September 26, 2012

Recycling: Men's Boxers To Ladies' Shorts

"One man's trash is another preson's treasure."

How true indeed! I am a sucker for other people's trash. Ha! Clothing, that is.

May this year was when I had the chance to clean up closets. That may have been part of the nesting stage of my pregnancy. My husband gave me a pile of boxer shorts that are all too small for him now. An obvious sign of weight gain. To him though, the boxers in question have shrunk. Funny guy!

When my husband came home from Army boot camp, he lost so much weight (from 180 to 149 pounds) that we had to buy new (2 sizes smaller) clothes for him.This picture was taken outside Glenn Park BART station in San Francisco.

Now, back to the boxer shorts. They are made out of quality fabrics. They are 100% cotton. Light and breathable.

Unaltered, I went through my pregnancy during the summer wearing these. Now that I've lost most of my pregnancy weight (I'm 115 as of this writing, 10 more pounds to go), I decided to alter them to my size. I made them shorter.

I didn't really do a lot of alteration other than lowering the waistline. So I did a lot of seam ripping. See that seam ripper? Amazing little tool!

And when all the ripping and sewing back was done, more shorts for me!

What re-purposing project have you done lately? Please feel free to share. I would love to hear it.

Have a great Thursday!

September 25, 2012

Shirred Dress and Bloomer

I should be reading right now. Really! I have a pile of books sitting right next to my computer. I am having trouble staying away from blogging these past few days. On top of that, I am in my addicted-to-sewing mood again. Can you tell?

I didn't plan on doing a sewing project today. Not until I found these among my sewing stuff.

I purchased the Dritz knit elastic, together with 2 rolls of Dritz elastic sewing thread in white and black, from Amazon weeks ago. And the fabric was from our community's local Arts & Craft store.

The resulting project? A shirred peasant dress and a matching shirred bloomer. I've tried shirring on two of my previous sewing projects using an elastic thread and they both turned out pretty. There are tons of tutorials online on shirring. After you read or watch one on YouTube, you will learn right away. Trust me!

The Dritz elastic sewing thread I used is not a thick elastic thread I've seen in some branded clothing. Although not as thick as I wanted it to be, it is pretty strong. I have not had an incident where the elastic thread broke. So I'm still happy with the product.

For the bloomer, I opted to use the Dritz knit elastic for the waist. I'm drawn to red colored things these days and this red elastic is just a perfect match for the fabric.

My sewing project is not complete without my label sewn on what I made. Although I'm not selling what I made, I always sew on a label because it feels rewarding. More about my label here. I always sew my label on the left side but for this and this bloomer, I sewed it at the back.

You guessed it! This will be my daughter's outfit tomorrow.

I need to catch up some rest for the long day (of errands) ahead. Good night and thank you for stopping by!

September 24, 2012

B is for BALLET

Who has not watched the Black Swan?

My admiration for the gracefulness of ballet dancers when they do their moves was reinforced in this movie. Partly because Natalie Portman is one of my favorite Hollywood actress.

When I was a young, I remember wanting to learn how to dance ballet. But my parents couldn't afford to send me or any of my 3 siblings (all girls) to a ballet class. Or maybe they thought I just didn't, and still don't, have the talent in dancing. I'm the type of a parent who firmly believes that we should introduce our children to a handful of activities (dancing, singing, playing an instrument, sports, painting...) until they find their niche.

With that being said, I enrolled my daughter yesterday in a ballet class offered in our military community. I would have had her started a year ago if not for the strict age requirement. Now that she is turning 3 before the first class session starts on Monday, she's in. Ballet it is!

What's ballet without the cute outfit? I do not know of any store in downtown Schweinfurt where I can buy an outfit so I hit Amazon. There are a few brands to choose from but I chose the Capezio brand after reading some good reviews.

I ordered 2 of this short sleeve leotard. One in white and one in pink. I wanted to purchase the one with a sewed in skirt but it is more expensive. I will hit the fabric store downtown sometime this week and sew a skirt to go along with this top.

I also ordered matching footed tights in pink and white.

And the outfit will not be complete without a ballet shoes. I'm excited to have this in the mail.

I will be doing a review on this product once my daughter have worn them.

Oh! Did I mention my daughter is enrolled in an Acrobatics class also? Both classes will start next week. I am one excited mommy!

Have a great Tuesday!

First Day In Pre-K

Today is the day! My daughter's first day in Pre-K class, that is.

She was a little confused at first when we had to leave her Toddler class right away to head to the playground where the Pre-K class was. I saw a little hesitation on my daughter's face (poor baby) when we got to the playground.

It didn't last very long though. She was welcomed with hugs from her friends who used to be in Toddler class with her. Then she started being her happy self again playing with her friends. They're not in any of the pictures because I'm not allowed to include them.

