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Monday, July 28, 2014

How to Survive Your Husband's Second Year of Medical School

When the Mister finished his first year of medical school, I felt like I had learned a lot. I thought it had been kind of rough on both of us but I learned a lot about how to get through it. Then second year started. Now that it is over, I have put together a list of how to survive your husband's second year of medical school! Yay!

1. Listen to him. Yes, it can be hard to listen to your husband tell you what he learned at school that day. Mostly always it goes right over my head. But if your husband is anything like the Mister, he studies by himself almost all day every day, so when he gets home and wants to talk, you need to listen. And I don't mean half-listening while you are playing a game or thinking of other things. You need to really listen to him and give good feedback. Because not only is that just part of being a good wife, it is also just a good thing to do in any relationship. And sometimes husbands just need to vent about how hard a test was or how they don't understand something. And if you really listen to him, that will count and help him feel better.

2. Have a regular date night. And it doesn't always have to be just the two of you, either. Six nights a week I make dinner at home, and then usually on Fridays, we go out to dinner. We bring Little J with us, but it is really nice to be able to get out of the house and go do something special. I think for the Mister, it is sometimes something he looks forward to the whole week (especially if we are going to one of our favorite restaurants). And when you can, leave the kids at home and take time for just the two of you. We haven't done that very often but when we do, it is so worth it and makes a big difference.

3. Visit him at school. When your husband is a second year, he is busy. That sometimes means that he leaves for school at 7 in the morning and doesn't get home until 6 at night for dinner. Basically, you don't get to see him very much during the week. So take time to visit him at school. You can go have lunch with him, surprise him with a special treat, or even just stop by and say hi for a few minutes. I promise that even a few minutes will mean a lot. I wouldn't recommend doing that every day because it can be hard for husbands to study when they are interrupted by you actually being there, but once a week is a good routine to get into for visiting your husband at school.

4. Be involved with helping him choose his top rotation spots. This is a big deal because it determines where you will go live for the next two years. At the Mister's school, you rank your top 6 spots, and only 2 of the spots meant we would stay where we are for sure. So that meant we had to seriously consider where we would actually be okay with moving, and what the pros and cons of each rotation spot were. Seriously, this is a big deal so make it a priority when you are trying to figure out where you want to go (or stay). Look at location, the hospital/clinics he would be rotating at, how many spots are there, and how many residents are there. All of these things played a big part in how we chose the spots we wanted and what we ranked them as. It can be a stressful thing, so it's nice for you to help him out (and that way you won't be surprised if you end up having to move).

5. Help him study. This pretty much means be his patient and quiz him if he asks. I rarely (if ever) quizzed the Mister because I would always pronounce things wrong or ask bad questions. But when they are practicing for tests where they have to go and diagnose a pretend patient, it really helps for them to go through the motions with a person so they know how long things take and so they can get a feel for doing each test required. Every time my husband had one of these tests we would study together multiple times until he took the test. And it really did help him prepare because he was familiar with the procedures and format and everything. So try and help him study in any way that you can (and that he will let you). It can really pay off and it will give you more time with him when he has an upcoming test!

6. Know his test schedule. This is important for a variety of reasons. The Mister gets stressed and has to study more before his tests, so knowing when he had upcoming tests not only helped me know when he would be studying more, it also helped me know that if he got grumpy, it was because of a test and not something I did. You can also help him by making his favorite meals the night before his tests or packing him an extra good lunch that day. Even slipping little notes into his backpack or notebook can really help boost their confidence when they need it before those big tests. There were two separate months where the Mister had a ton of tests within the space of two weeks, and it really helped me to know when those tests were because I was able to give him extra support and help him stay positive when he was having a hard time. Knowing when your husband takes tests will help him and it will help you!

7. Let him study. What do I mean by this? When he is at school, do not constantly text him. When he is at home, do not constantly interrupt him by going in and out of the room. Sometimes this is hard when Little J keeps going back to the Mister's door and knocking on it crying for "dada" but we get through it. It is hard for husbands (at least mine) to study effectively if they keep getting interrupted. The Mister gets into a studying "zone" and it's better for him to just be left in it so he can get his work done faster and better. So when he is studying, let him study. It's okay to send an occasional text, but don't send one every hour. That is not going to help anyone.

