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

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

What’s In My Bag

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and U by Kotex but all opinions are my own. #pmedia #UbKKmart http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Contents Spilling Out of Purse
I can’t believe it but I haven’t done a post like this since 2011 when I was living in Boston, wow time flies! I try to keep the contents of my purse to a minimum because I don’t want to be lugging some heavy thing all around with me so my purse is usually pretty clean and these tend to be the items that are in their consistently… let’s dive into this bag of mine…

What's In My Bag Details

purse / iPhone / excessive amounts of chapstick and lipgloss including Burt’s Bees, Honest, Clinique, Kismet / keys (isn’t my handy iPhone tiltpod cool) / facial moisturizer with sunscreen (my fave is Aveeno) / business cards / pens / a snack (I’m not very nice when I’m hungry) / hair ties / MAC powder / favorites from my Mary Kay Glam VoxBox (bronzerblush) / gum / lady products

What's In My Bag

Isn’t it cool how the U by Kotex products just blend in? As a designer, I’m always drawn to products because of their packaging and these caught my eye since they actually look stylish. The nice design helps me to always be prepared since I can just leave them in my purse.

Purse Contents

I picked up my U by Kotex products at Kmart since they have a special going on right now: receive $3 off through Kmart’s Shop Your Way rewards program with the purchase of 2 U by Kotex products.

U By Kotex Boxes In Bathroom

If you are not already a member of the rewards program, you can sign up right here

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 and all opinions are my own.

Gold Safari Animal Baby Shower

You saw the invitations, the mimosa bar and the DIY decor, now for all of the other details from my besties baby shower! Luckily we had five girls each in charge of different things so it made for a great party and not too much work for any individual person! I was in charge of decorations and thanks to Minted my job was super easy! You can browse by color on their site so I searched gold and fell in love with their Sparkle Everywhere collection. Then of course I had to throw a little DIY in the mix with the gold animal table top globes, stirrers for the mimosas and the juice bottles.

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P.S. The tasseled vase was a DIY kit from Darby Smart! Have you checked out my Darby Smart project yet?!

Shop Sparkle Everywhere party decor:

Cake/Cupcake StandTable ConfettiPersonalizable Bunting BannerMimosa bar signplace cardsstraws, Gold Glitter Bannerplates and napkins c/o Minted. All opinions are my own.

Design Portfolio: Simplified Bee

Sometimes clients come to me after they have already established a strong logo, but need help building a full brand identity and overall style to carry through their other materials. This was the case when Cristin from Simplified Bee reached out to me. She had a great logo but needed to take her stationery and social media a step further to really stand out within her niche. We decided on which items would be best for her and I got to work on her stationery, business cards and social media sites!

Simplified Bee Brand Identity Mockup

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Simplified Bee Brand Identity - Cards

While I love starting from scratch and designing logos, one of my favorite parts is also building out the brand and bringing it to life after the logo is finalized! If you are not sure how to expand your brand, reach out to me and we can brainstorm and collaborate on some new materials for you!

P.S. Did you see the brand identities for The Made In Mind Social and Sweet Tea and Co.?