait to find out who my partner is. There is still one more day to sign up so head on over to The Arbitrary Fox for all of the details!

Little Tidbits:
the first snowfall of winter  ♥ season 5 of The Walking Dead ♥ cheese balls ♥ root beer floats ♥ new flannel sheets
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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Winter Wears

Before moving to my current home, I lived in Phoenix for quite a few years. The winters are really mild and I didn't have a need for clothing warmer than a cardigan.  I now live in an area that gets an average of about 100 inches of snow a year and the temperatures are also much colder than what I'm used to. Now that temperatures are in the thirties at night, I've realized that I am woefully unprepared for the cold. Since I am a on a budget, I can't afford to buy a whole new wardrobe to prepare for the coming change in weather. I thought I'd share a couple things I plan on getting to try and transition my wardrobe. 
Winter Wears

1. Fleece tights- I have a huge bin of tights, but most of them are pretty thin. I discovered these fleece lined tights for winter and am very excited to wear them. I ordered two pairs, in black and navy, but received one pair in the wrong size, so I'll have to exchange them. Hopefully they are as warm as they look!
2. Cape- This just looks like it would be so cozy and warm! I can bundle up underneath and I would feel like a fairy tale character while wearing it. 
3. Thermals- I definitely need a top to layer under dresses and cardigans. I do a lot of walking so I'll need layers to keep warm, especially since it's pretty windy here. 
4. Wool Socks- To layer over the tights on really frigid days. I love the look of over the knee socks and these cable knit ones look so cozy.
5. Flannel Shirts- These are cute on their own but I love them layered under a sweater with the collar peeking out. 
6. Longer skirts- Perfect to pair with the above mentioned sweater and flannel combination. 

One thing, that I cannot for the life of me find, are winter shoes. I need something that is practical and can handle a lot of walking through the snow, but still cute. Is this even possible? Everything I'm seeing is covered in fur or very athletic looking, two looks that are just not me. Maybe I can just waterproof a pair of leather booties. Do you have any recommendations? I'd love to hear what you wear in the winter!
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Weekly Tidbits #18

Hi there! I hope you all had a fun and relaxing weekend. Here's a little of what I've been up to this week.
Watching: The Walking Dead Oh my goodness. I am so excited for this season. Since we don't have cable, we weren't planning on watching it until it came on Netflix, but our neighbors invited us to watch it with them. It was a lot of fun, and we made plans to watch it with them on Sundays and take turns bringing dinner. Some shows are just more fun to watch in groups. When Carol and Darryl were reunited, I was so happy! Did any of you tune in for the premier?

Working on: plans for a huge shop update in November. I have to be honest, I am a little disappointed in my progress with my etsy shop. I have so many ideas and just not enough time in the day to create. Between working full time, having more than a full load at school, and homework on top of that, I don't have a whole lot of free time. I'm planning on taking some time each week to just relax with some crafts and try and get some items stockpiled to list next month. (Hopefully announcing it here will make me stick to a deadline!) Do any of you feel like you don't have enough time to do all of the things you want to accomplish?

Making: the first hot cocoa of the season! As much as I love tea, I drink it year round, so it doesn't have a whole lot of seasonal significance. Hot cocoa, however, I really only drink in the winter months. I just had some of the premade cocoa mix laying around, but I would love to come up with a few different recipes. Candy cane would be delicious!

Reading: Maze Runner I have heard a lot of good things about this series and am really excited to get into it. I haven't seen the film yet, and will probably wait until it's out of theaters, but the series has a really interesting concept. If you haven't heard about it, you can read more here.

Loving: Just walking around downtown. My husband and I moved to our town in March and still have a lot of places we've yet to see. This Sunday we went to lunch and afterwards, just walked around and explored all of the little shops. We stopped at a tea bar, and I got the most delicious pumpkin chai latte. There was another blend called "Witch's Brew" but they were out of stock at the time. I'll definitely be back to try it. 
 They brew everything by hand and heat the water to the precise temperature needed. Surprisingly, the tea was not expensive at all. I'd say that Starbucks is probably a little more pricey. And of course, we couldn't resist a stop at the candy shop. My treats of choice were the peanut butter cup and carrot cake truffle. Amazing!

Excited About: the semester ending. Whew, my first semester has been a doozy. I'm picking my classes for the next semester this week and it will be such a relief when I do. I chose my classes before I started my job and my current schedule is not the best for me. I've been able to make both work but it will be nice to plan my classes at more convenient times. 

Little Tidbits: 
the cats being extra snuggly since it's so cold in the evening ♥ all the sunflowers that are blooming everywhere ♥ new toys! (I mean figurines. I swear, I'm an adult.) I got the Donald Tsum and the Bambi pop ♥ American Horror Story c
oming on Netflix ♥ getting my first pumpkin of the season
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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sew Similar #18

Sew Similar #18

As soon as I saw this dress, I fell in love. Seriously, you can throw some polka dots on anything and I'll have to have it. It's by the UK brand Trollied Dolly and you can purchase it online from ModCloth for $84.99 . Unfortunately, there is only one left in stock; with a dress this adorable, that's bound to happen. A great way to get the dress without having to search the depths of the internet, is to sew it yourself! I found a very similar patter, although without the keyhole in the bodice. This pattern has a sweetheart neckline, which would still look great, although, I think I would change the bodice a bit, depending on how low the neckline was to make sure this was still work appropriate.  $39.52 is all you'll have to pay for this handmade dress and accessories. Not only will you save some time searching for this dress, you'll also save quite a bit of money.

Do any of you have a particular print you're drawn to?
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