Monday, March 28, 2016

DIY Bike Basket Secret Compartment

Can we be any happier now that spring season has officially arrived?

I noticed during the weekend that my instagram feed has been inundated by flower arrangements and as the weather is getting warmer everyday we can only predict more colorful days to come so I though that today's post couldn't be anything but vibrant and flowers should be included.

If you have been following this blog/ my instagram account you've noticed that I'm a bike lover, I usually spend Sunday mornings pedaling to a new place to get a nice breakfast while enjoying the view, somehow I feel that if for any reason I skipped my bike routine I can't call it a good weekend.

I share these rides with my boyfriend who is always very concerned that I carry my wallet, cellphone and other belongings in my bike basket without much care while he's alert to avoid us being pickpocketed, specially when we go through crowded rodes. I've never been very attached to material stuff but I though that I might find a way to pimp my ride to make it thief-proof without turning it into an army tank.

Bike Basket Secret Compartment

Supplies needed:

  1. Oasis flower foam
  2. Scissors
  3. A small square of fake grass for crafts
  4. Plastic flowers
  5. Any type of ruler (triangle, square, etc)
  6. A water glass
  7. Optional: Glue or thread to secure the flowers.

 Start by cutting your oasis foam to the size of your bike basket, it can be easier to measure if you place the foam on top of the basket, marking the edges with a ruler and then using the same ruler to cut the foam.

Once your foam has the right size you need to cut a hole, big enough to allow you get your hand easily in and out. Look in your kitchen and you'll find a water glass with the right size for you.

 Using the water glass create a hole in your foam, then test it inserting your hand through the hole and keep cutting the foam until you have a size that easily allows you to get in and out, don't worry if it seems too big as it won't be visible.

 Place your foam on your fake grass and adjust if one of them is too large.

In my case the fake grass was taller than my foam therefore I cut just one row from the top. After I cut it, it continued being larger but that was fine because if your fake grass is slightly larger it will help keeping the hole hidden.
If you look in the picture above you'll also notice that the foam is wider than the grass so I used the row of grass that I previously cut and attached it to the side.

Next step was to remove the plastic flowers from the bouquet cutting each stalk to be at least one inch long (2.5 cm) assuring that the stalk size is equal (or larger) to the width of the foam.

 Put the fake grass on top of the foam and start inserting the flowers distributing them evenly.

Once ready place inside your bike basket, you might need to re-arrange the flowers if you notice some ended up being too apart or to close to the basket ends. In my case I had to adjust those that  were too close to the bike handlebar.
Note: If you use to go through bumpy roads you might consider adding some glue or sewing your flowers to the fake grass to secure them.

Test the hidden hole to make sure it's big enough for your hand, if required cut a small piece of the fake grass that is right above the hidden hole, I tested it with random objects including my bf's cellphone and just needed to apply a little cut but as you can see in the picture below the hole is completely hidden.

And you are now ready to go!

Please notice that having this beautifully arranged basket might get you a lot of attention, people will be asking you if the flowers are real and for a place to buy such incredible artifact.

Oh and yes, in the title picture I was trying to re-arrange my flowers as I went through a big bump and got my bike shaken (and my poor flowers all messed up) but nothing that a little patience and some glue can't fix.

Anyway, hope you decide to apply some pimping to your ride, these days not only kindergarten kids are allowed to dress their vehicles in their best Spring dresses.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you are enjoying the warmer days as much as I am!


Monday, March 21, 2016

DIY 5 minutes Frida hair style (and finding my own Diego)

After last week's post I have received nothing but love and best wishes in this new endeavor that I'm starting and deep in my heart I have the feeling that even when I'm totally capable to achieve my dreams by my own I'd probably wouldn't feel so empowered without the immense support that I've received from my loved ones, specially my other half (insert corny emoji here)

I've been a doer my whole life but I've also been in a lot of situations where I have felt that my horses have been told to hold on and calm down, instead of been pushed to go forward and it has been refreshing to find someone as crazy as I am who encourage me to go and fulfill dreams no matter how far they seem.

