Uncategorized

Moving on to a new blog…

Though I’ve really enjoyed sharing my projects, fashion, and travel on Vintage Mode and Abode, I’ve found that it’s overwhelming to come up with interesting content that covers so many topics.  I’ve decided to start a new blog that focuses on my travels and build my small business.  I hope you join me for this new venture at Traverseinstyle.wordpress.com!

 

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Travel

My 5 Tips on Saving Money on Travel Accommodations

My passion for travel really picked up in college, which meant I was traveling on a steep budget.  My travel time rose exponentially when I got my job as a flight attendant, but I still stuck to a budget so I could travel more and spend less.  I learned through research and experience what my best resources for affordable accommodations are, so today I’m sharing 5 tips on saving money on your own travel stays!

1.  Airbnb can be an amazing resource, especially when using their amenity and location filters

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Airbnb is my favorite resource for deals on accommodation.  It’s myriad of filters means you can find exactly what you want for the price you want.  I use it for trips with just my husband and big group trips as well. Sometimes I save money by booking a shared space with the owner (with my own room) and other times it’s just as affordable  to rent out the entire house.

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When I want to book on Airbnb, I first start with a google map with ‘starred’ points of interest for my trip.  Once I see where everything is located, it’s easier to determine the best area for my Airbnb.  You can use the map tool on their website to see where each home is located and pick your best location within your budget.  It’s good to keep in mind nearby public transport if you won’t have a car during your trip.

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I also check the amenities based on the needs of my trip.  For example, my trip to Italy this summer will be during the brutally hot Monty of July.  I made sure each home had air conditioning (which isn’t in every home or hotel in Italy despite the temperatures).  I also made sure each included a hair dryer, because it’s one less thing to carry in our small suitcases.

There are several other great resources like Airbnb, which you can find here.

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2. HostelWorld is more than just hostels

I used HostelWorld a lot during my college years, and I still recommend it to my friends that want to travel dirt cheap.  Hostels can scare off a less seasoned or more particular traveler, but what great about HostelWorld, is that it includes more than just shared dorm-style rooms.  You can use the website’s filters to choose between a hostel, hotel or campsite, and also choose whether you want a private or shared space based on your group of travelers.

There are also ratings for a plethora of important travel aspects, like safeness, cleanliness and hospitality!

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3. Make/keep connections far and wide

It might be sad when a friend or family member moves/lives far away, but think of it as a new adventure you get to explore together.  I have several family members and friends that live out of state (and country) that are so fun to visit and explore their city with.  It’s usually free accomdation and great bonding time.  As thanks for letting me stay with them, I try to at least take them out to dinner for a night.

If you don’t feel comfortable staying in their home, or it’s not an option (maybe it’s a new friend or someone you don’t keep in touch with much), they could still be a great resource on where the best place to stay is and what attractions are awesome to visit.  Don’t be afraid to get in contact with long lost friends and get their input for your trip.  Meeting up for lunch or an activity can be a great way to rekindle the friendship and see a friendly face in a new and unfamiliar city!

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4. Enjoy your dream accommodations in the off season

I’m a dreamer, so my imaginative plans for my trips are usually not within my budget.  However, I’ve found you can splurge a bit on one of your dream hotels or accommodations if you do some research and deal hunting.  For each city’s tourism, there is a high and low season, and the prices of a stay there reflect that.  I was able to afford a night at my dream hotel in Palm Springs, The Saguaro, because we were there in the off season and it was right after a big holiday (when most are checking out).

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5. Sometimes your fallbacks aren’t the greatest deal, so keep all your options open

Like I mentioned before, I used Airbnb frequently!  However, when planning my upcoming Italy trip, it was hard to find an affordable Airbnb option within the city  of Venice, for 6 people.  Venice is a small city with a unique layout, so finding accommodations can be tough.  There are more options outside the city, but we are limited on public transport there, so a place within walking distance of the major sites is important.  I don’t book hotels that often because they are usually more expensive, but I decided to peruse them.  I ended up finding a great deal on a hotel room with 3 bedrooms and a sitting room in a great part of the city!  Make sure to keep your options open so you don’t miss out on a deal.

