Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY: Maxi Skirt, Step by Step



Don't tell my mom I did this... She would NOT approve of my just "wingin' it" when it comes to sewing. She would have advised me to go get a pattern and do this thing properly, but that would have taken too long!! This simple skirt only took me 1 hour to sew and complete!! And it's SUPER EASY!! I would highly encourage you to make your own for these 3 reasons:


  1. It's super comfortable,
  2. It was extremely easy to make,
  3. It was only $17!!!
  4. And making it yourself is so much more satisfying than buying it!

I had such a good time making this skirt, I wanted to share this idea with all of you. So if you like this idea, tell your friends about it via Pinterest or Facebook! And if you need help I'll even help you make it because it was so fun!

Good luck sewing!! The written steps are below!







What you'll need:
  • Polyester fabric or the fabric of your choice at the following length: 2.5 times your waist in fabric
  • Thick elastic the color and width of your choice at the following length: your waist plus a few inches (just in case)
  • Scissors or a cutting board and rolly cutter (what are those called again? My mom would be so embarrassed.)
  • A sewing machine with the thread matching your elastic


Steps:
  1. Cut off the selvage.
  2. Fold skirt (hamburger way) with the right side IN and so the length of your skirt will be the longest side.
  3. Sew along the right edge with 1/4 to 1/2 inch seam allowance with a straight stitch.
  4. Sew the elastic to the size of your waist but slightly tighter (so your waistband stays snug) with a zigzag stitch. Overlap the elastic as shown in both pictures so you don't have a bulky seam.
  5. Pin the skirt fabric to the edge of the elastic starting by matching the seam. Find the opposite edge of both sides, and pin those points together.
  6. Continue finding the halfway point of the fabric between the pins and pin that point to the halfway point of the elastic. Do this all the way around until you have a pin every 1 to 2 inches. 
  7. Sew your fabric to the elastic. It's kinda messy because you have to stretch the elastic AS you sew. Just go pin to pin, one at a time, and keep the elastic fully stretched as you sew each section.
  8. Cut your skirt to your desired length. For me, it was just barely above the floor. (Remember that you'll loose about an inch in the next step, so account for that as you trim your skirt.)
  9. Fold the bottom of your skirt 14 to 1/2 an inch and press it all the way around.
  10. Fold the bottom of your skirt over again at 1/2 to 3/4 inch and iron it so it has a nice, crisp edge.
  11. Sew your hemline close to the inside of that hem, and then sew it again to make it look more professional.
  12. YOU'RE DONE! See? Wasn't that easy? Much easier than following a pattern (although my mother would say that's the RIGHT way to do it).



Here's a few more ideas to make a different looking skirt:
  • Use a different color of elastic (like make a black skirt with a blue elastic)
  • Cut and sew the hemline of your skirt at knee length instead of to the floor
  • Use a longer length of fabric to make your skirt look fuller.
  • You have skinny jeans in every color, so why not have a maxi skirt in every color??




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

50 Things To Do During Autumn

The first day of autumn was on Saturday!! So I thought it was appropriate to share with you my bucket list for this autumn. And I WILL do them all!! 

Will you do them with me?



(Some of these ideas come from HERE, the others come from my pins on PINTEREST.)


