Living in modern times, it’s pretty rare to be able to tap into our primitive instincts and catch our own food – doubly so if you’re a vegetarian like I am. That’s why I’ve been so fascinated by somen-nagashi, a Japanese dining concept that takes bundles of somen (a type of thin white wheat flour noodle) and flushes them down tubes that look like mini waterslides to eager diners waiting to scoop them up with their chopsticks. Last week, I finally had the chance to give somen-nagashi, which translates roughly to “flushing somen” a try in the mountain town of Kibune, outside of Kyoto. Read on for the deets!
Can someone please tell me when all of this wedding mania became such “thing”? I’ve no doubt that TLC and Pinterest had a lot to do with it, but I was really surprised to see how many parties now need to be thrown (an engagement party, a bridal shower, bachelorette/bachelor parties, a rehearsal dinner AND the wedding reception itself!), and how many gifts need to exchange hands before two people can be joined in marriage. Of course, I’m using the word “need” very loosely here, and none of these things are at all necessary to tie the knot. A truly alternative bride might be able to shut out all of the noise and omit all of these superfluous bits and baubles (a path I did consider), but after having been given memorable “Will you be my bridesmaid?” gifts from many of my best girlfriends, I decided it was only fitting to reciprocate.
But what exactly is the best way to ask your closest girls to join you at the alter on your big day? In the past, I’ve had the honor of receiving a lovely personalized bottle of wine (very eco-friendly when bestowed upon a lush like myself) and was also delighted to open up an adorable ring pop bridesmaids proposal box (a Pinterest favorite). But when it came time for me to pop the question myself, I was baffled.
After much introspection, I decided that I wanted to ask my bridesmaids for their hands in a way that was both punny and practical. The following is what I finally came up with. Warning: extreme corniness ahead.
I recently did a DIY tutorial on Ecouterre about how to turn your regular gloves into touchscreen compatible texting gloves and it’s been really popular so I thought I would share it here too. Read on for the super simple How To.
My friend Mary’s little one is already a toddler (where did the time go?), but I recently unearthed these photos of the winter-themed baby shower we threw for her back when she was still expecting. Since the celebration took place around the holidays, the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” motif made perfect sense! Read on for all of the sparkly, snowy DIY ideas we incorporated into this fun alternative to a typical pink or blue baby shower.
This past spring, my BFF Amy’s beau Dave let us in on a little secret: he was ready to propose! Dave was envisioning a proposal surrounded by Amy and his loved ones, but other than that, he wanted to keep it simple. I had other ideas. Thinking back on all of the fond memories Amy and I have shared together, and knowing her eye for thoughtful details, I really wanted fill this special moment in her life up to the top with lots of bells and whistles. I know that Dave’s surprise alone would have been plenty to take Amy’s breath away but I think she appreciated the little DIY touches we prepared for her. Read on to see all of the engagement party ideas we employed and get some inspiration for your own pre-nuptial event.
NOTE: Apologies in advance for the smartphone pics. We were so excited about setting up the party that we forgot to bring a proper camera!
I love pickles and can finish a jar off in one sitting, but then I’m always left with a bottle of brine that I end up pouring down the drain. While it’s not the end of the world to let that leftover pickle juice go to waste, I often wondered if it could be reused in some way and finally came up with a solution – use it to make pickled daikon! If you’re not familiar with it, pickled daikon is a popular Asian side dish/condiment (here is a recipe if you want to put some elbow grease into it and make it without the lazy man’s cheat I’m about to show you) that pairs particularly well with Bonchon chicken or other hearty dishes that could use a crisp, acidic bite.
Okay, so you probably guessed it by now, but all this DIY really entails is chopping up some daikon (to clarify, I used regular radish for this tutorial since that’s what I already had), tossing it in your leftover pickle juice and letting it brine for a few days. How easy is that? You don’t have to go through the trouble of mixing up a new batch of vinegar, salt, etc. and if you’re using a brand of pickles you already know you enjoy, you don’t have to worry about testing out the right proportions to get the taste you like just right. Plus this DIY would work with lots of other veggies like pickled peppers, pickled pearl onions or just pickles (sliced up cucumbers). They make great gifts too!
Can you believe summer is nearly over? The transition to fall is always bittersweet – it’s sad to see the balmy weather go, but updating our wardrobes for cooler climes is always a fun challenge! You can put a fresh spin on your autumn look by recycling pieces you already own, but if you want to purchase new items, why not opt for ones that not only make a visual statement, but also support fair trade and provide a living wage for artisans around the globe? Faire Collection, one of our favorite ethical fashion companies, is about to launch their new “Midnight” line of handmade jewelry, and offered Clossette a sneak peek. Read on to get a glimpse of what they have in store for tomorrow’s launch!
