#MonthlyMani: DIY Brushstrokes

I’m linking up again with my gal pals for our #MonthlyMani! I was half-tempted to skip out on this month because, after working on our Alternative Fashion Week collection for the past month, my nails and cuticles have seen better days. But since this month’s theme, Art-Inspired, was so close to my heart, I couldn’t pass it up! So here it is, dry skin and all, my DIY brushstroke mani.


I was drawn to this idea of creating abstract brushstrokes for a number of reasons. Firstly, I love a splash of color and this look has that in spades. Secondly, it just doesn’t get much easier than randomly placed paint dollops and in my book that is something to celebrate.


To get the look, I started with a nude base coat. Then I chose my rainbow of colors and instead of flicking on the color with the nail polish brush, I used a paintbrush for a more jagged edge. To switch colors, all you have to do is swish the brush around in some nail polish remover, pat dry on a paper towel, and you’re good to go.


I’ve loved that every time I look down and get a glimpse of my hand, I have all these great colors looking back at me! I think this mani was one of my favorites to date. It’s what I consider the perfect combo- pretty and a little messy- and the art inspiration really suits my personality.


Make sure to check out the other art-inspired nail looks from these ladies:

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

Would you wear this artsy mani?


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#MonthlyMani // Simple Nail Art Inspired by Candy Buttons


It’s the third Tuesday of the month, which means I’m linking up once again with the ladies of #MonthlyMani! Our theme this month was Candy Colors, and with so many pretty options I had a really hard time coming up with this one. I was in idea overload!

I considered all the bright, crazy-patterned options, but it when it comes down to it, I’m really most inspired by more minimal nail art lately. I am also loving simple geometric shapes likes dots and stripes.


So this look, inspired by old-fashion candy button strips, gives me the best of both worlds. It’s simple, both in looks and effort, but still has a great splash of color. While I’m sure a dotting tool would work wonders, I’ve never owned one because I think the tip of a bobby pin works perfectly.


I just dotted the design on, one color at a time. The only thing slightly tricky here is getting them centered and keeping your hand steady. A trick I learned in art school is to rest your elbow on something and your hand instantly becomes steady.

Overall, I love the look! It’s fun and graphic without feeling too in your face. If you wanted an even more toned-down, office-ready look, using a muted purple, gray, or black instead of the candy colors would be gorgeous!

Check out these ladies for some more candy-colored inspiration!

Kristi from Delightfully, Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide


What’s your vote on nail art? Do you like more minimal designs or are you in the more-is-better camp?


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#MONTHLYMANI | Glam Rock Nail Art with a Simple Cheat


It’s the third Tuesday of the month, which means I’m linking up with the ladies from the #MonthlyMani group! This month’s theme is metallics, and I have to admit I feel like I cheated a little on this one.


I go through major phases when it comes to metals, and I’m thinking 2016 is the year for copper. I started this mani out with a metallic copper base. I knew I wanted to do something flashy and sort of glam rock, so I cut out a lightning bolt from washi tape and was planning to use it as a stencil.


However (here comes the cheating part), once the blue glitter bolt was on my nail, I really dug it. So, all I did was add a clear top coat and called it a day!


I had never used any kind of foreign object in my diy manis before, but I thought it worked really well. If you’re the type of person who would be distracted by the somewhat raised surface, I would recommend using an incredibly thin material, like a foil or lightweight tape instead of the glitter washi tape.

If you’re looking for some more metallic mani inspiration, check out the rest of the #MonthlyMani crew:

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide
Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali
Melissa from The Fashion Huntress
Kristi from Delightfully Kristi
Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara

Have you ever tried a washi tape mani?


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DIY NAIL ART | A Pantone Gradient Mani Featuring the Colors of 2016: Rose Quartz & Serenity


A gradient, or ombre, mani is by no means a new idea. I’ve been pinning them on Pinterest for years, and yet I still hadn’t actually tried the process out myself. When I found out the theme for this month’s #MonthlyMani was Pantone’s Colors of 2016, I realized the time to ombre had inevitable arrived. I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to blend the two hues. I think they look so perfectly pretty together and even mimic a cool, pastel sunset.




Luckily, as this was my first time trying out the gradient sponging technique, it turned out to be really easy and now I can’t stop looking at the results. So soft, so romantic, and just so darn pretty. Here’s how to get the blended effect.


What you need.

-Two nail polish colors. I used Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Extreme Wear in Tickled Pink and Babe Blue. This is not my favorite type/brand of polish, but the price is great and the Pantone colors are spot on!

-Cosmetic sponge. For applying/blending gradient effect.

-Cotton swab and nail polish remover. For clean up.


What you do.

Paint a light base coat.

I used the bottom color of my gradient- the blue- and it worked really well. Let your base coat dry completely before moving on.

Paint the sponge.

