Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0073

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0102

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0145

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0120

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-00642

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0127

Dalmatian Print Pencil Skirt Tutorial

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0079

Animal dalmation print pencil skirt tutorial-0133


I tend to get on a color palette kick, and pair the same colors in a look together over and over for a few weeks. Recently I have been loving black, white, and cognac. I made this skirt months ago and have worn it on several occasions. I tended to just stick with black shoes with the skirt, but I found these great cognac lace up block heels at Payless and I love the look of them paired with the skirt. I grabbed this soft cognac cashmere cardigan and this fun tassel crossbody bag, and I love how the color combination turned out! The tassel on the bag mixed tie in nicely with the small tassel ties on the lace up sandals. I’m also excited about the price of these sandals! I’ve seen other pairs that are very similar but at a much higher price point.

Knit pencil skirts are one of my favorite things to make. They are so great to throw on when it is really hot outside and I can’t even think about trying to wear jeans. I have a step by step sewing tutorial on how to make this dalmatian print pencil skirt below! Just follow the jump for the instructions…

in partnership with Payless  |  photography by Kendra Maarse





Pink Pom Pom Trim Kaftan swim cover up tutorial.

For my recent girls weekend trip to the Beverly Hilton, I wanted to make a cute simple swim coverup for the pool. It was so easy to wear AND easy to make! I’ve included the full tutorial for how to make this same coverup at the bottom of this post!


Pom pom trim kaftan swim cover up tutorial 15

For this project I was inspired by OtterBox’s cute phone cover that was designed by Project Runway: All Stars winner, Dom Streater. I loved the fun bright coral pink in this case and found this exact shade in a recent trip to Mood Fabrics in downtown LA. This case is fun and eye catching, and since a clothing designer developed the case, I thought it would be fitting to design and style my own piece of clothing to go with it! OtterBox Symmetry Series cases are always the best at protecting my phone.

Pink Pom Pom Trim Kaftan swim cover up tutorial.


Pom pom trim kaftan swim cover up tutorial 13

Pink Pom Pom Trim Kaftan swim cover up tutorial.

Pom Pom trim swim cover up.

Coral striped nail art.

Pom pom trim kaftan swim cover up tutorial 7

Pom pom trim kaftan swim cover up tutorial 9

The cutest pink Pom pom trim kaftan swim cover up.

Pom pom trim swim cover.

Pom pom trim kaftan swim cover up tutorial 8

Pom pom trim swim cover tutorial.

Dom Streater Otterbox Symmetry Seris Graphics Case | Pom Pom Kaftan (made by me, tutorial below. Similar kaftans herehere and here) | Black Sunglasses | Gold Gladiator Sandals 

in partnership with Otterbox

Follow the jump below for the full tutorial on how to make this cute Pom Pom Kaftan Swim Cover!

Continue reading “POM POM KAFTAN TUTORIAL”



We’ve all done it. Wash and style hair, wear it styled for a few days, then toss it in a messy bun around the time that it needs washing. But so many times I throw it in a messy bun with every intention of washing it the next day…and it just doesn’t happen. I put the Living Proof products to the test, and today I’m sharing how I was able to recreate a freshly styled look (long after my hair was fresh) using my favorites from their line. 

 Here’s the lineup of my favorites in the order that I use them. I start with the Dry Shampoo, second I add the Style Extender, then the Satin Hair Serum, and finish with the Flex Shaping Hairspray.

I’d say this was about day 5 since my last wash. I wore it in a messy bun exactly like this the day before.

FIRST: Dry shampoo. This one is my favorite of all the Living Proof products. I’ve tried a lot of dry shampoos and this one is fantastic. It has a clean citrus scent to it that I love, and I feel like it really does ‘clean’ my hair. (I watched this cute video to show just how well it can clean sweaty hair here- perfect for gym days!) Hold the bottle 8-10 inches from your hair and spray along your roots. I section off parts of my hair as I spray- so the front, lift up each front side and spray, lift up the back middle section and spray etc. Then wait about 30 seconds.

You will see a white powdery look to your hair at first, but after the 30 seconds, take your fingers and rub along your roots where you sprayed the dry shampoo to spread evenly and ‘dust off’ the dry shampoo.

SECOND: Add a dime size about of the Prime Style Extender Cream just to the ends of your hair. This will give it a little weight and make it piecy, perfect for curing. Don’t add it to your roots or you will undo the cleaning effect of the dry shampoo. I should also add that I don’t brush my hair out. I feel like this ruins the effect of the soft beachy waves you will create.

Curl your hair in slightly thicker section. Curl away from your hair and start about 5″ from your roots, leaving 1-2 inches uncurled at the bottom.

