Sunday, March 28, 2010

I came across this wonderful tutorial on how to make a toddler dress out of a men's dress shirt. I managed to make two of them this weekend for each of my friends' daughters.

The first dress is for a friend who has an 8 month old. Both her and her husband graduated from Ohio State and are both employed by the University. Needless to say they are HUGE Buckeye fans. When I saw this shirt on the rack at Goodwill I knew it would be perfect their daughter.

I did the trim and decoration at the top out of scarlet and grey grosgain ribbon. As you can see in the picture, the front of the men's dress shirt became the back of the dress. The construction of the dress was fairly easily. The trims were a bit more difficult.

The second dress is for another beautiful toddler who is almost 2 years old. She's very much a girly-girl so I knew this blue, purple, and grey pinstripe shirt would make an adorable dress. I even added a little pocket and buttons on the straps. I trimmed this dress with satin blanket trim. Not my favorite accessory to work with, but it came out pretty cute. I could really use some advice on how to finish it off without it fraying! I think I did a decent job but it could look better.

Now here's to hoping that both dresses fit!

Until next time...

Friday, March 26, 2010


Hurry up 5:00! We don't really have any BIG plans this weekend, but that doesn't mean I don't want the weekend to come quickly.

Jeff and I are headed to the Columbus Pet Expo this weekend. I've already been told that we are NOT bringing home another cat. So I asked, "how about a Pug?" and again I was told "no". However, we will be purusing pet vendors, looking for free samples, and possibly purchasing a cat toy, or two. I also hope to see even crazier pet and cat owners than myself so that I can be reassured I have not yet become a "crazy cat lady".

I'm also hoping to do some sewing this weekend. On the agenda, this adorable shirt dress for two friends and their adorable toddler and 8 month old:

You can find the tutorial to make one yourself, here. I'll post pictures this weekend to show you how they turned out.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Until next time...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Weight Loss Journey

I read a friend's blog today and could 100% relate to what she was saying. Her post inspired my post. You may or may not know about my struggle with weight. I thought I'd take time to tell everyone a little bit about my weight loss journey.

The summer before college most people will warn an incoming freshman of the dreaded "Freshman 15" -- the fifteen pounds that many people gain their first year in school.

Apparently I took the "Freshman 15" as a challenge and decided to gain the "Freshman 30". With all the late-night eating of an entire pizza by myself snacking, food available whenever you wanted, and the stress from a big life adjustment, I guess my weight decided to go with the flow. It also didn't help to go from being an incredibly active, athletic, on-the-go high school student to a sleeping, lazy, academically focused college freshman.

Here are a couple of pictures of Jeff and I towards the end of our time at BGSU:

(please ingore my terrible sunburn!)

At my heaviest I weighed 159.6 lbs and on my 5'2" frame, that's a lot of weight.

In May 2007, Jeff proposed and I vowed to get my weight under control before walking down the aisle. I got serious about it in January 2008 and joined Weight Watchers (WW). I wanted to lose 30 lbs before I got married that November. My goal weight for my wedding day was to be 128 lbs.

Losing weight is NEVER easy! Jeff and I both made a committment to do WW (Jeff did it at home while I went to the meetings, paid the big bucks, weighed in, etc). Over the next 9 months I lost 30 lbs. Not only did I manage to keep off the weight until my wedding day but I've managed to keep 25 lbs of it off for over 1.5 years.

I learned many things along the way.

  1. Learn to love water! I gave up all regular soda and juice. Water is my main drink now and I have diet soda about 3x a week.
  2. Don't deprive yourself of things you REALLY want. This can be a complete trainwreck. If deprive yourself of things you'll go crazy when you do get them and eat out of control. I ate something chocolate EVERY DAY and still lost 30 lbs. Did I eat an entire Snickers Bar every day? No. But I found ways to incorporate it in my diet and it worked.
  3. You will have failures. You won't always be perfect. There were plenty of weeks when I either gained weight, maintained weight, or didn't lose as much as I thought I should. In fact, my first week on WW I only lost 0.8 lbs (when most people lose 3+lbs). You can't get discouraged. You have to accept the facts and move on. Every meal is a chance to make the right decisions and start new.
  4. You have to change your food staples. 2% milk became skim milk; white rice became brown rice; margerine became spray butter; full fat salad dressing became light/fat free/spritzers; Dairy Queen twice a week became a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich if I had enough points left. And this is how our life remains today.
  5. Exercise became a regular part of my routine. While on WW, I was exercising about 4-5x a week. This included cardio and weight lifting. I've backed off a bit on the intensity of my workouts but I still try to get to the gym about 3x a week.

