Society of Saint Vincent de Paul : Emergency Social Assistance

I hope everyone is staying safe & healthy during this time.  We are all experiencing drastic life changes right now and I wanted to give you some resources if you need it.  I know this isn’t my usual topic but I do believe it relates to marriage and family life.

First off, I want to give thanks to my friends Al & Jerri Oliu & Tom Zordani who introduced me to the idea of Family Finances years ago.  Because of them, I was able to financially plan ahead in case of emergencies and for my husband’s dental school.  So I thank God to have the financial peace during this time.  However, as things unfold, I realize there are many who did not have the opportunity to plan ahead.  Please do not panic, rather take a deep breath, regain control, and take action.  If you lost your job due to the Coronavirus, I encourage you to read the following article by Dave Ramsey.  It gives you the step by step actions so you do not have to live in fear:

“Coronavirus : What to Do if You’re Out of Work” by Dave Ramsey
https://bit.ly/2WPrqxs

Here is a video if you were impacted by the Coronavirus.

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SVdP logo

Next, I had the honor of implementing an online training program for the local Houston Saint Vincent de Paul Society .  Many thanks to my dearest and closest friends Eva & Christine who is heavily involved with this ministry.  They introduced me to this organization who serves people with compassion, generosity, and respect. This is a great resource if you need social assistances like Food Banks, Job Resources, Shelter, etc. If you live in the Houston area with zip codes 77005, 77025, 77030, 77081, visit their Website or call 713-664-5350:

https://svdp-houston.org/society-of-st-vincent-de-paul

They have chapters all over the world so if you live beyond these zip codes and need assistance, I encourage you to contact your local Saint Vincent de Paul Society by clicking the USA link image below.  You can also email me personally, I will get you in touch with SVdP in your area.  youtiquebridal@gmail.com.

Lastly, if you are in the position to donate or want to make a difference, I highly encourage you to donate to your local Saint Vincent de Paul Society.  Due to the high volume of assistance at this time, our location Houston St. Vincent de Paul Society greatly appreciates any amount you can give.  You can mail a check to:

Society of St. Vincent de Paul
6800 Buffalo Speadway
Houston, Texas 77025
713-664-5350

Your donation checks can be made out to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul or placed in the St. Jude’s Poor Box at the address above.

Feel free to visit this link: https://svdp-houston.org/contact-us

I will be having a virtual meeting with my friend Eva soon.  If you have any questions about this organization or need assistance of locating one in your area, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Please click on the image below to visit the International global site for SVdP.

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Please click on the image below to visit the site for SVdP in the United States

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God bless and please take care of your basic needs.

I am thinking of everyone. Hugs!

Ann

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ps. More Resources for you

usagove

Unemployment help for those living in the United States through USA.GOV

https://www.usa.gov/unemployment

Search New Job Opportunities:

Read: Thousand of New Jobs Are Being Created In Response to The Coronavirus by “Forbes”

  1. Indeed Job Search
  2. Glassdoor Jobs
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Google for Jobs
  5. Monster
  6. ZipRecruiter
  7. CareerBuilder
  8. Craigslist Jobs
  9. USAjobs.gov

 

Reclaiming my Peace : Things To Do

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Greetings!

I hope you are healthy and safe.  Like everyone, I had to recalibrate life. I knew things seriously changed when my children had a month off for Spring Break and I attended my first mass remotely.
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I have been busy checking off my personal ToDo list and was not mentally affected by all the news going on…until yesterday.  I had a brief moment of worry overcome me. I finally had time to absorb all the drastic changes happening around me. After feeling overwhelmed, I decided to work out, pray, and sew.  That really helped since it was my core routine before all this happened.

