Valentine’s Day Myths Debunked: What You and Your Significant Other Should Really Do for Valentine’s Day

Gallery

The big day is tomorrow, and since my last post on Valentine’s Day was such a hit, I decided to target this one toward all you smitten lovebirds who have someone to spend it with.  

Now fellas– before you run out to get her flowers and take her to a fancy dinner, take a look at these stats: they might surprise you. Turns out, your guess for what she really wants tomorrow might be a little off.

Click on the image below to see all the stats.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 7.01.07 PM

Statistical study published by PRWeb. Check out the article here http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/valentines/prweb11523715.htm

Something to definitely think about (minus the chocolate part…c’mon, what women would say no to chocolate?). 

What should you do for Valentine’s Day? Most likely, your significant other will like something romantic, but original at the same time. It’s okay to stray away from tradition! Flowers, movie-dates, and overly-priced dinner were so yesterday, so it’s time to get creative.

So, cancel those dinner reservations at that expensive restaurant in downtown SLO and check out this DIY date instead.

Los Osos, San Luis Obispo:

 Valentine’s Day Hike and Sunset Picnic 

IMG_2017

Beats flowers every time. Photo by author.

Ahhh, the beautiful outdoors. What a great way to spend Valentine’s Day, especially in beautiful San Luis Obispo. Why this beats a movie or dinner: 

  • No fancy attire needed. Leave your heels at home, and just wear some comfy running shoes instead.

  • You’ll have the whole beach to yourself. 

  • You can work off all that Valentine’s Day chocolate.

  • It’s completely free and really close to SLO.

Directions listed here. There is a cul-de-sac at the end of Inyo Street. Park there and the entrance is right at the end of that street.

Here’s an what to expect. Check out a slideshow of the beautiful destination by clicking on the big circle below.

Advertisements

An Evaluation of DIY Dorm

Standard

First off, I would like to thank all of you for helping me achieve 1,500 views. At the beginning of this project, I was nervous I wouldn’t even get above 100. All of your support means so much 🙂

Even though DIY Dorm as been a success, there’s always room for improvement. No body is perfect, right? Below are a list of pros and cons of DIY Dorm I gathered from some peers of mine.

Pros:

  • Headlines stand out and catch your eye 

  • Step-by-step pictures help when making projects

  • DIY projects are unique and interesting

  • Writing style is upbeat and fun

  • Overall interesting layout

Cons:

  • Sometimes the text can be lengthy (especially in “Expert of the Week” posts)

  • Needs to be more fonts bolded and colored to keep reader interested

  • Sometimes there are too many pictures 

  • Needs to be more multimedia (videos, graphics, etc)

  • Needs to incorporate more DIY topics to stay focused

Now, here’s a list of some solutions to your feedback to make your experience with DIY Dorm a great one.

Solutions:

  • The “Expert of the Week” Q&A can be cut down by quite a bit. Next time, there will only be three questions instead of five.

  • DIY Dorm has strayed into different topics sometimes, but stay tuned for next week for some new DIY ideas that will be featured.

  • Next post, I will be sure to add in multimedia features– stay tuned for an awesome interactive graphic on Thursday’s blog

  • Everyone seems to be more interested in the DIY project-themed posts, rather than the “off topic” story ideas listed in the cons section. I’ll be sure to stay more on topic.

Feel free to comment below if there’s anything else you think DIY Dorm can work on. Trust me, constructive criticism will only make this blog better! Heres some links to some sites that demonstrate the qualities listed in the “Solutions” section above. They’re pretty rad. 

Dateless Again: How to Avoid a Pity Party on Valentine’s Day

Standard

Whether you despise the holiday or you love it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, my friends.

Ah yes– the holiday that can either help you fall head-over-heels for that special someone, or cause you to burn every romantic comedy in sight.

We get it– for those single folks without a Valentine, the beginning of February brings on the Valentine’s Day Blues. It’s hard to hear about all your friends’ cheesy plans without wanting to roll your eyes. Well, if this is you, than you have two options:

1. Wallow in self-pity while eating all the chocolate you bought yourself this holiday, or

2. Reward yourself and your loved ones with some tasty Valentine’s Day treats from DIY Dorm

Or you can do both. Either way, DIY Dorm promises all you single folks to help this year’s Valentine’s Day a little less painful.

DIY Mason Jar Sweet Treats

Don't hog all of it– give these jars to your friends, co-workers, and family. Photo by author.

Don’t hog all the good stuff– give these jars to your friends, co-workers, and family. Photo by author.

1. Grab a jar, any jar.

(You can get them in bulk, or for about $2 each at most grocery stores)

2. Get some ribbon, bag tags, and some hot glue too.

IMG_4657 IMG_4409

3. Glue pieces of ribbon onto the lids for decoration.

IMG_4654 IMG_4658

4. Write the names of your friends, co-workers, and family on the tags. Glue them on the lids.

IMG_4655 IMG_4656

4. Fill the jar with popcorn, candy, or even homemade chocolate-covered pretzels.

IMG_4661 IMG_4660 IMG_4659

And what a wonderful way to get out of the single-life blues! But what about some other DIY ideas to rebel against Valentine’s Day? Here’s a list of some personal favorites. Don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s Valentine’s Day themed posts, and to check out this week’s DIY expert!

