4 Steps to Up-cyle a Trader Joe’s Bag to a Trendy Paper Storage Bag

For a #FridayFinds post a few weeks ago, I mentioned the new paper bag trend. Initially, I was confused. Why are white paper bags cool? Why are they all over Pinterest? And why are they selling all over Etsy? 
If I had to guess, I’d say these are the new fabric cubes and bins. Maybe the reason they’re becoming popular is that storage solutions can be pricey, and this is a way to reuse what you already have. I’m still not sure why someone would buy one, but with some paint, I’m planning to DIY some Trader Joe’s bags and use them for storage in my closets. They do have a cool texture, and you can customize them easily. 

You will need: 

  • Trader Joe’s bags
  • Paint – I used white, gold, copper, and black to decorate mine
  • Foam brushes
Step 1: Paint your bag white. I think the white paint on the craft paper texture almost looks like canvas when it’s dry.
 
Step 2: Decorate your bag. This is the fun part! I looked at paper storage bags on Pinterest, like the ones I included in this post above, for my inspiration. For my first one, I painted copper metallic crosses.
Step 3: Fold down the top of the bag. This is by far the hardest part – I couldn’t seem to do it without tearing the top of the bag a bit. My only advice is to roll slowly, giving it a good crease now and then, and use some tape if it tears too noticeably. 
Step 4: Fill and display!
I had so many ideas for more bag designs – I made three more from Trader Joe’s bags, and then painted a few other smaller paper bags as well. I love how the metallic ones turned out!

The metallic ones are my favorite. 
What am I going to use these for? What WON’T I use them for? Currently, I’m using two in the linen closet to hold washcloths and extra toiletries, and one to hold craft supplies. I might use some of the smaller ones for some plants. I’ll post it on Instagram when I find them all a home 🙂 
So, what do you think of the paper storage bag trend? Are you in?

How to Thrift for Spring Trends

I’m planning a more in-depth post about this Spring’s trends and where you can shop for fair trade and ethical clothing to fit the trends, but Saturday I went thrift store shopping with a couple friends, and I’m super excited about what I found! Using Pinterest for inspiration and to narrow my focus, I came home with two tops that are exactly what I wanted.

Stripes

Stripes are a major trend this spring! As you know, I’m addicted to stripes, so I’m looking forward to seeing them everywhere. After my last closet clean out and reading The No Brainer Wardrobe e-book, I’ve been hunting for a black and white striped top. I pinned these to my style boards, and kept my eyes peeled for something similar:

Source: arielleeliseblog.com via Emily on Pinterest

When I saw this BCBC tee on the rack at Savers, I snatched it up.

However, after trying it on and debating with myself for some time, I decided not to get it. Mainly because then I saw this:

It’s a little too big, unfortunately, but nothing I can’t fix. I’m going to use a similar alteration method I used on my bridesmaid dress last summer, and use a well fitting tee as a guide.

The fabric is in perfect shape, and although it’s a little thick, I think I’ll be able to wear it a few times before summer, and then all through fall and winter. I’m positive it will become my new favorite top.

Lace

Another popular trend that I LOVE this spring is lace. I’ve been pinning lacy dresses and tops like crazy, which was the inspiration behind this DIY Embellished Lace Dolman.

I also pinned these lacy items on my boards that I wanted to find something similar at Savers:

Source: etsy.com via Emily on Pinterest
Source: rstyle.me via Emily on Pinterest

This gorgeous New York & Company sweater caught my eye:

I loved the color and the lace right away, but I was a little unsure about the puffed sleeves. In the end, I decided they didn’t bother me enough to not get it. It will be perfect for a date night with skinny jeans and my blue ballet flats, or adding a pop of color to a little black dress.

Totally unrelated to spring trends, I also found these:

Total spent: $19.54. I call that a success!

To recap:

  1. Use Pinterest to save your style inspiration. Identify aspects of your pins that you like, such as color, sleeve length, pattern, fabric, etc. 
  2. Shop your thrift stores with an open mind. Does this fit some of the aspects of your pins? Does it fit well enough to be worth it, or will it just sit in your closet unworn? If it needs minor alterations, are you willing to do it yourself or take it to someone who will? Ask yourself these questions to avoid bringing home something that might be a good deal, but you won’t actually wear.

What spring trends are you excited about? What have you recently scored at your thrift store? Share it in the comments!

Five Fall Fashion Trends, Yay or Nay?

