Friday, January 31, 2014
DIY Heart Hair Pins | Ruffled Paper

DIY Heart Hair Pins | Ruffled Paper

Friday, January 31, 2014
Happy Friday! Jessica from Ruffled Paper is taking over today with this awesome DIY. I need a set of these for my hair now. So cute! Have a fantastic weekend!
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I hope everyone is having a great weekend! Jackie and I worked on a DIY project this weekend for Valentine’s Day that we wanted to share with you. It’s totally cute. Last week we went to Hobby Lobby to pick up some supplies and Jack mentioned she wanted to start making clay jewelry. She picked up some clay and tools (it’s actually pretty inexpensive). She’s been working on some things that we will share with you soon, but we did this one today and thought it would be SO cute for Valentine’s Day! We made bobby pins with clay hearts on the end. Looks difficult, but is totally easy.



We started with a small amount of oven-bake clay in light pink. We rolled the clay to about 1/4 inch and then used a small sized heart shaped cookie cutter. We then took pins we bought a few years back on etsy. They were about $4 for a pack of six. Gently push the tip of the pin into the clay heart. It should be deep enough to grip, but not too deep that it indents the front of the clay piece.
After you have the pins ready to go. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Bake the clay hearts and pins for twenty minutes on parchment paper(make sure you use pure metal pins for this step).
When you remove the pins from the oven allow some time for them to dry completely. We left the pink pin as is because we really liked the color of it. The other one we glittered (why of course!). We painted just the heart with decoupage and sprinkled on the glitter. Allow it to dry and then apply another layer of decoupage to the glitter.
A helpful tip when working with this clay, wear rubber gloves! The texture of the dried clay on your hands is not fun and the gloves reduce fingerprint marks, oil, and any dirt particles.

It was a lot of fun and easy to do on a lazy day. Plus, when you divide it up each pin ended up costing about .50 to make. If you try this one out – send pictures to hello[at]ruffledpaper.com We’d love to see what you all come up with!
Hope you have a fabulous weekend! 


 Ruffled Paper     Facebook     Twitter     Pinterest     Instagram  


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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Julianna | JM Design Studio

Julianna | JM Design Studio

Thursday, January 30, 2014
Happy Thursday! I'm excited to share a lovely lady with you today. Julianna is the owner and designer of JM Design Studio, a web design company that offers affordable, pretty designs for women starting their own businesses! She does beautiful work and can create anything that you need. Get to know her a little, below! And stop by her shop!

JM Design Studio, web design, graphic design, branding



+What are three things you absolutely can't live without?
If we’re talking material possessions, I absolutely cannot live without my phone, the internet and my car. Those are my essentials because they connect me with people, places and income.  It’s all encompassing too – I have access to my bible, books, shops, flights, groups, text, emails etc. It’s all there.

+What makes you the happiest?
Spending time with my fiancée and family makes me the happiest. I love just laughing over dinner conversations or board games. It’s where I feel most at home and happy. 

+Who inspires you most?
I think I gather inspiration from a variety of people depending on what I want to accomplish at that moment, but if I had to choose one person or group, I’d say successful entrepreneurial women inspire me the most. I love stories of women who had a simple idea and turned it into something great.

+If you could make a wish right now, what would it be?
I’m passionate about ending human trafficking, so that would definitely be my wish. There are more slaves in the world today than any other point in history – about 27 million across the world (insane!). Many of the victims are young girls that get tricked or kidnapped and then exploited. It’s horrible. A portion of all my sales goes to TheA21campaign.org to help make that wish come true. 

+How did you get into web design?
I’ve always done a little graphic design for my parent’s print shop and designed several blogs for different projects, but never thought of it as a career option because it was just a fun hobby. In college I had to take courses in Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop etc. as part of my degree plan and I started to really, really love it. I decided on a whim one day to list premade website templates on Etsy for a little side income and it grew from there into its own little business. It’s been such a great and unexpected blessing.  










    
                             


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Blogger Q&A | How I Came Up With My Blog Name + My Biggest Fear

Blogger Q&A | How I Came Up With My Blog Name + My Biggest Fear

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
blogger questions, blogging, q&a, coffee date, blog name, biggest fear

I was reading some of my favorite blogs over the past couple of days, and I got to thinking about how much I love getting to know the lovely ladies behind the blog posts that I so enjoy reading. I've discovered, when you read along, that overtime you start to feel like you become friends. You learn little things about these ladies as they share their life, and you really start to care. I love that! It's one of my favorite parts of blogging and reading blogs. It's like sitting down to coffee + a cookie ( gotta have my vegan cookie ) and chatting with a girlfriend.

