If It Floods, I’ll Be In Black

Happy Monday errrbody!  How was your weekend?  Ours was nice and relaxing which is awesome, but we didn’t get anything done that we wanted to, like the ottoman (but I did get foam for it).  A story some or all of you are all too familiar with, huh?  But, it’s ok.  All in good time. 

So, before I get to the good stuff, let’s talk about my computer.  It literally (and I mean the for real “literally”…not just throwing that word out there on this one) takes my computer (Anthony’s college laptop) five minutes to start and reach the home screen whereupon it takes it another five minutes to connect with our camera, read the pictures, download the ones I want, and move them to where I want them.  A few minutes later, it’s finally pulled up Windows Live Writer so I can start putting my thoughts down on screen while I’m wrestling with it to open the internet (it takes at least five clicks into the icon, opening and closing until it decides there’s really no “error in opening the internet”.)  By that time I’ve just lost the will to bother after waiting for eternity to pass and naptime is slowly slipping away.  That’s the only time these days that I can open it up because it’s battery is beyond dead and it only lights up when plugged in but can’t be plugged in when the girls are up because they take the long, black cord for a toy and yadda, yadda, yadda…    Here’s hoping SANTA brings me a brand new laptop for Jesus’ birthday…pretty please ‘Ole Red Suit, pretty please!  So, coming full circle and back to the point of this complaining rant, can anyone recommend a good laptop?  Something you use and has treated you well? I’m a die-hard consumer reports reader so I’ll be checking them out too but what do you use and do you like it?  I’m a simple person and don’t need lots of bells and whistles.  Just something that let’s me type away and go online and that sort of thing.  Our budget is $500, no more and preferably less.  Spill the technical deets and help a girl out!

Ok, now that that’s off my chest and onto yours…I have this large pile of maternity clothing waiting in my alterations pile and with only seven weeks left until baby boy makes his debut, I realized this past week that maybe I should get on the ball and pull out the sewing machine.  I’m going to go all crazy (and probably curse myself later) and aim to get one piece done per day.  I’ve already got four finished pieces in my stash thanks to a little extra me time this past week so really that shouldn’t be too hard.  So, pardon the temporary deviation from home DIY as I plow through some fashion DIY. 

A pair of black crops are the first to get some tucking.  I had a split-second break down a couple of weeks ago trying to find something decent and dressy enough to wear to church.  My legs hadn’t seen a razor in a couple of weeks (don’t tell me I’m not the only one) so a dress was out of the question.  I realized I had zero pairs of maternity dress pants and my black belly band is MIA at the moment…not to mention that I’m carrying really low so belly banding any of my nonpregnancy pants is almost impossible these days lest I rip through a zipper.  So, while Anthony was home with the girls this past week I went thrifting and found a few pairs of maternity dress pants to alter.

These are from Motherhood Maternity and they’re uber stretchy and full panel.  Here’s what they looked like on pot belly here before the alter(c)ation:

They fit me until about mid-thigh, where they went all boot leg crop on me.  I used the same technique I used to take in these boot legs.  Since I only had to take in the legs, there wasn’t any messing with the panel or anything.  Here’s what they look like now:
I paired them with a maternity cowl neck, a black blazer, some faux suede pumps (all Target), a squint, and a hunch to my left for Mass yesterday morning.  And I don’t know why my hair look so dark in this picture but did you notice I cut two inches off it?  No?  It’s ok, my hubs didn’t either.  Long is long is long, I guess. 

I actually wasn’t thrilled with how they turned out in the minutes after I got up from my sewing machine and tried them on.  The stretchiness kind of makes them feel cheap to me but after putting them on again yesterday morning before mass my heart was changed.  They’re the comfiest maternity pants I now own and I’ve fallen in love with them.  I put together a few other outfits with them for future reference when I’m crying on the closet floor with nothing to wear in the coming weeks:
Tunic/Dress (?):  Hand-me-down from me seesta
Boots:  Target (If you have slim calves like me, check out Target’s boots!  They’ve got a few pairs that aren’t as wide as most.)

