March 2020 Sewing Plans

Hey Sweeties,

The boys and I are going to be on St. Thomas for the majority of March, but I still want to do some sewing.

I have 5 projects that I have promised myself this month and then a few other random projects that I would love to make but they can wait.

Most of my plans for the month are utility, things to decorate the boys’ bedroom.

TN

 

First things first, I want to make a traveler’s notebook for my Costume College projects.  I am really inspired by this one from Pinterest.  I want two rows of front pockets, one row side facing one row top facing, two back pockets, one side facing, one top facing and a reinforced decorative spine.

 

 

Bins

 

Organizer

I’m decorating the boys’ bedroom in a superhero theme and I want to make some collapsible storage cubes to hold their toys and books.  I’m inspired these available on Etsy, but I’ll be making my own.  And, I want to make hanging clothes organizers for their closet.

In another post I mentioned I’m going to Costume College this year and I MUST start working on my costumes if I’m going to have any in time.  I’m still not telling who or when but I do have to do the undergarments before I can start working on the gown for the Red Carpet.

Dress

 

 

I am kind of enamored by these linen-looking, tent dresses and I really want several.  I’ve already bought some off-white gauze to make a wearable muslin.  That fabric is so thin though that in order to wear it I will have to make a dress to wear under it.  It’ll be two projects in one, the dress and the under-dress, designed to wear together but made separately.

 

 

Witch Tiana

Credit: @mahou.shoujo on Instagram

And then, if my some miracle I get all of that done, I have a couple of yards of fabric to make clothes for the boys, I want t try making some felt busy books for Master and there is a super adorable Witch Tiana drawing from last October that I want to cosplay.  Those are at the very bottom of my list though, only to be touched if everything else gets finished first.

 

 

Ok, so those are my sewing plans for the month.  What are yours?

DeeDee

 

Hello 2020

Hey sweeties,

This is a little late, but I am doing my introduction to 2020 post.

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The plan, from back in January,  was to do a new year’s resolution post, talk about my dreams for 2020 and make some promises for the future, but it’s March now, this post is just going up and I have already failed on ALL of the lofty ambitions I was planning to talk about.  So, instead of all of that garbage, I’ve decided to talk about where I am now and where I plan to go.

First, let me say, I’m not letting failure stop me.

business-1209705_1920I have always been a Type-A personality, a perfectionist and a bit of a diva.  When things don’t work out the way I want them too I have a tendency to quit, throw the failed endeavor away and pretend I never tried.  I think that’s why I have never learned to crochet.  I tried back in high school but I was no good so I never went back.  And I have been doing that in other areas of my life as well, especially with blog, my You Tube channel and my sticker shop.  For months, I have been working on content, then the time for it passes and I discard it.  I have made, or at least started, so many things like blog posts, printables, videos and projects, and then if the time for it passed, like January’s planner printables, and I never shared them.  Basically, if it gets to the 15th of the month and I haven’t posted I just scrap it and say “I’ll do it next month.”  Well that has led to it being March I have produced no content despite having content calendars, planners and endless plans.

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Anyway, I said I wasn’t gonna make a post with a bunch of promises and resolutions and I’m not.  But my word for this year is INTENTIONAL.  I have taken that to mean that even if everything doesn’t work out the way that I want, or according to my plan, I am still going to do the things I plan to do, like this blog post.

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Should it have gone out 2 month ago?  Yes.

Would it have been more optimal for discover and search leads?  Probably.

 

 

But that’s not what it is about.  For me, this year, it’s about making a plan and sticking to it, it’s about getting on schedule and staying there, it’s about holding myself accountable and getting out of the lump that leaving school and staying home with the boys all days has left me in.

So, thanks for hanging with me while I wax philosophical about finding meaning in my life.

I don’t know if anybody can relate to my discouragement, frustration and feelings of stagnation.  But, I encourage you to be intentional.  If you have a plan, stick to it.  If you are behind on something, start again.