8. Do things with your friends. Second year is definitely a busier year than first, especially as your husband starts preparing to take boards along with his regular classwork. So the amount of time you see him may decrease. The best way to handle this is to do things with your friends! I have two friends who moved out here at the same time and we were all pregnant at the same time and we go on walks, have craft days, and let our boys have playdates. It helps because it gives us something to do and it keeps us busy too, which is something that you also need to do while your husband is in school. Sitting at home all day every day is not healthy and it will probably bring you down a lot. And if you aren't a super social person, don't stress. I didn't used to hang out with friends very often in college but making a few good friends out here has really saved me. So be bold and find at least one other medical school wife to team up with. It really makes a difference, especially when your husbands all have a big test coming up and you need a break!

9. Make friends with the first years' wives. Remember how scary and unknown everything was when your husband first started medical school? You probably moved to a new place, didn't know anyone or where anything was, and had no idea what to do for fun there? Well there are all these new first years who have moved to your town with wives who are feeling exactly the same way you did at first! So make friends with them! Give them tips you've learned from your husband's first year and hang out with them and show them where all the delicious restaurants are. There weren't really any wives of second years around us when we moved in, but it would have been helpful to have someone to help me get adjusted. So be that person for all the first years' wives and it will be good for you and for them.

10. Make him take breaks. Sometimes the Mister has a hard time stepping away from studying and taking a break. So sometimes I have to make him take a break from studying and go to dinner or do something else fun. Especially because they can get so stressed and overwhelmed that they feel like they just constantly need to study, but you know that isn't going to be helpful when they can't focus or their confidence is draining. Taking a break from studying can help them clear their mind and get their focus back. I had to do this a few times with the Mister and it always paid off and helped him study harder and more effectively when he went back to studying. And I know I said let him study in tip seven, but you also need to make him take breaks when he needs it. Because sometimes having an outside perspective helps you see that they really do need to take a break or they won't get anything done. So just let him know that he needs to take a break (or tell him you need him to take a break if he won't listen!) and go do something fun to help him relax and clear his head.

11. Celebrate when he finishes boards. The summer after second year is when your husband will take his first round of board exams (step one). If your husband is anything like the Mister, he will be studying like crazy the weeks (and months) leading up to his test. So make it a big deal when he finishes! The board exams are harder and more important than any other test he has ever taken because the score he gets will determine what specialty he will be able to go into. It takes a lot of work and they get stressed and worry a lot, so make sure you celebrate when he is done. Do something you don't normally do, go to a more expensive restaurant, make it a good, happy time so he will be able to relax and enjoy being done with studying for that big giant test (until step two comes at least). Also, don't overschedule yourselves for the time he has off between finishing boards and starting rotations. You will want to just relax a bit and I promise you that trying to fit everything into your schedule is not going to be fun.

So those are my eleven tips on how to survive your husband's second year of medical school. Second year is harder than the first, but once it is over then it is over and you can be happy because your husband doesn't have to go to class anymore! We are looking forward to third and fourth year rotations and in a year I will make sure I come back with more tips!! Good luck ladies!

Monday, July 21, 2014

How to Take a Roadtrip With a Toddler

This summer we are driving through five different states in order to visit my family and the Mister's family. That is a lot of miles. And when you have a toddler in the backseat, that is a lot of miles. We wanted to try and figure out the best way to make the drive and still be able to keep our sanity. We did half of the trip driving through the night, and half of the trip during the day. We learned a lot, and we learned which way is better! So we came up with a few tips on how to take a roadtrip with a toddler!

