Monday, November 28, 2011

DIY Fabric Fabric Flower Tutorial

Things you’ll need:
Hot glue gun (and glue)
Chalk (or marker)

I made my patterns using regular paper and just freehanded a 5 petal flower about 2 inches across. You’ll also need a small circle pattern.
Using your pattern and chalk trace 7 flowers onto your fabric and 1 circle. Then cut out your pieces. If you used a marker instead of chalk be careful to cut inside your lines so your final flower won’t have marks on it. If you used chalk this isn’t a problem as the chalk will wipe off.

Take one of your fabric flower pieces and fold it in half.

Then fold it in half again, so it is quartered.

Use the scissors to cut the tip off of your quartered flower.

Put some hot glue along the edge of your cut.

Glue the flower to the circle piece of fabric. Repeat above steps for 4 flower pieces and glue the pieces in a square shape on your circle piece of fabric.

Use the remaining 3 flower pieces (quartered, cut, and glued) to fill in the middle of your flower. Now you’re done!

I used fabric glue to put this flower onto a tote bag I made. You could add these to headbands, clothing, bags, hair clips, or whatever your creative mind dreams up. You could also hot glue the completed flower to a pin if you wanted it to be removable. Happy crafting!! (I apologize for the sub-par pictures. They were taken in bad lighting with my phone.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

DIY Newspaper Nails

I just finished doing my nails, and I have to say I'm impressed with the results. It was actually pretty easy. Start by painting your nails any light colors; I used a pale pink. Let it dry completely (must be fully dry or else the paint will smear). Cut small pieces of newspaper (I didn't have any change to buy a newspaper and the only free one was El Mundo, so mine is in Spanish. No, I don't speak Spanish. Haha). Dip the small pieces of newspaper into rubbing alcohol. Then place the paper onto your nail and press and hold for 30 seconds. The harder you press, the darker the words will be. Then gently pull off the paper. Finish by adding a clear top coat. Viola, unique nails.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to Use a Semicolon: The Most Feared Punctuation on Earth

I was updating my resume today and realized that my knowledge on semicolons was fading. I googled the proper use of semicolons and found a really funny and informative website ( I thought I'd share so we could all learn a little more about this misunderstood form of punctuation.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Starting Over

Our lovely little puppy had a field day while we were sleeping last night. I woke up this morning to find the power sander in the middle of the living room, a variety of items (toilet paper package, laundry basket, socks, and paper) drug over to her pillow and chewed on, and my husband's paycheck that was sitting on the couch is gone (I'm convinced that she ate it.) Also, my laptop power cord suffered some battle wounds. They look pretty minor, but it will no longer charge my laptop. 

I got on eBay and found a power cord for sale and the seller shipped it to me a few hours later. But that means that my laptop will be out of commission for at least a couple days. As a wedding gift, my parents gave Zach and I a MacBook Pro laptop. My Mom, a Windows user, bought it with the intention of learning the system, but not all good plans pan out. I've had the computer for a couple of months and have found myself avoiding it.

Faced with the options of no computer vs learning a Mac, I've decided on the latter. I'm 25, I grew up using computers, and I'm the person in my family that everyone goes to when they have computer problems. Wow do I feel stupid. I really took my thorough knowledge of Windows for granted. I've had to google numerous stupid things such as ''how to delete a folder'' and ''how to copy a file.'' But I'm now committed to the switch. Also, I refuse to be like one of those elderly people who avoid new technology like it's the plague.

I love my iPhone and I've heard that Macs are great, and MacBook Pro is supposed to be the best. I have high hopes.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Phil In The Circle

Phil Hanson is an artist that I recently discovered on YouTube. He makes unconventional art and posts videos of the making of his creations. I'll post a couple of the videos. The first one is a replica of the Mona Lisa using the grease from fast food as a medium. The second of painting of Lance Armstrong that was made using a tricycle. And the 3rd is from a collection he calls ''Goodbye Art.'' The art is made in a non-traditional medium and then destroyed, leaving only the video as evidence of the art creation. Really cool and amazingly unique. You can check out more at

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Infinite Knowledge at Our Fingertips

With the recent passing of Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, I started thinking about the impact that technology gurus have had on my life. I couldn’t imagine my life without the internet, or my iPhone for that matter. It has become such a vital role in our everyday lives; allowing us to do things we never could have done before. And it’s all become available instantly and in remote places through the use of cell phones.

