FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in partnership with BloomsyBox. I was provided with a complimentary bouquet of the month from Bloomsybox.com for review purposes. The below opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here.
It’s amazing how much more chic one’s life can feel with a beautiful bunch of fresh blooms in your living space. It’s one of those little things that doesn’t necessarily cost a lot, but can really lift one’s spirits (as evidenced by the market for flower bouquet for numerous special occasions). BloomsyBox takes it a step further and asks why don’t we all just #treatyoself with a bouquet just for ourselves? We all probably tend to put other people first, so sometimes something indulgent like a pretty bunch of flowers is a well-deserved treat. So…why don’t we??
BloomsyBox is a flower subscription service which offers single-variety bouquets (which means no filler flowers that you don’t want). Every month is a surprise as to what seasonal flowers you receive, and you can sign up (or gift) Small, Medium, or Large size bouquets starting at $39.99/month. If that’s not enough for you, you can also sign up for bouquet delivery every 2 weeks, or every week if you want! Also, if you are a rose lover, you can receive a monthly flower subscription of roses every month (and check out all the cool varieties they offer…I’ve never seen some of these offered with a floral subscription service!).
Summer is in Full Bloom with a BloomsyBox Subscription Box
The box I received for August opened to reveal a wrapped bouquet of Free Spirit Roses, which are a rare orange and hot pink rose variety with an absolutely staggering petal count that open super-wide once in a vase. BloomsyBox includes with every shipment a detailed “Bloomsy Facts” card about the flowers you receive, which is particularly interesting.
They also are Rainforest Alliance Certified, using less water, more efficient farm management, and improved conditions for farm workers, so you know you’re doing something good for the environment with a purchase.
This is how they look when they arrive. They look pretty small and compact, yes? Well, just you wait!
Day 1: Put into a vase following the included Tips to Enjoy Your BloomsyBox Instructions, the Free Spirit roses still seem pretty small and crumpled.
They smell really fragrant…but aren’t really show-stoppers.
Day 2: The roses have begun to settle and open. There are about 20 of them in there.
Day 3: Uh-oh. These are already too many for the vase!
On Day 3 I removed a few flowers and made another arrangement with flowers from my garden.
And then Day 4 I had to remove more…and more…and more…until by Day 6 I could only comfortably fit 8 blooms into the large vase because the blooms were so wide!
That’s how big each rose opens up to! Unbelievable! I literally have 5 vases of roses decorating my home now…
The BloomsyBox bouquet is still going strong into Day 7…and the number of blooms was so generous I was able to share with coworkers too and spread the happy around.
BloomsyBox will keep you #BloomingHappy all month long!
It’s been awhile!
Since January I have been working to rebrand and redesign the Chic Steals brand and website into something that reflects who I am now and what I’m passionate about.
I have struggled with what to do with this website for over a year, initially posting here about taking a break to reassess things, and then here about whether to quit or continue a blog that didn’t reflect my interests anymore. In short, I felt Chic Steals was no longer a reflection of who I am now. Specifically, I have moved away from constant trend-following, fashion acquisition, and “stealing” ideas to make carbon copies. I’ve found that sometimes what’s cheapest doesn’t always last.
DIY’ing is fun to an extent because it flexes that all-important creativity muscle…but I began to feel like if I’m going to take the time, energy, and resources to create something and add it to the world, it better be good – and be there for the long haul. I had begun to feel that I couldn’t serve my readers well, or continue to post about things that I felt were trivial and overly consumerist in the grand scheme of things. Plus, there was a lot of content that was hastily-photographed or written without a thought of what value I was adding to the world. As with a DIY project, if I was going to be putting energy into a blog and website, I wanted it to be something I was ultimately proud of, that helped people. Plus, with everything that has been going on in the U.S., I wanted to spend my time adding beauty to the world, not taking ideas, but ultimately adding value to all.
This whole rethinking of things was a long and arduous, soul-searching process, but I ultimately decided the only way forward with my website was to get ultra-focused on what I’m passionate about, get ultra-picky about what I post about, and become ultra-invested in the site and my readers.
So it required financial investment in getting better: an overhaul from the ground up, an entire rebrand, a huge content edit, and a complete redesign of my website.
And it’s been in the works for seven months now.
Finally we have reached the last few days of work, and launch is imminent. So here it is, the unveiling of my new website, brand, and goals:
Chic Creative Life.
Here are some of the changes you’ll see (I am updating the below as the switchover occurs):
- Chic Creative Life is a lifestyle website and blog, focusing chic living (frugally), with a hefty dose of creativity. DIY and making things yourself will still be a focus, though I will be sharing more articles on advice for living your best, most creative, inspired chic life.