1. Drive at Night. The most important, helpful, and best tip I can give you is to drive at night. This is great for multiple reasons. First, your toddler can sleep the whole way and you won't have to worry about feeding him, listening to him cry because he wants to get out, or taking him out every time you stop to get gas. We first drove through the night over Christmas last year and it completely changed our road trip. The Mister and I were able to enjoy each other's company, Little J slept the whole way, and we only had to stop to use the bathroom and get gas. Another good thing about driving at night is that as long as you bring some snacks, you don't have to stop and buy a whole meal (or two). So the only times you do stop can be to fill up and then you can get back on the road quickly. Saving time and making things easy! Also, don't try and sleep for a few hours and then wake up at like three and then leave. We did this thinking Little J would go back to sleep in his car seat and he just sat and stared around for two hours. Then he only had two 45-minute naps the rest of the trip. He was good, but not every toddler will be good, so just plan ahead and get them to fall asleep in their car seat instead of crib in the first place.

2. Bring New Toys. In the chance that you can't drive at night, or that your child wakes up, make sure you bring a new new toys to distract your little. New toys are always great for long trips because toddlers seem more keen to play with them than their toys they already have. So a new toy can help distract your toddler from the fact that he is in a car seat (and has been for several hours).

3. Put Him in Comfortable Clothes. If you are going to be driving through the night, I highly suggest just putting your toddler in some pajamas. If not, other comfy clothes (like stretchy pants and a light t-shirt) are the best thing to dress your toddler in. Car seats straps are supposed to keep them in there tight and snug, so you want to give your toddler the comfort you can by dressing them in comfy clothes. I don't know about you but I am always in a better mood when I have comfy clothes on in the car. Why would a toddler be any different?  You pretty much want to take away all variables that can cause problems on a roadtrip.

4. Bring Snacks for You and Your Toddler. Before you leave, make sure you have good, healthy snacks to keep you and your toddler full and happy. My husband and I usually bring a cooler with drinks and a bag with different snacks. That way, we won't have to buy things on the way. The key here is variety. Bring both salty and sweet things. This is true for your toddler's snacks, too. Sometimes Little J is particular about what snacks he will eat, so you want to make sure you have a lot for them to choose from. Hopefully you can drive through the night and won't have to worry about feeding your toddler, but you will still need to eat so make sure you have some good energizing snacks.

5. Have Some Car Games Prepared. This is more for the adults in the car who are driving, but it always helps have some fun car games to help keep you awake while driving at night. There's the alphabet game (a little harder in the dark), the person, place, or thing game (our personal favorite), 20 questions, or the picnic game. Having a game you can play helps keep your mind active so you are less likely to get drowsy and fall asleep. Which obviously is bad on any road trip.

6. Leave Room Next to the Car Seat for You. Whether you are driving through the night or not, you want to make sure that you leave a seat open next to the car seat in case your little wakes up or just gets super grumpy. You want to be able to sit there and keep your toddler busy and happy if the need arises, and if you have packed the backseat full of things, you won't be able to fit and you may just have to sit there listening to him cry and scream. Ideally, you won't be sitting there for much of the trip, but you want to make sure that if you have to, you have a space that you can sit and occupy your toddler.

7. Have a Changing Station in the Car. This may seem unnecessary when there are changing tables inside gas stations and rest stops, but if you are driving through the night, this is important. Taking your baby into the gas station with all those bright lights is probably going to wake him up and make it harder for him to go back to sleep. Ideally, your toddler will sleep through the trip and won't have to be changed until he wakes up, but if he wakes up in the middle of the trip with a poopy diaper you are obviously going to change it. And it's much nicer to have everything you need and room to change him right there with you. Even if it is just in the seat next to the car seat. Less stimulation while awake means an easier time going back to sleep.

8. Darken the Window. One thing we noticed when driving through the night was that sometimes when we stopped to fill up with gas, the lights from the gas station would shine down right onto Little J's face. So something you may want to consider is rolling a towel or small blanket up in the window so that when you stop (or there are lights on the road), they won't shine right in your toddler's sleeping face. If you aren't driving through the night, then you probably don't want to block your child's view or they won't be as happy, but if you are driving through the night (the easy way to roadtrip), then darkening the window is a good idea.

9. Have a Backup Plan. What do I mean? I mean bring the one that that you don't like to let your child have but that will calm him down instantly. For us, it's the iPad and episodes of Bob the Builder. I don't really like letting him play with it, but there was a point when we had about 45 minutes left in our drive and he was just not having it anymore so we gave him the iPad to watch some Bob and play some fun games he likes (check out Sago Mini). It worked like a charm. And yes, this is the last resort.

