Sunday, July 29, 2012

Traveling to Texas?

This post brought to you by SAVE . All opinions are 100% mine.

You guys know I'm a big travel nerd, so I love when companies contact me to blog about the cool things to see and do in their part of the country or world! I've been to several cities in Texas, but never to San Antonio, so I had fun checking out the SAVE – San Antonio Vacation Experience site! If you're planning to travel there anytime soon, it is definitely worth checking out. They offer discounts to all kinds of local attractions, hotels and shopping, including some Limited Time Offers like free gifts at local shops. 

SeaWorld Aquatica_Ray Lagoon Family.jpg

I knew there was a SeaWorld in San Antonio, for instance, but I didn't know that they're adding an Aquatica water park to it, just like we have in Orlando! It would be fun to see if they're similar. It's also home to Schlitterbahn, the water park you've probably seen on the Travel Channel about a zillion times as one of the world's best water parks. There is also a Six Flags theme park (Six Flags Fiesta Texas), but since I already spend so much time in theme parks, I'd love to check on the San Antonio Zoo and the San Antonio Botanical Garden, too! Plus, you can't miss the Alamo, right? 

Save offers discounts on all of those (score!), like $2 off admission to the zoo, $2 off Schlitterbahn admission, a coupon for Six Flags where adults pay the kid's admission price, $10 off SeaWorld admission and $1 off botanical garden admission. There's also $2 off the Alamo trolley tour, which is a convenient way to see moreof the sights. Not gigantic discounts, but they do add up, especially if you don't travel solo like I usually do!

Being me, I'd probably have to hit the North Star Mall, too, since they have shops like Saks, Sephora, BCBG Max Azria and my home away from home, the Disney Store. And SAVE has a coupon you can print for a free coupon booklet at the mall. Yay for deals!

You can also find them on Twitter at @SAVEinSA!

Have you ever been? Any recommendations for what to see/do/shop/eat?


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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dress Makeover #2- Red Bandanna Dress

Time for dress makeover #2!  If you remember the post where I acquired all of these dresses, this was the one I was most excited to work with!

Here is the before:

This is what you get when I take before pics at 4am.

I knew I wanted to raise the waistline, remove the sleeves and bring it up to around knee length. I hoped to end up with a fun, comfy summer dress perfect for 4th of July parties or barbecues. When I'm back at Disney, I also think it would be perfect for hanging out in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom, or the campfire at Fort Wilderness!

The first thing I did was use a seam ripper to remove the sleeves. I had originally thought I could just raise the waistline by sewing a simple seam inside the top, but I could NOT manage to make that work, so I ended up totally separating the top from the skirt (via seam ripper, again!) and then resewing them. I ended up having to sew that part twice, because the white part was still a little longer than I wanted after the first try.

Action shot!

Next, I shortened the skirt to above the knees.  How do you figure out what length to go with a skirt?  I wish there was a magical formula, but the best thing I've found is to just stand in front of a mirror, and experiment with pulling it up to different lengths to see what flatters your body the most.  Once you're pretty sure you like a length, you can pin it in place to be sure before cutting. I chose to make the back of the skirt about an inch longer than the front, and I like how it turned out!

While taking the Before pics, I experimented with length.  I just have the skirt pulled up to about the length I thought I'd want, and I'm holding it in place in the back.  This ended up being pretty close to the length it ended up!

I had to take the dress in about an inch on each side. Super easy- I just sewed up along the sides, following the oringal seam, and then flaring it out a little at the bottom so that I could keep the fullness at the bottom of the skirt.

I didn't originally plan to do anything with the neckline, but when I tried the dress on over the tank top I had on to check some alterations I had pinned, I noticed how much higher the neckline was than the neck of the top I had on. For me, a V-shaped neck is way easier to sew than trying to get a round neck even, so I snipped a straignt line down the front center of the top, and then just folded it back and stitched it in place.  Easy peasy!

My final step was to change up the sleeves. Removing the actual sleeves left me with way too wide shoulder straps, so I did some experimenting with width, and finally settled on one that worked for me.

Ready for the finished product?

