Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Fashion trend: My Tuxedo Style

I've never been huge on the menswear inspired, tuxedo looks. They come around every several years, and just like that, they're baaack! So I was determined to find "my style" of this current trend. I wanted it to have a formal element because, well... tuxedos are! But, I also wanted it to feel comfortable and feminine. I had a gift card to Victoria Secret that I got for Christmas and they have these unbelievably amazing, sequin pants! They are the perfect pair of pants I swear!! The cut looks like a pair of slim sweats and that's what they feel like you are wearing, but then the fabric is full on sequins...all over!! Making them super fancy! So the fact that they feel like sweats and look like a disco ball...well...makes them AMAZING in my book!! Those are the pants I chose for this tux inspired outfit, making them one of the formal elements. Then to make it less formal I paired them with a new T-shirt I got at ILY Couture, it says "Holy Swoon" on the front, has stripes on the sleeves, is made of a super comfy, cotton blend and is the perfect casual element. To make it more tux, I added my black blazer, (it's old, from Express.) To make it more feminine, I accessorized with black heels. (Wishing I had some of those amazing studded Valentino's, they would be perfect!) For jewelry I made a sequined bow and wore it on my pearl necklace to mimic a bow tie on a men's tuxedo. Are you ready to try the tuxedo? I am! And here is my look:
T-shirt: IlyCouture, Jacket: Old, Express, Pants: Victoria Secret, Necklace: FancyEwe Original, Shoes: Old, don't even know what they are, wishing for Valentino's LOL!

I surprised "Handy Hubby" last Saturday night with dinner reservations at the Blue Boar Inn. We dined there last summer and wanted to return to try their "fondue for two". This is what I wore for our hot date!
If I ever hold my arms like this in a picture again, someone please whack me upside the face! 

I am not kidding when I say these are my new favorite pants! They are super comfy and mega sparkly! I may be slightly obsessed with sequins! (Okay...more than slightly!!) If you don't have a pair of these, trust me when I want some!! From my little "Patch-A-Heaven" Have a Fancy Day!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Kid Friendly, Healthy Snack!

 Looking for a way to get some more protein, fiber, vitamins, and omegas into your kids diet without extra refined sugar?? Well, I have something for you today that knocked my kids socks off! They have always loved peanut butter on apple slices (I mean who doesn't?!) But this time I stepped up the nutrition and added some sweet and crunchy variety! I sliced the apples in fourths, cutting out the seeds, and then cut each fourth into thirds. I put peanut butter in a pastry bag and piped it onto the apple slices (you can do this with a knife, but it looks prettier from the pastry bag!) And the same thing with the honey (pastry bag and piped it onto the peanut butter) Then for the final element of added good stuff and exciting crunch...I added Qia Superfood Cereal. I tasted this in yogurt on sample day at Costco and fell in love! I use it daily in my Greek Yogurt with a little honey to sweeten and it's Super Good! So I thought why not try it on the apples and see if I can get the kids to eat it too?? And do the kids eat it you ask? Why yes, yes they do! Not a single one was left on the plate on the trial recipe run. And my 6 year old is making more for herself as we speak. So if you are looking for an easy, yummy and healthy snack for your kids, try this! 
The honey is our home brand of Pure Raw Honey, made by our bees in the backyard. And I think honey is such a beautiful thing! It's color and texture just begged to be photographed! 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Make a Sequin T-shirt, a Tutorial

Because sometimes you just need to have your own poppin' party!
Confetti Push-Pop from Umba, thanks!!
If you aren't wearing are missing out! They are so awesome, so shiny and so in!! (Awesome...that is until they get stuck in my hair, and then I have a love/hate thing with them...Ha!) But, I dig them anyway.
They really are all over fashion these days, (did you see Olivia Wilde at the Golden Globes? Sequin perfection if you ask me!) so I thought I would give you a simple, fast, and pretty cheap way to add DIY sequins to your wardrobe!
 I bought a 1/2 yard of sequin fabric at Joann's, it was on sale for 40% off, Score! Cuz it's kinda spendy otherwise, but if you are only buying a small amount it's not so bad and use your coupon people! (I got two shirts done and some bows for my kids hair!) Then I bought a plain old white T-shirt at Walmart for $3.47, rollback baby!! I already had the Metallic Gold thread. So I did this all for less than $10 bucks!

To begin: You need to unpick the sleeves off the body of the shirt. You can use a seam ripper or scissors, if you use scissors be careful not to cut the fabric. I find it easier to start by clipping or ripping 2-3 of the stitches from the inside and then flipping the shirt back out and continuing cutting the threads from there until the sleeves are completely removed.

