Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How To Clean Your TOMS

     It's "How To's Day" and today to we are giving a little love back to the shoes that give the most, TOMS!  Summer is over, and if your favorite summer footwear were your TOMS, they probably look, and smell, like mine do.  I did a little research and found out how to save our beloved shoes, so that they can last another season.  

     Some websites say you can put them in the washing machine on gentle, but with a leather insole I didn't want to soak the entire shoe.  So I broke the TOMS care into three parts: Fabric cleaning, Insole cleaning, and Mending holes.  I hope this helps you get a little more wear out of the shoes you love!

Cleaning the fabric:
The TOMS website has this to say: “We highly recommend hand washing TOMS in cold water with a gentle detergent and let them air dry. We do NOT recommend putting TOMS in the dryer under any circumstances. Please note that fading can be expected (especially from sun exposure) and does not compromise the durability of the shoe.”

     This tutorial we found on Shoedigest.com.  This is what you will need:


1) Take a soft bristle brush (like a nail brush if you have one laying around) and remove and dirt or dust from the shoe.

2) Put a little cold water in a bucket, bowl, or even in your sink, and a very little amount of gentle detergent or unconcentrated dish soap.  Just use enough water and soap to make a small amount of bubbles.

3) After you wipe off your brush from step 1, dip it in the water, and placing you hand inside of your shoe, gently scrub the fabric.  I cleaned the outside, and the inside by the heel.  Scrub until they are as clean as you want.

4) Let them air dry.   

Cleaning the Leather insole:

     This tutorial we found on ehow.com, and this is what you will need:


1) Dampen a washcloth with warm water and clean off the leather insole.  This is to remove dust and dirt...be careful not to stretch out your shoe when you try to clean to toe area.

2) You can use a soft bristled toothbrush, or nail brush, but the toothbrush is much easier to use to get in the shoe without stretching it.  Dip the toothbrush in leather cleaner, and scrub the sole of the shoe.  (I used the leather seat cleaner out of our car wash stuff...as long as it's non-greasing you should be fine.)

3) Let them air dry.

     *To keep your newly cleaned TOMS from getting smelly again, put a good amount of Baking Soda in a sachet (a piece of cloth tied up to hold the contents) and place inside each shoe.  Note: You don't want to put the Baking Soda directly in the shoe, cause it will dry out the leather insole.

Mending Holes:
     The first approach is just sew it up! Use a color that matches your TOMS and stitch the hole...or jazz it up a bit and use a contrasting color to make the stitching stand out.

You just need a needle and thread:

1) I started on the top of the shoe, because it's really hard to come up from underneath, and I didn't want the knot of the string to bother my toe.  Start on either far end and make sure that where the needle enters and exits the shoe is on the strong canvas and not the torn part.

2) Pull it through and start back again at the top, as close to the last stitch as possible.  

3) Continue the length of the hole, and then make a small knot on the end and try to hide it in the stitching. 

     The girlyer and slightly more involved option is to patch it!  I guess girly is in the eye of the beholder, and if you pick a manly patch this is just as much of a coed option, so try it out.

There you go! All Clean!

Maybe not as good as new, but at least they'll be around a little bit longer. 

Jen & Jess

Monday, September 24, 2012

Words to Live By

     We have been in a very dreamy mood lately, and there is a very good reason for it! We are putting the finishing touches on our decor items for this Saturday's "Two Wings DREAMER gala."  What's the "DREAMER GALA" (sorry, shameless plug)?  We have been working with an amazing non-profit founded this year called "Two Wings." They are a team of people passionate about using their skills and talents to help others succeed.  Two Wings uses education, mentoring and life coaching to empower at-risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking in achieving their dreams in the greater Southern California region.

     This Saturday we are helping them throw their first gala.  If you are free and want to come support this wonderful organization you can purchase tickets, HERE. We are also offering "Crasher tickets" for those of you that want to come for drinks, dessert, and dancing.  "Crasher" tickets start at 9:30pm and are $30/each or 2 for $50.

     "You may say I'm a dreamer ... but I'm not the only one."  

