Category Archives: Tips

Turning Your Spare Room into a Walk-in

S and I have a third small bedroom that we’ve been using for….ok well basically junk. Originally, we had my futon (that I’ve had since college) in there for when we have a need for extra guests. But let’s be real, it basically turned into a junk room because we rarely have that many guests.

I’d been wanting to turn the spare room into a closet space since we moved in, so finally I just went bought the stuff to do it. Not only that, but I did it for under $100! Here are some photos of my new space:

I saw this vintage cart at S’s grandparents and fell in love with it. I was thrilled when they offered it to us – but once we got it home weren’t quite sure what to do with it. Once we turned the spare room into a closet, I was thrilled to finally find the perfect use for it:

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Also please take note of the vintage candy holder behind my OU passion flowers that I’m keeping spare buttons in. Also, I know what you’re thinking: Shoes. Everywhere.

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I got a bookcase from Walmart for sweaters and shoes. I used my fashion coffee table books as fun accents on the bookcase:

 

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Perfect size shoe rack to fit under the window.

The perfect boot storage. They slide in between the rolling racks.

The perfect boot storage. They slide in between the rolling racks.

Got this bag hanger at Walmart for like.. $5! Fits perfect behind the door!

Got this bag hanger at Walmart for like.. $5! Fits perfect behind the door!

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The best part about this closet is that S is no longer banished to keeping all his clothes in the armoire (poor guy). He can actually put his clothes in the master bedroom closet!

As S says: “Even your closet has a closet!” Yes, yes it does.

Fine Hair Probz

If you have ever seen me in person, it’s no secret that I have extremely fine hair. If you know me well, you know that for a large majority of my life my greatest #whitegirlprob was that I couldn’t get my hair to hold a curl. Thankfully, I discovered the godsend that is a curling wand, and I’ve been pretty set, except for the whole hairspray thing. I have to put so much hairspray in that I feel like I’m wearing a helmet sometimes.

While sitting through infusions on Monday I was reading this month’s Women’s Health, and came across the best curling advice for women with fine hair I’ve read so far:

1. When hair is wet, put a dollop of volumizing/texturizing mousse from roots to ends of hair. Then dry hair like normal – the mousse is lightweight enough to not weigh hair down but still gave me noticeable volume.

Love this volumzing, texturizing mousse.

2. Use L’oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray when curling your hair. I spray each piece of hair before I curl then spray again when my hair if completely curled. This hair spray is amazing because it brushes out whenever you want!

**I also very much recommend you gals with fine hair deep condition after curling your hair. It helps get any knots and excess hair product out!

Last Minute Chic Halloween Looks

Today I found out that I will likely be able to take part in Halloween festivities here in Charleston. In brainstorming ideas and not wanting to repeat my costumes from years past (fabulous as they were), I’ve been trying to come up with some last minute ideas:

1. Minnie Mouse: Minnie is pretty simple to create, as long as you have the ears! I would also suggest getting white socks with lace at the tops (yep, bring those babies back from your girlhood) for a final touch.

Dress: Forever 21, Minnie Ears, Bow Belt: ASOS Red Pumps: Similar Here

Dress: Forever 21, Minnie Ears, Bow Belt: ASOS Red Pumps: Similar Here

2. Holly Golightly: Getting the Audrey look is all about the LBD, which you can find just about anywhere:

All you need is an LBD, a tiara, big sunglasses and LOTS of pearls:

Dress: Target, Necklace: Etsy, Gloves & Tiara: Claire's, Sunglasses: Forever21

Dress: Target, Necklace: Etsy, Gloves & Tiara: Claire’s, Sunglasses: Forever21

3. Rosie the Riveter: This might be the simplest costume because the makeup is the most important part. You definitely need a red lip and a cat eye, a bandanna, and a killer muscle-flexing face:

Chambray Top: Forever 21

Chambray Top: Forever 21

4. Carrie Bradshaw: This is the costume I’ve chosen for this year! I’m SO excited, I’ve wanted to do this look for a long time now! If you’re going to be a Carrie, I definitely suggest wearing one of her iconic outfits: tutu skirt from the opening credits or the green tulle skirt from Paris:

Tulle Skirt: Amazon

Tulle Skirt: Amazon

I’m really excited for Halloween now! I can’t wait to dress up as Carrie!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday Reading: Links I love

Happy Sunday, y’all! I hope you are reading this just as I am writing this: laying in bed, drinking coffee and letting the cool early fall morning air waft into your room. It doesn’t get much better than that, let me tell you.

