Crafty Moments: Scrabble Tile Coasters


I spotted Scrabble tile coasters a while back on Pinterest, and from that moment I knew I wanted to try this for myself. I’ve had a game of Scrabble in the trunk of my car for probably at least a year now, so obviously I don’t play it. I finally purchased some supplies (I used
this method to create my tiles), pulled the game out of the back of my car, and had fun making words.
Unfortunately, I only had the one bag of letters (and my game was a deluxe edition so that’s why the tiles are darker than usual) so I settled on making four. But I would love to buy more letters and create so many more coasters. It’s a lot of fun! And you don’t just have to make four letter words, but I wouldn’t make smaller than that. These are the perfect coaster size.


I used wood glue, Mod Podge (glossy), and corkboard mat. I didn’t expect the corkboard to be thin and with a sticky back, but that just meant Brad helped me cut a second piece of the cork to line up with the other for a thicker bottom. I spent some time making my words, glued each letter to the mat with wood glue, let them dry, cut them, and finished everything off with the Mod Podge.


(So the cork wouldn’t bend and separate the tiles while drying)


This was such a fun project! I would definitely do it again, and highly recommend it to craft beginners like me!

Recent Reads: This Is Where I Leave You


I read a lot of books and I enjoy most of them. But it’s been a while since I found myself 100% invested in a book. I was barely halfway through the novel and already I was sad about it ending. That’s when I truly know I am reading a great book. I always liken it to a summer love affair. You know it’s going to end eventually, but you do it anyway and it’s so wonderful and exciting and still sad when you have to say goodbye.

I forgot about that feeling until I read This Is Where I Leave You.

Our narrator is Judd Foxman, a recently separated man who walked in on his wife having sex with his boss. Since that moment, he has teetered the line between heartbroken and angry. He lost his wife, his job, and his home, and is currently unemployed and living in a basement apartment pitying himself. Then comes the news that his father, who had been suffering stomach cancer for quite a while, had finally passed away. Because of this, and because of his father’s dying wish, the whole Foxman family (his sister Wendy, his brothers Paul and Phillip, and his mother) is forced in their childhood home to sit Shiva for an entire week. As with most families, the Foxmans have their issues, and everything eventually comes to light as they are forced to spend the majority of their time inside of the house side by side.

This book is so wonderful. I enjoyed every single moment. And I loved every single character.
The humor is effortless and the life lessons are bountiful. It is the perfect balance of hilarity and humility, like life itself.

It has definitely made the list of my favorite books.
I would highly recommend this. You’re missing out on something great if you don’t read it.


Another Wedding Weekend


This Saturday, I got to celebrate the wedding of my friends Crystal and Alex! It was such a beautiful affair.
And I had an absolute blast drinking and dancing in celebration with my beloved friends.


Wasn’t it lovely?
I’m wishing them a lifetime of happiness (and an awesome honeymoon right now).


Wednesday via VSCO Cam


A dreary drive to work. (I actually love gloomy days.)


Artie in his festive handkerchief.


An evening walk with Maria. We’ve made it a weekly ritual to walk around the neighborhoods for over an hour.


Night falling.


Finishing the night with some apple wine and a hearty dose of cinnamon.


A Look Inside My Nail Polish Addiction: Specialty Polishes

Nail polish is a very simple and fun way to change up your look and there are so many colors and brands to choose from.
But lately, there have also been a lot of what I’ll call “specialty” polishes that have been popping up everywhere. Nail art is awesome, but some people don’t have the patience or steady hands to try new things. The following polishes take something common and make them extraordinary. I thought I’d share some of the specialty polishes I have in my collection and what they do.


Let’s start with something simple. Glitter polishes (alone or layered) are an excellent way to spruce up your regular polish routine. There are chunky glitters that look best over one color or need to be layered  to be opaque, and super fine shiny glitters that do well on their own with a few coats. This polish, called Dodgy Barnett (by Butter London, obviously) is considered a holographic polish.
There’s something about it. It reminds me of these shorts from American Apparel. Super shiny and multi-dimensional.
Out of this world!


I think that Shatter nail polishes have sort of died down, but for a while you couldn’t get your hands on a bottle! They were always sold out. Then, before you know it, every company had their own version. I remember scouring and constantly checking for a bottle of basic black Shatter. I’ve only used it a few times, but I think it’s worth having. If you’re feeling lazy, but still want something funky going on with your nails, Shatter is the way to go. I started this with a basic gray polish (Pelican Grey by China Glaze, to be exact) to show the contrast. The Shatter polish is quite goopy, and at first it looks like nothing will happen. But then it starts separating right before your eyes! Very cool.


