Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thrift Haul! A return to Thrifty Thursdays

A few weeks ago I had to run an errand all the way out to Babe's school in Clermont.  I say "all the way" because Clermont is a good... 45 minute drive.  So while I was up that way, I stopped at a little thrift store called Angels of Mercy.  It looked to be either a mom/pop shop or a church owned stored.  I love coming across those because they always have great finds at great prices if you're willing to take a while and pick.

When I got to the door there was a sign that said "all clothes on hangers 50% off" 0.0 and naturally I thought Thrift Store Win!  I ended up not buying any clothes because I have no real closet space, but I did kindly load myself up with a few other things.  Books being a huge portion of this haul.  SO Angels of Mercy has a books/media room and while drifting about in it I saw another sign... "Bag of Books- $2" and considering one paperback was $0.50 and a hardback was $1 it only made sense for me to get a bag.  Even if I only found like 4 books it would have been a good deal.  I ended up with 11!  Slight overkill, but whatevs!

After the book room, I ventured over to the bags and purses.  I got one tote for $4.  It's huge and bright yellow... my own bit of sunshine ^.^  It just needed a bit of a clean, but other than that it was in great condition.  I'm now carrying it as my work bag and lemme tell you I love me some big bags! (I almost said I like big bags and I cannot lie... ::rolls eyes at self::  -___-)

I also picked up a few things for the kids at work: a couple puzzles and some crayons.  Just cuz I'm nice like that.

All things considered, I spent $9 before tax for 11 books, 2 puzzles, 2 new boxes of crayons, and a large tote/weekend bag.  Oh! They gave me a free loaf of bread too. :)  This thrift trip really brought back my love for independent thrift shops.  I mean, I do enjoy shopping at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and St. Vincents Du Paul's, but there's just something about mom/pop/church thrift stores that feels so nice... Am I crazy... probably not ^.^

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Our Wedding Day!

So it's been.......... 5 months since I last wrote on here! Holy Canoli!!!  That is a bit ridiculous.

I totally thought that I'd be able to keep up with non-wedding blog posts throughout the wedding planning process... turns out I didn't do so well on that front, lol.  Anywho, I have returned to blogging... I may not be a frequent as I'd like (multiple posts per week) but I will actively write. Scout's honor ;-)

Since my ghost-mode was brought on by wedding planning stresses and whatnot, I figured that my "comeback" post should be the wedding story.  I'm sure I'll post more photos later.  So here goes.

Lamar and I got married on Sunday, June 15th.  It was Father's day and we had LOTS of friends and family in town.  That morning I got up super early (for my standards...) and had a blast getting ready with my girlfriends.  My bestsisterfriend, Amber, did my makeup which made it feel that much more special.  At random times throughout the morning I remember thinking 'I should eat' but be it nerves or excitement or forgetfulness I couldn't sit down to do it.  (Later on my cousin told me that she was sneaking me apple slices by calling my name and shoving a slice in my mouth.  lol! seriously!?)  Soon it was time to get cinched up into my dress.  In hindsight I should have told them it was too tight, but at the time all I was thinking was 'at least it's not gonna slip down'.

After a few hours of primping, all the ladies were ready.  We rode to the church in a stretch hummer (which I am still trying to decide how to like *shrug*).  Oh and it smelled like smoke and the AC was horrible.  We got to the church but couldn't go in because the guys hadn't made it there yet.  So we waited.  When it was time for the wedding to start and the men still hadn't arrived, I got worried and called Lamar.  He told me he was on the way.  I knew that meant he was not just going to be a couple mins late... but I said ok.  Soon it was half an hour past the scheduled start of the wedding and he still was missing.  Good ol' freak out me went just like this: wonder what's taking him so long... I hope he's OK... What If He Got Stuck In Traffic... WHAT IF HE GOT IN AN ACCIDENT!?!?!?!?!?!  OMG! HE'S BEEN IN AN ACCIDENT! ON OUR WEDDING DAY! HOLY CRAP! ::frantically dials phone:: 
He was fine. And soon arrived at the church.
When I saw him I was like c'mon yall, I'm getting out of this limo NOW!  All the guys were in the church in their places and we were FINALLY able to get out of the limo. 
First look with my dad :)
My cousin Marquita beautifully sang 'From This Moment' for the wedding party's entrance.  My friends Ricardo & Tasha sang 'God Bless the Broken Road' for my entrance.  I know it sounds super corny, but when the doors opened I only saw Lamar.  He looked so happy.  He also looked a little like he was holding his breath.  I wanted to speed walk down the aisle.  My dad and mom gave me away without crying and then we were walking up to our huppah.

