Monday, June 11, 2012

Pinterest DIY projects: what works and what doesn't?

I am a DIY addict. I am always 'pinning' fun projects that I want to try! But some of the tutorials for these DIY miracles seem far fetched- and some of them definitely are!

Here's what I've experimented with, what's gone well, and what made me want to rip my hair out...

Cover an art canvas with fabric to create wall art: Winner!

I used this tutorial and it worked great! I went to Joanne Fabrics and found a few fabrics that went with the style of my room. Staple them to a canvas, and viola! Custom wall art.

Paper bag floor: (as my 12-year-old brother-in-law would say...) EPIC fail!

I read just about every online paper bag floor tutorial there was. I went out and bought all of the supplies, prepped my floor, and dug in. I don't know if my floor was too cold (cement floor) but the poly didn't dry for over 3 days and the crumpled pieces of paper never laid flat on the floor so they dried all lumpy. I even went back and tried to re-smooth them multiple times.

I could not figure out what I was doing wrong because every blog told me what I was doing should be working!

I finally gave up and now I have a corner of floor that has a shiny coat of poly and it looks like the floor is just wet. Apparently it's worked for some people, but for me it was a major fail- I think I'll just spring for new floors!

Use spray paint to get color-tipped shoes: Winner!

I used this tutorial found on Pinterest. The only thing I did different was I cleaned the shoes off with rubbing alcohol first (which if you didn't know, works GREAT at getting off dirt and scuffs from patent leather, canvas, etc.). This turned out to work pretty well! I wish I would have chosen a color that wasn't so 'traffic cone' but still...pretty cool!

I'll have to find a way to clean  up the stray spray, but should be easy to do with an exact-o knife or sandpaper.

Make a fun work out tank from an old T-shirt: Worked okay...

I used this tutorial from a blog that I love! It went alright... It's important to find a T-shirt that's the right size. I experimented with ones that were slightly fitted and that didn't work quite right. I also used one that was probably a little too big (a fave old Grateful Dead t-shirt). I'd also recommend trying on the shirt before wrapping the final piece of fabric to connect the back tank straps, so that you can find the ideal placement.

Cut glass bottles to create vases/candle holders: Fail.

I used this tutorial and also watched multiple You Tube videos on this method of cutting class. I got all prepared... lit the string...rotated...plunged into cold water. Nothing. Not even a groove where the flaming string was. I tried on two different bottles too. Disappointed because I wanted to make candles in the cut bottles!

*If anyone has helpful hints on how to perfect any of these projects, please leave suggestions & comments!!!*

What's my next project to attempt? I want to make a headboard from MDF board. :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Work it- Look for less!

I'm looking for a new job right now, and I have been searching for the perfect interview outfit. I think the look below is fabulous!

Work it
Get the prices on the original items in this image from

I love shift dresses and jackets, but business professional attire can get pricey! I've scoured the greater Seattle to get this look for less and was able to find similar options for a STEAL of a deal...

Dress- $49.99 at Marshall's
Jacket- borrowed from my sister but I did see some GREAT options at H&M for under $39.99
Bag- $39.99 at Marshall's
Shoes- $19.99 at Ross
Cz Earrings- $24.99 on
Necklace- $6.99 at Forever 21

Tucked my hair back in to a teased bun. Super easy! Essie Marshmallow on my nails.

Bag I already had (from a previous post). Gotta love Marshall's!

Ready to walk out the door!

Overall, the interview went really well. This outfit gave me the confidence to walk in there and 'work it'!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beachy Babe- look for less!

I love this look! Maxi dresses? Love. Bag? Love. Wedges? Love.

Beachy Babe
Get the prices on original items in image from Polyvore. 

But let's be honest, who can afford this outfit? The Michael Kors bag alone breaks my budget. So I went on the hunt to my favorite discount stores in an attempt to get this look for less. I found some incredible steals (and some old pieces from my closet) that helped me put this look together for a fraction of the cost!!!

