For me at least, it is officially summer. That means it’s time for sun, hopefully some pool time somewhere, and fun and colorful projects.
While visiting my family for Memorial Day weekend, we decided to do a craft. Instead of choosing something like a canvas, we decided clothing would be more useful for everyone!
What you’ll need:
STEP 1: BLEACH THE SHIRT
I spiraled my shirt the way I wanted it to look and kept it that way the entire time. If you want one that looks similar to mine, you can pinch the shirt in the middle and twist until the whole shirt is twisted together.
head to your sink, wet your shirt, and pour bleach on both sides. Using a gloved hand, massage the bleach into the shirt. Since it is nice and warm outside, I recommend sitting your shirt outside while the bleach does the job. It doesn’t take long. Check back in 30 minutes to find the shirt has turned white or light orange in certain places.
STEP 2: ADD YOUR DYES
Bring in your shirt and rinse it with water. Remember, leave the rubber bands in place so that you know the tie-dye will hit the bleached areas.
After that, add colors to your shirt in whatever places you desire. I noticed that all of the colors did show up, but lighter colors didn’t shine through as well. One tip on my tie-dye box said you could add less water to the dye bottles for a more intense color! I’d recommend doing that with lighter colors!
after you’re done with this part, take your shirt back outside to dry. Leave it for 2-24 hours. We left ours outside for maybe 4-5 hours.
STEP 3: WASH AND WEAR!
After you’ve let your tie-dye shirt “cure,” remove the rubber bands and put your shirt in the wash on cold. Add detergent/fabric softener! I was worried that mine having a bit of a bleach residue would ruin the other shirts, but it didn’t. However, wash with other things at your own risk!
after you wash the shirt, dry it and wear it!
If you’re a visual learner, check out this video for the process!
So, with my tax return and a little bit of extra money I had after paying bills in hand, we set off to put on a budget wedding. Here are the individual things we did to make the wedding more low-cost:
As previously mentioned, we chose to have our wedding in the church we were attending. It was free and we knew that it would accommodate just about the right number of people. There were some down sides to this, of course.
Because it was in a southern Baptist church, we didn’t share a first dance. That is something that I regret, but that is more because we didn’t have the cash to spring for a nicer venue for the reception. We had the reception in the church’s fellowship hall.
The good thing about this was that it was free and it was easy to reserve the space.
We used some of the leftover fabric from the hearts on our table. We bought some little, stained-glass vases from a craft store and filled them with fake flowers, butterflies, and pinwheels from the dollar store. I bought most of my décor from the dollar store!
I don’t have exact numbers, but I came out way under $100 for the yarn, and my mom made them for me for free!
I had a friend from work take photos at my wedding. She did it for me as a gift for my wedding. She didn’t have much equipment, and I had to edit these for myself. It was free and I got what I needed. But, I know that a lot of my family wish there were more.
I’m not going to complain because it was free and I’m glad I have something!
I also designed my own invite, because I’m a graphic designer. I also made a little activity book for the kids to keep them entertained during the more boring parts of our nuptials. I did blur some information and names, but you see the basic idea!
The food was also good because of the hand cooking J, but I wish it was less intense. I would recommend doing some sort of catering, but we just didn’t have the money for it!
This photo is my favorite. My brother had returned a ring to me that he gave me when I was younger. It made me cry!
MUCH THANKS TO:
Today's the day! Two years ago, I exchanged "I Do's" with the love of my life. It really has been a quick two years, but I feel like I've learned so much from them. So, in celebration of my two-year wedding anniversary, I wanted to share a few things I've learned. They aren't ground-breaking by any means!
I also want to show you how we celebrated this past weekend!
1. YOU'RE GOING TO FIGHT, AND THAT'S OK
Either way, arguing can actually build up your relationship. DO NOT go tell your partner I wanted you guys to get in a fight. No! Avoid it if you can. But if it leads to an improvement in your relationship, a few hours of talking and a few tears aren't bad!
2. YOUR MAMA DIDN'T RAISE YOUR PARTNER
3. GET A HOBBY TO STOP DRIVING EACH OTHER CRAZY
4. SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
5. YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM CAN HURT YOUR PARTNER
6. BE BEST FRIENDS FIRST
HOW WE CELEBRATED
On Friday, I got off of work early. He didn't have to work. We went to Downtown Fayetteville, N.C. and visited Circa 1800 for lunch. He got a chicken sandwich topped with bacon and pulled pork, and I got a blackened chicken wrap! Afterward, we went next door to the new Caruso's Confections for a piece of three-layer chocolate mousse cake.
On Saturday, we had brunch at Metro Diner in Fayetteville, N.C. before heading up to Raleigh for an improv comedy show with ComedyWorks. We also visited our friend Lauren and her husband Aaron for a bit before heading home.
Since tonight is our official anniversary, we have a small chocolate cake to enjoy with one another!
I'm not going to lie. Between my personal and professional life, I've had a good bit of disappointments, especially in the last year.
However, I've learned that there ways to deal with that disappointment that will help preserve the relationships you have now and help you create new, meaningful relationships while in the midst of disappointment.
I do want to point out that I am not a therapist or a relationship counselor, but I do have the experience of being the giver and receiver of these things, and the following solutions really seem to help me in particular:
KEEP IT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Resist the urge to vent and complain about someone on your social media. Instead, try to reach out to a few trusted individuals in your life who you feel you can vent to. There are also a ton of free programs and chat rooms filled with anonymous strangers you can rant to. For me, I like to talk to my mom, husband, and really close friends about the stress in my life. It keeps me sane.
TAKE SOME TIME TO DECOMPRESS
Go to a movie, head to the park, or try a new hobby. Take yourself away from the disappointment to give yourself time to recover and to think on how you should go about addressing the problem.
