5.24.2016

Feeling Stagnant

I think around this time every year I get to feeling a little bit stagnant.  I get to feeling like I don't know what to share, I don't know what to blog about, I just feel a little less inspired.  I don't know if it is the changing weather or what...but sometimes I feel like I need to just take a break. 

So, I'm just writing this to say you may find fewer posts than normal on the blog in the near future.  Do not be alarmed!  I will come back to blogging.  I always do!  I have a few posts scheduled up and a few ideas I hope to see to fruition.....but there's just going to be a lot of silence here.  So be sure to check me out on Instagram and Snapchat (both are @fivesixteenths) and my YouTube channel.
While I'm gone though, this is probably what I'm doing

Failing at a lot of projects
Whenever I feel less inspired, I always just make things.  I make random things - things I'll never use, things that suck, things that don't work out.  This helps me get out the creative energy I feel I have building up but can't execute.  It clears way for more focused creativity.

Thinking
I'll be thinking a lot about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.  This will lead me back to why I started blogging in the first place and it may lead me to a new change in the blog.  I might come back with brand new ideas or I might come back with a brand new perspective.  My main concern now is to make sure that I am offering diverse content that I'm proud of.  I don't want to continually offer the same type of content over and over - there are a few different things I'm interested it....so I need to find that balance and brainstorm new content regarding the things I love.

Mainly I'll be trying to move Forward.  My word of the year really comes into play here.  I feel like I've been moving in that forward motion but I'm feeling myself slow up.  So I just need to take a second, sit back, and see where I need to go next.  There are a few things I need to do to get me back on track.  I've got a ton of ideas in my head but they are being blocked by the energy to create and the inability to follow through.  So I'll probably be taking some time to get my head back on straight.

If you want to read more on my word of the year, click here.  Please hop on over to my other social channels to follow me there in case I don't  have much to say here in the next few weeks.  I'll be back though.

xoxo, Moe

5.23.2016

Make it Monday // DIY Glitzy Stiletto Manicure

There are few things I love more than having an awesome manicure - my #planneraddiction is probably one, and so is coffee.  If I had a million dollars my nails would be on point every day (no pun intended).  I've been drawing a lot of inspiration from Jefree Star ever since I started following him on Snapchat recently.  I've always had a thing for those stiletto nails and even started wearing my nails in a really severe almond shape.  I've been wearing some press on/glue on nails from the drug store for probably about a year now.  Last week my manicure was a set of French tip nails from Kiss and I couldn't recommend those enough!  This week I thought I'd try something new - a little bit of bling and little bit of a stiletto.
 
(this post contains affiliate links, please see my full disclosure here)

I've done this mini stiletto nail before (not sure if I'd ever showed it on any social media) but these nails make for the perfect base.  And the best part is they are super affordable from your local drug store.  I suggest checking out CVS and using your Extra Bucks for some awesome discounts.  They are called Active Oval, but they are more almond to me.  And that shape is perfect for filing into a tiny, mini stiletto point.  I could not function if I had a full stiletto nail - I would not be able to type at all - so the little mini point is cute and interesting.  This shape, I think, is great for long fingers - especially if you want to emphasize the length.  It might be weird but I love how alien they kind of look!!

So anyway, I got together some supplies and I'm going to show you how I did it

Supplies // oval or almond shaped glue on nails (I prefer these from Kiss , nail glue (if not included in your kit), base coat, top coat, coordinating colors of your choice - polish, glitter, rhinestones (I used craft glitter and craft rhinestones from the craft store), file, quick dry spray
 
Begin by picking out the nails to best suit your fingers.  There is a trick to this - you don't want them too wide and you don't want them too narrow.  Once you find a nail that fits your finger, find the size smaller and see how that looks.  If the first one looks better choose that one - but I often see others with glue on nails like these where the nail is way too wide for their finger.  The more natural the nail looks the better.  You may find you have to file down around the edges to make the nail fit your nail bed better.  Take the time to do this step!  This is especially necessary if you find you've run out of the nail size that fits a certain finger best.  This step will ensure that you have the best fitting and most natural looking nails glued one.

