Tuesday, May 28, 2013

52 in 52: Week 8

Question 8 of "50 Questions that Will Free Your Mind"

If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?

I would marry sooner, travel more, start a family, worry less, and take dance classes. I strive to  make the most of what I have and therefore strive to live the happiest life I can. Taking advantage of every opportunity is important whether a person's life span is 100, 40, or 20. I think focusing on this thought can lead to a much more fulfilling life.  Why should the way we live our life change if this were the case? You never know if that will be the case.

Week 8 of 52 Weeks: A Blog Post a Day

I hope you enjoyed! :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

{Friday} Office Music Suggestions

For Songza Folk out there, I found a few great playlists for the office- Soft Pop Wake-Up Call and Walking on Sunshine

Here are a few of the gems from those playlists:

Todd Carey: Ain't got Love (Soft Pop)

Gotye: Eyes Wide Open (Soft Pop)

Lionel Richie: All Night Long (Walking on Sunshine)

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Walking on Sunshine)

Enjoy! :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013


There was a time in my life when I surrounded myself with people who brought me down. I focused more on attempting to increase these individuals' self esteem and happiness than I did my own.It took me years to realize how unhealthy and unsuccessful this was. Hours of complaining, negativity, and drama finally led me to contemplate the health and meaning within these relationships. Reality set in-these relationships weren't healthy, and either was I. I then did one of the hardest (but most influential) things I've ever had to do, let go!

Since then I have strived to surround myself with people who inspire me to be a better a person. I surround myself with people who are positive and grateful, the people who encourage me, and people who respect themselves and others. This has allowed me to become a more healthy person, establish and maintain meaningful relationships, and focus on serving others. I could not be more grateful for the harsh lessons learned from unhealthy relationships.

I truly believe one of the easiest ways a person can increase their own happiness is to surround him/herself with the right people-the ones that make you want to be a better person. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY Wall Decor

Want a super cheap, but trendy wall decoration? I made some DIY Wall Decor using Embroidery hoops, fabric, and buttons. I actually stole this idea from a friend (if your reading Britt, thanks!). To make all three of the hoops it costed me $5. I used some of the leftover fabric from the DIY Pillows  and made some matching decorations. Here they are:

Embroidery Hoops
Buttons (Optional)

Note: You could also sew on a fabric or lace flower mentioned in a previous post...DIY Flowers

1. Cut the fabric to fit in the hoops. I cut a square and then cut the excess fabric.
2. Put in the hoops and you are done, too easy.
3. Or add any embelishments you would like. 
4. Then you are done! :)

all for under $25 and in about 3 hours of time

DIY Pillows

The flowers referenced in the previous post were used to finish off my first DIY pillow. I never would have thought that making your own pillows would be so easy, fast, and MUCH cheaper than buying them from somewhere. Each pillow took me about an hour to finish. In total I spent $25 for all the materials, which include: pillow form, fabric, needle, and thread. It is important to note that I still have enough material to make 2 more pillows! I also purchased craft thread with the intention of making tassles for the pillows, but the flowers won out. Stay tuned for pillows with tassles. I'll try to make this as easy to follow as possible.
How to make DIY Pillows:

1. Cut both pieces of fabric to desired size. The pillow form I bought was 12x16. I chose to cut an extra 1/2 inch on both sides of the fabric for extra room with stitching. This worked great! I would suggest adding adding another 1/2-1 inch on for non-stretchy fabric. One of the pillows I did had both sides of jersey knit (very stretchy) and one had more of canvas fabric with jersey knit on the backside. It was more of a struggle to fit the pillow form in with the second (canvas) pillow. 

2. Add any additonal embelishment to the fabric. This is when I added my flower.

3.Place the fabrics on top of each other inside out-the side you actually want to see needs to be facing down. For example, my flower was facing the other fabric (down) while stitching. This is because you will flip the fabric out after stitching to avoid seeing the actual thread. 

4. Straight stitch three sides of the pillow. There is a picture in the above collage of an example, otherwise feel free to  reference this video for instructions: 

5. Flip the fabric out and insert the pillow form (or stuffing).
6. Blind stitch the 4th side without wanting to throw the pillow in the garbage and scream profanities :) 
Blind Stitch Tutorial:

7. Ta Da! You have your own homemade pillow!

DIY Flowers

It doesn't get better than listening to Darius while sipping on some wine and CRAFTING! With very little knowledge of various fabrics and sewing I got to work on a few gifts. Flowers can be added to so many things: gift boxes, hair pieces, wall decorations, and...pillows. Here are a few examples of DIY flowers I have added to some DIY pillows. They are easy, fast, and cheap-perfect for me!

Buttons (optional)
Fabric of your choice (I used lace and jersey knit fabric) - both of which were found in the remnents section at JoAnn Fabrics
Needle and Thread
Hot Glue

Steps to making this DIY {Knit} Fabric Flower:
1. Cut out petal shapes in various sizes (the ones for these flowers ranged from 1-3 inches in length)
2. Dab some hot glue at the bottom edge of the petal and squeeze the two sides together. Do this for half of the petals, leave the other half flat.
3. Organize the petals in a way that you would like. I used 3 flat petals for the bottom, then placed 3 more petals on top of those in the opening spots, and so on until you are out of petals. The smaller/squeezed petals should be on the top. 
4. Hand stitch buttons on in the center of the flower. 

Optional: The knit fabric I used was very flimsy. I used a more firm piece of fabric to glue the flower onto before attaching the flower to the actual pillow fabric (pictured above). I then hand stitched the entire piece onto the pillow. 

