Fatshion: Cats and Florals

Fatshion Cats and Florals

Hi friends! I know I haven’t done an outfit post in a while. I have a ton of different outfits to share with you but it’s been hard to stay motivated with blogging lately. After going to Oregon in January and then having a super busy month of blogging events in February, I didn’t have a lot of free time. Life has started to settle back down though into a more manageable state – that or I’m just getting used to being super busy. I’m not sure which it is!

I tend to do most of my blogging at night just because there are fewer distractions but lately, I haven’t had a lot of free nights! This is a great thing but also comes at like a cost because I’ve had to rearrange my schedule a lot to try to find that work groove. You know how it goes, right? Also I got hired yesterday for a new job that very well might be like my dream job. I start next week though so we’ll see! Wish me luck with it!

Fatshion Cats and Florals

Anyway, this is supposed to be an outfit post right? I guess I should talk about what I’m wearing. So these tights! I regularly scour Ebay for all things “cat + fashion” related, for obvious reasons. When I saw these tights last year all over Ebay for like $1, I knew I needed to have them. But…they were always one size fits all, which you know, is never accurate, at least not for me. So it was a gamble for me to buy them. Then again, at $1 a pair, I knew I could afford to try them out. They barely fit me – if you’re above a 14/16, I probably wouldn’t buy them. But! Luckily, Torrid has a plus size version that is albeit more expensive but in bigger sizes! Because all thighs deserve to be adorned with kitties.

Fatshion Cats and Florals

So I think I wore this outfit back in January when my hair was still blue and gray. It’s pink and brown now but I have to be honest – I really miss the blue. I might dye the front a light pastel blue color next time. What do you think?

I found this cowl scarf at Goodwill a year or two ago and I wear it ALL THE TIME in the winter. I love the fringe on it, I love the color, it’s so neutral but goes with everything and is super interesting texture-wise. I just love it. It also works fantastically as an impromptu hood if it starts sprinkling – I know from experience.

Fatshion Cats and Florals

I’ve had these floral oxfords for a while too. You can’t really tell in the photo but they have gold thread woven through the fabric. They are adorable and comfy and floral – you all know how I feel about florals. It’s like a rare day if I’m not wearing any. Lest I disappoint anyone, I incorporated them into my choice of footwear for the day. ;)

Fatshion Cats and Florals

Outfit Details:

Pink cateye glasses: c/o Firmoo
Gray fringe cowl: Goodwill
Long sleeve black shirt: Target (old)
Pink sundress: Forever 21
Black cat tights: Ebay (plus sized pair)
Floral tapestry oxfords: Aldo via Ross

Thank you all so much for being patient with me the last couple of months! P.S. Big changes are coming to Skinned Knees soon, including some really amazing projects I can’t wait to share with you. Lots of love, friends! ♥

Easy Upcycle T-Shirt DIY Tutorial

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BringingInnovation #CollectiveBias
diylacecollarthero

Hi friends! I’m super excited to share an incredibly easy way to upcycle an old t-shirt to make it a brand new item in your closet. You know that I’m real big on creative reuse when it comes to fashion and clothing but I also apply that eco-friendly philosophy to other areas of my life too. I am forever recycling things, taking note of excess packaging when buying items, trying to conserve water (especially as a Californian!) and so many other things.

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I will almost always give priority to brands that incorporate recycled materials (or other eco-friendly materials) into their products too. I just heard about Energizer’s new EcoAdvanced batteries – they are the first battery on the market to use recycled batteries and materials. The batteries also feature Energizer’s longest lasting alkaline ever AND will hold up to 12 years in storage. So your batteries will last longer in use or if you store them until you need them – that means less waste for landfills! These new EcoAdvanced batteries are available in AA and AAA. I’m all about Energizer taking something old and turning it into something new!

Speaking of, are you ready for a super simple t-shirt tutorial? Grab an old t-shirt and get ready to make a brand new adorable top!

