April Features & Round Ups

This week I am headed to Snap (eek! ahh!) so while I’m busy packing and panicking, I thought I’d share some great round up posts from around the web that each have a little bit from me included:

1. Candace from Lucky Scarf included my conference checklist post in her Conference Prep 101 round up HERE. If you’re planning on going to Snap or Haven, hop over and check it out for great tips:

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2. Sarah from Creative Ramblings included a mother’s day present I made last year in a post chock full of succulent planting ideas HERE. Succulents are still totally a thing, and I don’t see them going away for quite a while!

succulents in old jars

3. Anne from Wit, Wisdom, and Food included my DIY Sharpie Stencil Wall in her round up of awesome wall treatments HERE. That’s still one of my most popular projects, and surprisingly it’s actually on my list of things to redo!

sharpie wall

Enjoy!

How to Prep for a Blog Conference

Next week (!!!) I am headed to Salt Lake City to go to Snap! and I am equal parts bursting-at-the-seams excited and super super nervous. I’ll be traveling alone and meetings tons of friends there- friends I’ve never actually met in person before- and I hope to learn so much more about blogging/crafting/DIY-ing while I’m there (there’s a tiling class!!)

Snap! blog conference

Here’s how I’m prepping:

  • Blog Updates:
    • Last week I posted in an “about me” style post that I updated my headshot and blog buttons. I kept blog headshot and social media buttonsthe layout and header for the site the same because I really like them, but the headshot was important because I felt like the old one wasn’t super reflective of me.

I made the buttons in Canva, a free graphic design site that I really like. My old buttons were just symbols but there’s SO MANY social media sites out there now that I thought it would be easier to just have the names of them there.

And to self promote for a second- feel free to pop on over to that right side bar and follow me on Bloglovin or sign up for email notifications of new posts!

  • My look:
    • I worked with Firmoo to get new glasses because I’ve had the same frames for like 10 years and it was getting stale- I love my new frames. Firmoo is super inexpensive, really good quality, with fast shipping. I uploaded my prescription to their site, uploaded my picture so I could virtually try glasses on, then ordered and they were here in a week ($10 for expedited shipping, and the costs are so low on the frames that it’s totally worth it).
Thanks for the specs, Firmoo! I'm loving them!

Thanks for the specs, Firmoo! I’m loving them, and Dutch finds them quite lickable.

  • What to wear:
    • At first I was going to bring a bunch of cute dresses, but honestly that’s not really me. So I’m going to pack 2 cute dress outfits for the (themed) part nights, then stick to jeans and tshirts. I am a jeans and tshirt kind of girl at heart, so I just got a few new ones at Target and called it a day. But I will be in my high heels everyday- at 5ft tall I sort of have to be (especially since my blog BFF is a giant ;) ).
  • Business cards:
    • I got business cards for an event last summer and have plenty left over, and I love them. I got them through Pixel Impress on Etsy and I highly highly highly recommend her- she was a dream to work with and sent me lots of drafts before the final copy. (And as a side note, business cards are the only self promotional things I’m bringing, I have a downloadable 1 page media kit on this site that I can just email sponsors if needed)
sorry for the fuzzy picture, I nabbed in off Instagram.

sorry for the fuzzy picture, I nabbed it off Instagram.

  • Tote bag:
    • I posted my personalized canvas tote here, and hinted at Snap in that post too. There are tons of sponsors at the conference, which means tons of freebies, and I just wanted a big cute bag to carry all my stuff in.

DIY pockets in a tote bag

Whew! What am I missing guys??!

And- if you’re going- let me know! I can’t wait to meet you!

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Thanks so much to Firmoo for the long overdue new specs! They did not at all require me to blog about them, I’m just genuinely impressed with the quality and customer services. 

Getting Started with Essential Oils: Unbiased Thoughts and Reviews

First off, let me say that I am not trying to sell you essential oils. All I want to do in this little series is talk about how they’re working for me and what I’m doing with them and hopefully you can make me some suggestions too.

essential oil reviews young living now brand

This past weekend I got a Young Living essential oil starter kit and I’m super excited about it. I’ve already been oil pulling, getting allergy shots (to wean off allergy pills), and taking Juice Plus+… so trying another natural approach to things seemed like a good next step.

Before ordering the kit, I had 2 oils on hand already- Now brand lavender and orange (the Now brand is like $8 for a full ounce of oil, which is less than half the cost of Young Living oils, and I can buy them at a local shop).

