Why I LOVED Valentine’s Day in 2017- SireneWorld

The last couple of months have felt like living in a war zone of political views between families, friends, colleagues, and anything that holds some sort of human relationship.

I am that V-day grinch who feels Valentine’s Day is a marketing stunt for consumers. But this year, I definitely loved all the marketing on love, friendship, chocolate, roses, and anything that feels mushy, cheesy, and overly lovey dovey. I loved seeing my Facebook timeline full of people showing their Valentine’s gifts. I loved every photo of married couples reminiscing on their Valentine’s love over the years. I loved seeing all the snap stories celebrating love. I loved showing my love to those I appreciate through a text or something materialistic like a balloon, or some dessert. It felt really great and not overly cheesy.

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For a while, I have felt a little disoriented and confused about people’s choices. But, thanks to Valentine’s Day and a project I’ve been working on (more about it later), my brain can humanize humans more efficiently again. Not that I think humans are monsters or anything. I’ve just felt very disconnected from everyone and everything lately.

This Valentines I am not only gratefully in love with my Baby Seal, family, and friends, but I am also grateful for the new people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Coming from a place where I have felt disconnected and not really myself, they are a reminder that kindness among strangers exists. And, that people love “love”. And that, my friends, rules over anything else. People love “love” and I am happy they aren’t afraid of showing it off.

Alas, Valentines came to save the day guys! haha. Thank you for stopping by.

Stay goovy,
Sirene

 

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Houston’s #ILoveYouWall- Graffiti Tour Proposal

 All who have visited Houston in the last couple of years have noticed its art murals. If you haven’t, it’s time you paid a visit to the Heights, Eado, or all central Houston for that matter. There are so many bad ass murals all over town, you will be mind-blown. Kind of like I was exactly one week ago when one of my best friends proposed to his girlfriend in front of their own “I Love You” wall.

Since their first date over a year ago, when he took her to see some of Houston’s graffiti walls, he knew she was the one. He also knew he wanted to make his marriage proposal exceptionally special and memorable. And that, my friends, he did! He was able to get in contact with a local Houston artist, Shelbi Nicole, who has several murals and other artwork all over the city. Read more about her art work here.

The plan was to create an art wall that represented both, my friend Joshua and his girlfriend Alicia, but also one that could be relatable to the public. Mastermind Shelbi and Joshua came up with the idea of an “I Love You” wall for his surprise proposal, and it turned out fantastical.

Exactly one week ago Joshua, Alicia, and a couple of other friends (myself included) went on a graffiti tour led by Shelbi. She showed us really great wall art by various Houston graffiti artists, including her own #PolkaDotWall (one of my faves). The last stop was her brand new #ILoveYouWall, where Joshua proposed to Alicia. The reveal was the best, I was so nervous and so excited for all three of them- Shelbi included cos she did an amazing job touring us and of course creating and revealing the ILY wall.

I cannot think of a better way to end 2016. Seeing both, Joshua and Shelbi, prepare for so long and finally seeing Alicia’s expression when she realized what she was standing in front of made that day one of the best days of 2016. Nevertheless, a great way to say goodbye to a new year and begin a new one. So much happiness. So much love. Cheers to 2017 and having many #ILoveYouWall moments!

I filmed the proposal, scroll down and check out the big moment for yourself! *warning, it’s a bit shaky in the beginning, and you might hear me shriek of joy. Also, it might make you sob a bit.* lol

Isn’t this the cutest thing? I call it the best graffiti tour in Houston’s history! What do you think?

Stay groovy,
-Sirene

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Pet Shop Boys-Super Tour, HTx

Oh, the Pet Shop Boys. Such legendary sound in that name and set. I had the chance to see them in concert this past Wednesday, November 2 at White Oak Music Hall. It was fantastical to say the least. I found out who the Pet Shop Boys were back in high school (05-06?), in a MySpace page. lol. I’ve grown to appreciate them and what they have done for the music industry more and more as time passes. They played a variety of songs from their latest album and of course some classics. Even though this tour is about Super, I love their ability to carry their style in their newest sounds. I took so many pictures of such an amazing show. I am posting only a few because quite frankly, Pet Shop Boys is one of those bands that everyone should experience live at least once in their life time. If the show is coming near you, I encourage you to go! You won’t be disappointed. Great music, great visual effects,  great company. That is all.

Do you listen to PSB? What’s your favorite song of theirs?! 😀

Stay groovy, Pop Kids!
Sirene

PSB 2016
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If you are interested, here is the set list: http://www.vintagevinylnews.com/2016/07/set-list-pet-shop-boys-pull-out-some.html

 

This is not a compensated post. All opinions are my own. 

Dia de los Muertos in Houston!

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Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead altar at one of the campuses I work at.

