Boost Your Blog // How I Write a Post

A week or so ago I posted on the Anatomy of a Blog Post.  That post got me thinking of how I write blog posts - how I decide what to write about, how I organize my thoughts, etc.  You can click here to read about my blog planner & notebook (that's sort of gotten set to the side right now!) and click here for all other Boost your Blog related topics.

Now that I'm sort of going back to a more simple outlook to blogging I don't really use my blog planner or my blog notebook a lot.  I tend to let things develop organically as I get back into gaining my idea & blogging momentum.  Sometimes its just nice to keep things simple.  But weather I'm using my planner or just typing as a please, I still like to plan a little bit just so I know what's going on for the week.  
Currently, I create 3-4 draft posts in blogger with ideas for the next week.  Sometimes I just open up a post & write a title & sometimes, along with the title, I make a list of the points I want to cover in that blog post. During the week when Zach isn't home I film these little videos I've been posting lately!

On the weekends I develop the idea more either with taking pictures, pulling in links, etc.  Saturdays are usually my making days where I execute any DIY I want to share next week or make something just for me.  I'll finish up the body of a few posts as well.  When I hit a road block I'll go work on another post or go do something else.  I try not to force blogging because I liked the way my blog read much better when I was just sharing things as they happened & not trying to meet some sort of quota for posts a week.  If I don't feel like sharing the DIY I won't post a Make it Monday.  If I feel like an idea isn't fully developed I'll just let the post sit as a draft for a little while.  No need to publish something I don't like.

Once I have an idea developed to it's fullest & the post is done, it's now time add the labels & thent publish or schedule them.  Usually I schedule my posts to go up around 10:30am each day that way I don't have to worry about blogging during the week!  I can enjoy other things!  I take one last look to make sure it meets the guidelines I listed in the Anatomy of a Blog Post article, then I'm good.

Something I need to get back into is scheduling promotional tweets.  I should do this as a last step to publishing a post but I'm lazy!  If you use Blogger in Draft you can get the permalink your post will be live at from the sidebar of your post.  I like to hop on over to Tweet Deck & schedule a tweet about the post.  I use Networked Blogs to make sure a tweet & post to my facebook page go live when the post goes live but I should schedule an afternoon tweet about the post as well.  I also try to schedule at least two tweets about archive posts - because I have a lot of archives!

And that's it!  That's how I currently write a blog post.  A little bit of planning, a lot of creativity, and a hint of satisfaction.  Blogging is a serious as you make it & right now in my life I need to keep things simple because I like blogging and I don't want to turn it into something filled with pressure.

How do you blog?  Do you blog everyday or schedule posts?  How do you develop & keep track of your ideas?

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // Spruce up a $5 Make Up Palette

It's the time of year where the make up sets/palettes are finally hitting the shelves in the drugstore in time for holiday shopping.  Holiday shopping? It's only October!  Well, it's never too early to shop (or to decorate) for Christmas in my opinion.  One of my favorite drug stores is Walgreens.  I was in there the other day & saw two Profusion eyeshadow palettes in Bare & Smokey for $5 each.  Now these palettes may look super familiar to you - the remind me of the Naked & Naked 2 palettes, though they aren't exact.  I thought why the heck not & picked them up to add to my collection.  Looking at them I didn't like the animal print, the purple & the red, and the font on the front.  It just looked hokey to me!  So I decided to see if I could spray paint them to make them more sleek & professional looking.  It worked!
Supplies:  spray paint (I like Rustoleum - try not to go for the cheap stuff), area to spray, newspaper or plastic to cover your work area, make up palettes, painters tape
There are a bunch of palettes you could do this to, so if you have some hokey looking ones in your collection just make sure you tape off what you don't want sprayed.  The good thing about these palettes that made it easy to paint was that the mirror was easy to tape off, there was already a plastic covering on the eyeshadows, & the eyeshadows were in a raised black plastic part - so you there wasn't much to tape off but the mirror.  These would be quick, easy, customized gifts for a make up lover you know!
Start by taping off what you don't want painted with painters tape.  Lay out a sheet of newspaper or plastic big enough to cover your work surface.  If you think it's big enough, you probably need more - spray paint travels!  Prop up your palettes on something (I used other rolls of tape) & spray one side (I started with the back first).  Let dry, then flip & spray the front.
Let the palettes dry then carefully remove your tape.  These palettes were super easy to paint because of the plastic covering on the shadows themselves.  I added some glitter wall tape I picked up at Meijer (seriously, it was like $5 but you don't get a lot.  How could I not buy glitter tape?) to the one I used most so I could remember which is which since they are both a deep brown color.  I also glittered another one of my spray painted metal tins that I use as a freedom palette because I messed up the top. Glitter is the fix for anything, I think.
I've also used these palettes a lot & the paint has held up pretty well which is rather exciting.  Now I don't have two crappy looking palettes in my collection.  I'm sure you're dying to know if these $5 palettes are worth it - they are!  I think they both have great quality & love using the Bare one (the one that now has glitter tape) for an everyday easy look.