If you're a pro at applying glue on nails, go ahead and do your normal routine.  I use a file to scuff up my natural nail a bit so the glue will adhere better.  Lay all the nails out in the order they will be applied and begin to apply them one by one.  I start with my thumbnail on my left hand - I apply glue to the back of the nail then place the nail on to the nail bed starting at the cuticl and sort of rocking it down.  For me, this give the best adhesion.  Continue until all nails are on your little fingers.
 
Begin to shape the nail into a mini point with the file.  Follow the natural angle of each side of your finger to create a nice point.  Shape all the nails into a mini stiletto.  Do not file too much at once but alternate the filing from side to side to get an even point.

Paint your base coat.  Choose the nails that will be covered with glitter, paint every nail except for the ones covered with glitter in the polish color of your choice.  Choose the nails that will remain rhinestone free, paint the top coat on all nails that will remain rhinestone free.

Glitter Nails
Make sure you have a place to make a mess with the glitter!  Paint the top coat, one nail at a time, on the nails that will have glitter.  Pour the glitter over the nail, tap off the excess.  Use the remaining glitter to repeate the process on each glitter nail.
 
If you find you may need to add more glitter, pain the top coat again, pour the glitter again, etc.  If the glitter gets everywhere - which it probably will - use a paint brush to dust off the glitter around your cuticle.  One you are satisfied, paint the final top coat over the nails.

Rhinestone Nails
This one may be a little tricky.  Squeeze out a little bit of glue onto your plate, using the toothpick dip it into the glue then pick up a rhinestone with the glue end of the toothpick and place it on the nail.  Fill the whole nail or do a strip down the middle - it is up to you.  Repeat with however many nails and whatever design you prefer.
 
Once everything is done, if you haven't already, go a ahead a spray the quick dry spray onto your nails.

Now you have a crazy glitzy mini stiletto manicure!  It might be crazy but it's definately worth it!

What is the craziest manicure you've ever had?  Do you find it super fun to play with your nails?

xoxo, Moe

5.20.2016

Free Printable Weekly Mini Kit Planner Stickers - Bright Summer

I am so, so, so happy warm weather is finally here!  You know what I hate though?  Yard work.  It's not my jam, so everyone just has to deal with the fact that my flower beds are pitiful.....it seems no matter how hard I work, its not ever done.  So, just nope.

I'd rather be crafting anyway.
(this post contains affiliate links, please see my full disclosure here.)

Today I have for you a free printable sticker kit designed for these week on one page vertical inserts in the shop.  These are the inserts I've been using lately in my planner and I have to say I really do like them.  I used to be a no-white-space planner in my week on four page vertical inserts but these week on one page really lend to some white space (at least for me).  Of course, you can use these in any style planner - just have at it!

There are  two styles of these stickers - one where the patterned full boxes have a faded white box in the middle to write on, and one that doesn't have this.  There are also two file types - a Studio file to use with your Silhouette and a PDF.  But guess what?  If you follow the steps in this video tutorial you can totally use the Print then Cut feature of your Cricut Explore to cut these as well!  Both files feature an image area of 5.5 x 8 inches - the maximum Print then Cut area that the Cricut Explore can handle (I based it off the measurements for the Chrome browser so the image would work for those you may use Design Space in Chrome - that is my browser of choice).

