8.17.2017

Mindful Journey // Why I Stopped Being Self-Depreciating

There was a time in my life where I thought if I was hard on myself, I would improve my mistakes.  I would recite to myself in the mirror (as a grown ass adult) to stop fucking up.  Stop being an idiot.  Don't fuck it up today.  You're so stupid, why the fuck can't you do it.  I'm sorry for the curse words...but literally this is how I talked to myself.  I'm not saying I talked to myself like this in some distant past either....it was quite recent.  I'd say, not even a year ago I'd still talk to myself like this...in the mirror...most days before work.

I'd also express my hatred towards myself every time I made a simple mistake.  Knock something off of the desk when there is no reason I should have even hit it? Of course, I'm so clumsy.  I knock everything over.  Drop something while trying to carry it up the stairs? Of course, why would I think I would be able to do something right.  Screw up at work? Yep, idiot.  Anyone could do anything better than me.
Even in all of that, I still considered myself a pretty positive person...and I'm not sure why.  I'm confident those who interact with me on a daily basis can't believe that I would ever say those things.....let alone to myself.  Because I'd never talk that way to any one else.

In the current journey I've taken towards mindfulness I've realized that self deprecation can be a horrible, horrible pattern to break. (I talk about that a little bit in my Mindful Morning Routine post) Even now I catch myself in the same of course mindset - Knock something over? Why did I even think I'd be able to reach for something or walk somewhere without hitting something.  Why would I think that?  I can tell you at least once a week I do something that makes me instantly say 'Of course you would do that' even now.  

Honestly, I didn't even realize this negative talk was really hurting me until I realized that I'd started to do it less & less.  Once I started realizing when I'd do it....I began to correct it.  Mindfulness is not the absence of all thought & that every. single. movement is always with purpose....it is the act of realizing when your actions, thoughts, and movements aren't serving you.  It is the act of realizing when you aren't moving with purpose...and moving those actions towards purpose.  As soon as you start to see the pattern & identify it....you can correct it!

At first I didn't intend to stop this negative self talk.  It's one of those things where you agree it should be done, it's probably not helpful, but you don't internalize that.  You think that it's for someone else to do, not you....you're fine.  Because, again I considered myself a positive person.  
It wasn't until I started to work with affirmations - and I can't even tell you when I decided that this was going to be a thing I was doing - that I realized the energy I put behind reciting them made me feel good.  I'm pretty sure it was a slippery slope from learning to read Tarot, to wanting to meditate, to finding something to encourage & align my thoughts that I realized a positive quote might help me out here.

Enter affirmations!  This blog post puts it best - an affirmation is a statement which describes a mindset or goal in it's completed state.  An affirmation allows you to align with your goals by stating that you're already there.  You've got an accomplished mindset already in simply stating I am.

The negative lives with us all day in our brains.  That voice of disappointment.  It is constantly there.  It is much easier for us to dwell in the negative...I'm not sure where this comes from but we don't stoke the good things when they happen, we commiserate and complain about the bad things.  I was listening to a podcast recently that challenged us to rave about the good things...even when we're in that negative mood.  You had a horrible day at work. Feel that feeling....but work towards replacing it with a good feeling.  We don't need to drown ourselves, we need to make it back to the surface.  We need that fresh air of positivity.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - the phrase think positive is bullshit.  Positivity is something we must practice.  It is not a switch to flip.  It is a mindset to ease into - like a stretch - the more we practice it the more we can shift into it. 

Self care, meditation, affirmations all of this can help with our positive self talk.  Mercury is currently in retrograde from August 12th, 2017 until September 4th, 2017.  This is a great time for self care. Stress maybe high because of the affect mercury may have on communication but it is a great time for reflection & rekindling.  This past lunar cycle I've been mentioning so much about the Heart Chakra, our own self forgiveness.  Mercury Retrograde also asks us to look with in.  So do the things that make you happy...journal, pick up an old project, take a class on an interest you have....do the things that will give you feelings of pride and accomplishment.
I stopped being self deprecating because it wasn't helpful.  Because it isn't helpful.  As with everything when it comes to our own journeys...my words will mean nothing until your mindset shifts.  I hope one day this article comes to mind as you realize that you're aligning to something different.  I know that's how it always works for me - something is ridiculous until suddenly it isn't.

