Monday, June 16, 2014

Shower Tote Graduation Gift

The month of May was filled with graduation parties. Weekend after weekend, there were places to be and gifts to give. My first instinct when it came to graduation gifting was to not only find/make something useful but also something thoughtful and decorative. I'm really excited to share this post with you about one of the gifts I gave to a friend of mine because I think this presentation of a shower tote embodies all three things, making it an ideal present for girls going off to college this fall.

shower tote, the container store

I first started off with this shower tote. I love that this one has dividers at the bottom as well as holes on the sides and bottom for water to drain out. It also comes in blue/aqua.

I also purchased this stinkin' cute towel to go along with the tote. I went ahead and had it monogrammed with her initials on it for a number of reasons. It not only gave it a more personal touch but if her towel ever gets lost, someone would know it belongs to her. 

I'm no florist, but I did like the idea of having happy daisies and pretty carnations in the tote. I figured they looked nice peeking out; she said she would later put them in a vase or mason jar to decorate her dorm room in the fall which I thought was a great idea.

This is how I made the daisies:

Fold a green pipe cleaner in half and cut at the fold.

Cut small rectangles (approximately 1" X 1.5") out of yellow tissue paper. It's totally okay if they're not perfect.

Wrap one yellow tissue paper rectangle around the top of one green pipe cleaner. Roll downwards.

Cut 1" diameter circles and cut small scores toward the center.

Poke the pipe cleaner through the center of three yellow circles.

They should look something like this!

Fold a piece of white tissue paper so that it has six layers. I freehanded these daisy petals but feel free to trace or use a template. Cut out your petals and fold perpendicularly.

Poke the pipe cleaner through the center of the six tissue paper petals and scrunch each layer lightly.

The carnations are significantly easier to make because the petals are round. Fold a piece of tissue paper - your color of choice - so that it has 12 layers. Cut a 3" diameter circle, poke a pipe cleaner through the center of each layer, and scrunch lightly. (That's my Andy Grammer wristband in the picture. His Back Home Summer Tour concert was amazing. This song made me smile and giggle like a fool...teehee.)

Fold the towel and place it in the shower tote. Arrange the flowers as you wish inside the tote.

Yay! We're done! I'm so happy with the way this little thing came out! Funny thing...I attempted to be sneaky and leave this at my friend's door step. I rang the doorbell and ran behind a tree in front of her house only to find she didn't come outside the first time. Haha that aside, I'm really happy she enjoyed her gift so much. I'll have to thank her later for letting me take a picture of her in her jammie shorts :)

If you gifted something similar, I'd love to know. Also, what do you think is an essential for dorm life?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thank You, Deans.

Long time no talk, everyone! Today was the last day of the "normal" class schedule so it's pretty safe to say that today unofficially marks the end of high school. (Thank you, exemptions!)

Tonight was also the last hoorah with some of my closest friends and greatest supporters: my deans. Over the last four years, I feel so blessed to have had such genuine, hard-working, and caring people not only to help set up my schedule but to be great confidants and life advice-givers. I truly appreciate these two for the dedication and time they spent to ensure I was always at my best - even if it meant calling at odd times of the day, texting/emailing in the middle of class, or just sneaking into their offices to talk. (teehee) Through tears, laughs, early morning trips, late night calls, the mental breakdowns, and all the excitement and thrills of high school, I am so so grateful. I cannot thank them enough for being amazing deans.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Northern California

lombard street, view from lombard street, lombard
The view from Lombard Street
It's been a little over week since returning from the fun of spring break. Despite being sick the last few days and my RAW files refusing to open, I'm excited to finally share photos from the awesome time I had in the Bay Area. Like every family trip, our schedule is always jam-packed with things to do; this trip was no different. (e.g. discovering new ice cream places daily) I also had expectations that the weather would be foggy and dreary, but I was pleasantly surprised that we were graced with sunny 70 degree weather almost every day. I have many places I'd love to see the next time I return, but until then, here are some highlights from the trip:

stanford memorial church, church at stanford
Breathtaking details of Stanford Memorial Church
aurora ristorante, sausalito
Delicious homemade pasta dishes from this hidden gem in Sausalito 
Relaxing walk in Sausalito 
Ghirardelli Marketplace, chocolate, ghirardelli chocolate
DIY gifting with endless flavors at Ghirardelli Marketplace
Golden Gate Bridge
Driving across the grand Golden Gate
USC Sirens
Running into the talented girls of the USC Sirens near the Ferry Building
belly good cafe & crepes, belly good, crepes, green tea crepes
Equally yummy + cute green tea crepe from Belly Good Cafe & Crepes
ferry building farmer's market
Macarons at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market
16th Avenue Tiled Steps, mosaic steps, san francisco, moraga steps
Mosaic Moraga Steps...need I say more?!
Bi-Rite Creamery, honey lavender ice cream, bi-rite
A necessary stop at Bi-Rite Creamery...their honey lavender (and probably every other flavor) is the bomb diggity
sutro baths, cliff house, san francisco
The remains of the Sutro Baths
La Trappe Cafe, san francisco
La Trappe's Normandy Mussels
Google Android Building, gigantic donut, donut, google campus
Donut love at the Android Building

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dorm Décor: DIY Projects

Since my last Dorm Décor post, I've been itching to get together with a few friends and just have a full-on craft day (complete with lots of glitter, yummy sweets, and some good music). Though this craft day has yet to happen, I figured I would compile a list of fun future projects beforehand if and when the time came around. With less than 100 days of high school left and less than six months until I officially move, this post was more than appropriate for me to start brainstorming ideas of what I want to make > buy. Below are a few of my favorite projects that will certainly liven + brighten up any small space.

diy art, diy dorm project, diy dorm decoration, pinterest, diy dorm, diy, diy dorm crafts, craft

1. Michelle Woo: DIY Headboard
2. Nest of Posies: Pom Pom Posie Wreath
3. Que Linda: String Wall Art
4. Grey Likes Nesting: DIY Marquee Letter
5. Ambrosia Creative: Tiny Polaroid Magnets
6. Wit & Whistle: Typography Pillow
7. Lilyshop: Glitter Dipped Mason Jars
8. The Effortless Chic: Glitter State
9. Libby Lane Press: Yarn Chandelier
10. The Sweetest Occasion: Tissue Paper Pom Poms Backdrop

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design, chocolate covered strawberries

Valentine's Day is most certainly the day to eat chocolate to my heart's content. Naturally, I crave chocolate-dipped strawberries around this time. They're fun to make and in my experience, friends and family always adore them.

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design, ghirardelli

To make these strawberries, you'll need a variety of chocolate. I used three different kinds: white, milk, and bittersweet. But you can also use dark chocolate or any other flavor you like.

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design

Wash and thoroughly dry your strawberries. To make dipping a breeze, I poked a toothpick into each one. This method is also helpful if you want to avoid letting your chocolate-covered strawberries dry with a "flat side".

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design, temper chocolate, ghirardelli

Melt each kind of chocolate in a double boiler then temper. If you're lazy like me, separate the chocolates into their own bowls and microwave at 10-second intervals + stir in between each heating. The consistency should be runny. Use a touch of vegetable shortening if needed.

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design

While holding the toothpick, pull the leaves back to avoid a leafy chocolate mess then dip + coat your strawberry.

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design

Fill piping bags or resealable plastic bags with chocolate and snip a corner to decorate your strawberries. I tried different simple designs: stripes, swirls, dots, and even a tuxedo-print. Don't worry if you mess up (I certainly did!) - they still taste just as good!

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design

To avoid the "flat side" look, let your design set by poking the end of the toothpick into a Styrofoam board or in my case, an upside-down plastic fruit container.

chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries, chocolate design
After your strawberries have completely set, remove the toothpicks and transfer each one into its own mini muffin baking cup. Enjoy eating your little works of art!