Monday, January 30, 2012

It Is Still A Mile

As you all know, Kipper and I are training to do the Warrior Dash at the end of April. Today both Kipper and I were really tired and didn't want to go work out, but we both pushed each other to head to the gym. As we drove to the gym, I was thinking I would just take it easy and maybe just walk since I was so tired. Yet as I walked into the gym and stepped on the treadmill I decided if I tool the time to get dressed and drive there, then by golly I was going to give it my all.

While I still can't run a solid mile yet, I am getting closer to it. But while I haven't hit that milestone yet, I did hit a big milestone for me today. While on the treadmill I would walk 2 min, run a 1 min, walk 2 min, run 2 min etc. When I was done with my workout I looked at how far I had gone and how long it took me - I had shaved my time down to a 15 min mile!

Is that super impressive to someone who is a runner? Well of course not! But for me, the girl that even when I worked out 4-5 times a day that HATED running, it is a huge thing! When I was done I felt so empowered and happy that Kipper and I push each other not only to workout, but to run longer, harder and faster.  Can't wait to see where we both are in another month!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coming Soon...

I wasn't going to say anything until I had everything together, up and running, BUT I am so excited (and proud of myself) that I am finally doing this, I can't keep it to myself!

So what is THIS you ask? I am opening an Etsy shop!

For the last few years I have had so many friends hound me about doing something like this and I have always wanted to as well (just didn't have the confidence I guess..) But after some thinking I figured, "What do I have to lose??"  :) 

Stay tuned for the launch of Allie in Glitterland! (P.S. Big thanks to Rei for coming up with the perfect name!)

Monday, January 23, 2012

First Comes Love...Which Leads to Allie Being Crafty

One of the first people I met when I went to work for the Heart Association 2007 was Aly. We both were in JWC and had several mutual friends, so it is was only natural that we became friends.

First Comes Love...In February 2009,   Aly headed to Mardi Gras where she was surprised with a proposal from her boyfriend, Trent.

Then Comes Marriage... Fast forward to October 31st. I was  blessed to be able to watch  Aly walk down the aisle and say I do to her prince charming. While the wedding was very much a traditional wedding, the reception was unlike any I have every been too. Trent is a HUGE Halloween person and every year he has a themed Halloween Party called Boo. I have a feeling it will be really hard to out do Boo 12: Tacky Bridesmaids and Groomsman, since it was their wedding reception!  (Honestly it was the most fun I have ever had at a wedding reception!) I mean how many wedding receptions have you been to in a costume and where the groom is dressed as a Pirate?

Then Comes Aly With A Baby Carriage... Fast forwarding again, this time to the summer of 2011. Aly and Trent announced they are expecting - TWINS!  I was so excited about getting crafty for Aly's shower when things got put on hold because the twins decided to make their debut 10 weeks early.

Thomas 1.1lb
Maggie 1.15lb

Aly's shower was rescheduled to January so now that she has her gift, can show off what I did for the twins. I always have adored the appliqued onesies you see all over Canton and Etsy, so I decided to take my inspiration from those and try my hand at them. (plus of course some bows for Miss Maggie!)

Here is the finished products! I was excited with how they turned out, but I have to say it is hard to so on onesies....they are so tiny!!!

The twins have been in the NICU since they were born on November 2nd and have been growing and getting stronger everyday! And the best news! Miss  Maggie got to come home last Friday weighing 6.9lb!  Mr. Thomas still has a little longer before he can come home.  He is weighing in at 5lb and hopefully will get to join his little sister at home in early March.  I am so excited for Aly and Trent, and I can't wait to meet both the little Layman's! :) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm A Warrior...In Glitter!

For the last few weeks Kipper has been talking about doing the Warrior Dash with a bunch of people from work. I had heard about it before because a few other people I know have done it, but honestly I didn't pay much attention. Early this week we started talking about it again and something clicked. As I looked at the website I came to 2 conclusions 1) This actually might be fun and 2) I can totally do this! Monday, January 16, 2012 the Team Glitter Warrior was born!

I have a feeling many of you are saying what the heck are you talking about? Well to sum it up this is the official description for the Warrior Dash.

"A mud-crawling, fire-leaping, extreme 5k run from hell. Warriors conquer extreme obstacles, push their limits and celebrate with music, beer and Warrior helmets."

The responses from friends have been interesting, both when I tell them I am doing it and when asking them to join me.

Conversation 1: 
Little Alex:  You that it involves mud, right?