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Even if it takes too long, even if it’s late, even if it seems like it won’t matter once you finish it, still finish it!

 

 

DeeDee

March Planner Printables

Hey Planner Dolls,

Welcome back to pretty.black.&.nerdy in 2020.

I’m finally settling in to the new groove and got a chance to make some new printables for March.  CoverYou can download my printables for free on the Planner Printables page, as always.

There’s a monthly kit.  It’s made to fit the Recollections spiral monthly layout, but you modify it to fit most similar sized planners, like the Erin Condren and classic Happy Planner.Monthly Preview

The monthly kit has the large header covers, decorative full boxes, washi strips, date number covers, icons, birthday and payday scripts, large and small labels, holiday boxes for St. Patrick’s Day and Daylight Savings and two sidebar options: decorative and functional.

There’s also a weekly kit, also made for the Recollections spiral, vertical layout ad it fits the Erin Condren vertical and the vertical classic Happy Planner.Weekly Preview

The weekly kit is 4 half sheets with hundreds of stickers.  The kit has everything you need for planning like 9 full boxes, to do, today and lil bits headers, half boxes, icons, little things labels, and sidebar stickers.  Plus, there are cool extras like time dots, mini icons, checklist flags, a weekend banner, washi strips, habit trackers, a bill due and decorative dots.

Both kits feature a fashion girl box available in one of three skin tones: chocolate, caramel or vanilla, or deep, medium or light.

If you want to see these printables in action you can check out Plan with Mes on my YouTube channel where I use them.

Make sure to let me know if you use these printables because I would love to see how you use them.  Use #pbnplanner or tag @himeblackonyx.

DeeDee Thomas

Costume College 2020

Hey Sweeties,

It’s always been a dream of mine to go Costume College, for as long as I’ve known about it.

If you’re unaware, Costume College is a weekend long costuming convention held every summer in California.  The theme this year is celebrating the beginning of Women’s Suffrage.  Any way, Costume College has a neat website if you want to check it out for yourself.

There are classes about different aspects of costuming, making, selling, content creating and even publishing.  Costume College has pool party, a social event, a ball ad dinner, and a tea party.  There’s even a Marketplace for buying supplies and a bargain bin for getting things for cheap! Basically, the event caters to all kids of costumers but there seems to be an emphasis on historical costuming specifically.

That works out perfectly for me because I have always had a desire to get into historical costuming.  Lucky me, right?

Anyway, I talked to Mr. and he said that Costume College is something we can do next year.  He’s even willing to travel and stay with me in California so I don’t have to be by myself.

But, if I’m going to Costume College I want to go all the way with it.  I have been watching vlogs of others’ experiences and one thing I have gleaned is I NEED COSTUMES!

My plan is to be a different character everyday of Costume College.  In 2020 the convention is Thursday to Monday but I think Monday is just a travel day so I will have 4 days worth of characters: Storm, from X-Men, Tiana from Princess and the Frog, Harley Quinn from Batman the Animated Series, and a truly historical Gibson girl.  The fun part, I think, is that I’m going to put these character into a time period, except the Gibson girl, she’ll stay in her place in history.

I’m starting with the hardest, and probably the most time consuming projects, my Saturday clothes and ball gown.

Here’s a clue for the who and when of that project:

Clue - Storm

 

DeeDee

P.S. If you want to support me in this project, you can buy me a coffee over on Ko-Fi.5cbec633ae2b882fff068659_ko-fi_horizontal-p-500

Stay at Home Mom Life

Hey Sweeties,

It’s been a while since I updated you about how life goes, so let’s catch up.

20191029_181749I think I mentioned that the boys and I moved to North Carolina to live with Mr. Boyfriend.  So, that’s been an adjustment.  Living with someone is hoot, learning their schedule, mixing your stuff, trying to integrate your quirks with theirs, but all in all I can’t complain.  I like co-habitating.  There’s a certain freedom in being the lady of your own house, with you family.  I think not being at my parents house and trying to meet their expectations has taken a lot of the pressure off of being a mom, and just life in general.  It’s wild the psychological strain we put on ourselves.

