Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Austrian Opera Shabby Chic Roman Shades

So my sister is coming to visit, and she will be staying in Lily's room. Her one big request? Make sure it's dark!

Well as you can see, her curtain valance and sheer panels didn't do much in the way of keeping light out. At all. 

I am pretty much over the "nautical" navy/hot pink theme we have in her room, so I was up for the challenge. I have decided that instead of doing a "theme" the only decor I never tire of is shabby chic, so I'm switching her to that. Here is the before picture (although I didn't think to take the picture before putting on her shabby chic bedding (target!):

Sorry for the poor pic quality, it's from my phone.

I didn't make a tutorial for her new drapes because... well it was a real trial and error project. I had some dark brown "Black Out" curtains I had used in our old house, so I decided to use those as my backing. The beige fabric in front it a queen flat sheet that I had recently had to retire because the fitted sheet got a hole in it. I got the fabulously frilly curtains that overlay from a vintage store. I knew the second I saw them I had to have them, and for $5, what a score! They were obviously hand made and ruffled. I couldn't even make them myself for that price. 

Finally, here is the picture once I finished this (ALL DAY) project.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Patriotic Flag Wreath + Summer Challenge

Lily is sick so we cancelled our plans for today and decided to hang out and let her rest. 

AKA instant feeling of doom and cabin fever for my ADHD self. 

I decided to begin my personal summer challenge: make a dent in my awesome/insane fabric stash. 

This 5' tall filing cabinet is full to the brim of fabrics and yarn, organized by color. I don't know if I'm embarrassed or proud. Either way, I need to make some use of my fabric, some of which I've had for 10+ years. 

So my summer challenge is to use up as much fabric as I can without having to buy more than 1 or 2 extra materials. I haven't even mentioned my personal hobby lobby I have collected in my pantry. 

As seen here: 

So when people ask me, "How on Earth do you have the time or energy to do all your crafts?" It's because I pretty much have everything I need, so come nap time or when a bored moment strikes, it's not hard to throw together something. 

When you have a combination of super high energy, creative minded and a craft shopping addict... You're bound to get some awesome production in very little time. 

Today I decided I'd go patriotic in preparation for Memorial Day and Independence Day. I had bought several wire craft wreaths when they were 50% off, so I grabbed about a yard of red polyester (originally bought to make a matador costume, however was incredibly difficult to sew with so I scrapped the idea... In 2010 :X ) and some blue poly satin I had left over from Lily's Captain America Girl Halloween costume in 2012. 

I just interlaced the red fabric through 3/4 of the wreath, and the blue for the other 1/4. Added white fabric ribbon (left over from my ugly sweater project) and threw a bow on the side. Yes, I literally had American flag ribbon in my stash. I have a problem, I tell you. 

And slapped this bad boy on our front door. 

I didn't have to buy one thing for this project, and I only tied all of these fabrics on while watching Curious George next to my sick little gal, so no sewing at all! And I didn't have to buy one thing for it. 

So hopefully this is the beginning of many projects that will make my husband quit referring to me as a craft hoarder! 

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sierra's Fitness Testimony



I've debated sharing this... Mainly because I was so proud to ditch that old Sierra and I really didn't want to ever re-live her. I especially didn't want people I have met AFTER achieving my fitness goals to know about her.. However, it occurred to me that I give much more fitness-cred to the brutally honest "before and after," people than the "naturally thin, then added muscle group" of people (the struggle is REAL!) So, I decided it was definitely worth sharing, if it even inspires one person along their fitness journey.


I had both of my older children at 19 and 20. I gained a ton of weight with my first, lost most of the weight and then was pregnant again when he was only 6 months old. Let's just say she was a total surprise.

I got married at 18, a month after my high school graduation. My dad said we couldn't live together unless we got married, so being 18... We decided to get married (insert eye-rolling here.) My ex-husband was not ready... And to compound that fact, having 2 babies less than 2 years after we got married (plus his older daughter) put a lot of stress on our marriage. Even while I was pregnant with my son there were a ton of heated fights where "divorce" was a main theme.

Although times were hard, our marriage had good times... however, we were mostly in a state of "getting by." I was so young I had no idea what a real marriage was like, and I was completely convinced all marriages were as emotionless and miserable as mine. Being that I had become a Christian at 18, I was devoted to keeping my marriage intact, and for the most part, my ex-husband felt the same. Our main issue always lingered though, he wasn't ready for the responsibilities and commitment of a marriage and family... And in a sense, he had major disappointments that I caught most of the blame for.

Because of this, I began to view myself from my ex-husband's eyes. When he said I was worthless and didn't contribute, I began to see myself that way. With young kids and staying home with them, I fell into a routine. I lacked confidence in myself and it showed in my food choices and activities (or lack-there-of.) In the spring after my brother had passed away (which obviously didn't help) I was 5'3" and 158 lbs. This was early 2010. I was so incredibly depressed I didn't even know where to start to fix the lifestyle I had now grown accustomed to. As you can see, Caleb was 3 there, making Lily 2. I couldn't even use the "baby weight" excuse:

Spring, 2010. 158 lbs.

