Tuesday, July 2, 2013

DIY Honey Nutmeg Face Scrub

This simple face scrub exfoliates to leave your skin suuuuuper soft every time! It also a natural remedy for healing scars and opening pores.

All you need is:

  • Honey (the more raw/natural, the better!)
  • Nutmeg
  • *can be mixed with oats
  • *can be mixed with brown sugar

I literally just dump an estimated 3/4 amount of nutmeg and/or brown sugar in with the honey and stir it around for a while. The nutmeg will settle from each use and will probably need mixing from time to time. If you're wanting to do add oats, first boil them before combining with the honey mixture. If the oats are too freshly made and still warm, wait until it cools off, or else the honey will become extra soupy and will not firm up correctly.
When applying, message an ample amount onto your freshly washed face. Beware to not over-coat, the honey will drip. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, rinse thoroughly. I have left it on for an hour several nights in a row (mostly because I lose track of time), but you know what? The great thing is no matter how long you leave it, it won't hurt you! And though it may be a bit sticky while applying, it's a treat to lick your fingers clean. ;)
I highly recommend adding this to one's daily routine.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Surprises in big and small

“Pick blogging back up? Make it a weekly update?” says I. “NO,” exclaim the hands of time, “you mustn’t dream silly dreams! Here, let me dump more than enough to keep you busy within a 24-hour period. Get used to it, this is your summer.”
So things get in the way from blogging, I get it. But I do miss keeping up with it on a regular basis. It gives me time to reflect, create, and invigorate. Days go by when I put outfits together that I really like, but there’s no time to snap pictures of them, I'm just going about my day (thinking I’ll remember to recreate it. PAH. Right.). Well, regardless… I will do what I can. Even if Darling Dentelle is resigned to few and far between posts.
As I mentioned, I have plenty to keep me busy during the remainder of this summer. I am taking two online classes which more or less consume my morning hours. It’s absolutely doable and I’m thrilled to complete them from home rather than in the classroom, but it requires devoting the proper amount of time. My evenings and Saturday afternoons are dedicated to rehearsing for the musical at the local arts center here in Manchester [this is the part where I boast and exalt my current theatrical endeavor in which I am currently involved]. I have been incredibly blessed to land the role as the Baker’s Wife in Sondheim’s Into the Woods, a musical/character I have been particularly fond of for the past couple of years. The moment I was offered the role as the Baker’s Wife figuratively kicked me in the chest, as it is an enormously huge deal to me. I felt fairly confident about my audition, but I had a hard time believing it when the cast list was formed nonetheless. It has been a beyond incredible experience thus far and will only continue to grow to something phenomenal. I urge everyone to make plans to see it, and not because of bias… it’s just going to be that good.

Between school work and rehearsals, I have chunks of free time that swiftly become occupied by whatever events or people that reserve the spot. But sometimes days I expect to be left empty are suddenly filled out of nowhere. Last week, I was preparing to leave for the night’s practice when I heard the doorbell. Not expecting visitors, I reluctantly answered the door only to find my friend from college, Libby, awaiting me! She lives in Virginia and had sent no previous forewarning of a visit in the slightest; this was one of the biggest shocks and most pleasant surprises I’ve had! Erin and I, as we had done for our friend Ariel on her visit a few weeks ago, took Libby around Manchester. We went to lunch at the Patch Manor tea room, where the pictures were taken. It’s one of the quaint gems Manchester has to offer and is run by Erin’s aunt.

Dress: Old Navy, cardigan: Forever 21,
shoes (altered): ModCloth, scarf: thrifted
necklace/purse: Charming Charlie,

The denim dress I am wearing is my summer staple. It’s very easily my favorite piece lately. I lucked out and stumbled upon it deep within a sale rack at Old Navy, snagging it at a stellar price. Remixing with it is a dream: I have paired several over/under shirts, cardigans, jackets, and skirts with it, accessorizing accordingly to dress it up or down. What I love most about it, however, is its simplicity; it doesn’t require anything under it, it’s breezy and comfortable, it’s precious. Especially for rehearsals, throwing it on before running out has been super convenient.
Ok, enough about the dress. The shoes have a renovation story! Due to the realization that I owned too many pairs of lace-up Oxford style shoes, I decided to remove the laces from my cream Oxfords and fill the holes with “studs.” I placed brass paper fastener brads in the lace holes, lightly took sandpaper to them for a more rustic worn in look, and voila!, they are now slip-ons. A practical decision on my part.


