On Balancing Blog Life and Real Life

Over the past few months, I’ve had a few people ask me to write a post on how I go about balancing blog life and real life. First of all, super flattered here. You would probably be less impressed with what I crank out of this little bloggy of mine if only you could see the neglected mountain of unfolded laundry on my bed. But, you can’t win them all!

But seriously, it’s a super valid question. Blog life kind of consists of a lot. Forget just coming up with content and writing posts–there’s social media promotion, sponsorships, blog consultations, networking, strategizing how to grow your blog, staging photos, editing photos, etc. Real life is no less busy. There are things called laundry, dishes, children, and husbands that need to be taken care of and washed (kids and sometimes husband included in the washing category) and some people have full time jobs on top of all that!

Tips for balancing blogging and real life

A lot of the time, I count myself really lucky that I can call blogging my full time job. I can stay at home with my kiddo, do something I’m wildly passionate about, and bring in a little extra somethin-somethin for my family. Not a bad setup. However, finding the balance can sometimes be tricky. These four things have really helped me streamline my blogging process and help me with balancing blog life with real life.

One // Getting Organized

Organization is absolutely the number one thing that helps me keep the blog life-real life balance. It may seem like overkill to have sheets and forms for things like tweets, but it saves me from having to keep track of things with just my mom brain that tends to space things. There are three major areas that I think are super important to organize when it comes to blogging:

Organize blog posts

This post about how I organize my blog posts should be familiar because I’ve referenced it several times. For me, it’s crucial to plan out my blog post ideas for the month and check off each post after it’s written. After that, all it takes is a quick glance for me to see what days still need posts and what ideas need to be developed.

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Organize sponsorships

After writing actual blog posts, my sponsorship program takes up the second largest chunk of my time. While it takes less time than creating blog content, it’s a lot more complicated. Because of that, there are a lot more tools I used for keeping my sponsorships organized. I use tools like Passionfruit Ads, sponsorship sheets, and an email scheduler for Gmail to streamline my process and make things easier on me.

For a more in depth look at how I run my sponsorship program, you can read this post.

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Organize social media

My big not-so-secret secret for organizing my social media platforms is to use Hootsuite. Scheduling social media promotion for my posts right after I write them is a lot easier than trying to remember to do it throughout the day. I also use this Twitter schedule to help me post consistently on Twitter throughout the day–doing that has made a huge difference in the engagement I see with my Twitter following.

I also have a reminder in my phone set to go off at 5pm every day. My phone buzzes and the screen says, “Instagram photo???”. That way I remember to post something to Instagram if I haven’t already that day.

Two // Creating a schedule

This goes hand in hand with organization, but I feel like it deserves a separate category. I think of organization more in terms of the tools I use, and a schedule is more about time management.

Do certain tasks at the same time every day

There are some parts of the day that are for blog life, and other parts are for real life. I do the same things at the same time each day, so I never have to question whether I should be in blog mode or wife/mom mode. Fore example:

6:00 am – Joshua wakes up: Blog time. I schedule my tweets for the day, answer emails, and write a post or two if he sleeps long enough.

8:00 am – 1:00 pm: Mom time. Feed Joshua, go to the gym, do some activity to wear him our for his nap, do laundry, do dishes, etc.

Nap time (1-3ish pm): Blog time, BIG TIME. This is when I get the bulk of my blog work done. I answer emails, write posts, shoot photos, edit photos, network, etc.

Joshua wakes up – 8 pm: Mom time and wife time. This is when I spend time with Dustin and Joshua. If Dustin has meetings in the evening or other obligations, I work on blog stuff after Joshua goes to bed. If he’s home, we do something together after Joshua goes to bed.

Anytime I have to use the bathroom: Twitter time. I scroll through my feed and favorite, retweet, and reply. That way, I’m engaging with my audience and with people I follow instead of just putting tweets out into the universe.

Every night while Dustin showers: Pinterest time. I take 10-15 minutes and pin away! That way my boards always have fresh content.

