Monday, December 22, 2014

Easy DIY Marquee Sign

Easy DIY Marquee Sign

Want to brighten up your space with some festive decor? Make this easy DIY Marquee Sign to light up any word or phrase. I chose to do "Be Merry" for the holidays, but you could easily do a name or a work like "LOVE". Here's what you need and how to get this fun look.

- Paper Mache Letters (I used 8" ones, but you can pick which size you like best)
- Christmas Lights (Mini clear lights with at least 100 bulbs)
- Exacto knife
- Clear tape
- Paint (optional)

Easy DIY Marquee Sign

Step 1: Using your Exacto knife, remove the front panel of your letters - it's hallow, so cut along the seam of the edges.
Optional: I left my letters the color it came because I liked the natural craft look, but you could spray paint the letters at this time any color you like to go along with your decor. Gold or a bright red or even turquoise would look awesome!
Step 2: Take a pencil and mark where each light will go on each letter, you want it to be spaced at least an inch apart. Keep in mind how many light bulbs you have on your string lights and how many letters you have to space out accordingly. I put between 7 and 12 lights on each letter.
Step 3: Using your Exacto knife, carefully make a small X where each mark is on your letters and push the back of your exacto knife through to make enough room to slide in a light.
Step 4: Think of where you will plug this in, I knew I had my outlet on the left of where I wanted to display this, so I started with the end of the letters and placed my lights accordingly into each hole.
Step 5: Once all the lights are in place, use clear tape to secure some of the loose wires to the letters to make sure they don't show or lights pop out of their spot./
Step 6: Align and place your letters where you want to display them! Because the letters are pretty light, you may want to prop them up against something, especially to hide the wires behind.

Easy DIY Marquee Sign

Shine bright and be merry!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holiday gift ideas for everyone

Countdown to Christmas - We're just a week away, are you still trying to finish up that holiday list? Here's some holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list.

For the guys in your life... Dad, brother, best friend, boyfriend...
Anything techie or to do with beer and whiskey always make a good gift.

For the hostess with the mostest... do you have some one who love to entertain? Fancy drink coasters and cocktail vessels always make a great gift!
For your BFFs and sisters... The holidays are the best for amazing beauty sets. There's so much value in these little gift packs offered by Sephora and Ulta. Dainty jewelry is always another great option!

For your Momma... These skincare and makeup sets are perfect!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Love Warehouse Sales

image via fb.com/obey

There's lots of warehouse/sample sales happening this weekend in LA and OC! I'm a huge bargain hunter, so I'm always up for a good warehouse sale. Now is the perfect time to get those Christmas gifts and a little something for yourself. Here's some that I saw that would be worth checking out. I frequent the site warehouseweekends.com to see when there are sales in my area of brands I love.

Stila: December 13, 2014 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Stila Cosmetics Warehouse Sale @ The Doll Factory
1910 W Temple St.
Los Angeles , CA 90026
Deals of up to 80% Shop a wide assortment of makeup, skincare items, fragrances, and tools.
More info.
Brandy Melville: December 13, 2014 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Brandy Melville Warehouse Sale
664 S Santa Fe Ave
Los Angeles , CA 90291
All items will be priced at $5, $10, or $15! Shop signature tees, fashion tops, sweaters, knits, skirts, pants, dresses, and more. CASH ONLY.

Obey: The one I always look forward to the most! They are returning with 2 weekends this time around. More info.

December 13, 2014 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 14, 2014 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

December 19, 2014 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 20, 2014 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 21, 2014 7:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Obey Warehouse Sale
2722 Michelson Dr.
Irvine, CA 92612
December 13, 2014 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
December 14, 2014 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Volcom Warehouse Sale
4271 Edison Avenue
Chino, CA 91710
More info.

Tips and Tricks for finding the best deal:
1.) Know before you go. Check out the company's websites to see what kinds of clothes you like and know the value. If you have time, go somewhere that you can try those clothes on to know your size.
2.) Be comfortable. Don't wear bulky clothes or carry a bulky purse that will get in your way of digging thru boxes. It's best to wear slim fitting clothes in case you need to try clothes on over yours (secretly, if they don't allow you to). I usually opt for skinny jeans or leggings.
3.) Don't go overboard. It's easy to caught up and throw everything in your giant trash bag. Make sure you have in mind at least 3 outfit ideas of how to incorporate your purchases into you waredrobe. And always remember, don't buy what you can't affort!

