DIY: Cat Nails

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With cats being my favorite animal, and nail art being one of my favorite past times, I just couldn't resist creating this tutorial. It's simple, yet unique enough to stand out.

TOOLS: nail art polishes in black and white, and gold nail polish (I used Key to My Art by Finger Paints). Optional: toothpicks, and a topcoat.

DIRECTIONS:
1. Paint your nails gold, or any color you would like to have as a base.
2. Paint a half circle on one of your nails with the black nail art brush.
3. Using the same brush, add triangles the top of your half-circle. These will be the ears.
4. Using the white nail art brush (or a toothpick), paint on the eyes, by making a small concave arched line, and a convex one below it.
5. Paint a vertical black stripe through the middle of each "eye".

**TIP: Modify this design to wear on Halloween by using orange nail polish, instead of gold.

Nautical Nancy

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t-shirt: Ralph Lauren Outlet //shorts: Lucky Brand (DIY cutoffs)

It's always fun to travel, even if it isn't too far away from home. Two weeks ago, I went to California with G and his family to visit his grandparents. For 5 days, we enjoyed amazing food, great company, and daily visits to the beach. I couldn't have asked for a more relaxing way to end the summer.

Speaking of amazing food, if you're ever in Laguna, I highly recommend going to Las Golondrinas (Yelp page here), a tiny Mexican cuisine restaurant. I was particularly a fan of the beef enchiladas, and chile rellenos, both under $5.



the best mini-bunt cakes I have ever tried-- from the farmers market in Dana Point

Begin Again

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Call me corny, but Taylor Swift's new song, 'Begin Again', reminds me a lot of when my boy and I first started dating. When I listen to it, I think about our first date at a cafe (just like the song says) near our school, and how we talked for 4 hours about anything and everything. From that first day, I could tell he was different. I could tell that he wasn't in it for the thrill, rather, he was in it for something long-term. And long-term is exactly what we've been. A year and a half later, we still talk about that day in the cafe, and how we were glad I sent that email.

"I think it's strange that you think I'm funny, 'cause he never did." -TS

Do the Puyallup

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This past weekend, I went to the Puyallup Fair for the first time. For those of you who aren't familiar with it-- the Puyallup Fair is the largest state fair in Washington. It is highly publicized, and thousands of people go each year. In fact, so many people went this past Saturday, it took R and I three hours to get there from Seattle. We were extremely close to turning around. I'm glad we didn't, because we wouldn't have gotten to enjoy amazing BBQ, to-die-for scones, ridiculous inventions, and good company. And no, we didn't have any Deep Fried Butter.


R from behind-- with an amazing high-waisted skirt and Marc Jacobs satchel

DIY: Cobra Stitch Bracelet

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When I was a kid, one of my favorite crafting materials was plastic lace. I would make' boondoggles and beaded geckos to give to all my friends. After discovering the cobra stitch bracelet, which incorporated plastic lace, I knew I had to make one... or ten.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: Plastic lace string (available at any craft store), a chain with removable links (also available at any craft store), pliers, scissors, and patience


STEPS:
1. Watch this video from 0:52 to 1:59. It will tell you how much string to cut. You should end up with one short string, and one long one.
2. Using the pliers, cut the chain link to your desired length.
3. Loop your short strand of plastic lace through a link at one end of the chain.
4. Watch this video from 4:05 to 6:05. It will teach you how to make a cobra knot. Begin making cobra knots until there is about one inch of your short lace strand peeking out from underneath.
5. If like the look of one cobra knots and would like your bracelet to be done, see tip D below for tying instructions. If you plan to make another layer of knots for a thicker bracelet, tie off the ends by tying the two long strands together in a double knot. Make sure the knots are tight, and cut off the excess string.

If you only want one layer of cobra knots on your bracelet, skip to #9. If you would like to add another layer for a thicker bracelet, continue reading.

6. See tip C below to see how much string you will need for this second layer.
7. Continue as you did with your previous layer of cobra knots. You are basically making another layer of knots.
8. See tip D for tying instructions.
9. Using the pliers, open the chain link that is not yet attached to your bracelet. Loop the chain link into any knot at the end of your cobra knot row. Secure.

TIPS:
  • A. To prevent kinks in your bracelet, make sure the plastic lace is always flat, and never twisted. I made the mistake of not paying attention to this detail while making the pink bracelet. You can see the difference in the last picture.
  • B. To ensure security, pull each knot very tightly.
  • C. If you wish to make your bracelet wider by doing a second layer of cobra knots, hold your arms out so that your body is making a T. The length of string you will need should be equivalent to the length of your arms, from fingertip to fingertip.
  • D. To tie off your finished product, make a knot at each end of the "long" string. Make sure the knot is as close to the base of your bracelet as possible. Only do this if you are not planning on making another layer of cobra knots. Make sure the knots are tight, and cut off the excess string.
  • E. Your bracelet should easily slide on and off. If you are worried that it won't, it is always safe to get a clasp set. You can find one at any craft store for a few dollars.
Good luck, and don't hesitate to leave questions in the comments!

BFFL = Best Friends for Life

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I don't get to see my BFF, R, very often. But when I do, I am always inspired by the way she carries herself. Whether it is the way she encourages me to be myself, her ability to be extremely genuine, or the way she dresses, I frequently catch myself taking notes on how to become a better person when I'm around her.

