Monday, April 13, 2015

Pedernales Falls, in the fog


The wildflowers this year, y'all. So fantastic. Lots of rain = lots of flowers! I've been wanted to hit up Pedernales Falls State Park for a while. It's one of my favorites in the area and if you haven't been, please go. It is amazing. So grand and beautiful and the hiking is prime.

Also, side note, Pedernales, although being spelled like Ped-er-nah-lez, is actually pronounced Perd-a-nah-lez. I've been saying it the latter way my whole life, but recently I was like oh gosh look how it's spelled, I've been saying it wrong? So I started pronouncing it how it was spelled, and Brendon had to whoop up and bust out that Google one day to have it audibly pronounced for me. And it is Per, not Ped. There's an invisible R in there? I have no idea. Texas is full of weird names.

Anyway, it was a gloomy as heck day, but we went for it any way. It was actually kind of awesome, because it was not hot at all. Not like the last time we went. So we could hike to our hearts content and not get all hot and gross.




LOL, NERDS.





The water was a'gettin' it! Although I feel like we haven't had much rain (just the gloom and threat of it), it's definitely been a wet winter and fairly wet spring. Which is so good! We need rain!



We found this little set up here on a rock. Super cute, super Texan, but DON'T YOU KNOW PICKING BLUE BONNETS IS ILLEGAL WHAT THE HECK?



This place. It's just so awesome. I am just in love with the rocks as I am with the water. They tell such a tale! Nerdy moment, but from a geological standpoint this place is just so neat. Water and time are capable of amazing things.




What a cool place. Please go, if you have not. I am such a fan of our state parks. I know that probably goes without saying, but goodness, they are wonderful. And such a cheap, fun, and healthy form of entertainment. We are rounding up our year of having a parks pass and we are for sure renewing it. It's such a good deal, if you are thinking of getting one, DO IT! It makes you get outside more and nothing but fun can come from that. Unless you're allergic to the sun or something.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eggster 2015

EASTER! If you have been around the blog long enough, this is the same old song and dance. Though we are not celebrators of Easter in any traditional sense, we (I? I think Brendon just goes along with it.) love dying some eggs and do so every year. Except this year, we got real fancy and bought a kit. We got a "tie-dye" kit, which made me feel a little like a fool (it was harder than I thought, how would kids get that nonsense?) but once we got the hang of it, it was lots of fun. And they came out cool!

So, as is tradition, here is our Eggster!









And the best part about dying eggs... immediately busting them up and making deviled eggs. And tater tots? NO JUDGING.


If you'd like to see the exact same thing, featuring slightly younger versions of ourselves, here is Eggster 2014, 2013, and 2012. I'm even wearing the same sweater last year. So predictable.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Birthday weekend in Wimberley

PHEW, you guys! Life! It's been nuts! I've got some actual life blogging (versus Princess Dress blogging) to catch up on. Life has been full of stressful and cRaZy things lately, but also, some really fun things. Lets talk about the fun.

For my birthday, this cute lobster shirt wearing boy surprised me with a weekend in Wimberley! Actually, I ruined the surprise, because I am a champion surprise ruiner, but it was still fantastic and Brendon, once again, is the best husband ever. 

We stayed at a little bed and breakfast in the hills and got to do a lot of playing outside, enjoying the FANTASTIC weather. Spring this year in Texas has been a grey one. We've had a few fabulous blue skied days, but we've also had a lot of cloudy, grey, "it has looked like rain for a week but hasn't actually precipitated, sorry about your sinus pressure". This weekend the weather was all about perfection and reminding you why you love Texas. Looking back at these photos has me missing that sunshine!

We checked out a couple watering holes while playing in the sun. Like literally, holes. One is a literal hole in the water, the other in name. First we visited Jacob's Well, because I mean, I've lived in central Texas most of my life and have never been?




It's a literal hole! Really deep apparently, also really dangerous to dive in. Creepy! It's spring fed so the water is seriously, crystal clear. Beeeeeautiful water. Also chilly!





I mean, that water! So clear! Jacob's Well was surprisingly tiny (even though I'd been warned). I can imagine it gets crazy crowded in the summer.

Next up we checked out Blue Hole, which is a park right in the city. It is an amazingly well taken care of and well facilitated park. I think it's rather new. Go Wimberley! It's fed by the same spring from Jacob's Well, so clear water strikes again!




Too early to swim in the park, so it was nice and quiet. Just perfect for the old fart Hogans who run from societal gatherings. But it looks like a killer swimming hole, complete with swings to propel yourself into the water, if you're brave. I am not.


We've explored the town before, so we just made a couple stops into little shops (coffeeeee and food and sweets) and spent most of our time there just soaking in the Vitamin D.






Wimberely is such a cool little town! I guess being from New Braunfels I appreciate towns with water running through them. Which is basically everywhere in the hill country from San Antonio to Austin.


OKAY, so the B&B we stayed at was such a winner. We stayed at Southwind Bed and Breakfast, in the Cats Paw room. OMG YOU GUYS IT IS A CAT THEMED ROOM. Brendon wins, forever.


