Thursday, October 30, 2014

Femme Fatal

It's the week of Halloween, and while I have my work costume picked out ( Mary Poppins ), I've picked a second costume for the night out on the town with friends.  This time, the total opposite of sweet Mary Poppins.  I chose, Avengers' Black Widow (a strong independent woman who don't need no man and looks good doing it).

One of the perks of this costume?  Not only do you look like a smokin' femme fatale, but it's actually WARM, unlike a lot of other costumes. It's the best of both worlds really.  Plus, you can wear the pieces you buy over and over or you can use what you have in your closet (I know I'm not the only one with a closet that has a lot of black).  Because who doesn't want to save a buck and avoid frostbite at the same time?

Here's what you'll need:
  • Black leggings/jeggings 
  • Black boots (mine are knee-high with a heel, but in the movie she's wearing something closer to a combat boot--it's your call depending on where you're going to be)
  • 2 belts (one to go around your waist--also gives you Black Widow's awesome hourglass figure, hooray!  And another that you can sling around your hips--I this SWAT belt belt from Amazon, which is also perfect if you're going out, plenty of places to put your phone, money, etc so you don't even need a purse!)
  • Toy gun (I got mine at a dollar store and spray painted it black)
  • Fingerless gloves (I used a pair of old lacrosse gloves and spray painted them black)
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. patch (a small foam circle that I drew on with Sharpie)
  • Black Widow's belt buckle (I DIY'ed one with some foam)
  • Red hair spray or red wig

The belt:

  • Sheet of thick black foam
  • Sheet of thin red foam
1.  To avoid having to redo this multiple times, I made templates for each piece out of paper first and then traced on to the foam (measure twice, cut once as my eighth grade tech teacher used to tell us).  I made the bigger template first according to how big I wanted it simple by making an hourglass shape.
2.  Hot glue the smaller red hourglass on the bigger black hourglass, then hot glue two safety pins on the back and voila!  A Black Widow belt buckle in less than five minutes.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. patch:

  • Sheet of gray foam
  • black, fine-tip Sharpie
I literally cut a small circle from the foam (maybe an inch or so in diameter, its up to you) and then copied the SHIELD logo onto the circle.  And the last step?  Hot glue a safety pin to the back.  Done.

And now you're ready to kick some alien butt (or at least look good pretending).

Happy Halloween Eve y'all!!  :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


Every year I start thinking about what to be for Halloween in like, August/September.  Extreme I know, but its my favorite part of the holiday.  As a kid I was ready to get my costume as soon as they were put out in the stores (I was a bit over excited-- sorry mom).  Now that I'm older (and paying for my own costumes), money really needs to go to other things (bills, gas--growing up kind of sucks doesn't it?) and now I'm slowly learning how to make a dollar stretch.  And that means figuring out how to make a costume out of what I have, and buy the least amount as possible (or making things myself).

And so I began searching with some serious purpose through hundreds and hundreds of pins.  Thank goodness for such a strong sense of D.I.Y on the web.  Now because I work at a library, the costume obviously has to be family friendly (and of course easy to move in).  And then I stumbled up it: Mary Poppins.  I was "pinspired", if you will, by Lauren Conrad and Keiko Lynn.  It was cute, it was easy, and best of all I was able to make about 90%o of the costumes from pieces I already had in my closet (or that my sister had in hers, lol)!
Lauren Conrad: Halloween 2012

Keiko Lynn: Halloween 2013

The hat was actually must easier than I thought it would be.  Get out your glue guns y'all.  It's time to get craftin'!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 5 pieces of stiff black felt
  • 2 branches of fake flowers (I got red & white.  And they even sell them at pretty much any dollar store!)
  • red ribbon
  • hot glue
  • black thread and needle

1. The body of the hat I made by hot gluing (or if you have time you can just go straight to sewing it together) two of the sheets of felt together (I connected the two pieces with a strip of scrap felt along the seam of the two pieces).  Then, I fit the whole thing around my head, trimmed accordingly and glued (I overlapped a bit).

2. Using the body of the hat I traced the top piece of the hat on another sheet of felt.  I left about an inch around the traced circle (so that there's one circle inside the other).  Cut tabs about an inch apart around the hat (from the outer circle's edge to the trace line of the inner circle) so that attaching it to the body of the hat was much easier.  I then hot glued a few (like four) of the tabs to the inside of the hat to keep it in place as I sewed the top on (if you're pressed for time, hot glue the whole thing and trim the extra felt).
Left: hot glue // Right: Stitched around the edge where the top of the hat meets the body (also helps to hide any hot glue mess, and softens the harsh lines of the top of the hat).
3.  To be honest, for the brim I eyeballed most of it. Again I used the body of the hat to trace a circle (that becomes the hole to allow you to put the hat on), and then I guesstimated how wide the brim should be.  I eyeballed a couple of inches (maybe seven or so) off the traced circle (I overestimated, and then as I tried on the hat I trimmed accordingly).  I then attached it to the rest of the hat with hot glue (after cutting out the center of course!)

4.  For my own taste, the inside of the brim was too stiff (and a bit scratchy when I tried it on), so what I did was dampen a hand towel, turned the hat on its top and draped the damp towel over the hat brim and left over night (don't soak the towel, you don't want a soggy hat).  The next morning it was softer and much less rough on my forehead.

