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April 11, 2014


Allow yourself a little extra sleep…whether it's by going to bed a half-hour earlier, sleeping in an extra fifteen minutes, or sneaking in a nap on a Sunday afternoon. Getting a little extra sleep is the equivalent of fueling your body with healthy foods, getting fresh air, or drinking lots of water. It's vital to your health. 

This week, create at least one opportunity for yourself to get a little extra sleep. Who knows, maybe you'll make a habit out of it!

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April 10, 2014


Back with some more good reads, the list below is full of cookbooks that have caught my eye. Enjoy!

Handmade Gatherings: Recipes and Crafts for Seasonal Celebrations and Potluck Parties by Ashley English

From the décor, to the entertainment, on down to the recipes themselves, Handmade Gatherings presents inspired suggestions for thoughtful, flavorful, festive communal dining. Here you'll find sixteen parties built around the rhythm of the seasons. Frosty winter fetes, lush springtime soirees, sultry summer get-togethers, and crisp autumn affairs--it's all here.

Sweet Paul Eat and Make: Charming Recipes and Kitchen Crafts You Will Love by Paul Lowe

Divided into Morning, Brunch, Noon, and Night, with color palettes to match, Sweet Paul Eat and Make includes breakfast dishes like Morning Biscuits with Cheddar, Dill, and Pumpkin Seeds and brunches like Smoked Salmon Hash with Scallions, Dill, and Eggs. For lunch, there’s a super-quick Risotto with Asparagus, and for dinner, Maple-Roasted Chicken and a stunning Norwegian specialty, World’s Best Cake. Rustically chic craft projects—paper flowers made out of coffee filters, a vegetable-dyed tablecloth, and a trivet from wooden clothespins—will captivate even those who are all thumbs.

Picture Perfect Parties: Annette Joseph's Stylish Solutions for Entertaining by Annette Joseph

Annette Joseph, Today Show entertaining expert, knows how to throw a party. Her motto: Make it simple and make it gorgeous! She is able to combine down-to-earth gusto with do-it-yourself brilliance to create an entertaining cookbook for people who want to entertain more and with panache. PICTURE PERFECT PARTIES provides an arsenal of tricks for a year’s worth of get-togethers, holidays, and special occasions—including Easter brunch, Cinco de Mayo, summer grill-outs, picnics and barbecues, holiday cocktails, and the Super Bowl— guaranteed to make at-home entertaining easy.

First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly, Candy Apple, and Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year (and More) by Allison Kave

Allison Kave made pies as a hobby, until one day her boyfriend convinced her to enter a Brooklyn pie-making contest. She won. In fact, her pies were such a hit that she turned pro. People can’t get enough of her Bourbon Ginger Pecan pie, her whimsical Root Beer Float Pie, her addictive Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie. And the crusts—oh, the crusts!—are so impossibly flaky, so utterly delicious, that pie eaters around the world will rejoice that Allison has at last divulged her techniques and tips.

Surprise-Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion--with a Little Something Extra Inside Hardcover by Amanda Rettke

From Amanda Rettke, founder of the popular blog I Am Baker, comes Surprise-Inside Cakes with recipes and techniques to make dozens of stunning, imaginative cakes for every occasion, each with something special inside.

Whether it’s a striking, all-white cake with a secret red velvet heart baked inside; a birthday cake, complete with a surprise balloon cake in the middle; or the gorgeous hydrangea cake that took the blogosphere by storm; Amanda’s cakes are downright revolutionary—and really fun to prepare.



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April 08, 2014

Today's good reads feature books in home decor and crafting, these four are on my wish list. Just looking at the covers and reading the descriptions make me want to make something!

Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love
by Blair Stocker

Wise Craft is a guide to the homemade life, turning old things into special new objects that enhance the home. Based on the popular blog of the same name, this guide focuses on creating a homemade atmosphere that reflects your family, without spending a fortune. Instead of throwing away old shirts and boring dishes, or passing up thrift store finds that aren't quite right, author Blair Stocker teaches how to remake, adding special touches to make them work for her home—and yours .

BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects
by Jessica Pigza

There is untold wealth in library collections, and, like every good librarian, Jessica Pigza loves to share. In BiblioCraft, Pigza hones her literary hunting-and-gathering skills to help creatives of all types, from DIY hobbyists to fine artists, develop projects based on library resources.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful 
by Myquillyn Smith (available 4/29/2014)

Perfection is overrated. Popular blogger and self-taught decorator Myquillyn Smith (The Nester) is all about embracing reality---especially when it comes to decorating a home bursting with boys, pets, and all the unpredictable messes of life.In The Nesting Place, Myquillyn shares the secrets of decorating for real people---and it has nothing to do with creating a flawless look to wow your guests. It has everything to do with embracing the natural imperfection and chaos of daily living.

Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style 
by Will Taylor (available 4/29/2014)

Dive into a refreshing take on color from one of the world’s leading interiors bloggers, Will Taylor of Bright.Bazaar: West Elm’s "go-to blogger for color inspiration." What began as a popular blog attracting over 400,000 readers a month is now a gorgeous, color-popping book sure to delight and inspire all.


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April 07, 2014


We all enjoy a good read right? I have gathered a handful of favorites to share with you this week starting with journals and coloring books that make me want to stop and create.

