Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Craft

As I mentioned in my last post, I am so excited for Spring! It's been wonderful to have 60-70 degree days, sunshine, buds on trees, and seeing the first flowers bloom. Seeing all of the magic of Spring - plus actually having free time during Spring Break - I wanted to do some Spring crafts. I made over some terracotta flower pots and painted a canvas with a Spring quote.

Spring Craft #1: Terracotta Flower Pots

I think these flower pots are perfect for storing paints, pens, and to collect the little things that always end up on my dresser. I've been using these flower pots for awhile as organization containers, but they're mismatched. I found this awesome chevron/tribal print tape at the Dollar Tree and just had to have it. I decided to give the flower pots a makeover with it, and they turned out really cute thanks to this simple project.

Because I was using pots I had already painted in the past, I gave both a fresh coat of white paint to give me a fresh canvas. If the tape you use is transparent or lighter colored, I would paint even new terracotta pots white so it doesn't have an orange-ish tint. 

After the paint dried, I put the tape around the pots. I found it easier to cut off 3 inch strips and then match up the patterns rather than just putting one giant piece of tape around the whole pot. I also tried to match up the top and bottom of the tape to create diamonds and give a more cohesive design to the pots.

They turned out really well and it took probably 20 minutes, minus the time waiting for the paint to dry. A really simple DIY and an easy way to organize! I used mine to hold paints and lotions.

Spring Craft #2: Spring Quote Canvas

I'm really enjoying all of the quote art I see all over. I love words and quotes anyways, so I like making my own quote art. I went on Pinterest and searched for some good Spring-like quotes and fell in love with the saying, "Bloom where you are planted." I'm working on being more content with where I am in life and becoming more confident, which is what I feel this quote is about so it works very well with me.

To start this project, I took a plain canvas and began painting a few flowers and leaves free hand and added some green dots to fill up the white space. Then I kept adding more and more flowers. I put more on one side than the other to give it some extra interest.

While I waited for the paint to dry, I went onto GoogleDrive to type up the quote in the fonts I wanted. I used Lobster for "bloom" and "planted" and Quicksand for the other words. 

I printed off the quote so I could transfer it to the canvas. This is the greatest trick I ever learned: chalk the back of the paper (really well), place your paper with the chalk against the canvas where you want it on your painting, and then trace the outline of the letters with a pen. When you lift the paper up, you'll have the words outlined in chalk.

I used a black paint pen to write the words. Paint pens are amazing if you enjoy doing crafts and they can be as cheap as $2 or $3.

Hopefully this gives you some ideas for Spring craft projects. I hope you enjoy trying your hand at these crafts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Target Shopping Haul

I love seeing pictures of people's shopping hauls on instagram, especially from Target. You can get so many cute things there and for a good price, which is super important when you're a poor college student (who loves spending money). Me and my sister went shopping on Saturday and I thought I would share some of my goodies with you all. I felt like I went a little crazy at Target since it was our first stop, but I still spent under $60.

I picked up the floral shorts I've been dreaming about all month, a mint wallet, and cheetah print sunglasses.

Of course I had to check out what kind of goodies they had in the dollar section. I picked up some pretty stationary supplies there. I made the (wonderful) mistake of following some of the instagrammers in the planner addict community, and now I'm hooked. I love organizing and stationary anyways, and now that I know there are others it's only fueling my problem.

I got a few pieces of Spring scrapbook paper, pretty dividers for my life binder, and a new polka dot accordion folder to match the mini accordion folder I got last time I was at Target. I'm using the mini accordion folder to hold the stickers I use most often for my planner and journaling, and I'm thinking I will probably use this new folder to do the same with some of the bigger sticker sets.

The dividers are so pretty with the floral designs and Spring colors. I love having them in my life binder now because they add color and personality to my binder and make me happy as I flip through it.

I'm loving the Spring colors and florals right now. I'm so excited for nicer weather that I just want to see it everywhere. 

What can you not resist getting at Target? Are you loving all the Spring styles?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Life Lately via Instagram

March has been a bit of a hectic, crazy month. Here's a look at my month via some Instagram photos.

This guy moved in to the apartment and can often be found sleeping on a bed.

Lots of reading for classes. I enjoyed reading some work by a woman I did a project on in 8th grade. She was one opinionated, vibrant woman.

The weather's been nicer so I can enjoy some more sunsets and time outdoors.

I've gone a little sticker crazy. They're just so cute and love adding them to my journal, planner, and scrapbook. Plus, you can never go wrong in Target's dollar spot.

I've been enjoying the quotes from my page-a-day calendar.

