My Oopsey Daisy Journey

I hope you enjoyed a very Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was a beautiful day for our family!  It gave me the perfect opportunity to put things in perspective and make some important decisions for me and my family.  This is a post I have considered for a very long time. So today's post is all about keepin' it real.

Photo Credit:  Janine Grover Photography

What Blogging Means For This Mama

All I have ever wanted is to be a Mother.  Little Man is everything I could have ever wanted in a little boy.  He is sweet, compassionate, patient, and bright!

But for a very long time, we have been trying to grow our little family.  I know that our struggle with infertility is not unusual.  So many incredible families wait and wait--hoping to experience the miracle that is a brand new baby.  About 6 weeks ago, we were given the devastating news that our chances of having another child were very, very slim.  There is very little that the doctors can do, so they offered very little hope.  At first, my world seemed to crumble all around me. After weeks of prayers, I feel at peace.  All we can do is wait and hope!  I am learning faith, patience, and a whole host of new virtues all at once!  Of course we will never give up in our hopes for bringing another baby into the world.

My very first reaction to our news was:  "This is could be my only chance!  I've got to make every.single.moment.count!"  Little Man is already 3 years old.  He is growing up so fast that some nights when I put him to bed, I can't help but blubber.  He is such a good boy, and I can't believe he can talk and walk and go potty and spell his name and recite 15 brands of vacuums off the top of his head.  He is an awesome kid.  But I'm not doing enough as his Mom.  This might just be my only chance to be a Mom!

Oopsey Daisy has become a fulltime job for me.  (Crazy, right?!) The problem is.... Being a Mommy is also a fulltime job.  I simply can't be the best at both jobs--I've tried.  I either fail at being a Mom and succeed at being a blogger or vice versa.  I can't afford to fail at being a Mama!  This might be my only chance.

So from here on out, I am choosing to be a Mom.  And I am thrilled about it!

Our family has chatted about this option for months.  We are incredibly excited about what this means for our family.  I can now go to bed with my husband.  (And I might just get a full night's sleep!)  Instead of shooing my boys out of my way on the weekends so I can complete crafts, we might just go hiking.  Or play t-ball together.  And guess what?!  I think I'll start cooking dinner every night.  This is huge!  But from now on, family comes first.  Blogging will take a back seat.

But....

Blogging is a blessing.

I don't know if I can really explain this, but I need to blog.  When I began Oopsey Daisy, I was a brand new Mommy (and often a "single Mom" when the Mister traveled every week), and I needed a creative outlet just for me.  The blogging community became a second family to me.  I can never thank you enough for welcoming me into the blogging world.  You will never know what your support--a kind comment or e-mail, a retweet, or a "like" on Facebook--has done for me!  So thank you!  Creative blogging is my own therapy!

Of course blogging has changed a lot over the last 2 1/2 years.  There have been lots of exciting changes for sure.  But the one thing I do miss is the personal connection.   The truth is that I spend 3-4 hours editing pictures and writing a craft tutorial, staying up until about 2 AM on average.  Although I see my posts stumbled, tweeted, and pinned I actually receive very few comments.  Of course seeing my posts on social media is thrilling. I absolutely appreciate the love!  But I truly miss the positive feedback and the personal outreach.

I have always felt that blogging is a strange sort of "calling."  I have no idea why I feel compelled to share my ideas.  But I do!  I have an inexplicable desire to share the few things that I know and that work for me.  I love hearing from readers and sharing experiences!  One of the most inspiring parts of my blogging adventure has been meeting other real-life bloggers.  They all feel that same desire to share their creative journeys, and it brings us together.  I love that!   Some of my closest friends are blogging friends. We have an unexplainable bond.  I hope that never changes.  For me, blogging is all about the friendships.

Please stick with me!

I hope you'll continue to read Oopsey Daisy!  I might post 3 times a week or 3 times a month!  Who knows?!  But taking the pressure out of blogging means it will be 100% fun.  YAY for fun!  Here is what I'll be blogging about:

* I am passionate about Mommy School and sharing my Mommy School packets with you.  Now I'll have more time to dedicate to Mommy School.  So if you're a Mommy School fan, stick around!

