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Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

DIY Bridal Party Tanks

Ever since Mr. Hess and I got engaged I knew I wanted to give something special to my bridesmaids for being a part of our wedding day.  At first, it was going to be the shoes they are wearing for their gift, but then it hit me: there’s other things I wanted to give them that just might mean a little more and feel a little more personable…

I was in one of my bridesmaid (Britt)’s wedding last November, and for her Bachelorette Weekend we ordered the cutest Bridal Party Tanks.  I fell in love with the tank style and little ribbon accent of them and decided that THOSE are going to be the bridesmaid shirts I give my girls.

I went online and found a great website for this purpose called www.bridalpartytees.com.  I started from scratch by picking out the tank style, added the colors I wanted & chose the text of what I wanted the shirts to say.  I created the shirt I pictured in my head and figured I would add the bow later on when they came in.  I go to check out and BAM it hits me like a ton of bricks how ridiculously expensive this was going to be!  I mean, I have 9 beautiful bridesmaids…and this “extra” gift to them was something I really, really wanted them to have…but I just couldn’t justify ordering them from this site.

Here we go…back to the drawing board.

A few days go by, and I’m thinking about where I can get the shirts I wanted for the price I can afford and then I had an idea!  DIY (and for those who aren’t familiar with the acronym, DIY means Do It Yourself!) That’s it…all I had to do was buy the tanks, create an image to print on them, and add the bow – seems easy enough, right?

Step 1 was finding the tanks I wanted, and honesty this was not an easy task.  I would find a tank I would love, but it would be either over the price range I wanted or not come in the sizes I needed.  After all I needed 12 of these babies!!!! (9 for my Bridesmaids, 1 for my Flowermaid, 1 for my future sis-in-law who was coming to the party & 1 for me!!!) After going from store to store in the mall, I decided to look online instead and FINALLY found Aeropostale.   Lucky for me, the weekend I placed my order for the bright pink tanks there was a sale going on as well so I got a pretty great deal!

Step one: find the tank top…DONE!

Step 2: Customize an image onto the tank.

To begin, let me just say how awesome our friend Rusty is at graphic design! He is the original creator of our HBSH logo that we have been using everywhere throughout our wedding.  I knew I could go to him to create the perfect logo for each shirt I needed & like always he went ABOVE & BEYOND my expectations!  Here is the original image he sent me:

Pretty cool, huh?

I have said it before and I will say it again: Rusty is an amazing, fun & creative artist.  He has done several projects for both Scott and I along the way of planning our big day and I would recommend him for anyone looking for any kind of custom design work.  Here’s his website for more info: www.est79graphics.com.

Now that we have the shirt and the logos it was time to figure out how to get one on the other.  After calling around and getting ridiculous quotes from printers (each wanted to charge me a separate set-up charge for printing each different logo), I was at a loss of where to go to stay on my budget.  Finally, after a suggestion via twitter, Scott and I were steered to a wonderful t-shirt custom design & printing company called Mother Falcon.

It’s located in Thornton Park in Orlando and they were an absolute delight!  We were pleasantly surprised to find out when we walked into the store that A) They were HUGE Magic fans & had created TONS of funny custom Magic Tee’s I’ve admired at games and B) They wouldn’t charge me any kind of set-up fee for printing t-shirts for me!  YAY! :)  The only thing I was surprised on is that the shirts came back all white instead of the white & green colored logo, but they said that was because the green squiggles were too thin…Oh well!

So I dropped the shirts off and picked them up 2 days later, it was that easy! THANK YOU Mother Falcon!!

So we’ve got the tank, the logo, & a place to print.

After you’ve done all three of these things, the rest is pretty simple.  Here is what I needed to complete the look:

Bridal Party Tank (with logo printed)
Ribbon – preferably without wiring.  I used a bright lime green color that was 1 1/2″ thick.
Measuring Tape – I cut each ribbon 32″

With the exception of the tanks, you can find any of those items above at a craft store like JoAnns, or Michaels.  Once all supplies was in hand, it was time to set each shirt up and tie those big ‘ol lime green bows!  First, I cut each ribbon so that they were all cut long enough and to avoid wasting any ribbon by having to re-cut.  I found 32″ was the perfect length to cut the ribbon so that I could tie the bow onto the tank with ease and trim the ends later.

Next, start tying.  It sounds funny, but after a few fails attempts I figured out the easiest way to tie the darn thing to make it look pretty and sit the right way is actually tying it upside down.

Attach the bow to the tank by first making a knot (like you would when tying a shoelace) and place the first “bunny ear” like the picture above.  Loop the bow around like you’re still tying your shoe and then situate the ribbon to lay with both “tails” facing down towards the shirt.  It takes a minute to make sure the bow is tight enough and in the right position to lay flat, but you’ll get the hang of how to do it once you do the first one or two.

