Friday, June 28, 2013

Going to Camp!

I have been watching in envy as all of these crafty and entrepreneurial summer camps cropped up all over the country- most of them are too far away and way out of my price range, but they look so fun! So imagine my absolute glee when I learned that Craft-A-Way Camp would be happening practically in my backyard! And it's only two days long, and very rustic, which lowered the cost into something I could actually feasibly handle. I set sail tomorrow and am SO excited (well, not for the uber-rustic toilets, but everything else.)

I don't know why the summer campy vibe is so trendy right now but I really can't complain, I kind of love it. It's a little bit retro and a little bit crafty and a lot nature-y, which pretty much ticks all my "I like it" boxes.

So... here's a little fantasy pre-camp shopping:


1. Jansport Right Pack in Aqua Dash- classic backpack, modern color (well actually it's kind of a retro color, but you know what I mean. Mint is in.)

2. The Perfect Everyday Shirt from Conversation Pieces in Summer Peach Stripes. That title really says it all.

3. You gotta make friendship bracelets! Purl Bee has a great tutorial. I have always failed miserably at friendship bracelets, but I should probably give it another whirl.

4. Tom's Chambray Trim Classics. I used to really not be into the look of Tom's, but the older I get the more I like them. I don't know what that says about me. I have a really cheapy faux pair that I'm test-driving this year to see if I want to commit to the real things (I'm tempted by the wrap boots but I know they'd be less practical. Sigh.)

5. Me & Arrow Key Ring. Uh, so much cuter than my battered old carabiner.

6. You can't have a Wet Hot American Summer without retro track shorts. American Apparel has a ton of them in different styles and colors, as long as you don't mind emphasizing the "hot" part...they're definitely in hot pants territory.

7. I can't explain why but I've been hankering after a classic style Stanley thermos. I want to carry my dainty herbal teas around in something that looks like a lumberjack would use it.

There were so many other things I wanted to put on this board- I might have to do a part 2 later. But for now, I have to go pack up my less-exciting-than-this stuff (though I did use this as an excuse to buy a backpack. And a sleeping bag, because Pog was kind enough to barf on the last one and throwing it away seemed less daunting than dragging a pukey sleeping bag to the giant-size washers at the laundromat. Luckily it was a cheap one.)

I'll be back with pictures of my crafty-camping spoils, and hopefully at least 90% of my blood left intact (damn you skeetos!) Happy Camping!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How to Style a Scarf.... in the 80's.

This is just too amazing. I'm tempted to try them out and see how many are actually wearable if done with a scarf that isn't completely hideous (and no shoulder pads.) I'm going to go ahead and say no to scarf clips, though. (Remember the slides?? Remember using them on oversized t-shirts to make a little...ponytail thing by your hip?? Those, or scrunchies. Dear God.)

Don't miss the hot accessory tips towards the end ;-)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Outfit: June 15th

June 15 2013 

Jeans: Grane 

I'm making a real habit of wearing the same thing for two posts in a row, huh? Oh well. I've never done the transparent-shirt-visible-bra thing much but we were going to a late night drag show and it seemed fitting enough. You can't really see it but I was so pleased with my make-up that night. I used the DIY luminizer (which Travis thinks I should make and market as Extra Fatal Lady Shimmer) instead of lipstick and really loved the effect. I used the original RMS stuff (because it's sparklier) on top of my eyeshadow which I also recommend (just don't fuck it up because it's sticky and not going anywhere.) 

We're planning to move soon and I can't wait to have a nice, non-dark-and-beige place to take these photos. Shooting in RAW hides a multitude of sins (you should see this unedited) but it can't do everything. Bleh.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

7x7 Remix Challenge


Audrey at Putting Me Together posted about this 7x7 remix challenge the other day and I thought hey, why not. I actually did do this with actual clothes that I own, but we're in the process of getting ready to move right now and my photo taking capabilities and locales are pretty compromised, so I thought I'd just cheat and use Polyvore. That is the actual cardigan and mint knit tank; everything else is a close approximation (my skirt doesn't have buttons, but I wish it did.) 

