Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Wrapup

Another month bites the dust. I can't believe it's April already, but I'm so glad it's finally starting to get warmer here. Even though March was a good month (spent on a trip to Florida for baseball, Harry Potter World and sitting by the pool, along with lots of fun nights out in Michigan), I'm so ready for spring to really start. Here's a peek at March:

Favorite blog posts from March:

And some goals for April:
  • take more pictures
  • create an actual monthly budget and track my spending
  • re-decorate my apartment a bit

Did you have a good March? Any fun plans for April??

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sparkling Shirley Temple

So I'm starting a new blog feature today. It combines my two favorite things: making things and alcohol. Okay, maybe they're not my absolute favorite things ever. Well alcohol is. I mean, what?... Anyway, I'm aiming to share a new drink recipe at least every other Friday, and I'm saying it so maybe I'll actually stick to it. It was one of my goals this year to learn/create some new drink recipes because why not, right? So we're starting off pretty simple today with a sparkling shirley temple.

Add a handful of ice to cup or pitcher (you'd need a bigger handful in this case) along with a maraschino cherry or two (two, who are we kidding?) Pour four parts ginger ale, one part grenadine, and two parts sparkling white wine. You can also add a splash of cherry flavored vodka (this is optional but highly recommended). Then add another maraschino cherry or five for good measure. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

DIY Bird's Nest Bowl

I have a lot of jewelry. But the one thing I have more of than jewelry is jewelry boxes and racks and other storage contraptions. I don’t know – I think it’s just one of those things I’ve received a lot of as gifts. But even though I have a lot of them, I decided to make another just because. So here it is: DIY bird's nest bowl.

What you need:
  • loose straw 
  • spray adhesive 
  • bowl/tupperware for shaping 
  • miniature birds (optional) 

Start by putting the straw into a bowl or tupperware that is about the same size (maybe slightly smaller) so that the straw forms kind of a bowl shape. Outside, spray the adhesive over the top of the straw. You might want to do this a couple of times. Once it’s dry, you should be able to remove the straw from the bowl with it staying pretty much the same shape. Spray the adhesive over the bottom of the straw too.

If you want, add some miniature birds or other decorations around the outside of the bowl. I got these little vintage birds from my grandma’s craft stash and they’re what inspired the whole project to begin with.

Then fill the bowl with little rings, other jewelry, or anything else you can think of! I even got a suggestion on Twitter to make a larger bowl and fill it with Easter eggs.

*This DIY post was originally shared on After Nine to Five

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I Wore: Flower Tights

A weird thing happens whenever I wear these tights. I get so many compliments on them, but only from females. Every time a dude comments on them it's something like: "what's that on your legs?"

So what do you think... yea or nay on the tights?

Outfit details: Modcloth tights and jacket, F21 dress, thrifted top, Payless boots, Charlotte Russe sunglasses
Similar: 1/2/3/4/5/6 *this post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back to Blogging

For a few months now, I've been feeling a little worn-out of this whole blog thing. I've still been posting semi(?)-regularly, but I just haven't felt like I was really into it. I know we all go through this sometimes, so I didn't think much of it. I just waited to feel inspired or whatever again, but it just wasn't happening. So instead of just quitting or letting my lack of initiative get the best of me, I decided to put on my big girl pants and make it happen. Here's how I got back into blogging.

this is normally how I blog - on my couch in a blanket and hoodie, normally without that scowl though...

Visit old favorites - I took some time to visit some of my favorite blogs and just go through like 5 pages at a time, looking at each posts and coming up with some new ideas. This isn't about copying actual post topics or anything, but just noticing how each post goes together, how many are part of series and how many are just original ideas. Some posts even trigger ideas for completely different topics.

Write everything down - I started setting aside time to write down a post for each day. Sometimes I actually followed through with these, and sometimes I didn't. But I found that I was more likely to post if I got to cross it off my to-do list. And I kept my planner with me at all times to write down new ideas for DIY projects or whatever I could post about.

Take a million photos - This one probably helped the most. I tried taking my camera with me pretty much everywhere I could. And even just around my apartment, I took photos of everything. Things that I would have normally thought were really boring ended up spurring ideas for new posts.

