I am currently training for a half marathon and my long runs have caused me to get very VERY sick of my collection of bad top 40s songs. Then, in a wonderful moment of inspiration I thought to myself…what about 80s music!? It’s upbeat, it’s catchy and best of all…I haven’t heard most of the songs in forever which means I won’t get sick of them after a single listen. I got myself a collection of the top 80s songs from the 80s and my runs have taken on a whole new fun level. Here are some options to get you started:
“Take On Me” – A Ha
“She Drives Me Crazy” – Fine Young Cannibals
“Call Me” – Blondie
“Centerfold” – J Geils Band
“Mickey” – Toni Basil
And I’m sure I’ll have many more suggestions to come as I make my way through the collection!
I really love the summery style of having a flowy, slightly see-through shirt that you wear over a tank top. So I was really excited to come across this pattern, and then even more excited to come across this knit fabric:
That whole process is incredibly simply and shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours. Here are the steps I followed (though you might have to make alterations depending on the fabric you use and how you want it to fit):
1. Buy 3/4 of a yard fabric and thread of a matching colour.
2. Fold fabric in half so it creates a large square. Then move the trim of the top half up so it is about 5 inches shorter than the bottom half. If you are shorter or just want a shirt that isn’t too long, trim off a few inches of the fabric along the top (meaning you will be cutting off the fold). If you are tall or want a long shirt just cut directly at the fold. You should end up with something that looks like this:
3. Pin pieces together along the top edge. Sew halves together, leaving hole in middle – this hole will become the collar so make it as wide or as narrow as you would like the shirt to be. I made mine quite wide because I like the fall off the shoulder effect but you can also make it high neck if you would like.
4. Lay the fabric flat on the floor again. This time pull the top piece down so the bottom edges of the pieces line up. Beginning at the bottom left corner start pinning the two pieces of fabric together from bottom to top – you don’t need to go all the way up because you will need room for arm holes. Repeat on right side.
5. Stitch pieces together while leaving 8-10 inches on either side for arm holes.
6. I was lucky in that my fabric was already closed off at the bottom but if yours isn’t you may want to zig-zag hem to make sure it doesn’t unravel. I also zig-zag stitched the collar and arms just to make sure my shirt would last.
7. You’re all done! When I finished mine I discovered a few fabric related issues like the collar not hanging right but they were quick fixes. So if you try this out and it doesn’t come out quite how you wanted just let me know and I’ll be glad to help out! Here’s a look at the final product:
I find it makes your average tank top and jeans just look so much more dressed up so I really hope you get a chance to try it out! Happy sewing!
I would say that I’m one of those people that constantly needs to be learning – and I think a lot of people are like that. If you’re like me and don’t like to ever be bored, I have a new way for you to get your brain going: learn a new language. It’s nice because it’s a hobby that you can do alone or with people. If you want to do it on your own during your down time – that’s great! Or if you want to pick up a class or start a language learning group with your friends – that’s wonderful too!
Right now I’m using an old Spanish textbook I had kicking around to rekindle my linguistic skills. If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a beginner’s language book lying around your home, you can easily find one at your local library. There are also lots of great free podcasts on itunes so you can listen to the language on top of just reading it. If in addition to all that you can find a friend who you can practice speaking with – you will be absolutely golden.
It’s such a rewarding endeavor because at the end of it you’ll be able to communicate with people you might otherwise never have been able to. And there’s always more to learn and more practicing to be done so you never stop being stimulated. It may seem daunting at first but I really hope you get a chance to try learning a new language. I promise it’s worth it!
What about you? Do you have any hobbies you would recommend? I’m always in search of new ways to enjoy my down time!
Super Quick and Easy DIY Headband
No joke, this will take you less than an hour and doesn’t require that much focus so you can even get other stuff done at the same time. All you need is:
- A piece of leather braiding (you can find this at any fabric store – or if you can’t find any you can just braid together long strips of fabric)
- A piece of flat black elastic
- 2 small squares of black fabric
And then it’s as simple as:
1. Hold leather braiding on your head where you would wear a headband. Cut it to the length of the bony parts just behind your ears.
2. Cut the piece of elastic the length of the gap between where the braided leather pieces don’t touch.
3. With black thread sew the elastic to 1-2 centimeters of the braided leather.
4. Take your squares of black fabric. I used a sewing machine to fold the edges under in order to achieve a cleaner look but this isn’t mandatory. Then you place a drop of hot glue on the inside of the leather braid and press down one side of the fabric immediately. When this is dry, wrap the remaining fabric around the braiding and elastic and glue gun in place. Repeat on the other side. If you don’t have a glue gun this can also be done with a needle and thread.