Coincidentally I was reading about Frida Kahlo last week, I would have never imagine her doubting her immense talent, it seems that we owe Diego Rivera a lot as he was the one that pushed her out of her hidden corner, to take the risk to go out and to become the legend that we all know now.

With all those thoughts in mind I decided 2 things:
1) That I'd take some time to learn more about Diego and found this great link to get started on Rivera's bio, a selection of his works, exclusive articles, as well as up-to-date Rivera exhibition listings.
2) That I'd create an easy project to pay homage to Frida and all those strong women that inspire us to follow our dreams (defeating all constraints) and the caring men that walk right next to them.

DIY 5 minutes Frida hair style

Supplies needed:
  1. Flowers (any kind you like)
  2. Bobby pins
  3. Small Hair Rubber bands 
  4. Scissors 

I started by cutting the flower stalks no longer than 1 inch (2.5 cm), once cut I placed each flower in the middle of a bobby pin

I separated my hair in two sections that I braided, I pulled each braid to the center and secured with bobby pins.
If your hair is long just cross the braids and secure by the ends.
If your hair is short don't worry if the braid  doesn't reach the top of your head as the flowers will cover it.

Starting from the center insert flowers to the top of your head securing them with the bobby pins, continue adding flowers until you are satisfied with the result.

And voilĂ !

I can assure you that this is one of those projects that are as easy to do as they look in the pictures (won't make it to the Pinterest fail site) and is a very nice way to style your hair for a warm day, a party or to call a truce if you are having a bad hair day (we all have to deal with those)

And I must confess I'm a mess and braids are usually not part of my 2 minutes hair routine so if I was able to make it work you will certainly be able to create a very cool look, give it a try! (Would love to see some pictures)

Thanks for stopping by and happy first day of spring!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Leaving my work to pursuit a big dream

Life has interesting ways to tell us it's time to move on.


For me, all started some years ago when I was looking for a Masters program and ended up enrolled in a Design School, very weird choice considering that I'm a Computer Science engineer. 

Loosing sleep but happy as a hippo

Going back to the school when I was already leading large teams in my work was a big humility lesson because my classmates didn't care at all which role I had, the size of my team or even the name of the company I was working in,  they only cared about the fact that we had to do several projects together and that they expected me to do my part and to be on time, a good reality check.

That was one of the happiest and most challenging years in my life, I had to get up early, go to the office then run to the school, and by the time I was finally back home I needed to sit for hours to complete all the homework for the next day that I'd usually end near midnight, it was very hard but being able to do it and looking at my completed projects was very rewarding, it's interesting that those days work seemed to be less stressful than it used to.

The entrepreneur bug

Fast forward to 2015, years after I put last semesters of Design on hold, I was assigned overseas for a Corporate Service Corps program to work in a NGO that helped young entrepreneurs start their projects and I remember that as I was getting to know more and more about the profile of an entrepreneur and the activities they perform I started thinking that it sounded like something I'd enjoy doing.

And again, timing was curious, because I returned from that assignment to a new role reporting to a super important, incredibly smart and amazingly nice lady in what some people called "a once in a lifetime" work opportunity, I needed to put the entrepreneur dream aside to focus on this.

The entrepreneur bug wasn't quiet for too long, I simply needed to do something about it, I already knew the company I wanted to create (related to my design background) and I knew I'd be able to fund it if I put together my savings and investments, deep inside of me I knew that I couldn't defer this any longer so I needed to notify my boss that I would be leaving in some months.

I think that this was the hardest thing, because I would be leaving an incredible job, a marvelous team and the place I've called work for the last 11 years for something that sounded more like a dream, I remember that a friend told me that I was changing everything for nothing: all that I've gained for something that I didn't even know, right, that defines my exact situation, but I really needed to give it a try.

