Friday, May 29, 2009

In which I make a fool of myself...

In case you all haven't noticed, I'm a little bit of a do-it-yourselfer. Especially when it comes to my beauty routine. While I do own a LOT of toiletries (see the proof here) I still love to dabble in making my own. Usually this turns out great, or at least okay, but every now and then I do something really stupid that leaves me wondering "why did I think this was a good idea?" Well, yesterday was one of those times.

Let me preface this by saying that I have super dry and rough feet. My feet are like two little (okay, not so little) lotion-eaters. I put lotion on them, and they're dry an hour later. I put heavy duty foot cream on them, and they're dry two hours later. It's pretty ridiculous just how dry my feet are. Now that it's sandal season, I figured I really need to try and do something about it, which is when I remembered back to February when I tried out the honey facial mask. The mask itself is super simple- smear honey all over your face and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Honey is supposed to soften, calm, and moisturize tortured skin, which in my experience it does pretty well. And since I had a bear bottle of honey lying around anyway, I thought "why not try it on my feet?"

So after my shower (and lots of foot-scrubbing action) I plopped down on my couch with my bear bottle and squeezed honey all over my feet. Feeling pretty genius, I popped open one of my magazines to pass the time. It wasn't until 20 minutes later when I decided it was about time to wash the mask off that it occurred to me...

The bathroom was all the way down the hall and I had HONEY on my FEET.

Oops. I ended up weighing my options for a few minutes: get sticky honey all over my carpet (and no doubt pick up some cat hair on the way) or look ridiculous and scootch/crawl to the bathroom while trying to keep my feet away from the floor. I chose the latter. Thank goodness I don't have roommates (other than Tigger, who is always giving me funny looks anyway).

The good news is that the honey mask did make my feet feel a lot better. They're still dry, but they're a lot smoother and not threatening to freak out and crack anymore. So I might try this whole honey foot mask thing again, but next time I'll be keeping something to wash my feet off next to me on the couch.

Happy weekend everyone!

PS: If someone has a great foot cream recommendation, definitely share. Because my feet are eating mine like it's breakfast.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Feeling Crafty: DIY Pillows

via Bliss
For awhile I've been toying with the idea of getting my own fabric to make simple square pillows for my couch. This is partially due to the fact that actually buying pillows is entirely to expensive, and partially because of super cute fabrics that I keep finding on Etsy. One of my current faves is this pusswillow fabric from cicadastudio's shop. Wouldn't it look great on a light green couch (like, ahem, mine).

Anybody actually made their own pillows before? Where do you get your fabric?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Greenify: What do you own?

Don't fill me!- via

Awhile back, I participated in a 3-month spending hiatus in which I vowed to not buy anything unnecessary for 3 solid months. One of the happy side effects of this (besides a fatter wallet) was a much bigger awareness of all the stuff I owned- especially things like makeup and toiletries. I realized that I was stuck in a cycle of buy stuff, use stuff, get bored with stuff before it runs out, move on to new stuff, eventually throw the half-full container of old stuff out. Now that I've made the decision to greenify, I've realized just how outrageously wasteful I've been, not only with my money but with the environment too. After all, every thrown-out item is wasted money, product, and packaging, and that can build up very quickly.

So in an attempt to save money AND be more green I decided to really cut back on the amount of stuff (cosmetics, personal care, etc) I use. And in order to do that, I made a (very big) list of the stuff I currently own. And because nothing is more motivating than a little healthy embarrassment, I thought I'd share some of my list with you.

Skincare- Face
  • 3 Face Washes
  • 3 Facial Masks
  • 3 Face Scrubs
  • 1 Serum
  • 2 Moisturizers
  • 6 Acne Spot Treatments
Total: 18 Facial Skincare Products

Skincare- Body
  • 6 Soaps/Body Washes
  • 22 Moisturizing Lotions/Creams/Oils (so much! *blush*)
  • 4 Sunblocks
  • 5 Body Scrubs
Total: 37 Body Skincare Products

  • 5 Shampoos (3 of which I hate)
  • 4 Conditioners
  • 6 Styling Products (mousse/gel/serum)
Total: 15 Hair Care Products

  • 18 Eyeshadows
  • 7 Eyeliners
  • 3 Blushes
  • 2 Bronzers
  • 4 Foundations
  • 3 Palettes (with eyeshadow, blush, lip glosses mixed)
  • 4 Mascaras
  • 2 Concealers
  • 1 Brow Powder
  • and somewhere around 50 lipsticks/glosses/stains/balms before I stopped counting.
Total: 94 cosmetics

Grand Total: 164 Personal Care Products!