 

Go out there and #SeeMoreSpendLess!

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DIY, Fashion

DIY Multi Glitter Sunglasses

My favorite accessory is hands down, sunglasses!  My eyes are sensitive to wind, the cold, sunlight…everything it seems, and I use sunglasses year round to keep my eyes from watering.  I love matching them to my outfits, and I’ve grown quite the collection! I store them on this pretty acrylic shelf, which you can find on my previous post.  Despite the array of fun options for sunglasses out there, sometimes I cant find the exact pair I’m looking for.  Though glitter cat eye sunglasses are out there, I hadn’t found a pair with multi-colored glitter, so I decided to make them myself!

I was going for a brighter color palette, but this hue has a “unicorn” vibe to them that I love.  Being handmade (and using a tricky/messy substance like glitter) means they aren’t perfect, so try not to get frustrated like I with minuscule imperfections.  Check out instructions below on how to make your own multi- glitter sunglasses!

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SUPPLIES:

  • Mod Podge
  • Container of Extra Fine Multi-color glitter OR packet of multiple glitters to mix together
  • Triple Thick Glaze
  • Small Paint Brush
  • Sunglasses (I purchased mine here)
  • Exacto Blade
  • Tape
  • Disposable Paper Plate
  • Small bowl (if mixing glitters together)

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. It’s ideal to be able to pop the lenses out of the glasses, but if you are afraid of breaking them, or are incapable of taking them out like I was, start by covering the lenses with tape.  Press tightly into the crevices where the lenses meet the frames.IMG_2258
  2. CAREFULLY cut the excess tape at the edges of the lenses with your exacto blade.  Exactos can easily make nicks on the lenses, so take it slow.IMG_2259
  3. If you are mixing your glitter together like I did, empty all the colors into a small bowl and mix with the end of your paint brush.IMG_2260IMG_2261
  4. **I got over excited on finishing these glasses and forgot to continue with photos, whoops!**   In small sections (so the glue doesn’t try before you apply the glitter) apply mod podge in a thin layer with your paint brush.
  5. With the glasses hovering over paper plate, sprinkle glitter onto the glasses where you applied glue.  Tap the glasses with your finer to remove excess glitter.
  6. Continue covering the glasses with thin layers of glue and sprinkle glitter.  I started with the “face” of the glasses so I could hold onto the “stems” while applying the glue.  When it came to the sides of the face, I waited to apply glitter to the bottom sides until the other sides dried, so I had a clean side to place on the plate while the layers of glitter/glue dried.  I left the interior of the face to be bare from glitter for comfort on the face.
  7. Once the face of the glasses is covered and has dried for about five minutes (or until not tacky) I applied a thin layer of triple thick glaze over the glitter.  This helps to keep the glitter from shedding all over you and your clothes!
  8. I let the glaze dry for about 30 minutes, and then applied a second layer of mod podge and glitter to fill any gaps where I could see the black of my sunglasses.  Let this layer dry for about 5 minutes.
  9. Apply a second layer of glaze to the glittered face.  Let dry for another 30 minutes.
  10. Once the face of the glasses are dry, repeat the steps of glue/glitter and then glaze to the stems of the glasses and the remaining bottom side of the face.  You can allow the stems and bottom side of the face to dry without smudging by placing the glasses face down (and stems folded out).  Allow to dry for an hour.
  11. Carefully remove the tape from the lenses.  You will have alot of loose glitter stuck to the glasses.  To remove the excess glitter, I used the handheld nozzle of my vacuum to suck away the glitter (funny I know, but it worked!).  You now have pair of fabulous multi-glitter sunglasses!

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Fashion

Fruity Fun Fashion

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I didn’t realize how obsessed I was with fruit prints until I took a look at my closet the other day.  There is just something so whimsical and fun about fruit prints, and quintessentially summer!  I cannot wait to break them out again once it gets warm, and add a few more fun pieces!  Get ready for spring and summer with these fruity fun pieces.