I stayed well over 30 minutes just watching her interact with the rest of the kids. At one point she came running back to me asking, "Mommy, are you okay?" It just melted my heart. Such a sweet girl.

The dress she is wearing is made by me. You can find more about it here. Thank you for stopping by.

Have a great Monday!

September 23, 2012

GAP Inspired Cherry Dress

My daughter is moving from Toddler to Pre-K class on Monday. She is turning 3 next weekend. The Toddler class curriculum is no longer suitable to her age.

I have been telling her about this matter as soon as her teacher informed me about the transition a couple of weeks ago. She will miss her classmates for sure but I know she will get along well with the other kids in her new class. And it's another learning phase for her. I'm excited for my girl!

I wanted her to wear something pretty and new tomorrow. After all, everything tomorrow will be new for her. New room. New class. New faces. New teachers. You name it! I browsed through GAP's website for inspiration days ago and came across this Belted Floral Dress. I knew right away a look-alike of this is what my daughter is going to wear on Monday.

Luckily, I have a yard of rayon fabric purchased from the fabric store downtown. It was on clearance sale for 2 euros. Below is my version of this pretty GAP dress sans the belt. I didn't have enough fabric, that's why.

I shirred the skirt and added elastic at the waist.

I like this layered hem a lot! Oopppssss... I have to sew on my label of course!

It may look pretty (in my eyes) but there was a minor problem. I cut the neckline a couple of inches wider. The solution? Pleats!

I think the pleats at the center made the bodice look more interesting. And here is the final look of my GAP inspired dress. Total cost - 2 euros and tons of love!

I can't wait to take pictures of my daughter wearing this dress tomorrow.

Have a great Sunday!

September 22, 2012

Baby Peasant Dress with matching Bloomer and Headband

My baby turned 2 months old a couple of days ago. But it seems like I was just at Krankenhaus St. Josef yesterday. Time flies. It really does!

For her 2nd month portrait, I decided to sew a peasant dress with a matching bloomer. The same one (you can find it here) I made for her for her 1st month portrait only that I had to make the bloomer bigger to accommodate her growing belly and chunky legs.

Also, I used a different fabric which I bought from our local Arts & Crafts shop. I just like this print a lot! Chevron, is it?

I thought this project will only consume an hour and half (or maybe two) of my time but it took me almost 4 hours. The extra 2 and half hours were spent away from my sewing table to feed my baby. Oh well, that's a mommy for you right there.

So here it is! Peasant dress with matching bloomer and headband. Minus my baby wearing them, although I managed to photograph her super wiggly chunky cuteness.

Abby of Sew Much Ado has a tutorial and free pattern of the peasant dress here. The bloomer is inspired by this tutorial from Fish Sticks Designs. And the headband is inspired by this.

Have a super Saturday!

September 21, 2012

Photography: My First Maternity

It has been over a year since I did my first photo shoot (outside my family circle).

This happened to be my first maternity shoot as well. I was very nervous despite my subject being a friend. If I remember correctly, a couple of days after we did the shoot, my friend and her husband welcomed their beautiful daughter!

Thank you, Cristina, for the opportunity.

Have a great Friday!

September 17, 2012

My Internet/Phone Service Ist Kaput

Kaput is a German word which means broken, useless, ruined, not working (and the list of synonyms can go on).

We have been experiencing temporary (4 to 6 hours) sporadic loss of service for the past month. This time, however, lasted longer than I expected. On Friday I called my service provider, Telepost Kabel-Service, and spoke with a technical support personnel who was not able to help me since the assistance he can provide is limited to the network interruptions only. Instead, he submitted a work order for a field technician to fix my line. I was told that the problem should be addressed in within 24 hours.

Sounds good, right? Only that this company does not have technical support on Saturdays and Sundays including holidays (which, by the way, are too many). Here comes Monday and still no service. I spoke again with the customer service representative and was told that a field technician will fix the line tomorrow (the sixth day) between 2 in the afternoon to 8 in the evening. Just great. An FYI, whether you get an uninterrupted service or not, you will be paying the same bill. They will not do any adjustment to your bill. NOT AT ALL.

But of course, there's a bright side to this. On Sunday, the girls and I trooped to our community library to use the free Wi-Fi service. I also picked up the books I reserved for my class. We borrowed a couple of cartoon DVDs and children's books as well. Thank you TKS for forcing me out of my house. I mean it.

Ooopppsss... wonder how I'm able to post this? Tethering!

Happy Monday!

September 12, 2012

Review: Anh Tuan Vietnamese Restaurant

After (celebrating/hearing) the mass last Sunday, Jeff and I together with the girls trooped to Anh Tuan.

Anh Tuan is a Vietnamese restaurant located in downtown Schweinfurt. Jeff and I found this restaurant by accident (after circling around looking for a parking spot) early this year during a visit to my doctor's clinic for a routine prenatal check up. We were supposed to have lunch here right after the visit. Instead, we went against the plan and paid the 15 euros fine for parking violation.

