DIYwithjules: Sweater Weather

A few Christmases ago, I tried to convince my four sisters to do this awesome DIY elbow patch tutorial together. Cute right?! Well not everyone was feeling it (surprise surprise) so it didn’t happen. I was pretty bummed out, but kept telling myself I would do it anyways.

I finally did it. 

And I can’t wait to wear it to one of my many holiday events this winter-ish season! Now, I just have to control myself from placing elbow patches on all my (and Khang’s) sweaters. 

Step One: Picking out a sweater (hardest part) and gathering rest of supplies (Hobby Lobby FTW)

1. Sweater (mine contained rayon+polyester)

2. Felting needle or similar 

3. Dense foam pad  (cut to size)

4. Wool roving (a little goes a long way)

5. Any cookie cutter shape to your liking or stencil or draw out your own!

6. Iron

Step two: Mark elbow with tape

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It’s important to try on your sweater and not just guessing it. Trust me. Remove tape after you place foam pad underneath marked spot. 

Step three: Position your “shape guide” and evenly place wool roving.

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Step four: (Slowly) Stab away m’dears. Stay VERTICAL or the needle will break. Trust me again.

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I agree with Erica about starting at the outer edges and working your way in. Don’t worry about the “holes”-that’s what the iron is for. Feel free to add more roving where needed. I like to remove the “shape guide” after getting an even surface to really refine the edges. 

Step five: Slowly remove patch from pad. Spritz water and iron on wool setting to smooth surface.

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Confession: I do not iron. Honestly, the iron pictured is brand-spanking new. I bought it for this tutorial. Judge my wrinkly clothes all you want.

Slowly pull patch from pad. You may need to use felting needle again to secure loose roving. 

Step six: Admire your lovely elbow patches. Always admire, y’all.

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Step seven: Ask a sweet friend to take photos of you…you cute little thing you… because it’ll be hard to do by yourself. Again, trust me. Plus, I really want to see too!

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Depending on the fabric, if you mess up then you might be able to pull off the roving and start over. I practiced on old sweaters just in case I messed up, which I did a lot. So please feel free to ask questions if you run into a problem. 

This also inspired me for my dental office’s “Ugly sweater contest” in a few weeks. Here’s a sneak peak. Did I mention that I’m a dental hygienist? Shout-out to all my UMMC girls!

Thanks for following and reading along,

with me

Jules.

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Gardeningwithjules: Just keep growing


Some people dream about owning a dog or a designer handbag.

Me?

“Garden” has been at the top of my list for the longest time along with a sewing machine and chicken coop.

I’ve been living my “garden dreams” for over 2 months now and being a total amateur hasn’t slowed me down. A great amount of time and effort goes into it(more on that later) but having the pleasure of seeing my greenies grow from seedlings to full grown edible vegetables is and has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

My goal is simple: Garden-to-Table. The idea of eating a prepared meal that includes freshly picked greens from our personal garden is something I’m proud to do and hope to continue when we start growing our family. For now, Khang, my brother-in-law Nam and cousin-in-law Phuong get to be my guinea pigs. Hah!

Here are weekly growth photos from the Southside. Accidentally forgot Week 4. I blame Ngoc and Greg’s wedding.

Week 1

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Week 2

Week 3

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Views from the Northside. If you look closely front and center, you’ll see my swiss chards. At one point they started to wilt (I thought they were deaddeaddead) but I kept faith, continued to nurse them, and with some garden magic they came back to life!

Week 6 

Week 9

Look how fresh and green they were the other night for spring rolls! Khang can testify that I was bouncing off the walls with excitement!

And with that I’d like to thank our good friend Francis for offering his truck to transport our truckload of soil and to Nam for being super cool with me basically taking over his backyard for my ambitious “garden dreams”.  I hope to make your tummies full and happy when we harvest.

Are you growing any fall veggies? Please share!

Thanks for reading along

with me,

Jules

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Phamtastic Together [Part 3]

Um yeah. I’ll just let most of the pictures explain.

We danced to “Oceans” by Hillsong and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

My brother-in-law Lou recorded most of it and I’ll admit that I’ve watched it at least once a day so far. My favorite thing is actually watching my Mom’s reaction in the background. She was loving our first dance so much and looked so tickled with joy. Totally worth it.

I rushed straight to the restroom after our Father-Daughter dance, collapsed on a chair, and bawled my eyes out. Ngoc came in right after and asked if I was okay. I reassured her between my sobs that they were just “happy tears”. She smiled and said she understood because she knew how much my Daddy meant to me.  We asked everyone to “take a break” and sing along with us. The song was “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. It was ahhhhmazing! I highly recommend stopping your wedding to belt out a favorite song.kj-803

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kj-820 kj-847 kj-763 Please note one of our groomsmen, who I shall not name, in the background. Now look at the photo below. kj-784 kj-773 kj-749kj-710kj-681

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And I would do it all over again. Best. Day. Ever. 

And crazy thing is life has only gotten better and better.

