15 Years of Growing in Marriage

Greetings Everyone!

I hope you are all doing well.  My husband & I recently went on our 15 year Anniversary trip to Seattle, WA with just the two of us.  Our anniversary was on November 13th.  Thank you to my brother-in-law Thong who made it possible.  He took on the role of parenting and made sure the kids were fed & picked up from school on time.  He even waited in the car rider line;) – Thank you Thong!

It has been 5 years since our last trip together and my husband had surprised me with this trip.  I love the experiences & memories we got to create together.  He also got the kids involved by getting them to create a card for each night we were in Seattle.

Mr. T & I have been so busy the past couple of years trying to stay focus on building our careers & trying to balance family life.  Is there such a thing as balancing life?  Please share any tips because I haven’t figured it out yet:).  He has been attending dental school and works on the weekends.  Me?  I’m trying to manage family, grow my business, and keep life simple.  Keeping life simple is not as easy as it sounds.  However, both my husband & I agree that it has been worth all the struggles…I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  He will be graduating this May so please continue to pray for us.  It feels so close yet so far away.

IMG_5974This getaway was much needed for the both of us.  We had the opportunity to reconnect & talk more about our future plans.  We got to share our wants & needs without judgment & had a better understanding of where we are now as individuals.  We talked and discussed how we can continue to grow as a couple & how we can become a stronger family unit.  Our children love to travel so we can not wait to do more of that after he completes his semester.

We got to do our morning jogs together and walked to our different destinations.  If anything was less than 2 miles away, we walked there.  It was our way of enjoying the scenery & also train for the marathon coming up in January.  We did get to dress up one night to attend mass at Saint James Cathedral & afterwards have dinner at Aerlume.  We were invited to bring up the gift offerings for mass which made it extra special.  What an honor to be a visitor & carry up the gifts on our Anniversary trip!   Thank you God for the blessings!  I truly felt the graces & love.  My husband & I took the time to pray for those who asked for prayers and intercessions.  I also prayed for our marriage and for a deeper understanding of this vocation.
IMG_6155 For my creative friends, I got to wear my most recent sewing project, the front zipper skirt.  I am currently editing the video so thank you in advance for your patience.
IMG_6187 Mr. T, thank you for everything.  Thank you for your dedication to our family & to me.  I know we are both trying the best we can for our family, but ultimately, I know we have to rely on God for the graces, blessings, & mercy to overcome any of the challenges.  We are almost graduating….ok, he’s almost graduating, but we did it together.  It’s almost real!  We got this!  Love you Mr. T!  Love you everyone!  Thank you for reading & sharing this big milestone with us.  Praying for many many many more years of growing in marriage 😉

Hugs,

Ann

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Runway Houston Fashion Show

Greetings!

I am enjoying the beautiful weather here in Katy right now.  The sun is out, the temperature is nice & cool in the 50’s, and the sky is blue & clear.  It is a perfect time for a run, something I did early this morning when the sun was barely up.

Well, I got to attend my first Runway Houston Fashion Show.  It was a great experience.  Omar and his team did a great job with the production & presentation.  Also, there were several designers with their different interpretation on fashion.  I enjoyed seeing the different ways fabric and design can express a personality.  It was so creative & fun!

Designers
@sameerafaridi
Aries Milan @katekillspretty
@lololester
@engomichu
@artinstitutehou

I also learned the Fashion Show was an opening event for the Lamborghini Festival.  This made sense as to why there were Lamborghinis lined up all around the venue.

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The extra fun part is the people.  It is always nice to meet up with friends and see familiar faces.  Do you recognize any of them? I consider them all part of the Youtique Family 😊.

I am currently in editing mode trying to finish up the videos to my Fashion Show outfit, the A-line skirt & the bishop sleeve blouse.  This is in collaboration with Sew Much Fabric.  That will be coming out soon.  In the meantime, please enjoy your weekend!

Hugs!

Ann

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Bathing Suit Coverup – Relax Ann! : Butterick 5746

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Reminiscing on when I got to take a quick getaway with my family and wore my #memade eyelet coverup😉.  I got to relax and enjoy the slow pace of life for a weekend.

Personally, I easily get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and try to check off as many things as I possibly can in one day.  I tell myself that when my husband graduates, I’ll relax. When I finish saving for my children’s education, I’ll relax. When dinner is made, I’ll relax. When I finish putting my book together, I’ll relax. The list goes on.

I recently had a health scare that made me self reflect (nothing serious). It was a reminder that I will always have a long list of things to complete, but I have to learn to slow down and be in the moment.  Have you ever had to reevaluate your life’s pace?

