WEDDINGS

May 31, 2013
Making Lauren's bridesmaid dress has got me thinking about all the weddings I've attended throughout my life. I think I can honestly say that I've attended more weddings than most people my age. Now before I somehow fool all of you into thinking I'm the most popular person ever, I'll have to admit that most of them were for my siblings, although you can still think I'm super popular if you want.
Everyone knows that weddings are the pinnacle of high fashion of the time so here goes!

1992

1995

2000

2002

2004

2006

2008

2008

2011

And of course this wouldn't be complete without my own wedding as the finale. How grateful I am to have met and married this wonderful man.
See you next week!

-Sue


1

ROSE AND LACE

May 28, 2013
Of all the different types of celebrations, I maintain that the best kind of celebration is a wedding. The day of your wedding is one of the most special and beautiful days of your life. With a million-and-one wedding boards and pins on Pinterest, the new trends are difficult to miss. One of the more recent trends is a very feminine rosy pink color paired with the classic sign of femininity, lace. Sometimes I wish I could get married to Andrew again and again just so I could try all of the new trends, but while that is not an option, making a bridesmaid's dress in the current trend is the next best thing.
Making this dress was such a great growing experience for me. I started completely from scratch so that I could give my sister-in-law, Lauren, the exact design she wanted for her dress and the perfect fit. We both LOVE how it turned out! Congratulations, Coryne and Jon on your engagement! So excited for your lives together to begin!

You're gorgeous, Lauren! Thanks for posing for me and letting me make you the perfect bridesmaid dress!

-Sue
7

THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING

May 26, 2013
Being a first-time mother, I have a lot of methods and ideas that will make me an "ideal" parent for my "ideal" child, just like a lot of first-time mothers that I know. Of course, we're all aware that some of these techniques may be nearly impossible and that they may not turn out exactly how we expect, but we all have an idea of the type of mother we want to be and the characteristics, beliefs, and standards that we want our children to learn from us.
For those of us first, second, or even third-time mothers, who are exposed to multiple veteran mothers (and sometimes not-so veteran), we know that said mothers enjoy sharing their knowledge and "opening our eyes" to the realities of motherhood. This happens many times while we are pregnant, enduring the endless barrage of birthing stories and continuing once the baby arrives including, but not limited to: bath-time methods, the perfect potty-training procedures, naptimes, feeding schedules, discipline, etc. etc. etc.
Being pregnant for the first time and slightly sensitive to... well... everything, at times I would feel overwhelmed by the climbing number of good-intentioned advice and tips I received on a daily basis. I would sit on the edge of the bed, rub my eyes and remind myself over and over, "They are just trying to help. They are just trying to help. They are just trying to help." Finally, Chelsea was born and I suddenly understood why all of these women were sharing their knowledge with me. I had no idea what I was doing and, sadly, all the advice in the world couldn't make up for the lack of experience.
Every day is a new experience with new knowledge gained about your child. Each day from your experiences with him, you begin formulating your own method of motherhood that could never be replicated and is sometimes unfamiliar or even considered "ridiculous" in other's eyes. For some, this can be very degrading and even lower self-confidence in their mothering ability, but I say to you, mothers, the proof is in the pudding.

The proof is in the pudding (or the proof of the pudding is in the eating): the quality, effectiveness or truth of something can only be judged by putting it into action or to its intended use.

No one knows your child better than you do. They may say that she's too young to understand, that your method will never work or that it is down-right ridiculous, but the proof is in the pudding. How do they know that it won't work unless they see it put into action? Your child is completely and entirely yours and only you can really know what is best for them. Of course you must do some research and be open to new ideas, and never, EVER belittle someone for trying to help you (even if it isn't presented in the politest way possible), but in the end, you decide because no one is as invested in your child as you are. So reach for the ideal, strive for perfection, and never give up on progress! Decide what techniques will work best for your child and you and then do it, despite what others may say or think. The proof is in the pudding.

Happy Memorial Day, and thank you to all those who have sacrificed for the sake of our country!

-Sue
2

SUMMER FAVORITES

May 25, 2013
It's Saturday, and I'm posting! Chelsea from The Girl Who Loved to Write is hosting a blog link-up and I just couldn't wait any longer to join in the fun!
I met Chelsea via blogging maybe a month ago and I have loved following her blog. She writes from the heart and is so relateable. Plus, she's so positive and... real. I would suggest following her if you're not already.
Anyway, so her link-up is summer favorites and that's definitely not a hard one for me. My favorite thing about summer is definitely the swimming suits and sun, especially if there happens to be the cutest little girl in the world in said swimming suit!
Love the elephants!

