What if This is It & What if I'm Happy?

For a while now I've been trying to come up with really great, meaningful posts for this blog.  Remember last Summer when I was going through so much change?  A long distance relationship, moving, being unemployed & trying to make it? Remember all that & remember how it all ended with me finding a job near the beginning of March?

I feel like I was inspired the most when I had things to struggle with.  When life is hard we try to find things to get us through but when it's easy I think it seems so normal we almost take it for granted.  I take for granted the time I have in the evenings & sit on the couch instead of working towards my dream.

Alycia from Habitual Homebody touched on something I've been thinking about for a bit now: is this it? Will this be the job I spent 30 year at & retire from?  What about what I went to school for?  She mentioned that dreams aren't real, but a paycheck is.  This saying really affected me & to me it's sort of right.  Dreams are things that we can have just to distract us from what we have to do which, in this case, is have a job, bring in an income, & support ourselves.  She mentions how she wishes she had free time again - same here.  She mentions how unemployment drove her insane - same here.

I think she meant more a long the lines of man, I dream of having all that free time back rather than how I think about my indie business dream.  But I still read the sentence with my idea of the word dream in there.  And boy it shook me - because right now, my dream isn't real but my paycheck is - and right now I'm ok with that.

I've always felt that in life there's no right or wrong way to live.  The most important thing is to do your best to be a good person & do what you have to do.  I've also believed that you should be able to make a living doing something you love to do.  You shouldn't throw away your dreams for something you're just doing right now.  I've also believed that its ok to be satisfied where you are.  In life we're always told to try harder, go bigger, get a promotion, move higher.  But what if I just want to be happy?

What if a paycheck right now makes me happy because I can finally travel & save?

What if my dreams are taking a back seat but I'm so happy I got the chance to do that stint of unemployment to see what needs to be done?

What if I'm also scared that self employment won't cut it for me?  What if I like someone else taking the responsibility of being a boss?

What if when things went wrong, I fixed them, but stressed?

What if depending directly on me for my income was a bit of a stresser itself?

What if I think I need to grow & be a bit more stable than I was?

What if I realize I could do it & that now I know how much work needs to be done and what needs to go down to make a successful life at this?

And what if I'm just not ready?

Maybe the unreadiness came from not being able to pull it together to make it a sustainable income in that time.  I know its work, I'm not discounting that, but I think it might be more work than I'm willing to think about now.  Props to all those awesome peeps out there totally rocking their business & livelihood......but I think I'm going to re-structure my priorities.

What does that mean? 

That means my dreams of being successful as a creative person still exist.  That means I'm still going to work towards all of my endeavors.  That means I'm not going to settle for I'm to tired afterwork to work on my dream.  That means that I'm going to keep at it but I'm going to adjust my sails.

I'll leave you with a few quotes I've been thinking about lately: 
If it doesn't get done, it didn't need to get doneIf it's important, you'll find a way.  If it's not, you'll find an excuse.We can not direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.Don't be afraid to give yourself everything you ever wanted in life.If your dreams don't scare you, they aren't big enough.The unexamined life is not worth living.
I hope you all are using 2013 to work toward your dreams as well!  I also hope you have little trouble adjusting your sails when the wind changes on you!

How's your life going?  Any adjusting needed?

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // Adventures in Planting Herbs

I don't quite have a green thumb...mainly the color of my thumb is lazy when it comes to gardening.  Zach & I sorta missed the window on planting the garden outside we'd planned on doing.  When it comes to yard work, gardening, landscaping, etc I don't even want to think about it.  Though, I am a little motivated to start planting in our litte front garden thing in the front of the house....maybe next weekend if I can keep up the motivation!  That seems a lot more plausible for me to do than raking & mowing & the like.....sheesh, not for me.
But I did want to get some of the seeds we picked up into some dirt.  We did grab a few herbs & herb mixes with the intention of planting a little herb garden type deal under the skylight in the kitchen.  We've got a lot of counter space & I'm determined to keep it free of clutter but still utilized.  I love our counter space because I can have all the kitchen gadgets out & not tucked away in the cabinets.  We use them so much more now! (Check our kitchen essentials here)  So in my burst of creativity yesterday I headed to the store picked up some pots & soil, then set to work.
I haven't planted anything since probably like the 3rd grade...but between that & watching my grandma and mom plant flowers over the years, I'm sorta confident my whole dirt - sprinkle seeds - dirt - water it process is how you do it!  I can't wait to see how these grow, especially the assortment packs.  I hope they look good & taste yummy!  So I'll be testing my watering skills here as I try to remember to water them everyday or so.  I seriously want to add a lot of plants to our home...so I guess I need to invest in a watering can :)
We were thinking of planting a bunch of vegetables in the raised bed behind the house but that didn't work out too well.  I've seen a few people doing a little container garden (namely Elsie Blaha Cripe on her blog here).  I'm thinking that this may be an adventure for our deck or patio next year rather than a full fledged garden in the ground.  Breaks it off in pieces for me & I'm less intimidated!
I do want to start prettying up the front of the house so I guess I'll get off my lazy butt & do it....next weekend :)  Hopefully we can get some nice outdoor furniture & make the most of the outdoors now that it's warmer.  Who knows...maybe I'll start working on this little project after work this week...maybe.  I really want to...but I'm just so intimidated!

