How To - Deal with Finals Week Stress!

Ok, so this may not be as fun as, say, making something that involves glitter and and a mason jar, BUT, it’s pretty helpful.  As someone who has experienced her fair share of panic attacks and finals-week-induced anxiety, I’ve picked up a couple of tips on how to stay (somewhat) sane during this crunch time.  

  1. MAKE A CALENDAR! Time management is everything! Go online and find a free monthly or weekly calendar template (like this one) and print it out.  Take 10 minutes to search through your syllabi and messy notes and write down any important due dates, exam days, and block out times for yourself to get shit done! Even pencil in eating breakfast if you have to; whatever it takes to stay on track and not feel totally lost. 
  2. GO TO THE LIBRARY. Even if it’s been months (or years) since you’ve set foot in your school or town’s library, now is the time to revisit.  My university’s library has an entire floor dedicated silence, and it’s called “The Quiet Zone” (seriously!).  I like to plop down at a private desk and get major assignments done.  It’s even a great place to go just to sit for a while to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Regardless, I can always rely on the library to ease my nerves a bit, because it’s a safe, quiet, open space.
  3. Eat Well. Be Well. Put down that Monster energy drink and opt for green tea or coffee— hold the sugar. During this time it’s easy to head to the local convenience store to grab anything that will keep you up all night and satisfying those munchies.  If you’re anxiety-prone, I find junk food only makes matters worse.  Instead, pencil in actual breakfast/lunch/dinner time and eat a fresh meal with some  nutritional value. More of a snacker?  Nuts or baby veggies will do the trick. Self Magazine has A TON of great (and simple!) healthy food ideas.
  4. Get Zen. During or after a long day of classes, studying, homework, and working at that part-time job or internship, you can be left feeling incredibly overwhelmed and wishing for a magic remote that will fast-forward you through the week.  At some point in the day, it’s vital to find time to pause, and breathe.  Head outside for 20 minutes of sunshine.  Take a walk around campus.  Sit in the grass and stretch. Talk and laugh with a friend.  Do anything that revitalizes you!  Staring at a computer screen for 10 hours straight is only going to fry your brain and leave you more stressed than before. Periodic breaks make a world of difference. 
  5. Treat Yo’ Self. After hell week, you need something to look forward to.  Maybe just knowing that it’s the end of the semester is satisfying enough, but I need something that I can actually look forward to.  Treat yourself to something that makes you feel good.  Get a massage, or a mani-pedi.  Eat ice cream in the park.  Binge-watch Netflix in bed all day.  Do something that makes you happy! It’s been a long semester, you deserve it :) 

I hope these tips help a little bit, and feel free to add your own!

Since I can’t actually be at Coachella, here’s a playlist of some of my fest-best songs/artists.  Listen on Spotify here - happy Music Monday!
Which Coachella performer would you like to see most?! 

Since I can’t actually be at Coachella, here’s a playlist of some of my fest-best songs/artists.  Listen on Spotify here - happy Music Monday!

Which Coachella performer would you like to see most?! 

BOOK CLUB PICK- PALO ALTO by JAMES FRANCO
I’m totally about to brag right now, but last summer I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most eccentric, multi-tasking celebrities of this generation— the one and only, James Franco.  I met him at a book signing held at The Strand bookstore in New York City for another book of his called A California Childhood.  After reading some of Mr. Franco’s work, I became very interested in his short stories.
Palo Alto is a book of just that— short stories.  It’s a nice book to carry around or to keep on your desk for when you’re looking for something  to read, but don’t have time for a whole novel. 
Also, Mr. Franco recently released this trailer for his upcoming film based on stories from the book.  
Side note: Is James Franco even a real human??? How does he do it all??? He’s on Broadway right now, teaches an acting class, makes films, writes, Instagrams 500 times a day… there’s no way he’s real. No. I must have met an adorable robot.
Anyway, if you’d like to read Palo Alto, you can purchase it at your local bookstore or on websites such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Happy reading!

BOOK CLUB PICK- PALO ALTO by JAMES FRANCO

I’m totally about to brag right now, but last summer I had the pleasure of meeting one of the most eccentric, multi-tasking celebrities of this generation— the one and only, James Franco.  I met him at a book signing held at The Strand bookstore in New York City for another book of his called A California Childhood.  After reading some of Mr. Franco’s work, I became very interested in his short stories.

