Sunday, April 28, 2013

Painted Leather Bracelet Tutorial via

 The tutorial for this craft can be found here at the amazing blog, A Beautiful Mess! I decided to give this a whirl because my mom absolutely loves leather bracelets and this would be the perfect homemade gift for her for Mother's Day.

 Today, I cut the strips of bracelet from the leather scrap(thanks to A.C. Moore)and painted a few designs on them. I have yet to add the snaps onto the bracelet to complete it, but I'm pretty pleased with the results!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Giveaway #2; Ouija Board Pendant Necklace!

Firstly, congrats to last week's winner, Rena B! We'll be contacting you to get your information so we can send your necklace! (:

This week's giveaway is something kinda spooky I picked up from a local crafter in Baltimore, Maryland on a family trip one spring. It is a double sided pendant on a silver chain.

I was originally attracted to this necklace because my family has a big interest in horror movies and the paranormal.  While I refuse to go near or use a Ouijia board, I couldn't deny that this was a bold, eccentric piece for anybody trying to make a statement.

In order to win this necklace, please answer the posed question below and remember to tell us your name and leave your email!

This week's question is, "If you could snap your fingers and appear somewhere else, where would you be an why?"

A winner will be chosen in two weeks on May 11th, 2013.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Websites that totally don't get enough attention from you....

Okay, let's admit it, we probably all spend a little more time online then we should. And we're constantly cruising the web, adoring websites, despising websites and stumbling across ones we maybe haven't yet formed an opinion on.

Here's a few diamonds in the rough that I highly believe others will enjoy just as much as I do...

Have a favorite band and want to find similar sounds out there? Type in the artist in the 'music' search bar and find exactly that. TasteKid finds stuff you would enjoy based on the things you already love. Using this website, you can find similar music, movies, shows, books, authors and games to the one you've already tried and approved of.
 2) HeyItsFree.Net
Okay, this website is amazing. Members post freebies from all around the web, some full size and some trial size. Usually, all you have to do is click a link to get to the product's website and enter your information (mailing address) and in a mere 6-8 weeks you get a free sample of a quality product. I've gotten adorable makeup bags from Target stuffed with travel sizes of tons of name brand cosmetic products and a huge coupon book. I've also received a manufacturer's coupon for any full size Pantene product as well as a nice leather journal. Finally, compiled a list of places you can go in on your birthday or even a few weeks to a month before and receive free gifts or food items.
The last website I put on the list is a lifesave for all my fellow Tumblr users out there, but this does not mean it's limited to just them! Anyone can go onto and search for a piece of clothing, decor, etc they desire to have. The absolute cutest pictures of items come up and upon clicking on them, you're directed to the place to buy the item. The reason I relate this website to Tumblr is because often on your dashboard a piece of adorable clothing pops up, but that's all you get. No brand, no site to buy, nada. With, you just simply type in a description of that item and odds are, your dream piece will be available to you!

Happy Browsing!

Monday, April 22, 2013

DIY Braided Bun

Hey, Jen here!

If you're anything like me, you tend to like to sleep in on those school/work days as long as possible, but then you kind of lose track of time and then what do you know, it's time to leave. Here's a simple hair style that literally takes only a few minutes and it can be either casual or a little more formal.

-Regular hair tie
-2 small rubber hair elastics (you can find these at any beauty or drug store)
-Bobby pins
-Headband, ribbon, flower, bow, or other accessory (optional)

Brush out your hair so it's tangle free then put it in a pony tail. The height of your pony tail will depend entirely on how high you want the bun to be on your head; I like 'em high, but in this tutorial it is not as high as I normally like it.
Divide the pony tail into two even sections
Braid one half into a normal braid, then repeat on the other half of the pony tail that you made.
It'll look like this...stylish huh? ;p
Start by wrapping one braid around in a circle or donut shape - it doesn't matter which braid you start with. I just happened to start with my left. Once you have it wrapped around, pin down the ends, sticking the bobby pins in towards the bun; this keeps them hidden. 