If you have a Silhouette, simply open the Studio files and find that the cut lines already exist.  You may have to do some fancy pants stuff with your blade depth and registration marks since all Silhouettes are different.  If you don't want to waste space, use the knife tool to chop up the image and move it (with the cut lines) around. Duplicate parts that you want, etc, to fill up the print area of the Silhouette.
If you have a Cricut Explore, simply use a PDF to JPG converter (like this one) to make the PDF into a JPG to upload to design space.  Following this tutorial, you can erase the white of the jpg and have perfect cut lines for this sheet!  Once you add the image to your canvas, be sure to size the width to 5.5 inches (the height should automatically change to 8) and hit the Go button.  It is the perfect size for the Print then Cut area of Design Space.  If you get an error that the the image is too big, be sure you've sized it properly.

If you don't have either of these machines - you seriously should consider getting one!  The Silhouette is a bit more advanced that the Cricut Explore, but they both are worth it (I have both and use both for different things!)  Check out my video tutorials here and my Cricut projects on the blog here.  But, if you still want to cut by hand - simply download the PDF and get to snipping.

The headers in this printable have been left blank so that you can customize them and print as many as you'd need.  The printable features a limited amount of each element so printing at least 2 of these will get you most of what you need - so make seven To Do headers then sevn Today headers, etc in your design program and print. This can be done in both Silhouette Studio and Cricut Explore (both programs can be used for free!)  However, if you have access to neither you can use an online PDF editor like PDFescape to overlay text.  I like this one because you can rotate the PDF to overlay the text properly.  Then save to your computer and print!  Easy peasy.


I hope you enjoy this printable, please remember that this is for Personal Use only.  Do not claim this as your own, do not give this freely to others (printed or through file sharing), do not sell this printable in any form,  do not link to the file itself please link to the blog post.  Please play nice - that is just the right thing to do.  The patterns used in this kit are from the Pixeled Paper Blog.  

Let me know if you've used them, I'd love to see your layout on Instagram!  Share it with me by tagging @fivesixteenths because I'm a sucker for planner layouts!!

xoxo, Moe

5.18.2016

Three Things to Consider Before Opening an Etsy Shop

Handmade is all the rage - so much so that the handmade market is really, really saturated.  Etsy is my number one marketplace for selling handmade goods (read why I chose to open up shop back on Etsy here).  And a lot of people looking to buy handmade find Etsy to be their number one market place, too.  Etsy has it's own built in advertisement - with the ability of shops to place relevant ads in the searches of buyers to the built in ability to maximize your own shop's SEO - you can get a lot of bang, for very little buck.
(this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.)

The listing fee is .20 cents, the selling fee is 3.5% of the sale, and with Etsy's direct check out option + the use of paypal it is easy to set up shop.  These fees are small potatoes for someone just starting out with a handmade business.  For those who can't invest hundreds (or more) from the get go to build your own site (plus spend the time to manage the back end, like ensuring everyone's credit card safety), Etsy's fees are affordable and totally doable.  You're out max .20 cents if you don't sell an item as the item is listed for 4 months and you can set the listing to automatically renew once expired (or once sold).  This can help you evaluate what has sold and what hasn't...and help you develop the why behind it.

It seems like every Tom, Dick, and Harry are opening shops to sell loads of things - we even opened a vintage shop and had a blast, but have since shuttered the doors - so don't be afraid to look for what you're shopping for on Etsy.  And if you are a Tom, Dick, or Harry looking to open up shop, here are 3 things to think about before you start listing:

Am I offering something unique?
Search Etsy right now for the item you are thinking of listing.  Do you see that there are 300+ pages of that item?  If so, rethink what you're offering.  With vintage items as long as you use your keywords, tags, and descriptions properly you may find that you do well with your shop.  Everyone is always looking for something vintage to add flair to their home or wardrobe.  Be sure to do your research, too as you may find that something isn't as rare or valuable as you'd think.

Are you thinking of selling crocheted hats? Do you know how many crocheted hats there are on Etsy?  If you're not offering a unique product, make sure you are offering a unique take.  How does your product differ from the hundreds of thousands of similar products listed on Etsy?  If you can't find a distinct difference, I'm sorry but your product may get lost in the crowd.

