Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

I’ve always been a crafty gal. I love everything from drawing (my personal fave!) to making my own xmas cards, to embroidering and quilting. I’ve just always had this urge to create and make my ideas come to life. Lately, I have been exploring a new machine called the Cricut Explore Air 2. Now, this is the first time I have taken my crafting to an expert-feeling level, and I have to say…I am super excited to become more familiar with this craft-lover’s dream machine.

Cricut Explore Air 2 ReviewCricut Explore Air 2 ReviewCricut Explore Air 2 Review

When I first found out about Cricut, it was through a network of local bloggers I connected with a few years ago. They were all big into crafting using Cricut products and were producing the most unreal projects…and that’s when I knew I needed my hands on one of these babies!!

I have to share a little secret though…when my gorgeous teal machine arrived on my doorstep, I was apprehensive to open the box. All of the materials, the project possibilities and the complex looking equipment that was in this package was OVERWHELMING (to say the least…). Where do I begin? What do I make? What can I make? There were so many possibilities and I really couldn’t get my ideas straight for this post….but after looking at their simple and straight forward how-to videos, my nerves settled and the creative juices started to flow.Cricut Explore Air 2 ReviewCricut Explore Air 2 Review

Since I unboxed this machine over on my IG Stories, I have been getting TONS of questions…

What can you make?

You can make anything from intricate, detailed cards, to vinyl stickers, to graphic tees, to mugs!! The possibilities are endless, and I can’t wait to create, create and create some more!

Is it hard to use?

Abolsutely, 100% NO, it is NOT hard whatsoever! Like I said above, I was super nervous and intimidated (like no joke). However, once you follow the how-to videos, do your first simple project, and get more familiar with how the machine works…you will find it the easiest thing to do. I think of my Cricut as my little assistant who does all of the hard work of crafting for me! Plus, it’s really cool to watch how precise everything is when you’re cutting things out!

What materials does it cut?

Ummm…everything? Okay, okay…not everything in the world. But it sure cuts a whole lot of different materials. Cricuts cut paper, vinyl, foils, foam, iron-on transfers (for clothing/bags/etc.), faux leather, and even chipboard (yeah, seriously!!).

What if I’m not creative?

I truly believe you don’t have to be an expert crafter to use this machine. Cricut makes it really easy for people who aren’t naturally creative, but wants to up their game! They have a section on their website – the “Cricut Design Space” – for templates, graphics, tutorials. They also have a space for you to upload custom designs if theirs aren’t working for you!

As a quick little example…I tried playing around and created a little bird house card. This project was taken directly from their design space and it took me all of 30 minutes after cutting + assembling it! Check it out below…

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

Not too shabby for just learning the machine. However, I can’t say it was difficult because the Cricut did majority of the work for me! Once all of the pieces were cut out, I used adhesive to glue all of them together!! Guess who is never buying a card again…me!

Cricut Explore Air 2 Review

To sum up this whole post…my new Cricut Explore Air 2 is unreal and I can’t wait to bring lots of fun projects to you just in time for the holiday season…and if you know and love me? Expect to be getting A LOT of handmade things for Christmas this year (you may not recognize that it’s home made lol).

Do you have a Cricut? Let me know what the first thing YOU would make is below…

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cricut. The opinions and text are all mine.

Life Update

I don’t really blog anymore. There. I said it! It has been forever since I sat down and wrote a lifestyle, fashion or general style post and I’m here today to tell you why. Why I have let this passion of mine fall by the wayside, and WHY it is OKAY.

Since graduating last year, life has picked up. Anyone who knows me inside and out, knows how much I love to teach. It has been my heart and soul for the last two years, studying teaching methods and creating my “teaching practice”, and that is what consumes me. Fortunately for me, I walked out of school with a position in two school boards, ready to do what I love, and change lives. There has been laughter, tears, an abundance of stress and lots of smiles during this first year. I moved into teaching the first grade, coming to love and know twenty beautiful souls that I will forever cherish as my “first real class”. I am back in an occasional teaching role, and am now kept busy day in and day out with different students of all different ages.

It sounds busy, doesn’t it? It is busy. Like, it is CRAZY busy. The amount of running around, and switching mindsets that I have done in the last six months is nothing I could have ever imagined for my first year of teaching. The good news is, is while this seems like I am saying “poor me, look at my busy, busy life”…I am throwing all these words down to say I. LOVE. IT.

Every single moment of it. The good and the bad. These last six months have made me realize that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. Teaching others is a passion that cannot be replaced in my world.

Are you still with me?

So by now…(if you haven’t stopped reading)…you are probably wondering WHY I am telling you all of this. There are a number of reasons, really, for which I won’t bore you all with. The main reason is to share. Share this happiness that I am feeling, and hopefully inspire someone to go after their dreams.

As for my blogging? Through the many years I have spent studying, blogging has been an outlet for me. A passion to turn my thoughts into meaningful words, published for whoever wants to spend the time reading them. I still consider it to be an outlet, but not a necessary outlet.

