Friday, February 28, 2014

girl reading // two

I had so much fun with last week's 'girl reading' photos that I decided I'd like to continue the theme into a sort of series. This week the photos are a lot more casual. Bed head, last night's mascara smudged under my eyes, ripped tights, and mugs of tea or the day's soup littered about - this is me. I'm reading Carrie by Stephen King - one of my all time favorite authors. (I always feel kind of special because I share a birthday with Stephen King (September 21st), and incidentally, many of his characters, including Carrie. Eeep!)
sweatshirt, shorts, tights, socks - thrifted // saddle shoes - Modcloth

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

music recommendations?

I listen to music all the time. I love to turn it up so I can feel the bass in my chest. I love the emotions different artists elicit. I love it all. (But really, who doesn't?) My favorite music comes from Bruce Springsteen, Warren Zevon, Elvis Presley, Queen, and FUN. Oldies are my favorite, but really I like most everything. I'm trying to come up with a playlist for my upcoming road trip and I'd really appreciate your recommendations! I love discovering new music, and I'm really craving something new to get hooked on. I definitely don't discriminate when it comes to genres, so please suggest anything! (Here's what I've been getting funky to lately: this amazing Simon and Garfunkel remixRubbersouLthis soundtrack, and this travelin' song by Billy Joel.)
shirt, shorts - thrifted // tights - DIY'd // boots - H&M


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

current cosmetic favorites

Even though most days I don't wear makeup, I still have a small bag of my essentials and favorites that's easy to throw in my purse or suitcase at a moment's notice. Over the years I've accumulated quite a few different products (it's hard to resist the sales, the pretty packaging, and the sexy names that include words like smoldering and voluminous), but these are the ones that I always have on my dresser and in my cosmetic bag. I didn't realize until I sat down to write this post that the majority of the products featured here are from L'Oreal. As a consumer, I am very brand loyal - when I find a product that works for me I stick with it. So I guess L'Oreal has just been the best quality for the price I've found for the most part. That being said, I have only ever purchased my makeup from drug stores or department stores rather than specialty stores - that's just been what has been most convenient and cost effective for me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below or you can tweet me (@Fab_Factor) and I will respond toot sweet!

makeup bag - Signature via Beach People, Door County // blush - Revlon Powder Blush in Wine With Everything // lipstick  - Revlon in Wine With Everything // lip balm - Burt's Bees in Red Dahlia // eye shadow - L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Smoldering Plum // cream eye liner - L'Oreal HIP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Black // brushes - Eco Tools eyelash/eyebrow brush, shadow brush, smudging brush // eyeliner  - L'Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner Pencil // eye shadow duos - L'Oreal HIP Metallic Shadow Duo in Charged (left), L'Oreal HIP Concentrated Shadow Duo in Saucy (right) // lip liner - L'Oreal Colour Riche Anti-Feathering Lip Liner in Forever Rose (top) and Burgundy (bottom) // mascara - L'Oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara Black Lacquer (top), and L'Oreal Waterproof Voluminous in Carbon Black.

Monday, February 24, 2014

southwestern road trip recap: Tucson

After seeing all we wanted to see in Roswell we hit the road to Arizona. We spent a week in Tucson sleeping on the floor of a friend's house. From a Midwesterner who hasn't spend a lot of time in the south west, holy views like whoa. Mountains. Sunsets.
// The view out the windshield somewhere between Roswell and Tucson. (These signs DUST STORMS MAY EXIST...struck me as a tad comical.) The open road is such a beautiful sight.
// The Sonora Desert Museum was definitely the highlight of Tucson. This Barn Owl was my favorite - he was so incredibly beautiful, and we got to see him up close out of his enclosure - eep!
// The Sonora Desert. After our visit I am pretty much in awe of cacti in general, but especially the Saguaros. They are all qutie different and just so interesting to look at. I'd love to visit sometime when they are flowering. The mountains in the distance are so pretty in all their different shades of blue.
// More from the Desert Museum. We were able to see this amazing Raptor Free Flight! We watched five or six different kinds of birds that are native to the Sonora Desert Region fly free (hence the name) around us, back and forth between trees and cacti. The birds would fly quite close to the onlookers - this Barn Owl brushed my hat with his wing on one of his turns by!
// One of my outfits from the trip. The weather, though amazing and not snowy (ha), was kind of hard to dress for. Under the sun was hot as can be, but then once we were in the shade it was chilly! 
// We saw so many kitties on our trip! This one, Neecha, lived next door and was always trying to sneak into our friend's house. I didn't mind, I'm always down to pet cats for hours, plus I was missing my little Luna so this helped.
// I honestly can't get over how beautiful the scenery was. Though I could never live in this area of the US, damn, it sure is awesome to visit.


