Blog Love

I have run across a blog (it might be more of a full blown site or a vlog) that I MUST share with you:

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Digitwirl!! Carley Knoblock is the host of the weekly web show called Digitwirl and each week she tackles a problem and solves it with technology. But not just any technology, she (and I’m assuming her team) research all the most popular apps, programs and techno goodies to see which one works best. Her videos are humorous but not too campy, informative but not geeky.

I will try to embed her videos here but I will definitely do so on our Facebook Page so you can see what I’m so excited about, topics like:

One place to manage bills, accounts and statements. (Manilla)

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Extend Your Smartphone Battery Life

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

The password manager that hackers hate.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

I have learned so much from Carley and I can’t wait to see what topic she tackles next.

All you have to do to get your weekly Digitwirl is go to the website and sign up to receive notification of when the newest Digitwirl is ready for viewing. Once you are in the site you can also browse all the past episodes as well.

Give it Digitwirl and try, I know you’ll like it!

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chatting at the sky, grace for the good girl

One of the bloggers that I follow, Emily P. Freeman, recently released her first book entitled, "Grace for the Good Girl."  I think I first heard of the book from this video:
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tr2KoPp9yNg]

It tugged on something in my heart, something I've always tried to explain to people, but have never quite been able to communicate.  I pre-ordered the book back in the spring.  It arrived just about 3 weeks ago and let me tell you, it was worth the wait.  I could try to describe it in my own words, but I think Emily's words will tell the story better so here are some excerpts:

When bad girls perform to get their needs met, they get in trouble.  When good girls perform to get the same thing, we get praise.  That is why the hiding is so easy for us.  We work hard, we do right, and we try not to ruffle feathers.

I was praised a lot as a kid.  My parents' friends and extended family members commented on what a good girl I was, teachers boasted about my behavior in school, and I rarely got in trouble at home.  I put a lot of confidence in myself and in my good reputation.... so my good reputation was where I began to place my identity.  But instead of interpreting their words as encouragement, I internalized them and let them become a standard to continue to reach for.

When you are a good girl who finds your identity in your performance, then mistakes mean punishment...My personal truth was I have to be perfect.  And when I'm not, I have to pay.

You have trained people to think you have no needs, but you are secretly angry with them for believing you.

One of the good girl's most basic fears is failure.

I hide behind strong and responsible.  I hide behind busy and comfortable and working hard toward your expectations.

This book will not hit home with every one.  But I'm guessing that a lot of you who just read those quotes are saying "That's me!  That's exactly me!"  I know.  I know.

I'm 40 years old and just this summer a woman who was the mother of a guy I went to high school with came up to me at the post office and said, "I remember you, you had such a good reputation."  I laughed a little, then thanked her for what I know she meant to be kind words.  Then I spent the rest of the week trying to figure out why what she said made me proud on the one hand, but on the other made me a little depressed.  Not much has changed, I still have a pretty good reputation in the community, I'm still a "good girl."  This book helped me to realize it wasn't that my good reputation is a bad thing.  It is the misguided self-worth and self-inflicted-pressure I derive from it that is the problem.  What I really wanted to tell her was,  "Lady if you only knew, I nearly had a nervous breakdown in high school because I was trying so hard to be perfect for everyone."

And Emily's book really helped me to see and find comfort that I'm not alone.  There are lots of "good girls" out there, ready to own that we do not have it all together, we do have needs and we are doing the best we can.  Here is a more recent video Emily put together for the book:
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/28693612 w=400&h=225]

Grace for the Good Girl Portfolio Video from Jason Windsor on Vimeo.

I feel strongly that this is an important book, and it needs to get into the hands of those who really need to hear the healing words contained in it.  Which is why I'm giving one away next week.  If you read the above quotes, or watched the videos and it really resonated something in your soul, I hope you will enter for the drawing.  And even if you don't win, I would encourage you to buy the book.  Read it with a highlighter. Let it really sink in.

To enter the drawing, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  Any old comment will do.  (Drawing will close next week, Monday  the 3rd at 11:59pm.)

I have been meaning to share this site for quite some time, but you know me, I get distracted.  I have been using this site for years now because I am a Photoshop Elements User, otherwise known as PSE.  I would LOVE to have the full version of Photoshop because it does so many cool things BUT my laptop would roll it's eyes at me and say, "Yeah, right."  if I tried to install a program that huge on it.  And it's a bit pricey.  But God bless Adobe, they have a slimmed down version of Photoshop called Photoshop Elements (PSE) and it does almost as much at the full version for a fraction of the price.

However...one of the few things that PSE does not do that the full version does is run standard "actions".  Actions are like tiny little programs that run within the software itself to accomplish a certain job.  For instance, if you want to turn your color photo into a sepia toned photo, you just click on the "action" and it automatically does the work for you.  Now, there are TONS of actions out there, and they generate some beautiful photos.  But us PSE users were not able to run actions at all until recently and even now, we can only use actions that were specifically created for PSE.  You guessed it, the PSE-specific actions are hard to find.

And this is where the blog CoffeeShop comes in:  Not only do they give you wonderful tips about working in PSE, they have a bazillion FREE PSE actions.  You heard me, FREE!  And they generate some GORGEOUS photos.  I have downloaded dozens of their actions and I use at least one every time I post pics here on the blog.

