3.30.2016

What I Wore: Motorhead and Pinstripes

T-Shirts and Pinstripes
tights - Target / shoes - Dr Scholls / skirt - The Oblong Box Shop / shirt - Amazon / sunglasses - SunglassSpot.com / belt - thrifted / petticoat - Malco Modes via eBay

Today's outfit was inspired by all of the girls I see on Instagram that regularly wear t-shirts with their circle skirts and always look awesome and cool and effortless. It was not nearly so effortless in my case. It's a whole thing to 1.) choose a t-shirt that won't get half of the design eaten up once tucked in, and 2.) be "neutral" enough to pair with a skirt without looking completely crazy.

T-Shirts and Pinstripes

For those of you familiar with the Motorhead logo, half of this shirt (the part that says "England") actually IS being hidden due to the tucked-in waistband. But the design works like this, so I went with it. And the silver and black seemed semi-neutral, enough to pair with this skirt.

I wore this skirt previously here on the blog. I really love the design! The Oblong Box Shop is coming out with new mid-century modern inspired circle skirts soon, and I'm actually trying (TRYING!) to hold back and not buy them just because I own sooo many skirts already but oh geez, furniture! Whaaaat?! And it's orange, which is a color that is seriously lacking in my closet...

T-Shirts and Pinstripes

Some people aren't fans of the material that these skirts are made from (I believe I read someone say "garden flag" once), but personally, I REALLY love it, because they wash easily and do NOT wrinkle! They hang really nicely, too. I always wear petticoats underneath, so I don't have issues whatsoever with it being thin or see-thru. Also, I always wear shorts under all of my skirts and dresses. Because insurance. :)

T-Shirts and Pinstripes

Rocking the SunglassSpot sunglasses again. It's nice to have several pairs of awesome glasses around (one in the car, one in my purse, one in the house, etc) so I'm never hunting around like a madwoman for my glasses. At $5 each, it can't be beat, woo hoo! I actually ordered Todd several pairs since he's kind of notorious for not being so kind to his glasses. And I also picked up a green Minecraft-y pair for Iggy which he loves. All $5 each!

T-Shirts and Pinstripes

I tried to get Dio to pose for an outfit shot with me, but of course the photo is slightly blurry. She's my roller derby name sister, named after Ronnie James Dio. Also we are both short with black hair.

I wore my Gwen Stefani Urban Decay lipstick today. This shade is called "Spiderweb." Because I love red red red lipstick and Tragic Kingdom. Perfect.

T-Shirts and Pinstripes

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'll probably have to start giving up my tights and doing the t-shirt and skirt thing more often. Oh man, that means shaving my legs more frequently and showing off my derby bruises. Ah, high fashion...

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.28.2016

The Awesome Tale of Two Tacos

The Tale of Two Tacos

Bet you didn't know that Betties N Brimstone have a theme song... it's been a thing for a while now, and now it's extra official in the form of taco tattoos! Check it out below:


The full story: Steph and I were in the car with my husband on the way to a friend's baby shower. My husband was playing a playlist made by a friend of his, and it randomly included the song "Two Tacos" by Felix and His Guitar. Well, we were mesmerized by it. It's a fun song, a silly song, but with a swingy rockabilly vintage-y type of feel that we also love. AND it's about tacos. So score.

In the time after that, it's become a tradition to play "Two Tacos" anytime Steph and I are out and we need a pick-me-up, particularly at vendor events when things are slow. I pull up the song, play it on my phone, and we dance. We also will hashtag our photos together #twotacos on IG...

The other half of this story is that we've also made an unofficial tradition of going out for tacos after said vendor events. And other times, too, because tacos are awesome. So when the idea came up to get matching "friend" tattoos, what else could we possibly get but TACOS? Of course.

The Tale of Two Tacos
pics taken immediately after our tattoos were done!

These sweet tiny cute taco tattoos were done by Jen Trok at Speakeasy Tattoos in Chicago. About three years ago, Steph did an interview with Jen right here on the BnB blog! I'm glad that I finally got to have some work done by her, because she's super talented. It was really fun to hang out and talk, too!

The Tale of Two Tacos

Now that our tattoos are more healed, you can see them a little better in the photos above.

I love the idea of friend tattoos! I have another appointment scheduled soon with my derby wife, Megan, for roller skates! Have you gotten a friend tattoo? What are your thoughts on it?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.26.2016

25 ways to add an egg and make a meal

Put an EGG on it!
photo via Pexels.com

So my derby teammate, Smashus Clay, has chickens. Because chickens. So that means that she has a lot of eggs, and she gives them people when she's overrun with them. Conversations with her will naturally turn to eggs every so often, and the latest was all about how food tends to taste better if you put an egg on it.

