Le Tote: The Best Way to Refresh Your Closet

Subscription boxes are a majorly popular thing in the blogging world. I kind of avoided them for a long time because I didn’t see anything that really sparked my interest or seemed worth the money I would be forking out for it. Stitch Fix for example always seemed like a fun idea, but I just couldn’t get behind the idea of paying $20 to have someone send me clothes I might not even like, then having to purchase any I did like on top of the styling fee. To me, that sounded like a great way for me to go broke very quickly.

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Top, cardigan, necklace, and bracelet from Le Tote

When I heard about Le Tote, I did A LOT of researching before I committed to my first tote. I read review after review from other bloggers and I never came across one negative thing. So I jumped in, and I was hooked from tote number 1.

Le Tote works like this:

You browse their website and add items they have to your “closet”. That means, you get to choose the items that get sent to you, guaranteeing they will actually fit your sense of style.

Le Tote ships you a box that has 3 pieces of clothing and 2 accessories in it. You keep that set for as long as you like and you actually get to wear the pieces wherever you want. 

When you’re done with that set, ship back the items you don’t want to keep (anything you keep is charged to your card on file) in the pre paid envelope included in your tote, rate your tote online so your stylist knows what you liked/didn’t like and what fit/didn’t fit.

As soon as your tote gets back to headquarters, they ship you a brand new tote! Le Tote has 2 day shipping both ways, so you can get a new tote every week if you like. That’s how I’ve been doing it and it maximizes the value.

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Cardigan from Le Tote

So I spend $54 a month (because I pay $5 insurance on my totes–I do have a toddler that sometimes spills things on my clothes!) and get 12 new pieces of clothing and 8 new accessories cycled through my closet each month, since I refresh my totes weekly. That is a killer value!

The best part is, using Le Tote keeps me from spending money on clothes otherwise. I don’t feel the need to go shopping because I know I’m going to be getting new clothing to refresh my closet each week. And for me, $54 a month is WAY less than I would spend on clothing otherwise (I’m a closet shopaholic).

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Necklace from Le Tote

I highly recommend Le Tote–it’s been so fun for me to get weekly happy mail, and it’s been an incredible value to me, especially as a fashion blogger–Le Tote is what helps me create new, interesting outfits consistently without breaking the bank.

If you’re afraid of commitment, rest assured it’s easy to either put your account on hold for a period, or cancel altogether if you don’t love it (but I can almost 100% guarantee you will!)

Do you use Le Tote? Do you get any other subscription boxes?

In the interest of full disclosure, if you were to sign up for Le Tote through any of the links in this post, I would get a free month. For which you would have my deepest gratitude, because I sure do love this service! :)


I’m really excited to introduce you to one of the sweetest bloggers I’ve ever come across! Jessica from Ellie Anne is such a genuine girl. She has such a happy outlook on life and clear perspective of her purpose (and yours!), which she expresses beautifully in this post. Even though she isn’t married, she has a wise plan for how she’ll ensure her marriage stays strong.  Last but not least, I love her post about commitment and what she is committing herself to.

FOOTERFEATUREjessica

Blog // Instagram // Twitter // Pinterest // Bloglovin’

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I had been reading some blogs (including this one!) for a few months and decided that it was something that I wanted to try because I love writing and I love people and community! I also started writing because I saw it as another way to document my life (because I usually don’t have the patience to write things in a journal).

What inspires most of your blog posts?

Most of my blog posts come from the little things that happen in my life. Whether it be something that just pops into my head or if I’m just talking to someone. That inspires the bulk of my posts. Reading other blogs also inspires me. I may have an idea already but when I read other blogs, my idea changes and evolves into something better than if I were to just write what I was originally planning on. So, when you get down to it, people and experience inspire me.

What is your favorite fall treat?

My favorite fall treat is hot chocolate. I tend to have it all other times of the year, but it’s just absolutely delicious in fall! Something about the season! I have a cup every night before I go to bed. It’s pretty much my only unique nighttime routine. ;)

What is the first job you ever had?

