Category Archives: How to’s

A Halloween-Themed Pocket Letter

Halloween Pocket Letter

BOO! Halloween is right around the corner! Which means it is the perfect time to bust out some of my more spoooOOOoooky craft supplies. Here’s a Halloween-themed pocket letter I recently whipped up.

Some of the stickers and the washi tape at the bottom were purchased from Blitsy this year (I couldn’t resist!), but the rest of the stuff I had in my stash. My favorite part about making themed pocked letters is going through my craft drawers to pull out anything I think is “on theme.” I usually don’t end up using everything but the process of picking out materials is a really calming activity for some reason.

Now, to tuck some goodies in the back and mail it off to brighten someone’s day.

WANNA SWAP? 

Maybe I’ll even throw in some fun-size candy bars

P.S. A pocket letter inspired by children’s book illustrations!

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Painting Party with Date Night In Box

If there is one thing I love, it’s a craft project. Whether it be a pocket letter, a way to display polaroids, or some holiday decor; busting out the washi tape or a glue gun is my idea of self-care! And what better way to double the fun than get Chet in on the action, too.

We recently received our very first Date Night In Box and the theme was *drumroll please* “Painted With Love.” How fun is that?!

Before the box even came in the mail, I got an email with  links to a printable invitation and a personalized music playlist. They really cover ALL the details!

But as soon as I took this puppy out of the mailbox, I was even MORE impressed. The packaging was so adorable and really stuck with the whole painting theme–pantone, water-color REALNESS! Both the printable invitation and the box itself really invoked the idea of a paint and wine class, something I’ve always wanted to do as a date but never got around to. Now our own personal version was showing up at my door! What luck!!

The box came equipped with everything we needed to make our painting date a reality. Tucked inside were a couple canvases, paint and paintbrushes, and other supplies to make the night a success!

There was also a newsletter which had a bunch of recipes to take the date to the next level with a dinner, along with suggestions for movies that would follow the artistic theme of the night…

…as well as a “Colors of Love” quiz to keep the fun conversations flowing.

I LOVE when all parts of an evening are on-theme…so satisfying, LOL!

And the best part? I didn’t have to do any of the planning! Everything I needed to create this meaningful and memorable date night was right at my fingertips.

Interested in enjoying a monthly date night from the comfort of your own home? Consider a subscription to Date Night In Boxes. Every month features a new theme for you and your partner to enjoy! 

DIY: Autumnal Bunting

autumnal bunting

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been giddy with excitement about the new season. So I decided to lean in and put up FALL DECOR! I started poking around in some boxes and remembered that most of my seasonal decor was heavily downsized in the move. But…NEVER FEAR. Where there is a will to give your home an autumnal makeover there is a WAY to give your home an autumnal makeover, mk?

SO…this is your semi-regular reminder from me to you that if you are a hoarder of craft supplies (*ahem*), it’s always best to evaluate your stash before hittin’ the stores. 

A little fabric, a little glue gun action, and a little leftover rope…and wam-bam, thank you MA’AM! An autumnal bunting was mine in less than 20 minutes flat.

To recreate something similar, all you’ll need is:

  • fabric
  • felt leaves (which you can cut out yourself or get a pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • rope, ribbon, or twine

To assemble, just:

  • cut your fabric into squares
  • fold the top of the fabric back and hot glue the edge down to create a little tube for your rope to string through
  • glue on the leaves
  • string the fabric squares along the rope
  • tie loops at the ends
  • and ENJOY…

Do you ever create seasonal decor with items you have on hand? How are YOU decorating for FALL? Thanks in advance for the inspiration! xoxo

P.S. Check out this post to learn how to make a ZERO COST, 30 SECOND fabric pumpkin! I’ll definitely be making a few of these, too!

6 Ways to Use PicMonkey

If you need to edit photos, make graphics for your blog or social media accounts, or just want an awesome template for an Instagram post, you need to check out PicMonkey!

I’ve been using PicMonkey for years. I rave about it to friends and clients. But I’ve never written a dedicated post about this sneaky lil blogger hack.

