Monday, July 29, 2013

Lettuce, Turnips, and Beets! Oh My!

First off I would like to apologize for my failure at posting anything new lately. I’ve been busy gathering those last minute college things so I would rather focus on something kind of fun than getting down to business.

Today I’m going to walk through the steps to make your very own sign for your room!

I received the idea to make this when I saw a similar sign at Good JuJu downtown. They had so many cute signs made with old wood that I wanted one of my own. Now I will warn you that this project takes a little time, but it’s well worth it!

Let’s get started!

Materials you will need:
1.       Wooden Boards  (at least 2-4)
2.       Nails (regular wood nails)
3.       Spray paint
4.       Frog tape
5.       Word Stencils

Step #1: Create the basis for your board.

This doesn’t have to be the exact same size that I used. It can be longer, shorter, or more vertical. I bought a few planks of wood from Home Depot that were about three feet long. Then I cut at least 6-8 inches so I could piece my board together.

As shown in the picture I have three boards put together, but (not shown) I have two boards nailed vertically on the back to hold my project together.

(Optional) Step #2: Stain your boards.

I used only a slightly darker stain than my wood, but feel free to go super dark or just make it the same. Make sure you let the stain dry before you start placing your stencils on there.

Step #3: Cut the words you wish to use.

Now I used the Cricut, again, but you can honestly do this a number of different ways. If you want to have your words filled in I would suggest finding a stencil of some sort. But if you want your letters to be hollow and just have an outline of the letter then you can easily print out from the computer and cut.

It might be a good idea though to leave a slight border around those words. You will see why during the spray paint step.

Step #4: Once you have cut out your words. Place tape around the edges.

I used Frog Tape because it peeled off the best, but you could probably use blue painter’s tape, too.

Step #5: Start spray painting your board!

When I spray painted my board I used a piece of cardboard behind the word I was painting so I wouldn’t get that color on my next word.

Just make sure to shake well before applying the spray paint. I used only one coat, but feel free to use multiple. Be careful that your paint doesn’t start to run though.

If you have any questions about this project feel free to leave a comment or question in the comment box below.

I'm linking this project to Craft-O-Maniac and Skip To My Lou

In my next post I will be discussing the next category on the college list and then teach you how to repurpose an old armchair without spending an exorbitant amount of money.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ducks in a Row: Part II

Let’s play a game of Categories. The Category is……SLEEP! The most important heading in my opinion, right next to Food and Study.

Now in a previous post (Bedding and Beyond) I talked about finding the right comforter to suit your style. But now I am going to get into the items needed to make sure those bed bugs really don’t bite.

Tip #1: Invest in a mattress protector!

Unless you those bed bugs to pay an unwarranted visit in the night, this is one of the first things to buy to protect yourself.

I bought this one. (Allergy Luxe Bed Bug Protection)

It is specifically designed for dorm beds (Twin XL) and was more reasonable than many other protectors out there.

And to make sure those little critters don’t infest your pillows, invest in a pillow protector as well.

Tip #2: Make your bed as comfy as you like it.

With what? Well whatever floats your boat. Like so….

I purchased one of the Therapedic Memory Foam. Now I know this kind of on the expensive side but it is the only mattress pad I bought. Sometimes the waffle pattern foam covers or just the regular down feather pad proves too little support.

So you may feel the need to purchase multiple pads to get that nice cushy feeling. That’s why I went with the one. Plus less for you to take in the car on the way down or ship.

Tip #3: Purchase fun sheets.

Many colleges will offer comforter and sheet sets for a very reasonable price. But the verdict on these (I talked to people who purchased said sets for their first year) is that they are quite uncomfortable. Even after washing them several times.

Now this may not be true for all, but this is the general consensus that I have collected. If otherwise, please let me know!

Tip #4: Don’t forget that alarm clock. You don’t want to be late to class.

I am using mine from home so don’t feel the need to run out and buy a new-fangled clock with tons of gadgets and buttons on it. The simpler the better.

Because if you can’t figure out how to turn off your alarm, it’s not just going to annoy you.

Tip #5: A bedside caddy might be a good investment.

This may sound weird and heck it might look weird. At least that’s what I thought when my mom suggested one.

In actuality though, it might save you some climbing trips especially if you decide to loft your bed.

That’s it for the Sleep category! If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave one below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

In my next post I will be showing you how to create your one-of-a-kind sign for your dorm room. And then I will pick back up with more categories later.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Words of the World

Hi everyone! Today I will walk you through the steps to make your very own word globe. If you are ever in need of something to finish off your dorm room decor, this is a fast and easy project to do. I received the idea off of Pinterest but made a couple modifications.

So let’s get started!

