Oil Vey


I’ve been trying to incorporate more essential oils into my daily life. There are so many amazing, creative ways to make them a part of your routine! I regularly oil-pull with a peppermint essential oil & coconut oil blend, and I use a tea tree & coconut oil blend every night to moisturize and cleanse my face. But I have bunch of bright, spring scents left over from my (ill-fated) idea to make homemade candles for my wedding that I needed to put to good use! Pro-tip: don’t try to make 50 homemade essential oil/ soy candles as wedding favors—planning a wedding is stressful enough! 

After I saw this post last year, I was inspired to make my own linen spray with the lovely scents I had just lying around in my cabinets. But, after an incident involving me lifting this plant mister by the plunger, breaking the mister and spilling oily water all over my bedroom, I briefly set aside my goal of perpetually gorgeous-smelling sheets and pillows.

Well, no more! I was helping a friend shop for an upcoming trip yesterday, and in the travel section of Target I found a cute little pink spray bottle, which reminded me of this awesome DIY! I can’t take any credit for the idea or the basic recipe, but the essential oil blend is something I concocted, based on the amazing cocktail, the Paloma! The Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail with grapefruit and lime—delicious, refreshing, and reminiscent of warm summer nights. I’d found my muse.


“Paloma” Room & Linen Spray

  • water
  • witch hazel
  • grapefruit essential oil
  • eucalyptus essential oil
  • lime essential oil
  • small funnel
  • small spray bottle


Combine 1 part water to one part witch hazel in the small spray bottle of your choosing. My witch hazel has a slight odor, so next time I make this, I’ll use more water than witch hazel. In a 12 oz bottle I used about 30 drops grapefruit, 20 drops eucalyptus, 20 drops lime. How strong you want your scent to be is up to you! Give the bottle a shake and spritz anywhere that needs freshening!* I added a handwritten label with gold Sharpie—paint pens or chalk pens will also do the trick!

*The oil and water will separate, so shake the bottle before each use for best results.

The grapefruit is bright and refreshing, the lime is fruity and mellow, and the eucalyptus adds an almost minty sharpness reminiscent of the fragrance of tequila. All the cocktail love with none of the calories.

Happy spring, happy Passover, and happy Easter! Oh, and blanket apology for the title pun.

—DellaBites

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DIY not? Vinyl Storage

So, guys—I did a DIY and it did NOT turn out horribly!


I recently bought my first record player (yes, at age 24, shut up). I only have 4 LPs so far (because of the Spending Fast), but they have such pretty artwork that I just needed to display them. When I saw this Photo Ledge DIY on A Beautiful Mess, I knew I’d found just the thing.

Rilo Kiley’s The Execution of All Things & Eisley’s Currents
Since we redecorated our living room, there’s been an awkward patch of bare wall underneath our faux-mantlepiece that I’ve been dying to fill up with some art. When I saw the DIY on ABM, I figured I could make the space work double duty as a place to store my tiny record collection.

Jenny Lewis’ Acid Tongue & Belle and Sebastian’s If You’re Feeling Sinister
Of course, I messed up along the way. My power drill is from Ikea—I lovingly call it my “drill for girls.” Not having the right tools for the job was a major roadblock that turned this into a day-long, rather than an hour-long project. Also, Home Depot is a confounding labyrinth—we spent way too long searching for supplies. But all in all, I’m proud that I made something useful with my own two hands.

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Sanding like a boss.

After I assembled the wood, I primed and painted the ledge gold, because all gold everything, obviously. I asked my father-in-law to come over with his drill to hang the shelf, et voilà—stylish record storage! I’m so inspired to work on more projects because of how successfully this one went.

Can’t wait to share more DIYs!

—DellaBites

Wednesday Wears 

It’s official! Nice weather is back. It was 80 degrees and sunny today! I live for shorteralls, so this is very good news! 

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I didn’t have to work today (praise), so I stayed in pajamas until almost 2. When I finally worked up the motivation to shower and put on clothes I had to rush out the door to cash in our cans before the redemption center closed. I know. Exciting life!

