Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Peacock Costume DIY

{Madame Peacock}
 Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Let me start off by saying that this post is so late already but it is one of my favorite holidays, so better late than never, right?  I chose a Peacock this year because I love the colors and the design of the feathers. To me, Peacocks are such glamorous birds! And I-love-glamor!
Originally, it was my full intention to go all out  because last year I threw on some cat ears and a tail and called it a night. It ended up that I was in the process of finalizing some moving plans, so I ran out of time to do something super elaborate. It did turn out so cute though! Read below on some tips on how to make your own Peacock costume!

Peacock Costume Inspirations $199.99 (yikes!)
Fredrick's of Hollywood Mask $59
Super cool peacock eye make-up!
Had I purchased the exact costume and mask I wanted, I would have ended up spending over $250. Last I checked, I still haven't won the lottery. My hand-made costume ended up costing me approximately $30. I already had a black corset & fishnet thigh-highs previously purchased from Fredrick's of Hollywood years ago and I also had  ruffle bloomers from Hot Topic.

Peacock Mask How To:
I purchased the following supplies from Michael's: 
  • 1 peacock feather pick (not shown in picture)
  • 1 set of black masks (3 pack)
  • 1 spool black ribbon trim
  • 1 box of multi-colored and sized gems
  • 2 glitter glues (silver and black with green)
  • A bag of small black feathers
  • Glue Sticks for my glue gun
  1. I started off by drawing the outline for the shape of the mask I wanted and then cutting. You can't tell in the picture, but the eye holes were too far apart for my eyes so I also had to cut the holes wider and in the shape that I wanted. 
  2. I then glued the ribbon trim (you can use fancier trim if you want to pay extra) around the outer edge of the mask with my glue gun.
  3. I strategically placed and glued 6 white medium sized gems to the mask.
  4. I removed the elastic head wrap and used the ribbon trim instead because it was prettier and I could adjust the tightness. 
  5. With the silver glitter glue, I outlined the gems and drew wavy lines across the top and bottom of the mask. It was a little too silver so I then followed up with the black/green glitter glue over the silver but in a thinner coat. I also placed small consecutive glitter does on the actual ribbon trim to make it more glamorous. I set aside the mask to let it dry.
  6. The peacock feather pick I purchased was beautiful and already in perfect shape to be placed on the side of the mask. I embellished it with some additional (about 4) black feathers that I glued to the front and of the pick. I cut the extra wiring off and glued the pick to a barrette that I had. I wanted the peacock feather pick to also be a hair piece that could be removed from the mask and placed in my hair when I got sick of wearing the mask. I finally glued on large aqua blue gem to the bottom of the pick so you couldn't see the wire and to add a little more sparkle.
  7. When everything was dry I clipped the peacock barrette to my mask and voila!

Tutu How To:

Tutus are so EASY and fun to make! I just followed this simple tutu tutorial from the Idea Room. Spools of tulle and elastic can be purchased at Michael's or Joann's. I purchased 3 spools: black, black sparkly, and olive green organza (not tulle). 

Tail Feathers How To:
  1. Peacock feathers are easy to find at craft stores such as Joann's and Michael's. I purchased a set of 5 single feathers from one Michael's and then when I realized they were too sparse,  I went out to get more. I found an awesome bunch of  peacock feathers on a large pick at another Michael's, so I bought 2 of those bunches and 2 small green feather picks that matched but were not peacock style. 
  2. I used left over tulle on the spool and measured out enough that I could tie around my waist. I used a glue gun to glue the feathers in a fan-like shape onto the tulle so they would stay up and then I could wrap around my body. I glued the feather to the middle of the tulle so I could tie the loose ends together around my waist. Tip: If I could do it again, i would not fan them out as much because at the party, people were accidentally bending or breaking my feathers if they got to close. You can also add feathers to your corset or around the top of your corset for a more detailed look.

