Wardrobe Architect / making style more personal.

 

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The very first thing that needs to be done when you are doing a complete style overhaul, is figure out your own personal style tastes! there are so many trends going on at every single moment that leave as fast as they come, with every person taking part around you and on pinterest, blogs, instagram…so how do we even know what WE actual like?!

Well for the first assignment of the challenge, we are asked to think about certain ways we are different and how those things affect the way we choose to look. Go ahead and take a look at the questions on the worksheet and then read my answers below!

History:
I remember not being very concerned with my appearance when I was younger…I cared more about my barbie’s appearance! haha I think it was when I was in the 8th grade (12 years old) that i started to care at all. I chose to wear baggy, all black clothing. I rocked stick straight hair, converse, a wristful of those colored plastic bracelets and lots of eyeliner. Yeah, I thought I was a punk, haha! Then, the following year I went to the opposite end of the spectrum and started wearing all bright colors, all the time! Sometimes multiple at a time! I loved wearing polos with colorful stripes, all aeropostale everything, giant earrings, and ballet flats in neon colors. I, also, started getting into different hairstyles and makeup which has had a huge affect on my life considering I am a hairstylist and makeup artist now! As far as my style choices now, I think I have a healthier dose of black and color and I still have a deep love for ballet flats!

Philosophy:
I am a Latter-Day Saint, and because of that fact i hold myself to a different standard of modesty than most people. I don’t wear tops that are revealing, I don’t wear skirts or shorts that hit farther up above the knee and I always wear tops and dresses with sleeves. Besides how I dress, I also never like to buy things on a whim or that aren’t a reasonable price, and when I go through things to get rid of I always donate them so I am helping others. I try not to have more than I need.

Culture:
I am white. And I’m really sad to say that I don’t know my ethnicity…I have no idea! I have asked my family too and they don’t really know. Based off of the way my family and myself look, I think I am made up of some sort of combo of English, German and Irish. I have very light freckle-y skin and my mom and her 3 brothers are all gingers. And I feel like our noses look kinda German. Like I said, just a guess. Because I don’t really know my family origins, I haven’t really been affected by them. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV and there are people that come and go here from all over the world.  There really aren’t any strong fashion influences in Las Vegas culture since there is so much diversity here.

Community:
I think my direct community influences me somewhat but not in the way you think, haha. mostly it influences me to be unique and to try to not have the same things as others! The sewing and DIY communities influences me so much with all the patterns they are creating or making with such awesome fabric! To be honest, the sewing community influences me way more than my friends or anyone directly connected to me, haha. I’m not mad about it.

Activities:
I don’t really have too many activities in my life, but if an outfit isn’t comfortable or is too fussy I just won’t wear it. Also, for work I have to wear all black or black with touches of white or grey. So because of that fact, I like to wear garments with different textures, finishes or garments that have unique design details so i don’t feel plain. Luckily I can dress kinda casual for work too so the whole comfort thing is easier! Another activity for me is church, so I need comfy and cute dresses and skirts. I don’t have very many that fit that I actually like.

Location:
I live in Las Vegas, NV where it is hot…pretty much the whole year long. Because it is so freakin’ hot during the summers i try and wear as few layers as possible and thinner clothing too. I need to get more familiar with fabrics and what their properties are so i know what breathes the best. Something else i want to try doing is wearing more skirts and dresses during the summer because I feel like they would be less hot that jeans which is what i usually wear. Winters in Las Vegas are really not bad at all so i usually only need to have some light layering pieces and one or two warmer coats.

Body:
I think it’s pretty safe to say that we all aren’t 100% happy with our bodies…and I know I want to improve mine to be healthier and a little thinner. Honestly though, I am way more confident and comfortable in my skin now than I used to be when i was my skinniest in high school (even though I am about 40 lbs heavier). I just miss being able to wear tighter shirts and feel comfortable. But alas, I am making the best of what I got and I want to have a wardrobe that I love because when I wear an outfit that I LOVE it makes me feel amazing! (like my peplum top that i made!)

