Monday, January 30, 2012

How to Save Stinky Shoes

You know those cute shoes you have that you have that you can't wear socks with? Shoes like your ballet flats, your Sperry's, or your moccasins. Eventually, those shoes get stinky, and usually there's no good way to wash them without risking ruining your favorite shoes! Well, I have found a solution for you. All you need is a little baking soda.

Take your shoes and sprinkle baking soda onto the soles until the soles are covered. You might want to go outside or put some newspaper under the shoes while you're sprinkling to prevent a mess. Then, let the baking soda sit in the shoes for a few days (I only let mine sit for a day). Once you're satisfied that the shoes have sat long enough for the baking soda to soak up any odor, you can either shake your shoes out outside, or you can vacuum up the baking soda. I would suggest doing both. After you shake and vacuum your shoes out, they should smell good as new!

I tried this baking soda trick with my Sperry's and was delighted with the results. It was much more effective and easier on my shoes than using the washing machine. My shoes were a little fuzzy on the inside, so the baking soda really settled into the material. I'm not sure if this may have been why the baking soda worked so well, so try it out for yourself and let us know what you think!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Thanks to Pinterest

We've had over 90,000 page views in the last few days of this post where we shared a link to how Amy at Karmincovers uses a curling iron method to make natural looking curls.  Apparently, someone pinned the picture to pinterest because all of these views came from there.  Basically, we're totally excited because we've never had this many views before.  We hope you all continue pinning things you like from Life of Lovely!

Thanks to our readers!

Also, you can follow Elizabeth on pinterest here or you can follow Jennifer here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

January Link Love

We're trying a new feature here called Link Love where we'll feature our favorite links from the past month on the last Friday of each month.  This month is featuring mostly DIYs because it seems like everyone has had very good tutorials during January.


Pretty much everyone likes to eat soup in the winter.  Jayme and Mendi shared a recipe for Skinnytaste Baked Potato Soup on their blog Her Late Night Cravings that sounds absolutely delicious as well as healthy.

There are lots of lists of wardrobe essentials that all feature basically the same clothes that every girl needs to have.  However, post The Five (Often Forgotten) Things Every Girl Needs in Her Closet from Favor the Brave has a few suggestions that aren't usually on these types of lists, but that are very important and fun to have.

While we're on the subject of fashion, New Dress a Day has a cute DIY for a rhinestone sweatshirt inspired by one at Forever 21.

K from Make it & Fake it also has lots of cute DIYs.  My favorite from January is the DIY Bow Ring.  Browse around her blog some for her other jewelry DIYs.  You'll see multiple projects that you'll want to try.

Here's one last DIY, it's how to make a set of Broadway Tile Coasters.  Such a cute way for keeping water rings off the furniture.

Finally, from A Beautiful Mess is a Cupcake Mixology about how to make 6 different flavor cupcakes using two basics mixes.  This is perfect if you want an easy way to have multiple cupcakes flavors without having to make lots of different mixes.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New blog feature - Monthly Link Love

Hi everyone,

We've decided to start a new feature on Life of Lovely.  The last Friday of every month we'll be featuring our favorite links of the month.  This will include posts from other blogs as well as interesting links from other websites.  We've been marking our favorite posts and pages for January.  If you've got a link you'd like featured, email it to us (email address is on our about page), and we'll take a look at it.  If you're a blogger, the link can be one of your own posts.  We'll be putting the list together Thursday night so get the email to us before then.

I'm looking forward to seeing your suggestions!

- Elizabeth

Monday, January 23, 2012

Book Review - Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders

Fabric by Fabric: One Yard Wonders

When I saw that Fabric-by-Fabric One-Yard Wonders: 101 Sewing Projects Using Cottons, Knits, Voiles, Corduroy, Fleece, Flannel, Home Dec, Oilcloth, Wool, and Beyond was available for review on Netgalley, I couldn't help but want to review this book.  

This book by authors Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins features patterns from multiple contributors many of whom have blogs and websites where you can find more of their creations.  The book is organized by type of fabric so all that you have to do is look where you keep your fabrics, decide which one you want to use, then flip to the appropriate section to find a fun project to make.  

Since I received an electronic version of the book for review, I can't comment on the quality of the pattern pieces themselves.  However, I found many of the ideas in the book to be ones that I hadn't seen before.  My favorites included an apron with hot pads sewn in (very useful!), an umbrella, and a manatee (Yes, a toy one. I know, but it's cute.  And I kind of want one.)

