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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

scarf it!

When I was in high school back in the 90's ((I'm not afraid to say it)), scarves were just becoming popular. They were different from what I wear now...they were actually much smaller.  I felt so weird tying one around my neck, but my friend would say "just scarf it" as in "go for it."  I still think of her when I wear a scarf ((which is almost daily)).

Thanks to Pinterest I've found lots of ideas for how to wear my scarves now.  But I most like the look of infinity scarves and I don't own many.  So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to make a vlog about wearing scarves to appear like an infinity scarf ((gulp, this is my first vlog))!

How do you wear scarves?  
How was the vlog?  

I'm linking up with Krystina today.

Monday, January 30, 2012

clothing swap + a winnah

As I mentioned earlier, I hosted a clothing swap with friends.  I got the idea from another friend a few years ago when I lived in Baltimore. It's a fun girls' night activity, just tell everyone to go through their closet and pick out some items to give away ((things they no longer wear)). Add some food + drink to make it a party and get swappin'!
The goal wasn't to acquire more, but to give other's a chance to wear clothes that are still in good condition ((some still had tags on them)).  Ever notice how you tend to accumulate clothes that you just don't wear?  This was a chance to give those away guilt-free!  I walked away with three scarves ((because you can't have too many, right?)) and one top.  Most people left with less than they came with; I took three bags of clothing, shoes, purses and more to the Salvation Army afterward!
Have you ever participated in a clothing swap or traded clothes with friends?

The winner of the K. Davis Creates Giveaway is #26 Piper Post....congrats, lady!

Friday, January 27, 2012

little things {january edition}

It's been another full week, but somehow I remembered to capture a few more moments on my camera phone.  I'm excited to join Lindsay's linkup, it's been too long :)  Over the past week, these are just some of the things that made me smile...I have so much to be grateful for!

a night at home with girl friends for a clothing swap ((more on this next week))

baking bread at home

pre-church coffee date with the mister

 lounging on the couch with the pooch

waking up to snow covered ground ((and watching the sun come up and shine on the snow))

time to craft a new bunting banner ((inspired by Danielle))

fun red nails ((NYC Big Apple Red)) and my mom's amethyst ring

...and finally the little things I've loved reading around blogland this week:
  • The latest addition to my thrift store wishlist is reusable napkins. We do have a few, but I love the ones Brooke found thrifting!
  • I learned that I'm terrified of Morphsuits, thanks to Leonora!
  • Thank you Savannah for inspiring me to rethink our dating habits with this creative idea for how to make them more fun. I'm thinking about how to make our version of this DIY date calendar.
  • Looking for some Valentine's DIY or recipe inspiration? Melanie is hosting a linkup and it's full of fun ideas to get ready for the LOVEly holiday ((yep, I am that cheesy))
  • Struggling to find some inspiration in the winter months? Read this post from Ashley: 5 Ways to Stay Inspired
What's making you smile this week?
((...there's still time to enter the giveaway, so go for it!  FYI, all comments are in Disqus, it's not showing up on mobile phones.))

Thursday, January 26, 2012

social + information networks

When I dove into the world of blogging nearly 18 months ago, I didn't consider at the time the many other pieces that would go along with it.  I've added buttons linking to Pinterest, created a Facebook page and even setup a Twitter account solely for this blog ((because I tweet about work a lot)) and ultimately created a brand.
social media ornaments listed on Etsy
I communicate with many of you in more ways than just on this blog.  The other avenues work together, but they shouldn't be used in the same way.  I've found that followers don't often follow only one avenue, but give multiple ways to connect and so I don't think the content should be the same.  I try not to post the same things to Twitter and Facebook, and if I do to spread them out and not post similar content at the same time. However, some followers are on Facebook, but not on Twitter.  Others are more likely to engage on Pinterest, finding pretty images or recipes that are in season.  I aim to use the three together with my blog to contribute to the blogging and handmade community.  I also have a Gooogl+ brand page, but that seems to get the least traffic.