7x7 1 and 2

7x7 3 and 4

7x7 5 and 6

7x7 7

This last one is the most formal, if you can even really call it that. I thought perhaps the cardigan would be weird over the knit tank but it actually works- just make sure to tuck in the little tail on the tank ;-) It's sort of like a twin set. 

I think 7 items is a little too restrictive for me- a lot of the outfits look very much the same, by necessity. Needs room for some accessories. I suppose I could've challenged myself more by using some prints, but I barely own any- I'm really a solids and stripes kinda gal. Not including shoes in the 7 would've left room for some more layers, too. But hey, if you were going a trip and really only wanted to pack 7 things, it totally works! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DIY Luminizer

After hearing pretty much universal raves about RMS Living Luminizer, I finally got my hands on some to give it a whirl. It is indeed a pretty awesome product- it adds just a slight shimmer to your skin, extremely subtle so you don't look like a glittery rave kid, but enough to make you look, well, luminescent, I guess. Healthy and glow-y.

But, clocking in at almost $40 for a .02 oz pot, this stuff doesn't come cheap. I got mine through Dermstore which was kind enough to throw in some free gifts and a 2 year subscription to Better Homes & Gardens, which made it a little less painful (no, I'm not affiliated, but I do like free stuff.) Still, though, it's a big investment when your beauty budget is as piddly as mine. Update: That subscription never came, BH&G says it never existed, and Dermstore never told me. Thanks a lot, jerks. 

So I took a look at the ingredients:

Castor seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax, tocopherol, rosemary extract, May Contain titanium dioxide, mica. 

So... two oils, beeswax, vitamin E (another oil and a preservative), rosemary extract which I'm assuming is for scent, and basically...mineral make-up. Titanium is generally a whitish powder and mica adds sparkle. So it's essentially like putting on a light coat of mineral shimmer, and using wax and oil to moisturize and glue it to your skin.

Hmm. I can do that. Commence experimental luminizer!

(But first a warning: melted waxyoil is not particularily easy to clean up! Cover your workspace and be prepared to soak the dishes for awhile. Very hot water helps melt it off, obviously.)

DIY Luminizer


Coconut oil
Fine-grain, shimmery mineral eyeshadow (1/4 teaspoon total shown, but I recommend more more more!)
A little pot to put it in
Microwave and microwave safe bowl
Oven mitt

I figured castor seed oil was probably used as a cost-saving measure more than a necessity, but you could use it if you wanted. Grapeseed would also probably work. I left out the vitamin E since I didn't have any handy, and coconut oil/beeswax don't exactly spoil quickly anyway. If you want a little scent, you could put a tiny droplet of essential oil in- just make sure it's not one that will irritate your skin. Mine just smells like coconut and honey, it's kind of lovely. I used 1 part beeswax and 2 parts oil, which gave me a fairly creamy texture, a bit softer than the original. To make it harder, use more beeswax; for softer, use more oil.

The mineral eyeshadows I used were two sample size pots from Bad Bitch Cosmetics (LOVE, btw) in Miranda and Yuki-onna (similar, but Yuki is a bit more sparkly.) You could use anything fine and shimmery- use a cooler, silver-based shimmer if your skin is cool toned, and a warmer, gold-based shimmer if you're warm toned. I thought I would need just a tiny bit of eyeshadow but I ended up dumping both whole containers in, and could've still done with more. If I make this again I think I will use twice as much, at least- unfortunately I've exhausted my supply of white-ish shimmer powders for now. In any case remember that the eyeshadow can really make or break it- go for a super-fine texture to keep from looking glittery.

DIY Luminizer Tutorial

Start by measuring out your wax and oil.

DIY Luminizer Recipe

Chop or cheese-grate the wax into little bits, which will make it easier to melt. Put the wax in the microwave safe bowl and start heating it up in 20-second intervals, stirring in between. (You could also use a double boiler for this- it would probably be easier, but with such a small amount of stuff it seemed a little silly.)

DIY Luminizer

When the wax is almost totally melted, add in the coconut oil and put it in for just a little bit longer, until it's all nice and uniformly liquid. (If you're using liquid oils, I think you can probably add them after the heating-up step. Be wary of heating any oils with a low smoke point.)

