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blog life

It’s Been A Minute…

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Somehow I’ve ended up taking a month long brake from blogging.  A MONTH.  And I have to say, it was much needed and accidentally came at the right time.  If we’re going for complete honesty here, I was in the middle of one of those blogger identity crises where I had no idea what I was doing anymore.  I loved blogging but had no idea if anyone was reading my stuff, was my stuff any good, why am I doing this, and so on and so forth.  So I stopped.  I stopped stressing about getting something done just to be able to push the publish button and sat back a decided to refocus.

I stopped worrying about applying for campaigns or reaching out to companies to do collaborations because, while it was really awesome to get those things, I didn’t find my voice in it.  I love small shops and of course I love the companies that I applied for sponsored posts for but in all honesty, I’d just rather purchase from them, post about it if I want to and share that way.

So why even blog anymore?  Because I want to share my DIYs still, I’d like to get back to that.  I’m constantly crafting and I enjoy being creative. I want to keep this as a log of motherhood, especially these early stages.  I want to connect with other people.  That’s the exact reason I started blogging in the first place.  It was my way of feeling connected to the world again after Gav was born.

Another reason this break has been a happy accident is because I have been super busy!  I’ve been blessed with so many chalkboard art clients, commissioned art pieces, and photography work that something had to give.  I want to share that all here as well.  So I guess to some it all up, why still blog?  Cuz I wanna!

There will be some changes here and there and I will be in and out.  My hope is that by the new year I will have all of my ducks in a row and be ready to tackle a tight but doable schedule.  This hopefully will also include a switch over to WordPress. *fingers crossed*  As for now, I’ll be popping in from time to time, sharing this or that.  If you have stuck around, THANK YOU!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  I pray that you will continue to visit my little corner of the web and walk with me on my journey.  Want to know where you can pretty much always find me?  Follow me on INSTAGRAM and say hey!

Check out what I’ve been up to and stop by the SHOP and my PHOTOGRAPHY site.

XO, Kelly

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Insta-Love

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Instagram is an ever growing beast of a platform.  Every day I’m sure there are countless new members and a bi-jillion (yeah, bi-jillion) new photos ranging from sweet babies, to products, to exotic places.  I’ve seen a number of posts about what you shouldn’t post on Instagram and the like.  Well today I give you a list of what you should post on Instagram.  And yes, I’m (proudly) guilty of every single one!

1. Your Kids

Last time I checked, they are your kids, and it is your account.  If Instagram is how you choose to share their pictures with family, or to document their growth, or whatever, do it!  Some people have a large following and I get that they may not want to for fear of their child(ren)’s image being used without their permission.  That makes sense.  But if you’re not posting for fear that people may unfollow you (which that shouldn’t matter at all, life is not about followers) or that someone may be annoyed that you posted eight pictures of your kid, that’s crazy.  Post one, post them all!  Babies and kids are adorable and anyone that’s going to unfollow you because of that probably hates puppies too.

2. Your Food

Did you just have the best meal of your life?  Can’t resist taking a picture of that gorgeous array of desserts?  Post that ‘ish!  I love food, and clearly you do too.  If someone gets annoyed that you post a picture of your breakfast or your delicious looking ice cream cone against a brick wall backdrop, that’s their problem.  What about all of the famous painters that painted still life?  Paintings of fruit in a bowl?  I’m sure someone thought that was dumb back in the day too.  And no, I’m not comparing Insta-food to a Matisse, I’m just saying food can be pretty and should be photographed whenever you want.  This goes for coffee too because coffee if delightful and beautiful!

3. Selfies

Do you love your selfie?  Are you super excited about your outfit or the fabulous hair day you’re having?  I want to see it!  I don’t care how many times it took you to take the perfect picture, although I sincerely hope it didn’t take too long.  If you’re happy and proud of who you are and how you look, that’s beautiful!  I don’t post too many myself because half the time I’m still in sweatpants and no makeup at 2 PM and don’t nobody want to see that.  I like, as I’m sure you do too, to put my best foot forward.  If someone thinks that you’re posting them to be vain or you want to appear perfect, than tell me who doesn’t?  We’re all a little vain I think, we like to look good.  Nothing wrong with that!

