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Happy New Year’s Eve!

I have been away enjoying my family for the past couple of weeks. I am sure you have been doing the very same.

Well I am back and now it’s time to party!! We are leaving behind the mistakes, broken promises we made to oursleves, failed goals we set in place. We’ve lost loved ones. Gained new ones and have discovered that this side of the ground is not so bad. We survived the impending doom of 12/22/2012, (haha had to put that in there) Now we hold our heads up high, put on our best duds, and kiss 2012 goodbye and welcome 2013 with open arms!

A quick PSA for all of you out there. Now there will be a lot of partying and possible drinking out there tonight. I want to quickly say that if you are going out tonight make sure you are safe and can make it to the 2013 year without ending up in the morgue. Drink and party responsibly! I want to see your lovely faces next year!

 

Now on to the Fashion….

What will you be wearing? If your in Illinois hopefully something warm it’s a monster out there. Gentlemen I have come across a really nice way to tie a tie. Check out my boy in this video.  It’s called the Eldredge knot very sleek!

http://agreeordie.com/blog/musings/545-how-to-tie-a-necktie-eldredge-knot

You can’t tell me that, that isn’t wicked! Try it out and send me a pick if your were able to do it correct!

If your stuck and can’t figure out what to wear here are a couple of ideas for you!

For the guy who likes to keep it casual try this on for size.

 

Ladies I haven’t neglected you all. Check out the ideas I have in mind for you.

Women's New Year's Eve Style Guide

We can’t forget the hair and make-up. I am posting some fun holiday videos!

HOLIDAY HAIR TUTORIAL- Fast Short Hair Style ideas for Natural Hair

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0aJ4fj8-ec

NO HEAT Holiday curls + Easy Hairstyles! (this girl is crazy!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO3wl-7cejs\

Holiday Party Styles for long hair Winter

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWNnQ3Qjg0s

Hot 2012 Hairstyles

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h8KJ5splvE

Holiday Make-up Tutorial (My Girl Antonia rocks!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xn5EBoKwkUU

 

Whew! I think I have given you all enough to play with. Send me picks of your looks. Have a very and merry Blessed New Year. Talk to you all in a few days!

Plus I will post a pick of what I looked like for the new year! (try not to laugh to hard!)

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More you say I know, I know!!

Something else came to mind. There are a lot of people who are in a situation where they aren’t close to relatives or friends during the holidays for what ever reason. Take some time to think about these little tidbits I found for you. 

As Christmas approaches you and I have a choice to make. We can let the little things bug us, keep silent and let it fester, or we can communicate, re-adjust our expectations, and decide the relationship is more important.  Carefully consider the relationship first and then choose what will be best in the moment.  Sometimes being angry, but kind is ok.  Sometimes letting it go is ok.  Letting it fester however is never ok.  Make a conscious choice based on the relationship at stake.  Family relationships are precious and worth making an effort and investing in.

For Long Distance Family: Here are 8 Ways to Connect;