Can't wait to take this little babe to the beach in two weeks! San Diego, here we come!
And of course, we can't forget the Orange Juice Julius as a Summertime Favorite!
Here's the recipe: link

With memorial day just around the corner, don't forget to think of those who have given their lives in the service of their country. Have a fandidilytastic weekend!

-Sue
4

LOVE IT

May 24, 2013
First off, I'd like to announce that I am currently writing this post while my daughter is happily distracting herself (and listening to Michael Jackson). YES! Let me tell you, it is so satisfying that my daughter has now gotten to a point where she can be happy playing by herself for more than 5 or 10 minutes. Not that I don't like to play with my daughter, but hey! A mom's gotta have some time to do her own thing, too!
I was watching a TV show yesterday and observing the characters go through their struggles and overcome them and I thought to myself, "You know, when I first saw this show, I really didn't think 'so-and-so' was very pretty, but now that I've kind of gotten to know her, I can see certain physical traits in her that really are beautiful." As I pondered over this revelation, it came to me that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
That being said, try and see the beauty within as I share with you my version of fashion through the years. I'll spare you (and myself) the close up images.

I'll begin with 5th grade because that's when I kind of started caring about my fashion.

2000
Remember the choker necklaces?

2003
Slicked back pony tail and over-sized uniform. I think the person who measured me thought my chest would grow a lot more than it actually did...

2003
Three-barreled on top and flipped out on bottom. Part in the middle.

2004
Trying to get a little volume in my hair with a pony tail and a part.

2004
Remember those clunker shoes?

2006
What the? Side ponytail?! Yes. That was a phase.

2008
So was the super-tight shirts with store logo plastered on the front.
Oh! And anyone notice the lace tee showing just below the edge of the shirt? Remember that?

2008
And, of course, we can't forget the puffy vests!

Looking back at these photos, of course we all can have a good laugh, none laughing harder than myself, but here's what I've learned. Fashion changes so much over time, whether it's super-tight shirts, baggy pants, puffy vests, or all of them together. I think of how silly I look to myself now and wonder what I'll think of myself in 10 more years, but that's not really what's important, is it? For me, the purpose of fashion is to make us feel good about ourselves and help build our confidence. I know that I feel much more confident (and have a much better attitude) when I'm wearing something that I think makes me look good. Fashion is what we decide it is, and in the end, it's all just an opinion. Let people judge if they want. Who died and made them the queen of all that is fashion? It's your life, it's your body, and it's your style. Live it. Wear it. Love it.


-Sue
1

5 MOST USEFUL ITEMS

May 22, 2013
Hey all! I know I haven't posted a tutorial in a long wile, but I promise one is on the way. There is a lot going on in the Sue-Drew household right now that's keeping us pretty busy, but I'll tell you about that later. Instead, today, I'm going to post my top five most useful items that I have made since beginning this blog.

Item 1: CRIB SET
This is where I feel like I really started blossoming in my sewing. I learned how to create my own patterns and simply take careful measurements to create something the way I want it. I had to get really creative when I got stuck in binds, but it's all part of the journey! It's the perfect centerpiece of a nursery and is totally customizable to your own style. And, of course, Chelsea sleeps in it every day so it has been VERY useful!

Item 2: TOWEL APRON
This towel apron may be my favorite item of all! It was really easy to make, really affordable, and has brought me some of the most joy as a mother. Chelsea is a very busy little person so any time that I have to cuddle with her head against my chest (even if it's just to keep warm), is welcomed. I. Love. It. Available in my Etsy shop for those less inclined towards sewing.

Item 3: CHANGING MAT
Before this lovely clutch, my bag was a mess. Now? Much better. Plus, if I'm ever out and about and Chelsea has a need for clean, I just whip this bad boy out and changer her wherever. Seriously. It's cute, useful and practical. This item is a little more difficult to make, but so worth it. Also available in my Etsy shop.

Every time I look in the back seat of my car and see this, my heart grows wings and flutters inside. Seriously. It makes me so happy to see it. It looks so good in my backseat and even the husband likes it, but more so for the protection it provides for the car. Available in the shop!

