3 MORE Simple Ways to Make Your 4TH of July Celebration Out of This World

Okay, so if you read my last post but you’re still struggling in terms of decorations for this last minute shindig, I’ve got you covered. In this post I’m going to cover three MORE ways you can turn your last minute party planning into the celebration of your dreams; home decor style! Amaze your parents, in-laws and the general population with your mad skills, while keeping to an extremely small budget. Let’s get started. Round two!

1: Let’s start big and work our way down, shall we?

If you’re like anyone else in this country, you’re probably throwing your party in the backyard, or at least at your local public park. Besides the sweets, everyone knows decorations are what’s going to separate you from the rest and may just save you from the unyielding stink eye of your evil mother in law.

Things to try: Painting or sifting stars into the grass.

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Box cutter or X-Acto knife (or a pair of scissors if you’re a klutz like me)
  • Flour or non-toxic spray paint
  • A wee bit of patience

Grab one of your old moving or grocery boxes, break out the box cutter or an x-acto knife and get to work. Cut out one or two different size five point stars (or six if you’re in the Halloween spirit already) and lay them at random points across the yard. Shop72 Cardboard and Box CutterNow, here’s where personal preference comes into play. You can either use cake flour and simply sift the stars into the cutouts but, this provides a bit of a mess to clean up later on because you’ll eventually have to sweep the flour up. (Or you can simply let it blow away, although I don’t know how your neighbors are going to feel about that.) Or you can go my personal favorite route and use non-toxic spray paint from your local hardware store. It’s a bit of a quicker job too, and you won’t have to worry about a mucky, flour-y mess if it decides to rain. Just make sure to remind the pets and the kids that eating spray painted grass isn’t a good idea. Once the stars are all painted (or sifted) into the grass, stand back and admire your Shop72.com spray painted yard stars.work. The best part about this decorating tip is, you can pretty much leave it there all season long, or at least until the yard needs another trim. Every day is a Shop72.com Kids love Painted Lawn Starswonderful time to be patriotic. And, not to mention, the kids will absolutely love the look and feel of their starry new backyard. Just remember, this decorating tip is best used on freshly cut or low cut grass so, break out the mower before you start painting. And, non-toxic paint is an absolute MUST if you plan on having the kiddies and the pets on the lawn while the stars are there. We wouldn’t want anyone having an allergic reaction or needing a trip to the vet or the emergency room. This holiday is already packed with ER visits!

2. Place settings, place settings, dear lord you have to sit next to your aunt Fran who drools, don’t you?

Okay, so the 4th of July is technically a family holiday, wouldn’t you agree? You grab all of your relatives and force them into the back of a van, travel down to your nearest river front or city monument and watch thousands of dollars worth of fire works literally go up into smoke. But, before that, you have to feed them! Kill two birds with one stone and make your place settings brighter with this little tip.

Things to try: Including boxes of sparklers with each set of silver wear at the table.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper plates or dining utensils of your choice
  • Silver or plasticware
  • Boxes of sparklers
  • Red, white and blue ribbons
  • Place mats of your choice

Grab your place mats and spread them evenly on your table. Make sure your table cloth and place mats coordinate. Grab something in the patriotic red, white and blue, Shop72.com Sparklers place settingand use your best plasticware if you’re not a fan of taking grandma’s fine China into the backyard. Then, simply apply a ribbon to your napkin, sparklers and utensils to add to the center of the plate. Add streamers to the places for an extra touch of festiveness. This simplistic idea will be great for yourShop72 sparklers 4th of July Belleville guests of any age. After they’ve finished dinner and they’re looking to have a little fun, just provide a lighter (to the adults) or hand out the matches to those old enough to operate them for a glittery good time. Just don’t forget to properly dispose of those little burnt ends so that the pets don’t get ahold of them. I can’t stress this enough!

3. Star spangled tea light candle holders!

After the fireworks display is over and you’ve shuffled the kids off to bed, it’s about time for the grown-up fun to begin. The 4th of July is a great occasion to get together with your special someone and cuddle underneath the moonlight. Break out the drinks of your choice and the finger-foods and kick back with your sweetheart, bathed in the glow of this next little tip.

