Monday, July 30, 2012

popping the question

This past weekend Austin and I asked twelve of our closest pals to stand up with us on our big day as our bridesmaids and groomsmen.  Because 1) we are living in the Pinterest era and 2) I enjoy being crafty, we decided to give the BMs and GMs a little something when we popped the big question.  

Here's a mini-tutorial on how I made the gifts...

For the girls, I decided to make a little poem placard that could hang on a bottle of wine.  The first thing you need to do is gather your materials.  Oh, and don't forget to wrangle up your sister's puppy to help you whilst you gather!

For 6-8 Bridesmaids, I used:
-Two 8.5 X 11 sheets of computer paper (whatever color you would like, but I chose off white)
-Two sheets of big scrapbook paper (again whatever design strikes your fancy)
-A paper cutter (or scissors)
-Corner Cropper (optional)
-Something small and circular to trace (it should be a little bit bigger than a quarter, or whatever size will fit over your bottles of wine)
-Scrapbook glue
-A pen 
-Miscellaneous decorations (I chose some pressed rose petals and heart stickers) 

Alright, after I got everything all set up and ready to go, the next thing I did was type up the poems, print them out, and then cut them into rectangles.         

You get extra bride cool points for crafting on a wedding magazine :)

The wording I chose goes like this:

(Name of bridesmaid)

On the day that I'm to be a bride,
It would mean the world
To have you sipping by my side.

I've got my man, but I still need my girls!

Be my Bridesmaid?


The next step is to cut out your background paper.  This is kind of a guessing game.  I took one of my poem rectangles, placed it on the patterned scrapbook paper, and then made little marks where I wanted to cut.  From there, I used my paper cutter to get everybody into rectangle shape.  I also used this fancy corner cropper thing I have to make the edges round, but you could definitely omit this step.

Next, you'll want to trace your circles.  Measure to find the center of your background rectangle, and then trace your circle ON THE BACK using a pen.

From there, cut that circle out!  Also, make sure you make a little slit at the top so that you can hang it on the bottle of wine.  At this point, it should look like one of those "do not disturb" signs that you stick outside your hotel room.

Holey Moley
Once you have all of the circles cut out, the next couple of steps are pretty simple.  You'll want to glue on your decorations...

I used a mixture of scrapbook glue and a glue stick to get those petals to stick.

...then glue on your poem rectangle using the scrapbook glue.

Finally, I added on my little heart sticker:

Here are my finished products: 

Ok phew, we made it!  

Now for the tutorial on how I made the boys' presents.

Step one: tie a ribbon around a bottle of your groom's favorite whiskey.

Viola!  :)

 Here are our matron of honor and best man showing off their presents:

My older sister, Erin!

Austin's bestie/college roomie, Blake!
I'm working on a special meet the maids and men post to highlight our entire wedding party, but for now here's a quick peek my girls and Austin's boys.

Erin "Fox" Westbrook: my matron of honor/sister/friend
Kathryn "KK" Dianiska: ones of my besties from high school dance team
Rebecca "Gabe" Gabriel: one of my besties from high school dance team/college roomie 
Ashlyn Flurry: my best friend from college/freshman year suitemate
Katie Polivka: my oldest, bestest friend that I met at my old dance studio
Kaitlin "Kaway" Whelan: one of my besties from high school dance team

Blake Whitlow: Austin's best friend and college roommate
Zac "Satch" Sims: one of Austin's best friends from college/Fish Camp that lives here in Dallas
Jeremy Staska: one of Austin's oldest/best friends
Caesar Vallejo: one of Austin's old friends from La Porte that lives here in Dallas 
Collin Veitenheimer: Austin's former boss and current friend that lives here in Dallas 
Kyle Wilkerson: one of Austin's oldest/best friends

Friday, July 27, 2012

sytycd: from 16 to 14

We started the night out with 16 dancers dressed up like Charlie Chaplin.  Tyce Diorio choreographed the routine, and I enjoyed it for the most part.  I did not like that I can’t get the image of Amelia wearing a mustache out of my head, but I did like the movement!  Very different, but very whimsical.

After the opening number, Cat introduced Nigel, Mary, and guest judge Christina Applegate.  She also told us that 2 more people were going home and that the show won’t be on for two whole weeks because of the Olympics…boo!  I mean, I’m super pumped for the games, but I will miss me some SYTYCD!

