Friday, June 28, 2013

Instagram and I are like Facebook Official

I have a huge lady crush on Beyonce and if this picture doesn't automatically make you think of motherhood swagger, I just don't know what will.
My guest post is up on Autumn's blog today and you guessed it, it's about B.
The lady is one helluva class act and you can find out what life lessons we can learn from the woman who runs the world and there may even be an Oprah quote or two.

Now back to this jolly ol' post.  
I have mad love for Instagram.  I was thinking about this the other day and I would go as far as to say that it's my favorite form of social media.  I don't know about you, but I can tolerate a person through their life captured in images versus dialogue on their Facebook and sometimes on their blog.   "Tolerate" might be a strong word to use there, especially since most of the accounts I follow on Instagram are of people that I want to follow.  For me there's an art to Instagram and you don't necessarily have to a good writer or the best photographer, you just need to capture moments of your life.  I just love seeing a life captured in i n d i v i d u a l moments.  There's something very real and genuine about it.  You can throw a filter on a picture with text and doodles, but it's still a memory frozen in time.

For me pictures can tell so much about a life.  They capture moments of friendship, love, and entertainment.  I know people tease others so much about those food shots, but in that moment we appreciate the blessing of food so much that we take a picture of that tasty sammich because we are excited.  This might be stretching it, but in a broader sense it's a celebration of appreciating what we have in our life.  We appreciate moments of hilarity with friends and we take a picture.  We appreciate quotes enough to take a screen shot and share it on Instagram or save it on our phones.  We appreciate the hard work of others and click that "like" button to add another heart to that picture.

I recently opened my Instagram up to the public because I like to share my photos and that can't necessarily be done with hashtags if an account is set to private.  I've really enjoyed that decision because I've met other Instagram users, like avid readers through the hashtags #bookstagram and #booknerd.  It's silly, but at the same time, I meet people who share my same interests and it's faster than searching through blogs.  I can also appreciate what they share through their pictures.  This decision has also caused me to explore other Instagram accounts, ones that I definitely didn't follow prior to opening up my account.  It also gives me an appreciation for each person and what they share.

Ever since I've been in tech school for the military, I've been struggling with how my body has been reacting physically to the stress and schedule changes.  I've gained weight and lost tone, and it's the first time in my life that this has been "this bad."  It's been a really frustrating process because I have a strong core from years of athletic work but it looks squishy.  I also don't fit into the clothes that I wore in college and boy howdy has that been a nightmare.  I actually hate how I look in my clothes now and that, plus our lack of funds for more new clothes, has been pressuring me to get rid of these love handles and excess squish.  I've been incorporating a healthier diet but it's been difficult to maintain patience with this.  After I opened my account, I started following several fitness Instagrammers and people who went from average to really toned.  They often share recipes and fitness tips on their accounts and if nothing else, they share pictures of their kick-ass progress.  It's incredibly inspirational and everyday I have the opportunity to simply open up Instagram and right away, I have several pictures to inspire me to hit the gym and work really hard. 

With that, I can share my own progress.  With hashtags like #TIUbikiniseries and #instafit, I open up the opportunity for other people who are working out and sharing their progress to see the pictures that I share.  Importantly, it holds me accountable for working out and sticking with the goals that I want to achieve.  Seeing other people's progress and their willingness to share actual weight numbers and clothing sizes has also been pretty awesome.  I was a 0-2 from high school through college and it's made me realize that I can be a bigger size and still be incredibly fit.  I feel like my body is adjusting to being a woman and I've got hips and an ass that only gets bigger with the more squats I do. That can't be helped and it's ok because my body is strong, flexible, and the human body in general is pretty sweet.

With Instagram, I can also share the things that I'm interested in, whether it's a product, quote, or something on a blog.  My name is Kimberly and I am a Disney addict.  Two of the selected pictures above are Disney-related.  However, with sharing pictures I can show my friends and family the things that I've been thinking about.  A few weeks ago I was struggling with living at our current station because I'm not the biggest fan of the "city" which is incredibly small.  During that time, I was on alert and really wanted to go to Disney World so I ordered multiple Disney vacation planning DVDs.  When they came in the mail, I may or may not have squealed with delight.  The same type of squeal that I emitted when I saw that Build-a-Bear has a Sully!  Of course, our nearest Build-a-Bear is four hours away.  If anyone wants to send him to me, that would seriously make my summer :P  These things bring little shots of joy and happiness.  They just cheer me up.  I also love memory-keeping and journaling.  I bought a 10-year everyday journal because I love the concept of capturing daily moments with a sentence or few sentences.  With this journal I can go back and look at what I did that day.  I think this will be particularly awesome when I'm 33 and I can see what I was thinking about the same day when I was 23 :)  These types of concepts I share on my Instagram and I really want to bring that more to my blog.  I think this type of post will help greatly with that vision.

