Nicknames and Being My True Self

For the first time ever, I have a nickname other than abbreviations of my name, like Em or Emi. My co-workers gave it to me. It’s Bossy Sauce. 

It’s completely ridiculous. Here’s how it happened: One of my female co-workers was telling about the Sheryl Sandburg initiative #banbossy, intended to empower girls by not calling them “bossy,” but instead “strong-willed,” “leaders,” etc. I pulled the website up on my computer, and at the same time, one of the IT guys remotely connected to it to fix an issue I’d been having. The #banbossy campaign had the opposite effect for me – because of it, people started calling me bossy. And “sauce,” well, I have no idea. You’d have to ask Kyle.

But the nickname has stuck. It stuck, because it fit. 

I feel like my job requires me to do impossible things on a regular basis. Not exactly “impossible,” but beyond my skill set and comfort level. In order to do what needs to be done, I’ve adopted a sort of confident persona. I don’t like taking charge, but things have to get done. Bossy Sauce makes things happen.

In May, we visited family in Iowa for a week, and while there, I realized how much I’d changed. I felt a tension between wanting to act and think like my high school self, quiet, being a wallflower in conversations, and in general, blending in. But I knew that wasn’t who I was any more. Or was I? 

Was the confident version of myself just a cover up, or was it always there, deep down?

Why is it that I can stand up for myself at work, but not in other contexts?

I really thought I finally knew myself well. And then I changed.

And that’s why I want to blog. Since I have a full time job, the pressure to grow a following and gain sponsors is off, and I can just blog for myself again. 

It’s just difficult, when you have a full time job, that lately has required working 70ish hours a week. 

Even though my work involves lots of writing, I need to blog here still. Because this is where my true voice is. Blogging here feels like being my true self.

It feels good to be back.

Beauty Find Friday: Five Things

1. New Blog Design!

Yep. I did. And I’m ok with that.

This photo and the corresponding color scheme inspired me to try something watercolored, clean, but just a little more whimsical and warm.

 

I simplified the sidebar, got rid of some ads and widgets, and moved things around. I also added an Instagram widget.
I have a few more ideas for some tweaks to this design, including adding some new pages. Any suggestions? What would you like to see? 

2. New Glasses! 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I ordered a second home try-on from Warby Parker. I didn’t take a bunch of pictures of me wearing them this time, instead, I painted you a picture of them. Well, actually, I just painted them because I needed something to paint, they were handy, and they looked really cool.
I chose the Nedwin, in amber, which seems a lot darker than the try-on pair, but I love it even more. I’m still adjusting to my new prescription, but wow, these are fantastic glasses. They feel made to last forever, and I love, love, love how they look on me. They’re the perfect blend of nerd-chic I hoped for. 

3. Guest Post on Yellow Elm 

You know how much I love thrifting. But I know that not everyone does…yet. Thrift store shopping can be overwhelming, and sometimes you bringing home stuff that just ends up going back a few months later. So, when Elizabeth of Yellow Elm confessed that she wasn’t the best at thrifting, and asked me to share some how-tos on her blog, I happily obliged. Here’s Five Steps to Thrifting Success.

4. 30 Day Shredded!

In 2012, I made a New Year’s Resolution of doing Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred DVD. And I did it three times a week, for a couple weeks. I never got past level one. I decided during the last week of August to do it for real this time. 
My sister-in-law suggested staying on each level for only 10 days, and then moving on. Having a set time to move on, and doing it every day, made all the difference. And figuring out how to mute Jillian and still play the background music. Seriously.
I actually enjoyed it this time, and I’m SO much stronger then when I started. I actually have a little six pack! I finished it last week, and now, I’m training for a 5K. Talk about CRAZY. This is the girl who hates exercise and most especially, running! I’m really motivated by my weight loss last year, and by my husband, who has now adopted a healthy lifestyle and lost about 30 lbs. in five months. He wants to do a triathlon… I’m sticking with a 5K.

