Feel the love on Valentine’s Days with these 3 easy ideas!

With the nation’s most romantic holiday just around the corner, everyone is asking the same questions:  “How will YOU celebrate?” Though I’ve been single for more years than I can count on hands and feet, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. That being said, I’ve whipped up a few hearty concoctions for you to try at home this year: A smoothie recipe with extra charm, a Mac and Cheese recipe made with love, and a super easy chandelier DIY to romance the atmosphere…

Smoothie Love ~ itsaLisa.com

Smoothie Love

For this Valentine’s Day favorite you can romance the heart with any kind of smoothie you desire. Above is a kale & coconut milk concoction which you can find in my Healthy Smoothies column, however, the real secret here is using strawberries to make little hearts in and around the cup. To cut the strawberry in the shape of a heart begin by laying one strawberry down on its widest side and use a knife to cut the stem out in a deep V. Now slice the strawberry along the same axes into 4 slivers, each will now be in the shape of a heart! Place one of these hearts along the rim, and put the rest inside of the smoothie. To put them along the edge of your glass  place the strawberry along the inside wall at the top of the drink, then use a knife to press the strawberry slice against the wall of the glass as you push it down into the drink. Repeat with the other strawberry hearts. Share your drink with a partner or make enough for the entire soiree. This smoothie recipe also makes a great breakfast to surprise your love bright and early.

Mac with Love, mac and cheese made with love, itsaLisa.com

Mac with Love

Everyone loves Mac and Cheese, so you’re already on your way to winning over hearts the moment you decide to make this dish. The additional romantic twist is in the heart shaped sausages. I used bratwurst for flavor, but hot dogs are the popular solution to this five-star delicacy. Begin by cooking your mac as you normally would, <<here’s a link to my personal favorite recipe for a healthy mac>> to add the hearts use a knife to cut out a 1/5 size chunk of meat down the length of the sausage, then slice them into quarter-inch divisions and toss the hearts into the recipe. Serve as you normally would and enjoy the surprised look on your guests’ faces as they realize the mac really was “made with love.”

Love Chandeleir DIY ~ itsaLisa.com

Love is in the Air

Here we have a ceiling adorned with hearts to set the romantic atmosphere. Before going into details, I want to share with you two of my favorite tricks for decorating for parties, that I’m sure you will find useful:

1. YOUR LOCAL DOLLAR STORE. They will have cute and inexpensive themed decorations, just shop early enough in the season before they sell out. When everything costs a dollar, a little goes along way. Remember that the decor from a dollar store isn’t necessarily meant to last, but it makes a beautiful statement when decorating a home! Your purchases were worth the short-lived investment if they made people happy and if they helped make the occasion more memorable.

2. NEEDLE AND THREAD. For this decorating trick, you do not need to know how to sew, the only technique you must know is getting the thread through the eye of the needle. Trust me – it’s not that hard! The thread will be used for dangling decor from your ceiling. Thread is perfect for this because it is so thin that you can’t see it unless you’re looking for it, and it’s really quite durable and easy to manipulate into knots. While many people opt for fishing line because it’s clear, the tangled mess fishing line will make is not worth the effort; thread will be easier to work with and just as unnoticeable. Please use thread, it’s cheaper too.

Now that you know two of my party secrets I hope you can venture to your local dollar store and find what you need! To create the heart chandelier as pictures above I found a heart garland at the dollar tree, and bought red and black construction paper along with it. I draped the garland around my ikea lights with tape and flair. Then I filled the ceiling with hanging hearts on a string. To recreate this look you can cut colorful paper into varying sized hearts and string them together with needle and thread, tying a small knot at the base of each heart before stringing the next one on. I formed about 7 different threads of dangling hearts and hung them up on the ceiling with tape around the chandelier to create a ceiling full of love.

The reason I aim for the ceiling when it comes to party decor, is so people will not be bumping into it and messing it up, decor is best when it stays out of the way! With a fanciful ceiling, you are not creating any extra clutter at the scene of the party you are merely creating an ambience, as if to say “love is in the air!”

