Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chevron Tank Top Tutorial

If you've been under a rock for the past year, you would be very surprised to hear that the chevron pattern is "in".  But since most of America lives in houses, and not under rocks, you won't be surprised at all! You also won't be surprised when I say that anything with chevron on it is ridiculously expensive.  I've seen tank tops and shirts with really thin fabric sell for almost $70, and don't get me started on the price of the chevron dresses.  I personally would throw up if I allowed myself to spend that much money on a shirt that, let's be honest, isn't very diverse, and can only be worn with very few colors and cardigans, etc. So, being the cheap person that I am, I went out and got some $5 chevron fabric for myself and made this tutorial for you guys!

It took me forever to decide what to make out of this fabric.  It is categorized as a duck fabric and has a canvas-like feel to it.  I struggled between making shorts or a tank top.  My reasoning for wanting to make shorts is my fear that it would be too stiff to be a successful top, but rest assured, this is probably the best fabric for shirts.  I was so surprised at how soft it felt on my skin and how it held shape in an attractive way (not like cotton which looks cheap).  My first instinct was right too, shorts would be perfect with this fabric as well so I may go back and get some fabric to make them as well. If you're wondering what type of fabric to make a shirt out of, try this one, I think you'll love it!

Lets get started:

Here is the fabric I chose.  It looks red and white, but it's actually a more cream color.  I was at Hobby Lobby buying some fabric for one of my best friend's birthday (she loves to sew too and so I got her some fabric to make a headband out of) and I saw this out of the corner of my eye and I knew I had to get it.

Start by cutting out the front and back of the tank. The picture above is the back  and the one below is the top.  For a traditional tank top, make sure the front has a lower neckline.  I used an old tank top that I really like to trace onto the fabric, I made a 1 inch hem space.


Now, take the two pieces above and place them on top of each other, chevron facing chevron, and sew the top of the sleeves together.

Fold over the neck line and pin down.  Hem on machine.

Do the same thing for the back.


Take the "almost tank top" and lay it, chevron face down, on your table.

Fold small section of fabric over on the arm hole part, and pin down.  Hem on machine.

Now that the arm holes, neck lines, and "sleeves" (I use the term "sleeves" loosely) are hemmed, line up the sides of the tank.  Make sure the arm hole section is completely lined up.  I had to do one side at a time and go back and line up the other side.  Once you're done with that, try it on to make sure it fits!

Sweet! It fits!

Now that you know it fits, go back and pin and hem the bottom of the tank and  then...

You're done!

This tank top seriously turned out SO good.  I have attempted many tanks in the past few months and none have turned out good at all.  They've all ended up being a waste of money and fabric.  I am totally in love with this one.

You can wear this with so many things too.  I plan to wear mine with capris, lace shorts, and jean shorts for Summer.  For the cooler days of Spring you can wear a tan cardigan and some flats.

I also think this will be a cute shirt for the 4th of July and it can be dressed up for Sunday mornings and nights out.  The fabric I used was seriously AMAZING, I'm considering going back to get more.  



Have a blessed day of DIYs,
Meagan

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Date Night: Chicken and Broccoli Braid & Bruncheon Potatoes

So, The Farmer and I had a cute, little date night this past Friday.  Did we go out on the town and take on the big city of  "I'm not telling you where I live"? Psh, not at all; we relaxed at my house with old, classic movies and a home cooked meal, made by yours truly.  I had such a fun night with my future husband and the food turned out super good, so I thought I would share the recipe with you all.

Our movies of choice:  Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,  Breakfast at Tiffany's, & Casablanca
Before we begin with our cooking extravaganza, I just want to gush about how obsessed I am with old movies.  They present so much more class than many movies I've watched in the past few years.  Although the camera work is not as "advanced", they all tell such unique, and simple stories.  I absolutely love Breakfast at Tiffany's; this is such an amazing film and the fact that Audrey Hepburn stars in it only makes it better.  I can't even begin to praise Casablanca.  SO GOOD. I could watch this classic movie on repeat for days.  The only one I have very little knowledge on it Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  It is ranked in the top 100 American films, so it has to be good.  If you're "not into old movies", change you mindset for one night and allow yourself to enjoy the simple art of videography and acting that brought us to where we are today.

