Saturday, August 31, 2013

Life Lately

Lately I've been:
  • Working on: creating a serious budget for my life // cleaning out my apartment and getting rid of things so I don't become a full-fledged hoarder by age 26 // coming up with some fall/holiday DIY projects
  • Thinking about: traveling // enjoying fall things and cooler weather
  • Watching: baseball, mainly // also looking for suggestions for good Netflix instant movies
  • Eating: cheesy garlic bread chips - I'm pretty obsessed

Goals for September:
  • don't spend all my money on unnecessary garbage (fast food, always)
  • drink more water and less beer
  • create an editorial calendar for the rest of the year

Favorite Posts from August:

Other Links:

What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Lemon Riesling Cocktail Recipe

A lot of times when I'm trying to come up with recipes for things, whether it be food or drinks, it begins with me looking up existing recipes and then seeing what I have around my apartment to replace the actual ingredients. This is mainly because I just don't want to buy things, but sometimes it allows me to play around with different ingredients and make new discoveries. Other times it turns into a disaster. This isn't one of those cases, thankfully.

That is how this recipe started. I took the basic idea of a French 75, but I didn't have any gin or champagne. Those are the two main ingredients, so this really isn't a French 75 at all anymore. But it is a new discovery and I was pleasantly surprised.

Start by mixing 1 tsp sugar with 1 tsp water to make a simple syrup in a champagne flute. Then add 1 tbsp lemon juice and 2 tbsp vodka. Then fill the rest of the glass with riesling and add a lemon twist garnish. Kind of a rip off, but that's all I got. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

DIY Braided Wire Ring

I'm not much of a ring person because I always play with them and then end up losing them really quickly. So it's hard for me to justify buying rings or spending much time making them. But this DIY is pretty perfect because it requires basically no supplies/money and was so easy that if I lose it (I will) I can just make a new one in a few minutes. Here goes.

Take a strand of jewelry wire and wrap it around the part of your finger you want it to cover (I made an upper-knuckle ring here, but you can just as easily make a regular one). Cut off a strand that fits around your finger at least four times. Cut two more strands of the same length. Tape an end of each strand to a table or other stable surface. Then braid the three strands together. When the braid gets long enough to wrap around your finger, cut the wire to size, making sure to hold the end so the braid stays put. Use a large clasp piece to fit the two ends of the ring together. That's it! I'm probably going to make several of these to prepare for the inevitable losses that will occur.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Twist Headband Hair Tutorial

I am forever looking for ways to hide my awkward bangs while they're growing out (read: I'm basically always growing out my bangs because I usually cut them as soon as they grow out and then immediately decide that I hate them). So I've been playing around with some new and different styles. Here's one I like.

Start by taking a 1/2 inch section of hair from behind one of your ears and pulling it toward the top of your head. Create a twist and pull the hair over the top of your head like a headband. Pin that section of hair wherever the twist ends. If it doesn't reach all the way across to your other ear, take a new section of hair from the area where you pinned the first twist and continue until it reaches across. Then take a new section from behind your other ear and do the same thing going in the other direction. You can go back and forth a few times until you're satisfied with how it looks. Pull the rest of your hair back or just leave it as is and let the twists keep your bangs out of your face. Of course you don't need to have bangs to do this style. In fact it would probably make it a bit easier, just as my life would probably be a bit easier if I would stop cutting my own bangs all the time. But what's the fun in that, right?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hats for Sale

Can you believe it's almost September already? Since fall is getting so close, I decided that I should open up my handmade Etsy shop and list some of my knit hats and accessories. They're great for gifts and everyday wear and Halloween costumes! I'm not planning on listing a whole lot more, but I will accept some custom orders throughout fall and winter. So if you want to take a look at what I have to offer you can check out my blog archive or sold orders on Etsy. Here are a few of the hats I have listed so far.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

DIY Coffee Lip Exfoliator

I've really been on a homemade beauty products kick lately. And I've wanted to try making a lip exfoliator because dry, dead skin under red lipstick is not a good look for anyone. Luckily, this was really easy and can be made with things you almost certainly have around your home.

Just mix 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and 2 teaspoons coffee grounds. Mix them together, apply, and then wipe off with a washcloth. Voila - smooth lips and I basically smell like coffee all the time, which is great. I've also seen this made with coconut oil and brown sugar, so you can use those if that's what you have. But I just decided to make some substitutions rather than grocery shopping and it worked out pretty well!

Monday, August 19, 2013

DIY Diamond Photo Display

I'm always looking for new ways to display photos around my apartment because, as you know, I hate having any open space on my walls and I also hate plain old photo frames. So here's an idea I came up with that's really easy and adds a cool geometric element.

what you need:
  • 4 or more photos
  • a black and white printer
  • thin cardboard/cardstock
  • a pen
  • scissors
  • tape

Start by picking out a few of your favorite photos and printing them in black and white. My photos are 4x6 inches, but you can scale them larger or smaller if you so choose. Take a thin piece of cardboard or regular piece of cardstock and fold it in half, then cut out a diamond shape that is even on both sides. Using that as a template, mark a few diamond shapes on each of your photos. Cut them out and space them evenly along your wall. You can use tape to make sure that the lines are straight (I probably should have done that a little, now that I am looking at the pictures).

That's it! I think I'm going to keep adding photos to mine over the next few weeks/months. But I'm really happy with the way it turned out so far!