Umm, maybe I’m the last to know but did you know that if you wear a sweater (or sweater vest…whatev) over an UNBUTTONED, non pregnancy button down, it totally works?!  Needless to say, the button down below is only buttoned at zee bust and hanging wiiiide open over the belly…but you’d never know, would you? 
Crazy.  Oh and I know, I really, really need to take those buttons off the sweater vest asap (should I just delete them period or replace them with some gold somethings?).  Either way, it’s from Gabriel Brothers and the blur is Cecilia emerging from a closet raid:

All of the impeccable photos in this post are courtesy of i. Phone.  It never fails to capture.  :)

Anyway, I’ve got some shorts, two dresses, and a plaid number ready to be blogged so here’s hoping I can crank out a few posts this week!  Stay tuned!!

Things 1 & 2 + A Tutu-rial

We went cliche for Halloween this year, donning the girls in Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes.  Who better to pull that one off than twins though, right?  And then, as pregnancy would have it, I got sick halfway through trick or treating/walking around a friend’s neighborhood so we didn’t get to take any pictures on that night, plus it was dark and Thing 1 just wanted to walk it out while her counterpart was happy in the stroller much of the time.  So, the other day I dressed them back up and we went out back for a little Halloween photo shoot.

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The wigs go with two red, flannel Thing 1 and Thing 2 jumpsuits (thank you Cindi!) but giving that it was 70 degrees on Halloween night down here in LA (Lower Alabama as I’ve come to find out), we skipped out on those and went with tees my mom found for the girls at a consignment store and some leggings.

I think we got close enough to the real mischief-makers, don’t you?
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(Image from here.)

Except I added the tutus and headbands - I forgot the headbands on Halloween but I thought both were a cute feminine touch, no?tutu 033

As for the tutus, I made them in the few days before Halloween and they’re seriously the easiest dress-up item to make…no sewing required.  (You might remember I made this little tutu last year, but these are even easier than that one!)  I got the instructions off the vortex we all know as Pinterest from a few different sources, all the same idea.  Here’s how to do it:

First, you’ll need a ribbon to tie around the waist.  I used some cotton twill ribbon I had laying around.  I cut each 12 inches longer (six inches on each end) than the girls waist measurements to allow for tying and adding to later, however, I should’ve cut them even longer – 24 inches + – because I feel like the end strings are too short now to be added to.   I also used some OK To Wash It fabric adhesive (found at Walmart or any craft store) on the ends to make sure they didn’t fray and let them dry overnight.

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After the ribbon was set, I grabbed the tulle.  I bought eight yards of tulle in Peacock at Hancock Fabrics, four yards for each tutu ($1 per yard on sale).  The tulle was folded into fourths off the bolt so I slipped a scissors down each fold to make four large sheets.  Then I cut those sheets into smaller strips about 2 – 3 inches wide.  No measuring needed, just wing it.  :)  (Update:  My household (kinda like a sorority) sista Jerilyn told me you can buy tulle ribbon which would make this part a little easier by eliminating most of the tedious cutting!)

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Next up, tying the tulle to the waist ribbon.  I found that tying each end of your ribbon to something stationary helped the process rather than trying to tie tulle to a limp ribbon,  hence the kitchen cabinet photo bomb.  So, I grabbed two strips together,
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made a V shape/folded them in half behind the ribbon,
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and pulled the two ends up over the front of the ribbon and through the hole made by the tulle at the top, making a knot.tutu 011

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Then, while the tulle knot was still a little loose, I slid it over to where I had made the other tulle knots,tutu 013

and pulled to tighten it.  (Be careful when pulling tight!  Tulle is tough but can rip if you pull too hard!) tutu 014

Fold, loop, slide, and tighten over and over and you’ve got yourself a bonified tutu!  So easy!  It probably took me 10 minutes to get the tulle on each.

