Walk, Bike, Pogo This Way!

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Last week I walked to work and it felt great. Yesterday, I rode my bike to work  and I could not stop smiling! I felt like a kid again! What I am trying to get at, is this Things To Do Thursday, try getting somewhere, anywhere, differently.

Here are some options:

Walk – The great part about walking is that you only need a decent pair of shoes, which makes it completely cost-efficient.

Bike – You will get there much more quickly than walking, but cost does go up a little (unless you’re into fancy walking shoes). It’s easier and easier to find a bike at a yard sale or Target!

Skate – Rollerblades or the traditional quad skates are amazing. I know rollerblades may not be the coolest right now, but if you grew up in the 80’s & 90’s like I did, you know you still want to use them.

Carpool – When I lived in Los Angeles I only dreamed of having a co-worker or someone that worked around LA that I could carpool with. I even thought of putting a car seat in my car, but that would have been completely horrible and not to mention illegal. Even if your commute does not take two hours to get there, carpooling is fabulous for your mind and your wallet.

Public Transportation – I am envious of New York or countries where public transportation is king! I would love to hop on a subway or grab the “whatever it may be” into town. To be able to mingle with different people, aromas, and sights on a daily basis would be such a mind massage!

These were the only options I could come up with…besides Pogo, which I do not need to elaborate on. If you have any other ideas in mind, please let Polka Dot Tango know!!!!

DIY Valentine Mobile!

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This Valentine’s DIY is inspired by crafts I used to do with my Mom and at school. I had been struggling with a Valentine DIY idea that was simple, fun, and cheap, and so my Mom reminded me of this. Yes, it is a simple craft and some may say it is juvenile, but I still get the same enjoyment out of it as I did years ago! Most everyone already has the supplies in their home and have the know how to create a gorgeous Valentine Mobile! Keep on reading for some simple instructions.

Mobile_Supplies

You will need:

Wax Paper

Crayons

Dowel

Paint

Pencil Sharpener

Embroidery Floss

Paint Brush

Newspaper

PantDowel

Step One:

Begin to paint your dowel. I like to do this first because paint can take a while to dry. I wanted to paint my dowel gold and pink stripes so to achieve this I used painters tape and painted each color one at a time. This step can easily be continued throughout the other steps, this way, you are not left anxiously awaiting for a dowel to dry once all the other steps have been completed.

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Step Two:

Begin by peeling the paper off of your crayons. When you start to shave your crayons, make sure the peels are landing onto the wax paper. I chose to break up my crayon shavings so that there would be more color variation throughout. Apply a second layer of wax paper on top of your crayon shavings and first layer of wax paper. Then you will place the newspaper over all of it and iron. Please note that when you are using your iron it is not set on a very high heat. A high heat will cause the crayon to melt tremendously, possibly making your crayon shavings and wax paper look somewhat like a weird blood sample. Better to use a lower heat continuously.

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Step Three:

Cut out your hearts. You can use a self made template or be gutsy and cut them out as you go along. I also hole punched a hole in the top center of the heart. It would also be cute to have them hang from the corner as well.

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Step Four:

String your hearts with the embroidery floss. I didn’t knot them because the wax paper is kind of fragile and I didn’t want too much tension on them. I also used embroidery floss to hang the mobile.

AddLove

Step Five:

Add some love, otherwise known as photos. This step is completely optional, but if you wanted to make your mobile even more lovey-dovey then add some photos of your loved ones! Your kids, significant other, friends, pets, family, dentist, whoever!!! I think it adds a little something special. 🙂

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The Finished Product!

This was a great DIY that was easy to do and fun at the same time. Pop in a movie, get out your supplies and get to it! Let Polka Dot Tango know if you remember doing the old wax paper and crayon trick, or if you are going to try and make yourself a mobile! Have fun!!!

 

It’s Not That Serious!

Change Your View On Things

Change Your View On Things

These days there are so many ways to get motivation that sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “Do these motivators know what they are talking about?” I for one, am not an expert on motivating people. I am not a life coach, a therapist, or everyone’s best friend…I am just me, who in turn, is just like you. 🙂 There are those days where I am frantically searching for “that quote”. You know, the one with the pretty type and the inspiring image in the background that is supposed to give you that “ah-ha!” moment. I am a sucker for those quotes because they are a quick fix, but at the end of the day, can I really even remember what it said? Even after saying all of this, I am going to continue to post quotes, images, stories and other motivation mementos for those who follow Polka Dot Tango. Why? Because everyone is motivated differently and I hope that someday, a little Motivational Monday post will give someone even a glimpse of inspiration! So this Motivational Monday, I am writing a simple list as to what gets me inspired, happy and motivated!