Anyone have any planting tips?  How do you not half complete your yard work?

xoxo, Moe

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Fan Friday #93

Wooohooo!! Friday is here at last!  As I mentioned yesterday, I've spent most of this week in a fog being sick...heck on Wednesday I dreamed I was a cake I had such a fever!  I had a bit of time this week to look up happy things so here's what I'm loving this week:

This blanket in this lovely little room looks so cozy! I'm going to be crocheting some more blankets here shortly! yay!

My kiln will get it's final wiring this weekend!  I'm not ready for my first firing yet but now that the final bits will be done I can orders supplies & get this studio together.  This image is super inspiring & I can't wait to put up a few more shelves & get things going.  I can't wait for warmer weather & throwing  with the garage door open.....yay!

This print is hilarious.  I love Indiana Jones & now I live in Indiana....coincidence? Probably.

Link Love
++One of my favorite & seriously inspiring ceramic artists, Lindsay of Suite One Studio, always adds things to her shop that make me happy.  She's got it going on & I need to decide what to pick up from her shop but I can't ever settle on anything because I want it all.  I also want to see what she does next! ++

++Searching fatshion on tumblr to get outfit & style inspiration.  Finding looks I love makes me happy!  ps. I still don't have any clue how to use tumblr....but you can find me here++

++Kristen of KV's Confessions opened up her Society6 Print Shop inspiring me with the if not now, then when? vibe she's got going.++

Bit of a tiny round up, but just a few things I've loved this week.  What has caught your eye?

xoxo, Moe

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Being Sick Sucks

Soooooo...........lately I've been sick...which sucks!! I don't think anyone likes being sick, but I really don't like being sick!!  Part of it is because it's a huge waste of time & part of it is that being sick means I will inevitably have an assortment of fever induced, cold medicine stimulated hallucinations/dreams.  For the most part they are harmless & just weird - like thinking I'm answering the phone at work to believing that I am a cake, asleep in my bed where I can't turn over because my layers will fall off (yeah, I dream that!).  But this past sickness a lot of my dreams were rather scary!  I blame that on watching American Horror Story Asylum over the weekend & falling asleep to Doctor Who.

I also don't like being sick because it means I walk around like a zombie for a week dropping tissues everywhere I go.  Wearing mix matched socks, a robe, an assortment of pajama parts depending on if I'm hot or cold, & toting some sort of medicine.....Sickness is just not pretty :)

On Wednesday I had to take off of work (which I dont' like to do) because I felt like so much crap & had a fever - this is the day I had the dream I was a cake.  I slept all day & have to say Thursday (today) I feel so much better!  It's insane how just rest can fix you up!  Zach ended up making me some delicious soup with mushrooms & onions which helped as well.

Anyway...just wanted to share with you why it's been quite this week after my quazi come back last week.  Here's to no more colds!

Happy Thursday!

xoxo, Moe

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Trend Tuesday // Cover Up Buttercup

I may have tricked you with that title.  You may be thinking oh, summer is almost here...let's talk beach/bathing suit cover ups.  Sweet!  But we're not going to talk about that today.  We're going to talk about how momma needs a new phone case!  I'm not sure if I should get one now though or wait until the end of Summer when I have my phone upgrade.....which means I may go to the iPhone 5 (thoughts?)

But I've been on the prowl ever since my case started to break around the camera part.  I don't think I ever got the case securely on & that caused some stress on that little part & it's snapped.  So maybe I'll get one, maybe I'll wait......

one // two // three // four
(one, three, four are all from Society6!)

I'm really digging some illustration right now & with spring here I feel so girly digging on floral!  When I found the bug phone case, though, I was in love with the gold color & the contrast of the black and cream but otherwise it's florals all the way!  My last phone case was from Society6 as well - this one based off of vintage sheets from Kate Gabrielle of Scathingly Brilliant - it was floral too!!

The bottom right phone case I want because it's pretty but also because I went to school with its designer!  Personal connection!

Do you walk around with a naked phone or do you cover it up?  How picky are you when it comes to phone cases?

xoxo, Moe

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Fan Friday #92

Wow guys, I haven't done one of these is ages!  With the new job it just takes all of me to even think up new things to share!  But now I think I'm in the swing of it & when it comes to it Sundays are my day of blogging.  I try to wipe out all posts for the week in one blow.  I tried to save the Fan Friday post as something to work on Thursday night.....but that doesn't happen as you can see.  So I'm going to knock out Fan Fridays when I can, for example here's one for this week!

I've been meaning to do this for a while.  I just organized my makeup drawer - of course it always ends up all over the sink anyway - but this would be the better alternative to the cup of bobby pins in the medicine cabinet!  Sadly I can't find the original source from Pinterest.  Any help?
I really want to live up to this!  I went a lot of places in the past year...here's to many more places!  I think I've got the travel bug but only 5 days off from work in the next year.  I see a lot of weekend trips coming my way.