Follow others - Other people are cool, and often times they come up with better ideas than you (by you I really mean me). So by following other people on Twitter or Bloglovin or whatever, you can find some really cool posts or ideas to link to. I always love reading link roundup posts because I find new blogs and interesting articles. I now keep a running list of these links in my browser for a rainy day.

Have a life - You'll never have anything to blog about if you don't ever do anything. And even if you don't blog about your own life, getting out and taking a break from sitting around wondering what to blog about can still be a huge help.

So now I'm back "into" blogging and I actually like it again. Phew. Do you have any other tips for how to really get out of a blogging rut?

P.S. I know everyone knows that Google Reader is about to shut down. If you feel like keeping up your subscription to this blog you might consider Bloglovin... I've also heard good things about Feedly - any other options out there??

Monday, March 25, 2013

DIY Washi Tape Heels

So I admit I might have a little bit of an unhealthy addiction to washi tape. I know I've used this particular kind of tape for a nearly unacceptable amount of projects on this blog, so we're just going to pretend like that's not the case. So here's one more project with it - a way to easily spruce up your heels.

What you need:
  • heels
  • washi tape
  • glossy mod podge and a paintbrush

For this project, you'll want to pick out a sort of abstract pattern for your washi tape. Polka dots are fine, but you'll want to stay away from patterns like stripes because they won't all go together. Start by wrapping the tape around the heel of your shoe. Then tape around the top of the heel area as shown, working your way to the middle and tearing the tape as necessary to make it all fit together.


Once the whole heel area is filled in, you can go over the whole area with mod podge to make sure it stays in place. If you want your tape-heels to just be temporary then you can skip this step. But my washi tape needed some assistance staying in place anyway and I didn't want to lose a bunch of tape from my shoes as I walked around.

So that's it! Now you have a pair of shoes that still go with everything, but have a little more pizazz underneath.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I Wore: Spring?

Happy first day of spring! It's like a frozen tundra outside here. It was a little (a lot) difficult to come back to this after being in Florida for a week and wearing sandals and shorts. So I just assumed that it would be alright for me to wear flats and non-fleece-lined tights when I got back. Nope. Wake me up when it's springtime for real.

Outfit details: Modcloth dress, Kohl's tights, Payless shoes
Similar: 1/2/3
*this post contains affiliate links

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March Wishlist

I'm looking out my window at snow right now and just trying to will it to stop. Growing up in Michigan, I know that Mother Nature will never listen to me and I know that in all likelihood the weather will keep going back and forth between decent and frostbite material, but I have to try anyway. So here's my attempt at pretending spring is right around the corner with a collection of things I'd like to buy but probably won't because I'm a cheapskate.

*this post contains affiliate links

Monday, March 18, 2013

DIY Cardboard Shadow Box

I’m one of those weird people who saves EVERYTHING. I seriously have a stack of cardboard boxes in my kitchen that goes up to the ceiling. I always keep them because I think I’ll make something with them but then I never do… until now! I decided to take one of the boxes I got with Christmas gifts this year to make a personalized shadow box. Here’s how:

What you need:
  • cardboard box (ideally one of those ones that you get clothes in at department stores) 
  • a large photo or poster slightly smaller than the box (mine is 11×14) 
  • acrylic paint and a paintbrush 
  • washi tape 

Start by painting around the sides of the box, covering both the sides and the back around the area your photo won’t cover. Let the paint dry and then tape or glue your photo in place. Use washi tape to cover the sides of the box that face front, since these look a little awkward and unfinished with just paint.

Fill the box with other items or mementos and place the shadowbox on a shelf or add a wire to the back so that you can hang it up on a wall.

This DIY post originally appeared on After Nine to Five

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cool Stuff

I'm currently on vacation (pretending it's spring break even though I'm not a student) in Florida for the week. So life's full of sun, baseball, and puppies for me. But I thought I'd share some links just in case you're not having quite as great a time as I am.