I came up with things ToDo to help me keep calm and reclaim my peace. They are:

1) Prayer & having a gratitude list. I have been making good use of my DIY Prayer veil during this Lent season.IMG_4696

2) Exercise & Eat Heathy. I started my Spring workout focusing on arms and abdomen. I do this from February through May.  Although I do light weights, it helps me feel physically and mentally strong. My goal is to simply get toned.  Also, the kids started joining us on our jogs.  The real goal is to simply #getactive.  If you want to start somewhere, simply start with only the Arnold Presses in the video below then build up your workout.  #justdoit 😉


Here are the 2 workout videos I do on Monday, Wednesday, & Friday. They are 10minutes each so I just have a 20minute workout.  On Tuesday & Thursday, I run 2-3miles.

3) Quality Time with Family & Friends. Call, text, & face time to see how others are doing.  I am part of several group chats involving close family & friends.  It’s a way to communicate and keep our spirits high.  Also, We have a closet full of board games.  It has been nice to have my husband on a long school break too. Is it me or do the kids behave better when Dad’s around?😳. Yay, Uncle Phil came to visit!


4) Celebrate. My nephew was going to have a big party this weekend but it was cancelled. Instead, we had a small family gathering and he only asked for a simple cake. He is such a sweetheart!❤️❤️❤️ I know we can only have 10 people at gatherings but we had 13🤫

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5). Find Humor.  I went on YouTube to find funny videos. If you mostly work from home like me, I highly recommend watching the BBC News with Professor Robert Kelly. Also, I now have two boys in middle schooler this year. I recently discovered the series by Trey Kennedy “Middle Schoolers Be Like”.  Be careful on YT, you can easily get sidetracked and go down a rabbit hole.

6). Clean.  It’s the perfect time to get the house in order.

7) Sleep. I finally caught up on sleep. I needed that!

8) Research a New Hobby. I am looking for ways to improve my sewing, filming, photography, and my IG layout. I started new YT playlists for these subjects. It will help me learn and expand my knowledge.

9) Turn off social media if you need a break. It’s going to be okay, I promise.

10) Sew! It is something that gives me tremendous peace. So be on the lookout for my Sailor Jeans;)

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What are you doing to help keep calm and carry on?

Sending out love ❤️ & hugs 🤗!

Ann

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Please get the facts on the Corona Virus:)

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Survivor Stories

DIY Chapel Veils : 3 New Styles, Lent Season

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My friend Hang wearing her Chapel Veil

Greetings!

Lent officially started on Ash Wednesday Feb 26 and will end Thursday April 9th.  I wore my Chapel Veil to mass for the first time and decided that I would wear it at mass through the Lenten season.  I am hoping the Chapel Veil will help me focus and remember the sacredness of the mass.  If you are interested in Veiling and creating your own, I did create a tutorial for 3 new styles below:

I use to think Lent was a 40 day journey when you “give up” something you love (ex: sweets/soft drinks/social media, etc.)

However, someone once told me that it could also be doing something good for you, like creating a new healthy habit.  For example: running half a mile on Tuesdays and Thursdays until Lent ends or eating a side serving of greens at every meal, even possibly get enough sleep. It’s meant to help find balance, build discipline, do penance, prepare for the death & resurrection of Jesus, and ultimately build a closer relationship to Christ.

It reminds me of New Year’s resolutions, but you only have 40+ days to do it – And you do it all for the glory of God.

I understand Lent means something different to everyone or maybe has no relevance at all. But I would like to challenge everyone to do something good for yourselves until April 9th (forever would be good 😆). At the very least, speak words of encouragement everyday to yourself, someone you know, or a complete stranger🙏.

I’m still learning and growing in my faith.  Feel free to share what Lent means to you? What are you giving up that too much of is not healthy? or what new good habits would you like to incorporate into your life.

Since there are three pillars of Lent (prayer, fasting, almsgiving), I will…

1) Pray to love and appreciate where I am today, not belittle my daily efforts.
2) Fasting: on top of Fridays, No meat during Lent season – Hoping I can learn to meal plan better. If you know of tasty and healthy vegan/vegetarian recipes, feel free to share😁.  Also, I started Veiling at mass on Ash Wednesday.  A personal practice I would like to continue after Lent is over.
3) Almsgiving: share and spread the works of @svdp_hou_vol

Here is a Veil I made for mass on Ash Wednesday and through Lent.  It is the triangle Chapel Veil in the first video.