This sweet tutorial for cloud pillows from Making Nice in the Midwest.  Another sewing project to add to the list once I get my sewing table in the spare room together!
This print is awesome!!!  Saw this on Pinterest repinned by Maryam - love it!  This is how I feel nearly everyday because I really love my hair :) Pick this print up from BigMowth Prints
I want to one, have a sparkly clothing rack & two wrap all my hangers in pretty things!! I've always loved shops that have super cool & colorful hangers.....Another small finishing touch project to add to my home to do list!

Link Love
++Remember this week's Make it Monday? Well if you love looking at pretty homescreens, I did a generic search for the CocoPPa app on Pinterest.  See pretty homescreens here!++

++ I'm super excited that I've sold some Graduation Announcements through the Stationery Shop!  I need to set aside some time to add some more stuff...time, I need more time++

++I love this post titled Choose Happy on All My Happy Endings.  Happiness is important & we totally be the main part in our happiness.++

++Ever wanted a Storenvy Mini-Store? Like Etsy Mini? Well I found this the other day & it's been sitting as an open tab on my computer for ages!  Pretty cool eh?++

Happy Weekend all!

xoxo, Moe

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Things I Want to Make // My To-Sew List

I think the best part of our house is the blending of Zach & I together that I see around the whole place.  We share a desk area, we share a workshop space (what will be my ceramics studio & his woodworking area) in the garage, and you know those other parts of the house couples share.  There's a third little work area though that will be all my own - my sewing table.

I'm super excited to find the perfect little table to sit under the window in the spare bedroom - I may have found the best one at Big Lots but we'll see.  I'll also use this room - because the light is so lovely - to photograph our vintage stuff, but for now I'm just day dreaming of my to-sew list.
You may think I want to take on a giant project like a quilt or a dress or something but no.....I like to keep it simple!  Just a few little things & just a few little stitches.  If I tackled a quilt it would never get done....too much work!  I'm a quick fix kinda gal!

a maxi skirt or two - I feel I may need a few in a few colors.  Maybe a few in jersey knit & maybe a few in a different fabric.
more aprons - I used to sew aprons right after I got my sewing machine at the end of college.  I made one for a friend, one for me, & had plans for some for the shop but only ever got one totally finished.  I really want to dedicate a weekend to busting out 5 or 10 & get them in the Five One Six shop.
hem the living room curtains - the one on the door is a bit too long...so it needs to be taken up more than a couple of inches.
sewing placemat keep all thingy - I want to make a little placemat type of thingy that also has some pockets that hang off the side of the table to hold bits of stuff.  My original reasoning behind this was because I was planning on remaking a TV tray as a tiny sewing desk.  But now I think I'm going bigger for my table...we shall see.
pretty sewing machine cover - right now my little sewing machine lives in her carrying case which has protected her from the move but when she's on display I don't want her to get all dusty so a little cover is in order.
a skirt for my table - Because I really like this pin!
nice curtains for the kitchen - I need some sort of curtain combo that will look good over the sink & on the window of the deck door.  This house has too many doors & too many windows!  Too many windows is a good thing though.
a little ironing board cover - my original sewing desk idea was inspired by this pin.  My sewing desk would do double duty as an ironing board.  But what about ironing & sewing?!?!  This ironing board TV tray can slip behind the table or hide somewhere else or be extra space.  Love it!

Right now bits & pieces of my sewing collection are around the house but slowly they are making it into one place and then slowly getting into the spare room.  I can't wait to have a few little projects going on.  I just can't sit still & it's apparent if I need three work areas!!

Do you sew? What projects do you want to work on?  Are you like me & need a million work areas? Am I just crazy?!

xoxo, Moe

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Wednesday Decor // Mug Love

Our little house is coming together quite nicely.  I feel like I'm always saying we're almost done.  But we really are, I promise.  It's just all the little stuff, ya know?  We've got a lot of the big stuff done, it's just the putting away & final touches.  Zach's desk area needs to get done, I need to organize my side of the book shelf, the big room upstairs is almost clean, I need to get a sewing table (yay!) and then for the most part it's seriously finished! phew!

We've had little parts finished - the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, closet, etc - and one of my fave little parts is the coffee bar.  I'm slowly finding more & more of my handmade mugs from various artists & Zach is slowly picking up more novelty mugs for our rack.  The goal is to have an assorted collection of fun mugs & move all the borring mugs back to the cabinet!  I'm always on the look out for awesome mugs, here are some of my faves:

I'm both a coffee & a tea drinker, unlike some who prefer one over the other.  Recently, because I wake up so darned early, I've been defaulting to coffee so my little collection of yummy teas has been ignored.  I really like Tazo Tea and two of my favorites are Zen & Rest.  I really want to get into trying some loose leaf teas as well!

Last night I made a cup of the Zen added a bit of sugar & a splash of vanilla syrup and it was divine.  The Zen tea is a blend of lemon grass & spearmint so the splash of vanilla was a little sweetness surprise.  Loved it!  Perfect pick me up!

