Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Building My Brand - Building Your Brand

I've been staring at a blinking cursor for a while now, trying to find some inspiration. I usually stick to my Sunday evening/Tuesday Morning/Thursday morning schedule of posts. I even have a couple of projects that I am loving that I am going to share with you when they are completely finished. They are *almost* there! 

So instead, I'll do a non-pinterestySEO-free, thought dump. I guess I'm still processing Haven and my vacation and coming back to the "real world".

When I was wrapping up my whirlwind Haven experience, I decided to check out the Blog to Brand session. It was the last session before the closing ceremony, and I knew that my brain couldn't handle the SEO class. Besides, I follow both Jenna from Rain on a Tin Roof and Karianne from Thistlewood Farms. They are both very fun, very authentic people on their blogs—in very different ways. Although I wasn't familiar with Laura from Finding Home Farms, I knew that this would be a fun session. What I didn't expect was a lesson on how much I devalue myself.

There was all kinds of information on branding and consistency and how important to be true to who you are.

And Laura said that if you're having trouble figuring out who you are, first define who you aren't. It's easier. That's what I'm working on first.

And Jenna said to embrace who you are. Fly your own freak flag (it's her tagline, by the way, which I love—I've always said that if you don't admit you're at least a little weird, you're lying to yourself.

And Karianne amazed us with her strategies for earning, and really showed me how much I undervalue myself when approaching brands.

And after it all, I introduced myself to Karianne. I had wanted to do so all weekend, but that girl loves to talk, and was talking animatedly to someone every time I saw her. I told you last week that she reads my blog. What I didn't tell you was that I cried when she told me that. She is a twin mom, an amazing designer, an amazing writer with a voice that makes you feel like you're chatting over coffee in her adorable home. She's a story teller.

And she tells everyone she meets that they are rock stars.

To find out Karianne reads my blog—it was awesome. But you know what...I'm not her. And that's ok. I still love her. But what makes us different is so important. I have my own brand. We all do. Whatever we are good at, whoever you are--that's our brand, if we embrace it. And I've been undervaluing that brand.

So I'm going to embrace my love of architecture, and ruined old columns. I'm going to embrace my struggle balance of career and motherhood. Finding your brand is the basic structure of what you do. It's the architecture of what you do....You see what I did there? :-)

Enjoy the mind dump folks! I hope it helps encourage you to embrace your brand.

Architecture of a Mom Signature

I love to party! Sometimes I link up my posts to Serenity Now, Organizing JunkieTidy Mom and these link parties! You should come party with me and check out some awesome new bloggers!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Menu Planning Monday 2015-07-27

Hello Friends!

I'll have to admit that I didn't want to write this post. I'm writing this at the very end of a week and a half of vacation, and I don't want it to end. I went to Atlanta for Haven, and then I went to Mississippi to visit family and have a little getaway with my husband in Natchez. So please forgive me if I have to mourn the end of vacation.

However, this week has shown us 3 little girls who are apparently all getting ready to go through growth spurts (heaven help me!)--they are all eating crazy amounts! So this mama doesn't get any breaks from menu planning! It's also a challenge because I'm not sure when grocery shopping is going to happen, so I'm planning from what I know is in the pantry and freezer until later in the week.

Here's the plan for the week:

Monday: Parmesan Chive Tilapia, Broccoli with Cheese, Bread

Tuesday: Spaghetti with Dressed Up Pasta Sauce

Wednesday:  Chicken Nuggets, Fries, Apple sauce
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Hamburgers, Salad, Fruit
Saturday: Grilled Chicken, Rice, Salad
Sunday: Italian Chicken Rollup, Salad

Architecture of a Mom Signature

I love to party! Sometimes I link up my posts to Serenity Now, Organizing JunkieTidy Mom and these link parties! You should come party with me and check out some awesome new bloggers!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Haven & My Purpose Blogging

Last weekend, I was able to go to Haven, which is a DIY blogger conference. I thought about all the things I learned and all the awesome people I got to meet - including KariAnne from Thistlewood Farms (who reads my blog! Squeal!)

But I figured that if you aren't a blogger, you really wouldn't care, and if you are a DIY blogger, you would be as jealous as I have been the last few years when I couldn't go.