Like I mentioned above - everyone is selling something on Etsy so it is hard to stand out in a crowd.  Find a niche, that is your best bet to success.

Do I have the time for this?
An Etsy shop isn't just make it, list it, rake in the dough.  There's more time to it.  Do you have time to create new stock for demand?  Are you going to follow a ready-to-ship or custom order model?  When and how will you promote your shop?  Are you willing to network with others?  How often are you willing to drive to the post office?  How much time will you have to respond to customer's questions?

These are all questions that led me to the shop model I have - digital downloads, with minimal customization (if I have time).  I didn't like dealing with the post office (I live sort of rural so I get worried my pick up won't happen).  I don't like that a package could go missing and I'd have to refund/deal with a claim.  I struggled to meet shipping deadlines because of life and life changes.  Custom orders would mean I'm tied to the computer either designing or responding to conversations on Etsy.

So consider the time it might take you to spend to have a successful shop.  If you're worried you may not have enough time, consider these 3 time saving apps - if you still feel you man not be able to take this on the go (especially if you already have a 9-5 job) the reconsider your shop or your business model.

What is my end goal?
Are you in it to make it big?  Or are you in it because you want to make a little money?  Are you in it because you figured 'why not'?  If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, that is fine!  It is wonderful to decide on something and jump in feet first.  If you've made it to this last point here and are still considering opening shop that means you're ready for whatever happens. You've accepted all the info above and still want to give it a shot.  Good for you.

Consider why you're doing this - consider why you love making what you make.  I loved having our vintage shop because we both loved the thrill of the hunt.  It was a fun time for us to spend together and we got to branch out and purchase things we'd never purchased before.  I love having my digital shop because I didn't see too many affordable printable sticker sets with the items I needed on them.  That's really the reason I started all my endeavors - I couldn't find blogs I wanted to read, or videos I wanted to watch, or planner things I wanted to have.....so I made them myself.  And if that is your reason, that is just as good as one.

It is important to define this reason now because when you get busy, or slow, or have too much work to do, or feel like a failure....this reason will be the reason you continue on.  What makes this endeavor worth it to you?  What is your end goal?  And keep that close to your heart.

If you're still with me, consider signing up for Etsy to see what the hype is all about.  It's my number one platform for buying and selling handmade.

Have you had a shop before?  Any tips to offer?

xoxo, Moe

5.16.2016

Make it Monday // DIY Washi Bobbins

Some planner girls are obsessed with washi.  Some planner girls aren't.  I fall in the first category and I think I may need a program to stop purchasing it.  I have about 3,000 rolls of washi (that is an exaggeration, probably) so I've reverted to buying washi samples because I can't tell you if I've ever used a full roll of washi.  I also think making washi samples to swap is really cool - it gets rid of your collection, while also adding to it.  So that is a win, win right?

this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

I'm not a huge fan of the white thread bobbins that a lot of the washi samples are sold on, they are just not that pretty to me.....but I will still buy them!  I was at a planner meet up last week where we talked about doing a washi swap and I thought about how I could make some thing for us to wrap our washi on that wasn't too plain...insert my Cricut Explore + some laminated scrapbook paper.  And the washi bobbin was born!

supplies // Cricut Explore die cutting machine, Cricut Design Space, Cricut Light Hold mat, 3 mil laminating pouches, laminator, scrapbook paper, binder rings, PNG below or create your own design.

