5.26.2017

Free Sticker Friday // Essential Oil Bottle Stickers

Raise your hand if you're into essential oils. I know I am now into essential oils like its going out of style.  When I started working towards Mindful as my word of the year something I really wanted to incorporate into my routine was meditation.  Meditation involves a lot of things but I read that one way to help with focus is to use essential oils to tune yourself in.  Different smells have different associations and they can have certain effects on your mood.  Even if you believe this is all mumbo jumbo, but you like nice smelling things it is worth talking with one of your friends (you know you have them) that sells essential oils.  They are knowledgeable and if all you come out of it with is some nice smelling air....I think you've one.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
So I've been using my essential oils like everyday!  Blends after blends after blends!  I currently have a wholesale account with Doterra and each month I have a recurring order that I need to remember.  So far I haven't ended up with the same things twice & that is because at the last second I remember to switch it up!  These bottles are perfect for marking blends, orders, or even oils that worked for you in a certain mood.  I see a little tracker at the bottom of your weekly page marking which oils used and which moods you were in...hmmmmmm.
Included in this download is a PNG file to cut with your Cricut Explore, Silhouette file to cut with your Silhouette Portrait or Cameo, as well as a PDF to cut by hand (though I hear this tool is really nice too).  Remember to size the PNG to 5.5 x 8 inches in Cricut Design Space!

As with all printables here on the blog, these guys are for personal use only.  Do not claim any part of this work as your own.  Do not disseminate in mass quantities, do not print and distribute these files.  Do not sell the digital or printed version at all. Thank you for playing nice!
I do hope that you enjoy working with essential oils.  You can find some of my favorite blends in this post and even learn to make your own diffuser necklace!  I hope you're having a wonderful and relaxing week...cheers to the weekend!

xoxo, Moe

5.24.2017

My Mindful Morning Routine

Mornings for me have become the time of day I nurture my relationship with myself.  I spend time in my sacred place, I meditate, and I get to know me.  Working with my word of the year - mindful - I've realized that it is up to me to see the good or the bad in everything.  I started meditating in the morning - hell, I started meditating in general - to get a hold on my emotions.  With living my life and the stress of my job, it started to seem as if things were just happening to me - emotions, feelings, my reactions.  If stress hit me all I could do was breakdown and cry.  It kept coming in waves.  As soon as I'd catch my breath another exhausting emotion would overtake me.  I would beat myself up for these perceived emotional failures for days on end until after some turn of events my load would lighten.  I'd have one good day.  Then it would happen again, another storm to force myself through.  Mindfulness has helped me realize that by letting go of the things I can not control, I can regain control of myself.
One of my quotes this year is to live less out of habit and more out of intent.  I want to be the one choosing to feel a certain way when a certain thing happens.  I want to gain more control over my emotions and thus having more control over how I live my life.  Making mindfulness a habit & a state to enter when needed is my goal.  The only way to develop a habit or a skill is to implement it and practice it.  Since I knew that I wanted to center myself before work in order to react appropriately to shit happening, mornings became the perfect time to implement this self-care, mindfulness routine.  Here's a look into my mornings:

Wake up early
Each day I try to wake up around 5:30 am.  Some days are later than others, but I've realized once I overcome that hurdle of actually pushing myself out of bed this early rising makes me prepared for the day.  Not just because I'm spending time with myself but because I'm awake, alert, and mentally ready to get shit going.  Waking up early means I'm not rushing around trying to fit too much in.  I need to get better about not hitting that snooze button though - I'm working on it.
Do tasks with intention
When I wake up I immediately go into the bathroom.  I brush my teeth & wash my face.  Doing things with intention means I'm focused on these tasks.  I am aware of the toothbrush in my hand, how the bristles feel against my gums, the minty fresh taste of the toothpaste.  I also try to move with rhythm.  I find this helps me to be aware.  My time spent in the bathroom is one even tempered movement with concentration on each action.  

After I leave the bathroom, I quickly flip on the coffee maker then slide out of the door to take Sweetie out for the morning.  This is the best part because I get to really greet the day.  Doing tasks with intention is about refocusing your mind.  Mindfulness is about being aware and every task is a chance to focus your mind on that task and stop the jibber-jabber from your brain.  So focusing on that first breath of air out in the open, feeling the chill on my skin, feeling Sweetie gently tug as we trod across the grass, then asphalt to reach our front lawn.

