Project Fabricland: Fairytale Inspiration


My sewing teacher and me at Project Fabricland.

In January, I participated for the fourth time in Project Fabricland, a sewing competition.  Each week, students meet for three hours to sew garments based on a theme.  This year, the theme was Fairytales.  This included classic tales such as Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and lesser known ones such as The Gold Spinner.  Since Cinderella was my favorite as a child, I chose her,  adding a modern twist to the classic fairytale.  We’re all familiar with the Cinderella story and her happy-ever-after.  After marrying into royalty, one would think that a girl who went from rags to riches would deny her past – yet Cinderella never did this; she continued to be kind and hard working.  Inspired by Cinderella’s story, I sped it up to date: what would modern-day working Cinderella wear to her royal appointments?  Today, so many women work, and more than just mopping floors.  That’s when my idea was born.


I quickly sketched a double breasted coat which I thought would look very professional, and what a princess today would wear – anywhere from a charity event, to picking up her children from school.  I also chose to make a coat because I wanted to challenge myself to make something I have never done before.  In previous years, I have sewn three dresses.  This was by far one of the hardest pieces I have ever done!  On my first day of class, I went through the fabric isles, and found a woven cotton blend fabric, light blue polyester lining, and navy buttons.  White is often a sign of purity, and blue represents loyalty and sincerity.  The navy blue buttons are a sign of royalty, and once unbuttoned, the lining is  the iconic light blue.  As I mentioned before, Cinderella never forgot about her past, and always keeps it a part of her, and therefore, I purposely put light blue on the inside because it reflects her continuous hard working, kind, and patient qualities.

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During my second and third classes, I cut out all my patterns, and by the fourth class I began sewing a muslin, the “prototype” of the coat.  Finally, by my fifth class, I began to sew the thirty pieces together.  I really wanted to take my time with this piece because I wanted it to truly be royalty worthy!  It was extremely difficult to work with the fabric, as it was always fraying, and it was extremely easy for the creamy fabric to get dirty.  It took about nine weeks until my coat began looking like a coat.  Finally, after 12 weeks of tedious work, I completed my coat.  I still had two steps to go, the judging and the fashion show.  At the judging, similar to Project Runway, there are three judges each with a background in the fashion industry who decide what place you will receive.  This year, we had a fashion designer who made dance outfits, an assistant director at Coach, and another designer who had her own bridal wear line.  They ask you a series of questions, as you present your garment and discuss your design board (featured two images above).


Five days after the judging, there was the fashion show.  Thirty girls walk the runway to demonstrate their garment, as the head of Project Fabricland talks about your inspiration.  It is extremely interesting to see how everyone translated their fairytale to a garment after a lot of hard work.  This year, I was lucky to receive second place!


Top left: My nonna and me. Bottom left: My mom and me.


DIY 2 Ingredient Makeup Remover


For those of us who haven’t gotten the chance to give our mother anything but a card, it is never late to gift your mother with dose of health!  And, easy thing is, you probably already have these ingredients in your home. Today, I made a homemade makeup remover that will ensure everyone’s skin is nice and glowy!

The truth is: makeup removers aren’t as simple as you think they are.  Take the trusted brand L’oreal for example – they advertise themselves as the “skin experts”.  Meanwhile, when you take a look at the ingredients you’ll notice that you’ll have problems pronouncing some ingredients.

Water, Hexylene Glycol, Disodium Cocamphodiacetate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Magnesium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Laureth 8 Sulfate, Magnesium Laureth 8 Sulfate, Sodium Oleth Sulfate, Magnesium Oleth Sulfate, Potassium Phosphate, Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Disodium EDTA, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance

Some concerning ingredients are:

  • Methylparaben – This paraben can be an endocrine disruptor.  The endocrine system is several glands that make hormones which controls metabolism, growth, tissue function, sleep, and more.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate – A cheap ingredient that companies use to make their product foam.  It can be extremely irritating, as it denatures skin proteins, making one’s skin dry.  It is also found in fabric glue!  Since our skin is permeable, SLES also gets into our body system, it can get our organs toxic.


Luckily, you don’t have to worry about those strange ingredients!  This makeup remover is only two ingredients, and works even better than the store bought type.  It doesn’t strip you of any moisture, and it leaves your face feeling softer and healthier than before.  Let’s take a look at the ingredients:

Witch hazel, organic coconut oil, (optional – frankincense essential oil)

Witch hazel is an astringent, and therefore minimizes the appearance of pores.  It also can reduce the inflammation of a blemish.  Coconut oil heals the skin with it’s antioxidants, and it’s antibacterial properties balance out anything that may cause skin irritations.  Plus, it has Omega 3!  If you decide to use the frankincense essential oil, it is wonderful for reducing acne, the appearance of large pores, and has anti-aging properties.

Your mom will surely enjoy the product (especially since it’s made by you, from scratch), and appreciate being one step closer to non toxic living!

It’s up to you to decide – chemical filled makeup remover or a natural, two ingredient makeup remover?

DIY 2 Ingredient Makeup Remover
Recipe type: Skin
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp tbsp witch hazel
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1-3 drops frankincense oil
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a mason jar.