Lamar and I talked and laughed a lot during our ceremony.  We held hands the whole time.  These are the sweet little things I remember.  Lamar's younger brother, Jason, sang 'I Want to Spend Tomorrow Here with You', my old roommate, Cherie, shared a reading called 'The Art of a Good Marriage', and our friend, Brianna, played violin while we lit the unity candle.  I loved having them participate in our ceremony.
One of the highlights of our ceremony was the kiss.  And not for the kissy face reason.  Lamar decided to "choreograph" a bit to Kiss de Girl from the Little Mermaid.  The bridesmaids were dancing and the groomsmen were encouraging him to get on with the kiss.  The best part was that our guests didn't know it was coming so there was a collective whaaat?? at the beginning. :) 
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This is probably one of my favorite kiss pictures because of Allan's epic fist pump!
Just before we were pronounced husband & wife we had a 37 seconds moment.   I wanted to do it because SO many people kept telling me that my wedding day would be a blur of smiles and people and I wouldn't remember hardly any of it or who was there.  I figured that if I could take a bit of time to look at everyone and consciously make the memory I should.  So based on the quote from Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium "37 seconds well spent is a lifetime", we stood and looked out on all our friends and family.  I am VERY glad we did it.  It's the only time I remember seeing my best friend Ricky :)
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We were then pronounced and everyone clapped and cheered.  The last part of the ceremony was a blessing read by our fathers.  Well it was supposed to be read by our fathers... Lamar's dad read the part I gave him, but my dad decided not to read the one I gave but to make up his own instead.  I'm so glad it still went with the theme of the blessing.

The reception was pretty standard, I think, well except for the appetizers and drinks during the cocktail hour.  Those were all created by Lamar and put together by him & the groomsmen (which was the reason for his late ceremony arrival). They were delicious.  We had toasts to our parents, toasts from the Best Man & Maid/Matron of Honor, mother son dance, father daughter dance, first dance, cake cutting... all the necessities.
All the toasts were really awesome. We're so blessed to have such great friends and family.
There were a couple surprises such as, my Maid of Honor, Sheree's toast was a poem she wrote to Eminem's "My Name Is" and that was really cool.  She even had these christian folk doing the call and response (HI - my name is - WHAT - my name is - WHO - my name is mrs. mrs. mrs. ryan!) Lamar changed our first dance song at the last minute to 'At Last' and Tasha sang the mess out of it.
I always have so much fun dancing with Lamar :)
He also asked Marquita to sing 'Fever' and we chair danced along (a la Cosby's). Ricardo and Vincent also sang during dinner.  When Lamar and his mom danced, they looked so sweet ^.^ I remember he was wondering if she would actually dance.  I'm glad she did.
Look how cute these two are!
The father-daughter dance was definitely a surprise for everyone because not only did my dad put together a choreographed dance segment to 'Billie Jean'... it turned into an impromptu dance battle between us! lol! Then when we got the the actual dance to 'Daddy's Angel' there are now quite a few pictures of my dad's crying face. hehe :)
I honestly thought my dad was going to have a tearful breakdown.
When we cut the cake, I remember thinking that it looked exactly like the drawing the baker did.  It had 3 tiers each with their own color and flavor (yellow amaretto, green velvet, blue lemon). I'm pretty sure the blue layer may have confused a guest or two.  The groom's cake was a stack of donuts topped with an Orlando Magic logo (please excuse the fact that the logo is upside-down in the picture) and sculptures of Kiva & Toot done by my aunt Margie.  Lamar was soo excited. :)
Yum! All the goodies!

The rest of the night was spent dancing with friends and family and having a good time!

So that was our wedding day.  To be completely honest, the first month after I had a hard time feeling like it was the "best day ever" because I could only see all the things that went wrong.  The expected wedding day was SO different than the reality and that made it hard for me to be happy about it.  One night I googled 'wedding day gone wrong' and read story after story of wedding fails.  That helped me to see that ish happens... even on your wedding day.  Everyone has some horror story in the files of their wedding, but you have to focus on the whole day and not the bad details in order to see that it was the best day ever.  Now, four months later, I am consistently laughing at most of those bad details.  But I see the day as I should: the day Lamar and I promised forever. :)


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Small Stones: A How I'm Feeling Post

Recently I've been feeling quite overwhelmed with all things wedding.  It's warranted because our wedding is 3 weeks away and there is still SO much yet to be done... or at least I feel like there is. 

I've been having a super hard time going to sleep as of late, and that is starting to catch up with me.  Meaning, I'm starting to sleep smooth through my morning alarms which is not good.  Especially when my to-do list is way way longer than the done list.

Tonight, a few minutes ago, I checked my email and opened a message from a daily positivity thing I signed up for a long time ago.  This was the quote:

"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." ~William Faulkner


This is actually the second time I've come across this quote in recent days.  It gives me encouragement.  It's saying, "just keep moving small stones, one project at a time, and when you look up, Kilimanjaro will be moved."