Meditate
After we come in and I pour a bowl of food for Sweetie, I head downstairs to my altar.  I've mentioned my altar before and it is simply the place I go to meditate.  It is a scared me space.  It is not an altar to any deity or god, it is an altar to the person I'd like to be.  Here I light my candles with intention, I light incense or diffuse essential oils (my three current favorite blends here), I clear my head again, and I do my daily tarot one, two, or three card pull.
After I pull my cards and interpret them, I will often pull an affirmation card to either inspire me for the day or to use as a mantra for meditation.  I sit on my pillow in front of my sacred space, clear my mind and focus on the mantra.  If I don't use the affirmation card as a mantra I simply clear my mind and focus on my breath.  For me, focusing on my breath means I imagine sitting by a giant lake in the woods.  When I inhale the water is still.  When I exhale ripples form across the still water.  It is this that helps me keep an even mind.  If my mind wanders, I simply imagine this lake again to bring the focus back to my breath.  Meditation isn't necessarily about escape it is about learning to move into this stillness with ease.  If I have about 10 minutes to spare I listen to this 10 Minute Chakra Meditation and focus on each of my chakras as the music progresses.

Get ready for the day
Once I have finished this, I round up Sweetie and we head back upstairs.  I brew my coffee, gather my lunch things, and head back to the bedroom.  It is now that I sort of rejoin normal life.  YouTube usually plays in the background while I sip my coffee and browse social media.  At about 6:20 am, if I'm a good sport, I get dressed for the day, kiss Sweetie good bye and then head out to the car.  On a good day I'm out of my driveway by 6:30 am, leaving enough time to get to work.  
I continue to practice mindfulness through out the day - changing the paper in the copier with intent, taking a few minutes to center myself, diffusing calming essential oils through my jewelry, and recognizing when emotion gets the best of me and moving through it.  Over all, working mindfulness and meditation into my morning routine has helped me overcome disappointment I've had in myself.  And when I do get emotional, I try not to let it bother me.  I try not to see it as weakness.  I embrace it as a moment that will pass.  

The biggest thing I've learned from the word Mindful is that mindfulness is a habit that replaces self-destruction (thank you Pinterest!).  Before I embraced this sense of self-acceptance, self-alignment, and self-forgiveness I was wearing myself down by blaming myself for not having control...of myself.  I can tell you right now that I didn't know mindfulness was the thing I needed in my life and I didn't know mindful would be so powerful for me when I picked as my word of the year for 2017.  I have since come to realize that these storms that I would have to exhaust myself to push through were mere rain clouds.  In one of my most recent full moon readings I pulled the Tower for what I should release.  I read that as I should release the drama - not every rain cloud is a hurricane.

Since I think I suck at summing up the importance of mindfulness in this post, please check out my Pinterest board filled with mindful quotes, mindfulness guides, and mindfulness habits.  The only way you'l get it (like the only way I got it) was to have the right quote speak to you at the right time.

If you feel slightly overwhelmed in your day to day life, perhaps a journey toward mindfulness is for you.  However, this practice is not the end all to self care.  I encourage you to seek help, if needed.  Please do not use the internet to self diagnose...not everything can be solved with even breath.  I do hope that you can find peace with your emotions and align yourself with your highest being.

Do you practice mindfulness?  Do you have a morning routine or ritual to prepare you for the day?

xoxo, Moe

5.22.2017

Make it Monday // 8 Planner DIY's for the Cricut Explore Beginner

One of my favorite creative tools is my Cricut Explore.  I bought this guy a few years ago, and let me tell you - best investment ever!  If you oohh and ahhh over tons of lovely planner stuff but you really want to save some dough and make it yourself - invest in a digital die cutting machine.  For planner DIY's my machine of choice is the Cricut Explore.  While I do also own a Silhouette (read about my unboxing experience here) I prefer me Cricut Explore because it is a work horse.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
You can cut though tons of materials & even add custom depths, the software and interface are easy to use, plus the machine itself is a lot quieter.  And the newer Explore machines cut even faster!  The best part is no only does this guy cut through laminated scrapbook paper like butter but you can also print then cut planner stickers as well- that delicate kiss cut is key.  If you're down to learn some designing tips & trick, check out my whole YouTube playlist here.