My first job was at Cold Stone. Best. Job. Ever! I wouldn’t trade my time there for anything else (unless it’s a lifetime supply of ice cream…but even then it’s still pretty easy to decide). I loved the people there and I loved the experience. I met some amazing people and some fantastic regular customers. It was superb! And who can complain about free ice cream every shift!?

What are you currently reading?

Currently, I am reading textbooks. #yayforcollege BUT, I’ve been wanting to read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. I’ll get to it…maybe. Haha!

 

How to Blog Productively

You probably know the familiar feeling of sitting down to blog with every intention of being productive, but a few hours in you realize you’ve been unproductively clicking between your email, Pinterest, and your post editing page, all while trying to work, but actually getting nothing done. Either that, or you get distracted by something–your phone, a Kate Spade sale notification in your inbox, your dog…the list goes on.

Make the most of the time you use to blog–these tips will help you blog productively

Been there, done that. Sometimes it’s hard to be productive. But honestly, not being productive isn’t a luxury most of us can afford. Most of us have to fit blogging into our real lives–the lives where we have houses that need cleaning, families that need to be nurtured/cared for/paid attention to, or other professions.

I’m not excluded from that reality. So when I do have time to sit down and blog, there are a few measures I take to ensure I blog productively.

Brain dumps

Before I do anything else, I take out a piece of paper and write down absolutely everything I think I need to accomplish that day. Then I draw a line and write down the things that need to be accomplished within the next week. Getting everything out on paper not only helps me move seamlessly from one task to the next, but it also frees my brain up from trying to keep track of all that information. And boy, do I need that space in my brain to be able to work.

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Prioritize

After I do my brain dump, I go through my TODAY list and prioritize. I use the principles of The Eisenhower Decision Matrix to help me do this–but I created my own matrix to apply it to blogging. The gist is:

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When I prioritize my list, I use this matrix to help me decide which tasks need to be addressed right away, which can wait, and what things aren’t actually important. I think it’s important to note that the items that fall under the “Urgent, Not Important” Quadrant often feel Urgent and important. But realize that most of these tasks are things that don’t benefit you or help you reach your goals.

For example, people emailing asking for favors or something that takes up your valuable time. Think about if taking the time to answer those requests benefits your goals, and be careful what you label as important.

Set yourself up

On thing that takes away from my valuable blogging time is leaving my desk for little things like needing a glass of water or a snack. Before I sit down to work, I make sure I have my water, a snack, the office supplies I need, and I’ve gone to the bathroom. That way I can sit down and just work.

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Eliminate distractions

This is one of the most important elements of blogging productively for me. The key for me is to blog at a time/place I won’t be bothered. For me, this is during Joshua’s nap. At that point, I’m completely alone and I can blog undisturbed.

Another thing that’s important for my productivity is putting my phone in another room with the ringer on. That way, I’m not tempted to check every notification I get, but I can still hear if someone is calling me.

Email tends to be another big distraction for me. Once I’ve prioritized my to do list and addressed any emails that I’ve labeled as urgent or important, I don’t check my email again until I’ve finished all of the other urgent and important tasks on my list. The times that I break this rule are the times I get caught up in looking at a sale or I start working on another task in the middle of the one I started and I end up with a bunch of half finished project. Less than ideal, that.

How do you eliminate distractions? What helps you to work productively? 


I’m really thrilled to share one of my new favorite bloggers with you today! Cajun from Blooming in Bedlam! She’s a girl after my own heart when it comes to seeking a natural alternative for things, especially beauty products! Her DIY beauty recipes are amazing! I love her post on how she uses essential oils in her beauty routine and her post for the ultimate essential oil storage.  She also shares great blogging advice as well as really practical life tips–like how she cut cable and still watches HD for free.  You’ll want to visit her blog and get to know her a little better. She’s fantastic! :)

FOOTERFEATUREcajun

Pinterest // Twitter // Facebook 

Why did you start blogging? 

