Homosexuality and Wicca

It has recently come to my attention that there continue to be certain sects of Wicca which discourage or even prohibit Homosexuality. To me this is not only shocking but disturbing. I understand that each branch of Wicca, as each branch of Paganism, is going to have it's own rules, teachings and specific beliefs, but it's difficult for me to understand how any branch could expect someone to deny their true self.

Many Wiccan covens do stress an equal balance of male & female members as a way to balance the male & female energies. However, ones sexuality is rarely a factor even in these covens. Of course there are covens which don't have an equal balance and will take any worthy initiates regardless of gender or sexuality. There are also an increasing number of Pagan Groups founded by or for gay members, and these groups may take only initiates of one gender rather than looking for a balance.

Overall, you'll find sexuality to be a non-issue in the Pagan Community. Most Pagans have the simple belief that as long as you're happy in your relationship, the gender of your partner simply doesn't matter. What matters is that you are loved and that you love. 

There are of course those who come in to the Pagan community tightly clinging to more conservative views based on their previous understandings of religion & spirituality. And in times when homosexuality was still culturally unacceptable this was even more common. Unfortunately these beliefs have bled in to some traditions, writings and teachings. However, this trend is coming to an end and you'll tend to find a larger portion of Open Gays and Lesbians at Pagan gatherings than you will in the general population.

For those who buy in to the need for gender equality within working circles or covens I say this: "We are all half male & female from birth, the genitalia which we physically possess has no bearing on spirituality." The majority of the Pagan world buys in to the live and let live rule. For those who are Wiccan, there is the ever present "An It Harm None, Do What Thou Wilt" rule as well. Since Homophobia and Intolerance are very harmful, it's hard to defend such attitudes while living the Wiccan life.

Knitted Together


I'm always amazed at how much detail God is aware of in our life. How intimately He knits together our stories.

As we served in our children's ministry this Sunday, we started the morning with prayer for the kiddos. Everyone knows about our journey to get our daughter in Ethiopia and the contstant state of waiting we seem to be in. I was so touched by the prayer of one of the leaders. As she prayed for new seasons for new babies, for new church plants, for new lives united, I was moved to tears. Our Lord does know EVERY part of our lives and how it is to unfold.

I am so blessed by the amazing families we traveled with back in December to Ethiopia. We didn't know each other and frankly didn't leave knowing much more, but as the weeks have passed and we supported and prayed for one another, I am increasingly in awe of our Lord. He knew we'd need the love, prayers, and support of one another. Afterall, no one else can REALLY understand how the "mommy's-in-waiting" feel:)



So, as much as I want to know the next steps. I know that He has the BEST planned for us. I'm increasingly excited about this new season. The new harvest he's put in my sight, and the new heart He is forming in me and in our family. Who knew? It was about much more than adoption.

A Pagan Pledge

* I am a Pagan and I dedicate Myself to channeling the Spiritual Energy of my Inner Self to help and to heal myself and others.

* I know that I am a part of the Whole of Nature. May I grow in understanding of the Unity of all  Nature. May I always walk in Balance.

* May I always be mindful of the diversity of Nature as well as its Unity and may I always be tolerant of those whose race, appearance, sex, sexual preference, culture, and other ways differ from my own.

* May I use the Force/Power wisely and never use it for aggression nor for malevolent
purposes. May I never direct it to curtail the free will of another.

* May I always be mindful that I create my own reality and that I have the power within me to create
positivity in my life.

* May I always act in honorable ways: being honest with myself and others, keeping my word
whenever I have given it, fulfilling all responsibilities and commitments I have taken on to the best of
my ability.

* May I always remember that whatever is sent out always returns magnified to the sender. May the
Forces of Karma move swiftly to remind me of these spiritual commitments when I have begin to falter from them, and may I use this Karmic feedback to help myself grow and be more attuned to my Inner Pagan Spirit.