Apply the pink and the blue polishes, one on top of the other, so that the polish stripes bump into one another. Make sure the design will cover the width and length of your nail bed.

Lightly sponge/roll onto the nail.

Emphasis on lightly. I was too heavy-handed the first time around and had to start over. You are aiming for light layers here and you can expect to do at least three for full coverage.

Clean up the edges.

Use the cotton swab and the nail polish remover to clean up around cuticle and under the nail.

Apply a top coat and you’re done! Simple as that! 🙂



Check out more DIY Pantone manis from the ladies of #MonthlyMani!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Jacki and Lesli from Sistas from Cali

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Lyndsey from Dressed in Mascara


Have you used this gradient technique before?


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Friday 5: Five Crazy Easy DIY Updates for Your F/W Wardrobe Using Just a Pair of Scissors

For a girl on a budget, this season’s trends are super exciting because a lot of them can easily be recreated using just a pair of scissors and some items you probably already have hanging in your closet! If you like a neatly finished product, you’re going to want to use perhaps a few more items and a few more steps. But if quick and easy is the name of the game, you can go ahead skip them. Just grab your scissors and start cutting!

1. The Car Wash Skirt

Car wash skirts were everywhere on the F/W 2015 runways. They look great layered over a slip skirt, tights, or on their own. If you have an old pencil skirt hanging in your closet that has really lost its luster, snipping a few car wash panels is a great way to give it a fun trendy update!

All you need for this DIY is really a pair of scissors and an unlined pencil skirt. To make your panels precise, simply measure around the hem of your skirt and mark in even increments. If you are using a knit skirt, something with stretch, like jersey, you won’t need to finish the edges where you’ve cut. However, if you are using a woven skirt, something without stretch, like cotton twill, you will probably want to finish the edges with a serge stitch or a seam sealant like Fray Check.


starter skirt  |  inspiration skirt by Tibi

scissors  |  marking pencil  |  ruler  |  seam sealant


2. The Sleeveless Coat Vest

With the rise of 70s fashion comes a natural trend toward the long duster vest. This style is a perfect complement to a turtleneck and flares, works well over a skirt for the office, and can even be layered over other coats, like a black moto jacket, for an interesting twist.

This is an easy look to replicate with a thrift store coat or one whose sleeves are an inch or so too short (hello, my life). For a quick fix DIY, simply cut off the sleeve at the shoulder seam and finish with some seam sealant. Or, to correctly finish the alteration (if you’re into that kind of thing), you can cut the sleeve off a few inches below the shoulder seam and follow this great tutorial at …Love Maegan.


starter coat  |  inspiration coat by Rag & Bone

scissors  |  needle  |  thread  |  seam sealant


3. The Turtleneck Choker

Just like me on every elementary school picture day, this season has been all about one neckline: the turtleneck. But this trend isn’t just for sweaters anymore. Seen all over the Fall 2015 runways, the turtleneck choker/dickie/scarf (whatever you want to call it), served as a cozy accessory to everything from sweaters to slinky dresses.

To recreate this trend yourself, you can easily cut the neck or sleeve off of any old sweater. But I especially like the idea of using a pair of stretch tights or leggings for a no-sew, 90’s-era version of this trend. You will want to cut nearly double the width to allow the ends to fold and turn under as they will naturally want to do. Because the stretch material won’t fray, you don’t even need to take any extra steps for finishing, unless of course you need something to help stretch it out! Choker is not meant to be taken literally. 😉


starter leggings  |  inspiration choker look by Tome

scissors  |  measuring tape


4. The Uneven Hem Jeans

A lot of the DIY denim practices I used in my teenage days are back in fashion. One of my favorite versions of DIY denim as of late is the raw, uneven hem like on this pair of Vetements jeans or like the DIY I version I saw (and loved) on Honestly WTF. For petite girls, it’s a perfect excuse to cut the hem of your jeans. And for the rest of us, it’s a fresh denim update that will really show off your cold weather booties.

To create this look, simply cut the sewn hem from a pair of relaxed or straight cut jeans. Then cutting right inside of the side seams and inseams, cut up another two inches (or however long you prefer) and straight across the front to create the shorter front hem. Use your fingers to pull some strands for a frayed look. If you’re not great at eyeballing lengths, you can measure and mark for precision.


starter jeans  |  inspiration jeans by Vetements

scissors  |  fabric marker  |  seam gauge


5. The Cropped Western Boot

Cowboy boots are a classic, they’re never really “out of style.” But unless you are out roping cattle for a living, they can also be pretty tricky to work into your wardrobe without looking like Jessica Simpson in her Daisy Duke days. Cue the crop! A shorter version, either in bootie or mule form, takes the most ornate, traditional western boot and makes in modern and urban.