Honestly, someone asked me to. I am research OB-SESSED! I started researching essential oils as a way to clear up my highly sensitive and reactive skin. I consulted an attorney I work with, who moonlights as a paleo/yoga/natural living guru and she introduced me to doTERRA essential oils. I signed up and continued my research to the point that she was asking me things about it and even asked me to teach a class on skincare using essential oils. She suggested we start a blog together, but we decided it would be uber-difficult to try to get this whole thing off the ground together. She continues to be supportive, but is dedicating time to growing life at the moment. :)

What inspires most of your posts?

My super sensitive skin and beautiful pictures inspires all of my beauty recipes. I am really enjoying learning about photography. My handy hubby inspires most of my diy posts. If I can dream it, he can make it!

What is your favorite season?

Spring or Fall, but really I love the change of the seasons, so whichever season is upon us is my current favorite.

Do you have any cool Halloween traditions?

I grew up out in the country, so my parents would drive us to my Uncle’s house to trick or treat in his neighborhood. We bought a house in the same neighborhood, so it is really fun/nostalgic when the kids come around each year.

What book did you just finish?

I’m currently in the middle of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, but before that I was reading the entire Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Love that series!

The Creative Closet | Fabulous Flannel

The weather this weekend was just perfect for shooting photos for this fabulous flannel prompt! It’s been very pleasant during the afternoon, but the mornings and the evenings have been pretty brisk. Just the right weather for cozying up in a warm, comfy flannel outfit.

The Creative Closet | Fabulous Flannel outfits

Maegen and I were so lucky to have Amanda step in and co-host with us at the last minute! Both of these ladies are majorly rocking the flannel–check out their blogs to see the details of their outfits. :)

I had a teensy Creative Closet crisis this week in that I discovered my trusty flannel shirt from last fall doesn’t fit me anymore! Yikes! I discovered this as I was getting dressed to go take photos too. Lucky for me I have a flannel-ish plaid scarf and Joshua has a super cute, classic red flannel button up. So I’m pretty much just going to let him be the star of today’s prompt. He’s cuter anyway. :)

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I’ve been so into layering button-ups under sweaters and other shirts recently. It’s such a fun look and I’m so happy with how it turned out for Joshua’s outfit. He look so cozy and I think that pop of plaid is so dapper. I think my last minute outfit turned out decent too. It was comfy and super casual–definitely a win for a mommy-son date to the park.

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On Jana //  Cardigan: Thrifted J. Crew (similar)  |  Jeans: Target (similar)  |  Booties: JC Penny (similar)  |  Tee: Target (similar)  |  Scarf: a gift (similar)  

On Joshua //  Flannel Button-up: Thrifted Old Navy (similar)  |  Jeans: Thrifted Old Navy  |  Boots: Wal Mart  | Pull over: Thrifted 

I’m so excited to see your looks! Remember to link back to one of your host’s posts stating that you linked up to The Creative Closet, or share the button in your post or on your sidebar.

The Creative Closet

I’m so excited to share November’s prompts with you! Can you believe we’ve made it through another month of The Creative Closet?

The Creative Closet prompts November 2014

Next week’s prompt is Ruffles and volume! Bust out your ruffly skirts and shirts or your most voluminous tulle skirt. Don’t have any of those? Wear something really bright and loud, or wear your favorite classic outfit with your best hairstyle that has super pumped up volume. Get creative with it. :)

Share your look socially using #thecreativecloset.

Ready for it? :)

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Two Halloween Party Favor Ideas

Well, we’re officially kicking off the week of Halloween! That means Halloween parties and the like. I’ve teamed up with Katie from Twin Stripe to bring you two different Halloween party favor ideas. My idea is totally geared towards kids, and Katie’s works for kids or adults. Take it away Katie! :)

Halloween party favor ideas: edible slime and ghostly goody bags

Katie’s Ghostly Goody Bags

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Happy Halloween week! Today I’m sharing a quick and easy goody bag DIY that is perfect for your little ones or a dinner party full of friends. You most likely have many supplies already at home with the exception of the bags and treats.

