Cowspiracy. Why you need to watch this film NOW.

Grab some wine. Get your computer. Prepare to assess your life and make some changes.


Cowspiracy has just reinspired me to go vegan for ALL the right reasons.

From the ethical to the environmental, this film puts all it in front of you to show you that we are not only slaughtering billions of animals, we’re killing the Earth. And if we don’t make some drastic changes soon,  there won’t be a planet to call home anymore.

I love the filmmaker’s approach to the subject by interviewing environmental groups to find out why they aren’t the ones pushing the cold hard facts to the public. Why are they becoming a part of the problem by not informing us that the production of meat and animal products is consuming incredible masses of water, land, taxpayers money, and food that could be used to feed the millions of hungry people all over the world?


He himself goes on a journey of not being educated in the facts surrounding animal agriculture and we as viewers get to look in on his experience and evolution.

One scene in particular where we see a duck get slaughtered, literally made my body seize and overwhelmed my mind with sadness. So many people will never witness another living soul be murdered right in front of their eyes. But once you’re faced with the reality of what has to happen for your dinner to get to your plate, all of a sudden it doesn’t seem so worth it.

The pain. The lack of compassion. The helplessness of these sentient beings who want nothing but to live. If you couldn’t do the deed yourself, why have someone else do the dirty work for you?

I plead you to give this film a watch and to realize that you have a responsibility as a human to make a change. For the future of the planet, for your health, for the animals, for your own humanity.

DIY Silver Leaf Nightstand. What NOT To Do.

Here’s another DIY project I took on this last week to share with you guys.

I found these awesome little tables at Target in the college section for about $50 a piece. We managed to get 10% off one of them since it was pretty beat up.


I loved the shape and the legs on the tables, but I was not so crazy about the black. Black is just so bleh to me. I want metallics and colors and GLITTER!

I decided to do a silver leaf finish on these bad boys after being inspired by this GORG gold leaf nightstand over at crab+fish.

I bought my materials mostly on Amazon and also Blick’s Art Supply.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tables
  • Sanding Block
  • Adhesive Size (Mona Lisa works great) and a Foam Brush for application
  • Metal Leaf (if you’re going with silver make sure it’s the aluminum kind so that it won’t tarnish over time) I used about 70 sheets to cover my two tables.
  • Stubby Natural Hair Brush
  • Metal Leaf Sealant (Mona Lisa Brand)

Make sure you work in an area with a hard floor because there will be little bits of leaf EVERYWHERE.

Start off by giving your tables a light sand down and then wipe clean.

Then apply a light coat of adhesive size to your tables, making sure that you get every single spot that you want leaf to be applied. If the size isn’t there, the leaf won’t stick.


Wait 30 minutes then grab your leaf.

Starting from the middle, apply your first sheet very gently. Apply a few more pieces around your initial piece making sure to overlap them so that you don’t have any space in-between.

Take your natural hair brush and give the leaf a brush down so that it adheres to the table. DON’T brush away the excess just yet because it will fly and get stuck to the table and won’t come off, giving you bumps and a rougher finish.

Continue along until you’ve covered the whole piece. This will take a long time and some of your sheets will break and it will get a bit frustrating. But truck along and you can use any pieces that fall off to fill in holes later.

When you’re all done take your natural hair brush and brush down the whole thing to get rid of any excess bits of leaf so that you have a smooth finish all over.

Now move your tables outside or into a garage and apply your sealant. The spray is super easy to use and dries in 15 minutes so that you can do your 3 coats in no time flat.

Ta da! Now you have a gorgeous piece of metal-leaf furniture!


Now here’s a bit of advice of what NOT TO DO, as I learned the hard way.

  1. Go slowly when applying the leaf because the slightest wind will blow your leaf and once it is stuck to the adhesive there’s no going back.
  2. Make sure you have enough leaf. I started my project only to realize once I had finished the first table that I didn’t have nearly enough to finish my second one.
  3. DO NOT use a metal leaf paint to fill in holes and gaps. It will not look the same whatsoever and will be super duper obvious when you’re all done.