  1. Create a door wreath for fall.
  2. Have a chili night with friends or family.
  3. Go to a pumpkin patch.
  4. Make a DIY racerback workout shirt.
  5. Make pumpkin pies.
  6. Write thank you notes to your family.
  7. Capture and post one photo on Instagram each day (follow me @alexibullock).
  8. Do a fall bonfire.
  9. Step on every crunchy leaf that comes within my path.
  10. Make pumpkin pancakes with cinnamon syrup.
  11. Buy some new sweaters at D.I.
  12. Make caramel corn.
  13. Make homemade soup and eat in homemade bread bowls.
  14. Enter a race.
  15. Visit a corn maze.
  16. Make a recycled glass pendant
  17. Watch a high school football game.
  18. Make a quilt from scraps.
  19. Make DIY garden markers out of found sticks.
  20. Make caramel apples for friends.
  21. Carve/decorate a pumpkin.
  22. Collect brightly colored leaves.
  23. Organize desk space so it’s as organized as this
  24. Go to a kids soccer game.
  25. Drive up the canyon to see the breath-taking views.
  26. Grow my own moss graffiti
  27. Ride bike more. (before it snows!)
  28. Make pumpkin cheesecake trifle dessert
  29. Tailgate before a football game with friends.
  30. Make homemade donuts out of Pilsbury Grands. 
  31. Make s’mores outside.
  32. Make felted heart elbow pads.
  33. Jump in leaf piles and take lots of photos.
  34. Go on a hayride.
  35. Redo a folding chair.
  36. Make and mail special friends letters (snail mail).
  37. Run 3 times a week all autumn long.
  38. Make pancake-dipped apple rings.
  39. Read a novel.
  40. Start a family gratitude journal.
  41. Decorate with fall leaves, twigs, and a fall sign.
  42. Sew a stuffed animal for my niece. 
  43. Surprise someone with flowers.
  44. Make a maxi skirt.
  45. Surprise Mr. Bullock with a present for no reason.
  46. Keep this quote by Jessica Hische where I can see it every day. 
  47. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank.
  48. Make a tote from recycled material.
  49. Make Instagram photostrips
  50. Create your own fall bucket list.


HURRY, make your own list so you can start right away! (Or copy mine!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Special Giveaway, Ends Thursday


Guess what, I'm doing a giveaway!! Exciting, I know! I am giving away one small print of your choice,  from the options found HERE, and a digital product from my STORE.

The rules are VERY easy and you can read them on my friend's blog, who is hosting the giveaway, HERE!


Here are some of the options available for the giveaway!! YOU get to choose your prize if you win!!











Thursday, September 20, 2012

Color Inspiration: #100

Wow! My one hundredth color inspiration!! This is one of my favorites, yet!! What do you think? I think this may be my most favorite one I've ever done!

Check out all of my other color inspirations at the tab above, or HERE.



To celebrate my 100th color inspiration, I am doing a giveaway on my friend's blog! Today she posted a feature about me, and very SOON we will do the giveaway! Her blog is called "The Bishop's Wife." 



Head over there and check out her latest post! 

In the post I share some valuable advice I got from Martha Stewart herself! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Homemade Wheat Bread Recipe

Is there anything better than warm, homemade bread? How bout warm homemade bread you've made yourself? Booyah. So delicious. Homemade bread is actually a lot easier than you'd think! Here's the recipe and the instructions below for the BEST and easiest Whole Wheat Honey Bread ever.







 Ingredients:
  • 6 cups warm water
  • 2/3 cups oil
  • 2/3 cups honey
  • 8 c. whole wheat flour (plus 2 to 4 cups more more for later)
  • 2 T vital wheat gluten (you can buy it at the Bosch Store)
  • 2 T dough enhancer (you also can buy it at the Bosch Store)
  • 2 1/2 T instant yeast
  • 2 T salt
Directions: 
  1. Add the first 7 ingredients together (everything except the salt) into a mixer and mix until smooth. 
  2. Add in 1/2 more cup of whole wheat flour along with the salt.
  3. Slowly add in more flour until the dough doesn't stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
  4. Mix in mixer for 10 full minutes on medium speed.
  5. Split dough into four sections and place into bread pans greased with Crisco. (coat your hands with Crisco so the dough doesn't stick to your hands.)
  6. Let dough rise in a warm place until the dough is 2 inches above the pan. 
  7. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. 
  8. Once you take the bread out of the oven, let the bread sit inside the pan for 10 minutes, then take them out to sit on a cooling rack.
  9. Cut and serve with butter and strawberry jam for the most DELICIOUS treat. 






If you try the recipe, let me know what you think!

Canvas Prints

Do you guys like saving money? Who doesn't, right? But sometimes it's a lot of work to find the deals. Well look no further! My sister will do all of the work for you! My sister, Melea, has the BEST coupon website. Have you seen it? It's called Freebies2Deals, go check it out!

