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Craft – You, Me and the Dog Sign

You, Me, and the Dog Sign

A while back I was at Antique week in Warrenton, TX with my mother, and we saw a cute framed art piece with the saying, You, Me and the Dog on it. I loved the saying and currently my family is comprised of just that (my boyfriend, me, and our three dogs). Maybe children are in the future but right now our fur children fill our hearts with joy. I knew I needed to recreate something using this saying. I went to Michaels in search of the paints and a wooden board to stencil on. Well… what I came out with was completely different from what I had originally planned, but I’m happy with the result. Let me show you what I came up with.

You, Me, and the Dog2

Supplies:
-Tin Plaque
-Wooden Letters (D-O-G)
-Wooden large “&” Sign
-Wooden arrow with words Me and You
-E6000 Glue
-Tile letters T-H-E (from an old board game)
-Mustard yellow acrylic paint
-Sponge Brush

Let’s get it on

I like the wood-on-tin look but the sign needed a pop of color. I searched through my color stockpile and decided on mustard yellow.

You, Me, and the Dog Sign3

I painted the wooden “&” using a sponge brush and allowed it to dry overnight. Then I laid everything out on the tin to see were I wanted everything positioned. I used a pencil and lightly traced the placement of each piece. The next step involves glue and more glue. I glued each piece to the tin using E6000 glue. This glue is super strong and dries relatively fast. I allowed everything to set overnight and then it was ready to display.

You, me, and the Dog Sign4

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

Make it Spicy,
Amanda

Tech Tuesday – Time Management Tips for Bloggers

Happy August, y’all! It’s Danielle again from Busy Mom’s Helper and today we’re talking about one of my biggest struggles –Time Management for Bloggers. If I’m the only one that has issues managing my time well, have a little giggle, ignore this post, and I’ll be back next month with something useful for you – although if you ARE managing your time amazingly, you probably are better than me at all blogging aspects and I have no new stuff for you! So let’s just pretend we could all use some time management help with our blogs, okay?

Main Image

I think one of the biggest reasons I never seem to have enough time is lack of organization and prioritization. There’s always more to do than can ever be done (please tell me you just sang the Lion King song – because I sure did!) We have to pick and choose what things we’re going to devote our time to. After lots of research, and beginning to implement these into my own life and seeing some success so far, here’s what I suggest:

1. Set Goals
It’s nearly impossible to get to where you want to be if you don’t KNOW where you want to be! Are your goals to grow your traffic? What steps are you focusing on to make that happen? Perhaps increase your Facebook audience, post more frequently, or become a Pinterest ninja? Whatever it is – set some SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.

Busy

2. Make A List
Some people hate making lists – but I’m pretty much obsessed with them! If there was a career where I could make lists (like to-do lists, packing lists, etc) all day – I’d be in heaven! I’ve been trying to make my to-do list every evening before I get ready for bed. This way, when I wake up in the morning I go straight into being productive.

3. Prioritize
After making your to-do list you’ll likely STILL have more to do than is realistic. This is where prioritization comes into play. All it comes down to is listing out your tasks out from most important to least important. I know, easier said than done! If you only make it part-way through your list that day, at least you accomplished the most important things.

Organize

4. Don’t forget to LIVE
My highest priority is my family, so I need to include them with my to-dos. If I don’t, I may get so busy and focused on blogging stuff that my kids don’t get played with at all that day, or that trip to the park I promised them is totally forgotten (by me – they’d never forget that!). Let yourself, and your family, be priorities!

5. You can’t do it all
The biggest thing for me is feeling like a failure when I can’t do everything I need or want to. I’m working on acknowledging that it’s just not possible, and cutting myself some slack. My hubby now goes over my list with me every night and helps me make it more realistic. If it helps you to have someone keep your feet planted, get someone!

Planner

Other Time Management Tips for Bloggers

* Use a calendar/planner to stay organized – I’m currently using my own 2015 Free Printable Planner and love how many areas (month, week and day) it has to organize my schedule!

* Set a timer – you’d be surprised how much more you get done if you know you only have 15 minutes (example). This is especially good for social media so you don’t get sucked in!

* Learn what time of day you function the best mentally, and save your brain-heavy tasks for then. Do random busy-work when you’re a little more sluggish.

* In your email, create some generic responders. For example, I get a lot of people asking if they can guest post to my blog (it’s usually a business looking for free advertising in said post). I just click a button and my saved email fills in and I send it.

