DIY Air Plant Stands

After playing with polyclay for the DIY Wall Charms post last fall, I have wanted to come back to it and see what else I could create. I got the inspiration for these small plant stands at a local plant shop that carries small wooden ones. It took a few tries to get the perfect method for getting these somewhat polished and clean-lined air plant stands but the end result was worth it.

The process isn’t too difficult, the most important ingredient is patience because working with polyclay can be difficult. It’s hard to smooth out to be honest, which proves difficult when trying to make a bowl shaped object. Start with half of a 2oz package of polymer clay, work it in your hands to warm it up and use any objects you have around (i.e. rolling pin, glass bottle, chunky highlighter pen?) to roll the clay flat, smooth and even on a smooth surface like a cutting board or table. I rolled mine to about 1/4 in thick. The clay for my largest plant stand was rolled out to about 5 inches in diameter and the smallest to about 3 inches.

Find bowl shaped object that you have lying around (i.e. ramekin, sugar bowl, small drinking class?) that will function as a mold for your clay to bake on so make sure it’s safe to use in the oven. Carefully lift the clay off your rolling surface and lay it over the center of the bottom of your bowl shaped object. Gradually wrap the clay around the curve of the bowl shaped object.

Make the legs for your stand by rolling out 3 cylindrical objects that are the same size. Then attach them to the bottom of the clay bowl-shaped object that you just created. First line them up so they are all equidistant from each other then gently press the legs into the base of the air plant stand. The clay should fairly easily meld together. Before you bake, make sure the legs are still all the same length.

Once you’ve done that place your clay wrapped mold on to a baking sheet and follow the baking directions that are provided on the packaging of the polyclay (they usually differ from brand to brand).

Take out of the oven, let cool and fill with an air plant. These fun-sized plant stands make a great gift, even for Valentine’s Day in lieu of a bouquet of roses. Or have a Galentine’s Day get-together and create these with your gal pals. Or just make one for yourself. Either way, share with me what you make!

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Closet Organization 

When I started my capsule wardrobe journey almost a year ago, I didn’t really know what it would entail. I knew it followed the philosophy “less is more” and that by having less clothing, that are still versatile, in the end you have more options. This really appealed to me as a way to stay organized and have one less thing to always worry about.

A few months ago I decided that part of having a capsule wardrobe is having an organized physical wardrobe. We have two closets, one huge one that could probably double as an office or spare bedroom and one smaller one that we use to store seasonal items and household tools, etc. The bigger closet, because of it’s size has a tendency to get cluttered quickly. There wasn’t much organization to the space and nothing really had a home. So I took it into my hands and devised an organized closet that would suit my capsule wardrobe needs.

I started by taking down the existing clothes rail because it was just too much rail and we were never able to fill the space up. So I added an “auxiliary” rail from Ikea that I knew would be the perfect sized to house all of our clothes that need to be hung up. This in-turn left enough room to stack our dressers and add in more shelving space. Less rail equals more room for other useful organization.

So we stacked up our dressers which are the Malm dressers from Ikea. This gave us room to add two more shelves and room for a shoe rack. I really wanted more shelves so that I could have room for my jewelry and accessories to be displayed. We also store our sweaters and pants in storage bins (which are from Ikea and Target) and we needed more space for those as well. I also recycled an old belt and attached them to the dresser drawers with some gold nails to function as drawer pulls.

I even snuck a bit of storage space underneath the clothing rack. A few of my favorite shoes and a storage bin full of extra bedding and sheets.

I love having my jewelry displayed on the shelves. One: because it’s beautiful and two: because it reminds me to put it on in the morning. All of our trays and catchalls are from either The Container Store or from Target.

I have to say that this one of the best things that we’ve done in our apartment. It was the only spot that had a tendency to get messy; it always felt like a catastrophe whenever it was even slightly messy. It has taught me that it’s important to use your space in a way that is best suited for you, especially when you’re blessed with more than adequate closet space. Feel free to share any of your closet organizing tips with me below in the comments!

How to: Soft Matte Waves

I have been wanting to write this post for awhile because it is consistently my go-to way to create soft matte waves. Most days I don’t really have the time to do this but when I do, it’s really worth it. The waves are very natural and soft and the Matte Pomade from Ouai helps keep them in place over several days.

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The process is simple. Comb through hair, gather small sections of hair and slide the flat iron through, clamp down the flat iron and rotate back and forth while still keeping the iron moving. At the ends, twist the iron around to soften the edges. I take a small amount of the Ouai Matte Pomade in my hands and work it into the bottom of my hair.


Rotating the iron back and forth creates a softer wave than wrapping the iron around the hair. It can be a bit tricky to keep the iron moving while doing this, but after a few tries, you’ll get the hang of it. The Ouai Matte Pomade is amazing; it has a lot of hold and adds to the softened look that I love.

Updated Skincare Routine 

Over a month ago I went to pick up a new bottle of my standard cleanser at Target. If you’ve read my last skincare post, you’ll know that I am in love with the Jason Gentle Basics Facial Cleanser and that it’s my go-to. But much to my dismay, Target no longer sells it, nor does Whole Foods or any other store in my area. Although I was ultimately heartbroken, I took it as a sign. A sign for me to get a new cleanser, of course. So I did a bit of research, as I always do when buying beauty products (and everyone else should too). I came across the Aesop Purifying Facial Cream Cleanser. It checked off all of my boxes so I decided to go for it. Let me tell you, this is a kick-ass cleanser. Gentle, non-drying, smells amazing, and keeps my skin moisturized and clean at the same time. I’m so happy to have found another cleanser that I love.

