Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DIY Canvas Photo Art

I've been trying to get into more DIY projects, especially now that I've moved out and have my own place to decorate. For Chris's birthday, I wanted to make him some sort of personal crafty/artsy thing and I remembered coming across a tutorial for creating your own canvas art with your own photos. I probably came across it when I was making the wood wall art I made for him for Valentine's Day. This canvas art tutorial seemed really simple and cheap, so I decided to go for it. I was right...it was easy and cheap!

IMG_6272a

The whole project costs about $12-$15, depending on brands and what you may already own. I went with a cheaper version and a smaller container for the gel medium since I knew I wouldn't be using it that often. I also had to get paintbrushes, so that added to the cost. I opted for cheap ones there, too. The canvas actually came in a two pack for only $4. It gave me the security of being able to try again if something got messed up, but it didn't so I am going to make another photo canvas for my room with it!

The photo transfer is not supposed to come out perfect, according to the tutorial. I feel that the imperfections create a rustic feel and give it some personality and depth. It takes a good amount of time to get all the paper fibers off, so you have to have some patience and time to do that part. Also note that your image will come out reversed, so if there are words in it then you will have to flip the image.

IMG_6274a


DIY Canvas Photo Art
Source: A Beautiful Mess

Supplies Needed:
-Gel medium (I used Liquitex Basics Gloss Gel Medium)
-Paintbrush
-Canvas (I used 8x10, but you can use any size of your choice!)
-Printed copy of photo (Access to a laser printer is needed)
-Spray bottle
-Water

Instructions:

1. Completely cover your canvas with gel medium. Use a heavy coat.
2. Press the photo copy onto the canvas and let it dry for several hours or overnight.
3. After your image is completely dry, use a spray bottle to wet the top of the paper.
4. Rub the surface with your fingers until pieces of the paper start coming off. When pieces start coming up your image will be revealed. This part takes a while. Be careful not to rub too hard as this can remove your transfer on accident. Continue until all the paper is removed and the image is completely visible!
5. Cover your canvas with one more coat of gel medium to seal and protect the image. Let it dry, and you're done!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blueberry Romp

The second thing to pick in the summer after the strawberries is blueberries! They aren't particularly my favorite, but I do enjoy them and I love baking with them. They are actually Chris's favorite fruit/berry, though. He can't wait for blueberry season each year. There's really nothing like fresh blueberries. They are so much plumper and tastier than the store-bought ones.

IMG_3749a

IMG_6551a

IMG_3753a

IMG_3777a

Blueberries are probably one of the easiest fruits to pick. The bushes are tall enough where you don't have to bend down like strawberries, but not high enough where you have to reach up like the tree fruits (though apple trees don't tend to grow that tall, but orange ones do!). Blueberries come right off the branches, though. It's easy to tell which ones are ready to pick because of how easily they come off. Raspberries are just as easy, and those should be starting soon. I can't wait because those are one of my favorites, at least to eat. Apples will always be my favorite thing to pick just because of the season and festiveness that surrounds apple picking.

IMG_6563a

IMG_3758a

IMG_3755a

I decided to keep it simple and just wear a romper to go picking in. Sometimes you do have to get low to the ground and squat, and it's easier to do that in something where you know your butt won't be showing. Plus, the romper is blue to match the berries! I also wanted to wear this lip color again because I love how bright and vibrant it is. It's great for summer, and it ended up matching pretty well with the reddish flowers in the print of my romper.

IMG_3741a

IMG_6561a

IMG_3760a

It was hard to decide what to bake with the blueberries because I had a lot of blueberry recipes that sounded really good. I ended up deciding on a blueberry crisp since it's pretty simple and delicious. I love fruit crisps and I've really only ever had apple and raspberry, so I figured it was time to try blueberry.

IMG_6559a

IMG_3775a

I picked way too many strawberries last time, so I budgeted how many blueberries I picked this time. I ended up wishing I had picked more so that I had some leftover to either snack on or bake something else with. Crisp is good, but it doesn't last very long since it doesn't make a whole lot...or maybe I just like big portions.

