Self portrait

I have been trying to channel my passion for art by making art every day. I decided to do this for several reasons. The first reason was because of the pain…yes the pain. I have been in excruciating pain for two months in my left arm and shoulder. The pain has come from nerve damage and herniated discs. I wanted to avoid pain medicine as much as possible so I started back on my art again as it gets my mind off my condition. The second reason is because I have always had a passion for art. But unfortunately after being a mother and working, I slowly got out of it and regretted it ever since.

Well today I painted a self portrait. As I painted it, all the pain I was experiencing lessened and I knew I didnt want to stop making art. I wanted to paint my face like what the pain made me feel like. I wanted to document my journey through this. In a way it helped me to let go. I wanted it to inspire others who might be going through the same situation.

How to make hand made Christmas ornaments

I decided to start this project because lets face it. Our kids grow like weeds and it’s the worse feeling to throw away clothes your kids outgrow.

I also wanted to have fun doing a craft with my children. I have a 12 year old, 8 year old, and a 3 year old that keep me on my toes.

So during the holiday season it only seemed right to make handmade Christmas ornaments. I honestly couldn’t afford to buy Christmas ornaments every year and they always seem so impersonal. So I rushed down to my local Michael’s store and bought a pack of 6 wooden circle cut outs and the rest was history. Now the ones I bought did not come with holes so I used my handy dandy grommet kit to make holes in them. I got the kit from Amazon.

Then my kiddies painted their ornaments their favorite color.

I found some of their old patterned clothes they outgrew and cut them into shapes. So here is a designer tip. Save some of your children’s garments for fabric especially stripes, polka dots and plaids. These designs are popular over the holidays.

I loved using garments with buttons attached because it gave the ornaments dimension.

This project I will always remember because I get to keep a piece of my childrens’ childhood with me on an ornament.

Day 1 Christmas cards

20181129_132730Today is my first day of my make art every day projects and today I made Christmas cards using card stock, scrapbook paper and markers. To make the circle shape I searched around my home to find objects that had a circular shape. I chose my medicine bottle caps because they were the perfect size. I then just glued the shapes on cardstock and envelopes so that the envelopes matched the card. To finish the ornament designs I drew the ribbon and top of the ornaments with a black paint marker.

I look forward to making different Christmas cards in this manner because it was super simple and loved using mixed media.

 

How to make custom mugs

As the holidays approach I knew I had to start on my DIY holiday gift ideas. The great thing about DIY projects is that you can make them for a multitude of friends and family without breaking your bank. Below I will teach you how to make custom mugs that will be great as teacher gifts as well.

For the video go Here.

What you will need:

1 coffee mug ( I purchase all of mine at the dollar store).

tape

Oil based sharpie

2D pencil

Printout of your design

Modge Podge

To begin, get your mug of choice and clean the outside of it really well so that no dust particles are left on it and dry. Print out a design you would like to a size that will fit perfectly on your cup. You could google a favorite saying or create your own on Word documents. If you don’t have a printer you can draw the design yourself on printer paper.

Next, you will cut the design to fit your cup and color the back with your 2D pencil. This helps to transfer the design to your cup.

After prepping your print design, center on cup and tape so that when you trace over the design it doesn’t move. Once taped, trace over the design with a pen or pencil so that it transfer’s to mug. Make sure you press hard so that it shows up on your mug.

Once traced, remove design and your design will show up on cup.

Now here comes the fun part! With your oil based sharpie trace your design on cup. Once dried brush on thr modge podge gloss all over cup. It acts as a glossy sealant for your design.

This is the important part but it’s a must so that your design stays on mug even after dishwasher use. Wait 72 hours before baking. This ensures that the design and gloss are dry enough to bake.

Lastly, preheat oven to 350 degrees and place in oven while preheating. You will need to keep mug in oven for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and leave mug in until the oven cools completely to prevent your mug from cracking.

And Whah La your inexpensive gift is complete!