* May I always remain strong and committed to my Spiritual ideals in the face of adversity and negativity. May the Force of my Inner Spirit ground out all malevolence directed my way and  transform it into positivity. May my Inner Light shine so strongly that malevolent forces can not even approach my sphere of existence.

* May I always grow in Inner Wisdom & Understanding. May I see every problem that I face as an
opportunity to develop myself spiritually in solving it.

* May I always act out of Love to all other beings on this Planet -- to other humans, to plants, to
animals, to minerals, to elementals, to spirits, and to other entities.

* May I always be mindful that the Goddess and God in all their forms dwell within me and that this
divinity is reflected through my own Inner Self, my Pagan Spirit.

* May I always channel Love and Light from my being. May my Inner Spirit, rather than my ego self,
guide all my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

SO MOTE IT BE!

Colorful Matting

I love using colorful matting with artwork. It's an easy change - you could obviously get new mat board cut, but consider painting out your white mat (I've had great success with those $1 bottles of craft paint), or maybe investing in a $30 mat cutter to experiment on your own. Also, I see vintage and antique artwork with colorful mats at flea markets all the time. Here's a piece my client and I found at a flea market in Pennsylvania (or was it NJ, Sheila?).

One of my favorite colors - that emerald green! I think it's so pretty with the black and gold accents.



I have a big art wall in my dining room. To mix it up a little I've been adding colorful mats to the group. Most of the frames have cream or white mats still, but I'd like to have four or five frames with colorful matting eventually.

I bought this piece at Housing Works for $10:



These pretty pink pictures were spotted at Alt in the ladies room at the Grand America.



Another pretty emerald green mat at a gallery near my house:


Valentines Day Special

Don't forget your Loved one this Valentines Day. Still plenty of time to order from us, we ship same or next day Priority Mail.  Use Coupon Code Valentine at Checkout and save 15%.
Lots of Eternal Love Knots, four Hearts Interwoven in a Knot. We have Necklaces for Guys and Girls, Love Kitchen Stirring Paddles and A really cool Myrtlewood Bookmarker and Earrings.

Take a Look

This is Carved in Amazing Mountain Mahogany
I carved this one in Oregon Myrtlewood
Now if you aren't into Necklaces I have three really nice hand carved Kitchen Stirring Paddles and a Bookmark Available


I love this Bookmark, wish I could afford it, I'd buy it for myself.

Here's one of the Love Paddles
Use it in the Kitchen or ...

It's hard to find decent Jewelry for guys, so I make a Lot that can work for Guys or gals.
Here's a Nice Inlaid Turquoise Love Knot in Birdseye Maple Burl


Here's one in some Beautiful and Rare Spalted Myrtle Burl with Inlaid Malachite


People think Love is Complicated...
It's not.... sorry but I gotta tell you folks..
If you have agony and "heartbreak"...
It aint Love...
It's Freakin Drama
Drama comes from your Head
and Belly
Your Mind
and emotions
Love isn't even an emotion
emotions live in the belly, fed by the Head
Love lives in the Heart... The Soul,
and Finally, in Spirit.
Love is simply sweet
And as Big and as powerful
as Eternity.

Is there someone you love as Big and as powerful as Eternity?

Do you love yourself as big and as powerful as Eternity.

Let's try it...

See what happens...

This is a simple loving heart, I carved in Purpleheart wood.
This is the Natural color of the wood.

Love

These are Myrtlewwod Earrings that I carved the Love Knots down in, then Stained where I cut it out.

And if you aren't actually into the Theme of hearts, we still Have a Lot of Hand Carved Tree's

And what I really want on Valentines day
Is a Really Really Cool Wizard Long Pipe




Don't Forget, Coupon Code "Valentine" saves you 15%
Have a wonderful Love Day from Mystic Orb




Got a Blockage? .. Breathe into it..

