Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heart of Gold

I recently pinned a DIY gold wire bracelet from, and I finally got the time to make it! It makes for such a cute addition to any outfit- it’s dainty and simple but adds a touch of girly- ness.
All you need is 5 ft of 16-gauge non-tarnish brass, jewelry pliers (round and flat) and a glass (or a jar of salsa in my case!) that's about the size of your wrist.
 1. At the end of your wire, make one hump for half of your heart. Use the round pliers to shape.
2. Next to your hump, make the valley (the V of your heart) by pinching the wire with the flat pliers.
3. Make another hump for the other half of the heart, and pull the ends together to create the heart.
4. Wrap the short end of the wire around the long wire twice to create the heart. Make sure you wrap it to where the sharp end won’t prick your skin!
5. Now wrap the long wire around your glass to create the bracelet part.
6. To make your hook, pinch the other end of your wire so that it is doubled up. This part should be about an inch long. (You’ll want to try the bracelet on to figure out where you want your hook to be.)
7. Bend the piece of doubled up wire in half to create the actual latch. (This might require an extra pair of hands!)
8. Now wrap the excess wire around 2 times and trim!
And there you are! A new handmade stackable bracelet!


Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Pop of Color

This summer is all about bright colors. Wearing fun, bright colors always seems to set the tone for a fun, bright mood. Whether it’s an accent belt or an accent skirt- it’s all fair game!

I love this J. Crew neon mini. It’s perfect in so many ways. And…prepare yourself… it was a clearance find! It pairs nicely with this Free People crop top…which was also on sale! I think a frilly, more neutral top helps to tone down the ‘wow effect’ of the skirt.
 I love the detailed cuff (a Forever 21 buy that I find myself throwing on all the time- so versatile!). I couldn't finish this outfit without my favorite Steve Madden platforms- a Dillard’s clearance find I’ll forever thank myself for!  It’s amazing how many things you can find on clearance/sale if you just wait it out (especially at big name department stores!)… :)
And of course…next come the colored jeans! They’re everywhere and make for some lovely color blocking opportunities. I love the pale yellow skinnies with a teal sleeveless blouse and a pop-of-color neon belt. The detail at the neckline of this shirt edgy but feminine. Of course, I threw this outfit with my favorite platforms!
I couldn’t leave out the summer staple- white jeans. White jeans are lovely with a bright top, like this coral one. We forgot the earrings in the photo, but I love this outfit with these turquoise earrings from Val’s Boutique! Perfect color combo.
Lastly- who doesn’t need a swimsuit cover-up?! A J. Crew Outlet sale find, this cover-up is just casual enough for a day at the pool but just colorful enough to catch your eye. And don’t forget your floppy hat- to keep your skin beautiful and style sassy. :)

Stay colorful!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Southern Peach Cobbler…the Easy Way!

This time of year, peach cobbler is a southern staple. I’ve always been under the assumption that my Mawie’s delicious cobbler must have millions of steps, but it actually doesn’t! It’s five simple steps. So -- if you love cobbler as much as me, head to the grocery store (or local farmer's market) and pick up 7 peaches.

Southern Peach Cobbler
7 peaches
1/2 cup butter
1 cup self rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk (I used skim.)

1. Peel your peaches, and cut them similar to how you would cut an apple- but a bit smaller.
2. Melt your butter in the oven in a 2-quart baking dish at 400°.
3. Mix flour, sugar, and milk in a bowl.
4. Pour the mixture over the melted butter.
5. Add peaches.

Bake for 30 minutes or until brown (at 400°) and grab a spoon! And of course -- serve with vanilla ice cream for the perfect melty combination.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

An Adventure I'll Never Forget

It’s been about a year since I studied abroad in the most beautiful place in the world. Today I’ve been feeling a little nostalgic- and a little inspired at the same time. Looking at pictures makes me want to hop on a plane and head back immediately.  On the other hand, thinking back to all I learned about myself makes me want to take on the world right here at home. My adventures in Greece pushed me so far out of my comfort zone into places I would’ve never ventured.  I learned that challenging and pushing yourself doesn’t always end in failure. One tiny step at a time, I transformed my fears into challenges and my dreams into goals. I pushed past fears of loneliness, fears of failure, and fears of inadequacy to find new friendships, new triumphs, and new strengths.
One of my crazy escapades in Greece was bungee jumping from the Corinth Canal bridge. I am absolutely TERRIFIED of heights and I swore up and down that I wasn’t going to jump. But something in that moment pushed me to let go- and just jump. As cliché as it sounds, that bungee jump turned out to be such a life metaphor for me. I’m always so terrified to jump that I just stand back and watch everyone else jump- happy in my own comfort zone. But when I did jump, I experienced a few seconds of the most exhilarating freefall of my life. All that to say, today I am re-inspired.  Re-inspired to keep jumping…. So I never miss out on a freefall that could be the most exhilarating of my life.
So, enough of my emotional journey. I’ll get to the good stuff…the reason you’ll be happy you clicked on this post. After I was slowly pulled back to the platform, the air still sucked out of my lungs, my eyes still wide open, my legs still shaking, I realized I would never forget that jump. Not because it was amazingly high and not because it was a symbolic life journey- but because there was a video. A video I’ll never live down.
People confidently claimed they were sure I was dying from the sounds I made while freefalling. Well, I’ve locked up the DVD in my room, shielding it from the multiple attempts to put it on YouTube. But I decided I’d beat my little sister to it. So here you are. Laugh really hard. Pee your pants...I am a dying hyena, I know.

Friday, June 22, 2012

DIY Vintage Nightstand

This DIY project was partially a gift, but I ended up getting to help out with the end process. A certain someone took note of my 7524805714 pins of distressed mint green furniture and took action… :)

DIY Vintage Distressed Nightstand

All this project calls for is an old piece of furniture (in my case a nightstand), sandpaper, an old candle (or candle wax), primer, and paint!

1. Find your old nightstand. (Try Goodwill or a garage sale!)
2. Clean it with a wet rag and dry it.
3. Detach all handles.
4. Sand down the entire piece of furniture using medium grit sand paper followed by fine grit sandpaper (if you’re lucky enough to have an electric sander, this step would be much quicker). Also, you can create notches, rough patches, etc. with a knife if you want.
5. Wipe away all excess dust with wet rag and dry.
6. Using an old candle- or piece of candle- wax all the edges of your furniture and any other places you want the wood to show through.
7. Now, paint your entire piece of furniture with interior latex primer. Allow the primer to dry (most primer dries relatively fast).
8. Once the primer is dry, paint the piece with the color of your choice (my paint is just Walmart interior flat paint, color- Norwegian Vintage Green). Since you’re going for a distressed look, only one layer of paint is necessary. Let the paint dry.
9. Using fine grit sandpaper, scrape off the paint where you previously rubbed the wax (you can scrape off as little or as much as you’d like, depending on how distressed you want your piece). For this part, make sure you sand lightly. You can also use the back edge of a butter knife to distress smaller areas that are difficult to do with sandpaper.
10. Don’t forget to reattach your handles! (if your original handles are not-so-cute try Hobby Lobby for some cuter ones!)

And there you are. Your own custom-made vintage nightstand- of course much cheaper than any you’d see at an antique store :)