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LEMON PRINT

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CHERRY PRINT

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WATERMELON PRINT

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PINEAPPLE PRINT

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MIXED FRUIT PRINT

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DIY, Fashion

Travel Inspired Tees

It’s no secret that I love to travel, my job revolves around it and I take every chance I can to visit new places on my own time.  There is something so exciting about experiencing a new city, culture, and tasting local cuisine.  For me, it’s a lifestyle, not a hobby.  So having some travel inspired clothing is a no brainer!  I don’t wear too many logo tees, but I couldn’t resist having this Airplane Mode shirt for my workouts or loungewear.

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The Nordstrom version is $88, so I knew I could easily make this cute shirt for under $20 with my own personal touch.  A little heat transfer vinyl in a block letter print on my basic cotton tee and I easily created this shirt (and a tank for my friend).  However, if you don’t have a Silhouette or Cricut Machine, or you want a different idea for your own DIY travel tee, check out the links below!

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You Had Me At Hawaii

The World Is Yours

Airplane Mode

Not All Who Wonder Are Lost

Paper plane

The Best Stories Are Found Between A Pages of A Passport

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Catch Flights Not Feelings

Vacation Mode

 

DIY

Chocolate Protein Donuts

I have a pretty strong sweet tooth, so it’s hard to resist sweet treats when presented to me.  ZERO will power.  I’ve been curbing my sugar craving somewhat with my daily protein bars, which are much more nutritious and can taste just like a candy bar depending on the brand.  When I discovered Protein Donuts on Pinterest, I knew I had to give them a try, despite my lack of baking skills.  I experimented with this recipe from Masonfit.com for Double Chocolate Protein Donuts, and tweaked the icing recipe to be a plain cream cheese frosting instead of chocolate.

I’ll be honest, low calorie protein donuts are not like ordinary donuts.  Their sweetness (at least in this particular recipe) was much more subtle and the texture is more cake-like, but I still enjoyed them for a snack.  If you are looking for a low calorie sweet treat, give these a try, or another of the many protein donut recipes you can find on Pinterest.  Below is Masonfit.com’s recipe with my tweaks.

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Double Chocolate Protein Donuts

 Servings: 6 donuts
**Original Recipe is 89 cal per donut and 11 grams of protein**
Ingredients

Pronuts

  • 1/4 C All Purpose Flour
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder Chocolate
  • 2 servings (92g) Liquid Egg Whites
  • 1/2 C (120g) Canned Pumpkin
  • 2 Tbsp Stevia or 0-Cal Sweetener
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Sauce
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 15 g (3 servings) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Frosting/Glaze

  • 1 serving (32g) Fat-Free Cream Cheese
  • 1 serving Sugar-Free Chocolate Syrup
  • 1 scoop Protein Powder Chocolate

** I eliminated the chocolate syrup and protein powder and instead added 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar.  Also garnished donuts with rainbow sprinkles**

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray donut pan with low-cal cooking spray.
2.  Mix pronut ingredients in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
3.  Fill donut pan evenly and bake for 15 minutes.
4.  To make your frosting, mix cream cheese (room temp helps), chocolate syrup, and one scoop of protein powder together until creamy.
5.  To cover donuts, allow them to cool briefly and dip them face down into frosting mixture. Twist them back and forth in a circular motion and remove to let the frosting set. Voila!
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Fashion

Valentine’s Day Inspired Clothing & Accessories You Can Wear ALL Year

As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy Valentine’s Day for its bold red/pink combo, heart/lip prints, and GLITTER!  Unfortunately, the season to wear these fun pieces is short…but does it really have to be?  There are so many fun pieces out there that can be a part of your wardrobe throughout the year!  Break the rules a little, I won’t tell!  Below are some clothing and accessories I think would be great all year, to add a little color and fun to your wardrobe.

