A Little Morning Motivation

Life can be discouraging. At the tail end of school, I’m battling the fear of graduating without a job and not knowing what I’m going to do with my life. I love quotes on Pinterest that are inspiring and remind me to stay positive and keeping me motivated. Lately I’ve been feeling particularly discouraged, so I decided to print out a bunch of the quotes I’ve pinned to hand around my apartment.

Be so good they can't ignore you Half way there Hustle Joy

The little bits of inspiration throughout my apartment have been a great reminder to stay positive. Whether it is work, school, the job hunt or just life in general that is getting me down, they cheer me up and keep me going. I hung the above pins as well as a few others. It’s been great to see them every morning! They remind me to choose happiness for the day and to control my own mood instead of letting life control it. I’d encourage you to hand your favorite quotes up in your living space in order to encourage and inspire you!

What do you do to stay inspired? Let me know in the comments below!

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10 Pieces of Advice to Make Your Pinterest Practical

Well folks, it’s been about six weeks into this Pinterest adventure. I have to admit, I was skeptical. For years I swam against the tides of womanhood and did not use my Pinterest account. I had too many projects, recipes, outfits, and activities that I deemed undoable and unrealistic.

But here we are, 10 Pinterest attempts later, and I just may be singing a different tune. I have to admit that I really enjoyed myself. Pinterest is not only fun, but practical. Each time I tried a new pin I felt a surge of accomplishment and learned something new – even if it didn’t work.

So, you want to start making your Pinterest practical? Here are 10 pieces of advice I would give to you based on what I learned:

1. Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.

2. Chocolate and peanut butter cure syllabus shock.

3. You don’t need a professional salary for a professional wardrobe.

4. The popular pins are not always the easy pins.

5. Saturday afternoons in winter were created for yarn projects.

6. Sometimes you need ingredients (or tools) that aren’t on the recipe.

7. Spread handmade love.

8. Household substances have multiple uses.

9. Invest in a black skirt.

10. Keep calm and love giraffes.

So that’s what I learned. It may not look like much, but I’m now a self-proclaimed Pinterest-user. The site can still be a huge time waster and a place where we lust after weddings, houses, and clothes we will never have. But now that I’ve actually tried to experience Pinterest, I see the fun and a way to use it for good.

When we first created Practically Pinterest we desired to do just that: make Pinterest practical. And we did. But in retrospect, maybe our title means more. Maybe, the four of us are so good that we’re practically Pinterest.

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How to Have the Best Spring Break of Your Life

7b5d15bbb8cda290f4c9db822f72177dWell, friends, it’s almost here. The moment every college student has been waiting for since…well…since Christmas. That’s right. Spring break. Students everywhere are buzzing, making plans and counting down the days until they can board their plane, train, bus, etc. and embark on the greatest adventure of the year. It’s an exciting time, really.

If you’re anything like me, however, planning an elaborate spring break trip can be daunting. Great ideas can seem too expensive or overwhelming and are often not accomplished. In that case, spring break can leave you spending excessive hours on Facebook or watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy and every Animal Planet documentary ever made. If that’s you, these two words will put the movie-watching days behind you and will instead launch you into the best break of your life. You ready for it?

Road. Trip. 12-guide-to-typefaces-with-life-quotes-in-creative-typography

A road trip is an awesome way to spend your break because you can plan as much or as little as you want, go where you want, and be gone for as long as you want, all without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for making your trip as inexpensive (and exciting) as possible.

1) Pick a destination where someone has family or friends that would let you stay and you’ll cut costs incredibly. Whether you go to a friend’s house in Georgia, your second cousin’s house in Colorado, or your Aunt Lorraine’s house in Wisconsin, it’s guaranteed to be an adventure.

2) Pack sandwich materials and water and eliminate food costs almost entirely. Pack snacks that don’t need toRoad-Trip-Snacks- be refrigerated such as trail mix or fruit snacks, and you can avoid the fast-food joint altogether.

3) You don’t need to make expensive, elaborate plans. Half the fun is not having an agenda and taking advantage of the little adventures that pop up. If you get lost, that’s OKAY! In fact, it will probably even add to your experience and make your adventure that much more memorable.

4) More people means cheaper gas expenses. It’s okay to be a little squished in the car. By going with a group, not only will you have an awesome bonding experience with friends, you’ll also have more people to split the cost of gas, and make your trip cheaper.

So there you have it, friends. Grab your best travel-buddies, make a great playlist, and just go! Whether you’re gone for a week or a day, a road trip is bound to be an adventure you’ll never forget.

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Stressed Out? Try Yoga.

School is stressful. I find myself with little sleep, a lot of neck tension and splitting headaches several times a week. I’ve always been a fan of yoga for a great stretch, but after reading an article from the Huffington Post, I’m going to take even more time out of my week to slow down and do a yoga session. The article points out that yoga helps boost your immune system, ease migraines and helps you sleep better, among numerous other benefits.

I took to Pinterest to find a great yoga tutorial. I found this awesome video.