 I really enjoy the diversity of accounts that I follow, whether it's a friend from back home or favorite celebrities.  Elle McLemore, who plays Holly Truman on Army Wives as well as was an actress in the Bring it On the Musical, is one of my favorite accounts.  We oddly enough have a lot in common, especially our extensive love for all things Disney.  Nevertheless, accounts like hers and fellow bloggers just cheer me up.  I love to see the things they share and it's just fun.  I also like seeing funny memes, quotes, and like I stated above, products that I think I would enjoy.  The act of sharing those can pay that emotion forward, and bring joy or laughter to someone else.  I also feel like Instagram has a stronger marketable approach of word-of-mouth than blogging does.  If I like something, I take a picture of it and share it immediately, that's kind of become the standard with our technological generation.  There's even a hashtag if we post a picture later than when it happened.  

The most important aspect that I really enjoy about Instagram and the reason that got me started is the opportunity to share my life moments.  I can share birthday parties, dinners with friends, baseball games on Thirsty Thursdays, cute dates, or moments with my dogs (which I do quite often).  The filters make it fun but we're with Instagram we're actually documenting our lives.  If you Instagram as often as I do, you document moments every single day and often times, more than one moment.  I can scroll through my Instagram profile and see pictures of every care package I sent Ryan while he was deployed and the shenanigans my freshman residents did while I was a House Fellow at Wisconsin.  It's a time capsule that shares my interests and events that are happening right now.

Our next step is to actually publish this, whether it's printing the photos or gathering them in a book.  We're documenting our generation for the future.

Do you use Instagram?  How do you think it has affected your life?   

Thanks for reading xoxo

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Quickies that Improve your Relationship (& Giveaway)

If you follow me on Pinterest, which I highly recommend because sometimes I go buck wild with pinning awesome ideas, you may have noticed that I've been posting a lot from a website called, The Dating Divas.  I'll talk more about that experience in a later post, but something great that I gained from the experience was learning more about a game called, A Private Affair.  

Created by Dr. Todd Sellick, and his wife Jan, they have put together a game that allows couples to bond and reconnect.  A Private Affair is a game of questions that can easily be played if you have an afternoon together or just five minutes in the car.  When I came across this, I thought, How neat!  This is perfect for couples, especially young, military couples.  Relationships can be tough, with varying levels of difficulty depending on circumstance, but I can only speak on my experience of being one half of a young, married couple.  We (I'm generalizing all military married couples, just roll with it), often times get married at a young age because we're on our own, separated from our families for years at a time, and even though we're married, we often don't get to spend a lot of time with our partner.  These same problems occur for those who are dating or in other types of relationships.  

I decided to contact Todd and Jan and they shared with me a post about the 1% Experience.  Dr. Sellick encouraged me to re-post it below and I think it's a great idea that anyone can apply to their relationship.


If on your wedding day someone challenged you to “give a full 1% of your time each week” to each other, to just be together, peacefully sifting through the bits and pieces of your lives; giving space for your love to recover, heal, discover, grow, and to simply really enjoy each other… 
what might you have said?

Kim: At the time, I was a junior in college and so wrapped up in everything that was happening.  I was marrying the love of my life and studying at a fantastic university, life was grand.  I also had a lot of ambitions in becoming a military officer and because of that, saw most of my life as already having a distinct path.  I would have thought that giving 1% of my week would have been easy peasy.

More precisely, that’s 1 hour & 40 minutes & 48 seconds. Heck. Round it off to 1.5 hours, or  0.89%.

In the face of it, this does not seem an unreasonable request. But how many of  us enjoy this real living together as a couple, for this 1% of our week?  One recent survey suggested that 16% of couples manage a weekly date night.