Here’s how I’ve used them…

Lavender:

  • To scent homemade soap (how to on that is here) and lotion (here)
  • Added to my humidifier at night because it smells so calming and lovely
  • Added into a bath when my nephew slept over to chillllll him out before bed time

Orange

  • Used with my steam mop to make the floors smell great
  • Let a drop sit on a pesky label for a few seconds and it’ll peel right off
  • Also good for homemade soap and lotion (but I haven’t made any with it yet)

And in the week I’ve had the full Young Living set, I’ve used a few so far:

Frankincense:

  • I’ve been using coconut oil instead of a night cream lately and I added this in because it’s supposed to  help with skin issues. So far so good, and I love using coconut oil on my face- I know it sounds scary and like you might break out but I’ve had super good luck with it so far (and bonus- coconut oil can help reduce fine lines!)

Purificiation

  • We have had the windows closed since September and it is still snowing. Closed windows for 6 months in a house with 3 cats, a dog, and 2 people makes for some stale air. Purification smells AMAZING- diffusing it just in the bedroom for just 2 hours and I can still smell it on the whole second level of the house in the morning.

Joy

  • This scent is so lovely I just dabbed it on my wrist this morning and wore it as perfume

Peppermint

  • I put a dash of this in my tea last night, but honestly I kind of hated it. It was sort of bitter? Not for me. But I think it’d be awesome to add to a lotion or just to diffuse.

So tell me, oily friends, how else can I use this stuff? What’s your favorite way to use oils?

15 Facts & Blog Updates

The old headshot on my blog was a cropped picture from my engagement shoot, and it just didn’t really feel like me. It’s not what I’d look like if you ran into me at Market Basket, you know?

And while I was at it updating my picture, I changed my buttons too. I’d love for you to pop over to the right and follow me on Bloglovin, or subscribe via email. ;)

My poor husband had to take at least 75 pictures of me for me to find one that I kind of sort of like enough to update my headshot with. I thought I’d share some of the outtakes today with a few fun personal facts… because I don’t share a lot about me on here (and I rarely even include myself in the pictures), and after almost 4 years of blogging I feel like we should get to know each other a little better.

Hi! I'm Stephanie, and I'm awkward.

Hi! I’m Stephanie, and I’m awkward.

1. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communications/Media (with a double concentration in film and video production and a minor in Professional Writing) and a Masters in Applied Communication.

2. And I didn’t pay a dime for any of it. I know, I’m a brat. :) I got a full academic scholarship for my bachelor’s, then after I graduated I got a job at the school which had the perk of being able to take free classes so I got my Master’s in a year and a half while working full time. WHEW!

3. The funny thing is, in high school I sort of cared less about going to college. I wanted to be a hairdresser, but mom said I was smart and I had to go to school first.

4. I have 7 tattoos (sorry family), a pierced belly button, and lots of holes in my ears.

5. And I’m probably not done yet. My tattoos all pretty tiny, only one can be seen and that’s only if I have a tank top on because it’s on my shoulder. I want to cover up that one with a much bigger one and just fully commit to my illusion of badassery.

6. Everyone always asks me how I got so crafty/handy and the truth is I have no idea. I just bought a house and started doing stuff… then I bought some tools and started using them… then I started writing about it. My grandmother’s pretty crafty, and my dad’s pretty handy, so maybe it’s just in my genes.

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7. I have 1.5 full time jobs outside of the blog. I work as a full time academic advisor at a community college where my focus is working with students who are suspended. I teach 2-3 courses each semester as well (Speech, First Year Seminar, and Film Appreciation right now).

8. Even though I really do like my jobs, my dream would be to run a sanctuary for homeless senior dogs. I just love every dog so much. Even the ones I haven’t met yet. I’ll probably do a tiny version of this in a million years when I retire. (Please spay/neuter your pets- it’s exhaustingly sad how many end up in shelters!)

9. I actually pretty much love every animal super hard. One of my friends once asked me if there was any animal I didn’t love, and the only thing I could come up with was centipedes. But it was hard to come up with one.

10. I love me some rock and roll, but I don’t really discriminate any kind of music (expect country- get out of my ears, country!). I’ve seen Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Britney Spears, Hanson, The Avett Brothers, Thrice, O-Town, Anberlin all in concert… the list goes on and it is a very diverse list.

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11. If I could have my house totally decorated for Halloween all year long I totally would, and kind of do. There’s a skull in almost every room, but they I think they blend in pretty well. Most people don’t even notice it. Or a t least they don’t say anything. ;)

12. In fact, every single year I go to a horror movie/rock and roll convention (called Rock and Shock) about 30 minutes from my house and it is freaking awesome. Film nerds, unite!

13. My husband and I met my senior year of college, then 2 years later got an apartment with another friend, then we started dating, then I bought a house, and then we got married. He was one of my best friends for years before we ever got together.

