DIY of the month: jewelry organizer

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Kaboompics via Public Domain

I have always loved the feeling of making something with my own two hands. Do-it-yourself projects are the perfect way to get a little dirty, express your creativity, and make something totally original – all within a reasonable budget. About a couple months ago, I decided that my current wire jewelry organizer just wasn’t working for me (functionally or ascetically). I searched retail websites and planned to make a purchase, but nothing available at the time really struck me as “the jewelry organizer for me.” Silly as that may sound, I do like a good purchase that inspires – especially when it comes to organizational and home decor pieces. (Am I right?!)

Having no luck shopping around, I started perusing Pinterest for DIY jewelry organizer ideas. I found zillions of unique options, ideas, how-to’s and more. Starting to feel more inspired, I decided to embark on my first “serious” DIY project. Yes, I have painted, used tools, and done similar crafty projects before. But, I wanted this piece to be especially great as it would display a lot of my jewelry in an organized and ascetically pleasing fashion if done well. (Thankfully, it all worked out as planned.)

After a bit of planning, I got right down to it. I headed to my local Goodwill and found the perfect wood piece to begin my DIY project. The former mail/keys/calendar organizer I purchased was complete with cork board and hooks for a tiny price tag of about $3 USD. Score! Next, I purchased a grey-ish wood stain, paintbrushes, fabric and glue from Michael’s craft store. After I arrived home with all my parts and pieces, I put a lot of thought and planning into what would work where, what to do first, and how to complete the piece.

After a few days of work – two evenings spent painting, another spent gluing in fabric and foam, and the final evening spent, well, finalizing the piece – my DIY jewelry organizer was complete! I am proud of my creation, partly because I created it, but also because it’s functional and works beautifully for what I needed in a jewelry organizer. This was a fun project to work on, and the end result was absolutely worth the small amount of time and money put into this piece.


My completed DIY jewelry organizer.
My completed DIY jewelry organizer.

I definitely recommend taking on a DIY project if you never have before, as this was an enjoyable, stress-free experience. The most rewarding aspect is that I now have a beautiful, functional jewelry organizer that is totally unique and was relatively inexpensive, too.

Let me know what you think or if you’ve completed a similar DIY project in the comments below!

It’s time to get crafty y’all.


Stay golden

Stokpic via Public Domain
Stokpic via Public Domain

Every summer I page through magazines and never fail to find several articles covering sun-safety topics, which often include a listing of top sunscreens and self-tanners. Although a perennial topic, sun-safety and skincare are increasingly important. There are a variety of SPF and self-tanning products available on the market. Still, beginning at a young age, there are many Americans who frequent tanning salons – learn more in this detailed New York Times article. Skin cancer is now the most common type of cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

This season, after reading numerous articles that include statistics and additional facts and figures, I’ve begun to wonder: when will the weekly-tanning-bed-appointment, sunscreen-skipping madness end? There’s no sign of this gold-digging beauty trend coming to a decline, yet there are many safer ways to get that summer glow and show our skin some love this summer.

Hit rewind

Thanks to our beauty science friends, there are more products on the market now than ever before aimed at anti-aging and even age-reversing/damage-repairing – all for our skin. Health magazine’s June 2015 issue included an article containing information about DNA-repair enzymes. The article explained that these skincare products have the potential to strengthen DNA and help reverse the negative effects of UV exposure.

Wait, anti- and reverse-aging power? Yes, you can have it all; health and beauty are one-in-the-same in these innovative products. Health’s article recommends Neova Damage Control Everyday Broad-Spectrum SPF 44. I did a little looking and found some additional options: Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum and Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream. Calypso Blue Organics has a full line of products that offers a variety of natural choices, if that’s more your style.

Invest in that new Keurig

Getting that early morning or afternoon coffee fix can also help out your body’s largest organ. According to a study by Journal of the National Cancer Institute, individuals who drink four cups of coffee a day or more may be 20 percent less likely to develop malignant melanoma. Feel free to pour yourself another cup this morning, sunshine!

Do a little reading

Let’s learn. Some say knowledge is power, and it can never hurt to read up. is a good source for additional sun-safety advice and tools including self-check kits and screening information. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and Neutrogena have partnered to provide these resources and info – definitely worth checking out, even if you prefer a classic sunscreen, like Coppertone. (I’m forever a Neutrogena fan!)