Do you have any other tips for taking a roadtrip with a toddler? I promise driving through the night will be the best way to go! It will revolutionize your drive!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

DIY Gold Polka-Dot Bodysuit with Cricut Mini

This post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated for any purchases you make after clicking them. However, all opinions are honest and my own.

As soon as we found out we were having a girl, I started dreaming up all kinds of girly things to make for her. Actually, I was dreaming about it long before, but those things actually became possible when we found out our baby was a girl. One of the things I dreamed up was a sparkly gold polka-dot bodysuit. I knew it would be perfect, and I knew I had to make it. So I did. And it is perfect.

Lucky for me, we already had lots of plain white bodysuits laying around (courtesy of Little J), and two years ago, my mom got me a Cricut Mini for Christmas. I knew there was no way I would be cutting out all these little polka-dots by hand, and my Cricut Mini was the perfect tool to get perfectly round, identical little circles. For the iron-on I used the Cricut Glitter Iron-on in gold, which had somewhat confusing directions, but was easy to work with besides that.

Anyway, on to the tutorial!!

First, you need to get all your materials together. You will need a Cricut Mini (or other Cricut machine), the Cricut Iron-on in gold, and a white bodysuit. You will also need your computer and the Cricut Craft Room software, scissors, an iron, an ironing board, and a piece of fabric to place between the iron-on backing and the iron. But the basic materials are super simple.

And like I said before, I loved using my Cricut Mini for this project. It made it way faster than if I had tried to cut out circles by hand, and I just had to design the project using the Cricut Craft Room software and then watch my machine do the work!

Once you have everything you need, you will need to cut your iron-on so that it will fit onto your Cricut cutting mat. Super easy so I didn't take a picture.

Next, put the iron-on onto the cutting mat. This is where I got most confused with the Cricut directions. They say to place the iron-on sheet, "liner side down," onto the cutting mat, so of course I thought that the shiny plasticky side was the liner. NO. Do not get confused and cut the wrong side of your iron-on! You will waste a lot of it! Place the glittery shiny plasticky side down when you are putting it on the cutting mat. This is important. You want the dull ugly side facing up.

If you haven't already, use the Cricut Craft Room software to design your dots. I just did it so I could fit as many 1" circles as possible on the mat. I think I used about 35 polka-dots total, but it depends on how close together you want them. Also, if you are only going to do the front, don't do that many. I did both sides though because I think it's lame when patterns only go on one side of a shirt. So, just put lots of little circles on there.

Next, you want to cut your iron-on using the Cricut Mini. I had to set the pressure to 3 and the depth to 4. I know it says 3 for both, but mine actually didn't cut through on that and I had to redo it. You may want to do it on 3 and 3 for one circle to check and see if it will work for you (maybe my blade isn't sharp?). But if it doesn't work, then set your depth one higher.

Once your circles are all cut, unload the cutting mat and peel apart the layers.

After you peeled the layers apart, cut the circles apart. I just cut the plastic into squares. Then you want to lay the dots on the bodysuit, glitter side up.

At first I arranged the dots one at a time, but then I realized how much faster it would be do to all the dots on one side at a time. Follow the application instructions on the Cricut Iron-on sheet. Make sure you use a piece of fabric or thin towel between the dots and the iron. Press for 15 seconds.

Once you press all the dots on, let them cool at least a minute. If you don't wait, they will pull off when you try and peel off the plastic layer. Repeat again on the other side. Pull off all the plastic stickies and then you are done! And you have a beautiful gold polka-dot bodysuit perfect for any fashionable baby girl. Yay! I can't wait to put our little baby girl in her new outfit when she is born in September!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Easy Double Doozie Sugar Cookies

Sorry I have sort of been MIA on social media the last few days. We moved into a new, bigger apartment on Wednesday and weren't able to get internet until Saturday! Ah! But I am back, and here with a DELICIOUS cookie recipe for you all!

