All posts in blog business

State of the Blog

Hello and happy Monday! I wanted to take today and just update y’all on what’s going on here at Two Live Colorfully. If you come around often, you’ve probably noticed a little less action. Well, that’s because Josh and I are figuring out exactly where we want to go in the next few years and how to get there.

state of the blog

First things first, we’re officially staying in Dallas for one more year. We’ve signed another 12 month lease for our current apartment. We are knee deep in “saving for a house” mode, so it made the most sense to stay where we are while we prepare. Honestly, I wasn’t too psyched about this, because I’m worried about running out of projects and ideas to share with you all over the next year here, but when it comes down to it, there is still plenty of work to be done.

We’re still going to be continuing with our minimalist-lite series as well as moving decor around, upgrading a few things, and maybe even trying a few new “apartment friendly” techniques just for fun!

The other thing that has been taking up most of my time is a new resurgence of working out and eating right. It’s not something I’ve ever really talked about here, but I’ve struggled with weight issues for as long as I remember. And, up until now it always felt like I would have time later to sort it out and get healthy. But you know what? That time is now! I’m officially an adult and there is no longer an excuse to be unhealthy. (Not that there ever really was an excuse.) If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that I’ve hired a personal trainer to help me out. I’ve committed to six full months with her. For the past few weeks, this is what has been dominating my extra brain space.

I know Two Live Colorfully has been about home decorating and DIY, but I’d like to bring a bit more of our actual life into this our corner of the internet. I’m not sure of the exact details yet, but I’d really love to share a few health and fitness updates with you. Not to take over the site, but just to share a little more of our colorful life. Nobody has a perfect life, even if that’s all you see on the internet. People have struggles and hard decisions to make and I want to be someone who isn’t afraid to share mine with the chance that it could help someone else.

So, three months into 2014 and this is where we are. Lots of changes happening and lots of things to be excited about. I hope you’ll stick around to see where this goes!

blog business | oh, hey! we’re on etsy!

Exciting news! Now you can purchase all the awesome holiday organizing printables from our own little etsy shop! These are some of the same tools I use in my Holiday Prep Boot Camp class! They’re super simple, easy to use, and you’ll be able to print them over and over again.

And the best part is there is no waiting! Once you’re payment is received you will instantly be able to download your purchase. So, hop on over now to snag a few tools to make this holiday season the chillest ever!

etsy-promo-button

Haven 2013 Wrapped Up In 7 Pictures

I’ve been home for three full days now and my head is still reeling from this past weekend. Haven 2013 was a lot of things. It was scary, overwhelming, loud, exhausting, exhilarating, exciting, educational, and hilarious all wrapped up into a tight 72 hours. It’s no exaggeration when I say my brain is mush. In just three days I made amazing new friends and learned from some of the best DIY bloggers. It was a truly incredible experience.

That being said, I was so busy staring around in awe and trying not to inadvertently weird someone out, that I didn’t even take that many pictures. I was just trying to hold on. But I did manage to snag a few good ones.

life-list-blogging-conference

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The sponsors went all out. The Ballard Designs “Living Room” was so stylish and those couches offered some much sought after comfort at the end of the day.
  • I spent most of the weekend hanging out with the wonderfully kind Jackie of Teal & Lime. We met up at the airport and I can honestly say she is now my friend. I had a great time hanging out with her. (Also, her Haven recap is about 10 times more ‘deep’ than mine, so make sure you check out that for some actual wisdom and not just awkward shower pictures.)
  • I. Won. An. IPad. Mini…. Just let that sink in for a minute! The very first night, there was a cocktail party out on this verandah, and because I instagramed some photos, I WON! That’s how you kick off a weekend, my friend!
  • I took a fake shower at the Moen booth. Is it weird that I kind of wish it had been a real shower? That Moen shower head looks like a space age device and I want it!!!
  • The people over at Ryobi brought so many awesome power tools for us to play with. Honestly, I hadn’t really heard of Ryobi before they sponsored Haven, but now I want them all. I do not think Josh would complain about this.
  • Of course, what’s a blog conference if I can’t semi-stalk two of my favorite bloggers ever?? Sherry from Young House Love and Katie from Bower Power always make a hilarious team and I really enjoyed hearing them talk about real life friendships.
  • I even got to compete in a Bookcase Styling contest hosted by Ballard Designs. We had about 15 minutes to run around and style this cool bookcase and our team won! I also came home with a $100 gift card to Ballard Designs. Honestly, between my winnings and the amazing swag we received, the conference practically paid for itself… well, almost.

And now, I’m home. Ready to sit down and make a plan to take this little blog to the next level.

I will also say that I would recommend a good conference like Haven to any blogger at any stage. I met people who had been blogging for years and made their living by doing what they loved and I also met a lot of newbies with freshly minted blogs (or sites that weren’t even up yet.) The insight you get and the people you meet sky rocket this experience to the top of your best list. I can guarantee it.

Have you ever been to a blogging conference? Which one? Or did you go to Haven too? I’d love to see your recap post below!!

lets talk: blog conference essentials

(Psst! I’ll be tweeting and instagram-ing all throughout the conference, so if you want to tag along follow me!!)

