4.18.2014

DIY Felt Lollipops - for kids!

 Hey everyone!  I hope you are enjoying the first part of Spring!  I have a happy project for you all to make today that requires no sewing!  At our house we have a variety of felt food for my girls' kitchen: cupcakes, sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies; and as of today - Felt Lollipops!

I thought I would add Felt Lollipops to their collection because my daughter, Olivia, is obsessed with suckers and lollipops!  She literally asks me if she can have one at least 5 times a day!  I thought I would start handing her these felt ones instead to save us trips to the dentist!  Haha!

Here is what you need to make them:
(per 1 lollipop)
One lollipop stick
2 sheets of felt (different colors)
Good fabric scissors
Hot glue
Stabilizer (if desired)

First you will need to trace 2 circles onto your base lollipop color.  I traced a drinking glass.
 You will have two circles.  
Now is the time to decided whether or not you want to put stabilizer onto your felt.  The benefit of doing this is that it makes the lollipop a little more stiff so that it holds its form better.  If you choose not to, it won't make a huge difference.  (I did only because I already had it on hand)
Next, you will want to trace two more circles on the "swirly" color of your lollipop.  Once you have the circles cut out, start cutting into them and swirl all the way around.
After that you will simply hot glue the swirl onto your bases.  *note:  you will not use the whole swirl.  You will cut most of the larger part off into a point.
Take your stick and sandwich the end between the two sides and hot glue around the edge of the circle.
That's it!  You're done!
How cute would it be if the Easter Bunny put these Felt Lollipops in Easter Baskets this year?

http://www.pinterest.com/kami_watson/sweet-charli-projects/

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4.17.2014

Easy ways to Accessorize a Swimsuit + a GIVEAWAY

Giveaway for a free Beverly Swimwear Swimsuit at the end of the post. Don't miss entering!

You either look forward to Swimsuit season or you dread it. Or maybe you do both!? Either way it's coming upon us fast. Or me I look forward to the warmer weather and getting in the pool with my kiddos, but some days I just want to be poolside mom. There are opportunities to be at the pool without being in the pool right? If you want to enjoy these times BUT don't want to necessarily "bare all" let me share some tips for looking appropriate for the occasion, still being able to enjoy the warm weather and get some sun on you but feel pulled together, stylish and covered. 

(ps - I'm going to "bare all" in this post and share some pictures of ME in a swimsuit - not tanned, not toned - just real life me. It's not as a bad as you think. Maybe I can give you courage to do the same this Summer!) 

1. Covered up but still getting sun - Maxi skirts and wraps are your new best friend! If the lower half is what you are wanting to mask or disguise (and I think most women do) then try one of these options.

Swimsuit - Beverly Swimwear
Maxi Skirt - DownEast Basics


2. Sandals or Flip Flops - I know that may sound funny but shoes can dress up an outfit anyday! A great pair of Summer Sandals can help you feel more chic in your swimsuit (and skirt or wrap). If Flips Flops are more your style or more appropriate for where you are going think about a pair that is "umpf'd" up a bit. They make Flip Flops with a wedge, blinged out and in all sort of colors. Don't be afraid to buy a fun pair this Summer! 

 Colorful Sandals
 Gold Sandals

3. Accessories! - Now that we have the bottom half taken care of with the skirt and sandals let's shift our focus to your upper half. There's no reason why you can't wear a pair of statement earrings or a necklace if you are going to be poolside. Again, we are going for feeling chic and confident in swimsuit which makes us feel not so confident (wink). Statement pieces or ones that shimmer and shine just may draw more attention to themselves distracting others from areas you don't want to them looking or seeing (smart right?!). Think Silver and Gold OR a fun color that compliments or contrasts the color of your swimsuit.

Along with Accessories, Sunglasses are always a must! Again, pick a fun color if you want, shape, pattern, aviators, or the classic black or brown. You always look cool with sunglasses on. 


So we've talked accessorizing your swimsuit but what if you are wanting or needing a new SWIMSUIT!! You are in luck! Beverly Swimwear wants to give 1 lucky reader a NEW SwimSuit!

ENTER and check out the more pics of my awesome swimsuit below! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I chose the Vintage Vixen cut and also the Green and Navy color combo. Beverly Swimwear has lots of options, colors and fun cuts!