She recently had the most adorable little boy, Rockwell. Trust me guys, this little one is the most adorable thing ever. And he loves me so much, I'm DEF his favorite aunt. Well, Melea made the cutest nursery for Rockwell, and asked me to make some canvases to display his name on the wall. They turned out really fantastic, take a look!



I wanted to make these canvas prints available for others, so I've put it in an online store you can access HERE.

Here are some of the font options available, and the canvases are available in any color you want. Check them out!






If you want to order your own, or a custom order, go HERE to do so.


Thanks for letting me share my recent project!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2 Must Make Recipes, 2 Must Create Outfits, and 2 Must Style Decorations

The bad news is I'm unemployed, but the good news is I get more time on Pinterest! No but seriously. Being unemployed has been good for me though, I've had time for ME, which I haven't had in about 5 years (the time it took me to graduate from BYU). I've had some fantastic freelance projects I've been working on during this month of unemployment to keep money coming in the door, but I would really love a full-time job STAT! I need more structure in my life!

Any leads for a graphic design job, send them my way!!

But in the meantime, I guess this is a benefit to all of YOU (whoever actually takes the time to read my blog) because less time at work = more time for projects. And I've been trying to post these projects on here. Although I'm terribly behind. I'll keep posting, don't you worry!

I already have a lineup for the week! We'll be making homemade bread together, a skirt, tips to organize your life, and a few other great things. So stay tuned this week! I'll try to pin my projects to give you easy access to them, and so you can help share them with others! So make sure you're following me HERE

Here are a few of my favorite Pinterest finds from the last few days. The recipes will DEF be in my cookbook (as soon as it's out of storage). The outfits look like the perfect kind of style I want to be in this fall. Comfy, but stylish. Which outfit do you like more? And the other two images are beautiful decorations, the cake is decorated beautifully (will someone make me this please?) and I love the wood door in that interior. So great. See?




1//Slow-Baked Mac & Cheese  2//Neutrals and Orange Pop  3//Comfy Fall Sweater  4//My Future Birthday Cake, no really, my bday's in a month...  5//Fitted Skirt, Loose Top, Statement Necklace  6//Pumpkin Cheesecake Trifle


Which one of these things will YOU try?


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Free Download: Weekly Planner

I recently designed a planner (for myself) to stay organized. It's a simple, weekly planner that has a place for goals, see?




I wanted to provide it as a free download, so in order to download a sheet of 3 weekly plans, click on the photo below to enlarge it, and you can copy that file to print it yourself! Print it on a regular 8 12" x 11" piece of paper, and do not scale it, because the proportions are great as they are for printing!






But the best part is that I glued the pages together like a gummed notepad. It's pretty sweet if I do say so myself! If you want to make your own gummed weekly notepad, follow the steps below!




Supplies: 52 weeks of your printed calendar (cut at the bottom of the lines that divide the days of the week), two large butterfly clasps, a paint brush with sturdy bristles and white glue that dries clear (Elmer's will work just fine; mine is special book binding glue that I got HERE).



Clip: Clip the bottom of the pages and note that they will stand up on the clips like the picture above right once you start gluing it.

Glue: Glue your pages three times in the following order: first, stab the pages with the glue in order to get the glue in between the pages. Second, bend all of the pages upward (like you are thumbing through the pages to count them) and generously apply glue. This will help to get the glue on every page. Lastly, bend all of the pages downward, the opposite way, and generously apply the glue. These three steps should ensure that all of the pages have glue on them.



Pinch: About every 3 minutes as the glue is drying, pinch the pages together. You don't want your gummed side to be too thick!




Write: out your plans, your goals, and place your weekly planner where you'll see it everyday!



Foods with More Vitamin C than an Orange

I'm starting a new type of blogpost, and it includes pieces of the wonderful, useful (and very random) tidbits of knowledge I got while interning at Martha Stewart. Most of this knowledge came as I researched and designed some of her books (coming out May 2013, and June 2013!!) So although I say that "Martha told me"...what I really mean is that I read it in a book or I heard it in a meeting or found it through my research while I was at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, haha.