4. Pictures of Your Feet

I know these annoy a number of people but I’m not really sure why.  Have nice shoes on?  Post those bad boys.  Feel like being artistic?  Get your Annie Leibovitz on!  Sometimes I’m standing on a really cool floor and I think it’s pretty.  I like pretty things, don’t you?

Basically, post whatever you want!  Well anything as long as it’s not, you know, inappropriate.  Don’t get yourself reported!  But just remember, it’s your account, your life, your memories.  If you want to remember something by documenting it on Instagram, go right ahead!  Don’t let a silly article, the threat of losing followers, or nay sayers dictate what you can and can’t post.

This also goes for bloggers that have one account for personal pics and their blog.  I’ve heard bloggers get worried about posting too much about their blog and people getting irritated by it.  Really?  That’s ridiculous.  If someone is following you for your personal pictures, to keep up with your life, then they should have no problem with your posts about your blog.  That’s part of your life!  So post away my fellow Insta-holics!  And while we’re at it, you wanna use fifty hashtags on one picture?  Do it!  Hashtag your little heart out!

Happy Gramming!
XO, Kelly

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Blog life // How I’ve Been Staying Organized

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I’ve always thought of myself as a very organized person but after becoming a mother, and now a pregnant one, my brain is just so scattered.  Call it mommy brain, call it pregnancy brain, call it whatever, I can’t remember to do half of the things I’m supposed to on a daily basis to save my life!  It was seriously time to figure out a good system!

I’ve tried many planners but I’d get tired of the design or just plain forget to look at it or write in it at all.  I’ve fawned over the super expensive ones trying to justify buying one because I would totally use it because I will have invested in it and “look how cute and awesome it is!”.  There are also tons of apps that help with productivity but I like seeing it in pen and paper, something physical.  None of these options were working for me and I never did cave and purchase an awesomely adorable expensive one.  But what could I do?  Then Sugar Paper Co. released their line for Target last December and I thought, “YES!  This is just my style and I’m gonna love it and use it and be so organized I won’t be able to stand it!”  Yeah…nope.  But I did have a sassy gold planner now that I liked and carried with me, just never really used.

Enter my small group from church.  I know, an unusual place to find inspiration for organization but God works in mysterious ways.  The book my group was/is reading is Becoming the Woman God Wants Me to Be by Donna Partow and she starts the book by telling you buy a small binder and get organized for this study.  As I used this system for my bible study, it dawned on me that this was exactly what I had been looking for.  Then there was the section about tackling a to-do list by applying the 80/20 rule.  Only devote 80% of your time to the most important 20% of your list.  There was an immediate sense of relief I got feeling that I didn’t have to do it all, let alone all in one day!

So that’s what I do now, I write down a list of things I want to accomplish and focus on the most important 20% of it.  If it gets finished, I can move on or I can take a break.  And let’s be honest, these days, I take the break!  This is how I’m staying on top of blog posts, at least week ahead of time now, and remembering what’s due when in my other ventures like graphic design and the hoop shop.

Now onto these other ventures.  I needed a place to keep it all, one single place.  This is where that little binder comes in again!  Target typically adorable ones and, since I get bored with planner designs easily, it had to be perfect.

Safe to say that this one is!  I divided up some paper into sections with cute dividers (stay tuned for a DIY!) like “Blog”, “Brainstorming”, “Hoopsy Daisy”, “Notes”, etc.  All of my separate ventures in one place and my planner fits right on top!  Last but not least, I printed out some free monthly blog planner printables I found on pinterest to use as an editorial calendar. (You can find the ones I’m currently using HERE and HERE) I like that it is separate from my appointment/everyday calendar because it keeps the clutter down, especially if I start changing my mind about where I want to post something.

