Hey Shorty

Among the plethora of hand-me-down maternity garb I was given were some snazzy white bermudas…only they took their name pretty seriously…apr282012 002 
…in that they were close to the size of Bermuda on mwah.

After much deliberation, I decided to tighten them up a little by putting an extra seam down the side.  You see, taking in the inside of the legs just wouldn’t remedy the loose situation but taking in the existing seams meant working with/eliminating the pockets I liked having.  So, first I pinned them, making room for my new seam directly in between the existing one and the back pockets,apr282012 006

and then sewed to get these more fitted shorts:apr282012 003

I like the stripe detail created just by sewing in an extra seam.  :)apr282012 007

As for the house and our diy crazed minds, we’ve got nothing going on but a little bit of a mess.
We’ve managed to start the process of converging the guest bedroom and office to make way for the nursery during our spare time.  So, right now it looks like a twister blew in a storm of baby stuff in one room:
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and just a plain ‘ole case of unorganization in the other.apr282012 005

So, I apologize for the lack of interesting posts lately but am afraid to say that I might be a boring blogger for the next couple of months at which point the twins will come and liven things up a little.  I’ve got a ton of projects on the horizon but they’re all low on the priority list after de-cluttering and organizing the craziness we’ve got going on in the two rooms above.  However, I will keep on keepin’ on with the belly bump posts so you can continue to watch the twins grow on the inside.  :)

Have a great Saturday everyone!  I’m off to tackle the clutter!

Twins: 26 Weeks

Well, the belt worn in the above pic is actually a "former" hip belt...it's now graduated to a new level, quite literally, that of "waist belt" courtesy of an ever-expanding rib cage and midsection...which is actually courtesy of the two twinlets.
Other than that, not much has changed except for the excelling stretching and enlargement of the belly and babes.  I am really and truly blessed to feel pretty darn good at this point.  :)

Just for kicks, here's another timed shot:
It actually isn't too too bad and you wouldn't know unless I told you but as I was taking it a vehicle carrying real people was passing by and I took my eyes off the lens for a split second to stare at them and think "they must think I'm an idiot, standing in my driveway whilst holding my bulging midsection and smiling at my car"...obviously my eyes didn't make it back to their focal point before the timer went off and the camera shot.  Yes, the point and shoot itself was resting on the hood of the new Twinmobile, unknown to any passersby.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
Speaking of the new money hog, here's she/he is (I'll have to convene with Anthony on that one):
Regardless of my frugality, I'm so excited to have it and to put some miles on it with two baby girls in tow.  It's what I'd like to think of as a diy buy because we got it for $4000 less than it's Kelly Blue Book value all because it was a little dirty inside (which I already took care of courtesy of a toothbrush, a rag, Pinesol, and some Resolve) and had these two unflattering stripe decals (one red, one silver) along each side which we peeled off at the dealer before we bought it.  We walked away with a steal of a deal, so much so that I actually felt like we were cheating the dealer...but not bad enough.  :)  I guess the main point is that when you know the Big Guy, He pours down His blessings even in the form of SUVs.  :)

Over and out!  Hope to see you Saturday!

Money, Money, Money

Sorry peeps!  No interesting post today.  I had all the plans to write one up for ya but bright and early this morn we went SUV shopping (twins + Toyota Corolla = impossible), found an SUV, and drove 'er home and now I'm completely brain dead after searching, searching, talking, bargaining, and finally writing a big 'ole check to top it all off.  Frugal Franny here gets very overwhelmed spending this kind of money.  I even opened my mailbox to reveal a glossy, new Better Homes and Gardens awaiting me when we got home but upon opening it and seeing all of it's glorious inspiration, got nauseous thinking about what that inspiration could make me wanna buy...so anyway, you get the picture.  I just can't think right now so I can't write.  I will say though that we've got a sweet ride that we scored an excellent deal on - Merry Christmas twins - in our driveway that I'm quite happy about but that has given me a little sticker shock/bank account wound which will hopefully pass once I lay my curly head down on my satin pillow tonight.  :)  Adios!   

