Category Archives: DIY

Wired.

SUMMER: not a time to be laden with heavy jewelry. Yes, arm parties are all the rage, and chunky or layered necklaces are the perfect counterpoint to flowing sundresses, but I have a low tolerance for things that hold me down, and heavy jewelry is my enemy #1 at the mo.

Yet, as a girl, and one who enjoys being adorned with something shiny to match my tan, I could never go bare chested (or fingered, or wristed) when I am trying to look my best. Cue simple wire/chain jewelry.

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E and I bought a set of these on Etsy, and we both wear them EVERY DAY. No joke.

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DIY me!

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I need to make both of these bracelets stat.

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May have to hone my wiring skills a bit before I commit to this one…

BONUS! Most of these are DIY-able. My friend made me an adorable, and super simple, wired rosette ring to match the ones I bought on Etsy, and if it hadn’t started snagging on my clothes I would have worn it forever. I’m going to have to commission her to make me another one with a sleeker profile.

Instructions if you would like to make your own: wrap a bit of wire around a lip-gloss tube about the width of your finger, twist the two ends together and then wrap the ends around like you would a bun in your hair. Tuck the ends in and you’re done. Easy peasy.

DOUBLE BONUS! These pieces are practically indestructible. Sun, sand, sunscreen, whatever summer trouble you plan on getting into, these babies will follow you faithfully, and the only change you may see is a slight patina, improving their character if anything.

So let’s get on with it! And regroup at the end of summer to compare our color? I think so.

Happy Weekend everyone!


feeling dotty

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polka-dots have been EVERYWHERE recently, and as much as i love the print, i never feel like i can pull it off without looking too “five-year-old girl in a dress that her mom made her wear.” some of these photos definitely give some ideas of how to dress up the dots (in neutrals? mixed with neon?), but i’ve been thinking that the best way to get in on the trend is in the home decor arena, where the pieces can be the star of your scenery now, and a cute quirky twist once we all decide to get serious and return to the real world.

here are a few of my favorite ideas that i’ve rounded up, mostly DIY, some purchaseable, ALL allow you to take the dot trend as far as you feel comfortable.

looking past this man’s overly-suave smile, i LOVE this idea of putting polka-dots all over your walls and floor for a party, and then leaving them up forever. best part? use metallic contact paper and you can take these down with no paint damage! perfect for polka-dot commitment-phobes and those with landlords who just never understand your desire to personalize. martha, you always know how to solve our problems…

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dotted wall art, made using either gold and glittery cardstock or a home-made potato stamp, lets you pick your colors, the size of your dots, the arrangement, there are almost too many options! not to mention it’s a super quick project. anyone have 20 minutes this weekend?

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once you have that art up on the walls and you want to show it off to all of your friends, why not emphasize les pieces de resistance with some dotted drinkware? whether you’re going for big-girl glam or home-grown quirky, here are two options to fit the bill. now if you don’t feel like buying the glasses in #1, i think that recreating them using the methods of #2 on clear plastic glasses with gold paint would look great too. OR, use leftover contact paper from the wall dots above to spice up your own glasses for an evening. mix it up!

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while we have the ball rolling, why not make your invites dotted too? and how about some good old fashioned outdoor games? i’m always down for lawn twister. bonus – customize the colors to match your party!

somehow this turned into a party-planning post, i really was thinking home decor at first, i swear. but what can i say? the dots are just so festive!


birthday girl

this weekend my little baby girl turned one year old (February 25 — good, i see you’re jotting that down). fear not friends who haven’t seen me in more than 9 months, i’m referring to my dear puppy Olive. Olive (affectionately called Olz, Ollie, Peanut, Schnugs, Demon, etc.), was a rescue dog from the pound that happened to be one of the most impulsive decisions i have ever made. she’s majorly needy, sometimes nippy, occasionally a crazy ball of energy and barks, but always my trusty and favorite sidekick. isn’t it funny how some of life’s most impulsive decisions turn out to be the most rewarding and life changing? she may be a rescue dog, but i’m pretty sure she saved me and not the other way around.

