Wednesday, September 30, 2015

5 Things I've Learned From Dorm Living

I've been here about a month now, and let me tell you, dorm living is the opposite of cozy. Yes, it can be fun at times, but, it's a lot of people in a small space. This list is going to come off kind of negative, but I'll make sure to post a more positive version in the upcoming weeks. Here are some of the things that I just want to emphasize about living in confined quarters:

  1. Hair, Hair Everywhere: When you live with a bunch of other girls, every surface is covered in hair- the floors, the shower drains, your futon, etc.. (Remember your lint roller and to vacuum your carpets occasionally.) But, you have to be okay with it because you only add to the problem. One thing from living in a dorm that I never thought I would ever have to do is picking up my roommate's hairballs that have embedded themselves on the carpet and the bottom of my socks. As I sit here writing this post, I am pulling long, blonde hairs out of my fuzzy socks that I know aren't my own. 
  2. Shoes Are A Must: Never leave the room without putting on shoes, especially in the shower. There is a girl on my floor who didn't think shower shoes were necessary, that is, until she developed like the worst case of athlete's foot ever. I recommend bringing a pair of flip flops that you aren't afraid to get gross. Another thing that I learned was a necessity was slippers/moccasins. You're not going to want to lace up a pair of tennis shoes or put on a pair of boots every time you need to go to the bathroom; slippers are great because you don't need to take off socks to slide them on.
  3. Roommates Have Weird Habits: If you didn't know your roommate before you moved in (or even if you did), you're normally in the same situation of living with another person when you hadn't shared a small space with anyone before in your life. People do weird things when they're home alone, but now, that home is shared with another person and you just have to accept it. Don't judge your roommate, because likely, there is something that you do that they find completely strange too.
  4. Don't Be The Messy Roommate: Even if you were messy before you got to college, try your hardest to keep your things cleaned up. No one wants to live with a pile of their roommate's dirty dishes sitting on the desk. It's uncomfortable to ask your roommate to clean up after themselves, so put yourself in their shoes and clean up your dirty dishes (before the bugs get into your room). Within the first week of school, you and your roommate should establish some housekeeping rules such as: How often do we make our beds? How often will we do a thorough cleaning of the room? How long are dirty dishes allowed to sit around before getting cleaned? Etc.
  5. You Don't Have To Be Best Friends With Everyone You Meet: Being thrown into a new environment and knowing no one can be stressful, and normally, you cling to the first couple of people you meet as your new best friends even though you have nothing in common. I'm not saying that you can't be friends with these people, by all means, make as many friends as you can! What I'm trying to get across here is that you shouldn't be down on yourself if the first week or two has gone by and you're still eating by yourself in the cafeteria every day. You'll make lasting friendships over time and the bast way to jump start this is to join an activity or two that you're really interested in and you're bound to find people with common interests. 
This may seem like a rant (because it kind of was), but I just want to wrap this up by saying that college is great, it just takes a while to get used to.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Faves (Week 4)

Welcome back everyone to this week's edition of my Friday Faves! It's been a super hectic week for me, so I haven't been able to write and other posts and I apologize for that. I'm also going to have to keep this post kind of short, but promise that I'll have a more quality post later this week. 

Just a friendly reminder that if you choose to pin any images from this post that are not my content, please pin them from their original sources so that the original author/artist gets the credit they deserve. 

I saw these collages on Pinterest and instantly fell in love! These collages were made by Rocio Montoya and more of her work can be seen on her website here. She's based in Madrid, Spain and, as her website biography says, she works in "experimental portraiture". She had some of her pieces featured in a book of collage artists, titled "Collage Makers" and her work was even chosen for the cover design. I'm looking forward to ordering my copy of the book which can be purchased here
Craft Tutorial
While looking through craft projects on Reddit, I stumbled across a craft blog called "Damask Love". This blog has some of the best craft tutorials that you could ever find and is located here. There was one tutorial in particular that I'm looking forward to attempting which is her "Bookbinding University". In a series of posts, she explains how to bind books, starting simple then moving to more advanced techniques. The first lesson can be found here and is for DIY composition books. 

The song of the week is "Phone In A Pool" by Ben Folds from the album " So There". I've really been enjoying this song this week and think I'm going to order the album when I get a chance. I've have a lot of Ben Folds albums on my computer since I heard his music on Pretty Little Liars, but this is his most recent album. It's a really catchy song and I highly recommend buying it for your music collection!

Video Of My Dog 
My parents sent me this video of my dog playing around with one of her friends in a mud puddle. I'm sorry if the video quality isn't that great; this is the first time that I've uploaded a video via the Blogger video service and I'm still trying to figure out how well it works. Mocha has too much energy and tends to antagonize the other dogs. Pay close attention to when she shoves her friend into the puddle. My dog is super weird sometimes...

