March 27, 2014

Make It A Rockin' Vacation

Back with more vacation tips. That's right, it's all about making your vacation amazing. Easy tips, nothing to extraordinaire, but some things that we may forget in the hustle and bustle of life. 

1.) Make a plan: Have an idea of what you would like to enjoy while on vacation. Even if your plan is not to have a plan, make sure you know it. I'm headed home to spend time with my brother before he leaves for the Army. That's my plan, that means I won't be making lots of extra plans with other people. I knew from the beginning this trip would be to hang-out with him.

2.) Pack accordingly: This seams like a no-brainier, but I've learned to always take those extra items. Especially since I have been without them before. Check the weather, especially if you are going somewhere where the climate is completely different. Southern California weather is always warm and sunny. Joplin weather is always changing. 32º one day 70º the next. I'm not kidding.

3.) Don't forget your camera: Again, this doesn't seem like something we would easily forget, but more then likely we've almost forgot the batteries or the charger. Keep track of those memories, there won't be any other memories like them.

4.) Set a spending budget: You don't want to fly home only thinking about how much money you shouldn't have spent. Set you budget for your trip and stick to it. P.S. Set a budget that gives you a little wiggle room, you are on vacation.

5.) Say Yes: Vacation's can be filled with amazing experiences, don't say no to trying new things. Embrace your YES mentality. I'm headed home to see my brother and I'm really excited at whatever adventure we head out on. 
What are ways you make your vacation amazing? Have you had an vacation where you were unprepared?

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March 25, 2014

Being Prepared While On Vacation

Today I'm flying back to Missouri! I'm so excited! I'll be hanging out with my brother until the day he leaves for the Army. I'm so crazy proud of him! I'll be gone for a week, BUT  I have some crazy amazing stuff planned. You know how I roll,  I never leave you  hanging. I thought today would be a perfect day to share how I break down my vacation posts. I rarely do guests post. This is something I decided because I feel like you come to this place to hear my voice.

Keep in mind that my blog and my shop are my full time job, that is one main reason I do this. It's my job, so It's important to me that my blog is self sustaining while I'm gone. This may not work for everyone and that's okay. Hopefully, my workflow may help you.
1.) Take Advantage of that Idea Notebook: Look at you editorial calendar and see if there are any gaps that need filled in. I had a couple of posts lined up for the weeks I was going to be gone. However, I changed a couple of things around because I wanted to hit on some vacation topics this first week. Once you know what you are going to post about you're good to go.

2.) Start Early: I started preparing my posts 4 weeks in advance. I wanted to schedule a total of 10 posts while I was gone. My flight is leaving tomorrow, I started preparing posts on February 24th. Starting early gives you plenty of time to accomplish each post, make changes, and try different things.

3.) Break it up: Starting early means you can break up all the extra posts. I had on my calender to do two extra posts each week up to my trip. I personally think this is the best way to do it. Before we left for Christmas I scheduled all of my posts, however I didn't start early enough. There were two weeks that I felt like all I was doing was preparing posts. My brain was pretty broken in the end. 

4.) Batch Work: If you are able, do your work in batches. When I prepare my posts I do all my projects and photo shoots on Mondays. This saves tons and tons of time. I only have to pull out my project supplies and photo shoot set up once. I edit and prepare photos on Tuesday. Do extra entries on Wednesday and finish up with the writing on Thursday.

5.) Hit Schedule... On Everything... Social Media included: Double check your posts for anything you've left out, proof read and then hit schedule. On everything. After my posts are prepared and I customize my hyperlinks I schedule all my posts via social media.
Again, this might not work for everyone and it's a crazy amount of work. But for me, it's how I roll. And it's important to me.  What are ways you prepare your blog before leaving for vacation?

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March 24, 2014

Saying YES to the Unknown

This past weekend marked the anniversary of leaving my day job. It's been a whole year since I have had a "regular" job. Every time I think of that it's weird. On my last day of work I stopped by Tyler's work to pick him up. I hung out there for a little because I had gotten off earlier then him. Right before we left he had me go to his computer to "check" my facebook. The image above was what I found. Best husband ever. He had characterized me into my new creative adventure. Our friend Arut helped to.