5. My Sister’s Getting Married!

I’m in Iowa right now for the occasion. Tonight is the bachelorette party, which will consist of camping… in the backyard. No need to sacrifice flushing toilets! That’s my kind of camping! 
I’m writing this on Tuesday, leaving tomorrow morning, and procrastinating from packing. I can’t believe my little sister is actually getting married. Got to try not to think about that yet, and save the tears for the reception. Ha! 
I’m hoping to convince her that we need a photo booth, like the one we made for my besties wedding last summer. If not, I’m sure I’ll find some other hair-brained last minute crafts to make! In the meantime, I’ll be soaking up the cold weather, changing leaves, and eating s’mores. 
Happy Friday! What beauty did you discover this week? Share it in the comments!

Follow on Bloglovin

Sponsor Scribbles in July and Support Rescue Her

In June, 20% of my proceeds from advertising on this blog went to Worthwhile Wear, an organization that provides employment and training in sewing skills to former victims of human trafficking and forced prostitution. They reached full funding last month, and are able to build a new vocational and employment sewing center!
This month, I’ll be donating to a Rescue Her project in India.

Human trafficking in India is overwhelming, but we want to make a difference. We are building a Rescue Home in India to help get young girls off the street and into a safe place and away from the risk of being trapped into sex trafficking.

Before Rescue Her can start building a home, they are raising $500 to cover legal fees. You can read more about their plan on Pure Charity. 

Ever since I first monetized my blog, I’ve given some of the proceeds to a cause. Making a difference, even with small actions of generosity, is important to me. Tracking income and finding causes to give to has become even easier since I started using Passionfruit Ads and Pure Charity.
You could probably find a bigger blog with advertising for the same price. But Scribbles From Emily is my corner of the internet from which I seek to change the world, one person at a time. One way I accomplish this is by donating 20% of my profits from advertising rates and affiliates to charitable organizations, usingPure Charity. That equals $4 from each Premium spot, $2 from each Popular spot, and $1 from each Pretty spot.
Other Ways to Sponsor:
Giveaways are an effective way to expand your brand awareness and grow your blog followers, social media profiles, or email lists. If you believe your product is a good fit for my blog audience, you may have a giveaway without buying sidebar ads. Your giveaway will get its own blog post, mentions in each successive blog post until the giveaway ends, daily tweets, and frequent facebook posts.
If you’d like to see your product featured in a post, send it to me to review! This option is open to all: you do not need to buy sidebar ads to qualify. I just ask that you allow me to pick out the item to review; that way I can pick what fits best with my tastes and appeals to my audience. 

I reserve the right to refuse a sponsor ad, giveaway, or promotion that I deem inappropriate for my audience. 

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Follow on Bloglovin

Follow Scribbles on Bloglovin’

You probably already heard this, but Google Reader is going away July 1st. If you haven’t already, now is the time to move your blog subscriptions to a new service, before you lose them!

Even if you don’t use Google Reader to keep up with blogs, if you follow using Google Friend Connect, you’ll also want to switch to a new way to follow blogs. Why? Because the sole purpose of GFC is to add blogs to Google Reader, which then syncs to your Blogger Dashboard. Without Google Reader, I’m guessing Blogger Dashboard will go away, and so too will Google Friend Connect. Most of the Google Friend Connect services have already been discontinued, such as the newsletter feature.

Don’t panic yet. While I’ll miss seeing your smiling faces in the Google Friend Connect widget, I think you’ll be really happy moving to Bloglovin‘. I started using Bloglovin’ to follow fashion, lifestyle, and craft blogs mainly, maybe a year ago. Now I’ve imported all the blogs I follow and categorized them accordingly.

Why I love Bloglovin’:

  • It’s super easy to move all the blogs you follow over. Just go to this page, and click the big blue button that says to import from Google Reader. Make sure you’re signed into Google, and then it only takes a second!
  • It’s super easy to use Bloglovin’ for your blog. Sign up, Go to “My Blog,” and hit “Claim Blog.” You’ll get some code, which you can then copy and paste into a widget in your sidebar. Then your blog is claimed! All you need to do next is grab a follow button, add that to your sidebar, and you’re set!
  • It has a clean, simple interface for reading blogs. I love that on your home page, Bloglovin’ displays a large photo from the post and the first few lines of text. It’s easy to scroll through and click on the posts that look interesting to you, and it all just looks pretty. 
  • Get behind on your blog reading? Just hit the “Mark all as Read” button at the top to reset. 
  • You can also discover new blogs to follow by browsing the categories. 
  • I personally like getting an email digest each day with some of the recent posts from the blogs I follow. It really helps me keep up with my favorite blogs. 
  • There’s also a great Bloglovin’ app, which is perfect for reading blogs in bed. Or anywhere.
So without further ado, here’s my Bloglovin’ button:

