Monday in Wonderland: t's Okay to Be Sad

This week’s #MondayinWonderland is going to be a little different. It’s not a “get up and go get ‘em” kind of deal. It’s not a “you are super fierce and fabulous” (although you most definitely are). It’s not even a “be strong and push on.”

I wanted to share it anyway though precisely because it’s a message of weakness and something my perfectionistic, deliberately optimistic self needed to learn, and maybe it can be a reminder for you too.

DIY Giant Flower Crown

For the past couple of years, I have had a week or so during my summer break where I just make all the flower crowns. I don’t know what it is, flowers are supposed to be a spring thing after all! Maybe it’s just that I have the time or that I like to feel like a woodland princess as I do my mundane housework. Either way though, I’ve made enough flower crowns at this point that I’ve developed my own “super-secret” method… that I will now share with the whole internet.

Now I know flower are like so three years ago (read: timeless), but when they first debuted on DIY blogs I felt like I couldn’t find a good method anywhere! If you are in the same boat and want to feel a little more like a princess, maybe you can give this a try! Or maybe just be inspired to be a little more obnoxious in your headwear. Nothing wrong with that either.

You will need:
2 bunches of large synthetic flowers (at least 4-5 of each color)
Floral wire
Wire cutters
Hot glue gun
Floral tape

Measure Your Base:
First you need to make the loop for your crown. Because I had pre-cut lengths of wire I had to twist two together, but this wouldn’t be necessary if you buy it on a spool. Basically to measure the length, just wrap it around your head and kink the wire in the back, but don’t close the loop yet! Now on to the flowers!

Prep Your Flowers:
Cut the individual flowers off the stem an inch or so from the base of the flower, and slide off the small plastic piece that keeps the petals together.

This is also a good time to beautify any squished or bent petals. Simply add a small dot of hot glue near the base of the petal just inside the one you want to fix. Fold up the outer petal and hold it in place for a second while the glue cools. It’s important not to place the glue too high on the petal to maintain a natural appearance.

Add a Floral Wire Stem:
With the plastic ring removed, wrap one end of an 8” length of wire 2-3 times around the small amount of stem remaining at the flowers base, and bend the end of the wire parallel to the stem piece. Slide the plastic piece you removed down the floral wire but not onto the stem piece yet. Apply a ring of hot glue over the wire you wrapped around the base. Then, slide the plastic piece all the way on. Wrap your wire 2-3 times more around the stem outside the plastic piece. Bend the wire parallel to the stem as before and secure with a dot of glue at the bend.

Repeat this procedure until you have added stems to 5 flowers of one color, and 4 flowers of the other.

Attach Flowers to the Crown:
Essentially all you’re doing is wrapping the wire end you added around the crown. Starting in the center, spiral the floral wire around the crown a few times in one direction, then bend it back and circle around the stem bit. I repeat this in the other direction, and end coiling the wire end around the stem piece!

Repeat this with all the flowers you added stems to, alternating colors. After all your flowers are added, test the circumference of the crown again. You can now twist the ends together to close your loop! Wrap floral tape all around your crown, trying the cover the exposed stem pieces so they don’t poke you in the head.

Add Leaves to the Crown
Alright last step! For each side of the crown you’ll need one set of 3 leaves, one set of 2 and an individual leaf. For the 3 and 2, add a bit of glue at the edge of one leaf, and cinch then together to create the clusters shown above. Starting with your set of 3, run a line of glue down the upper side of the center of the leaf, and secure it to the crown. Then take your individual leaf, and with a small dot of glue on the back, glue the flat end at the intersection of the leaves in your group of 3. Then glue the group of 2 on top to create an additional tier of foliage! Gluing the first set to the back sandwiches the wire between your leaves, making their attachment more secure.

Okay, I kinda lied. There is one more baby step if you so choose—you can glue in individual leaves intermittently among your flowers if you fancy it! Just add a dot of glue between the front of a leaf and the back of a flower, and try to place the leaves at an angle so they don’t stick awkwardly out of the crown.

Moody #modelstatus

And then how I usually look!

That was a lot of steps, but I hope it clarified one process for assembling a flower crown! Obviously, these techniques could be used with various flowers sizes and colors so you can make yourself a woodland princess accessory for every summer outfit! (I just really like over-the-top crowns!)

So what’s your favorite random, perhaps seasonally inaccurate, summer accessory? Hopefully someone’s is as obnoxious as mine!

Stay lovely,

Monday in Wonderland: Be Yourself

Happy Monday!

My first college class begins exactly one week from today! Oh. My. Goodness.

