Organizing Craft Spaces

Crafting Hoarder here…….  I love craft supplies and keep everything with hopes I can use it one day.

Here’s what I want to know…. How do you keep up with it all? Do you have craft rooms, spaces here and there throughout your house (<–That’s me), or are you one of those lucky ducks with a “She” Shed? I absolutely hate that term, but you know what I’m talking about.

So, in hopes to find some brilliant new ideas to store my crafty materials (cricut, vinyl, beads, crochet, lettering….. the list goes on and on), I have compiled some of my favorite finds. Maybe we can get better organized and spend more time on making whirly-bobs and thinga-ma-jigs.

Do you have a spare closet you can turn into a Craft Closet?  If you are lucky enough to answer “yes” to that question, I want to know…. where do you hide all your extra junk?  My house is very short on closets, so I don’t have this option.  The closets we have are full of clothes, shoes, extra pillows, boxes of preschool art, and other random junk.  I don’t have a hall closet or extra space for other stuff.  I wish I did though, because I love the Craft Closet ideas I found over at IHeart Organizing.  Seriously, the pictures are eye candy for the craft obsessed.  There is a perfect place for everything from wrapping paper to balls of yarn.  I’m green with envy.

 

iheartorganizing.com

Find a corner in your living room, an unused wall in the den, somewhere you can put a desk, maybe a shelf or two.  You have an instant craft space.  All it takes is a little imagination.  You can use just one wall unit, or make an L-shaped desk.  Decorate it to match the room to camouflage your crafting desk.  Hiding your materials in baskets or drawers cleans up the work area, so no one will ever know you sat there til midnight gluing googly eyes on a wreath for Halloween.  Instead it appears that you have a nice, clean spot to pay bills and answer your email list.  Here are some great links and pictures for inspiration.

thelittlegreenbean.com

 

 

Shanty2chic.com

  Okay, you have really hit the jackpot here.  If you have an unused shed or storage building outside, you better run and claim it for your craft haven before your husband loads in fishing gear or makes it a car shop.  I would absolutely love to have a separate space like this for all of my DIY projects and supplies.  Crafting time would be awesome time in one of these.  Check these out!

Little Yellow Bicycle

How to go from Zero to Hero in the Blog World

Are you a new blogger like me?  Have you been posting away without any kind of increase in page views or subscribers?  I have been diligently studying what makes a blog successful and brings in the followers and money from advertising.  Here are some great tips and resources for getting your blog noticed.

  1.  Blog about things people want to read about.  Celebrity news, human interest pieces, funny stories, tips to make life easier……  People don’t want to read about the same thing over and over.  Mix it up a little with your content.  Just because you have a niche blog doesn’t mean you have to always write about that topic.  Throw them a curveball every now and then.  You will attract followers that have never heard of you.
  2. Use Social Media.  Every time you post on your blog, make sure you post links to your Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.  Not only should you be sharing every time you post, but also make sure you are posting daily, whether it is a funny picture, a relevant topic for your blog, or share other website articles that your readers would be interested in.
  3. Join blogger groups.  There is power in numbers.  The more people you have sharing and posting links to your blog, the more your following grows.  The circle gets bigger and bigger every time you join a blog party or group.
  4.  Use Media in your posts.  There are tons of free photo website you can use to grab great pictures to include in your posts.  No one wants to read black and white blog posts.  Add color and headings and informational graphics.  Include links to help your reader find more information.
  5. Create lists.  Do you blog about fashion?  Create a list of the hot trends for the upcoming season with links to other websites or merchants to purchase those items.  Blog about baking?  Create a list of your most popular cupcake recipes with links and photos.  Everyone loves a good list.
  6. Do guest posts on other blogs.  Find a blogger that has lots of followers.   Contact them about doing a guest post on their blog with a link back to yours.  Make the content good and they will want to use it.  Every blogger wants good posts, and having one handed to you is icing on the cake.  You are using them to get followers, they are using you to get content. win-win!
  7. Host a Giveaway!  Everyone loves free stuff.  You have a free e-book about your topic?  Give it away for a week and post everywhere about the free item and how amazing it is.  Find a sponsor to give away a product that is relevant to your niche.  Post about it on all social media and share on their sponsor pages as well.
  8. Do a controversial post.  This isn’t for everyone.  If you don’t like heat, don’t start a fire.  But, if you have a topic that you are passionate about that you can backup with cold hard facts, go for it!  People love to argue and you will gain some new readers, however some may not come back if they disagree with you.  Keep that in mind.

