Archives for June 2012

Friday I’m In Love

 

 

 

Illustrated Brighton Plate in porcelain featuring a Hand Drawn illustration of Brighton Pier

Hand Drawn illustration of Brighton Pier

Pastel Ladder Ribbon Necklace

Mommy Time-Out

8 Awesome Uses for Coconut Oil

Stuff I Bought: Whimsical Print Intervention

7 Tips to Slow Down & Relax This Summer

A Day in the Blog Life

Tiny Wisdom: Stop Fighting and Be Easy

When it Feels Too Hard to Keep Trying: Rest or Push Harder?

A Little Antique-ing

5 Ways to Evolve and Reach Your Full Potential

10 Ways Yoga & Meditation Will Make You Cool (Warning: Hilarious!)

Honey Cranberry Granola

Granola is great because you can change the ingredients to suit your likes, or what is available in your pantry. It is also super cheap to make! There are numerous varieties of granola like cereal at the grocery store, but I guarantee it is easier and tastier to make it on your own. And aside from saving money you can also control the ingredients including salt, sugar and fat content.

This is my simple granola recipe, but feel free to change the ingredients to your liking :)

  •  3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
  • ¾ cup wheat bran
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut
  • ⅓ cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
  • ⅓ cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup  honey
  • ⅔ cup  canola oil
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Mix the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Then in a small bowl warm the honey and mix in the oil. I usually whisk the two together, but the oil doesn’t really mix well so don’t worry too much. Pour the liquid over the oat mixture and combine. Spread in a 9”x13” pan or on a baking sheet if you like it well done. Cook in 350˚F preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until granola is golden and fragrant. When you remove from the oven immediately add the cranberries, and then leave in the pan until completely cooled. Transfer to an air-tight container for storage.

To keep this recipe on the inexpensive side I would encourage you to use things you have on hand, or if you are going to purchase ingredients I suggest you purchase them from a bulk food store. This way you can get only what you need and you won’t have to pay more/weight for a smaller package. And one other tip – nuts and dried fruit are expensive! As you can see in this recipe I chose to use seeds instead of nuts, and raisins would have been a less expensive option, but I like the cranberries.

So, there you have an simple and cheap treat for breakfast tomorrow morning! And like I said, feel free to make it your own :)

xox

Margot

5 iPhone Apps for Blogging Productivity

Last month I took the plunge and purchased my very first Apple product: an iPhone. I had high hopes for it, crossing my fingers that it would be more useful than my Samsung Moment phone that it was replacing. Especially in terms of the apps. Now my tangible planner sits untouched and empty as my phone has taken over all scheduling, planning, and to-do list creating duties. So I thought I’d take today to share some of my favorite apps for the iPhone.

1. Any.Do – Currently Free

I don’t know what I would do without this app in my life. You can create tasks – by typing or talking – for the current day, tomorrow, later in the week, or beyond that. Then when you complete the tasks, you physically cross them out on the touch screen. After a good shake, all of your completed tasks disappear and your to-do list is empty. Easy to move around your tasks, group them into categories, and view what you have coming up later on in the week.

2. 30/30 – Currently Free

A really easy timer app. Set up your list of tasks, decide on a length of time, and start the timer. Then it will tell you when you need to move on to your next task. There’s not much else to it, but I think that’s why I love it so much. It’s a good way to not spend too long on social media or remind yourself to get up, stretch, and take your eyes off of the computer from time to time.

3. My Pocket Coach – Currently Free / $4.99 for the pro version

My Pocket Coach was one of the first apps I ever downloaded with the iPhone. It’s a goal tracker/personal motivator for you to track, follow, and manage the small (and even large) goals you have in your life. Want to write a blog post a day? Or update your shop with a new product 3x a week? Maybe focus on a personal goal like exercising, cutting out caffeine, or sleeping more? It has the capability to easily track your goals, show you what you’ve already succeeded with, and encourage you to keep a streak going.

4. Pocket – Currently Free

A lot of times when I browse the web, I don’t have the time to view something in it’s entirety at that time. Which is exactly why I love Pocket. It’s meant to store all of those sites for when you can browse them, be it on your phone or computer. Really simple and easy to use tool to ensure that you come back to the things that you’re interested in visiting.