xoxo, Moe

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Boost Your Blog // Be A Better Blogger - For You

I often forget why I started blogging in the first place.  Now that my life is a lot busier & I can't devote the time and energy that I did when I was unemployed putting my full efforts into blogging, I feel like I'm separated from my blog & what my blog could be.  There's something that I realized I'm forgetting about: time.  I spend 8+ hours of my day at a full time job, this leaves very little time to devote 8+  hours a day to a blog/shop/etc that I'd done before.  There are other things in my life happening right now & while I'd love to be able to do this full time like I was before, because of this limited time I can't be as focused on this blog as I was before.  Why am I sounding like I'm about to peace out from the blogging world all together?  Well, rest assured I'm not - but I am starting new.
blogging for me myself and I
I read this post on Campfire Chic about stepping back & starting new.  (Seriously, Campfire Chic is an awesome blog about life & about blogging.  Kam is a rad gal.  If you need a boost to your blogging mojo, go there.  I'll wait)  She asks the questions why start new, you've gotten this far and that really hit me.  I've gotten pretty far in my blog but I'm feeling separated from it.  Maybe it is time to start fresh.  I also went back through some posts to put together our two year aniversary post & the tone of my blog was really different when I was just writting to share my life & not writing for followers, for sponsors, for promotion.  When I was writing for the shear joy of sharing my life.

So today I want to be a better blogger for me, and I want to encourage you to be a better blogger for yourself as well.  I'm going back (way back) to the reasons I blog in the first place.  I mean the very first reasons, the very basic reasons I blog.

To create a visual diary for myself - I've been blogging for a long time.  I consider my myspace days to be part of my blogging days as well.  I've also kept a diary before but find that blogging really gives me a reason to keep a diary.  I love having a visual time line to look back on.  The biggest thing I've looked back on recently is mine & Zach's relationship.  Having a visual diary really showed me how much we've grown together after moving in (and across 800 miles) together when we'd only known each other for 10 months!  In living my life I often forget things, but with this sort of diary I am instantly taken back to my mind set a year ago.  It also shows me what I was into - what did I wear during the summer of 2011, the fall of 2012, etc.  I love the personal growth aspect of blogging even if your blog posts are too personal.  It also shows what was important to me at a certain time in my life.

To share my life with my family - Like I mentioned above, I moved 800 miles from my friends & family so blogging is a way to connect and share with my family.  I know that a lot of my family members read my blog so it's a way to share what I'm up to.  I've always been close with my family so I want them involved in my life!

To share with others that might be going through the same things that they aren't alone - I've always searched to identify with others & to meet others who are like me.  So I want to share any and all struggles, triumphs, decisions, etc on here because I want others to know that they aren't alone & if they are going through something, someone else has too.  This goes back to my artist statement - to discover how we are more alike than we are different.