Pink Sprinkle California Donuts With Donut Heart For Valentine's Day | The Best Donuts in LA

Pink Sprinkle California Donuts With Donut Heart For Valentine’s Day | Click HERE For The Best Donuts in LA

Conclusion: Feel the Love

With these three healthy, tasty, and crafty Valentine’s Day ideas I hope you now feel a little more prepared to celebrate one of my favorite occasions! Whether your holiday looks like a romantic night for you and your boo, or a rom-com fest with your girls, or perhaps a love appreciation day with the family… the truth is, everybody has someone to love, so be sure to tell them how much they mean to you.

Thanks for reading! I’d appreciate if you could spread the love here on my blog by SHARING your favorite idea in the comments below, which DIY will you be trying? Also, don’t forget to let Pinterest and Twitter know how you feel! 😉 Happy Valentine’s Day!

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The Better Leather Tassel Keychain Guide #DIY

Leather Tassel Keychains with Bottle Opener | DIY @ itsaLisa.comLike what you see? buy your own on Etsy now! *keep reading for a coupon code*

I love these. They embody Form, Fashion, and Function. Leather Tassel Keychains are the latest look, as made popular by couture leather designers like Coach. But this design of mine, unlike the others, has a bottle opener! Say goodbye to your old crusty bottle opener keychain, and say hello to this fabulous new accessory that looks good, feels good, and will give that bottle cap a lift when you need it most. 😉

Make Your Own

To make one you will need:

  • A Cutting Board
  • Durable Scissors or An Exacto Blade
  • A Ruler
  • A Glue Gun
  • Keychains with Lobster Clip
  • Bottle Opener rings (available on amazon)
  • Leather Scraps – contact your local leathersmith!

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

Begin by cutting the leather into sections 4.5″ wide by however long you can get, mine were about 5″ in length.

Once you have the shape of the leather you will want to create the tassels. Cut 1/4″ inch strips into each piece, leaving a remainder of 3/4″ uncut at the top for the ring. You will also want to cut many small 3/4″ wide strips, these will aid you in rolling the leather to fit snug in the ring to slide on.

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

To start your keychain cut off one of the 1/4″ tassels. Put one end through the bottom of your lobster clip and glue the raw sides together with your glue gun. Now lay out one of your 3/4″ strips and fuze the leather attached to the keychain into the piece with hot glue. Begin rolling once or twice around, and continue to roll into the tassels. While you’re rolling, be sure each new rotations is flush with the edge so you have a flat roll for perfect form.

Our next step requires patience, and trial and error. All of my different leather scraps had different weights so I could never find “the perfect” length to roll. Instead, continue to add the 3/4″ strip over the wider tassel strips as you roll, until you have enough bulk to fit the bottle opener ring around.

The bottle opener ring should be difficult to get on and fit snugly just over where the tassel marks start on the leather. You will know you have enough leather in the roll when the ring stays in place. If it slides around add more leather, if you can not fit it over the leather you have too much. Add or cut out some of the 3/4″ strips until the fit is just right.

Making Leather Tassel Keychains | DIY @ itsaLisa.com

To make this project your own, have fun with the colors, not all tassels have to be from the same type of leather! Play with your rings, maybe you would rather slide on a fancy cocktail ring for extra flair (the catch – you won’t be able to use it to open a beer). Or you could always ditch the ring and finish the roll  with hot glue to hold it in place.

I would love to hear about your own efforts! Post your photos and thoughts below!

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A little something extra, just for you!!

Maybe this is all good and fun, but you just don’t have time? Be sure to check out my Etsy Shop before you go! 😉 As a thank you for reading my blog, I would love to offer you this coupon code! Enter TASSLEME at checkout to save %15 off your order.

Sequintessential

A Sequin Bed | itsaLisa.com

With the holidays around the corner I’ve got a list a mile high of things that must get done!

Who doesn’t though?

Between balancing two part-time jobs, a social life, and reading my overflowing cycle of fashion magazine subscriptions, I have assigned myself several projects:

  • Make “End of Year” gifts for all of my dear fiends (Christmas is just too early of a deadline, sowwy.)
  • Design and sew a Rad NYE Dress
  • Fabricate my very own Sequin Sweat Pants

Hence the sequins… Don’t they look terrific on my bed? Unfortunately Fortunately, I will be transforming the glam fabric into a slinky dress to ring in the New Year. I’m also bedazzling my sweatpants,  mainly so I can scoot in style. It’s too cold to scoot in a skirt so I figure I can wear the sweatpants on my commute and rip them off upon arrival of each destination…

Can I do it? Will I succeed? Of course, because I do what I can to improve the lives of myself and others one small day at a time! Stay tuned for updates 😉 and wish me luck!