14. I’m pretty happy to be openly feminist, and I think you should be too. All it means is being the best woman you can, and encouraging others to do the same.

15. One of my main goals with the blog is to inspire women that they can do anything. Literally anything. Just pick up a power tool and try. ;)

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Anything else you want to know? Just ask! And tell me something about youuuu in the comments too!

Quick Craft: Adding Pockets to a Tote (without sewing a thing!)

Today I’m at SNAP Conference in Salt Lake City surrounded by 500 other talented crafty bloggers learning, creating, and celebrating the friendships we’ve made because of blogging… so I decided to team  up with Abbey from The Cards We Drew and a bunch of other bloggers to create “Crafts in a SNAP” {15 Minute Craft Ideas} so that ANYONE, whether beginner or seasoned pro, can learn to create fun and handmade items in no time at all!

I decided to share a quick update to the tote bag I’m lugging around here at Snap– but be sure scroll down below to check out some of what my blogging friends have to offer!! Have fun and get creative!

I love me a good tote bag. What I do not love is that they pretty much never have pockets and all my things slosh around. So I decided to remedy that.

how to use scrap fabric material to make no sew pockets

I got this amazing tote from Emily McDowell on Etsy to take with me to Snap! (a DIY/craft blogging conference- more to come on that soon) and decided to add a few little pockets so I’d have a spot for my business cards, chapstick, etc.

Supplies:

  • adorable tote
  • adorable fabric (I just used scraps I already had)
  • hem tape, scissors, iron, damp cloth

iron on hem tape fabric in a canvas tote

To do:

  • cut fabric into squares of your desired size (I just laid out all the things I would want to put in them, then cut an inch around that)
  • iron your fabric and tote so it’s wrinkle free
  • fold in the edges of your fabric (so the frayed cuts don’t show) then turn your canvas inside out and hem tape it on with your iron
  • marvel in your amazingly organizeable tote

no sew pockets for a canvas tote

The end! Doesn’t get much easier than that ;)

easy scrap fabric pockets

Pin it so you don’t forget it! :)

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Be sure to check out what a bunch of my new blog friends have to share as well:
Crafts in a SNAP 15 Minute Craft Ideas

Inspiration Living Rooms: A Round Up

I had every intention of doing a project last night-  Matt was going to be at class, then had some friends over, and I was going to have the whole night to myself. But then I turned on “just one episode” of Gilmore Girls (Netflix instant!), and suddenly it was 7 episodes later and I had eaten an entire Domino’s cheesy bread in my sweats under the covers and it was 11:00 so I went to bed. On the plus side though, I am extremely excited to almost be at the episodes where Lorelai and Luke get together because it is a long time coming.

ANYWAY in an attempt to be a good little blogger and not skip a whole week of posting, I thought I’d share some rooms I’m loving with you. I have a whole living room redo knocking around in my brain and these rooms are my inspiration.

First, here’s a semi recent look at my living room:

gray and white living room with zebra print

neutral gray living roomIt’s just so…. gray. Which was my goal originally and so not my goal  now. That black bench is broken beyond repair (RIP) and I have a new one picked out (on back order, hopefully I can get it soon). The black coffee and end tables were a poor choice in retrospect- black furniture and 4 pets? Helloooo visible dust and hair.

So here’s my inspiration…

(please pin from original sources)

rustic spanish blue and white living room(via Queen Emily Henderson)

I am craving white walls everywhere, and blue. So much more blue. I’m pretty sure the Sharpie Stencil Wall is on it’s way out to be replaced with a white accent wall that will match our front entrance and stair landing.

dash line accent wall - gray and white layered and textured bedroom(via The Nester)

I love the fearless random dashes on the wall, the layered textures and fabrics, and the coziness/quirkiness of this room. My living room is a bit stark and formal, which was my intention when I first put it together but not the feel I want for my home now.

yellow orange red pink rustic wood living room(via The Every Girl)

Color!! I need color in my life. The gray and white and black is making me sleepy and it needs a punch of energy. And with the color, I also am digging wood tones everywhere. I’m not a shabby chic kind of girl, but I have some good ideas on how to bring wood into the room (I’m looking at you, coffee tables)

light white glam mixed pattern living room(via Cuckoo 4 Design)

Have you checked out Cuckoo 4 Design? I love her whole house- it’s bold and stylish and shiny and it’s awesome. No matter how much I want lightness and layers and texture, I still have zebra striped chairs and they’re not going anywhere. There’s got to be a good way to mix rustic and glam and I’m going to figure it out.

SO! There you have it. And if you’re looking for even more room/project/decor inspiration, check out all my Pinterest boards HERE.