IMG_3776a
IMG_3732a
Romper: Forever 21//Shoes: Payless//Lipstick: Cargo Cosmetics
I'm all done with the summer semester, thankfully. I didn't really like my classes and they were pretty overwhelming, especially with everything I had going on. I'm glad that they are finally over. I'm actually looking forward to my fall classes because one of them I get to read fiction books. We're supposed to read 2-3 a week (it's a class on children/YA literature so they are short books), and I am beyond excited. I haven't gotten to read fiction for a class in years...not since my undergrad! I feel like Hermione with my level of excitement for school stuff. I might start my reading early, just as she would. ;)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

We Need A Bra Revolution

Did you know that about 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size? Well, I was one of them and after reading a lot about it, I thought I'd share some of the information with you all because I strongly feel that we need a bra revolution! I'll start with my story...

I am a busty gal. I know I definitely don't look it, but I have a larger bust. When I was younger I used to wear a 34 band size, but it just seemed off. The back kept riding up (one of the signs that you are wearing the wrong size), and one day it sort of clicked that maybe I needed a smaller band size. I always wear a size small and the bust measurement for size smalls are usually 32 inches, so I sized down to a 32 band size on my own without getting fitted or anything. It fit better, but still the bras I got seemed too small to support me. You may have noticed that when you go to a store to shop for bras, they generally only carry cup sizes A-D with maybe some DDs peppered in. Furthermore, they do not carry bras that have smaller band sizes with larger cup sizes. I ended up always having to order online because I couldn't ever find my size in stores. At this point, I was wearing a 32D.

It wasn't until about a month or so ago when I ordered a bathing suit and tried it on to find that it was way too small that I finally decided enough was enough. I needed to figure out my real bra size, especially since I've been experiencing a lot of upper back pain. I wanted to know once and for all. I did a little research and found some specialty stores in my area. The first one I went to wasn't too much help. They only confirmed that I was wearing the wrong size, but they didn't have a big enough selection of sizes for me to try to find out my size. Again, I did some more research and tried a different store in the area and this one was extremely helpful. They had all of the sizes that I wanted to try based on my sizing research. The woman there measured me and brought in about 10 different bras for me to try on. They stay in the dressing room with you which is a little weird at first, but you get over it. She stayed in there and was able to let me know what she thought about the fit as a professional. Finally, we determined my bra size. I had the band size right, but the cup size was too small. I needed something above D and DD. A size that is not sold in most stores.

I felt so relieved that I had figured out my bra size and could finally get the support I need, but as a consumer, I feel really neglected. Why aren't stores carrying more sizes? Why is there this misconception that smaller women can't have larger breasts? Bras can go from AAA-J cups and 28-52 band sizes, yet you really only see A-DD cups and 32-40 band sizes in stores with anything below 34 band size being only A-C cups. At least this is what I've encountered my entire adult bra shopping life. Why are some women being ignored and forced to shop online, unable to try things on? It seems pretty unfair and inconvenient to me.

In my top-notch super high-tech Googling, I found some great resources that better explain bra sizing and how to figure out your real bra size. Here is a summary of what I learned with some links to where I found them out:

  • Did you know that not all D cups are alike? The whole larger cup size thing is somewhat of a myth. Cup size is dependent on your band size. A 32D is not the same as a 36D. I'm pretty sure a 32D would be equivalent to around a 36B, cupwise. 
  • However, some sister sizes do exist. Again, it depends on the band size which one will fit better on you. This chart is a great and quick little summary.
  • Here is what different bra sizes really look like on different people [May be NSFW]
  • Your bra should not need the straps adjusted too much. It should not ride up in the back, but remain parallel to your body all the way around. There should be no gaps between your rib cage and the part of the bra that rests between your breasts. Your breasts should not be spilling out of the cups, nor should they be swimming in them with huge gaps of space inside. 
  • Try a measurement technique like this if you feel like you might be wearing the wrong size.
  • If you go down a band size, you need to compensate by going up 2 cup sizes.
  • Some brands (such as French brands) may have slightly different sizing
  • If you have trouble finding your bra size in stores, try online shops like Figleaves or HerRoom. Bare Necessities carries a lot of sizes, too.
  • Try this Reddit guide for more info!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

White Is A Rarity

I don't really wear a lot of white, especially something that is plain white. I don't have a staple white t-shirt. I don't have white jeans. The only completely white things I have are a sweater, socks, a bra, and this dress. I have off-white, but not pure white. I have the same dress in purple and upon realizing that I don't really have a plain white dress, I decided that I would get it in white as well since it's so comfy and basic.