Around that time my ex-husband had left and moved in with his parents. I was so stress-ridden with what I would do next, I dropped a quick 10 lbs during that trial separation.

Losing that weight gave me perspective: I was in charge of my weight/health. No one else. If I slacked, it was my fault. I could no longer hide behind the pain and worthlessness I felt because of my failing marriage.

I also decided that it was time I started to see myself the way my Father in Heaven saw me. No one else. I was no longer going to give anyone the power to dictate the way I felt about myself. If I was going to say I was Christian, it was time I would hand this (huge) problem up to God and seek myself in Him. I promised Him and myself that I would show my spiritual health in every aspect of my life that I could, including my health and fitness. I would give God the glory for giving me the courage and drive to fix myself from the inside out. And while I know this isn't the mindset that all believe, it worked for me in a huge way. I've spoken to other people that made other life-changing promises to God, and it was their promise that kept them going, which was completely true for me.

Initially, the stress weight loss kicked the most obvious weight. I then began to seek nutrient rich food. I did fresh fruit/veggie juicing for one meal a day, and low-carb, high fiber for the rest of the day.

Soon after my ex-husband and I reconciled and I began the process of not only fixing myself but forgiving him for the harsh things he had done and said. I really and truly have never been so tested in my life mentally and physically, than during this year that I gave everything I could to try to fix our marriage and handed my fitness goals up to God.


After juicing and losing some with low-carb, I switched things up. I began a workout regimen, in which I fell in love with weight training. I went to the gym as often as I could. I began a healthy low-calorie diet and started to feel so much better. I ended up dropping to 123 lbs. I was a little skeletal at that weight and since then I've gained about 5 lbs of muscle, which I prefer. Less than a year after I made this new commitment to myself and God, my ex-husband decided he wanted to divorce. Even though that was heartbreaking and stressful, it wasn't at all like the separation. I was terrified, yes, but I also felt more equipped. I felt like, okay, we're getting a divorce... I tried my hardest and it was still wasn't enough of a remedy to force him stay, but I'm going to live. I truly believe God was equipping me for the changes that were in store for the kids and I. I wasn't as devastated... It hurt, yes... but it was manageable. I was truly finding my worth through my relationship with God and that was a very comforting and empowering feeling.Fast forward: I maintained my fitness regimen even when my fitness goals were changing. At first, it was so motivating to watch the scale drop week by week. But now that I'm at my happy baseline of 128 lbs. I'm constantly changing my fitness motivation. I now focus more on endurance, heart/lung health and strength. I switch my muscle groups that I train together every few months. I am still aware of my calories, but not nearly as strict about them since I'm maintaining.





2010 (left), 2014 (right)

While training, when I felt weak in my last set, or like I couldn't do it... I looked in the gym mirror and literally prep talked myself with the very words that hurt so bad... I am NOT worthless. I am NOT disposable. And as cheesy as that sounds, it became sort of my mantra for the tough gym days.

When I remarried, I was thrilled at the idea of having a baby with my husband. But, I was scared to lose the progress I had made. I researched a ton about working out during pregnancy and I was able to only gain 14 lbs, even walking on the treadmill the day I delivered Everly. I was able to do this while meeting my caloric daily intakes and weight training. I lost the baby weight within a week or 2 of having her, and I have never felt so healthy, a year later. You can read more about my pregnancy fitness HERE.



Now I go to the gym 4 days a week for an hour a day. I weight train on each day followed by 20 minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training) on the elliptical, treadmill or stair climber. I'm also trying meal prepping, which probably deserves it's own blog post. You can read about my gym schedule (which is actually different even now, but this a great way to start) HERE.

So maybe you're the girl sitting in a miserable situation, not sure how to fix it. Maybe you're in the middle of your weight loss journey. Maybe you're the mom that sometimes struggles with motivation since you've reached your fitness goals (which I can totally relate to sometimes!) Know that I've been there. Know that you're not alone and know that keeping with it is worth it and will continue to be. If you don't know where to start, you're not unlike me at the beginning. I had no idea what I was doing. Just start! Get moving. Read and read and read (blogs are a great place to get real life perspectives from actual moms just trying to embark on a whole new way of living.) Know that NO ONE at the gym is judging you. In fact, I try to give little winks of encouragement to newbies... We've ALL been there. Try not to focus on the daily. Don't EVER compare your YEAR 1 to someone else's YEAR 2 or 3 or 7! Do your hour a day for 4 days a week and within 1 year, you'll be transformed. Within 2, you'll be maintaining (which is sooooo much easier... You can cheat, no one ever talks about this, but really, you can eat a giant bacon cheeseburger WITH FRIES and the scale doesn't move. It's the best thing in the world! Of course I don't recommend doing this often, but seriously, once you get to your maintenance phase, life gets so much better... well at least the cheat foods do!) And my absolute favorite part: You can try on anything and decide if you like it without having to suck in.

So fellow sisters striving for a healthy lifestyle that not only adds years to your life, but life to your years.. Take heart! You're not alone and you can always email me if you have questions!!







Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mad Men inspired: Floor Length Robe

There is no shortage of sewing inspiration on one of my favorite shows, Mad Men.