Jeff and I are not restaurant and food expert. However, we love food and have eaten at different food venues (from fastfood to fine dining) during our trips here in Europe. I'm not a cook nor is Jeff but his cooking is way better than mine. I have to mention that he can bake too (check it here).

So, on to the review and rating.

This place is not hard to find. I would like to provide a direction here with the Schweinfurt Volkfestplatz as the starting point but I'm horrible at giving direction. If you have a GPS, key in the address below and it will bring you right to the location.

Theresienstrasse 7
97424 Schweinfurt

The place is clean although Jeff and I both agreed that there are way too many decorations inside.

And this table is very interesting!

The in-house menu (not the one in the photo) has english translation so ordering is not really hard even if you don't speak German.

The service was quick. The drinks and appetizers were served in about 10 minutes after our order was taken.

Vietnamese Spring Roll filled with Pork and Nuoc Mam Sauce
Rating: 3.5
King Prawn Soup with Mushrooms, Chilli and Lemon Leaf
Rating: 2.5
Then it's time for our main dish. I do not eat chicken or anything with wings so Jeff had the duck all to himself. I opted for a seafood dish.

Crispy Duck with Fried Rice
Rating: 4.0
Squid with Curry Sauce, Chilli, Lemon Grass and Vegetables
Rating: 3.0
Overall, we give the food a rating of 3 stars out of 5. We will definitely go back to this place.

Guten appetit!

Photography: My First Boudoir

Photography is something I've always been interested in.

I don't claim to be a photographer. Not a professional one. I consider myself more of a hobbyist. January this year, I had the opportunity of doing my very first boudoir.

My lack of experience - from the eyes of those who are seasoned photographers - shows in my work I'm sure. But, this is my very first venture in boudoir and I love everything about it.

Thank you very much, Arleth. It was fun working with you.

September 8, 2012

Review: Snappi Cloth Diaper Fastener

This is not a paid review.

The idea of doing a review on products my family and I have been using and are going to use came to mind last night. The goal? To help consumers, like me, decide if the product is right for them.

I rely for the most part on online reviews of products especially those that I don't see in person. Remember the Brother 1034d Serger I bought a while back? You can read about it here. I read tons of reviews about it along with other serger brands before I decided on my purchase.

Now, back to the Snappi cloth diaper fasteners. I ordered a size 1 (for newborns to 18 month olds) back in June. I wrote about it here. It came with my other purchases from Amazon. Can you spot them in the photo below? They are those T-shape thing in pink and white.

I think this fastener is simply amazing. I have experienced first hand using big safety pins to fasten cloth diapers back in the days. You constantly worry about accidentally pricking a squirming baby. I have pricked my fingers several times. Ouch! And after several use, the pin loses it's shape thus the need for another pin. Did I mention that you have to use two pins every time too? Snappi solves the above mentioned difficulties (I didn't want to use the word dilemma).

Wonder how it holds the cloth diaper together? Check out those pointed teeth! My advise during diaper changing, especially when you have a squirming baby, is to place it a good distance away where the possibility of it being grabbed or kicked by your baby is next to none.

If you're worried they'll leave holes on your cloth diaper, worry no more because they do not. I love everything about this Snappi except for one thing. I already notice a tear on the lower snap and I've only been using this for 7 weeks exclusively during the day.

I just ordered a pack of size 2 (for toddlers) from Amazon.

They ship pretty fast so I expect to have my Snappi in the mail next week. I hope the one I have right now will hold up until then.

Have a great Sunday!

September 7, 2012

Food: Stir Fry Vegetables

I'm taking losing weight seriously.

It's about time I shed off the excess weight I gained during pregnancy. After all, it has been seven weeks since I had Ryne. The last time I weighed myself, the scale stared back a whooping 120 pounds back at me. My pre-pregnancy weight was 112 but my ideal weight is 105 pounds. Yay! I'm getting there!

As part of my losing weight and eating healthy goal, I had a plate of stir fry vegetables earlier. I cooked the same food the day before sans sausages. This is one of the food I won't get tired of eating. This and rice. I'm so asian!

Below are the ingredients.
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Portabella mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Brown Onion
  • Sausage

First, I fried the onions with the sausage. Then stir in the broccoli, carrots and celery. After about 2 to 3 minutes, I mixed in the zucchini and mushrooms. Lastly, I added a little pepper and oyster sauce to taste.

This dish is so easy to cook. It was in my large size plate in less than 10 minutes. Or make it 15. And it is deliciously healthy too!

I wanted to eat all of it but set aside some for Jeff when he comes home tomorrow morning. I swear I did. I only ate this much....

... the rest is in the fridge. Unless I change my mind in the next few minutes. I think I just heard my stomach growling!

Guten appetit!
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