25 December 2011

Merry Merry Christmas Day!

Our tree!

My family might disown me for this one, but my brother got our dad this bottle drying rack for his wine bottles (he makes his own wine) and in the spirit of Christmas I thought the pieces of the rack look more like antlers than anything else. Thankfully my family obliged to my silly request and TA DA! A silly 3/4 family photo:

I made a pie for dinner, the things on top could be mittens or bells, or acorns - whatever Christmasy thing you'd like it to be.

24 December 2011

Christmas in New Glasgow

Since Greg and I have only been living with each other since August this is our first year we could have a tree together. We didn't want anything too giant, as you can see, we went with something more of our own height.

To get it in our car the guy at the tree lot used this plastic wrap to squish it together:

Greg was cutting the plastic off and was expecting more of a Griswald Christmas tree outcome, thankfully that wasn't the case and no windows broke:

Decorated tree

LEDs, they are growing on me

We don't own much Christmas stuff so I decided to make a few things, garland:

And a Merry Christmas sign:

The thoughtful cards we've received from our lovely friends and family! Also, the GIANT stocking Greg made for me a few years ago:

Since Greg and I are spending Christmas in two different provinces we decided to have our own Christmas earlier this week.  I made Greg an apron, he can finally stop using his clothes as a towel:

Greg gave me two skeins of yarn and a lot of tea, I was also wearing antlers:

So far, we only have one Christmas tradition: watching the Muppet Christmas Carol and drinking, this year we added Greg makes Ali a meal. So I was treated to one of my favourite meals - hooray!

I hope your pre-Christmas celebrations have been as fun as mine have been!

Merry Muppet Christmas

I think the Muppets best sum up this time of year, I've compiled a few of my favorite clips to festive-up the blog.

One More Sleep 'Til Christmas - that's actually today! Just in case you forgot, from the Muppet Christmas Carol:


Important things to remember this time of year, care of Big Bird:

Beaker being Beaker, Ode to Joy:

My favourite Muppet song, ever:

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year with a Muppet sing-a-long:

We Wish You a Merry Christmas, from A Muppet Family Christmas:

17 December 2011

Homemade Toys!

It turns out that Santa and Mattel aren't the only ones who can make toys! Yesterday I started to make a stuffed elephant, it took a few turns from what I first imagined but I like what I came out with.

I drew a super basic elephant shape on paper and then traced it out onto a wooly sort of fabric I have. I actually have used the fabric to make myself a scarf so despite looking like scratchy wool it's quite soft.

The doodles are from fiddling with ideas for an elephant tail

I cut out the fabric and embroidered the outline in blue thread, made eyes, cut out ear shapes and sewed them on (with a super tiny stitch) and then pinned the middle strip on and sewed it up. Attaching the middle piece was pretty awkward and I stopped and started the sewing quite a bit.

Another view of the inside out elephant, the red thread is a heart I also embroidered:

One last inside out before I sewed up the other side and flipped it:

A much more rotund elephant, stuffed with...well, stuffing. It kind of looks like its ears are corduroy, but it's just the wrong side of the grey fabric, I was hoping it would add some contrast, it worked:

I added a tail, despite my initial drawing (I tried embroidering something a few times but it didn't look right) I went with the same idea as the ears  - fabric on the wrong side sewn on. It doesn't look quite like a tail but hopefully it's passable:

Depending on what other friends/family member have kids there might be other animals created in the future. Or maybe just when I get bored, so that could mean more animals shortly.

Christmas Movie (& Music) Madness

Well, not really madness, but it seemed to make a better post title.

Like many other people Greg and I indulge in a variety of excellent classic Christmas movies and also a bit of the less than classic movies.

We are saving the best (Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Family Christmas, A Christmas Story) for this week, but so far these are the gems we've taken in:







The next movie, Fred Claus, reminded me that when actors have children they end up in bizarre movies.  Vince Vaughn, well that's not too much of a stretch, but Paul Giamatti, Kevin Spacy, Kathy Bates, Rachel Weisz, the list goes on!
It really wasn't too bad of a movie, other than the parts that were created so kids could have a dance or laugh at quick moving clips of Fred and Santa flying through the main street in the North Pole strung together. 

One of the best parts of this movie was that I learned about a new to me Christmas song, Christmas Wrapping. It's from the 80's but I don't think I'd heard of it until Fred Claus. 