I hear stories all the time about people being “moisturizer-happy” and after careful reflection, I’ve come to realize that I’m “cleanser-happy,” seeing as though I use not only my Aesop cleanser but also the Fig + Yarrow Cleansing Nectar and the Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm. I guess I just like options.

I’m sticking with my Odacité Jo + L serum, it really hasn’t left my side for almost a year. It’s the perfect serum for when my skin looks a bit lackluster and in need of help.

I’ve been trying out the Herbivore Lapis Facial Oil and I think in-combination with the Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream, it works best. This is my strictly night-time routine because it’s just a bit too much to wear under makeup during the day. The Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream is probably actually just a magic potion because when I pair it with the Lapis Facial Oil at night, I wake up in the morning with plump bright skin and I can visibly tell that my various acne scars are diminished and my skin tone is evening out. It is really a relief, definitely going to purchase the full size versions once I run out.

In the morning I always keep it really simple. Cleanse, tone and moisturize. I need something lightweight but still creates a barrier for the day ahead. I’ve been reaching for the Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist as a toner and then applying the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer. They work well together and keep my skin fresh and moisturized throughout the the day.

If you’re as skincare happy as I am then you probably know about the struggles of sticking to a regimen. It also is the best thing ever when you find products that you actually want to keep using despite the temptation of new, flashy products. What are some of your go-tos?

2-Minute Holiday Hairstyles

My lack of activity around here lately has been due to busyness. An overloaded schedule and a cold/flu immediately lets me know exactly what time of year it is. It might be the most wonderful time of the year but that comes with a price.

With the semester wrapping up, no pun intended, I’ve been thinking about holiday parties and family functions. Especially how I can do up my hair in a short amount of time and still feel good about it. I’m very low maintenance when it comes to my hair but I love trying different things.

These two foolproof hairstyles will have you out the door and sipping holiday cocktails in no time.

My large gold barrette from Madewell has been my bff the past few weeks. Literally all I do is gather my hair in the back, slide the clip through then close it up. Sometimes I don’t comb my hair for this because well, it’s faster but it also adds to the messy look. Add in some hairspray if you feel compelled but that is pretty much it.

I’m obsessed with the revival of the Brigitte Bardot black ribbon. For this one, I gathered my hair in the back, tucked the ribbon underneath all of the hair, brought the ribbon around and tied it into a bow.

I encourage you to try these time saving hairstyles, not only are they compliment prone but also very easy. Share you photos with me over on Instagram if you choose to try one! Happy Holidays!

 

Homemade Spiced Gingerbread Latte

I’m a sucker for homemade coffee recipes. There is something about making coffee at home that is so “comfortable”. But that’s probably because I can make coffee in my pajamas. Also, it usually makes me feel like a scientist in a lab. Whipping up different homemade coffee potions has lead me to make this spiced gingerbread latte more than once.

Now that we have some holiday decorations up, making one of these on a Sunday morning, sitting next to the tree and reading a book makes me feel so festive. When doing lattes at home there are two main components: percolator and milk frother. With these two tools, homemade lattes become so much more desirable.

So to make this spiced gingerbread treat:

*recipe makes one latte

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk, of your choice
  • 3 or more bags of Celestial Gingerbread Spiced Herbal Tea
  • Maple syrup, or sweetener of your choice
  • A dash of a spice blend (cinnamon, cardamon and nutmeg)
  • a piece of a cinnamon stick for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons of espresso
  • water

Process:

  1. Prepare the percolator and heat over low flame on the stove.
  2. While the espresso is going, heat the milk, tea bags, spices and maple syrup in a saucepan.
  3. Bring to a low boil and remove from heat. Remove the tea bags and transfer to a liquid measuring cup and use the milk frother to get the milk to a smooth and creamy consistency. I usually stop frothing once the milk volume has doubled.
  4. Once the espresso is finished, pour it into the bottom of a coffee mug. Then pour the frothed milk slowly down the side of the glass until only the frothy part is left. Pour the frothed part on the top.
  5. Sprinkle some spices on the top and add the piece of cinnamon stick.
  6. Sip and enjoy!

I hope all of you have had a wonderful holiday weekend and if you decide to give this homemade latte a spin, let me know what you think in the comments!

Hosting a Holiday Gathering

I will take any excuse to pretend that I’m Ina Garten. Holiday gatherings or just cooking up a lavish meal on a Sunday, you name it and I’ll switch on my Ina Garten alter-ego.

I’m sure that none of us can do it quite as easily as Ina though. Holiday gatherings can be stressful. When was the last time any of us cooked for 6+ people? I’ve learned a few things from this years Friendsgiving that make hosting a much easier task and also make it easier to focus on the real task at hand, spending time with loved-ones and making good memories.

The table setting was easy for me, because that’s just who I am. But it was Harrison’s idea to typewrite everyone a little note on their place setting. How adorable is he?

Refine your menu.

You don’t have to do it all. Limit yourself to 2 or 3 main dishes. I was lucky and got a friend to make the turkey and one to make the desserts so all I needed to do was make the sides. So I stuck with some simple recipes: carrots and mashed potatoes. Ending the dinner with a cheese course is probably the easiest thing you could do. Pick up some cheeses and bread and put them on a platter and there you go. Simplicity is your best friend.

Plan ahead.

Start thinking about your party well ahead of time. Make a concise shopping list and then when it comes time to do the shopping you can get it done and be on your merry way. Trust me, this is much better than scurrying to figure it all out the day before.

Ask for help.

Ask your invitees to give you a hand with the cooking, the drinks, the decor, anything! If you are willing to put work into the gathering then friends and family should be more than willing to help out a bit. Time and energy saved there.

These three little tips really helped me out this year as I planned a little Friendsgiving for all my pals. Happy holidays from me and I hope your holiday gatherings are filled with happiness and cheer!