To meet others who are like me - With the reason above, I want to meet people who are like me.  To meet people who have the same interests, are at the same sort of spot in their lives, who are just plain rad.  I've met a lot of cool people through blogging & hope to meet a few more in person soon.  It just makes me feel less alone knowing there are others out there with similar interests.

So these are reasons I'm keeping in mind as I move forward in blogging.  I'd love to have a zillion followers, be popular enough for awesome sponsors, be able to maintain all my shops - but the truth is that priorities have changed.  And it's ok.  It's ok to change, it's ok to start fresh, it's ok to be a better blogger for yourself & go back to basics.  It's ok to do this because it's your blog, it should reflect you.  I've often felt overwhelmed with the popularity of my blog/shops - even though there is such a small fan base - when I'm not able to devote all my time to it.  So when priorities change, other things change as well.

So if you're feeling overwhelmed or that your blog has turned into something you either can't control or can't relate with, maybe starting fresh is good for you.  Again, check out Campfire Chic's post on this topic.  It seriously sparked a change in me!

What are the basic reasons you blog?  Why did you start blogging in the first place?

xoxo, Moe

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Five Movies that Will Cheer Me Up No Matter What

I watch too many YouTube videos.  It's a fact.  And sometimes in watching these videos I just fall down the rabbit hole of the place that is YouTube.  Before you know it I'm watching clips/songs form Roger & Hamerstien's Cinderella - all three versions - and singing along.  When I was doing this the other night I realized how happy this movie made me.  So I thought about other movies that cheer me up & came up with the following list.  A lot of these movies remind me of the fall time & it wasn't until this year that I realized how much I really love fall (I know everybody loves fall).  Up here in Indiana we actually have seasons, I'm hearing back in VA that it's still about 70 degrees!  I'm loving the weather right now even though I don't really like cooler weather - it's just nice to have a real fall.  Anyway, onto the movies:
movies that make me happy

Hocus Pocus // Roger's & Hammerstein's Cinderella // The Wizard of Oz
Rocky Horror Picture Show // Marie Antoinette

I don't know how I'm going to watch Hocus Pocus this fall...I guess I should just suck it up & buy it!  Usually I just wait til I can bum some cable off a friend when it's on Disney or ABC Family.. I wonder if it will be on Netflix.  Hmmmmm....

What are your feel good movies?

xoxo, Moe

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Pumpkin Carving 2013

Two weekends ago Zach & I went to a corn maze and pumpkin patch to have some Fall fun.  We came home with two giant pumpkins to carve!  We didn't carve pumpkins last year but I hope we do it again next year.  Oh, also Emmy helped a lot as you'll see:
I think our pumpkins look really great.  Zach obviously did a cooler one than mine, but they both are adorable.  I love carving pumpkins until it comes to actually carving pumpkins.  Two eyes and a mouth are all you're getting out of me!

Do you have any fall traditions or any ones you're going to start?

xoxo, Moe

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Fall Dollar Store Make Up Haul

I filmed this haul like last week but never knew when to post it!  So I'm sorry if you can't find anything that I've mentioned anywhere, but the point of this video is to share with you that the dollar store can be a great place to look for affordable make up.  A lot of times discount stores - like the Dollar Tree - get name brand things that are from last season.  Sometimes they are repackaged & sometimes it's in regular packaging.  The Milani things I found seemed to have been repackaged into blister packs but the elf stuff I found came packaged as if you'd buy it at Target or off the website.  

The one thing I've learned from dollar store shopping is when you see it, buy it.  It won't be there long!  So if you're able, go ahead & stop in more than just once in a while because you never know what you're going to find!  I'm also planning on doing a fall make up look with these products but I haven't had the greatest light to film it.  Hope you enjoy:

xoxo, Moe

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Wednesday Decor // Corners of Our Home