Today's post is a round up of eight DIY's for someone who's just opened their Cricut Explore.  In a few tutorial you'll learn how to use certain Design Space features like weld, slice, and flatten.  If you're just into cutting things out, some tutorials provide the cut files for you.  Simply upload, size, & cut!  Here's the round up:

Create Planner Stickers

Using only simple shapes and Cricut Design Space, learn how to create an easy image to Print then Cut using the Cricut Explore.  Learn how to use the flatten feature and assemble your own unique images using basic shapes.  Plus here's a post on some tips & tricks for the print then cut feature.  Find the DIY here.

Planner Pocket

Do you have a planner that just doesn't have enough pockets?  (ahem - Filofax original) Make an extra pocket with this SVG cut file for your Cricut Explore.  Fits perfectly in Personal size planners - or punch it to fit any size planner!  Find the DIY here.

Washi Bobbin Storage

If you have enough washi to fill a bath tub you may find it hard to take all your favorites with you on the go.  If you don't have a Happy Planner and can't utilize the DIY above why not check out this DIY on making your own little washi bobbins.  Learn to use the weld & slice feature in Cricut Design Space.  Find the DIY here.

Printable Planner Paper Clips

In this tutorial you'll find a video on how to clean up an image for Print then Cut.  This is a super simple way to make planner clips - still one of my favorite ways!  Find the DIY here.

Sushi Bookmarks

Get ready for some summer sushi dates with this easy DIY.  You'll learn how to use the Print then Cut feature with laminated paper.  Make three different magnetic bookmarks to use through out your planner.  Keep them for yourself or make a set to gift to a friend!  Find the DIY here.

Unicorn Paper Clip

Speaking of clips - how about a beautiful unicorn paper clip!  Using card stock and glitter scrapbook paper you can whip up something magical in no time. Find the DIY here.

Happy Planner Clip in Tabs

Need to add something you your Happy Planner but don't want to punch the object itself?  With this SVG file you can cut out custom tabs from scrapbook paper, add adhesive, and snap in some precious memories.  Find the DIY here.

Happy Planner Bookmarks

Speaking of the Happy Planner if you need some day or week markers as well as some on the go washi storage - check this DIY out.  Create 3 clip in book marks to help you mark your place!  Find the DIY here.

I hope you've found a simple project to work on this week - I mean, 8 brand new things for your planner all in one week seems like a good deal!  Be sure to check back often to find new Cricut Explore DIY's.  If you want to find all Cricut Explore related posts on the blog, click here.  If you'd like to find a bunch of free printable stickers ready to be cut with your Cricut Explore, click here.  Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Cricut Explore tips & tricks as well.

ps.  Don't forget to join my Cricut Ready Stickers Facebook group too!  Request a join here & find even more free printables as well as tips & tricks from a learning community.

What is your favorite thing to make using your Cricut Explore?  How have you become creative using that tool?

xoxo, Moe

5.19.2017

Tarot Diaries // The Fri-YAY Spread

Some weeks just kick your butt, don't they?  Then it's finally Friday.  You're home with your bottle of wine, trying to unwind and relax.....time to crack out the Tarot deck!  I've found in my recent journey with mediation and reflection that even the hardest weeks have their successes.  I know that sounds like a lot of happiness bullshit - believe me the idea that everything is unicorns is not true and I really dislike the everything is awesome mindset, maybe that's another blog post - but for me positivity can be a real thing.  The trick to positivity is knowing that things suck sometimes, some days are bad, shit doesn't work out, but to realize that with in that which sucks is a little bit of awesome.  We just have to search it out.  Ahem, imagine the Wheel of Fortune card.
Encouraging  Tarot Card Spread
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
The Fri-YAY! spread is intended to open you back up to positivity by focusing on your accomplishments & breakthroughs while giving you more positive energy to focus on as you move into the weekend.  The Tarot is simply a reflection of ourselves, and sometimes we need a reminder that we're doing something good.  Choose a deck that makes you feel happy & that you can see happiness in (the Radiant Wider Waite is my choice!)  So...here we go.

cards 1-3
What have I accomplished this week?
For this position choose a few areas of your life you'd like to know your successes this week.  Maybe the areas you feel really kicked your butt this week!  For the most part I choose work, passions, and then sometimes I choose the third card as spirituality or as relationships.  Depends on what I want to focus on at that time.  Choose areas that you've struggled with but also areas you feel that you may have a break through.  This spread is all about positivity.

card 4
What positive energy can I focus on this weekend to keep up success?
You can pull this card intentionally if you wish.  Perhaps you want to focus on the Wheel of Fortune to remind you that things change, to everything there is a season, etc.  Perhaps you want to focus on the energy of the 10 of Cups or the 10 of Pentacles and realize that your successes make you feel bountiful.  Or maybe even the Ace of Cups or Ace of wands - the feeling of being brand new or having renewed inspiration.

