Designing Clothes and Matching with Bae

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I’m not sure I’ve mentioned in the past, but my husband is a champ. He goes with my funny ideas without much complaining. If he sees that I am excited enough about something he won’t even put up a fuss…..I really scored in the husband department.

Recently I bought some fabric from a friend who is moving from Uganda back to the states and getting rid of much. When you move across the world it’s normally quite difficult and expensive if you want to move your things with you, as shipping fees are expensive.

After purchasing the material it took me a few days of pondering to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Options were endless in my mind. Pillows for the couch, a bed cover, big round, pleated skirt…..who knows, but for a while now I’d been wanting a blazer. In my mind I wanted a simple black one, maybe with a few small downplayed leather details, that’s obviously not what I got. One day during church (don’t worry it was during the 2nd service after I had already paid attention during the 1st service) I sketched a blazer for myself and shirt for my husband that I thought would go great made with the new material. Personally I enjoy sewing quite a bit, but the things I make fail in quality comparison to that of others. Mostly because I am neither a perfectionist nor have all that much patience. I have a friend that sews custom clothes for a living (the brother of a close friend of Seth and I) at reasonable prices.

Here in Uganda it is not out of the ordinary to have clothes made custom for you, and is often less expensive than buying new clothes (depending on the quality you are looking for). Even more exciting is when couples wear matching clothes made out of African printed materials. People love it! I’ve grown to enjoy it every now and then. A few days after I sketched the matching items that I wanted, I brought the material to the tailor and showed him my sketches. He took measurements and assured me that he’d have the items finished in a few short days. He definitely didn’t disappoint. Here is the sketches I gave him and the final products.

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The original sketches I gave the tailor.

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My blazer 🙂

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Also with the buttons closed.

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My handsome hubby in his new digs. With our pup…just like he was annoying me in one of my past posts.

 

Have you ever had clothes made specially for you? Or do you make your own? Any tips?

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diy: Cute Little Plant In A Mug

 

This is just about the easiest diy there is. A cute little plant in a mug can brighten up a window sill or coffee table in a matter of minutes. The hardest part about it is remembering to water it. Just ask me, this is my second time planting in this mug (my favorite thrift store find that I brought to Uganda with me when I moved….I had a small collection going but brought only a few of my favorites). Last time….about 9 months ago when I first added some life to “Mustachio” I was always forgetting to water him. He put up a good fight and finally died for real after I was away for three weeks and he lost to the battle of dehydration. My goal this time around is to keep him alive.

The requirements are a mug, a plant, and a bit of dirt. I’m not sure what type of plan this is but it’s cute and has the sweetest little purple flowers. Originally I bought a white flowering plant as well as this purple one but made the mistake of leaving them outside where my dogs could reach them and the white flowering one fell victim to Hamlet. I woke up the next morning to find dirt and bits of green strewn about the driveway. My bad.

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My absolute favorite mug!

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3 Simple Ways To Update The Clothes You Already Own

I love clothes. But who doesn’t right?

If you looked in my closet you’d probably say I have more than enough clothes….and that may or may not be true. I am a quantity person, not a quality person….though the last 2 1/2 years of marriage to my quality over quantity husband is teaching me to value quality things as well.

Anyway, like I said I like clothes. Sometimes I get tired of the clothes that I have and get an itch to buy something new. My wallet doesn’t necessarily always agree with that itch, so I improvise (or go to nearest outdoor market to my house that’s only open on Monday’s and buy a few shirts for $0.30 each….I end up keeping one of them and giving the others away to friends).

Many people are good with their brains….I generally find myself better with my hands. Don’t get me wrong, I graduated from university with honors but only because I just wanted to finish and I was genuinely interested in what I was studying.

Back to clothes. Here are three easy ways to update pieces of clothing that you already own but are either went out of style, you’re tired of, or you never wore it more than once after you bought it (let’s be honest….we all do it…it looked SO cute…but it’s just not YOU).

  1. An old t-shirt in the back of your closet to a great workout shirt. All it takes in a pair of scissors to cut off the sleeves and make large arm holes that are more conducive and less restrictive for working out.
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    Awesome wolf t-shirt from a beach trip about 5 years ago.

