Pinterest: Death of the Designer

I wear a lot of hats. My creativity compels me to always be learning and figuring things out so when someone asks me, “will you,” and I say, “yes.” Even if I don’t exactly know how. It’s a challenge. I’ve gotta figure it out.

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Flower arranging happens to be one of those ‘things’. Somebody said, “will you,” and I said, “yes.” And I’ve said yes now over 20 times, including my own wedding. I absolutely love arranging flowers. I’ve always loved the outdoors but I have been obsessed with flowers ever since I studied Georgia O’Keeffe in high school. I am inexplicably drawn to the organic beauty, color and uniqueness of each bloom.

I buy books on them.

I cut them out of magazines.

I paint them.

I dry them.

I plant them.

I arrange them.

Even as a child, I would grow them for the school flower show.

I’m telling you, flowers and I, we are meant for each other.

But here’s the kicker. Arranging flowers is not like painting. I paint whatever I want to and keep showing it til someone decides to buy it. But I can’t arrange flowers whenever I want to and hope someone will buy it because they are temporal. And that’s something that I love about fresh cut flowers. Their beauty is brief, like a mist, a reminder of our own life and mortality.

So in order to feed my obsession, I am forced into a client-designer relationship with brides. A wedding is the perfect time to express all that pent up flower creativity. Except for the bride and that damn Pinterest. Pinterest kills of my creativity.

Believe it or not, I actually started arranging flowers BEFORE Pinterest. I know, crazy right? I didn’t have pictures upon pictures UPON PICTURES to tell me how to do it. I figured it out on my own. Turns out I’m pretty good at it. I’ve done it for over 20 weddings and had professional florists compliment me. But now Pinterest makes EVERYONE think they can DIY their way to a perfect wedding. I end up being told exactly what to buy and how to arrange it because every bride now has a hundred pictures of bouquets that she is in love with and wants it to look like. And my opportunity for creativity is lost.

This isn’t just happening with flowers and weddings. It is happening with all forms of creativity, every possible opportunity for the designer to express oneself. Anything and everything is now at the fingertips of anyone and everyone via the internet. So when a client approaches a designer about designing something, they already have a million ideas in their head with no room left for the creative to be creative. It leaves the designer as nothing more than a puppet in the client’s hands. Then what is the point of being creative??

I don’t design things for people because I think they have great ideas and they just need me to actually make it. No creative person does. We design things because we think we have something to offer besides our mere technical skills– our creativity. We all live for those moments when the client says, “I love your idea,” or, “you communicated that a lot better than I ever could.” So give us the chance. Here’s a tip: the next time you are paying someone to design something for you, whether it be a logo, a website, your house, or a bouquet, don’t look on Pinterest before you hear and see what the designer has to offer. You might just be surprised. And your designer will be very grateful.

How to Start an Apartment Garden

Spring is here, which means my yearly itch to start a garden has returned, with gumption. The ground is soft, the sun is shining and my tummy is not-so-quietly urging me to get some veggies in the ground so they can get into my belly. There’s just one problem: I live in an apartment – I don’t have ground that I’m allowed to grow things in.

No yard, no grass – nothing. How are you supposed to have a garden with no yard and no grass?

How to Start and Apartment Garden

You improves, that’s how. By calling on Pinterest and my mom’s gardening experience, I’ve become quite the small space vegetable grower.

Last year, I decided to focus on tomatoes and grew three different kinds. On a very basic level, if you keep it simple and just choose one or two types of veggie to grow, you’ll face less stress and have more success. Even better, when you don’t have to worry about sharing a lack of horizontal space, you can focus on your verticals. Growing things up, that is!

The only method I’ve ever employed started in my house and then moved into large planters outside. Now is the perfect time to go ahead and either purchase seeds or little starter plants, keep them inside until the last frost, and then transfer them into larger containers to foster continued growth outside. Again, don’t worry too much about the types of seeds you choose, especially if this is your first foray into gardening. Pick something simply and you know you like, I chose to grow tomatoes because:

  1. I eat them a lot
  2. They can be canned for use later for sauces
  3. You get a lot of them from one plant
  4. I didn’t have to do a lot of maintenance with them.

You can obtain deep planters from your local home stores, dollar stores, or hardware stores (some people use plastic totes too!). Potting soil should be available at those stores as well. You’ll want to purchase items that you can tie your plants to so that they grow up and can be held back from overtaking your small growing space. I used dowel rods (and sticks from the yard) and then cut up old nylons to use as my ties (they don’t cut into the plant and it’s a good way to reuse those nylons with runs in them!).