Follow on Bloglovin

Also, lately I’ve been thinking about social media. I’m currently on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and sort of Google+. I also occasionally post on my church’s Facebook page and the youth group Facebook page, and don’t even talk to me about the youth group blog. It’s a lot! I’d rather be really present on one or two, than mediocre on all, but I love them all for different reasons. So, I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. If you had to pick one to keep following me on, which would you pick?
In other news, remember my marriage blog? Life happened, and my contributors had babies and moved, and we all got busy. It’s been fun, but Newlywed’s Bliss will officially be going away July 15th. I’m really grateful for the experience of working with and designing on self-hosted WordPress, and getting to write with several wonderful, wise, ladies. 
Will I be seeing you on Bloglovin’? Do you use something else to follow blogs? Share it with us in the comments!

Beauty Find Friday: Shop Update and Survey

I’m making a conscious effort to share more of my art with you, starting with the blue butterfly last week, and today, these blue feathers.

Speaking of blue feathers, I so appreciated your feedback on the new shop logo! I incorporated several bits of your feedback into the final design. I kept the art-deco font, but I added a tag line in a script font. And I moved the feather above the words, instead of below. And tada!

Before the rebrand:

After the rebrand:

I like the tag line: “Celebrating life’s lovely moments,” much better than “Special occasion invitations and customizable paper goods.”

If you haven’t visited the shop in awhile, you might notice a few new invitation designs!

Although the link didn’t work during the Shabby Apple giveaway, I’d still love to get your feedback about this blog about what your favorite topics are, giveaways you’d like, etc. If you’d be so kind as to answer these six questions, I’ll pick one of you to win a free set of two monogram notecards! Just leave a comment below letting me know that you took the survey. Thank you!

Sponsor Scribbles And Support Worthwhile Wear

Ever since I first monetized my blog, I’ve given some of the proceeds to a cause. Since I write about making a difference, it follows that I use my blog income accordingly. Tracking income and finding causes to give to has become even easier since I started using Passionfruit Ads and Pure Charity.

Passionfruit Ads provides a simple, pretty, framework for purchasing sidebar ads. I discovered Pure Charity last winter, and I linked my cards to it to fund projects with my Christmas shopping. Last month, I realized how I could use it on Scribbles From Emily to fund projects through my sidebar ads.

You could probably find a bigger blog with advertising for the same price. But Scribbles From Emily is my corner of the internet from which I seek to change the world, one person at a time. One way I accomplish this is by donating 20% of my profits from advertising rates and affiliates to charitable organizations, using Pure Charity. That equals $4 from each Premium spot, $2 from each Popular spot, and $1 from each Pretty spot.

Currently, I’m funding Worthwhile Wear. 

Worthwhile Wear needs your help in the setting up of this new vocational and employment sewing center. This project is focused on reaching the women and girls exploited by sex trafficking and forced prostitution, and providing them with a way out. This is Phase 1 of the project, which is the renovation and setup of the space where the women will work and re-establish their self-worth.

Find out more about Worthwhile Wear on their website and on Pure Charity.

Other Ways to Sponsor:

Giveaways are an effective way to expand your brand awareness and grow your blog followers, social media profiles, or email lists. If you believe your product is a good fit for my blog audience, you may have a giveaway without buying sidebar ads. Your giveaway will get its own blog post, mentions in each successive blog post until the giveaway ends, daily tweets, and frequent facebook posts.

If you’d like to see your product featured in a post, send it to me to review! This option is open to all: you do not need to buy sidebar ads to qualify. I just ask that you allow me to pick out the item to review; that way I can pick what fits best with my tastes and appeals to my audience.


I reserve the right to refuse a sponsor ad, giveaway, or promotion that I deem inappropriate. 

Visit the Sponsor page for more information, and contact me with any questions!

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Scribbles’ New Look!

Yes, I redesigned Scribbles From Emily again. But this time, I think I’ve found the one. The one look that I’ll be happy with forever.

