How to Never Lose Your Child’s Favorite Stuffed Animal Again

 

How to never lose your child's favorite stuffed animal - illistyle.com

My daughter has a precious little pup that is 100% irreplaceable. She adores this dog.  She cannot sleep without him.  When she is hurt or feeling sad she asks for him.  Does your little one have a special lovey like that?  If so, then you know how frightening it can be to think of NOT having that little love, or God forbid, LOSING THAT STUFFED ANIMAL.  Omg, I can’t even imagine… We are headed out on vacation and this special stuffy is coming with us. In a desperate attempt to keep him safe, I created a way to GPS track him, just in case.  Check it out:

Hopefully this will help you, as a parent keep track of those special loveys that your little one cannot live without.  Peace of mind? Yep. Less tears? Absolutely. Mom of the Year Award? It’s all you girl!  But here’s the question: Would you actually do this?

 

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

Blog Conference Essentials – What to pack and what to leave at home

 

what to pack for a blog conference - illistyle.com

I am headed out to SNAP tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. SNAP is a craft bloggers conference held every spring in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you have ever been with hundreds of people who share your passions then you know how excited I am right now. My passions include crafts and blogging so this conference is pretty much my jam. I love blog conferences because I get to be with my people. And this includes meeting in real life those women and men who I have known on the internet for some time. I belong to a few blog groups on facebook and there are some women who I have grown especially close too… yet we have never met in real life. The internet is weird and wonderful that way! I have been to more than a few blog conferences and I have learned so much from the speakers, break-out sessions, and from my fellow bloggers.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned is what what to pack for a blog conference and what can be left at home.

WHAT TO PACK

When packing for conferences I think less is more (in general I think that, that’s why I pack carry-on only for international travel). Most conferences are jam-packed and fast-paced. When I am at a conference I do not have time to blog or even be online all that much – shocker since everyone at a blog conference works online! But conferences are all about face-time with real people. So I like to keep from being hindered by too much stuff. Plus, you will be swag-loaded by the end, so pack light to start with. here’s what you need:

1. Smart Phone – your calendar, your camera, and your contact info storage is all right there in your hand.

2. Portable Phone Charger – I like to bring my standard wall charger and a portable charger. Sometimes you can’t find an open outlet (since EVERYONE is charging their devices) so this is super convenient to ensure your phone doesn’t die.

portable phone charger - illistyle.com

3. Tablet or pen & notebook – Conferences are not just about networking, you will learn SOOOO much about your field. Seriously, you might feel like your head will explode from all the new information and you will not want to forget it. So make sure you pack your tablet or pen & notebook. (Yep, some bloggers are hardcore pen & paper girls… and some of us just like to doodle.)

4. Water Bottle – You will thank me for this one. No matter is you are driving or flying, travel is exhausting and can be dehydrating. Sometimes you are in classes for extended periods of time and there is no water in sight. To help keep up your energy and concentration levels, make sure you pack a water bottle. You do not want to feel dehydrated and foggy headed when you finally meet that one blogger or brand rep you have been dying to meet and you can’t form a complete thought because you’re so dehydrated. I personally love glass water bottles because I add my essential oils to my water in order to help keep myself healthy during conferences. (I pay a lot of money and spend time away from my family to be there, I do NOT want to get sick and miss out!) I also have a plastic water bottle that I love and use at camp all summer, the Camelbak Eddy, which is super durable:

target ello glass water bottle Camelbak Eddy Water bottle

5. Business Cards – I cannot tell you how bad I am at remembering my cards. Guys, it’s a problem. I suck at self-promotion. Seriously. I forget them all the time. But a HUGE part of a conference is to network and find like-minded people. I have met some of my best friends through blogging. I have met amazing people who have loved on me, supported me, and we have joined forces to be more than we could be alone. I couldn’t have done that without being able to get a hold of these beautiful women (and some lovely men-folk too.) In business and in life we need to make it easy on people to reach out, otherwise they probably will not. So get yourself some cards and hand them out like candy. Make it rain baby. (If you are wondering what makes a good blogger business card, read this). I personally make notes on each card about the person like “Met at dinner on Friday, loves dogs” and then put them in a little fabric bag in my tote bag I carry with me, but if you want something a little more organized, check out this post by Cori of Hey, Let’s Make Stuff about how she organizes the cards she receives.