 

now, I am going to be nosy and ask you to pick a category and tell me how it influences your style! I just love learning more about people 🙂

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Wardrobe Architect Challenge 2015

HELLO THERE!

I hope that this year is treating you AMAZINGLY and that you are remembering to write the right date on all your papers! I’ve surprisingly been doing well with that so far, haha! Guys, I am SO excited to tell you all about a new project going on!

Do you ever look at your closet full of clothes and feel like you have nothing to wear? Nothing that pops out at you and makes you feel absolutely great when you put it on? Well, I realized that’s how I’ve been feeling about my closet after I posted about my peplum top that I made. I freakin’ love that top! That outfit I wore made me feel so great!

After I had this revelation I decided that I am going to redo my whole wardrobe this year so that I love everything in it and it is all cohesive…and I want to make it myself so that I can control all the fabric choices and the fit of each garment. Not even a full week after this decision, I got an email saying that the Wardrobe Architect Challenge, created by the lovely Sarai  (the creator of Colette Patterns), has been re-vamped for 2015 and their head pattern designer, Kristin, is also going through the challenge on the Coletterie blog!

So what the heck is the Wardrobe Architect challenge?! The challenge is a complete style and lifestyle overhaul concerning your clothes and shopping habits! You go through the different worksheets and figure out your style and make a new wardrobe! you can even choose to stop buying clothing all-together and ONLY make things. I don’t think I am going to go that extreme but I do want a MOSTLY handmade wardrobe. BUT even if you don’t sew, it is a lot of fun going through the worksheets and finding out about your unique styles and tastes!

Anywho…Here is the schedule of what we are doing per month:

  • January – Find your core style and explore shapes
  • February – Clean out your closet and take inventory
  • March – Review and finalize your spring/summer sewing projects
  • April – Plan colors and shop for spring fabric
  • May & June – Sew for your spring/summer capsule wardrobe
  • July – Review and finalize your autumn/winter sewing projects
  • August – Plan colors and shop for autumn fabric
  • September & October – Sewing for your autumn/winter capsule wardrobe
  • November – Review and refine
  • December – Show off your wardrobe!

This month we are supposed to read and fill out all of the worksheets for weeks 1-4 of the challenge which focuses on finding your core style and shapes. I am going to be posting about my whole process week by week so you can follow along on my journey! This week I will be posting my answers for the first 2 weeks so that I can catch up and then after I catch up I will be posting once a week!

You can also follow along on my social media! I will mostly be updating my instagram and i will be making a pinterest board specifically for this challenge! If you follow along in those places you will be getting an even closer look as to what I am going through with this challenge!

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I hope that you enjoy following along with this whole process with me here!

WISH ME LUCK!

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pretty party peplum

(i really just love alliteration)

hey there friend! i hope you had a marvelous christmas/hanukkah/whatever-you-celebrate! i hope you got everything you wanted and more! you’ll have to tell me what you got!! (cause i’m nosy and i wanna know! hehe) i got a lot of great things for christmas and i got to spend lots of time with all my family which was the best present of all! and guys…i can’t believe that 2014 is over…so crazy! this is my last post this year! holy cannoli! i hope you guys have had a great year and i hope 2015 is amazing for you!

speaking of all the holidays and craziness going on at the end of the year…there are plenty of festive parties to go to! every year i get sooo excited about getting all dolled up because it’s like the one time i can the whole year! i always want to buy a snazzy, new dress (that i only wear it once). i always seem to forget the year before when i was wearing my snazzy new dress, that i have to suck in my tummy all night and the heels that i have to wear with the dress make my feet feel like death.

luckily for me, this year i remembered! so instead of repeating history by spending too much money on one item of clothing and feeling constricted, i decided to make a fancy top to wear instead that i will for sure be wearing all the time! so after looking on pinterest (AKA my favorite thing ever! come check out what i am pinning!) i decided on a peplum top. they are soooo cute and flattering and they hide your tummy! sweet! no sucking it in for me! and yes I WILL have another plate of food! thankyouverymuch!