In my day job I am exposed to a number of social and informational networks.  I don't always have time to explore/use them, but I have started using a few of the "newer" and/or less popular ones I've heard about in blogland:
Path -allows you to combine sharing location, photos and more in one place, but limits you to the number of connections you have. It's meant to be more private than Facebook or Twitter, though you can link and tweet a post to Twitter. -one centralized location for your social media buttons in one page that allows you to explain who you are.  I use mine for professional purposes, linking to my professional blog, twitter account and LinkedIn profile. The great thing is that you can choose what to connect to the page.
google+ brand page -create a brand page for your blog or shop. This integrates with the +1 button, so you can easily share posts with others, just as you would tweet something on Twitter. If you +1 something, you're sharing it on Google.

What's your favorite way to connect with others?

P.S. There's still time to enter the K. Davis Creates Giveaway!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

what I'm into {January}

I started this last month and really liked having a way to share some of the more daily/routine things of life with you I don't normally blog about.  I changed it up a bit, just to keep it interesting.

accessory I can't get enough of.
-scarves, I wear them daily and have been tying them to wear them as an infinity scarf

TV show worth watching.
-Rachel V. Guy Celebrity Cookoff ((I'm such a sucker for cooking shows and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is one of my favorites))
-I still can't say enough great things about Person of Interest, it's hands-down my favorite television show

movie I've seen.
Water for Elephants -we rented it last week. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up liking it a lot. Reese has been one of my favorite actresses for a while.

in my kitchen.
-baking bread
-lots of soups and one pot meals ((a sign of busy life and changing schedules from week to week))
-diet ginger ale, not sure why but I bought it last week and love it!

in my ears. 
-Josh Garells thanks to Melissa's post
-at work, I've been alternating between live streaming NPR and KBCO in the mornings

items of note.
-The new collaborative blog I'm part of
-Considerations for moving readers away from GFC ((did you notice I removed my GFC widget?))
-I'm still learning to crochet and anxious to finish the infinity scarf I've been working on
-our second bathroom is functional! I'm talking complete plumbing for the sink + toilet, still no paint on the walls, but it's so nice to have two toilets.

what I'm looking forward to. 
-snow shoeing ((if the snow returns))
-researching a presentation for work
-a snow day or delay ((I can only hope))


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

tickle me tuesday

I've been eyeing these lovelies on Etsy over the past week or so. I just love finding pretty items and inspiration on the handmade site. Don't you?!
light blue jersey scarf by Stacy Lynn
Silver Twig Ring by Kate Sazabone Jewelry
Seneca Quote by CrEaTebyRET
I'm linking up with Sarah today!  What's been tickling your fancy?

P.S. Have you entered the K. Davis Creates Giveaway yet?!

Monday, January 23, 2012

K. Davis Creates {giveaway}

Today, I'm excited to introduce to you Karen of Celebrate Life with Us ((blog)) and K Davis Creates ((shop)).
Tell us about yourself.
Some of you may know me... some of you may not. If it's the latter... "howdy", it's nice to meet you! My name is Karen and I have lived overseas for over 5.5 years now (currently in Korea, previously Germany) and we still have a little time left before we move along. Such is the life of a military spouse, and I wouldn't switch it for ANYTHING in the world. We recently adopted our little girl from Ukraine 7 months ago... and have adored the role as "Mama"... although it's been tough juggling it with my photography, sewing, coffee drinking, etc. I let my creative juices flow as often as I can... and typically it's directed towards something for my little Charlotte.
How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for a little over 2 years now... feels a lot longer... and have had my shop, "K. Davis Creates" for about 1.5 years (I know, real original name!) My first and foremost passion is photography, but when my eyes need a break, I turn to my sewing machine to create.

