Monday, February 27, 2012

skin - a love story

I haven't always loved my skin. Really, I never even really thought about it unless it was extreme - dry, oily, sunburned, ect. I bought whatever body wash and lotion was cheapest and smelled good. I showered every day and that was the extent of my 'skin care routine.'

It wasn't until I started eating healthier that I realized that my current skin care products were lacking. I flipped over the bottles of product I used and examined their ingredients. And that was the turning point. The ingredient list included words that were inches long and I didn't even want to begin to try and pronounce them. Why, I thought, would I be so careful about the things I put into my body and then turn around and slather these unnecessary and potentially harmful substances all over it?

Once I discovered that my skin care products were extremely lacking in pure and nourishing ingredients, I started researching natural skin care. The things I found amazed me. I could make my own skin care products with ingredients that nourished and pampered my skin instead of stripping it of its natural barriers. I could spend less than I ever spent on commercial lotions, washes, scrubs and make downright luxurious concoctions.

I have learned quickly that if I am kind to my skin will in turn be kind to me. By switching up my skin care routine for an all natural DIY route, I am no longer plagued by dry, irritated skin or breakouts. The skin on my face is no longer oily. My skin feels and looks at least ten times better and that, in turn, has made me more confident in every aspect of my life.

(I should also mention that around the time I was going through this revelation in the skin department, I was also changing my diet. I finally made the switch to an all vegetarian diet. A few months later, I was completely vegan. My skin had all ready looked better because I was making my own skin products, but eliminating meat and animal byproducts from my meals was the cherry on the (dairy-free) cake. Not only do I look healthier, I feel better than I have in years. Obviously, diet is something that is extremely personal and I am in no way trying to convert anyone to veganism or condemning them if they eat meat. I merely believe that in my case, this switch was a major contributor to my improved health. I have spent lots of time - I even took a nutrition class - researching how food affects the body and the way it looks - believe me, you really are what you eat.)

Skin is something one "wears" every day. That is why I have decided to include this post on my blog that has, up til now, been primarily a daily style blog. I have also gotten many emails and comments asking about my skin and hair care routines so I've finally decided to address them. This post will be the start of a series of skin care posts. I'll be posting recipes for making your own skin care products, tips for naturally healthy skin, and may even start a hair series. We'll see. Please feel free to leave me questions or suggestions for future skin care posts in the comments section - I'm really excited to see your reaction!


Friday, February 24, 2012

there she stepped out of the blue's the hat again! I'm obsessed! Anyways, I was going to wear a lighter colored jacket with these awesome shorts, but after walking around like that for a few minutes, I wasn't thrilled. I didn't think that this navy one would work either, but after buttoning it up, I loved it!

shorts - vintage ; jacket, hat - H&M ; purse - vintage Coach ; shoes - Candie's ; tights - Target

Thursday, February 23, 2012

a loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge

This hat has quickly become my favorite. It was a Valentine's gift from my boyfriend and since that day it has hardly left my head. It is the perfect hat - classic shape and color, and the brim isn't too small or too large. I love it...does he know me or what?!

Last month we took a visit to see the Cleopatra exhibit at the Milwaukee Public Museum. It was spectacular - one of the best special exhibits I've ever seen. These two rings, an ankh and an asp, were souvenirs. I love wearing them next to each other.

dress, belt - thrifted ; sweater, hat - H&M ; shoes - Kohl's ;
purse - vintage Coach ; socks - Target ; rings - gift shop


Friday, February 17, 2012

just one more hat...

The joys of the Midwest, I tell you. Today I woke up to a flurry of snowfall. The gorgeous warm weather has been tricking us into thinking spring is coming early...maybe it's not too late!

dress - thrifted ; cape - eShakti ; boots - Candie's ; hat - H&M

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

she was just a wish

It was nice enough to venture out without a jacket this morning. This sweater and lovely scarf kept me warm and cozy as we enjoyed the almost spring-y weather.

One of my Valentine's surprises was this gorgeous quartz point (pictured below) - the minute I got home I slipped it on a delicate gold chain and haven't taken it off since. I love the extra something it adds without being too in-your-face.

dress, boots, sweater - H&M ; scarf - gifted ; necklace - DIY'd

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

in the frosty air

My boyfriend and I had a great time exploring this massive cemetery we stumbled upon during one of our adventures. The statues, mausoleums, and headstones were unique, gorgeous, and practically glowing in the light coating of snow.

