Friday, March 30, 2012

denim daydream

Even though I recently did a denim dress post, I had to do another one because I am in LOVE with this dress I just thrifted. I was soooooo hesitant to get it, but I'm glad I did. Like the other one, I cut a couple of inches off the bottom (but I was careful this time not to cut too much!), and I actually used the scarf-like piece I cut off to cinch the waist. It has an elastic waist, but the dress is pretty old and the elastic isn't so stretchy anymore, but belting it right over the elastic hides it and gives the dress just the right amount of figure. I am totally into the frayed look at the bottom...and it really gives me a reason to not take time to hem it (yay, because you know that'd probably never happen). The dress also has long sleeves that I'm so psyched about for fall, but for now I love the rolled look.

Wearing my hair this way doesn't allow me to wear a hat the way I usually wear it (back more on the crown of my head), but I like the completely different look it gives to wear it down more over my forehead. Today this hat reminds me a little bit of those western hats with the wide brim (I would love this one sooooo much!).

dress - thrifted ; hat - H&M ; purse - vintage Coach ; tights - Target ; boots - Candies ; necklace - DIY'd

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Indiana and the Case of the Sinister Stage

I've taken photos at this location several times. It's impossible to tell from the pictures, but what I'm standing on is actually an outdoor theater stage. During the summer, concerts are held in the park and amidst the crowds, music, and upbeat atmosphere, the stage seems to come alive. In the cooler months, the stage becomes empty and sad. On gray and windy days like today it even becomes a bit sinister...

Whenever I put on a trench coat I feel like a sleuth. I can't help it. Today I slipped my beautiful gold magnifying glass into my pocket and set off to explore that sinister stage...

dress - thrifted ; coat - H&M ; purse - vintage Coach ; socks - Target ; boots - Kohl's ; glasses - dollar store

Monday, March 26, 2012

DIY sugar body scrub

Welcome to my first skin care post! Here is a recipe that probably everyone could make with things they have in their pantry right now! I use this scrub every time I take a shower - it works so well and it leaves my skin smooth and moisturized. But, before we delve right in, first I want to talk about why I use this instead of soap.

Commercial soaps, even those that claim to be moisturizing and gentle on skin, usually aren't. In "cleansing" the skin, soaps and body washes can strip it of its natural moisture barrier which can result in dry skin. This starts a horrible cycle because our bodies then try to compensate for the missing moisture in the skin and produce more oil. This becomes a problem because most of us also use some kind of moisturizer like lotion or cream.

Most moisturizers sold in stores contain preservatives and chemicals that help preserve the shelf life of a product, but aren't good for your skin. These moisturizers can clog your pores and then when your body is producing an overabundance of oil, pores can become clogged and that can lead to blemishes.

I find that I only need to use soap (I actually make my own soap at home, but any organic locally made soap would work too - look for those with the least ingredients) on only a few places - pits and nether girly regions.

I also should mention that when I made the switch from soap to natural body cleansers, my body stayed in oil overproduction mode for about a week or two afterward. My skin was extra oily, but when it got used to my new regiment, it fell back to normal. This is to be expected and it is easy to say, ew, my skin is soooo oily and gross - I need to go back to soap! but if you hang in there, your skin will thank you!

This recipe took me less than ten minutes to make. And the other good part? It cost less than $10 for the ingredients, but you only use a little bit of each, so literally this body scrub only costs one or two dollars per batch. Seriously, it also couldn't be easier to make. Here we go!

You will need: one cup of sugar (white granulated sugar is what I like to use - you can also use raw sugar, but sometimes I find that the sharp edges scratch my skin) and 1/4 cup oil (you can use olive oil or canola oil - the ones most commonly found in the kitchen cupboard). You will also need measuring cups, a mixing bowl, and mixing spoon, and a clean jar for storage (I love Ball jars - they're made in the USA, plus a case of 12 usually costs less than $10).

1. Pour the sugar into your mixing bowl.

2. Add the oil.

3. Thoroughly mix the sugar and oil.

4. This is what the mixture should look like when it is combined.

5. Carefully spoon the scrub into your jar. Make sure to wipe off the lip of the jar before screwing the cap on.

In the shower, scoop a little scrub into your hand and massage gently all over. Make sure to pay special attention to knees and elbows. Pat your skin dry. You'll notice that you probably don't even need any extra moisturizer afterward.