* Keep a notepad (or multiple) nearby wherever you go. If you think of a post idea, a task you forgot, a company you want to try and work with or whatever – write it down so you’re not trying to keep it in your mind forever.

What are YOUR best Time Management tips for Bloggers?

Tips for Motivating Yourself to Workout

There are days that even this Health Coach doesn’t feel like working out. However, those are the days that I really need to get up and get moving. So here’s a list of what I do. I hope that they help you out and get you moving too!

1. Turn on some music and DANCE. Dancing is a great form of exercise and it’s fun. My kids love to join me and the next thing I know I am sweaty and I’ve danced for thirty minutes or more.

2. Put on your workout clothes. Sometimes putting on my workout gear just seems like so much “work” but once it’s on I have to go get moving.

3. Try a new form of exercise. I joke that I have exercise ADD. I just get bored with doing the same thing so I will buy a Groupon for different types of classes and bounce from one thing to the next. Pilates, Kickboxing, Barre, Ballet, Zumba, Crossfit, Spin, Rock Climbing, Bootcamp, Running, and so much more.

4. Find an accountability partner. I have a few friends that will ask me how my workouts are going. I have given them permission to hold me accountable and they have asked me to do the same. I know that those questions are coming and so I am encouraged to get moving!

5. Workout with your kids. Exercise doesn’t have to be something extra, it can just be part of life if you let it. I will play tag, go for a bike ride, swim, hike, or dance with my family. We are all being active and having fun.

Do you have any tips for what you do when you don’t feel like working out?

5 Ways to Be Re-Inspired

If you are like me there are days, weeks and sometimes months when you have nothing to write about. Nothing to say. And, if you are really like me. It’s a horrible agony. I truly admire those Bloggers who for months have daily posts. It’s not an easy feat. Most writers I am sure experience some level of blank moments. Not because we have nothing to say but more so because we just haven’t had our writing A-ha moments.

The best thing for me is to stop thinking about having the right words or the best post ever. It takes a true writer, I think, to just walk away and allow your page to be blank. Trust me it doesn’t last, soon enough the words come back to you and are easily typed with more inspiration and motivation than ever. At least that has been my experience. You can’t have anything to write about if you are not truly inspired or passionate about what it is you want to share.

For me the following “Re-Inspiring” concepts have worked:

::Take Pictures:: Summer has been in full bloom, in case the Texas heat hasn’t been enough of a reminder. You have children who are eager to just DO SOMETHING. In our case our kids go to daycare so we have year round school. We do though like to travel and go to local spots. When we do I carry my camera. And, in the last couple of weeks the best thing I have done is take those pictures, insert them into a blank post and then write my story around what I remember from each picture. It’s been a very creative way to start off my blog posts and so helpful.

cloudsonbeachshore

::Explore:: I am the first to tell you that exploring is not in my nature. At all. I love routine-like and safe happenings. Usually staying home is not a big deal for me, the kids and I can really be homebodies. But, thanks to my Husband who loves the outdoors we often called to new adventures. Adventures where we explore new places and end up having a really good time or meal! Usually during our exploring and activity my Husband will say… “You should blog about this!” And, more times than not, I do.

trail4

::Talk to your Friends:: Who better than your friends who know you and can be honest and real with to help you be motivated and yes re-inspired. I often tell my friends that I am in a rut, or a bad place and they will come back with words of encouragement and remind me what I am good at. Sometimes self doubt can kill your inspiration. But, true friends will lift you up and give you great advice. Soon after I am usually inspired to write about friendship, motivation, empowerment, etc.

friendsblogger

::Browse Social Media:: So, I am not going to lie sometimes my best source of inspiration is social media. Maybe someone wrote about something that I have a different view on, or I check out my Pinterest boards and click through pages of fun and interesting boards. Instagram is always one of my favorites, currently I am obsessed with Periscope. just seeing what others are up to and tapping into their ideas with your own twist is a good way to beat the writers block.

::Read:: That simple. It really is. When I think about my blog and how I started, I remember being moved to tears or literally laughing out loud when I read other Momma blogs. Naturally one of the ways that I am usually filled with new ideas, concepts and words is by reading. Learning something new. Or simply going back to my own old posts and getting new ideas. I quickly jot down notes or create lists of new topics to write about. I then see how they relate to me as an individual, as a Latina, as a Wife and as a Momma.

Next time you can’t seem to place all your thoughts onto paper, don’t… instead go out take pictures, explore, read, talk and browse your social media. Sooner or later that inspiration and the right words will come to you and you will once more feel normal.

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