ANN 4black veil

 

Here is the first Chapel Veil tutorial:

Thank you for visiting and may you have a wonderful Lenten Season.

Hugs!

Ann

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DIY Bridal Capelet : Scoop Neck Inquiry

QUESTION

Greetings,

Thank you for your inquiry Joshua.  Here is a visual of how I got the the Neck scoop measurement.  I started measuring at where my neck meets my shoulder to the neck hollow baseline.   I hope that answers your question.  If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

NECK SCOOP

The question was in regards to my DIY Bridal Capelet Part 1.  The time stamp is at {1:57} about the Neck Scoop Measurement.

Thank you for watching!  Have a great Monday and the rest of the week.

Hugs!

Ann

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Here is Part 2 & 3 to my DIY Bridal Capelet.  Thank you for visiting & enjoy!

Youtique Inspired : Camryn & Serena Fabric Flowers

Greetings!

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos of their fabric flowers inspired by my tutorials.  I love seeing them and it inspires me to continue creating.  I know it will also inspire others to create.  Here are fabric flowers custom made for my guests and by you.  Enjoy!

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Have a wonderful week!

Hugs!

Ann

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ps.  Here are the videos to help you create the flowers:

Wedding Dress Bustles

Kristina W back

Greetings!

Happy Friday!  Today I am touching on the different types of Bustles and answer a few basic questions.  I will show you how to bustle my bride Kristina’s wedding gown.

What is a Bustle?  The bustle is created by sewing buttons, hooks, or ribbons into the dress.  It lifts up the long train or tucks the train into itself to make it easier for the Bride to walk.

When should I bustle my wedding gown?  A bustle is put up after photos are taken following the ceremony and before the reception.  This helps prevent the Bride from tripping over her gown.  It also allows the Bride to dance comfortably at the reception.

the kiss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do wedding dresses come with a bustle? Wedding dresses do not come with a bustle.  Wedding gown bustles are added during the alterations process.  Since every Bride is unique, the bustle is customized to the perfect hem length for each Bride.

Can a Bustle Break?  Yes, there is a possibility a bustle can break.  No matter how carefully your seamstress stitches your bustle, there’s always a possibility that it can break due to the stress put on the dress during dancing and .  Bring oversize pins in case of an emergency. 

Different Styles of Bustles.  There are many different styles of bustles available depending on the length and the look the Bride is going for.

Here is an example of the Bustle I sewed for my bride Jessica using ribbons.  I have also used a hook & eye, buttons, and other techniques on other dresses.  Feel free to view my playlist for the various Bustle styles & techniques.

Here is an Underbustle

American Bustle (Overbustle).

Since it can get complicated to tie the bustle, I put together a tutorial for the Bridesmaids to help the Bride.  Feel free to view the different Bustle types by clicking here. View the playlist below:

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a great weekend!  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Hugs!

Ann

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Pointed Blusher : Cutting the Tulle

 

0TULLE YB

Tulle on the fold

Greetings Pat!

Thank you for your inquiry.  Here is how I would cut a pointed blusher veil using a 54″ width tulle.   First take the following measurements:

0MEASUREMENTS

A=Blusher length
B=Point of Hair comb to elbow
C=Train length
D= Elbow to desired length, A – B
Total Amount of Tulle to purchase = A+C

Measure length “D”, transition a curve and start cutting from the open side of the tulle straight towards the corner point.

2CUT CURVE YB

Measure length A, and use a safety pin to mark where the hair comb will be placed

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Open lengthwise on the fold.

unfold

Fold over and attach the hair comb.

sew haircomb

I hope that answers your question.  I would love to see what you create when you are complete.  If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,

Ann

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Happy Valentine’s Day : Lace Trim Veil

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Krystal’s Wedding Day April 25, 2015

Greetings!

