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SeeCateCreate.COM!!

Hey guys!  I’ve finally worked up the gumption to take this little bloggity-blog to the next level by turning it into a .COM!  I’m super excited about it actually and have been working hard at setting up my new site and transferring my tutorials.  I also created a brand new logo!  Gone are the days of my scrapbook-style, slightly immature looking, header and welcome grown-up Cate with a new fresh and clean look and a real BRAND and original style.  I seriously played around with logo designs for days coming up with this little baby and I really love it.  I hope you guys do too.  The site isn’t quite ready, but go check it out and let me know what you think and if you have any tips or tricks to make it even better.  Thanks SO much everyone for following this blog!  You’ve really inspired me to keep it up and continue being ME amidst all other lifes distractions.  I sincerely thank you and hope that you’ll continue to follow me into this next level of creative awesomeness.  :)  Seecatecreate.com people.  Thats where I’m headed, how about you?😉

Hey guys!

I’ve been DROOLING over the amazing wrap dresses that have been floating around in catalogs, high end stores, and the internet.  These thing are FANTASTIC and gorgeous and amazing because of all the different ways you can wear them.  Seriously, if you have one of these dresses, you might never have to buy another dress again.  You wouldn’t HAVE TO, but of course I will.  Because I loves to SHOP!  But anyway, these incredibly versatile dresses run anywhere from $70-$200 and might just be worth it because of how much wear you will get out of them.  BUT, lucky for you you can save yourself some major benjamins and MAKE one!  Yep.  YOU CAN DO THIS.  AND it’ll be awesome.

I found myself in JoAnns the other day loving all over some green stretchy knit fabric that was on sale for 30% off.  I LOVE all shades of green and blue and teal and so I bought 6 yards, without really knowing exactly what I’d do with it.  I’m SO glad I did because I came home, did some googling, and found out that people are actually DIY-ing the wrap dresses I’ve been drooling over.  So, I made myself TWO infinity wrap dresses (or convertible wrap dress, transformer dress, etc.) out of my 6 yards and I LOVE them with a capital *SMOOCH*!!  I made one short one (circle skirt style) that is fun and flirty and drapey and divine, and a long one (maxi skirt style) which I also dyed darker (using RIT dye in Navy Blue) and is regal, and elegant, and beachy.

I used a combo of several tutorials I found online to make the dresses and a little of my own brain power thrown in.  I didn’t find a really GREAT wrap dress tutorial though and so I thought I’d better document my process for any of you who’d like to DIY one or two for yourself.  You’re going to have to excuse my messy handwriting and sketches, I wrote things down by hand as I went along instead of typing it up.  But, I hope this is thorough enough for you and helps you get the job done a little easier than it was for me.  Let me know of any tips or suggestions that you might have if you decide to make your own.

Here is the blueprint.  Feel free to print these off and use them but only for personal use please!!!

Here is a look at the finished dress with the tube top…

And heres the back…

 Thats basically how I made mine (with a few adjustments that I learned along the way and threw in to make it easier for you guys).  Would you like to see how to wear it?!  I had a little fashion show this afternoon and tried out some ways, but you can also find tons of youtube videos on how to tie a convertible wrap dress if you would like to learn more.

This is just a basic way to wear the dress…but so lovely…

Halter style wrap…

And the back…

Strapless style…and totally cute with the teal if you ask me.

Accessorize your dress with a cute blazer…

Or hike it up so the waistline is over your chest for a babydoll style dress…

Wear it with leggings and make the straps into a lovely cowlneck scarf for a cozy look…

Now my maxi dress…awwww.  I LOVE it…

I feel like a Greek goddess wrapped up in my maxi dress…

This will make the chicest swim cover-up ever.  Go for a swim, and then go to a red carpet event…🙂

 There you go my friends!  If I can do it, you can do it.  Seriously, I made both dresses this Sunday afternoon.

