Monday, November 18, 2013

The Dirty Truth Behind the Loofah Costume.

Don't you just love the Fall season? I know I do. I love everything from the leaves changing colors, to  layered clothing, to pumpkin flavored... everything. It's fantastic! My favorite part of Fall is, of course, Halloween. Every year I tell myself I'm going to come up with a creative, clever, homemade costume that will impress everyone. Usually I end up procrastinating until the day-of and end up throwing something together from the mismatched costume parts found in my parent's basement. Not this year, however! This year I finally did it. I got my Pinterest on, and made my own Loofah Costume! 

Cute right? Well let me tell you... it was a pain in the BUTT! I mean, it had its desired effect. Those who didn't assume it was just a bad ballerina costume, thought it was really funny. But most of the time I had people coming up to me after about 30 minutes saying, "Ohhhh... I get it. You're one of those bath scrubby things," Very astute, Sir. I did have a lot of fun with it though, so I'm going to teach you how to turn yourself into a "bath scrubby thing" too.  

I can't reasonably take credit for this costume idea, so I have included a link to the tutorial I used at the end of this post. 

Step One: Gather Supplies

Things You'll Need
  • scissors
  • some type of measuring device 
  • 1" elastic band (white or black)
  • 25 - 35 yards of tulle (any color)
  • yarn/string/ribbon (you just want something that is thin and matches your tulle)
  • 1.5 yards of white rope

WARNING: This step is, by far, the most important step in the entire process. This is where I made my initial mistakes. When purchasing your tulle, keep in mind that you're buying a shload of fabric, and even though $1.99/yard doesn't seem like a ton of money at the time, it will after you've spent $50+ on what was supposed to be a cheap costume. So I suggest finding the cutest color for the cheapest price.  Like really, it's not worth it unless you can find something for less than a dollar/yard. 

Yes... I'm aware that my socks do not match.

I decided to go with blue tulle, and bought 25 yards upon my first visit to JoAnn's Fabric. What I didn't take into account was the fact that I am considerably larger than the woman who made the original tutorial. I ended going back to JoAnn's Fabric and purchasing 10 more yards of the fluffy blue material, and got some pretty judgmental looks from the ladies at the cutting counter. They probably thought I was making meth or something. 

Step Two: Make Waist and Bust Bands

Take your 1" elastic and make two bands. The first will sit right about the level you wear your pants, maybe a little higher if you low-ride, and the second will fit just under your bust, so measure accordingly. You can sew the two bands if you want, but I'm lazy so I just tied them to create a loop.

Step Three: Make Giant Fluffy Bow Ties

Measure and cut about 2 yards of your tulle (it doesn't have to be exact). 

Fold the fabric once hotdog style (if you're tulle came on a spool like mine did, it will already be folded this way), then fold it into thirds. It should look something like this:

Take the folded fabric and cinch it in the middle to create the bundle.

Cut about 5" of the string/yarn, and tie around the middle of the fabric to keep it together. Make sure you leave a few inches of string left, because you'll use what's left to connect the bundles to the bands you've made.

Depending on how much tulle you purchased, you'll have between 8 and 16 bundles.  

Step Four: Attach Bundles and Rope Handle to Waist/Bust Bands

Now it's time to attach the tulle to the bands you made in the first step.

(If you've left enough ends on the string you used to cinch the fabric, you can just tie each of the bundles to the elastic with that. If not, just cut a little more string and tie the elastic to the middle of the bundle.)

When attaching them to the elastic, space each of the bundles equidistance apart.

Each band should have between 4 and 8 bundles attached to it.

Next, make a loop out of the white rope and attach it to the bust band. You can either let it dangle, or you can wear it around your neck like a halter top.

Step Five: Rock It!

Put on each of the bands and fluff the bundles to get the desired loofah effect. 

You might be wondering what to wear under your loofah. I just wore a blue shirt and blue running shorts, but I've seen people wear short strapless dresses, and spanks and a tank top. It's up to you and how scandalous you're feeling ;-)

Now you're ready to confuse and amuse a lot of people at your next Halloween party!  



P.S. Here's the link to the original tutorial:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Life, Lemons, and Sunburns. We've all had those days.

If you haven't already started watching this music video, please press play right this very moment. In this song, Alanis pretty much sums up the day I just had. Which is why it will make the perfect background music to this blog post you're about to read. Today was one giant, satirical slap in the face. It was so unreal, in fact, that I felt I needed to share it with the world. Let me start from the beginning...

Today was my first day back on the river since last August, and I was pretty excited to be guiding again. I was the only guide scheduled for the trip, so I rigged my boat and got everything ready by myself this morning. I was so careful to remember the water, the oars for my *paddle-assist, the granola bars, all of my personal gear, and I even packed an extra pump just in case. I was about as prepared as I thought I could be. I picked everyone up on time, made it to the put-in beach before any other companies, and as I was pulling my boat off of the trailer and into the water, I realized I had forgotten one of the most essential elements to operating a paddle boat... the paddles. I stood in shock, after muttering a few choice words my mother would not be proud of, as it dawned on me that I would be transporting ten people on a paddle boat with little to no current and zero paddles. We were, as some say, "up the creek". At least I had the paddle assist. So for the next few hours I rowed my little heart out in order to make it to the half day take-out on time.  Luckily our new driver, James, is a saint and brought 10 paddles with him when he dropped off the people for the second half of the trip. Things were looking up at this point.