I wanted to share a few of my favorite links from around the interwebs this week for Sunday reading (after you read the newspaper, of course!):

1. Stylecaster did a roundup of 101 Fashion Tips and Tricks Every Girl Should Know. A few tips I found interesting:

  • Use hairspray to remove a lipstick stain
  • If blush or bronzer breaks in your handbag, pre-moistened makeup removing wipes will clean up the loose powder flawlessly.
  • Going to a winter wedding or formal event? Try wearing a sleeveless fur vest as a top, cinching it with a skinny belt or piece of ribbon and pairing it with a floor-length skirt.

Check the quality of your cashmere by stretching out whatever piece you have. If it snaps back, you have a good quality.

2. This Buzzfeed article: The 24 Greatest Things That Could Ever Happen to You:

Losing your ball in the woods and having deer return it to you like this. I actually LOL’d over this one.

3. Mental Floss did a roundup of the strange origins of 5 iconic fashions. Did you know that high heels on boots were first worn by men so that their shoes stayed in the stirrups while riding horses into battle? Or that women in Italy started wearing huge platform shoes to raise them above the garbage and feces in the streets? Crazy interesting. Definitely check out that article.

4. I’m a big fan of bows, so I was thrilled to see The Beauty Department show how to wear bows in your hair without looking like a child.

5. For all your history buffs, or people who just like to learn new things, I encourage you to check out the Stuff You Missed in History Class and Stuff You Should Know Podcasts. Check out the website affiliated with the Podcasts, Stuff You Should Know, for an even more in-depth look at the topics they discuss in their weekly talks.

Happy Sunday and happy reading! Hope you all have a relaxing day:)

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Shrimp & Scallop Skewers

I’ve been craving shrimp and scallops for weeks, so I finally decided to make them this week. I found the recipe below on Pinterest:

Ingredients:

  • 30 Large Shrimps, peeled and deveined -(you can use frozen)
  • 30 Sea Scallops
  • 1/2 cup of Smart Butter or Olive Oil
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
  • 5 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce ( Lea & Perrins)
  • wooden 8″ kabob sticks

1. Soak wooden kabobs in water for approx. an hour: 

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2. Combine ingredients for marinate  in a large bowl:

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3. Put shrimp in scallops in a gallon-size storage bag, and pour in marinate. Let marinate for approx. an hour.

4. Drain and discard the marinate:

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5. Begin threading shrimp and scallops:

IMG_17626. Place on grill for 5-7 mins on each side. Cook until shrimp turns pink.

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7. Enjoy!

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Make the world dance…

The last few weeks have been insanely stressful for me. It’s officially 2013, which means in just a few short months, I will be finishing grad school and will officially be thrown head first into the “real world”. So, I’ve started applying for jobs and trying to decide where I’m going to end up (Pittsburgh, DC and Charleston are my top choices).

Everyone has been posting this video on their pages lately, and it really hit home for me:

“This is life people! You got air coming through your nose! You got a heart beating! That means it’s time to do somethin!”

“Keep going, keep going, keep going. What if Michael Jordan had quit? Well, he did quit, well, retired. But BEFORE that, in high school, what if he had quit when he didn’t make the team? He would have never made Space Jam! And I love Space Jam. What will you create thaat will make the world awesome?”

“We can cry about it, or we can dance about it. We were made to be awesome. It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance. So get to it. Create something that will make the world awesome.”

I’m inspired.

Staying on Task

I’m baaaaaack! After a brief blogging hiatus (really I’ve just been preoccupied, I know I’m terrible) I’ve returned to S&S! Believe it or not, my stress level prompted my return to blogging. As you may or may not know, my university made the transistion from quarters to semesters this year. This means we transistioned from a 11 week quarter to a 16 week semester (a pretty significant difference if you’ve been on one or the other for four years). It was all going pretty well until around Thanksgiving.

Under the old system, we took our finals before Thanksgiving and didn’t return until after New Years (a blissful six week break from school). But this year, like all other semester schools, Ohio students had to come back for two more weeks of classes and one week of finals before a month-long break for the holidays. Let me tell you, I’ve been running on caffine the last few days.