5. Wunderlist – Currently Free

I started using Wunderlist on the web prior to the app and loved it so I knew I would enjoy the app. Wunderlist is a great place for your to-do lists, especially ones that you may want to share with other people. Organize your tasks, get email updates, add due dates, and add tasks via email. Tons of personalization/customization features, too.

do you have any iphone apps you’d recommend?

Newspaper Medallion Tutorial

Newspaper. Medallions. Coffee filters.

Does it get much better than that?  I think not, folks. {Except maybe peach flavored Creamies. Holy Cow those are yummy!}

For this craft tutorial, you will need:

Newspaper, tape, hot glue, coffee filters, hole punch, twine, printer/paper

 In order to make the medallions, I cut the newspaper in half- width wise, and about 8″ tall.

Then, start cutting a ton of these, because each medallion takes 3 pieces of newspaper.

Next, accordion fold the newspaper.

Then, fold the newspaper piece in half, and add tape to secure the ends together.

Now, make two more, and secure each of them together with tape.

 Then, hot glue the newspaper medallion to a coffee filter. {Side note: At Dollar Tree you can get 150 coffee filters for $1! Coffee filters are TOTALLY in my must-have stash for crafting. I use them all the time- for nearly every occasion! I mean, they are off-white,  textured, and folded… what’s not to love?}

Oh, and don’t worry about the funky middle… we’re gonna cover her up :)

Then, head on over to your computer. This is where you get to be creative. For this banner I decided to say “United We Stand” to continue the patriotic theme, but this method could totally be used for anything! Just decide a phrase, font, and color, and print!

Cut out the letters and hot glue to the center of the medallion.

Then, use a hole punch in order to hang the banner, string it onto twine or any other ribbon, hang and ENJOY!

So, what do you think? Let me know what ideas you have for using the newspaper medallion – I’d love to hear them!

XOXO

Happy Wednesday!

Indie Gift Box + A Winner!

I couldn’t be more excited to share this info with you today! Today we’re chatting with Erin from Indie Gift Box and getting a peek into what it’s all about right before it launches. Be sure to find out how to get involved – be it through contributing or purchasing – and help support handmade businesses! Plus After Nine To Five Decor products may be showing up in one of the future boxes. :)

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Tell us about what Indie Gift Box is:
Indie Gift Box is a box that you can purchase each month that is stuffed full of handmade and small business goodies! It’s similar to subscription boxes, minus the subscription and with more focus on the individual artists and businesses that are contributing. Our goal is to help you discover new artists and shops, promote our contributors, and create a great community where we support small business and handmade!

What inspired you to create Indie Gift Box:
I kept seeing everyone talking about subscription boxes on the blogosphere, and while there are quite a few that include handmade or small business items, I didn’t like that so many of the boxes were a complete surprise and that without purchasing a box you wouldn’t know much (if anything) about the artists whose items were in the boxes! I really wanted something where buyers can get an idea of what they are purchasing, and would be able to check out the artists and companies whether they buy a box or not. Our goal is not to make money off of the artists and companies we work with, but to help promote them and help them grow, while helping buyers find artists they might not have otherwise.

What makes Indie Gift Box different from other monthly box delivery services:
Most box delivery services with handmade goods don’t give you any options, but send you a complete surprise every month. While that’s fun, I prefer to have a bit more control over what I’m paying for! Because of this I decided to offer boxes with different themes, so you can choose one that fits your personality. While the exact contents of each box is a surprise, we introduce our contributors throughout the month on our blog so you can get a sneak-peek of items that are included in the boxes!

As I mentioned above, we care a lot more about introducing you to artists and companies than just turning a profit, because of this, we want customer feedback! We’d love to know what kinds of items you’d like to see in future boxes, box themes you’d like to see, and if you have your own business we’d love you to submit an application so we can promote you too!

You have different kind of boxes for different personalities – tell us more about them:
I decided to offer themed boxes so that that buyers could have some control over the style of items they receive. We are currently offering four different boxes, and depending on customer feedback we may add, remove, or alter the themes so that we can be sure to offer boxes that will make people happy! The themes we are currently offering are:

Boho Box – Obviously boho is a big summer trend, and definitely one we can get behind! This box is perfect for nature-loving gypsies. Expect earth tones, natural elements, and possibly feathers.