Things to try: Tape a some cut out stars on an old mason jar and pop a tea light candle inside.

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jars (it’s okay if they don’t have lids
  • Masking tape (or star shaped stickers)
  • Scissors or X-Acto knife
  • Spray paint in your patriotic color of choice
  • Candles
  • Patience

Grab your masking or painters tape (or a kiddy star shaped sticker book if you’re particularly strapped for time) and carefully cut out a bunch of tiny star shapes. Or, if you’re feeling particularly flirty, cut out little hearts. Add them to your mason jars, cover the tops with the lids or a piece of cardboard, and hit them with a couple Shop72.com Star spangled tea light candle holdercoats of red, blue or even white spray paint. Try to keep it between three and four coats because you want the glow of the candle to illuminate the area. Let the jar dry between coats then, if you Shop72.com star spangled mason jar tea light candle holderscan, clean up any paint drips or streaking with a small paint brush. This step is optional and purely for the perfectionists out there. Once it’s completely dry, peel off the star shaped tape or stickers to reveal the perfectly star shaped empty spaces left behind. Pop a tea light candle inside and give it a light. Or, if you’re worried about the candle going out and having to relight it, pick up a pack of cheap, battery operated candles from the dollar store, turn them on and let them glow all night long. The ending result is more than worth it. For a stronger effect, make sure you place them away from brighter light sources such as porch or spot lights. If you go the battery operated fought, they make a great night light for the kids after the adults are done having all the fun with them. The great part about this little tip is that it’s a project that can be used again and again with different outcomes. Try hearts or little dinosaurs next time, or, use a sparkly glitter spray paint so it sparkles in the daylight, even when the candle’s not lit or turned on!

Don’t forget to show your patriotism by flying an authentic American Flag at your party! The American flag is the ultimate symbol of freedom and is a testament to all those we celebrate and remember on this day. Happy Independence Day from all of us here at Shop72.com!

Shop72 American Flag

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Summer Fashion Trends You Won’t Wanna Miss Out On!

Summer is no longer a far off, distant dream, it’s actually right around the corner for most of us here in the US. And, as the fashionista’s we know we are, if we’re not prepared we’ll find ourselves up a very specific creek without a paddle to get us home again. Summer fashion items are already trending on the the runway and even right here in our own neck of the woods. Let’s take a look at some of the most desirable, sought after trends for the upcoming season, from flirty, far-out bikini covers to rich cummerbunds for your beau; I’ll tip you off to some of the latest trends and how you can get them on the cheap. Your Summer holiday on the beach is about to get a whole lot more stylish.

Remember 2012, when the galaxy theme exploded onto the scene? Mostly thanks to tumblr, galaxy themed clothing items were all the rage and are recently coming back into circulation with the surplus of Pinterest DIY techniques. Anything with swirls and smatterings of color, bold, bright prints and neon are what the kids are asking for. And by kids, I mean the twenty somethings that can’t really afford to pay attention but somehow find the time to fill your inbox with requests for galaxy themed blog design. This season, bikini covers are especially on the rise expense wise. Even if you can afford the designer price tag, there are plenty of low cost, online options that mimic the pricer items even without meaning to. Let’s have a little comparison.

Shop72 Galaxy Bikini Cover
Lord and Taylor are killing me with their radio ads right now. Who can honestly afford their crap? I’d rather look cute and not go broke.

The bikini cover on the left is from Lord and Taylor and is a basic, boring black. It costs a whopping $54 dollars. While the cover on the right is a new item from shop72.com. It falls in line with current trends and is only $22 dollars. Half the price, double the fashion. Some people just prefer to pay for expensive, over-priced brand names, but when it comes to a flimsy piece of cloth you’re probably only going to use two or three times each  year, I say skip the name brand, no one’s going to notice if you don’t tell them. And I, for that matter, most certainly won’t. If you really want to get your bang for your buck this season, think deeply about how often you’re going to actually use an item and whether or not it’ll still be of use next year. Certain fabrics, cuts and styles don’t stand the test of time, so be extra certain that cute, $200 dollar chevron print swimsuit you’ve been eyeing is going to look just as good on you next Summer as it will in the next two months.

