Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An Albuquerque Gem

Merry Christmas, everyone!! I thought I would use this Christmas down time to tell you about an amazing shop I came across while shopping with my husband and in-laws in Old Town Albuquerque.

Gabby's Handmade Soaps! 

First, let me say that basically our whole family loves handmade soaps, so this was an amazing find. We were really impressed with the selection, the quality, and the prices. Soaps were 5 for $20!! 

So M and I picked out some wonderful-smelling soaps, along with some shaving soap for him. We were in heaven! 

Black Raspberry was one of my favorites. 

They even had some soaps with funny names, like nasty ass, arrogant bastard, and dog's breath. The dog's breath one actually smelled really good! 

There was even this amazing little fireplace that made the place extra cozy. 

On top of the amazing soap and charming look of the shop, the owner was sooo personable. He was funny and nice, and very informative about the products they have. His son was there too, and he was just the cutest. 

Wanna know the best part? THEY HAVE A WEBSITE... AND THEY SHIP!! Any amount of their products can be shipped for a flat rate of $9. I cannot say enough good things about this place. Wanna check it out? 

I hope you like it as much as I do! 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Attention Nail Polish Lovers!!

I had to randomly stop at CVS today, and of course whenever I am in there I will cruise by the nail polish and makeup. Boy did I find a surprise today! Many of the nail polishes and some of the makeup had 50%-75% off stickers! Oh, the joy I felt! I took this opportunity to pick up some work-and-winter-friendly shades at about $1.50-1.75 apiece. The original prices were about $6-7. Yay! I am very pleased. Here are the colors I chose.

Hopefully you nail polish lovers can pick up some awesome stuff for cheap! <3 happy shopping! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

December CLIMB Blog Hop!

God’s Growing Garden


It's the month long Networking Blog Hop 
With our second CLIMB GIVEAWAY!
Here's how it works - the co-hosts from the previous month's CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB (this is totally optional) - that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!! 
Please enter below -one person will win:
(you must have a PayPal account to enter & be 18 years or older) - 
- $70 PayPal Cash
 - Christmas Printables from
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- "My Cookie Creation Countdown" ebook by Angie Ouellette-Tower
- "Make Your Own Cedar Roping or Pine Garland" ebook by Angie Ouellette-Tower

CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions: 
- This is a worldwide Giveaway
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- This Giveaway is open from November 30th, 2013 until December 20th, 2013
- Winner must respond within 24 hours or a different winner will be chosen
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- if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):

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By participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 

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Remember - Now if you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie's blog & Angel's blog!!

(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Fabulous Fall Floral

Hello again everyone!

I am just getting around to posting this refashion I did before Thanksgiving. I found this floral dress at a local thrift store that benefits a battered women's shelter. I love going there because they have some fabulously outdated dresses that I love buying and refashioning! Plus, you cannot go wrong with stuffing a bag for $4. I think I paid about $0.75 for this dress.

Anyway, here it is, along with gross Darwin showing you all his back end. Yucky old Darwin!

This dress is made from a heavy knit material that I thought would be perfect for fall. I love tights and dresses, and I knew this would look great. All it needed was a hem! That proved to be a little harder than I thought, though, as I am terrible at sewing knit material.

I struggled with this thing for a few hours, and finally got it. I apologize for not taking pictures of the sewing part of it, but what I did is simple enough: I folded the raw edge over twice and sewed it down. I had to do a lot of trial-and-error-style adjusting, though, so I would not be surprised if the hem ended up folded over three times in some places and barely two in others. Why was that thing so crooked???

It ended up being fine, though.

Here is the finished product, which I paired with a pair of black tights, black ankle boots, a black skinny belt, a black jacket, and a gold statement necklace.

Oh, and here is a selfie I took with FatSpice. Happy Monday! :)

Even though this dress turned out looking okay, I will have to go back and fix many of the areas I sewed. I cannot believe just raising a hemline was that hard! Have you ever had a frustrating refashion? I would love to hear about it!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

14 Before 2014: An Update

Wow, the end of the year is fast approaching! Since my blog is more than just DIY, I wanted to give you a life update. M and I have been adjusting to having him home and things are finally falling into place. We have always lived together pretty harmoniously, and found that after he came home that had not changed. It is very nice having him back. M has settled into his job here nicely, and is looking forward to the next chapter in our lives together...which brings me to the next thing: I will be graduating with my MBA in about two weeks! I will be working this weekend to finish the two final projects I have left, and after that will not have much to worry about, school-wise. I have some awesome things in the works for what to do afterward, but will give a better update when things are definitive. :)

There are a lot of positive things happening for us! We are trying our best to focus on them, as there is one negative thing that is looming over us: my grandfather is not doing very well. M and I have been very lucky: we both have all four grandparents right now. At our wedding, we were lucky enough to get a picture of us with all of them. We are trying our best to remember that it is part of life to lose those generations before us, but it hurts no less. My grandfather is one of the last of the "true gentlemen". I am sure many of you would be able to say the same about your grandfathers. We appreciate your thoughts as we face this tough time.

The purpose of this post is to update you on how I have been doing with my goal of finishing 14 projects that I wanted to get done before 2014. Here is what I have finished so far:

1. A Chan-Luu-style wrap bracelet
8. Purge the house of unnecessary items- this is going quite well! I figured out that this is an ongoing process. We have so much stuff! We continue to sell and donate everything we do not need. One thing I have found to be helpful is that we list things that others might want on eBay. This way, we make a little bit of extra money (great for Christmas shopping or just general spending money!), getting back even just a little of what we have spent. Win! 
9. Framed honeymoon beer coasters
10. Save for a new TV- wellll... this one did not really go as planned. We have been saving, but are no longer sure that we even want a new TV! Eventually we will, but maybe not right away. We continue to keep growing our savings where we can, and love using to build and follow our budget.
14. "Home" art

The next couple of weeks will be full of projects for me, as we move into the home stretch!