Me:  Yea but they give you a Viking helmet, AND there is also a costume contest,  turkey legs and beer. Not that I like beer but still it is an option!

Little Alex: I will do it with you!

Me: Score one for Team Glitter Warriors!!

Conversation 2: 
Me:  Getting a group together to do the Warrior Dash in April. Want to do it? You know you want to join the Glitter Warriors!?!?

J Crab:  Have you lost your mind?!?!?!? Me? Mud? I've seen the pictures of guys doing it. NO WAY!

Me: They give you a beer at the end! :)

J Crab: I can afford to buy my own beer.

 Me: Fine, you can be an honorary Glitter Warrior and a sign holder with Tricia if you would like.

Now Kipper is still a little skeptical and he said that I have to prove to him I am serious about this before he will pay the $60 for me to register. (Apparently planning out cute outfits for everyone to wear the day of does NOT prove ones dedication, just in case you were wondering)  

But I am determined to show him and everyone else I am TOTALLY serious! I am going to not only DO the Warrior Dash, I am going to COMPLETE the Warrior Dash, all while wearing an obnoxious amount of pink and glitter...which I am sure will involve a tutu as well!

 As I was in the middle of Day 1 of Glitter Warrior Training I found that when I started to feel like I couldn't run any further, planning the Glitter Warrior "uniform" helped me forget that I my legs were about to fall off.

All joking aside, today will be Day 2 of Glitter Warrior Training and I am pumped! On Day 1 Kipper and I went 2.5 miles, alternating walking and running, but I ran HALF of it! I was pretty proud of myself seeing that I haven't really worked out in year!?!?! Not only did I FEEL amazing, I had a blast working out with the hubby. (By the way, can we talk about how skinny he is getting?!?!?!)

And it will feel even better when I cross the finish line and I'm able to say, " I, Allie Martin, leader of the Glitter Warriors, can do anything...even when wearing a tutu!" Now who wants to join me?????

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time Sure Does Fly

Had to believe it has almost been 2 years since I directed my first JWC Spring Show. (For those of you who don't know what the heck I am talking about: every year the Junior Woman's Club of Fort Worth writes, produces and performs and original musical based off of the club wide theme for the year)  Even though I have directed twice now, that first year holds a sort of magic that I am not sure can ever be repeated. From start to finish, it was pretty much a magical experience (even if I pretty much had NO life for a year) and went down in my book as one of my greatest accomplishments to date. I can't begin to describe what is is like to watch your visions come to life through the script, dances and the show as a whole, but it is an experience I will never forget. 

Today Cascada's version of Kids In America (which was our closing number) came on and all of a sudden I still got the same giddy feeling I did the first time we performed for an audience. It is a mixture of excitement and relief that you made it to the end and the audience is still there, and clapping none the less. 

I know I will never be on Broadway or have the opportunity to direct a major show, so this experience was a dream come true for me, with little pieces of my heart sprinkled throughout.  It is always fun when something in your daily life sparks a trip down memory lane. :) 


I could go on and on about how much I love Spring Show (even if it does make me insane and want to punch people sometimes) but I will spare you all. I am sure there will be plenty of Spring Show related posts in the future, especially since Tricia and I are planing Eden Wood and MaKenzie Meyers from Toddlers and Tiaras in this years show! :) 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

There She Is.....

Tonight the 91st Miss America will be crowned LIVE on ABC. Many people have posed the questions, "Is Miss America still relevant in today's society?"  and "Isn't Miss America a beauty pageant?" Well let me answer those questions for you, "Hell Yes" and "Hell No!"

Miss America is far more than the pageant you see on TV, it is a national program that impacts more than just the 53 girls lucky enough to represent their state each you. If you were to add up all of the community service hours and people impacted by Miss America, 53 state title holders, 100's of local title holders, and the 1000's of local contestant who might never even make it to the state level - that alone should answer both of those questions for anyone. These young women are more than just a pretty face wearing a crown - they are successful, educated, volunteers and role models to people of all ages.  

I am sure the skeptics that have read to the part are saying "That is a nice canned answer" and/or "And you are qualified to to make that assessment because???" Well, I am a product of the Miss America Program and because of it I am not only the woman I am today, but my career is where it is today. Because of my volunteer work on my platform I was invited and served as one of two youth members for a Untied Way Realignment Task Force at 16 years old.  At 17 years old I was invited to present at a state wide conference for volunteer service and leadership. Because of the relationships and partnerships I built through working my platform as a local teen and miss title holder I was able to secure my first non profit career position before I ever graduated college. These are just a few of the highlights of what I gained as a part of the program. And I never won a state title, the closest I ever got was 4th Runner Up my last year at Miss Teen Texas. 