ANYWAY...

I just purchased a new cookbook.  This cookbook is unlike any other, it's very special to me.  My English teacher has such a huge heart for St. Jude Children's Hospital.  She spends literally (I'm not exaggerating) every spare moment of her life fundraising for those sweet kids; I gladly purchased this cook book. Not only does it all go to St. Jude, it has some amazing food in it.

I made two different dishes; I'll start by explaining how to make the side dish:  Bruncheon Potatoes.

You will need:  1 package of frozen hash browns; 1 cup of sour cream; 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese; 1 package of smokey cocktail sausages (the mini kind); salt and pepper.

To be totally honest, I put half a bag of hash browns, a lot of cheese, about 3/4 a cup of sour cream, and half of the package of sausage links.  There were only two of us eating so I didn't feel the need to make the whole amount.

Once all of those ingredients are put into the bowl, just mix them up and bake at 325 for 40 minutes! "Wait, that's it?" Well that was easy.


Now, onto the main event:  Chicken and Broccoli Braid.


You will need:  2 c. of cooked chicken; 1 c. of broccoli, chopped; 1/2 c. red pepper, chopped; 1 garlic clove, pressed; 1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded; 1/2 c. mayo; 1 tsp of dill weed; 1/4 tsp of salt; 2 packages of crescent rolls; 1 egg white; any amount of slivered almonds, you will be sprinkling them on top of the braid.


Let's get started!
First, add the cheese, chicken, broccoli, and peppers into a bowl.




Then mix them all together.

Now, add the dill weed and mayo.

Mix it all up.

Open one can of the crescent rolls and unroll.

Place long ways on a 9''x13'' pan




Open the second crescent roll and place it next to the first on the pan and mush them together to form one giant crescent roll dough!


This part confused the crap out of me (well that was kind of brash of me). Basically, cut the sides of the dough 3 inches deep and 1 1/2 inches wide...I hope that makes sense because that's about as easy as I can make it sound.


Put the mixture of food in the center of the dough.

Now, begin to twist the sections together and tuck the ends under the bottom of the dough.




Here's (roughly) what it should look like.


Get the egg white of one egg and brush it over the "log" of wonder.




Now take the slivered almonds and sprinkle them on top of the braid.


Bake at 375 for 25-28 minutes.  27 worked perfectly in my oven.

I took a really nice picture of the finished product but it kind of disappeared so stop what you're doing and close your eyes. Now, picture this golden brown bread wrapped around a taste explosion of chicken and broccoli.  

That was nice, wasn't it?

(Next time I'll be more careful with my pictures.)


Well, I hope you all have enjoyed this little recipe/date night.  I had a fun time making this because it definitely mixed it up and was different than anything I have made before.  



Happy cooking,
Meagan

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Chronicles of an Engaged High Schooler: Book One

Let me guess, you just read the title of this post and now you're having convulsions? I knew it! But really, I understand the shock.  Not many people can walk away from high school knowing exactly who they'll be sharing their lives with; I consider myself, however disagreeable this statement may be, one of the lucky ones.  I can get married at 18 and spend, almost literally, all of my life with the same man.  "But why?", you ask? I am prepared to answer your questions within the next few posts.  This is "Book One" to The Chronicles of an Engaged High Schooler.

To even try and begin the journey I've taken to get to this point in my life, you must know my religious background and exactly what I believe about marriage.  Once you get a perspective on that, you may be more understanding as to why I feel that I am ready for marriage. I am a Christian, therefore, I believe in the Bible, or as we call it, The Word of God.  The Bible explains to us that we are created for marriage; from the beginning of creation (yes, I believe in creation, because the Bible teaches it, and I am a Christian, which means I follow the Bible), God created man and women and created them for each other.  So, believing that I was created for marriage, my dating experience with The Farmer has been totally focused on marriage. (Okay, TOTAL SIDENOTE:  I've decided to refer to my fiance as "The Farmer", 1. because, well, he's a farmer and 2. I think it's fun and mysterious. *insert hand motions for effect*)  I remember on our first date, we talked about getting married.  You say "crazy", I say "that's hott": a guy who makes the foundation of our whole dating lives marriage; yes, that is quite attractive.  Basically, we entered the dating scene with the intention of marriage, we weren't just hanging out, or goofing around; we were serious about this.