Have a cleaning schedule

Let’s get a little bit more specific with the wife/mom duties. I would seriously fall so unbelievably behind with my housework if I didn’t find some way to make it easier on myself. Creating a cleaning schedule was a no brainer for me. I know what household tasks need to be done when–if it’s not the day for that task, I don’t stress about it. Obviously there are some things I do daily like making our bed, doing dishes, and wiping of the table and the counter after meals/meal prep, but other than that, each household chore is assigned a specific day. And I like spending only 15-30 minutes cleaning every day.

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For more time management tips for mom/wife life, check out this post here.

Three // Setting goals

Having a clear goal for my blog as a whole, as well as for different social media platforms and specific aspects of my blog has been key for helping me decide what tasks are need-to-dos and which tasks are nice-to-dos. Defining what is important to me, where I want to spend my time, and how I want to spend that time makes it so I’m working lean and mean instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

We bloggers have to realize something: we absolutely, no question about it cannot do it all. You have to define what’s important to you and what is not. For example, I don’t feel like my blog’s Facebook page does very much for me, so I don’t do to much with it. It’s not important to me. Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram are however, very important to me. So I focus my time and energy there instead.

Four // Enlisting help

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That quote was a direct answer to a question I asked a panel of bloggers at Build Your Blog Conference in February. I wish I had written down who said it, but I was quickly scribbling so many notes that I neglected to do that. That quote had a big impact on me though.

After hearing that quote, I realized I can’t do it all. There aren’t enough hours in a day for me to accomplish everything I want to accomplish for this blog by myself. When I heard that quote back in February, I was slammed with blog and design work and I just couldn’t catch up. It was stressful and causing me some major burnout. I decided that it was worth it for me to ask for some help. So I asked my 12 year old sister in law if she would be willing to watch Joshua for me for a couple hours after school, 2 days a week. I paid her $2 an hour. I finally got out from under my giant to do list, Joshua got to bond more with his favorite aunt, and Trinsica made a little extra cash. I’m way ahead of my blog to do list right now, but if I ever get behind again, I’ll immediately enlist help.

Figure out what is stressing you out and take some necessary steps to fix it! If you are feeling like you just can’t keep up with your blog’s social media, hire a social media manager. I’m pretty sure any high school student would love to make $5 an hour to tweet and pin away for you (just make sure you hire someone who understands your goals and can emulate your personal taste and style)! If you can’t juggle blogging and keeping your house clean, pay someone to do it for you. If you have kids who are old enough to tackle bigger chores, up the ante and up their allowance if they take on more work so you can focus on blogging.

How do you go about balancing blog life and real life?

The Creative Closet | Bold & Bright

This week, we’re doing a 180 from last week’s edition of The Creative Closet. Last week we wore crisp whites, and this time around we are bringing the color!

The Creative Closet | Bold & Bright

When I think bold, I automatically think red. Red is such a statement color–people notice you when you wear it. It’s inevitable. This skirt is one of my absolute favorites in my closet. It’s such a light, comfortable skirt that goes with so many different things in my closet.

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As much as I love that skirt though, for me the real stars of this outfit are the shoes. I bought these shoes in high school when Dillard’s was having a super amazing sale. I think I picked them up for $25 down from $89. There was no way I could pass these babies up. They get the most compliments of any shoes I own and more than a few of my friends have dubbed them my “hot” shoes.

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They might be my favorite thing in my closet. :)

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Top: Old Navy (similar) |  Skirt: DownEast Basics  |  Shoes: Jessica Simpson (similar)  |  Earrings: Gift  |  Ring: Tai Pan Trading  |  Lipstick: Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Standout 

If you’re new to The Creative Closet, we’re so happy to have you joining in! Please take a minute to read the why behind The Creative Closet before linking up so we’re all on the same page.

Take a second and stop by Maegen’s blog to see her awesome look, as well as visit Rachel to check out how she brought her bold and bright this week.

Remember to visit and comment on other blogs! That’s part of the purpose of this linkup–to make friends and grow together in our common love for fashion and being creative.