I hope this helps you increase your blog traffic.  I hope to implement some of these items in this blog to gain more readers and I encourage you to keep blogging.  Persistence is key!

 

More resources for new bloggers:

http://thebloghelp.com/

http://www.melyssagriffin.com/

http://www.makingsenseofcents.com

http://coschedule.com/blog/how-to-get-more-followers/

Losing Fat Without Losing Your Mind

DIET — I hate this word so much.

I have to start this post off by telling you a little about my body history.  I was a toothpick growing up.  Long and lanky, flat-chested and awkward.  In college, I was thin — a size 6, and was completely clueless at how lucky I was!!!  I always heard, “You will wish for these days back after you’ve had kids and start aging.”  Fast forward several years…..I give birth to monster babies, my metabolism obviously slowed down, my hereditary high blood pressure kicks in, and the pounds just keep a-comin’.  I wish I could go back in time to those size 6 days and shop again.  I might not cry in the dressing room when it’s swimsuit time.  Okay, I don’t cry, but I really hate shopping for swimwear these days.  

So, I don’t want to get as big as a house, what do I do?  I’ve tried counting calories, using apps on my phone to track my meals and almost fainting when I realize what I ate for lunch yesterday was enough calories to last all day.  I’ve tried shake diets (which by the way, work). However, you are starving most of the time, and I felt like I was missing out on the joy of food.  I love food.  Period.  I really do, and I am not ashamed to say it.  I love a gooey cinnamon roll, a fluffy cupcake, some cheesy pasta, and BREAD!  Pretty much if it is a carb, I want it.

I’ve pinned meal planning tips to my Pinterest boards til I was blue in the face, but implementing that is soooooo hard.  Am I lazy?  Maybe.  That also explains why I’m not hitting the gym every day, too.  I know I need the exercise, I know I need to eat healthier, but it’s sooooooo hard.  I need help guys.  Help me figure out what works, what is doable for a gal like me that loves food and hates the gym.  I’m open, but don’t try to sell me some miracle pill or patch or shake system.  That’s not for me.

I know you came to this post thinking, “She’s gonna tell me how to do it.”  Wrong!  I don’t know how.  This was more of a cry for help I think.  Sorry for the let-down.  Now you know how I feel when I get on the scale or want to wear some jeans I could wear last year.  Seriously, HELP!!!!

 

Hobby Journal – Planning Your Hobbies on Paper

How many hobbies do you have? I am an arts and crafts type of gal. I love making things. Some may be useful, some may just be plain fun to make. Do you pin things to boards everyday in hopes that one day you will make it? ME TOO! I feel like I need to de-clutter my Pinterest boards sometimes. So, with that in mind, not only do we need to de-clutter our physical hobby spaces, but also our mental ones or digital ones.
Enter new idea: (or new to me)
Has anyone started a hobby journal? Did you even know there was such a thing? I really hadn’t ever thought about it, but I love the idea of having a journal and would love to take up that habit. I am not a habitual person in that I have hard time doing things everyday automatically. In fact, my habit is not making habits. ha!  I get frustrated with myself because I have several blank journals lying around that had good intentions, but never really stuck with it.   But with a hobby journal, it’s not really something I have to do everyday, just maybe every now and then when I run across something fantastic that I don’t want to forget.

So, this hobby journal may just help with whittling down my many ideas tucked away here and there, and I could actually see them in one place. Doesn’t that sound marvelous?! You can print out pictures of things, jot down ideas, or keep lists of items you need to buy. I tend to overwhelm myself when I start outlining my upcoming weekends, and then by the time it’s here, I am not really doing much of anything because I lacked planning. I enjoy my hobbies.. that’s why we have them right? They bring you joy. Sitting at home on Sunday night wishing I had done this or that does not bring me joy.