For men, cummerbunds and bow ties are back in season, and not only because thousands of females are shoveling them to the alter whether they like it or not. Prom season recently passed and men of all generations are still in the spirit of the roaring twenties when class was

David Oyelowo Shop72
HOLLYWOOD, CA – FEBRUARY 22: Actor David Oyelowo attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Moda Di Raza Burgundy Cummerbund and Bow Tie Set
Cummerbunds from Shop72.com at a steal for $9.99

still something to be coveted. Deep, rich colors like burgundy, red, wine and royal blue are being favored  over the normal black, while monochromatic and tame colors are shunned. David Oyelowo tore up the Oscar’s red carpet in a Dolce & Gabbana one button suit with matching bow tie and cummerbund. The color really stood out on him and, despite wearing red on the red carpet being a fashion faux pas, he looked dashing among the  other actors and boozed up starlets.  While Dolce & Gabbana may be out of everyone’s price range, you or that special someone in your life can luckily rock the cummerbund and bow tie look for under twenty dollars. I found this gorgeous set online and on SALE for $9.99. A freaking steal for superb style.

In shoe world, it’s still all about the platform heel. Popularized in the last couple years by Christian Louboutin, especially his Daffodile pump that has every woman foaming at the mouth, the platform heel is back this year with a vengeance. And, I can’t even kid myself, if I could swing  a grand for a heel from Louboutin, there’s no substitute in the world I would

Shop72 Blue Suede Pump
There’s somewhat of a difference but you can’t beat it for the price. $1070 VS $29.99.

settle for. But if you’re like me and tuition is more of a problem than footwear, you may be searching for alternatives. I found a beautiful blue suede heel that’s pretty darn close to Louboutin’s “Victoria”. And for a fraction of the original cost, how can you go wrong?

The chunky heel is another trend for this season that simply wont die. I’m not personally a fan of this one, but there are plenty of trendier fashionista’s who just can’t get enough of a fat heel. Fashion week was full of thick heels with fanciful patterns and mixtures of fabrics but suede came out on top like always. I found this lovely pair online for super cheap.  They would go great with a knee length skirt and blouse or even a pants-suit.

Chunky Heel Shop72
Not for this type of heel but it’s still business chic!

This heel is the fashionable business-woman’s wildest dream. The dark purple color is near black, making it super easy to wear with just about anything. Heels will always be ultra feminine, despite where they got their start. In a nutshell, fashion’s latest trends are all over the place this year. If you can swing the pricier items, totally go for them! But for those of us who can’t, we’ll just have to fake it until we make it. But, as they always say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And imitate we shall, while keeping our hard earned cash where it belongs; firmly in out pockets.

Are You Wearing Leggings the Right or Wrong Way?

In other words, when fashion and comfort collide!

Leggings. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the ocean for the past two or three years you’re well aware of leggings as a trend, and the timeless debate of “are they pants or not?”. Needless to say, it’s not my place or anyone else’s to tell you how to wear your clothes. If you like them beneath dresses, that’s cool, if you prefer them on their own with a T-shirt or baggy sweater, that’s cool too! The point is, your comfortable and you’re stylish, and with those key points down, nothing else matters! I’m coming to you today from the midst of the debate, hoping to sway both sides to a differing point of view by talking about–yep, you guessed it–the versatility of leggings!

The Long History of Leggings and How They Came to Be

Leggings are typically ankle-length, and some are stirrupped or encase the feet. Some are shorter. Leggings are worn to keep a person’s legs warm, as protection from chafing during an activity such as exercise, or as a decorative or fashion garment. Leggings are worn by both men and women during exercise but usually only by women at other times. In contemporary usage, leggings refers to tight, form-fitting trousers that extend from the waist to the ankles. In the United States, they are sometimes referred to as tights. However, the two words are not synonymous as the word tights refers to opaque pantyhose.