It’s that time again for me to begin making the next big decision about life. After this upcoming year at Florida College, I will be transferring—somewhere.
*cue anxiety*
I’ve been weighing my options, and where I do end up may be an unexpected surprise, you never know. By Christmas of this year, I must have a concrete idea of what I’m doing, so everyone (including myself) will have to hang tight until then. I have a hopeful, positive disposition regarding the choice that needs to be made. And ultimately, that’s all I need.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Good Life

Hello again, world! What a refreshing couple weeks of regrouping it has been. I can already tell that this summer has great things in store. For starters, my creativity has suddenly blossomed since the conclusion of the school year. The span of time since I arrived home until now has consisted of a significant amount of me time, largely involving reorganizing my room/closet, thrifting at Goodwill, and remaining by my sewing machine. Of course, there’ve been the chunks of time devoted to spending time with friends and taking trips here and about. But back to the creativity thing… I have been re-inspired! Final exams take up all of one’s focus, how can a girl do any real thinking about the finer things in life? My brain is now making up for lost time by stimulating my senses in an overactive “awareness.” I’ve metaphorically spent some time alone in the wilderness, alone with my thoughts. After contemplating life and its many nuances, I’ve reached conclusions on various aspects and come out a stronger person, I believe.
I may be blowing this out of proportion a bit, there have been no MAJOR life changing events. It’s just been one of those personal revitalizations, you know? I’ve reevaluated ideas, determined goals, and changed my perspective on things. It feels good.

I’ve gone raw/organic/vegan, that’s a change! Now, before I continue any further, let me explain the circumstances: my parents are on an all raw and juicing diet due to health concerns. I’ve been consumed by all the benefits (not to mention the simplicity of eating!), and decided it was something I wanted to jump on board with. We’ve grown up eating very healthy as a family, but college doesn’t exactly cater to the needs of the health conscience. I’m not as strict about absolutely everything I eat %100 of the time, I'm not against eating meat or the occasional splurge of "less healthy". I know there will be times where I cannot conveniently eat the way I want to, but I think going into it knowing that has only made it easier to keep on the right path. Because, let’s face it, eating organic is AWESOME!! I have absolutely no problem being vegan as long as the resources are available; it’s fabulously tasty and makes you feel great about yourself.

In the mornings, I make myself a fruit and vegetable protein shake. They usually consist of an assortment of almond milk/some kind of juice, kale, spinach, lettuce, banana, blueberries, strawberries, mango, pear/apple, avocado, carrot, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, vitamin powder, etc. For lunch or as a snack I alter between natural Greek yogurt, granola cereal, fruit, or something like that. Then dinner is whatever yummy goodness my mother concocts for that night. Endless varieties of soups, bean dishes, and salads fill that category. People ask how I’m not hungry all of the time, to which I reply, “how can I be??” I’m totally satisfied after eating the amount I do.
On a similar note, I am literally OBSESSED with lime, avocado, and cilantro. Just the SMELL of cilantro makes me wild, it is so delicious! We grow it in our garden, and I go out there simply to rub it all over my fingers so I can inhale it daily. Luckily, they're a three-way paired match made in paradise that go together in nearly every dish I eat lately. One of my favorite meals which includes the above obsessions is a Mexican inspired vegetarian taco salad. It's made with lettuce, corn, beans, tomatoes, lime, avocado, cilantro, and tempeh (or a soy based tofu). So simple, so delicious.
I promise this isn’t going to turn into a blog about nothing but food. Even though there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s definitely not my forte. However, you can bet you’ll get updates on this organic meal lifestyle of mine.


