Thursday, February 28, 2013

Red, White, & Blouse

I must confess I've been hiding something from you. The Dude and I are looking for a house. Our first house. I'm unbelievably excited, but I don't want to subject you all to the emotional roller coaster that is my life these days. I've already fallen head-over-heels in love with no fewer than four houses only to find out there's something dreadfully wrong with it, or someone else snatches it out from under us. So far we've put in three offers. The first was accepted (after a bit of back-and-forth), but the inspector proved to be quite good at his job, lucky for us, and we backed out of that deal really quick! Our second and third offers were outbid, and my heart was broken again and again. All this to say, that's why I haven't been around much recently. When my evenings and weekends are spent house-hunting online, house-hunting in person, and filling out paperwork, it leaves little time for crafty goodness. I am hoping that we find something soon, so I can get back to living my life... and with my very own craft room if we get a house that fits all our criteria!

So now that you know what I've been up to, I hope you can forgive me for my relative scarcity lately, and probably for a little while yet to come. Now let's get to today's refashion!

I picked up this little cotton skirt at a clothes swap a while back. I was kinda weirded out by the bottom border though. It just doesn't look like it belongs on the rest of the skirt. But that's all one piece of fabric, printed that way. Strange, huh?

Red, White, & Blouse

Monday, February 18, 2013

Dragonfly Dress

I snatched up this bright aqua housedress at the thrift store a few months back for $3. The shape (or lack thereof) is terrible, but the color and adorable embroidery on the skirt really called to me.

Dragonfly Dress - Before

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Spring has Sprung

I spotted this lovely dress at the local thrift store for $3, and despite its obvious flaws (like shoulder pads and an awkward length), I really like the sweet floral pattern. So I brought it home with me. Upon my return from said shopping trip, my husband begin to question my sanity. There was no way, he said, I could make something wearable from this. Well, I'll show him!

Frumpy Floral Dress Refashion - Before

Perhaps my favorite part of this dress was the alteration the previous owner had made. Buttoning up to the clavicle is clearly not enough to retain one's modesty. Only a trollop would wear this dress in its originally-manufactured state.

Frumpy Floral Dress Refashion - Before

Sunday, February 03, 2013

New Me

One year ago I made a decision. I was sick of being overweight. Technically, I fell into the "obese" range of the BMI scale for my height. It wasn't merely my appearance I didn't like; I had gradually developed a number of minor health issues that could have easily become major issues had they remained unchecked.

So I resolved to change myself. I signed up for an account on SparkPeople, where I could track all my food, exercise, weight, measurements, etc. In the beginning, I still ate mostly the same food I had been eating, but in smaller quantities. I would only eat half of my entree and take the rest for leftovers. I paid more attention to the serving size in that handy nutrition facts label on food packaging. I started taking the stairs at work, instead of the elevator. I went for walks around the neighborhood in the evenings. I saw results immediately. As the weeks went by, the pounds dropped off, slowly but surely, averaging about 2-3 pounds per week.

It soon became obvious that altering the quantity of food eaten was not enough. I learned I must also eat better. My husband and I exchanged our nightly take-out dinners (I am not a cook) for heat-and-eat dinners from a chain called My Fit Foods. They make pre-packaged meals, like microwave dinners, for the health-conscious on the go. With a location on my way home from work, it was super convenient. And popping something in the microwave for 3 minutes was even easier than calling, ordering, and picking up take-out.

After a couple months of this new routine, I needed new clothes. It's a good thing I've always loved shopping at thrift stores, or else this could've gotten expensive. I saw plenty of other changes as well. The heartburn I had been experiencing for the past couple years disappeared. My husband told me I had ceased snoring at night. Taking the stairs no longer left me winded. I already felt a million times better. And my friends and coworkers (whom I hadn't told yet that I was trying to lose weight) began to notice. The boost to my self-confidence provided the fuel I needed to keep going.

We eventually tired of the My Fit Foods dinners. Nothing against them, but it was getting a bit repetitive. It was then that my husband discovered his love of cooking. He became a frequent customer of the Sprouts grocery store near his work, and found he enjoyed creating meals on the fly from whatever meat and produce happened to be on sale/in season at the time. (Is that how normal people do it? I still don't get the whole cooking thing, but I'm glad he does!) My previously-picky palate branched out into new territory and found the cuisine delicious!

More months passed and my weight continued to decrease, though more and more slowly. I was tempted many times (especially as our trip to Hawaii approached) to eat even less than my minimum calorie requirements in order to speed up my progress. But I kept telling myself that if this was to last, it needed to be a lifestyle change, not a temporary, unhealthy crash diet from which I would undoubtedly rebound.

Vacations and holidays were difficult. There were weeks that I didn't lose any weight at all. I even gained a few pounds while in Hawaii since I decided not to track my calorie intake on vacation. But I overcame those challenges, got back on course, and eventually saw the results I was striving for.

Today, one year and four days since setting out on this journey, I have reached my goal weight. That's 370 days to go from 225lbs to 150lbs, from a size 18 to an 8. It's been a challenging road, but I've learned so much along the way that I believe will help me stay on this path for years to come.

In writing this post, I do not mean to sound preachy or to make any of you feel guilty about your habits (trust me, I still have my share of bad ones!). Nor is it strictly for bragging purposes (but maybe just a little). My hope is that the story of my journey might show you that it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks. And if just one person finds inspiration from this, it's totally worth it.

Orangina Tee Refashions - After

So what's next for me? I'm going to have my husband wrap me in duct tape. No, no, it's nothing like that. I'm planning to make my own DIY dress form!