DIY your own Slime Notebook



If you’re obsessed with slime and want to take it to the next level, make this slime notebook and be the coolest kid in the class! Fill your notebook with your fave type of slime and give yourself something to do to stay occupied.

Supplies needed:
Clear pencil case
– 8 ounces of Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue
– 1 tablespoon baking soda
– Tablespoon
– Spoon for mixing
– 1 tablespoon saline solution
– Glitter in your choice of colors
Food coloring that matches the colors of your glitters
Glue gun and glue sticks
Clear packing tape or duck tape
– Paper, glue, and scissors to cover your notebook

1. In a large bowl, mix 8 ounces of Aleene’s Clear Gel Tacky Glue with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Mix thoroughly.

2. Mix in 1 tablespoon of saline solution until slime forms.

3. Divide the slime into three small bowls.

4. Add a drop of food coloring into each bowl of slime.

5. Add coordinating color of glitter into each bowl and mix.

6. Cover your notebook in white cardstock.

7. Apply glue all around the edges of the front of your notebook. Immediately press the plastic pencil case onto the front.

8. Wrap the pencil case around the bottom and to inside cover.

9. Place slime inside the pencil case and spread around with your hand.

10. Close pencil case up and use tape to secure to inside cover.

11. Decorate spine with additional ribbon or washi tape if desired.

Now it’s time to show off your creation. All of your friends are going to ask you to make them one too…I think you should totally charge for it. LOL!

If you like this video, check out more of my project on the Darby Smart app, you can download it in the iTunes store.

DIY your own Mother’s Day Card with Bubble Painting


I love crafty experiments. I love pop culture. So let’s just say I LOVE to combine my passions into my crafts. For this month’s Darby Smart video project, I was given a challenge to create a Mother’s Day DIY, so I tried my hand at bubble painting and layered on stickers and some celebrity cutouts!

For this project, you will need just a few supplies…

– Acrylic Paint
– Water
– Dish soap
– Plastic of paper straw
– Paper cups
– Cardstock
– Stickers
– Markers
– Scissors
– Digital printouts or magazine cuttings of celebs

Simply mix one part water to one part paint in a paper cup. Squeeze in a little bit of dish soap, then blow into the mixture using a straw to make the bubbles start flowing out. Get the bubble effect on paper by either placing the cardstock directly onto the bubbles or scooping them up using a spoon. Continue making bubbles on your paper until your desired look is achieved.

I applied black stickers to my card that I purchased at Michaels, but you use paint or markers to write a message of your choice. Use Aleene’s Tacky Glue or double stick tape to apply your celebrity image. Of course,you don’t have to use a celebrity cutout, that’s just how I roll. Do whatever floats your boat!

For more of my DIY videos like this, follow me on the Darby App. You can download it now in the app store. You can even make your own videos using the app and create your own channel to curate and share your own vids.

Join the Darby Smart app + 10 cute canvas art ideas



I’m so excited to share that I’ve been made a Darby Smart host for the next year, where I’ll be sharing tons of video content on their official Darby Smart app.  If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, visit the app store and download it and take a peek.  It’s a nifty little app where you can watch quick and snappy DIY videos from tons of talented creators + upload and make your own!  I’m very impressed with all the cool tools they’ve been creating for the app!  My favorite parts of it are the rainbow type tool and ability to speed up and rearrange your video clips so easily!


Since Vine is officially dead (R.I.P.), this app has taken over that space for me and I’ve uploaded about 20 videos so far…a lot of them are exclusive to the Darby Smart app, but I’ve also curated a lot of of my own Vine footage into cute little videos like the one below showing how to make 10 clever canvas DIYs.  Take a look and I encourage you to follow me over on the Darby app where you can stay updated when I post my latest DIY video.  Every month as a Darby host, I’ll be uploading videos for the season.  I will try to post them here for you to view too, but the Darby app is where you’ll see them first!