If you're a part of the $5 Fam on my Patreon Page you'll find a set of positive affirmation digital prints to hang in your office, make into a planner dashboard...anything you'd like to do with these files - except sell them - is up to you.  I've also included a PDF with the three images sized to 3x4 inches to print as journaling cards.

The $5 Fam gains access to an exclusive printable each month + access to all previous months.  If you sign up as a patron of this tier today you'll find that there are 2 prints waiting for you (last month + the current month).  I hope you'll consider supporting the content on this blog by becoming a patron!

Remember, self depreciation is a hard habit to break.  You're not going to turn around in a day.  With practice you can learn to slip into a positive mindset.

How have you stopped negative self talk?  How do you forgive yourself?

xoxo, Moe

8.15.2017

Trend Tuesday // Pattern Mixing - Geometric & Floral

Guys, summer is drawing to a close!  I can't believe we're already in the middle of August.  Kids have already started going back to school, the weather is already getting colder, fall candles are hitting the shelves, craft stores are putting out their Christmas decor (that's a definite marker of the end of Summer!).

When I was younger, I had a love-hate relationship with going back to school.  I loved the new clothes, the new supplies, and the chance to see my friends like all day everyday...but I really didn't like the actual first day of school.  Of course, as the days went on I got used to the new routines and now that I'm older I really miss that excitement.  I really do miss the whole move in time of college though.  That was the best....even though I really didn't like the physical act of moving!
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My favorite summer wardrobe is a floral dress (case in point).  Many of my dresses come from LuLaRoe & Forever21.  The plus size section of Forever21 always has a great selection of floral dresses.  I'm going to link a super, super old post here so you can see how long I've been loving floral dresses.  I didn't even know that I'd been wearing floral dresses for as long as I have until I was looking through old posts to update!

Three Tips for Pattern Mixing

  1. All Patterns are Basics - floral goes with stripes, stripes goes with animal prints, animal prints go with geometric prints.
  2. Limit mixing to 2 Patterns - if you throw in too many prints, it may get overwhelming and look disheveled.  You may look like you just walked out of your laundry basket.
  3. Complimentary Colors Work Together - colors opposite each other on the color wheel work wonderfully paired together.   
The great thing about floral dresses is that you can mix & match them with patterns.  I really consider floral to be an easy basic to mix & match.  Floral goes with stripes, solids, and geometric prints easily.  In this post on plus size bathing suits I blend a few different patterns with solids & florals.  Working with pattern mixing can be tricky and you may even feel like you're doing it wrong.  Like, I'm not even sure if this outfit really works but I love it!  I usually go with my intuition when picking patterns that I think work together.

The floral here is more pastel and the geometric Monroe cardigan is more vibrant.  I think the contrast of the colors + prints makes this look work.  Plus, the main color of the Monroe is orange which complimentary to the pastel blue of the floral dress.  These colors are opposite on the color wheel.  Most of the time opposite colors look great together!

Outfit Details

Monroe // LuLaRoe (shop here)
Dress // Forever21 (similar)
Forever21 is also on Ebates! Sign up here to save $$$
Shoes // Walgreen's (similar)
So just because summer is nearly over doesn't mean I'm going to stop wearing floral dresses.  I'm gonna get my leggings and my tights as well as my winter boots and keep the floral going all year round!  You'll catch me in this floral dress in October, December, March, & June....don't you worry.

I hope you all have a great end to the Summer and wind down well into the Fall.  I'm excited for crunchy leaves and boots!  Oh, and Halloween!

Check out more style posts here.

How do you mix prints?  Are you brave enough?

xoxo, Moe

8.14.2017

Make it Monday // 8 Planner DIYs for Back to School

It is time to go back to school!!! Many probably have already started, some are starting in the next few weeks, and some may start after Labor Day...either way, it's time to get some learning on.  When I was younger, our elementary, middle, & high schools didn't go back until after Labor Day.  We went back to college around this time each year though.  Move in day was always my favorite and least favorite time.  You get to see your friends....but you have to move all of your stuff!
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Then you've got that first week or two where you're not quite into doing homework yet and you've still got a bit of the summer brain going.  Man, those were the days.