One thing I can say is that I’ve never really had to manage a school workload during the holiday season, so this is all pretty new to me. It’s tough because not only is this an adjustment for students, professors are adjusting as well. This means some of my classes are… let’s say – less than organized. This, coupled with the fact that I’m ready to be relaxing by a fire with a book has given my stress levels a major boost. So, I’ve come up with some tips to stay focused and organized during the holiday season:

1. Make lists and deadlines for yourself. Even if your classes or job give you deadlines, make your own as well at least a day ahead of the due date, and write them down. I personally feel there is no greater feeling than crossing something off a to-do list, especially when you’re getting things done in a timely manner. Also, allow yourself a day to let your project or paper sit so you can go back and proofread with fresh eyes.

2. Allow yourself some time for things that make you feel relaxed. Oftentimes for me this is talking with loved ones, catching up on shows (thank goodness for DVR!) or doing some online Christmas shopping. Budgeting yourself this time daily or weekly will help you chill out under the pressure.

3. Sleep! Eat healthy! It’s hard to come home after a long day of class and work with a huge amount of homework looming over your head and cook yourself a meal, but it’s important. Giving your body fuel it can use to help you focus is crucial. Also, while it can be difficult, try to get enough sleep, you’ll feel so much less stressed.

Foods to combat stress.

What are your tips for staying organized and on top of work during the holi-DAZE?

This doesn’t help you at all, but it’s still pretty funny.

Things I Learned This Week

Last week, I had a crappy week. It just seemed like one thing after another was going wrong and I couldn’t catch a break. And it was my own fault.

After expressing  my sorrows in a dramatic woe-is-me Tweet (yeah, I know, who am I?) my mother Tweeted me back (yep, that’s as weird as it sounds. Sorry mom, it is!) “Sometimes you’re the bug and sometimes you’re the windshield.”

Amen to that.

Then, the other morning as I was browsing Pinterest and trying to wake up, I came across this quote:


It really hit home for me. My dad always says, “Just remember in a year, you’ll be laughing about this stuff.” Exactly. My crappy week will be a faint memory a year from now. We have to choose to sing as we climb, because regardless of your state of mind, you still have to climb.

One of my favorite quotes by Winston Churchill:

…Because we still have to climb.

Still having a crappy day? Check out Buzzfeed’s 23 Ways to Have A Better Day.

 

 

My Week in Photos + Recipe of the Week

This past week was one of trying new recipes and having a good time with friends. Friday night my friend and I had an Office marathon (the final season premieres this Thursday) and had frozen hot chocolate a la Serendipity:

Delicious Serendipity frozen hot chocolate.

Saturday night, I went out with the girls from the skating team. Not without a photoshoot beforehand, though:

Photoshoot with the skating girls:)

Sunday, I tried a new recipe, Pizzuchini boats. The recipe was pretty easy, super low cal and carb and absolutely delicious. Here’s what you’ll need for a single serving:

  • 2 zucchini
  • Low calorie pizza sauce
  • Ground turkey
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic salt

1. Preheat oven to 400. Spray a frying pan and begin browning ground turkey, add garlic salt and red pepper flakes.

2. While the turkey is browning, slice zucchini in half and begin to remove the seeds and inside contents of the zucchini with a spoon:

3. Once this is done, grease a baking pan and set zucchini aside.

4. Chop onion and pepper and add it to the turkey to blend the tastes. Add more seasoning to taste. Then spoon 3-4 tablespoons of pizza or spaghetti sauce and Parmesan cheese to mixture and let simmer:

5. Once blended, remove from heat and spoon the mixture into your zucchini boats and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese:

6. Bake for 15 minutes, let cool and enjoy!

Flipping Through + Fall ‘love’ List:

My October Glamour came this week and as I flipped through it I found surprisingly few trends I would actually wear this fall, but here they are:

I would love to own a pair of berry colored jeans a-la Alexa Chung here.

I’m liking these because they’ll be a great alternative to regular dark-wash denim and will go with EVERYTHING. I’m thinking about purchasing this pair from Target, as I have them in red and already know how they will fit.

Surprisingly, I really like these boots (although sans-tribal pattern):

Liking the low-heeled boots like these from Marshall’s this season too.

I usually don’t do booties because as a 5’2″ tiny human, I think they cut me off, but I think I could make an exception for a pair like these from Charlotte Russe. While I like these boots, I’m still on the fence about purchasing them as I’m not sure I’d wear them enough to justify the purchase.

What are your favorite fall trends?