Thursday, April 19, 2012

FREE Document Publishing Site and Rotating Goal List PRINTABLE

I'm super excited to share this awesome free document publishing site and my first printable!

Lately, I've been talking a lot about working on my productivity because my to-do list has been feeling super overwhelming. For a while now I've been LOVING this Rotating Goal List that I found on pinterest because it will allow me to prioritize the important things without having to look at the whole list. Corn Flower Blue Studio gives a great tutorial on how to make it, here. However, as soon as I saw that it involved crafts, my heart sank! I am just not that crafty; but to craft something up on the computer - right up my alley.

So I got to work making my first printable, in Microsoft Word (I'm not that fancy,) but wanted to be able to display it and allow anyone to download it from my blog.

Enter Scribd, which enabled me to do this:
Rotating Goal List Printable

Isn't it pretty? (Click the fullscreen button for the best view!)

Scribd is great for self-publishing and can be embedded into your blog!  There are so many great ways to self-publish (another one here) but this one is super easy since you can basically upload any document in any format. It also keeps analytics for you. Awesome! (This isn't sponsored or anything, I just really like it and had to share!)

Ok, so back to the printable itself. When I was a teacher, I used to make coordinate plane white boards by slipping a huge coordinate plane into a sheet protector; then I had plenty of "white boards" to pass out to students for graphing practice. So - that's what I did with this: print, slip, write. Whenever I feel like I'm running around aimlessly, trying to accomplish too many things at once, I pull out this little sheet and refocus myself.

This rotating goal list white board has been so successful, I've come up with a few additional printable white boards that I'll be sharing in my next post.


P.S. - How do you keep your to-do lists from overwhelming you?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Keep Your Head Up

I cannot get this song out of my head! So darn catchy!

So I've been kind of bumming all week. I don't know why but some days/weeks hit me really hard with urges to be working. I've been keeping really busy with other things too. Unfortunately, when I'm so busy, it takes time away from getting posts out, and then it starts to get to me. Ah, the double edged sword. (Also, my son isn't sleeping that never helps.)

Just to catch you up on what I have been so busy with...

A few weeks ago I cleaned out my closet of all my old work related clothes (and other junk) and this week I finally took them to our local branch of Dress for Success. It was bittersweet. Obviously, I'm super happy to be helping other women look great at work; I donated some suits and I'm really glad that they will match them up with an owner who will love them as much as I did. But it's just kind of a reminder that I am not working, (albeit, for good reason.)

I've been working on some home projects: rearranging furniture, making a big chalk board, general organizing, and trying to find myself a little workspace in our little home. I'm also planning on staining some furniture, making some art for our super bare walls, doing some furniture repair, and picking fabrics for some reupholstering. I like doing home-y things but I'm so afraid of picking something that will turn out to be not how I pictured and becomes an expensive mistake. So, decorating the house ends up being a ridiculously long and time consuming process. I tell my husband, "I'm afraid of commitment."

We're also planning for another marathon 2 week trip to DC and having a little first birthday celebration for the baby (omg...I'm not going to be able to call him that anymore.) Of course I'm so excited, but there are lots of things to do.

I don't think I've mentioned this here before, but I volunteer as an adviser for the local chapter of my college sorority. A lot of the officers have had major questions and so I've been meeting with all 18 girls one-on-one to help sort things out before the year comes to an end. It's been interesting to learn all the intricacies of the organization, which is somewhat akin to a company. I've been giving advice on finance, marketing, HR, etc. It's been good but it's really really time consuming.

And the last thing is my BIGGEST NEWS: I've been exploring the possibility of starting a mommy business. This blog has been a great mommy project, but sometimes I feel like it's not enough. I like writing and sharing information but I don't like sitting behind a computer all day. I need to be around people. And actually, an opportunity has kind of presented itself. I'm still trying to figure out the details of everything. Sometimes, it sounds like a really great idea, and then other times I feel like I'm in over my head and that it wont work out. I'm not ready to share everything quite yet, but as I learn more about it I will def pass along the messy details.