I am in a completely disjointed state of excitement and nervousness and so today’s #MondayinWonderland is simply going to be a mess of ramblings. It’s really more of a letter to myself but I thought maybe a couple people out there might need to hear it too. (Giving yourself a pep talk is normal, right?) So here is why I am going to be unapologetically Corin as my new semester starts! (Yes, this is pretty cheesy. #sorrynotsorry)

Transcription of text:

“Be Yourself.

There are 7 billion people on this planet and each one is unique. We all have certain attributes that make us who we are, both physically and mentally. From hair color to skin type to the shape of your nose, you are a unique collection and parts and pieces that can never be replicated—and that is just on the surface!

Your mind is yours too and yours alone. Your thoughts, your emotions, even your experiences are unlike anyone else’s. It’s pretty remarkable that one species exists in such infinite combinations. From the second you wake until you rest and even in your dreams, no internal path is like your own. Your dreams and ideas can never be replicated. You can never be replaced.

And yet, no matter how unique you are, there is still someone you share pieces with. Those pieces unite us so why be anyone other than you? You are special.

Besides, out of 7 billion, someone is bound to love you for you.”

If you wrote yourself a pre-college pep talk what would you say? (You can download this one of mine here.) Also, any one piece of advice I may be missing before I begin it all?!

Stay lovely,

A Golden Opportunity... For Jamming Out!

You know the weekend's going to be crazy when I start using puns that bad.

Wordplay aside though, I am so excited for the next couple days and the months to follow! I'm finishing up packing (basically everything I own) for college and will be driving up bright and early tomorrow to start a new chapter in my life. I am glowing with anticipation! Or could I say, sparkling? (Okay yeah, this is basically my overwhelmed mental state in word form.)

So as I pack, I will be jamming out and basking in the golden glow of new opportunities awaiting me. Care to join in? Here are six metallic tracks straight from my current vibe!

1. Gold // Imagine Dragons
2. Fire N Gold // Bea Miller
3. Burning Gold // Christina Perri
4. House of Gold // twenty one pilots (Sorry the video is really weird!)
5. Gold // Wake Owl
6. Gold On the Ceiling // The Black Keys

Or watch the full playlist here! And leave a comment on how you pack for a temporary move--this is going to be a process! *nervous emoji*

Update: Find the Spotify playlist here

Stay lovely,

PS: I compiled a playlist of Upbeat Summer Love Songs from last Saturday's post as well!

DIY Hanging Pencil Cup Organizer

This coming weekend I will officially be moving to a new home for college!!! I am beyond excited for this transition and the new decorating possibilities it opens. But like all transitions, there are some downsides, mine being an itty bitty bathroom with no drawers and very limited cabinet space. Now, if you stay on this blog very long, you will notice that I am a bit of a neat freak and that sticking everything under the sink in baskets simply wasn’t going to be an option.

After scouring Pinterest, I decided some hanging storage would be the perfect solution. Then, when I found mesh pencil cups in my local Target dollar section, I knew I had a cute, easy DIY on my hands for organization in that tiny space.

You will need:
Wire mesh pencil cups
Metallic spray paint (I used this shade that we had left over from a previous project)
1 ½” wide suede cord
Needle and thread
Fabric scissors
Awl or leather punch
Small board or other surface to punch holes on
Push pins and/or nails

Step 1
Spray paint the pencil cups a color that compliments your space. I used a metallic shade because I felt it elevated the look of these particular cups, but if a pop of color would accent your space, that could also be lovely!

Step 2
Cut the suede cord 5” long and the width of one square in the mesh of your pencil cup.

Step 3
You will now use the awl to punch 2 small holes near one end of the suede cord, spaced evenly along its width. To do this, mark your holes with the tip of the awl for spacing. Place the cord on top of the board, position the awl, and hit the end of it with the hammer until it punches through the suede (about 10-12 strokes for me). About 1/8” above that, punch another row of 2 holes. The row of holes closest to the end of the cord will sit below one horizontal rung of the mesh, and the other row will be positioned just above the rung.

Step 4
Punch identical holes on the opposite end of the cord. You will want to fold your cord in half and line up the ends to make sure your holes match before punching them.

Step 5
Feed one end of the cord through a square in the mesh a rung or two down from the rim of the cup. Pull the cord through until the fold is directly below the rung in the mesh and the punched ends of the cord meet up above the cup. The ends will lay flat against one another as illustrated above. (Boy do I need a manicure…)

Step 6
Thread your needle and double over the thread, bringing the ends together before tying a knot. This will give you double thickness and added durability. You will also want to tie several knots on top of one another near the end of the thread so that it doesn’t pull all the way through the holes you made. Leave a long tail past the knot.