If you would like to save some time creating mugs check out my shop HERE for all your holiday gift needs!

What do you think? https://pin.it/ehbfb64h64k7fp

4 Must-have Purses all Women Should Own.

1. A CROSSBODY BAG

Crossbody bags are extremely popular right now because of their versatility. They are easy to carry your must haves without having to carry a heavy purse. You can also wear them in many ways such as across your body or as a clutch. They come in a variety of colors and patterns.

When to wear it: Anytime. Both day or night. You can use for casual wear or for date nights if you transition it to a clutch.

Get a similar bag here and help women in Uganda pay for college. Win! Win!

2. A CLUTCH

I was just recently introduced to the style of clutches and was so happy I did. Clutches are mainly for classy events where you don’t want to walk around with a bag slung across your shoulders.

These purses are great for clutter prevention because they are usually only big enough for your essentials such as your driver license, lip gloss and credit card. I love having a variety of colors to go with my outfits so I usually design my own like this embroidered one.

When to wear it: Anytime you are going to a fancy affair such as dinners, weddings, and dancing.

Get this one here and have fun designing!

3. AN OVERSIZED BAG

When I need a bag that I can use to fit everything I need and for traveling, my bucket bag never fails me.If you are making this your primary purse, go for a neutral color that will go with a multitude of outfits such as this camel bag. Also since it is my go to bag for almost everything I didn’t mind in investing in a quality bag that I know will last me a lifetime.

When to wear it: This is the casual bag for going to the park, grocery shopping, doctor’s office etc. It is not a great fit as an evening bag.

This one comes in a variety of colors at Sseko.

4. A TOTE BAG

These bags are one of the most casual and cheapest of the bags that you will need to tote around a lot of things. I absolutely love the various patterns and colors you can find them in. But the best ones are the totes with a strong waterproof liner to hold wet items such as beach towels.

When to wear it: I use this type of bag for going to the beach, picnics, groceries and as a gym bag.

Try this one at Mercari for $10.

Top 10 Blogging Tools

Since becoming a full-time blogger almost 3 years ago I’ve come to rely on a set of online services, apps, and software that help me run my blogs as efficiently as possible. Without these third-party tools, I’d be lost! I spend roughly $700 a month on recurring fees and I’ve probably spent close to $2000 on one time purchases. This may shock some of you but in order to make money, you’ve got to spend money!

This list doesn’t just include blogging tools for beginners, even if you’re a seasoned blogger you can benefit from some of these awesome products and services. So let’s dive straight in…

WEBSITE HOSTING
Not all website hosting companies are created equal! Your blog needs a host with reliable support so if you’re looking to start a blog or are thinking of switching hosts, I always recommend sending some support tickets to them before you commit so you can assess how responsive they are.

Here are my top recommendations:
BlueHost – You may see many mixed reviews on Bluehost but I’ve been using Bluehost for over 6 years to buy domains and host both my blogs and I’ve never had any problems. Their 24-hour customer service is really helpful (which was especially useful when my site was hacked through no fault of theirs – I had an old plugin!)

Gandi – I use Gandi to buy domain names outside of the U.S.

DIGITAL PRODUCTS
So the number one way to make money as a blogger is to create and sell digital products (if you’re not sure what this means or where to start, check out my #BloglikeaBoss course to learn exactly how I’ve monetized my content.) Right now my main sources of income are online courses and eBooks:

Teachable – My online courses (both free and paid) are built using Teachable. It’s easy to use as a course creator and for customers plus their online community is stellar.

Gumroad – I use Gumroad to sell my eBooks and other digital publishing products like worksheets. You can sign up for a free account but note you’ll pay Gumroad 5% more in commission for each sale you make.

Typeform – This is my absolute favorite surveying tool. While you can use free tools like Survey Monkey and Google Forms, the ability to brand and make interactive surveys that are mobile-friendly make Typeform a hard one to beat. I regularly survey my readers and customers to get feedback.