How to Marbleize Cookies

Despite the winter holidays passing, cookie decorating is a great skill to have for anytime of the year.  My favorite technique is marbling them!  It’s pretty, and wonderful for any occasion.  Decorating cookies is a great skill to have because you can do it for anything, and it’s impressive!  The marble technique is really easy, and elegant.  My friend and I made and decorated cookies for a bake sale of the Make A Wish Foundation Club in our school.  Together, we made Martha Stewart’s royal icing which is actually gluten free and vegan depending on the meringue powder you use.  Everyone was so amazed by how beautiful they all were!

So, are you ready to marbleize some cookies?

Step 1:  Separate a quarter of the icing, and dye it with food coloring.  (In these pictures, we did not use natural food coloring.  If you want to, I recommend these.)

Step 2:   After making your icings, fill a bottle for each color you use, such as these.

Step 3:  Make a border with the non-dyed icing, and fill the inside in zig zag motions.  Border the outside of the cookie slowly, and exerting even force throughout.  Then, pipe zig zags with the icing within the border, leaving some spaces blank.

Step 4:  Using a toothpick, even out the icing, covering the negative spaces.  After smoothing it out as much as possible, gently tapping the cookie on the counter top to make the icing settle.



Step 4:  Using the colored icing, pipe an asterisk onto the wet non-dyed icing. 

Step 5:  Starting on a colored mark on the outside, use your toothpick, and slowly circle around the cookie, and into a spiral shape toward the center.  This will create a marble look.

Step 6:  Let the icing settle.


And there you have it – gorgeous, festive, and impressive marbleized cookies!


DIY Holiday Place Cards


So many family members come to my grandparent’s house for the holidays, so it can get quite overwhelming.  Following the question “When can we open our presents?”, “Who’s sitting where?” is top on the interrogation list.  With a table merely over 7 feet, a homemade buffet, and over 20 guests, we tend to forget our spots at the table, and mix our food with someone else’s.  Sounds crowded, doesn’t it?  Luckily, my family will not have to suffer finding our seats again with these easy DIY place cards!


To start off you’ll need:

  • Card stock or artist’s thick drawing paper (I chose an ivory color)
  • no bleed marker/pen (very fine point sharpie)
  • metallic marker
  • scissors or paper trimmer
  • ruler (I really like using a quilt ruler)




  1. Measure out 2.75 inch (for the length), and 2 inch (for the width).Cut out the rectangles with scissors or paper trimmer for a more precise cut.
  2. Measure 1 inch on the 2  inch side.  At the 1 inch mark crease it.  My paper trimmer has the option to  crease. If yours doesn’t, use your hands to crease the card.
  3. Write the names with your black marker.  Make sure it doesn’t bleed by using a marker like sharpie’s very fine point marker.  I got inspired by these fonts.  The trick to writing good font is to lay out where your letters will be in pencil.  Then, after you write the names down in permanent marker, focus on where you should put an extra coat of marker to make the line more bold.  Also, if you don’t have a steady hand, try to do more forgiving fonts that have a more organic feel.  For this look and the one shown, I really liked the “Jacques & Gilles” font.
  4. Take any color metallic marker (about the same size tip as a fine point sharpie).  Then, on the top left corner, begin to dot the ink of the marker close together.  As you fade out (nearer to the name), spread the dots farther apart. This will add a little bit of holiday spirit to your name tags!  If you want, you can even add another metallic color such as rose gold, or another design.
  5. Make sure to save these works of art for the years to come, along with some extra ivory card stock paper, just in case your guest list changes or some place cards get soiled.


Snickerdoodle Body Scrub

Do you you have dry, dehydrated skin?  Do you hate spending countless dollars on unpromising beauty products?  Do you like snickerdoodles?  Well here’s your answer – snickerdoodle body scrub!  Just mix, apply, wash, and enjoy your smooth, moisturized skin.


Inspired by the classic cookie, this scrub itself kitchen staples like brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and oil.  The sugars leaves your skin feeling super soft, and the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla make you smell like a snickerdoodle dream!


Personally, I don’t love when my scrubs are dry and abrasive.  I found that using more oil than a typical scrub will make my skin much softer.  My favorite oil is grape seed oil because it is a gentle and helps skin issues like acne, and itchy, dry skin.  Plus, it’s light and sweet smelling.  If you don’t have grapseeed oil, simply replace it with almond oil or jojoba oil.  I would not recommend using olive oil because the smell is strong, so it wouldn’t really go with the cinnamon!

Any secret santa or white elephant gift exchange coming up?  Just package it in a cute jar, and gift to someone you know!

(Or keep it to yourself.)

Snickerdoodle Body Scrub
Recipe type: Beauty
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup oat flour
  • 6 tbsp grape seed oil (or almond oil or jojoba oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or a couple of drops of vanilla essential oil
  • vanilla beans
  1. Mix dry ingredients together.
  2. Add in wet, and mix.
  3. Apply to dry or dampened body, and rinse with warm water.


