Everything old is now in my apartment

This weekend, Nick and I went on a trip to Ohio to go antiquing (because we’re 80 years old). Over Saturday and Sunday we walked through two giant antique malls. If you’re thinking “just two stores? In two whole days?” don’t judge: these places are huge. So huge that they have little delis inside so you can eat and then keep shopping for a few more hours. Heart of Ohio Antique Center, the mall we went to on Sunday, was so expansive (116,000 square feet!) and confusingly laid out that any time Nick wasn’t right beside me, I was lost. If I had to go back out to the car at any point, he had to walk me to the front door.

Most of the time antiquing is like being in a museum, seeing things from way back when that are too delicate or expensive to touch, but amazing to see nonetheless. Nick and I do have a few things that we collect, and we both hit the jackpot on this trip.

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Lessons in Pink and Patience

Few wardrobe sorrows are more painful than having to say goodbye to a pair of pants that fit comfortably and go with everything. So you can imagine my dismay a few weeks ago when I dropped strawberry goop down the front of a pair of khakis that have been a staple in my wardrobe for longer than I care to disclose.

As soon as I got home (because of course this happened at work, early in the day) I treated them with a stain remover, washed and dried them, and thought I had won.  But apparently I had missed a few spots, which were now washed, dried, and permanently a part of these pants. Not one to be easily discouraged (at least by wardrobe problems) I went for the magic solution any thrifty girl should have in her stash: Rit dye! 

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As American as. . .

Apple Pie! and outsourcing! (I’ll explain.)

For the previously discussed Mad Men party, I wanted to make a quintessentially 60’s dessert. But you know what? I looked up some recipes from the sixties and there was just way too much jello involved. I’m not into jello, you guys. It’s so. . . wiggly.

ew.

So then I decided that instead of focusing on the 60’s specifically, I’d think about classic ‘Merican dessert. And that led me straight to apple pie. There’s something so great about pie. To quote Jim Gaffigan, it’s liquid cake. It’s flakey and gooey and crunchy and warm and just amazing.

But remember when I said this post was as American as outsourcing? I’m going to let you guys in on my dirty little secret:

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Skirting the Issue

Once upon a time, circa July 9, 2010, I had the privilege to be Katrina’s Maid of Honor.

Awww 🙂

It was a classy event. Katrina picked a summery blue-and-yellow color scheme.  The ceremony was sweet. The reception was delightful. There were cupcakes. There was dancing. There were toasts.

Look at me, rockin' the toast. I'm so funny.

Nearly two years later, though, I still have this flowy yellow dress hanging in my closet, waiting for its new purpose. I’ve got a billion other fancy-occasion dresses, so I decided this year that I would turn my bridesmaid dress into a skirt for Easter. Here’s part one of that adventure.

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Sugar and Salt Scrubs

I haven’t caved in to the “wedding day beauty regimen” hype being flung at me by all the wedding blogs and websites.  I don’t go tanning, I don’t go for regular manicures, and I have an open relationship with my gym (it’s allowed to see other people, I’m allowed to see my couch).

Right now I just have one main goal, for health as much as beauty: getting rid of dry skin. This winter has been terrible for my feet, hands and lips. My lips have been so dry that a corner of my mouth cracked. I’d pout, but it hurts. And lipstick does not look good on dry lips.

Not a 2012 wedding trend

So I’ve been using two homemade scrubs – a lip exfoliator and a foot scrub – to soften my skin, made mostly of things I had on-hand in my pantry.

Lip Exfoliator:

I mixed together a paste of about 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, and about a teaspoon each of olive oil and honey. I’ve done this a few times, and I don’t always measure. But I have noticed that too much olive oil makes the scrub too difficult to handle. 

Honey, sugar, olive oil

The scrub is meant to be  used by gently scrubbing your lips in small circles (no pictures of that – it’s not pretty, and I’d definitely get honey on my camera), then rinsing it off with warm water and a wash cloth. I only do this once a week because the skin on lips is so delicate. And I always always always follow up with a good lip product/chap stick. Right now I’m using Aquaphor Lip Repair.  It’s not fancy, but it works. 

Foot Scrub:

I start with about a cup of epsom* salt and add a few tablespoons of olive oil (2 or 3. Or just eyeball it). When I want to take the time to make the scrub smell pretty, I add a few drops of cucumber/green tea essential oil.
Epsom salt, olive oil, essential oil
I fill my bathtub with enough warm water to cover my feet and dip my feet in. Then I take a scoop of the epsom salt scrub and use a washcloth to scrub the trouble spot on my feet: my heels (you can use the scrub on your whole foot, but be gentle on the top of your foot, the skin isn’t as tough there).  I rinse my feet off, and finish by rubbing my feet with lotion. Done!

I’ve only been doing this routine for a few weeks so far but there’s a definite improvement, especially for my lips. These home remedies were so easy to put together, too. I plan on trying a few others in the near future – maybe bath tea, or homemade lotion!

*Epsom salt is more coarse than sugar. It’s too rough for the lip exfoliator, but works well for feet and hands. You can also use it for a foot soak. It’s fairly inexpensive, too. I bought this container for a couple bucks at Target.

Glittery Shoe Redo

I have a kitten. A kitten who likes to chew on everything except cat toys. One of the most upsetting victims was my pair of bone-colored peep toe heels. I couldn’t stand the thought of pitching them, so I wanted to try to hide their flaws.

I’ve seen dozens of tutorials out there on shoe redos, and one of my favorite old shoe fixes is to douse them in glitter. There are dozens of tutorials just on how to do that (spray adhesive then glitter, Mod Podge then glitter, Mod Podge and glitter mixed, etc.), and I tried two of them.

In the spirit of stash-busting, I used items I already had on hand: glitter, Mod Podge, a chewed up pair of shoes, and a remnant of ruffly ribbon.

I started by covering the heels with my glue (using a makeup sponge. I couldn’t find my brushes). Other people will tell you to tape off where you don’t want glitter to go, but remember, I was only using elements I already had, and patience wasn’t one of them.

Next comes the best part of any grade school art project: dumping glitter on top of glue. Yay! I made sure to do this over a covered surface so I could salvage the excess glitter.

Next day: My assessment is that the Mod Podge then glitter method isn’t sufficient. There were a lot of gaps, and I could tell that most of the glitter wasn’t going to stick. So I tried a second layer using a different method: mixing the glue and glitter together to make a glitter paint. This worked so much better, was faster, and left less glitter all over the place.

Bad lighting!

So, now to cover up those bite marks on the back of the shoe.

In my first attempt, I gathered two pieces of the ribbon into a ruffle, then glued that to the back of the heel. It looked cute from the side, but from the back, well…

Tacky!

Second attempt with the ribbon: Gathered it into a pinwheel. I wasn’t feeling this either (no picture, it didn’t last long enough).

So naturally Plan C is more glitter!  But not more gold glitter. For the back of the shoe, I went with silver. This time I took the time to tape off the area I wanted to cover.

The glitter is still drying (I didn’t decide on plan C until this morning!), but I’ll update with a photo when they’re done.

Sparkly!

For now I know I extended the life of my shoes, I used up some items in my craft stash, and I have two ribbon pinwheels that will have to make an appearance in some other post (headband? Purse embellishment? We’ll see!).

Update: two tone sparkles and no more bite marks! Check ’em out:

Ooooh shiny!