I've covered the background of the readiness for marriage, now I must discuss why The Farmer is "The One" for me.  The Bible says that the man is the leader of the relationship, the wife is to be submissive. If The Farmer comes to me someday and says he feels called to go to Zimbabwe to live for missions, you know what I, as a wife, will say? "I'll start packing." I see this picture as a true masterpiece.  I don't have to worry about a thing; my husband is going to lead me to Christ and love me like Christ loved the Church.  That was one nonnegotiable thing I kept in my mind while dating, and I found him.  I found the man who is going to lead me and love me like Christ loves us, and I am not letting him go.

As a future wife, I also believe that men deserve to be respected by women.  My future husband, The Farmer, is a man I can respect.  When he decides to make a decision for our family, I can swallow my pride and anxieties and trust that his decisions are from God, and I can follow him.  I heard a piece of advice from my pastor's wife; now that I've known it for awhile, it seems so simple.  She said, "Ladies, you have to marry that man, if you can't respect him, you're going to have a long life ahead of you."  I am getting married because I can respect the man who proposed.

The Farmer and I have been friends since I was a little Freshman.  I saw him as my older brother and best friend.  He protected me from so many things and he was always there for me when I needed to talk to him. I told him just as much about my life and situations that I told to my girl best friends.  This is another reason I'm marrying him, he's my best friend.  The time we spend together is truly a gift from God.

Lastly, I truly believe that God molded me and created me for this life.  Without me, this life would not be here.  God created Travis and I for this life; there wasn't any other option.  When God was creating me, when he planned out my life before the beginning of time, he chose me for this life, this mission.  I gladly and boldly accept.

I am eighteen years old, and I'm engaged to be married.  I was given this life to glorify my God, and I am going to do that through my future marriage.

Be looking for the next few "books" in The Chronicles of an Engaged High Schooler.

Love,
Meagan

Just so you know how handsome The Farmer is, here are some pictures.
These are both from my Senior Pictures.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Future Family and Fellowship

Lexington has become my favorite city in Kentucky.  It's such a beautiful and artistic place with so many neat things to do.  Not only is this city a great place to visit, it's also the home to the UK Wildcats (aka, the absolute best basketball program in the United States).  When traveling around the city, I saw murals on brick walls, sculptures of horses running along the street, and locally owned restaurants painted bright colors; even the gutters have paintings on them!

Why in the world am I talking about Lexington, you ask?  Well, I got the amazing opportunity to spend time with my fiance's brother and his girlfriend in, you guessed it, Lexington.  They showed me this city from the eyes of a resident by showing me the unique things to do.

This is a Cajun restaurant we ate at for lunch.

We began our day with some cereal and coffee.  I spent some time with her and her roommate and things were going so well, until we looked into the kitchen.  "Well, there's bubbles all over our kitchen," said Hannah's roommate, without a hint of surprise. This is definitely one of those, "you had to be there moments", but to sum up this mini-adventure, we sat in the kitchen scooping bubbles out of the dishwasher for an hour.  Memories were made, that's for sure.

The highlight of my trip was wandering through the streets to local boutiques and thrift stores with Hannah.  I found the unique product range that these local shops offered very cool.  Since I'm getting married in 5 and a half months (153 days to be exact; yes, I do have a countdown that I check everyday), I have been shifting my shopping focus from clothes and jewelry to home decor and wedding accessories.  I found this candle holder that I could stare at for hours; it's perfect.
In person it's more of a pale green color.  How cute is this though?
I love meandering through isles of abandoned clothes and trinkets. My favorite items to ponder are mugs and vases; you can never have too many.  We traveled the rows of the two story Peddler's Mall where I found the coolest mugs.  Ever heard of the Saturday Evening Post? Norman Rockwell became a historic painter in the 50s for his idealistic paintings.  He would paint images of what all people desired their lives to be; Thanksgiving dinner at grandma's, fishing with dad, your husband coming home from war, etc., were the many themes to his works.  They eventually became iconic for the time period.
I was lucky enough to find two mugs, with images painted by Rockwell on the front.  The first is an image of a husband and wife coming home to visit parents, and the second is a grandfather with his grandson getting ready to fish.  The second had a very sweet passage on the back as well.

