Tuesday, April 22, 2014

EGG-CELENT

About a week ago, I was at my parent's house admiring all the Easter decorations my mom had put out when she reminded me of the little gem above.  Wade made me this piglet egg five years ago, and it still is the cutest thing ever.  I was asking around last week if other people blow out their eggs before dying so they can save them.  It didn't seem like a lot of people do, but since I was little, we always had a few blown out eggs that we decorated extra carefully with special memories so that we could keep them throughout the years. 
Looking at all of them now, I'm so glad my parents started this tradition.  There's one commemorating the purchase of our first home, others documenting all the people that were together that year for Easter, and a few that have really special meanings to us.

And some that just portray my crazy obsession with Cadbury eggs.

After seeing the past few decades documented in these eggs, I really wanted to dye a few eggs this year so that we make sure to remember what happened in 2013/2014.  So we went over to my parent's house where we brought out the same orange cups that we have used since I was little and carefully chose the masterpieces we were going to create.

To get a blown out egg, you just need to poke a small hole with a safety pin or needle in the top and bottom of the egg.  Then just blow out the insides.  It's kind of gross, but at least you can keep the egg after you've worked so hard on it.
Just like he did every year, my dad reminded us not to squeeze the egg too tight.  Poor Wade wasn't as used to this whole process.

I'm pretty happy with how our eggs turned out this year.  Here's the new and old ones I brought back to our house so that we could put together our own Easter egg tree next year.
Here's the egg I made when we first bought our house.
My favorite egg I made this year was a shark to commemorate our trip to Lawrence this summer and all the shark attacks we drank.
But that piglet one still makes me smile the most.

Did you dye eggs this year?  Do you ever use blown out eggs so you can keep them for years?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

1 // 2 // 3// 4 // 5

We've been in our home for a little over 4 years. We have all hard wood floors, which I love, but Wade has been bugging me ever since we moved in to gets rugs for the living room and dining room.  I haven't looked much into it, because honestly nothing ever really caught my eye and they can be a big investment (I'm pretty stingey). 

The colorful and unique patterned rugs have got me thinking more about it, though.  I'm loving the Aztec and Kilim patterns.  I don't know if we have the right rooms to incorporate them, but I really like looking at them!  The mix of colors and patterns are eye catching and would make a great statement piece to a room that needs a little oomph.

Something like #3 in a light blue stripe is probably one I could get Wade to buy into.  I secretly would love #1, though.  I'm not a big pink person, but the mix of yellow and teal with it makes it less feminine to me.  We'll see.

Any tips on buying rugs or found any recently that you love?

Monday, April 14, 2014

WHAT I WORE TO GO BLOG SOCIAL: DAY 1 AND 2

I wear pretty boring stuff to work, so when I was planning my outfits for Go Blog Social, I really wanted to have fun mixing a lot of color and patterns.  If not for a blogging conference, then when?  I ended up just remixing clothes I already owned to breathe a little new life into them.

Day 1:
Even though it's technically spring, Kansas City is a little fickle when it comes to the weather.  I know I've worn this black and white dress countless times on this blog (best $16 I ever spent), but I remixed it again with cornflower blue tights and a new necklace I made just for the occasion.  I'm loving the black and white stripes with colorful florals thrown in.  Elle from The Clean Project did a great job with these photos. (thanks Elle!)
Dress: Marshall's (old) // Top: Gap // Tights: Target // Shoes: Asos (old) // Necklace and Hair Pin: My shop

Day 2:
I just can't get enough of these shoes, so I wore them again with a different outfit.  I really liked the mixing of stripes and florals and the pleated skirt.  I bought this skirt for $6 at Banana Republic years ago on sale.  I didn't know if I would ever wear it, but it's become one of my go to skirts in the summer.


My favorite accessory was this headband I made a few weeks ago.  I've been working for about the past 5 months on perfecting this thing and think I just have it about nailed down.  My goal is to start making more and have them listed in my Etsy shop soon.  One of the best compliments I got all week was when Megan of Chasing Davies asked if I had gotten it at Anthropology.  That made me feel like about a million bucks.