This got me kind of on a new obsession of putting an egg on everything. Which is good for me, because bonus protein is something that I need. Now my personal challenge is to find new things to put eggs on. And thus this list of things that are good with eggs on them was born:
  1. Leftover Mexican food. Rice? Beans? Taco filling? Burrito half? Fajita veggies? Yes. just warm that stuff up, and put an egg on top. I like to do over-easy eggs because runny yolks coating my food are delicious. 
  2. Burger patties. I use Boca/veggie patties, of course. Bonus of you have a slice of cheese melted on top. Now, an egg right on your burger between the buns is good, but also you could make a patty with cheese and slap it right on your plate with an egg on top. Fried eggs are awesome for this. 
  3. Leftover fried rice, stir fry, or other take-out. Ok, so fried rice already has eggs in it, but if you put it on a plate and put a whole egg on top, it goes from side dish to whole meal. Bonus points for hot sauce or sriracha. 
  4. A BLT. Technically now a BELT, eh, whatever, it's like a breakfast sandwich of deliciousness. And yes, I make fake bacon for BLTs and it's awesome. I also like avocado on my BLTs, too. 
  5. Tuna salad. For this one, use hard-boiled eggs. Chop them up and add to your already made tuna salad. Then it's like a tuna-egg salad hybrid. And super yummy. 
  6. Any kind of vegetables, in general - especially the leftover kind. Grilled or sauteed, pretty much any kind of cooked veggies are awesome when combined with egg. If scrambled, think omelet, maybe add some cheese. Otherwise, warm up your veggies and plop a cooked egg (your choice of style) on top. 
  7. The "Bowl of Stuff" concept. I've written about this long ago, and it's not my invention (see Natalie at Bake and Destroy), and Natalie is a vegan so this egg concept isn't something she'd endorse, but I do think that if you are non-vegan, this would be delicious. 
  8. Shredded brussels sprouts + beans, aka brussels sprouts tacos. Another concept I utilize via the Bake and Destroy blog, I regularly cook shredded brussels sprouts with black beans and some taco seasoning. But I also discovered that cooking up an egg in the middle of it is a delicious option to the taco format. Again, not vegan, but inspired by vegan roots? Is that a thing?
  9. Kale? Yep. Check this out here.
  10. Baked potatoes. Have you ever had a baked potato as a main course for dinner? I have, and it's pretty flippin' sweet. Take it up a notch by adding an egg on top. Mmmm. 
  11. Egg pizza? Don't knock it til you try it. Here's one version. And another
  12. Risotto. I like that risotto is typically a side dish, but that you can entree-ify it by adding a dang egg on top. I'm not a super talented cook, so I'll buy my risotto frozen from Trader Joe's (like the mushroom or asparagus kind) and use that as a base.
  13. Pita bread + avocado. You could also do this with toast or fancy bread, making it avocado toast + egg = yum. Here's a version you might like. 
  14. Quinoa. You know I love this stuff! I make quinoa fried rice for dinner (with leftovers as seen in my Bento report), and overnight breakfast quinoa. So if there's leftovers from another recipe, just pop an egg on top of it, and ta-da! Meal. 
  15.  Grilled cheese sandwich. Oh man, yes. Iggy is going through a grilled cheese/quesadilla phase right now, so it's super easy to make one for myself as long as I'm making one for him. Might as well just use the same pan after the sandwich to cook an egg and put it on top. Just eat with a knife + fork, and it's all good. 
  16. Salads. Hard boiled eggs, people. It's always a bin at the salad bar, but we often forget while at home that this is a super yum way to add protein to a bowl of lettuce. 
  17. Stuffed peppers. I made this kind for dinner a few weeks ago (but with faux ground beef), and they were soooo good. I made enough to freeze and have two more dinners, actually. Now I'm thinking about making them again but this time with, of course, an egg on top. 
  18. (Faux) BBQ meats: there are many kinds of this, like "riblet"-esque sandwich style, or shredded style, or chunks of faux pork... they'd all be good with an egg up on it. 
  19. Spaghetti. Ok, so I haven't actually tried this one (I have pasta issues w/carbs and my weight-loss surgery), but it sounds uh-maz-ing. Knowing myself, I'd probably eat it every day if I could. 
  20. Waffles! Ok, so this is a little more breakfast-y than the others, but why not use waffles (heck even the frozen toaster kind!) as a base for an egg and make it your lunch or dinner. Typically we think of waffles as a base for something sweet, but it could just as easily become savory. 
  21. Ramen. I used to eat this all the time. As you're cooking your ramen, scramble up an egg in a bowl, and pour it into the broth so that it cooks in there. I'd also toss drained canned tuna in a bowl of ramen, too. Double protein!
  22. Hamburger Helper/Tuna Helper. I actually will make hamburger helper, but with faux ground beef. Hey, sometimes you've gotta make your family dinner on the cheap. No shame. But if you have leftovers... try it with an egg on top! Now you feel fancy.
  23. Biscuits/dinner rolls. Those kind in the refrigerated tubes at the grocery store. They're fun to pop. And you're probably already looking for an excuse to make them anyways. Or, you're lucky enough to have leftover ones from a family dinner or gathering. You can repurpose them into a meal by adding an egg. Oh yeah. 
  24. Chili. Chili is always good, especially in leftover form, but next time try it with an egg! My meatless chili recipe can be found here.
  25. Pre-made Indian side dish packets. Like these from Tasty-Bite. You can find them at Trader Joe's or the ethnic food aisle at your local grocery store. Again, they are delicious on their own, but adding that egg can make it a meal. 
Put an EGG on it!

