Little Boy Bowtie Tutorial

So way back at Easter I promised that I’d show you how I made Ascher’s super easy bowtie, but then I tossed it, candy and strawberry smeared, into the washer and it kind of fell apart.  Downside of too easy, whoops.  I was mulling over how to fix it or create something better for my tutorial, and I kept mulling and the idea just fell out of my head and I totally forgot about it.  Then about 6 weeks ago kind reader Mary told me that she was eagerly waiting for the tutorial(sorry Mary!) so I got back to thinking about it and figured out something more durable.  After all, a bow tie for a two year old definitely needs to be washable.

So, finally, I present to you the bowtie tutorial.

BowtieTutorial

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Review – Mikarose “Rebecca” Dress

When I found out that there was an opportunity to try, in exchange for a review, one of the lovely dresses from Mikarose, I jumped at the chance.  I had known for several months that we had a wedding to attend when I would be 8 months pregnant and I was expecting to have trouble finding something appropriate that I could enjoy wearing.  Hopefully Mikarose could solve the problem.

When I entered the site and started hunting through the dress listings it was admittedly daunting to be looking at all of the tiny, slender women wearing the pretty dresses and try to imagine my very pregnant self fitting into the same dresses.  There were several styles that caught my eye as a good possibility, but the “Rebecca” was the one I kept coming back to.  The red(the color I requested) was gorgeous, the details were pretty and it certainly looked nice on the model.

When it arrived I was extremely pleased.  The material is a very good quality knit that has a lovely drapey, flowing feel to it.  The length holds up well to having a baby bump shortening it.  A different dress I got recently got enough shorter that it is for home wearing only, despite it being a maternity brand.  You can’t tell from the picture on the site, but the front of the dress is actually two full panels of fabric in a wrap format.  This is an extra layer of security in the bump area, where a lesser quality knit might stretch and start looking thin.  No such issue here!  I don’t at this point need to test it, but the criss-cross front on the bodice would make it easy to nurse a baby in, which is definitely a bonus for anyone with a nursing baby and an event to attend.

AmandaDress1

My only issue is related more to myself than the dress.  I found that, given extra pregnancy curves(oi.) a shaping undergarment was a useful addition to the fit of the dress.  Possibly if I had gotten the next size up it would have been less of an issue?  At any rate, I found it to be a dress that just makes me feel pretty to wear and it was perfect for the wedding.  I’m looking forward to seeing how it looks on my more normal shape.

I would definitely recommend the Mikarose site to anyone looking for a good quality, modest dress and the “Rebecca” dress in particular for anyone in need of a pretty pregnancy/nursing dress.

AmandaDress2

 

Erika is reviewing a different dress from Mikarose over on her blog too, so go check it out!

31 Days – An Assessment and My Favorites

Waaaay back a whole month ago I set some goals for the month of October.  I did ok with some of them and not terribly well with the others.  But, even though I didn’t manage to do exactly what I set out to do, I did get some stuff done more or more frequently than I had previously been doing it.  I did do some cleaning and organizing and prettying up the house.  I also did some sewing and hairstyling and more attentive dressing.  I didn’t do well with reading anything useful or limiting internet(probably because I never did decide exactly how I was going to do this) or blogging as often as I thought to.  Overall it was a fun month and I’m pleased with what I did get done.  I’ll definitely be trying to keep doing interesting, useful stuff more often.  I know I enjoy the effect of a good project long after it’s complete.

Favorite projects from my month –

You should go here and check out how everyone else refreshed their lives with fun and useful projects this month.  Everyone did really well!

I especially enjoyed seeing how Erika’s strict internet rules improved her time with her husband – here and here.  Makes me wish I’d really buckled down and made some rules about the important stuff.  I got lots of fun stuff done, but maybe have less to show in the areas that required more mental muscle.  Always room for improvement though, right?

I loved this account of how having the right tools for the job makes the job more pleasant.  I also loved her pretty jewelry organizer.

Recaps of weekends with my family(along with some lovely table decor!) always make me smile and this sign makes me want to get more truth written up on the walls of my home.  So important to be remembering truth.

This recipe looks amazing.  It will be made sometime soon, I’m quite sure.

So much useful stuff going on in this post!  It keeps reminding me that I haven’t yet made my applesauce for the year….  Yummy!

Good job, everyone!!

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These lovely things are the last thing related to my 31 days project.  I’ve wanted some brown, knee high boots for a while, but never found quite the right pair.  These caught my eye at the beginning of the month, but I decided I’d better wait to see if they fit into my budget for the month before buying them.  A couple days ago I decided they did and they should be here soon!  I’m very excited to see them(and praying they fit right!).  Providing they work, I’ll have to see if I can style them for you upon arrival!

Easy Updo How-To

I’ve really been liking how this hairstyle works for me.  I spent so long doing the same old bun or ponytail that I kind of feel like I never really learned how to “do” my hair well, but this style turns out well consistently and works with minimal fuss about pins or product for my long hair.

Hopefully this makes sense, but feel free to comment if you have questions.  I think this style would work well on shorter hair too.  You can change the look by making it as smooth and neat or loose and messy as you want.  As usual, stuff you find here is what works for me and I encourage you to experiment and figure out what works for you.  Enjoy!

31 Days to Focus and Refresh

Starting Monday I will be joining my mom(Mary at Owlhaven) and my sister(Erika at Overflow) in a fun blog project.  Throughout October we will be improving our focus skills by decreasing time spent online and refreshing our homes and hearts with fun projects and time spent doing more of the things that really matter.  We will be spending at least 31 minutes a day doing something a little out of the ordinary and then sharing pictures and ideas on our blogs.

Some of my goals for the month

  • Organize something or do a craft/sewing project every day.  I have plenty of spaces in my house that could use fixing up and definitely plenty of fun projects that I’ve been meaning to start.  31 minutes a day on any of these things would make some great progress by the end of a month!
  • Make the house prettier.  We moved in more than a year ago and we’ve still got some blank wall and boring spaces that need some serious beautifying.  Plus, seasonal decor, anyone??  
  • Do a closet deep purge.  Get rid of stuff that’s ratty or not quite flattering or that I’ve not worn for ages.  If I can sew it a bit to be something I’ll wear more often, great, but those black Sunday shoes I’ve had since I was 13? Definitely out the door come October.  ABOUT. TIME.
  • Work more on wearing fun outfits, not just the jeans/tee that are so easy to throw on every day(I know you hear me on this).  This will include some fun new hairstyles and maybe the purchase of an item or two that occurs repeatedly on my Pinterest clothing board.
  • Limit internet.  I haven’t decided how much yet.  Erika is being extremely strict with herself and Mom slightly less so.  I’ll let you know on Monday what I decide.
  • Blog more often.  I’m aiming for 5 posts a week.
  • Read 1-2 non-fiction books.  I’m such a fiction junkie.  I need to stretch my brain out and read something real every now and again.

Limitations include –

  • A $125 project/etc budget for the month.
  • Garden produce may take up my free time once or twice.
  • I have a four month old, need I say more?

At the moment, that’s the plan for October.  Should be a fun exercise in doing more of what I really enjoy(accomplishing stuff!) and less of what I’ll regret later(hours of Facebook, Pinterest, and *ahem* Angry Birds).

Would you like to focus and be refreshed?  Erika will be hosting a link-up starting Monday for all of our 31 Days posts and we’d love for you to join in.  Set some useful goals for yourself and whenever you post about your doings go add a link to your post.  Brag on yourself, and lets all cheer for each other!

What could you accomplish with 31 minutes a day spent more usefully?