If you choose to pull a random card you may be surprised!  Don't be scared if you draw something unexpected.  Use your intuition & don't get down on yourself!

card 5
How can I embody this energy to have a great weekend?
After choosing or pulling a card for card 4, this space is for developing and channeling the positive energy into the next few days.  If you need to elaborate on the spread and pull another card for clarification - especially if you pulled a card intentionally for card 4 - do so here.  But don't just keep pulling until you get the answer you want!! Pull a clarification card for understanding not for yearning.
Fri-YAY! Tarot Spread
After working through this spread, if it's been an especially hard week, I like to mediate.  You can find some Reflecting, Refreshing, and Relaxing essential oil blends in this post if you need some inspiration.  Take a bath, sit at your alter, or seriously cuddle with a loved one (four legged furry friends count for this too) and realize that you are enough & what you do is enough.

I've been pulling a Positive Affirmation Card (print your own here) each time I do a big spread too.  Heck, I've been pulling them everyday!  I really like to have a positive thing to meditate with all day everyday.

Keep your head up!  We've got a whole life to get through...keep the good vibes coming.

How do you keep your head up when a week kicks your butt?  What moves you to keep positivity?

xoxo, Moe

5.16.2017

App Review // A Color Story

100% of my blog & Instagram photography is taken with my iPhone 6.  I can not wait to upgrade to at least an iPhone 7 (maybe a plus?? who knows!) because of the portrait feature!  I am a strong believer in the best camera to get is the one you will use...and with the ability to have an amazing camera right in our pocket, why should be assume we need the DLSR to take the best photos?  I'm not knocking the bloggers that use high end equipment - but if I didn't have my iPhone, this blog would not exist.
I want to say it was about 2013/2014 or so that I gave up using my DLSR for blog photos.  It became too much of a hassle to import things to my computer, edit and the export.  The files were huge and I felt the headache was unnecessary for the reward I was getting from the process.  Plus I find it much easier to shoot, edit, and upload photos (and video!) right from my iPhone.  I can shoot a batch of blog photos on the weekend, edit on Monday's lunch break, and throw them in to blog posts Monday night.  BAM! - A whole week or two of blog posts done and done.

I've mentioned before my favorite apps for subtle edits and the apps I use for blog photos.  Today I want to do an in depth app review of my go to app for blog & Instagram edits.  Honestly, if you see a picture from me it has most likely gone through A Color Story first.

What it is
A bright fresh photo editing app that has over 100 filters, 40 effect, & 20 tools.  Subtle, professional edits imitating the perfect color balance and lightness achieved in professional software.  Professional tools (such as a curves feature) wrapped up in an easy to use interface.  Free download includes all tools, essentials filter pack (my personal favorite), ability to save editing steps, plus more.  Available on iTunes & in the Google Play Store
A Color Story website here

What it does
A Color Story allows you to edit your mobile photos with the precision of a professional software.  I've always had a thing for Photoshop actions.  These preset edits are subtle enough to enhance your photos with out looking too processed.  A Color Story app allows for this subtle edit perfectly.  While I personally feel some packs are better than others, each filter is distinctly different.  In some photo apps the wide range of filters are so close to each other that it is hard to tell the difference.  This app offers filters the vary widely, perfect if you find it hard to make up your mind!  The best part about this app is the Essentials Pack - the best pack for natural edits to blog photos - is free in the app download.
 Original // Edit
Filter - Everyday 40%
Filter - Lite Bright 27%
Original // Edit
Filter - Everyday 75%
Filter - Lite Bright 27%
Filter - Lipstick 75%
My four favorite filters for naturally and subtly editing my photos are Pop, Everyday, Sharp, & Lite Bright. These filters are all from the essentials pack.  After I apply one or a few of these filters - not at their max strength, of course - I find that I often don't have to do much brightening or contrast editing.  I do take my photos under pretty good lighting (see my lighting set up here) so I find that a combination of these few filters work perfectly for me.
A Color Story also allows you to save your edits as presets to apply later.  So lets say you're always styling your photos in the same or similar lighting - like flat lays for your blog or always taking outfit photos around the same time of day - applying these presets will save you a ton of time if you have multiple photos to edit.  Applying the same types of edits over the same style of photo will give your blog a look of consistency as well.
Another feature I love is effects.  My current favorite set of effects is not included in the free download - but to me, all the packs offered are worth the price tag for the creativity!  This effect pack is called Glow.  The hazy, light leak effect gives an otherworldly feeling to photos.  
With the newest update you can also save your favorite filters, most used effects, etc so you don't have to remember which pack they belong to.  You can also find a Recent Edits feature under the Saved edits tab.  That way you can see which pictures you've applied edits to and decide if that edit would look great on a picture today.