Here is where you can play around with it to find what you like. Take the other half of the braid and wrap it around the one you just pinned into place; you can either wrap it around from the top or the bottom. Again, pin the ends of the hair down, and voila! You're done.

Now you have a pretty intricate looking bun that was a cinch!

How To; Craft Your Own Earring Holder

Jewelry organizers are not only an effective way to store your precious little gems, they're also super cute! I've found that my necklace holder is one of the most precious elements of my bedroom. However, since I've taken the gages out of my ears and can now wear my regular earrings again I needed a place to hang them! Using an old picture frame, I hot-glued three strips of lace ribbon to the back of the frame and BAM! Had the cutest little earring holder/display.

Happy Earth Day, Everyone!

In honor of Earth Day 2013 and Mother Earth herself, I figured I'd post about something small everyone can do to help keep her clean. Thus,
Composting 101.

Even if you don't have a green thumb and like to garden, composting is still a great option to keep excess waste from your trash bags (About 30%!) and ultimately, taking up space in a landfill. Some folks are really into it and buy special bins to let their waste decompose, but I've developed a really simple and quick way to go about it.

Get a simple garden pot, it can be clay or plastic and even be recycled from last year's plants. Fill it with a little soil and a little bit of green grass.

As you use the following items in your home, add them to the pot:
  • Fruit & vegetable scraps
  • Newspaper & cardboard shreds 
  • Egg shells
  •  Coffee grounds & tea bags
When you add the items to the pot, make sure you stir it occasionally (2 or 3 times a week). You can leave your compost outside in the sun or inside a garden shed or closet. If you chose to leave it outside, make sure it is under some sort of cover to prevent rain water from flooding the pot.

The compost will be ready to use when all of the items in the mixture are decomposed and the soil looks like the sort you'd buy, no lumps or pieces of old fruit or veggies! By this point, the compost will be ready to host plants in new pots or be put in the ground to grow plants. Depending on the amount of care, your compost mixture could turn to soil in a matter of months!

Happy Growing<3

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Get the Look!

Spring is here! As the flowers bloom, so should your wardrobe! We put this outfit together yesterday and fell in love because of it's simplicity and beauty. Both items can be purchased at Forever 21.

We paired the outfit with a pair of brown boots, but sandals could work just as well (:  

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Giveaway #1; Stag Necklace

Often times while making times in our closet or drawers for new accessories, we stumble across items barely worn since we bought them. Instead of letting them collect dust, we decided to recycle them to someone who will appreciate them a little more then we do. Hence, a giveaway!

Here's How It Goes: leave a reply in the form of a comment below to a question we ask for that particular give away. Remember to leave your email, because if you win we need to get in contact with you! We'll choose a winner in exactly one week (Saturday, April 27th).

This week's giveaway is a faux gold stag head pendant on a leather 

This week's question is, "Name a particular moment that changed who you were, either for the better or worse."

Thanks & Good luck!

Friday, April 19, 2013

“I dearly love a laugh... I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can.” 
(Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice)

I often find myself wishing I was the strong and outspoken Lizzie Bennet.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

How to Make Your Hair Grow Faster On A Budget

Don't we all wish we could have long, beautiful, healthy hair like my co-blogger Jen?!

In seventh grade I made the decision to cut off my waist length hair and donate it to ‘Locks of Love’ to make a wig for cancer patients. This was once of my happiest and most self-fulfilling moments! I highly encourage other people, gals and guys alike to contribute to the cause. Ever since then I have been constantly at war with myself about how long my hair should be. One month it'd say, “I’m growing my hair long again!” Until a few months later, when I decided I would look much better with short hair, cut off the hair I had worked to grow and thus, the cycle repeated. However, now I’ve been at growing out my chin-length hair since November and because of a ton of research and religious care routines, my locks are already past my shoulders. Want to know my secret? Sure! How about my secret on a budget? Double Sure, lets go!

