Business of Blogging

#BlogPodium: Head Full of Ideas, Heart Full of Inspiration

In January, I had the pleasure of attending BlogPodium’s first event called Blogs & Media.

That event….wow! It kicked me right out of my comfort zone (in a really great way!) and connected me with some fabulous, like-minded folks. That single day made a huge impact on me. It filled up my inspiration tank!

When early bird tickets were available for the spring talk, called The Business of Blogging, I jumped at the chance and bought a ticket. This was a talk I was not going to miss!

Unlike my first BlogPodium experience, I wasn’t nervous this time around. I was excited! I was pumped! I knew I would get to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones — I was especially excited to put some more faces to twitter handles names. With a stack of business cards in hand and my iPad to take as many notes as possible, I hit the road to Toronto!

via

As expected, the day was phenomenal. I walked away with a head full of ideas and a heart full of inspiration — but, I have to say that the one thing that stuck with me most was how important it is for me to write consistently. To blog more often. To keep honing this amazingly rewarding craft.

Even if I don’t feel like I have it in me…

Even if I my day job as a copywriter has sucked all the words out of me

Another big take away for me was the importance of goal setting. How can I be a better blogger/writer if I don’t set goals and aim to achieve them? I can’t. So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking inward and setting some goals for myself and this blog. Lord nows I have a long list of updates to write about….*cough cough* bathroom renovation *cough*…

Many thanks to Jennifer Flores from Rambling Renovators and Lindsay Stephenson from Little House Blog for putting together another fabulous event! To Nicole Bache from Making It Lovely  and the BlogPodium panel — thank you for generously sharing your expert knowledge! And, last but not least, thank you to all of the sponsor brands and vendors — it was fabulous to interact with you!

To my fellow bloggers — it was a slice! See you at the next talk in the fall.

See You at the Next #BlogPodium!

Hey, fellow Canadian design blogger peeps — did ya hear? The next BlogPodium event date has been set for Saturday, May 26, 2012, in Toronto! I am personally very excited for the Business of Blogging panel session — it’s a topic that I definitely want to learn more about!

Tickets went on sale a couple of days ago and I bought mine yesterday.

Don’t delay — the early bird pricing is only available until the end of March and tickets will likely sell out.

My first BlogPodium experience in January was such a positive experience (more on that here). It really cemented my direction — in my blog and in myself — and confirmed that I am on the right path. Where will this path take me? Who knows. What I do know is that it feels good to be inspired and to follow my passion for writing about DIY and design.

So, without further ado, go check out what’s in store for the next BlogPodium event and get your ticket! And, to those of you not within the Greater Toronto Area (looking at you Martina from Adventures in Building Beauty), be sure to check out the Aya “BlogPodium Bound” Contest. More details below.

Love is in the Air: Liebster Blog <3

Awww, shucks. A few weeks ago, April from Money Pit Love awarded my ‘lil ol’ blog with the Liebster Award! Thanks April — such a sweet honour to be included alongside other amazing blogs that I read every day. I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but finishing the bathroom reno and recovering from my fourth illness (since December!) took precedence.
The Goods
The Liebster is awarded by bloggers to other newer bloggers, who have fewer than 200 followers, to spread the word and help newbie bloggers gain wider recognition. The award comes with four conditions that each recipient must satisfy when accepting:
  1. Choose five up-and-coming blogs (with fewer than 200 followers) to award the Liebster to.
  2. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
  3. Post the award on your blog. List the bloggers you are giving the award to with links to their sites. Leave comments on their blogs so they know about the award.
  4. Share five random facts about yourself.

April’s five random facts had me laughing out loud. Seriously, this girl is funny (and slightly twisted — but in a good way!) April and I had the pleasure of meeting (in real life) at BlogPodium and, man, I had a blast getting to know her! If you are looking for a giggle, you can read her five random facts here.

Five Random Facts About Me
ONE: My happy place is Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Ted and I have been lucky enough to travel there the past two years and we love it. As much as I would like to explore other parts of the world, I’d be happy to return to HHI time and time again. It’s such a lush, laid-back place with beautiful homes, beachy decor, endless bike paths and the ocean. Here are some snaps from our most recent visit in September 2011…

Massive beach front homes

Lush, winding bike paths leading to the beach

Gorgeous sunsets each and every night

TWO:
I’m pretty much obsessed with the colour combination of navy blue and orange. Our living/dining room decor has stumped me from day one (I’ve already painted the space twice in two years), but every time I see a room with hits of orange and blue, my heart skips a beat. I especially love the classic appeal of navy broken up with bright punches of orange. Once we finally tie up the bathroom renovation, my next task will be sourcing fabrics for the living room. My initial idea was to sew my own curtains and pillows, but lately, I’ve been lusting over these pre-made pillows…

[Source: WillaSkyeHome]

THREE:
As a copywriter by trade, I spend my working hours in front of a computer writing for a variety of clients in varying sectors (from automotive to consumer packaged goods) and this, as you can imagine, eats up a lot of my daily inspiration and energy. After a long day of writing, I struggle with finding time to blog — I feel like I have no words left in me at the end of the day. However, writing outside of work hours has helped me rediscover my passion for writing, editing and social media — something that I lost over the last eight or nine years by focusing specifically on my career. I hope my future includes more time writing about my passions, such as DIY, design and life in general, and less time writing about someone else’s passions. Ahem, “Universe”, are you listening? This is me putting that out to you!

