Monday, March 31, 2014

Netflix..I Got A Bone To Pick With You

My new releases now consist of all kids movies with a random adult movie or two thrown in.

Netflix, I do love you but as a parent I have a major bone to pick with you. I think it's fabulous that there's a "regular" Netlix and a "kids" netflix. The kids section is perfect for my girl but when it is night time and time for the adults to watch a movie why oh why when I am in the "regular" Netflix section are all the movie options kids movies?!!

I have lists that go like this: because you watched Turbo, because you watched The Hungry Caterpillar, because you watched Jake and The Neverland Pirates. There are no horribly fabulous B-grade horror flicks on those lists. And I didn't watch those, my girl did!! Those should be the lists in "kids" section not my adult section!! Ahhh!! Such frustration!!

To make matters worse, the new releases and recently added are 75% kids flicks. So we ultimately have like 20 choices compared to the 100 or so we used to have. Of course we can search for movie titles but we usually don't know what we are looking for, we depended on the lists of movies that were listed pre-child.

Doesn't anyone else share this frustration with me?! I always loved the vast array of strange titles that one can find on Netflix, I just want my weird movie lists back!!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Movin' On Up...

My brain is overflowing with ideas and I can barely contain myself. I am working on a lot of new projects that I cannot wait to share. A lot of them semi-revolve me having a successful blog.

Not too long ago, I was expressing my frustration with getting a bigger following but I have been working my booty off and have been noticing a difference.  I am getting more daily views and more comments. I am super excited but I work really hard each day for these little accomplishments.

What am I doing differently? I am making an honest effort to read and thoughtfully comment on as many blogs as possible. Not everyone returns the love but many do and it's worth it. I am now forming blogging relationships and getting some "regulars."

I am also constantly on the lookout for good blogs to sponsor. This has been tricky but advantageous when I find the right one. It's a tough decision between sponsoring a "big" blogger or a smaller blogger. The big blogs are often expensive to sponsor and they don't usually give as much love as some smaller blogs. I think some take on more sponsors than they can handle a month.  Granted they get more traffic but I have felt like I paid a ton of money and never got an email or learn they don't even follow me on my social media platforms. Smaller bloggers may not get the fabulous traffic but I am constantly feeling loved on social media and it drives more people to me. If you guys know some great blogs to sponsor (large or small), let me know!!

I am also participating in group giveaways again. This is another tricky one because there is a fine balance between having a lot of good giveaways for your fans and giveaways becoming most of your content. My tip for this is to constantly change who you do giveaways with and choose carefully. Say you want to build your twitter following and do a giveaway with the same blog every month. By month three a lot of the people entering that giveaway probably follow you already from the prior giveaways so either change up your giveaway option or jump in to a different giveaway with totally different bloggers.  Just my thoughts.

Lastly, it comes down to good content regularly. I am trying to write 5 days a week and about things I would want to read about. I find myself scrolling down my Bloglovin' feed and skip 80% of the posts. I then ask myself what makes me stop and read the other 20%? I then try to incorporate those factors in my posts. This will be different for everyone but that's what helps you find your niche.

Is my blog where I want it to be yet? No, not at all but I am getting steady growth and am on my way. I just have to stick with what I mentioned above and I have a feeling I will be there before I know it! I am also open to your advice, what helped your blog grow?! xoxo

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Awkward Blogger Problem #2: The Need To Document Everything

A couple weeks ago I wrote about Awkward Blogger Problem #1: Needing An Abundance of Self Portraits. You can go back and check out that post: here. Well, I came up with another: the need to document and photograph everything. This isn't a big deal if you are in the privacy of your own home and documenting say doing a craft or trying a recipe. It becomes super weird when you are out in public, well at least for me.

For example, I took a glass fusing class for friend's birthday last week. I mentioned it in one of my posts but ideally I would have loved to write a post solely on that. Problem is I felt too awkward snapping a bunch of pics as we worked, let alone take notes. I managed to sneak a selfie of my sis and I in our safety glasses and got a photo of my work of art but that was it. The location we were at was so awesome, I wanted to walk around and take loads of photos but feared the judging eyes of all non-bloggers. Instead, I played "normal" and took photos of only what everyone else did. Reality is nobody probably would have thought much of it but I was just too self-conscious.

My husband on the other hand loves to call me out when taking photos. If we got something cool and unique to eat and I try to sneak a pic, he is like "why do you need a picture of that?" Or when we were at the aquarium last weekend and I was trying to take tons of photos both for the blog and just for memories with our daughter he was impatient and saying "why do you need so many photos?' Don't get me wrong, he really is the nicest guy but non-bloggers don't get it, we need to document and photograph everything even if it isn't being shared. It's just the way we are made.