Have any of you done a metal leaf project? I wanna hear about them in the comments below! xoxo

DIY Farmhouse Dining Table for Under $300!

You guys! I BUILT A FREAKING TABLE!

I am pretty impressed with myself for how beautiful it turned out! Especially since I have NEVER used a power tool in my life.


This was a big undertaking but I have to say it was well worth the time and effort because I absolutely adore my new table and I love that I didn’t have to pay $2000 to buy one!

I found the plans for this table over at the fab site Shanty 2 Chic. This site is awesome you can find plans for just about any project and they’re all FREE. Jackpot.

Now, she was able to do it for $110. However, when I went to the Home Depot, I bought the most inexpensive wood I could find and it totaled in at around $200. Hopefully you will have better luck than I did!

This project took me about 2 weeks to complete working on it off and on. I think you could totally finish the construction if you dedicated a whole weekend to it.

Here are some things I learned along the way, being a COMPLETE newb to carpentry:

  1. Get the good tools. I attempted to start cutting my wood with a freehand circular saw. It’s almost impossible to get straight lines with that thing. Get a compound miter saw and you will save yourself the headache of re-cutting all your wood to get straight lines! (I was able to borrow one from John-John’s school but you can rent them at the Home Depot for around $40 a day!)
  2. Make sure you have all the tools you need before you begin:
    • A powerful drill with a a drill-bit set.
    • Compound miter saw.
    • Electric sander.
    • Kreg Jig System and the longest clamp you can find (I got mine from Amazon).
    • A work table or a pair of saw horses.
    • Gloves, protective glasses, and ear protection.
  3. Measure twice, cut once. I think this one is self-explanatory. 😉
  4. If some pieces are not perfect, it will be ok. There are a few 45 degree angle cuts for this table, and let me tell you not a single one of mine were correct! But I said “screw it” and it ended up working out just fine. I was close enough to fudge it and to be honest now it gives the table a bit more character and it also gives me something to laugh about whenever someone notices. 🙂
  5. You will make about 20 Home Depot trips just because you forgot something or you need just ONE more paint brush.
  6. You can TOTALLY do it by yourself. The only time I needed help was getting the thing up the stairs into my condo!
  7. HAVE FUN. I mean you’re building a table for goodness sake. Take your time. Learn.

I ended up painting my table a bright aqua color called Thai Teal, by Glidden, in a high-gloss because I wanted a bright pop of color in our condo; everything is super brown right now so I needed to make a big statement. Home Depot doesn’t carry Glidden though, but they’re able to look up the color and create the same exact color, just in Behr! (which I prefer anyways for its superior quality)


I did one coat of Behr primer/sealer, two coats of paint, and then 5 coats of Varathane Clear Gloss Polyurethane in Gloss. I HIGHLY recommend this top coat. It is mega-durable and gave my table a gorgeous almost lacquer-like sheen. This is the most time consuming part just because you have to wait about an hour to two hours between coats.

All in all I spent about $300 for this beauty! I even found the awesome vintage swedish chairs on Craigslist for $80 total! So for the entire set it was less than $400! However I will say that if you have to purchase tools, your costs will be much higher than my estimate. But ask around! You’d be surprised how many of your friends have tools laying around just waiting for you to come borrow them! Maybe bake them some cookies as a thank you for saving you hundreds of dollars. 😉

And ta-da you’re done! I hope this helped you guys and let me know if you end up making a table for yourself! xoxo

DIY Crate Desk for $100

Hello friends!

I’ve been wanting a desk for my living room now for a few weeks and I finally decided to just make one.


All the desks in the stores were either way too pricey or just not my style.