One of my favorite treats growing up was the Double Doozie Sugar Cookies from the Great American Cookie Company at the mall. My sister and I would always beg my mom to buy us one and we would never be able to finish them. Now that I am older and my sweet tooth has definitely stuck around, I still have to fight the temptation not to buy one every time I am at the mall. But lucky (or unlucky) for me, I have figured out how to make a super fast and easy cookie at home, that tastes just like the ones at the mall! And is WAY cheaper!!

The best thing about this cookie is that it uses three store-bought ingredients, and is super fast to make. I tested out a few different brands before I came up with the perfect combination of sugar cookie and frosting. And oh my goodness, it really is just as good as those sugary treats from the mall.

The secret to making the famous Double Doozie at home is to use Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough and Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White frosting. Add sugar sprinkles and ta-dah! It is perfect!

These are the perfect little treat if you are in a bind and don't have time to make your own frosting and cookies, but still want a delicious treat that kids (and parents) will love. It's so easy and seriously, I can't tell you how yummy these taste. They were gone so fast.

Easy Double Doozie Sugar Cookies
Makes about 12-15 Double Doozies

  • 1 roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough
  • 1 can of Betty Crocker Whipped Fluffy White frosting
  • Multicolored sugar sprinkles
  1. Place 1/2" balls of sugar cookie dough on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Using a glass, press into circles (but not too thin). Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles. Bake according to package instructions, but lean on the shorter time side because you want them soft and chewy.
  2. Let cool and then using a piping bag (it's easy and looks better, but isn't necessary), put a hearty amount of frosting on the back of one of the cookies. Sandwich it with another cookie, pressing softly and not hard enough that the frosting will ooze out completely. 
  3. Then you are done. Seriously, that is it.
It almost seems silly for me to type out directions because they are so easy to make, but I guess that is why you are coming to this post, right?

Anyway, once I discovered this secret to homemade Double Doozie Sugar Cookies I knew I couldn't keep it to myself. And I am sure once my littles are big enough that I have to start sending them places with treats, these will be frequently made in my kitchen.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mommy Moments #1

Welcome to Mommy Moments #1! I don't know how often I am going to do these yet, but sometimes I just have moments where I realize something incredibly important or I have some sweet, special moment with my littles. Since I am not good at journaling, I thought making this into a semi-regular blog posting would be a good idea! Especially since I am sure lots of other moms have similar moments in their lives and might want to share, too. So I think that I am going to write these either every other week, or once a month. I will just see what happens.

A few nights ago I put Little J down for bed at the same time as I always do. About an hour later, he was still awake, which was odd, and then he started crying. Usually when he cries he will go back to sleep. Unfortunately for us, he kept crying for about 20 minutes. I put down what I was doing and I went in to give him his pacifier and hold him for a bit so he could calm down. After about 10 minutes I put him back in his crib so he could go back to sleep. Immediately he started screaming. I left the room and he kept screaming for a few minutes. I reluctantly went back in to try and calm him down. I had other things I wanted to be doing. The time after Little J goes to bed before bed is some of the only time I get to do what I want to do. Any mom knows that there are some things you just can't do when your littles are awake. So as I was sitting there rocking Little J in the dark trying to get him to go back to sleep, I kept listing off all the things I wanted to get done and all the things I could have been doing instead of sitting there trying to get my 15-month-old back to sleep. I know, not my proudest moment.

But then it hit me. Nothing in this world, nothing I could possibly be doing at that moment, was more important than sitting in that chair holding my son. Nothing was as important as giving him the comfort he needed so he could fall back asleep. Basically, nothing was as important as being there at that moment to help my son.

Nothing is as important as your kids and your family. Sure, it is important to have a good job and to work for what you need in life. Sure, it is important to take care of yourself and make sure you give yourself time that you need. But families are the most important thing in the world. Without families, we wouldn't exist.

So next time I am playing with Little J or hear him crying at 2am, I am going to remember that nothing is as important as giving him the time he needs without complaining and without doing it half-heartedly. The Mister and I are the most important people in his world right now and I definitely want to do my part to keep it that way and raise him right.

Because that is what being a mommy is all about.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Best Places to Shop for Maternity Clothes (In Store and Online!)