We are connected to everything 
within the scope of our Perception.
Yet many of these things are Painful.
Throughout all our Lives we have felt lots of Pain
And we didn't like it..
But it was part of us
we were connected to it...
But since we didn't much like the feeling
we pushed it away
we did other more pleasant things
to keep us distracted from the Painful things
In fact you could say that in thousands of years of evolution
Mostly what we've done is Run from Painful things
And seek Pleasurable things.

But here's the Rub...
All those painful things
that are a Part of us
that we have been ignoring seems like for eons
Well, all the energy we put into ignoring them
back there in their dark corners
has fed them
they Live on energy
And all that energy that went into maintaining our denial
Fed them very well.
And they are sitting back there
in the hiding places 
that we made for them
Growing
Growin like a Weed on Steroids...

and as much as we would like to forget all about them

They have not forgotten at all, about us...

And they are just about gettin too dang big

to stay hidden back there in that dark corner

And their Master Plan is

To come out into the Light...


Hell no, we say.
You keep your nasty ass
back dare inna corna.

And then the more we try to keep the demon at bay
the more it threatens to come out...

Now understand that you have built a secret Prison cell
in your energetic body
for every pain
Mental 
and emotional 
and Physical.
And this is where you keep them at bay
keep them in their dark corner
while you busy yourself
with more pleasurable things (hopefully).

Well here is the prob..
Every one of those prison cells in your energetic body
has a correspondence in your physical body
an area that by building and maintaing this prison cell on the location.
has blocked the natural energetic flow to that area
it is not properly fed it allotment of Energy/Light/ Breath.
You see, the way we maintain these dark corners within us is
we withhold our Breath from them.
Everything in Creation
that you don't want to think about
or Feel
is still Within you
and the action of supressing your connection to it
through withholding your breath to that energetic area...
Is at the root of every physical, mental, and emotional problem you have.
Now of course your Shrink will say that,"you need to work it out"
Your Sorcerer friend will tell you to Cut the Cords of Man,
and Reconnect to the cords of God.
Or maybe get into a Twelve Step Program
But right now I'm gonna tell you something a Lot easier
and if you really "Get it"
you can probably live forever...
Not that I totally get it,
I'm just the vessel here

But it's really as simple as
Breathing Into it.
Every one of those dark places in your energetic body
exist because you refused to breathe into that area...
So now I'm sayin
Breathe into it...

Be warned
It will bring all your Demons to Light...
But they are going to come anyway,
so do this
and it's on your terms.
Then all you have to do
to be totally free of them
and remove that darkness from your energetic body
is Love them when they come out
Greet the Demons of your Past
with outstreched arms of Love..
and watch as they fade away
like smoke in the wind



~

The Cords of Man and God ~~~ Equation For Freedom



So your Mom never loved you,
treated you like Cinderella was treated by her step mom,
and you want her to Love you,
or at least say she's sorry for never Loving you.
And maybe somewhere along the way your Mom,
removed your Dad's Cajones...
( I think she had them in a safe deposit box somewhere),
and he never stood up for you against the sad nasty woman,
and that hurts you.
And maybe your children don't love you because you were never around and your insane ex wife hated you because you could not save her from her insanity, so she spent all her time studying how Nazi's and other folks used mind control, and she used it on your kids from the time they could understand, to make them hate you. (sound crazy, well, it could happen)... Maybe your boss is the biggest asshole loser kiss ass on the planet and everything that he gets credit for...is due you, because you gave the ideas to him.
Maybe you'd like to for once be recognized for your worth...

Maybe your Sister joined a really popular Cult,
and lost Herself....
and you really loved your Sister
and want her back....

So you carry this sadness, this heaviness that is the desire to be loved by your Family, and anger at your dumb ass boss, and disappointment with your children who could not see who you really are, or who they really are.......

Chains

And the reason you even care about your dumb ass boss is because you are a working fool. You work every other person under the table, wherever you've ever worked..... and why, Because one thing your Mom seemed to Love, was a good worker.... and you are still trying to Get her Love....workin like a fool.

