How To: Defuzz and Remove Pills From Clothes

Don’t you hate when you get a new sweater and the first time you wash it, it pills and fuzzes all over itself (and sometimes other garments too if you’re really unlucky)? I certainly do! I recently washed a new, dark-green wool sweater from H&M for the first time, and it pilled everywhere! I was so mad–I thought it was ruined. I folded it on top of the washing machine, and there it sat for (sadly) the last TWO months while I tried to find a solution that didn’t involve picking the pills off one-by-one.

I also noticed that a pair of gloves I received for Christmas started fuzzing pretty terribly after frequent use, and just chalked it up to the low-cost/high-maintenance turn off of H&M’s winter wear. I’ve tried a lot of things: lint brushes, sweater combs, even packing tape repeatedly sticking and unsticking to my clothes, to repel pills…which usually just makes it even fuzzier.

Surprisingly, I had not heard of fabric “shavers” until recently. We decided to buy this Conair Battery Operated Fabric Defuzzer/Shaver from Amazon and test it out. I think the result speaks for itself…

Isn’t that amazing?? Here is a close-up of the defuzzed glove vs. the untouched glove:

IMG_1337Encouraged by my results with my gloves, I grabbed my dark-green H&M sweater off the washing machine, and voila!

Then, I tried to think of the most-used/pilled garment in our house, and I remembered how Ryan just bought a new jacket because of the wear on his old one…

Yes, this is my terrible video-taking ability haha. But talk about results! It is so simple to do, and you can see each of these garment’s results with just one pass of the shaver. It’s very gratifying taking years off a fabric and making it like new again πŸ™‚

The shaver is less than $20, and it’s got 3 distance-control settings to handle different garment types. It also takes 2 AA batteries, and so long as you empty the pills between garments, you shouldn’t have any issues with longevity or motor-issues πŸ™‚

Happy sweater s(h)aving!

XO Ali

Don’t forget to enter my drugstore beauty giveaway HERE πŸ™‚

My Latest Obsession: Nail Art

“I want ALL the nail stuffs!”

At least that has been my train-of-thought lately.

Back in December, I ordered a bunch of nail supplies from Amazon, and they’ve been trickling in all month long, some arriving all the way from Hong Kong! They are all still similarly priced if you see anything that you would also like to buy. For about $30–including shipping which was mostly free–I got ALL of the following (click on the picture for the link to Amazon):

brushes15 piece nail paint drawing brush and 5 two-way dotting tools: $3.87

rhinestonewheels10 pack manicure wheels (rhinestones, studs, etc.): $9.56

tipguidesPack of 10 tip guides (chevron, teardrop, french): $1.50

studwheelSingle pack (600 pieces) of gold and silver studs: $2.00

nailtapes30 rolls of metallic striping tape: $2.19

nailtoolsSHANY Cosmetics 6 piece manicure tool set (heavy duty!): $9.95

paintpaletteDish paint palette and 3 nail brushes: $2.41 (I could have gone without this item and used any other kind of dish to mix polishes, but I wanted something I could reuse).

I just ordered (despite my shopping ban…more on that later) a 13″ caboodle organizer from Amazon as well, and I can’t wait to organize all my new supplies (not to mention, get that drawer space back from my dresser where I currently house my nail polishes and supplies). The size is 13x8x9 and runs about $34.99, but is the #1 seller in cosmetic train cases on Amazon.com:

51QAd310WQLDespite train cases being around for, well, a long time, my 8-year old self is squealing at the idea of a grown-up Caboodle-brand box, haha. I had a plastic purple and pink one where I stored crayons, yarn, and other art supplies when I was a kid. I thought I was queen of the town lugging that thing around. You know what I’m talking about…

I want to start doing my nails on a regular basis. I have to now that I have all these supplies, right? πŸ˜‰ It’s going to require improving a lot on my technique, but I’m confident that if I put my mind to do, I can learn a lot and hopefully have some fun designs to show you all!

If you know anything about my blog, know I’m also a self-proclaimed dork. It keeps me young at heart πŸ™‚ These themed nails are all designs I would totally do (though mine would not come out as nicely, haha):

sailormoonnailsSailor Moon nails: because Sailor Moon, DUH. My favorite anime of all time!

pikachunailsPokemon nails: especially Pikachu. Give me all the Pikachu things.

sleepingbeautynailsSleeping Beauty: my fave Disney movie.

mlpnailsMy Little Pony nails (the new version): because they’re bright, cheery, full of color, and epitomize anime-eyes.