90% of all photos taken at my house end up with a cat in them.  This is a fact. Say hi to Hathaway!

I really like the finished product!  It's super light and airy, and effortless to throw on. What do you guys think?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dress Makeover #1 - Coral

I can't believe it has been 2 weeks since I posted all of the crazy dresses I got at the thrift store sale!  I've been working on several of them on and off since then.  I have a WHOLE new respect for Marissa from New Dress A Day for doing a dress every single day!  I've mostly been doing 20-30 min on a dress, and then setting it aside to come back to later. It's a lot of work!

This is the first dress that I "finished". That's in quotation marks because I still want to do a little bit of tweaking to make it fit just a little better, but for the most part, it's done.

Here's a reminder of what we started with:

Kindly ignore that I took this at like 4am with no makeup!

The alterations on this one were really simple. First, I shortened it to a little above knee length.  (I couldn't fit the whole length in the above pic, but it went down to my ankles!)  Next, I HAD to get rid of the little flappy things up by the shoulders.  Here's a close-up...

A wee bit too first grade teacher for me!  I popped the buttons off with a seam ripper, snipped off that rounded end, took the top part of the sleeve apart, and resewed it.

My last step was to remove most of the buttons that ran up one side of the dress. 

I had to leave two buttons at the bottom, because they were keeping the slit on the side of the dressed closed, and to be honest it was much easier to just leave them than to figure out how to cover up the button holes that would be left behind if I took them off!

Finished product?

I still need to take it in just a little bit. It's fitted in the chest, but along the sides is kind of baggy, which with this type of dress makes me look wider. 

So here is my question for you guys!  I am still kind of thinking about dying it pink, because I'm not a huge fan of the coral color it currently is. It looks a little pinker in these photos than it is, so imagine a slightly more grapefruity-orangeness. To dye or not to dye?

I'd also love to hear your feedback!  It's ok to be honest!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Must Haves and 10 years!

I haven't posted about EdenFantasys in a while, but they're celebrating their 10 year anniversary (birthday? Whatever, they've been in business for 10 years now!) so I thought that deserved a post! One of the promotions for the celebration is free shipping on orders over $25 (instead of their usual free shipping on orders over $59), so if you've been wanting to pick up a few items, might as well take advantage of free shipping!

Since we've hit that time of year where it's like a million degrees outside, I thought I'd share some of my favorite items for summer!

Heart shaped ice cubes tray - Gags
Heart Shaped Ice Cube Tray

I have two of these and love them! I like to use mine to make ice cubes out of tea, so that I can put them in iced tea without watering it down. They also work for Jello-shots, making your own heart-shaped chocolates (by melting chocolate, pouring it into the hearts and letting it harden) and of course regular old ice!

Glow-rious glistening body lotion - Body moisturizer
Glow-rious Glistening Body Lotion

You guys know I'm obsessed with Cake Beauty products, and this is one that has been getting a lot of use lately!  You know that awkward phase between when you start wearing shorts for the summer and when your legs are actually tan enough to not blind people? (That doesn't just happen to me, right?) This lotion has gold mica in it, which gives your legs just a little hint of a golden shimmer. It also smells a little like pina colada, perfect for that pool party mood!

Mary Zilba lip gloss - Lip gloss
Mary Zilba Lip Gloss

Let's get this out of the way: this lip gloss is frickin' $19. Not unheard of if you're used to shopping at Sephora or similar makeup stores, but way more than a lot of people are used to paying for a lip gloss.  However (and this is coming from possibly the cheapest person ever), it is SO worth it! This stuff is seriously the perfect nude lip gloss. It makes my lips look a-mazing! It's gorgeous for that beachy, effortless type of makeup look!  (Plus you can use my promo code, SP3 at checkout and knock it down 15% to $16.15!)

I may cover some fun summery clothes they offer next time!  I have a cute red dress they sent me that is begging to finally be worn!

What are your summer must-haves?

I will be provided with a gift card from EdenFantasys in exchange for this post, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Bag Sale!

It's been a while since I've done a Thrifty Thursday, but this one should make up for it!  It's a doozy!

