The 30-year-old, the plastic dishes and the duvet cover

Last month, I turned 30. Coincidentally, on the morning of my birthday, my favorite radio show was discussing just that – being 30.

Side Bar: I’ve been listening to The Eric & Kathy show since I was a teenager driving to school in Chicago – and even since moving to Florida, the show has always been a part of my life. First via downloadable podcasts, but these days, via live streaming. If you’re ever in need of a fantastic and hilarious daily podcast – check them out!

The Eric & Kathy Show on 101.9 FM The Mix WTMX Chicago

Anyway, on the morning of my birthday, Eric and Kathy were discussing an article titled, “10 things you should have in your home by the time you’re 30.” As if turning 30 weren’t stressful enough – now there are rules?

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A little bit country…

In the past year or so, I’ve become a little bit country. Or… a lot country.

I work with a bunch of country-music lovin’ ladies who like to discuss the latest and greatest country music artists around the water cooler. I’ve had a handful of country songs on my playlists over the years, but had never listened to country exclusively. I finally programmed the local country radio station into my car’s pre-sets, just so that I’d know what these ladies were talking about from time to time… and within just a few days – I. FELL. IN. LOVE. That was at least six months ago, and I’m still going strong!

So, when I wanted to make a jewelry roll for one of my work lady-friends, of course the first theme I thought of was… country!  Continue reading

Princess Windy City & the Tale of the Superfluous Sparkle Skirt

Last weekend, I ran the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon!

Aladdin, Flynn Rider and Prince Eric

Roadside distractions! Aladdin, Flynn Rider and Prince Eric.

Years ago, one of my roommates ran Disney’s (now defunct) Race for the Taste, and when I saw her cross the finish line, I was inspired to start running just so that I could experience a Disney race for myself. Since then, I’ve participated in a variety of races… 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, corporate races, mud pit races, “distance dare” events (two races in one day), races where they fling colored powder at you, races that end with a spin on Expedition Everest… the list goes on. Continue reading

Farewell, Florida Friend

I moved to Florida in late 2006 and didn’t know a single soul when I arrived. Sometimes when I step back and look at my “Florida Life,” I can’t believe how many wonderful relationships I’ve developed in eight years!

I met Jamie just a few months after arriving in Florida, so she’s always been a staple in my “Florida Life.” For about four years, we worked on the same team with side-by-side offices. It wasn’t unusual to find us taking a juggling break in the hallway. Yes –  actual juggling – flying objects and all… it’s a great stress reliever on a work day! As long as it’s done safely. 😉

An office selfie with Jamie… back in the day, before selfies were a “thing.”

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“Re-imagined” dreams of a travel quilt

When Disney Imagineers make significant updates to an attraction, they will sometimes refer to it as “re-imagined” instead of refurbished, remodeled or any other similarly drab and uninspiring reconstruction word. Well, I am about to tell you about a grand idea I had that didn’t quite work out the way I expected… but I hesitate to call it a failure. No, I would rather refer to the results as re-imagined. Because after all, creativity is one of my favorite things in the world – and creativity is not simply getting from Point A to Point B. Nope, it’s about the journey that gets you there!

EinsteinQuote

My BFF Albert Einstein agrees.

Some months ago, when I realized how elaborate my international trip was becoming, I decided I needed to set some goals. Was there something I wanted to do in each country, or collect from each country, or do to prepare for my visits?

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The blogger on the milk carton

I know, I know – it’s mid-July and I’ve been MIA since Easter! Don’t panic! You can take my photo off the milk carton, now!

Missing Milk Carton

Ahhh! Get me outta this box!

I have some really exciting news, though. The reason I’ve been missing for so long is that I was preparing for, then experiencing, and then recovering from a glorious world tour! And as a result, I have some really great stories to share – even sewing stories. Wheee! Although I wasn’t able to blog while I was abroad, I did my best to update my Twitter account – @SewLindsaySew – as much as possible. I hope some of you were able to follow along!

