Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Positively Positive


My friends and I often say we get together and complain. This is usually just a healthy dose of venting and whining, but seriously, why is it so easy to focus on the negative? 

Often in my life, I will see the silver lining, yet still chose to complain. Complaining feels good, and in some cases, I'm sure it is justified. 

But, lately, I'm just over all the negativity surrounding my life. I recently did a Facebook friend purge, because life is too short to have people surrounding (or spying on) my life that are against me, and not for me. That's not to say each and every one of Facebook friends is cheering on my every move (if I'm about to do something questionable, I appreciate the people I love intervening), but when it got to the point where I had to make most of my posts partially private, I knew it was time to go through the list. 

This isn't just some Holy Facebook Move (which I'm not big on) though. I also went through my closet and removed every piece of clothing that doesn't fit. I went through a second time and removed everything that I didn't like. How many times have you put something on, only to find you didn't like how you looked in it, and felt bad about yourself? With my recent weight gain, it was happening way too often for me. I only want clothing hanging in my closet that makes me feel happy and positive. So far, I have three kitchen bags of clothes to sell. More money for things and people that make me feel happy and positive. That's a Wynn win right there. :)

From blogs, to magazines, to shoes, I'm making cuts left and right. 

Stay positive,

Jessie

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Buy Athletic Wear on the Cheap

Recently, H and I started attending a local Zumba class.

Pictures or it didn't happen, right?
Source: Instagram (Mine)
I have to admit that this is the first athletic course I've taken as an adult. If you've seen any photos of me from the past two years, you can tell I don't do fitness. Therefore, I have not purchased fitness clothing. Like, ever.

Many years ago, before M and I started dating even, I bought some plain black yoga/stretch pants from Wal-Mart for $9 on an impulse. My love for these pants was strong. Although I never wore them out, they accompanied me on many overnight trips, and have never failed me. Until recently..

I wore them to our first Zumba class, which I feel could be a factor. But, If I'm being honest with myself, I realize I've owned these Wal-Mart pants for 6 years now, so I shouldn't have been surprised when this happened.

:(
So yeah, the pants have died. Whatever. I'm wearing them while I write this post. But unfortunately, they cannot leave my house.

I don't know if you've checked the price of athletic wear lately, but it ain't cheap, my friends. 

Take for example this Under Armor capri sold at Dunham's.

Source: Dunham's

Cute, yes? It could be yours for $39.99. Let's be honest, compared to brands like LuLuLemon (be still my heart!) with bottoms pricing around twice that much, it's not a horrid deal. Of course, I'm a big advocate of buying not as many higher quality clothing pieces as opposed to a lot of cheaper grade clothes. Normally. BUT, as we discussed before, I'm not into fitness. I really just needed a few cute outfits to get me through a few classes a week.

Which lead me to Wal-Mart.

I think we've gone full circle, y'all.

What do you know? Cute stuff abounds!

Outfit #1 (The Blue One): 


1. Hard Candy Juniors Zip Front Hoodie $12
2. Avia Women's Singlet Tank $6
3. Danskin Now Women's Allover Printed Capri Tight $11, but I paid $8

That's an entire outfit for $29! That's less than the price of the capri from Under Armor.

If you're not digging the blue, I put together some other outfits.

1. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Zip Up Hoodie (Pink) $12.88
2. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Tank (Link Not Available) $8
3. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Athletic Pant $12.88

Total: $33.76

Jupiter approves
Okay, last outfit: 


1. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Athletic Pant (yellow) $12.88
2. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Tank (Link Not Available) $8
3. Hard Candy Sport Juniors Zip Up Hoodie (charcoal) $12.88

Total: $33.76

Another really great place to get new athletic wear on the cheap is ebay.  I purchased this super cute shirt for $2.99 and the capris were $5.50.




Stay classy,

Jessie

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dear Future Daughter

A couple of weeks ago, M asked me if I wasn't around, what would I want to tell my future daughter or son. I have rolled that thought around for days. I chose to address my future daughter first. The following letter is my answer.


Dear "Baby" K,

If you're reading this, I'm either dead, or decided to print this off of my blog I had in my twenties. (Hopefully, it's the latter.) It is my hope that you can take away some wisdom (if not truths) from this letter that will help you along your life journey.

First, let's address those middle names of yours. Growing up, I always told myself I wouldn't be one of those people that gave my kid two middle names. People change. I'm sure you've been told that you have your second middle name because of your paternal grandmother. She is an amazing godly woman. She is also one of the most incredible human beings I have ever met. You are blessed to have her as your namesake.

Your first middle name just proves my personalities flaws. Did you know I hate(d) my middle name? Your maternal grandmother hates her middle name. My maternal grandmother told me that she likes her middle name because "it's different, and I was named after my aunt." Blame her mother if you will. But we all have middle names that start with the letter a. So naturally, the sentimental child within me had to give you a middle name that also began with the letter a. You understand, yes? Also, your middle name is the french version of mine. I know it's weird. Deal with it. (Or least humor mother.)