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I bought this denim jacket about a million years ago at Old Navy. I don’t shop there anymore because working in retail has made me a little snobby, but this jacket is my absolute favorite. It goes with everything. It’s like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Jacket.

My fiancé is an inch shorter than me (much to both of our chagrin), so whenever he’s not around I make sure to rock platforms like it’s my job!

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I haven’t really gotten into the enamel pin trend, and now with the Spending Fast, I don’t have the option, but when Cameron Esposito put out her last special, Marriage Material, she had some pins available as merch. This one says “Breast Stroke Specialist” and the other (on my opposite lapel) is a Chinese food take-out box filled with sperms. It brings me soooo much life.

The other button is handmade merch from the NAF/M. Ward show at Royale last weekend (which was amazing).

I’m hoping that the beautiful weather brings me more energy! I have been dead tired for weeks—I think it’s a side effect of spring allergies.

If you need me, I’ll be outside forever!

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bag/Kate Spade, jacket/Old Navy, top/Jenny Lewis merch, shorteralls/thrifted, shoes/Zigi Soho, sunnies/ABM for Bonlook, necklace/Monqstyle, headband/Charming Charlie, pins/Kill Rock Stars

Friday I’m in Love…with My Life

Today marks a somewhat historic day for me: I attended all of my classes, submitted a homework assignment on time, and am in really good shape to catch up with this semester’s work! I’m actually excited to write a law paper on Plato’s Apology of Socrates. I might actually. freaking. graduate. It’s getting so real.

So, logically, rather than, y’know, study for Art History, I decided to clean the crap out of my apartment. It is amazing what accumulates in your fridge and freezer when you’re not paying attention…Let’s just say that, despite our super-green recycle-mania, we’ll have a full bag of trash this week.

Some useful stuff, like organizing my office, happened. But some fun stuff happened too.

 

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the rainbow connection ❤

When I moved into Fig’s place, his cabinets were *sorta* decorated with random glassware, and I managed to go almost 3 years without realizing that they are perfectly rainbow-colored! Elsie Larson of A Beautiful Mess has an incredible rainbow-colored glass collection that has been a total inspiration. It was so nice to be able to start my own with “found objects” (which is what I call all of Fig’s pre-Chelsea possessions, basically).

Also, cleaning out your fridge and cabinets can be really inspiring…for cooking, that is. I invented a sauce that I kind of want to call “béchamelized”, but I don’t know that anyone would get it. Caramelized onions and cauliflower, white wine, butter, and parmesan cheese instead of flour. 2 legit 2 quit.

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I served it over pierogies and wilted spinach because LIFE IS AMAZING.

When you have 3 full-time jobs (retail worker, 15-credit college student, & homemaker/housekeeper/adult-I-guess?), there’s very little pure “me-time”, so getting to do some redecorating and creative cooking was so refreshing.

What fills your “me-time”?

–DellaBites

P.S. I’m calling 3.18.16 the day I finally committed to Snapchat. I’m @highwaytochel over there. Story is fiiiiire right now.

P.P.S. Just in case the title reference isn’t clear…

Phases-I’m in Love with My Life

Also, here’s the Amazon link to buy the damn album. It’s kind of embarrassing that you don’t have it already. Phases for life!

Easiest At-Home Pumpkin Spice Latte Ever!

Fall is taking its sweet time arriving this year. Here we are, nearly mid-way through September, experiencing a veritable heat wave. Some schools actually let out the other day because without A.C., this humid heat can actually be dangerous. We don’t have A.C. I’m a survivor!

Actual screenshot from Tuesday. I was in a tank-top and shorts and still nearly died of heat stroke.
Actual screenshot from Tuesday. I was in a tank-top and shorts and still nearly died of heat stroke.

Since it is projected to cool down today, I wanted to celebrate with a pumpkin spice latte (also known as the siren song of all basic white girls). Pejoratives be damned, I love a pumpkin spice latte and will never be ashamed of it!

Here’s the thing about PSLs, though:

  1. They don’t typically contain pumpkin. This is fine: they are pumpkin spiced, which simply means that they are flavored with spices typically used to prepare pumpkin pies.
  2. Takeout PSLs are loaded with sugar, and certain syrups contain artificial ingredients and food dyes. Gross.
  3. PS syrups can also contain sweetened condensed milk or powdered dairy, which makes them far from vegan-friendly.