Are you a coffee or a tea lover? More importantly are you a crazy mug lover??

xoxo, Moe

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Trend Tuesday // Surprisingly Cute Plus Size Clothing Haul

So I thought I'd bring the vlog back to the blog here & this time I want to talk about a surprisingly cute haul from Wal-Mart of all places.  I mean seriously, Wal-Mart!  I don't like going into Wal-Mart - too many people, too messy clothing department, too long of lines, etc.  We have a Meijer & I love it better especially their plus size! But I thought why not change it up a bit.  I think the first & last time I was in our Wal-Mart was the weekend we moved in when I got us Subway for dinner because it was the closest food place!

This video features some cute basic pieces - skirts, tops, and a dress - from Wal-Mart & is more about my journey + dedication to being body positive this Summer and how my bra changed my life.  13+ minutes of me talking....enjoy!

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // Create a Custom iPhone Homescreen with CocoPPa

A while ago I found out about an iPhone app named CocoPPa where you could swap out you app icon images for prettier more awesome ones.  I did a little research & decided it was probably way too complicated to do & would take a lot of my time (but I was wrong).  Finally the other night I got bored & decided to open the app to mess around.  Well, out came a wonderful new homescreen thanks to the app!  Night well spent - in fact it was super simple - and now I have a prettier phone!  Below I'll give you some step by step instructions, helpful hints, & important tips:
Getting Started
First you'll need to download CocoPPa (you can do so by clicking here!) then you'll need to create an account.  Set aside a bit of time if you're going to be making a whole home screen or you can just swap app icons out as you please.  You can also use CocoPPa for wall papers but I find that image searches or even ColourLovers are great resources for patterned backgrounds.  (If you've seen any of my ColourLovers tutorials you can even go make your own!)

The Rundown - What Does CocoPPa do?
CocoPPa lets you swap out the app icon or image associated with your installed app by creating a shortcut through Safari.  You must still keep the original app. DO NOT DELETE the original app in other words, you need to keep it so the shortcut knows where to go.  Simply move all the apps you've swapped over to another page - like the last page or into a folder by placing one app on top of another - but do not delete them!  You'll also need to keep the CocoPPa app on your phone.

It will also take a bit - a second, not even - to open the app when you click it's swapped icon.  Since you're creating a shortcut, tapping on the swapped icon redirects you to the app.  It's not as instant as tapping on the app itself, which you have kept in a separate folder on your phone.  So you may want to pretty up only a few app icons.  Try it out. See what you think, personally I'm not bothered.

As you will see below, unfortunately some apps - standard apps like camera, notes, phone & calculator - can't be swapped.  I'll show you some ways around this but it involved downloading other apps in place.  Just letting you know a bit before we get into it :)

Swapping Downloaded Apps
So, once you've created your account you can begin to find icons for the apps you'd like to swap.  This may take a while as you can search through what I'm sure are millions of icons!  You can sort by color, category, & tags or you can search by name at the bottom of the home page.  You can even upload your own but I haven't tried that yet.  The homepage also shows you new & popular icons...so you can look through there if you like.
Let's start with swapping out a downloaded app like Tumblr.  Begin by searching for your app name at the bottom of the home page, in this case Tumblr.  You'll be led to pages & pages & PAGES of icons! Just flip through until you find one you like.  If you want to compare a few, tap the image & tap like next to the icon.  This will add it to your likes.  See your likes by going to Mypage at the bottom of the app.  Compare & choose!  Once you've found one you like, you're ready to swap.
Tap the icon.  Once you're taken to it's page click Set up Link.  You'll tap App Search to find the app to swap.  Type in the app name & select the app from the results.  Depending on your app, you may have to flip through a few pages.  This is what I had to do to find my alarm clock app.  Cocoppa will let you know if you have the app on your phone or if you need to download it as well.
Now, name your app.  Give it a new name or the original name of the app (my G-Whizz! app for all things Google says blogs & news, for example).  Tap OK to begin setting up the shortcut.  You'll be redirected to a Safari page.  Follow the directions & add the image to your home screen.
Now, you'll be taken back to your phone's app pages where you will see the icon you just added.  Sweet!  Now put the new icon wherever you want by holding your finger on it until it starts to shake.  Move the old icon to the last page of your phone or into a folder but remember DO NOT DELETE THE APP ITSELF!  If you ever want to delete the shortcut you made, simply hold your finger on the icon until it starts to hover then press the black x.  You won't delete the original app, just it's shortcut.  Remember, do not delete the original app.  If you do, the shortcut won't know where to direct you to!

Swapping Standard iPhone Apps
Like I mentioned before, some app icons can not be switched out for these pretty icons - namely phone, camera, notes, calculator, weather - but there are ways to work around it.  First we'll swap out photos by using a url redirect.
Start the same way as before by finding an icon that you love.  When searching photos, I didn't find an icon I liked so I started looking for miscellaneous icons.  I chose a flower since the original photo app has a flower icon just so I could recognize it, that's just me.  Choose whatever you'd like.