Pillowcases, like earrings, shoes, and even some people, just don’t seem to function as well when they aren’t in a pair. So what do you do when you’re left with just one pillowcase after losing one to the laundry monster? Well, there’s no reason why you can’t just keep using it, but if you’re one of those people who is nitpicky about things matching, you can also turn your lone pillowcase into a cute summery top. Read on for the instructions.
Refreshing, adorable and packed with booze, these cute ‘lil watermelon line Jello shots are the perfect thing to bring to a summer BBQ or potluck. I made them last week for Jeanne and Serena, who weren’t ashamed to let me know that next time, they need “a lot more liquor.” Point taken! Click on Page 2 below to read the DIY recipe so you can make your own.
Cinderella is one of the most beloved fairy tales of all time, but did you ever think about what it teaches little girls about shoes? First of all, instead of comfortable flats that could be worn every day, the protagonist is given a pair of totally impractical glass slippers that she would probably never don again – except perhaps on her wedding day (although from the looks of this pic, she wore white heels). Furthermore, the lost slipper is what allowed Prince Charming to finally find her, placing even more emphasis on the importance of footwear in a young woman’s life. And if you need yet more evidence of the central role of the shoe in the story, how about the fact that it’s also known as The Little Glass Slipper?
So where am I going with all of this? I’m not quite sure. But I do know that I have way too many shoes. Luckily, I recently found a smart, easy and cheap way to store some of them that’s a bit more elegant than simply piling them in a heap. Read on for the 30-second DIY.
Here’s a little DIY I came up with after running into a bit of a conundrum when trying to pack for a few upcoming bachelorette parties. Without making myself sound like too much of a fogie, I’m well past my clubbing phase, and I realized I no longer owned any Vegas or Cancun-appropriate tiny purses or pochettes. But I didn’t want to go out and purchase an entirely new bag that I knew would likely just get shoved in the back of my closet (at least until some of my other friends got engaged). After scouring Pinterest for an hour or so, I saw that the young whippersnappers were favoring teeny, colorful crossbody wallet-on-chain bags and then it hit me! A wallet-on-chain is not much more than what the moniker implies – a wallet on a chain. So I basically just took my Chanel wallet and popped a chain on it to turn it into a mini purse. The neat thing about this DIY is that when you’re done using your wallet-on-chain, you can simply convert it back to a regular wallet. Don’t you just love convertible accessories? Read on to see the full how-to tutorial.
Terrariums and DIY nail art are two trends that I’ve been really excited about, so I thought it was high time for a mashup between the two. Okay, so the title of this DIY tutorial is admittedly a bit misleading. It’s not like you’re really growing living plants on your nails though I would applaud anyone who could actually do that, instead I’m going to show you how to take tiny leaves and stick them onto your nails for the really pretty effect you see above. Unlike the other beautiful nail art tutorials you might see on Pinterest, this terrarium nail how-to is something you can actually achieve and keep for at least a few days and the glassy sheen of the clear manicure creates a, well, polished look over the pressed leaves.
We’ve all experienced it – boot slump. When the weather warms up and you go to store your favorite pairs of boots only to have the tops flop over like Sad Sam’s ears, creating a messy situation in your closet and making your boots more likely to get fall into disrepair. I’ve seen products on the market like these blow up “boot keepers,” but who wants to spend more money on plastic when the solution to boot slump could already be right on your coffee table – back issues of your favorite magazines! They’re free (well, besides the money you originally dished out for your subscription), they keep your boots nice and crisp, and when you go to fetch them in the fall, you’ll get a blast of past fashion inspiration (because who wants to be a slave to the season’s latest trends anyway?).
Terrariums – glass containers with little gardens inside – are really popular these days as home accessories, but they make lovely fashion accessories too! All you have to do is make one on a slightly smaller scale in a bottle like this one with a ring attached to it so that you can wear it as a necklace. If you know someone who loves plants, these terrarium necklaces make really special gifts and will last a heck of a lot longer than flowers. They’re really easy to make too – read on for the DIY instructions.
If you’re tired of digging through a jewelry box to find your rings or frustrated with fighting necklace tangles, I think you’ll enjoy being able to organize your bits and baubles on a tidy display wall you can make yourself. Not only does this easy DIY project allow you to see all of your jewelry at once glance so you can see what’s available to you (same idea as the Pinterest shoe collection and fridge triage box), it also does double duty as wall decor! Of course if you aren’t that into the idea of a bunch of bling being too visible on your walls, you can pick a less obvious space like the one I chose – a small sliver behind a door. This DIY will only take you about half an hour, and once you’re done, you won’t believe how good it will feel to have all of your jewelry nice, neat and right at your fingertips.
Scroll down to page 2 to see the steps.