What Dexter taught me about life, love, and family

handsome dexter 2

handsome dexter 2
Compensation was provided for this post by Purina

Sometimes the best moments in life are the ones you don’t see coming. The funny thing is, I’m not a very risky or adventurous person and I’m pretty calculated in my actions and life choices. It’s pretty rare that I make a split-second decision, but a few years back I went with my gut and ended up finding a new best friend and family member.

On a mild fall night in October 2011, my boyfriend (now husband) William and I were driving back from a wedding and were making our way through Oakdale, a small town in California. As we were driving by a factory parking lot, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a little blonde kitten dart behind our car onto a four-lane highway. My heart sunk at the thought of the poor kitten getting hit in oncoming traffic and I knew I had to turn around. I immediately made a U-turn, stopped, and William jumped out of the car to chase the kitten down. The little guy was so scared to see someone coming for him, and he tried to make a quick escape through a chain link fence. Even though the kitten resisted capture and did everything to wiggle through the tight opening of the fence, William returned to the car with the frightened feline in his arms.

baby-dexWe stopped at William’s mom’s house to spend the night and put the kitten in the laundry room, since it was small and cozy and he couldn’t really get lost in there. The little blond tabby immediately started coming out of his shell and showing his personality. I took this photo of him sitting in my mother-in-law’s dog food dish. It was at this point I knew he was a keeper.

This was the first time in my life that I was responsible for a baby kitten inside my home! We gave him a bath and got him acclimated to his new life in our apartment. William and I introduced him to Pixie, my older and skittish black cat, and she was not very happy about her new housemate at first. It took a while for them to bond, let’s just say it was and still is a love/hate relationship.


We decided to name him Dexter (after our love of the TV Show) and I quickly became THAT Mom … you could call me the “Pawparazzi.” I took a billion photos … I mean, just look at that face! We spent all of our free time with him snuggling and playing. I realized that Dexter’s carefree attitude and quirky and curious spirit was bringing a lot of joy, laughter and better communication out of both William and I. He definitely filled a void we didn’t know we were missing. What was cool about it was that this wasn’t “my cat”, he was “our cat” and that little two-bedroom apartment became a home filled with lots of love and happy activity.

A few years have passed and we are now in a house with much more space for Dexter to roam. Even though he’s larger in size, Dexter still very much remains our baby and it’s important to us that he’s healthy. Last year, he concerned us big-time when he navigated under our crawl space and became severely dehydrated. This resulted in a kidney scare and a stint at the animal hospital. Having faced such a critical situation, we knew we needed to take his daily nutrition needs more seriously. Luckily Purina Pro Plan has provided us with healthy formulas that put us at ease knowing he’s getting protein-packed ingredients that support his digestive health.


While we have normally served Dexter the dry variety of Purina Pro Plan, we recently added the wet food into his feeding routine. Dexter was crazy for the wet White Meat Chicken and Vegetable Entrée and couldn’t wait for me to empty it out of the can. What’s nice about the wet food is it’s a great way for him to get added hydration. He hasn’t always been the greatest at drinking from his water bowls throughout the day, and this food is packed full of moisture so I can be more at ease. If your cat is like Dexter and you are looking for ways to get him or her to drink more water, check out this article. There’s some great insights on why your cat might be avoiding the water bowl and what you can do to change up in your environment to help your cat stay hydrated.

dexter eating proplan

As you can tell, Dexter LOVED this this wet food. He licked the entire bowl and even tried to see if any was left in the can. If you are looking for a new, healthy option for your cat, follow this link to Purina Pro Plan’s Wet Cat Food site, where you’ll find a coupon to save on this food. There’s a ton of awesome flavors, proteins, and textures for even the pickiest of eaters, in varieties that include pasta, vegetables, cheese and rice. It’s also nice to know that Purina’s nutrition is backed by a team of over 400 scientists, including nutritionists, behaviorists and veterinarians. Dexter isn’t just a cat, he’s a member of the family, and I’m grateful that Purina provides ingredients that elevate his quality of life.


