Tuesday, August 14, 2012

College Life: OUTSIDE LANDS and Music Festival Advice

This weekend I attended Outside Lands, a music festival in San Francisco, CA.  It was the first music festival I attended, and I am quite happy I did.  It was one of the best experiences ever.  Some of my favorite bands I saw were Metallica, Foo Fighters, Fun., And Franz Ferdinand.  It was so much fun to explore the city and have a great time with my friends, however, my trip would have been greatly improved had I managed to dress and eat and time appropriately.

Polo Fields Stage
Tips for successful music festival attendance: My experience in pink

1.  Plan ahead! Give yourself at least an extra 45 minutes before you want to arrive at the venue, between traffic, parking, making your way through the line and getting to the stage, it takes longer than you'd think.  We did not leave early enough and had missed bands we wanted to see. 
2.  Get enough cash before you arrive and get enough to cover an emergency, you never know when you're going to need extra cash.  The last day when we had to drive into the city, we thought we would be able to find parking on the street, which did not happen and resulted in us having to pay $30 for parking, which depleted me of all of my cash.  I had no money left the last day for food, and luckily my friends had leftover food which I happily consumed.  Also, open water bottles were not allowed into the event, with $3 bottles or $1 to refill my reusable one, and no water fountains at the venue.

3.  Use a restroom outside of the venue as much as possible, and bring toilet paper with you! I made sure to use the restroom as much as possible when a real restroom was available even though I really did not have to go.  Because when we got there, it was an hour into the festival and the Port-a-potty lines were long, and everyone was out of toilet paper.  And being port-a-potties, they smelled so bad, I could have thrown up.
4.  Bring hand sanitizer! You're going to be touching people, bathrooms, and there probably won't be any place to wash your hands, stay sanitary! Like toilet paper, there was also a lack of hand sanitizer in the port-a-potties.
5.  Try to minimize any chance to get pick pocketed.  Do not leave wallet, phone or camera in your back pocket, easiest place for it to fall out or grab.  Also if wearing as backpack, do not put it in the easily accessible front pocket, in a crowd you may not notice someone unzipping it and grabbing something out of there.  If you're going to leave such items in your backpack, I recommend putting it in the biggest pouch, at the bottom of you bag with a sweater or other large items blocking access to it, cinch back packs are also good because you would feel someone opening the bag.  I kept everything on my wrist for the duration of the event, in a handy little wristlet that held my phone and my cards and cash all together, and kept my camera on my wrist also, I got mine from Z Gallerie but there are quite a few places that sell these now.  
I bought the aqua one, the only one I have seen available recently is the purple case.
6.  Eat prior to the festival, and bring in outside food.  Buy prepackaged sandwiches from a grocery store and take them in with you, much cheaper than the food they serve!  We bought ours for less than $3!
7.  Dress for the weather, and be prepared!  The weather report isn't always right and it will probably be colder wherever you are at night, so bring a sweater to keep you warm.  The weather report told us it was going to be in the 70's we wore shorts and thin sweaters the first day and froze in the fog!
8.  Do get a chance to walk around the venue.  If there's no one you want to see at one point, walk around because there will probably be booths giving out free stuff There were lots of booths giving out free products, which we would not have seen had we just stayed at the stage.  
9.  Charge your cell phone! We had so many people from out group who's cell phones had died, from taking pictures and video, and even after letting my phone charge right up until we left, it was less than 10 % left by the time we got back home.  This made it difficult to split up because we did not want to lose each other.  
10.  Plan out who you want to see ahead of time, but be flexible.  The best time to get closest to the stage was as the act ahead of time was leaving, because people are trying to get out of the crowd to go eat or use the restroom, and this was how we were able to get closest for the headliners.
11.  The best view is on the side, not necessarily in the center.  It is a fight to get to the center front, so don't bother unless you're planning on using your entire day to camp out.  We were able to see the artists easily by walking to the front on the side and working our way in from there, much easier than trying to fight to get a mediocre spot!  