  1. Get everyone to use Skype. It’s taken time, but one by one my in-laws, parents and some siblings have gotten a free Skype account.   Skype lets you connect through instant messages and video chats for free online. I talk to my parents while I cook dinner and take my laptop around the apartment to show them my Christmas decorations.   When they are all together watching football on Sunday one of them sends me a message and that makes me feel included in their family time. On Christmas Day I plan to video chat with the whole family.  You could video chat while you open gifts.  I know other people who make a daily date for grandparents and grand-babies to “play” on the computer. It’s free, easy to learn and once everyone has the hang of it, it can bring your distant loved ones right into your home.
  2. Start a blog. At first my blog was just a fun way to experiment with the little code knowledge I was picking up at work, but it developed into a way to share my life with my family. I write about what’s going on in my life, put up pictures and even connected my Twitter account to my blog so that my parents (who are not into Twitter… yet!) can even enjoy the small updates I do there.  It saves me time from having to write lengthy emails about the same event to different family members and is a great way to share photos without worrying about email size and attachments. Recently my dad even started his own travel blog and is now returning the favor, letting me stay updated on his trips.
  3. Get phone cards. If you’re like my husband and I, you don’t have much need for a home phone line. We both have smart phones and spend more of our time texting than calling. But this has put a barrier up for us when it comes to calling grandma and grandpa and other family members who don’t have Skype, blogs, or even computers. We started buying phone cards and keeping them by the phone and in our wallets. For the occasional call to Grandma it’s much cheaper than getting a long distance plan.
  4. Find inexpensive and simple ways to wish them well at holidays. I live in Canada and my parents, sister and brother all live in the States.  You wouldn’t believe how annoying shipping across the border can be (don’t get me started on gift cards). I’ve had to look for ways to wish them happy birthday and merry Christmas that work across borders and arrive on time.  Some websites, like Etsy.com, will accept Canadian PayPal payments and delivery to the US so I can have gifts shipped directly to my family. E cards are another great option.  If all else fails, start an arrangement with a family member (in my case, my shopaholic, sale-finding sister) who is willing to be your personal elf and save you the cost of shipping.
  5. Put family in your calendar. I am not good at remembering important dates and have forgotten more than a couple family birthdays.  I am trying to schedule events in my email calendar in advance of the special occasion. This alerts me to the birthday, holiday or anniversary in enough time to mail a card or call my “family elf” (see Tip #4!) and arrange  to have something there on the special day. I have found if I don’t make these events as important as the work meetings I schedule, they get forgotten and I miss an opportunity to show my family I am thinking of them.
  6. Sign up for seat sale alerts. Most airlines and discount ticket websites will allow you to specify what cities you’re keeping your eye of for cheap flights and will email alert you if the price falls. I recommend travelocity.comorbitz.comhotwire.com. Staying on top of the ups and downs of travel costs helps my husband and me maximize the times we can see our relatives each year.  Get your family involved in looking too.  My mother-in-law has emailed us more than once with WestJet deals and we’ve been able to visit her more affordable.
  7. Do something together. How do you do something together when you don’t even live in the same country? I’ve found that there are ways to share a common bond or activity that don’t require two people are in the same room at the same time.  My sister and I are putting together our family photo calendar, a yearly tradition we took over last year. Our extended relatives email us the photos, we both upload to Snapfish.com and work on designing it as a team.  It’s like a sisters’ scrap-booking project without paper! Other options might be making a family fantasy sports pool or doing the same craft and uploading photos on Facebook of your progress for the other to see.
  8. Keep the lines of communication open and the relationship a priority. Whatever your reasons for being away from loved ones, they can cause some to feel negative emotions from time to time about why you wouldn’t want to be closer to them. Perhaps most of your family lives close together and you are the one consistently absent from family functions because life has carried you elsewhere.  Whatever the situation, resist the temptation to let the lines of communication go quiet. Initiate connection even when it may be hard or when you feel out of the loop. Pulling back will only add to the miles between you and feed the fears that the relationship may be lost. Take opportunities, like Christmas, to show them with the efforts you make that they are a valuable part of your life and that your relationship can continue to grow – even if you live far apart.

I am a little late getting this out but they have awesome ideas!

Celebrate this Christmas with 12 days of romance.

 

