DIY Rhinestone and Pearl Statement Necklace (And Bracelet!)

Going out is great, but my all-time favorite weekend activity is crafting. This chilly weekend is absolutely perfect for jewelry making, decorating, sewing, creating, and all other forms of pajama-wearing arts ‘n crafts. Need a new project? Try your hand at the easy and affordable DIY Rhinestone and Pearl Statement Necklace.

DSC_0044ed

I made this rhinestone and pearl statement necklace out of desperation—I couldn’t find the perfect (affordable) necklace to wear with a dress. The project took about an hour to complete, and cost significantly less than the statement necklaces I’ve seen for sale.

diy_statement_necklace (10)

You’ll Need…
5 Rhinestone metal slider beads
6 Plastic pearls
1 Drop pearl bead (here’s an option)
Thick chain
3 Jump rings
1 clasp
White embroidery floss
Embroidery needle
Wire cutters
Scissors
Jewelry pliers (depending on your type of jump ring)
Glue
Rubber gloves (optional, if you don’t want glue on your fingers)

diy_statement_necklace (1)

Thread your needle with the embroidery floss, and string together the beaded part of the necklace. Alternate pearls and rhinestones. Once strung, leave a few inches of extra thread on each side of the beads and cut.

diy_statement_necklace (2)

Use wire cutters to snip your chain into two equal pieces. Take one end and attach it to your beaded embroidery floss. To do so, wrap the floss around the last chain link a few times, then thread it back through the pearl and half-way through the rhinestone. Tie the knot on the backside of the rhinestone so it is not visible from the front. Make sure to triple knot.

diy_statement_necklace (4)

To tie off the other end, wrap the floss around the last link on the second piece of chain. Tie a knot between the chain and the pearl, making the bead as close to the chain as you can. This will leave you with a visible floss tail sticking out of the side.

diy_statement_necklace (5)

Snip the extra floss so it is just a bit shorter than the pearl.

diy_statement_necklace (6)

Grab your glue and dab the end of the extra floss. Thread this into the pearl with your fingers (use glue that you’re comfortable getting on and washing off of your skin, or grab those gloves) and leave to dry. This won’t necessarily keep the pearl permanently over the knot, but it should keep the extra thread from popping out.

diy_statement_necklace (8)

Use jump rings to attach a clasp on the other two ends of the chain. Take your third jump ring and attach the drop pearl from the middle of the center rhinestone.

You’ll have a few extra pieces, so if you’re in the mood, use them to make a matching bracelet.

diy_statement_bracelet (2)

You’ll Need…
Jewelry elastic
Plastic pearls (enough to wrap around your wrist twice)
1 Rhinestone metal slider bead
Scissors

diy_statement_bracelet (4)

Using jewelry elastic, thread enough pearls to wrap around your wrist. Add the rhinestone and tie the knot under it, so it is not visible from the front.

diy_statement_bracelet (3)

Repeat the process, making a second strand of pearls. Thread it through the second set of rhinestone loops, and tie off in the same place.

DSC_0059ed1

On to the next craft! Happy weekend.


Don’t forget to vote in the Saint Louis Fashion Blog Awards! Oh, Julia Ann is nominated in five categories. Go to STLFW.com, click BLOGGERS, then VOTE NOW. Voting closes soon. Thank you for your support!

Layer up, pretty! | Multi-Season Madewell Dress

As I write this post, I’m cuddling my pups and watching Parks and Recreation. Why? I really like multitasking.

I love reading magazines while eating dinner. The car is both a mode of transportation and a place to eat lunch (not at the same time). I like to fold laundry while watching movies. My lipstick makes a great blush substitute. Sunglasses are eyewear and headbands. Nail polish is good for fingers, toes, and crafts. The jumbo Scrabble tiles on our wall make for fun art and an entertaining pastime. Call me crazy, but two activities, or uses, are often better than one.*

Clothing is no different, and this Madewell dress I recently fell in love with is a perfect example. It’s a thick fabric in a dark color; plus, it has pockets, which may not be related to season but does mean it should be worn a lot. Take a summer frock, layer a blouse underneath, add a few fall favorites—like boots, tights, and a felt hat—and get ready for the briskness of approaching autumn.

DSC_0773ed1

DSC_0846ed1

DSC_0786ed1

DSC_0823ed1

DSC_0814ed1

DSC_0756ed1

Currently wearing… Dress, Madewell [HERE] | Blouse, The Limited [SIMILAR] | Tights, Francesca’s [HERE] | Boots, Steve Madden [SIMILAR] | Hat, World Market [SIMILAR] | Tote, Jacobs by Marc Jacobs [SIMILAR] | Scarf, freebie | Jewelry, vintage

Note: I might be irrationally happy about the arrival of cool weather. Did I stand outside our apartment, yelling “It’s BOOT season!” while laughing maniacally? That’s for me (and my neighbors) to know.

