Wednesday, September 26, 2012

current desire: craft desk

My current workspace, while very well organized is just a plain old Ikea desk that I painted to match my room.  It works...but that's all it does.  I'm currently in the market for a new desk that includes storage like these:

I'm thinking I might have to use my DIY skills on a thrift store find since these are all out of my budget...I'll have to wait and see!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And on the Etsy front...

I made not one but TWO sales today at Modern Day Dauphine! YAY!!! I only wish I knew if it came from the etsy add, the facebook add, the sorority facebook walls I posted on or sheer luck!

Wallet Purse Problems and Problem Solved. For Now.

I finally found the perfect wallet clutch...

Or so I thought.

When I saw this clutch at TJMaxx it seemed like everything I was looking for in this Previous post.  It had an acordian style pocket with two sections and a zippered pocket, ten credit card slots, a spot for cash and a removable chain that lets you use it as a wallet, clutch, or cross body bag.  And on top of that I love the style...especially for $15.  So it's perfect right? Wrong.  Even though I was able to close it with my cell phone inside it in the store, once I put my credit cards, business cards and check book inside, I could hardly get it to shut and once I put my change in the zippered pocket it wouldn't close at all. This is all I can fit inside it:
So unfortunately even though it seemed like the perfect size, it's too small to close with the things I want inside it.  And now that I've found a shape and style I like, I'm not sure I'll be satisfied with anything else so for now I've come up with a solution.  Rather than use this one wallet to store everything I'll ever need (which is sort of a pipe dream anyway) I have divided my things into multiple little bags:
  • gift cards (which I have about 20 of at any given time)
  • "the essentials" (hand sanitizer, lotion, tissues, etc)
  • make up
  • wallet
Even though it's not a perfect solution, it does make it easier to move from bag to backpack and the wallet holds just enough to be able to take out as a clutch at night. Barely. Now I just need to make some labeled zippered bags to hold each set of items.

My First Meal Plan Monday

Here is my meal plan for the week.  I found this template at The Project Girl and I love it.  The best part about it is the space at the bottom where I can post all the ingredients so I can make my shopping list for the week based on what I do and don't have in the house.  
Now I know this seems like an extremely basic week but I have a few excuses reasons for that.  First of all as you can see I'm leaving for Las Vegas Thursday night so I don't want to buy any groceries which will go bad if they aren't used.  Second of all I have school all day Tuesday and Thursday and need quick easy food.  Third of all I don't have time to go shopping since I'm planning tonight instead of on a Sunday.  Overall I'm ok with it but hopefully as the weeks go on my menus will improve.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

Following along with my current organizing obsession and a serious interest in losing weight I've decided I need to organize the way I eat.  I started looking for ways to better plan my shopping trips and weekly menus and came across I am an Organizing Junkie and their Meal Plan Monday series.  Starting this week I will be spending time each Sunday night planning my menu for the week and grocery shopping Monday mornings as Organizing Junkie suggests.  However since I just discovered this idea I'm a day behind this week and will be planning my menu now and posting it later tonight!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Goooooo GIANTS!

My dad is a HUGE giants fan. Huge as in he needed a tranquilizer to get through the Super Bowl last year. This month is his birthday and not just any birthday but his 70th. So since its such a special occasion my mom and I splurged and got him a ton of giants paraphernalia and I spent the day hanging it in his office

Friday, September 21, 2012

Current Desire: Clutch Wallet

If you've been following my blog then you know I'm all about organizing and simplifying my life right now. Now that I'm back in school I'm constantly switching between my backpack and my purse and then to a clutch on nights out. This creates the issue of moving my must have items like credit cards, business cards, my check book, etc back and forth between the three places.  While window shopping at Francesca's today I came across the perfect solution: 

A combination clutch and wallet.

It had more slots for credit cards than my current wallet, a spot for my check book, pockets large enough to hold my phone business cards, even my sun glasses.  By keeping everything in that I could easily switch between my purse and back pack.  I MUST have one.  Not wanting to buy the first one I saw I decided to do some research first and have been looking for one online.  I still haven't found the perfect one for the perfect price but here are some that come pretty close:

Make-up Organization

So right now I'm on a huge organization kick.  As I mentioned in my previous post I've been on a mission to organize everything in my life from my bank account to my bedroom.  One thing that was just not making the cut was my make-up.  I had everything in one big train case like this:
While this provided some ability to compartmentalize, I was limited by the size of each space and it just wasn't enough. So I started looking for options and I came across some flat file cabinets like the ones below and thought they would be perfect with some drawer organizers.
There was only one problem...They are all COMPLETELY out of my budget.  Aside from the fact that I couldn't possibly afford one I liked aesthetically, I had a very specific size and shape in mind. This is constantly a problem for me, especially as a DIYer. I think everything should be tailored exactly to fit my needs and if it isn't I'd rather make it myself, so I turned to my favorite website, craftster.  There I found this absolutely beautiful completely handmade flat file holder.
Now I had a new problem............I know nothing about wood working.  Once I saw this I knew I wouldn't be happy with something that didn't fit my exact needs so I started to come to the very sad conclusion that I would need a new make-up solution. Enter Target.  I found this:
Now I know what you're thinking. What is so exciting about a plain white plastic set of drawers.  First of all the price was unbeatable at 13.95 when compared to some of the flat file cabinets at over 100.  Second of all, something so plain would be easy to embellish and use my DIY skills to make it the perfect addition to my room.  Third of all it was the EXACT shape and size I'd been looking for.  However the thing that really sold me were the 5 dollar drawer organizers I found that were the eact height and shape of the drawers.  Perfect.  Now it sits next to my dresser filled like this:

Not only is everything organized into neat little compartments, but the drawers are filled in the order I apply my make up from top to bottom.  The only thing let to do is decorate it.  How do you organize your make-up?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not Four Years But For Life

As I've mentioned previously, I'm an alumni of Alpha Phi and I can't even put into words how much that means to me.  So today while I was looking through Facebook at all of the new pictures my sisters still in the chapter have been posting of all the new girls who just joined I got an idea.  Why not use Alpha Phi to my advantage? Since a huge part of my target market for my etsy store is college age girls, and this is the time of year when the girls get new little sisters who they make or buy gifts for, I decided to post a little advertisement for custom gifts on our chapters Facebook wall.  Then I realized how many sororities there are on campus and that they could all be potential clients as well and left a message on every chapter's page and had my friends at other schools post for me on their chapter's walls.  Even if all it gets me is some more exposure I'll be happy!

In other news I also launched an add campaign on facebook to get more "likes" on my facebook page.  So far I've gotten three new "likes" from strangers across the country so I guess that's a start.  What type of things have you done to market your etsy or blog?

And in the spirit of crafting for littles, here are the gifts I made for my own Little sis a few years back!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Striped Glitter Frame Tutorial!

Today I'm going to teach you how to make this frame:
This pic-torial  should be extremely easy to follow, but if DIY just isn't your thing it's also available with a few other new items on

step 1:
Paint your frame navy blue

step 2:
Once your paint is COMPLETELY dry, tape off your pattern using blue painters tape

step 3:

Take your gold glitter paint (I used Martha Stewart) and glob it on.  Use as much paint as it takes to fully cover the navy blue.

Step 4:

When the glitter is completely dry, and I mean COMPLETELY, pull off the tape.  You should have nice clean lines, and if not touch up any mistakes with a small paintbrush. 


Add your embellishment with e600 glue and you have a beautiful frame perfect for any room in the house.

Hope you all found that simple enough to follow, if any of you make one I'd love to see your results! Send me a link to it in the comment section!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Once in a Lifetime Event

Now if you know me this may come as a shock but.........
I just cooked a meal, from scratch, by myself, without help OR a recipe.

Crazy, I know.

And the best part? It turned out absolutely delicious. Here's the recipe.

In a bowl I mixed:
1 can of crushed pineapple with the juice
1/2 a cup of honey
2 tbl spoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tbl spoons of Soy Sauce

Then I took a raw chicken breast, put some garlic salt on and cooked it in the oven at 375 for 15 minutes on each side.

In a separate pot I made 1 cup of quinoa (which has become one of my favorite foods) according to the directions on the box.

When all was done I put some quinoa on a plate, placed the chicken breast on top and drizzled the sauce I made over the whole thing.  Super simple and absolutely delicious.

and as promised, pictures of yesterdays crafts will be posted later tonight!

Weekend long Craftathon

This weekend I have been lucky enough to have five full days off with NO obligations.  That means plenty of time to craft and blog.  I spent a lot of time today searching craftster and the blogosphere for inspiration and got down to business.  I made two frames and a piece of original art on canvas using spray paint and glue which I'll be posting pictures of before my five day weekend is over.  I'm also doing a craft swap where I have to make a Halloween themed chunky house for four partners and I made my first one this afternoon.  I'm hoping to make at least three crafts a day for each of my five days off.  I'll keep you all up to date on my progress! I should have at least some pictures up by tomorrow and possibly a tutorial.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Honored and Excited

Today I recieved the huge honor of giving a guest blog on my favorite blog I can honestly say I could not be more excited.  This is a great blog about diy, fashion, decorating, and living a lavish lifestyle while staying within your means; something every Modern day Dauphine strives to do.  Go check out her blog and my tutorial on how to make this amazing tufted headboard!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting Organized

For the first time in I can't remember how long I feel like everything is going right.  I've never felt so empowered and I owe this in large part to the fact that I recently went on a mission to organize my life.  It started when I moved last month.  I absolutely refused to rest until I was unpacked and everything had a place.  I moved from a fully furnished one bedroom apartment to a three bedroom I share with two other girls and had everything away and organized within two days.  This was a huge improvement from the last time I moved when I still had unpacked boxes over a month after moving.

