Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Make Your Own Bud Vases

I read on a blog recently (can't remember which one) that the author never throws away glass jars.  {Think:  olives, pickles, jam.}  Since then, I've been holding on to mine.  And now I have three glass jars taking up room in the pantry. 


I should say, the world's easiest craft.  Like literally, anyone can do this.  It's super cute, fast, not messy, and cheap!  I didn't really take pictures of the process, but it's so easy a child could do it (with supervision). 

What You Need:

Glass Jar
Jute Twine/Ribbon/Yarn
Hot Glue Gun
Decorations if you wish

I used a glass jar that once contained incense cones.  When I finished burning them, the cute jar was calling my name, so I held on to it.  My other jar was from stuffed olives.  I washed the jar and used a pan scraper and my nails to remove the label in the sink.  If you have trouble with this, you can used GooGone or peanut butter.  OR you can opt to cover the whole jar with your jute cord.  I had leftover cord from this project.  THUS, this project was virtually FREE for me!

How To:

Start your cord with a dab of hot glue at the top of your jar.  Then place a small line of hot glue down one side of the jar.  START WRAPPING!  Simply coil the cord around the jar, keeping it even and in place using the hot strip of glue going down the side of the jar.  Secure the end of the cord on the bottom row of your jar using another dab of hot glue. 


For my olive jar, I just used the wrapping twine from the florist to tie a bow around the neck of the jar.  In the future, I'm thinking of painting a chalkboard strip around the jar to add some fun labels.  You could also add some scrapbooking details (flowers, buttons, letters) if you wish.  Take in to account the size of your jar, because you want your live flowers to shine! 

I stopped at a florist on the way home from work yesterday and purchased four stems for my little jars.  It was around six dollars.  I now know what my jars can take, and next time, I'll purchase a few more stems to beef them up. 

For now, I'm absolutely in love with how these turned out!!  And it seriously took me about five minutes.  They are sitting on my bar near my air plants and green jar of corks.  Looove it!

This Picture is NOT Edited :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014


I recently received a duplicate sample in my Birchbox.  Soooo...I'm going to share!!  The giveaway is for a sample size of Cynthia Rowley Sugar Lipgloss.  This is my first time using RaffleCopter, so forgive me if it flops, but I THINK I got it figured out correctly :)  Follow me by email and give me some topics for "Ask Mrs. O".  I can't wait to keep in touch and find some new material.  Thanks for following me!  Maybe the winner can do a guest post of their review!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Half-Braided Side Pony

Although over the past few years I have gotten much better at wearing my hair down, if it's hot or messy, into a ponytail it goes.  This usually happens: halfway through a work day, most weekends, and when any type of physical activity is required.  My hair is pretty long these days, so I've been experimenting with not-so-ugly ways to put it up and back. 

One of my current favorites is a half braid side pony.  Since my hair is thin, a braid can sometimes look a little weasely on me.  My solution?  HALF BRAID!  I don't know if that's a real thing or if I'm a genuis and made it up...but I think you should try it! 

I originally started doing it with my curly hair.  Depending on how my curls are that day, it can look really cute, or a bit crazy.  The poof at the end can get a bit wild.  Recently, I also started doing it when my hair is straight.  It gives it that effortless look and is pretty cute!

This is a not great/end of day/no bobby pins picture.

Simply pull hair to one side, braid half way, and secure your elastic about half way down your pony tail.  Then use bobby pins to keep the top half of your hair in place.  I usually have to use one  near the opposite ear as the braid and one near the back of my head to keep my shorter hair in place.  You can see in the picture above that not having bobby pins led to a little mess! 

Try it out and let me know what you think!!  Easy, casual, and fun!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sinful Colors - Nail Color Review

Ladies, I have exciting news. 

If you do your nails at home, I can recommend a $1.99 nail color that will make you HAPPY!  I paint my nails and toe nails on a very regular basis.  I have a great technique, and (thanks to my mom) can paint my right hand better than anyone I know.  BUT, I still get insanely frustrated when they are already chipped the next morning from brushing my teeth, buckling my sandals, whatever. 

I have picked up a few bottles of Sinful Colors over the past few months.  You can easily find them at Target, Walgreens, etc.  While I was in a fight with my topcoat, I decided to go ahead and try my new red/coral color without one.  To my EXTREME SURPRISE, my nail color lasted several days, without a topcoat, and didn't chip.  Now THAT is impressive!! 