And as hypnotized as your children are you don't see how they will ever know you, so how can they Love you...

Chains..


And you just want to be Free......


And you always thought if your children and Mom Loved you,
and your boss appreciated you,
and your sister would get her soul back....
and your Dad his Cajones
you'd be OK....
you'd be free of the Chains.

Jingle Jangle...

But your Mom and Children may never Love and Understand you
Your Sister might never find herself,
and you boss might never quit being an asshole. (that's pretty likely)
and your Dad's voice might never drop back down into the manly range...

SOO.


Plan B.

EH

What is the answer ?

Well the New Age Pundit
will tell you,

"Cut the Cords"

And this is true,
but only part of the equation.
The other half of the equation is,

Reestablish the Real Connection...

And that is done with 


You see chains are built upon

emotional and mental material..

this is what drags us down,

and makes us old.

*

Your desire to be Loved and appreciated.....

has very little to do with

Love and appreciation...


...but everything to do with Desire...



Chains that bind our souls

are not built upon love

They are built upon unsatisfied expectations.

You expect your family to love you

and your boss to appreciate you.

And they don't

and those unfulfilled expectations

are at the center of most of the "Pain"

in your Life...


We are Bottled Up,
tied down,
chained and imprisoned,

By Ourselves

by our own Unfulfilled expectations....


CUT THE CORDS...

For those who don't know about this,
there actually is an energetic bundle of cords that comes into us
around our belly button region.
The fact is.... I'm afraid we're going to have to go esoteric here for a sec...

The fact is that everything that we perceive and feel
or think a certain way about...
has a cord between it,
and us.

You could say esoterically that these cords are tied to our intent....
our wills, our emotions and our minds.


The Teacher I saw on the Beach who was Flying

she was using these cords to do that...

Here's a link to that story...



I call these cords....,

"The cords of Man"

These cords you could say,

Maintain our position in our unique relationship
with the world of our Perception.

We manipulate and define them with our mental and emotional descriptions.

And they hold us like a spider

trapped in it's own web.



Like I say the first half of the Process of Freeing oneself from this web is

Cutting the cords.....

It's our own dang web that binds us to our Description

So we begin by cutting one cord at a time...

we tend to start with the biggest one's

say,
Mom never lovin ya....


Let go of the emotion...

let go of the mental anguish...

let go of the expectation....


Cut the freakin cord..


"Yeah, that's great Mr. Newage Pundit Guru Dude,

But now I just feel lost and alone...."

That's because you gotta complete the equation...

ReConnect

OK, I just described the "Cords of Man"...

To re-connect we must understand...

and Reconnect with the ,"Cords of God".

This term ,"Cords of God is sort of a misnomer,
because it's actually one continuous cord,
but psychically viewing it....
it's hard to see it that way.

Basically the Cord's of God are what some call
The Web of Creation.

If you've ever sat on the outside edge of all Creation

and looked back inside at everything,

what you saw was this giant interconnected Golden Web

That felt like Blissful Ecstatic Love.

Everything connected to everything else..

It's a Real thing.

Just like the cords of man,

it's an energetic reality.

Not just a cutsey Newage term.

The Web of Creation

and the Cords of God 

are the same thing.


So the second half of the equation for freedom is,

RECONNECT to the Cord's of God.


So, how do you do that?

Well, upon analysis of the Material that makes this Web of Creation

and finding that it is built upon the Light of Love...

You can approach it Microcosmically by

Loving more..

Love those things that were your chains

Love your Boss,
love your family,
love George W Bush...

Or you can approach it Macrocosmically....

Do Kriya Yoga,
   Meditate....
          find your way to the outer edge of creation and look back in,
                                          and Connect from there..

Plug in to the Web of Love that Permeates every living

and "non-living" thing...

Cut the emotion/ mental connections (cords of Man)

Reconnect with Love (Cords of God/Web of Creation...