What does your average day look like?
wake up. coffee. catch up with life (aka social media, e-mail, read blogs). coffee. school time with Charlotte. lunch. coffee. household chores (while C naps...IF she naps, otherwise we run errands). coffee. quiet time around the house. dinner. some book reading. tuck Charlie into bed. crafting/sewing time for Mama... or blogging. bed.
Tell us about your favorite city.
Okay, being that I have been to MANY parts of the globe and have lived overseas for awhile, and have forgotten what American cities are like... I'd have to say my favorite "place" is Cinque Terre, Italy... it's not 1 city, but made up of 5 villages... and it's HEAVEN ON EARTH. Each part has something unique and different about it, whether it's the "artsy fartsy" village, the one where you get the best gelato, or even the one with the best beach, etc. Completely recommend it if you ever find yourself in Italy... write me if you need to know where to find the best espresso... I know just the right place (like I said...I have a thing for coffee!)
...and now for GIVEAWAY details. Check out some of the beautiful creations from Karen!
1-  Crayon roll -Beep beep 3- Amy lace set ((clutch and snap pouch)) 3- Bunny Lovey -Raspberry Orange Sorbet 4- key fob large in Amy Butler Fabric
How to enter: Leave a comment below using Disqus
Visit K. Davis Creates and tell me what you'd choose from her shop if you won ((mandatory entry))

For extra entries ((leave a comment for each)):
-Follow Karen and me on Twitter ((one entry))
-Heart Karen's shop on Etsy ((one entry and leave your username))
-Follow Karen's blog via GFC ((on entry))
-Follow this blog via bloglovin ((one entry))
-Like K Davis Photography and the city on Facebook ((one entry))
-Tweet, blog or share on Facebook about this giveaway ((one entry each and leave a link to your post))
You're welcome to use this tweet:
Don't miss the giveaway from etsy shop @kdaviscreates hosted by @dotinthecity $15 shop credit Enter here:

Giveaway will close on Sunday, January 29th and is open Internationally. Winner will be announced next week on this blog. ((All photos by Karen and used by permission))

Sunday, January 22, 2012

7 pretty things {Sunday}

  7 pretty things on Sunday
Happy Sunday!  I haven't posted on a Sunday in a while, but I'm excited to participate in today's Seven Pretty Things Sunday blog hop. Here seven pretty things that inspire me lately...
Vintage Inspired Interiors via Pinterest
Crochet doily coasters from The Sunshine Stitch
DIY Double Srand Lace Headband via Pinterest
DIY Love Each Other Deeply Banner from Take Heart
Rope Bracelet Tutorial via Pinterest
Moss Green Stretch Headband from Three Bird Nest
Milkglass via Pinterest
Can you tell I'm all about DIY and pretty home things lately?!  Most of these I discovered via Pinterest. Follow me there!
What pretty things are catching your eye this weekend?
Make a list and join the blog hop.

Friday, January 20, 2012

new {tech} habit

With the news of Google Friend Connect (GFC) going away for non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012, I started thinking about what that means for my blog (even though it's hosted on Blogger) along with all the non-Blogger blogs I follow.  This is important to me because being part of the blogging community means a lot to me and I connecting with other bloggers, as well hear from readers like YOU!
I started using Bloglovin' as a way to follow blogs (not all the blogs I follow using GFC, just about 20...I'm thinking it will be a somewhat gradual switch).  One month into it, I have to say I really like it and here's WHY 
  • The way I view the blog post  is the same as what's on the blog rather than in Google reader mode where you miss out on font, color and more
  • When I want to comment on the blog it's also easier because I'm already viewing the post on the blog itself and I can simply click to expand the comment box (rather than opening a new tab to go to blog and comment)
  • There is mobile app that allows me to view the blogs I follow from my phone while waiting in the dentist office (or elsewhere)
Want to try it out?  You can follow this blog in Bloglovin' by clicking below!
What information or social networks have you been on this week?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January {sponsors}