Another thing I was pretty proud of is actually getting this hairstyle to kind of work.  I've tried it a few times and couldn't get it to stay, but miraculously it worked this time.  I tried it again this past week to no avail.  I never leave enough time when I'm getting ready to style my hair at all, so at least it worked for this event when I was rushing out of the house.  It's maddening when you're trying to leave and your hair doesn't want to cooperate.


I wish I was one of those people who could really stare down the camera and do that smoldering eye thing, but I'm not.  Instead I usually just have goofy grins. Thanks to Heather from Twenty Something for capturing these photos!
Skirt: Banana Republic (old) // Top: TJ Maxx (old) // Cardigan and Tights: Target (old) // Shoes: Asos (old) // Headband: made by me
Did you have good weekend?  We had beautiful weather on Saturday and then it rained all today.  At least the flowers and trees are starting to bud.  It makes me instantly forget about the long, dark winter.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

INSPIRATION AWAITS

Following Go Blog Social, I was on a cloud of dreamy inspiration.  Being around so many successful women and learning about new things I could try had filled my head with all sorts of ideas and what ifs.

Then Monday came, and with it all the demands of the real world (aka not fun stuff).  I stayed with my head in the sky for as long as I could before I was brought down to reality with spreadsheets and the harsh glow of the computer screen.

That's ok, though.  I know that soon it will be the weekend and time for me to open the bottle of inspiration that I have set carefully aside this week.  I hope it's all in there and ready to fill my head again with the promise of endless possibilities. 

How do you keep your inspiration afloat when life gets so hectic?

Monday, April 7, 2014

GO BLOG SOCIAL BLOGGING CONFERENCE

I went to my first blogging conference this weekend.  I was a big ball of nervous excitement and had no idea what to expect.  I had my business cards ready to go as well as my big new tote bag from Target to lug around everything I could possibly need.

Walking into an event like this when you don't know many people is intimidating.  I quickly realized, though, that everyone was there to build the relationships that I was also seeking and completely open to me when I walked up to them with a smile.  It didn't matter how big of a following your blog had or if you were a fashion vs. lifestyle blogger, everyone was so nice and sweet.   


The next thing that caught my attention was the event space.  We met at the Berg in the Crossroads area of Kansas City.  If you're getting married in KC, I would definitely check out this place.  It has such a cool urban vibe, big beautiful windows, and the courtyard is absolutely stunning for photos. 


The GBS team did an incredible job of bringing together some fabulous speakers.  All of them were very inspiring and spoke about topics near and dear to our blogger hearts.  You should check out all these wonderful ladies.  They are up to some pretty impressive and exciting things.

There was also a slew of wonderful sponsors.  I learned about a really cool site called Divine Caroline that is an online community where you can contribute articles.  I'm excited to check it out more.  I even won a gift card to Warby Parker through them that I can't wait to use.

The lovely Jennifer from Hello Cheeseburger was also there.  All her jewelry is so pretty and so affordable. 
 A temporary tattoo that says "Awesome"?  Yes, please!


One of the vendors I was most excited to see, though, was The Photobus!  Have you heard of them?  They bring an actual VW van wherever you are and the back is a photo booth!  It's the best idea, and I definitely wasn't shy about grabbing people to take pictures with me.
Thanks to Elle from The Clean Project, Heather and Allie from Twenty Something, La'Shonda from FashionPlateKC, and Holly from Style From the Sticks for taking these fun photos with me!

Stila also had a room at one of our night events and glammed up everyone's looks for the night.

One of the big takeaways I took from the conference is that everyone has their own unique voice and there is enough room for everybody in the blogger world.  It's easy to feel jealous or competitive with other bloggers.  I know I do sometimes.  Something that Nicole spoke about from Cedar and Rush, though, was that you should help people when you can, because when we help others, we are helping ourselves, too.  There is such a thing as blog karma.  I love this idea and want to keep carrying it on.  (I have a fun story about how Nicole helped me that I'll share later this week.)