Simple as that...
Equation for Freedom

Now another aspect to understand is that In the Web of Creation
we each have a Center or Point of Origin
and a very precise position to fill.
We expand outwardly from our point of origin
filling an area of the web
until we come up against those around us
in the web 
doing the same thing.
When we are surrounded on all sides
by those neighbors in the web...
and they have expanded as far as they can
and we as far as we can
A change occurs
some call it a ,"Change of Direction"

It was the cords of man that pulled us outward from our point of origin
to fill our particular space in the Web.
But once that position is filled and we are all pushing and crowding next to our Brothers and Sisters who have done the same
Suddenly we remember our Point of Origin
and it's a burning Light at the Center of us..
and it begins to burn away everything that isn't
well..... The Pure Essence of the Web of Creation
We don't really get the desire to cut the Cords of Man
until we've pretty much filled our designated Position
in the Web of God.
Then once we cut all of those Cords of Man...
We Merge with those around us who have done the same
This is basically what happens when we're done with the whole incarnation thing..
We merge with all of those who have merged before us...
And all together we are what some Folks call, 
The Spiritual Sun.




And Don't pretend that,
" It's All Good"
and live in a La La land of denial like most Humans.

Be Brave

Cut the cords

Reconnect.


Daybed with a Pop-Up Trundle

Remember this layout?



Well, things have changed a lot, like they always do. In the office area, which is the bottom left room, we decided to have a long and narrow desk run the length of the windows so that we could put a murphy bed or a trundle bed where my huge partners desk used to sit.

I'm coming to realize that part of living in a big city is hosting an almost constant stream of house guests! I actually really love hosting though, so I don't mind at all. I just wish we had a real bed for them that's not of the leaky Aero variety.

Here's an updated layout:



Turns out a Murphy bed would barely fit in the office space when pulled down. It was going to be so tight that the expense would have been wasted, I think. So, we are going the 'daybed with a pop-up trundle' route. Not my first choice, but after thinking about it for a few days, I'm sold on the idea. I've got two options right now, and I think I could make either one work great with a little elbow grease and some DIY spirit.

Option 1 is a curvy number, that could almost look Swedish. It reminds me a bit of the uber expensive Marston trundle bed from Restoration Hardware.

I'd paint it and do a cool mattress cover and skirt.



OR! I can get a simple pop up trundle frame and make upholstered sides to get this sort of look:




Armonia Decor, courtesy of the Glam Lamb

What's your vote? Painted Swedish style or upholstered with a contrasting welt?

Easy Curtains Out of Sheets

Drapes can be really, really pricey. One of my favorite tricks it to use a king-sized flat sheet, cut in half to make two panels.

Remember these sheets from Carlton Varney's HSN line?

They are sold out now (*UPDATE: I guess there are some sheets on eBay?), but check out what my girl Pam did with a king-sized set!



It's the easiest project, really, all you do it cut a flat sheet in half and then use iron-on binding tape or a sewing machine to zip down the new edges you just made on the two panels.

Then you can cut holes in the the casing part of the flat sheet (the folded over part at the top) and thread the new panels in to your hardware.



Don't forget to use the pillow cases too. Pam used hers to sew a changing pad cover.



Pam took things to a new level with her valances though (not to mention the pretty blue trim!). Love the way that turned out. Pam, we want a tutorial on the valences!! (seriously, let me know if you do a tutorial and I'll update this post). ** TUTORIAL POSTED HERE**



Here are some fun sheet sets that would make for great curtain panels:

Horizontal gray stripes from West Elm.



Actually, all the new sheets at West Elm...



This plaid would be really cool actually, if mixed with girlier elements in the room.



Water colored polkadots! So great for a kids space, with lots of white and solids in the rest of the room.



If you have two windows to dress, it would be easier to justify the cost of getting this duvet cover to split up into four panels. I think the pattern would be so cool as drapery!



