Archive | April, 2013

Quick and Cute Crafts with One-Stop Shopping

21 Apr

Have you ever been in a crafting mood, but you just don’t feel like running to five different stores to find all the supplies? Well, I have three, count it, THREE different crafts that will make your life easier (and cuter) that you can find all of the supplies at your local hardware store, whether it be Home Depot, Lowes, Sears, or your local entrepreneur. (Support of the small business owners is highly recommended!) AND they’re pretty easy on the budget.

Mail Sorting

I have two roommates, and we all obviously receive mail, but we never know who’s checked it. I found a quick and easy craft from the blog, Just a Little Creativity, where she painted a three-slot mail sorter. She found her mail sorter at a thrift shop, but I’m sure you could also find it at a hardware shop. Pick a color you like and give it a coat of paint or two. If you have a steady hand, you can paint your names, or in her case, ‘his,’ ‘hers,’ and ‘theirs.’ If you don’t have a steady hand, they carry stick-on letters in the mailbox section, or use your own. SO CUTE! Check out her picture below!


Bracelet Holder

Cuff bracelets have been a trend for what seems like the longest time. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it is such a pain to find a place for them. Who would have thought that a toilet paper or paper towel stand could be so useful!

Decide which stand has the design that’s right for you, and give it a coat of paint. I think spray paint would probably work best for this project since they tend to be metal or plastic.

Note: If you use spray paint, make sure you do two things: 1) Spray in a well ventilated area so you don’t subject yourself to the fumes as much. 2) Put down newspaper or some sort of drop cloth unless you want the outline on your driveway or sidewalk.

Make sure you let the stand FULLY dry before you bring it in your house. You also may want to let it sit out over night so your house doesn’t smell like spray paint. (Yuck!)


Hot Tools Holder

I always feel like such a slob whenever I leave for work in the morning, especially when I use hot tools on my hair, such as a flat or curling iron and a hair dryer. PVC pipe in the plumbing section is PERFECT to hold your hot tools so they’re easy access and somewhat out of the way.

All you need to do it pick up a piece of PVC pipe in the shape of a ‘Y,’ and spray paint it the color you want. It’s as simple as that. Set it on your counter, set it under the sink, or put it wherever you want. Quick, simple, inexpensive, and practical.

Note: As mentioned before, if you use spray paint, make sure you do two things: 1) Spray in a well ventilated area so you don’t subject yourself to the fumes as much. 2) Put down newspaper or some sort of drop cloth unless you want the outline on your driveway or sidewalk.


As always, let me know if you have any suggestions, new crafts, or challenges. I would love to hear what you all are working on! Thank you for reading!


Sock Buns – Curl while you sleep

21 Apr

Sock buns have been all the rave lately. The smooth, round bun looks classy and chic, and once you get the hang of it, it’s easy to duplicate (or so I’m told). Unfortunately, my hair isn’t nearly long enough to pull off the ‘do’ without cementing my hair to my head. As much fun as that sounds, I don’t think the result would be worth the effort. So, instead, I use my socks for another purpose: soft curls while you sleep.

My hair is cut in a long bob just past my shoulders. It has a wavy texture that’s enough to drive you insane in humidity but is great to hold curl. But who really has the time to manually curl your hair every day?

I love the idea of doing your hair at night so you wake up with big, luscious curls. However, the reality of my efforts has never been a success. This brings me back to the sock bun. I attended the YouToo Social Media Conference, and it started at 8 a.m. Rain was on the forecast, and I knew the humidity would make my straightened hair go flat and my wavy hair frizz. I definitely didn’t want to take an hour on my hair in the morning, so I looked to the Internet (Pinterest) for ideas.

I stumbled upon rag rolling and sock bun curling. I didn’t have time for rag rolling, so I decided to give sock bun curling a try.

If you have longer hair, you can go ahead and pull your ponytail to the top of your head. Remember, the curls are supposed to be loose and flowy, so leave as much space as you want straight at the top of your head. Also, the bigger the sock, the bigger the curls. You can adjust according to your liking. If you have shorter hair, I divided my hair in half. I had a ponytail on top of my head and at the top of my neck.

Take a sock with your desired thickness and length. (I used a thin, ankle-cut sock.) Cut off the toe, and roll it so it looks like a donut. (If you have shorter hair, do the same to another sock.)

Put the ponytail in the middle of the sock, and pull it nearly to the end. Grab the part of your hair that’s sticking out and wrap it around the sock. Roll the sock toward your head until it covers the ponytail holder. Secure the bun with bobby pins.

Note: It may take you a few tries, so be patient. Also remember it doesn’t need to be perfect. If you’re using the bun for curling purposes, no one is going to see it besides you.

Coat your hair with whatever hair spray you fancy, and then sleep on it! I’ve heard satin or silk pillowcases work best so you don’t get frizzies, but a cotton pillowcase worked perfectly fine for me!

Good Morning!

When you wake up, unpin, unroll and untie your hair. You should have bouncy and bountiful curls! I used my 1¼ inch curling iron to touch up a couple funky spots, but my hair literally took 10 minutes in the morning as opposed to the 45 minutes to an hour it would take me to curl my hair. Coat your hair with a little hair spray, toss with your fingers to combine the curls, and you’re ready to go!

I’ll try the rag curls soon, so look out for that. If you have any tips or if you give it a try, let me know!

Note: You can start with your hair wet or dry; it depends on what look you want. My hair was mostly dry when I went to bed, and I loved the way it turned out. It kept a nice, loose curl. I’ve heard if you go to bed with your hair wet, your curl will be much tighter. I’ll keep updating as I try out different ways!

Manage Your Own Publicity – Best and Worst Times to Update Social Media

14 Apr

Believe it or not, there is a proper time to post on social media so you can get the most views from your target audience. Whether you’re at the stage of your life that you are branding yourself for employment or promoting your own blog, posting at the right time of the day and week can help you reach more people.

Best and Worst infographic

Best Time

The best time to publish on a social media sites can vary from network to network, but it’s ideal to post around noon or early evening. Around noon, you’re likely to catch professionals on their lunch breaks. Early evening is also an effective time to publish because you’re likely to catch professionals at the end of their workdays.

Worst Time

The worst time to post on social media I think is pretty obvious. Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., professionals are sleeping, so it’s unlikely they will view your post. This time is referred to as the “dead zone,” according to KISSmetrics, a group of marking professionals who conducted an in-depth analysis of best and worst times to post on social media.

Best Days

The best days to publish on social media are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Monday isn’t a good day for professionals to see posts because it’s the first day of the workweek. They’re busy getting back to the hustle and bustle of the busy workweek, so monitoring social media isn’t exactly at the top of their to do lists. Friday is also a busy day that posts can go unnoticed either because they’re wrapping up their last projects for the week or because they take off early for the weekend.

Monitor Your Results and EVALUATE

Of course, these times are not set in stone to be 100 percent effective, so you should monitor and evaluate your results, but how do you do that? There are great tools to help you not only distribute posts throughout the day, but it monitors your results. Buffer analyzes all of your posts to every social network to which you link the app. HootSuite helps you schedule messages and tweets and also analyzes your social media traffic. WordPress also helps you monitor your blog foot traffic. When you log in to the home page, there’s a tab at the top called ‘Stats’ that shows you which posts received the most number of views and what days received the most traffic.

Good luck with your media monitoring! Let me know how it goes!

*Infographic courtesy of Social Caffeine

James Michael Sama

Author | Speaker | America's Leading Relationship Writer


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