I decided to take time in the car rider line to do prayer 🙏 and listen to podcasts, read books, or listen to audio books.  If you have any prayer requests, feel free to send them my way😊. So what helps you to be in the moment and relax?
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Btw, I highly recommend Butterick 5746 to get your personal fitting pattern. I made my red lace block pattern out of it. In turn, that block pattern allowed me to make my bathing suit coverup. I will now use the skirt portion of my coverup to make my fashion show skirt.

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I will also use the red lace block pattern to create a blouse. The possibilities are endless when you get a good fit on your basic block pattern.

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I will be attending Runway Houston on Oct 11 in which I will be collaborating with Rosalind at Sew Much Fabric.  I am excited!  Here is my toile for the outfit.

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Well, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and get to relax! 🤗😘

Hugs!

Ann

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In case you missed it, below is the video for sewing my Bathing Suit Coverup.

Guest Speaker & Teaching Classes

Greetings!  I hope you are all having a fabulous weekend.  I recently came across this photo below when I taught a Bow Tie Class at Francescas main office.  It made me reminisce about the times I taught classes or was invited to be a guest speaker.  I thought it would be fun to share some of the experiences.  Here are some photos along with the tutorials.

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The photo that started it all….


I had the opportunity to teach at Joann Fabrics and showed students how to make the Birdcage Veil & the Camryn Fabric Flower.  This was a lot of fun because I got to see students choose their own unique fabric to make the flowers.  They are so creative!


I got to speak at Elsik High School’s Fashion Department.  I shared how I started Youtique Bridal & all the hard work to make my dreams come alive.  The Fashion Design Students also learned how to create the Fabric Flowers.

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Elsik High School – Houston, TX


I was invited to speak to the Fashion Department of the Art Institute of Houston. It is always an honor to share my experiences of how I started my business.  This was actually around the time I started expanding to Lifestyle Designs.

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Art Institute of Houston

And below are the cutest students I ever had.  It was a Mommy & Me sewing session where the children learned how to make a little satchel.  Their mothers shared that some used it to carry their dolls and others their library books.  They were so darn cute!  I do not have a tutorial for the satchel but I had to share my youngest students;)

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Well, I hope you enjoy your weekend.  Take care & I hope you got inspired to create something EXTRAordinary! 😉

Hugs,

Ann

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Tootsies Summer Soiree : Women of Wardrobe

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Greetings!

I hope you are all doing well. I just wanted to share a little about the event I attended this past Wednesday.  First I want to thank Claudia Reimann for the invitation and a special thanks to Kim Henry who welcomed me to the event.  Kim was absolutely lovely!  It was a fun night of great conversations, food, & drinks.  Thank you Kim!

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It was my first time at this event and I got to meet some of the most fashionable people around the Houston area.  One of the highlights of my night, along with meeting up with Kim, was I got to personally meet Norm & Donna, the owners of Tootsies.  During my conversation with them, I learned Donna is an Interior Designer and Norm started out in the stock room of Tootsies 20 years ago.  I was intrigued and inspired by his journey to becoming an owner.  To start out in the stock room and work towards becoming an owner means there was a lot of hard work, sweat, tears & perseverance in between (at least in my experience).  I wish I had more time to talk and learn about his journey, but Norm & Donna had another 300 guests to host.  Maybe one day this dreamer (ME;) will get to sit and talk to Norm & Donna and ask all the questions about leaving a legacy.  But in the meantime, thank you Norm & Donna for hosting a beautiful event.

All Summer Soirée guests received a $25 Tootsies gift card to put toward that evening’s purchases, and Tootsies donated 10 percent of sales back to DFSH.

Here are more lovely ladies I got to meet at the Tootsies Summer Soiree.  Several from the Sugar Land area where I grew up!

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Me wearing my #memade dress…project coming soon, Annie, Kim, Martha, Gail, Annette

To learn more about the event, you can visit HoustoniaMag.

This is an annual event so if you live in the Houston area, please follow DFSH & WOW on Instagram to get updates on future events.

 

Thank you for reading & I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Hugs,

Ann

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Woman of Wardrobe’s (WOW) mission is to raise funds and awareness for DFSH (Dress For Success Houston) while promoting volunteerism.

Dress For Success Houston’s mission is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and tools to help women thrive in work and life.
https://dfshouston.org

Do you believe in Color Psychology? #WardrobePlanning

“Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions,” the artist Pablo Picasso once remarked. 

