Sunday, December 18, 2011

I Smell a Crafted Gift: Part 2

For Part 2, I wanted to show work in progress photos on how I made the sachet.

What you need: outside fabric, scrap fabric for potpourri pouch, scrap contrast fabric, vintage earring, pin back, and potpourri (I chose Lavender).

Bind the raw edges of the short sides of fabric.

Fold in half, right sides together, then sew up sides and bottom. Clip corners and turn right side out

Use the scrap fabric to make a pocket for the potpourri. Sew up three sides, put the potpourri inside, and sew up the last side.

Place the pocket in side pouch. Replace the earring back with the pin back. Fold down the top edge of the pouch and close with the pin.

Viola! Use as gift or keep for yourself.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Smell a Crafted Gift

I wanted a way to use up fabric scraps, trims, and pieces of jewelry; more or less a reduce, reuse, recycle product that it not hokey. I searched for ideas and came across ideas for sachets. I decided to use a printed burlap fabric for the outside. I used scrap muslin to create a pouch for the sachet (I chose a Lily of the Valley fragrance). I used a vintage earring and replaced the clip with a pin. I folded down the burlap fabric and closed the pouch with the once earring now pin. I decided to add a lace bow for a little more character. Since I am gifting this, I wanted the receiver to be able to change the sachet if they do not like the fragrance or if the scent dissipates.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Weekly CVS Coupon Trip

If you have not already guessed, I love to coupon at CVS. I did my weekly trip this morning and even surprised myself. Last minute changes and additional items helped make this one a goody. My key to a good coupon trip is to write down everything you plan on getting, plus the quantity and size, and what coupons you plan to use with each item. I also bring my coupon binders with me in case I see a special clearance deal. I did my couponing in 2 transactions (reason being was I got half way through my first transaction and noticed I missed getting 2 items and on my way to get them I spotted a clearance deal of 50% off unscented Secret Deodorant.

Transaction #1
1- Nabisco Wheat Thin 10 oz
1- Nabisco Triscut 9.5oz
2- Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste 4oz
1- Sensodyne Pronamel Toothpaste .8oz
1- CVS Brand Red Fish (I have gummy vodka and like to soak gummies in it for an "adult" treat
1- Olay Wet Cloths
1- Blistex Mint
1- Blistex Medex
1- Listerine Cool mint 1 ltr
1- Centrum Pronutrient Fruit & Veggie 50 ct
1- Centrum Pronutrient Omega 50 ct
2- Rimmel Moisture Cream Lip Gloss
1- Lumene cleansing cloths 10 ct

Total after coupons, previously earned Extra Care Bucks and tax : $4.52

(I also qualified for a free $10 gift card when you spend $30 on certain items, I always get a CVS gift card that I use on my next couponing trip)

Transaction #2

2- Secret Flawless Unscented Deodorants
1- Nature made Vitamin E 200IU
1-Nature Made Chewable Vitamin C 60 ct

Total after tax, coupons, and ECB: $5.21

Shopping Trip total out of pocket expense (oop): $9.73 (my goal was to spend less than $20)

Total Savings: 105.82

Savings Percentage: 91.6%

I shocked myself because I was able to get vitamins and supplements while staying under my coupon budget.

Do you coupon?
Where do you like to shop?
What are your most prized unexpected finds?

Monday, December 5, 2011

'Tis the Season for Crafting!

Giving a gift can be more rewarding than receiving especially when it is handmade. I love to sew and have a enough fabric to open my own store. For my grandma, (luckily she does not own a computer so this will not give away the surprise) I wanted to make something useful. She is a spectacular knitter. I have hats, scarves and even socks that she has knitted with love just for me. A knitting needle case is the perfect gift for her. She can keep extra needles wrapped up inside of it for easy access. The printed fabric pieces are pockets and the larger one has is stitched to hold different size needles.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Food for Fashion and Amethyst Jeans

Yesterday, Denim Therapy Blog posted a snippet about Amethyst Jeans on their "Daily Dose". Amethyst Jeans is a Connecticut based denim company specializing in junior jeans. They are known for their innovated marketing such as the Jean Machine Truck. This holiday season they are taking the philanthropy one step farther. Partnering with Big-Y Supermarkets, they are partaking in the Food for Fashion. Amethyst Jeans will be giving away a new pair of jeans in exchange for money, perishable food, or the Sack Hunger Bags. Their hopes is that people will not only donate money or perishable food but will also in turn give their jeans to charity as well. Keep an eye out at your local Big-Y in Connecticut for the Amethyst Jean crew.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Just one year ago I was in Paris experiencing one the most amazing Thanksgiving celebrations I have ever had. I got to experience the American tradition in Paris, France with my API family. I am still thankful for that experience everyday.

