Channeling My Inner Martha Stewart

The following post was the last one for my PR campaigns class and originally appeared on my writing portfolio blog. We had the opportunity to write about anything, and naturally I went the crafting route since DIY projects have been patiently waiting at the back of my mind since I started this class. My last undergraduate semester at UNT‘s Mayborn School of Journalism is quickly coming to an end (t-minus six days till my commencement ceremony!), so I will finally have a personal life again … Complete with hobbies and all!

I am looking forward to sharing my projects with everyone, and the fan favorites (Tattoo Tuesdays, Music Mondays and Wanderlust posts!) will make a swift comeback as well! So make sure you subscribe to this blog for lots of updates while I plow through the (hopefully short) unemployed-college-grad-job-search period. 🙂

————————————————————————————-

One of my favorite hobbies is crafting. I love giving presents, and handmade gifts always mean so much more since they’re unique and relatively original. Before I started my internship this past summer, I found myself with no job or major responsibilities for the first time since I was 17 years old (living at home with my parents definitely cut down my living and food expenses). Already addicted to Pinterest, I channeled my inner Martha Stewart and became a DIY queen. Now that I have only two finals and a presentation left until I’m a college graduate, having time for DIY projects is one of the perks that I look forward to most.

DIY Mini Polaroid Magnets
DIY Mini Polaroid Magnets

I made the mini Polaroid magnets above for one of my best friends who moved to Ohio. You can check out the instructions out in my previous post. This was one of my favorite projects because of its originality (especially as a present), cute size (each magnet measured at about 1 inch), and its sentimental value since I used personal pictures.

DIY Photo Coasters
DIY Photo Coasters

I made the photo coasters above for my best friend’s birthday this summer. I found this DIY project on Pinterest and immediately fell in love, so much so that I also made three other coaster sets for various other holidays and birthdays. This is one of the best sentimental presents that you can make for someone, but it’s definitely not for beginners (getting the resin to set without any bubbles was the hardest part). The directions to this project are not posted on my personal blog yet, but check back in the next few weeks.

Future Projects

Here is a sneak peek at some of the projects I have planned for the next few months.

  1. Geode Bottle Stoppers (Cupcakes and Cashmere)
  2. Waterless Snow Globes (Something Sweet Designs)
  3. Watermark T-shirts (U-Create Crafts)
  4. Embellished Wood Pencil Block (Design*Sponge, one of my favorite DIY blogs)
  5. Wine/Alcohol Bottle Sleeves with monogram (WaveSong on Etsy)
  6. Personalized Cookbook with your own photos (Clover Lane)

Like what you see? Then be sure to check out my Follow Me on Pinterest for more great DIY ideas!

I will be spending part of the holidays this year with my boyfriend’s relatives in Colorado, so I have scoured Pinterest and the Internet for easy, unique and cool presents for everyone in his family. Since I love baking, and desserts and easy recipes make great stocking-stuffers, you can expect to see more recipes and food demonstrations on my personal blog soon. The Peanut Butter Blossom cookies with Hersey Kisses are the overwhelming favorite among my family and friends, and best of all this is one of the most low-maintenance recipes I’ve tried; check out the recipe here and take a look below at the other tasty things I’ve made.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies with Hershey Kisses
Oreo and Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Oreo and Cream Cheese Cupcakes
Spinach and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Spinach and Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
Cheesy Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole
Vietnamese-style fried eggrolls
Vietnamese-style fried eggrolls
Advertisements

The road to Austin is paved by my ACL playlist…

My boyfriend and I are en route to our state capital for the annual Austin City Limits Festival for three sun-soaked (hopefully) days of constant music and late nights in one of my favorite cities. This will be my fifth ACL, my boyfriend’s second, and we have been anxiously awaiting this mini-vacation.

This Spotify playlist is keep us entertained during the drive; it’s a collection of songs from some of the bands I’m looking forward to seeing.

Any of my friends can tell you that I’m a music festival junkie, and it’s true. Aside from ACL, I’ve been to Austin’s Reggae (Marley) Fest and plan on trying out Coachella many times and Bonnaroo at least once; I have no problem with camping out at a concert, but I’m not a fan of sulfur showers.

My favorite type of concert is one that is outdoors, especially at night when it finally cools down in Texas. I love being surrounded by music and having the choice to camp out in one spot to enjoy or wander with it in the background. And with ACL, there are so many bands to hear live since there is music played constantly from morning till night.