Today was one of those days when I woke up to a text from Erin asking if I’d like to accompany her around town for no particular reason other than wasting time and exploring. Clearly, this was a-ok with me. It soon became a very typical summer day outing: thrift shops, antique stores, froyo, and driving around with the radio blaring.
This outfit doesn’t really have any cool stories. It’s kind of one of those ensembles that can be combined with a lot of looks and still works. The shoes are kind of interesting, I literally found them one day in a box in the attic, and no one claimed them. Score! My shirt was purchased from A'GACI a few years ago, but since then I have removed the sleeves and taken out the elastic in the bottom to make it a freer flowing top. I threw on my repurposed
“mom jeans go high-waisted shorts” with it. I seriously love those things, and I’m not saying that to pat myself on the back for creating something phenomenal, it just happens to be that way. They’ve become a staple, versatile part of my wardrobe. Most any shirt looks good tucked into them or hanging over the waist. There’s been something so rewarding about putting on a pair of shorts with a breezy top and being outdoors recently. I’m not one to be wimpy in the heat of summer, I love the warmth of the sun radiating off my skin, so maybe it has something to do with the fact that less is more in the sense of clothing. Sometimes I compare myself to a lizard on a rock, basking in the sunny temperature, and I’m completely at peace with that.

Top: A'GACI, (altered),
Forever 21, purse: Cotton On,
Altar'd State, shoes: vintage

As we walked around Tullahoma, trying to find somewhere interesting to investigate as well as a place to shoot some photos, I was hit by the overwhelming feeling of summer. Maybe it was the strength of the sun’s beams through my sunglasses, maybe it was the fruity smell that lingered from Erin’s froyo, maybe it was the combination of cheesy radio songs I had stuck in my head… I’m really not sure why. But ultimately, that “feeling” of summer had sunk in, and I realized that I want to make sure I take advantage of all the summery-ness that I can afford to bestow upon myself. There may not be a lot of things to do in Manchester to aid in this goal, but I want to make it happen. I'm talking road trips, picnics, bon fires, lakeside visits, hiking, tanning, water gun wars, anything. Granted, I'm limited on money and free time... but when there's a will there's always a way.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

How do you DIY?

I've had a lot of people ask "how" I alter my clothes... more specifically, what my process is when I'm working on a project. To answer this, I'll take you on a step-by-step layout of how I go about cutting and sewing things.

Inspiration- got the idea?

Like any other girl of the 21st century, I frequent Pinterest to get ideas for things to "do it myself." I have a board created with the sole purpose of collecting past, present, and future ideas. Some may be exact recreations of the projects, others turn into pieced together creations of several inspirations. Either way, it's a mayor source of getting me on the right track.
My second source is the blogs I follow. One chica who has got this alteration/repurposing thing down pat is the genius behind New Dress a Day who literally oozes of this sort of thing. A Beautiful Mess is very much focused on a homemade life style and offers all kinds of examples for personal creations. Though they only mention specific DIY posts from time to time, Delightfully Tacky and Selective Potential inspire me on a daily basis. Several items and outfit pairs from their blogs spark an idea for me to recreate something similar.
Finally, sometimes inspiration just comes upon you.. not from an outside source. Look at what you've got to work with. If you have an item you just don't wear as often as you'd like, look at it and look at what you could use to improve it. Think of alteration options or details you could add to it, and let your imagination create your inspiration.


Creation- the amateur's method  

1. Mark your territory
Before making any permanent decisions, MAKE MARKINGS!! It is extremely important that you're able to visualize what you are about to cut, hem, glue-- anything. You should always have some guide lines to ensure an even/straight turn out.
When making your markings for cutting (particularly for hems), leave at least a couple inches for safety's sake. Give yourself room for mistakes; you can always keep cutting away, you can't get material back.
When sewing one thing to another, make sure you like how it looks/aligns before the permanent joining together happens. But be aware that something may shift in the process. I personally love using pins, I use them like a fanatic. That way, I can keep pieces exactly how I want them to turn out until they are sewn together that way.

Of course, this is a step you take whether or not you know what you're about to do. You may be following a clothing pattern, and that outlines the steps of making marks very specifically.
For patterns, you don't have to worry too much about "if" your work in progress will turn out as you imagine the outcome because it's already laid out in steps for you. You could, however, be changing the length or a few details about the pattern to fit yourself better, which I encourage unless you want the exact cookie cutter result.
Either way, marking your steps before making action is crucial to ensuring confidence in the end result.