Just wear it!

Just Wear It!

Wear Something Different

If I am feeling like I am in a rut, I try and wear something different. It could be a mix of old clothes you already have that could make a completely awesome outfit! Maybe there’s a piece of clothing you bought and have never worn. Been there done that! Wear it and feel good about it. I often find that I save clothes for a special occasion, but it’s not like I have a plethora of ball gowns in my closet (or even one), so why not wear something that you have been saving. I like to try and remind myself that each day is special and you should dress for you! Not only will you see the difference, but amazingly so will others. You will glow on the inside and out!

I Work Out!

I Work Out!

Move Your Body

Just move your body. This is the old stand by trick that works for most everyone to get a little motivation running through your veins. If you already “move your body”, then try moving your body in a different way. If you are usually lifting weights, try and go for a hike. Changing up your workout can be a challenge, but in the end, it proves to yourself that you can do more than you thought and it feels good!

Get Out!

Get Out!

Mix Up Your Surroundings

Just this weekend, I went to the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market with my family. It was like a detox/workout/massage for my brain and I LOVED IT! Being around new aromas, people, clothing, colors, foods was totally what I needed for some motivation for starting a business. Being immersed in a different scene can be exhausting, but your brain is taking in new information and it’s most likely waking up. The Farmer’s Market made me smile from ear to ear the entire time I was there, motivating me to push myself harder than I ever have before! Thank you LA, once again!

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Pop Open A Can of Creativity

Be Creative

This may seem like a daunting task to a lot of readers, but it is a relaxing and fun way (for me at least) to get motivated. You don’t have to be Warhol or Martha Stewart to be creative, so take it easy on yourself. Just doodle if that’s what it takes. Having fun and creating things is very inspiring and the great part is that everyone can do it. Once you’re done, you can either laugh and throw it in the trash or be proud and display your work!

Let Polka Dot Tango know what motivates and inspires you! We would love to hear all about it!!!

 

 

 

Watch the Sunrise or Sunset!!!

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Reflect on your day by watching the sunset.

This Things to do Thursday, why not make an effort to take some time out of your day and simply watch the sunset. I would say watch the sunrise, but you will have to wait until tomorrow for that. Watching the sunrise and sunset always leaves me feeling a sense of calm but excitement. Each resemble a new beginning and an end, which either one can be refreshing depending on the kind of day you had. What’s also great about sunrise and sunset is that EVERYONE can watch them. You can walk out your front door and view its beauty.

Every blue moon I catch the sunrise, I kick myself in the butt because I can’t stand the fact that I don’t take the time to see that many of them. They are so serene and completely different than a sunset. As the sun comes up I feel like I am ultimately taking the day in my hands from the very beginning and not taking advantage of it. It is empowering to see the day unfold right before my eyes.

To give you some reasons to catch the sunset this evening, or many other evenings from now, I have collected some personal photos of mine. Enjoy and let Polka Dot Tango know if you are going to try and catch the sunrise tomorrow!

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Post It Note Packaging!!!

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I love to buy presents for people whether it’s for a special occasion or not. What I don’t love is the part where I am supposed to buy wrapping paper. The cost of wrapping paper is ridiculous anymore and the designs don’t seem to be anything exciting. The other day I received my Everyday with Rachel Ray magazine and noticed that she had an entire section on decorating with Post It notes. The highlight of my work day, more often than not, is the product I create out of a Post It note. It can be tacked to my head with a witty comment written on it, write a “hello” and take a photo of it for a friend, and my memory is not my companion, making Post It notes my ultimate companion. Alas, we create phenomenal and personal gifting for friends and family. I am sure they will smile if you create a Post It note montage on their lovely gift.

What you will need:

Post It Notes

Scissors

Brown Paper Bag, Inside Out (Mine is from the wonderful Trader Joes)

What you may also need:

Pencil, marker, crayon
These are used for either curling of paper or for actual detail on Post It Note paper.

Glitter just because glitter is pretty amazing

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Idea 1:This flower was the simplest to create out of all of Polka Dot Tango’s ideas. If you are going to be creating a shape that can be used multiple times, simply un-stick however many Post Its you need in a group and cut them out all at once. This makes a task, such as a flower, easy to make as well as making the outcome very clean looking.