Tiffany and George were up first with a NappyTabs Hip Hop routine.  Whoa!  I loved this dance…it was cheesy and loud, but it a really fun way.  I thought the costumes and set were really great too.  Excellent way to kick off the show!

Cute Cute Cute!
The next couple was a new duo, Amber and Brandon, and they did a Jazz routine.  I have to say, Brandon is a much better partner for Amber than Nick was.  I still am not the biggest fan of Amber, but I did enjoy this number.  Maybe a liiiiiittle racy for television (like Nigel said, “baby making choreography" haha), but still great to watch!

Dareian and Janelle were up next with a Cha Cha choreographed by SYTYCD alum, Pasha! I love Pasha, but really?  You’re going to tarnish my favorite summer jam by letting Janelle dance to it?  The routine sucked.  I loved the judges comments though…they really let them have it.  Oh, and we also learned that Janelle can “rap”.  She gives me a new reason to hate her each and every week. 

Something tells me that Carly would not call to vote for Janelle.  Maybe.
Cole and Lindsay did a Contemporary dance next.  Mandy Moore (not the actress) is one of my favorite choreographers on this show, and she did not disappoint!  There were a few little hiccups throughout the routine, but it had a wonderful spirit overall. I love that Lindsay is a ballroom dancer that can actually do other types of dance!

The next dance was another Mandy Moore number!  This time it was a Jazz routine with Amelia and Will, and I thought Mandy was 2 for 2.  The number was so interesting and quirky, and I really enjoyed it.  I was kind of nervous that Will’s pants were going to rip, but other than that I was diggin’ it!

Watch those pantaloons, brotha... 
My favorite couple was up next!  Matthew and Audrey did a Salsa (yucky…I don’t like ballroom!!), and they were decked out in red red red.  I don’t know a whole lot about ballroom, so I can’t really discuss their technique, but I thought the chemistry and partnering between them was pretty good.  I could definitely tell that they were both nervous about doing Salsa, and the music was so weird!  Hopefully these two will be safe next week!

Perfect Couple Award :)
Chehon and Whitney took on a Stacey Tookey Contemporary routine next.  WOWZA!! Loved loved loved it!  If you didn’t watch on Wednesday night, you have to youtube this dance right now.  It was definitely one of my favorites from this season so far.   

Cyrus and Eliana were the last couple of the night.  They did a NappyTabs Hip Hop, and I thought it was such a cool, creative number!  I have to agree with what Austin (isn’t he the best fiancé ever to watch SYTYCD with me!?) said about it though: “Cyrus is so good that it makes Eliana look bad”. 

Sweet face, Eliana.
Ok.  Dancing over.  Business time. 

The bottom three girls were Amber (thank goodness), Lindsay, and Eliana (YES!).  The boys were George (BOO), Brandon, and Dareian (goody).  The judges decided they wanted to see a solo from Amber, Eliana, Brandon and Dareian.  The judges ended up saving Lindsay and Georgie Boy which made me happy happy, but they also saved Eliana and Dareian.  Why?!  Dareian couldn't point his feet if his life depended on it, and Eliana is quite possibly the most annoying contestant I've ever seen (Besides Comfort.  And Janelle.  And Joshua.  And Benji). Oh well, at least Amber is gone.  

Here are my quick stats:

Favorite boy right now: Matthew  

Favorite girl right now: Audrey

Boy I hope goes home: Dareian

Girl I hope goes home: JANELLE  

Best dance of the night: Whitney and Chehon's Contemporary!! Soooo gooooooood!

Worst dance of the night: Dareian and Janelle's Cha Cha...can these two please go home?

SYTYCD Flashback for the week:

This is a NappyTabs Hip Hop from season 4, and there are so many things I love about this dance!!

1) The story isn't cheesy!
2) Chelsea is a ballroom dancer that can actually do other forms of dance!
3) You get a close up of Mark's crooked pinky finger!
4) Both of these dancers look AWESOME in this routine!

I'll see ya after the Olympics for what's sure to be a great show (since they have lots of extra time to prepare)!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

project 365 vol. 28

Sunday July 15, 2012
Well, it looks like we started the week off right, huh?  That yummy bleu cheese bacon burger is from Snuffer's, a burger place right by our casa, that we went to for dinner last Sunday.  The food (especially the cheese fries!!) was great, but our service was stinky!    

Monday July 16, 2012
I taught ballet classes all night last Monday.  It felt refreshing to strap on my ballet slippers for awhile and impart my wisdom on some baby ballerinas.

