Wednesday, February 26, 2014
DSLR Giveaway With The Freckled Fox

DSLR Giveaway With The Freckled Fox

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Happy Wednesday! It's time for another giveaway here on the blog, and I could not be more excited! Myself and some other lovely ladies have joined together with Emily, from The Freckled Fox, to bring you this awesome giveaway! Are you ready for this? One reader will win A Canon Rebel T3i!! Jumps around in excitement. How stinking awesome is that! Oh the pretty pictures to be taken. I love photography and it thrills me to be a part of this giveaway. I need to get myself one of these bad boys. Be sure to pay the lovely faces behind this giveaway a visit and say hi! Good luck!!
DSLR Giveaway With The Freckled Fox, The Freckled Fox, Canon Rebel T31

 The Freckled Fox     |     I Lay Smiling     |     Justinas Gems     |     Beauty in Your Eyes     |     Behind Blue Eyes
      Yellow Spot Designs     |     Poverty Luxe     |     Run to the Wild     |     Style Honestly     |     Because of Jackie
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Notes: Yes this is open internationally! The winner will receive the Canon Rebel T3i in a kit with an 18-55mm lens, a battery and a battery charger. The giveaway will run for ten days, the winner will be selected at random, contacted, and announced shortly after the giveaway concludes. Winner's entries will be verified before the public announcement. If you're interested in checking out all the amazing specifications of the camera, this is a great list though it's not the camera that you'll be receiving. Here we go! 









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Monday, February 24, 2014
Using Twitter To Grow Your Blog

Using Twitter To Grow Your Blog

Monday, February 24, 2014
 Grow Your Blog With Twitter, Using Twitter to Grow Your Blog, Tips for using Twitter to grow your blog

It's time for another Grow Your Blog post! We've done Pinterest and Image SEO, now it's time to use  Twitter to grow your blog. We all want our blogs to grow, right? Using Twitter to grow your blog is oh so important. I'll be the first to admit that it makes me smile to see my blog grow and reach more people. It's exciting. It's also a boatload of work. Blogging is a job, albeit a fun and rewarding job. If we want to reach others we have to work at it, and I've found that using Twitter is an incredibly important part of blogging. Twitter gives you the ability to engage in real time conversations with your readers and other bloggers. If you're a blogger and you don't have a Twitter, get one! Use it to engage in these real time conversations and build your following.

Here are some things to remember when using Twitter to grow your blog:

• Tweet each blog post three to four times the day that you publish it. Your followers don't all live in one timezone so put some thought behind the timing of your tweets. Space them out so that your post gets more traffic.

• Use a social media management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule your tweets. This is so important! You will get swallowed up if you try to manually tweet your posts, photos, sponsors posts etc. You'll end up feeling defeated and your content will not be seen like you want it to. Schedule those tweets!

• Shorten your links ( URLs). Since Twitter only gives you 140 characters to play with, the last thing you want is for your blog link to take up half of your tweet. You want to be able to use as many of those 140 characters to write an interest catching tweet. Shrink those links! If you have Hootsuite, you can easily shrink your links before scheduling. I use Hootsuite mostly from my laptop, but you can download the Hootsuite app on your phone for free!

• Hashtags. You know this little doozy ( # ). That is the hash in the situation. In case you're unfamiliar with hashtags: "On social media sites such as Twitter, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign ( # ), and used to identify messages on a specific topic". Hashtags are a powerful way to extend your reach on Twitter. It is important to keep in mind your contents relevance for the audience of the hashtags you use, and don't bombard your followers with a gaggle of hashtags. Three should be your limit. Be thoughtful and make your hashtags relevant to the content you're sharing!

• Participate in relevant Twitter chats. These are basically virtual meetings that begin at a set time, and you can chat with other bloggers about blogging, share tips and advice. A specific hastag is used so you can track the conversation in real time. Twitter chats are a great way to get to know other bloggers, and building relationships is an important part of blogging.