DIY Lace Collar T-shirt Tutorial

tutorialsuppliesSupplies:
Old t-shirt that still has some life in it
Lace collar*
Fabric glue
Pins
Optional: Needle & thread

*You can also cut off a collar from another old shirt (like maybe a button-up?), crochet or sew your own, or get creative and make a collar from something else!

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Directions:

1. Try on your t-shirt and try to find the middle of the collar. Mark that with a pin (or chalk if you have it). Lay your lace collar (I got mine on Etsy but you can also find them at some fabric stores or antique stores) on your shirt and pin it to your t-shirt using your pin or chalk as a guide to center it. Try your t-shirt on again to make sure it’s pinned properly – obviously be SUPER careful with this step!

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2. If everything looks ok, start using your fabric glue to glue down the collar. There are different kinds so make sure you follow the instructions for whatever fabric glue you use. I also ended up quickly hand-sewing the collar on for extra stability. If you do choose to sew it, make sure you don’t stitch too tightly or you might have a hard time stretching the t-shirt collar over your head to put it on!

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Once the glue has dried or been ironed, you’re ready to wear your new shirt! Yay for upcycling! What I really love about this tutorial is that it’s such a simple way to take something old and make it new. I have had this shirt FOREVER sitting in my garage. Aria and I had plans like ten years ago to start a screenprinting business. We bought t-shirts, screens, and ink, had a business plan, and were super into it but life happened and it didn’t get off the ground. So now I have all of these old t-shirts. I’m super excited to incorporate this one into my wardrobe. It’s totally my style and goes with so many things that I already own. My kind of top!

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If you are looking for an eco-friendly way to incorporate recycled materials into your home, please check out Energizer’s brand new EcoAdvantage batteries. I found mine at Walmart and as you can see, they are already super popular! It made me happy to know that so many people are choosing these over other batteries. Yay for eco-friendly products!

What are some ways you can upcycle, recycle, or incorporate eco-friendly practices in your home?

P.S. There is a really awesome giveaway going on right now!
GuiltFreeEnergy Giveaway – $1,000 in Gift Cards

Self-Care Tips to Deal with Loneliness

lonelinessselfcare

Hey friends! Today I wanted to talk about something that I deal with a lot, especially in the last year – loneliness. I have a huge community of amazing and inspiring friends and family. I am so grateful for the presence of each one of them. But some days and nights, when I’m alone, I end up feeling super bummed out and craving human connection. Having a limited income and living the past year with intention as a single person can sometimes make it difficult to get that connection during those moments when I need it the most.

Loneliness is a tricky thing. Even though I typically feel it when I’m actually alone, I also sometimes feel it in a room full of people. So if you’re feeling lonely, sometimes the answer isn’t just being not alone. And like I said, sometimes even if that is the answer, it’s not always doable.

So I started to create a list of things that helped or could potentially help me in those moments. I want to share it with you in case anything on the list might help you too.

  • Watch a movie, the more engaging the better! My favorites when I’m lonely are comedies or documentaries.
  • Binge-watch a tv show. This past winter, I binge-watched True Blood – all seven seasons in about two weeks. Yes, I was super lonely. Yes it helped.
  • Write or journal those feels out.
  • Practice yoga. This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m lonely. Reconnecting with my body makes me feel whole again and comfortable being totally with myself.
  • Paint your nails or do some other form of beauty-related self-care. Pampering yourself no matter what your gender is can be soothing.
  • Get in touch with a friend. I have a handful of people who I know are night owls so I can text them without waking them up. Texting, phone calls, and emails are always a go-to when I’m lonely.
  • Write a letter. Similarly, letters are a way to connect with people in a more tangible way and without the immediate gratification of doing it online or by phone. Bonus – you can decorate your mail or include small little gifts like stickers with your mail.
  • Make something. Almost every craft I make, like this butterfly garland, is born out of having too much time on my hands.
  • Have a photoshoot. Whether that means dressing up and taking some amazing selfies, taking photos of your pets, or some other awesome subject, having a photoshoot can give you a purpose and distraction away from your loneliness.
  • Take yourself out on a date. The cool thing about this is that you get to decide where you go and exactly what you do. No need to take someone else into account. This one is all about you.
  • Snuggle an animal or pet. Bonding with an animal, especially one of my cats, is one of the easiest ways for me to feel connected again.
  • Go for a walk. Taking yourself out of your environment and moving your body can sometimes do wonders for lonely feels.
  • Make a playlist of your favorite empowering songs. You don’t need anyone else to be happy – find songs that remind you of that.
  • Make a collage about all the awesome things about yourself or anything that strikes your fancy. Here are some I’ve made in the past.
  • Organize or clean an area you’ve been neglecting. Real talk – sweeping is one of my favorite things to do. I know it sounds weird but there is something soothing to me about passing a broom over a floor.
  • Make a self-love jar. Write down 25 things that are awesome about yourself on small pieces of paper. Put those notes in a jar and add to it as you think of things. Feeling lonely? Pull out the jar and focus on you. Here is the one I made for me that I use all the time.
  • Have a dance party of one. Or learn a new dance move. Or just get your body moving. It’ll help, I promise.