Or at least a year.

In six months, remind me of this post.

My goal for this design was a fresh, clean, minimalist look. At the same time, I didn’t want it to be boring, and I craved color. I also wanted it to still feel like you’re reading my inspiration notebook. After experimenting with making watercolor wedding invitations, the idea came to me to try a watercolor-esque logo, and the rest fell into place.

You probably noticed the new header, but another new feature I’m excited about are the categories on the sidebar. I’m still in process of updating and changing tags and labels for the past 376 posts (!!!) so be prepared to find posts in strange categories for awhile. You can always use the search bar to look for a specific post or topic, or the tag cloud at the bottom of the site.

And, look at those awesome social media icons at the top of the page! I didn’t make those; they’re from the amazing Ink Nest. But if you’re not following me already, let’s be friends! I’d love to see your tweets, pins, and ‘grams.

P.S. There’s more exciting news that I can’t wait to tell you! I’m bursting at the seams! I can’t even tell you when I can tell you…it’s all very secret and exciting. How’s that for a teaser?

What do you think of the new look?

A Year of Celebration

“Everyday you’re alive is a special occasion.” I entered 2012 with a renewed desire to celebrate the beauty in everyday.

http://karlseen.tumblr.com/

It was a struggle sometimes, but looking back now, I can tell that I’ve begun to learn to slow down and celebrate small and large successes, milestones, and events. In 2012,

This year has seen changes here on the blog also. The posts you’ve enjoyed the most are as follows:

Quite the variety of topics there!

I started two new features this year, Waxing Poetic Wednesday, and just recently, Beauty Find Friday.

My photography has greatly improved!

I ran a month long series about materialism and ethical fashion,  Fashion for Freedom.

I started the year with 3,474 pageviews. Last month, I had 27,900 views. I noticed when I updated my November pageviews on my sponsorship page, my views had DOUBLED from October! Thank you SO MUCH for being here! Your presence and your comments are so, so, encouraging to me. You inspire me and challenge me to create my best and be my best. Thank you!

Goodbye 2012!

Tutorial: Button Daisy Headband

Because my BFF’s upcoming wedding flower is a daisy and the colors are yellow, black and white, I was inspired to make myself this button daisy headband. It might be too casual or the wedding, but it will be cute for the bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner! Here’s how you can easily make one for yourself:
1. Cut six pieces of ribbon, 2 inches long each. 
2. Fold each piece in half and sew the ends together to make a loop. Now you have six petals. 
3. Sew the petals together, starting with two or three, and adding each petal at an angle to great a flower shape.
4. Sew a yellow button in the center. 
5. Attach the flower to an elastic headband by sewing under the button, carrying the thread over the elastic, and going back up under the button. Secure with a knot. I don’t recommend trying to sew through the elastic, it’s really hard to get a needle through, and I think it ruins the elastic. Plus, this way you can snip the threads on the back if you ever want to replace the daisy with something else!
6. Voila!
All that remains is deciding how to wear it, normally, or hipster style:
Me looking normal, and my hipster face. Yeah, I’m cool like that.

This headband is super quick (less than an hour) and easy to make, so it’s a great project for someone just beginning to sew. I think it would also be really cute for a baby or little girl’s headband. Hm, maybe  for the flowergirls? I might run that past the bride. 

I’ve also been making ribbon flowers like this one: 
If the daisy is level super easy, this is level extremely difficult. But, for those of you adventurous stitchers, I’m working on a tutorial. 
In other news, TODAY I’m officially accepting blog sponsors! Yay!
Honestly, I’ve been wrestling with when to start offering sponsorship opportunities for some time, and here’s why. Scribbles is a relatively small blog in terms of followers, although I do get a lot of traffic. You could buy an ad on a bigger blog for the same price. I know that. 
BUT. I really, really, really want this blog to make a difference. There are many, many wonderful charities, organizations, and non-profits I so want to support financially, but it’s a sacrifice to support the ones Brian and I are already committed to (it’s totally worth it :)).
Plus, I want to use this blog to motivate others to make a difference. That’s why I’ve decided to seek blog sponsors; 20% of each ad bought will be donated to a wonderful cause, starting with Food For the Hungry. I’ve written about them before here. In the future, I’d like to support Compassion International, and Love 146
If you are interested in an ad for your blog, business, or non-profit, you’ll find out all you need to know on the shiny new Sponsor page, and if you have any questions, email me! (ejconley(at)hotmail(dot)com. 
Happy Monday!