Here's a helpful infographic to help you compose the perfect tweet!

Twitter Infographic, Grow Your Blog With Twitter, Using Twitter to Grow Your Blog
Twitter has a great viral marketing effect. Your tweets can spread across the Twitter community quickly. For example: say you're hosting a giveaway on your blog, send out a few tweets to let your followers know. Chances are they'll spread the word as well, and now your giveaway is going out to a broader range of people. As word of your giveaway spreads, more people will stop by your blog and see what you have to offer. This applies to more than just giveaways. Make your tweets about a blogpost intriguing; People will be curious what you have to say and share.Your followers are an incredible asset to you. If they're interested in what you shared, then they'll share it and your reach will go out so much further.

This brings me to another important point: Thank your followers and readers for sharing your blogpost. If someone in Twitterland shares your post, just write a quick, genuine thank you or at least favorite their tweet. A thank you lets them know you noticed and helps build relationships. Give a little love back! Now get out of here and get to tweetin'!

Was this post helpful? What tips would you share about using Twitter to grow your blog?









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Saturday, February 22, 2014
Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty

Saturday, February 22, 2014
" Hello, hello kitty " This past Wednesday my youngest niece ( fun fact: I have three ) turned four. To say that she was excited about her birthday would be an understatement. In the days leading up to her birthday she would pull me aside and whisper in my ear " Me wants a hello kitty party ". The fact that she had shared this secret with me already was completely lost when a new day rolled around. We shared this hello kitty secret everyday till her party arrived. Isn't that just so stinking precious!? I'm only a little biased here..

Since I'm under the impression that I'm the Cake Boss, I took it upon myself to make a hello kitty cake. With ears and errthang! I think I put 30 toothpicks in that poor cat, but the ears didn't fall off! Hello Kitty was also lopsided.  Lopsided cakes are kind of my thing. My perfectionism suffers a blow because of this. Grace, my niece, was tickled pink with her cake and everyone enjoyed the extra weight we put on eating it. I call that a success. Grace is growing up so fast. She's such a little lady, and I'm so thankful that I get to spend this time with her. She's my little Nibblet.

Have a fantastic day people!
What about you, are you the cake baker in your family? Are you also under the impression that you're Cake Boss?

Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake
Hello Kitty Birthday, Hello Kitty Cake, Birthday Cake











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Thursday, February 20, 2014
Sponsor Love | $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway

Sponsor Love | $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway

Thursday, February 20, 2014
$40 Paypal Cash Giveaway, Paypal Cash Giveaway, Paypal, Blog Giveaway

Happy Thursday! My lovely sponsors have pulled together to bring you this $40 paypal cash giveaway! These ladies have lovely blogs + a shop, and I have so enjoyed following along and getting to know them. I know you will too! Meet them below, and be sure to stop by their blogs to find some new favorites to add to your reading list! I'm so happy to share this giveaway with y'all. One reader will win $40 via paypal to spend anyway you want. We all love a little extra spending money. Enter below, and good luck!

Treats and Travels, $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway
Blog  |  Bloglovin  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram

DoDa Wraps, $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway

Sweet Southern Girl, $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway
Blog  |  Bloglovin  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram

Miss Glam Dan, $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway
Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram  | Google+ 

Sarahphrasing Life, $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway
Blog  |  Bloglovin  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram 

Side Street Style, $40 Paypal Cash Giveaway
Blog  |  Bloglovin  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest  |  Instagram  |  Google+



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Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Lung Leavin' Day

Lung Leavin' Day

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Lung Leaving' Day, Mesothelioma, Cancer

Hey! I want to share a touching story with y'all today, about a woman named Heather. She battled cancer, and her story touched my heart. My Grandma died from cancer, so I have a very sensitive place in my heart for others who have battled cancer and won, as well as those who have lost their battle. Heather's story is a triumphant one and I thought it was worth sharing. I'm sure it will touch your heart too!