It took a lot of courage to leave my day job. It's not like I had been blogging for years and years and had a steady readership, my shop wasn't even open yet. I literally dove in head first, and prayed that I wouldn't drowned. It was my sink or swim moment. Saying yes to the unknown is tough and really scary. But, big dreams don't come without great risk. "No sacrifice, no victory."
Saying YES to the Unknown

1.) Trust Jesus: The only way I had the courage to quit my day job was trusting in Jesus. I was afraid I would fail, I was afraid I was making the wrong decision. Every "what if" statement plagued my mind. Jesus gently told me it would be okay. He kept telling me he would provide for us. I couldn't have said Yes, without knowing Jesus would take care of us. I trusted 100% that he would. I knew even if I failed he wouldn't.  

2.) There will be things you sacrifice: When Tyler and I made the decision that I would quit my job we knew we would be making sacrifices, specifically monetary. We simply wouldn't be making as much money as before and we were going to have to re-work our financial goals. We tightened up our budget, said no to certain things and left the rest in Jesus' hands. Surprise! Jesus provided in HUGE ways, we made more money last year then we did when I was working. Mind Blown.

3.) You won't have it all figured out: You have to be willing to say yes even when you don't have it all figured out. You will constantly be learning. Embrace every learning opportunity that comes your way, those are the moments that will shape your journey.

4.) Embrace failure: It's going to be hard, very very hard and you will fail. Embrace those opportunities. Remember, with every great journey comes great risk and great opportunity to fail.  Keep go, push your failures aside and learn from them. The only true failure is not trying. Don't give up, keep learning and keep educating yourself.

5.) Remember it will be journey: Don't focus on any one else's journey but your own. Remember this is your journey. Don't compare yourself to someone else's journey and don't try to make your journey look like some one else's. Embrace your unique journey.

Are you ready to say yes to the unknown? What is holding you back?
P.S. Name that movie, "No sacrifice, no victory." 

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March 21, 2014

No Big Deal, I've Got Abs of Steel. Wait, What?

Three words. The Lady Okie. If you haven't ever read her blog you should, because she is hilarious. This post made me laugh so hard! So, Amanda has a monthly runner's link-up. Let's be honest, I like to pretend I'm a runner, but I'm not sure if I could officially term myself as a runner, since I technically can't run a complete mile. No big deal, I've got abs of steel. Wait, what? Not really, but I'm going to pretend I do.

Today's runner topic is runner's gear. I was all over this! I have come to really enjoy doing style shoots and getting to run around in work-out cloths is basically amazing. However, when we did this shoot, I was all like, "how am I supposed to pose for this?" I couldn't just stand there and smile, it was a perfect situation to feel like a goober. So, you know, I walked around, did some yoga moves, some stretching, and even some running.
Wearing: Brooks Epiphany Shorts // Asics Razorback Singlet // Nike Running Shoes (that are a million years old) similar.

What are some of your favorite running/work-out gear?
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March 20, 2014

The Circle Maker

I had a rough week last week. A majority of the time I feel like I have nothing to say. Things to share yes, but nothing to say. My brain processes visually, so sharing how I feel in words is tough. I feel like a majority of the time I am simply processing visual information. In real life I'm straight forward, to the point, and shoot from the hip. I sometimes make jokes that no one gets because they are sometimes really dry. Words aren't my strong suit which seems weird because I write a blog. I felt defeated last week, but in my defeat, God was shaping me. In my defeat God brought me closer to His heart, reminding me that He is all I need.

The Circle Maker:
Tyler and I have been reading through The Circle Maker with our small group. It has really challenged us both in the way we think about prayer and how we pray. We haven't finished it yet, but our prayer life has changed in drastic ways. Tyler and I have always been big dream chasers. This book has affirmed in us that God honors those big dreams; it's through those big dreams that His power is witnessed. We pray and dream for things that feel so impossible. That is what God wants from us, we know that only He can make those dreams come true.  I have written down 5 things that I will continue to circle in prayer. They feel impossible and I feel as I've been beaten. But I will continue to pray, I will not cease, I refuse to stop, until God moves or until God reshapes my dreams and prayers. I will continue to circle my prayers.