Isn't that nuts? I was shocked at how much stuff I'd accumulated, especially since I tend to weed things out pretty regularly. But years of mindless shopping (and some sharing with friends- I inherited 10 of those eyeshadows this weekend alone) have led to quite a stash, to the point where I'm not sure I can ever get through everything before buying more.

So my current plan of attack is to limit shopping to stuff I am running out of, so I actually use the stuff I own. Easier said than done, right? As for stuff I've bought but really dislike using (not everything agrees with my skin/hair), I'm going to make sure those go to new homes instead of the trash. I know that Goodwill takes toiletries, as do the local women's shelters and most of my friends.

But I'd love to know what you all, awesome readers, do to limit the amount of stuff you accumulate without tossing it all in the trash. And please tell me I'm not the only one with a GIANT stash of personal care items lying around?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Signature Style

Thank goodness it's Friday- I've had a super busy week and I am so looking forward to being lazy and visiting friends and maybe, just maybe, doing a little shopping.

Today I was doing a little online window shopping and I realized that I really don't have a signature style. You know how some people always dress in a particular way and it just seems to fit them so well? Yeah, I'm not one of those people. I'm a mixer-and-matcher. Sometimes I'm pretty sure I don't even bother with the matching part, I just love things from all different kinds of styles. Occasionally I feel like I should try to develop my own recognizable style but then, I guess I have more options this way. Maybe it's why I own so many clothes...

Three completely different tops that I love (above, from top):
Lunch Break Top from Cutiemus
Striped Slub Top from Forever21
The Brewster Sisters Blouse from ModCloth

What about you? Are you a signature style person or do you like to mix it up?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Let's Go On a Picnic!

Random, but lately I've been thinking a lot about picnics. Maybe it's the warm weather, but I really want to grab some friends and a big blanket and settle down in the park for sun, company, and of course some delicious food.

So let's have a fantasy blog picnic today. I'll be bringing stuffed peppers. Don't they look tasty? (I found the recipe here.) What are you going to bring? And remember, it's a fantasy picnic, so we can bring anything!

If someone wants to bring this cake I'd be cool with that.

Omigosh peanut butter-( via Cup of Jo, via You Are My Fave)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Aren't these pillows from Fabricadabra super cute? I sort of have a thing for bold, geometric pillows. I have neither the money nor the space for these ones- but in another life, I would totally buy them up :)

If you had more money/space, what's the one home item you would buy?

Images: Fabricadabra

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greenify: 3 Green Things That Can Actually Save You Money

We're starting out slow with the whole greenify thing- more mint green than forest if you know what I mean. I found a few simple (and some pretty obvious) tips for those who, like me, are just starting out with the whole green thing.

Most obvious tip #1: Turn the lights off.
I don't know about you all, but this is something my grandpa ingrained in me when I was little (even though sometimes, ahem, I still forget). Any time I so much as thought about stepping foot outside a room with the lights on, I'd hear a great booming "TURN THOSE LIGHTS OFF- DO YOU WANT TO PAY THE ELECTRICITY BILL?" Besides having a very loud voice, I swear my grandpa had radar for left-on lights, and he was so frugal that he probably would have sat in the dark all night if he could have. His motives were more related to his check book, but turning the lights off when they aren't being used is for the environment, too. According to this article, electricity production creates more than 1.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide a year- that's a huge amount. And while eco-bulbs do a lot to decrease that amount, the easiest way is to not use the electricity in the first place.

Still pretty obvious tip #2: Think before you throw away
I would guesstimate that maybe 25% of my garbage on average is stuff that could be reused in some way- old tee shirts and sweat pants can become dust rags (no more paper towels!), old glasswear can hold toiletries, empty lotion jars can become mini storage canisters for things like earrings and bobby pins that you'd otherwise lose constantly (not that I do that). You can even artfully arrange used items to become home decor, like this cool glasswear centerpiece that I found here. It's made entirely of old glass jars and bottles, which look sweet bunched together holding different types of plantlife.
Maybe less obvious? Tip #3: Think before you buy
When I'm considering buying something, I know that the first thing I always think of is how I could use it. If I can come up with a good enough use, I'll buy it. I've found, though, that I can usually come up with a good enough use if I really want something, so that doesn't always work. Instead, now I try to think "how can I not use this item?" Do I already own something like it? Do I honestly need it? Almost everything we own ends up in a landfill some day. One of the ways we can decrease the amount of stuff we throw away is by decreasing the amount of stuff we buy. As a bonus, it's pretty good for your checking account too (my grandpa would have been so proud). I'll admit, though, that this is probably the most difficult tip for me, because I love buying stuff. But it's something I could definitely work on.

