Mondays & A Crafty Giveaway

It’s official.

I’ve finally started to lose track of days on a regular basis. Friday felt like Thursday. Saturday seemed like Sunday. Sunday seemed like Wednesday until football was on.

But Mondays always feel like Mondays.

Good or bad, there is always a reminder that it’s just Monday and the official weekend is way. too. many. days. away. The good news is that we’re only a few days away from shipping out our wholesale order. And I get to introduce you to a wonderful lady that I’ve gotten the pleasure to know over the past month. She’s super creative and incredibly inspiring so keep reading!

Happy Monday!


Your name + your blog name : Kendra @ Simply {Darr}ling
Where can we find you on the web:  blog, shoptwitterfacebookpinterest, and instagram
If you had to sum up your blog in five words, what would they be : Creative, Honest, Fun, Random, Colorful
If someone wants to buy _______, they could find it in your shop : Gifts for themselves or a friend
Your perfect day would consist of :  Going out shopping and finding the perfect outfit on sale then coming home and working on some crafts. 
What is the best adventure you’ve gone on : When we were in Orlando in 2011, we were able to see the final space shuttle launch. We got up at 2 am to drive out to the coast and sit on a little island 10 miles from the launch pad. It was definitely worth the lack of sleep.  The following day was probably one of our “worst” adventures – we got to the Orlando airport to fly out to Aruba and found out that my husband’s passport had expired a month before. We ended up spending a week in Key West instead so I still have Aruba on my bucket list. 
What is something most people don’t know about you : Until I joined Pinterest and started this blog, I didn’t consider myself creative at all. I’m learning more about my creative side as I continue on this journey.

And today, Kendra’s offering you a chance to win a gift certificate to her shop!

Interview with Aubrey from Barcode Alternative

Happy Friday everyone!

This week FLEW by for me and as much as I’m glad it’s the weekend, you’re weekend plan is to keep working as one of our wholesale orders nearly doubled in size. I’m hoping to get outside and enjoy the weather at least a few times over the next few days though. I’ve been thinking we should do something fun this Summer over the past week or two, but it’s already half-way over which is CRAZY! I swear every year goes faster than the last one. Soon it’s going to be snowing and then it’s going to be my birthday and then it’ll be Spring again.

Today we have an interview with Aubrey from Barcode Alternative. If you haven’t met Aubrey yet, I promise you that you’re missing out. Aubrey and I first really connected over a similar goal a while ago (RV living) and ever since then, I’ve found out we have more and more in common. Not only that, but she’s by far one of the most down to Earth people I have met in the blog world. This interview is a great way to get to know a lot of the wonderful things about her, but if you’re wanting more – check out the end of the post where you can connect with her outside of her blog, too!

Justmonkeyingaround If you had to describe yourself in five words, what would those five words be: Writer, Reader, Environmentalist, Non-Conformist, Herbivore (Minimalist & Geek – I apparently had trouble with five)

What are you most passionate about? I’m a bucket of emotions. To narrow it down, I’m passionate about: writing (both fiction and non), reading, my family, whole foods plant-based eating and nutrition, sustainability, nature and natural beauty, minimalism and simple living, unabashed but heartfelt honesty, animal rescue, gardening, anything geeky (from my addiction to Buffy and Harry Potter to comic books and conventions), learning, biking, good communication, rule breaking (because that’s what they’re there for, right?), activism (standing up for what you believe in via action), working with my hands (especially screen printing, pyrography, book binding and jewelry making) and non-conformity.


What does an average day look like for you? Every day is different, which is what I love most. But what’s common on most days involves starting off with a big glass of iced water, a 10 minute run and yoga. While my husband works I typically find more things to sell or donate because we are always minimizing, post items to eBay and find items to resell, read (because a day without reading or writing makes me feel a bit empty inside), learn a new skill (I’m on YouTube a lot, watching how to do something new – the last thing I learned was how to stain wood naturally and without the use of wool), have a cup of tea somewhere in there, read blog posts, likely watch at least one TED video for the day, a bit of meal planning and then I wrap up the day with more reading, some Dexter/True Blood/So You Think You Can Dance, good food and writing more of my novel because I write best at night. I also always squeeze in a bit of creating every day too, like my wood burned Poe pin, some homemade deodorant and other nifty repurposed and handcrafted things.


