DIY Braided T-Shirt Basket

Since graduating from high school, I've accumulated dozens of old t-shirts that are no longer wearable. Instead of having them collect dust in my closet, I decided to search for a few DIY projects, where the shirts could be put to good use. I ended up finding this braided t-shirt basket tutorial on Pinterest (tutorial here). It used about half of the t-shirt yarn made from three different colored t-shirts, and produced a pretty handy pen holder.

New Year, New Nails

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Any time for celebration calls for vibrant shades, metallics, and glitter. To ring in 2013, I decided to paint my nails with a combination the three. As a long-time fan of red nail polish, I didn't hesitate to choose it as the primary color for this look, along with a deep shade of raspberry, and gold. To tie in the berry-inspired shades with the metallic one, I finished with a fresh coat of gold glitter polish on my ring finger.

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'Manicurist of Seville'  via OPI //'Fiercely Fabulous' via SEPHORA by OPI //'Key to My Art' via Finger Paints //'Only Gold for Me' via SEPHORA by OPI

DIY Vintage Teacup Candles


Today was a good day. I spent the entire afternoon with two of my best friends, K and K. We had a nail painting party, watched Bridesmaids, and made vintage teacup candles (tutorial here). The teacups turned out much cuter than we had anticipated, and although the process was somewhat messy, the end results were more than worth it.

Besides what is included in the tutorial, here are a few additional tips:
-If you don't have a double boiler, you can create your own by placing a large glass bowl over a pot of boiling water.

-Don't worry about overdoing it with the scented oil. We started by adding 6-10 drops, and ended up using much more than that.

-Chip off and dispose of as much wax as you can from the pots and bowls you use for this project. Pouring melted wax down your drain can clog it.

-For a little bit of sparkle, sprinkle a pinch of glitter on the tops of your candles.

Good luck, and have fun! As with any other tutorial I post on here, feel free to comment with any questions.






Happy Holidays


Happy Holidays, from SWEATshirt DRESSshirt! I hope you all have a wonderful night, and find time to relax with loved ones. 'Till next time!

Last-Minute Holiday Nails


Looking for a last minute nail design to wear for the holidays? Check out the following 4 tutorials:

Half-Diamond Mani

nail polish: 'And a Cherry On Top' SEPHORA by OPI // 'Key to My Art' Finger Paints

A twist to the well-known half-moon manicure, the half-diamond manicure is an easy way to add pizazz to otherwise, simply painted nails. To re-create this look, all you need is blue painter's tape, scissors, and two different colored nail polishes.

1. Paint your nails with your base color, and wait several hours for the polish to set and dry.
2. Cut 10 small strips of blue painters tape (see picture below for size reference). At the bottom of each strip, cut out a small triangle. These will be the stencils you use to get perfect half diamonds.
3. One at a time, place the stencils you made in step 2 on to your nails, and paint on your second color. Once the paint is semi-dry, slowly peel off the tape. TIP: I recommend completing one finger at a time. That way, you won't need to struggle with having tape on all your fingers.

Good luck, and feel free to comment with any questions!






Spikes 'N Studs

sweater: F21 $22

Lately, I've been overly obsessed with spikes and studs. They have the ability to add instant trendiness to any outfit, in an effortless way, which is a definite plus for a graduate student, like me.

Here are some of my recommendations for spiked and studded pieces:
1. Knitted Rib Stud Cardigan via Topshop $96
2. B.P. Spike Necklace via Nordstrom B.P. $18
3. Elizabeth Knight Spike Earring via Urban Outfitters $45
4. Studded Ankle Strap Flats via Forever 21 $20
5. Gold Stud Suede Clutch via Topshop $76
6. Studded High Waist Hot Pants via Topshop $70
7. Carole Spike Bracelet via Nordstrom B.P. $12

studs 2

Or, if you're feeling crafty, check out these DIYs by the Honestly, WTF blog:

Hot Cakes


Earlier this week, G and I went to a cakery in Seattle called Hot Cakes. Right as we walked in, the first thing I noticed was the strong, yet sweet chocolate aroma, and the charming decor. After looking at the menu for almost 10 minutes (we couldn't decide!), we ended up getting a Peanut Butter Cup Molten Chocolate Cake, and a glass Butterbeer (a mix of champagne, fresh ginger, homemade butterscotch, and organic apples) to share. Just as we expected, both things were amazingly decadent, and full of flavor.

If you're ever in the Seattle area, I highly recommend going to Hot Cakes, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Even though things there are a bit pricey there, the experience is well worth the money.