Images: lightbuld, MSN Lifestyle via; glass centerpiece, WholeLiving

Monday, May 18, 2009

Let's Discuss: Greenify-ing

Not THAT green.

Lately I've been thinking about the whole "green movement" and what it means for our society. I'll admit that at first I thought the movement was a fad- a ploy to get consumers to buy more overpriced stuff. Originally, the movement manifested itself in encouragement to throw out your old stuff and replace it with new, greener alternatives, which doesn't make sense because if you throw the old stuff out without first using it, it still ends up in a landfill, and you just end up going through more stuff. This seemed like such a transparent tactic to encourage more consumerism, that I got annoyed at the whole movement.

But since I've been watching the green movement progress, I've realized that there are lots of people who genuinely taking responsibility for the amount and toxicity of the waste they produce. They aren't just buying expensive "green" products, but reducing the things they use overall, repurposing old items instead of buying new ones, and cutting back on energy use (you know, pretty much what our grandparents do anyway). And you know what? I think this type of "responsible green" movement could be a really good change for our society.

So I figured now is as good a time as ever to announce that I'm jumping on the green bandwagon. And while I'm doing it, I'll be reporting back here with a new segment I'm calling "Greenify". I hope you all will keep me accountable with comments, critiques, and suggestions.

Here's my first question for you, readers: where on earth do I start? And what have you done lately that's "Green"?

Image: Wikipedia

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's your bathroom style?

I will admit that when it comes to home decor, I'm sort of all over the place. I realized this today when I was flipping through the file of pictures that I've collected from all over the internet for inspiration: the bathroom file alone has 4 distinct styles and I love them all! I'll admit though, that my own bathroom is mostly just white, with a few yellow duckies thrown in for fun. I'm thinking of revamping a little, so I thought I would ask all of you...

Which of the styles above do you like the most?

And happy Friday everyone! It's gorgeous outside, so I'm heading out as soon as I get my work done and I fully plan on soaking up the sun- with SPF of course :)

Images: top image, Domino website (RIP); bottom three, Apartment Therapy

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tempaper: Wallpaper for Fickle Sorts

I know it probably looks weird to have a wallpaper post just a few days after I declared my everlasting love for white walls. To be honest, I'm not usually a wallpaper person, more out of practicality than anything. See, wallpaper may look cool when you put it up, but it usually gets sort of dated after a few years. And the problem with wallpaper is that it just does.not.come.down. Ever.

But now, a company has come along and fixed all that by creating cool wallpaper that goes up easily and, most importantly, actually comes off. Tempaper, which I read about over at Living Loving Small, is wallpaper designed for people like me who can't or don't want to make a lifelong committment to their wallpaper. It isn't cheap, but they have super cool designs and a roll or two would take care of an accent wall, totally breathing new life into a naked wall you might have gotten tired of.

What do you guys think about temporary wallpaper? Genius idea or totally pointless?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Do you meditate?

About a year ago I took a several classes on yoga and meditation and absolutely loved them. They made me feel so connected to my body and much more focused and calm. After the classes, though, I never really kept up with the practice because it seemed like it had to be time-consuming to be really effective. But then today I stumbled on an article which found that certain types of meditation showed significant results in a short period of time: after only practicing 20 minutes a day for 5 days, the participants showed improvements in focus, depression levels, anxiety, and the ability to deal with stress. How cool is that?

Which got me thinking that maybe I should look into this whole meditation thing again. What do you guys think? Have you ever tried yoga/meditation?

If you're interested, you can read the article here. It goes into more detail about the exact type of meditation used and the results found.

Image via Yoga Journal- where you can find lots of cool yoga and meditation advice.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Small & White

Right now I am loving Apartment Therapy's roundup of white-walled bedrooms, which you can check out here. Don't get me wrong, I love me a colorful wall, but there's something about the way white can be both modern and cheerful that makes not being able to paint my rental walls a lot more bearable.

(PS: I really want a big floor mirror like the one in the last picture. Also, the cat. Not that I need another black cat.)

Are you loving white-walled bedrooms too- or are you more of a color person?