Leggings were originally called hose, and were first found in the Renaissance era.  They were worn by bothfcf119a723180e79866e78a0c8b1f93d men and women, and were actually one-legged, using different colors and prints for each leg.  They were used to show status: most were made from wool, while others were made from silk for the noblemen/noblewomen. Men also wore trunkhose, which were the puffy garments that were worn from their waist to their knees. From the blog Encouraged Life, I found even more insightful information on the history of leggings: Leggings hit their height in the 1980s during the time of cheesy pop, exercise videos, and crazy fashion.  I not only did some research on how leggings were worn, but talked to my mom about this trend in the 80s.  She said leggings in 80s were nothing like they are today. She said they were really thick, and were always paired with a skirt, dress, or oversized top that covered the rear end. She said they wore leggings “as pants” when they were doing exercise videos. Throughout my research, I found the same information. I thought I would share this photo of the 80s queen, Madonna, performing at a concert. The 90s started the era of wearing leggings as pants, which were generally  patterned or part of an outfit. I thought I would share a picture from the fashionable diva group, The Spice Girls (great blast from the past, right?).  Leggings were still worn a lot for exercise as well. Leggings have made a huge comeback recently, and are a trend of today.  Many pair up sweatshirts and tops with leggings and wear them as pants.  They range anywhere from black to patterned and colorful. 

In a nutshell, leggings have come a long way from their humble beginnings as just undergarments of the wealthy and the fashionable in the Victoria era. Women of all shapes, sizes and social-economic backgrounds wear the versatile garment, whether they consider them pants or not.

Types of Leggings – Yes, There Are Different Types You Legging Nazis

Leggings come in may different styles, patterns, colors, fabrics and lengths. From ankle length leggings (depicted above), to leggings with stirrups, capri or “calf length” and even footed leggings, they truly take the cake for how you can wear them. I believe the biggest factor in the pants debate is the common misconception that regular, nylon, semi see through tights and leggings are one in the same. Tights commonly have feet, but have variations that don’t them. They’re meant to be worn beneath dresses as hosiery, not on their own as leggings typically are. True leggings that are meant for on their own wear are  typically made from cotton, wool, and thicker blends. The best leggings, in my opinion, are made from cotton and are fleece lined, making them extra heavy, durable, and perfect for wearing during trendy-100-nylon-sheer-rib-tights-blk-216057the winter months. Rule of thumb: if you can see through them or make out skin tone through the fabric, then they’re obviously meant to be worn beneath something. It’s common sense. If they’re 90% Nylon…pass on them unless you specifically want to wear them underneath your favorite dress.

Pro tip: Black, footless tights make a bold statement underneath sweater dresses and oversized tops, especially when worn with chunky belts, chunky heels and sexy stilettos of the same color.

Leggings, Cute Trend or Fashion Faux Pas? 

As with every post, the choice is ultimately up to you, but in my opinion, I genuinely believe leggings are the way to go if you want to dabble in high fashion and still be comfortable. Denim and other fabrics are nice, wearing skirts are easy and breezy, but nothing beats the simplicity of leggings or how stylish one feels when you step out the door in them. Shop72.com has a wide range of leggings in both regular and plus sizes. From crazy, wacky patterns to solid colors, and even the infamous footless tights, we have it all. And, the best part about our leggings is that they’re inexpensive! I recently saw a pair of black, cotton leggings on Polyvore.com from some obscure French fashion label that were on SALE for four hundred dollars. This was a SALE item! That’s completely and utterly ridiculous! But, I guess if you have money to blow, four hundred dollars is most definitely the way to go. What else would you spend it on? Charity? Hooplah.

Diecast Model Ferrari F430 – As Easy to Assemble as it is on the Eyes

Diecast Model Fever!

In other words, never give me power tools.

Power tools! No, that’s not what this post is about, but this week I got to be totally unnecessary and over the top in my tool-age for putting together a model car. Did I need a high powered Ryobi drill to put my Ferrari together? No. Did I use one anyway? YEP, you betcha!