Jack White Impromptu Show


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fitness Journey: Day 1, Week 1 of Cococunt Oil Intake

Now I have never thought I was fat.  I sit comfortably at roughly 110 lbs and about 5'5".  However, even I get uncomfortable with my body when I haven't worked out in a while or been eating healthy, so I'm on a mission to be 100 % happy with my body again.  

I read Jenna Marble's Blog discussing the benefits of coconut oil and all the cool things it can do.  So I decided to give it a try and reap the benefits of this supposedly magical substance.  Today is my first day doing just that.  In her blog, Jenna mentions how it doesn't taste that good, so I blended up one tablespoon of the coconut oil, one banana, 1/3 cup milk, and about 2/3 cup of ice.  The coconut oil flavor was masked enough where it was easy for me to drink.  I'll update with how my body benefits from coconut oil as I continue to take it, for now if you wish to read in to the benefits of coconut oil, you can view it here.

Bought my coconut oil from Trader Joe's for about $6, I believe.  Also a nice view of the ocean from the back patio of my house :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Check This Out: Pink Lemonade Cookies

My friends and I were walking through the grocery store and I happened to stumble upon a box in the baking section that read Pillsbury's Pink Lemonade Cookie Mix.  I was intrigued.  I do like pink lemonade, and I do like cookies, but combined?? So i bought a box and made it!  I'm personally a chocolate chip fan, but the cookies did taste like pink lemonade, especially with the little tart bits inside.  For anyone who was intrigued like I'd give this a try, I think this might taste better as a cupcake though.
I think the fact that they're pink does make them taste better

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crafty Time: Lace Textured Mugs

Of course I'm Pinterest addicted and found this idea on there too.  Got the idea from Urban Comfort.  So these mugs were way easier to make than I expected.  And as usual, I took advantage of sales and discounts to make these.  These lace mugs have been quite popular with my friends.  

Materials needed:
-Lace fabric (found mine on sale at Joann's)
-Mod Podge (at any craft store, this was probably the thing I spent the most money on, and I used a coupon)
-Paint (I'm a fan of the Martha Stewart craft paint, again was on sale)
-Mugs (Dollar Tree!!! so cheap)

How to:
1.  Cut lace to fit mug.  I made mine wrap around the whole mug, but cut how your artistic eye sees fit.  
2.  Paint a layer of mod podge onto clean mug.
3.  Place lace onto mug while mod podge is still wet, and let dry.
4.  Once dry, paint layer of modge podge over the lace, and let that layer dry.
5.  Paint with desired color of paint over lace, ta da!!! cute mug!

I think it might be a good idea to add another layer of modge podge over the paint as a sealant, as I'm worried about my mugs peeling.  My lace mugs have been really loved by my friends, I would definitely recommend these!

Start to finish! love this mug.

Crafty Time: Make Your Own Canvas Prints

I have always loved the looks of canvas prints.  However, purchasing one from a place like Walgreens starts at $39.99 for an 11' x 14" print.  That's a little bit out of my price range, especially given how much I love swapping out photos.  So after finding The Pinterest Project's attempt at this, I decided to go all out and make my own.


Canvas (size of choice)
Bought a 10 pack originally $20, used Michael's coupon and got it for ten meaning each canvas cost about $1.  Always take advantage of coupons!!
Gel Medium
Again, always take advantage of coupons!
Photo (printed on regular paper, not glossy photo paper)
I printed all of my pictures at Fedex Office, costing me about $0.57 per print.  Make sure not to print on photo paper! As well as reverse your image before you print them, or they will turn out backwards!
1.  Paint canvas with a generous layer of Gel Medium (enough to cover canvas).  You don't have to overdo it but you want enough for your picture to stick to.

2.  Spray water on to photo side of print using a spray bottle.  Not too much just enough to get the picture slightly moist.  Place print face down onto canvas while gel medium is still wet.  Smooth out with a plastic card of some sort (credit card, drivers license, etc.) and let canvas dry for 24 hours.

