It’s that time again–save your budget and get your DIY on with these inexpensive DIY gifts for family and friends!
For Little Girls
- Dress-Up Tulle Tutu – Cheap, easy, and ballerina-beautiful, this tutu couldn’t be more perfect for playing pretend.
- Ruffled Parasol – Go the extra mile and pair this with the tutu above for tons of dress-up fun.
- Felt Dinner for Two – This one will take some time, but it is awesome if you’re hungry for some pretend dinner! 😉
- Hair Clip Holder – Thrifty and pretty, this would look great in any girl’s room.
- Soft (& Cheap!) Floor Pillows – These bath towel pillows are inexpensive and extra soft–perfect to cuddle up with.
- Super Cheap Pom Pom Lamp – I can’t believe what this combo of tule and dollar store items turned into! Dreamy!
- Anthropologie-Inspired Scarf – Want to give the gorgeousness of Anthropologie without the painful pricetag? This simple scarf tutorial is a great place to start.
- Quick & Easy Sketchbook – A simple sketchbook for the artist in your life (guys would like these too!) that won’t break your budget.
- Paper Mache Party Lights – What’s a dorm room without funky lighting? These cool party lights will be a spunky addition to any bedroom.
- Blue Sky Thinker Pillow – Classy and understated, this is perfect for a girlie girl OR a tomboy. Win-win.
- Easy Feathery Headband – This sassy headband (pictured above) is perfect for girls night OR date night. So pretty!
For Mamas & Grandmamas
- Teatowel Apron – Minimal sewing & maximum cute, this teatowel apron is perfect for getting Mom to whip up a batch of those brownies you looove.
- No-Sew Fabric Wreath – A little bit of no-sew decor, this super cute wreath is sure to please the decorator in any girl.
- Silhouette Art – An awesomely inexpensive (and surprisingly sentimental gift) all you need is some paper, scissors or an x-acto, and a frame.
- Spa Set – The holidays are tough on our baking/decorating/entertaining moms and grandmas–and this DIY spa set is a great way to help them chillax.
- Hexagon Glasses Case – Young fresh fabrics make this case mama-chic.
- Mocha Cocoa Mix – Girls love chocolate, so this cocoa mix with a kick of mocha is a sure-fire winner.
November 29th, 2010
Getting along with a roommate is a far cry from living with a sib–they don’t have to love you, you don’t have the comfort level to call them out, and you can’t turn to Mom and Dad for mediation purposes. That’s why I wanted to share an article I recently came across called 50 Clever Lifehacks for College Roommates, and give you a taste of my favorites from their “lifehacks” list (with some annotation from yours truly).
1. Be Courteous During Illnesses. This goes both ways, people. If your roomie is sick, let them get some rest and help them out if you can. If you’re sick, try to keep your room as germ-free as possible (wash your hands, keep surfaces clean) so your roommate doesn’t catch your bug. For more tips, check out my past articles My Roommate is Sick, Now What? and What to Do if You’re Sick in College.
2. Communicate!!! Let’s face it–communicating (especially when you’re resolving serious differences) isn’t always easy. That’s why its so important to set roommate ground rules early to help you (hopefully) avoid trouble down the road, and learn how to handle roommate problems if things get a little sticky. Whatever you do, don’t just wait it out and hope things will get better! Start practicing open, honest, and kind communication skills ASAP.
3. Write Everything Down. Really. Keeping a record of house rules, a calendar with utility and rent due dates, and other important info on paper will help everyone be mindful of your house rules (and make it easier to avoid the drama of someone forgetting rent or having a party in your place during finals week).
4. Avoid Smack Talk. You don’t have to be friends with your roommates–in fact, you don’t even really have to like them a lot–but you do have to respect them if you want to get along. Having personally had a roommate who didn’t always follow this rule, I know how hurtful it can be–and how much of a strain it can put on the relationship. Your roommate will be much more likely to listen to your concerns and help you out when you’re in need if you’ve been respectful–both to his or her face and behind his or her back.
5. Invest in Earplugs. They’re cheap, effective, and can save your roommate-hood if you have a roomie who stays up late, gets up early, or otherwise tends to disrupt your sleep hours. (Be sure you can still hear your alarm clock, though!). If your roommate is more than the usual shower-and-change-clothes kind of noisy during your sleeptime, though, see item 2–communicate!
November 18th, 2010
When it comes to free time, the genders obviously have different ideas about how it should be spent. The ladies want to shop, have deep conversations, and watch the Project Runway marathon on Lifetime (was anyone else shocked by the winner, btw??). The gentlemen: eating, sports, and a 24-hour game of Halo: Reach on xBox Live.
Tired of waiting around for your girl to finish her DVR’d SYTYCD or your guy to turn off the game console? May I suggest a tact the hubs and I have come up with?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Give it a Shot
Okay, here’s the deal. No matter how stupid our significant others’ favorite pastimes may seem to us, for some reason they really dig them. And there is no better way to score points with your honey than to show some interest in what they love. (If you want to try it the other way around, ask your sweetie to join you doing something you really like, and see how it goes!)
So, I’m just going to throw out my own example. I’m no pro, but I did play a decent amount of Halo this summer (and even more since Reach came out because that’s how I get extra facetime with my man–you hear me, ladies?). My sweetie asked me to play with him one evening, and he was so excited that I gave in. It actually turned out to be pretty fun (full disclosure: I am no longer an embarrassment, but I still have trouble keeping aim when I’m in a firefight), and we’ve played a couple times a week since then. He still gets really excited any time I offer to play.
Make it Accessible
If you want to get your honey involved in your hobbies, take the pressure off. He’s never brought it up, but I know playing video games with me is a way different experience for the hubs than when he plays them with the guys–he turns down the gore (because I’m a girl, and gore is gross), leaves the game setting on normal (I would be pretty lame on a difficult setting, and I know it), and makes a point of giving me props when I do something well (even if its an accident).
Basically, he makes it less intimidating, and preserves my shy little newbie gamer ego.
It works the same way when you’re translating girl stuff for guys. Example? If you want your man to watch a Twilight movie with you, tell him you’ll throw together some killer movie snacks and make fun of the cheesy parts together. Make it low-key and not embarrassing, and be willing to see it from the other perspective.
Celebrate Success, Accept Failure
Not every hobby you share is going to translate to a new couples activity. If you find out you and your sweetie have something new in common, great. Add it to your list of date night activities. If sharing one more second of Monday Night Football together sounds worse than a 6am bio midterm, skip it–its no big deal.
Most relationships thrive on a combination of comfortable similarities and interesting differences, the point here is simply to take an interest and try something new.
November 3rd, 2010