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DIY, Fashion

DIY Kate Spade Inspired Heart Shoes

One shining spot of winter is the sparkling decorations that come with Valentine’s Day.  I’m a sucker for anything in a red/pink combo and glitter everything!  I’m not one to fuss much about the actual expectations of the holiday, but I love decorating and dressing up for it!  When I saw the Valentine’s collection from Kate Spade, I fell in LOVE with their Kade Flats, but knew they were not in my budget.  I decided they looked easy enough to replicate, and I got to work!

This project was under $30 and the best part is, these hearts are shoe clips!  I can switch out with a different pair of clips on these great striped flats, or keep them unadorned.  Check out the easy instructions below on how to make your own Valentine Heart Flats.

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SUPPLIES:

  • Striped Flats (Bought mine here)
  • Glitter Foam
  • Felt
  • Shoe Clips or Clip on Earrings (found at your local craft or jewelry making stores)
  • Printer OR Cutting Machine like Silhouette/Cricut
  • Sheet of copy paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Hot Glue
  • Super Glue

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Using the heart graphic above, either cut the design with your cutting machine or print the design on your sheet of copy paper.  This will be the template to trace your hearts onto the foam.  I did 2″ width hearts, but feel free to make them bigger or smaller depending on your desired look.  If you print the hearts, cut them out.
  2. Using your cut out hearts, trace the design onto the non-glitter side of your foam.  Once traced on to the foam, cut them out.IMG_1037 (1)
  3. Cut two small pieces of felt with your fabric scissors to cover the back of the clip on earring or shoe clip.  This step is to help curb irritation from the metal clip on your skin by covering it with felt.  Hot glue the felt pieces to the back of the clips.IMG_1038.jpg
  4. Find the placement you want the clips to be on the back of the foam hearts and super glue.  You want to make sure the clips are far enough down the heart that they will not be seen when the heart is flipped right side up.IMG_1041.jpgIMG_1039
  5. Let dry for a few minutes, and then your heart shoe clips are ready to be worn on your flats!

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Decor, DIY

I LOVE DONUTS Valentine’s Day Banner

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Sometimes the hype and expectations of Valentine’s Day is just too much!  I don’t take Valentine’s Day too seriously, for a long time I just celebrated Galentine’s Day with my friends, and when I met Ryan, we kept things simple.  No need for a fancy restaurant, or expensive gift, we just made sure we spent a little extra time together, because life gets so busy.  That’s why I wanted to have some fun with my Valentine’s decor this year, and profess my love…for donuts!  They’re a rare luxury for me, but oh so good when I indulge!

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I used some glitter cardstock for the letters, brown paper for the donuts, and some fun rainbow/gold flecked paper for the icing (all from Michael’s).  Taped them to string and voila!  Donut banner!  I bought the gold flecked rainbow paper for the icing because it looked like sprinkles, but any colorful paper with swirls, stripes or dots would be equally as cute!  Screenshot the graphics below for the letters, donut and icing, which could be printed and cut with scissors, or used in a Silhouette or Cricut machine.

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Decor, Fashion

Ways to Organize Your Vanity Area

You’d think by the look of my vanity its more for glamorous show than practicality, but it’s something I use everyday and cuts out alot of time looking for my hair and makeup products (it also doesn’t look quite so clean on a daily basis…)  Our bathroom is TINY and inconvenient for getting ready.  Luckily, we have a spare bedroom that acts as my husband’s home office, my crafting space, and my vanity area.  With some handy organization products, I’ve been able to store my hair accessories, jewelry, and makeup all in one area; which is a feat since I own so much!  For this blog post, I’m sharing my organization products that has kept my vanity tidy AND stylish!

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French Provincial Desk (Antique)  /  Ghost Chair /  Gold Mirror (Antique)

My vanity is actually a desk from the 1960s (Henry Link French Provincial Desk) that my dad found at a yard sale.  It’s a common style to find around the antique circuit, and many DIYers have given them great makeovers.  Originally this piece was a light color veneer wood with antiqued gold trim, so I modernized it a few times through the years, finally landing on this ultra white look that blends old with new.  Though there are furniture pieces specifically designed as vanities, I find that desks have more storage.  I used organizing trays within the drawers to separate my makeup and jewelry, and keep things tidier.