Catch up on your reading of my Friday Faves posts! Here are this month's posts:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Friday Faves (Week 3)

Welcome back for another exiting edition of my Friday Faves! I'm not quite sure if you guys are liking these posts or not and I'm considering making them a permanent part of my blogging, so please comment your thoughts below! Also, if you have any links that you would like me to check out and potentially put in next week's Friday Faves, those can be put in the comments as well.

YouTube Video
This is a video from the Royal Ballet that explains the history of pointe ballet. I think it's super interesting and they have examples of how the dance progressed over time. It was a super informational yet entertaining video (if you're a ballet nerd like I am)! They post some other really cool videos that talk about famous dancers and recreate some of their pieces and talk about their cultural significance that I really recommend watching.

I also have been watching a lot of "Plan My Week" videos where people film videos of them filling out their planners and decorating. I don't know why I find this super interesting (possibly because I'm a planner addict myself) but they're just really a fun peek into someone else's life. The majority of the videos on YouTube are of people who have Erin Condren planners, but I'm super loyal to the Lilly Pulitzer planner and intend to post a review of my Lilly planner soon. This particular video is from Microscope Beauty and she shares six months of her Erin Condren planner layouts complete with stickers. Sometime, I'll have to show you guys how I decorate my planner!

I've been watching a new show on Netflix this week called "Cybercrimes With Ben Hammersley" and it's super interesting in a geeky way. It's basically a documentary and a TV show at the same time. This show originally aired on BBC, but it now on Netflix for the entertainment of us all. The host goes around learning about crimes that the internet has facilitated (i.e. Email Scams, Secret Websites That Sell Drugs, etc.) and then explains them.

Another TV show that I've been watching on Netflix is "Dogs With Jobs". This show is from Canada and documents dogs who have jobs (obviously). I believe only season two is available on Netflix right now, but if I remember correctly, season one was on there a while ago. When I think of dogs who have jobs, I normally just think of service animals, but this show profiles dogs who are police dogs, sheep herders, the dog who does the commercials for Greyhound buses, etc. and it's really interesting.

Pinterest Find
This week's Pinterest find is an article from Popsugar and can be found here. This list is titled: "One A Day: Throw These 116 Things Away" and, as the title states, is a list of suggested throw-away items to declutter your life. Some of the things on the list I disagree with because the list suggests that you throw away items like leftover change, old t-shirts, hair accessories that you don't wear anymore, etc. and these items could be easily donated instead of tossing them in the trash. But, overall, the list is a good reminder that I need to go through my things and throw away things like old make-up, tights that have runs, etc..
Anthropolgie has super cute clothing that I would only consider buying if I was gifted a million dollars. But, it's always fun to window shop on their website. I saw this dress and it kind of fit in with the color scheme that the two YouTube videos had and was beautiful, so I decided to include it. This dress is the Persica Lace Dress and can be purchased here for a small fee of $395. I really like the off the shoulder cut of the dress and it's nicely balanced by the longer length of the skirt. The color of this dress is a pretty peach color, and although it doesn't go quite with my skin tone, if I had a darker skin tone, it would really look beautiful. (Although, with a dress this pretty, it would look good on anyone.) The skirt also has a scalloped edge which is really in style lately.

Interested in reading the previous editions of My Friday Faves? Check them out here:

Monday, September 14, 2015

DIY Try: Upcycled Monogramed Glass Jars

My roommate had some leftover glass jars that she was going to recycle, and while I was sorting the recycling, I decided that they would be perfect for a craft project. I had been looking for a new home for my paint brushes, preferably one that was taller and heavier so that it wouldn't tip over when I put some of my longer brushes in it and these fit the bill!

  • Glass Jars (I used a pickle jar and a sauerkraut jar, Make sure your jars are flat on the sides so that decorations will apply easier (i.e. no elevated writing on the glass))
  • Dish Soap and Sponge
  • Scrapbook Paper (I recommend using a thinner paper)
  • Fabric Tape
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • Rhinestones
  • Acrylic Paint (I used black) 
  • Double-Sided Tape
  • Tacky Glue
  • Metallic Marker 
  • Any Other Supplies That You Want To Decorate With!

All of the glass jar tutorials on Pinterest were about how to tint your glass jars with paint, but those required an oven and my dorm room doesn't have an oven, sadly. I decided to do things my own way (And also use up some more of those rhinestones that I have laying around). I'd like to apologize in advance for the quality of the photos because my camera still won't focus unless it's super close up.

