A Patriotic DIY Project

So as you all know, July 4 is next week. Seeing as it falls on a Wednesday (gross) we are having to break up and drag out the celebrations over the course of the next two weekends. I know, shuuuuucks. This weekend, some friends and I are floating down the Guadalupe River and we decided to keep things in tune with the patriotic holiday. We all love a good themed party or event. There's NO telling what that will entail with this group and I can't wait. Now, Gap and Old Navy always have some solid American Flag tees, but that's way too easy and way too boring for a day on the river. So after seeing this pic of Kate Bosworth at Coachella, I came to the conclusion that I definitely need a similar tattered, trashy looking patriotic tank top. Who doesn't? I mean come on. Now, I'm 98% sure that little Kate did not make this one herself, and you can find similar tanks among several designers right now. But who wants to pay a ton of money for something that can easily be done ourselves? Not to mention I do love a chance for a good DIY project. This tank will be so perfect for the festivities this weekend on the river and over the holiday stretch.

SO. I got inspired and I made one. Is it perfect? No. Does it work? Absolutely. 

Don't judge me on the fact that it may or may not look like the handy work of a five year old. I wanted it to look a little distressed and messy.

Here's how I made my American flag tattered, wornout looking tank:

OK. You'll Need: 

1) Red & Blue Acrylic Paint ($2/ea at Hobby Lobby)
2) Foam Brushes ($1 at Hobby Lobby)
3) A White Tee or tank of your liking (I used a men's small cotton v-neck)
4) Scissors
5) A piece of cardboard or pillowcase to put in between shirt 
while painting so it doesn't bleed through!
6) A piece of cardstock or stencil to use for the star

First, spread the t-shirt on a table or flat surface and place the cardboard in between the front and back of the shirt. This will provide you a flat surface to paint on without the paint soaking through to the back of the shirt. I used an old pillowcase because I didn't have a big enough piece of cardboard.

My "royal blue" paint ended up looking more like lavender, so I mixed a little of the red into it and later just ended up using a whole different blue paint..

Next, choose where you want to have your stripes. I chose kind of an unconventional layout and wanted my stripes running vertically. If you want a firm, straight line, lay down a few pieces of masking tape to serve as the white stripes, then paint the areas in between with red paint and once dry, just pull the tape off! That will give you clean lines. I obviously chose not to make mine so perfect and crisp, so I just freehanded my stripes. They're pretty pathetic, but I didn't want it to be perfect.

 *Fun fact: I had an Architecture professor my freshman year give me a 'B' because she told me I was incapable of drawing straight lines. Even with a ruler. I guess it's just not my thing?

When you're done with your striped area, take your cardstock (or spare cardboard) and draw a star on it and cut it out. This will serve as your stencil unless you actually have a stencil to use. Press the star onto the shirt and hold it with one hand and use the other to paint around it. Don't paint too much! You'll want to have room for other stars.

Paint around the star, then lightly pull the stencil up, move it a few inches down and do the same again. Try to evenly space the stars out as you go along. When I finished the stars and painted in the blue area, I finished up my red & white stripes.

Next is the easy part. Take your scissors and cut the sleeves off the t-shirt at the seams. You can make the arm holes bigger if you wish. I stretched mine out some to make it more slouchy.

After cutting the sleeves off, I decided to make the neck hole a little bigger and more tattered looking. I cut it about 2 inches wider on each side, making the straps of the tank thinner and more feminine.

Next, take a scrap from the cutouts of the sleeve or neck, cut a strip and stretch it out to create a little rope. If you don't want to use the extra fabric, you can use a ribbon of your choice. When the shirt is dry, turn it over, grab each arm hole and bring them together, securing them with the extra piece of fabric or ribbon to create a racerback style.

Once the shirt has dried and you've cut it the way you like, throw it in the washing machine with a very small amount of soap and cold water. It's important to wash this by itself! You don't want extra paint ruining any other clothes. This will take the stiffness out of the shirt and wear it down some so it's comfortable and slouchy.  If you want an even MORE tattered or vintage looking shirt, throw 1/2 cup of bleach in the washer when you throw the shirt in. 

Voila! I'm ready for the holiday!

Guys..you should totally make your own tanks. It's so fun. And such a cheap way to be festive and get into the spirit of the 4th! 

...Even if it does look like the work of a small child.

Happy DIY-ing!