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Acrylic Shelf  /  Sunglasses Art Print

This 6 tier acrylic shelf is actually meant for nail polish, but I wanted a way to display my sunglasses while also keeping them organized and scratch free.  My collection of glasses has been building fast, so the extra space on the shelves will be no more soon!  I like the clear acrylic so it doesn’t compete with the color of the sunglasses, but finding a shelf with some color or pattern could be great too depending on your space.

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Wall Mount Earring Holder Wall Mount “Curly Q” Jewelry Organizer

The “curly q” wall mount is actually purchased as a set of two, which I used to have mounted together.  Since I don’t have a ton of necklaces, I moved the second to my closet to hang my wristlet purses.  I spray painted them gold to match my antique mirror, and I love the looping design with plenty of hooks.  My earring collection is quite large (all my stud earrings are actually stored within my vanity), so I added this earring wall mount.  I actually intended to order ‘clear’ to match my other clear acrylic pieces, but accidentally ordered white…not liking the look of the white, I sprayed it teal with some spare paint.  It’s a bit splotchy, and I’m not sure if I love it, so it may be replaced in the future with a clear one (pretty inexpensive, so easy to switch out).  Organization wise, I love it though!  It holds alot of earrings, and the shape of the holes allows you to hang both post and loop earrings easily.

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Acrylic Bracelet Stand   /   Acrylic Makeup Organizer

I used to have a small decorative tray that I stored my bracelets in, however, you had to dig around to find a bracelet and sometimes I would forget I had certain pieces because I couldn’t see them.  This tiered bar is perfect for keeping them in view and not clustered together.  The same goes for my lipsticks; I prefer to have them on display so I can easily find which shade I’m looking for.  There are some lipstick holders that are flat instead of tiered (perfect for when they are stored inside drawers) but I preferred the tiered so I could easily see each shade atop my vanity.  I recently threw out a bunch of old lipsticks, so I’m excited to find new shades to fill my organizer! Lipsticks are my pop of retro color with my otherwise neutral makeup routine.

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Kate Spade Lacquer Stacking Box  /  Glass Candy Dish (Antique)

I was gifted this beautiful lacquer stacking box from my favorite brand, and it stores my brooches perfectly!  It’s lined with faux suede, which is helpful for delicate/vintage jewelry.  Here is a link for additional stacking jewelry boxes I found on Amazon.  For additional jewelry storage, I use this pretty antique candy dish.  Antique candy dishes come in a variety of colors and shapes, and are a fun way to add both decor and storage to your vanity.

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Antique Silver Perfume Tray (similar here)  /  Initial Mug (similar here)  /  Mini Eiffel Tower  /  Ring Dish (similar here)

The silver tray is more for decoration, but I actually find it useful for keeping a designated spot for my perfume.  When you have a designated spot for certain items, it helps cut on time getting ready/finding items, and keeps things better organized.  The gold initial mug is an older version of the current initial Anthropologie mug, and it’s a quirkier way for me to store my makeup brushes than a regular cup, that adds personality to my vanity.

The mini Eiffel Tower was a cheap trinket from my time in France, but turned into a great ring stand!  Many ring dishes have a figurine like this in the middle, but I prefer using a trinket that reminds me of my travels.  My actual ring dish I use instead for random bobby pins, safety pins, or anything hanging out on my vanity that I need out of the way.  It’s a great store-all dish for small items.

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Hat Boxes (similar undecorated boxes here)

I’ve used hat boxes for an assortment of objects throughout the years, because I love that I can decorate them how I like (or find unique vintage ones) while also keeping knick knacks stored around my rooms.  These particular boxes I decorated with dotted wrapping paper, gold paint and glitter.  They currently store all my hair flowers, which I have a surprising number of!  I’m considering something with drawers for my flowers in the future (for easier access since I’m in the boxes frequently), but hat boxes are great for storing objects you don’t use on a daily basis, especially in your closet.

I hope you enjoyed this post and find some useful products for your vanity organization.  Feel free to share your own vanity areas with me, I’d love to see your style and space!