All set for Aruba!

Mid-June Sean and I are going to hop on one of these:

Stay here for a week:

Lay out here:

and drink these:

Words cannot explain how excited I am for this trip.
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Family pics for Jake, Manda, and Caleb!

Yesterday I played photographer for some friends of ours here in Columbia, Jake and Manda. They have a precious little boy who is growing too fast! {I took some newborn pics of him when he was just a few days old!}
Isn't this pouting face so darling!? He wasn't a fan of the grass...

We sure are going to miss you guys!! I'm so thankful for our friendship!

Ahh...I love this picture of mommy and her sweet little boy!

Thanks for letting me take some pics -- photography is blooming hobby of mine that I hope to learn more about soon.

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LOST cake

Last night we watched the series finale of LOST with friends. To celebrate the occasion, I made the cake below:
It's got all the essentials: Palm trees, beach, broken airplane, key characters, a polar bear and the black smoke!

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Baby legs

I think these baby legs/crawler covers are the cutest things ever! Especially when their little chubby legs peek out at the top! :)
{click on pics for their sources}
They are surprisingly easy to make and make fun baby shower or birthday gifts for little ones! Since I still have a couple of pregnant friends to give gifts to, I wanted to make an attempt at sewing some. I used the tutorial found {here}.

The only supplies you need are:
1. A pair of knee-high socks (I found 3prs/$5 at Wal Mart)
2. Scissors
3. Sewing machine/serger

You basically just make a straight cut at the ankle to form the long part of the leg warmer. From the straight part of the foot of the sock you make a cuff then sew the three layers together. The tutorial linked to above has pics.
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Beachwear Envy

Sean and I are planning a super fun beach getaway to celebrate my graduation and the opening of a new chapter of our life in Fayetteville. {All made possible by a very generous graduation gift!} Nothing is set in stone yet, but I'm not going to let that stop me from being prepared! Here's some cute {and very reasonably priced} beachwear that I hope to pack in my bags to the island.


Fashion Trends & Styles - Polyvore

Items in this set:
Old Navy Womens One-piece ruffle swimsuit, $19

P.S. -- The website I used to make the above collage is AWESOME! It's Polyvore.com. Basically, you can automatically import pictures from any website then drag and drop them into the collage. They give you the HTML code to insert into your blog posts. I'll def. be using this more to show inspiration boards, my decorating thoughts for our new digs, etc.

  P.S.S. -- I'm going home to sew a few projects and will back on the blogging bandwagon in no time.
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I graduated! {again}

This weekend I graduated from grad school -- completing my master in healthcare administration degree. Whew! I'm so thankful to be finished with school!
My family came up for graduation -- here's the whole gang, minus my sister.
My in-laws also made the drive for graduation. It was super fun to have everyone here and have one last 'hurrah' here in Columbia. Now the process of moving is looming over my head. I'm VERY excited to be moving into a new place closer to family, but know that there's a lot of work to do in the next couple of weeks.
Can't wait to learn more about what God has in store for us in Fayetteville!

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The super fun ladies at Kojo Designs featured my summer date dress on Friday! Check out their blog for very creative ideas -- everything from party decor to sewing projects.
I do have another project in the making and look forward to sharing that with you soon! My sewing will likely slow down a bit, as we prepare to make our big move!
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First, I would like to thank....

Why do all award acceptance speeches sounds the same?!
Kimbo West, who writes the blog A Girl and a Glue Gun {such a fun title!}, passed on the sugar doll blogger award to me. Anyone out there in blogland know where this award originated at?

To accept this award I had to: thank the sender {thanks, Kimbo}, pass it on to another blogger and write 10 things about myself. So, here we go

1. I just bought my sewing machine last October.
2. I'm probably the cheapest person you know.
3. Today, I took my last college final ever and will graduate with my masters on Friday.
4. I'm married to the most amazing man I know, Sean.
5. My favorite time of day is when I crawl into bed.
6. I'm not sure what I would do without my iPhone...or CHI.
7. I still have to wear my retainers at night.
8. I have to pop my neck at least 5 times/day to avoid headaches.
9. I've just discovered Honey Bunches of Oats and am in love.
10. I'm an imperfect sinner saved by grace.

How's that for a healthy dose of narcissism?

I'm passing this award on to Suzannah at Adventures in Dressmaking.

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Quick and easy skirt

A few months ago I won a gift certificate for Sew Mama Sew -- I was like a kid in a candy shop! I was on the lookout for super girly fabrics and fell in love with this one {It's Anna Griffin - Isabelle}:
I only purchased 1 1/2 yards of it and have held onto it -- waiting for the perfect project to pop in my mind. Last week I decided to make a skirt out of it -- super easy. I didn't take pictures of the process, but I just found this great tutorial that gives a step-by-step. This project would be great for beginner {and experienced} sewers alike.
You basically start with a rectangle of fabric {1.5ish X your waist measurement}, sew a casing for the elastic, sew a hem for the bottom, then put in the elastic {I used 1in. elastic I got on the cheap at Tuesday Morning}. You could finish this project in 30 mins! I did decide to put pockets in my skirt and used leftover fabric from my last goodwill refashion. Here's a quick how-to for pockets if you're interested.

