Need New Years Eve party nails? Try stick-on nail polish!

It seems that intricate, detailed nail polish is the new ‘thing’. I’ve been seeing this trend everywhere – from Hello Giggles to this fun DIY’er on YouTube. Even my dear friend Deb included it in her recent fashion trends post (scroll down to ‘trends I cannot abide’ – although I believe there are some exceptions there!).

While some of us have the time/energy/talent to paint snowflakes or transfer newsprint to our nails, thankfully Sally Hansen has provided easy tools for the rest of us! After seeing print ads in magazines for their Salon Effects line, I finally went to my local ULTA and found them there. I bought the pattern called ‘Cut it Out’ and went home to give it a go.

The package comes with 16 nail strips in various sizes, a nail file, a cuticle tool and instructions. I strongly suggest reading the instructions carefully. I didn’t and missed a step or two at the beginning, so the first strip took much longer than necessary.

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DIY: Christmas Decorations–Rudolph the Soap Reindeer

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When I was a kid – no idea how old – we made these Rudolph decorations in my church youth group. For some reason, after all these years, I still have mine. It’s a little rough looking, but it still smells nice, and it makes me smile.

Making Rudolph is a very simple and fun (and cheap!) activity you can do at home with your kids, or some kids you’ve borrowed for the afternoon!

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DIY: Christmas Ornament Wreath

IMG_3372I found this great book at a thrift store called Making Classic Wreaths. There are some great ideas for wreaths for all seasons. The one that really stood out to me was the Christmas ornament wreath – but I wanted to put my own spin on it.

 

All the supplies can be found at JoAnn’s or Michael’s. Although, for the actual ornaments, you can often find fantastic deals on ornaments at Target, Walmart or Dollar Tree.

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DIY: Hanging a photo collage

Recently, I’ve been seeing DIY photo hanging kits in craft and home improvement stores. These are great and easy – they include all the frames, photo mats and a template to put up on the wall so you can place your nails in the perfect spot. My only complaint is the price. This system is $350! Michael’s also has templates, and you can chose how expensive of frames to purchase. This can be less expensive, but you can do it even cheaper!

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DIY: Storing your headbands and fascinators (Part Two)

Last week I showed you how to make a ribbon headband hanger. This is great for thin headbands, and for displaying hair clips. However, if you have very thick headbands, or ones with larger feathers or accessories, the oatmeal canister headband display is a must-have. Here’s how I made mine:

Oatmeal Canister Headband Display

Step 1: Measure the canister by height and length around. Cut the fabric the exact height, as you’ll cover the edges with ribbon. Cut it an inch longer to overlap when you wrap the fabric around the canister.

Step 2: Iron the fabric to remove all wrinkles. Fold over one end by 1/2 inch and iron flat.

IMG_2808_thumb[2]Step 3: Using the hot glue gun, run a line of glue down the canister and attach the unfolded edge of the fabric. Wrap the fabric around the canister. Run another line of glue under where the folded edge of the fabric ends. Press with your fingers to secure.

Step 4: Work the ribbon around the edges. I put glue under the folded end of the fabric and tucked the ribbon into it to secure. Then, every few inches, I put another thin line of glue and pressed the ribbon into in until it wrapped around. Cut the ribbon so it overlaps just a hair. Using clear nail polish, paint the end of the ribbon so it will not fray. Attach the end of the ribbon with another line of hot glue.

 

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On Living Alone

This last weekend marked the one  year anniversary of my living alone for the first time in my life. Before getting married, I had always lived with my parents, or dorm mates or roommates, primarily for financial reasons. When the marriage ended, I was fortunate enough to be able to afford to keep the house and live in it alone. It was an exciting, but scary prospect. For the first couple of months, I heard every strange noise in the dark, and kept pepper spray by the bed (ok, I still do). But soon, I felt comfortable and relatively safe and settled in to enjoy the time alone.

There are a few things I miss about having roommates. Most of these fall into the category of ‘shared responsibility.’ Having someone to share the chores, whether it’s doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or vacuuming. The last few weeks at work have been so stressful, and I’ve been taking work home nearly every night. My coworkers are in the same situation, but they’re all married. When they work at home in the evenings, they still have someone who cooks them dinner, and washes clothes and keeps the house organized. I eat fast food or delivery, have dishes piled up for a week and am digging deep to find the granny panties in the back of the drawer ‘cause nothing else is clean. I miss having someone who can step up when I can’t do much, and then being able to return the favor when it’s their turn.

I also miss the entertainment – there’s always a funny story to share, personal problems to discuss or even just a night sharing a fun tv show. Facebook and texting make this much easier (which explains my frequent postings), but its not as much fun as snark in person. And it’s fun to have a readily available buddy to go shopping with, or go on impromptu movie outings.

On the other hand, there is so much I enjoy about living alone. There is the lack of responsibility – if I don’t want to do dishes, I don’t have to. If I want to throw my clothes on the floor, I can. If I wanna curl up on the couch and eat junk food and watch tv all night, no one can make me feel guilty except myself. Of course, then I’m stuck cleaning up later (see above).

I enjoy the quiet. I don’t have to be “on”, I don’t have to talk about my day or answer questions like “is everything ok” when I just want to chill out and read all night.

And really, my friends aren’t that far away, and are still crazy enough to talk me into a midnight showing of the latest Twilight movie on a work night (thanks Stef!) or IM all night about the ridiculous costumes on Dancing with the Stars (Becky!)

I still get nervous sometimes. I own a gun now (Smith & Wesson M&P .45). I go jogging with pepper spray attached to my wrist and a switchblade clipped to my waistband (you never can be too careful).

But overall, I love living alone. I feel like I am finally the strong, independent woman I always thought I could be!  (Although, I really should hire a maid service).