Don’t forget to specify that you linked up to The Creative Closet in your blog posts–either share our button in your post or on your sidebar or include a link back to my post or Maegen’s.

Lastly, mark your calendars and join us next week for Leather & Lace! 

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The Creative Closet
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Another Fashion Blooper Reel

It’s been a couple months since I shared my last fashion blooper reel. Plenty of time for me to take plenty more awful photos. Especially since the start of The Creative Closet. I’ve been in front of the camera a lot more since then and it has presented me with plenty of opportunities to look like a dork.

In all honesty, I like sharing my bloopers with you. I don’t feel embarrassed by my bad photos in the slightest. We all take some pretty silly looking photos sometimes. It’s part of being human.

Without further ado, I present you with my silliest photos from the past two months.

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Joshua often distracts me with his antics during photo shoots and we often end up with my face looking like this ^

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Here’s what I’m thinking: I wonder if it’s possible to make scratching my arm look charming and demure?

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There are mosquitos down by the river. That’s all I can say about that one. 

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“Dear Heavenly Father, please bless me to be able to take some good photos…” We always start our photo shoots with a prayer. Don’t you? 

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This one just amuses me because I was double checking to see if my toddler was still on our property instead of tromping through the golf course by our cabin. The struggle is real. 

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Does this remind anyone else of the default pose you used to strike as a kid when you were pretending to be a supermodel? The dorky, cliche, “Look at me, I’m a model” pose? Please tell me you know what I’m talking about. 

Progressive Italian Dinner: Battered Eggplant Fries

I have such a fun post for you today! I’m really excited about it and it’s been in the works for a few weeks. I teamed up with two of my favorite bloggers, Madsion of Wetherills Say I Do and Jenna of Dearest Love to bring you a 3 course Progressive Italian Dinner!

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Appetizer: Battered Eggplant Fries  |    Entree: Baked Rigatoni    |    Dessert: Chocolate Chip Tiramisu

So…what does that mean? If you’ve never participated in progressive dinner, it’s where you have an appetizer in one location, entree in another, and dessert at still another location. You can do them at restaurants or in people’s homes. Either way, they’re tons of fun. Today we’ve tweaked the idea so you can get the recipes for a gourmet (but still very easy) 3 course Italian dinner by doing a little bit of blog hopping. So hang on to your hats. I’m going to kick it off with the appetizer: Battered Eggplant Fries with Basil Mint Dipping Oil.

These battered eggplant fries are crispy, delicious, and the perfect starter for any Italian dinner.

I based this recipe off of one of my very favorite appetizers from the Italian restaurant I worked at in high school and college. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember how Joey (my boss) used to make these and I couldn’t find my very old, torn, and sauce stained notebook I used to keep in my pocket at work to jot down all of his brilliant recipes. So I just made up my own recipe using his idea and it turned out phenomenal.

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Battered Eggplant Fries

serves 4

1 large eggplant
1 cup flour
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
6 oz lemon-lime soda
olive oil for frying
kosher salt for sprinkling

Fill a deep sauté pan with 2 inches of oil. Preheat over medium heat.

Trim off both ends of your eggplant. Cut into sticks about 1/3″ thick and 2″ long. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, seasonings, and lemon-lime soda.

Working in small batches, dunk your eggplant sticks in the batter to coat. Allow any excess to drip off. Fry until oil no longer bubbles vigorously and the fries are golden brown. Remove to a wire rack over a paper towel lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Serve hot with basil mint dipping oil (below).

battered eggplant fries with basil mint dipping sauce

Basil Mint Dipping Oil

roughly 1/2 cup basil leaves
roughly 1/4 cup mint leaves
1/3 cup olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1 TBS Parmesan cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients together until herbs are emulsified with the oil.

Battered eggplant fries with basil mint dipping oil

Now that you have your appetizer hammered out, go visit Madison’s blog for your entree: delicious Baked Rigatoni. After that, be sure to stop on by Jenna’s blog for sweet, chocolate chip Tiramisu to finish out your meal. :)

Buon Appetito!

Have you ever done a progressive dinner? 

That’s How You Got Here?