Obviously I didn't touch on the most professional option in this app - ability to edit curves.  I think that this option is a great feature to get photography buffs to play around with the app...for the everyday iPhoneographer I feel it's not a necessity.  Personally, I hardly ever use it (mostly because I've never understood curves!) but it is fun to have if you need to subtly tweak something.  All other editing tools closely resemble the native editing tools in Instagram.  I've found that I love Instagram's brightness, shadows, and fade feature over any of these same features available in other apps.

How it helps you
As a professional or casual blogger A Color Story offers professional edits at a cost considerably less than professional photo editing software.  If blog photography seems daunting to you and perhaps its the reason you stopped blogging or the reason you won't start a blog of your own, pick up your iPhone and download this app.  You'll achieve professional looking photography in a few taps.  The ability to save your editing steps is key to achieving a cohesive look to your blog or social feeds.  This app has the best combination of filters plus the ease of applying the same style over every image.
Original // Edit
Filter - Pacific 62%  Filter - Pop 38%
Filter - Ice Ice 16%  Filter - Punch 49%
Effect - White 100%  Effect - London 38%
Effect - Positano 100%

Instead of spending late nights editing your photos perfectly using some tools you may not quite understand, this app will simplify it for you.  Because this app returns professional edits to you in a single tap you can feel confident fitting blogging in to your everyday schedule as you edit photos on the go.

I hope this review was helpful.  I love finding new, go to apps for photo edits!  If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

xoxo, Moe

5.15.2017

Make it Monday // DIY Faux Enamel Pins

I am in love with enamel pins.  They are super popular right now and I even featured my jean jacked covered with them in this video on my YouTube channel.  I've searched Pinterest and Amazon and have been drooling over way too many of the cute designs.  Since I can't afford every single pin out there and I'm 100% into DIYing anything I can, I'm excited to share with you a fun and easy way to make cute pins at home!
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.

If you're into adult coloring you'll have a fun time coloring in these pop/retro inspired designs.
supplies // this digital download, black or metallic gold permanent marker, assortment of colored permanent markers (my favorite Sharpie collection) or colored pencils, ShrinkyDinks shrik plastic, scissors, pin backs (I used these but these work too), E6000 adhesive, oven, printer, optional: ModPodge Dimensional Magic

First, print the digital download on to printer paper.  You can do this at home or take the file to a local printing place.  If you're really ballsy and don't have a printer but you have an iPad or the like you can try to gently trace the image on to the shrink film from the screen.  These images are around 3 inches wide/tall because the shrink plastic will shrink to about a third of its size so we need to make sure we don't end up with baby tiny pins!  They should shrink to around an inch.
Using the black permanent marker trace the outline of the shape onto the rough side of the shrink plastic.  When using permanent markers, it is best to trace just the outline first, color the shapes, then trace the details - like the lines in the palm of the hand and the seeds on the watermelon or prickles on the cacti - so as not to start blending the back marker with the main color of the shape.  You can also use a metallic gold permanent marker to outline if you'd like that traditional enamel pin look.
Color the shapes in using either permanent marker or colored pencils.  Using colored pencils will allow you to have more control over blending but permanent markers will give you a bolder color.  Once finished coloring, use the black or metallic gold permanent marker to add in the details.
Cut out the shapes close to the edge of the design.  Do not leave a boarder of shrink film as this will not achieve the enameled pin look.  Bake them in the oven according to the shrink plastic instructions.  Be sure to let the shapes cool once they have been removed from the oven.  They can not be pliable for the next step.
Optional - add ModPodge Dimensional Magic to the matte surface for a glossy look or spray with a clear sealant.  If you use the ModPodge Dimensional Magic..don't use too much!  You'll end up with crazy globs everywhere.  Also, work slowly to avoid any bubbles.  Let them dry for 24 hours.  Yo don't have to add this glossy top coat to the pins, the flip side off the pin is rather vibrant and glossy.  I've included two downloads since some of the words or signs would need to be flipped if you aren't using the Dimensional Magic.