1. At least 8 glasses of water a day to hydrate. Believe it or not, this was the hardest thing for me to do because I am not used to drinking many fluids daily. I use the simple rule of thumb, during your day if you do not have a bottle or glass of water within reaching distance, go find some! 
2. Wash your hair less. Try every other day to start, it’s recommended that you only wash your hair a few times in a week (3 or 4) to keep it healthy.
 3. Buy shampoo and conditioner without ‘sulfate’ listed in the ingredients. Sulfate is the chemical in the product that strips the oil from your hair and damages it. What I’ve found is that cheap shampoos contain sulfate and expensive, salon shampoos do not. Luckily, I’ve done some researching to find a happy medium, aka, products under $10.00!  
·         Any of the Burts Bees line of S&C

·         Any of the Organixs line of S&C

·         Aveeno Pure Renewal S&C

·         L’oreal Everstrong  S&C
 4. Reduce the amount of heat you put on your hair with blow dryers, curling irons and straighteners. If you must use heat, always use a heat protector product, less the $5.00
 5. Use a leave in conditioner and a split end protector. I like Aussie’s Hair Insurance leave in conditioner and split end protector, also less then $5.00 a piece. 
6.  Take a Biotin vitamin. This is the main ingredient in Hair, Skin and Nail vitamins. It makes all of these things healthy and strong. I take 1000mcg a day. Most drug stores have these for under $5.00 as well. Just remember, this makes ALL of the hair on your body you may want to invest in extra razors ;)
 7. Get your ends trimmed when you notice split ends. It’s possible that even with protection, the ends of your hair will split. When you notice the little white tips on the ends of your hair, get them chopped off! If you don’t, the ends will continue to split until they break off because they are weak. Most hairdressers will do this for under $10.00.

Finally, hair grows around 1/2 inch a month. This may be faster or slower for some people. However, the better you treat your hair the healthier it will be and longer it will grow.

Good luck & happy growing!

The Truth About Exercise

Let me first start out by saying this:

Ladies, your body is perfect just the way it is. I don’t care what size you are. Size 0 or size 18, you’re amazingly beautiful and this has nothing to do with the way you look. Trust me, and above all, do not let anyone tell you that your body is not pretty and that you should change it.

However, if YOU are unhappy with YOU, then I’m here to help. And by the way, being unhappy with yourself does not just mean with your appearance. In February. I started a fitness kick because I was unhappy in my life with a huge variety of aspects and now in mid-April I feel so much better then I have in a very long time.

So lets get down to it.
 1.The issue of working out is a tricky one. It can be extremely confusing and at times severely frustrating. But, the first thing to address is making time for it. Start with any period of free time you have in the day. If you have a lot, YAY! If you have ten minutes, still YAY! No matter what, you’re working that body out more then you were before and this is already a huge accomplishment. You can use your free time to work out as many days a week as you’d like. Generally, I see people exercising five days a week, but obviously, some people don’t have that kind of leisure. So, just work it in when you can and your body will be throwing a huge huge thank you party.

 2.At first, it may be difficult to find routines that are easy for your body and muscles to handle because you’ve just started out. Walk. WalkWalkWalkWalk. The great thing about walking is you can literally do it anywhere. Around your neighborhood, through your house (yes, try up and down the stairs several times!), alternative routes to work, by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and any other place you decide to get creative. Walking, especially in long distances, will prepare your body for the future activity if you so decide to venture into harder work outs. If you don’t decide to do any more then walking, you’re by no means lazy. It’s been proven that walking briskly for twenty minutes a day can decrease your risk of diabetes, heart attack, having a stroke and an early death. Now I don’t see anything lazy about that! Brisk walking and running are great because they do not target a single area of your body, all of it will become toned and thinner.
  • ·If you do decide to up your waking, try 4 minutes walking, 1 minute running repeatedly until the end of your work out and your body will gradually get used to moving at a fast pace.
3. Perseverance. If your goal is to lose weight, normally, it takes about three months for someone to see changes in their own body when they start becoming physically active. Others will notice this before you. But I will tell you, three months is a very long time when you're playing the waiting game. You will get tired of seeing yourself appear the same before the mirror and upset with your body when it still quite can't keep up with the work out you desire to do. Stick to it, because ladies, by getting up and allowing yourself a short period of exercise in the day, you're doing so much more for yourself then people sitting on their bums all day picking out the nonexistent flaws of others.

