Saturday, December 31, 2011

Quickie DIY: Nail Polish Pendant

In the process of cleaning out my room at my parents house 
I came across this old cameo pendant and it looked like this:

...which is ugly. 
It was a weird grey color with a huge chip on the underside, which showed through to the top.
So here was my bright idea to make it something I would actually like to wear.
+ =

And now it is beautiful.

This Quickie DIY was brought to you by growing up, moving, and the letter C.


Friday, December 30, 2011

End of an Era: My Last College Fashion Post

Today my last College Fashion article of my internship was published.
Here it is ladies and gentlemen:
Our Top Ten Favorite DIY Projects of 2011

It was very bittersweet. Bitter in the sense that I will miss having such a large reader base for my articles and some great reader interaction, and sweet in that there will be no more late night I-still-have-homework-and-OH MY GOODNESS A CF POST IS DUE TOMORROW-type freak outs.

It has been a wild and wonderful experience though, and I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to write for such a great website. It has given me so much more faith in my own voice and expertise and it is a large part of the reason Favor the Brave exists. It has also taught me to break up my paragraphs, use bold type, and add lots of pictures, because that's really what's fun about blogs.

So here's a complete list of my articles on College Fashion with links. Feel free to check them out and let me know what you think in the comments here, there, and everywhere.

The 9 Things You Need in Your DIY Toolbox 

4 Ways You Can DIY Today


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Made It: Vintage Lace Earrings

YOU GUYS. I love these so much, and they're so easy! I collect old lace every time I see it at thrift stores and my stash is starting to spill over the sides of my lace bag. It was time to find a fun way to use all my scraps. You can make them too, just by following this simple tutorial.

Here's what you need:

Mod Podge
Scraps of lace
Wax Paper
Paint brush
Earring backs

Lay the lace out on a piece of wax paper and begin painting over it with Mod Podge.

Continue painting the other pieces of lace with Mod Podge until you have covered everything you want to use for your earrings.

After the Mod Podge is tacky (about 20 minutes) transfer the lace to a new sheet of wax paper. This way the holes are not completely covered over with glue. Let dry completely. Overnight is good.

Peel the dried pieces of lace off the wax paper.

Cut the lace into the shapes you want to make into earrings and add earring backs by opening the loop at the bottom of the earring back with the pliers and slipping it through a hole in the lace. If the holes are covered over with glue, use a pin or pen point to push through and then add the earring back.

And there you go! Beautiful lace earrings!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I Cooked It: Hootenanny

It has the most awesome name of any food I have ever heard of. And it is delicious.

Do you need any more reason to make it? Okay, it's the easiest thing ever.

I made this for family breakfast on Christmas Eve and everyone ate it, which says something in a family of five very distinct palettes. We ate it variably plain, with salt and pepper, with syrup, and with good old-fashioned butter. You really can't go wrong.

(I tried to hunt down the original source, but the blog that is cited no longer exists. 
Here's the link to the Pinterest page where I discovered it, 
which is also where this picture is from, because I fail at remembering to take pictures of food before we devour it.)

HOOTENANNY (Or Oven Pancake): 

  1. Blend up 1 c. white flour, 1 c. milk, 6 eggs, and 1/4 tsp. salt. 
  2. Pour batter into greased 9x13 pan. 
  3. Then, pour 1/2 cube melted butter over the top (do not mix). 
  4. Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees. 
  5. Cut in pieces, drizzle with Maple Syrup, serve.

Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Love Your Closet: My Must Haves

If you're just joining us, this is a series on managing your closet so you can get the most out of your clothes. New articles out each Monday! 