*Some exceptions to the two-uses-are-better-than-one rule apply. Toothbrushes are coming to mind. Oh, and everything on this list. But summer dresses? Definitely perfect for multitasking.


 

Don’t forget to vote in the Saint Louis Fashion Blog Awards! Oh, Julia Ann is nominated in five categories. Go to STLFW.com, click BLOGGERS, then VOTE NOW. Voting closes soon. Thank you for your support!

What’s Cooking: Easy (Like, SO Easy) Chicken Lettuce Tacos

When Lance first moved in, I cooked all the time. I was convinced Lance had only been fed tuna fish while in the Marines, and our long-distance relationship made it hard to impress his belly with mad rad culinary skills.

Fast forward to now. Like so many, I work full-time, I blog part-time, and I’m broke and exhausted. If I cook anything it has to be fast, cheap, and easy. (Put your best punchline to this accidental joke set-up in the comments. You’re welcome.)

Lance stepped in a while back and started helping with the meals. Now we bounce fast-cheap-easy meal ideas off one another, which is where this delicious treat came from. This is probably our new favorite.

easy chicken lettuce taco - 5

Easy (Like, SO Easy) Chicken Lettuce Tacos

Let’s not pretend to be better than we are: You’re using frozen chicken and you’re too lazy to dethaw it. Just me? Whatever. Bake the frozen chicken thoroughly; for these, it was about 35 minutes at 425 degrees.

Is it done? Good. Remove the baking pan from the oven, then the chicken from the baking pan. Let it cool off enough to not burn the crap out of yourself, then grab those great big ol’ kitchen scissors (shears, or something) and start snipping. You want the chicken to be as close to shredded as you can comfortably manage. It’ll fall apart a bit more in the skillet, never fear.

easy chicken lettuce taco - 1

Now treat this chicken like you’d treat ground beef: add your taco seasoning and water, per packet directions. Also add the red pepper. Then cook that bad boy down and prepare for the smell to overtake your apartment.

Now, have your buddy start washing the romaine lettuce. Dry those leaves like you’re going to lose one taco off your life for every drop of remaining water. Plain and simple, these things are gross when damp.

Once the chicken is taco-smelling and evenly coated in a thick sauce, it’s nearly time to eat. Grab a slotted spoon and scoop meat onto your lettuce leaves; avoid getting too much sauce, as there’s no tortilla to soak up those tasty juices. Throw on your favorite taco toppings, pour yourself a skinny margarita, and enjoy.

easy chicken lettuce taco - 2

easy chicken lettuce taco - 3

easy chicken lettuce taco - 4

I know what you’re asking yourself: Does she use decorative baking sugar to coat the rim of margaritas? You bet your buns I do.

Looks tasty, right? In case you want the food and not the wordy story, here ya go…

Ingredients
Frozen chicken breasts, 1 lb.
Taco seasoning, 1 packet
Water, per taco seasoning instructions
Red pepper, 1 tsp.
Romaine lettuce

Optional
Cheese
Sour cream
Tomato
Onion
Hot sauce

Directions
Bake the chicken at 425 until cooked through, approximately 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let partially cool. Cut chicken into bits using kitchen shears. Cook in skillet with taco seasoning, red pepper, and water according to package directions. Drain excess liquid. Serve in romaine lettuce leaves with desired taco toppings. Don’t forget the margarita.

What’s your favorite fast, cheap, and easy meal?


Don’t forget to vote in the Saint Louis Fashion Blog Awards! Oh, Julia Ann is nominated in five categories. Go to STLFW.com, click BLOGGERS, then VOTE NOW. Voting closes soon. Thank you for your support!

Tales of Great Sales | The $5 Moto Jacket

Drum roll, please… It’s time for more Tales of Great Sales!

They ought to just give me a crown. Wrap a tiara in coupons, sprinkle on some sweet discounts, put a clearance sticker in the middle and name me the discount queen. I’ll start working on my royal wave now.

For this legendary example of coupon-ing prowess, I must bring you back to your childhood. Remember shopping with your mother at JCPenney? And you know how you probably don’t shop there anymore? Bad move.

Here’s a conversation I have often…

Fashion-lover: Wow! I love your [dress/blouse/jacket/etc.]. Where did you find it?
Me: Thank you! It’s from JCPenney.
Fashion-lover: Huh?
Me: Penney’s.
Fashion-lover: Where?
Me: JCP.
Fashion-lover: But…
Me: Shh, shh, I know, it isn’t the same store you remember.