What to include on your blog business card - illistyle.com

6. An Extra Bag – One word: SWAG. It’s a thing. Actually, it’s a BUNCH of things. Conferences are notorious for giving out STUFF. So much stuff. I actually pack a medium-sized duffle bag in my suitcase to use as a laundry bag during my stay.  As my main suitcase empties I fill it with ALL THE SWAG. Usually, by the end of a conference, both bags are bursting at the seams. Be prepared for the swag hoard that will be yours by packing an extra bag to handle all that goodness.

WHAT TO LEAVE AT HOME

Again, I like to pack light. This means some items that seem like a good idea to bring, can be a pain if you have to deal with it all… and remember the massive swag situation you will be faced with by the end of the conference? Here’s what you can leave at home:

1. Laptop – I know what you’re thinking, “April, this is a BLOG conference. For bloggers. Who work on the internet. On their computers. You are talking crazy.” I know that for bloggers we love us some technology. But the smart phone and tablet listed above in the “What to bring” category should be sufficient, in my opinion. If you REALLY have to get on a computer (like your site gets hacked or something insane) then you can probably find someone who didn’t heed this advice and has their laptop with them, or the hotel probably has a business center… this is a blogger conference after all, technology abounds, ask around the venue. But every time I have brought my computer I have left it in the case, in the hotel room, and regretted having to schlep it home because I am so loaded down with swag. Have I mentioned the swag?

2. DSLR – Again, I swear I am not insane. Yes, bloggers and their DSLRs. It’s a love affair. But again, I am thinking ease and speed. I want to be able to snap a photo with my iPhone (and post to Instagram, of course) and and keep moving. I am not staging a shoot for my blog and I am not doing brand photos, so the smart phone is sufficient for me. Plus, at conferences the DSLR and laptop usually hang out in the room while I go and have fun. So once again, let’s not carry around something that we don’t need.

3. Media Kit & Rate Card – don’t get me wrong. By all means, have a media kit & rate card available for brands.  But I would suggest you have it in digital format, NOT a printed version. Why? Because conferences are notorious for fliers, leaflets, and pamphlets. You and the brand rep you are talking to will walk away form that conference with more paper than anyone needs. And so much of it will get lost.  I do not want my media kit to get accidentally thrown into the recycle bin.  So I actually download a PDF of my Media Kit and Rate Card onto my phone and then I can easily send them to the brand rep while we are talking. That way they receive my media kit electronically (yay for not getting lost), I get their contact info in my phone right away, and I make their lives easier, everybody wins.

illistyle media kit 2015 - illistyle.com

Did I miss anything? What do you bring to conferences?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

4 Steps to Choosing the right Accent Table

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4 steps to choosing the right accent table - illistyle.com

Whether you call it an accent table, an end table, or a side table, those little tables that fit nicely into small spaces can be tricky to choose. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing an accent table, but I have four steps to choosing the right accent table that will make your job so much easier! Follow these four easy steps before you begin your search and I promise you will save yourself time, headaches, and the potential heartache of finding a piece you love that doesn’t work in your space.

How to Choose the Right Accent Table:

1. Measure your space

This is the key first step that many people over look. You need to know what your space will accommodate before you being your search. Measure the width and length of the space available, taking into account traffic patterns – do people need to be able to pass by the piece? Make sure when you measure to leave enough room for people to walk comfortably between the new table and existing furniture.  A good rule of thumb is to leave 2’5″-3′ for a walkway between furniture so people can comfortably move around your living space without bumping into furniture or feeling cramped. You will also want to measure the arm height of the furniture that will be next to any new pieces.  For example, I measured the arm of my sofa that is directly next to the new accent table in order to determine a good height for the table. You generally want your table to be 1″-3″ shorter than the arm of the sofa or chair so that guests can comfortably place a drink onto the table without reaching up too high or down too low.