I’ve also always been really into Japanese nail art. I kind of love how gaudy some of the designs are–it’s like a whole new part of your body to accessorize! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out some of these superbly-amazeballs designs:

Would I do my nails these ways? Not necessarily all of them, but some of them, heck yes! You can probably tell which ones pretty easily. A. My nails aren’t long enough to do half of these designs (though I’m pretty sure many of these are on acrylics!). B. I would rip my hair out trying to wash it, style it, think about it. C. I would accidentally knock the charms off in just a few hours. D. I’m not that talented, haha.

Which brings me to another topic: have you ever heard of fimo canes? I hadn’t!

fimocanesThey are these longish tubes in one particular design that are made for you to cut teeny-tiny slivers off to adorn your nails, phone cases, etc. Typically, a boxcuter or razor is used on these….

fimocanes2…to make nail designs like this:

fimocanesnailsI’m sure it would take a lot of practice and precision to get them thin enough to stay on your nails with a glue or top coat.

What do you think of these nail trends? I can’t wait to try some out! Do you have any tips on how best to adhere charms to your nails? I’ve heard of using nail glue, but I wonder if a dot of acryllic over your polish would work best?

XO Ali

Favorite 2014 K-pop Songs: #8-1

8. 4MINUTE – Whatcha Doin’ Today

whatchadointodayThis upbeat jam always puts me in the mood to dance, which can be a problem depending on where I am at at the moment (the car is usually a frequent location…). I love 4MINUTE! They always have great singles that are fun to dance to, and this is no exception πŸ™‚

7. Hyuna – Red

hyunaredHyuna is also a member of 4minute, the group who’s “Whatcha Doin’ Today” came in 8th place. Hyuna is probably one of the more globally-recognizable faces of k-pop after she guest starred in Psy’s Gangnam Style back in 2012 (2:11 on) and eventually in her own version, “Oppa is Just My Style.” However, these are not the songs she is known for in Korea. She’s arguably one of the best female solo artists in the market, being able to rap, dance, and sing very well. Her singles always do very well, and Red is no exception. This is by far my favorite single of hers to date, because she’s got to that point in her career where she is allowed to express more freedom in her songs.

6. KARA – Mamma Mia

mammamiaI’m a little surprised about how much I fell in love with this song, seeing as how KARA was a group that I only recently started to gauge interest in. It might be do in part to them losing two of their five original members in early 2014 due to career changes, and how they held a reality competition to find a new member to fill in their group. This is practically unheard of in South Korea. If new members are picked, it is a very private process, and once the decision is final, not much information is given until the new member’s debut. There were seven girls vying for public sway to get into the already internationally-successful group, but ultimately, Young Ji stole most everyone’s hearts:

youngjiThe six-part series culminated in Young Ji “winning” a spot on KARA. I watched about four of the episodes, which is why I felt so invested in her debut for this song. In a short amount of time, she had to learn all of KARA’s previous dances, redistribute previous members lines, and was literally thrown into the spotlight. The song itself is very good, reminding me a little of an 80’s/90’s workout song, and I really enjoy the accompanying dance. Party, party, party, mamma mia!

5. 2NE1 – Come Back Home

comebackhomeOne of the most popular girl groups in the world, 2NE1 (pronounced “twenty-one” or “to anyone”) killed it this year with their album, Crush. You may have unintentionally heard a clip of their song I am the Best in a recent Microsoft television ad. Long before the ad, IATB has been one of the 10 most watched K-pop videos in history. In addition, CL is working with producers in the U.S. to launch her U.S. debut. CL has already released a song with G Dragon, Diplo, and Skrillex, but no matter how much I like her, the song is really awful. Wait till her debut comes out. She’s got an incredible voice and is one of the best Asian rappers out there. Between all of the members, they speak a variety of languages, which has really helped to fuel their growth and to make tour stops more personal.

Anyways. Come Back Home is probably my favorite music video of the year, with a futuristic dystopia-type setting. If you don’t watch any other videos, watch this one. It’s really good and the lines are all pretty spread out so you can hear each member’s voice.