So please say I am not the only one who feels awkward constantly taking a million photos and taking notes? I am a photographer so I can get away with it to a degree. People just figure I love taking tons of photos because it's my passion and it is but they just don't understand that sometimes I just NEED them.  What about you? Do you feel weird about it or do you just not give a f*&k about what others think? xoxo

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Giveaway - $100 to Anthropologie

With all of these wonderful new trends, it seems only fair that you have a chance to make some of them your own. How about a $100 gift card to Anthropologie to get your trendy Spring wardrobe started? These 10 bloggers and myself are happy to bring that opportunity to you! Be sure to stop by their blogs to say hello and give them a big huge thank you!

Giveaway will run from 12:00 am EST on March 25th until 11:59 pm EST on March 30th. All entries will be verified, so don't be a party pooper--just be honest. Winner will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before a new winner will be chosen. Enter using the Rafflecopter below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 24, 2014

Trendy Tots Linkup #2

Trendy Tots

I am so disappointed that I completely forgot that the trendy tots linkup was today. I had to do an impromptu photoshoot in the backyard this afternoon and of course, Liv wanted nothing to do with it.  I just ended up following her around and getting some candids.

Liv is a bit of a tomboy, doesn't like dresses or anything with frill. It was also quite cold today so she needed to wear her jacket. What am I getting at? This may not be the trendiest outfit but I still think she looks cute!  See my post: The Reality of Dressing a Toddler. Haha.

The whole outfit was Target and the shoes were from Carter's. I promise to be prepared for the next linkup and have more entertaining photos for you. xoxo

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ace & Ivy : My Earrings Are Being Featured!

I am super excited about the fact that my Floral Pretties Stud Earring Collections are currently be featured on The Daily Deal Boutique, Ace & Ivy. The normal price for one of these collections is $15 but through the deal offered on this site you can get them for 25% OFF for a limited time. You can check out the deal here!

Ace & Ivy has other great deals that you will definitely want to check out. They currently are featuring some great clothing items, accessories and items for the home all at fabulous prices! You should definitely check them out, you will be glad you did!! xoxo

P.S. The winner of the Floral Pretties giveaway has been notified. Congrats Dani W. !!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

5 Celebrities I Just Cannot Stand

Okay, so I hope I am not the only one who has some celebrities I just cannot stand. Some for good reason and others for not so good reasons. Here are 5 faces and in some cases voices I cannot take!

1-  Angelina Jolie - Is she gorgeous? Yes...Is she talented? Yes...I just hate her. Maybe it started back she she stole Brad from Jen and then I read how she tried to steal Johnny Depp and how he now refuses to work with her now. I just keep thinking home wrecker. And it bothers me that she is a child hoarder. She has three of her own but had to adopt three. So many people cannot have children and are waiting years to be able to adopt and she keeps scooping them up and let's face it, is she really raising them? I am sure they are closer to their nannies.

2- Lady Gaga - I totally encourage individuality and being unique but I am sorry Lady Gaga you are just ridiculous. I don't find her outrageous outfits sincere, I feel she is doing them for the pure fact of being outrageous. Who really wants to wear a meat dress?! That aside, her music is ok but I don't get all the hype. I know I probably made a lot of enemies with this. Sorry!

3 - Tara Reid - Okay so I don't have good reason to dislike her except she is one of the worst actresses I have ever seen. And it bothers me how someone who has lived a life of a celebrity can look like a beat up $2 hooker who's lived a long life. I don't get it.

4 - Kristen Stewart - Need I say more. How does a person only have one expression/persona in real life and in all movies? I am baffled. You can get excited about life once in a while, Kristen. It's ok.

5 - Sarah Jessica Parker - Sorry Sex In The City fans. I cannot stand her and never really watched the show because of it. You may want to know why I don't like her but I honestly could not tell you. Her voice just makes me quiver with annoyance. Something about her I just cannot stand and I cannot pin point it.

That's my list. What about you? What celebrities can you not stand? Would love to hear from you!! xoxo

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Past Couple Days..A Rundown...

Happy Friday beautiful people!! I feel like I have been slacking in blogland the second half of the week. I am certainly been busy in real life though. I would love to catch you all up because well, I love you all!!

Me wearing one of the new necklace designs I made this week!

