June 28, 2012

Shot Glasses and Baby Spoons

No shot glasses or baby spoons here! When I travel I take home a souvenir that is indulgent, yet useable. Perfume. Plus, you can get great deals in the duty-free section of airports.

It the only time I buy it and I write where and when I got it in sharpie on the bottom. In just a couple of years I've created quite a collection!

What do you collect when you travel?

June 26, 2012

Organic Lip Care (use less, spend less, feel better)

When I leave the house there are four ingredients I MUST have in my bag or pockets: my wallet, my coin purse, my glasses, and some sort of lip care.

Today I put forward three non-petroleum, organic lip care products that I've had great success with and share how my move to non-petroleum has changed my lips.

1) Yes to Carrots ™ Conditioning Lip Butter – This 100% natural balm comes in four flavors, but I prefer the pomegranate because it is the only flavor with SPF. It has a heavy duty consistency that reminds me of the old Burt's Bees SPF lip balm, but it doesn't turn your lips white (which I hated). This balm works great under lipstick too.

2) Eco Lips® – This smooth formula is 87% organic (the only part not organic is the SPF 15 sunscreen) and comes in berry, mint, original, and bee-free versions. I've tried the berry, which I love, and the mint, which I hated the smell of. With the consistency if Carmex, this stuff is soothing, but don't wear it beneath lipstick as it's too slick.

3) Balm Balm Lip Balm (and more) – This is a great lip balm for around the house, as it doesn't SPF. It's fragrance free, 100% organic, and can be used for multiple uses. I use it on the go when I don't have lotion and have a dry spot on my hands. It works well under lipstick if you don't load it on.

All of these items are available on feelunique.com (free shipping!) or you could check your local pharmacy or health food store.

The reason I switched to these products instead of my old stand-by (Chapstick) is because I got tired of reapplying and reapplying. Eventually I started to feel as though my lips got worse rather than better in the long run when using Chapstick. And it's true! Though the myth that petroleum products can make your lips 'addicted' to them is false, it is true that when petroleum-based products dry on your lips they end up sapping more moisture away from your lips than they added. So why not put something on your lips that actually conditions them in a positive way?!

The first couple days after I switched my lips were a bit angry (feeling drier than normal), but with some gentle exfoliation and continuing to put the non-petroleum products on them, within about five days they felt better than ever. In fact, I don't find myself putting lip balm on at all during the day unless I go outside (for the SPF). Most days, as long as I'm drinking enough water, I put a good amount on in the evening before bed and that is it. I use less, spend less, and feel better!

Try a non-petroleum lip balm and see if you like it better!

June 25, 2012

Check Out Those Churros

Live in or visiting Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, or Perth? Want a cute and yummy place to grab some coffee and a treat? Hit up San Churro Chocolateria! The hubby and I went to the Glebe location on Sunday.

We had the churros and dipping sauces for two...and if I believed in sin, I'd say it was sinfully good. Their coffee was also quite good, though I'm no coffee officianoto, so go check it out yourself. You will also get a free chocolate truffle with your coffee if you stay in the café to drink it.

I believe you can also get a free coffee if you like them on Facebook.

I swear this isn't a paid ad, it was just gooooood and I thought I'd spread the love.

Excuse the iPhone photos, the hubby is in the states and has our Canon, so I'm improvising for the next three (lonely) weeks.

June 24, 2012

I Miss You Already

Ugh. My hubby leaves today and is off for a family visit in the states for the next three weeks. I'd be with him, but we don't have any school breaks at the same time this year.

Oy, this is gonna be rough. Luckily we have Skype. I have a feeling I'll be in front of the computer quite a bit for the next three weeks!

Have a great trip sweetie! Eat some deliciousness for me!

June 21, 2012

DIY Removable Shoe Tassels

Tassels? On shoes? Who am I, a yacht owner? Well, no, but I do have plenty of loafers that could use an accessory or two. Here's how I made removable leather tassles. You could make them out of thick strips of anything though (felt? vinyl?)

You'll also need: tape, scissors, hot glue, and four medium-sized beads.

Lengths will vary depending on the size of your shoes, but start with a strip of leather (or your chosen material) that loops up and over the strap of your loafer and hangs past the front of the shoe by about an inch. I'll refer to this as string #1.

1) To create your tassels fold a length of leather into 4-6 approx. 1 1/2 inch loops.

2) Place the end of string #1 inside your bunch of loops, trying to place it in the middle. The end of string #1 should just barely stick out past your the end of your loops.

3) Next, wrap some tape around the end very tightly.

4) Clip the ends of all the loops.

5) Holding the now clipped ends together tightly.

6) Trim them all at once just enough to make them all the same length.

7) Repeat steps 1-6 for the other shoe's tassel.

8) Now place two beads on each string #1.

9) Repeat steps 1-6 at the other end of string #1.

You should now have a tassel with a bead above it hanging on both ends of string #1.

10) Blacken the tape with a marker.

11) Cut two lengths (or however many you need to cover your tape) of leather to fit tightly around the top of your tassel and completely cover the tape.

Glue on with hot glue.

12) If your leather is unruly and wants to flare out everywhere, you can dampen it with a little water and tightly wrap the ends with tape. Let it dry like that, take of the tape, and they should stay together like the photo below.