Awhile back I used the same process to make the girls some pink tutus for a photo shoot we never got around to (still on the list).  Here’s C modeling one right after I finished it (plus a matching tulle flower to be attached to a headband – get that tutorial here):
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I mentioned above that you can add to these tutus.  All you have to do is buy matching tulle (or use extra if you have it) and add to the allowance you left on the ribbon ends as baby girl grows.  And the tulle options are ENDLESS!  You can do multi-colored by alternating different colored strips, sparkled…heck, you can even do this with some awesome patterned fabric cut into strips!  Pretty much anything goes!  Make them short or make a huge ball gown tutu if you fancy it!  So, so fun! 

Per the usual, if I didn’t explain something well enough, give me a holler or leave a comment and I’ll get right back at cha!  Otherwise, I leave you with some more outtakes of the Things themselves.  Have a great week!

tutu 023  tutu 025 tutu 026  tutu 030 tutu 031 tutu 032tutu 028

A Temporary Fix

You know Target?  You know when you walk in and you just have to walk past the women’s clothing section to see what amazing pieces they have out at the moment because they never fail in that dept?  You know when you really, really want to just spend your life’s savings to buy up the whole section because everything is so dang trendy and the prices are way under J. Crew?  That’s my story line every.single.time I walk in to the bulls’ eye.  So one of those times this summer my eyes spied the cutest pink and orange color block top but I did the usual take-a-deep-breath-and-keep-moving and kept on going.  Well, a month or so ago I was pilfering through the clearance racks (per my usual as well) and spotted it.  The only one left…XXL…$5…all mine.  I’m no stranger to shrinking things with my sewing machine so this shouldn’t surprise anybody.  Here ‘tis fresh off the rack and out of my alterations pile:   afterlight
(The party’s color-blocking’s in the back…you’ll see.)

This alteration is a wee bit different from my others though.  It’s only a temporary one.  Being preggo and all, it obviously makes no sense to take this top in and then not be able to wear it.  My solution?  Sew a straight stitch a couple of inches in at the bottom of each armhole and only a few inches down.  The dotted line below shows where exactly I stitched.  pinkorgtootoo 001
Once on, there was a large flap of fabric under my arm but by just folding it back, you’d be none the wiser.  I almost put a stitch in to hold it there but after wearing it around the house for awhile it stayed put, eliminating the need.

Those few inches of stitching gave me a top that fit up top and accommodated the growing belly.  And I’m a sucker for pleats so the little ones that were created on each side just made the top 10x cuter.
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After baby boy has arrived I can always just rip out the stitches I sewed in and take the shirt in all the way down so it’s a little more fitted, but still flowy.
For now though, I’m relishing it, the bright colors and the room it gives baby to grow.

[I realized yesterday after my umpteenth self-timed photo sesh that I really need to replace the self-timer for the husband, running commentary and all.  :)  It’s nice how you can get a detailed shot of our fence as the camera focuses in on that but blurry ‘after’ shots just aren’t going to cut it anymore…sorry about them.]


I finished this top just in time for Mass yesterday so here’s how I wore it to see the Big Guy, minus the scarf because it was sweltering when I stepped out of the house.  I really, really wanted to pair it with some black boots too but sometimes comfort takes precedence and I really didn’t want to be sliding around with pools of sweat in the bottoms of my cute boots.  :)

Outfit details:
Scarf:  Joyce Leslie (thanks Momma)
Top:  Target (altered)
Blazer:  Target (altered)
Polka Dots:  Target via Dirt Cheap (altered and dotted)
Shoes:  Gabriel Brothers

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In case you’re wondering, the coffee-table-going-ottoman is still in the exact same state as it was last week.  We’ve got foam and a piece of wood for the top on our to-buy list.  With that, does anyone know where we can get some reasonably priced upholstery foam?  I’ve checked JoAnn’s and spending $45 on foam (and that’s with a coupon!) just isn’t what our bank account had in mind…if that’s all we can find however, we’ll save up for it and bite the bullet.  I’ve heard of people using camping mats from Home Depot but ours doesn’t sell them nor are they available online…help! 