Also, if you're looking for cute, but really inexpensive, try Better Homes and Gardens line for Walmart. I think the twin sheet sets are about $12. Here are a few of my favorite patterns:

Love this red



And the blue and green is an old favorite of mine. (have to go in store for these)



Check out all these sweet options at Macy's! $20 per flat sheet (which would make a nice, full panel)...



How lovely is this plum pattern, available for $10 at Kmart? I am really tempted here.



I also love this blue and gray, for a more subtle print.



Some obvious pointers -

-Get the largest sheets possible. The more fabric the better. Or, buy twin sheets, for each panel, like we talked about above.
- This is not always the most economical route, but if you don't know how to sew well, and you have found a sheet pattern you love, this is a great option I think.
- Stick with cotton! Jersey knit drapes won't work. :)

On How to Grow Your Blog...

Alt Summit was amazing. I can say with 100% honesty, it is so, SO worth the investment if you are interested in monetizing your blog or if you just want to be inspired to be a better blogger. Really - for the job opportunities alone. There was major networking happening all over.

Plus! It was SO fun to finally meet almost all of my blogging friends in real life. If you're on the fence about going next January, shoot me an email and I'll do my best to pressure you further! (or I'll send your husband an email to push him over the edge, too)

All images courtesy of the Alt 2011 Flickr stream

Lots of you asked for a recap on my presentation. I know not all of you readers are bloggers, and as I learned from my survey, only 2% of you have blogs that make you money. So, I apologize if the following is not very interesting. Come back tomorrow for a great post about using sheets as curtains! You're in for a treat.

I spoke about building a blogging community on a panel with Meg from A Practical Wedding, Danielle from The Jealous Curator and Sarah from Babble. It was such a fun group of ladies. We all have very different blog communities and goals, so it was cool to learn from each other and to be able to speak from unique vantage points.


Sarah, Meg, me, and Danielle

It would take forever to write out everything I talked about in my presentation, but here's an outline (still very long) of what I discussed for building traffic or developing a deeper more meaningful community on your blog. Kindly note that I do not consider myself an expert on building a blogging community. I developed the following ideas from talking with other bloggers, reading your survey responses and also a bit from my own adventures in blogging, which started in late 2007.

1. Preliminary idea: Set goals and maintain the right prospective. What is the end goal for writing a blog? The most traffic possible? A book deal? New friendships? New clients? Build your blog and develop your posts with your end goal in mind. Reevaluate often. "Am I getting closer to or further away from my goal?"

2. Part 1: Capture new readers

a) Most of you found my blog through a blog roll! So great! Let's all share the blog love and keep up blog rolls of our own. If you are intimidated by the sheer number of people who want to be on your blog roll, consider having two - a favorites and a rotating (monthly or quarterly) list of new to you blogs.

b) Make your content buzzworthy so that other bloggers will want to share. What do I mean by buzzworthy?

i) Truly original content (try to post something completely yours at least once a week). Or at least put a really unique spin on the same photos that get recycled on blogs.

ii) Think about common problems (something someone would google to find out) and find solutions to those problems through your blog. "How to paint vintage furniture" or "How to sew pinch pleat drapes" or "How to shop at a flea market" etc.

iii) Start a conversation that other bloggers will want to continue. The two examples I used were Lauren's Design Price Points post and Chelsea's idea to stop complaining.

c) Get posted on a bigger blog. It's hard to get a more golden ticket than that. A HUGE stream of traffic is your big chance. Submit never-before-seen projects to Design*Sponge or Apartment Therapy and see what happens. If they don't bite, choose a big blog with your same aesthetic. Chances are, their readers will love your blog, too. Some words of wisdom though, from a gal who gets dozens of emails about this very thing every day:

i) If you're using comments/tweets to get a blogger's attention, make sure you have an interesting and unique sign-in name. And make your comments funny and sweet. Just be thoughtful.

ii) Try to network offline. Go to blogger parties or conventions. Be friendly and pass out your business card!

iii) Speaking for myself, I would skip the urge to send an email to your favorite blogger just introducing yourself and your blog. Try to only email if you have something specific to share (like a post idea) or a question to ask. Use the blogger's actual name, spelled correctly, and make the email as personal as possible. Don't say:

"To whom it may concern,
Please post about my crocheted baby diaper covers available for sale in my etsy shop. I read your blog from start to finish so you owe me one. I can offer a give away for free shipping to one lucky shopper?
Let me know by noon. Thanks."