I picked up a couple magazines in the airport for some light reading, and caught up on the fall fashion forecast while I was traveling back and forth to Iowa. Here’s some of the “in” looks we can expect to be seeing as September approaches, along with my rating (and yes, I’m aware that it should be “yea” and nay; the pun is intentional!).

Yay: Reverse French Manicure

Photos take by me of InStyle Magazine August 2012

I don’t know why this has never occurred to anyone before! Basically, switch out the colors of a typical French manicure with a dark base color and a metallic tip color. Another variation I’ve seen online is to paint a light colored half-moon shape at the base of the nail, instead of the tip.

I vote “yay” on this trend, because it’s a great way to incorporate another trend for fall: metallics, in an easy, fun way.

Nay: Wine-stained Lips

Photo taken by me of InStyle Mag, August 2012

Ok, folks. Apparently, fashion bloggers everywhere think this is AMAZING, but it’s one trend I’m definitely going to pass on. The “wine-stained lip” look is achieved by putting on a rich, dark lipstick and then blotting it off in the middle, achieving that oh so classy, I-just-ate-and-need-to-reapply-lipstick look. Except you don’t reapply lipstick.

The good thing about it is, that if your lipstick does wear off after dinner, you don’t have to bother reapplying because you’re right on trend! Last week I actually saw ladies at my farmer’s market sporting this look, whether intentionally or not, I’m not sure.

Another positive for this look: it’s perfect if you want to be a vampire for halloween.

Yay: Colbalt

Photo taken by me of RealSimple September 2012

I love any hue of blue, so I’m happy to see that cobalt is an “in” color this fall. Jewel tones are not only flattering colors for pale skinned people like me, but they’re also elegant and warm, perfect for fall.

Yay/Nay: Burgundy and Oxblood

Photo: SydneStyle.com, who got it from Style.com
I learned a new color term to add to my vocabulary, just like last year I added “camel.” This year’s term to know is “oxblood,” formerly known as burgundy. 
I haven’t made my mind up about this color yet. The last time I remember wearing this color was when I had a burgundy velvet jacket and culottes, somewhere between the ages of five and seven. I’m going to wait until it’s in stores and try it on, before I make a verdict. 

Yay: Equestrian

Photo taken by me of RealSimple

Equestrian is right up my alley: riding boots, plaid, structured, classic lines…what’s not to love?! RealSimple says that designers are inspired by the English Countryside, perhaps a natural result of the attention all things British are garnering because of the Diamond Jubilee and Olympics. For more British inspiration, visit my British wonderfullness in pictures post.

I can’t wait to dust off my English riding boots I bought last winter at Target, and my burgundy leather cross-body bag from PB&J Boutique. I’m always a fan of mixing up what you already have to make trends affordable. If you’d like more ideas for affordable fall style, most of my tips from that post are still completely applicable.

What’s your vote on these trends? Yay or nay?

How To Wear This Spring’s Makeup Trends {Giveaway}

Hello Beauties! I’m Tara, founder of Haute Lunch Beauty and Fashion Blog, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be writing a guest post for Scribbles from Emily! Today I want to show you all how to create a quick and easy makeup look that is perfect for spring and summer! 

This season, citrus, jewel tone, and pastel colors are showing up everywhere, which is great because these colors look fabulous on eyes, lips, and cheeks! Although brightening up your makeup may seem risky to some, this tutorial will help you do it with confidence and ease!

Before I get started on the application, I want to talk about the products I used to create this look. By no means do you need to use the exact same products. Any brand will do, so long as the colors are similar and the products serve the same purpose.

1-6. Eye Shadows from Tarte’s Spring Greening Palette

1. Warm Rose

2. Teal

3. Bronze

4. Pale Pink

5. Lime Green

6. Lilac

7. Revlon Super Lustrous Lipgloss in Coral Reef

8. M.A.C. Sheertone Shimmer Blush in Blush Baby (peach-colored)

9. Philosophy Never Let Them See You Shine Face Primer

10. Lorac Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

11. Tarte EmphasEYES for Brows in Taupe

As you can see, eye shadow, lip color, and blush are key to updating your look this season, but there are a few other products I think are important to mention as well.