I need to keep this quote nearby.  It applies to so much more than to-do lists or wedding planning.  Any area of life can benefit from the mindset that a mountain is nothing but a pile of small stones.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Wedding Spot: DIY Wedding Veil

Hey there, it's wedding diy time again ^.^  Crafting my wedding one detail at a time (I'm corny, I know)

One of the first things I decided to definitely try to DIY was my veil.  I figured that a veil is, at its base, a piece of tulle, a comb, and a bit of trim.  I can handle that. I was an apparel and design minor in college after all! If I can't make a wedding veil, my teachers would be SHAMED! lol

In the midst of my dress search, I tried on a veil and unfortunately it weren't pretty... I totally felt like I couldn't breathe! I went all panicky and what not.  Afterwards I thought, "well I guess I need to walk around with a sheet over my face as practice..." *shrug*

So back to the DIY.  I first took pictures of veils that I liked to figure out what style to create.  In the end, I chose a 2-tier elbow/fingertip length design.  This would allow the top tier to double as the blusher.  It would have a comb attachment and a nice floral trim.


Inspiration veil from David's Bridal

Of course, like a good DIY'er, I did quite a bit of pinteresting to find a usable pattern.  I found and really like this one. The instructions were clear and super easy to follow. Two thumbs up!  I got my tulle from Joann's because I cannot justify not using a coupon on my crafty purchases... The hair comb came from my local beauty supply store and the trim was from the fabric shop I wrote about a little bit ago <original post -here->.

So yeah, I jumped right on it.


Picture 1: Determine the length you want for your blusher/top tier and back tier.
(I rigged up my dressform to simulate me with my wedding hair :) and draped the tulle over to determine how I wanted the veil to fall.  My dress is also on the form so I could make sure the details showed the way I wanted.)
Pictures 2 & 3: Lay out the tulle and cut to the desired length.  Round the edges.
Picture 4: Fold top tier over bottom tier and clip.
Pictures 5 & 6: Pin along the fold line and sew a wide running stitch to gather.
Picture 7: Gather tulle along the stitch line.  Sew back and forth a couple times to secure.
Picture 8: Attach the hair comb to the gathered area.
Picture 9: Sew on trim

The first hard part I ran into was gathering the tulle. Who woulda thought... It was SO fiddly and trying to hold and sew a straight line down that wispy fabric was enough to set my teeth on edge!  But eventually I got it done. [imagine accomplished face Caleisha here ^.^]  After I successfully gathered everything, I began the super-tedious task of pinning the trim to the edge.  Once I made my way about half way around, I noticed that there was way too much ruffling happening in the front.  That caused me to have to remove the whole gather -___- and redo with less material.

It took quite a bit of back & forth and trying different things before I had a veil that I could be proud of.  I'm very glad I decided to make my veil instead of just buying one.  There is just something about knowing that you yourself made aspects of your wedding details.

One of my favorite details of the finished veil is the price comparison to the inspiration veil.  As a thrifty gal, this seriously warms my heart *.* BOOO-YAAA!!!



I can't wait to see the veil with my dress on our wedding day! (1 month 4 days & counting ^.^)

Friday, May 9, 2014

My Furry Friend Tag

(Because... why not?)

A while ago I saw Claire, from HeyClaire on YouTube, do the My Furry Friend Tag about her cat Bruce and of course this was my response, "Yes!!! A perfectly reasonable opportunity to write about my dogs!!"  Buuut who really needs an excuse, right? ;-)

There are 9 questions in this tag and there will also be a slighly obscene amount of doggy photos in this post... Just a heads up ^.^  Anywho, let's get it!

1. What's you pet's name?
My pets are named Kiva Antionette and Tootie Lashay.  I have a thing about names.  I want names that have meaning.  Kiva is a Hebrew name that means protected.  I decided go with that name because a few months before I got Kiva, I had a whippet mix named Yanis (gift of God) for a couple days.  Unfortuanately, it turned out that Yanis had parvo and only lasted a few verrrrry sad days before he passed.  So needless to say, I was nervous that my next dog would have some ailment or another and I wanted her to be 'protected'.  Yep. That's the story.  Oh, and my best friend named her Antionette because she wanted to call her Toni for short... She's never called her Toni.



 Tootie on the other hand was named by her first owner and yeah... Tootie Lashay...  Early on, I wanted to change her name, but Lamar told me not to because he started calling her 'Toot a la poo' or something like that, lol.  So Tootie she is and shall stay.


