The most productive I have ever been

18 November 2015

This weekend was our first free weekend in a long time, and our last one until basically New Years so we really tried to soak up every minute. We spent most of Friday night following the Paris attacks. There was so much sadness in the news this weekend and while I was really wrapped up in the coverage, I did try to distract myself with all the work that needed to get done around the house.
It also reminded Blake and I to start doing 'happy, sad and grateful' during dinner which I really like doing. Sometimes they get repetitive but it's a fun little tradition and makes you think about all the things you have in your life that are good.

Blake and I had a small lapse in communication that resulted in him purchasing a LoveSac and cancelling our couch that was on its way from WayFair.com. I tried not to freak out until it showed up on our porch Saturday morning. It's incredibly comfortable... but we don't live in a frat house so it won't be staying right in the middle of our living room. However, it does double as the worlds largest dog bed so Teddi and Huck like it and if I'm being honest... I do too.


Anyway, I'm not normally a very efficient person. I really take my time doing most things. Laundry usually takes me a full week - one day to wash and dry and then six to fold and put away. Dishes are a three step process as well. So Blake was concerned about my sanity this weekend when I woke up, sewed a dress, cleaned the bathrooms, the sewing room and organized the kitchen and scrubbed everything clean! We even finally got a real shower curtain and new bathmats for the guest bathroom and ours. It's the best feeling having everything be squeaky clean.

I was so productive and felt so good that I was energized at the end of the day instead of tired! I really think that part of it is the clean eating challenge I have been doing. I really can feel a difference in my body and my energy levels. Some of my enthusiasm for getting stuff done carried into Monday and I woke up in time to walk the dogs for an hour and actually do my hair for work. It stopped there unfortunately, but maybe if I keep up this healthy lifestyle business I will get my mojo back by the weekend!

Did any of you check out the Clean Eating Challenge? Sticking to it for dinners has been kind of tricky but we've done okay and have even found several recipes that we will keep making when this is over. I LOVE the spinach smoothies with coconut water, banana, peanut butter and vanilla. So yummy!



Give it a try! You'll love it!

DIY Friday : Fitted Peplum top with tie back

13 November 2015

 I am so glad that it's Friday! We have a pretty busy weekend of home projects and cleaning to do... hooray! So exciting. 

I saw this shirt on ASOS a while ago and had in my cart before deciding I should make it. I think I would buy every item on that website. I love it so much! PS. They have 20% off all ASOS brand pieces right now. I believe that includes accessories, so there is a weekend activity idea for ya! Sit on your couch in your jammies and do some online shopping. 

Anyway, back to the project! This top took me about 2 hours - and really, the most time consuming part is all of the ironing. I like to have everything nicely pressed when working with these types of fabrics. Because it has no stretch, it makes it easier to sew but you have to be more careful with your hemming. It seems to fray much more easily and you can see smaller imperfections in seams. Don't let that scare you though! If you're looking for a slight challenge this is the perfect place to start! You can always choose a different fabric type also, if you're more comfortable but this is a 100% Polyester 'Silky Print.'  


Materials:
1.5 Yards Silky Print
Matching Thread
Sewing Machine 

Step 1. Cut out pieces according to your measurements, use a loose fitting tee as a guide if you'd like. 

Step 2. Pin shirt pieces together at the shoulders and the sides - right sides together. Stitch together and set aside. 

Step 3. Hem the bottom of your peplum piece and press the whole thing. This piece should be about 5 inches wide and about 1.5 times the length of your shirt circumference (email me if that makes no sense to you). Run a basting stitch along the top edge of the piece and pull the end so that it bunches up to be the correct length. Sew  the edges together so that you now have a circle the same size as your shirt circumference. 

Step 4. Take your tie pieces and fold them in half - right sides together - hamburger style. Press them and then stitch according to the above diagram. Flip the pieces right side out and press again.

Step 5. Fold your sleeve pieces in half and press. Sew along the bottom and flip right side out. This part is tricky but you can do it! Flip your bodice piece inside out and lay flat. Put your sleeve piece inside of the shirt sleeve hole so that the bottom of the sleeve is pointed toward the middle of the bodice. Pin starting at the seams and match the edges up, then sew carefully around the entire sleeve at the shoulder/armpit. Hem the bottom of the sleeve then press. I know I have explained this in other tutorials but it always seems hard for me to explain. Again, if that was difficult to understand email me!

Step 6.  Cut a slight V shape out of the back of your bodice piece about 5 inches down. Hem the sides and the rest of the neckline. Attach the tie pieces at the top of the V close to  the neckline. Now pin the peplum piece to the bottom of the shirt and sew - right sides together. 

You're done!! See? It wasn't too hard! 

I hope you guys try this one and if you do tag me in your Instagrams or use #britcreatesdiy

Enjoy your weekends!!

Fabric Shopping Online

12 November 2015

My very favorite way to kill time is to walk around fabric stores. I walk up and down every aisle at least three times touching everything and picking up different bolts and carrying them around for a while (don't worry - I'm nice and put them back where they belong if they don't make it to the cutting counter with me) but I feel like it's the best way to decide if it's the right fabric for you. I've said before that I try not to buy fabric unless I have a specific project in mind and that's still the case, but I don't live near a city with a fabric district so I can't always find what I want at my local stores. Sometimes, I don't have a choice but to venture online. I'm always a little nervous that it won't be exactly what I'm looking for but overall I have had such good luck - and it doesn't hurt that you can almost always find a really good deal. I thought that today I would share some of my favorite places to buy fabric and some tips that I've learned!