I have zero kids..so no one I know is really going back to school.  But I still thought it'd be a perfect time to share some planner DIY's to get in you in the school spirit.  The projects use a lot of my favorite tools, two being PicMonkey and the Cricut Explore.  I hope that you have a ball making somethings to get you organized & off to the right start!

Print Your Own Sticky Notes

This is super helpful if you have quite a few repeating tasks but you need to move them around in your planner.  It's also great if you just like to customize and create things!  I love making my own sticky notes!

Stylish Class Schedule with PicMonkey

Go back to school in style!  This DIY is inspired by the Target Dollar Spot weekly notepads.  You can punch this into any planner.  It is designed for a personal size but you can add it to any planner you choose.  Since the original post though, Pic Monkey has added in a grid option.  That means aligning your designs is easier than ever.

Stamped Habit Tracker

If you love the look of stamps but really can't be bothered to whip them out every week, you can create your own weekly habit tracker.  It can even be customized with other stamps.  Learn how to save money on planner stamps here + find my planner stamping playlist on YouTube here.

DIY Planner Stamp Hack

Speaking of planner stamps - if you don't want to dish out the dough for expensive photo-polymer stamps you can DIY your own with some small alpha stamps and washi tape.  These are easy to store and affordable to make!



Custom Clip in Tabs for the Happy Planner

Have something you really don't want to punch but would like to add it to your Happy Planner?  Or maybe you don't have a Happy Planner punch yet...make your own custom clip in tabs with scrapbook paper & your Cricut Explore.

Design a Planner Dashboard with the Rhonna Designs App

The Rhonna Designs app is one of my favorite apps to play with.  It is constantly updated with new overlays, sayings, and textures to help you create the digital design of your dreams.  Use some planner girl inspired images to create a fun planner dashboard.  Customize with your name and you're the real winner here.

Happy Planner Bookmarks + Cricut Cut File

Creating clip in tabs for your planner using the Cricut isn't the only DIY I've got for you - make some awesome bookmarks too.  Mark your place in style and even store your washi where it won't be in the way.  Check out all the Cricut Explore DIYs here.

DIY Shaped Paper Clips

Keeping your papers in order doesn't have to be boring.  Use some pliers and craft wire to make your own shaped clips.  Sometimes they come out perfect and sometimes they give you a laugh!

I hope that you're having fun going back to school and it's not too stressful for you.  DIYing your own supplies is half the fun of the new year.  Gives your stuff a personalized look and you feel like you've got a little bit of home right where you want it.

Have you or anyone in your family started school yet?  What have you DIYed for your school year?

xoxo, Moe

8.09.2017

Three Side Hustles for Talkative Bloggers

In addition to the 5 zillion other things I like to do....I like to talk.  I like to listen to myself talk, I like to talk to people, I like to talk to myself, I like to talk when I shouldn't (like at work, not at the movies).  Getting in trouble for talking when there were substitutes in school was like my number one offense.  I just like to talk.  So blogging doesn't always do it for me in the way of expressing myself.  Sometimes I just wanna talk.  
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A few years ago I started my YouTube channel and I love uploading videos because I can express myself in a different way.  Most of the time my videos are only a few takes, editing is minimal (unless its a long ass plan with me where I'm flipping through every single sticker I own!)  I feel like I don't have to edit or curate as much.  And the planning is different from planning a blog post.  I don't do as in depth videos as some...but I still think they are informative.

