Things I did while I was gone

  • Dyed my hair a red ombré/balayage

Instagram red hair

Picture is from my Instagram, taken by my stylist, Mel. I LOVE HIM. He’s amazing and I’m so proud of him for opening his own salon!! Check out his work on his Instagram.

This is the first time in over a decade that I’ve done such serious coloring on my hair. I previously had a peekaboo red at the nape of my neck, but as it started to grow out, I wanted to go for a full-on red ombré. I love how it turned out!

  • Bought a pair of boots on impulse

donald j pliner diem boots

These are Donald J Pliner “Diem,” and I found them on clearance at Nordstrom Rack. They’re a half size too big, but it was the last pair. I wore them out with thick socks, and I think with an insert it’ll be fine.

  • Bought a curling iron

toni & guy curling iron

I’ve never used a curling iron before. I already own two curling wands (the ones without a clamp). However, since I cut my hair short (ish), it’s hard for me to curl the bottom layers without getting dangerously close to giving myself a burn hickey. So I wanted to try a clamp style iron.

There was quite a learning curve with this! The first time I tried it, I completely screwed it up and my hair looked awful. I had to put it up in a bun while I went to work, and when I got home, I rinsed the style out. I looked up a few tutorials on good ol’ YouTube and tried again.

It came out way better the second time around, but I still very much prefer the wand. It’s way easier to maneuver and it’s pretty much idiot proof. Just wrap your hair around the barrel, hold for a few seconds, and let it go.

curled with iron and wand

Here, I curled it with the iron and it was mostly okay. I went back in with my tapered wand to smooth out some wonky bits, and give some curls more definition.

curling wand vs curling iron

Top: My old faithful, ISO Beauty tapered barrel curling wand.

Bottom: New kid on the block, Toni & Guy 1″ curling iron. I WILL master you, damnit!!

  • Got attacked by bugs.

The building I live in is pretty tall (40 stories), and pretty old (30+ years). This summer, they’re doing a massive resurfacing project for all the lanais (balconies), and they’ve removed our screen door. Now, all kinds of lovely bugs are flying right in our apartment, including a giant roach (it semi-attacked my sister in the bathroom and now we’re both suffering from mild anxiety that another one is lurking about).

But mainly, my sister and I were being eaten alive by mosquitoes. We’d wake up in the morning with 2-3 new bites each day. It’s just awful. I’ve tried spraying a lavender sleep mist around our sleeping area, but it wasn’t working.

One night, while unable to sleep because I couldn’t stop scratching three new bites on my legs, I got fed up and looked up solutions on Amazon. I settled on this essential oil blend by Plant Therapy called “Insect Shield.” It’s a mix of citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood, lemongrass, lavender, may chang, tea tree, patchouli, and catnip. Basically, all the things that bugs supposedly hate.

plant therapy insect shield essential oil

I followed this recipe found on Wellness Mama for a homemade bug spray, and I used about 15 drops of this, and 5 drops of lavender. I didn’t have distilled water, so I just used boiled water. First impression: it smells really nice!

We’ve used it for two nights, and so far, no new bites. I hesitate to call it a success just yet, because it might be a fluke. But I’m hopeful. I also bought this little pod essential oil diffuser, and when it comes in, I’ll try it overnight as well. Cross your fingers for me!

  • Wore purple blush.

detrivore cosmetics blush endearment

I picked this little sample baggie of blush the last time I made an order from Shiro Cosmetics. I also bought a sample of the blue blush, Bluebeard, but I haven’t tried that one yet. I figured I could make purple work more easily than blue, ha.

Endearment is described as a matte greyed lavender.

fotd detrivore blush endearment

Like most loose powders, it’s messy to work with, especially out of a little plastic baggie. However, it’s surprisingly VERY flattering. I have a bit of natural redness in my cheeks, so it turned it a bit pinky. I was only wearing powder foundation in this picture. I want to try it again with a more full coverage foundation, to see if it’ll be more “greyed lavender.”

I’d be tempted to pick up a full sized jar, if my blush collection hadn’t already reached critical mass.

And there you have it. Shenanigans that I’ve been up to/got into/I actually don’t know how to use this phrase correctly – while I wasn’t here. Anything new to report on your end of the keyboard?

Upcycle: Candle Jar – DIY Chalkboard Label

Hey! You! Yes, you there, reading my blog. You rock. Just wanted to remind you. :)

Today’s post is a simple DIY for upcycling your empty candle jars.

I find it such a shame that candle stores, specifically Bath and Body Works because of their massive popularity, don’t have a recycling program. Just think, it could work like a Back2MAC program, bring in 5 empty jars and get one for free. They could also do an “eco” line where they refill empty jars instead of creating new ones, and sell the refilled ones for a reduced price.

But until that day comes, I’m sitting on a stockpile of empty B&BW’s 3-Wick candle jars. At one point last year, I was obsessed with them for about 2 months, then I got over it and moved on. I am a fickle creature.

Anyway, once you’re done with your candle, you can easily remove the wax by popping it in the freezer. For the stubborn bits on the side,  boiling hot water melts away the rest of the wax, and takes care of any greasy residue.

This time, I wanted to make chalkboard labels using leftover chalkboard paint that my sister had.

rustoleum chalkboard paint

She used it to paint the sides of her bookshelf so she could keep a running list of books she wants to read each month. There’s still a ton of chalkboard paint left, though.

Chalkboard paint also comes in a spray paint option, which I imagine is far more convenient!

upcycle candle jar diy chalkboard label

So, after removing the wax and washing out the jar, I used painters’ tape to section off the label.

TIP: Make sure the tape lies flat. I had a few air pockets, and the paint leaked outside the taped lines. I scratched it off easily enough, but obviously it’s better to be neat the first time around.

upcycle candle jar diy chalkboard label 2

This is one coat of paint. The instructions say to wait four hours before the next coat, but I was impatient and only waited about 30 minutes. However, you may want to wait until it’s at least dry to the touch, because the very first time I did this, the first coat wasn’t dry yet and the second coat pulled it away from the glass. I had to start all over again.

upcycle candle jar diy chalkboard label 3

It took about 4 or 5 coats to get it to be opaque. As you can see, these jars are perfect for Q-Tips!

upcycle candle jar diy chalkboard label 4

Don’t forget to condition the chalkboard before using it! Just run the chalk all over it, then wipe it gently off. The residue chalk powder will make it easier to erase.

upcycle candle jar diy chalkboard label 5


I’ve since re-conditioned this and moved the letters down a bit. I kept smudging the tops of the letters with my fingers every time I grabbed the jar to open it.

I’ve also made a companion one for cotton balls and now they stack on top of each other in my bathroom. :)

Do you reuse your empty candle jars? How do you repurpose them?