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day.  I got a sweet flower bouquet from my husband and carnations from Little J.  He bought them from a Valentine school fundraiser.   Mr. T & I did not celebrate a typical Valentines date but we had a lovely time.  We spent time scouting out the next location for his future dental office and possibly a new home.  I do enjoy Real Estate shopping and dreaming;)  We also took the children out on a family date after dinner to get boba & play connect four.  My daughter organized a mini connect four tournament and I was the champion.  Go Ann! – of course no mercy for Mr. T and the children;). Well, we are starting to plan for the next season of life.  Although we do not know what the future holds, we can only work towards it and plan it the best we can.  I’ll be honest, it is exciting!

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Lace Trim Veil handmade by Krystal Longnecker, Photo by Becky Keeley

Because an aspect of my job is social media, I am seeing many of my past Brides start a special season in their lives – having children.  It is such a beautiful stage to witness.  Well, my Bride Krystal Longnecker & her husband from Pomona, New Jersey just had a new baby to add to their 4 girls.  Congratulations to your growing family!  They got married on April 25, 2015.  She purchased my DIY Lace Veil Kit and followed my tutorial to make her beautiful veil.  She wanted her veil to be an heirloom for her daughters.  One of the other beautiful Valentine gifts I got were photos of her children in the veil.   Isn’t this adorable?!  Thank you Krystal for sharing!

To read Krystal’s experience of creating the veil, you can click HERE.  I can’t wait to see photos of them them actually walking down the aisle one day wearing the their mother’s handmade veil.  Well, I hope Krystal inspired you to create something EXTRAordinary.  Thank you for visiting and may you have a wonderful weekend.

Hugs,

Ann

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ps. Here is the tutorial Krystal used to create her veil.

KRISTINA + KIP : Lace Wedding Gown Alterations

how to do lace alterations

This was one of my sweet #Brides Kristina. She was a Bride when I had my design studio space (below).   I had the honor of altering her lace wedding gown.  It is pretty nostalgic to see the photo with my old signage and decor. My design space sure has changed😉!  I made a lot of great memories in that place🥰.

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I thought I lost all my photos and work dating back before 2017. My old computer no longer wanted to cooperate and I wasn’t able to access backup drives. It’s nice to have FB save some memories for me. Surprisingly, I even made notes on the photo description😆.  Here are my alteration notes:

“Take up the shoulder, take-in waist, take-in hip, carefully remove lace & beadwork, hand-sew lace & beadwork”

Photo1:  Carefully study the placement of lace, beadwork, and intricate details
Photo2:  Slowly and carefully remove the lace for alterations
Photo3:  Hand sewing the lace back on the dress & hand sewing the beads

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Kristina’s love story is a true testament of “Love in Action.”  She celebrated a beautiful wedding ceremony in Cancun.  Read on to see why it was meant to be…

KRISTINA + KIP

How did you meet the love of your life?  We met in law school (nothing exciting there!), but I do note that Kip and I were friends first, and I didn’t start to see him in a different light until a group of us stayed at his parents’ house in Houston during law school for a friend’s wedding. Meeting his family and seeing how he interacted with them showed me a different side of him and peaked my interest.  At his friend’s wedding, Kip spent time showing me pictures of his then 2 year-old niece, which also revealed that he was just a sweet guy inside.

When or at what moment did you know he was the person you wanted to spend the rest of your life with? Kip and I say we did not have a “fairy tale romance.”  That is, we didn’t start dating and automatically know that each other was the one.  We were both hesitant because we both had in mind that we weren’t ready to settle down.  Also,  I was planning on returning to my native California after graduation where my family resides.  The fact that I wasn’t intending to stay in Texas created a facade in our relationship that it wasn’t going to last, but we were going to enjoy it while it did.  

After graduation, although Kip and I had an amazing relationship, I wasn’t ready to change my plans and I moved back to California.  I even took the California Bar Examination.  However, Kip and I couldn’t imagine breaking up.  After several months of long-distance, I decided to move back to Texas and give it a shot.  Immediately Kip and I knew we made the right decision and knew we would eventually get married.

