D.I.Y.


You know all those crazy fancy nail tutorials you constantly see all over Pinterest & the blog world? Well, I decided to finally try one instead of simply staring at them in open-mouthed amazement. I used Keiko Lynn's "Moon River Manicure" tutorial & I'm beyond pleased with the results! The secret to the clean lines are those round reinforcement labels that I don't think anybody really ever uses (except for sweet manicures, of course). You can buy them  anywhere office supplies are sold. I'm not going to go through a long tutorial because Keiko Lynn's is already amazing & needs no improvements.

Here are few tips I'm going to keep in mind the next time, though:

  • A base coat & a top coat are essential to getting your nails looking much more polished & finished at the end.
  • Make sure the first coat is completely dry before putting the reinforcement labels on them or else it gets messy.
  • Make sure to peel off the labels before the polish dries-- which means doing them one at time (it really doesn't take very long).

Let me know if you try this tutorial yourself! Seriously, if I can do it & make it look half decent, anyone can!

{EDIT: Looking at this picture of my little ampersand tattoo made me realize how badly it needs touched up. So, please ignore how wonky it looks in this picture. Perhaps this is just the motivation I need to actually grow a pair & get the retouch done! Alright, carry on.}

 

Before I begin, I just want you to know that I am the opposite of crafty. So, when I saw this tutorial for how to make a a workout shirt (with no sewing involved!) on Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth's blog, I didn't think I'd be able to do it! But, I DID it! I wish I would have taken a before picture of the t-shirt. It was just some old t-shirt that I never wore. I didn't want to start with a nice t-shirt in case I messed up royally. But, it turned out so cute! I plan on going to the thrift store to find some cheap t-shirts & do it to several more in the future. It's perfect for working out. All I have to say is that if I can do this, any of you can! Below is the t-shirt from Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth's blog. She has step-by-step directions that make it really easy. If you try it, let me know how it works out!

(Above image & tutorial via Rabbit Food for My Bunny Teeth.)

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 For those of you following me on Google or any other type of reader, I wanted to share my new blog layout. I'm pretty proud of myself because I'm not exactly a pro when it comes to web design, so it took me a lot of time to get it to look the way I wanted it to look. I was going for a fresh, light, & airy feel. I used a lot of freebies from the amazing Pugly Pixel. If you haven't checked that website out, you really must. So many great resources!

So, what do you think of the new layout? Do you like it? Any suggestions on how to improve it?

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I wanted to share this quick & ridiculously easy patterned clipboard wall display I made! I got the inspiration from this photo.

The steps are pretty much nonexistent. All I did was take plain clipboards and cover them with some cute scrapbooking paper I found at Target. I used an exacto knife to cut the paper to match the clipboards. Then, I sprayed an even coating of spray adhesive (careful! it's hard to get off fingers!) onto the clipboards and carefully smoothed out the paper. The key is to already have the paper lined up and clipped down at the top; that was you guarantee a perfect finish!

I couldn't figure out how to get the very top part covered with paper without unscrewing the actual clips at the top. And, I was too impatient. I know it's not perfect, but it's a nice quick fix to the alternative of blank & boring walls. If you try this yourself, please send me pictures of the finished products!

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Here in Cincinnati, we've had two (that's right TWO) Snow Days this week. These are the times when I truly savor being a teacher & still getting to enjoy the finer things that come along with being a kid. There is nothing quite like the giddy feeling of waking up to a blanket of snow & a voicemail telling you to stay snug in bed. Now, since I'm feeling all cozy & watching the snow fall, I figured it was the perfect day to round up some warm & cozy gift ideas for that someone special. Enjoy & stay warm this holiday!

These beautiful beige fingerless gloves ($35) from Homelab are so darling--especially with that wrist strap & button.  I love unnecessary, decorative buttons!

This sweet print ($20) by the lovely Elisabeth over at Poppy and Pinecone makes me want to whip out my over-sized headphones, bundle up, & go explore in the snow!


I've been wanting a pair of Frye boots for a while. I just wish they weren't so dang expensive (the ones pictured above are $318). For those of you that have them, do you feel that they were a smart purchase?

I love this knitted leaf barrette (only $6!) made by Amanda Lee at I Love Life I Love You. What a perfect little gift to use as a stocking stuffer!

If I bought these snuggly red owl sweater lace-up booties ($34) from Urban Outfitters, they would never leave my feet when I got home.


This ruffly scarf ($38) from Anthropologie would be a great way to accessorize my winter attire.

What winter accessories are you lusting over this winter?

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Cincinnati is an amazing city. I've lived in this area my entire life & I've loved every minute of it. Don't get me wrong-- I'm not opposed to trying out a new city. But, Cincinnati really is a great place to call home. Just recently, I moved to the historic Over-the-Rhine (pictured above) & I couldn't be happier! There is never a lack of things to do. There are  great local bars, a thriving art scene, & wonderful events always happening.  I hope to make several blog posts in the future highlighting some of the great things about living in Cincinnati.