- Categories on the site have been consolidated from 175+ down to 11. Should make posts A LOT easier to find.
- I’ve paused email newsletter delivery for awhile as I was migrating from MailChimp to my new email delivery system and hooked into the new site. Getting this restarted may take a little time, but it is in the works, and if you signed up to receive Chic Steals blog content as a newsletter in the past, you will start to receive blog content digests from Chic Creative Life.
- You will have the option of also signing up for less frequent, targeted content updates from the site, including Spoonflower Fabric Designs, Decor Items Added to Decor Shop, E-Courses and E-Books, etc.
- I have retired a number of old posts because they no longer reflect the message I want to put out there.
- I have edited a number of old posts to be clearer or better written. There are still some photos that are missing from old posts. I’m working on restoring everything, but with 1900+ posts over 9.5 years it’s still a work in progress.
- ChicSteals.com and Chic-Steals.com will redirect to ChicCreativeLife.com (clicking now you’ll just see a preview page until CCL goes live)
- All my social accounts that are under the Chic Steals brand (Facebook Page, LinkedIn Page, Twitter) will change to ChicCreativeLife-branded, with URL’s reflecting this change (may be slightly different depending on what’s available at the time of switchover)
- Pinterest and Instagram accounts are under @carlyjcais and will not change
- I’ll be moving my blog in the back-end of Bloglovin’ so if you follow Chic Steals through there you will just see the name change in your interface, but your feed should not be interrupted.
- If you receive content via RSS Feed, you may need to update your subscription to http://feeds.feedburner.com/ChicCreativeLife
- My email will switch to email@example.com (super-long, I know). My old @chic-steals.com email address will be deactivated – so don’t use that one if you actually want me to answer.
- In short: better.
- The landing page of ChicCreativeLife.com will be a portal for blog content, fabric designs, shoppable home decor, and downloadables. Blog post index will live at ChicCreativeLife.com/blog but individual blog post-pages will still have the same slug as they did on ChicSteals.com, with no /blog preceding them.
- The DIY Gallery has been consolidated with rotating image carousels instead of an image-heavy gallery of all my DIY tutorials. Easier to scroll through and see.
- Many new pages have been added to showcase my fabric designs, my home decor designs, and my downloadable E-Courses and E-Books. Some items you can buy directly on my site through the Gumroad integration, some are hosted on other sites (Stars + stones fabric designs on Spoonflower, CarlyJCais home decor and artwork designs on Society 6).
- The mobile design has not been given the same amount of time and QA as the desktop version. If you are experiencing something strange on mobile, please let me know.
Phew! I think that’s it for now.
As we make the switchover, some links/feeds will get buggy. Image URLs might not be all there. Categories/Tags may be wonky. Posts from long ago may go missing. Social media channels may not all be connected or working properly. Contact forms may not be working. Emails may deploy. In other words, digital Armageddon may indeed happen with Chic Steals and embroil all of you in it.
But I’ll get it right soon… and everything will live at
Hope to see you there!
This post contains affiliate links, wherein I make a small commission if you click through and buy something. My FTC Disclosure is here.
Lately there’s been a plethora of crafty accessories all over the stores. Colorful tassels, fringe, pompons, and embroidery evoke a 70’s Summer with an 80’s pop flair. This means that any wily DIY’er can easily create the look for less and craft up accessories that look fresh, fun, fantastic, and on-trend this Summer without breaking the bank.
Take this Loeffler Randall Tassel Pouch – a big, trendy investment at $225. (And now totally sold out – for good reason! Similar in beige with silver tassels here.)
Why not be inspired to create your own fun version at a fraction of the cost?
BUY – Original
Loeffler Randall Tassel Pouch, $225 (similar here)
DIY – Your Own Version
YOUNA Small Leather Crossbody Purse, $15.99
1/10yd Custume DIY Craft Leather Fringe Tassel trims, $0.99 per 1 yard piece
Loctite Vinyl, Fabric, and Plastic Adhesive, $10.50 for 2
Pick up some suede tassel trim from your local crafts, notions, or leather working store – or from eBay here. (At $0.99/yard – plus a little wait for shipping – eBay is definitely the most affordable options_though if you can buy local, go for it!) If you’re buying on eBay I recommend these colors from the seller to truly recreate the Loeffler Randall look: Yellow, Watermelon Red, Blue, Orange, Purple, Dark Purple, Pink, and Beige.