Early this week I was granted "backstage" access to Thanksgiving Mayhem at A Little Something Bakery. (It helps that I am related to the owner, but still.) Preparing for a holiday, such as Thanksgiving, takes weeks of planning, preparation, and multiple sets of hands. A Little Something Bakery successfully completed their third Thanksgiving just a few short weeks after loosing power for 5 1/2 days in Winter Storm Alfred. This devastation did not stop bake shop owner Beth Bolton who still has much to be thankful for this holiday. Local newspaper, West Hartford News, even wrote a lovely article about the bakery. Read it here!

Baking for Thanksgiving at a bakery is very different from baking a few pies at home. Instead of using a recipe that yields one pie, one uses a recipe that yields 8-10 pies. A Little Something Bakery's Thanksgiving menu was not short of sweet treats. There was the traditional pumpkin, apple, and southern pecan pies. Other flavors and desserts were thrown into the mix such as a Pumpkin Cheesecake and a Caramel Brownie Puddle Tart. I snapped a few photos of the hard working employees baking away...after hours mind you. Baking is not all to preparing for the holiday either. There needs to be plenty of room to display the product, boxes need to be made to put the pies in once they are sold, and orders need to be put aside and assembled.

My favorite photo? The turkey cupcakes, how adorable!

Monday, November 7, 2011

I Love Couponing

There is a newpaper vending machine near my office. I noticed a few weeks back that the Hartford Courant machine had an "I Love Coupons" ad. Everytime I happened to walk by I forgot to take a picture. Once I did remember, it was replaced. How sad! BUT, last week I noticed it was back. Yay!! I snapped a photo with my Blackberry and just had to post it here!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 4: No Power but still Couponing!

Today is the fourth day that I have no power at home. Saturday night the Northeast got hit with a wicked snow storm causing more than 800,000 homes to be without power. Fortunately, at my house we have gas hot water and a gas cook top. We are still able to to cook hot meals and take hot showers. Using firewood from trees that have fallen down, out fireplace is being used to its full potential. The only downside for my family is that my mom's bakery has no power. As of day four, 94% of my town is without power, BUT the center of town has generator power therefore I have work. I am very lucky that I can go to work, have heat, and electricity because without, I would not be able to write this blog post.

Despite the troubles I have still found a way to coupon this week at CVS. There is a CVS in the center of town that still has power. Hooray! Sunday night I made my list the 'old fashioned' way with the newspaper ad, my coupon binders and a pad of paper: no online forum to help this week! It did not take as long as I anticipated and still turned out great. This week I tried the spend $30 (pre coupon) on selected products and receive a $10 gift card. This was not hard because it included staples such as toilet paper, paper towel, and batteries. I actually spent $45 pre-coupon (I received a CVS coupon for Covergirl Lipgloss so I stacked it with a manufacturers coupon). Therefore, yesterday I went back to spend the last $15 towards a second gift card and used the first one to help pay for it.

I left work early yesterday so that I could shower before it got too dark. However, before I did so, I went around and took pictures of the aftermath. Note that all these pictures are within a 1/2 mile radius of my house.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Office Fashion!

It was a wonderful Monday in the office today especially the outfits! Fresh hair and fun clothes.

Kelley is sporting her new short haircut. It is short and choppy in the back; a conservative version of Victoria Beckham's hair. A simple black tank and strappy wedge heels are perfect for this warm fall today. She finished her look with a light denim skirt with a slightly higher rise; the best thing of all? She made the skirt!!! I love when designers/sewers/create people wear their own creations.

Natalie is all bohemian with her A-line dress. The v-neck is a perfect compliment to her long hair (which is freshly low-lighted for a new do for fall). The brown boots are a cross between biker girl and boho chic. She can easily wear this look on cooler days with a pair of tights.

What office outfits have turned your head?

Fall is in Bloom?

It is almost the middle of October yet the hydrangeas in my front yard are in full bloom. While they were a little late they are still so beautiful.

Weekly CVS Coupon Trip 10/10 Edition

CVS is by far my favorite place to coupon. It takes planning but it is worth it. Today, I bought:

1- 9.9 oz M&M Pretzel
1-11.4 oz Twix Fun Size
1-11.1 oz Snickers Fun Size
1-10 oz Musketeer
1- Taster Choice Individual Packets 6 ct
1- Revlon Eyeshadow in matte peach
1- Revlon Eyeshadow Palette

After coupons and previous extra care bucks, my total out of pocket was $0.57. My savings 98%! I got some new make up and stocked up on Halloween King.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hello Fall!