Go shopping

Sometimes a little beauty-shopping spree can be all you need. Faithful to Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, I can say that there are products available to give your natural skin tone a subtle glowy, golden boost. Jergens’ newest product: Tan Extender Daily Moisturizer is perhaps one of the brand’s best yet. If you want a glow that lasts all week, it’s definitely worth the tiny price tag of about $10 USD. Another product I really like (and even occasionally mix a dab in with my usual) is L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion. L’Oreal’s self-tanner is perfect for that shimmery, golden, straight-from-the-beach look.

Cover up

Grab some shade – via nature, a sunhat or a lovely sundress. Let’s face it; applying sunscreen everywhere can seem almost impossible each time you step out. So go out in a style that looks good and is good for your skin, too. Check out for some chic styles that will shield your arms and legs, while keeping you cool in hot temps. Chambray shirts and maxi skirts are also great options to stay safe and in style under the sun.

Knowingly harming our bodies, especially our skin, in the name of beauty is just plain stupid. This summer, choose to be beautiful just as you are. And if you need a little beauty boost (who doesn’t now and then?) please, opt for a safe solution instead.

After all, you’re golden.


Work it

Picography via
Picography via Public Domain

Is it worth it? Let me work it. I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it.

Yes. The answer to that lyric is yes, working out is totally worth it. Okay, maybe that’s not at all what Missy Elliot meant, but you get the idea: Our bodies were made to move! And move on the regular, too.

Maintaining an exercise routine is something I’ve done well and done not-so-well at times. When your day-to-day schedule creates a bit of a time-crunch for squeezing in an hour on the treadmill, skipping a day at the gym can quickly turn into missing an entire week.

Yet there are so many benefits of physical activity, it really is hard to justify missing out. Once I get into a good routine it becomes sort of addicting, which is why it’s important to find that sweet spot in the day. Whatever time of the day works best, stick to it. Even 20 minutes or a half-hour of scheduled movement is better than a day-off on the couch.

There are plenty of motives to get up, get out and work it:

It’s science-y.

According to a March 2015 article in Vogue titled, “Perks of Recreation,” exercise can actually reverse the aging of our skin. In a study at McMaster University in Ontario, women age 40 and older who exercised at least three hours a week showed signs of reverse-aging in their skin. Firmer skin was the result of an increase in blood flow, which delivers more nutrients to the skin during physical activity. According to Mark Tarnopolsky, M.D., Ph.D., who directed this study, cell-rejuvenating proteins are released as we exercise, also contributing to this age-reversing phenomenon. (Say no more, right?!)

It’s stylish.

Working out is whaaat… Yes. With brands like Fabletics, Athleta, SwoobFit, and more – why not work it while you werk it? These brands offer styles that work with a busy schedule. No more running errands in those grey gym sweats. Say hello to fashionable, affordable and functional workout gear. And, if you’re into wearables like Fitbit, Apple Watch, or Garmin’s Vivofit, be on the lookout for designer collaborations. One of my current favorites is this Jonathan Adler & Garmin collab. Check out this collection at

It just feels good.

A good runner’s high, fitting into those denim shorts, increased energy, and less stress – the rewards of maintaining a workout routine feel great. For me, nothing feels better than the wind in my face as I speed down new blacktop on my Trek Lexa SL road bike, or a brisk walk around my neighborhood and practicing yoga outdoors. Setting aside some time for yourself each day – call it an hour of selfishness, perhaps? – allows you to unwind and de-stress. Trust me, it feels good to focus on your own health and wellness each day.

Gromovataya via
Gromovataya via Public Domain

Getting motivated and staying motivated are two different things – we’re only humans, here. But whatever your fitness goals or motivation may be, do your best for you. We’ve only got one body…

Let’s werk.



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Kicking off

It’s baaack! Three, two, one, go! Fashion Speech has officially relaunched today, and I’m feeling nothing but summer vibes and sunshine. Woo! Okay, it’s actually 9 p.m. and dark outside as I write this, but still… Neither darkness nor clouds will kill my positive vibes today, as the brand new Fashion Speech site makes its debut. I’m literally kicking off with a fashion feature on summer kicks. So let the puns begin, and let’s get to it!

Unsplash via Pixbay
Unsplash via Public Domain

What fashionista doesn’t love footwear? For me, I love a shoe that is both fashionable and functional. Add to it a sweet price tag, and a pair of kicks doesn’t get much better than that. So with these criteria in mind, allow me to present to you my Picks for Kicks: Summer 2015…

1. For the weekends: Boat shoes.

Whether you’re taking an evening stroll, enjoying a leisurely bike ride or just sitting around a campfire, boat shoes are the perfect choice to complement various non-boating summer activities. Sperry has become a household name for these shoes, but there are dozens of other top brands offering comparable styles.

