Summer Top DIY

Hello hello!

I actually have a DIY for you all today! I don’t often do those… Mostly because I don’t post a lot of things that work well as a DIY.. well except recipes… but you know what I mean!

This DIY is for a really simple (but really cute!) summer top!
Summer Top DIY

You need
I used thelace curtains I thrifted a while back for my fabric, but you can use whatever you like!

One:
measure
First things first, you need to take a few measurements. Measure both around your waist and then from your shoulder to your hips (or however long you want the shirt to be). Add about 15 inches to your waist measurement so the shirt will be loose. Double that amount and measure out a rectangle of your fabric. (Your waist +15 then x2 for one side and then the length of your torso plus a few inches for the other side).
Measurements

Two:
fold
Okay now fold that rectangle in half (hamburger bun style not hot dog style!) and cut it in half.
I guess I could have just told you to cut two rectangles from the beginning… but I feel like this is easier. Less measuring and what not.
two pieces
So now you have two rectangles of fabric!

Three:
pin
Now it’s time to pin the two pieces together. If your fabric has a print on it make sure the printed sides are facing each other. Pin the sides together being sure to leave gaps for arm holes. Then pin the top together just a few inches from the outsides. Make sure to try it on with the pins before you sew!
try it on

Four:
sew together
Sewing time! If you have a machine, stitch the sides together making sure to leave the arm holes open so you don’t have to rip out the stitches… (I definitely didn’t have this problem…) Then stitch the few inches you pinned at the top. If you don’t have a machine then this part isn’t much fun… just hand sew it all. That takes a long time, but don’t fret, it can be done!

Five:
neck line copy
After you’ve sown the top and sides it’s time to cut out the neckline. This is simple. Just cut a swoop from the beginning of each of the seams on the top. Do this on the back too. I made the back swoop a little less though.

Six:
Hem
Now comes the time to hem everything up! Pin and hem the neckline, the sleeve holes, and the bottom. Use either your machine or hand sew! After that you’re all done!

pretty lace shirt
So pretty and so easy! I hope you guys liked this DIY and found it easy to follow!

-The Whale

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Mint and Flowers

Hey there!

I have a new upcycle today! I’m not going to lie… its similar to a few of my other ones.

Mint and flowers

I didn’t do anything too interesting with this… my usual cut off the sleeves and take in the sides. The shirt was an XL to start with.
mint and flowers before

I adore the pattern of this shirt! Thats 100% the reason I bought it. It’s my favorite color, and the flowers look so pretty! Take a closer look:
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See? Lovely.

After:
Mint and flowers two

I love this top. I’m quite pleased especially considering if I saw something like this in a store I would have bought it!

-The Whale

Cinnamon Raisin Bagels

Hello!

So today I have a new recipe for you! I’m a huge fan of bagels. Like. Really. Bagels are fantastic. Especially cinnamon raisin bagels.

cinnamon raisin bagels
Adapted from here
So, I’m ashamed that it took me this long to realize how easy it is to make bagels from scratch. It’s pretty easy. Want to know how? Don’t worry. I’ll show you. The interesting thing about making bagels is that you boil the dough before baking them. This is what results in the chewy center part and what makes bagels bagels…

You Need
Cinnamon Raisin Bagels:Makes Eight Bagels.

First:
Yeast
Add the sugar to the warm water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Now add the yeast. Allow this to sit for about 8 minutes until the yeast is all foamy and fluffy looking.

Second:
Mix
Mix together all the flour, salt, and the cinnamon. I used 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour. If you want you can just go ahead and use all normal bread flour. I just really like whole wheat things… Once that’s all combined, add the yeast mixture (now all foamy) and mix until a ‘shaggy’ dough is formed.
Shaggy dough

Third:
raisin bowl
Turn the dough out onto a clean and lightly floured surface and kneed for about 5 minutes. Now create a bit of a bowl and add the raisins to it. I used golden raisins… mostly because that’s what I had available. Use any kind of raisin your heart desires. Fold the dough up around the raisins and continue kneading for a few more minutes until the raisins are evenly distributed.
fold over

Five:
raisin ready
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm dry place until doubled in size (about an hour)… orrrrr use my quick rise method to cut that rise time in half… that’s what I will be doing!
risen

Six:
divided
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it into eight pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and create a hole by pushing your thumbs through the center. You will then have eight cute little bagels! Allow those to rest for another ten minutes while you get a pot of water boiling!
little bagels

Seven:
boil
After the bagels have had some time to rest and the water is boiling pretty well, place a bagel or two into the water. Allow them to cook for about a minute and then flip and cook them for another minute on the other side. Transfer the bagel to a cooking sheet and repeat until all the bagels have been boiled.