Twins: 25 Weeks

25 weeks Not much to say but lots to show.  Even though the twins are 25 weeks old (technically it’s been 23 weeks since conception), big momma is measuring in at 30-31 weeks!  I still look in the mirror upon passing though and stare in awe and wonder at the belly they’re giving me…I’m so thankful to have them, so thankful they’re healthy and growing, and so thankful for the God who’s blessed us with two little souls.  :)
As far as fashion and pregnancy go these days, I’m getting my creativity on and it’s working out quite well.  My “new” dress in the shot above is actually a skirt I found while scavenging with my sis five years ago at a thrift store which I pulled up waist high.  I’ve actually been meaning to hem it up forever but turns out it works great as a dress at the moment!  The under shirt is a simple white top (Charlotte Russe) I’ve had since college and the whole shebang is cinched together with a thrifted boys leather belt (such a great alternative to over-priced pieces of plastic they call waist belts) I found for 75 cents.  :) 
maternity dress  
I’ll be sure to post some more maternity outfits I’ve concocted in the past week soon!  My sewing machine has been on my dining room table getting some use and I love it!
.           .           .
Now for the grand finale:  the twins latest photo shoot.  We had an ultrasound this morning showing our little morning glories in all their cuteness.  Finally, they let us get a glimpse of their profiles:25 week ultrasound 00225 week ultrasound 005  They weigh a pound and half each and are both head down at the moment…in which position they’ll hopefully stay until d-day.  Towards the end of the scan they were kicking each other and I was hoping and praying it was playful…so funny to watch.  We also made sure to have the tech do a discount double check on the feminine anatomy just to make sure we weren’t in for any surprises at birth and once again, there’s no mistaking we’ve got two little princesses in there.  :)
I’ll leave y’all with one last picture.  Twin B was very interested in having her pictures taken today and, scary though it kind-of looks, she made sure to look right at the camera, although whether or not she was mouthing “cheese” is debatable:25 week ultrasound 007
Have a great day!

Take It In

And pull your hair out while you’re at it.  That’s how I felt while trying to take in some maternity tees I was given that just didn’t fit my frame.  I had this great plan to resize all these hand-me-down pregnancy tees I was given according to the directions on how to take in a regular tee I found here via Pinterest.  Well, I hate to divulge the obvious (because apparently it wasn’t obvious to me…naive or just plain hard-headed, I don’t know) but previously worn maternity t-shirts (or maybe just maternity t-shirts in general) have more fabric in front than in back to accommodate baby, or they’re just plain stretched out in front which naturally happens…duh.  So this method of simply using a tee you like as a stencil for the tee you plan to sew in doesn’t quite work and therefore may cause you to want to poke your eyes out with pins.

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So, I finally scrapped that plan and started anew.  And, I’m alive and well, eyes and hair intact, to tell you that I finally figured it out and my wardrobe is happily expanding.
Here’s how it went down.  First things first, I hate maternity shirts with ruching on the side.  I feel like they make your widest part, already wider due to baby, appear even wider.  So, I was bound and determined to try and remove them without harming the tee I was working on.  I was happy to find out that all I really had to do was take a seam ripper to the elastic making the ruching and that was that.

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Yay!  Easy as pie.  I threw it in the wash to smooth out the wrinkles left behind, tried it on, and…
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still a little frumpy.  So, armed with a renewed motivation to try again, I tried a new approach.
Instead of using an existing fitted tee as a template, I worked on one side first, then the other.  First, I laid the tee out flat along the first side I’d be working on.
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Side Note:  See how when the right side is laid out flat, you can’t even see the left seam?  That’s what cause me so much distress in the beginning.  You can’t lay the tee out flat with both side seams perfectly aligned without having extra fabric in the middle to contend with.

Then I figured out much I wanted to take my tee in by making marks all the way up the side.  In this case, I wanted to take two inches off each side so I made marks at one inch all the way up the side of the shirt.
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When I got to the sleeve, I simply continued making my one inch marks but then connected them with my marker just so I’d have a guiding line to sew over.
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After that, I pinned the sides together to make sure they wouldn’t move while sewing.
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Foot pressed and hands guiding, I sewed a straight stitch along my dotted line guide, making sure to reinforce my stitches at the top and bottom by reversing my machine and sewing a few stitches back and then forward again.
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Then, I moved to the next side and followed the same process.  For each side, I made sure to start my sewing at the bottom of the shirt so I could make sure the sides lined up perfectly.  Next, I took a deep breath and tried the shirt on.  It worked!  After jumping for joy, I used my pinking shears to cut off the excess fabric.
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Here’s what the tee looks like now:

Happy as a gopher on a spring day, I moved on to the dreaded tee I had previously tried and failed on, used this same technique and took it from this:
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to this:
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Easy peasy, especially for a semi-beginner seamstress like me.  I’ve got a pile of maternity tees about a foot high just waiting for a similar fate.  In between tees though, I’ve explored and conquered taking in a couple of pairs of maternity shorts which I’ll share soon.

It’s such a great feeling to know that looking cute during pregnancy doesn’t have to cost a lot, especially when you’ve got great friends who gladly pass on their old maternity wear to you AND you’ve got a sewing machine and little motivation to use it.  Rest assured, as I am, that as long as I can reach the sewing machine (at least another month hopefully), that I won’t be lacking as far as maternity clothing goes.  :)

Have a great weekend!

