http://www.myfrenchtwist.com a year of making beautiful things Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:08:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 https://i0.wp.com/www.myfrenchtwist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-my-french-twist.jpg?fit=32%2C32 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com 32 32 85434731 how to fold a rosebud napkin http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/fold-rosebud-napkin/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/fold-rosebud-napkin/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:08:32 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6760 This little napkin folding trick is not new at all, but I’m so in love with it. Although, I’m not sure what I love most about it – how beautiful it is, or how many times my husband will say (15 minutes into the meal) “Oh, is this the napkin?” It is a simple way ... [Read more...]

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rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

This little napkin folding trick is not new at all, but I’m so in love with it. Although, I’m not sure what I love most about it – how beautiful it is, or how many times my husband will say (15 minutes into the meal) “Oh, is this the napkin?”

It is a simple way to add a dose of charm to your next dinner party.

step 1

Fold napkin in half in a triangular shape as shown.

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

step 2

Starting at the bottom, roll the napkin up, but not all the way. Stop about 3 inches from the top point

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

step 3

Flip the napkin over.

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

step 4

Tightly roll the bottom of the napkin into a “wheel” shape. 

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

step 5

When finished rolling, tuck the loose end into the “wheel.”

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

step 6

Keeping the “wheel” or rosebud tight, spread out the 2 loose pieces.

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

step 7

Flip the napkin over and gently fluff “leaves” into shape.

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

This design is also quite lovely using a simple white napkin. See below how I used it for my Moroccan rooftop dinner.

broadway tablescape - myfrenchtwist.com

This is such a simple technique but can be used in so many variations. Here are few more ideas for inspiration.

rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com rosebud napkin - myfrenchtwist.com

Now get busy folding!

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green beauty – sunscreen round up http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/green-beauty-sunscreen-round/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/green-beauty-sunscreen-round/#respond Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:48:06 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6813 It’s that time of year – vacations at the beach, sitting by the ocean, soaking up the sun. Thankfully, it’s no longer trendy to tan as dark as Malibu Barbie (what was Mattel thinking?) But admit it, we all like a sun-kissed glow and legs that aren’t florescent. So we need to be smart. The ... [Read more...]

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green beauty sunscreens myfrenchtwist.com

It’s that time of year – vacations at the beach, sitting by the ocean, soaking up the sun. Thankfully, it’s no longer trendy to tan as dark as Malibu Barbie (what was Mattel thinking?) But admit it, we all like a sun-kissed glow and legs that aren’t florescent. So we need to be smart.

The Environmental Working Group has a great guide to sunscreens, and they explain which hazardous ingredients need to be avoided also. But just to make your life a little easier, I’ve rounded up a few EWG approved sunscreen choices to make your vacation preparation easier. 

facial moisturizers with SPF

green beauty sunscreen - myfrenchtwist.com

  1. Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Color + Correct line has several choices for dry and sensitive skin, all priced around $16: Sheer Nude SPF 30, Sheer Tan SPF 30, and Daily Shade Facial Lotion SPF 18. Their Oil Control Beauty Balm SPF 30 works well for oily or combination skin.
  2. Clinique Smart Custom Repair Moisturizer SPF 15 comes in 3 different variations (very dry, dry/combination, and oily.) $54
  3. Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer SPF 30 is a good choice for oily skin, $20

beach & sport sunscreens

green beauty sunscreen - myfrenchtwist.com

  1. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch line has one for face and one for body, both SPF 50, $10 each.
  2. Kiss My Face Organics Face and Body Suncreen SPF 30, $14
  3. Alba Botanica Facial Mineral Sunscreen SPF 20, $10

And while you’re packing your beach chair, cooler and sunscreen, don’t forget your favorite hat. 

green beauty sunscreens myfrenchtwist.com

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience; you can read my very boring disclosure policy here.

If you liked this post, learn more about this Green Beauty series here.