If you choose to marry a strong-willed man (think your father, your uncle, and both of your grandfathers), know that you will need to compromise a lot. It's not wrong, it's just the way it is. Marriage isn't (and will never be) 50/50. There may be days when you feel like you're giving (up) more, but I promise that your strong-willed husband will be your best friend, and take care of you, cherish you, and love you like no one else ever could.

Settle while not settling. I know while you're being raised up in church that you will hear and see girls waiting on their PERFECT ONE. Here's a piece of earth-shattering news: there is no perfect one. You have no Prince Charming waiting on you somewhere. Instead of dying alone waiting on God to give you a scroll with your future husband's address written on it delivered by a dove from Heaven, settle. But, don't settle. Don't settle for someone who doesn't love you, or the Lord. Don't settle for someone that doesn't have the same long term goals you have. Don't settle for a man that is just as good as you could get. Settle for a man who has his bad days, but is trying with all his might to get where he needs to be in the Lord. Settle for a hardworking man, even if sometimes he works a little too hard. Settle for a perfectly imperfect man. You'll know. You just will.

Your cousin, Lena once said, "Being right is not the most important thing." Those are some seriously true words. You don't need to be right every time. No one likes an argumentative person.

More than not being right, I think there's something to be said about a person who knows they're right, but chooses not to mention it. Be graceful with people. I've learned they appreciate not being corrected more often than not.

Your husband comes before your friends.

You come from a long line of educators. Don't feel pressured to go into teaching. Don't feel pressured to go into a high-demand field (in 2015, it's nursing) for money. Do what makes you happy. Life is too short to do something that doesn't give you purpose.

Don't belittle people. Look people in the eye when they are talking to you, no matter how insufferable they are. Learn to smalltalk.

Don't become bitter. People will lie to you. They will try to do you wrong any way they can. If you let them, they will take advantage of you. People are only human, and they will disappoint you so many times that you'll want to throw them all away. Don't. While I'm not advocating you naively trust everyone, give people a chance. Every once in a while, you'll find a diamond in the rough.

You are so beautiful. Don't let anyone else tell you any different.

If you give Jesus your all, He will take you farther than you could ever dream. He is so good. Give Him a chance, and I promise He won't disappoint you once.

Clear nail polish will stop runs in panty hose.

Drink your daily recommended amount of water.

Wear sunscreen religiously.

Trust your instincts. Even if they make you seem paranoid. You're not.

Birth control pills can make you gain up to 5 pounds. It is socially acceptable to say they make you gain up to 15. Take advantage of this as needed.

More than anything, I want you to guard your heart. Guard it more than anything. Your heart is precious. Once you give a piece of your heart away, you can never get it back. Ever. So please, K, guard your heart. Because, men are jerks. I promise that if you keep all the pieces to your heart, your husband and marriage will thank you.


Momma loves you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Why I'm Not Pentecostal

This blog is in response to the blog post Why I am Pentecostal by Allyson Cain. 

This may come as a shock to most of you, but I'm not Pentecostal.

The horror!
Here's the thing....

I used to be Pentecostal. Behold, photographic evidence!

Long denim skirt? Check. Overwhelmingly long hair? Check. Elbows covered for extra measure? Check.  

I don't know how I became Pentecostal exactly. I feel it was just by accident. I became a Christian at the end of 2006. Outside of a few people, the majority of my friends were friends I made in church. I felt accepted because of course, they were all Pentecostal, and we all dressed the same. I was very happy because for the first time in my life, I felt I had friends that shared similar interests, and had similar goals.

But, friendships can only take you so far.

In the end, I based most of my friendships and the majority of my religious beliefs on outward appearance because it was (and is) a stressed belief in the Pentecostal movement. I became entirely too engrossed in the rules.

You know what rules got me? Hurt. Disappointment. Bitterness. I'm 99% sure I gained all of my hurtful judging abilities I now possess from that timeframe. I would judge other girls' holiness based on how much they covered up with clothing. I'm truly surprised there wasn't more hair length competitiveness.

Once M and I were together, I felt I could truly be myself, and once I was 17/18, I started having my hair cut short, and wearing the occasional pair of jeans.


This is the first Facebook photo of me post Pentecostal (in jeans). I left M's witty comment up for your entertainment. Also, I don't know why my dad is making that face. I considered cropping him out, but ya know.

So, why am I not a Pentecostal?

Pentecostals are mean. No one can pull of a holier-than-thou attitude like Pentecostals. *1

Rules must be adhered to, but only certain rules. I find it entertaining how many hours are wasted by people debating skirts and long hair. You know what's a real problem? Obesity. How many Pentecostal preachers have you heard preach against gluttony? That's what I thought. *2

Denominations divide. You know a really good way to not get people to church? Exclude them. Denominations are so ridiculous, I could devote an entire blog (series!) to them. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. No one was ever won to the Lord by mean words. #truestory

So yeah, my hair will more than likely never be down-to-my-butt long again (with the exception of when I grow my hair out for Locks of Love). And I recently got a friendship piercing.
Cat earrings. =^..^=
And while I reserve the right to wear pants, I usually don't because my hips thighs don't lie. 30 pounds ago, I still didn't look good in pants (see above picture). I'm coming to terms with it. 

