DIY Step-Hem Jeans

DIY Step-Hem Jeans

Step-hem jeans are a big trend right now, with raw hems that are cut higher in the front than the back. (Think: mullet jeans.) You could get the look for $229 with Paige’s Jaqueline jeans, or find a pair of straight jeans in your closet and make your own.

I’m taking scissors to most of my denim these days. At 5’4″, I’m somewhere between regular and petite sizes, but usually stick to the former because they fit me better through the torso, waist, and hips. I’m too lazy/cheap to take my non-designer jeans to the tailor to be hemmed, so I just snip an inch or two off the bottom to make them work. I thought I’d jump on the uneven hem trend bandwagon with a pair of straight jeans I bought on sale at LOFT last year.

DIY step hem jeans

The best thing about this denim DIY is it doesn’t have to be perfect: if you want to get technical you can plan things out with a ruler and fabric pen before you make your cuts, or just eyeball it and snip (which is what I did).

Before you get started, try on your jeans to get an idea of how much length you want to remove. I generally cut my jeans about an inch above the ankle;  it’s a comfortable and flattering length for my frame — anything higher and I’m in dangerous capri pant territory — and it works with both flats and heels.

DIY step hem jeans, denim trends 2017

Using sharp fabric shears, cut off the bottom hem of both legs to your desired length. Remember, less is more: cut off small amounts at a time so you have room to even things out or fix any mistakes; much like bad haircuts, you can’t put it back if you hack off too much.

Then cut up the side seams, and across the front. Done. 

DIY step hem jeans |

New Year | New Goals

New Year | New Goals

I’m not big on traditional resolutions, but I’m all about jotting down a list of achievable personal and professional goals at the start of each year to motivate myself to make the most of it. 2016 was the year of prioritizing a happy work/life balance for me, and I want to continue that positive momentum into the new year while challenging myself to try new things, be more present, and invest more time in my favorite people and hobbies.

I love a shirt dress. This one is from m.marie, but you can find cute alternatives here, here and here.

Here are the personal intentions at the top of my list for a happy and healthy 2017:

  • Stretch my creative muscles. Whether it’s making DIY artwork for our home, dusting off the ol’ DSLR to practice photography, or finally taking the knitting classes I’ve talked about for years, I’d love to explore new creative outlets this year. I find I’m most content when I’m in a focused zone of creativity; plus, the more I practice other artistic projects, the more I’m inspired in my design work at the flower shop. Win/win!
  • Make time with friends and family a priority. It seems like we’re all busier than ever these days, but I hope to get weekly dinners with my parents back on track this year, and to spend lots of nights with my best friends wearing sweat pants, drinking wine and watching ridiculous reality TV.
  • Put down the phone and pick up a book. I was pretty good about reading in 2016, but I definitely wasted a lot of time watching YouTube videos and mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram; time that would’ve been much better served with my nose in a book. I’m not swearing off social media or grounding myself from the Internet (obvi) but I hope to be more mindful about my screen time in the new year.
  • Bake a new recipe each week. I love spending time in the kitchen cooking meals or baking sweet treats — it’s a sure-fire way to turn off my racing thoughts and relax — but I don’t do it often enough. Sundays are designated lazy days at the Lennox house, and my mom bought me a KitchenAid Stand Mixer for Christmas, so get ready Pinterest, it’s about to go down.
  • Get outta town. C and I haven’t traveled anywhere in years, mostly because our small business makes it difficult to get away for more than a few days, but also because I’m a house mouse and nervous traveler. I know it’s important to get away and share those experiences together, so I hope to make a few trips this year to explore new places and get out of my comfort zone.
  • Say “yes!” more often than no thank you.” When an opportunity arises, I can think of ten ‘what-if’ scenarios to immediately talk myself out of it, and I miss out on a lot of relationships and experiences by letting those doubts and anxieties get the best of me. I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic this year (highly recommend) and loved her view on learning to live and work alongside your fears: to acknowledge their presence and appreciate their purpose, but refuse to allow them to control your life. She says, “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.”
  • Work on my fitness. Ugh, I hate exercise. I’ve always thought of it as a chore, so I need to find a fun [preferably outdoor] activity I enjoy to release stress and keep my body strong and healthy. Maybe this is the year I find my inner yogi, take up jogging to join my step-dad in at least one 5K per month, or find local places to hike with C on the weekends.

Here’s to a new filled with courage, creativity, and lots of good vibes with a great big dose of grace while we figure it all out. Happy 2017, y’all!

{Wearing :: BB Dakota dress via m.marie (SIMILAR here) + BAGGU Canvas Backpack + old Isola sandals (TRY these or these + Cole Haan sunglasses + Bourbon & Boweties bracelet}

My Fave 5: Gentle But Effective Face Cleansers

My Fave 5: Gentle But Effective Face Cleansers

My #1 skin care commandment of daily cleansing: Thou shalt not put bubbles on thine face.

The synthetic detergents and surfactants in foaming cleansers give your face that “squeaky clean” feeling, but leave you feeling tight and itchy. They strip your skin of its natural moisture, which can lead to dehydration, sensitivity, peeling and flaking, breakouts, and fine lines. So if a cleanser suds, foams or lathers, I’m out.