Even though I joke that my garden corner is pretty pathetic, I am proud that I took the time and effort to maximize my little space to provide me with “free” tomatoes throughout the summer and frozen/canned options throughout the winter.

Do you currently have a small outdoor space that you would love to use to grow something? Share pictures of the space with us or share your own small space garden preparation ideas, we’d love to hear them!

The Never-ending Journey of Budgeting

With the new year comes many resolutions that cover a variety of topics. From weight loss to organization…to eating better or quitting bad habits; every where you look there are people who are determined to make their life better once and for all! My husband and I did not make resolutions this year, rather we shared what we would like to see happen in 2015. Our discussion included finding more time to truly relax, making an effort to be healthier (eating better and exercising more), trying to be present in our interactions with others (aka put down the electronics), and a lot about money.

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Budgeting seems to be a never-ending mountain that we are climbing; there are some months where we do great and others where we completely botch our plan and then continue to botch it for a few months before we wake up and realize we are totally off course. It’s awful, and it seems to keep happening. With a new baby coming this year, Continue reading “The Never-ending Journey of Budgeting”

DIY Gifts For The Whole Family

When it comes to Christmas, I am all about making gifts for my friends and family. Not only do I like saving the money, but I also like to make their gifts extra special and personalized. For those of you new to the DIY scene, do not fear; there are so many gifts that are super simple to make. Today I will share just a sampling of my favorites, but definitely search on Pinterest for more ideas (just a warning: you will most likely get more results than you ever dreamed of and therefore want to make them all).

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Continue reading “DIY Gifts For The Whole Family”

DIY Table Settings: A Little Effort Goes a Long Way

We have all seen place cards set out on elaborately decorated tables..Are they only for weddings? I think not! Not only do place cards direct guests to their seats, but have the ability (when done correctly) to dress up a table and encourage conversation. What better time to do that, but at holiday gatherings?

Table Dressage

Traditionally, Thanksgiving tables consist of heaping bowls of potatoes, cranberries, pies and, of course, a giant golden turkey. There is something to be said about elevating the experience for guests beyond just the intake of scrumptious dishes. For the past few years, I have been mildly obsessed with creating unique place cards for the Thanksgiving table. The first year, paint card samples, buttons, and flourishing handwriting were utilized. Another year, I made mini pumpkin pies (think Quiche size) and toothpick flags with names printed on them.

This year's place card setting.
Mason jar place settings are perfect for dressing up a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

This year, we have a larger table to set, and we will have little ones with us as well. My vision included wanting a vintage/rustic theme. Thanks to 50 percent off mason jar shot glasses and some mason jar packaged moonshine, my vision came together quite nicely. I’m quite pleased with the direction the place cards will take our Thanksgiving. Please note, the “little ones” mentioned above will be receiving place cards tied on Frozen and Minnie Mouse lip glosses – it’s important to cater these place cards to your audience, after all!

Conversational Atmosphere

The moonshine filled mason jars will no doubt be a visual focal piece on the table. They will,  at the very least, encourage conversation, as their contents is surely a surprise. With place cards, there is the unique opportunity to invite individuals to sit next to one another that might not have naturally gravitated towards each other. This can make or break conversation. My advice would be to place people near one another that may have similar interests or are good at striking up and maintaining conversation with others.

Place cards do not need to be dull and stuffy; dressing a table is an opportunity to let creativity flow and to serve as support to a greater experience through the atmosphere for your guests!

How do you dress up your table for holidays?

and the costumes go marching by…

As October progresses, I have found myself thinking about Halloween costumes in my past. I’ve never been super excited about Halloween, but I do love dressing up, so, by default, I enjoy the holiday. I’m looking forward to seeing the neighborhood kids all dressed up and adorable as ladybugs, ninja turtles, and fairy princesses. I choose not to dwell on the creepy costumes.

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Warm little princess

Continue reading “and the costumes go marching by…”

DIY Bird Feeder: So easy, a Toddler can do it!

It’s that time of year again; time to break out the pumpkin spices and pie pans and decorate your porch with pumpkins. I love fall. I really do. If it was up to me, I would have only fall and summer as seasons. Along with fall, comes many fun crafts that you can do with your kids. My daughter is a couple of months away from turning 2 so I have to get creative when I think about what her skill level is right now. Today, we made some fun little bird feeders!