I had two jars for this project, a sauerkraut jar that was taller and thinner, and also a pickle jar that was more short and squat. I begin by peeling the labels off of the jars, this proved kind of hard, especially on the sauerkraut jar. (Side note: While reading the sauerkraut label, I noticed that they had listed 'Artisanal Tap Water' as one of the ingredients and I found that hilarious.) I originally tried peeling the labels off the jars with my fingernails, but I found that it was much easier to remove them if they soaked in water for a couple minutes because the glue weakened.

After I had removed the labels to the best of my ability, I cleaned the jars out with a sponge and some dish soap. I washed them until they stopped smelling like the food that they once contained. The glue that held the label on the sauerkraut jar wouldn't come off, so I left it and will cover it up later in the process.

I start with my sauerkraut jar and decide what pattern of scrapbook paper I wanted it to be. For this jar, I thought that since it would be holding paintbrushes, a brushstroke pattern would only be appropriate. I made sure to use a thinner scrapbook paper because it wrapped the jar easier and wouldn't peel up on its own. Once I measured the height that the paper needed to be, I cut the paper into a strip and flipped it upside down. I made sure to clear all other sheets of scrapbook paper out of my way, so that I wouldn't get them mixed up.

Starting at one end of my scrapbook paper strip, I applied a strip of double sided tape. Depending on how secure you want the paper to be, you can either lengthen or shorten the strip of tape. I'm going to be finishing my edges with a fabric tape, so I didn't need too much double sided tape.

I take the side of the paper that I just put tape on and stick it evenly to the back of the jar. I suggest that you make your seam where the jar is printed with the expiration date, if your jar has this on the side. Once my paper is attached at the end, I add more strips of double sided tape every inch and a half or so.

Using the previous glue lines as a level, I try to get my scrapbook paper to wrap as straight as possible. I overlap the tail end of my scrapbook paper slip over the end that I started with and after removing the excess, I tape this end down from the back using my double sided tape. This seam may not match up if you're using patterned paper like I am, so I make sure that this seam is on the back when I'm decorating later.

Now that the jar is wrapped in paper, it's time to secure the paper even more by adding strips of fabric tape around the top and bottom edges of the paper.

I found these rolls of fabric tape in the dollar section at Target and they're super cute. They're similar to a washi tape except that they're made of fabric instead of paper. These tapes are a little more permanent than a washi tape and are more opaque.

I begin by wrapping the tape around the top of my jar and cutting a strip to that size. The nice thing about this tape is that it's paper backed, so I can make measurements without being worried about it sticking to my paper and not coming off. I always cut slightly more than I think I'm going to need, so that in the case that I mis-measured, it won't have a gap between the tails of the tape.

I begin applying this tape at the seam where my paper meets on the back of the jar. It's hard to judge if the tape is in a straight line while applying it, so I just try my best. The tape might overlap on the seam in the back, if this is the case, I cut it so that it just barely overlaps.

Once I have wrapped the top and bottom edges of the jar, I freehand sketch out a a K on the jar with a pencil. I made certain that this would be opposite of my back seam. You could use a stencil in this step, but I decided just to go for it.

I begin attaching rhinestones into the outline of my K with tacky glue. It works best if you use a lot of smaller rhinestones instead of a few larger ones because the surface is slightly curved. I was able to move the rhinestones slightly once they had been placed so that I could fit them to the outline as best I could.

I put my first jar off to the side and began working on the second one. For this one, I chose a more transparent paper because the jar underneath was cleaner than the other one. I realized once I started cutting this paper that it was a vellum paper, so it had a plastic feel to it and ripped easily around the edges. It was a really strange texture of paper to work with.

After cutting a strip that was the entire length of the scrapbook paper, I realized that I didn't have a long enough length. I lined the paper up with the gap that the first strip of paper formed and traced the square that was missing with a pencil. I cut this square out, trying to get the pattern to match up, which I soon realized was nearly impossible. At this point, I also realized that the double sided tape kind of showed through the vellum paper. (I would not recommend using paper like this for this project.)

Like my previous jar, I lined both the top and bottom of my scrapbook paper strip with fabric tape. Although, this time, I used pink. The fabric tape really helped with this specific paper because it wasn't taped down continuously around the jar because the double sided tape would show through. It also helped disguise any ripped edges of the paper because I realized that it has a tendency to do that when you cut it with scissors.

I took a metallic marker that I had bought at TJ Maxx a while back and doodled a floral pattern into an oval on the front of the jar. I used a Sharpie to draw the outline of a heart in the middle of it that I would later fill in with paint. I decided that this looked too plain and drew two smaller, floral ovals coming off the sides of the main oval each filled with a heart.

Using a black craft acrylic, I painted in the hearts that I had outlined in Sharpie. This step required two to three layers of paint to get to the desired color. Since I was working on vellum paper, the surface dried oddly when I painted on it.