My Tommy Hilfiger boat shoes scored last season: about $40 USD © Katherine Knight
My Tommy Hilfiger boat shoes scored last season: about $40

2. For the office: Loafers.

If you’re working for eight or more hours each day, you should work comfortably and look good doing it. I’ve yet to find a more comfortable style appropriate for walking and working in. And if you’re looking to kick your loafer game up a notch (see what I did there) try out a new texture like velvet, metallic or leather. Check out for some sweet options.

This pair of classic black suede loafers by H&M was at a great price: about $15 USD © Katherine Knight
This pair of classic black suede loafers by H&M was at a great price: about $15

3. For an evening out: Printed flats.

A night of dinner, drinks and dancing requires a pop of color with that LBD. Bonus: If you’re feeling a bit sassy, you can even wear these at the office. There’s nothing better than fashion that serves double-duty.

I love these animal print flats from Express: about $40 USD © Katherine Knight
I love these animal print flats from Express: about $30

4. For the gym: Tennis shoes.

Think your cardio routine needs a little boost or you’re stuck in a workout rut? Well, a new pair of kicks can really give you the kick! you need. Try out a new color or maybe switch up brands if you seem to own every pair of Nikes. (Hey, it’s OK.) I have a personal obsession with Asics, but recently bought a pair of Saucony running shoes.

Definitely loving the bright colors of these tennis shoes by Saucony: about $50 USD © Katherine Knight
Definitely loving the bright colors of these tennis shoes by Saucony: about $80

5. For the afternoon picnic or Sunday cookout: Wedge espadrilles.

Perfect for an afternoon in the sun, wedge espadrilles were simply made for summer dates and parties. Pair them with a sundress or skinny jeans for a classic summer look.

I found these white Montego Bay Club wedges for a steal earlier this spring at Payless: about $20 USD © Katherine Knight
I found these white Montego Bay Club wedges for a steal earlier this spring at Payless: about $20

If you’re still on the hunt for some new styles and trends to try out this summer, be sure to check out and for great designer shoe buys. Take a peek at my Pinterest board the WISHLIST and see what I’ve pinned from these sites.

I’m excited to be back, and I truly hope you enjoyed this Fashion Speech kickoff! Leave a comment below, and let me know what your feet are styling this summer.


Fashion Speech relaunches!

UPDATE: The official relaunch date for Fashion Speech has been scheduled for Friday, June 5!

FSlogoHere’s what you can look forward to each month on Fashion Speech…

Each and every month posts will cover fashion, health, beauty, DIY and lifestyle topics. New posts will be published each Friday, bright and early, at 7:30 a.m. (Feel free to read in your PJs, while sipping morning coffee, or on the commute to work or school!) Be sure to look for additional monthly features including interviews, brand profiles, and all sorts of Fashion Speech fun.

… and if weekly posts aren’t enough, follow on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for daily posts, pictures, and stylish content galore.

Would you or your brand like to be featured? Then let’s get in touch. Fashion Speech is all about showcasing trendsetters.

I’m looking forward to this relaunch, and I hope you are, too. See you in June fashionistas!


Now trending… Spring shades!

Spring is officially here!

It’s time to show off one of my favorite fashion accessories: sunnies, shades, lunettes de soleil – whatever you prefer to call your sunglasses. Every fashionista owns a pair or two …or 10. And although sunnies may, technically, be worn year-round, spring is the perfect season for debuting a new – maybe 11th – pair.

Selfie shades: My favorite pair of Guess sunglasses. © Katherine Knight
Selfie shades: My favorite pair of Guess sunglasses. © Katherine Knight

Continue reading

Feel fab, look fab in Fabletics

Here in the Midwest, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel: spring is juuust about here! Cue the warmer weather, abundant sunshine and fresh air. I am so looking forward to getting back on my road bike and practicing yoga outside.

If you’re like me, winter months tend to consist of monotonous exercise routines spent mostly indoors at the gym. With temps outside rising, I’m more motivated to not only revamp my workout routines, but also my workout apparel. Continue reading

#NYFW2015 in review

In the unfortunate event that you somehow managed to miss every bit of New York Fashion Week coverage within the past ten days or so, The New York Times has quite a comprehensive review awaiting you here: Continue reading