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Decorating Scents | How to Make Your Home Smell Nice with an Easy DIY Holiday Spice!

Holiday Spice Recipe | Make Your Home Smell Nice! | itsaLisa.com

Do you need to make your home smell like the holidays in a quick minute? Here’s how, with no trip to the store necessary! I used basic ingredients found in any kitchen.

The background story: I accidentally made my kitchen smell like gasoline the other day (long story – read my post in The Motorscooter Diaries for more details). So I needed to mask that awful scent pronto! I obviously did not want to light a flame because, well, gasoline… So I turned on the stove top (don’t worry it was electric) and I pulled out the sauce pan and put my ingredients inside. Read on for the how-to.

Holiday Spice Recipe

What You Need:

  • Sauce Pan
  • 1 Orange
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon and or Nutmeg

What to do:

  • Fill the sauce pan with water, put it on the stove, bring to boil, let it sit at medium heat.
  • Thinly slice an Orange and toss everything into the pot, including the rind.
  • Pour in anywhere from 1/2 to a whole Tbsp of Vanilla Extract
  • Toss in the Cinnamon or Nutmeg, ground or whole. They all smell nice.
  • I also threw in a few Cloves and a splash of Merlot but that’s just because I was experimenting, they really weren’t necessary.

I was inspired by the delicious holiday scent that fills Crate&Barrel stores.  It’s a Mulling Spice which they set out in a crock pot to engulf the store in a wintry warmth. (Find it here!) I have been a seasonal employee there this year, so naturally I crave that smell even after hours. Just kidding, but believe me when I say it is delicious!

Decorating Scents!

A little known fact about decorating, particularly for an event, is…

Stimulate all 5 of the human senses.

Those five senses (as a quick refresher) are sight, sound, taste, touch, and scent. You want your setup to be pleasing to the eye, the food must taste great, there should be music playing loud enough to hear but quiet enough where you can hold a conversation (at least until dancing ensues), keep your floor plan open and give the people something to engage in such as a party game or photo booth to include their sense of touch. Last but not least don’t forget your aromas! A candle will do, but candles can get expensive or burn the house down. Perhaps you are baking something and your whole home is filled by your oven’s aroma, in that case be merry – your work is done! But just in case your menu does not waft through the house, my easy mulled spice recipe will work like a charm. The hardest part is probably waiting for your water to boil.

Happy Holidays! Thanks for reading my blog.

Did this aromatic cocktail work for you? Were your holiday gatherings a big hit? I would love to hear your thoughts, you can leave them in the comments below! And feel free to share what you’ve discovered with your friends and family.

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How to make a Peter Pan Costume | DIY Video

I did it! I made my own costume! (oh wait, I always make my own costume)… but now you can too! Don’t let my awesome sewing and explaining skills deceive you, this really is an easy pattern for Peter Pan’s cap, tunic, and a few minor accessories. 

If you do not have time to watch my five minute one second video just follow along with the instructions below. Even if you don’t watch it, you should pretend to & maybe even leave a comment. Youtube comments are the best, right?

IF you do not have time to MAKE this costume – go buy it instead!!! Click HERE to shop similar styles on ETSY. Editors Note (9/2016) – I used to sell these myself, but I had to take the link down. I’ve found that I just don’t have time any more… HUGE thanks to all my past customers!!!! I enjoyed making and selling over 300 hats to all the Peter Pans out there! *hugs*

Peter Pan

Let’s begin, but first a story…

I knew this Halloween had to be different. Yes, this Halloween was the Halloween of Lisa’s fresh pixie hair cut, and probably the only said Halloween because Lisa is growing out said hair. Therefore I (she?) need to rock this ‘do while I can! So the questions were asked: “What type of costume has short hair?” I was just Harry Potter last year so we had to cross that off the list, and Emma Watson isn’t technically a costume, besides Hermione has long hair. We thought of Twiggy and Audrey, Tegan and Sara, even Karen O, but I kindof wanted to be something more recognizable to the bar crowd (where we will be going on all Hallows eve). Now allow me to share how I crafted this delightful Disney costume.