Lindsay's International Adventure

My glorious adventure included six countries, with flight layovers in two more!

As a part of my MBA program, I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey and Budapest, Hungary to experience the international business world and some cultural fun with my classmates. And even after the academic portion was through, I extended the trip with some friends and traveled to Vienna, Austria; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. WOW! As someone who had never left the United States prior to this adventure, I feel incredibly blessed that I was given this unbelievable opportunity and able to experience it with such great people.

Red Square

Flying high during an excursion to Red Square in Moscow!

I refuse to refer to my international trip as “once-in-a-lifetime,” because I still have a pretty long lifetime ahead of me and my adventurous spirit won’t be fizzling out anytime soon. No, I will never experience this exact same trip again with the exact same countries and the exact same people – so in that context, I supposed it’s okay to refer to it as “once-in-a-lifetime.”

But as far as ADVENTURE goes, I know that this is just the first international escapade of many! I have a European electrical outlet adapter and a whole pile of international currency waiting to be put to good use one of these days.

I can’t wait to share my stories and photos with you now that I’ve come out of hiding and returned to my blog. Stay tuned! 🙂

The (not so) big two-eight.

Tomorrow I turn 28. I want to write something profound, but I’m at a loss. What’s there to say about 28? I keep typing and backspacing, so I’ll just start with this celebratory birthday photo from 1988 instead:

February 7 Birthday

My fourth birthday at pre-school, 1988

So much has changed in the last year that I can’t help but wonder what 28 has in store for me.

ONE YEAR AGO TODAY…

I lived in a tiny apartment… now I’m in a grand ‘ole townhouse with the most spectacular sewing nook in the world!

My life was Winnie-less… so hard to believe this precious puppy hadn’t even been born at this time last year. She’s been a part of our little roommate-family since July, so it’s hard to imagine life without her. I’m so thankful that my roommate Katie brought Winnie into our home and our hearts!

Winnie the Morkie

Winnie love.

I was working two jobs… office by day, retail by night. Since then, I quit the retail job and I’m spending a zillion hours pursuing my MBA instead… which might as well count as two jobs!

I had never run a half-marathon. My longest race had been a 10K – only 6 miles. But in October, I completed Disney’s Wine & Dine Half-Marathon with my two wonderful friends and running-mates, Joe and Chris. We were so proud!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

Race photos are never attractive, so thanks in advance for not judging!

I had never gone home for the holidays since moving to Florida in 2006. But this past year, I went home for Thanksgiving and spent the day on a dairy farm with my family and some dear friends.

And speaking of family, my brother Jason was finally able to visit me in the Florida for the first time!

Mickey and Minnie in Town Square Theater

Spending some time with my favorite mice, my brother Jason and his girlfriend Sarah.

I still had all four wisdom teeth… now I don’t have any. So much for being old and wise!

Wisdom Teeth Cartoon

Some dentist humor...

I had never traveled abroad. And while I still don’t technically have any international trips stamped on my passport, I will in just four months as I head to Turkey, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Russia!

I never could have predicted any of the ups and downs that came my way at 27, for better or for worse. I’m insanely curious about what 28 has in store, but there’s only one way for me to find out! Stay tuned. 🙂

November and December in 15 photos or less…

I haven’t updated my blog since Halloween, and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Talk about MIA!

I could write a novel about what I’ve been up to since then, but instead, I’ll show you… iPhone-photo-library-style…

Lindsay and Gizmo

I went home to Chicago for Thanksgiving… I spent some time cuddling my brother’s dog, Gizmo, in the backseat of the car while we drove to Wisconsin.

Baby Cow

We spent our Thanksgiving on a dairy farm!

Spool of Thread Ornament

On Thanksgiving, my family was a part of a very special tradition in which we each received a special ornament. The little spool of thread fit me perfectly!

Christmas Tree

Back to Florida, and put up the Christmas tree. We don’t have a tree topper, so the Mickey ears Santa hat is our traditional solution.