So, in case you’ve never heard of PicMonkey before, it is an online image editing tool that is super user friendly and perfect for all my influencers, bloggers, entrepeneurs, and marketing mavens out there! What can you create with PicMonkey? SO. MANY. THINGS!

Here are 6 ways I use PicMonkey for my blog, clients, and personal life…

1. Photo Editing

I love snapping photos on my adventures! Before I pop ’em into a blog post, many of them get a quick edit in PicMonkey. Because my posts aren’t super photo-driven, Photo Shop just doesn’t seem like a worthwhile investment at this time (and I don’t really have time or the desire to learn how to use it — just being real). So this is a great alternative! I usually crop or straighten my photos as needed. Then, adjust the exposure and color. Sometimes I’ll sharpen them, too. Here are a couple images I edited with PicMonkey…

2. Invitations

There are a ton of templates available to make custom invitations for everything from birthdays and graduations, to surprise baby showers and special promotional events. Chet and I actually used PicMonkey to create the “Save the Date” cards for our wedding!

save the date with picmonkey

3. Graphics

I manage website and social media content for several of my clients. PicMonkey is a great way for me to quickly create a graphic for their blog posts or online newsletters. All I do is keep a spreadsheet with each of my clients, which PicMonkey fonts are suitable for their brands, and any HEX color codes. All I need is an image and bada-bing, bada-boom–I’ve got a custom graphic!

everything you need to know to find your blogging niche

4. Cover Photos

Social media cover photos are a fun way to show off a bit of personality, as well as cross-promote across different platforms. I usually opt for a simple look, but I recently created this Twitter cover photo in PicMonkey and thought it was pretty cute! There are a ton of templates available and there’s no going back and forth to get the right size for the right platform.

5. Collages

I also use PicMonkey to create collages. This is how I first discovered PicMonkey — googling an easy way to include multiple photos in a single image. Below, you’ll see a collage I created for my About page as well as the format I used when I was making monthly favorites posts.

6. Brand Boards

Finally, who doesn’t love a good inspiration board??? If you want to put together a cohesive vision for your brand, then I highly recommend checking out the brand board templates on PicMonkey. As an example, I put together a board for Finding Delight. This is to help guide my aesthetic and posts for Fall 2018 and the sort of vibe I’m hoping to convey with my content in the upcoming season. This one is for my personal use, but this is also a great tool for sharing the feel of your brand with others or creating media kits for companies who want to partner with you.

finding delight fall 2018

Have you ever used PicMonkey? What are your favorite features?

How to Find Job Satisfaction (even if you haven’t found your “dream job”)

how to find job satisfaction*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Even in the midst of your dreamiest of dream jobs, work can still seem like a chore. Something you have to check off your list along with mopping the floors and getting your oil changed. They call it “work” for a reason, right? And when you haven’t landed your dream job, or still aren’t sure what that ideal occupation even is, finding motivation can be that much harder.

But everyone deserves job satisfaction in their career, whether waiting tables at the very beginning of their ascent or as CEO on that top rung of the ladder. It’s all about attitude, outlook, and a dash of discipline. 

Not too long ago, broke and in debt, I found myself back at a store I worked at when I was 18. Seven years down the line, it felt like a giant step backwards. But by figuring out the tips below (and trust me, there were times I resisted them), I realized I could find satisfaction in my work…no matter what I was doing. This is the attitude that gets you noticed and helps you to make moves. Sure I’d gotten knocked down a few steps, but climbing back up…and then beyond…was so much easier when I enjoyed showing up at work every day and did my best.

So, let me share the tips I utilized to do so…

Being The Best

No matter what your job, you’ll always enjoy it more if you focus on being the best. Whatever, I’ll say it…winning feels good. Does this mean you have to work yourself to the bone? Not at all. There’s always ways to work smarter not harder, no what I mean? You just have to find that willingness to be ambitious.