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe

I love cheese and I love beer, so beer cheese soup is a really great thing to me. I've never actually tried making it before (until now). It just really seemed like a thing I would want to have on hand at my apartment pretty much any time. It didn't disappoint. Here's how I made it.

  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bottle light beer
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1-3 cups flour
  • 1/2-1 1/2 cups water

Melt the butter or margarine in a large soup pot over medium heat, then add the garlic and worcestershire sauce and stir. Add the beer, raise the heat to high and boil for about 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, bring back to a boil, and lower the heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add the half and half and cheese. Stir constantly until all of the cheese has melted. Combine 1 cup flour with 1/2 cup water. Add mixture to the soup and stir constantly until it has melted. Repeat mixture 1-2 more times until soup reaches desired consistency.

That's it! Just add some croutons, bacon bits, or shredded cheese to the top and enjoy the beer-cheesy goodness.

Monday, August 12, 2013

5 DIY Hair Masks

I've been really into making my own beauty products lately, both because I like making things and I dislike spending money. So all of the following deep conditioning hair masks were made with things that were already around my apartment. They all worked just as well if not better than hair masks I've bought.

Honey and Olive Oil Hair Mask // This one made my hair really, really shiny and smooth. Just mix 4 tbsp olive oil with 2 tbsp honey and either heat for a few seconds in the microwave or rub between your hands to heat it up slightly. Run through your hair, focusing on the ends, and leave in for at least an hour before washing off.

Green Tea Hair Mask // This one is so simple and just made my hair feel really clean and soft. Just brew a cup of green tea, let it cool, put it into a spray bottle and spray it throughout your hair. Cover your head in a towel and leave it in for at least an hour before washing off.

Baking Soda Hair Mask // This is another one that just made my hair feel cleaner than normal. It's probably something I should do at least once a month or whenever I use extra product like hairspray or other junk. Just add 2 tbsp baking soda to 3 cups water and run it through hair in the shower after shampooing.

Lemon and Vinegar Hair Mask // This mask can also be used to get rid of build-up from extra product, but it also made my hair really shiny and it actually calmed down frizz as well. Just mix 2 cups apple cider vinegar with the juice from one lemon and massage through hair 5-10 minutes before showering.

Egg, Coconut Oil and Beer Hair Mask // Okay, it was really painful for me to use beer in any way other than drinking it, but this was probably my favorite mask of the bunch. It made my hair really shiny and also kind of bouncy. Mix 1/2 flat beer with 2 tbsp coconut oil and a raw egg. Let sit for 15-20 minutes before washing.

Do you have any favorite homemade or natural hair products?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

DIY Crop Top

I'm doing this thing lately where I'm trying to take more chances on things that make me a little nervous instead of wearing the same old things over and over again. I already tried a cutout dress and a beehive, and now it's time for a crop top.

This isn't much of a tutorial because it's so easy. You really just need to pick out a top that you want to cut. Try it on and find a length that you're comfortable with. Make a small mark on each side of the shirt, then use the edge of a table or another flat surface and cut off the bottom of the shirt. If you use a regular t-shirt, you shouldn't need to do anything to the ends because it should just fold over onto itself. Just make a few small stitches along the seems to hold the ends in place and you're done!

Since this isn't a thing I would normally wear, I found that wearing it over a dress or with a very high-waisted skirt or jeans makes it easier. Have you tried out this trend before? What do you think?

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Almost-Beehive

I've always loved old beehive hairstyles. And for awhile now, I've been really wanting to try one on myself. However, I'm pretty nervous when it comes to wearing my hair in new ways - I stick with top knots and low ponytails most days - so a full on beehive is pretty terrifying to me. But I did come up with a little tamer version that's actually pretty easy.

Start with straight hair. Use a volumizer or whatever kind of volume adding technique you prefer aside from teasing. I usually just flip my hair over my head and use some hairspray. Then separate your hair into two sections, tie the top third of your hair on top of your head. With the rest of your hair, flip your head upside down and tie that section into a little folded ponytail, as shown in the fourth photo, leaving a few inches between your ponytail holder and your head. Use a clip or two to secure it in place, keeping the ponytail section as high up on your head as possible. Then take the top part of your hair out of its ponytail holder, fold the bottom under and secure it over the bottom section with some bobby pins. Use some hairspray to hold it in place and you're done!

I actually wore this out of my apartment the other day which is kind of a big deal to me, but I got a lot of compliments on it and it stayed put all day!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Acai Twist Cocktail

I'm a little obsessed with all things acai flavored right now. So I bought some juice with the intention of trying out some new recipes with it. The one I liked the most was pretty simple.

Mix 2 oz. acai berry juice, 2 oz. strawberry vodka, 4 oz. club soda, and a splash of lime juice. Add a citrus garnish and enjoy! Do you have a favorite new summer drink?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Living Room Tour

It's been awhile since I first posted my apartment tour after I moved in over a year ago. I've made a lot of changes since then, so I thought it might be time for another look. My living room is by far my favorite part of my home, so we'll start with that.

When I first moved into my apartment a little over a year ago, I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted to decorate every room except for my living room. So it just kind of became the place where I put all the stuff that didn't fit anywhere else - all my thrift finds, handmade stuff, and family items. Now, it's become my favorite part of my apartment.

Since I work from home, my living room also serves as a home office/craft room. So it's always pretty messy and always changing. But I love having a part of my home that I can just decorate however I want whenever I want.

Eventually, I'll post some other parts of my home, but I think I have some work to do first. What's your favorite part of your home?
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