Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sparkles, Greg, and hair.

Things that have happened lately:

- Working, eating, sleeping; repeat
- Consuming copious amounts of grapefruit, fending off the sickness that everyone seems to have
- Thinking a lot about being productive, but being lazy instead
- Missing Mr. H
- Dropping mugs on my head at work
- Debating big decisions
- Snuggling and cuddling with a husband and two fat cats every time I get a chance (not often enough)
- Sparkle toes
- The heat has returned to Texas, boo!

Things that have not happened lately:

- Winning the lottery
- Anything remotely creative
- Seeing the light of day (kidding)

I have no idea where this last week has gone. This is good because it's another week of pharmacy school down and a week closer to summer, but it is also a week where I feel I got absolutely nothing done. I have nothing to show for this last week and that's weird. Making and creating things makes me happy and I did zilch this week. I don't know how or why but I don't like it. Time is flying, and that is good, but I feel like I might as well have been in limbo not existing all week. Weirdness.

So even though I have diddly-squat to show for the last week, I treated myself to a pedicure today. Because although I didn't make anything pretty or yummy, I did work my butt off all week dealin' caffeine and these legs are tired.

I went all out and got pink sparkly toes. Because why not?

They make me happy. Happy toes!

While I was sittin' on the floor snappin' some pictures of my bedazzled feet, the cats decided to be cute. And by cats I mean Greg, because Sophie hates the camera.

Greg does this thing when he wants attention where he lays on his back with his belly and feet up. It looks like someone shot him. It's beyond cute. That boy knows how to work it. However as you can see, his charms don't work on Sophie. But they sure do on me!

Sweetest blue eyed baby, oh how we love you! Just not when you put your butt in our faces.

In hair news, my monster hair is gettin' pretty long:

Mirror pics y'all. Bringin' them back.

I'm on a mission to continue growing it out and to keep it as healthy as possible. Although it is in bad need of a trim. My mom got me a gift certificate to get my hair cut (perhaps as a hint?), so I think soon I'll get a trim.

In an effort to keep my hair healthy, I try to avoid attacking it with heat. I have straightened my hair once or twice this year so far. I blow dry it a little once a week or so just because it takes ages to air dry. For example, I showered at like 11 this morning and it probably finished drying at like 7 this evening. I have a lot of hair. And since I basically don't ever style my hair, it usually looks a little wild. It's not quite straight but not really wavy. It just does it's own thing, and I'm cool with that.

I just got some coconut oil to help with my dry ends. My hair gets really oily super fast near the roots, but the oil never makes it down to the ends so they're always a little on the dry side. I had been looking for something to condition them with but everything seemed full of chemicals. I looked at the ingredient list of some split end stuff yesterday and it was super long and contained a bunch of alcohols. Doesn't alcohol dry your hair out? Brendon said it was a bonding agent between chemicals or something, but that's too sciencey for me. I read on the internet somewhere that coconut oil was a good natural conditioner, so I figured I'd try it out. Hopefully it works because I bought a GIANT jar. It starts out as a solid but melts with heat. It's kinda neat, you can cook with it and use it on your skin and hair! It's a multitasking machine! I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I don't end up smelling like a bottle of Hawaiian tropic suntan lotion.

Well. This post was all over the place. My life is all over the place. And I like it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Husband love

Honeymoonin' in Alaska.

This man is good. He is my rock and my home and my happiness. I love him more everyday and today I miss him terribly. After this wonderful weekend, Monday was a lame trip back to reality. Back to no more husband and wife time. Back to work for me and school for Brendon. It's not fair. There is no measure of time together that would be enough for me. Boo for reality. Boo for work and school. Why can't we just be on vacation all the time? Why can't we just hang out all day everyday? Someone call the whambulance, because I'm being a whiny baby today.

I guess the good thing about not getting a lot of time together is that it makes our time together more special. Last night I forced Brendon to stay up with me after I got home from work. Just hanging out. Just laughing and cuddling and being stupid. It's my favorite. Even if it is just a half an hour of us-time, it gets me through the next day of no-Brendon-time.

I am thankful for this wonderful man. Thankful that I get sleep next to him (and two fat cats) every night. Thankful for his silly text messages throughout the day when we're apart. Thankful for his patience with me. Thankful that he is hilarious and as weird as I am. Thankful that after all these years we have never run out of things to talk about. Thankful that we have each other to go on this great big adventure with.

So sorry if you just died from "lovey-dovey-ness" overload. but I love my husband and since he's not here you all have to suffer my rantings.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Birthday weekend!

