Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Space (not the defunct social site) - Part 1

What do you get when you combine the words "closet" and "office"? A perfect space that you can call yours! **giggling like a lil girl**!

A few months ago, I was thumbing (clicking I should say) through Pinterest and saw how many women were turning empty or messy closets into mini offices. I've always wanted a space I could call my own. Yogli and Hummingbird have pretty much taken over every other room in the house. The dog has her own space. MonkeyMan has his, the unfinished Man Cave. Technically, he has 2 spaces, his spot in our bedroom with a desk and massage chair. But me, lil 'ole me, I've never had a space I could call my own.

All it took was for me to see that first pic on Pinterest. From there, I went a-googling. I am a google fanatic. Soon, I was flipping through pic after pic after pic of these closets being turned into mini offices. At first I thought "that's kinda silly, surely that's not enough space, people will think I am silly". Some of the spaces were so tiny. The more and more I read, I was starting to love the idea. It's actually just the right amount of space. The particular space I had in mind is larger than the closets I was viewing online. It's a walk-in closetl, so a good amount of space to work with. I could make it as cutesy, girly, awesome as I wanted. It would be my space, whatever I wanted to stick in it, I could! Yes, who's getting a "cloffice"? This girl, this girl's getting a cloffice to call her own!

Hmmmmm, since, technically, MonkeyMan has 2 spaces, I could infringe on part of his downstairs Man Cave. After talking and bargaining, he agreed. Ok, that was the first hurdle. Next, I pondered if I should put a desk or what in there. Ok, wait. I am getting ahead of myself.

So, I have the space. I started to think about how I wanted to decorate. Yes, even before I determined what kind of desk, I was way ahead on planning out the decor. I found this on one of my Pinterest tirades,  DIY mini corkboards. Aren't they adorable? They fit so perfectly with my decor and were so easy to make.

First, I took a trip to one of my most favorite spots, Ikea. Here's my trick with Ikea: you MUST make a list of what you need before entering through those doors. If not, you will leave with things you know you don't need but couldn't let them sit there at that price. So again, a list is necessary. And it helps if you go alone, meaning, don't bring the kiddos. This could also mean don't bring the kiddos and the husband. Anyway, I had my list. The round corkboards are actually heat trivets. For this mini corkboard project, I purchased 2 3 pack sets for $2.99 each. One of my other most favorite spots is Hobby Lobby. This place, you can walk in without a list. You can always count on them having items marked down tremendously. I found some fantastic decor pieces here as well, I will talk about those in a later post.

But on this particular day, I got some cutesy fabric swatches to cover my mini corkboards. The lil bundles were packaged so that I could cover 2 mini corkboards with one piece of fabric.

If you're a wannabe crafter like me, then you probably own a glue gun. You'll need one for this project.

Since the cloffice wasn't ready at the time of this decor project, I improvised by using the kitchen table.  I laid all of my materials out, plugged in my glue gun and got this project going.

Lay a piece of fabric over the trivet/corkboard. It may be necessary to trim some of the fabric off, you don't want all that excess fabric on the back. The excess fabric will make it uneven, bulky and ugly when hanging on your wall.

Next, go get your gun, your glue gun, that is. You want to place few drops around the perimeter of the trivet/corkboard, as demonstrated by my helper, Hummingbird.

This was an easy project for us. We actually did this right before dinner one evening. She really enjoyed it, she couldn't keep a straight face for the camera.

Through all the laughter, here's the end result:

Hummingbird could not resist demonstrating one of the uses for our project:

Now, if you want to hang these, I used a long nail and hammered it right in the center of the corkboard.

After all of that, here's the end result:

So, this is one wall of my new cloffice. This picture was taken with a new app, Hypstamatic. Not sure how I feel about it...anyway, yep, think these turned out pretty good.

There's part 1, the start of me telling you the story of a girl who creates her very own space, her cloffice. Wow, there's so much more to tell...the countdown to Part 2 begins.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

ReShape Monday - Memorial Day 2013

This ReShape Monday we are honoring those who gave their lives for our protection and safety. As I read the info on the pic above, I scrolled to the bottom to read the comments left by other Huffington Post readers. It always amazes me how people can take something that was meant to convey a feeling and twist it to be so negative.