* I have a whole house that needs decorating!  I can't wait to share my adventures with you.  I know nothing about decorating, my friends.  But I have tons of ideas and can't wait to get started!  I have an entire entry way that is 100% empty.  Yikes!  It's a blank slate just waiting to be painted.

* Besides a few "business" obligations I have already committed to, I will be blogging purely for pleasure!  I feel like I'll only be sharing the "good stuff" with you from now on.  No more manufactured posts.  I will be blogging authentically.

 

The truth is:  I am excited.

Starting today, I will live first and blog second.  Instead of the other way around.

Snippets of SNAP!

Oh, SNAP!  It's been almost 10 days since I returned from SNAP conference, and I have been dying to share some snippets with you!  SNAP was an incredible experience for me!  I decided to attend SNAP to celebrate the friends and connections I've built in the blogging community over the last 2 1/2 years.  I have created some really dear friendships with blogging friends.  To have all of these girls in the same place was just plain amazing.

So 2 weeks ago, my sweet husband patiently drove me to Utah (Thanksgiving Point, to be exact).  It worked out beautifully so we had several family events in Utah the very same week as SNAP.  I had the chance to see my entire extended family plus my blogging friends--all in one busy week!

Unfortunately, the unthinkable happened.  My camera took a tumble out of the car and my best lens broke just days before leaving town.  So I took far fewer photos than I would have liked.  Yet another reason to return next year for SNAP 2013! :)  But I do have a few snippets to share!

Thanksgiving Point was a stunning location.  And those tulips! I couldn't get enough of those tulips!

My brand new business cards had arrived just in time.  Phew.

Top:  Kelli & {me}; Middle:  Amy, Amy, {me}, & Gwen; Bottom: {me}, Michelle, & Aimee

I could hardly wait to check in and get started!

Everywhere I went, I heard the same comment, "I love your bag!!"

The amazing Kellie from Nest of Posies made this bag just in time for SNAP, and I am still crushing on how cute this is!

{me}, Amanda, Michelle

These gals were my room-mates and pals.  LOVE them!  And we totally rocked the Homes.com photo booth!

The food was delicious!  Is it sad/slightly pathetic that I judge almost all events by the food?!  Thanksgiving Point really knows how to throw a party!  And welcome to my world, Velata fondue (a new product from Scentsy.)  YUM!  Those chocolate-covered strawberries were definitely a highlight for me.

One of my favorite parts about SNAP was the make-and-take crafts.  I'm a hands-on type of girl!  After doing some sitting, I needed to CREATE!  I made this cute glasses pouch.  Yeah. I love it.

It was definitely a meeting of creative minds.  The classes were jampacked full of talented speakers (many of my blogging idols!), and everywhere I turned--I found someone else I was dying to meet!  I only wish I had more time with every one of these people!

These Arizona girls, Kristyn and Kelli, are some of the sweetest!

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SNAP!

The last few weeks have been bursting with change.  {Some good change, and some bad!}  But lots of excitement here in the oopsey house.  And now a whole new burst of excitement is on its way:  SNAP blogging conference!  Even thought my house is still in boxes, I am doing my best to pack my bags to head to Utah for SNAP conference!  Yes, in just 10 days (April 19-21)  I will be chatting blogging/crafting with blogging friends from around the country at Thanksgiving Point in Utah.

I'm not going to lie:  I'm nervous!  I always get nervous.  But the creative blogging community is so generous, friendly, and kind.  I can hardly wait to get there and get started!  I know it's going to be fantastic.  But sometime in the next week, I need to come up with 3 outfits.  Because I can't find most of my clothes, I may have to buy all new outfits!  (Just ask mr. oopsey daisy how he feels about that!)

Will you be at SNAP?  Promise me you'll introduce yourself to me!  I am actually terrible at matching people's profile pictures to the real deal, so please come tell me hello if I don't realize who you are!

I hope you will join me tonight for Wednesday's Wowzers!