So, in that vein of thinking, I decided to share a few things with you. I pulled from questions that I get asked often, either via blogland, just in daily life, or on those splendid coffee dates for girl talk. Here it is, five fun tidbits about me! 


+How did you come up with the name of your blog?
This is the most common question that I get asked. I don't think that I have ever shared why my blog is named Boone+Owl. So here it is! The town that I grew up in, and still live in, is small. You might say it's quaint. There aren't tons of options for things to do, and you can see from one end of our downtown to the other. It's less than a city block. It's small, and it's southern. I like it. In a way it's kind of like living out in the boondocks, if you come from a big city or aspire to live in one. That's where Boone comes from. Boondocks. It's my way of representing, with affection, where I come from. Now, I happen to be one of those people that aspires to live in a big hustle and bustle city, and I love fashion. If you've been following along for a little bit, you'll know that I adore owls, owls with big eyes. The Owl represents my love of big cities and fashion. It's the hopeful, dreamer in me. A big city heart in a small town girl. So, Boone+Owl is me. It's where I'm from, what I love, and it's my dreams.

+What is number one on your bucket list?
Besides marrying Tim Tebow? No no, I'm kidding. Kind of..
Actually, I have so many things on my bucket list, most of which are pretty adventurous. Did you know that there is an arctic resort in Finland with glass igloos that you can stay in? It's magical, and It's number one on my bucket list to stay in one of those glass igloos and admire the northern lights!

+ What are three things you can't live without?
This is pretty simple, and makes sense if you're a blogger. My iPhone, my Macbook, and my camera. With school and blogging, those three things have become very essential.

+What is your biggest fear?
I'm deathly afraid of spiders thanks to a big, black, hairy one that decided to wake me up one morning by crawling across my face. They're out to get me. I'm telling you, they know I fear them, and they search out my room just to torment me. They sit up in the corner toying with me. It's sick!

+What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I touched on this a little bit above. Getting to now other ladies through their writing is something that I really love. I found that there is such a wonderful blogging community. There are so many lovely women that have much to share, and I'm so happy to be a part of that community. Getting to know other sweet women, either through reading posts, or even reading through comments here, on Boone+Owl, it all counts. I love sharing life and learning about your life too!

Feel like you know me a little better? Great! We should have coffee dates more often. What about you? What three things can't you live without? What's number one on your bucket list?
Tell me! I would so love to know!












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Friday, January 24, 2014
Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew

Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew

Friday, January 24, 2014
Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew, Chicken Recipe, Mesquite Chicken, Stew Recipe

I've proclaimed my enjoyment of kitchen rummaging, with no plan whatsoever, to come up with a meal. You dig around through the canned black beans, and tomatoes, find a box or two of cornbread mix, maybe stumble across some garlic, find some chicken, and walk out with dinner. I went kitchen rummaging the other day, and created Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew. My dad ate most of it, and made all kinds of noises while doing so. I'll take that as a double thumbs up that he liked it! The rest of the family got a taste too, and they all approved.

This Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew really did turn out quite good, so I thought that I would share it! It's easy to make, and has a unique comforting flavor. 

You will need:

4 chicken breast
Half an onion ( diced )
2 garlic cloves ( diced )
Half of a red pepper ( chopped )
Half of a yellow pepper ( chopped )
1 quart of vegetable broth
1 can of Bush's Sweet Mesquite Grillin' Beans
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 cans of sliced potatoes
 Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt + Pepper
Chili powder
McCormick Steakhouse Onion Burger seasoning 
Rosemary Garlic blend seasoning ( just Rosemary is fine )

Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew, Chicken Recipe, Mesquite Chicken, Stew Recipe
Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew, Chicken Recipe, Mesquite Chicken, Stew Recipe


| Total Cook Time: 1 hour |
Preparation 
In a large pot, place in the onion, garlic, peppers, and chicken. Season well with salt, pepper, a palm full of the McCormick Steakhouse Onion Burger seasoning, and a small palm full of the Rosemary Garlic blend seasoning ( or just a small palm full of plain ole Rosemary ). Add 3-4 good splashes of Worcestershire and the Apple Cider Vinegar. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for about thirty minutes.

+ My stovetop cooks hot so I have to keep my heat a bit on the low side so food does't scorch. If you feel that medium-low isn't hot enough on your stovetop, bump the heat up. It's always better to be safe and make sure your chicken is cooked at the right temperature so any bacteria is killed in the cooking process.

