Tuesday, September 24, 2013

{I want to be open}

In two days I leave for the Influence Conference and in so many ways I don't feel ready.

I'm nervous about being away from the boys for three days. It will be the longest I've been away from them ever and it is already stirring up tears when I think about it. I know they will be in good hands because Dan is an amazing father and fills in my gaps better than I fill in his, but I'm still going to have a hard time with it. I just want them to be OK and to not freak out. Tears on my end will happen no matter what.

I'm nervous about meeting so many women that {if I can be honest}, I'm totally intimidated by. I may seem like I have it all together, but put me in a room full of women and every one of my insecurities comes out of hiding, screaming in my ears. Whew...they are sneaky little things! 

I'm worried about what to wear especially because I know the room is going to be full of SO many adorably dressed and accessorized ladies. I'm doing my best to keep reminding myself why I'm going. To grow as a writer and to learn how to better tell my story. To be inspired by the amazing people I will meet. To learn how my little corner of the virtual world here can help others. 

I'm praying that I can be inspired instead of intimidated. 

Reminding myself that there is an infinite amount of awesome to go around. 

I'm praying that I can let go of my nerves and just be open to new friendships, to new growth, to the amazing things that will be placed before me. 

I want to be open. 

Oh yes...and I need to PACK!

Are you going to Influence? I would love to meet up and be inspired by you!

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Monday, September 23, 2013

{DIY with Plaid FolkArt Multi Surface}

It has been too long since I shared a crafty/DIY project so I'm super excited for this one today!
I teamed up with the folks over at Plaid to make a few fun projects using their new FolkArt Multi Surface paints and Handmade Charlotte stencils. I'm so excited about these paints because you can use them on practically any surface...metal, wood, glass, fabric...AND they are dishwasher safe and machine washable! 

Plaid also provided me with their awesome new "Chalk Anything" paint which is clear and can be applied over any of their paint colors to create a chalkboard. So fun! You can purchase all of these new products at Michaels stores. 

I created two project with their paints...the first is a chalkboard for my boys' bedroom door. I started with a wood slice {from Michaels}, and a bold shade of green Multi Surface paint, applying one nice thick coat...
Then I applied two coats of the "Chalk Anything"using the instructions on the bottle...
It dries clear so the paint color stayed the same. After letting it cure for 24 hours, I was able to write on it!
I think it looks so cute on the boys' bedroom door. I can predict it saying "no girls allowed" in the future. :)
I'm very impressed with this chalkboard medium...the surface is easy to write on and to erase. 

My second project included a kraft paper journal, two more colors of Multi-Surface paint, and the Handmade Charlotte Stencils which are SO adorable. 
It was hard to choose which stencils to go with, and even I'm amazed that I didn't end up using the squirrel {no worries...it will be used at some point, probably on a mug} I ended up going with a tree and leaf pattern.
I used the same bold green from the chaklboard for the tree, and mixed red and yellow paints to get a fun orange for the leaf.
And because I can't resist a little doodling, I used a brown marker to outline them and add some detail...
I just love how this journal turned out. I might have to do a few more for the shop!
I am super impressed with these products and will definitely be using them for some more craft projects around the house and for gifts. Did I mention the squirrel mug?! That is definitely going to happen.

You can find out more about these great Plaid products at the links below...
Blog: http://paintmeplaid.com/

And now for the really fun part...a giveaway! Plaid is offering one lucky winner a Folk Multisurface prize pack AND a $100 Michaels gift card! 

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Plaid provided me with the products and compensation for this post, but all opinions and general DIY craftiness is 100% my own! 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

{stepping outside our comfort zone}

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Project 7 but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #recipeforchange  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

Giving back.

Doing good.

We all know it sounds good. But how often do we actually do it? 

I know that I have the best of intentions, but life seems to get in the way of the grand ideas for giving back that pop into my head. I usually think too large. Giving the spare change from my wallet to the man on the street corner is about as far as I get most of the time. 

And then came this opportunity to check out Project 7, step out of my comfort zone, and remember those around me that need encouragement and support. Those that I know, but also the many people that I'll never know personally, but are also in need of a meal, clean water, or medical care.

Project 7 is all about "products for good"...everyday products that you can buy to give back to the world. Their packs of gum, for instance, either help feed 7 meals to American families, or plant fruit trees back into the earth. They also have products that help to shelter the homeless, provide medicine for the sick, provide clean drinking water, teach children in Africa, and provide counseling to children of war. 

These are products I can get behind. 

I headed over to my local Meijer store and picked up several packs of the Project 7 gum, with a plan was to leave the packs for strangers to find in random places. At the check-out, I gave the cashier the first pack of gum which was fun. It was definitely stepping outside my comfort zone but it is always fun to give someone an unexpected treat.
When I got home I made up some little doodled cards to attach to the rest of the packs, along with my blog card, and a little note to check out my blog today to see what Project 7 is all about....
Maybe you are one of the people that received a pack of gum? 

If so, hi there! :)

I left some of the packs in random places around town...the magazine rack at Meijer, a purse display at TJ Maxx...
I even left a few on car windshields. 

{no photos of those...that was stepping a bit too far outside my comfort zone. :) }

I gave a pack to the barista at Starbucks, the cashier at McDonald's and one to the teller at my bank...
Even though I felt SO awkward doing this...it gave me such a happy, helping others high afterward. And it was funny how people reacted...like they were waiting for me to try and sell them something. Nope...just some gum and a good cause people!