MAKE A LIST/TRY TO SOLVE THE ISSUE
If it has to do with your disappointment in your personal life, take a moment to think about what you can do better. The sad truth is that we can't change anyone and we can't make them be something or someone they aren't. What we can change is how we react to disappointment.
I really hope that these tips on dealing with disappointment will help you down the line. I know that, for me, they have helped to save and repair relationships that would otherwise have no chance! Sometimes, you have to change your reaction.
If that person that is disappointing you continues, however, it can be a cycle of abuse that you need to go ahead and break and leave behind you.
DAY 1: MOVING BACKWARD IS NOT AN OPTION, AND STANDING STILL IS NOT ENOUGH
The first day of TED Talks featured Stacey Abrams, the first black woman in the history of the U.S. to be nominated for governor by a major party. Although Abrams lost the race, her TED Talk showed me that her loss didn’t kill her drive or spirit.
Her reasoning for wanting to become governor of Georgia was delivered through an anecdote, which I don’t want to spoil in case you decide to watch! She revealed that she lost the race for governor and was sad for a while, but she decided to keep pushing forward.
When she said “moving backward is not an option and standing still is not enough, I knew that was going to be what I took away from her talk. But how do you move forward after a loss? Abrams explained it was to ask yourself “what do I want, why do I want it, and how do I get it?”
They are simple questions. Going back to the why will fuel you to push for your how.
DAY 2: THE WORLD NEEDS TO EXPAND ITS RADIUS, BUT THAT IS MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE
Today's speaker was meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd. He talks about the different biases that can effect the way we see the world.
Not unsurprisingly, Shepherd decided to focus most of his talk on the bias many people have on issues such as climate change. He explained that there are three types of biases that you may engage in when you come across dealing with an issue you have an inherent bias toward: confirmation bias (only finding evidence to support your existing belief), Dunning Kruger (believing you know more than you do about a topic), and cognitive dissonance (new info that contradicts our beliefs).
I for one believe that our climate is changing for the worse. However, there are plenty who believe differently. While I agree with Shepherd's premise, I found his speech wanting because he identified a serious problem without presenting a solution. In actuality, overcoming our biases, at least in America, will be next to impossible because we let it get so far before addressing the real problem.
Shepherd did say we should expand our radius, or knowledge, about science and other things. I also found this hard to digest because several things we used to observe as fact (like the age of the universe, medicines, and carbon dating) have since changed. We all need to think critically. That was my main take-away.
DAY 3: PROCRASTINATION EXISTS BEYOND DUE DATES
The speaker for this day is Tim Urban, a writer and illustrator for the website WaitButWhy.com.
Urban spent a lot of his time on the TED stage talking about his personal experience as a master procrastinator, reminiscing anecdotally on completing his 90-page thesis in 72 hours. He explained how the mind of the procrastinator works, saying that both the procrastinator and the non-procrastinator have decision makers, but the procrastinator has an "instant gratification monkey" who is all about fun and joy.
But Urban eventually got to a point where he talked about the dangers of procrastinating on things without deadlines. Things like relationships, pursing education, health, and others. We may seem like we have all the time in the world to meet these deadlines, but we don't, and they can catch up with us and ruin our lives.
I loved how Urban took a rather serious topic and put a funny spin on it!
DAY 4: LYING IS A COOPERATIVE ACT
Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, was today's speaker. Her book details a few was to spot a liar and teaches you how to protect yourself from that liar.
What I learned in this TED Talk was that lying is much more common than I thought, but we are much more to blame than I thought, as well. The signs of a liar are so telling that we are complicient in the lie. The fact that we can let someone get away with a lie is crazy!
I really did learn a lot about spotting lies and hope to change my position in the lie from a cooperative of it to a spotter of it. I think I might actually add Meyer's book to my Audible Wish List!
DAY 5: DON'T LET PAST REJECTION DICTATE FUTURE ASPIRATIONS
The speaker for today was Jia Jiang. He was a marketing executive for a Fortune 500 company and he started his own business when he was 30. He explains that he was long controlled by rejection he experienced as a child when no one in his class complemented him during a confidence-building exercise. He said that his childhood experience kept him from pursuing his dreams for fear of rejection.
Jiang decided to do a 100 days of rejection challenge where he decided to ask strangers for things that they would likely reject him for. His talk really taught me that the past is in the past and being rejected once doesn't mean I will always be rejected!
As I sat in the ballroom, my eyes heavy with sleep after waking up at 5 a.m. to ride almost two hours to a conference at High Point University in North Carolina, I wasn't expecting to learn much in the first hour or so.
Usually conferences like these start out with some mild life lessons many people have already learned, as well as a few announcements before we break off into small groups. I wasn't expecting to go to this conference to have myself challenged personally, but that's exactly what happened.
I have to say that I learned far more in that hour than I think I learned the entire day, which made it the best way to start my day. I want to share with you a few things that I learned, because they really sparked a change in me.
A FOOL SAYS, "I'LL DO MORE WHEN THEY PAY ME TO DO MORE"
CONFIDENCE COMES FROM COMPETENCE
There is truth to the saying "knowledge is power." When you know more, you can speak more confidently. You will have an air about you that will make people stop and wonder what got in to you. That's how I want people to look at me, and that is actually how many people want others to look at them.
SMALL STEPS MAKE BIG DIFFERENCES
NEVER SAY "I'M NOT CHANGING THE WORLD"
They have names of people and experiences lodged in their brains that helped them form in to who they have become. I bet you could ask anyone you know about their favorite teacher, and they could rattle off some touching and inspiring story on what their teacher said to them that changed their life.
You never know if you're communicating with the future president or some other person who will have great power and influence who can make that direct impact on the world. But it is your tutelage and your experience with them that may be a guiding force in making that decision.