Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dabbling in Crochet

When winter comes, I tend to prefer to stay out of the basement (which is where my sewing machine is), because it's either freeeeeezing cold down there, or super dry because of the heater. But I still itch to do crafting, so I decided to crochet some hats! :)

There are 4 kids that hold a really special place in my heart. And they were all born in December, so I made each of them a hat for their birthday.

First I started with baby Brendan's hat. I used this Newborn Ballcap Pattern, and it worked super duper easy! To make it look more like a newsboy cap than a baseball cap, I added a double-crochet band with buttons to the front above the bill.

 Then I thought for Trenor, that it would be cute to make him a matching hat with Brendan's because he was SO excited to have a brother! I used the same pattern, and just added a few rows.


Bella's hat I knew had to have pink in it, and be "princess-y". So I went with a beret style hat, that was white and pink, and then added a brown ruffle-y ribbon around it to tie it into the boys' hats. I used this pattern for Bella's hat.

And finally, Amber-girl. Amber LOVES animals, and especially "doggies". Whenever we skype them, she gets so excited to see my dog (more excited than to see us!), so I thought it would be fun to make her a puppy-dog hat! I used this "Patchy Puppy Dog Beanie" pattern.

 

Crocheting isn't my forte, and these projects were super easy, but I was happy with the results! :)
I promise I'll have a sewing post up soon, but please bear with me as I post the "other stuff I do" in the meantime! :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Once upon a time.... I went to Broadway

.....

wait. WHAT?!?!

Yep. I probably sound like a country hick... you'd think it wouldn't be that big of a deal... after all, Chicago isn't that far away from me! :) But going to New York City was a magical experience!

This was my 20th birthday gift from my parents. They knew that I was pretty much obsessed with this musical ever since I first saw the Tony Awards video. First I was obsessed with the costumes, then I got obsessed with Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana, and then just got obsessed with Cinderella in general. I've always liked Cinderella, I loved watching the version with Brandy and Whitney Houston growing up (as in, I wanted to watch it at least once a week!), but hearing Laura Osnes sing the songs made them so much more magical and beautiful and sweet!

So that's what they gave me! A two day trip to New York City and tickets to see Cinderella on Broadway!

(Can someone say... best birthday gift ever??) :)

We planned to go on the 21st, and after we got all the tickets we found out that most of the leads in the cast were performing their last night on the 26th! Phew, what a relief!! :)

BUT.... most of you know.... the 21st was that major snow storm out in NY! We were at the airport all morning trying to get on a flight out there, but EVERYTHING got cancelled! The people at the airport were super nice, and did everything they could to get us on flights (at one point we were actually on a plane ready to take off, when it got cancelled), but planes don't fly through huge storms, even if you have tickets to a Broadway show! :)
Needless to say, I was horribly disappointed. I had been SO looking forward to this trip, and it looked like it was gone to pieces.

That was a crazy crazy morning.

But my mother spent the entire afternoon on the phone to get our tickets switched to the 23rd instead, and she was successful! And not only that, but the non-refundable hotel gave us a refund, the airlines gave us back our miles, and the new hotel that we got was even cheaper and closer to the theater than the original one! The Lord is so good to us - He always throws in more blessings!!

Thursday morning saw us up at 3:45am to hop on a plane and make our way (finally!!!) to New York!!

 Freshened up after the plane ride and ready to hit the city!!! (and Dad has two sets of teeth....)

And I'm excited.... just a wee bit....
er, ok, A LOT!

(most of the photos were taken with our phone, fyi)
First stop... Times Square!

And then... getting ready for the show!!!!!

On our way to dinner, we ran into Ann Harada, who plays Charlotte, one of the stepsisters! So we stopped her and took a photo! :) It made me even more excited than I already was... which is saying a lot. :)


"A lovely night, a lovely night,
A finer night you know you'll never see."
^I did a happy dance when I first saw this^

Cinderella was more amazing than I ever dreamed it could be! The theater itself was pretty small - smaller than I expected, so I wasn't quite sure if it would live up to my hopes when we first walked into the theater, but it did mean that we had better seats than I thought we would! But then the music started, and I went in the clouds!  

The sets were incredible and switched scenes seamlessly! From the forest, to the outside of the cottage, to the inside of the cottage, to the inside of the palace, to the outside of the palace, to the town, to the wedding scene.... I was blown away! Here's the promotional video to give you a little taste of it! :) It doesn't do it justice! :)



 Inside the theater!

 During the intermission we took some photos on the staircase. For those wondering... no, I didn't make my dress. 


Dress: Eshakti
Clutch: Charming Charlies
Wrap: don't remember
Shoes: ModCloth
Braclet: Eshakti
Belt: Kohls

Yep, I like store bought outfits too. I don't sew everything! :)

Mirror shot!

Cinderella's glass slippers. *drooling*

For those interested in reading the sign. 5,000 Swarovski crystals. Yes, oh please, yes.

After the show, we stood in line in the freeeezing cold to get autographs and pictures with the leads! 
Victoria Clark, the Fairy Godmother!

Santino Fontana, the Prince! He was so great in this role! He added so much character to it... usually when I think of the prince in Cinderella he kind of comes across as spineless, boring, and dumb. But Santino's version was so comical, loveable, and adorable! :)
(for those who don't know, Santino Fontana also is the voice of Prince Hans in the new Disney animated movie "Frozen").

Aaaaaaannnnndddd... there she is! Laura Osnes! The best Cinderella ever! She sings with so much enthusiasm, and just captures the role! So so so glad we got to see her!

Cinderella had glass slippers... I had gold ones! :)

"You say goodbye, away you fly, but on your lips you keep a kiss, all your life you'll dream of this lovely, lovely night."

The next day we took the subway over to the Stanton Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty,
and......

The Twin Towers 9/11 Memorial.

Then back up the subway for lunch at a neat upscale restaurant called "Robert"...
I felt so classy! :)

 It had a grand piano in the restaurant... which means it scores big point in my estimation. :)

Oreo cheesecake with some sort of fruity jelly stuff. (real descriptive, I know.) It was delicious!!
The restaurant is 9 stories up, and provides a view of...

.... Central Park!

Next we popped over to the Metropolitan Opera House. Given that I sing a lot of opera, it was a really neat stop, even though we didn't take any tours! Still, now I can say I've been to the Met! :)

Julliard School is located right by the Met.... so look! I've been to Julliard School. Now I have an easy answer to the question "What college did you go to?" :P

 Central Park has so many neat stone bridges. I loved this one!

We cut through Central Park to go to 5th Avenue. It was so calming to stroll through the park after the craziness of the city streets! Like a little bit of country side in the middle of the city! We were thankful that the sun was shining so bright that it made it feel almost warm! (emphasis on "almost")

You can see some ice-skaters in the bottom of this picture. This is the one of the views from Central Park! Such a beautiful city!

And our final walk in the city... down 5th Avenue, then back up Broadway to our hotel, then back to the airport as the sun set...

Goodbye, New York. I loved every second of you!

So that was my trip to New York. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for such a fabulous birthday gift! It meant the world to me! :)

"...and I like it so well, that for all I can tell, I may never come down to earth again...."
 

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