Canvas after drying for 24 hours.
   3.  Once dry, spray entire canvas with water.  The canvas needs to be soaked for this to work so make sure the entire thing is thoroughly wet.
A towel on work area is recommended.
4.  Alright, here's the fun part.  Peel off the layer of paper, and ta da! The ink has transferred onto the canvas!  Keep peeling off all the paper until a residue of paper strands is left on the canvas, let dry.  

 This part is very messy! keep a wastebasket near you if you don't want to have to clean up shredded paper.
5.  Once dry, spray again thoroughly with water and start to rub off paper remains.  Repeat as needed.  I was annoyed with how long it took to rub using my finger, I found using a softer scrubbing pad took off the paper remains very well.   Note: if part of the ink is rubbed off in this process, that's ok, it adds what I feel is a nice distressed, worn look to the photos. 


After a lot of rubbing and paper mess, I managed to make 19 of these (I'm saving my last canvas of one of my bulk pack for another project).  The best part over all all of these probably cost me about $32 for all of these print (less than $2 for each canvas individually), which is a much cheaper than paying to have one made (I got 18 more for less than the price of one!)  I gave 4 away as gifts and hung the rest in my room and they add a nice homey touch to my room for my senior year in college. 

I absolutely love my canvas prints! Gives me a constant reminder of how much love I have for all my friends and family in my life!

I thought it would be a really cool idea to buy square canvases and print Instagram pictures.  Also, I'm wondering how cool this would look on other surfaces like wood or fabric!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Domesticated Girl: Crockpot Applesauce

I absolutely love making things from scratch. If I can do it I'll at least attempt to make it so when I discovered this recipe for crockpot applesauce I had to make it.  Took two attempts, but I think I got it down!

4 apples (should have used way more, only made about one cup of apple sauce) red delicious and granny smith variety
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 lemon peel
5 tsp brown sugar

1.  Peel, core, and slice the apples into small chunks
2.  Throw these pieces into a crock pot, followed by the cinnamon powder lemon peel and brown sugar.
3.  Cook on low for 6 hours, stirring occasionally to even cook apples.
4.  Once cooled enough, pour crockpot's contents into a blended and blend until desired consistency.

I am a poor college student and therefore did not have the money to go out and buy expensive cinnamon sticks or lemon juice as the original recipe suggested, but this was adequate to my taste.  One thing I would change is doing away with the lemon peel as there was too much of a lemon flavor.  However, the flavor might have been more subtle if I had used more apples.  Enjoy!

Definitely making this again! The only effort needed was slicing and blending the apples!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crafty Time: Glitter Wine Glasses

My friend's Birthday is coming up and she is particularly hard to shop for.  However I do know three things she likes: pink, glitter, and wine.  I found a tutorial for glitter champagne glasses on Something Turquoise and adjusted the procedure as I saw fit:
1.  Clean off the glasses with a household wipe (mine were generic grocery store brand).

2.  Once clean, turn glasses upside down and start painting from the stem towards the rim of the glass (not too far up, leave at least 1/4" from the rim of the glass), with paint thicker at the bottom and fading off toward the top.  Note: the sponge idea from Something Turquoise probably would work better in avoiding the left over clear coat of paint, and the paintbrush only made it more prominant.

3.  Let coat sit for one hour, and continue painting on coats as you see fit (I used quite a bit).
4.  To cure the paint, place painted glasses on baking sheet and place in cool oven.  With glasses in oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees and set time for 30 minutes.  At the end of the 30 minutes, turn off oven and leave glasses in oven to cool (The glass doesn't crack, because they heat up as the oven heats up).  Wait at least 72 hours to drink out of your glasses.
5.  Enjoy!
Final Product!

The oven curing method works fantastic!  None of the glitter even rubbed off to my hand when I touched it.  I have yet to try dish washing or even hand washing them, but when my friend does, I shall update how they came out.  Something Turquoise gives several ideas on painting the glasses, I may try the monogramming my others.  

Products used: Martha Stewart Glitter Craft Paint in Bubble Gum, Costco's party pack of wine glasses (good deal! I got a dozen for $14) 

Would love to hear other ideas with this project and see others results!