Spring Soiree Recap {CO Bloggers Meet-up!}

I realize that I am a little late in posting my recap of our fabulous Colorado Bloggers' Spring Soiree last Saturday. Better late than never, I hope!

I have been itching to share all of the fun details with you.  I am still on a "blogging high."  There is nothing like talking "blogging" with people who understand.  This is definitely my favorite part of blogging--sharing and connecting with other people.

Yes, when I started blogging, I genuinely believed I was the only creative blogger in Colorado!  So imagine my excitement when we had a line (yes, a line!!) form precisely at 1:00.

Shhhh don't tell, but we weren't even quite ready when guests started to arrive with their printed tickets!  (Look at us-- so official!)  Sweet C's Designs created these fun favor bags that we stuffed with paint that Plaid donated for the event.

Kojo Designs (Kirstin) and I joined forces to make some really yummy treats!  I thought we would have oodles left over--but there was not even 1 cupcake left standing.  For the 2 days before the Spring Soiree, I turned my kitchen into a bakery.  More on the cupcake details later.  They were fun (and yummy!).  And don't you love those toppers?  Kirstin made those--and named all of the cupcakes after Colorado places... "Mile High Oreo", "Red Rocks Red Velvet", etc.  Super cute!  By the way, she also designed all of the cute graphics!  She's a rockstar!

After introductions, we had some crafting fun!  Pick Your Plum donated all of the crafting supplies.  They are incredible!  Ladies had the chance to make a moustache necklace, modpodged shamrocks, and painted earrings.

We had some really incredible items donated for giveaways!  I kept punching in numbers on random.org for giveaway winners.  (By the way, who knew that random.org frequently repeats winning numbers!!  Thankfully we had a patient group!)  Better Together (Angela) introduced items and I yelled out those lucky numbers.

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A Bit of Business {and a Colorado Meet-up!}

Happy Leap Day!  Normally I don't post on Wednesdays.  But February 29 is a cool day to post... I couldn't miss it!  I have a few {very important!} items of business.

First up...

Remember this little gadget?  Well, I removed it from my blog a month ago because Google has announced that as of tomorrow, March 1st, this service will be removed from all non-blogger blogs.  (That's me!) Because Oopsey Daisy is hosted by WordPress, you will no longer be able to connect with Oopsey Daisy through Google Friend Connect.  And this begins tomorrow!

This is a total bummer for me because I have followed so many of your blogs through this handy little gadget!  But I would still love to be friends!  There are still many ways that we can connect, so I would encourage you to keep in touch!

I would love for you to join me here...

Follow via Feedburner

Facebook

Google Plus

Twitter

Pinterest

Now speaking of keeping in touch... I have exciting news for Colorado readers!  Perhaps you have heard of a little blog called Make It and Love It.  Well, Ashley's amazing blog was the first blog I ever started reading.  In fact, her projects were the first ones I ever tried to make on my own.  Well, imagine my happiness when she moved to Colorado! And she's hosting a fabulous get together next Saturday, March 10 from 1-5 p.m.!

And I will be there!

I hope if you're in Colorado, you'll consider coming for snacks and crafts!  I'm even bringing cupcakes--a whole lot of cupcakes!  So I hope you'll be hungry for sweet treats!  Join us here:

Double Tree Hotel (one of their conference rooms), in Aurora, CO.  13696 East Iliff Place, Aurora, Colorado, 80014

I can't wait to meet some of you!  How very exciting!  If you're in the Colorado area, please consider joining us!  Just RSVP here! Have a great day!

How to Watermark Your Pictures

It's been a long while since I shared a blogging how-to tutorial.  Several readers have asked how to create watermarks for their blogging photos, so here is the answer (finally!) to that question!

 

First of all, you may be wondering why bother with watermarks at all!

Watermarks are practical, not pretty!  I sure do wish that I didn't have to worry about that extra step of adding a watermark to each and every one of my blog photos.  I like the look of my photos much better without the extra mess in my pictures.