2. Consider current problems and how to solve them

When buying a new end table you have the ability to solve existing problems. For me, my old end table had no storage, which meant my remote controls were out for everyone to see. I considered that a problem I would like to resolve. So I knew I needed a new end table with a drawer, or at least a shelf where I could put a basket for small storage. The new Navy Table from Target fixed my problem because now I have somewhere to store those pesky remotes.

How to choose a side table - illistyle.com

How to choose an end table - illistyle.com

3. Consider the existing style, colors, and materials in the room

So often we begin searching for a piece of furniture and think of it as a stand-alone piece, but good design means considering all the pieces in a room. Take a moment to look around the room and note the floor color, wall color, furnishings as well as the shape and style of these pieces. There should be a color pallet that is evident. For example, my living room has warm wood flooring, white walls and sofas, and accents of blue, teal, and red with a traditional style incorporating clean lines and curved sofa arms. The metal finish is gold (as seen in the image of my other side table, above). When searching for a new table I kept all this in mind. And when I saw this awesome yellow side table, I was able to pass because even though I loved it, I knew it wouldn’t go with the room because yellow is not in the color palette of the room and this table is hexagonal, which wouldn’t work well next to my sofa and wall (a hexagon peg in a square hole.) Also, it did not solve my remote problem, mentioned in step 2, so it was out. Sad face. Because I knew the colors, finishes, and style of my living room I was able to narrow my search quickly instead of drowning in a sea of possibilities.

Target Threshold yellow accent table - illistyle.com

4. Determine a budget

After you have measured your space, decided what problems need solving, and considered the existing elements of your room, make sure you decide on your budget.  I am an online shopper, like many of you, and I love that I can filter my searches to only show products within my price range. Some tables may fit the other three criteria but be WAY outside of what is doable for me and my family. I would rather not fall in love with a piece of furniture, only to find out it is $100 over my budget and realize I cannot have it. Instead, I like to determine my budget and then search within that criteria. That way I see only the items that will truly work for me.

After you have followed these four easy steps, you can begin your search for a new accent table. Now you will have an idea of the size, the elements needed (like a drawer), color/finish/style, and price point, you should be able to find a table that work well in your space. This is the table I found at Target:

`How to choose a side table - illistyle.com

4 Steps to choosing the right accent table - illistyle.com

I am in love. My original accent table was also from Target and it moved to the other side of the room. As you can see from the before photo, it was not a good fit. It was too small for the space, did not have the storage needed, and the wood top matches my flooring which means the table doesn’t have a lot of presence in the room. The after photo illustrates how the right table can really bring a room together. This Navy Table anchors the sofa and grounds the room more. It was the first thing the husband noticed when he walked through the door after work and he instantly said “I like it.” Which is high praise from him. I did pick up a few accents for this table too.

How to choose the right accent table - illistyle.com

Urchin  //  Coasters  //  Kleenex  //  Faux Orchid

I know what you might be thinking, “Is Kleenex really considered an accessory?” lol. Well, no, but I did need Kleenex and this Kleenex container is really cute. It just happens to go well with my new little table, and the flowers have a little yellow in them – since I couldn’t have the awesome yellow table above, this satisfies my desire for a pop of springtime yellow in my life. And I was sorta proud I could make a Kleenex box look so good – a not so #humblebrag. I do love that this table and the accessories could be bought in one quick trip to Target. #TargetStyle. I did all my research for the table on their website and found that this table was available in my local store. So I went and picked it up along with the accessories and was on my way within 30 minutes. Yeah, 30 minutes! I know, I was surprised too. Usually I get lost in Target-land and cannot stop looking at all the pretties, but I had amazing self control that day! lol. You can do it too… maybe, if the stars align just right and you find that you HAVE to leave to go pick up your child from school. But before you walk in, consider the four steps to choosing the right accent table and then find your style @targetstyle.

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

Target Logo - illistyle.com

How to grow your lashes naturally in one step!

How to lengthen lashes nautrally - illistyle.com

Guys! I have to share this secret with you.  It is life changing.  I have always had two major issues with my eyes: dark circles and short lashes. I am working on the dark circle issue and will tell you guys about what I find in another post, but for now I can share a tip I found on how to grow your lashes naturally which has changed my life…. ok, well, totally enhanced my life.