I’ll be honest, I can sometimes be kind of a freak about checking my blog stats. If you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, you may have experienced this phenomenon. One of my favorite things to look at is the searches that bring people to my blog. It’s nice to know my SEO is paying off, but also, some of those searches are pretty darn hilarious. Others leave me saying, “What the…?”

I’ve loved reading about search engine traffic funnies from other bloggers, so I thought I would share some of mine with you today. May they bring you the chuckles and eyebrow raises they brought me. :)

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Color of flowers on wreath has washed away.

And for that, I am truly sorry. Maybe you should have bought higher quality flowers. 

Diaper + “leather skirt”

I suppose a faux leather skirt on a baby girl would be pretty stinkin’ adorable. But wait, how did that bring you to my blog?

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Isn’t it a pain to search for things on your iPhone? Those little letters on the keyboard are so tiny. Half of my searches turn out just like this one. (they meant Valentines, in case you didn’t catch that).

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I’m really just wondering which post they found from my blog with that one. 

Meaning of liking ripe boiled pear from a child in the dream

Um….what?

Sesame oil n it’s booty busting properties

I didn’t know sesame oil had booty busting properties. Maybe I should look into that. 

What’s the funniest search that has brought traffic to your blog? 


 

Have you met Taylor from Life in the Lost and Found Bin? She’s funny and sarcastic in the best kind of way. She’s also got a serious, “let me share my life lessons” kind of side, like when she wrote these 10 things you learn at college (yep, those lessons sound familiar!). She also has a way of making you appreciate the best parts of life, like the best things about summer. Best of all, she loves blogging. Enough to admit that she’s that blogger friend (girl, I feel you!).

 

FOOTERFEATUREtaylor

 

Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

What got you started with blogging?
I have always had a love of writing, which led me to take AP Language and Composition my junior year of high school. On the first day of class we started blogs to post weekly-writing assignments, and once the class ended most people stopped posting. But I continued because it was a way to share my love of writing. 
 
What are your favorite types of posts to write?
I love makings lists. I often write about experiences I have had that I feel like other people can relate to. If I can make it into a list of things I have learned or reasons why I love to do what I am describing, it is even better.
 
What’s your favorite place you’re ever traveled? 
The best vacation I ever had was just me and my mom in Laguna Beach, CA. I have a fascination with California. Maybe part of that has to do with my dreams of working in film, but I just love everything from the palm trees to the ocean breeze. 
 
If your personality was a color, what color would you be and why?
I am a bright blue. I am outgoing and energetic, but the calmer side of me keeps me grounded. I think the brightness signifies my curious and adventurous side, while the blue signifies my contrasting desire for tranquility. 
 
What’s your most embarrassing moment?
If only I had one embarrassing moment that I could distinguish from the rest. I think, rather, I have a collection of embarrassing moments which usually revolve around my ability to be very easily startled. I don’t frequent Haunted Houses or get a thrill out of horror movies. And yet, I am screaming and jumping out of my chair on a regular basis. Any time someone scares me in front of a room full of people, it is pretty embarrassing–and everyone always laughs. At least I am laughing with them–once I catch my breath. 

My Cooking Spot & a 51 Piece Kitchen Gadget Giveaway

I have exciting news! You all know I love to cook, right? Well I’m officially a contributor for My Cooking Spot! At this point I’ll be contributing a new recipe twice a month, so be sure to visit My Cooking Spot to see more of my recipes. I’m really excited to share two of my recipes later this month:

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My Cooking Spot and its contributors have also put together a giveaway for a chance to win 51pc Chefmate Kitchen Gadget Set!

We all got together and wanted to share our love of cooking by hosting a fabulous giveaway!

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Below are the contributors who helped put this giveaway together. Check out their fab blogs and see all the amazing recipes these ladies have done.

Be sure to enter to win!!

Enter today in the Rafflecopter entry form below.