2.Take the plunge
There's not much else to do than to start sewing. The way I always work is by sitting down at my machine and just trying things. Let your instinct kick in and go off book from time to time. Your creative juices will guide you in the moment, don't let fear of messing up keep you too frozen to put the first stitch in your fabric. Once you have your marks set, make your creation happen. Sometimes it will fail miserably, other times it will become something beautiful that you're very proud to have made. Trial and error is a huuuuge part of growing skills. The only way I have been able to know what to do and what not to do is by making plenty of "screw up pieces" in the past. This is why using cheap, thrifted, and old items to begin is smart-- not as much pressure when your garment doesn't have value to lose, only to gain, from the project.
Extra tip: less is often SO MUCH MORE. Don't feel like you have to do some enormous makeover to your clothes to make it worth an alteration. Adding too much to a piece can ruin what you already had. Start small, and see where the changes take you. It doesn't take a lot to pull off a successful tweak.


Renovation- compare its "wearability" to what you once had

Remember, the purpose of going through the effort you just did is to make something you can incorporate into your wardrobe. If the seams are delicate or the cut is too stiff, you're not going to enjoy wearing it (not to mention, it will more than likely unravel in the washing machine or you'll split it in half while trying to sit down). Things should be fitting, but not too snug. Like I said, always give room for error... but also leave room for your natural body. So, while sewing, keep movement and space in mind. If you're worried, wear your creation at home a couple times before going out and about with it and test how it will react to particular actions.
Beyond even the fit, the practicality of your newly completed piece should do your work justice. If you've made a darling skirt with your sweat, tears, and blood and come to find that it doesn't match anything in your closet, it doesn't matter how adorable its lace trim or embellished rustic buttons are. Even the best clothing that flatters your figure and fits like a glove becomes useless if it cannot be worn. Pair your creation with at least two outfits that you know you'll revisit fairly often, and your effort will not be in vain.*

*A general rule of thumb with most any clothing you own

Friday, May 17, 2013

Altered State of Mind

Oh my, how time flies! Summer is here yet again, and this means I am back in Manchester for the time being. I've only been home for two weeks to this day, but my mind has been buzzing! I plan to once again start up a more regularly scheduled blog posting maybe next week (yes, Erin?). Until then, I'll save all my gut-spilling. But in the mean time, my restlessness has kept me working. I have been at my sewing machine, busy at work with project after project. I've surprised myself with how much production I've managed to crank out lately. Imagine what I'd be capable of if I always put this kind of drive into the things I do! Haha... hrm. Yikes.

I found a fabulous pair of "mom jeans" at Goodwill and turned them into probably my new favorite pair of high-waisted shorts.

I simply adored this vintage dress from salvaged from an elderly woman's closet. The sleeves fit funny, so it became sleeveless. I do believe it suits it better anyways.

(quick side note: this was taken before heading to my audition where I scored a lead role in the musical!! Ok, I'm done.)

This was a thrifted find from a while ago, and I just didn't know what to do with it. It used to be a quarter sleeve button up shirt with a collar, but I wasn't feelin' it. So now it's a simple lace vest.
(Sorry, no "before" picture.)

And this is my proudest creation! Erin used to own this dress but gave it to me. The top part didn't suit me well (I'm definitely not built for halter style tops), but I loved it too much to just discard it. So, I hesitantly decided to transform it into a skirt.. which turned out [surprisingly] remarkable!! I was terrified to start into the project and find that I ruined it or that it didn't work the way I had planned. There were a lot of tricky aspects about it that discouraged me. Luckily, there were conquered in the name of repurposing.
For instance, the entire inner lining had to be taken out without completely destroying the stitching that held the piece together. The sectioned waistband stitching that went along the front didn't continue in the back, not to mention the back had a patch of elastic waistband that posed special problems of its own. Let's just say that I am a very pleased seamstress after the entire process.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thanksmas 2012

Since it's the holidays, I'm not taking very much time to post much. In fact, I've refrained from making a blog post since before finals started.. sometimes you've just got to prioritize. But today I will add a few pictures from this year's annual Thanksmas party.
(For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, Thanksmas is a celebration that combines Thanksgiving and Christmas. My Manchester friends do the dressy Thanksgiving dinner potluck style, then change into ugly Christmas sweaters for Dirty Santa, caroling, and other Christmas festivities.)

Happy Christmas, everyone! I hope your holidays are filled with warm feelings and unending cheer!