Staying in Playlist: A Curation of Songs for Staying Home on a Saturday Night

The playlist provides a healthy mixture of sultry and sweet tossed with some snarky guitar riffs and hooky melodies. It’s perfect for you to dance all alone in your underwear or eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s on the couch in your pajamas. There’s no fear of missing out here — you’ll be completely satisfied at home listening to music while your friends dance in sweaty clubs and overpay for flat beers.

This playlist is perfect for those who don’t want to go out:

  1. Holy Roller – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
    2. Why – Andrew Bird
    3. Nova-Leigh – Born Ruffians
    4. Don’t Make Me a Target – Spoon
    5. Dirt on Your Shoes – Bishop Allen
    6. The Dream Lives of Ordinary People – Voxtrot
    7. Home – Great Northern
    8. Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Smiths
    9. Our House – Madness
    10. The Fairest of the Seasons – Nico
    11. Oh Yoko! – John Lennon
    12. The High Road – Broken Bells
    13. Soul Meets Body – Death Cab for Cutie
    14. Champions of Red Wine – The New Pornographers
    15. Gravity Rides Everything – Modest Mouse
    16. Black Coffee in Bed – Squeeze
    17. Meet Me In The Basement – Broken Social Scene
    18. Save Me – Aimee Mann
    19. No Rain – Blind Melon
    20. Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party – Courtney Barnett

If you have a Spotify account, you can check out the playlist here:

What are some songs do you listen to when you just want to chill at home? Let us know in the comments!

DIY Embroidery for Beginners

Embroidery is one of my favorite crafty hobbies. It’s simple, it’s calming, and, depending on the design, it can go pretty quickly. I like to watch (or listen to) movies or tv shows while I embroider. Here I’ll teach you some of the basics, like how to stitch the most common stitch and how to stitch the back closed when you’re finished.

I start my designs by looking on the internet for inspiration. Sometimes I alter some clip art I find, but most of the time I just doodle something on paper and trace it with a sharpie. You could also embroider from coloring books.

You’ll need some light-colored fabric and an embroidery hoop. The embroidery hoop I’m using here is 4″ in diameter. Separate the two wooden pieces of the embroidery hoop, place the fabric in between, and tighten the brass screw on top.

Turn the embroidery hoop upside down and place it over whatever you’d like to embroider.

Lightly trace it with a pencil.

Take the fabric out of the embroidery hoop and put what you just traced on the outside.

Now gather all of the colors you want in your embroidery piece. I wanted dark blue for the body of the UFO, green for outer part of the UFO, a pink-red for the lights, yellow for the light beams, and light blue for the glare.

Thread your needle — arguably the hardest part of embroidering — and, from the backside, poke the needle through on one of the pencil lines.

Poke the needle through on the line, 1/8″ next to where you pulled it through the first time.

Pull the thread through. Then poke the needle through (from the backside) 1/8″ next to where your first stitch was.

And this is where you start to back stitch. Poke the needle through the second hole you made in your first stitch.

Keep doing this for awhile. When you need to change colors, or if you run out of thread and need some more of the same color, tie a knot in the back.

Use smaller stitches for smaller items, like these circles.

And it’s that simple.

To finish, thread your needle with some embroidery thread 1.5 times the circumference of your hoop. You can just eyeball it.

Stitch around the outer part of the fabric, starting at the top near the brass screw.

Pull on the strings to gather, and tie them in a knot. Cut off the excess thread.

You can also tie a string around the brass screw so you can hang it up. Alternatively, you can just lean the embroidery hoop against something on a bookshelf to display it.

What are some of your embroidery tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments.

DIY Felt Egg Magnet

A few years ago, I saw a felt egg magnet on Pinterest, but the link to the tutorial was broken — so I went ahead and figured it out on my own. Isn’t just the cutest?

I made my own pattern by drawing the most simple fried egg shape and a circle for the yolk. It’s not a great pattern, but, hey, drawing perfect circles is hard, okay? You can draw your own if you like, but I’ve provided the pattern I used here.

