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    DIY

    DIY to Try: Re-Dying Faded Black Denim

    PicMonkey Collage2Let me just tell you about my love affair with this pair of Gap jeans (P.S. on sale!). I might have been guilty of wearing them every. single. day. They’re my go-to on date nights, weekend trips and lazy Sundays. It’s love, guys. To say I’m obsessed with them would be the understatement of the year.

    But unfortunately, daily wear caused them to fade a bit. I know, I know. The obvious solution here is to just order another pair. But because I was craving a little challenge (and wanted to save a few bucks), I grabbed a bottle of Rit and went the DIY route. And it totally worked.

    Follow the steps below to see how you can breathe a little life into your favorite pair of black jeans:

    DSC_0972_editedSupplies needed:

    Jeans
    Rit fabric dye
    Hot water
    Large bucket
    Gloves (strongly advised. I learned the hard way)
    Dish soap
    Salt
    Paper towel
    Old towel
    jeans_editedStep 1: Fill large plastic container or dishpan with very hot water (140F), enough for the fabric or item to move freely (about 3 gallons for one pound of fabric). I heated some water on the stove, but you can use tap water if it’s hot enough.

    Step 2: Add dye to water and stir well.jeans2_editedStep 3: Fill a measuring cup with 1 cup of salt, and set aside 2 cups of hot water.

    Step 4: Because my jeans were cotton, I went with salt (If you’re working with silk, wool or nylon, use 1 cup of vinegar instead). Add salt/water mixture to dye bath. Add squirt of dishwashing liquid and stir well.jeans3_editedStep 5: Using a paper towel, test dye color to make sure it’s the shade you want. If color is too light, add more dye. If color is too dark, add more water.

    Step 6: Make sure to pre-soak your item in regular water before adding it to the dye bath. Once added, stir constantly for about 10-30 minutes. P.S. – gloves are definitely advised for this part.

    After your item is finished, remove and rinse with warm water. To wash, add to the washing machine with an old towel.

    And now you’re ready to wear!

    DSC_1013_editedHave you ever dyed clothing at home? If not, you should give it a go and let me know how it turns out!

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    DIY

    DIY to Try: Polka Dot Gift Wrap

    DSC_2018_edited2My mom always told me it’s the thought that counts. Even if that thought was a sweater with “Grandma Loves Me” knitted on it. A handmade gift always goes the extra mile and is something people remember.

    So, this year, instead of buying wrapping paper like a normal person and saving myself loads of time, I wanted to make my own to add a nice little touch to my (mostly) handmade gifts. I’m a girl who loves polka dots (last seen here), so I was determined to create my own (perfectly-unperfect) polka dotted wrapping paper.

    DSC_0019_editedYou will need:

    • Easel paper
    • Ribbon
    • Watercolor paint + brush
    • Hot glue gun
    • Bells
    • Sparkly leaves
    • Twine (to attach bells to ribbon)
    • A sweet and thoughtful gift (obviously)

    DSC_0020_editedDSC_0022_editedDSC_0025_editedNote: You can put your own unique twist on the gift wrap by choosing different ribbon and added embembellishments.

    Step 1. Paint polka dots on paper. I was striving for imperfection here,  and I love that each dot is unique. That’s always more fun.
    Step 2. Let dry. Once dry, wrap your gift.
    Step 3. Wrap ribbon around your gift and tie into a bow.
    Step 4. Loop twine through bells and tie tightly to ribbon.
    Step 5. Use your hot glue gun to adhere sparkly leaves.
    Step 6. Admire and give to someone special.

    DSC_0031_editedHappy gifting, friends. And as always, thanks for tuning in. I’m going to take the next few days off to be with family, binge watch my favorite Christmas movies and indulge in every comfort food imaginable (like these).

    Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!DSC_2025_edited

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    DIY

    DIY to Try: Giraffe Jewelry Display

    DSC_0815 copy
    I wish I could tell you guys that I’m organized, but that would be a bold-faced lie. My apartment is rarely tidy. I’ve misplaced my keys too many times to count. And when it comes to my jewelry, there’s a necklace in my car, earrings in the bathroom, and on any given day, you can find bracelets on my kitchen table.

    I needed to buy a jewelry organizer, but didn’t find any I liked. Then, just when I thought all hope for organizational success was lost, I stumbled upon this project. I’m always up for a good DIY, and if it takes me less than two minutes to complete, I’m so in. I swapped the dinosaurs out for a giraffe and opted for spray paint instead of nail polish, which is a little easier in my opinion.

    Here’s what you need:

    • Animal figurine (Michael’s has a lot of options)
    • Spray paintDSC_0806DSC_0807

    Directions:

    1. Place your figurine on a protected surface and lightly coat with spray paint

    2. Continue to add coats until the figurine is evenly covered

    3. Let dry

    Done! This project was simple and inexpensive, and I’m obsessed with the finished product. Finally, I can keep my jewelry in one place, which is a major win in my book. Now I just need to restrain myself from spray painting everything in sight…

    What do you guys think?

    DSC_0814

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    Cincinnati, DIY, Food

    Recipe: Japp’s “Summer Breeze”

    DSC_0281Sometimes, a good drink is just what I need to unwind after a long day. And if it involves grapefruit, mint, vanilla, vodka and a splash of soda for some added fizz, then put it in my hand. STAT.

    Japp’s, a popular bar in Cincinnati, is situated on Main Street. One of the bartenders told me that it used to be a wig shop. Pretty cool, right? It’s hands-down my favorite, and for good reason.

