Thursday, April 17, 2014

Help! I need to choose an Easter dress and I'm stuck.

Easter. Easter means Easter egg hunts, kids in their best clothes (covered with chocolate), and giant family dinners. It also means dressing up, especially if you go to church like I do.

Easter means a rare opportunity in my life to really, really dress up. Because most days I look like this (ie very very casual). And I love dressing up. But the problem is that whenever I have to choose a "fancy" dress I completely freeze. This exact thing happened when I went to my friend's wedding last summer. I like to get advice in these situations, last time my friend/personal stylist Scott helped out (it was his wedding after all!), but this time I thought I'd ask for help from the general public. Because the general public also has had some fantastic advice so far!

So here you go. HELP! Bonus: I get to finally show you all my new haircut!

Choice #1: In which I wear pink
I almost never wear pink. But this dress makes me look tan.

Choice #2: In which I wear crazy
This is actually part of a salwar kameez (I'm pretty sure, correct me if I'm wrong).You can't tell, but it's slit up both sides about eight inches so it runs the risk of being a little revealing.

Choice #3: In which I eat my words and wear both lace and ruffles at once
I never wear lace. Or ruffles. I am very vocal about this. But I will eat my words for this dress because it's awesome, though I would probably wear a cardigan over it. Also, hey look! My haircut!

Choice #4: In which I wear vintage
This is a handmade vintage 1960's silk dress. It was $4. It's part of my ridiculous collection of formal dresses I don't need but couldn't pass up.

So what do you all think? Which one? I'll post a pic on Monday of the final choice!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Paleo Apple Pie Smoothie

In our house (Hilary), we eat a lot of apples.  I'm not the biggest fan, but my husband is from Washington and looooves apples.  We're in the middle of a Paleo cleanse right now, so we're eating Paleo and as little sugar as possible.

Which means I miss sweets.  A lot.  I've seen a lot of "dessert" smoothies (like Key Lime Pie) around Pinterest, so I thought since we had apples, I'd throw together an "apple pie" smoothie.  The results?  Fantastic.  So I thought I'd share it with you guys!  Paleo or not, everybody loves a good smoothie.  Am I right?

2 apples, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 can coconut milk
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. almond butter
a couple of large ice cubes (optional)*

*If you like a cold smoothie, add ice!  Although its pretty tasty without it as well.

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and serve! 

My kids loved this and I like that the almond butter adds some protein, which keeps you full longer.  We could have eaten this as dessert, a snack or breakfast.  It was that good.


Monday, April 14, 2014

boyfriend jeans: five ways

how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans

 So I (Jessica) love the boyfriend jeans trend. I love the juxtaposition of super casual destroyed jeans and cute tops. But the problem is that I was under the impression that they only look good on ladies like these:

Courtesy of
In case you don't know, that is Rachel Bilson. She is about nine pounds sopping wet, and she is lanky and skinny enough to make those jeans look good. I was pretty skeptical about my ability to pull them off as a real woman.

But I also like a challenge. I like being outside my comfort zone. And so in true Jessica form I DIYed my own pair of boyfriend jeans using a beat up pair I already owned in a size too big. I just distressed them some more, hacked off the hems and rolled them up, and now I have my very own pair of trendy jeans without spending any money! Because I'm cheap like that. I own it.

I think I did a pretty good job styling them, actually. I will say that this isn't the most flattering trend on my body I've ever seen, but it was really fun and they turned out to be easy to combine with just about anything.

*more pre-haircut pictures!* 

how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans

So here is how I took my new DIY pair of jeans and styled them. Just to see if I could. Let the experimenting commence:

My new Chuck Norris slouchy tee, sunglasses (because I never leave the house without them!) and my favorite summer hat with wedge heels.  
how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans
Shoes: old, stolen from my mom// Jeans: American Eagle (old & DIY'd)// Belt: thrifted// Sunglasses: thrifted// Shirt: DIY// Hat: Target

I'll wear this outfit. For sure. Probably six times in the next month. This is completely within my comfort zone and I actually like the beat-up jeans with the DIY slouchy tee. And since I have many of these tees now and 12 pairs of sunglasses in every color, it won't be hard to repeat over and over again!

Leopard peplum top, chevron earrings and black peep-toed booties:
how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans
Peplum top: Target// Jeans: American Eagle (old & DIY)// Shoes: Steve Madden// Earrings: F21

This look was totally me playing dress up for the fun of it, and completely outside my comfort zone. Though I do love a harder look sometimes (like here) I almost NEVER wear this much eye makeup. And that, my friends, is a full on 60's style cat eye in black. Intense. I do love the booties with the jeans, and the peplum top gives me some curves! This could be a fun "going out" outfit. I'm glad I went out of my comfort zone, but looking at this picture makes me snicker because it doesn't even look like me! That actually girl scares me a little bit, glaring icily at the camera.