Friday, February 21, 2014

girl reading

I want to get in the habit of taking more self-portraits. I appreciate that they can be focused not so much around an outfit, but rather capture a moment and an act, and perhaps more personality than would be conveyed through photos for an outfit's sake. This also helps me stretch my creative muscles and turn something simple, like the act of reading, into something artistic and personal. My hands-down favorite past time is reading, so this idea for a personal self-portrait shoot was pretty much a no-brainer. The featured book is the one I'm currently reading - Gone With the Wind. I've been suuuuuper inspired by Gibson Girl hairstyles lately, and this is my hand at creating a Gibson-esque style. (I actually didn't plan it for these pictures specifically, I was practicing hairstyles in the mirror earlier in the day and this was what I was rocking when the time came later for photos. Worked out pretty well, I think!) I'm wearing an Oscar de la Renta robe that I rescued from a thrift store rack.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

inside my suitcase: southeast road trip edition

In about two weeks I am going to be leaving Door County for another road trip! This one is going to be even better than the last one because I'm taking the van I bought last summer! Saying I'm excited would be an understatement. I'll be gone for about three weeks and in that time will be visiting Tennessee, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and Pennsylvania! Whew! I'm exhausted even typing all those states out! Anyway, since I'll be taking the van I'll have more room for packing (ie more wardrobe items!), and so today I started playing around with potential outfits for my trip. I looked up weather for most of the states I'll be in and they forecast about a 60-70 degree (f) high most days. I'll definitely be packing more layering pieces, sweaters, and jackets, but for now it's fun to imagine how warm it will be compared to snowy ol' Wisconsin at the moment. (You may notice my little shadow-Luna- in a couple outfits. Though she does make a cute accessory, she, sadly, will not be accompanying me on the road.)
 OUTFIT 1 >> fun. shirt - Summerfest 2013 // shorts, suspenders, penny loafers - thrifted // hat - Aegean
OUTFIT 2 >> shirt - Etsy // jacket - vintage // boots - Candies // pants, hat - H&M
OUTFIT 3 >> blouse, shorts, sunnies - thrifted // vest, boots - H&M // flower crown - DIY'd
OUTFIT 4 >> shirt - Hot Topic // skirt, clutch - thrifted // boots - Target // hat - H&M // bralette - ASOS


Monday, February 17, 2014

wearing: fisherman's hat and a faux fur-collared coat

Just a teeny post 'cause I'm stoked about some recent thrift finds! Exhibit A - this coat - nice neutral gray with a stylish (faux, of course!) fur collar. Exhibit B - this AHmazing Greek fisherman's hat. Funny thing is, last week I thrifted the exact same hat and gave it to my bf for V-Day and he was all I never see any cool hats at the thrift store, this is awesome! And I was all should I really give this to him or should I keep it, it's so awesome. (I did give it to him with a warning that I would steal it whenever I wanted, ha.) And then I went thrifting today and found the exact same hat. BOOM. Side note...the snow literally does not stop falling from the sky.
Greek fisherman hat - thrifted // coat, gloves, tights - thrifted // boots - Target
photos >> Shepley

Friday, February 14, 2014

DIY bleach pen shirt, crescent moon edition

Some of you guys may recall that many moons ago (teehee), I posted this tutorial with instructions on how to customize a shirt with a bleach pen. Well, I decided to write a similar tutorial when I made this shirt the other day. The instructions are pretty much the same. Except, obviously the previous tutorial included instructions regarding adding text, and this one won't. Anyways, on to it! If you'd like to customize a shirt with a bleach pen, here ya go. This is how I made this crescent moon design.
shirt (thrift store $1, or use one you already have)
bleach pen (department store $3-$4)
chalk (department/office supply store - $1)
large paper bags or piece of cardboard
spray bottle for vinegar (department/grocery store - $1)
traceable items.
 1. I realized when I started that even though a crescent moon is a preeetty simple design (for most people), I wanted something to help me get a more precise crescent shape. I ended up using a huge vase to trace the outer edge, and this piece of cork to trace the inner edge.