Sorry for the horrible picture quality! This is what happens when you have to take them yourself. :)

Maxi dress- $16.99 at Marshall's 
Belt- $5.99 at Fred Meyer!
Jacket- $34.99 at H&M (last season)
Wedges- $15.99 at Marshall's 
Bag- $99 at Marshall's
Necklace- $12.99 at American Eagle
Earrings- $3.49 at Target
Bangles & bracelets- From all over! But you can always find a good bangle from Forever 21 and H&M

Monday, June 4, 2012

To knot or not to knot...

Top knots- you either love them or you hate them. I happen to love them. They evoke a very feminine, 60's-esque vibe that makes me feel like I'm channeling Bridgette Bardot.

Here's a few of my favorite ways to wear them this season...

Loose & Natural.
Can be an everyday look when paired with a scarf & tee, or dressed up with drop earrings & lip gloss!

Neat & Sophisticated.
For wearing with that little black dress a la Audrey Hepburn. 

Retro Inspired.
I am a firm believer that anything retro inspired is automatically sexy.

So fun and so trendy! Perfect for pairing with that cute new summer dress or top!

Messy & Effortless.
I love this look with a cozy sweater and sandals...think 'day at the beach house' nautical.

I just can't get enough. Find even more top knot styles on Pinterest or try your own unique variation! It's all about making it your own!!!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring Style!

I love that the weather is getting warmer and the cute shoes and tops are coming out of the closet! Here's a few of my fave outfit ideas for when the sun's out!

I am obsessed with anorak's right now- you can wear them with leggings, flats and hoops for a 'safari chic' look- or dress it up with wedges and a nautical dress!

From Wendy's Look Book!

This look reminds me of France for some reason. I love the feminine ruffled top with the sassy wedges! Add a chunky 'sailor' cardi when it gets chilly!

The top here is from Old Navy (on sale now!).
I found similar pants at Marshall's for $19.99. 
I've seen similar jewelry at Forever 21. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ombre nails!

Today I decided to experiment with the ombre nail trend. It's kind of grey and gloomy outside (in typical Seattle fashion) so I figured, let's keep with that theme. I chose a kind of purple-y greige color palette. 

New York Color in Park Ave, Essie in Cocktail Bling, and Zoya in Megan.

I started with my shellac base (a base and a top coat) and then painted my pinkie and ring fingers with the darkest shade. Then I did my middle and pointer with the middle shade. Then my thumb with the lightest.

Here they are after just the first coat.

Then I did a second coat and finished with a shellac top coat. It took way longer than a typical one shade manicure because I was trying not to smudge any of the wrong color polish on the wrong nail...but it turned out pretty well!

Love that shellac shine!!!

I love the ombre look but I'm not sure how I feel about wearing it around for an everyday look. It's a little much for my taste, but it'll do for today!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sheer, blousy, lovely

The sheer blouse look is definitely trending right now. I love how it can immediately make you look classy and feel sexy. And there's so many different places you can take it... vampy, professional, fun & flirty, girly...oh, the possibilities!

I recently went on a blouse-binge and bought up a bag full of sheer blouses in a variety of styles from Forever 21:

This one is just barely sheer and has a fun, masculine vibe to it. I love it with jeans and flats or heels- tucked in just like this.

This one is my favorite! It's so flirty and girly. I love the idea of doing a top-knot with it and some chunky jewelry, too. I like to imagine this model is wearing espadrilles.

This one is super trendy and a little edgy!

This one is perfect for work! But please, wear a nude cami underneath. Peak-a-boo's are inaprope for the office.  

This one is also great for the office (under a bright colored cardi!), but I love how they jazzed up the  model here with leather pants and gave her a little edge. This could also be great with colored jeans.

Here's a few more I found that I adore...
Also from Forever 21.

The sheer polka-dot look is so classic. You can do a 60's look like lovely Miss Lively here, or you can update it with a chunky necklace and bangles.