This past birthday weekend was really wonderful. I didn't want to make any big plans, I really just wanted to relax and have a happy day with my husband and family. I ended up being spoiled rotten and duh, I loved it. I am a lucky little lady. So brace yourself for 10,000 birthday weekend pictures y'all. Let's recap this bad boy.

Saturday morning Brendon and I slept in (!!!) and then made a breakfast taco feast. My favorite! Then I got to open my presents!

 Puttin' that birthday crown to use! Pardon my sleepy face and creepy Sophie.

Brendon was way too good to me and got me awesome goodies. He got me CLOTHES! My husband went shopping for me! And got really cute stuff! AND I got Harry Potter and Darth Vader key chain Lego men. Booya, best husband ever.

Oh and my new little lucky kitty cat!

Most awesome shorts ever? YES. Hot pink shorts. I AM IN LOVE.

Sophie dressed up fancy for the occasion.

After present time we went and saw the Hunger Games! Muy bueno. I think they did a great job. I wasn't really impressed with who they picked for the characters when I first saw the cast (still think Gale looks like a goon), but now that I've seen it I think they did an excellent job. The guy who plays Peeta won me over as soon as he smiled. And I loved the way they did the districts and the capital. Pretty damn close to what I pictured in my head. Also the soundtrack is BA.I highly recommend seeing the movie! But read the books first!!!

Anyway, after the movie we ran to the mall, came home and relaxed for a bit (I snuck in a nap!), and then got ready for dinner! We ate at Clay Pit, an Indian restaurant near downtown. It was so good. Such a neat place, we will definitely be back. We both got chicken korma (our favorite!) but as you can see below, Brendon got his significantly spicier than mine (his is a good 3 shades darker than mine!).

 Nom nom nom! So good.

After dinner we hiked around downtown for a while. We walked A LOT. We walked from basically MLK to 6th street and back, we got at least a good couple miles of walking in. Had to work off all that yummy food we ate! It was neat to see the capital in the evening. I'd never been there at night before, it's beautiful! They have it so well lit, it glows!

Brushing up on his Texas history. And looking handsome.
The lighting there was pretty, but I look like a damn Weasley. My hair looks so red!

I'd like to take this time to introduce you to my birthday dress up there. This is the dress that I saw before Christmas and passed up (even though it broke my inner fashionista's heart), then saw it a few weekends ago again and bit the big one and bought it. SO GLAD I DID. I love it. I had to shorten it about 4 inches, but other than that it is perfect. Do you see that giant satin bow? And that adorable collar? Favorite dress ever.

After exploring the capital, we headed into the heart of downtown, where all the crazies are! Excellent place to people watch. Austin is a beautiful city at night. And it really comes alive!

Here I am on 6th street sipping on a box of apple juice. I feel like that picture describes me pretty well. Weirdo fosho! 6th street makes me nervous, but we wandered down a little bit to check it out. It got crazier and crazier by the minute so we didn't last long. But it would be a nice place to chill in the evening before the party animals arrived. There are just SO many bars! How do you know which one to go into?

After our long (uphill) hike back to the car, we headed home. We didn't have any cake so I blew my mismatched birthday candles out in a piece of bread. Brendon wanted to stick them in a potato. Too weird for even me.

I had an absolutely wonderful birthday. I got to spend all day with my sweet husband, see the Hunger Games, relax, and I felt like a princess all day! AND I got to wear my birthday dress out on the town. Can it be my birthday everyday?

The next day the fun continued! My mom, sister, and Alex (Julie's main squeeze) came up to Austin to spend the day with me. So I basically got two birthdays! Jackpot!

That birthday card was the best. It has a cat box with "happy birthday" spelled out in what I can only assume is cat poo. Amazing. My family knows me so well.

Ladies! And the birthday crown makes another appearance.

Sophie got a lot of loving and pretended to hate it, as usual.

 She was so upset, she killed Alex.

Jk, he's alive. And he spent the day as me. We both celebrated our birthday.

Ummm, you see that? It was AMAZING. Chocolate heaven. There's a piece waiting for me in the fridge.

Although I missed my daddio and step momma this weekend, we have plans to meet up soon! I am seriously so lucky to have these loving and amazing (and weird) people in my life. Thank you for making my birthday so good y'all. You are the best. This was a fantastic start to my 24th year of life, and if it's any reflection of the next year to come, I can't wait!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Step by Step Sewing Part 4 - the Final Product

I finally got a chance to take pictures in my latest sewing creation. We have been blessed with some absolutely beautiful weather lately. Friday evening Brendon and I took advantage and hung out in the sunshine. And I conned him into taking some pictures of me in my dress.