Step 7
You will now stitch the ends of the cord together to create a closed loop. Weave the thread through the set of holes closest to the ends of the suede cord, using the diagram above. (Solid lines are in front of the cord and dotted lines are behind it.) Snip the thread close to the needle, and make a square knot using the two threads of the tail you left in step 6. Your stitches should look the pictures above! (Or, ya know, do your own thing!)

Step 8
Rotate the cord through so your sewn-together ends are below the rung in the mesh. Directly above that rung, repeat the previous stitch through the upper set of holes. This time, the stitches which go around the outside of the suede cord will also go around the vertical rungs of the mesh on either side of your cord. This gives your cord side-to-side stability.

Step 9
Punch a single hole through both layers of the cord near the folded end (above the cup). This will be used to hang your pencil cup! You may need to punch the hole from one side then the other if the awl does not easily go through both layers.

You are now ready to hang your new organization tool! You can use either a push pin or small nail to hang it depending on what you will be storing. For stability, you can also insert a clear pushpin on the inside of the cup, through the mesh near the base, and into the wall. This will prevent the cup from tilting side-to-side on the nail when objects are placed inside. In addition, you could line the cup with a cute fabric if the holes in the mesh are causing you trouble.

I hope you enjoyed this quick tutorial for a little extra organization space! I created three of these hanging cups and find that they work excellently for makeup brushes, a toothbrush, and even some bathroom essentials like tweezers and nail clippers. You could also use this technique to hang larger storage, such as baskets or organizers with multiple pockets.

And if you have any suggestions for small bathroom organization, I would love to hear them! I am determined to overcome this tiny bathroom situation!

Stay lovely,

Monday In Wonderland: Choose Happy

Happy Monday loves! It’s story time!

I was in band for the entirety of my high school career, and as a student leader, we had a day-long workshop every summer about a path to success. In these workshops, we talked a lot about leading our bandmates and working as a team, but I have to say the most long-lasting impact of these weekends was studying the accomplishments of some of the world’s most “successful” and learning about habits that help you reach your goals. One habit that was continually stressed was continuously deciding on positivity—choosing happiness.

Upbeat Love Songs for Your Summer Saturdays

Happy Saturday! Obviously the weekend means party time and so I thought a mini Saturday playlist might be in order!

Basically, I have always been quite a bit of romantic, even since the age of six or so when I began “shipping” couples in Disney movies. I just love love! Similarly, I have an entire playlist of love songs on my phone just because it’s kinda lovely to listen to. I will admit, however, that one slow, sappy ballad after another is not the most pumped up way to spend a sunny Saturday afternoon. So behold: five fantastically upbeat love songs to sing at the top of your lungs whether you’re in love or not! (They’re just too fun either way!)

1. Somebody Loves You // Betty Who
2. Aquaman // Walk The Moon
3. Be My Forever // Christina Perri
4. Something I Need // OneRepublic
5. Still Into You // Paramore
6. Let’s Love // Echosmith

Update: Listen to the playlist on Spotify by clicking here :)

Stay lovely,

Cheshire Style: Mixing Swimsuit Separates

For most of the northern hemisphere, summer is winding down. Temperatures are cooling, school is about to resume, and we are becoming increasingly aware of the proximity of that awkward transition between seasons. And then you have Texas. There’s not much of that transition here at all. Forecasts predict heat for at least two more months, and then suddenly a cool front will blow in and it’ll be on and off summer heat and winter “chills” through December. So as the heat continues, so do my hours floating around the pool.

Whether your summer is quickly dwindling or seemingly perpetual, I wanted to show y’all some of the adorable swimsuit combos I have been sporting all season (and will be wearing until Thanksgiving). Mixing swimwear separates is easy and fun, and these are some the “rules” I keep in mind to build my favorite combos. (Note: Rules regarding personal style are meant to be broken.)

Basic Black
Okay so this isn’t a fun, vibrant mix or anything but if you are looking for fun ways to mix up your swimwear, black basics are a great way to start! They go with basically everything or stand effortlessly on their own. Any of the tops or bottoms pictured hereafter would go with these pieces, essentially doubling your swimwear portfolio.

Plus, I had to talk about this swimsuit (and no, not because anyone is paying me). I got both pieces at Walmart for $15 total and the top comes in bra sizes. Even if the bottoms aren’t perfect for you, that’s still a pretty great deal. It’s called a “Bra-kini,” so the fabric is traditional swimsuit material, if only a bit thinner. I haven’t had any problems with durability or sheerness though, and it is adjustable in the straps and around the bust, unlike any other midkini I’ve purchased.

Top and Bottoms/Walmart

Statement Color + Neutral
My ModCloth obsession is alive and well with this adorable sunshine yellow top I picked up very recently on sale! I love love LOVE the fun color- what’s summer swimwear without an ode to our stellar friend that drives us to the pool in the first place? The easiest way to wear a hue this bright is to go neutral on the bottoms. I love how these bottoms have a denim look that makes them as versatile as a good ol’ pair of blue jeans (but you know, for the pool).