I’m so happy, and (a little) less scattered, with my new system!  How about you?  What have you found that works for you?

XO, Kelly

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Happy Birthday To….THE BLOG!

In DIY, Easy Eats, Mommyhood

Oh man, I did it again this year!  It seems to just sneak up on me and I guess this time I can blame it on preggo brain…right?

Well, with that said, I’m THREE!  This little space has grown into a place where I love to share my little projects and my love for the little joys of life.  I started it as a way to reach out while I was home by myself as a new SAHM and I’ve made some wonderful connections and been a part of some great opportunities.  Now I get to document my journey in second motherhood and chronicle my new journey into life with two little ones.  Thank you so much for reading along and encouraging me along the way!

So in honor of my blog’s third birthday, I want to share with you some of my favorite posts from the past year. Here goes!

FAVORITE DIY POSTS

DIY Giant Flower Crown

DIY Summer Tote

DIY Fancy Tumblers

DIY Fade Out Lettered Shirt

FAVORITE MOMMYHOOD POSTS

My PPD Story

Toddler Chores

Attention Expenders

How We Made Potty Training Work For Us

FAVORITE EASY EATS POSTS

Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Banana Dessert Smoothie

3 Ingredient Tuna Salad

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Here’s to another year of creating and enjoying the little things in life!
XO, Kelly

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My “New” Approach to Blogging

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I mentioned this a little in my resolutions post last week and I said I would share a little more about what I meant.  So here we go!
Why is NEW in quotations you ask?  Well that’s because it’s not a new philosophy in the blogging world.  It just new to me.  For the longest time I thought I had to post EVERY DAY.

E   V   E   R   Y      D   A   Y

I’ve read post after post about blogger block and “the best blogging advice” and so on.  Essentially, they all say the same thing.  If blogging starts to become an obligation, assuming this is something you do for fun, then you need to take a step back.  This was really weighing on my heart.  I felt like maybe I was just too caught up in the “I have to post. I have to post.”.  I was spending so much time at the computer that maybe I wasn’t present with Mr. G enough.  I would feel anxious if on any given day I didn’t post at all, what would happen to my numbers?  THE NUMBERS!!!

Oh right…all those posts I’ve been reading say don’t worry about those.

They also said the timeless classic “Quality Over Quantity”.  Hmm… These bloggers may be on to something.  But what was I going to do about any of this?

So I prayed about it.  (Another resolution!  Bringing God into ALL aspects of my life) I prayed for God to lead me in the way I was suppose to go in this blogging thing.  Should I change my image, rebrand, again?  That just sounded like a terrible idea.  Plus, I like the whole focusing on happiness thing I have going on.  Should I just take a sabbatical, just to clear my bloggy-head.  Should I quit altogether?  Wow, that was a hard one to think about but it did seem like a real option.  But I kept hearing “Quality Over Quantity” again and again in my head.

Quality Over Quantity…

And that’s where I am now.  I’m not quitting.  I enjoy writing too much and sharing my little creations.  I’m just posting less.  So if you want to know what to expect, here’s a run down of my blogging schedule:

Monday – Ten Little Things
Wednesday – Mommyhood or DIY
Friday – Mommyhood or DIY
Sat/Sun – Inspiration (sometimes a freebie!)

Short and simple.  Some weeks might have 2  DIYs, a mommy post then a DIY, sometimes a Pinterest try out (Saw It, Pinned It, Tried It), and so on.  This decision has lifted a HUGE weight off my little bloggy shoulders and allows me to spend more time being present in my everyday life.

XO, Kelly

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Repurpose // Welcome Mat

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About a month ago one of my DIYs got published in a local magazine called Southern Holiday Life.  It was ridiculously exciting to see my work in a publication! I will also be contributing to their Christmas/Holiday issue so stay tuned for that project as well.  This particular magazine has a “Funky Junk” section and my DIY/repurpose fell under that category.  And let me tell you, the way this project started, it definitely qualified as JUNK!

