Tina Made a Skirt

Actually I made two, but I only like one. Gawd, am I going to become one of those homely chicks who hand-makes all her clothes?

I saw this tutorial on Extra Petite and tried my hand at my first clothing sewing project. A basic elastic skirt. It was pretty simple and didn’t take too long. Let’s ignore the fact that for my first attempt (the navy skirt), I accidentally sewed shut the entire opening of the skirt (i.e. the place where your waist goes)… how do I even do stuff like that. I don’t know.

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Anyway, I think the real difficulties lie in: 1) choosing the right fabric, and 2) coming up with the correct measurements to fit your body. For my first attempt (navy), I went with a thicker cotton– it was a bit stiff and had just the slightest bit of sheen to it– and I cut my panels to 23″x23″ (FYI, I am 5’5″ and 25″ waist). The skirt ended up being too stiff, wide, and long (the pictures below are not scaled to each other– the chambray is slightly smaller than the navy in real life). For my second attempt, I used a lightweight chambray and cut down the panels to 19.5″x21.5″– significantly smaller.

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The navy skirt is wearable but not ideal in terms of fit. I hemmed it up a ton in terms of length, but the fabric’s stiffness and the gradual widening of the skirt is a bit unflattering, though technically it’s supposed to be an A-line. The chambray fits a lot better– the fabric is obvi slouchier and cutting down the width helped with the bulkiness. It’s kinda lost the A-line-ness, but I’d say it’s somewhere between a flouncy A-line and a pencil skirt.

All materials from Joann’s, with coupons–

Skirt 1 (navy):
-1 yard of 1″ elastic ($1.69)
-1 yard fabric ($9.99 + 40% off coupon)= $6.54
-(I already had matching thread)
TOTAL with tax: $8.37

Skirt 2 (chambray):
-1 yard of 1″ elastic ($2.29 + 50% off coupon)= $1.24
-1 yard lightweight chambray ($12.99 + 50% off coupon)= $7.08
-matching thread, which I ended up not even using b/c I was too lazy to change out the thread in my machine -_- ($2.79)
TOTAL with tax: $11.36

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Shirt: 2020AVE
Woven belt: Anthropologie
Leather boots: Tahari

Not bad– skirts for ~$10 each. I’ll probably try again with another type of fabric (sticking with the lightweight stuff) and possibly add an inch or two to the width to give back some of the A-line-ness. Also, I omitted pockets for these skirts, but they are easily addable (per the tutorial).

Gonna start pairing this chambray skirt with boots, tights, and sweaters because IT’S AUTUMN, BEYOTCHES!

PS- Homely chicks unite. H8ers gon’ h8.

Lurvin’: Gold + Lucite

There’s seemingly tons of gold + lucite office inspiration on the internetz these days. Stapler or clip board, anyone? (See 2 compilation posts here & here). But here’s some general home decor eye candy, because you really can’t get enough of the pretty combo. And by you, I mean me.


1gold leather pouf ($275)// 2scented candle gift set ($120)// 3– vintage lucite & brass etagere ($1,995)// 4- chrome and lucite club chair ($2950)// 5- lucite letter A ($95)// 6- hand towel holder ($250)// modern clip lamp ($59)


Go Get Em Tiger!

The best is when you’re walking along and you stumble upon a cute coffee shop (or book store). In this case, a coffee shop.

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My girlfriends and I were walking around Larchmont last month and stopped when we saw this new sign– “Go Get Em Tiger.” None of us had seen it before, so curious, we walked in. Turned out to be a recently-opened coffee shop.

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I liked the minimalist decor– white walls, bright red fixtures, wooden stools (surprisingly comfortable). The set-up felt very wine-bar-ish rather than like a typical coffee shop. Several customers drank their coffee at the bar while chatting it up with the barista.

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There were lots of different succulents in built-in shelves along the wall. The coffee came in a cute glass jar with a swatch of fabric tied around it (it’s all about the details), and the espresso with a shot of sparkling white tea as a palette cleanser. The coffee was good, the espresso strong.

