Thursday, February 28, 2013

Photo Holder Turned Bracelet Storage

 I think bracelets might be my favorite form of jewelry, at least I buy them like they are. There is something fantastic about a cute bracelet that never seems to get old for me.

 Until about a month ago, I was throwing all of my bracelets in a box by my bed. Every time I was headed out somewhere I would dump the box and try and find the piece I wanted. It was driving me crazy.

I love the organization I have for my earrings and necklaces, I decided I needed something similar for bracelets, where I could see them all at the same time. I headed to the thrift store waiting for the inspiration to hit. I was looking for something kind of like a mug tree and I ended up with a photo holder instead.

I have discovered that photo holders are PERFECT for storing bracelets. I can twist them around the coils and the bracelets stay put, right where I want them to and they are easy to get back off again. I have found myself wearing a bigger variety of my jewelry because I can see it all now. In fact, I had forgotten about so many of these bracelets that pulling them all out and organizing them was like Christmas morning!
I found a couple of fun looking ones on Amazon here and here, or keep your eye out at your local thrift store 
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WotW: Stay On Top of Your To Dos with Any.Do

The human brain is a wonderful thing. It's capable of holding and processing an insane amount of information. But even the most incredible mind has its limits. And unfortunately, most of us cram our brains full of unnecessary stuff. I'm not talking about favorite recipes, book lists and who won the Oscars back to 1964. I'm talking about the constant buzz of to-dos that float around in our minds and drive us nearly crazy.

Some of us use so much of our brain capacity thinking about all the stuff we have to do that we don't have any room left over to do the items on our mental to do list. It takes training, but you can break yourself of this habit. I was able to do it. I used to stress about every little to-do item. Now I don't even worry about it. What's my secret? Writing it down in one trusted location.

I've shared some of my favorite trusted locations in the past, like Teux Deux, LinoIt, Google Calendar and Catch. But I have an organizer that may just outshine them all. It's my new favorite time-saving and organizing app called Any.Do.

The Any.Do app is a free download for both iOS and Android, as well as a Chrome extension. The premise of the app is like any other to-do app: to get you organized and provide a checklist. But the way Any.Do does it is smooth and fun.

On opening the app, you'll notice it's divided into four sections: Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming and Someday. And if you think about it, that's really how our brains work. Items can quickly be added into any section by pressing the + sign to the right of the section title. You can type the new task or speak it. Plus, Any.Do has predictive reasoning, so it can often guess what you're going to input before you finish. You can also easily drag and drop items between sections, helping you quickly organize and reshuffle your busy schedule.

When you complete a task, simply swipe across the item and it is crossed off. To archive completed tasks, simply give your device a shake and all crossed-off items disappear. It's a physically gratifying way to acknowledge a completion of tasks.

You can always go back and see your completed tasks too, which are broken down by the day on which you completed them. This gives you a nice record of your work, which is helpful for personal record keeping, as well as accountability at work.

Speaking of personal and work, Any.Do recognizes you have different areas of your life, so it allows you to create separate folders in which you can store to-do items. You can even change the view from timeline to folder view, if that's better for you.

OK, big deal. This is similar to other to-do apps. What's so special about this one? Besides how simple and clean the functions are, there are some neat extras that set Any.Do apart.

Click on any task and you are given five extra options for that task. You can up the priority level, put it in a specific folder, set an alert for a specific day and time, add a note or even share the note with a friend, helping you be accountable and keep others in the loop. Plus, it's quick and easy to do all this. Much faster than Outlook.

One of the greatest features of Any.Do is the daily Any.Do moment. You choose a time you want to have an Any.Do moment each day. For me, I set it at 9am, just after I arrive at work, have time to get settled and go through emails. Any.Do will popup a screen with an Any.Do moment. This shows me all the tasks I have planned for the day. Now, I have a chance to quickly review each task and decide what I want to do with each one.

I can confirm that I will do the task today, delay it for later, mark it already complete or delete it. When I select today, Any.Do prompts me to set a time for when I want to do it. I can even set an alarm for myself.

The nice thing about the Any.Do moment is it addresses one of the great needs of to-do apps: forcing you to review your tasks. Every day you have a chance to really look at what you need to do and find the best time that fits in your schedule.

Besides being a great app, the Google Chrome extension is invaluable. You can install it for free in the Chrome Web Store by searching for Any Do in the Extensions.

Once it's installed, the extension will appear in the top-right corner of your browser. You can click on it and bring up the familiar view of your to-do list with the same functionality as the app. Also, it will show you a notification number with the number of tasks you have today, which is a helpful reminder as you surf the web.