Be sure to share your favorite good reads with us, leave a comment letting everyone know what inspires you to write or doodle!


Walls Notebook Diary
by Sherwood Forlee

These textured urban walls provide an interesting backdrop for notes, musings, drawings, doodles, and more. Indulge your inner graffiti artist - without the risk of jail time!

Outside the Lines: An Artists' Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations

by Souris Hong-Porretta

Just add color!
For anyone who loves creativity and contemporary art, or who simply loves the joy of coloring, comes Outside the Lines, a striking collection of illustrations from more than 100 creative masterminds, including animators, cartoonists, fine artists, graphic artists, illustrators, musicians, outsider artists, photographers, street artists, and video game artists.

Fill in the Blank: An Inspirational Sketchbook
by Vahram Muratyan

With more than 100 different spreads to envision, design, and draw, Fill in the Blank invites you to create new houses, cars, skyscrapers, cereal boxes, wine labels, roller coasters, topiary, and much, much more! Part doodling book, part sketchbook, and part design-inspiration workbook, Fill in the Blank offers everything you need to jump-start your imagination.

PhotoPlay!: Doodle. Design. Draw.
by M. J. Bronstein

Wondrous and wacky photographs paired with quirky, clever prompts make PhotoPlay! a delightful invitation to imaginative exploration! Design an upside-down world, a passing parade, and an underwater garden. Draw a tasty birthday cake for Bob, a pet for Grace, and Ravi's imaginary friend.

Everything Is Connected: Reimagining the World One Postcard at a Time by Keri Smith

Leave notes in public for strangers, dream up a tiny imaginary world, summon magic powers, draw a portrait of yourself as a hero, create your own treasure map, or access a secret portal whenever you wish.

Don’t you just love getting something unexpected in the mail?

 Come back tomorrow for more good reads.

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April 04, 2014

Read a book that you enjoyed as a child. Take a few moments to reconnect with the story, and why you loved it. Was it full of adventure? Or cute, furry animals? If you feel inspired, you could even snap a photo of yourself with the book, and create a page about why you loved the story.

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April 02, 2014

Sketch Solutions
Unlocking the power of sketches for better, faster scrapbook pages taught by Donna Januzzi

A sketch provides a solid foundation for a scrapbook page layout, so you can create a well-balanced design in less time—every time. With that piece of the puzzle covered, you can let your creativity soar in the areas of color, photo selection, product combinations, techniques, and journaling.

And there's no one better at sketches than Donna Jannuzzi! An engineer turned scrapbooker and stay-at-home mom, Donna has explored the potential of sketches from every possible angle. In this 4-week workshop, she'll share her favorite sketches from her popular eBook and the most versatile designs from her prized sketch notebook—and she'll teach you her secrets for making the most of every one.

Learn more and register here

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March 28, 2014

Hope you have enjoyed the photography tips courtesy of Elisha Snow. Now you need to put those tips in practice and get shooting! 



Would you like to feel more confident in your photo-taking abilities? To find beauty in everyday objects, and see attributes of people you've never noticed before? Photography 101 with Elisha Snow will teach you to look at light, shadow, shape, and color differently, and most importantly, to develop a passion for preserving the beauty that surrounds you.


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March 27, 2014

PHOTO TIP: A simple black background is wonderful to have on hand for getting clean, classic-looking photos. Notice how the black background makes the photo so serene and helps the subjects stand out. My favorite fabric to use for a background is black velvet. Velvet absorbs light and creates a dark, rich black.

PHOTO TIP: When you’re taking photos, watch for fun backgrounds. There’s no need to invest in fancy backdrops when there are plenty of things all around to use. Here, my son is sitting on a patio chair with a fun tropical print.

Would you like to feel more confident in your photo-taking abilities? To find beauty in everyday objects, and see attributes of people you've never noticed before? Photography 101 with Elisha Snow will teach you to look at light, shadow, shape, and color differently, and most importantly, to develop a passion for preserving the beauty that surrounds you.


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March 26, 2014

PHOTO TIP: Create “white space” in your photos. In scrapbooking and graphic design, white space is a huge design element to consider. It’s no different for photos. I positioned my subjects at the bottom of the photo to create white space, or empty space, at the top, making for an appealing composition. Try this today: take a photo of someone or something and compose your photo so that there is white space at the top, bottom or sides of the photo.

Would you like to feel more confident in your photo-taking abilities? To find beauty in everyday objects, and see attributes of people you've never noticed before? Photography 101 with Elisha Snow will teach you to look at light, shadow, shape, and color differently, and most importantly, to develop a passion for preserving the beauty that surrounds you.

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March 25, 2014

PHOTO TIP: When taking pictures of children, you may often find yourself literally flat on the ground to get a great photo. Don’t be afraid to lay on your back or stomach to get a great photo! Try this today: lay down in different areas of your home and look around you. You may be surprised at how different things look from down low!

Excerpt from Elisha Snow’s class Photography 101
In this six-week course you’ll learn all there is to know about the basics of photography and how to become a more confident photographer. From learning about different types of light and the most flattering compositions to camera settings, camera accessories, flash, white balance, focusing, and so much more. Learn more here

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