Kim: When Ryan and I first got married, I didn't have a summer job because it was really difficult to find one in SoCal.  We also only had one car at the time.  Despite having little money and only one vehicle, Ryan often put together double dates with his fellow Marine friends.  However, as I went to my station, things became more complicated.  There was distance and then when we reunited int he same household again, our schedules were just completely different.  We rarely fit in date nights.

I’m going to suggest that nothing breaks into this madness better than sitting idly with your lover, “practicing the presence” of each other. With my clients I urge them to “just show up” in each others lives without much fuss. Think of how easily, happily and perhaps even deliriously we did this in the early moments of our falling in love together. Suddenly it was 3 a.m. Talking, touching, searching, timeless, wonderful, so good. Think about your spouse right now. Is this your experience these days?  

I know, the naysayers will cry “life changes!” Kids, work, aging, bills, driving, more work, resentments, and that awful “creeping separateness” which leaves us, perhaps not as enemies, but maybe as foreigners!

Ok then. How about this. 1% of your lives in some sort of dreamy, healing, restoring and enlivening bliss. You can keep on as usual in the other 99%.  I’m going to suggest that this 1% experience will have a striking impact on the other 99% of your life. It can also be addicting. My wife and I started with 1%, but I shamefully confess that recently, this has gotten out of hand, and we are sometimes checking out for up to 2.5% of our lives!

We are nearly always tempted to shelve the “1% experience” as it seems a bit of a waste of time. We usually grab our 1% fairly early on Saturday mornings, and the temptation to “get things done” when the roads are quiet and the shops mostly empty… is quite strong. But then, at least one of us makes the other stop, and the lazy few hours begin.

So far, we have never been disappointed. Practicing the presence of each other can almost be done in silence, and perhaps sometimes should be. Words are so often used to push each other about as we try to negotiate a better deal for ourselves. (In therapy I often encourage couples to make love, to go for a long walk, and to enjoy an entire meal, all in complete silence. The results can be amazing!)
At the end of my work-week, the last thing I do before leaving is to water the plants (currently five) in my office. It takes me just 2-3 minutes. I do not have degree in botany or plant sciences, and forget how photosynthesis really works, and yet, the plants are thriving and regularly need re-potting. My clients think I’m great with plants! Ha! Amazing.
The “1% Experience” is just the same. Water your relationship for a few minutes each week and it will thrive (as opposed to just “getting along ok”); if you don’t water it, it will die.  It really will. Basic science.

Keep in mind that this “lazily being together” is much easier to agree upon and to look forward to, than a time that we might be setting aside to “deal with issues.” (Ugg!) It should look great in a movie; the couple lingering quietly over a few cups of java, together watching life go by, musing over a few random thoughts and observations, perhaps fondling each other some, and “letting their minds leak” out in bits and pieces.

When we meet again each week for our 1% (watering the plant so to speak), we often refer to it as once again “picking up the threads” of our relationship, of the ongoing conversation of this unique and spicy friendship (marriage). Almost any thought will do, and we’re away.  Think about it. When you first fell in love, as you were arranging to meet to be together, you neither worried about what you might talk about, or even if you’d talk much. The being together was the imperative; delicious, necessary, often hot and sometimes timeless.  “Look! It’s almost 3:00 a.m. again!” Practicing the presence of each other.
Here’s an easy and revealing possibility for your next time together (join the “1% Experience” club):  Begin to talk through these two questions together…

What are the things that fill my life, that for me… just aren’t the really living parts! The tasks, the details, the responsibilities, etc. that keep surfacing moment by moment throughout my days; the things that never seem to get done?

What are (dreaming a bit) the “really living” things I’d love to enjoy with you WAY more? The things that may have got marginalized, the things that perhaps once filled our relationship and living together, the things I’d like to bring back?

Kim: These questions really touched me as I thought about how at the age of 23, I've let so many things block aspects of my life and my relationships.  Even though my partner and I have been married two years (versus 25 years), we have kind of fallen into this steady pattern of everyday life.  
The concept of dedicating 1% of my week to just connecting with Ryan seems like an amazing and attainable plan.  I truly think that this is something worth trying out with any type of relationship.  I would like to also dedicate more time to maintaining my friendships back home and also here in Montana.

Thank you to Dr. Todd Sellick and Jan for sharing this great article and not only that but they're offering a copy of their game, A Private Affair! If you can't wait, check out their site and purchase the game for $29.99.  You'll get a box of 500 hundred cards, split into four color groups where you can alternate from basic questions to sharing intimate thoughts. The cards ask intimate questions and can be very personal, but are a wonderful way to connect with your partner.


