March 29, 2013

DIY: Pom-Pom Necklace

When I found these HUGE pom-poms in the kids craft section at Michael's my jaw nearly dropped. They are so unique and unexpected - they really got the crafty side of my brain churning. They come in long strings (all pom-poms are attached) and I saw bright blue and bright pink ones in stores. I also think these would look great sewn together in rows to make a fun pom-pom scarf. Maybe next time...

What You Need
Extra Large String of Pom-Poms (I found this at Michael's)  /  2 Equal Lengths of Chain
Scissors  /  Needle & Thread  /  4 Small Jump Rings  /  2 Large Jump Rings  /  Clasp

How To Do It
1. Cut the length of pom-poms that you want for your necklace from the full string.
 2. Sew a large jump ring into one of the end pom-poms, making sure the stitches are secure. It helps to sew through the middle "meat" of the pom-pom.

 3. Repeat at the other end of the pom-pom string.
4. Attach a small jump ring to each large jump ring.
 5. Attach equal lengths of chain to each small jump ring.
 7. End the chain in another small jump ring and attach the clasp to finish.

To simplify, you could also skip all of the chain business and just tie a pretty ribbon to the large jump rings to finish the necklace. This is probably not an everyday kind of accessory, but it really adds something when nothing else will do (or when you want to look vaguely like a muppet).


March 25, 2013

STYLE: OOTD Gray Leopard Leggings

Cardigan: Target
Dress: Old Navy
Leggings: Old Navy
Boots: Rampage
Necklace: Target
Ring: Michael's

I find myself in leggings more often than not these days, as winter finally starts to loosen its chilly grip on my wardrobe. These gray leopard leggings are from a few years back, but they still make the cut pretty often since their soft color palette makes them somewhat neutral. Ok, so maybe you don't consider leopard print a neutral, but in my world that's just par for the course. Paired with super bright pops of color like my beloved cobalt blue and green (which I love with my newly dyed red hair!), these leggings make a statement while still letting the color be the star in this outfit. Basically, bright colors + leopard = Michelle.

Wearing this locket makes me feel like an edgy school girl with its rosary-like chain. Target clearance! 

This ring is so colorful and magnificent in person (but reallllly hard to photograph) and I found it just laying by the jewelry supplies at Michael's - you really never know where good accessories will pop up!


March 20, 2013

BEAUTY: Rainbow Heart Nails

I'm all about bright colors, but sometimes I love the juxtaposition of a colorful rainbow against a muted background. This gray manicure with rainbow hearts fits in with that theme and it's perfectly fitting for this first day of spring, which just so happens to be snowy, slushy and super sunny. 

[L to R: Seche Vite topcoat, Light Grey by Forever21, Innocent by Sinful Colors, On a Trip by Wet n Wild 
and Blue Me Away! / Mellow Yellow / Coral Reef by Sally Hansen]
I just hand drew the hearts carefully with the nail polish brush by making two dots (for the top of the heart) and connecting them into a point at the bottom on the heart.

Next time I would use a lighter green (probably mint green) to make it show a little brighter.

I'm working on a DIY nail sticker made from nail polish, which was how this manicure was supposed to be created originally. It's been tricky, but I think I've found a way to make it work. I'll post a tutorial as soon as I have a final product worthy of showing!


March 4, 2013

COOKING: Pinterest Recipe Roundup

Pinterest  is an amazing tool for bookmarking and curating future project ideas, but I know a lot of people tend to spend a lot of time pinning and a not quite enough time actually trying out projects and recipes. I like to give my pinned projects a go as often as is feasible and I try to avoid pinning things that I know I'll never get around to actually doing. Like that recipe with 25 ingredients, half of which are not yet in my kitchen...probably not going to happen. 

I plan my dinner menu out every week and when I'm seeking recipe inspiration I take a gander at my recipe board on Pinterest and pick something that seems fun and new. Here I've collected a few recipes that I've tried and loved in case you want to try them too. The photos are my versions, but you'll find additional pictures and full instructions by clicking through the links in the titles. 

Mozzarella, Tomato & Avocado Salad from Ashley's Cooking Adventures
Super simple and delicious and so easy to throw together for a quick weeknight dinner. Serve with a nice crusty bread. Tip: I used Trader Joe's Garlic Infused Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of plain EVOO for some added flavor. 

Homemade Cheez-Its from A Chow Life
I am OBSESSED with Cheez-Its. They are my all time favorite cracker (almost typed crack...also seems appropriate). I'd never tried homemade crackers before and it was a little time consuming and repetitive, but ultimately delicious and fun to try. These taste pretty close to the real thing and you know exactly what's in them. Perfection.

Chocolate Chip Mini Cheesecakes from Baking Bites
I'd never tried making cheesecake before, so I figured starting small made sense. These were easy peasy and are a great alternative to cupcakes. Plus, the size makes them easier to serve and eat. Plus, chocolate chips, so...

Roasted Potatoes from Iowa Girl Eats
New ways to try potatoes are always welcome and this simple cut-and-season method was delightful. These are topped with seasoning salt, parmesan cheese and butter so there was really no room for error there, in my opinion.

Mini Breakfast Quiche from A Beautiful Mess
Again, a first time for me. I'd never used puff pastry before because it seemed high maintenance, but getting sheets of the Pepperidge Farm brand made this super easy and created a finished product that looks much more complex than it really is. Impress your friends and family with puffy eggs and flaky crust!

You can see more of my pinned recipes (and clothes and DIY projects and hair get the idea) here

What's the best thing you've tried from Pinterest?

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