I'm so glad I went to this conference (even though my allergies were acting up, and I bet I sounded weird with such a stuffed up nose).  I have a lot more to share, so I apologize in advance.  This weekend felt like one of those defining moments for me, though, so one post just isn't going to cut it:)  Next I want to delve in a bit deeper into some of the amazing ladies I met. 

Have you been to a blogger conference before?  What were some of the key takeaways you had? 


I hope everyone else had a great weekend.  Do anything fun? 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BLOGGER BUSINESS CARDS

I'm going to my first blogger conference this weekend.  I'm all sorts of excited/nervous.  I'm not sure exactly what to expect, but if reading about other bloggers going to conferences has taught me anything, it's that you need a pretty cool business card.  This one from A Ruffled Life has got to be my favorite.  It's spunky and comes with a fun accessory.

When I first started thinking about business cards, I convinced myself that two things would make them awesome: letterpress and custom design.  I scoured the internet for reasonable options, but I didn't have the extra funds available to make that big of an investment.  There is no way I could spend hundreds of dollars on business cards.  Especially not when I wasn't even sure what I wanted my tagline to be or design to look like.  It was too much of a commitment.

However, I did know that I wanted something unique that I could add my own spin to.  I had designed some business cards a year or so ago that looked ok, so I thought I would try my hand at making an updated version.  I did all the designing in PicMonkey.  I want to stress that I know nothing about graphic design nor am I particularly computer savvy (which may be apparent).  That's why PicMonkey is so perfect.  It's fairly easy to use, and I did everything for free.  They may look more homemade, but that's ok.

Once I designed my card, I did a lot of research on where to print it.  I printed my previous cards with VistaPrint or 123 printing or something.  They were ok and only $2.99 for 100, so I can't complain much.  Then I stumbled on Moo.  They have a great inexpensive option for printing on super thick, matte cardstock.  Holding them just feels fancy.  I couldn't be more impressed with their product and presentation.  (And no, this is not a sponsored post.  I just really like their product.)


They were delivered like this.  In a box labeled "Yay!" 


Then there was another box with a ribbon and seal.  Talk about stellar presentation. 


The box unfolded and there were my business cards, nestled nicely in.


I would have done a few things differently on the front of the card if I had it to do all over again.  Namely, all my info is pretty small.  It's ok when you're holding the card in front of you, but I think next time I could increase the font size a bit.  I do like how there are just a few pops of color against the black and white, though.


The saying on the back of the card is something I debated for a while.  I wanted to put something unique.  I was going to have a few different sayings, like "This is going to be a great day", "This is your time", etc., but I ended up with just using this one. 

I decided to keep it simple on the front of my card with just "Blog + Shop", so I wanted to give a little more flavor in the back.  This is a motto I hold very dear to my heart, so I decided to go for it.  Who cares if others think it's silly, right?


I figured the cards needed a little something extra (and who doesn't like something for free?), so I taped a bobby pin to about 20 of the cards to give to people who really catch my fancy:)  I thought this would be a fun way to show the types of things I make in my shop.

Now I just have to be bold enough to actually talk to people:)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

EBB AND FLOW


Progress is like the ebb and flow of the water lapping upon the shore.  It struggles to reach the edge of its limits, and then is pulled back a ways.  It is the constant pull to climb that next step, with each step getting slightly higher.  It is the proverbial one step forward, two steps back. 

   
I've been thinking a lot lately about the bar of success.  It's interesting, because as I meet things I set out to do, the bar just keeps getting higher and higher in my mind.  Always slightly out of my reach. 

I posted my thoughts on success a while ago, and I still think those words ring true.  I'd add, though, that sometimes you can feel like you're not moving forward, but staying stagnant or maybe even going the opposite way you're intending. 


I have to believe that this is all part of the process of progressing--the constant movement.  Backwards and then forwards, right and then left.  Sometimes you just have to start trying to get anything to stick. 


I think it's a matter of trying and also adjusting my way of thinking.  Progress may very well mean maintaining things for me right now.  Maintaining my shop, maintaining my blog, and just trying new things.  And anyways, I wouldn't want to live in a world where I made it to the edge and didn't have far off horizons to stare off into.  Where's the fun in that?