In addition to a pattern, you’ll need a sheet of yellow felt, a sheet of white felt, black thread, white thread, a tiny bit of poly-fil stuffing, a needle, a magnet and a hot glue gun. Cut out the shapes from the pattern. Pin the paper patterns to the felt. Make sure to cut out one of the egg yolk circle (in yellow) and two of the egg white pieces (in white).

Using really small stitches, sew a face on the egg yolk.

Now sew the yolk to one of the egg white pieces, but not all the way. Once you’re 3/4 of the way finished, stuff the egg yolk with a little bit of poly-fil. Finish sewing the egg yolk to the egg white.

Now, using a blanket stitch, sew the egg white piece that has the egg yolk piece sewn on to the other egg white piece.

Grab a small magnet (I used a freebie one I got from somewhere or another) and glue it on using your hot glue gun. Easy peasy.

After it dries, you’re done! Now you can stick it on your fridge!

Happy crafting!

What are some of your favorite easy crafting projects? Let us know in the comments!

A List of 63 Journal Prompts to Offer Inspiration

Before blogging, there was journaling. Believe it or not — despite the rise in popularity of blogs since the early 2000s and before — journaling is still a popular activity. With a journal, same as with a blog, you can write down lists, sketch ideas, and jot dreams. However, in my opinion, journaling provides a safe space where your thoughts can take on their most raw form. You can write down whatever you want: from your grocery lists to your most wild aspirations.

It’s so cathartic to write everything down on pages. You can always just build lists or create plans in your head, but if you don’t write them down, they can get lost. Journals are great for keeping yourself in the present, as well as maintaining a record of the past. It can be fun to look back at passages you wrote from months or even years before.

Here I’ve compiled a list of 63 journal prompts to get you inspired for your next journaling session.

I recently purchased a journal for myself with the intent of writing down random thoughts and realizations. It’s vintage looking with a detailed embossed design on the front cover and gold-edged pages. I bought it at a local bookstore, but there are many across the internet that I have also come to love. Maybe I should just buy 100 of them and designate them for their own special purposes — well, maybe that’s a little excessive.

I love looking at journals in bookstores and online. They’re full of blank pages waiting to be filled in. It’s a whole book for you to write all by yourself. And all you have to do is start writing.

Here are some of my favorite journals I came across on Amazon:

(1. / 2. / 3. / 4. / 5. 6. / 7. / 8. / 9.)

Most journals are pretty inexpensive, but some intricate and detailed journals can go for upwards of $70. Make sure you choose a journal you would feel excited to write in. That’s the most important part of journaling, in my opinion — feeling excited to write down your experiences.

Do you journal? What do you write down in your journal? Share your favorite journal tips and prompts in the comments below.

Vegetarian Bean Enchiladas Recipe

 Being from New Mexico, I’m a big fan of enchiladas. When I became vegetarian several years ago, I knew I would never want to give them up. I’ve since learned making Mexican cuisine dishes vegan or vegetarian isn’t as tricky as one may think. These vegetarian bean enchiladas are full of flavor and spiciness. If you’re a vegetarian, you can put lots of cheese on top. If you’re a vegan, you can either go without the cheese or add vegan cheese — Daiya is a good cheese alternative.

Either way, here are the ingredients you will need for this recipe:

15 oz. (1 can) black beans

15 oz. (1 can) vegetarian refried beans

15 oz. (1 can) enchilada sauce

4 cloves garlic

1/2 large onion (about 1/2 cup chopped)

shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or vegan cheese to veganize the recipe)

6 medium-sized tortillas

optional toppings: avocado, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives, crushed red pepper, bell pepper, chopped spinach, etc.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Mince your garlic and dice your onion. Saute in a pot over medium-high heat until onions are translucent. Lower heat to medium. Add refried beans and stir with a wooden spoon until soft. Add the drained can of black beans. Stir to combine. Spoon out 1/6 of the mixture onto the first tortilla. Sprinkle some cheese on it. Repeat five times.