As far as skirts, and belted cardigans (the official outfit of young Pentecostal women) go, I want to dress in a certain way that people DON'T think I'm Pentecostal. When people look at me, I want them to see I'm different, Christian different. Not Pentecostal different.

I'm not a Pentecostal.

I'm a Christian.

Stay classy,

Jessie

*1 OBVIOUSLY, not all Pentecostals are mean. My in-laws are pretty nice people. After my recent go with sickness, my church family (consisting of mainly Pentecostals) really stepped in and took care of me, and I would say they're a pretty nice bunch. :D

*2 My pastor is the only minister I have ever heard speak on gluttony. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

How To Make No Sew Curtains - Dining Area Update #3

I'm not sure my dining area is ever going to be finished.

But, I did get (part of) the curtains done.


I'm going to be showing you the process of the curtains from start to finish.

You're going to need:

A curtain rod - most come with mounting hardware, but check first.
14 Curtain rod rings with clips - trust me, this is the easiest way.
Fabric - I used a total of 4 yards
Iron-on hem tape
Ruler or measuring tape - I highly recommend this, even though I didn't use either of these things. #lazy
A damp rag
An iron


I had a precise idea of what I wanted the curtains in the dining area to look like. They had to be green and purple with a white or cream colored background. You wouldn't think that'd be too difficult to find, but I had the worst time trying.

One evening, I decided to browse the fabric section of my local Wal-Mart. Of all places, there it was waiting for me. (I also found the fabric I want to use in my wingback chair reupholstering project!)

Perfect! 

A couple of weeks later, M talked me into purchasing it. I ended up with 4 yards total, and the gentleman working the fabric department that evening went ahead and cut it into two 2 yard increments. Confession: I don't own sewing scissors.

I apologize for the late night carpet pictures. You know who puts white carpet in a double wide trailer? Crazy people, that's who.
Custom curtains for $15? I think yes. (:

Perfect!
We also made a stop at Lowe's for the curtain rod and hanging hardware. 


I went with bronze rod to match the bronze hardware of the china cabinet. 

Fancy

Would someone mind telling me why these are sold in packs of 7? I understand you need more than one pack, and then you'll end up with 14. I get that. But why not packs of six for a grand total of 12 pieces? This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.

When I got home, I went ahead and threw both cuts of fabric in the washing machine on the most delicate cold cycle. You don't technically have to wash your fabric before using it. This is especially true if your project doesn't involve sewing clothing. However, I opted to wash it simply because the fabric smelled so strongly of Wal-Mart, and that seems like bringing bad zen into my home. Afterwards, I spread all of the fabric over the kitchen chairs to dry. 

The next day, M hung the curtain rod up for me. I don't think he had any rhyme or reason to the height he chose, but I did mention I didn't want it hung to close to the ceiling. He then hung up the fabric pieces temporarily.

We're total professionals.

At some point during all this, I realized I wasn't getting any less sick, and finally agreed to go to the doctor. Turns out I had strep throat! I still have no idea how I contracted that crap. After two shots in the hip and some serious antibiotics, I felt up to tackling the curtains. 


First, I ironed the entire selection of fabric to make sure it would hang nice and crisp. In the places where the fabric was crimped from hanging, I used some starch. I didn't go crazy with it as I only had a little left. 


Next, pull out your hem tape. At this point, I would assume you need to measure and mark with a pencil where you want your hem to be. I didn't do that because I am lazy, and I was sick. I just eyeballed it, and ironed a crease in the fabric where I thought a hem might naturally go. Then, I put my hem tape in the crease, put my damp rag on top of the fabric, and held down the iron for 10 seconds. Do not move your iron back and forth (per the tape instructions.) Tip: make sure you're constantly rewetting your damp rag. If you notice after a time that the tape isn't properly adhering to the fabric, you need to rewet your rag. Trust me. 

If you could ignore the dirty man pants in the background, that would be great. Thanks.
This is what one of hems on the long side looked like once I was done. 


Here's what the inside looks like. Thankfully, this doesn't show when the curtains are hung. 


This is what the hem looked like right after I finished ironing. 


Here's a corner hem. 


This is a side by side comparison between the finished curtain and how we just had them hanging. I think it's an improvement. 


Ta-da! All done! Not too shabby. I need to hang up the second set of curtain rod rings with clips, and I should be good to go. Eventually, I'll need to add some blackout material. Micah doesn't ask for much with the house, but high speed internet and blackout curtains on every window are a must. (In that order.)

All in all, this project took me a couple of hours. I was sick, and taking a lot of bathroom breaks, so keep that in mind. If you actually know what you are doing, it shouldn't take as long. 

Stay classy,

Jessie