Today is Memorial Day. If you served in the military or had a loved one who served/serves in the military, I thank you.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Vacay - the Groupon/Living Social way

Swimsuit, check. Flip flops, check. Sunscreen, check. Extra vacation spending money cause we saved on our stay at the resort, check.

Vacations and getaways are more affordable these days than ever before. Sites such as Living Social and Groupon help ease the pain of pulling out that credit card for a family vacation. Come to think of it, every place we've been, we've purchased using a deal from either Living Social or Groupon. You can find great deals with either site.

Groupon and Living Social are deal of the day types of sites, each day they offer a variety of deals. These deals are usually tailored to meet your local needs, however, they offer Groupon Getaways and Living Social Escapes deals to a variety of places. You can log on to their site and join for free. Once you join, you receive daily emails with deal details. If you like what you see, buy it. If nothing tickles your fancy, don't buy it. Pretty simple, right?

Our travels have included spring break, summer vacations and weekend getaways to Florida, Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, Savannah and Hilton Head to name a few. Most of these places carried hefty price tags without a deal. One of my favorites was a weekend getaway to a bed and breakfast, The Foley House Inn,  in Savannah. Beautiful place, but if you know the history of Savannah, many people think it's haunted. I'll have to cover that in a different post.

Research is the key thing to consider when booking a deal. I have been burned a couple of times. One spring break, I neglected to contact the hotel directly before buying a deal. The pics on the site were great, never imagined that they had little efficiencies across the street. Guess what? That's  where we were staying, not in the main hotel. Who was pissed? This girl was pissed. You live and you learn. So again, research these things before you lay down your money.

Some are skeptical when it comes to using sites like Groupon or Living Social. My experience has shown that with a bit of research, you can find some pretty spectacular deals. For all my skeptics out there, let me help you out.

Here's a typical summer type deal, found it today. It's Orlando, Florida in a snapshot format with things I would consider before buying.

This deal doesn't work for me for several reasons, one reason is because we already booked our summer trip to the beach. MonkeyMan found a great deal a few months ago for a week's stay at an awesome resort. We leave in a week! But just because I'm not buying this deal, doesn't mean that you can't. 

Ever bought any Groupon or Living Social vacation deals? Tell me about your greatest steal deals. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The best ways to use this blog...in case you were wondering

****WARNING: the following video clip is a graphic one, if you faint at the sight of blood, walk away from the keyboard now, don't click the PLAY button. You've been warned.

Ok, so replace the folks in the stand with those family members that get on your nerves, co-workers, the car that swerves into your lane without a signal. Many a day I feel like Russell Crowe in this scene of the movie Gladiator. Seriously, pulled in so many directions every single day. But wait, did you see those folks in that cage-like thing, when he first walked out? They looked like they had his back, right? Notice how, as he walked to the arena floor, they stamped their swords on the ground, saying his nickname. Sounds like he had some support. Replace those folks in the cage-like thing with the family members you like and those folks on your support team. 

It's Day 2 of the mini blog challenge with Rx Fitness Lady. Today's challenge is to craft a letter to you guys on how to use this blog. So, if you watched the clip above, I've set the stage. You gotta have people in your corner, your support group that chants your name, encouraging you to keep going. Just like Russell had his peeps, I want this blog community to be your peeps. Your supporters when you are exhausted from being a kid taxi, from staying up late to help stuff Valentine's Day goody bags, running out at night to get printer ink for a kid who has an assignment due the next morning...ok, having flashbacks.

The focus of my blog is to create a community of working moms, SAHM, WOHM, whatever. The old saying goes "talk about what you know", so the main focus is on work outside the home moms. If you're not a work outside the home mom, don't let that stop you from commenting and offering your input. We appreciate input regardless of where you work. 