Roll each tortilla and place them seam-side down in a lightly sprayed 9×13 glass baking dish. (You can fold in the ends if you wish, but I decided not to.)

Pour the enchilada sauce and cheese over the whole thing. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Now prepare whatever toppings you’re going to serve with these enchiladas. I decided to chop some baby spinach. I also had sliced olives, avocado, and crushed red pepper.

After the enchiladas are done baking, take them out of the oven. Serve immediately with chosen toppings. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite vegan and vegetarian dishes? Let us know in the comments!

DIY hedgehog pin cushion

Hedgehogs are adorable, aren’t they? There these cute, smiling creatures that can fit in the palm of your hand. I thought I’d make a pin cushion resembling the little critters. Here’s a tutorial on how to DIY your own hedgehog pin cushion.

To make one of your own, you’ll need two different colors of felt, matching thread, scissors, a needle, a little bit of stuffing, the (poorly hand-drawn) pattern below and some pins of course.

You’ll need to cut out four ear pieces, two head pieces, two body pieces and one belly piece. I chose to make the body pieces a different color than the rest of the pieces, but that’s a choice you can make yourself.

First, take two of the ear pieces, place them together and sew (using a tiny, tiny blanket stitch) around the edges, leaving the bottom open. Turn inside out.

Squeeze the sides together and sew back and forth a few times so it resembles a little hedgehog ear.

Place the right sides of the body and the head together, sandwiching the ear in between. Sew using a tiny, tiny blanket stitch.

You should have two hedgehog sides, mirror-image of each other.

Place right sides together and sew using, once again, an incredibly tiny blanket stitch. Leave the bottom open.

Grab the bottom/belly piece and sew it to the sides of the hedgehog. Make sure you leave a little of the back open.

Turn inside out. Stuff with a little poly-fil stuffing until you reach the desired puffiness. Then sew closed using a ladder stitch.

At this point, it will resemble a mouse until you start putting the pins in it. Then it should look like a hedgehog.

Place a couple of pins in the head for eyes.

And that’s all it takes to have a little sewing buddy that resembles a cute hedgehog. Happy sewing!

Here’s where you should live based on your Myers-Briggs personality type

It’s said that, like people, municipalities have their own unique personalities. If you think about each city you’ve visited, you probably have a specific view on what kind of culture exists and what kind of people inhabit it. Even if you think of cities you haven’t been to, only heard of, you can probably imagine the kind of vibe the city emits.

If you’ve taken a Myers-Briggs personality test, then you know you most likely fall into one of 16 categories: INTJ, INTP, ENTJ, ENTP, INFJ, INFP, ENJF, ENFP, ISTJ, ISFJ, ESTJ, ESFJ, ISTP, ISFP, ESTP, and ESFP. For those of you looking to move to a new place, it may be fun to see what kind of city fits your personality type.

INTJ – “The Architect”: Seattle, WA

Seattle is known for being a big city with the mentality of a much smaller, quieter one. Plenty of amenities, none of the flashiness or commotion. This is perfect for INTJs who prefer people watching and being around people, but also value their alone time.

INTP – “The Logician”: Boston, MA

For the curious and inventive, Boston offers a smart atmosphere (Harvard, MIT, and Tufts are all nearby) mixed with a funky vibe featuring street performers, interesting startups, and festivals. It’s perfect for those who are looking for like-minded intellectuals with a twist of fun.

ENTJ – “The Commander”: Washington, D.C.

For a natural-born leader like the ENTJ, Washington, D.C. is the place to be. This compact city is bustling with politics, history, and the arts. The National Mall — which is the heart of political protests, concerts, festivals, and presidential inaugurations — is sure to offer inspiration.

ENTP – “The Debater”: Chicago, IL

Chicago, which is considered one of the most important business centers in the world, is the perfect spot for an ENTP seeking a fun, challenging environment. The windy city offers a rich culture, professional sports teams, and many nightlife activities.