These are very simple to make and seriously only took us about 10 minutes (TOPS!) to complete. You will need:

  • bird seed (I chose the “wild bird food” since it would be outside and the off brand only cost $5 for a huge bag)
  • peanut butter
  • pine cones
  • yarn or twine

First thing you want to do is cut a length or your yarn or twine and attach it to the pine cone. I intertwined it and tied a knot using the middle of my twine and left the two ends open for when we hang it in a tree. Then spread peanut butter onto the pine cone.

pbpineconeAfter we were done and my daughter had difficulty spreading the peanut butter, my mother-in-law had a great idea: warm up the peanut butter and then have your child dip the cone into it! Or roll it in a pan! Genius! So that’s definitely on my “next time” list for this craft.

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Your next step is to cover the pine cone in bird seed. We started with my daughter holding the string and dipping it into the bowl, but she had more fun using the spoon. Whichever method you use, you want bird seed in all the nooks and crannies. And there you have it! Super easy, inexpensive, and fun, bird feeders! And they are so simple, even a toddler can do it! What is you/your child’s favorite fall craft? Tomorrow we are off to the apple orchard to pick some apples! Another amazing thing to do in the fall! Thanks for reading 🙂

pinceconefeeders

My Inner Girly-Girl Has Emerged

So, I’m not your typical “girly girl.” THAT would be my sisters. I like to shop, but not with my sisters because they are like shopaholic crazy girls. They always make sure their hair is in place, their nails look pretty, they have great accessories etc etc. Even though I am the only sister with a child, it has always been this way. I would paint my nails here and there but I hated nail polish because I would always mess it up the same day I did my nails and would get head aches from the smells. But then one day, I discovered an alternative and I haven’t looked back.

About a month ago, Erica (none other than the Erica who started this blog), told me about a business opportunity. She is always on the look out for ways I can make money at home to help supplement my husband’s paycheck (isn’t she the bestest friend ever?), and said that this was something that I might be interested in. She normally wouldn’t suggest companies like this, but she personally knew a few people who were doing really well. I said, “TELL ME MORE.” I got in touch with one of her friends and signed up a few days later, even before I tried out the product! What is the company? JAMBERRY!

Jamwontchip1If you haven’t heard of it before, let me give you the low down. Jamberry Nail Wraps are a new and innovative way to avoid nail polish drying time, chipping and pricey visits to the salon. They are a DIY DREAM. They come in over 300+ designs, last up to 2 weeks on fingernails, 6 weeks on toenails and WILL NOT CHIP. They are a vinyl adhesive wrap that is heat activated and pressure sealed to the nail. They will NOT damage your nail when removed properly and are so much fun! You can use them over acrylics or gels or even nail polish Jammom&me(some wraps have a clear background with a design), making them very versatile! Jamberry also has a Jamberry Junior line that has wraps for girls up to age 8 (Can I get an “Amen” from the mommas?). Pretty much the best idea since sliced bread. When I heard about them I was hooked immediately.  And they always have the buy 3, get 1 free sale going too!Jamb3g1blacks

From the company side of things, Jamberry is just as awesome! I have only been at it for a month and have already seen the amazing support from Home Office as well as the camaraderie among the consultants. Everyone super helpful and wants to help the newbies get going. The commission and bonus plan is also awesome! Much better than other direct sales companies I have looked into before, for sure! If you want to see where the company started and a little more about what goes on behind the scenes, definitely check out this video:

 

JammintgoldstripevintagechicduoThese are my current nails, mint green with gold stripe paired with vintage chic. I love it! Not too flashy but also very unique! Jamberry has only been around since 2010, and a direct sales company since 2012, so a lot of people still don’t know about the company so I get a lot of comments wherever I go!

Want to find some designs for yourself? Head over to www.rboyd.jamberrynails.net to browse the 300+ designs! But be warned, they can be addicting! Also, we are phasing out over half of our designs on August 31st to get ready for the new designs arriving Sept 1, so be sure to look at the GOING GOING GONE section too! One more thing before I go, I am hosting a GIVEAWAY! For each action you complete, you will get one entry into the drawing but if you place an order you will get 5 entries! On Sept 1st I will draw a winner who will receive a half sheet of nail wraps! Thanks for reading!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/055dacd91/

What’s your biggest pet peeve about your nails/getting them done etc? Too pricey at the salons? Polish too messy? Tell us in the comments below!

**Congrats to Amy Huffmaster for winning the half sheet of nail wraps!!! Thank you to everyone who participated!!! :)*** 

The Vegan Life: Is it really the life for me? *PLUS* a quick DIY!

