ArtDIY: Wine Bottle Art

If any of you winos out there are anything like me, you’ve probably got a few, er, *cough* many empty wine bottles clogging up the recycling bin. Well, no more! Dig those puppies out and wash ’em off, because it’s time for a little DIY! (If you’re not 21, just borrow a few empties from your ‘rents.) With just a little TLC, these beautiful bottles can add ambient charm to any room and any occasion.
Here’s What You Do:
Step 1:  Cut your bottle. Using a glass cutter is the most effective and precise way to get a clean cut, and you can get those at any hardware or craft store. However, if you don’t want to spend the dough, you can do it for free like this:

Step 2: Gather tea lights, holiday lights, candles, wicks, flowers, spray paint – whatever you want to accessorize your bottles. Decorate accordingly. The options are endless!
Here are some ideas:
Tiki Torches
Garden Decorations
Candle Holders
Step 3: Show off your handiwork! Let us see any of your DIY with wine bottles on our Facebook or Pinterest!

GeneralGet Your Nom On: Cake in a Mug

I love cake.
Sprinkle cake, vanilla cake, lemon cake, chocolate cake, strawberry cake, butter cake, red velvet cake . . . deep breath . . . banana cake, poppyseed cake, rum cake, cheesecake, crumble cake, almond cake, layer cake, and well, pretty much any cake I can get my hands on.
I love cake so much that waiting the hour it takes to make it is just painful…or so I thought. That’s what I thought until I discovered the 
And it takes no more than five minutes. Yeah, you heard me. Five minutes. All that deliciousness you see up there . . . you can make it and be eating it on the couch in the time it cakes for the commercials to be over. I’m pretty sure this stops just short of magic in my book.
Now, there are about a billion recipes for mug cake floating around the internet, and I’ve tried several at home in attempts to create the perfect one. While many were delicious and all were eaten, this recipe by Laine of It’s Just Laine has found its way into my mug and my mouth forever:
What You Need 

1 box angel food cake mix
1 box cake mix
2 boxes instant pudding mix  

What You Do 

1) Mix cake mixes and pudding together in a bowl until well blended. (Store unused mix in an airtight container…it’s a lot, so you’ll have dessert on standby for a while!)
2) Add 3 tbsp. mix to a cup and 2-3 tbsp. of desired liquid.  Mix well. 
3) Microwave for 1 minute and let cool. 
4) Top with whipped cream, ice cream, fruit, caramel, chocolate syrup . . .use your imagination!

The great thing about this recipe is that you can really play around with ingredients to create whatever kind of cake you like and add any toppings you want. If you’re feeling really domestic, you can even make a different flavor for all your friends or your family!
Tip for the lazy like me:  If your cake cravings are sometimes so intense that ripping open the plastic on the mix seems like an eternity, try this:  mix all the dry ingredients in a large Ziplock and store in your freezer. Whenever you feel the urge, simply pull out your favorite mug, add water, milk, coffee, etc., and cook! Ta-da!
P.S. Here are two more great recipes for cake in a mug:
(Pics courtesy of Babble, iVillage, Kirbie Cravings, and The Hidden Pantry.) 

ArtPeople Pixel Portraits

Oh hai, Audrey…I mean, all the people dressed in red and black to create the coolest-EVER picture of Audrey.
Artist Craig Alan, a 41-year-old New Orleans transplant from California, studied art and theater while in college and has become known throughout the States for his displays of unique visual art. Much of his art has its roots in street portraiture and the human form, evidenced by the incredible “pixelated people” above and blow. Dressed head to toe in either all black or all red, the people are stragetically placed into position so as to create a famous likeness.
Pretty sweet, huh?
Anybody else secretly want to gather up all your friends now and try to make pixel picturess? 
(Pics courtesy of Maxi Tendance. Info courtesy of Vinings Gallery.)

BeautyHair Flair: Colette Malouf Sketch Style Tutorials

If you’re a visual learner, then these incredible hair tutorials by Collette Malouf are about to be your new best friend.
This New York born and bred hair flair fashionista has been making her mark on tresses everywhere since the early eighties, and you just might have seen her work on shows like “Sex and the City” and “Gossip Girl,” as well as on runways of Michael Kors and Michael Lam. Colette is known for introducing easy yet classic styles to the public at large, including staples like the French twist, stick twist, and figure eight.
Two decades later, Colette is still helping the everyday lady stay chic and fashionable with her online hairstyle tutorials. Whether you’re need inspiration for a down ‘do or a fancy updo, simply head over to her website, where you can click on the various styles below for an animated sketch tutorial. (Sorry, the tutorials themselves wouldn’t link to our blog, only the pictures. You’ll just have to visit her site for yourself!)
Inspired yet? Head on over to her styles section to view your tutorial of choice! (I love the Grecian!)
I also love that you can pause the sketches if you need a little extra practice on one step or another; the pictures are engaging and clear so that you can avoid all the frustrations normally accompanied with teaching yourself hair styles. 
Just can’t get enough? Here’s a great “in person” tutorial I found on Colette’s YouTube channel.
Now get stylin’!
(All pics courtesy of


FashionLove It or Leave It: J-Lo in “That Lady Is A Champ” for V Magazine

I have to admit…I don’t know how I feel about this shoot. 

When I first stumbled upon this spread (literally!) for the March 2012 edition of V Magazine, shot by the famed Mario Testino, I immediately thought “yuch!” and clicked off the page. For some reason, however, I kept coming back to it and finally sent it in to our blog manager extraordinaire, Cara, for her opinion. Lo, and behold, she had the same reaction.
So now we wanna know: what do you think?

(Outfit aside, how does J-Lo still look this hot?!)

Final opinion: Love It or Leave It? Tell us in the comments below!
(All pics courtesy of Before You Kill Us All.)