Tuesday July 17, 2012
Remember that cucumber water I showed y'all a few weeks ago?  Well I found something I like even better!  Fill up your water pitcher, throw in a cinnamon stick, and add in a chopped apple.  Let that steep overnight and bada boom...delicious water!  Also, you can reuse the apples/cinnamon stick three times before you throw it away!  Thank you Pinterest!

Wednesday July 18, 2012
I'm still in mourning from the results of SYTYCD last Wednesday.  Alexa, my favorite contestant, got kicked off :(  Come baaaaaaack Alexa!

Thursday July 19, 2012
I bought myself this pretty wedding planner recently, and I cracked it open last Thursday just to browse around.  I haven't started to get in super planner mode yet, but I really like looking over things like this and getting my brain prepared for what's ahead :)

Friday July 20, 2012
I got a special delivery last Friday!  My sister and her hubby went on a little vacation, so I got to hang out with their puppy dog all weekend.  Riley is so cute, and she is also an excellent snuggle buddy!  Oh, and she will sometimes pose for me...I think she knows I'm a blogger and that if she played her cards right, she could end up on one of my posts.

Saturday July 21, 2012 (not April 21...I guess they had a typo oops!)
I went to a little job fair on Saturday.  It was busy, crowded, hot, stressful, and exciting!  It was nice to actually sit down and get to talk to people that are hiring instead of just hitting "send" on an online application and praying that someone will contact you about a position.  I scored an interview and talked to a couple of principals that seemed like they were somewhat interested, so hopefully something good will come out of it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

sytycd recap: from 20 to 16

**Warning: I am not happy about the results from Wednesday night.  So, sorry if the following post is snippy.

The show started out with a big group number to a remixed Marilyn Manson song choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.  I thought the beginning with half-human half-skull Cyrus was a little strange, but the actual dance was siiiiiiick (that's my attempt at "talking street").  The movement was so powerful!  Loved it. 

Cat gave us a quick run-down of how the evening was going to work (results at the end of the show, 6 dancers will be in the bottom, the judges will save their favorite 2), and then they talked about stamps and tomatoes. 

The first couple was Lindsay (ballroom) and Cole (Karate Kid).  They did a Christopher Scott Hip Hop.  Again…I don’t understand the stories!  It was a cool routine, but that big dentist chair was too much for me.  Also, can anyone explain to me why Cole was still in his “nerd” character while the judges were giving critiques?  What a weirdo.   

Amelia (Contemporary) and Will (Contemporary) were next up with a Sonya Contemporary routine.  I love this new Sonya!! Softer, not as creepy, still quirky but in a beautiful way! 

Amber (Contemporary) and Nick (Ballroom) did a Tango next.  It is so obvious to me that these two are really not too thrilled to be partners.  They have like zero chemistry, but the judges liked it, so what do I know?

The next routine was another one by Sonya.  We got to see a shirtless Matthew (Contemporary) and Audrey (Jazz) do a more traditional Sonya Jazz.  The choreography was so cool, and Audrey’s legs are just ridiculous.  It was a great routine.  Super powerful.  I just love this couple too!!

The fifth couple to take the floor was Janelle (Bellydancer) and Dareian (Contemporary).  They did a Hip Hop(?) to “My Girl” by The Temptations, and in the end Dareian proposed!  I think I would’ve liked this routine a lot if two other dancers would’ve done it instead of Janelle and Dareian.  I just don’t really like this pairing…probably because I don’t really like Janelle.

A Broadway dance was next up!  Janaya (Contemporary) and Brandon (Stepper) did a great job!  This is one instance where I do not mind a cheesy story.  I thought both of the dancers did an awesome job getting into character and dancing.  There was also a crazy lift flippy thing at the end that made my eyeballs go wide.  Super fun and super cute! 

Next, Eliana (Ballet) and Cyrus (Annimator) attempted a Jive.  Cyrus gave it his best effort, and it was kind of meh.  BUT he was wearing a really big belt buckle, so it was ok.  Eliana did a good job, but she still annoys me.     

Alexa (Contemporary) and Daniel (Ballet) were up next, and they did a Contemporary!  Eeeep!  I died.  The bathtub was a really great prop, and I loved the costuming.  Alexa’s hair was my favorite part.  The judges kept talking about how something was missing, and I guess I kiiind of agree.  Only kind of though.  The dancing was perfect, but I wish that there would have been more dynamics and maybe a big moment in the choreography.   

