Tuesday, July 31, 2012

DIY: Beach Bracelet

While at the beach, Kat and I were inspired to make some jewelery.  We picked up some nylon rope at a hardware store (it's also great for securing your cooler while tubing).  You only need a couple more simple supplies to make this bracelet yourself.

You'll need a lighter, a ruler, nylon rope, tweezers, scissors, and a wooden bead with a hole large enough for your rope to fit through.

1/Cut two lengths of rope at least 20" long.  Use your lighter to melt the ends a bit so they don't fray.  I found that it was best to use the side of the flame.  Holding the lighter directly under the rope caused it to turn brown or black, but using the edge of the flame let me control how fast it melted.  2/String your bead on to one of your lengths of rope, pulling it to the center of the rope.  3/Fold your second piece of rope in half and hold it behind the first.  4&5/Pull the ends of your rope through the loop and tighten.  6/Take the strands from your first rope and carry them over the second.  7&8/Pull the ends of the rope through the loop and tighten.

 9/Carry the other set of ropes over the ones you just knotted.  10/Pull them through the loop and tighten.

11&12/Repeat steps 6-10 until your bracelet is long enough to go all the way around your wrist.

13/Make your last knot loosely.  14&15/Pull the ends of your other rope through only enough to make a loop and tighten.  16/Flip your bracelet and tie knots in the remaining ends.  17/Trim the ends of your ropes.  18&19/Use your lighter to melt the ends of your rope and squeeze them together with your tweezers to secure your knots.  20/Pull the bead through the loop to secure your bracelet.

Make another bracelet to share with a friend and rock your summer time nautical style!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Simple Summer Make-Up

I've found myself doing a lot of traveling this summer and needing to pack light for flights or quick trips out of town.  While I definitely simplify my make-up routine for the summer, I don't forgo it all together.  This season I've refined my regimen to just a few steps and found how to use as few products as possible, making a last-minute packing job no problem.  I'm also pretty thrifty with my make-up budget, because even though I get the idea of buying high-quality products, I'd rather spend my money on great food and fun projects.  Here's what I'm currently using:

  • SPF 30 moisturizer- by far the most important part of the routine, I like this small travel-sized lotion that not only protects my skin but is just the right amount of moisture for my slightly dryer skin.
  • Powder Foundation- bareMinerals medium powder is definitely the biggest splurge of my products but you can't beat the coverage.
  • Bronzer- this is a $3 e.l.f. pressed powder but I like loose powder type bronzers as well.  I brush this below the cheek and brow bones and a little across my forehead and nose for a little extra glow.
  • Blush- I love the look of this mosaic blush palette.
  • Eyeliner and shadow duo stick- these are the greatest invention for someone on the go.  Two-in-one and so easy to apply in these creamy formats.
  • Eyelash curler and mascara- I love Maybelline falsies in black-brown for a little extra oomph and I can't go without adding some curl to my lashes.
  • Coral lipstick- not a daily addition but a fun touch for a night out or a dressier occasion in the summer months.
Now we'd love to know, what are your must-have summer beauty essentials?  What products make your routine easier or can you not live without?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lately. Week 3.

1/Atlantic Ocean
2/Craft hands & Beach necessities
3/Dragon fly & Ombre hair chalk 

4/After the storm & Shrimp poolside
5/Buddy in the pool & Beach breakfast
6/Roadtrip staples (kindle-case tutorial here) & Beach quilt
7/Pool party & Hair Chalk 2

Thanks to Allison for letting us borrow her instagram this week.  You can follow Kat here and me here.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY: Hair Chalk

We're at the beach this week, so we decided to mix up our summer style by adding some fun color to our hair.  We used art chalk for its bright vibrant colors.  This method is incredibly simple and will wash out in a day or so.

All you need is your hair and pastels.  Make sure you're not getting oil pastels.  This can definitely get messy, so wear a shirt you can get dirty while you're working, grab some wet paper towels, and take it outside.  You may also want to bring a comb to get rid of excess chalk dust, and if you have darker hair, you will want to dampen the section you will be working on.  Since Kat has bleached ends in her hair, she did not use any water, but Allison and I both did.

To color you hair, work in small sections and rub the pastel in downward strokes until you achieve the saturation you want.  Comb out the extra dust as you go in order to check on the color.  I alternated coloring sections of the bottom layer of my hair in a light turquoise and purple.  Allison colored all of her tips red and added peach at the ends.

Kat started with turquoise, then added blue and purple above it to create an ombre effect in her hair.

This was one of my favorite projects we've done all summer.  I can't wait to try more color combinations when we get home.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY: Picnic To Go

Yesterday we shared some of the highlights of our backyard picnic party and today I am going to show you how to create the mason jar table settings that we made for everyone's drinks and utensils.  These are a convenient make-ahead project for a picnic because they allow everyone to have their own setting in a sweet little package and their easy to transport.