So, now you're probably needing to go buy some eggs, but since it's springtime, you're in luck, as they're typically on sale this time of year! Do you have any ideas this list is missing? Let me know!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.25.2016

Dig That Beat! Book Review

 photo Dig That Beat_zpsmmezco95.jpg
A woman after my own heart, Sheree Homer, transports you back in time one musician at a time in her latest book Dig That Beat! A diverse mix of music history and interviews with some of the best musicians of our time, Dig That Beat is unique peek into the captivating world of roots music.

As you know, dear reader, I have a slight (*cough) obsession with music history. I love learning about what inspired musicians and the stories behind how their songs were pieced together. The factors (such as the time period or instrumentation) that contributed to their performances and recordings fascinate me. Dig That Beat does not disappoint. I had a blast reading the anecdotes in this book! From Dale Hawkins to Rosie Flores, you can tell with each mini-biographical morsel that Sheree Homer has striven to protect and preserve the historical integrity of each musician and their art. I would strongly encourage anyone with curiosity about the roots of Rock N’ Roll to make Dig That Beat their next read.

The thing I appreciated most about this book is the fact that Sheree acquires and writes the story straight from the horse’s mouth. She does her research (it took her two and a half years to write this book) and really cares about the subject matter. When it comes to the interview portions, she writes purely and honestly in the interviewee’s own words and doesn’t infuse their stories with opinion or speculation. I really respected her honest approach at writing because I feel that I get a truer sense of the interviewees. Too many times I’ve read biographies full of fact-based opinion laced with strategically placed quotes from an interview or two and I always feel cheated in the end (I mean…there’s a reason why I strictly read autobiographies). This was definitely NOT the case with Dig That Beat.I was truly excited to see that this book was written with such veracity.

The one thing that is apparent while reading this book, Sheree Homer holds a high level of respect for roots music and the people who create it. When I asked her how it felt to be able to share the stories of so many amazingly talented artists she said,

“I feel very honored to be able to share their histories and to be able to give them the respect and recognition that they deserve. Being a musician is a tough road to haul, so it makes me happy to know that I am helping to promote their music. It's a lot of fun too to hear their stories. When the legendary acts talk about their careers, it feels like time traveling.”

Dig That Beat was published in May of last year and is available in paperback or as an ebook. You can find it on Amazon, as a special order from Barnes and Noble, or you can contact Sheree for an autographed copy by emailed here at: rockabillygal1978@hotmail.com

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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3.23.2016

