July 31, 2014

BlogLife: A Review

I waited and waited for BlogLife to be launched. I remember when AMB announced they would be releasing a new blogging course and I knew I wanted to give it a go. Tyler is always encouraging me to continue to educate myself in the craft I am passionate about and I have been wanting to take every opportunity to continue to sharpen this craft of blogging. The day that it was released Tyler came home and I told him it was available. I loved his reaction. He wouldn't let me do anything else until I made the purchase. He is my number one biggest fan and he wanted to make sure I took advantage of this opportunity.

After purchasing Bloglife, Beth, Meg, and I decided we would go through the course together which made going through the course extra fun. During our first Google hangout we shared our thoughts on the chapters we had been through and shared our hopes and dreams for our blogs. I love the relationship that Beth, Meg, and I have together. I love that we are able to continue to encourage each other and share ideas as we pursue this blogging adventure.
Let's be honest, it's really hard for me not to be bias in this review, because I'm a huge fan of ABM and I have been reading and following along for years. I even visited Red Velvet when it was open. Overall, I thought the e-course was great and well worth the price. I really appreciate the fact that it came in a pdf version because now I can go back and use it as a constant resource. I think they did a great job of including content that was great for both new bloggers and seasoned bloggers. The first view sections were geared toward new bloggers, however I still felt encouraged and inspired by those first view sections and I used it as an opportunity to really evaluate my blogging foundations and better shape my content, vision, and purpose. 
I was most encouraged by their personal stories. They shared stories of failure, success, and many learning experiences. Often times we read blogs, but stories of failure aren't always shared. Both Emma and Elsie were open about many of their struggles and what they learned from them. I remember reading through those sections and breathing a sigh of relief. Not even the ladies of ABM have it figured out all the time. Which, I know that no one does, but reading their stories was refreshing and gave hope to this dream seeker.

When I purchased BlogLife and skimmed through the sections I was most looking forward to learning about marketing, ad programs and campaigns. Trey does a great job of covering these sections, but I will definitely need to re-read them many times. These sections are very business oriented and they were a little tough for me to get my mind around. Trey breaks everything down so it's easy to follow, it's just a subject that I don't take to easily.
All in all, if you're thinking about taking BlogLife I think it's totally worth it. I think it's a great resource to have and I think it also serves as a great opportunity to refresh your blog and refocus if you're feeling a little lost or uninspired. Are you going through BlogLife currently? What are your thoughts?

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July 30, 2014

Create a Custom Cork Board

I have really been wanting to add some cork boards to our office. Two reasons I really wanted cork boards. One, really wanted to be able to pin lots of fun mail I get from friends. I love snail mail and while I don't keep it forever I wanted a place to glance over and appreciate it. Two, I really wanted to use the cork boards in an attempt to create a mood board for Elah Tree, which I'm really pumped about.
I knew from the beginning that when I found my cork boards that I wanted to be able to customize them and I'm always looking for ways to complete fun easy projects. When it comes to cooking and projects I like quick and simple. Probably not always the best motto, but those are my favorite kinds of projects. For these custom cork boards all I needed was painters tape, paint, paint brushes, a paint pallet, and the cork boards of course.
First things first, decide what kind of design you want on your cork boards. At first I had a crazy design with tape lines every where. Whenever I do projects as I'm working I always ask Tyler his thoughts. When I showed him my crazy tape lines he suggested I go with something a little more simple and more aesthetically  pleasing. Tyler has a great eye for those kind of things and I'm always grateful when he's able to teach me and help me through projects.
We decided on a simple design using two different colors. With out design in place I started painting. I painted a turquoise blue to one section of each of my cork boards and applied multiple coats after drying. Once I was finished with the blue I added a metallic gold to the smaller section of each cork board. This project was a great project to work on while doing other things. I could paint one coat, step away from it to do something else, and then go back. Tip: Remember when painting to paint the side of the cork board to that the paint goes all the way around.
I really love how these cork boards turned out! They are so fun and they are perfect for what I had in mind for them. The hardest part was actually finding a place for them in our office without moving any other art pieces. I decided putting them right over my desk would work great. Having them right above my desk makes it easy to add items to them and I love how they have kind of become a part of my desk.
These kinds of projects really are my favorite. I love being able to take supplies I already have to create something new. For this project all I had to pick up was the cork boards, which were super cheap. What are your favorite kinds of projects? Do you think you'll give these custom cork boards a try?
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July 29, 2014

Rocky Mountain Chocolate

A couple of weeks ago Beth shared about Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I love chocolate and I was swooning all over her post, wishing we had a chocolate factory. Then not very long after that we were in Valencia and we came across a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I was ecstatic! I couldn't believe we found one and as I walked inside I was thinking about all the goodies Beth shared about.
When I walked inside I automatically started looking for the candied apples. And there they were. There were so many varieties and they all looked so good. Then I turned and looked at all the different chocolate options. There were so many different kinds, I didn't know how to choose.
I paced in front of the counter 4 or 5 times, I looked at all the displays and then I stood and looked at the chocolates for a couple minutes. I finally made my decision. Two dark chocolate sea salt caramels (they are so amazing), one dark chocolate almond bear, and one dark chocolate toffee. Dark chocolate is my very favorite.
We had a super busy morning, full of really fun activities, but I was pretty spent. When we walked into the chocolate factory I was a little more chipper. I love finding fun places to go, they are like little surprises for your day. Have you found any new places in your town that you've been wishing for?

