How to Organize Your Earrings for Functional Display

Living with RA often means that you have to change up your wardrobe depending on your ability to walk well. This means that sometimes the closet full of pencil skirts and high heels needs to sit for awhile. Women often use dressing up as in business formal wear to express themselves creatively. Without being able to wear 50% of my wardrobe, I decided to find other ways to express myself in fashion. Thus, I became obsessed with earrings. The only problem was that I ran out of places to put them. In this post, I’ll show you how to take your tangled pile of earrings into a beautiful, functional piece of art to hang on your wall.

2019 was a difficult year for me, especially financially. While flaring, I needed a way to express myself from a fashion standpoint since I couldn’t wear skirts and heels. I needed to wear more comfortable business clothes, with wide legs to fit over my swollen Arthritic knees. I needed to wear flat shoes to be able to walk without stumbling while I hobble around work with my cane.

Living with RA can be difficult to hide sometimes when you’re flaring. You walk around with a leg twice the size as the other, which causes you to limp or hobble. Sometimes you have to use a cane to get around. In order to avoid the awkward conversations of, “are you ok?” or “what happened!?” it’s better to have some easy opt-outs for people who want to talk to you. The best way to do this is through fashion. It’s a lot easier for someone to converse with you over your fun, hip, and cool earrings rather than you walking with a cane. They can compliment you, showing that they care and want to check in with you, but allows them to opt-out.

I decided to buy earrings from Amazon because of the amazing bundles they have. Having many options allowed me to set my morning’s tone and feel creative by giving each of my outfits some spunk.

With purchasing tons of earrings, came some messy drawers. While I loved being able to throw them into the draws and void my counters of clutter, I also kept forgetting what I had and would wear the same few pairs over and over. Sometimes, when our jewelry isn’t in front of us, we fall into the patterns of wearing the same outfits. Making a jewelry holder was the best way to display my options for putting some glam into my outfits!

A Step By Step Guide On How to Make An Earring Organizer

Including Links to Supplies I’d recommend for this Project

Step 1: Pick Your Base Board

I had this board laying around that I had already painted with chalkboard paint. I was planning on using it as decor in my living room, but it didn’t quite fit. Therefore, it sat in my closet, un-used.

Step 2: Choose Your Colors

The paint I chose for the base was this beautiful earthy green-blue color, “Elegant Teal”, from the Home Decor chalk paint line. When I initially painted the board, I used about two coats and had a lot of paint left over– almost the whole bottle! I’d recommend using a regular bristled paintbrush. You don’t need anything fancy– you can even use an old house paint brush.

If you try out the chalk on the board, just wash it off. It doesn’t need to be perfect– the white paint will cover any chalk you didn’t wash off.

For the accent color, I chose white to give it a permanent chalk look, and therefore used a basic white acrylic paint. I’d recommend using something like Apple Barrel acrylic paint because it’s cheap and works great. I chose to use one I had in my craft bin, which is comparable to that brand.

Step 3: Choose your Design

Figure out where you want to hang your jewelry holder to help you decide a pattern. There are lots of designs to choose from– you can do polka dots, stripes, chevron, or you can go with a bohemian geometric pattern, like the one I used. Since I wanted to match my shower curtain in my bathroom, I decided to use a stencil that I had unopened in my craft bin. You can still purchase it here and look at some inspiration with other ways to use the stencil!

Step 4: Sponge Paint the Pattern

For a cleaner, easier approach, I’d use a brush like a round paint foam sponge brush. Being bored and needing to work with what I had, I used a house paint brush, but I know that if I had sponged the brush, the pattern would have turned out much cleaner and consistent. Here’s the best way to apply the paint with a sponge brush:

Lay the stencil on the board and hold it down firmly with your finger tips so it doesn’t nudge. Dip an end of the sponge brush to cover about 1/5 of the brush and apply it on top of the stencil, covering the negative space. Holding the brush upright, sponge the initial paint over the stencil to apply the pattern you wish. Repeat until there’s no board color showing. Let it dry and wipe off any access paint on the bottom of the stencil so that it doesn’t transfer onto the next application. Try to match up the stencil the best you can to repeat the pattern. If it doesn’t all match up, it’s ok to do section by section, like I did here:

Step 5: Apply the hardware

Since I was using what I had on hand, I chose to use pin backs. You could also use hooks or something similar. I wouldn’t recommend using anything that screws into the wood, as it may split the wood.