An Open Letter to My 16-Year Old Self

Letter to my 16-yo self

Dear 16-year old Jenny,

Your future self has some important looking-back on life wisdom to share with you, especially now that future Jenny is 20 years away from 16-years-old-land. I could go on and on for about a zillion pages, but let's boil down a few important points below...
  • Be glad there isn’t such thing as social media/texting/email - the closest we got to “texting” each other was to send number codes via pagers (ha ha remember those?) - usually a 07734 meant “hello” (or 14 for short - “hi”) or a 143 meant “i love you” - paging someone with your number + 911 meant to call back quick because there was some social drama or gossip that needed to be discussed asap. At the time it all seemed so urgent and important and necessary, but we had no idea what was around the corner technology-wise, and should be glad that we weren’t navigating our adolescent territory with a global audience via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to preserve those awkward and embarrassing moments for all of eternity. 
Letter to my 16-yo self
  • Stop being a sad sack all the time and feeling sorry for yourself - it’s hard to be patient, but your life is going to be awesome… eventually. It will take a while. In the meantime, go find yourself a counselor or social worker or doctor to talk to. Maybe get yourself on an anti-depressant if necessary. Being sad and brooding is so goth, but it’s also energy-draining. Try to find things and people that DO make you happy and surround yourself with them. 
  • Guess what? Those girls mean NOTHING. Mean girls are the worst. And I had ‘em. It’s hard to go through your life at 16, having to see the same people (good or bad) every day. Because you couldn’t escape them. Even as an adult, if things get bad enough, you can quit your job and go elsewhere. But when you’re 16 you’re kind of stuck. So, what I can tell you is that as soon as you get out of here, you are FREE. You won’t need to see them or interact with them for anything. And when social media does become a thing, you can just block them. Literally. Out of your life. You don’t need that negativity. Do people grow up and out of mean-girl-ness? Probably. But I’m not going to stick around to find out. I’ve got better people to spend my time with.
  • You know how you always suspected that you were "meant to be?" Well, you were actually right all along... Whoa. Bet you didn’t see THAT coming. Maybe you just crossed paths with him too soon, but the timing wasn’t right. Something aligned to keep you guys from being together until the absolute weirdest point in your life. But then it happened, and now you’re here. You had a feeling in your gut, even way back when. And it was right. And it’s amazing, just like you imagined. :)
Be Yourself.
via / via / via / via
  • Just do you. LOL. I know I say that in an ironic sort of way, but I mean it. It’s so hard being in high school and caring (way too much) about what others think of you that it messes with your own sense of self. The best people in the world are people who are unapologetically themselves: Leslie Hall, RuPaul, Andrew W.K, Sharon Needles, Betsey Johnson… and a bunch of others I cannot think of at the moment. Think about who you admire most. Don’t try to be like them, try to embody their spirit of being themselves, and take that inspiration to find out who YOU are. 
  • Join the junior roller derby. That has to be a thing, 16-year old you! Find out where it is, and go. Because then 36-ish year old you will be so much better by the time you get there! :)

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.21.2016

That Time I Made A Bat Skirt.

DIY Bat Skirt
shoes - Demonia / tights - Target / shirt - Target / belt - Pinup Girl Clothing / brooch - Erstwilder / sunglasses - SunglassSpot.com / skirt - DIY

I am super excited to show you this skirt that I made! It was (of course) a project that I thought would be simple, but turned out to be quite involved. However, I really love the end result, and it was worth all of the work!

I had bought this awesome pink dress with all over bat print via Poshmark:

DIY Bat Skirt

It was super cute, and it even fit! But it was strapless, so the top was not awesome, and the skirt was a-line (not circle), and shorrrrrrrrt.

So, I'd tackled a too-short skirt before, and figured I could just sew a few inches to the bottom. But then I also decided to fix the "not circle skirt" issue by adding triangle panels of black fabric. Simple, yes? Ahhh... no.

DIY Bat Skirt

I ended up having to disassemble the pink dress completely (separate the top from the skirt, then seam rip all of the skirt panels, including the hem) so that I had four panels of pink bat rectangular fabric.

I then took another complete skirt in black (I bought a large black circle skirt-ish design from the thrift store in a fabric weight that I liked and thought would pair well), and also took that apart completely.

I loosely used this tutorial from Annika Victoria to get my pattern created:


...and then I assembled four equal panels by piecing together my black fabric and my pink bat fabric.

Then, I connected my four panels to make a circle. To create a waistband, I used black elastic from a thrifted belt, and used the same DIY skirt method I showed in my slip to skirt tutorial.

DIY Bat Skirt
Do you love these sunglasses? Another awesome find from SunglassSpot.com! See my other bat-like pair here

Then I just had to hem it all. Surprisingly, once I got the four panels cut and pieced out, the sewing went remarkably fast!

The sewing on my waistband is actually super janky, not straight at all, but I wear belts over the waistbands of my skirts anyways, so you'll never see. :)

DIY Bat Skirt

I am wearing this skirt with a black petticoat underneath, and as you can see in the photos, the pink fabric is kind of prone to wrinkling (I did iron it, I swear! - But this is after coming home from work all day).

It was fun to tell people that I made my skirt when they commented on it. Now I'm hooked though - I want to make ALL THE SKIRTS! I've been stalking my local thrift store for some awesome cartoon bedsheets for my next skirt project. No luck yet, but fingers crossed it'll be soon!