THIRD: Add a tiny pea-sized drop of the Satin Hair Serum to your palms (a little goes a long way!). Rub it between your hands to warm it up and ‘activate’ it. Very loosely run your fingers through the bottoms of your curls and touch lightly along the top of your hair to smooth out and fly-aways.

FOURTH: Set your curls with the Flex Shaping Hairspray. I like this hairspray because it isn’t too stiff. It lives up to it’s name because it allows you to still run your fingers through your hair while keeping the curls in tact.

And there you have it! Nobody would guess that your hair was in desperate need of a wash when you woke up. I used this technique last week for a Christmas party I was attending. I had every intention of washing my hair but that was a luxury I just didn’t get to that day. Instead of rushing to try and wash it (and be late for the party in the process) I just did all the steps I listed with my Living Proof products and it added another day of not having to wash and style my hair.

Everyone’s hair is different, and mine reacted really well to the Dry Shampoo. But if you are unsure of which product to start with, try out this product selector tool to help you figure out which products would work best for you!

in collaboration with Living Proof. a product I use and believe in.


My hair has a natural wave to it.  The kind of wave that causes it to get pouffy and frizzy the second I encounter humidity. Years of bleaching my hair has only made it worse. Because I live in Southern California and deal with humidity on a daily basis, I’ve had to rely heavily on my straightener to keep my hair from going “Mufasa” on me (ie: morph into a lion’s mane). My hair washing, blow drying, straightening hair routine is a long one. I try to wash my hair only once a week because I dread this lengthy process.
I recently tried a new at-home frizz eliminating system called TextureTame. Have you heard of it? OH my goodness it’s a game changer. I’ve always wanted to try Keratin treatments at my salon, but I simply don’t have 3-4 hours every 2 months to devote to it. I did the 3 step at home treatment with TexureTame and saw immediate incredible results! I’m in love! 

Before I used TextureTame my hair was looking dull. It was so full of product and was in desperate need of a boost. I hated wearing my hair straight because it was looking so dry and damaged at the ends. After I used TextureTame’s 3 step treatment, my hair was glossy, vibrant, and I barely even needed to use a straightener! Honestly! I didn’t think I could get this kind glossy straight hair without having to straighten (and damage) every strand of my hair.

TextureTame is a three-part process that you can do at home to permanently eliminate frizz and strip your hair of any product buildup that causes dullness. It doesn’t have any harmful or toxic chemicals either. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Eliminate treatment- This step takes 30 minutes and only needs to be done every 3 months. It doesn’t smell the greatest…and because of this I was a bit skeptical. But boy does this stuff work!

Step 2: Moisture Lock treatment- This step takes 15 minutes and can be used once a week to keep hair super soft.

Step 3: Finish treatment- This step can be used as often as you want to dry or damp hair. It helps enhance shine and protect your hair from any additional damage.

This would make a fantastic Christmas gift for someone looking to step up their hair game! Plus, all Elle Apparel readers can get 30% off a 3 month supply of TextureTame by following this link.

I really love this product. Its much more cost and time effective than going into a salon for a similar treatment. And it WORKS. I’ll just let my handy little animated GIF do the talking…

In collaboration with Dermstore. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Merrick and I have been busy gearing up for our Modern Girls Guide to Sewing Black Friday SALE happening this weekend (stay tuned!), and leading up to the sale, we wanted to show you some fun festive pieces of clothing you will be able to sew after taking our online sewing course!
During our Halloween Week, we showed you 4 different costumes that you can make using the skills you learn in our online sewing course. Throughout this week, we will be showing you 4 festive holiday looks you will be able to make after taking our courses. In our Beginner Course, we walk you through every step you need to know to make a simple elastic waistband skirt.
Merrick showed off a gorgeous gold sequin elastic waistband skirt over on her blog yesterday. Today I’m showing the same kind of elastic waistband skirt out of this beautiful merlot lace….
Don’t miss Wednesday and Thursday’s posts where we show you holiday versions of the dress you learn how to make in our Intermediate Course.
If you’ve been dying to learn to sew, now is your chance! Both of our courses will be ON SALE this week for Black Friday through Cyber Monday over on moderngirlsewing.com! We want to give you enough fair warning to spread the word to everyone who has your name for Christmas. It might even be helpful to just mark the sale on your husband’s calendar for him 😉