green peplum top

i ended up using the sandra peplum pattern from spit up and stilettos ( UPDATE-They have currently discontinued offering their patterns though 😦 ). the pattern is designed to be made out of a woven fabric, it has a button back closure, front slash opening, princess seams, back darts, no sleeves and a full lining…but i completely changed this sucker. i picked this pattern because i love the princess seams and the fact that the “skirt” portion is a circle, not gathered. i really wanted to have my top be as comfortable and forgiving as possible so when i found a really pretty hunter green (it looks different in different lighting) ponte knit fabric at my local hancock fabrics i knew i hit jackpot. it is literally THE PERFECT FABRIC: it has four way stretch, is super soft to the touch, and holds it’s shape so well!

green peplum top front green peplum top back

now for the alterations i made…i didn’t like the slash opening and because i was using a stretch fabric i didn’t need the back opening or lining. so those were out. i also lowered the front neckline/got rid of the slash front, added sleeves, lengthened the bottom, and sloped out some of the upper back because it was poofing out too weird. i used bias tape to hem the sleeves and neckline and used this technique that you use to hem a circle skirt for the bottom hem of the shirt. it was my first time using both of those techniques and i really love them! especially the bottom hem because it gave so much more body the the peplum! there are only a few other things i wish that i would have changed as well:

– i should have made at it at least one size smaller. after it was all made up  it was super loose still so i took it in about 3/4 of an inch on both sides and in the back center seam.

– i wish i would have changed the back darts into back princess seams. i want to make another version of this shirt in black so i will change it on this version.

– i wish i would have pinched out some of the bulk on the upper neckline. it stretches out and looks really weird sometimes…

but overall…I REALLY FREAKIN LOVE IT SO MUCH! i can wear it with my ponte knit pants and some flats or boots and i’m good to go. it’s soooo twirly and sassy and it makes me feel super pretty! AND it’s amazingly comfortable. see i can pose on a wall in it…do yoga in it…and walk like an egyptian! (my sister and i had lots of fun taking pictures on my new camera lol)

green party peplum yoga peplum top Egyptian peplum top

AND HERE IS A MANDATORY TWIRLY GIF THAT I MADE FOR YOU!

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i definitely think everyone should have one of these tops. so go make or buy one! i’m waiting…lol

do you have one of these tops? do you love it?! or are you a peplum skeptic? let me know what you think below! see you next year!

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7 tips to help winterize your nails!

about a week ago, julep (a fabulous beauty/nail polish company) contacted me and asked if i would be interested in sharing their exclusive nails care tips along with my own on how to winterize your nails! so of course i said “heck yes!” because, as you know, (or maybe not cause you’re new here…welcome!) i am a licensed cosmetologist* and i love all things beauty!

i don’t know about you, but when winter rolls around it is so cold and dry in the air (even here in las vegas) and it wreaks havoc on my hair, skin and nails. does that happen to you? well, fear not! julep and i have some tips for you on how to keep the damage at bay and keep your hands looking healthy AND festive! woohoo!

winter mani

what you’ll need:

– nail cutters and files
– cuticle pusher/ orangewood stick
– cuticle oil and cuticle softener/remover
– cuticle nippers
– nail polish remover and cotton swabs
– festive nail color(s)
– dotting tools/nail art brushes (optional)
– hand scrub: epsom salt, coconut oil, essential oil

 

tip one: skip the soak

i personally don’t like to soak my hands in water before i start my manicure. why?

well, nails expand when they have soaked up water and then shrink back up when dry, so when you soak your nails and then paint them your nail polish is going to lift and chip faster than normal! uhmmm no thank you! so i say SKIP THE SOAK! the only benefit to soaking your hands is it softens your cuticles, but i will tell you how to better deal with that in a minute.

