DIY Tribal Print Shorts

Revamping old clothes can be a great way to create edgy and one-of-a-kind looks. I combined two of my favorite summer trends, dip-dyeing and tribal prints, into one fabulous project! I turned a pair of boring denim shorts into a pair of super, stylin’, swell shorts!

DIP-DYE BLEACHED SHORTS DIY INSTRUCTIONS HERE

Materials

  1. Pair of dip-dyed denim shorts
  2. Black fabric marker (or Sharpie marker)
  3. Ballpoint Pen
  4. Pencil
  5. Cardboard or Newspaper

Instructions

On one side of the shorts trace out the tribal print pattern with pencil.

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Tribal print pattern consist of many triangles, circles, and lines. Keep in mind that tiny, complicated patterns will be much harder to draw with a marker and will not look as appealing to the eye. Make your patterns bigger like the one pictured. Be creative! Follow the pattern that I have created if you wish. When done tracing the pattern with pencil, trace over it again in pen so that you can see the pattern more clearly.

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Place a piece of cardboard or newspaper in the leg of the shorts (as pictured above) to prevent the shorts from getting unwanted marker stains. Carefully trace over the pattern using the marker. Take your time using the marker because if you make a major mistake here, there is NO going back. DRAW ON!

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With <3,

SEMtimes

P.S. Notice the studs on the left pocket for added flair…

Quick DIY Beribboned Sweater

Hey bloggies!

Today I have a quick DIY for you to do on the run or as you’re getting dressed in the morning! It’s simple and quick but has major style impact and can take a boring sweater from blah to ‘ahhh!’

It’s a simple but classy ribbon bow at the cuff of your sweater sleeve!

All you need are:

Thin ribbons of any color

A needle with an eye large enough to thread the ribbon

An open knit or crochet sweater

Open knits are perfect for cool summer days: not revealing but still keep you from overheating. They’re great especially if you live in foggy San Francisco!

Here are some sweater ideas (I used the H&M one):

If you’re hesitant about trying a DIY on your prized open knit sweater (especially if you have one costing upwards of $100 :o), don’t worry; using an open knit/crochet sweater makes this DIY perfect since you can remove the ribbons at any time!

Simply thread the ribbon through the needle, roll up the sleeves of the sweater, then pull the ribbon though your sweater right at the point where the rolled-up part ends and the upper sleeve begins. Pull the other end of the ribbon around from under the cuff, then tie a bow. Voila!

More ideas:

Attach a ribbon bow to the top of the pocket of the sweater (if it has one) kind of like this

Tie a bow from ribbon threaded through the collar area of the sweater like this

And that’s all there is to it! I prefer my crochet/open weave sweaters in cream, white, or neutral colors but you can do any color combo! My favorites: cream sweater with black ribbon, forest green sweater with navy ribbon, dark grey sweater with periwinkle ribbon, tan sweater with neon coral ribbon….

I hope you found this tutorial easy and useful! It can be done even while wearing the sweater and so can be a quick addition to your morning routine :)

Much love,

SEM

Nutty and Fresh Whole Wheat Bread

Hey bloggies,

Have you ever had one of those days where you have a craving for the smell of baking bread to spread through your house? Even on hot summer days, baking bread can be so rewarding!

Mmmmm…

I’m here today to give you the recipe to make your own homemade bread! It’s as easy as one-two-three as long as you have the time and dedication to make delicious bread! Just know that it won’t keep very long since it has no store-bought preservatives (not that this yummy bread will last that long anyways; we eat our entire loaf in less than a day!).

There are three simple processes in making bread: Mixing, proofing, and shaping. Once you have these down, you can make any kind of bread you want!

I’m going to show you how to make a recipe for three-seed whole wheat bread I adapted from the cookbook of Sarabeth’s Bakery in New York. I decided to use white whole wheat flour instead of regular whole wheat for a milder flavor, but you can use whichever satisfies your taste buds!

Three-Seed Whole Wheat Bread

adapted from the recipe for Sarabeth’s House Bread in Sarabeth’s Bakery

makes 1 loaf of bread

1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup and 2 tablespoons water, divided

1 cup cold water

1 1/4 cups and 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cups and 2 tablespoons bread flour, with more if necessary

1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Softened butter for greasing bowl and pan

1 tablespoon egg product, for glazing (you can use a whole beaten egg but be aware you will have a lot leftover)

Sprinkle active dry yeast over 2 tablespoons of warm water in a small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the contents of the bowl along with the remaining 1 cup of cold water and the honey to a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer). Whisk to combine.

If you have a stand mixer, use your paddle attachment. Otherwise, like me, use your normal hand mixer. Stir together the white whole wheat flour, 1 cup and 2 tablespoons of the bread flour, the cornmeal, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, and the salt in a large bowl. Add the flour and seed mixture to the mixer bowl, mixing on low speed. Beat until the dough starts to form.

