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DIY: Bridesmaid Dress Transformation!

bridesmaids

All the bridesmaids at Lindsay's wedding! Photo courtesy of Jeff Roffman PhotographyThe dress before

     My best friend from high school, Lindsay got married this past May. The wedding was beautiful!!! Yes, I am the shortest one in the group :)  Our dresses were really cute, I loved the style! I really wanted a color that I could wear a lot more though. I have never dyed anything in my life and I was scared!! The dress was dry clean only and everything I read said that usually it doesnt work on fabric like that, so I was like great! But, I figured why not  take a chance, the worst that could happen is that it just doesnt look right!

I decided to just go with black because it is easier to dye something darker and cover up the previous color. I bought 2 packs of black RIT dye from Hobby Lobby and they are only $2.00 a piece.  All you need to do is follow the directions on the RIT box and in a couple hours you will have a new dress (hopefully!) It is messy so I suggest doing it outside if you can, or in an area that you will not be worried about getting messy. Also, do not wear anything you care about because I did get dye on my clothes. Now, I will warn you, whatever it looks like right after is not what it will end up being!! The darker you want it the more dye you should use. I only did one pack of dye and my dress ended up being navy once it completely dried, but I was fine with that!

So..the big reveal!! Drum roll please……..

Before:

bridesmaid dress, dyeing

The dress before

 
And After………………………………………………….
………..

 
Tada!

Austin & I at his cousin's wedding

 Please excuse the beard and my paleness :)  Here is a picture on the hanger as well so you can see the whole thing!

bridesmaid dress, dye, DIY

Full Size View!

 
So, dont be afraid to change something you already have and make a whole new outfit!

Happy DIY-ing! :)

 

DIY: Headband, Belt & Cuff!

DIY, belt, cuff, headband, ribbon, homemade, crafts

So, I have this bridesmaids dress that I am transforming into a new color so that I can wear it more often! It went from teal to now a navy-ish color. I will post after this weekend the final product, after I wear it to a wedding! So, anyways, the dress needed a little something added, and Im really into belts! I know it’s no surprise that I found this website on Pinterest and that was my inspiration!

 Since my dress is a navy color I went with silver ribbon. The girl recommends grosgrain, so that is what I got. I got peacock feathers for a little umph and then some crystals. I pretty much went hot glue gun crazy after that! I only intended on making the belt but I couldnt stop after that! Basically I just hot glued feathers into the middle of the belt and I hot glued velcro on the back for when I wear it. For the headband, I would have prefered a stretchy fabric because it doesnt like to stay to well on your head, but oh well!! I made those 3 things for what Im sure it would cost to buy only one! I LOVE Hobby Lobby and I think Im addicting to making all my own stuff now!

I will post a picture of the whole outfit next week after I wear it, so stay tuned!

An Allergy Free Lee Thanksgiving 2011!

centerpiece, Thanksgiving, craft, DIY  

 Thanksgiving, table, food, decor

I hope everyone had a great holiday and break! I know we did! Alot of relaxing, it was great! :) Well, this was our second gluten/dairy free Thanksgiving so there was alot less pressure this time, and there were only 3 of us :) Even though Thanksgiving is now over I wanted to share with you what we had so you can use it next year or even for your Christmas feast! I hope this helps with the challenges that come with the holidays. I know I went to Whole Foods and Kroger the day before Thanksgiving and no GF rolls to be found. Whole Foods was out and I dont think Kroger even carries them. Those are the times I just want to shout and stomp because I just want to be normal and buy rolls!!

Sometimes the frustration of not having that convenience can overwhelm you and I feel that alot at the holidays especially. You watch everyone eating these delicious treats and you just wish for that one day that you could-although totally NOT worth it!! So, I hope that these recipes can ease a little bit of frustration and make you feel normal at the holidays!

On the Menu:
-Honey Baked mini Ham (store bought)
-Honey Baked mini Turkey (store bought)
-Sweet Potatoes
-GF Rolls
-GF Stuffing
-Bean Salad (my grandma made)
-Jello (my grandma made :) )
-Pumpkin Chocolate Tart
-DF Honey Almond butter
-DF Lemon Herb butter

 1.) Sweet Potatoes: this is inherently GF/DF I got this recipe from Martha Stewart that was so simple. I felt pretty healthy eating it! Just use Earth Balance for the butter for DF.