Check it out:

If you don't know the Waitresses you might know their song I Know What Boys Like:

Back to Christmas Wrapping, in searching for a video for the song I came across two covers, one makes sense, the other just seems strange. I'll let you decide which is which:

Oh yea, and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges was in the movie as an elf, a DJ elf - of course! And he has a Christmas rap: Ludacrismas, you can't resist:

16 December 2011

Bread Maker-ing

I tried to make bread today in our bread maker - it was moderately successful. I think what I made could pass as bread:

It kind of has a bread shape but the top looks more like a blob of cooked dough, which I guess that's just what it is.

It tastes okay - I tried a bit with some butter, so perhaps it's just meant to be sandwich bread. I'll be trying it again, hopefully with better results!

15 December 2011

Christmas in the Mail!

The Christmas cards have started to come in the mail, thank you!!

One card in particular, from PEI had a special stamp on it that I couldn't help but share:

I'm assuming this big potato is a tourist attraction, it's in O'Leary so the next time you're in the area be sure to visit. I know Greg and I will be!

Thanks Courtney and Melanie!

Greg's Famous!

Or at least he made it into the weekly newspaper, The Advocate.

Accepting monies for the Library - perhaps the reason people use GIANT cheques is so people know it's a cheque and not just a piece of paper.  Yay Greg!

Evenings in New Glasgow

Last Friday Greg and I took in a great show at the Baked Cafe in New Glasgow. The band's called Poplar Pines and they were making their way across Eastern Canada on a tour.  It was a great acoustic/a little electric set and each of the two guys played a guitar AND part of a drum set, either bass, high hat or symbol.

We picked up their CD for only 5 bones!

12 December 2011

I Hit Jackpot!

The Frenchy's in New Glasgow is amazing! Or at least my visit this week was amazing!

I picked up 2 long-sleeves, 2 sweaters and 3 dresses for $30. Now the dresses all needed some love in the sewing/hemming department (an easy fix) but otherwise all of the pieces were in tip-top shape.

Here is my haul:

#1 - Navy Dress - Perfect for work and it fits like a glove. It just needed some hem love as you can see.

#2 - Grey linen-esque dress- I LOVE the material on this dress, I was actually contemplating making it into a shirt rather than a dress but after thinking about it and trying it with a belt I went with dress. I cut and hemmed the length to just above my knees.

#3 - Merino Wool button up dress - At first I thought this was just a thick knit, but upon inspection of the tag I learned it was merino wool (this will not be a spring/summer piece!) I hemmed this to just above my knees as well, and now I need to do something about these super bright, shiny silver buttons. I will be on the hunt for alternative and would love feedback if you have some.

Mid-process: making the new hem

#4 - Shrug of sorts - such a soft sweater, from Abercrombie & Finch - I prefer my $3.75 price tag

I tried to take a picture of me wearing it, this is the best I could come up with since Greg wasn't home. Check out my stylish sewing get-up. I love sweatpants!

#5 Almost an Old Man sweater - it fits like a cozy old man sweater but it has the most lovely knitted pattern. I couldn't say no

#6 Striped long sleeve - I wasn't sure if I was going to turn this into a sleeveless or not, but after trying it on again when I got home I think I'll keep it as a long sleeve. The material is pretty thick so I think as a sleeveless it seems kind of silly. I really like how high the neck.

#7 Very soft grey long sleeve - This is actually from Banana Republic and it's going to stay as a long sleeve as well. It's very soft!

I've hemmed all of the dresses but I'll post pictures soon. Perhaps I'll get my model on? Perhaps not.

09 December 2011

23.5 Hours

To some of your exercising for 30 minutes a day might be the norm, but for others it might be a challenge. This less than 10 minute visual lecture by Dr. Mike Evans gives you a variety of reasons (physical health, mental health, overall happiness to name a few) as to why you should try your best to get those 30 minutes in each day.

Thanks to Suzanne for sharing the link on Facebook.

08 December 2011

DIY Projects

While looking for Christmas present inspiration (and just looking because I love crafting!) I've stumbled across a number of DIY projects, either with tutorials or those you can take and figure out on your own.

Now they are not all Christmas-y but they are fun!

#1 - Gathered Clutch (tutorial!) This can be made as a simple clutch or more complicated with additional inside pockets. I love the fabric in the examples!


#2 - Pinwheel Skirt (tutorial!) This is much more of a summer piece, but I absolutely love it! If you click the Source in the caption you can check out a number of other skirt tutorials.


#3 - Pencil Case/Cosmetic Bag. This isn't a tutorial but a piece that was for sale on Etsy. I love the big stitching between the pieces of fabric.


#4 Christmas Tree Skirt (tutorial!) - This is something I will be making this season, Greg and I are without a tree skirt (this year will be our first to share a tree) so I will be using whatever scraps I have in my fabric bin to create something that resembles a tree skirt.


