May 26, 2015

OBSESSED: (Creepy?) Doll Parts

I hesitate to label doll parts as "creepy" (thus the question mark in the title of this post) because they're not inherently scary or bad, but many people show anything from mild discomfort to full on terror when presented with them. I never had an interest in dolls. As a child, an elderly neighbor invited me over to see her "doll room," which is exactly what you're picturing: a bedroom filled to the brim with dolls. Dolls on shelves, dolls on furniture, dolls in boxes, dolls in Victorian dresses. DOLLS. This visit not only confirmed my doll apathy, but also showed me that the path of a doll lover could end somewhere really weird. I was always more of a stuffed animal girl, anyway.

I understand the creep factor, but I don't fear dolls, and I'm even oddly drawn to doll parts and unique things made from those parts. A whole doll just isn't my jam, but cut off its arms and maybe stick 'em on earrings - then we're talking! Here are some potentially creepy, maybe cute, definitely interesting items made from doll parts that I'm obsessed with:

1. These blank faces are perfect to stuff full of your favorite greenery! It kind of looks like crazy hair, and crazy hair on a baby is ALWAYS funny. {Buy Here}

2. "Please pass the doll legs! Oh, I meant salt and pepper!" A classic dinnertime mistake, but there's no longer a need to differentiate with these disturbing little gems. {Buy Here}

3. Somehow this hollow doll head manages to look - dare I say? - sophisticated. You know, within the realm of skull-based drinkware. {Buy Here}

4. With this set of hooks, it'll be like your own lil' three-handed youngster is tossing you your keys. What could be cuter, and more practical, than that? {Buy Here}

5. I love a good hand soap! Hand soap - get it? Really, though, give yourself a high five every time you scrub up. {Buy Here}

6. Keep your place in any book and trick people into thinking you're harboring tiny creatures within the pages. Win-win! {Buy Here}

7. On a cozy night, watch a little netflix, pop a tealight in her head, and watch it burn while she stares back at you, despite her lack of eyes. Talk about relaxing! {Buy Here}

8. This bottle stopper is great for keeping this "leftover wine" thing that some people seem to have, plus it makes it look like your liquids are spawning. {Buy Here}

9. I don't have an immediate use for these vintage fabric doll faces, but I'm sure I could find something fun to make with them. New phone case, anyone? {Buy Here}

10. This is not only a piece of art created from an old doll head and real quills - it can also hold photos, papers or memos. Very versatile! {Buy Here}

11. You could store candy, jewelry, or other trinkets in this doll-arm-supported dish, or you could go full on creep mode and use it for cereal. {Buy Here}

12. This studded doll head brooch is so adorable to me, which I'm now recognizing as a sign that this obsession may have me veering into "doll room" territory. {Buy Here}

13. We can't forget the queen of all dolls, Barbie. Carry her disembodied arm with you wherever you wander for a slightly horrifying slice of childhood. {Buy Here}

14. More of a leg girl? Pop these danglers into your ears and catch peripheral glimpses of Barbie's dainty feet all day. Bonus: I bet you could find some amazing shoes to attach here. {Buy Here}

Are you scared of dolls? What would you say if a neighbor invited you to their "doll room?" Don't you kind of want to stuff things into a doll head now?

May 19, 2015

BEAUTY: Rimmel Provocalips Review

I should’ve known what I was in for when the Walgreens’s cashier gave me a stern-faced warning at the register; Rimmel’s new Provocalips liquid lip colors are no joke. My cashier told me in no uncertain terms that she’d purchased a tube and had to sleep in her lipstick because she couldn’t get the color off her lips. I think she was trying to dissuade me from purchasing, but to me her words meant only one thing: impressive staying power.