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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Literary Junkies Link-Up

1.  What are you currently reading? Tell us about it.
I recently wrapped up Silver Linings Playbook and I absolutely loved it.  I liked it more than the movie (shocking) but I also really like the movie, so I'll try to put together kind of a "reasons why" post in the near future.  I'm also reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.  So far John Green's book has been really captivating and I already love the characters.  Kinsella's is hilarious and entertaining as always with her characters bolding declaring their faults and sharing those with the readers.

2. Who is your favorite book character and why?
I think I have a type, and maybe it's the "popular" kid that you're meant to love in the book.  The type of character that stirs your heart and right now I'm really loving Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars.  There's something about his charm, humor, and earthiness that just draws me to him.  The fact that when he met Hazel, he gave her a book recommendation and she did the same, had me just glowing with that fictional character envy.  It was the type of move that more guys (and ladies) should try.  When my husband and I were dating, he would manage to pull single acts that were so heartfelt, although simplistic in their nature, that they would leave lasting impressions on me.  He didn't even realize it but because of his genuine nature, the process worked itself.  That's how I see Augustus so far and I can't wait to read on.

3. What would the title of your memoir be?
I have no idea.  The first thing that came into mind was something about the nuclear field or being in the military but I don't know if I want my entire memoir to be named with that.  Then I thought about my personality and the drive that I have, not only to succeed in life by my standards but how I love to see life with optimistic eyes.  I'm really not sure what I would call it but maybe one day I'll have that figured out.

4. You be the director! Cast your favorite book characters for the movie version that has not yet been made.
I have a post about the book, Redeeming Love, in which I cast Henry Cavill as Michael Hosea.  Have you seen him in Man of Steel?  Boy howdy is that man sexy.   

5. What book or series do you remember reading as an elementary/middle school age?
The Babysitter's Club! Ann M. Martin is actually doing a re-release of the books with new covers because they've been in such high demand recently.  I definitely want to start saving them for my future kids.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Saturday Morning Post: Jamaican Bobsled Team, Mermaids, and a Bull Mastiff

1// I've split my reading time inbetween my Kindle and tangible books.  Absolutely love reading Kisses for Katie and her journey to Uganda to help people.  I have loved her writing prose and everything that she has shared so far. I highly recommend it :)

2// As a member of the Literary Junkies Book Club, I have this opportunity to review a book and Lightbearers has been such a great read.  I can't wait to share my thoughts on this with all of you.

3// Made enchiladas for the first time and they were so good!

4// I really enjoy being silly and adding that fun element to my marriage.  After one of my alerts, I visited my husband at his job and before I went home, I actually propped up a cardboard wall decoration of a hula girl in his driver's seat.  I left him a goofy love note and it had totally freaked him out.  He thought that he had walked into the wrong car!

5// My friend Karla introduced me to an organization called Operation Write Home where you make cards for our troops.  These cards go to our deployed service members and they can select from different cards that are handmade and they send them to their families.

6// My new garden gnome friend for our community garden plot. After a long day of preparing the ground and then planting, I couldn't figure out the watering system.  Thank goodness it rained the next two days.

7// Had a fun dinner at our friends' home.  My friend's husband is a chef and he made this fantastic meal.

8// Before we went on alert one day, we got to meet Devon Harris who was a member of the first Jamaican bobsled team.  Thanks to America300 Tours for having him visit :)

9// My baby Blu has an E. coli infection in his bladder.  It was really frustrating after going to numerous vet visits with him and listing out his symptoms.  It's been an expensive process, especially after finding out that a lab culture we sent out cost $133 (yikes!) and the medicine to treat it is over $200.  I'm really hoping that the bacteria will be killed and he'll be 100% a-ok.

10// We've been helping out our friends Emily and Cory with watching their Bull mastiff, Lily, whenever he's on alert.  She's an absolute joy and such a mellow dog.

11// My commander sent me a picture of her bookshelf and I did a comparison shot.  We both love to read and I'm such a nerd because I love bookshelf shots!