First, I want to talk about primers. If you’re like me, you’re usually in a hurry to get out the door, and adding a step to your makeup routine is the last thing you want to do. However, adding a primer to my makeup routine was one of the best moves I’ve ever made. Why you ask? Well, that’s because in the long run, it saves me both time and money! Face and eye primers create the perfect base for makeup, saving me time by allowing me to achieve the rich pigment I want from my blush and eye shadow quickly. Primers also save me money because I can use substantially less product every time I apply my makeup. If those reasons aren’t good enough on their own, priming also makes your skin and makeup look satiny smooth and keeps your makeup looking fresh all day! I think I’ve made my point. 😀

The other product I want to point out that I think many people overlook is an eyebrow pencil. This year, there is definitely a trend toward fuller, more natural eyebrows. An eyebrow pencil helps fill in thin eyebrows and gives your eyes a nice frame so they can really pop! Brow waxes and powders can be used instead of an eyebrow pencil, but I recommend pencils because they allow for easier, more precise application.

Now that I’ve talked about some important but often overlooked products, let’s dive into the tutorial! Of course, you always want to start your makeup application with a clean, dry face. From there, prep your face for makeup application with your face and eye primers, then apply your foundation and/or powder as you normally would. Now for the fun part!

Step 1: Apply Blush. For this look, I’m using a pastel peach colored blush from M.A.C., but anything similar in color will do. Apply blush from the apples of your cheeks up to your temples. Also apply a little blush to your forehead, the bridge of your nose, and your jaw line to even out the look and give you a nice, sun-kissed glow! 

Step 2: Apply Base Eye Shadow. I’m using eye shadow #4, which is a pale pink. Again, any pale pink eye shadow will do. Apply this shadow from just under your eyebrows all the way down to your eyelashes. A fluff brush works best for this, but use whatever you have on hand. 

Step 3: Apply Eye Shadow to Lid. For this step, I’m using eye shadow #5, which is a lime green! To avoid fall out, dab the eye shadow onto your lid before blending. I like to use a thick eye shadow brush with short bristles for this step (such as M.A.C.’s 214 Short Shader Brush), but again, use what you have.

Step 4: Apply Eye Shadow to Crease. Here I’m using eye shadow #2, which is teal in color, to line the crease of my eyelid. To avoid getting too much shadow by your tear duct, start in the middle of the crease, then work your way in. After you’ve lined this half, go to the outer corner of your eye (think of an imaginary line from the end of your eyebrow to the outer corner of your eye- this is where you want to start this time) and finish lining the rest of your crease. To finish, simply blend the color from the crease up a bit (approx ¼ inch) on the outer edges of your eyes. This three step eye shadow application is very versatile and helps your eyes look big and beautiful! 

Step 5: Apply Eyeliner and Mascara. For this look, I used a silver green eyeliner from Sephora and Physician’s Formula PlentiFull Mascara in black-brown. This season, using colored eyeliners is definitely trendy, so don’t be afraid to try out a few new shades. Plus, eyeliner pencils last a long time, and are often inexpensive! To line your eyes, start in the middle of your upper lash line (never line inside your lash line as this could cause eye infections) and work your way in, then go to the outside of your upper lash line and work your way back to the middle. On the bottom lash line, just start at the outside and line to the middle of your eye. Lining only the outer half of your lower lash line will make your eyes look bigger than if you line them all the way. Finish off by curling your lashes and applying a coat of mascara. 

Step 6: Fill in Those Brows. Using my Tarte EmphasEYES brow pencil, I filled in the outer edges of my brows since they are a little sparse. Be sure to use a brow pencil that is approximately the same color, or one shade darker, than your brows. Also, be sure to smooth out those brows with a brow brush once you’re finished filling them in! 

Step 7: Line Your Lips. For this step, I’m using an Ulta Contour Lip Pencil in Rose because I’m going to use a coral colored lip gloss. Using a lip pencil that is slightly darker than your lip gloss will help give a nice, defined look to your lips, which is especially important when using light colored lipsticks or glosses.

Step 8: Apply Lip Gloss or Lipstick. This season, bright, opaque lip colors are definitely in! There are many opaque lip glosses available now, such as the coral colored gloss I’m using from Revlon, but lipstick will work fine, too. Fill in your lips with color, and if you do use a lipstick, finish them off with a thin coating of gloss to give them some shine!

The finished look: 


Here is a closer look at my eye color so you can better see how I applied and blended the three shades: 

Now that you know how to create this look, you can play around with different colors to create fun, flirty looks that are perfect for spring. For example, here is the color scheme I used…

But you could also use this pastel color scheme to create another beautiful look: 

This latter color scheme uses the same pale pink eye shadow (#4) as a base, a lilac eye shadow (#6) for the lid, and a rose eye shadow (#1) for the crease. I would combine this eye color combination with a watermelon colored gloss and a slightly darker blush, such as Benefit’s Dallas, which is a rosy bronze.