Create the Bobbin Shape
To create this bobbin shape, I used nothing but the free shapes as a part of the Cricut Design space platform.  I didn't use any cartridges or any clip art, just simple squares and circles!  Add to the canvas one square and a few circles.  Create an oval buy unlocking the size in the edit pane on the right and flattening the circle.  Duplicate this circle.  Unlock the size of the square and drag the green arrows to create a rectangular shape. 
Move both of the ovals over to the rectangle.  Place an oval on the top and the bottom of the rectangle.   Play around with the visual ratio of each of the elements until it resembles a bobbin.  Click and drag the cursor over the three shapes to select them all.  Under the align tab, center the three shapes horizontally.  Then click the align tab again and select distribute vertically.  Right click and group these three shapes.
From three of the left over circles, create a decorative scallop shape with a larger circle and two smaller circles.  Click and drag the cursor over the three circles and use the same align tab to align these vertically (along the vertical axis) and distribute horizontally to create an evenly spaced design.   Right click the three selected shapes and group these together.  Move this to the top of the bobbin shape.  Select all shapes involved in with the bobbin and from the align tab select center horizontally.
From the pane on the right, select layers, then (with all shapes still selected) click weld.  This will create a single shape from the shapes used to create the bobbin on the canvas.  Now there is a whole new, unique shape on the canvas.  Once the shape is welded you will be unable to ungroup or resize each shape individually, so make sure you are satisfied with this shape before continuing.  If you are unsatisfied, simply click the undo arrow, resize, arrange, etc and weld again.
To create the hole in the top of the bobbin, move the final circle over to the top of the bobbin shape leaving a little bit around the top of the bobbin shape.  Click and drag the cursor over all shapes to select them all.  From the pane on the right, select slice.  Click only on the bobbin shape and move it away from the smaller circle.  You should see that you now have a hole in the top of the bobbin shape.  Delete all excess circles.
Resize this bobbin shape - I found that about 1.5 inches wide is a good size for storing washi on a little binder ring.

Cut out the bobbin shape
Trim the scrapbook paper if needed and run it through the laminator, in the laminating pouches, a few times to create a good seal.  This is how I make my dividers - a single piece of scrapbook paper laminated then cut with my Cricut (I have a DIY divider how to here).  A great thing about the Cricut Explore is the variety of materials it will cut through - even with out the deep cut blade!  The Cricut Explore has a fool proof way of allowing you to set the pressure with the click of a button or the turn of a dial - no removing the blade and adjusting the depth.  This is my favorite part of the Cricut Explore - I can easily see where the setting is on the machine and the Go screen shows the cut depth as well.  If I need something different, I simply turn the knob!
For this project, set the knob to Poster Board (if you find that your Cricut Explore isn't cutting through the material, you may need to create a custom setting - learn more about that in this post).  The Poster Board setting does a double cut to ensure that the bobbin shape is cut completely from the thick, laminated scrapbook paper.
From the preview screen select how many copies of the bobbin shape to be cut.  For this project set the material size to 8.5 x 11 inches - unless your laminating pouches were bigger - to be sure the Cricut Explore will cut the proper amount on the proper size page.  Click Go.
Place the laminated scrapbook paper on the light hold mat and load into your machine (be sure the machine is on and plugged into your computer or connected via Bluetooth), set the dial to Poster Board, and push the flashing Go button.
Once the bobbin shapes are all cut out, wrap your washi around the middle and store on a binder ring!  If you'd like to be precise about the length of washi on the bobbins, measure the middle of the bobbin to figure out how much washi one 'turn' of the bobbin would use.  So if the middle of the bobbin is 1 inch wide, 1 turn of the bobbin is 1 inch.  18 turns of the bobbin would give you 18 inches of washi.

If you do not want to create your own bobbin shape, I've created a PNG image here for you to upload and use.  Simply use the upload images feature in Cricut Design Space, upload the PNG, and save it as a cut file instead of print then cut file.  Size this PNG to 1.5 inches wide before you cut - this will give you a 1 inch space in the middle of the bobbin to make measuring easy.  Also, if you have Silhouette you can use the PNG in the same way.  I'm not sure on the blade depth or how damaging cutting laminated paper would be on the Silhouette blade.  
Remember, like with all freebies on my blog, this PNG is to be used for personal use only.  If you would like to use this type of thing in your business or product packaging - use the tips above to make a unique design (who likes copying things anyway?).  Please direct any friends to this blog post and pin only images from the blog post so that others can find the instructions.  Do not link directly to the PNG image in any social sharing.  Thank you for playing nice!