DIY Bat Skirt

I'm also wearing my favorite Erstwilder Halloween bat in this OOTD, but I had a hard time getting a close up while I was wearing it, so here you go, on its own. If you own this particular pin, you'll understand what I mean when I say that the pin location on the back is weird. The pin doesn't hang quite right. I fixed it by gluing a pin post to the back of the wing using E-6000 glue, and now it's perfect!

Erstwilder has another bat brooch that I really want but I haven't pulled the trigger on it yet, and there's another Halloween brooch that is on my "unicorn" wish list (it can't be found anywhere!) called "Cara the Halloween Kitty" that I hope to someday find... what Erstwilder brooches are on your wish list?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.19.2016

30-Minute Slip to Skirt Tutorial DIY

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

A few posts back, I talked about wanting to tackle a new sewing project and how I'd been watching some YouTube tutorials. This project was my "trial" project before I tackled a larger circle skirt version (results coming soon!).

I'd been not only watching YouTube videos, but searching Pinterest links for DIYs like these that turn dresses into skirts... turns out that all you need is an elastic waistband and a sewing machine, and you're good to go! This project was surprisingly super fast for me, as a very beginner sewer type, so I know you'll find success in this, too!

Here's what you need:

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

- a pretty slip that you'd like to turn into a skirt
- a thrifted elastic belt (make sure the elastic part of the belt is long enough to function as a waistband for you)
- cutting tools
- straight pins
- sewing machine + matching thread

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

I chose this slip from my local Savers thrift store because I liked the lace at the bottom. You might be thinking, "Hey Jen, why not just buy an already made half slip and wear that as a skirt?"

Well, I'm glad you asked.

I'm super short, remember? Half slips are like full slips on me. Doing this project allows me to completely customize the length to exactly what I need. And if I buy a larger slip to size down, this project results in a fuller, lacy skirt than a regular half-slip, which is cut more straight.

The idea behind this DIY for me was to make a black skirt that I could wear under other skirts/dresses to give them a lacy bottom trim, kind of like this very old blog post DIY that I made.

Ok, here we go...

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

The first step is to cut the ends of the belt off, so you just have a length of elastic that you can stitch together to make a circle for the waistband. You can buy this elastic from the sewing store for not too much money, but I am lazy and just picked it all up at the thrift store in one trip. Besides, these belts are anywhere from 99 cents to 2.99, depending on the size and condition.

Next, try on your slip and measure how long (ish) you want it to be. Cut it across at that length. Give yourself maybe an inch of extra allowance for sewing to the waistband.

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

Sweet! Now you have a really wide skirt and a circle of elastic. Start pinning the skirt to the inside of the elastic. The best tip I found was to pin the front and back center first, then sub-divide the sections until you have eight equal sections all the way around. That ensures that the extra bunchy fabric is evenly spaced all the way around.

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

See how there's extra fabric between the pins? The elastic and the sewing machine does a magic thing next. Set your machine to a zig-zag stitch. Begin at one pin. As you sew each 1/8 section from pin to pin, stretch out the elastic so that the fabric lays flat on the waistband as the zig-zag stitch is sewing.

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

Repeat this stretchy action for each section, and work all the way around your waistband. When the elastic relaxes back to its normal state, you get perfect awesome gathers! Check it out below!

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

Although my stitches and allowances are not always awesomely straight (ok, more often than not...), I was super proud of how the gathers look! And check out the finished slip skirt below!

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog

I had on a t-shirt dress on this day, so I put my finished skirt on underneath so you could get an idea of how I would wear my finished skirt as a bottom layer of lace. Now it makes any dress fancier:

DIY 30 Minute Skirt from a Slip via BnB blog
Please forgive the nasty dirty basement mirror and laundry room area. This is where I sew. 

Now that I've become comfortable with the elastic waistband technique, I've decided to try my hand at a full circle skirt using this waistband concept. Results coming soon!

Want to see my last major sewing project? Check out my Halloweenie circle skirt here!

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.18.2016

Going Green!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend!

Our household is going green(er)!
I’m starting this weekend and you can too! Ok, I know that even THINKING about “going green” can be overwhelming. There is SO much information out there and it’s almost impossible to go completely green…That’s not what I’m talking about here…And what is “going green” anyway!?
“Going green” means:

"To pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

My goal with this post is to try and inspire each reader to make just one small change around their home. I know it sounds corny and you’ve heard it before, but it’s true….If we all just do one thing to reduce our impact on the environment, we CAN make a huge difference.