Have I convinced you to start your fitness journey yet? I'll leave you with a few more points...
  • Exercise truly makes you happier. Physical activity causes endorphins to be released in your body. This chemical minimizes your perception of pain, and therefore reduces stress, anxiety and depression.
    • The next couple months will pass regardless of what you chose to do with the time, why not do yourself a favor and make yourself happy?   

Good-bye hurt!

Did you ever find that one quote that really puts everything you are feeling into just a few lines? I'd have to say this would be it for me. The idea of replacement, of being inferior to others is something we all encounter, at any point in our lives. For me, and for so many other people, this feeling of inferiority stems from own personal body issues - the way I see myself. Often times I see some really attractive guys at school, but then I see another girl and I can't help but think he would probably be way more interested in her because she is super gorgeous and super pretty and super everything I'm not - or so I tell myself when I'm feeling  inferior. 

The problem is with human nature, we're so ready to come down on ourselves for every little thing, am I right? Anything we do that is "bad" or "not good enough" we immediately blame ourselves and ask what is wrong with ourselves. No positive thinking there. Now I am one to preach, I'm quite the self-negative thinker, but I'm really trying to change that. My goal is to become more confident! I think we all need a little bit of that from time to time.

So, from one girl who is struggling with her own self-image to perhaps someone else who is also, let's make a little pact, shall we?

We will:
1. Not be so hard on ourselves (really hard to do, but if those thoughts start creeping in there, say 'Nope, I will not think like this') and maybe distract yourself; go for a run. Do something that makes you happy!

2. Look at yourself in the mirror and say I am good enough and I have a lot to offer the world. (So it's his loss in my case!)

3. Find things that are good about yourself. We've all got 'em. Doesn't have to be physical or constant. Maybe you're having a really awesome hair day!

4. Do this at least once a day.

I know it'll be a struggle, but I am so game to try because nothing good is coming out from these feelings besides a whole lot of sadness and hurt. Will you?

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How To Make Chicken Scampi!

I’m sure most of us can relate to that one meal our mothers make that seems to have no recipe. She judges each ingredient by eye measurement as she whips up the seemingly most delicious entrĂ©e you’ve ever eaten. This recipe in relation to my mother is chicken scampi….and I sat her down long enough to figure out exactly how to make it so others taste buds can be as permanently delighted with this dish as mine are!

Gather Your Ingredients

  • 1 pound of boneless chicken (any style! Stir fry sliced, breasts, etc)
  • Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • Pasta of your Choice
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
  • ½ Teaspoon of Parsley…once Pasta is mixed, sprinkle some more
  • ½-1 Teaspoon of Lemon Juice, depending on how tangy you like it!
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil

For the Chicken,
  1. Cut your chicken into small pieces. Place two eggs in a bowl and scramble them. In a separate bowl, put a hefty amount of bread crumbs. Cover the chicken pieces in the raw egg mixture, then roll in the bread crumbs.
  2. Place the covered chicken in a pan sprinkled with olive oil. Heat on Medium and cook chicken through.
For the mixture, 

  1. In a pot, place butter, garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Let melt on low heat and stir occasionally until the butter is melted. Turn the burner off and just allow the pot to stay warm by the left over heat until the rest of the meal is prepared.
 Finishing touches

  1. Cook your choice of pasta and drain.
  2. Sprinkle half of the butter mixture into a bowl, followed by half the chicken and pasta. Stir. Repeat this step until all of the chicken, mixture and pasta are used.
  3. Garnish with extra parsley and tons of cheese.


Monday, April 15, 2013

DIY; No-Sew Hair bows

Here is a handy little tutorial to create a no-sew hair clip to dress up that messy bun, add some oomph to your pony tail, or to add to that half-up half down hairstyle. They're super adorable, super easy, and for those who can't sew (like myself), there's no stitching involved! Where would I be without hot glue?