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Contributors – Clockwise

Jana: Life Could Be a Dream BlogRachel: Oh Simple ThoughtsMarcella: Marcella Roses

Erin: My Cooking Spot - Natasha: Gather Around Our TableMadison: Wetherill Say I Do

Jen: Jen’s Favorite Cookies - Nathalia: Creatively ConsciousMeme: Meme IngeErin: The Speckled Palate

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to Name Your Blog Photos & Why You Should

SEO (search engine optimization) is something that gets talked about a great deal in blogland, and for good reason. We want to know how we can get our blog posts ranked higher in search engine results. One way to accomplish this is by naming the images on  your blog. Not only does this help your post rank better in search engine results, but it also helps with Pinterest.

How to name your blog photos and why you should

HOW TO NAME YOUR BLOG PHOTOS…

FOR WORDPRESS

METHOD ONE: Click on the image in your post and click on the pencil icon to edit. In the field “Alternative Text” name your photo. For optimized SEO: Name your photo using the same keywords you plan to use throughout your blog post. This increases your SEO ranking. For instance, the keywords I’m using for this post are “How to name your blog photos”. I made sure to name each photo in this post using those keywords (not necessarily only those keywords, just made sure I used them) and I used those keywords in my post title and page URL.

How to name your blog photos in WordPress

METHOD TWO: Alternately, you can name your photos while uploading them. I love this feature on WordPress. So handy. Just fill out the Alternative Text field using the same tips from above.

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FOR BLOGGER

If you’re using a Blogger blog, the method is similar and the same SEO tips still apply. Click on your photo and select “Properties”. Then fill out the “Alt Text” field.

how to name your blog photos on Blogger

…AND WHY YOU SHOULD

Now that we know the how, lets get into the why. I already mentioned that naming your photos helps with SEO. Specifically it really helps with image searches. If you named a photo on your blog “cute golden retriever puppy” and someone does a Google image search for “golden retriever puppy”, BAM! You image shows up in the image search, which might lead them to your blog.

My favorite reason for naming my blog photos using the alternative text however, is because you can control the description of your blog images on Pinterest. That way, you are making sure you are sending well described pins out into the Pinterest universe, no matter who pins from your blog. Of course, the user can change the description to their liking, but if you’ve already described the pin for them, they’ll probably leave it alone.

Do you name your blog photos?


Have you all met Rebekah from Living Lavender? She’s kind of great. And by kind of, I mean a lot.  She’s a straight forward, tells it like it is kind of girl. That’s a favorite quality of mine. She has an amazing adoption story, and wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s brave enough to admit she struggles with anxiety (you go, girl!) and she share things that are close to her heart like the passing of her grandmother.  Take a second and get to know her better. :)

FOOTERFEATURErebeka

Bloglovin // Twitter // Facebook // Pinterest // Instagram 

What got you started with blogging?
I’ve always loved writing, and wanted to find a new, less formal outlet so I could continue to do it. I never dreamed anyone would actually want to read what I wrote though! It has been a fun and exciting year since I started.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 
I’m a lawyer who that hates conflict and never actually wanted to be a lawyer.
What’s the number one thing on your summer bucket list?
I want to take a trip to Destin. I usually go every year, but this year work has continued to get in the way.
What are 2 of your favorite TV shows?
Doctor Who and pretty much any HBO series.
What is your least favorite food? 
Any seafood.

The Creative Closet | White Hot

Aside from my wedding dress and clothing for religious ceremonies, this is the very first all white outfit I’ve ever worn. I feel like I’ve hit an important fashion milestone, and today’s edition of The Creative Closet is my celebration!

The Creative Closet | White Hot

I’m not sure why I’ve never worn all white before–it’s so unbelievably chic and classy. Scratch that, I know exactly why. When I was younger, it’s because I was accident prone. Wearing even a white shirt is asking for spills. Who knows what catastrophes an entire white outfit could bring!  And these days, I have  dirt magnet in tow 97% of the time. His name is Joshua…

Even though I might not wear this outfit terribly frequently (read: only once in a blue moon if Dustin and I are going on a date where there is no chance of me spilling food on myself), it’s nice to know I have one more outfit possibility in my closet. :)

