MAKE IT FOR LESS: Tassel necklace

Instead of the usual Weekend DIY (which I realize I’ve been avoiding for over 6 months), I wanted to start sharing some of my DIY projects that have been inspired by things that I’ve been seeing online during my insomnia “window shopping” hours. Tassels are making huge strides in the accessories department lately and Baublebar has a great collection of tassel pieces. I came across one particular necklace which I thought was cute, but wanted it in a different colour palette. Since it only came in a single colour, a DIY was clearly in order!

the demure muse blog // How to make your own tassel necklace inspired by Baublebar

The original piece on the left is this necklace. For $44, I really could not justify the price tag for a piece I wasn’t 100% in love with, so I set out on a mission to make an ombre version of my own in a colour palette that would match more of my wardrobe and personal aesthetic. Surprise– it’s black, white, and grey!

tassel-charms

Luckily for me, I had a bunch of these tassel charms kicking around from a previous project. They have been sitting around in my art supply box for about 4 months now and I’m super glad that they’ve finally been put to good use. I found them at a shop in the Garment District in Toronto back in December of 2014, but there are a lot of great colour options on Etsy for around the same price. The tassels will be the most expensive supplies for this project, ranging from $1.20 – $1.50 for a pair, after a quick search on Etsy and finding this listing. A lot cheaper than you’d expect, right?

Other supplies you’ll need:
– Eight (8) 5mm jump rings in a silver finish
– 32″ of 3mm silver finished chain
– jewelry making pliers

All of the supplies above are usually sold in bigger quantities, so you’re looking at ~$5 in overall additional materials from the tassels themselves.

Instructions for assembly:
1. Measure out 32″ of the chain (or desired length) and cut with the jewelry pliers.

2. Find the center of the piece you just cut from step #1 and attach your first tassel with a jump ring.

3. Count out 7-9 links (depending on how far apart you’d like the tassels to be), and attach the next tassel. Continue to do this while alternating from the left and right of the center tassel in step #2 to until all 7 tassels have been attached.

4. With the last jump ring, attach the two ends of the chain to complete the necklace. No clasp is required for this piece, as the 32″ opera length should make for an easy on/off.

TA-DA! Super simple, right? And you can take the extra $30 you just saved to treat yourself to some Chipotle this weekend haha! ;)

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Valentine’s Day nails 2 ways

After playing around with some nail polish colour combos, I finally picked one that I felt wasn’t too in your face for Valentine’s Day and could easily be worn any other time of year. Here are two simple looks for this weekend’s celebrations (or this week, if you’re like me and having a hard time containing all the pink and red in your life haha).

valentinesday_glittergradient
valentinesdaynails2015

Both of these looks are based off the same main glitter tip gradient for majority of the nails. Start with a solid base (I used three coats of the nude polish) before starting the glitter gradient. Apply a thin layer of glitter polish starting from the tip of the finger to the middle of the nail. From there, generously dab glitter on the tip of the nail. Let fully dry before finishing off with top coat.

For the first look, I did four coats of the glitter on the accent nail, letting each coat dry before applying the next.

For the second look, I used gold nail tape instead of glitter polish to do a more subtle accent nail.

valentinesday_butterlondon

The colours used in these looks were:
Butter London: Rosie Lee
Zoya: Rue

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Summer Sangria recipe with CK Mondavi

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe

I’m super excited today to share a fun, tasty variation on a traditional summer sangria recipe for the upcoming July 4th weekend in collaboration with CK Mondavi! Sangria is my favourite summer drink, especially when hanging out with my girlfriends on sunny weekends! CK Mondavi wine is sold nationwide in every US state and remains a family-owned business that has thrived for four generations to produce fine wines.

What you’ll need:
– 1 bottle of CK Mondavi Blonde Five
– 1 grapefruit, sliced
– 1 naval orange, sliced
– 1 apple, cubed
– half a litre of lemon/lime soda

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe

First step is to slice and dice all your fruits! The size of the pieces is completely up to you. I usually try to make them less than 1″ so that they’re easy to snack on without splashing beverage on yourself. As you can see below, the pieces don’t have to be perfectly uniform. At the end of the day, the fruit are there to add light hints of sweetness to the (already delicious) wine. I specifically picked this Blonde Five bottle because of its luscious baked apple, honey, and lemon flavour to compliment the selected citrus fruits.

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe

Pour the entire bottle of wine into a seal-able container and add the fruits. Let the fruits soak in the wine overnight in the fridge. The longer the fruits soak in the wine, the stronger and sweeter the drink will become. Be sure to try a slice of the grapefruit and orange before adding to the wine– a sour citrus fruit can ruin the sweetness of a sangria pretty quickly! (I learned this the hard way last summer…)

Last step: Add the lemon/lime soda to the chilled wine and fruits immediately before serving.

CK Mondavi: summer sangria recipe
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Can you tell why this is one of my favourite drinks ever? It’s so simple to make and really yummy! Hope you guys enjoy a glass (or two) in the next couple weeks!

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Weekend DIY: Blue crab summer salad

In an attempt to reduce the number of times I’ve been dining out, I’ve been trying to replicate some of my favourite dishes from restaurants I’ve been to in the past few months. The original version of this salad was ordered at the Walrus and the Carpenter and adapted to be a light, summer dinner.

saladDIY

What you’ll need:
– mixed greens (I went with a premade spring & spinach mix)
– precooked blue crab (you can get an 8oz container for $5.99 at Whole Foods, good for 2 servings)
– crumbled feta cheese
– 1 tbsp of olive oil per serving
– 3 slices of grapefruit per serving
– salt & pepper to taste
– optional: 3 slices of blood oranges (to complement the grapefruit), and pistachios for topping

1. Portion out a serving of salad; wash and dry leaves
2. Toss the salad in olive oil, a handful of feta, and add salt and pepper to taste
3. Portion out ~4oz of crab meet and mix with the salad
4. Top the salad with slices of grapefruit (remove the skin!), blood oranges, and pistachios

The mild flavour of the olive oil and cheese dressing pairs perfectly with the sweet citrus and light crab meat. This is definitely one of my go-to dinners on busy nights because of how easy it is to make!

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Weekend DIY: Donut lady

Whew, it’s been a long time since the last Weekend DIY, hasn’t it? My friends have been throwing potluck dinners for the last couple weekends and, as a baker, I signed up for dessert duty. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at donuts, but being naturally clumsy, I’m terrified of frying them and burning my apartment down!


I found this delicious and easy recipe from Joy the Baker for half a dozen donuts. I ended up doubling the recipe to make a full dozen. Took about 30 minutes from start to finish to complete the donuts, which was awesome!

The only modification made was adding an extra teaspoon of milk to the icing. The donuts pictured above were made with the original recipe for the icing, but I found it to be a bit too thick, so thinned it out a bit.

Long story short: if you’re like me and clumsy but have always wanted to try making donuts, I highly recommend Joy’s recipe! It was super simple to follow and the donuts are DELISH!!

Happy weekend, friends! xo

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