Lovely Things #18

Hi all and happy Saturday! You know what that means! Another LT post this time featuring some gift ideas for the hardest people to shop for. The men in our lives. So here are a couple of my picks for gifts for guys when you’ve kind of run out of ideas. Trust me, I had the hardest time shopping for my man…his birthday JUST happened. Double trouble. So let’s go.

The Original Redneck Spice Rack (courtesy of RedNeckSpiceRack)

I had to laugh when I saw this. I will probably gift this to my Dad this year. The man who loves his spices and rubs and is known for making his own bottle labels that have gotten him in lots of trouble. If you don’t want to make one yourself you can order it off of their Etsy store. Just click through the picture.

Walking Dead Coasters from NoPlaceLikeNerd

There is not a single guy in my life who doesn’t OBSESS over this show. Put any of the men in my life in a room together and Walking Dead is bound to come up…EASY GIFT.

Beer Caddy from Cold Creek Brewing

I think when it comes to giving guys gifts you need to figure out something that they will actually use. Cuff links, fancy ink pens, smelly soaps…”Yeah dear, I love it…” No. Those are thing a guy will hardly use. If your man (or the guy who you’re gifting for) is a beer drinker, get him a good ole six pack caddy, hopefully with a bottle opener on it, fill it up with those “Make your own six pack” beers at your local grocer (I’m assuming most stores let you mix and match a six pack, if not, make do with his favorite beer) and let him enjoy his day off of work with a couple cold beers and a football game. Then pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Mini Robot Vacuum from Fred Flare

My men are nerds. I’m pretty sure this sort of gag gift is the only way to get them to clean up a little after themselves. Plus I kinda want to play with it too… Also, if you’re looking for something easy, silly and bound to be a win, Fred Flare is definitely the way to go. There is something for everyone. You can’t go wrong.

So hopefully this gave you some ideas a little more creative than funny t shirts or boxers or cuff links…because no man really wants those ever year.

Happy shopping everyone! Hopefully you didn’t procrastinate as long as me!

-Mel

Advertisements

Cool (FREE) Apps for Your iPhone Which You Probably Didn’t Know About

Hi everyone! So Every now and then I will find myself scouring through iTunes looking for new apps for my iPhone 4. There are tons of apps which seems incredibly super duper awesome, but I can’t bring myself to spend any money on them without knowing if I’ll actually like it. Most of the apps I’ve spent money on…I’ve abandoned using within a week. So needless to say, I try and find the cool free ones without being bombarded with ads and nonsense. So here’s my top pick of cool apps which are also FREE.

1) Duolingo

https://i0.wp.com/www.cmu.edu/news/stories/archives/2012/june/images/duolingo_300x200.jpg

If you couldn’t put two and two together, Duolingo is an app to help you master a second language (French, Spanish, German or Portuguese). Lesson by lesson Duolingo gives you new vocabulary and lets you practice by listening, seeing, translating text and translating speech.

20121203-120529.jpg

And their home screen for your “workbooks” features a flow chart type menu showing you your progress and what skills you have mastered as well as what lessons are soon to be unlocked.

20121203-120541.jpg

I’ve tried many methods to learning French before, none of which seemed to help. They all took one aspect of a language and focused on that, but Duolingo actually works and works WELL. Within the first week of starting to  learn French, I’ve already gained understanding in masculine and feminine words, verb usage, spelling and pronunciation.

I would definitely recommend this app to anyone who either needs a refresher on a second language, or wants to start learning a new one.

2) Dropbox

https://i2.wp.com/blogs-images.forbes.com/tomiogeron/files/2011/10/dropbox_logo.jpeg

This is one of my favorite apps. Especially while I was still in school.

Sometimes you forget to print a document. Or maybe your printer is out of ink. Or maybe that jump drive you put that paperwork on seems to have been taken hostage by your purse. Maybe you’re tired of hooking your phone up to your computer to transfer photos. Or maybe you want a backup file somewhere safe?

Dropbox is pretty much the solution to all of that. It’s basically an online storage space where you can store word docs, photos, power points, whatever. If you need to access something from multiple different computers without dragging around a physical sotrage drive. This is that solution. And now they have the app for your phone. How did I get those screenshots from my phone of Duolingo onto this blog post? I uploaded them through dropbox instead of syncing them onto my computer, or emailing them to myself or using WordPress’s iPhone app (sorry WordPress, I really do love you! I just like you better on my computer!).

It’s really, truly, the simplest way to make the most out of your time if you are one of those people operating between phone, tablet, computer, laptop, another computer, work computer, etc.

Get it all together, in one spot, so there’s no worry about where anything is.

3) Etsy

http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/screen-shot-2012-03-02-at-2-30-59-pm.png?w=197

Whether you’re an Etsy buyer or a seller, this app is just gorgeous and easy to use. I love the way lists and treasuries are now being seen one item at a time as you scroll through them, more like an art gallery admiring each piece, versus the chaotic clutter of grids which you get on the computer. It’s a much more intimate app, but if you’re in a hurry to overload your sense, this is not for your Etsy enjoyment.

The app also lets you post items for sale, so if you don’t have time to sit down and carefully photoshoot your item and upload those pictures off your camera and then post the item from your computer, you can literally do the whole shebang ON. YOUR. PHONE.