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Top: White Plum (similar)  |  Pants: Jeans9 (similar)  |  Bracelet + Ring: Tai Pan Trading |  Earrings: Gift  | Shoes: Ralph Lauren (similiar) |  Bag:  CariLoha

Before we get to the actual linkup, there is one thing I need to mention. Please read, it’s kind of important:

 If you missed my post yesterday about why we started The Creative Closet, please read it. Maegen and I love this project of ours, and we have been having people linking up with the wrong intentions and it takes the fun away from those of us who take this seriously and use this linkup as a tool to grow in our style creativity as well as grow in community. Please follow the rules of the linkup. Thanks! :)

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Lets get back to the fun stuff. :)

1) Make sure to stop by Maegen and Angelica’s blogs to check out the details of their stellar outfits and thank them for helping me put on another awesome week of The Creative Closet

2) Remember to join us next week for Bold & Bright! Bust out your neon, put on your brightest pair of red heels, or wear your favorite shade of hot pink lipstick–whatever you have that makes you feel bold, sassy, and awesome!

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3) Share The Creative Closet button in your post or include a link back to my post or Magen’s post.

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Cheers to another awesome week of The Creative Closet! I’m so excited to see what you think is White Hot in your closet. :)

Would you/have you ever worn all white?

Why We Started The Creative Closet

A little over a month ago, Maegen and I introduced The Creative Closet. It’s been a month and a half full of fun getting to know new bloggers, expanding my horizons,  sharing my love for fashion, and working closely with a stellar blog friend to bring it all to fruition.

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Week 3, Classy Neutrals

There’s been some negative too though, which is always the case with anything. The trouble with linkups is that there isn’t really a way to enforce the rules or guidelines of your linkup. So it’s frustrating to see people skirting over those rules and using the linkup in any way they choose.

I’ll be honest, it kind of hurts me. Maegen and I put a lot of thought into exactly how we wanted to do this. We created this linkup for a very specific purpose. The purpose of The Creative Closet is to use the weekly prompts to look at your closet with goal in mind. That prompt is to give you new perspective–to teach you to view your closet in a way that’s different than how you normally view it. I have seen Creative Closet miracles happen for me every week. Because of the new prompt every week, I have created outfits that I have never worn before. I have put together pieces that I had never considered wearing together. I have created an incredible working wardrobe with what I already had–out of a closet that I previously thought had nothing great in it.

The Creative Closet | Pattern Mixing

Week 4, Pattern Mixing

THAT is the purpose of The Creative Closet. To teach yourself that you don’t have to go out and buy new things (although you certainly can, if you choose to). It’s meant to teach yourself to be creative with what you have. To make fashion blogging accessible to everyone–to those who don’t have the money to go out and buy new clothes every week and to those who don’t have companies sending them free swag left and right.

The purpose of the linkup is also about community and growth! It’s about visiting the other bloggers who participate to say, “Hey! You did a great job this week! I love how you paired those pieces together. You look wonderful!” It’s about encouragement and making new friends through a shared love of fashion and stepping outside of your comfort zone.

So when I see people linking up their random fashion posts that have absolutely nothing to do with the prompt just to get a few extra eyes on their post, that hurts me. When I see people linking up their post but mentioning nothing about The Creative Closet in their post, that hurts me. Because they are completely missing the point of the linkup–a point that Maegen and I so very carefully crafted. They’re missing the opportunity to grow in their creativity, in their friendships, and they’re missing the chance to help The Creative Closet grow–growth that would only benefit everyone who wants to participate.

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Week 2, Radiant Orchid

 Now, I’m not the blogging police. When people link up that haven’t followed the guidelines of the linkup, I haven’t deleted their links. I could have, but I didn’t. I don’t want to make people feel unwelcome. I want anyone who wants to join in to feel free to do so, but I do hope that those who join in The Creative Closet will use it for it’s intended purpose, instead of a selfish way to promote their own random posts. With that said, going forward I will delete links that are disingenuous. This is my blog, and The Creative Closet is mine and Maegan’s project–a project we both love and are within our rights to protect it’s integrity. There are plenty  of linkups for people to link up any random fashion post they choose–this is not one of them.

