Start Your Online Shopping at Ebates for Cashback!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

This holiday season I’ve done A LOT of online shopping. As in, that’s pretty much it. The thought of braving the crowded mall terrifies me, and it’s so fun getting packages in the mail. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably seen a few quick tips about starting all your online shopping at Ebates. I wanted to explain a little more, because if you don’t, you’re literally leaving free money on the table. Annnnd……

That Makes Me A Sad Panda

Photo Credit: http://s64.photobucket.com/user/mflissinger/media/sadpanda.gif.html

For me, shopping and getting a deal go hand-in-hand, and I love earning cashback for things I was going to buy anyways! All you have to do is signup for Ebates here (it’s free), search for the retailer you’re wanting to purchase from, click it, and a new window opens up taking you directly to that retailer’s website. Then just make your purchase as normal, and you’ll earn a percentage of cashback! It’s that easy!

ebates

To get paid, you simply link your Paypal account to Ebates, and they will automatically put the money in your account every quarter. I’ve already earned over $150 cashback for shopping, so I’m a HUGE advocate.

The other great part is when you search for a retailer, all of the current promotions, coupons, or deals for that retailer will show up. You still get those deals, plus you double-dip by earning cashback when you start at Ebates. Let’s do an example.

Right now, Express is having 40% off their entire store sitewide. I found it on Ebates below, and if I start there I will still earn the 40% off, PLUS I’ll earn 2.5% cashback! I’ve seen certain retailers as high as 10% cashback, and it all really adds up!

Style Trials Shopping Ebates Example and Steps

Ebates also has many retailers running double cashback right now. It ranges from Macy’s at 6% cashback, to Sephora at 8%, and even retailers like LivingSocial, Amazon, and Walmart! Yep, they’re on there too.

December 2013 Sales, Holiday Deals & Coupons | EbatesThis is great for holiday shopping, redeeming holiday giftcards you’ll be getting, or really any online shopping. So seriously, don’t forget to signup for Ebates and start your online shopping there. Once you get the hang of it, I promise you’ll be thinking “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”

Happy shopping!


How to Make an Easy Tulle Tutu

 It’s almost Halloween! One of my favorite times of year, and I needed a tulle tutu skirt for a costume. Those things can be really expensive, but I found they’re super easy (and cheap) to make yourself. I wanted to share my easy DIY tulle tutu technique, which can be applied to a variety of things such as baby skirts, pet outfits, or even adult costumes!

How to Make an Easy Tulle Tutu:

tulle tutu skirt finished diy

Tools Needed:

  • Between 45 yards – 60 yards of Tulle Spool (approximately 6″ wide) needed for an adult skirt. Joann’s Fabric sold these for $2.50 each, and I used 3 but could have used 4 spools if I wanted an even fuller skirt.
  • Ribbon of choice (I got one to match the tulle color) or elastic band for the waistband. If you use a ribbon, you will be tying it around your waist instead of stretching it out to get into it.
  • Scissors
  • Tape Measure

Style Trials Orange Tulle Spool

Step 1: Measure out the tulle about 2 feet long for an adult skirt. If it’s a pet skirt or baby skirt, it may need to be about half of that.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 1

Step 2: This is probably the easiest and quickest way to get your tulle into 2 foot long strips. Weave the spool of tulle back and forth until the entire spool is stacked on top of each other in attached 2 foot length “strips.” The stacked ends should look like the picture below, and it’s okay if it’s not perfect. Some ends may be a little longer than others since the next step will even everything out.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 2

Step 3: Simply cut the ends off! Just cut them straight across, and this will ensure the ends are even and now separated. When you do this on both sides, you’ll then have completely separated tulle strips that are about 2 feet long. Repeat steps 1 – 3 for all spools of tulle.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 3

Step 4: Measure out how long your elastic or ribbon should be on your waist. If you’re using ribbon like me, allow an extra 1 1/2 feet on each end so you have excess ribbon to tie a bow and let it hang down in the back. Then tie one strip of tulle at each end of what will actually make the tutu, so you can mark it off and know what needs to be filled in.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 4

Step 5: Start tying individual strips of the pre-cut 2 ft. length tulle to fill in the skirt. You can just make a knot, and push it together to create fullness.

Style Trials how to make a tulle tutu skirt 5

Completed tulle tutu!

Style Trials orange diy how to make an easy tulle tutu skirt

What do you think of this project, and how will you use it?

UPDATE!

Here’s a picture of my total #diy costume that I used this tutu for. For all you social media fans, I’m “Blogger!”

Style Trials Halloween Blogger Costume DIY Tutu


Patriotic Nailart

With the 4th of July coming up, I wanted to show you a fun, patriotic nail art tutorial! Showoff your American pride this year and try this. 🙂

Style Trials 4th of july Patriotic Nail Art Tutorial
Patriotic Nail Art Tutorial
Apply a base coat, then paint your nails a solid red (this color is more red than it appears in these pictures).