13) Loop the tassels around your shoe and your done!

If your shoes don't have a strap like mine (and are actual penny loafers) you could hot glue your tassels to a coin and pop them in.

Enjoy your new found classiness! Even if you don't have a yacht. Oh, Miffy!

June 20, 2012

New Nude Skirt

Here it is! This is the skirt I made out of a dress that was too short.

You should see me walk around Sydney when it's cold. True Sydney folks are grimacing in defiance of the cold, wet weather. I, on the other hand, am basically bouncing down the sidewalk, happily bundled up. I'm pretty sure my demeanor is due to 20 years of living in a snowbound wonderland. So thanks, Minnesota!

What I wore:
Skirt – Romwe dress (made-over by me)
Jacket – Mango
Tanktop – Cotton On
Scarf – Nordstroms
Bag – Oryany
Hat – Target (US)
Wedge Loafers – Target (US)

June 19, 2012

DIY Dress to Skirt

Recently I complained about a dress that was much too short for me. This is a common problem for tall gals, dresses that have defined waistlines, but don't fall at our waists because our torsos are longer.

Before this turns into a whine-fest about being tall, which many of my vertically challenged readers would probably be annoyed with, I'll show you how I created an appropriate length skirt out of a too-short dress.

Above is what it looks like now and below is how short it was before. It may not look like a stunning transformation in length, but I'll tell you, I wore it today and it felt far more appropriate.

I thought about just letting out the seam at the bottom, but as you can see there was not enough fabric to actually make much of a difference. It also had a zipper running up the side, so I had to be aware of that.

To transform this dress (I won from Romwe.com) into a skirt I simply cut it through the middle, above the zipper, leaving myself plenty of fabric to fold over and stitch down.

I folded it at the waist seam, which your dress may or may not have. If it doesn't have this you will have more freedom in how long the skirt will be and how big of a waist band it will have. This dress basically had one built in for me.

I pinned the extra fabric down then whip-stitch it together inside.

The trickiest bit was the zipper. It originally ran all the way up my side, but now it is folded over and sewed down. These are the only stitches that are visible as I hid the rest in the waistline seam.

This is what it looks like now. I think it's much more comfortable and much more versitile in my wardrobe. Prepare to see this bad boy mixed in a lot.

Do you have any dresses you've been thinking of turning into a skirt?

June 18, 2012

Day Out: Market City (Paddy's)

As the hubby continues to fight a cold (ahem...I gave him) and study for finals, I decided to get out of the apartment and head over to Market City, or what we call Paddy's Market. It's a giant city block of outlet goodness and people watching on the lower level and Asian supermarkets and quick food on the upper level.

I only got a few shots from far away because my camera made me the target of glares from the shop owners. Maybe because many of the stands sell "Louis" and "Chanel".

I'll give you a few tips if you ever make it to Australia and come to this popular market.

#1) NEVER go on a Saturday or Sunday. Unless you enjoy people invading your personal space while being stuck behind those who decide to simply stop in the middle of a crowded walkway to answer their phone or take a look around. It's a nightmare on the weekend for anyone who dislikes large crowds...meaning...me. I really took one for the team today, kids. My ideal day of shopping is being one of maybe five people in a large shop. Oh, yeah. That's the stuff.

#2) Unless the person who made the product is sitting there and can have a chat with you, there's a good chance what you're buying is either not the actual brand it says it is or will fall apart within a month of buying it. Of course this doesn't apply to everything, but to give you an idea, this is the place I bought the infamous exploding sunglasses. (photo via)

#3) The above being said, this is a great place to get costumes and wigs. (photo)

#4) The produce section here is pretty awesome. Everything comes in fresh in the morning, and though it is PACKED, the best deals can be found on Sunday afternoon as they aren't open Mondays and everything needs to sell. The shop keepers will haggle with you about almost anything, so go for it if you have the guts to do so and the sharp elbows to keep the other customers at bay. Not me. Haggling makes me break out in hives. (photo)

To summarize: Try not to go on the weekend unless you're into strangers rubbing up against you, inspect what you buy as there's lots of knock offs and cheap goods, it's a great place to find a neon pink wig, and the perfect place to haggle over a grapefruit.

June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

Thanks: for all the talks about work and men, teaching me how to check my oil, and being a positive and reliable source of encouragement in my life. Love you! (And happy birthday too!)

June 14, 2012

Stone Soup Recipe

Did you ever make stone soup as a kid?

I remember being read Stone Soup by Marcia Brown in kindergarten, where traveling soldiers trick a village into sharing their food by putting stones in the soup, and then making the soup in class. We thought we were magical and your kids can think the same!

If you'd like this art, it's here. Have a nice weekend!

June 13, 2012

A Nude Mood in Brown Town

Temps are dipping and I can layer what I want. Even sweaters and jackets! Take that!

I've got to do something with this dress, it's shhhhhhort. Or at least it feels short. Stay tuned, maybe I'll revamp it.

What I wore:
Jacket – Banana Republic
Sweater – Gap
Belt – Target (US)
Dress – Romwe
Wedge loafers – Kenneth Cole
Clutch – Tommy Woods