When I was pregnant with Little J, I thought maternity clothes were super hard to shop for. You may be thinking the same thing. I had a hard time finding cute clothes that were still stylish and made me feel like I was still cute even though I had a growing belly. Even up until a few months ago, I thought it was impossible to look cute while pregnant and wear stylish maternity clothes. But then I discovered something. There are cute maternity clothes! My mind was blown. And so now, I am here to blow your mind, too!

There are pros and cons about shopping both in store and online. In store you can try on the clothes and different sizes, but there isn't as big of a selection. Online you have a wider selection and you can easily search for exactly what you want, but you don't have the option to try on and you have to pay for shipping. So for your convenience (and because I am excited about finding these cute clothes), here are the best (and my favorite) places to shop for maternity clothes, both in store and online!

Best Places to Shop for Maternity Clothes In Store
Old Navy. Old Navy is one of my favorite places to get the basics. A few weeks ago I went and got some really cute solid tees that had small details and weren't flashy. They also have shorts, tank tops, skirts, pants, and even active wear. And the best part is that Old Navy is pretty cheap! Not all stores actually have the maternity section in them, so make sure you call before you go. If you are lucky enough to have a maternity section in your local Old Navy, I highly recommend checking it out.

Target. Another one of my favorite maternity stores. The Liz Lange Maternity line is the best. The shirts are so comfortable, the swimsuits are adorable, and the maxi dresses are perfect. They have a wider selection of clothes online too, but both this pregnancy and last my favorite maternity shirts have been from Target. And honestly, who doesn't love an excuse to go to Target?

Gap. A little bit pricier, but they usually have a clearance section. The Gap Maternity sections are in the back of Gap Baby stores (at least in the ones I've seen) so you have to have a Gap Baby in order to get the maternity line in stores. They have the cutest pants I have seen, and even though they are pricier, check the clearance section! I also love their long dresses. My mom got me a cute jersey dress and it has been amazing as it has gotten hotter. Any excuse to only put on one piece of clothing is a good one for a pregnant lady. So go check them out. Seriously.

Best Places to Shop for Maternity Clothes Online

Zulily. I only discovered Zulily a few months ago but I love it! They have daily deals up to 70% off for moms, babies, and kids, and they always have really nice maternity clothes for cheap. I ordered both my swimsuit (worth $90, paid $30) and a pair of jean shorts (worth about twice as much as I paid, I can't remember exact numbers) from Zulily and have loved them! I like this site because of the variety they offer, and because you can find deals from different brands. There's a reason I am mentioning it first on my online list! It really is amazing. You at least have to check them out once.

Pink Blush. I actually think Pink Blush might be my favorite for stylish maternity clothes out of all of these. Their dresses are amazing, they have so many cute tops, and they even sell maternity leggings. Which I honestly didn't even know existed until like two weeks ago. And they are all at good prices, too, so you don't have to feel bad about looking cute! And the colors of their clothes are like all my favorite colors. Basically, I want everything on their site. I even bought my bridesmaid dress for my sister's wedding from their site (because I will be 8-months-pregnant at her wedding!). I promise you will not be disappointed when you look at their site.

ASOS. They are a little more expensive, but still super cute. My favorite things on their site are the dresses, and they have several different brands on the site, too. They also have really cute swimsuits and jeans, and all the clothes are really flattering (which is important when you have a giant round ball for a stomach). My second choice for a bridesmaid dress was on this site, so you know it's good.

Seraphine. Seraphine is a company based out of the UK and while their clothes are probably the most expensive on my list, there is a reason I am including it here. The clothes are a more elegant style, and yes, even Kate Middleton wore their clothes while she was pregnant. I think a good word to describe these clothes is "flirty" but without being scandalous. They use lace, ruffles, bows, and what I am going to call "flutters." Definitely a girly brand. So if you have some extra money or you are looking for a nice present for yourself, I would check out Seraphine.

Dorothy Perkins. This brand uses a lot of florals and pastels in their clothes, and they are super feminine and cute. They don't have a huge selection online, but I really like the clothes that I saw when I was on the site. They have some good "little black dresses" that are maternity dresses, and they are moderately priced. They also have several things that use lace, so I am pretty much in love with those. It's a cute site if your style is very feminine.