Once you've found an app, tap Set up Link.  Instead of finding an app in the App Search feature, select the URL feature.  It is here we are going to type the redirect - photos-redirect:// - instead of a url, then tap done.  A full list is below:
photos - photos-redirect://
music - music://
mail - mailto://
text message - sms://
videos - videos://
maps - maps://
calendar - calshow://
safari - (use any url) http://www.google.com
itunes - http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?i=156093464&id=156093462&s=143441
app store - http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=294409923&mt=8
Now follow the same steps as before: select OK to be taken to Safari where you will add the icon to your home screen.  Then move it around to where you'd like it to live.  Move the original app off to another page.

You can use this method for the apps mentioned above.  I will say that using the mail & text message shortcut will open the app as a new message, but just hit cancel & you will be able to see your texts or your emails.  Now, if you want to replace something such as the calculator, camera, or notes apps you'll have to either deal with the fact that you can't - nor can you change the default camera - or download another app to replace it.  For this example we'll do the calculator.  
There's no shortcut for the preinstalled calculator app, but you can find an icon you love, tap Set up Link, select App Search, and search Calculator.  There you will find a list of calculator apps you can replace.  If you don't have an app on your phone, CocoPPa lets you know you need to download it & takes you to the app store.

After you've downloaded the app, follow the same steps as before to set up your link & add to homepage.  You can do this with apps like weather, notes, & camera but it won't replace the preinstalled apps from Apple.  I kept some default icons.....just made it easier for me.

Other Features
Unfortunately you can't replace the default phone app either.  But you can create a shortcut to dial a particular person.  You can also create a short cut for email or text.  I think this is pretty cool to keep your fave contacts at your finger tips!

This feature is great to make a page of speed dials, text short cuts, or email short cuts.  You can find a bunch of miscellaneous icons - icons that don't correspond to anything.  I found pictures, shapes, flowers, hearts, bows, etc!  You can create a page with these shortcuts to specific contacts - text or call your mom, email your best friend, keep the take out place on speed dial.  Tapping these shortcuts will immediately call, open up a text, or open up a new email, to this contact.  Follow the same instructions to add this shortcut to your homescreen.

When you call someone, you're doing the same redirect.  I noticed that it redirects you to the CocoPPa app while the phone rings.  You need to tap return to call to end the call.

(Side note: I found my old phone while unpacking & boy do I miss the feel of buttons under my texting fingers!!  Never thought I'd say that!)

Helpful Hints
I don't advise creating an entire phone filled with swapped icons because your phone will begin to run slow & while reading up on CocoPPa I found people too many of these swaps caused crashes.  So do it in small doses.  Just do a few, maybe just speed dials for fun, or just a home page, etc.

Additionally, any notifications you get will not show up on the new icon meaning the notification badge won't show up.  All badges will appear on the original app.  Of course you can see your notifications when you tap the new icon because you'll be redirected to the app but you won't have a little red circle waiting for you reminding you.

If you have a question, I'll try to answer....but I didn't make this app or the iPhone (I wish right?) so I don't know every answer.  Try Googling your question to see if someone figured it out, too.  The only way to change the native apps not listed above is to download new ones, sorry :(

Let me know if you do this! Show me your pretty phone!

xoxo Moe 

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Technology Impact // Blog, Business, Life

If there's one thing you should know about me its that in my lifetime I've become so dependent on technology.  Haven't we all?  Glued to our phones over dinner.  Flipping through facebook when we can't sleep.  And how often have you spent a little too long in the bathroom wishing you had your phone to occupy the time? TMI? (You know you've done it!)

While I try to use my computer, tablet, & phone for good...I do get caught up in both the convenience & the bordom bug.  I've noticed there are a few ways that all this connectivity has helped my blog grow, my business bloom, & just made life a bit more fun!  There's more to smart phones & tablets that Facebook & Instagram - though both have helped this blog grow & helped me meet awesome people - these little computers have helped connect my life & connect with my business!

Let's talk about the obvious first: your smart phone is a camera!  (And a pretty decent one at that!) It's easier to blog everyday life - even though I haven't been too good at it lately - with a camera in your pocket.  Social media, all at a tap of your finger, is a great way to expand your blog's reach.  Not just promotion but as a way to connect with others - maybe you're in someone's home town, maybe you're at someone's favorite coffee place, maybe you're out shopping by yourself & you don't know whether to buy the dress in green or pink, or both!  I love that this little bit of technology has the world at my fingertips.

With working full time now (which I'm loving!) I can scroll through my blog reader on lunch or sneak a tweet while I'm waiting for 5pm.  I don't have to be glued to my computer screen at home either.  I can flip through some evening reads or Pin some inspiration while cooking a meal - when we're not cooking together of course!  Responding to comments is simple when I can check my phone on the go.  

My favorite part of having mobile technology is that I don't have to remember things.  Well, I have to remember to pack up an order, but if I'm running out the door in the morning - which I usually am - I know that stored on my phone is the Etsy app where I will be able to find the shipping address.  I'm also able to tap shipped as I'm walking out the post office door. Sweet huh?  I get notified of an order & can immediately schedule packing it up & shipping it into my day.  I don't have to wait to check my email or even forget to check my email & miss and order!