So now that you've cleaned out your closet, played dress up, and hopefully figured out how you'd like to fill in the gaps. But if you're a little bit stuck on what you need to make your closet work, here's my ultimate list of must haves: clothes, shoes, and accessories. 
  1. A neutral cardigan. This one item will make everything you wear in summer able to be worn in the winter. It's like magic. Get one. Or two.
  2. A jersey skirt. I would say one knee length and one maxi, but only because once you have one, you will never, ever want to take it off.
  3. A button down that fits you. I won't say it has to be white. Mine's navy blue from J. Crew.
  4. A date dress. Cause you never know.
  5. A casual dress. Extra points if it's jersey.
  6. A black dress. Cliche, but it's true. When you're not sure how dressy to go, you can always wear this. Except maybe not to a summer wedding. Definitely find something else for that.
  7. A warm, cute coat. Because it's both warm and cute. There you go.
  8. Black, nude, and colored tights. Again with the magical making-summer-clothes-winter-worthy. You can't beat that.
  9. Leggings. Because it's like wearing pajamas, but you look dressed up. Only don't wear them alone as pants or I'll have to hunt you down.
  10. Heels that you can wear all day. Wedges are great for this, but a lot of them aren't exactly work appropriate. You'll probably have to splurge on this, but it will be so very worth it.
  11. Dressy flats. Your feet will thank you at the end of some award ceremony, formal dinner, or night at the club. Promise.
  12. Flat boots. So necessary in so many outfits.
  13. A HUGE carry-all. To use as a personal item on airplanes and to pack for overnights. Or just to fill up at the library.
  14. A clutch. I know it's called a clutch, but get one with a wrist strap or shoulder strap. Then you can still dance with it if everyone's on the dance floor, and security is a worry.
  15. A scarf. Warm, statement, woven, or wooly, just find something that you like and that you will wear.
  16. A belt that defines your natural waist. To wear with dresses and tunics.
  17. A belt that sits well on your hips. To wear with pants, or tunics as well.
  18. A signature piece of jewelry. I like earrings, but they're not for everyone. Find your own signature piece.

Pearls and Wine

Thrifted: sweater, pants; Shoes: Old Navy; Necklace: from my great-grandma's collection.

All the shots from this outfit looked awkward. Even the one I picked. Sometimes I'm just an awkward person. Oh well. Keeps me humble.

I love this necklace. The day I opened a package from my aunt containing a whole bunch of my great grandmother's jewelry, it was a lot like Christmas. Except it was summer. But's that's neither here nor there.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Only Day of the Christmas Season

As a child, few things would bother me as much as the fact that it was always, ALWAYS Christmas Eve in Christmas books/movies/shows. I would suffer through the first 23 days of December in anticipation and usually around the 21st or 22nd I would start declaring that it was "the Eve of the Eve of Christmas Eve" just to try and connect with that fateful day: the most important day of Christmas.
Now it seems to come much too soon... But maybe that's because I'm becoming more patient. Maybe.

But this year I'm ready: all presents wrapped, nestled under the tree. All ready to go. Which makes me wonder... what does one do on Christmas Eve when you're already all ready to go?

Thrifted: sweater, jeans; Shoes: Old Navy


Friday, December 23, 2011

I Made It: Tassel Earrings

This break from school/life/obligations has been the most ideal time to craft. I have so many more tutorials to show you, but most of them were gifts for people who read my blog! No spoiling the surprises, so those will all be up after Christmas. 

I found this tassel edging at the thrift store and I inexplicably wanted to make earrings out of it. 
No accounting for taste. But they turned out well! Here's how I made them.

Obtain tassel edging. 
Cut off two individual tassels. 
Use a generous length of wire to wrap around the base of the fringe several times 
(I used aluminum wire because it is so easy to wrap and bend)

Bend the wire up the back till it is pretty close to the top of the tassel. 
Wrap until you reach the top and make a loop in the wire.
Put on earring wires. 
Wear and look fabulous.

Two days until Christmas!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

False Advertising

Thrifted: scarf, dress, belt. Cardigan: Forever 21, Leggings: clueless, Socks: Old Navy, Booties: Charlotte Russe

Something crazy happened today. 

I actually got dressed in an outfit fit for public consumption. 
This being graduated thing is proving too relaxing for my own good. But this is the two weeks of the rest of my life that are going to be like this, so I'm not complaining. 

I know that this is supposed to be a style blog and I haven't been blogging much style lately, but then again I am in Iowa where we are supposed to be under two feet of snow by now, instead of the piddly dusting you see in these pictures. 


Now I've blogged some style. Your move, snow.

PS. This dress was made using the "Jill is Lazy" method of crafting:
1. Hack a dress off where you want it to hit you.
2. Be done with it.
Go forth and practice as you see fit.

Three days until Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Need Help!

Alright friends, readers, and silent lurkers: It's time to come out and help me!

I found this AMAZING dress at the thrift store today, but I have no idea how/when to wear it! 

It is a very pale yellow/cream color (the bottom two pictures are the most accurate, at least on my monitor, color-wise) which doesn't do anything good for my Irish skin, but the design and pattern were to perfect to pass up. It fits like a glove and the hem falls at the bottom of my knee. The skirt has the best shape because there is a thin crinoline built in. It is new with tags... and it was originally $94!

Any ideas about how to make it work? I know there has to be a way! 

Leave your suggestions!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First 15 Books I'm Going to Read Now That I'm Not In College

My Kindle has been languishing in disuse for the past year, except when novels came up in my various European Lit classes. But no longer. Here's the first 15 books I plan to read. 
And remember, this list is an English major planning her rebellion against everything she's been reading for the past four years. So don't judge me too harshly.