Gradually, add as much of the remaining 1/4 cup of bread flour as needed to form a rough dough that scrapes from the sides of the bowl. At this point, move your dough onto a floured workspace (I use flour on top of parchment) to start kneading. (If you have a stand mixer, switch from paddle attachment to dough hook on medium-low speed.) Knead until the dough is smooth, slightly sticky but not sticking to the workspace, but not over-floured.

Buter a medium bowl and shape the dough into a ball. Roll the ball around the bowl until coated with butter, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit in a warm area until the dough is twice as large, about 1 1/4 hours. This is the first proofing.

Butter an 8 by 4 by 2 1/2-inch aluminum loaf pan (standard size). Gently press the dough to deflate it a little, then pat it into an 8 inch-long rectangle. Roll from the long side into an 8 inch-long loaf, then pinch the seam closed. Place the loaf seam down into the pan.

Time for the second proofing. Place the pan along with a tall glass of hot (not boiling) water either in a large bag (like a garbage bag) or in your oven on the proofing setting. If using the bag, close it while slightly inflated so the bag doesn’t stick to the top of the dough. Let the dough sit until the top of the loaf reaches the top of the pan or even an inch higher, about 45 minutes.

Remove your loaf pan and glass of water from the bag/oven. Place your oven rack in the center position and preheat to 375° F. Brush the top of the loaf lightly without deflating the bread) with the egg. Bake until the loaves are brown on top and bottoms sound hollow if tapped, about 40 minutes. If you want browned, crusty sides of the bread, carefully slip the loaf out using dishcloths to check the sides. Place foil over the top to prevent it from browning further, then replace the loaf in the pan back in the oven to brown sides more.

Cool the loaf on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan to cool completely on the rack. For the best bread structure, cool for an hour before slicing. For the yummiest warm bread taste, eat immediately. :)

With love,

SEM

Dip-Dye Ombre Shorts

Bloggers! Apologies for the long break between posts! Let’s take a poll shall we? Who doesn’t like to tie dye? …Exactly, NO ONE!

Back to the point…while walking through the local Urban Outfitters last week I spotted a gorgeous pair of dip-dyed shorts. The price tag: $50! but but but but…WHY!??? They were so simple looking almost as if I could make them…(lightbulb goes off) MYSELF! I ran to the nearest Forever 21 and got a pair of white denim shorts and picked up some RIT dye at the craft store. I was on my way to becoming the world’s newest dip dye expert!

Materials:

  • Plastic Gloves (You don’t want blue hands, eh?)
  • Bucket
  • Mixing Stick or Clothes Hanger
  • Tablespoon
  • Sink
  • Hot water
  • RIT Liquid Dye (I used Royal Blue because I’m fancy like that)
  • White Denim Shorts (preferably a cotton/poly blend or 100% cotton)Image

Procedure:

  1. Fill your bucket with 1 gallon of hot water
  2. Put on your gloves on (snap! snap!)
  3. Pour two tablespoons of liquid dye into the water
  4. Mix the water and dye (I used a plastic clothes hanger as a mixer which is questionable…but hey at least it worked!)
  5. Dunk the shorts entirely in the dye mixture and soak for 15 seconds REFER TO DIAGRAM ABOVE
  6. Wring out extra dye from shorts and hang them up temporarilyImage
  7. Approximate and add half the bottle of liquid dye to the dye mixture (Don’t freak out it will not be perfect…but then again nothing’s perfect ;)
  8. Use your mixing device and make sure the dye is swirled into bucket
  9. Hold the hem of the shorts and dunk the shorts in until the end of the zipper hits the dye mixture and hold them there for 45 seconds (Don’t complain, just do it. Sing a song to pass the time along. Wait…did I just quote Mary Poppins?) REFER TO DIAGRAM ABOVE
  10. REPEAT STEP 6! Wring them out, and HANG THEM (That’s right… SEND THEM TO THE NOOSE!…just kidding)
  11. Now add the remaining liquid dye to the bucket and mix it in
  12. Hold the shorts by the hem and dip just the top of the shorts in (until the tip of the pockets hit the dye) and leave them in the dye for 5 minutes REFER TO DIAGRAM
  13. REPEAT STEP 6!
  14. Let the shorts sit (hang them by the hem like pictured above) for 5 minutes to let the dye set a little bit before you rinse them out under cold water until the water runs clear
  15. SMILE :) because you are now the proud owner of a spectacular pair of shorts!
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I hope you have an un-dyeing adoration for your new shorts! Next time your friend is about to buy a pair of overpriced dip dye shorts just pull up this link and wag your finger at her/him.

Amount I could have potentially spent on Urban shorts: $50

Amount I spent on shorts and dye: $25

Amount I saved: $25 (cha-ching!)

How are YOU going to spend the money you saved by making these shorts? Decisions…decisions…

With love,

SEM

P.S. Stay posted for a dip-dyed button-up tutorial!

