First Day of Spring Outfit & Studded Cardigan DIY

*Forever21 coat (similar here)
*Forever21 DIY-studded cardigan
*Target striped 3/4-length sleeve shirt (similar here)
*silver horseshoe-stamped necklace I won from Lucky Magazine
*Aldo padlock bag (similar here, in pink)
*Forever21 rhinestone two-finger ring (similar here)
*Forever21 gold chain ring (similar here)
*H&M zipper skirt
*self-made leggings
*unknown wedge-heel booties (something kinda similar here)

So I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve been MIA for the last couple days, and what on earth I’ve been doing.  In the meantime…

Spring has finally arrived here in Portland, and the weather has been beautiful.

It’s been time to break out the ol’ lawnmower…

Run for your life!

Find leprechaun gold on St. Patrick’s Day…


Walk the dog…

I refuse to be walked.  Oh, and may the Force be with you.

And watch the plum blossoms fall, like light pink snow, on the front lawn.


I, meanwhile, have been sick.

We got off the plane 2 Mondays ago, and I felt a tickle in my throat.  “I’m just dehydrated,” I thought…

And guzzled tons of water Tuesday, but felt increasingly worse.  “I’m just jetlagged,” I thought, and endeavored to catch up on tons of sleep, guzzled more water…

But by Thursday it was evident I had a head cold.  I sprung a 101-degree fever, had a runny nose, and unbelievable body aches and pains (and it wasn’t from dragging all our luggage around!)

By Sunday last week it felt like the cold was on its way out, so Monday morning I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile, and we hung out and talked for about 3 hours, me sucking on Halls and downing honeyed green tea the whole time.

I felt an annoying tickle in my throat again, but still had sinus pressure and a runny nose from the cold that was on its way out.  So I drank TONS of water, tea, and guzzled probably half a honeybear of honey.

Last Tuesday came, and I had no voice.

No voice whatsoever.

I could only speak in a raspy whisper, and in a squeak here and there.  At some points I couldn’t even whisper at all – my mouth was forming the words, but it was like there was no sound passing my lips.
I haven’t had laryngitis this bad in at least 15 years, so it was a shock to say the least.

I read on the Internet (that most reliable source of information) that the best cure for laryngitis is to let the virus run its course, get plenty of rest, and not use your voice.  Easier said than done when you have a 4-year-old.;-)  And salt gargles, which I’ve been doing.

So, since my blogging routine is usually wait for Lil Tot to fall asleep around 8:30 PM, then sneak out of bed so as not to wake him, head for my computer, and blog for the next 4 hours, this was totally ruined by the get plenty of rest suggestion, and I’ve been sleeping 10-12 hours per day (!) since Tuesday in a desperate attempt to get my voice back.

Friday I finally got a trim, since I’m growing my hair out it’s kind of in that shapeless, can’t-do-anything-with-it stage.


It really did feel like the First Day of Spring, with the warm weather, and the sunshine.  So I broke out my fave blue coat, the one for some reason complete strangers like to complement me on when I wear it.

It has a lovely, striped satin lining.  To think it was only $39 on sale at F21!  
(no longer available, tho you can get something at Alloy where I’ve linked above.)

So these are my showing-off-my-new-hair-and-my-newfound-finally-not-just-a-whisper-voice (more like heavy-smoker, husky-phone-sex-old-lady-voice) photos.

Useful padlock bag from Aldo that was around $40. Waaay better than a Paddington!

I also wanted to share my studded cardi that I made a little while ago.  A great way to dress up a regular black boyfriend lightweight cardigan, silver studs around the edge elevate it from casual to something much, much better.  (And these cardigans been all over Vivi magazine for the past couple months if you happen to have caught a glimpse of them!)  Interestingly enough, I couldn’t find any for sale in the U.S. and a reasonable price.  (And Forever21 hasn’t done a knockoff, something I’m a little surprised at still. Doing a quick search for a studded cardi at ShopStyle will produce a couple similar ones…but at a couple hundred dollars each.  I mean, come on.)

So a quick little DIY for ya:
How To Make a Studded Cardigan
You Need:
*boyfriend cardigan (like this one from Target)
*1 (gross) packet of 7mm Square Hotfix Nailheads (silver) from

*Hotfix Applicator tool
*piece of scrap cardboard

Why heatset studs instead of pronged?  Because they are far, far lighter…and easier to set on a lightweight knit such as this.


Place the cardboard directly underneath the front of your sweater.  (You may have to shift the sweater placement as you affix studs around the neckline.)  I just placed them about 1.5″ apart along the front edges of the cardigan, and along the top edges of the pockets.  (You use the large flat attachment for the applicator tool, press down lightly onto the nailhead you have already placed on your sweater, and hold for about 15 seconds.  Repeat for each stud, all the way around the neckline, and on the top of the pockets.)  I love the finished effect!


Pretty simple, eh?  (And yes, my cardboard is from an IKEA box.  I do love IKEA.;-)

I didn’t realize until after I’d received my cardigan in the mail that the particular one I’d ordered had a detachable scarf with the cardigan’s pockets on it.  (Don’t ask why I didn’t realize this; I’m an idiot.)  I sewed the scarf down onto the cardigan and added the studs; now faced with the problem of the cardigan no longer being able to button and the back of the neck rolling absurdly because of the extra material from the scarf…surgery on this cardigan needs to be attempted soon.  I just haven’t bothered with it just yet.

