DIY Holiday Gifts for Under $6

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images via 1 /2 /3 /4 /5 /6

This year, thanks to my crafty friend, K, I've been really into DIY projects. For each thing we've tackled so far, the materials have been inexpensive, which is a definite bonus for a graduate student, like me.

As I was making all of these things, I realized that they would also serve as great gifts. If you're looking for inexpensive, yet chic DIY gifts for the women in your life this holiday season, I highly recommend the projects included in the picture above.

Tips, tricks, and tutorials:

Give Thanks

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image via poppy talk

Today, I'm thankful for the friends that I've met through blogging, the friends that I've had for as long as I can remember, family, and all the opportunities that have come my way.

I wish you all a festive and wonderful time with loved ones. Happy Thanksgiving!

XO,
SWEATshirt DRESSshirt

Advice From a Germ-a-phobe

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One of my worst fears is getting sick, especially when I have a lot to do. Whenever one of my family members, friends, classmates, or clients are sick, I make sure to keep my distance, wash my hands with soap and water before I eat or touch my face, and rinse out any dishes or silverware I use with hot water. A little excessive? Maybe.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm paranoid, but a lot of the time, I find that washing my hands isn't good enough to prevent myself from catching a cold. Here is some advice I've accumulated over the years that helps me stay healthy:
  • Surrounded by people with colds/the flu? Check out Echinacea, a natural herb that reduces inflammation in the body, which can lead to diminishing the first signs of a cold. You can find it in specific teas, or capsules at your local health food store, or supplement outlet.
  • Did you know that about 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract? If you've ever accidentally shared food or drink with someone who has a cold, probiotics can be your new best friend. Probiotics, a good type of bacteria, help maintain a strong immune system. They can be found in probiotic capsules, or more naturally, yogurt, pickles, and dark chocolate.
  • Want to keep it simple? Drink lots of water to help your body flush the sickness out of your system.
  • Already feeling sick? Take a hot shower, relax, and get to bed early. If all you have is the common cold/flu, I guarantee you will feel at least a little bit better come morning.


Sincerely,
A Germ-a-phobe

DIY Re-did: Braided Hex Nut Bracelet

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gold hex nuts: Home Depot //string: Home Depot //chain: Michael's

Not too long ago, my crafty friend, K, and I made braided Hex Nut Bracelets (tutorial found here). The bracelets turned out really well, with just one problem: we had no practical way of keeping them on. The tutorial kind of leaves you hanging, with the expectation that you're going to keep the bracelet on your wrist with a knot. While a knot may sound nice, and secure, without assistance, there is no way to get that done easily. At least this is how it was for K and I.

In an attempt to find a solution, just the other day, I came across some leftover chain from when I made Cobra Stitch Bracelets (tutorial found here). After making sure the knots at each end of the bracelet were secure, I cut off the extra string, and replaced the it with a few chain links. Turns out, this was the perfect solution that allowed me to easily slip the bracelet on and off. Voila!

Playing Favorites

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OPI: 'Big Apple Red'

This fall season, I've been loving 3 different families of nail polish: reds, dark berry-inspired shades, and glitter topcoats. Reds have always been my favorite, but since being introduced to darker colors by my roommate (who also loves nail polish), I have become obsessed with those as well. Currently, I have OPI's 'Big Apple Red' on my fingers, and Essie's 'Wicked' on my toes.

OPI: 'Meep-Meep-Meep' //OPI: 'Conquistadorable Color' //OPI: 'Big Apple Red' //ZOYA: 'Rekha' //Revlon: 'Valentine'

Essie: 'Wicked' //OPI: 'Lincoln Park After Dark' //Sephora by OPI: 'Only Gold for Me'

Relaxation Station

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For the past 3 weekends, without fail, I have gotten into the habit of shutting out everything having to do with internship and school. In the place of academics, I hung out with friends and family, crafted, relaxed, and worked on my blog. I realized that my weekday schedule had become so filled, if I didn't take a step back, I would become burned out. Here is what I did this weekend:

1. Found inspiration around the house for new blog ideas. These are my mom's glasses. Aren't they pretty?
2. Met up with K for a few minutes... she made me some hair ties!
3. Played with Oliver, when he wasn't napping.
4. Cleaned my jewelry. The earrings you see below are from G, and remind me of Cinderella. :)
5. Worked on K's blog design and layout, and learned a few things about css and html.