It doesn’t have to be something huge and if it IS huge you don’t have to do it all at once. The easiest and least invasive way to make your household greener is to start recycling if you don’t already. If you already recycle and want to lighten your environmental impact a little more, do some research and choose something that really resonates with you. Then, think about what small step you can take to help that effort. For example, say you want to conserve water. Start by fixing that leaky faucet in your kitchen!

That being said, my goal is kind of overwhelmingly huge…It’s reducing the amount of plastic in my household. According to majorwastedisposal.com, we throw away over 60 million plastic bottles a day. 6,000,000 A DAY! That’s insane!

I started recycling last year, so my first order of business to reduce plastics in my household is to stop using plastic bags at the store. We have so many plastic bags around the house...I ONLY use them to take my lunch to work a few times and then throw them away when they get holes. There is so much conflicting information about WHERE you are able to recycle plastic bags because they get caught up in the machines, so I’ve decided to just stop using them.

The biggest reason (no pun intended) I’ve decided to ditch plastic is because I read this article about whales. Basically, stray plastic bags and other plastics from barges (and who knows where else) make their way into the ocean. The whales mistake the bags and other plastics as a food source and they eventually die from ingesting so much man-made plastic crap. There are numerous accounts of this across the world of tons of plastic found in beached whales...It’s terrible! Anyway, it obviously really resonated with me and I decided that this weekend, I’m starting to use ONLY reusable bags at stores from now on.

What small step will you take this weekend to reduce your impact on the environment and create a greener household?

Until next time!

~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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3.16.2016

Worst. Awkward. Outside. Blogger. Photographer. Ever.

Lindy Bop stripe dress on Betties N Brimstone Blog
shoes - Demonia / tights - Target / dress - Lindy Bop / sweater - thrifted / brooch - For The Love of Vintage / belt - Pinup Girl Clothing / bracelet - FitBit

Shooting outfit posts outdoors is rad. Plus, I really like my value scale paint chip garage door (I'll do a better blog post on that soon when the weather stays nicer - it's a good summer project!). But I am totally awkward.

That's the thing about blogs. I can blah blah blah and talk like I know you (which I might actually IRL...) and act like I'm all confident, but I'm a total socially awkward nerd in real life. Not in a trendy "I'm socially awkward" type of way either - like literally I'm super self-conscious and I have trouble carrying on casual conversations with people - and unfortunately it can come across as the complete opposite, like I'm aloof or snooty. Then I feel like I have to work twice as hard to combat the idea that someone has gotten the wrong impression of me. It's quite busy and stressful up in my head. The lesson here is, should you cross paths with me in real life, if I don't say much, or I say something off-color, it's not intentional and I'm so concerned with getting you to like me and for me to come across as normal that I end up doing the exact opposite. Ugh.

So... that tangent was to explain the back story behind these photos because although I like taking outdoor photos better than indoors ones, as soon as I see a neighbor or someone outside, I freak out and run back in. It's so awkward.

Lindy Bop stripe dress on Betties N Brimstone Blog

So of course during my first attempt this spring to take outdoor photos, I look up to see my neighbor watching me from their house. AH WORST NIGHTMARE I'VE BEEN CAUGHT!

Therefore, try to play it cool, go back inside, and tell myself that four photos is enough and then take a closeup of my brooch inside to add to this post. Outfit post girl blogger FAIL.

Lindy Bop stripe dress on Betties N Brimstone Blog

So I guess I should talk about this outfit. I love this dress. The material is heavier but slightly stretchy. But the real reason I bought it is stripes, of course. I actually bought this via Amazon last year, and my order was unexpectedly cancelled. IDK. So I was mad, and told myself "you don't need this dress anyways."

And then of course I saw it on Instagram on several different people and then I told myself "oh yes you DO need this dress!" and fortunately it was actually on sale by that time, so yay!

One important thing about Lindy Bop though, you should really size down. I didn't want to believe it, but it's true. I think I discussed it on my last Lindy Bop dress here.

Lindy Bop stripe dress on Betties N Brimstone Blog

In case you're wondering if I ever wear any other shoes than these creepers, the answer is pretty much no. They're the coolest.

For The Love of Vintage on Betties N Brimstone Blog

Even though I'm wearing mostly black on this day, I couldn't resist wearing my new For The Love of Vintage brooch. Because it's the worst. brooch. ever. Get yours here. :)

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.14.2016

ArtSnacks: Monthly Surprise of Art Supplies!