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Chalkboard menu. Definitely on the pricey side, though not surprising for this type of shop (and the location). Not sure if I would go out of my way to come here, considering I’m not a huge coffee drinker (I prefer tea), but definitely a cute place to check out if you are. Fun fact: Its sister store is G&B Coffee.

Go Get Em Tiger (GGET)
230 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004

PS- FYI umm I wrote this post a couple of months ago and forgot to post it, which means the coffee shop is no longer super new. And I am no longer super cool for discovering it early on. Life fail.

Tina Made Over

Remember my friend Renee? You know, from Beauty Makeup Studio, the one from whom I took a private makeup lesson earlier this year. Well, this past Saturday, she held her first ever makeup workshop, in collaboration with Cathy of Chic to Chic Weddings. It was SO.MUCH.FUN.

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The workshop was held in the heart of Hollywood at Studio 1444, a photography/film production facility. The venue itself has an amazing history behind it (read at the link) and it was the perfect space for makeupping, with tons of natural light streaming through + the awesome white interior.

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The workshop was capped at 6 people and was slated for 1-4pm. Cathy set up a beautiful and delicious table of snacks + moscato so we could mingle and munch before (well… and during.. and after) the lesson.

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Loved the yellow+black+white color scheme! And the cupcakes from Big Man Bakes were freakin’ delicious.

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Left: Renee all set up and ready to go! Each place setting had a ginormous mirror, a cup of brushes, Nars bronzer in Laguna, Mac eyeshadow in Charcoal Brown, Cathycat eyebrow pencil in grey-brown, a folder of Renee’s notes (+ space for attendees to take notes), and a delicious macaron from ‘lette.

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Left: How cute is this candid?! Right: Cathy hung up these adorbz chandeliers as part of the decor.

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Left: Because an event isn’t an event without Instagram to prove it #beautymakeupstudio. Right: In the foreground, the macaron (have you TRIED the salted caramel flavor? I die), and in the background, place cards.

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The workshop itself covered highlighting, contouring, eyebrows (which was the hardest and the longest), and false eyelash application. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a TON of information and we used up the entire 3 hours. Future workshops to cover other topics.

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Left: Yes, that is a scary-ass face but was a super helpful take-home– it gives info about highlighting/contouring. Right: Renee demonstrated “how to” on different students, and had us practice on our own faces as she walked around and gave lots of constructive feedback to each person. Aside from the makeup/tools already at the table, Renee had foundation, concealer, makeup remover, eyelash glue, etc. on hand at various parts of our lesson.

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Practicing our new skillzz. The 3 hours flew by, and we all had a blast meeting new girls (including Elizabeth, on the far left–from Flourish in Progress— my new favorite blog).

We all left Studio 1444 as prettier versions of ourselves, which I guess is a good sign of a successful makeup workshop.

To be in the know about Renee’s future workshops (and to see some of her other work), follow her on Instagram.

Renee IG: renito
Chic to Chic Weddings IG: chictochicweddings
My IG (I feel left out): tina_made_it
Elizabeth IG (aw what the heck, just call me fangirl): flourishinprogress

Tina Made Baked White Fish with Veggies

I love white fish. I also love fast recipes. And delicious food. So when one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, recently posted a fish recipe described as a “super quick and delicious meal,” I jumped on it.

Their tutorial (linked above) was pretty self-explanatory, but I documented the steps anyway, with just a few changes (addition/omission of a couple ingredients). Also, I added an ingredients list (with exact amounts, because remember… I’m neurotic/a step-by-step cook… and maybe you are too).

This meal is perfect to make even if you’re only cooking for one! Which is usually annoying, but it totally works for this dish because it’s so simple. I’ve already made it twice!