Yeah, this little guy has my heart and I’m so glad I made the choice to make a U-turn and save him from that busy road. William and I are lucky to call him our own and the love we have for him grows every day. We can’t wait to share many more indelible moments together.

Until next time Swellions!

Alexa (and Dexter)

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

10 Funniest Adult Coloring Books



You would have to be stuck under a rock to not see how HUGE adult coloring books have become these past couple of years.  I’m not so much a fan of the floral and fauna coloring books that are out there right now.  If I have to spend time getting meditative while coloring, you better believe that  I’m looking for a funny adult coloring book that has some wit, pop culture, or sarcasm involved.  Hey, you might as well throw in a cuss word or two- I definitely think it makes the coloring much more enjoyable.  I was interested in purchasing some books for myself and thought I’d make a list that you might enjoy as well too! Here’s the top 10 coloring books I found that I hope will make you laugh while getting your zen on!

I am sick of this shit coloring book
The foul-mouthed sailor in your life who needs to wind down will love this “Swear And Relax” coloring book titled “I am sick of this Shi*t”  Haha, I think I know what half of my friends are getting for Christmas this year. Get the book here:

Unicorns are jerks coloring book

I always think of unicorns as mystical, magical creatures whose rare beauty leaves you in a glaze.  Apparently, this is not the case.  According to author Theo Nicole Lorenz, Unicorns are JERKS! Learn the hard sparkly truth about these majestic creatures here:

The 1990's Coloring Book

If you wore scrunchies, listened to Vanilla Ice, or couldn’t get enough of “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego”, then you’ll love “The 1990’s Coloring Book” by James Grange. The cover alone is giving me all the Saved by The Bell feels.  Get your copy here:

#MomLife A Snarky Adult Coloring Book Amazon
If you are a Mom, then you know the STRUGGLE IS REAL!  Wind down after a day of terrible parenting with this hilarious coloring book: “#MomLife A Snarky Adult Coloring Book” by ; it’s a great way to decompress all that Mom guilt you’ve been hanging onto.  This also makes a great gift for that friend who needs a much deserved “Mommy Time Out” too.  Get the book here:

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If you’re a fan of quote art like me and you like some truth spoken to get a kick in the pants, then “Make Life Your Bitch” by John T might just be up your alley.   Forget the cheesy quote art and let’s get real friends!  Get the book here:

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If you hate “Adulting”, then you’ll love the “Coloring for Grown-ups” book by Ryan Hunter & Taige Jensen. With drawings like, “Hipster vs. Homeless” and a maze that asks you to navigate through the perils of life without health insurance, you’ll get lots of laughs with this book. Get the book here:

Color me Swooooon
Color in the the hotties of Hollywood with Mel Elliott’s “Color Me Swooooon”  With over 125 images of handsome beefcakes, you’ll be more than satisfied! Get the book here

Apocalypse coloring book

The doomsday prepper in your life will love “The Apocalypse Coloring & Activity Book” by Theo Nicole Lorenz.  Not only will it be great gift for now, but you may wanna stock up for doomsday too!  You never know.  Get the book here:

Have some pun coloring book
Nothing gets better than depravity and a good pun, so “Have Some Pun” swear word coloring book” by the Swear Word Coloring Group may be the most epic of all these choices. Get your copy here:

Dinosaurs with Jobs coloring book
If you love watching T-rex do push-ups then Dinosaurs with Jobs by Theo Nicole Lorenz might be your jam.  Haha Dinosaurs doing jobs…this makes me want to get the book just to see how they are portrayed! Get the book here