2.) GF Rolls: Well after my frustration of not finding any at the store I decided to just try making some. I found this recipe at the last minute and it was pretty good. Still biscuit-y not a very roll like consistency but it still did the trick! For DF, use coconut milk/cream instead of the sour cream!

3.) GF Stuffing: I LOVE this stuffing. My grandma has made this since I was a little kid and every year I look forward to it. We had not been together for the holidays in awhile so I was so glad that she was here and that we got to have it! Its not GF so we had to change some things, but I thought it turned out great!!
      
         3 apples, peeled and diced
         1/2 cup orange juice
         1 cup Nilla Wafers crushed (Use this recipe for the cookies! )
         1/2 onion, diced
        4 Tbsp butter (Earth Balance)
stuffing, Thanksgiving, gluten free, apples, orange juice, GF nilla wafers

* Cut up the onion and saute in the butter until browned.
* Add in the crushed cookies, apples and orange juice to the onion.
*stir together until moist
*place in pan and cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

ENJOY!! This is sooo good! :)

4.) GF/DF Pumpkin Chocolate Tart:
        For dessert I wanted it to be traditional but with a twist. I definitely wanted pumpkin but not necessarily pumpkin pie. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart  and I really liked it! The pie turned out exactly like pumpkin pie and was so good! For DF I used 8 oz coconut cream/milk instead of creme fraiche and use Dreams or Enjoy Life for DF chocolate for the drizzle. For the crust I used Kinnikinick’s K-Too’s (oreos) and crushed them in the food processor with some Earth Balance to create the crust instead of using her recipe for the chocolate crust.
pumpkin, chocolate, tart, gluten free, dairy free, martha stewart

5.) Flavored Butters:
       I had seen these on Pinterest and thought that it would be fun to have something besides regular butter! I did honey almond instead of honey walnut, so you can use any kind of nut you want! This is the recipe for both, just click which one you want when you get to the page. Use Earth Balance for both recipes. We had leftover so ive used the honey almond one on pancakes & toast and Im thinking about incorporating the lemon herb into another recipe!
butters, dairy free, flavored, honey, almond, lemon, herb

And last but not least, of course I am thankful for Austin :) but I am thankful for these little faces here. They were so sweet on Thanksgiving and spent most of the day outside away from all the food! puppies, black dogs, angie, jake, lab, great dane, rescue, corgi, retriever

Hope this helps you enjoy the holiday meals with your family without missing anything!

My Cam Newton Moment

Dont excited, I didnt get to meet him! I wish!

This is actually a post I’ve sat down to write so many times, but didnt know how. Over the past couple of weeks little things have come up here and there that have prompted me to share this story.

Im pretty sure by now everyone knows who Cam Newton is. If you dont, ask me and Ill tell you how great I think he is :) If you know about Cam, you also know the rumors surrounding him when his dad claimed he had shopped Cam around to other schools including Mississippi State and was offering them money and vice versa so Cam could play there. Lots of allegations ensued, hurtful comments and slams on Cam’s character and claims that he knew exactly what had happened. I believed in my heart of hearts that he had no idea. Cam’s life struggles and family drama played out in front of millions of people. My heart broke for him. I know that pain, but thankfully mine didnt happen in front of everyone.

A couple weeks ago I was talking football with some people and it got heated, like it does in the south when you talk about the SEC. Someone (a UGA fan to be exact :) ) said that they hated Cam Newton and that they wish someone would slap the smile off his face. They said that what Cam did was wrong and that of course he knew exactly what his dad was doing. She said that her own daughter knows what she does and would know if she had done something like that. Really? Everything?? I wanted to shout out at that moment, “Well, let me tell you, you dont always know what your parents are doing, just ask me!!”  Dont worry I didn’t. Word to the wise,  dont hate on Cam in my presence :) It will get ugly!

All that to say,  I could really resonate with what was going on in his life. I know exactly how it feels to be betrayed and let down by your parents. When things dont turn out how you thought they would. Cam’s dad wasn’t able to attend the ceremony where his son won the biggest award of his career, The Heisman. My parents havent been around to see moments in my life and all because of  a drive to want more, get more and not stop until you get it and at any cost.