I have immediate access to my bank account balances and information. If I hear a song I like playing over the speakers while I’m shopping I can use an app to find the name of the song and bookmark it. I can download that individual song on Napster instead of having to drive to the record store to purchase the full album. My phone beeps as soon as I receive an email and I can read immediately, which eliminates delayed response time. If I’m at work and can’t remember the dosage range for a certain drug, I can use the nursing drug handbook app on my phone to look it up immediately. I can use the GPS on my phone to guide me to unfamiliar places and if I miss my highway exit I can just re-map it from my current location (rather than having to turn around and try to get back on my original route). Access to current traffic congestion is available on my phone, which allows me to avoid traffic jams and saves me loads of time.
Even more complex tasks that otherwise would not have been feasible have become accessible to the everyday person. For example, the screen on my iPhone cracked. All I had to do was go to YouTube and I found step-by-step video instructions on how to change the screen myself. That saved me from paying upwards of $100 to have someone else fix it. Another example – the window motor on my husband’s car went out. He got online and used his credit card to find a replacement motor that was shipped to our house. Then on a forum for 350-Z enthusiasts he was able to find step-by-step instructions with pictures that allowed him to change out the motor himself. Easy. Done in 45 minutes and saved $300.
I often wonder how people went about their daily lives before this upsurge in technology. My husband said when he was a younger he saw a picture of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their drummer could be Will Ferrell’s twin. He went on believing that Will Ferrell had not only acting, but musical talents for 4 months until someone told him otherwise. Had the internet been as readily available then as it is now, one quick Google search would have told him otherwise. And could you imagine writing a research paper? I couldn’t even tell you how many research papers I had to write in school and every single one of them was written using information from research databases online. My mother had to drive to the actual library, talk to librarians to find out where to look, scour the shelves for specific books, and then flip through pages to find whatever information she was looking for. So much work for so little return. What took her an hour I can now do in 10 minutes.
I guess people survived before current technology, but now that I know how awesome it is I certainly couldn’t imagine having it taken away. And here you are (possibly half way around the world from me) reading this post…all because of technology. I’d just like to say Thank You to all those people out there that have made this technology filled life of mine possible.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


Leather upholstery in cars: the upgrade. I never quite understood that. Sure, it cleans up easy should you spill something on it. But I can't really think of any other upsides to leather that you don't get with cloth. 

Now let's think about the cons of leather. When your car has been baking in the sun on a hot summer's day, leather turns to lava and burns any skin that comes into contact with it. During the winter, leather's cold chill always seems to find a way to seep through multiple layers of clothing. When your skin has been in direct contact with leather for any significant period of time, you start to sweat. And it costs significantly more. 

Upgrade? No thank you. I'll just continue to carry around a bottle of Tuff Stuff upholstery cleaner and forgo the lava seating. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Backseat Passenger

Our dogs love riding in the car. But they do not love riding in the backseat - they want to be up front with us. Minion knows what ''get back'' means, and he will listen. But then he'll slowly start moving forward and then after a minute or two a paw will slowly creep up onto the center console and then the other paw makes it's way forward and before I know it he's right beside me. I guess he thinks if he does it slowly that we won't notice? It's the cutest thing. I can't even be mad at him.

Doggy Car Pictures...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Just Say No

You know what I've never understood? Parking spot vultures. People who circle around and around the parking lot waiting for a close spot to open even though there are several mediocre spaces available. It's a tad ridiculous when a car will stop in the aisle and wait for another person to completely unload their shopping basket, put up the basket, get in their car, and then exit their parking space. First of all, you're blocking the flow of traffic. When you've got cars building up behind you it's time to let it go. Second, you could have just parked 50 feet further and walked; it would have been quicker. And what exactly is the point? ''I'm sure glad I got this close parking spot and didn't have to walk an extra 50 feet. Let's just forget about the fact that an extra 50 feet is pretty insignificant compared to the half a mile I'm about to walk through all the aisles at Wal-Mart.''

Just think about it next time you're tempted to circle the parking lot.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When Things Go Missing...

