How-to: Marble Nails

How-to: Marble Nails || Runway Chef My love affair with marble is nothing new. I have long dreamed of a sleek, marbled kitchen (something along the lines of this) but unfortunately, the only marble happening in my kitchen is this. So you could say the marble print popping up in fashion is getting me slightly excited. Ok, really excited. Like uber, over-the-moon excited. After all, if I can’t have a marble kitchen, why not go for a marble closet?!

Now I haven’t actually taken the plunge on any marble pieces just yet, so I thought the perfect way to start incorporating the trend was with marble nails. It’s easy (no water, tape or plastic bags needed for these marble nails), it’s quick, it’s pretty much foolproof, and for those of you who aren’t quite sure of this trend (or only prefer it in small doses) this has your name marbled all over it.

easy marble nails marble nails marble print nails

Supplies

White Nail Polish (I used Sally Hansen White On)
Gray Nail Polish (I used OPI Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees)
Top Coat (I used Sally Hansen Clearly Quick)
Toothpicks 

marble nails tutorial 1. Prep your nails- make sure they are trimmed, filed, and cleaned.

marble nail tutorial 2. Unscrew the tops from the nail polishes and set aside (it will make it easier to work if you keep them open the entire time). Working on one nail at a time, sporadically drop on a couple drops (2-3 for the smaller nails, 3-5 for the bigger nails) of the white polish.

marble nails without water 3. In between the white drops, add in a couple drops of the gray polish. To give my nails some variety, I used 2 drops of gray on a few nails and 3 drops on others.

marble print nails 4. With a toothpick, immediately begin swirling the polish around as you simultaneously spread it across the entire nail bed. If you find you are short on polish, simply add on another drop or two.

marble nails without water 5. Continue on in this method until you have completed all your nails.

easy marble nails 6. If needed, clean up any stray polish with a q-tip and nail polish remover. 

easy marble nail tutorial

7. Finish your nails with a clear top coat and let air dry for at least 30 minutes.

Year of Surprises

I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Millennial Central for Marriott Rewards. I received Marriott Points to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Box of Surprises I’ve always liked the idea of surprises but I’ve never actually liked surprises. I make no sense, I know. But case in point, I remember when I was younger telling my best friend how to throw me a surprise party, which basically eliminated the surprise part. I also remember my Mom planning a big surprise party for my Dad’s birthday that involved things like riding a train across upstate New York with our family….as soon as I found out, I spilled the beans on that one, of course. Nowadays, anytime I catch wind of a surprise headed my way, I beg and plead to know what the surprise is to the point of being so unbearable for the surpriser that they just end up telling me. So basically if you’re planning a surprise for my birthday (which is just a few short weeks a way)…DON’T DO IT!

However, there are two kinds of surprises I do love. One is surprising other people, and the second (which I guess kind of ties into the first) is sending and receiving unexpected notes, gifts, and packages. I don’t think I’m alone in saying, in the day of e-mails, texts and tweets, finding a letter or a small present amidst all the bills in your mailbox can truly brighten your day like nothing else. Since college my Mom has sent me little surprise boxes here and there with things such as chocolate or stickers, sometimes even items from the dollar section at Target (which I love, by the way). It has never been anything crazy but it’s always a wonderful surprise.

These days I like sending my own little surprise boxes. Often times people think they need an event, a birthday, or a party to celebrate, but I disagree. Celebrate a friendship, celebrate a supportive co-worker, celebrate a loving family member, or just celebrate being alive. 

box of surprises gift idea Year of Surprises || Runway Chef Need some ideas of what to include in your box of surprises? Try one of these combos-

French// Macaroons, Eiffel Tower Notecards, Paris Towel, Striped Straws

Gardener// Seed Packets, Gardening Gloves, Hand Lotion

Coffee or Tea Lover// Mug, Coffee or Tea, Cookies or Biscuits

Beauty Addict// Nail Polish, Lip Balm, Lip Scrub, Nail Files

Children// Animal Crackers, Activity Books, Coloring Pencils, Stickers

Guys// Beef Jerky, Socks, Chocolate

Hostess// Candles, Jar of Jam, Tea To

Year of Surprises || Runway Chef Want to surprise your loved ones with something a little bigger than a box of surprises? I’ve teamed up with Marriott Rewards® to help you do just that. In honor of Marriott Reward’s 30th birthday they are celebrating with their members all year long with not just one surprise, but a whole Year of Surprises. So along with sending your friends and family little boxes of surprises, you can also nominate a loved one to receive an awesome surprise party thrown by Marriott Rewards. 