Jen & Jess

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shabby Chic Crown Bridal Shower

     Happy "Where's the Party" Wednesday!  Jen and I were talking about how blessed we are to have such a loving and incredibly fun family, and we realized we never posted these beautiful pictures! Our fabulous Auntie Mae threw both of us the most amazing and beautiful bridal showers!  We have shared some photos from Jen's "Cooking Shower," HERE, but we thought we would share a few from my shower as well. The theme was shabby chic and crowns to go with the verse "A wife of noble character is her husband's crown," Proverbs 12:4. Enjoy!

     Auntie Mae asked guests to write wishes for my marriage on the cutest little crown cards, and pin them on a gorgeous flower wreath she sent home with me.

     The entire day was so beautiful and thoughtful. Everything was burlap, lace, and perfectly shabby chic!  And the entire day was captured by the lovely Faye Chapman of Faye's Captured Moments.

Jen & Jess

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY: Embossing Gift Bags

     If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter then you may already know about the Gala we are helping put on for Two Wings.  Today is gift bag day, and we thought we would share a cheap and easy way to make beautiful Gift Bags, Party Favor Bags, or Welcome Bags.  
What you will Need:

1) Gift Bags ~ We used Kraft Paper bags, because they are a nice neutral, and look clean.  You can find them at Michaels for $5.99 for 13, or if you want to order them, they are at Oriental Trading Company for $6.25 per dozen.

2) Stamp ~ You can use any stamp you want that fits your theme, or order a custom stamp.  We ordered custom stamps of the Organization's logo from Rubberstamps.net.

3) Pigment Ink ~ Pigment ink comes in many different colors, so you can use an ink color and a clear, or sparkle powder, or use a clear ink and a colored powder, but make sure it's pigment ink because regular ink will dry too fast, and the powder will not stick.  You can find pigment ink at Michaels and Paper Source.

4) Embossing Powder ~ Like the ink, embossing powder comes in all sorts of fun colors, so find the one that works for you, but make sure it's embossing powder and not just glitter or it won't melt.  You can find embossing powder at Michaels and Paper Source.

5) Embosser ~ The embosser's the fun part, you can find them at Michaels and Paper Source.

How To:

Step 1: Lay out a drop cloth or newspaper on a work space.  The heat from the embosser will not only melt the powder on the bag, but it will melt the loose powder around it, so cover the  space well.  Also, put out a piece of plain white paper to catch the excess powder.
Step 2: Stamp your stamp on the pigment ink pad, making sure to cover the whole stamp very well.
Step 3: Stamp your bag (or whatever you're embossing).
Step 4: Cover your pigment ink with embossing powder.  Make sure to cover the whole image.  Don't worry about using too much powder, it is easy to dump the excess powder back in the jar when you are done.
Step 5: Dump off the extra powder on the piece of paper you put out.  Really shake it well, and I even flick the back of it.  
Step 6: Make sure all the extra powder is off.  Wipe around the image, and even use a Q-tip to wipe off powder that is harder to get to.
Step 7: Turn on your embosser and hold it about an inch away from the stamp.  Keep it in place until you see the powder starting to melt, and then move it slowly around the image until the whole thing is melted.
Step 8: Let it sit for a little while so it can dry, and then you're done!

We have also used embossing to make coasters, gift cards, you name it! It's the best tool ever!  It saves on cost and always looks great.

Jen & Jess

Monday, September 17, 2012

Words to Live By

     One year ago I married the most wonderful man I have ever met.  He is my balance.  It was the most perfect, and beautiful day, and we set out on this brand new journey together.  
    When I hike, I pray.  Something about being outside in nature has always made me feel closer to God.  Recently I hiked Torrey Pines State Reserve back to where it all began, back to where Brandon proposed to me 2 years ago.  While I was standing in the exact spot that Brandon got down on one knee, I heard God whisper in His still small voice, "Your adventure starts now.  This is just the beginning of your love story."  It was such a beautiful blessing, and reminder that our story has just barely begun, and we have so much more to look forward to. 
     Happy One Year Anniversary to my incredible Husband.  Our Adventure is just starting, and I can't wait to write our love story together. 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

LLLove Guest Post on Wedding Party Blog

     If you are looking for even more Fall Inspiration check out our guest post on Wedding Party, HERE.

Jen & Jess

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fall Inspiration Boards

     Happy "Where's the Party" Wednesday!  We thought we would bring some fall inspiration to you today!  We have been LLLoving all the burgundy paired with pops of primary colors that have been sweeping the fashion and wedding scenes, and also the use of pumpkins and fruit in decor so we thought we'd do some pairing of our own...hope you enjoy!

