Saturday, April 27, 2013

Style - 17 Weeks

So I finally decided I looked pregnant enough to take a belly picture. This is me at 17 weeks, 1 day. I had a rough beginning for this pregnancy, but Praise the Lord, the morning sickness has gone! I've also tried to pay a lot more attention to what makes me feel bad. I have learned to avoid red sauce, raw vegetables, and too much fried stuff. I know that I can't wear anything real tight across my belly, and I also know that when I'm starting to get too tired, I really need a break or I will start to be in pain. So, if I watch out then things are going pretty well for now! 

This is an outfit that I wore to go shopping with some ladies from a church in PA. I threw on a denim jacket and it was perfect for the breezy outlets! My favorite stop was the Vera Bradley outlet store. I got an amazing deal on my first purchase for the new baby, a new diaper bag and a bag to go in it for me!
Shirt - Rue 21
Tank - Walmart
Skirt - maternity (gift)
Shoes - Payless
Necklace - Charlotte Ruesse

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sight and Sound Theaters

We recently had the opportunity to go to a Christian theater production called Sight and Sound. Up until Fall of 2012 I had never heard of it as it is located in Lancaster, PA, (far from my home) but let me tell you, it is amazing! Back in the Fall we were taken to the show "Jonah" and were astounded by it. This time we were treated to "Noah" and I went with a reviewers eye.

When you drive up you see a very large building that looks like a mega church and are greeted by parking lot assistants that direct you where to go. Outside is a large pretty fountain that lots of groups like to take pictures with (and apparently little girls want to play in!)
The lobby has been themed with a "Bible times" appearance and smells of candied walnuts which I got to try this time. They allow food and drink in the theater and have a snack bar. Vendors also come out at intermission to sell food and drinks as well. 
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take picture in the theater, but really, that is not a bad thing as it would spoil the surprise! We sat in the balcony both times we went and I really liked the view from there. It seemed like a great place to take everything in from, although I imagine the floor seats are great as well because the actors and animals use the aisles throughout the production. The stage itself is really enormous! Not only does it have a large main stage, but there are areas on the right and left that open up as well and then you are surrounded but the story on all sides. There are even things going on in the ceiling. The sets themselves are amazing! They are extremely detailed and very visually appealing. Think "Disney" quality.
"Noah" was pretty awesome, but of the two I've seen, I think I actually preferred "Jonah". Both productions follow the Bible closely where they can while taking a little creative license to fill in the story such as extra characters or situations. Both stories were very moving. I was close to tears at points in both and laughed a lot as well. They also make you think about the stories in a different light. For instance, in "Jonah" the people of Ninevah were a lot easier to identify with. They came across as real people in need of God's love and grace. In "Noah" the day to day lives of Noah and his family were brought to life in a way that made you realize how very real things were for them in the years of building the ark and waiting on God to fulfill His promise to them. 

There are a few things to consider before going. From what I understand, tickets are not cheap but you can get deals. Also, these productions are long (2 hours plus) and very young children may not want to sit still that long. There is an intermission, but if your children are distracting (loud or getting out of their seats) they will ask you to take them out to the "children's area". My daughter was 13 months the first time we went and actually did really well, but the second time we went, we were able to leave her behind. Also, be forewarned, the actors dance! Think "David danced before the Lord" type dancing, nothing meant to be "alluring", just period representative. It was nothing that offended us but it might not be everyones cup of tea. 

All in all, Sight and Sound is an amazing experience that you should take advantage of it you get the chance. From what I have been told it rivals Broadway but all of the shows are Christ honoring. They share the Gospel at the end and invite you to speak with someone after the show to learn more. If we ever get the chance, I will certainly go again!
You can find tickets and show schedules here.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Taking up Toddler Shorts

My sweet girl has a dream body: tall and slender. Except that she's 19 months. Apparently the perfect baby in her size range in short and fat! Usually leggings just come off as skinny pants on her. So when it come to buying her new stuff in the next size it either has to be a dress or leggings, or I have to fix it. When we tried a new pair of 24 month shorts on her she literally walked right out of them. Hence this quick tutorial on how to take up the waist in shorts (which would also work for pants and some skirts). The shorts in question have a flat front with an elastic back. You will only need a needle, thread and scissors for this, as well as minimal hand sewing skills. Straight pins would also be handy but I did not have any on hand.
 To save space in our car I left my craft stuff at home and only brought a tiny sewing kit from the dollar section at Target, but even it is sufficient for this project.
First, locate the outside seam of the shorts. Determine how much you need to take up and then make a pleat. I used the belt loops on the shorts as a guide.
You will want the fabric to overlap in the direction of the outside rather than towards the middle. Next, hand sew along the top edge of your fold and secure with a knot. I just followed the stitching that was already there.
I was going to sew along the side as well, but the inch or so of stitching across the top was sufficient. Plus, this gave the shorts a cute "poofy" look. You may want to sew more down if you are altering boys shorts. Do a mirror image on the other side of what you just did and you are done!
Then, when your child grows, you can easily take a seam ripper to your stitching!