I swear though, I'm a better, smarter person for interning there because I learned so much!

So here's the first of the series:


When you're sick, do you hear the suggestion to drink orange juice or eat an orange because of the vitamin C that it contains? Well, it turns out, you may be better off eating a red pepper. What? Really?

Yes.

There are actually 9 easily accessible foods that have more or a comparable dose of vitamin C than an orange! One medium orange contains 60 mg of vitamin C and 62 calories. If you prefer it in liquid form, 3/4 cup of orange juice contains 61-93 mg of vitamin C and 79-84 calories.

Here are those 9 other foods: get ready to be amazed:




(Photos and the facts: source)



  1. Guava: Guava is rich in vitamin C -- one half cup of the fruit contains 188 mg of vitamin C and 56 calories.
  2. Red Sweet Pepper: One half cup of raw red sweet pepper contains 142 mg of vitamin C and 20 calories. If you cook the veggie, a half cup offers 116 mg of vitamin C.
  3. Kiwi: Is rich in vitamin C. One medium kiwi contains 70 mg of the nutrient and 46 calories.
  4. Green Sweet Pepper: Green sweet peppers offer 60 mg of vitamin C per half cup, with only 15 calories. When cooked, the vegetable provides 51 mg of vitamin C.
  5. Grapefruit Juice: Grapefruit juice provides almost the same amount of vitamin C as green peppers: 3/4 cup has 50-70 mg vitamin C and 71-86 calories.
  6. Vegetable Juice Cocktail: Drinking your vegetables provides plenty of nutrients, including a vitamin C punch (and, if your veggie juice is tomato-based, a healthy dose of lycopene, a disease-fighting phytonutrient). You'll get 50 mg of vitamin C and 34 calories in 3/4 cup of juice.
  7. Strawberries: Strawberries are full of fiber and antioxidants, including vitamin C. A half cup of strawberries contains 49 mg of the vitamin and 27 calories.
  8. Brussel Sprouts: This veggie may not be the most kid-friendly choice, but it is a true superfood -- packed with both 48 mg of Vitamin C, 300 mg of Vitamin K and just 28 calories.
  9. Cantaloupe: One quarter of a medium cantaloupe has 47 mg of vitamin C and 51 calories.


So the next time you get sick, remember that you are probably better off eating a red pepper or a kiwi! 

(Crazy right?)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Non-Guilty Dessert with Grilled Peaches

I have discovered a new spice. It is one that I have NEVER heard of before, and quite frankly, I'm not sure if I've even tasted before! It's a magical, sweet, nutmeg-y spice that has the most unique and curious flavor. It's cardamom.

Have you heart of it?

Well it's one of the ingredients in today's recipe that I made and enjoyed all by myself last night. It was my guilty indulgence, except I didn't feel any guilt because it is 75% peaches! And boy was this dessert good!!!






(Original recipe and above photo found in the August 2012 issue of Glamour Magazine)

Makes 8 servings
Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup marscarpone cheese
  • 4 Tbsp. maple syrup, plus extra for drizzling
  • Juice of 1/2 large lemon
  • A large pinch of fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom (here's that magical ingredient I was telling you about! can't wait for you to try it!)
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 8 ripe peaches (we just got some fresh from the farmers market and they are amazing!)
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 mint leaves for garnish
Directions: 
  1. Preheat grill to low.
  2. Stir together marscarpone, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut peaches in half and remove pits. 
  4. Brush lightly with butter. Grill on low heat with the cut side down for 3 minutes. Flip and grill for another 3 minutes, until soft and heated through. (NOTE: if you don't feel like grilling, then the microwave works, too! Microwave one peach, halved, for 2 minutes instead. It won't be as good as grilled, but it's faster!)
  5. Serve 2 halves in each bowl with a dollop of marscarpone, a drizzle of syrup, and the mint as garnish.
Note:  You can save the marscarpone mixture in the fridge for a few days, so if you have a small family, like me, then use part of the marscarpone mixture and peaches now, and part of them later!




