That’s A Wrap: June + My Life Lately

June has been full of emotions for me, I’ve been excited, exhausted, nervous, ecstatic, sad, relieved, lonely and surprised, in no particular order.

Alt SLC Summer Thursday Night

Speaking at Alt Summit was very nerve-wracking for me, I promise, I’ll expand on my experience in a post soon. And then maybe the biggest news since I started this blog, I got engaged to my boyfriend of eight years! He had to leave the day after to travel for work for 5 months, so that’s a bummer but I’m super excited and of course, started a Pinterest board immediately (well, a few, I can’t lie to y’all)!

Alt SLC Summer Thursday Night

And remember my Vacation Dreaming post? Well, my dreams are coming true! While I didn’t win a vacation, my travel plans did work out, so next week I’ll be heading to Spain then France (whoa, mini freak out) to work from abroad for three weeks! I’m so thankful that I can pack up my computer and work from anywhere. It’s going to be challenging but I can’t wait for the adventure!

Alt SLC Summer Thursday Night

Plus lot’s of great stuff happened on the blog and around the web:

– Hosted two Made In Mind events, an Etsy craft party and a Letterpress Workshop
– Opened pre-sales for The Meetup Guide – only a few days left of pre-sale pricing!
– I guest posted on Design Sponge on How To Hold a Networking Event
– The lovely Kory wrote a review on The Meetup Guide, you can read it here.
– Backyard Tin Can Fence Garden
Summertime Freebies
DIY Gold Toy Animal Globes
The Business Cards of Alt Summit 2014
– Remember Greco Design Company from May? Well Lori has been up to a lot this month too! Her blog is full of awesome backyard DIYs so go check it out!

Alt SLC Summer Thursday Night

 All photos from the Alt Garden party by Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit.

The Business Cards of Alt Summit 2014

Hi y’all, I’m back from Alt Summit! I know I said I was going to take a blog break while I take in all the information but I couldn’t wait to share some of my favorite business cards from the awesome bloggers and brands I met while in Salt Lake City. I have linked to all of their sites at the bottom so click around for some awesome new people to follow, I still have some exploring to do myself! I’ll also pop back in soon to tell you all about the panel I spoke on, Growing A Small Blog!

Alt Summit Business Card InspirationAlt Summit Summer 2014 Business Card PartyAlt Summit Summer 2014 Business Cards Black White GoldAlt Summit Summer 2014 Business Cards - Oh What Love StudiosAlt Summit Summer 2014 Business Cards LetterpressAlt Summit Summer 2014 Business Cards - The Collaboreat

Everyday ReadingPaper Bandit Press / A Girl Named PJ / Demi + Olive / Christina Williams / Love Grows Design / Simply Sadie Jane / Peter Loves Jane / Fresh & Happy / Carlsbad Cravings / Oh, What Love / See Jane Blog / And We Play / The CollaboreatHudson and Emily / Candice Stringham / AVE Styles / Spitfiregirl / The Nectar Collective / Lynn Byrne /  Celine Navarro / Annie ReevesSquirrelly Minds / Delineate Your Dwelling / A Thousand ThreadsCourtney Khail / Janna Wilson / Capella Kincheloe / Design Improvised / Red Poppy Photo / The Glamorous Housewife / Hollyhocks & Honeybees / Wendy Walker Cushing / Collectively / Fry Sauce & Grits / Marigold Haske / A Ruffled Life / Antisparkle / if we met and I missed you here, please let me know!

P.S. If you went to Alt and are missing out on all the fun, like I am, why not start a smaller scale gathering in your city! I’ve compiled all the lessons I learned when starting The Made In Mind Social into a new e-book — The Meetup Guide: How to Create, Plan and Host A Local Event Series. It’s now on pre-sale with a super discount! If you want to start your own local event, this e-book will guide you through the whole process, start to finish.

Off to Alt!

Off To Alt Summit

So I’m off to Salt Lake City for my second Alt Summit today! And incase you missed the memo, this year I’m speaking on a panel! You can check out all of my posts from when I went in 2013 here and keep up with me on Instagram and Twitter! If you’ll be there, keep an eye out for me and please do say hi. This photo is from the plane when I went last January.

Once I’m back, I’ll be on a bit of a blogging break while I let information overload settle in and catch up on work, but I’m sure I won’t be able to stay away long!

P.S. I launched pre-sales on my new ebook: The Meetup Guide: How to Create, Plan, and Host Your Own Local Event Series. Grab it now while it’s over 50% off!

P.P.S I got engaged to my boyfriend of eight years on Saturday!

The Meetup Guide: How to Create, Plan and Host Your Own Local Event Series

The-Meetup-Guide-Presale-Image

Ever wish you could get together with inspiring, like-minded people right in your city? Maybe you’re looking to network, collaborate, or simply make some new friends. If that perfect local event doesn’t already exist, how about starting your own?

Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, there’s no need to start from scratch.

