Saturday, September 15, 2012

OTS Pro Tip: Save On A Monthly Sample Subscription

   After seeing so much of the publicity many monthly sample subscription services, I've been doing a bit of research...&, though I'm still looking around, I actually joined a program!

    Ever heard of Julep? A Seattle-based nail salon, they develop their own products...pretty cool, right?
   You can join their Julep Maven program for $19.99/mo...this means every month you'll receive a kit containing $40+ worth of nail polish & mani/pedi products from their company. Seeing as how their actual (individual) prices range from $6-48/per item, this is a pretty decent deal. Once you take the style quiz (which you can retake until you get results you like) posted on their site, this determines the first 2 nail colors you will get (each Intro box is specific to these profile results). You even can skip months if you want, & can order more (of the samples you like) straight from their website.

   **Now, here's the tip you've been waiting for**

   Hesitant to try this particular site/service at $19.99/mo.? I don't blame you, I was too. But I can help you get your Intro box for just ONE CENT. Yes, you read that right. One penny. $0.01. 1¢. Read on!

   I'm pretty hesitant to commit to a monthly service, especially for beauty products, because I'm very particular about the products I use & like. When I found this trick, though, I couldn't resist trying it out.

Here's how their site explains the process:
         I took the "Style Profile" quiz a few times, & (after seeing all the selections offered) decided to go with my original results of "Boho Glam."After receiving my results I selected the option to start a subscription (with those selections) at $19.99, with a future cost of $19.99/mo for each kit.

    Underneath the item list in the cart, on the left, I entered the discount code "PENNY".

Next, I input my shipping selections...don't let this section fool you, their shipping is free!

Once I applied my discount code, $19.98 was discounted...& my final total came to 1¢!
How awesome is that? Just like winning a mini-jackpot!

    Just for reference...the FAQ's on Julep's website tell you that you can select a "skip a month" option in your account, so you aren't charged monthly.

   I'm going to wait for my Intro box, & see how I like the program...if you decide to try it out, I'd love to hear from you about your experience!

   **I'm not affiliated with Julep in any way, aside from now being a new member.**
 **OTS is not responsible for any issues anyone may have with this service/vendor.**

   To let me know what you think, email me at:

- Alyssa Marie

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The easiest DIY I'll ever post...

( Supplies:   - Bottle cap     - Mod Podge Glue     - Push-pin  )

Seriously. This is beyond easy.

This bottle cap is from a bottle of one of my favorite beers: Stone Brewing Co.'s Arrogant Bastard Ale

From my first ABA ever, I loved the slogan enough to hold on to it all these years...& wanted to do something with it to get it out of my craft drawer. Giving it a spot on my inspiration board seemed like a pretty good idea.

If you've got a bottle cap of your own, & you'd like to give it the same sanctuary, here's how:

1. Use Mod Podge, or some other stronger craft glue. This stuff holds up over time.
2. Clean your bottle cap, & make sure the top is as flat/flush as possible.
3. Apply a small amount of glue to the flattop of a push-pin.
4. Press push-pin to back of bottle cap, using enough pressure for the pin to stick/excess glue to pool.
5. Let dry.

Found your favorite bottle caps? I'd love to see them!
Share them at:

Happy crafting!
- Alyssa Marie

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

DIY: Revamping A Tired Tray

   I've taken on the task of re-doing my (smallish size) bedroom lately, & during this process have made a lot of changes to my decor & personal pieces. I hate to waste great decor items, & always love putting a new spin on seemingly tired things....but, hey, isn't that all the rage these days?
   This post is about a great little revamp I've done...that's really "oh, so" simple (& turned out to be "oh, so" inexpensive!).
I purchased this decorative tray for 70cents (during a sale) at a local thrift store (with the original tag of $15)...& already knew I wanted to redo it, as I'm no fan of the "streaky/tacky gold" sheen that was on it.
    As for my supplies...I found a cute animal print Macbeth adhesive shelf liner (sold as a double roll) at T.J.Maxx for $5.99...picked up some Martha Stewart satin acrylic paint (in Wild Blueberry) at Michaels for $1.99...& paid nothing for the black acrylic paint & sandpaper I already had hiding in my craft gear. 
    For ease, I used a small rounded brush to apply the blue paint on the inner/outer sides & a small flat brush to apply the black paint on the edges around the tray/handles.
   Even though the tray is actually a plastic composite, I used the sandpaper on it...not so much to give the paint something to stick to as to try & remove as much of the gold lacquer as I possibly could. I really only sanded the surrounding edges & the outer sides, but it made it much easier to apply the paint in fewer layers (in total, it took 2 layers of black & 3 layers of blue).
    After the paint dried (which didn't take very long), I measured out the inside of the tray & cut the adhesive shelf liner to size. When it came to was a little tricky to get it completely flush at first, & I'd recommend peeling the adhesive vertically & having quite a bit of patience (take your time & start at the top 2 corners, peeling the adhesive back as you go to make readjustments easier).
And, violĂ ...a beautiful new display tray!
Looking at the math...since I only used a small portion of the shelf-liner (& that I already had most of my necessary supplies), this project came in under $5.
There are so many great uses for these it displaying jewelry, cosmetics, magazines, etc. To be honest, I'm not 100% set on what I'll use it for yet, but it will definitely have a spot in my room :)

Have you decided to tackle a version of your own? I'd love to see it!
Send a picture to me at:

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
~ Alyssa Marie