23 April 2014

DIY cereal box notebook


This is a simple DIY project that can be done within an hour, making it a great afternoon project.  I love the idea of being able to recycle packaging in craft projects (without getting too cheesy).  Not to mention, I'm always using notebooks for jotting down lists, brainstorming, and sketches.  I can never have too many notebooks, so it's nice to come up with a few inexpensive ways to create some extras.


Supplies Needed: 10 pieces of printer paper, a cereal box, baker's twine (or embroidery thread could be used), scissors, ruler, pen, acrylic craft paint, sponge brush, hole punch, saftey pin (optional), a 4X4" photo, and washi tape.

Step 1: Cut the largest part of the cereal box to 7.5" X 11" and cut the ten pieces of paper to 7" X 10.5".  Use the ruler and pen to mark your measurements.

Step 2: The plain cardboard side of the cereal box will be the outside of the journal.  Paint the label side of the cereal box with acrylic paint.  I chose black paint to get a good covering.  You may need to apply multiple coats. 

Step 3: After the paint has dried, fold the cereal box in half (hamburger style) and then do the same for the paper.  After folding the paper, trim down the edges to be all the same width because folding will cause some differences.  Using the saftey pin and the ruler, mark three evenly spaced holes along the fold of the paper.  Line up the folded edge with only half of the hole punch so that the center of the hole is the fold so that when the book is opened flat, there is only on hole and not two.  Use the ruler to space the holes evenly and then use the paper to line up the hole marks on the cereal box.

Step 4: Place the paper inside the cereal box and open the book flat.  Start the twine in the top hole, threading from the inside to the outside.  Work your way down the book and back up, alternating going in and out of each hole.  Do this twice.  When the twine comes back through the middle hole the second time you thread up the book, take it to the end at the top hole and tie a tight double knot.

Step 5: Using the washi tape, adhere the photo to the front of the cover and add some handwritten text.




21 April 2014

THE WORKING GIRL SERIES: 20 SKIRT OUTFIT IDEAS



Skirts, skirts, skirts.  This is probably my favorite post to write of the entire working girl series.  Skirts are a wonderful thing.  They're dressy, yet you can find skirts that are extremely comfortable, much more breathable than dress pants in my opinion.  Dresses are like that too, but skirts are a lot more versatile because you can make many more combinations.  P.S. This is a collection of images from various blogs, to pin an image, please go to the original blog post linked blow each image.  Thanks.

 image source: Kendi Everyday


image source: Pink Peonies


image source: Suburban Faux-Pas


image source: Perfection Possibilities



 image source: a house in the hills


 image source: Moiology


image source: Curves and Confidence


image source: Corilynn


 image source: Sterling Style


image source: Hello Framboise!


image source: Delusions of Grandeur


image source: Running on Happiness


image source: 9 to 5 Chic


image source: Mix and Match Fashion


image source: Cara Loren


image source: Bows and Sequins


image source: Vivaluxury


image source: Seersucker + Saddles


image source: The Chloe Conspiracy


and this ensemble from my old archives (short hair!)


SHOP MY FAVORITE WORK SKIRTS



19 April 2014

TIME MANAGEMENT // THE VALUE OF 5 MINUTES AND TINY TASKS


Regardless of how many to do lists I write, plans I make, time I spend, or the amount I try to increase efficiency, there are never enough hours in a day (can I get an amen?).  But the worst part is that I let it stress. me. out.  I've tried to keep up with doing at least a load of laundry every night, tried to stay on top of cleaning up all the dog hair, and to always wash the dishes after dinner.  But I've finally come to terms with the fact that there is no cure-all for getting it all done.  Making myself feel guilty about every unfinished task remaining on my mental to-do list doesn't make me more productive.  If anything it just makes me want to curl up on the couch with a Skinny Cow fudge pop (those are delicious) and watch Hart of Dixie over and over again.

I have not discovered how to squeeze in a few extra hours in my day.  I have not stumbled upon a method to function without sleep.  And, I have not found the secret to perfect time management.  I have, however, discovered the value of five minutes and tiny tasks.