TIPS:

  •  Use a knit stitch or zigzag stitch for stretchy fabric.
  • Realize that this fabric is STRETCHY so make your skirt and waistband somewhat smaller than you think you’ll need to.  Especially the waistband.  The weight of the skirt will want to pull it off your waist if it is not tight enough.
  • You can DYE these knits.  SO if you find a some on sale, grab it and alter the color if you’d like with RIT dye.  (My maxi dress is the same material I made the short dress with just dyed in navy blue dye for an hour)

Following along with my organization kick, I have created for myself a Weekly Workout Schedule.  I actually really like exercise, as long as I have time and energy for it.  I think with my new daily routine I can really make it work and make sure I get my workouts in every day.  I created this workout schedule based around what I think I realistically can/will do.  I’m used to running at night since that is when I was running when training for the half marathon I did back in November.  I don’t have a gym membership so I use workout dvd’s and equipment I have at home to do my workouts.  I have LOTS of dvds (you can find them at Ross for like $3 or $4 or Walmart for $10 or so), but my favorites are the Jillian Michaels series. You can see on my schedule below that I workout my lower body often but I don’t focus any days solely to my upper body.  This is because I am already a “boy-shape”, broader shoulders than hips, virtually no waist definition, etc.  I build muscle easily on the top half of my body so I don’t really need to work on that area as much.  But my hips, butt, and thighs are skinny so my goal is to virtually “build-a-butt” by adding muscle to those areas.  I call this my Build-a-Butt plan!  Haha!!  My hopes are that this will balance me out a bit.  It is super frustrating to be this shape because most women are the opposite so there aren’t many workouts design to help us flat-bottomed girls.   Anyway, if you are wanting to create a workout plan, assess your body type first and focus on the areas that need extra attention.

Back to my workout DVD’s.  Here are the ones I use/like if you are interested:

Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred

Jillian Michaels: Ripped in 30

Jillian Michaels: Killer Buns and Thighs

Jillian Michaels: Maximize Back in Action

I also like the Best of Tamilee: Buns, Abs, Arms

As well as Slim in 6 which also has an abs and stretching dvd

My favorites are the Jillian Michaels dvds though because I feel like you get lots of bang for your buck.  They are short 20-30 minute circuit style workouts that not only build muscle but keep your heart rate up as well.  Even the early levels are TOUGH on the Jillian Michaels dvds.  And since I know that realistically I’m not going to have more than 20-30 minutes in the morning to workout, I want every minute to count.

If you don’t have a gym membership and you don’t want to go out and buy dvds, there are also great websites with free workouts.  I REALLY like BodyRockTv.  There are tons of great, intense, short workouts you can do at home with little or NO equipment.  There is also a photo gallery of people who are using the BodyRock workouts and the results will really motivate you to start sweating.

I personally have no desire to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated anytime soon, I just want to look less like a mushy mom and more like a fit woman.  There are really no downsides to exercise if you are realistic about your lifestyle and time constraints as well as your body shape.  Basically for me, I just want to be able to eat a big bowl of ice cream every night before bed and still be able to fit into my pants.  :)  So heres my plan:

By the way, I made this and my Weekly Chore Chart with Picnik (which I’m aware is sadly closing in April😦  so use it up while its still here!) in case you want to create your own.

Wish me luck on my Build-a-Butt plan!!🙂

So I’ve been trying to get myself organized lately (which is really an ongoing effort), and have decided I need to crack down on my mess-making-procrastinating-daydreaming-disorganized-chaotic ways.  With two little rambunctious boys, a (dare I say) up-and-coming blog, a moderately busy photography business, and side decorating jobs as well as the normal household duties, church responsibilities, volunteer opportunities, relationship maintenance, physical upkeep, etc. I’ve become in a large sense OVERWHELMED.  I am not naturally a very organized person.  I LIKE order and I like things to “look pretty”, but I’m a completely right-brained, slightly crazy, artsy fartsy person who is more inclined to CREATE “mess” (or as I like to call it “PROJECTS”) than to organize it.  I tend to make a lot of To-Do lists, but it seems by the time I’m done writing the list, I’m bored already and get sidetracked to something that tickles my fancy (like Pinterest, or the ukulele).  I’ve got all kinds of great plans and intentions of being organized and sticking to a routine.  Typically I go to bed thinking, “Okay.  Tomorrow is the day.  I’m going to stick to it.”  Then I wake up, hit the snooze (or in other words tell Peyton to go watch PBS kids until I’m ready to get up), get out of bed late, don’t feel like working out (and who can with two kids under your feet anyway), and before I even get my day started my plan is completely out the window.  The only way I can think to combat this utter lack of self discipline is to publicize it!  Naturally.