I was inspired by this desk I found on Pinterest and knew that Michael’s carries crates that would be perfect.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4-6 Crates (depending on how high you want the desk, I used 6 to get it to bar-height)
  • A Desk Top from Ikea
  • 1 2×4 Wood Plank
  • Wood Glue (Gorilla Glue)
  • Sander & Paint Supplies
  • Paint & Polyurethane (optional)

I got my crates from Michael’s and lucky for me it was the Labor Day sale! So I got 40% off one crate and then the clerk gave me 20% off my whole purchase! Score!

Tip: Download the Michael’s mobile app, they ALWAYS have 40% off coupons and other deals on there!

The desk top from Ikea was about $30. But they had a smaller one that was only $9!!! I would’ve gone with that one but it would’ve been way too small for me.

I decided to paint all my crates white for a rustic feel, and then paint the desk top a gorgeous metallic Rose Chrome color by Martha Stewart for a hint of glam.

Sand down your desk top first and apply a primer before applying your paint and then finally polyurethane. (I used some leftover primer and polyurethane from my DIY Farmhouse Table)

For the crates I started by spray painting them with Rust-oleum’s Universal Paint and Primer. And let me tell you it didn’t do diddly squat. It gave the crates a kind of white-washed look, but I wanted them to be solid white. So I nixed the spray paint and bought some straight up white paint and applied it with a roller and brush.


Once all of your painting is done assemble your crates by glueing them together with some wood glue (Gorilla Glue works great).

Next measure the height of your crates and cut your wood plank to size to create two support beams.  I painted mine white to match.

And then finally either glue your desk top to the crates or just lay it on top. Add your support beams to the front or back with glue and you’re all done!


Now you have a stunning custom piece of furniture for half the price of a store-bought desk!

I found the super cute magazine files and organizing bins at Ikea for less than $10. The trash can is also Ikea just spray painted a metallic gold! Finally the bomb white barstool is a Craigslist steal for only $50!

Enjoy lovelies! xoxo

Find the tutorial on how to make the charging station here!

(I tucked a power-strip under the top crate on the left so that it keeps all the cords off the floor and so that my cords for the charging station are long enough to reach easily.)

Lush Caca-Rouge Henna Review


So….I’ve become a ginger.

Okay okay that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I now have a red tint to my hair!

I’ve been wanting to change up my hair for a while now. I had been toying around with the idea of bleaching it or getting it chemically straightened but both of those treatments would have literally killed my hair. Like I would now be bald if I had tried to get my hair to be anywhere close to the blonde that I adore so much. *yikes*

And of course both of those methods require a lot of intensive chemicals that I would rather not put so close to my brain.

So I did some research on natural hair dye methods and I read a lot of positive reviews on Lush’s henna hair dye. It’s all natural and really inexpensive compared to going into the salon and getting your hair colored!

I went into the Lush on Oxford Circus (holy crap this place has THREE stories filled with amazing goodies; it took every ounce of willpower not to go on a spree) and talked to a sales assistant about which color I should go with. Since my hair is so dark to begin with she recommended I go with the Rouge to get the most dramatic difference. Marron is another reddish option but is more brown with a subtle hint of red.

I was sold! I walked out with a brick of Caca Rouge, and a couple of other goodies I couldn’t resist! (P.S. the henna bricks smell AMAZING. I was smelling my purchase all the way home!)

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Lush Henna
  • Rubber glovers (the cashier at Lush gave me a pair with my purchase)
  • Coconut oil
  • Boiling water
  • Glass bowl
  • Small pot that your glass bowl will fit into
  • Mixing spoon (I used a plastic fork)
  • Old shirt you don’t mind getting ruined
  • Lots and lots of newspaper to cover the floor

This is my hair when I started:


Now here’s how to apply the henna:

