//2015//A Year In Review

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Can you believe it.....the year is almost over! Where has this year gone? It seemed like just yesterday I was ringing in the new year of 2015 and in just one day we will be ringing in the new year of 2016! WOW!!!
I cannot even begin to recap EVERYTHING that has happened this year because quite frankly I do not even remember everything and well, it might just take to long:) Nontheless, I will try and give a brief overview of this years highlights and some of the exciting things that have happened.......

  1. I have successfully completed two FULL semesters of "real" college (I took dual credit for over 3 years) and will be starting my Junior year in the spring...hurray!!!
  2. It baffles me to think of all the wonderful people I have met this past year through the "blogsphere" or over Instagram. It is crazy to think that I have not even met most of them face to face or in person, but that hasn't kept me from getting to know them and feel as though we are all "bosom" blogging/Instagram friends.....it is something so special!
  3. One thing that has DEFFINITELY been different this year is moving away from home for most of the year, as I was living on campus during the spring semester, part of the summer, and this past fall (and will continue to in the spring). That was deffinitely something to get used to, but it has been nice to be independent and on my own.
  4. The number of WONDERFUL classes I have been taking for my degree have been soooooo MUCH FUN and as of now I have taken a sewing class, pattern making, textiles, principles of design, and hospitality (just to name a few).
  5. OH MY......I am no longer a "teen" anymore!!! Ahhhhhhh.......that is so CRAZY to think about and I don't quite think that it has settled in yet:) LOL.
  6. I CUT MY HAIR!!! Yes....I used to have hair down to my waist but cut it to my shoulders and donated 10 inches to Locks of Love. 
  7. All of my friends are now in college and it has been something for all of us to get adjusted to as we are all at different schools, studying different subjects, and are not all close to each other. It has been a challenge to stay in touch through our crazy semesters and schedules and still make time to hang out, but I know that we will prevail!!
  8. I got a position/job as a Resident Adviser on campus right at the end of Fall semester and will be going though training at the beginning of January. That has definitely been an adventure and journey so far and I am excite to see what this next semester will bring. 
  9. It was so fun this past year to be able to do three posts for awards that two other lovely bloggers had nominated me for (thank you ladies)! I was first nominated for the "Sisterhood of The World Bloggers Award" (here), than the "Versatile Blogger" award (here), and lastly the "Liebster" award (here). If you want to know some interesting facts about me I suggest you go back and read these posts....they are quite interesting and entertaining:)
  10. I filmed my first Q&A Video over spring break this past year Here.
  11. The top 4 Blog posts on Minnie Muse in 2015 were Independence DayRe-AdjustCOFB II "Collection of Reactions", and my Q&A.
  12. My personal FAVORITE 4 posts would however have to be: Shades of AvonleaTrudy CooperFalling Into Swing, and Classic my eShakti review! 
  13. Last, but not least, I am thrilled to say I have gained more followers than I would have expected in my first year of blogging. You LOVELY readers are what keep me going and are the motivation and inspiration behind what I do!!! Truly, I appreciate your kind interest in my "little ole blog" and thank you ever so much for being the wonderful followers that you are. 
  14. And Finally.....I wanted to take a minute to say thank you to all of the authors and fabulous souls behind the blogs I follow. You are ABSOLUTELY my inspiration as well and I look forward to each new post of yours that pops up on my feed, relishing every word, pictures, and carefully crafted ensemble straight from the heart and full of your passions. 
I know this new year of 2016 will come with new and exciting adventures and challenges and I can't wait to face each one of them head on with confidence! I look forward to seeing all that will become of Minnie Muse in 2016 and anticipate reaching more readers and sharing more of what I LOVE!

HAPPY NEW YEAR dear sweet people:)

