Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A new addition to Speak Out Loud

I can't believe after months of working towards opening up my shop, Speak Out Loud, it is finally a reality. During the beginning stages of Speak Out Loud, I of course I knew that it would be a jewelry shop, but I also envisioned having a variety of products. It is especially important to me that there is variety, because lets face it...jewelry isn't for everyone AND this shop was created as a way to raise money for Speak Now. I have now added printables!! They made their way in, well, kind of by accident. Stamping jewelry and cutting blanks is a very noisy business! I found that when the baby would sleep, the time that I thought would be the ideal time to work, quickly became the worst time to work. So now, I make the jewelry while the kids run wild (just kidding-kind of) and when the baby sleeps, I am able to create printables.
Being a part of the Speak Now team has been such a humbling experience, and anything I can do to offer support, I am willing to do. I will be donating 50% from each sale of the 8.5 x11 Speak Out Loud printables  so at only $12, this is a great way to give Speak Now some much needed funds! I want to give you all a chance to check them out....

 This is a set of 4 separate printables.....

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 I hope you all love them as much as I do, and please continue to check back for more!!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Laundry Room Before and After

I'd love to say that this is my laundry room made over, but sadly it's not. It's just the laundry room that I made over. My girlfriend just moved into a beautiful (HUGE) house, and asked me to come over and paint some of the rooms. I'll be posting some of the other rooms soon, but today you get to see the laundry room

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the look of the laundry room before (don't you agree??) Especially since they have only been there for a couple of weeks. To spruce it up, I painted the walls, took down the shelf to paint it white (not yet finished with that part), added hardware to the cabinets, and added some decor. Here's the after....(warning picture overload)

Adding a natural element, a candle, and a basket with towels, can add a spa feel to any room! Even the laundry room!

I just L♥VE that shabby chic laundry sign and isn't that apron adorable?!

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So, what do you think? Since I've started painting at her house, I have been inspired to start redoing some of my rooms. This week look for my bedroom makeover, including the beautiful hardwood floors that were revealed when I tore out the carpet, as well as my living room makeover and new blogging spot.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lil Journal Project...People Watching

There are many days as a stay at home mom, that I don't leave the house (please tell me I'm not the only one!). So when Ashley's prompt was people watching, I thought...hmm, the only people I've watched today are the little one's running around my house. And although they cause plenty of thoughts to go through my head, and most definitely have an impact on my life....sometime it is a stranger, that has no idea that you even noticed them, that can make the biggest impression on you. There was one person in particular that immediately came to mind. 
A couple of months ago, as I was driving down the highway, something caused me to glance over at the commuter parking lot on the outer road. I've seen the lot many times, but this time I noticed more than just parked cars. I saw a car parked in the last row of the 1/2 empty lot. It was what was on the car that grabbed my attention. There were 2 or 3, one gallon, milk jugs on the roof of the car. I wondered about it, but I didn't really have that much time to see much else. A few days later, driving down the highway, I started to look before even passing the commuter lot. This time, there was a couple more milk jugs, and a chair that was sitting in front of the car. I was able to take notice of what filled this car. This was someones home. I couldn't seem to get this person off of my mind. I wondered if it was a man or a woman. I wondered how old this person was. I wondered if this person had family that lived in the car too. I imagined that the water must be the way this person cleans him or herself. I figured that, because it was 110° outside, and who would want to drink water so hot. 
A week or so later, a person filled that chair. He seemed to be a middle aged man, alone. How did he end up in his car? How is he able to stay in the same place, dad after day, obviously taking up residence at this address? What does he do all day? How does he get money to eat? Does his car run? The questions went on and on, and still, for some reason I think of this person often. I have to say that for a stranger passing by (literally) he has left more of an impression on me than any other stranger that I can think of. 

I'm very thankful for the blessing in my life. This man reminds me that just having a place to lay my head, and a bathroom to shower in, are in fact....blessings.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Issues with Customizing your BLOGGER TEMPLATE??

Have you noticed the new look of the blog {once again}? When Speak Out Loud jewelry shop launched last week, I wanted my blog to have to same color scheme as the shop. So I re-designed the header. After the design was finished and mapped out, I uploaded it to my template. Simple, no biggie. Did you miss the post on how to make clickable links in your banner with image mapping? Click here. But I noticed that when I tried to customize my blog colors in the Blogger Template Designer, nothing was changing. So I waited a day, thinking that there was just some temporary blogger issue. The next day, the same thing. So I waited another day...and nothing. By now I wasn't just annoyed that I couldn't get something to work, but the colors clashed so much that I was having a hard time looking at my blog! If it bothered me so much, it must be bothering you too, right?? Maybe it wasn't, but it was definitely bothering me. So I Googled it, because Google tells us everything. Doesn't it?? The only thing it told me was that some of you were having the same problem, but not why. In the moment I didn't care why really, I just wanted it to change! So instead of wasting another day to see if the blogger template would work, or looking into more Google pages until 4 am, I decided to just go strait to the source....the HTML. 