Honestly, if I wasn’t such a flibbertigibbet, I would have this thing together in a few minutes, instead of the near hour it took me. But, I’m clumsy and easily distracted, which resulted in most of my model-time being dominated by Youtube videos and a few too many left over Easter chocolates. If any of you are smarter than a fifth grader (reference intended), you’ll have your model put together super fast and’ll be left with a stunning, candy apple red Ferrari to put on your desk or a shelf. Lets get started!

1: The Legendary Ferrari F430

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.23 PM

The Ferrari F430 is a sports car that was produced by the Italian car manufacturer Ferrari from 2004 to 2009. A successor to the Ferrari 360, it debuted and was first seen at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. Its replacement, the Ferrari 458, was unveiled on the 28th of July,2009. Designed by Pininfarina under the  guidance of Frank Stephenson, the body styling of the F430 was revised from its predecessor, the Ferrari 360, to improve its aerodynamic efficiency. Although the drag coefficient remained the same, downforce was greatly enhanced.

Despite sharing the same basic Alcoa Aluminum chassis, roof line, doors and glass, the car Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.32 PMlooked significantly different from the 360. A great deal of Ferrari heritage was included in the exterior design. At the rear, the Enzo’s tail lights and interior vents were added. The car’s name was etched into the Testarossa-styled driver’s side mirror. The large oval openings in the front bumper are reminiscent of Ferrari racing models from the 60s, specifically the 156 “sharknose” Formula One car and 250 TR61 Le Mans cars of Phil Hill.

You don’t get much more awesome than the Ferrari Spider which is the convertible version of this enigmatic coupe. With awesome performance and a beautiful design, it was only a matter of time before they put it into model form. With an MSRP of $186,925 to $217,318 in the United States, £119,500 in the United Kingdom, approximately €175,000 in the European Union, and $379,000 for the base model to $450,000 for the Spider F1 in Australia and New Zealand, this isn’t likely a car that’ll make it into everyone’s driveway. But now you can have one at a fraction of the cost and er…a fraction of the size.

2: The BOX! 

The only thing better than a pretty new toy is a pretty box! In line with the extraordinary design of the car itself, Maisto took extra care to design a box that was just as aesthetically Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.41 PMappealing. You can always tell the amount of workmanship a company puts into their products by its packaging. If they don’t care enough to create packaging worthy of their product, then it’s obviously not worth your money. I was absolutely delighted with the packaging of my Ferrari and, as much as I’m against clutter, I practically  wanted to keep the box!

The front is detailed in a window style that Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.51 PMdisplays the body of the car and two sets of rims, and has a lovely picture of the finished car. The back shows all thirty six parts and gives a bit of information about the assembly process and the car itself. Nothing too overly complicated which I like, had it been in anyway intimidating, I may have left it on the store shelf!

3: Parts

When I first opened the box I’d expected it to explode with teeny tiny pieces that I would find myself losing in a matter of seconds. After all, thirty six parts does sound like quite a lot, but  they were the perfect size to hold and snap into place with little to no effort at all. No glue, no tweezers, no fuss, hassle or mess. This thing was like a dream. The headlights were a little Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.24.57 PMtricky but that was due to my own ignorance. I put them in pretty close to the beginning and every time I turned the car upside down to add another piece, they fell out. I can say that, even though no glue was necessary, if I could redo it, I’d add a dab of Elmer’s or maybe something stronger just to keep them in place permanently.

4. Construction Time 

Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.25.04 PM

I got my drill, my Ferrari model, a hand full of chocolate Easter eggs and got to work. Now, putting the chocolate down to start my project wasn’t the easiest of tasks, but I muscled through it and got busy. Out of the box, the car itself was beautiful, even before it was put Screen Shot 2015-05-06 at 1.25.12 PMtogether. The diecast metal body was painted a bright, shiny, candy apple red that I wish I could  have covered in glitter because honestly, that was the only thing that could have made it any better. I thought the diecast metal, being, well, metal, would be super heavy and hard to keep a grip on, but it was the perfect weight. I mean, I wouldn’t throw it at anyone, but it didn’t feel like a burden to hold. Once everything was screwed (drilled) and popped into place, the finished product was nothing short of awe-inspiring. I couldn’t be happier with my little project. Shop72 has done it again!