How to use this blog? Hmmmm...having a constant connection is always good, so there are a few options on staying connected and opportunities to share what we're talking about here:

Sharing the link to my blog is a great way for others to join us and make a connection:

I am still a newbie blogger, so soon, I will have grab buttons for you to share with others. 

Use this to get caught up on previous blog posts:

We all need encouragement, so also on the right hand side, I have a list of blogs/sites I get energized from: 
I am always trying to better myself, learn more. I don't like getting bogged down from work or the kids, so I might need tips on ways to enhance my dates with my husband from The Dating Divas. Or I enjoy being referenced as Hummingbird's hot mom (yes, that was actually said, out loud from one of her classmates!) so I get outfit ideas from Outfit Posts. Or The Generous Wife keeps me on my toes, sometimes causing me to look at myself before pointing the finger at MonkeyMan. And of course, Pick the Brain allows me to look at myself, acknowledge that I am a constant work in progress. 

From time to time, I would like to feature different vendors that I have worked with. My first feature, which I call a Blogview (a spin on the words blog and interview, get it?), was April Harris from Colorphire. I would love to do more of these, so if you've got a favorite vendor, pass that information along. 

One of my goals is to reach 100 followers before I do my first giveaway. How am I gonna reach that number? With your help of course! That's right, get to clicking and sharing. 

As a newbie, I am exploring several different ideas on making this blog it's best. Thanks for coming along for the journey!

Monday, May 20, 2013

ReShape Mondays

Remember when it used to be this simple:

For me, there are plenty of things in between getting up, eating breakfast and getting dressed. As a mom, I orchestrate the rhythm of our home. Right now, that rhythm is heading to summer break. Usually, this throws me off of my usual routines. I become a lil more lax in bedtime schedules, in clothing choices and snacking. I am so determined to do better this summer, especially with this being Yogli's last year of high school. I am a lover of routines but I admit, I do need to lighten up. Here's some of my summer bucket list:

Summer learning:
  1. Keep Hummingbird reading for 20 minutes each day. This can work because she loves books and journaling, right now she loves making her own journals. Adding a different twist to books and reading should be the right move, here's where Pinterest will come in handy. 
  2. Yogli wants to do some volunteering this summer, which is absolutely awesome. He will be 17 in July so he no longer requires having a parent join him in most volunteer projects, which I am bummed about about because I love me some volunteering. 
  3. I will be learning how to build this blog. 
Summer fun:
  1. Yogli has been after us to go fishing, none of us know how of course. So, why not this summer?
  2. Last summer, I taught Hummingbird how to ride her bike without her training wheels. This summer, I want her to keep burning that rubber. I want to build time into our schedule for her to go riding. BONUS: I hop on my bike and join her!
  3. Revamp at home date nights with MonkeyMan. Figured since everybody will be more relaxed, what a great time to get this started again. Working different shifts requires us to be crafty when wooing each other, GAME ON!
  4. Take the day trips to a few of our favorite spots in Georgia: Savannah and Callaway Gardens. MonkeyMan and I love have been to Savannah twice, it's the spot where he proposed! 
    Savannah, Georgia

The kids have never been, think they'll enjoy it. Our spring break this year was spent at Callaway Gardens, everyone loved it, so a return trip is a must. We can hang out at the beach area there and simply enjoy the beautiful outdoors. 

I enjoy the fact that my kids still enjoy hanging out with MonkeyMan and I. They grow up so fast! I have learned that kids love quality time, making memories. I enjoy hearing Yogli or Hummingbird say "Remember that time when we...". 

Needless to say, we will still have our routines. They won't be as strict as during the school year but we will continue to have structure. Kids thrive from having structure, makes them feel more secure. Summer gives us the opportunity blend in fun while keeping that structure. 

I have been inspired by Rx Fitness Lady to solve some type of problem as part of her 7 day mini blog challenge. This seemed fitting to talk about here on ReShape Mondays, since the focus is rebranding blue Monday. We can add a bit more to our summers...

Alright, wrapping this post up. Yogli is in a talkative mood tonight, I need to add learning to multitask to my list of summer learnings!

Friday, May 17, 2013

What's your sweat?