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  • 1 white fish fillet (I used tilapia once and swai once– both good)
  • 1/2 bundle of asparagus (about half pound)
  • 1 zucchini (added to original recipe)
  • 1 small lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter (halved from original recipe)
  • salt & pepper
  • rectangular piece of parchment paper (1.5 feet is plenty)
  • omitted from original recipe: fresh dill

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Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice zucchini into rounds and chop off ends of asparagus.

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Slice ~3/4 of lemon into thin slices. Fold parchment paper in half, and lay out zucchini and asparagus on one side of  parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. Lay lemon slices on top. Squeeze juice of remaining 1/4 lemon onto veggies.

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Using a knife, chop up garlic cloves and mash together with butter. Season fish fillet with salt and pepper, then lay on top of lemon slices. Spread butter-garlic mash over top of the fish.

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Fold the second half of the parchment paper over the fish & veggies, and fold closed (a bit trickier than it looks..!). Bake for 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. Everything will steam inside the parchment.

Voila! All done. I cannot emphasize how fast and easy this is. It’s literally ~10 minutes to prep, and while it cooks for ~10 minutes in the oven, you can clean up your kitchen, so when you’re finished eating, there will be minimal dishes to do. EXCITING.


Wedding Weekend

My friend Grace got married this past weekend (her bridal shower here), and though exhausting (as being a bridesmaid always is), it was a ton of fun. She was a beautiful bride (her dress! like a princess!) and it was so good seeing her and her now-husband beaming the entire night.

I’ve been the designated historian for the last 10 years amongst my friends, but I totally failed this weekend by not charging my camera battery before the wedding. Oops. :X iPhone FTW!

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Grace’s beaded, blingy princess dress totally suited her personality. In the best possible way… heh.

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Sometimes unplanned/thoughtless candids end up being the best shots.

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Left: The best part about this classy, all-roses bouquet was that it wasn’t heavy. Right: *tear* We’ve come a long way.

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There was tons and tons of downtime, which was pretty awesome. Though hair/make-up was at 7:30am, after we were done, we had time to watch two movies at Grace’s apt., take pseudo naps (on our stomachs, gingerly resting our foreheads on our forearms), and just chill. The entire wedding party even went to Jack-in-the-Box an hour before the ceremony. One bridesmaid (to remain anonymous) wiped her fingers on her dress after eating chicken strips and ended up with grease stains. Hahaha.

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Grace was the opposite of bridezilla throughout the entire wedding planning process, as well as the day of, so I guess she kind of earned the right to act like a princess all day… a right which she thoroughly milked. 🙂

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Left: All of the bridesmaids; Right: Groom (2nd from left) + groomsmen, post-ceremony… who may or may not be carrying flasks in their hands (the venue only allowed wine & beer).

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Left: My closest girlfriends from college. We all lived in various roommate combinations during college/post-college. Right: Us with our closest guy friends. This month is our 10 year anniversary of meeting at UCLA. Time flies.

Congratulations, Grace + Ben! Wishing you a lifetime of patience, understanding, compassion, and communication (PUCC). 😉

Tina Made Up

What’s your morning makeup routine? A few months ago I took a private makeup lesson from my friend Renee at Beauty Makeup Studio and she revolutionized the way I apply my makeup. (Read my extensive Yelp review here for what the lesson entailed!). Here’s what I do for a fully made-up face:

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[FACE] After moisturizing and applying sunblock to my face, I mix a tiny glob of Make Up For Ever’s (MUFE) HD Foundation in shade 125 (quarter pump) with an equal amount of MUFE’s Full Cover concealer in shade 5 (a shade/two lighter than my skin). I apply this to conceal redness, blemishes, and also highlight the face (apply wherever the light would naturally catch on your face). I learned that it’s really unnecessary to apply a full face of foundation/B.B. cream if you conceal correctly. I also use Yves Saint Laurent’s Touche Éclat in shade 2.5 (also a shade/two lighter than my skin) as an under-eye concealer, and carry this around for brightening throughout the day. Then, I ‘set’ my face with a super-duper light dusting of MUFE’s HD Powder.

