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July 2017

Lifestyle Seasonal Tutorial

Pink Elephant Baby Shower: My Favorite Things

July 20, 2017
Pink Elephant Baby Shower

You will recall that I recently completed a pink version of the Elijah pattern for my upcoming niece. The pink elephant was by design, since I knew I was going to be throwing a baby shower. What better theme for a little girl than pink elephants? Somebody described elephants once and the reincarnated souls of some really decent people and I’d have to agree that I think that elephants are some of the most caring, intelligent animals out there. Those qualities are a great thing for a little girl to strive for, so I thought elephants made a great theme. 

I decided to make the theme a little bit more fun by incorporating the pink into the elephant idea. I normally don’t go for hardcore gender stereotypes for babies but:

1. I had just finished my pink Elijah.

2. I had pink tablecloths leftover from my wedding.

3. The mom likes pink. I like pink. Pink is cute.

Because I live in a teeny tiny apartment, my mother graciously allowed me to use her house to host. This meant that I had lots of room for fun decorations and activities. Here is some of what I did:

Baby Elephant Guest Book

Pink Elephant Baby Shower - Baby Elephant Guest Book

I owe most of this guestbook to AJ at Aspen Jay. She has made this adorable elephant print available online here. Perfect for my pink elephant theme! It’s a 11 x 14 print, which we were able to print at home. You can also have it printed a Office Depot for less than $2 (I checked.). You can customize it to be blue, pink or yellow and it can say the babies name or just “welcome little one”.  I picked “welcome little one,” because I don’t wanna cramp the momma’s style by tying her down to a name too soon. I cut out different shades of pink paper using a 1 inch Circle Punch Tool. Guests signed a circle and stuck it to the print using scrapbooking tabs. After the shower, I just moved the glass to the from of the frame and voila! Easy nursery decoration!

Pink Elephant Baby Shower - Photo Booth

Baby Shower Photo Booth

I used a pink tablecloth and some mylar balloons to create a quick and easy photobooth! The mylar ballooons were bought at Michaels are were totally easy to use. You just blow them up with a straw and they seal shut. The balloons I got even had pre-made little tabs to string them up with. (Otherwise, I’ve heard that you can tape a straw to the back and thread string through that.). To go with my DIY photo booth, I added a foam board Polaroid frame (I just eyeballed the dimensions and my dad cut it out with an exacto blade and a straight edge. Along with that, I cut out some shapes (found here) and glued them to little sticks that I found at the Dollar Store. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Pink Elephant Baby Shower - Baby Headband Station

Baby Headband Station

I was afraid about how this was going to work, but it turned out to be a lot of fun! I bought several packages of fabric flowers from Hobby Lobby (on each day with a 40% off coupon.) and used these Elastic Baby Girl Headbands from Amazon. The rest is everyone’s creativity! We set up two hot glue guns (on plastic placemats, to protect the table and tablecloth) and a sign and everyone just went from there. The baby headband holder was made from an oatmeal container, painted white and then covered in fabric, hot glued to a candlestick! I’m really pleased with how it turned out!

Note: If your shower has little kids in attendance, you may not want to have the glue guns left unattended. Ours was adult only, and therefore I figured everyone could handle a glue gun.

These were my three major DIY efforts for the shower. I have so much  more that I didn’t get good pictures of. It went by so fast! Not picture are a LOT of pink chocolate drizzled rice krispie treats (so many…) and pink chocolate dipped nutter butters, both of which turned out really well. (Pro tip: apparently you can thin colored candy melts with shortening, which would have made my life so much easier.) There was also cake, and fruit, and I even made 7 layer dip and queso for the first time ever! We decorated the mantle and a special chair for the new mom and also made really cute favor bags for my circus animal cookie favors. Whew!

I feel so accomplished. 

I had a lot of fun to planning and throwing this baby shower. I’ve realized that I really like planning things like this and I can’t wait to do more in the future! I can’t wait until I have a home of my own to host in too. Have you thrown a party recently? What was your favorite part of it? Any recommendations for new things to try? Let me know in the comments!

 

Finished Object Knitting Lifestyle

Tegna Sweater : Pattern Review

July 13, 2017

Summer knitting is coming along nicely. How is everyone else doing with their projects? The first of two summer Knitalongs that I decided to participate in was the Tegna Sweater KAL with Caitlin Hunter (@boylandknitworks). KAL #2(The Summer of Lace KAL with Brooklyn Tweed) is currently kicking my butt, so we’re not going to talk about it…

Tegna Sweater

The Pattern

Tegna is a short, slightly dolman sleeved, cropped sweater with a lacy hem. The pattern itself is delightfully easy and totally manageable for a short summer knit. It’s knit up in a fingering weight yarn, which creates a very versatile weight. I often find that the worsted and bulky weight sweaters that fly off my needles never get work in the Texas heat. Fingers crossed that this fingering weight sweater can get a little bit more use!

Tegna Sweater

The focal feature of Tegna is the lace section along the hem. While is looks really difficult, I didn’t have a ton of trouble with it. You definitely have to keep track on your lace chart, because there’s not a lot of repeat from row to row. That being said, it’s pretty easy to read where the pattern is going. After the lace, the rest is  nothing but relaxing stockinette. For the neck hem, you have the option of binding off and picking up stitches, or placing neck stitches on a holder. I bound them off, but next time I think i would use a holder.