Dexter’s Backyard Jungle Adventure


Compensation was provided for this post by Purina

Did you know Purina Pro Plan has proclaimed June 15 is National “Take Your Cat on an Adventure” Day? If there’s one thing my tabby cat, Dexter, loves more than food, it’s having his own adventure in our backyard. As soon as I open the door, Dexter is always there to make amad dash outside. Our backyard is filled with everything he loves: a variety of trees, lots of grass, and tons of gardening supplies and fun DIY projects. Dexter definitely is the king of this backyard jungle.
Dexter’s favorite thing to do in the backyard is roll around in the grass.  It’s like he’s swimming in a bathtub filled with very potent catnip. Talk about an ultimate sensory overload!
Dexter doesn’t limit his passion for grass just to rolling in it…he sometimes goes in for the taste test.  Weeding is definitely an outdoor chore I need help with and I’m happy to put this guy to work and pay him in food. Haha!dexter-eating-proplan
Speaking of food,  I decided to treat Dexter to a little picnic outside with his favorite meal – Purina Pro Plan.  The yummy morsels definitely give him the fuel he needed for several more hours of play. Lately, he’s needed more energy to keep up with a feisty new backyard visitor.
A couple months back we got a new puppy named Lazer and he’s definitely kept Dexter on his toes (or should I say paws?). While the two  aren’t BFF’s, Dexter is intrigued by his playful personality and is always up for a little pouncing action.dexter-pounce-new
It’s actually quite hilarious to watch Dexter get into pounce mode.  He lays flat like a snake on the ground and literally becomes “Lazer-focused”.  His eyes and ears are at high alert and his backside starts to twitch.  Meanwhile, Lazer usually is hopping around and taunting Dexter to come and get him.  It’s insanely cute to watch.dexter-and-lazer-playing
It was very hard to capture these two in action. They moved SO fast! The general vibe can be conveyed in the two photos above.  It’s pretty obvious they are the definition of a love/hate relationship.
After all that heart-pumping action, Dexter hopped up into Dad’s chair for some relaxation. Luckily, Lazer still can’t jump high enough to reach the seat.  I know Dexter is in his element outdoors and William and I like to give him supervised playtime whenever we can.  Seeing him happy makes us happy and we love that he has safe space to roam and make his own.

Remember to mark June 15 on your calendars and celebrate your cat with a special adventure.Visit to see other great cat adventures and learn more. Whether it’s taking him on a walk, hosting a kitty play date, or buying a new toy, it’s a reminder to keep our cats healthy and active!

Until next time Swellions!
Alexa (and Dexter)

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


DIY Stained Glass Crayon Candles


I love a good crayon craft, YES I DO!  I thought it would be fun to see if I could make a cool stained-glass effect using a pack of crayons and a hair dryer.  I think the end result turned out pretty darn cool.  Let me show you just how easy it is to make these colorful candles for yourself!
What you need:
– Crayons
– Glass Votives
– Tea lights
– Hairdryer
Unwrap your crayons.  If you need to, you can let them set in a bowl of water for a few minutes to make them easier to remove.
Break of several chunks of crayons.  You don’t need to use the entire thing!  A little goes a long way.

Drop the crayons in the bottom of your votive
Turn on your hair dryer and start swirling the colors around. It won’t take long for them to start melting.
Keep going!  Remember to not go so far that your colors start blending all into the same color…only unless you do want them that way!  Who knows, you might! 
Drop your candle in and you are ready to make your candles come to life!  You may wonder if the crayons will continue to met.  For mine, I know they got a little tacky from the heat of the candle, but the actual swirly design stayed the same.

What kind of colors would you love to play around for this technique?

Swell likes to make stuff

Screen shot 2016-04-28 at 9.04.50 PM

I realized that even though I make a bunch of stuff, I have neglected to share the wealth on all my social media channels.  These days, my go-to places to post have been Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram and I know not everyone is in those places, so I thought I’d share with you a few of the things I’ve stashed away in these spaces.