INFJ – “The Advocate”: Boulder, CO

For the imaginative, creative and sensitive INFJs, the calm but happy city of Boulder is a great place to settle. It’s been rated as one of the top 10 brainiest cities in the country, as well as a top city for artists.

INFP – “The Mediator”: Portland, OR

A true idealist like the INFP belongs in a place of self-discovery and quirkiness, making Portland the obvious choice. A powerhouse of music, arts, literature, and straight-up-weirdness, the City of Roses offers a friendly and environmentally-conscious counterculture.

ENFJ – “The Protagonist”: Los Angeles, CA

A natural-born performer and leader like the ENJF will thrive in a place like Los Angeles. The cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California provides a “Creative Capital of the World” for the passionate and charismatic.

ENFP – “The Campaigner”: Annapolis, MD

For the independent and compassionate ENFP, Annapolis is a great place to call home. This small but wholesome Maryland capital offers plenty of open park space as well as a rich history and culture for a true free spirit.

ISTJ – “The Logistician”: Philadelphia, PA

A practical and dedicated ISTJ belongs in a space such as Philadelphia due to its vibrant historical and artsy neighborhoods. In addition, Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to seven Fortune 1000 companies.

ISFJ – “The Defender”: Baltimore, MD

An altruistic and loving ISFJ belongs in Baltimore, home to Johns Hopkins Hospital and Johns Hopkins University, which are the city’s top two employers. Historically a working-class port town, Baltimore has sometimes been dubbed a “city of neighborhoods,” with 72 designated historic districts.

ESTJ – “The Executive”: Albuquerque, NM

For the traditionalists, the small but spirited city of Albuquerque offers natural beauty and southwestern arts. Albuquerque is home to more than the Native American, Hispanic, Latino and Anglo cultures for which New Mexico is well known, such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a yearly festival of hot air balloons.

ESFJ – “The Consul”: Austin, TX

Austin offers a very personable and social environment for supportive and outgoing ESFJs. The inhabitants of Austin include a diverse mix of government employees, college students, musicians, high-tech workers, and blue-collar workers, as well as a vibrant LGBT community.

ISTP – “The Virtuoso”: Missoula, MT

For the ISTP who dares to be spontaneous and different, the cultural center of Montana is the place to go. Missoula inhabits an eclectic mix of loggers, hippies, college students, sports fans, and retirees, and offers festivals, markets, and outdoor adventures.

ISFP – “The Adventurer”: New Orleans, LA

ISFPs looking to push social norms should look no further than unique, cheeky New Orleans. From the French Quarter to St. Charles Avenue, residents of New Orleans sure love to have fun. Seeking adventure is easy in this city, as it’s chock-full of parades and celebrations.

ESTP – “The Entrepreneur”: New York, NY

For the witty and energetic ESTPs, NYC is the ultimate location.  A global power city, the most populous city in the U.S. exerts a significant impact on commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment.

ESFP – “The Entertainer”: Nashville, TN

ESFPs seeking a vibrant music and entertainment scene spanning a variety of genres should look no further than Nashville. Because ESFPs get caught up in the excitement of the moment and want everyone else to feel that way, too, the Music City — which offers a center for healthcare, publishing, banking and transportation industries, as well as numerous colleges and universities — is perfect.

DIY Adjustable Apron

Most apron tutorials I see online are for aprons with lots of frills and ruffles. But I’m messy, so I’m not really a frills and ruffles kind of person. I literally always spill food on myself every time I eat, so you can imagine how my kitchen and myself get when I’m cooking or baking. Another reason I love this apron is that it’s adjustable.

If you want to make one for yourself, you’ll need 1 1/4 yards of fabric for the apron, 1/2 yard of fabric for the pocket and the strap, a sewing machine, scissors, measuring tape and some sewing pins. I also used a rotary cutter and a cutting mat, but those are optional.

Cut your fabric 39″ x 26″ and fold where it’s 39″ x 13″.