I’m competitive anyways so I’ve always got my eye out for opportunities where I can beat people (in a gracious way! obvi.). If you’re not, think about the rewards that motivate you most and focus your energies on receiving those rewards specifically. I’m very motivated by words of praise but you might be motivated by public recognition or money or learning something new! Speaking of learning something new…

Educating Yourself

Even the poopiest of jobs can teach you valuable lessons for later in your career. Dive in! Seek out specialized training, put yourself forward for educational opportunities, and tap the knowledge of co-workers. I pride myself on being a life-long learner outside the work place so I relish any opportunity to learn “on the clock.” Depending on your job this could be anything from taking 30 minutes a day to read industry news, signing up for a wine pairing class, or taking part in an online accredited MBA program in your free time if your company is footing the bill.

My rule of thumb whenever someone asked me “Do you want to learn how to do x, y, or z?” Say YES. A downside to working jobs that are more about paycheck than career path? Monotony! But the more you diversify your skill sets…the less bored you’ll be and the more fun you’ll have!

Finding The Value

Finding the value in your job will not only make your daily effort feel worth it, but could also spark passion. How is your work or your company helping people? What are you doing for the greater good? How are you making an impact? Spend some time connecting the dots here. My retail job at a cooperative grocery store prided themselves on keeping the majority of every dollar spent in our local economy. So, I chose to focus on this value. My efforts were always fueled by a desire to promote local farmers and food. I became super passionate about it! And before I knew it, I was working in the marketing office instead of out on the floor…and I still work in marketing today! 

Keeping one eye on the value is a great way to maintain focus when you’re feeling less than pleased about going in or your boss is angry or some task feels pointless. Not to mention, communicating the value YOU provide is an awesome skill to have in an interview setting, hint, HINT.

Do me a favor – Tell us your job in the comments below and the #1 thing you do to find job satisfaction. Thanks!

P.S. Wanna read more of my career tips? CLICK HERE.

3 Things That Can Ruin Moving Day (If You Let Them!)

3 things that can ruin your moving day*This post may contain affiliate links.*

It’s a bittersweet feeling when something familiar comes to an end. The transition from elementary school to the challenges of junior high, the last episode of a long running TV show, and even the end of a really, really good book can all provoke powerful emotions in us.

Moving from an old home to a new one is no different. No matter how much you love the prospect of your new home and neighborhood, it’s normal to feel more than a little apprehensive.

As much as you might be looking forward to making memories in your new home, meeting your new neighbors or facing the challenges of your new job, it’s more than likely that you’ll experience a few jitters about moving day. I know I did when we moved from South Florida to Alabama earlier this Summer. 

After all, a lot can go wrong. (I’ve moved enough times to know that firsthand!) But if you face potential risks head on and take steps to counter them ahead of time, you can look forward to a stress free and exciting moving day…

Bad movers –

Quite possibly the biggest threat to a harmonious move are bad movers. Whether they steal your possessions and claim they got “lost in transit” or simply don’t take proper care with your beloved fine china, your precious collectibles or your beautifully varnished mahogany wardrobe — a bad mover can make the already stressful experience of moving nightmarish. Do your research. Check out mybekins.com as an example. You should look for a company that is well established with years of experience and offers a solution that’s tailored to your personal needs. 

The weather –

Weather can make an easy move harder and a hard move intolerable, so it’s vital that you take steps to prepare for all the possibilities:

  • Hot weather means that you’ll get tired faster as you lift, carry and move heavy items from your home to the truck and back again and may put you at risk of heat stroke if you spend a lot of time in the sun. Do your best to take breaks and always stay hydrated.
  • Cold weather on the other hand can tighten your muscles and increase your risk of pulled muscles, sprains, slips and trips. You may feel goofy but a quick warm-up routine can go a long way to keeping your body safe during a cold-weather move. 
  • Rain can lead to problems on the road, reduced visibility and water damage to your possessions. I don’t really have any specific advice here other than to BE CAREFUL and take it as slow as needed to stay safe. It seems like every single time I move it decides to rain!

Improper organization –

Finally, a lack of organization can make moving day into an exercise in pandemonium. If your move is to go smoothly a good deal of planning and prep work needs to be in place before you even load your first box into the back of your car. Measure doorways and furniture in advance, ensure your moving truck has proper access to your building and make sure that your items are packed safely and properly. Write up a schedule for the big day and don’t be afraid to come equipped with Plans B, C, and even D! Things are bound to go wrong but prior preparation prevents poor performance! 