It's funny because these things that have been keeping my busy are great things, but somehow I'm still bogged down. I'm sure his sleep issues have A LOT to do with it, combined with still working on a routine for organizing my time. Hopefully, this Andy Grammer song that I've got perpetually playing in my head for like the past three days will give me a boost.


P.S. - How do you work through the exhausting, busy, unorganized days? I love tips.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Feed Read: The Infamous 1st Birthday Cake Smash and Other Baby Photos

I finally booked a photog for our little one's first professional photo shoot. I'm super excited about the cake smash and have been busy pinning ideas all morning. Check out my One board for some awesome cake smash photo shoot ideas, as well as first birthday plans. It's still a month away but I can't wait to share the photos with you! For this weeks feed read I've got a couple of my favorite articles about taking pics of baby and tips for planning your own cake smash shoot.

While nursing my son, I get about 3-5 min where I can just sit & read. Every week, I'm going to start you off with a Feed Read: links to sites that I enjoyed and would recommend to you whenever you get your own five minutes.

Tips and cute ideas for baby photos at the hospital, week-by-week, month-by-month (plus free printable,) plus a few more cute props & locations.

6 Tips for Cake Smash Photo Shoot

Here's the cake I'm making for our cake smash, (but I'm planning on icing the whole thing and adding sprinkles and a candle.)

Update: Wondering how it all went down? Check it out here.


P.S. - Got any great first birthday resources you'd like to share?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mom Moments: Get Your Nose in a Book

Little did I know, last week's first picture would become a trend. I swear this kid is so easy - no toys, just books. I'm so blessed!

1. Maybe he needs glasses?

2. If it's shaped like a chocolate rabbit, shouldn't it taste like one too?

3. These bunnies are awesome!

4. We put him to bed (sans book) and a few minutes later...he mysteriously had one.



P.S. - Any recommended reading for the little one?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March Goal Review: Changing My Perspective

I've been putting off my March Goal Review for a few days now because I'm actually a little afraid to look at it. I have a strange feeling it's going to be bad. I literally haven't looked at it since my last goal review and basically...out of sight, out of mind. Not good. (Even sadder, it has been so out of sight that I never even transferred a copy from my old computer to my new one.)

I really like my list and want to do all the things on them but I am a little worried that I'm not going to finish. 

Enter Finish Year

I randomly happened upon this great blog from another great blog and the timing could not be perfect because as I started writing my review of my months goals - I got disenchanted with the process and the bad grades I am getting. I sort of need a kick in the butt, i.e. a new way to look at my goal list, a way to encourage me to finish.

I've been looking at this all wrong as a routine to do list; I'm not trying to build habits out of these things, I just want some new experiences. And since it's getting me bogged down - I'm not going to do that anymore! Instead, I'm just going to focus on getting these done over the course of the year. Trying to work on 12 different goals a month is HARD, and in some cases (like learning a new blog skill) it's hard to hold back. I think it will be much easier to focus on things organically and check things off, like a list. Sure I might get all the easier things done first, but then that gives me exclusive time to focus on the harder things.

So here is my monthly review of all the things I've done:


Learn a new blog skill

I've added a new banner! What do you think?

Volunteer somewhere new

I haven't fully finalized this yet BUT it's very exciting so I'm going to share. Remember when I said my informational interview provided me with some ways to get experience right now? Well, long story short, I submitted a proposal to volunteer with a local organization helping them to coordinate their social media efforts - and they accepted it! We are working on scheduling a meeting to get the ball rolling. I'll keep you updated!

Read an employable book

I posted about how I started this AMAZING book, The Comeback. I literally just finished it last night and LOVED it. I just really liked hearing individual women's stories about taking time off and how they returned to their careers. It was hopeful, inspiring and empowering. Plus, it made me feel like I'm not alone!

Try a new recipe

I actually tried two this month. The first was from The Everygirl. They put out an awesome 10 meals for less then $50 pdf and I tried the flatbread (sans chicken) - fantastic and SO EASY! The second was for an app I wanted to try: buffalo shrimp and I added my own version of this Bleu Cheese dressing (see my notes for changes); both turned out delicious!