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July 28, 2014

5 Things // Vol. 17

We visited Point Dum and it was so amazing! Point Dum is on Malibu State Beach and it's so beautiful! Tyler's mom was visiting and we spent an afternoon lounging on the beach. So, so lovely. More on our beach adventures later.
I spent some time in Fresno last week and while it was so lovely and relaxing I did miss my favorite guy. I love this photo too, we were hanging out at the Paramount Ranch which is amazeballs!
We totally found a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Valencia, which is where we go to church and I was over the moon. I was so excited, because I had been hoping to find a chocolate factory ever since Beth shared about her experience there. I was one happy camper.
A favorite adventure as of late, visiting Vasquez Rocks! It was so beautiful and amazing! Fun fact, some of Star Trek was filmed there. It's so fun to hike and take in the beautiful scenery.
We are huge root beer fans and we recently picked up a bottle of Virgil's. It is so so delicious! They only brew this root beer in the winter and once they run out they don't make any more until the following winter. Crazy!

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July 25, 2014

QUICK & EASY BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIES


I have something to tell you. I'm not a huge fan of blueberries. I like them okay, but they're not my favorite. Which is cool. Tyler, however loves them. Anything blueberry and Tyler is all in. I got really excited about working with blueberries, because other then just eating them by the handful we don't do a lot with them. I had been wanting to create some fun breakfast smoothies and blueberries were my ticket.
Normally when I make smoothies I just throw things together. Anything that's in my kitchen is fair game if I think it will taste good. I found this pin, which has been super helpful in my smoothie making endeavors.
Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothies

Ingredients: 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup of frozen mango,  1 - 2 cups of milk (dependent of smoothie thickness,) 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 cup of oatmeal.

Method: Blend and enjoy!
Now it's your turn! Share your blueberry creations with us! I love how every month we have so many different recipes, I can't wait to see what you share with us. 

July 24, 2014

Managing Your Editorial Calender {FREE DOWNLOAD}

I have a thing for organization. My brain functions best when things are organized.  I love clean lines, open spaces and symmetry. My brain gets jumbled when things are messy and un-organized so I work pretty hard and naturally at having things organized.
One thing that I love keeping organized and that has to be organized often is my editorial calender. I've used a variety of different calenders when planning posts and my current system is my favorite. I love having paper calenders and electronic calenders. I'm a fan of both worlds.
Editorial Calender System:

1.) I keep track of all my ideas in a notebook. I write down everything; concrete ideas, creative projects, ideas for post titles, anything and everything you can think of.

2.) A couple of times a month I'll sit down with my notebook and review what ideas are good and which ideas have lost steam. I love looking at my notebook and having a clear idea of what is going to go on my editorial calender.

3.) My blog posts run Monday through Friday and each day has a specific category that get's posted on that day. For example, 5 Things is always on Monday. Often times style posts gets posted on Tuesday. Knowing which days get which category helps to keep my calender organized.

4.) I use Google Calender for my editorial calender. Once I have decided which ideas are good solid ideas I'll begin adding them to my editorial calendar. I add items based on category to the day in which they will be posted. I fill up my calender until all the ideas from my notebook have been added.
I really like using Google Calender because it's easy to move different posts around. Each week I review my calender to prepare for posts and if there is something scheduled for that week that I'm not ready for or I don't think will work I can easily drag it to another day. Another great thing about Google Calender is that each event has a description section which I often use to begin drafting my post. Because I'm a fan of both paper and electronic calenders I'm including a free download for a monthly calender! Download here!

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July 23, 2014

Adding a Little Color

Tyler and I have been on a recent color kick. As in, we need more color, so we have been trying to add pops of color around our home. Tyler has been loving the color yellow and when we picked up a new succulent plant we decided to add a little color by painting the planter yellow.
These are my favorite kinds of projects because they are so easy, but the result is so great. Supplies needed; planter, paint of choice, paint brush, and paint pallet.
If you're feeling adventures you can paint on any kind of design you like. We loved the idea of solid block coloring so we decided on simply painting the base yellow. This particular paint job took multiple coats. We also decided not to tape off the top and instead took our time painting near the top. Which we're still working on perfecting.
This planter makes me want to paint more. I really enjoy simple projects that can be completed on a whim. Do you have an planters you could add some paint too?

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July 22, 2014

Lazy Saturday Style

I love lazy Saturdays. If Tyler and I don't have any plans you can find me running around in workout shorts and cut off tank tops. Really classy, right? A couple of Saturdays ago Tyler and I had evening plans, ones which required more then workout shorts and a cut off. So I looked through my closet for the perfect lazy Saturday apparel.
I threw on a pair of jean shorts and a button down; just comfy enough and presentable. This particular Saturday was a very lazy Saturday for me. We had spent the morning running errands and doing projects and before our evening plans we watched a movie and relaxed. By the time we were heading out I was pretty tired. Thank goodness for lazy Saturday style.
Lazy Saturdays are the best! Don't you think? Quiet, calm, and relaxing. What are some of you favorite lazy Saturday outfits?
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