I’m not saying any of this to be mean, and I certainly don’t want anyone to feel excluded. I want everyone to be able to participate. My point is, we set this up the way we did for a reason, and I’m asking people to respect that.

If you join any sort of linkup, please respect the rules. There is often a lot of thought that goes into the workings of these things and you do yourself a huge disservice if you don’t use them the way they’re meant to be used. It also ruins the fun for and detracts from the people that participate in the linkup the way they’re supposed to! Linkups can be an incredible tool for growth and developing connections and friendships if you use linkups for their intended purpose–a purpose which is entirely up to the creator.

 What are your thoughts on linkups? Do you have any that you join regularly?

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

After sharing in this post about lowering your grocery budget that I make my own rotisserie style chicken in the crockpot, many of you asked if I could share the method. You asked, I delivered! Making my own rotisserie style chicken has been such a great money and time saver as well as a wonderful tool for helping us eat more healthfully. This crockpot rotisserie chicken usually lasts us an entire week of being added to the majority of our meals and it costs about $5 to make. Compare that to a store bought rotisserie chicken that usually costs $8-10 and isn’t as good for you.

How to save money by making your own crockpot rotisserie chicken

Also, can we talk for a second about how difficult it is to make a whole chicken look pretty? Well, it’s hard…and yeah. Actually, that’s kind of all I have to say about it. Moving on.

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken

1 whole chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
2 TBS kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS Italian seasoning blend

Feel free to change up the spices–this is just my favorite way to do it. Lemon pepper is a really good bet as well. :)

Now for the method! Pull out your crock pot and scrunch up some aluminum foil into little balls to line the bottom of your crockpot, like so. This is so the chicken doesn’t sit in it’s own juices and actually roasts instead of getting all soggy.

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Next, prep all of the things you need to prepare the chicken. Carry the crock pot insert over to the sink, grab a few paper towels, pull your garbage can right next to you, and measure your oil and spices into glass containers. Since taking my Food Service and Sanitation course during culinary school, I am majorly OCD about cross-contamination–especially when it comes to raw chicken. Prepping all of your stuff before you open the chicken package ensures that you will not have to touch anything not related to your chicken project until you are done touching the raw chicken and your hands are thoroughly washed.

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Now that you’re all set up, remove the chicken from the package and rinse under cool water. Be sure to run some water in the cavity of the chicken. Pull out the bag of giblets if your chicken happens to have them. Using your paper towels, pat your chicken dry. Be sure to get under those little chicken-y arm pits. Wing pits, I guess.

Set  your chicken down in the crock pot–just to give yourself a surface to work over. Pour the oil over the chicken and rub all over to coat. Season the chicken liberally. Make sure to season very well inside the cavity of the chicken.

Lay the chicken breast down on top of the foil balls. Tuck in the wings. Most people will tell you to roast a chicken breast up, but roasting breast side down keeps the white meat juicier. :)

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Roast your chicken on low for 6-8 hours. Once the chicken is done roasting, I usually like to pull out the crock pot insert and pop it under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to crisp up the skin and give it some color. It helps add some nice depth of flavor as well.

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Let your chicken cool for about 10 minutes, then pull the meat from the bone. The meat should fall right off.

If you want to make chicken stock later

Put the bones (not the skin!) in a gallon size ziploc bag and stick in the freezer. When you have 3 or 4 carcasses saved up, place in a large stock pot with 3-4 peeled, chopped carrots, 1 small, roughly chopped onion, and a few stalks of celery. Cover with water and simmer on low heat for 7-8 hours (you could do this in the crock pot as well). Drain off the stock and cool to room temperature as quickly as possible–it’s best to set your container of stock in an ice bath. Skim off any fat from the stock and discard. Discard the chicken carcass and the vegetables. Store the stock in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days.

If you don’t use chicken stock often, it would be a good idea to either pressure can your stock so it’s shelf stable, or freeze it in small batches for later use.

Do you make anything at home to help you save money?