What made you choose self-employment? I can’t say I actually chose it, nor do I lean one way or the other. But, as of now (while my husband works a regular 9-5, while building his video game business on the side, so he can break free of his job) I am supporting our two person, four cat family with my side income from eBay selling and am working on an Etsy shop that will replace my old one, as well as other aspirations. It really started when we were on unemployment checks for two years. That made us re-evaluate a lot. What I mostly like is doing what I love and if what I love happens to be via self-employment means then so be it. It’s just that right now what I’m doing doesn’t require the use of an employer. It’s just me and I kind of like that. :) My philosophy (or our philosophy) when it comes to money and what you love, is best represented in a recent conversation between my husband and I:

Me: So are you of the approach that inspiration strikes or that you seek inspiration, or do you think it’s a balance of both?
Matt (my husband): you do things you like and inspiration will come, if you look for it you will almost never find it
Matt: it’s like trying to become rich, rather than letting yourself become rich
Matt: one is you blinding yourself with the idea of money, the other is a happenstance of your work

My greatest heroes (Alan Moore, J.K. Rowling, Patrick Rothfuss and so many others) used this very approach and I admire them that much more for it. To do what you love because you love it. Then, after doing it for some time, decide if it’s something you want to monetize (though I do hate that word). For example, I’m working on my first novel and being a paid novelist would be great but right now I’m just writing because I love it and only because I love it. I also love to “flip” furniture, find free discarded furniture and fix it up. I’ve been doing that for over a year because I hate seeing things go into the trash and recently I thought, “we’ll maybe I’ll resell this stuff when I’m done.” So that kind of thing. The time my day becomes all work or I have to ‘schedule’ time in with my husband is the moment I change things up.


Where do you see yourself in five years? In one word: happy. That’s all I ever want to be. In more than one word, I see us having done RV living for a couple of years with our kitties, learned natural building while on the road and having explored all sorts of places, found a piece of land and built our off-the-grid mortgage-free Earthbag/Cob house, have a farm filled with tons of vegetables, fruits, herbs and beautiful flowers and hopefully selling some of our stuff at farmers’ markets, and a hand-built studio for the things we create for our [future] shop. I also see my husband’s indie video game business doing well and managing it for him, since he said he doesn’t want to deal with the management and finances part and I’m good at that. So I think it’s best that we both use our own strengths together. I just see so much happiness, growth, and love for life.


What made you decide RV living was right for you? The most obvious answer would be that we love to travel. My husband and I are both prior military and so we’ve done a lot of traveling and living in all sorts of states, and we continued that after we left the military. We even owned a trailer at one point – it was the first place we lived in together. He is a computer programmer/graphic designer for a living and we figured that it’s one of the most suitable jobs out there for RV living because it can easily be done on the road. I sell on eBay and that’s something I can continue anywhere. My future Etsy shop, made of reused items, can also be done anywhere because you can find neglected and forgotten things all over, unfortunately. So I guess it all just made sense. We really started thinking about it because we’ve been reading about natural building (Cob, Adobe, Earthbag, Earthship, Papercrete, Strawbale) in books and online. But all of the training events to get hands-on experience and build the homes were in other states. So we thought it would be cool to take our off-the-grid RV (because we want to convert it to being off-the-grid) to those places. Then we can start to gain hands-on experience in natural building and living, and can share our experiences with the world.


What are some quick tips on living a more sustainable life? My tip would be that sustainability isn’t really quick. It’s a huge learning process and will take time. The more you learn the more you begin to question what sustainability truly is to you. For us it started with changing light bulbs and recycling but led to using no garbage or waste, composting in our apartment, making things from scratch, researching living off the grid, and planning to buy a truck (that will pull our RV) and convert it to either biodiesel or vegetable oil. So I would say, continue learning. The more hands on you can be and skills you can learn, the more sustainable you can be. Take a new look at what you purchase, where was it made, where were the materials bought, and do the same with food and otherwise. To me it boils down to making a connection in our often disconnected world. Kind of like, we see food on the shelf and don’t ask how it go there or wonder the process. Or we buy a product and don’t wonder where it came from and how it got there. So in a nutshell, to live a more sustainable life: be learning, be curious and question everything.