But, I digress.

This is supposed to be about being a stay at home mom, not my psychological issues.20190916_081549

But, not gonna lie, this stay at home mom situation is giving me new and even more interesting issues.

As you may remember, I recently graduated from law school and I’m trying to be a lawyer, so you may ask, why are you a S.A.H.M.?

And, long story short, I haven’t found a job and the Mr. has a good enough job to support us until I find something.  Plus, I have been taking the time to really engage with my kids,  When Master was an infant I was in law school so I really couldn’t take the time off to spend with him.  With Majesty, I’m able to disconnect from work and spend the time with him and I really want to.

That being said, I am kind of struggling.

Let me set the stage.  Mr. works everyday, 8-4.  Fat Fat (my oldest) is in daycare from 7:30-6. Long Bean (the baby) and I are home together.  Since the Mr. works, I take care of stuff around the house, cooking, cleaning, housewife stuff.

20191018_163905I always thought I would enjoy that life, keeping house, raising my kids and taking care of my man.  It’s starting to look like I am not.

Things that are probably a regular part of S.A.H.M life are so frustrating to me.  Like I clean up in the morning after the big boys leave and when they get home everything is messy again.

How do you keep from getting discouraged from that?  When you do thing all day and when you go to bed at night everything you did is undone.  It’s really tough.

I think one of the things about being a Type-A personality and having been constantly driven to succeed my whole life is that I need to feel like I’m accomplishing something, if that makes sense.  I need a reward for my efforts, something that legitimizes what I do.  When you have a job, you make something, something is produced, at the end of the day you can point to what you have done all day and have evidence that you worked.  I don’t get that as a S.A.H.M.  If I put away all of Fat Fat’s toys during the day while he’s at school, she’s just going to throw them all around the house when he gets home.

It’s hard to not be discouraged when at the end of your day you have nothing to show for all your efforts.

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I hope this doesn’t come across as whining.  I recognize how lucky I am to have the option to be a S.A.H.M, to be financially secure, to have a supportive partner.  And I am grateful for it.

 

My problems are my own, in my own head.  And I’m working on them.  I have been taking time for myself, little things like showering and doing a skincare routine.  I have been giving myself some slack, I think I was holding myself to an impossible standard.  It’s ok if there a dishes in the sink when I go to bed, if that’s what I need to take care of myself.  I have been making time for my hobbies, knitting and sewing and planning an

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I haven’t quite come to terms with my stay at home mom situation, I think it’s something I will be struggling with for a while, but that’s ok.

 

 

I don’t know if anybody else is living the same life, or just feel frustrated and overwhelmed by the life that their living, but I’m right there with you.  Keep your head up and keep struggling on, and I’ll do the same.

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DeeDee

Vlog Series

Hey Sweeties,

How are you?  I hope all is well and I pray you have been being super productive as we get towards the end of the year.

I recently stepped out of my comfort zone to do something new and exciting over on YouTube.  I launched a vlog series on my channel.

In case you were unaware, let me be the first to tell you, I have YouTube channel.  It is DeeDee’s Lifestyle Cute.

I have had the channel for a while, since before I had kids, but I just recently started being an active content creator over there.

That being said, I started a series on the channel called Mom by Law.  It is my weekly vlog series.  It’s more relaxed and informal, there is a lot about My kids and the Mister.  I think I want it to be a more intimate look at my everyday life instead of the carefully curated images you see here and on Instagram.

Anyway, there are already some Mom by Law videos up on the channel and more to come, as well as other content not vlog or family related.  So, be sure to subscribe if you want to see more.

DeeDee

July Monthly Plan with Me

Hey sweeties,

Yesterday I posted about some planner printables that I made for the month of July.

June Planner Printables

You can see that post here and the printables are available through my Planner Printables page.

I used the monthly printable to set up the July calendar in my Recollections spiral planner.