I've also been doing enjoying the drive from my home at college to trips home to see the family.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Weekend Refresher

Last week was ROUGH. I felt overhwhelmed, stressed, and depressed. On Friday morning I knew I needed to do something to get me out of this rut, so I planned a "weekend retreat" for myself. I made a desire map by choosing 3 emotions I wanted to feel by the end of the weekend: peaceful, focused, and happy. I made a list of fun things I wanted to do -like scrapbooking, pinterest, and reading - and things I wanted to do so I would be able to focus - like mediatation, journaling, and cleaning.

I was done with classes for the day on Friday afternoon at 4 pm. I sat down with my iPad to meditate - which seems counterproductive, but I have a free app on it called Stop, Breathe, & Think and it is a great tool for people who want to begin a mediation practice. After that, I took some time to journal and wrote about how I felt that day (overwhelmed), how the week had been (hectic), and what I wanted this weekend to be like (a time to refocus).

During this weekend I took time to get in touch with myself by journaling and mediating. I took time to do things I love like crafting, reading, and cooking. I used Pinterest to research more about self-care and how to continue this practice into the week. I used a self-care plan I found on Google to create one that suited me and wrote things I will do during the week to take care of myself.

By Sunday I was feeling so much better. I was feeling much more centered and calm, I was hopeful for the week ahead and felt like I would be able to get through it. It can be really difficult to take time for yourself if you're a perfectionist or workaholic (like me), but it is worth it and completely necessary if you want to stay healthy.

If you're having a tough time, I totally recommend taking a weekend, or even a day, to take time to refocus yourself like this. Take time to meditate and journal, brainstorm how you want to feel and things you enjoy doing, do the things you enjoy - create, read, write, cook, bake - and learn how you can continue to do this throughout the week ahead. It's a great way to refresh yourself emotionally and spiritually.

Have you ever taken a full weekend to work on self-care after having a rough week or two? What do you do for self-care?

Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Corner

After my Valentine's Day extravaganza with lots and lots of decorations, I was honestly expecting myself to go crazy with St. Patrick's Day decorations, too. I'm not really interested in the more traditional, shall we say, ways to celebrate St. Patty's, but I do enjoy any excuse to decorate and have a special day. That being said, there's really not that much out there for St. Patrick's Day in comparison with other holidays. I had planned to do more crafts for it, but time has just gotten away and I've been focused on other projects.

All of that lamenting about the scarcity of cute St. Patrick's Day decorations doesn't mean I don't have a little corner dedicated to the day of Green. I wouldn't dare miss a chance to have some fun with a holiday.

What I did do was really quite simple. I purchased some St. Patrick's Day stickers at the Dollar Tree and made a little picture for my holiday of the month frame. At Target's dollar spot I found this cute gold/bronze bucket that's just the right size for holding pens and markers - or candy - and a four leaf clover necklace for some extra pizzazz.

It's a good start to what's sure to be a growing collection of St. Patrick's Day decorations.

Do you decorate for St. Patrick's Day? What do you put up?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How To Make Cute Spring Gift Boxes (For Under $10)

I love giving gifts to people. It's a great way to show your love and appreciation for them. Plus it's a memory you treasure - just that your friend thought of you enough to get you something is a gift.

I got the idea for these cute spring gift boxes when I was at the Dollar Tree, because I saw these adorable gift boxes in the Easter section. With the bright colors and flowers I had to have them, especially since at that time it was still only 36 for the high.

Then I had a truly brilliant, pinteresty idea - I would not only wish for my friends to have an excellent Spring Break, but for them to have an eggcelent Spring Break. Thus, all of the yummy egg shaped candy I thought they might enjoy.

I packed each little gift box full of egg shaped Reese's, Hershey's, and Cadbury Creme Eggs. It's a dream come true for any chocolate lover who appreciates warmer weather (so everyone).

With 3 bags of chocolate and a set of 8 adorable gift boxes, I was able to make cute and tasty gift boxes for friends for $10. That's $1.25 a person. You can't beat that.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Spring Break Bucket List

I am so excited for Spring Break. I am beyond ready for 9 days of no classes and to finally have time to catch up on my own personal projects - like crocheting a blanket, scrapbooking, and all 20 of the things on this bucket list...

1. Do a new art/craft project.

2. Go to the movies.
3. Eat at your favorite hometown restaurant.
4. Visit family members.
5. Read a book on your personal reading list.
6. Go on a photography walk around your home, at a park, or downtown. Snap photos of all the beautiful things you walk by every day.
7. Go for a hike.
8. Try a new workout.
9. Volunteer. You can volunteer at a nursing home to visit with someone or play with  some animals at the local animal shelter.
10. Do yoga.
11. Go to the park and look for the first signs of Spring.
12. Bake a new recipe.
13. Write a letter or send a card to a friend who lives far away.
14. Look through old photo albums.