12// In book nerd fashion, I was reading Amazon book reviews and so many folks love Ken Follett's work.  There are also movies based off of many of his books,  so my interested was picqued.  I went to Barnes and Noble and was walking around when I discovered that Fall of Giants was in the clearance section! I was able to score the hardcover edition for a little over $7.  While I was waiting in line to check out, I spotted a superman bookmark with Henry Cavill, be still my beating heart.

13// I've been working on my fitness and I love being inspired by all the fitspo Instagram accounts I follow.  After a fitness aficionado shared this workout, I tried it out myself and loved the weighted tricep dips.

14// My husband needed a designated driver so I found myself driving around the city with his friends and going to The Front, my favorite establishment here.  It's attached to a place called The Faster Bassett which has amazing crepes.

15// Of course, in my DD adventures, we stopped at the Sip n' Dip and yes, this city has mermaids ;)

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Why I Chose to Buy My Wedding Dress Online

There's a discount code and free giveaway at the end of this post, so read on!

It was a cold and windy day in Southern California when Ryan proposed to me.  About a month before, he suggested the idea of us getting married and I thought he was crazy.  In fact, in talking about our dating history today in the kitchen, Ryan didn't think of us as dating when I thought we were dating (this is totally Girl Code material).  So if we used Ryan's terms of being "chill," then we went from being chill to getting married.  Yep, just us two crazy kids getting hitched.

Following his random stream of conscious thoughts and ideas of getting married, I started to warm up to the concept.  We were madly in love in our chill state of being.  I was going to spend spring break in Oceanside, California where Ryan was stationed and was thinking that he might propose.  I spent most of my spring break having to entertain myself in a small chain hotel across the street from a trailer park.  I would go off on my own adventures with purse and camera in hand.  I walked to the pier and got a shake at Ruby's and visited the surf museum.  I also explored the road that the hotel was located on.  There wasn't much besides nail salons, a McDonald's and a grocery store.  When Ryan would get off work, we would simply enjoy the time together, go for drives, and just check out Southern California.  We didn't have a lot of money and I had spent most of it buying plane tickets.  One day he texted me asking if I wanted to walk on the beach after he got off of work.  That was so unlike him and my cue to get my nails done.  Like I said, where that street lacked entertainment value, it made up for the number of nail salons it had.

After we became engaged, I was swept up in the process of finishing my junior year of college, announcing the exciting news to friends and family and planning a wedding.  I was met with a lot of resistance from family and some friends.  This was during a large hit from the recession and my dad had lost his job.  It was not the most ideal of times for a wedding but like I said, us crazy kids were getting hitched.  My family didn't have any money to contribute and neither did Ryan's.  Due to his difficulties of getting leave, we decided to get married in California.

I was obsessed with weddings while I was growing up.  While little girls dreamed of their weddings, I could actually plan one.  I knew tips, tricks, and money savers by the age of 10.  I adored the wedding planning issues that would come out in the summer newspapers and magazines.  I'm weird like that.  However, it definitely came in handy when dealing with an insanely small budget.  Ryan basically told me that we had like $800 for the entire thing and besides the rings, we did spend less than that.

I knew it was going to be small and that our families were going to have a difficult time affording plane tickets and hotel accommodations so it was probably going to be just me and him and whoever else could make it.  We decided to get married on the beach on Coronado and it would be some family and friends.  I ended up spending hours on Etsy finding military and beach-themed items.  Ryan's father passed away the week of our wedding, so we flew back home and ended up getting married there.  Weddings can be tricky like that but I could only imagine if we had spent more and had to cancel, that would have been really hard on our budget and our families.

I knew that I would have to buy my wedding dress with my wages and on a college budget, that was going to be tricky.  That's when I remembered reading about the cost benefits of purchasing your dress online.  So the hunt began with me Googling wedding dress sites and comparing that to store costs.  The difference was in hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.  It was a stressful time for me because I felt like the expectations seen on Pinterest, Say Yes to the Dress which was always on in my sorority house, and every dream wedding out there was making it difficult to work with our budget.  While creating this post, I actually looked back at old Facebook messages I sent my best-friend Emily.  I was venting to her about wedding costs, going to bridal shows where I could absolutely not afford the $1,000 photobooths and cupcakes, and my fiance (hubby now) feeling terrible about us not having a "dream" wedding.  Saving on the dress was a major aspect of my budget and online shopping helped tremendously.