Palo Alto is a book of just that— short stories.  It’s a nice book to carry around or to keep on your desk for when you’re looking for something  to read, but don’t have time for a whole novel. 

Also, Mr. Franco recently released this trailer for his upcoming film based on stories from the book.  

Side note: Is James Franco even a real human??? How does he do it all??? He’s on Broadway right now, teaches an acting class, makes films, writes, Instagrams 500 times a day… there’s no way he’s real. No. I must have met an adorable robot.

Anyway, if you’d like to read Palo Alto, you can purchase it at your local bookstore or on websites such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Happy reading!

S U N D I Y - HOLOGRAPHIC NAILS
Disclaimer: There has been zero editing done to this picture!
Today has been a lazy, gray and gloomy Sunday, so to add some shine to this dull day, I’ve given myself one of the easiest manicures ever.
All it took to achieve this prismatic look were three things:
Nail file/buffer
Clear coat (for base and finish)
Hologram nail polish 
The nail polish I used is Layla’s Hologram Effect Nail Polish in Mermaid’s Spell — this brand is a bit on the pricey side (about $15 a bottle…) but sometimes you just need to treat yo’ self.  Still think that’s a ridiculous price?  Totally understandable.  Lucky for you, hologram polish has become a bit of a trend and brands such as Sally Hansen, Color Club, and Milani  (among many other brands) make this type of nail polish now at prices that won’t break the bank.  Also, they can be conveniently found at your local drugstore or super center!
There’s not much that goes into this manicure other than the following steps:
Prep your nails! A great article about nail prep 101 can be found here. 
BUFF your nails. This is very important if you want to truly capture the holographic look.
Apply your base coat evenly and let dry.
Apply about 2 coats of the nail polish. Let dry.
Finish with a top coat and let dry.
That’s it! Post your manicures on Instagram and hashtag #HLWIM so I can see.  Shine on! 

S U N D I Y - HOLOGRAPHIC NAILS

Disclaimer: There has been zero editing done to this picture!

Today has been a lazy, gray and gloomy Sunday, so to add some shine to this dull day, I’ve given myself one of the easiest manicures ever.

All it took to achieve this prismatic look were three things:

  • Nail file/buffer
  • Clear coat (for base and finish)
  • Hologram nail polish 

The nail polish I used is Layla’s Hologram Effect Nail Polish in Mermaid’s Spell — this brand is a bit on the pricey side (about $15 a bottle…) but sometimes you just need to treat yo’ self.  Still think that’s a ridiculous price?  Totally understandable.  Lucky for you, hologram polish has become a bit of a trend and brands such as Sally Hansen, Color Club, and Milani  (among many other brands) make this type of nail polish now at prices that won’t break the bank.  Also, they can be conveniently found at your local drugstore or super center!

There’s not much that goes into this manicure other than the following steps:

  1. Prep your nails! A great article about nail prep 101 can be found here
  2. BUFF your nails. This is very important if you want to truly capture the holographic look.
  3. Apply your base coat evenly and let dry.
  4. Apply about 2 coats of the nail polish. Let dry.
  5. Finish with a top coat and let dry.

That’s it! Post your manicures on Instagram and hashtag #HLWIM so I can see.  Shine on! 