So, if you have some washi you'd like to giveaway  (I'm always for making a simple thing a little more jazzy) or you have a shop that sells lengths of washi - this will spice it up!  Great product packaging idea!  You can also check out other washi storage ideas here & here.  Check out all the Cricut Explore related DIY blog posts here.  It is seriously my favorite machine for paper crafting!

How do you store your washi tape?  Are you a buyer of full rolls or do you buy samples?

xoxo, Moe

5.09.2016

Make it Monday // DIY Hexagon Popsicle Stick Shelves

I am willing to bet you at least $5 that the first craft you ever made was using Popsicle sticks.  Today I want to share with you a really cool upgrade to popsicle stick crafts - one that I think is resourceful and also great for a crafty room.  It pays homage to our paper and paste days of crafting.  When we were young, free, and glued colored macaroni to various object.  This project upgrades the traditional popsicle stick to something a bit more classy.
(this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.)

I present to you the popsicle stick hexagon shelf project!  I had a blast making this and it whipped up super quick.  This is perfect decor for a craft room - in my opinion!

supplies :: various popsicle sticks - I used 90 (3 total packs) of Super Jumbo Popsicle Sticks for the larger hexagon & 75 - 150 (1-2 packs) Jumbo Popsicle Sticks for each of the smaller hexagons, adhesive - E6000 is stronger but hot glue is faster (I used hot glue for this), painter's tape, spray paint of your choice (I used a rose gold paint), optional hexagon template, nails & hammer

To easily make an even hexagon I suggest starting off with a template.  I used my Cricut Explore to cut out an 11 inch wide hexagon from some unused scrapbook paper.  I love my Cricut Explore for paper crafting - I love that if I have an idea I can whip it up in a matter of seconds.  This is a simple shape for the Cricut but it would take me forever to come up with the correct shape.  (If you haven't thought about a digital die cutting machine - I suggest the Cricut for all your paper crafting needs).
Lay out your popsicle sticks along the edges of the hexagon template.  Adhere them together - in this case with hot glue - so that you are able to stack them against each other in a Licoln Log style.  You should have three popsicle sticks on the 'bottom' and the other three layered on the the 'top'.  This way you can alternate where the sticks are placed to get a 'woven' type of pattern.  So in the picture above the last popsicle stick is glued right on top of the the ends of the two beside it.  Continue gluing the sticks in this manner until you get the depth you'd like.  Repeat for as many little shelves as you like - odd numbers always look best, so I went with 3.
Using painter's tape, mask off where you want to paint your mini shelves.  It may help to arrange them on a table in the manner they will be on the wall to visualize where to paint.  Be sure to tape the inside as well so that you don't get spray paint in places you don't want it.
I also found it helpful to use a pencil to mark the up position so I'd know how I was hanging these once they were dry.  When they are dry, remove the painters tape and hang with two nails on either side of one side of the hexagon.
These shelves aren't going to be the strongest things in the world, but for little knick knacks I think these shelves are perfect.  Every time I look at them I have a little chuckle - I think they look super neat, but they are totally made out of a kids craft supply!!

Do you have any memories of crafting as a kid?  What is your earliest one?

xoxo, Moe

5.05.2016

3 Apps to Manage & Develop Your Online Presence

When it comes to developing your social media presence online, there is literally the best tool right in your pocket - your smart phone.  I specifically have an iPhone and I would say 90% of the interaction I have with my phone is on my social media platforms.  I remember when I first signed up for Twitter, I used it on the computer.  Every tweet was typed with two hands instead of two thumbs.  Same thing for Facebook, every interaction I had with Facebook after I first signed up was from a computer.  Of course, I could text from my little flip phone to a number that would sent a tweet out for me...but that is in no way a comparison to what we can do with our phones today.
I much prefer interacting with Twitter and Facebook through the app on my phone or tablet.  It is sleeker and easier to navigate now that my thumbs are used to scrolling.  So your phone is a great way to build your online presence if you're always on the go or into more of a lifestyle type of account.  Here are 3 apps I love to passively build and manage my online presence:

I have beaten this app to death on this blog, but it truly is my favorite app for overlaying text on a photo. The option to add an item - like a box - and change the transparency gives you a mini design machine in your pocket.  All of my YouTube thumbnails and most of my blog photos have text overlayed with the Phonto app.  I do most of my work on the go - editing photos and videos for my blog and YouTube channel on my phone, uploading advertisements on my Instagram, etc is all done on my phone so using a graphics program to create these 'beauty images' for my platforms isn't practical for me.  If you do a lot of work from your mobile, Phonto is an app to have.

IFTTT (If This, Then That)
IFTT is a great app to passively add content to other social channels.  You can set up recipes that will happen when an action is taken outside of the app.  One of my favorites that was recently removed during an update was the Etsy to Pinterest recipe.  I loved once I listed an item in my shop, it was automatically pinned to a specific Pinterest board.  That was was the one that was the greatest.  But what the app does is work from scenarios you create - so, a recipe could be if a youtube video is posted on this account, then send a tweet with the link out on that account.  I have recipes set up for Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.  My other favorite one is the recipe to send an Instagram photo to twitter and post it as a native Twitter photo, not a link to your Instagram page.  I love that because I am not engaging on Twitter but ever since using this recipe I get a lot of reactions to my posts.  There are tons of supported social platforms to make recipes from as well.  This app is a great passive way to promote your actions on one platform to another platform, especially if you're a content scheduler like I am.

HootSuite
HootSuite is another app that can help you passively stay active on a certain platform.  And I have to admit I don't use it that much (really at all).  I love that I can schedule Tweets and Facebook posts right from one app and manage all of the things going on with my Twitter feed.  It is very helpful to schedule posts weeks in advance if you are unable to be actively posting on a certain platform.  I've always believed that you don't need to be on every single social platform ever but if you want to keep a presence on some that you think are important (for me that is Twitter), HootSuite is a great app to schedule content for you.  Last time I checked there is a limited feature to schedule to Instagram, but I believe it just alerts you that you need to post something rather than pushing the post to Instagram like HootSuite does with Facebook and Twitter.

If you're busy like me - I have a full time job and I like to take naps - these three apps can get your social media presence in line.  Hope these guys help you out!  And here is a bonus - for once all of these apps are available in the Google Play store as well!!

Do you have any time saving or 'helping hand' type of apps you go to everyday?  Any more suggestions of apps for me to try?

xoxo, Moe

5.04.2016

The Truth Behind Instagram // Why I Joined SnapChat

I think I've posted before about my first ever Instagram post - it was, shall we say....horrible.  Since I joined Instagram back in 2011-ish my Insta-game has been pumped up with the help of various apps, photo tips, and an increase of photo quality on the tiny computer I call my phone. 

Instagram has become perfectly curated and overly filtered.  Which I personally think this is great.  It is a micro-blogging platform (pretty sure I said that before too) and I love that I can create perfectly curated, unique content and promote other platforms through Instagram.  In a bid to find a way to be more candid and offer a behind the scenes sort of look into my actual & unfiltered daily life, I'd first considered the new option to switch accounts on Instagram.  Then my BFF introduced me to Snapchat.

So I joined Snapchat - turns out I'd joined before and claimed the @fivesixteenths username then quickly gave up because I'm an old lady.  But I'd like to think past me for being smart and thinking about future me.  (Pro tip : I do suggest signing up for new social media platforms in order to claim your business or personal username in case this app because super popular in the future, you won't have to have something funky across multiple platforms.)  