That would be a straw, a chip clip, and my flip flop that little Miss Layla has apparently claimed as her own and dragged into her den.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Jones Removal

Everyone keeps asking me if I feel different after being married. The answer is: Not really. We’ve already made commitments to each other and started a life together; getting married just changed the legality of it.
Honestly, I think the hardest part has been the name change. It doesn’t help that employees at my job are referred to by last name only. Changing my standard phone call response to “Spring 2, this is Hall.” has resulted in many confused replies.  And my maiden name has been the origin of many nicknames: T. Jones, Jonsey, random outbursts of Mike Jones rap parodies (“Tara Jones: Who?? Tara Jones!!”) and even the name of this blog. Jones has become more than just a name; it has become interwoven in many different facets of my life.
I briefly considered hyphenating the names. I ultimately decided not to based on two things: 1. I didn’t want to offend Zach, and 2. My favorite number is 8 and Tara Hall is a perfectly balanced 8 letter name. I realize that #2 is ridiculous.
In coming to terms with my new handle, I’m using my innate ability to see things on the positive side. The name change is a symbol of the new chapter that I’m starting in my life: marriage. It’s time to part ways with the old and start on the new. Another upside: I’ve become ever-so-slightly more unique. A search for “Tara Jones” turns up 844 people, but there are only 293 “Tara Hall”s. And Jones isn’t gone forever; it’s still my maiden name.
But I refuse to change the name of my blog :)

Return to the Routine

On September 10th I was officially taken off of the market for good. In the months leading up to the wedding, my life was consumed with wedding/honeymoon planning. All extracurricular activities (including blogging) were put on hold. 

A quick shout out to all my readers - I'm backkkkk. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Music Mondays

I’ve decided to do a new blog series. Just by looking at the title of this post I bet you’ll never guess what it is. New music!! New music to me, anyway. Indie is my main squeeze, but I like some other stuff too. Enjoy :)

Catapult by Operator Please. They’re a pop-ish band from Australia.

I Need a Dollar by Aloe Blacc

Little Secrets by Passion Pit. This song just makes me happy.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

And The Winner Is...

The winner of my necklace giveaway ( is...


Hope you enjoy your necklace :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Inspired Goodies

My newest creations posted to Etsy...


I've been wanting a dog for a long time, and now that Zach and I are buying a house (with a big yard) that's actually a feasable thing. I grew up with Huskies and I love them. But they were breed to run. And I want a dog that I can take with me hiking or to the creek and be able to let it off-leash. I decided on an Australian Shephard and I really like the red and white Aussies.

So I took it as a sign when one of my good friends (who's house has turned into something like a Rescue The Animals because of all the strays she picks up haha) found a red and white Aussie stray. His fur was kind of matted, he was pretty skinny, and didn't have a chip. I guess the original owners didn't care too much about him. He's so friendly and minds fairly well (but still needs some teaching). So I will be picking him up in 2 weeks when we move out of the apartment. I'm so excited! His name is Minion.



Friday, April 15, 2011


A new treasury I was featured in - full of awesome stuff made by Austin vendors!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nikon Coolpix Giveaway

Follow this blog for an entry to win a Nikon Coolpicx Camera! (Pretty awesome giveaway, so I thought I'd share.)

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Happy un-birthday to me!!!! Today is not my birthday, nor is it even close to my birthday (August 8th). But in celebration of my non-birthday, feel free to buy me any of these awesome items on my wish-list…

1. Street smarts
2. A Munchkin from the Wizard of Oz
3. 8 square feet of Switzerland
4. A ninja cat (video demonstration of acceptable cat
5. Susan Boyle’s voice
6. 3 purple pixie sticks
7. Eyes for the back of my head
8. Hippopotamus shaped cookie cutter
9. 1 oz bottle of moon dust
10. Winning lottery ticket
11. Canned air

Happy hunting! I know you won’t let me down!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


Who doesn't like FREE stuff?? I'm giving away this cute necklace. I made it using a long brown leather cord and attached some nifty charms - a large silver tree pendant, a silver feather, a Czech glass bead (one side is purple, and the other is green), and a piece of green sea glas from Rincon, Puerto Rico (Although I love collecting sea glass, this is not a piece that I found myself...I can't manage to part with my own findings.)

Ways to enter (up to 2 entries per person):

1. Start following my blog (on the right side of the screen towards the top) and leave a comment on any of my blog posts. Or "like" my facebook page: and leave a comment on the wall.

2. Twitter, blog, or make a facebook post about this giveaway. Leave a comment here with a link to your twitter, blog, or facebook post so I can count your entry.