It's been a little over a year since we moved in to this house & boy have we come a long, long way.  I'm saving an official tour for November (and more Homevember posts!) but I wanted to celebrate this little milestone with some pictures from around our home.  I edited these with SnapSeed because I took the photos with my phone.  Usually, they come out a bit better but I love the retro look of them.  Sort of like old family photos of our first house.  I've always loved flipping through photos at my parents or grandparents house.  I can't believe that our living room used to be a garage, it's pretty much my favorite part of the house!
Speaking of old photos, isn't it weird how we don't really print photos anymore?  They all exist in imaginary computer/internet land.  I've wanted to print a few photos for a while but I don't know what I'd ever do with them.  If you have any ideas or you print photos out, share them with me.  I want more real photographs in my life!

xoxo, Moe

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Two Years Together

This past week Zach & I celebrated our 2 year anniversary.  Can you believe it? Two years!  We met over Columbus Day weekend two years ago, and today (Columbus Day 2013 when I'm writing this) he sent me a link to the first blog post I ever hinted about him.  It's this post if you're interested.  While writing this, I went back into some of my older posts - if you want to really realize how much you grow over time you should keep a blog. For real, some real tear jerkers in there guys.

We've been through a lot together & its weird, because I still remember the butterflies I had meeting up with him again for a second date on Columbus Day 2011.  (I still remember what I wore, too)  I still remember wanting so bad to hold his hand but refraining because I didn't know if I should.  I still remember telling Katie 'he's not going to call me,' then him calling me and me saying 'he's not going to call me again'.  I liked him so much, he just made so much sense to me.  It was a crazy emotional roller coaster of insecurity for me (I don't know if I even ever told him this!) because at the end of the date, I thought he'd never talk to me again - mainly because it was too good to be true that he wanted to hang out with me! It was a huge back & forth of should I text him, will he text me, should I call him, etc.  (I still have some of the first message he left me on my phone, I'm so weird)
This is the movie we watched after our second date.  He's since said that he was a little bit scared that I wanted to watch Stargate, since it didn't quite work out so well with other girls who've liked to watch Stargate.  We've sort of started the series over recently as well.
 It wasn't weird if there was a lull in the conversation, thinking back on it, it's just crazy how we hit it off with our really hitting it off - if you know what I mean.  It wasn't like sparks instantly flew it was sort of like meeting an old friend & settling back into a rhythm.  I remember the day he asked me to go steady, I remember the day I told him I loved him.  I remember the day he left to move to Michigan, I remember the day after he left when I was beside myself thinking I couldn't be with out him.  I remember sucking it up & making it til August.  You can read my One Year Since Graduation post which includes a lot of tear jerking things for me involving life & life with this dude!

Fun fact, we moved in together after only 10 months of dating.  Not only did we move in together but I felt confident enough to move nearly 800 miles away from my family.  Looking back on it, I was really unprepared.  In fact, rewind a little more & you wouldn't have caught me even thinking about a future together. (Read this post) Whenever he mentioned it, I got incredibly scared.  The future meant uncertainty & if I couldn't be certain I didn't want any part of it.  I don't really know what clicked for me but one day I realized that this was too good to try to control - so I just let it grow.  When the time came & he said he was leaving, there was no question - I was going with him.  When we moved in together we definitely didn't know each other as well as we do now - like, really, at all.  Hell, thinking back on it now, I'm pretty sure we didn't even know what we were doing period - at least I didn't.  It is so weird how much you can grow with someone.  I guess I'd say I really didn't know what I was getting into (I don't think Zach did either) but that wasn't a bad thing.  I'm actually very glad that things have worked out the way they have, honestly I wouldn't have it any other way.  I think we've learned a lot about each other, I think the main thing is that we're in this together & that's it.

We've been through a lot but we've always been there for each other.  Let me tell you something, a relationship is hard.  It's not always butterflies & unicorns, sometimes it's work, but it's definitely worth it.  I was trying to tell him the other day that with him I can now see why it never worked with anyone else.  No one else was worth it.  It was always ok that things ended - I mean it was hard, but it just wasn't right being together.  It wasn't worth it on either end to work it out.  With Zach, when things get hard, we get through it because it's worth more to get through it.  I couldn't imagine this guy not in my life.