Dainty Box – If you’re a girly-girl, this box is for you. Expect delicate jewelry, soft colors, and lace!

Color Box – If you like to be the center of attention, the Color Box will help you out! Expect, what else? Color! There won’t be a dull item in this box!

Beauty Box – In need of some pampering? Want to look your best? Smell your best? This box has you covered!

What types of products are you looking for from contributors? How can people contribute?:
We’re looking for items that match our current themes! The types of items that have been contributed for July include: necklaces, earrings, note cards, headbands, hairbands, buttons, key-chains, eye shadow, and more! All items should retail for at least $3, but preferably $5+. We do have an application process with more information which you can fill out here, and we’ll review your work and let you know if you’re accepted! If you want to contribute but aren’t sure if your products are a good fit, apply anyway and we’ll let you know!

Anything else you want to share with the After Nine To Five readers?:
I’d love you all to come stop by our blog and learn more about our contributors (and pay them a visit!). We have some great artists and companies lined up for July and I think you’ll love them!

blog / twitter / facebook / pinterest

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And the winner from the June Group Giveaway is . . .

Abby Purcell

please email me within 48 hours to claim your prize(s)!

Tuesday Tango

The Tuesday Tango is a multiple link-up post for everyone to meet new people and grow your audience. There will be six link-ups you can add your link to – Twitter, Facebook, Hello Cotton, Bloglovin, Instagram, and Pinterest. All you have to do is follow the host(s) for that week and then add whoever else you’d like to!

Host Links:

After Nine To Five | Lipgloss and Crayons | Whispering Sweet Nothings

Directions:

Follow the host(s)

Add your links to any/all of the link-ups

Add at least 5 people from the link-ups

*NEW THIS WEEK* We added a Pinterest link-up!

– – –

Want to host one of the weeks? Let us know!

{View all the link ups after the jump!}

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Sales – its any business

Want to know one of the biggest fears of a business owner a lot of the time? Sales.

“I can’t sell.”

“I’m not a sales person.”

Sound familiar?? I’ve used that excuse before, and frankly I have used it a lot.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: when you have a great product or service, sales is a natural thing. Most of the time when we think of sales we think of “Hi! I’m _________. I’m selling this product (or service) that I’m offering and would like to tell you more about it………(etc. etc.)” You know, the annoying sales calls that you get because a friend put your name on a list, or the many conversations you have had with people.

But when you are providing a genuine product that you believe in, sales ends up nothing like that. It becomes part of you, a part of your life and a part of what you talk about. Your product comes up in conversation and it starts selling itself for you.

Here are some examples:

“Cute bag! Where did you get it?!” oh! I sell them! I sell _______. I love the products!” (and hand them a business card.)

“Your necklace is beautiful! Where did you get it?” I made it! Check out my shop. (and hand them a business card.)

If you are trying to sell a product you don’t like, don’t use or don’t believe in – you won’t be successful.

Plain and simple. I’ve been there – tried selling a product I didn’t like and I couldn’t sell it to save my life.  Why?  Because I wasn’t passionate about it.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s much harder to sell something you don’t believe in. So believe in your product. Use your product. And show it off to the world so your products start selling themselves.

Come back in two weeks to learn about who your best sales people are!

Interview + Giveaway with Sue from As It Seems – CLOSED


Your blog/shop name + link: As It Seems// www.asitseems.net

What can we find in your blog / shop?

My blog is filled with me- my photos, my words, my ideas. Some days I have a lot on my mind and I spill it out onto my blog. Other days I’m in a silly mood and I write awkward things that make people laugh (or my husband at least). Every day I’m just me.

My new blog is As It Seems Designs where I share my love for graphic design and offer complete blog makeovers for a very affordable price.

7 Random Facts About You: 

  1. I live in Japan.
  2. I’ve read over 1,000 books in my 26 years.
  3. My favorite show ever is Criminal Minds.
  4. I’m overly obsessed with photography.
  5. I read comic books like it’s cool.
  6. I accidentally ate ox tongue. It wasn’t horrible, but I don’t recommend it.
  7. I have a big orange sapphire instead of a diamond for my wedding ring and it’s my favorite thing ever.