I’m curious – Do you have a nightmare moving day story you’d like to share below? Let’s learn from each other’s mistakes!

P.S. After you move, here are 8 tips for settling into a new home!

5 Ways to Find Delight This Weekend

Do you know that feeling you get when you FIND DELIGHT? That feeling when you marvel at the wonder and beauty and mystery of the world around you? That feeling you get when daily responsibilities and tasks and worries and annoyances fade away, and you realize the real magnitude and beauty of life.

You know the feeling we mean when you find it, right? But you might be struggling with where to look! Here are five activities to help you this weekend:

 

Astronomy

No matter who you are, looking into space and the night’s sky can fill you with a sense of awe and wonder. Thinking about the planets and stars and comets and black holes and dust clouds floating in space is a great way to FIND DELIGHT. Looking into space is looking into infinity, and that can lend your entire perspective a sense of the big picture. All of your worries begin to feel small, and all of your problems can seem to fade away. It’s healthy for your spirit to view the stars once in a while. This might be through the best telescopeobserver equipment, or by visiting your local planetarium.

 

Climb Up A Mountain

Sometimes you need to FIND DELIGHT by tackling a goal in the most literal way possible. What’s that you ask? Well, seeing a big mountain and climbing it. The raw effort of climbing a mountain or hill, be it an afternoon hike or a 10 day trek led by a guide, is a wonderful way to cultivate joy. Upon your success, you will find delight in the achievement but also through an excellent view.

 

Meditation Retreat

Heading on a meditation retreat can give you the space necessary to connect to your own mind. Often we are so filled with thoughts about our lives, our day to day responsibilities and our families that we can become quite stressed. Our minds are literally so full that there’s no room to FIND DELIGHT! The simple act of meditating can help you feel refreshed, positive and ready to approach life in search of delight once again. If a full retreat isn’t in the cards for you this weekend. Consider downloading an app and committing to a meditation practice.

 

Childhood

Children have a way of FINDING DELIGHT in the every day, don’t you think? This is why connecting to your inner youth can be so important. For this, you need to get silly. Consider starting a massive painting project where you create on impulse. Head to an indoor climbing frame or trampoline studio for adults (yes, they do exist!) You could watch movies that you cherished as a child, or live vicariously through your own children, making a fantastic weekend that celebrates the things they delight in. If you want to find delight through the creativity, innocence and beauty of childhood, spend some time tapping into your kid-self this weekend. You’ll thank yourself for the effort.

 

Head To A Floating Lab

Floating isolation tanks have become all the rage lately, and for good reason. Suspended in a tank filled with salt water, the pool is heated to body temperature and the salt suspends you above the top. The Epsom salt is good for your skin, so this makes for a good soak. However, when suspended in one of these tanks in complete darkness, you can be sure to experience something very interesting. As you float there, you’ll realize that you cannot feel your body in the least. You will feel weightless and without senses, leaving you only with your thoughts. The DELIGHT must be FOUND within. Repeated floats can even gift you a long-term sense of patience and empathy, similar to what is experienced by those who have followed Yoga for a long time.

 

How do you plan on FINDING DELIGHT this weekend? Share below! xoxo
*This post contains affiliate links.*

A Pocket Letter Inspired by Children’s Book Illustrations

Wanna see my latest pocket letter? I recently joined a pen-pal group on Facebook and knew I had to send out this creation! (The group isn’t specifically for PL’s but I think they make the sweetest happy mail so I couldn’t resist!) I used some cut out vintage children’s book illustrations as my jumping off point and I’m so happy with the results! I love the purple and browns and pinks and yellows! (Plus those sweet little girlfriends walking arm and arm are just too adorable for words.)

I decided to include a “Mail Tag” since this is a new-to-me pal. She can respond to these questions if she decides to write me back.

Here’s a look at the goodies tucked in the back of each pocket. I included things like stickers, die-cuts, tags, felt, and washi samples. The little card that says TALLY is actually a vintage score card for playing Bridge. Totally random (and I doubt this pen pal plays Bridge) but I thought it fit the theme perfectly!

