Sunday, April 28, 2013

ETC: Hand Clap Playlist

Is there anything more fun and lively than a solid handclap breakdown? I just checked; there isn't. When used correctly, hand claps can be so pleasing to the ear. I've been keeping both a mental and literal running list of great songs that feature clapping in some form (either genuine or through a synthetic effect) and now I've curated it into a playlist for your listening pleasure!

Some tracks have just sporadic hand clapping for emphasis, others have energetic hand clap breakdowns, while others use the art of hand clapping (yes, art!) as an enthusiastic backbeat. No matter how they're used, hand claps just make me happy. Other musical ways to make me smile include snapping and whistle solos. I just love a rhythmic little nod to body percussion! This is all kind of making me want to play the spoons too. It's been far, far too long.

You are now officially not allowed to frown for the next 19 track lengths.

p.s. Enjoy the creepy "hand clapping" image I doctored (original found here).

xoxo,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

STYLE: OOTD Black, Green & Leopard

This is the third leopard themed outfit post in a row so I should either work to switch it up or fully embrace my leopard loving soul. Spoiler: it's probably going to be the latter. Leopard on!


Dress: Old Navy
Leopard Blouse: Old Navy [also worn here]
Cardigan: Gap
Tank Top: Forever 21
Leggings: Forever 21
Purse: TJ Maxx
Belt: Dots
Heels: Target
Ring: DIY by me
Necklace: DIY by me







xoxo,
Michelle

Sunday, April 21, 2013

BEAUTY: Ombre Glitter Nails


I have a small collection stable of nail polish, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to my glitter polishes. I don't buy too many, and I try to get versatile or special shades when I do. I picked up a few China Glaze polishes at Sally's recently (BOGO FREE!) and finally indulged in their Fairy Dust glitter, which I'd seen swatched on nail blogs several times and had been on my ongoing mental shopping list. I wanted to try it right away, and was inspired by the great galaxy manicures I've seen around, so I created this ombre purple look with a glitter overlay, which reminds me of deep space skies. Here's how you can get the look:

WHAT I USED
Wet n Wild On a Trip  //  China Glaze VIII  //  China Glaze Fairy Dust  
Seche Vite Top Coat  //  Cosmetic Wedge  //  Tweezers  //  Scissors

HOW TO DO IT
Paint a base coat of the light purple polish (1-2 coats) and let it dry.
Cut up the cosmetic wedge into smaller pieces.
Holding a piece in the tweezers, paint the wedge with the darker purple polish.
Lightly stamp your nail with the wedge to deposit color, going about halfway up the nail.
Add more color at the tips (this area should be the darkest) and repeat on all nails.
When fully dry, paint 2 layers of the glitter polish and top with Seche Vite when finished.
This glitter is some of the best I've ever had! It's hard to capture on camera, but it is super packed with fine holographic sparkles, which create an amazing all over shimmer on your nails. This would go well over any polish and also looks nice on its own when you use 2-3 layers. I love this stuff!




xoxo,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

DIY: Wooden Rainbow Bead Necklace

I think it might be kind of obvious that I love color, so this simple three-strand rainbow necklace is right up my alley. I picked up these simple dyed wooden beads in the dollar section at Staples, of all places, and I couldn't wait to make use of them in a statement necklace. You should try one too!

WHAT YOU NEED
Wooden Beads  //  Two 9" Lengths of Chain 
Elastic Cord (I used Stretch Magic)  //  Needle  //  4 Jump Rings  //  Clasp

HOW TO MAKE IT
1. Thread the needle with the elastic cord and string your first strand of beads (I used about 22 beads per strand).
2. Tie off both ends of the strand with several strong knots. Repeat for two more strands.
3. Tightly knot all strands together on each end.
4. Tie a jump ring to each end's knot and trim cord excess.

5. Attach a length of chain to each jump ring. Put another jump ring on the end of each chain and attach the clasp.




It's got every color of the rainbow so it goes with everything! 
xoxo,
Michelle

Sunday, April 14, 2013

STYLE: Patterned Shoes

Spring always makes me want to shop for new shoes - I'm pretty sure my feet are trying to break free from the tyranny of socks and winter boots. This spring I'm loving print and pattern on everything from heels and wedges to oxfords and sneakers. I've been keeping my eyes on great florals, polka dots and other graphic goodies, so here's a roundup of some pairs I'm loving right now:

S O U R C E S   H E R E   &  H E R E

Do you love patterned shoes or are you more into solids and neutrals? 

xoxo,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

OBSESSED: Pastel Hair


Lately, I can't stop fantasizing about pastel hair. It looks SO sweet and SO cute and adds an instant pop of color to every outfit - it's like the ultimate accessory. I recently helped my sister achieve cotton candy pink hair (which looks so adorable on her!) and now I feel like I have the pastel hair bug. Since I just got back into hair dye after a two year break, I probably won't take the plunge on pastel anytime soon, but I'll gleefully watch from afar!






Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

How could I even pick a shade anyway? The entire rainbow spectrum is so appealing in pastel, although I do think everyone looks great with purple hair. What color would you pick?

xoxo,
Michelle

Sunday, April 7, 2013

COOKING: Chocolate Heath Bar Ice Cream

I love ice cream, perhaps more than other people and definitely more than is normal. It is just SO GOOD, but I don't need to tell you that, of course. An ice cream maker has been on my frivolous wish list for some time and when I recently got an Amazon gift card I knew it was finally time to live out all of my Ben & Jerry dreams. 
I'm into anything DIY, and I love the idea of making my own ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt where I can control all the ingredients and know exactly what goes into every creation. Trying out cool, unique flavors (Sweet Corn! Strawberry Basil! Caramel Macchiato! Juicy Peach!) that aren't readily available for purchase is just the cherry on top of the homemade sundae.

After doing much diligent research (a favorite hobby of mine) I purchased this ice cream maker:

For my first try, I went simple with a chocolate ice cream base and Heath Bar pieces mixed in. You should try it too!


WHAT YOU NEED
2 Cups Heavy Cream // 2 Cups Half & Half // 1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder  //  1 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract  //  Handful of Heath Bar Pieces

HOW TO MAKE IT
Mix all ingredients, except heavy cream and Health Bar pieces, in a large bowl until fully combined. Stir in heavy cream.

Pour the mix into your ice cream maker, according to your maker's directions.

Process for about 20 minutes, pouring in the candy mix-ins at the 15 minute mark, and enjoy!

Mine was more like soft serve in texture, but after freezing the left overs (this recipe makes about 1.5 quarts) the mixture was much firmer and just like traditional ice cream in texture. 



As far as unnecessary kitchen accessories go, an ice cream maker is really worth it. I hate products that take up space and never get used so the best way to remedy that is to commit to making ice cream all the time. Ugh, the sacrifices I make. I can't wait to try new flavors!

xoxo,
Michelle

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

BEAUTY: ELF Lip Haul

Soooo, I went a little crazy on ELF lip products when they recently offered a $1.99 shipping sale. Since not everything in their product line is available in stores (or at least my stores) I'd been eyeing a few things on their website, but needed an extra push (like cheap shipping!) to make me pull the ordering trigger.

I love the quality of pretty much all of their products and with their low prices and cruelty-free practices, this is one brand that I never feel guilty about stocking up on. All of this stuff was about $17 with shipping! Kind of unreal.


Retractable Lip Brush
This is a handy tool with sturdy bristles that fits well on my lips and stores easily when capped. Love it!

Lip Lock Pencil
This works like a reverse lip liner in a sense; you apply it just outside the lip line (on skin) to lock in lip color and keep it from bleeding or feathering. It's great to use when you don't have a matching lip liner, too.

Essential Lipsticks
This basic lipstick line is a great value and the formula is really moisture-rich. The colors pop and glide on easily, but these do need to be reapplied periodically, as they don't have a super long wear time.

L to R: Captivating / Flirtatious / Sociable

Essentials Lipstick in Captivating

Essentials Lipstick in Flirtatious

Essentials Lipstick in Sociable

Matte Lip Color in Rich Red
This is a twist up crayon with a sharpener hidden in the tail end. It's really easy to apply, both because of the soft, creamy formula and because of the slightly pointed tip. I outlined my lips and then filled it in for a full matte red lip.



Lip Stain in Crimson Crush 
This stain looks and feels like a marker so it's easy to apply, but can also be a little messy. I liked the shade of red this gave my lips, but I wouldn't consider this a real stain because it came off a little at a time over the course of the day while eating, drinking, etc. I would definitely recommend exfoliating your lips before trying this out because the product settled more in some dry spots on my lips and left a bit of a ring around my lip line when it started to fade. Store this product tip down for easier use and a longer life.


Moisturizing Lip Liner in Natural Blush & Bitter
These are basic lip liners that get the job done and they each came with their own little sharpener. I opted for a dark merlot shade (Bitter) to use with my similar shades of lipstick and a light pink shade (Natural Blush) which matches the shade of my natural lip color, since I can use that with any lipstick. Smooth color and easy application makes these a great addition to any makeup bag.

I'm happy with my order overall, and I'm looking forward to trying out many, many new lip looks in the near future. I love when you don't have to spend a lot but you get a lot in return!

xoxo,
Michelle
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