It is so ridiculously simple: 2-3 drops lavender oil in my mascara.
That is it.

How to lengthen lashes nautrally - illistyle.com

I wish I had super scientifically legit before and after photos.  But I have a confession: When I first tried this trick I didn’t think it was actually going to work! lol. Even though essential oils have done so much for my family now, when I first tried this I was still a total skeptic! So no official before + afters. But here’s what I do have:

Lashes Before - illistyle.com   How to grow longer lashes naturally - illistyle.com

The first is a professional shot and edited image of moi with LOADS of lengthening mascara (and a generous helping of photoshop.) The second is me on a normal day with one coat of mascara and ZERO photoshop lash enhancement. Here’s another set of images from the same days:

April - illistyle.com  How to grow longer lashes naturally - illistyle.com

Two things are obvious from these photos: I need the ever-talented Lindy Rojas to follow me around and capture every moment of my life because she is amazing… and that my lashes are SOOO long! Never before have my lashes extended out this far. This is ONE COAT of mascara, people. Just One. (and NOTHING on the bottom lashes of the current photos. I usually put a coat on there, but now they have grown so long I do not need to anymore!)

Here is my totally unprofessional opinion on why I think this works:

– Lavender has been shown to be antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial (see source list below for more information.

– Healthier hair follicles and hair will grow longer before falling out, thus allowing for longer lashes.

Like I said, I am not a professional, but I am the proud owner of these (now) long lashes and I am so stoked! If you have been looking for how to grow your lashes naturally then all you need is 2-3 drops of lavender oil in your mascara tube!

I personally use and trust Young Living Essential Oils.  If you are interested in learning more about Essential Oils and what to look for when deciding to buy, you might be interested in this post about Essential Oil Basics which discusses oil safety and has fun charts like the one below for all my visual people, this one includes some everyday uses for Essential Oils (like lavender!)

Essential Oils Everyday Uses - illistyle.com

Do you have any uses for Essential Oils to share?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please confirm any information obtained from or through this web site with other sources, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on this website. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Sources:
1. National Center for Biotech Information
2. ScienceDaily.com
3. Oxford Journal

 

5 Items Every Woman Needs to Keep in Her Car

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DropShopAndOil #CollectiveBias

5 things every woman needs to keep in her car - illistyle.com

Ladies, can we talk cars for a minute? I know for some of us this is not something we worry too much about – we either have a parent, significant other, or roadside assistance service that we use or maybe we don’t have one of those and we just ignore car-stuff for the most part. But I think there are 5 items every woman needs to keep in her car in order to be safe on the road.  The first thing you need in order to be safe is regular car maintenance.  This is important because a certified mechanic can check your vehicle for things you might not know or think to look for: fluid levels, battery, ect.  So, regular oil changes are a must to keep your car running and to get that mechanics eyes on your car.  So here’s how we keep our lives easy: next time you have to run errand at WalMart, take your car around to the maintenance department and drop it off for an oil change while you do your regular shopping.  And while you are there, add these things to your shopping list:

1. Jumper cables
2. Flares
3. Tire Pressure Gauge
4. Headlamp / Flashlight (sporting goods)
5. First Aid Kit (pharmacy)

5 things every woman should keep in her trunk - illistyle.com

While you are there hit up the sporting goods section and grab a bag to keep everything in – this is actually a tackle box, but it works perfectly and is cheaper than all the other bags in the the store (well, in my WalMart anyways.)  It comes with two extra plastic organizational boxes that will work perfectly in your craft room for small organizational needs.

Use a tackle box to keep your car safety kit contained - illistyle.com

Your First Aid Kit (available in the pharmacy section) will come in handy all the time.  If you are at the park and your child skins their knee, no need to go home, just patch em up and send them back to the play ground. The jumper cables (auto center) should fit perfectly in this great tackle bag.

5 things every woman should keep in her car - illistyle.com

and your flares will fit right in front.  I like the LED ones as opposed to the traditional flares because the old school ones can leak, and nobody has time for that.  These new ones have little magnetic bases to keep them sitting up right on the road and they last.  I have this little kit in order to be prepared, and I want it to work when I need it in an emergency without having to check on it all the time. We are building a reliable kit here, guys.