W E D N E S D I Y - Girl$ Just Wanna Have Fund$ Mason Jar Glitter Bank
Now that spring break has officially come to an end (R.I.P), summer is making its way onto the horizon in my mind.  Having said that, it’s time for me to start saving some cash for summer festivities.  And what better way to save money? The old fashioned way— setting some change aside in a glittery mason jar bank!
A.C. Moore was having some crazy good sales that allowed me to make this piece for about $5.  To make your own mason jar bank, all you need are the following supplies, and a dream.
1 mason jar (or any old jar you have hanging around the house. Just make sure it’s clean!)
Mod Podge
Paint brush or sponge brush (the latter works best)
GLITTER
Exacto knife (optional… will explain why later)
What to Do:
Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the desired areas of your mason jar.  Cover the whole thing, or cover the bottom and do some weird splotchy design like mine so you can still see your savings.  This is your time to shine.
Go to town dumping glitter in your jar.  This can be a bit messy so I recommend doing this on a paper plate or over some newspaper or something.  Shake out any excess.
Your mason jar is going to look and smell weird at first because of the Mod Podge.  Leave it somewhere and go about your business for a few hours so it can dry.  Once it has (it will be clear aka you won’t see it anymore), go back in with another layer of Mod Podge over the glitter.  This will seal everything in so you can avoid covering Ben Franklin in sparkles.
Once your jar is completely dry it will look really cool.  If you have an Exacto knife, cut slit in the top of the self-sealing thingy that came with your mason jar.  
That’s it! As you can see, I added a note kindly asking for donations. Feel around those couch cushions, check your pockets, and start filling up that bank! I currently have $9.26 in mine, but with all that gold and green glitter, it appears as if I have all the riches in the world… 
I’d love to see pictures if you decide to make this yourself! Instagram it and hashtag #HLWIM so I can like it :) 

W E D N E S D I Y - Girl$ Just Wanna Have Fund$ Mason Jar Glitter Bank

Now that spring break has officially come to an end (R.I.P), summer is making its way onto the horizon in my mind.  Having said that, it’s time for me to start saving some cash for summer festivities.  And what better way to save money? The old fashioned way— setting some change aside in a glittery mason jar bank!

A.C. Moore was having some crazy good sales that allowed me to make this piece for about $5.  To make your own mason jar bank, all you need are the following supplies, and a dream.

  • 1 mason jar (or any old jar you have hanging around the house. Just make sure it’s clean!)
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush or sponge brush (the latter works best)
  • GLITTER
  • Exacto knife (optional… will explain why later)

What to Do:

  1. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the desired areas of your mason jar.  Cover the whole thing, or cover the bottom and do some weird splotchy design like mine so you can still see your savings.  This is your time to shine.
  2. Go to town dumping glitter in your jar.  This can be a bit messy so I recommend doing this on a paper plate or over some newspaper or something.  Shake out any excess.
  3. Your mason jar is going to look and smell weird at first because of the Mod Podge.  Leave it somewhere and go about your business for a few hours so it can dry.  Once it has (it will be clear aka you won’t see it anymore), go back in with another layer of Mod Podge over the glitter.  This will seal everything in so you can avoid covering Ben Franklin in sparkles.
  4. Once your jar is completely dry it will look really cool.  If you have an Exacto knife, cut slit in the top of the self-sealing thingy that came with your mason jar.  
  5. That’s it! As you can see, I added a note kindly asking for donations. Feel around those couch cushions, check your pockets, and start filling up that bank! I currently have $9.26 in mine, but with all that gold and green glitter, it appears as if I have all the riches in the world… 

I’d love to see pictures if you decide to make this yourself! Instagram it and hashtag #HLWIM so I can like it :) 

Happy First Day of Spring!

To celebrate this surprisingly sunny first day of spring, I decided to make pastel tie-dye cupcakes with pink lemonade frosting!  For about $5, you can make two dozen of these delectable desserts. And the best part about this is that they look complicated, but they’re actually one of the easiest recipes to make! Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 box Duff Pastel Tie-Dye cake mix (can’t find this at the store? Buy any brand of regular white cake mix).
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 large egg whites 
  • One container Pillsbury Pink Lemonade icing (or whatever icing you want)
  • Food coloring (the Duff cake mix comes with food coloring, but it’s soooo much easier if you have the kind with the bottle that comes out one drop at a time).

How to Make Them:

  1. Combine cake mix, water, egg whites, and oil into a bowl until smooth.
  2. Separate cake mix into 6 individual cups or bowls.
  3. Add food coloring to each individual cup of batter as follows:

Pink: 1 drop red

Orange: 2 drops yellow +1 drop red

Yellow: 3 drops yellow

Green: 2 drops yellow + 1 drop blue

Blue: 2 drops blue

Purple: 2 drops red + 1 drop blue

     4. After you’re done coloring, start by dropping about half a small spoonful of pink into the bottom of each cupcake liner. (The video above is helpful!!) Continue to do this with each color until the cupcake liner is a little more than 3/4 filled. NOTE: Do NOT worry about centering each layer or color, just scoop it in and the batter will take care of itself!