Im sure you are asking, ok so how do you really know how it feels? Get to the point already!! Well, back in June we ran my credit report. We were thinking about buying a house so we just wanted to see financially where we were at. Something got flagged so I checked into it. My parents had gotten me a credit card in high school when I started driving so I could build up credit. It was only used for gas and that was it. When I went off to college I used it for books, groceries, and gas. At the end of each month my parents would pay it off so that I could continue to have good credit. I always asked them before I put anything on there just to make sure it was ok with them and the charges never got out of control. I studied abroad in 2006 and that was the card I was told to use while I was traveling. When I got engaged  in 2008 my parents once again told me I could use that same card for wedding stuff and they would pay it off.  As any other trusting child would I believed my parents and never thought twice about it. I believed they would pay it off because they wanted to set me up for a great financial future.

 I had stopped using the card the day we got married in June 2009. The card was now gone and was no longer being used, or so I thought. There had been recent charges and that was what was being flagged. I called the credit card company to see what was going on and they read down a list of charges. I said thank you and hung up. How could there be charges? And what the heck were these charges for? Where did they come from? As I did some reasearch online I confirmed my worst fears. It was my parents. They had changed the address on the card so that everything would go to them; new cards, statements, etc. but the card was still in my name and social security number. The balance was staggering and I was scared, angry, sad, all at the same time. Since my wedding they had been making purchases without me knowing anything. They were taking trips, buying gifts, gas, trips to Walmart, golfing, and hotel rooms. All of these things were just material, and didn’t matter. They didnt have to have any of these things, but chose to put me in jeopardy because of selfish desires.

I pondered how could they do this? Something 1) that was illegal but 2) something that was going to hurt my future when from 16 years old on they had told me that they want me to have great credit. It didnt make sense until I later found out they were having huge financial struggles and stole my card in an effort to continue to live the lifestyle that they were accustomed too. I was just being used in an effort to get what they wanted. They have expressed their feelings and stated that they knew what they were doing and have no remorse. They dont feel as though they have done anything wrong. They had no intentions of paying the balance off ever, and now it is on our shoulders to reconcile.

I never dreamed that my own parents would do this to me and not even feel bad about it. Money and sin do that to people. The greed takes over and holds on tight. I believe it is what happened to Cam’s dad. He saw the potential in his son and saw that he could probably make tons of money off of him. Cam was pushed to the back while money, fame, fortune came to the forefront. He would do anything for it, including jeopardizing his son’s winning season at Auburn and great career and future in the NFL.

Sometimes we think we know exactly what a person is feeling, thinking, or why they did something. That is simply not so. Cam’s dad could hide those lies and secrets from him just as easily as my parents did. So, next time we jump to conclusions, just remember that you may not have all the facts. It is so easy to assume things, but unless we know a person’s situation we really cant judge what is going on. Until you have a “Cam” moment I think it is hard to understand. Now that I am in the middle of this, although not on TV, it is so painful and heartbreaking. I couldn’t imagine my character being questioned or accused of being a part of all the drama. I have learned, just as Im sure he did, to stay strong and know that just because they did that, doesnt mean that is my identity. I dont have to be like that.

So, trust me when I say that he didn’t know.

 

GF/DF Homemade Caramel & Kettle Corn

Here are the recipes for the popcorn as I promised in the baby shower post earlier! :) Unfortunately I did not get a picture of the popcorn, I dont know why! But you can kind of see it in the background of the pictures of the table in the last post! The Kettle Corn is super easy. It doesnt require much at all! The Caramel Corn is really easy too, just follow the recipe below!

Kettle Corn:

-1 cup popped popcorn
-salt
-sugar

Once you have popped the popcorn you just sprinkle how much salt and how much sugar you want! And you can put butter on too of course! See, it really is that easy!!

Caramel Corn:

I found this recipe online and followed it exactly. The only thing that has to be changed is using Earth Balance instead of regular butter for the DF part. This was super easy too and really addicting!!

 

ENJOY!

