Monday, February 9, 2015

A Minimalist's Approach to Revamping a Pair of Wedding Shoes

I talk frequently about letting things go as a part of my journey into minimalism. I whittled down my closet to the essentials, and even during my pregnancy, I lucked out by scoring some maternity pants from a coworker. When we moved from Austin to Houston, I packed up several boxes of items, including many pairs of shoes. While living with Kendan's cousin for nearly a year, only a few pairs made it into the closet of a spare bedroom we were renting.

When we bought our house, I couldn't wait to unpack and give away more donations to Goodwill. I know that sounds kind of odd, but we hadn't used anything in the boxes for nearly a year, as they had been stacked in my parents garage, rearranged dozens of times and remained unopened. I finally found the box labeled "Kelsey's Shoes" and knew which ones I had wanted to keep.

I pulled out my wedding shoes and tossed them in the keep pile. After much debate, I decided to revamp my wedding shoes. I found the Houston Shoe Hospital and dropped them over the next day for a total makeover. The dingy creme-colored pair of shoes were slightly dirty from my bridal photography session (by an amazing photographer—Sassani Photography), and the handful of times I had worn them since then. When I picked them up a few weeks later, I was absolutely stunned at how they turned out.

There are now only five pairs remaining out of the nearly dozen or so pairs I had accumulated over the years, which include
  • one pair of black flats
  • one pair of tennis shoes
  • one pair of flip flops
  • one pair of silver heels
  • one pair of black (wedding) shoes
My point is this: Don't let go of something that means so much to you. For me, keeping this one pair of shoes and revamping them as my only pair of black heels was important to me. I donated my other pair, as I only need one black pair of heels. Invest in a high-quality piece of clothing or item that makes you happy, and be OK with that! I can't wait to rock these new heels, but I'm currently nearing 9 months of pregnancy, so we'll have to wait a few more weeks. 

Check out my before and after photos below!

Photo Credit | Sassani Photography
Photo Credit | Sassani Photography

Friday, February 6, 2015

5 Benefits of a Vegan Pregnancy

Once of my concerns when I announced my pregnancy was how others would take to my veganism. I had already been vegan for two and half years, and I had not intention of going back to my omnivorous way when I found out I was expecting. I had just read Skinny Bitch: Bun in The Oven and knew I was going to stay vegan. Here are some benefits that I found to my plant-based pregnancy.

1. I didn't have to worry about what not to eat in the prohibited food list. Shellfish? Not a problem. Here's a list of items you shouldn't eat, all of which are excluded from a plant-based diet: (Source: WebMD)

  • Hot dogs
  • Luncheon meats
  • Unpasteurized dairy foods
  • Rare meat
  • Raw oysters 
  • Clams
  • Sushi (Although I did eat lots and lots of avocado sushi rolls!)
  • Unpasteurized eggs
  • Raw cookie or cake dough
  • Homemade eggnog
  • Large fish (such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel)
2. Meeting my requirements for nutrients isn't that hard. I tried to eat a pretty balanced meal and didn't have to face too much criticism about my choices.

3. Cooking isn't hard either. I opted for lots of veggies and rice. Although I wasn't perfect by any means, I usually brought my lunch to work and drank a smoothie on my way there. Dinner was no different than before I became pregnant.

4. My diet has saved me from gaining too fast. I did have an embarrassing appointment with the midwife where she gave me "the talk" about juices. I had no idea how much sugar was in a teeny tiny can of pineapple juice and I was chugging it for a few weeks there. That's when I gained 7 lbs. in one month. Otherwise, it was pretty steady.

5. People actually applauded my veganism during pregnancy. No one that I knew was overly concerned that I wasn't getting the nutrients I needed or that my lack of dairy would equal missed calcium for my baby and I. Luckily, I'm surrounded by super supportive people who all understand why I went vegan in the first place.

Monday, February 2, 2015

DIY Sewing Ribbon on Burp Cloths

As many of you may already know, we're expecting our first baby in about four weeks! Several years ago I purchased a pack of plain white burp cloths with the intention of adding some ribbon to them as a gift. I never made the time to do this, and instead stashed them away in a box labeled "Baby" for our future first born. Now that I'll be a mommy soon, I finally bought some ribbon with the intention of using them myself.

If you suck at sewing, then this is the perfect project for you! I can barely sew a straight line (and these admittedly aren't perfect), but they'll be covered in spit up, so I wasn't going for perfection here. I'll just jump right in and you can check out the photos for a more detailed view.

Items you'll need
One pack of burp cloths
3 spools of 9-ft ribbon
Sewing machine

1. Choose a ribbon and measure from end-to-end on the burp cloth. Leave about 1/2-in on the top and bottom.
2. Pin to the burp cloth and use the trifold creases as your guide. I wanted mine to be on the edge if it was folded, and I achieved this easily by eyeballing it.
3. Start with your short end of the ribbon and stitch back and forth a few times to secure it really well.
4. Sew along the sides of the ribbon and again, backstitch for durability on the short end of the ribbon.
5. Trim the excess ribbon from the top and bottom of the burp cloth.