It's been crazy living for over a year with someone who isn't a roommate but your significant other.  For the most part with a roommate you're just living together - it's not too serious, but with your significant other you're creating a life.  So even the little things can be important to both of you.  It's been weird having to compromise where I've never needed to before.  It's weird sharing nearly everything, knowing each other's bad habits, etc.  I swear, sometimes I think that if the worst thing he does is leave the sponge in the kitchen sink thats not too bad.  It's like even if something frustrates me I'm glad it's something of his frustrating me than anyone else.  Does that make sense?  I don't know - all those cliche sayings about love are true.  And if you don't see it, you're not doing it right.

I am one for quotes, so I'll go ahead & leave you with this one:

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

And something else I found fascinating:

According to Greek mythology humans were originally created with 4 arms, 4 legs, & a head with two faces.  Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.

I'm pretty sure I've found mine.

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // Two Easy Knit Hats - No Circular Needles Required

Well, I've picked up my yarn again & after posting my October wishlist featuring a knit, multi yarn scarf it's safe to say I'm back in the crochet/knitting mode.  I've so far made two knit hats, a knit scarf, & started yet another crochet blanket!  I can't stop!  It always seems to be the colder months that I crochet/knit.  I just don't know what to make in the warm months.  But anyway, I wanted to share with you some DIY inspiration if you're new to knitting.  I'd say that I'm much better at crocheting than knitting & consider myself still a beginner!  So this project is perfect.
This project involves no decreasing or circular needles - and for one hat, you don't even need to know how to purl!!  As a little preface to creating this hat, I did a video a few years ago for Hooray for a Handmade Holiday series I had on the blog.  This a different take on that, so you can see how to cast on, knit, & cast off with this video tutorial here.

Hat Number One
Supplies :: thicker yarn - I used two strands of Lion Brand Home Spun together & the orange was a really thick yarn with no label (it was on sale, fall colored, so I snatched it!), size 13 knitting needles, worsted weight yarn like Red Heart for your pom pom.
Make it :: Cast on 25 stitches with your yarn, knit stitch to end.  Then keep on knitting, pretty much you're doing the garter stitch!  If you're switching colors, make sure you either use the same type of yarn or have a pretty good grasp on how to match the gauge.  This orange yarn was pretty thick so to match the gauge I had to hold two of the Lion Brand yarns together.  You'll need a rectangular long enough to fit around your head (measuring from needles to the bottom you cast on).  Cast off, leaving a pretty long tail.  Use the tail to sew your cast on & cast off side together to create a tube.  Then weave the tail around the circumference of one end of your tube, then cinch it together.  Tie a knot to secure your tube.

You now have a hat!  The 25 stitches give you a bit of room to fold over & create a brim.  Or you can wear it a bit slouchy.

Hat Number Two
Supplies :: 3 skeins of worsted weight yarn like Red Heart, size 10 knitting needles.
Make it :: Cast on 20 stitches.  Knit 1, Purl 1, to end.  You should end on a purl stitch.  When you turn your work, instead of knitting 1, you'll purl 1 - so you'll be doing a purl 1, knit 1 to the end.  You want to do the opposite of the stitch in the row below to create a bumpy texture.  Repeat the rows of knit, purl then purl, knit until you have a rectangle to fit around your head (measured from needles to your cast on end).  Then cast off, leaving a long tail.  Same as hat number 1, sew your cast on & cast off ends together to create a tube.  Weave the tail around the circumference of one end of the tube, then cinch.  Tie a knot to secure it.  
Hat number 2 is done!

Pom Pom Time
This is simple - create a pom pom however big you want.  You can use a pom pom maker, but I do it th old fashioned way by wrapping yarn a million times around a sturdy piece of cardboard.  The only suggestion I have for this way, is to keep wrapping your yarn even if you think you're done.  I've made some limp poms in my day & I find you just have to wrap, wrap, wrap.  There are many, many ways to make a pom pom - it's a choose your own adventure craft, pick a way from here!
Then attach your pom by pulling the tails through the top of your hat.  I sort of pull one tail on either side of the hole cinched together so I can tie it off with out it falling through.

