Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Five of My Faves:: Skin Care

I, like many women, have battled with my skin to keep it staying clear but the one thing I don't struggle with is keeping it looking young and healthy. Yes, I am blessed with youth, but I started caring about aging early. Most young women don't think much about their aging skin, but with all the health facts we know now, the best thing we can do is to take care of ourselves at any age. I take care of my skin in a few simple ways: washing morning and night, applying sun screen every morning to my face, neck and hands, and every night I apply a night cream. Here are some of my faves for helping my skin survive life and stay beautiful.  

St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea Cleanser, Oil-Free 6.75 fl oz (200 ml)
I have very oily skin, especially my t-zone and I've found that tea tree oil works great for this without drying you out completely. After all, our natural oils are the best for keeping our skin youthful. I like St. Ives Natural Tea Tree Cleanser. It's not overpowering and leaves no residue.

Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30, 1.7 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Protecting your skin, especially your face, hands and neck every day from the sun is important for preventing aging, skin cancer and staying youthful. With such oily skin, it has been a serious hunt for the right product. I've tried so many! If they aren't at least SPF30 they don't make the cut (SPF20 just isn't good enough when we are talking about my face!). To avoid oily residue, especially under makeup, I've found that a moisturizer is the only thing that works. Regular sunscreens are too thick and cause oily skin to overproduce. Neutrogena Visibly Even Daily Moisturizer comes in SPF30 and is smooth enough to apply under foundation and keeps me from getting burnt on an average day of sun exposure. 

AcneFree Clear Skin System, 3-Step Kit (Purifying Cleanser, Renewing Toner, Repair Lotion)
While I use a mild cleanser every morning, I need something stronger after exercise. After a workout, my face, neck and back need attention or I could have skin breakouts. I really like the AcneFree Clear Skin formula, especially the toner. The cleanser stains if you don't wash off completely so be warned. The toner doesn't over dry even if you use once a day. I often use it at night after my regular face wash. 

Johnson's Baby Oil with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, 14 oz
A little secret my mom passed on from her mom:: baby oil. It makes a great, a cheaper, makeup remover. It works wonders on dark mascara too. Just use a cotton pad and a tiny amount of baby oil. I use it over my whole face to remove makeup. I use Johnson's Baby Oil with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E because I really can't get enough moisturizing vitamins back into my skin.

Vital Care Age Defying Vitamin E Creme 0.8oz (225g)
Last but not least, I can't go to bed without my favorite night cream, Vital Care Age Defying Vitamin E Cream. It's thick, full of vitamins and promotes healing. It's like a glass of water for your face. My final tip:: Drink Lots Of Water!!! There is nothing better than any of these tips than mother nature.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Music Monday:: Adele

I ♥ Adele's new album! Especially this live video of Turning Tables. We saw her in concert last year at her final show for her An Evening With Adele tour in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl. She was amazing and I hope to see her again. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Project:: Flower Necklace

Flower Necklace
After creating a beautiful Reading Glass Necklace for our Nana, I was inspired to try out another beautiful design that caught my eye by Bromeliad. She took a clear bead necklace and added ribbon and a fabric flower. It's a beautiful idea and inspired me to create my own. I gave this one to my sister for her birthday. She loved it and it went beautifully with her new cream lace top. 

Here's how I did it:

I used clear crystal beads, bead thread, gold transparent ribbon, a gold button and a flower button. 

1. I thread about seven large circular crystal beads on a ten inch piece of bead thread and placed two medium sized beads on either side. I then thread four medium sized beads on a second piece of bead thread and placed five smaller beads on either side. This created a cascade effect on the two pieces of string with the beads. 

2. Lay the strings of beads with the larger ones on the bottom and smaller on top on your workspace. Tie the string so the knot is tied close to the ends of the smaller beads and some loose thread is left on the string with the larger beads. This way when you pick them up the larger bead string should hang lower and keep the smaller beads in place above it. 

3. Tie a ribbon strand on either side of the beads around the knots you just made. 

4. String a button onto the ribbon on both sides of the necklace. Tie in place by looping the ribbon back through the button to keep it facing out on the necklace and not flipping around when you wear it.