What You’ll Need: Door Mat, White Spray Paint, Bright Acrylic Paints (can be for outdoors or not)

Prep your mat for painting by hosing it down.  Get all of the grime and debris you can off of it.

After it’s dry, you’re ready for the spray paint.  You will probably need a few coats.  This took the entire can and I still had some spots that were grayish due to the kind of material of this particular mat.  This both worked in my favor and caused a bit more work.

After the white layer has dried you can go to town with your bright colors.  Paint it as it you were filling in a coloring book, adding as many coats as needed.  Here’s where the grayish areas come in.  The outer border turned out great in gray but I still had areas that shouldn’t be gray.  If this happens to you as well, just go over those spots with some white acrylic paint and a small brush.

If your mat in in a place that is not exposed to the elements, i.e. a carport, outdoor paint isn’t a must have.  However, if it will be in a sunny, uncovered area, you may want to spend the extra few cents for the outdoor acrylics.

Before and After // Repurposed Welcome Mat - from The Little Things Blog

I’m loving our “new” mat and I think it’s much more welcoming!

The DIY Dreamer

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Essentials for the Blogger on a Budget

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image via

Sometimes, when on a budget, it’s hard to justify buying things to use for blogging.  If it’s your primary job or you have expendable income, it definitely make sense to invest more money.  If it’s more of a side project, hobby, something for you to have fun with, then budgeting “blogging expenses” just doesn’t top the list.  Here’s my list of things I think every blogger needs, but are inexpensive (some even FREE!) to acquire.

via
A Good Planner – Whether you have the fanciest planner out there (much like an Erin Condren Life Planner that is DEFINITELY on my wish list)  or you have one that you printed off the internet, they all do the same thing.  Writing down what you plan to post helps so much for staying on track and not getting too stressed out about what the heck you’re going to post from day to day.  Here are some of my favorite printable planners I’ve found that are 100% completely FREE!

Colorful Banner Print Planner
Daily/Weekly Arrow Print Planner
“Things I Need To Do” Planner
Monthly/Weekly/Daily Colorful Planner

Desktop wallpaper made with GIMP. // DOWNLOAD
GIMP  – I know many people use other online photo editing software but I haven’t found anything like GIMP.  It’s just freakin’ sweet!  And better yet, it’s free.  You download the software onto your computer and it works just like Photoshop.  There are hundreds of tutorials out there as well if you ever need help.  Whether it’s editing blog photos, photography sessions, or creating graphics, I literally use GIMP everyday.

Poster Board – Perfect for taking final product pics and makes for a solid, clean background that really makes your pictures pop.  At most, a piece of poster board cost $0.25.  Pretty sure I can fit that in my budget!  Don’t have the chance to go out to the store, need to take a picture right this minute, spill your cup of coffee all over the piece you had?   Use THIS tutorial, paired with that GIMP software you just downloaded, to create a solid background digitally.  Here are a few more great blog photography tutorials:

Basic Food Photography with Natural Light
Portable and Inexpensive Seamless Background System
10 Tips for Blogging with Images



Tripod and/or Camera Remote – Whether you have a DSLR camera or your phone, there will come a time when you’ll need to take pictures of yourself.  Could be that you need a new profile picture or maybe you’re a fashion blogger and you need to take some outfit posts.  Either way, having one or both of these will greatly help out.  The REMOTE I bought for my Canon costs next to nothing and all I have to do is set the camera on a table, stack of books, etc. and use the remote to click away. Tripods help as well and you don’t have to get the most expensive one for it to do the job.  There are plenty out there for under $10.  Don’t have a DSLR? Get one of THESE for your phone! 

image via
Unsplash – You may have seen this site mentioned before on other posts but I just have to share it here too! Every 10 days, 10 royalty free, and not to mention gorgeous, photos are uploaded to use as you please.  There’s no need to give image credit, although I still like to link back to Unsplash when I use one, and you can edit and write all over them to your heart delight!  I love using them for my Sunday Inspiration posts.  You can see one HERE and HERE.  Sometimes I just like to browse the photos, they’re amazing quality and just plain pretty to look at.