Top: Old Navy (old, similar here or here); Shorts: J.Crew (On Sale NOW!) (cute pair here); Clutch: Michael Kors (love this one); Sunglasses: Nordstrom; Necklace: Chloe + Isabel; Watch: Michael Kors; Bracelets: ASOS, Francesca's, ASOS


Vacation Essentials: The Tote

Vacation season is among us, girlfriends. Hooray! July is a crazy month for most people and tends to be THE month for traveling, family time and parties. I know for me, it can be stressful trying to figure out what to throw in our suitcases and pack for that week-long getaway. You want to keep it as minimal as possible for traveling purposes, yet you don't want to forget those essentials that every girl just has to have for the perfect vacay. Right? I'm the queen of overpacking and thinking too far into it. It's a gift, really. My husband applauds me when I can fit everything into one bag when we go visit our parents for the weekend. It miiiight be a slight problem. With my upcoming trip to Cancun, I've been slowly but surely figuring out what I need and what I'll just have to leave at home. Since you basically have to give away your left kidney in order to check a bag or two at the airport these days, everything I travel with must be carried on with me. I know that we'll be walking from our condo to the beach each day we're in Mexico, so I'll definitely need some sort of tote to hold all the necessities. So, I've kept my eyeballs peeled for the perfect beach tote. One that's big enough to fit all the essentials, yet comfortable enough to double as a beach bag and carry-on for the flight. Carry-on problems solved! Use a fab tote as a second carry-on item, and you can throw your purse in there, magazines and any other items you might not be able to fit into your suitcase. And then once you're on the beach, it's perfect for your towel, sunblock, hat, glasses, snacks...whatever it is you need! The perfect beach tote is a must have for those vacations this summer! I found these gems and kind of fell in love. Definitely wishing I could have all of them for different occasions (and for my many vacations this summer....not.). How adorable are they!? Fun, festive, trendy and the ultimate essential item for your vacays this summer!

Beach Totes


Neon & Neutral

I'm loving camel tones paired with lemon yellow right now. It is kind of an unordinary combination but something about it is so clean looking. It's also a color scheme that can be taken from work to happy hour...day to night. I wore this outfit to work and out to dinner with my husband - so versatile and such an easy way to wear a neon. My wool skirt is definitely a fall/winter item, but it's short and lightweight so I paired it with some summer sandals and this yellow halter to make it warm weather appropriate!

Top: Calvin Klein; Skirt: Gap; Sandals: Sam Edelman; Sunglasses: Jessica Simpson; Jewelry: Michael KorsChloe + IsabelChloe + IsabelChloe +Isabel


Here and There

Just a few snapshots of my outfits here and there lately.

Look One -  Dress: Old Navy; Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs; Shoes: Dolce Vita; Jewelry: Michael Kors, F21; Headband: F21
Look Two - Dress (Worn as skirt): French Connection; Top: Old Navy; Shoes: TJMaxx; Jewelry: Kendra Scott, Stella&Dot, Michael Kors, F21; Bag: Thrifted
Look Three - Top: Madewell; Shorts: J.Crew; Bag: Michael Kors; Sunnies: Sam Moon; Jewelry: Chloe + Isabel
Look Four - Top: Old Navy; Denim: Gap; Sandals: F21; Belt: Target; Bag: Aldo; Sunnies: Target; Jewelry: Michael Kors, Chloe + Isabel


Summer Inspiration

Now that we're well into June, I think we can officially say that summer has arrived. The heat index has been 100+ for the last couple of weeks down here in Texas, so we've spent lots of time by the pool, on the lake or floating the river. I'm so excited for the warm weather and so ready for the summer parties, barbeques and vacations! Summer wardrobe is what really excites me, though. Cutoff and colored denim, fedoras, friendship bracelets, gladiator sandals, aviator sunglasses, woven headbands, neon nails, bright bikinis, big beach bags, turquoise jewelry, lace sundresses...all of it just makes me beyond happy. I could go on and on. It's time to bring out the boho/hippie fashions..I'm obsessed. I really have nothing exciting to say, I just thought I'd share with you guys some of my summer wardrobe inspiration photos, and express my excitement that the season is here. If these pics don't make you want to run off to a beach vacation or sit on a patio with some live music and a margarita, then shame on you. Just kidding. But really. As your Thursday passes, enjoy these pics and drift off into a happy place imagining you're laying by the ocean somewhere. It's almost the weekend!