A couple of weeks ago, I ventured over to the Humane Society thrift shop in Reeds Spring to check it out, and totally fell in love. The whole place is so well organized!  For example, they actually sort their jeans by size! It was like paradise compared to some of the dumpy places I've been to lately. I poked around quite a bit, but didn't end up getting anything. I did, however, learn that they have a bag sale on clothes on the first Tues of each month!  You can get a Wal-Mart sized bag of clothes for THREE DOLLARS!  Just to compare, the last thrift store that I wrote about (here) has a bag sale that runs constantly, but the same sized bag is $10! It's almost embarrassing how excited I was counting down the days till the first Tuesday of July.

So, imagine how much MORE excited I was when I called the day before to make sure they still had the sale, and learned that there is also the option to fill a big kitchen sized (the white kind) trash bag for $5!! Sign me up!

I went over around 10:30 am on Tues, but I think I'll go earlier next month, because given how fast things were disappearing while I was there, I have a feeling a lot of good stuff was gone before I arrived!  I picked up my trash bag at the front door, but instead of stuffing things in it, I just tossed them over my arm until it got too heavy, and *then* stopped to fold everything before going on. 

Picture time!

It doesn't look like much from the outside. 

I was reeeeally tempted to pick up this little vanity table for $5!  It's too small for an adult, but would have been really cute to store makeup and such on!

This was pretty much the best part of the whole store!  They have a TON of patterns, most of which are vintage. There is some major 50s-90s fabulous happening in there!  And they're only 25 cents each!

Seriously!  Check out that perfection!  Amazeballs.

So, what did I get in my giant bag-o-stuff?  Well, shoes were included, so I grabbed a like-new pair of strappy black heels. Unfortunately they ended up being a little too small (Probably should have tried them on, oops!) so they went into my yard sale pile.  I also got a pair of knee-high brown boots that DO fit. SCORE. They also look like they've hardly ever been worn!  Yaaaaay.  (Purses were also included in the sale, but none caught my eye.)

What else went into the bag?  Let's start with dresses!  I'll also give you a quick summary of what I'm planning to do to each one to make it wearable!  (I should probably put a disclaimer here that few things delight me more than buying an incredibly fugly dress for practically nothing and turning it into a masterpiece. In other words, don't judge them too harshly by what they look like *now*.  And yes, I will post about each one as I fix it up!)

Dress #1 is a late 80s/early 90s wonderland of red. It's one of those suit-type things where there's a simple red dress underneath, with an attached jackety thing. (that being the technical term). I *thought* this one would be super easy- some hot seam ripper action to remove the jacket and voila!  Cute red dress!

Oh, how wrong I was.

It tuns out that only about 50% of the red dress beneath the jacket is actually made of the red fabric you see.  The rest is this thin, sheer stuff. This is going to require some super serious creativity to fix, but it will happen! (eventually).

#2 is kind of awesome.  I've already ripped out the shoulder pads and removed the sleeves, so now I just need to sew up the seams where the sleeves used to be, and it will be a whole new dress!  I may end up doing something to the neck line, since it's a little high on me, but otherwise this dress took almost zero effort.

I am not yet sure what I want to do with #3. It's practically brand new, but it does have a little tear along the side seam that needs mended. I haven't tried it on yet, so I'll probably have a much better idea of what I want to do with it once I see how it falls on my body.

#4 is a hot mess of 70s goodness. It's kinda like a polyester prom dress and a flannel bath robe made sweet love and had this baby. However, I see potential in there.  The sleeves are definitely coming off, and the skirt will be short, but that's about all I have figured out so far.

#5 is probably the one I'm most excited about.  If you can't tell from the pic, it's a basic ribbed fabric on top (usually seen in tank tops) and a handkerchief-style print on bottom. (This dress still had the tags on- scoooore!)

I plan to bring the waistline up to an empire waist, and then shorten the skirt to a little above knee length and remove the sleeves. It's a shame I didn't have time to do this for the 4th of July!

#6 needs something to make it more fun, although I do like the row of buttons running down the side.  This one is definitely going to become much shorter, and probably needs taken in quite a bit.  It needs some kind of embellishment- maybe just belting it will help?  We'll see!