Take baby to a new place

I got a groupon to try out our local Stroller Strides class which we just did this past Monday (not really March!) I only did it because of the groupon and I kind of expected the class to be more social than an actual workout. However, I was pleasantly surprised; I LOVED it and I'm still sore today! Great workout and def planning to make it a permanent join.

Complete a home project

We FINALLY bought a new bed! It's just the mattress so far, we have plans to go pick up the frame this weekend but regardless - YAY! Getting a new bed has been way overdue; ours was so uncomfortable, we were waking up sore and getting no sleep. So last weekend we finally splurged and went for it. BEST.PURCHASE.EVER.

So my goal review now feels incredibly positive and so does my new chart!

Lots of green! And I'm actually looking forward to sharing this with you next month!

(I've also got one last thing I've changed...but I'm actually going to save it for tomorrow's post about productivity.)


P.S. - How are your yearly goals? Didn't set any? There's still time! Check out this post about creating your Finish List for the year and start now!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Colourlovers: Design for the SAHM

In the "learn a new blog skill section" of this post I shared my discovery of a few color palette sites and apps I found while designing my blog. Well, when I was working on this weeks arty Feed Read post, I found another AWESOME palette site and it's so good and so full of employability potential that I couldn't just write one sentence about it, so I just had to write a whole post.

I found the site while playing around with twitter. While I was uploading my background to my page, I happen to click on the "Check out Themeleon" link which I though was cool because it lets you create an awesome twitter background and design a color palette, etc.

So I started exploring the site hosting this service, Colourlovers, and I have just about fallen in love with it.

(The first time, I skipped the tour, but in retrospect - do it; I learned more.)

I started with the pattern template generator, which basically enables you to make a template for a pattern, (it's best viewed in it's entirety, here.)


Then I was able to add color that resulted in this whole pattern.


And then you have so many options for your pattern:

1. Background

You can download the image for your desktop, for your iphone, or for your blog background!

2. Fabric

You can turn it into a fabric, that you can sell here. (Mine isn't for sale...yet!)

3. Art

You can turn it into framed, canvas or print art, that you can sell (however, they have put a hold on new artist sign-ups, so I'll keep you updated when I get in.)

So it was at this point that I went back and tried the tour, where I customized my Employable Mom color palette from the colors I use for my site.

Baby_BlueI took these colors right from my site by typing my HEX#s right into Colourlovers. The COOLEST PART, was when I typed in my blue color they said that it was a "new color" to the site and they let me NAME IT (which I named after my son.) Check out Baby Blue! Also, and this is also kind of cool - it correlates to a Martha Stewart paint color that you can buy from Home Depot (however, it renders the "closest match" which for this one isn't really close at all...)

I basically spent my entire day playing with this site because it's so much fun! This would be such a fantastic site for a fashion/artistic/design mom to work on fabric design, or whatnot. If you decide to join, follow me, so I can follow back and check out all of the amazing designs your coming up with! I hope you enjoy playing with it as much as I did!


P.S. - Have any cool sites that you think would enable a SAHM to get her foot in the door? (Like this one!) Share them below! (I want to try them all and report back!)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Feed Read: 5 Fun Art Apps and Sites

I love finding sites and apps that do cool things - for free. This week I've compiled a few of my favorite artistic faves.

While nursing my son, I get about 3-5 min where I can just sit & read. Every week, I'm going to start you off with a Feed Read: links to sites that I enjoyed and would recommend to you whenever you get your own five minutes.


1. Clibe

I wish I had an ipad! This app allows you to craft a digital journal with pics, text, drawings, etc. Some uses: inspiration books, sketches, photo albums, school projects, and a digital record of kids art (I'm sure the intent is just to keep them occupied...haha.) However, this one was so good it made me tear up - (I'm a sap!)

2. Chanel

They sure are starting them early with this Chanel coloring book.

3. Presi

Awesome presentation maker site! This presentation by TED presenter JR shows off some of the cool features of the site.

4. Avatars

Need an avatar profile pic? Customize a bazillion different ones here. (Bazillion may be a slight exaggeration.)

Here's my Mad Men avatar!


5. Minimalist Economics

Last but not least, check out these funny minimalist economic movie posters.