Eight:
oven ready
Now, if you want, you can mix one egg with a tablespoon of water and brush this over the bagels. This will give them a pretty shine. Otherwise, just pop them in an oven preheated to 425 for 20 minutes. They should come out golden brown!
fresh
cream cheese

MMM bagels!

-The Whale

Chiffon Polka Dots

Hello!

I have a new upcycle today! It was a simple one, but I love the results!

polka dot ciffon top

I found this shirt at my favorite Cincinnati thrift store a bit ago (along with some other things you will see on here shortly!) I do believe I’ve mentioned my love for chiffon on here before… but in case you missed it, I LOVE chiffon! Well now that that’s out in the open, I’ll get on with it!

before

This top really didn’t need much. I already liked it, except for one thing: the sleeves. I hated the weird elastic part that tightened the ends of the sleeves to my arms. So, for this upcycle I simply trimmed off the said elastic part of the sleeves and hemmed it all up. I also took in the sides a tad. It was so easy. I almost feel like I’m cheating you all for not having done something more impressive… but I love this top!

after

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

ps: Follow me on Instagram if you’re into that sort of thing!

-The Whale

May Flowers (and stuff)

Oh hey there, everyone!

Today I have some more photos. I kind of have felt the need to challenge myself a bit photography wise… so I’ve decided to start doing a monthly photo series basically starting last month with April Showers. So of course I had to follow that up with May Flowers!

may flowers
Well. May flowers and stuff… cause I only really have a few flower shots… I hope you understand.
lilac

texture: fossil

Make a wish.

Kitten Yawns

Pretty flowers.

I hope you guys enjoy these photo series!
You can check out all of my photos on Flickr!

-The Whale

Interior Design: April

Hello hello!

So I got the new April issue for the Interior Design Magazine in the mail recently. You know what that means!
Interior Design Magazine

That’s right! I’ll start with my favorites!
favorites1
The first project I want to highlight is Lanvin’s Men’s Store in New York. The space was designed by Mr Architecture + Decor. The shop is in a 3,400 square ft three level townhouse and features concrete flooring on the first floor, and then oak parquet flooring on the second floor where the clothes are more formal.

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I love the window display!

favorites13
The top level is a VIP lounge for guests. I love the fixtures they used through out the store!
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I also love this display case for bow ties and accessories!

And number two!
favorites 2
This one is my favorite! I adore everything about it! Did you notice the ombre walls that go from wood to white? Fantastic. I also love the ceilings! This lovely duplex is located in Paris, France inside of an art deco style building and was renovated by Ramy Fischler. All of that just makes me love it more.
favorites23
The built-ins in the dining room are so great… and the ombre walls again. I can’t get over that. I’m doing that in my house. Its going to happen! Also, the chandelier is the original crystal one that was in the house, but it now has several coats of epoxy paint. I like how it gave it a very modern look!

favorites22
The kitchen is all white and shiny with lacquered cabinets and wooden counters. I adore the bubble fixture over the glass dining table. I also love the chairs! I think you get that I love everything about this place now…

Now I don’t have a third favorite this month… but I do have something else!
The DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) hosted a design fundraiser in New York called Dining By Design. I decided to showcase my favorite dining set ups from this fundraiser instead!
So without further delay:
echo design group
I really like the butterfly theme from Echo Design Group! The table even doubles as a display case for silk butterflies and paper crickets!

ralph lauren home
Ralph Lauren Home‘s design featured a mix of different cultures!

parsons
My favorite out of all of the designs was this creative space by Parsons the New School for Design! The design was inspired by poetry, and features a ‘cloud’ made from polyethylene and lit with LEDs.