While I was at Meijer picking up the Project 7 gum, I also grabbed the ingredients to put together some blueberry muffins for a friend that has been going through a really difficult time. I never bake things from scratch...box mixes are my best friend...but there was something more meaningful about putting the time and attention into making them...
...measuring the ingredients, stirring in the blueberries...
And they didn't turn out half bad if I do say so myself! 

{I used this recipe}
Ultimately I hope that they brought my friend a little bit of joy during a dark time. And I'm going to make sure I do this more often. Take time out of my busy schedule to slow down and intentionally do something to brighten someone else's day.  

This makes me want to do random acts of kindness more often. Catch someone off-guard with a kind deed. I found it funny how most people reacted. I could tell they thought I was trying to sell them something. Just kindness for the heck of it isn't the norm, is it?

Maybe I've inspired you to do something out of your comfort zone to help others, or put aside some time to make a meal or gift for a friend in need? Share your ideas with me in the comments!

If you want to check out Project 7 and how their products give back, you can see where their products are sold here

Project 7 on Facebook & Twitter

More information on Project 7:

Together we can truly make the world a better place friends!

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

{playing dress up}

Recipe for the perfect outfit...

Chambray top + 
softest ever skinny cords + 
super comfy flats + 
chunky necklace =

Yep. Pretty much perfect. :)

Linking up with...
pleated poppy

My Style Monday @ My Greatest Hits 
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Casual Friday @ Two Thirty-Five Designs
Sunday Style @ Modern Modest Beauty
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
What We Wore, Read & Made Linky Party @ Rae Gun Ramblings
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

{Influence Conference...I'm going!}

I'm going to my first blogging conference in two weeks.


The Influence Conference is in Indianapolis the last weekend of September and I'm going to be there. It still seems surreal to be saying that. 

I'm excited, nervous, anxious...in some ways I feel like a high schooler again because there are going to be so many wonderful women there that I can't wait to meet. I'm going to be rooming with three lovely ladies...Hannah, Courtney and Elise. I can't even remember the last time I had a "slumber party"...it is all going to be so much fun and yes, a tad out of my comfort zone. 

My "one little word" for this year has been GROW, and the opportunity to attend The Influence Conference is, I'm hoping, going to be one of my biggest growth opportunities this year. 

I just realized that I wore my one little word pendant today and it inspired my post...

Talk about God working in little ways. :)

The lovely ladies organizing the conference are hosting a link-up today for everyone, asking us to share the 2 things we are going to be bringing to the conference, and 2 things we are looking forward to about the conference. 

I'll of course be bringing way more than 2 things and I'm looking forward to SO much, but here are my top picks...


  1. My sketchbook and markers {they have become my extra appendages these days}
  2. Coffee {duh}


  1. Meeting more women than I can name or count...my roomies, the speakers and as many others as I can make it around to chatting with. {oh and Jeff Goins...can't leave him out!}
  2. Seeing how God works through me while I'm there. I love waking up each day to see what surprises He has in store for me, and I know that this conference is going to be overflowing with blessings.

And now I just need to plan my outfits, find a cute business card holder, make gifts for my roomies....and prepare room in my mind and my heart to grow

Are you coming? I would love to "meet" you in the comments!

Linking up with the Influence Network

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Monday, September 09, 2013

{hello monday}

Oh Monday...you are always so sneaky. 

Just waiting until the weekend has settled in, the laundry is folded, naps have been taken, and then...

Bam. There you are again. 


But this week I'll forgive you because I actually felt slightly refreshed this morning when I got up for work. 

It might have had something to do with the Nutella toast that was consumed over the weekend...
And the snuggles that were had...
And the Lego building {with sanity-saving iced latte drinking}...
And of course some doodling...
And a little bit of fall decorating...
Oh and there was a good hair day too...
And technically this was still a workday, but Dan surprised me with fresh donuts from our Amish market at work Friday morning...
Talk about starting off the weekend right!

What are you saying hello to today?

Linking up with..

still being [molly]



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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

{playing dress up}

Its September!

So excited to start celebrating everything that is fall this month...my absolute favorite time of the year.

And the end of this month holds a big event for me...my very first blog conference!

I'm attending the Influence Conference in Indianapolis the last week of September and to say I'm excited is a bit of an understatement. Meeting so many other like-minded women who want their online life to mean something...and who understand the value of a good statement necklace and mason jar cozy...well that is just priceless! ;)

I'm taking this conference as an opportunity to add a few new pieces to my wardrobe. I never shop for occasions these days and I hardly ever pay full price for anything, even at stores like Target. But I tried this dress on last time we were there...

And I knew it was perfect for the conference. The fit is flattering, very comfortable, and I love the mix of colors and pattern. While I was at it, I added a comfy and versatile turquoise cardigan. These are pieces I'm going to get A LOT of wear out of.

The weather today was perfect to give them a test drive with my denim skinnies, flats, and coral statement necklace...

This exact outfit might just be making an appearance at Influence. :)

Outfit details >>>
Dress & cardigan: Target
Skinnies: TJ Maxx
Flats: thrifted
Necklace: c/o Brighthouse Baubles

Linking up with...

pleated poppy

My Style Monday @ My Greatest Hits 
Wardrobe Wednesday @ Create Hope Inspire
Casual Friday @ Two Thirty-Five Designs
Sunday Style @ Modern Modest Beauty
Whatever Whenever Wednesday @ Rolled Up Pretty
What We Wore, Read & Made Linky Party @ Rae Gun Ramblings

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