Twins: 24 Weeks

I took full advantage of the mix and match fad at the beach over Easter by putting together my new maternity swimsuit consisting of green bottoms (belonging to a green tankini that obviously will not work at the moment) and a black tube swim top borrowed from my sis covered by a "tankini" top - a $5 microfiber tank from Charlotte Russe purchased solely to be my swim top for the rest of the summer after which it will probably be so stretched out that the trash can will see it next...or the next summer pregnancy.  :)

Onto more important things though...I got to see my sister's little girl, Claire, for the first time this Easter weekend.  I could not get enough of her.  Those cheeks.  Those huge, blue eyes.  The wispy blonde hair that curls in the back.  How she screams loud enough for neighbors a mile away to hear her when she's happy.  The way she holds her blankie up to her face and mouth when you put her to sleep in her crib.  And best of all, her beaming smile that shows her pearly whites peeking out underneath those rosy lips.  How I wish she, my sister, and her hubs lived closer.       

It was such a great Easter gift to be able to make the drive to see them along with seeing my mom and brother.  There was lots of reminicing, laughs (a few times when I was sure that I had smashed the twins with my abs from laughing so hard), candy (Cadbury cream eggs...mmmmm), and probably more dessert than food because that's how we roll.  :)  Such a great way to celebrate the life we've been given over the most holy weekend of the year.  Thank you Jesus!

Kitchen? Painted.

apr72012 001apr72012 002apr72012 003   Yes sir, this is what I walk into every morning nowadays, usually to scope out my first breakfast and plan for my second, third, and fourth.  No, it’s not done in the full sense of the word, but the hardest part – painting the cabinets – is.  We have yet to hang the new over-the-range microwave, build the shelf above it, and install a subway tile backsplash until we call it quits with our mini-reno.  Then of course I’ve got a few little things to do to keep me busy until Twin A and B come like taking some paint to a runner that will anchor the floor and hanging a picture collage on the wall between the dining area and the kitchen.  All in slow pregnancy time my friends. 

However, while waiting for Anthony to finish a couple of grad classes so we (more like he and a strong friend) can install the microwave, I’ve been taking advantage of the sweet southern weather and spending a good amount of time outside lounging and even putting in a little sweat equity.  As I mentioned in the twins 23 week post, I had enough energy to sustain a small army last week so I used some of it to improve our love-lacking landscaping.  In particular, one of the beds in the front of our house was looking a little shabby.  You might remember that a few years ago we overhauled our curb appeal, taking it from drab to fab, except since then, a couple of plants we chose had to be replaced.  I was in charge of buying the replacements last year and thought I scored a really good deal when I got a few plants for under five bucks.  So, I planted ‘em, thought they looked good (they always look good at the store) but this year, they grew back looking like weeds.  I should’ve taken a picture but I didn’t.  What I did do was, armed with a little more cash and sense, grabbed a few hibiscus (which are perennials down here) and a few annuals and went to work.

First, I set them in their soon-to-be spots just to make sure I got the spacing right:
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And then I defied the probable wonderment of every passer-by thinking “look, it’s a pregnant lady with a shovel!” and dug, dug, dug until I got here:
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All of the landscaped beds around our casa need a new layer of pine straw (which we use as mulch down here) and some grass seed needs to be sown throughout the yard, but at least our curb appeal isn’t a ‘lack of’ anymore.  And, if I've made the right plant decisions, the only tweaking of landscaped beds we should have to do in the following years is adding some annuals and maybe pine straw.  Fingers crossed. 

 Anyway, I’ve got a rather long list of to-do’s today before Easter that includes making some nips and tucks on some maternity wear, basking in the sun, and possibly some spray paint, so off I go.  I need to keep my mind busy to improve my mood – I found out last night, after finally doing our taxes, that the federal government was bound and determined to swoop in on my parade and take every last cent we had saved up for a new dslr camera.  Lovely.  Sometimes it’s harder to live on a budget than others but, we’ve got blessings galore and for these I am thankful.  :)

  I hope to get some more substantial Saturday posts in the form of tutorials and such on this here blog soon so stay close!  Oh yes, and most importantly, have an incredible Easter!  Thank you Lord Jesus for the sacrifice you made on the cross for us, that we might live and one day be united with you!

Twins: 23 Weeks

Not sure what I ate or what got into me this week but I literally felt like I could conquer the world - every square foot of my house is immaculate, I tackled the twins future room and consolidated everything they currently own into their closet, completely redid an entire landscape bed in front of our house (all by myself), took up pages in my "thoughts and ideas" sketch book writing and drawing diy ideas and plans, and still had energy left to run 10 miles (which I didn't do, but just sayin') despite the lack of sleep I'm getting due to the awkward belly.  Here's to hoping week 24 will bring me the same crazy energy cause I've got lots on my to-do list!  :)