My absolute favorite ways to wear a blouse right now is to pair with either skinny's and heels or wide legs and chunky wedges. Add a clutch and you're set for day or night.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Target trip!

Did anyone else ever used to be embarrassed when they went to Target, like as a kid? Because it was a 'discount' store and kind of not cool to go there? Maybe I was a shallow child but there was once a time when I hated going to Target.

Obviously those days are gone and now I basically consider Target the mother-ship. So many adorable things at affordable prices! (Not to mention you can also snack on fresh buttered popcorn while you shop. Double win.)

I recently went to Target and made out with, what I think, is pretty good loot. I went with the intention of finding a fun watch but I got distracted by this scarf and had to have it!

floral Target scarf

And then I found my watch! I love tortoise- faux of course...

Target tortoise watch

I also got a few pieces of jewelry, some fun clearance earrings and a basic white tee for jeans and flats in the summer.

Clearance jewelry! These were both less than $4/pair.

And of course...I had to hit up the dollar spot on the way out. :)

I love to have note cards/thank you cards on hand. Super cute and $1 for each pack!

Sigh...Oh Target, I promise never to doubt you again. 

Friday Faves: beauty products!

I have a myriad of beauty products (thanks in part to my monthly BirchBox) but I have a select few that I'm fairly certain I couldn't live without. And if I had to, I probably wouldn't leave the house.

My morning 'laboratory'. 

I think most women have heard the question..."if you had to choose just one beauty product to have with you on a deserted island"... I could never choose just one. Why put yourself in such a cruel dilemma? But I will tell you which five are my most crucial.

     1. Moisturizer. You absolutely cannot afford to skip this step if you're 25 or older. It's just life. This is the product I spend the most money on because for me it makes the biggest impact.

Vichy is hands down the best moisturizer you will ever use. The LiftActive Night is literally youth in a jar.

Kiehl's is also a great option.

2. Concealer. This evens out skin tone in the worst areas (under the eyes, around the nose), and really, it makes me look less scary.  I swear by the brand below and will never use anything else. It's full of vitamins to improve your skin, so it doubles as a treatment.

Miracle Skin Transformer. The name is accurate. 

     3. Blush. Simply put, blush makes you look alive. I'll use anything for blush- lipstick, lip cream, cream blush, rosy eye shadow. Anything works as long as it gives your face color.

Right now I'm using Physicians Formula 'shimmer strips'. 

    4. Eyeliner. Eye liner automatically takes you from 12 to 21. Or 27 in my case, but who's counting? The point is, without it, I look like I'm in middle school. I don't go crazy with it for an everyday-look, but a thin line on the top lash line and a tiny bit on the bottom does the trick.

I don't splurge on liner- a drugstore buy works great. Right now I'm using Prestige Soft Blend Kohl Pencil in Black. 

    5. Mascara. Everyone knows that mascara opens up your eyes and makes you look awake. In my opinion it's more about the brush than the actual formula, but it's different for everyone. This one works best for me...

Clinique High Impact Mascara in black is my fave!

....there you have it. If I absolutely had to live with a select few, this would be it! What are your must-haves?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stella & Dot

I am loving Stella & Dot's jewelry right now. It's the perfect combination of boho chic with a delicate feminine touch.

Serenity Stone Drops
I wore a pair similar to this for my wedding!

Capri Chandelier Earrings in Coral
I would pair these with long flowing hair and a maxi skirt for day or night!

Signature Clover Necklace
LOVE. I am obsessed with clovers right now and this necklace is perfect. Pair with jeans and a white tee, or get fancier with a black tank and black blazer. 

Initial Charm Silver
I got these as gifts for all of my bridesmaids at my wedding (and one for myself of course). I put them on a silver chain and put them in a cute little box from Michael's craft store. :)

Nugget Wrap Bracelet
I love to stack boho bracelets like on a hot summer day!

Of course, we can't all afford some of these pieces (the prices can get pretty steep) but they're a great source for inspiration when I go out shopping elsewhere!

What Stella & Dot pieces do you have (or dream of)??