Winnie and the Minnie Wreath

Winnie proudly admires the Minnie Mouse wreath I made two years ago. We have the most magical house on the block!

Clothespin Wreath

Put the finishing touches on my Christmas card clothespin wreath. Since then, we’ve filled it up by clipping our Christmas cards on all of the clothespins! I promise we’re more popular than this photo portrays. 🙂

Mickey Popcorn Bucket

Found this lil guy sitting on my desk one morning and felt really happy!

Corn Chowder

I tried to keep it healthy one week and made some delicious corn chowder. As you all know, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, so I use my heart-shaped measuring cups all year long. The hearts were a welcome break from all of the Christmas madness! A lovely reminder that my favorite holiday is just around the corner. 🙂

Sewn Christmas Cards

Sewed a few Christmas cards by quilting some fabric panels and sewing them onto blank cards. It was my first attempt at free-motion quilting. Man oh man! Free-motion quilting is crazy, you guys! As you can see, I didn’t do a great job – LOL! More on that later…

DAK Lodge

My mom came to visit and we spent a lovely weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We loved watching the zebras and giraffes outside our balcony when we weren’t hitting up the Disney parks!

Zebra Domes

Delicious zebra domes were the snack of choice when we returned to our room each night. 🙂

Christmas lights on Cinderella Castle

It wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing the sparkling Christmas lights on Cinderella Castle… caught this pic post-fireworks at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with mom.

MVMCP

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

WIzard of Oz inspired zipper pouch

Squeezed in some craft time and sewed this lovely Wizard of Oz inspired zipper pouch! Ruby slippers and a yellow brick road…

Studying with Winnie

And of course, through it all, I’ve been doing schoolwork. This morning I worked on my accounting exam while Winnie snacked on my accounting textbook. Nom nom!

Well, 15 iPhone snapshots later, and I’ve covered November and December!

So… what have you all been up to?

Ghosts of Halloweens past!

Happy Halloween!

This is the first year in many that I haven’t prepared a Halloween costume. While I don’t have access to photos from every single Halloween I’ve ever celebrated, here’s a sampling of some of the “ghosts” of my Halloweens past!

Pre-school Years: A repurposed dance recital ensemble turned Tooth Fairy costume. Yes, Tooth Fairy. See the tinfoil wand that says “Tooth Fairy” at the top? What can I say? I come from a family of dentists, and I was easily impressionable.

Tooth Fairy Costume

Kind of a sad little Tooth Fairy…

More pre-school years: I’m a store-bought bunny, and my brother is a skeleton. My mom made the skeleton costume herself by tediously cutting white felt into bone shapes and sewing them onto black sweats. My mom is awesome!

Bunny & Skeleton Costumes

Kind of a sad little bunny… why was I always so sad!?

1990: I’m a non-politically-correct Native American. One of my favorite costumes, despite the fact that a boy in my class was also a non-politically-correct Native American that year, and everyone said we were going to get married, which is a traumatizing statement in the first grade.

Native American Costume

So excited to bring my non-politically-correct Native American baby doll to school!

1992: I was a “50’s girl” complete with a poodle skirt and a silky pink jacket from the Mirage in Las Vegas… because every girl from the 1950’s had a Vegas jacket. LOL!

1950's Girl Costume

Why were there poodles on skirts back then, anyway?

1994: I was a mime. Not pictured, as it was one of my most embarrassing costumes. However, if you ask my mom, it was one of her favorites and she’ll show you pictures. So don’t ask my mom.

mime

Don’t ever let your mom talk you into being a mime.

With the exception of freshman year (when I didn’t know any better and wore a Dorothy costume to school), I didn’t dress up in high school. I went to a Catholic school with a strict dress code and there were just too many restrictions to even bother. Back then, we were just happy if we were allowed to wear blue jeans. And I didn’t dress up in college because I consider myself a person who values dressing tastefully and appropriately, and dressing up isn’t an option in college if you dress appropriately.