5. Add a clasp or tie ribbon to wear. I added a clasp at the proper length I wanted this one and then left excess ribbon so you can tie it over the clasp to hide it. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

AroundTown:: Dodgers Stadium

Dodgers Nostalgia
Dodgers Nostalgia
We love baseball and since we live in LA my husband gets tickets to Dodgers from time to time and we took some friends this season to enjoy the awesome box seats. The Dodgers have expanded their memorabilia in the box hall to include vintage player's gear. They even have gloves from some of the past players. It's really a great collection to see if you're a fan. I love the old school Brooklyn Dodgers jacket with the B on it. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Decor:: Fuzzy White Rugs

Fuzzy Bedside Rugs
Our bedroom is coming together nicely. Our new bed that we built (read our DIY platform bed post here) is *ah-mazing* and I never want to get out of it!!! Which is a problem because I have lots of creating and things to do. But now getting out of bed each morning is a treat. I found these amazing fuzzy rugs to place on each side of the bed and they feel amazing on your feet. You can buy similar rugs by Flokati. They are wonderfully beautiful, fluffy, white delights and Botti loves them too. Now we just need night stands. I'm thinking of making something repurposed...hunting for old wooden ladders. 

Vote for Us in the Potted Contest

Pallet Garden
We had a lot of excitement about our Pallet Garden on our tumblr so we entered the potted contest at PottedStore.com. We are super excited to be a part of the contest. Potted is an awesome blog and store so check them out while you are there. 

While I'm already plugging I might as well encourage you to follow (the link is on your right) our blog for more awesome DIY projects coming up that we're working on. AND recommend us to friends. We are just getting started and need your help gaining attention. Thanks, friends!

VOTE for our awesome potted creation. You can vote once a day until June 2 so keep voting. Muy bueno!

Read about how we made our Pallet Garden here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Decor:: Pink Antique Glass

Pink Antique Glass Candy Dish
Antique glass is so beautiful, especially pink! I use this Pink Antique Glass dish for my kitchen sponge by the sink. It goes well with my other treasured Fawn Salt & Pepper Shakers that add a pop of pink in my kitchen window sill.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good Eats:: Sage Scramble

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. Morning, noon or night, it’s always a good time for a great breakfast meal. And I always have to eat eggs with breakfast. My husband makes the best eggs I’ve ever eaten in my life. Lucky me! But I do make a delicious scramble myself because I like to get a little creative with my seasonings and flavors. 

An excellent combo I love to make involves two of my favorite veggies: 
tomatoes for lycopene and nutrient-rich white button mushrooms, which are actually shown to prevent breast cancer. To punch up the flavor I add your usual sea salt and ground pepper and then a generous pinch of dried sage. This also makes an excellent omelet with sharp cheese.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Treasures:: Fawn Salt & Pepper Shakers

Fawn Salt & Pepper Shakers
A good friend who is also a wonderful blogger on Primary Nest, had these beautiful little pink fawn salt & pepper shakers in her home last time I visited her. I casually mentioned how adorable they were and she swiftly disappeared returning with a second set for me. They now sit as decor in my kitchen window adding a complimentary pop of pink to my pink antique glass I use as a sponge dish.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Music Monday:: Temper Trap

My heart still skips a beat when this song by Temper Trap plays. We saw their very first US show at The Music Box last year and the lead singer was a beautifully intense performer. Definitely worth seeing live if you ever can.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Project:: Reading Glass Necklace

Reading Glass Necklace
My husband's Nana recently asked me to make her a beautiful reading glass chain and his mom told me she had seen someone wearing one with a loop in the middle of a necklace to hold your glasses. I like the idea of something that looks beautiful when you aren't using it but has utility when you need it to. So I started browsing some of my favorite places for jewelry inspiration and came up with a JCrew inspired style based on a necklace by LoveStitched with ribbon bows tied in between beads. 

Here's how I made it:

1. Choose a 1/4 inch ribbon color of your choice. I used transparent cream to keep it matching most outfits with an elegant feel to it. The circles I could to use as the glasses holder loop I was able to weave the ribbon through. I wove the ribbon half way around and then tied it so it would hang at the correct angle when worn. I added a bow to secure the ribbon to the edge to start the beads. If you use a solid loop, tie the ribbon and then add a bow where you make the knot to cover it up before you string your first bead. 