Apply a base coat, then paint your nails a solid red (this color is more red than it appears in these pictures).

Use a sparkly silver to lightly paint over each ring finger (the red should still show through).

Use a sparkly silver to lightly paint over each ring finger (the red should still show through).

With the sparkly blue color, lightly start at the base of the nail and paint halfway up into the silver.

With the sparkly blue color, lightly start at the base of the nail and paint halfway up into the silver.

Remove excess polish from silver brush, so it's pretty dry. From the top of the nail, use this brush to blend the silver back down into the blue, blurring the line for an ombre effect.

Remove excess polish from silver brush, so it’s pretty dry. From the top of the nail, use this brush to blend the silver back down into the blue, blurring the line for an ombre effect.

Use a white nail art pen to draw two white lines that follow the shape of your nail.

Use a white nail art pen to draw two white lines that follow the shape of your nail.

I applied the first at the very top (like a french manicure), left a space of red in-between the top and bottom stripe.

I applied the first at the very top (like a french manicure), left a space of red in-between the top and bottom stripe.

Use the white nail art pen to create a big circle in the center of your thumb....

Use the white nail art pen to create a big circle in the center of your thumb….

...then pull from the center of the dot out to create a star.

…then pull from the center of the dot out to create a star. Mine’s a little sloppy because I was rushing, but from a distance you can’t even tell! So it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Last step! Use a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover to clean up your edges, then apply a shiny top coat.

Last step! Use a q-tip soaked in nail polish remover to clean up your edges, then apply a shiny top coat.

You're all done! Now enjoy your beautiful nails, and have a great holiday! :)

You’re all done! Now enjoy your beautiful nails, and have a great holiday! 🙂

Also, if you’re looking for outfit inspiration for the 4th, make sure to checkout this vintage American look I put together last year. I recommend picking one patriotic thing, and working neutrals around that so as not to go overboard. 🙂

Yard Sale Coffee Table Makeover

Furnishing my house has been a task due to my indecisive nature, but I found I’m able pull the trigger much quicker if I think I’m getting a heck of a deal. Then in true Tim Gunn style, I simply “make it work.”

I was itching to try my first furniture DIY makeover project, but really had no clue what it would be. I scoured thrift stores and resale stores, but anything I liked was too pricey in my opinion for a first attempt. Then I went to a few yard sales, and hit the jackpot! I found a gem that’s the perfect size for my living room, but definitely needed tlc. I was able to negotiate her down to $10…not bad! If I hated it, I would toss it, and for $10 I figured it was worth a shot. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the full shot “before” pic,” but you’ll get a sense in the pics below.

Here’s the tools I started with:

Style Trials DIY Table Makeover Tools

  • Sanding sponge (medium grit) to get in the crevices and oddly shaped areas
  • Epoxy Putty
  • Painters tape
  • Electric sander (not pictured) with fine grit – oddly enough, I found this too at a yard sale a few weeks ago!
  • Flat latex paint (if you want it shinier and easy to wipe, get something with a sheen instead. Eggshell, Semi-gloss, or Gloss)
  • Paint sponges

BEFORE

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Before

You can see how beat up the wood was, especially in the molding on the legs. Also, there’s a metal piece at the foot of each leg (which I kinda liked), but I hated the matching fake drawer pull that was on the side of the table. I simply unscrewed the drawer pull with a screwdriver…easy peasy. Since I was keeping the metal legs, I taped them off so I wouldn’t accidentally paint or sand them. Then used the putty to fill in the drawer pull holes and “remold” the missing chunks on the legs.

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Putty

Style Trials Coffee Makeover wood epoxy

As the epoxy was drying, I took my electric sander and sanded down the finish on the entire piece, plus smoothed out any nicks. Once the epoxy was dry (about an hour dry time), I sanded down those areas too, and used the sanding sponge to get in the small molding crevices. I tried my best not to sand the entire thing too much, because I wanted to keep as much of the dark stain as possible. You can see here the natural wood color poking through, but I knew the darker finish would show up better during the distressing stage.

Style Trials Coffee Table Sanded

Next, you want to prep to paint by getting off all the dust caused from sanding. Either wipe with a clean damp sponge, or you could try my trick. Blow that sucker off with a leaf blower! Worked like a charm.

From there, I went straight into painting. I probably should’ve primed it first since I wasn’t using chalk paint (which doesn’t require primer), but I’m not gonna lie…I didn’t. I felt like this piece didn’t need it because it had a marble top, and the top is what would get the most wear and tear. Also, this wasn’t going in a highly trafficked area, but if your piece is then you should probably use a primer first.