Art Snacks Unboxing

For my third-ever video blog post, I'm doing an un-boxing video for the March 2016 Art Snacks subscription box. I've done "regular" blog posts in the past about Art Snacks here and here, but I thought that a video version might be nice. All links to stuff are below the embedded video below.


Here are links to all of the items included in this month's box:
Side note: In the video, I wasn't sure how long I'd been subscribing to Art Snacks - turns out it's been just over TWO years! Whoa!

Do you subscribe to any boxes that are especially cool? This is the only one I've subscribed to so far. Recommendations?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.12.2016

I Swear I'm Not A Hoarder, Really!

iPhone Case Collection

I didn’t even realize how many I had. Sometimes I start clearing out and cleaning up, and I come across a little “collection,” and I think “holy cow that’s a lot!”

Well, that’s exactly what happened with my iPhone cases. I had no idea that it had gotten this bad. And my new Poshmark addiction didn’t really help matters much, as there are a ton of super cool and super cute phone cases available as people update/upgrade their devices.

Eventually (hopefully soon!), I too will upgrade my device (I currently have a 5S), but in the meantime, I thought that it might be fun to take a look at what I’ve got:

iPhone Case Collection

First of all, I noticed that I have a lot of Halloween-y, or goth-y themed cases. (Surprised?) My current - and probably favorite - case is this Ouija board case, purchased via Poshmark. It’s an actual Hasbro brand case, as opposed to one printed via a secondary source with the aspect ratio all stretched out (ugh that always bothers me!).

Other cases in this theme include a rubbery black case with bat wings (another Poshmark snag) that I quickly realized wasn’t very practical to fit into my car holder (whomp whomp) and kind of bulky. The other case is printed with an anatomical heart. I really like the black/white/red color scheme on it.

iPhone Case Collection

As I was photographing, I realized I have yet another Halloween-y case: the cartoon pinup on a pumpkin from Sourpuss! Pretty sure I snagged this on super sale for like $10. I'm such a sucker for a good sale.
I wish I could remember where I snagged this lenticular eyeball case, because it is seriously one of my faves. It’s not fancy, not expensive, but the design is seriously cool. Similar here.

The donuts case is from Paper Source - I’d been looking for a case with just the “right” style of donuts on it for a while, and this fit the bill. Similar here.

iPhone Case Collection

Several months back, I was on a Kate Spade kick, and I stalked these cases on eBay (the black/white stripes and the glasses patterned cases.) I also found out that I can sometimes find KS branded items at Marshalls and TJMaxx, so I was happy to find this sweet rubberized pocket case with the devil horns and tail!

iPhone Case Collection

I forgot that this yellow “Hi There!” case is also Kate Spade, technically. It’s a Kate Spade Saturday design (darn I miss that brand, it was pretty cool). This was also from TJMaxx or Marshalls back in the day.

This colorful “Color Wheel” phone case is from A Beautiful Mess, and I scored it as part of a special $5 sale! I just couldn’t pass it up at that price. (Fun fact: it looks like you can snag it right now for the iPhone 6 for $3!)

One of my very first iPhone cases was this simple pink rubbery one (center above), as I go through periods of time where I get super freaked out that I’m going to drop and shatter my phone (it has happened to me once before) and that this will save me…

iPhone Case Collection

The Betsey Johnson cases (above) were on super sale at Michael's a few months back. They're not high quality, and the design starts to wear off (look closely at the leopard case pattern and you'll see it), but for a couple of bucks each, I thought that they were pretty cute.

iPhone Case Collection

Some of my favorite “fun” (albeit not so much practical) cases are my Lego case - which is an actual functioning Lego plate - and a metal “brass knuckles”-esque case that has rings for your fingers to hold! I love this metal case, but it’s not easy to pop in/out of - there are tiny screws that hold a plate to lock it in - and it does not easily fit into your back pocket like a regular case would. One other point of consideration is that I had someone tell me that the airlines don’t allow it, either… IDK, it’s not like real brass knuckles, but whatever. I don’t get to fly often, so I can’t speak to that either way. 

This Lego minifig case is my own actual artwork! I talked about it in this blog post and how I was able to have it made via Artsonia, but there are several other places where you can have your own cases made, too - like Casetify or Snapfish.

iPhone Case Collection

Above, you can see the metal case in action. Buy your own here.

What kind of a phone case user are you? Do you buy one and hang onto it forever, or are you feeling the need to change things up frequently?

** This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my links. **

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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3.11.2016

Top 5 Tips to Prep for This Year's Garden

 photo Seeds _zps7fclr9fs.jpg
Spring has sprung!
I know it's a little early to be talking about gardening, but I'm really excited to get outside and start planning my vegetable garden this year. So in the spirit of spring, these are my top five prepping tips for your garden this year.