The winner will be announced at the end of the day April 23rd!! :)

Check out my other stuff for sale at
Use coupon code GIVEAWAY10 to get 10% off your purchase! Coupon is good until the end of the giveaway (April 22nd).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I always thought it would be cool to sign up for something like a new email or some online account and get the username ''Tara.'' No numbers. No extra words. Just Tara. But of course, that's always taken. I'd like to meet the person that actually got that username. I hope she's a good representative for all the other Taras out there because she has the only username that could be used to describe all 166,825 of us. Ok well, maybe ''human'' or ''girl'' (hopefully) would also describe all the Taras, but you get what I mean...

Speaking of names, in September my last name will be changing. I went to to look up the stats on my name. Turns out there are 843 people named Tara Jones in the U.S., and only 293 people named Tara Hall. I thought I was switching from one common name to another. I guess I am trading up. Whoo hoo!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mmmm Brownies

Not your average cooking video, but much more entertaining.

This guy is actually pretty funny. You can check out his other videos here: clickity click click

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Red-Headed Side Is Clumsy

Zach and I went to Abilene this weekend to do our engagement photos. I spontaneously decided to color my hair red...and I mean red red. I like it, but I'll get tired of it fast (and it will fade pretty fast). Then Saturday night we were at a friends house and I stepped in a pothole in their lawn (it was dark-ish and the grass covered it up) and rolled my left ankle. Horrible pain and swelling this morning, I couldn't walk on it, and I was worried about a fracture, so I hobbled to the car and my Mom drove me to the minor emergency. Just a sprain. Or possibly a hairline fracture that doesn't show on the xray. But I got some good pain meds. And I can thank Murphy's Law that this happened the day before I'm switching my schedule to work doubles (16 hours on Monday and Tuesday, and 8 on Wednesday), so now I'm missing 2 shifts instead of just one tomorrow. Geeezzz.


After..., ice, compression, elevation

Friday, April 1, 2011

Disturbed Children, Dust, and Ice Cream

It's 4am. I'm going on 14 hours at work. 6am please come fast. Surprisingly, the hardest thing about the night shift is not staying awake (I work at a mental health facility for children. I may like the kids that I work with, but I never forget that they're psych patients. I've been hit, bit, spit on, had chairs thrown at me, and on one occasion I truely thought I was going to be stabbed. I would never let my guard down enough to fall asleep.) The hardest part is the boredom. There are about 4 hours of work for this 8 hour shift. So I've been cleaning. And I think I'm the only one that does...there was probably a good 2 years worth of dust on top of the soap dispenser and memos from 2002 on the walls.

But the evening shift was anything but boring. We made ice cream. It was amazingly easy (made from things you already have at home) and the kids loved it. They didn't even mind cleaning up the ice, salt, sprinkles, and milk cartons that managed to cover every surface within a 5 foot radius of the ice cream table. The ice cream actually turned out really good. Now I know you wanna try it yourself...

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons rock salt
Gallon sized ziplock bag
Quart sized ziplock bag
Ice (enough to half-fill gallon bag)

Fill gallon size ziplock bag half full of ice. Add 6 tablespoons of rock salt. Set aside. Put milk, vanilla extract, and sugar in the quart sized ziplock. Seal quart sized ziplock and place it into the gallon ziplock. Shake the ziplock until the contents of the quart sized bag are the consistency of ice cream. Remove quart sized bag and enjoy :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011


Zach and I are having our engagement photos taken...finally. It's been almost a year since we've been engaged. I got an email from our photographer giving us details about what time we're meeting, the location, and she also told us to bring three outfits. Three. Wow. I was having issues coming up with one. Being a nurse, I wear nothing but scrubs during the week (Which I'm not complaining about; scrubs are basically pajamas that by some awesome twist of fate are considered professional.), and tshirts and jeans on the weekends. I haven't been shopping in probably a year and have nothing photo worthy. Luckily, Rue 21 was on my way to work, I had a 15% off coupon, and they're cheap anyway. I left with 2 pairs of jeans, 2 shirts, a dress, a pair of shoes, and 2 tshirts for Zach all for $109. I love a good deal.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I think I'm addicted to Afrin. I've been fighting off a cold for the last week and a half with Afrin and Emergen-C on the front lines. I knew Afrin was notorious for rebound effects, so I've only been using 1/4 the amount that I'm allowed to use in a day per the instructions. I thought surely that would allow me exception from the congested torture that is Afrin rebound. Nope. Here I am, no more cold, but still breathing through my mouth, determined to make it through this withdrawal without another spray. Thanks Afrin.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Handmade Goodness

I made a treasury featuring cool handmade items by new Etsy crafters. Click to check them out.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Peacock Park

It was really nice day today, so Zach and I decided to do something outside. We ended up at Mayfield Park, aka Peacock Park. It's a really cute little park with lots of charm...and beautiful peacocks. A few of the males were willing to show off for the camera, and the females were hiding on the roof top of a little cottage.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Animals of Our Lives

My parent's cat likes to sing Old McDonald Had A Farm...