Materials Needed:
1. Globe (can be any size or color)
2. Mod Podge
3. Cut-out paper words

4. Foam paint brush to apply Mod Podge

Step 1: Find a globe that works for you.

This is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. There are many estate sales and garage sales that have globes for cheap. I bought my globe for a few dollars down at Good JuJu (they repurpose and sell original pieces of “junk”).

It doesn’t matter what colors your globe has because you will be covering it with words. It’s also okay if your globe has raised areas indicating mountain ranges. The project will still work but might take a little more time.

Step 2: Cut out your choice of words.

In this part, I used two different shades of pink cardstock as well as the Cricut to cut out my words. If you don’t have a Cricut, that’s okay! You could use words from magazines or stencil your words and cut them out individually (sorry, it’s a little bit more time consuming).

Originally, Pinterest said to paint the words on the globe, but what I found was the words didn’t look as clean or sharp that way. 

Step 3: Mod podge your different-sized words onto the globe.

For the particularly mountainous regions on my globe all I had to do was apply more Mod Podge to the letters and press down.

Your words can go diagonally, vertically, horizontally, and just whatever floats your creative juice boat.

Step 4: Apply Mod Podge over the top of all of the words once the first coat dries.

This second coat will ensure your letters will stay.

And that’s all there is to it! There is no right or wrong way to go about this project. Go to town exploring some of your favorite words or wacky color patterns.

It’s a great project to brighten up any dorm room. I will post this project on Craft-O-Maniac and Sew Chatty if you want to view other great projects there. 

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment or question in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ducks in a Row: Part I

As promised this is the first of a few installments of the necessities of college. The first one had to do with where to begin in “Bedding and Beyond.” But if you are struggling with that, like I was, maybe you just need a different approach.

Tip #1: Start with making a list.

There are many good lists for college out there that claim to be the best. But I found that not just one list is the end-all-be-all. Often times different lists will have different ideas on what to bring or how to bring it.

For example, the list above breaks up your needs into different categories. But honestly, any list is fine. You may have to adjust your list depending on what your college provides or doesn’t provide.

Tip #2: Don’t feel like you have to buy everything because you may not need it.

Just be careful when looking at these lists that you don’t become so overzealous and buy EVERYTHING. 

Guess what? You don’t need everything. Your school will most likely send you a list of the things you should think about bringing as well as things that aren’t a necessity. 

For example, at my school we don’t need Ethernet cables. So that’s one less thing to have to bring, however small that might be.

Tip #3: Bed Bath and Beyond is still your best friend.

Why am I saying this all the time? Well let me just tell you how nifty Bed Bath and Beyond can be.

First of all, if for some reason you did not receive a list from your school on what to bring (or you just can’t find the darn thing) Bed Bath and Beyond can provide one for most schools. 

I can’t guarantee that they will have every school, but they have the majority.

In my next few posts on school supplies I will go through each category and discuss some key points and possible additional items. (And there will be more Bang for Your Buck posts in between.)

Thanks for stopping by! If you have a question or a comment feel free to leave one below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stringing in the Future

As I sat down to write this post, I realized that I did something very naughty. I promised that my next installment of dorm room decorating would edge on the more practical side. But I lied.

It’s out of pure selfishness that I have changed what I will post about today. My last few posts have really been on the text-heavy, nitty, gritty details of how to prepare for college life. 

So instead of boring you out of your mind about more practical posts, I have decided to give you and myself a reprieve.

Today’s post is about incorporating string art into your dorm. Like so….

Now I know what you might be thinking, as I did the first time I saw this, that it’s hard. But let me tell you, it’s not. I am about the most impatient perfectionist out there and even I could do this little project.

So let’s get started!

Materials you will need:
1.  Acrylic Paint – it dries quickly and is the perfect craft paint
2. Wooden frame
3. Embroidery floss
4. Stickles
5. Wire Nails #18 x ¾ (Home Depot)

Step 1:  Paint the wooden board two different colors. One for the middle and one for the edge of the frame.

In this case I used Yellow Acrylic Paint for the middle and a Light Green for the edge. If you choose to go with the oval that has a slightly fancier trim around it, you may need a smaller brush to dab in the hard-to-reach spots. Q-tips might work well for that part.

Let the paint dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Place your chosen picture onto the board and hammer in the nails around the negative portion of said picture. (Make sure, before you start nailing, to have some cushion underneath. I used a laptop case, newspaper and a couple placemats.)

The flower is the negative portion and the filler on the inside of the flower is the positive portion.

 Luckily, my mom owns a Cricut. Now, you don’t absolutely have to have a Cricut for this project to work.