Supplies

• Small kraft paper bags
• White paper
• Navy or black paper
• Gold paper
• Tacky glue
• Scissors
• Orange twine
• Shred
• Treats

To make ghostly goody bags, start by drawing a simple ghost onto white paper. Be sure not to make it too big or small for your bag. When you are happy with your drawing, cut it out and add your own mouth and eyes. Be creative! Glue the mouth and eyes onto your ghost and then glue your ghost to the bag. When you are finished with your ghost, cut the word “BOO” or another word of your choosing out of gold paper. Glue your word on and get ready to add the treats!

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I opted for a selection of my favorite candies inside my ghostly goody bags including:

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Pumpkin
  • Twizzlers
  • Pumpkin Pop Rocks
  • Candy corn
  • M&Ms

Fill the bag with treats and cover with shred. I also added a little tag made out of extra navy paper and a piece of orange twine.

Enjoy these fun, ghostly treat bags!

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Jana’s Edible Slime

Did you ever play with those containers of slime when you were a kid? It’s sort of slippery, sort of sticky, and makes extra good farting noises when you try and squish it back into it’s container (don’t judge me, I grew up with a lot of brothers). I’ve seen recipes for making your own slimes using borax or laundry detergent, but that freaks me out considering my kid is only 2. He still sometimes puts things in his mouth, so there’s no way I would trust him around stuff that’s toxic when ingested. Luckily, I came across an idea of making slime using a fiber supplement, so I set out to make a fun edible slime for my toddler–perfect for Halloween!

Non-toxic, edible slime. Perfect sensory activity for toddlers and so great as a Halloween favor!

For 1 (8 oz) batch, you’ll need:

2 TBS of a fiber supplement made primarily from psyllium husk
2/3 cup water
1 packet of Kool Aid, to color and scent your slime

To make:

In a small bowl, whisk together the fiber supplement and the water so there are no lumps. Pour into a small, nonstick pot and add the Kool Aid. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until mixture thickens and becomes slimy. The longer you cook it, the more rubbery it becomes. The less cooking, the more sticky and slimy it will be–the choice is yours!

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To package the slime, I simply put 1 batch in an 8 oz mason jar. For the orange, I added a cute little orange jack-o-lantern paper in between the lid and the ring. For the red and the green I thought of doing a vampire and Frankenstein, however, I’m not that artistically talented so I skipped actually drawing it. You could always print something out from the computer or doodle them yourself if you’re a better artist than I am. :)

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There you go–the perfect, gooey, squishy, sticky party favor for little kids. Best of all, it’s 100% edible–in fact, it’s even good for you. :)

Be sure to stop by Katie’s blog to say hi and to see some of her other great DIY ideas!

What kinds of favors have you given/received at a Halloween party? Are you going to any parties this week? 

Vegetarian Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

You guys, I LOVE lettuce wraps. There is just something about that cool, crisp lettuce wrapped around warm, spicy, gingery filling that is oh so satisfying. These vegetarian lettuce wraps totally live up to the expectation set by their meaty counterparts. Even my husband, who is generally not a big fan of vegetarian food thought these were incredible.

Vegetarian quinoa lettuce wraps–easy to make clean eating too. Just sub honey/agave for the brown sugar.

These make such a perfect weeknight dinner since they’re so quick and easy to put together–if you already have cooked quinoa in the fridge, this comes together in about 10 minutes.

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Vegetarian Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

3 cups cooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, sliced
1 (8 oz) can of water chestnuts, rough chopped
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 head lettuce (Bibb or Butter lettuce is preferred, but green leaf or romaine works fine in a pinch)

Mix all ingredients (minus the lettuce) in a bowl and set aside.