How to Beat the V-day Blues

  • Make these cookies from The Curvy Carrot. They will do wonders for your cranky mood, and you don’t have to worry about sharing. 
  • Avoid romantic comedies at all costs. That’s right… put down The Notebook and walk away. Instead, check out Mashable’s list of the top 11 movies to watch alone (and they’re all conveniently on Netflix too!)
  • While you’re watching that movie, why not get creative with your popcorn too? You can add in M&M’s for a salty-sweet treat, or pick from one of these recipes.

Student Opinion: Do you like Valentine’s Day?

“I’ve only liked Valentine’s Day when I’ve had a date.” – Ryan Werth, freshman

“Yes, because it’s a great excuse to eat all the lovely chocolates everyone has sent you, or that you sent yourself…” – Tess Engel, freshman

This Week’s DIY Expert: Frances Dodson from Etsy.com

afterlight

Image of rings by WikiMedia and used here with a Creative Commons license.

After losing her husband to cancer a few years ago, Frances Dodson began designing personalized, hand stamped rings and is now a successful Etsy shop owner. Check out her store here.

Q: What got you started on making the jewelry in your shop? 

A: I had a different life planned for myself a couple of years ago. My husband and I took early retirement so we could enjoy our new Colorado Mountain home, travel around on our motorcycle touring a lot of the U.S. and just visiting and enjoying our grandsons. 10 months into that life, my husband passed away of pancreatic cancer.

My daughter has a shop here on Etsy. She kept encouraging me to find something I liked, and open my own shop. I was very scared, went to lots of craft shows, and just started watching what others were doing that seemed to make good money for them. I saw someone making the name rings, and decided I could do that– it seemed like something I could handle.

Q: Are they costly to make? How easy are they to make? 

A: Sometimes, I can start a ring and it only takes me a few minutes to get it stamped, then it goes to coloring, then clean up and packaging–pretty decent profit for that one item. The next time, I can work for what seems like forever, scrap three or four rings before I get it right, and there is no profit in that one at all, but I keep going.

Q: Over the years, have they made you any profit? 

A: I have only been working this venture for just over years. The first year, I think was at a break even point. This past year, I am thinking I made a decent profit. I am pretty much able to live on my Etsy income. Now don’t think that is huge, because I am a single person with no huge bills, and a very low standard of living.

I also like my Etsy shop because every sale I make gives me the feeling that someone out there likes my stuff and– in a small extension of that– me.

Steve Aoki Concert Hits Cal Poly

Standard
Cal Poly's Rec Center was packed with Steve Aoki fans. Photo by Author

Cal Poly’s Rec Center was packed with Steve Aoki fans. Photo by Author

That’s right folks: Famous house DJ Steve Aoki came to Cal Poly’s Rec Center on Friday Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. The concert was full of excited students ready to dance the night away, but the best part was the crowd’s attire: the majority of students were wearing all wearing DIY bracelets, flower bras, headbands and even tutus (I take a little credit since most of these creations probably came from Beverly’s).

In case you missed out, DIY Dorm has it all covered for you. Check out DIY Dorm’s live tweets from the event, along with some photos below.

photo_3

The legend himself. Photo by author.

photo_2

DIY bracelets were sported by most at the concert. Photo by author.

photo_1

The concert lasted for almost 6 and a half hours straight. Photo by author.

And don’t forget to stay tuned this coming week for some Valentine’s Day themed blogs!

Beverly’s Fabric & Crafts Store: A DIYer’s Best Friend

Standard

If you’re a student here at Cal Poly, chances are you’ve heard of Beverly’s. Need to make a last minute halloween costume? Want to get some holiday themed room decor? Need paper or art supplies for class? Get it all with one stop at Beverly’s. The store literally has anything you can think of– from coconut bras to birdhouses– and is an essential destination for any DIYer. Click the on the first circle below to see our journey to Beverly’s downtown.

Extra, Extra, Tweet All About It: Your Favorite DIY Blog Hits Twitter

Standard

twitter

Our lives have been drastically changed by social media– there’s no getting around that one. When we want information, we demand that it’s fast, accurate and accessible 24/7. We get bored by long articles, in-depth passages, and yes… even lengthy blog posts. Whether this change is good or bad, DIY Dorm has adapted to your social media needs.

That’s right folks– DIY Dorm is now on Twitter. For all you avid Tweeters out there, this means quick, easy Do-It-Yourself ideas and projects that you can start with the click of a link. And for all you viewers who truly love my lengthy rants, don’t panic– I will still be updating this blog twice a week.

Also, check out the five Twitter accounts @DIY_Dorm is following so far. They’re quite impressive, and all have really neat Do-It-Yourself inventions. Vote for your favorite below!

Follow DIY Dorm on Twitter HERE!

Don’t forget to stay tuned for Thursday’s blog post.

How to Personalize Your Dorm: Transforming Your Space from Drab to Fab

Standard
photo

Make the most out of what little space you’re given. Photo by author.