"Strong enough for a man, but made for a woman". 

Motionsense, clinical strength. 

I bought it all, hook, line and sinker. In fact, step into my bathroom and you will find just about every deodorant/antiperspirant on the market. Here's a sampler from my collection: 

I even have the underarm maxi pads. Yes, those are real, you can order them right on Amazon.com. You see, I suffer from excessive underarm sweat. It doesn't just happen when I am nervous or anxious. No, it could be an exceptionally calm day. It could be in the dead of winter. Doesn't matter. 

I cannot tell you how many perfectly good shirts, blouses, sweaters I have ruined. I cannot wear black all the time! Even then, the sweat mixes with the deodorant and causes a nice chalky puddle underneath my arm pits. Nice. 

They say to wear loose, cotton types of shirts. Which I do, and it still rains down. 

My doctor even prescribed something for me to apply nightly. I've tried just using powder. See, I don't really need the perfumy stuff. It's the antiperspirant part. 

Don't get me wrong, I know that sweating is a natural process. I love feeling/seeing sweat drip off of me when I am gettin' it in at the gym. But seriously, don't need it when I am just sitting at my desk. Not so much. 

I cannot tell you how embarrassing this is. My field of work oftentimes calls for me to facilitate meetings and trainings. Imagine, being up front, in front of an audience. In the words of Tupac Shakur, all eyes on me. Being too embarrassed to lift your arm to write on big wall post it note. Or sitting in a meeting with your arms clamped to your side. 

I've done the research. There are a few options:
  1. Have my sweat glands removed. Side effects - excessive sweating in other areas of the body
  2. Botox shots - this could affect other areas of your body
  3. A new procedure, as described by my mother so of course, no details. Well, the only detail she provided was that Dr. Oz says it costs $2500.
Speaking of my mother, I blame her for this. Or my dad. One of them is to blame. My sister shares this burden with me. Somehow, my brother was relieved of this burden. I certainly hope that this isn't passed on to Yogli or Hummingbird. I can already tell that they both have some parts of it now. Yogli with the sweaty hands, Hummingbird sweats pretty easily. I'll have them call their grandparents and thank them. 

My latest remedy involves applying Certain Dri at night. In the morning, applying Tom's of Maine Naturally Dry. It says Powder Fresh but, ya'll (that GA peach coming out), it has no smell at all. Then on top of the Tom's, I use a lil layer of Degree. This method has served me well for the past two weeks. I knew I would need it this week because I have been at an off site work meeting with colleagues from regions outside of Georgia. Basically, I knew I would be involved in some high level stuff. 

So, you can see how this could have possibly taken away from my focus at work. If I would have let it. There are plenty of things that try to draw us away from where we should be focusing. Of course, a situation like this could make me feel insecure. If I let it. I could have very easily paid attention to the puddles under my arms. Instead I realized that I had a great career opportunity. I focused on presenting information exceptionally, paying attention, networking and representing my department. I find that once I ignore the sweat, it stops. 

What's your sweat? What's keeping you from focusing? Ignore it, see what happens. It may take a few instances of ignoring it in order to regain your focus. Keep doing it. 

Of course, when this was all over, I texted MonkeyMan and whined about my sweaty armpits. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

ReShape Mondays

I packed the bag. I put the bag in the car. I need to get there. I haven't been in a week.

Funny, I actually miss the sweat dripping from my face. I miss being out of breath, pushing myself to the point of exhaustion.

I never thought that I would miss it. Three little letters: GYM. I miss the gym.

Over the past few months, work has really ramped up. As a result, I haven't been able to leave the office on time to make it to the gym. I have traveled a long road to get this workout consistency in my life.

I finally came up with a gym location and a time that blends well with my life. For years, I tried to force myself to be a morning workout person. There is just too much to do during the mornings. I battled with the reports saying that you get the best results if you work out in the mornings. So, I would set the alarm clock for 4:30 am, dreading hearing that screeching alarm clock sound. I soon began to resent this and that routine quickly came to an end.