Hope this makes blogging a little easier on your wallet!  Happy Blogging!

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Musings // Change

In Uncategorized
via
Sometimes I am a creature of habit.  
But most of the time, I think I’m a creature of change.
I’m always changing something.  Tweaking this or that. (Tweaking, not twerking!)
In my college days, my hair color changed with the wind!  Never anything too drastic like green or what have you, but it’s been a number of colors.
I feel a change coming on but I’m not sure where or what it will be.  I know part of it will be here.
I plan on “rebranding myself”.  Not sure if it will just be a color change, a design change, a COMPLETE OVERHAUL, or what.
I’ve even debated changing my name. *gasp*  That’s a scary thought to tell you the truth but definitely one I’ve had for awhile.
Part of my change will be me.  Hair cut? Color change?  
Probably not color, I’m digging this ombre for the time being!  
An attitude change?  
Not saying I have a bad attitude, just want to adopt an even more positive state of mind.  Not just for others but for myself.  I want to delve more in God’s word and find my joy there.  
I’m feeling these winds of change and they are moving me.  It feels good!
How do you feel about change?

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20 things // The “Me Lately” Edition

In Mommyhood
I’ve seen some of these out there in the blogging world and I thought it might be fun to do one of my own but more of an update.  Kind of a “hey, this is what I’m up to” or a “this is why I haven’t posted in what feels like forever”.  
1. I’m currently in the process of putting my bows into the Etsy shop instead of just on Instagram.  

The success of my shop has been such a blessing and I am so grateful for that.  I’m reaching out to a larger market now with my bows and it’s slow goings.  I hate making descriptions for the listing.  I don’t know why but it feels so tedious.
2. In that same vein, I’m super busy with custom orders.  Awesome! 

3. Lots of dancing.  

I’ve been working a lot lately.  Subbing, private lessons, choreography.  I love my job!
4. Drinking too much coffee. 

5. I went through my first corn maze! 

This has nothing to do with work or the shop.  This was just pure fun and time spent with both my family and my church family.
6. Putting out toddler “fires”.

He’s been doing this melt into the floor thing constantly these days.  Closer and closer to those “terrible twos” every day.  Although I hear three is worse….
7. Working on contributor posts.  
I currently contribute to two blogs, Pretty Providence and Southern Blog Society.  Check them out! 
8. Trying no fit in a workout here or there.  
It’s not “working out” so well these days but I’m trying.
9. Neglecting my Project Life.  
I have a ton of pictures printed and supplies but they’re all just sitting there waiting to be placed into their pages.  I’ll get to it….eventually.
10.  Loving on my boy.  

I think that since he’s approaching that two mark, I’m getting all weepy mommy about how fast he’s growing up.   
11. Watching every single show there is about trains, aka “choo choos”.

A LOT of Chuggington and Thomas.
12. I finished a book!

This was a little while ago but I feel like it needed a mention here.  It’s the first one I’ve finished since LM was born!
13. Spending time with some of our favorite people.

14. Debating cutting my hair.
No this doesn’t keep me bust or occupied, but I can’t help but day dream about shorter hair.  Thoughts?
15. Brainstorming.
My brain is always turning over ideas for DIYs, blog design, new bows, marketing and networking, and so on.
16. Keeping up with Project Life 365.

This one I am particularly proud of!  I have kept up all year so far and have been featured 4 times!
17.  Enjoying the cooler weather.
18. Somewhere in all this I clean the apartment from time to time. 
You know, cuz it’s nice to be clean.
19.  I may or may not have taken a nap….or two.
20.  Breathe.
This is probably the hardest one. Just breathing and telling myself it’s all good. 

What have you been up to lately?

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