Living in New England is a blessing during Fall. I love apple picking, fall foliage, and everything pumpkin. However, the weather hasn't felt like fall the past few weeks; it has been more similar to late spring. My favorite season to dress for is Autumn. Today, I have come to terms with the weather so here is my first official 'fall outfit'.

I pulled out of my closet my cowboyish type suede boots that I bought in Paris last year. I bought these for 5 euro when my previous boots wore so thin my feet would get wet in the rain and snow. I paired a plain black tee with dark wash skinny jeans. I love the look and feel of blazers and skinny jeans so I paired this outfit with a light weight tweed jacket. I topped it off with a pink scarf and simple dangle silver earrings. Comfortable enough to work in yet stylish enough to strut down the street for the daily Starbucks run.

Monday, October 3, 2011

CVS Trip 10/3/2011

I took my first CVS trip of October this morning. Don't forget to scan your Extra Care Rewards card at the red savings machine to print out your summer spending Extra Care Bucks (I got $7.50 woohoo!!)

My out of pocket expense was $4.15 and I saved $51.46! My loot:

1-Dove non-aerosol hairspray
1-Dove Revive Shampoo
1-Suave for Men 2 for 1
1-Suave Professionals Shampoo
2- Just the Basics Instant Coffees: clearance to $0.25 each!
1-Lance Nekot Crackers: clearance $0.25
1-Lance Toasty Cracker: clearance $0.25
1-Just the Basics Onion Soup Mix: clearance $0.25
1-Ricola Dual Action Drops
1-Ricola Drops
1-Dove Wild Rose Antiperspirant
1-Dove for Men Body Wash
1-Revlon Nail Top Coat
2-Irish Spring Deodorants: clearance $2.09 each
1- Diet Pepsi 20oz (I was thirsty, no coupon for this item)

I am $0.51 short of my ECB reward of spend $15 on dove products received $5ECB. Therefore, I plan on making another trip to CVS this week.

Remember scan your card at the machine for your Extra Bucks! Let me know what the red machine spits out for you!

Dsquared2 Squared Up Milan

Dsquared2 showed their Spring 2012 RTW Collection in Milan. The two Canadian brothers kept their tradition of provocative "Born in Canada, living in London, Made in Italy" alive while focusing on America. Their collection evoked American Tourist traveling abroad, it sort of reminds of Brad Paisley's song "American Saturday Night."

Without being too drastic, the punkish Barbie emerged while strutting down a runway of mud. The punk Barbie is a combo of hobo chic with fringe, denim, and fur with southern cowboy through plaid while remain true to the Spring 2012 color blocking. And, don't forget about the rain boots and Heineken beer bottles to round out the around the world trip in about 34 outfits.

I wish I could pull off even half of these outfits:

This one is my fave!

Dsquared2 is definitely on my radar and a duo that I want to continue to follow perhaps even draw inspiration from. I designed a collection based upon my 3 month stay in Paris, this collection brings it full circle. I might even push my collection further by expanding and challenging the norms of American and Parisian dress.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

CVS Coupon Trip 9/26

CVS is one of my favorite places to coupon. Before couponing, I hardly ever purchased food or health & beauty products, it was strictly prescriptions and the occasional greeting card. Since I started couponing in June, my shopping habits have changed. My first few CVS coupon trips I would do multiple transactions rolling Extra Care Bucks into the next one. Since I am a non-cash carrying person, I hated putting small amounts on my debit card. Therefore, I have changed my strategy, I lump it all into one transaction. Without initial ECBs the savings do not seem that great. It is the whole mantra that you need to spend money to save money. Ergo, after that initial transaction couponing at CVS has been fantastic. My trip on Sept. 26th was a goodie. I saved 91% not including the ECBs I received for my purchase (I count them when I use them, not when I get them). What did I buy you ask?

2- 15oz Softsoap Body Washes (A recent fave product of mine so yippie!) on sale: $3.00 each
1- Schick Quatro 4 ct refills- on sale: $8.99
1- Olay 2/1 Facial Cleansing Cloths- on sale: $3.99
2- Excedrin Migraine 8ct- on sale: $0.99 each
2- Zyrtec Allergy 3ct- clearance to $0.99 each
1- Nyquil/DayQuil Combo- clearance to $3.32

I had $9 in coupons and $12.99 in ECB that I redeemed. My total out of pocket including tax was $4.54 (not a bad price for the medicine alone). The Zyrtec and Nyquil/Dayquil were not my list of items to get but I always carry my coupons and check clearance at stores to get max savings. For example, I had an additional $1.00 off coupon for the Nyquil/Dayquil resulting in an oop price of $2.32, which was a fantastic deal especially because I have been suffering from a cold all week.