You faced some challenges recently, what were they and how did you overcome it?  We got engaged exactly two years after I moved to Houston.  Kip is extremely close to his parents, and I became part of the family.  I even lived with Kip’s parents while I was looking for a job and getting settled.  Soon after we got engaged, we didn’t want to wait another year to plan a big wedding and set a date of June 12th for a Cancun wedding with only family and close friends.  

On April 30, 2011, we got a call that Kip’s parents had been in a serious car accident on I-10.  They had crashed into the freeway barrier wall at a high speed.  Kip’s dad suffered a broken neck and broken back.  He was extremely lucky not to have suffered any spinal cord injury and Kip’s mom had broken her back.  Kip and I had to decide whether to cancel the wedding because we couldn’t imagine a ceremony without both of his parents.  Kip’s parents were adamant we have the ceremony.  We hoped that at least his mom would heal enough to attend.  Kip’s dad had a halo and was hospitalized for seven weeks.  There was no chance he would be able to go. With their encouragement, we went forward with the wedding in Cancun. Kip’s mom was there and Kip’s dad watched a live webcast of the ceremony.  Although it was heartbreaking to miss Kip’s dad on our wedding day, it was a beautiful ceremony and that gave us an experience that brought us all closer together.

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I believe when a couple can endure tough challenges like this and remember what brought them together, they can make it through anything.  Thank you Kristina for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day many years ago.  Much love to this couple!  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Hugs,

Ann

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Here is the video on how to bustle her Casablanca Wedding gown.  It was one of my early videos. If you were one of my past Brides and have any photos, feel free to send them my way. I would love to relive some wonderful memories with you:

Never Say Never : New Projects

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2020 Chevron Houston Marathon

Greetings Everyone!

I completed my first full marathon last year and told myself  I would never run that again.  I was in great pain and was not able to walk properly for days.  I never wanted to experience that type of self inflicted pain again.  My husband had asked several times after to do next year’s marathon and I said I would do the half (13.1mi) but not the full (26.2mi).  He waited until half a year passed and asked again.  He added that it would be going backwards if we did a half especially knowing we can complete a full.  Since I completely forgot what the pain was like, he made a lot of sense.  So we signed up for the full.  My friend Nancy commented that we were so disciplined but I thought maybe we were crazy.

Really, I’m glad my husband convinced me to do it again.  This year I knew what to expect, how to physically train better, and knew building my mental strength was important.  I completed it..again!  On January 19, 2020 we completed our 2nd full marathon and I was able to walk afterwards! It was a better experience this year.  I believe this is a small lesson for life.  Never say never and don’t give up, even when it is painful.  You will know better and do better the next time around.  Also, it helps to have a friend cook a delicious meal afterwards to heal the aches & pains.  Thank you Eva!

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NO-BUY YEAR

A quick update on my No-Buy year.   First, I would like to know who introduced the HydroFlask to my children?  I never heard of this brand until my daughter wanted the water bottle.  She saved up for it and asked me to take her to the sports shop — that was where I was eyeing the new work out gear.  I do need a new running cap…I checked out the new running outfits but thought about the ones I still love at home.  I passed up purchasing anything so I am doing good so far.  I have added the cap to my 2021 wishlist but will be using my casual cap for now.  Again, who introduced the $37 HyrdoFlask to G?  Ok, I did try to teach my children about investing in quality and it is her own money… the water did remain cold and the ice lasted all day was her proof of quality to me.   Have you heard of the HydroFlask?  Just curious…

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UPCOMING PROJECTS

The new projects lined up are two new styles of the Chapel Veil and Sailor Styled Jeans.  I will be modifying my sailor short pattern for the jeans.  I am still brainstorming the style of pockets but I will keep you posted.  What are you sewing or creating?  Thank you for visiting!

Hugs!

Ann

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Here is my first DIY Chapel Veil Tutorial and the process on how I created my Sailor Short Pattern.  Enjoy!