15. Redecorate your room by rearranging and with stuff you already have on hand.

16. Go for a bike ride.
17. Be a local tourist and visit museums, parks and interesting places in and around your hometown.
18. Decorate a flower pot and then plant a house plant in it.
19. Have an at-home spa day.
20. Take a day off from laptops, tablets, and cell phones.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tumblr Round Up

I love Tumblr because it's a community where you can post all sorts of ideas, pictures, and more. It's an easy and fun platform to use.

If you're new to Tumblr or looking for new people to follow, these are some of my favorite blogs:
S-Empiternity has lots of good illustrations on her page
Million Reasons to Smile is a great source of positivity and inspiration, especially if you're in recovery for depression, mental illness, an eating disorder, or the likes
Saturday Night Live is great to follow because they post gifs of their best skits on the current episodes and older ones. There's so many funny people on the show and it is sure to make you laugh.
Written Poems beautiful, girly photography. Great visual blog with fashion and pretty pictures.
Humans of New York because you want to know the secrets, thoughts, worries, and victories of all the people in New York City and with Brandon's help, you will.
Wil Wheaton Do you enjoy reading a highly politicized blog with liberal ideas? Do you enjoy satire and humor? Do you know who Wil Wheaton is? Answer yes to any of the above questions and you should follow this blog.

Do you use Tumblr? What are your favorite blogs on Tumblr?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

College, History Class, Misogyny, and Feminism

I have been having a rough time in one of my classes for something, I'm really shocked about. I'm taking a history class in which we discuss prominent ideas throughout different periods of American history. Undoubtedly, women's rights do come up, even during the 18th century. Why? Because women are half the world's population and they were one of the many groups being oppressed. I wouldn't think this would really be a point of argument, because in the historical context, we are talking about a time when women had literally no rights. Women during the 1700s and 1800s could not seek a divorce, could not seek action against an abusive husband, could not take or share custody of their children if a divorce was sought by the husband. Women could not vote, hold a major career, could not work in politics, could not take part in the legal system.

Amazingly enough (to me at least) this perspective of womanhood in this period is sparking controversy in the class. I am the only female in the class of 8 students. The (male) teacher is primarily a philosophy teacher and therefore loves playing with ideas and seems to be very open to feminism and I feel very comfortable discussing the topic of women's rights with him. 2 of the other students very openly support feminism and are almost as loud as I am about it, because I have been cautious in that class not to anger or hurt the feelings or masculinity of the males in that class.

However, my voice has gradually grown louder in that class because I do enjoy discussing ideas (especially controversial ones in a safe environment) and I do feel passionately about many of the subjects we discuss - feminism, racism, slavery, equality, education, etc. I have tried to talk specifically about the articles we're reading and not attack anyone personally. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and think it's important when discussing ideas to make a division between the idea and the person and I have been trying to keep an open mind on everything and with everyone.

Despite all of my efforts to not upset the men of my class and stay open, I have been getting harassed by 2 of the male students. One of the students is a conservative and voiced in one of the classes that he thinks all of the female writers we read were just complaining about the same stuff and didn't understand why they weren't changing anything. Obviously, with 3 feminists and a teacher who appears to be for women's rights are going to challenge that ideology. He clearly felt attacked, and I understand feeling attacked when your ideas are being challenged. His frat brother who is also in the class backed him up and said women say they want feminism, but then they go fulfill the stereotypical roles of gold-diggers and sex objects by dancing at clubs. This was a rough class period for them, I get it, but that doesn't excuse their hateful and rude actions since that day. Last Tuesday, the conservative used what I said in class - a comment made about the text - to harass me as we walked out of class. He tried to play it off as joking, but it was easy to see the hate/misogyny behind it. On Thursday his frat brother who sees women as perpetuating their stereotypes used the c-word in the context of a phrase that their fraternity says. I remember no one else laughing at the use of the c-word (twice) except for the two frat buddies. The teacher immediately addressed the inappropriateness of the statement, had him apologize to the class before dismissing us, and had a private chat with him after class. 

Their behavior has been deeply troubling me because 1) they are harassing me on the grounds of my gender 2) their fraternity is obviously condoning or promoting the misogyny they are expressing in class and 3) women who go to their parties could honestly be in danger if their physical actions match their verbal behavior. I've told my roommate about it and we walk home from that class together anyway. I told my mother about it - even though she is against feminism because of a misunderstanding of it and religious reasons - and she was shocked and deeply concerned.

I don't want to bring this up to the teacher for fear of that making it worse. However, if it does not improve by the end of this next week, I may talk to him in private about the matter because their behavior is certainly not okay. In the meantime, I'm going to summon my inner Beyonce Padthai (Mindy Project lovers will get that).