Steps to making a DIY {Lace} Flower:
1. Cut out a strip of lace -the more flexible the better!
2. Hold the bottom of the strip and start to acordian fold ONLY the bottom of the strip. Use your thumb to help grasp the lace. Use dabs of hot glue to keep the fabric from coming loose.
 This step is hard to explain, here is an image to help:

3. Hand stitch a button as the center
4. Hand stitch or glue the flower onto the object, for example, pillow

Optional: If one strip of lace does not work, you can use two and simply glue them together at the end.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fabric Tie Banner

Just spent about 30 minutes TOTAl making a fabric tie banner. The total cost about $5....remnents bins and clearance fabric is the way to go. This decoration is super easy, fun, fast, and cheap! :)

The materials simply include cord/rope, fabric of your choice, and scissors. I chose neutral toned fabric and added some lace in at the end. I thought this could be a nice wedding decoration to hang across one of the banquet tables...we will see.

Here is the EASY step-by-step:
1. Cut the fabric into strip (remember you will be tieing the fabric so factor that in when trying to measure)
2. Simply tie the fabric to the cord/rope (I tied all of one color at various points on the cord and then switched to the next color)
3. Hang and enjoy! 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Homemade Baby Onesies

I have to admit I was a little skeptical about making baby onesies using puffy paint, but after finding some inspiration online they actually turned out pretty cute. Friends of mine are starting to have babies, and these are the perfect gifts for people on a budget. Plus, they are homemade, which in my mind can be more meaningful. Here were the ones I came up with (I can't take credit for the ideas though):

Other onesie ideas include:
-Sweet Pea
-Cute as a Button (add buttons to the onesie)
-Bow tie
-Chevron (another lady making these with me made one and it was SUPER cute)
-Sweetie Pie

It is so easy too. Have an idea? Stencil, free hand, or trace a design onto a onesie. Use puffy paint and a paintbrush to complete. We actually made these during a baby shower. It was a great idea and they all turned out super cute.

52 in 52: Week 7

Question 7 of "Questions that Will Free your Mind"

Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Yes :)

Week 7 of 52 Weeks: Watch 3 Documentaries

1. Grizzly Man

2. Man on Wire


4.Into the Abyss

If I were to rate these, it would go as follow:
Into the Abyss
Man on Wire
Grizzly Man

Monday, May 13, 2013

Gardening Tips for a First Time Gardener

1. Don't expect $0.84 gardening tools to get you very far, very fast.
2. Seeds apparently need to soak in water 8-10 weeks before planting. Good thing you have the option to purchase plants-this is not the most cost-effective.
3. If you buy plants, sometimes there are numerous plants in one container. We thought we bought 3 tomato plants; we actually bought 9.
4. You will have to pull weeds before planting. Therefore...
5. Splurge on a knee board. A $1 knee board is not much better than the ground. And...
6. Bring something with you to dispose of the weeds. Thankfully, we only used half of our garden plot, so guess where the weeds went?!
7. Turn off the water before trying to take the garden hose nozzle off (I thought this was common sense until I was soaked in water, because the person I was gardening with didn't use his common sense)
8. It's not a bad idea to figure out how long it will be until you can harvest your plants...2-3 weeks is not realistic. 
9.Buy All-Purpose Fertilizer (a tip from the lady at the market) and something about a high middle number.
10. Hope for something to grow and that you can get it before animals do! :)

Happy Gardening!
 (or attempting to)

52 in 52: Week 6

Question 6 of "Questions that Will Free your Mind"

If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
If I had the ability to travel the world, be a food critic, stay-at-home parent (when the time comes), college advisor, professional crafter, blogger, and photographer-that is the kind of work that would make me most rich/happy! :) 

I am very grateful and happy to be pursuing the field of work that I am. I think working with college students is one of the most rewarding jobs a person can have. While in college I learned who my true friends were, how important family is (and how often, unfortunately, I took them for granted), the importance of human differences, how to survive on my own (kind of), what career I wanted to pursue, and most importantly met the love of my life. It is an important age even for those that don't attend college. I am very grateful to the people who motivated, supported, and encouraged me throughout my college years, and I only hope that I can be that person for current and future students. 

Now, with all that said, what kind of work would make me most happy? One in which I have the opportunity to make a difference, use my talents, be challenged, and am proud of. 

Week 6 of 52 Weeks: Send 5 cards/letters in one week
Alright, so I may have cheated this one a little or it just happened to fall on an easy week full of birthdays, graduations, and Mother's Day. 2 of the 5 were to people unaffiliated to any of the previously mentioned celebrations. One of the cards was WAY overdue, I had been meaning to send this card for a long time.I'm glad this challenge pushed me to actually send it. Still haven't heard anything from the recipient, but hopefully it brightened her day. If not my message, then at least this cute card courtesy of Painted Stuf!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

52 in 52: Week 5

Question 5 of "Questions that Will Free your Mind"

What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?

That is a big question I'm not sure I'm ready to answer.  I can't say right now what I would most like to change about the world, but I can think of one thing that is pretty high up there. If I could change something about the world, I would change the "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" mindset that people can have. I think it is important for a person to establish their identity on core beliefs, but not accepting that other beliefs exist and are valid is ignorant.  You do not have to agree with these beliefs, but a person still needs to be respectful of them. If we didn't have different opinions, think about how boring and monotonous life would be. Do you truly want everyone to believe the way you do?

Week 5 of 52: My Day in Six Words
Reflecting on experiences can be beneficial.

It's time to plan a wedding!! :)

A sick day full of Law&Order (one word...I had to cheat)

It feels good to be productive.

Watching documentaries is something I enjoy. (I watched "Undefeated" this week, it was good. I cried...obviously.)

Oh, I enjoy watching Tony Stark. (Iron Man 3...amazing!)

Breakfast, movies, and homework in bed.--great way to close off a weekend.