Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mama's Putting Herself on a Budget...and Will Post a DIY Every Day!

So this is it.  I'm making the commitment.  And now it's out there in the interweb, it's like cast in stone.  I'm putting myself on a budget.  After bills and allotments for groceries and gas, I am giving myself $60 out of each paycheck (every two weeks) as my allowance.  That's for if I decide to go out to lunch, or happy hour, or spot something that I cannot live without.

I waste spend too much money.  Whatever I have, I spend.  It's pretty ridiculous when I stop and think about it.  I mean, obviously, I make sure that my kids are taken care of first and foremost.  But after that, it's game on.  I have no savings at all.  I plan to take my kids to FL in June to visit my family, but I don't have any way of doing that at the moment.  I want and need to pay all of my bills on time and more importantly, have money left over. 

I quit smoking 67 days ago.  That was seriously the biggest challenge I've faced in a while.  It was a testament to my willpower and I needed to prove to myself that I have that deep inside me.  Now that that's a done deal, I need to challenge myself again.  It's imperative that I work with what I have instead of buying something new.  I must force myself to refashion and repurpose things that I already have.

Spring cleaning is upon us (me).  I've got to declutter my house, my life!  I have way too much stuff.  People come to my place and say hey, you've got a lot of stuff.  I'm going to pack up some boxes and drop them off at Goodwill.  I've got so many things that I don't use.  I have such a hard time getting - and staying - organized.  I start so many projects but I never finish them.  Well my friends, this is all going to change.

I am going to chronicle my challenge here on my blog as a means of holding myself accountable.  And I am going to do this by posting a DIY/repurpose/refashion/idea EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. in April.  Stay tuned ladies!  I may even get ambitious and start early!  I usually do things like that.  Once my mind is made up to do something, I do it right away. 

Please let me know if anyone has any tips, advice, ideas, or even projects that may be of use.  I'm anxious to do this, and so excited! 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Burberry, Biker, and Buying... Oh My!

My outfit today, along with my attempt at a pensive face :)  First off, my 6 year old son took my pics, didn't he do an amazing job?  I'm so proud of my little guy!
So CO seriously has the most bipolar (not biwinning) weather.  I watched the weather on the news last night, and there was no mention of precipitation and it was supposed to be in the 50s today.  Anyhow, this is what I woke up to this morning (after wicked sleeping in):

Seriously?!  Eff you Colorado.  We've been having 60-70 degree weather.  Funny enough, by the time I left the house, the snow stopped.  It was actually wicked nice this afternoon, warm even.  I digress, sort of.  The weather is the reason for the rain boots in my outfit.  I spent a ton on these friggen boots and rarely wear them.  So any little bit of wetness outside, I jump on the opportunity to rock my Burberry rain boots!

I love this faux leather jacket soooo much.  I got it at Nordstrom Rack last year, it's Big Chill.  I think I paid $30 for it.  Gotta love Nordstrom Rack!!  It's pretty rad how it's goldish around the seams and what not.  Sick jacket. 
Here you can see the rest of my outfit better.  DKNY skinny jeans, Forever 21 sweater, ring, necklace, sunnies.
I heart my boots.  Love.
So given the icky weather this morning, I did not bring my sunglasses to work with me today.  Plus, in my haste, I forgot to put on earrings.  I seriously feel naked and it feels creepy to not have earrings on.  So at work, I planned on running to Forever 21 at lunch, it's a couple blocks away from the office.  So there I went, intent on only buying earrings.  Well as soon as I stepped outside, I realized I needed sunglasses too since it appeared that the morning's weather occurance never happened, which is all too common here.  Here's what I left the store with (yet only $34 later.  I love Forever 21).  Clearly, I got a little sidetracked.  What's your favorite piece?  Mine is the bottom gold ring, which is made up of a bazillion interlocked rings.  I counted. 
Well I also remembered that it was the last day for the Victorias Secret panty sale, 7 for $25.50, which is pretty insane.  So I went there also.
Hi, my name is Lia, and I'm a shopaholic.  I think I am going to cut myself off for April and see how much money I can save.  I want to take the kids to visit my mom and brother and grandmother in FL in June, so I bet I can do it.   I'm also going to really step up my game on this blog.  I've got a TON of projects to do and post, starting with a bunch of repurposing/refashioning fashion and decor DIYs, as well as some easy peasy lemon squeezy DIYs.  I'm going to make it my goal to try and post every day, so yell at me if I don't. 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