Since I couldn't make myself become a morning workout person, I didn't do anything. I sat, I ate, I gained. All because of my thinking. I am guilty of reading too many reports, asking for way too many opinions.

December of 2010. A fluke snow/ice storm hit Atlanta. The words Atlanta and snow don't mix very well. Needless to say, we were "iced" in for an entire week. During this time, I jumped on the stationary bike that had become a spot for me to display some of my clothes. In the beginning, I could barely do 5 minutes! I spent that entire week building my endurance. I finally started using the dumbbells that were previously used as door stops. That week was spent building my endurance. This was good but how was I going to maintain this once the ice melted?

A little more research (see, I read way too many reports), I finally found advocates of evening workouts. So, after the kids were in bed, I would hop back on that stationary bike. Interesting enough, I started to have really good sleep. I've always had good sleep but I would now wake up with more energy. Can you say "well rested"?

That endurance eventually led me to joining a gym. The gym. The place I haven't been to in a week. The goal is to make it on Wednesday. Until then, I got few coals in the fire: gonna jump some rope, do a few reps of weights, throw in some push ups. Something is better than nothing. I also checked out Rx Fitness Lady's blog about being healthy and prosperous. It's always good to find helpful, useful information. She's even got mini blog challenge going on next week. Not only is she promoting fitness/health but she's also branching out to interact with other blogs. How about that, learning from each other?

This ReShape Monday, I invite you guys to join me as I take part in Rx Fitness Lady's mini blog challenge party. The challenge starts next week, so we've got a week to gather our thoughts. Let's do something different by meeting new bloggers and possibly learning something new. Who knows, I might find some new time management skills that will help me get back to the gym!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Blogview on April Harris of Colorphire Studio - Part II

So, I've had about a week to get used to looking at myself in cartoon form. It's still pretty cool, loving the work of April Harris from Colorphire Studio. Just as I promised last week, here's the remainder of the blogview with April.

Can you provide any tips on selecting a customized character to fit a blog? Like color schemes, etc?
In customizing a character or graphic for your blog you need to choose a template that allows you to do so. This would mean choosing one with a customized header.

One of the most important things to do is to use only graphics that are the correct size in resolution and dimension (pixels). If it says your blog header should be 900 x 200 pixels then it needs to be 900 x 200 pixels or it ruins the graphic completely. If your character or logo has been designed by a graphic designer, it is best to contact them and see what their rates are for designing a blog header or additional blog graphics. Let them know also, the precise measurements for your graphics ahead of time so they will be able to design it specifically for your blog.

Some designers may offer to resize a graphic for free if it is just a little bit different in size. If it is a whole other graphic element, they will charge another design fee.

Background and color schemes may be limited to your template choice, too. Some blogs offer the option to customize your background and others may only offer their opinions. As a designer, I can design your header, background and other graphics to all match each other.

Otherwise to do it on your own you would need some software such as Photoshop or Gimp and take the time to create something on your own, which might be more trouble than it’s worth.
It’s always best to consult your designer in all cases, this way you avoid making it harder on yourself than you need to.

This is one of the most important things to me and my business, is that I am not only a designer I a friend and helper. I go the extra mile to give advice and provide additional services as much as possible. You should be satisfied with your graphics and your designer should always be willing to help.

Describe the wackiest request you’ve ever worked on before.
The wackiest thing I have worked on would be a logo design I did for a veterinarian. To this day, I’m not sure how he got my name or email (maybe from my business card??) And he wanted a chicken milking a cow and for the cow to have this shocked look on her face. Very strange! HaHa!

Any other tips for bloggers?
Get professional graphic design help, or really take the time to it right. If you think of your blog as sort of an "online livingroom", you want to make it a place where people will want to visit, sit, stay a while. If your blog "online livingroom" is messy or poorly decorated then people will go somewhere else with a simple click of their mouse. It seems like a simple thing, but it makes a world of difference. And most designers online will give you a great price and be extra helpful (if they are professional). I wish you all the best of luck! 

Thanks, April, you are AWESOME! 