I scored the super cute tank at Ann Taylor Loft for $5. They have great t's and tanks right now!
Haha...can you tell I live in an apartment complex and am running out of place to take pictures?? Perhaps our upcoming move will provide more photo op scenery. I'm linking this project to:
Between Naps on the Porch , Making the World Cuter, The DIY Show Off, The Persimmon Perch, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, A Soft Place to Land, Today's Creative Blog, Blue Cricket Design, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Remodelaholic, Tatertots and Jello
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Shopping for sewing projects

My favorite part of learning to sew?? I get to shop more! I seriously love shopping. It puts me in a better mood {usually.} Have you ever seen Confessions of a Shopaholic? Although not the best movie ever, I can identify with her desire to get that super cute scarf. That being said...our bank account doesn't have that same desire.

Having the skill to take in an XL skirt, trim up a shirt that's a bit too big or bring up a hem line opens up the shopping possibilities ten fold! Here's a super quick project that would be great for people just learning to sew. I'm talkin' 10 minutes.

I found a skirt in this really fun print in the clearance section of Old Navy -- it was just $13, but was too big. {I'll be honest that even the sale prices at the mall seemed expensive to me b/c I've been used to Goodwill prices, lol}
Put the skirt on and estimate how much needs to be taken in, mark with a pin. Break out the sewing machine, turn the skirt inside out, then sew a straight stitch along both sides of the skirt(securing the beginning and end with a backstitch) then trim the excess.
I know this sounds like a no-brainer -- that's the purpose! Starting with really simple, little projects like this can boost your confidence with sewing and open the doors to more complex projects. My next post will be a skirt I made from 'scratch' -- super simple and another baby step to take for your sewing skills!

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Our interview with Vox Magazine

Sean and I were approached a few weeks ago about being interviewed with a Columbia magazine, Vox, for their upcoming sex and religion issue. Someone I knew in college is an editor there and thought and us when developing their article on abstinence. I'll be honest that we were both pretty hesitant at first -- did we really want to talk about our intimacy in such a public way?
After a little thinking and praying we decided to go for it. We are proud of the fact that we waited until marriage to have sex and were willing to share that with others. I think the article captured our thoughts accurately and was a great experience for us as a couple. Maybe someone will read it and gain an understanding or appreciation for abstinence they didn't have before.
To read the article online, {click here}. It's also in Vox Magazine, the issue is out today.
{photo courtesy of Alexandria Browning from Vox}
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Trendy blog award

Ana, the writer of Get Craftin', passed along a Trendy Blog Award to me! You can visit her blog by clicking her button below.
I'm new to all of this, but here's my shot at passing it along to others who inspire my crafting.
The award started over at the Trendy Treehouse. She listed 10 of her favorite blogs, then each of those list their favs, etc., etc. Soo...here are 10 blogs worth your time:
1. Grosgrain
2. Blue Cricket Design
3. Knock-off-wood
4. Centsational girl
5. Kojo Designs
6. Made
7. Sew4Home
8. Noodlehead
9. Somewhat Simple
10. Design Sponge
Hmmm...not sure if I did that the way it's supposed to...those are all pretty big blogs. They are where I get much of my inspiration from, though, so I guess that's the purpose.
p.s. I'm really diggin' my new layout. Any thoughts or suggestions??
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Summer date dress

I seriously don't know what to do with myself when I'm taking the before pictures, lol. My husband and I can hardly keep a straight face. {please focus on the dress and not the extremely messy home in the back ground...I promise I cleaned that up yesterday!}

My trip to the local Goodwill turned up this beauty. {I really wish it was easier to express sarcasm by typing} What made me pick this up? Well...it was only $4, I liked the color and it had a lot of fabric to it.

I cut off that bodice, then used the skirt fabric to make this dress. It's perfect for summer date nights or a shopping trip out with the girls!

My husband, Sean, says this is his favorite. I think it might be my new favorite one, too...
I'm excited to debut this one out-and-about soon!
I'm linking this project to:
Between Naps on the Porch , Making the World Cuter, The DIY Show Off, The Persimmon Perch, Skip to My Lou, Keeping it Simple, A Soft Place to Land, Today's Creative Blog, Blue Cricket Design, Fireflies and Jellybeans, Beyond the Picket Fence, Remodelaholic, Tatertots and Jello

My tips for refashions

Thanks for the many sweet and kind comments you have left recently! Words of affirmation is definitely a love language of mine, so it's very encouraging to hear your positive feedback.

Here are some tips and tricks for sewing/creating a refashion -

1. Visit Goodwill/garage sales/thrift stores frequently. You would be surprised how often their inventory turns over.

2. Look for larger items -- they give you more fabric to cut up and work with. Also, there tends to be more sales on bigger items {buy an XXL skirt, for example, then sew it down to size. You the extra fabric for another project, like a headband or belt}

3. Check out other websites for inspiration. I personally like ModCloth.com. This might give you an idea for a shape of dress/skirt/whatev to make or color combinations you fancy right now.

4. I don't use patterns b/c I don't like working with that tissue paper. Instead, just take a few minutes before you cut to think about the garment you're making. Sort of deconstruct it in your head. What shapes make up the bodice? Is the skirt in panels or one piece? Sometimes sketching it out on a piece of paper can help visualize it.

5. My last tip is to try not to go too fast. I'm pretty impatient {real designers would probably scoff at my poor technique}, but I find that if I try to rush things I usually mess up {PTL for my seam ripper.} You should feel comfortable putting down a project for a day or two to give your mind rest.
I've got a great refashion to share with you later today -- I just need to take the
'after' pics.


Project highlighted on Blue Cricket Design

I was featured green

Another blog I love to read, Blue Cricket Design, picked my most recent dress refashion as a project to highlight! Click {here} to see the post. I'm working on a couple of other projects this weekend -- can't wait to share them with you!