Let me know if you have any super coupon deals or even just a great clearance find!

Happy Couponing :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jean Machine?

Amethyst Jeans is running their Jean Machine Tour this Fall again. This innovated marketing tour is spreading brand awareness across the midwest and east coast. Check out their facebook page and website! Also, make sure you keep an eye out at your local stores and local college campus to see if their truck will make an appearence.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

NYFW Sp 2012 Round Up

I know it has been far to long since I have posted. Shame shame on me. I have been quiet busy and tired with my new job that I love. I tried to get a look as much of New York's Fashion Week as I could through I would get spurts here and there when work was slow or at lunch. I am giving a highlight of a few of my faves sans all the fashion technical terminology.

To begin with I have a new favorite designer Alice+Olivia. You can check out their Spring 2012 runway collection at website for Alica+Olivia Spring 2012. To begin with they have a spunky funky website that makes you want to buy the clothes because they look so good on a computer. I am all about easy navigation and research, especially when it comes to fashion. A+ number one!

This show was the first Stacey Bendet included a full line of shoes. (A+ 2) I find it wholesome when designers not only design clothes but the shoes as well. It brings the runway show full circle. I loved their justified florals. Not too big, too small, too much or too little, just enough for any women to wear without feeling like they are wearing garden. Don't get me wrong, I love gardens, I have a dream to have my very own secret garden; I just feel no need to wear it. The whimsical color blocking and accents brings resort and cruise wear to the mainland for everyday wear. What really caught my eye was the hint to not just one era of fashion but many. (A+ 3) A+O interpreted the flapper girl of the 20s with beaded type fringe, channeled the 70s with flared bottom pants and even brought back the 60s with wide modish belts and the classic color blocking of the time.

Another line that caught my eye was Diesel Black Gold. Their runway show left me wanting to learn more and study their collection. They mixed classic tailored pieces with metallic, but not in the usual way of accessories but metallic garments. It is an accessory in itself. I am a HUGE fan of the button-up shirt and their twist on it. I like taking this classic piece away from the suit and office and giving it some life. Diesel paired it with pretty much everything including metallic shorts with the hem of the shirt peaking out of the bottom as to say 'hey I am still here'. Sleek, chic, and tastefully soft with spurts of pastel colors and draping.

Click on the links and check out the collections yourself!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Weekend Sewing Project

I bought a shirt a few weeks back and got a spark of inspiration. I had some similar fabric and wanted to make lace flowers for weeks. After a few hours of pattern making and sewing, here is the final result. A simple kimono short sleeve shirt with a center back seam.

Apron Flashback

I know it has been a bit since I have post. Hurricanes, life, and a new job have gotten in the way. I survived my first week as a Technical Design Assistant. wooohooo!

My mom owns a bakery and I love to sew. (I am a pretty good baker too.) I have been into countless kitchen supply stores. I have seen so many bland boring aprons. I have also seen 50s inspired ones as well. I decided why not make my own since I have plenty of fabric and trims!

These aprons can be worn with the tie at the back or the front! Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Old + Old = New?

Chunky jewelry goes in and out of style. Over the past few seasons it has definitely been the to go-to accessory to spice up any outfit. Pair with a causal tee and jeans or top off that cocktail dress, you cannot go wrong. I love love chunky funky necklaces but hate shopping for them, there are too many choices! I decided to make my own.

The first one I made was using various beads strung on knotted ribbon. The asymmetry of the beading and ribbon work makes this necklace causal yet dressy.

This is one of those love me for my flaws type necklaces. The beads are slightly heavy for the thin ribbon but I like how the weight pulls on the knots in the ribbon to make it less then perfect.

The second necklace I made is a concoction of antique necklace parts and an old scarf. I am always looking for ways to reinvent things. I went to an antique store a few weeks ago and bought a zip top baggy full of various jewelry. The women who ran the shop thought it was broken jewelry, to my surprise and happiness only one earring was broken; what a steal! What caught my eye was this awesome cream and gold pendant. (I am still trying to find the perfect accompaniments to go with it.) The pendant was on 2 strands; one chain and one beaded. I decided to use the beaded one for the back portion of this necklace. I also took a trip to the local Salvation Army on a hunt for some funky scarves. I came across four and thought the green one was perfect for the beaded necklace. I washed and dried the scarf, then folded and knotted it. The final product is as shown. Old + Old + creativity= a new necklace ready for a night on the town!