Tegna is really flexible when it comes to gauge. I used size 5 needles for most of it, but needle sizes can vary widely. I also made my Tegna pretty fitted, while other have done a more loose and drapey version. I love that the pattern can be so versatile and still look great! I would totally try knitting this again in a drapey linen or silk blend.

Tegna Sweater

The Yarn

I knit Tegna using 4 skeins of Quince and Co. Finch in the color Honey. I expected to use more than 4 skeins, so I preemptively ordered more, but I didn’t end up using them. Finch is a 100% wool fingering weight yarn. It is very consistent in texture and has great stitch definition. Some users have complained about pilling, but I haven’t noticed any issues so far. It did bleed a little bit of color in the wash, but otherwise I’ve had no issues with it. It’s an easy to knit with yarn and I enjoy the color palette.

The only issue I have with Quince and Co. is that their online stock doesn’t always update very quickly. If they run out of a color, it can be quite some time until they restock, which is why I was so skittish about running out of yarn. Despite this, I would use the yarn again, and would love to try out some different colors. I am in love with this honey color though…

Tegna Sweater

I’m hoping I get a lot of wear out of this Tegna sweater. I was fun to watch everyone knit it on instagram and the same time and it’s even more fun to see how everyone is styling their completed project! Did you participate in the Tegna KAL? I’d love to see your finished product! Thinking about making a Tegna for yourself? I’d love to hear what yarn you’re using!

Food Lifestyle Travel

One Day in Denton, TX

July 6, 2017
One Day in Denton

The past weekend, The Hubs and I traveled up to Winstar Casino in Oklahoma to see Vince Gill. We spent the night in Gainesville, TX and on the way back we stopped to hang out in Denton. Home of both the University of North Texas (where I almost went to school) and Texas Women’s University, Denton has that cool college town feel, while being totally approachable for a quick day trip. Thinking about driving up for a day yourself? Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

One Day in Denton

Recycled Books

If you love Half Price Books, you’ll love Recycled Books. Residing in the old Opera House in Denton, It’s a used book store with a seventies vibe and serious amount of stock. It’s winding and maze like and boasts several levels. It also has a pretty sizable record section as well. The Hubs and I had fun poking around the children’s book section with my mom. Their prices are pretty darn reasonable, and their stock has a good mix of both current and classic books. They also have a super cool section up at the front that features local authors! Perfect for any traveler trying to get the feel of the place!

One Day in Denton

Mad World Records

I’ll admit, the only reason I can remember the name of Denton’s Mad World Records is because I sing the song to myself to remember. When we went to see Sierra Hull she did a great cover of “Mad World” using a Fender “Mandocaster” that sounded seriously cool! Mad World Records is seriously cool as well. They have a good mix of contemporary and older vinyl and their layout is nice and open. It’s easy to sort through records and never feels overwhelming. Some record stores get too tiring to look through, but Mad World Records doesn’t make me feel this way at all. They also sell little band pins, if you’re into that kind of thing.

One Day in Denton

Atomic Candy

Colorful and quirky, Atomic Candy is the type of store that your inner child will love. It’s a good, old fashioned candy store stocked with everything from gummy colas to jelly beans to salt water taffy. The also have a nice selection of obscure sodas. My dad, who is a huge root beer connoisseur, had a whole case to poke around in and was able to find some new brands he’d never seen before. It’s a seriously tempting store, so watch out! I had to pace myself because the Hubs and I had out hearts set on…

One Day in Denton

Hypnotic Donuts

Now, we have a Hypnotic Donuts in Dallas too, but it seems to attract a much larger crowd than the one in Denton. That means that the things we always want to try are sold out by the time we get there (The Hubs is not an early riser on days off.). The Hypnotic Donuts in Denton is tucked a little bit further back on the square and seems a little quieter, but specializes in the same quirky donuts. The best part? They had blueberry fritters in stock! We’ve been trying to get a blueberry fritter for The Hubs since we heard that Hypnotic made them and we finally got to try it! (Spoiler alert: It was delicious.) If you’re in the area and have a hankering for some donuts, get yourself to Hypnotic Donuts!

One Day in Denton - LSA Burger

LSA Burger Co.

LSA Burger Co. was a total instagram find, but also came highly recommended by some friend of ours. It’s right on the square in Denton and has a cool upstairs patio where you can see the sights. I mostly wanted to go because of their mini margaritas. They come with “loaders” so you can add flavors and since they’re mini, you can try a few different flavors without getting totally sauced. They even sell margarita flights with all 6 flavors! We tried the pomegranate, strawberry, white peach and prickly pear flavors and they were all delicious. The Hubs and split the Ready Freddie burger, which comes with BBQ sauce, grilled onions, bacon, cheese and pickles. I mention that we split because we also got sides of their delicious garlic herb fries and (cue the angels singing) macaroni and cheese! It was good mac too…mmm, I want to go back and eat more. The fries come in small and large sizes and the portion is generous. We easily split the large fries between 4 people. I’ve got to stop typing because I’m making myself hungry, but you’ve definitely got to stop by LSA Burger Co. if you’re in town!

Did I miss any of your favorite? Any place I need to go back and try? Let me know in the comments!
One Day in Denton