When your chicken has cooked through, lower the heat, grab a couple of forks and roughly shred the chicken in the pot. Add in tomatoes, Bush's Sweet Mesquite Grillin' Beans, potatoes, and half of the vegetable broth + a good dusting of Chili powder. Add a couple more splashes of Worcestershire, then cover and simmer on low heat for thirty minutes.

+ If you don't want a little kick, leave the Chili powder out altogether.
+ If you prefer a more soup-like dish, add the rest of the vegetable broth.
+ As always if you feel like it needs more seasoning, then go ahead and season to taste!

There you have it! A tasty dinner that's perfect for this chilly weather. This Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew goes wonderfully with cornbread!  I made my Papa's recipe. 1 box of Jiff corn muffin mix + 1 box of Jiff yellow cake mix. It's THE best cornbread recipe. Slightly sweet, and It's a great bookend to this meal.

Happy Eating!

Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew, Chicken Recipe, Mesquite Chicken, Stew Recipe
Sweet Mesquite Chicken Stew, Chicken Recipe, Mesquite Chicken, Stew Recipe










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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Giveaway | $50 Visa Giftcard

Giveaway | $50 Visa Giftcard

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Happy Hump Day! While I'm over here trucking away at my classes, Physical Sciences is so many bunches of fun, I have something a bit more enjoyable for you to play around with! Myself and some truly lovely ladies, from Happy Is A Choice, have each put in a little something to give you the chance to snatch up some extra spending money. A $50 Visa Giftcard is up for grabs! If you're like me, you can make the most of fifty dollars. The entries are minimal and we'd really love to give you an excuse to treat yourself! Good Luck!
$50 Visa Giftcard Giveaway, Visa giftcard, giveaway, blog giveaways, money, spending money, hump day, happy is a choice
a Rafflecopter giveaway







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Monday, January 20, 2014
Grow Your Blog | Image SEO Adding Alt Tags To Images

Grow Your Blog | Image SEO Adding Alt Tags To Images

Monday, January 20, 2014
adding alt tags to blog images, blog seo, grow your blog, blogger images

You might have heard about Alt and Title tags for images. They are one of the best things in terms of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Alt and Title tags can bring you a lot of traffic from Google Image Search. 

Now, I have only been blogging for eight months. The majority of which I was blissfully ignorant of SEO, particularly in the imagery area. With a few simple tips, that I found on the interwebs, I started adding tags to pictures on my blog, and badda bing badda boom, a lovely little stream of traffic. Ignorance may be bliss, but knowledge is infinitely sweeter. We all want to be seen and heard and reach others. In order to do that more effectively we have to make it easier for others to find us. So here's a little knowledge for ya!

The Alt + Title Tag
An image tag is an HTML language that is used to display images in webpages. Simply adding an image to your blog post is not enough. Search engine robots can't read an image like they read text, therefore, they don’t understand what the image is about. In order to describe and categorize your images to both your visitors and search bots you need to add title and alt text.

An image tag has three attributes; src (image source), title (image title) and Alt (alternative text for image).  For example sake, let’s say you're writing a post about “Blog SEO” but you're focusing in on “adding alt tags to blog images”. 
You would define the image tags like this -

<img alt="adding alt tags to blog images" src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7uuj2kxSPeA/UtytCUMbvqI/AAAAAAAADSI/JbaZkE8qaCo/s1600/Grow+Your+Blog+Through+Image+SEO.jpg title=”Blog SEO” /> 

Now, you can have fun with the alt tag. Depending on what you're writing about, adding SEO rich titles and being descriptive with your alt tags is key! Here's an example of a saucier alt tag.

<img alt="adding alt tags to blog images, image seo, blogger images, blog seo" src=”http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7uuj2kxSPeA/UtytCUMbvqI/AAAAAAAADSI/JbaZkE8qaCo/s1600/Grow+Your+Blog+Through+Image+SEO.jpg” title=”Blog SEO” /> 

The more descriptive you are, the better! 

Adding Alt Tags To Blogger Images
My blog is powered by Blogger, which I happen to really love! It is super easy to add these image tags, and here's how you do it in Blogger.

Upload your image in compose mode on Blogger and select the image. Select "properties" from the menu. In image properties add the title and alt text that are your keywords. 

adding alt tags to blog images, blog seo, grow your blog, blogger images

adding alt tags to blog images, blog seo, grow your blog, blogger images



And there you have it! Some basics on using the alt tags to improve SEO on your blog posts.  This really is an easy, but super effective way to bring more traffic to your blog!