FOUR:
Contrary to popular belief, I despise painting. Like really, really despise. Having said that, I do enjoy the thrill of a freshly painted space. It’s such an easy, affordable way to change the look of a room. So, I guess painting is more of a love/hate relationship. Thankfully, I managed to finish painting the bathroom over Family Day weekend, so I don’t see any painting in my foreseeable future! Yes, I have taken paint to every. part. of. our. house. Maybe that is why I am so sick of painting?! Likely.

FIVE:
If you follow me on Pinterest, you will notice that I pin quite a lot. I love to troll the ‘net for inspiring interiors, yummy recipes, crafty DIY products and other cool things. I also like to pin my own projects from this blog to help generate some traffic — and, boy, does it ever. Even though I am a “pinner”, I rarely ever peruse the actual Pinterest website. Why? I find it very aggravating when “pinners” don’t pin back to the original source, or the original blog posting. Nothing like finding a great DIY tutorial on Pinterest, only to click on the image and be taken to a blog homepage and not the tutorial. Frustrating, with a capital F! For me, I treat Pinterest as my very own virtual corkboard and that’s it.

So, there you have it — five things about moi! Thanks again April for the kudos! I’m now passing on some Liebster Blog Award lovin’ over to some of my favourite bloggers:

Martina from Adventures in Building Beauty

Erin from The Stucco Bungalow

Michelle from Sweet Suite 10

Nette from This Dusty House

Sarah from ReDesigning Sarah

#BlogPodium: A Personal View

On Friday, I attended BlogPodium — my first-ever blogger conference.

By myself.

Without the added benefit of knowing a single soul.

It was just me, my ‘lil ol’ blog and a stack of freshly printed business cards.

Oh, and a pocket full of nerve.

On Friday, I stepped out of my comfort zone. And, I’m so glad I did.

Why?

Because, I haven’t been this inspired about anything in a very long time.

Anything.

I started this blog as a personal outlet — a place for me to write about the things that make me tick.

DIY, decor, renovation, design.

For months, I secretly blogged about the projects around our home. Aside from my husband Ted, some family and a few good friends, I kept my blog a secret for fear that someone would call my “baby” ugly.

Was I embarrassed about my blog? Maybe.

Was I worried that people would think it was lame that I was blogging about my home? Yeah.

Was in insecure? Very.

Well, BlogPodium taught me that my “baby” ain’t ugly. The panel and attendees taught me that my “baby” has potential and that it can go places if I let it.

This conference armed me with the information and fuel I need to take this blog to where I want it to go. It has also connected me with a fabulous group of fellow design and lifestyle bloggers and marketers.

Quite simply…

I found “my niche.”

I found “my people.”

I found “my purpose.”

And, goodness — it feels amazing.

Thank you to the organizers, panel, sponsors and fellow attendees for a wonderfully inspiring conference. I look forward to seeing you at the next talk in May.

Bathroom Reno: Day 7 (and #BlogPodium)

Hello and happy Friday!

This morning I am attending BlogPodium at the 2012 Interior Design Show in Toronto and I’m really excited, but kinda nervous too — this is my first-ever blogging-related event! When I heard about BlogPodium a few months ago, I knew I had to sign up. The idea of being surrounded with like-minded folks who are equally passionate about DIY, decor and design was very appealing to me. Today I will be a sponge — soaking in the BlogPodium talk called “BLOGS + MEDIA”, then touring the 2012 Interior Design Show. It’s going to be a great day!

But, that’s not all. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we are inching our way to having the ceramic floor installed. And, guess what? The ceramic floor is ready to be laid!

On day seven of the reno, Steve managed to rip up the existing peel and stick tile and screw a boat load of screws into the subfloor to ensure that there is no shifting once the tiles are installed. Shifting = cracked tiles and Steve (and us) will have none of that funny business! Not on our watch!

Day seven also saw the layering of more mud onto the ceiling and walls to feather out all joints…

…and make everything look “slick”, as Steve would say. I’m still dreading the sanding part, but we’ll survive! Our shop vac is ready for some serious clean up duty.

Also, a few readers questioned the purpose of the middle switch (shown below) in a previous post. It’s actually the switch to the bathroom fan and it acts as a timer. When you turn on the fan, you can set the timer to shut the fan off in five, ten, 15 or 20 minutes. Neat, huh?

We’re glad that Steve mudded around the electrical outlet. The drywall was damaged in that area, but after a thorough sanding it will be nice and smooth.

Steve also trimmed the inside of the window since it had to be ripped out due to some water damage.

Once the window trim is finished and painted out white, it’s going to look “mint” (yet another Stevism!)

I’m looking forward to having the ceramic flooring installed. After all, finding the flooring is what kicked this renovation into top gear. If you recall from our mood board post, we scored our Daltile Marcello 12″ x 12″ floor tiles at the Habitat for Humanity Restore for 75 cents a square foot, plus 25% off! Yeah, that’s right — our flooring cost less than $30, and while the tile we selected is not Carrara marble, it’s the look for less and I’ll take it!

Be sure to check back in a day or two when I reveal the bathroom floor. Until then, happy Friday! And, if you are at BlogPodium, be sure to say hello!