Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Art of Cork


My dad is an avid wine connoisseur and has a number of wine cork corkboards around the house that he's made from his favorite wines. I was going through a closet in my parents' house and found two large Ziploc bags filled with wine corks. So of course, I went to Pinterest for a little bit of inspiration, and found this lovely little craft. It's so simple and unique and I knew it was something I just had to make.

What you will need:
  • USED wine corks (I used about 150)
  • cardboard or stiff posterboard
  • scissors or Exacto-Knife
  • hot glue gun

It's important to have used wine corks (yes, I know) because the natural color of the wine is stained on the bottom of the cork and that gives it a fun colorful aspect that makes it really easy to create the ombre effect. So drink up!




Making this is so easy that I could do a good job! Here are the steps:
  1. Trace a heart shape on your cardboard and make sure all the dimensions are correct so it's balanced and symmetrical
  2. Carefully cut out the traced heart with the Exacto-Knife.
  3. Arrange the wine corks in sections of color. I had about four sections- deepest color, middle color, light color, and no color at all (the natural side, or with white wine).
  4. Start at the bottom of the heart, and begin gluing with the hot glue gun whatever color section you wish to be at the bottom, either deepest color or natural color.
  5. Make your way up the heart with the ombre effect of colors.

There you have it! Here are a few additional tips for making it look the best:
  • Before you start you might want to spread your corks on the cardboard in a heart shape so you know you won't run out of corks and can create the right size heart.
  • Glue the corks on the edge of the heart slightly over the edge so it hides the cardboard underneath.
  • Don't worry if the corks don't line up exactly next to each other. Mine did not and it looks perfectly fine.

Please ask me any questions if you have any and good luck!

Listening to: Vienna by Billy Joel

Dream a Little Dream

It's finally becoming that time of the year again. My favorite time. The weather is starting to warm up, and the trees are starting to bloom with the first blossoms longing for spring. It may be over a month away (March 20 is when spring officially begins), but I would say that here in the South the advent of spring has certainly inched its way in. I for one cannot wait. Who, after all, doesn't look forward to warm afternoons relaxing in the sun?

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Listening to: Dream a Little Dream by Zooey Deschanel

Monday, January 23, 2012

Passionate

One of my favorite warm-weather drinks at Starbucks is the Tazo passion tea-lemonade (Venti, please). For such a brightly-colored concoction, it has relatively few calories, only 70 if unsweetened or with Splenda. Of course, it's not financially logical as a college student for me to buy a four dollar drink that I can down in ten minutes a couple times a week. So today, I did a little experimenting and found a way to replicate it and make it (almost) as good!

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What you will need:
  • 1 Tazo Passion Tea bag
  • 1/2 Crystal Light To-Go in Natural Lemonade (the size for water bottles)
  • 1/2 packet of Splenda
  • 12 oz water (give or take)
There is really no exact science to this. You can adjust the amounts if you like more lemonade or if you want it to be sweeter. First, steep the tea for about 5-6 minutes as the directions say. It does not need to be hot. Like I said before, you can steep it as long as you like, but be careful about leaving it in too long as it often turns bitter after a point. Next, add about half (or all, if you like) of the lemonade mix to the tea. Then add the Splenda and you're done! Not only is this much cheaper than the Starbucks version, but it has essentially no calories!

It you're absolutely not concerned about cutting calories, here's the full sugar homemade version. It sounds delicious and would be a wonderful party drink (if you feel like doing a lot of steeping)!

Now playing: Piano Man by Billy Joel

Raindrops on Roses

Where I am, it's been raining on and off for about two weeks. Miserable to walk to class in, to say the least. I'm always very negative about the rain, especially during a fifteen minute walk, but thanks to my new glossy Hunter rainboots I got for Christmas, I almost look forward to it! Here's some cheery inspiration to bring you out of the rainy day blues.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

There's a Choice

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There is always an option to choose happiness. It's a simple thing, really, happiness. It's something so essential to our beings yet we often forget the power it can hold over ourselves and others. It has the ability to transform any situation, bad or good, into something even better. Why should we overlook it so? Perhaps it is because the world can be such a distracting place. The world says it is better to strive  and stretch ourselves thin than to be happy. It's all about accomplishing tasks more quickly, more efficiently, and do to it better than anyone else. To be average is to be on the bottom. Surely the utter bliss of happiness is better than the constant battle of today's rise to the top.
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Happiness is acceptance. It's accepting that you don't have to be the best, that to step away from those who fit a perfect mold is okay. Having a problem isn't a misgiving, it's a blessing to help you stay stronger on down the road. Accepting that, too, is another step on the way to happiness. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that to live once is to love always, and to never forget to make the choice to just be happy.
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Loss

It's hard to stay positive and believe in happy things when such a terrible and unbelievable thing happens in your life. Life is so short and precious already, and when someone is taken from the world early, it seems even more so. Lessons can be learned from every bad situation, and I've learned many from this one. Perhaps the most important is how essential it is to love everyone at all times. Days come and go without stopping, and you can never guess how a little act of kindness can change someone's day.

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Listening to: Everything'll Be Alright by Joshua Radin

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Stay Classy

Sometimes there's nothing better than a vintage photograph. I always seem to find myself having nostalgia for a previous time period that I've never even experienced. Yes, I am one of those who was born in the wrong decade. Pretty shift dresses, bold sunglasses, and bright lipstick can never fail you.

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Now playing: Uptown Girls by Billy Joel

Mama Mia

After watching Eat, Pray, Love, I was reminded of my love for real Italian pizza and the wonderful trip to Italy I took a number of years ago. My absolute favorite place we went was Florence, where we unfortunately had much too short of a stay. It's such a beautiful city with all the classic old world architecture you expect to see in Europe and excellent shopping as well.

View of the city and the Arno River
So I looked up another recipe from MyRecipes.com, this time looking for a rustic-style pizza to bring back memories of eating in a quaint pizzeria in Naples. I decided that the white pizza with tomato and basil sounded perfect, and it was indeed. Also from the quick and healthy menu, since my mom has no affinity for cooking and I am such a newbie, it took about fifteen minutes to prepare and was very light- unlike the typical delivery pizza you see now-a-days. If you like the traditional pizza margherita, this is very similar, just kicked up a bit with ricotta and pesto (which we were lucky enough to have some homemade).


Gustare il cibo!

Listening to: Postcards from Italy by Beirut. Hear it.