If people like ________, then they would love your blog: Honest writing from my heart, on any of the topics listed above (and more)

What are some of your favorite posts to date: My natural instinct is like that of any novelist or creative, to say that my favorites are what I’m currently working on or last did and that would be the truth. But if I looked at some oldies, I would include (broken down):

General posts:

Repurposed/Recycled DIY posts:

Where else can we find you online:

  • Google + (I’m a geek, what can I say but Google is my homeboy – I’ve been on since before it went public and am a full supporter)
  • Etsy (rockin’ some handmade)
  • Goodreads (because hey, books!) 
  • Twitter (though I’m brand new really)
  • Pinterest (I’m a library science gal so information organization gives me the giggles)

Thanks so much for reading this far and cheers to all of you beautiful A9T5 readers!

~Aubrey from Barcode Alternative

Interview with Melinda from Melinda’s Musings

Today I have an interview with Melinda from Melinda’s Musings. If you haven’t check out her blog yet, you are missing out! Her blog is filled with gorgeous photographs, adventures, and tons of inspiration. Definitely check out the interview and then head over to her blog – you won’t regret it!

Want more of her?

Check out her Friday Finds or Scenes from Brooklyn for some of her favorite photos from Brooklyn!

Self for AfterNinetoFive

Fill in the blank: if you like _____ then you’ll like reading the Melinda’s Musings blog: living a full, happy, and well-rounded life!

If you had to sum up yourself in one sentence, what would it be? I’m a designer, dreamer, and adventure-seeker, with a passion for books and Bikram yoga.

Where else can we find you on the web? Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Bloglovin, Google+, Good Reads, & Vine (@melindadiorio). The better question is, where can you NOT find me?!

What is your biggest dream? Gosh, that’s a tough one since I feel as though my dreams always change. Right now my dream is to be self-employed part/or full time. Also to have a home with a very large library someday! (That one never changes and I’m always adding to my 600+ book collection, which is currently housed in my little Brooklyn living room.)

Where is your favorite place to visit and why? I loved visting Guatemala and the Philippines – the natural beauty, the culture, the people, the food, the colors…I could go on! But there’s a lot of places on my “to-see” list, so I can’t pick a favorite yet!

If you could do anything for the rest of your life, what would it be? Travel the world with my boyfriend Taz while being able to both successfully run our own businesses. Take lots of photographs and read a lot. Maybe there’s a couple kids in the picture too and we become a ‘nomad family’!

What are three of your favorite posts to date? The ‘Philippines‘ posts Motto for Monday, and ‘If You Think You’re Not Accomplishing Enough

What are five things you cannot live without? my boyfriend, my family, my friends, good food, books, and yoga Whoops, that was 6 ;) !

How would you envision your perfect day? I feel extremely lucky that I’ve had a lot of perfect days! Usually on the weekend – Option 1 would be a Brooklyn Saturday with a Bikram yoga class, a farmer’s market visit, a perfect-weather stroll, maybe a late brunch with friends, and reading in the park without interruption. Option 2 would be exploring a new city or country with Taz! 

Anything else you would like to share with us? I’m a childrenswear designer by day, and a blogger at night. I’m also a future small-business owner. I’ve got big dreams and a little problem with time-managment, but I’m all about the journey! Also, I’m always checking out new blogs and small business websites, so if you stop by mine {} please leave your info, because I’d love to visit yours!

Interview with Cara from The Marvelous Flight of Cara

Cara is absolutely AMAZING! She’s been wonderful to work with and get to know over the past couple of months. She has a heart of gold and has such a powerful voice that shows her passion and love for life. Check out the interview to get to know her more!

What can be found in your blog: Southern California, family values, cuteness, good books, fun adventures I have with my husband, and learning about fibromyalgia and what God teaches me through my syndrome!

Where do you find your inspiration for your blog posts: my heart, God’s heart, fun ideas I snag and link back to from other cute bloggers, whatever the season or month is also really inspires me!

If people like _____, they should read your blog: honesty, authenticity, openness, pastel colors, and lists.