  • Use brown sugar instead of white.
  • Use a different type of oil. My favorites are almond and jojoba - they are very light and don't leave your skin oily. They are a little more expensive (around $10 per 16 oz of almond and $20 per 16 oz of jojoba), but so worth it.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil for a scent (don't use synthetic fragrances - the extra you pay for the essential oil is worth it). You can find them at your local health food stores or online. Make sure they are 100% pure essential oils and not diluted with a carrier oil.
  • If you have oily skin, you may wish to decrease the amount of oil in the original recipe. If you have dry skin, increase it, but remember - a little goes a long way!
Please use this recipe only as a guideline and have fun experimenting with all the fun things you can make! Let me know if you make it and how it works for you.

You can check out my introduction to my skin care series, Skin, a Love Story, here.

Note: I am not a licensed dermatologist or doctor. What is mentioned here should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. I don't claim to cure any condition, I only share what has worked in my own experience. If irritation of the skin occurs, stop use immediately and seek medical attention.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

we all shine on

Thanks to the unseasonably warm weather, I've gotten to break out my summer duds and venture out sans tights. It's awesome! Feeling a warm breeze on my (almost) bare legs is such a great feeling after having them covered for so long. Remember when I re-fashioned this dress ('re-fashioned' in this case meaning cut some length off the bottom...) and accidentally cut it way shorter than I had originally intended? Yes, now, especially without tights, this outfit definitely includes a pair of black spandex shorts underneath. You know, in case any of those warm breezes blow a bit in the wrong direction.

Also, the post I did showcasing these shoelaces (here) got a little tiny feature on the bottom of the American Apparel website (here).

dress, belt, jewelry - thrifted ; hat - vintage ; shoes - Report ; shoelaces - American Apparel ;
socks - Charlotte Russe ; purse - coach ; nail polish - Essie's Sew Psyched

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Happy spring everyone! Not only is it Ostara, the spring equinox, it's also my half birthday -yay! In six months it will be the fall equinox and I will turn 23 - right now it seems so far away but I'm sure the days will just fly by. Please, everyone, take some time to go outside and enjoy nature and celebrate the balance of light and dark.

dress - H&M ; vest, bracelet - vintage ; shoes - Kohl's ; headpiece - DIY'd

Thursday, March 15, 2012

on taking photos in cemeteries

Cemeteries are, hands down, my favorite place to take pictures. Actually, they are one of my favorite places to go, period. They are beautiful, calm and peaceful, and always full of inspiration. Being in a cemetery never fails to get my creative juices flowing. Whenever I post photos taken in a cemetery I always receive questions and comments regarding my choice of location. Perhaps it may seem lugubrious to some, but I assure you that it can be anything but, especially when one looks at it from an artistic perspective.

Here are some etiquette guidelines to refer to if you decide to take some cemetery photos of your own. I've also included some tips to help make your adventure worthwhile. All the photos in this post were taken in a cemetery (you can view the original post by clicking the photo).


Be respectful. This is the first and foremost thing to mention when undertaking any activity involving a cemetery. Remember, this is where people are buried. Treat every tombstone marker and mausoleum as if your own family were buried there. Don't ever step on a grave marker. I don't even like stepping in front of the markers over where I think the people are buried - try to stay on designated walkways and use your best judgment if paths are limited. And don't ever remove flowers or other "tokens" near memorials.

Be careful. Don't touch statues or grave markers. And if you do, use extreme caution as some of them are hundreds of years old.

Be quiet. There may be other people there visiting and you don't want to disturb them.

Respect mourners. If there is a burial taking place, even if it is on the other side of the cemetery, come back later. You don't want to be a distraction.

Stay out of the way. If you drive, park your car in a designated parking area or be sure to pull over enough to the side that another car may pass you. Don't drive on the grass. Ride bikes only on designated paths. Don't wheel your bike around the grass - park and come back to it.

Don't argue. If you are asked to leave by a cemetery employee or officer of the law, do it. Don't make a scene. They may have reasons for asking you to leave. Also, if you are ever asked to put your camera away, do it. You can always come back later. (This has never happened to me, but just in case...)

Leave only footprints.
Don't leave trash or props behind (common sense, people!). And if you see trash, pick it up and dispose of it yourself.