Here I'm cutting the threads from the outside of the shirt.

Then once you have removed both of the sleeves, you will then use the old sleeves to be your pattern for new, improved, shinier sleeves!

Here is a look at the shirt without the sleeve.

Then pull off all the broken threads so they don't get sewn back into the shirt.

Nasty, unnecessary threads that need to be removed and thrown away!

Then using the old sleeves you will mark (with a marker) your new sleeve onto the sequin fabric. I folded the sequin fabric in half, with wrong sides out. Make two sleeves facing opposite ways on the sequin fabric. Keep in mind that the T-shirt knit fabric is super stretchy and the sequin stuff..not so much! So you will probably need to add a little length to the bottom of the sleeve when cutting, otherwise the sleeve will not fit.

Here is the old shirt sleeve acting as a pattern for the new one. Place the top of the sleeve at the fold of the sequin fabric.
Here I'm adding a couple inches to make sure it fits with the stretch of the knit.

I added an extra 2" to the bottom of my sleeve and it worked well, yours may vary a bit depending on how stretchy your knit is. But I think adding 2" is enough and then pin the sleeve to the shirt and see if any of the sleeve needs to be trimmed up in order to fit perfectly. Then I used the serger to sew the sleeve seam first. Then I sewed the sleeve to the shirt, also with the serger.

Sewing the sleeve seam. Then it looks like a tube. If you aren't sure if the sleeve will fit I would pin it to the shirt first to get the size right before doing this step!

Sewing the sleeve in.

Here both sleeves are sewn on.

Then I made a heart patch to add to look like a pocket. I just used a heart template (actually it was my heart shaped pin holder and I trimmed it to suit me from there!) And then using Metallic Gold thread on topstitch and white thread on bobbin thread, I zig-zagged around the entire heart to hold it in place. (I held the heart in place using pins and removed them as I went along.)

Heart patch being applied with a zig zag stitch.

Then I trimmed my threads and ta-da!! Super shiny, trendy T-shirt and cost me less than $10 bucks!!

And her she is in all her completeness!! Gorgeously shiny don't ya think?!

When sewing sleeves into shirts I used to always get confused on how to attach, right sides or wrong sides together. So here's the deal: Turn the shirt wrong side out and the sleeve should be right side out and put the sleeve inside the shirt, (so the right sides of the shirt and sequin sleeves are kissing each together) and then line the sleeves up to the shirt. So when you turn the shirt right side out the sewn seams are on the inside and the sequins are outside.)

To style the shirt I went with my black faux leather cropped pants, with gold zipper details (Koodeker), Gold statement necklace and earrings (Cherry Lane Boutique), Gold chain necklace worn as a bracelet (Koodeker), Leopard Print, calf hair signature loafers (Victoria Secret) and a little fun confetti to liven up the party from Umba! Here are some looks from my shoot today with my new sequin shirt:

Word to the wise, when you pop confetti, shut your mouth! Pth, Pth!!
A side braid with a bit of confetti left over!
The shoes and confetti fall-out!

Hope you have a "Fancy Day" and as always thanks for following!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Recipe Share: Tom Kha (Thai Chicken) Soup

When it's cold outside I want nothing more to eat than a great bowl of soup! And one of my favorites is Tom Kha Gai, Thai Soup. (Give me a bowl of that and a basket of Sticky Rice and I'm in heaven!) I had a really great Thai restaurant right here in Payson, (I ordered their soup take out so many times they knew my voice and order over the phone!) But, to my dismay they shut the place down! more Tom Kha within 10 minutes! I still love to go to Thai Village in Provo as often as I get up that way, but I needed a "Thai soup" (as my kids call it) a little closer! So I decided to come up with my own recipe. I love to eat out and then try to recreate those restaurant dishes at home. Yes...there probably are already recipes for this soup online. But what's the fun in that?! I wanted to try it on my own. So I tried to remember the spices and herbs that I saw on the menu and took my first trip to the Asian Market. There is a great market in Provo just off Center St. and 500 West. I had the store clerk help me find everything (since I was a first timer!) I walked out of there with all the ingredients and the ambition to make it happen (oh and a boobing 2 year old!) I worked on the recipe this afternoon and after his nap, the boobing 2 year old is now happily lapping it up like there's no tomorrow! (Good sign!) I really can't believe my kids actually like this soup, but they all have since day one, even my picky eaters. (I thought it was maybe a little too flavorful or complex, but they dig it!)