Today, I'm excited to introduce my lovely 

Please check out their blogs, shops and connect with them on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest ((see links below each name + photo)).  Each one has a lot to offer, so check 'em out and make new friends!
[blog] [shop] [twitter]
A bit about Karen:
She's a wife, momma and an outstanding photographer and etsy shop owner.  Don't miss her blog, I love to CELEBRATE life with all I have, and have been given from God! Won't you celebrate with me?
A bit about Amber:
Hey Y'all! My name is Amber and I am 23 years old. I am the author of the blog My Life Unmasked which is mostly about my life experiences, product and movie reviews, giveaways and Creative expression plus more!! In my young life I have been through alot of experiences good and bad but every experience I have been through God has never left my side and always provide for me. My goal for this year is to have at least 50 followers on my blog so please stop by and follow! My rule for following is if you follow my blog I will follow yours so it is a win win! I so hope my blog blesses your life and unmasks your inner self!
[blog] [facebook] [twitter] [pinterest]
A bit about Melanie:
Hi my name is Melanie Cantelmo and I have a little blog called Keeping up with the Cantelmo’s. I blog about my faith, family, hope, my attempts to cook and create. I love to share with others my hope I have in the Lord. God has been so good to me. He has changed my life and made all things new! I hope you can pop by my blog and say hi!
[blog] [shop] [facebook] [twitter]
A bit about Andrea:
I am the wife of an amazing man. I am the mom of two fabulous girls. I am a teacher of some goofy 4th graders. This is our story ~ sometimes crazy ~ sometimes funny ~ sometimes happy ~ sometimes sad ~ sometimes only I will be interested in what I write.
I write about what happens in our lives so family can catch up. I write about the things I make for our house, for others, and for my shop. I write about the crazy antics of my life as a teacher. I write about whatever suits me. In my shop you will find all sorts of stuff because I can't settle on just one idea! I paper craft, sew, and paint.
[blog] [shop] [twitter] [pinterest]
A bit about Jacky:
She's been blogging since 2008 and has a handmade shop.  Her blog is about capturing the joy in ordinary life.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

the no brainer wardrobe {book review}

Since my budget-friendly trends post, I've been more conscious of my wardrobe ((it was my first and only time I linked up with The Pleated Poppy for What I Wore Wednesdays)) and considerations I should make when I go shopping for clothes.  Two weeks ago, I bought The Tiny Twig's ebook: The No Brainer Wardrobe hoping it would help me think through my wardrobe a bit.  It's a fairly quick read with some homework, perfect for the winter months when you're stuck inside more than usual ((although it's been unseasonably warm around here)).  
My approach to the ebook:
  • I read the whole book in one sitting ((with the exception of the sections that didn't apply to me)); it's 82 pages.
  • I planned when to do the homework assignments
  • I did the assignments and then re-visited the book as I did them ((not to spoil it, but I'll tell you it involves assessing what you own and purging))
What I loved about the book:
  • It didn't make me feel like I had to spend a lot of money to acquire a "less fuss wardrobe" ((Hayley advocates thrift + value shopping, giving helpful guidelines))
  • The homework involved using Pinterest ((it's such a great tool))
  • Photographs illustrate the points ((Hayley included a great balance of photos to show what she was talking about))
  • Inspiration for creating my own look book with items I have on my closet ((I completed this yet))
  • I now have a list of the things I am looking for next time I go shopping ((and if you've been around here for a while you know how I love lists; they totally motivate me))
This coming weekend, I'm hosting a clothing + accessories swap for friends.  I plan to giveaway the items from my closet purge, taking anything remaining to a thrift store or consignment shop.  Hosting this party is one of my winter goals.  I can't wait for the swapping fun to begin!

Untitled from hayley morgan on Vimeo.

But wait...Hayley has agreed to discount The No Brainer Wardrobe for FIVE of my blog readers at 50% off! Use code 'dot' at checkout to receive the discount ((the book is only $7.99 regularly))!

Thank you, Hayley, for inspiring me and so many women to begin 2012 with less, creating a no brainer wardrobe!

((These opinions are my own and I am not being compensated in any way for sharing them in this ebook review. I paid for my copy of The No Brainer Wardrobe and hope you will too!))

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

re-purposed jars & bottles

I've been collecting glass jars and bottles of all kinds for months years ((let's be honest)), but in the past 8 months or so, it's increased quite a but.  I've used them in a variety of things and decided they're about the cheapest decoration for your home since you can acquire them buying other things that you already use.  I'm talking about jars containing peanut butter or syrup and bottles of wine, olive oil, and vinegar....the list goes on and on!