For the sauce:

3/4 cup soy sauce
2 TBS toasted sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
3 TBS brown sugar
2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the filling mixture. Serve in lettuce leaves and  ENJOY! :)

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If you’ve ever eaten at PF Chang’s or someplace similar, you know make up a little sauce that you can drizzle over your food that’s made up of rice vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, and dijon mustard. I usually mix up a little bit of that sauce to go on our lettuce wraps as well. You can mix the ratios any way you want. If you like hot, add more sriracha. If it needs more acidity, add some vinegar. Needs more salt? Add more soy sauce. Easy peasy. :)

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Have you ever had lettuce wraps before? What’s one of your favorite quick meals?

Wearing Chambray for Day & Night

Chambray has been all the rage this year. Honestly, it’s not surprising. Chambray is so versatile–the perfect closet workhorse. Earlier this week, I wore my chambray shirt layered under a sweater for The Creative Closet. Today I’m sharing a casual, daytime look with chambray, and the lovely Amanda from Life with Grace is sharing a dressed up chambray look for night.

Wearing chambray for day and night

I love how Amanda wore a statement necklace over her chambray–it’s the perfect way to add some sparkle and make something that’s normally casual into a perfect base for a dressed up date night look. Visit her blog to see her outfit details!

Chambray is really easy to wear for day–it sort of naturally lends itself to a more casual look. For braving the chilly weather, I paired it with a long, structured open cardigan, a beanie, my trust ankle booties, and some white skinnies to give this muted look a little pop clean and bright. :)

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Wearing chambray for day

Chambray: H&M (similar)  |  Cardigan: Le Tote  |  Skinnies: Jeans9  |  Booties: similar  | Beanie: Target  |  Necklace: Le Tote

Photo credit: Brooke from Two in June

What’s your favorite way to wear chambray? 

 

Fall Bucket List + Win a Pair of Hunter Wellies

I have this weird thing where I really can’t decide if my favorite season is summer or fall. It’s a major toss up. I guess they’re tied? There are so many fun things to do in each season and so many wardrobe changes I look forward to with each. Since fall in Utah is notoriously short before it decides to go on and be winter (boo!) I’ve got my bucket list all set up–hopefully we can accomplish everything before the first snow fall…which honestly here you just never know when that might happen. While I’ve lived in Utah the first snow has come as early as the day before Halloween. Yikes. But anyway, here’s my bucket list!

Fall bucket list

1. Visit the pumpkin patch

2. Go apple picking

3. Make pumpkin pie

4. Make caramel apples

5. Have a hot dog roast over the fire pit and make s’mores

6. Carve a pumpkin with Joshua

7.  Roast pumpkin seeds

One thing I love about fall weather is the rain. It’s nice to curl up inside on the couch with a snuggly blanket, a good book, and mug of apple cider. But when you do have to venture outside in the rain, you might as well do it in style! I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Hunter Rain Boots for a while and I’ve teamed up with 13 other bloggers to bring you the chance to win your very own pair! You get to choose the color of course!

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Life Could Be a Dream // A + Life // The Modern Tulip // Kent Heartstrings
Elizabeth Loves // Hayes Days // T.O & Fro // Seasons with the Strattons
Life With Grace // Lace & Glaze // Just a Trace // Twin Stripe
Butcher’s Niche // Wetherills Say I Do

The giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on October 22nd until 11:59 pm EST on October 28th. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Prize has a value of up to $150. Entries will be verified, so please be honest. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize before a new winner will be chosen. Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Best of luck to you! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is on your fall bucket list? What color of Hunter wellies have you been dying over?


I’m excited to introduce you to Martha Kate from Seasons with the Strattons! This girl is so sweet and genuine with a beautiful heart after God. She’s honest enough to admit her faults and share about embrace weakness. She’s got a love for cooking and shares delicious recipes like this killer Beef & Broccoli. On top of that, she has the sweetest love story–she met her baseball playing husband when she was just 14! Read on to get to know her better. :)

FOOTERFEATUREmarthakateBloglovin‘ // Twitter // Pinterest // Instagram // Facebook 

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging after I got engaged to keep friends and family updated on the start of our new chapter as husband and wife and our new journey in Minor League Baseball.  I mainly blogged just to send updates on my husband’s baseball career and our travels associated with Minor League life.  It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that my blog turned into more of a creative outlet and a way to share how God is using our Minor League journey rather than just a place to keep friends and family updated.  Seasons with the Strattons has really turned into one of my passions and not just a journal style blog.