anyways, enough sap already. to celebrate Olive’s entrance into the world she is now waging her terror on, i baked her a doggie friendly cake she was able to snack on for days. i used this recipe:

i admittedly didn’t have vegetable oil, honey, or shredded carrots, so i used some greek yogurt, crumbled dog food (which resemebled choc chips after baking), olive oil, and cream to my own discression. i “frosted” the top with peanut butter and created a “1” with her dog food.

i will neither confirm nor deny that happy birthday substituted with “woofs” was sung. happy birthday my sweet girl, may there be many more birthdays to come.


temporary living

i’m moving! though it’s a very temporary spot, i hope that it will be a jumping off point for a more permanent situation as soon as i can get myself really settled in san francisco. the house is very nice, and in a cute area (though a little out of the way), but my main concern is how to personalize my space without putting in too much effort for the 3 months i plan to live there.

i am definitely the kind of person who is hyper-aware of their environs, and i like things to look nice and neat. in college i was not able to study at all until my desk area was clear of clutter and there was a candle lit/flowers displayed/a pretty painting in my view. to that end, i don’t think that i will be able to exist happily in a room that doesn’t jive with my design tastes. am i too picky?

the space comes furnished, and is not what i would usually choose for myself, but i have been brainstorming ways that i can make it feel as homey as possible. luckily, a lot of decor modifications are easily removed and transfered, perfect for when i move on to the next place!

here are some of my ideas, easily modified to fit apartments, dorms, bedrooms if you have particularly picky parents etc…

hanging photos and art is a surefire way to make a place your own. without drilling any holes, here’s how to get some pictures on those walls!

and easy art you can make yourself…

flower DIY here      heart DIY here

tissue paper flowers in any color and a wooden heart, what more could a girl want? but seriously, i have had these flowers in my room in so many different forms, hanging from the ceiling, making a shape on my wall, scattered above my desk, the possibilities are endless. they will definitely be in my new room.

i am a huge fan of candles. my mom always said that it is because my sign is lacking fire (right…), but i do find that they help me work and make me feel more cosy on the gloomiest of days. here are two ideas that i have seen floating around that i would love to try. i think that the muffin pan candles could be improved upon by adding a few drops of essential oils into the cups without candles. it should work as a diffuser right? and the second, with the coffee, perfect for those rough mornings. a double-whammy of invigorating odor and candle warmth. original inspiration here and here.

and one of my favorite easy decor tips is find large paintings or mirrors and just lean them against the wall! so little effort!  anything that large is bound to make a statement. i’ve been doing this with a full length mirror, but i would love to add some large art pieces to my collection. this one in particular. flea market anyone?

wouldn't this make getting dressed so much more fun? painting by Michael Carson

i’m sure with some of these ideas i will feel comfortable in my new place. then i can move on to the fun stuff, entertaining!


a sentimental feeling

i met up with one of my best friends for a quick coffee date this sunday. while caffeinating we decided to pop into nordstrom so that my friend could replace a necklace she received as a gift but lost. i’d seen my friend wearing her cute, simple feather necklace before, but didn’t think much of it other than it was both very her and very cute. then, just tonight, i went to meet up with a different friend and saw her wearing the same brand necklace with a different charm. so, clearly methinks this brand resonates with women and deserves its moment in the blog-spotlight!

the necklaces are part of a series of necklaces by “Dogeared” (sold at Nordstrom and other jewelers) that feature a small “symbolic” charm on a simple, sterling silver or gold dipped chain. sound plain? that’s where the packaging comes in! each little necklace sits upon a shiny piece of paper with a saying that relates to the charm on the necklace. check some out:

“make a wish and put on your necklace. a life that is full of love is full of endless possibility. wear our necklace as a reminder that with love, there are no limits.”