Cat everything. It was amazing. Also, everything else about this place was amazing! It's outside town so it's nice and quiet, with beeeeautiful views. The folks that run the place are the kindest. They greet you with cookies and if you stay in the inn, you all have breakfast together. And I mean, a good homemade breakfast. They made the best scrambled eggs I think I've ever had, and I don't like eggs! Such a neat place, I highly recommend it!



THIS VIEW THOUGH. Seriously, so good. And at night, you can see all kinds of stars! Heart eyes emoji, y'all.


The hill country is my kryptonite. Feels like home. We've been spending a lot of our free time lately out west in the hills and I am not mad (although my allergies... phew!).

Hurrah for that weekend in Wimberley. It was such a good one. The weather! The relaxation! And Brendon had also officially just gotten home from his six week rotation in Temple so it was just, perfect. We needed an escape!

If you are interested in where we consumed calories, we ate at Inoz (fantastic place to grab a drink and chilllll, the nachos are on point) and the Leaning Pear (which is so very aaaaawesome, please go, sit outside, and swing on their tree swings. This place killed it!). We also got sweets from the Sugar Shack Bakery and Wimberley Pie Company, both of which are delicious and we might now be diabetic.

Until next time Wimberley!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Belle

WHOA, long time no Disney dress making, eh? Life has been busy. Life is always busy, that's no excuse, but that's what I'm using.


The Belle dress. Oh man, this dress has been a looooong time coming. It took a while to make, both because it was challenging, and because life. Also, this is MY princess. Okay, maybe it's a tie with one we'll discuss later in life, but Belle will always be the queen of my Disney Princess heart. I am a Belle. I mean, hellooooo the first Princess who wasn't interested in getting swept of her feet! Belle is a hero, she is brave and adventurous and stands up for herself. And loves to read? AND the first real brunette? I mean, come on. Perfection! This was my favorite movie for most of my childhood, THUS THE STRONG INDEPENDENT WOMAN I AM TODAY. (Kidding, but only slightly.) Y'all, I had Belle and the Beast/Prince Barbies, with multiple outfits. And she was my favorite Barbie, even though I effed her hair up real bad by taking it out of the perfect bun she came with. Beauty and the Beast was my JAM. I would lay in the grass and blow dandelion puffs and dream of more than this provincial life. Seriously, I wanted to be Belle so bad. I think I made my mom draw me as Belle one time. Little known fact, my mom can draw and draw well!

Anyways, so this dress was important. I wanted to LOVE this dress. And as much as I loooove her ball gown in the film, because it's hers, it is not my favorite Disney Princess dress. Iconic and wonderful, but very big and very yellow (because gold was hard to pull off in animation?). So I to make something that would represent her dress, but still be something I would love (and wear).

At my sewing job, we just so happened to have scraps left of two rather fantastic pale gold fabrics that just so happened to match perfectly. THANK YOU to my boss and to the clients who have such lovely taste in drapery fabric YES THIS DRESS IS MADE OF DRAPES. Channeling Maria Von Trapp, at all times. The bodice is made of the loveliest platinum-gold silk (!!!) and the skirt and sleeves are made of embroidered linen in the prettiest shade of butter. This dress is fancy. But basically free because life is so good sometimes?! This dress was meant to be.


Why yes, I did make myself a little silk bow to match. To pay homage to Belle's gold hair piece. And also because bows. For this dress I was going for a sort of french provincial (HAAA) feel, a lot more casual than Belle's cray cray ballgown. Because honestly, they were out in the country. I wanted something someone would wear while frolicking through the grass, miffed about Gaston.


At first I couldn't find a pattern that made all my Belle dreams come true. And it took me a while to settle on an idea. In fact I had an entirely different dress completely planned out that I scrapped at the last moment. I ended up using the top of one pattern and the bottom of the other. I used Butterick 5814 for the bodice and sleeves and the simple but rather full skirt from Butterick 5708. The bodice was very complicated. It is asymmetrical, pleated, boned, fully lined, and every seam inside is encased. So much hand sewing. Slip stitching for years. The only exposed seam allowances on the whole dress are the center, sides, and back of the skirt, and the zipper. And the zipper is an invisible zipper, which thanks to YouTube, I am no longer scared of! SO much easier than regular zips, I have been converted.

This dress was a big time learning experience. Very challenging, very fun, and I am very happy with it. It fits me perfectly (after a few adjustments, the sleeves were way too big!) and oh my gosh silk. Yes please. Sewing with silk is fantastic. It is so pretty.


And yes, this had to happen. Because the skirt is so full and fun and Belle twirls all over the ballroom in her dress so:




I am a huge nerd.


HURRAH, the Belle dress! How I slaved over you! Thank goodness I am happy with it. And thanks to Belle for being such a bad ass. I feel like a bad ass in this dress. (Insert sunglasses emoji.)

The rest of the Disney Princess are here! On to the next one! Can you guess where we're headed next? Off to another continent!