Here's how mine turned out (thank you,  Instagram!)



What is your favorite recipe that has cardamom in it? I need to find more recipes with this delicious spice!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Color Inspiration: #099

I do not like winter, I do not like the cold and I do not like snow.

"But aren't you used to it? You've lived in Utah your whole life!"...Um...no. I am not used to it! It's a shocker every single year! I am bundled up in my coat outdoors and indoors with layers and layers of clothing and blankets, and I'm still shivering!

No matter how much I dislike the cold, I totally love autumn. It's a love/hate relationship though. Because I know as soon as the leaves start to change colors, the next season is when the snow starts to fall. So I hesitate to say this because I'm not ready for the snow, but...

I'm ready for fall! I just decided it, and I'm feeling good! I probably feel like this because I just spent 2 hours planning for a Halloween party with my friend. Halloween is the best!

So without further adieu, here is a color inspiration that shows my excitement for fall (in a sophisticated way).


No More, I Swear...

Sugar will someday be the death of me. How can it be so delicious but be so bad for you?? I've been trying to stay away from sugars for the last few weeks and I've done really well!! Until tonight when I came face to face with these...

dun, dun, dun...



I found this delicious recipe and photo from HERE and after making it, I can truly attest that it was ah-MAZE-ing.



Introducing:


(original recipe adapted from Pinch of Yum and Sprinkle Some Sunshine)
Makes 16 large/20 small squares
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
  • 14-16 peanut butter cups, regular size
  • 7 0z. container of marshmallow fluff
Directions:
  1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 8×8 baking dishing with cooking spray.
  2. Beat together butter and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.  Scrape down the sides.  Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and graham cracker crumbs until mixed.
  3. Spread 2/3 of the dough on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Lightly press the peanut butter cups into the dough, then spread marshmallow fluff on top.  Press the remaining dough on top of the fluff. (This last step is tricky! Don't worry if you don't fully cover the marshmallow fluff because it toasts nicely and tastes delicious!
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.  Serve and eat soon after coming out of the oven for a warm, gooey mess! Or, serve after allowing it to cool for two hours to give the bars a chance to set.

How can I say goodbye to sugar when it tastes so delicious? Tell me if you make the recipe and what you thought!!




Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Some of My Favorite Things

Polka dots.

Sketching.

Graphic Design.

Nixon Watches.

Sunshine.

Instagram.

Follow me @alexibullock.


(Shout out to Mr. Bullock who felt left out with my Instagram today. He, too, is one of my favorite things...I mean, people!)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

5K for my Father-in-Law's Cancer

1...2....3....Cancer Sucks!!!

That's what we chant every night after Dean, my father-in-law, takes his chemo pill! We are fighting this cancer as hard as we can, and I would LOVE your support as well. We just organized a 5K for Dean to show him how much he is loved! And one of the coolest parts is that the money that we raise is going to the Huntsman Cancer Institute! Awesome, right??

The 5K walk/run is in a few months (November 3rd) but if you register soon then you can save up to $10! So register TODAY, it's only $20 right now and it's for the best cause that I can think of: MY FAMILY!!! Find the website HERE so you can register! A few details are below, check them out!


Who will run with me??


Pinterest Finds

Can I hear it for Pinterest? YEAuHHH! Is it not so wonderful these days? I agree. I have found it to be my saving grace during these last few weeks of unemployment. I want to start working asap! I miss having something to do all day (like a full-time job)! So if any of you know of any graphic design jobs anywhere from Salt Lake to Provo, please let me know!

In the meantime, I'm having lots of fun on Pinterest and making my own graphic design projects. Take a look at some of my favorite pins, and make sure to follow me on Pinterest HERE if you're not yet, so I can follow you, too!




1//DIY Taco Seasoning  2//Beautiful Quote and Plants  3//Caramelized Peach and Brie Quesadilla with Honey  4//Baked Avocado Salsa  5//Amazing Outfit  6//Neutral Interior