Sunday, February 24, 2013

Getting crafty!

A crocheted headband

Look what I made, Mom!

Since I started taking the bus to work, my poor ears have frozen almost daily. Sometimes I wear a hat or wrap my scarf around my head. What I really wanted was to get one of those really cute knit/crocheted headbands that are on clearance everywhere right now. But, since I'm not shopping this month, I couldn't buy one.

Ends hooked together by an old button
This weekend I decided to make one myself! After all, my grandma taught me how to crochet when I was little. I could do it! I even had a bag of yarn and two hooks buried deep in my closet I could dig out to use. No shopping necessary! I looked at a few DIY blog posts with instructions on how to make one but decided to just go for it on my own.

The yarn and hook
It's nothing fancy. I single-crocheted the whole thing and used an old button to fasten the ends together; but it keeps my ears warm and looks cute! Right? Looking at the photos, I realize I look kind of like a hipster. How very Seattle of me. All I need to complete the look are some large-framed glasses and a cup of coffee.

So Seattle with my flannel shirt and crocheted headband

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Favorites!

Favorite fashion trends

Today, I am featuring three of my favorite fashion trends that are in style right now.

The first is color-tipped French manicures! I think they look so fresh and fun. I tried to get this look last night with bright blue Sally Hansen Insta-Dri polish. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out as well as I hoped. I removed it after taking this picture:

Color-tipped french manicure
Here is a DIY post from the Free People blog on how to do your own neon tipped nails: Let me know how it goes for you and what you think of this trend!

The second trend I'm loving right now are chambrays. I don't have one so unfortunately I don't have a photo to post. You'll have to Google it. Anyway, a chambray is a light, comfy button-up shirt made of weaved cotton and normally pale blue in color. They look similar to demin but are not stiff or heavy like your average blue jeans.

Lucky Magazine has a great little post here on how to layer with a chambray.

I recently wore leather and polka dots

Trend #3 is pairing leather with softer looks like a polka dot blouse. Featured in this article about New York Fashion Week along with ponytails and the color purple, I like leather + polka dots because it is fun and fierce at the same time. Polka dots on top paired with more feminine pieces like lacy sweaters and ruffled skirts could results in a baby doll look that hopefully you were going for! Personally, I like to mix the masculine and feminine.

Hope your weekend gets off to a great start!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Oh, Thursday...

Today is a weird day

My nail polish is already chipping and I just applied it 36 hours ago. As I stood at a stoplight this morning waiting to cross the street to the bus stop, I saw my bus blow by three minutes early. I turned around and started trekking back up the hill to my apartment. Then I got the Seattle sweats (when you are wearing lots of layers cause it's cold but then your body heats up from activity so you get too warm) and tried to take off my scarf. My scarf got caught in my necklace but I was in too much of a hurry to untangle it so it, and no amount of tugging would fix the problem, so the scarf just dangled by a few threads from my necklace.

Despite the time I spent blow drying and straightening my hair this morning, it was a sweaty tangled mess by the time I got to my car. As I drove to work, I reached into my purse for my pocket knife with one hand, holding the scarf away from my neck with the other, driving with my knees controlling the steering wheel, opening the blade with my fingers, cutting my necklace free of those threads.

I pulled into the parking garage, ran my fingers through my hair, applied some lip gloss to encourage a smile and off I was.

There was a blue Monster waiting for me at work, thanks to a coworker who I made a deal with yesterday. I brought snacks, he brought drinks. Score.

Today is the one year anniversary of something traumatic that impacted me and many others from back home. It kicked off a scary chapter in my life that I'm still working to close. I thought I was ready to write about it but I'm not. So, if you could send some good thoughts and sunshine my way without knowing exactly why I need it, I would appreciate that very much!

Here's hoping the rest of the day improves. I can't wait to spend the afternoon making my rounds on my favorite blogs, drinking tea and watching my latest favorite show, Pretty Little Liars. :-)

What are your favorite pick me ups?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The only thing I can cook

Sausage broccoli fettuccine

A couple months ago I bought a cookbook claiming to be full of simple but delicious meals I could make in half an hour or less. Normally, my idea of cooking is putting a frozen lasagna in the oven and opening a bag of salad.

I tried a few recipes and found none seemed simple and none were done in less than 45 minutes. With this meal, I have found that if I am decent at multitasking I can have it on the table in less than 30 minutes, no problem! I've adjusted the recipe from the book based on my tastes and preferences.