I always feel like somebody's watching me...

What are those moving creatures in the water?

The Trials and Tribulations of Cafeteria Dining

The bad news is that my dinner choice is usually limited: whatever they’re serving in the cafeteria at work. The good news is that it’s only $2. Today I was standing in line, peaking over the heads of children waiting in front of me, to see what they were serving up. Survey says: fish sticks. I think to myself “Eww. I’m going to need lots of ketchup.”

Which brings me to my next point: Ketchup in packets is ridiculous. Who uses just one? And then you have to find a napkin or something to squeeze out 5 packets onto and then worry about it leaking through the napkin. Or you could squeeze small amount onto each piece before you take a bite, but that’s equally annoying. The solution to this unbearable problem? Ketchup in tubs. Honey mustard, ranch, barbeque sauce – they all come in small tubs. Why can’t ketchup? You get a decent amount of sauce in a convenient little tub made for dipping. Problem solved. Now, how do we make this happen?

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Item: Pink Quartz Swirl Earrings

I just posted a new item on Etsy. Check it out:

Pink Quartz Swirl Earrings


My First Post

My first blog. Well, that’s not exactly true. I used to be an avid Myspace blogger and I’ve decided to rekindle that old blogging spirit.
While shopping for jewelry I’ve often thought to myself “I could make that.” So I did. I started making my own jewelry and opened up a shop on Etsy. I’ve been trying to market my stuff and tons of people say blogs are the way to go. Well, that works for me. I used to love blogging. And people liked my blogs.
I went to South by Southwest this weekend.  For those of you who don’t know, SXSW is a huge music festival in Austin, TX. Pretty much every bar in downtown Austin has live music and there are outside stages at different locations around downtown. The cool thing is that the outside venues are free and most of the bars don’t charge cover. My sister (Katelyn), my fiancé (Zach), and I started off at Auditorium Shores - a big stage set up by Lady Bird Lake.
We stayed and watched some random band I’d never heard of and then we walked downtown to grab some food. On the way we grabbed a geocache (one of my favorite hobbies). If you don’t know what geocaching is and you own a GPS and have a sense of adventure then I highly recommend checking it out: We stopped and ate at Fado’s Irish Pub and Restaurant on 4th street (I recommend the Sheppard’s Pie) then went back and watched Bright Eyes perform. They weren’t my favorite. So instead of watching the show we spent our time picking up free schwag.

We picked up some free M&Ms, oranges (that my sister used to brush up on her juggling skills), a coozie, and a beach ball. My hands were getting kind of full, so then came the search for a bag. Good news: Soy Joy was giving away free backpacks to people who successfully shot a Velcro ball onto a target using a giant sling shot. Don't mean to toot my own horn, but I got it on the first try. And my fiancé landed a free tshirt for his sling shot abilities. Soy Joy was also giving away samples of their food bars: limit 2 per person. Which we learned really meant 2 per person, per trip. So we made like 5 trips back to their table. After we filled up our bag, we headed back home to wash up and head downtown for the night shows.
Our first stop was The Speakeasy where we saw Ezra Furman and the Harpoons. They’re an indie rock band, and the singer has a very unique voice. Very good. I bought their cd. Check them out here: The next band was not-so-good, so we headed out to 6th street to find some new bands. Some techno DJs got our blood pumping at a small club we stopped at, then we moved on and snuck into a “wristbands only” club (we didn’t buy wristbands). Really glad we did! I think I found my new favorite band: Operator Please. They’re an Australian pop band with a female lead singer. Very funky and upbeat. Check them out:

The rest of the night wound down pretty quickly. My fiancé slipped and fell down some stairs (he’s ok – more worried about the stains on his shirt than the fact that probably 10 people saw him hit the floor. haha), we listened to a marching band as we walked down the street back to our car, and then we filled our bellies with Whataburger and called it a night.

Me and my fiance, Zach, at Auditorium Shores

At least he's creative?

Auditorium Shores - the crowd, the stage to the left, and downtown Austin as a backdrop