A couple weeks ago, I made these pretty dipped planters from $1 planters from the 99¢ store.  I used the nail polish marbling technique where you fil a small bin with water, then add a few drops of nail polish in your favorite colors.  I dipped the planter in at an angle to give it a modern touch, and filled it with some succulents I picked up from Lowe’s!  I gave two of them as gifts and my friends adored them.

emoji unicorn tote DIY swelldesigner
I occasionally do projects on the fly at work for our social media sites. A few months back when there was a new emoji release, I painted this unicorn.  It was probably my favorite new emoji out of all the new ones!  I hand-painted this in about an hour.  Sometimes when I work on these little on-the-fly paintings, I realize how my painting skills have become a lot better has I’ve gotten older. I understand shading and highlighting so much more than I used to!

I was in a saucy mood when I made these little canvases at my friend Laura’s holiday party in December.  I like how all three look totally different, but all make a neat little set.  I love drawing hearts and cute lady portraits.  I don’t do the portrait illustrations very often…I think I enjoy it, cause I loved drawing fashion sketches as a little girl and giving them personalit

rhinestone toaster

I blinged this toaster out for a work video/project. Though, the project didn’t really turn out, I still really like how this piece came toegether. I call it the “Beyonce of Toasters” and I think it’s pretty epic.  I’m not sure a toaster with glued-on rhinestones is exactly usable, but I think it will make a great display piece.

make cool stuff watercolor journal

Last year, I went to a seminar by Brit+Co and during it they had watercolor at all of the tables for participants to get creative with during the speakers.  I made this along with permanent marker for the type!  They had so many cute backgrounds to photograph stuff on and I decided using these paper fans.  Makes me want my own paper fan display just for photography!

In addition to these projects, I’ve been making projects weekly in my “DIY time with Swelldesigner” series on Snapchat!  I’ve been trying to inject some humor in with those! I also share more craft ideas on my Vine channel here. I’d love it if you followed me in the fun DIYs!

Dexter’s DinnerTime Routine

Alexa 7

Alexa 1
Compensation was provided for this post by Purina via studioD.

After a long work day, it’s always a welcome surprise to find my tabby cat, Dexter, meowing at me as soon as I walk in the door. I would like to think he’s saying, “Hey Mom! I missed you and my day was boring without you,” but I always know he has a hidden agenda, and I’m guessing you’ve already figured it out: F-O-O-D! Yep, this cat has a one-track mind.

William and I don’t immediately give into these hungry cries. See, Dexter is the most playful and cuddly right before he’s fed, so we like to take full advantage of these sweet moments. It’s the only time he purrs and actually lets us hold him.

Before feeding time, we like to break out the cat toys, and of course, the beloved laser pointer. Dexter LOVES chasing the big red dot. He scales the walls, runs in circles, and knocks the covers off the bed playing with that thing; he’s obsessed.

Alexa 2Just look at that intensity! MUST. CATCH. RED. DOT.

Alexa 3Next up is some cuddles with Dad. There’s even a neck and ear massage. Wow, this is the life.

Alexa 4(10 seconds later) This ear rub is wearing out its welcome. I think this little guy has waited long enough for his evening meal.

Alexa 5
William starts rustling the  Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend bag and Dexter, immediately intrigued, comes to investigate.

Alexa 6
It was in this moment that he started purring REALLY loudly.  Dexter’s doesn’t purr very often, so this is kind of a big deal.

Alexa 7
Dexter ate a little handful out of William’s hand and Dexter devoured the crunchy pieces. It was such a sweet moment and so loving. They’ve always had such a strong bond. I know that William is Dexter’s person. I love watching them together.
Alexa 8
After William’s handful was done, Dexter decided he needed more. He even pushed over the bag with his paw. This cat knows what he likes!
Alexa 9
Of course, I poured my little guy some more of the Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend.  He immediately smelled the aroma and rushed over to munch down the meaty and tender pieces.  This food is loaded with protein, with chicken being the main ingredient. It also has Vitamin A and omega fatty acids to help his skin and coat and to promote healthy vision. Last year, Dexter had some kidney issues, so I was very relieved there are probiotics in this formula that are beneficial for his digestive tract. It’s important to us that he’s getting the best quality food!