Disney Flashback! Check out itsaLisa and her brothers’ old Mickey, Minnie, and Donald costumes here

How to Make Peter Pan’s Hat

peter pan hatPeter Pan Hat pattern

You will need

  1. 1/2 yard of green felt
  2. red feather
  3. fabric scissors
  4. sewing machine (or by hand with a needle and thread)

The supplies should cost under $5 and this project will take under 20 minutes. 

>>Don’t want to make it?!?! Buy one on Amazon!<<

I did some research and this one looks the closest to my design! (and it’s under $10!)

How To Make A Peter Pan Hat Step By Step Instructions:

Lay your fabric out flat and fold 12 inches of it back over itself to create a fold on one edge. Now either print out a to-scale version of the stencil above or just eyeball it. This is the part where eye-balling skills come in handy, or maybe this is why I told you to buy so much extra fabric! Disclaimer: I’ve made 5 hats today, I only need one but I was getting the measurements right, and perfecting this awesome pattern for you! There’s definitely enough fabric to go around. The length is about 11 inches, and the height is 10. Line up the stencil along the fold and bottom edge, cut it out and sew along the dotted line, 1/2 inch seam allowance. Do not sew the bottom part shut! That is where your head goes silly.

Once you’ve sewn the two sides together take your fabric scissors or snips and “clip” the corners and curved edges. Clipping is when you cut little V’s into the seam allowance so the hat will lie flatter and look better when you turn it inside out. Now turn it inside out, press your finger along the seam to flatten it, if you have a Tailor’s ham go ahead and iron it flat. To wear your hat you want the seamless edge to be behind you. Fold it over as you put it on (see video). You might need to recut the front to be rounder if they do not meet at the center cut them until they are even. Once you are happy with your hat shape, cut a small horizontal slit into one side above where your ear would rest and insert the feather accordingly. Nice work!

How To Make Peter Pan’s Tunic

Peter Pan Shirt Pattern

You will need

  1. XL Green Shirt (or any length long enough to be a skirt)
  2. Fabric Scissors

The shirt should cost $5 or less, and this will take about 10 minutes to complete

<<Having some trouble? This costume on Amazon looks pretty similar!>> 🙂

This shirt is so easy to cut there is no skill level required. First I cut out the collar. Then I cut a straight line down the front, once the fabric falls open it creates a V, very similar to Peter Pan’s in the movie, and I tacked the V so it would remain open (see video). Tacking is a technique used on garments to hold pieces in place with invisible stitches, all you have to do is sew a piece of thread through the garment once or twice and finish it with a small knot on the inside of the garment. Cut into the sleeves. The XL size was already draping off my shoulders dramatically so I chose to cut almost all of each sleeve off so they would not be as long. Cut two V’s into the bottom, front and back. You want the pointy flap to fall in the center between your legs for obvious reasons. Some people prefer to cut more V’s out of their costume, but in the movie, he really only has a few. And that’s it. You did it!

(Like what you see? View more of itsaLisa’s creative costume DIYs here!)

Accessories

You will need: 

  1. Faith
  2. Trust
  3. A little Pixie Dust

Finally, the final touches! You’ll need some kind of rope belt to tie at the waist, a toy sword if you can find one, green tights or leggings, and brown floppy shoes. The tights can be bought at Macys, and the shoes at a thrift store or probably yours or your friend’s closet. For girls with long hair, you can attempt to stuff it into a bun beneath the point in your cap. Wear a fresh face of natural-looking makeup, Peter Pan is a young lad after all. I applied a subtle bronzer, eyeliner, and a pink lip to match my pink feather. But if you’re a guy, wear all the makeup you want, I’m not here to judge.

Peter Pan Hat, felt and feather craft

peter pan shoes

Peter Pan Costume for Halloween With Poor Nana | DIY Tutorial on itsaLisa.com

Click here to see the original image on instagram

I hope your costume goes well! If you need any extra help just follow the second star to the right and straight on till morning! If that doesn’t work though I’m here if you have any questions, need guidance, or most importantly if you want to share your own looks! I appreciate your feedback. Thanks a million and Happy Halloween!

UPDATE: (August 2015)

WOW You Guys! I am getting an amazing amount of views, thank you sooo much! This was all so much fun, that I want to make MORE!!! Click here for My DIY Cat Costume!

cat makeup halloween costume

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