Since the food truck business has really picked up in the last few years, there is so much delicious food to try. My only grievance is that festival alcohol and water is just as expensive as at any other concert, but there are always ways around that problem (hooray for backpacks and mini bottles).

I also love seeing all the different people that come together for this 3-day event, and there are always lots of entertaining people who help “Keep Austin Weird.”

Sadly, I couldn’t find my pictures from 2007 to complete the collection, but in anticipation for this great weekend, I put together a collection of pictures from past ACLs.

Austin City Limits 2008
Austin skyline at ACL 2008
Austin City Limits 2009
Flogging Molly in the freezing, pouring rain at ACL 2009
Ghostland Observatory at ACL 2009
ACL 2009, the year rain turned Zilker Park into a huge mud pit.
Austin City Limits 2010
Some of Austin’s curb appeal.
Take a walk through the neighborhoods of Austin and you may find art and inspiration.
At Sara Bareilles’ set at Austin City Limits 2011.
Our Austin City Limits 2012 3-day passes. 🙂

Friday Words


You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path.

– Steve Jobs

Crisis PR Currently in Full Steam in Egypt and at Google

Hey everyone, if you’re looking for a PR viewpoint on the current protests in Egypt and the controversy surrounding the anti-Islam movie trailer on YouTube then check out my PR writing blog: CRISIS PR CURRENTLY IN FULL STEAM IN EGYPT AND AT GOOGLE.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s reply to Egypt’s belated condolences via Twitter.

“Created”

Some of you may already know about the brilliance and awesomeness of this band, but to those who don’t, I would like to introduce Portugal. The Man.

I started listening to this Portland-based band over three years ago and they instantly became one of my favorite bands. I’ve seen them at Austin City Limits and in Dallas, both were amazing shows, and they will perform at Index in Deep Ellum on October 5. I already have my ticket. 🙂

Lyrics.

“Listen to the cars just passing through
Help out all those friends that helped you too

You just do as you do
That’s all you can do

Open up your arms and hold on to
Everything you own that owns you too

And just let it all go
Because that’s all we can do”

Tattoo Tuesday

Hey tattoo lovers, another Tuesday is upon us and so I bring you a new Tattoo Tuesday post. The topic/theme this week is ink on any part of your torso, which can sometimes become a short-sighted and unattractive decision for some people years on down the road (namely women with abdomen tattoos that stretch into an undetermined mass once they become pregnant).

As you all may or may not have noticed, I usually center each Tattoo Tuesday post around a particular body part. Not only does this make organizing each post much easier, but now I can include some interesting research that I found about the relationships between tattoo location and symbolism for men and women.

We know that people get tattoos on many different parts of the body, and tattoos are an exhibition of many different ideals, values and personalities for many different people. This particular research notes that placement choice is very gender specific and plays a role in how the symbolism of a tattoo differs between men and women.

Back tattoos can allude to a person’s “mysterious” qualities or represent a (meaningful) event that the person has put behind them. I personally like upper back (no thanks to lower back ink for me) because it has the largest unobstructed “viewing” surface area (as opposed to having one wrapped around your arms or legs), and because there’s still many placement options. Also, this location can typically be covered. I plan on (someday…) getting a tattoo that covers part of a shoulder blade or between the two.

Because it’s located near the heart, chest tattoos have symbolized affection and love. Since the chest is usually not completely exposed, there is a sense of intimacy with the tattoo and it’s placement here. Men are more likely to get ink here, though the trend seems to be increasing for women as well.

Side, or rib, tattoos are probably my third favorite location (after back and inner arms). I personally like quotes and solo illustrations on the side, but I’ve seen a few very artistic portraits or whole side pieces. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any real research on the meaning of side tattoos.

“Come Pick Me Up”

A coworker introduced me to a mixture of new music, and one of my favorite artists from this is Ryan Adams.

My musical preferences didn’t use to include country, but over the years of becoming a naturalized Texan, different types of country have slowly crept in. Ryan Adams’ sound is similar to my tendencies for folk and mellow, alt-rock.

But like a friend of mine said, a little too much Ryan Adams puts you to sleep. Ultra mellow!

An interesting side-note, he is married to singer/actress Mandy Moore.

Lyrics.