 

tip two: don’t go file crazy

if you are wanting your nails to be much shorter than what they are, then you need to trim off most of the nail with nail cutters and then smooth and fine-tune your shape with a nail file. if you do too much filing you are going to start to damage your nail and make it split and peel! cut first, shape second.

tip from julep: use the rougher side of your file first and then switch to the finer side. why? this helps to give your nails a smoother edge! your nails will be less likely to get a snag and break later on!

shape nails

 

tip three: soften those cuticles

use a cuticle softener/remover to help soften and remove that yucky dried stuff stuck on your nails when you push back your cuticles! it makes a world of difference especially when you use a really good one! i sadly don’t have a super good one, i just have a cheap-y one so i am wanting to upgrade to julep’s vanish cuticle softener & remover. after you push back your cuticles, you can clip hangnails and dead stuff off with your cuticle nippers. then, lightly buff any dried cuticle still stuck on your nail.

tip from julep: heat up your bottle of vanish in a mug of warm water before you put it on your cuticles! why? i am guessing that it will help the product absorb into the cuticles better. can’t wait to try this out!

soften cuticles pushing cuticles clean cuticles

 

tip four: scrub it off

dead skins gonna flake flake flake flake flake…SCRUB IT OFF! (ok sorry…done now)

it is crucial to use a hand scrub regularly to exfoliate the dead skin off before you try and moisturize! if you don’t exfoliate it off, then the moisturizer you are using isn’t going to be able to soak further down into your skin. it will only be sucked up by the outer layer of dead stuff! and the dead stuff won’t come back to life no matter how much you moisturize. trust me.

luckily for us frugal gals, it is super easy to make at home! there are plenty of recipes on pinterest that you can do! i love the homemade scrub i chose though because it does double duty! it exfoliates AND moisturizes. talk about a time saver!

all you need is 1 cup epsom salt, 2 cups coconut oil, and some drops of your favorite essential oil. i used tea tree essential oil! minty fresh! after you make it, you want to store you scrub mixture in a sealed container to keep it from drying out.

scrub ingredientshand scrubhand scrub texture

 

tip five: before you paint, dehydrate

after you have cut, filed, scrubbed, nipped and thoroughly washed your hands…

it is important to use a cotton swab or pad and use some nail polish remover to clean your nail off before you start painting. even though you don’t have any nail polish on (because you removed it before we started this whole process, right?) this will help get any excess oil and dust off of your nail that is left that would hinder the staying power of your manicure.

 

tip six: thin layers please

it is better to apply thin coats of polish but more of them, than it is to apply less coats that are thicker. thinner layers will be able to dry more fully in between adding layers, which will make your manicure last longer!

and please, PLEASE paint responsibly. that means use a top and base coat!! it will help your manicure last longer if you use a really great one! what’s the point in painting if you skip these two little things? they can take the staying power from “crap i just painted these yesterday!” to “i’m so happy my manicure has lasted for more than three days!”

my favorites right now are CND sticky base coat and seche vite dry fast top coat. the top coat is my FAVORTITE! it really does dry super fast!

tip from julep: polish your clean nails with two coats of oxygen nail treatment to keep them strong and healthy. i personally haven’t used this product but i think i need to start because it boasts to reconstruct nails to a “stronger, thicker, and smoother condition in just one stroke”. i definitely need stronger thicker nails. mine are sooo thin!

base and top

tip seven: cuticle oils after dry

apply your cuticle oil immediately after your nails are dry to the touch so that it has the most time to soak in! also, using cuticle oil before you go to bed is the best because then you have ALL night to let it soak in! maximum moisture power! i have been using essie apricot cuticle oil, and i really like it! it smells really fruity and it moisturizes well.

tip from julep: moisturize your nails twice a day to keep your tips hydrated through dry winter months. this is super important! you can use cuticle oil or julep has their mighty nail & cuticle serum. ok i need this in my life!