Item 5: CHEVRON DRESS
Although I don't use this item every day, I had to post it as one of my favorites. It makes me feel so good to see her in this cute little dress and think to myself, "I made that!" I certainly have blossomed in my sewing and love it dearly! I love the color, the bow in back, and it's really difficult to find little girl dresses with pleats (and after making this, now I know why). Visit the  shop for color and size options.
I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks. Here's what you can expect:
  • Fashion post
  • Artistic photo shoot with someone other than my daughter
  • Skirt sewing tutorial
  • New dress design
  • And probably some more family stuff
Can't wait to get the next couple of weeks started! See you then!

-Sue
2

HIKING

May 20, 2013
Since I got my camera, I've been learning a lot about aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and I'll admit, a bit about editing photos using adobe photoshop. I know that there are a lot of mixed emotions about the use of photoshop on photos, so let me start out by saying that most of my photos use a minimum amount of editing, and I will be the first one to say that I am anything but a professional photographer. I will not pretend that I have any great talent and I'm probably more of a "point and shoot" photographer than anything else at this point. That being said, it's amazing what kind of photos you can get using a higher-grade camera than with your iPhone. I have been so grateful for the opportunities I've had to take photos with this camera, and of course, I'm grateful for the technologies that allow me to edit out my skin blemishes (my complexion is not perfect).
One of my more recent photo opps was on a family hiking trip. Our first successful one to date! We even went further than we had anticipated and we all had a pretty good time! Chelsea got a little bored with the continuous scenery of trees and trail, but by the end, she was having a pretty good time and even got to chew on a few rocks! It was a little scary because it's pretty steep at the top so none of us could leave her side for a moment (of course, none of us would anyway).

Drew's brother, Karl, accompanied us on our little family hike. Pretty obvious they're brothers, isn't it? (Drew's on the left)

View from the top. That rock in the corner can be seen all the way from the valley!

See? She had a great time, runny nose and all!

We got the rock out eventually. And we wonder how she got the blister on her molar...

Happy Monday, everyone!

-Sue

1

LET'S BE HONEST...

May 17, 2013
Today, I don't know what I want to write about. I've written through a couple of drafts already and nothing seems right for today. I could write about how I recently discovered a man who makes mermaid tails and if I had 3 grand to drop, I would totally buy one, or I could write about how Chelsea is growing increasingly opinionated and tends to flop down on her behind and cry in a little tantrum. I could write about how the man nearest and dearest to my heart is very talented at getting my hopes up when a package arrives on our doorstep only two days after my birthday, and when he is texted about it gives cryptic answers before telling me to open it and I discover it's just some workout equipment he bought using amazon points. I could write about how I just finished a Chevron Dress for a customer on Etsy and how cute it turned out or I could write about the black bean soup I invented last night.
But I don't really feel like writing about any of those things. Today, I want to say thank you. At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution that I would reach 100 followers via GFC and because of you, I've done it! I have made so many kind and talented people through blogging and am amazed at the depth that writing can take us into the lives of those around us. I think about how some of these people I may not have even given a second thought to if I saw them walking down the street or even met them once in a restaurant or bookstore, but writing about oneself is an interesting thing. You're able to share your point of view with anyone who is reading, and if they don't know you already, the only opinion they receive of you is the one you give of yourself. The reader learns about you and your situations and comes to understand what you've been through and can sometimes relate. This strange bond grows between the two of you as you come to fully understand the writer and why they do the things they do. Maybe the reason writing is such a beautiful tool is because it allows you to say what you want to say without being interrupted. Those reading can get a full picture of an idea, situation, or story before formulating an opinion.
I wonder if this same phenomenon would take place if we became more of a listener than a talker. What if we decided that instead of disliking an individual because of something they've done, that we would listen to them instead? Would it make a difference in our relationships if we decided to hear their side of the story before jumping to conclusions? Would we be more sympathetic to those around us? What more could we have learned about the person we're speaking with if we hadn't interrupted them?
Although it is not ideal, nor helpful, to remain silent at all times, I believe that when we are better listeners, we are better friends, siblings, spouses, or parents. As we strive for the ability to listen, we not only learn more about those talking, but we learn more about ourselves, and so do others. I want to be a listener.


Thank you for listening to me, and thank you for all of your happy birthday wishes! I count myself a very lucky person to have friends like you! Have a great weekend!

-Sue
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