(Apologies for my messy nail. I should’ve done this one first. I kept using the same nail and it got a little messy. And I got a little impatient.)

LA Colors Art Deco stripers are pretty darn amazing. It makes lines and stripes and diagonals and even drawings so simple. The design I did above is far from perfect, but I wanted to show the different things you can do. I like to use mine to make dots (dotting tools are excellent, but I need a new one and this does just fine) or draw triangles and, of course, stripes! If you’re looking to get super-involved with nail art, I would highly recommend picking these up. I got mine at a dollar store!


Finally, I wanted to share Essie’s Matte About You top coat. It takes any polish you have and gives it a matte finish, which is a really interesting look. We are all used to high-shine, glossy finishes, and there’s something striking about matte polish.
I chose this beautiful blue Gap polish as an example because it has a shine, and you see a really neat difference in the way it sparkles.
The difference is much more apparent in person, but you can tell that the flash is no longer glaring off the polish.
Super cool. But I would recommend a ridge filling base coat (or make sure your nails are nice and buffed!) because this top coat will bring attention to any and every flaw on your nail.

That’s all I have for now! I wanted to share a Glow in the Dark polish I have (it really does glow!) but I don’t know exactly how much light I need for it to glow, and I think taking a picture of just one nail in the dark might not have come out. Maybe another time?


Recent Reads: These Days Are Ours


Last week, I finished These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff. I purchased a used copy on Amazon, and it turns out they sent me an uncorrected pre-publication version. I’m hoping it’s not much different than the actual book. I didn’t know that was what they’d send me.

Anyway, after reading the summary of the book, I knew I wanted to read it. This book takes place about 6 months after the terrorists attack on 9/11/2001. Hailey, our narrator, is a born and raised New Yorker who’s life has been turned upside down following both the events of 9/11 and her post-collegiate life. Since she graduated, she has moved back with her mom and stepfather and is struggling to find a job. All of this is heightened by the recent events that have unfolded, and the constant fear that has been instilled in New Yorkers following the attack.

The beginning of this book turned me off. I wasn’t aware that the main character, Hailey, and all of her friends are from private school, Ivy League, rich family lifestyles. They don’t really need to worry about jobs. Their parents keep them comfortable in penthouse apartments, treat them to new designer shoes, and they can party all night long any night of the week. I can’t relate to that.

But as I got deeper into the story, I really enjoyed it. Despite their privileged lives, there is a lot to relate to. Hailey is completely confused as to what she wants in her life. She can use her name and her parents’ credibility to get a job, but she wants to get a gig on her own.
She wants to make a life of her own. She is envious of people older than her, married with kids and working jobs, because she desperately wants to be on the right path and she feels she’s having a hard time getting there.

The fact that this story is set in post-9/11 NYC adds a certain element to it that I really liked. So soon after the terrible events, New Yorkers tried to carry on with their lives, but there was news on the attacks and the war and Anthrax every single day. People were trying to live normal lives, but they were also deathly afraid that they could be at the next attack zone, if that were to happen. So, while Hailey is having a hard time dealing with life after college (the general idea being that your life is planned until college and the rest is up to you), she’s also facing the truth of mortality. So many people were just going about their business and died without reason.
It makes Hailey and her friends truly question the purpose of doing anything because life can end that fast.

This was a quick read. Humorous and thoughtful. I enjoyed it, even if it did take a little while.


The Great Indoors


I had another quiet weekend. Things didn’t pan out the way they were initially intended, but I’ve been grateful for time to save some money and recuperate from work and life in general. I’ve been using my free time and frugal lifestyle to try and expand my horizons.
I’m still consistently planning crafts, but it’s hard to carry out since I don’t have the money for some supplies.
But it’s been nice to plan things out and prepare to learn some new tricks (I’m going to venture into sewing…extremely simple things).

This coming weekend will be a little crazy…my friends are getting married!
So the whole week will just be me waiting for that.

Here’s to a good week!


Fall via VSCO Cam


I often complain about my hometown, but I am thankful that I grew up in an area that experiences all 4 seasons, with plenty of trees and hills and mountains to admire. I don’t have to wonder what a budding tree looks like, how gorgeous fall foliage is, or how snow feels.
Fall is a truly gorgeous time. Everything appears to be on fire. A final burst of life before it passes on for a while.


All photos edited with VSCO Cam.


When Life Gives You Lemons…


I know I’m not alone in saying that times have been tough lately. At least, I hope I’m not. I’m not trying to say I want us all to be miserable, but I suppose I want to know that we all go through it and we all come back on the other side.