2. String your beads. I used crystal beads. Frosted glass beads would look nice as well. Choose beads of difference sizes to give a cascading look. I used two large, two medium and three small. String the first bead, tie a small bow with extra ribbon and trim the bow and continue. I added silver decorative buttons at either end when I was done with the beads to finish each side. I love buttons and think they can look a lot more elegant than some silver beads. 

3. Trim your excess ribbon to the length you want your necklace with enough extra ribbon to tie a bow around the neck. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

AroundTown:: Elevator Doors

We love Old Town Pasadena because it's a city full of character. Even the parking structures have charm. These are elevator doors from a parking structure.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Style:: Plaid Wool Bomber Jacket

Plaid Wool Bomber Jacket

This beauty caught my eye one day shopping in Old Town with my hubby at Crossroads Trading Co. Yes, my husband really shops with me and even introduced me to this store. He knows I love beautiful clothes at great prices and Crossroads buys and sells slightly used adorable trends. 
This black & white plaid jacket is a great staple because the pattern will never go out of style and the buckle, zipper and button details are all really well made. It’s super warm with a sweater and just cool enough for spring with a light tee or tank underneath if I wear it unzipped. The sleeves even have zippers underneath to vent your wrists. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Decor:: Door Hangers

Door Hanger
Door Hanger

Door hangers can be beautiful touches to any room. They don't have to be the cheep plastic kind. Whether you are hanging a towel or robe in the bathroom, jackets in the entryway, or accessories in your closet or bedroom, your door hangers can be eye-catching lovies as well. Anthropologie is a great source for such items. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good Eats:: Acai Coconut Coffee

Acai Coffee
I love coconut milk and O.N.E. Coconut Water drinks are super delicious. I use coconut milk in my smoothies a lot, but when I ran out of regular milk for my coffee the only milk-like substance in my fridge was an acai acerola flavored O.N.E. drink. So…I tried it and it was amazing.

O.N.E. drinks are loaded with health benefits, contain 100% pure ingredients, and it’s great for your skin. That’s a beautiful thing. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Treasures:: Hand Painted Soap Dish

Hand Painted Soap Dish
A great friend went to Mexico a few years ago and got this beautiful Hand Painted Dish for me and I have used it in many ways around my home. It recently surfaced when going through a few boxes searching for decor items to bring into our home as we settle in. I decided to use it as a soap dish in our shower. Something about little soaps instantly adds a spa feel. And it brings a little pop of color into our tranquil white space. 

TIP: To add to the spa feel, use a clear pebble style bath mat and roll it up after each use in the corner of the tub or shower. It dries just as quick as hanging it but looks tidy and put together.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Music Monday:: Mazzy Star

I was reminded of the song Fade Into You by Mazzy Star today. It has remained a beautiful nostalgic favorite of mine for many years.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Eats:: Swish Swish

Swish Swish Hot Pot
We love, love, love making food, asian cuisine and interactive dining experiences. If you like these things too then you must try Shabu Shabu, or literally swish swish, which is the Japanese version of the Chinese Hot Pot. You are served lots of meat, cabbage, veggies, noodles and other yums that you get to cook at your table in a boiling hot pot. You season your water to your liking with various condiments, garlic, onions, chili oil for the daring, and you cook your veggies and meat in the water. The meat cooks in a flash, or a swish or two with your chopsticks. Be sure to ask for peanut sauce, most of them have it, and again for the daring, get chili dipping sauce. When you are finished with your meat and cabbage, you add your remaining veggies, noodles, and tofu to the water to make a soup.

The ultimate bite at Shabu Shabu::  Dip your meat in punsu and then chili sauce, dip your cabbage in peanut sauce and place both over rice. Delicious!