Because I like a challenge, I immediately picked up 5 shades: 

I'll Call You - medium, cool-toned pink
Make Your Move - brown-leaning nude
Little Minx - bright fuchsia/raspberry
Play With Fire - deep, blue-based red
Kiss Fatal - dark, cool-toned purple

L to R: I'll Call You, Make Your Move, Little Minx, Play With Fire, Kiss Fatal {natural light}
L to R: I'll Call You, Make Your Move, Little Minx, Play With Fire, Kiss Fatal {with flash}
The full line contains 10 shades, including mainly reds, pinks and nudes. Each tube is double-ended, with lip color on one end and a clear gloss on the other. The gloss is not at all sticky - it’s super slick, and feels similar to the slip you’d get from a silicone face primer. Without the clear gloss, these lip colors can feel a little rubbery or sticky, but one dot of gloss and your lips are totally smooth.

In my excitement, I tried on Make Your Move right there in the drugstore parking lot, and found the coverage to be opaque and smooth. It dried in about a minute, so I topped it with the clear gloss and went on my way. Because the high of beauty buying is ever so fleeting, I forgot I was wearing the lip color until I got out of the shower that night. I’d luxuriated in a full shower, during which I’d even washed my face, but exited to find my lip color was somehow still fully in place.

I scrubbed and scrubbed, but the Provocalips would not come off.  I thought of my Walgreen's cashier's warning and a brief panic ensued, but then I remembered my favorite stubborn makeup remover: Pond’s Cold Cream. Rub a bit on your lips, wipe off with a tissue, and every trace is gone.

I was tentatively in love with this stuff, but wanted to see what challenges Provocalips could stand up to, you know, other than a shower. The bar had been set pretty high.

To test it, I applied the shade Little Minx around 10:00 AM and went about my day. I never found the product to feel heavy or tight on my lips, and any hint of dryness was remedied with a swipe of the attached gloss or another lip balm overtop. After lunch, I expected to reapply, but found it wasn’t necessary. Almost confused by its toughness, I decided that evening to whip out the big guns: the Pizza Test™. Being the true scientist that I am, I ordered pizza for dinner and chowed down carelessly. As everyone knows, pizza is the natural predator of lipstick, but this stuff stood tall. In the end, there was my lip color, unaffected! Yes really.

Is it legal to marry a lipstick?

This is the best long lasting lip color I’ve ever tried. It stays on through eating, drinking, kissing, face washing AND showering. I even brushed my teeth with it on one time - just because I could! Freedom, thy name is Provocalips.

Have you tried this lip color yet? What's your favorite long-wearing lip product? Which lipstick would you like to marry?

May 13, 2015

Black & White Stripes

I find it humorous that black and white stripes seem to be deemed a "new trend" every few years. That's like calling out gray as a hot new neutral or suggesting the masses wear less clothing in the summer heat. Those are tried-and-true constants that have nothing to do with trends. Black and white stripes are so timeless and classic that I can't recall a single year or season in my life where the design was not readily available - thankfully.

Though I wouldn't call this look 'trendy,' I would call it cool as hell. A black and white stripe will always get my attention. It's a definitive look that's somehow both tough and feminine, modern and retro. It is all things! Cool, unisex, interesting: it's the leather jacket of prints.
1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7  /  8  /  9  /  10  /  11  /  12  /  13  /  14

Do you fall for black and white stripes too? What's your favorite print? How do you feel about 'trends' versus 'timeless'?

May 7, 2015

DIY Kimono Tutorial

I love a piece of floaty clothing. Call it a Golden Girls complex, but when I saw a drape-y masterpiece on a store hanger, I instinctively inch toward it. These kimono-style cardigans have been popular in stores for a while now, but I have a hard time spending 30 bucks on what is essentially a piece of fabric with a few stitches in it. The good part about that simplicity is that it makes these kimonos incredibly easy to make yourself. No, I swear! See:

1.5 - 2 Yards of Fabric
Measuring Tape
Sewing Pins
Sewing Machine or Needle & Thread