Fabric.com : The VERY best part - free shipping on orders over $35! They always have really great sales and you can get great knits for sometimes less than 5 dollars a yard. That's so much fabric!

Michael Levine Fabric : It's a good thing that I don't live in LA because I would make the drive to this store front every day! I love all the bold fabrics they have here. Their website is really reasonably priced and they also offer free shipping! You just have to spend $75... which really, isn't that hard to do.

Mood Fabric :  I just recently found this website but I can't wait to do some shopping! I found the coolest x-ray looking fabrics on here earlier this week - the only problem is that I have no idea what I would do with neoprene. They have a lot of sewing accessories and some really pretty tie dye knits that I need to make note of for summer!

JoAnn's Fabric : I love the convenience of JoAnn's. There is something comforting about buying fabric online and knowing that you can take it down the street and swap it out if it wasn't what you thought. The downside is the lack of options but the coupons and sales make up for it when you find the perfect fabric for 50% off!

Etsy : There are so many small shops that have the coolest original prints. There are a lot of boho and modern prints in all different blends and textures. It's so nice to support a small shop and these are a few of my favorites - ZOOOOP, Fabric Shoppe, LINENstep.

some tips

  • Make sure to check the stores return policy. There is nothing worse than getting three yards of fabric that turns out to be a completely different color or texture than you wanted and not being able to return it. 
  • Check and make sure that you  know the width of the fabric. They can be really different and its a bummer when you want something for a specific project and your cut isn't large enough.
  • Check for coupon codes online. You can usually find something at least for free shipping if you do some googling. 
  • Do some research on the types of fabrics. Go to a fabric store near you and feel around, making note of the type of fabrics you like so that know what categories to search under when shopping online. 
  • Wait until  you have the fabric in hand to buy thread and any other extras you need. The colors can be skewed in photos and so can pattern size. So take your fabric with you to buy thread if you don't already have a large selection at home.
That's all! Happy Thursday! 


14 Day REAL FOOD CHALLENGE

09 November 2015

It's Monndddaaayyy!
I wouldn't normally be so happy about a Monday, and while I'm still barely keeping my eyes open, I'm super excited about my new meal plan! I have been eating like an unsupervised 6 year old for the last few months. Anything carby or sweet - get. in. my. mouth.

If I worked from home I would eat so much healthier because we just don't buy the unhealthy stuff but my office is a landmine for candy. So, what I really need is some self control, but since it's hard to come by I had to force my own hand. The other night after I had too much happy hour bar food, I was laying in bed looking at my phone (another bad habit), and saw the BuzzFeed Clean Eating Challenge.  I decided I would give it a try as an eating habit reset.

Today is my second day and I have stuck to it  - besides a small set back with a piece of Double Bubble - but other than that I'm doing well! 

The meal plan is a little time consuming and requires a lot more groceries than we normally buy,  but we went shopping at Sprouts and their produce is so much less expensive that other larger grocery stores. The meals have been delicious so far! I haven't been hungry at all besides craving all  things bread. Hopefully these cravings go away but otherwise I'm really excited to see how I feel once this is over! 

Below is the plan for today. The chia seed pudding was a weird texture but I don't think mine set up correctly so I'm looking forward to trying it again. My lunch salad on the other hand was so good! The dressing was so simple and yummy. I packed everything and brought it to work, and even though it was a bit of a production, it was totally worth it. 
The plan does require quite a bit of prep like I said so if you are really strapped for time during the week this might not work that great for you. I roasted a lot of the vegetables on Sunday which feels like it takes FOREVER but they will be used for several meals throughout the week. 


I feel like I'm doing this at just the right time because I've been making an effort to work out more over these past few weeks too, and maybe eating healthier will make me a bit more motivated. 
I'm trying to get on board with this whole 'eat clean, train dirty' business. 
We'll see how it goes but wish me luck!! 
I'll definitely need it because these Kayla Workouts are killer. 


Have an awesome week everybody!

links and a little pinspiration

03 November 2015

Wow - October really got away from me. I can't believe that its already November! I have spent too much time wandering around online lately, but I have found so much good stuff! So today I just thought I would link to some things that I have been loving :)


The pumpkin patch near our house has so many pumpkins left over! I am going to grab some and paint them for some good fall/Thanksgiving decorations. Looking through the posts under the hashtag #paintedpumpkins on Instagram gave me some inspiration!

I need to make these Apple Cider Donuts this weekend! They look so good!! I know Blake probably won't eat them because he's too healthy but I'm sure my co-workers will enjoy them :)

Next, I know that you've probably already heard it but I LOVE the new Adele song. Why, oh why has she been away for so long? Never leave us again Adele. I've been singing it at the top of my lungs in the car like 8 times a day.

Cara Loren's new pieces in her shop are so cute! I love all the tees. I linked one a few weeks ago that I really like but you can find the rest here. Her kids line is also adorable but I don't have a tiny person to dress. And speaking of tiny people, Willow Crowns has some really pretty new accessories for little's too. My head looks a little funny in headbands but I still want every one. They just dropped their new winter line and it's adorable!

I really liked this BuzzFeed article about Essena O'Neill. The world of social media can make you feel so bad about yourself especially when you are seeing people who's lives seem picture perfect. It's a nice reminder that everyone deals with pressure and bully's and no ones life is exactly how it seems from the outside.

Lastly, I have been pinning a lot of stuff to my Inspiration board on Pinterest lately and I cant wait to get started on our guest room! Blake and I bought paint the other day and I think we're starting tonighhhhttttt! Wish us luck because sometimes we're really bad at doing projects together :)

Happy, happy Tuesday!!


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