If you are having the same problem, the fix is easy. Here is what you can do. This is normally where you would start out if you want to customize your blog. Template → then advanced.


And don't be afraid....just back up your blog.

I didn't need to expand, just begin to look for the hex numbers, or color codes. It will say color: #......, and to know what you are changing look above the color, such as link; visited; hover, etc. These are the colors of the words that you link to other urls. 

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You might find (like I did) that I couldn't tell exactly what section of the blog each area was referring to, and also that I don't have the hex values memorized. That's ok. Open up a separate page while you are working and use the advanced section of the template designer to tell you. Highlight the # in the html, go through the sections of the template designer, and paste the number in. You can match up what area had what color that way, and change the color accordingly. Which bring me to how you change the color. I use Chrome add on, color picker, to tell me what the hex number of each color is. Using color picker, I hover over the color I am wanting. Once the hex # is shown, highlight the # and copy. Then go into the html. Highlight the number you are wanting to change, and paste your new number in. You can also do this with the font and font size, if you are wanting to change those things too. 
Make sure that you before you hit save, you preview your changes to see if everything looks the way you are wanting. It's really much easier to NOT SAVE CHANGES, and start over with what was previously there, than to try to figure out what you have done wrong. 
If you have been trying to figure out what is going on with blogger, hopefully this helps you. Have a great weekend!

By the way, have you checked out my new shop?? 

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Friday, September 7, 2012


As bloggers we all have the urge to write, about something, right? It may be different for each of us. Maybe it's to write about our families, our homes, our dinners, what we are wearing, our adventures, our successes, or in some cases our lack of success. What ever that "something" may be, we write about it passionately and enthusiastically. We tell the story of "it". Our blogs are our place to go back in time and see our special moments. We treasure our online journals. But, how often do you just sit and write...with a pencil and paper?? I know that many of us will pick up a pen and jot down a thought or an idea, or even an amazing and inspiring dream that we might have. But are we writing these things down with our blogs in mind? Or instead, just for ourselves, because we want to make note of that moment.
I've never been great about keeping a journal, although I have attempted at different times in my life to start one. I'd go out and buy the prettiest little journal that I can find, a special pencil dedicate to only my journal,  lay in bed ready to expose all of my deepest thoughts and feelings... Sound familiar? For me, this eagerness lasts for only about 3 days. Then I find myself staring at blank pages that scream extra pressure and an added chore for the day. Not so fun, and doesn't make for good reading in the future. I love to write, and there is a freedom I feel when I am writing for myself. When we blog, it is very easy to feel like we are going to be judged on what and how we write. What we share, or don't share. How correct our grammar is. If we have too little detail, too much detail. We try to write freely, but nothing like we would if we knew no one would read it. Just like we dance when no one is watching.

This brings me to tell you about one of my daily reads,  Lil Blue Boo. Ashley is an amazing writer, an inspiring woman, a terrific mother who just oozes with creativity, humor, strength, and joy. A few days ago she started a series called The Lil Journal Project. She gives daily prompts on what to write about in the journal. She is only on day 4, and honestly I didn't start right away. I read day one and loved the idea. But didn't start my journal. I didn't want to start something that I might not finish, just as I had done in the past. I read day 2, which brought up memories, good ones, that I probably would have never even thought of {in detail}. I kept thinking about her project. Then yesterday I read day 3. I had to do this! For this journal, I didn't run out to buy "the prettiest little journal that I could find". I didn't look for that perfect journal pencil. I stopped at the dollar store and bought this drawing pad....
...MY prettiest little journal.
Along with some things to add some color....

And so my "Lil Journal" began.
Using my kids pencil that's missing most of its eraser, and with my left hand I wrote:
this is my journal.
there are no rules.
it's imperfect.
and perfect.
all at the same time.
This was the prompt that Ashley gave. So creative, right?!

Apparently, I draw much better with my left hand than I write.

This is different than any journal I've ever started in the past, and I find that I am writing things, and remembering things that otherwise, I probably would have kept in that part of the brain that "just stores memories". I look forward to what day 5 will bring. 
There is plenty of time to start your journal. I'd love to know if you have already joined in on The Lil Journal Project! 
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