The next couple, George (Contemporary) and Tiffany (Jazz), did a Foxtrot.  I think Foxtrot is my favorite style of the “Ballroom” genre.  I love how old fashioned and classy it is.  I also love this couple.  I thought they were magical.

The last couple of the night was Witney (Ballroom) and Chehon (Ballet), and they did my least favorite style of dance ever, Baliwood.  Puke.  I really wish that SYTYCD would just get rid of this style because I’m pretty sure all of the dancers dread doing it on the show.  I thought that Chehon looked like a real-life Aladdin up there though, so that was entertaining. 

After all of the dancing was over, it was time to get down to business.  Cat announced, very abruptly, that Witney, Alexa, and Janaya were the bottom three girls.  Nick, Daniel, and Chehon were the bottom three boys.  I almost kicked the TV! Daniel and Alexa in the bottom?!?!?!!  What is going on here?      

While we were waiting on the final results, the cast of Step Up 4 performed.  Their routine was awesome!  I’ve never seen any of the Step Up movies, but that performance kind of peaked my interest…

After a commercial break we found out that the judges wanted to save Whitney and Chehon.  That meant that Alexa, Janaya, Nick, and Daniel were going home.  BOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am SO heated.  How is Alexa, a fabulous dancer, going home over that dumb Bellydancing girl?!  Why did Daniel get sent home and I have to watch Karate Kid dance again next week?  It’s gonna take me awhile to get over this one.

Alright, here’s my quick rundown:

Favorite boy right now: Matthew

Favorite girl right now: (since my old favorite got voted off!) Audrey

Boy I hope goes home: Cole

Girl I hope goes home: Janelle

Best dance of the night:  Alexa and Daniel’s Contemporary (Janaya and Brandon’s Broadway was a close second)

Worst dance of the night: Eliana and Cyrus’s Jive

SYTYCD Flashback of the week:

Since we didn't get to see any Travis Wall routines on the show this week, I thought I'd bring one here! This is from the season when they brought in some all stars to help out the top 10 contestants.  Travis choreographed this dance with his mom in mind (she was sick with cancer at the time).  Robert is supposed to be Travis and Allison is his mom.  Love it!  

...Here's to hoping that more of my favorites don't get the boot next week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

project 365 vol. 27

Sunday July 8, 2012
On Sunday of last week we went to the pool and ate popsicles.  Summertime: sun, pool, popsicles.  Go figure.  Oh and by the way, if you've never tried Blue Bell's strawberry fruit bars, you should!

Monday July 9, 2012
Austin and I got this card in the mail from his grandparents last Monday.  Getting mail that isn't bills or junk is always fun, so getting mail about our engagement was just the best!

Tuesday July 10, 2012
I got some new kicks last week, and I wore them for the first time on Tuesday while I taught my dance classes.  I hadn't gotten a new pair of tennis shoes since about my freshman year in college, so I think it was time for something new.  Aaaaaand they're blue with accents of hot pink!  Pretty!

Wednesday July 11, 2012
I started going to the gym around here recently.  On Wednesday I tried out the stationary bike thing.  I think I'd rather do the treadmill than this though because I don't even feel like I'm doing anything when I'm on the bike.  Maybe I just have legs of steel...

Thursday July 12, 2012
On Thursday I received something else in the mail that I was very excited about!  It came from my aunt and uncle, and it's basically like a little scrapbook for the bride to be to keep track of all of her wedding planning memories.  I love it, and I can't wait to start scrappin' away and filling everything out!

Friday July 13, 2012
Last Friday was date night!  We watched 21 Jump Street and ate two different types of tortellini.  I had basil and parmesan, and Austin ate the regular kind with marinara sauce.  21 Jump Street was hilarious.  I don't know why I waited so long to watch it.  

Saturday July 14, 2012
Saturday was a lot of fun.  We spent the majority of the day by the pool, and then we went to one of our favorite Dallas spots, Bryan Street Tavern, for dinner.  They have a wonderfully long beer list that includes one of my favorites: Strongbow.  Yummmm yum!

Friday, July 13, 2012

sytycd recap: top 20

Alright, so I've decided to start doing a post every week to recap/pay tribute to my favorite TV show of all time: So You Think You Can Dance!!

This week it was the Top 20!

The show started with all of the contestants doing a lyrical hip hop routine choreographed by Christopher Scott.  I thought it was super original and really well choreographed.  Very interesting to watch.  Very Mad Men-esque.  I also love how Alexa is always in the front of every group routine.  She should be in the front, and so I’m glad she is!

