Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sickday, Blogday!

Ok, so I'm not actually working right now so I guess this can't be and official "sick day"... however it is showing all the traits of one! My "work" ie cleaning, cooking, sewing, visiting friends, getting all-the-way dressed, etc is being put on hold and I am making the most of this "resting" period. I slept til 7, then fell back asleep until 9:30, then on and off until 11:30am... (yes, I am tired! And a little feverish. And dizzy...) even though I got to bed by 11pm. Phew. I haven't slept this much in years, but I guess sometimes you need it.

Anyway, I am taking the time to do some necessary design upgrades to the blog. Sorry if it's annoying and randomly changes while you're looking at it. It shouldn't last for long and will hopefully be the better for it!

I also did some work on a new blog I'm creating, theEarleybird. It's my new just-the-projects blog, so if you'd rather cut out random rants, family events, etc you can go follow that instead, or both, whatever. It's a more minimalist feel, and I really like it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Free Budget Worksheet

Hey Everyone! I just started making a blog for my Relief Society. I thought I'd share this post giving access to a free budget worksheet. Brian and I have found it really convenient and easy to use. Here's the link with the instructions:

Provo Married Student 39th Ward's Relief Society: A Great Budget Spreadsheet

Sunday, September 25, 2011

General Relief Society Meeting!

The General Relief Society meeting was wonderful! A few of us had the chance to go up and watch it live. We had a great chance to get to know each other better on the ride to and from the Conference Center.

You can't tell from this picture but the Conf Center was PACKED! More than I'd ever seen it before!
Sister Beck chatting to the First Presidency before the meeting began. Also before we were told that photography wasn't allowed... :)
In our seats!
(Also before said announcement!)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hot Air Balloon Landing!

This morning a hot air balloon randomly landed in the park across from my apartment complex! There was a birthday party going on at the park at the time, and the kids all got involved in helping put it away. I had to take some pictures!

I think I'm now going to have to add "ride in a hot air balloon" to my bucket list! 

Mini-Skirt :)

I was really excited to make this skirt for my little 3-yr old niece! As most of you know, my family are all still living in the UK, so I can't try it on her.... Hopefully it fits!

I was experimenting a bit with this skirt. You may be able to make out the little flap-things, they don't look exactly how I'd imagined but they add some character. Easy to make. I'll definitely try them again. I showed it to my other, older niece and she wants one too so I'll hopefully make some progress!

It was also my first time making the flower sort of thing at the top-right. Again, not what I imagined but still cute I think. The pearls are from a necklace I had but never wore.

I'm excited to see how it looks on my niece! She'd be adorable in a potato sack so I have high hopes! :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sarah Bareilles, You Just Made My Morning.

I love this video, it is just so happifying! I love the ending too. Anyone up for an impromptu trip to Macey's? Yeah? Ha. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sewing: More Skirts!

So today I was really excited to make THIS skirt with the navy fabric I'd been given. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that the fabric wouldn't work as it was way too stretchy. I thought about making a maxi dress or skirt but figured I'd go ahead and make a really comfy pencil-ish skirt. Here's what happened:

It's ok. I like it as it's super comfy. I think it may become my "church pajamas" (a concept I've just been introduced to:) I think I will still attempt some sort of maxi-item as I still have a lot of material and the color is pretty.

I still wanted to try and make a bow skirt though! I had a lot of fun making this next skirt. It took a while as I made some mistakes but I am satisfied with it :) The fabric wasn't super compatible either but here is my attempt. I made the bow so it can be pinned on anywhere. What do you think, at the top or bottom? Or not at all? The lighting is much better for the bow-up but don't let that sway you!

Film Review: Wuthering Heights

I consider this post a public service. Wuthering Heights is possibly the most disturbing film I've ever seen. For reals.

Maybe it was just the version I saw but the entire film was just so dark and twisted and awful. Heathcliff is, from his childhood, possessive and obsessed with Catherine, whose father adopted him as a child. Catherine is torn throughout the film and then becomes just as vindictive and obsessed. They live dark and dreadful lives. Heathcliff does all he can to ruin the lives of everyone around him. This awfulness goes on throughout the film until the last 4 minutes, where the next generation begin to fall in (real) love and Heathcliff dies. In death Heathcliff is reunited with Catherine.