As I hope you can see, you don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to look beautiful and trendy! This entire look took me less than 10 minutes to create, and I used products I already had in my makeup drawer. Even if you don’t have some of the colors necessary, you can pick up a few new eye shadows, new blush, and some new lip gloss for less than $20! I hope this tutorial gives you the knowledge and confidence to try some fun new makeup looks this season. Thanks again to Emily for inviting me to share my love to makeup with you all, and good luck with this week’s homework!

xoxo- Tara 

Emily here: Tara, thank you so much for this very thorough and informative post! I’m glad I knew an expert I could call on to write about this topic! I don’t know about the rest of you all, but I sure learned a few things. Tara manages to share great tutorials, tips, and inspiration several times a week, while going to school for a PhD in psychology. In fact, today she’s defending her Master’s proposal! Be sure to check out Tara’s blog and cheer her on, and check out the wealth of information in her archives!

For your information:
Here’s where you can find the products Tara used, and some similar ones:

Real Colors Smolder-Eyes Shadow Palette Trickster
Blush Rush
Palladio Herbal Eye Shadow Primer
Beautique Brow Pencil Natural Blonde
Homework
So, I was really looking forward to last week’s homework, but I got swamped with my class projects and didn’t actually have time to do it. I’m guessing something similar might have happened to you too. So, if you’d like to still do last week’s homework challenge, go for it! I’d love to see what you come up with!
In case you do want to do last week’s challenge, I’m keeping this week’s homework simple. As simple as 1-2-3-4.
1. Wear one clothing item that you haven’t worn since you bought it, or that you haven’t worn for a very long time. These items can be called closet orphans. Here’s a fabulous post on wearing those orphans from Already Pretty.
2. Wear two jewelry items all week. Yes, even on those ordinary days. Earrings count as 1 item, so you could add a necklace, bracelet, ring, or any combination.
3. Wear three different types of bottoms this week. I wear jeans almost every single day, so this week I’m going to try to wear jeans, shorts, and a skirt or dress. The purpose of this is just to get us out of our clothing ruts.

4. Wear four different styles of tops this week. If you tend to wear tee shirts every day, this one is for you! Mix up your sleeve length, add a button up, go sleeveless, or whatever else you can come up with!

To give you some accountability, snap a picture of yourself in the mirror, or of your outfits. Choose one to share on the Scribbles facebook wall, or make a collage of them and share it with us.

This Week’s Giveaway

If today’s post made you wish you had some new makeup, this week’s giveaway  is your chance to get some for free! I’m giving away:

An e.l.f. Essential All Over Color Stick from Eyes, Lips, Face (e.l.f.) in lilac petal. You can use this color stick as lipstick, blush, or eye shadow! 
e.l.f. Essential Brightening Eye Color in Nouveau Neutrals. These colors flatter a variety of skin tones and the neutrals match with almost any outfit. 
e.l.f. Essential Nail Polish in clear, and another one in Passion Pink.
And in case you’d rather pick out your own colors, one reader will win a $10 
What can you get with $10?  A LOT. You could get powder, blush, mascara,  eyeliner, eyeshadow, lipgloss, nail polish, concealer, an eyelash curler and a makeup brush all for $10. E.l.f cosmetics is proud of offering quality cosmetics at unbeatable prices, and it seems that they always have some sort of promotion going on. I just bought one of their e.l.f. Essential Get the Look Sets sets for $5, and it had five items inside. I’ve loved their mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and I’ve used an eyelash curler for the first time in my life since it came in the set. 
Today only, if you spend $15, you can get a free mini makeup kit that contains 27 different items by using the coupon code MINIFREE. But if you’d rather wait and see if you’ll win this week’s giveaway, there will probably be another coupon code by then!
One reader will win the All Over Color Stick, two nail polishes, nail buffer, and the Nouveau Neutrals eyeshadow. A second winner will receive the $10 gift card!
Here’s how to enter: 
1. Leave a comment on this post. You can let us know what your makeup routine is, or what you hope you’ll win. {1 entry}
2. Follow Scribbles From Emily blog. Leave a comment if you do!{1 entry}
3. Share this giveaway on twitter or facebook. Be sure to tag Scribbles From Emily! {1 entry for each}
4. Do this week’s homework. Any one of the four options works.{10 extra entries!}
By the way, the three winners from last week are:
Evianne, Pawsitive Life, and Bean! 
Congratulations!
Happy May everyone!
Show Scribbles From Emily’s sponsors some love:


8 Fashion Tips I Learned This Week

Maybe it’s because spring is in the air. Maybe it’s because we got our tax refund back, or because I cleaned out my closet. It could be because my mom suggested I make an appointment with a style and wardrobe consultant. 