Here’s another list of self-soothing tips I used to use a lot when I was just entering recovery. I think many of them would work well for loneliness too! And because I love you, here is an image you can either print out or pin to your Pinterest!

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What are your go-to ways of dealing with the tricky feeling of being lonely? Please share!

Quick & Easy Vegetarian Torta Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

vegetarian torta recipe

Hello friends! This post is  a love letter to my Uncle Ronnie, the person who first introduced me to the greatness that is the torta. I love tortas because like many sandwiches, you can put just about anything in them. The way that I was first introduced to them though, which is I think one of the more traditional ways to make them, is to use mayo, beans, meat of your choice, and jalapenos. Seeing as I don’t do meat (or even mayonnaise), I took the traditional recipe and revamped it vegetarian style, complete with my favorite pickled jalapenos from La Morena.

lamorenatorta

Ever since the moment my uncle brought some tortas to my grandma’s house, I’ve been hooked. He was always about trying new restaurants and there was a local torta place he heard about that he fell in love with. I ended up working down the street from this place as an adult and would go there for lunch to grab one. I would always call him later that day to thank him for telling me about that place. When I became vegetarian eight years ago, I taught myself how to make a vegetarian version that I’m going to share with you today.

tortasandwich

Vegetarian Torta Recipe

Makes: about 3 tortas

Prep time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 telera or bolillo rolls
1 can of vegetarian refried beans
1 avocado
1 7oz can of sliced pickled jalapenos
Mayonnaise or a vegan substitute
Shredded jack cheese or queso fresco
Shredded cabbage
1 medium potato (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the refried beans. Slice your avocado. If using a potato, boil and slice it.

2. Slice your telera rolls in half. Spead your desired amount of mayo or mayo substitute on both insides of your telera slices.

3. Spread a layer of beans and cheese over the bottom half of each roll. Place the bottom half in the broiler until the edges are crispy and the cheese is melted.

4. If using a potato, place potato slices onto the bottom half of each roll. Layer with jalapeno and avocado slices. Top with shredded cabage and enjoy!

tortalamorena

If you end up not wanting to use the potato (the torta can get very filing with the potato), you can leave it out completely or try adding in a meat substitute. I’ve never used a meat substitute in these before – especially since you get plenty of protein from the beans and the cheese

veggietorta

You can easily make this recipe vegan, which is pretty awesome considering how delicious and easy they are to make! You’d just want to double-check the ingredients on the bread, leave out the cheese, and make sure to use a mayo substitute. My Uncle Ronnie was a big foodie so even though he never got a chance to try my version of a torta, I know he would have loved them. I made one for my mom for lunch today and she loved it too.

lamorenanorthgate

So the jalapenos really make the torta so good. Because La Morena’s sliced pickled jalapenos have their seeds removed already, there isn’t a lot of heat to go into the sandwich. Well, just enough to me anyway. Plus they blend in with the different layers very well.  If you want to know where to find your own can of sliced pickled jalapenos, check the spice/chile aisle at Northgate Markets and look for the La Morena label!

veggietortalamorena

There you have it! A huge thank you to my late Uncle Ronnie for introducing me to a part of my culture that I have been able to adapt for myself while still retaining cultural and traditional ties to it. Who would have thought that tortas would be so meaningful to me? ;)

If you end up making these, please let me know how they come out! Also I would love to hear about Mexican or other cultural recipes that you have made vegetarian. Please feel free to share in the comments!