That's why when SimplyBridal contacted me, I knew this would be a great opportunity to share with all of you.  The only thing that I'm getting through this sponsorship is an opportunity to share with you a great business that will not only save you money but they have offered a discount code and a giveaway of a product from their jewelery line.  Not only does this website have wedding gowns, but also bridesmaid dresses, so if you're looking for something for a wedding coming up soon, this is a great stop.  What's great about them is that they're based in the U.S. and can customize your gown through tailoring and embroidery to fit what you want for your special occasion.  Just because of your budget, doesn't mean that you have to sacrifice on the dress you want or its quality.  I ordered my dress from a website that had its factory/store overseas and was stressed about having it arrive on time.  You don't have to worry about international shipping here.  They have their own seamstresses, sample makers, and designers so that the dresses are finished in 20 days and you get the best cost possible!

I went through and chose some great gowns that caught my eye and thought I'd share their prices below to give you an idea of what to expect from your browsing experience.

SimplyBridal: $233.99 Retail: $1,403.99
SimplyBridal: $99.99  Retail: $599.99
SimplyBridal: $215.99  Retail: $1,295.99
These dresses are incredibly gorgeous and at great prices.  If you're nervous about sizing, try a local store first and get a good idea of what your size is in gowns and long dresses.  Don't be afraid to call SimplyBridal's customer service and ask questions.  They have some really great sales going on and you're getting quality dresses for a great price.  I know some ladies out there may be looking for that Say Yes to the Dress Experience but if you're also looking to save on cost, think about alternatives.  Maybe have a dress reveal party for your friends and turn it into a girl's night or even brunch.  When budgeting for your wedding,  certain things will definitely cost more than others.  For me, I wanted a beautiful dress but I didn't want to break the bank and this is a great solution for that. 

SimplyBridal has offered a great opportunity with a 15% discount to their site that lasts until July 5th.
This will only last for the first 10 users and if for some reason it doesn't work for you, send me an e-mail.
Code: SBL176TS
Discount: 15% (shipping not included)
Expiration: 07/05/2013
Not only that but they're also hosting a giveaway for a 
free piece from their jewelry line, up to $20.  
 7" Sterling Silver Hammered Chain with White Wrapped Freshwater Pearl
In order to enter, you need to do 3 things
1. Like SimplyBridal's Facebook Page  
2. Like The Simplicity's Facebook Page
3. Leave a comment below letting me know what your favorite wedding detail is from Pinterest, from your own wedding, or what is your favorite dress from the site.  Leave a link, I totally want to see :)
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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DIY Bachelorette Sassy Veil Tutorial

As the bachelorette party series continues, I'm sharing my next DIY tuorial on how to make a fun and sassy bachelorette veil.  Now this is ideal for bar crawling, taking shots, playing games, and taking fabulous pictures.  You laugh, but I seriously had to take some of the tulle off because I knew it would get in the way of the bride- ain't nobody got time for that.
In the original picture, you can see many of the supplies you'll need.  I recommend a sewing machine, tape measure, spools of tulle, a sewing needle, thread, a hair comb to hold it in place and some creative touches.

 The first step is to cut the tulle to your desired lengths.  I've seen tutorials use two lengths and some use three.  I used two.  Initially I used 18 inches and then 30 but that was too long.  I ended up trimming the 30 to make it shorter, sassier veil.  I would recommend creating various lengths to build up the volume of the veil and experimenting with what you like.  Remember, you can always cut it down if you don't like the length but you can't add to it once it's cut.

I created three different sections of tulle, of various sizes, to be sewn together.  One section was all pink and the other two were a combination of silver and purple.  You'll gather the tulle by the ends and sew the first section together a few inches down and creating a horizontal seam.  Do this with the other three sections.  Create whatever sections that you feel look best.  I recommend mixing and blending the colors because it looks really neat and with shades of pink, silver, and purple- it's very bachelorette party-esque.

Now that you've sewn the ends of those three sections of tulle, trim off the excess.  You'll want a shorter end to work with as you'll be wrapping that smaller section around the end of the comb.

Wrap the shorter end of a sewn section of tulle onto the middle portion of the comb.  You'll be hand sewing this part through the tulle and through the ends of the comb. 
It will look a little something like that where the stitches go horizontally and not over the top.  Be sure to play with the tulle and adjust accordingly.  Remember to keep in mind where the comb will sit in the bride's hair and how the tulle will be placed around her head.  Sew the other two sections on either side of that middle piece.  Now you have a veil!