4. T-ara – Sugar Free

sugarfreeT-ara does it again with their club-pumping hit, Sugar Free. Despite sounding like a song about diet soda, it’s actually about a relationship that has turned sour, with the guy lacking sweetness. I know I’ve said this about a lot of groups already, but every. single. single. they put out is so good. They’ve got that EDM vibe that is very popular in the U.S. and Europe…the kind of music that it doesn’t matter if you understand what they’re saying or not, but you have to get up and dance when you hear it. The music video is really hard on the eyes, however, with its incessant strobe lights. It’s a shame, because they really should have highlighted the dancing more. This is one where I’ll say you can skip the video, or watch a live performance, because you may just get a headache from watching the flashing lights.

3. AOA – Like a Cat

likeacatIt really pains me to number these top 4 in any specific order, because they are so, so close in my book. I really should just give them a four-way tie for first place, but I gave the final rankings based on listen counts, how many dance moves I can mimic without really intentionally learning (haha), and how powerful the feels are. AOA is probably the group that grew on me the most this year, as I never really cared for their songs until I heard their first single of 2014 called “Miniskirt.” I realized how talented these girls all are! When “Like a Cat” came out, I was blown away with how catchy it was! The dance moves aren’t overly provocative either, which is a nice change from some of their company’s usual choreography. I can’t stop listening to it and you shouldn’t either!

2. f(x) – Red Light

redlightNever has one eye of makeup looked so good. You all probably already know my affinity for this group from my post back in October, but here they are again, for good measure πŸ™‚ I almost forgot about this song since it came out over the summer. I listened to it for so long, I took a break from it to hear all the other singles that have been out. After another listen though, it’s definitely at the top. The second girl from the left, Sulli, ended up taking a hiatus from the public within a month of their “Red Light” promotions, which caused the company to end the entire group’s promotions, despite successfully performing as a quartet multiple times. This made me so angry, because they are my second-favorite group in all of k-pop and were finally getting the recognition they deserve. I hope their next comeback is just as successful, if not more. F(x) fighting!

Side note: Krystal of F(x) (right) is the younger sister of [former] Girl’s Generation member Jessica (left)

1whisper1. TaeTiSeo (TTS) – Whisper

TTS made their first comeback in 2014 after a 2.5 year hiatus. They are a sub-unit of Girls’ Generation, and comprise 3 of the best singers of the group. Whisper is a pretty song where the focus is not on the dance, nor is there an accompanying music video. It plays on the strengths of each of the member’s voices and is not even their single they released (which is Holler, in case you are interested. It’s really good too!). Instead, it’s a soulful song that even Billboard Music describes as a “sensual, synthy R&B jam.” They even had their own 7 episode series called “The TaeTiSeo” that aired with OnStyle Korea! Both Girls’ Generation and their sub-unit are my favorite group in all of k-pop. Win!

Others worth mentioning:

SISTAR – Touch My Body – The perfect summer-ending song.

Bestie – Thank U Very Much – A fun song to dance with your “besties” to.

Dalshabet – BBB (Big Baby Baby) – An 80’s electro-pop sound with understated tones and a strong choral beat.

AOA – Miniskirt – While I don’t care for the music video, the song is great!

CL – MTBD – The K-pop female rap song I have been waiting for…

EXID – Up and Down – Finally, some recognition for the amazing group! The only song to ever go through promotions twice in the k-pop industry.

Rainbow Blaxx – Cha Cha – The first song of Rainbow’s sub-unit, Rainbow Blaxx.

Girl’s Day – Darling – Another fun summer song.

Ladies Code – Kiss Kiss – the last song that Ladies Code put out, less than a month before a horribly tragic car accident took the lives of best friends and members, Eun B and RiSe (2nd and 3rd from the left below), in September. May they rest in peace. They were taken too soon 😦

ladiescodeWhat were your favorite songs of 2014 (k-pop or not)?!

XO Ali

Drugstore Beauty Giveaway ($75 value!)

Hello lovelies! I’ve been promising a giveaway for over a month now, and here it is! (or at least one of them πŸ˜‰ ). This giveaway includes mostly full-size products that you can pickup at your local drugstore: Covergirl, Maybelline, … Continue reading

H&M Sales Wishlist

Ahhh H&M is having so many great items up for sale right now! It’s too bad I’m on a 3 month no-shopping ban, otherwise I would be sure to pick a few of these up πŸ™‚

hmwishlistLong-sleeved sports top in neon pink $24.95 $12 – I could always use some more long-sleeve tech tops to run in cool weather! A bright pink color would also be a good visual during the night.

