I can’t tell you the amount of joy this little girl of mine brings me. Her giggles, her sloppy kisses and generous hugs, the way she climbs into my lap when she wants to be held, and then climbs right back out again to go back to playing. The way she kisses each page of her book, or gets SO EXCITED about ice cream (like her mama).
One of the greatest joys in my life is watching little Wrenn discover the world, one tiny piece of it at a time. Whether it’s discovering that if she rubs her hands over our chalkboard, she can make pictures from the smudge marks, or learning how to stir water in a bowl, or getting up the courage to take her first steps (her record is five in a row).
I want my little girl to DREAM BIG. I want to show her what that looks like by DREAMING BIG myself. After all, I have these little eyes watching my every move.
As part of my Dream BIG goal for 2014, I’m trying to get out of my sewing comfort zone and learn to make new things. One of those things on my list was an infinity scarf. Seems simple enough – just a few straight edges – but thinking about how to have all of my seams on the inside and connecting the ends kind of makes my brain hurt. Geometry, math… these things are not my favorites.
But I did it… and I’m so happy with the outcome!
I picked out some gorgeous fabric from JoAnn’s – don’t you just love the navy background with those beautiful flowers? Reminds me of spring.
I wanted my scarf to be full, so I didn’t cut it down but instead used the natural width of the fabric. If you wanted a slightly thinner scarf, you could trim it down by about half(ish).
I read through a written tutorial and THOUGHT I had it figured out, but there was one step I wasn’t super sure of. I just kind of made it up as I went. You have to sew everything inside out, and leave a tiny hole to then flip your fabric right side out. While it was inside out, I had the PERFECT infinity scarf. Amazing.
When I flipped it right side out?
I had a giant pillowcase. Oops. No hole in the middle for your head. #infinityscarf #fail
So… I cut through one of the end seams and went with Plan B – a YouTube tutorial. (Thank goodness for YouTube.)
Ten minutes later, I had figured everything out and finished up my scarf. Total time for this project was less than an hour (it would have taken about 15 minutes if I had known what I was doing). I may never buy another scarf again – it’s way more fun to make my own!
Since then I’ve worn it twice. And I love it so much I may sleep in it.
I only quilt. And make headbands. And pillows. But I do not EVER make clothes. I just don’t know how to.
Mr. Right says I’m a perfectionist who is scared to branch out and fail. I think he may be right. Or maybe it’s that I have a limited amount of sewing time, and I don’t want to waste it and my valuable fabric on failed projects.
But then Mr. Right found some pics of handmade baby leggings on Instagram, and I fell in love and knew I’d just have to figure it out. And that’s what I did, and I am so, SO proud!
I googled “baby legging tutorial” and found this super easy pattern. (Note to self – I want to try ALL of her tutorials.)
Then Mr. Right and I went on a date to the Fabric store and found some ADORABLE fabrics in spandex and jersey. I have found that busy, random patterns are the most forgiving because you don’t have to line up seams or worry about having something upside down (the same goes for the backings on quilts).
I learned a few lessons the hard way:
1. I need chalk to trace my patterns. You know, black fabric + ink pen doesn’t really work. I ended up pinning the paper pattern to my fabric and just cutting carefully around it, which was fine for forgiving, stretchy material, but for another project that needed to be more exact, that would have caused problems. I’ve found sewing requires PERFECT measurements and cutting.
2. You can’t iron spandex, which made pressing the seams and hemming harder, but I worked around that by doing a lot of pinning.
3. My machine sucked that light, stretchy material right up, jamming my machine so badly I had to call in reinforcements in the form of a hunky husband with his tool belt. He saved the day and had me up and running within about 15 minutes, but I found that I had to be very careful not to do that again. Quilting with cotton is so much easier.
Other than that, the project was fairly easy. It took me about two hours from start to finish (I completed it during Wrenn’s naptime) and I loved the instant gratification of being able to dress her in her new leggings that same day. Quilts take me about 30 hours to make, so it’s usually at least a month of sewing (and that was pre-baby) before I get to admire the finished product.
Wrenn LOVES her new leggings – she is fascinated with the shiny silver polka dots, and they’re so comfy. She may or may not have worn them Saturday night… and Sunday to church… and Monday to visit my office. And pooped on them twice (lot’s of laundry going on in this house).
I’m hooked, and have bought more fabric to make a few different pairs. And now I’m inspired to try some more baby clothes – I have a book of baby dress patterns that I’ve been avoiding, and I think I’m going to tackle it next and see what comes of it!