What are some of your favorite posts that you have written to date:

Why did you start blogging in the first place: I began my blog when I was attending Bible college after HS and did it as an online diary; I never expected it to go live and become more of a fun interactive thing!

If you’re not blogging, you can be found _________:  reading The Hunger Games, praying, cleaning, baking, or down on the beach!

What’s one piece of advice you would offer to bloggers: Email email email, especially the “bigger” bloggers, and the ones you look up to. They’re so willing to help and give pointers, even just little tips that can give you more confidence in your writing and blogging. And one thing that’s really helped me recently is focusing on four MAIN topics that I want my blog to be about, rather than writing all over the place. 

Follow her on the web:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Bloglovin’ | Pinterest


Interview & Giveaway with Ashley from Flats to Flip Flops

If you haven’t met Ashley from Flats to Flip Flops yet, you’re missing out! She’s incredibly sweet, super fashionable, and such a great inspiration. Keep reading to learn a bit more about her, her blog, and the awesome giveaway she has for you guys!

What can be found in your blog: I blog about fashion, faith and philanthropy! Modest fashion, mommy moments and giving back are the theme here!

Where do you find your inspiration for your blog posts: My life! Starting with my fashion choices, I try to make them accessible(I hope) to real women, living real life. My mommy moments, the good, the bad and the ugly. And I love buying products from companies that are giving I feature companies like these on my Philanthropy Friday’s series.

What are some of your favorite posts that you have written to date:

Why did you start blogging in the first place: I wanted to make fashion more accessible to the every day women. 4 inch heels while chasing the kiddos around the park? Not happening! I believe comfy can be cute!

If you’re not blogging, you can be found _________: Chasing after my kiddos! A mischievous boy, age (4) and Sassy Little Lady(Age 2)!

What’s one piece of advice you would offer to bloggers: Do you! Whatever is your passion, whatever you want to share – there are people out there passionate about the same thing!

Follow her on the web:

Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

and now you have a chance to win $20 to Target!

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Interview + Giveaway with Eight Tree Street

Blog Name: Eight Tree Street

On the Web: ShopTwitter | Facebook

What can be found in your blog: I love writing about home decor, interior design, the latest trends in weddings, how to include a touch of DIY in your home, events, and wedding decorations. I showcase Etsy stores and other small businesses with the idea of increasing visibility and allowing them to reach a new audience. I write about new finds in the blogsphere, blogs that are  appealing from a design perspective, that have a vision that includes handmade and love of personalization in design.  I love all the new ideas, colors and designs for home and weddings, and try to share this with my readers.

Where do you find your inspiration for your blog posts: I usually work with lots of my friends and collaborators at other blogs or shops, I find a lot of idea on Pinterest, home design journals and magazines, love following interior designers, and now I am now putting all that information into exploring blog  posts with a theme or a color scheme, an example of this is the It’s A Party segment of my blog,which highlights a specific party theme and decor, and I am launching this week Decorating Trends for Home, based on a color palette to highlight accents, interior design elements and components that bring the palette together in amazing ways.

 What are some of your favorite posts that you have written to date: I loved working on the wreaths for weddings post. I design wreaths, but most importantly, each time I make one for a wedding I always think of the historical background and significance of the wreath symbol – the unbreakable circle of love and life. I love the different images I was able to find of decorating with wreaths for weddings, receptions and ceremonies. And many people didn’t know about the history of wreaths, that was fun to research and write about.  Another important post, very close to my heart, was the design I made for an Autism wreath using the work  of a very special artist, Alex from Alex’s Loft who is autistic. I designed and dedicated that wreath to my youngest son, who is also autistic and to the families who work so hard with these very special children. But I have so many, because I also love the little post I did  for veils and the one I did not long ago with designer Loyce Weathley of Grace Bridal Couture, she is just fantastic and such a nice person. Love it when you interview someone for a post, end up becoming friends and learning so much more about them.

Why did you start blogging in the first place: I had a background in writing for non-profits and museums, most of my grants were written to tell our stories. I saw the same dynamic about blogging, telling a story about what I love, home design and the little projects I was doing around my house inspired me, also one of my bloggy friends, the lovely Irma at Palm Trees and Lemonade, she always pointed at the wonderful way in which blogging allows you to keep exploring.  