5 things every woman needs to keep in her car - illistyle.com

Another thing you will want is a headlamp.  WalMart sells this combo pack headlamp and flashlight in the sporting good section.  Here’s why this is a good idea: if you are alone and it is dark when something goes wrong with your vehicle, then you will need light and both your hands in order to change that flat, pop the hood and check out what is happening, or whatever it is that is happening – in the dark when you are alone.  The headlamp will be a lifesaver.  If you happen to have someone with you, then they can hold this little LED flashlight for you. Now you will have two lights. The more light the better when you are fixing a car issue in the dark. Amiright?!

5 things every woman needs to keep in her car - illistyle.com

This is a tire pressure gauge.  This $1 investment can save you from having that flat tire in the dark.  I periodically check my tire pressure when I am at the gas station because they have air + water there for use.  Your vehicle’s user manual should indicate the appropriate tire pressure (known as PSI.) You can also find PSI on your actual tires.  When you look at your tires there is a lot of writing on them, you will want to find the word “PSI,” the number directly before that is the pressure you want in your tires.  Not only is this the safe pressure, but will actually help save you money because properly inflated tires allow your car to work more efficiently and therefore cost less in gasoline.  So this little $1 investment will save you money in the long run. Here’s how you use this little guy:

how to check your tire pressure - illistyle.com

how to find your car's tire pressure on tire - illistyle.com

how to read a tire pressure guage - illistyle.com

How to check your tire pressure - illistyle.com

how to check your tire pressure - illistyle.com

So you can grab all these things and do all your regular shopping in the short time it takes WalMart to change your oil. Can I just stress again how important routine maintenance is, ladies and gents? Seriously, investing a little into your vehicle will go a long way. When I do my preventative maintenance (read: regular oil changes) I throw down the few extra dollars for quality oil.  Pennzoil makes a special motor oil for High Mileage Vehicles. And if you are taking car of your car it will last you and someday it too can join the ranks of the super elite “High Mileage Club.” Pennzoil High Mileage Vehicle oil helps to clean out sludge, to reduce leaks and oil consumption in worn or higher mileage engines, is designed for complete protection, and will allow you to drive an extra of 550 miles per year (as opposed to a dirty engine… which is an unhappy engine.) It’s a motor oil that is specifically designed for new or late model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, to help keep the engines running clean and going strong for a long time. Both my husband and I have a similar mindset with cars: drive them until they die. Our cars are currently 15 and 20 years old, and running strong because of proper preventative maintenance. Give your car a little love and it will carry you for a long time. Literally.

WalMart Oil Change with Pennzoil - illistyle.com

And your little emergency car kit can easily be stowed easily in trunk of your happy, smoothly running car (mine is with my snow chains and my reusable grocery bags because I live in the mountains in Southern California.)

5 things every woman should keep in the back of her car - illistyle.com

This car emergency kit can be a lifesaver for you, if you make it and keep it in your car BEFORE you need it. Preparedness is key here. Like routine vehicle maintenance, this only works if you complete it before you need it. What would you add to this kit?

Exciting news: Pennzoil is offering 3 lucky winners the chance to win a trip to one of the Richard Petty Driving Experiences (each trip valued at $1,100).  That means you could climb into a NASCAR car for an adrenaline-pumping experience that simulates real NASCAR driving! So cool! Enter via the rafflecopter below.

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

Pennzoil Richard Petty Driving School “Experience of a Lifetime” Giveaway

How to repair interior window sills damaged by dogs

Sponsored and Affiliate Post disclosure statement - illistyle.com

The huge front picture window of our home needed some love because we have a curious German Shepherd, Kara, who is constantly putting her paws up there as she conducts Neighborhood Watch.  This has meant our builder-grade window casings (just texture and paint right over the metal flashing) were torn up and dirty.  So we put up window moulding with an interior window frame in wood to prevent the damage. So now we know how to repair interior window sills damaged by dogs. Being a home owner comes with a steep learning curve.