1. Plan your space!
In my opinion, planning is the most important part of gardening. Plan where you want to plant your garden, what kind of plants you want to grow, and which plants you are going to start from seeds or direct plant. I like to choose my seeds based on the food I like to make in the summer and what I know grows best in my garden. In regards to planting, always do your research! Garden.org, Mother Earth News, and The Old Farmers Almanac  are my three favorite resources for gardening information. I am planning on making a raised bed garden this year because I'm trying to maximize my space. If you have limited space or just want to plant more than normal, maybe you could consider a raised bed. I've read up on different types of raised beds and it looks like cedar works best. I found a great Etsy shop called Timberlane Gardens. She makes great beds and planters from cedar and she's local to the Chicago area!   

2. Spring cleaning!
Clean up and oil your garden tools and get your potting areas together. Also, when it starts to warm up a little more, start cleaning up the leaves, twigs, and old garden waste out of your gardening area.
 photo seedlings_zpsjgrwh4ym.jpg 3. Start your seeds!
You can make your own seed kit out of things you already have at home instead of spending all that money on a seed starting kit. I created seed starters out of newspaper (see this great video below) and made markers out of craft popsicle sticks. You can figure out when you should actually start planting based on your zipcode here.  

4. Prep your Soil!
Remove all weeds and debris from the gardening area. Start by aerating the soil. I basically just till up my soil with a shovel and a three pronged rake. Then, add some compost or fertilizer...some kind of organic matter of your choice. Once this is finished, you can organize where your plants will be planted. Make sure that there is enough space for all of your plants and plan accordingly.
 photo saplings_zpshvn9zzly.jpg 5. Plant!
Once the frost is over and your seedlings are ready, it's time to plant! Plant your seedlings and what what a difference it makes when you plan ahead! All of your hard work will pay off this summer when you're knee high in tomatoes and pole beans! :)

Until next time!
~Steph @ Calamity Layne

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3.09.2016

What I Wore: Spiderwebs and Bats

Spiderweb Jenny Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog
sunglasses - Sunglass Spot / shirt - Target / belt - Pinup Girl Clothing / skirt - Pinup Girl Clothing / tights - Target / shoes - Demonia / bracelet - FitBit

Today's outfit felt very comfortable, very "me." Black, halloween-y, spiderwebs, bat shoes, and dark oversized sunglasses with pointed tips. Sweet. I even paired the look with my favorite purple eyeshadow (it's called "Urban," and it's part of the Urban Decay Electric palette, FYI).

I declared to myself that this week was "skirt week," as I felt like I had been wearing only my dresses for a while. But I think I may actually need to have skirt weekSSS because I own many of them.

Spiderweb Jenny Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I don't think I've worn this skirt on the blog yet? But it might look familiar because I have worn my spiderweb Heidi dress on the blog here, but also I wore that dress for my pinup shoot at Vavoom Pinups Chicago. I love this pattern so much that not only do I own it in the aforementioned dress and the skirt pictured here, I also own it in the Lauren top - no longer available from PUG, but purchased secondhand from a previous owner.

When I went with my brother Sam to the horror convention, I paired that top with this skirt, creating another complete "dress" look from separates. It was very appropriate to the event. :)

Spiderweb Jenny Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

I like that the skirt is actually very "neutral" in the fact that it's black and white, so I could really wear any color top that I want... but I decided to stick with my trusty black on this particular day. And my bat wing Demonia creepers.

Spiderweb Jenny Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

These sunglasses are the best thing, ever, and they were only $5. FIVE DOLLARS, you guys. I learned about Sunglass Spot from Stina via her YouTube video and I was all like "OMG I HAVE TO BUY A BUNCH OF SUNGLASSES NOW" after watching it. I bought three pairs, and it was five dollars to ship. So $20 for three pairs of sunglasses that are of equal quality to any "fancier" pairs that I own. Seriously. My favorite thing about this pair (my fave of the bunch) is that they look like bat wings.

Here's a close-up of the spiderweb pattern:

Spiderweb Jenny Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

It's probably hard to tell from these photos, but my bat wing creepers are actually black GLITTER creepers, so bonus cool points.

Spiderweb Jenny Skirt on Betties N Brimstone Blog

In the future, I could also pair this skirt with pretty much any color crinoline that I wanted to, too, but today = black.

Maybe next time?

How would you style this skirt besides wearing all-black like me? What other colors would you pick?

Rock On,
Jen @ Hell Razor


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