Lined parka in dark blue$79.95 $50 – I actually ordered this parka back in a December order where I got 30% off, but sadly, it was too big 😦 I ordered too much and knew I needed to send back a couple of items, and with its ill-fit, it didn’t make the cut. I would consider buying it in a size down if its still on sale at the end of the season.

Leather boots inΒ gray$99 $30 – Ankle-length boots are my go-to in the winter! I’ve been scouting for a pair of gray ones, but at $99, I wasn’t sure that a pair from H&M would be worth the price tag. Now that they are all the way down to $30, I would have tried these in a heartbeat.

Fine-knit sweater in black$29.95 $20 – I bought this sweater in gray a while back, and it’s so big and comfy, I would love to have it in black too.

Jersey pajamas in white and purple$24.95 $15 – My boyfriend got me some PJs from H&M for Christmas, and I could always use more πŸ™‚

Butterfly sleeve dress in light beige$34.95 $20 – Do I really need to explain why I love this gorgeous, feminine dress? It’s flowy and perfect for spring and summer. It’s also a great length for work.

Pleated skirt in blue/white striped$29.95 $17 – I have enough navy and white in my wardrobe, that a striped skirt would compliment many things I already own.

Patterned dress in dark purple$34.95 $15 – Paired with some brown ankle booties (like the ones pictured beneath the dress) and some cream-colored tights, this dress is very reminiscent of something I would wear in college. My wardrobe was full of flowy dresses and floral prints.

Jersey top in black/patterned$17.95 $12 – I have this top in the pink/leopard print, and it’s a great loose top, perfect with shorts for summer.

Facial mask in manuka honey – $2.95 $1 – Because hey, it’s only a $1.

V-neck sweatshirt in pink (or any color really) $17.95 $9.95 – This is one of those weekly or monthly specials that they run on a single item at a really great price. I really like the soft pink and the gray, but I would really be okay with any (or all, ha) of them.

Fine-knit sweater inΒ dark blue patterned$24.95 $12 – while I like this item, this is probably the least desired item on the list. The heart pattern is really cute, but I’m not sure how it would fit. Being a tall girl, sometimes these boxy sweatshirts shrink upwards and don’t fit well anymore after the first wash.

Leather boots in brown$99 $50 – Again, ankle boots will be my downfall. I’ve got them in burgundy, camel, navy, and black, and I’ve got regular-sized boots in brown, but no ankle booties. These are super chic. At $50, I’d be a little hesitant to order them online, but if they were in store I would definitely consider buying them.

Boyfriend low jeans$39.95 $20 – I’ve got a lot of jeans. I have one pair that are comfy and boxy in the legs, fit in the waste, but I’m not sure I would call them boyfriend jeans. I love the boyfriend jean style that’s so popular right now, but it takes some serious work to find a pair that fit how they’re supposed to. There’s a 90% chance these wouldn’t fit right, but at $20 (and the ability to return them), I would consider trying them out. I’ve got pairs of pants from H&M that have lasted years and years. They are definitely quality.

Boucle coat in light pink $59.95 $25 – I mostly picked this coat because it is so unlike anything else I already have. I also have been loving any and everything pink lately πŸ™‚ The boucle texture adds to its feminine and ageless look.

XO Ali

New Years Resolutions Pt.2: 2015

It’s about to get real. (aka…long post warning) It’s that time of year: everyone’s making resolutions, and I absolutely love it. I don’t understand why some people get so annoyed over New Years resolutions. I think it’s absolutely great when … Continue reading

November Sephora Hauls

I know I’m a little late with this one, but it’s time to get some of these pictures out of my camera’s queue! Sephora was running some pretty amazing promotions through the month of November, and the beauty geek in me couldn’t resist! My NY resolutions definitely involve spending less in the beauty (and clothing!) department, but more on that in a future post.

Also, I feel it goes without saying that I am a huge set junkie (if it’s a decent value, and items I have actually been wanting to try), because it allows me to try so many different products, colors, scents, and brands without having to commit to the price tag of a full-sized item I may not even like!

Order #1

First off? The legendary 20% off everything deal (VIB):

IMG_2239Sephora “Give Me More Lip” set: $47.20 (after 20% off coupon)

This set is broken out into four color quads: reds (Hourglass, Laura Mercier, Kat Von D, and Sephora); nudes (Stila, Laura Mercier Gloss, BareMinerals, TooFaced, Make Up For Ever); berried (OCC, Tarte, Fresh, Buxom); and pinks (Tarte, TooFaced, Benefit, and Bite). I have wanted this set ever since it came out, and the fact that I got it for 20% off is just icing on the cake. Lipsticks are my favorite beauty item to hoard buy.