5. A simple red ribbon was hot glued around the hat, and then a few fake flowers.

Ta-da!  You've got yourself a hat (a total of about $7-$10) that Mary Poppins would be proud of!  :)

If you don't have some of these pieces, shop these similar looks (that can be worn together or separate time and time again, long after Halloween is past):
Both skirt are from Charlotte Russe (and they're both on sale now!):
For a little fashion-forward edginess, this faux leather midi skirt is a steal at only $15!!  (Plus, how awesome would this skirt look for day or night wear?!)
They also have a more high waisted midi (also on sale, $20!!) that could be paired with a cute cropped top!

This tuxedo-pleat shirt is perfect for Mary Poppins, and when Halloween is through, can be paired with jeans and flats, or dressed up with a blazer (and also, another sale find!)
Mary Poppins' lace up boots can also double as a cold weather staple!

Black stockings, also a wardrobe essential.  Need I say more?
Her red bow tie?  I used this cheerleader bow from Michael's.  $3, easy-peasey!  (Just hot glue a safety pin or two to secure to your top)

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious--say that ten time fast ;)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fab Find Friday

Friday=payday.  And while it's nice to treat yourself, it's not so nice to drain your bank account-- the struggle is real, am I right?  What is nice, is the fact that while you may not be able to buy that new bag for $200+, you CAN find some awesome look-alikes at a fraction of the cost, leaving you and your wallet a whole lot happier.

Gigi Uber Clutch (Gold Wash Embossed Python Leather) VS. Francesca's Katerini Snakeskin Clutch 
Kate Spade Cobble Hill Small Devin VS. Francesca's Dawson Zipper Flap Crossbody
CĂ©line bag (coveted by everyone, yet out of this broke girl's price range) VS.  H&M  handbag ($2,000+ less!)

Happy Friday y'all, and remember, treat yo' self!  :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Star Studded

Okay, so I'm totally obsessed with nail studs (it can't be helped, see my other studded manis, here and here).  I'm even more in love when it's combined with a matte (you can buy the nail color already as matte or you can get a matte topcoat). I personally prefer the matte topcoat because you can then turn ALL of your pretty polishes into matte polishes (for all my fellow broke girls trying to stretch a dollar, lol).  I have the N.Y.C. brand matte and it's amazing on both my nails and my wallet).

Rings are Forever 21 and H&M.

This manicure was super easy to do!  After you paint your nails as you usually would, instead of using your regular top coat, apply a coat of the matte instead.  That's it, super simple!  And if you want to add the studs, just apply a dab of nail glue and carefully (and firmly) apply a stud (these star studs are an Amazon find--only about $2 for a bunch!).  Sometimes I add a little extra glue around the edges and then apply some of the matte topcoat over the glue (try to avoid the actual stud, unless you want that matte too) so that the glue isn't shiny against the matte.

Happy Manicure Monday y'all!  :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ring A Ding Ding

I love a fresh manicure, and even better?  I love dressing them up with sparkly new rings!  In honor of my last two manicure posts, I've compiled a little ring-bling-totally-affordable wish list (with two dreamy splurges!).

shop Ruche (from left to right): Square Off ringGolden Light ringPromise the Moon (ring in onyx)

Forever 21
(top: left to right) Rhinestone Bar ringPlated ringBar ring set
(bottom: left to right) Bow ringGeo Faux Gemstone ring setHammered ring set
Charming Charlie (left to right) XO Skinny ringAll the Above ring setAmpersand Sign ring

H&M animal ear 2-pack // Kate Spade (middle and right) Goreski Glasses ring (I actually just bought the matching bangle!  See here), Sailor's Knot ring

P.S. ...don't forget to add a little sparkle to your Halloween mani this year with this bejeweled chic creepy crawler from Charming Charlie!

Creepy Crawler ring

For more ring picks, check out Classically Cait's board here on my Pinterest!  :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Good as Gold

Happy #manicuremonday y'all!!  :)

Another week, another manicure!  And as you'll see, I just can't get enough of the studded mani. I love how they allow you to make a typically girly or a plain polish manicure a little more edgy and dressed up without going overboard. 

[From left to right: Sally Hansen "Miracle nail thickener--a base coat that gives you a little extra, Maybelline New York "Onyx Rush", Milani "Good Morning Sunshine", wax pencil and nail studs from Amazon, clear topcoat]

Here's how I got my new mani:

1.  Apply your base coat.

2.  Apply two coats of black polish, letting dry between coats.  (Make sure the black polish is completely dry before moving on to the remain steps).

3.  On both the middle and index fingers brush on gold polish.  For more of a gold leaf look, I wipe off most of the polish so that there's very little polish left and brush on almost in a criss-cross pattern.

4.  On your thumbs and pinkie fingers apply a dot of nail glue towards the base of your nail, then either with a wax pencil or a pair of tweezers, apply a stud.  Let sit for a second or two before carefully applying gentle pressure to the stud for better adherence (I then apply more nail glue on top for extra hold, and then right after, a top coat to smooth it all out).

5.  On your ring fingers apply two dots of nail glue one right above the other, apply studs.  Top with glue and top coat as in step four.

6.  Apply top coat to index and middle fingers.

Accessorize with golden rings (don't forget the midi rings!  As a girl on a budget I typically pick these up at Icing or Forever 21 --both super affordable) and voila!

**Check out my other studded manicure here.