Oh and P.S., it’s party time!  I’m linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday!  Fashionable times to be had over there! 

Two Heads & Four Feet

Since we’re (literally) creeping up to Halloween and all, I thought I’d share my favorite outfit for that exact occasion – a two-headed (wo)man. 

I have this incredible blessing in my life who goes by the name of Megan and she lives 10 hours away which makes me very sad.  But it wasn’t always this way.  We were randomly put together in a dorm room one spring semester in college (Franciscan University – woot woot) and from that point were inseparable.  She was the peanut butter to my jelly, the creamer in my coffee, my sista from another mista…you get it, BFFs.  I’m pretty sure some of my creativity comes from this one.  She’s an incredible artist and putting our two brains together was cah-razy.  We divided our dorm room into two parts with hanging curtains one year, built a huge entertainment center out of those metal racks you connect with plastic connecters, and even created our own trundle bed using one day bed, one bed on a rolling frame, and lots of particularly placed cinder blocks – it was awesome.  The year after we graduated, we did it again and came up with thee PERFECT Halloween costume, this:
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The Two-Headed Business (Wo)Man

All we did was head to our favorite discount store, Gabriel Brother’s, where we bought the largest pair of men’s dress pants we could possibly find (I think they were like size 72 or something), an XXXL men’s button down dress shirt, a pair of large suspenders, and an XXL mens’ tee.  We paid under $20 for the whole ensemble.  So that we could walk without falling over, we cut a slit up the back of each pant leg so they essentially became two long pencil skirts that were attached.  We also cut two holes out of a scrap piece of white jersey material where we stuck our heads, creating a sort of undershirt under the dress shirt.  I think we each wore black socks on our feet minus shoes, making two big feet.  Underneath we just sported some shorts and a tank.

We got in character once we arrived at the party we were headed to since driving while attached wasn’t possible…well, maybe possible but maybe not the safest idea… 

We did have some fun beforehand too during the dress rehearsal, trying to maneuver ourselves into normal human positioning…
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[Turns out crossing our giant legs was no easy feat feet…hehe.]

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[pre-game stretches]

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[“If we can just get our legs to swing over here…”]

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[If you block out our heads with your hand, you have to admit, it’s one large (wo)man, no?]

Love and miss you Meggie!!!!!!!!

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What’s your favorite Halloween costume?  I think my runner-up is the crayon outfit my mom slid me in when I was a wee girl…I hated every minute of it because it went from pointed head to feet and sitting was not an option but it was still pretty cool.  Then there’s the candy corn because of the cool white boots, the dozens of princesses I went through over the years, the Cat in the Hat…

Operation Coffee Table to Ottoman

Remember when I popped in 10 short months ago and told you we scored this magnificent coffee table at Goodwill for $12?

The plan is to paint it and lose the glass (currently residing on a Craigslist ad) in favor of a tufted, cushy top where we can rest our footsies after a long day.

Well, along with apparently becoming notorious for revealing a project idea and then procrastinating for months on end, it’s what’s on the agenda for the next coming weeks.  The twins have discovered the fun in climbing and while it’s cute and all, standing on the glass top doesn’t really scream “good parenting” to me.

Last week I unscrewed the bottom shelf and took the whole thing outside where I scrubbed it down fast and furious like.  Then I made a bed of old sheets and my go-to spray painting plywood in the backyard and got busy priming it.

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Primed (Rustoleum from Walmart):coffeeott 003

I was going to go ahead and paint it but then we decided it’d probably be best to buy and cut the wood for the top and then make the holes we’ll need to attach it once it’s all nice and upholstered.  If we make any scratches while doing that, it’ll be a lot easier to just sand and re-prime instead of having to add paint touch-ups too.

So, it’s currently in the catch-all guest bedroom waiting.  Hopefully we’ll have a piece of wood, cut and ready to be cushioned by the end of the week.  I’ll be in touch!

Have a great week!