But, the main point of this post is to let all my Cincinnati readers (whoever you are) know about the Crafty Supermarket that is happening this Saturday (November 20, 2010) from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. I'm super pumped! There are more than 50 artists and crafters signed up!

I'll be sure to write a follow-up post on the event! But, if you're from Cincinnati, you definitely don't want to miss it!


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Atlas has cabin fever.

My life has been essentially put on hold for the past two days as a result of the "white death" that has visited Cincinnati. I don't mind at all. Personally, I think it's quite nice. I am taking it as a sort of vacation from reality. My cat Atlas (pictured above) & myself have been busy cleaning & organizing the apartment. Alright, mostly I've been doing the cleaning. Atlas has been supervising the situation closely though. Yesterday I did all my laundry & have been attempting to clean out my closet & organize it in some manner. I was kind of stumped because I couldn't figure out how to go about organizing. Should I organize by color? Type? I had no idea! I decided upon organizing by type (sweaters, button-ups, cardigans) & then by color as much as possible. This is what it ended up looking like after I was done:

closet

What I have come to realize about my wardrobe after cleaning/organizing my closet:

  1. I wear A LOT of stripes & cardigans. I need to stop buying these items.
  2. I need more pants/trousers for work. I haven't bought any proper pants for a long, long time.
  3. I need more shoes. I also need to get rid of some of my shoes that I've been holding onto for too long.
  4. I have a lot of different pieces that don't work together. As you can see above, a lot of my closet is comprised of colors, stripes, & patterns. It makes it difficult to figure out what to wear.
  5. I need to start simplifying things & working on building up my professional wardrobe by adding pieces that will work together & be versatile.

Looking for some more closet inspiration? Below are some links to some excellent sources for maintaining & organizing your wardrobe:

  • The 80/20 Rule...Sartorialized from AmandaLee.org: "Pare down. Get rid of anything that doesn’t fit your body, your lifestyle, or the climate where you live. Get rid of duplicates. Get rid of anything you haven’t worn in over a year, no matter how sentimental it might be or how much you want to fit into it again."
  • Build Your Wardrobe: Let's Start at the Very Beginning from What I Wore: The perfect advice on what essential items to buy when you are attempting to begin building your wardrobe. This post is practical & offers a breakdown that newbies like myself can really appreciate.
  • Do it Yourself Closet Organization Video: This video, although seemingly simplistic, really helps break down the steps necessary into organizing a closet. Watch it.
  • How to Organize your Closet from Real Simple: Three easy steps, including creating a "grab & go" section of the clothing that you wear the most often. Smart. Why didn't I think of that?

Hopefully now when I go shopping, I know what to buy & what not to buy. What about yourself? What do you find yourself being drawn to as far as clothing is concerned?

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{via weheartit}

Like so many others around me seem to be expressing, I am more than happy to see 2009 go. Although many wonderful things have happened to me in the past year (graduating from college, finishing my internship, meeting my wonderful boyfriend), it all seemed to come along with a lot of-- for lack of a better way to describe it-- bad stuff. Certainly, I am not naive enough to assume that the coming year won't bring its fair share of bad stuff, but I just love New Years for the fact that we can all start fresh with the idea that anything is possible. It's like the perfect "Ctrl+Alt+Delete" analogy.

So, here are my obligatory 2010 New Year's Resolutions. Some of them are specific. Some are more broad; all I believe are absolutely doable.

  1. {Feel better about myself.} This doesn't necessarily mean one particular thing about myself needs to be changed. I'm not going to say "Lose 10-15 pounds" or "Work out 4 times a week" or "Eat healthier" because my physical appearance is not the only thing I need to work on in order to feel better about who I am as a person. I need to work on making myself feel better about all facets of who I am-- from my personality to my spirituality as well as my physical characteristics. My resolution is to do whatever it takes to make myself feel better about myself -- inside & out.
  2. {Take more photographs.} I have this nice camera that needs to be used. My resolution is to actually use it. Easy enough.
  3. {Read more books.} Another rather self-explanatory one. I love to read, but I haven't been reading for pleasure lately.  I want to change that.
  4. {Take care of the people I love.} Start nurturing relationships of friends & family members. Stop focusing on the relationships that make me feel bad about myself.
  5. {Do what I love.} I resolve to find a way to live a life that I love & sustain myself while doing so. As a recent college graduate with a Bachelor's degree now in tow, I feel such pressure to do something with my degree. I have been constantly stressing myself out about finding a job. My hope for 2010 is that I find a job that allows me to thrive!

I like that I only have five. That feels manageable to me. Now, what about yourself? What goals are you trying to reach in 2010?