How cute is she??? If you’re into paper crafts (pocket letters, scrapbooking, flip books, collages, etc), vintage children’s books are such a fun element to incorporate! Just flip through some kid books when you’re at a Goodwill or a garage sale and see if there are any illustrations that you like. You can usually nab used picture books for less than a dollar! (And you may even have some in your own collection that you’d be willing to repurpose for the sake of craftin’!)

These little trios are totally #SquadGoals, amirite? But also low key #OutfitGoals, too. Ha!

And I can’t with this rocket ship! Obsessed. Hope my pen pal loves receiving this pocket letter as much as I loved making it!!

Thanks so much for stopping by, guys! Are any of you into paper crafting (pocket letters or otherwise)? What sort of crafts // DIY do you enjoy? 

5 Ways to Simplify this Summer!

Hi friends! Summer is right around the corner and, I don’t know about you, but I love slowing down and simplifying whenever this time of year rolls around. Maybe this is a holdover from childhood? When summer offered a break from school and extracurriculars and life just went with the flow for a few months.

Unfortunately, adult-life is a little different than kid-life (boooo!). But that doesn’t mean you can’t take a page from your kid-self book this summer season and set a few intentions to help you simplify. Here are a few of my favorite ways…

Clean out your closet.

Have you ever gone through your closet and realized how many items you’re holding on to that you haven’t worn in AGES?? *sheepishly raises hand* Our impending move has offered me a great excuse to really go through my wardrobe with a fine tooth comb. I encourage you to take a peek in your own closet, too!

Get rid of clutter.

Material possessions that you’re no longer putting to use may bring joy to someone else! Pass things along when you can or donate to a charity. Whenever I do this I find that it actually ADDS value to the items I DO cherish and use.

Clear out your fridge.

You never know what you might find in there! 😉

Clear out your email inbox.

Have you ever done this? I’m kind of an email hoarder if I’m being honest. Thankfully, a well-organized Gmail folder system lets me hang on to my emails without a cluttered inbox. However, I’ll never forget the time my friend Adam “helped me” clean up my email account by deleting everything that was over 2 years old and I about had an anxiety attack.

Simplify your diet.

Obviously you should do this in whatever way feels fitting for you and YOUR body. But the way I like to simplify my diet is by reducing the amount of dairy, gluten, and sugar I consume. Summer brings about so much beautiful produce. Why not let it be the star of the show at meal time?!

That’s it for today, y’all. Happy simplifying!!

P.S. The top de-cluttering mistakes you might be making.

The 13 Life Skills Every Adult Should Know

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

T-Minus two weeks until we move to Huntsville, you guys. And you know what? Nothing puts your adult-ing skills to the test like a move.

There was a time not too long ago when I moved nearly every year; from one cheap, college-town rental property to the next. I would wait ’til the very last possible moment to throw all my smaller belongings into larger belongings (Boxes? Who needs boxes?!), cross my fingers that I’d get my deposit back (so I could afford the next deposit), and take as many trips across town as it took…sometimes working through the night to get it all done in a 24 hour period.

I now realize there is a much more responsible way to tackle moving. One that involves a bit more of a plan (and WAY more boxes). This got me thinking about the other adult-ing skills I’ve picked up over the years, largely through trial and error, that I think are important for everyone. I don’t consider myself an expert by any means, but these are the skills I continue to work on for maximum adult-ing…

Adult-ing Skill #1:
Basic first aid 

There is only one place to begin, and this is with first aid. Sign up for a class that teaches basic life support certification. There are many reasons why you should take a course in first aid. Of course, the most obvious reason is that you never know when an accident can happen and it’s always best to be prepared! But more than that, if something happens, you can’t always look for the adult in the room to come forward and fix things — you ARE the adult. 

Adult-ing Skill #2:
How to have difficult conversations

Being an adult means sometimes having difficult conversation. This conversation could be about anything that has a large impact on your life — your relationship, health, finances, etc. Learning how to have a difficult conversation can ensure a successful outcome and less heartache down the line.