All of the things I took away from my participation in the Miss America program are what led my husband, Kipper, and I to decide to become local directors, so that I could help give back and allow other young women the opportunity that I had.  While we are taking a break as directors to focus on growing our little family, we still very much love our Miss Texas family. Through my time as contestant and as a director I have formed life long friendships that I treasure more than you know. Many of my dearest friends (and pretty family!) are because of the Miss America program. Some I met when I was only 14, others not till I was an adult but I treasure them all. 

As I watch the pageant tonight, I know that years of hard work and dreams have lead those 53 young women to this moment. And while only one of them will have the experience of being crowned the 91st Miss America, all of them are truly remarkable young woman and should be proud of what they have accomplished.

And of course a special shout out to our very own Miss Texas, Kendall Morris!! It has been wonderful watching her grow up through this program as a local teen, state teen, local miss and now a state miss titleholder! I know God has many big things in store for her! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ready. Set. Go.

I might need to remind myself of this every so often!  But I know setting the goal and making my choice to go after it is the the first (and sometimes the hardest) step.  I have lost the weight before and kept it off for over 3 years. Somehow I let life get in the way and my weight creeped back up. I deserve better than that and I am making the the pledge to myself that once this weight is off, the only reason I can gain it back is if we have a Little Martin on the way! So if I am a little cranky the next few days, you know I am just adjusting my diet! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Official Pinterest Party Blog Hop!

Calling all my crafty, Pinterest loving friends: 

Come join me and all the fun; link up to the official

I have heard about about blog parties/hops but I have never taken part in one or really even known what the heck it was. I recently have fallen in love with a new blog, Life is Not Just Paper and Glue, where I came across the Pinterest Party Blog Hop and figured I would give it a go! So far, I LOVE IT! I have found so many new fellow crafters to follow on Pinterest that I might have otherwise never found.  

So if you are anything like me, you are asking "What the heck is a Blog Hop??" 
  • A blog hop is a linky list that is shared on multiple blogs. When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog. 
  • People can sign up to join the hop from any of the blogs that contain the list. 
  • Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "hop" from blog to blog by clicking on members from the list. 
It is simple and an excellent way to not only find followers for your own blog/Pinterest, but also for you to find great new blogs and Pinterest accounts to follow!! 

The official Pinterest Party Blog Hop is being hosted my Tammy from Life is Not Just Paper and Glue, and Michele from The Scrap Shoppe.  With the goal of creating a Master List of Pinterest accounts for crafty folks!  Each Friday, Tammy and Michele will select a Pinterest account to feature and highlight pin boards! 

So what are you waiting for??? The more the merrier and the more that join, the more inspiration to be shared!  I signed up early this morning and was #814 (or you can just find the picture to the right!) That means there are over 800 people with amazing inspiration on their Pinterest boards or blogs that I really connect with, that I otherwise might have never known existed! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Love Lives Here

When Kipper and I first started dating, money was tight and we didn't always have a ton to spend on each other at Christmas. We would generally just do one nice gift or a few smaller ones. After we got married and combined finances we still didn't have tons of money to spend at the holidays. And it never fails when Kipper would do our budget, he always budgets for me to spend about half as much on him as he will on me. This drives me crazy because I love surprising him, but it forces me to plan ahead and get creative.  Each year at Christmas I try and create a special gift for Kipper. In 2010, I sort of outdid myself  (if I can say so myself) and created a painted photo canvas that he will tell you is his favorite Christmas present ever! And honestly, out of all the projects I have done it was the most special to do and it makes me smile every time I see it! (even though I have learned a lot this year through other projects and I think I could make it 100 times better now! lol) 

This year Kipper has been working to purchase a bike so he can start riding with some of the guys at work. He asked everyone who wanted to give him a gift to make it a gift card towards his bike so that he could pay it off in mid-January. So...I decided I would do something a little smaller this year. Of course I turned to Pinterest to find some inspiration! :)

I loved the ideas of doing something with buttons and was originally going to do a M or Martin, but then I found the heart with the "Love Lives Here" and I knew that was it!