BUT time and time again, I am grateful for my little watermark because it protects my work.  And I must say--when I work hard to create something PLUS take pictures to share with you... well, I want the credit for my creations and my photos.  I have found my photos and printables plastered on unauthorized sites (some of them kind of creepy!), claimed as the property of others. Thanks to my trusty watermark, I can request that the webmaster remove my photographs because they are marked as my own.

Unfortunately, there are many instances where people use my photographs without linking back to Oopsey Daisy.  But readers see my watermark and can know where to find me!  It's like my own little signature.  Although I know many bloggers don't use watermarks, I find them to be essential.

I used Photoshop to created my watermark, but you don't have to!  I will also show you how you can create a watermark using free online resources also.

Create a Watermark Using Photoshop

 

You could definitely stop here at this step if you choose.  I chose to stylize my watermark just a little bit...

 

 


Don't have Photoshop?  No biggie.  Just go to Picnik.com, upload your photo, and go to the "Create" tab.  Here, there is  a text option where you can select from plenty of fun fonts!  You type in your watermark in a box and you voila!  You have a watermark!

I have never used Picnik until creating this tutorial.  I must say that I am a fan!  If you don't own Photoshop, definitely use Picnik to spruce up your pictures!  It's easy to use... and it's free!

How is your week going??


Ten Blogging Tips

No doubt about it, I am completely BLESSED to do what I love.


I actually get to wake up each morning and make stuff... and then share it with YOU!  I have the opportunity to connect with other creative minds.  I am so blessed, and I tell myself this every day.

But I am still no expert.  I am learning new things each day. But occasionally I receive e-mails with questions from newbie bloggers.  Today, I am sharing what has worked for me.  So this is me on my soapbox with ten of my best blogging tips!

1.  No one will magically find your blog.  You simply have to put yourself (and your links!) out there.  This takes a bit of work on your end.  I attribute most of my blog's early growth to my participation in link parties.  I regularly linked up to every link party that I could find, and this introduced other bloggers to Oopsey Daisy.  Don't forget to be social at the parties!  Thank your party host, make some friends, and go visit other blogs.  You can visit my link parties page to see what link parties I support.

2. True confessions:  When I began blogging, I was afraid to feature others.  I viewed other bloggers as competition.  I was oh so wrong!  My friend Shelley said it best:  "There is enough internet for all of us!"  Bloggers are networkers, and connecting with other bloggers will only help your own blog to grow.  When I started my Wednesday's Wowzers weekly feature, I was pleasantly surprised that I often gained support by featuring others' work.  Readers love seeing new ideas, and they will appreciate your good taste.  I promise you that blogging karma is real.  What goes around comes around!  When you feature another's work, they are more likely to remember you and pay it forward.

Bloggy News

A bit of blogging news...

Do you tweet? If so, join me on Twitter!! I swore I would never do it, but I started up an account yesterday. I am still learning the in's and out's.


Have you noticed my sidebar lately? All of the link parties I participate in are organized in cute little categories sorted by day. Now, I won't have to clutter the ends of my post with link party buttons any more!! I used this fabulous tutorial by my gal, Sweet Little Smoothie. We all know I am not an HTML expert at all, so this tutorial was perfect for me! It walks you through everything so you can resize your buttons and organize them. No more button clutter! So if you're in need of some bloggy organization, check it out. Thank you, Sweet Little Smoothie!!


PS Just a shout-out to my Utah readers.... my family is in Utah for the weekend for a wedding!! Haven't traveled with the Little Man in along time, so this is a fun adventure!!

Cute as a button! (Finally)

**I just realized that for many of the layouts, my original button was too large, so I have changed to a smaller size that should work better!  Thanks for bearing with my LACK OF computer skills!**


Check out my sidebar!  I finally have a button!  I followed the amazing tutorial by Little Miss Crafty Pants. It took me all weekend to stumble through HTML codes and realize I was missing a quote mark and that's why it wouldn't work. I was pulling my hair out!  I am definitely not a computer programmer.  Ah well, it's done now.  Check it out...











Feel free to grab one!  Have a fabulous day!

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