DIY Lip Scrub

Hey there bloggies!

Summer is getting really hot and dry around here, and I’m finding that I need something better than just lip balm to keep my lips healthy. So, I decided to make my own DIY lip scrub! :D

All you need for this DIY is three ingredients; it’s that simple! So, let’s get started!

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon lip balm     1 packet raw/turbinado sugar     a few drops olive oil

I used Smith’s Rosebud Salve for the lip balm, but Vaseline or Aquaphor could work just as well. I love the Rosebud Salve though because it gives a pretty rosy color and smells great!

The sugar is your average packet from a coffee shop, but be sure it’s raw/turbinado sugar to get the coarse texture so that it’ll work for scrubbing at your lips!

Your choice of oil can vary; many beauty blogs choose coconut oil for their DIYs but olive oil is much more common and handy. In a pinch, you could also use canola  or vegetable oil. Just do whatever works for you!

All you have to do is mix the three ingredients into a paste. Then, apply a generous coat to your lips and rub it around as you would an exfoliating body scrub.

When you’re done, wipe or wash off the scrub. You may need to use a strong soap to get the goopiness of the lip balm off your fingers :)

Aaaaaand…..voila! Here are your new shiny lips! Make sure to apply a coat of lip balm to seal off your hard work! I recommend using this scrub every few weeks to maintain healthy lips. Bonus: It works just as well during the summer as during the dry, cold winter! Just make sure to store extra in an airtight container to prevent ants (yuck!)…

With love,

SEM

Costa Rica-Inspired Batidos

Salutations bloggies!

We just got back from a great vacation in Costa Rica and among all the amazing things we saw and experienced, one of the greatest was the food! This will hopefully be one of the many Costa Rican-inspired food posts to come.

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Don’t those drinks look delicious? They’re called batidos which I’ve come to understand means something along the lines of smoothie in English. In the disgustingly humid weather of Costa Rica, where taking a step is like pushing through a pile of wet towels, a batido, a yummy and refreshing combination of tropical fruit, milk, and ice is the perfect thing no matter what country you’re in. With all the heat this summer is bringing, this simple yet delicious batido recipe is bound to make your tastebuds tingle and cool you off. Let’s get started!

Let’s start off with some ingredients! I decided to make a blackberry batido because that was the flavor I enjoyed the most in Costa Rica. In thinking about the ingredients, I realized using fresh blackberries, while more flavorful and healthy, would make things extremely difficult because of their seeds. In the end, I decided to use a smoother substitute: blackberry jam. I know what you’re thinking. Blackberry jam seems cheap, overly sweet, full of artificial flavors. However, not all jam has to be like that, and mine certainly wasn’t. Here’s the recipe:

1/2 cup of non-fat milk

1/2 cup of vanilla ice-cream

2 heaping tablespoons of blackberry jam (or some other jam or concentrate would work equally well for different flavors)

2 ice cubes

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As you can see the ingredients are extremely simple and easy to buy. All you have to do after that is throw it all in a blender and let it go until smooth.

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Be warned that this is not a thick smoothie, but more of a creamy, fruity juice, or in other words, a batido.

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Mmmmm, so delicious. As mentioned above, feel free to use other jams or frozen concentrates to vary your flavors. Hope you’ve enjoyed this super easy but super delicious recipe. Keep an eye out for more Costa Rica-themed posts!

With love,

SEM

Nail Art: Contrasting Colors, Shapes, and Textures

Hiya bloggies!

For our third nails tutorial, I decided to make things super easy. In addition to being easy, this tutorial is also really versatile, making it perfect for everyone, no matter what your preference!

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To give some basic information, the design above is based on the simple idea of contrasting opposite or nearly opposite colors on the color wheel to get a nice pop on your nails. However, I took it one step further by not only using contrasting colors, but also adding different textures of polishes (matte and glitter) as well as some interesting shapes.

Here’s what you’ll need: two contrasting colors of nail polish (I used a matte deep blue from L.A. Colors and a glittery gold from Milani, both procured at my local drugstore), a couple of Q-tips, and, in my case, some nail polish remover.

ImageTo start, I just painted two coats of the blue matte polish onto all of my nails. As always, make sure to let the first coat dry before painting on the second. Depending on how opaque your polish is, you may want to do more than two coats.

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After, I took out my Q-tips and painted some gold polish onto the end of the Q-tip.

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Then, using the Q-tip, I just dabbed the polish onto each nail in an inverted triangle shape. If I did too much gold, I just added some blue over it until I got the look I wanted. See the picture below!

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As you can see, my painting is kind of messy, but it didn’t matter because afterwards I just took another Q-tip dipped in nail polish remover and dabbed at the messy paint parts until they disappeared! :)

Hope you enjoyed this new post, and remember that you can and should take this idea and make it your own with your own polishes!

Much love,

SEM