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    SO much better for working out than sleeves that leave you with wet pits.

     

  2. DIY Distressed Denim. These jeans were my favorite jeans for about a year and a half. After that they were faded rather than a rich dark indigo and the fit had stretched out a bit from the perfect skinny ankle jeans they once were. So why not roll with it? I threw some bleach on them and took a cheese grater to a few places…they went from my favorite, to not worn for 6 months, back to my top 2 list.  Check out Merrick’s Art for a great denim distressing tutorial.
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    Don’t mind my dog literally biting my hand.

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    I love how the bleach missed a few places and left some of the original darker denim.

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    Don’t worry if you try it out and it’s not perfect. It’s UNIQUE.

  3. A dress turned skirt. I bought this dress at the fore mentioned market for $1.50 and thought I would LOVE it, until I put it on and it was just too big. I was hoping for the  effortless breezy look….but that’s not what I got until I chopped off the top and made it into this skirt.. All it took was a piece of 1 1/2 wide elastic, scissors and a straight stick (can be done by hand or much faster with a sewing machine. Hems are the bain of my existence when it comes to sewing, I can never seem to get them just right (aka straight), so it was so nice that all I had to do was cut an put in an elastic band…the hem was the original one of the dress.
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    Simple but elegant.

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    Again….dog begging for attention…except two of them.

 

These are simple changes you can make to the clothes that you already own to update them and put them back into your regular wear rotation. What do you do when you get bored with your closet? I would love to test out your ideas….just ask my husband….I’m always complaining about my wardrobe. I know that I’m not alone…but there are small changes that make the world of difference!

Enjoy!

How to give your brain a break: Mini Escapes

There are so many responsibilities that we all have in our lives…..a montage of family, work, friends, church, volunteer opportunities, etc. So many things that keep us constantly busy. Many or most of the things that fill our lives may be very enjoyable but sometimes we just need a break from everything that we’re supposed to be doing just to enjoy life for a minute. I find that if I don’t take a few breaks throughout the week that by the time Friday comes around or Sunday I’m completely and utterly exhausted….not to mention irritable. Just ask my husband. So, here are a few of the things that I do to take a break from the demands of life. Most of these activities when done for 30-60 minutes really does give you room to breathe from thew things that so easily weary us.
How to give your brain a break:
Step one: Put phone on silent and in another room.
Step two: Prepare a snack (everything is better with food…preferably a healthy balanced one…but often a cookie works too).
Step three: Pick an activity (whatever is most enjoyable to you).
Your activity of choice may consist of any of the following….
  1. Color. Yes, like in a coloring book. Some of you are much more talented than I in your artistic abilities and can actually draw beautiful and glorious pictures. That’s also a great option, but for those of us like myself there are a variety of adult coloring books at most bookstores as well currently at Costco. My Mother-in-law gave me this one last year while my husband and I were visiting for Thanksgiving. It doesn’t hurt to be drinking a white peppermint mocha while coloring on a road trip. img_8596
  2. Play a game. Any assortment of cards, Scrabble, Monopoly (some people enjoy the 5 hours of torture, I personally do not), Jenga, Solitaire, you name it. These things will keep your mind thinking without getting you thinking about all the things pressing on your mind. This can be done alone or with a friend/family member.
  3. Read or write a book. Many people love getting lost in the story of a good book, or challenging themselves by reading a book that motivates them to grow in some area. Others, like my husband, have so many thoughts going through their minds that they can beautifully put words down on a page.
  4. Cook or bake something. I personally find baking something new very therapeutic. That doesn’t mean that I love cooking dinner every night….but when I have a few extra minutes I love whipping up a new (generally sweet) recipe to taste.
  5. Pamper yourself. Try a new face mask with ingredients you have in your kitchen (honey and yogurt, avocado….the list goes on) or give yourself a mani/pedi. Sometimes my husband lets me give him a face mask too (it takes about 5 minutes of begging…then he happily obliges) img_0081

Don’t forget to take a minute and breathe. You are going to make it! Life is fun…don’t let yourself get too bogged down with all the “have to’s”. Sometimes I’ll even reward myself….if I stay focused and get a lot done at work today then after dinner I’ll paint my toes.

What do you do to give yourself a break from the stresses of life?