You can find a number of other crafting ideas on my Pinterest account. Happy Crafting!

03 December 2011

I Said YES to a Dress!

I really have just a vague idea of the "Say Yes to the Dress" show - I was only reminded of it when a woman at the store where I said yes referenced it and I played along...awkwardly. I know it's on TLC, so that leads me to believe it's an over emotional and dramatic version of what I experienced.

After much online browsing and pinning on Pinterest my mom and I visited just three stores to find my wedding dress. I'm on the fence when it comes to loving shopping, sometimes it's awesome and other times it's terrible. Thankfully my mom makes most shopping experiences pleasant, that was helped my excellent service at 2/3 shops.

We visited Felicity Bridal, Winchesters and Always and Forever, in that order. I tried to find Annabelles in Dartmouth, but it turns out they closed up shop.

While my mom has an excellent eye for clothing I would like she lacks in photography skills, despite this she did a pretty good job capturing my antics and lack luster posing. She took a bunch of photos (for the most part) in each dress that I tried on and I picked a few of each to help you get a better idea of how it looked on me.

My goal was to find a simple dress, without beading, sequence and a lot of bulk (as I've previously said, I don't want a family to be able to camp out under there). I was also hoping to not be laced into my dress. Not that I have anything against these qualities in a wedding dress - they just aren't for me.

Lets start with some 'outtakes', now I'm not looking awesome in every photo (sorry Tyra!) but these ones were particularly fun:

Testing eatability in a dress at Winchesters.

Flattering, no?

Okay, lets get to the decent pictures, these are in the order of dresses I've tried on. Here are the dresses from Felicity where we received lovely one-on-one service from Christa:

Dress #1 - I LOVED the bottom, despite my desires to have a simple dress. This was my number 2 pick at Felicity.

The train wasn't very long for a simple bustle

Dress #2 - I seem to have only one 'good' photo of this dress, the material was really heavy so I don't remember being in it a long time to have many good photo ops.

Dress #3 - This was my third choice at Felicity. I liked the simplicity and shape but I wasn't huge on the straps or the small amount of cleavage (the clip is hiding it in the first picture)

Trying on a veil for fun, I won't be going with one

Dress #4 -This dress has pockets!! I liked the bodice but it went a bit too long before poofing out again.

Lesson learned: don't wear bras even if they are strapless
to try on a wedding dress


Dress #5 - This was my absolute favourite at Felicity! On my first go through I didn't even pick it out, Christa snagged it for me to try on. The pictures don't really do it justice, but I actually have a figure in this dress - hips?! Picture the dress without the flower on the top of the bodice.

This flower would be going

Dress #6 - This was not a favourite, it had beading under the bust and too much fluffy stuff going on at the hips, but it's fun to try on different things.

Dress #7 - I called this dress the leggy Spanish dress: it's made in Spain and REALLY long. Again, not my cup of tea but still fun to try on.

Holding things into position while the excess dress is clipped

Off to Winchesters we go

Dress #8 -I liked this dress, it was simple with more of a layering effect giving a nice amount of texture. But sadly it had laces.

Dress #9 - This dress was too small on me so we started out on the wrong foot. Again there are laces up the back so it's not ideal and I wasn't huge on how the fabric was layered on the front.

Too small!

Dress #10 - I liked this dress, you might be noticing a theme at Winchesters (layered with laces). Once again the laces were happening but otherwise a pretty dress.

Day 2 and our last and final store, Always and Forever:

Dress #11 -Beading AND laces? I know, two of my goals out the window. Needless to say this wasn't the dress.

Dress #12 - This was my number 2 pick at Always and Forever (imagine it without the flower on the front). I liked the neckline and how simple it is. It also has ample room for eating, an incredibly important element!

Dress #13 - This was most definitely a 'sure, lets try THIS dress on' dress. As you can see it's being held up around my neck by what can only be described as a neck wreath - TADA!

It also was A LOT of dress!

Dress #15 - This was also definitely not the dress, but what the heck! This is a very good example of an unfriendly-Ali eating dress.

I did like what was happening here though, if felt very structured

Phew - so if you stuck with me until the end of this post, please applause yourself in a particularly rowdy way as to pretend I was there with you - you know, because I'm rowdy.

I will not be revealing what THE DRESS looks like until our wedding day, well I suppose a few days after as I can't imagine I'll be blogging day of. I'm told Brides don't have time for things like that on their wedding day.

I did manage to find something that met all of my requirements, in fact it actually made my mom cry so that was a hint it was a keeper. I had no idea that wedding dresses elicited tears but there's that old saying you learn something new every day for reasons such as this.

A space to better document my days and finds with visual aids and clickable links.