Last year we took a big risk. I quit my job. Logically we didn't have the money to do that BUT God was very clear with me. I felt it deep within my soul, I knew without a doubt that He would provide for us. He did, in impossible ways. When we did our taxes I saw just how much He provided for us. Last year we made more money then we did when I was working the previous year. It doesn't make any sense and it doesn't add up. But God made the impossible happen. That is what The Circle Maker is all about. It's about taking big risks, dreaming big dreams, and seeing God make the impossible happen.

"Nothing honors God more than a big dream that is way beyond our ability to accomplish. Why? Because there is no way we can take credit for it. And nothing is better for our spiritual development than a big dream because it keeps us on our knees in raw dependence on God." - The Circle Maker

Don't forget about missionaries that aren't overseas. We spend a lot of time praying and thinking about those missionaries. Tyler and I know that where we are now is our mission field and this is the mission field that God has set before us. It's hard. We feel alone. We go into battle together, just the two of us, back to back. That is how we feel. It feels impossible, it feels like sometimes we're not strong enough for it. That it how I know we're right where we're supposed to be. Remember us in your prayers. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Pray for strength and understanding, pray that we are able to Love.

What's on your mind? 

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March 19, 2014

Failed Projects & Steve Madden Shoes

Creativity is a learning process. Right? Well, this project was definitely a long learning project. Not all project I do, come out looking pretty. Often times I'll do a second pass of the project and get it figured out. This project has taken me forever and it's still not done, and not looking too great either. I had every intention to share this project with you and have really pretty shoes. As you can see that is not the case.

Let's talk about how when doing creative projects sometimes you just have to go with the outcome and re-work the desired result. The concept behind the project is solid. The paint I used works really great. However, my execution was lacking. I wanted to maintain the white trim, so I tapped it off with painters tape, great in theory. Let's be honest, my tape job was horrible and you can see the result above.
I knew I needed to do a better job on the second shoe. I worked diligently  to get the trim tapped off well. It looks a little better, but the paint is still seeping through. Something I learned when using spray fabric paint is that it's really wet and dripping. It's not like spray paint, which was what I was hoping for.
I'm still determined to finish these shoes. I ran of paint so I'll be picking up another can and I've decided to just dive in and paint the whole thing with red paint. Forget the trim, that ship has sailed.

Have you done any projects lately that haven't turned out like you wanted? What did  you do to re-work your desired result.
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March 17, 2014

5 Things // Vol. 2

Date Night with Tyler. I actually did my hair, for real. It was a big deal. That took effort. Monuments Men was so so good. Go watch it. Three Days to Kill is on the docket for this Friday. Remember, Kevin Costner was my childhood movie star hero. 
Baking cookies to my hearts content. And eating ALL OF THEM. I couldn't not eat them. They were in my kitchen, taunting me. Plus, who else is going to eat them. They were amazing. I have no regrets.
The roses are blooming. I'm pretty excited about this. For the most part I'm usually concerned I'm going to kill them. Hooray! I have not. Roses are legit!
Sending packages. Hello Etsy Swap friend, a lovely little package is headed your way. One of my favorite things about running a handmade shop is getting to package things and make them pretty, so adding an extra package to send was fantastic.
Mazapan. Say what!? Good friends brought me Mazapan from Chile! I was all like, "Oh my gosh, this is so amazing! I'm so excited! I can't wait to eat this! Thank you! Wow! So cool!" For real, that's how it went down.

Other Things:
French bread with butter and honey is amazing!
Doing taxes is no fun, but hooray we got through it! That is something to celebrate!
I felt like my brain broke and all of my creative projects tanked, more on that later this week.

How was your week!? I want to hear about all the details! 
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March 13, 2014

The Artist Guild: Painted Canvas

*Welcome to the Artist Guild, this is our opportunity to create together. The second Thursday of the month we come together to share our creative projects. There are eight creative activities that we'll be working on through September. To learn more, read here. We would love to have you join us and link-up your creative awesomeness!