Ever since I started doing my own eyelash extensions, I’ve had lots of questions about them, especially over on my instagram. Hopefully this post answers all your questions! I am giving you a start to finish tutorial on how I do mine. As a blonde, my eyelashes are pretty much invisible without mascara. On top of that, my eyelashes are straight, so the process of curling my lashes and applying mascara takes the majority of my time when I do my makeup. With a third baby and 2 kids in school, I am constantly running out the door for school/errands, and since I’ve been using these extensions, it has made getting ready to go so much faster! For those wondering, this is different than just wearing fake lashes. The glue for these is a much stronger bond and can last up to a week or more depending on how well you apply them. It comes with a clear glue, but I highly recommend getting this dark glue that dries black. It’s a big bottle and lasts forever.  They are synthetic lashes, and have 4-5 individual lashes attached to each one, making the application process a lot faster than applying one single lash to each one of your lashes.
I’ve tried the normal eyelash extensions before, and they were great. But they were expensive, and I just don’t have 2-3 hours every few weeks to go in and get them filled. These eyelash extensions are $10 to get started! $10 you guys! And the refills are only a few dollars and last me at least 2 applications. It is so crazy cheap! I have been telling everyone I know about these at-home lash extensions. Now that I have used them for over a month, I can apply a full set in about 20-30 minutes, and they last me a full week without having to do any touch-ups.

Let me tell you, waking up with a full set of black curled lashes is a GAME CHANGER for a blonde! Eyelashes make the biggest difference, and my eyes disappear without them. Now I feel like I’m 70% ready for the day before I even start putting my makeup on. 

Ok, onto the tutorial…make sure you read all my notes at the bottom of the post as well. I talk all about how to care for and remove your lashes.

  • The starter kit is by Ardell and you can get it here. It includes the lash glue, lash remover, tweesers, and short, medium, and long lashes. 
  • I also recommend grabbing at least 1 refill of the short lashes and the medium lashes. (I don’t use the long lashes, they are just too fake long for me). They even make these mini lashes that they say work for lower lashes, but I think they would be good for top lashes too. 
  • Also, a mascara wand (super inexpensive) will help you maintain your lashes. 
  • I recently purchased this black Ardell eyelash extension glue, and I love it! The glue dries black, not clear, so it is much less noticeable, and gives more of an eyeliner look along your lash line. 

tweezer hold for right lashes
tweezer hold for left lashes

Each lash is a tiny bundle of about 8-9 lashes, all connected by a tiny ball at the bottom. I’m going to refer to one of these as an ‘individual lash’, but know that each one is connected to a group of lashes.  The first step to placing each individual lash correctly, is to hold the lash with the tweezer correctly. Grab the group of individual lashes a tiny bit above the ball (see pictures above). If you are too close to the ball you will get glue on the tweezers, making them hard to get to stick to your lashes without getting stuck to the tweezers.

To get the glue on the lash, I’ve tried pouring the glue onto a small strip of foil, but the glue is hard to see and gets tacky too fast. I’ve found that the easiest way to apply the glue to the bottom ball of the individual lash is to hold the glue container in one hand and the tweezers in the other, and slowly tip the glue container till the glue is close to pouring out. When the glue is close to the edge of the container, dip the ball of the individual lash into the glue right from the container.  This way the glue doesn’t dry up and its a lot less messy. Try not to get too much of the glue on the actual lashes, but get a good amount on the ball so that there is enough to adhere to your lash.

Start with applying the first 2-3 MEDIUM length lashes to the outside of your right eye (working your way toward your inner eye) and then repeat with your left eye, working from the outside in as well. To apply your individual lash, keep holding the lash with the glue on it, and gently place it on top of one of your own lashes. Slowly sweep the ball with glue on it along the top of your own lash to add glue along the top of it, then place the individual lash on top of your lash. Try not to attach your individual lash to your skin. I glued a row to my skin on accident one time, and it irritated my eyelid for a day or so. Once your lashes grow out naturally, they will stick to your lashes and not your lid anymore, but try to get them just on the lash. Also, setting them too far away from the base of your lashes will show the little black ball at the end and look messy and obvious. The individual lash is moveable for about 60 seconds after placing it, so feel free to adjust it a bit if needed before it sets.

Place the next individual lash as close to the previous lash as possible. The closer they are together, the fuller and more natural your lashes will look. I like to have the tiny balls at the end of the lashes basically touching each other all along my lash line. I also like to ‘double up’ on my lashes – I place one individual lash on one of my lashes, and another one on one of my lashes right above it, so that they are nice and full. That way, if a few fall off over the course of a few days, you won’t be left with an empty spot that you have to rush to refill.

 STEP 3:
I apply the medium length lashes only to the very ouside edges of my lashes. If I continue them in to halfway across my eye I feel like it looks too long and fake. After applying 2-3 medium length lashes to the outsides of each eye, I apply the SHORT length lashes. This will make your lashes look more natural, and not too long on your inner eye. Keep working from the outside toward the inside of your lash line, like you did previously, adding 3-4 at a time to each side so that both eyes look even. Apply the short lashes as close to your inner eye as possible. Since these lashes are a lot smaller, they can be a bit tricky to attach to your own lashes. Just go as far in as you can.