After the bow is attached to the shirt, I cut each end of the “tail” at an angle and burned the edges with the lighter so that the ribbon wouldn’t fray.  This was an old trick I learned when I sewed my own pointe shoes and had to cut the ribbon to fit around my ankles.

Just don’t burn your fingertips! ;)

*TIP: Don’t burn the edges too long, or it will misshape the ribbon or burn it to an ugly brown color.  Simply graze the flame by the entire edge just enough to form a hard rubber like edging.

And, VOILA! There you have it

Your own, customized Bridal Party Tank Tops. 

I agree that the bow is a bit overwhelming for some, but the shirts turned out adorable in pictures! All of my girls LOVED their surprise & I was so happy to have been able to customize and personalize a present for them.  Don’t worry ladies, that is just 1 part of the bridesmaid presents…more to come later.

I had just as much fun doing the gift bags!

I hope this helped anyone who wants to create customized shirts for a group & doesn’t want to spend an arm and a leg to do it.  Like I said, it would have been easier to just order them online, but this was way more fun & cost effective.

I’m pretty proud of how cute they turned out, if I do say so myself & I can’t wait to see them all on my girls again for the BIG DAY!

May 30, 2011

When the Cat’s Away, Mice Will Play

Bachelorettes and vikings? No idea!

Hello, is anyone there? Testing, testing… How does this thing work? I guess I just punch on these little letters, throw them into this electronic box, and it spits them back out at the voyeurs looking in our peephole called a blog? Well, here goes nothing:

As Ms. Presh is off enjoying an estrogen-packed weekend with “the girls,” I have been left at home alone to take care of certain manly duties, such as scooping poop from the cat box and folding thongs. However, being half ninja blood, I took a moment to hack into her computer, also now known as the blog box, and thought I would punch in a few random thoughts to let you know a few extra tidbits about the author of this site, the incomparable Ms. Presh.

Warning: I am about to describe someone very special, so grab a drink and some popcorn (and perhaps some tissue) because this could get long………

And baby, don’t read this… it could get dangerously honest! :)

When I first saw this creature commonly referred to as HB, I watched as she gracefully took over a dance floor, seemingly floating effortlessly with every gliding movement. Then she tripped and fell as she stepped off of it! I told a mutual contact, “I’m going to marry that girl!” (True story.) But my fantasy was promptly smashed as I found out she was taken. I had not even talked to her up to that point. It began with merely a glimpse of this sickly gifted mystery woman that tickled my eye and awakened the butterflies that had long been sleeping within me.

It wasn’t for several weeks that I finally was able to meet and speak my first words with her at a comedy festival, and she challenged me to a joke-off, and hence we wound up quoting lines from famous comedic movies. Are you kidding me? Is this woman for real? Does she know who I am?? 

Who is this eighth wonder of the world, and why God, are you torturing me with this she-devil? … And what is this icky feeling I am getting in my heart?

But as only God would have it, I sat back and waited for Him to play his hidden hand. It wasn’t until months later that the card up his sleeve was revealed — and it turned out to be the Queen of Hearts (or at least of my heart)!!

When describing her, I have always said the same thing: she is one of the few humans I know that EVERYONE loves. It doesn’t matter if it is an old grumpy man who rarely talks to anyone, or even a fickle female who trusts no one of her same gender… everyone adores Ms. Presh! In fact, that is how she got that name, and it didn’t even stem from me originally. We were at a practice with several of her peers when one of her co-workers, lovingly known as Spike, kept repeating, “Ooooh, isn’t she precious?” Well, in fact she is, and from that moment on, the name stuck.

You can’t tell here… but she is more precious than naughty!

It’s actually a little absurd how sweet and… well, precious… she is, and if you know her, you do not need to be reminded. If you don’t know her, picture a cross between Minnie Mouse, Lady Diana, and Jenny McCarthy. The former only because… well, once again, if you know her you do not need an explanation. Truth be told, if you have a problem with Ms. Presh, you should probably take a good, hard look in the mirror, because chances are it’s not her! I know this because whenever we have disagreements, it usually stems from my idiocy, and not the contrary. (I say that now, but if anything changes, I will let you know.)

Seeing her daily growth spiritually, emotionally, mentally… thankfully she never has to worry about physically… is my great honor and my gift in life. Her relationship with her family is unparalleled. Spending time with them is a priority for her, and that is a blessing that I miss out on far too much with my own. Her passion for people (and even animals) is unwaivering. She gives and gives and gives, expecting nothing in return, and actually becomes embarrassed when the attention is turned toward her, although more deserving than most. Her love for life is extraordinary, and when I say extraordinary, I mean “extra ordinary.” She loves living more than the average person and she relishes the moment – every moment. The way she handles conflict and obstacles and drama (I hate that word but it’s out there, especially in her world), I gotta say, I TAKE NOTES from Ms. Presh, the princess of calmness and the champion of resolution.

Sporting her shirt with a motto for life!