Faux Leather Cardigan : Topstitch & Belt Loops

Greetings!

I am complete with my Faux Leather Cardigan. This is a video on how I sewed my Faux Leather Cardigan with a special focus on the topstitching & the belt loop. I got to wear it a couple of times already on gloomy and drizzly days. It really made my day feel brighter & more cheerful. Well, I hope you enjoy the video. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Here is the video content:
{0:00} Intro
{0:04} Collaboration with Sew Much Fabric http://stores.smfabric.com/youtique-bridal-and-lifestyle-for-sew-much-fabric/
{0:10} Faux Leather Cardigan, Special focus on the Topstitch & Belt Loop
{0:25} Toile
{0:39} Fashion Fabrics & Ordinaries
Fashion Fabrics & Button: http://stores.smfabric.com/faux-leather-coat/
Leather Needle size 110/18: https://amzn.to/2OK8agx
Aleene’s Fabric Fusion: https://amzn.to/2RvCNHO
Sewing Clips: https://amzn.to/36nd0WI
Water Soluble Double Sided Tape: https://amzn.to/2DJwHw8
{1:01} Cut Fashion Fabrics
{1:22} Cut Faux leather lining
{1:50} Sewing it together
{1:55} Topstitching

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{2:55} Sewing all together
{3:48} Attach Faux Leather Lining
{4:14} Button Hole & Button
{4:33} Pocket
{5:40} Belt
{6:23} Belt Loop

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{9:00} Lining
{10:11} Outfits
{10:28} Thank you for watching! I hope you got inspired to create something EXTRAordinary;)
{10:36} Visit my YT Channel to click Like, Subscribe, & ring that bell;)

Here are outfits I put together with items in my closet:

red cardigan outfits

Outfit1: Color Block Tee, Zipper Front Skirt
Outfit2: White tee I used to create the Color Block Tee, White Pants
Outfit3: Sleeveless Chambray Blouse, Black Pants
Outfit4: Color Block Tee, Silk A-line skirt, Altered Belt
Outfit5: Floral Dress

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I love how the cardigan turned out.  I can create another look with the belt I altered.  Just wear it over the jacket and I have a completely new new look;).  Thank you for visiting the blog!

Hugs, Ann

***NOTE**** I use some links that may be affiliates, which means I may receive a small commission for helping you find the things I use in my videos. If you choose to buy something by following the link, there will not be any additional fees to you. Thank you for watching & supporting the channel!

Youtique Bride & Lifestyle : Not Everyone Is My Audience

Greetings Everyone!

It’s Friday and I completed my Faux Leather Cardigan.  However, I am on the video editing phase for this project.  Thank you in advance for your patience as that always take time.

While putting my outfits together for this project, I envisioned my lifestyle and all the daily/weekly/yearly responsibilities I had.  During this particular outfit session, I had a flashback of a meeting I had a year ago with a fellow friend in the Fashion Industry,  David Dang.  He had shared that not everyone is my audience and I had to get to know my audience well – where they shop, places they hang out, how they live, what their professions are, etc.  I didn’t have the answers back then, but it occurred to me recently.  I hope to express some of it through my outfit stories…

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Red Faux Leather Cardigan

When I decided to step out of my comfort zone a couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to meet some amazing women and each had a unique story.  I met them at bridal events, networking events, fashion events, and some are my closest friends and family. Their stories fascinated me.  I was amazed by their passion, determination, and generous hearts.  They were Brides-to-be, Wives, Mothers, Dreamers, Singles, and Women of faith.  I was able to relate to some ladies more than others.  They were the Youtique Bride or lived the Youtique Lifestyle.

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Meetings Outfit : Floral Dress with Boots

Bride-to-be.  I too was a bride-to-be.  As much as I wanted to plan the wedding myself, I needed help.  I had concerns and worries of planning a wedding so I hired a wedding planner.  She helped set up meetings with different vendors while I got to focus on designing and sewing my wedding dress.  If I could, I would DIY everything.  I enjoy going to the fabric and craft stores and allow my imagination to wonder.  However,  I also had to be realistic and remember my time limitations.  I am thankful for family and friends who helped make my wedding day extra special.  Many thanks to my Aunt Kimmie who made my wedding veil.  