Once we reached our lunch spot, I realized I had forgotten a second crucial item. I had applied absolutely no sunscreen to any part of my body. I only remembered that I had packed my sunscreen in the pocket of my life jacket after I bent over to tie my bowline and watched it fall out of my pocket, into the river, and under the dock. Needless to say, I was fried by the time we reached the boat ramp.

When I was done with work I was in the mood for some cheering up, and I knew exactly how I was going to do it. It seemed like fate when I found out that not only was Moab hosting a fancy car show, but it just so happened that my family had been storing our '76 Mercedes convertible (powder blue) in Moab at the same time.  As it was tradition, I decided to cruise my sweet ride down main street with all the other fancy cars as peopled lined the streets to watch... Never again.

When the universe gives you at least a dozen signs indicating that what you are planning to do is more trouble than it is worth, I think it's safe to assume that whatever idea you had is a bad one. First I had to go on a manhunt to find the keys, then it took us at least an hour to even get the car running, and another twenty minutes to unsuccessfully remove the hard top. Finally, after we realized we were not smarter than the roof of a car, we hopped in and started our cruise. We started down main street, proud as can be of our cool car, and giddy at the sight of the handful of onlookers that actually noticed us. We made it all the way to one end of town unscathed, but on our way back a cop merged behind us and immediately a lump grew in the pit of my stomach. I knew we were in for trouble. Just as I predicted, the cop followed us up until we reached a stretch of the road empty enough to pull over and immediately started flashing his lights. Turns out the Mercedes registration was expired well past the impound deadline. Thank goodness my parents just had it insured earlier this month, because according to the police man it was the only reason we were getting away with a $45 citation.

I'm sure you are all familiar with the phrase, "When life gives you lemon, make lemonade." On days like this, I feel as though this statement should be amended to something more along the lines of, "When life gives you lemons, it also likes to squeeze lemon juice into any unbeknownst paper cuts and hangnails you might have on your fingers."

Kids, the moral of this story is that everyone has bad days, and some people are going to tell you that it's what you learn from those days that really counts. Well I say that sometimes life just sucks for a little bit, and that is perfectly alright. You may not gain any glimpses of the bigger picture, but at least you can write a blog post about it for others to read and laugh at your misfortunes.

You're welcome.

- Taylor

*Paddle-assist: a small metal rowing frame attached to the back of a paddle boat that makes it a little easier for the river guide to get from point A to point B in a timely manner when the current is really slow. They're really nice to use when you have other people paddling along with you, but not very effective when you have ten people on a boat with no paddles.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Excuse Making.

Alright. I'm writing this post in full awareness that my current state of emotional well being has been compromised by my complete lack of sleep during this President's Day weekend.  I get a little over dramatic when I'm exhausted. Just ask my mother... or any of my ex-boyfriends. 

Let me ask you a question. How many of you have ever had a dream or a goal that you wanted so bad you would do anything to attain it? And yet, without any real excuse, somehow talked yourself out of even trying?

Welcome to my evening. 

For months now, I've been dreaming about doing an Interior Design internship in London next Fall. There are plenty of companies that organize internships exactly like this for students like myself. They find the internship, the housing, the flights, everything. Perfect right? Any rational person in my position would just leap in and say yes, but as I've proven time and time again, I am far from what you would consider "rational". As I was looking at the website this evening, I couldn't help but think things like:

  • There's no way I'm qualified for this.
  • What if they think the color boards I send in are crap?
  • Interview? That's just perfect for the girl whose foot lives in her mouth.
  • The last interview I had was for a children's clothing store in the mall... 
  • What would I even wear to an interview like this?
  • Forget the interview, what do I wear to the internship?
  • I only own one pencil skirt.
  • Are Chacos considered fashion forward in London?
  • What if I don't even get to meet Alan Rickman? 
I couldn't help it. Isn't he adorable?

You see my dilemma? I had all but completely given up when I had a startling realization... I'm an idiot. Why would I let such insignificant fears stop me from pursuing such an incredible dream? Anyone who knows me can testify to the fact that I have been suffering from chronic wanderlust. This is everything I've ever wanted since I hit puberty and went through my awkward, J.K. Rowling is the only one who understands me, phase. 

So I'm taking my own advice and making it work. I'm 22, healthy, ambitious, and single (grimace). I refuse to let my fears limit me at such a young age. As my beautiful, prophetic mother would tell me: 

Go be fabulous! 

And I'm encouraging all of you to do the same. Let's face it. Life will never be easy. You will always be facing some sort of trial. There will always be bills to pay, jobs to go to, responsibilites to uphold, and the majority of us will never completely be financially stable (sorry to burst your bubble). What I'm trying to say is there will always be an excuse not to follow your dream. The hard part is saying, "Screw it!" and follow it anyway, despite the screaming voices in your head reminding you of all things that could possibly go wrong. Don't you dare hold yourself back. Life is too short to be anything other than completely happy.

I'll leave you with that. 

All my love always.