I’m sure y’all have heard me talk about The Made In Mind Social here on the blog before. If not, it’s a local event series that my sister and I created last year. Every other month, we gather creatives from around the area to meet and mingle, celebrate and connect.

Prior to founding Made In Mind, I didn’t have any experience with event planning. I had to ask a lot of questions, do tons of research, and learn through my own experiences. I really wished I had some kind of how-to guide to lead me through each step of the planning process.

So after a year of hosting events, I created an e-book to do just that! The Meetup Guide: How to Create, Plan, and Host Your Own Local Event Series, walks you through the who, what, when, where, why, and how of starting your own local meetup.

The-Meetup-Guide-Overview

The book launches in July but pre-sales are open now at a super discounted price! It’s over 50 pages packed with actionable information, valuable insights, tried-and-true tips and worksheets to help you get organized and make things happen! It even includes tips and interviews with other creatives who have started events like Chelsea Foy of Lovely Indeed and Shauna Haider of The Blogcademy!

Simply put, if you’re looking for a resource to guide you through the process, this is it! Ready to plan your own local event?

Purchase The Meetup Guide

Don’t want to deal with naming and branding your event? Starting a Made In Mind chapter in your city may be a great option for you!

The Made In Mind Social Chapters

 

DIY Gold Toy Animal Globes

How To Make Gold Toy Animal Globes

So a few people asked about the globes I made for the safari baby shower I shared a few weeks ago and they were actually really easy! I had some glass globes left over from this air plant terrarium project and thought they’d be super cute as a table display! I purchased the toy animals from Amazon, then just primed them with white and spray painted them gold! I sprinkled a little bit of course gold glitter into the bottoms of the globes and just carefully placed the animals on top after they were dry. The ones I made were not permanent, but you could easily glue everything down if you were planning to re-use them!

painting toy animals gold gif

DIY Gold Toy Animal Globes 1

DIY Gold Toy Animal Globes 2

DIY Gold Toy Animal Globes 3

Table Confetti c/o Minted

Vacation Dreaming

Vacation Dreaming

RCI 35 Year Logos2

Thank you RCI for sponsoring this post. For a chance to make your vacation fantasies a reality, enter RCI’s Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes by 6/18/14!

 

Did you know that even the vacation planning process alone boosts happiness? Just the anticipation of a vacation boosts happiness for eight weeks. My friend Dominique just wrote about how she used to take European vacations with her mom without ever leaving home, so sweet! While the planning process and faux vacations are a ton of fun, it’s still important to truly get away every once in awhile. I’ve got the itch and I’m actually in the process of planning a dream vacation right now! I was super fortunate to study abroad twice while in college, but I haven’t been back to Europe since, bummer. Well, my best friend since 7th grade told me she was planning a trip with her sister and I invited myself along, haha! Who knows when someone else I know will be taking a trip like this and I didn’t want to miss out! While I’m not 100% sure I’m going yet (because of my budget), like I said, the planning alone has got me all excited! The itinerary looks something like this: Madrid, Barcelona, Marseille, Nice, Paris. I’m really hoping I can make it work!

The Parker Palm Springs

Lucky for me AND you, RCI (the global leader in vacation exchange) is hosting a sweepstakes to celebrate their 40th anniversary that allows you to plan your dream vacation (and they will be giving away 40 awesome vacation prizes)! I just planned mine, it took 5 minutes, so easy! First you select your vacation type (beach, gold, skiing, family, city or cruise), then your destination, extras (all inclusive, rental car, spa etc.), then how many people you want to bring and there you have it, your dream vacation is in the works!

  • One lucky winner will win the grand prize vacation of their dreams (worth up to $25,000)
  • 39 others will win other amazing vacation prizes
  • Don’t forget to share your vacation on social media for additional entries!
  • Sweepstakes ends on June 18, 2014

If you’re ready to get that ‘vacation planning’ happiness boost, RCI’s Win Your Dream Vacation Sweepstakes has you covered. (And seriously, would anything make you happier than winning a dream vacation?)

What would your dream vacation be?

Thank you for supporting this blog by allowing me to post occasional sponsored content. All sponsored posts feature products or services that I truly feel would be of interest to you. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

I’m Speaking at Alt Summit!

Last month I mentioned quickly that I was going to be speaking at Alt Summit but now that they have released the schedule, I’m back to share the details!

Growing A Small Blog Panel

In two weeks from today, Alt Summit will be kicking off its first summer event in Salt Lake City. And in two weeks from tomorrow, I’ll be speaking on a panel about Growing a Small Blog. I am equally excited as terrified! But I’m so happy that I’ll be up there with friends: Mariah of Oh What Love, Melissa of Lulu the Baker, and PJ of Bunny and Dolly and Tan of Squirrelly Minds.

We’ll be discussing all the ways that new bloggers can grow their readership, including tips and tricks we’ve learned from our personal experiences. Since none of us are big-name bloggers (yet!), we hope that our success stories inspire others just starting out. As we put the finishing touches on our presentation, we’d love to know what specific questions you have about growing a small blog.