  • Giant s'mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies, get in my mouth.
  • I've been wanting to get into fashion sketching for awhile so this guide for beginners should prove to be pretty useful.
  • Hey Girl Detroit. I meant to post this several weeks ago - If you're from Detroit and a fan of Ryan Gosling (so... if you're from Detroit and are a human female), you'll love it.
  • This might have hit a little close to home lately: Sometimes you just want to get drunk...
  • Remember Karen Walker from Will and Grace? Yeah, she's basically my hero. So obviously I love this post about how to be like her
  • Someone actually made a wreath out of old NSYNC posters and I think that's awesome.
  • There's a Kickstarter project to help a local artists' market stay open through the week. The Rust Belt is a really neat place, and if you live near Detroit or if you just like supporting independent creators, it would be awesome if you donated (I did!)
  • And finally... Happy Pi Day! This is one of my favorite holidays. We're only eating round foods today, so lots of cookies and pies and entire pizzas (you can see why I love it now...) Here you can brush up on the digits of pi. Currently I have just 11 memorized, so I need to step up my game.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

DIY Lace Painted Candle Holders

I always love keeping candles around my apartment, but sometimes the generic glass jars and tea light holders just don’t do it for me. So I decided to make some upgrades.

What you need:
  • plain tea light holder 
  • lace 
  • tape 
  • spray paint 

Start by taping the lace in place around the bottom of the candle holder, making sure it’s as tight and secure as possible. Then – outside or in a well-ventilated area – spray paint around the whole candle, making sure the paint canister is level with the candle holders so that the lace pattern shows up underneath.

Give them a little while to dry, remove the lace (you can do another coat if necessary or if you want to rotate the lace so that you can cover the part that was taped – I just decided to hide that part against the wall though ;) ) But anyway, it's just kind of a neat abstract pattern that's less boring than a plain tea light holder. And you can even save the spray-painted lace to make some cool jewelry or something. Enjoy!

*This DIY post originally appeared on After Nine to Five

Monday, March 4, 2013

26 Before 26

Well, I'm a little late with this post since it was my birthday weekend and I was out having fun (and then paying for it yesterday). But it was a really great birthday and now it's over so I'm sad. I also don't want to talk about how scary it was putting "26" in the title of this post. Pretty sure I'm still like 19, right? Oh well, here are a list of things I would like to do before I reach that scary number. 
  1. Go on an adventure - skydiving, hot air balloon ride, mountain climbing - just something exciting that I've never done before and will scare me a little (a lot) and make for a cool story later. 
  2. Try a bunch of new cocktail recipes - because why not?
  3. Take some kind of class to learn a new skill - cooking, swing dancing, underwater basket weaving??
  4. Travel to Europe - I have been talking about doing this, and I'm not sure If I necessarily can this year but I am really going to try, and if not I at least need to get my passport and go SOMEWHERE.
  5. Take a semi-spontaneous road trip - This will require me to have less than a month to plan every detail.
  6. Create a video scrapbook - or just, like, take a bunch of videos of my friends being hilarious and put some music behind it so I we can watch it when we're feeling like garbage.
  7. Read regularly - I made a numerical goal for this one last year, but let's be real, counting isn't my thing. So I should just try to read every night instead of sitting on the internet and letting my brain rot.
  8. Post some recipes on the blog - because I currently have no incentive to make anything in my kitchen and I'm a pretty useless cook.
  9. Pay off my credit card debt - I don't need to explain this, right?
  10. Host more parties - Also, why not?
  11. Learn more about wine/have a wine tasting - Time to graduate from the boxes (or not??) (I'm just kidding I don't drink boxed wine (or do I?))
  12. Move out of my hometown - Because the world is a big place and I am lazy.
  13. Volunteer - My life is pretty good, so I should use that to help people who have lives that aren't that great.
  14. Get another tattoo - Or a few. Whatever.
  15. Shop less - My closets are already filled to the brim.
  16. Get better at taking photos - I still don't want to be a ~photographer, but I should learn how to use my camera and take better blog/shop photos.
  17. Take more photos - I've been better at this recently, but a lot of the photos I take are just at my apartment because I'm too lazy to take my camera anywhere and that's kind of boring.
  18. Get back into drawing and painting - Just because.
  19. Visit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula - Pretty sure this has been on my list several times and has still not happened. I'm an embarrassment to Michigan.
  20. Go camping with friends - Same.
  21. Learn how to play a song on an instrument - Any song. Any instrument. I'm trying to make this as easy as possible for myself. 
  22. Open a vintage shop/sell some of my vintage clothing - This is more about getting rid of things than making money because of aforementioned overflowing closets, so I'm not exactly sure if I'll open an official shop or go another route. 
  23. Stop trying to do so much - I put a lot of pressure on myself and worry about a lot of things and I'm sure it does more harm than good.
  24. Go to a movie or out to eat or something by myself - Because this really scares me but sometimes I want to see a movie that no one else wants to see or eat food that no one else wants to eat.
  25. Be more intentional with my money - I'd like to use it more for traveling and necessities rather than just spending it on fast food cravings and beer.
  26. Act my age (sort of) - I know a lot of people have really lofty personal goals for their mid-20's but I think 25 is still pretty young and I don't want to grow up too fast (or at all, let's be honest).