My boss was certainly not happy to see me go, but she was very understanding of what this meant to me, and from that day on she would use any time we had together to coach me in the most important aspects of a business, she really wanted me to be successful, that's how special she is.

Going away from people I love

I've spent the latest weeks executing the knowledge transfer and saying good bye to everyone, and to be honest I had never imagine the large number of friends I would be notifying of my depart, I just realized how lucky I was by having all that loving and caring people wishing me the best for my new endeavor.

It has certainly NOT been easy going away, and in the latest days I've received so much love in the form of flowers/plants,  cakes, surprise parties, cards, that I couldn't feel more thankful. The cherry on the cake was my farewell call earlier today where we were suppose to discuss some work items,  I was seated in my home office (in my pajamas) listening to all the people getting on the phone and suddenly someone in the call said that I needed to go and open the door... and there he was, one of my closest friends from the team with a big bunch of balloons and a big flower arrangement, the whole call was a surprise orchestrated by this cool Bostonian guy and I spent the following minutes listening to the kindest and sincerest appreciation words from this group that will definitely be missed, it can't get any better than this.

I wasn't lying about the pajamas situation

Elvis will be leaving the building

Tomorrow morning will be the last day I'll drive to what have been my work office for the last years, I'll be there only for some hours, will have a couple of meetings, will deliver my computer and badge and will officially become an ex-employee, but also the moment I leave the building I'll allow me to officially call myself an entrepreneur, hopefully not a starving entrepreneur, so we'll see how it goes from here.

I'll eventually also start my "Entrepreneur Series" in the blog because I'd love to share tips/experiences if it can help more people to follow their dreams knowing that those who don't jump will never learn to fly, so join me flying because the more we can be, the merrier it will get.

Lots and lots of Love, 

Monday, March 7, 2016

DIY: Geek Love Magnets

Hello there,

This weekend I went to visit a flea market and couldn't believe the kind of things that are kept, there were blocks and blocks of people that very proudly put their precious treasures in display while telling you stories of how each and every single item have a great (sentimental) value.
When I got back home with only some magnets and a bottle of shoe paint I was remembering a couple of old keyboards that have been seating in the back of my closet for a while, I recall that at the time I got them I though about the number of projects I'd create with those, to forget about it just some days after that.
I needed to do something about it, specially now that I'm part of the decluttering movement, it was some sort of "use it or lose it" situation and I couldn't consider loosing them as they were a gift from my special guy, so that is how I though of this very quick and easy DIY project that can take just a few minutes to get completed and yes, it can be categorized as a corny project.

Geek Love Magnets

 Supplies needed:

  1. An old keyboard
  2. Small Magnets
  3. General purpose Glue
  4. Optional: Cleaning cloth (depending on how dirty your keyboard/magnets are)
  5. Optional: Carpentry Clamps

1) I started by removing and cleaning the keys, and I must say that the filter in the picture is actually helping the keys to look better because they were very filthy

2) I proceed to clean the magnets (I got them in the flea market so this was probably a safe act from my side)

3) I used the general purpose glue and simply put some drops behind the key and some  in the magnet, I distributed the drops thorugh all the pieces and wait some seconds to get the glue fixed  then pressed the key to the magnet.
I stoled got borrowed some carpentry clamps to press the key to the magnet and assure they were completely glued, if you don't have any you can use something heavy to help pushing them together while the glue dries as a couple of books (Lord of the Rings is always a good option)
And voilĂ , lovely corny magnets ready for the fridge or absolutely any ferromagnetic surface (how geek of me to say); You can take the girly side out of this DIY proyect creating instead an alphabet set to be used for any kind of random messages as: "dont ea7 my c8k" or "Jo caILed" or whatever you can think about.
Did you fall in love with that picture frame like me? I saw it and just needed to have it.
Hope you enjoyed this week's project, it was so simple that I kind of feel like I owe you something, I will find a way to compensate but in the meantime Thanks for stopping by & have a Great rest of your week.