  1. Start with clean, completely dry hair, and put on your old shirt.
  2. Boil some water in your pot.
  3. Chop your henna into chunks while your water boils (I used 2 squares from the block) and place into your glass bowl.
  4. Once your water is boiling pour over the henna so that it covers it completely. Let stand for a couple minutes.
  5. Mix the henna until you get a smooth, thick hot chocolate consistency, gradually adding more water as needed. Be careful not to make it too thin or else you will need to add more henna.
  6. Once your henna is smooth, make sure there is about 2 inches of hot water in your pot and place your bowl into the pot (this is to keep the henna nice and hot while you apply; the hotter the henna the better the color will turn out!).
  7. Now get your coconut oil and apply it along your hairline, ears, and back of your neck to prevent the henna from staining your skin.
  8. Get your gloves on and begin applying the henna to your hair starting from the back and working your way forward.
  9. This will get very messy, chunks will fall off your hair and onto the floor, just keep smoothing the henna on starting from the roots and working it into the ends.
  10. If you have really short hair anywhere like I do on the sides, don’t bother trying to dye that part cause it won’t really show up.
  11. Once you’ve completely covered your hair either saran wrap your head or put on a tight shower cap you don’t mind throwing away.
  12. Leave the henna on anywhere from 1-6 hours, blowdrying your head every 30 minutes or so to keep the mixture warm on your head.
  13. Get in the shower and rinse rinse rinse! I only had to shampoo once to get it all out of my hair.
  14. Admire your new hair color!

looks gross right?


right out of the shower


ta-da! 24 hours later

The color will develop over the next 24 hours. I definitely noticed a significant difference the next day!

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how well the color showed up on my dark hair. I wasn’t expecting as much of a difference as it made! It also made my hair uber soft due to the cocoa butter used in the formula!

Pros:

  • inexpensive
  • natural
  • works well
  • conditions hair

Cons:

  • messy
  • a little difficult to apply

Have you ever used henna hair dyes before? How did it work for you?

Hope this review helped you! xoxo

Note: I’m going on my honeymoon for the next two weeks so I’ll be MIA until then! Bye bye London, hello Mediterranean! Xoxo

DIY Glamglow Mask

                     

So I’ve heard a million raving reviews for this $70 a jar mud mask by Glamglow. You can read some of them here. It claims to literally suck out the impurities from your pores to leave your skin gorgeously clear and clean. I have always struggled with having ENORMOUS pores on my nose, like seriously you could see them from outer space. However, I don’t know about you but I refuse to pay more than $5 for MUD. So naturally this was a challange for the DIYer in me. And of course I was able to do it for a fraction of the cost, as you do. 😉

The main ingredients listed for the mask were kaolin clay, eucalyptus, salycilic acid, aloe vera, peppermint oil, chamomile, and calendula extract. Along with a whole lot of other perfume and chemicals I can’t pronounce.

Sounds easy enough though right?!

I have also been reading a lot about how amazing activated charcoal is. This stuff can hold 500x its mass inside its little crevices! So I knew I was going to have to include this bad boy as an added boost to the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic or glass mixing bowl. (DO NOT use metal as it deactivates the bentonite clay)
  • Rubber whisk or mixing spoon.
  • Small glass jar. I reused an old salsa jar from Marks & Spencers (shout out to them for making the labels so easy to remove!)
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw organic coconut oil (add more if you have particularly dry skin)
  • 1 tablepoon aloe vera juice or gel
  • 1/2 cup of strongly steeped chamomile tea (you can subsitute any herbal tea you’d like i.e. rose, lavender, or green tea for added antioxidants)
  • 1/4 cup of bentonite clay (I found mine on Amazon) Be sure not to handle with metal!
  • 8 capsules of activated charcoal (available at most health food stores)
  • Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon essential oils.

Directions:

  1. Make your tea and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Melt your coconut oil in a small pot over low heat. Remove from heat once fully melted.
  3. Mix the coconut oil, aloe, bentonite clay, and activated charcoal in your mixing bowl. Simply cut the capsules of charcoal or twist and pull to get the contents out. Mix until combined well.
  4. Now add your essential oils. I used about 8 drops of eucalyptus, 5 of peppermint, and 4 of lemon. Feel free to adjust to your liking.
  5. Now slowly add your tea in small increments and mix until you reach a nice smooth consistency. It should be a little thicker than cake batter. Mmmm, cake.
  6. Transfer to your jar and you’re ready to go!