Hope your Thanksgiving went well, dear readers, and that you're enjoying the busy holiday season! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Just a Hem

Well, first let me say, I hemmed and hawed over this dress before buying it.

 I crack me up. I had to. Now that the horrible pun is out of the way, I really did debate a little before buying this dress. I was at Salvation Army with my mom, looking at the dresses, when I found this one, that someone had obviously made. I really loved the fall colors and it is a really well-made dress. The only issue I had is that it was $4.49! Salvation Army has really jacked its prices up around here.

Thanks a lot, Macklemore. :) Just kidding, Thrift Shop is my jam. But it really does kill me that Salvation Army's dresses are priced so high. Some were even almost $8, and the ones I were looking at were nothing special. They would have to be refashioned in a big way for them to be stylish again. I just can't do it.

...But I bought this dress. I have been actively trying to change the way I think about clothes and fashion, and where my clothes come from. This was clearly made by someone else, most likely right here in my local area.

I did not have to do a lot to this dress. I am pretty happy with the shape of it, but the length left something to be... undesired. All I had to do was hem it, which I did while watching Fringe on Netflix.

Here is the dress before... Just a little too long. You can't tell how long it actually is, because of my silly pose, but take my word for it. It hit my lower calf. UNFLATTERING!

So all I did was cut off a few inches, turn it over twice, and sew!

Impromptu sushi-date ready!

Just a quick refashion for you on this (rainy) Georgia Thursday!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Good of Giving Back

Although this is the time of year that makes a person more aware of the plight of others, volunteering your time to a good cause is something you can, and should, do year-round. I do not go into politics or religion on my blog, but I have an incredibly strong belief in practicing what you preach and in changing the things you can to make your world a better place. I have noticed what seems to me to be an increase in people I have contact with via social media, friends or otherwise, complaining about the state of things: politics, the community, etc.

My answer to them? It starts with you. I firmly believe that a person should not complain about the state of things if they are doing nothing to contribute to the betterment of their community. It starts at the bottom: your town, your block, your community.

Now, there are sooo many other reasons to volunteer. You can volunteer to help someone in need (two-legged or four-legged!), to contribute to your community, to accomplish a goal, or even to improve your perspective. I volunteer for all of those reasons. It is something that can be done alone or with a group of people. M and I do not have kids yet, but when we do, volunteering our time to help others and improve our community is something we will do as a family. I think it is very important to show children that there are others who are less fortunate than they are, and they can do something to help make another person's situation better.

I currently volunteer as a victim advocate for Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services. It is a tough job, but I love doing it. It is a very rewarding and humbling job. I go to the hospital and stay with a victim after experiencing a sexual assault. I inform them of the resources available to them and I provide comfort, company, an ear to listen, whatever they may need. My on-call time includes manning a crisis line and taking calls for victims or families of victims who need someone to talk to about the incident. I love it. If you happen to be in the Augusta, GA area and want to volunteer with Rape Crisis, you can contact Leah Klein, the volunteer coordinator: The next volunteer training is November 21-25.

There are so many different organizations that need help! You can volunteer at a food bank, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, a women and children's shelter, pretty much anything! If you want to find out what opportunities are near you, you can go to VolunteerMatch.

I love the thought of the world being a better place thanks to everyone's contribution to their community!

Do you volunteer? I would love to hear about what you do to give back.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Frightfully Frumpy to Fall Fabulous!

I found this super frumpy dress at a local thrift store, where I stuffed an entire grocery bag (and I mean STUFFED!) for $4! This dress cost me under a dollar, I am sure. I hated the puffy sleeves, and the super-frumpy length, but I love the print and the buttons on the front. The silhouette was super cute too, AFTER I shortened it. :)

Here is the before picture... kinda Amish-looking, right?

But like I said, I love the print.

I used a seam ripper to take the puffy sleeves off, and then I folded the unfinished fabric over twice. I cut triangles in the fabric (which was a tip I learned from the ReFashionista) to make it easier to fold over. I will say, though, this fabric is entirely rayon, and is absolutely terrible to work with. I had a really hard time. It literally took me two weeks to finish this dress that should have taken 2-3 hours, max. I just had to keep stopping due to frustration! I finally got it, after having to take the stitches out twice! It still did not turn out perfectly, but I doubt anyone will notice. :)

 Then, I cut and shortened the hem. I turned it under twice, because this fabric frays very easily.

All finished!

Do you have a favorite fall refashion? I would love to hear about it! :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

eShakti referral code! $30 off!

Hello everyone! I am taking a few minutes out of my busy study schedule (it is what I call "hell" week... two tests, a project and a paper) to take a breather... and write a quick post!

I don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I love eShakti dresses. How awesome is it that you can order something made to your measurements, and it won't break the bank? They have some of the cutest dresses ever. I love them! Since I shop there so much, I like to take advantage of the referral program. At the bottom of this post, there is a code for $30 off your purchase. It can be used multiple times, so whoever wants to, go ahead!

Also, they are great about having sales and coupon codes and will email them to you, so make sure you sign up for their email list. Most of their coupon codes you can use for sale items as well (which I think they call overstock or something), making your purchase mere dollars. Yay!

Here is a link and the code, if you need it!


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Heeeere's the Blog Strut!

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