Now you’re going to cut your fabric at an angle, with 6.5″ at its most narrow and 20″ at its most wide. You’ll also want a 2″ straight line down from the top. It sounds a little confusing, so follow the lines and measurements below:

Open up the fold and hem the sides, the top and the bottom by folding over the edges twice, pinning and sewing. Leave the angled sides be.

Now we’re going to start on the pocket. Cut a 12″ x 8″ rectangle.

Fold over one of the 12″ sides twice, pin and sew.

Fold over the other three sides and pin to the middle of the apron. Use an iron to hold the folds if needed.

If you want multiple pockets, pin straight lines where you want the pockets to be and sew.

Now lie your apron on a flat space, right side down. Fold the angled edges over half an inch and then an inch and a quarter. Pin and sew.

Now cut a long 90″ x 2 1/2″ piece of fabric. But if you can’t do that, attach several smaller pieces together by sewing them, like I did.

Fold the long strip in half and sew, leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance. I also cut the seam allowance afterward with a pair of pinking shears.

Using a pointy stick, knitting needle or a safety pin, turn the tube inside out.

Feed the strip of fabric through the tube you had created when you sewed the angled side down. Make sure the strip is even on both sides.

You could also use some kind of 1″ webbing if you had some, but since I already had this white fabric, I wasn’t going to buy anything that wasn’t needed.
Isn’t the apron super cute? I love it!

Happy sewing!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

I love peanut butter, and not just because it’s pretty much a staple in a vegan diet. I’ve loved peanut butter since I was old enough to open the jar and pick up a spoon. Since I’ve been a vegan, I’ve looked for as many ways as possible to incorporate more peanut butter. These vegan peanut butter cookies sure do the trick.

The best thing about the recipe (besides the fact that it’s vegan) is you only need a few ingredients. You’ll need 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 egg (1 tablespoon egg replacer + three tablespoons water), and sea salt for sprinkling.

Mix all of the ingredients except for the salt into a bowl. Freeze this mixture for 20 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your dough out of the freezer and roll it into 18 to 20 one-inch balls and place them on a baking sheet. Then use a fork to flatten them in a cross-hatching pattern. Sprinkle sea salt on top if you like sweet + salty.

Peanut butter cookies!

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Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden. Let sit on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack or a plate.

And that’s it! It only takes a few ingredients and a little bit of effort for such a delicious (and vegan!) dessert. And few dishes to clean up, too, because it only takes one bowl, one spoon, and a baking sheet.

Don’t they look yummy? And they’re accidentally gluten-free, too!

What’s your favorite vegan dessert? Let us know in the comments.

Melancholy Playlist: A Curation of Sublimely Miserable Songs

Sometimes you just want to feel sad, and that’s okay. Everyone has bad days.

This playlist promises to be there for you when you just feel like laying in bed and staring at the ceiling. Maybe you’re feeling bad because you weren’t able to achieve a goal, or perhaps work really sucked today. Maybe you’re feeling bad for no reason at all.

So if you’re resonating with this post, turn up these tunes all the way to eleven, and feel some comfort in knowing everyone gets touches of melancholy sometimes. Just remember, the good days are right around the corner.

  1. What I Am – Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
  2. Shadowboxer – Fiona Apple
  3. Our Corner of the Universe – K.S. Rhoads
  4. New York – Peter Silberman
  5. Habit – Gabrielle Shonk
  6. Samson – Regina Spektor
  7. Ophelia – The Lumineers
  8. New Skin – TORRES
  9. Horseshoe Crab – Slothrust
  10. The Killing Moon – Echo & the Bunnymen
  11. Asleep – The Smiths
  12. Just Like Honey – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  13. Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart
  14. Untitled – Interpol
  15. Bird’s Lament – Moondog
  16. Two Weeks – Grizzly Bear
  17. Heart of Chambers – Beach House
  18. Hey – The Pixies
  19. Feel The Pain – Dinosaur Jr.
  20. Sadly Beautiful – The Replacements

If you have a Spotify account, you can check out the playlist here:

What are some of the songs you listen to when you’re feeling down? Let us know in the comments.

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