Here are some examples from their site:

See what I mean? Such an easy fix and such great payoff!  So stroll on over to CoffeeShop and download some fun actions!!

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When you are a graphic artists, or a designer or you just like to look at pretty things, websites like this one are an invaluable resource.  The site is called Photo Card Boutique and they specialize in taking a gorgeous photograph and pulling the colors from it to create a "design card".  I LOVE IT!

Everyday they post a new card or two, showcasing brand new color palettes that make your design work a breeze.  Here are a few examples that have caught my eye recently:

I just adore this palette.  It makes me want to paint something.

I find this one so soothing and relaxing

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>1) I love rannunculus, 2) This palette is the perfect combo of sophisticated and playful.

I may or may not be planning to redesign the site with the palette... I'm not saying for certain...but maybe....

Take some time to pan through this wonderful site and add them to your reader so you don't miss their daily inspirations.

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I don't know why it has taken me this long to tell y'all about one of my new favorite sites:  Vintage Revivals!

Just take a look at some of these projects she's done:

First of all, how about this Anthro inspired mirror!?  I am so on the lookout for a cheap mirror so I can give it a try!

And this mural project... love it!


She was even recently featured on the Nate Berkus Show!

Mandi is the brilliant mind behind Vintage Revivals and the real reason I love her blog... she says things like "I love your guts" and "my Crappy Crappy Credenza".  Seriously, you have to jump over to her site and check out her quirky, hilarious style!

Here's a darling blog I ran across... I don't remember how... I do that a lot... anyway, I think maybe there was a link on one of those link-up party posts and when it clicked on it, it landed me at Madigan Made and I've been following ever since.

So I'll give you a few quick reasons why I love to visit Madigan  Made:

  1. She shares a wide variety of diy, cooking, craft & deco ideas.  There are always plenty of pics so you can see her process, she gives easy and thorough instructions and she is not afraid to show you the failures along with the successes.  I think the project that first lead me to her site was THIS one with the milk-paint apothecary jars and I am on the prowl for some cheap apothecary jars just so I can try it.
  2. Courtesy of Madigan Made
  3. One of her diy projects was this darling decorative chalkboard. She changes the quote on it once a month and I just love to see what she's put up there and how she's decorated around it.
  4. Courtesy of Madigan Made
  5. She's always making these darling printables...you know what a sucker I am for printables!
  6. Courtesy of Madigan Made
  7. The site also has a Facebook page and she probably posts at least twice as much info there; all sorts of projects, recipes and other fun blog-stuff.

So there you have it, another fun little blog to add to your Reader or stop by her Facebook page !

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Sometimes I feel like I'm late to the party.  You know when you discover something terrific like a new restaurant or chic clothing store and then you realize everyone else has known about it for a long time?  And you feel left out.

That's how I felt when I discovered  Tip Junkie.  In typical Carey-fashion, I was blog hopping one day and I got about 5 blogs deep when I discovered a great tutorial from Tip Junkie. So I went to the website and LOVED it and from that point forward I recognized how often articles from Tip Junkie are passed on by other sites that I read regularly.  You know like when you find a car you like and suddenly you see them everywhere?  Admit it, you know what I'm talking about.  I love Hummers.  Watch, now you're suddenly going to be abnormally aware of Hummers.  I bet tomorrow you see a Hummer and think of me.

Anyway... I was late to the Tip Junkie party but that's ok because I'm catching up!  Hardly a day goes by that my Google Reader isn't full of great tips and tutorials from Tip Junkie.  Here are a few examples:

Making Your Own Headboard

Fun With Shrinky Dinks (yes, it still exists!)

Tons of Holiday Crafts

Some posts are Tip Junkie originals, some are gleaned from other DIY/Craft sites and contributors but it is a ton of fun and a great resource if you are looking for a creative idea, especially for the holidays.  Visit them and let me know how you like it!

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I have only just stumbled on this blog and I am IN LOVE!   Knock Off Decor isn't just a DIY site, they show you how to replicate some of your favorite looks from stores such as Pottery Barn, Anthropolgie and others.  If I could afford to fill my spaces with items purchased from these stores, I would do it BUT I do not have unlimited resources so the tips from this site are just ingenious.

Here's a knock off from Pottery Barn:

And here's one from Anthropologie:

This one from Restoration Hardware is one of my favorites because I love how simple yet stylish it is.  I have some old house plans from my childhood home that I want to transform like this.

Jump over to Knock Off Decor and see what beautiful projects await you!



I read a LOT of blogs.  They are part of my morning routine:  a cup of coffee, check my email, then check my Google Reader and catch up on all of my favorite blogs.  By far ,the genre of blogs I read the most are food blogs.  I just love to read about food, see pictures of food, learn about new cooking techniques or equipment, etc.

Well, one of my favorites is Tasty Kitchen, managed by the lovely Ree from The Pioneer Woman.  One of the reasons I like it is the content is from just regular people like me.  The recipes remind me of food I would see at one of our own family gatherings and the recipes, in general, are simple and straightforward.  Users of the site rate the recipes they have tried so you can confidently pick a winner.

You won't get bombarded with ads or outside marketing on this site and it's organized really well.  You can even create your own "recipe box" to collect all the yummy recipes that you want to remember.

Scoot on over and take a look around.  I'm betting you will find something delicious for dinner tonight!