Where is your favorite place you’ve traveled?

We travel a lot with my husband’s baseball career, but my favorite place we have gone is still Saint Lucia.  It is absolutely gorgeous and I would go back this second if I could!  We had the best week there right after our wedding in January of 2013 for our honeymoon.  I’m hoping an anniversary trip back to Saint Lucia might happen one day!

What is your best Halloween costume?

I’ve had a lot of great Halloween costumes over the years thanks to my mom’s picks during childhood.  But my most recent favorite is when my now-husband and I dressed up as old people for a Halloween party in college.  We were always known as the “parents” of our friend group, so dressing up like grandparents was only fitting. 

What’s your favorite dessert?

My favorite dessert is a hard one to narrow down.  I love anything chocolate, but I’m also a sucker for any type of fruit crisp or cobbler.  I also have a huge obsession with Tiramisu and any type of ice cream.  So I guess to sum it up, anything sweet!

Which TV series are you currently watching?

I’m loving the fact that all of my shows started back this month.  My current favorites are Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, Law & Order SVU, and Nashville.  I’m not a huge movie person, so TV shows are my thing. 

The Creative Closet | Lovely Layers

I think this month’s set of prompts for The Creative Closet have been my favorite. They’ve all been very fall appropriate, but I think this one takes the cake as far as fall-friendly prompts go. Fall is for dressing in fun layers!

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I’m so impressed with Maegen and Jessica’s outfits this week! Make sure to stop by their blogs to see the details of their awesome looks and to thank them for hosting with me this week! :)

Lately I’ve been really loving the look of layering collared shirts under a sweater–it definitely adds more interest than just wearing a button up or just wearing a sweater. My trusty chambray shirt was the perfect choice–dang that thing is versatile. :)

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My favorite part of this outfit are definitely the boot cuffs though! I love the sweet button details! This pair came from the most darling Etsy shop, Oh Baby Crochet and More. Jessica has not only darling boot cuffs like these, but also scarves, baby blankets, baby hats and headbands. Today, you can head on over to my Instagram and enter to win a pair of Jessica’s gorgeous boot cuffs and a $25 Target gift card!

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Chambray: H&M (similar)  |  Sweater:  Thrifted  |  Pants:  H&M  |  Boot Cuffs: c/o Oh Baby Crochet and More (use the code DREAM20 for 20% off a purchase of $10 or more)  |  Boots: Target  |  Necklace:  c/o Pink Blush  |  Bracelet & Earrings:  Rocksbox 

Don’t forget: Next week’s prompt is Fabulous Flannel! Bust out those buffalo plaid shirts or your flannel infinity scarves. Next weeks prompt is sure to be cozy. :)

The Creative Closet October Prompts

Share The Creative Closet button in your post or your sidebar, or link back to one of your host’s posts in your blog post.

The Creative Closet

You ready to show off your Lovely Layers?

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The Biggest Blogging Mistake I Ever Made

I’ve written a few posts about things I wish I had known when I started blogging, or what I wish would have done differently as a new blogger. This post is a little different though. There’s a huge mistake I made as a new blogger that I haven’t mentioned in any of those posts because in all honesty, I’m still pretty ashamed of it.

The biggest blogging mistake I ever made

Two years and a month ago, I published a post I’m so not proud of. Don’t look for it, because I sure as heck deleted it after I realized what a mistake it was to post.

My mistake was underestimating just how small the blogging world really is. At the time I published said post, my blog was tiny. I think I had maybe 30 followers. I wrote a post venting some pretty extreme jealousy I was feeling towards another blogger. My reasoning behind thinking I would be okay posting was, a) she doesn’t read my blog  b) my blog is so small hardly anyone else will read it either.