- Madison

Christmas Recap

Saturday, December 26, 2015

MERRY CHRISTMAS....even if its a couple of days late!! I hope all of you had a simply wonderful Christmas spent with family and celebrating the true reason for the season. I thought that I would take a post and recap my Christmas.....or more of my December break:)
December for us is always full of parties, multiple Christmas celebrations, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Needless to say we are busy from the start of December till the new year. On that note, I suppose the business accounts for my lack of planned posts during the break...ugh....but have no fear I am planning on taking TONS of pictures while our family is in Branson Missouri this next week and hope to have a number of posts up in the new year (fingers crossed!). 
Every year we either host or co-host a Christmas party with some of our good friends. This year we co-hosted a fabulously fun Christmas party with lots of laughter, the annual White Elephant gift exchange, cookie decorating, and catching up with friends that are home from college. The Christmas party was also an "ugly Christmas Sweater" party! However, I opted out of wearing a Christmas sweater as a number of us at the party were planning to attend a Barn Dance that evening ...unfortunately it was canceled due to rainy weather. Nonetheless, the party was a blast!
I couldn't have a recap of my break without mentioning the most anticipated movie that every homeschooler and geek alike has counted down the days till it finally came out.....the new STAR WARS movie!!! I might not be as big of a fan as my best friend, but that didn't keep me from wearing my Star Wars shirt and going to the drive in with three of my best friends! Yes....we have a drive in movie theater ten minutes from our house and it is the COOLEST thing ever.....especially since they play swing dance music before the movie starts:) 
Next up on our agenda for December was our first Christmas celebration (we have 4 in total) at our grandparents (my mom's parents) house in town. That is always a fun day spent with my uncle's family, two cousins, and our grandparents. We always pitch in to cook a big lunch of chicken fried steak, chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese casserol, and much more. 
Our second Christmas Celebration is the one with my Dad's side of the family holds on Christmas Eve night in my dad's small hometown. Ever since I can remember this Christmas celebration has been one that me and my siblings look forward to every year with all of the memories and traditions that it holds. We first attend Christmas Eve service at the small Lutheran Church in town (that my dad went to growing up). Then we come back to the house to head a HUGE dinner, take pictures, have our annual gift exchange, have a white elephant game, and then finally play our annual game of BINGO well past 12:00am!!! It is a BLAST!!
Do you recognize this dress? This is my eShakti dress from my review two posts back. I thought it would make a fabulous Christmas dress and it absolutely did...even if my hair managed to somehow be "Downton Abbey" inspired and my dress emulating the 50's :)
I don't think I have ever shared a family picture with you all before so here it is!
Left to right: Taylor (youngest), Me, Dad, Mom, and Hunter (middle sibling).
Oh, and this is my Paw Paw (my dad's dad). He is 96 years old and even at such a distinguished age he still runs the family farm raising cattle, goats, and sometimes chickens.....he truly is an inspiration! 
Remember me mentioning our annual BINGO game....well these are our retro BINGO cards that my Granny Minnie collected many, many years ago! You can play bingo.....but when you play with retro bingo cards it makes it 10x's better:) 
Last but not least is our own family Christmas which we celebrate late in the afternoon on Christmas day. Our family Christmas is not much of an elaborate affair, but always memorable just the same. We always start with our stockings (my personal favorite) and then open our presents from everyone! After our own festivities at home are done, we usually head over to my grandparents again to spend the evening visiting or watching a movie. 
We actually got new stockings this year from World Market and they are the cutest things ever!

Our last Christmas celebration is the one with my Mom's side of the family (which I will unfortunately be missing this year) which will be held in January.

I couldn't help but share my Christmas Recap with you all and hope that your Christmas was just as wonderful. Apart from our many parties and Christmas celebrations I usually spend my favorite holiday watching LOTS of Hallmark Christmas movies (I probably watched close to 10...some for the 2nd and 3rd time), listen to Christmas music (though not enough and I regret not getting out my Christmas records), shopping here and there, and baking (though not enough for my taste....see what I did there!). Nonetheless, the Christmas season is one to cherish for the memories, celebration of Jesus's birth, and time spent with family. 

To close....you know you live in Texas when you can wear shorts and flip flops on Christmas day....yes our Christmas weather was 70 and 80 degrees. I am thoroughly missing the cold, but hope to get plenty of it in Branson this next week!

MERRY CHRISTMAS (a day or two late) and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

What are some of your Christmas traditions?
Did you travel anywhere?
What was your weather like?

- Madison

Not Typical

Monday, December 14, 2015

Shirt: Thrifted
Sweater: Thrifted
Shoes: Thrifted
Skirt: Forever21
Necklace: Me Made (Hobby Lobby)
Okay, okay, so not my typical blog post but I wanted to play around with my new camera remote, take a picture of my latest thrift store shoe find, and capture the Christmas magic of this necklace! Plus.....I also wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas right around the corner, thought here in Texas we are still waiting for the cold! 
My Fall semester is FINALLY over so now is my time to catch up on sewing projects, get to work on some of the exciting blog posts I have been holding off for the holidays, go shopping, spend time with friends back home from college, watch WAY TO MANY Christmas movie, listen to Christmas music, and spend time with family. My break will be filled nearly every day and as soon as Christmas is past our family is off to Branson Missouri for a lovely vacation which I will be sure to document and share with you all. 
However, what are your plans for Christmas? I hope you at least have cold weather....I am so jealous of all you who have already seen snow! 
Until later this week / weekend when better pictures are captured:)

Also....I am really in a mood to write Christmas cards, so if you would like to receive a Christmas card from me just email me you address at: sweetsidecupcakes@hotmail.com

//CLASSIC// eShakti Review

Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Dance as though no one is watching, Love as though you have never been hurt, Sing as though no one can hear you, Live as though heaven is on earth.
- Audrey Hepburn

Have you ever found a dress that just makes you feel FABULOUS!!! A dress that makes you feel as if you could conquer the world, take on any challenge, and have the courage to embrace Carpe Diem (Seize The Day)!! Well...I think I found that dress!!! 
When eShakti contacted me over a month ago and asked if I wanted to review one of their products I was absolutely ecstatic and honored at the chance! eShakti has quickly become one of my favorite brands for classic, one of a kind dresses that you can customize to your own specifications. Furthermore, with the personal customization options, eShakti is a bonus for tall people (...like me) who all to often need to add length to dresses, skirts, or pants. 
After accepting the chance to review one of eShakti's dresses, I spend an entire day browsing all of the different styles and trying to decide which one I wanted to order. I finally settled on this darling LBD that reminds me of Audrey Hepburn and who can get more classic than that. This dress is "Practically Perfect In Every Way" as Mary Poppins would say and is everything classic is supposed to be. From the princess seamed bodice, thick waistband, light tulle skirt, side zipper, handy pockets, and easy to care for fabric. This "Alexandra Dress" is everything all wrapped up into one !! 

