Do-It-Yourself Shirt

A simple, fun way to revamp an old t-shirt into a stylish tank top! This tutorial not only gives step by step instructions on how to get this look, it has tips on where to find more fun projects.

Advertisements

Holiday Gifts

So Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Are you in need of a last minute host gift? Perhaps you want to show your appreciation to your neighbors, friends, or in laws? Here are a few ideas for some festive personalized treats.

The Classic Host Gift: Wine

For many events (especially large dinners) wine is typically a go-to gift for a host, Thanksgiving is no exception. But what kind of wine is best and how can you add your own personal touch?

Both white and red wines can work with Thanksgiving day feasts.

Whites

While chardonnay is typically a reliable standby ,its intese flavor may not be the best for such an overwhelming amount of flavors. Instead consider a lighter fruity choice. The most popular of these include Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Reds

Yes, red wine is typically served with dark meat, but lighter reds are just right! Stay away from tart choices like Cabernet. Instead try Pinot Noir, Zinfadel, or Syrah.

Or…

You could marry the two and choose a nice, pink Rose! Its light, crisp flavor may be a nice compliment for a hearty meal.

Personalization:

There are a variety of ways to personalize wine bottles. You can use printable holiday labels like this or this. Or you can customize your own label here. These sites let you choose whether you would like to print free from your home wine labels or tags to drape around the bottle’s neck.

Another way to add your own personal flare is to use a wine bag or box and customize it. You can add photographs, gift tags, and more!

NOT 21? NOT A PROBLEM!

Pumpkin Nutella Bread

This festive holiday treat is both scrumptious and easy to make.

ingredients:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon hazelnut extract
8 tablespoons Nutella (2 tablespoons per mini loaf)

directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Using non-stick spray, coat a layer onto your bread pans. If you do not have spray, canola oil and a paper towel will do the trick.
  2. In a bowl, blend together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk together completely.
  3. In a separate larger bowl, combine sugar, canola oil, water, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla and hazelnut. Make sure the mixture is a smooth consistency.
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the mixture and continue to stir.
  5. When the ingredients are well combined, pour the batter into your pans. Add a spoonful of Nutella to the top of each pan. Swirl the butter into the mixture.
  6. Place the loafs into the oven. The bake time will vary based on the size of your pan. I used four medium sized pans and baked for 40-45 minutes. If you are using smaller trays you may be safer at 20-25, or if you are using one large pan it may take up to 60-65 minutes.
  7. You will know your bread is done when you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. When done, allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before attempting to remove from the pans. Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

And there you have it! Yummy, simple treats!

Pumpkin Candle Votives

Have leftover pumpkins that you feel guilty throwing away? Here is a waste-free way to use them!

Materials

  • Pumpkins (smaller sizes tend to work best)
  • Knife
  • Tea light or votive candle
  • Lighter or matches

Directions

  1. Take a damp cloth, wipe down the top of your pumpkin stem to remove excess dirt or blemishes.
  2. Using your candle as a guide, dot around the border of your candle with a knife.
  3. Take the knife and cut your circle connecting the dots. Be sure to only carve as deep as your candle need be. You dont want it sinking to bottom or falling through completely.
  4. Insert your candle, you may have to clean up the edges in order for it to fit better.
  5. Once in place, melt the wax on the edges to conform to the pumpkin’s shape.

You now have a fun, festive candle! This project is very quick and extreamely easy!

And there you have it!

A complete list of thoughtful, simple ideas that anyone would appreciate receiving!

Have fun and enjoy your holiday festivities!

Oh la la!

The french braid: its versatile, its polished, its out of your face! According to  The French Braid, a website dedicated to this stylish art, french braiding has been around since 400B.C. Hair styling was one of the most popular arts in the 18th century and you would often see braiding in paintings and sculptures.

But this style isn’t cheap. If you were to get it done at a salon, pricing would start at $30. Here there will be a tutorial so that salon expenses can be a thing of the past!

Learning how to french braid can be a useful skill. Olivia Michel, a stylist at The Bluebird Salon and Shop in downtown San Luis Obispo said that braiding prices vary depending on the stylist. She gave some tips for learning how to do it yourself. “Practice! The first time it will take a little while, but the more you practice, the better you will get,” stated Michel.

It’s a great style for people on the go. Jessamyn Liu, a California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo student said, “I do know how to french braid my hair. I learned two years ago from my sister.”

Gwen Olsen learned how to french braid by watching a coworker do her daughter’s hair back in the 1970s. ” I began braiding my daughter’s hair when she was about three. It felt awkward in the beginning  but with practice became as easy as a regular braid, ” said Olsen. ” You can easily ‘glam up’ a french braid for a formal occasion just by embellishing with flowers or jeweled combs or barretes.”

So how can you create this look? The tutorial begins now!

MATERIALS:

  • Brush
  • Hair tie
  • Wave enhancer (optional)

HOW TO:

  1. Make sure your hair is combed out. I usually braid my hair when it is slightly damp. This allows for it to have soft waves once the braid is dry and removed. I like to use a curl enhancer because it controls the possibility of frizz. I use Be Curly by Aveda. (Aveda is great because they use all natural ingredients and they do not test on animals!)
  2. Separate a small section at the top of your head, use a brush to smooth if necessary. This will be the start of your braid!
  3. Separate this section into three parts and begin braiding like a normal braid, starting from the right and crossing over the center piece.
  4. After you have done one complete cross over with all three sections, begin gathering hair from the sides to incorporate into your braid. Try and keep the gathered sections small and smooth. 
  5. Continue down the length of your hair, it will get easier as you work down. As you braid, the three sections will become larger and more distinct.
  6. This is where your arms begin to tire and it becomes harder to reach. Many people try braiding from over their shoulder at this point, but that could result in a twisted braid which will not lay flat. The best option is to keep straight back if you can. You will begin to notice that you are running out of hair to pick up. At this point, finish the braid as if it were a normal three-piece braid.
  7. Now you are coming to the end of the braid. You can end it as high or as low as you please. Secure the end with a hair tie, and there you have it!!

Et Voila! 

Whether you are an athlete out on the field rocking dreadlocks or a school girl on the playground styling pigtails, braids are adroit at being perfect for any occasion. Knowing how to do this craft is useful for an array of people!