As I previously mentioned, one of my favorite things about R is her style. Even when she wore blindingly bright colors in high school, I always thought she had amazing taste. Over the years, here is what I learned from R about having great style:
  • Don't be afraid to be bold. Sure, blacks and whites are considered classy, but it is better to express yourself with color.
  • MAC lip stain is a waste of your money. It dries out after a handful of uses.
  • Satchels are a girl's best friend.
  • When you are obsessed with a trend, don't overdo it (e.g., When I used to be really in to striped shirts, R pretty much saved me from wearing them every single day.)
  • Always give trends you hate a reason to hate them. If you don't have a reason, they deserve a fair shot.
  • Allow yourself to buy a pair of fierce shoes, even if you think you'll never wear them, because you will eventually find an event to show them off at.
  • And last but not least, the best person to be inspired by is yourself.

"You are not a real fashionista unless you are willing to risk looking bad." -R

triangle images via Polyvore

Pins and Needles

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image via thrilld

Something I've been thinking about getting for a while is a cartilage piercing. Despite the unique look, I've heard a lot of bad things (e.g., infections, pain, etc.) about these types of piercings, which is why I am hesitant. After doing some research, I learned a lot of useful tips that are slowly helping me reconsider. I thought some of you (who may also be on the fence) would benefit in knowing:
  • I'll begin with the obvious: don't use cheap jewelry unless you know for a fact that your ears will be able to handle it. A type of metal that never fails me is sterling silver (check out this website for some good options).
  • Be sure to go to a reputable piercer.
  • Clean your new piercings often.
  • Even though you are eager to change into new earrings, don't rush the healing process. The wait will be worth it.
  • Turn your earring(s) so that the piercing does not heal around the post.
  • Know when to identify when your body is rejecting the piercing. In this case, you will need to take it out for good. Some signs to look out for: an infection, extreme swelling+pain, and long-term redness.

Nail Tutorial: We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

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In light of Taylor Swift's 3rd record, I decided to create a celebratory nail tutorial. Considering how the album is named after the fiery shade, I felt that there wasn't a more appropriate color for me to choose  than red for the base. This nail tutorial is particularly dedicated to the one song she has released so far-- "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".

I'll be honest, and say that at first, I didn't like the song. I thought it was different from her usual style, but eventually came to fall in love with its catchiness.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED: 3 different nail polishes--red, gold glitter, and a black nail art one. I used 'Big Apple Red' by OPI and 'Only Gold for Me' by SEPHORA's OPI collection. You will also need a toothpick, or pointed tool (I do not recommend pens).

DIRECTIONS:
1. Paint your nails red.
2. Using the black nail art polish, paint a black heart on to your ring finger.
3. Take the gold glitter polish, and dab a drop of the polish on to a piece of paper.
4. Using your toothpick or pointed tool, pick up pieces of glitter, and place it on the still-wet black heart.
5. OPTIONAL: After you have filled in the heart to your liking, using the black nail art brush, carefully outline the heart. The outline will better define your design, and help the heart look more put-together.

Who else can't wait for October 22nd?




More Taylor Swift nail tutorials:

Fall Hairstyles

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Two hairstyles I look forward to trying out this fall are the topknot and accessorizing with flower barrettes. The flower barrette you see in the picture above, is actually a DIY by my talented friend, K (I'm trying to convince her to start a craft blog). Tutorial coming soon!



*The artistic hair talent in the 1st picture is credited to my friend, N.

Embrace the Lace

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dress: Target

This past weekend, two of my friends and I decided to have an end-of-summer photo shoot. Even though it took some time to coordinate outfits, and scout out a scenic location, in the end, the results were more than worth it. On our drive home, we even decided to make a tradition of it to have a photo shoot every season. I already cannot wait for the next one.

*Thank you to my friends, K and K, for being such great models.


Combat Boots and Colored Denim

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combat boots: Steve Madden 'Troopa' via Nordstrom-- available at TJ Maxx for $60//jeans: Urban Outfitters

I haven't taken back-to-school shopping seriously since my freshman year of college, mostly because my style and height have been pretty consistent. However, when there are fall trends like colored denim and combat boots to swoon over, I make an effort to search for good deals.

Tips regarding trends in general:
  • Remember the golden rule: 70% of your closet should consist of year-round classics, while only 30% or less should be dedicated to trendy items.
  • Considering how trends come and go often, unless you absolutely have to (actually, not even then), never splurge on trendy items.
*Thank you to my friend, S, for being such a great model.


Leather Accents

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image via elle street tumblr

A trend I'm excited to see around this fall is leather accents. Different from a leather jacket, or liquid leggings, leather accents give an even more trendy twist to the classic ways leather has been styled in the past.

Looking to try out this trend yourself? Check out my recommendations:
1. bebe Mixed Media Trench via Nordstrom $139 SALE
2. Lily White Faux Leather Peplum Tank via Nordstrom B.P. $38
3. Faux Leather Sleeved T-Shirt via ZARA $25.90

Oliver

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This is Oliver. He's my family's new Exotic Shorthair kitten, and we've had him for about a week. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with crinkle balls, string, and plastic applesauce spoons. He also loves to sleep on his baby blanket, and eat Fancy Feast chicken. Oliver will probably be popping up on my blog and Instagram a lot from now on, so I thought it would be appropriate to formally introduce him to the blogging world. Meow.