What’s one piece of advice you would offer to bloggers: Collaborate and have an open mind. Also research your topics and ideas to offer a side that has not been shown before, a special take.  Keep connected with other bloggers, also take the time to connect with your readers, I made new friends from readers that started following me just a couple of months ago, and I am also writing about their work.

Anything else you’d like to share?: I had a friend today, a wedding industry specialist, so excited to blog ask me why should she write another blog, I told her her expertise had a value and she can contribute a different perspective, so find your vibe, your niche and keep going. There’s always a wonderful, receptive audience out there.

Any special promotions/deals/features you have going on: My one year anniversary on Etsy is coming up next month, and I hope to do something special. And, I love giveaways, they let me share a little bit of my work with someone else.  I’ll be working more on special features for the blog, with specific themes, and I do look forward to having guest bloggers sharing their ideas, their shops, and their designs with the readers.

And a giveaway!


Custom Fall Wreath Design–$45 value!
[open to U.S. residents only]

Welcome Fall with a fun and colorful burlap wreath. This wreath will be made to order in the colors of your choice, on an 14 inch straw wreath wrapped in burlap ribbon to include 10 handmade ribbon flowers in different colors,sizes and designs, rhinestone decorations, copper jewelry finds and fall berries. You choose your ribbon colors and the burlap background (white cream, Khaki, natural)

–Enter with Rafflecopter after the jump–

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Interview + Giveaway with Kassi from Truly Lovely


Blog Name: Truly Lovely

On the Web: Twitter | Facebook | Google Plus | Pinterest

What can be found in your blog: A little bit of everything… from crafts, to recipes, to posts sharing our Instagram photos… Anything we consider lovely! Hence the name… Truly Lovely. ;)

Where do you find your inspiration for your blog posts: Life. I like to craft, create recipes, etc… then I share those on my blog. :) I also look for inspiration on Pinterest and on Fancy This Fridays through the posts our readers share with us.


What are some of your favorite posts that you have written to date:

Lately my favorites have includes my laundry room makeover (so pleased with how it turned out).
I enjoyed sharing my Baby Fever post because it got a lot of response from my readers/friends.

Why did you start blogging in the first place: My sister in law created a family blog and showed it to me back in the Fall of 2010. From there we discovered several other family members and friends that had family blogs… then I stumbled onto some craft blogs. My sister and I have always loved crafting, sewing, etc.. So we decided to create a craft blog where we could share things we’d been making… Thus Truly Lovely was born. Since then it’s expanded into a larger variety of posts including crafts, recipes, DIY, etc…

What’s one piece of advice you would offer to bloggers: I know it sounds cliche, but be yourself. My blogging mantra has always centered around writing what I want to write about, having fun with it, and the rest will come. I have the utmost respect for bloggers who write about whatever they want irregardless of the latest linky party craze going around… If it interests you and you write about that, awesome! If it doesn’t fit into a linky party somewhere, so be it.

Anything else you’d like to share?: My favorite thing about blogging is the connections! I love that I can “meet” people that I would otherwise never come into contact with. I’m always up for a new friend… so let’s be friends, yes??

And a giveaway!

Lg. Ad Space on Truly Lovely for September

–Enter with Rafflecopter after the jump–

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Interview with Dalayna from Pointing Up

Blog Name: Pointing Up

On the Web: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

What can be found in your blog: You can find anything from what I wore yesterday to what life lessons I have been learning, embarrassing moments to my latest crafting fiasco. On the blog and in life, I am a firm believer that first, our lives shouldn’t be compartmentalized. I don’t like to divide my life and fit it into these compartments for God, or friends, or family, or my blog. For me, what you see is what you get. I don’t believe in hiding and only sharing parts of my life with those I want or do not what to know. Which leads me to the second thing, transparency. The famous Youtube quote, “Ain’t nobody got time for that,” comes to mind. I believe in being honest about life. We are all human, we all struggle; sometimes we fail sometimes we succeed. But we can all rejoice in our little victories.

Where do you find your inspiration for your blog posts: Hmmm, “my inspiration comes from everything!” Yep, typical answer. haha I really just find inspiration in life and of course God. I love finding and creating news ways to put a spin on things. And come on, God stinkin’ made everything we see around us; he is the very meaning of creative! If I am ever lacking creativity I just ask the source.

