How to pretend your flats fit

This post comes to you inspired by the wonderful Kelly of Alterations Needed. Kelly had a great post last week, “Faking Fit,” in which she gave advice on how to take items that don’t fit exactly right and make them look like they fit great. They’re genius tips, and simple, too — rolling up long sleeves, pushing up blazer sleeves to balance wide shoulders, putting cardigans over ill-fitting shirts, etc.

I managed to snag a pair of Missoni for Target flats back in September, but after only a few days of wear, the soles broke down and I had to get them resoled. To add insult to injury, the shoes stretched out somewhere in the resoling process, so I have trouble keeping them on my feet, especially when wearing them with tights. I’ve been dealing with it, taking tiny steps and walking slowly so I don’t randomly lose my shoes. But yesterday, inspired by Kelly’s post, I thought, “There has to be a way I can make this better.”

On Sunday, a friend told me that she about stuffs her pointy-toed heels with cotton balls to make them fit better. I wondered if I could pull off the same thing with my flats. I put four cotton balls in the toe of each shoe, and, sure enough, it worked! The cotton pushed my foot back just far enough to make the fit more snug.

Top, without cotton balls; Bottom, with cotton balls. See the difference right at the back?

It wasn’t a totally flawless fix. As the day wore on, my feet slid around a little more because the cotton packed together and took up less space; I’ll probably try five or six cotton balls next time. Also, because the flats are low-cut to begin with and the cotton pushes my foot back, I ended up showing a lot more “toe cleavage,” if you will, than I think is attractive.

"I need to ask you to cover some of that toe cleavage. That's just obscene."

Still, given the choice between “You can see too much of my toes!” and “You can see my entire foot because my shoe just fell off in the middle of the street!”, I will definitely take the former. All in all, this is a great trick! Definitely give it a try next time you’re struggling to keep your flats on. Cheers.

How to wear Oxfords? (And a happy ‘first!’)

I’m a shameless complimenter. If I like something a stranger is wearing, I always make a point of saying so. In a restaurant? Sure. Elevator? Why not? Walking across campus? Always. Even if I’m on the phone? Yup.

I’ve been doing it for years, but I’ve never been complimented by a stranger before. Last week, it finally happened! I was walking across our campus quad, and a girl broke off her phone conversation to tell me she liked my outfit. It completely made my day — it was nice to be on the other end of something I always do.

So, the outfit. I bought a pair of Oxfords a few weeks ago, partially because I needed flat-yet-formal shoes to run around in while reporting but mostly just because I wanted a pair. Unfortunately, I did what I always do: I bought a “trendy” item, then got home and realized I had no idea how to wear it. I turned to the internet for help and came up with the outfit below.

Most of the “How to wear Oxfords” articles I read said to wear them with “feminine clothing,” to balance the menswear feel of the shoes. Doesn’t get any more feminine than a dress, right? I added a floral necklace, too, and tights for warmth. I really liked the end result — it was super comfortable, and I didn’t think it strayed too far from my usual look. I test-drove the outfit while I was home on winter break, hence the “in-my-backyard” photo, and wore it on campus for the first time last week. I’ll definitely wear this again.

Last night, I broke out the Oxfords again for a party. I was really tired of wearing jeans and boots everywhere, but it was too cold and raining for a skirt and bare legs, so I went a little crazy and tried to put together a shorts-and-tights outfit for the first time.

I had to send a picture to my sister before I actually wore this out in public (“Is this an outfit?”),  but she approved, and I was decently happy with it as well. I’d go with a fitted t-shirt in the future — this one was essential to the party’s theme — but the concept works. It was great to wear, too — I felt like I was dressed up enough to be at a party, but it was super comfortable, too.

Do you wear Oxfords? I put these outfits together, but I still mostly have no idea what to do. Let me know how you wear yours! Cheers.

Inception Cookies (BRMMMM)

So, you guys know I make these cookies that I call “Inception cookies.” It’s a cookie within a cookie — Oreos inside chocolate chip. I got the idea from the amazing Jenny at Picky Palate. A friend shared her Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies post on Tumblr, and we decided right away that I had to try them. I’m already extremely proud of my chocolate chip cookies, so I wanted to take them up a level with this recipe.

I made a post about this a week ago, but I took it down soon after posting — I got nervous because my chocolate chip cookie recipe is basically the one off the back of the chocolate chip bag, with a few tweaks, and I didn’t want to be stealing their recipe or anything. I was going to let it go, but I guess several people out there saw the post, because I’ve been seeing “Inception cookies” pop up on my “searched terms” list every day. I have to satisfy you guys somehow!

So, rather than a “Here’s the recipe” post, I’m just going with, “Here’s how I make  cookies.”

Grab a bag of Nestlé Chocolate Chip Cookies, and follow the recipe on the back. Two adjustments:

  1. Use a little extra baking soda. Not a ton extra — just don’t completely level off the measuring spoon.
  2. Skip real butter in favor of Imperial butter substitute. I use it because I’m a cheap college kid and our campus market sells it for a dollar, but it honestly makes better cookies. I used the exact same recipe with real butter over Christmas break, and they came out flat and crispy instead of fluffy.

My basic chocolate chip cookies. So tasty.

When I first made the Inception cookies, I used Jenny’s recipe for the chocolate chip part. However, they didn’t come out great for me. I think there was too much flour to work with my cheap butter substitute, and they came out fairly dry. The dough itself was sticky, and I had trouble working it around the Oreos. So, the second time I tried it with my usual recipe, and it worked a lot better.

  1. Prepare the basic recipe.
  2. Place a spoonful of dough on your cookie tray, then put an Oreo on top, pressing it down a little so the dough comes around the side.
  3. Heap another spoonful on top of the Oreo. Don’t worry about completely covering the Oreo — the dough will spread.
  4. Leave a ton of room between cookies — you’ll need it.
  5. Bake at 375 for at least 8 minutes, or until they look mostly brown. Tasty.

Inception cookies! (BRMMMM.) See how huge they are? 3 per standard-size dinner plate.

Hopefully, this post will 1) give you guys the info you’re looking for and 2) not get me into trouble. If anyone has any problems with this, please let me know and I will take it down, no problem. Thanks! And happy baking!

How-To: A different way to tie a scarf

First of all, remember how less than a month ago I was afraid of scarves and avoided them, and the first time I wore one was a HUGE DEAL? Look at me. Now I’m wearing scarfs on my lazy days and writing tutorial posts. Cheers.

Anyway, a few of you have commented on the funky way I tie scarves. I’ll tell you right away that I didn’t come up with it on my own — my roommate showed me, and an old lady at a mall kiosk showed her. But it’s pretty cool looking, and deceptively easy. Ready to learn?


This is what the final tie looks like. Step-by-step instructions after the cut. More