Okay! Now onto my favorite products!
products I love

One:
Tri-Kes Wood Too Wallcovering Collection: These wall coverings feature a wood grain pattern available in all sorts of color pallets!

Two:
Tom Dixon Lighting: It was seriously so hard for me to not put every single one of these lights onto this post! I forced myself to only pick three! Seriously though, believe me when I say the entire collection is awesome and you should take a look!

Three:
MDC Wood Herringbone Wallcovering Collection: I’ve been a bit obsessed with wood lately… and I’ve always loved the herringbone pattern! I love this combination as a flooring, but the idea of using it as a wall covering intrigues me!

Well that concludes my April edition for the Interior Design Magazine! I hope you all enjoyed it!

-The Whale

Pizza Sauce!

Hey!

I have a recipe today! Its a pretty important one…. that’s right. Pizza sauce.

Pizza Sauce
A jar of this is just about always in my fridge. I maybe eat pizza a lot…. but hey, who doesn’t enjoy a good pizza?

Homemade Pizza Sauce:
Ingredients

This is a super simple recipe! Of course if you want to be super fancy you could use fresh roma tomatoes… but that takes much longer… I don’t usually have time for that. I feel this is a great (and much quicker!) alternative!

chop basil

First coarsely chop your basil. You could really even tear it if you don’t feel like chopping… and also if you don’t mind your fingers smelling like basil all day. It’s probably one of my favorite smells, but not on my fingers.

Directions
Now just go ahead and throw everything into a pot on the stove top. Turn the heat to medium and allow to simmer. (Tip: use a wooden spoon to prop a lid over the pot while its simmering. This will prevent any splattering that’s bound to occur when simmering.) Let this go on for as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour or so. The longer it simmers the more the flavors infuse together, but if you don’t have the time don’t worry. It’s still tasty! When you are satisfied with the simmering time, transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until its a sauce-like consistency. Be sure to be careful. It will be hot!

pizza!
Now all you have to do is use it on your pizza! I store the rest in a mason jar in my fridge. It will last for some time! (Though mine always gets used up rather quickly!)

Enjoy!

-The Whale

Thifted Oxfords

Hey there!

Today I have a new thrifting find to share with you! I’m super pumped about this one!
oxfords

I found the most perfect oxfords and for only $4! I had been on the search for these for some time, so when I spotted this pair on the shoe rack at a Goodwill I was ecstatic. I was even more ecstatic when I tried them on and they were a perfect fit! Its too often of an occurrence where I’ll find the perfect pair of shoes only to find that they are far too small… (always too small!) I swear 99% of the people who donate shoes to Goodwill are size sixes.
DSCN4643

DSCN4648

DSCN4649

I googled the brand (Xanadu) of these shoes, but I couldn’t really find anything useful. There were a few Etsy listings for some vintage shoes of the same brand so I’m thinking these most likely are vintage. I absolutely love them!

-The Whale

Grapefruit Ice Cream Soda

Hey there, everyone!

Today I have a delicious new recipe to share! Since it has been warming up quite a bit lately I’ve been breaking out the ice cream! I’m always thinking of new and refreshing ways to jazz it up. One of my favorite ice cream shop treats are ice cream sodas. One of my newly discovered obsessions is grapefruit. A new and wonderful creation was born!

grapefruit soda

Seriously. I don’t know what I was doing with my life before I discovered grapefruit. I guess I just always assumed it was gross. It was a weird thing that my grandparents always ate. Well, a few weeks ago I was grocery shopping, and I decided to give it a try… I mean, why not? I’ve been eating it pretty much everyday since then. A few days ago I was thinking of an ice cream soda when the idea of a grapefruit version just came to me. I tried it out and I must say I was not the least bit disappointed!

Grapefruit Ice Cream Soda
you need

Start out with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream in your cup of choice. Juice the grapefruit and pour the juice over the ice cream. Now just add enough sparkling water to fill the cup. Super easy. Super good!
grapefruit soda 2

Give it a try! If you like grapefruit at all I’m certain this will become a favorite!

-The Whale