The second step was getting into a routine.  If any of you have an ipad or iphone I highly reccomend the app HomeRoutines.  Its honestly my life line.  I have everything I need to do daily to the last detail, including inherent things like brushing my teeth.  By having everything on a list it helps me establish a routine, do things in order, faster and more effectively.  The best part is you can decide when you want the list to reset, so things like brushing my teeth reappear every day, while things like grocery shopping and laundry reset once a week.

Another way I've kept myself organized is by using a tool called a Personal Crazy Index or PCI invented by Patrick Carnes. I keep a list of the seven most important things I need to accomplish EVERY SINGLE DAY and before I go to bed at night I get a score for how many I've done. If I have done all 7 I get a 0 if I haven't done any or forget to fill it out I get a 7.  The lower the score the better.  At the end of the week I add up my points from each day to see how I'm doing.  As long as I am at 19 or below I'm happy, otherwise I know I need improvement.

I also have an app called simpleGoals where you keep track of your goals.  Each day I accomplish one of my listed goals I get a check mark, if I don't I don't.  It tracks how many times a week and a month you achieve each specific goal which helps me see where I'm doing well and What I can focus on to improve my PCI score and subsequently my life.

The next thing I set to work on was establishing a routine for school.  I got an app called evernote (if you're starting to notice a pattern my ipad is my life, there isn't a single more useful tool in organizing your life and I highly recommend getting one if it's at all possible, it's worth the splurge) in which i have a separate "notebook" for each class where I can take my notes and save documents and pictures.  It's been extremely helpful and the best note taking app I've tried (and trust me I've tried several!) On top of that I put all my homework for the week in a note on my phone and eliminate each assignment as I finish it

Finally, the last piece of my organizing puzzle was to set my finances in order.  For this I used (you guessed it) yet another app called  It has been amazing in helping me set up a budget and track my spending.  It keeps track of your income, your debt, everything you could possibly need. And the great thing about, like evernote and homeroutines is that they're accessible on line and sync between devices like your ipad and iphone.  I also use to keep track of my etsy and pay pal expenses.

Overall, my biggest tip in getting (and staying) organized is to write everything down in the order you plan to do it every single day.  My calendar has an allotted time for my morning routine, night time routine, homework, blogging, even driving to and from school.  By keeping everything on a timed schedule, even if I don't follow it to a t, I'm able to see where my lost time went, or determine what I need to sacrifice in order to add something extra to my day. It might sound a little like over kill, but it's the only thing that has ever worked for me before and for as busy as I am, my life couldn't possibly feel any easier!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh My Love is Alpha Phi

Today I spent my morning at my old sorority house painting our house letters with a damask pattern for tonight's preference ceremony.  For those of you who have no idea what that means, every fall my school holds a formal recruitment process for students who want to join a sorority.  They visit every house the first day, a few houses the second day and only one or two houses for preference, more commonly called pref.  It's a formal affair, all the girls wear fancy dresses, they sit at clothed tables and do a ceremony.  This year, our house chose to go with a classic black and white theme.  Here are the letters I painted for them:
I plan to spend the rest of my day and crafting new items for my etsy shop, I can't wait to share them with you!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ready. Set. CRAFT

Today my mom came to visit at took me to the craft store to buy some supplies so I can get back to doing what I do best, craft.  I haven't made anything since my last update to my etsy store and I'm really looking forward to getting back to work. I bought a ton of wooden goodies, some blank wood picture frames and best of all I got SEVEN canvases for 20 dollars.  Definitely a steal.  I'd love to take the time to write more but I'm dying to get to work playing with my new toys, err... crafting!

New Logo

I've been very busy today teaching myself how to create a logo.  Since my boyfriend and I broke up Thursday and he was supposed to make it for me I figured I might as well jump on it and get to work. After several hours and a lot of frustration here it is!!
I know its not perfect but its my original design and I absolutely love it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Time to Get Serious

Unfortunately it's been a while since I blogged but since then a lot has changed and I finally feel like I'm ready to put in the work to make a name for myself in the handmade world.  Two very exciting things have taken place recently.  First of all I MADE MY FIRST ETSY SALE!! Now if you've read my previous bogs you're probably thinking ' already made two' but those were to family and friends.  I finally made my first sale to a complete stranger and let me tell you it felt AWESOME.

About two weeks ago I was in Seattle sharing a hotel room with my parents visiting family.  I was fast asleep when my phone made a noise that sounded like a cash register.  When my parents asked what it was I sleepily replied "The x-ray machine."  I'm still not exactly sure what I was dreaming that prompted that response from me, but when I groggily wiped my eyes and checked my phone I saw the alert from my etsy app telling me that I made a sale.  Instantly I was wide awake and over joyed.  As soon as I told my parents that the noise was not an x-ray machine but an etsy sale they were equally ecstatic.  The three of us had a little celebration, I immediately updated my facebook status to share the good news and eventually went back to sleep.

In other news, one of my absolute favorite blogs, Champagne lifestyles on a beer budget is letting me do a guest post!! Check it out next week for my tutorial on how to make a tufted headboard like these:

Obsessed with this look? I am too! So make sure you check out Champagne lifestyles next week for my tutorial.  And check back here for what I hope will be daily updates!