Here is Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 of the project. It took me almost a month to blog, whoops! Life has been busy lately. Wonderful, but busy busy busy!

I LOVE this dress! It is super comfy. That seersucker fabric is so light and soft, I love it. It is perfect for spring. It was a tad big around the waist so I added a little pink ribbon to cinch it up a bit. Not a permanent solution, but it works for now. Out of all the dresses I've made, I think this one was the simplest and I think it flatters me the most. The skirt part of it is the perfect length for me, which is nice because a lot of the time I have to alter the length on things because I'm on the tall side.

We had a great evening by the lake, relaxing, people watching and catching up with each other. This last couple weeks were rough for me and Mr. H. We probably saw each other for maybe 5 waking hours all week. No fun! I had also just finished a 9 day work marathon (my fault, asking for days off early in one week and late in the next is not a good idea), so it was extra nice to have a night together. And knowing you have the whole next day off together doesn't hurt either, especially when it is a certain someone's birthday (which was wonderful).

On our way home we stopped by a snow cone trailer for some goodies. I am obsessed with snow cones right now. They are SO GOOD. I always stick to my boring favorite, strawberry, but Brendon always has to one up me. He got blue raspberry and it was delish and I was jealous. Way to out order me babe.

Cutest husband ever. In my opinion.

 Brendon is way better at looking cute while eating snow cones. I just look awkward, as usual.

See how soft that dress looks? I could basically sleep in it. That fabric is the best. And it hardly wrinkles at all since it's fairly textured already. Win-win y'all.

Not sure what project is up next. I just got a bunch of new patterns, so I have too many options to chose from! I'm no good at making decisions!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Happy birthday to me! This is what a 24 year old me looks like:

Just kidding, that's me at 23 years and 364 days. Close enough.

Twenty-four years ago today my parents brought me into this world! Poor folks, didn't know what they were getting themselves into. Kidding, I was only a hellion child for a few (long) teenaged years. For the most part I think I was and am a pretty good kid. Thanks for raising me so well mom and dad. I owe you my life. Literally.

24 seems still very young to me, but at the same time I feel like, "omg how can I be 24 already?? Where has the time gone?! Why do I have an abundance of grey hairs?!?". But age is just a number and some days I feel 18 and others I feel 50 (like how my body is falling apart, THANKS BODY). In some ways I think I'm pretty mature for my age. But then I do love the occasional fart joke, so sometimes I have the mentality of a 13 year old boy. What can you do.

I have had a wonderful 24 years on this earth and I am excited to see what this next year of life brings me. A friend of mine used to say that whatever day you're born on is your golden year. So this year would be it, bring me good things 24!! I'm not sure how legit that is though, because if that's the case there are a lot of folks out there that got screwed. For example someone born on the 2nd. I mean maybe their 2nd year of life was really great, but who remembers that?

So hurray for 24! Hurray for being in my mid-twenties? Can I say that? I mean technically the mid-twenty is 25, but since you usually say mid-twenties, I'm assuming they mean 24-26. Is that an accurate assumption? Eff it. I'm in my mid-twenties y'all, and I'm embracing it. Every year just keeps getting better so bring it on life, show me whatcha got! You can keep the gray hairs though. And also wrinkles.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Life and that one time we went to Vegas

Life lately has been a blur! Time is flying and I feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. I have been a busy bee at work and Brendon is in the midst of a week of tests every single day. All this week (and it will continue until Friday) we have seen each other for about two hours before bed and that's it. Enough time for a quick recap of our days and a thrown together late dinner. Then usually I pass out and Brendon studies. Last night, because I was being a grumpy goose, Brendon asked if "I hated my life". Not a serious question, but I know he was only half kidding. Obviously this situation is way less than ideal.

And although this past week has been rough on us both and we rarely see each other, I love love love my life (which I always tell him). I am tired and I miss my husband, but I am happy. I love my job. I love that Brendon is in pharmacy school (figuratively). I love the life we have here. We are where we had always wanted to be, and things are good. Pharmacy school sucks the big one, there's no getting around that. But we are already over halfway through the semester, almost done with the first year! And then it will be summer time and we will have 3 months to relax and play husband and wife again. And even though the school year is rough (poor Brendon, I am so proud of you for being such a hardworking badass) we squeeze in some pretty good times. It's just weeks like this that are hard (and this semester is extra stupid because instead of spreading the tests out over the semester, they have tests in all their classes at the same time every couple weeks, DUMB). They're just tiny speed bumps on our little adventure.