  1. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
  2. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  3. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  4. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  5. Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
  6. Heart of the Artist by Rory Noland
  7. Brida by Paulo Coelho
  8. We Are All Made of Glue by Marina Lewycka
  9. The Enormous Room by e.e. cummings
  10. Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  11. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  12. The Santa Land Diaries by David Sedaris
  13. The Story of Ireland by Emily Lawless
  14. How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggers
  15. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Monday, December 19, 2011

How to Love Your Closet: Fill in the Gaps

If you're just joining us, this is a series on managing your closet so you can get the most out of your clothes. New articles out each Monday! 

So now that you've cleaned out your closet and played dress up you're ready to fill in the gaps in your closet. Here's the next step.

1. Make a list of must-haves. Contrary to what you might read in, ummm, every fashion magazine ever, a white button down might not be a must-have for you. There is no hard and fast rules on this, so think about what you really need. Ask yourself these questions.
  • What do I need to wear to work/school every day?
  • What do I like to wear?
  • What do I need to add to my closet to get the most out of the clothes I already have?
  • What do I tend to buy that I don't really need? (Hint: Stop buying this. For me it's casual shirts. And I don't even like to wear pants!)
  • Do I have a solid set of basics? (Neutral tights, leggings, slips, tanks, socks, and underwear?)
These questions will help you pinpoint what it is that you need in your closet so you can make shopping for these things your top priority. Look for good brands on clearance or at the thrift store, but splurge on these things if you need to. It will be worth it.

2. Make a list of like-to-haves. This is your clearance rack, thrifting, garage sale-ing list. Be as crazy as you want, but hold out for the bargains with these. You shouldn't spend a fortune on a rust colored burnout cardigan unless it's one of your must haves, but if you see it for a steal, get it! These are the things that will keep your wardrobe fresh, fun, and unique and they matter just as much as the must-haves... they just aren't worth breaking the bank over.

Here are my base rules for buying like-to-haves:
  1. It must be reasonable enough that you will not be annoyed if it doesn't work out. My limit is usually $10. This might seem low, but I almost never have to go over it unless something is so unbelievable wonderful that I might not be able to live with myself if I walk away. The low price goal keeps me from making bad decisions in the name of having a fun wardrobe and it keeps shopping fun because it's a challenge. (Challenges are my favorite.) Set a goal that you feel is reasonable for you and stick to it.
  2. You must like it. This might seem like a no-brainer, but for some people it's not. If it doesn't speak to you, don't buy it! Hold out for the piece that has you written all over it, even if it takes longer, which leads us to...
  3. Be patient. I've been in search of the perfect grey blazer for two years. But it's a like-to-have, so I'm going to hold out even longer. Hang on to both your resolve and your goal amount. It will pay off!
  4. Keep your list updated. I never found the bright teal leggings I wanted a few years ago, but then I realized I wasn't twelve and crossed them off the list and added wine colored skinny jeans instead. (No judgement if you happen to like bright teal leggings.) Change your list as your tastes change. Having an updated list will help you when you're overwhelmed at the mall or, even worse sometimes, an under-curated thrift store. You can scan for particular colors, cuts, and kinds of garments amidst the craziness and stay sane.
  5. Style it as soon as you get home, or, if it is thrifted, as soon as you've washed it. Don't let an awesome but intimidating piece languish in your closet because you a.) keep forgetting you own it (this happens to me all the time) or b.) as soon as you get it home you wonder what the heck you'll wear it with. Go back to the dress up stage! It's fun, I swear.
3. Go shopping. Be it at the thrift store (DO IT), a consignment store, or the mall, go shopping for your missing treasures. Buy from your must-have list and embellish with like-to-haves as they jump out at you. But most of all, don't expect this to take one trip. Let it be a process. Be patient and open and see what happens. Hold out for things you love.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

DIY Stocking Stuffers!

Check out my newest College Fashion Post: DIY Gift Ideas: Three Easy Stocking Stuffers!


Dress: thrifted, Target; Belt: thrifted; Sweater: Forever21; Tights: no idea; Shoes: Old Navy (Black Friday Sale!)

It's officially my Christmas break. One week free from feeling like I'm a slacker if I don't wake up before 8am. One week of testing out flower designs for my wedding. One week of packing, throwing out, and re-packing. Absolutely can't wait.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye

The benches where my fiance first asked me to be his girlfriend, the beautiful Abbey, my library, the river, the lovely people... Goodbye to Benedictine.
Thanks for everything.


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