    1. On the first day of Christmas – Buy your mate onebox of their favorite cereal and lace it with lots of “prizes.” Throw in some golf tees, Hershey kisses, toy cars or whatever would bring out the child in them.
    2. On the second day of Christmas – Take out yourtwo engraved toasting glasses from the china cabinet and use them. Reminisce about the day you first sipped from them. If you never had any, engrave your own by buying some stencils and etching paste at a craft store.
  1. On the third day of Christmas – Have three meals together. You could go all out with breakfast in bed, a picnic lunch and a candlelit dinner. Better yet, spend less time preparing the meal and more time sharing it together.
  2. On the fourth day of Christmas – Put the pedal to the metal and four on the floor. Take a peaceful drive for the day. Go to the country, sight see in the city or cruise around looking at Christmas lights.
  3. On the fifth day of Christmas – Fax or deliver a photocopy of your five fingers (plus the rest of your hand) to your love at work. Tell them you can’t wait to be together to hold the real thing.
  4. On the sixth day of Christmas – Give her a half dozen of her favorite flower – one at a time. Leave one on the pillow, one on her car seat, one at her office, etc.
  5. On the seventh day of Christmas – Count your lucky stars by gazing into the  seventhheaven. If the night is overcast, arrange for glow-in-the-dark stars on the bedroom ceiling.
  6. On the eighth day of Christmas – Buy an eight- pack of crayons and together design and color a personalized coloring book of happy memories you have shared.
  7. On the ninth day of Christmas – Dress to the nines and head out to a swanky restaurant. If a full meal would be too much on the budget, simply go for cocktails or dessert.
  8. On the tenth day of Christmas – Massage your sweetheart’s aching shoulders for tenminutes. Throw in a back scratch, a foot massage and a hair brushing if you are feeling extra generous.
  9. On the eleventh day of Christmas – Bake him eleven of his favorite cookies (since most recipes make one dozen, these will be bigger than usual – he won’t complain). Stick a wooden skewer through the side of each cookie and then wrap the cookie in a colored plastic wrap. Place them in a box or vase as you would a dozen roses.
  10. On the twelfth day of Christmas – Present your sweetheart with a custom made twelve-month calendar for the new year. Use personal photographs or your own drawings to make it unique. Highlight special days for the new year.

 

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Gift of Love….

I wanted to put some things out there for you to chew on. Hope you enjoy this!

Here is the challenge: To identify your loved ones’ Love Language and give a unique gift of Love this Christmas.

  • Words of Affirmation

Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

  • Quality Time

In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

  • Receiving Gifts

Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

  • Acts of Service

Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

  • Physical Touch

This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Once you have identified the right language do something special for that person. You can even wrap it up and put it under the tree.  You can write a card using words of affirmation, or give a coupon for a back rub for physical touch.  For quality time, you can offer a coupon to do something your loved one really enjoys and promise to leave the cell phone and kids at home.  Acts of service could be a coupon for dinner made or a day off from house work, where you fill in the gaps.  Use your own creativity.

Coupons work well because it is tangible and you can wrap it up under the tree.  Add a date for the gift of love and it will be something you both look forward to instead of random.   If your loved one has the language of gifts, choose something that reflects how well you know them.  It doesn’t have to be costly, just personal.

What is the best gift you have ever received? The best gift you’ve ever given? Tell me your story in the comments.

Announcements · Holidays · Thoughts!

Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents………..

Hey Guys and Ladies!

This post will be a long one but it will be the last one for the year. I am heading into my cave to finish my spring collection! I wanted to leave you with some words, of well, I believe they are wisdom. Read on…

Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents- Jo March

Jo’s right. remember when she grumbled about not having any money for presents in the Little Women? Christmas is about gifts. Always has been. But we feel uncomfortable with this emphasis on gimme, gimme, gimme. Buy, buy, buy. Charge, charge, charge. We admonish our children to remember the reason for the season, even though we have difficulty remembering it ourselves when we’re caught up in the chaos and commotion of the holidays.

Today let’s ruminate on the Real role of gifts in the Christmas story. Those gifts were wrapped in miracles, which is probably why we can’t find them at the malls or in mail-order catalogs. The first gift was of Spirit: unconditional Love. The next gift came from a Jewish teenager named Miriam, who was known to her family and friends as Mary. Her Christmas present was selflessness, the complete surrender of ego and will needed to bring Heaven down to earth. The gifts of her fiance, Joseph, were trust and faith. He trusted that Mary wasn’t pregnant with another man’s child; he believed there really was a Divine Plan to get them through this mess. The Child brought forgiveness. Wholeness. Second chances. The angels’ gifts were tidings of comfort, joy, and peace, the reassurance that there was nothing to fear, so rejoice. The shepherd boy’s gift was generosity: his favorite lamb for the baby’s birthday present. The innkeeper’s wife’s gifts were compassion and charity: a warm, dry, safe place for the homeless family to stay, her best coverlet to wrap the new mother and little one, a meal for Joseph, the donkey’s fresh hay.