Here you can see the little scarf-piece I haven’t dealt with yet.

I also can’t believe I found these boots last week at the Buffalo Exchange for $15.  I’ve concluded that the person who sold them to the Buffalo Exchange must have been legally insane…because you’d have to be ker-azyto willingly give up this cute little pair.  I was actually looking for a pair to DIY my own lace-up Ann Demuelemeesters…and I found these instead. They are adorable, right down to the little fold-over at the top, and surprisingly comfortable.  The only clue to their origin is the stamping in the footbed…which could read “F21” or “F24” depending on how you look at them.  Does anyone recognize them from a Forever21?


Friday I went to bed praying that I would not sound like a 3-packs-a-day-smoker for this networking event I was aching to go to on Saturday, since I am in the market for a full-time J-O-B and refuse to work at Burger King.  (apologies all who work at Burger King.)

So I am currently massively behind on everything from housework to going through my mail to answering email (only 53 new messages this morning, thank god) to posting here to formspringing.  Sorry, sorry, sorry.

Will get to everything slowly as my voice finally seems to be coming back, just as slowly, unfortunately…and now Lil Tot has now caught whatever I had.

Plus…okay, another reason I’ve been reticent to take/post outfit photos…or really do anything…is that I’ve gained 7 pounds while in Hawaii.

Can you see it in my face?  (I put on weight in my face first, #$%@ing genetics.)

I honestly don’t know how it happened.  I thought I was being careful, but obviously too much time spent with my computer while others were frolicking on the beach, too many giving in to decadent food and dinners and full buffet breakfasts….ugh.  I’m pretty annoyed with myself since I usually only swing about 3 pounds above my usual set-point throughout the given month…but this…puts me right back where I was last year, before beginning the hell that was P90X.

Funny how a slightly higher number on the scale can totally defeat your willpower to do anything, isn’t it?  Nevertheless, I am glad Spring is here! (even tho my garden obviously hasn’t realized it yet LOL)


Anyway, thank you all so much for commenting during my lapse, and asking questions and giving me feedback…as well as entering my Cold Plasma Giveaway…which I’ll be announcing the winner to tomorrow!

You guys are the best.:-)


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Don’t Buy, DIY: Embellished Short-Sleeve Sweater

Okay, there’s not much of a price difference there, but still…

Fa la la la la! I love the holidays!!

But one thing I don’t love is all the correspondence it entails. Email just won’t cut it at this time of year.

Sorry for the short absence from the WWW – just been overwhelmed with sending holiday packages, cards, New Year’s greetings, baking Christmas cookies, and gift-shopping.

7 packages, 27 cards, 11 packages of cookies, 9 holiday letters with photos later…I always overachieve this time of year and end up dropping off the face of the planet for about a week. Plus, spending an hour and a half standing in line at the post office yesterday (in THREE separate lines – one for parking, one for the automatic postal machine, and one for the window) can put anyone into a bit of a bah humbug mood. Or make one go postal. Yuk yuk yuk. Can anyone relate?

But I love the holidays – all the festivities of, all the traditions – seriously, the most happy times growing up.

So anyway…
I wanted to share a DIY I finished a little while ago with all of you.

Perhaps you or your SO has a fuzzy gray sweater or fleece in need of a makeover?

Who says winter sweaters have to be long-sleeved? This one is super-cute with armwarmers, gloves, or another layer underneath for when the weather outside is frightful.

Scanned from Vivi December 2009 issue. What can I say – I love this magazine maybe a bit too much!:-)

So I figured, why not make this from an oversized sweater? (after the jump)


You Need:
oversized sweater (nubby knit or fleece, preferably men’s)  //  9 faceted sew-on jewels

scissors  //  pins  //  needle and thread  //  sewing machine  //  sewing machine needle for knits

How To:

1. Cut off sleeves and trim neckline into a V-neck.

2. Turn under sleeve cuffs and stitch raw edges down. (not pictured)

3. To size the sweater smaller (if using a men’s sweater), try on sweater and pinch extra fabric at back of neck until V-neck lays properly on your collarbone (i.e., not too wide). Have a friend stick a pin in the excess, take off the shirt, and turn inside-out. Pin in a line down the center back, all the way to the hem.

4. Unpick the bottom hem of the shirt so you can flatten the line you pinned all the way down to the cut edge of the fabric. (Probably about 1″ or so on either side of the line you pinned.)

5. Sew CB line all the way to the cut edge. (not pictured)

6. Turn hem under once more and re-stitch hemline. (not pictured)

7. Cut off excess of CB seam. (not pictured – obviously, I got lazy here)

8. Turn under seam allowance around neckline, and stitch down. (not pictured)

9. Sew jewels around neckline.


I’m thinking about resetting the sleeves so the shoulder seam is shorter, which I think might make this less matronly and more like the original.

But maybe I’ll leave it as is!These little jewels were in a multisize pack of 25 for about $3.99 at Jo-Ann’s. And the shirt was $6.99 at Goodwill. Super-warm!

Happy DIY’ing…and Happy Birthday to me! (It’s today!) Not quite sure the appropriate emotional response…but hopefully I’m another year wiser! (Maybe to avoid the P.O. after December 15 next year?)



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