So here we are on week 2 of living the life of a vegan. I have to say, it hasn’t been all that bad but it has made me think more about what I’m making for dinner. I rely so much on milk, some type of meat, cheese, or eggs that it really does throw a wrench in the works when you need to find something to eat. I shared quite a few meals last week and this week I only have two: Vegan Chili. 20140811_184933Yes, we ate other things but I didn’t remember to photograph them all haha. The chili really didn’t taste all that different from regular chili; we typically have beans in our chili so leaving the meat out didn’t change it up much. Something new about it was the Tofu Sour Cream though; didn’t exactly taste like regular sour cream but it filled the void by giving you a little creamy something to mix into your bowl.

The other meal I want to share is Vegan Subway sandwiches! Just choose any vegetables you want and load them onto a mini sub bun, then drizzle with some Subway copycat vinegar and oil.

Best Dupe for Subway Oil and Vinegar Recipe. INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup apple cider/red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon oregano 1/2 teaspoon basil 1/2 red pepper flakes 1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes (rehydrated if using within 2 hours) 1/4 teaspoon parsley 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder DIRECTIONS: salt and pepper to taste, stir well or put in jar and shake. Refrigerate. Overnight is best, but 2 hrs. is still fantastic. It will go bad after a week or two.

Deeeeelicious!! If you want to just go the vegetarian route, throw some mayo and cheese on there! The possibilities are endless. And where is the recipe from? I really couldn’t tell you- I found it on pinterest but the recipe is just in the comments of a picture that doesn’t go anywhere 🙁 sad day huh?

My husband remains convinced that this is the lifestyle he wants from now on, well for week days that is, but I still struggle with giving up dairy. I confess, Ihaven’t been entirely vegan this week; I eat an occasional slice of cheese or something that has milk or egg baked into it. It’s hard not to feel guilty but then I remind myself: DAIRY IS NOT EVIL. Just because we have decided to avoid animal products, doesn’t mean they are bad for me. There are a lot of other things that I could name that I know I SHOULD feel guilty eating, or letting my daughter eat, but I don’t (enter any fast food-aka pink slime meat-, including fries etc etc etc…). Anyhow, for now- vegan/vegetarian is the life for us. I got a few books from the library that have great recipes, “The Everything Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook” by Amy and Justin Snyder, as well as “Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook” by Del Sroufe. Seriously, if you are considering trying the vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, check them out!

Okay, so enough with the food, I want to share with you a little project that has been in the back of my mind for a few weeks now but I finally acted on it last night 🙂 Check out this old, corkless bulletin board that was being discarded by my in-laws! 20140814_001422 I saw it and immediately wanted it for my sewing room. All I did really was find some coordinating fabrics and cut them to the approx size I needed. Then I straightened up the edges and ironed them under. I hotglued it all into place and then glued the rickrack over the seams!! And voila! 20140814_005111My new command center to help keep me sane! I have sections for both my businesses as well as a “Home” and “Gifts” section where I can put ideas for future/current projects. I also hot glued some binder clips (is that what they’re called?) to the frame so I can change out the sections in the future if I need to! What do you think? I’m in love…..

What vegan recipes have you tried and been pleasantly surprised by? Any quick organizing projects you have tried lately? Please share below!! As always- thanks for reading 🙂

For the Love of Cake

60 years is a long time, isn’t it? I mean, seriously, that’s a long long time. I’m not even halfway there! Well, my husband’s grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary earlier this month and we had a big party to celebrate! All the family from out of town came to visit and we made table decorations and put together a little video of us all saying how much they inspire us with their commitment. It was a great weekend of celebration! One of my jobs was making the cake. I am not typically called upon for this duty as my sister-in-law actually went to culinary school and makes awesome cakes for family events, but she wasn’t arriving until the night before the party so I got the job. Of course, I didn’t mind as I’ve always dreamed of making it onto Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss or Cupcake Wars and being a super awesome cake decorator. Anyway, my job was to try and replicate the couple’s original wedding cake. 122 (16)This was the picture I was to make my designs from; awesome picture but when you have a white cake in front of a white dress in a black and white photo, it makes things a little difficult. I was told that it was a simple white cake with magnolia leaves around it, and that was about it. So my decorating doors were wide open it seemed. We borrowed some cake pans and decorating books from a lady at church and I got to practicing. Continue reading “For the Love of Cake”

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