This week I was dying to have Meghan Draper's robe. She is far and beyond my least favorite character. So problematic, and seemingly unneccesary to keep around. Not to mention it looks literally painful when she talks (what is UP with her teeth?).

However, she has probably the best wardrobe designer on the show.

So, yesterday during Ev's nap, I decided I'd do my modern take of her latest floor length robe. I omitted the frills, did full sleeves and went with a dark charcoal gray (mostly because my dad gave me an entire bolt of this very expensive fabric and I honestly don't know what to do with it. This project didn't even make a dent in it.)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Football Jerseys: For girls!!

Oh baby, it's draft day.

Although we are still a few months away from official kick off, draft day helps fill the lull between my Lakers not being in the NBA playoffs and preseason beginning. (I know, I know, there's baseball,  which also helps fill the void.)

Well, fellow seamstress/football fan (oh, umm hey, soul sister!) we can also sew up some snazzy game-day jerseys during this (buttcrack of the calendar) time.

I don't know about you, but the idea of wearing a pastel pink shiny jersey to sport my allegiance to the purple and gold on game day makes my skin crawl. I'm proud to offer an alternative! If you sew, of course.

So this all started a couple years ago, actually. It was an unspoken sub section in our wedding vows that I would be a Vikings fan, of which my husband has been bred to be. Being that I didn't have a team of my own, I was cool with it. Although I made one stipulation; that I wanted a REAL jersey, stitched numbers and all, not the cutesy baby-pink stuff.

He said I could have his since the Vikings had come out with a new Jersey design when the NFL switched from Reebok to Nike. I put it on, and it was a dress. As seen below (left). So I made it into a CUTE dress (right).

Well this worked for a while, but as it turns out, I didn't like wearing it all day because the stitched on numbers were too thick to wear as a dress. They would annoy me when I sat down. So I decided to make it into a regular jersey top to wear with jeans/shorts as seen below (right).

I shortened the sleeves and just hemmed the bottom as it was. So if you're going from a huge jersey to a girl size, you can do the same by following the steps I will show for the new jersey dress, then just hemming the bottom to be a shirt instead. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring cleaning: Cheap & Easy - Closet Organization

Yep. It's official. I've gotten lost in my mania... again.

It all started with clearing out some of my clothes to give away... When I was overwhelmed with the mess that was my closet. I started making a pile.. which somehow morphed into a full-fledge organization manic-episode.

I had put off this disaster of a closet and it was time to face the music.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fun Disney Trip Reveal

We have been secretly putting together a Disney World trip for this summer. We originally agreed that we didn't want the kids to know about it so they wouldn't ask me every day, "When are we going to Disney?"
That would drive me nuts.
But, as we kept talking in code about it, we realized we were probably going to spill it on accident, and well.. How many times do you get to tell your 6 and 7 year old they are going to the happiest place on Earth?
One, actually. Especially if you don't live anywhere near Florida.
SO! Jerrod and I came up with a fun little scavenger hunt of clues for them after school one day. The funniest thing was their total confusion as to why we were doing this...
Here's how we did it:
I put clues next to Disney figurines (Dollar Tree!) throughout our house. Each character gave them a clue and they collected the glass rocks aka "jewels" along the way. As they went to each character they added the jewels to a little box. I'll caption each picture with the rhyming clue we wrote. Jerrod wrote most of them...
I think he missed his calling in advertising.
At the very end they watched a Disney World promotional commercial and we handed them a bag with Disney shirts and 2 jars, one that read: "Days 'til Disney" and "Disney here we come!" As they opened the bag, we said "We're going to Disney World!"
I swear that was the first time they knew what was going on... not exactly little detectives, but the most obvious thing was they loved the anticipation as to why we were doing this ridiculous activity.
They of course were thrilled and filled up the jar with the jewels they collected along the way, each one representing a day until we leave. So now they won't ask me when we are going, score!
Clue #1


"Hi-ya, Pals!
Mickey Here.
It's time for a scavenger hunt,
Your clues are near...
Collect these jewels along the way,
And go check where dolls might play!"
(Which led them to Lily's Dollhouse)
Clue #2
"Oh, Hello!
I hope you like my new skirt!
The next clue is on a tool to dig dirt!
(This led them to the shovel in the garage)
Clue #3
"Garsh, guys!
You found me fast!
The next clue you'll find here you'll find
Pictures from the past!"
(Leading them to the entertainment center in the living room)


Clue #4
"Alright, alright...
I hope you had fun on your scavenger hunt,
and it didn't take you all day!
Now go the TV and press play!"

(Disney promo started...)

Opening the bag of Disney shirts and Jars...
"We're going to Disney World!"

They were thrilled!! I'm so excited to meet Jerrod's brother while we're out there, (and his wife and their 4 kids!) It's amazing we haven't met yet, but I've heard so much about them I'm super anxious!

And here are the jars in action... The kids are loving moving the "jewels" each day... And haven't asked me when we're going YET! So... WIN!


I hope you enjoyed this post! Be sure to tell me if you take any ideas from it, I'd love to hear!

Love, Sierra