Three kings from the east traveled many hot, dusty miles following a bright star in search of a royal birth. The sages’ divination foretold the coming of the “King of Kings”; on their camels’backs were treasures with which to honor his arrival. But when they arrived in Bethlehem, they found the newborn prince in a cow stall instead of a palace. The shocked Wise Men unwrapped gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but their Real gifts were wonder, acceptance, and courage. They offered wonder by surrendering logic, reason, and common sense. Accepting the impossible, they suspended skepticism long enough to double-cross the insane King Herod, frantically searching for the child who would change the world. With courage at the risk of their own lives. The Wise Men helped the young family escape to a safe haven in Egypt.

Oh, yes. Christmas is all about gifts. Nothing but gifts. But such gifts! Gifts tied with heartstrings. Gifts that surprise and delight. Gifts that transform the mundane into the miraculous. Gifts that nurture the souls of both the giver and the given. Perfect gifts. Authentic gifts. The gifts of Spirit, a frightened teenage girl, her bewildered sweetheart, the Child, the angels, the shepherd boy, the inn-keeper’s wife. The gifts of the Magi.

Unconditional Love. Selflessness. Trust. Faith. Forgiveness. Wholeness. Second Chances. Comfort. Joy. Peace. Reassurance. Rejoicing. Generosity. Compassion. Charity. Wonder. Acceptance. Courage.

To give such gifts. To truly open our hearts to receive such gifts gratefully.

Christmas just won’t be Christmas without any presents!

 

This is just something to think about. These words were not my own I borrowed it from a dear woman by the name of Sarah Breathnach.

So before you get worked up about getting the perfect gift for others think of the real gifts that we were given and share those instead.

My love to you all. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Oh yeah I didn’t receive any stories for the contest. That is alright I will offer the opportunity again next year.

Take care and talk to you all soon!

 

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Holiday Wear

I have been sitting in my chair sipping on my peppermint mocha coffee and looking out of my window an into the fog thinking “What could I wear this morning that would allow me to feel and look amazing?” Then it dawned on me that it’s December and it’s 70 degrees outside in Illinois!!! I can literally go outdoors right now and wear some shorts or a super cool dress.  I know that that probably made no sense considering my topic is holiday wear, but you have to admit that is pretty wild.

Alright so here are some suggestions for wearing an amazing outfit and the cost will literally be minimal. Once  I get a camera that will allow me to post videos then I will put up videos for now I will use pics and verbage.

What do you find yourself saying when you walk to your closet? If your like me it’s a groan followed by what in the world am I going to wear? Since my closet is filled with mainly my husbands clothes I have to be super creative. Now I know what your thinking “Ja Nelle your a fashion designer why don’t you have more clothes to wear?” Easy answer I have three children under the age of 8 and a house hold to help run, and oh yeah a clothing collection to bring to you all. I have neglected as many moms do to get myself in order. However this is why I am doing this blog. It’s a way to hold me accountable in looking FABULOUS!!!!!!

Enough of my babbling here are three easy things you can dress up or down and still look amazing!

Romantic Trendy Womens Clothes

OK we will start here. You don’t have to have this dress in your closet to pull off this look. Do you have a over-sized shirt? If so put the shirt on then button it up half way, take your hands and arms out tie the sleeves into a pretty bow then add your choice of a shiny ribbon to tie around your mid section just below your breast line. Now add a pair of jeans to make it more casual or add a skirt and cute heels to dress it up with a sparkly scarf. Super chic and very low cost.

Next on my list would be a nice long coat. If you own one and it doesn’t look to bad wear this as a dress. Dress it up with accessories and dark tights. Perhaps you want to make it a little low key wear a slip to make it look like a camisole with a pair of dark jeans leave the jacket open to show the top of the cami. Finish it off with some cute earrings!

Last but not least. How many of you own a bridesmaids dress? Take that dress back out and change it up. Add a few safety pins in the right places to pull up the bottom to make it plump up just a bit and add a mini jacket with it or perhaps a sash to make a fabulous new gown for special occasions. I know what your thinking what is the color is hideous and it doesn’t fit me at all. This is where having fun with accessories comes in real handy to transform your look. Give it a try! I think you’ll love it!

To finish off your look please check out my friend Toni “The Beat Face” Kid for a easy holiday look that works well for all! 

Check out her video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM8KtRYK2EU&list=LL7xJfHHOD627S4UefWTGiNw&feature=mh_lolz