So instead, I wanted to share one huge thing that I realized this past weekend. I think that this impacts every single one of you. I realized what my passion is for blogging.

You see, as a new person to the Haven Conference, I was concerned that my roommate and I would be the only new Haven Maven and that we would struggle to meet other people and struggle to make connections with vendors and not feel like we could be creative with all the new tools that I would find. So I just did what I thought anyone else would do--I made a facebook group for the newbies. And then I invited everyone I encountered who said that this was their first time to Haven. And the people came, and I did my best to answer questions that all the newbies had. Some of the questions I already knew the answers to (like appropriate clothes to wear to the classes), some things I already had asked the organizers, and some things I found out.

And you know what...I found out that first night that I was a minor celebrity. All the girls that were in the facebook group recognized me because I had shared my outfits. Suddenly, I had about a half-dozen new friends! Please forgive me if I didn't get everyone.

L-R Me, Sandy from, Pam from, Laura Jo from and Melanie from
Kim from and me

So I learned that I loved to help people, but as the weekend progressed, I realized something else: I'm not an expert blogger, but I love to help people become creative. My roommate Pam was so concerned with building one of the make-and-takes, and I encouraged her to not expect to be perfect, but instead try a new tool and we actually had a blast with it. (its the Homeright heat gun - so fun!)

I realized in the blog to brand class that this is my brand: I want to help people who claim that they are not creative to realize that creativity is not hard. It's a muscle that we need to to exercise.  Be willing to fail. I'm really excited about new tools that I was introduced to at Haven. Like the Ryobi nail gun and the Kreg project kit!

I've touched on this drive to help people being creative a little on my Create with Kids series a while back. Everything I do on this blog is centered around this theme...I just didn't realize it!

My menu plan and recipes allows folks that aren't comfortable with cooking to be creative with food!

My crafts and DIY projects are geared to be simple and quick--most are perfect for beginners.

I want you to be comfortable with creativity.

So, if you want to know what Haven has done for's reaffirmed my resolve to help you be a creative person! I'm going to try to go into more of my thoughts as I continue to process this conference. Come along on this journey with me!

Architecture of a Mom Signature

I love to party! Sometimes I link up my posts to Serenity Now, Organizing JunkieTidy Mom and these link parties! You should come party with me and check out some awesome new bloggers!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Conference Survival Kits

Do you go on conferences? I've been to a couple of conferences for my "day job" and now I've got a couple of blog conferences under my belt. I'm starting to get a feel for what I need on hand while I'm attending the conference. I'm not talking about what to pack. I still overpack my suitcase, probably. What I'm talking about it the things you want to have on hand in your bag as you're attending sessions or walking through the vendors' displays. You want the necessities on hand without weighing you down. I call this my conference survival kit, and I've broken it down into two self contained packages – a "meet and greet" kit and a "health and wellness kit" There's some overlap, and with a few exceptions, you can put these items into a couple of smaller bags within a larger purse and be ready to take on the day without stopping back by your hotel room.

Here's what I thought were necessities:

Meet & Greet Conference Survival Kit

Phone/Camera – to snag pictures of great ideas, photos of your new friends, or just to call home and make sure the kids have survived another day.
Pens - have more than one so you  can color code or share with a friend
Notebook – a small one that will fit in your purse so you can take notes
Business card holder – I'm partial to my handmade ones
Holepunch/binder ring – this is so you can organize the business cards you receive from others
Hand sanitizer – so you can get rid of germs after shaking so many hands
Mints – you want to make a good impression, right?
Lipstick charger – so you can charge your phone without trying to find an outlet

Health & Welfare Conference Survival Kit

Bandaids – so that you can survive those cute shoes you're wearing – or make a friend for life when you're a good Samaritan
Chaptick – I'm never without it
Tissues – they come in handle for all kinds of messes
Nail polish and nail file – in case you have a snagged nail or a run in your stockings
Waterbottle – to stay hydrated
Snack – to keep your energy up
Medication: Ibuprofen (I get headaches when I'm trying to cram as much information in my head as possible on little sleep), and others as you require

Architecture of a Mom Signature

I love to party! Sometimes I link up my posts to Serenity Now, Organizing JunkieTidy Mom and these link parties! You should come party with me and check out some awesome new bloggers!


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