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[FACE, cont.] Next, I apply Nars bronzer in the shade Laguna, and Nars blush in the shade Orgasm.
[EYEBROWS] I use Anastasia’s Brow Wiz in shade Soft Brown to lightly shape my eyebrows, and fill in with DuWop’s Browwow powder.
[EYES] I’ll also use Browwow as an eyeshadow (it’s a taupe shade) to add some depth to the eyes.

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[EYES, cont.] Night-look: If I’m going out or feeling ambitious, I’ll add some type of creamy eyeliner (pictured: Rimmel Scandaleyes in Guilty Grey, Urban Decays 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Bourbon;  Solone Gel Like Smoody Pencil in Forest Green) blended out with a shimmer eyeshadow from Urban Decay’s Naked 2 palette.
[EYELASHES] Finally, I curl my eyelashes with the Shiseido curler (though after this one breaks I’m going back to Shu Uemura’s, which fits my eye shape better) and add a coat of Benefit’s They’re Real! mascara (which I bought after trying out Sephora’s birthday sample this year). My go-to mascara is Estee Lauder’s Double Wear but I like this Benefit one too.

Final look pictured in my bio picture here. It’s tough work applying makeup to make yourself look like you’re not wearing much at all. The whole process takes about 20 minutes– is this long or short?? Do share. 🙂

PS- If you’re like me and never ‘properly’ learned how to apply makeup, a private lesson like the one I took is HIGHLY recommended. Though makeup seems like one of those things you just “figure out” over time, in actuality there are so many tricks and techniques the average person doesn’t know– they can completely change your look (for the better!). Anyway, if you want to consider a lesson, check out Renee’s portfolio here and her website here— she’s amazeballs and worth every penny.

Blurred Mason Jar Lines

I know, I know. You’re over mason jars the same amount you’re over Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Me, too. [Ignore the fact that I just used them as vases for Grace’s bridal shower… cut me some slack, we were going budget-friendly, aiite?!]

And yet. If you go on Pinterest there are ONE MILLION IDEAS FOR MASON JARS. No seriously, that’s the name of one of the boards I found.

Out of those ONE MILLION IDEAS out there, here are the 5 that I find legitimately cool/useful/pretty. So basically the opposite of this. Here they are:


With Lovely‘s mason jar flower shelf. Such an awesome idea! Her DIY tutorial here.


Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body‘s mini pear tarts in mason jar lids. Usually the lids get no love. Genius. Recipe here.

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Healthy.Happy.Life‘s mason jar salads. Four (vegan) recipes here. Also check out The Daily Muse for 4 more (non-vegan) recipes here. I’m so doing this.


Pegagadget‘s mason jar salt & pepper shakers. Adorbz! Buy here, $15.


Free People blog‘s sun jars (solar powered lamps). Freaking cool. DIY tutorial here. Or buy for $40 here.

You can wade through the rest of the one million ideas on Pinterest. Promising myself to move away from mason jar vases… as soon as I finish listening to Blurred Lines. Sigh.

Rita’s Water Ice

Am I the only one who’s never heard of Rita’s? Apparently it’s an Italian ice/frozen custard franchise that’s allllll over the east coast, and is now popping up on the best coast as well (CA, NV, UT, AZ). When I heard a foodie friend talk about how it had opened in La Canada (which is nearby-ish), I wanted to check it out.

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The store had 12 flavors of Italian (water) ice, though the website boasts 40 (!) flavors, so perhaps they rotate out their flavors. It also had 6 flavors of frozen custard– vanilla, chocolate, vanilla-chocolate twist, strawberry, light vanilla, and strawberry-light vanilla twist. Once again, the website has more flavors. Check them out here.

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Rita’s is best known for the Gelati, which is a layering of frozen custard on the bottom of the cup, Italian ice in the middle, and topped with more frozen custard. You can read all the descriptions of their options above, but I got the Gelati with “Alex’s lemonade” Italian ice and vanilla custard. [[Read about who “Alex” is here— Rita’s partners with a charity dedicated to finding a cure for childhood cancers– pretty cool.]]