Five minutes is longer than you think, just ask the nearest five year old.  And small five minute groupings turn up frequently throughout your day, yet if you're like me, you've been oblivious to the time value they actually have.  I've found five extra minutes waiting at home for departure to dinner with friends.  I've found five extra minutes waiting for my favorite television show to come on.  Five minutes while dinner finishes in the oven.  Five minutes waiting downstairs until the washer kicks off.  Five extra minutes at the end of my lunch break.  Five minutes happens many times each day.  I used to just whip out the iPhone and flip through Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, you know, just getting caught up on all my favorite social network feeds.

What a waste.  Not that I don't love social networks (oh boy, do I ever!) but I can find a much better use for that five minutes that will leave me feeling slightly more accomplished and slightly less overwhelmed.  Five minutes is just enough time to take clothes out of the dryer and carry them upstairs (folding can happen later).  It's enough time to put away items left on the kitchen counter.  Five minutes can handle wiping down counters, sinks, or other appliances.  It's enough time to walk around the house collecting socks and other dirty clothes that didn't quite make it into the basket.  It's plenty of time to hang up the clothes I tried on that morning but didn't wear.  When you really think about it, there are a lot of things you can accomplish in five minute periods.  Tiny tasks.  Tiny tasks that help you get baby steps closer to completely something on that to-do list.

image source: Style Me Pretty

Tiny tasks are little break downs of the overall tasks.  I cannot gather, wash, dry, hang, sort, and fold a load of laundry in five minutes.  But I can get a portion of that done in each available five minute set, and then can actually feel like I made some progress and spent my time wisely.

Now, obviously, at some point I do have to buckle down and spend a good chunk of time cleaning and taking on the bigger tasks.  But for the in-between time, this five minute method works well for me.  Ever since I began thinking about it this way, I've been able to capture just a little more peace of mind.  It's helped me.  So I hope this helps you.

07 April 2014

THE WORKING GIRL SERIES: 9 WAYS TO WEAR PATTERNED PANTS IN THE OFFICE




Part three of the Working Girl Series is all about patterned pants.  I love the extra versatility they add to a wardrobe.  It's easy to mix and match with solid blouses and sweaters...or other patterns if you're daring enough.  Now, I don't imagine having a closet full of many different patterned pants, but having two pairs sounds just perfect to me.  I'm adding them to my shopping list!  P.S. This is a collection of images from various blogs, to pin an image, please go to the original blog post linked blow each image.  Thanks.

image source: Dash of Darling


image source: Corilynn


image source: Kendi Everyday


 image source: Seersucker + Saddles


image source: The Classy Cubicle


image source: For All Things Lovely


image source: Dash of Darling


image source: Atlantic Pacific


image source: Suburban Faux-Pas


SHOP PATTERNED PANTS I LIKE

01 April 2014

DIY POTATO STAMPED HEART SCARF


I love wearing scarves all year round.  The perfect accessory detail for every outfit.  This is how I personalized my own heart patterned scarf for a one of a kind look:

Supplies Needed: scarf, fabric paint (red), potato, knife, sponge brush, newspapers or something to protect your work surface from paint, scissors, and a scrap piece of paper to use as a template


Step 1: Cut the potato in half lengthwise.  You will only need one half for the potato stamp.


Step 2: Take the scrap piece of paper (about the size of the potato half) and fold it in half. Cut a half side of a heart and then unfold so that both sides will be even.  Make sure it fits the largest width of the potato half.  Lay the paper heart on the flat side of the potato half and cut out the potato into the heart shape.


Step 3: Lay out the newspapers over your work surface and lay the scarf out flatly on top.  It's best to work in sections and move it as you go, so don't worry if you don't have enough space to stretch out the entire scarf at once.

Step 4: To begin stamping hearts, apply the fabric paint to the flat side of the potato using the sponge brush.  To get a more random effect, each time you apply paint, put it on heavier and thinner in different areas.  With the paint on the potato, carefully place it onto the scarf and leave it for two seconds.  Do not move the potato around while it is on the scarf, you don't want the paint to look smeared.



Step 5: Repeat step four over and over until you have covered the entire scarf.  To keep an "organized random" pattern going, apply different amounts of pressure when you place the potato down on the scarf and turn the point of the heart in all different directions.  Imperfection and randomness are your friends.


Step 6: Allow the fabric paint to dry for 24 hours and then your completely one of a kind scarf is ready to wear!


It would also be so lovely to try this potato stamping in so many different patterns, so many colors, and on so many different pieces of clothing and accessories.
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