Grandma called, she wants #7 back. (That's kind of creepy for me to type, since both of my grandmothers have been dead since before I was born, but you get the idea.)  This thing is so old lady that even the Golden Girls would run from it.  However, although it's hard to tell from the pic, it is a gorgeous seafoamy-turquoise color, and the fabric is this really pretty pleated lightweight stuff.  It's going to make an amaaaaaazing skirt, once I buy some elastic and get over my fear of sewing this type of fabric.

#8 is the first dress I really dug into, and is now lying in pinned together pieces upstairs on my kitchen table, waiting to get sewn. I removed the shoulder pads, sleeves and weird fabric flaps that aren't really visible, as well as the collar. I'm using where it originally buttoned up the front to create a pretty v-neck. I just need to figure out how to take it in several inches in the waist without messing up the drawstring belt that's sewn in!  Expect awesomeness when this is finished!

I have no idea what I am going to do with #9. Birthday present for Betty White? I haven't really been able to do anything yet, because my kitten Tiny is obsessed with it, and keeps rolling around on top of it blissfully. Stay tuned for a hopeful epiphany on this one.

10 is also already a work in progress.  It's a kind of stretchy, sporty mini dress. However, it is a medium, so while it fits my body fine, my boobs were smooshed as flat as pancakes. I'm working on opening up the neckline a LOT, and I think I might cut it into two pieces and add a band of black fabric in the middle. to make it a little longer and more interesting.  I promise this makes sense in my head.

#11 is just a random cute mini dress. It's an XL, so I need to bring it in a little, but I probably will just keep it as-is.  Similarly, #12 is pretty cute the way it is, too.

So, yeah, TWELVE dresses!  Insanity! Oh, you think we're done?  You obviously underestimate my ability to stuff crap into a trash bag.  We still have shirts to discuss!

I know it's hard to see in the pic, but #1 is a crochet tank over a simple nude tank. I haven't even tried this on yet, but it was cute.

2 is either going to become the top half of a nautical tank dress, or some kind of beach bag.

3 is just a simple black top. 4 is a white t-shirt from Target that appears to be new.  Hooray for basics!

5 will probably also become the top of a nautical-type dress.

6 is an Old Navy long-sleeved tee that someone had dropped on the floor by the clothing racks.  I picked it up to stick back on a hanger, 'cause I'm a good person like that, but the fabric was so soft and comfy I just stuck it in my bag instead.  This will probably be an around the house/sleep shirt, because the bow design printed on it is kind of ugly, but at least it's soft.

7 is a kind of rad metallic lightweight sweater. I'm not sure how that "tighter at the bottom" design is going to look on my "I eat cookies daily" stomach, so if it ends up being unflattering, I'll just chop off the bottom part, slice up the center and turn it into a bolero length shrug. (Moral of the story: Make me look good or I'll cut you!)

8 is one of those tank tops with a built-in bra that I despise. It's in good shape, though, so I will probably use it as the top half of a dress eventually.

9 is one of my favorite finds- I love the paisley design at the bottom!  I think I might flip it so that the back becomes the front and vice versa, give the new front a cute v-neck, and remove that creey faux-cami white fabric from the new back. And maybe make it sleeveless, who knows.

10 is just a kind of cute pale blue button-down shirt.  I'm not sure if I'll keep it, but I had plenty of room left in my bag, so in it went.

Not pictured are the white Target shorts I also got, because I was too lazy to find a hanger with clippy things to use to photograph them.  They looked about my size, but they turned out to be a 6, so they're an inch or two too small at the waist,.  I had planned to dye them turquoise, since I've been on the hunt for the perfect turquoise shorts with no luck.

Anyway, if you did the math, that was 12 dresses, 10 shirts, 2 pairs of shoes and 1 pair of shorts, all for $5. 25 items in total, which works out to exactly 20 cents per item!  SCORE. I should probably mention that I totally look at this as a record to beat next month.

Any ideas for how to transform these items, other than what I've already mentioned?  I'd love to hear!