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Phamtastic Together [Part 2]

This church is special to us. Khang actually asked me to be his girlfriend on the front steps of this church after mass on June 25, 2005. Who knew we’d be married 11 years later? Not us, we almost broke up during the first week of dating! It’s seen Khang and I flourish under its roof at many different stages in our relationship. In theory, our church and its community watched us grow. I remember the priest telling me once to practice “humility” in showing my affection with Khang and recall the nun bribing Khang to play the role as Joseph because I was Mary in a Christmas play. Oh those were the days.

I think some might feel nervous about having a church full of people focused on them the entire time, but I felt very comfortable up at that alter. I think it’s because Khang and I had been up there  together multiple times before.

The ceremony was a blur. However, during our profession of love there was a short, clear, and vivid moment when I looked up to see Khang’s eyes welling up with tears. It was only a glance and I later asked him about it. He admitted he was on the verge of tears and tried very hard to not blink so they wouldn’t fall down his face. Khang is not one for public emotion. So I was pretty happy to catch him when I did.

I finished my profession of love at around 4am the day of the wedding. Not because I procrastinated! I found the right words to say that morning…I guess all the emotions and realizations finally hit me. Here’s what I remember:

“Khang,

Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have found you before finding myself.

My heart has not been still since age 15 because of your crazy and beautiful love.

Growing up together has allowed our relationship to evolve. The truth is…our love…has and will always be changing.

Because our love isn’t just an emotion but a continuous thread of actions towards one common goal. I used to think this goal was to make you happy. But I was wrong.

I learned from Day One of Marriage Preparation that my job from this day on as your wife is to make sure you make it into heaven by the grace of God when the time comes.

Now this means many things, but I’m overwhelmed by the thought that I get to love you as much as God loves you.

I know it won’t be easy. Rest assured, I’m ready.

I’m ready to…

Help you grow,

Help you explore,

Help you discover.

Because with every passing day you my dearest only get better with age and with that so does our love and our relationship towards God.

And I know with His guidance,

our love knows no limits.

You are my greatest adventure Mr. Pham and I look forward to continuing this beautiful life we’ve created together thus far.”

Or something like that. Yes, all from memory. I’ll never forget it.

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After our ceremony, things just started rolling.

The bestest wedding party giving our very bestest attempt at “serious faces”. Naaaaaaailed it. Maybe. Still waiting on video.

But no joke, this group of beautiful people did an hour-long photo/videoshoot in summer weather. In formal attire. In June. In the South y’all.

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Up next was the reception. Or what I like to think…a series of epic dancing proportions.

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Phamtastic Together [Part 1]

I remember crying in my car to my best friend, Michelle, about having to wait three years to marry Khang. Upset because we needed time to save up enough money to pay for a big wedding that our parents wanted. I’m not going to lie, there was bitterness in the beginning. But after much discussion, we accepted the sacrifices and agreed to our parents’ way…and it surprisingly ended up being the best way.

I wouldn’t trade our engagement/wedding experience for anything even that “Mountain Wedding” we thought we once wanted. Not only did Khang and I grow deeper in our relationship, we grew deeper in our faith. We started praying daily together and began to spiritually get ready for our wedding and more importantly our marriage. As always, God has a plan and it’s wonderful when I’m finally able to find out his blessings for me. For us. Maybe I’ll share more of that journey one day.

But for now, here’s our wedding story from my perspective. The highlights of course.

Okay, so you know that feeling you get when someone says “You’re so beautiful” and because of the way they say it and the look in their eyes you just know they mean it? You feel like the most beautiful creature in the whole world because it’s like that person sees all the beauty you hold at that very moment? You’re wonderfully caught off guard. Well this is how Khang always gets me when he does it. I cannot think of a moment where this happened and I was all doll’d up. It always unexpectedly happens when I’m bare-faced with messy hair.

This is why I decided to go almost make-up free with the exception of eyelash extensions (no mascara) and Burt Bees lip balm for our “first look”. I wanted Khang to see his idea of beautiful me. We woke up early in the morning before all the hustle and bustle at a secluded area in Gulf Island National Seashore Park in my hometown of Ocean Springs, MS.

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After a little photo session, we headed back to our separate houses to get ready. My bridal squad included my best friend, Michelle, my two sisters Jill and Joy, and my sister-in-law Ngoc.

It was important to me to have these four lovely ladies by my side. I remember giving a little impromptu speech-something along these lines:

“I know today is about celebrating Khang and I, but I want y’all to know that I’m celebrating my relationship with each one of you too. People always praise how long Khang and I have been together… but if you think about it…I’ve known you… *pointing at Ngoc* just as long as I’ve known Khang…*pointing at Michelle* since babyhood…*pointing at Joy* your whole life…*pointing at Jill* my entire life… I want y’all to know Khang and I wouldn’t be here today about to get married without the love and support you’ve shown us throughout our relationship. Thank you so much. It means more than you’ll ever know.”

There were some teary eyes so I proceeded to do the chicken dance to lighten the mood because that hair and make-up took a lot of work!

Off we went to the place where it all started: Vietnamese St. Martyrs Catholic Church in Biloxi, MS.

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