Sharing this with the following:

Making Monday Marvelous

Beauty Begins With God

What does it look like to find beauty in everyday?

I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately. That’s what this blog is technically about, but what does “finding beauty” really look like in every day life?

Asking myself that question led me to question my blog’s design, purpose, focus, and even the name. What is this blog really “About”?

When I chose the subtitle on March 28th, 2011, I wrote:

Ever since I got serious about blogging last summer, I have struggled to come up with a tag line, a pitch, a subtitle type phrase for this blog. I write about a such wide variety of things. This blog has changed from being a place for me to keep a record of events and keep up with my family, to a place to meet new friends, learn, grow, encourage, and reach out to make a difference. But I still write about my goings-ons and share craft projects and the occasional recipe.

For awhile I came up with “Encouraging and challenging women to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.” It’s a good purpose, but I didn’t feel like it fit with everything I posted, and it was really long, and hard to fit on the header.

This tag line came to me as I was reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I wish I could quote to you the exact moment when I it came to me, but I’m letting my sister borrow the book right now so I don’t have it handy. However, Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul by John and Staci Eldredge discusses at length why beauty matters. Beauty speaks to us about who God is. Beauty says all will be well and gives our souls rest. Beauty invites, captures, and draws the viewer in. God has given us a desire for beauty, because He is beautiful. Beauty comforts and beauty inspires.

But in a life filled with difficult, hard, painful, and ugly things, we have to find beauty. We have to look for it intentionally. Where? In everyday. In the midst of the stress, the pain, the loneliness, the joys, and the blessings.


Beauty matters because it points us directly to the Author of beauty. 

We can “find” beauty by looking around us and being truly grateful for all the gifts from the Author of beauty.

But on some level, the Author of beauty has imprinted each of us with His image, so that we too long to create beauty. 

When DaySpring sent me the Outdoor Chalk Board and Outdoor Metal Yard Sign to review, I knew it was no coincidence. The yard sign states the simple message: “Everything Beautiful Begins With God,” and the reference Ecclesiastes 3:11. I chose that verse as the theme verse for this blog back in March 2011.

He has made everything beautiful in it’s time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 

Kopek loves to get in on pictures
There’s a connection between eternity and beauty in that verse. I think the connection is that there’s something in us that’s made for beauty, made to appreciate beauty, made to want to create beauty.

When beauty becomes in idol, it becomes ugly.

But when we long for beauty, maybe we’re really longing for the Author, God. 

“Every experience of beauty points to eternity.”

       -Hans Urs Von Balthasar 

As far as beauty relates to this blog, I’ve crafted a more defined purpose statement:

Scribbles From Emily is a faith, lifestyle, and creative inspiration blog. I believe in making life beautiful, changing the world for the better, and celebrating everyday. That’s what I seek to encourage through craft tutorials, decor ideas, style tips, spiritual encouragement, and more.

 I want to inspire every reader to create beauty in their own way. I’ll share crafts, decor, and once in a while, style posts, but that certainly doesn’t exhaust what beauty looks like in everyday life. So, I’ll also share inspiration posts with lovely images, themes, and lots of links to inspire your way of creating beauty.

Along those lines, starting this Wednesday I’m going to have a new weekly feature here. To reconnect with my English Literature education, every Wednesday I’ll share a poem. In my signature cheesy style, I’m calling it “Waxing Poetic Wednesday.” We can all drink tea and read poetry and be inspired. 😀

I’m starting with my very favorite poems of all time, any guesses? The first poet’s initials are E.D.

And if you’re looking to add a little beauty to your yard decor, you’ll want to click on that button above to see the entire Redeemed outdoor collection. And you’ll also want to use this code for 25% off: JOY2012

I’ll continue to explore and share what finding beauty looks like in everyday life, but I’d really like to know, what does it look like in your life? How do you find beauty in your everyday days? 


DaySpring provided me the with the chalkboard and yard sign free of charge for my review, but my opinion is my own 🙂

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