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I was actually surprised by how delicious it was. I’ve had both frozen custard and Italian ice in the past, but the combination was pretty ridic. The Italian ice was similar to shave ice (the legit kind, not an icy snow cone), and the vanilla frozen custard was kind of like a McDonald’s vanilla cone… but creamier. And better.

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La Canada is in the boonies (sorry to all my LC friends– I know ya’ll have crazy LC pride), but there’s also a few more locations in SoCal, including Santa Monica, listed on their website here. I’m definitely going back. Maybe tomorrow.

Tina Made an Owl Hand Warmer

In this 90+ degree heat, I’ve decided to make a craft that will be totally useless for another few months. Or totally useless for… life. Haters gon’ hate.

This “heart warmer” has been on my “to-make” list since I saw it 2 winters ago. It’s a reusable hand warmer in the shape of a heart (filled with rice– stick it in the microwave to heat). However, I like owls and thought it would be (almost) equally easy to make it in an owl shape rather than a heart. But then I Googled “owl hand warmer” and of course, multiple hits came up, like this and this. Damn, it’s hard to be creative slash unique in the crafting world. Ah well. Here’s my take anyway.

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SOOOO this project ended up taking 29032x longer than I originally anticipated. It’s actually quite easy, and all the sewing went by quickly (both by hand and machine)— until I had to deal with the cotton floral fabric (the rest is obvi felt). Something about the small pieces of thin cotton was just unmanageable to me and I was so.frustrated. Also my sewing machine jammed about 23x which was so.frustrating. And I wasted time trying out embroidery thread for the border and ended up removing it all (because it was ugly) which was also.. wait for it.. so.frustrating. Ack.

I think now that I’ve made it once though, I can do it again 10x faster (assuming I won’t have the same set of issues), but if you ask me… I’m kinda over hand warmers and owls at this point. But if youuuu want to try, here are the basic steps:

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1) Draw a basic pattern for what you want your owls to look like. I chose a square-ish shape and an oval-ish shape, and ended up going with the former– about 2.5″x3.5″.

2) Draw and cut out a template onto card stock for the body and eyes. (Note that in the picture above-right, I have a stencil for the wings as well– I ended up not using that). I free-handed the pupils and the beak and thus did not need stencils for those.

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3) Trace all stencils onto your felt (I used a black pen) and cut out– you’ll need two pieces for the body (front/back), and two eyes. Also, cut out two pupils and a beak. Using pinking shears, cut two wings in quarter-circle-ish pieces from fabric. You can use felt for this part too, but I think the fabric looks a lot better.

4) Either hand-sew or use a sewing machine to sew on eyes and beak. I used a machine for the white eyeballs and hand-sewed the pupils and beak.

(…..seriously all of this was super fast and easy up to this point)

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5) Pin the two wings onto the front of the body. Sew just the innermost part of the wings (the CURVED parts) to the body. Then, tuck the outer edges of the fabric behind/underneath the felt, sandwiching the edges of the fabric between the two pieces of the body.

6) Sew (I used a machine) along the border of the entire owl, leaving a 1/2″ space for you to fill with rice. I left my hole at the very bottom.

7) Fill owl with uncooked rice (did I really have to specify “uncooked”?… yes, just in case), then hand-sew the hole closed.

To use, microwave for 20 seconds then… Hold in your hands. Put in your pocket. Caress against your face. Yay!

I really felt like steps 5 and 6 were the hardest parts– keeping the fabric where it was supposed to be while sewing along the border of the owl with the felt pieces nicely lined up. I may have had more issues because the edges of my felt were holey and stretched out from hand-sewing embroidery thread for my first time around the owl.

Ah well. Frustrations aside, I think it turned out pretty cute.

But next time, I’m sticking with the original heart shape………. too bad there won’t be a next time. 😉