What is your favorite thing about this month?

Barbecues! My husband is the BEST grill chef I’ve ever met and I dare anyone to challenge him. I tease him that his grill master skills are in the top five reasons why I married him. I’m partially kidding.

I’m also taking a trip to Korea at the end of this month and I’m incredibly excited for it!

What are three of your favorite posts that you have written so far?

A Dirty Word: Divorce – A horribly revealing post that felt amazing to share

On Reaching Out to Other Bloggers – The reasons why I adore blogging

A Creative Keyboard – An easy & awesome DIY keyboard makeover

You can have dinner with anyone – who is it and why?

I would have a great big dinner party with all my favorite bloggers. No, seriously I would love that.

I’d also really love to have dinner with my family. I miss them all terribly and seeing them all in one place at one time would make my heart so happy.

Where else can we find you? 

Twitter // Facebook // Blog

And a giveaway!

 Ultimate Package blog design @ As It Seems Designs ($40 value)
Gift Card to Anthropologie ($25 value)
Large Ad Space @ As It Seems (July- $5 value)

Enter after the jump!-

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Interview + Giveaway with Shane from Whispering Sweet Nothings – CLOSED

 

Your blog/shop name + link: Whispering Sweet Nothings //shaneprather.blogspot.com

What can we find in your blog / shop?

This is the story of a flawed girl.  She’s not known for being decisive. She’s honest and unafraid to speak her mind, sometimes to a fault. And she wishes she had more to offer this world. As a finance major, she doesn’t get to express her creative side much, so this is an outlet to do just that. With 7 siblings, a knack for writing, and an unhealthy obsession with sunshine, she’s quite the well-rounded gal you’ll learn. Join me in the trials and tribulations of this crazy little thing called life, won’t you?

7 Random Facts About You: 

  1. I have seven siblings.
  2. I am an avid tennis player.
  3. I am straight up addicted to chocolate.
  4. My dream destination is Australia so I can play with the koalas some day.
  5. I spent last summer interning in the nation’s capitol.
  6. My mother is the only one I could trust with my life.
  7. I am glad life is a challenge.

What is your favorite thing about this month?

Soaking up the sunshine on my back patio!

What are three of your favorite posts that you have written so far?

Operation Beautiful

The Perfect Flaw

True Life: I’m a bit of a hipster

You can have dinner with anyone – who is it and why?

Michelle Obama.  I love how she carries herself as a strong, independent woman and doesn’t let anyone get in the way of that.

Where else can we find you? 

Facebook 

and a giveaway!

Halle Berry Eau De Parfum (1.7 oz)
and large ad space on Whispering Sweet Nothings for July
$40 value! 

{this giveaway is not open to international readers}

Enter after the jump!-

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Upcoming Changes to RevolutionizeHer

If you’re unfamiliar with the project, check out the blog.

Over the past few months, you’ve seen many changes with RevolutionizeHer as we tried to embrace the purpose that we dreamed of when this blog first began. Some changes worked, some did not. In the end, they never quite brought us to where we hoped the community would by at this point. Which led us to a decision in regards to the community’s future and where we wanted it to go.

Due to the success that the Better Blogger Network has already seen, we have made the decision to switch RevolutionizeHer over to a Ning community website as well. This type of site allows for easy communication, a central location to ask and answer questions, and a way for all members of the site to interact with one another in a way that this blog has not allowed for in the past. Our hope from the beginning of RH was to create a sense of community for women wishing to live out their dreams as well as a place to discuss those aspirations with other like-mined individuals – and we think that this is going to be the best way to do this.

We need your help!

We’re looking for a small group of women that are interested in helping us achieve your goals as we make the transition. Currently we are seeking bloggers, forum moderators, and social media/marketing gurus. If you’re interested in helping us out and getting in at the beginning of our newest endeavor, send us an email and we’ll get back to you within the next week with more information.

Whether you’re a shop owner, an entrepreneur, or a woman with a dream . . .

we hope you’ll join us on our new journey!