July Monthly

The July monthly printable is 1 sheet and includes two header covers, 4 full boxes, 4 half boxes, 8 quarter boxes, a decorative sidebar, four pay day stickers, a holiday sticker for Independence Day and date covers.

July monthly (2)

I use my monthly spread for both future and memory planning.

July Monthly 2

I fill in what I know at the beginning of the month and as the month passes I add important events and things I want to remember to the calendar.

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At the end of the month, I’ll be back to show how the spread turned out, once I have it all the way filled in.

 

If you want to see this spread come together, you can watch the Plan with Me video on my YouTube channel, Lifestyle Cute.

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I hope you enjoy.

-DeeDee

Summer Lovin’ Planner Printables

Hey Sweeties

Summer’s here and the living is easy!

Who else is saying Hello July and welcoming summer with wide open arms?  I’ve spent the last 3 months as a school teacher so I am over the moon for a little break.  I was so excited, in fact, that I made some new planner printables that you can download for free on the Planner Printables page here at pretty.black.&.nerdy.

I drew all of the art in all on the kits.  It’s all beach, pool, mermaid cuteness.  There’s a monthly kit and two weekly kits and the papers for A5, Personal and B6 inserts.

I hope you enjoy them.  Have a great summer and happy planning!

-DeeDee

Knitting for Baby

 

Hey sweeties,

Gradient Garter Baby Blanket

Yesterday, in the post about the cardigan I FINALLY finished, I mentioned that I have to get to work on the new baby’s blanket.  I had the big boy’s blanket done before he even got here and I haven’t even started a blanket for the new one!

 

No point in whining over what I don’t have though, right?  So, I was looking for a pattern for the new baby’s blanket and of course I got distracted by all the other pretty things I could make.

Both of my boys are pretty young, my oldest won’t be two until August, so I have patterns for the new baby, the old baby and things they both need, because I’m a glutton for punishment.

All these patterns are available for free from Ravelry so be sure to check them out there if you’re interested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Also, in case you were wondering, I did eventually pick a pattern for the new baby’s blanket: the Kerry Baby Afghan.  I’ll be using the suggested yarn and needles but since I just started that project I don’t have too much more to tell you.  Check the project out on Ravelry to follow it in real time and search #sundaynightknits for weekly progress

 

–DeeDee

Planner Set Up: A5 and Personal

Hey sweeties,

So, this is another planner thing.

Now that I’m back to life, I’m back in my planners.  I said in a post at the beginning of the year that I was going to limit myself to one planner, the Recollections spiral, until I figured out what else I needed.  But, since I haven’t been planning I don’t really have a firm idea of what will work for me.  So, instead of continuing to wait I decided to pull out my A5 and personal sized planners and start using them to see which, if either, is functional for me.

Ring Planners Flat Lay

I did a planner set up in each using the planner set ups I will be offering as free printables in July.

 

In my A5, I used the mermaid in the pool papers.  In the personal, I used the girl on the beach papers.

I printed all of my papers at OfficeDepot.  I print my dividers on what I thought was 80lb high gloss cardstock but it’s not as heavy as cardstock, it’s actually the the paper flyers are printed on.  That means the images show up really nicely but the paper is too thin for dividers so I backed it with white cardstock from JoAnn’s.  The “acetate” sheets are also from OfficeDepot and printed on transparencies.  That, at least, turned out exactly how I wanted it to.

I printed the dated July monthly, week on 2 pages, hourly, and meals inserts and the budget, goals and notes inserts.  

Planner Inserts 4

My inserts, in both planners, are from my shop, Creative Blerd Paperie.  I offer printable inserts in my shop, you purchase the file and print your inserts at home.

I’m going to use these two planners for the next month to see which one I reach for and use more often.

I’ll be doing weekly plan with me videos on my YouTube channel, Lifestyle Cute, in whichever of the two planners I’m using the most that week.  Those will be posted on Saturdays, if you’re interested.

-DeeDee