This is the perfect makeover for that pair of hard-to-wear boots collecting dust in your closet. How to go about the actual cutting will depend on your boot. You can either trim along the natural seam lines or simply snip straight across. I like the look of the imperfect raw hem, but if you want a more finished look you can always clean up the cut with a needle and thread or some strong fabric glue.


starter boots  |  inspiration boots by Donald & Lisa

needle  |  thread  |  fabric glue


What do you think? Do these DIY style updates make “the cut”?


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5 Male-Approved Couples Costumes for Halloween

Hi, friends! Remember that girl that used to post all the time? Well, sorry for my little hiatus as of late. I’ll have a little catch up post soon to fill you in on what I’ve been up to, but in the meantime let’s talk Halloween! I know most of you probably have your costumes ready to go, but in case you and your boo (pun intended) are still at a loss for what to wear, I’ve got you covered!

In theory, I love a good couples costume, but they can be tricky to pull off. For male-female couples it can be hard to find a balance between something you love and something he’s also excited about. So when I was writing this post, I thought why not just go straight to the source and ask my better half, Zach? And that’s exactly what I did! So, here are his favorite classic couples costumes. And the best part? With a little creativity and a few borrowed accessories, a lot of these looks can be pulled straight from your closet! Perfect for any last-minute plans!


1. Romeo & Juliet (90s Baz Luhrmann-Style)

This is at the top of Zach’s list every year. I think he loves the modern, more casual, interpretation of such classically romantic characters and costumes. I mean what guy doesn’t want to be a knight at least once in his lifetime? And what girl doesn’t want her date to be Leonardo DiCaprio- am I right?



romeo:  mask  |  armor  |  top  |  pants  |  sword

juliet:  dress  |  wings  |  sandals  |  necklace


2. Johnny & June

Not only do they have a historically epic romance, but I think the chance to be the original country music rebel (and wear all black) is appealing to a lot of men.

*(I know these are not the real Johnny and June, but I’m using pictures from Walk the Line mainly because of the photo quality. Plus those costumes are on point.)



Johnny:  boots  |  shirt  |  belt  |  tie  |  vest  |  guitar  |  pants

june:  necklace  |  earrings  |  dress  |  bag  |  bumpits  |  microphone  |  shoes


3. Bonnie & Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde is always a classic couples costume, but with all the 60s-70s madness going on in fashion, the 1967 Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty version has never seemed more relevant. You’ll get to wear this season’s hottest accessory, the neck scarf, and your guy will love going as the historical gun-toting bandit.

5-Male-Approved-Couples-Costumes-2-Bonnie-and-Clyde 5-Male-Approved-Couples-Costumes-3-Bonnie-and-Clyde-Shop

clyde:  tie  |  jacket  |  shirt  |  pants  |  suspenders  |  gun  |  hat  |  shoes

bonnie:  beret  |  scarf  |  bag  |  sweater  |  skirt  |  heels  |  gun


4. Kurt & Courtney

The king and queen of grunge will officially never be out of style, and I don’t know about you, but I will personally never stop having a star crush on Kurt Cobain. Plus, with the 90s fashion overload from the past few years, you’ve definitely got some of these pieces already in your closet.



kurt:  sunglasses  |  shoes  |  jeans  |  shirt  |  tee  |  cardigan

courtney:  dress  |  coat  |  shoes  |  lipstick  |  tiara  |  bag  |  tights


5. JFK and Jackie (or Marilyn)

According to Zach, JFK is “like the most stylish guy ever.” Who knew, right? And according to Mad Men, every woman is either a Jackie or a Marilyn. So I say pick your alter ego, brush your guy’s hair back (or grab a wig), and whichever girl is your go-to, you can step out as some of the most classically fashionable people in American history.



jfk:  shirt  |  tie  |  pin  |  shoes  |  jacket  |  pants

jackie:  hat  |  necklace  |  earrings  |  shoes  |  suit  |  sunglasses  |  gloves  |  bag

marilyn:  earrings  |  gloves  |  bracelet 1  |  bracelet 2  |  necklace  |  bag  |  shoes  |  fur  |  dress


So Zach was obviously thinking in terms of me and him here, but what if you’re in a same sex couple or going out with friends? Well, if you still need a few more ideas, I loved this A League of Their Own duo, thought Ace and Gary was a pretty hilarious idea, and why not just go ahead and be the whole Bad Blood squad?


Are you dressing up this weekend? Fill me in on all the details in the comments!


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Five Ways to DIY It: The Artsy Credenza

Ever since these gorgeous credenzas from DENY caught my eye, I haven’t been able to shake the idea of having one for my dining room. If I had an spare $799 (a pretty reasonable price) in the budget, I would have one heading my way in a heartbeat. But for me and my personal finances, this is definitely not making the list of “must buys” anytime in the near future.

