Wednesday, February 22, 2012

my natural face routine - the oil cleansing method

I don't usually talk about beauty, but in the past year or so, a good portion of my products have become handmade, so that fits, right?

natural bodycare

I don't have what one would call "good" skin. I think I got my first zit when I was about 13, and still get them to this day. That's 15 years of zits. I had resigned myself to this lifetime sentence (seriously, adult acne never ends), when my friend Liz recommended a completely natural skincare routine - The Oil Cleansing Method - which was recommended by her friend, Louise*.

As soon as Liz said the magic words, "No more blackheads," I was sold. I went to Whole Foods the next day and bought Castor Oil (the cleansing oil), Jojoba Oil (the moisturizing oil) and one of those little blue bottles. I mixed three parts Jojoba Oil to one part Castor Oil, and I've never looked back. 

So you might be thinking, "Gross, you wash your oily face with oil?" The principal at work here is that oil actually dissolves oil. Crunchy Betty wrote a really detailed post on OCM here, and Louise has detailed instructions here. I also use a spot of Trader Joe's Tea Tree oil on especially troublesome blemishes, and use Bariani Face & Body Cream (made only from olive oil & beeswax) to take care of any dryness. The beauty of this system is that you can tweak your mixture until you find something that is perfect for your skin. 

bathroom alpaca
Yes, there is an alpaca in my bathroom. And that deodorant is a topic for another day!

*So what if you want to try OCM, but don't want to go to all the hassle of figuring out which oils are best, etc? Louise can help! She just opened her own etsy shop full of homemade beauty goodness: Brandylou Body Care. She is offering 30% off to readers of Under the Red Umbrella; just use the code BRANDYWHO at checkout. I just ordered the Sunflower Face Oil, and have used the Save Your Body Balm for months. It's good stuff!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

new apartment peeks

mermaid fountain

My new apartment building in LA is a tropical-colored, mid-century dreamboat. Ok, not everything about it is dreamy, but I wanted to show you a few details around the building, since the inside won't be ready for showing for awhile!

pretty railing

oven of the future
You can tell it was built in the 60's because Betty Draper left her oven behind! 

Kitties love the courtyard! There are usually two to five of them out there at any given time. 

kitty in the sun

the best door knob
My very favorite detail - the mod doorknob.

apartment complex

Monday, February 20, 2012

chevron iphone case

I've been an internet-having person for almost a week now, and I'm so excited to get back to blogging! 

iphone case

Only three things were broken during my cross-country move: a ceramic planter, a casserole dish, and my iphone case. That last one was less the fault of he-who-packed (Chris), and more the fault of my butterfingers. After I dropped my phone on the pavement for the second time, the case would not click back together, and I knew it was time to get a new one.

I got pretty excited, because I've been eyeing these cross-stitch iphone cases for months. After the Purl Bee did a post with some fresh designs, I knew it was just a matter of time. 

chevron iphone case

I ordered it last week, and decided to go with orange after a discussion with my sister about an orange and purple palette for my new living room, inspired by this lamp. It might not work for the living room, but it sure as heck works for the iphone case.

I did a simple pattern of chevrons inspired by a certain popular designer, with the intention of some day doing a more complicated pattern. However, cross stitch is kind of a bitch! It's been years since I last tried it, and I totally forgot that it takes for. It's a good thing I love the finished product! 

closeup iphone case

Friday, February 17, 2012


Holla Knits Sneak Peek!

Surprise - I've been busy working on my first published sweater pattern! It's one of six designs for the brand-new Holla Knits, and I'm pretty excited. Each Holla Knits design is super wearable and fashion-forward, but designed with the intermediate/advanced knitter in mind. Think lots of fun details and techniques!

Click over to the Holla Knits blog to see a few more sneak peek pictures and read about the other designs. 

Friday, February 10, 2012


Santa Monica pier

Hey friends. So sorry for the bloggy silence - I've been a bit busy moving across the country. I'm in LA now, unpacking like mad, and should have internet up on Monday. And pictures. Lots of pictures!