It’s a place I come to express my thoughts and share my ideas…and that’s the attitude I will take going forward. I want to get back to creating posts that I love. I want to explore new attitudes and ideas, and write more lifestyle pieces that tells you guys who I am. So there we have it…a new outlook on writing, my purpose and a major update on my part! I am so excited for more dreams to come true, and to be able to share more of my life on Pearls and Polkadots. Until next time…cheers everyone!

Spring Blush

With all this snow we have been getting, I am wishing for Spring. Around this time of year, I like to brighten up my wardrobe and pull out some fun colours hoping that spring will grace us with her presence. It seems as if the snow is never going to melt away, but I am hopeful that we are going to see spring some time soon!

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Blouse: c/o Pink BlushJeans: Urban Planet

Mauve is a soft, neutral colour.  I consider it to be in the “blush pink” family. It goes with pretty much any colour and is absolutely the perfect colour base for a spring outfit. Blush emulates pink, but isn’t as vibrant and in your face – stunning for this time of year. I picked this blouse up at my favourite feminine online boutique, Pink Blush. I always look to Pink Blush for cute, feminine pieces that I can add to my closet. Especially around this time of year when I am looking to brighten up my wardrobe!

My favourite look for this tie front blouse is pairing it with jeans on the bottom. Anyone who knows me, know I love to use jeans as the basis of my outfits. A good pair of jeans is a staple in any woman’s wardrobe – no matter the season. However, there are so many different ways you could style this tie front blouse. You can dress it up by adding a fun patterned skirt on the bottom, or even with some lighter pastel or white pants on the bottom for summer!

I like to add third pieces on top of outfits generally as well. When we think about how many months we spend layering in Canada, it’s nice to always keep a third piece in mind when looking at a basic outfit like this one. I chose to add a fun textured “teddy coat”. It’s also a neutral coloured piece, which means it won’t take away from the blouse itself…and gives the whole look another dimension. Always add the third piece! I tend to wrap myself up in sweaters in this cold weather, but having fun blouses that you can transition from winter to spring, is key in keeping your wardrobe consistent!

**Although this post was sponsored by PinkBlush,  my review, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Fall Chenille

It’s my favourite time of year and we are in complete full swing. Despite the gloomy rain, I pretty much love everything about the fall season. This year, I have been consumed with school. I am no longer a student and am now a full blown teacher – hard to believe, eh? There is nothing I love more, than a comfy sweater to spend those long school days in and this year, I am LOVING chenille fabric.

Details

Sweater: c/o Pink Blush  / Jeans: Urban Planet / Shoes: Converse

Chenille is a soft, velvet-like fabric. It has an amazing feel, is super cozy and PERFECT for these chilly fall days we are having. I got this at my favourite women’s online boutique, Pink Blush. I can almost guarantee you will find a gorgeous piece for any season in their boutique. My closet is certainly stocked full of chic items (thank you Pink Blush!). 

My go-to look for this sweater is accompanying it with jeans on the bottom. I think that jeans are a great fall piece to have (and every woman should have a favourite pair of jeans in their closet ready to go). There are many other ways you could style this sweater. You can style it with a cute fall skirt, or even with some darker pants to really make the colour POP in the sweater. Another way I wear this chenille is with a third piece on top of the sweater along with the jeans.

Having a third piece to any outfit takes your look up a notch, because it adds another element. My typical third piece is a vest in the fall because it gives the look texture and I love the layered look! However, you could do a cute jacket or scarf as well (great opportunity to pattern mix with the scarf!). There are so many ways you can style a fall sweater…which is exactly what I love about sweaters in general. Also, I can get across enough that this fabric is SO SOFT!

**Although this post was sponsored by PinkBlush,  my review, thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

 

Styled Bookshelf Inspiration

When it comes to organization, I like to think of myself as being skilled. However, there is a difference between being efficient and stylish in your home organization. I lack the skills in making my home “stylish”. Whenever I look at a new space to redesign, I have a lot of difficulty forming that image in my head.

My go to tool to help me start brainstorming ideas (which I sometimes imitate exactly), is PinterestAs some of you may know, I am in the midst of redecorating my bedroom. It is definitely a slow process since I am on a budget, and don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to doing so.

This past weekend, I dedicated my time to thinking about my two book shelves. I have never been one to style a book shelf so that it is a decorative piece in the room. Well, this time around, things are about to change!

Today, I am rounding up some of my favourite book shelf looks from Pinterest. These photos are what will be inspiring me for this part of my redesign! Enjoy!

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white, pink and gold shelves / Not Your Standard Office

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Read More at: blogshomes.blogspot.com

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A must-see makeover! Check out the transformation of this gorgeous home office decorated with vintage finds and tons of farmhouse charm at LoveGrowsWild.com

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7 Dreamy organized bookshelves where the love of book meets style

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I really love a more neutral palette for a styled book shelf. However, I have a lot of colourful books, so I am planning on organizing the colours and making it work! Let me know which shot you like best in the comments below! Stay tuned for my styled book shelf look!

Cheers!