Burgundy + Orange + Yellow + Pink
{photos via here, here, here, here, here, and here}

Pink + Gold with a Fall Twist
{photos via here, here, here, here, here, and here}

Fall Romance: Tan + Orange + Blue + Cream
{photos via here, here, here, here, and here}

Fall in love this fall! 

Jen & Jess

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Video How To: Hair Twist

     Welcome to "How To's Day".  Today we have a video tutorial on the hair twists that we featured in our Fall Hair Trends post last Friday.

     This is a very fun and simple look for Fall.  There are so many different ways to wear it, and it's easy to do.  Just watch...

Now go add a little twist to your Fall wardrobe.

Jen & Jess

Monday, September 10, 2012

Words to Live By

     With hollywood going crazy over our 16th president now a days, I thought we should share one of my favorite Abraham Lincoln quotes.  It's easier said than done, but you will be a much happier person and live a much happier life if you choose to focus on the positive and not the negative.  There will always be someone better, skinnier, prettier, someone who has more then you, or is further along in their career.  To compare,  it robs your joy.  Instead, focus on the positive and all that you are blessed with. When you find yourself thinking "the world is against me," or "why can't anything go my way," force yourself to start listing all the things in your life you are grateful for: your health, family, having a job, etc.  And smile, it's been proven that smiling (whether you want to or not) releases endorphins and tricks your body into helping you change your mood.  So today, choose to be happy, we will be doing the same!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Fall Hair Trends

     Dust off your flat iron, and get ready for sleek looks this fall.  It's all about extremes, whether it's polished and tight, or teased and high, fall is quaffed.  According 2012 Fall Fashion Week, these are the hair trends to look forward to.  

     For this look use a flat iron, and a hair serum to get the hair as shinny and smooth as possible.  Ashley Mason of Bella Via Salon in Del Mar ([Jen] and our Mom's stylist, and one of our life long best friends) recommends Super Skinny by Paul Mitchell.

     Twists can be messy and fun, or polished and refined.  I feel a hair How-To coming soon.

     Our Mother is very upset to hear that low volume anything is a trend for this fall, but here it is, and there are so many different ways to make low volume have a high impact.

     Now this is more our Mother's style.  Get out that rat tale comb and go for it!

     We hope you are inspired to try some new do's this Fall, but remember that feeling beautiful is always in style, so if you have a look that works for you keep rocking it!

Jen & Jess   

Photos from here, here, and here

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cute and Custom Gifts to Give Your Bride or Groom on Your Wedding Day

     Happy "Where's the Party at Wednesday!" This Wednesday we decided to do something fun, and had the wonderful Wedding Party Blog do a guest post for us on gifts for your bride or groom.  Hope you enjoy!

     The giving of gifts between the bride and groom on the day of the wedding has been a longstanding tradition.  However, overtime the gifts have definitely become more modernized and less traditional.  The gift doesn't necessarily have to be expensive or over the top, but rather meaningful, personal, and from the heart.  If you're having trouble coming up with a cute and in-expensive gift, no worries!  We've come up with a few adorable and fun ideas for both the groom and the bride.  Take a peek and let us know what you think!



     Writing love letters is another sweet and simple gift.  Though your wedding vows will be read at the altar, a love letter is a personal and more private message specifically meant for the bride and grooms eyes-only.  Have your maid of honor or best man deliver the letters while the happy couple is getting ready.  Remember to give the letter to the bride before she gets all glammed up, so she doesn't ruin her pretty makeup!

     Whatever gift you decide to choose, just remember to keep it simple and romantic.  Try to pick something that will calm the nerves of your other half, and put a smile on their face.  Good luck everyone! 

 We hope this post was helpful!  For more wedding ideas and inspiration, visit Wedding Party Blog. 

Jen & Jess 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rosemary Cashews

     This is another recipe I got from our Auntie Mae.  These cashews taste amazing and are a perfect party snack for a fall get together. This recipe serves eight people, and is best served warm.  You can also prepare the rosemary mixture in advance.

1 pound roasted unsalted cashews
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1. Spread the cashews out on a sheet pan. Toast in the oven until warm, about 5 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt, and butter.  

3. Thoroughly toss the warm cashews with the spiced butter.

4. Serve warm.