Anyway, so here I am, and here are my plans.  Feel free to help yourself to any of my schedules, printables, etc. if you feel inclined to come with me on this organization journey.  Wish me luck that I might act like a grown up for once and actually stay on task!  I have SO many goals and dreams and I know if I could just stick with the plan(s) I could become much more productive and maybe reach a few of them someday.  :)

The first thing I’ve decided I need is a Dinner Menu.  I HATE thinking of what to make every night for dinner.  HATE IT.  Staring into a pantry full of random items and trying to come up with a decent meal is like building a rocketship out of legos.  At least for me.  I actually liked cooking until I had to do it every night and I think I could possibly like it again if I didn’t have to go through the “what can I make out of THIS” part.  I need a menu.  And a grocery list that coincides.  A great site I found could really help with this if you’re facing this same issue.  Its called Eat At Home and has years (yes YEARS) of printable menus along with their recipes and grocery lists.  My only problem is I have picky eaters in my household so some of the menus wouldn’t work for us.  I LOVE the idea though and think the site could really help.  Along the same lines I came up with my own menu system.  It involves themed dinner nights (Italian night, Pizza night, Mexican night, etc.).  I assigned a different “theme” to every day of the week.  Then I just made a list of 13 dinner options under each nights theme that I can choose from on any given week.  This way, I can look at my theme night, choose the dish, and shop accordingly.  It should allow me for about 3 months of meals without having to make anything twice (unless I want to).  Also, I can shop carefully to make sure that I’m using up ingredients.  For example, on Mexican night I can make a dish that has rice and make double the amount to store in the fridge until Asian night, using up the leftovers as well as cutting out a step on Asian night.  Does that make sense?  It does to me and I think it will really help that brain block I have at dinner time.  You’ll notice that Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are sort of whimp-out meals.  Thats because by Thursday frankly I’m sick of cooking.  I figure if I just acknowledge and work around this fact, it will save us money (and my sanity) from running out to “pick up dinner” or from me having to feel the pressure to summon up the will to make another fabulous meal.  I printed out on cardstock all the pages below, punched a hole in the top left corner of each page, and put them all on a ring to hang in my kitchen for easy access.

Weekly Menu

Menu Options

The next thing I’ve done is created a Daily Routine.  I am TERRIBLE at following routines.  I am very spontaneous and admittedly flaky.  These are traits that cost me precious hours of useable time every single day.  I realize that I need to get on a routine, not just for me, but for my kiddos as well.  I think that they would greatly benefit from the security that routines and schedules give.  I created a pretty full daily schedule but I feel like it is pretty realistic and something that is flexible enough to be manageable.  I am quite aware that I will never be one of those schedule driven moms that sticks to the plan with the veracity of a drill sergeant.  And I have no intention of becoming one.  I realize that I will probably NEVER have a day that goes exactly as planned.  But, I need to try my best to create some structure so my household will run smoother and nothing, and no one, gets neglected.  Sadly I’ve realized that I DO need to schedule in playtime with my kids.  If not, I tend to (in my perpetually overwhelmed state) use the phrase “in a minute” or “when I’m done with _____” until the kids are tucked into bed at night.  I’ve realized that there will ALWAYS be something else I can be, should be, could be, want to be doing.  I need to put parameters around how much time I allot to the different aspects of my life and when that time is up, its up, and I need to move on to the next thing on the schedule.  You can see my Daily Routine below.

Mom’s Daily Schedule

I also decided to make me a Weekly Chore Chart.  My mom is a professional homemaker.  Seriously.  She could teach lessons.  She has told me over and over again that the key to keeping a clean house (ours growing up was always immaculate, with the exception of my room of course) is to do a few chores everyday.  She has days of the week that she always does certain tasks and so nothing ever gets out of control.  So far my cleaning philosophy has been “If you can’t stand the mess, turn off the lights!”.  I hate cleaning for the most part but I think thats because whenever I get myself to finally DO IT, it is when I absolutely have to.  And by then, the mess seems so huge that I don’t even know where to begin.  I will do the basics to survive:  dishes once a day (most of the time), laundry once a week (most of the time), vacuuming when someones coming over…you get the idea.  My house is not atrocious, but it definitely wouldn’t pass mom’s cleaning inspection without due notice.  To remedy this I have created my Weekly Chore Chart that includes tasks like vacuuming twice a week as well as keeping up with my family blog and couponing on Sundays.  You are welcome to save mine to your computer and print it off as you’d like if it suits you.

Thats what I’ve done so far.  I think they are definitely steps in the right direction!  Soon I will be posting my exercise schedule as well as other tips I’m doing to get myself organized and regain my sanity!  What tips do you have for keeping yourself on track?  I’d love to hear them!