Images via Apartment Therapy (see link).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Random List

I can't think of too many intelligent things to say on a Monday after 4 hours of sleep. So here's a bunch of stuff that I've been thinking about instead :)

My walls are feeling a little naked lately, so I've been eyeballing all sorts of art that I'd like to see up there. I love this Red Wattlebird print from Etsy.
Summer is coming, and I am sans air conditioning. I'm going to need more fans (and this vintage one looks way cooler than my ugly plastic dustcatchers).
Whenever I go to Aveda to get my hair cut, one of my favorite parts is the delicious herbal tea they serve there. My only beef is that they only give you a teeny little dixie cup's worth. Now I can get 4.9oz of it (!) off of their website.
They need to make more moisturizers with high SPF. Preferably ones that won't make me look like I dunked my face in oil. This Aveeno one is promising, but it only has SPF 15, which is not going to work for this pasty white girl. The search continues.
In addition to the perfect sunblock, I've been searching high and low for the perfect white casual dress that I can wear with flipflops all summer long. This Modcloth one was in the running because of the cute stripes on the skirt, but unfortunately it's sold out.

All images via their respective websites (see links).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Things to Read (Again): One Sentence Stories

Way back at the very beginning of One Happy Panda I wrote about One Sentence, a website devoted to telling stories in, you guessed it, one sentence. Yesterday I was flipping through some of the "stories" on love and I thought it would be fun to share a few more.

True Love, in a sentence...

"I don't care if your last name is a word for a genital condition, I still love every little thing about you." (romantic?)

"I would have never have met my true love if it weren't for my sudden desire to plant turnips." (so random)

"Our hug may have only lasted for ten seconds, but my smile has lasted for weeks." (I love hugs)

What's your one-sentence love story, if you could write one?

You can check out One Sentence for more single-sentence stories (some are cheesetastic or sort of cliche, but there are definitely some good ones in there).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crafttastrophe Shoes

All images via Crafttastrophe (see links)

Thanks to my friend Hilary (hi Hil!) I now have a new obsession: hand-painted shoes. In particular, those from the Etsy shop Crafftastrophe. I could be a little biased because I'm typically a fan of anything awesome made in Ohio, but doesn't this store have the coolest shoe designs? I picked out a few of my faves for you all.

From the Top:
Teal Green Feather Flats
Classic Tattoo Wedges (for those of us who are too wimpy to get real tattoos)
Gears and Pearls Heels
Carnival Dots Heels
Neon Bacteria Heels (okay, so maybe I'm a nerd, but I think these are the coolest)

What do you think of my new crafty love? Would you wear hand-painted shoes?

Sad Day

I have to apologize for my recent absence from the blogworld. Lars the Laptop died earlier this week and he will be out of commission until I can find another power cord. Until then, my posting may be somewhat sporadic, as I will only be able to post when I can find time to hit up my university's computer lab.

That said, I will be posting whenever possible, so stay tuned :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

More Chicago!

On Saturday I shared my Navy Pier pictures, but here's the rest of Chicago, or at least what I got to see when I wasn't at the conference.

We stayed at the Palmer House, which was over-the-top gorgeous...
Had amazing deep dish pizza at Giordano's...
And spent some time walking around Millenium Park...
and Grant Park.
On Friday we took a walk around the city, and I took pictures of buildings...

and signs...
(We should all ride bikes like this)
And some nice political street art.
I also got some delicious Shepard's Pie at the Elephant and Castle...
and chilled with Bob Newhart outside Navy Pier.
Overall it was a great time, though I am glad to be back home now. And of course I'm excited to get caught up on all the blog reading I missed while I was away!

Don't forget to check out my Navy Pier pictures below if you haven't already.

How was your weekend?

All images in this post are mine, please use only with permission.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Saturday Night Special: Navy Pier

I just got back from Chicago, and it was just as wonderful as I'd expected and then some. I didn't have a ton of free time outside of my conference to spend in the city, but I did get to wander around Navy Pier on Friday night, which was really nice. There's something about a pier near that great big lake that makes me feel so relaxed.

I'm pretty tired so I'll defer telling all about my trip until a later date, but I just couldn't help sharing some of my Navy Pier pictures with you all. It is really nice there, so keep in mind that I and my dinky cellphone camera could barely do it justice.

PS: Sorry I disappeared for two days while I was in Chi-town. Turns out internet at the Hilton is ridiculously expensive. I love you all, but I'm not made of money. Glad to be back though!

All images in this post are mine, please use only with my permission.