We use Google Drive to store our inventory sheets, prices, sales, etc so they are ready at our finger tips.  Shared between Zach & I, these documents can be accessed from phones, desktops, & tablets no matter where we are.  Wondering when something sold or what we paid for something? Check Google Drive!    Wanna know how we're doing this month? Check Google Drive!

The camera! Enough said, right? Instant memory capture or instant coffee photo generator.  Too many camera apps, so little time.  Moving to Michigan & then to Indiana meant a whole new adventure to document & share.  I can connect with my family through Facebook - pretty much the only reason I keep Facebook!

Skype is a big deal too - on the computer if we're planning on being stationary or on the phone/tablet if we're giving a house tour!  I've used Skype plenty of times to ask my parent's questions about the house, show them something we're trying to fix, or ask them the best way to do something (like how to put studs on the walls made of particle board so that the drywall can be hung seamlessly between the large support beams & the recessed wall).

I also love that I can move from watching my current favorite show Medium from the bedroom to the downstairs tv to the iPad while I'm cooking or doing something else!  Too attached right?  Looking up recipes on Pinterest while burning things on the stove, it's the life!

I know that sometimes we get distracted by these fancy things so I also try to put them down though I'm not so good at it.  But they can be so darn useful!

What are your favorite apps? What apps help you everyday & what apps do you try to put down?

xoxo, Moe

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Wednesday Decor // Choosing Wall Art - a post from Entanglements

Turning a room in your home from generic to intimate is easier than you think with a beautiful piece of wall art. Decorating a blank wall transforms a space instantly. Walls actually can talk if you give them the chance. The challenge is getting the perfect piece that fits your space. The aesthetic potential of art is infinite, so when thinking about a wall hanging in your home the possibilities are endless. Because of this, you must follow your instincts and your intuitions. Remember, you will live with the art in your home for a long period of time. It has to be perfect, and perfectly reflect you. You can begin by choosing the colour, as colour is part of our primary sense of perception. You can choose your colour according to what will blend with the existing colours and features in your room, or you can ignore that choose a piece that will carve its very own visual pathway out in your home. There is nothing wrong with unexpected colours in your artwork. Have a look at this exemplary outdoor piece that reflects and complements the blue water of the pool:

Remember, the only rule is that there are no steadfast rules. That said, size and scale always have their different effects on a space. Large shapes make bold, determined statements. Pieces of a smaller scale, meanwhile, give a delicate and compartmentalised impressions. If you like small pieces, look into purchasing a series of matching pieces that will hang next to each other or in different parts of a space, meaning that they link the room by a common thread. For example, these creative planter boxes:

You can use shape as a theme as well. Contrast straight lines with curved lines and vice versa, like these round wooden plates:

Whatever you choose, just make sure you love it. If you haven't yet found something that you like, don't worry. You can always commission the perfect piece. Browse wall art and commissions at Entanglements.

This post was sponsored by Entanglements, an Australian based studio focused on outdoor metal wall art & decor.  Thank you for supporting the brands that support Five Sixteenths!

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Trend Tuesday // Swimsuit Ready

I was on tumblr the other day looking for some plus size fashion inspiration when I came upon this post & her two steps to having a swimsuit ready body:

  1. find a swimsuit you love
  2. put it on

I can't believe it's that easy.

That's a lie, I can believe it's that easy!  Am I the only one who gets excited when swimsuit weather nears?  I just love swimming.  I also love to look pretty fly in a swim suit & though it's hard to find one that hugs my curves in all the right ways, I still enjoy the way I look when I find the right one.  My favorite swimsuit might be on it's last Summer, so I'm on the look out for a few new ones to keep me afloat (get it!?) as we head on into warmer weather.
The first one I fell in love with was this bright red one piece from Forever21+ .  I recently bought some more jeans & a few cardigans from their plus site.  Of course since it's nearing spring there were quite a few bathing suites scattered about.  Print, solids, & polka dots.  There's another pink polka dot one I have my eye on too, but I'm afraid the baby pink will match my pale winter skin tone too much until i get a tan!  Forever21 is my go to for affordable plus size clothes.  There's not a store near us with a plus department though, so sad!

I was also looking through Modcloth's site & fell in love with some of their plus swimwear as well!  Like this pretty Gardenia Getaway one piece.  I love the print & the retro style.  This sort of style gets me every time (as you can tell!)  I'm also loving the emerald green color of this one below:
Modcloth also has a few high waisted separates that I'm tempted to try (this one is my fave!).  I'm totally loving all the plus size babes rocking their two pieces & it inspires me to break out of my shell a bit.  I'm more modest so I do gravitate towards one pieces but I'm also realizing that if I want to wear a two piece I can!  I shouldn't limit myself into thinking I can only wear a certain thing.  And I'm really into challenging myself with fashion lately - I mean look at my new love for lipstick!

Growing up near the water - both near the beach, with my grandparent's pool, & vacationing on the lake - bathing suits aren't something that were avoidable.  I've always been focused on the fun I'm having rather than the way I look.  My hair probably isn't brushed & I might be wearing a bright pink life vest...so who cares!  Case in point - two fly pool side ladies right here in two different yet super fly sizes:
I sure am gonna miss being home this summer to lounge by the pool or head to the water park after work.  Living in Williamsburg, Va meant a quick trip home to slip on suits & then a 10 minute drive to Water Country USA for a little tanning before the sun crept behind the trees.  Then maybe we'd head to Busch Gardens for dinner.  Such a hard life.