Our favorite Shabu Shabu::  California Shabu Shabu

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Treasure Hunt:: Vinyl Record Player

Vinyl Player by ahomebeautiful

When my husband said he wanted a record collection it was one of those little moments where your heart spikes and you feel completely meant to be together. We both believe good music is just about as important as breathing in life and both grew up with great music in our homes. So when we realized we desired to bring that into our home together, it was a beautiful connection.
As I’ve been busy decorating our home and reeling him into my DIY projects, he was inspired to add his own touch by bringing home this Record Player recently. While it isn’t a vintage player as he had originally hoped, it’s actually better in a nostalgic sense. It is the exact same player his parents had when he was young. The same one that grew his love and excellent taste for music. I love it! 
We have a great start to our record collection - the Dead, the Doors, MJ, various jazz, Earth, Wind & Fire (my fave!) - all discovered at record stores in LA and our parents garage, of course. PoobahCanterbury and Penny Lane in Pasadena, Amoeba in Hollywood, and Atomic Records in Burbank are a few vinyl treasure sites to start working on your collection. If you are selling excellent condition records in the LA area, please contact us!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Style:: Vintage Liz Claiborne Purse

Vintage Liz Claiborne Purse
The sailor style is in again and stripes of blue or black and white are the perfect additions to your wardrobe this summer. And in my opinion, they are a great staple trend that will last through the years.

Proof? My latest little treasure is this Vintage Liz Claiborne purse I found at Acts Thrift Shop. It was a total steal at $12 but it was a discount day so I got it for $10. I love supporting this shop because it's a Christian non-profit and all of the proceeds go to help local neighborhood programs. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Project:: King Storage Platform Bed

Since we succeeded at making a beautiful headboard for our new bed, we couldn’t just put it on a regular old frame. We live in a small home and we have to make the most of every square inch so we knew we needed a bed with storage. We had yet to find a storage bed we loved that was right for what we wanted or right for the price. And storing sweaters and linens under the bed in storage bins works, but how many of you will admit, once it goes into the bin and under the bed you completely forget you own it. Out of sight, out of mind. That’s why I urged my husband to tackle building our own bed with great custom storage that is not only beautiful but useful as well. 
We did a lot of research on building platform beds online. And drafted several versions of what I wanted with my husband’s handyman knowledge. We eventually came up with the idea to build two large boxes with dividing walls and shelves for storage on either size and layed two large pieces of plywood on top to connect them and form the platform for the mattress. Check out homebeautiful on flickr for more photos of the project.
How we did it:
1. We measured how high we wanted the bed (35”), subtracted the mattress height (11”) and then factored in the materials for the box. We used eight 18” tall 2x4s joined at angles to form the corners of each box. We nailed these to the corners of a large sheet of 1/2” plywood (for our king-size bed, we made our boxes 24” deep by 81” long).

2. Next, we measured where we wanted the middle shelves and attached 4 more 18” tall 2x4s to act as supports for the box and to attach the middle shelves to later in the process. Attach a second piece of 1/2” plywood to the top. This created a box with three open compartments, two measuring roughly 34” wide and the middle shelf area which is about 12” wide.
3. We used six 3/16” tempered hard board pieces as the walls of each of the three sections formed by the two by fours in our boxes. We later attached a 1/2” inch plywood piece to the center of the smallest compartment creating the two center shelves. We also used this same material to close off the back of the shelves.
4. We spray painted the frame a satin white recommended for painting furniture. I didn’t want a glossy reflective look. I like the satin because it gives it a less store bought look and is a little more rustic. Some of the edges we painted before we assembled so that we wouldn’t have runs in the cracks of the pieces of wood. 
5. Last, we set up the boxes at the right spacing in the bed and attached two sheets of 1/2” thick plywood to create the platform for the bed. We painted the edges of these before attaching. While there is a gap between the two boxes, it is very sturdy. We have a memory foam mattress so there is no need for a box spring. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Decor:: Lace Bedroom Curtains

Spring is in the air and that calls for beautiful, breezy curtains to lighten up our bedroom. The chocolate lace texture is the perfect compliment to the lacey off-white base curtains we already had in place. Since our new bedspread is a neutral solid, the solid tan curtains weren’t working and we needed to add some texture and pull more color into the room.
The palate of our new bedroom decor is coming along nicely. Brown textures, flat and textured whites, and I plan to add in some gold with two bedside lamps and the dressing mirror I’ll be bringing in. More to come on these…