DIY Luminizer

Take the bowl out very carefully (it will probably be insanely hot at this point- use the oven mitts) and pour the mineral eyeshadow in. Stir it up well and dole into little containers.

DIY Luminizer
Attempt NOT to make a huge mess out of it. Seriously, it's like I'm 5.

Set them aside to cool.

**This part is key! **

Periodically as they are cooling, you need to go stir them up again! Otherwise, the sparkle will sink to the bottom. Eventually they will get too hard to stir, so it's imperative to hit that sweet spot when it's viscous enough to hold the shimmer in place, but warm enough to manipulate, and really mash it up.

DIY Luminizer


DIY Luminizer

My version is a bit creamier and a bit more sheer, but it does the job! It's actually perfect as a slightly-luminizing hand cream or lip balm, at this texture. (Also, great for clavicles and other areas that you want to highlight, but where you really don't want it to look like you've got make-up on.) To truly match the original, you'd want it a little harder and with more eyeshadow- I may also try a little translucent powder to give it a drier texture. On the other hand, with a bit more oil and a yummy smelling EO, it would be a fantastically rich body lotion that would give you just a little bit of glow all over. Adding some flavor oils would make it extra awesome as a lip balm, too. Go nuts! I'd love to hear what you guys can come up with!

It's also worth noting that even though I had silvery shimmer, mine came out more warmly-toned, probably because I used yellow beeswax (white beeswax wasn't readily available locally- you can order it online though!* ) Given the ease and price, though, I'd say it's a win- you could experiment with the ratios all day and be sparkly head to toe, given that each batch probably costs about $3-5, depending on how much eyeshadow you throw in there ;-) I smell Christmas presents for every chick I know coming on... assuming I figure out how to put things in a jar without sloshing it everywhere.

*Just FYI that's an affiliate link, which means I get a little kickback if you use it, but no pressure! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

10 Tips for Bridesmaids (especially broke ones)

Photo by lizzie photo, who are based in Grand Rapids, MI and absolutely amazing. 

One of my childhood besties got married a few weeks ago and I was honored to be a part of the bridal party. This was my first time as a bridesmaid (despite having gotten married myself a few years ago. Always the bride, never the bridesmaid.) I figure future first-timers could learn some things from my various good and bad decisions.

1. Check the sales rack 
If you're doing one of those "same color, different style" (or vise-versa) things, make sure you check the sales rack. I just happened to find a dress of the right color, in a style I really liked, for waaay under list because they were discontinuing that particular color in that particular style (no rhyme or reason at David's Bridal, but there it is.) It needed to be altered to fit me, but the non-sale dresses would've had to as well. If your bridefriend hasn't dictated a particular store (some brides just say "all black" or give you a color family) then you've got a lot of options. The bridesmaids in my wedding wore dresses from actual J Crew bridesmaids' dresses, to things from Asos (the search-by-color is very handy), to $20 dresses from Forever 21 (in my family, getting stuff cheap is a point of pride, so my sister/maid of honor was sure to let me know that tidbit.) Modcloth is a great site for dresses, too.

2. Budget for alterations
Expect that you'll need them, especially if you're all getting dresses from the same source (not every brand fits every body, after all.) Expect that they will cost as much as or more than the dress. Know that the little sheets they give you that say "Alterations from $XX!" are pretty much lying because it will not be $XX. Also know that it costs extra to preserve the pockets when they're resizing things, but luckily you are not much of a crier and the bridesmaid next to you will probably be nice and put extra tissues in HER pockets just in case ;-)

3. Do everything early
Expect everything to take longer than you think it should. Aim to have your dress/shoes/etc in hand and perfectly sized by two months before the wedding...and that should ensure that you've got in time even if murphy's law kicks your ass. Also the earlier you get started, the more likely you won't get rushed into paying more than you want to for things.

4. Buy shoes that fit
Mine did not. They kept slipping off my heels, even after I put heel grips in. I ended up using fashion tape to tape them to my feet, which worked better than you might expect, but was not ideal. Oh! Also! Bring fashion tape! And rubbing alcohol. Trust me.

5. Have a plan for your boobs
If you're already dropping a wad on alterations you might as well have them put bra cups in your dress. Totally worth the $20 not to have to deal with a strapless bra. Plus, they add a little vavavoom, or at least mine did. But if not that, make sure you've got a boob solution that will work with the dress and not peek out during rambunctious photo sessions.