     5. Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool and then spread on the icing.  Enjoy! :)

(Source: heylookwhatimadeblog)

There are many things I love about St. Patrick’s Day, but one of the things I love most is homemade Irish soda bread!  This recipe comes from my ninth grade cooking class (yes, seriously!), and I’ve made it every St. Patty’s day since 2008.  It is a favorite among family and friends, and it’s incredibly simple to make.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 tbsp. butter (half a stick)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds 
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • Green food coloring (optional)
  • Round pan (a cake pan works well)

How to Do It:

  • In a large bowl, add all ingredients in the order listed above EXCEPT for the raisins and food coloring— save those for the very end.
  • Using a hand-mixer, mix on low-speed until a doughy consistency forms. If you are mixing the old fashioned way (with a spoon and A LOT of stirring) do the same.
  • Mix in the raisins
  • Add in 10-13 drops of green food coloring.  It will look like the color of a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake and NOT like moldy bread— I promise!!!
  • Place in the round pan and make an “X” at the top of the loaf.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 375.

And wallah! Homemade Irish soda bread that’s way better than store bought. 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day :) 

Happy Pi(e) Day!!

3.14 is pi day for all you math enthusiasts. While I can’t say I’m a big fan of pi, I do love pie so here is a recipe that takes 3.14 minutes to make.

Pie in a Mug

Ingredients:

  • Microwave-safe mug
  • 5 graham crackers, crushed. 
  • Canned pie filling (I chose apple!)
  • Whipped cream or ice cream (or both).

What to Do:

  • Cover the bottom of your mug with the crushed graham crackers. 
  • Add two scoops of your pie filling
  • Add another layer of graham cracker crumbs and another scoop of pie filling. 
  • Top off with more graham cracker crumbs. 
  • Microwave for 1:30 - 2 minutes. Top off with whipped or ice cream and enjoy!

P.S.: This video features my very loud family they were pretty intrigued by this concept, haha! 

(Source: heylookwhatimadeblog)


It’s time for Spring Break!! This installation of Music Monday features songs that will make you feel like you’re on vacation— whether you’re actually on a beach, or just wishing you were. Listen on Spotify here. 

It’s time for Spring Break!! This installation of Music Monday features songs that will make you feel like you’re on vacation— whether you’re actually on a beach, or just wishing you were. Listen on Spotify here

S U N D I Y - Neon Nails!

If you haven’t figured it out from my “Book of the Month” post, I’m a huge fan of Demi Lovato.  This past Friday I went to her Neon Lights Tour, and the occasion totally inspired this little nail tutorial! I’ve been getting a lot of compliments on this manicure. 

I’m somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to my beauty routine, so going full-on neon with my nails wasn’t the goal.  Instead, I opted for a nude base with a pop of neon and a surprise glow.  This can take a little bit of patience, so unless you have quick-drying polish (I recommend the “In A New York Minute” line from N.Y.C. - really dries in a minute!), make sure you are either really bored or are looking to multitask while typing your homework— I’m doing the latter.

What I Used:

*Feel free to choose YOUR favorite colors and nail polish brands! You can definitely cop my style though if you like it ;-)*

Application:

  1. Prep your nails! Remove old nail polish, buff, and file.  I find filing your nails into a square shape is easiest for this look.
  2. Apply your base coat (the glow-in-the-dark polish).  Make sure you let it completely dry.
  3. Apply 2 coats of the nude polish.
  4. Once the nude coat has COMPLETELY DRIED, go ahead and apply another coat or two of your glow polish.
  5.  Let all your nails dry completely! Don’t half-ass it! You’ve come this far… whole-ass this manicure! OWN IT!
  6. Now that your nails have completely dried (they better have!) take mini strips of Scotch tape and apply them as depicted in the picture (or if you’re feeling a little more creative, do your own design!).
  7. Use your neon polish to create a color-block look. Let dry completely. 
  8. Gently pull of the tape. Finish with another coat of the glow polish. Wallah! Neon nails!

P.S.: Yes, the glow-in-the-dark polish actually does light up! It looks so cool in the dark. 

If you do this manicure yourself, post it on Instagram! Hashtag it #HLWIM so I can see your looks.  And follow me @MichelleMeli  :) 

(Source: heylookwhatimadeblog)