Friday, December 30, 2011

Sewing Update

Well, after completing 5 projects from my online sewing class, I was feeling pretty good about my future in the sewing department. However, at the end of each "class" I would always think, "next time I need to ..." There was always something I could have done better or different. AND THEN!! I took class #6! I am thrilled to announce that it came out exactly how I wanted it to... and the "it" I am referring to is- wait for it- ironing board cover! I know. Exciting stuff. And while it isn't perfect, it is pretty darn close considering I took up this hobby 4 days ago.


The only problem... if something ever needs ironing, I send it to the cleaners or throw it in the dryer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


     Like most women, my mind is constantly at work. Very often, an idea will form in my head, and I will keep this idea going and going as if it were going to happen. Generally, that idea will lead me to Google, my best friend. Google will often determine whether my idea will be pursued or DOA.

     Well, around Thanksgiving, I begin to wander upon several things that I wanted to do- as in crafty things (it's my love/hate relationship with Pinterest). "If only I knew how to sew," I thought to myself. So, I Googled: sewing machines, techniques, classes, learning at home, fabric, needles, supplies, etc.

     Ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to tell you that I am a sewer-in-progress!- is sewer a word? Kyle, God bless him, bought me a sewing machine for Christmas, and since that day, I have been incapable of doing anything else. Thanks to Pinterest, I have found an online sewing class that is rather helpful. My major flaw at this point is that I want to be good at it right now! My typical philosophy in life is that if I am not going to be good at something, I won't do it. I have a feeling that sewing is right up my alley, but I suffer from impatience through the learning process (plus, I want to send about $1000 on fabric this very moment). However, I haven't wanted to cry nor give up... and I think that is a pretty good sign considering I had both of those reactions to previous endeavors (i.e. Calculus/Chemistry/Biology, standing back tucks, student teaching, being an Aggie sports fan, watching the Godfather with Kyle... you get the picture).

     If all else fails with this sewing adventure, I at least learned to sew in a straight line.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Savior is Born

 18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

 20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[c] because he will save his people from their sins.”

 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[d] (which means “God with us”).

Matthew 1:18-23

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Little Women

Being the book nerd that I am, I was completely looking forward to having some relaxing time to read during the holidays. Growing up, I loved watching Little Woman.

The Elizabeth Taylor version....

the cartoon version ...

lil' women
Not sure if this is the version we watched.

and the Winona Ryder version.

I also loved reading this version of Little Woman.

Little Women (Great Illustrated Classics)

And, in recent years, it has been a goal of mine to actually read the unabridged version of the book. To my complete delight, Little Women is a free download for Kindle. I started reading it today, and I must share one of my favorite quotes thus far. I totally related. 

Meg said this about Christmastime:

"'But it does seem so nice to have little suppers and bouquets, and go to parties, and drive home, and read and rest, and not work. It's like other people, you know, and I always envy girls who do such things, I'm so found of luxury,' said Meg."

I loved this quote so much, but I was on the exercise bike while reading it and didn't know how to bookmark on my Kindle. So, I took a picture from my phone. :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Allie and Kyle Christmas Favorites

     This Christmas season has been a busy one for the Schielacks. Thus far we have been to at least 5 work parties between Kyle's work and mine, 2 Christmas shows, a polka, and I predict a couple church services between Kyle's parents and mine. (Throw in my step dad's 60th birthday party and the birth of our precious new niece, Leighton... who both coincidentally now share the same birthday).  I love the busyness of the season. I love the cold weather. I love being around family. I love having 2 weeks off of work. I love the Reason for the season. It all makes me happy.

     Kyle has been particularly cute. He has a particular fondness for plugging in the Christmas tree and bringing home baked goods. He is also adamant about watching as many Christmas movies as possible. I'm not complaining. When we have the luxury to sit down and watch a movie, I'll take it. Just plug in the tree and give me a cookie while we're at it.

     Kyle and I have tried to take full advantage of the holiday season, so I thought it would be fun to ask Kyle some of his personal favorite Christmas things. Side Note: Kyle didn't know I was blogging his answers... oops. :)

Kyle's Christmas Favorites:
Favorite Christmas Song: "Counting the Days" ... from Sesame Street and "Here Comes Santa Claus"

Favorite Christian Christmas Song: "Joy To the World"

Favorite Childhood Christmas Movie: How the Grinch Stole Christmas... the cartoon version

Favorite Christmas Movie: Christmas Vacation

Favorite Childhood Gift: I remember the happiest gift I ever got- a train set. 

Weirdest Gift You Ever Asked For: Underwear?

Favorite Childhood Christmas Memory: Decorating the tree with Lance

Favorite Christmas Tradition: watching Christmas Vacation on Christmas Eve

Favorite "Christmassy Thing": parties

Favorite "Allie and Kyle" Christmas Tradition: "Well, Al you don't really let me partake in much, but cooking food. Also, listening to Christmas music. Doin' whatever we're doin' with Christmas music."

Favorite "Allie and Kyle" Christmas Memory: "Well, it's lame, but finally watching Scrooged together. I had to give you a massage the whole time to keep you awake. I've been tryin' to get you to watch it forever."

Favorite part about the Christmas Story: "Joseph because he was going to be the human father of Jesus. And, he had to trust Mary through all of it." 