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upcycled bar cart http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/upcycled-bar-cart/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/upcycled-bar-cart/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:05:50 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6745 More than 3 years ago, I jumped on the Minimalist bandwagon. I traded in my 7,000 square foot home for a 1700 square foot urban condo, so it goes without saying that I got rid of a lot of “things.” Except for one thing. This rickety, rolling push cart. You see dirt and rust. I ... [Read more...]

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upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

More than 3 years ago, I jumped on the Minimalist bandwagon. I traded in my 7,000 square foot home for a 1700 square foot urban condo, so it goes without saying that I got rid of a lot of “things.” Except for one thing. This rickety, rolling push cart.

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

You see dirt and rust. I see memories.

This little cart is way more than a discarded piece of factory equipment. It is a piece of my past. In 2007, I opened the doors of It’s a Wrap Ideas, a small design and embroidery factory. What began with one clever idea and a sewing machine in my basement quickly found its identity as a US made wholesale company, designing free-spirited tea towels for boutiques across the country. Some of my designs even landed in the product lines of Ballard Designs and Pottery Barn

I’d be lying if I said my ego didn’t love the glamour of it all, but my heart belonged to the little cement-floored factory, filled with fabric bolts and embroidery machines and a staff that breathed life into my artistic ideas. Oh, and we also had an “order picking” cart, rolling down the aisles of inventory every day. Despite all the high-priced equipment we had, this little gray cart became one of our most essential pieces.

Just like people, many objects have unused potential. I just knew there was more in store for my cart (now retired from factory work) than housing potting soil and garden spades. 

step 1

I hosed it off, scrubbed it clean, and sanded off several spots of rust.

http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/who-the-heck-i-am/

step 2

Because I plan to use this cart on my balcony, I drilled several tiny drainage holes in both the top and bottom shelves to prevent rain from pooling. A regular drill bit did the trick; no masonry bit needed.

step 3

Time for fresh paint. I came across this Stainless Steel Finish spray paint that I thought would look great on the inside of the upper shelf. It took several coats, and once it dried thoroughly, I needed to gently brush away the grainy top layer. Then a smooth stainless steel shine began to emerge.

http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/who-the-heck-i-am/

http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/who-the-heck-i-am/

step 4

After securely covering and taping off the freshly painted inner top shelf, I sprayed the entire cart with a light layer of white primer.

Once dry, it was time for the final color. Fire Orange satin finish. A dose of patience was needed, because it took several coats.

http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/who-the-heck-i-am/

step 5

For an added touch of fun, I ordered this chrome wine glass holder. All I needed was 4 bolts and nuts and my drill to mount it under the top shelf.

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

step 6

Plan your party. 

That’s right. Just roll the cart right out onto your patio, porch or deck. Stock it with some chilled drinks and glasses. It can even serve as a perfect barbecue cart. Invite some friends over. And enjoy.

 

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

upcycled bar cart - myfrenchtwist.com

If you’re dying for a sweet little cart like this but don’t feel like thrift store trolling, you can buy a new industrial cart for your project here.

This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. You can read my very boring disclosure statement here.

Check out some more sweet entertaining ideas!

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read – transatlantic http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/read-transatlantic/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/read-transatlantic/#respond Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:02:02 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6662 Books like Transatlantic by Colum McCann really skew my whole book rating system. This is why.  It is a beautifully written book, painting memorable portraits of its diverse characters. Lily, an Irish maid who courageously seeks a new life in America…Frederick Douglass, a black slave and abolitionist whose influence reaches across the ocean…Emily Ehrlich, a ... [Read more...]

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transatlantic book review - myfrenchtwist.com

Books like Transatlantic by Colum McCann really skew my whole book rating system. This is why. 

It is a beautifully written book, painting memorable portraits of its diverse characters. Lily, an Irish maid who courageously seeks a new life in America…Frederick Douglass, a black slave and abolitionist whose influence reaches across the ocean…Emily Ehrlich, a female reporter carving out her career in a male-dominated field. And there are more characters, each strong and driven yet at the same time vulnerable and quiet. In awe of all this ever-enlarging world has to offer.