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Project:: Nailhead Trim Upholstered Headboard - West Elm Inspired

Since we got married we've talked about buying a king-size bed. I love my husband but I also love my sleep! Buying a king-size mattress is one feat but buying a beautiful bed frame costs as much as the mattress or more, especially for the West Elm nailhead upholstered headboard that inspired our own DIY creation. So, why not make our own?? We saved a ton of money and the headboard project went so well we built the frame too.
Here is how we made it:
1.  Build the frame. Take into consideration the height of your bed (frame and mattress) and how high you want the headboard to show above the bed. Our headboard is 60” tall above our 35” tall bed. The padded face of the headboard is 25”. To fit our king-size bed it measures 76.5” inches wide. Here is a similar photo of the frame structure for our headboard. 
2. Attach a 1/4” piece of plywood to the frame. We chose a simple rectangle for the shape measuring 76.5” x 24”.
4. Attach upholstery foam to the face of the frame with spray adhesive. You can find a precut 76.5” x 24” x 1.5” piece of foam at major craft stores. 
5. Cover with batting. Spread out a queen size bag of batting on floor and lay headboard frame with foam side down in center of batting. Pull taught around all sides and attach to back with staple gun. You will have to trip around the legs. 
6. Lay fabric of your choice, 3.5 yards for king-size, face down. Position headboard in center. Pull taught on each size and attach to back with staple gun. You will have to trim fabric and tuck and staple around the legs. Attach the top edge last as you will need to trim and fold the top edges to make a nice seam on the edge without it bunching.
7. If you like the nailhead look, attach nailheads by depressing the foam and using a rubber mallet or a hammer with a thin cloth attached so you don’t damage the decorative nailheads to nail them in pace. I lined mine up by sight and did a few over again when I messed up. As with any nailhead furniture, they aren’t perfectly straight but you can’t tell and they look great. It’s worth the difficulty. I used 6 or 7 boxes of 20 nailheads so buy extra. You can find them at major craft stores in the upholstery section.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Music Monday:: Michael Kiwanuka

Love this new UK artist, Michael Kiwanuka, from Communion Records. He’s releasing his first EP in June. 
If you want to hear about more great music, follow my husband’s tumblr Feed from the bottom. He has great taste!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Project:: Pallet Garden

As promised, above is our new Pallet Garden, the creative inspiration of my now inspired diy Hubby. We recently built a bed - yes, a full kind-size bed - from scratch together (post and instructions to come soon!) and he seems to be as completely hooked on the resourceful, money-saving, creative outlet of the diy trend as I am. And I LOVE it! He even went to the hardware store and bought all of the flowers himself. What a lucky girl I am, huh?
His inspiration for this project came from a lovely container gardening blog, Life on the Balcony.
Here are the steps to create your own Pallet Garden:
1. First, he prepped the pallet by removing any rotted boards. Then he applied a piece of 1/4 inch thick plywood to the back bottom third portion to support the weight of the dirt that would be added. 

2. He attached garden fabric to the entire back as well as whatever edge will be the “bottom” using a staple gun. The Pallet Garden is intended to be leaned against a wall when finished.
3. Fill the pallet with garden soil suitable for the flowers or herbs you intend to plant. He chose an assortment of Trailing Ice Plants in beautiful pinks, reds, and whites, a flowering cactus variety, and purple petunias (not shown as these will be planted in the “top” row of the pallet once we stand it up.
4. Place each plant as close to the “top” side of each opening in the slats, as the dirt will settle once you stand it up. Space the plants based on the recommended planting instructions. Don’t overcrowd but plant as close as the plants will allow so the roots will grow together and help hold them in place in the pallet. Water the plants. 
5. Wait one-two weeks for the dirt to settle before standing against a wall. Once you stand the pallet up, fill the top with more soil and plant more plants in the top opening if you’d like. This is where we will plant our purple petunias. Water your plants as recommended for the varieties. Ours recommend once or twice a week.
We’ll have more photos to come soon once our Pallet Garden is in place and the petunias are planted! This will be a lovely addition right near our sitting area on our patio and a warm, colorful display to lighten our morning coffee hour each day.