When you apply the hardware, make sure that if you’re using pinbacks that the screw sides all faces the same way. This will help the overall look and functionality of the design.

You’ll want the pin backs to be glued to the wood with wood glue. The problem with using hot glue with a glue gun is that it could potentially peel off the paint and fall, resulting in possible broken earrings, which we don’t want. A wood glue also won’t show or be raised, like hot glue will– it’ll stay firm to the back of the wood surface. I always use Gorilla Wood Glue because it has a clear finish and every time I use it, it has never failed me. It also doesn’t stick to your fingers and leave your fingertips chapped.

Step 6: Hang in Your Designated Area

If you’re in a rental location, I’d recommend using something that you can take down that won’t leave marks or damage the space. I’m a huge fan of command strips! I love them because they stick to textured walls, wall paper, and raised surface walls (bumpy, speckled looking paint). The ones I’m using for this project are the Picture Hanging Command Strips because they can hold a considerable amount of weight.

7 Shocking Facts about Airports

To Celebrate PDX’s 7th Year as one of the BEST Airports in the USA, here are some cool facts about airports. Afterall, what exactly does it mean if we are the best airport again for the 7th year in a row?

I always say our Portland, Oregon airport is the best not because they were actually rated the best, but they feel the best. You walk in and there’s people looking out for pedestrians and they, get this, actually have the right of way (cough cough, Boston). Despite southern hospitality, I’ve experienced excellent service at the PDX airport just by directing someone the right way or taking the time to steer them in a better direction to have their question answered.

The navigation through the airport is simple. So simple, that people even find ways to make it more complicated, thinking it’s bigger than it really is.

The bathrooms are clean at the portland airport. Now, I’m sure busy travel seasons have gross bathrooms in every airport across the country, but I have yet to experience that at PDX.

When you arrive, you are greeted by local musicians, sending happy little messages to your brain, reminding each traveler that traveling is supposed to be fun and doesn’t have to be so stressful all of the time. The music takes that “mall feeling” out of the scene and realigns the tone with what you’d experience in the lobby of a four diamond hotel lobby. Afterall, most people are paying about the same amount if not more for a one night stay at an upscale hotel. It might as well feel like one.

Can we talk about the food situation at PDX?

There’s a reason for the obligatory PDX Carpet Posts. When you hit the ground, you’re home to local cuisine with absolutely no upcharge just because you’re at the airport. You’re home to local goods, made here in Oregon, including “Made in Oregon” goods. When you’re here, you experience art from the get-go just to ensure that you’re embodying the idea of Keep Portland Weird.

What makes an airport so amazing? What doesn’t? Just recently I have been traveling more due to an increase in good health (yay!). But in the past it has been a nightmare to travel due to being worried about the cleanliness of airports, the endurance it takes to travel while taking autoimmune disease medicines, and the number of resources it takes to travel.

Some complaints I have heard about the portland airport is that there is not enough shopping. Now, this primarily comes from peoples who are from abroad and didn’t have a chance to do enough shopping while in the United States, but I find that…you’re usually not in the US to shop and if you are, the PDX airport will find ways to make you consider shopping more locally by only offering local goods to appease your shopping itch.

How to Do Maui in 72 Hours

-Don’t waste too much time at your accommodations

-Shower at the beach

-Eat at the farmers market to experience real food, culture, and the art scene

-Take advantage of tourism salesmen at the farmers market

-Eat local fruits on the way for snacks (carry cash)

-Don’t have expectations or a bucket list, but have 2 main events you want to experience

5 Ways I Stay Confident Traveling as a Solo Woman

5 Ways I Stay Confident Traveling as a Solo Woman

Ladies, when I first started getting in touch with my adventurous side, I was just starting to date again. It wasn’t until a few adventures in that I met my partner now. I went on some crazy cool adventures that helped shape me into the person I am now before we met! I will admit that looking back at those trips, it was much harder to plan solo travels than as a couple. Though it took more planning, there was a great learning opportunity in each of those plans.