I do the dishes every day, and use my hands a lot at work,  I could not believe that this "cheap" nail color I bought was holding up for days without a top coat.  Perfect reason to buy more, right?!  I have since bought a few more color and their clear topcoat.  And I am still fascinated with how well this nail color performs. 

I can wear this for almost two weeks with my nails still looking pretty decent.  By no means does it hold up like a shellac, but it holds up better than most colors I've used.  TRY IT OUT!!  The two dollar investment gives you nothing to lose.  And the fact that they are ALWAYS putting out new collections will ensure you find a color that you like.

Let me know what you think!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Can I Get A...Wo-Wo-Women's Sizing Standard?

I went shopping after work yesterday with three objects in mind:  new dress, new purse, new shoes.  One of each, nothing too fancy, and summer and work appropriate.  I also vowed to stay away from Target, and try something different. 

Sounds easy enough, right?

UNLESS YOU'RE A GIRL!!  Seriously, who designs women's clothing? 

I started at JC Penney in hopes of finding something cute for a cheap price.  (Note:  there are not many options for clothes shopping near where I live.)  I don't know WHAT they've done there, but it was pretty hard to find anything intriguing.  Their dress selection was horrid.  And it was all around disappointing. 

I did find a few tops in their Worthington section (very work appropriate), two dresses and a blazer to try on.  It was about eight pieces and I walked out with nothing.  That's saying a lot for me!  The dress hems hit at horrible places and showed my bra.  The tops went past my hips (and not in a cute way) and the blazer had arms the size of The Hulk (and it was PETITE!).  You would think out of eight items, at least one would fit properly...?  NOPE!

And let's acknowledge the fact that I can currently fit in things from size Medium to Extra-Large.  HOW IS THERE NOT A SIZING STANDARD?!  Mike is a large in everything.  Same pants measurements in everything.  Something is not fair here!  Women shop way more, and somehow they seem to make it more difficult.  Which is probably why we shop more.  {Okay, now I'm starting to get it...}

The handbag selection left a lot to be desired.  And the shoe section?  Boring!  Is there any way to get a heel that's less than four inches?!  Not everyone can walk around in those puppies, even wedges!  I just want a little 2.5 inch bump for work.  Is that so much to ask for?  Shorties say what?

Frustrated, I headed over to Marshall's, where I had some luck finding some cute tops for work when we first moved here.  Again, the shoe section was horribly boring, and the dresses were not fun or mature or anything I even remotely found interesting. 

So I ventured over to the swim suits.  I've been looking for a cute one piece to support the tatas and make me feel a little more covered up.  THAT was a horrible idea!  The tops are never tight enough, the bottom is either cutting me off or sagging, and the middles are just plain uncomfortable.  How am I supposed to keep the TripleD's in place with a tiny elastic band and two pads the size of a Chips Ahoy?  At least with a two piece, you can get an underwire for the top, and a different size for the bottom.  The STRUGGLE, I tell you.  Which is why right now, I currently use a heavy duty sports bra for water adventures.  How ridiculous is that?

On to the bags.  Even MORE disappointing than JCP. I did find a cute Nine West purse that had me interested all the way until I was next in line to check out. At which point, I decided I didn't like the way it felt when I was holding it, and again, walked out empty handed.

For once, I returned home completely empty handed (to my husband's pleasant surprise) and totally deflated.  I had a clear mission for shopping and was severely let down by women's fashion in general.  Woe is me, I know. 

Does anyone else find clothes shopping absurd?  You would think with all of the options out there, you would be able to find something that strikes your fancy.  Don't you think?

How to Make Friends When You Know No One

I've been hoping to expand my blog more lately and will be starting a new {hopefully} series called:

I love giving advice and am known for my sometimes too blunt honesty.  I cover lots of topics here, everything from friends to crafts to food.  So there is a little something for everyone.  And TODAY, we get our first part of the series. 
A sorority sister from college asks:  "Any advice for making friends when you don't know anyone in your new city?"

She and her new husband are thinking of moving from North Dakota to a place where purchasing a home would be more affordable.  I can definitely relate with wanting to try something outside of the midwest (although I love it!). 