For this project you'll need mason jars, paper straws, utensils (we used bamboo and only needed forks for our dinner), paper or cloth napkins, twine, and scissors.  We did twelve place settings for our picnic.

I used long rectangle paper napkins for mine.  Lay your napkin out flat unfolded into a long rectangle.  Place the straw and utensils at a diagonal at one end of the napkin.  Fold the corner of the napkin over and tuck it under the straw and utensils to secure it.  Roll the napkin around everything and tie with a bit of twine.  Getting the right shape with your roll takes a little bit of practice, so your last ones may look better than the first!

Place each rolled table setting into a mason jar, setting the lids aside.  That's it, go enjoy your picnic!

See the rest of our picnic plans here and here. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Backyard Summer Picnic

  Last week we hosted a picnic in my backyard and today we wanted to share some of the details with you.  Our original plan was to host the picnic in a nearby park but a combination of scorching heat and early park closing times made us reconsider and relocate to home.  Even though our plans changed last minute it made the prep work and clean up so much easier. 

We kept the setup simple with an arrangement of rugs, blankets, tablecloths, and pillows for our seating area.  I hung some ribbon scraps through the already strung lights and Liz made these great candle torches

We also kept the menu light and fuss-free, with lots of make ahead bites so we could enjoy our company.  Our menu included grilled brats (plus chicken and vegan versions), hearty baguettes, red cabbage coleslaw, veggies and this feta parsley dressing, our garlic-rosemary fries, and tomato caprese kabobs.

We grabbed a few packs of biodegrable plates and utensils and set up little mason jars with napkins and utensils for everyone to grab.  (I'll be giving you all the details on making those tomorrow).

We let everyone serve themselves inside, making up their brats however they liked and then we all headed to the backyard to enjoy the evening under the summer night sky.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Road Trip Playlist

On Wednesday I got a call from a friend asking me to take an impromptu road trip yesterday to Virginia.  We drove through the Shenandoah Valley and got free tickets to see Wilco.  Tomorrow, Kat and I are packing up and heading to the beach with family and friends.  Inspired by these summer trips, we've come up with a road trip playlist for you.  I hope you enjoy!

road trip by Liz Kraszeski on Grooveshark

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rosemary-Garlic Fries and DIY Fry Cones

 Here's a sneak peak at a dinner we hosted this week.  We grilled in the backyard and wanted some simple sides to go with that so we used some frozen french fries and shook things up a bit by adding rosemary and garlic to them at the end.  It's so easy, just toss your cooked fries in a bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil, two tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary (one if it's dried), a tablespoon of minced garlic, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.  Toss your fries around in this mixture until they are all coated and then pop back into the oven for another minute.

Now here's the fun part, I constructed these paper fry cones so everyone had their own individual serving and they'd be easy to transport for a picnic.  Here's how I made them:

You'll need a roll of parchment paper, three 12x12 sheets of pretty patterned card stock, a stapler, scissors, ruler, x-acto and cutting mat (or just measure and cut with scissors), and tape.  I made a dozen.

First you'll construct the parchment paper cone that will line the inside of the pretty paper cone. My parchment paper was 15" wide so I cut out 7.5" long strips and then cut them in half to make two 7.5x7.5" squares.  Take a square and fold in half at a diagonal.  Then at the bottom corner of that fold, make a small fold up to sort of dog-ear that corner.  This will help keep the cone from having a hole in the bottom. 

Next roll from the far right corner of the square, across the diagonal until you touch the other side. Hold that in place while rolling the left side over to for the cone shape.  Make sure you have about 1 1/2" overlap of the two sides.  Staple in place, stapling low on the cone so they won't show once placed into the second cone.  Make as many liner cones as you want and set those aside. 

For the outside cones I cut my 12x12" card stock sheets into 6x6" squares.  You'll follow the same steps for the liner cones to make these smaller cones, but there is no need to dog-ear the bottom corner before rolling.  Staple the cone to secure it than cover the staple with a piece of color or decorative tape.  Place your liners inside of the decorative paper cones and you're done.

 Now just fill with your fries and serve!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY: Colorful Bobby Pins

Inspired by this photo and the nagging task of trying to grow my bangs out this summer, Liz and I decided to try making some colorful bobby pins of our own.  This craft can be done in an afternoon and will add some color to your most simple summer outfits. 

You'll need: a pack of plain metal bobby pins and small scraps of cardboard to hold them, a primer and a sealer (we used spray paint options- like Rustoleum), paint brushes, and acrylic craft paint in the colors of your choice.  We decided to go with ombre color palettes and did three different sets; blues, pinks, and peaches.