And if you're on your computer when an alert time comes around, the Any.Do extension will show a pop-up in the bottom-right corner of your screen reminding you to do it.

Any.Do is an incredibly easy app to learn how to use. It can fit into anybody's workflow and is flexible enough to address the different areas of your life that require you to stay organized. This is an app everyone should at least try. So free up some of those valuable brain cells clinging on to to-do items and write them down in a system that not only remembers them, but reminds you about them when you need them. You can't beat that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Learning to Ski at Wolf Mountain Resort

My dad took me skiing a couple of times as a kid, and even though it is something I enjoy, I haven't been on skis since I was a kid. When Wolf Mountain offered me the chance to bring my little girl for a ski lesson, I jumped at the chance.

Wolf Mountain Resort is located in Eden, Utah. They have classes for children as young as three. Wolf Mountain has trails for all skill levels and they light up the entire mountain at night for night skiing. 

My four year old is a stubborn one. She either wants to do something or there is no way to get her to do it. I kept crossing my fingers, hoping for the best that she would want to ski. 
Sobbing on Skis
It was a beautiful day and my little girl was so excited to ski. Once we actually got the skis on, something changed. She broke down in hysterical sobs. I tried everything to calm her down enough to leave her in her ski class with no success. I was ready to give up and wait in the lodge for the friends we came with when one of the ski instructors suggested I go to my ski class and come back and check on her in a few minutes.
When I came back to check on her a few minutes later, this is what I found. 
A happy, smiling, skiing child. I cannot say enough great things about the ski instructors at Wolf Mountain. They not only helped my daughter conquer her fear of "slipping on the snow," they made her love it. She has spent the days since begging me to go back. Before this experience I wasn't sure she was old enough to learn to ski. Now, I think she skis better than I do.
I cannot believe how patient and wonderful the ski instructors were, not only with my little girl's class, but mine as well. I went with a basic class because after being off skis for more than 15 years, I wasn't sure I would remember how. My ski instructor was patient and knowledgeable. Something that me and the three other ladies in my class sorely needed. By the end of my lesson I really felt like I could call up my dad and ask him to go skiing with me.

We loved our experience at Wolf Mountain so much we have already planned a return trip. This time we are bringing my husband and my little sister for both of their first times on skis and I am confident they are going to love it just as much as we did!

Are you a skier? Starting March 1, Wolf Mountain will have their 2013-2014 seasons passes on sale for a discounted rate. 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Five Minute Eiffel Tower Necklace

Along with my Distressed Photo Jewelry Tray, that I posted about on Friday, I made this cute Eiffel Tower Necklace. It is probably one of the fastest crafts I have ever made and people always ask where I got it. 
 You will need:
An acrylic necklace tile, I used the ones by Mod Podge and they were fabulous.
Scrapbook paper with a design small enough for the tile, I also used papers by Mod Podge, they were great! I had no problem with wrinkles.
Regular or Glitter Mod Podge, The Mod Podge Glitter is perfect for this craft, it adds just the right amount of sparkle. 
a jump ring
Cut out a piece of scrapbook paper that is the same size of your acrylic necklace tile. 
 Add a thin coat of Mod Podge to the front of the piece of paper and secure to the tile. Starting in the center of the paper, smooth the paper out towards the edges, making sure there are no air bubbles. After the paper is secure, add another coat to the back.
Wait for the Mod Podge to dry, add a jump ring to the hole in the acrylic so you can slide it on a necklace easily. Add the chain and you have a cute, easy necklace. If you use the Glitter Mod Podge, you should be able to see little flecks of glitter through the acrylic
This simple necklace would be a perfect craft for large groups and it require minimal skills and they are easily customized to each person. As for me? This necklace is perfect for my Europe obsession. 
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Creative Showcase- A creative feature and linkup

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to hold a creative linky party on Sundays. I even went so far as to name it and make a button for it. Somewhere along the line, I got busy and it go pushed to the back burner. After thinking about it for awhile, I have decided to go ahead with it, as a way to see your new ideas and feature ones that I love. 

Creative Showcase is for all things creative, crafts, recipes, book reviews, and anything else you can think of. If you made/wrote it, we would all love to see it. 
Housewife Eclectic Creative Showcase

Here are some of my favorite creative posts from this last week: 

I love these amazing Beautiful Creatures themed cupcakes by Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings

I am kind of obsessed with St. Patrick's Day and I love this fabulously cute St. Patrick's Day Decor from Jonie with Just Between Friends.

I think this DIY Wax Paper Lantern from Lindsay with Artsy-Fartsy Mama is incredible!