So I apologize to Brendon and anyone else that may think that I "hate my life", because I certainly do not. I am a happy little camper who just gets grumpy every now and then.

And on that note, let's take a look at a happy and carefree time in our lives. The summer of 2009 after we both turned 21 we went to Vegas and we loved it. Not only is the weather aaamazing for your hair (but bad for your lips, mine were chapped for a week afterwards), Vegas is a wonderfully weird place. It is luxurious and fancy, but at the same time cheap and over the top tacky. We spent the majority of our time walking around and just looking. Looking at the hotels, the casinos, and of course, they lovely endless supply of interesting people. Prime area for people watching.

We stayed at the Paris Las Vegas, and it was awesome. Eiffel Tower in your hotel? Yes please!


The view from the top! They were in the midst of building another complex of hotels next to the Bellagio, I think it's like the Cosmopolitan and stuff? It was crazy big, I'd like to see it now that it's finished. The craziest part about Vegas is how insane these hotels are. Each one is like a maze of casinos, restaurants, shops, and clubs. And a lot of them connect to one another, sometimes underground! It's easy to get lost, which I guess is their plan. Get lost and spend money! And you really do lose track of time there. We would go to eat dinner and it would be midnight. And even though we pretty much always had a drink in our hand, I never felt drunk (this may be because our idea of drinking was far different than most newly-21-year-old's). Or hungover. Or tired. Something in the air there makes you feel just A-okay.

I love all the crazy hotels! All the lights and attractions! They are all ridiculous. We tried to explore each one, but I'd say we hit up a little more than half of them. Obviously we need to go back! We did get to ride the roller coaster at New York, New York though! I thought I was going to die. But it was a fun, although terrifying, quick, blurry, and often upside down view of Vegas at night.

Look at these youngins! How touristy can you get huh?

Zoos in hotels? Totally normal.

We have to take a moment now and talk about that drink in sweet Brendon's hands. The "skull cup" as we named it. It was a $15 drink from Treasure Island that came in a plastic mug shaped like a skull. Brendon wanted it just for the cup, so I got it for him. If I remember correctly the drink was pretty gross. I think you could get whatever you wanted in it, and I think that's a daiquiri? So after Brendon got his beloved cup, we stopped at some casino and threw money at the slots (we, or at least I, have no luck in gambling at all). And Brendon set his cup down next to his machine. And left it there. A few hotels down the strip he realizes he lost his cup. We go back, but of course it was gone. Enter pouty sad face Brendon. So that night we go back down to Treasure Island (which is waaay down the strip from our hotel) and I buy him another $15 mug full of gross drink.
Round two with a margarita and a happy Brendon.

We still have the skull cup and I have to say it was worth the $30. It's a bad ass cup to drink anything out of (usually water) and we still use it all the time. Plus we have the lovely memories of Brendon losing the cup and being a big ol' baby in Vegas. Love that man-child.

We look 17. No wonder we got carded 8,000 times.

I loved the fountains in front of the Bellagio. Our hotel was right across the street so we got to see them quite a few times (sorry Brendon) and it never got old, for me anyway. My favorite was when they... sprayed? went off? whatever-ed to "Your Song" by Elton John. I love that song. I think we played it at our wedding.

I can't wait to go back to Vegas. It really is an escape from reality into a ridiculous land of money and cheap thrills. Brendon was talking about it last night (giving me the inspiration for this post) and said we should go after he graduates pharmacy school. I say, deal. We'll see you in 2015 Vegas! Please keep your souvenir cups out of sight.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patty's Day from the Hogan's!

How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? Are you an Irish man or woman? Or just a fan of beer and the color green?

Brendon is Irish and very proud. I'm pretty sure I have zero Irish blood, but I have an Irish last name now thanks to Mr. H! That counts right? We have no big plans, I think wearing green is the extent of our celebrating today. Brendon has lots of studying to do, but maybe we'll throw some green food coloring into a beer later and drink it merrily while doing a jig. Or I'll just show you this ridiculously old picture of Brendon and I, featuring the color green and even a clover:

Throw back much? This picture has been floating around my desk for a while (years), and since Brendon is sporting some Irish-ish gear I figured what the heck, why not share it with the internet? This was way back in 2006, I think early spring. We were 17 and had only been dating for a few months. Cute. I had short red hair and Brendon had blonde highlights (???) in his very shaggy "do". Obviously these were some fashionable times for the both of us. I'm pretty sure I didn't know what make up was. I'm happy to say our sense of style has evolved a bit.