DIY Orange Slice Necklace

Following the fruit jewelry trend that is so huge for spring and summer, I felt the huge need to make an orange slice necklace!  This is so fun and punchy and I've gotten several compliments already!
Materials Used:
  • Plastic orange slices (bag of 5 for $3 at Michaels)
  • Scissors
  • Two jump rings
  • Lobster clasp
  • Chain (I used about 2 feet worth)
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Seam ripper, awl, or something sharp to poke a hole through the plastic (not pictured)
Cut an orange slice in half with your scissors.
Using the sharp point of your stitch ripper, or whatever sharp object you are using, poke a hole about the radius of your jump ring away from the cut edge of your slice.
Feed your jump ring through the hole you created, and close it.
Open up a link of the chain on one end and attach the lobster clasp.  Close the link.
(Not Pictured) Feed the other end of the chain through the jump ring on the orange slice.  Open your other jump ring and attach it to the end of the chain, and close it.
Here's your finished necklace!
Wear it, love it!  I think it goes without saying that it begs to be worn with citrus hues, I've worn it with a yellow tee.  Try it with yellow or a vibrant green, even white would look nice.  Hope y'all love this!  It's super simple and makes a great impact!  If you make this, send me a pic! 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

I'm so flattered and thankful that Kirstin at studs and pearls for passing this award on to me!  Kirstin is one of the most creative minds I know, and she never ceases to amaze me.  If we weren't on different sides of the country, we'd be BFF's :)  She has the best philosophy on fashion and style: that it should not be limited by what's in your wallet, but only limited by your imagination.  She is a huge inspiration to me and I'm sure to countless other women!

So there's rules, and I must thank Kirstin (check!), share 7 random things about myself, and finally pass the award to 3 other deserving ladies!

  1.  I'm 32, have a 9 yr old daughter and a 6 yr old son, and was married to their father for 8 years when we separated over a year and a half ago.  We are now best friends.
  2. I get bored extremely easily and do not want to settle down in one place.  I grew up in RI and lived there until I was 20.  I then moved to FL and lived there for 6 years until we moved to CO, pretty randomly.  I remain in CO....for now....
  3. I'm very analytical minded, and work in analytics.  I studied mathematics, physics, and astrophysics in college but got my degree in mathematics.  I'm pretty opposite the stereotypical nerd in that I am  super outgoing and extroverted and need to express my creativity, which I am not able to do in my line of work.  I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up....
  4. Speaking of college, it took me 11 years to get my bachelor's degree.  College round one didn't work so well for me (I got kicked out of Seton Hall for never going to class and thus having an extremely poor GPA).  So I worked for a while, then got married and had two kids, all while taking classes part time.  We moved to CO for me to finish my degree, which took 2 years of full time classes.
  5. I have no family out here in CO, only friends I've made since moving out here.  I don't get to see my family often at all, and they rarely if ever come out here to visit.  It's strengthened my bond I have with my children and made me realize alot about life.
  6. I curse like a trucker and am impossible to offend.  I can hang with the boys and can dish it out as well as I can take it.
  7. HUGE New England sports fan, which means I love the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox.  My ex-husband went to UF, so I also became a huge Gators fan.  I was pretty beyond stoked when Tebow came to Denver, I went to training camp a few times and plan to do it again this year, provided there is a football season!
Now, to pass this award on....
(seriously, I would have picked Kirstin, Grace, and Jenni!)

Alyson from The Average Girl's Guide
Tara from Haute Lunch
Alicia from Dismount Creative

I check these blogs daily and they serve as a constant source of inspiration for me.  I hope you love them too!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DIY *Link Love*

Some amazingly talented ladies have been putting together some pretty incredible DIY's recently!  I am so enamoured with some of them that I felt the compelling urge to start doing a *Link Love* weekly post!

The uber creative Maya of Soccer Mom Style posted this amazing tutorial of her DIY inspired by Chanel's Ice Cube Clutch.  I'm in love with it.  Must make this.  Not only did she make the clutch, she made a matching ring as well as an ice box clutch shaped to look like a bottle of Chanel No. 5!

Jessica from What I Wore had two DIYs that I am itching to try.
First, she showed us how she made some adorable white striped sunnies.  So simple!

My next fave is her Denim Wedge DIY.  I just need to find some wedge sandles in need of a facelift now :)

The lovely Alicia from Dismount Creative made a TO.  DIE.  FOR. leather bracelet.  She did such an amazing job and I love it!

Alicia also made a Dollhouse Chair Jewelry Tree to rival that of  inspired by one from Urban Outfitters.  I am going to Hobby Lobby to get the supplies and make my own this week, stay tuned!