2. I used the chalk to trace the design I wanted onto the shirt. This way I could see how the design would look before actually using the bleach. The chalk is easy to brush off if you'd like to re-position your shape or otherwise alter it pre-bleach. 

3. After I was satisfied with my chalk shape, I traced the outline of the moon with the fine tip of the bleach pen. Make sure to put something between the front and back of your shirt, like a paper bag or a piece of cardboard. You don't want any bleeding onto the back! I recommend having a piece of scratch paper or a towel you can wipe the tip of the pen with to remove excess bleach if you accidentally squeeze too much out at once.

4. This is how my shirt looked once I finished tracing with the pen.
 5. Start to fill in the shape with the pen. I used the other side of my bleach pen, which is much thicker, for this part. (Kitties think they're helping but they're not, they are just effing ish up in the cutest, most aggravating way possible, of course. Obviously don't let your pet step in or lick the bleach! Luna was removed from the area shortly after this pic was taken.)
  6. How the shirt looked after my design was filled in with bleach. How you fill your shirt in will greatly effect how your design looks when finished. I wasn't really concerned with getting an even coating which resulted in the light and dark patches on my finished design. I like that look, it's what I was going for, but if you're going for a more uniform coloring, make sure to evenly coat every bit of the fabric in your design with the bleach.

7. Optional set in the sun to intensify the bleaching effects. (I intended to do this but it was cloudy the day I made the shirt so I skipped this step.)

8. When shirt is completely dry, spray with vinegar and then rinse with cold water. If you don't have a spritz bottle, just add a little vinegar to the rinse water. The vinegar neutralizes the bleaching effects, if you don't include it the bleach will continue to eat through the fabric even after you rinse it. Make sure you rinse thoroughly!