What I learned about staying somewhere on my own is that it is worth doing the research every time– I do a TON of searching when it comes to staying somewhere I was not familiar with. Truthfully, I am not usually comfortable leaving my own apartment but have made the effort in the last year or so to go outside my comfort boundaries so I can explore more of the world like I see other adults my age doing on TV and social media. I learned that there are a few steps I follow in my process that keeps me calm and collected when I’m stressed before or during the trip.

Research the crap out of what you’re booking

  • Local Attraction such as a lake or mountain
  • Rating and reviews of park or hotel
  • Price of admittance or rental
  • Cleanliness of Amenities such as the shared spaces (i.e. bathroom)

Be careful and especially if you are traveling alone, understand your surroundings at all times. Be aware of how much money you have on you, how much gas is in your tank, and what your cell battery and service levels are. 

Stay Powered Up

  • Cell phone battery pack and cord
  • Phone Numbers in my wallet, pocket, or glove compartment

Keeps Multiple Forms of ID on you

It seems silly, but considering how small an ID is and how slick it is, it’s easy to fall out of your bag or pocket. The last thing you want is to be stranded somewhere out of state because you couldn’t board the train or airplane without an ID. Or, even locally, you wouldn’t want to be driving somewhere you’re not familiar with without an ID. I’ve kept a few of my old IDs on me in my glove compartment or wallet so that if I lost one, even if it’s not valid, I’d look a little more legitimate.

All trails, All the Time

I say this all the time, but All Trails really is the REAL reason I became comfortable traveling independently without a companion (human or doggo). This subscription app allows you to follow your map in real-time either online or out of network, as you have the ability to download the 4 different kinds of maps with the paid version. This saved me from going off-trail so many times and kept me confident that I’d always reach my destination by sundown. What I found even better was the ability to pace myself so that if I started lagging behind, I’d be able to see if I’d need to pick up the pace to make it to my car before the park legally closed.

Keep Cash in Multiple Locations

I’ve been on trips before where they didn’t accept Visa, but accepted American Express or vice versa, or they didn’t accept cash and I only had a card. The list goes on when it comes to what places take which payment types. Rule of thumb is to always carry enough cash to fill a half tank of gas and grab a snack. Carry about $30 in cash at all times. In addition, keep a balance on your credit card that would allow you to get help for a new set of tires in case something happened. Too many trips I went on and prayed the entire way in and out of the road thinking, “I don’t have enough to cover new tires if one of these popped”. While I made it each time, out safely, with no popped tires, it wasn’t very responsible.

The Secret to Saving Over $150 for Your Vacation? Shopping At The Dollar Store before Departing

The Secret to Saving Over $150 for Your Vacation? Shopping At The Dollar Store before Departing

Learn how this couple saved over $150 just by taking a quick trip to the Dollar Store before their weekend trip to Hawaii.

One of my favorite topics to follow on Pinterest is Dollar Store Hacks not only because it shows you how to stretch a dollar, but it also shows you ways to be more creative with items you’d never think to put together. I may not be much of a crafter right now, but I am crafty when it comes to saving money on “need to have” items so that I can have more “want to have” items on my vacations. This post breaks down 10 different ways you can leverage the dollar store items to fulfill your traveling needs.

There’s nothing worse than finishing a ten-hour workday, booking it to the airport, and then not having enough time to stop for snacks! What’s even worse? Perusing around the shops in the airport to waste time before your flight. According to Business Insider, in 2017 the average American spent an average of $11-$140 per airport trip. Save time and avoid those impulse buys at the airport terminal shops. You can buy similar items and even healthy snacks at the Dollar Store and put them in your carryon bag or purse. What’s even better is that they have packs of items like cheese crackers or bags of nuts or granola bars. (Total savings:

Coffee mugs were one of our best purchases for our most recent trip. They had a grip on the base and a sealable lid on top to keep our rental car extra tidy and our coffee nice and hot to sip on while we enjoyed the Hawaii views. People were so shocked that we brought our own mugs and were so thankful for considering our part in keeping their home state clean. What I loved about these mugs was that it kept our trash minimal. When we wanted soda or coffee, we’d use the mugs. They were easy to wash out and more sturdy than the paper cups given out at coffee carts. (Total Savings: Target average price: $20)

Over the counter medications is something I honestly don’t have a ton of knowledge on, but recently learned that it is illegal to carry medications without their proper prescription or information label. What this means is that if you had a bag of medicine in a zip log baggie or a pill case without the label indicating they are your medicines or what those medicines even are, you are not compliant. To avoid this, I bought all new medications that I regularly use, such as GasX’s generic brand. There is nothing worse than being on an airplane with an upset, gassy stomach. (Total Savings: Priceless)

Earplugs and a night mask were our saviors the first night in Hawaii. If you’ve never visited a farm at 3 am, or worse, sleeping on a farm at 3 am, imagine the sound of sometimes 3 roosters at once howling outside your jeep after working ten hours and then catching a six-hour flight. Earplugs…were my savior. (Total Savings: Target: $3.99 for earplugs)

Nighttime sleep-aid was the number one product that made it possible to show up to work the next day as if I had not left the Portland area whatsoever for the weekend. I took one packet on the plane and was able to sleep about 4 hours, enough to carry me through the day. (Total Savings: Target Price: $4.99 for 100 pack, but who needs a 100 pack for a weekend?)

Melatonin was another great way to adjust to the time zone, without having to take something that would clonk me out. It was an easy way to transition in and out of time zones and a great option for Jeff to sleep on the plane, who doesn’t like to take medicine.

Tote bags are a cheap item to get at the dollar store and a quick way to easily save you the $50 bag fee, per person, to avoid checking your carry-ons. As long as you can fit everything into a tote bag, it’s considered a purse, murse, or, technically speaking, a “personal item” to accompany your one allowed carry on bag. (Total savings $100)

I love a good pair of sunglasses, but sometimes while traveling, you switch purses, murses, carryons, and tote bags. You mix the snacks with the sleeping bags and your sunglasses end up somewhere in the trunk with the toiletries. It happens! Sometimes the sun is so blinding in tropical areas and there can sometimes literally be no place to pull over for miles, which is why it’s important to always have a few pairs, scattered amongst different areas of the car or your luggage just in case. At the Dollar Store, you can try different looks and grab a few pairs for almost no investment. (Total savings: $30-60)

Non-AerosolSunblock is actually an item that most Dollar Stores have and many times, it’s “the good kind”. The best part about Dollar store products sometimes are their small sample or travel size. We used a Neutrogena face sunblock cream and while we purchased it in Hawaii, it was an item that I found almost the same version of in the dollar store when we returned home. Now I’ll know to stock up!

Flashlights (without batteries) are a great tool to have for camping and quick to pick up if you can’t run to your local REI or Amazon.

Packing tape is something I’ve learned to always pack now because the one time I packed it, it didn’t fail me. A small thing of tape goes a long way sometimes and does not take up much room. You can tape your sneaker or flip flop, or tape the casing of your flashlight, like I did, which came in handy one night when we had to set up camp in the dark! We would have been SOL!

Non-aerosol Shaving Cream is something I don’t think I’d ever used before trying it out in Hawaii. Let’s be real, when you’re planning a trip to Hawaii in just 3 days while working full time, it’s just not possible to get in for waxing. Luckily, I found shaving cream that did the trick for the trip. While I purchased one with a pump thinking it’d be easier, I’ll buy one that has a normal squirt bottle. I dropped it once and the pump broke. Still a good buy, but worth a different package next time.

Toothpicks are something I don’t quite understand the importance of until I find my boyfriend grabbing 1, 2, 6 of while leaving a restaurant. Then it becomes important to me to shoo him out of the restaurant before someone notices. The man loves his toothpicks, which was an easy fix at the Dollar Store. A pack of 200 is $1.09 with tax and the guy is happy driving for hours. (Savings: Priceless)