My favorite striped tank from last year, neutral vest, and grey converse all star low tops:
how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans
Tank: Thrifted// Jeans: American Eagle (old & DIY)// Shoes: Converse// Vest: Victoria's Secret// Earrings: DIY

I will probably wear this look again, however. Converse + distressed jeans = gold. I would also wear this with a floaty spaghetti strap floral tank top for when it's too hot to layer on the vest (because people, here in southern Idaho it gets to be 112 degrees in high summer). In fact I have exactly the perfect tank top in mind! I'm going to have to go pull that out of my closet now...oh wait, I wore that one today already.

In which lots of bows are involved. Sequined tank, delicate heels with tiny bows, sweet headband with a bow.
how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans
Tank: Express// Jeans: American Eagle (old & DIY)// Shoes: Kate Spade (thrifted!)// Headband: stolen from my daughter

Yeah I'll be honest, I've worn this outfit out before. This is the only look I've ever actually worn with these jeans (before they were DIY'd)! I added a black Calvin Klein blazer and earrings instead of the headband, though. I love this combo, it's the perfect thing to wear on a girl's night out. The headband made me feel silly, as you can probably tell.

A button up lace crop top, clear crystal necklace and pink shoes. I own pink shoes now! 
how to wear boyfriend distressed jeans
Top: Vintage// Shoes: American Eagle// Jeans: American Eagle (old & DIY)// Necklace: handmade gift from a friend

I would maybe wear this outfit, since I've already experimented with crop tops this spring I'm getting more comfortable with them, but it's still a little weird to have my abs exposed! Though I do think this gorgeous vintage lace top is actually pretty flattering, I'll probably wear a tank under it next time because it *ahem* buttons up the front. This look is a little more feminine then I usually do as well, but I love those shoes with this outfit!

Well let me know your opinions on this trend! Do you guys think I pulled off this look? How would you style these jeans?


Sunday, April 13, 2014

kimono cardigan tutorial

kimono cardigan sewing tutorial

A couple of weeks ago I was in a (Very Expensive) mall store window shopping. I found a rack of these light, breezy kimono style "cardigans" which are trendy for spring, and absolutely loved them. They had a million different floral pastel patterns (which aren't really my style), and they looked pretty easy to make, but even so I was tempted to buy one. 

Until I looked at the price tag.

On sale, said Very Expensive Store wanted over $50 for a wisp of fabric and some thread! 

Oh no. Just no. I'm too cheap for that.

So I promptly took myself to the fabric store and made my own for about $6, because that's what I do.

**Side note: These are still pre-haircut pictures! I really need to get on that...if you follow us on Facebook you saw when I posted the preview for this cardigan last week, before my haircut.**

kimono cardigan sewing tutorial

I love how it turned out! Perfect for adding a little bit of interest to an otherwise boring summer outfit, and I was able to choose a non-floral fabric in non-pastel colors, which will compliment much more of my wardrobe. Plus, it's fun! Though it was kind of hard to take pictures of because this kept happening:

kimono cardigan sewing tutorial
Today I'm going to share with you how I made it, so you can make your own!

kimono cardigan sewing tutorial

Keep reading to see how I did it!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Shortie Nightgown Pattern Tour

Hi guys! Today we're bringing you something special:

Image Map

We love sewing here at Domestic Bliss Squared.  Often we sew for ourselves, but we love the challenge and fun of sewing clothes for our kids too!  As adults, we find more "serious" prints and patterns, but sometimes you just want to sew something with glitter fabric or hot pink puppies on it.

So when Chelsea from GYCT Designs asked if we wanted to test her new nightgown pattern, of course we said, "yes!"  I (Hilary) decided to try it out since I'm not as skilled of a seamstress as Jessica.  She can make magic out of anything she sews, whereas my skills are more limited.  I figured if I could make a good nightgown from the pattern, that's a good sign that anyone could sew it.

I chose a super light flannel material with shoes all over it (my daughter loved it the moment she saw it).  The pattern comes with several variations (sleeveless or sleeves, short nightgown top or full-length gown), and since flannel can be warmer (which is fine since we keep our house cool in the summer), I chose to do the sleeveless version to balance it out.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Refashioned pink dress. Because it's spring, baby!

Today I'm showing you guys my latest sewing project. And side note, these pictures were taken pre-haircut! I (Jessica) actually just took seven (!!!) inches off my hair today! Anyways, back to the dress:

refashioned pink gap dress

This dress is (yet another) refashion of a 90's era thrift store find. Are you shocked? Who am I kidding, no one is shocked.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

make your own healthier, cheaper "drinkable yogurt"

So probably like many of you, my (Jessica's) kids are obsessed with that "drinkable yogurt" that comes in a little bottle. I allow this for two reasons 1. They don't drink milk, ever. Niether of them like it. Crazy kids! And 2. I thought it was good for them! Crazy me.