It's totally messed up. They lived awful lives to the end and then suddenly they're all happy and skipping and everything is wonderful. The end was certainly a relief from the horribleness thus far, but it definitely did not remove the negative feeling I got from it. **Shudder**

I think I need to go and find some EFY music!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Some Photos :)

An art student who lives in my complex put these up as part of a study of mood and color. They made my day!
Bomb transportation on the I-15 on Saturday.

Ok this may be creepy but I loved this girl's style! 

And finally I've been able to go through our wedding pics! (The old laptop just wasn't up to it and crashed in protest if we ever tried.) I love my expression in this pic. It makes me laugh. We were watching the lanterns we'd just lit fly away into the distance :)

Sew Exciting!!

So I mentioned I might put up some pictures of the stuff I've been sewing... The pictures didn't really turn out how I'd hoped (the colors aren't as bright/accurate but there you go!). 

This skirt is my FAVORITE! It used to be a pair of pants that were gorgeous but a tad crazy. I much prefer them as a skirt! I cut, unpicked, and sewed them myself. Kathy, Brian's mom, graciously hemmed them for me :)
I also did a lot of work on this stripy shirt. It's the one from the yard sale. I took it in a few inches on each side and changed the sleeves to a cap sleeves. Beforehand they were sort of puffy-er and had a band that landed right in the middle of the arm, which was quite unflattering! I still don't like the square-neck much but I LOVE the stripes!

With the extra fabric cut from the stripy shirt I decided to decorate an existing white tee. The flowers are made by cutting out stars of various sizes, then just sewing them on. It took FOREVER, and I made a ton of mistakes but I like them all the same :)

This is another shirt I made alterations to. It was a couple sizes too big and had baggy 3/4 sleeves that were unflattering. I took it in and changed the sleeves. Unfortunately I took it in a little too much so I'll have to wait a little to wear it! ha.
I've had a ton of fun! And spent next to nothing. The pants-skirt I already had, the stripy was $1 at a yard sale, I already had the white T, and the polka-dot button-up was I think $3 or $4 at DI! Nice.

Brian's grandma also provided me with material that I am excited to use! I'm really into navy right now so I have some material just waiting to become a skirt! I'm excited to try something from scratch and see how I do!

Random Tip: Lazy Mashed Potatoes

The lazy way to fluffy mashed potatoes:
  1. Peel desired number of spuds (sorry... there's no way out of this one.)
  2. Poke them with a knife or fork. A lot.
  3. Microwave for 5 minutes. Turn over. Repeat.
  4. Chop up into chunks.
  5. Boil until soft enough to mash (this won't take too long thanks to the microwave).
  6. Put in your kitchen aid with milk & butter (if desired). Switch it on. Done!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Khadeeja Mosque

Today Brian & I went to the Islamic Center in West Jordan for Friday prayers. It was really interesting. 

Back home in Peterborough, we have at least two beautiful green and gold mosques. You can see their towers for miles (ok like 2 miles...) and I'd never had a chance to go inside, so I was pretty excited.

Brian is currently taking an "Islam and the Gospel" class at BYU, which is the reason for the trip. Three other girls came too from the class. We women went in a side door, while the men entered in the main entrance. We were up on the top floor, sort of like a balcony, except there was frosted glass so we couldn't see the men unless you got up really close. 

First was the call to prayer. Then a sermon that was in English and Arabic, or at least there was a splattering of Arabic throughout. It was about Salat, a pillar of Islam, meaning prayers and the proper way to approach it. The last part was the most interesting. While the women around us were praying throughout, there was another sort of call I suppose you'd say and everyone went up to the front to pray together. I'm not sure if it was a memorized prayer or not. The only words I recognized were Ibrahim (Abraham) and Allah, as it was also in Arabic. The whole thing lasted about an hour and ten minutes.

Overall a very interesting experience. It was interesting noting that just like LDS people, they had varying attitudes of concentration at their meetings, some were more fashionable than others, and they seemed to be from various nationalities. I was particularly impressed with the level modesty among the women. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Isn't She Lovely?!

Meet the newest member of the Earley's Appliances, the Brother CP6500. We ordered her online at after a nice old lady tried to sell me a similar machine (much more expensive!) at our local fabric store. It is my belated birthday present from Brian, and I love it!

We picked her up LATE last night and so I had to wait til this morning to set her up and get her going. So far I have mended one ripped seam, transformed that stripy shirt I bought at the recent yard sale (it was rather too big for me and had ugly sleeves), and added some cute flowers (that took forever to make) to a previously unexciting white T. I have no formal sewing experience and I am amazed the shirts turned out so well! I'll hopefully get some pics up of the shirts soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Yearful of Learning

Everyone tells you that the first year of marriage will be hard. And they were right, it was. But what they don't tell you is that along with being hard, it is also wonderful and exciting and different and magical, and a lot of other adjectives that are not coming to mind fast enough... It is excellent! Most excellent.