1 pound Italian uncased sausage
1 pound fettuccine
2/3 cup grated or shaved Parmesan
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salt
5 cloves worth of minced garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of baby broccoli or broccolini or broccoli rabe or even just broccoli


Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When it first begins to smoke, place Italian sausage in the skillet and cook it for about 8 minutes, until brown, breaking it up with a wooden spoon during the process. While the Italian sausage is cooking, fill a large pot with water and place it on the stove over high heat.

When the sausage is brown, stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes for about 30 seconds. At that point, it should smell delicious. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover it with a lid to keep it warm. You can also keep it on the stove but reduce the heat to low, if you like.

By now the water should be at a rolling boil. Add the salt and fettuccine, stirring occasionally and reducing heat slightly if it's going too crazy. Last night, I was stirring the meat with on hand and the noodles with the other. Multitasking! Keep the noodles cooking at a steady boil for about 11 minutes and in the meantime....

Chop up the baby broccoli. I've also used broccolini, broccoli rabe and regular old broccoli. It all works. Don't cut the pieces too small or they will end up in the sink instead of the food. One-inch pieces work best. Put the chopped broccoli in with the boiling fettuccine for the last three minutes then strain, saving 1/2 cup of the water in case you need it later.

Add the sausage, Parmesan, 2 tbsp of olive oil and stir. Use the extra noodle water to moisten the dish if necessary. I normally only use a little of it. Sometimes I add extra cheese.

.....Voila! Delicious food that I made myself! Hope you enjoyed my post and will try the recipe yourself sometime!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Quick question....

Too much to read!

I am now following close, or possibly more than, 60 blogs through my Blogger account. It is hard to keep up with all of them and impossible to organize the list! What do you use to follow blogs? Google+? BlogLovin? I don't want to miss out on anything good and I'm still so new to this!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Favorites!

One is free and one is healthy

I don't know about you, but I don't like to choke on my vitamins. Multivitamins especially tend to be huge and hard to swallow. When I was a child there were Flintstones gummy vitamins that were easy to eat. You know what I'm talking about! Well, I'm excited to tell you that now even adults can have yummy, chewable vitamins! And there are lots of options! I've tried both the Centrum and Nature Made varieties and while I like the flavor of the Centrum Flavor Burst multivitamins over the Nature Made multivitamin gummies, I don't like that I have to chew four of them as opposed to two of the Nature Made. Either way, it sure beats having one giant pill lodged in your throat.

I managed to sneak a little new beauty product into my routine this week despite my shopping moratorium. This sample of eye cream came out of a free magazine I signed up to get at Ulta last month. It's called Philosophy Miracle Worker and is an anti-aging cream. While I don't really have any signs of aging at this point in my life, I gave it a try at night for five days just to see how my eyes felt in the morning. It was nice to try out, however, I definitely don't look any younger. ;-) I think companies distributing samples is one of the best forms of advertisement. I'm not too likely to want to drop $60+ on eye cream I've never tried.

I hope they keep the samples coming. When I find one worth the money, I'll pass on the good news.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday Lunch

Meeting Up!

On Sunday, I met up with Kate from All Things Kate for lunch in Lynnwood at a restaurant called Indigo Kitchen. It was exciting to meet another Seattle fashion blogger! We had a great time chatting about fashion, our blogs and getting to know each other. I hope to meet more cool gals like Kate soon!

Before leaving, I tried to take some pictures of my outfit. Without Tim, it's challenging to get good photos. I started out putting the camera on self timer on the back porch and trying to get photos that way. The focus didn't work well so I tried taking pictures of my outfit in the reflection of my full-length mirror while it leaned against our barbecue. Here are the results:

Necklace: Thrifted, Sweater: Thrifted Banana Republic, Top: Guess, Pants: American Rag

My nose started turning pink cause it was so cold out! Earrings: Target, Necklace: Thrifted
Boots: Pink and Pepper from DSW

Watch: Stuhrling watch that I LOVE!

So there is nothing new featured in this outfit; but I've never worn the pieces together like this so yay me being so creative with my clothes! I really want to find a good "starter" watch to try out. It's been years since I've owned a watch and it will take some getting used to. I'm thinking a gold-colored watch from Guess, maybe? They run around $100 but I'm open to less expensive alternatives. 

Anyone know where I can get a good deal on a nice-looking watch next month? ;-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I ran out of BB Cream and I can't buy any more for another 18 days!

Anyone have beauty tips for what to do when you run out of a product like this?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Since I swore off shopping for the month of February, this month's Friday Favorites will be a bit different. There will be no new purchases, however, I hope to re-discover favorites I already own.