Wednesday morning, I had a meeting with a counselor with the Small Business Association. I discussed my idea for my brick & mortar bead and craft shop and got lots of great insight. The woman loved me and my idea. She said I was passionate and likable and had all the characteristics for success which was a great ego boost but there was some bad news. I found out that business loans with banks aren't for startups. In order for me to get a business loan I would need to be in business for at least two years and prove profitability. Hmmm...How does that work?! If I was in business for two years and profitable, why would I need a loan?! Hmph! So that means I need to come up with all funding myself. Back to the drawing board. Ugh!

Wednesday evening, I had some fun! One of my friends had a birthday party where we did glass fusing. It was so much fun! Only downfall is we do not get our completed pieces for a few weeks. I am anxious how it will look once glass is fused. Below is a photo of the design but it will be "melted" once fused and I am also getting my piece "slumped" which means the edges will be slightly turned up so it will be a dish that I will probably use for jewelry. I will show you guys another photo when project is picked up.

Today I was super excited because some of my floral earring collections were chosen to be featured on Ace & Ivy , an online deal boutique. The feature started today and you can check it out here. I will talking more about this in an upcoming post.

Earrings being featured

I am very excited and my mind hasn't stopped racing because I came up with a brilliant business idea!! One I don't need tons of capital for and I can do pretty much on my own. For the time being, it's a secret but won't be for long I promise!! Well, have a fantastic day!! xoxo

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Shades Of Color Art

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to receive a Shades Of Color Art notebook. I have mentioned a few times in the past my obsession with stationery so this opportunity was perfect for me. I can never pass up a good journal and this is officially my new fave! I love the cover, which is perfectly painted with some of my favorite colors. This notebook has definitely inspired me to want to pick up a pen and start writing again.

So do you love the painting on the cover of my notebook?! There are many more to choose from in Stephanie's shop here. In addition you can buy some of her phenomenal paintings. Her understanding of color is so apparent in her beautiful pieces of art and they would make a great addition to any home. I highly suggest you check out her shop and as if she is amazing enough, she has a fabulous blog, you can check out here: here. You won't be sorry!! xoxo

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Day Laughs

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my Irish friends, and not so Irish friends, because hey, everyone is Irish today!! I was trying to think of the perfect post for today but found myself stumped for ideas. So I decided to bless you all with some pretty funny St. Patty's memes. Now don't get insulted because I am about as Irish as they come so this is from a place of love.

Well have a great day!! Party hard but be safe my friends!! xoxo

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Floral Pretties Stud Earring Collection Giveaway!!

It's a little after midnight and I am feeling excited about the latest additions to Hole In Her Stocking Designs. Aren't these floral stud earring collections simply adorable?! Floral is HUGE for this spring and summer and these are perfect for everyday wear.

I am giving you a chance to win the collection of your choice from above. Simply enter below!! And because I am feeling extra generous I am offering 20% off everything in my shop with coupon code: FLORAL. xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 14, 2014

Wacky For The Weekend

As sit here and right this it is really late Friday night, actually super early Saturday morning and I am super stoked for this weekend and the beginning of next week. Can't you tell for my wacky mood earlier today as shown in pic collage above. Am I the only one who loves taking stupid selfies?! Anywho...Let me run down my excitement for you:

Today (Friday): I received some super cool beads I have been waiting for. This means more awesome jewelry creations. Plus I got some Whimseybox party kits I ordered for jewelry making fun. Then I went shopping this evening with the hubby and Liv and we went out to dinner. **BONUS: We only spent $28 in Target!!! A new record for lowest amount ever spent there in a trip.

Saturday: We are planning a trip to Atlantis Marine World Aquarium since it's supposed to be 50 degrees. Good enough for us!!

Sunday: My sister's 30th birthday!!! We are celebrating at my mom's for some good 'ole family fun!!

Monday: St. Patrick's Day!!!! That's my holiday!!!! I love green and I love booze so what's not to love?!

Tuesday: Seeing a fab friend I haven't seen in a while.

Wednesday: I have a business meeting to go over stuff about my new business venture. So exciting!!!!

Well, I hope you guys have an Irish-tastic weekend!!! Enjoy and be safe!!! xoxoxo

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: ESC Embroidery

I was thrilled when I received my embroidered tote from ESC Embroidery. The tote was a great quality and the embroidery work was flawless. I also loved the size of the bag, it was large enough to be used as a tote but small enough to be used as an everyday purse. The possibilities for this bag are endless.

Today was another beautiful day on Long Island and I took my new tote to the beach. I got so many compliments and was able to fit everything I needed for myself and my girl inside. Definitely my new go to bag!

Totally loving my new bag!
This new Etsy shop seriously has some of the cutest things. I definitely recommend checking them out for all your embroidered monogram needs. What's even better is that you can get 10% OFF with code: HHSTOCKING . You can visit the shop here!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sh*t Men Say

Voyage of the Mee Mee

This is my first time linking up to "Sh*t Men Say" and I am stoked. I think I have a pretty good story for you guys. Hope you enjoy!!