Do you use alt tags to help improve your SEO? Any advice to add on using these tags? Let me know in the comments! Have a beautiful day! xo, Jen



Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Sponsor Love | Travel, Blogging Tips, and Life

Sponsor Love | Travel, Blogging Tips, and Life

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Hello lovely people! I have some sweet ladies to share with you all. These three ladies have fun spaces filled with a little bit of everything. From travel, to blogging tips, and just sharing life, these bloggers are  genuine and cheerful. Their unique spaces are delightful and oh so worth the read! Stop by their blogs, and get to know these fantastic women. They will add a little cheer to your day!




















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2013 was such a wonderful year full of memories and adventures. Boone+Owl has come a long way, and I could not have gotten here without the tremendous encouragement and support of such a lovely community of women. Thank you!

 To celebrate the start of a whole new year, all sponsorships are 25% off, through January, with code NEWYEAR2014. That makes them all under $10!

If you'd like to join the sponsorship family, hop on over to the ad shop. I would be thrilled to work with you!


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Giveaway | iPad Mini

Giveaway | iPad Mini

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
iPad Mini
Hey! Today, I am very excited about being part of this giveaway where we will give an iPad mini to one lucky reader! I love ours ( we have two ), and am thrilled to make it possible for you to win one! What a fun way to start out the year! Myself and sixteen other amazing ladies have teamed up with Marquis to make this possible, so make sure to show them some love! 

iPad Mini







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Thursday, January 9, 2014
 Sweet Ruffles + Ruffled Paper

Sweet Ruffles + Ruffled Paper

Thursday, January 9, 2014
Happy Thursday! I hope the first nine days of 2014 have been nice to you. I'd say they've been rather uneventful around here. But hey, uneventful can be amazing sometimes! Anyway, I have a darling blog + shop, and a happy, driven blogger to share with you today. And I'm excited about it! Her name is Jessica. She blogs over at Sweet Ruffles; a place for inspiration, lifestyle, and DIY projects! I'm particularly in love with this DIY Glittered Coffee Cup. Oh and this! And these!

Jessica has an online paper shop full of pretty things, too! Printables, save the dates, stationary, business cards, and party + craft supplies. Whatever you need, Jessica has got you covered! Learn a bit more about her below! Oh and be sure to stop by her blog + shop!

Boone+Owl Sweet Ruffles + Ruffled Paper

Sweet Ruffles  |  Ruffled Paper  |  Facebook  |  Etsy  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Boone+Owl Sweet Ruffles + Ruffled Paper
Boone+Owl Sweet Ruffles + Ruffled Paper



I genuinely love Jessica's blog and shop. They are full of so many pretty things! Jessica is a fun crafter, with an eye for loveliness. Be sure to check out her blog + shop, and discover pretty things for yourself!





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2013 was such a wonderful year full of memories and adventures. Boone+Owl has come a long way, and I could not have gotten here without the tremendous encouragement and support of such a lovely community of women. Thank you!

 To celebrate the start of a whole new year, all sponsorships are 25% off, through January, with code NEWYEAR2014.

If you'd like to join the sponsorship family, hop on over to the shop. I would be thrilled to work with you!










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Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Love Is Patient | Love Defined

Love Is Patient | Love Defined

Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Boone+Owl 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient. That is often times a lot easier said than done. Sometimes, it's not so easy to be patient or selflessly love others. I've mentioned before that my sister and her two little munchkins are staying with us. Having them here is sweet. Being able to build into those little girls lives is a blessing. It's also trying at times. Relationships of any kind are, from time to time. None of us are immune to stress, hurt feelings, or simply being worn out. In those moments it can be hard to love as we should.

I think most have heard 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a quoted. It's a common passage, and one that we can take a lot from. I sat down the other day to study this passage as a reminder of biblical love. I'll be honest, I was having one of those impatient days where my interaction with those I love was less than loving. I needed a reminder of how to love them selflessly, I needed a reminder of what real love looks like.  In these verses of 1 Corinthians chapter 13, love is defined. The fulness of love is described so simply. Positively, love is patient with people and gracious to them with generosity. Love never envies, or brags, or is arrogant, since that is the opposite of selfless service to others. Love is never rude or overbearing, it never wants its own way, it is not irritated or angered in personal offense, and finds no pleasure in someone else's sin, even the sin of an enemy. Love is devoted to truth in everything. With regard to "all things" within God's righteous and gracious will, love protects, believes, hopes, and endures what others reject.