Top/ModCloth //Bottoms/ Target old (similar here and here)

Pattern + Neutral
Similar to the pairing above, a crazy patterned top can be well served with some neutral bottoms. (I told you black works with everything!) This top in particular even got some pattern mixing in itself when I saved a removable strap from a dying, preteen bikini that went to the garbage. Floral and stripes is seriously the best, and coordinates with the bottoms!

On a side note, anyone else noticing a midkini trend here? I must say, it is my favorite style of top, because it is a little more modest while being secure and comfortable. Plus how about those high-waisted bottoms? Seriously the best ones I’ve found. They aren’t super heavy weight, but they fit wonderfully and go all the way up to my natural waist, past my belly button. And oh yeah—only $20! (I really want to try out the blue or white as well!)

Top/Delia’s (similar)// Bottoms/Topshop

 Color + Pattern
And now finally we are breaking away from the neutral with double color and pattern! (Yes, more high-waisted, but not a midkini.) I am thoroughly convinced that if one piece is a pattern and the other is solid, you can mix almost any two swimsuit pieces, as long as a coordinating color is present! I bought a lot of matching sets early in high school and outgrew or wore out one piece or the other. For the remaining piece then, the easy solution was to get a complimentary color solid!

Top/Target (same cut, similar color) // bottoms/ModCloth (the orange is no longer sold, but the same suit in mint is adorable!)

These are my favorite swimsuit mixes for this summer and probably every “pool season” in the future. You probably already have a ton of mixable pieces (and hopefully a few more combos now), but honestly what better time to get mixing than when swim separates are on clearance practically everywhere?! You may not be able to get a full, matching set of your dreams, but if you can snag an exquisite top or bottom for cheap, you have all you need to make a statement, and you can invest in some durable, coordinating solids when next swim season comes around. My favorite places to shop for suits are ModCloth (on sale) and Target. Urban Outfitters also has some adorable styles I'm saving up for, and Unique Vintage has some amazing and affordable retro pieces, if you can snag them during their flash sales! (Keep in mind, I am on a college kid budget, so inexpensive swimwear is what I gravitate to!)

So how will you keep your swimwear mix alive as the temperature turns?

Stay lovely,

DIY Acrostic Chalkboard Letters

I am a major word nerd. From vocabulary quizzes and essays to quotes and poetry, I have always loved the beauty a phrase or two could create. I am also, as you’ll see, pretty obsessed with crafting. And so when first grade rolled around and I was introduced to the Mother’s Day acrostic assignment, I think I must have been pretty hooked. Words and colors and illustrations all in one place if I so desired?! Now that’s just heaven on construction paper for a little, hyperactive mind! Plus, I felt so professional being a tiny poet. (Yes, I was a professional by first grade.)

So in respect to the almighty acrostic poem, and thanks my sister’s purchase of excess chalkboard paint, I decided to bring back some childhood with chalkboard letters as the ultimate canvas for some letter-matching mischief.

Monday in Wonderland: Dancing On a Monday

Good morning internet and happy Monday! For this first real blog post of mine, I decided to start a little something that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time! It’s not especially big or brilliant, just my Monday morning gift to you, as part of my resolution to make my Mondays just a smidge brighter and add a little more positivity to my life and my week!

Monday mornings aren’t my main squeeze and I’m sure I’m not the only one! Whether the work week is beginning, your next paper is due, or you’re just not a morning person, I totally get it. That is exactly why I am setting out to treat a bad case of the Monday’s one inspirational doodle at a time! I am so SO excited to start a long string of Monday positivity for you guys! A little doodle and a little writing to wake you up with a smile! Here we go!

This first #MondayinWonderland (yes, we are starting a hashtag) is courtesy of my own personal positivity consultant, AKA my best friend. She is a lovely ball of sunshine and is soon departing for the wintery cold of Ohio, so I need her good vibes now more than ever before! (I know Ohio isn’t as cold as some places, but we are both Texas natives.) She’s taught me over the many years of sleepovers and car rides (and dreary Mondays too) that sometimes dancing in public is a good thing. Being awkward is fabulous. And being happy is a joyous decision we make every second of our lives.

So as the lovely Theresa says, feel your heartbeat and dance to the rhythm of life! Sure, it’s Monday, but it’s also the start of another day of living. So let’s live with a smile and a little groove. Because sometimes you just get the boogies in you and you’ve got to get them out!

Have a beautiful week full of life! And here’s to many more Monday mornings together!

Stay lovely,

PS: You can download this Monday’s quote free!