Of course, I cannot talk about classics without pointing out that literally everything I am wearing in this ensemble is a classic....from the pearl necklace, to red lipstick and nail polish, LBD, black sunglasses, and swing shoes. This ensemble is "Never Going Out Of Style"!!! 

Picture overload ahead 
(The day was to perfect and the ensemble to pretty)

For those of you who are just now hearing about eShakti for the first time, forewarning you are about to be in Love:) eShakti is a unique brand that focuses on delivering unique and custom garments to all of its customers, in sizes 0 to 36W. The coolest thing is that every garment is made to order! As soon as you place your order the eShakti team makes your design from scratch, creating the pattern, optimizing fabric waste, and skillfully sewing the details together. I can't help but admire and appreciate the process that each design goes through at eShakti, especially since I am in an apparel production class this semester and have been learning how the apparel and garment construction industry works. Their process is top notch!

1) You pick out your favorite design (be it a dress, skirts, pants, or blouse)
2) Tell them your measurements. Whether you choose to give custom measurements or choose from the size options you always have to give your height. 
3) Customize your design to suit your style! You can choose from different sleeves, hems (lengths), and necklines. 
4) Then your design will be hand crafted and delivered to your door:)
5) Whala.....your custom one of a kind design is ready to show the world!!

Now, lets talk a little bit about my dress shall we!! Like I said, as soon as I saw this dress I knew it was the one I had to choose (unfortunately I do not think it is still available). However, the dress was originally sleeveless and had a slit neckline. I on the other hand, wanted to make it more of a 50's style dress so I opted to customize it with short sleeves, and a boat neckline. Thankfully this dress was already  designed with a long skirt so there was no tweaks needed there. 

Lastly, I had to choose my size. I had ordered an eShakti dress before with princess seams in a size 6, however I had to alter it due to it being a bit to large in the top. Therefore, this time I decided to go with a size 4 as the measurements on their size chart were almost identical to mine. I will say that next time I order a dress I will probably choose to enter all of my own custom measurements because even ordering a size 4 it was still a bit big and I could have gone for a size 2. 

Nonetheless, it still fits nearly perfectly and is the comfiest dress EVER!! The top fabric is of a spandex blend so it is stretchy and cool. Since the rest of the dress is made of fabrics that are not extremely delicate, like other tulle skirt dresses, it can easily be a wash and wear, which is super helpful!

Oh...and I can't forget to mention that this dress is Twirliffic (twirl + terrific = Twirliffic). The light weight of the fabric is perfect for spinning, dancing, jumping, and whatever else you might feel like doing in such a perfectly perfect dress!! 
I had such a fun time creating this ensemble! As soon as I received the dress in the mail I knew that I wanted to create a look inspired by Audrey Hepburn (she is the ultimate definition of "Classic"). Not only does the dress remind me of Audrey, but my sunglasses were an added inspiration as I call them my "Audrey Hepburn Sunglasses!" Since I was home on this particular weekend from college I took the opportunity of coaxing my sister into taking my pictures and I must say she did a splendid job!!! It was so much fun to twirl around, be goofy and maybe just a little bit sassy with gloves, sunglasses, pearls, and red lipstick:)
Dress: c/o eShaktisimilar #1similar #2similar #3
Shoes: Swing Shoes
Purse: Vintage
Necklace: Sam Moon
Earrings: Sam Moon
Sunglasses: FiveBelow
Gloves: Vintage (grandmothers)
Lipstick: Estee Lauder "Parallel Red" 

The "Alexandria Dress" is unfortunately no longer in stock. However, I put links to three similar styles above. 

In closing, let me just say that eShakti comes highly recommended by me! If you have never checked out their fabulous designs go do that right now Here! Maybe you are still looking for that perfect holiday dress.....well I guarantee eShakti will have just what you are looking for. You can even check out their party dresses Here
Also, eShakti sometimes has a super great deal where you can get $25 to $30 in which to put towards one of their products when you first sign up with them (if you don't already have an account). Make sure to keep an eye out for that, but apart from this deal eShakti is always having amazing sales where you can but 2 get 1 free, and they always have old styles for super reasonable prices in their overstock or sale. 

Until next time dear readers! Thus, I leave you with the words of Audrey Hepburn:
"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."

Have you heard of eShakti Before?

What do you consider "Classics"?

Have you ever dressed like Audrey Hepburn?