If you like to talk - or want to talk more - here are 3 side hustles for you

Start a YouTube Channel

If you don't already have a YouTube presence, I highly recommend it.  Diversifying your content is enough reason to start!  YouTube is a go-to for a lot of people searching for a lot of things.  So if you have a steady YouTuber presence you'll drive traffic (and income) to your channel but also that traffic will trickle over to your blog.  It is super simple to get started! I use my iPhone, iMovie app + Windows Movie Maker when needed.  Voice overs are done with my iPhone headphones straight into the iMovie app or if I'm doing a screen cast I use my new (super affordable) mic.  Most of the time I'm editing my vids on my lunch break at work.  If I have to, I do a voice over in my car!  Believe me the iPhone headphone mic is perfect.  I've got two videos on how I film for YouTube - this one is an intro to how I film on my phone and this one is my whole set up for filming plan with me videos.  I recently updated my lights to super professional studio lights too.  (They are really affordable on Amazon!)

What I'm trying to say is that it is easy and very affordable to start a YouTube channel.  Consider what you could offer as an extension of your blog/brand or even think about something totally new & exclusive to YouTube for your followers.  The best thing about YouTube is that it sort of promotes itself if you use the right titles and tags.  You can make money by playing ads before your videos & directing others to you site.


Start a Podcast

There are tons of ways to get a podcast out there.  Any medium that will host audio files (or you could film it & upload to YouTube, too) will work.  I just discovered this app called Anchor that you can record an audio file with and share it!  I'm seriously thinking of starting a podcast mainly because I like the idea of talking to myself!  But a podcast is a great way to interview people or host guests with out you all in the same room.  Sometimes I think this is more professional than a group video conference or chat.  You can get a better, more even quality with audio than you can with conference style calls.  So, since I love the way that my iPhone picks up and records sound from my iPhone headphones...I'm assuming recording a podcast can be just as easy as recording a video, you just don't need any lamps or tripods!

If you don't get your podcast on a big platform like iTunes, you will have to do your own promoting.  Anchor does seem to have a social aspect to it but it also seems small in comparison.  However, if you already have a base of followers on social media & your blog you can totally cross promote.  Put a link in your posts or add a call to action somewhere on your blog or website.  Other social media platforms - like Facebook - are a great way to share your podcasts.  You may find it harder to monetize this platform as sponsored casts might not be feasible when you're just starting out.  However, affiliate sales can be a great way to monetize.  I find if I'm talking about what I love & I can link it, that equals some affiliate traffic.  You can also direct listeners to your site, newsletter, freebies, etc in order to gain them as followers & thus more likely to shop your links or products.

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Host a Webinar

Webinars are the new black.  And they are the new way to reach followers!  Webinars are popular because people like to learn.  You can plan a certain class or even re purpose blog content into a new class. Screen casting from your computer is not that hard & it can be free! I use a free software called Open Broadcast Software.  It is compatible with casting to YouTube or to Facebook so you can stream to either platform.  Facebook would be a way to create an exclusive event in a private or closed group but a live webinar on YouTube would be a great way to introduce an established audience to exclusive content you might start offering.  There are other webinar softwares out there but I haven't really researched any for free.  

Webinars are a great thing to monetize especially if you have something super great to offer - how to double your Instagram following, how to do more with Pinterest, etc.  They are great if you're getting into coaching or teaching and want to offer an exclusive community for followers to participate in.




As a seasoned blogger, diversifying your content can help you branch out & earn more.  You may even find a platform your obsessed with!  Remember the old saying 'Don't put all of your eggs in one basket'?  I've got a free ebook on how to revamp your blog while you're at it too.  I have been blogging for nearly 10 years...but there are quite a few things that have slipped through the cracks!  This ebook will help you gain back your blogging mojo if your a veteran & inspire you to keep up the momentum as a new blogger!  Sign up below to grab it!

If you like to talk & you like to plan, these three ways to get your gab on are perfect.  I'm excited to branch out into the last two of these guys.  Podcasts just seem so fun!  More of a conversation, stream of conscious style connecting with followers.  I think it is a great way to connect - I listen to them to sort of get in the head of my favorite bloggers, makers, and creators.  You can also learn a lot from them!

If you've got something more to say, I hope that you start one of these three media outlets.  Do let me know if you do!  I wanna listen!