I imagine that things in the city tonight will be crazy. Not only is it St. Patty's day but we are also amidst SXSW. Although it is not as nuts as I had imagined, I am ready for it to be over and for everyone to go home so my commute to work doesn't suck so badly. Going anywhere these past few days has been a giant pain.

I hope that this Patty's Day treats you well and you avoid being pinched if you forgot to wear green. And that you receive some of that "luck of the Irish". We seem to have zilch of that, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a pot of gold.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Step by Step Sewing Part 3 - Construction

Alrighty, finally the next installment of the sewing project! I've named this dress the "candy striper" dress, for obvious reasons. Check out Part 1 and Part 2. Now let's tackle putting this thing together!

First things first we'll make the bodice. Really what you're making here is a kind of vest that eventually will be attached to the skirt. I ironed the interfacing onto the fabric, giving the fabric some stiffness and strength in places you'll need it. Most importantly here, where we'll be putting the buttons and button holes.

Next up, we sew in some darts onto the bodice pieces as well as the bodice lining. You basically have two mirrored copies of the bodice, one in your good fabric and one in lining. You'll sew them together so that on the inside of the bodice there are no exposed seams.

That up there is the lining. There are bust and waist line darts in the two front pieces (left and right sides) and then two waist line darts in the back piece. Darts are super easy, you basically are sewing out a wedge in your fabric, creating some definition/three dimensionality to your fabric. It makes your garment more fitted and tailored to your body. It also creates space to put your lovely boobs. Yes I just said boobs.

So I sewed in all my darts to all the bodice pieces and lining, then I sewed the front pieces to the back piece at the shoulder seam. Then I sewed the fabric and lining versions of the bodice together, good sides facing, so when you flip it right side out you can't see the seams on the inside or outside. Secrets of the trade here y'all. Just kidding, if you've sewn a pillow, you can do this.

Inside out:

Right side out:

Next up, the skirt! I pleated the top edge following the pattern guide. The nice thing about this pattern is that the pleats are intentionally uneven and random, so if they're not perfect, no worries! I love pleating. The other option is usually gathering, which I am not a fan of. More on that another time.

The pleated front and back skirt pieces:

Here come the pockets! Each pocket is half lining, half good fabric sewn together.The side with the lining goes on the front side of the skirt and the fabric side goes on the back. This is because when you've got your hands in the pockets or they're partially open, you'll see more of the back of the pocket than the front. Ideally, I guess this is saving you on fabric, but since the pocket pieces are so small it would be easy and just fine to make both sides of them out of your good fabric.

The right pocket is super easy. You sew the pocket made of lining to the front half of the skirt and the one made of good fabric to the back half. Then you basically sew the sides of the skirt and the pocket pieces together at the same time in one long stitch, leaving an opening for the pocket.

Finished right pocket:

The left pocket is a little different, and was easily the most challenging part of the dress. Since there is a zipper along the left side seam of the dress, you have to sew that side differently. The pattern calls for an invisible zipper, but since that requires an invisible zipper sewing foot (and way more steps), I just got a regular zipper. I might actually have an invisible zipper foot, but I lost my machine's manual years ago so I'm pretty clueless as to what a lot of my machine's accessories do. I need to buy a new manual online.

So anyway, I sewed the zipper and the left pocket in on the same seam line, leaving the pocket open. It was way more complicated than that sentence, but I don't think it's worth explaining. And I took no pictures of that part because it was stressful haha.

After sewing the skirt sides together, you attach the bodice to the skirt. Super easy, just a straight seam. Here's the dress, inside out, with the pockets sewn in:

Adding the buttons and button holes is up next! Using the button hole guide the pattern came with, I marked out where the holes would be sewn in.

I love sewing in button holes. Mostly because the machine does all the work, and they look so fancy! You just use a button foot on your machine, use the button hole settings to make stitches that reinforce the area around the hole, use a seam ripper to cut open the area between stitches and BOOM, button holes.

Then use the guide again on the other side and sew on your buttons. Sophie is helping me out here, by sitting exactly where I need to sew. She's awesome like that.

The bodice is all done! 

All that's left is to hem the skirt:

And we're done son! Obviously this is a highly simplified version of what took a few days. But as far as sewing projects go, this dress was fairly simple. And it would be a super easy pattern to alter.

I'll save pictures of the whole finished dress for later. I want to build suspense! But mostly I look terrible and there's no way I'm taking any pictures of myself today. But soon y'all!