It is part of playlist (click-through to watch it on Youtube, not just on this blog) and for someone who does yoga pretty frequently, I though this playlist was great. I was really relaxed by the end of the second video and feeling great. The first routine is only 5 minutes and mostly breathing exercises, so it’s easy to do between things. I usually take 30-45 minutes every few days to do a deep stretch routine, but this was a great addition to my repertoire.

If you find yourself stressing out this week, take a few minutes to relax and do some yoga! You’ll feel better, I promise.

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Lets go on an adventure.

fa7e564d76f79b510fc8def08c394f6c I’m in a place right now where I am really overhwlmed. Between juggling school, multiple jobs, searching for a full time job, and preparing for a summer trip overseas, I don’t have a lot of margin in my life. Sometimes I find myself discouraged. In these times the best thing anyone can say is, “Let’s go on an adventure!”

According to an article in Health Magazine getting fresh air and exercise can greatly improve your daily health. It’s beneficial to get our of my normal space and do something active and fun.  This actually helps my productivity instead of hurting it.

This weekend while buried under homework I was coxed by my roommate and her brother to join them on an adventure. We drove on icy roads down to the Global Market in Minneapolis and explored the colorful booths and food stands.  We even tried a delicious camel burger.

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Part of going on an adventure is uncertainty. You don’t know where you may end up. This is the exciting part. After we had our fill of camel burgers we drove around the cities, finally ending up by the Guthrie. We rode up and down the escalators and elevators, saw a beautiful view of the city, and almost saw the play showing that evening.

I mentioned that I had never crossed the Stone Arch Bridge before, so a few minutes later I found myself on the completely frozen bridge in ten degree temperature. Although none of us where dressed for the weather we had a great time sliding  our way across the bridge and down the other side. There was something special about not having a plan for the evening, just being able to appreciate what came our way, and finding joy in the friendship of adventuring together.

Like any perfect night, we ended with a good cup of coffee. What about you? Do you need to find some friends to adventure through life with.

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Crisis in Ukraine

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you’ve probably heard about the political unrest in Kiev, Ukraine. In case you’re not sure what the situation is, click here for a brief overview of Ukraine’s political history, and the most recent news updates.

g5tfhydihmyr7zcmo6xsEssentially, tension between the president and rioting civilians regarding the country’s political future has erupted, leaving Ukraine’s capital plagued with riots and protests, and balancing on the brink of a civil war. Fires have been set, bombs have exploded, statues have been torn down, government officials and civilians alike have been seriously wounded or killed, and while the violence has ceased, peace in Ukraine is far from accomplished.

As of today, the former president, Viktor Yanukovych, is in hiding with a mass murder arrest warrant on his head.  Parliament has issued elections to be held on May 25, but with Russia breathing threats, the future of Ukraine is still very uncertain.

33f206d4e7495aff178c77c139b45b04With plans to travel to Ukraine in May, I have been pinning beautiful photos of Kiev, the country’s capital, on Pinterest and dreaming of what it will be like once I get there. However, what used to be a city marked with historical pride and beauty is now a city covered in ash and flowers remembering those who lost their lives. A romantic and adventurous city now carries an aura of death and fear and uncertainty.

Although Ukraine is marked with pain and hurt, it is also marked by the bravery of those who love their country and have the courage to fight, and maybe even die, for what they believe in. Each flower and cross that lie in the square in Kiev remember a man or woman who gave their life to defend what they love.

Pray for Ukraine, friends. Pray for their future and pray for peace.

Keeping Calm and Loving Giraffes

Keep calm and go to the zoo

Time commitment: As long as you wantIMG_20140214_151040_072
Cost: The cost of your local zoo
Ease of activity: 10/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 10/10

It had been a long week. Between bad news from a friend, forgetting about an important assignment, and not sleeping – by the time I got to Friday I was at the fringes of burnout. Not to mention it was Valentine’s Day and the only plan I had was a date with a Shamrock Shake.

Then, as it often does in a time of need, genius struck. Or more accurately, Pinterest struck. Just scrolling along, looking for something fun to do, when I saw the pictured pin: keep calm and go to the zoo.d2b92aa5230a347f344386c739323332

You don’t have to tell me twice, so off to the zoo I went to get some much needed R&R.

I only live 15 minutes from the Como Zoo in St. Paul. They are open every day of the year, and it’s totally free. I’ve never gone in the winter, because: Minnesota. However, it was so much fun. The animals are kept inside so it’s actually a warm activity, and you are able to be much closer to them than when they are outside.

It’s important for you to understand that I love giraffes. No, it’s so much more than that. When I read an article last week about a Danish zoo killing a “surplus” giraffe to feed to the lions I actually cried a little.

IMG_20140214_151250_444So, by myself on February 14th in Como Zoo, I spent a half an hour just relaxing and watching the giraffes. It was easily one of the best Valentine’s Days I’ve ever had and it made me feel much better after a crazy week.