Colum McCann writes not only beautifully but cleverly, as his story unfolds throughout several decades, linking together at the end with a few splendid threads. It takes the reader from the confines of slavery in the South to the desperate poverty of Ireland and to more modern day political churnings and international negotiations – all events shaping not only the lives of us as a nation but the lives of us individually. 

No doubt McCann is a gifted writer. And no doubt Transatlantic is a poignantly written story. But here’s the deal. While the literary enthusiast in me appreciated the book, the busy, list-making, homemaker and artist in me didn’t. I found it a bit difficult to get “hooked.” The first chapter never quite grabbed my interest. Determined to finish it, the reading then became somewhat of a chore rather than a pleasure. Although the literary talent of McCann spoke to my intellect, it never quite spoke to my heart. 

So here’s the deal. If you love historical fiction, put it on your list. If you’re more of an emotional reader, skip it. For this reason, I’m guiltily giving it 3.75 stars.  

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green beauty – safe & natural toothpastes http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/green-beauty-safe-natural-toothpastes/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/green-beauty-safe-natural-toothpastes/#comments Mon, 12 Jun 2017 12:02:58 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6797 As you know, I’m on a journey to replace my current personal care and beauty products with safe, more natural choices. I have to admit, though, this is a LONG process. There’s the initial research, then off to search the stores with my EWG app in hand, then more research to verify the safety of ... [Read more...]

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green beauty toothpaste - myfrenchtwist.com

As you know, I’m on a journey to replace my current personal care and beauty products with safe, more natural choices. I have to admit, though, this is a LONG process. There’s the initial research, then off to search the stores with my EWG app in hand, then more research to verify the safety of the ingredients, then the actual testing. After a few weeks of use, I render my verdict. Whew!

So for the sake of this Green Beauty series, I’m shifting gears a bit. While I’m hunting down and testing new products, I’m also going to give you some round ups of products verified by the Environmental Working Group. Hey, then you can take those suggestions and help me out on this journey! And if you happen to try a product you can’t live without, let me hear from you!

Let’s start with toothpaste. I’ve rounded up 3 top toothpastes, all free of harsh and hazardous ingredients. Here’s the scoop.

green beauty toothpaste - myfrenchtwist.com

  • Naturally whitening
  • Free of fluoride, sulfates, artificial colors & sweeteners, and other harmful ingredients
  • EWG verified
  • Made is USA
  • Cruelty free
  • Recycled packaging
  • $7.95 on website

green beauty toothpaste - myfrenchtwist.com

  • Whitening (this company also offers a whitening stick!)
  • Free of fluoride, sulfates, artificial colors & sweeteners, Triclosan, parabens, and other harmful ingredients
  • EWG verified
  • Made in USA
  • Cruelty free
  • Recycled packaging
  • $9 on website
  • Women owned

grreen beauty - toothpaste - myfrenchtwist.com

  • Whitening
  • Free of artificial preservatives, flavors, fragrances, colors, and other harmful ingredients.
  • EWG rating of 1
  • Made in USA (in a dog-friendly workplace!)
  • Cruelty free
  • Recycled packaging
  • $4 average price
  • Found conveniently in many stores such as Walmart, Walgreens, and Target

So there you have it. Three solid choices for a safe and natural toothpaste. There’s no longer any reason your smile can’t be both white and healthy!

If you liked this information, check out these posts:

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macrame hanging herb garden http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/macrame-hanging-herb-garden/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/macrame-hanging-herb-garden/#comments Fri, 09 Jun 2017 12:34:58 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6672 I’ve been wanting to make a large macrame wall hanging for my balcony for some time but just wasn’t sure where to start. Finally, I took a deep breath and began. My first step? Get out my drill.  Yep, that’s what I said. I had to get out my drill and learn how to drill ... [Read more...]

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macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

I’ve been wanting to make a large macrame wall hanging for my balcony for some time but just wasn’t sure where to start. Finally, I took a deep breath and began. My first step? Get out my drill. 