Quick, Easy, (Delicious) Lip Scrub

The holiday season is up and running, so what does this mean?  It means that you’re up and running as well – from one place to the other, leaving no time to yourself.  When you look into the mirror, you see yourself with cracked, faded lips.  Does this sound familiar?


No problem!  This is the solution.

It only takes one minute, and has 2 ingredients!  No complicated recipe here.  In fact, all you need is a 1:1 ratio of honey to sugar.  I used 1/2 a tablespoon for each.


Mix it up, and you have yourself a lip scrub.  Gently massage it on your lips to exfoliate for softness.  Then, I like to apply my everything balm to keep my lips moisturized.  If you haven’t made it, I recommend you do!  If not, lip balm will suffice.

Do not store this lip scrub because the sugar will dissolve in the honey.  If you have extra and the sugar has dissolved, don’t worry.  I have used it as a face mask and hair mask.

For the face mask:  Apply some of the honey sugar mixture onto face.  Leave on for 3 minutes.  Wash off with warm water.

For the hair mask:  Apply some of the honey sugar mixture onto hair ends.  Leave on for 1-3 minutes.  Wash off with water, and then wash your hair as normal (shampoo, conditioner,etc.).  Once your hair is dried, run your fingers through your hair with a little of the everything balm for optimal shine!

The Everything Balm

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I’ve been on the hunt for a beauty product that will do just about everything – and I’ve made it.  All you need is 4 ingredients for this amazing balm!  It’s made out of olive oil, argan oil, coconut oil, and beeswax and can do so much more!  If you don’t have any of the oils, simply replace it with another.  Since this product does not contain water, it lasts a long time.  Also, you can customize this balm anyway you want by just adding essential oils and playing around with the oils.  Maybe replace an oil with rosehip oil to plump the skin, or add a few drops of lavender oil to help  eczema.

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These are the ways I use it:

  1. A swipe on the lips for lip balm
  2. Smooth on face for an instant moisturizer
  3. Rub hands together and comb through your hair with fingers for shiny hair
  4. Shower gel: spread on skin before shower for soft skin
  5. Hand cream

I put the balm in a small jar, and carry it everywhere!

5.0 from 1 reviews
The Everything Balm
Recipe type: Beauty product - balm
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 tbsp argan oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp beeswax
  • essential oils
  1. Blend oils in a heat proof bowl.
  2. Place the bowl on top of a pot of warm water and stir oils until they're warm.
  3. Remove the bowl from the pot of warm water, and stir in the beeswax until it dissolves.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small jar and let it cool.


4 Easy, Quick Halloween Outfits

We’ve all been there when we have no idea what to wear for halloween.  Or the last minute Halloween party!  Luckily, these few ideas mostly include what you have in your closet with maybe just a few more dollars!  Look for clothes like these in your closet, but in case you don’t have them, click on the link for help.


Amelia Earhart

Woman pilot and fashion icon –  Amelia Earhart is a wonderful, easy choice!  Inspiration:


$59.90, Forever 21


$49.90, Zara


$21, Merona


$14.95, Elope


Kate Middleton

Elegant, kind, and simple, Kate Middleton always exerts beauty.  All you need is her ring to complete the look!


$36.97, Ivy + Blue


$22.99, Metal Masters Co.


$48.75, Ross-Simons


$39.95, Kelly & Kate Isabel


Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour is the ultimate fashion business woman.  You can be too with these few picks:


$15.88, Amazon


$14.99, Target


$39.99, J. Crew


$69,90, J. Crew Factory


$24.90, Forever 21


Jennifer Morrison as The Dark One from “Once Upon a Time”

Baby powder?  Check.  Lipstick?  Check. Sunscreen?  Check.  All the things in your home can be turned into Emma Swan, The Dark One:

Baby Powder (to make your hair white)

$7.49, Johnson’s


$14.90, Sephora

Sunscreen (to whiten your face)

$13.59, Badger


$55, Asos


$24, Donna Karan


$24.94, DeBlossom Jayne



DIY Tags


Spending money on simple tags? Here’s your solution – DIY tags!

All you need is ink, tags, tape, stamp, and a permanent marker.


First, you’ll want to get tags similar to the one I have above.  Then get a simple stamp, such as paint splatter as your background, along with an ink box of the color you like.  I recommend the Color Box brand because their pigment is super rich which is perfect for this project!  Pick a tape that has a fun print that goes along with your theme (Halloween, birthday, etc).  I found that Little Bee had adorable options.  Lastly, make sure you have a permanent marker with you for writing!  Anything from sharpie to faber castell works great.  You want something that has a lot of ink and fluidity.  Also, the tip should not be too thin.  I got all my supplies from A.C. Moore, but they should be available at any art store.

Ok, let’s start!

  1. Take your stamp and press evenly on the ink pad.
  2. Stamp the print onto your tag.  Repeat with other cards.
  3. Take 2 pieces of tape and place them on both sides of the tag.  With a scissor,  cut off the edges that are sticking out.  Hole punch the small circle on the edge of the tag.  Repeat with other cards.
  4. Write anything you want with your marker.
  5. Put it on presents, or simply hand out as business cards!IMG_2522IMG_2523