Like this car? Buy it here!

2015 Spring Fashion Guide!

Fashion Favorites for the Spring Season!

Spring is the season of endless wildflowers, terrifying monsoons, balmy nights and colorful fashion! No one really needs an excuse to add some color to their wardrobe, but if you were waiting for a sign, this is it. Today, I’ll cover some of the best ways to sneak color into your outfits, play with different fabrics and prints that’ll be sure to take your wardrobe to the next level.

We all know that style and confidence go hand in hand. You can throw any outfit together and rock it like your on a catwalk if you have the confidence to pull it off.

First Point: Wear something you’re comfortable in. 

If you’re not the type of girl who digs short skirts and high heels, that’s perfectly fine, and if  you are, that’s fine too! Looking your best starts with feeling your best, especially in the 86b6d8c90b93596df40b393fc8247797Spring season when mother nature’s throwing epic tantrums and having mood swings all over the place. Combat the weather’s unpredictability by wearing clothes that are versatile and you won’t mind getting drenched in because, lets face it, accidents happen and we all forget an umbrella from time to time! Denim is one of those fabrics thats always in style. Pairing a pair of white jeans, a brightly colored, loose fitting top and a denim jacket will help fight off the slight chill in the air and keep you looking chic. strappy heels or wedges also fit into the casual to business casual range, and can be easily paired with just about anything. Try out a pair of cork wedges in a bright yellow or red with simple jeans or jeggings for a more laid back look that’s perfect for occasions as simple as running to the grocery store or hanging out with your friends on a Saturday night.

Second Point: Don’t be afraid to experiment with patterns!

The myth about mixing prints and patterns is officially dead. Never be afraid to pair a cute printed top with patterned pants or leggings. Mismatched styles are defiantly in this season. Animal prints, chevron, floral; just about everyone’s wearing them! Fabrics and cuts that were left in the past are making a strong comeback in recent years too. Such as the infamous ju-yp-1299-bluchevron-1xpalazzo pants. A throwback fit from the seventies, palazzo pants come in solid colors,   wild patterns and prints, making them a versatile pant that can be worn to the office, on a promising first date or even at the gym if you’re so inclined. bdc729711915836e4ffc9f89ad14ae34They’re comfortable, easy to wear and definitely easy to pair with your other seasonal favorites. Remember your wedges? The palazzo pant is ideal for wear with high heels, wedges or even flats depending on the look you’re trying to pull off. Dress them up or down for a wide range of stylized looks that are great for just about any occasion. Can’t find a skirt you want to wear? Sick of wearing pants? Well that’s the great thing about the palazzo, they take the style and cut of both and roll them up into one big ball of fashion.

Third Point: Fabrics, fabrics, fabrics!

Thin, breezy fabrics such as chiffon and cotton are an excellent way to keep cool as Spring transitions into the Summer month’s. For a classically stylish look, try pairing a chiffon d1fe24a2d5538c8f94b983b3c5823c37blouse  with a pair of khaki’s or light denim. Dressing a chiffon blouse up for work or special occasions is as simple as pairing it with a pencil skirt and your favorite heels. Tuck the blouse into the waistband and give it a little pull to loosen it and toss on a blazer to adopt an office look I’m sure your boss will adore.

Don’t forget your undergarments either! An extra layer of fabric, when done right, never hurt anybody! Toss on a light, cotton camisole with a little  added lace to flair up a boring top or keep more finicky fabrics from clinging to your skin. 52aa75d68c01d35fbacfd474121a9b61Cami’s are also great to wear on their own. Pair them under a cardigan or an oversized dolman tee for a casual look that works just as well for lazy afternoons on the couch as it does for quick runs to the grocery store. They’re usually super soft and super stretchy too so, go on, have that extra scoop of ice cream, these things have lots of give! Even better, they come in a million styles, colors, materials and cuts and they’re usually really cheap. Finding them on internet sites like Amazon and eBay is simple and can be bought in bulk if you’re so inclined. Don’t be afraid to experiment with wearing them beneath  blouses and other shirts or even by themselves. Seriously, I don’t know a woman yet who hasn’t experienced the magic of camisoles, but if you don’t know, now you know!