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Idea 2: I used the similar strategy as the flower for the waves by grouping Post Its together and cutting the waves out. To create a very 3-D look I bent the entire sticky part of the Post Its down to create a solid base for them to stand up right.

PostItNote_Bookworm

Idea 3: This little bookworm is created by strips of Post Its. I’m not going to lie, this little bookworm was a little bit of a pain. It took me a while to figure it out, but make sure you make a solid bend on the sticky part and a small bend on the other end. When doing these Post It decorations, there needs to be enough sticky part directly onto the paper or else it will pop off easily.

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Idea 4: For the butterflies, you can fold over one Post It note with the sticky side out (that way it doesn’t stick to itself) and cut out a butterfly shape with the sticky area where the thorax would be on the butterfly. For the larger butterfly, I did have to stick two Post Its (face to face) so that I created the same shape for each wing.

PostItNote_Pinata

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Idea 5: The piñata packaging wasn’t the most difficult but definitely the most tedious. All I have to say for this one is that if you have the time, do it! It looks even better in person.

It’s pretty neat to think that just a brown paper bag and some Post Its can create some fun ideas and endless possibilities. The next time you have a gift to wrap, stop and think if you have these items before you go out to the store. You will have a fun time creating it and saving the cha-ching!!

Everyone’s Nailing It!!!

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Fingernails are THE fashion accessory right now. Whether you are topping them with “caviar”, edging them with sparkle, or painting them fluorescent, your fingernails can be your statement piece for any occasion. The options are endless and there are many resources for you to use in order to give yourself a DIY manicure that goes well beyond applying two coats of polish. Polka Dot Tango has collected some inspiration for you to take a look at, going from extreme harajuku nails to simply stated. There is a look for everyone and that’s what makes this fashion trend so fun and possible! Let us know what fashion you like to show on your fingernails! You can tweet us @polkadottango, let us know on Facebook, or leave a comment below!

Caviar Nails are one of the newer trends out there. Customer reviews stated that these manicures are tons of fun for not so much a ton of time….if you catch my drift. Also, rumor is that you can create this look by getting a little creative using products from your local craft store. Here’s a wonderful tutorial I found on creating this same effect on YouTube.

Click on the photo above to view more of Ciatè's products.

Click on the photo above to view more of Ciatè’s products.

 

Glitter, Glitter, GLITTER!!!! So thankful that I have a reason to keep glitter in my adult life. Glitter nail polish is the easiest way to dress up your nails and make them look fabulous without having the talent of a professional manicurist. What’s even better is that if you feel that having glitter on all of your fingernails is too much, now it is acceptable to only paint one of your nails to the max with glitter and such. See photo directly below.

One glitter nail coming up!

One glitter nail coming up!

Glitter nails for those a little more reserved.

Glitter nails for those a little more reserved.

It's like a party on your nails!!!

It’s like a party on your nails!!!

 

Matte nail polish is H…O…T… right now.  It really gives your nails drama and sophistication and having matte nail polish alone will make an impact. Here’s another rumor for you: If you don’t want to spend money on matte nail polish, a little birdie told me you can add just a bit of cornstarch to your top coat, mix it in, paint and PRESTO!!! You have matte nails! Now how cool are you?

Click on this image to go to one of Polka Dot Tango's favorite nail blogs. It's in french, but it's definite eye candy.

Click on this image to go to one of Polka Dot Tango’s favorite nail blogs. It’s in french, but it’s definite eye candy.

How cute is this?

How cute is this?

Never Too Much Glitter posted this fabulous DIY on how to make COLORED matte nail polish. GENIUS!!! Click on the image to see how.

Never Too Much Glitter posted this fabulous DIY on how to make COLORED matte nail polish. GENIUS!!! Click on the image to see how.

 

Pointed nails are a hit right now, but I have noticed that only the brave (or ferocious) have the courage to rock them. They definitely give the wearer a fiercer look and for some reason, the more muted ones seem very mature to me. Maybe this style kind of reminds me of women in the 80’s who were magazine editors or villians who had power.

Love that the middle nail has no white on it. Makes the design not overpower the shape of the nail.

Love that the middle nail has no white on it. Makes the design not overpower the shape of the nail.

ROAR!

ROAR!

 

Patterns, pansies, and prints oh my! I’m not too sure how many people have the steady hand, the eye site, or the patience for these lovely nails, but more power to those that do! How much fun they are! Now that Sally Hansen has come out with the press on nail polish, designs like these are a little more realistic to the average nail polisher.