Here's an example of a syrup bottle...
All it takes is some scrubbing to get the glass clean and pretty, ready to be painted or put on display as-is.  I find them handy to have around for decorating, often using groupings of jars and bottles for all kinds of home + party decor ((bridal shower center piecesfall decorating and Christmas decor)).

Now, on to what's currently on our mantle with multiple re-purposed items.
State Love painting by Paint Me a Picture
Next time you go to put a glass bottle or jar into the recycling bin, consider how you could reuse it in your home. Would it look good as a centerpiece on the dining room table?  Does it need a little spray paint make-over to give it a second life?  I'm not advocating for saving things without purpose, believe me that's not the point! But if it will spruce up your home, even temporarily consider some of these ideas!

What have you recently re-purposed?

Today, I'm linking up with lollipops' pretty clever

Monday, January 16, 2012

swag swap week

the long awaited swag swap week is going on right now :) Cliff Notes: All shops participating in the swap get to trade their swag with swag in other shops too!
Not participating in the swap? No Worries! Our shop owners have graciously offered you fine folks COUPON CODES so you too can go all "click, add to cart" crazy on these awesome handmade shops!
Are you participating in swag swap week? Make sure to re-read all the rules and contact your swapper via email! Please make sure your swapper is actually participating in swag swap week by referring to this list :)
Now what are you waiting for? Browse our shops, go swapping, use their coupon codes, and check back later in the week at for group giveaways from some participating shops happening this Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday AND Friday!
COUPON CODE: homegirl is giving 15% off ALL items in her shop with the code "CELEBRATE", works worldwide too! Go on our friends in Europe and Canada, get shopping! -------------
 [shop] [blog] [twitter] ------
[shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: enter SWAPLOVE at checkout for 15% off! -------------
[shop]  [twitter] [facebook]
COUPON CODE: enter SWAGER at checkout for 20% off! -------
 [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: score yourselves 20% off EVERYTHING in the shop with SWAG20 at check out --------
 [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAG20 to get 20% off all these hair lovelies! GO GO GO! ---------
  [shop] [blog] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAGSWAP20 to nab yourself 20% off! (WOOT!) --------
 [shop] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: If you enter SWAGSWAP12 at checkout you get 15% off on ANYTHING in the shop! ((US & Canada only please)) ((good till end of swap Jan 21st, 2012)) --------
 [shop] [blog]
COUPON CODE: Enter SWAG10 at checkout for 10% off! ((US only please)) 
 [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAPWEEK for 30% off (WOWZAS!) -------
 [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
COUPON CODE: Enter SWAPWEEK and get 10% off anything your heart desires <3 --------
  [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAGSWAP at checkout for 10% off ANYTHING! (holla) ---------
  [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAGSWAP10 and get 10% off any and all items in the shop! --------
  [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  PROMOTION: Free Shipping on all prints until December 20th. No coupon code necessary- all print shipping is already discounted. Free shipping available on U.S. print orders only with discounted shipping rates internationally. ------------
[shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
COUPON CODE: Enter "SWAGSHOP" at check out for FREE domestic shipping!
  [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAGWEEK for 20% off anything in the shop! (she also has items for big people too! Fun iPad sleeves and purses) --------
  [shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  ***IMPORTANT NOTICE*** Kristina had to put her shop in vacation mode during this week, please visit her "sold" section to see what items she has. She will be available for contact. She apologizes for any inconveniences!
[shop] [blog] [twitter]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAG15 for 15% off these ADORABLE purses! (I should know I own 4)
[shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter "SAVE10" at checkout for 10% off anything you want! --------
[shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter "SWAPIT" for 15% off these hand stamped lovelies --------
[shop] [blog] [twitter]
  COUPON CODE: Enter "SWAPWEEKLOVE" for 20% off ANYTHING in her shop! (aww yeah!) ------
[shop] [blog] [twitter] [facebook]
  COUPON CODE: Enter SWAGSWAP20 for 20% off these lovely rosies!
[blog] [twitter] [facebook]
[blog] [twitter] [facebook] [shop]
 Swag Swap Week is going on from January 16th 2012 - January 21st 2012. Coupon codes will expire once the week is over.