I know, you're probably sitting there scratching your head thinking "it's impossible to love someone like that all the time, or sometimes, even at all.." Believe me, I know. That is the beauty of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives when we come to saving faith in Jesus Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives makes it possible for us to love this selflessly, even when it's hard and people are unloveable. We all struggle and have bad days, we all falter. That is a given. We're not talking about perfection here. But love is a divine quality, and as we strive to live out our faith and grow closer to Christ, it becomes easier to display true love, a love that lasts and has permanence as a divine quality, a love that outlasts all failures. "Love never fails.."

So, I encourage you, if you're struggling to be patient, or you feel wronged, or you're struggling to love someone unloveable, ponder these verses and ask the Lord to help you love selflessly, ask Him for patience, to work through your hurt, whatever it may be. When we give our struggles to God, no matter what they are, He hears, and He will meet you in your struggle. You just might find yourself loving more truly and more wholly than you were before! And with a love like that, you often will find a sweet peacefulness, even on those hard days.












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Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Fashion With Bailey | Becoming Bailey

Fashion With Bailey | Becoming Bailey

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
As you lovely Boone+Owl readers know, Jen is all about fashion. She always manages to look cute and pulled together. Now I'm no fashion blogger (although I occasionally post Outfit of the Day posts), but I decided to put together a few outfits of my own for you all to enjoy.


My sister managed to put these outfits together for me-- in fact, it's all pieces from her closet-- and I was surprised at how much I liked it. I'll be honest: I rarely buy cute clothes. I don't want to spend the money on them. But as my sister told me, you have to invest in yourself. Making yourself look cute makes you feel good. You're worth it.

But just as we like to play dress up, we need to remember to "dress up" our hearts as well. 1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us, "Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious." In 1 Samuel 16:7, the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Let the beauty of your heart show through the beauty of your attire.












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Saturday, January 4, 2014
Over The Hill | 50 Years Young

Over The Hill | 50 Years Young

Saturday, January 4, 2014
New Years Eve is always extra fun around our house because when the clock strikes midnight we not only celebrate the new year, but we also celebrate a birthday. My dad's birthday. He officially turned 50  when the big 2014 hit. Over the hill, yet, 50 years young. My father is one of the most gregarious, jovial people I have ever known, and I've known some doozies. He's the kind of person that starts poking fun like you're old friends, when you first meet. He's a kind, generous, trustworthy, godly man of integrity, and I am deeply thankful for his life!

When my sister and I were little we used to make handmade cards for our parents on birthdays or other special occasions. My sister has since moved on to snazzy Hallmark cards ( more power to her! ), but, I have stuck to the tradition. Mostly because that's just who I am. I have always been the messy crafter. It's in my blood. So this year I broke out the card stock, fancy ribbons, stamps, and yes, glitter. It was totally masculine, I promise. He appreciates that kind of stuff and it makes me feel like his little girl, and well, I am. I suppose I always will be.

To ring in the new year + celebrate the birthday, we had some friends over for food, lot and lots of food, bubbly ( sparkling grape juice ), the reading of birthday cards, dancing ( we can cupid shuffle like nobody's business ), and games! Have you ever played Blurt? If you haven't, you should. It's a fast paced trivia board game that's a hoot and a holler. The more people you have playing the better! 
Everyone had a great time full of laughter and good memories. It was a great New Year's Eve and a spectacular birthday celebration.

To my over the hill, yet 50 years young father: I love you tremendously, and I'm thankful that I can call you one of my best friends! Happy fiftieth year!


















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Thursday, January 2, 2014
 Photo Recap | 2013

Photo Recap | 2013

Thursday, January 2, 2014
We're two days into 2014 and I've already snapped countless pictures. A huge portion of which are birthday photos. My dad's birthday is January first. This makes New Year's Eve celebrations even more fun. Anyway, with 2013 so full of memories, and numerous pictures to prove it, I thought that I would do a photo recap of all the shenanigans that went down. Laughing fits with the bestie, sunsets, Hawai'i, street concert, Jenny + Greg's wedding, friends, outfits, Night on the Town, there's a snippet of everything! Just follow the jump. Happy 2014 y'all!

Boone+Owl LaughterWorld War Z
Sunset
Boone+Owl Wedding
Boone+Owl Photo Recap 2013
Thoroughbred
Boone+Owl Hawaii
Boone+Owl Hawaii
Boone+Owl Hawaii