Good luck in the giveaway! 
Don't forget to pin this post so you can reference the accessorizing ideas!

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4.16.2014

Best GO TO fashion tips from Flats to Flip Flops

I can't believe my time on Brassy Apple has come to and end! Serious single tear. I have loved popping over once a month to share a little something with you and hope that you have had fun too! So to go out with a bang I have to decided to compile my best of the best styling/shopping tips! My top 10, never fail, go-to, help you when you are staring aimlessly at your closet or helplessly at the store tips!

fashion tips    
#10 Think it Through Before you jump right in to a trend, think it through. Make sure it makes sense for your wardrobe. Don't do a trend just for trends sake.

#9 Check your Undergarments. I can't even tell you how much this will make a difference! If there is anywhere you can splurge in your wardrobe this is one of those places. If you have never gone and got a bra fitting...go and treat yourself! A good bra can seriously take 5-10 pounds off. You can also invest in some slimming underwear(like Spanx) for those special occasion outfits.

#8 Use the rule of 3's. When you buy something make sure it can go with at least 3 other pieces in your wardrobe. Especially if it is a spendy item. Make sure you can get the best bang for your buck!
polka dot skirt 3 ways
 
#7 Find new inspiration. Inspiration is every where. From Pinterest to blogs to magazines, there is an endless supply. Look around and find something that speaks to you.
#6 Check out the accessories. Accessories are a great way to add a little piece of you to an outfit. Earrings, necklaces, watches and scarves(just to name a few) are a great way to add something special to an outfit! Look for pieces that are unique to you and your sense of style!
#5 Wait a day. Not sure about that purchase? Sleep on it! My rule is if I can't get it off my mind in 24 hours, than it's a solid purchase.
#4 Go through your closet every 6 months. This is one of my favorite things to do. Get rid of any item you haven't worn at all the previous season. You won't be wearing it again, I promise! And for extra brownie points, donate your old clothes to your local Goodwill shop.
IMG_0053

#3 Mis-Match It!
No need to be matchy matchy. Try pulling a few things from your closet that you love, even if they don't "go together" and see if it works! Most likely it will!

#2 Love your body(or at least like it). I know that this is a hard one. But it is super important. Dress for your body type and don't compare yourself to others.
#1 Don't be afraid to be you. Are you the crazy cat lady? Are you skull obsessed(like me) then add pieces to wardrobe that reflect you and your personality. Don't be afraid to let you shine through your clothes!
flatstoflipflops.com Basics and Pencil Skirts #koshercasual

You guys! Don't be a stranger! If you haven't already you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter! And make sure you stop by flats to flip flops and say hi!
ash sig color correct

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4.15.2014

Refashion - taking in a dress


Before and after taking in the dress.  Also before and after highlighting my hair, obviously.

Hello again!  It's Kara from While Camden Sleeps.


Today's refashion shows the power of tailoring clothes to fit your individual body.  Refashioning doesn't always mean that you have to completely change something--traditional altering can often make something feel like new again.

I got this dress at Ross for $10.  It was about 6 sizes too big.  Obviously this was a problem that called for some changes.

Taking in the side seams was the easiest and most dramatic change.  And luckily, because it has capped sleeves, I didn't have to remove and resize the sleeves after taking in the dress.

What I did

First, I tried on the dress inside-out and marked where the new seam would be on each side.
The dress was a sheath, but I made it more of a subtle A-line when I took in the seams of the skirt.

I also used a seam ripper to remove the hem and lower it.  This made it just under 2 inches longer.

After taking in the side seams, I discovered that the neckline was too large and didn't rest on my chest properly.  I assessed the dress and decided the best solution for this was to add an additional pleat to each side of the neckline.  Normally, I would take it up in the shoulder seams, but since this dress already had pleats in the neckline, this made more sense.

To remove extra material in the bust area, I added darts for a better fit.  I don't have a dress form, so I tried the dress on inside-out and marked where I wanted to take it in.


The neckline and bodice after the alterations.




And the final result!

Summary: Having a dress fit properly can make a huge difference!
Side by side comparison before and after taking in the dress.
Until next time,


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4.14.2014

The 10 compliments game - say the good stuff!