I'm having a fun time experimenting with this hairstyle. Basically, it's just folded up and pinned with a handful of bobby pins, but I feel like it looks a lot more elegant and involved than it really is. This style's perfect for an easy vintage-inspired look, and it's definitely a great alternative to a ponytail.

dress, cardigan, belt - thrifted ; hat, boots - H&M ; tights - Target

Monday, February 13, 2012

DIY pussy willow crown

When I in elementary school, one day a teacher brought in the branch of a Pussy Willow tree for show and tell. I was in awe of it and I could hardly stop petting the soft plush catkins (that's what the buds are called). I was so enamored that my teacher broke one of the buds off and let me keep it. Ever since then, my favorite tree has been the Pussy Willow. I was so excited to actually see the trees for sale a few weeks ago and, of course, I had to get one. It has been so amazing to watch the buds emerge from their shells and flower - I am in awe of this little part of nature. Researching my new tree I was intrigued to learn that Pussy Willow is also know as the 'Tree of Enchantment.' Interestingly, if one would like a wish fulfilled, she should let the tree know of her wish, and tie a loose knot in one of the branches. Once the wish has come true, she should return and untie the knot, making sure to express her gratitude.

Here is a simple DIY that took me less than a half hour to create. I wanted to use real branches for my crown, but since my tree is still so young, I decided to use faux ones. It is really inexpensive, though, even with the floral branches - the supplies pictured here cost less than $10 all together and I've gotten lots of other use out of the floral wire and wire cutters.

You will need: real or faux pussy willow branches (or flowers of your choice), branch-like floral wire (top), thin floral wire, and wire cutters. I found all of these in the floral section of my local craft store. You could probably find most of it at a department store, too, in the craft or gardening section.

1. Snip the stems off the thick middle branch. Measure the length around your head and, adding several extra inches, snip the thick floral wire.

2. Using small pieces of the floral wire (I'm using green to make it easier to see for this post - brown wire would blend better), attach the ends of the thick wire - this will be the base for your crown. Wrap the wire tightly and make sure to tuck in the edges of the wire - you don't want your head to get scratched when you wear it!

3. To make sure that your crown doesn't come apart, affix the ends together in three places - once on each side and then once in the middle.

4. Begin attaching your pussy willow stems. Use the same method you used in step 2.

5. Keep using the wire to attach your stems every couple of inches or so. (See how the brown wire would look better?) Also, next time I would use smaller pieces of wire to attach my stems - see how in the picture the wire is wrapped around five or six times? That probably isn't necessary - two or three would work just as well and it would be less obvious.

6. Once you finish with one stem, keep adding them until you are satisfied with the result. Overlapping makes for a fuller crown.

7. When you are done adding stems, go over your crown and tuck in any stray wires and fix any loose pieces. You could stop here and have an absolutely gorgeous crown, however, since I used the green wire to affix my stems, I decided to embellish mine with some green stems and leaves.

There you go - totally room for any embellishments or any other details that may tickle your fancy!

p.s. my last DIY got a teeny feature on the American Apparel website - check it out!

Friday, February 10, 2012

snowflakes on her eyelashes

I was taken aback this morning when I got up and saw big fat snowflakes fluttering down from the overcast sky. It was so beautiful and inviting, so I hurried into clothes and ran out the door! I was in such a hurry to enjoy the snow that I even forgot my hat (the situation once realized was quickly righted)!

I would never have guessed that a muff would keep my hands that much warmer than gloves or mittens, but it sure did! It was a tiny (faux) furry miracle. I'm so pleased with the warmth factor that I'm trying to conjure a way I could DIY another one...

dress, tights - thrifted ; coat - H&M ; hat, muff - vintage ; boots - Kohl's

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

a chilly wind blew in

I am absolutely in love with this floral dress that I thrifted a while ago and literally want to wear it every day. I can't believe how well it works as a top here - I'll have to experiment more with the whole dress-as-a-top thing.

dress (worn as top), skirt, belt - thrifted ; hat - vintage ; shoes - H&M ; glasses - dollar store

Friday, February 3, 2012

and I wondered what I came there for

This dress lay forgotten on one of my closet shelves until I rediscovered it today. I was sorry that it had stayed there so long - the fit is wonderful and the turtle neck actually does keep me warmer than usual. I adore the bohemian effect that this hat adds, and I love how black is the ultimate background for bold silver jewelry.

dress - thrifted ; shoes, hat - H&M ; tights - Worthington ; knuckle ring - Claire's ; other rings - gift shop ; necklace - DIY'd
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