Check out April's blog for more inspiration. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

ReShape Mondays

A handful of spinach. Some strawberries. A banana. Two scoops of protein. A splash of coconut water/milk. Six ice cubes. Yes, six to be exact. 
Hell if I Gnaw's recipe

Press blend. Watch it mesh together. First, it turns red from the strawberries. Then the spinach gets churned in, turning this breakfast goodness into a greenish, poop-ish (if that's a word) color. 


That described/pictured above is my breakfast each morning. It's all good for me. Believe it or not, it tastes really good. I'll bet you're wondering what is the point of me giving you my breakfast routine and how does it fit into ReShape Mondays. Well, for one thing, I just gave you a delicious breakfast recipe you may want to try tomorrow morning. The second thing, is the blend. As I blended those ingredients this morning, I started thinking about my life: family, work, hobbies, health. For so long, I have tried to balance all of these things. I thought that something was wrong with me. As I interacted with more moms and dads, I found that I was not the only one. This was a problem felt by many. I dug my heels in. I was determined to be the first person ever to be victorious in perfectly balancing my work and home life. Years later, still haven't figured it out. Don't need to. Why you may ask? "Did Tiffany hit the lottery over the weekend and now the only balance she's worried about is balancing the $$$$$$ in her bank account?!?!" Not yet, fellow gladiators, not yet. However, in the meantime, I received a game changing way of thinking. 

A few months ago, I attended an influential class offered by the organization I work for. If you've popped in on ReShape Mondays before, you may remember my mention of this class. The facilitator said a very profound statement that really made me think. I watched as she demonstrated how she plots daily planning periods for work and home on her work calendar. Why was this a crazy idea to me? For so long, I always thought that those things should be separated. Yes, I would have a calendar for my home stuff and another work calendar. And yes, at times, I would schedule things that would overlap. Hummingbird or Yogli would have a dentist appointment on a day that I was scheduled to facilitate a class at least an hour away from home. 

So, as this facilitator explained the importance of blocking your work schedule for at least 10 minutes daily for planning, I raised my hand. "I noticed that you have your doctor's appointments listed on your WORK calendar". She chuckled and then said "Yes, because I work and I have a life outside of work. It's a blend, they both make up my life." Bam. There ya go. 

With those few words, I started to see things differently. We work so hard trying to balance, when blending is what needs to take place. We cannot negate the fact that we work nor negate that we have a lives outside of work. Which one takes precedence? If you're like me, you probably like to eat and perhaps go to a movie every now and then. Those two things tell me that you'll need a way to supplement your eating and movies, so a job is probably in order. All work and no play makes somebody boring, or something like that. Nevertheless, work hard, play hard. What I am trying to say is that there needs to be something more to life than all work. We must have a way to regroup after a stressful day of work or a stressful day of hearing "Mommy, mommy." How do you regroup, is it the gym, a good run, working on a hobby, reading, listening to music? Everybody needs a way. 

This all leads us to the blend. Blending those things that make up our lives. They will probably never balance out. 

After this class, one of the first things I implemented was to block 10 minutes each morning for planning. Do I get to this every single morning, no. But at least the time is blocked if I need it. This caused me to plan more, even the little things because "it's the small foxes that spoil the vine" (Song of Solomon 2:15). Doing these few things released years of pressure. Doing these few things led to a new way of thinking, which led to better focus. Better focus that you will hopefully see in the future of this blog. 

So, as we ReShape Mondays, here's what I have to say, I have a purpose for this blog. As I strive towards blending my family, work, hobbies, health, etc., I want to grow a community of working moms, SAHM, WAHM, wherever you work. The old adage "it takes a village" doesn't just apply to children. It will take a village to inspire/encourage/motivate this type of community. 

There, I said it. Won't you join me? I am excited. Will it be easy? Maybe. Is it worth it? Yep. Game plan, check. Shields up, fellow gladiators. We are doing this. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

It's that time again! Let's Party Hardy this weekend at The SHOW OFF Blog Party! Woop! Woop!

There's a lot to celebrate this weekend too! My AWESOME host and co-hostees did a remarkable job hosting the party for the last 3 weeks. It's their last week, so stop on by and thank them for being wonderful hostees with us!