The week of Haven 2013 is finally here! In fact, I’ll be hopping on a plane in less than 24 hours, headed to Atlanta. Being the over zealous planner that I am, I’ve been carefully curating my packing list for months and today, I thought I’d share my top six blog conference essentials. blog-conference-essentials

1. Comfortable clothes. In some crazy twist of fate, I bought NO NEW CLOTHES for this conference. After all, the other attendees have never seen any of my outfits, so I just shopped my closet. But whatever outfits you decide to bring, keep comfort in the forefront of your mind! You’re going to be doing a lot of talking, sitting, meandering, and who knows what else, so a skirt that rides up or the tights that give you a wedgie… leave those at home and go with what makes you feel confident and comfortable.

2. Flat shoes. Kind of the same vein as number one. I’m not a high heels girl. I love them and think they’re gorgeous, but I don’t wear that all that often. I’ll be bringing flats to Haven so no staircase or long walk will deter me from any activity!

3. Chargers!!! I’m sure I’ll be tweeting, pinning, and instagram-ing the whole trip, so don’t get caught with a dead phone/camera/tablet! Pack those chargers and batteries!! Then double check that you packed them.

4. Plenty o’ business cards. Blog conferences like Haven are all about interaction. You’ll be meeting fellow bloggers and sponsors and the best part is they want to meet you!! Spend some time thinking about your business cards and make sure they speak true to your blog and brand! And bring as many as you can, you do not want to be caught short!!

5. Binder ring & hole punch. This is one of the easiest (and most genius) ways I’ve seen to collect other peoples business cards when you’re getting hundreds per day. Store these in your purse and you won’t have to worry about the cards you received getting crushed or lost at the bottom of your bag.

6. Note pad and good pens. My personal preference is written notes. I feel like I absorb information much better when I’m physically writing out details and notes. I know it’s the digital age but there’s something to be said about writing by hand. And even if you do use a laptop or tablet to remember information, you might end up needing good ol’ pen and paper when meeting sponsors and maybe adding some info to a business card to remember later. Plus, in my little portfolio, I can also wrangle my schedule, travel information, and hotel reservation. Win!

What are other essentials for blogging conferences? Have you ever been to one? Share your tips and experiences below!!

get your home photo shoot ready!

Last weekend, I had my friend and fellow blogger Savannah over to take some pretty pictures of our apartment. You might remember that she is the same friend/photog that took photos of Josh and me earlier this year. Our home tour pages have been in some serious disrepair and with the Haven Conference coming up (THIS WEEK!!) it was time to update and showcase what our apartment actually  looks like… not just the sad before’s from last year!

Now the updated pages are live and I am so so proud of the way our apartment looks in the photos (partly because Savannah is incredibly talented), so I thought it’d be fun to share a few tips and tricks to get your home ready for a photo shoot of your own. Whether you’re hiring someone or doing it yourself, these tips will help you put your home in the best light.

photoshoot tip - clean

1. Wipe down every. single. surface! The reason I wanted to have Savannah  do our home photo shoot is because she has a fancy-pants camera and the girl knows how to use it. But the thing about cameras of the fancy-pants variety is that they can capture very detailed images, which means if you’ve got dusty shelves or tables, the dust will show up! So go ahead and give every surface a quick wipe down with a soft cloth, maybe pledge your wood surfaces and make sure that the cleanliness of your home is not an issue in the pictures.

photoshoot tip - clutter

2. Clear up the actual clutter AND the visual clutter. Of course you’ll do your fair share of cleaning before the camera ever clicks. Everything will be in it’s spot (or hidden in a closet), but don’t neglect the visual clutter of labels and product containers. For example, we have several board games on our book shelf. There’s nothing wrong with the way they look, but they are just busy. So I used some plain kraft paper to wrap only the lids. You can still open the box and I even added typed labels so you can clearly see what you’re grabbing for, but the clutter of the box is gone. By doing this, you can keep the focus of the photo on things that matter like design and styling, rather than distracting labels.

photoshoot tip - diy

3. Showcase your DIY Projects! Especially if you’re a blogger!! You want to make sure that every DIY detail you’ve put into your home gets it chance to shine. Your instinct might be to go with just wide shots of rooms, but make sure to get a variety of wide and close up shots to feature the projects your proud of!

photoshoot tip - lighting

4. Get the best lighting possible. Really this is a tip for taking photos of anything. You want soft natural light that fills the room and lets colors stand out. Before you nail down a date for your photo shoot use a few days to note when the natural lighting is best in your house. For us, it’s around 4:00 – 5:00 PM. The sun isn’t glaring through windows but it’s not dusky. Unfortunately for us, it just happened to be rainy and gray on our photo shoot day, but Savannah made it work. (For real, it might be weird, but I can’t praise her enough!)   photoshoot tip - vamp

5. Vamp it up a little. Go ahead and style up your home with things that might not be there on a daily basis. Set the table, put out pretty dishes and a bowl of fruit, or drape a throw blanket over your couch. Details like this really make photos special. People appreciate the details.

photoshoot tip - true

6. Keep it true to you! Don’t change the fundamental characteristics of your home because you think the people of the blog-o-sphere will like something else more. Your home is still YOUR HOME no matter the occasion. The photos of it should make you pleased. For me this is making sure our books (especially Harry Potter) and Josh’s musical instruments are front and center. Those are the things we choose to put in our home because we love them.

You can see more of our new apartment photos (and from our previous apartment) on our Home Tour page. And please check out Savannah’s photography site and lifestyle blog! She is a lovely person worth knowing.

Linked up with:
Huckleberry Love
If It’s Not Baroque
Create & Inspire