Here is how I did it:
  • Used a colorful sheet of scrapbook paper to cut out the exact shape of the heart I wanted. 
    • I used a print that had different colored circles on it so it blended well with the buttons. 
  • Picked a selection of buttons in all different colors and sizes out to sew onto the heart.
  • Yes, you read that right...I hand stitched the buttons on verse gluing and I am oh so happy I did! 
    • Here is a great tip to help if you are sewing buttons onto paper, especially several in a confined space: use small pieces of scotch over your stitches on the backside. It helped give the paper more weight and support.
    • Sewing the buttons took longer than I expected because I was very particular about where each button went cause I wanted as little of the paper showing, but I also wanted to stay within the lines of the heart I cut out
  • After I got all of the buttons sewn on I wanted to do something subtle to fill in some of the larger spots between buttons where the paper was showing. Because rhinestones are my thing,  I went in and scattered different colored rhinestones, as well as some AB stones throughout the heart. 
  • I let that dry overnight and set out to find a frame
    • Tip for picking out a frame: because of the dimension in the heart, you can't just use any old frame. It needs to be something that has some depth from glass to the artwork/photo. 
    • I found Hobby Lobby had the most options of this style frame and they are ALWAYS  running 50% off sales on frames. I ended up getting this one for $10 or $11! 
  • Next I went into photoshop and created the text to print on the background. 
    • Even though I used photoshop, you could very easily use word or publisher to do this. 
  • Print the text and cut it to size for the frame. 
  • Glue the heart onto the background paper.
  • After the glue has dried all that is left to do is pop it in your frame! 

I was super excited to give it to Kipper, but I was also a little worried it might be a little too girly. Yet as I watched him open it and then the way he looked up and smiled at me - all those worries went out the window cause I knew he loved it as much as I had hoped!

This post is part of Get Your Craft On Tuesday at Today's Creative Blog!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Project 2012!

Before I get started...........

I know 2011 was an incredibly tough year for not only me, but more family and friends than I can even start to list. But that is the past and I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be a great year. I am just thankful for all the blessings in my life that I have and those that God has yet to give me. I pray that 2012 will be a banner year for everyone. 2011 had enough sickness, death, drama and flat out craziness to last us at least 10 years if not more.

As we kick off 2012 I have decided I really want to make a better effort this year to focus on the simple pleasures of every day life as well as some projects that I have been wanting to do for a long time but keep putting off for one reason or another. If I learned anything from this past year, it is that life is too darn short and when you keep yourself so busy, you miss out on the things that are really important!  And to hold myself more accountable I decided I would post them in a blog so it is public knowledge! lol.


Allie 365 - I am really good at documenting the "big" moments and events in my life, but I want to more thought into documenting every day life, as well as get into more of a regular blogging routine. After some thinking, I have decided to put my own spin on Project 365 and Project Life and have come up with Allie 365! Each day I will have a photo of the day, then once a week I will do a SHORT photo blog recapping the week (guessing Sundays, but we shall see.)  At the end of the year I want to do a digital book of the year. I am trying to get Kipper to do Kipper 365 too because 1. I love his photos/photoblogs and 2. I think it would be really neat to be able to include both of our stuff in the book.

Project Blogs - When I started this blog, the goal was to blog about crafts and DYI projects only. Yet as I look back at all my posts from 2011 I realize that I have used it this as a creative outlet for much more than just sharing projects. I have no plans to change that in 2012 either. I just want to do better about sharing the projects I am working on, not just the ones I consider bigger projects. On larger DYI projects I don't want always wait until then end to share either, so I hope to do more mini "progress" blogs.

Around the House:

Let's Get Organized!  - There are several places throughout the house that I have wanted to do an organizational overhaul on, but when it comes down to my free time these things didn't make the top of the list. Having found some really great ideas and new blogs on Pinterest these tasks don't seem as daunting to me anymore. Some will only take a few hours (if that) max, others might be a full day or weekend project, but if I tackle one each month it will be so easy to get them all done!  Here are the areas (in order of importance) that I want to tackle this year:
      1. Pantry
      2. Important Documents 
      3. Garage
      4. Laundry Room 
      5. Wet Bar
      6. Computer Area
      7. Bookcase and Cabinets in the Living Room
      8. Master Bathroom
      9. Kitchen  
      10. Coat Closet

