Wednesday, October 1, 2014

DIY Floral Coasters

Today I'm excited to bring you this floral coasters DIY tutorial. I have to admit that the reason that I decided to make these, is because I figured that if I'm going to spend money on DIY projects, I might as well make things that I already need. I've been meaning to make coasters for a while, but I just didn't know what materials I wanted to use. Luckily for me, I found these metal and cork squares that were exactly the same size, on my last trip to Michaels. I decided to paint a floral design on them using acrylic paints and permanent marker, and I'm super happy with the way that they turned out. The best part is that they only took about 20 minutes to make. Keep on reading if you want to learn how to make your own!

Metal Coasters
Cork Coasters
Tacky Glue
Acrylic Paints
Paint Brushes
Sharpie Permanent Marker
Optional: Clear Varnish

STEP 1: Use tacky glue to adhere the metal plate and the cork square together. After you do this, place the glued pieces under a heavy book for about an hour or two, in order to put some weight and pressure on the coasters. This will ensure that the two pieces don't become unglued later on. 

STEP 2: Draw flowers on opposite corners of the metallic side of your coaster. Don't worry about having to  be very artistic to draw this floral design--As you can see, I basically just drew a couple of squiggly shapes on each side.

STEP 3: Fill in your design using acrylic paint. I would suggest adding white or black to whatever color your using, in order to make the paint more opaque. If you use certain colors, such as yellow or red, they tend to be very translucent; adding white gives these types of colors a more "matte" effect. Make sure not to layer too much paint over your design, so that you can still see the outline of the permanent marker. 

STEP 4: Lastly, once the acrylic paint has dried, once again trace over your original design with permanent marker. Acrylic paint and marker don't come off very easily if you just use a wipe to clean your coasters. However, you may want to consider also adding a layer of clear varnish to make sure that your design doesn't wash off over time.

That's it for this tutorial! I really hope that you enjoyed reading it, and will be inspired to create your own project.  Please let me know if you do decide to make this project by leaving me a comment, or tagging me on Instagram @sweethelengrace.  I would love to see what you come up with!


Helen Grace

Monday, September 29, 2014

Colorado Street Bridge

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Forever 21 Sunglasses
Necklace (Borrowed from my sister)
H&M Crop Top
Madewell Loafers (Similar)
Bag (Handmade by my Grandma)
MAC Lipstick in Twig

I totally wore these jeans in one of my most recent outfit posts, but I love them so much that I just couldn't wait a couple of more weeks to feature them again. I guess that I should just tell you know that they'll probably pop up pretty often in most of my fall and winter outfit posts. After all, a good pair of jeans is hard to find, and these are super comfortable and they also fit me well. 

My sister Sarah and I headed to the Colorado Street Bridge to take these outfit photos. It's one of my favorite landmarks in my beautiful hometown of Pasadena. Unfortunately, I hardly ever have any reason to walk across it, because it's kind of in the middle of nowhere.  My sister Sarah and I decided to stop there on Saturday, on our way to Eagle Rock. While we were there, I had to also snap some pictures of Sarah. She is so beautiful and smiley, and has such a wonderful style. I can't wait until she finally lets me get behind the lens to take some of her outfit photos.

This weekend was also wonderful because I had the opportunity to catch up with my friend Carly, who was in town. We had a fun time on Saturday morning hopping around from one coffee shop to another. If you keep up with my blog, you probably already know that most of my friends have been slowly moving away to other parts of the country. Therefore, it's always a treat for me when they are back in town. 

As always, thanks for stopping by. I hope you have an awesome week!


Helen Grace

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

French Braided Side-Chignon

Photos By Sarah Veyna

I'm super excited to present you with my first ever hair tutorial! I must admit that I'm no expert when it comes to hair and beauty, but I really do enjoy learning and trying out different hairstyles. I've actually only recently started experimenting with putting up my hair, because I've found that it's the easiest remedy for a bad hair day when you're in a rush. This french braided side-chignon is one of my go-to hairstyles, because it only takes about 5 minutes to do and it looks really elegant. Keep on reading, if you want to learn how to achieve this look.