Because the shapes are still a little bit see-through, you can paint the backs either black or white so that the pin back doesn't show through.  Let dry before attaching pin backs. Adhere the pin backs to the back of the cut out with E600 adhesive.  If you did not use Dimensional magic, adhere the pin back to the matte side of the pin for better stick.  Let dry for 24 hours.
Now rock your pins!  I love this because now I can own all the pins with out breaking the bank.  Pins can go on a ton of things - my personal favorite is the jean jacket..but I also love decorating little pouches.  Learn how to digitize your handwriting and use it to make a personalized pouch here!
Stay tuned for another DIY using your inkjet printer + your Cricut to create even more awesome pins.  If you want to learn how to make this Planner Girl pencil pouch, check out this post!

Are you loving the enamel pin trend?  What pins would you make?

xoxo, Moe

5.12.2017

Free Sticker Friday // Spring Time Marble Mini Kit

The marble & agate pattern is all the rage right now.  I've found these mesmerizing patterns in home decor and planner stickers.  The organic shapes and swirling lines really suck you in!  In soft pastels, these patterns are perfect for spring - so I threw together a mini kit for you planner!  I love these small kits for my memory planner and for my mini happy planner.  (Check out my Plan with Me videos here!)
Spring has finally spring and even though it is still chilly up here in Indiana....at least it's not snowing!  The grass is growing and the flowers are starting to peek through.  I just can't wait until I can wear flip flops, honestly.  This kit is getting me into the mood with it's soft pastels & groovy patterns.  I think the set goes perfectly with the new Heidi Swapp Magnolia Jane Decorative tape & the Petals + Blooms tape from Hobby Lobby.  So gorgeous!

(ps. did you know you can get cash back from Hobby Lobby through Ebates?  I didn't either!  Sign up for Ebates here.)

DOWNLOAD SPRING TIME MARBLE STICKER HERE


Included in this download is a PNG file for your Cricut Explore, a PDF to cut by hand (though I hear good things about this tool), and a .Studio file to cut with your Silhouette.  And guys if you're not in my Cricut Ready Stickers Group on Facebook you may want to join.  There are a ton of helpful members in there sharing tips + tricks for your Cricut Explore.  Plus a member shared recently that Design Space 3 had a soft launch and when it goes live for everyone the print size will be bigger!  I'll continue to offer stickers in the 5.5x8 inch size for Cricut until this happens - so sit tight, a bigger print area is coming!! Thank the sticker cutting gods!
These files are for personal use only.  Do not share the file itself - if you'd like to link to or Pin these stickers, please link to or Pin the main body of the post.  Do not print & distribute these stickers in mass quantities, do not sell the design or final product.  As always, thank you for playing nice!

I hope you're enjoying spring where you are.  Happy planning!

xoxo, Moe

5.11.2017

Boost your Blog // How to Gain Respect (as a Blogger)

I originally titled this 'How to get people to like you (as a blogger)' - while that's super click-baity, I realized it's not that great for SEO!  In today's post I'm going to share with you how to be liked as a blogger in three easy steps.  Why?  Because there's no secret to it.  You're probably already like this in your everyday life and people - your family, friends, strangers in Starbucks - already probably like you for it.  This isn't just about a popularity contest - this is about building a relationship with your readers.  How to get readers to trust you, believe you, and see you as an authority in your niche.  We can all write blog posts about anything - but how can be we be seen as that blogger for something specific?
Gain Respect as a Blogger
Be Honest
First and foremost, be an honest person.  Share your experiences, honestly.  Share reviews, honestly.  Don't sell your self out to being paid for good or positive content.  You friends probably appreciate your truth to them, so give that much to your readers.  One thing that I've learned in my blogging journey is to say no to opportunities more than I say yes.  There are quite a few sponsor opportunities that I know I wouldn't be able to fulfill honestly.  I could do them.  I could make the post.  I could meet the requirements....but I wouldn't be proud of the content.  It has taken me a long while to realize that just because I can write a post doesn't mean I should.  Present to your readers in the way you'd discuss something with your friends.  If you wouldn't be able to casually talk about the topic with your friends.....you might not be able to easily create a blog post where your language seems casual and normal in comparison to your other posts.