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Marsala - Pantone's Color of the Year 2015

Pantone just announced their 2015 Color of the Year, and it's Marsala! Read the announcement at http://www.pantone.com/coloroftheyear. This year was Radiant Orchid, and the year before was Emerald. What do you think of Marsala Pantone's Color of the Year 2015? I was a bit surprised at this color choice since the last few years have been such bold and bright colors. The color is definitely growing on me as I look and the many ways to incorporate this color into my life. 

Marsala is a bold neutral that picks up tones of brown and red reminiscent of Marsala wine. It is an awesome color when it comes to beauty products. As we all know, the nude and brown lip is totally on trend. The color is like a neutral with attitude! Click on the items in the photo above to shop the items.

More Marsala picks:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Threads :: Capes, Ponchos and Blanket Scarves

All this rainy weather has got me thinking about cozy fuzzy threads- especially Capes, ponchos and blanket scarves. These have been my latest obsession as the weather gets colder. These pieces are on my wishlist and look so comfy to snuggle up in. To make sure that you don't get swallowed up in these over sized pieces, pair them with skinny jeans or shorts and tights/over the knee socks. I love how effortless, stylish and comfortable this look is.

More Capes, Ponchos, and Blanket Scarves

Monday, December 1, 2014


Didn't get enough of the Black Friday sales? Here's your chance to get some major shopping in with these Cyber Monday Deals - the biggest online shopping day of the year! Here's some clothing, shoe and makeup deals out there I wanted to share with you. Happy Shopping!
  • Steve Madden: 35% off + free shipping with the code CYBER | Plus additional 50% off clearance with code OMG
  • Sole Society: 30% off all shoes and bags
  • ShoeMint: 60% off full priced items & 25% off sale items with code EXTRA25
  • Forever 21: Spend $60 get 20% off with code CYBER20, spend $100 get 30% off with code CYBER30 | Plus extra 30% off Clearance
  • ASOS: 30% off everything with code ILOVEMONDAYS
  • ROMWE: $5 off $50 with code CYBERMONDAY5, $15 off $100 code CYBERMONDAY15, $30 off $200 code CYBERMONDAY30
  • Urban Outfitters: $50 off $150, $25 off $100, $15 off $75
  • Express: 50% off everything
  • Lulu's: Extra 40% off Sale with code MONDAY40 and free shipping
  • J Crew: 30% off full-price styles & extra 40% off sale styles with code MONDAY.
  • J Crew Factory: 50% Off Everything. Plus, get an extra 10% OFF & Free shipping with code YOUVEGOTSALE.
  • Kate Spade: 30% off everything with CYBER30
  • Nasty Gal: Select items up to 50% off
  • Planet Blue: 25% off everything with MANICMONDAY
  • H&M: 30% off + free shipping with 2896
  • Victoria's Secret: $20 off $125, free shipping on $50 and buy 1 get 1 50% off bras
  • Sephora: $10 beauty deals
  • Ulta: Select deals plus 19 pc beauty bag w/ $60 purchase
  • Crate & Barrel: 15% off with SAVE15 plus free shipping

Saturday, November 22, 2014

DIY Shower Coffee Scrub

I love scrubs, they're great for keeping your skin super soft when the winter months dry you out. I've seen coffee scrubs out there for sale like Frank's Coffee Scrub, but felt I could DIY one with items I had in my kitchen instead of spending the extra $. I did some research and saw some different way to make this at home that I couldn't wait to try out. This DIY Shower Coffee Scrub helps target dry skin, stretch marks and cellulite. It also smells amazing because of the coffee and would also make a great gift!

Shower Coffee Scrub
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee (I used regular coffee, no special flavoring) 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (even better if you can coarsely grind up a stick of it)
Mix all of these ingredients together in an airtight container, (I used a small mason jar w/ a screw top lid.

To Use: Massage scrub over clean damp skin in circular movements (I'd recommend doing this in the shower, it'll get messy!). Let the scrub sit on your skin for 5-10 minutes to allow for the caffeine in the coffee and the other ingredients do it's thing. Rinse and pat dry (you might want to use a little soap when rinsing if you don’t want too much oil left behind on your skin).

The scrub will keep for about 2 months if kept in a cool, dry place.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Holiday Dressing

If you're like me, the holidays have completely crept up on you. Holiday parties with friends and family are popping up, so what do you wear?? Black, Lace and Sequins are classic for the holidays and here's my picks for some amazing outfits for any budget to get your Holiday Dressing on! The most important thing is that to look fabulous, you must feel it also, so make sure you are comfortable in whatever you choose to wear.