5. There you have it! A brand new headband for a couple bucks!
So, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently received a sewing machine for my birthday. And it brings me great joy to report that today I completed my first outfit on my new machine. Here is my new business/casual dress:
I have wanted an elastic waist dress for so long but didn’t want to spend a lot of money or get one that was really bad quality. I was inspired by the instructions provided here and made the dress for a grand total of 10 bucks! And I had a ton of fun doing it! Wins all around!
I definitely believe in the benefits of yoga – the lessons it provides on the value of breathing, stretching and strength are wonderful. But sometimes when I’m 45 minutes into an hour and a half long class I can’t help but stare at the clock and pray it will be over soon. Which lets face it, is the opposite of what you want to feel in a yoga class.
Then when I was away recently and didn’t have access to a gym I decided to do my own personally devised series of yoga moves outside by the water and it was without doubt the most beneficial yoga experience I have had. I was able to gear the whole routine to what I was feeling, target the muscles that needed it and go at it for exactly as long as I wanted to. And doing it in a new place meant there were so many new sights and sounds washing over me.
If you already have experience with yoga I strongly recommend finding a new spot (a park, your back yard, or anywhere else you think might be fun) and go do your own thing. You don’t even have to go with any set time or set moves in mind – just go and listen to your body. If you are new to yoga either take a quick drop in class to get acquainted or even just look up some moves on the Internet and give them a whirl.
It took me a while to get into yoga because sometimes you can get a teacher that isn’t very good and then you feel like you’ve wasted and hour. But if you stick with it long enough you can find the poses you really connect with and create your own routine you can do anywhere! And when there’s no timeline or rules it really gets to be all about you – and that’s relaxing!
My happy happening of the day/week/ month is finally getting a sewing machine of my very own! I have been a sewer for over 10 years but up until a few days ago wanting to sew meant having to find my way back to my mom’s place to use hers. But no more! My incredibly wonderful family got together and bought me a sewing machine for my birthday. Greatest present ever! I can’t even describe how excited I am. I have already put it to good use and created a clutch for all my necessities. I have desperately needed one for months but couldn’t find a cheap enough one that I liked. But now I have this lovely creation:
Total price = 0$ because it was all scraps I had lying around
Total fun had = a whole heck of a lot!
I must also send a big thanks to the blog that inspired my clutch creation. She breaks down the steps really well so I hope you all get a chance to give this pattern a whirl as well!
I am a recent university graduate which means a) no longer having to read massive quantities of literature in an itty bitty time frame and b) not having to memorize lines, metaphors and names in case they should come up on a test. It’s a beautiful thing!
Once I had gotten my fill of magazines and cheesy, easy reads I decided it was time to finally enjoy more serious literature because there would be no time limit and no professor quizzing me on the “significance of the foreshadowing effect”. It was as simple as typing in “Toronto book club” and suddenly I had an entire page of book clubs in my area to choose from! I found one that appealed to me, bought the book and got reading.
The book itself wasn’t my usual read but it was thought provoking and that’s always more fun to talk about in a group than something easy that everyone has only good things to say about. The people were incredibly friendly and entertaining and I already can’t wait for the next meeting!
And what’s so great about a book club is that there’s no pressure. If you don’t get along with the people, you don’t go back and find a different one you like better. If you don’t have time to read the book you can just go and listen to what other people thought and make your own opinion later. There’s only winning where a book club is concerned!
It has to be said…I absolutely LOVE board games. You can’t help but smile and laugh every time you play a board game. And there is a game for every occasion! If you’re having an event with a lot of people that don’t know each other there are games to get people talking and if you’re spending time with old friends there are games that help celebrate that. Here are my top three:
1. Cranium: It’s a game played in teams so it’s great for big groups. There are 4 categories you draw from to help you move around the board. Some categories are creative, some are challenging and some lead to absolute hilarity. Giggles are guaranteed with this one.
2. Taboo: Another team game where you have to make your teammates guess a certain word (ex: teacher) without saying the “taboo” words that are listed below it (i.e. school, students, elementary, class). It’s the perfect game to play with really good friends or family because you can use your shared histories to make them guess the right word (ex: “Mr. Smith was this for you in the 3rd grade).
3. Trivial Pursuit: It is one of the more challenging games as it requires answering some very hard questions on many different topics. It’s meant to be played individually but I usually like to play in teams so you can pool your knowledge and work together to find the right answer.
Even just writing this post is making me crave a board games night!