What if you said every good thing that came to your mind? 
What if you told that friend she looked great today? 
or told that stranger you liked her shoes? 
What if you took just a moment to utter a few words that could make someone's day? 
How much time and energy does a few good words really take? 

What if we all could have LESS of this of this mindset......

and MORE of this?  


A couple of high school seniors put this good thoughts idea to the test and started saying all the good things that came to their mind.  Can you imagine how saying all those good things made other feels and who how the ones GIVING the compliments felt and changed??? I believe you get back what you put out. So why not put out more good? I say YES!!! 

This goes along perfectly with a an EASY game that my husbands cousin introduced me to one day - The 10 Compliments game. 

Anytime you are out with your kids (or friends even) you set a number and a time frame or destination limit. Then you and all the other players (kids, friends, etc) compete to be the first person to hit that number before the time limit is up! 

Example: 
Give 10 compliments to others before we leave the grocery store. 
Ready, set, go!!! 
Who is going to win first??? 

My kids are getting used to my "crazy" antics and ideas so they don't see it or me as weird - ha ha ha. 
This does helps us recognize some of our good thoughts and just how many good thoughts we have each day. Goes right along with our CLICKER TOO! It also helps each of us get outside of our box a bit. People aren't that scary although giving someone that first compliment can make you a bit nervous. It teaches everyone to overcome that fear. I've also noticed it helps be more aware. A little friendly competition forces you to be looking for compliments to give and in that process we are paying more attention to who is around us. Sometimes you might be able to spot someone who looks like they could really use a kind word. 

So give this game a try! It doesn't require any pieces and it can be played anywhere. It does produce big smiles, bigger hearts and better human beans - so watch out. You just might become more awesome than you already are (oh look at me giving a compliment! I'm one up already! *wink*)

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4.11.2014

Time with MOM phone FREE

Hey Brassy Apple readers! This will be my last time posting here as part of Megan's team and I've had a lot of fun over the last year coming up with kid's crafts to share with you. I hope you've been inspired to do some creating with your kids, even if you haven't done exactly what I posted about.
I admit to feeling a little stuck when trying to come up with something for this last post, and I think it's because there's something I need to write about. And I haven't really been doing it. Which makes me feel a little fake about telling you to do it, and then bad for not doing it. Double Whammy. I think writing about it is going to be just the kick in the pants I need to start it up again. It's not even Earth shattering or amazing. It's so simple. Mom Time. Over a year ago I had this feeling that I needed to spend more time with my kids. I laughed to myself at first, because I'm a stay-at-home mom. "I'm with my kids all the time, how can I possibly spend more time with them!?" Then I started to pay attention. Two of my kids were in school. The time we "spent together" in the morning was breakfast and chores and getting ready for school. The time we "spent together" after school was homework, piano practice, dinner, dance class, piano lessons, meetings for me for church or PTO, their reading-to-self, you get the idea.
Then my son was still home with me all day. Our time "spent together" was me cleaning the kitchen or doing other things around the house, blogging, running errands, while he played in his room, or watched a movie or had to come with me to the store. Of course all these things have to get done, but I realized that all the time I thought I was spending with my kids, I actually wasn't. So there had to be something I could do. I started doing Mom Time with the kids, one on one, and tried to do it at least once a week (more with the one who's not in school) 
 photo mom_zps88b15301.jpg
Here's how it works: One of my kids gets my undivided attention for a set amount of time (say 30-45 minutes---set a timer!) and they help decide what we will do. It could be reading together, playing with cars, doing a craft, writing a story, painting nails, building a castle with blocks, etc. Not complicated, usually free and usually not leaving the house.
We talk, work on our activity, and I don't touch my phone! They know that I am theirs for that time. If your kids have phones (and if they do hopefully they're much older than mine ;) then make the same deal with them! It helps to get help from the other kids/ your spouse so that you're not having to get pulled away by anyone else's needs. Like I said, this is a routine I need to start back up again, and the kids always love it so much. Do you have any tips for spending time with your kids when you aren't distracted by other things? I'd love to hear! 
And I'd love for you to keep up with me on Instagram or Facebook. If you try Mom Time, let me know how it goes! Find fun activity ideas here to get you started:
 photo umbrella_zps43c2b078.jpg

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