What are you planning on wearing?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Contour and Highlight with Sarah Sori

I'm excited to bring you guys a guest post by the ever so talented Sarah Sori! She is my go to makeup expert and is amazingly creative with her makeup looks. Follow her on Instagram (@SarahSori), like on Facebook and subscribe on YouTube. I've always wanted to learn how to contour and highlight like all the photos I see on Pintrest and Instagram, but I didn't think it would be this easy! Sarah shows us how in her quick 5 min video below. Read on to learn how!


Highlighting and contouring is a fantastic, fast, and easy way to bring out your best facial features and a way to create an illusion of your desired facial shape.

Many people, myself included, probably have wondered just what products to use and exactly how to do it. My five minute video will show you how to highlight and contour using 3 different types of products. You can really use any type of product, as long as you have a shade that is a bit lighter than your own and darker than your own. It took me a lot of trial and error to find the perfect shades to highlight and contour with. The colors to use will be different for every skin tone, so just get yourself out to Ulta or Sephora and start sampling different colors on yourself.

Highlighting and contouring will also differ slightly for the type of face you have. The technique that I show you in the video pretty much covers the general face type (bringing out the tops of the nose to make it look thinner and taller, contouring under the cheekbones and around the face to make my face appear slimmer). But if you have a tiny face with very narrow cheeks like our author Mindy and Michelle Phan, you wouldn't contour around your chin or on the bottom part of your face. If you have a tiny forehead, you wouldn't contour the forehead because they would make your forehead appear even smaller. But if you had a huge Tyra Banks forehead, you would contour the heck out of it.

My goal for my YouTube video tutorials is to make beauty accessible to everyone, even to people who are makeup illiterate. It is my hope to explain techniques and tools necessary to achieve that look at a level where everyone can understand and be encouraged to try it for themselves.

So watch the video, like it, and subscribe to my channel if you like what you see!
You can also find my work on Instagram @sarahsori.

Products used in the Contour and Highlight Video:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

IKEA Lack Table Hack + my new AquaFarm

I've been loving the look of shiny gold dipped things. I recently got a new AquaFarm made by Back to the Roots and was in need of a small table to set it on. I decided to keep it clean and pick up a simple LACK table by Ikea - only $7! I knew I wanted to spruce it up a bit, so I thought gold dipped legs would be perfect! Keep reading to see my Ikea LACK side table hack.

A quick review on the AquaFarm so far -- I'm so excited about it - I've been eyeing this thing for a while now. I love the idea of growing your own food and that the fish helps to fertilize the plants, and the plants help to filter the water for the fish. The science behind it: The fish doesn't eat the roots from the plants so I still feed it fish food normally, but the plants act as a natural filter to convert the waste from the fish into nitrites and then nitrates. The plants then take up the nitrates as the nutrients they need to grow. I've had my tank for a week now and had a bit of a rough start with my fish. I won't get into the details, but our first fish didn't survive past 3 days and then we got a new fish. We found that although it seems really easy to set up, the AquaFarm may be a bit tricky if you don't follow directions exactly.

2 things important things I learned:
1. Don't listen to the directions about the food - it said to feed the fish 2-3xs per day - you should only feed a betta 1x a day max (4-5 pellets).
2. Also, pick up a heater - they like their water to be about 80 degrees. Fish #2 seems pretty happy and the plants are growing.. FAST!

You can pick up your own AquaFarm here:

Now, on to the Ikea LACK table hack in 7 steps!
1.) Start by figuring how much gold you want to have at the bottom of your table legs - we went with 4.5"
2.) Use a pencil and a ruler to draw a line around each leg as a guide.
3.) Use blue painters tape and follow the pencil lines.
4.) We cut up old paper bags to use to cover the parts we didn't want the gold paint to get on like below:
5.) In a well ventilated area, start by spraying thin layers of gold on each side of the legs - make sure to read all the safety instructions on your paint before you get started.
6.) Do a 2nd coat and let it dry over night.
7.) Once it's dry, you can remove the tape and paper, and voila! You've got a new fancy table.

More gold dipped things to be inspired by... what would you dip in gold?
Inspiration (left to right, top to bottom): 1234,  56

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Nordstrom Sale!

I'm a huge bargain hunter and can never pass up a sale! Nordstrom's is having a huge clearance sale right now with up to 40% off, so I just wanted to pass along the things I was eyeing to my fellow readers.  What I love about shipping at Nordstrom's is their return policy, I can shop without guilt and if I really don't want an item anymore, i can return anytime so I don't need to worry about timelines.