So here are the ingredients to my soup. (Please keep in mind I'm a White girl from Utah, who has never lived in, or visited Thailand, but I like to try to make my own versions of dishes I like.)
3 Chicken Breasts, sliced finely into pieces about 1/4-1/2" thick and about 2" long.
3 14.5 oz cans Swanson Chicken Broth
2 19 oz cans Coconut Milk, not the light
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Fresh Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 Cup Onion, chopped, I used Sweet Onion
8 oz Mushrooms, whatever kind you like, sliced
1 small Zucchini Squash, halved and sliced about 1/4-1/2" thick
1 Clove Garlic, minced fine
1 Clove Shallot, minced fine
1/2 Tsp Fish Oil
2 Tsp Thai Chili Paste/Sauce I used the garlic flavored one (Asian Store) makes it a little spicy so adjust to your taste
1 Thai Basil leaf (Asian Store), I don't like to eat, just for flavor.
Galangal, (a root resembling Ginger.) I used one whole piece of the root looking thingy, minus the crusty ends, cut into 6 pieces about 1/4-1/2" thick (Asian Store in the freezer, there's also dried, but I think you will get more flavor out of the frozen kind) Don't eat, for flavor only
5 Kaffir Lime Leaves, (Asian Store) they were in the freezer, also don't eat, just for flavor
1 Stalk Lemongrass,  I trimmed off the dirty, ugly outer leaves, then washed and dried, (Asian Store) Don't eat this, just for flavor. Chopped the stalk into about 8 pieces, about 2 inches long each, and I cut a slit in them the long way to allow more flavor to escape. (Asian Store) Don't eat this, just for flavor.

Garnish with chopped red onion or green onion, cilantro and fresh squeezed lime juice. Give her
a shot of Tabasco and it's the bee's knees! ( I put the shot of Tabasco in my bowl as to not burn my children's tender tongues!) 

Chop up all the vegetables and set aside, put all chicken broth and coconut milk in a soup pan over med/high heat with the Lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, Galangal, and Thai basil leaf. Then in a saute pan add the olive oil and red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, shallots, sweet onion, and saute over med heat just until slightly tender, about 5 min. Then add them to the soup pan with the liquid, bring the liquid to a boil and simmer. Chop chicken very thinly and drop into the simmering soup, stir occasionally and simmer for about 5-10 min until chicken is fully cooked. (This will depend on how thick you slice it) I sliced mine about 1/4-1/2" thick and it was done in about 7 min. Then add chili paste/sauce, fish oil, serve with garnish of roughly chopped Cilantro, red or green onion and fresh lime juice. Get ready for a taste bud sensation! And don't forget to smell the aroma of your soup as it simmers, the aroma of the lemon grass and kaffir lime is amazing. And then a shot of Tabasco if you like it a little spicier! And remember not to eat the Lemongrass, Kaffir or Galangal. (it's just to add flavor) We like this soup with Sticky Rice (also can get at the Asian Store) Hope you enjoy! (Everyone in my house seems to be happy with it so far!) And I've eaten a bowl or two myself!! 
Veggies chopped and ready for some Saute!

After a short 4-5 min Saute.
This is what the Galangal looks like (in case you are a first timer like me!)
Galangal all chopped.
The Kaffir Lime Leaves. Sorry a little blurry!
The Thai Basil Leaf.
Everything's in but the Chicken, now to get it to a boil and then add chicken and simmer.
Now Garnish and enjoy! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Pop Art FashionTrend Inspired T-shirt Transformation

I know it's only January, but I'm already looking forward to Spring Fashion. Call me eager or call me crazy! It may be that I hate Winter, it may be that I love Fashion and Fashion Week is only a month away. Or it may be that I love the new. And if you read Vogue, they predict a new spirit of personality and individuality in fashion this year. And they say it will be the year of dressing dangerously! Are you ready for dangerous?! Well.. I'm ready, and I say BRING IT!! If there is one thing about me (good or bad), I'm not afraid to be myself. I'm not afraid to dress the way I want. I don't want to look like everyone else. Yes, I follow trends that I like, but it's much more fun to start your own! If you aren't ready for dangerous, I say just make your style more you. Let your true personality shine through in your clothes. For me, I love trying to give current runway fashion trends a dose of my own individuality, always have! And today I want to share with you one of my favorite Spring 2014 runway fashion trends....POP...ART!! It's bold, it's artsy, it's black, white and pops of color. I love the use of Primary Colors with black and white best!
I really like this trend so you will probably see it a lot in the next few months. For today I have a DIY project to share. This was inspired by my love of this trend and the awesome Celine outfit Cate Blanchett is wearing on the cover of Vogue this month. So here is my attempt to bring my own dangerous individuality to the pop art trend in the form of a T shirt transformation!