End Result:
Shake a tail feather!
Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chic {Easy} Hair Styles

I decided that I have long BOR-ING hair. I just dyed it to an ombresque hair color (dark roots and honey blond at the bottom), as noted that I would in a previous post. It's dark; a little darker than I'm used to but for the fall/winter months, I love! 
The hair details: The roots are the color of my natural hair. There are 3 semi-permanent colors in my hair from top to bottom, so it will fade into a lighter Ombre look and so there are less obvious transition lines.  Did I mention that I don't have to color my hair for months and months and months?! Talk about low maintenance, recession-proof, and restoring your hair!
Sorry for the bad quality picture where I cut off the part of the photo with my roots. But I'm challenged when taking iPhone self-portraits.

The blonder me, in a pic with my husband.
My new Ombre color!

On the topic of 'Chic Hair', I was searching for some new & easy hair dos because frankly, I'm over the plain pony tail, pinned back  bangs and side braids. How about these fabulous & EASY hair styles...? yay! Perfect for upcoming holidays too!


{Jordan Ferney via Pinterest}

{The Living Room Salon Blog}
Create a deep side part and tease the crown area for a little volume. Grab sections from the lowest part of your front hairline (near your ears). Braid, rope, or twist them back. Tie it off with a clear elastic.

{The Living Room Salon Blog}
1. Start with day-old hair…meaning it’s been a day since you’ve washed it. (If you must wash your hair, then use a volumizing spray to add oomf; and if your hair is oily, use a dry shampoo to build body and texture.) Now make a deep side part on one side of your hair. You can use a rat-tail comb to get an extra straight part.
2. Backcomb the top quarter of your hair. Basically, brush the hair downwards toward your scalp so it’s sort of frizzy and can stand on its own.
3. Gently brush the very top layer of your hair to make it smooth on the top. That way, all the backcombing will be hidden under the layer that you brushed. Still, don’t brush too much, you want it a little messy.
4. Take the entire backcombed section and pin it behind your head. To make it secure, place the bobby pins in an “X.”
5. Now take all your hair and put it in a low ponytail at the nape of your neck. Tighten the rubber band as tight as you can. This will help “push” your hair up, creating more volume at the top.
5. You can either leave the rubber band exposed, or hide it by taking a small half-inch section of hair from the ponytail and wrapping it around the rubber band. Take a small bobby pin and pin the hair to the rubber band.
6. Rough up the ponytail with your fingers to match the texture at the top of your hair. Use the same motion as you did to back comb, but use your fingers instead, since this will create a messy texture but will be softer and gentler than using a comb. Remember, this look isn’t about perfection; it looks best slightly messy.

For more inspiration, check-out Allure's "10 Hottest New Fall Hair Trends for 2011".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Vacation Inspired ~ Handmade Cards

This summer I had the privilege of vacationing in Europe with my husband for my birthday and our one year anniversary. We spent two and a half weeks visiting family in Romania and one AH-mazing week in Italy (Rome & Florence). On a side note: I absolutely LOVE Italia... I would love to move there for a year... it is incredibly romantic and rich in ancient history. 

I was your average tourist snapping away at EVERYTHING, and I am so glad that I didn't miss a shot! When I got home and went through my photos, I was blown away at how beautiful they turned out. I'm no expert at using my Canon Rebel EOS, but I'm learning slowly. I edited the photos via Picnik, a Picasa Web Albums software, and the pictures turned out so well that I decided to make handmade cards for friends and co-workers. They were so well received that I will be selling them soon on! I am so excited to share them with you...

This is an edit of the photo:
A street shot in Rome

Supplies: double sided tape, developed photos, and 4.5"x6.25" (A6) folded cards

A photo of my grandmother's house and flower from Tobolui, Romania

A few samples of my cards:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Nautical Theme First Birthday

Our dearest friends (and Godparents to our wedding) have the most adorable baby boy, Nicholas who just turned ONE! I was extremely excited to help plan his birthday party with his proud mommy... especially because I had never planned a boy's party before. My typical A-type personality ended up dictating the theme, decorations, and pretty much everything else. Poor Mirela  and her original "giraffe" theme didn't really stand a chance and the party turned nautical. Nautical says to me: elegant, masculine, and fun, especially FUN to decorate for!

