Image Map

When Life Gets You Down, Talk to Dad

29 August 2013

My dad is one-of-a-kind. And he is amazing. I've written before how much he means to me as an influential friend in my life in a coffee & conversation link up post a few months ago. I have had quite the busy and earth moving week! Between conflicts at work and general feelings of angst towards my thesis project, I had a committee meeting on Tuesday. AND the committee concluded that I am ready to begin preparing my dissertation and work towards my defense!! Hooray!!!

In preparation for this, I was quite nervous and lacking zeal but felt extremely blessed when I received this g-chat from my dad on my computer. I just had to share it because it further exemplifies how truly amazing of a dad he is! I love my dad!!!

I'm praying for you today.

I love you. and I think you are amazing.

When you become a parent you have all these crazy ideas of what your kid may accomplish or turn out like...and I just want you to know that you have surpassed every thought my imagination could concoct. Have a great day.

Who is the ONE person that always has your back with something encouraging to say?

What I'm Wearing Wednesday

28 August 2013

Today I've ditched my usual Pinterest Pin Posts  for a more "W" driven alliteration. 
What do you think my "S" stands for and "Sarah" my name doesn't count! 

Thanks for the Memories

27 August 2013

Hello To Be Mrs. Collier readers, I'm Amberly from {Life with Amberly and Joe}! You may remember me from my post a month ago where I shared some of my husband's quirks and how I have learned to love them over our two years of marriage. I am so glad that Sarah has asked me to hang out with you guys again today!

Memories are very important to me! I love to reminisce and think back on different events in my life, they make me smile, laugh, and cry! I also believe that you can learn a lot of great lessons that you can apply to your future from things that happened in the past. During my recent move, I found old yearbooks, photo CD's from show choir, slideshows that my best friend and I made for each other in college and mine and my husband's wedding video. I can't wait until I have some free time to sit down and watch them again and I will probably make my husband join me so I can relive my memories and tell him lots of stories the entire time. He's going to love it! ;) While I was writing Our Story on the blog, I kept referring to my journals so that I could remember the dates that things happened. It was a lot of fun to read all of my thoughts from the time that we were dating and remember those early relationship butterflies. The day that I applied to date my husband still makes me giggle, I even go back and read my "application" time and again just because I can, and it makes me feel so clever. I need to get back into the habit of writing in my journal so that I will always have them to look back on and share with my children in the future.

I take pictures of everything, not as much now as I did when I was in college, but I try. A few weeks ago, I shared how glad I am that my husband puts up with all of the random moments when I pull a camera out and say, "Let's get a picture!" Every single picture I have brings back a flood of memories and I think about all of the fun times surrounding the event. The picture above is the only one that we took on the day of our engagement (Shame on me!) but it is one of my favorites, and I keep it in a frame at my apartment to remind me how happy I was to finally be engaged to the man that I love so much! And I always think about how I almost ruined my proposal and that the first thing I said when I saw the ring was, "You're so dumb!" My husband and I still laugh about it today!

Music and smells can spark your memory and quickly take you back to moments associated with those things. Pictures and journals are great for reminding us of the past and will be very valuable to future generations who want to know who we were and what we were like. Treasure your memories and find your own way to keep them alive, you won't regret it!

What are some of your favorite memories? Is there something specific that makes you think back on them?

Estate Sales: Longaberger Baskets & Caro Nan Basket Purse

26 August 2013

Saturday is my day to go estate sailing. That's right. [Going to estate sales has been turned into a verb, estate sailing]. I have a thing for treasure. I get such a thrill from seeing things that people have collected over the years from vacations, gifts and general decorations for their homes. And I like it even better when I can buy something for a few dollars and turn a 200% profit! 

I am super proud of the things that I found and just had share them with you!! My style is typically vintage or retro glassware, collectibles and toys. But this weekend, I feel like I scored it big time with two Longaberger Baskets in great condition with liners, a Caro Nan basket purse from the 1960's and a retro ice bucket straight from a chic bar cart! 

Do you estate sale? What kind of treasures have you found?

The Ins & Outs of Blog Sponsorship

23 August 2013

I've written a few posts lately about my blogging experience as I've transitioned into a "pro" blogger. From ways to be a better blogger to what it takes to be a blogger, blogging really can be taken to the next level via sponsorship. That's why I am dressed like a pirate in the picture above. sponsorSHIP. Get it?

I know, bad joke. But in all seriousness sponsorship and growing your blog actually go hand-in-hand.  We, as bloggers, share our lives with our readers. We pause on dates with our significant others to have them take pictures of us in our cute date outfits for fashion updates. We photograph our meals and meal preparation to incorporate into future recipe posts. We get up early or stay up late to finish posts, answer emails and promote our sponsors. 

Now, I want you to take a moment and think about why you started blogging. Say that out loud or write that down. Next, I'd like you to think about the future of your blog. Regardless of your purpose, if you aim to grow your blog, you are going to need to increase your traffic. In my opinion, sponsoring awesome bloggers and forming collaborations with them helps get you there. 

What is sponsorship? Sponsorship is basically the same thing as a button swap except that it includes social media promotion or even options to participate in giveaways or write a guest post. Some bloggers have only one sponsorship option while others have different grades of sponsorship. And then there is the financial aspect. When you sponsor a blogger for a given period of time it is in exchange for some monetary value. As a blogger who accepts sponsorship, I use those funds to reinvest into my blog but truthfully, sponsorship is how many "big time"bloggers make their income. 

What can be gained from sponsorship? Support is the greatest thing to gain from sponsorship. Sure, you ultimately get traffic with social media promotion and frequent visits. But, I find that having another blogger to get feedback from and possibly advise you on design and quirky little html things, post construction and general life as a blogger is the most worthwhile aspect to sponsoring. 