Check out the Nordstrom Sale here.

My picks are below for some staples for fall/winter. Hover over the images to view the sale price. I'd love to hear of any other sales going on that I shouldn't miss out on.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween Outfit and Half Skull Makeup

Hi! Hope you all had an amazing Halloween! I love Halloween because its a time of year where you really can wear whatever you want and really have fun with it. I stopped in at my friend's studio on Halloween to get some shots of my Halloween outfit I wore to work (photos shot by Rocky Halim Photography). I didn't want to go in full costume so I went with a more vampy version of my everyday self.

Here's what I wore:
Tobi Ruffled Tier Dress
F21 Crepe Kimono
Nasty Gal ShoeCult Booties
Skeleton Cameo Choker
DIY Skull Bracelets
NYX Simply VAMP Lip Cream

Get the look here:

I also did a half skull face over the weekend. I looked up some photos on instagram and pintrest to use as reference photos. I didn't want to cover my entire mouth because I didn't want to worry about retouching it if I were to eat or drink something so I kept it minimal on my lips.
1.) I used black eyeshadow to first sketch out where the white and black would go.
2.) I then used NYX jumbo eye pencils in Milk and Black Bean to fill in the respective black and white areas on my face.
3.) Using a small sponge, I blended out the white then black parts and sharpened the edges with a black gel liner.

Product used:
What were you for Halloween? What do you think about this look?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Threads :: Vineyard Adventures

A few weeks ago, we traveled to Napa for a mini vacay. Check out my last post on what we ate there. We got to stay at an awesome property with a vineyard right in the backyard. It was the perfect opportunity for a casual photo shoot. I love this black long-sleeved lace panel dress - it's boho and dark at the same time!

Here's what I'm wearing:
Tobi Belle Lace Dress
Nasty Gal Shoe Cult Suede Boots
DIY Necklace

I had my amazing sister-in-law Sarah do my makeup for this shoot (check her out on instagram:@sarahsori) She did a Kylie Jenner look using these Products: Urban Decay Naked2 Palette, MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick, NYX Mauve liner. So in love with this lip look, she has tutorials on YouTube on how to achieve this lip and brow look here.

And here's some shots of me pretending to model and exploring our backyard.

I was laughing in this picture because my 1 year old niece was actually sitting right in front of me on the lawn being super cute. 

 The end. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

EATS :: Travels to Napa Valley

I recently went to Napa Valley in Northern California. Although, I'm not much of a wine drinker, there was still lots for me to enjoy as a foodie. We didn't dine out at the fanciest places there because we were traveling with the family, but we did check out some really cool casual places. Here's some highlights on some of the places we stopped by:

Bounty Hunter Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ
This place had some delicious BBQ with amazing sauces, we picked some up to bring home on of the nights. They also do wine tastings here.

Oxbow PublicMarket
This was a cute little marketplace w/ small shops and restaurants inside. It is very reminiscent of the Anaheim Packing House or a Small version of the SF Ferry Building.  Here's some of the amazing places found inside:

Whole Spice: This place had almost every spice blend imaginable that you could buy by the oz. I picked up some truffle salt and ghost pepper salt. Can't wait to cook with these!

Fatted Calf Charcuterie: Who doesn't love a meat shop? They have amazing house cured meats and also lots of other meats and sausages that you can buy for cooking on your own. They were so helpful here and let us try the meats before buying them to ensure we would really enjoy them.

Hog Island Oyster Co.: I've had the SF Hog Island on my Yelp bookmarks list for as long as I can remember so I was super excited when I saw they had one in Oxbow. We got a sampler of the oysters and oh man! They were amazing! The mignonette sauce that was served with the raw oysters was absolutely perfect. It was light and accompanied the fresh oysters perfectly to bring out the best flavors.

V. Sattui WineryThe best way to describe this place was the Disneyland of Napa. This was definitely a family friendly place, as most of the places we visited. They had a beautiful large picnic area outside where they offered BBQ selections. Wine tastings are available (check in on Yelp for a 50% deal for 2). There was a really nice deli area to get meats, cheeses and sandwhiches. I really enjoyed this place, but be warned it gets just as crowded as Disneyland. We arrived a bit before 11:30 on a Saturday right as they were opening and by noon, it started to get packed so arrive early to avoid lines and to find a nice spot to relax.

And now some shots at V. Sattui in one of my favorite outfits of all time - I wear this everywhere because it's so comfy; this maxi skirt is like having a blanket on at all times, a very fashionable blanket. :)

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