WinterizeYourNails

 

 

NOW THE FUN PART!
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these are the colors that julep has picked as the must wear colors for this winter season.

i typically don’t wear very dark shades so i gravitated more towards kiki. it reminds me of elsa’s dress in frozen so of course i love it! i decided to stick to a frosty and shimmery theme inspired by kiki, so i did a glitter gradient with two party nails one solid glitter and one with a shimmery snowflake! if they don’t scream winter, then i don’t know what will! i am pretty much in love with glitter. glitter is my favorite color! and i am super proud of how my snowflake turned out with this tutorial i found on pinterest!

glitter ombre mani snowflake nail polishessie glitter ignite the night

i used three different colors for my nails: essie mint candle apple for the base, essie ignite the night for the glitter, and OPI my signature is “DC” for the snowflake

 

so what do you think? how do you winterize you mani? what tip will you start implementing?

 

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P.S. *a cosmetologist is someone who went to beauty school and learned hair, skin and nail care…not just hair. so *technically* i am not just a hairstylist. but i don’t do nails professionally so that’s why i just call myself a hairstylist/makeup artist…technicalities lol


this is not a sponsored post. i was not compensated for mentioning julep or their products. this is just a nice collaboration with a very nice beauty company to give you the best tips for how to take care of your hands and nails in the winter!

 

yummy and easy dinner in a pumpkin recipe!

every year in october, right before halloween, my in-laws all get together and have dinner in a pumpkin.

no, we don’t eat our dinner inside of a giant pumpkin (which would be awesome). it is kinda a casserole type dish that is made and put in a pumpkin and then you cook it in your oven!

before i get started sharing how to make it, i just want to say thanks to my mother-in-law, robyn! she is the lovely hand model in the photos…and this is her recipe that she has been using for about 15 years! of course a few tweaks here and there, but only to make it better!

when we make it we usually make two large pumpkins so we triple or quadruple the recipe because we have TONS of family that love to eat lots of this. i would recommend starting out with the recommended small/medium pumpkin first to see how you like it and then maybe go for a large one next time for leftovers 🙂

 

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HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

1 small-medium pumpkin
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1.5-2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
2 tbsp. sot sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 (4 oz) can of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 (10 oz) can cream of chicken soup
1.5 cups cooked white rice
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts drained
.5 cup celery, chopped

 

cleaning out

before you start anything, preheat your oven to 350 dregrees! i always forget to preheat my oven first.

step one: clean the pumpkin! cut the top of the pumpkin off and clean the insides of the pumpkin, or make your husband do it like i did, haha just like if you were making a jack-o-lantern. after the insides are all clean, then wash the outside in the sink. DON’T FORGET TO KEEP THE TOP! you’ll need it for later.

step two: in a large skillet (or giant pot like we did) heat up your oil and sautée your chopped onions and celery until the are tender. (we forgot to do this first, oops)

dinner in a pumpkin

step three: add in your ground meat or ground turkey and cook until all the meat is browned. drain the excess grease from the meat.

step four: add in the soy sauce, brown sugar, mushrooms, soup, rice and water chestnuts and mix all that up. (we put extra soup to make it saucier. we like things saucy.) it’s supposed to look kinda gross…but it tastes so good!

step five: put the yummy concoction inside your cleaned pumpkin and put the lid back on. put the pumpkin on a baking sheet and stick that sucker in the oven. cook between 1.5 to 2 hours. the outside of the pumpkin will look kinda brown, like it has been sunbathing for too long and you want the meat/pulp of the pumpkin to be tender.

dinner in a pumpkin before and after

step six: SERVE AND ENJOY! you can add hot sauce to it if you like some heat or cheese, but i don’t think you need to. it’s pretty delicious by itself. make sure to get some of the yummy pumpkin meat/pulp when you scoop it out!

if you make it let me know!! it is super easy and yummy!

have a happy thanksgiving guys!

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