After the dance, Cat came out rockin’ some super tan legs and introduced the judges: Nigel, Mary, and guest judge Kenny Ortega.  Nigel announced that two boys and two girls will be getting the boot next week.  Dun dun dunnnn. 
The first couple to dance was Chehon (Ballet) and Whitney (Ballroom), and they did a little Latino routine.  Lucky Whitney.  As expected, Chehon was a little stiff thanks to his “ballerino” background, but the dance was still pretty good.  It was a cute way to start the show, but I couldn’t remember much of it by the end of the show.    

Tiffany (Jazz) and George (Contemporary) were next.  I LOVE this partnership, and I really liked their routine.  I was surprised to see Sonja do contemporary, but it was some great choreography.

The third couple was Janaya (Contemporary) and Brandon (Stepper), and they did a NappyTabs Hip Hop routine about an alcoholic man and his significant other.  In the end, Brandon chose Janaya over the hard stuff, and they lived happily ever after.  I honestly don’t understand why there always has to be such an elaborate back-story behind all of the NappyTabs routines.  I loved the movement, but I don’t think it needed the water-bottle-in-a-paper-bag-disguised-to-look-like-some-hooch prop. 

See the goofy prop?
Alexa (Contemporary) and Daniel (Ballet) were up next, and they did a little Jazzy Jazz dance.  I thought it was a cool routine, and I loved the ending on the big ol’ prop!  

The next couple was Amber (Contemporary) and Nick (Ballroom).  This was a really weird pairing for me for a number of reasons.  1) I don’t really like Amber 2) They did a Viennese Waltz ßborrrriinnggg 3) They danced to “Knights in White Satin” which is one of the songs that I had to dance to in high school during the band/dance team halftime show and 4) The shoes that Amber was wearing were not doing her any favors in terms of pointing her feet.

Amelia (Contemporary) and Will (Contemporary) were up next, and they did another NappyTabs Hip Hop routine.  I thought this routine was supa great.  It looks like NappyTabs have been taking some cues from Mr. Bob Fosse.  The thing is, is that I really don’t know how I feel about Amelia.  Thank goodness they put some black tights over those legs of hers (she is mega pale), but I think she still looks/acts kind of like a goof.  I think I could take her or leave her.  Will, on the other hand, I love!  So cute!

I'm blind! 
The next couple was Janelle (Bellydancer) and Dareian (Contemporary), and they did an African Jazz dance.  In the video before they actually danced, Janelle got hurt (AGAIN).  Get it together woman!  She had to sit out last week because she was injured, and her first rehearsal back she hurt her stomach (?).  She annoys me.  I do like Dareian, but I wish that he had better feet!!

Eliana (Ballet) and Cyrus (Animator) took on a Broadway routine next, and even though I despise Eliana, I still liked the dance.  I could definitely tell that Tyce watered down the dance for Cyrus, but I reallllllly like him, so I don’t care.

Audrey (Jazz) and Matthew (Contemporary) did a Travis Wall dance next.  WOW WOW WOW!!! I love when Travis choreographs for this show!  And to top it all off, Travis put the guy who looks like Ryan Gosling in suspenders and created a dance based on one of the best movies ever: Titanic.  I was sitting alone in my apartment squealing with joy on this one.  Way to go Trav, Audrey, and Matthew!

The last couple of the night was Lindsay (Ballroom) and Cole (Karate Kid), and they did a Paso Doble.  If you don’t know, a Paso Doble is basically just a super intense and dramatic Latin dance.  I usually don’t enjoy them, and this one was no exception.  However, I do really like Lindsay…she’s one of the few ballroom dancers on any season of SYTYCD that I actually like to watch!

Alright, so here are my quick thoughts:

Favorite boy right now: George

Favorite girl right now: Alexa

Girls I hope go home: Amber and Janelle

Boys I hope go home: Cole (this is not SYTYC Karate Chop) and Nick

Best dance of the night: Audrey and Matthew’s Contemporary Titanic tribute!!!

Worst dance of the night: Amber and Nick’s Viennese Waltz

Aaaaaand the SYTYCD throwback for this week:

Kameron and Lacey doing a Mia Michaels Contemporary back in Season 3!  I love this routine.  Oh, and fun fact about the barefoot ballerina:  I met Kameron a few years ago!

Until next week guys!  Na Na Na Naaaa....SYTYCD D D D!