How To: Use Hashtags

If you know anything about us, you know that we love all things social media. From Twitter to Tumblr, Instagram to Facebook – we really don’t discriminate.

However, with the landscape of social media always influx, it’s hard to keep track of all that’s going on in the world. This is where hashtags come in. Hashtags are something you might be familiar with, particularly in Twitter. We are here to help you get up to speed using this super useful tool!

hashtag

Categorization

Hashtags are often used to categorize and group tweets to make it easier for people to follow a conversation, an event etc…

Next time you want to keep tabs on something, try searching for keywords in the search bar on Twitter. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see the wave of information streaming your way.

Example: Tweets regarding the 2012 Presidential Debates used the hashtag #debates, to keep track of the online discussion.

Fun Fact: There were 7.2 million tweets during the second Presidential Debate – WOW

Discoverability 

Hashtags help get your tweet or Instagram photo discovered by others.

Some live by the philosophy that “the more hashtags, the better” and we’ve seen this trend especially on Instagram. We love hashtags and try and attach hashtags that we feel will peak people’s interests and let’s us share the things that inspire us seamlessly.

Example: #breakfast http://instagram.com/p/TGcG7WLQgN

Fun Fact: The most used hashtag on Instagram is (drum roll please)…. #love 

Have Fun 

There are no rules when it comes to social media, the beauty of it is that each person can make it their own – we love that.

Hashtag an inside joke with your friends or hashtag your own tweets so you can easily look back on it and see if anyone else joined in on your parade!

Example: http://go.totsy.com/WJ67nD #momsrule

Fun Fact: Beginning July 1, 2009, Twitter began to hyperlink all hashtags to search results containing all recent tweets mentioning the hashtag

Advertisements

How To: No Sew Pillow Cases

[sourc:www.jandofabrics.com]

 

New year, new beginnings, right? Correct! It may be a little too early for Spring cleaning, but who’s to say your home doesn’t need some freshening up? Not all of us have the budget to completely redecorate our homes for the new year, but there are are few tricks to add a breath of fresh air to your living space. One of our favorites is the No Sew Pillow Case. Yes, you read correctly, “no sew.” What could be better than that? If you’re sewing machine challenged just as we are, this DIY is right up your alley!

What you will need:

  • Standard throw pillow (preferably without any embellishments) 
  • A piece of fabric 3 times as wide plus a few more inches and twice as tall plus a few more inches as the pillow
  • Pinking shears

Steps

Use pinking shears to cut the fabric to avoid fraying.

Fabric-Crafts-2011-0012-300x225

Start by folding the bottom half of the fabric to the center of the pillow.

Fabric-Crafts-2011-0031-300x225

Then fold the top down to the center.

Fabric-Crafts-2011-0041-300x225

Fold the edges of each end as if you’re wrapping a present.

Fabric-Crafts-2011-002-300x225

Bring one side over the top of the pillow. Repeat for the opposite side.

Fabric-Crafts-2011-006-300x224

Tie the ends in a square knot. To tie a square knot you take the fabric over-under then under-over.

Fabric-Crafts-2011-007-300x225

Voila!!

Fabric-Crafts-2011-009-300x225

Images courtesy of organizeyourstuffnow.com.

Al Fresco with Autumn: Champagne Mojitos

I love champagne and I love mojitos. Somehow blending the two turns the standard mojito into an all-season cocktail, perfect for the upcoming New Years celebrations you have planned. Warning: this drink is a crowd-pleaser. The last time I served it, our thirsty guests kept me standing over the kitchen sink muddling much of the night away.  So do yourself a favor, and make up a large batch in advance using a solid glass pitcher to store the muddled ingredients (minus champagne).  Happy New Year to all the Totsy families!

xo – Autumn, West Coast Mom

champagne+mojito champage-mojito-b

Ingredients (makes 2):

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 8 large mint leaves or 4 sprigs
  • 2 Tbsps sugar
  • 3 Tbsps fresh lime juice
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 6 oz champagne

 Directions:

  1. Muddle sugar, lime juice, lime wedges, mint and rum together until sugar is fully dissolved. In absence of a muddler, the end of a wooden spoon will work fine as long as your glass container is thick (mason jar/pint glass, etc).
  2. Strain into two chilled champagne glasses.
  3. Add chilled champagne, toast & enjoy!

Photo credits: alpanasingh.com & thevelvetjungle.com

How To: Decorate on a Budget

The holidays can be tight on ones wallet. From entertaining guests, to buying gifts, to getting the entire family dressed for the reason, sometimes there’s not enough left to spend on getting your house ready for the hoards of guests that will be taking over your home. Here are some foolproof and Totsy approved ideas that will go easy on your wallet, but look like you hired Martha Stewart to decorate your home. 

For you wine lovers:

  • Don’t throw away those empty wine bottles, reuse them as decoration. Spray paint them in various colors (coordinating with the holiday) and place them around the house among candles and other festive items.
  • You can even use the wine bottles for candle holders.