I'm hoping that our little town sort of springs to life when the days start getting warmer.  Who knows...I might be sporting my swimsuit ready body here soon, I hope you do too! Find a style you love, rock it, & have a blast this summer.  Don't let what others think hold you back.  The more you challenge yourself the more you will love yourself.

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // Create an Awesome Manicure Kit

It's been a long while since I've painted my nails.  I go through phases where I get really into something & then just forget about it.  Since the move I've just not had a reason to paint my nails but now that I get up & get ready in the morning I feel like it's time to start picking up the nail polish again to give my fingers a good look too.  My nail polish collection grew a lot over the last year & every time there was a pretty color or a sale I snatched it up.  I want to share with you how to create an awesome manicure kit that's more than just pretty polish.
Depending on the size of your collection may depend upon the size of the container you store your tools in.  I have an entire basket (as pictured) dedicated to my manicure kit & it lives in a three tiered shelf in the bathroom.  I've had this basket (along with another matching one) for ages & it's really falling apart!  I see a new basket in the near future!  I am also a fan of little plastic zipper travel baggies to separate things into.  I use them when I travel, in my purse (see this DIY blog kit post!), in the bathroom drawers, etc to keep things corraled together.
These little baggies are perfect to keep tools together & top coats grouped so you're not digging around waisting precious manicure time!  I've got a green bag of tools: clippers, cuticle pusher, files (my glass file broke but I still use it!), hand lotion, cuticle oil, & a nail brush.  I've found that if I keep a small travel size of lotion in my kit I don't have to go searching for it when I want to paint my nails.  It's also not anything frilly - just plain moisture!  Since the winter does a wonder on your hands lotion & cuticle oil are important.  I have a nail brush for just plain cleaning & for scrubbing off all the nail polish I get on my skin.  I wait until the nail polish is dry then run over each nail with a soapy brush to clean up the edges.  I don't do the whole q-tip & polish remover thing!
The pink heart bag hold all the top coats.  This is awesome because you don't have to dig around your polishes to find your top coat.  If they are all in the same place you'll be much happier :)

Top coats left to right: Sally Hansen No Chip Top Coat, Sally Hansen Acrylic Gell, Icing No Chip Base & Top Coat, Icing High Shine Top Coat, Naturals Matte Finish Top Coat.

Of course you'll need nail polish remover & cotton balls.  I always just get the cheapest, non-acetone polish remover so it's nearly always the generic store brand - in this case Meijer.  I also have a really awesome pink tray that folds out to sit on your lap if you're painting your nails in bed, on the couch, or sitting in the bathroom.  It was a stocking stuffer ages ago & for the life of me I can't find one to share with you!  I tried all sorts of search terms but it might be something you may be able to find at like Bed, Bath, & Beyond or in the stocking stuffers section of a store near the holidays.  Seriously, it's awesome!  It has three shaped sections to hold the polish & has two wings that fold out across your lap.
There you go, some key ingredients for an awesome manicure kit.  Keeping all the little bits organized makes the manicure kit the most awesome.  No more digging around for tools, now you just have to decide on colors!  I grab & go sit in bed, at the table, or in front of the TV.  I don't have to lug my whole collection around, just the key parts.

What's in your manicure kit? Is it pretty basic or are you like me & have gone all out?

xoxo, Moe

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Sum Up Sunday // Chilling with my Gnomies

This past week I was lucky enough to have a visit from two of my aunts & my gramma.  I was so excited to head out for dinner & have them over to show them the house.  We headed to Olive Garden & ate a lot of salad, then we all ordered our usual meal - mine is always Stuffed Chicken Marsala.
While they were waiting for me to get off work they headed over to the house to get a preliminary look at our pretty yellow house.  They also went & saw the light house here in Michigan City and did a few other touristy things which we haven't even done yet!  I can't wait for it to get warmer!

I gave them a little home tour, we visited in our awesome living room for a while, we Skyped with my mom and dad, & Zach showed off some of his cool finds from the bookcase.

Unfortunately we didn't take photos until lunch at Wendy's the next day...whoops!  But the Easter Bunny visited (unexpectedly) after I'd told my gramma that I couldn't find the chocolate covered marshmallows that my granddad ate around easter.  A bag full of candy, family is amazing!

Oh, and the Easter Bunny threw in a very gangster gnome to add to my collection.  He's now keeping watch over the window plants.

It was a great little visit with family that I'd only seen through Skype over the past 7 months!  It's so great to connect with family at any time :)

xoxo, Moe

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Boost Your Blog // 4 Ways to Pay it Forward in Blogging

In this blogging community there are a zillion individuals trying to peak out from the masses & stand out from the crowd.  It's hard not to get caught up in the race.  Getting caught up in advertising, tweeting, & promoting yourself can get daunting and be intimidating when you start to think of how much work you could do.  But then on the flip side - no one really likes a person that talks about themselves all the time.