Now, back to this particular instance of nearly-free clothing. While visiting my hometown, I stopped by the Springfield, Ill., JCP with my mom. (Shopping with your mother is always a good idea.) I walked past this jacket twice and shrugged when she showed it to me on the hanger. “It’s sort of boxy,” I remember explaining. “You should try it on,” she said. Words to live by.

The deal was out of control. I bought two button-up shirts, a long-sleeved crop-top sweatshirt, and this khaki moto jacket. The four items retailed for more than $180, and were on sale for $26 total—and I had a coupon for $10 off $25. Even before my coupon, this jacket was marked down to $4.99, which was about 10% of the original price; after the coupon, this spectacular outerwear specimen was free.

DSC_0964ed1

DSC_1010ed1

DSC_0955ed1

DSC_0993ed1

DSC_1005ed1

Currently wearing… Jacket, JCP [SIMILAR] | Shirt, Express [SIMILAR] |  Jeans, AE [HERE] | Necklace, from Lindsay | Sunglasses, Blue Bird Apparel [SIMILAR] | Boots, Steve Madden [SIMILAR] | Too Hot To Handle Tote, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Off Fifth [HERE

Do you have a great sale tale to share? Tell me in the comments!


 

Don’t forget to vote in the Saint Louis Fashion Blog Awards! Oh, Julia Ann is nominated in five categories. Go to STLFW.com, click BLOGGERS, then VOTE NOW. Voting closes soon. Thank you for your support!

Currently Obsessed

Hi, my name is Julia and I like lists of things I like.

1 \\ #VSSportTester

Funny story: I was eating a 10″ chocolate long john when I found out I had been selected for the Influenster Victoria Secret Sport tester program. In case you’re wondering, that’s one hell of a wake-up call. Yeah, I finished the donut, I’m not an idiot, but I also realized it was time to recommit to working out. Or, as Lance has helped me spin it, “relaxation yoga time.”

image

Exercise, fitness, relaxation… Whatever you want to call it, I’m doing it, and I’m doing it while wearing VS Sport attire I was provided for free to review. Currently, I am wearing them while sitting and typing. Score so far: Awesome. Reviews during actual aerobics coming soon.

2 \\ Bullseye!

There’s a new, rad collection hitting Target shelves, both literal and digital, and NET-A-PORTER.com soon. Look for Altuzarra for Target on September 14. Until then, here are my two favorite looks so far.

Look 7

Look 10

3 \\ “Call me fat fuck, geriatric punk.”

The fact that NOFX was playing Riot Fest in the fall of 2009 has made a pretty huge impact on my life. A guy named Lance was returning home from deployment and planned to be in the Windy City for all of five minutes. Another guy named Joe told him about the show, and mentioned they should see if tickets were still available. Meanwhile, a few hundred miles away, I was calling in sick and hopping on a train from STL to CHI to get away for a few days. I saw Joe at a party, he brought Lance to breakfast… The rest is actually a great story I’ll share another day. Point: Five years later and we’re two peas in a kinda weird, rather messy pod.

Cheesiness aside, I don’t listen to NOFX to be sentimental; it’s an added bonus. Lance found this song the other day and I’m freakishly obsessed. I have been known to play a song over and over and over to get it out of my system… Sorry neighbors.

4 \\ SCM > PSL

Okay, so I can’t buy fancy coffee as often as I’d like. I’m a professional writer who brings ramen to work*; daily Starbucks just isn’t in the cards. However, I did treat myself to a scrumptious salted caramel mocha as soon as they came back. And it was delicious. I missed them so.

image

I also think it was more expensive than last year. Beverage sticker shock is hilarious and awful. Whatever. Still tasty.

*I bring ramen to work because ramen is good. Like, super good. The fact that it’s less than a quarter just makes it better.

5 \\ “Drawtastic!”

So, Draw Something came and went, right? Wrong! There’s Draw Something 2, and you should play it.

Or maybe don’t. Playing a game that was popular but now isn’t sort of sucks. No one wants to play against you. I keep getting paired with people who just write the word and hunt for points. All you can buy with the points is more colors; why do you want those if you don’t even DRAW ANYTHING?!

On a happier note, please enjoy a few of my favorite creations.

image

image

image

image

&&& \\  ONE EXTRA BONUS ITEM! EXCITING!

Oh, Julia Ann has been nominated for FIVE Saint Louis Fashion Blog Awards. Wow! Thank you so much, you guys. Please take a few seconds to cast your official vote at STLFW.com; click BLOGGERS, then VOTE NOW! Voting closes soon. Thank you for your support!


 Currently obsessed with something? Let me know in the comments!