In what ways do you share new content?  Have you started a new venture?

xoxo, Moe

8.07.2017

Make it Monday // DIY Self Care Bath Soak for Forgiveness

Today marks the Full Moon in this lunar cycle which means any goals and intentions we set at the New Moon should now be realized.  We're entering the time now where we are releasing the things that haven't been working for us.  The waning moon is about releasing & reflecting.
essential oil bath soak
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I'm a professional dweller.  I dwell on things for a long, long time.  Failures, negative emotions, miscommunication....I think about these things way to often, for way to long.  Around this time of the lunar cycle, where I've discovered what's working & what's not working, my emotions tend to be high.  I tend to lose my cool more often and be overwhelmed easily.  A goal of mine is to be more aware of this and when it happens, and to forgive myself more easily.

Now is a great time, if you're feeling these effects or not, to make time to forgive yourself & release negative feelings towards yourself (and others). Earlier this month on Instagram I shared the Essential Oils that were perfect to actively work with the Heart Chakra.  This is our center of love & forgiveness.  In the Five Sixteenths | Live Creatively group I talked a little bit about how the Sanskrit word for the Heart Chakra roughly translates to unstruck.  Forgiveness clears our heart center so that we are open again, fresh & new.

Enter the Forgiveness Blend.
DIY bath soak

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To create the Forgiveness Blend, visit the Five Sixteenths Blog | Live Creatively group to find the exact recipe in the albums or find in on the Essential Oils pin board here.   This is a blend of Cypress, Balance, & Bergamot.  Cypress aids in releasing emotion, it calms & promotes emotional growth.   This has been one of the two oils I've been using this lunar cycle. Balance is a blend of woodsy oils that remind us to stay rooted in the present moment.  And Bergamot is the Oil of Self-Acceptance.  It relieves feelings of self judgment.  All of these oils can be purchased through Doterra.
essential oil bath salts
Combine 1 cup of Himalayan Pink Salt with 1 cup Epsom salt.  Salt & Mineral baths have been used for ages to induce relaxation & ease aching muscles.  Adding the Himalayan salt in this recipe, for me is for color & texture.  However, Himalayan salt is thought to increase circulation & the added minerals increase relaxation.

This is the perfect bath to work with crystals, too - amethyst for relaxation, rose quartz for love & nurturing (perfect for this bath!), green aventurine is also a great heart chakra crystal.  If you don't have any specific crystals a nice chunk of clear quartz can help you out! 


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Essential oils have become a daily part of my life - both in practicality & in my spiritual journey.  I use my intuition + research to develop the best course of action for myself.  If you'd like an introduction to using essential oils both practically & spiritually, please sign up for the newsletter to get access to this FREE beginner's ebook.  You'll get access to a 10 page ebook that goes over the specific aromatic properties of 10 oils as well as their practical & spiritual uses.  Check out the image above.

To the salt mixture add 15 to 20 drops of the Nurturing Sleep blend.  Stir until the oils are well incorporated.  Transfer the salt soak into an air tight jar.  I find adding about 1/2 cup of the mixture into the bath is gives the best aroma & the most relaxation.
essential oils for forgiveness
To create your own bath ritual, gather some fresh towels, light some candles, close the door, and play nurturing music or try a mediation on YouTube.  It is important to give yourself time away from others, personal time is essential for self care.  While in the bath consider repeating a nurturing mantra to support yourself & let the rest go.

I forgive myself. I will continue to be kind to myself. I fully support myself. I let the rest go.

I hope that you make time for yourself whenever you are able.  Working with the lunar cycles has helped me be more aware of when I need to take time for myself and has given me a reason to make the time for myself!