The Decor:
  • Invitation: Photoshop (inspired by another invitation I found on Google)
  • "Happy Birthday" Banner, hats, plates, cups, and napkins were purchased at, "Anchor's Aweigh" theme
  • Instructions for hand-made paper windmills, click here. Double sided scrapbook paper purchased at Michaels and brads can be found at any office supply store. We used chop-sticks for the stick. 
  • Nautical Flags (1 set): 2 wooden dowels,  5 sheets of double sided decorative scrapbook paper, and rope. All items can be purchased at Michaels. 
  • "AHOY" toothpicks (cut out and glue) template.
  • Nautical clip art template 
  • White frames: Ikea $.99  
  • Nautical "I'm One!" hat:

The 'one' is reversed on accident by yours truly. oops!

The loveliest little family
The girls enjoying Nick's party

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Elephant & Alphabet Theme Baby Shower Part 2

I am finally following up with photos from the Elephant & Alphabet Theme Baby Shower I helped decorate, mentioned in a previous post. It turned out so lovely!

Favors: Have a Ball Catering

With the Mother to be, Sandra
Favors: Notepads and bath fizz balls

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Birthday Dinner Soiree

A few weeks ago I threw a little Birthday Dinner Soiree for my dear friend, Christina. I wanted to do something cute and simple that gave an aura of *happy*...  and I think it ended up being just that. Some pointers on how to create your own birthday soiree:

I got a little creative with Photoshop and added a little 'happy birthday' message. Also used tissue paper for the top, instead of a present bow.

How to: Mini Hamburger Sliders
I am no cook; have no love for it, and anyone who knows me can contest to that. However, since I love party planning and entertaining, it kinda comes with the territory. So like everything else, when I put my mind to it, I CAN do it! These sliders came out delicious by the way!!

 Recipe for Sliders (makes 24 sliders):


  • 2 pounds ground beef (or get 3 packs of 8 piece mini beef patties from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup horse radish sauce
  • 1/2 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 6-7 slices of Havarti Cheese
  • 24 dinner rolls, split (or get 3 packs of 8 piece mini hamburger buns from Trader Joe's)
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickles (optional)
  • I bag of spinach (with a vinaigrette dressing)
  • 24 olives and toothpicks (for garnish)


1) Set patties in frying pan on medium heat. Sprinkle lightly with pepper and salt.* Fry 3-5 minutes on each side (timing depends on cooked meat preferences). If you do not have mini slider patties, you can section the meat off and then use cupcake liners to make it round. Flatten so they are 1 inch thick. 
*You may add seasoning to patties, garlic, onions, cheese, etc..
2) Cut Havarti cheese slices into 4 mini squares.When patties are almost done, place a cheese square on top of the patty to melt.
3) You may toast the bun if desired.
4) To make special sauce: mix mayo, ketchup, mustard and horse radish sauce in a small bowl. Add a spoon of special sauce to one side of the bun.
5) Place patty with cheese on bun. Add a few spinach leaves to the top (the spinach with dressing is yummier).
6) After slider is set in place, add olive at the top with toothpick through the top bun. 
7) For sides: sea salt & pepper potato chips (Trader Joe's) and spinach salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
The *happy* birthday girl
The cakes: courtesy of Mirela & Camelia
How to: Table settings
I purchased 7 scrapbook 12x12 printed sheets to use 6 as place mats. You can laminate these to have permanently but I did not have the time. With the last sheet, I used it to cut 1" strips and then I cut the strip in 1/2 in the middle and rolled the strips around the napkins with forks. A cute matching table setting idea for cheap :)