Dia de los Muertos is a holiday celebrated by various Hispanic and European communities, although now a days becoming more popular in the US. It is a day where we celebrate our dead relatives, young and adult spirits. During this holiday, altars with “offerings” are put together by families  for their loved ones who have passed away. Offerings include food, candy, water, and even booze for the older souls. Legend says the gates of heaven are opened for the younger souls, los angelitos, on October 31 at midnight. The more adult souls come to pick them up later in the evening of November 1st, where they get to celebrate and reunite with their families in a spiritual way. Although I have never celebrated the holiday, I adore the concept of celebrating our dead ones. Death is a sad concept here on earth because we are left with unbearable wounds and memories of those who have left us. But, the Day of the Dead adds a positive spin to death in a way nothing does. It reunites families with loved ones in a spiritual way that requires tons of meditation, creativity, and good purpose while healing ones heart. The picture you see above is from an altar I came across in one of my campuses (I am somewhat of a teacher during the day). Students and faculty put this altar together to celebrate their dead ones. I absolutely fell in love with it. They had candy, bread, fruit, and flame-less candles. I hope this short post gives you a bit of an insight of a holiday with so much emotion, creativity, and love. Have you ever celebrated Day of the Dead?

-Stay Groovy,
Sirene

Learn more about el Dia de los Muertos here:http://www.mexicansugarskull.com/support/dodhistory.html

 

This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

Last Minute Halloween Decor

Halloween is upon us my friends! I love Halloween, although I didn’t always. Mainly because I grew up not celebrating the holiday up until I started going to college. Yes, you guessed it, I was one of those college girls wearing a hoochie Halloween costume. Haha. Hey, it was fun and the thing to do! It’s still the thing to do, but I am passed the hoochie costumes. I rather spend time creating my own costume or painting my face into something cool these days.

Anyways, enough blabbering. Below are a few Halloween decor items that my niece and I created at the very last minute for this Halloween. All things are very simple to make. But, for some pieces you may wanna stop by your nearest craft store or dollar store.

Candle Cauldron:
Need:
Small mason jar
Black Paint
Old candle (or candle wax)
Candle wick
Wire
Scent for candle (optional)
Dried small flowers (optional)

Steps:
1. Measure a ring around cauldron neck with wire. Create a handle with wire and attach it to ring around cauldron neck. You may wanna use tweezers to twist both pieces together.
2. paint cauldron, wire too if you want.
3. Melt candle wax in a double boiler (I used to old pots). Mix in scent.
4. Pour in melted candle wax into “cauldron”. Sprinkle in dried flowers.

Jello Brain
Need
1. Jello Mix: I used a cream coconut flavor mixed with milk to resemble brain flesh and a strawberry jello mix to resemble the “bloody” part of brain.
2. Brain Mold (I got mine at Dollar Tree for $1)

Steps
1.Follow steps for jello on jello box.
2. Place jello on mold according to how you’d like the colors to appear once the jello hardens. I first did a layer of cream coconut, allowed jello to stiffen, then added red jello.


Creepy Angel
Need
1. 
Ceramic angel (from dollar store)
2. Old plastic artificial grape, I had one laying around from old decor.
3. Paint
4. Paint brushes
Steps
1. paint any creepy eyes on angel
2. Paint eyeball on grape. You don’t need to know how to draw for this. Just google eye ball clip art and go from there.

Floating candles
Need
1. Toilet paper and napkin carton roll tubes. (don’t throw them, save a couple). I used different sizes of them to add a hint of variety in candles. Not all candles are same size, specially if they’ve been burning for a while.
2. Flameless tea lights (from dollar store)
3. Clear string
4. White paint
5. Hot glue gun (optional)

Steps
1. Paint cartons to what ever color your candles will be. I chose white.
2. Add hot glue to top rim of tube. Add hot glue in a way  that resembles melted wax dripping down.
3. Punch two small holes on top rim, each on opposite sides.
4. Slide clear string through holes. Leave enough string to hang.
5. Place flameless candle on stop of tube, it should sit comfortably on the string.
6. Hang your candle!

If you have any more questions on these DIY’s do leave your comments down below. Each one of these pieces were so fun to do. What made them even more special was doing all of them with my sweet niece. Do you have any fun and spooky DIY ideas you’re doing for Halloween this year? I’d love to hear about them!

Stay spooky,
-Sirene

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.”

El Gato Coffeehouse Pop-Up Party! 

This past Sunday I attended El Gato Coffeehouse’s Pop Up Party, and wow! The idea behind this coffee shop has got to be one of the coolest things about Houston right now. I know that’s a big statement, but hear me out. El Gato Coffeehouse could be Houston’s first coffee shop that will merge a coffee shop environment with a cat petting section with adoptable kittens.

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I am certain we have all heard of cat-petting-themed cafés but, what makes El Gato Coffeehouse unique is its partnership with Houston Humane Society. El Gato Coffeehouse’s goal is to provide its customers with a hip coffee shop environment while simultaneously providing an opportunity for Houston kittens to find a “furrever” home. Customers can expect a place to relax (or work) or a place to play with Houston kittens while enjoying a nice cuppa, among other tasty treats and specialty drinks.