How to Prepare for a Last-Minute Road Trip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias

lastminuteroadtrip

I am all about road trips! I don’t want to say that I’m a road trip champ because I don’t take them as often as I’d like but! I will say that I am a last-minute road trip champ! I am all about OMG! Let’s go! so many times that I have formulated a routine now that includes important things like car maintenance, because how can you go on a road trip if your car isn’t ready?

yosemitedeer

So these are the things that I do before almost every road trip, but for sure before spur of the moment “get in your car and drive” road trips:

5 Ways to Prepare for a Spur of the Moment Road Trip

  1. Pack light & think layers!
  2. Get that car maintenance done! 
  3. Check the weather and road conditions.
  4. Pack snacks!
  5. Have a plan, but be flexible.

bugseum

So some of those may be like, no-brainers maybe but let me explain anyway. I do a lot of travelling in the winter and spring because in Southern California or even the West Coast, most of the weather is fairly temperate for this time of year. That said, it’s still super helpful to pack while thinking of layers, and not only that but layers you can wear with different outfits. You know – work that scarf into every look you pack so you only have to park one scarf. It helps to keep packing minimal and keeps the car light – leaving you more room for stuff to bring home or for travelling with multiple people.

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So when I think pre-road trip car maintenance, I think oil change, car wash, and fill up my gas tank. When it’s a spur of the moment road trip, it’s even more important that you make sure your car is in tip-top shape. I stopped at Walmart recently to get a much-needed oil change and can’t tell you how awesome it feels to stay on top of car maintenance. I had the auto department use Penzoil High Mileage oil because it helps to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines – like my car with over 100,000 miles (told you that I like road trips!). It’s a motor oil that is specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, to help keep the engines running clean and going strong for a long time.

In case you aren’t on top of your motor oil game, all Pennzoil products help clean out sludge lesser oils leave behind. Pennzoil is designed for complete protection and will allow you to drive an extra of 550 miles per year vs. a dirty engine. No other motor oil provides better protection from friction. Plus, getting it at Walmart was super easy and convenient. You just leave your keys with the auto center and then go kill about 45 minutes inside the store until your car is ready. This is a great time to pick up snacks or water or any other last-minute things you may need before you take off.

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Checking the roads and weather conditions before you leave is super important – especially if you’re travelling somewhere with snow or construction, among other things. For example, if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you may not have reception for your phone or GPS so it’s helpful to plan ahead. Work those weather and road factors into your travel plans but most importantly, keep it all flexible!

Some of my absolute favorite travel memories are from stopping at the side of the road if something looks cool or is like a must-see! There is so much magic in the in-between. For example, that nerdy photo of me with the giant praying mantis is from a bug museum I saw a sign for on the side of the freeway during a road trip. And being a major bug lover, I HAD to stop. It was awesome. And this photo next to the cow is like an inside joke for body positivity. I’m a big fan of big “fat” animals like cows, elephants, hippos, etc. and am compelled to take photos next to them – as an act of solidarity! So when I saw this cow on the side of the road outside of the Sequoia National Forest, I was like HI! I NEED A PHOTO WITH THIS COW FRIEND.

overlookinglake

None of this would really be possible though if I hadn’t planned ahead, even if it was just a bit. So wherever I go, whether it’s somewhere more nature-filled or a new city, I want to be prepared. If my car isn’t ready for a road trip, I’m not ready. I don’t want to get stranded in the middle of a forest (ok, I do but by choice, you know?). Driving in a new city can be hectic enough without having to worry about your car being in great shape – each city has different car and driving cultures.

So be prepared for that road trip! Treat your car well in the meantime too! It’ll thank you by taking you to amazing new places.

What are your go-to road trip planning tips? Where are your favorite places to drive to?