Eight years ago Heather was Diagnosed with mesothelioma; a rare cancer that kills most people within 2 years of diagnosis. Heather had just given birth to her daughter Lily, and was only given 15 months to live. After a life saving surgery that included the removal of her left lung, Lung Leavin’ Day was born! Very thankfully, on February 2nd, Heather, her husband Cameron, and their daughter Lily, plus friends and family celebrated 8 years of Heather being cancer free. It is such a sweet blessing!

Now the purpose of Lung Leavin’ Day is to encourage others to face their fears. Every year, they gather around a fire in their backyard with friends and family, write their biggest fears on a plate, and smash them into the fire.  They celebrate for those who are no longer with us, for those who continue to fight, for those who are currently going through a tough time in their life, and most importantly, they celebrate life! They even created an interactive page here, that tells the full story of Lung Leaving' Day. There's a section where you can smash a plate with one of your own fears on it. I smashed a plate, or two! 

It does my heart good to know that Heather is cancer free and gets to watch Lily grow up, and continue to share life with those most dear to her. Visit their page and learn more about Heather's touching story. And smash a plate with some of your fears on it!

Follow Heather:  Lung Leaving' Day  |  Heather  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Google+









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Saturday, February 15, 2014
DIY Orange and Brown Sugar Scrub

DIY Orange and Brown Sugar Scrub

Saturday, February 15, 2014
DIY Face Scrub, Brown Sugar Scrub

I'm always on the lookout for natural ways to cleanse my face. This time around it's a DIY Orange and Brown Sugar Scrub. As I've mentioned before I get stress breakouts. My natural concoctions have been very helpful in clearing up those breakouts. Like this DIY Scrub that I shared not too long ago. My new favorite DIY scrub for softer and more glowing skin is an Orange Juice and Brown Sugar Scrub! It is simply amazing, and so worth sharing. I have been using this scrub for a few weeks now, and my skin has been loving it.

• Orange juice is rich in citric acid , which is very helpful in clearing away acne. Orange juice helps shrink enlarged pores, and it contains fruit acids that gently exfoliate the skin to give your face a healthy glow. Orange juice is replete with Vitamin C, which increases the production of collagen, and keeps your skin firm and moisturized.

• Brown Sugar isn't just for making chewy, delicious cookies. It contains ingredients that are quite beneficial to your skin. Brown sugar has antibacterial properties, and it also contains glycol acid which is an alpha-hydroxyl acid that keeps your skin vibrant and healthy! It also moisturizes and conditions the skin. The granulated particles of brown sugar clear away dead, dry skin cells for a noticeably smoother and more youthful glow ( not that we're aged up in here ).

This DIY orange and brown sugar scrub is very simple, and truly easy to do!

What You Need:
1 cotton ball
fresh orange juice
half a teaspoon of brown sugar

Start with a nice clean face. Soak the cotton ball in the orange juice and apply to face. Dab cotton ball into brown sugar and apply to face, in gentle circular motions. Apply to lips too if want! It will make them soft and smooth. Gently scrub face until the sugar just starts to dissolve. (You will have to soak your cotton ball in orange juice again, after you apply the brown sugar to your face.) Let the orange juice and brown sugar sit on your skin for a minute or two and then rinse off with warm water. As always, rinse again with cool water to make sure those pores tighten up!

There you go! An easy and simple way to smooth and brighten your skin. Oh yeah, it tastes really yummy too. So, if you decided to scrub your lips, there's an extra treat! You will probably have orange juice left over so just pop it in the fridge for the next time you scrub your face.

Gonna give it a try? Let me know!












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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Sponsor Love | Diaries of an Essex Girl

Sponsor Love | Diaries of an Essex Girl

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


Hey People! I have an awesome blogger to share with you! Kate from Diaries of an Essex Girl. She's a twenty-something British world traveler! I wish I had the gumption to travel around the world like this girl. Seriously, she's been to some incredible places! She travels the world with her soon to be husband, Daniel. How exciting is that!! I get ridiculously excited when people get engaged. Go read about the proposal and gawk at her snazzy ring! Kate is also a web designer, a really good one. If you need a beautiful custom design, she's your girl! Get to know better below!