SALES FUNNEL
So in order to sell my digital products efficiently, I need an effective sales funnel. What is a sales funnel you ask? In short, a sales funnel is a process by which you take potential customers from awareness, interest, decision-making and hopefully, action (where they buy your product!) Here are my must-have tools:

MailChimp – I use Mailchimp to send all the marketing emails for both my blogs. It’s easy to use and reasonably priced! Perfect for building awareness of my content and products.

ClickFunnels – Clickfunnels is a great online tool to build sales pages and other page templates aimed at creating interest in your products. Clickfunnels is easy to use and they have awesome customer service.

Deadline Funnel – I use deadline funnel to create digital timers for my sites and emails. These timers are great at creating urgency and encouraging customers to make the final decision to purchase. MotionMailApp.com is a great free alternative but it doesn’t have the abiity to personalize each person’s timer like Deadline Funnel can.

ANALYTICS
Accurate analytics are a must if you want to scale your blog/business. If you’re not currently tracking what works and what doesn’t at some point you’ll inevitable plateau and you won’t know why. It’s critical that you add an analytics tool to your site if you haven’t already. Here are my preferred analytics tools:

Google Analytics – I use this, along with Google’s URL builder, to track exactly what ad campaign, social media and article links send the most traffic to my digital products and affiliates.

Bit.ly – This link shortening tool is great for reducing those unsightly and endlessly long affiliate links (or even the Google URL links used for tracking mentioned above). You can also track how many clicks each link receives but I always cross reference their numbers with Google Analytics.

Love to Blog? Let’s Get You Paid!

Why I ditched my backpack purse for a clutch purse.

I have always had issues with neck pain but recently it became so unbearable that I had to go see someone about it. When your left arm becomes weak and numb it probably is a good sign that its time to see a specialist and that is what happened to me. Well after a series of tests including blood tests, ct scans and a MRI I was referred to a neurologist who said that the MRI showed I have bulging discs in my spine which caused shifting to my left

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Raising Girls

My whole life I dreamed of having a little girl because growing up I was my parents’ only daughter. I remember playing dress up and playing with my dolls wishing I had a big sister to play with. So when I was blessed to have my daughter after having two boys, I was in love. Having a daughter is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I was used to buying boy clothes that when my daughter Kailey was born I went all out. She had too many clothes so much I ended up giving a bunch away because she outgrew them so fast.

This weekend my 4 year daughter went on her first date. Now before you think I am crazy..she went to a daddy daughter dance with her father.

First she wasn’t too impressed.

She fell asleep on the way there.

But then she had the time of her life!

She took lots of pictures.

One with her date.

And some glam shots!

Her experience at the dance was more than I could ask for. She said her dad was a good dancer but she had lots of fun dancing with all the girls there.

Fathers cherish the times you have with your daughters because before you know it they will grow up and leave the nest.

Oh how I wish my Kailey would stay 4 forever.

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Don’t sleep on the toast point!

I can’t believe all my life I missed out on the hidden food treasure of toast points. I remember I was recently introduced to them on my wedding anniversary dinner cruise with my loving husband.

We both love dips especially spinach and buffalo chicken dip so it only made sense for us to try the spinach dip on the menu. But when we read the menu it didn’t mention chips or crackers like we usually eat with dip…instead it was served with toast points.

Although at the time we had no idea what a toast point was we were curious to try them and we were addicted ever since. Bye bye ritz crackers. Hello toast points. If you are unfamiliar with what toast points are..it’s okay because I was the same way. But luckily I realized that it’s super simple. All it is is toasted pita bread.

When we found out how easy it was to make we made it all the time with all of our dips. Check out the simple toast point recipe below.

TOAST POINTS

Package of pita bread

Tbs of butter

Dash of garlic and herb Mrs. Dash

Toast pita bread in toaster. Cut in triangles with knife or pizza cutter. While still warm spread butter on all toast points and spinkle garlic and herb seasoning on each point.

What is the one food that you never had as a kid but now are addicted to?

I can’t wait to here your story!