Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sunshine Roundup: things to brighten a gloomy day

You'd think that living in Florida would mean plenty of sunshine, but the past couple of days have been really overcast and dreary. The blue-grayish tone that casts everything in shadow really puts a damper on my mood, so I thought I'd make a "Sunshine" roundup to lighten things up around here :)

1. "Magic" Yellow Hammock: Yes please! How whimsy and playful. Imagine how lovely it would be to have one of these on the porch on a breezy day (or to lighten up an overcast one)! Most hammocks I come across are over 100$, but this hand-woven, natural cotton one is a steal for only $61 by Hamanica on Etsy. Plus, there's "magic" in the title. I think that's reason enough.

2. Mood Magic Lipstick: This fun lipstick goes on clear and quickly changes to a pleasing coral color. It contains moisturizing aloe vera, and for only $8 at NastyGal, who wouldn't want to carry this in their purse? 

3. DIY Infused Olive Oils: Just Putzing gives a complete how-to for lemon, rosemary, chili, or garlic infused olive oils on her adorable cooking blog. Not only would they look beautiful in the kitchen, but any of these would make an easy gift! 

4. Kimchi Yellow Lace Mesh Backpack: This yellow backpack adds some sunshine to any day (yes, even if that day is spent at school)! It's pretty affordable at $49 here at Urban Outfitters. It also comes in pink and white.

5. You Are My Sunshine Throw Pillow: You don't always need bright colors to add warmth to a room, and this pillow will go with your everchanging living room decor. For just $20 at Society6, I'd buy one for me AND a friend. 

6. Yellow Chevron Washi Tape: You can never have enough washi tape, and yes, that is a fact. The possibilities with washi tape are endless, including: scrapbooking, shelf bordering, cards, cupcake flags, frames... anything you can touch, you can washi tape! These peaceful yellow designs at The Washi Shop on Etsy are sold for $2.50 a roll.

7. Cry-ceratops Tee in Yellow: Well this is just perfectly dorky and cute. On days when I wake up an hour after my alarm was set for (pretty much every day), my go-to wardrobe item is a comfy print tee. I practically collect these things. How could you NOT be happy while wearing this shirt? You can find it here at Mod Cloth for $27.99.

8. No One Belongs Here More Than You. Stories by Miranda July: I love quirky, silly, and sometimes peculiar stories, and this is just that. On a day when you just need a good, short story that tickles your brain, pick up this book here at Amazon for $10.72. After reading it time and time again, I lent it to a friend, who apparently lent it to a friend, who lent it to a friend. I think that should speak for itself :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Midterms Week

I haven't had time for any crafting as this is Midterms week, so here's a picture that I took this morning instead because my little lace thing makes me feel like a gypsy (and not one of those bedazzled angry women you see on television...) :3

Will be crafting again soon! xo,

Sunday, February 17, 2013

DIY: $11 Map Side-Table

As a broke college kid living in a small apartment, finding furniture that's affordable AND cute is not easy. I take that back, it's impossible. I needed a little side table to distract from the weird end of the PIECE of couch I have (yes, the whole thrifted couch wouldn't fit, but that's another story...) so I put together a $10 Target Room Essentials find and this awesome map I found at a thrift shop in my town for $1! The outcome: A side-table for only $11 that's cute and affordable! I'm still giddy.

You will need: 

- A cheap side-table (I found mine at Target on Clearance, but I'm  sure you could easily thrift one. If all else fails, Ikea sells them here for as little as 8$!)

- A map (I thrifted mine for $1, but if you don't have any old ones lying around or you can't find a thrifted one, you can use
this free printable.)

- Modge Podge (found at craft supply stores in different glosses. I like how matte looks, but a high gloss might look cool too!)

- A paint brush or sponge to use with Modge Podge

- A pen or pencil

- A pair of scissors

What to do: With the map facing upwards, put the top of the table down onto the map and trace around it using a pen or pencil. Remove the table and then cut the map where the pen or pencil is. Then, liberally apply the Modge Podge to the top of the table. Quickly, so that the Modge Podge doesn't dry, place the map upside onto the table top and smooth it out with your fingers. If you really want to make sure that you don't end up with any air bubbles, you can use a credit card or another hard, flat object to smooth out the map, starting from the middle and going outwards. Once you've smoothed it out, apply more Modge Podge to cover the top of the map. And that's it! No, seriously! Wait until it's dry and voila! Affordable, chic side table.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Wasting Your Time, xo

See this face? This is my study face. Well, my should-be-studying face. I have two big papers, one that counts as my mid-term, Math homework, French homework, and British Literature homework all due within the next two days. Likely, I won't step foot outside my door in these two days because of this nonsense. / end rant


Friday, February 15, 2013

An Uplifting Video

Gratitude HD - Moving Art™ :

I try my best to stay away from being cheesy and hokey, but this is just beautiful. I have it on a CD in my car and whenever it turns up from under the heaps of green-tea bottles and wonder of junk, I play it, and it makes me cry every time. I love that the story is told by two people, young and old, and it sparks this wonder and curiosity in my heart that I can't help but share. I wish that you'd watch this and maybe pass it along to a friend, a sibling, a parent, a stranger... it's too lovely not to :)

Obvious disclaimer: I don't own this video nor do I have any association with it other than appreciation. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Six Cute, Last-Minute V-Day DIY's and Printables

1. Hand-Made Hair Ties: Why didn't I think of that? This super easy V-Day DIY includes only one material (my kind of craft!) and would be really cute as a gift to a friend. And there is SO many possibilities. Think: stamping, dying, embellishing, etc. Visit The Superettes here for the in-depth how-to.