Kara the window ledge ruiner - illistyle.com

This is a photo of the culprit: “Kara: ‘The Window Sill Ruiner'”.  She seems so sweet and innocent with her deer-like ears … but she is a mad dog when it comes to the neighbor’s cats sitting on her lawn. That is her lawn and she will bark and freak out until they respect her authority and leave her property.  That lawn is hers and no other animal’s.  Sadly, the window ledges have taken the abuse she wishes she could hurl at those cats.

Ruined Window ledge - illistyle.com

I know, that looks nasty. Trust me, I know.  But that was as clean as I could get it due to the texture of the wall coating, and the fact that Kara has literally dug her claws into the window ledge and removed a lot of that coating, leaving the flashing exposed (the darkest parts on the corners)… as well as gotten dirt into every possible crevice. Yuck.  So we decided the best thing to do was to put some moulding around the window, including a flat board on the bottom of the sill which we thought would be easier to clean than this textured non-sense.  And if worse came to worse, we can always remove the board and replace… and opposed to this sill which technically cannot be removed and replaced.  So after measuring the length, width, height, and breadth of the window and sill…off to Home Depot we went:

How to install window trim - illistyle.com

The moulding section is cray. I see why some people shy away form home improvement projects and home improvement stores. Moulding comes in huge long pieces, towering over you.  But no fear. You can cut it down to the size you need right there in the aisle with a saw provided… just add about 6-10 inches to your window dimensions in case you make a cutting error… no big deal.

Flat board for inner window sill - illistyle.com

We chose this 1/2 x 2-1/2″ primed pine for the bottom of our sill.  I decided on a pre-primed piece because it saves me work :)

Window-Moulding- illistyle.com

For the moulding we went with this 3″ Del Mar MDF – also pre-primed.  I am a fan of MDF over wood for a few reasons: 1. MDF is more affordable 2. pre-primed saves me labor 3. MDF is usually very straight as opposed to natural wood which is often warped and can cause me headaches.  Obviously I am a lazy DIYer.

Here are the tools we used at home:

How to install window moudling -illistyle.com

Arrow Pnumatic Brad Nailer PT18G
Box cutter
Brad Nails 18GA 1-1/2″
Saftey Googles
Measuring Tape
Pencil
(not pictured, air compressor & saw)

How to install window moudling -illistyle.com

The husband came home and marked off the measurements for the boards.  FYI, I feel like I should mention a few things: 1. If you are an avid illistyle reader you are probably wondering why the pink dresser is under the window? 2. What is that piece the TV is on? 3. And what is on the wall opposite the window? 4. Where’s the sofa?  Lemme ‘splain: we were given some nice sofas, guest room furniture, and that TV stand.  So here’s the plan:  1. We have friends getting married who want the guest room furniture 2. Once they pick that up the pink dresser will be moved to the guest room 3. We want to build some sweet shelves and mount the TV over the fireplace, so the current TV stand is temporary.  Everything is always temporary, am I right? lol.  But back to the moulding.

How to install window moudling -illistyle.com

We then cut the boards (and by we, I totally mean Evan), leaving them slightly longer than we thought needed, so we could trim as necessary. You can always shave more off, but if you cut a board too short, you cannot put any back on.  Ya know what I mean?  And *safety first guys: make sure you protect your eyes by wearing googles.*

How to install window trim - illistyle.com

We then worked as a team to hold up the moulding, place it, and use the awesome pneumatic brad nailer to keep those bad boys in place.  Oh goodness.  This was my first time using a pneumatic gun and I loved it. I wanted to nail all the things… but Evan said no. I will say, at first I was a little intimidated… but once I tried the brad nailer, I loved it.  It’s light and easy to use. Lighter than a regular hand drill so your arm doesn’t get fatigued.  It only took us a few minutes to actually install the boards once everything was cut.  The whole project from measure, to purchase, to cut, to install was less than 2 hours.

How to repair window moulding after dog scratch damage - illistyle.com

This is what the board and moulding look like next to one another with caulking and paint (additional time was required for that).  Much cleaner and nicer than that metal-showing, dirt-catching, scratched-up mess it was before, right?