The water in the recipe reduces the shelf-life of the mask so store in the fridge if you’re not going to use it that often.  Otherwise just store in a cool and dark place.

To use the mask simply apply evenly all over your face or over trouble areas (avoid the eye area) and let it dry, about 15 minutes. There is a lovely little tingling sensation the longer it sits!

Now the activated charcoal is a bit stubborn and doesn’t like to wipe off  super easily. Rinse off as much as you can with warm water and then wash your face with a cleanser. I used Lush’s Ultrabland and it worked beautifully (plus it gave my skin a moisture boost as this mask can be a tad drying). Wipe off any traces with a cotton pad and say hello to clean smooth skin and smaller pores!

The clay and charcoal decongest clogged pores and suck out impurities to help keep your skin clear of any breakouts and keep those pesky blackheads at bay. I really have to say I am in love with this mask and I love that I get the luxurious experience of the pricey Glamglow version without the pricetag! Plus none of the nasty chemicals! It’s a win-win!

Try using this mask 2x a week or as a spot treatment and see your pores dissapear!

xoxo

The True Cost: A MUST-SEE Documentary

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About a week ago John and I were spending an entire day in bed watching movie after movie after movie. I really hope this is something that most people do cause I’m going to feel like a real slacker otherwise.

Anyways, we ended up watching Pitch Perfect (I know I’m like the last person to have seen this movie, and it was AWESOME), The Maze Runner, Dare, and saving the best for last, The True Cost: A Fashion Documentary.

This. Film. Is. Impactful.

I haven’t been so moved to change the way I live since Food Inc.

I realize we live in a world where we can pretty much learn about anything we could possibly imagine thanks to Google. And it is impossibly overwhelming how much injustice and suffering that is happening in the world at this very moment. But I am running with the mindset that we have an obligation to at the very least be mindful and educated about the world we live in. And that we all have the power to live our lives in the most compassionate and thoughtful way possible.

This documentary forced me to examine why it is I consume the way I do. I’m a self-proclaimed product-junkie and no one loves online shopping more than I do. And I had never taken the step back to realize what kind of impact that was having on MILLIONS of people. It’s so easy to just turn a blind-eye to something that is happening on the other side of the planet; places that most of us will never come face to face with. But if the kinds of injustices that are currently happening to so many people were happening to Americans, for the sake of the comfort and lifestyle of another country, it would be unacceptable and looked upon as a great travesty. Then why is it that the world is allowing this to happen right now? Simply because the countries where it is happening are poor? Because we have immense wealth so we can force these people to live the way they do because we want more stuff? Stuff. It all comes down to wanting more and more stuff. Useless STUFF.

We are so lucky in America to have been born into a life where we can literally become anything we want. We have the freedom and opportunity to choose what to do with our lives and be able to sustain ourselves incredibly comfortably. But so many people are not born with the same advantages. And I for one do not want to be a part of the problem; I don’t want other living beings suffering on my hands.

I refuse to be comfortable with knowing that the farmers growing the chemical-laden cotton for my shirts are getting cancer from pesticide exposure. I refuse to accept the principle that people are being paid $3 A DAY to make hundreds of clothing items with their own hands. I refuse to shop with a clean conscience knowing that thousands of people are dying because of unacceptable working conditions due to the cost-cutting practices of giant corporations. I refuse to be a part of the problem.

I live with the belief that there are basic human rights. HUMAN. We are gifted with the ability to be aware and conscious of the vast world around us. Why wouldn’t you extend yourself past your own bubble?

Please go watch this film. I hope it impacts you and opens your mind as much it did to me.

Let’s make a change for the better, together. xx