What are some of your favorite posts that you have written to date:

1. I really like the post “Insider Edition” where I explain the meaning behind my blog title

2. “I do that too” makes me laugh at myself. I confess to some of the silly and ridiculous things that I do, and maybe you do too.

3. And “Coffee lovers un-anonymous” where I tell the origin of my coffee addiction.

Why did you start blogging in the first place: Well I really started blogging a little little bit when I was in college to flesh out my thoughts. I didn’t really expect anyone to read it, I may not have really wanted anyone to read it! It was just a way to get my thoughts together and see what God was teaching me in different seasons in my life. THEN I decided to go full force about March of this year to have some fun and expand my creativity.

What’s one piece of advice you would offer to bloggers: Have fun! Seriously one of the best parts for me is meeting other ladies who share a lot in common with me. Another thing, write about what you like and what interests you. Let it be your platform to speak your mind and your heart.

Any special promotions/deals/features you have going on: I LOVE being people’s own personal cheerleader and billboard. I am offering ad space at half off (with the promo code DISCOUNT) over on the blog. I use my sponsorships as a time to be your promoter and stalker. It is hard to keep up with all of the awesome blogs that I find, so I like to focus on my sponsors and use that month to really get to know them and their blogs/shops.

And a giveaway!

I am giving away a few of my favorite things!
One month trenta (200X350) ad space
Sour gummy worms (they are the best!)
Coffee sleeve
Vintage inspired necklace from Blue Jay Boutique
Value $40

–Enter with Rafflecopter after the jump–

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Interview with Melanie from Metropolitan Money Pit

Blog Name: Metropolitan Money Pit

On the Web: Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

What can be found in your blog: Tips on fun, inexpensive things to do in Southern California

Where do you find your inspiration for your blog posts: from my surroundings :) I explore SoCal and share the awesome things I find.

What are some of your favorite posts that you have written to date:
LA Is My Lady
Anton Ego’s Guide to Disneyland
Putterin’ to Palm Springs–a bargain excursion

Why did you start blogging in the first place: My friends and family would always come to me for tips on what to do in the area. I figured if I started a blog it would be a one stop resource for them. Since I also love a good bargain, I decided to focus on inexpensive activities.

What’s one piece of advice you would offer to bloggers: Have perseverance. It seems the same old line is “I started a blog for my family and friends and voila! I became a huge success!” Not true. It takes work. So don’t give up – network, research, and try anything and everything. Really, the key is perseverance.

Anything else you’d like to share with us: I’m always open to suggestions. If you live in the area, feel free to share a tip on your favorite thing to do. If you don’t, tell me about your area. Maybe I’ll come visit!

Interview with Dmae Clothing


Your blog/shop name + link: Dmae Clothing //

What can we find in your blog / shop?

On my blog you’ll find everyday posts. I talk about the good, bad, and in-between moments of my life in general and as a new business owner. It’s all new to me, and I’m sharing my journey as honestly as I can.

In my shop you can find hand-painted tees and totes, with unique original designs. In the fall I’ll be adding hoodies, and something new in the winter.


6 Random Facts About You:  

  1. I set things on the edge of tables…this was recently brought to my attention, I’ve just noticed I do this.
  2. When I was 5 I wanted to join Jem’s band and become a Hologram, if that failed I wanted to join Barbie and the Rockers
  3. I still can’t get the hang of skype, after a year of having an account
  4. I was crowed Princess Tootsie at Sesame Place when I was 4, I was also crowed queen of my pre-school that same year…who need prom queen hmm?
  5. I could watch Lidia’s Italy for hours on end, any cooking or style show for that matter, i find it relaxing.
  6. my favorite color is teal, so much so that my hair is few different shade of teal

What is your favorite thing about this month?

it’s summertime…i was told the livin was going to be easy. only time will tell.


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

There’s No GPS
A Letter, a thank you, a blessing

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

Oprah Winfrey, I’d like to pick her brain about building a business that serves others, and why she’s chosen to become a teacher of sorts.

Where else can we find you? 

Twitter // Facebook // Blog