I’m in this weird phase of I’m-too-old-for-this breakouts: if I’m not diligent with cleansing, I wake up with patches of tiny bumps across my forehead and cheeks, or occasional isolated angry cystic acne spots. I thought I left those behind in the early 2000s with low rise jeans and over-waxed eyebrows. What gives?! 

Since I wear SPF religiously, I double-cleanse at night to make sure every trace of sunscreen and makeup is removed from my skin. In the morning, I alternate between a good cleansing oil or a gentle cleanser with antioxidants or exfoliating acids to keep things nice and glowy.

Here are my current top five gentle-but-effective cleansers that get the job done but leave my sensitive skin balanced and happy:

My Best 5 Face Cleansers For Early 30s Sensitive Skin

#1.  Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (PM) :: This fragrance-free balm has a consistency like lard — weird, but stay with me — that melts into an oil with the heat of your skin and dissolves every trace of makeup and sunscreen. It’s my “first cleanse” every night: I rub it all over my dry face, starting with my eyes to breakup mascara and eye makeup, and remove it with a clean washcloth soaked in hot water. I rinse the washcloth completely in hot water afterward, because I use it again in my second cleanse.

#2. Coconut Oil (PM) :: Coconut oil is a great first cleanse, too: it makes quick work of makeup removal, doesn’t contain any irritating ingredients or chemicals, and is full of calming and restorative linoleic acid. I use this exactly the same way as the cleansing balm above and remove it with a hot washcloth.

A note: it’s important to make sure you remove it completely because coconut oil can clog pores and lead to breakouts in acne-prone or sensitive skin. Some people will tell you to use it as a face moisturizer; don’t listen to them. Sweet almond oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil are much better suited for your skin as leave-on moisturizers. Look for pure organic, cold-pressed varieties in your local health food store.

#3. Aster & Bay – Organic / Vegan Facial Cleansing Oil (AM/PM) :: Cleansing oils work on the premise that oil dissolves oil: they search-and-destroy the sebum and toxins that get trapped in your pores and replace them with nutrient-rich plant oils for healthy glowing skin. I love this as my “second cleanse” and it’s become one of my favorite wind-down rituals at the end of the day. Immediately after removing the Clinique balm — while my hands and face are still warm from the hot washcloth — I massage this cleansing oil into my face and neck for at least 60 seconds. Then I wet my washcloth again with hot water, wring it out, and place it over my face for 15-30 seconds; the heat “steams” the skin to deep clean the pores and loosen up the oil for easy removal. Finally, I use the hot washcloth to wipe all the oil away.

The Aster & Bay cleansing oil is full of good fatty acids from softening plant, nut and seed oils, with a lovely blend of purifying — and relaxing! — essential oils. It feels like a spa treatment at your bathroom sink. (I also really love Kari Gran Cleansing Oil.)

#4. Murad Essential-C Cleanser (AM) :: My girlfriend introduced me to this gel cleanser, which is perfect for a quick refresh in the morning. It’s an “antioxidant-rich cleanser that rehydrates environmentally damaged skin thanks to a vitamin-packed formula that awakens the senses with a burst of citrus.”  The citrus scent is just enough for a pick-me-up without being overwhelming, and it cleans my skin without any dryness or irritation. It’s a pricey cleanser, but a little goes a long way: I put a nickle-sized dollop on my dry skin in the morning, add a tiny bit of water if needed to get it moving, and remove it with a warm wet washcloth.

#5. Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser (AM) :: I’m kind of obsessed with everything from Pixi right now — another post on the brand coming soon — and I love this clay cleanser with 5% glycolic acid for gentle chemical exfoliation. The mud texture is cooling on the skin, which feels really nice first thing in the morning. I use it 2-3 times a week as a cleanser/mask: I rub a quarter-sized dollop all over my damp face and neck, let it dry for 5 minutes or so, and remove it with a warm washcloth.

Sidebar: You may have noticed that washcloths are a big part of my cleansing routine. I find that they remove cleansers more effectively than just splashing your face with water; you can see the makeup coming off your face so you know it’s clean, and a hot washcloth just feels so nice. I have a little stockpile of inexpensive 100% cotton white washcloths that I buy in 8 packs at Target. I grab a clean one in the morning, use it again in my nighttime routine, then toss it in the laundry.

To be continued… Another post coming soon with my complete AM and PM routine, including what I’ve learned about early-30s skin care and where I turn for beauty advice on the Internet.

Helpful Habits For Non-Morning People

Helpful Habits For Non-Morning People

Every night when I go to bed, I tell myself tomorrow’s the day I become a morning person and wake up two hours early. I fantasize about all the things I could do with the extra time: Bike down to the pool and go for a swim! Write a blog post! Do some yoga! Read a few chapters of a book! Make a home-cooked breakfast! Get to the shop early and start on my to do-lists! Make more to-do lists!

But every morning, my feet hit the floor about thirty minutes before I have to leave the house. Whether I oversleep or spend too much time under the covers scrolling through Instagram, I just can’t seem to get the hang of “seizing the day” before it’s absolutely necessary.

Maybe I’ll figure it out in the next decade.

In the meantime, here are some of my best habits for making the most of limited time in the morning.

Continue reading “Helpful Habits For Non-Morning People”