Alexa 1_b
After Dexter chowed down, he took time to enjoy a sunset in the windowsill. What’s better than checking out all the activity going on outdoors? This guy sure knows how to unwind after a meal.

If you’re looking for a new nutritious and tasty meal for your cat, do me a favor and click here to learn more about Purina Pro Plan Savor Shredded Blend.  Now that I’ve seen Dexter’s response to it, I know I’ll be making it my new cat food choice and part of both his morning and evening routines.

Until next time, Swellions,
Alexa (and Dexter)

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Purina using complimentary products. The opinions and text are all mine.

Cats, Crafts, Social Media, and other Random stuff

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I recently started blogging again after a long hiatus and I really have begun thinking about my brand and what I’m about and what I wanted  to say that was truly ME.  For those creatives out there, you might totally feel me. I personally don’t like being defined in my interests and I’m constantly moving onto the next thing.  There are; however, some pretty constant running themes that I’m noticing, especially sharing more lately on Snapchat. They are as follows.

swell cat

I’m a self-professed crazy cat lady.  There’s not a cat video I do not like.  I talk about cats a lot, especially my kitty Dexter as seen above.  I own another cat, Pixie, but she’s old and skiddish and truthfully has pretty much been banished to the den cause she can’t control her bowels.  I know, TMI, right?  It’s gross, but the poor girl just can’t help it.  At least I get to cuddle and pet her during feedings.  Anyway, I love cats…getting cat merchandise, seeing other peoples’ cats, and taking pics of them.  It is a constant.  We will see if this changes if I ever have a “kitten” of my own (meaning real baby), but I’m pretty sure this will be an ongoing PASSION of mine.

swell craft

You may or may not know, but I pretty much eat, sleep, and breathe crafts. Not only do I work at a craft company by day (iLoveToCreate, the makers of puffy paints, tacky glue, and tie dye), but I often come home from work and do crafts in my off time.  Like I said above, my tastes are random.  Sometimes I like to dive into jewelrymaking, and other times you’ll find me decorating pumpkins and ornaments.  I would say my style is definitely bright, colorful, typographic, and bold.  Even though I haven’t been crafting on this blog as of late, I haven’t stopped crafting in other spaces in social meia land.  I hustled hard a couple years ago on my Vine account and have over 500 videos on there, many of which are focused on DIY. I have grown that account to over 165,000 followers, an achievement I’m both humbled and totally surprised about.  My fans there are awesome and a lot of them younger (11-15).  I think I’ve done so well on there in part because I love making simple and cool projects that are attainable and my audience gravitates there too. I also think it helps that I’m a 13 year-old in a 37 year-old body. LOL.

swell business card

I have a passion for social media and how to use it to get results.  I’m always hacking, tweaking, creating, and trying out new ways to use it.  I currently have an affinity for Snapchat (follow me: Swelldesigner), but I love Vine, Instagram, and Facebook too all for different reasons.  I think social media appeals to me because it combines a lot of my personal skill sets…graphic design, photography, videography,humor with connecting with people.  I am always looking to find the right message to meet people where they are.  It’s a FUN challenge for me to figure out and since the social media landscape is always evolving, it’s always something new and exciting.

So, I share with you my three passions.  There’s a lot more things I love too.  In a nutshell?  I LOVE photography, Starbucks, pop culture, kitsch, desserts, and can’t forget PUNS and silly humor. If you hang around me enough, you will learn that I have puns of steel and I love to dance and not take myself seriously.  Just ask my husband William, he calls this “showboating”.  Haha!

Why am I telling you all this stuff?  I think I just had to get this out there.  For the longest time I really used this blog as a calculated space, meaning, I used it to craft DIYs that I thought viral magic -or- share things I though people wanted to see (roundups, for example).  Now I feel a new freedom with this space to just be me and share an occasional craft, social media tips, creative insight and more. And while I do love cats, I promise to pepper that in sparingly. I don’t want this to turn into the crazy cat lady show.

Stay tuned Swellions, more wild and crazy fun ahead!