So find us on twitter, include the hashtag #growingasmallblog in your question and ask away! Can’t wait to hear from y’all!

Mariah – blog / twitter
Melissa – blog / twitter
PJ – blog / twitter
Tan – blogtwitter
Me – twitter

And if you’ll be attending Alt SLC in two weeks, leave a comment below — I’d love to meet you!

Summertime Freebies

June is here and that means a few things, I’m back with a fresh design for your devices AND Summer is almost here, who’s excited?! I’m totally ready for vacations, sunshine, exploring and lots and lots of ice cream! After the craziness of Alt Summit, that is. What are you looking forward to this summer?

Ice Cream Desktop Freebie I’m over on Whimseybox with your June desktop freebies! But this month is extra special because I have a whole summer icon pack for y’all. It’s exclusively available here courtesy of Vector Portal! So download the summer icon pack and then head to Whimseybox to grab the designs for your devices!

summer travel icons

Backyard Tin Can Fence Garden

Zander and I have been seriously sprucing up our yard before it gets too hot to bear! We bought lots of new plants and got our DIY on! Sooo excited about this project, I’ve had it in mind since last summer and I absolutely love how it tuned out, it really makes a difference in our yard!

DIY Fence Can Planters

Here is a before photo which is actually from last year before we built the planter box along this fence, yuck!

Yard-Before

So the steps are super simple. Zander cooks a lot of pizza so we saved the cans that the tomatoes came in until we had enough. Remove the labels and then punch a few holes in the bottoms for drainage.

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Spray paint the outsides of the cans and let dry. Then spray at least the first inch of the insides, I went ahead and painted the full inside.

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Once the paint is totally dry use screws to attach the cans to the fence.

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We just eyeballed the positioning making sure to alternate heights.

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Fill the cans about half way with soil, then plant your desired flowers or herbs.

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Water the plants and you are good to go!

Watering Backyard Tin Can Fence Garden

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Backyard Tin Can Fence Garden and Trellis

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And this is how it looks a month later, look at how big our tomato plant got!

Backyard Tin Can Fence Garden and Planter Box

Tin Can Fence Flower Garden

That’s A Wrap: May

So let’s start with some huge news shall we… I’m speaking at Alt Summit in 2 weeks y’all! I’m on the same speaker roster as Martha Stewart and Joy Cho, whoa. Even though I’m on page two. I’ll let y’all know what my panel is all about very soon and I’ll also be featuring my lovely panel mates (is that a thing) on Instagram leading up to Alt!

Etsy Craft Party Supplies - Ciera Design

Besides being crazy excited/stressed about Alt this month, my best friend had her first baby, an adorable little girl who I just went to visit in Baton Rouge and another friend got married. We went to Biloxi for her bachelorette party and then the week after partied for 4 days straight for the actual wedding, not even exaggerating, it was exhausting/SO much fun! AND lot’s of great stuff happened in the studio, on the blog and around the web:

 

In The Studio

New work for Simplified Bee
– Launched my first Darby Smart DIY kit, a Studded Baggu Tote
– Added some new stock photos to my Creative Market shop
– Busy prepping for the June 6 Etsy Craft Party in New Orleans (image above via my Instagram)
– Launched the Made In Mind New Orleans Chapter site. Get details on starting your own chapter here.

 

Elsewhere

– The lovely Ilana of Sugar and Type featured me for her Creative Crush series
– studio-404 shared my Twitter Tips
– Coastermatic featured my photos of their product on their blog
– New post up on Creative Market, my Favorite Calligraphers To Follow On Instagram
– Designed a desktop freebie for Whimsey Box
- Want to read all about my journey as a designer? My profile is now live on the Women in Business site!

 

On the blog

– Shared my May favorites from Golden Tote. P.S. The June tote launches Monday!
– How to Set Up a Mimosa Bar
– Make It Count – Desktop and iPhone Wallpaper Freebies
– Shared the details from the Gold Safari Animal Baby Shower
– Chocolate Almond Strawberry Smoothie Recipe
– Mariah shared Tips & Tricks for Your Email Newsletter
What’s In My Bag

 

Favorite Fonts

York Handwriting (30% off, ends today at 11 PM)
– Geli (50% off, ends tomorrow at 11 PM)
Consuelo (50% off, ends June 1 at 11 PM)
– Coming Home (30% off,  ends June 2 at 11 PM)
– Archivio Family (60% off, ends June 3 at 11 PM)

 

Sponsor Love

I’d love to introduce y’all to Lori Greco of Greco Design Company, fellow graphic designer and blogger who loves painting, diy projects, typography, living in New England, hosting parties and running.

As a freelance graphic designer, I’m always teaching myself new things to stay current. Greco Design Company is a blog I started in 2013 that covers all aspects of design including print, home, fashion and lifestyle. I figure what we create around us is what designs and defines our entire lives. I hope to share my creations and things that inspire me and I hope to inspire you too.

Lori has an awesome blog at and Etsy shop that y’all should totally check out! Especially loving her DIY light switch covers!