And then I turned one of those tiny bottles around and looked at the nutrition information. Turns out, that "drinkable yogurt" has as much as 35 grams of sugar per tiny bottle. That's just shy of 8 teaspoons of sugar. Per bottle. And they're expensive on top of that! I knew I could make my own healthier, cheaper version. And check it out, I did:

This is going to be one of those posts that has you smacking your head thinking "why didn't I do this sooner?"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Fringe earrings tutorial

So it's been a while since we shared our last jewelry tutorial. With winter comes turtlenecks and chunky scarves and hats...and not a lot of jewelry showing under all those layers. Now that it's spring (and I don't have to see another scarf until October!) it seemed like an appropriate time to start making some cute jewelry again!

I (Jessica) have had the idea for these earrings in my head since last fall. And with all things fringed being a huge trend for spring/summer 2014, this seemed like the perfect time to make these.

I give you...the fringe earrings!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Easter Treats Roundup

Easter is kind of a big deal in my (Hilary) household.  We go to church, then come together for a giant dinner.  I've been pinning Easter recipes for weeks and thought I'd share some of my faves.  There were so many tasty looking desserts that it will be hard to choose just two or three to make!


1. Homemade Reese's Peanut Butter Egg Me and Jessica LOVE Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (so much that we were just in a March Madness Recipe Bracket with our Reese's Cheeseball).  And the peanut butter eggs are just as tasty.  I swooned when I saw that I could make them at home with The Whimsical Princess' easy recipe.

2. Thin Mints Hot Chocolate.  Since there are parts of the country that are still chilly, I think a warm drink at the end of a long day, or right after an Easter Egg Hunt is perfect for adults and kids!  I loved Thin Mints (when I was still eating wheat) and this Thin Mint Hot Chocolate recipe from Your Homebased Mom looked delicious!

3. Easter Marshmallow Bark.  We love different types of holiday barks (Hilary made some Christmas-themed peppermint bark a while ago).  They are a fun treat to serve at an event or give to a coworker or teacher for an easy Easter gift.  We loved the bright colors of Butter, with a Side of Bread's super festive Easter Bark!

4. Strawberry Coffee Cake. Jessica shared her recipe for strawberry coffee cake made with luscious Tillamook Greek Yogurt with you last week, and we think it would be perfect for an Easter brunch!  Yum!

5. Limeade Fruit Dip. My dad LOVES limeade and my family loves different types of fruit dips.  Normally I make my delicious fruit dip for big events, but I want to mix it up this time.  This limeade fruit dip from creme de la crumb looks perfect!

6. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheeseball.  We made this gorgeous dessert as part of a Baking Bracket Recipe Challenge.  We didn't win, but this cheeseball is so good, its definitely a winner in our house!  Super simple to make and very tasty!

7. Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars.  I love raw cookie dough (and peanut butter apparently!).  Every time I snack on it, I hear that voice saying, "noooo, don't eat it raw, you could get salmonella!"  Then I shush it, and grab another chunk.  Aimee at Shugary Sweets apparently felt the same way, so she whipped up egg-free Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars.  These would be especially great because my niece is allergic to eggs, so its a great dessert that everyone can enjoy!

8. Gluten-free Pink Champagne Cupcakes. Even though I'm a grownup, I still love the color pink!  These Pink Champagne Cupcakes from Steph at The Culinary Life are a little fancier than normal cupcakes (and gluten-free!) and would be perfect for a grownup Easter get together (or my next girls' night out with friends!).  If you want to serve it to your little ones, you can use Champagne Flavoring instead of actual champagne.

Which of these look the tastiest to you?  It will be tough to choose for sure!


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

7 X 7 remix time! TWELVE outfits from 7 pieces of clothing! Also, the longest post ever.

It's that time again! Time for the 7x7 clothing remix over at Ma Nouvelle Mode and Walking in Grace and Beauty. I (Jessica) have done this challenge before and had so much fun! Every time I learn more about how to use my clothes in unexpected ways.

In case you don't know what the 7x7 remix is, here's the basic idea: You choose 7 items of clothing from your closet and remix them into at least 7 outfits. Previously I've only done 7, but this time I decided to be an overachiever and do 12 outfits. Yeah, 12. When I overachieve I fully commit to it! To add to the challenge I also limited myself to 2 pairs of shoes, and 4 accessories (earrings, bangles, necklace & belt).

Here are my 7 pieces:

1. My DIY bad wolf t-shirt
2. Victoria's Secret vest
3. Green tank top
4. DIY cropped white sweater
5. Vintage black high-waisted skirt
6. Old Navy skinny jeans
7. Vintage Betsey Johnson maxi dress

Here are my 12 outfits:

I didn't realize until after I had photographed these outfits how...*ahem* dark these ended up looking once they were put together. It's supposed to be spring! flowey dresses! Florals! Bright colors! But this is one of those times when my clothing choices reflect my general mood, and since I've been in something of a "dark" mood recently...I got unintentional angry-rocker-chick-esque clothing combos. But I did throw in a floral and a bright color for good measure!

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