I could go on a tangent telling you every little/big/stupid/important thing that is bothering me right now, but what’s the point?
Complaining won’t help anything. And worrying will only hurt the situation. So what do you do?

I’ve recently had to (and continue to have to) really consider what I need/want in life. I can’t be frivolous with money.
I can’t have everything I want. I am not perfect. I won’t ever be. 
It’s good to accept these things, but it doesn’t stop you from getting funky from time to time.

So what do you do? How do you make it better?
I could very easily lay in bed every night after I come home from work, stay in sweatpants for the majority of my days, eating terribly unhealthy junk food, skip showers for days at a time, and not give a hoot about my life in general. And honestly, that’s sometimes what I feel like doing. Like giving up, to put it in simply.

But you can’t do that. So here I am.
I look at job websites everyday, keeping my eyes open for new endeavors.
I make choices, even if they suck, so that I can have money for gas and bills and necessities and not overly-fret about being broke.
I embrace my creative side by plotting blog posts, attempting to be crafty, and daydreaming (no one should ever stop daydreaming!).
I lose myself in the books I stock up on and always have handy so I never go a day without reading something.
I take time to breathe and enjoy the world, enjoy the sky and the trees, the things I can enjoy no matter what.
I spend time with my family, friends, with Brad, talking and enjoying company.
And I enjoy my own company. I like to be alone. Sometimes, it’s all I want. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

This is my life right now, and I’m going with the flow. It’s not how I want it to be, by a long shot, but if anything, I want to appreciate the fact that I have what I do have, that it could always be worse, and even so, it will always get better.


Etsy Lust List: Halloween Edition!

Hey, guys, Halloween is just about 2 weeks away! Have you picked out your costumes? Have you decorated your home? Have you purchased candy for trick-or-treaters only to find yourself eating all of it? If not, you better start!
Okay, I haven’t done any of that either. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll be dressing up/celebrating Halloween this year.
But I still love everything about it. Why not? It’s fun!

Anyway, I decided to share some Halloween-centric items from my Etsy favorites this month. The thing is, things like this are expected this time of year, but it’s perfect normal and awesome to want to get creepy at any time during the year. Live everyday like it’s Halloween.
Or some days. Life’s too short.


I have been lusting over sweater clips/sweater guards for a while now. They are just so awesome and add an unexpected charm to your outfit.
This Skeleton Key Sweater Clip is super chic with just the perfect amount of creep. I have love skeleton hand jewelry and hair pieces, and I love the pizazz these have been given. You can find them on the super-awesome Etsy store Rabbit Heart Designs.


Speaking of Rabbit Heart Designs, I follow Sara’s Instagram and I fell in love with the coffin ring she wears that you can see here.
Unfortunately, she doesn’t make those rings (it was a purchase from a long while ago) so I had to set out and see if I can find some myself. That’s when I found these from Alice, Dear. They make coffins super cute, no?


Peter Pan Collar necklaces are all over the place right now, and with great purpose. They are super cute! I was looking at a variety when this one caught my eye. I love the multi-colored skulls. It’s like creepy candy. Once again, this is something you could wear year round.
This one is available on Sultry Affair, along with other Peter Pan necklaces and lots of cool jewelry.


I have never played with a Ouija board in my life for the sheer fact that they are so frightening. Despite that, they are pretty cool-looking.
This iPhone case is quite awesome and can be found on Undead Pinups.


I couldn’t have a Halloween-centric post without a shout out to my favorite mystical (real?) creatures, vampires!
I love these decorative signs from Slippin’ Southern. You can guarantee those fangs would be up 24/7/365.

That’s all for now!
Don’t forget to click on the pics for direct links to the items!


A Simple Weekend

After all the craziness of last weekend, it was nice to have a quiet weekend in. I stayed in sweats/pajamas about 75% of the time, watched (and cried the whole time) Never Let Me Go, and I got nice and crafty! It was fun to sit down with a couple of Gin and Tonics (my simple and tasty favorite drink of the moment), some music, and work with my hands. I started off with some simple t-shirt scarves (I used this video as my guide, but kept mine very simple to start. I want to try and make more and incorporate different materials into it.
And of course, this is just the beginning of my crafty nature. I bought a bunch of things at Michaels’ and I’m so excited to get deep.


Here are a couple of Instagram photos to show the final products.


Fun fun! Can’t wait to share more with you soon.