Start off by creating a side part on your hair. 

Next, you're going to section off a piece of hair on the side of your head opposite of your part. You want to make sure that you section off a piece on the side opposite of your part, so that your hairstyle doesn't look too pulled back on your face. 

Using this section of hair, start braiding your hair in a diagonal french braid across your head. This is just like a regular french braid, except that you'll be weaving in strands from the top and bottom of your head, instead of from the sides. Once you've braided in all of your hair, use a hair tie to secure it into a low ponytail.

Take the hair hanging from your low ponytail, and wrap it around your hair tie to create a chignon, and secure it with a couple of bobby pins. Finally, pull out a couple of strands in the front, in order to frame your face. 

You can also add fresh flowers or a fascinator to your hair if you want, in order to liven or dress up your hairstyle. 

Putting together this blog post was so much fun, and I hope that you all found it very helpful. I had actually never thought of putting together any beauty posts until a friend asked me if I had any hair tutorials on my blog. If you see any hairstyles or makeup on my blog that you want me to do a tutorial for, please let me know! I'd love to put together more of these types of posts.


Helen Grace

Monday, September 22, 2014

Lost In A Maze

Photos by Sarah Veyna

Outfit Details:
Forever 21 Boxy Crop Top (Similar)
H&M Divided Jeans
Old Navy Booties
MAC Lipstick in Rebel
Madewell Leather Bag

If you've been reading some of my previous posts, you might remember me complaining about how the weather was over 100 degrees. Well, I'm happy to say that weather finally cooled down a bit this weekend, and I quickly jumped at opportunity to put on an outfit that seemed somewhat appropriate for fall. One of my favorite parts about this outfit has to be this boxy crop top from Forever 21. It's made out of comfortable terry material, and it has a really cool geometric pattern that reminds me of one of those mazes you find inside a coloring book. Just looking at the pattern almost makes me want to take a pen, and start tracing out a path. 

Life has been pretty busy for me lately, but in a good way. I really love having so many fun and creative projects to keep me busy. I've been working on learning how to sew, and making items to sell on my Etsy shop. I know that I've been talking about opening up an Etsy shop for a while, but I kind of underestimated how much work it would be. I also feel like I'm making all these random items, but really don't know how to piece them together. I really want to make it a goal to get my shop up and running by the end of next month. On that note, I really wish I had more hours in the day to dedicate to all of my hobbies, but I guess that I'll just have to take advantage of my free time on the weekends. 

I hope your week is off to a great start!


Helen Grace

P.S. I have to confess that my favorite thing about this outfit has to be the light blue socks that I'm wearing, because they have donuts and sprinkles on them. My sister Ale got them for me because she knows how obsessed I am with quirky things like that. If you look closely enough, you'll see them peeking through in between my boots and the hem of my jeans. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ready for Fall

Photos by My Mom
Outfit Details:
ASOS Polka Dot Tee in Gray
Ponte Skirt in Black
Anne Klein Satchel
Old Navy Booties

Although I love how fun and lively summer usually is, I'm ready for a change in season. L.A. is experiencing an intense heat wave, and it has been over one hundred degrees all week. It's supposed to start cooling down in the next few days, and I never thought that I'd be as excited as I am about ninety-degree weather.  

Over the weekend, I found these outfit photos that I took earlier this year, but never got around to posting for some reason.  When looking at them, I can't help but to think about how much I like this outfit and how I would like to wear it again once the weather cools down. It also makes me think of all of the other pieces in my wardrobe that have been collecting dust because it's just too hot to wear anything at all. I'm really ready for fall to arrive so that I can bring out all my sweaters and boots, and so that I can have some time to recover from this intense heat wave until the next one arrives. 