“love is a dream come true! live and act in love, with an open heart and a dreamer’s spirit. believe in the power of love, and trust that you will find it.”

“what goes around, comes around… wear your necklace as a reminder to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving…”

   “make a wish and put on your necklace. feathers are symbolic freedom. they awaken our curiosity and open our hearts and minds to possibility. wear your necklace as a reminder to follow your dreams.”

“make a wish and put on your necklace. women are powerful. we are the mothers, sisters, and friends that make the world go ’round! wear your ner your necklace as a reminder that each one of us is uniquely beautiful and strong.”

“make a wish and put on you necklace. the happy buddha symbolizes the good life… happiness, health, and longevity. whenever you see his smiling face,good luck will follow. wear your necklace as a reminder to keep him close!”

while i think the price tags for these babies are a little high for what they are, i swoon for anything with a sentiment and message. i love the idea of inspiring others and believing in the powers of love, fate, karma, happiness, etc. it’s a beautiful world out there and sometimes we need to be reminded to open our minds and hearts! i think these are a perfect go to gift for a friend or loved one. with an unlimited budget i would get copious amounts of the “believe in love” necklace for my single ladies on valentine’s day to remind them how much i love them and how much love there is out there in the world waiting to be theirs. i know i can think of multiple people that each necklace is applicable to. can’t you, too?

p.s. i also think these would make a great DIY gift. i’m picturing this: find a chain and charm that suits your gifting situation and come up with a witty catch phrase (or word), description of the charm, what it symbolizes as a gift from you, and what the recipient should be reminded of when they wear and think of it. then, put said necklace in a cute box on top of your message and add a cute ribbon.

p.p.s. upon more research of the brand, they put their karma to proper use by selling certain jewels to help support grassroots nonprofits that are passionate about social and environmental change: One Voice, Girls Learn International, Inc., Heal the Bay, Stand Up To Cancer, etc. okay, i concede, give them your money! i knew there couldn’t be anything wrong with a brand that is clearly so sentimentally oriented.

“stand up and join an unstoppable movement. wear this necklace as a reminder that we must rise together as one. wear it for your family, for your friends, and for everyone in the fight. this is where the end of cancer begins.”

“make a wish and put on your necklace. together, we will end breast cancer! wear your necklace as a symbol of courage, awareness, and hope.”


spring fever!

with this winter’s inconsistent weather, i haven’t really spent much time in winter mode. in any case, i am still awaiting spring with bated breath. maybe it’s because the weather has recently been particularly spring-y, with fresh winds and bright sunshine, or maybe it’s the spring collections that are beginning to appear on blogs around the internet. in any case, i can’t wait. here are a few ideas that will definitely be incorporated into my life come REAL spring:

dresses in fun florals with interesting details

dresses in light fabrics and colors that can transfer easily from day to night

knitted neckwear worn with slinky nightwear (perfect for those tricky spring breezes)

cute hanging planter to hold a new plant baby (this is a DIY! click though for instructions)

embroidery thread for my valentines day bracelet DIY

tea party decor featuring neon pink, beige and white

i’m serious about recreating this tea party, i think that i may even have that exact model horse stashed away in my closet somewhere. now i just need to find a recipe for those elongated loop cookies…

do you have any plans for spring?


currently coveting…

here are 5 things that i saw and knew i had to make/buy/incorporate into my life:
1. neon-lined lace. how cute is this dress on alexa? and on the more attainable side, this skirt DIY? she suggests sewing a new, bright lining into your skirt, but i just say, cut the old lining out and use the lace overlay to breathe new life into those body-con skirts you no longer feel comfortable wearing alone. then you can switch up the color as often as you like!
2.  valentine crafts that can be repurposed for later. how cute would these candles be as stars (or anything really) at any time of the year?

3. easy hair accessories that make it look like you put in more effort than you did. you could just carry this around in your purse, throw it on in a pinch and … boom, glamour. +20 points .