So, PSLs, while being delicious, aren’t perfect. The great thing about our online Pinterest-y, DIY  culture is that we can take our beloved (pricey) takeout and mimic it at home for a fraction of the cost and calories! Win!

There are so many amazing PSL recipes online. Some involve homemade simple syrups, others actually provide directions to making homemade pumpkin spice almond milk! I was looking to create a drink that could be whipped up with no prep in those last three minutes before you have to leave the house for work. Plus, my at-home PSL can be made entirely without dairy or sweeteners! However, I’m no hero, so the recipe will have 2 suggestions for the sweet-toothed among us.

Gear:

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  • 2 shots of espresso (my favorite system is the Aeropress)
  • almond milk (or your preferred alternative)
  • ice (or a milk heater/frother if you prefer hot)
  • Spice Islands Pumpkin Pie Spice (available for cheap at most grocery stores)
  • brown sugar to taste (or all-natural maple syrup)
  • a kettle (this one is on my Amazon wishlist)
  • filtered water
  • reusable cup and straws (optional, but encouraged)

Heat your kettle until boiling, and then set aside.

The first step is personal: how sweet do you like your coffee? Some days I want to be kicked in the face with potency, other days I want something “wimpy” with the sweetness of melted ice cream.

Place your desired amount of brown sugar or all-natural maple syrup into the bottom of your cup. Add two or three shakes of pumpkin pie spice (the flavor is surprisingly strong, so the amount you add is your personal preference). Next, add a tiny dab of hot water (more if using solid sugar, less for maple syrup) from the kettle, and stir until the consistency of your sweetener is syrupy.

The pumpkin pie spice is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, mace, and cloves. So if you love flavored coffee but hate added sugar, you can just blend this with the hot espresso!

Next, it’s espresso time. As I mentioned, my favorite espresso-brewing method is currently the Aeropress system. It’s cheap, easy-to-use, easy-to-clean, and produces consistently great espresso. My favorite tutorial is below, from the ABM site:

Finally, milk! I actually add filtered water to my espresso, which technically qualifies this drink as an Americano, rather than a latte. I find lattes to be too milky and thick, and prefer a thinner, smoother beverage. For a hot latte, add your warm, frothy milk to the espresso and fill to the top. For an iced latte, fill your cup 1/2 to 2/3 of the way with milk, and finish with ice.

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For decadent presentation, especially with a hot latte, sprinkle some pumpkin pie spice on top and enjoy! Tastes best with a doughnut, of course.

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This morning I’ll be enjoying my PSL with Edith Wharton.

If you’re a pro at your espresso-brewing method, this whole process takes about 2 minutes, including grinding your beans. I usually put on my mascara while I heat my kettle—multitasking ftw!

What’s your favorite fall drink?

—DellaBites

Products I Love: ABM x Agendas!

So, like all 20-something girls with a pulse and a Pinterest, I’m obsessed with Elsie, Emma, and Laura over at A Beautiful Mess. I’ve made their recipes, done their DIYs, and gotten tons of inspiration from their books and site. My house is like a living tribute to ABM. It’s borderline sad.

Anyway, when they announced that their academic agendas were up for preorder, I had to jump on it! I’m going back to school full-time in a month (provided my financial aid comes through!) and I definitely need to stay on top of my game. Graduation is on the horizon. I’m tired of being the ancient lady-past-legal-drinking-age in the classroom.  Plus, I’ve got this whole “wedding” thing coming up that I might need to stay organized for…

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The planners ship in mid-August (hopefully it will arrive not long after my birthday on August 19). In true ABM fashion, they come with cool little extras, like these emoji stickers:

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So cute, right? I of course opted for the following cover option, because gold foil is life:

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This actually looks like my desk at any given moment.

I’m so excited to receive mine in the mail! When it arrives, I’ll probably do a product review. In the meantime, I’ll just have to keep writing myself notes on scrap paper and hoping for the best!

**all photos via ABM