Adult-ing Skill #3:
Self-care

We get so wrapped up in caring for other people that we often forget to care about number one. You need to make sure you take the time to care for yourself. This means prioritizing your hygiene, as well as sleep. A lot of people underestimate the importance of getting a restful night sleep. However, a lack of sleep creates irritability, as well as health issues down the road. On top of good hygiene and lots of sleep, taking time to pamper yourself every now and again is important, too!

Adult-ing Skill #4:
Nutrition

Living a healthy life is not something that comes naturally. It is something you need to learn about. A good place to start is learning how to read labels on food packages. Knowing exactly what you are consuming and how it impacts your body can go a long way.

Adult-ing Skill #5:
Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is quite the buzzword these days. And for good reason! It’s important to understand how your actions and words impact other people, as well as  the emotions that other people feel and the position this puts them in. Emotional intelligence is a quality that all the best leaders exhibit because it helps them pinpoint ways to interact with people that will harvest the greatest results.

Adult-ing Skill #6:
How to communicate effectively

Another skill that people need to learn is how to communicate effectively. No one makes it through this world alone. So, if you are to get where you want to be in life you need to know how to communicate with others. You need to master the art of both written and spoken communication. It is through communication that we form meaningful friendships and relationships, not only in our social life but in the workplace as well.

Adult-ing Skill #7:
Technology

You cannot just bury your head in the sand when it comes to technology. It is no exaggeration to say that technology has changed everything. It’s changed the way we work, the way we interact with people, the way we go about our daily lives, and even the way we think. Technology can be a useful and powerful tool that can enrich your life and simplify it. So let go of the fear that you will break something or that it will be too complicated, and embrace technology!

Adult-ing Skill #8:
Listening

The importance of learning how to communicate effectively goes hand in hand with listening to others. If you find you are someone that only ever listens so that you have the opportunity to speak, then you need to find a new approach. Listening is all about really hearing what the other person saying. People’s stories matter!

Adult-ing Skill #9:
How to vote

You can’t moan about the state of the current political climate and the issues that plague the country if you are not prepared to go out there and cast a vote. You may feel like your voice is insignificant and doesn’t matter, but if everyone felt this way, what would happen? It is important to learn about how to cast a vote so that you can express your opinion and make a change. 

Adult-ing Skill #10:
How to have a sense of humor

If there is one thing you need to learn in your life, then this is it. Learning to have a sense of humor can get you further than you may realize. Humor can help you to deal with problems , as well as relieve stress and pain. While it cannot eradicate underlying issues that cause us stress and heartache, it can give us a little bit of relief. Learning to laugh during the tough times can be challenging, but once you have found this skill, it will help you to live a happier life, I promise.

Adult-ing Skill #11:
How to focus

Learning how to focus is something that everyone can benefit from. Nevertheless, it is also one of the most difficult things to do. This is especially the case in today’s society when it seems that there are so many distractions. Moreover, learning to focus does not only relate to learning to focus on a specific task that you are doing, but it also relates to focusing on your goals, your actions, and your directions. We waste so much time on activities that do not get us to where we want to be in life. By focusing our goals and our efforts, we can ensure that we live a more valuable and fulfilling existence.

Adult-ing Skill #12:
Money management

Personal finance isn’t often taught in school. So when we start earning money and we have matters such as credit cards, investing, saving for retirement, and bills to deal with, it can be overwhelming. This is why it is important to take the time to master the art of money management so that you do not end up making a financial error that stays with you for many years to come. To begin with, learn how to put together an effective budget. A simple budget is an easy skill to learn, but it is something that will help you throughout the entirety of your life. It will ensure that you do not end up living beyond your means, as well as giving you full clarity over the money that you have coming in and going out every month so that you can use it to full effect.

Adult-ing Skill #13:
Car maintenance

Whether you drive a Ford Fiesta or a Ferrari, you need to learn how to maintain your vehicle effectively. If you don’t, you could end up wasting a lot of money in the form of repair bills. Maintaining your vehicle properly will prolong the life of your car while also ensuring that any issues are picked up quickly before they become bigger and more expensive problems. 

Ok, gotta get back to my moving schedule! #adulting

What adult-ing skills would you add to this list?