Yep, that’s what I said. I had to get out my drill and learn how to drill holes into brick. Pretty easy, actually. I bought some hooks from Home Depot and asked an employee what type and size drill bit was needed. A few dollars and a one masonry bit later, I was ready to give it a try. (Oh, I did watch a You Tube video beforehand and learned it is best to drill into the grout.) Steps: drill hole, insert anchor, screw in hook.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

I needed a sturdier pole than a wooden dowel, so I opted for a thin metal dowel, 48 inches long. Now to begin the weaving…

For this wall hanging, I used 5/16″ wide nylon rope, as it will withstand weather better than cotton. It took nearly 4 rolls of 100′ nylon rope

step 1 

Cut 32 pieces of rope, each measuring approximately 120 inches. Tie them onto the pole as shown below, using the Lark’s Head Knot.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 2

Group the cords into 4 sections of 16 (individual cords). Using the Half Hitch Knot,  weave a “V” shape into each section.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 3

Repeat a second row of “V” shaped Half Hitch Knots for all 4 sections. 

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

Then tie a Square Knot at the bottom center of each of the 4 Vs.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 4

In the 3 spaces between the Vs, tie another Square Knot (3 in total as shown).

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 5

Beginning with the 16 individual cords on the far right side, about 4 inches down from center V knot, make a row of 3 Square Knots. Let the 2 individual cords on each end hang loose.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 6

Now about 2.5 inches beneath that row, make a second row of 4 Alternating Square Knots.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

 

step 7

About 2.5 inches down from the second row, make a third row of 3 Alternating Square Knots

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 8

To create the “pocket” for a flower pot or mason jar, using the 2 loose cords on each end of the last row, make a fourth Square Knot. Bring the 2 cords from each end around to the front; using those 4 cords, make the Square Knot. This creates a circular shape to this section of the wall hanging. 

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 9

Now you are ready to finish the pocket with a Wrapped Knot. About 3 inches down from the last row of Square Knots, tie a Wrapped Knot. Then cut the rope ends to your desired length.

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

 step 10 

Now you have created a pocket for the your first flower pot, using the 16 cords on the far right of your wall hanging (the 4th section). Repeat steps 5 through 8 for the 16 cords on the far left of your wall hanging (1st section).

step 11

For the second set of 16 cords, follow steps 5 through 8. Now about 2.5 inches down from the third row of Square Knots (which has taken on a circular shape), make another row of Alternating Square Knots

Then, about 2 inches down tie a Wrapped Knot. You now have 3 sections done!

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 12

You should have pockets for 3 flower pots done (sections 1,2 and 4). For the remaining third section of 16 cords, follow steps 5 through 7. Then make a fourth row of 4 Alternating Square Knots. Again, make a fifth row of 3 Alternating Square Knots, and using the 2 loose cords on the ends, make another Square Knot in the front to create a circular feel for the pocket (see step 8).

Not quite done! Now make a sixth and final row of 3 Alternating Square Knots. Then make a Wrapped Knot to finish it off. 

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

step 13

Your wall hanging should now have 4 completed sections with pockets for flower pots or mason jars. You can cut the tassels to any desired length. I like a staggered effect. 

I used small ceramic pots that measured 2.5 inches bottom diameter and 4.5 inches top diameter. Fill them with dirt and your favorite herbs, then place them in the pockets. If you don’t want the maintenance of daily watering, use succulents planted in pretty containers instead. Better yet, even faux succulents would look beautiful (especially if you are displaying the wall hanging indoors.)

macrame herb garden - myfrenchtwist.com

If you love macrame, check out these posts:

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floral ice cubes http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/floral-ice-cubes/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/floral-ice-cubes/#comments Thu, 01 Jun 2017 13:24:22 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6616 When I entertain, I almost always place a vase of fresh flowers on the table. I love bringing a bit of the outdoors in. So why limit flowers to a vase or two? Why not infuse a bit of floral elegance into an unexpected venue? Like, say, my ice cubes? This little trick is so ... [Read more...]

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floral ice cubes - myfrenchtwist.com

When I entertain, I almost always place a vase of fresh flowers on the table. I love bringing a bit of the outdoors in. So why limit flowers to a vase or two? Why not infuse a bit of floral elegance into an unexpected venue? Like, say, my ice cubes?