This Cinnamon Swirl Bread by Kari from Newlyweds on a Budget is definitely on my list to make this week!

Some guidelines for linking: 
Become or be a Follower of Housewife Eclectic 
Visit other links
Link back to Housewife Eclectic with a button or a link. 
Link your favorite posts 

What have you been creating?

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

What I Love Right Now

1. New Experiences- I took my little one skiing for the first time this last week. She fought me and cried and told me that it was too hard and then... she did it. By the end of the day she was smiling and so proud of herself for doing something hard. Wolf Mountain Resort literally has the best instructors. A whole post to come on this. I am grateful for new experiences. I am love not knowing what comes next in life.

2. THIS picture of my niece. She just turned one this month and I had the wonderful opportunity to take her pictures. Photography always lifts my spirits.

3. Valshi Boutique and their lace tops. I think I would wear it everywhere if that wasn't weird. I have one in mint green.

4. Feeling great! I am down 25 pounds, 15 of it thanks to LeanMoms. I haven't had any candy/sugar since the start of 2013 and even though it was hard in the beginning, I am loving the results.
5. The things that come out of this little one's mouth. I share them over here on the Housewife Eclectic Facebook page. My favorite ones from the last week?

4-year-old: "If I leave you and daddy alone more, does that mean I can have a baby sister?"


4-Year-Old: "Mommy, is it getting later?" 
Me: "It isn't late, but yes it is getting later."
4-Year-Old: "We better hurry up and put away the shopping bags away downstairs, so daddy doesn't ask what we bought when he gets home." 

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Disney on Ice Winner

We are getting excited for Disney on Ice coming up in a couple of weeks. One lucky Housewife Eclectic reader gets to join us! The winner is: 

Congratulations Jill! As for the rest of you, we hope to see you there. My daughter can't wait!
Just tuning in? Disney on Ice will be at the Energy Solutions Arena in Salt Lake City from March 6- March 10th. You can buy tickets for any of the nights from Smith's Tix or from the Box Office at the Energy Solutions ArenaTicket Prices range from $17, $23, $40 (VIP) and $52 (Front Row) with a special  $12 price being available for regular seats on opening night! There are both evening shows and matinees as follows:

·         Wednesday, March 6 – 7:00pm
·         Thursday, March 7 –  7:00pm
·         Friday, March 8 – 3:30pm & 7:00pm
·         Saturday, March 9 – 11:30am, 3:30pm & 7:00pm
·         Sunday, March 10 – 1:30pm & 5:30pm

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Distressed Photo Jewelry Tray

A little while ago, I decided I needed a tray on my dresser where I could place my jewelry, such as my wedding ring, when I took them off for the night. I am a sucker for anything with my little girl's face on it, so I made this distressed tray with her picture using Mod Podge Photo Transfer. I expected this project to be hard, but the hardest part ended up being waiting for it to dry! It was worth the wait. I loved the results.

For this project you will need:
A wooden tray
A picture printed on regular paper from an inkjet printer
Mod Podge Photo Transfer

With photo transfer, you can transfer a image to glass, wood and even fabric. I found a wood tray that I thought was about the right size at Hobby Lobby for a couple of dollars.
The first thing I did was sand and paint my tray. Some of the paint will come off in this project, so be prepared to touch-up or paint after you do the transfer.
Print your picture on a regular printer on regular paper. If there are words on your picture, make sure to reverse the image before printing it! Trim the picture close to the edges.
Completely cover the picture in a THICK coat of photo transfer. All you should be able to see is white.

Place the image face down on the tray and then smooth out the paper, starting at the center. Wipe away any extra transfer as this medium does not dry clear.
Leave the the project to dry for 24 hours. Like I said, this was the hardest part for me, I kept wanting to peek!
After 24 hours have passed, wet the image with a wet sponge, wait a couple of minutes while the water seeps through the picture and then slowly, using circular motions,wipe the sponge around the picture. The paper will start to flake off and leave you with a gorgeous image print.
After my image transfer was complete, I used a paint brush a touch up the edges of the transfer, where I hadn't wiped enough of the excess away. This is also where the tray changed colors from a straight up black to a charcoal. I decide charcoal worked better for what I wanted, so I repainted the edges.  I then used a piece of sand paper and distressed the edges of the tray and then the photo lightly, until it was the way I wanted it. I sealed the whole tray with a coat of Mod Podge.

Along with the Photo Transfer, I was also able to test out Mod Podge's paper, acrylic shapes and Glitter Mod Podge (I am madly in love with the Glitter Mod Podge), which I used to make the Eiffel Tower necklace in the picture at the beginning of the post. I will share the tutorial for the cute necklace on Monday!

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