So those are (in my opinion) the best places to shop for maternity clothes, both in store and online. Do you think I missed any? What are your favorite places to buy maternity clothes?? I would love to hear!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Wedding Dress Pendant Necklace Tutorial

This post is one of the main reasons I actually started a blog. There is a pin on Pinterest that I have seen a million times, but I cannot find a tutorial for ANYWHERE. It's the beautiful necklace that preserves a piece of your wedding dress for you to always wear. Yes, you have seen it (and probably pinned it hoping to make it one day). But unfortunately, there are zero tutorials for how to do this, and while you can pay $40-50 for someone to do it on Etsy, that is inconvenient and way expensive. So I decided I would make my own tutorial! And even though it has taken me forever to get it up, I am finally doing it!

Now I know it can be hard to cut your wedding dress (just ask me, I actually did two years ago!), but this necklace only requires a tiny piece and are you really ever going to wear your dress again? I personally decided that I could save my veil for my daughters to wear on their wedding days if they want because even though my dress was perfect, I am sure it will be out of style in 20 years. So this is a much better use of my dress!

I am SO HAPPY with the way this turned out! This project has been something I have wanted to do ever since starting my craft blog and cutting up my wedding dress. I love wearing it, and I love that it is a reminder of the love I have for the Mister and the promises we have made to each other. And I love getting to tell people that it is made from my wedding dress!!

And before you get overwhelmed and think "I can't do that! It's too hard!" I just want to tell you that this took me about 10 minutes to make. So no matter what your craft skill level is, you can make this!!

All you will need to make this pendant are:
  • One piece of lace from your wedding dress
  • A 14mm, 16mm, or 20mm glass circle and pendant tray (I got mine from Candy Tiles Studio on Etsy. They were incredibly helpful and put up with me asking for a very specific custom request)
  • FabriTac permanent adhesive (I got this at Michael's)
  • A small square of cardstock or posterboard
  • E6000 super glue (I got this at Michael's)
  • Scissors
  • A pen
First, you will need to remove any beading or detail on your lace. Mine had some sequins and beads sewn on, so I just used a seam ripper to take them off a small part of the lace (and I saved the beads for another project!).

Then trace your stone on the cardboard to make a tiny pattern. I found that it was a lot easier to do it this way than to use the stone directly on the fabric when I was cutting

Then cut out your pattern.

Just a quick tip, don't stick your pattern inside the pendant tray to make sure it fits. It will get stuck and you will be in trouble.

Next, you will want to decide what part of the lace you want to be seen through the glass stone. Just lay the stone on the fabric until you figure out where you want it.

Then place the pattern on that same part of lace and cut around it. You don't want to actually trace the circle onto the lace because when you go to glue the lace, the marking will bleed and be visible through the stone. Trust me, you don't want that. Just hold the pattern onto a small square of your lace and cut around it, careful not to move the pattern when you turn the lace around to cut the edges.

Now you should have a perfect little circle of lace for your tray.

The next thing you will want to do is make sure that your fabric will fit inside the pendant without poking out at all. Put each piece in separately and then place the stone on top. If it is too big, you will be able to tell. Then you can trim whatever needs to be trimmed.

Now grab your FabriTac adhesive and put a small dab on the back of the glass stone. Press your lace onto the stone (your hands will get a little glue-y). Then place another small dab of FabriTac on the back of the lace, and then press the stone and lace into the pendant tray. Squeeze tightly so you get out any bubbles!

You may get a little glue on top of the stone, so wipe it quickly with a wet paper towel before it dries.

Guess what! You now have a beautiful pendant charm made out of your wedding dress that you can wear on a necklace!

Also, as a side note, it took me forever to find a chain small enough that it would fit through the hole of my charm. I couldn't find one at Jo-Ann or Michael's, so I finally just ended up getting one off of Etsy. I had to send the charm in to her so she could put it on the chain, but it was worth it!!

Also, on a completely different note, I just got an Instagram!!! Yay! So you should find me and follow me @lifewmylittles and it will be wonderful. Thanks everyone!