Whatever the reason, I’ve been drawn to blog posts, articles, and live chats about fashion this week, and I’ve learned A LOT. It all started with an email from The Frugal Living Community on Blog Frog, announcing their Twitter party and a live chat. For those of you who are not social media moguls, Twitter parties are when we all tweet back and forth discussing questions from the host of the party, and every tweet contains a hashtag (#) with the subject of the party. A live chat on Blog Frog works just like MSN instant messenger. Both are fun, and they give out fabulous prizes. In fact, I won the grand prize of this crossover bag!

PB and J Boutique, $49.99

I think they picked me because I said this bag is a great improvement on the fanny pack. Or because I mentioned I only own two purses, one for spring and summer, and one for fall and winter.

At both of these virtual parties, we discussed current trends, how we were incorporating them (or not), and shared tips and ideas on how we made fashion frugal.

Now, I’m not the most up to speed fashionwise. Some of these may be old news to you, but I have a feeling I’m not the only fashionably challenged out there! So without further ado, here’s what I learned last week:

1. Flared Jeans Are Back (but skinnies are still in)

Some of you may be cheering, but when I found this out, I was crestfallen. I just embraced the skinny jean trend. Here in AZ, and from what I’ve seen of California, everyone wears skinny jeans, regardless of size or shape. So I finally decided to try on a pair, and loved them! And now I find out I’m just a little behind. The experts and designers agree, 70’s flared high waisted jeans are already on the market. The good news is that flares flatter everyone, and skinny jeans aren’t going anywhere…yet.

2. The 70’s Have Returned (in a 2011 sort of way)
I had an inkling that this was happening, and now it’s been confirmed. Good news for you if you liked them the first time around, and still have some wide legged pants and floppy hats hanging around.

Source

3. You Can Mix Brown and Black
And brown and grey, as it turns out. Check out this post from Already Pretty on how to mix neutrals.

4. Pink is Hot
Honeysuckle pink, actually. It’s been named “Color of the Year” by Pantone, replacing the turquoise of last year. It’s a bright pink, “Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day with nothing “everyday” about it,” they say. 

Source

5. Wedges and Chunky Jewelry Are In
Unfortunate for me, because I don’t really like either. I have a strong aversion to heels, although I’ve been told wedges are much easier to walk in.

Forever 21. I actually don’t mind this pair so much!

I don’t know if a ring like this is very practical for me, but it is pretty.

Forever 21 $4.80

6. Always Buy What Fits Now, Not What You Hope Will Fit Later
I’m all for being optimistic, but when shopping, that’s dangerous. If you don’t want to be potentially wasting your time and money, buy what fits you now. After all, if you do loose those extra pounds, many times you can get it taken in.

7. Envision Three Outfits With it Before Buying It
This little tip will revolutionalize the way I shop, helping me make the most of my purchases and stay away from impulsive and repeat buys. I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy items I like, and get home to discover I don’t have anything to wear with it. Then I have to buy more so that I can wear the first item. If I stopped to assess what I already have, I can build off of it instead of around a new piece. I learned this from an article on Already Pretty about Shopping Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them. There’s several more good tips in that article too.

Source

8. We All Learn By Imitating 
I learned this from one of my textbooks actually. Aristotle says:

“Imitation is natural to man from childhood…he is the most imitative creature in the world, and learns at first by imitation. And it is also natural for all to delight in works of imitation.”

Poetics

 When you think about it, we learn to speak by imitating what we hear, we learned to write by tracing letters. Fashion, at it’s core, is imitation. That’s why the same styles are cycled and re-cycled over and over.


Fashion sense isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something learned – through imitation.

This brings hope and a challenge. Hope in that I, and you too,  can dress in an attractive and confident manner even if it’s not natural to us. Challenge, because we have to choose who to imitate.

As believers, we need to take every thought captive, so that we don’t fall prey to the world’s lies that we have to look a certain way, or we’ll be unloved. We must remember that the world values outward appearances only, but God looks on the heart, where true beauty lies.

What’s your philosophy on fashion? What have you learned about fashion lately? Do you have any tips to share with us?

works for me wednesday at we are that family