Snapchat gives the perfect, fleeting & unfiltered insight into someone's actual life.  Sending Snaps between friends is better than a text because, believe it or not, there is no pressure.  You get like 10 seconds to send a video snap so you're forced to interact from a distance much like you would if you were in the same room - unfiltered.  For me, it's much easier (#lazy) to take snap in response to my friend's snap instead of taking a photo, opening the texting app, selecting the photo and sending (or taking a photo from the app and sending).  I feel less curated and it's more in the now than trying to send off a stylized version of reality.

Snapchat also fills my need for daily vlog style interaction.  I've always want to upload vlogs to my YouTube channel but I feel awkward about it and I don't have time to edit that all the time.  Adding photos and video to my Story on Snapchat gives me that vlog style thing I want with out being committal.  If I were smart, I could also download my Story at the same time each day to have it as a record....but like I said #lazy.  I love that I can get a quite nearly real time look into the lives of my friends that I may not talk to on the regular, or a look into the lives of popular personalities that I may follow on other social platforms.

The thing I don't quite like about Snapchat is how hard it is to add friends or follow people you want to follow.  Searching by username is tedious and I really don't know if I'm following the right person half the time.

All in all, I joined Snapchat because it's quick, easy, and unfiltered.  It's also pretty fun to play with all the hilarious filters and send weird faces to your friends and followers.  It's as real life as a social platform can get, I think.

So follow me on Snapchat if you wish.  You won't regret it.

xoxo, Moe

5.02.2016

Make it Monday // DIY Planner Stamp Hack

Recently I've been getting into planner stamps.  I'd say about a year ago I thought 'I'd like to try stamping in my planner.' and just now it has come to me actually doing it.  There was some build up, but now I'm here.  And with any new thing I try, I always have to find a way to DIY something.  I am also very impatient and very frugal when it comes to something I'm not 100% I'll be into.  So when I started eyeing some photopolymer cling stamps to use in my planner I didn't think spending $14+ on something I may not be into, would be a good thing.  So I decided to see if I could DIY myself some word stamps....and it is totally possible.
I found these Studio G wood mounted rubber stamps in the small crafty aisle of my Meijer (but I'm pretty sure this same brand is sold at Joanne's and Michael's in their little dollar section) for a $1 each.  I've found some on clearance before for .50 cents, so these really don't break the bank.  If you're looking to create a lot of words, you may need quite a few sets - but even spending $5 on these is worth it because you can get A TON of words out of the amount of letters you have.  I chose to stick with two sets (because that's all my Meijer had!) and still got 5 words out of the two sets.  I'm sure I could get more, I just can't think of any more right now!
supplies // small wooden alpha stamps - set of two, various washi tape strips

First,separate the stamps from each other.  These come in a little block where the rubber part of the stamp is connected. Be gentle, and pull the letters apart that you'll need to use.  Start grouping your letters together and setting them aside.
Once you have the words together, make sure that the stamp side is flat and flush against each other.  I found that on some stamps I needed to gently pull the rubber part off of the wooden handle and re-position it.  The adhesive used on these stamps is rather sticky and has a good hold, but you can pull it off and stick it back on.  I'm not worried about the rubber part falling off after doing that either.  Lining the stamps up like this is important so that the ink is distributed evenly across the stamp and to ensure that even pressure will stamp a full image.

Now that the letter stamps are lined up well place a strip of washi along the handles of the stamps.  Make sure the washi is long enough to wrap around the whole set of stamps that make the word.  The best part about this is the washi isn't permanent.  So if you want to make a new word you can unwrap the washi and use the letters again.  When I first thought of this DIY I thought that super glue would be the best.....but now I know that washi is the best idea!
Now you have a set of functional word stamps for a great price!  I am thinking about finding a few more sets of these in the same font to make a few more words....

Is there something you've been wanting to try but haven't committed yet?  Anything you DIY to see if you really want to jump in?

xoxo, Moe