Visit them at And no, this is not a sponsored blog post.






DIY Holiday Gifts for Under $6

images via 1 /2 /3 /4 /5 /6

This year, thanks to my crafty friend, K, I've been really into DIY projects. For each thing we've tackled so far, the materials have been inexpensive, which is a definite bonus for a graduate student, like me.

As I was making all of these things, I realized that they would also serve as great gifts. If you're looking for inexpensive, yet chic DIY gifts for the women in your life this holiday season, I highly recommend the projects included in the picture above.

Tips, tricks, and tutorials:

Give Thanks

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image via poppy talk

Today, I'm thankful for the friends that I've met through blogging, the friends that I've had for as long as I can remember, family, and all the opportunities that have come my way.

I wish you all a festive and wonderful time with loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!

SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

Advice From a Germ-a-phobe


One of my worst fears is getting sick, especially when I have a lot to do. Whenever one of my family members, friends, classmates, or clients are sick, I make sure to keep my distance, wash my hands with soap and water before I eat or touch my face, and rinse out any dishes or silverware I use with hot water. A little excessive? Maybe.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm paranoid, but a lot of the time, I find that washing my hands isn't good enough to prevent myself from catching a cold. Here is some advice I've accumulated over the years that helps me stay healthy:
  • Surrounded by people with colds/the flu? Check out Echinacea, a natural herb that reduces inflammation in the body, which can lead to diminishing the first signs of a cold. You can find it in specific teas, or capsules at your local health food store, or supplement outlet.
  • Did you know that about 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract? If you've ever accidentally shared food or drink with someone who has a cold, probiotics can be your new best friend. Probiotics, a good type of bacteria, help maintain a strong immune system. They can be found in probiotic capsules, or more naturally, yogurt, pickles, and dark chocolate.
  • Want to keep it simple? Drink lots of water to help your body flush the sickness out of your system.
  • Already feeling sick? Take a hot shower, relax, and get to bed early. If all you have is the common cold/flu, I guarantee you will feel at least a little bit better come morning.

A Germ-a-phobe

DIY Re-did: Braided Hex Nut Bracelet

gold hex nuts: Home Depot //string: Home Depot //chain: Michael's

Not too long ago, my crafty friend, K, and I made braided Hex Nut Bracelets (tutorial found here). The bracelets turned out really well, with just one problem: we had no practical way of keeping them on. The tutorial kind of leaves you hanging, with the expectation that you're going to keep the bracelet on your wrist with a knot. While a knot may sound nice, and secure, without assistance, there is no way to get that done easily. At least this is how it was for K and I.

In an attempt to find a solution, just the other day, I came across some leftover chain from when I made Cobra Stitch Bracelets (tutorial found here). After making sure the knots at each end of the bracelet were secure, I cut off the extra string, and replaced the it with a few chain links. Turns out, this was the perfect solution that allowed me to easily slip the bracelet on and off. Voila!

Playing Favorites

OPI: 'Big Apple Red'

This fall season, I've been loving 3 different families of nail polish: reds, dark berry-inspired shades, and glitter topcoats. Reds have always been my favorite, but since being introduced to darker colors by my roommate (who also loves nail polish), I have become obsessed with those as well. Currently, I have OPI's 'Big Apple Red' on my fingers, and Essie's 'Wicked' on my toes.

OPI: 'Meep-Meep-Meep' //OPI: 'Conquistadorable Color' //OPI: 'Big Apple Red' //ZOYA: 'Rekha' //Revlon: 'Valentine'

Essie: 'Wicked' //OPI: 'Lincoln Park After Dark' //Sephora by OPI: 'Only Gold for Me'

Relaxation Station


For the past 3 weekends, without fail, I have gotten into the habit of shutting out everything having to do with internship and school. In the place of academics, I hung out with friends and family, crafted, relaxed, and worked on my blog. I realized that my weekday schedule had become so filled, if I didn't take a step back, I would become burned out. Here is what I did this weekend:

1. Found inspiration around the house for new blog ideas. These are my mom's glasses. Aren't they pretty?
2. Met up with K for a few minutes... she made me some hair ties!
3. Played with Oliver, when he wasn't napping.
4. Cleaned my jewelry. The earrings you see below are from G, and remind me of Cinderella. :)
5. Worked on K's blog design and layout, and learned a few things about css and html.

