DIY: Cleaning Pennies

When we first decided to create our line of earrings, Maple Leaf Forever, we realized we needed a fast, easy, and inexpensive way to get the dirty street grime off of each penny. We started racking our brains (read: googling) for ideas and, after narrowly dodging a volcanic reaction due to mis-remembered grade 3 science facts, we found our solution (see what we did there?)

What you’ll need:

– White vinegar
– Salt…lots of it
– Baking sheet or large bowl – the more surface area the better

pennies

Spread your pennies on a baking sheet – try to avoid overlap, as the solution needs to cover all parts of the coin.

Pour a generous amount of vinegar over your pennies, ensuring all are entirely immersed in the liquid.

Sprinkle salt over pennies. A lot of salt. If you think you’ve added enough – add more.

Leave your coins to soak, moving them around the tray periodically (so you feel like you’re doing something to help)

Test your pennies by rubbing them with dry paper towel – the grime should come right off. If not, put them back in. More salt!

Repeat until your pennies are satisfactorily shiny

Craft until you are blue in the face

penniesThe Finished Product

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Day to Night For Under $25

I purchased this skirt from Zara and it has been yet another perfect separate piece. The pockets (pockets in anything, really!) are an added bonus that makes any outfit a bit more playful. I love how easily this skirt transitions from a day at work to a night out with friends. My one qualm with the fabric (55% linen) is that, more often than not, I feel like I look like an unmade bed after a long day. When it comes back from the dry cleaner, though – let me tell ya – she’s a beauty!

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2014-07-24 19.53.37Night

2014-07-24 19.54.07Hair

The shirt: I picked up the Crop Top at Top Shop ($18) for a specific event that I was going to earlier this Spring. I didn’t think I was “hip” enough to pull it off, but after some coercing from a friend I caved. I find that pairing the top with a longer, more feminine skirt and more polished hair makes you look less hip and more on trend than with cut offs or jeans.

The hair: The amazing Hair Doughnut came from H&M ($5.95) because my hair, although long, is extremely thin and hard to do anything with. When the sock bun craze started, I tried to do my hair this way with a sock and I looked like a deranged puppet. Seriously. My hair wouldn’t wrap properly, and what would wrap would not cover the sock hiding underneath. I tried it with a dress sock instead of a sport sock; no dice. I tried a nylon instead of a dress sock; not a chance. And then, one day while strategically shopping, I stumbled upon this little gem in the ‘impulse section’ on my way to the cash. I figured that Bobby  couldn’t object to this one, as I had already butchered two pairs of his socks. The best part? They come in Black, brown, and beige to hide under your hair!

One Skirt, Three Ways

I recently read a great blog post on buying with intention and it made me think of shopping for clothing. (Because, honestly what doesn’t?!) When I go shopping things can, admittedly, get out of hand in a hurry. Since we’ve moved in together, Bobby has instituted a very strict (and at times cruel!) “one in – one out” policy for me when I go shopping. If I buy something, it replaces something else in our closet and that item is donated to charity…sometimes also known as my girlfriends’ closets! Naturally, I have become very strategic in my endeavours and try my best to purchase things that are multi-function. I find that buying separates, i.e. a skirt instead of a dress, allows for a lot more versatility. By changing your top or your hair you can easily transform an outfit from day to night  or from work to weekend without much effort or, most importantly, huge cost. This skirt, from Zara, was a great find. At only $49.99 (now on sale for $15.99!), the light navy colour makes it easy to pair with anything and the silver buttons add a perfect amount of detail. How do you like to style your separates?

 

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2014-07-24 19.32.45Weekend

 

2014-07-24 19.30.27Whatever