First step of creating a hobby journal:  Don’t make it a hobby.  I laughed when I typed that because that’s exactly what I’d normally do.  I’d get excited to go to the craft store and get cute pens and stickers, and wham!  Another hobby.  NOOOOOO!  I will not do that.  This is supposed to help with all that.  Resist the urge for glitter pens, and just grab a notebook or one of those blank journals you never used.  Start by making a list of your hobbies.  Next, make a page of each one.  Now, when you find a picture of a great necklace you want to make for yourself, print a picture of it and jot down the website on your “Jewelry” page.  Or, if you happen across a quote that would be cute for a shirt that you could make with vinyl, jot down the quote on your “Cricut” page.

Second step of using a hobby journal:  Don’t write down everything you see!!  This is another hard one for me because I like so many things and think I’ll make that one day.  Truthfully, I never will.  So, limit yourself when it comes time to put something in the journal.  Only include things you truly will want to look at one day.  Don’t put so many ideas in there that you overwhelm yourself and throw the book in the trash.  Maybe only choose things that you want to make within the next month or two.  If it’s months before Christmas, don’t put in homemade ornament ideas because you know you aren’t going to want to make those for a while.

So, I think that is enough to get us started.  I would love to hear if you use a hobby journal and have some great tips for me.  Please comment here or send me an email.

 

 

 

Super Cute Valentine Boxes for School

Do you make Valentine’s for your kids?  Do they take boxes to collect them at school?

My son is in first grade and they have a Valentine party in his class.  I’m sure you all have made a Valentine box at some point.  This will be my 5th or 6th box to make, as I’ve helped my daughter in elementary school as well.  It is always so fun to pick what type box they want to take with them to school for all their classmates to put Valentines in.  My son is very much opposite my daughter, and he said “Surprise me, Mom.”  My daughter, of course, had to have her say in what her theme would be, and we would have to make or buy matching Valentines for her to pass out.   I like the laid back attitude my son has.  He just goes with the flow, and I get to be as creative as I want.  So, I decided it was time to find some ideas for this box.  Here are some super cute ones I’ve found.  Maybe they will help your kids choose what they want, or they will help you decide what you want to make for them.

  1.  Pete the Cat   I love these books and this Pete box is terrific!  Check it out on booksandgiggles.com

    Valentine Box – Pete the Cat
  2. Batmobile   We love superheroes and Batman at our house.  This box is sure to be a hit  with little boys!
    Minecraft Creeper

     

    3.  Minecraft Creeper   My son loves Minecraft so much that he watches his favorite Youtubers play the game almost daily.  They love to play hide and seek in Minecraft worlds.  This creeper box is a high contender for his Valentine’s Box.    Check it out over at raysofbliss!

    4.  Pokemon themed  Okay, I admit it.  I am a Pokemon fan along with my kids.  The amount of money we have spend on cards is insane.  This is probably my top choice.

    Pokemon Valentine Box

     

 

 

So these are my top picks for this year.  Stay tuned for a picture of the one we choose to make!  xoxo

 

UPDATE!!  Here’s the box I made!

 

Healthy Make-Ahead Breakfast

I have discovered a great way to have a delicious, healthy breakfast without spending a ton of time preparing it!  BREAKFAST PARFAITS!   When I say the word, I immediately remember Donkey saying, “You know what else everybody likes? Parfaits. Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Heck no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious.”  Well, Donkey had it right because they are delicious!

The best part about this breakfast idea is that you can make so many different flavors by just switching out the ingredients.  It’s not rocket science.  And…you can make them up ahead of time so they are ready to pull out from the refrigerator and eat on your way to car line or work, or wherever your morning takes you.  All you need is 3 simple ingredients:  Fruit, yogurt, granola.  That’s it!  Put them together in jars or you could even use throw away cups.  Assemble by layering fruit, yogurt, then add granola right before you eat it so it stays crunchy.  Oh, another good tip is to add a touch of honey on top of your fruit to sweeten it up a bit.  The combinations are endless and you can get creative with it.  Have a different flavor for every day of the week!

Here’s some ideas to get you started—–

STRAWBERRY PARFAITS –sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen), vanilla greek yogurt (my favorite is Dannon Light and Fit Greek), granola (I tend to get vanilla flavored ones like Simply Balanced brand – found at Target)

BLUEBERRY PINEAPPLE PARFAIT —  blueberries,  pineapple flavored yogurt, blueberry granola (Quaker or KIND brand)

RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE — raspberries, raspberry chocolate yogurt, Back To Nature Chocolate Delight granola (find this at Wal-mart)