Monday, September 28, 2015

DIY Sleeveless Turtleneck Dress

I've been trying to pick up sewing as a hobby. I took a sewing class in seventh grade and that is literally the last time I had used a sewing machine up until two weekends ago. I decided to start with a really easy project and I hopped on my sister's machine and cranked out a dress. I love the idea that I can make something myself, not only as a cost-saving measure but also as a way to customize something that I like. Because seriously, half the time that I'm shopping, I see items of clothing that I would absolutely love if one little element was different. So, if I get good enough at sewing, I should be able to remedy that, right?

I saw a turtleneck midi dress from Forever 21 that looked like an easy enough dress to try and emulate and it was basic enough that it seemed like a great first project. And obviously, F21's price point is super affordable, but a couple of yards of grey fleece at less than $5 a yard is pretty hard to beat.
you'll need:
2 yards non-pill grey fleece
grey thread
sewing machine
measuring tape
fabric chalk or disappearing ink marker

Monday, September 21, 2015

Traveling with My Dog

Let me briefly introduce you to GM before we get into the meat of this post. GM is a smallish medium-sized dog (he weighs 22ish pounds). He's a mini-schnauzer and shih-tzu mix (schnau-tzu). He's fixed (so no grandpuppies for me), he's a total beta dog, and he is a medium energy guy.

George Michael has yet to accompany me on a flight but he has been a companion on many road trips. Luckily, he's a pretty easy-going traveler in that he loves car rides and doesn't get motion sick so it's pretty great that he can tag along when we're heading somewhere local. Traveling with a dog definitely changes the type of trip I plan. GM tends to get a bit anxious when left alone (especially in an unfamiliar place) so I have to make sure our holiday is filled with plenty of activities that he can participate in and that he is comfortable.
Here are some of my tips for traveling with a pooch in tow.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

DIY Seed Packets

I've really been loving the garden this year. Our cucumber plant has produced dozens of delicious cucumbers, we've had plenty of hot peppers, and don't even get me started on the delicious pastas we've made with fresh oregano and basil.

One surprise this year was our kale plant. We planted curly kale for the first time last year and come winter, we expected everything to die so that we could start over in the spring. Well, to our surprise, the kale plant resurrected and grew like crazy on its own. It flowered almost immediately and then produced weird long pods. After a bit of internet research, we realized the pods contained kale seeds. I ended up letting the pods dry themselves out in the sun and then I collected the seeds. And then I decided to do a little DIY for making seed packets at home.
These are so cute and a great gift idea.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Natural Beauty Oils

As much as I love lotions and creams, I've become a big fan of natural beauty products. Less processed, fragrance-free, and pure oils are my new favorite thing. I feel happy about putting good-for-me products on my face and the beauty payoff is brilliant, especially considering the price.
I buy my beauty oils from Trader Joe's because it's convenient and super affordable.

Friday, September 11, 2015

36 Hours in Connecticut: Part 2

So yesterday I mentioned that we did something super cool and I'm so excited to share it!

A few weeks ago, H posted a photo of herself pressing cheeks with a llama! She told me that there was a woman in Connecticut with a farm who breeds llamas and takes groups on hikes with the llamas. So, when we were planning our little impromptu CT weekend together, we decided to try and do another hike. Luckily for us, AJ had some slots for us!
Again, the weather gods smiled down on us and gave us blue skies, sunshine, and low-humidity weather.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

36 Hours in Connecticut: Part 1

So last weekend, I drove up to Connecticut to hang out with H and her two kitties. It was an impromptu trip but we managed to quickly plan a v. fun itinerary. The weather was gorgeous so we spent a good deal of time outside. H also did some really great research that had us dining at really delicious restaurants.
With autumn lurking just around the corner, I'm glad we had a chance to enjoy the sunshine in dresses and shorts.

Monday, September 07, 2015

How To: Pack Toiletries

Happy Labor Day! I love a good long weekend, don't you? I spent the past couple of days up in CT visiting with my friend H. We went to wineries and ate really good food and had fun and I'll be sharing some snaps soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share my toiletry bag.

In the way that FBI agents have 'go bags' ready at all times, I have my toiletry bag ready at all times. It sits on a shelf in my room, ready for me to grab and go, which makes things really easy when I'm packing for holidays and work trips and even quick weekend trips like the one I just returned from.

And along with my usual weeklong holidays (France, Turks & Caicos, Italy) and work trips (North Dakota) this past year and a half has been full of short weekend jaunts and local trips (hello, Miami, Toronto, Philadelphia, DC, Boston, Provincetown, and Philly again) which has made my little ready-to-go toiletry bag all the more convenient. And, I have some plans to do a few more weekend trips soon (including a long weekend in New Orleans) and a longer trip to a tropical island so having this guy waiting on standby all the time is so practical and super convenient.
Since my toiletry bag gets so much use, I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite products and a few tips and tricks for packing them.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Hand Lettering Tips

Recently, I shared my tips for travel journaling. From that post, I received some email inquiries asking me about my penmanship and how I go about my hand lettering techniques. So, I thought I'd share some of my tips.
I don't think it's just about starting with naturally neat penmanship and totally giving up if you think you have terrible handwriting. I think you can work with your own skills, hone your craft, practice, and improve, and eventually have enough control of your hands to make letters look the way you want them to look.
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