This goes back to my college days, long before I met my hubby. There was this one guy in my class who would kind of flirt with me and he always seemed nice. One day he finally asked me to go out on Friday night. I decided hey, why not? And told him sure. He said he would call me Friday afternoon to set up all the details.

Friday rolls around and sure enough he does call. I ask him, "So what do you want to do?" And his response: "It doesn't really matter but I am just trying to get fuc*ed by the end of the night, so whatever you want." I am pretty sure I just hung up at that point all I know is I obviously didn't go out with him or talk to him again.

WTF?!! Was this guy serious?! Even if those were his intentions there was no way in hell it was going to happen with him being so blatantly forward about it. The thing that got me even more was that he was kind of chubby and not really good looking and I was a pretty, thin, smart girl during my college years. It was definitely a step up for him so it was strange he wanted to ruin all chances with that comment. Now please don't think I am that superficial (because I said yes to the date) but I was baffled that this guy, who was a step down for me (who I was willing to give genuine chance), would blow his chances with me like that.

What about you guys?! Did you ever have a guy tell you his "true intentions" before even going on a date?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A Day In Montauk

Can you believe it?! Saturday was 50 degrees on Long Island and we had to take advantage. We took a day trip about an hour and a half east to Montauk, or "the end" as we Long Islanders call it. It's a major tourist destination with the fourth oldest lighthouse in the United States. I have visited frequently since I have been a little girl and this small fishing and beach town always makes me happy.

We decided to go visit the lighthouse first. We couldn't climb the lighthouse because it was out of season but we walked along the beach and took advantage of a few photo ops.

The hubby and Liv walking along the rocky beach
Me and the Montauk lighthouse
Me and my girl
After walking for a while on the beach by the lighthouse we decided to go into town and get a quick bite to eat and check out some of the shops. The only thing is that since it was off season more than half the shops and restaurants were closed for the season. We managed to find somewhere to eat and there were a few shops open for us to browse.

We head home after that and it even felt good just to ride through Montauk and  the Hamptons with the windows down and not be freezing. It was refreshing and much needed. I am looking forward to having another day trip to Montauk when it's a little warmer and in season but this was the perfect day to help me get out of my winter rut.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Happy Friday!! (And A Target Giveaway)

Happy Friday!! I hope you all have some pretty spectacular plans for the weekend. I will probably be working on my business plan for my store and then making tons and tons of jewelry. Sweatshop level. Haha. But who knows I feel like the weekends where I originally have no crazy plans, I end up doing some super cool stuff. Who knows? Maybe I will have something fun to share on Monday. You never know.

On a good note, I am helping Cinsarah celebrate her 3rd blogaversary with a fabulous Target giftcard giveaway. Who doesn't love Target?! You can enter below. Good luck!! xoxo

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Awkward Blogger Problem #1 : Needing An Abundance Of Self Portraits

As a blogger, we need tons of photos of ourselves, whether we are doing fashion/style posts or need photos of us utilizing an item we are reviewing. Not to mention we need just regular photos of ourselves to incorporate in our posts so we are "real" people to those who follow. Being a blogger is also part being a model and it gets exhausting at least as far as awkwardly tracking someone down to take photos of us without seeming self-absorbed.

Yesterday I asked my hubby to take a photos of me since I haven't really put up any photos lately. His response: "You need more photos of you? Why?" Of course he obliged but I knew he just didn't get it. I need tons of photos of me: wearing different things, doing different things and being different places. He quickly snapped a few shots and handed the camera back to me. I was like "let me see". I wasn't to thrilled with the photos and asked for a few more photos at a few different angles. His response: "Really?" Yessss!!

What makes this so much harder for me is that I am a photographer so I am looking for perfection in the photos of me and it's hard trying to get someone to use my camera, although, my hubby has become quite good at it. Don't get me wrong he always takes photos for me but I feel awkward asking because he thinks it's so strange.