Makeover Madness! - While there a TONS of things I would love to do around the house, time isn't the only reason they haven't been done! Kipper and I both have lots of talents that we are very good at, home improvement doesn't float to the top of those lists. Also, finances haven't allowed for a lot of the things we would like to do either (especially since we would have to hire someone for some of it!) After talking to Kipper some more about this, I think there are some things we can make happen this year and actually do ourselves and then there are some that are that wish list if we happen to have extra funds! . Here are the makeover projects  (in order of importance) I want to take on this year:
    • Guest Bathroom: 
      • Paint walls and get rid of the wallpaper border
      • Rip up the carpet and put down tile (we are are a little iffy if this is something we can do ourselves, but think we can)
      • Change the hardware on the cabinets 
      • New decor accessories

    • Backyard

      • Build raised beds for our peppers in the existing flower beds
      • Take down the raised bed Kipper build on the work table last year
      • Revamp the work table to be more functional when working outside
      • Cut down the dying tree in the back corner
      • Plant a new tree or two
      • Wrap the big tree by the patio in lights
      • New patio furniture - WISH LIST 
      • Small storage shed - WISH LIST

    • Back Bedroom

      • New flooring - WISH LIST

    • Living Room:

      • Painted quote or saying above the TV

    • Front of the House:
      • Redo the front flower bed
      • New front door - WISH LIST
      • New garage doors - WISH LIST
      • New light fixtures - WISH LIST

    • Master Bedroom:
      • Create a fun shabby chic headboard 
      • New flooring - WISH LIST
      • New fan/light fixture - WISH LIST
      • Replace the old TV with a flat screen - WISH LIST
      • Find a great antique/shabby chic cherster drawer - WISH LIST

    • Master Bathroom:
      • New fan/light fixture - WISH LIST

    • Kids/Craft Room:
      • New flooring - WISH LIST
      • New fan/light fixture - WISH LIST

Life in General:

All About ME!  - Whenever I get busy (which is ALL the time) the first thing I stop thinking about is myself. I get so wrapped up in taking care of everyone and everything else I forget to take care of ME! Well this year that is all going to change! Kipper and I are ready to expand our little family. The more we talk about it the brighter the light bulb in my head shines - YOU HAVE TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF YOURSELF!!! Does this mean I am going to go on some crazy diet or become a workout natzi? Nope! But I am going to make a conscious effort make the following things a part of my daily life:

    1. Eat a healthier diet
    2. Find healthier alternatives to some of my meds
    3. Incorporate more physical fitness into my daily routine 
    4. Learn to say no! Before committing to something, really think through how it will affect me emotionally and physically
    5. Be more aware of my stress level and using relaxation methods to help control

All About US!  - My over busy life doesn't just affect me (even though I forget that sometimes!) I am so blessed to be married to my best friend and soul mate. After almost 8 years of marriage I still get butterflies in my stomach when he kisses me or holds my hand. I watch so many people I know who have been married a while who have fallen into a rut and just go through the motions. I understand, with everything this last year, there were times I felt we could fall into that. This year I want to focus more on just enjoying each other and all the things we love. I am sure we will come up with lots of great things, but these are a few things I really want to promise myself we will do:

  • Chefs in Training: After cooking dinner with Kipper the other night we both went on and on about how much fun we had. This year I really would love to make a point to cook a meal together at least once a week, if not more. Plus it gives us a chance to try out the million recipes I have been pinning into "If I knew how to use my kitchen..."

  • Take Us Away: We used to travel quite a bit, but the last two years because of time and other commitments that hasn't been the case. We love to have little adventures, exploring new places. Even if for some reason if we can make a big vacation work this year, we CAN make sure we take little getaways. We have been so many places together, but this year we realized there are a TON of places right here in Texas that we would have a blast visiting - we just have never taken the time. 

  • Let's Get Physical: Working out is way more fun when you have a friend to do it with! Kipper is getting a new bike and is going to start riding with his work buddies. Hopefully in the next few months we can afford to get me a bike as well so that we can ride together as well. This year I want us to help encourage wellness in each others life by trying out new activities together.

  • It's a Date: Every since we got married we have always been big on "date night/day" and this is something I for sure don't want to change. Yet sometimes I think we forget that dates don't have to be a big, over the top experiences or we get into the dinner and drinks rut. This year I would love to get more creative our dates. I have found some really great blog resources that I want put to use this year! 

Well that all took a lot longer pull out of my head than I thought it would! ha! But I am so glad I took the time to really write these goals out. I can't tell you how many times I have said "I want to do..." and something changes and I forget about it. If I would have had it down in writing, I would have had the reminder of "Hey! This was important to you! Don't forget about it!"

I think we sometimes forget that can't get to where we are going with a road map. Sure there will be detours along the way, but when you have a clear map of where you are going it is so much easier to find your way back from those crazy detours!