There will be a total of three nomination periods throughout 2014. The first round of nominations for Year of Surprises takes place February 1 to February 28. Nominations will be reviewed based on creativity/uniqueness of entry, overall appeal of nomination essay, and feasibility of the surprise party. Three winners will be awarded and announced in March and parties will be scheduled each month throughout the year.  The second nomination period is during the month of May, and the third is during the month of August. Limit one (1) entry per person/email address per nomination period. Please see the “Nominate” section at yearofsurprises.com for the nomination entry form and requirements.

To enter you don’t have to be a Marriott Rewards member, but if your nominee gets picked you will both have to register. Marriott Rewards is actually the only hotel rewards program I belong to so I highly recommend joining. You can do so for free at Marriott.com/rewards. For more details on the contest, check out the Year of Surprises official rules at yearofsurprises.com/rules

I’m so excited to be working with this program to help you surprise your loved ones. I’ll be back two more times over the next 6 months so stay tuned for more “surprises”, and in the mean time, best of luck to all who enter!

DIY Lip Scrub

DIY Lip Scrub I’m sure I’m not alone when I say my skin is a total nightmare in the wintertime. My lips, in particular, are a real trouble spot. Apparently an entire tube of chapstick a day just isn’t enough to keep them moisturized because those puckers continue to stay chapped and dry. Using this diy lip scrub is one of the only things I’v found to help. I’ll use it every couple days, along with scrubbing my lips with an old toothbrush (tip: rubbing your lips with an old toothbrush and a drop of peppermint oil is a great way to naturally plump your lips before applying lipstick). Since today is Valentine’s Day, I thought there was no better time to share this diy lip scrub, as I’m sure you’ll want to have those puckers in tip, top and smooth shape.

Grapefruit Lip Scrub homemade lip scrub

Supplies
Coconut Oil
Honey
Exfoliant: Baking Powder, Brown or White Sugar, Ground Oats, Ground Almonds, Salt
Extras: Grapefruit Juice, Lemon Juice, Peppermint Oil, Cinnamon, Cocoa Powder, Herbs (such as Rosemary or Lavender), Rose Water

honey and coconut oil lip scrub 1. For the most basic lip scrub, you simply need coconut oil and honey. You can also use this mixture as a base carrier for other ingredients.

coconut oil and honey lip scrub 2. To make the scrub with additional ingredients, mix together equal parts honey and coconut oil. I usually do about 1 tablespoon of each.

DIY Grapefruit Lip Scrub 3. I chose to make a brown sugar grapefruit scrub, so next I will squeeze in about 1 teaspoon of fresh grapefruit juice. If you are using any other extras, now is the time to add them. Play around with your measurements…something like cocoa powder you would use a teaspoon of, but peppermint oil would only require a few drops.

how to make your own lip scrub 4. Finally mix in about a teaspoon of brown sugar (or the exfoliant of your choice). Bottle it up and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Just remember to take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to using, or run it under hot water to loosen the oil up. Use a spoon to stir it up if necessary. Then rub a small amount on your lips for 30 seconds before rinsing off with warm water.

diy lip scrub

DIY Olympic Embellished Bobby Pins

DIY Olympic embellished bobby pins I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before but I’ve always been a huge fan of the winter Olympics, particularly the ice skating. I used to plop myself in front of the tv, face glued to the screen (literally it was so close it might as well have been glued), and visualize my future as the next Kristi Yamaguchi (don’t worry, I had been taking skating lessons so I wasn’t completely delusional). Obviously, that dream faded, but my love of watching skating never did. Thinking of skating and all the glamorous, embellished outfits led me to create these embellished bobby pins. They aren’t nearly as glamorous as the skating outfits themselves, but they are a fun way to sport a bit of Olympic spirit.

how-to embellished bobby pins DIY Olympic Embellished Bobby Pins || Runway Chef Olympic DIY projects

