Easy Breezy Brad Earrings

Hello there, kittens!

I’m so sorry about my inability to write a fascinating and life-changing post last week. Unfortunately, I was forced to leave the freezing cold of home for a business trip in sunny California. And since I’m not a multi-tasker, I was forced to prioritze packing over blogging. Lucky for you I’m back this week with another quick and easy craft. You’re welcome.

I’ll be honest, over the years I’ve grown increasingly bored with fashion in general. Everything today just seems so far removed from my actual lifestyle that I typically just stick to my usual jeans and black knit sweater combo. I can appreciate the women that choose to confidently strap a piglet on their head and call it a hat, but it just isn’t practical for my day to day.

But I do still occasionally appreciate some adorable accessories. Especially if they’re inexpensive and I know that I won’t see 10 other women wearing the same thing as I walk down the street. Making your own jewelry is a sure-fire way to get something that is uniquely you (the inexpensive part is up to you….if you’ve ever gone to a Michael’s store you know…that shit can get pricey). One of my favorite ways to customize my look is to make these adorable brad earrings. They only take a few minutes and can be made for less than the earrings you used to buy at Claire’s boutique in 1995.

Supplies:

1 Hot Glue Gun w/ Glue

Earring Posts

Fabric or Epoxy Brads (find these in the scrapbooking section of your craft store)

Clippers or powerful scissors (I like the ones for jewelry-making)

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I decided to go with a set that reminds me of old-school airlines in honor of my recent travels.

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Step 1:

Clip the metal “brad” pieces off of your fabric brads. You’ll be left with just the cute fabric and a mostly flat back.

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Step 2:

Put a dab of hot glue on your earring post and press it firmly into the center of the back of the brad.

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And voila! You have some spunky earrings that evoke the same laid-back vibe as the vintage button ones that you can buy at craft fairs for 4 times the price. And did I mention that they make awesome gifts?

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I love the mismatched look of this pair here:

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Now I need your help. I have a ton of ideas for future craft posts. Please take this quick poll to let me know which posts you’d be most excited to read:

 

32 Before 32

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Hi Lovelies!

For my post today, I thought I’d do something a bit different. My birthday is coming up, and each year I make a list of things that I want to experience over the course of the year. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and I originally got the idea from another blog. (I’m fairly certain that it was from A Beautiful Mess: abeautifulmess.com).

So here’s the idea..
When I was 29, I created a list “30 Things to Do Before 30.” The following year, you update your number so it becomes “31 Things to Do Before 31.” And so on and so forth. I really enjoy this exercise for a few reasons:

1. It helps keep you from becoming complacent. If you feel like you do everything well then you’re probably not challenging yourself. Essentially, my yearly list is 30+ things that prove I suck at stuff. But that’s the beauty of it….By making time to try new things, I’m giving myself permission to not be perfect. For example, I spent a lazy afternoon this past year making homemade marshmallows for my girlfriend, Kris. She loves marshmallows. After all was said and done, I proudly marked it off my list as we dumped my masterpiece into the garbage. We had a blast.

2. It is a way to give focus to your interests. There are so many things that I want to do in life, but I always seem to find myself doing the same things over and over again out of habit. Dinner and a movie is easy, but it can really feel like I’m just phoning it in. Having a list of new experiences makes it easy for me to find simple ways to break out of my comfort zone. If I have a free day, I can just look at my list and have a number of ideas to keep things exciting. This list was the reason that I got the brilliant idea to go to the indoor trampoline park for my 30th birthday party. As I entered this new decade of my life, I wanted something that wasn’t too “grown-up,” and it was perfect. If you’ve ever thought of doing something, but werent’ sure because you thought it seemed intimidating or felt like you were “too old,” “too out of shape,” or “too whatever,” put it on your list! You never know until you try.

3. Sometimes, it just works. Generally speaking, I fumble my way through my experiences hoping not to injure or make a fool of myself. But occasionally, I find a way to make my life easier, more fun, and better through experimentation. Probably one of the simplest goals that I had was simply to “wear a dress.” That’s it. So easy, but it was something that felt really awkward for me. So I forced myself to get one to wear to work one day. LIFE CHANGING! Getting ready for work has never been so easy.

I don’t look at this exercise as another set of things that I SHOULD do, but instead just think of it as a fun way to experiment with things that I WANT to do. Fill your list with simple things that can be tried and crossed off instead of long-range goals. The idea is to stay open to experience, not feel like you have to get your PhD in physics, lose 100 lbs., and run your first marathon (unless that’s your thing). To be honest, I’m lucky if I ever do even 10 of the items on my list, but I figure it’s more than I would have done otherwise. Some items get carried over to the following year and some items get dropped because they no longer interest me.

The point is, I finally got around to going to a ballet (several now that I’ve started), taking barre classes, fixing a broken process at work, trying some DIY recipes, and volunteering my time to a worthy cause. Of course, I’ve also failed to become fluent in French, finish reading “Watership Down,” and I’m still too much of a sissy to ride a horse. But maybe I’ll have better luck this year.

I recommend adding experiences from a variety of areas to your list. For instance, spread them out across personal style, career, intellectual pursuits, and play. A few of my top ones for the coming year are:

1. Take a certification course
2. Buy a nice, structured bag (because at some point you have to be a grownup)
3. Rock some floral Doc Martens (because you never want to grow up completely)
4. Go play paintball
5. Travel someplace new

What about you? I’d love for you to leave a comment and let me know what new things you want to try!