Let's do some SHOWING OFF! My host, co-hostees and I thought these bloggers did a phenomenal job working their stuff:

Let's make sure we're aware of how many kids are affected

Women Empowerment! Let's Show it off!

I LOVE Foodie Stories!!! 

Read how mom raises her child through personal experiences

Congratulations to all our featured bloggers! Please take our button to "SHOW OFF" that you were featured at the SHOW OFF Blog Party:

Show Of Feature Button photo

Don't forget to win a wrap package to get you swimsuit ready for the summer! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you ready to party? Before you begin, remember these simple rules:

  1. Link up your favorite posts. It doesn't matter which one, just make sure it's family friendly! 
  2. Follow your host (that's Jessica! The Wondering Brain)
  3. Follow all 3 co-hosts: JulesBrittany, and Tiffany 
  4. Leave a comment if you'd like them to follow you too
  5. Visit at least 3 other bloggers 
  6. Show them your blogger love too if you'd like them to follow 
  7. Remember, it's not a party unless you mingle, so mingle around and make some friends! 
  8. Take our beautiful badge and proudly display it on your side bar to encourage others to party with us! 

FavePost PartyBadge photo

Interested in co-hosting The SHOW OFF Weekend Blog Party next month? We have spots available for June! $4.00 to reserve your spot for a month and a discounted rate for ad space! We won't disappoint. I promise! Please email for more information: 


Let the party begin! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

BlogView on...April Harris of Colorphire Studio - Part I

Look up. 
                       See it. 

In the blog header. The cartoon. That's me. 

I will be the first to admit, since starting this blog almost 2 months ago, I have learned quite a bit. Still a big learning curve, but one thing I knew starting out is that I wanted a cartoon depiction of myself. Vain, right? Nah, just wanted me in cartoon form, just looked like fun. 

I have tried using the free, online "cartoon me" tools. Just couldn't give me what I wanted. Accessing online tools like that also carry the risk of malware and all that other spy-type ware. 

My search led me to soliciting such help on Craigslist and Etsy. Craigslist wasn't much help, I had previously solicited photography services using Craigslist and found a wonderful student photographer. And, of course, I have met wonderful people and purchased special gifts from Etsy vendors. This is where/how I met April Harris of Colorphire Studio. April was able to depict me in cartoon form and capture the essence of this blog in the character*. April was wonderful to work with, understood my humble beginnings with this blog, and agreed to be my feature spotlight in this post. Without further ado, here's April...

How long have you been in business?
I have been in business for 3 years. I was a freelancer for 2 years and became a full-time studio last year. I have been working as a graphic designer for 12 years.

What services do you offer?
Logo Design
Social Media graphics
Vinyl graphics
Wordpress websites
Patterns/surface designs
Information graphics
T-shirt graphics
Vehicle wraps
Illustration (children’s, characters, mechanical/technical
Letterhead/envelope design
Business cards
Book covers
Etsy shop graphics
Product packaging
Annual reports
Blog design and graphics

What makes you most happy about what you do?
The majority of my clients are women/moms who have started their own business, Etsy shop or blog and are looking to expand and create something more professional with their online presence. Being able to help other women do something amazing, like have a blog or sell their crafts, is very rewarding and meaningful. It’s fun to meet new clients and see their business take off and grow. I love it when another person’s dreams ignite and I had something to do with that.

Any specific services available for bloggers?
I provide custom graphic design such as blog headers, backgrounds, blog post grahics and more. I have helped many people with their social networking graphics, too (facebook, etsy, twitter, etc), to keep everything streamlined for their customers/readers. It helps if your blog, Facebook and Etsy shop all look the same. It is one of the most important ways to brand yourself online. This way, your readers have confidence in you and your message. They will know that you mean business and are a reliable and trustworthy source.

Can you provide any tips on selecting a customized character to fit a blog? Like color schemes, etc?
Click back here next week to get April's tips!

*April created only the character, the rest of the blog design is me climbing this steep learning curve!!