Fourth Point: Swatches? We don’t need no stinkin’ swatches.

Okay, so we may need swatches. But it’d be better if we didn’t need them. 26ccaf2f68f86f9f1b92ab1935cf2023I personally find color restriction by season to be asinine and find them as archaic as the “no white after labor day” rule, but most fashionista’s swear by them. They make it easy to color coordinate outfits and ensure everything you has matches in an orderly fashion. But forget order this season, mix and match your colors and find what personally works best for you. If you want to wear those green tea leggings and that dark rust tank top in the middle of spring–go right ahead. This season is the season of experimentation. Feel free to try out whatever you like and kick whatever you don’t to the curb.

Fifth Point: Be the best you!

What’s probably the most important point of all is to remember to be you. Don’t let anyone tumblr_n63s67CvWe1qj6wguo1_500tell you what you should or shouldn’t wear and take all my suggestions here as just that; suggestions. Fashion and style start with feeling comfortable in your own skin. It merely accentuates who you are and what you represent. So, put your best foot forward and watch everything–and everyone–else fall in line. Every woman is beautiful, never let anyone tell you otherwise.

Model Aircrafts and the Kids who Love them

It’s no secret that model airplanes have been a staple of creative kids toys for as long as one can remember, but, in recent studies, they’ve proven to be even more useful in childhood development than you could ever imagine. You may think model kits are a thing of the past, but in fact there are more exciting, diverse and challenging kits available now more so than ever. And they’re only a click away.

Once a beloved pastime of your parents and grandparents in the fifties and sixties, model aircrafts date back as far as ancient Egypt. In fact, what’s considered by modern archaeologists as the oldest model aircraft in existence was found in the tomb of Saqquara during an excavation in 1898. The plane, aerodynamic in design with wings that would be considered by today’s standards as fuselage, is thought to date back to around 200 BCE. It’s amazing to think that an ancient civilization would be thinking about something as advanced as flight, and even more amazing to think that this was a child’s toy.

According to professor Emeritus Seymour Papert of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, “Constructionism means learning by making something. LEGO is an example, writing computer programs is an example, painting is an example. And what you learn in the process of doing that sinks much deeper; its roots go deeper into the subsoil of the mind than anything anybody can tell you.” By building model airplanes, children are learning hand eye coordination, problem solving by trial and error and even social skills when they share their creations with their siblings and friends. Starting your child off early with a love for mathematics and engineering is definitely a step in the right direction.

Lockheed_SR-71_Blackbird

The Lockheed SR-71 Nightbird 

The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” is a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft that was operated by the United States Air Force. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. Renowned American aerospace engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. During aerial reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.[2] The SR-71 was designed to have basic stealth characteristics and served as a precursor to future stealth aircraft.

The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents, but none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12 (via: wikipedia).

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Now, I have to admit, I bought this thing for myself, but I couldn’t help but wonder how it would benefit the little ones in my family. While, it looks like a bit of a daunting task to undertake but I assure you, if I can put it together, anyone can. Probably blindfolded and hogtied. When you open the package it comes with everything you need to put it together and display it. With lots of little pieces, screws and a tiny screwdriver I have to warn you, while this is a kids toys, it’s not recommended for anyone under the age of eight.

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The plane itself comes in a window box that you could actually just stick on a shelf to displayDSCF3450 if you felt like it, with an easy to read instructional diagram on the back. Even without the instructions I found it simple to put together. By the  time I was finished I was almost disappointed because I didn’t have another one to work on. But, at thirteen bucks a piece, I’m pretty sure I’ll get my hands on another one pretty soon.