Wife.  I too had to learn how to be a wife and manage the home.  Over the years, my cluttered and messy home slowly became more organized and clean (thank goodness for more cleaner days than messy;).  I learned how to simplify, build routines, shopped for the best quality I can afford so things will last longer.  I learned that quality does not always mean a higher price tag.  Often, I want to make sure things had more than one use and purpose.   I work alongside my husband as an equal to build a strong family foundation.  When I am weak, my husband is strong.  When he is weak, I am strong.  That helps us to grow together and learn from one another.  We build each other up.  We work as one.  I want to thank my friend John Tran for sharing this bible scripture with me years ago on “The Good Wife.”  Proverbs 31

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Grocery shopping, Car rider line, parent/teacher meetings, quick errands : sleeveless chambray blouse

Motherhood.  I too understand motherhood.  I want to provide my children the best education and life experiences I can afford.  I also want to make sure they felt loved and cared for yet allow for some growing pains.  I pray daily for their future, development of their gifts so I can help guide them in their purpose.  I understand that I will never be the perfect parent but I am giving it my all as a parent.  And although I try my best to have healthy meals, I give into fast foods once in awhile because of music lessons or after school activities.  Each year, I readjust my schedule for teacher meetings, school events, recitals, etc.  I learned the best time to grocery shop and how to modify recipes to make it quick and healthy.  My children may not always like the food I make but it’s ok.  We are thankful to have more than enough and life will go on.

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Business Meetings: color block tee & zipper front skirt

Dreamers.  I too have a dream.  When I first started, I didn’t know what I was doing.  I just had a dream, passion, and drive.  I had put together my first business plan and it would be modified several times over the years.  I worked overtime when it wasn’t necessary because I wanted my dreams to become reality.  I had sleepless nights because business ideas would fill my head.  I would fail many times but I was relentless because I knew a few victories will follow.  I did not want to give up (although the idea would often come).  I was always in learning mode and tried to figure things out.  Eventually, I would learn how to manage the business finances and develop the operating systems.  I still have so much to learn but I am thankful for friends who went before me and helped mentor me.

Singles.  I too was once single searching for a life partner.  I did not want just any life partner, but the right life partner for me.  I learned that superficial qualities does not mean a quality husband.  I prayed for the right person to come into my life and he eventually did.  He only came after I took the time to learn more about myself and gave myself the respect I deserved.  However, I would like to also talk about the widows and single mothers I met.  This group of women leave me awestruck.  In the most challenging times, they persevere.  They may be tired but they use every ounce of their energy to make things happen.  They are resourceful.  They are builders.  They are able to work with what they have.  It appears they can make something out of nothing.  They rely on hope and build up other women because they understand the challenges.  I see their victories even when they don’t see it, maybe because they are exhausted.

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Women of Faith.  I too am a woman of faith.  I rely on God because he is my provider, my strength, and my salvation.  He created me to be unique and helped me understand that I will not always fit in.  He is my creator and because of Him, I create.  He loves me and my imperfections.  He wants the best for me and knows what I can and can not handle.  He reminds me that life is full of joys and heartaches but to depend and lean on Him.  He is a loving God and answers my prayers by saying, “yes and not now, I have something better for you.” He reminds me that not all battles are mine to fight, but to discern and choose wisely.  He understands me when I am misunderstood.  He wants me to grow, serve with joy, and be the best version of myself.  I live with love, hope, and faith.

I understand that not everyone is meant to be my audience, but all are welcome.  I thank you for visiting.  If you choose to stay, thank you and welcome.  I look forward to our journey of growing & evolving together.  If not, thank you for visiting and I hope you find your community.  You are welcome here anytime where there is mutual love and respect.

XOXO, Ann

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