My coffee will be so happy with me!



Unfortunately, this day grew closer to an end.  We met up with "The Goobs" after their adventures at the Farm Machinery Show and transformed ourselves into their chauffeurs as we drove them to play basketball (Because, in the words of my future husband, "You can't go to the city of the best basketball program in the country and NOT play basketball," to which I replied, under my breath, "I think it's possible.").

Finally, my feet could rest! I ran to her room, threw on some PJ pants and fluffy socks, grabbed my cup of coffee and nestled into the couch for the night. *insert sighs of relief and the satisfaction of a perfect day*.  This moment was one of my favorites; so cozy and eclectic.  Although Hannah mentioned several times how tiny her house was and how she was ready to move out, I loved it; it was how I pictured an apartment in a larger city to be.  This day had ended the way it had started, perfectly.


Well, now I'm home, and I can rest knowing I had an amazing weekend.


I promise he's not a thug.


The KY Traveler,
Meagan

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Why, hello there!

I have avidly followed many blogs in the past year, waiting anxiously for each new post to arrive in my email.  I love the eloquent, yet relatable, words of the bloggers I follow, learning new recipes, tutorials and being part of their everyday lives. This has become my new "hobby" and as I read through the blogs of others, I find myself thinking, "I can do that, I could totally do that!".

So, here I am, blogging.  I decided to focus this prelude to "Novelty & Trinkets" by explaining my intentions for this page.  I shall start with the meaning behind the name of my blog.  The word "novelty" means "the state of being new or unique," and the word "trinkets" means "anything of trivial value".  Although what I post on this blog won't be of expensive things, it's so much more valuable to me than the most expensive of jewelry.  A ceramic vase from a thrift store is more fascinating to me than shopping at Tiffany & Co. or expensive boutiques.  I chose "novelty" because this chapter in my life is new, this blog is new, everything I'm going through right now is new, and each day is a "new" "trinket" I can possess and remember.  So, therefore, I chose "Novelty & Trinkets" to be the overall theme to these pages.

One of my absolute favorite types of blog posts are the recipes.  I become so absorbed with the pictures of ingredients and the step by step instructions; I could waste hours finding new ways to cook.  This is intention nรบmero uno (Be impressed, I can speak Spanish on a 101 basis). 

Intention #2 goes as follows:  I also have an adoration for sewing. I ardently browse the pages of the infamous, Pinterest, for new things to sew and the "DIYs" that come with.  I hope to take you adventurous "Craftsters" along as I attempt the many tutorials on my list.  I do have to warn you all before this goes anywhere, I am a self proclaimed "Make Shift Sewer". What is that, you say? Basically, I am in no way a professional seamstress, and not only that, I taught myself to sew.  No training + my impatient hard-headedness = Make Shift Sewer.  I don't make things that are always totally pleasing to the eyes, but they work for what I need them for. Make sense?

The third intention: I have a love for thrift store shopping and antiquing.  I could get lost in a Peddler's Mall and I could spend days sifting through abandoned clothes.  I'd like to make posts about all the curios I find while on the hunt.

My next intention, and my most important, is to make posts about what I'm studying in the Bible.  I became a Christian roughly seven years ago and since then God has been shaping my life for His glory.  I am so blessed to have such an amazing, merciful God and I have a passion to share Him, and my experiences with Him, to you all. 

My last, but by no means least, intention is to take you all on the adventures of my everyday life.  I am newly engaged to the man of my dreams, and as we prepare for marriage, there will be many stories to tell along the way. I have so much love for him and I am fervently preparing to be his wife.

This blog has come at a perfect season in my life.  Things are beginning to fall together for my future and I am so excited to take you all on the journey with me. 

Thanks for hanging in there to the end!

God bless,
Meagan