+What are three things you absolutely can't live without?
This one is tough! I'd say my Macbook because it's where I do all my design and blogging work then I also couldn't live without my diary. I literally don't know what I am doing with my life each day without it! Finally, my phone. As I don't live with my soon to be husband (Dan) right now, it's pretty much a hotline to him 24/7 to talk about my day and various things

+What is the best gift you've ever received?

For Christmas Dan made up 20-30 envelopes full of different notes. On the front says different things like 'for when you are feeling sad', 'for when you miss me', 'for when you feel like laughing', etc. so that even when he isn't here, I can have little pick me ups from him. It was too sweet for words to receive and I still have most of them left, I am rationing them out!

+Who inspires you most?

My Grandmother because she is one of the most inspirational women I have ever met. She divorced in the 50s when it was frowned upon and took up being a single mother because she had an unfaithful husband. I think in the 1950s this is a huge accomplishment to have made. She is one of the strongest women I know.

+If you could make a wish right now, what would it be?

That I can find the perfect wedding venue! We have 3 months to plan an entire wedding and so far are struggling to find a venue we are really happy with. It's beginning to seriously stress us out!

+How did you get into blogging?

I blogged as a teenager, which I talk about here but I dropped out of it when I started developing in interest in boys. Once I'd settled into traveling for a year, I decided I wanted somewhere to document my life and to network with others... and the rest is history!



Start reading here : How To Quit Your Job and Travel The World  |  9 Foolproof Ways To Gain More Instagram Followers  |  Reverse Culture Shock In England  
















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Monday, February 10, 2014
Black With Red Floral Turban + Giveaway

Black With Red Floral Turban + Giveaway

Monday, February 10, 2014
Happy Monday! I have been deathly ill with the flu. I'm always the one in my family that pops up sick. The upside to being sick is that it's very restful. Sort of. There have been tremendous amounts of chicken soup, and hot tea with honey. Now we're talking

I did receive the very best pick-me-up of all. Something pretty! We're all girls here, we like getting pretty things. That's a sure fire day brightener. Sarahn, from DoDa Wraps, sent me THE cutest black with red floral turban, and it brightened my day by leaps and bounds! I have found a new obsession. I wore it with my hair in a messy top knot, but you can have fun with it and wear it however it suits you! I don't usually wear my top knot out. My reason is ridiculous. I just don't like the way my head looks.  All I needed was a cute hair accessory to add a little something fun to the situation. Y'all, I'm seriously in love with this turban. It's soft and super comfy, doesn't move around on my head + It's pretty. Oh, the pretty things.

Now for the even better stuff! You get the chance to win your very own wrap or turban from Sarahn's Shop DoDa Wraps! She's offering wraps/turbans to TWO lucky winners! Isn't she a sweetheart! And if you don't win, but still want cuteness, Sarahn is offering all of you 25% off your entire purchase when you use promo code OWL25. The code is good till April 1st! Plus, she always has two promos going on in the shop: BUY2GET1HALF or BUY3GET1FREE. So have fun shopping! In the mean time, go enter for your chance to win the wrap or turban of your choice from Sarahn's shop! Remember, there will be TWO winners. Good luck!!

Black With Red Floral Turban, DoDa Wraps, Giveaway
Black With Red Floral Turban, DoDa Wraps, Giveaway
Black With Red Floral Turban, DoDa Wraps, Giveaway
Black With Red Floral Turban, DoDa Wraps, Giveaway
Sweater Dress: LOFT | Denim Vest: Levi's | Leggings: LOFT | Turban c/o DoDa Wraps

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Friday, February 7, 2014
Grow Your Blog | 8 Not So Secret Ways To Tweak Your Pinterest Page

Grow Your Blog | 8 Not So Secret Ways To Tweak Your Pinterest Page

Friday, February 7, 2014

8 Not So Secret Ways To Tweak Your Pinterest Page, Grow Your Blog with Pinterest

It's time for another Grow Your Blog post. This time around, Nicola is sharing 8 not so secret ways to tweak your pinterest page! Hope it's helpful!