Did I try on the veil 50x to make sure Emily could rock it? Absolutely! I also got glitter on every square foot of my house and so I highly recommend having a vacuum nearby for this project.  I had my hair up for this and I actually did readjust my hairstyle a few times to see what would fit best and to make sure it was secure.  You don't want to use too much tulle otherwise the comb will become impossible to have it stay in place, so adding variations of tulle at different lengths helps to create that volume.  Like I said earlier, I started off with too much tulle in terms of how long it was but was able to trim it and you can see that it's at shoulder length.  It won't get in her way of bachelorette shenanigans and it also won't become a nuisance throughout the night.

I'm hoping that if you have a bachelorette party coming up for yourself soon or for a friend that you all can enjoy this tutorial.  It's perfect for birthday parties as well! Thanks again for reading and enjoy the bachelorette party!
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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DIY Clothesline Bachelorette Party Invitations

I am the Matron of Honor for my best-friend's wedding.  Emily and I have known each other since middle school and have been best-friends ever since.  She is one of the most caring and genuine people that I know.  We have had so many sleepovers and trips together and all of them have been amazing memories :)

She's getting married to her boyfriend of so many years.  They met through band and we were in summer bands together for years.  I was in percussion so I was part of the drumline and Emily played clarinet.  We did so many musical performances together, including performing at a Blue Jays game in Canada, performing at the United Nations in New York, and marching in the Electrical Parade at Disney World.  When she asked me to the Matron of Honor, I was beyond, well, honored.  Living in Montana while everything is going down in Wisconsin has been tricky.  Luckily I'm paired with a great young lady, Kristen, who is the Maid of Honor.  

Kristen and I have been planning aspects of Emily's Bachelorette Party.  My military schedule inhibits me from going, but that doesn't mean I can't be a part of their special day.  Throughout the week, I'm sharing with you DIY tutorials on aspects that I've helped to create for her bachelorette party.  At the end of the week, I have a great offer to share with you about a business called SimplyBridal and a pretty sweet discount and giveaway to go along with it.  So let's get started!

When coming up with the design, I first went to Pinterest.  Emily is such a special person to me and I wanted to use every ounce of creativity I had to make it a fun event.  However, I couldn't find a pin that I liked for the invites that wasn't a computer-designed invite.  There were a ton of cute corset-style ones but I wanted hers to be a little different.  That's when I thought of the idea of using a clothesline to display fun patterned undies or panties.  I don't know what's with that word but it feels so strange to say.

I chose 4 pieces of 12x12 cardstock in purple because that's her favorite color.  I then chose 4 pieces of 12x12 scrapbook paper in different designs.  I picked brightly colored papers and prints because I wanted the underwear to be fun and bold.  I liked this design versus others because I think it's fun and sassy, which is totally Emily, without being overly risque.

 To create the appearance of a clothesline, I used a roll of ribbon and mini wooden clothespins in a 50-piece bag.  I made 8 invitations and a 50-piece bag definitely wasn't enough to have four panties on a line, but for three of the invites I used one clothespin per piece of underwear.  It's really up to you on what you want it to look like.  Crafting stores charge an arm and a leg for everything from paper to mini wooden clothespins so I chose a more economically friendly route without sacrificing design.

For the text, I chose to write them in pen and chose gold pens to share all the fun with her friends.

Feel free to use "extras" on the the invitations.  I picked up a bag of plastic rings to add a piece of flair to each one.  I'm still debating how I'm going to implement them but they're a cute addition.

For the cutting and pasting portion, I took each of the four pieces of cardstock and folded them so that each piece was split into nine folded sections.  I then free-handed a panty outline onto each square.  You could make a template and use that as well.  I wanted each one to be a little different so I did it that way.

Then after cutting them out, I glued them to the backside of each scrapbook paper using Mod Podge.  If ends were starting to flare up, I would use the Mod Podge to secure them down.  Be careful with this because if you cover too much of the writing surface, it will difficult to get the ink to stay without smudging.  I then cut each of them out.

I then cut out eight "clotheslines" and attached four pairs of paper panties to each line.  Flipping them over, I then wrote out the details of the party and other fun information.  This is also a really cute idea if you're planning on giving the bride lingerie at her party and including sizing information.

There you have it! A cute and sassy Bachelorette Party invite that your bestie will love!

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