Be Knowledgeable
You've probably started a blog because you want to talk about something you know about.  Great!  That's a good start.  Keep that in mind as you move through the life of your blog.  You may find yourself wanting to fit in and talk about a certain topic.  Are you knowledgeable in that topic?  If not, and you want to be, share your learning journey.  You readers will appreciate reading about how you learned what you know, some tips and tricks from a current learner, and reasons to star this certain topic from a seasoned pro.  However, if you think posting on a certain topic is an easy way gain page views and popularity while you're not really into putting in the work to learn more about the topic - consider generating posts on another topic you're passionate about.  Readers want to know inside tips, tricks, and personal experience.  Regurgitating facts can only go so far.  Don't be the click bait with no follow through.

Be Genuine
This is different than being honest.  Being honest is being free of deceit, while being genuine is being fully and completely yourself.   Don't sugar coat your life and perpetuate the notion that all bloggers have beautifully styled lives, because (honestly) that breeds jealousy.  Be a real person, with real flaws, and real messes.  Be a relate-able person with real experiences and opinions that correlate with your personal beliefs.  I find it incredibly hard to balance a persona different than mine so I choose to be the real me online and cultivate relationships that way.

These are the three things I strive to achieve in every post and these are traits that I like in other bloggers.  I strive to be the truest me....so I think you should strive to be the truest you.

There's not secret to being liked - be a good person, be just, and be honest.  It works online and off.  If you want to read more blog tips - both practical & unconventional - check them all out here.

xoxo, Moe

5.08.2017

Make it Monday // DIY Diffuser Necklace + Inspirational Blends

A long while ago I shared this DIY on how to make an inspirational charm bracelet.  I came up on some of the supplies again and thought about another jewelry DIY that these tassels would be good for.  A DIY essential oil diffuser necklace (or bracelet!).
Easy DIY Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
Essential oils have become a key part of my daily life.  I use them to ground myself & to open myself during meditation.....and, more practically, to clear my sinuses and open my chest when I'm sick.  You may think they are little bit out there, especially if you see some of your friends trying to peddle the oils to you, but believe me if they give you nothing but a nice aroma its worth it.  I use my Origami Owl diffuser necklace nearly everyday.  But I know that sometimes DIY is life so here's an easy way to bring essential oils with you day to day.
DIY Diffuser Necklace Supplies
supplies :: small craft tassels (here or here), necklace chain, pliers, inspirational jewelry tags/findings (similar), quartz charms (similar), lobster clasps, o-rings, essential oil, optional - small storage bags + sharpie
Properly Open a Jump Ring Jewelry Making
Start by opening an o-ring (another demo in this tutorial) and adding a lobster clasp & a craft tassel on to it. Close the o-ring.  Repeat for all the colors of the craft tassels you'd like to use.  It is important to use one tassel per type of essential oil so that you get the most pure scent.  You can create oil blends, of course, but mixing too many oils on one tassel may not give the desired aromatic effect.
DIY Diffuser Necklace Charms
Next, create the inspirational charms by opening an o-ring and adding a lobster clasp and charm.  If you have a few tags/sayings make a few charms.  You can use these as mantras when wearing your diffuser jewelry to further enhance your relationship with the scents you're using.  Adding the clips makes it easier to change out the tassels and mantras daily.
Add Essential Oils to Diffuser Necklace
To wear your necklace - add a few drops of your favorite oils or oil blends to the tassels.  The oil will make the tassel a little bit darker, some blends may discolor the tassel as well.  To attempt to avoid this, spread the tassel open and add a few drops to the inner area.  Let dry for a few minutes then choose a mantra and clip to your necklace chain.  Letting the oils dry on the tassel will ensure that there's not transfer to clothes.  If you have extremely sensitive skin, please be careful - either test the oil to see if you will have a reaction or wear the necklace so that there is a layer of clothing between your skin and the tassel.
DIY Diffuser Necklace
Working with essential oils has really made my days so much better.  I usually wear the Balance blend from Doterra everyday because that is what I meditate with usually (because it is very grounding and I don't have to make decisions!).  But different scents can give you different effects.  There are some standard ideas on what various oils & oil blends do - like lavender is relaxing - but I think it's important to try different blends to see what you resonate with.  Maybe lavender doesn't really relax you...and that's OK!  There are different blends for everyone.  I save a ton of blends I want to try to my Essential Oils Pinterest board.
Essential Oil Reflecting Blend
Reflecting Blend
Doterra Balance & Frankincense
mantra: The quieter I become, the more I hear.  Everything I need is within me.
Essential Oil Refreshing Blend
Refreshing Blend
Doterra Vetiver & Lime
mantra: I am thriving.  I am growing. I am brand new.
Essential Oil Relaxing Blend
Relaxing Blend
Doterra Breathe & Lavender
mantra: I release anxiety. I feel peace in this moment.