I’m happy to report that I’m 19 for 19 on my Mile a Day January Challenge. Here’s an update:
Some days I run, but most days I do a brisk walk. It usually takes me 16-18 minutes to walk a mile, or about 12 minutes to run it (I’m a slow runner). I really love walking because (a) it doesn’t mess up my hair so I can go places after I’m done, (b) it doesn’t matter if I’ve nursed recently – nursing mamas know exactly what I’m talking about, and (c) I’m more likely to go longer if I’m walking than if I’m running. Oh, and (d) I like walking more than running anyway.
I haven’t lost any weight, but I love that I have built some stamina and I see some new muscles on those white legs of mine. It feels good to be active after a year of hibernation.
I usually bring the baby and the dog. We have a jogging stroller as our everyday stroller, so it’s perfect for my mile. Wrenn loves being outside and it’s a fun bonding experience for me.
I don’t listen to music – I either listen to NPR podcasts (does that make me a nerd?) or re-runs of the previous day’s Kidd Kraddick in the Morning show.
I love that some of my friends have gotten on board! It’s always more fun to have other people to motivate you. Mr. Right has also been a great cheerleader during my challenge and has even convinced me to go on nights when I’m really tired and it’s REALLY cold (one night I went out in 25-degree weather at 9:00 at night).
I’m loving this so much I’m thinking about extending my Mile a Day into February as well. It’s the perfect challenge for me during this busy season of life – I don’t have much time to commit to working out, but I always have at least 20 minutes to knock out a mile (and according to my fitness app, I burn around 80 calories each time).
I document my #mileaday everyday on Instagram. You can follow me at texas_lovely for the obligatory daily shoe picture.
What about you? How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?
I try to avoid New Year’s Resolutions. I’m one of those Type A, first-born children who excels at heaping stress on herself. I have enough stress in my life without worrying about whether or not my bed is made every morning (it’s not… don’t tell my mother).
So most years I resolve to rest more, worry less, and make no resolutions.My Summer Bucket List doesn’t count because it’s strictly for fun and adventure. It doesn’t involve anything, you know, responsible.
But this year we’re going for it. Mr. Right and I have decided to split up our resolutions into one-month chunks. You can do anything for one month, right? Including, I hope, making some good habits. So onward, resolutions, it’s time to have some fun!
My January Goals:
1. Run or walk one mile every single day. That’s 31 days, a minimum of 31 miles. So far, on January 2, I’m two for two. (I’ve found it helps if you wear crazy leggings… it gives a girl confidence.)
PS – I hate running. HATE IT. Until I do it a lot and get in good shape and run a race and then I LOVE running. Most of the time I prefer the idea of running, and the cute clothes that come with it. And the extra calories I can eat. And the carb loading. And those muscles you get in your calves. And casually mentioning to someone, “On my run this morning…” and sounding like some sort of athlete.
The parts I don’t like include the sweating, having to take a shower afterward, being hot, being cold, fitting it into my daily schedule, MESSING UP MY HAIR, making sure I nursed right before, finding my sports bra buried in my dirty clothes bin in the laundry room, the way my body aches during/after/at the mere thought of running, and being sore the next day.
So yeah, 31 days. I’ve totally got this.
2. No eating out in January. Well, except for a little anniversary getaway we have planned very soon. I mean, you can’t NOT eat out when you’re staying in a hotel. So we may have happened to have made reservations at one of the most famous establishments in the trendy part of town, with plans for brunch at another. But, except for that one weekend, no eating out. None. Nada. Zilch. Twenty-nine days of eating home-made meals.
Y’all, that’s going to be hard, because we eat out a LOT. And because I’m going to be too busy walking/running every day to go to the grocery store. First world problems, I know.
Enough kidding though, I really am excited about our January challenges. It’s fun to try something new. It’s just for 31 days…
Speaking of my 2014 theme of dreaming BIG, I have a big dream to share with you. Last year my little blog grew so much – I was blessed to have some wonderful friends and readers (and readers who became friends) who followed along with our story. I decided that in 2014 my goal was to get to 50,000 hits on this little blog. That number is totally reachable at this current pace. It’s a safe goal.
But this year isn’t about safe goals – it’s about BIG goals. My dream is to grow this little blog into something bigger. To use it as a platform to do some excited things, to laugh a little, to encourage people and to remind folks that no matter what they’re going through, they’re not alone. And so I took my reachable goal and decided to double it. My new goal is to reach 100,000 hits by the end of the year. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I have a few ideas. Thanks to all my dear friends who have already helped me spread the word about yesterday’s free download. There are more of those coming soon.
Now pardon me while I go eat a bread stick. I earned it, you know, with that little 1-mile walk I did tonight. I bet the last of that baby weight is just going to melt riiiiggghhht off.