And there you have it!  Two easy knit hats no circular needles required.  I think these are great if you're a beginner & you don't really want to undertake huge projects!  You can get this done in probably an hour or less, it's so simple.  I hope you try it!

xoxo, Moe

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Cosmo Joe at Art Prize

I meant to share with you these pictures a bit ago but I guess I forgot!  We went to Art Prize in Grand Rapids again this year where we saw some interesting art & walked around the city.  I was actually more impressed with last year's artist entries than this year but one of the coolest things I saw was Cosmo Joe create a work of art in front of my eyes.  
Here's a quote from his website -
Inspired by Bob Ross, Cosmo-Joe seems to create images out of thin air, and much like Ross, his images often represent the familiar things in the world around us—buildings, nature, people. Cosmo adds to those images his own special brand of pizazz and personality.
He creates amazing other worldly, space inspired landscapes with paper & spray paint.  He seriously is like Bob Ross because these paintings come from no where!  Here are some pictures:
 I was front row in the group watching him, prime viewing area!  He did this live show (I guess that's what you'd call it!) every 15 or 30 minutes or so.  For like everyday of Art Prize (Sept 18 - Oct 6) he did these shows...all day!  Talk about exhausting!  But it was amazing to watch this 3-5 minute creation.  The image came together in no time!  It was very cool.

xoxo, Moe

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Trend Tuesday // Current Make up Faves

So, I hope you don't mind...but I've been on a filming myself kick.  It's fun, a bit easier, and just a new way to be me here on my blog!  I also hope you don't mind that I talk a bit about beauty/makeup/etc here either.  This week I wanted to share with you some things I'm loving for Fall & to give you some ideas of things you can look for this fall:

Hope you enjoyed!  I'm also going to share a Fall look book video too.  How weird right? Let me know if you enjoy these videos.  Have a great Tuesday!

xoxo, Moe

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Make it Monday // Dorm Decor - A Website to Make Posters

If you're still looking for something to put on your drab dorm room walls - I mean it's October, you've got to be nearly done decorating right?  Well, if you're not I've got a really cool site to share with you today called recitethis.com.  If you're not too design proficient to used a free site like PicMonkey to make some art for your walls (like this tutorial), this site has already done it for you.  Here's how:
Visit Recite This & type in a quote you like - there are thousands out there & zillions on Pinterest!  Don't have one in mind or can't find on there? Click on find a quote and explore.  I pin my quotes to a board called Hello Monday so I can have a pick me up at the beginning of the week.  Heck, you could even make a whole quote wall in your dorm room or apartment.
You can then choose from quite a few different poster styles.  Once you've found the one you like click it to be directed to the screen to download.  Don't want to download? Share it on your social media sites!  You can even go back if you've decided you don't quite like the poster style you've selected.
Once you've downloaded your image print it on a standard sheet of paper.  You can do this at home, at the library, or take it to a print shop - just print it out.  Then either frame it like I've done or use decorative washi tape on the corners to stick it to your wall.  If ever you're feeling down you'll have something to pick you up.

xoxo, Moe

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October Wishlist

I'm having fun doing these wish list type posts!  It really gets me set for the mood of the month but I can't believe it's already October.  Did you know this October marks 2 years Zach & I have been together?  Crazy, right?  We've also been in our house a year & while we still have a bit to go, we've come soooooo far!  I'm going to do a little post on the biggest part of our home - converting the downstairs garage into a beautiful living room.  But this is not that post, this post is about my October wish list!
October Wishlist

October Wishlist by fivesixteenthsblog featuring madewell shoes

Jeans - I'm all out of jeans!  I have one pair that I love that fit me well & the others I just don't like.  I always get my jeans from Forever21+.  They fit great & are super affordable.  Plus, I love this chick's outfit!  These are their favorite jeans & I'll probably pick up at least two in this denim color.