IMG_3608a

IMG_3646a

IMG_3629a

IMG_3689a

IMG_3597a

I think I have two turn-offs in regards to white clothing. The first being that I am paranoid that I am going to stain it. I know that I can just wash it, but I don't know. It would just irk me more to get a stain on a bright white dress, especially if I'm at a party or somewhere where I have to live with it until I get home. It's just more noticeable on white. And it always seems that I spill stuff when I'm wearing something I don't want to stain. That is my luck.

IMG_3626a

IMG_3595a

IMG_3703a

IMG_3647a

IMG_3638a

The second thing that turns me off about white clothing is that it's just so plain. Black can be plain as well, but at least it can also be dramatic. And paired with my very pale skin, white can come off a little weird on me. Of course, when I get married I'll be wearing white, but I don't really choose it very often in every day life. White can also be a little overwhelming to style just because there's literally every option possible with it. You can wear any color shoes, accessories, etc. with it and it can be hard to decide what kind of color scheme you really want with it.

IMG_3687a

IMG_3700a

IMG_3715a

IMG_3661a

IMG_3656a

At first I wanted a nautical look, but then I remembered that I wanted to wear this more orangey-coral color lipstick (which I LOVE), so I decided against pure red accessories. I kept the navy polka-dotted sweater that I planned to wear, but opted for the wine-colored shoes. I really love purple and blue together. It's beachy in its own way...sort of like a sunset when the sky is bluish-pink.

IMG_3665a

IMG_3633a

IMG_3710a

IMG_3668a
IMG_3631a
Dress: H&M//Sweater: Forever 21//Belt: Thrifted//Shoes: Naturalizer//Lipstick: Cargo Cosmetics
Speaking of beachy sunsets, I love living so close to the water now. Chris and I watched a sunset the other night and even though it was pretty cloudy, it was still pretty. I love looking at the stars on the beach, too. Sometimes when you're laying on the beach at night, it can look like you're under a big dome and it always reminds me of The Truman Show.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quick Pics

July started out with 4th of July celebrations. A friend of mine had an annual pig roast and Chris and I made bacon macaroni and cheese for it!

IMG_6544

The second week of the month was move-in time, so I had to get serious about packing all of my clothes and moving all of it, plus all my furniture into my new apartment. It sucked to do, but it felt so good once it was done. Afterwards, I spent about 5 days unpacking everything and putting things away. It's finally mostly done with the exception of a couple of boxes. I also have boxes of stuff I want to sell at a tag sale that I have no idea where to put. Chris helped me a lot with putting things away and putting things together. He even wore safety goggles to put together this very dangerous trashcan for my room.

IMG_6581

IMG_6703

One of the many perks of living in my own place with my cousin is that her cat loves me and always spends time with me. She loves to cuddle. I can't even sit on my bed without her jumping up and wanting to get in my lap or lay on me. She also loves to lay on things. Any sort of things will do such as a laptop, a laptop case, or a purse.

IMG_6623

IMG_6626

IMG_6632

IMG_6689

I've been re-reading Harry Potter lately (Happy Birthday to him today, by the way!). I skip the first two books (don't judge) because I don't think it gets really good until the third one. That's the one I started on. I'm on Goblet of Fire now. I plan to watch the movie once I'm done with the book so I can geek out and compare the two. If I could have my own Harry Potter book/movie club, I would but none of my friends would be down...lol. They like Harry Potter, but I don't think they'd want to do a book club. I'd like to host a book club in general, even if it's not Harry Potter. Perhaps I'll have to make it happen at the library, though I'd really like to do it at my place with tea and tasty desserts...or mimosas and brunch.
IMG_6639
IMG_6729

I went to a nautical themed festival this month, which I posted about a couple of posts ago. It wasn't that great, but at least I had a good reason to wear my Hell Bunny sailor dress.

IMG_6604

IMG_6607

This month I also went blueberry picking, which I will post about at a later date. I made blueberry crisp with them, which I will also post about later on. It came out great! I had friends over one night and we made homemade crunchwraps for dinner, which means that I got to keep the leftovers and make taco salad for lunch. :)

IMG_6684

IMG_6736

IMG_6712

Other than all of this, I've just been enjoying my new place and hanging out with friends when I can. I've started riding my bike again. Well, Chris and I went out once so far for a night bike ride to the beach. It was really nice, but also somewhat of a struggle on the hills. I'm definitely not used to it. I don't think I've ridden a bike in about 4 years, and I'm pretty ashamed of it...especially since I really love my bike. I definitely need to keep at using it. It's great exercise that's also fun and enjoyable.