A.  If you don’t own a Cricut simply print out a picture online (or if you are a very talented drawer feel free to free-hand it) and use the positive. This means cutting out your image as you normally would and putting the nails around the outside instead of the inside (the negative).

B.  If you have a Cricut, lucky duck you! Simply use the negative portion of your image and nail around the inside. For this project I used a Cindy Loo 10” flower. But you can make it any size you want.

As a side note, the curvier your image, the closer your nails will have to be to get inside the curves. As shown above.

Step #3: Tie your floss in a knot around the first nail head. You can begin anywhere you want. I started by outlining the edge of my flower with the pink floss. Once done outlining the piece of the image, start zigzagging your floss.

Remember: There is not wrong or right way to weave your image. Whatever floats your boat is the right way to go.

Continue the process throughout your image with however many other colors you want. If you want to add another color just tie it in a knot on a nail head and begin the process again. 

It doesn’t matter if you have a million strings attached to one nail head. If you can fit it, then you should do it.

I continued with the darker pink and the green for the stem.

Step #4: When you have finished stringing a certain section just tie that string in a knot again. Don’t worry about having a knot here and there in the process. Most of your zigzagging will cover it up. Just try to cut the knot strings a little short.

When the stringing is finished you can add Stickles on your nail heads to cover them up. It added a cute little shimmer and really finished off the project. I put green Stickles around my stem, light pink and dark pink for my flower.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed today’s project. If you have any questions or comments feel free to leave one and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Bedding and Beyond

After having been graduated for a couple months, there always lies the question of “What am I going to do for summer?” Some of you might be lucky and take a vacation or maybe, like me, you’re enjoying a staycation. Either way, we’ve all got to get our ducks in a row, or rather our dorm supplies, right?
Honestly, I hate thinking about it. There are so many requirements for living in a dorm without the decorating factored into it. Unfortunately, this gargantuan problem has to be dealt with. Incrementally, of course.

So where does one start?

Tip #1: Start with what is going on your bed.

Now you may think this is the easiest part of the whole process. After all, it’s just a comforter with a couple pillows, right? Wrong. This was actually the hardest part for me. I had no idea what I wanted to start with. Originally, I thought I wanted a teal and white comforter from Bed, Bath and Beyond. But something wasn’t clicking for me so I kept searching and ended up finding something I truly adore from Urban Outfitters.

Tip #2: Bed, Bath, and Beyond is your best friend.

They have wonderful color scheme ideas even if you don’t like the actual bedding. Also, they have a program called “Pack ‘n Hold”. This is where the store will hold specific items you want for your dorm at the Bed, Bath and Beyond closest to your college. That way you don’t have to lug hundreds of items up in your car and can pick up various items at that store.

Remember: if you have to utilize a U-Haul for anything, you may want rethink a. your furniture size and b. the amount of stuff you have. Because, guess what? It won’t fit. Period.

Tip #3: Don’t feel obligated to keep your same colors. Although, that is a good start.
Some people think going with your room colors is the only way to go, but I say take a chance to explore some new colors and styles that you haven’t been looking at for the past 10+ years of your life. Although, if you’re absolutely, irrevocably attached to your room colors at home by all means feel free to bring them with you to college. 

Just remember that your room is just that...your room. So if you're not happy with what you've picked out please don't settle!! If you're into camo, go for camo. If you adore zebra print, go for zebra print. (Just make sure you can live with that for a few years). 

In my next installment, I will discuss some of the necessities of dorm life.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question below and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hibernation to Graduation: Part II

Part II

Tip #3: You don’t have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life to figure out what college you want to go to. A common misconception is that you must know your junior and senior year of high school. Wrong. It’s helpful (sometimes), but it’s wrong. Don’t be afraid to go into college as an Undecided Major. People knowing their major may seem like they have it all figured out, but they can just as easily change. You’re not locked into one specific field.

Take my tour guide, for example. I was visiting my college to audition for their dance program the following day. He gave our group the exact same advice because he changed his major 3 or 4 times before settling on Political Science.

At that point I sort of felt exactly like you do right this.

I digress...back to examples. Such as me. Right now I am going in as a double major in Dance and Communications Studies. But this doesn’t mean that I will continue doing either. It’s a scary thought. Trust me, I have spent countless nights thinking about it. But don’t be afraid to get your toes wet in other areas.

Another example, I am taking an Archaeology seminar to count as my Honors First-Year Seminar. A requirement for both my Gen. Ed. (General Education) and the Honors Program that I have entered into. Obviously, this has nothing to do with either of my majors, but if you don’t explore other options how will you truly know what you want to do?