As you apply your lashes, they will need to be pushed down to rest on your actual lashes every so often. With your tweezers closed, gently press your individual lashes into your lash line to ensure that they stick to your own lashes. Also, since my lashes are straight, sometimes I will open the tweezers so that both the fake and real lashes are in between the prongs, and then squeeze the tweezer prongs together so that my own lashes stick to the fake lashes better.

 STEP 5.
Once your lashes are applied, don’t add any mascara or eye makeup for a few hours to make sure the lashes set completely. I try hard not to touch them or smash them on my pillow when I sleep at night so that they stay nice and curled. In the morning, they may get a bit uneven, so use your mascara wand and gently brush them out, curling the wand toward you. Make sure you only do this on top of your lashes.

The first time you apply your lashes it could take you a good 30-40 minutes to get the hang on things. And it could be a big hot mess.  Don’t stress! It took me applying them 3-4 times before I really felt like I got the hang of them. They will probably look a bit skiwampus or thin the first time you apply them, but the more you do it the better they will start to look, and the faster you will get at doing them. 



Removing the eyelashes can be tricky, and a bit of a pain. But let me say that it is not as much of a pain as trying to remove professional eyelash extensions! I read a lot of negative reviews about the eyelash remover that the starter kit comes with. It didn’t burn my eyes like some of the reviews said, but it doesn’t make the lashes come off as easily as I would have liked. Here is my solution- I wear the lashes until they basically fall off on their own. If you place them all nice and close together, they usually come off after a while on their own in a clump.  Sometimes the lashes are starting to fall off and still attached to 1-2 lashes, so I use a Q-tip and dab the lashes with the lash remover and gently massage it into the lashes, without it touching my other lashes. This will cause the fake lashes to come off, but make sure to be very gentle when doing this.  
I wouldn’t recommend trying to take the lashes off before the start to fall off on their own. If some fall out, just replace them for a while. After about a week they will be a lot easier to remove. There is usually a day or so where the lashes start to come off easily in clumps. I just have to make time to put on a new set at night or in the morning the next day. I do walk around with what I call “wolverine lashes” for a day sometimes (this is when I’m only left with eyelashes on either corners of my eyes. It looks ridiculous). If I don’t have time right then to apply more lashes, I just throw on a pair of sunglasses and take my kid to school. Because in the end, I would rather have a few lashes you can see, than completely invisible lashes.


When I first started applying my lashes, I still applied mascara to my own lashes (make sure the mascara is NOT waterproof!) My lashes are so blond you would still see them poking through. But when I learned to apply the lash extensions on top of each other, nice and thick, I stopped needing to apply mascara. I still apply mascara to my lower lashes. (side note- I just bought eyelash dye and am going to dye my lashes black to make them fill in even more. Let me know if you want a tutorial on this!) 
Curling your own lashes before applying the lash extensions is pointless because after a shower, your lashes will go back to being straight. I’ve found that if you get your whole straight lash to glue along the lash extensions, it helps keep the straight lashes from being visible. And again, the thicker you apply the lashes, the less of your natural lashes you can see, even if they are long and straight, like mine.


When I wash my face at night, I remove my makeup with those thin round makeup remover pads or a Q-tip. Don’t use a cotton ball because the fibers will get stuck in your lashes. I don’t always wear eyeliner along the top of my lashes, but when I do, its a liquid liner, and I remove it with a Q-tip. Also, make sure to use an oil free eye-makeup remover. As for washing the rest of my face, I just am careful not to scrub my lashes, and clean around them. 
I never ever go to bed without taking off my makeup. Especially my eye makeup. If I sleep with it on it irritates my eyes. For the first few days of wearing the lashes, I noticed that it irritated my eyes a bit in the morning. I am just careful to remove as much of my eye makeup as possible and I haven’t had a problem with the irritation since then. 



Do they damage my real eyelashes?
I notice 1 or 2 of my eyelashes attached to the eyelash extensions when they fall out. At first this made my hyperventilate and I wasn’t sure I would put them back on after taking them off for the first time. After going back to my normal lashed for a while and remembering what a pain it was to curl and apply mascara every morning, I decided losing a few lashes was worth it. I didn’t lose nearly as many as I lost after having professional eyelash extensions. And your lashes fall out normally, like hair on your head does. I also felt better about it when I started letting the lashes fall out on their own, rather then trying to get them off with the eyelash remover.

How strong is the glue?
The glue is strong enough to hold for a week or so. Over time and after putting eye makeup on with the lash extensions, the glue bond will weaken and be easier to remove with the lash remover.

How long to the refills last?
I always buy 2 medium and 2 short refills. One medium and one short refill last me about 3 applications (so touchups throughout the week, and then full applications once they start coming off in clumps)

*Let me know if you have any questions! I’d be happy to answer any questions I don’t already cover!