Put the Kids to Work:

  • Have the kids collect pine cones and leaves in the yard (good way to have them clean the yard as well!) to be used in centerpieces or mixed among your other decorations.
  • Remember the spray paint you used for the wine bottles? Add some color to the pine cones to make them more festive and coordinate with your theme. You can even use ribbon.
  • Leaves also look great on the dining table, especially has a runner. Get more life out of them by spraying starch (the same one you use to iron clothes) to help retain their shape.
  • Be sure to wash the leaves and lay them flat to dry before using.
  • Take your kids pumpkin picking, but get the smaller ones to be used on the table or in vases. Add leaves for an added touch.
  • Have your kids collect twigs of varying heights (make sure their are no creepy crawlers) and use larger vases to create a floor display. Add faux cranberries to the base to keep the twigs stable.

Dollar Store Finds

  • Dollar store candles and tea lights are the most inexpensive way to illuminate your home. You can decorate larger candles with ribbon or glitter by using a spray on adhesive.
  • Float tea lights in wine glasses with cranberries or use a large decorative bowl to flow multiple candles with leaves and cranberries.
  • Pick up a few bags of potpourri to liven up the senses, or make your own with cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, dried orange peels, nutmeg, and any other spices you care for.

A Few Other Tips

  • Vary the height and size of your serving pieces. Incorporate footed compotes, trifle bowls, cake stands, and stacks of dessert plates to add dimension and visual interest to your entertaining surface.
  • Use fruits such as apples and pears as name card bases. Pin names to the fruit using needles with decorative heads. Super quick and easy!

Hope these tips make your home as festive as possible. Happy Holidays!

Wear All White Right

Wearing an all white outfit can be so cute, but it’s not the easiest look to pull off. All white is a big summer trend, so hear are a few tips & looks to help you out.

Break up an all white dress by adding a belt around the waist. It will break up the color and make your waist look smaller.

Image src: Delia’s

Match a pair of white shorts with a white button down and white jacket. The contrast between the shorts, button down and long sleeve jacket makes a statement without being too much.

Image src: I Want Big Closet

Pairing white shorts and a white tank is a such a simple, yet beautiful look. Wear a brown bag for a relaxed look or a bright pink at night to add a pop of color.

Image src: Hanneli

White dress pants, relaxed white tee and a white blazer looks casual yet professional. Throw on a pair of nude pumps and your ready to go!

Image src: The Berry

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@mytotsy), Like us on Facebook (acebook.com/totsy), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).

Frozen Reese’s Peanut Butter Pie

What better way to end your long day than with a delicious, sweet treat? Chocolate and peanut butter are probably two of my favorite things and this recipe, from Pin Cookie, combines both! I was in dessert heaven when I stumbled upon this recipe, enjoy!

Image src: Pin Cookie

Makes: One 9 inch pie or three 4 inch mini pies

Prep: Lightly butter springfoam pan, or line cake pan with lightly buttered foil. If you use foil, make sure to leave 1 inch hanging over edges for easy pie removal.

Ingredients:

  • 24 Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups Cool Whip
  • 3/4 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Caramel
  • Chocolate

Instructions:

  1. Place Oreos in a food processor until finely crumbed and put in large bowl
  2. Mix in melted butter
  3. Firmly press crumbs into pan to create crust. Bake crust at 350 degrees F for 7- 10 minutes.
  4. Place peanut butter and confectioners sugar into a pan over low heat and stir until fully combined and peanut butter is melted
  5. Set aside and let it cool for 5 minutes
  6. Gently fold in peanut butter mixture into Cool Whip until combined
  7. Gently fold in crushed Reese’s pieces into peanut butter Cool Whip mixture
  8. Pour mixture into Oreo crust and freeze for 3 hours
  9. Top with caramel and chocolate drizzle

**Alternative: If your allergic to peanut butter you can substitute it with Nutella!

Visit Pin Cookie for more delicious recipes!

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@mytotsy), Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsy), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).

T-Shirt Tie Dyeing

Tie dyeing is such a classic craft. It is fun for kids and takes parents on a trip down memory lane to when they were kids doing this same craft with their parents. It’s so simple and everyone will have a blast getting messy with all the colors. The best part is seeing the beautiful outcome and excitement on your child’s face when they see what they created. This version of tie dyeing comes from Kaboose, but there are many alternatives to this craft. Leave a comment to share your experience and secrets to tie dyeing!

Image src: Jtuason

Supplies:

  • Tie Dye
  • T-shirt, bag, towel, skirt (anything you want!)
  • Large pot (s) -depending on how many different colors you want
  • Spoon
  • Rubber bands
  • Tongs

Instructions:

  1. Twist up your clothing item and wrap rubber bands around it tightly (twist and fold the items differently for unique patterns)
  2. Boil water. You can either add dye to the water or directly to the clothing, depending on if you want more than one color on the article your dyeing
  3. Stir for about 30 minutes
  4. Take out with tongs and run under cold water to make sure all the extra dye is gone (OR if you want the color to really set in, place items in separate bags and let them soak over night)
  5. Snip off rubber bands and let items dry

Image src: Altered By Me

For up-to-date info on sales and other Totsy fun: follow us on Twitter (@mytotsy), Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/totsy), repin our boards on Pinterest (pinterest.com/totsyfan).