First, place all of your bobby pins on the cardboard, spreading them out enough so you can use several colors on each card.  We only painted on the top flat sides of the pins (we did have a short discussion on which side was really the "top" of a bobby pin), so start by spraying a layer of primer on whatever side you deem the top.  Let this dry.  Your pins will now look like a car in the middle of a new paint job.

Once the primer is dry, add two coats of paint of your acrylic.  Let each layer dry before adding the next.  Lastly, spray your pins with a coat of clear top coat to seal in the color.

This craft is easy and inexpensive (my favorite) but really perks up a simple hairdo, whether you're just pulling back your bangs or doing an elaborate up-do.  I've been wearing my bobby pins constantly for the last two weeks, sometimes in the simple ombre palettes and sometimes mixing all of the hues together for a really colorful look.

Have fun styling!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Planning an event: Red Stamp App

It's no secret that around here we absolutely love planning parties, dinners, and get-togethers of all kinds.  In fact, Liz and I are meeting today about an impromptu dinner party we'll be throwing and documenting tomorrow night.  Because our social gatherings are often last minute there is no time to send out formal invites (though we love to do snail mail when time allows), so we often turn to the handy Red Stamp app

Red Stamp is so easy and allows you to customize one of there invite templates with your own photos and messages.  They have tons of really well-designed invites in so many categories so you can always find one to fit your event.  Here are a few we've sent out in the past (and a few I just had fun making).

We usually text our invites out but Red Stamp also allows you to email, send through facebook, or even purchase printed cards that they will print and mail out for you.  Besides invites you can send general messages, photo cards, and even calendars.  We were impressed by the quality of the designs and how easily customized they are.  If you are anything like us and like to plan things sort of last minute (especially in the summer...) than you have got to download the app- it's free!

*this is in no way a sponsored post, we just really like Red Stamp.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lately. Week 2.

Here are a few instagram snapshots of what we've been up to this week.

1 and 2/Blog meetings, muffin baking, and vintage hunting.

3/Fabric collecting and cupcake making.

4/Guacamole tasting.

5/Vinyl finding and enjoying pink skies at dusk.

Want more?  Follow Liz, Meg, and I.  And we want to follow you!  Leave us a comment with your instagram username so we can see what you're up to!

Have a great weekend everyone! 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Easiest Popsicles

Besides spending the entire day in a pool, we've been trying to practice some easy ways to stay cool this summer and this quick popsicle recipe does just that.  I got these popsicle molds at a NC restaurant and shop but now you can find popsicle molds all over the place (just make sure they're bpa free).  You can also use a plastic party cup and popsicle craft sticks to make your own- just wait until the pops are half frozen (2 hours) to stick your handles in.  Then cut away the cup once completely frozen.

For these pops I only used two ingredients- lemonade and fresh strawberries.  I used a lemonade mix but it would be awesome to mix up your own fresh batch for these!  Once your lemonade is ready, cut up your strawberries into pretty small chunks (I used about 3/4 of my pint).  Then reserve half of the cut strawberries.  Take a small handful of the strawberries and in a food processor or blender puree them with about a cup of your lemonade.  I did this in small batches because of my small food processor, making enough for two at a time.  You could also take half your strawberries and about 3 cups of lemonade and do it all at once. 
Fill each popsicle container 3/4 full with your strawberry lemonade puree then add some chunks of the reserved strawberries.  These tend to float on top so kind of push them down into the puree.

Let your popsicles freeze for 4 hours and then they are ready to serve!  To get out of the molds easier, sit them out for 10 minutes before serving or take them out of the freezer, run under hot water, pop off the molds and serve!  Enjoy!

We'll be back with more popsicle recipes as the summer rolls on!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hey there! I'm Meg, a friend of Kat and Liz's and I'll be sharing some blog-worthy ideas this summer.

I became a home-owner this past spring and since I moved into my neighborhood, I've been greeted with nothing but kindness from my neighbors. I'm originally from Philadelphia and I've only been down South for a year, so I'm just now growing accustomed to southern hospitality. From the day I moved in, the family next to me has been incredibly helpful and supportive, especially when it comes to my garden, or lack-thereof!

So this weekend I gathered a gift together as a small thank you..

I picked up a few gift cards so the entire family could enjoy a night out to dinner and also buy some beautiful new plants from New Garden Nursery. I wanted to put my own personal touch in the gift, so I used some craft paper, and pinking sheers to make my thank you note. 

My neighbor previously brought me some flowers in this vase that rooted and I later planted. I didn't want to return the vase empty, so I picked up some Yarrow's, which I later learned are also referred to as "Moonshine". 

To complete, I simply tied my little note around the vase and added a gift card to each side. It was a simple and quick project to spruce up the ever-so monotonous gift card.