IMG_2250Fresh “Dare to Bare Lip Ritual” set: $36.00 (after 20% off coupon)

As I have declared multiple times on my blog by this point, I am in love with Fresh. This lip polish is super hydrating (and doesn’t even taste bad if you get any in your mouth!), the serum makes my lips feel softer than ever before (truly), and I’m already a lippie junkie. I like that I have now added rose to my collection πŸ™‚

Order #2

IMG_2228Sephora Favorites “Superstars”: $75.00

Alright, alright. This was a purchase I considered for quite some time, and ultimately couldn’t pass up. Most of the products are full-size. Yep, you read that right! The Chloe Rollerball ($25), Formula X Polish in Ignite ($10.50), Smashbox BB Cream ($39), and NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30) are among my favorites (and more than make up the value of the set!).

IMG_2232Pampered Party Prep set: Free (w/ code)

A variation of deluxe-sized samples (more Fresh, yes!)

Order #3

IMG_2258Sephora Favorites “Skin Wonderland” set: $56.00

Orders #2 & #3 were actually made back to back. I knew I wanted both sets, but since you are only entitled to one code per order (and both items qualified for free shipping), I decided to place them separately to get each of the different bag promos they had going on at the time.

I love the skin care sets that Sephora puts together, because I’m constantly searching for that perfect combo of products that will prevent wrinkles, moisturize, and cleanse! This set fit the bill and came with a bunch of unique items that I may not have picked up on my own. The deodorant (if only it were an anti-antiperspirant!), body oil wash, and rosewater balancing mist have been my favorites so far. I gave the hand-cream away. I’m rather surprised I didn’t like the scent with all its orange-influences, but I couldn’t smell fruit at all–just strange floral notes.

IMG_2262Striped sample bag: Free (w/ code)

Because you can never have too many samples (just kidding…but I am going through them pretty quickly).

Josie Maran “Argan Natural Wonders” set: Free (used 500 points)

IMG_2276Miscellaneous Samples: (3) Free w/ each order

What have your beauty hauls included lately?

XO Loves! Merry Christmas Eve Eve πŸ˜€

Fall 30×30: Outfit #2

I have to admit, it’s nice being up early this week without studying my brains out for a midterm like I spent all of last week for my Early Rising challenge.

Without further ado, here is outfit #2 (rhyme not intended) of my Fall 30×30 challenge. Anyone else want to jump on board and do the challenge with me?! πŸ˜€ It’s not too late!

IMG_2163dYellow boyfriend cardigan: Target | Chambray button-down: Forever 21 | Navy skirt: Target | Brown lace-up boots: Target

IMG_2168c IMG_2177c IMG_2185cHave a wonderful day my lovelies πŸ™‚

XO Ali

Fall 30×30 Challenge

Happy Monday morning, everyone πŸ™‚

This weekend we were blessed with some amazing weather considering its November. This has allowed me to get out and shoot some outfits to kick off my first ever Fall 30×30 challenge! I have to admin, I’m not a huge fan of capsule wardrobes where all your pieces can be mixed and matched with everything else in your closet, as I just like to have variation and a few interesting pieces on hand to spruce things up! However, I’ve seen these seasonal challenges floating around the blogger community for some time, and thought it was time to see what I’m capable of producing.

The challenge: 30 pieces for 30 looks. The goal is to pick out exactly 30 pieces from your wardrobe (I am defining wardrobe as: tops, bottoms, shoes, and dresses; excluding accessories like purses and jewelry, as that is what I will be using to differentiate my looks) to wear for 30 looks. I decided not to do 30 days, because my work wear has to be more modest than short skirts and more formal than chambray.

I am hoping to get some more good weather on the weekends because that is my only opportunity to shoot in the daylight. With Daylight Savings Time over, it is now dark by the time I get home from work.

First look:

IMG_2098cSouthwestern-print sweater: Forever 21 | Burgundy matelot shorts: Forever 21 | Black fringe booties: Target | Hat: gojane.com

IMG_2148cIMG_2115cIMG_2130cIMG_2154cWhat do you guys think? Do you like capsule wardrobes? Let me know in the comments below and hit the “Follow Me” button if you want to see more looks πŸ™‚

XO Ali