But the thing that has captured my heart the most is her budding love for the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords, the creator of the world who is also the creator of my special sweetheart, the one who brought me up from dark places only to find His light, and who delivered Ms. Presh to me in a time when I needed it the most. I have to tell you, when things started getting serious between us, I came to a moment of decision. Did she have the same beliefs as me? Was she willing to walk on the same spiritual plane as I wanted to go? Was I willing to compromise my God for my girl, the one I so desperately loved? The answer to all three was no. The crazy thing is Ms. Presh was a better person than me, and even had a gentler spirit and more passionate soul than me, but still I was conflicted because we were not parallel on the one thing that mattered most.

But let me tell you how big a God I serve: there was no pressure from my end, but only the occasional conversation and a consistent seed of a message planted at the beginning of our budding relationship together. One of the greatest moments of my life was getting to be a hand in Ms. Presh’s commitment and baptism. She is not ashamed! Not only does she love the Lord, but she is a constant reminder of how amazing He is and how rich His blessings are. And now, she often keeps me in check in our daily walk, which happens with a sweet but meaningful punch in the face every now and then, and far too often.

I will admit it here and now, and every other time it pops up: I DO NOT DESERVE THIS WOMAN! People say it all the time, and I will not argue the obvious fact. I am certainly marrying UP! I try not to take things for granted in my life, but this elephant in the middle of the room is staring me down daily as a meek and humble, passionate and driven, consistent and genuine, gorgeous and sleek, petite, blond beauty (sometimes brunette, honey, or ginger, depending on the time of the year). Her deliverance has changed my life. Never has she tried to change me or the way I do things, but because of that, I WANT to change to constantly adapt to be the man of her dreams.

I was not even sure I would marry again. (Yes, I was married before for the newbies reading the blog.) I was slightly jaded and terribly hurt from that experience, and God knows I never saw it coming. I had not dated since junior high, so doing so was a like walking into another country with a backpack and flashlight, but not speaking any of their language. Meeting Ms. Presh removed me from that gross situation, changing my notion and clearing my head. She spoke the language of love, and that is what I needed the most! I have walls that would intimidate most onlookers, driving them away and bleeding them of their patience. But not Ms. Presh – she confronted them gently, taking them down like those of Berlin, with her chisel called love, brick by brick.

I want my kid to be just like her (far left)!!

Shocker alert!! This is going to be a little crazy for some of you out there, but those who really know me today, it will not. I work with kids nearly every day of my life, but seldom did I see myself desiring my own little wolfpack. Ms. Presh is a game changer. I… I… I… I want kids!! Shoot, it’s not too late, right? Hopefully her traits win out so they are beautiful little boogers, running around that look like her, fart like her, act like her, break things like her, dress like her, burn toast like her, talk like her, love like her. Notice I didn’t include my qualities in there… no, no, no… I definitely do NOT want to deal with those kids. (Seriously, please Lord, make them like her!)

And don’t be surprised if that happens in Costa Rica, because we are going to enjoy it to the fullest! She’s going to hate this part, but I warned her not to read due to my diarrhea of the mouth. If she has a baby nine months from our wedding night, don’t any of you go thinking it happened sooner, because that would be impossible – in fact, a miracle. Many of you have heard the whispers, and speculate the rumors, but suffice it to say that what you possibly heard is true. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read between the lines.) And for those of you who know me, you know it truly is a miracle! So look out Costa Rica… land of volcanoes… you have competition. (Sorry Ms. Presh.)

What else can i say? I have said this before, and many of you will probably hear me say it again… I have witnessed some crap in my life – it hasn’t been all roses and champagne. But that is what makes life so amazing, isn’t it! We must experience the bad, in order to appreciate the good. How would I recognize the peaks if I haven’t first found myself in the valleys, how would I know what is warm unless I have first been cold, how could I see the light if I hadn’t first been in the dark?

I love music, so let me explain it to you lyrically with a couple links: Rascal Flatts sang, “God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you…” and I believe that song fits. And similarly, the great lyricist Jason Mraz (how can he not be if he also sings “Geek In The Pink”) explains my above sentiment best in his song, “Life Is Wonderful,” given to me by a great friend several years ago. Check out the link and listen closely to the lyrics… it might take a few times to get it.

Wherever it goes, we’re going together!

Ms. Presh, I don’t know what our world together has in store. I have a feeling we will journey down some rivers of laughter, some trails of tears, some highways of adventure, and possibly some sideroads of misfortune. However, no matter where we venture, I have extreme comfort knowing that you will be traveling to experience it all alongside me.

You simply have to take a glimpse to your side and will find me there – the keeper of your heart, the guardian of your soul, the lover of your life, the leader of your home, your shoulder to lean on, your pillar of strength, the father of your babies, your very best friend. I will never take you for granted. I will never leave you forsaken. I will go to you for guidance. I will accept change. I would die for you, but I will certainly die with you.

I LOVE you.

Wow, I’m a mushy mess! But who can blame me? Let’s get on with it already…

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