Nail art for those of us who are challenged in the polish area

For the record: I am terrible at polishing my nails. I smudge them, chip them, break is not pretty. A year or two ago the bright, fun Sally Hansen Salon Effects advertisements in magazines caught my eye and I decided to try them! It looked great and was very easy to use but would only last three or four days before starting to peel off. Then, I discovered a trick: Use a good topcoat after applying the polish strips! Now, it will last more than a week.

They normally cost $8.99 or more, which in my opinion is a lot considering you can buy a bottle of polish for that price and use it multiple times. I watched the clearance at Target and when a bunch of boxes hit the shelves for $3, I bought two.

What isn't my favorite: Aside from the cost, they can go bad and stop sticking to your nails so use them within a month or so after you buy them. Also, the sparkly ones don't always remove easily and you might need to soak them in nail polish remover.

Comfy/Cute old jeans

In the depths of my dresser, I re-discovered these pants I bought when I was 19. I remember buying them at Macy's when they were on sale for $19.99. I liked the boot cut (not many girls were wearing skinny jeans yet) and the detail on the pockets. Lucky for me they still fit! Since they're so worn, they are very soft and comfortable.

What isn't my favorite: Doing the pants dance. (Ladies, you know what I'm talking about) Also, I hemmed them myself, since I'm so short, so the stitching is a little sketch at the bottom of the pant legs.

That's all for now!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Studying up

Thank goodness for the library!

If I can't buy it I guess I'll read about it

Today is the fifth day of the month and I have not bought anything other than food and gasoline. Go me!

Of course, I have been torturing myself reading the 20+ fashion blogs I follow along with a stack of books on style and beauty.

I'm reading Shoestring Chic right now. It is full of tips on how to score major league style on a minor league budget. I laughed out loud when I got to a page that suggested not shopping as a way to save money. (Brilliant idea, right?) But seriously, it does have some great tips that I plan to follow.

One of my favorite tips is one I've followed for months now: If you can hold off on buying a full-priced item that just hit the racks, do it! Chances are it will be marked down significantly in a month or two.

Some of the other tips I plan to test out for you all over the weekend as I go through my wardrobe piece by piece and see what I can come up with!

Hope everyone's week is going well!

P.S. If you have any favorite style books or magazines please share about them in the comment section! I'd love to find more studying material. :-)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A month without shopping

My personal challenge for February

What I'm working with.

Last week, while reading Shoestring Chic: 101 Ways to Live the Fashionably Luxe Life for Less, I had an idea. What if I went an entire month without shopping? No new clothes, shoes or beauty products. Of course, it was convenient that the next month was the shortest of the year. ;-)

Another Seattle lifestyle blogger, Megan at Diary of This Girl, posted a challenge to herself not to shop until Valentine's Day. I decided I should go for it, too, but extend it to the entire month of February!

My reasons are as follows:

1. I need to be saving more money for a new car, especially since mine broke down on the side of the road during the morning commute last week. Though I tend to find amazing deals on everything I buy, I know it all adds up.

2. My closet is full, as you can see. It will be a good creative challenge for me to mix up what I have and come up with some great "new" outfits.

3. As I go through what I already have, I can throw out things I am not wearing and don't want to wear. Then, as spring and summer clothing hit the shelves I can re-stock my closet. :-)

4. When we moved a few months ago, I was appalled at how many half-used beauty products I had. This is not a new thing. When we moved back to Washington from California, I had about 12 partially-used lip products spanning back to 2004. Ridiculous. I need to use up the products I have and throw out the empties before I move on to something new. This will force me to do that.

My challenge started yesterday. Weekends will be the hardest since I've made such a habit of going out and shopping on those days. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Favorites

The top three

My new tea kettle from Fred Meyer

Last week, Tim accidentally broke my electric tea kettle. I was very sad because I love to drink tea and microwaving water to make it hot just isn't the same. So, this week he took me to Fred Meyer and told me to pick out whatever tea kettle I wanted! This one has a vintage look to it, which I love!

Organix soothing teatree peppermint body lotion from ULTA
Cooling, soothing, moisturizing, AND it goes well with the teatree body wash from Trader Joe's I featured last week!

Maybelline Baby Lips
 I read a few blogs that featured raves about this lip product and decided to try it when I ran out of chapstick. So far, I like the way it makes my lips feel but I don't like the pink color it makes them. Next time, I'll choose a different flavor.