Style Trials Prime and Paint Furniture

Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane

Let me tell  you, I was really excited about the paint because I got it for FREE! Every few months or so, Ace Hardware has a “Find Your Soul Paint” event where you literally get a free quart of paint of your choice…no purchase necessary! I post these types of deals on Style Trials Facebook and Twitter pages,  but you could also follow Ace Hardware  just to make sure you don’t miss it.

I went with Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane. It’s a really pretty pale blue. It dried super quick, so by the time I was done with the first coat I was able to immediately paint the second. The paint sponges helped to get into the little areas without being streaky.

Now, I could have left it just like that, but I wanted a distressed look. Sometimes I think distressing actually makes a piece look more expensive, plus painted distressed furniture is really on trend right now.

Style Trials Distressing Furniture

My living room is still a work in progress, so I quickly styled this for the after photo.

AFTER

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover 2

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover

I’m thinking not bad for $10! What do you think? Have you given a piece of furniture a makeover?


Fantasy Makeup Halloween Tutorial

A few weeks back, I asked you to vote on which Halloween makeup look you wanted to see most. We had a clear winner!

Checkout my tutorial below. This would be the perfect makeup look for any girly, glam, or fantasy type of costume. I’m thinking fairies, mermaids, butterflies, princesses, even 80’s or disco since I used a blue/pink combo.

FANTASY MAKEUP HALLOWEEN TUTORIAL

I started with my cheek contouring technique, then used these products:

Here’s a few closer up “after shots” as well:

Hope you like it!

What do you plan on being for Halloween this year? What costume would you pair this makeup look with?


Outfit of the Day 1 – Girly meets Motorcycle Boots

Hi everyone! I’m starting a new series on Style Trials called “Outfit of the Day,” a.k.a. OOTD. Why? Because having a cool outfit is greatly due to how you style it…not necessarily the clothes themselves. It’s all about putting an entire look together. My goal is to give you ideas where you can take what I share and opt for the same stuff, or find something similar in your own closet and go for it! You’ll find I get creative with new, old, and some really old stuff (I tend to keep everything!), so I hope you enjoy this series!

To kick things off, I’m starting with a fun little Fall outfit where everything is under $50! That’s right, from top to bottom, including shoes (I scored them on clearance)! Check it out….

ST Outfit of the Day: 1

I could have easily paired this dress with simple ballet flats, but I thought “nah, let’s kick it up a notch.” The trick is mixing nice-girl stuff with bad-chick stuff that you wouldn’t necessarily think go together. Plus, short combat and motorcycle boots are really hot right now, and you can wear them with so much more than just this outfit. They’d be a great investment for Fall/Winter! Here’s a few options if you’re looking:

With this OOTD, I especially love how the dress has a vintage feel to it. I tend to gravitate towards retro inspired clothes. The style and floral print reminds me of something from the 60’s, and I paired it with a silver bird double-ring (both from Forever 21).

For my hair, I did a simple part down the middle (a la “Marsha Brady”), and kept the makeup simple, girly pink, and toned down. Although I did want to play up the 60’s vibe by winging my eyeliner out with a liquid liner.

I hope this OOTD gives some inspiration!

Let me know if you like this look and “Outfit of the Day” series. I’ll make sure to do more!


How to do a Ponytail with a Twist!

This cool hairstyle tutorial is inspired by the Fendi runway show during New York Fashion week earlier this year. I LOVED the model’s twisted ponytail hairstyle! It would work on long or medium length hair (short hair, you can definitely do a variation of this or add in clip-in extensions), straight or curly. You can also take these tips and create new hairstyle variations.

Fendi ponytail twists.
Photo credits: http://www.jcinstitute.com

I spotted the ‘do while reading my Glamour magazine and thought, “What a creative way to make a ponytail more interesting and modern!” Something I definitely wanted to attempt myself, and it looks awesome! In my video, I go through step-by-step instructions on how to achieve a similar ponytail twisted hairstyle. My version is easy for anyone to do on their own hair, so give it a try! I also mention little tips and tricks throughout (especially helpful if you have layers), so make sure to watch the whole thing and let me know what you think!

How to do the Fendi Runway Ponytail Twist Hairstyle

 

I love braids and twisting hair for Fall, so it’s great for the season (or really anytime of the year). I also love how this hairstyle works with a range of styles, from boho to sleek and modern. For extra style flair, try incorporating some fun hair accessories like this!

 

Copper Feather Metal Headband
Copper Feather Metal Headband

Hippie Flower Braid Hair Wrap

Hippie Flower Braid Hair Wrap

All Tied Up Hair Clip


All Tied Up Hair Clip

Vote for Vintage Hair Clips
Vote for Vintage Hair Clips

Here’s some pics of my “after shots.”

What do you think of the ponytail twists? Will you give it a try?

And if you haven’t yet, make sure to subscribe to Style Trials so you don’t miss a thing! 🙂


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