Mad for Plaid

plaid shirt: Urban Outfitters (old) //white t-shirt: Eddie Bauer //jeggings: STS Blue via Nordstrom Rack //boots: Frye //watch: Marc by Marc Jacobs via Nordstrom //nail polish: 'Rekha' via ZOYA

Have you ever worked so hard in a week, that, come Friday, all you wanted to do was get away from it all? This past weekend, I initially had intentions of doing homework, but instead, spent the entire two days with my friends and family. I attended a Halloween party thrown by the amazing K, had a photo shoot (with my favorite plaid shirt), played with my cat, and watched TV with my parents. Even though today is Monday, I have no complaints, because I got to experience one of the best weekends I've had in a while.

chicken wire basket: Target

Halloween Town


My good friend, K, is the queen of throwing themed parties. This past weekend, she invited a few friends and I over to celebrate Halloween. The decorations and food were more than impressive. If you're looking for some last minute tips and tricks for your Halloween or fall themed party, read on for some tips, courtesy of K.

-Pumpkins: these are always a reliable, clean, and easy decoration you can use for fall parties. They can be found at your local grocery store individually, or in a small sack for under $5. With large pumpkins, if you prefer not to carve them, try painting on a few coats of Modge Podge and glitter for instant glamour.

-Burlap: for a cheap and festive table runner, head to your local fabric store and purchase a few feet of burlap. Besides cutting it to fit your table, you won't need to make any alterations.

-Chocolate-dipped Oreos: it can't get any simpler than this. Colored chocolate can be found at Michael's craft stores.

-Zombie calzones (recipe here): probably one of the best calzones I have ever had. Need I say more?

-A tip from B: For cupcakes, to get an ombre, or two-tone effect in your frosting, put two colors in a piping bag, instead of one. Don't have a piping bag? Use a Ziploc bag with one corner cut off.

New Beginnings


As most of you probably pREDicted, I've been listening to Taylor Swift's newly released album non-stop this past week. I am absolutely swooning over all the songs. My absolute favorite tracks are: State of Grace, All Too Well, 22, and Starlight. My play count, especially for All Too Well, is too embarrassing to even mention.

I feel like Taylor has really evolved as a unique artist with a whole lot to offer, and I am really looking forward to seeing her in concert again.

What are your favorite tracks from RED?

Halloween Nails


Looking for some Halloween nail inspiration? Check out my tutorials for Candy Corn Nails and Cat Nails.

DIY: Kitty Loafer

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I've been wanting a pair of kitty loafers for a while now, but couldn't find a pair that supported my budget. So, yesterday, I summoned up my very crafty friend, K, and headed to Target and Michael's. It must have been a lucky day or something, because I ended up getting the last pair of black loafers at Target... in my size, and on sale! Here is a breakdown of the money I ended up saving, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to replicate these beauties.
  • Mossimo loafers via Target: $15.31, Gold fabric glitter+paint pen: $7.00, Total spent: $22.31
  • Charlotte Olympia Kitty Loafers (the exact ones Taylor Swift has!): $695.00
  • $695.00 - $22.31 = $672.69+ saved!

TOOLS: black loafers, scissors, gold fabric glitter glue, gold glitter paint pen (for fabric), painter's tape, and a hot glue gun

Ears 1. Make two ears by cutting into the "tongue" of the loafer. TIP: Begin by cutting the ears wider than you actually want, in case you make a mistake. You can take more off, but you can't add more on.
2. Using the gold paint pen, draw two small triangles on the inside of the ears to define them.
Eyes 3. Cut two cat-eye shapes out of painter's tape for each shoe. Place the cut-outs on both shoes. TIP: Make the shapes smaller than what you want the actual eyes to be, because you will be drawing around them.
4. Using the gold paint pen, outline the painter's tape cut-outs with small dots.
Nose 5. Using the leftover fabric from when you cut out the ears, cut out two triangles. Color each nose with the gold paint pen. When the paint has dried, cover each nose with several coats of gold glitter glue.
6. Hot glue each nose on to its designated shoe.
Mouth and Whiskers 7. Using the gold paint pen and the images below for guidance, draw out the nose and mouth with dots. You may need to go over the dots 2-3 times with the paint pen.

TIP: A Black Sharpie can be used to cover up any scuffs on black suede loafers.

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black cat flats, diy kitty loafer, charlotte olympia knockoff, diy loafer, cheap cat flats, make your own cat shoes, kitty loafer, crafts for cat lovers, gifts for cat lovers, animal loafers, uses for glitter glue

black cat flats, diy kitty loafer, charlotte olympia knockoff, diy loafer, cheap cat flats, make your own cat shoes, kitty loafer, crafts for cat lovers, gifts for cat lovers, animal loafers, uses for glitter glue

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