4. delicious, simple recipes, like baked grapefruit, to make seasonal bumper crops less monotonous. an anonymous neighbor left a HUGE bag of grapefruits at our front door, and as much as i loved them the first 10 times, i am excited to change it up. plus, i find it hard sometimes to eat cold foods when it’s cold outside, so bonus that these are warm.

5. i love the idea of a tasseled keychain. i still have my college’s pendant hanging off of my keys, but it may be time to let go. i’ll start the transition with the tasseled ones shown here.


sugary sandwich

just a fun, little something sweet. i followed this recipe a few weeks back (before we became a blogging sensation … haha) so i don’t have pictures to guide you through the process, but it’s about as easy and fun as baking gets!

to set the story: i was trying to fill some time while my friend, who was staying with me for the weekend, finished her driving course online to get out of a ticket. while she sat at my kitchen counter on her computer i was compelled to bake to entertain us both. plus, i knew i was going somewhere the next night where i could unload my goodies (and not pull the usual and consume them all myself). so, with a box of funfetti mix in hand and vanilla frosting in the cupboard, i had my sights set on making these funfetti sandwich cookies i had ran across while searching for fun recipes online.

though funfetti doesn’t fit the new baking trends of organic and wholesome, it’s always a nostalgic childhood reminder for me of the good ol’ days when i thought i was a serious baker making cakes and cupcakes out of the box. i guess times really haven’t changed that much.

so, follow the recipe:

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i didn’t pay close enough attention when making the outside, sandwich part that i had to use cookie cutters to get a circular and even shape after the fact. i’d recommend making sure you portion your dough evenly onto your cookie sheet to make your life easier. once the outside part is made it’s time for the filling:

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you could use your own homemade frosting, but i had the store-bought kind on hand, so i happily took the easy route. by using different fun (or themed) sprinkles you could tailor your cookie sandwich to any occasion.

…the end result!

 

of course, the token instagramed photo that was sent to a few choice friends so they could poke fun at me!

there you have it — sugary, funfetti yummyness. even when misshapen and goofy looking they were a huge hit! check out baked perfection‘s other cookie sandwich ideas: lemon, creamsicle, eggnog, etc. her pictures and directions are much more professional and helpful.


wear a few hearts on your sleeve

valentines day is usually my excuse to make goofy, handmade cards for my girlfriends more than celebrate any romance in my life (not that there’s been much, but we’ll save that for another convo…). When else is it appropriate to draw any animal you want, color it pink, and surround it with curlicued haikus about love/nature/friendship/whatever inspires you in the moment? this opportunity cannot be wasted!

hearts and arrows! click through for DIY instructions

but, i just came across this heart covered, middle school style, friendship bracelet online, and i think i may have to find some way to attach one to each of my cards. a collar for the pink spotted puppy perhaps? or a branch home for the world’s only known rose colored monkey?

i’ve started practicing, and it’s taken me two bracelets to perfect the process. it’s definitely not hard to make these FYI, it just takes some concentration, and i am one easily distracted individual. for anyone like me, who hates reading long lists of instructions and likes to dive in head first, or just needs a quick refresher of their bracelet knotting skills, here are a few tips:

  • any time they tell you to tie a knot, tie TWO. i made the mistake of single-knotting for a while and ended up with some very limp, perforated looking hearts. double-knot people.
  • keep the knots loose. when they’re loose, they have more volume, take up more space, prevent your bracelet from looking hole-y. this also makes it easier to undo any mistakes you make along the way.
  • always knot the two middle strings together after each side is done! this somehow wasn’t clear to me from the instructions, but without the knot your bracelet just turns into two strands connected by a knot at the top. NOT WHAT WE WANT.

now that i am a heart-weaving master, i am off to the craft store to stock up on deliciously colored embroidery thread! i am excited to personalize each bracelet depending on my friends’ favorite colors. hopefully they enjoy the gifts as much as i do!

look who else wanted to join in the crafting fun!