Flattery (as long as it is sincere) gets you everywhere. I asked Joanna for a quote on this subject and she said the exact same thing! We also agreed that submissions should be more subtle. Don't ask a blogger outright to post something.

Do say:

"Dear Jenny,
I love your blog. I open up LGN first thing in the morning every day. And I cried when I read the post about Evie's birth! What a touching story.
I just wanted to share a project with you that I recently finished. I thought it would be right up your alley since I know how much you love ikat. Here's a link to my Flickr stream.
Thanks for all the inspiration!
Love,
Kate."

Nice, right? That would probably be my favorite email of the day! Remember that you catch more flies with honey...


Interviewing with a local SLC news channel, we talked a little about my new entry.

d) Consider guest posting on a complimentary blog (like, maybe I would post a flower arranging tutorial on a wedding blog). You're capturing like-minded readers.

e) Keep the new readers on your site for a long first stay. Try to link back to old posts often. Put up your most successful posts in your side bar. Add a Link Within widget to the bottom of your posts. Expose the new readers to as much of your blog that first visit as possible so they can get a real vibe for your voice and your style.

f) Other things to consider: Don't get too personal, but also don't be too private. Readers want to know about your life within the context of your blog, no more, no less. Also, post as consistently as possible. I try my best to post Monday through Friday, with posts going live at 5:30 am EST. Also, try hard to avoid spelling and grammatical errors. None of us are perfect, but a little effort goes a long way here.

3. Part 2: Make those readers want to come back!

a) Understand your readers:

i) Who are your readers? What kind of content do they especially love? Or hate? When do they read your blog (morning? night? at the office?)? How did they find your blog? How many posts do they want to read per day?
Do a survey to answer these questions! Thousands of you filled out my survey and it was SO helpful and informative! If you're just wanting basics though, you can find out the demographics of your readership on Alexa. My readers, not surprisingly, are mostly women, between the ages of 28 and 34, with children and with college educations.

b) Read other design blogs with your aesthetic to make sure you're not overlapping on post ideas. There are so so many design blogs these days, I'm finding it's easy to post about the same things, even if you're trying to be original.

c) My husband and I talk about the idea of Blogger Capital a lot. If you think about your blog posting schedule as a bank account, and your posts as deposits and withdrawals, try your hardest to keep a positive balance on the account. For example, a post with 100% original content would be a major deposit. A post about a new sponsor could be a pretty big withdrawal if it wasn't presented right, with no new take away information for your readers.


4. Finally, remember that blogging can sometimes get a little old. Life gets in the way. Or you're simply feeling uninspired. Things that help me more forward:

a) My mantra is 'I can't do it all, but I can do a lot.' I know I say this all of the time, but it makes me feel better every time I get overwhelmed with commitments (which, sadly, is a lot of the time. Don't judge.). And actually, I'm most productive on the days I remind myself of my motto!

b) Focus back on those goals we already talked about. Want to know one of my big goals? I would love to write a big ol' FAT book about decorating a house, from start to finish, top to bottom. Scrapbook style.

c) Celebrate what you've built! Remember when your blog readership consisted of you, your husband and your mom and dad? I sure do. It's amazing how technology is providing a way for us to communicate with so many people every single day.

d) Remember what inspired you originally. I love interiors!! I always will. I still get all giddy when I flip through a new Elle Decor or when I walk in to a thrift store I haven't visited in a while. Get back to basics and post about that common passion you share with your readers.