First, choose a good fabric. Many kimonos in stores are made from sheer, floaty fabrics because they're light and hang nicely, which is what this look is about. They're often polyester, though, and not very breathable. I wanted something I could wear comfortably in the summer heat so I made this from a lightweight jersey knit. The most important thing is choosing a fabric that drapes well, so see what you like at the fabric store (rayon, jersey and other apparel fabrics are a good place to start).
I got this one at Joann Fabrics.
Next, you need to cut the fabric to size. This will vary depending on how big you want the kimono. I went with a piece measuring 45" wide and 60" long. If you want a longer/shorter kimono, adjust the 60" side; if you want a wider/narrower one, adjust the 45" side.
Decide what size you want and cut away!
Once you're happy with the size, lay down your fabric, right side up, and fold it from top to bottom. In my case, this gives me a piece that is 45" wide and 30" long. Now, fold it in half again from left to right. Mine is now 22.5" wide and 30" long. Put a pin in the fabric at the top left corner.
This is the only corner with no open edge.
Next, we want to cut ONE layer of the fabric. At the bottom left corner (opposite the pin) cut straight along the edge until you reach the pin. You only want to cut the top layer of fabric here. This cut will become the opening to your kimono.
I'm cutting TOWARD the pin we put in.
Did I stress this enough?
Remove the pin and rearrange the fabric so that you have a doubled over rectangle with a slit down the center front, like below (yours should be inside out).

Measure about 10" down the left side of your fabric, starting at the top corner. Place a pin at that point and continue to pin down the side. Repeat on the right side of the fabric. That 10" area will become your arm hole, so try it on while pinned and adjust as needed.

Sew straight down each side of the fabric along where you pinned.

Trim any excess fabric to the side of the stitches. Flip the whole thing right side out.
What an adorable seam!
Now, this is where you'd normally finish the hem of your fabric, but because I used jersey knit, the hems will roll up if you give them a slight tug. Yet another reason I strongly suggest a jersey knit!
Rolled hem = less work and more kimono wearing time!
This is basically a rectangle with some holes on the side. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!
This is one of the quickest and easiest sewing projects I've ever taken on. If you feel even kind of comfortable with your sewing skills (or, honestly, even if you don't) you could whip this up in an hour. I plan to make several thousand for the summer. Okay, maybe more like five.
You can belt it too!
Do you like kimonos for summer? What other colors and patterns do you think I should make? Which Golden Girl has the best style?

May 1, 2015

Blueberry Vanilla "Frozen Yogurt" Recipe

Normally, I would never recommend that you make any recipe that has quotation marks in the title. That kind of mystery is not something I want in my food. Bear with me, though; I'm not calling this "frozen yogurt" because I'm playing an elaborate prank, wherein I entice you to consume something that appears to be frozen yogurt, but is actually, like, frozen sunscreen with food coloring in it. I'm calling it "frozen yogurt" because the end result is a nearly frozen texture that closely resembles soft serve frozen yogurt, and could very easily become even more frozen yogurt-like with a couple extra steps. So, the quotation marks are really just a shortcut to a catchier title. Although, maybe I should look into becoming a professional prank artist because that sunscreen thing is kind of genius.

Artfully arranged insect eggs. JK, it's blueberries! But if you didn't know that, it'd look creepy, right?

The only thing that really matters is that this dessert tastes gooooood. It's cold, it's fruity, it's creamy - it's the perfect warm weather snack, and from what I know, warm weather is coming on fast and snacks are always in demand. No reason not to get this under your belt early.

3 Cups Frozen Blueberries
2 Cups Yogurt {I used vanilla, feel free to use plain/regular/Greek/whatever}
Splash of Vanilla Extract
Sugar {to taste, optional if you like it a little sweeter}

Okay, prepare for the most grueling kitchen session of your life! Just kidding - there is only one real step here: put the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend or process.
From geek to chic.
When you're done, you'll have a thick, mostly frozen dessert much like this:

You can eat this in a few different ways:
a) Just go to town with a spoon right away. Completely reasonable - no judgement.
b) Pop it into the freezer for a couple of hours to get a firmer and icier result.
c) Put the mixture into an ice cream maker to get a more traditional frozen yogurt texture.

The texture ended up kind of like that of a very thick milkshake, but when frozen turned more solid. I've also made this with frozen raspberries and got a much thicker result so play around. Frozen pineapple would be amazing! Use coconut yogurt! Sorry, I don't mean to tell you what to do, but I'm going to do that now. You probably don't want to miss out, though.

Do you have an ice cream maker? Were you suspicious of the quotation marks in this recipe's title? What's you favorite summer dessert, homemade or not?

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