My other thought was that because I didn’t write it with the intention of being mean it would be okay. I wrote the post to get something off my chest. Something that had been eating at me for a long time. Something I was ashamed of and needed to let go of. I was tired of harboring awful feelings of jealousy towards someone I knew for a fact was awesome, sweet, and talented.

My mistake was that I didn’t think about how she might feel if she did read that post. As I said, I never thought she would ever come across it. But you know what? She did. And boy howdy, did I have a major, “tail between my legs” moment.

Lucky for me, the girl in question happens to be very sweet, understanding, and forgiving. She didn’t persecute me for it. She didn’t call me out for it either.

My point is this: don’t ever underestimate the power you wield with your words in your blogging space or with social media. Words that you don’t intend as weapons can still cut others like a knife. Don’t ever be as naive as I was and assume your complaints, grievances, or negative feelings are safe because you’re a smaller blogger and “no one” will see it. You never know. You never know how your split-second poor decision to hit publish could ruin someone else’s day, week, or life. So just don’t go there. Always consider how someone else might feel when they read your words. And if the answer is in any way negative, just click delete.

Don’t make the biggest blogging mistake I ever did. It’s not even any kind of worth it.

Have you ever said anything on your blog or social media you wish you could take back? 

Meal Swap

I absolutely love cooking, but for those of you who don’t, I’m excited to share this idea for saving yourself from one day in the kitchen from Cassie of Kent Heartstrings! :)

It is no secret- I hate cooking. I am not very good at it, I am not passionate about it, its a chore, something that has to be done.  Mike is the Chef. He makes the yummy stuff.  I make food that is tolerable for surviving.  He makes food that is for thriving. I am always looking for ways to make meals more simple, EASY, appetizing, and basically spending the least amount of time in my kitchen as possible…

Brainstorming one day (on how I can get out of kitchen duties) I thought if one day out of the week I could make a double batch of whatever I making and give it to a friend and another night that friend could do the same for me, then that is one less day I have to be in the kitchen (I did my math correctly, right?!) That one night neither Mike nor I need to worry about a dinner meal and can have more quality time with our family.

I asked friends of ours based on two important things:

1) have the same size family as us- 2 adults 2 kids and

2) live close by, maybe 1 mile away (that is key!) because some days you can deliver a casserole that can just be popped into the oven and ready whenever, but some days the meals are better fresh and have to be delivered to their door that night, so it would not make sense (for us at least), to add unnecessary commute time.

After asking our friends they were game!  So now we touch base on Sundays or Mondays and figure out what days that week are best for us to swap, for example, I do Tuesdays and she will do Thursdays.  Some weeks we choose to not swap, so we just communicate and figure out.  Again, its not supposed to add stress, but alleviate it- so if its a busy week and preparing/delivering a meal for two families is too crazy we just don’t do it.

Not only has this alleviated a burden (for me!) and given our family one night of extra family time, but it has exposed us to a different food palette. All families have their favorite go-to meals that get cycled into the meal equation every week. So its easy to get sick of your own food.  Its hard to branch out, because, well especially with me, they often do not turn out tasting very good =).  So it has been fun to be exposed to a different family’s go-to and try different meals to expand our comfort food palette. When a particular meal is a big hit we make sure to send each other the recipes.

Here are a few of our Family Favorites (5 year old approved!):

Cassie Kent is the blogger behind Kent Heartstrings and the hostess behind Kreative.  She is married to Mike, who keeps her grounded and the family always focused on Christ…and it helps that he can always make her laugh. They have been married for 6 years and live in southern California. Her world is her two children, Gigi who is 4 going on 16 and Charlie a 9 month old chunky monkey. She is a stay-at-home mama, but seems to never really be at “home”.  Her heart comes alive when she is creating. It doesn’t matter if it’s a messy egg-carton creature or a beautiful DIY home-decor piece, she is always keeping busy and working on a project or 2..or 3.

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