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Rainy Day Craft – 2015 Memory Jar

There aren’t many things I love more than a lazy, rainy afternoon. There’s something about gloomy weather that makes me feel free to do nothing. Which is a good thing because I stayed up too late last night partying with friends. My always-awesome friend, Deb, cleared some time in her calendar to come over and help us host a Stella & Dot trunk show. (If you’re unfamiliar with Stella & Dot, do yourself a favor and head over to Deb’s page for instant inspiration….I’m obsessed with the rose gold Rebel pendant: http://www.stelladot.com/sites/debv/profile/?lc=en_us).

So after a fun evening of playing with jewelry, drinking pinot noir, and enjoying my lively crew, nothing could be better than a rainy day. Today is a perfect day for crafting, provided the craft is quick, easy and beautiful. Today I’ll be sharing a project that is all three. This easy Memory Jar is also a perfect project to do this time of year since it is a good way to capture great memories throughout 2015. I make one of these each year and stuff it full of notes, small objects or anything else that will remind me of the good times I experience over the coming months. My family then opens the jar and reads the notes on New Year’s Eve so we can revisit the great times that we had. This project takes 5-10 minutes tops and won’t break the bank.

Supplies:

1 Mason Jar

1 Page of Decorative Paper

1 Pen or Sharpie Marker

1 Pair of Scissors

1 Length of Twine (used here) or Ribbon

1 Glue Gun w/ Glue

Optional Supplies Used in Support of This Post: 1 Venti Chai Latte 1 iPod Full of Tori Amos Songs

First, gather all of your supplies.

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Next, cut your decorative paper to fit over the inner part of your mason jar lid. Write the year on the paper if you choose.

Post3_Pic2 Then, wrap the top of your glass jar with twine or ribbon as you wait for your glue gun to heat up.

Post3_Pic3 Next, add glue around the outer edge of the lid insert and attach the decorative paper circle and let it dry.

Post3_Pic4 That’s it! You now have a lovely jar for capturing all of those small moments that happen throughout the year. Fill it with notes, concert tickets, anything that is meaningful to you. Post3_Pic5 Post3_Pic6

Getting Started

Over the years, I’ve noticed that whenever someone expresses disdain for organizing it generally involves difficulty with getting started. Let’s face it– a mountain of clutter can  make anyone feel like giving up before they’ve even begun. My belief is that this feeling of defeat often stems from an assumption that “getting organized” is a huge, daunting task. Not so!

The reality is that effective organization is not a task that demands hours upon hours of effort followed by a year of zero maintenance. Yes. It does take work, but it shouldn’t require you to devote all of your free time to ensuring that your home is always flawless. Where’s the fun in that? I encourage anyone struggling in this area to abandon the idea that “getting organized” is a destination and instead start viewing it as a process. And the most important step in any process is simply getting started. So here are three tips that help me on days when I feel overwhelmed.

1. Set a timer.
You can do anything for 10 minutes. And you would be surprised by how far that amount of time can take you when it comes to de-cluttering your home. 10 minutes allows you to fold and put away the clean laundry. 10 minutes and you can turn that junk drawer into the perfect place to neatly store office supplies. In 10 minutes, you can make extra space in your closet by removing things that you no longer wear. And if you still don’t feel like organizing after that 10 minutes is over, you have my permission to walk away–guilt free. But who knows? You may feel so great about what you’ve accomplished that you keep going.

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2. Take Baby Steps
I’ve seen it so many times: We decide to organize a room and pull out EVERYTHING from every nook and cranny. “I’m going to be ruthless,” we say. Instead, we end up too exhausted to continue and things look worse than when we started. Make it easy on yourself! Start with only one drawer, one closet, or one corner of the room. If you finish early and are still motivated then by all means, continue. But if  your sessions typically end with a giant pile of stuff in the middle of the room, then I recommend that you try taking on smaller projects. This tactic is particularly helpful if you have trouble focusing on the task at hand.

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3. Reward Yourself
Sometimes the best way to find motivation is to give yourself an incentive. If you’re struggling, promise yourself a reward that is meaningful to you. For instance, maybe you’ll treat yourself to an afternoon latte if you complete a small project that you’ve been avoiding. Or buy yourself a new sweater once you’ve successfully cleared your closet of old clothes that no longer fit. Your reward can be something free like a hot bath with a book from the library. Enjoy the reward while you work on your task if you prefer. For instance, you could make a “rule” that you only watch a favorite tv show or movie while you work on one of your projects. The most important thing is to take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate.

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So there you have it. 3 tips to help you get started on your projects. Keep in mind that these tips also translate well to any non-organizational goals. Try them out and see which ones work best for you.

Welcome

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Hello there, friend. Thanks for stopping by. Come on in….stay awhile.
Welcome to Running On Laughter. My hope for this blog is to inspire gratitude for the simple pleasures that life brings and to nurture creativity in any form. I signed on to this project primarily because despite living a fulfilling life, I find myself craving a way to get out of my comfort zone. It seems that everyone has a blog these days, so why not us? Whether it is through organizational tips or new recipes, this blog is intended to provide a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life. We’re not here to tell you that you’re not good enough. Instead, we invite you to pour a glass of wine and celebrate all of life’s imperfections with us. We have enough Pinterest fails to fill a book, but we’ve also managed to learn some things throughout this journey called life.

My partner in crime, Lori, is a magician in the kitchen. People are constantly requesting her dishes at parties. In fact, being a de facto taste tester for her recipes was a huge motivator for my choice to start this blog with her. Mix in my obsessive need to eliminate all clutter, and I think we make a pretty good team. But perhaps most important, we don’t believe that cooking and cleaning is all there is to life. Between partners, full-time jobs, a new baby and a combined total of 6 pets we just don’t have time to waste. I hope you’ll check back for future posts; we have some great things planned.