Use a plain black zip pouch as your base (or try my DIY Leather Laptop Sleeve to make from scratch – just add a zipper closure to the top instead of an elastic!)
Roll up the tassel trims, spreading some Loctite Adhesive at the base to hold the rolls. When you feel the roll is full enough, cut off the remainder. Allow to dry, holding closed with a piece of tape.
One dry, fan out the pompons (you may need to trim the end of the tassels shorter) and use a generous dab of Loctite on the base to secure to the pouch. If you’re worried about adhesion, a hand-stitch using black polyester waxed thread and a leather hand-sewing needle will secure those suckers on there!
Pair with some natural wedges, some washed skinny jeans, and a wrap top make of striped shirting – and you have yourself a foolproof day-to-night Summer outfit!
FTC Disclosure: This is a paid post in partnership with Nakturnal, with the prize of a $25 ARV gift certificate to the e-tailer Mixology. The content and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, where a purchase made after clicking on a link earns me a small commission. My full Disclosure Policy is here.
Hi again, friends!
Things have been super-busy over here at Chic Steals (for good reason – I have a TON of cool announcements on the way!) but I’m popping in briefly to talk about Summer fashion finds – and to offer up a $25 gift certificate to get your shopping started. So let’s go!
Lately I’m crushing on ruffles, layers, sparkles, and LOTS of pink. I don’t know why…it just feels like a girly, feminine summer to me so far, and lots of frilliness and silliness is totally making me happy. With that in mind, I’ve been browsing the Mixology website lately – a mom-and-pop fashion boutique that features awesome brands at affordable prices (right up my alley 😉 and a lot of fun, girly pieces.
Here are a couple of my pretty pink, frilly, sparkly picks for Summer:
1 // Decker Flamenco Top, $29
2 // Curved Modern Hoop Earring, $38
3 // Agile Employee Dress in Milkshakes, $89.99
4 // ASOS Hunky Dory Pom Block Heeled Sandals, $72
5 // BlueStripe Bow Waist Ruffle Skirt, $22.99
6 // Get it Right Black Halter One-Piece Swimsuit, $49
7 // Oscar Daniel Triangle Choker, $48
8 // Valentine Ruffle Heart-Shape Bustier Shift Dress, $70.40
9 // Skinnydip Cateye Sunglasses in Pink Velvet, $48
10 // Sparkle Star Field In the Universe Tote Bag, $20 (designed by me!!)
Mixology has some great, affordable picks (like that hot pink ruffled flamenco top and triangle choker necklace above, that went straight onto my wishlist). And I have a $25 gift certificate for one lucky Chic Steals reader to get a head start on your Summer shopping there!
WIN A $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE – HOW TO ENTER
- (Required) Leave a comment on this post telling me what your fashion crush is for this Summer. [one entry allowed per unique email address]
- (Optional) Share a link to this post on any of your social networks (like Facebook or Twitter) and comment back on this post with the link. That comment will earn you 1 more entry. [one extra entry allowed per unique link to live social media post]
- (Optional) Share this giveaway with a friend and ask them to comment on this post with your email address in the comment. This will earn 1 entry for you, and 1 entry for your friend. [one extra entry for your unique email address per unique friend’s email address]
Winner will be chosen at random from comments on this post.
The giveaway is open from now until July 7, 11:59PM PDT.
*Please note: Mixology offers $8.99 flat rate shipping for all orders under $75, free shipping for orders above $75 for the contiguous 48 United States. All international shipping will be shipped through USPS. The $25 gift certificate can be used for merchandise only and does not cover shipping costs or International customs fees for orders.
The first huge sale of 2017 is live on Shopbop. com – where you can save BIG and score some amazing deals on brand-name and fashion-forward merchandise. And yes, every order gets 20% off or more with code EVENT17!
Some great transition pieces for a Spring vacay as the weather warms up and we head into Summer:
1. South Parade Palm Trees Tee, $46 // 2. J.O.A. Stripe Wrap Skirt, $75 // 3. MM6 Hobo Bag, $190
4. Sam Edelman Gates Fringe Sandals, $90 // 5. Shashi Starburst Luna Bracelet, $35 // 6. The Fifth Label Chelsea T-Shirt Dress, $78
7. Club Monaco Amber Shorts, $89.50 // 8. Fame and Partners Cenit Off Shoulder Top, $38.70
9. TKEES Alex Pom Slides, $90 // 10. Rebecca Minkoff Savannah Pom Pom Chandelier Earrings, $58
The Sale is now LIVE – one day early for you guys as Chic Steals readers! 😀
The Event of the Season sales is open now until Friday, 4/14, at 11:59 PM PST. Some brands are excluded from the sale. See here for a full list of excluded brands.