Friday, March 1, 2013

Recap: 25 Before 25

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday, which means I can rent a car I guess, but mostly it just means that I'm going to have a really fun weekend. It also means that I have to check on the progress of the 25 before 25 goals list I posted here last year. Here goes:
  1. Create a short stop-motion film - Yes! Several, in fact. I did so with the help of some nifty iPhone apps so it was really easy and almost feels like cheating but there's no use in making things more difficult than they need to be, right?
  2. Re-open my shop with a whole lot of new vintage and handmade items - I'm counting this one, even though I'm being very loose with the whole "whole lot of new vintage and handmade items" thing. I mostly stuck to the status quo.
  3. Try bikram yoga - Not exactly. I took a bunch of other yoga classes, some in decent heat, and decided that bikram yoga probably isn't my thing.
  4. Bake a really good chicken pot pie - I made on okay one so I'm counting this one.
  5. Watch all of the movies nominated for best picture at the Academy Awards before the show - Nope. I got around to watching 5/9. Fail.
  6. Launch a new lifestyle blog with my friends - Did it. Left it. Still counts.
  7. Attempt NaNoWriMo - Not at all.
  8. Plant a garden - If you count the little potted plants on my windowsills in my kitchen, which I do.
  9. Get my passport - Nope. It's on my list for next year.
  10. Take a trip somewhere with my girlfriends, probably Vegas, but we'll see - Yes! Vegas, and it was pretty fun even though I don't think it's my kind of place.
  11. Volunteer somewhere - I volunteered for some stuff for my local museum, so I guess it counts, but next year I'm going to aim for some different types of volunteer opportunities.
  12. Brush up on my Spanish language skills (which are basically non-existent at the moment) - Not at all.
  13. Read at least 40 books - I didn't actually count, but I doubt this happened.
  14. Do at least 1 crafty/DIY project on this blog every week - I didn't really stick to the one per week thing, but I did a lot of them so I'm counting this one.
  15. Find a cool apartment and move there - Check and check.
  16. Visit a Michigan winery - Nope.
  17. Write and plan an entire murder mystery dinner party - Started this one but didn't finish it.
  18. Bake bread from scratch - Not at all.
  19. Throw a Hunger Games party - We sort of had one at my friend's house before the movie release. Counting it.
  20. Participate in Relay for Life again - Yes.
  21. Sew a dress using a pattern and not taking any shortcuts - Not at all.
  22. Get another tattoo - Nope.
  23. Come up with a really creative Halloween costume - I wouldn't exactly say it was my best costume, but I'm really proud of my Charlie Brown hat so I'm counting it.
  24. Take some kind of class so I can learn a new skill - Aerial yoga? Yes.
  25. Go see a musical or play - I went to see La Cage Aux Folles and Chicago in Detroit this year. Check. 
Even though I didn't accomplish everything on my list it was still a really, really good year. I did some traveling, made some career moves, but mostly I just had fun and enjoyed being 24. If 25 is half as fun then I'm really looking forward to this next year. I'm still putting the finishing touches on my 26 before 26 list, so I'll be posting that tomorrow!
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