Who do you sponsor? If you are just interested in gaining traffic, pick a reputable blogger that has a lot of followers and social media presence. Personally, I sponsor bloggers that I read frequently and feel like align with my blogging style or goals. It never hurts to support your friends! 

My tales of sponsoring other bloggers. My first official financial sponsorship was with Grace for Gayle. It was sort of nerve racking the moment that I hit the "pay" button on Passion Fruit Ads. Even though I knew Gayle and what she stood for from reading her blog for some time, taking that first step is always a little uneasy for me. 

But what I learned is that every blogger has their own style of sponsorship. Gayle sent me some extensive surveys so that she can get to know about me. Really get to know me. And I appreciated that!  I felt that we struck up a great relationship and I still feel like I could go to her with questions and she'd be more than eager to answer!  Some sponsors just promote your posts on Twitter to their followers without the surveys and the sponsor post. Is one better than the other? No! It really is up to your personal preference! 

How I function as a sponsor. I started accepting one sponsor per month for $5 which means that all my attention and promotion is yours. I want your sponsorship to work for you and your goals. I ask every sponsor about their blog history, some person stuff to get to know them and what we can accomplish together through the sponsorship. I feature my sponsor in a personal post and gush about all of the things that I love about your blog including my favorite posts that you've written. Then as a sponsor, I allow you to choose to write a guest post. I visit your blog Monday through Friday and give you social media shootouts on Facebook and Twitter to my hundreds of followers.  If you have any questions or interest in sponsoring my blog, please visit my sponsorship page for more information. 

Regardless of what you decide to do about growing your blog through sponsorship, make sure you find a blog to sponsor that fits your style and works for you! And entering giveaways where bloggers are offering sponsorship as prizes is a great way to discover new bloggers as well as possibly getting sponsor space for free! Speaking of, don't forget to enter the August Sponsor Giveaway at He Calls Me Grace! I'm offering my sponsor spotlight space for 30 days for free!! 

Do you sponsor blogs? What do you look for when sponsoring? What sponsor advice can you share? 

20 Best Chick Flicks of All time

22 August 2013

I saw a list of the best chick flicks of all time so I thought that I would make my own [in no particular order]! Which ones have you seen? Which do you love? Which should't be here at all?

Don't forget to enter into the August Sponsor Giveaway 

[$65 paypal cash & ad space w/me and He Calls Me Grace]

Top 5 Weekly Home DIY Pinterest Pins

21 August 2013

Happy Wednesday!! I'm sitting here at my kitchen table and it is 6 a.m. trying to scramble to get this post done! Whew! Life has been really crazy these days! Although I feel like time is flying, in reality I am getting a ton of stuff done! Are you right there with me?

I don't know of a better way to distract myself from all the distractions than with Pinterest. Here are my top 5 weekly home pins of the week! You can find these and other home-related pins on my Home Improvement Pinterest board.

Talk about a total life hack! I have those junky Target/Walmart $20 bookcases and they are falling [literally] apart! And the backdrop is so hum-drum! Spice it up with some fabric wrapped cardboard. I love how easy and inexpensive this project is. It could be definitely accomplished within an afternoon!

Interesting vases and containers in your design future? Spare yourself the trip to World Market or Pier1 and make your own! Upcycling at its best! 

I'm a sucker for an awesome patio! There are so many things going on here from the large slate stone floor to the pop of color of the seat cushions to the Italian string lights. This is the type of place that you could seriously curl up and read a book with a hot cup of coffee each morning. 

Is this not the most awesome idea EVER? I never have a clue of where to put all my wrapping paper and stinking ribbon! But this is nestled behind a door with easy access. Genius! 

We have so many blankets! I brought blankets into the marriage and so did Mr. Collier. But what to do with them all? This blanket hutch provides a solution [provided they are adorable blankets in the right color]. I love how clean this looks and the simplicity of it all. Basically it is just a dresser with no drawers! 

Thirteen Things, Five Things & a Giveaway!

20 August 2013

I love the opportunity to share myself with you and was stoked with my girl Chelsey @ Patti Cake and my girl Amanda @ Manda Loves linked me up on two posts of 13 and 5 questions all about my favorites. To me, these types of posts take me back to my early emailing days. Do you remember those questions:  What is your favorite color? What song are you listening to right now? How many kids do you want to have? etc. Then you would have to forward it to 10 people or you'd have back luck? Well, I'm not about to have bad luck so here are my honest answers!!

1. What drink do you order at Starbucks? It really depends on my mood but I love the traditional tall, nonfat vanilla latte. 

2. What is the one thing in your closet you can't live without? The "sick" sweatshirt. Ever since I was little my mom had a special sweatshirt that was over-worn and full of holes. But it was special because when I was sick, I got to wear the most comfortable sweatshirt EVER! I've got my own sick sweatshirt and I could not live without it! 

3. What's the one thing people don't know about you? I am an only child. 

4. What's the one thing you want to do before you die? Only one? See below.

5. What's the one food you can't live without? Peanut Butter

6 What's the one quote you live by? “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:5

7. What's the one thing you dislike about the blogging community? The expectation. 

8. What is your number one song on iTunes? I've never been a huge fan of iTunes. But I dig iHeart Radio. 

9. What kind of style would you describe yourself as having? Casual and classic.  

10. What is your favorite number?  #13. Been that way before Taylor Swift knew how to count. 

11. Two hobbies? Estate sale treasure hunting and cooking. 

12. Two pet peeves? Ignorance and Injustice

13. Your guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate chips 

Five things I’d like to do before I die:

Five Reads I love:

Harry Potter Series

The Book Thief  

The Hunger Games Trilogy

The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Five Favorite Movies:

Five Places I’d Like to Travel to:

 Five things I have a passion for:

And now for the giveaway......