What I bought:
Fabric Paint, I chose Tulip Dimensional Fabric Paint, in Metallic Black, Red, Blue and Yellow

What I already had on hand: (Because I also love creating new, trendy clothes that are easy on the budget!)
Old paint rollers, one small and smooth, and one large and textured (I have used these on various home projects, but they worked just fine! And I washed them up for use again! )
Cardboard and newspaper for mess control
Small foam paintbrushes, these are also washable and reuseable!
1 $3.00 White Fruit of the Loom Men's Large T-shirt, from Walmart (designer, I know, but it's what I had!)

What I did:
 Because the T shirt was a men's large and I'm a size 0-2 and have a female shape, I needed to take the shirt in. (Yes, I could have bought my own size, but I wanted this to be a longer, and I already had a men's shirt, so I was saving $ using the one I had)  I put the shirt on inside out and marked with safety pins where it needed to be tapered in. Then I marked lines with a pencil and cut off the excess. I cut some off the sleeves too. Then sewed the new seams with my serger, starting at the sleeve and ending at the bottom hem of the shirt. Turned it right side out, tried it on to make sure it fit and then got creative, individual and dangerous! (Yes, I'm laughing at myself saying that!!)

For the fun part......I put lots of Metallic Black paint in a piece of cardboard and rolled the small, smooth roller in it and went to town rolling it over the T-shirt (that I lined with newspaper to block transfer through to the back). Then I added the other colors using the larger, textured roller. Then I used the foam paint brushes so make some more definite lines in places. And for dangerous individuality's sake I added some art work of my own in the form of a heart, star and lips!

I really liked how it turned out!'s not the amazing Celine number, but it is dangerous individuality nonetheless!

Hope you like my little T-shirt Transformation! And I hope it inspires you to show your own "dangerous individuality" this Season!

  Here are some pics from today's project!

Here I am looking super hot in my manly T-shirt. (Sarcastic, before transformation)
Here I have marked the excess fabric to be removed using safety pins.
Here I've laid the shirt out and marked the line to sew along with a pencil.
Then I cut off the excess shirt!
Sewing the new side seam with the serger.
Here I've cut excess off the sleeves too.
My new, more girly artists palette!


My tools and Inspo!


Ready for creativity!

Let's get this party started!! Dip, roll, and repeat baby!


Now to add those pops of color!


Notice how my assistant is super careful about his paint placement! (Yes, sarcasm!) Don't be precise, just go with it and have fun!

To style the shirt I went with Moto, it's a trend hot right now and I kinda like it!
Here's the finished project!


The Jacket: Wilson Red Leather Moto, thanks to my seester (it's hers, but I thought it would look bomb with the shirt!) The Jeans J Brand Highwaist skinnies.


The Boots, Victoria Secret Motos 

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Making of a Window Shade

Hi friends! Hope this New Year is treating you well!! It's the time of year when I tend to look around my house and want to fix and organize. And there is one thing that's really been bothering me! I don't sleep in very often, because I just have too much to do! But, I have a sweet little boy that loves to come into my bed early every morning and snuggle. (I mean who can resist that?!) And it never fails, we are snuggling and pretty soon the sun comes up, shines through this half round window in my room (my room faces East) the light reflects off a mirror and straight into my eye! That is a snuggle breaker for sure!! So I decided to do something about it. I made a simple, yet effective window shade. I had a Home Depot cardboard box that I wasn't using, so I measured the window and cut out a piece of cardboard to fit in the window. Then I wanted it to be prettier than cardboard so I made a cover for it out of some left over Chambray Denim fabric I had from another project. I made a couple of ruffles and hot glued them on and I think it turned out pretty good. And people....I may not leave my bed now, LOL!

Here is the window of death:

Here is the box I started with:

After measuring the dimensions of the window, I cut out the shape from the cardboard.

Then I cut out the fabric, just and inch or so larger than the cardboard, then sewed the right sides together leaving the straight end open to put the cardboard into, then when the cardboard was inserted, I sewed the end shut.

Here the cardboard has been inserted and straight hole closed.

Here is the shade with the two ruffles attached, and it in the window.

Here it is completed.

Now...the only problem I might have is not snuggling, forever!! The good thing is the shade is completely removable so if I don't get my work done I can always take the shade out!! If you have a snuggle ruining window, just make a shade and snuggle on!! I know I'm going to take every opportunity to do so while this boy still thinks it's cool!

Don't be surprised if there are lots of home improvement projects coming to the blog this month! I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but I do like to clean, re-organize and fix things around my house this time of year. Hope you have a great day from "Patch-A-Heaven!"