This little trick is so incredibly easy. Snip a few blossoms from your flower bed, leaving no stem.

floral ice cubes - myfrenchtwist.com

Then grab a cupcake tin.

floral ice cubes - myfrenchtwist.com

Place a flower head, face up, in each cupcake hole. Then fill with water and freeze overnight. It’s as easy as that. And the next time you have friends over for a chilled glass of wine, serve it in style.

floral ice cubes

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best beach hostess gifts ever http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/best-beach-hostess-gifts-ever/ http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/best-beach-hostess-gifts-ever/#comments Wed, 31 May 2017 14:18:53 +0000 http://www.myfrenchtwist.com/?p=6161 Every summer, I sneak away to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks with my sister. Oh, did I forget to mention that she also beings along her grandson, husband, and occasionally his son and daughter-in-law? It’s perfect, actually. We spend the first day convincing her hubby of the importance of grandfather/grandson bonding; then we ... [Read more...]

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beach hostess gifts - myfrenchtwist.com

Every summer, I sneak away to the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks with my sister. Oh, did I forget to mention that she also beings along her grandson, husband, and occasionally his son and daughter-in-law? It’s perfect, actually. We spend the first day convincing her hubby of the importance of grandfather/grandson bonding; then we have the rest of the week pretty much to ourselves. Sunbathing on the beach, lounging by the pool, and the occasional massage or pedicure.

Because it’s such a perfect week with much-needed sister time, I feel a bit obligated to shower the tag-alongs (oh, I mean other guests) with gifts, just to say thanks for inviting me. Truthfully, the members of her extended family that join us are all lots of fun, so I recently spent time researching some of the cutest beach projects that would make perfect thank-you gifts. 

for the girls

 

Beach spikers – I think a personalized beach spiker is simply the ideal girlfriend gift! There are plenty of online shops that sell them, but why not make your own? You can purchase the blank cups in almost any color here and use these instructions from Keeping It Simple to personalize your own.

macrame mason jar planter - myfrenchtwist.com

Macrame & driftwood planter – I love the idea of a darling little macrame planter filled with a mason jar and woven onto a piece of driftwood. You can check out my easy-to-follow tutorial here.

beach towel roundup - myfrenchtwist.com

Beach towel/tote – One year, I made a very cute beach towel chair cover for my sister, and she uses it still. Check out my Coolest Beach Towel/Tote Roundup post for some nifty ideas and patterns.

for the hostess

picnic placemats - myfrenchtwist.com

Picnic placemats – I love, love, love this idea. Such sweet little placemats with a built-in pocket to keep paper plates and utensils from blowing away. What vacation hostess wouldn’t appreciate these ultimate picnic placemats from Fabric Mutt?

for the kids

fish beach bag - myfrenchtwist.com

Fish beach/laundry bag – This sewing tutorial from Sew Can She is adorable. Made from mesh, it makes a great tote for lugging the kids’ beach toys back and forth.

bandana totes - myfrenchtwist.com

Bandanna tote – If you prefer a fast and easy project, these bandanna totes from Martha Stewart make ideal gifts for young kids as well as teenagers.

shell collecting bags - myfrenchtwist.com

Shell-collecting bags – I also fell in love with the idea of these small shell-collecting bags from Come Together Kids

personalized beach pails - myfrenchtwist.com

Personalized beach pails – Although this idea is not new, it is one whose popularity never wanes. What kid wouldn’t love to have his or her own personalized beach bucket? Check out this tutorial from Designs By Miss Mandee

for the men

… just joking. There are no gifts for the guys. Didn’t I tell you at the beginning of this post that the men were instructed to bond with the children (babysit) all week? 

Okay. All kidding aside, any man that I know would appreciate a nice cigar or a cold 6-pack of beer over any clever, little craft you could make him. Keep it real, sister. There’s a vacant beach chair calling our names.

 

INTERESTED IN MORE UNIQUE BEACH IDEAS?

 

 

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