After looking through the projects, it seems that the book is best for those with children or those who have family or friends with children.  Since one-yard really is a small amount of fabric, most of the clothing patterns in the book are aimed for small children.  As I mentioned with the manatee, there are also some adorable patterns for stuffed animals.  

Overall, the skill level for the projects included does not seem to be too high.  If you're interested in the book, I'd suggest taking a look at the table of contents to see how many of the projects sound like ones you would want to make.  Probably, if you don't plan to sew for children, there are other books that would be better for you.

Hope you're all having a good week!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Craft: Felt Flower Pillows

Even though my pinterest boards might have more DIYs than I could ever possibly do, I actually do try to make the things that I have pinned.  When I found a pin for what Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew calls a Petal Pillow, I knew that I wanted to make this pillow to replace the boring throw pillows I already had.

Felt Flower Pillow

All I needed to make these pillows was about 1/2 yard of fabric and 1/4 yard of felt.  To make your own pillows, you can follow Allison's guest tutorial at V and Co here.  

Although I followed Allison's tutorial for the most part, I did make a few changes to my own pillows.  First, since I covered my own pillows instead of using an 18 inch pillow form, I made my own measurements for the fabric.  This also meant that my flower was smaller and had fewer petals.  Don't be afraid to modify the instructions to fit whatever you want to cover.

Allison says that her pillow took about half an hour to make.  The first pillow that I made took me longer than this to make so if sewing isn't your strongest point expect that it might take a little longer for you as well.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my new felt flower pillows.  This tutorial didn't require much material or too much time.  As an added bonus due to my modifications, I was able to reuse pillows that I already had, and I'll also be able to remove the covers when I want to change my pillows up again.

To see some more of the crafts I hope to make from pinterest, you can check out my board here.  

If you've got a board full of craft pins you'd like to share, leave a link to yours in the comments and let us know if you've completed any of them.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review - A Jane Austen Education

A Jane Austen Education

Like most female English majors, I absolutely love Jane Austen.  So when I saw the title of William Deresiewicz's new work A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter , I couldn't not read this book.

While there are many books related to Jane Austen and her characters, what makes this book stand out is that William Deresiewicz has not always been an Austen fan.  As he explains in his book, he first found himself unwilling to read Austen, thinking that her books had nothing to offer him.  However, once he realized that her books are not simply chick lit, he found that Austen speaks to a much wider audience than he had imagined.

Since I am an Austen fan and have read all of her novels, I completely enjoyed reading about the lessons that Deresiewicz finds in her novels.  I have my favorite Austen novels, but Deresiewicz offered perspectives that made me think more about some of the novels I didn't enjoy so much.  After having read this book, I now want to go back and read Austen's novels again.

I would definitely recommend this book for any Jane Austen fan, but I wouldn't limit this recommendation simply to those who have read all of her novels.  I think that most people would enjoy the style of the book and the way that Deresiewicz places his own narrative in with Austen's plots.

Of course, if you've never read any Jane Austen, I'd encourage you to read some first.  I'd suggest starting with Pride and Prejudice or Emma since those are often regarded as her best works.

I'd like to know - do you have a favorite Jane Austen novel?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 New Year's Resolutions

2012 Banner

Since almost everyone does New Year's resolutions right now, I thought I'd offer a link to a tool that I've been using this past year.

Blogger Jessica Mullen has created a sheet that she calls a Universal Grocery List.  Although this sounds a bit like a shopping list, the original title of the worksheet was called Notice It, Get More of It.  Basically what you do is write down things that go well that you'd like more of.  

The reason I find this idea so interesting is that it makes you notice how many good things you already have going for you in your life.  Besides this, when something works out well writing it down means that you'll be more likely to repeat whatever it was that made it happen.  

While Jessica says that she sometimes tries to fill up all 60 of the blanks in a day, during the past year, I've been slowly adding to mine every few days when something special happens.  Now I've got a record of good things that happened to me in 2011.  I've noticed that when I look for good things, they seem to happen more often. 

Of course, you could work this idea into whatever your resolutions are.  So for example, if you are getting fit in 2012, when you have a really good workout or an amazing healthy meal, you can write it down on the list to remind yourself how well things are going and that you want those kinds of things to continue happening.

For all of your resolutions, good luck to you in 2012!


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