I have to disclose that I did know ONE person when we moved to Austin.  We went to high school together and had a lot of mutual friends, but at the time we moved here, were more "small town friends" rather than besties.  {Now I consider her a great and REAL friend, as she is a great and REAL person!} 
Now, for the important part...HOW DO YOU MAKE FRIENDS?!
This may seem like a really absurd question, but I have to confess that I totally Googled it when we first moved here.  Being in a place with no "friends" can be really overwhelming, and I know that I (personally) got a little panicky and frustrated with the thought of having to make new friends.  It's like dating...but for friends.  And it can be just as awkward as a first date, too! 
---Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success----

*  YOUR JOB:  When moving to a new place, finding a job where there are employees of your age bracket can be extremely helpful.  I currently work at a law firm where most of the staff is older than I am.  {Side note, I am always the BABY at my jobs, why is that?}  The people are absolutely great, but when it comes to connecting outside of work, my available options are small.  Luckily, the few females around my age at work are great and we get along!

*  WHERE YOU LIVE:  Try to live close to a fun or central part of your new city.  We had gotten very settled and comfortable at our last home, so when we moved, we wanted a house with a garage, yard, etc.  This led us to be farther out of the city than we now enjoy.  Therefore, when it comes to more spontaneous activities or "going out", we have a much longer drive back home, which sometimes makes us skip things.  Live somewhere you know you can easily get to fun events, coffee shops, etc. 

*  PICK YOUR CITY WISELY:  Make sure to pick a city that you know will fit your interests, and where you can meet people similar to yourself.  For example:  if you love the city, somewhere in Montana might not be the best option for you.  Also look for cities that are "transplant" friendly.  There are anywhere from 60-130 people moving to Austin, TX every day, which means that many people we meet are in a very similar situation as us.  This makes the "ice-breaker" portion of getting to know someone much easier. 

*  TIME OF YEAR:  Consider the time of year you move.  If you move in the dead of winter or the strain of summer, less people are going to be "out and about" and trying to meet new people.  I know back in Minnesota, during the winter we stayed home as much as possible! 

*  JOIN MEETUP.COM:  This is a website that "helps groups of people with shared interests plan events and facilitates off line group meetings in various localities around the world".  You can join groups with no pressure to attend events.  I am a member of several groups, and then I get invites for "Meetups" when they plan events.  This is where I met my Crafty Girl crowd, we have attended happy hours, and learned about smaller events around town such as a swimsuit fashion show and a cancer fundraiser that we went to. 

SPEEDFRIENDING.COM:  This is a site that puts together events specifically for people to make friends.  It's like speed dating, but for friends.  I have not personally attended an event yet, but they do come up on my Meetup and I am still considering one for the future. 

*  GO TO BARS ON WEEKNIGHTS:  Go to a bar on a weeknight after work when the place is not crazy-busy like it is on a weekend.  Sit with open chairs at your table, or at the bar, and make yourself easy to approach.  You can also mingle around and look for people who look like they're willing to chat.  Bars tend to be a bit quieter and more casual on weeknights, making conversation easier and people more approachable. 

*  JOIN A SPORTS LEAGUE:  This is a great way to meet people with similar interests.  You have a standing appointment to get together weekly with a fun group of people.  We recently joined a bocce ball league, and the teams are for five people.  We joined as two and will be placed on a team with three others.  HELLO automatic way to meet three new people!  {Hope they're fun!} 
So get out there! 
These are options that we have tried and had success with.  Making new friends after college can be intimidating and difficult, but the only way is to get out there and try!  Just pretend you're in kindergarten again ;)  Play games, be nice, and SMILE! 

Also, don't get discouraged.  Like I said, it's like dating.  Not every person is going to be a fit for you.  You might have to go through some awkard situations.  But you might meet someone that is the perfect fit for you! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

How to Deal with Living Across the Country

I am really close to my family.  I grew up with my grandparents five miles in either direction.  I spent summers with my grandmas shopping, listening to Frank Sinatra, and eating popsicles at the hair dresser.  More recently, my mom loved having us come home to visit to shoot guns, grill, and get into mischief in the country. 

I also like to consider myself a necessary thread to my friend groups.  I absolutely love planning wine nights, happy hours, and celebration parties.  I may not be a "hostess with the most-est", but I have lots of wine glasses and can bake a mean 9x9 pan of box brownies! 