I hope you all love these projects as much as I do!  If you have a project you would like included in the next *Link Love* please send me an email :)


Monday, March 21, 2011

Easy Wall Art DIY

I picked up these glittered wooden words at Target a while back for $2.50 a piece, and initially had them on my mantle, but this little area in my dining room was screaming for some pizazz!
Materials needed:
  • Glittered wooden words
  • Floral wire
  • E6000 Glue
  • Hammer and nails
I took some floral wire, folded it in half and twisted the ends together.  Then I glued these down using E6000 glue and let dry for a day.  I put these in spots where they would not show once the words were hung up.
Homemade hooks all ready to go!
I just used a hammer and nails and eyeballed where to hang them up.  I think that it looks super cute!
I think it goes great in my dining room / workroom.  And for $7.50, I couldn't go wrong!
PS - Does anyone else think the paintings look like a bird or dragon's face the way I have them hung up!?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Makeover Your Purse, Don't Throw it Away!

I found this purse at a thrift shop a while back for $1.  I thought I'd use it as a clutch, but I recently noticed that there were two loops on either side, where a strap used to be attached.  Now if you have a regular clutch, you could sew two loops on the sides (on the inside) using elastic or some other heavier material.  Otherwise, remove the current strap, leaving the two loops. 
Materials needed:
  • Purse, as mentioned above
  • Two very large jump rings
  • Carabiner clips.  I used 7 large ones, as I just wanted a short strap made of large clips.
Attach a jump ring to each loop of your purse.  With rings this large, I used my fingers to open and close them.
Clip your carabiner clips together, in a pattern you want.  I stayed in the blue/green theme to go with the purse.  Clip the end carabiner clips to each jump ring.  Et voila!  Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Wear it and love it!
The best thing about this?  You now have a completely unique purse that you can be assured no one else has!  Switch up the colors, the length, the size of the strap by using different clips!  The large clips are 99 cents at Home Depot, I'm not sure of the smaller ones.  You could most likely buy them in bulk online for cheap!  If you try this, please send me a pic!  I'd love to see what you come up with!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Supermoon in Colorado

I thought I'd share some of the amazing pics I just took of the supermoon here in CO just a few minutes ago.  I haven't retouched these at all.  I thought that the colors from the clouds were so surreal.  And the trees around the moon, it looks like a painting!

Hope you love these too!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

DIY: Ribbon, Pearl and Chain Necklace

I had a vision of a necklace, and am so stoked that I was able to achieve this.  It actually was extremely easy, and I had all of the materials on hand, so it cost me nothing!
  • Large link chain, about a foot long
  • Ribbon, make sure it's *about* the width of the inside of the chain link, I used about a yard
  • Large jump rings, small jump rings
  • Clasp
  • Bead string, crimp beads
  • Pearl beads
  • Jewelry pliers
  • Glue or needle and matching thread (not pictured)
  • Lighter (not pictured)
 Take a large jump ring and attach it to the end of the chain.  Repeat on other end.
Take one end of the ribbon and thread it through a link at about 3/4 of the length of the chain.  Weave the ribbon through the links, ending at the large jump ring.
Turn the chain over and apply some glue (I used E6000) to the end of the ribbon.  Then fold the ribbon over the link/jump ring connection and press firmly.  Cut the ribbon (there should be about a foot's length on this short end altogether), leaving plenty of excess to tie a bow in the middle.  Repeat on other end and let dry.  You could also sew it instead if you have matching thread.
Here is what you should have now.  Take the lighter and lightly burn the ends of the ribbon to prevent fraying. Tie the excess ribbon into a pretty bow. I would recommend sewing it secure because it comes undone easily.
Cut a piece of beading string about a foot long, which leaves enough excess. On one end, thread a crimp bead and small jump ring, then take the end of the string over the jump ring and back through the crimp bead.  Crimp the bead securely using your pliers. 
String 15 pearl beads onto the thread, then repeat the crimp bead/jump ring procedure as above.  Trim the excess thread and push through the top bead.  Repeat for a second strand.  *Note: I bought a huge strand of faux pearls at Forever 21 for $2 a while back.  I actually bought three.  Sooooo much cheaper than buying the beads at Joanns!
Now this should be what you have.
Attach one end of the small jump ring to one end of the large jump rings.  Repeat on other side.  Almost done!  Just attach each end of your clasp to a small jump ring and voila!
I think it came out pretty cute!  I really love the mixture of different vibes from the different materials. 
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