 

 

Walking in, customers will find themselves in a hip coffee shop: coffee bar with various treats and drink options, cool coffee chairs and tables to hang out or work at. On the cat-lounge side of things, guests will have a chance to interact with adoptable kittens from Houston Humane Society for a small fee. The cat lounge will be an adoption center suitable for 15-20 adoptable kittens, each with a place to be themselves while mingling and bonding with El Gato Coffeehouse guests.

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They were all my fave, but this one stole my heart!

During the free pop-up party event this past Sunday, guests were able to walk into an idea of what will be the coffee shop area and then walk around to the cat petting area. The petting area will be in the same building, but in a completely closed off room, away from the food, drinks, and whatnot. We were able to take our drinks in and then had the chance to play with roughly 5 kittens. All of which were playful and very friendly.  The party showcased different local artists in Houston that had excellent cat-inspired work! From wall art pieces to statement necklaces and handbags, the items being sold were all so cool, perfect for the artsy feel of El Gato Coffeehouse.  Check them out:

Although this project is still in the works, I feel it will take Houston’s hip community to the next level while doing so much for Houston animals.  Not only did guests show so much love to these adorable kittens, but we did so as a community. There was so much togetherness during this event. It all felt like a group activity rather than a bunch of individuals petting kitties. Everyone was so happy and amused by the kittens, strangers were hanging out with strangers, laughing and petting the cats. The one thing we all had in common was the love we wanted to share with the kittens.

 

The project was founded by Renee Reed, a native Houstonian and lifelong cat lover. With the launch of El Gato Coffeehouse and the help of the Houston Humane Society, Reed hopes to educate and raise awareness to the Houston community about cat population control. If you would like to donate to this amazing project, Reed has set up a Kickstarter account to raise funds for this amazing cause.

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Renee Reed

Without a doubt, this one of the coolest things about Houston right now. Even if the project hasn’t officially taken off, it’s a beautiful thing to have Houstonians advocate for animals in such a grand way. I often hear people speak of their love towards animals, but very rarely do I see people actually take action and express that love in a way that will benefit so many. I cannot wait for this project to take off! I will definitely be one of the “regulars” at El Gato Coffeehouse. I can’t wait! Thank you for stopping by.

Stay groovy,

Sirene

Band “The Other” wrapping up the event.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

 

 

Long Lasting Memories- In a Mug!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

If you are reading this, I will assume you have more than one coffee/tea mug. I will also assume you are considering adding another mug to your collection or want to design one as a gift for someone else. Either way, today I will show you how I created a long lasting custom designed coffee mug. Self-designed mugs have been around for years and, thanks to Pinterest, over the years the recipe to designing these mugs continues to get more efficient.

img_8411When I first read about self-designed cups, I read they were designed with sharpie markers and then baked for 30 minutes. However, when searching for designs for my own cup, I also came across countless of reviews talking about how faulty that method is. Nevertheless, I decided to give the method ago but instead, I doubled the steps and added one more material to the process: Acrylic sealing spray. And that my friends, appears to be doing the trick. Mind you, it was a long process but one that is worth it if you want to give a gift that lasts.

So, here’s what you need:
1. Blank mug, whatever color
2. A design for your mug
3. Oil based sharpie marker(s)
4. Oven
5. Acrylic sealing spray
6. Gloves


Steps:

  1. Draw your design on the mug once and allow it to dry for 2 hours. Add another coat to your design and allow it to dry, again for two hours. (Tip: if you need help on how to draw or transfer your own design on to the mug, check out this blog post: http://crafts.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-decorate-a-coffee-mug-using-a-porcelain-marker–craft-7454)
  2. Place mug in cool oven and allow it heat up to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes and let it sit in the oven until it is completely cooled off. Do not move the mug while hot because the ceramic can crack. Once the mug is cool to the touch, you can move to step 3.
  3. Draw over your design one more time. Allow to dry for two hours.
  4. Repeat step 2.
  5. Once mug is completely cooled off, put on your gloves, go outside, and spray your mug with the acrylic sealing spray. 1-2 coats is enough.
  6. Allow your cup to dry for 2-3 hours.

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Yes, I know this is a long process! But it’s what seems to be working. Below is a picture of the cup I gave my friend after many washes.


I had a great time creating this project. Even though I had to design two mugs since I accidentally dropped and broke the first one. Haha. Have you ever designed a mug with sharpies? If so, did the design last? I would love to learn more ways to make ceramic designs that last and survive the dishwasher. I can’t wait to see how this mug turns out in a year or so. Don’t worry, I’ll update this blog post :P. In the meantime, I will continue designing mugs using this method. Remember, there’s no limit to your creativity.

Thank you for stopping by!

Stay groovy,

-Sirene

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.