Don't be afraid. People have a tendency to think of cemeteries as spooky places. Trust me, unless you go at night when everything seems to get shadowy and ominous, they aren't scary at all. Be relaxed. Your photos will be better if you are not freaking out at every little sound you hear. Take in the beauty and the splendor. Retrain your mind to see a cemetery as a calm and peaceful place.

Find the oldest graves. In my experience, the older the tombstone, the more aesthetic appeal it has. Newer markers just aren't the same.

Bring props. Instead of taking things from the cemetery to use (don't do this EVER), bring your own props. Fake flowers, books, and an apple are examples of things I've brought in the past. Have them planned out before you get there. Remember to take them when you leave.

Keep your keys with you. If you drive and park, don't leave your keys in the car! There's too much of a chance of locking them in (really, this goes for any picture taking adventure). Imagine - you got some great pictures, it's starting to get dark, you get to your car, it's locked. The keys are in it. You hear an eerie rustling behind you. Don't be that person! Keep all potentially freaky circumstances to a minimum. Check and double check.

Use what's there. Benches and steps are meant to be used. It is appropriate to touch and use these things because that's what they were meant for.

Research. Do some reading up on the cemetery you will be going to (or have been to). What is the oldest grave? Are any interesting people buried there? Are any graves thought to be haunted? Knowing these things will make your time there more interesting.

Explore. Keeping in mind the etiquette mentioned above, have fun exploring. I have come across some very interesting tombstones during my visits. These make for great photos. Read the tombstones - do any of them say anything unusual? There is great architecture and scenery to be found, so don't limit yourself to just one area.

Keep going. Go at least once during each season. Go before the grass turns green, go when things are in bloom, go when there's snow on the'd be surprised by how the time of year can affect the aesthetic of your photos!

Take fabulous photos. Take photos from different perspectives. Don't just take boring old outfit photos. Incorporate yourself into your surroundings. Work with the scenery to produce an amazing one-of-a-kind pictures.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

shabby apple - GIVEAWAY - closed

Dresses from Shabby Apple

This week I am excited to bring you another giveaway. This time, the boutique Shabby Apple is giving away one of their lovely dresses. Shabby Apple's site is so much fun to browse - I'm drooling over their Mad Hatter Lookbook - it's amazing! I'm also a big fan of the Sidesaddle collection and their newest - the Silent Era swim collection. In addition to their lovely dresses, they also have cute aprons, gorgeous jewelry, and shoes.

I chose the Da Vinci dress (below) for the giveaway, let's be honest, because of the amazing hoodie-like pocket. The pouch is perfect for storing lip balm, a phone, or your chilly hands. It takes me back to those high school days when any sweatshirt would be considered less than ideal if it did not have said pocket (and then I felt lame when I'd try to stick my hands in pockets that weren't there - haha!).

To enter this giveaway, all you need to do is "like" the Shabby Apple FB page, then leave a comment on this post saying you did so. In your comment, I would also love to know how you would style this lovely dress. Please remember to leave a way for me to contact you in your comment (any comments without contact info will not be considered), and please only one comment per person.

This giveaway will run for 10 days (ending March 24th at midnight). The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. Good luck!

This giveaway is closed. Thanks for entering!

Shabby Apple is offering a discount to all Fabulosity Factor readers. For the next 30 days, just enter the code "FABULOSITY10OFF" at checkout.

The winner will be contacted within 24 hours of contest end.
If the winner does not reply within 7 days, another winner will be selected.


Friday, March 9, 2012

put the "pep" in Sgt. Pepper

Whenever I wear this jacket, I get one of two comments from pretty much everyone:
1) OMG, Michael Jackson!
2) OMG Sgt. Pepper!
Really, either is good with me.

dress - thrifted ; jacket, hat - H&M ; tights - Worthington ; shoes - Kohl's

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

tracks to follow

I found these photos lurking in the annals of my computer and I realized that I had never posted them. These were taken around the holidays when it was bitter cold but there wasn't any snow yet. I know I've mentioned this before, but I'll say it again - for perfectly fitted/shrunken sweaters shop the little boy's sections of department stores. That's where this one is from...I got it last year on sale when all the spring stuff was starting to arrive in stores.

Remember when I wore this hat last year? That was one of my favorite outfits ever - this hat was such a great find! It even came in the original box - from Gimbels.

dress, H&M ; sweater - Target ; boots - Kohl's ; purse - vintage Coach ; jewelry, hate - vintage
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