Especially when I can see so many great cost-cutting DIY possibilities! Using a thrifted sideboard or a basic IKEA piece and a little ingenuity, you could pretty easily replicate some of these looks in your space for half the cost- or even less!

Check out my 5 Ways to DIY It, while I look up all the upcoming garage sales in my area. 😉



inspiration  |  paint  |  brushes



inspiration  |  paint  |  tape



inspiration  |  utility knife  |  mural



inspiration  |  paint  |  brush  |  stencil



inspiration  |  blueprint copy  |  photo transfer medium  |  brush


I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for a frugal, DIY-able piece because I am crazy about the first look- the graphic word art. I also love the photo transfer idea (which by the way, would use a photocopy as opposed to an actual photo or anything with a high gloss finish). Wouldn’t it be a wonderful way to use a vacation pic? It’s a perfect blend of sentiment and good design. Which style is your favorite?

Would you give any of these DIYs a go?


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Five Minute Friday: Using a Ribbon to Solve Your Wardrobe Woes


Do you have a ribbon and a minute to spare? Great, because this simple solution can get your closet whipped into shape with seriously minimal effort!


Have you heard of the ribbon method before? It’s a super simple way to get your closet organized- you basically just tie a ribbon at the far end of your closet rod with all of your clothes to one side. Then, after you’ve worn a piece, hang it back up on the opposite side of the ribbon. After a couple of months of following this system, you’ll really be able to see what items you wear and what items might be ready for donation.


The ribbon method can help solve a few major organizational problems:

1. You’ll lighten the load. If you know you need to purge your wardrobe but can’t seem to part with anything, this eliminates the decision process. Simply set a date (like 6 months out, for example) and anything on the unworn side of the ribbon goes.

2. You’ll re-purpose old favorites. You know that designer skirt you found on clearance two years ago that still has the tags on it? Or that favorite old jacket that, even though it’s not really your style anymore, you’re still hanging onto, just in case? Well, there’s nothing like a looming donation deadline to get the creative juices flowing. Now is the time to see if you can restyle those pieces in a new way that you’ll love or if it’s simply time to pass them along.

3. You’ll get organized. If it has been a while since you cleaned out your closet, this is the perfect opportunity to get it back in order. As you are hanging the pieces you’ve worn on the other side of the ribbon, take a second to merchandise it among the others. If you decide on an organizational method in the beginning (tanks with tanks, jackets with jackets, etc.) and then hang your worn items accordingly, by the time your ribbon has moved down the rack, your closet will be an organized masterpiece!


What do you think? Would you try the ribbon method?


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#MonthlyMani: Graphic Pineapple Print


I’m taking part again this month in the #MonthlyMani linkup hosted by Delightfully, Kristi. The theme chosen was “summer picnic” so I went with my favorite summer food- pineapples!

I’ve always loved painting my nails and making nail art, but I’m still feeling really inadequate when it comes to documenting these DIY manis. It can be really awkward to take a picture of your own hand not to mention nearly impossible to capture the actual process. It’s times like these I realize I need an assistant. And a photographer. And probably a life coach. 😉

Anyway, here’s my take on a fruity summer picnic mani…


First, I applied my base colors. I’m pretty obsessed with black or white nail polish as a base for nail art. I think they help to make everything look graphic and chic. Either color would work great with this design, but I opted for black, using it on most of my nails. I then added a couple yellow accent nails to serve as my “pineapple” nails.



I used a paintbrush to add crossing stripes on the accent nails. If you feel really shaky (pun intended) with making freehand stripes, you could use nail stripe tape, but I don’t mind the organic/imperfect quality here. Pineapples have texture, so I think it works. 🙂



Then I added a green tip for the… leaves? Do pineapples have leaves? Anyway, I just swiped the nail polish across the top, but again, you could easily tape off that portion before painting if you prefer.



What do you think? Am I ready for a summer picnic?


Want some more DIY mani ideas? Check out what the other bloggers came up with!

Kristi from Delightfully Kristi

Justine from The Thrifty Girl’s Guide

Kate from Into the Stratosphere

Melissa from The Fashion Huntress

Natalie from Being Mrs. Olson


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Friday Five: A 5-Minute DIY for Color-blocked Keys

After moving recently, I noticed our key rings are now stacked with a whole lot of plain metal keys. Not exactly a visual treat. So I decided to use tape and nail polish to give them a quick pop of color and help them stand out from one another.

To give your own keys a 5-minute upgrade all you need is Scotch tape and some nail polish!

First, tape off sections of your keys, leaving an exposed shape to be painted.


Give the exposed areas a couple of coats of nail polish. I used neon colors but I think black and white would also look really cool!

You can see here that some polishes will need more coats than others. The lime green, for instance, took several while the fuchsia had good coverage with just one coat.



Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry. This will prevent the tape from peeling part of the design off.


Voila! A little pop of DIY color always makes me happy.


Happy weekend!


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