Helen Grace

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lazy Weekend in Boyfriend Jeans

Photos by Sara Hatakeyama

Outfit Details:
H&M Tee (Old)
Old Navy Boyfriend Jeans
Lotta from Stockholm Peeptoe Clogs in Tan
Straw Tote bag (Gift from my Dad from his trip to Mexico)

This weekend, I definitely made an effort to get out of my neighborhood of Pasadena, and spent some time in other parts of town. L.A. is such a big city, that sometimes it is easy for me to get lazy and stuck in a routine, and frequent the same places week after week. But I need to remember that having access to so many cool places is why I love living here. My friend Sara and I tried to do some exploring on Saturday--I use the word "tried" because the 100 degree weather this weekend drained us of our energy before we could even accomplish much. However, we did manage to have a delicious brunch at Auntie Em's Kitchen in Eagle Rock, and then made our way over to Highland Park for some refreshing horchata lattes at Café de Leche. Caffeinated drinks and a good meal always make for a successful outing, if you ask me!

My outfit definitely reflected my lazy mood, in a good way. I got these boyfriend jeans from Old Navy last month, right before I embarked on my 6-month shopping cleanse, and they are super comfortable. The loose fit makes them appropriate for hot weather, since the don't stick to your body like skinny jeans do. I'm really looking forward to transitioning these into fall and winter, because I think they will look great with oversized sweaters and coats. 

If you're ever looking for a place to eat brunch in the L.A. area, you should definitely head over to Auntie Em's Kitchen, which is one of my favorite spots. I wish I had taken more pictures of the place to show you how adorable it is inside. The restaurant has a very cute bakery and shop at the entrance, and I love how homey it feels.I decided to venture out and try something other than my usual order of french toast during this trip, and instead I ordered some delicious pancakes with a peach and whiskey glaze. I'm glad I did, because they were delicious! Sara ordered a Caprese sandwich, which also looked amazing. 

Café de Leche is definitely one of those coffee shops that I need to visit more often. It's really cute inside, and it seems like a great place to read a book or spend some time studying. More importantly, they also make really delicious drinks. I usually don't like flavored coffee drinks, but I love their iced horchata espresso. Sara got their iced horchata chai, which she said was also really good. 

I hope you enjoyed reading about my weekend adventure. I need to remember that I started this blog as a way to motivate myself to get out of the house, and not just post my outfits. I'm hoping to have more energy to run around town once this heat wave disappears. 


Helen Grace

Friday, September 12, 2014

Weekly Picks

( Photo from my Instagram)

All I have to say is that I'm glad it's Friday! It's been a long week, and I'm ready to squeeze in some lounging time. I'm thinking that instead of going out to take outfit photos this weekend, maybe I'll just do an outfit post in my pajamas next week. I'm kidding! Well, I'm only kind of kidding. I honestly don't really own or wear any lounge wear, which is something that I need to work on. I didn't think much of it until somebody pointed out one weekend, that they thought I was going to work because I looked so dressed up. Although I feel that getting dressed up on weekends does give me the energy to get out of the house and do things, I feel that I also need to learn how to dress in a way that inspires me to relax. So, as a way of practicing my lounging skills, I plan to spend a good portion of this weekend in my sweatpants. If you're feeling just as lazy as I am and don't feel like doing much more than laying on your couch, you should check out some of these links while you're at it:

Check out this printable wrapping paper from Studio DIY. This post has an 11x17" file, which you can take to your local print shop to get it printed according to whatever size you want.

I love the idea of giving away potted plants instead of flowers. Oh Joy! has some great ideas on how to repurpose vintage objects as planters. 

These DIY no-sew aprons from Sugar & Cloth would make a great gift! I love that the leather details, and the fact that they're personalized.  

This Blackberry Rum Fizz recipe from Design Lovefest looks absolutely delicious, and it's pretty too! 

I love Jimmy Kimmel's "Lie Witness News" segment, especially this episode which is dedicated to fashion week. I hope to never be in these people's shoes! Haha! 

I want to incorporate more vests into my wardrobe, and I really love this outfit inspiration from Atlantic-Pacific

Lastly, you should definitely pay attention to the #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags that many survivors of domestic violence have been using to share their stories. I have to say that I do not think that survivors need to justify their reasons for staying, and the blame should be put on the abusers. However, I do think that it's important for people to hear these stories in order to minimize victim-blaming. 

Have a great weekend!

Helen Grace