-Fabric (mine is 2 yards which I think is too much so a yard should be just fine)
-Hot glue gun **make sure glue sticks are able to be used on fabric!**
-Hair clips (You can find these any local drug store)
-Ruler (Optional)
Cut out your fabric into a rectangular shape. The size of the fabric depends entirely on how big or small you want your bow to be. Use the ruler to get exact measurements - I "guesstimated"!
Fold in one side of the fabric into the center and repeat on the other side.... it will look like this! 
Fold in one end to the middle and repeat with the other end of the fabric.

It will look like this once the other end is folded; if you have any excess fabric like I do here, simply cut it off! 
Take your fabric and "pinch" it right in the middle. You may have to play around with the fabric in order to achieve the right folds you want for your bow. 
Use your hot glue gun and simply place a dot of glue in the fold and squeeze together until it dries. 

Cut out a rectangular strip. This will serve as the center of the bow. Mine was about the width of two fingers.

Fold in the long edge of the strip and glue down, then repeat on the other side!
Wrap center strip around the middle of the bow; glue the end of the fabric where it won't be noticeable... I trimmed some of the excess fabric and glued it in the back of the bow.
Finally, glue the base of the hair clip  to the back of the bow, and voila! You're finished.

Here is the final look! Enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

None of yo Beeswax!- How to make your own beeswax candles!

I'm really big on candles. Perhaps borderline obsessed. The warm crackle of a wick, the soft and gentle scent of your choice drifting in the back of your senses as you go about the things you do in your own home just delight me! I'm open to trying any sort of scented candle, however, I will always always always have a permanent favor- beeswax. Nothing beats then a natural material and the soft smell. Beeswax candles can sometimes be difficult to find and I need them on demand! This is why I went about making my own-and now you can too! It's simple and I will take you step by step through the process.

1.  Gather your materials!
  • Get a substantial amount of beeswax from an online store, local beekeeper, craft store or perhaps check a flea market and get some like I did!
  • Tacky Wax (I bought mine at Michaels Crafts)
  • Wicks, wood or regular, (any craf store)
  • Mason jars
  • Scissors
  • Old Pot

 2. Attach the Tacky Wax to the bottom of your  wick.

I used a spoon to remove the Tacky Wax and press it on the bottom of the wick because it is quite hard.

3.Apply the wick( with the Tacky Wax pressed on the bottom) to the bottom of the mason jar. Press the metal on the bottom of the wick down firmly onto the glass with a spoon.

4. Place the solid beeswax into a cooking pot. I would highly advise using and old pot, because mine was not salvageable after this project.

You do not want the heat to be too cool, because when the wax melts it will reform on the sides of the pot very quickly. Also, you do not want the wax to be too warm, because it can bubble and stick to your kitchen in the form of little dots!

So, I suggest, on traditional stove top, to set the heat to 2, low heat.

When the wax is entirely liquid, pour it into the jars and let it cool for a good twenty to thirty minutes.

5. After the wax is entirely solid again, your candles are ready to be be lit!

I garnished mine with a green and white striped ribbon around the top. A hot glue gun will work best with this, but plain old Modge Podge will also work just as well.

Also, if you'd like you can get creative with what to pour the wax into. Here, I used a ceramic white teacup.

Enjoy and Happy Crafting!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

If you have stumbled upon this blog, we welcome you and hope you will stick around for a wee bit (or permanently!) 
Our friendship first began 15 years ago on a hot summer night where we met and chased fireflies through the darkness. (No really, despite how cliche this seems, this is actually how we met!) From that point on, it was best friends forever! Throughout the years we both have grown immensely. Our interests and dreams have changed greatly, but together we have discovered our love for all things crafty, vintage, and just plain old whimsical! 
 Buttons and Jollies is our exploration into the world of DIY. From crafts to daily musings, we hope that you will find something in this blog to be a sort of solace; a place to pick up ideas on how to add a little folly into your life by creating your own piece of decor or even finding a new hairstyle to give you that extra "oomph" for the day. 

Thanks for stopping by, and we hope you will continue to keep track of the journey of two best friends as they find their place in this crazy world!