9. Let your shirt dry. Then wear that ish and bask in the compliments.

Of course make sure to follow all instructions and always exercise caution when using bleach products and work in a well ventilated area blah blah blah, anyways. This is definitely my favorite shirt I've bleach-penned so far, yet it was totally the easiest one to make! (Check out my first bleach pen adventure here, my Deathly Hallows bleach pen design here, and my aforementioned tutorial here!) I'm so planning on customizing more things with a moon motif, I'm having fun playing around with ideas. This kind of DIY is simple and cheap with a great result - totally my kind of craft. If you endeavor with a bleach pen shirt, let me know and drop me a link. I'd love to see! Happy crafting!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I don't know about all of you, but playing "dress-up" was one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. I had a big box full of fun clothes my parents donated to it, things they found at rummage sale, or hand-me-down costumes from friends and cousins. That "Dress-Up Box," as my family called it, was effing awesome. It was a sort of time machine, able to transport us to the future, the past, even other worlds through different articles of clothing.  And a lot of times, the things in there weren't fancy or very costume-y, like plain silk slips that became a princess' gown to a five-year old, or retro velvet collared shirts that became part of a spy's disguise. Sometimes my brother and I would even dress up just to play with other toys. Even when I became older and the box wasn't used as much, it still stored the all magic until we were ready to pretend again. I remember finishing the first Harry Potter book when I was about eleven or twelve and immediately rushing to the Dress-Up Box. I pulled out an old floor-length purple fleece nightgown, and that became my witches' robes.
Well, today I'm putting it to you guys that even though we're not exactly kids anymore, that doesn't mean we should stop dressing up. It doesn't! And, it may just be that I am preaching to the choir here, fellow style bloggers, and, in that case, huzzah! You get it! But sometimes even I need a reminder that it's OK. It's OK to pretend. It's OK to be silly. Even though I'm a girl, it's still OK for me to be Sherlock Holmes if I want to. Or Peter Pan. Or James Bond. It's more than OK, it's effing swell. Or, if you just want to rediscover your lingerie drawer, and strut around in your highest heels, that's freakin' OK, too! It's all OK, great, wonderful, MAHvelous, DAH-ling!
Even though many of us are busy with school, work, and family, we shouldn't lose that outlet for imagination. When I got the idea for this post I was just so darn excited, I get to play dress-up tomorrow! And, with the house to myself, I turned up the music and started pawing through my closet. And I had a blast.
Anyways, there are tons of benefits you'll reap when taking some time out to play around a bit. You'll rediscover clothes you had forgotten about. (Ahem, blackvelvetvintagepromdressthatwillsomedaybemy weddingdressjustkiddingnoI'mnot.) Clothes you find that a) you don't wear anymore b) are too small c) are too big d) you have no idea why you bought in the first place you can donate to your local thrift store! Yay helping people and helping you find more room in your closet! (Can you say hello major closet reorganization project? You don't have to go quite that far, but I certainly did! Can't sleep with clothes all ovah the damn bed!) Re-imagine ways to wear different things. Does this vest look better over thiiiiiis shirt or thiiiiis one? Belt this, fluff that. Boom, remix time. Maybe even try out a hairstyle or two that you pinned ages ago! Look at you go! And if all the above doesn't already make you feel good, look in the mirror. DA-YUM, girl, you hella fine. (Oh yes, I DID say 'hella.' And what?) Put on some red lipstick. Work it. Take a selfie. Post that fabulous mug on Instagram. Your hallway is now a catwalk! ME-OW. Strut. And, I might add that if there is a chance you are dancing to the music you put on whilst doing all this? BOOM WORKOUT FOR THE DAY! So much killings of birds with stones. Tweet dat. Hashtag ImSexyAndIKnowIt.
All right, I think you get the idea. And just because you didn't necessarily pretend save anyone from the Hound of the Baskervilles or whatnot, it still took imagination to dress up, make different combinations, wear that belt like a headband, what have you. And maybe you put together some great outfits that you will later be photographing when it's not negative eight million degrees outside. Maybe you found yourself a Halloween outfit for next year - yay stress and cost free! Perhaps you discovered that you have an effing wicked Scottish accent. (I bet you do.) Or can bust a move like whatshername. (Don't hurt yo-self.) Now, look back in the mirror and repeat after me: I, (insert name here), solemnly swear that I'm up to no good that I will never wear that horrendous sweatpants/fleece/arctic boot combination ever again! And mean it. Yes, people will stare. People will ask, "Why are you so dressed up? What's the special occasion?" Just smile and reply, "Life."
Because life is too short to be boring. And the amount of people who compliment you will far surpass any haters. (And do I really need to say that any haters are just jealous of your stylish self anyways? They wish they had the lady balls to pull off X like you. Come on, we all know that's how it is.) And when you dress up you feel confident. And when you feel confident you feel good. And when you feel good you do good. Pretty simple. (And don't forget that the best accessory is a smile. And smiling is contagious. Pass it on.) You feel me?
OUTFIT 1 >> hat - vintage // cape - eShakti // glasses - Claire's
OUTFIT 2 >> blouse - Sugarlips // hat - On Deck, Fish creek
OUTFIT 3 >> velvet blazer - thrifted Marc by Marc Jacobs // hat - ASOS
OUTFIT 4 >> blouse, sunnies - thrifted // vest - H&M // flower crown - DIY'd
OUTFIT 5 >> dress - thrifted // glasses - Dragonfly Vintage // cat - Luna :)
OUTFIT 6 >> dress, belt - vintage // choker - DIY'd // ring - H&M
OUTFIT 7 >> sweater/cape - Target // hat - Minnetonka // belt - thrifted
OUTFIT 8 >> blazer - thrifted // hat - Fish Creek Moccasin Works
OUTFIT 9 >> dress - thrifted // glasses - thrifted // cat ear headband - Claire's
>> all effects by <<


Sunday, February 9, 2014

southwestern road trip recap: Roswell

Roswell, New Mexico is a place that I've been excited to visit preeeetty much my whole life. I was not disappointed. This whole town's bread and butter is exploiting something strange that happened in 1947. I won't recap what allegedly happened, but if you don't know the story, here's a link for you. The handsome guy in the first photo was parked outside our motel.
// Exploring downtown Roswell.
//  Streetlights in alien central.
// These guys were pretty cool - they are the main display in the International UFO Museum and Research Center.
// More from the museum.
// Roswell building art.
// Alien Zone - a pretty cool shop and restaurant. They had some wicked alien displays. 

Aaaanyways, that's all from Roswell, feel free to check out the links below for more>>
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