Supplies
Bobby pins
Small beads in Olympic themed colors 
Glue (I used both a hot glue gun and jewelry adhesive; both worked well but I liked using the jewelry glue best as it created less of a mess)

1. Arrange your beads in the pattern you would like them to appear on the bobby pins. I did one in the colors of the Olympic rings, one in gold beads, one in silver beads, and one in bronze beads

beads 2. Working on the smooth side of the bobby pin and from back to front, spread a thin strip of glue onto the surface.

diy embellished bobby pins 3. Quickly begin attaching your beads, holding each one for a few seconds to secure it in place. Please note- some of the glue may be visible around the beads. You can either use an exact knife to clean it up after everything has set and dried, or, I found once they were in my hair, you the little bit of extra glue no longer showed.

DIY embellished bobby pins 4. Slip the pins onto something like a piece of cardboard or the edge of a square paper plate and allow to dry for several hours, preferably overnight.

Olympic crafts 5. Style your hair as you normally would, but replace a few of your regular bobby pins with these Olympic embellished ones. Just be sure to be gentle with beaded end.

olympic embellished bobby pins olympic craft ideas Want another fun way to celebrate the Olympics? Make a batch of these!

DIY Gold Silverware

DIY Gold Silverware It should come as no surprise that if something comes in gold, it’s probably high on my list of things to buy (much to the dismay of my husband). This silverware set was no exception. However, silverware isn’t really high on my splurge list (unless Chanel comes out with a set, of course!). Nonetheless, I just had to have my gold silverware. I mean I had to make my food pictures look pretty, right?! Side note- when you become a food blogger/food photographer the regular plates, mismatched silverware, and paper napkins that never used to bother you, suddenly become the biggest of eyesores. Anyways, when I make up my mind that I just have to have something, well, then, I just have to have it. So I turned to my trusty can of gold spray paint, bought an inexpensive set of silverware, and voila. This DIY gold silverware is by far the easiest and least expensive (less than $10 total) DIY I’ve done in a while. And also the prettiest, but then again, what does’t look prettier with gold spray paint?!

Have a great weekend everyone!

DIY Gold-dipped silverware

Supplies
Silverware (This cost only $4 at Ikea, but the $11.99 Amazon price isn’t bad either)
Gold Spray Paint
Clear Sealer
Box Cutter (scissors or a knife would also work)
Cardboard Box (or painters tape and ziplock bag)

DIY Gold Silverware 1. Clean and dry your silverware.

how to paint silverware 2. On one flap (or two, depending on the amount of silverware) of the cardboard box, use your box cutter to cut small slits (about 1″ long) for each piece of silverware you have, making sure to leave ample space around each slit.

how to make your own gold silverware 3. Push each piece of silverware down through a slit, stopping where you want the spray paint to stop. Once all your silverware is in a slit, flip the sides of the box in so that all the stems of the silverware are facing up (see below picture).

DIY painted silverware 4. Spray on the first coat of paint, making sure to hold the can about 8-10 inches away and spraying as evenly as possible. Let it dry for about 10-15 minutes, then give the silverware another coat of paint. Repeat the process one more time for a total of three coats of paint. After the the final coat has dried, spray on a coat of gloss, then let dry for an hour.

(As can be seen in the below picture, an alternative to the cardboard box method is to use painter’s tape to mark off your silverware then line it up in a ziplock bag, tape down the bag on either end (as well as in between each piece of silverware), and proceed to spray paint.)

gold silverware how-to 5. Once your silverware is all dry, wash it prior to using. 

WASHING INSTRUCTIONS- After receiving several questions about the durability of this silverware, I wanted to ensure you all that, not only do I test things prior to posting, but I have continued using my silverware several times since this has gone live and the gold paint has held up fine. The clear sealant is key to this, as is how the silverware is washed. Here is how I’ve cleaned my silverware: Hand wash only using a mild detergent. Run over the painted portion of the silverware with the soft side of sponge once or twice. On the unpainted portion of the silverware (or the part you eat with) you can be a little less gentle and scrub as your normally would. Proceed to rinse and dry. I do not have a dishwasher so I can’t attest to how it would stand up in one, but I would recommend hand-washing these even if you do have one.

DIY gold silverware Stay tuned to see how I put this DIY gold silverware to use in next week’s Valentine’s Day D&D.