GF/DF Cake Pops

cake pops, gluten free, dairy free, baby shower

Here is the Cake Pops recipe I promised in the baby shower post from the other day! Cake Pops are definitely an undertaking and I split it up into 2 seperate days. I had made cake pops one other time and it was just a pain. This time I decided to do it differently and it worked alot better!

So, you start out first by making the cake. I have a go-to chocolate cake recipe that I found when I first became gluten free and I have used it ever since because it never fails me! So, make the cake using this recipe. You have to let the cake cool and then you crumble it up into little bits. You can just do it with your hands, fork, whatever. Now, most people use store bought frosting to bind everything together, but I had some leftover Dairy Free cream cheese (Tofutti brand) and thought that would work just fine! So, spoon the frosting or whatever you want to use into the bowl with all the cake crumbles and mix it all together until it starts kind of forming a dough. Start rolling dough into balls and place on a baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator. I let mine go in for about 2 hrs.

Next step is to put sticks in all of the cake balls so that they can become pops! Now coat with the chocolate. I just used chocolate chips (DF Enjoy Life) and melted them over a double boiler. You want the chocolate to be constantly warm and melted, makes for a much easier time. Just stick the cake pops in and swirl around until they are all coated and place back onto the baking sheet. Once you have dipped all of them in chocolate they go back in the refrigerator to harden. I left mine in overnight just to be sure that they would have enough time to harden.

Now, you can just leave them as is or decorate. I used used white icing and colored it the color I wanted and piped onto the cake pops, which my friends was not easy and a complete mess! Or, after you dip them in chocolate decorate with sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut, nuts, etc. There are lots of possibilities!!!

I hope you enjoy them and that you can use them for your next party!!

Marian’s Surprise Baby Shower!

 

baby shower, ready to pop theme

The whole spread :)

 This week we had a surprise baby shower for one of our small group couples, Marian and Gerry! I LOVE to plan anything, but I especially love a party! I saw the theme of “Ready to Pop” on Pinterest and the girl that did the shower was sweet enough to send me the printables! Follow her blog here and check out their cute shower!! With the theme we did Kettle Corn, Caramel Corn, Pop Rocks, Blow Pops, Ring Pops, and Cake Pops. Of course we had to have beer for the guys :) And then we also had punch and a couple other little treats.

baby shower, ready to pop theme
this one is not as blurry..

 

cake pops, gluten free, dairy free, baby shower, blue

The GF/DF Cake Pop Recipe will be up in a day or two so stay tuned! :) They are not the easiest thing to make, but I was pleased at how they turned out! The caramel corn and kettle corn were also homemade and GF/DF so I will post that as well!

punch, gluten free, dairy free, party, shower

  This punch was served at one of our wedding showers and I loved it! To me its the “shower” punch!! Recipe is:
                                                            1 can frozen pink lemonade
                                                            1 liter ginger ale
                                                            1 liter white grape juice
                                                 Mix together, add ice to chill. Enjoy!

pop rocksring pops

We are excited to meet Baby Chase soon and find out if it’s a girl or boy!!!

Craft Night Success!

 DIY, fabric, flowers, crafts

Austin was out of town over the weekend so my friend Ashley B. & I decided to have a craft night. We had found so many awesome ideas on Pinterest and finally decided to sit down and try them. We wanted to make a chandelier out of beads, but could not find all the supplies and needed the boys help, so that is our next project. We settled on these flowers made out of fabric that Ashley had seen. They were super cute and looked really easy too.

So, we ventured out to Hobby Lobby as our first stop. This project probably cost us around $10 I would guess. We found scraps of fabric at Hobby Lobby for only like $1.00 a piece, the felt was like .50 cents, spray paint for like $3, and Ashley already had the dowel rods, and I already had some other spray paint at home. I also bought rocks from the Dollar Tree to put in my vase with the flowers to give it a finished touch.