Reminds me of some Betsey Johnson prints.

Reminds me of some Betsey Johnson prints.

School punk?

School punk?

Tribal 90's inspired. Ahhh, the good old days. ;)

Tribal 90’s inspired. Ahhh, the good old days. 😉

 

Really, the possibilities are endless with what you can paint onto your fingernails! Don’t forget about these types of nail polishes that can make your DIY manicure go from eh to ahhhhhh: Crackle, Opalescent, Magnetic, Gel Strips, Metallic, Fluorescent, and more! So, to tie things off with the post, Polka Dot Tango would like to leave you with some of the most amazing nail trends we could find. These images just go to show you that painting your nails is a true art form. :}

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Tutorial Tuesday: Watermelon Frenzy

I recently came across this super cute watermelon shirt while browsing through an e-mail I received from Modcloth. As much as I was tempted to just hit the “add to bag” button, I thought not only do crop shirts look ridiculous on long torso, but I can easily create my own version of this shirt. And with the summer season quickly coming to an end, that can only mean one thing, end of season sales. Right now my favorite tank tops from Target are only $5.00 and with about $7.00 worth of fabric paint products, I easily created this shirt for half the price.
What you will need to make this shirt is as follows:

Pencil
Freezer Paper
Exacto Knife
Iron
Paint Brush
Tank Top
Tulip Soft Paints:
Holiday Green
Glacier White
Scarlet Pearl
Tulip 3D paint:
Puffy Black

1.Start by drawing a the watermelon slice to the freezer paper, which is pretty much a half oval. (I added bite marks to mine).
2.Then cut the image out of the freezer paper to create a stencil. Iron the freezer paper (shiny side down) onto your shirt until it adheres to the shirt.
3.Start by using the Holiday Green paint, starting out with a thinner line of paint at the top and gradually making it larger.
4.Now for the next part, you can either use the white of your shirt or the Glacier White paint to make the 2nd layer.
5.Fill in the rest of the watermelon stencil with the Scarlet Pearl paint.
6.Once dry, peel off the freezer paper stencil and walla, you have a watermelon!
7.Next use your Puffy Black paint to create the black seeds. Scatter as you please.
8.Once this paint is fully dry, you can use a steamer or your iron(when turned to steam mode) to puff up the black seeds. (See bottle for instructions).

Journaling Your Thoughts, Dreams, and Worries

Writing is a cheap, flexible, private and portable vice. In spite of what you may think, it requires no particular skills or talents.

Journaling is something that has been an on and off relationship for me. I love to write down my feelings and what events happen in my life, but I often forget. As it turns out, there are many health benefits to journaling. The one that stands out to me without any research from the internet is the ability to give yourself peace of mind before you turn in for the night. It helps to write down whatever is on your mind and get them out of there before they start piling up onto whatever enters your mind tomorrow. For some inspiration, take a look at the Smash Book Brandi started!

On DeepMeditation.net, I found many reasons as to why journaling is so beneficial for us. As well as making journaling not seem like a chore, but rather a reward for yourself.

The Benefits of Journaling

  • It is a companion and best friend
  • Improves mental health
  • Improves communication skills
  • Releases pent-up emotions
  • Encourages reflection
  • Clears the mind
  • It is empowering
  • Helps in the healing process

“Writing dissolves some of the barriers between you and others. If you write, it’s easier to communicate with others.”
– James Pennebaker, the author of Writing to Heal

The main idea behind journaling is learning how to open up about yourself and the issues and situations in your life. For some people this takes a fair amount of practice, while others do it quite naturally. Once you begin, you will observe that the process of expressing your feelings will make you feel better.

There are really no rules to keeping a journal, only suggestions. A journal can be anything you want it to be and there are many types of journals. For example, there are observation journals, travel journals, dream journals and gratitude journals. In the tradition of the Quaker diaries, Oprah Winfrey has long kept a gratitude journal. “I have kept a journal since I was 15 years old,” she has said. “As I’ve grown older, I have learned to appreciate living in the moment.” At night, she lists a minimum of five things she’s grateful for—no matter how small. She says that it’s been instrumental to her success. “What it will begin to do is change your perspective of your day and your life. I believe that if you can learn to focus on what you have, you will always see the universe is abundant,” she adds.

Journaling is a healthy way to cope during stressful times. It could inspire you to enjoy the lifelong habit of journaling regardless of stress. The important thing is that you write from a deep place because the process is about having an authentic relationship with yourself. The more comfortable you are with your true self, the easier it will be for you to handle stress. Part of this process involves trusting your inner wisdom, intuition and heart. If you do this, your true inner voice will emerge on the page.