Since I had some leftover black paint on my palette, I added some swirls on either side of the K to connect the jars together a little more. A little bit of craft paint goes a long way because it's pre-mixed with water so it covers more surface.

I used my metallic marker to write my initials in the three hearts monogram style (First, Last, Middle). This didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, so I'm thinking about painting over my hearts again in black and just leaving them like that.

The jars are officially done and ready to be used for your storage needs! I'm still deciding what to do with the lids of the jars, and that will probably be my next DIY for the blog. I'm thinking about making them into coasters. If anyone has any ideas, feel free to share them in the comments!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday Faves (Week 2)

Music Video
"Wildest Dreams": yet another well produced music video starring Taylor Swift. I really like the direction that her videos are taking and the cinematography is just stunning. This is also such a catchy song and lately I've been listening to it on repeat. I highly recommend looking at her music video for "Style" too, because the visual effects are really nice.
Piece of Clothing
I saw this dress on Modcloth today and knew I needed to have it! It's called the Earned Adulation Dress and can be purchased here. I think this would be supper cute to wear to my school's Harvest Ball with my black, fur stole. The only issue was that they were sold out of my size, so I'm going to see if it comes back in stock. Modcloth is normally really good at restocking products if you want something that's out of stock.

Pinterest Find
This blog post by A Mere Glimpse is super creative and can be found here. She walks through a tutorial of how to recycle Eos lip balm containers and then uses them for small jewelry cases when traveling. They're like the perfect size for a small necklace, a ring or a couple pairs of earrings. While this blog isn't very active, some of the content is super cute and I recommend reading through it. (I think there's about five blog posts total) Here's the link to Meredith's blog:

Photo Of My Dog
I'm missing my baby a lot this week and I just found out that she's not coming up to visit me for family weekend, so it's been hard. I miss the little curly hairs behind her ears the most, but I can't scratch behind her ears over video chat and was really looking forward to seeing her in person and giving her a long walk across campus. My mom sent me this picture after they had brushed her (She sheds a lot) and she immediately stuck her nose into the hairball before they could throw it away. My brother sent me the second photo with the caption: "She's taking a nap".

I hope that you all have a great weekend and I can't wait to give you guys a photo tour of my dorm room once my phone camera gets fixed. I just saw the new rose gold iPhone from the Apple release and I definitely want that as my new phone! My dad say that the camera is supposed to improve by 4 megapixels between the version that I have and the new release, so that's exciting.
Like this week's edition of Friday Faves? Be sure to check out last week's for plenty more of my favorite things (And some really cute photos of my dog!):

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My First Two Weeks At Concordia Wrap-Up

Now that I'm all settled into college, I'd like to share with you a couple of my favorite experiences from the last two weeks. It took a while to adjust to being so far away from home and knowing no one, but I'm beginning to love going to school here!

I didn't know my roommate before I started here, and we had just had one or two conversations over social media, so I was super nervous to meet her. We get along super well and I couldn't have asked for a better roommate. We've done all sorts of interesting stuff together including trying to get a two-hundred pound futon up to the third floor of our building which doesn't have elevators. We've gone grocery shopping a few times together, which is always an adventure. And we're both rushing the single sorority that we have on campus together, too.

There were also corndogs here on move-in day and a couple times since, so needless to say, I've eaten a lot of corndogs since I got here. The food is pretty good, especially the loaded baked potato soup, which I could eat for every single meal if I had the option.

Here's some pictures of my orientation club. The dime sign really made no sense to any of us, but everyone else seemed to think it was hilarious.

One of the girls who I was talking to during bingo night, said that her roommate head that if you moved a ceiling tile to the side, it got cooler in the room. So they moved a ceiling tile and they found a box of letters from the girls who lived there before them. I've heard stories like this from other people. So my roommate and I decided to check our ceiling and we found a whole bunch of Ramen. It was all really expired (from like 2012) and we didn't know what to do with it, so we just put it back in the ceiling. We're considering adding more Ramen to it at the end of the year. (We don't have air conditioning in our building and we don't have a fan, so it's been a sweaty first couple of weeks, as you can tell from the pictures.)

We also have one sorority on campus (as previously mentioned), Delta Lambda Sigma and my roommate and I are rushing. Since, it's the only chapter of this sorority and it's the only one on campus, rush week is a little different than at my friends' schools. There's an activity every night for about a week and a half, and while they're not required, the more you go to, the better chance you have of becoming a pledge. So far, we've had an ice cream social, a dinner and tonight we're playing night games with a fraternity from the college across the river. (Because capture the flag is the best thing ever!)
Please ignore how messy our room is in the background, we were still redecorating that day.