Scarves - I'm on a crochet kick & while this one is from Icing, I think I could totally make a different texture scarf from some of my yarn stash.  I also saw some cool textured yarn on sale at Hobby Lobby so if there are a few I like, this style of design is perfect to use them up.  I also want to make one from a pretty fall colored variegated yarn that I believe is made by Red Heart.

Benefit's Hello Flawless Foundation - I got this as a sample from BirchBox (I believe!) a few boxes ago & am in love.  I haven't mustered up the courage to go pick it up since it's $36, but I might just go do that this month.  I really do love the foundation but I have others that are just as good so I've been putting it off.

BH Cosmetics Blush in Rose - This little duo is too cute.  I think this bright rose red color will be perfect as the weather cools down.  It also has a little highlight shade. Plus the packaging is adorable.  BH Cosmetics is pretty affordable too.

Pumkin Decor - Last weekend I made a wreath for the front door & I really want some more fall type decorations.  Not necessarily Halloween, but more fall.  I'm thinking about getting some faux pumpkins from the craft store for the outside.  Did you know there are faux pumpkins that you can carve? I think they are called funkins, or something.  That would be cool - no need for all the mess!  I'm not sure if I'll carve the faux ones but they would be nice as decoration you can keep over the years.  This weekend  or next weekend I'm hoping we go to a pumpkin patch, maybe do a hayride or corn maze.  You know, traditional fall things.

Loafers & Moccasins - I always need a new pair of moccasins each fall.  Mine just seem to fall apart!  I'm also on the hunt for a comfortable loafer for work.  Last month I mentioned low heeled boots but I still haven't found any I like.  

So that's it!  October is here & I don't know what to do.  Soon it will be November & then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then we'll welcome 2014.  Are you kidding?  Time sure does fly.

What's in your October wishlist?

xoxo, Moe

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Boost Your Blog // Anatomy of a Blog Post

Writting a blog doesn't have to be rocket science.  Writing a blog is about sharing your experiences, the things you love, & a little about yourself.  The beauty of a blog is that you don't have to follow any rules but there are a few things I've found that make some blogs a bit more successful than others.  These things make posts appealing to readers, to search engines, and to other who want to share cool posts:
anatomy of a successful blog post
Key Word Title - I'm no SEO genius, but make sure your title is relevant & filled with relevant key words.  Use precise descriptive words but there's no need for it to be 2 lines long.  If it's a DIY, tell us.  if it's a fall trend, tell us.  If it's relevant, tell us!  Not only will your reader know what you're post is about at a glance, Google will display exactly what you want it to if someone is searching for something you've posted theres a better chance of someone finding it.

Quality Pictures - There are many posts about this out there but you don't have to have a $1500 camera for good pictures.  You just need good lighting & good composition.  If you're posting a step by step tutorial, be sure to take detailed phots of the steps.  Also, take a lot of photos.  You're not limited by the 24-30 some odd shots of film now!  Take as many pictures as your card can hold!  Check out these posts for more tips:  5 Pictures you Should Take to Improve your Blog Photography, & iPhoneography Tips + Tricks, Phone Photos Becom Blog Worthy.

Connect with Audience - The best part about blogging is you get to be you!  You get to share what you want to share, you get to say what you want to say, you get to take the advice in this post or you get to leave it!  That's what's great about blogging - it's all you.  You sharing your story.  So don't try to be someone else, connect with the audience by being yourself.  People want to know there's someone else out there that they can identify with.  So show your personality & share your experiences.  A great way to get interaction from readers is to ask a question.  I always end my post with a question because first time commenters might be a little hesitant on what to say.  For me, a question is also a good wrap up to a post!

Links to other posts - A great way to have readers move around your blog is to link to other posts you've written.  For example, I've written on photography for your blog before so it was natural to link to those in this post.  Don't feel forced to do it, not every post needs a million links, but if it's a topic you've touched on before or you have another relevant post go on & link it.  That also goes along with connecting with the audience.  They might want to know more on the topic & to keep them on your blog link around.  There are also great add ons like Link Within to insert at the bottom of your posts.  This will suggest other posts readers might be interested in.  Linking shouldn't be forced but be a natural part of your post.