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Per Roz, an immediate need in my closet is a basic red outfit, a red top & red skirt. When she first told me, I was hesitant.  Currently, I do not have a single red clothing item in my wardrobe.  The color makes me feel self conscious because it is such a strong bright color.  I have worn accents of red through jewelry & accessories but not an outfit.  I rarely wear bright colors.  The only time I wear it is when I run 🏃🏻‍.

Do you believe in Color Psychology?  I am not a psychologist or claim to be, but as I was sewing my basic red outfit, I had time to think about the impact of color.  My initial hesitation about sewing a red outfit made me wonder about the last time I wore red.  I decided to go through my old photos and collect images of me wearing red.  Surprisingly, I wore red at some important events in my life.  And for some reason, I didn’t find a single photo of me wearing red after having children.  Actually, I didn’t have a lot of photos of myself post pregnancy, most were of my children.  In conclusion, I wore red in my younger days when I was energetic and more bold.

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When I got pregnant and started having children, I realized that my wardrobe colors got darker.  In my mind, I believed darker colors made me look slimmer.  I had my 3 children 2 years apart, 2006/2008/2010, and throughout those 5+ years to current, dark colors were a staple in my wardrobe.  Now I didn’t mind the weight gain because I knew I was carrying something precious and gaining weight was a by-product, but I had to relearn how to dress my new body and adjust to new responsibilities after I delivered my babies.  That calls for another post one day when we have the time;)

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I wish I wore red at delivery;) #babyfat #whoisthis

So here I am creating the first red outfit after all these years.  It’s bold but I have been wanting to make a change in my life.  My basic red outfit is complete and it is time to take chances and be bold again;)  Stay tuned for the red outfit!

Did you go through a similar wardrobe color experience?  Were there stages in your life where you wore bright colors and other phases of dark?  Just curious, do you believe in color psychology?

I hope you have a wonderful Thursday!

Hugs!

Ann

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I did it! I completed the Chevron Houston Marathon 26.2miles

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I did it! I completed my first #fullmarathon! Congratulations to everyone that ran! 🏃🏻‍♀️🏃🏻To be honest, I am a fairly slow runner so I didn’t think I would complete it in time. However, I was determined to run 26.2miles, even if the gates closed on me.

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Reflecting on the day, there were so many factors that kept me going.  Trust me, at about the 20mi mark, I saw two guys pulling an empty medical stretcher by….I never thought a stretcher could look so comfortable!🤣  But really, it was a culmination of things that kept me going:

– the painful training that made me want to quit, but eventually wore away
– coach @vinhthuy12 who followed up with our progress and shared his experiences/tips.
– the #runners in my training group who hit milestones and inspired me to do better
– my husband @tan.ngo keeping pace for me
– family cheerleaders who braved the freezing temps to cheer us on @carlyjhoang@mynameisngo. It was also nice to see complete strangers holding up signs


– my brother @dentite37 who ran the half for the first time and did amazingly awesome
– the familiar faces along the way that brought a moment of joy when it felt miserable. Some I haven’t seen for years!

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– Appreciating my surroundings, especially the roads we ran on. They are usually filled with traffic jams or speeding cars. It felt strange to run along the Westpark freeway to Post Oak.


– the texts I received from friends and love ones
– the mental games I used. During training, I ran to my sister’s house 7 miles away and then back home. During the marathon, I had to literally imagine myself running to her house then back home. So I used 7 mile markers during the marathon.
– I prayed my rosary cousin @mtnguye gave me at the 22-24mile point.

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– Mr. T, Tuan, & Cuong were my guides (they didn’t know it). I kept them in sight to keep me moving forward.
– the volunteers passing out water, food, & gave medical care.
@phamcpafirm thank you for the food that soothed the aches & pains.

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Would I do it again? If you asked me during training up to yesterday, the answer is NO! It takes a lot of time, a lot of physical energy, mental energy, and the pain can be unbearable, but…

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But on a side note, I bulked up to run the Chevron Houston Marathon.  Literally.  I put layers of clothing on to endure the cold freezing temperatures of the day.  The morning started at 32F and reached a high of 54F.  I never ran in those temperatures before.  It is common to shed your clothes while running.  People would throw clothes along the side of the road.  They have designated volunteers to pick up the clothing and it would go to Goodwill.  I already had a bag of clothes to be donated so it was all in good timing to wear the sweater and 2 t-shirts I would toss on the side of the road.

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Here are the main items I had on for the run.  Thank you Nancy for my wool socks!

Well, it is still early 2019 and it feels good to accomplish something so big (at least it is big for me).  I learned so much from this experience.  I am interested to see what the rest of 2019 would bring.  All the good and bad coming this way will have plenty of lessons to learn from, so…BRING IT ON 2019!

Hugs,

Ann

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