6. Wear the damn hose
I hemmed and I hawwed soooo much about wearing pantyhose. To me, nude pantyhose speaks of going to the office and/or church in the 90's. But also, I am a dark haired girl with lily-white skin and a predisposition towards ingrown hairs and easy bruising. There is a reason that you don't see pictures of me with bare legs! So hose it was, and it looked fine, and kinda helped keep me warm. I think the key is to aim for something that matches your skin tone (no trying to look tanner) and keep it kinda sheer. The first part is tricky if you're as pale as I am, but they're out there. They were only a problem when I had to remove them on the beach, surrounded by groomsmen, so we could do a toes picture (also probably should've painted my toenails. Prepare for all contingencies!)

7. Plan for the reception
Most brides aren't so 'zilla that they won't let you get a little comfier during the reception. Bring flats in the same color as your ceremony shoes (or at least a coordinating neutral) and a nice sweater that goes well with your dress. You may not need it, but it's good to have. And you WILL need the flats, unless you're some sort of goddamn stepford-wife-club-girl who can dance all night in heels after standing around in them all day.

8. Test drive everything
Try it all on. Your friend's wedding day is NOT the day to learn that your underwear shows through the dress, or to try liquid eyeliner when you've never used it before, or to find out that your shoes give you crazy blisters after ten minutes.

9. DIY what you can, but only if you're competent
If your bridefriend is cool with you doing your own hair/nails/make-up it will save you a bundle. I got my nails done, but did it a day in advance at my own salon instead of paying for the one at the resort which was pricier (and honestly...I probably could've done that same nude manicure myself, as long as I managed to be patient and let the layers dry for once. But it's nice to indulge sometimes.) My hair is so short that I was spared the hairstyling question, and I'm pretty good with make-up after all the self-educating I did for Doomsday Knits. Again, practice in advance, but if you can pull it off, go for it. Everyone's looking at the bride anyway, you just have to look presentable but plain enough to make her look good.

10. Remember why you're there 
Brittany (my friend) was like the chillest, least reality-show-nightmare bride ever so this kind of didn't even apply, but speaking as a former bride... weddings are stressful. Your friend is getting married. She's under a lot of pressure. She's probably obsessing over details that don't truly matter in the grand scheme of things but which seem like extremely grave issues right this very second. As long as she's not pulling this shit, suck it up and remember that she's your friend and you love her, and she will probably be normal again after all this is over.... at least til baby fever hits.

(Bonus Tip: These stupid things are surprisingly fun at bachelorette parties.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Outfit: June 4

June 4 2013

Shirt: Flimsy Boyfriend Tee by Mezzanine from Conversation Pieces
Tank: American Eagle Boyfriend Tank
Jeans: Levi's 524 Too Superlow Skinnies
Shoes: BCBGeneration ballet slippers
Hat: My pattern, Slouchy, in Malabrigo Mecha

So I just discovered Conversation Pieces through Audrey at Putting Me Together and I'm kind of in a lot of love. It has so much of the stuff I've been hoping to find in stores, and the prices are totally decent. The packages arrive all wrapped up pretty, too, which I am such a sucker for. I like to think I don't immediately see a blogger I like link to something and then go run off and buy a bunch of stuff from them, but in this case... totally did. (Well, two things. And like ten on the wish list.)

  June 4 2013 
 Lookin' good.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Outfit: June 1st

June 1st

Dress: Rewind (Pssst- Kohl's is offering CAF readers a 10% discount til 7/11 with cod"BLOGGER10")
Tights: Look from London "Palm"
Shoes: Guess
Bag: The Sak Pax Large Cross-body
Sunglasses: No idea. Some cheapycheap brand.

My second friend of the season got married yesterday. This might not have been an entirely appropriate outfit for a Catholic church wedding (or as my mom, who was also invited, put it, "That's a little...wild, honey,") but I don't really "do" bare legs, sooooo oh well.


In other news, I'm having way too much fun with this Stilly app that Lee(thal) turned me on to. I wish it could make slightly longer, less twitchy gifs, but still. Fun!


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