    The bar is known for its handcrafted cocktails that take mixology to an art form new level. I’m talking fire in your glass, frothy egg-whites and drinks garnished with twists. Sitting at the bar is truly an experience. And the drink you’ll receive is a million times better than that poorly-made vodka tonic you’re used to sipping on with your friends at that one night club you told yourself you wouldn’t go to anymore. You know the one.DSC_0268Molly Wellmann, renowned bartender and co-owner of Japp’s and other bars around town, came out with her own recipe book, “Handcrafted Cocktails: The Mixologist’s Guide to Classic Drinks for Morning, Noon & Night.” Let’s just say I snatched it up right away. It made the perfect gift for my boyfriend, who frequently pulls it out at parties and get-togethers. He made a drink one night called the “Summer Breeze.” The combination of tart grapefruit and earthy vanilla is like summer in a high ball glass.

    DSC_0276Here’s what you need:

    • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
    • 1 ounce grapefruit juice
    • 3/4 ounce vanilla simple syrup
    • 6 mint leaves
    • Soda to top

    For syrup:

    • 2 vanilla beans, split
    • 1 cup of sugar
    • 1 cup of water

    How-to make syrup: Toss water, sugar and vanilla beans in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and bring to room temperature. The syrup will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

    How-to make drink: Put all ingredients except the soda in a mixing glass. Shake and strain into a highball glass (or in my case, a mason jar) filled with ice. Top with soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

    Cheers!

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    DIY

    DIY to Try: Glittered Bar Sign

    A bar cart used to seem like such an adult thing to have. In college, if you asked me where my bar cart was, I’d point to the cabinet under the sink that contained boxed wine and other inexpensive bottles. But now, I can actually say I’m the proud owner of a fancy bar cart, and have graduated from boxed wine to Charles Shaw (i.e. Two Buck Chuck). And you know what’s the best part about my new little addition? It was only $30 at Target (marked down from $140!!!). Move over cabinet under the kitchen sink filled with used grocery bags and cleaning supplies. This shiny little bar cart is here to stay.

    I’ll be honest, it sat empty in its newly-designated corner for a few weeks. I wanted to do something to make the area really pop (it is a bar, after all), but didn’t know what. I did some research and came across some inspiring projects, like this DIY wooden happy hour sign, and this adorable vintage-inspired liquor cabinet. Unfortunately, when you live alone, tackling larger-scale projects can be a bit of a challenge. The thought of me using a chop saw to make my own wooden letters is comical. And with how clumsy I am, pretty terrifying.

    Because those projects aren’t really in the cards for me (at least not yet), I put my creativity to use and thought of simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up my bar area. After all, my bar cart is the first thing people see when they walk through the door. So, in this post, I’ll show you how to make a glittered bar sign. And now I’ll stop rambling. Let’s get this party started.

    barHere’s what you’ll need:

    • Cardboard 3-D letters (I found mine at Michael’s)
    • Pencil
    • Gold glitter scrap book paper
    • Exacto knife
    • Ruler (I’d recommend a metal one)
    • Sponge brush/paint brush
    • Modge Podge
    • 3M photo strips (for hanging purposes)

    Step 1: Place the letters backwards on the scrapbook paper and trace with your pencil. bar2

    Step 2: After you trace your letters, use the exacto knife and ruler to carefully (very carefully) cut out the letters.bar3

    Step 3: Using your brush, apply the Modge Podge to the front of your cardboard letters.bar5

    Step 4: Apply the scrapbook paper and let dry.bar6

    Step 5: Apply the hanging strips and adhere the letters to the wall.IMG_4852

    Step 6: Hang and admire your new bar sign!DSCN4471 DSCN4476 DSCN4481

    So, what do you guys think?! This project was pretty simple overall, and can be customized to fit your taste. I’m loving floral letters lately, and already have another project idea in mind for my bedroom.

    Also, please ignore the fact that my little bar cart is relatively empty. Alcohol is expensive these days. And I’m told once you enter the real world, it isn’t acceptable to offer Kamchatka to guests.

    I’m currently accepting donations. Cheers!

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    DIY, Fashion

    DIY to Try: Neon Necklace

    Processed with MoldivI have an obsession with neon. Why is this worth mentioning? Well, coming from the girl who is attracted to all shades of white, black and gray, my attraction to neon is just weird. But lately, I’ve been really, really into color. And when it comes to color, go big or go home, right?

    I’ve scoured the internet for neon pieces, but at the end of the day, didn’t want to shell out the cash for something so trendy. Instead, I grabbed a bottle of spray paint and an old rhinestone necklace, and got to work. Here’s what you need to recreate the neon trend at home:

    • Rhinestone necklace (And yes, sadly a stone is missing. I have since fixed the issue, no worries!)
    • White spray paint (Optional, but I’ve found it makes the neon appear brighter)
    • Neon spray paint

    neon necklace2

    Step 1: Lay your necklace flat on a surface of your choice (I used a paper bag) and lightly spray your white spray paint until it’s evenly coated. Make sure you allow time to dry between coats (I am notoriously impatient, so this is always the hardest part for me). neon necklace3

    Step 2: After your coat of white paint has dried, lightly spray the neon spray paint until the necklace is evenly coated. Again, make sure you allow time to dry between coats.neon necklace4

    Step 3: Wear!DSC_0103This is a super simple DIY, so you should definitely try it. I’m even thinking of recreating these Baublebar earrings using white spray paint. Oh, the possibilities…

     

    Top images via here, here, here, here, & here

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