Sometimes I get caught up in this How can I advertise more? How can I get more sales? Tweet, pin, promote! cycle, I take a step back.  I've realized that I feel better about myself when I'm interacting with others.  I feel better about what I'm bringing to the table when I'm paying it forward.  Today I want to share with you 4 ways you can pay it forward with brands & blogs you love.  The more you interact, the more others interact with you!  I try to do these 4 things whenever I can, because everyone likes to find awesome stuff floating around the internet & everyone loves to see their own work being promoted by awesome people!

Retweet, retweet - Whenever I'm on twitter, which isn't too often these days (sadface), I retweet the things I love.  Retweeting shop updates, cool posts, interesting articles, giveaways, etc spreads the word around.  It literally takes 3 seconds to hit retweet & you open up this opportunity or awesome info to all your followers.  You love when others retweet you & that drives people to your social pages...so pay it forward & help others gain exposure!

Round up Posts - I love the Fan Friday feature on Five Sixteenths.  These are great because not only do they reveal the things you like but, just like retweeting, gives exposure to others!  Make sure you give proper credit & go the step further by letting the bloggers you've included know that they're one of your favorite things this week!  It's great when you do this with out incentive too, but you can pay it forward with your sponsors by including something you love from their blog/shop too.

Offer up Guest Post Slots - Guest posting is a great way to offer up a way for your fellow bloggers to get involved on your blog & reach to your readership.  You can advertise that you're looking for guest posters or even contact some active reader/bloggers on your blog if you think they've got something awesome to offer.  Contacting them directly is a great way to show that you appreciate their participation & love what they have to offer.

Button/Ad Swaps - Consider adding a sponsorship option that involves a swap instead of paid advertisement.  It doesn't have to be a huge deal on your page with loads of perks, but even the smallest spot on a huge blog will generate a little bit of traffic.....I think that I'm going to add a specific swap option to my sponsorships when I revamp them here soon!

Paying it forward is just nice, isn't it?  I hope this inspires you to get involved with your readers & blog reach - I know I need to get back to focusing on interacting & responding!  Let's both keep each other responsible, ok! :)

Do you offer any other sort of pay it forward option through your blog?  Let me know, I'm dying for ideas!

xoxo, Moe

ps.  It's been a loooong while since I did a Boost Your Blog post, it all ended in October!!  I'm gonna get back on that!

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Wednesday Decor // Style an Eclectic, Old World Bookshelf

If you've been following a along with our home renovation, you may have noticed that we got this awesome bookshelf custom made for our house to act as a room divider between our living room & office space.  Here's an idea of it in action:

This is the long room that used to be a long garage bay - can you believe it? All this used to be concrete & a garage door!  We also put up the wall with the fire door, we're pretty bad ass.  The carpeted area is now the living room & the hardwood is our office area - which is still kind of a mess! Slowly but surely guys, slowly but surely!
This is from when we first got the bookcase & stuff just got piled on it.  Now the side facing the living room (the side with the carpet) looks almost all put together!  Today I want to share with you our collection of books & knick knacks we've used to create an eclectic, old-world library feel.  I love adding bits of collections to this bookcase it's becoming a pretty cool piece of art in itself.
This is what the living room side of the shelf looks like.  I'm loving the old-world feeling the living room is taking on.  Part museum, part library, part entertainment center.  This decor really brings out my love of charm, if that makes sense.  Our collaborative style is very different from our individual  styles.  It's been really interesting working together to create our house.  The next step for this room, I think, is deciding on what goes on the walls!  We've already agreed on an awesome clock and next is going to be the art & wall hangings.

Zach has always been a collector of books - a lot of books on many different subjects.  Its something that I really love about him.  We styled this books shelf with the idea of a library/museum in mind.  To showcase some collections from our travels & to add a bit of old world charm.  The most important thing we kept in mind while styling these shelves was to tell a story.
I love when items tell a story.  It just makes a place cozier.  That's one reason why we curate the vintage shop the way we do!  All these books tell a story of who we are, of our interests.  We share similar interests in history & art so I'm glad I came into such a wonderful collection.  Mixed into Zach's books are my books & tells a story of us coming together.  My art books, French language books, & favorite novels now mingle with his & suddenly I have new books to flip through!

For me the colors are a sort of inspiration for me like a giant living of abstract art.  The books have patterns - both on their covers & on some end papers - that make me feel inspired.  It's like touring the Library of Congress everyday!
Our bookshelf is also filled with little curiosities that make everything a little more interesting.  Like Pear Brandy with a pear in the jar, an assortment of pewter mugs, a few old medical boxes with empty jars, a Ball jar featuring my collection of rocks from my first trip to Lake Michigan, Crystal Head Vodka (looks really cool!), & a pretty cool purple glass bottle (my fave color) on the bottom.

This collection of pretty bound books & things that just say us make me happy.  I'm loving the old world charm coming out in our decor & I can't wait to see it all come together.  We are moving right a long!

How do you style your shelves? Did you have to come together on design with your significant other?

xoxo, Moe

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