Whether you’re in a double or a triple, every dorm room feels as if you’re stuck in a jail cell. Maybe its the white cinderblock walls, the uncomfortable, squeaky bunk beds, or the room capacity of five people (and that’s really pushing it). Most likely, its because of the sudden adjustment to having a spacious, homey room to a crammed room shared with strangers.

“Honestly, after going back to my own room at home during break, coming back to my triple dorm was so difficult,” freshman Hanna Boehm said. “It’s hard to keep everything organized in such a little space.”

Whatever your reason is for disliking you dorm, here’s a couple of tips and projects to make it feel like home.

3 Simple Tips to Personalize Your Space

1. Pictures, Pictures, and More Pictures

Obviously, this one is a “duh”. But take a look at the dorm room image above. If you were laying in that top bunk, would you really feel like you’re enclosed by cinderblocks? Didn’t think so.

2. Transform Your Mirror into Another Do-It-Yourself Project

A fun DIY project that took less than 30 mins! Photo by author.

A unique DIY project that took less than 30 mins. Photo by author.

Every college dorm either comes with a mirror, or its a “must” item to have (yes, even for you boys). Why not make it into something fun? For girls, take ribbon, flowers, or even sea shells and hot glue it around the border. Write your favorite quote on the mirror as a little reminder for every time you start the day. For guys, write little reminders in sharpie  to make your mirror into a to-do-list.

3. Decorate for the Holidays

There really is no place like home for the holidays. And until you actually go home, get yourself pumped up by decorating your dorm. Here’s some awesome Do-It-Yourself Projects that’ll get you in the holiday spirit:

But what if you’ve already done all of that? You already pinned up all your photos from Facebook and hung the halloween decorations your mom sent you from your window. Well for you Do-It-Yourself experts, here’s some different projects that will personalize your space and save you some money.

1. Make Your Own Book Cover

Protect your books and go to class in style. Photo by author.

Protect your books and go to class in style. Photo by author.

Most students rent textbooks to save money, but some of the student population decides to make a little profit. If students buy their books from websites like Chegg or Amazon, they can sell them back at the end of the quarter.

“The university store on campus is way too expensive,” freshman Rylan Younger said. “That’s why I rented my calculus book from Amazon for a fraction of the price.”

And depending on what shape the books are in, students can even can get more money back than they purchased them for. That’s where this Do-It-Yourself project comes in handy.

1. Find a paper grocery bag

IMG_4259

2. Cut bag along the edges, removing the bottom completely IMG_4263

3. Place book in center of bag, and then make sure both sides are completely even

IMG_4269IMG_4270

4. Mark the binding of the book on each side

IMG_4271

5. Make triangles from the lines on each side of the bag, and then cut along the outside lines of the triangle. Fold upward

IMG_4272

IMG_4264

6. Fold about 1″ from the bottom (depending on your book size). Repeat for the top

IMG_4265

7. Fold in sides and tape down

IMG_4267

Now decorate the cover and ta-dah! If you got lost, don’t worry. Here’s a youtube video from Dulce Candy that will help!

2. Spice Up Your Phone Charger

Bet you won't ever lose your charger again. Photo by author.

Bet you won’t ever lose your charger again. Photo by author.

Mixing up phone chargers with your roommate can be awkward. Why not make yours stand out, while saving 10 bucks too? This project is very simple– all that’s needed is some duct tape (any color or pattern) and some scissors.

Wrap the duct tape around the base of the charger about two times. Cut off excess tape, and ta-dah!

IMG_4262

3. Design Your Own Quote Mug

Gotta love those cheesy and romantic quote mugs. Photo by author.

Protect your books and go to class in style. Photo by author.

It’s this simple: buy a mug for $4 at a supermarket, and write all over it in sharpie. Doodle funny cartoons, write your favorite quotes, or even color in your own design. Put your mug into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, and be proud of your cool creation.

IMG_4253

And before leaving, check out the DIY expert of the week, Layne Hayward, who’s been a making DIY projects since age 5.

This Week’s DIY Expert: Layne Hayward from Southern California

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 11.39.49 PM

Focusing on beauty and fashion, Layne Hayward– age 13–is a master at making her own DIY projects from scratch. 

Q: What age did you start making DIY projects? 

Layne: I grew up making little necklaces or making my own pillows. I remember when I was five years old that I also went to different sewing camps.

Q: What was your inspiration for your work?

Layne: My inspiration for making DIY projects is from seeing something I want, and then going home and making it. Another inspiration are my parents because when I was little, I remember watching them doing their own DIY projects.

Q: What items have you created and sold within the past year?

Layne: Last year, my two best friends and I made a bow making company , and we made around $60 each. In the past year, I have really gotten into making DIY things: headbands, bows, high-waisted shorts, dresses, bandeaus, an overall dress and decorated towels.

Q: Why do you love DIY projects so much?

Layne: I love making DIY projects because they don’t cost as much as buying it. Also, I make something that is one of a kind!

Coming Up Soon: Valentine’s Day Projects for Your Special Someone