We really have had a ginormous amount of fun, but what stands out in my mind right now are the things I've learned. Learning things is hard too, but definitely worth the difficulty.
  • I have learned a lot about my weaknesses and about Brian's wonderful and longsuffering patience.
  • I have learned I'm not as mature as I thought I was, or would be, in a variety of ways.
  • I put on twenty pounds! (And am only just getting it off...!)
  • I have learned about pain, physical and emotional and spiritual, and have appreciated the plan of salvation as never before. 
  • I have developed an increased sense of respect for womanhood, and for the Lord's Relief Society.
  • I have learned to repent better and talk to Heavenly Father in a more personal way.
I think marriage can be a really refining process, probably due to the fact that you are going from individual mode to oneness. It's one of those necessary sacrifices where you get a whole lot for giving up a little. 

I am sooo grateful for the decisions we made to marry each other, to be sealed! I imagine we have a lot more wonderful and difficult adventures ahead together, and that is just fine.  


Yesterday I cycled to Paul Ream Wilderness Park, where we held our Provo Reception. I hadn't been back since then and lovely memories flooded back:

THAT'S where we cut the cake!
THAT'S where the ducks invaded! 
THAT'S where I threw the bouquet!
...and THAT'S where we let off the lanterns and finally left the party!

It was a really good night and it's been a really good year! Here's to another!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

100 Years of Style, East London Video

Okay, I'm preeeetty sure this will be the last you'll hear from me today, but I just couldn't help sharing this fab video! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Where Children Sleep...

I just stumbled across this post on the NY Times blog. I found it completely fascinating, and made me think about how I want my children to grow up.

This is Kaya, 4yrs old, and her bedroom (right).
see these and more pictures here, and view them in full screen mode if possible.

Yard Sale Treasures!

After my recent confession regarding thrift shopping, I spotted a "multi-family yard sale" happening today! I was pretty excited. So I made Brian get out of bed probably a little earlier than he would've preferred and we headed down. They had sooo many lovely baby and little kid clothes! I wanted to buy them all but reminded myself that it probably wasn't fair to those who actually had kids. Here's what I restricted myself to :)

It consists of:
1 wood and iron elephant coat peg thing
1 pack of supercute animal finger puppet toys
1 stripy sailor style t-shirt
2 cutesy girl's summer dresses (one with matching panties)
1 tutu-style girl's skirt (from Zara kids!) and
1 like-new men's Columbia ski jacket

Everything except the coat peg thingy was $1! (It was 50 cents:) And everything we got is in amazing condition. I don't think the coat was used more than once, and the puppets at all! Total was $6.50 but Brian was so impressed with the quality of the coat that we paid 10! Still a steal of a deal! We also went to one other yard sale this morning and I got a bike! I was so excited. It had a sticker saying "make an offer" and we paid $20 for it. I wanted to pay less but considering it was new in December and only ridden once I felt a bit cheeky. I took it for a ride around Provo today and I love it! Yay for thrift!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My New Addiction...

Over the past 4 months I have developed an irresistible addiction to thrift shopping! I think Brian has caught it too as when someone asked him the other day "What was your favorite thing about the UK?", other than the people his top answer was "Charity shops!"

In every city in the UK there are probably more than half a dozen Charity shops. We probably perused about 50 (at least!) throughout England, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, and Northern Ireland. It was magical. Really. Thrift shopping in the U.S. is definitely fun, but somehow old British stuff appeals to me more than old Utah stuff. I have contrived two possible reasons for this:

  1. "Old British stuff" means junk that is anywhere from months to centuries old, and
  2. Utah people use everything they have until it is virtually unusable. This is thanks to such thrifty leaders as Brigham Young who said "Never let anything go to waste. Be prudent, save everything", which is honestly great counsel for us all, it just makes shopping at DI less interesting.
And so in England it began! Brian and I both had some fantastic finds, I'll have to post pictures. And though DI may not be as exciting as the UK, we've still been able to rustle up some amazing buys. In Idaho Brian found a textbook he'd used last year for $1, it'd been on sale in the bookstore for over $100! I'm so glad because by selling textbooks on Ebay we'll be able to fund my addiction a little longer...!
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