Pinterest needs no introduction. It's valued at nearly $4 billion, more popular than email and the third most popular social networking site in the world and according to Comscore, Pinterest sees over 11 million unique visitors every month...


Real estate on Pinterest is BIG thang so if you blog you want to have it!

Here are 8 not so secret ways to tweek your Pinterest page to gain the monopoly on blog street...

1// Tell us who you are and what you do!

Jazz up your profile photo, add a little about you 'blurb' and be sure to include your blog url. Here's mine and Jen's as an example


2// Your blog board is the most important..
and should be the first board that everybody sees when they click on your Pinterest page. Moving around a board is as simple as clicking and dragging it to where you want it.


3// Bored of that board?
Give your boards a little personality by whipping up a snazzy title. For example, I remained my fitness board to Active Living, my goals to The Year of Me, and my blogging tips to Rock Your Blog.

4// What have we got here?
adding descriptions is the best way to get traffic to your site. Use has tags and your blogs URL so that your pincers know exactly where the pics have come from.

5// Words just say it all

Pictures with words grab your attention especially if you're looking for tutorials. Play around with fancy writing over your blog post pictures and see what gets the traffic flowing to your site.
6// Taller Pins work
500px x 800px is the ideal Pinterest picture size - well actually the taller the better but if you are like any other blogger then you'll probably be posting horizontal pictures. Hmmm! What to do? I find the best is to edit your pictures into the perfect Pinterest picture size, add text, a lovely border and your good to go!
7// Put a pin button on your site
Adding this nifty button to your site makes it easy for your readers to Pin your images. Here is a great tutorial on how to add Pin buttons to blogger sites.
8// Be a pioneer Pinner
85% of Pins are pinned from Pinterest which you've probably seen already. Yawn! When you are on a site and you want to pin something, you can highlight a portion of text before clicking the 'Pin it' icon. The highlighted text will then appear as your post description. Easy peasy!

- Nicola Tweed

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Snow Day

Snow Day

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
We had a snow day. It was such a blizzard that the whole town shut down. Barren roads, closed coffee shops, and weather warnings. Of course, what really happened was the rain from the night before froze and it got particularly nippy outside. Our snowflakes upon snowflakes just looked like little frozen rain drops. How sad is that? A little ice on the road and southerners batten down the hatches. Walmart's food supply was ransacked too. There was one banana left. Just one. Survival mode activated.

Here at the homestead we had a little fun with the snow day. Little dude, my fur baby, seemed particularly pleased with the brisk icy conditions. He happily ran around the hard, barking in delight. It was tremendously cute. I, of course, made my rounds snapping pictures of the snow storm dressed in spring clothes. I'm just tough like that.

I few years ago it snowed on Valentine's Day night. Now that was truly magical! Big fluffy snowflakes blanketed everything. That was real snow. We had so much fun that night. We built a snowman and had a snowball fight. This was a major thing because it just doesn't snow in the south. We live in the land of beaches and boating, warm breezy days, and sunburns. When it hits 50˚we break out the down coats. It makes me think of those meanwhile in canada memes. So funny.

At any rate, we had fun with our snow day, frolicking about like kids in a candy store. What do you do on cold days? Brave the cold or curl up with a hot chocolate?


Snow Day, snow, snowman, blizzard
Snow Day, snow, snowman, blizzard
Snow Day, snow, snowman, blizzard
Snow Day, snow, snowman, blizzard

Snow Day, snow, snowman, blizzard
Snow Day, snow, icicles, blizzard
Snow Day, snow, icicles, blizzard
Snow Day, snow, icicles, blizzard












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