I was beyond thrilled to be invited back to Oregon’s KATU Afternoon Live show last month – to demonstrate how to make these beautiful DIY gemstone-topped jewelry boxes (for Valentine’s Day…or any other gift-giving occasion really!)
Watch below as I demonstrate with host Tra-Renee how to make your own to rival those $45+ boxes you see at the home decor stores!
How to DIY Your Own Gemstone- (or Agate, or Geode) Topped Jewelry Box
DIY Supplies for Making Your Own Agate Jewelry Box That I Mentioned in the Video:
Gold Calligraphy Pen: this is the type I used
for painting the raw edges of the boxes; it creates a lovely metallic finish
you can use any kind as long as it’s clear, I used this one
and it’s never EVER coming off that box!
Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
(for a glossy, resin-like finish): Michael’s, Jo-Ann Crafts, or online here
In the past couple days I’ve shared some fun projects with Paper Mart and I wanted to combine them all into one round-up in case you missed any. Instead of the typical candy or chocolates, use your creativity and surprise your honey (or make some pretty decor!) with these ideas:
DIY Valentine’s Day Jeweled Wreath
DIY Valentine’s Day Labeled Glass Bottles
DIY Valentine’s Day Crepe Paper Peony Flowers
Thank you to Paper Mart for supplying the materials to make these projects!
Happy DIY’ing – and Happy Valentine’s Day!
This project is in collaboration with Paper Mart.
I was provided supplies to create a Valentine’s Day tutorial. All opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here
No matter how beautiful real flowers are…sometimes you want something that can last forever…and can be the exact colors and style you’re looking for. I understand. We all want this.
Enter the DIY floral craft: the crepe paper peony, a pretty layered flower that can be any beautiful color scheme you wish…and will last no matter the occasion. For this tutorial I’ve teamed up with Paper Mart again to bring you a fun DIY right in time for Valentine’s Day. Here’s how to make it:
How to Make Your Own DIY Paper Flowers (Crepe Paper Peonies)
choose your favorite colors: ivory crepe paper / rose crepe paper / pink crepe paper / hot pink crepe paper / light green cloth-wrapped floral stem wire / round ball or ornament / scissors / hot glue & glue gun
1. Tear a long strip of crepe paper (perpendiular to the grain) along the top edge of one of the colored rolls of crepe paper. Tear another similar length from the white crepe paper.
2. Start rolling up the crepe paper into a bundle, folding back on itself and crumpling the folds here and there for a more natural look.
3. Use hot glue to glue down the folds into a roll.
4. Keep adding layers of white and colored crepe paper ripped edges until you have built up a nice thick roll.
5. Use scissors to snip the top edges and distress them.
6. Cut a long piece of colored crepe paper about 2″ wide, parallel to the grain.
7. Fold the paper on itself to create a stacked accordion.
8. Cut a petal shape in the stack, with the bottom of the petal at where the folds are in the stack.
9. Separate and spread each petal pair over a round ball, stretching and shaping the paper to the ball.
10. Glue the center roll to the middle of one of the rounded petal pairs you just made.
11. Glue another petal pair onto the bottom of that, at a 90-degree angle to the previous petals, and fold the petals up around the center, cupping it.
12. Keep gluing on more petals, making more from different colors of paper, and cupping around the center as you go.
13. For a more rounded shape, overlap slightly and glue the edges of petals together.
14. Cut small notches in the edges of the large petals to look like a real peony.
15. Cut a 1.5″ wide piece from the white crepe paper (parallel to the grain) like in Step 6, accordion fold it, and cut joined leaf-like shapes from it.
16. Glue the white leaf-like shapes in an X to the bottom of the flower.
17. Stab the floral wire into the center of the X, pushing through several layers deep into the flower center. Hot glue around the hole in the bottom to secure.
And you’re done!
These flowers are kind of fiddly to make, so I recommend having something to watch on TV whilst doing it…but the results are so satisfyingly worth it!
Pretty, unique to you, and everlasting…what’s not to love?