Honestly, I was impressed by how detailed this thing was, even as someone who isn’t really all that of a model builder or collector. The lines and etchings on the body of the plane look laser cut even if they’re not and the matte black finish gives it a realistic look that doesn’t immediately scream “plastic” when I look at it. It’s not very often that you find something that’s cheap AND well made. Quality has gone down in recent years, but I have absolutely no complaints here.

After sticking this thing together, I placed it on the included stand, stepped back and fell in love with model building forever. I know that when I have children, whenever that’ll be, I can DSCF3458 copysay with confidence that they will be building model planes with me whether they like it or not. Hey, a little mommy time never hurt anybody! At the end of the day, model planes or models of any kind for that matter, are beneficial in a multitude of ways. Jumpstart your kids learning process and get them ready for a technological future that’s as exciting as it is terrifying. If you want to get your hands on this plane or a million of the others they have, it can be found at shop72.com.

Man Cave Sanctuary Upgrades on a budget!

Simple workarounds, internet finds and decorating techniques for the Man Cave.

Man Cave or not, we all have that particular room in our home that could use a major facelift and, if you’re anything like me, spending a ton of money on re-decorating isn’t exactly economical. Luckily, it’s 2015 and finding cheap knick knacks and quick fixes on the internet are as easy as pie. Here are a few techniques and item’s I’ve found around the net that will give that sad space a new outlook on life.

1. DIY 

Handy with a staple gun? Have a bunch of old t-shirts laying around? Turn them into works of art for just a few bucks! Wrap your shirt around a small (or large!) canvas and staple them to the back of the frame. These canvases can easily be picked up at a Michael’s Craft Store or even Walmart.

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How about a glue gun? This DIY coffee table can easily be used as a center piece for any room. Find yourself a thrifted coffee table either at goodwill or, if you’re lucky, for free buried under a pile of junk in someone’s garage. Get a hold of some old license plates or a stack of tin signs (featured later in the post) and glue them down. If you’re feeling particularly crafty, you can apply a layer of polyurethane from Home Depot to make this table especially long lasting.

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Maybe you’re in need of extra space? Shelving is definitely the way to go! All you need is a couple of ladders and some plywood boards, cut to the appropriate size for the ladders you are using. Drill and attach the boards to the rungs of the ladder to secure them as shelves. Pile them up with books, trinkets, CD’s, DVD’S, or turn it into an entertainment center with a flat screen on top and that new XBOX One you’ve been eyeing.

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2. Cheap Buys

Walls looking a little bare? Give your man cave the ultimate manly touch with Man Cave Hand Saw MDF Sign. This sign is cut to resemble a hand saw, perfect for tooling out your space. And if you snatch it up now, it’s on sale for only 7.49 at Hobby Lobby!

Wall SawDitto on the bare walls. shop72.com sells tin signs in a million different styles and motifs. From gas station signs to super heroes and signs for gun enthusiasts. Whatever message you’re trying to get across, say it in style with a bunch of distressed, retro signs. For twelve bucks a pop, how can you go wrong?

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New TV not in the budget? Turn your iPhone, Android or tablet into a cheap projector with an old shoebox, a roll of duct tape and a magnifying glass.

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Now get out there and get busy!

Product Links:

http://goodideasforyou.com/mix-a-match/3859-staple-old-shirts-to-a-canvas.html

http://www.walmart.com/c/kp/blank-art-canvas

http://www.michaels.com/painting/canvas/809188108

http://www.thediyadventures.com/2012/11/19/license-plate-table-and-more/

http://themancaveblog.com/diy-man-cave-projects-you-can-do-this-weekend/

http://shop.hobbylobby.com/products/man-cave-hand-saw-mdf-sign-5565593/

http://www.thistlewoodfarms.com/how-to-make-your-phone-into-a-projector

http://www.shop72.com/legends-lady-luck-tin-sign-12-16.html

http://www.shop72.com/dont-tread-on-me-american-iron-vintage-tin-metal-sign.html

http://www.shop72.com/ford-historic-logo-metal-tin-sign.html

http://www.shop72.com/tin-sign-set-of-2-sinclair-mobilgas.html