How-to: Homemade Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

With Labor Day now behind us, it’s official—Summer is coming to an end, and boy is it about time! As you were attending outings with friends this weekend, I was creating my perfect ending to the season: a moisturizing, homemade exfoliant to slough off that dead, dreary skin and brighten my epidermis for Fall.

Ingredients + Supplies:

  •   Coconut oil
  •   Sugar
  •   Vanilla Extract (optional)
  •   Glass jar (b/w 6-10oz, mine was 8oz)
  •   Measuring cup
  •   Bowl + spoon (not shown)


  1. Pour water into your clean, empty jar. Once full, pour that water into a measuring cup to see how much your jar can hold. Your ratio for the mixture will be 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil. I.e. since my jar was 8oz (1 cup) I was able to divide it into 1/3 cup oil to 2/3 cup sugar.
  2. Once you’ve measured out your sugar, pour into a cereal bowl. Dribble in 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or a few drops from an essential oil of your choice if you’re opting for a more scented scrub. If you’d rather forgo these additions, keep reading.
  3. Pour in the appropriate amount of coconut oil to achieve that 2:1 ratio. Stir mixture until all sugar granules are saturated in the oil. If you bypassed the scent additions in step 3, no worries—coconut oil is quite fragrant on its own. If you added scent, make sure that these are well-mixed-in too.
  4. Now that everything is thoroughly blended, it’s time to transfer your new scrub from the bowl to your jar. Literally as easy as spooning it in! (see me doing it below)
  5. NOTE: in picking a jar, be smart about it. Don’t choose anything too tall and narrow—you won’t be able to fit your hand to the bottom to use the last of your homemade product! Think of some that are more round and stout—think jars that hold jam or marinated artichoke hearts :)
  6. Enjoy your amazingly moisturizing new scrub in the shower, or slap a gift-tag on it and give it to a gal pal!

If you’d like to experiment with scents and oils I’d love to hear about your concoctions! Leave a comment with any variations or personal spins you put on your exfoliants.

Photos via my Instagram

How-to: Cutting the Perfect Off-the-Shoulder Tee

Does this sound familiar? I love to buy band tees but I hate the boys’ crew neck! It would look so much better if it were off-the shoulder, but I don’t want to have to replace the shirt because I cut the neckline too big the first time :( No worries ladies! Luckily, this is an easy fix with the help of a little resourcefulness.

Supplies

    • Band tee in a regular/loose fit, i.e. My shirt is a ladies’ Medium when I normally take an Extra Small/Small
    • Either a white chalk pencil or black Sharpie (depending on color of shirt)
    • Sharp scissors
    • Measuring Tape

  • 1. Fold your t-shirt in half by taking both sleeves to meet so that the logo or design on the front of the shirt is facing out and so that the shoulder seems match up. Take your pencil or Sharpie and mark the fold at the middle of the collar. The shirt must be symmetrical so that the mark is truly at the center.
  • 2. Take your measuring tape and measure from the base of your neck to just below the opposite shoulder. Take note of this number, but make sure to round down to the nearest number easily divisible by two. For example: My original measurement was 33cm so I rounded it down to 32cm because it was easier to divide in half. Take note of that final number for the next step.
  • 3. Lay your shirt flat. Taking that ^^ number, divide it in half. For me, I took 32 ÷ 2 = 16cm. Line up the measuring tape so that the tip is at the shoulder and the measurement (16cm) is aligned with your mark on the neck, ensuring that the side edge of the measuring tape is touching the outer hem of the shirt’s neckline.

  • 4. Make a small snip in the shoulder on the outside of your mark. Slip the bottom blade of your scissors through the hole so you’re only cutting the FRONT of the shirt.
  • 5. In a circular path, cut from that snip to the mark you made at the center of the neck.
  • 6. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ONLY CUTTING THE TOP LAYER

  • 7. Cut along the shoulder seam to remove that side of the collar from the shirt.
  • 8. Fold over the flap that you’ve just created to use as a stencil for the other side of the collar to make sure that it’s even. Don’t worry about being too careful—a few jagged edges won’t be noticeable.
  • 9. Again, cutting in a circular pattern (and following your “stencil”) cut the other side of the collar.

  • 10. With the front of the shirt still attached at one shoulder, lay the shirt flat and bring the flap to one side to lay it flat.
  • 11. To ensure that your neckline won’t stretch out too much and reveal more than you’d like, cut the back of the neck straight across. DO NOT cut in a curve to match the front of your shirt. You will regret it.

Voilá!

NOTE: Though all photos were taken by me and are from my Instagram, I have to give credit where credit is due. The concept behind this magical mathematical genius is from YouTube-er Petite Pear Style. << Click on her name to see the video that inspired this post <<

Creating Your Perfect Vanity

I’m writing about this because it never occurred to me that all women don’t do this…and too many friends have complimented my bedroom for me to feel comfortable not commenting on this.

My mantra in life is There is beauty in everything, let me help you see that. That alone kinda tells you that I value beauty and beautiful things; I seek out, consume, write about, photograph, wear, create, read about, gift to others and adorn myself with beautiful things. That being said, what woman doesn’t love and appreciate beautiful things?

Back to the matter at hand…

Is the space that you make yourself beautiful—your vanity—itself a pretty space? Does it reflect you and your style? Do you enjoy doing your makeup and getting ready in this space, or does it feel monotonous and routine? I ask because these are my spaces:

I thoroughly enjoy getting ready because each space is pleasing to the eye but still simple and organized while reflecting my personal style–a lot is crammed into these small spaces. It’s not your space until you add a few personal touches. I have a fascination with Native American culture, nature, and feathers; you see two dreamcatchers, feathers, bowls and dishes made of natural woods and stones, a jewelry stand in the shape of a tree branch, an art print of a tattooed woman with antlers–you know this is my space because it reflects a lot of me.

Having a decorated vanity is not for everyone–some prefer completely cleared surfaces while others prefer just to have the essentials displayed with no decor. I particularly like adding my personal flare to a space. It’s relatively easy to do, but it’s best built over time allowing you to curate your items from wherever whenever you please. My items are a range: jewelry stand from Urban Outfitters, catch-all dishes from Crate & Barrel, candles from Whole Foods & Anthropologie, art print bought on AllPosters.com, large dreamcatcher custom-made from an artist on Etsy, I bought the small dreamcatcher on a trip to Taos, New Mexico…and those are just the items from my bureau! I always try to incorporate sentimental items with organizational items and the quirky “Julia, only you would have that” items to make each of my spaces unique.

A note on why I do it: I love to have open space and cleared surfaces; a room feels much cleaner, airier, and my eye doesn’t get distracted and drawn to the clutter. I know that’s not too realistic, so I strive for a happy medium between cleared surfaces and clutter: my organized decor approach. Enough to feel lived-in while still being neat and tidy to avoid the cluttered feel. A tidy space allows me to focus more on the things I need to do–cutting down on the clutter prevents me from getting too distracted.

  • I just believe in the motivational aspect to it:
  • who wants to be making themselves pretty if their space to do it isn’t pretty?

Oh, and…

…Because it’s okay to be a little vain sometimes