Now, it was time to start crafting! If you are interested in making these here is the tutorial we used. Now, Ashley and I did a practice one because the directions were not 100% clear. We kind of just did our own thing after that, haha. So, just do what you feel!! We thought it ended up being a little more confusing and tedious than we first thought, but still fun and they turned out cute! Our husbands were impressed :) Stay tuned for our other adventures in DIY-ing as we hope to try some other fun things we have found and make our places look cute! :)

DIY “War Eagle” Wreath

diy, wreath, orange, blue auburn, war eagle, football l

Well, it was a disapointing loss on Saturday for us Auburn fans, but we always stick by our team!!! My friend Kelly over at Keeping Up With The Johnsons  had the cutest Auburn wreath that she made herself and I thought I must try that!! Our house definitely needed a little Auburn spirit, I mean it is football season and we have to support our team no matter what!!!

This was really easy to make, it probably took me 30 minutes and then I left everything to dry overnight before putting on the door! The total price was $25, but it just depends on if you have the supplies already, I unfortunately had to buy paintbrushes, paint, etc. Hobby Lobby is where I went & their prices are just amazing! I also had a 40% off one regular price item coupon, so check that you before you go on their website!!

Supplies:
-orange or blue paint, whatever you prefer! ($2.99 each)
-orange & blue ribbon ($1.99 each)
-wreath ($5.00)
-paintbrushes ($6.99 for a pack, and then 40% off w/ coupon)
-letters (.77 cents each)
-bow ($1.99)
 -wood glue ($4.00)

How to DIY:
1.) I painted all my letters first and let them dry. I did 2-3 coats of orange paint.
2.) While letters are drying I wrapped my ribbon around the wreath and secured the bow on as well.
3.) After the letters were dry it was time for gluing! At first it didnt seem like they were going to stay on, but just glue, press down hard and then leave over night. The glue also dries clear so dont worry if there is some showing. The next morning it was ready to be put up!!!

WAR EAGLE!!!

10 Years Ago-A Tribute.

american flag

source

September 11, 2001 is a day that changed the life of every American. It is a day that we reflect back on each year and think “where was I when it happened?”. With it being the 10th anniversary today I just want to give thanks to those men and women that fought hard on that United Flight to save other’s lives and to all the men and women who now fight this war to keep us from more harm.

That day started out like any other for everyone. I was in the 10th grade at Milton High School in Alpharetta, GA. I was in Mrs. Doll’s Geometry class when our principal came over the loudspeaker. Mrs. Doll had a radio in her classroom and she ran to it and immediately turned it on. We all listened in horror and confusion, not sure as to what was happening. The bell rang and I went to my Home Economics class with Mrs. Hampton. She rolled in a TV so that we could watch the news and what was happening. The room was chaotic. One of my friend’s dads was on a business trip to Boston and she had not heard from him and was very upset and scared. In every other class that day we watched the news in disbelief. The rest of that day is a blur, I can only remember going home and watching it on TV. Everyone was scared and so unsure as to why it happened and who could have done this. We were supposed to go to CA the next week to visit friends and I was scared out of my mind thinking about getting on a plane. I just remember everyone saying that we needed to still live our lives and we cant let the terrorists destroy us.

As a 15 year old I dont think that I could fully understand what that day meant and what it meant for our future. I read an article in Real Simple magazine the other day about how people that lost loved ones that day celebrate their memory. I was in tears. I don’t think back then I really got it. I get it now. I cannot imagine being one of those stuck in the Twin Towers and calling my loved ones to say goodbye. I cannot imagine the bravery it took to be on those planes knowing what was about to happen and being so strong and trying to stop it from happening. I cannot imagine the fear that they felt that day, it is heartbreaking.

It is a very sad day in the lives of all Americans because our country was so wounded by it, but I hope that all the people that lost their lives will be celebrated today and that we can focus on how much we have overcome since then. God avenges us, and evil will not prevail. Those people did not die in vain, and I know that God will use all of their lives and stories for a purpose.

A year after September 11th I came to know Christ because of that single event. I thought about the people in one of the towers that were trapped in the stairwell with no way out. I wondered, if that were me where would happen to me? I didnt know Jesus personally and at that point I knew that needed to change. I accepted Christ at a Student Venture meeting when I was in the 11th grade. I think God uses terrible things to bring us closer to Him and that was what lead me to Him.

My prayer is for all the families today that they can see God’s hand at work in the midst of sadness and anger and see that he is weaving together a perfect story.

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