Today's Artist Guild activity, paint a canvas

This was so fun! Intimidating, but fun! In the past the idea of putting paint on canvas felt pretty overwhelming. I know there are rules to painting and I would get stuck in those rules. But this was different. I don't think I had ever painted a canvas simply to paint a canvas. I painted this canvas for those sole purpose of putting paint on my canvas and it was so much fun!
When I start new creative endeavors I have to be able to just "play." I have to get comfortable with how the paint goes on the canvas, how it moves under my brush. That's what I did. I put paint on my canvas. I didn't think about any rules, I created something I thought was beautiful.
1. Link-Up your Artist Guild post below. Please link to the post and not your home page.
2. Be encouraging. Comment on the post before you and tell them how awesome they are!
3. Hashtag your creativity! #theartistguild

Our next Artist Guild link-up

 April 10th  : Attempt a new creative hair style
I chopped off all my hair, so the long hair styles I used to sport aren't going to work any more. This is about trying something new, get creative and be adventurous. Find something you love on Pinterest and give it a try.  

P.S. This is the best video ever. Watch it. 

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March 10, 2014

5 Things

Dear Rain: Thank you for gracing us with your presence last weekend. It had been far too long. Apparently long enough that we were in a drought. Thank you for raining and not just sprinkling, for down pouring, for creating puddles and for making things new. Please don't stay gone for too long, I miss you more then you know. I miss the sound you make and the feeling you bring.
Dear Laundry: 6 loads was a little excessive, don't you think? Oh wait, that was my fault. Thank you for always smelling amazing right out of the dryer and for that warm cozy feeling. Thank you for clean sheets and wonderful smelling pillow cases.
Dear Blue Button Up: Thank you for being easy to throw on and for making it look like I made an effort to get ready today. Thank you for never needing to be ironed and for fitting so perfectly.
Dear Etsy shoppers: You blew me away last week! Thank you for shopping. I have had a blast sending you fun goodies and I have loved looking for Etsy goodies for the Etsy swap. I'm crazy excited to see everyone link-up. An extra package went out last week. I wonder who it's going to?
Dear Washi Tape: I love that you make everything look pretty. I want to washi tape everything I see. Thank you for being in a super cute dispenser, it made life easier.

How was your last week? Are there 5 things you want to share with us?

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March 4, 2014

My Forgotten Closet

Do you have items in your closet that you absolutely love, but don't often get to wear? Yay, me too. Some of my favorite pieces of clothing are one's that get lost in my closet because I don't often have an occasion to wear them. With this current conundrum, I've decided to start a mini series called My Forgotten Closet. While I get to share my every day style, I will also get to share some of my forgotten items. This outfit is one of them.

This skirt and jacket are two of my favorite items in my closet. I can wear this jacket with anything and it automatically dresses it up. This skirt is craz-mazing because it's the one skirt that is fitted and is high waisted. I feel very "grown up" when I wear it. Also, all of these pieces have been thrifted, minus the shoes. The shirt, the jacket, the skirt, and the belt. I picked everything up at a thrift store at one point or another. You can find the shoes here.
What are some of the forgotten items in your closet? Have you found some of you favorite pieces at thrift stores? 

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March 3, 2014

New In The Shop & A Discount Code

Super exciting things are happening. One, there are new items in the shop which I'm so excited to be sharing with you. Two, the Etsy Swap missions will be emailed out tomorrow! Plus, I have a little something for all the Etsy Swappers. I'm basically in love with these new clutches. Last month, I was sitting at Alyssa's house and I noticed a clutch she had. I loved the size and had to make it.

These new clutches measure 9"x7" with a 8.5" zipper closure. Each clutch has amazing texture. And two are made from vintage material. Each are fully lined and include a cushion of interfacing. I can't tell you how much I love these. I made one for myself as a test and I haven't been using anything else.

There are also a couple of new wallets in the shop that coordinate with the new clutches and more will be coming soon! Get excited! I really do hope you're in love with these new items as much as I am. 
Now, in honor of the Etsy Swap I am offering 60% off everything in the shop ALL WEEK! I have never offered that large of a discount for that amount of time. Find out who your mission is for Etsy Swap and get to shopping! USE CODE ETSYSWAP2014.

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