It hit me pretty quickly when my Mom left us here in Texas (she flew back to Minnesota after driving down here with us for our move) that those things would not be happening, at least for a while.  You have to be pretty good friends before a wine and gossip night is comfortable, and we certainly won't be home for Christmas bingo this year. 

And then, as soon as you're away, it seems like EVERYTHING starts happening.  We've been gone less than five months and have already lost a grandparent, missed Mother and Father's Days, missed my maid of honor's engagement, etc.  And those things hurt.  Well, they hurt me, at least.  {Because I'm a big baby}   

Moving across the country with a month's notice for everyone was a CRAZY decision, but one we wanted to follow through with.  Do I regret it?  Absolutely not!  But do I get super bummed when I can't be around for a happy hour or baby shower?  Yes, yes, yes.  I guess that's the sacrifice you make for an adventure. 

As I've said before, I'm still playing life's game, and I think that change is sometimes the only way you can learn.  I've learned very quickly which friends I can't live without, how to stay in touch with family, and how much I'm absolutely in love with my husband. 

Being "alone" in Texas has been a challenging and fun experience so far.  It was the perfect time for us to break away from home and try something new, but at the same time, everyone is back home still going on with their lives and it is definitely hard for me to miss out!  Adventure and change always have downsides, and for me, it's the emotional part of not being there. 

So, my advice? 

*  Talk to someone from home at least once a week. 
*  Send snail mail for birthdays, engagements, or just a sweet hello :)
*  Pick a specific social media outlet to share pictures and fun stories were everyone can join in
*  Keep yourself busy!  Read, hike, shop, take trips.  ENJOY!
*  Plan a trip home a few months out so that you have something to look forward to
*  Remember why you moved in the first place and don't let "change" deter you

Props to all the people out there who leave home by themselves!  I could never imagine doing this without my amazing husband by my side.  Luckily for us, it is only making our relationship stronger and making memories that we will have together forever.  I'm lucky to have a strong man to get me through the tough days! 

I miss you, Minnesota!
(And all of you that come with it)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Do You Wear a Fake Wedding Ring?

This weekend, I left my wedding ring at home.  Why?  Because I went to a music festival in the middle of a pasture in Nowhere, Texas.  With all the sunscreen, hand sanitizer, mini-biffs, dirt, and outdoor environment, I didn't feel like walking around with a few carats on my finger. 

Some people say:  "Your ring should fit well enough that you don't have to worry about it falling off."  And my ring fits great...on an every day basis.  But in the Texas summer, you don't want it too tight so that you're not uncomfortable when you "swell" up.  So I leave mine as is, which makes it a wee-bit loose when put with sunscreen, etc.

When I'm snokeling in Mexico, I'm not going to be wearing my ring!  We went kayaking a few weekends ago, and I didn't' wear my ring.  Maybe that's me being young, but messing with something so valuable to me doesn't seem worth it.  In fact, I didn't even wear my ring on our honeymoon, and it hasn't left the country since our engagement in 2011. 

Am I Alone in This? 

I know I'm not 100% crazy because back when we had cable, many of those "Real Housewives" had fake rings, with their real ones at home in the safe!  I'm not that cautious, but I also don't have an 8 carat ring...

I used to wear a small pearl ring my mom gave me a few years ago as a "placeholder" ring while my diamonds were at home.  Now, I even feel uncomfortable wearing that.  Meanwhile, Mike is walking around with a wedding ring on and a *beautiful* lady at his side without one.  Confusing, right?

Who likes walking around with no ring on?  Austin has a very large singles scene, and although I don't consider myself an old hag, I like to have it known that I am TAKEN {by the best guy ever}.  Let's just avoid those awkward conversation all together, shall we?

So after the festival this weekend, I'm considering getting a thin gold band to wear for such occassions.  A little something that I can wear a bit tighter, but is thin enough to be comfortable and non-distracting.   

I can't seem to find anything!  I've been perusing Etsy, Amazon, Zales, JCPenney...and not coming up with anything I like.  Who knew it would be so hard to find a simple band?  No stones, not too chintzy (that's how you spell that, FYI, I had to look it up), and not too expensive.  I'm thinking less than $100. 

I also have been digging on rose gold, and this would give me the perfect opportunity to try it out!  Maybe something like this?

How do you feel about placeholder rings?  Do you ever leave the house without your wedding ring?  How would you feel if you lost your ring?