How do you forgive yourself?  What self care rituals do you practice?

xoxo, Moe

8.03.2017

How I Turned my Lunch Hour from Nap Time to Power Hour

If you didn't know, I work a regular ol' 9-5 job Monday through Friday.  All the content for the blog is written on weeknights and weekends while I ignore my cleaning list and laundry.  Yeah, I do that.  But recently I've been trying to step up my game.  I've been blogging for nearly 10 years and I think it's time, now, to take it to the next level.
this post contains affiliate links, please read my full disclosure here.
There are only so many hours in a day right? Correct!  However, I just gained one more that I usually slept through!  My previous lunch break was spent in my car taking a mid-day nap - now it's my Power Hour.  I usually go to lunch from 11:30am - 12:00pm & I try to get a few things done that need to be done for the blog.  Mainly this is promoting!  Here's what I do in the 60 minutes I get for lunch while I sit in our company's break room:

Join in on Facebook threads

I am apart of quite a few blog centered Facebook groups.  During my lunch hour I participate in the various threads per day in the various groups.  Usually this involves adding your own link - blog post, Instagram, Facebook page, twitter account, etc - and the following, commenting, sharing other's links.  This is three fold - One, I'm promoting my own blog.  Two, I've got content to share on my other platforms. Three, I'm connecting & building relationships on my platforms.  I think it's super great to connect with others, share their work and have them share yours.  I'm reminded of the Major Arcana card, the Star, in the After Tarot deck.  In this card a woman is in a pool watering herself & watering the ground beside her.  You can see a few streams of the water that is being poured into the ground heading out in various directions.  One stream, however, makes its way back into the pool where the woman is sitting.  So, spending this time giving to others will make its way back to you! I love this card!


Pin all the things

Part of posting in these Facebook groups means that I can share my Pinterest content but also find great content for my boards.  I am a part of a few group boards on Pinterest which I pin my content to and then pay it forward by pinning content from those boards to my own.  One thing I haven't figured out is how to get my feed to not look all wonky by repinning things multiple times to multiple boards.  Pro tip though - pin your blog posts to one of your boards - mine is called Five Sixteenths Blog posts - and then repin those posts from that board.  That increases your repin count!  Pretty awesome.


Share things to the Five Sixteenths | Live Creative Facebook group

While I haven't quite figured out the exact direction of the Live Creative Facebook group, I do like to post things that are inspiring or about being creative.  Being a part of these blog centered Facebook groups means that I can find amazing content to share with the group.  Of course, my hope is that individuals will share my content with their groups, pages, social media accounts etc.


Tweet, tweet, & retweet

I'm not that active on Twitter, so in addition to scheduling Tweets through HootSuite, I use this time to retweet others that I follow & share content from the Facebook groups I'm participating in during this hour!  I can build followers, favorites, and my own retweets as I interact with others on the platform.  My twitter account only has around 400 followers...so it's a goal of mine to grow it a little bit.  I also use the GIF function of twitter as my main way of interacting!

Instagram it up

I promote my blog post or YouTube video of the day & try to promote one other image.  It doesn't take too long to write a caption & add some hashtags.  I am thinking about using an Instagram planning app to make sure my images sort of fit in with my theme on my page.  I've never been one for Instagram themes....my instagram is a hodge podge of everything I'm interested in and I'd like to keep it that way!  But I've found that similar photos fit better & are received better on my page.  I also interact with other accounts that are posted in the various Facebook groups I'm in.

*****

Not sleeping isn't always the way I want to spend an hour of my life in the middle of the day...but it has been helpful.  I've found that it is rejuvenating to focus on something I love for a little in the middle of a seemingly monotonous day.  It also breaks up the day nicely!




The other benefit is that I wasn't doing this before.  At home, I wasn't promoting the blog like this...at home I'd write and do my regular Instagram thing.  Now, by adding this Power Hour into my day I'm gaining more exposure and I don't have to worry about it later.  I've seen an increase in my Pins, page views, and comments on my blog.  The way I found these groups was just by searching blogging groups on Facebook!  Once you join a few, Facebook will recommend more to you.  I've joined and left a few that weren't suiting my needs and I'm always on the look out for more to join.  Some will fit you and give you results...others may be a waste of time.  It takes some trial and error to find groups that work for you!

I hope that you find a way to regain an hour in a day - the lunch hour is the best for me - in order to get things done.  In case you're wondering when I actually eat....I make my food at the end of my lunch hour and eat it at my desk.  Luckily, most of the time the half hour after my lunch isn't too busy once I get back to my desk.  The real craziness starts at 1pm!

Have you reclaimed your lunch hour?  What do you do to fit more things into the day?

xoxo, Moe