My other issue is that I have some pretty amazing ideas for some unique photos but feel super self-conscious doing them when nobody gets it.  Maybe they would understand if they read blogs regularly and realized that cool photos are just as important as good content. I am going to take a vow to not really worry about what others think about my "crazy obsession" of taking photos of myself and just get some kick ass photos for the future!! **That is once the weather gets warmer.. ;)

Does anyone else have difficulty finding someone to take photos of them so frequently? And do you feel weird doing crazy things in them? Or is it only me? Gosh I hope not...Hahaha..xoxo

P.S. Here are a few photos I was able to get in the 2 minutes the hubby took taking pictures...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dream A Reality Item #1

I am busting at the seams with excitement to share something very amazing with you. I have decided to go for it. Just dive in and do it and not worry about it not working out. What am I talking about it?! I decided to try my very hardest to open a brick and mortar bead and craft shop by this summer. I am putting everything into this and know this is my future. I have fantastic ideas and cannot wait to share more with you but I want to wait until it is more official. I have a business meeting in two weeks and cannot wait!! I am excited and nervous. Of course my biggest worry is the financing. I don't want to have to take out too big of a business loan in case it doesn't work out so I have some funding ideas up my sleeve.

One of these ideas is that I am periodically going to have items of the day for sale from my shop, Hole In Her Stocking Designs, and all the money earned from my sold jewelry is going strictly to my store business expenses. Anything from my shop website will going towards it as well but I am going to feature some items at discounted prices. And here is the first piece. This piece is perfect for St. Patty's and it will be shipped day after it is purchased so you will have in time.

This piece is large and bold. Definitely a statement piece. Cost is $9.50 shipped (US only). If interested comment with Paypal email and I will send invoice. Quantities of this style are limited so order right away, item is while supplies last. Thank you!! xoxo

Monday, March 3, 2014

Blogging Besties Wanted : Apply Here!

 I have to admit I have been feeling a bit lonely and unloved in the blogging world. I hardly have any comments on my posts and sometimes I just don't get it. My posts are just as good as other people's posts that get tons of comments. I also have been taking the time out to read and comment on lots of blogs and I feel like nobody takes the time out to check out my blog. Now do I expect every person's blog I comment on to comment back? No but if I have given you 20 blog comments in the past month and you haven't checked out my blog even once, I label you a "blogging snob." I get it many of the blogs I comment on are much larger than my own and they get tons of comments so it would be impossible for them to return all the love but if you constantly see a name you could give a quick look once in a great while to show some reader appreciation.

Okay so I didn't mean for this post to be a pity party or biotch fest, I want it to have a positive purpose. If you feel the same way and would like someone to regularly read your blog and comment, I will be your girl!! I only ask that you reciprocate the love!! Just leave a comment below with your blog address and I will head on over and give some blogging love. Let the friendships begin!! xoxo

P.S. I am looking to do some ad swaps so if interested, let me know. AND I am currently offering 50% off all sponsorship options with code: DANCE .

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Reality Of Dressing A Toddler

As soon as I found I was having my daughter, visions of the cutest, best dressed little girl danced in my head. I was consumed with thoughts of super adorable dresses, trendy boots and shabby chic headbands. I always wondered why some people I knew had their babies and toddlers in leggings and tees all the time when there were so many precious options out there, that was until I actually had a baby.

The first 6 months I was pretty much able to dress Liv how I wanted but sometimes I would have her in the perfect outfit, I picked out days in advance, and she would spit up all over it right as we were about to walk out the door. There went that idea.

At about 6 months or so, she refused to wear anything on her head. No headbands, hats, etc. The second I put it on her head she would rip it off and throw it, which she still does to this day and she is two. And if one more old lady told me I should have put a bow in her hair to make her look more like a girl I might have been committed. It's like trust me, we have about a hundred headbands and bows at home but she won't wear them bi%$h!

At about one is when it all really went down hill. She refused to wear anything on her feet that wasn't sneakers or flip flops. And forget about dresses, she didn't like tights so wearing a dress in fall and winter was out of the question. And any dress that was too "poofy" with tulle or anything of that sort would make her freak out.

Now she's two and she says "No" to any outfit I try to put on her. She has quite an opinion already. I pick out the most adorable outfits that don't involve dresses or boots or headbands and she still refuses just because I picked it out. But I seemed to find a little strategy that seems to get her in what I want her to wear.

I pick out about three outfit possibilities for the day. When it is time to dress her, I show her one and she says no as predicted and do this for the next two as well. I put each outfit on top of her dresser drawer once she denies them. I then tell her to pick out what she would like to wear. Nine times out of ten she picks out on of the outfits I initially showed her. Then the key is to act like this is a new suggestion she came up with all on her own. I usually say something along the lines of: "What a great suggestion Liv! I love that outfit!" And mission accomplished she is in an outfit I picked.

Needless to say I now ,as a mom, realize how toddlers end up in leggings and tees because what we have in mind and they have in mind are completely different. They are all about comfort and their favorite characters not about what celebrities' babies are wearing. This being said, once in a while, I am able to get her dressed up super cute but it's usually just for special occasions. How about you? Does your toddler wear what you want him/her to?