As a child, what did you leave out for Santa Claus: "chocolate chip cookies and milk... one year we left eggnog and Santa only took 1 sip"

And while we're at it... my Christmas Favorites:

Favorite Christmas Song: All songs from the Amy Grant Christmas CD and a little Brenda Lee

Favorite Christian Christmas Song: "Away in a Manger"

Favorite Childhood Christmas Movie: The Santa Clause or Home Alone

Favorite Christmas Movie: Elf and Four Christmases

Favorite Childhood Gift: Anything Barbie or for my American Girl Doll

Weirdest Gift You Ever Asked For: in the 3rd grade, I asked for a trashcan, scale, and crutches

Favorite Childhood Christmas Memory: Cliche, but Christmas morning. I loved Santa Claus, and it was always so coincidental that he left the appropriate amount of batteries on the kitchen table for everyone's toys.

Favorite Christmas Tradition: Being with my family on Christmas morning. We sit around and chat. Open stockings, and then we go by the Christmas tree to open gifts....Everyone always sits in the same spot as they did the year before to open presents. Afterwards, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and bacon. 

Favorite "Christmassy Thing": Christmas decorations

Favorite "Allie and Kyle" Christmas Tradition: This is only our second Christmas as "The Schielacks" so not much has evolved. However, I love when Kyle is off work because we get to spend some stress free time together. Pancakes, Starbucks, sweat pants, movies... you know, all my favorite things with my favorite person.

Favorite "Allie and Kyle" Christmas Memory: The first Christmas we had together was in 2007. We had almost been dating a year. I was home for the holidays, but Kyle was staying in College Station. He asked if I could come up because he had something planned for us. I met him at his house and exchanged gifts. He thoughtfully gave me very nice pearl earrings and necklace. I on the other hand gave him a Temper-Pedic pillow. Both good purchases as we still use those gifts, but Kyle gets major credit for his gift to me. After that, Kyle took me to U-paint-it. We picked out a picture frame and painted it in Christmas colors. Later that night he took me to Maddens for dinner, a walk around Downtown Bryan, and then to a park to look at Christmas lights. For a college guy, this was very romantic.

Favorite Part about the Christmas Story: The wise men. Isn't it amazing that a baby could capture the attention of WISE MEN. It's because He was Jesus. 

As a child, what did you leave out for Santa: cookies, milk, celery, and carrots. My sisters and I once left cookies that we had made  in our Easy Bake Oven. Gross! (but, at the time, so delicious)!

While this is all good and fun, remember the true importance of Christmas. If there was not Christmas, there would be no Easter.

Thank you Lord for both.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Christmas Bus

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, I searched Amazon's list of free Kindle books in hopes of finding a Christmas story. I wandered upon one titled The Christmas Bus. It had decent reviews, but I didn't know what to expect from what could be a potentially cheesy Christmas fiction novel. I was pleasantly surprised by this story about a small town called Christmas Valley. The story is about a couple that owns a bed and breakfast and the guest that come to stay during Christmas. I read it in about two hours, so it was a short read. Slightly cheesy yet enjoyable. Christmassy.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bailey's Christmas "Outfits"

     Every day I come home from work, the cutest little bulldog is curled up on my couch. I think I have a million pics of Bailey's sweet, snugly poses, but I thought today wouldn't be a bad day for a little Christmas photo shoot.

     Ladies and gentleman, let me introduce to you Bailey's "everyday" look. Just your classic Christmas colors and a little sparkle. Perfect for lazy days around the apartment.

      Our next look is for more formal holiday occasions. Three red felt flowers accented with red rhinestones makes Bailey the "daintiest" bulldog around. 

And finally, for more whimsical nights, a quality acrylic and polyester reindeer suit complete with antlers and red nose. However, Bailey wasn't really diggin' the outfit and got a little camera shy

Pretending to be asleep.
Posing next to her Christmas gift from me and Kyle
"Hey, I smell something in there that I want."
"Allie, enough is enough."

Look for the Spring 2012 collection soon. :)

... thanks for humoring me.

Christmas Family Tradition

     I love how cozy homes feel during Christmastime. The ambiance of Christmas lights and candles mixed with baked goods and holiday movies... well, you can't go wrong. Last year, I picked up a few decorations at the Nutcracker Market, but we still had one thing that we were missing-Christmas stockings! Right when we got married, if not sooner, I knew exactly what kind of stockings I wanted us to have. Growing up, my mom made all of our stockings. Albeit from a sewing kit, but nonetheless, I looked forward to the time each year when my mom pulled out the box of stockings and perfectly arranged them around the fireplace. Each stocking was perfectly picked out for each of the kids, and every time I look at them I still associate all the stockings with everyone's personality. What's even better is that every time one of us gets married, my mom makes another stocking.

     Well, as I said, I knew the kind of stockings I wanted Kyle and I to have. I wanted to carry on the tradition my mom had started. I went ahead and picked my stocking out first. I had no sewing experience at the time, and I would have felt terrible if I had messed up Kyle's stocking. I did manage to figure the stocking kit out, but it took forever to finish! It is no easy task, and I now appreciate how much time it took for my mom to sew 13 of them!

Stockings at my mom's...

My mom made this when I was in the 3rd grade. I wanted to take it to show and tell, but I thought I would get made fun of for believing in Santa. :0)
Kyle's- Notice... my mom had "Howdy" monogrammed on Santa's shoe. Gig'em.
Little brother's... he's 19, but I remember when my mom was pregnant with him while she was sewing all of these stockings.
Little sister's... again, she's 24.... I guess the May kids are all grown up.
The boss hog... my big brother's stocking
Josh's wife's
My stepdad's... I think this snowman is so cute!
My older sister's... she had a dog named Lucy when my mom made this stocking.
My mom's... the Christmas Queen
If you look closely at the bottom, you can see the scraps of Steven's. My mom is working on his Football Santa stocking. :)

Carrying on the tradition...

My first stocking to sew

And Kyle's... he wanted another beach stocking.

Looking forward to making more... but not for a few more years. :)