2. Vegan Heart Cookies: Finding a good vegan cookie recipe is nearly impossible so I can't wait to try this recipe myself. Not only are they vegan, but they're delicious to the eyes with a beautiful red hue from all-natural beets. These would be great packaged up and given out to neighbors, or friends, or parents, or boyfriends, or... okay, well they're perfect for anyone! Find the recipe here at Apron Strings.

3. V-Day Strawberry Plant Kit: Sometimes just the thought of Valentine's Day sends pains straight to my teeth. With so many sweets as gifts for V-Day, this cute little strawberry kit is a breathe of fresh, all naturally sweetened air. The author says that she bought the kits already packaged at Target, but I'm sure it would be pretty easy to find the pieces seperately too. Coordinately Your's blog gives more information. 

4. DIY Barrettes: I'm tempted to make these for myself in plentiful variety. They're just so darn cute, and easy to make too! And with a FREE adorable printable, "I hapPIN to think you're a great valentine", I mean really, does it get any better? A more in-depth how-to can be found on BasicGrey here.

5. Printable Cute Saying Cards: Sometimes, even around Valentine's Day, I'm just too busy (or too lazy...) to make any elaborate gifts. These are the perfect solution. They're meant to be cards, but you could put one in a pretty frame and give it as a gift. Either way, they're adorable, and FREE! Print out the cute madness here at Lara's Vintage.

6. Breakfast in Bed Printable Kit: I would be delighted to wake up to this (maybe with some of those vegan cookies mentioned above?). A breakfast in bed is always a great last-minute idea, but this printable kit brings it to a whole other level of cuteness. Create a cute menu, placemat, door hanger, mini-flags, and tea bag label, all for free, at Design is  Yay here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Beware of Borax!

My fellow lovely DIYers, we have a problem. In my home, I try my best to use natural, safe cleaning products and I love to make homemade ones not only to save money, but because I know exactly what's in the products and I trust the safety of the ingredients. However, floating around Pinterest and many blogs are DIYs, mostly to make your own laundry detergent, that include Borax. For a while, Borax was touted as a safe, eco-friendly ingredient, but now there's findings that Borax is not only a harmful irritant to the skin and lungs, but it's linked to reproductive damage. The Environmental Working Group even rated Borax an F. Luckily, there's plenty of Borax-free DIYs, like this one from! If you'd like more information on the safety of borax, you can visit this article from an EWG  senior scientist.  

If you're questioning any of your other homemade ingredients, you can visit the EWG website for Healthy Cleaning here
They also have great safety information for beauty and skin products here.

Be creative, be thrifty, and be safe, xo

Friday, February 8, 2013

ChanTea Review

I am green tea and aloe pulp o-b-s-e-s-s-e-d, so when I was meandering Whole Foods today (my other natural habitat) and saw this, Chantea: Infused Green Tea & Aloe Bits Passion Fruit, I squealed with joy. I didn't even wait till I got home to open up one of these babies, and it didn't dissapoint. Think, tropical island sunset with delightfully yummy bits of aloe (which, if you've never had aloe bits, taste like little bits of sweet, squishy fruit).Chantea's website here says that it "...satisfies your taste buds and fuels your health..." but with cane sugar as the second ingredients, I'm not really sure that the second part of that statement is true. Regardless, it tastes great, and better yet, I could recognize all of the ingredients except for "Natural Passion Fruit Flavor", but if that bothers you then you can scoop up the plain version that leaves that out. Whole Foods had them for BOGO so I may have gone a bit overboard, but when green tea and aloe pulp are combined, I can't really see how that's possible ;)

What's your favorite tea or tea hybrid product?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How To: 8-Bit Perler Bow

I was wandering Joanne's craft store (my natural habitat) and stumbled upon a cheap set of perler beads and perler boards! Nostalgia swooned me and I had no choice but to buy the set. I rationalized it by telling myself that, if anything, I could use them for kandi bracelets. The bow piece I made came out quirky and cute, and it was just too easy.

You will need:  -Perler beads in at least 2 different colors
                          - A perler bead "peg board"
                          - A plain hair clip (I upcycled mine by taking it from an old hair bow)
                          - Ironing paper
                          - An iron
                          - Glue that will bond from metal to plastic. I used Gorilla Glue. 
                          - Patience!

What to do: You can use this pattern at KandiPatterns. To make the bow is very much common sense- just follow the pattern and place the perler beads where they correspond. I chose not to use the white highlights, but it's up to you if you'd like to use them. When finished, be very careful not to knock it over your beautiful creation! I can't tell you how many times I've worked on a piece, only to have it lay scattered on the floor. Then, carefully, place the ironing paper over your finished perler piece and iron it on medium in small circles for 10 seconds. Wait until it cools and then do the other side. While it's still warm, but not too hot to the touch, you might want to bend it a bit to fit the natural shape of your head better. Once both sides are cool, dab the glue onto the top of the clip and bond it to the plastic bow. When I used Gorilla Glue, I had to keep it in place with a strong clip for a few hours. I'm sure hot glue or other glues would work just fine too. And, voila! Cute 3-bit hair bow.

There's plenty of other perler patterns and things to create from perler beads, so experiment! I even made a cute little strawberry but I haven't decided what to do with him yet. Any ideas? 

I'd love to see your creations and ideas. Happy crafting ^_^