Not sure how to get going? Here are some tips:

How to Start Journaling

  • Buy a journal and pen that feel comfortable for you
  • Find a safe and quiet place to journal
  • Use a centering ritual (cup of tea, burning a candle, meditation)
  • Date your entries
  • Establish a routine; journal at the same time each day
  • To start journal for 15-20 minutes
  • Write without editing or censoring

Some Journaling Prompts

  • Write about a recent upheaval
  • Write a letter to someone alive or deceased
  • Write about your first memory
  • Describe your first room
  • Write about what makes you happy
  • Write about what makes you angry
  • Write about your accomplishments.
  • Write about a book which changed your life and why

Thing to do Thursday: DANCE DANCE DANCE!!!

Dancing is great, whether it's by yourself or with someone you love.

This Thursday you should dance. Plain and simple. It has been a goal of mine for some time now to dance at least five minutes every day. No, I am not running into a club and gettin my groove on, but I am dancing everywhere. My iPod has become my right hand man with playlists such as: Old School, Beats, Me Music, Gangsta, Rock Out, and Relax. When one of these playlists come on I start to shake the youth and fun back into my life. I am a dork and I dance like one and I LOVE it! Dancing makes every mundane task turn into something a little more exciting!

Where can you dance and when?

Dance while brushing your teeth
Cleaning the house
Doing yard work
Dance out of bed in the morning
Dance your way to a hug
Dance on the way out of your office

Who do I dance with?

Dance by yourself (the absolute best and easiest option)
Dance with someone you love
Dance with your grandma
Dance with your friends
Dance with your dog
Dance with your kids if you have them
Take some advice from Pocahontas and dance with the wind!

What music should I dance to?

You need to dance to whatever will make you happy
Feeling extra girly, how about Madonna, Cindy Lauper
Feeling powerful and sexy turn on some Lady Gaga, P!nk, or Beyonce
Feeling like a bad a$$ and want to feel like a rebel, ummmm, yeah you need some Ozzy
Feeling like an OG then you need some Notorious BIG
Feeling sappy requires some Norah Jones
Any music will work!!!!

Of course there are some rules when you are dancing:

Don’t be embarrassed
There is no volume limit (but please care for your ears)
There is no wrong music
There is no wrong time
Just go with the flow
Have fun!

Take a look at some of these videos to get some inspiration and get your mojo moving 🙂

Fashion Friday

This photo is courtesy of http://marieclairemag.tumblr.com
Taylor Tomasi Hill’s Accessories

It seems that whenever I walk into a store something NEON is screaming at me and I love it! It brings me back to my crazy, insanely fun childhood days where I had the color changing shirts, the rubber bracelets and of course the neon coil shoelaces. Who wouldn’t love a fashion era where every little accessory you wore shined as if it were the complete highlight of your ensemble!?!

This time around, neon is actually something that can be used as playful or elegant. I have seen anything from a LBD matched with bright neon eyeshadow & shoes or an entire casual outfit comprised of bright colors that boldly match up in the most complimentary ways. When fashions like this turn up, the inevitable questions, “How long is this going to last?” and “Can I buy pieces that will hold on it’s own for longer than a summer?”, seem to always race through our minds. Let’s face it, times are tough, gas ain’t cheap, and clothes ain’t cheaper (and I don’t really use ain’t in my vocabulary). So, this is why here at PolkaDotTango we put together outfits that have pieces that are decently priced.

Enjoy these that have me wishing that the warmer weather continues and the neon colors fly!

Weekend Secretary

Miss Selfridge coral dress
$61 – missselfridge.com

River Island wedge pumps
$90 – asos.com

Chain link necklace
$54 – baublebar.com

Chunky jewelry
£41 – fashion-conscience.com

Tortoise sunglasses
£45 – whistles.co.uk

OPI beauty product
£11 – hqhair.com

Nail polish
£11 – liberty.co.uk
Vacation Cubano

White Label oversized shirt
£15 – republic.co.uk

Backless top
£22 – houseoffraser.co.uk

Acid wash jeans
$80 – topshop.com

Sambag leather shoes
80 AUD – sambag.com.au

Juicy Couture printed tote bag
$88 – lordandtaylor.com

ASOS enamel jewelry
$21 – asos.com

Juicy couture jewelry
$47 – couture.zappos.com