Dinner Last Night: Buffalo Chicken and Potato Casserole


It’s been a while since I put a nice little meal together from (mostly) scratch. I’ve done a lot of tacos and chili, and I wanted to try something new for a change. I found this Betty Crocker recipe on Pinterest (but, of course!), and I would highly recommend it (even though it looks nothing like the pretty picture on the website…what ever does?).


This is comfort food at it’s finest, but it still has a nice kick from the wing sauce. Delicious!

Happy weekend!


Recent Reads: Never Let Me Go


Yesterday, I finished reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. For me, I had to spend a lot of time in quiet spaces by myself to read this. It’s very involved, so I had to allow myself some time to let it all settle in.

Never Let Me Go is the story of a young woman named Kathy H., her experiences at an exclusive school called Hailsham, and her complicated relationship with her friends Ruth and Tommy. The book is written in first-person, with Kathy recalling stories of her life from about age 7 to her current age, 31. She did not experience what we would call a common upbringing, and her life will not be lived or end like most of ours do.

The students of Hailsham spend most of their lives learning about how important and special they are, with very light knowledge about their futures as carers and, eventually, donors. Since this is the only life they really know, they go about their business as anyone would. Despite the somewhat fantastical/sci-fi aspect behind the truth of their lives, we are still reading about a young girl growing up, dealing with a bossy cliquey friends and ever-changing hormones. At it’s core, it’s a story about friendship and love and coming to term with ourselves.

I really enjoyed this book. I am now anxiously waiting to watch the movie.
One quarrel I had with the book is it’s winding storytelling. It is as if Kathy H. is actually attempting to have a conversation with the reader. I don’t know about you guys, but I have a tendency to run myself in circles, lose track of my thoughts, and get focused on one small detail of a story before getting to the point. This is exactly what Kathy does. It can be frustrating, but I suppose it really helps the reader connect with her every feeling and thought, and that can be helpful (even though it hurt for me a little bit).

Regardless, it’s such a beautiful story and it leaves you with a lot to think about.
I just wish I had a book club to discuss this one with!


A Look Inside My Nail Polish Addiction: Trusty Tools

Here is the second installment of A Look Inside. You can see the first one here.
The next couple will be getting to the meat and bones of my addiction: the products themselves.
I wanted to show the products I use every time (or most of the time) I paint my nails.

So let’s start with the beginning…


Since I paint my nails every Thursday, I always start by removing my nail polish from the prior week. I usually clip my nails every other week, because I have a tendency to cut them a little too short or jagged. I like to clip them after I’ve removed the polish so I can get an idea of how much I should take down. (I have been known to clip my nails with polish still on them. It’s like a second manicure! But I only usually do it when one of the nails breaks.) Nail polish remover isn’t something I’m stingy about. I like to go for more soothing kinds, but I’ve used acetone Cutex, which really helps remove polish quickly, especially with rough glitter polishes.
I suck at clipping my nails, so I usually have to file or buff parts to even things out.
I recently purchased this 7-in-1 filer/buffer and it is quite awesome. It was less than 2 dollars at Rite Aid. Steal!
And finally, before the fun begins, Essie’s Protein Base Coat. I have tried quite a few base coats, which is an oft-overlooked but super important part of an at-home manicure, especially if you do it as consistently as I do. My nails were in terrible shape before I picked up this base coat. When my polish would chip, it was often because a part of my nail was breaking. I am happy to report that this hasn’t been an issue since I picked up this base coat. It’s magical and I highly recommend it!

Onto the middle process.


These are my favorite items to have around me while I’m actually painting my nails or doing some nail art.
No matter what, you have to keep some cotton swabs nearby. I use them to clean up when I paint outside the lines. Which is almost always.
I bought the toothpicks, makeup sponges, and reinforcement stickers specifically for nail art.

The toothpicks are great for dotting. The sponge can be used to make a gradient (I’m still working on this).
And the reinforcement stickers are great for isolating spaces to make cool shapes and use different nail polishes on one nail.

Finally, my extremely messy striper/dotting tool. I don’t use the brush anymore.
But the dotting tool is great, and I’d love to pick up a couple more of these in different brush/dot sizes.

Finally, the end process.


My end products. Essie makes some great base/top coats. I won’t be straying from these two any time soon. Good to go! is an excellent top coat. Everything stays nice and even, it dries fast, and it has excellent shine. Before I started using the top coat, I purchased the
Nicole by O.P.I. Drying Drops. They are amazing. And the duo is hard to beat. I used to mess up my nails so often (I can’t help it, I’m impatient), but with these two products, I don’t have to worry beyond 30 minutes of being careful. Which is better than all dang day and night.

So these are my favorite products/must-haves. I highly recommend every product I’ve listed here.
Questions are welcome!