So some of you may also be wondering…why are we using crepe paper for this when regular paper could work just fine too?åÊ Well here’s why…
Why You Should Use Crepe Paper for Floral Crafts and Flower DIYs
Crepe paper lends itself really well to creating petals and leaves, because of its natural texture. If you look closely, although the petals of some flowers may appear smooth, many have a slightly wrinkled or puckered texture that is well-mimicked by the crinkles in crepe paper. Got a leaf or a petal with a a veiny, ribbed texture you want to recreate in a realistic floral craft? It’s very easy to duplicate using crepe paper…whereas a regular un-textured paper will look flat and unnatural compared to the real thing. The problem is that crepe paper can be too crinkly overall, so stretching the crepe paper out when making flower petals will produce a texture that is smooth, curved, and stretched out in one area, and tapering down to an area that is crinkled and puckered. This looks very realistic! (This technique works great for roses, plumeria, or peonies that have smoother petals, whereas stretching may not be necessary for daisies, cosmos, zinnias, or other varieties.) Try it sometime to see how much more realistic your fake flowers look when you use crepe paper for your floral crafts!
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Hi friends, tomorrow I’m going to be a guest on KATU’s Afternoon Live show with Tra-Renee again!
Back in January when I was first on the show they ended up not airing the replay online, which was a bummer. I would have posted it had they did!
So I’m going to be back tomorrow – this time demonstrating some pretty DIY crystal jewelry boxes you can make yourself. They make great gifts (and would be perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift for that special lady in your ife!)
If you’re in Oregon you can watch it on channel 2 (or 16, depending on your cable provider). If you aren’t in Oregon or don’t have cable you can catch it live here:
Watch on Thursday, February 9 from 3PM-4PM PST for my 5-minute segment with Tra-Renee and see how to make your own chic DIY Gemstone-Topped Jewelry Box!
This project is in collaboration with Paper Mart. I was provided supplies to create a Valentine’s Day tutorial. All opinions are my own. My full Disclosure Policy is here
There’s something about a suite of matching, pretty labels on all your toiletries…something high-end and chic-looking about lovely bottles all in a row. I’m a big fan of decanting product since it creates a consistent look and feel. Yet this was the first time I was using printable clear stickers in my inkjet printer…so I had a bit of a learning curve. In collaboration with Paper Mart, here’s how to make your own pretty bath product labels (for a Valentine’s Day gift or just for yourself!) with some printable adhesive sticker paper and a printer:
How to Make Your Own Valentine’s Day Printed Toiletry Bath Product Labels
glass bottles (these are a smaller size, good for gifts) bottle caps or dispenser pumps scissors printable clear sticker paper white eraser (not pictured) Krylon Preserve It! spray (not pictured) old newspapers or something to protect your surface (not pictured)
label template piece of plain paper (not pictured, optional) tape (not pictured, optional) rubbing alcohol and paper towels (not pictured) small funnel (not pictured)
1. Create your labels on the computer. I used these original templates from Creative Market, and customized them for this project. You can download the labels I created here – or use this version where you can type your own product names in Acrobat, Photoshop, or another graphics program.
2. Print out your labels on your inkjet printer. I found that my printer had A LOT of trouble feeding the clear sticker sheet through. I got past that by taping a piece of regular 8.5″ x 11″ printer paper to the back of the sticker sheet with a couple pieces of tape, and then the printer was able to grab it and feed it through. HOWEVER printing labels on an inkjet printer I found requires sealing the labels, or else the ink will run when it gets wet. More below. (You could also use this brand on a laser printer down at the print shop to get around this…or use this waterproof label paper here.)
3. I found that my inkjet had smeared the ink a little bit. I was able to clean that up with a white eraser, and scrubbing at the ink blots before the ink was completely dry.
4. At this point if you opted for printing in your inkjet printer, you will have to seal the labels so you can use the bottles in the bathroom (where they are bound to come in contact with moisture). Here is a tutorial for sealing with clear crayon, but I prefer to use Krylon Preserve It! spray. Lay the sticker paper, right side up, on some newspapers and give it a good spray according to the directions and allow to dry.
4. Cut out your labels, leaving a small amount of sticker sheet around the label edge.
5. Remove the sticker sheet backing. Clean the bottle surface with rubbing alcohol if you need to. Making sure your bottles are clean and dry, apply the labels to the front of the bottles.
6. If you purchase the dispenser pumps through Paper Mart, you’ll find they are a bit long for these bottles. Cut the straw shorter at a length that is long enough to touch the bottom of the bottle. (I made my straws long enough so they would be pushed up against the bottle bottom, and be slightly curved in order to fit.) Cut the straw on an angle, and round out the cut edges.
7. Pour your product into the bottles (you may need a small funnel) – and enjoy!
And that’s it!
These are super-cute as a gift (think a coordinating product suite, themed gift or spa basket, or even bottles for homemade body products!). Plus, they look great on the bathroom counter.
Oh, FYI – the rose petals are from here.
Happy DIY’ing – and Happy Valentine’s Day!