Talk about easy.

4) Liqour Cabinet

Now to be honest, this app was free when I downloaded it. If it is now paid, sorry, but if you are a wannabe cocktail enthusiast or just looking for a way to use up that leftover booze from your last party, then this is a super cool app for you.

20121203-121033.jpg

Now as you can see, this app is an actual liquor cabinet. Your top shelf you add in any alcohol you have, your second shelf is any mixers, and then just hit the “Make Now” button and Liquor Cabinet will give you a HUGE list of drinks you can make with some of the stuff you have laying around. And some of the stuff they have in there is pretty crazy sounding, but still worth a shot for fun.

Just keep your cabinet up to date and all your cocktails are just an app away!

Now those are 4 of my favorite useful apps I have on my iPhone. If there’s an app you’d like me try out, feel free to leave it in the comments, and I’ll make a blog about me trying it out!

Have a great Monday!

-Mel

Blue & Gold

As I was titling this, I realized I had somehow managed to sport my  nails with my high school’s colors…oh well. This is a super simple tutorial and an easy into into nail art using tape as a design tool for those of you without steady hands or who just want to perfect it right from the start. Using tape allows you to choose your shape and reposition if you don’t like the look of it BEFORE you paint!

For this design, I used three colors. Sally Hanson’s The Sky’s the Limit, Maybelline Color Show’s Bold Gold (70) and NYC’s Matte Me Crazy topcoat.

DSC_0003

I started off my nails with a basecoat using just the matte topcoat from NYC. Yeah, I used the top as my bottom. You can use any base coat or clear polish you want. I find the gold chips pretty easy directly applied to the nails, so I’m testing it out with a base to stick to.

Once that has dried, give your nails a good coat or two of the gold. It probably needed two coats because a few of my nails had sparse spots, but one coat was good enough for me. (I work in a warehouse, so this polish is gonna last me maybe 1 day).

And if you’re interested in using other color combos, go for it. Just keep in mind which color should go on top. The top only gets one layer so don’t try putting a light shade over a darker. In my case, I wasn’t sure which was the better color for the top, so I used scratch paper and tested blue over gold and gold over blue. The blue was more pigmented so the gold was now my base.

DSC_0004DSC_0007

Once your base color has had a good chance to dry, use small cut pieces of tape to tape off the triangles at your nail base. (Tip: Cut the tape pieces before you begin. It’s hard to use scissors without messing up fresh nails.)

DSC_0005

As you can see, I lined my tape pieces up on the edge of my desk.

Once your nails have had more than enough time to dry (this is really important because the tape will pull off wet polish!), carefully place your tape pieces down. If you don’t like the way it looks, move it around till you do, then smooth out any bubble around the edge so no polish will leak under. You don’t want rough edges do you? (Tip: press your tape onto the back of your hand to get rid of a little stickiness. This makes the tape easier to remove from your nail)

DSC_0008

Now carefully use your second color to paint the exposed nail. As soon as its coated, quickly remove the tape before it starts to dry. It’s best to do this one nail at a time, and one hand at a time. Go from start to end on one hand and then when that hand is completely dry, you can start your other. Trust me, it’s hard to place tape using nails that are still drying!

Once all nails are done go over with a top coat of your choice. I like matte nails (yes I like matte metallics too!), but if you don’t use a glossy coat! It’s up to you!

DSC_0010

I hope you all enjoy this tutorial and if you try this, or any other cool designs with tape, be sure to send me pics! I’ll even post them on the blog!

-Mel

PS: My ring is from Forever 21!

Lovely Things #17

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a lovely start to your lovely weekend. Here’s a couple of cool DIY projects and things I found on the interwebs this week! I hope you all enjoy! Also, feel free to like us on FACEBOOK for updates to new posts as well as Facebook fan exclusive discounts in our shop!

https://i0.wp.com/1.bp.blogspot.com/-OEhDbRN2rVo/ULWcIUmkSdI/AAAAAAAADxU/FS2YTJPHx5E/s1600/elephant-key-hook-9.jpg

This DIY project from Creative Soul Spectrum on how to make your own elephant key hooks is super awesome and super simple. If I didn’t already have a key hook I’d be running to the store from a piece of wood, some toy elephants and some gold paint!

https://i1.wp.com/media.pysselbolaget.se/2012/11/PB_nov_44.jpg

My parents have a huge bag of wine corks laying around in their pantry from when they cleaned out their gadget drawer. Apparently every time they’d open a new bottle of wine, they’d take the cork off the bottle opener and just leave it in the drawer. I guess, thanks to Pysselbolaget, I now know what to do with them. Mwahahaha. I mean…Yay.

https://i0.wp.com/www.gimmesomestyleblog.com/files/2012/11/dayorn-552x864.jpg

And since it is the season for a little holiday cheer, why not use some ornaments as tiny little vases or planters this year? Gimme Some Style has inspired me with their Christmas vase and now I think I’m just gonna make ornaments into little terrariums year round? Maybe plant some seeds and cork the top with (HEY!) those corks in my parents pantry! If someone tries this, send me some pictures! I’d love to see what happens!

Have a great (and crafty) weekend!

-Mel