Monday's Must Haves: Printed Denim

Fashion these days just keeps getting bolder and bolder...I just love it. Bright colors are being mixed, prints are being combined, and patterns and textures are all thrown together. Designers just keep coming up with more fun ways to embrace this trend and I'm sort of digging it. I love a bold, statement-making print in an outfit. It always makes me a feel a little more free, flirty and outgoing. Don't ask why, it's just some weird mental correlation I've made. My latest obsession is the whirlwind of brightly colored, wildly printed denim that's come onto the fashion scene as of late. Yes, I said denim. As in jeans. Fun, right? If you're looking for that wow factor in your outfit, printed denim is surely your answer. Now, don't get me wrong, printed pants have been on shelves for decades and have gone through phases of acceptance and phases of ohmygoshthere'sabsolutelynowayI'dwearthat. In fact, I myself decided that I'd rock a certain pair of cream and red floral cropped pants to my 8th grade Valentine's Day dance years ago. Looking back at pictures, maybe I should have gone with the sparkly cocktail dance-appropriate dresses that all of the other girls were wearing instead of the mom pants and denim jacket, but hey, hindsight is always 20/20, right? That was not a proud fashion moment of mine. There was also a summer when I watched Lindsay Lohan (bless her heart) in some Disney Channel movie and was convinced that my wardrobe for school the following year was only going to consist of crazy printed pants and fur vests like she wore. Rest assured guys, I came to my senses and decided against following in Lohan's wardrobe footsteps. And any of her other footsteps, thank God. Anyway, printed denim is everywhere right now and there's so many ways to wear the trend! If you're feeling brave you can always contrast the print with another print on top, or you can go simple with a white tee and statement necklace up against the crazy denim. Whichever way you choose, printed denim is definitely a must-have this season and it's a risk worth taking. It might involve getting a little out of your comfort zone, but I promise, you can't go wrong! Unless you were me at the Valentine's Day dance circa 2002. That was so wrong. Girls, some of you may still be trying to hop on board the colored denim bandwagon so you can't even fathom the thought of colored AND printed denim. Heaven forbid! But seriously, just hear me out. Give it a shot. Try something new. I try my best not to steer you guys wrong and as far as I know, I'm not crazy just yet. So embrace printed denim. It'll be your new best friend for dinners with your man or nights out on the town with the girls! I have a great pair of grey leopard printed jeans that I got for $6 on the clearance rack at Target weeks ago. SIX. bucks. I know, steal of the century. Made me so happy. It really is the simple things in life. In honor of this post, I'll show you guys how I style my fab printed denim jeans later on this week. As for now, here are some great finds:



Hope everyone had a glorious weekend :) We had a nice, relaxing weekend around here that consisted of some yard work, a little pool time, napping, cleaning and watching the mini-series "Hatfields & McCoys". Have you guys watched it? It aired on The History Channel sometime last week and it's currently On Demand for free with AT&T U-Verse...just in case you were wondering. We like to take advantage of the featured items on On Demand, obviously. It's a three part series based on two feuding families post-Civil War. Like the American version of the Capulets and Montagues...good stuff. Surprisingly, history really interests me (thanks dad) and my husband can't resist a good war/barfight/oldtimey show like this. It's definitely a guy's kinda show...with a little romance here and there for the ladies, of course. I'm not real sure why I decided to go off on a tangent about the series, but to sum it up, it definitely kept us entertained for 6 hours today. I also found myself thinking how fun it'd be to act in series like this with all the fun outfits it would entail based on the wardrobe of that era. Anyway - we also grabbed a quick dinner tonight and, since I was wearing it, it dawned on me that I haven't gotten to show off my fabulous Kendra Scott necklace my sweet husband surprised me with for our first anniversary. I love all of her stuff, it's so full of color and the perfect pop to any outfit. She's based here in Austin but has a store in Dallas and Beverly Hills, as well. If you girls haven't yet, definitely go check her jewels out...they're amazing! I decided to do a little mix and match with my new necklace and pair it with a little brown and black and leopard ensemble. Love the bold color it brings against my leopard top! I'll be wearing this thing a lot, so you can expect to see it styled many different ways! 

PS: How cute is my sweet little pup, Parker? He made a cameo appearance...he likes attention.

What I'm Wearing: Top: TJMaxx (old, LOVE this sleeveless one); Shorts: J.Crew; Sandals: Sam Edelman (my FAVE!); Purse: Michael Kors; Sunglasses: Rayban; Necklace: Kendra Scott; Watch: Michael Kors; Earrings/Bracelet: Chloe + Isabel, Chloe + Isabel, Chloe + Isabel