Today, Jeff and I are both healthier and happier. We have more energy. We enjoy cooking at home. We're working on trying not to "love each other" with food. I label this as a "journey" because it's never really over. It takes complete dedication to make this kind of lifestyle change. Am I still hitting bumps in the road? You bet, but I'm doing my best to keep my "journey" a successful one.

Until next time...


Sunday, March 21, 2010

What's for dinner tonight?


Chicken Ranch Enchiladas

Stolen (w/ love and thanks) from Annie's Eats blog.

They're in the oven right now. I'll let you know how they turn out soon!

UPDATE: They were delicious! I made a few changes including adding tomatoes to the sour cream, ranch and chicken mixture. I also covered the rolled enchiladas with cheese and salsa before going in the oven. An easy recipe if you need a last minute meal idea.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Honeymooners Reunite

Last night, Jeff and I made a 2.5 hour drive to Norwalk to have dinner with a couple we met on our Honeymoon over a year ago. Crystal and Kyle (C&K) were also on their honeymoon when we met them last November on board our Caribbean cruise. We had a great time on our honeymoon but I truly believe it was 10x better because we met C&K. We hung out with them for a majority of the trip, eating dinner together, playing trivia nights together, and who can forget the ever-embarassing "Adult Silly Pool Games" fiasco! Too much fun.

Unfortunately, C&K live just outside of Toronto, so it's very difficult to make our way up to see them. On top of that, they just had a baby in December! So when Crystal sent me a Facebook message telling me they'd be in Sandusky at a water resort on a mini-vaca, I jumped at the chance to see them again. We worked it out and decided to meet them for dinner in Norwalk.

We had a great time with them last night. It was wonderful to meet Baby C. She's an adorable and happy infant. I was able to pawn off give C and Baby C. some of the adorable baby items I have been sewing. All in all, we just got to catch up on life.

Seeing old friends does something to renew the soul just a bit, don't you think?

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What's blog-worthy?

I've been struggling lately with the concept of posting truly "blog-worthy" content. I know the whole idea of having a blog is to post about whatever you want, but do you really care what I had for dinner last night, or who I talked to on the way home from work, or how Jeff and I's progress has been in beating Lego Batman for Wii? (Okay, maybe you care about the last one.)

I really love all the blogs I follow. Everyone seems so interesting. Many of the blogs I follow also have quirky or fun things they do weekly. Maybe I just haven't found my blogging niche yet.

As long as people keep leaving comments, I'll keep blogging. I still have my cats, and I'm still learning to sew, and we can't forget about the potential new house! Maybe it's just nothing is blog-worthy right now.

Oh the struggles of a beginning blogger...... :)

Until next time...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Adventures in Sewing

If you look a few posts below, you'll notice that I had picked out a purse pattern from the Little Birdie Secrets blog that I wanted to attempt. Here is my version.

I'm also planning to make this purse in blue with a bright yellow lining. All in all, it was more difficult than most things I've been sewing (burp cloths, bibs, plastic bag holders) but not so difficult that I didn't think I could finish it. I definitely did my share of ripping and re-sewing seams. And while it isn't perfect, it's pretty darn cute and has a lot of character. It'll make a great spring/summer bag for going out.

On a sweeter note, tomorrow is the 3rd CupcakeCampColumbus down at North Market. Jeff and I are both very excited to go. We're going with three friends and I know a ton more people who are going. It should be a ton of fun! (And by "ton" I mean that's how much I'll weigh when we're done.) Pictures to come!

Until next time....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Forgot to tell you about the house!

I realized that I never posted about our potential (and hopeful) new house. Jeff and I put an offer on a house about 2 weeks ago. It is a bank short sale meaning that the seller is trying to sell the house before it goes into foreclosure. The seller still takes a hit on their credit, but not as bad as they would if it went into foreclosure. A short sale also means that the bank is a third party involved in the sale. Not only do the buyers and sellers have to come to an agreement on the sale price, but the bank has to approve the offers as well.

Bank approval on short sales can take anywhere from 6 weeks to a few months. Unfortunately the banks are overrun with short sales and foreclosures and there are usually only one or two people processing ALL of the bank's short sales and foreclosures. So you can understand why this process can take so long. What's good about it is that we need the process to take at least 6 weeks because of the current lease on our apartment until June.

This house (I refuse to say "our house" for jinxing reasons) is everything we were looking for. It's HUGE, meaning that when Jeff and I are ready to start a family, we can still live in this house and not feel like we're growing out of it. The kitchen is absolutely gorgeous and so spacious! I know our parents will be jealous of our counter and cupboard space. It has a loft, beautiful vaulted ceilings and a full basement.

What do we hate about it? The carpet. You'll see what I mean in the pictures below, but it'll be a real struggle to decorate with teal/jade carpet. We can't afford to replace it this year, and it's in very good condition, so I'll be taking any and all opinions on design and decoration.

Here are the pics...