After college, I moved to central Florida and started spending a lot of time at Walt Disney World… after a long hiatus of no Halloween costumes to my name, I was excited to jump back in to the wonderful world of Halloween – especially in a place where awesome, appropriate costumes are valued. All of the sudden, Halloween was fun again!

2006: I was determined to dress up as my favorite Disney character, Wendy Darling, and ordered a handmade Wendy costume from Kelly’s Costumes. I wore it to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with some friends who dressed up as Peter Pan and Tinker Bell!

Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinker Bell costumes

What’s a kiss?

2007: Because I just couldn’t get enough – Wendy returned.

Wendy & Peter Pan Costumes

Sometimes Peter gets mistaken for Robin Hood… what’s your vote?

2008: I debuted TWO costumes in 2008 for two separate parties! One Tinker Bell costume, complete with light-up fairy wings and – my favorite – poof ball shoes. I was so adamant that the shoes be exactly the way I pictured them that I made them myself – celery green Prima Crocs with a poofball sewn on top.

Tinker Bell Costume

Perfect poof-ball shoes!

And one Mouseketeer ensemble, easily created with a white t-shirt, iron-on letters and a custom set of Mickey Mouse ears.

Mouseketeer Costume

Y? Because we like you!

2009: Two chefs hats, a chef jacket, some red hair dye and an “Eiffel-tower-on-a-stick” created the perfect Remy and Linguine costumes from the movie Ratatouille. I wore all gray and pinned craft-foam rat ears to my chef hat. I also decoupage’d that pretty fab version of the cookbook from the movie!

Remy & Linguine Ratatouille costumes

Can you believe I was lucky enough to go to the Halloween party with Nick Lachey?

That brings us to last year, which was the first year I sewed a Halloween costume! I dressed up as Boo, and I sewed this gigundo Mike Wazowski costume!

Boo & Mike Wazowski Monsters Inc Costume

Nick Lachey loves Mike Wazowski!

So why no costume this year? Well, at the risk of sounding like I’m full of excuses, I’ve just been too busy with school, and dressing up as an MBA student is kind of boring.

Woman Studying

Not the coolest costume in the world.

But in a dream world, this is what I really would have liked to be this year… maybe this is something I can sew for next year? If I get started… now… I might just finish in time… 🙂

Giselle's Blue Dress from Enchanted

Giselle’s blue “curtain dress” from Enchanted! Dreamy!

Any fun Halloween costumes in your world this year?

The day I broke up with my TV tray

Ever since I bought my sewing machine a little over a year ago, I’ve been using a sad little TV tray for my sewing setup. Yes… a TV tray. Wah wah.

Wooden TV Tray with lunch

TV Trays: Ideal for lunch, not for sewing machines.

I recently moved from a tiny apartment to a luxurious townhouse, and in the process, moved into a new bedroom with the most spectacular sewing nook in the universe. The angled walls create a picture-perfect alcove that screams “CREATIVE THINGS NEED TO HAPPEN HERE!”

Bedroom floor plan

I refuse to let this cozy nook be anything less than amazing.

It was immediately clear that a TV tray sewing setup would NOT do my sewing getaway any justice.

I’d like to introduce you to my new best friend: the HEMNES secretary desk from IKEA.

IKEA Hemnes secretary desk study and sewing oasis

I promise I will actually read that Econ book once I'm done using it as a photo prop.

My love for this desk is threefold.

  • One: The need for a new sewing oasis (Sorry, TV tray… this just isn’t going to work out)
  • Two: A place to do my schoolwork for grad school (Studying: a necessary evil)
  • Three: The desire for a neat and orderly bedroom… (i.e. – shove all my junk inside the desk and close it up. Secret messes.)

And as a bonus, this desk matches my already existing HEMNES bedroom set.

Yep. I might love this desk more than I love fabric softener.

Anyone need a sad and lonely TV tray?