2. What kind of pet and what breed?
They're both dogs... but I think you may have figured that out already...

Kiva is a beagle/jack russell mix.  Tootie is a chihuahua/rat terrier mix... maybe.  If you're good at calling dog breeds... let me know what you think she is :)



3. How long have you had your pet?
I have had Kiva for maybe 5 years and Toot for 3-ish.  I'm terrible at keeping track of these things *shrug*


4. How did you get your pet?
I adopted Kiva from the pound in Huntsville.

Tootie's gotcha story is my favorite ^.^  Basically, I was dog-sitting for a coworker while she was moving into a new apartment.  She was only suppose to be with me for a couple weeks, but as it unfortunately happens sometimes, the girl never came back for her.  I called her when Toot chewed up ALL my high heels and she promised to come get her at the end of the week... I have still not heard from her.  Good thing she left Tootie with me, because she could've easily ended up a stray or a pound puppy.

5. How old is your pet?
Here is another one of those questions that I'm not really sure about... Since I adopted Kiva I'm not sure how old she is really.  I'd say she is roughly 6ish.  Tootie is probably going on 4 maybe... I could be totally wrong tho. Meh...



6. What are some quirky things about your pet's personality?
These two dogs are so full of quirks its crazy!  Kiva use to have super bad separation anxiety when I first got her and now whenever I come home she cries and runs around to find something to hold in her mouth like a pacifier.  She also will push your hand up and down her belly if you stop rubbing her.  Very bossy...  Kiva is suuuper guilty... like all the time, whether she's done something or not.  If you ask her if she's sorry she makes the most pitiful looking sad face ever! It makes it really hard not to laugh when she actually gets in trouble.  She also likes to snuggle with whatever yarn ball I'm currently using.



Tootie is a grimlin.  She LOVES cave-like spaces.  Under the bed, behind the clothes in the closet, under tables, under chairs, down almost under the car seat.  She has even tried to get down by the pedals in the car.  Tryna kill us all... sigh.  She also likes feet.  She will lay next to your foot and cuddle it like a wierdo :)  She also likes to get up on Lamar's shoulder when he's driving and look out the window.  I'm always a little nervous that she's gonna fall out.



 

7. What does your relationship with your pet mean to you?
There is something about coming home and having super excited dogs jumping up and down like you're the best person in the world!  Kiva is very sensitive and will come lay next to me if I'm sad or crying. Tootie just makes me laugh a lot.




8. What are your favorite past times with your pet?
Dog parking & cuddles mostly.  I use to take Kiva hiking when we lived in Alabama and that was fun.  I need to find somewhere down here to take these pups a-gallivantin'.




9. What are the nicknames you call your pet?
Kiva-diva, Keevee, Kivanator, Stinker, Pretty girl.
Tootie-bootie, Tootles, Toots boots, Grimlin, Little one.

If you have pets, you should do this too. It was fun answering the questions and thinking back over the years of having these two pups.  Now for more pictures!  Huzzah!
 
official blanket testers
any crochet thing laid out is automatically her spot
cuddle-bug extraordinaire

this is how grimlins sleep lol

Monday, May 5, 2014

Oceans: A How I'm Feeling Post

It was really hard to get out of bed today.  And what makes it worse, I've felt myself sliding into this one.  But there's nothing I can do except pray it's a short one.

I did get myself up a couple times, but ended up back in bed... curled up.  The last time dragged my body out of bed, put clothes on and went into the living room.  I opened the front door since I kinda remembered someone knocking on it so I thought maybe the remaining wedding invitations had come.  It wasn't them.  Instead, there was a package from the library.

A couple weeks ago, I was getting dressed for church and listening to Pandora.  A song called Oceans by Hillsong came on and I immediately liked it.  Especially, the vamp at the end:

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith would be made stronger
In the presence of my savior

So I found it at the library and requested home delivery.  Based on my account, I wasn't expecting it until tomorrow.  So today, when I saw it, I put it on straight away.  Thinking this will help me feel better.  But the vamp was not the reason I got the CD today.  This was...


I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

An ocean is what I have always described my depression as.  A deep dark ocean.  With threatening waves.  Unknown depths.

Sometimes I'm on the shore, just inside the water... maybe up to my knees.  I can still see the shore. My feet are still on the ground.  I'm deep enough for the strength of the waves to move me, but not knock me down.  If something shakes me, I can still get out.

But there are other times that I feel like Peter, out in the middle of dark water and the waves are huge and there is no way I can possibly swim.  And I start to sink. 

When I first started sinking, my friend Ricardo told me to go outside and hold my hand up for God to grab me.  It was weird, but worked. A lot.  I still do it... 8 years later.

I will call upon Your name // Keep my eyes above the waves // When oceans rise

When I feel myself in the middle of the vastness of my oceans I feel so small.  Infinitely small. Like dust.  Like one good strong wave could dissolve me.  Treading water is hard.  My limbs are tired.  My lungs burn.  And all I can do is whisper...


JesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesusJesus


God showed me today that He cares about little me.