Be sure to designate one tassel to each blend or scent.  Though the scent will fade, to get the best results only use one oil or oil blend per tassel.  To sort and store the used tassels (and to differentiate the used from the unused tassels) place them in small plastic storage baggies.  Use a permanent marker to write the name of the scent on the baggie, then store them with your other jewelry.
Essential Oil Necklace
Being able to diffuse essential oils with you wherever you go will increase your connection to the feeling you get when using them. Since scent is a powerful sense and we associate memories with scent, being able to smell the same scent that made you feel relaxed, refreshed, or grounded will enhance that effect.  If you'd like to know more about Dottera essential oils, let me know!

How do you use essential oils in your everyday life?

xoxo, Moe

5.02.2017

3 Ways To Support an Indie Entrepreneur with out Spending a Dime

Right now I'm sure you've got a number of people you know IRL & online sharing their indie business venture all over your social feeds.  Whether its a college friend who's started their own pottery biz, or an online aquaintance slinging her direct sales clothing line, or a high school buddy rocking their fitness training - I'm sure your Facebook feed is full of individuals trying & succeeding at running a business for themselves.
support small business with out spending a dime
It is very, very hard to get noticed as a small business.  And even harder when you're staring brand new.  Often people start with who they know, so they will follow you on various platforms with their business accounts in the hopes that you will follow back.  Gaining exposure is the whole reason we all use social media.  Your small business owning friends are hoping that this exposure will lead to sales and business success.  Sometimes the business ventures of our close friends don't align with what we may really need in our lives - I don't need a custom wood cutting board even though it's a pretty stinking awesome idea - but we want to support them any way.  How can we support them when we really aren't into buying what their selling?  Here are three ways to help them succeed with out spending a dime.

Interact with their Business Social Media Accounts
Social media accounts gain more credibility the more individuals interact with them.  This is true for both Instagram and Facebook.  You may notice that the more you interact with a certain account on these platforms the more content you see from these accounts.  The more engagement an account has the more appealing it is and the more likely it is to be organically promoted by the platform.  For example, from a blogger perspective, the more likes/comments/interactions on a social media account the more appealing the account is to brands that may be looking for influencers to promote their brand.  It often seems suspicious if an Instagram feed has 10k followers but only has an average of 30 likes per post.  Brands may suspect the individual has purchased followers rather than gained them organically.  So if you simply interact with the social feeds of the indie businesses you care about instead of just giving a follow to your college roomate's new business Instagram or Facebook page, you will increase their credibility.  It is very easy to double tap a heart or leave a short comment every once in a while.

Share Their Content on Your Platforms
If you share the content of businesses you like on your social feeds, you can guarantee two things - 1) the post will read new viewers, and 2) if the business already has a good hashtag game, their post may show up twice in hashtag searches.  You don't have to have a lot of followers on a platform like Instagram either.  You both don't have the same exact friends and you both don't have the same exact followers.  Also, your unique content is already being viewed through your hashtag game so if someone finds your profile, they may also see that content you shared and interact on that page.  Of course, as we go a long the degrees of separation increase so the likely hood of interaction will decrease as well...but I can't tell you how many times someone has shared in a Facebook group 'Oh my friend owns such and such check them out for whatever was asked.'  I have found many wonderful shops and services by happening upon their site from a feed I follow.

Recommend their Business to Friends
This goes a long with the previous tip - if someone asks for a recommendation for custom wood cutting boards, recommend your friends business!  While that's really specific, if you're ever in a conversation about a thoughtful gift, a specific need, or related request suggest your friend's business first.  Shopping with and supporting small business is the key to their growth - like duh - but even if you can't spend a dime maybe you can help someone else spend theirs.

Support for your social sharing friends doesn't have to be costly on your end.  We all can't drop change when someone shares their newest hustle on our Facebook feed but helping them reach their goals is as easy as interaction & promotion.

How do you help your friends grow their businesses?

xoxo, Moe