Takeaway: Sometimes the best Pinterest projects aren’t actually projects. Social media is a gift, but it can steal from us the joy of actually living. Pinterest can inspire you to go on an adventure and remind you that what you love isn’t on a screen at all.

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3 Hairstyles for Curly Hair

I have stick-straight hair, so a lot of the pins I see on Pinterest for hairstyles will never work. So, I recruited my friends Aunica to showcase some curly hair pins! I stared with a low messy bun with some side twists. It was pretty easy to curly her already curly hair around my fingers in order to get the top texture. I pinned them at the nape of her neck. I then gathered the rest of her hair and spun it into a bun, which I secured with a hair binder and bobby pins.  This is definitely something someone with curly hair could do quickly in the morning to dress up their look. Super easy!

Low bun

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Next I tried a pin that isn’t just for curly hair, but I really want to see it done. It’s a hair bow. You gather all of the hair in a ponytail and on the last time through the binder, you leave the ends in so there is a bubble of hair. Then you divide the bubble to either side and pull the ends of the pony (the tail) and pull it over to make the center of the bow. You pin them down with bobby pins to secure it. Fluff until you’re satisfied. I was actually really happy how this turned out, and it was super easy! I’m sure it would be more frustrating on straight hair, though.

Bow

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For the third style I decided to do a semi-up do. You leave all of the hair down and pull strands from each side. You twist them as you bring them in and fasten them in the center, I used a hair binder. You do the same thing twice more, further down the hair. While this one was easy, I can’t say it’s my favorite. It’s pretty, but just not my style.

Three Strand

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So are you like me and envy the hair type you don’t have? Do you think Pinterest makes this worse? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Cures for “A Case of the Tuesdays”

Black maxi skirt outfit 

Time commitment: 5 minutes
Cost: Free
Ease of activity: 9/10
“Re-pin” Worthiness: 9/10

Some people talk about having “a case of the Mondays.” But for me Tuesdays are worse. Mondays you expect to be awful, but Tuesdays seem harmless. In reality, they only reinforce the fact that 7 am is not a normal hour for human beings.

Well, I had a case of the Tuesdays earlier this week. It was painful waking up and going to my internship. That’s the thing about adulthood: being awake isn’t enough; you must also make coherent sentences.

Fortunately there are a few cures.

My version.

My version.

1. Caffeine – Whether it be coffee, tea, or Coca-Cola: bring it on.
2. Coworkers – Working with coworkers encourage you and make you laugh is invaluable.
3. Looking great to feel great – How you present yourself has less to do with others and more to do with how you feel.

I blogged a few weeks ago about an outfit I saw on Pinterest that I recreated from my own closet for work. It was fun, easy, and helpful so I could look professional while on a student budget.

Well, it was so fun that I wanted to do it again. This time I searched for “outfits with a black maxi skirt.” My black maxi skirt is one of the best clothing investments I’ve ever made. Do yourself a favor and buy one like mine.

Pinterest version.

Pinterest version.

This outfit that I tried was also easy and I had all of the items already, so I didn’t have to buy anything. The best part was that it was comfortable and nice enough for work. It turned my Tuesday morning around and I was able to enjoy the rest of my day.

Takeaway: Tuesdays suck. But getting some caffeine, laughing with coworkers, and wearing a newly inspired Pinterest outfit can brighten the day.

I Left My Heart In Minnesota… sort of.

Time commitment: 15-30 minutes
Cost: Free-$15, depending on how many supplies you need to buy
Ease of activity: 7/10
“Re-Pin” Worthiness: 9/10

They say that there are 2 seasons in Minnesota: winter and road construction. While I love the summers here, I can’t say I’ve ever been a huge fan of the cold and snow that comes with almost half of the year. As I prepare for graduation in May and look at finding a job, I find myself attracted to Washington DC and all it has to offer in the realm of political communications. I love the area and can not wait to transition into living away from home for the first time (because let’s be honest an hour away from home for college is really not being totally “away.”) However, I will always be a Minnesota girl at heart. The fishing off the end of the dock, wakeboarding, swimming, snowboarding and snowmobiling will always be fond memories, even while I’m climbing the ladder in our nation’s capitol. I decided that this week would be an appropriate time to make the below pin, so I have something to take with me when I move!

diy19

How adorable are these?! As you may have read, I’m kind of in love with glitter… so I was really looking forward to this craft! Here’s how I did it.

Supplies
Construction/scrapbooking paper
A print out of your state (an outline works great!)
Glue (I used Mod Podge because apparently I don’t own Elmer’s glue)
A brush to smooth out the glue
A frame (if you want to, not necessary)

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I cut out the outline of Minnesota and then covered it in Mod Podge. I then dumped glitter onto it and pressed it down.

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While that was drying, I cut my background paper down to the size of my frame. I also cut out a tiny little heart to glue on in over the area of my hometown. Once the glitter was stable, I Mod Podged it onto the background and also placed the heart. It turned out pretty well!

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Have you ever moved far from home? Across the country? What advice would you give me as I prepare to make my move?

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