Once we get home I plan to go through my daughter's summer clothes from last year and give you some examples of how to lengthen things.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Pizza Hut Lunch Buffet Review

So, I've been looking for new content lately as I have not been cooking, crafting or feeling like taking a lot of outfit pics much (a 10 week trip away from home will do that to you) so I decided to start exploring new areas of interst. Today I bring you my first restaurant review! The hubs and I like to eat. When we get the chance we are "budget" foodies (in our own minds at least!). So when we saw this sign we thought it had some great potential!
Not sure if you can read the sign but Pizza Hut was offering a $4 lunch buffet that included pizza, pasta, salad and dessert! For our little family of three, usually the cheapest we can get away with is about $11 at McDonalds. Sometimes. So we knew this could be really good. And it was!

 The buffet was well stocked. They brought out 2 new pizza's while we were there even though it wasn't that busy. The quality was also better than I was expecting. The pasta was really good with lots of cheese and there was a pot of marinara sauce for the bread sticks.
The salad was huge. Instead of a salad bar they offered pre-made ones with your choice of dressing. If we had know how big there were going to be we would have split one! And the best part?
Our daughter got to chow down for free! I love that! The hubs ordered a soda so with tip, we all walked away full and happy for about $14! For us that is success! Without a drink one person could probably do it for about $5.50 which is cheaper than a combo at McDonald's. I also did not see anything that said this was M-F only so this could be great for a group on a Sunday afternoon. If we see another $4 sign we will be stopping again!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Spring Wanna-be

I had the chance to go thrifting last week and had a very successful trip. I got few new maternity pieces and a few more non-maternity ones that will help me transition. One of those non-maternity pieces was an adorable Tommy Hilfiger wrap dress that I loved! I will be able to wear it for a few more months, but I mostly got it for after the baby comes. It's stretch cotton but the cut is very forgiving. I just wore it for the first time but had to winterize it as upper Michigan has not gotten the memo that it is Spring yet! This was our car after church last night:
We were thankful for our Dollar Tree ice scraper! I wore my new dress anyway with tights, boots and a sweater and pulled on my trench over that. It's getting hard to button now at about 15 weeks!
Cardigan: Target
Dress: Thrifted
Boots: French's
Necklace: Versona Accessories

I can't wait to wear this in warm weather with sandals and no sweater (it has cute little cap sleeves!)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Easter 2013

I know I'm a little late on this one but it has been a busy week. (I'm actually even later now that planned because the internet went out earlier this week when I was going to post this!) Easter was not "normal" for us this year. Instead of being at our home church participating in the drama and having a relaxing lunch with my family we woke up in a hotel and gave our daughter her Easter Basket, had McD's for breakfast, drove 2 1/2 hours, dropped into a church, ate lunch at Captain D's, drove 3 more hours and had a meeting. Then we went home with someone we had just met and had dinner with them and stayed the night at their house. I am NOT complaining, but it was a little overwhelming and I was more than a tad homesick. I usually only get homesick for 2 reasons. 1) My daughter is sick or having a hard time while we travel, 2) I get to missing my family and my church. As crazy as all of that sounds however, there were a lot of good things to the day too! Our daughter LOVED her Easter basket and look precious in her dress which meant a lot to me.
 Also, Captain D's was actually pretty good. They have these new fish tenders that are not overly breaded and come with a pretty tasty sauce. I always get a baked potato and mac-n-cheese or a steamed vegetable. It's our place to go for when we feel like a nicer meal at a cheaper price. Our evening meeting also went really well with a good chance of support and the couple that we stayed with was very nice and she was a great cook! This is us, after 5 hours of driving, before our evening meeting. I got to wear a new dress too!
I'm still in the "fat" stage of pregnancy
We also got to do our daughter's first Easter egg hunt the next day. During her nap I hid some eggs inside (it was too cold to go out) and when she woke up we showed her what to do and she loved it, especially after she realized that the eggs had something good inside!
It turned out to be a pretty good Easter after all!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rosette Bib Necklace Tutorial

Bib necklaces have been big this year and they couldn't be easier to make! You only need a few basic materials for my version!
You will need:
Rosette Trim
Coordinating thread and needle
Hot Glue
Gems (optional)

I went to Hobby Lobby with a friend to shop on their support day and ended up finding a spool of this beautiful trim on sale for about $3. I had worked with it before so I knew its potential as well as the great deal I was getting on it! This is the first project I came up with. I started by cutting them apart and laying a pattern down on my felt. Once I had them arranged I pinned them down to keep them in place.
Next, I took my needle and thread and stitched them down, being careful not to let my stitches show in the front.
Then I carefully trimmed the excess felt off and after making two squares from the scraps, I used them to secure my ribbon for the tie, which I hot glued in place.
I decided the front needed a little something so I added some gems with hot glue to the center of each rosette.
This isn't the best picture to showcase it but at least you get an idea of the size. If you make your ribbon long enough they you can raise or lower it to match your neckline.
I can't wait to wear it again once we're home with a more springy ensemble!