ModCloth Necklace Knockoff DIY

For Christmas I made a necklace for my big sis inspired by a sweet little something I saw on ModCloth.  It was a super easy project and I was really happy with the way it turned out so I decided to make myself one as well.  :)  Merry Christmas me.

Here is the ModCloth necklace for $20:

My DIY’d knockoff turned out just as well I think.  The great thing about this project is that you don’t need jewelry making tools (or skills really).  All you need to do is basically sew a chiffon ruffle onto the back of some glitzy costume jewelry.  And voila!  But just in case you’re still feeling anxious about it, I’ll walk you through the process with a little tutorial.

Cost:  $5-$6 (depending)

Supplies:

  • A glitzy rhinestone necklace.  I found mine for $5 at Walmart on clearance.
  • A scant amount of chiffon in the color of your choice.  You can buy chiffon by the yard or ask around for scraps as this doesn’t take much.
  • Thread in a matching color.
  • A needle.
  • Sharp scizzors.
  • Straight pins.

1.  First thing to do is lay out your chiffon.  You’re going to want about 2 or so strips stacked on top of each other.   The easiest way to do this is to fold your chiffon a few times and cut into 3″ or so wide strips.  Then, just unfold them and lay them out.  *TIP*  Make your strips about twice as long as the “fancy” part of your necklace.

2.  Now, stack the strips on top of each other and fold them in half long ways (hot dog way).  It is best at this point to pin them together so that they will stay put while you sew.  Now, sewing by hand, sew a straight, wide, stitch trough the top of your folded stack (about 1/4″ inch below the fold).  Start pulling the chiffon down the thread to gather and make a chiffon ruffle.

3.  Once you have made your ruffle.  This is about what you should have.

4.  The only thing left to do is to sew your necklace to the front of your chiffon.  *TIP* Don’t worry about the strips being cut perfectly straight.  As you can see from the image above, the varying lengths give it a loverly layered look like in the ModCloth version.

5.  Find the end of your “fancy” part on your necklace.  Hold it in place on top of your chiffon (about 1/4″ from the fold) and sew from back to front, securing the necklace in place on top of your ruffle.

6.  Keep sewing on your necklace until you get to the other end of your “fancy” part.  (And yes, that is the technical jewelers term).  If you have leftover ruffle at the end, just snip it off.

7.  If you’d like you can apply fray check to the edges of the chiffon but I prefer to leave them raw and let them fray a little for that shabby chic effect.

There you go!  A great little ModCloth knockoff for half the price!

And of course I said I made one for myself as well…

Not too shabby.  Now I just need a cute little something to wear it with…

🙂

LOVE IS FREE!!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Remember, LOVE IS FREE!!!🙂

XOXOXOXO

Are you guys ready for some lovin’?  ;)  If not, check out some of these last minute Valentine’s Day cards, signs, printables, and crafts.  So FUN aren’t they?!

V’day card from EnormousChampion.

These adorable Love Bug Valentine’s would be great for the little ones.  Find the bugs at the Dollar Store and get the jar printable at Dandee.

Martha Stewart knows how to really rock the card making!  I love these and they’d be especially easy with a dye cut machine.

This is a fabulous idea for a man bouquet!  Heather over at How Does She? made an ingenious bouquet out of mens socks for her guy this V’day.  So great.  You could probably also do the same kind of thing with underwear or t-shirts or ties.

Bakerella made these darling and simple cupcakes for V’day.  So sweet and easy even I might be able to pull off whipping these up!

Want a funny card/geeky/sci-fi card?  Check this out from the Wallaroo on etsy.  LOVE it.

Or this adorable card from Rifle Paper Co.

Make yourself a freezer paper stencil (like My Girl Thursday) and hand paint this shirt for your wife (or hubby).  :)

Make a sweet clay heart pendant with Mitsy of ArtMind.

Speaking of clay, you could always go back to my clay rose tutorial and make some adorable vintage inspired rose rinds, earrings, or even refrigerator magnets for the special ladies in your life.

I saw this on Pinterest (follow me on pinterest if you’d like) and thought it would be another great freezer paper (or applique) project!  Spice it up a little bit tomorrow night!  ;)  Or, if you’re NOT in the mood, create the other side to say “In Your Dreams”.

And of course, if you have a chance, doll yourself up and take some pin ups!  Your sweety will LOVE them!🙂

I hope you all have a FANTABULOUS VALENTINE’S DAY!!!  See you back here in a few!