Length - Many poeple will tell you many different things.  But length is relative.  A post needs to be as long as you need it to be.  It should be long enough to get your point across, however long that is!  Some posts are only pictures, some posts are a paragraph, some posts are detailed reviews or tutorials.

Promote - The final part of your blog post is sharing it with others!  You can do this manually by linking to Twitter or Facebook or use something I use: Networked Blogs.  You can sign up, add your blogs, add your social media, and whenever a post goes live so will a tweet or facebook update.  This is great because if you work there's an initial promotion of your post when you schedule it!  Then you can go back & do a second promotion at the end of the day.  You can also schedule tweets & facebook updates through Tweet Deck.  If you're using blogger in draft you can grab the link the post will be at before your post goes live!  Then you can schedule tweets about it through Tweet Deck!  You'll look like a full time blogger but really you've done it all in advance.

So there you have it the anatomy of a blog post!  Make your posts stand out with all the relative info & share it with those who care through social media.

xoxo, Moe

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Wednesday Decor // Three Ways to Use Shower Hooks to Organize

I don't know if you know this but I like to use things in unconventional ways.  It's called being creative.  I've had this problem since I was little, honestly.  But one thing I'm proud to use unconventionally are shower hooks.  Not the circle ones but the s-hook shaped ones - ones that have an open end to hook over the shower rod & an open end you put the shower curtain on.  These are AWESOME for so many things.  Honestly, I continue to ponder what else I can hang using these little hooks.  Here's how I currently use these hooks in our home:
Coffee Bar - you may remember this post of a DIY coffee bar.  One of the first DIY things in our home.  I still love it & we've added some fun & some funny mugs to the collection!  Anyway, these s-hooks are great to hang on a curtain rod in two rows to hold all your mugs.  We're trying to get away from duplicates - like the green & black mug sets that both Zach & I owned before moving in together.  I just love that all the mugs are on display.  It also frees up some of our cabinet space since we have very few top cabinets for dishes.
Bathroom Storage - I can't decide which is my favorite way to use these hooks, honestly, but this is the one I'm the most proud of.  Hang the hook over a towel rack to hold your hair dryer, straightener, and curling iron!  I also use a hook over the shower curtain rod for my floofy loofa sponge thing.  It also works to put hair ties if I have them in my hair when I get in the shower.  This keeps your floofy loofa thing from falling if it has a suction cup or getting in anyones way if it's hanging from nozzles & knobs.  You could hang these loads of places in the bathroom for anything you need to hang.  I even think you might be able to use them as towel holders if you have too few metal bars and too many towels.  Hmmmmmm...
Purse Storage - I found these double s-hooks at Meijer a while ago & these are great for hanging your purses in the closet!  We have a part of our closet that just goes back into the nethers.  The rod just goes & goes & goes.  You can't really see anything back there so I hung a whole package of these hooks there to hang my purses.  The double hook means double the storage!  Even though they are in the back they are more on display than if they were in a drawer or in a bin.  I've switched my purse out at least twice knowing that I can see them all at a glance.  Also, yes that Vera Bradley backpack there is in my favorite pattern & I want to wear it so bad but I'm scared to get it dirty!

This is my all time favorite home storage tip ever! These things are so dang versatile!  I want to hang one from everything!

What is your ultimate home tip? I want to know!

xoxo, Moe

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Trend Tuesday // Fall Fashion Staples

I am so glad Fall is here!  I know that it's going to get super cold here shortly & I'm dreading it, but right now I'm loving the 60 degree weather, the sun, & the changing leaves.  I've said it before but I really think September is my favorite month!  Today I want to share with you a post on Fall staples for your wardrobe featuring pieces that I've had for quite a while.  These are the sorts of things that can last you for many Falls to come.
What are your Fall staples? Are there any pieces you keep going back to?

xoxo, Moe

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