How to fix window trim - illistyle.com

If you have a dog who you love, but has messed up your window moulding, then this fix is easy to do. We are keeping our dog, but have found a way to protect our window sills from her scratches and dirt.  The window sill is now easy to clean, looks awesome, and can be replaced at minimal cost/labor if our dog really tears it up.

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

Thank you to our sponsor, Arrow Fasteners, for providing the pneumatic brad nailer for this project.  All opinions are my own.

How to conceal window trim damaged by dogs - illistyle.com

How to make mini pom poms

How to make mini pom poms tutorial - illistyle.com

If you guys have ever seen those cute little teeny tiny pom poms and thought, “How do I make those?”  I am here to tell you: “easily.”  Making mini pom poms is a breeze.  Here’s how to make mini pom poms:

You will need:

Yarn (any color you want)
Yarn Needle
A Fork

How to make mini pom poms - illistyle.com

Here’s how ya do it:

Place yarn through middle tongs of fork, with tail of yarn on the neck of the fork

How to make mini pom poms - illistyle.com

Wrap yarn around fork – I did this approximate 50 times. More wraps = thicker, fluffier pom pom

How to make mini pom poms - illistyle.com

Cut yarn and thread through yarn needle

How to make mini pom poms - illistyle.com

Push needle through middle of wrapped yarn

How to make a mini pom pom - illistyle.com

Wrap yarn around outside of wrapped thread and tie needle end to starting end

How to make a mini pom pom - illistyle.com

Slide bundle off fork

How to make a tiny pom pom - illistyle.com

Cut loops which were created by looping yarn around fork

Easy mini pom pom tutorial - illistyle.com

Trim any stray long pieces and trim to shape your pom pom uniformially

How to make mini pom poms - illistyle.com

Now you have a little pom pom ready to be strung for a mini pom pom banner

MIni Pom pom banner - illistyle.com

How-to-make-Mini-Pom-Poms-Tutorial-2

These darling Mini Pom Poms are so easy to make and take almost no time at all.  Once you make a few you will be able to fly through them and make them in just a few minutes.  This is the kind of craft I like to do while watching TV with the hubby because my hands can work without having to think too hard about what I doing.

What’s your favorite mindless craft?

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com

 

How to Make a GIF in Photoshop

How to Make a GIF - illistyle.com

Hey guys!  Recently I posted my How to Make a Tissue Paper Tassel Banner tutorial, along with this sweet GIF.

how to make a tissue paper tassel banner GIF - illistyle.com

FYI: I made that.  The banner.  And the GIF. Obviously I am feeling real good about myself right now.  I used to be intimidated by making GIFs, but they are easy, lemme show you how to make a GIF in photoshop:

Step 1: Open all your images

How to make an Animated GIF in photoshop - illistyle.com

Step 2: Create a new (duplicate) layer for each image on your first image document placing them in reverse order – first image on bottom, last on top.

How to make a GIF - illistyle.com

How to make a GIF - illistyle.com

Step 3: Go to the “Window” Tab and choose “Timeline.”  (Timeline will open at the bottom of the screen)

How to make  GIF in Photoshop - illistyle.com

Step 4: Turn off all image layers, except your first image

How to make  GIF in Photoshop - illistyle.com

Step 5: Set your image delay below your timeline layer (time this image shows before switching to next image)

How to make  GIF in Photoshop - illistyle.com

Step 6: Create a new timeline layer by clicking the page button below, and then turn on your next image layer

How to make  GIF - illistyle.com

Step 7: Repeat step 6 until you have all your images in your timeline

How to make  GIF - illistyle.com

Step 8: Save your GIF by pressing CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S or by Selecting “Save for Web” then choose your GIF option from the drop down menu at top of the pop up window

How to make  GIF - illistyle.com

Look, I even made this tutorial into a GIF.  It took about 8 minutes, start to finish.

How to Make an Animated GIF in Photoshop GIF - illistyle.com

See, only 8 steps.  Making a GIF in Photoshop is not difficult at all.  Now you can use it on your blog for tutorials and look just as geeky as me.

creative lifestyle blogger southern caifornia - illistyle.com