Tip #4: Fire up that Academic Resume! I can’t stress enough how much help it was to refer to a document with all of my activities in one place rather than scramble around trying to remember everything I’ve done. And if you aren’t really involved in anything. Find something and stick with it. Don’t feel like you need to get a lot activities in because what most colleges and eventual sororities/fraternities (post to come later) look for is consistency. The worst thing you can do is jump around every year from activity to activity or just do something that you think will look good on that resume for college. Again, FIND SOMETHING YOU LIKE AND STICK WITH IT! It can really make all the difference.

Below is a good template that I used for my own academic resume for high school.

Your name                                                      Your High School
Your address                                                    H.S Address
(Address continued)                                   (H.S. Address continued)

Academic Record:
Ninth Grade (first semester):   Ninth Grade (second semester):

List all of your classes and then either the letter grade or the number grade in each.                      

Cumulative GPA (as of May, 2012 or whatever yr):

Test Scores:
 PSAT: Critical Reading: Score   Math: Score    Writing: Score
 SAT: Critical Reading: Score   Math: Score   Writing: Score     (Science: Score)

Remember: Put down your scores for all of the tests even if you took a particular test multiple times. They like to see improvement.


Remember: When you write down your awards, activities, and service go from the most recent to freshman year. And put the date in parentheses after each one.

Extracurricular Activities:


Tip #5: This is the last one for today, I promise! Don’t feel the need to apply for hundreds of colleges. If you are an undecided major don’t feel pressured to apply for every college you can think of. First, check the options you have in-state. It’s fine to go out of state, actually I am going out of state, but it’s only because my particular college has the programs I want. If you have a specific program in mind sometimes out of state is your only option. Unfortunately, it's how the cookie crumbles. Just explore your options first. You'll find the right fit, but you have to keep an open mind.

Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Hibernation to Graduation: Part I

Part I
Standing on the Music Hall stage silently sweating bullets, my classmates and I wait for the most anticipated moment of the graduation ceremony. Receiving our diploma, switching our tassel to the left, and throwing our caps in the air. Actually graduating.

But how did we even get here? It seems like only yesterday that I was a nervous freshman walking to English class in the hopes that I would know someone. Or a sophomore thanking my lucky stars I didn’t have the stigma of a freshman anymore. Or a junior stressing over SAT/ACT scores being high enough. Or a senior thinking: Where the heck am I going to college!? I don’t even know where to begin.

 High school careers may seem like a long four years, but in reality, they fly by in a blink of an eye (no rhyming intended). Eventually, you will be in the same place I was, figuratively or maybe literally, anticipating your next steps.

Before I do though I have a tiny disclaimer: These methods worked for me, but they are by no means the end all be all of methods.

So let’s get down to business. How do you get to that fateful moment?

Tip #1: Whatever you do please DO NOT succumb to the omnipresent, lurking sickness called Senioritis (aka Hibernation). What is Senioritis you ask? Simply the onset of severe and complete procrastination justified by the fact that it is your senior year and you’ve already gotten into college. Stupidest. Excuse. Ever.

Colleges still want to see what you did your senior year and can revoke your admission acceptance if they believe your grades are not up to their standards. Technically, even though you have received an acceptance letter, your admission is still considered pending. So think long and hard about resorting to the epidemic.

Tip #2: This is going to sound crazy to some people, but let me tell you how much time it saved me during the year. Turn in those college applications and essays THE DAY THE SITE OPENS TO TURN IT IN!! Sites usually go live around August 1st so start cranking out those essays and academic resumes during the summer before senior year. This helps you stay away from the dreaded Senioritis.

Most colleges will allow you to do what is called Early Action where you turn in your essay(s) and application form in early. This is usually non-binding and it allows you to turn in other forms they request earlier as well as possibly having first dibs on orientation days (unless it is assigned) and housing (if you turn in that housing application early enough).

Remember: Early Action and Early Decision ARE NOT the same thing. Below is a chart outlining the different application plans.

Also, as a sidenote, you can use what is called the Common App website (see link). This website gives you a list of colleges that use this website for applications. And guess what? You would only potentially have to write a couple different essays that can be used across the board if you find out your college uses this.

Personally, I did not use the Common App because I had narrowed down what schools I was looking at. If you choose not to do the Common App colleges will post their essay question(s) on their website as well as the application form. It’s honestly personal preference and either way is fine.

Thanks for stopping by! Part II will be coming up tomorrow. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


My name is Emma and I am a dance and communications major looking to make the phrase “going off to college” a little less stressful for those just employing its use or wishing to brush up on their skills. I’m from a family of five (counting my Sealyham Terrier puppy named Olivia) and one younger sister (8th grade). Now I am no expert when it comes to all things college, but so far my methods have worked for me and I would like to impart them if people are interested. I hope to share my tips, tricks, and quirky stories on my road through college.