Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Blogger's Digest Social Blog Hop!

Hi everyone, welcome to another week of The Blogger's Digest!  I'm happy to be back in town and up to another week of co-hosting this link up with several lovely ladies!  It's been a fun month with all of them and I hope you'll check out their blogs, too!

The Blogger's Digest is a social blog hop to connect with other bloggers, share what you've been up to recently and link up your social media accounts!

Don't forget to share the link up with your readers - the more people who link up, the more exposure you'll be getting!

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  1. Ericka from This Crazy Thing Called Life 
  2. Poekitten from Many Waters 
  3. Mary Leigh from Thrift for Today 
  4. Amanda from Happily Ever After 
  5. Nancy from My Little Criatura 
  6. Keren from Fabulous Farm Living 
  7. Shannon from Mamamusing 
If you are interested in co-hosting, please contact Jessica at piganddac {at} live {dot} com.

Monday, October 28, 2013

DIY Feather Hairclip

Happy Monday!  I think I've finally caught up a little bit around blog-land since our fun vacation and I'm almost through those photos to share with you soon!  In the meantime, I wanted to share a quick and simple little project I threw together over the weekend for a costume party with some friends.

We were pretty last minute with our costumes and really didn't want to spend much money on them, so we decided to go as a couple from the 1920's.  I had a black kind of frilly dress and honey had a sweet tuxedo that he snagged from a local thrift store for a whopping $10 a few months back (and it fits like a charm!)  So we thought that seemed easy enough.

And so I stopped by Michael's (because I love the 40% off coupons) to pick up a fun feather boa and something to make a hair piece with.

My plan was to make a sparkly elastic headband with some feathers, but then I saw a fun little group of feathers with felt backing and immediately snatched it up.  With some hot glue, a bobby-pin, and a piece of a notecard, I had a great little hair clip that matched perfectly to the boa.

I thought I would just put a dot of hot glue on the back of the feathers and attach the bobby pin, but quickly realized that would just glue the pin together and I wouldn't be able to use it in my hair.

So, I cut a small slip of a notecard and placed it between the top and bottom of the bobby pin to protect the underside of the pin and give the glue a flat surface to stick to.  I put the glue directly onto the pin/notecard then stuck it to the feathers so that it looked like this:

I held it for about 2 minutes for the glue to hold and then left it out for a while to be sure the glue was totally dry.  Finally, I pinned it in my hair the same way I would any regular bobby-pin.  And ta-da!  A fun, feather hair clip minus the itchy elastic band around my forehead.

I'd say that was 5 minutes well spent.  And I think we looked super cute, if I do say so myself.  :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Out of the office

HAPPY FRIDAY, FRIENDS! This is a super Friday for me since until yesterday the hubs and I were living the dream on a cruise ship to and from The Bahamas.  We had a blast and I cannot wait to share it all with you soon.  Until then though, I've got all of your lovely comments to read and reply to and lots of laundry to do of my own.

So be sure to check back on Monday and we'll recap all the fun of this week.

I hope you have the best if weekends!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Words for your Wednesday

Hi there!  Does anyone know what day it is?  Anyone?  I'm going with the assumption that you get that fun commercial reference and are smiling now.

Today I'm sharing some of the simple and still beautiful words that I've pinned recently.  If you check out my Quotes & Printables board, you'll find these and more and basically, I wish I had enough walls to hang them all.  But I don't, so I'm sharing them with you here in case you haven't seen them yet.

I want this one over my front door.  Or by my keys as I walk out into the garage.  Or in the kitchen.  I just really like it and I think the flowers are so cute.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Taylor Swift Concert, four years later

This story starts 4 years ago in the fall of 2009.  Hubs and I had been dating for almost a year and a half and he, being the kind and thoughtful person he is, decided to buy tickets to the Taylor Swift concert for us.  It was a weekend show and the seats were awesome.  

 I will never forget when he so proudly let me know that we had tickets and to mark my calendar.  And I was pumped.  Until I realized that we had a home football game that day.

 I was in the marching band in college and we were required to be at each home game unless we gave enough notice to our director so that we wouldn't be written into the show's drill for that game.  And so, hubs sold the tickets online.  He recouped all of his costs, but I was definitely sad to hand those tickets over to the stranger in front of one of our favorite restaurants before we went in to celebrate a year and a half.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thanks, Pinterest

Happy Friday, friends!  Today, I'm mixing the Five on Friday routine up a bit to share some fun ways Pinterest has been bringing traffic this old blog and tips to help you utilize those pins as well.  So I've put together my Top 5 Pinterest Tips, thus far and I look forward t hearing yours as well!

I missed the boat on the initial Pinterest craze.  I created an account and then deactivated it, because I didn't see much value in it.  I could search for things without an account, and I just didn't get into pinning things.  

And then I started blogging regularly.  Then I started paying attention to blog traffic.  And I started to understand the value in being on pinterest, actively pinning and re-pinning great pins and posting pin-worthy images with the little Thrift for Today URL.  

I've read it over and over again - how important it is to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog and I'm happy to report that this has officially become one of my top sources of traffic.  And while I won't totally venture out to say that I consider this as passive traffic.  I almost will, because frankly, some of my most popular pins for the blog are ones that y'all have pinned on your own and not directly from my boards.  And they're being re-pinned by your followers.  So a big THANK YOU to those of you that pin directly from the blog and those of you that are followers and pin from my boards.  I appreciate all of you.  

I especially appreciate it when I'm away from the promotional side of the blog for a while.  I've got what I consider to be a great list of link parties here that I try to frequent (and recommend you checking out, as well), which is helpful for promoting posts and finding other great posts to read.  But there are sometimes when simply getting things posted is a big accomplishment and I can promote a little,but I just am not on my a-game when it comes to linking up.  

And Pinterest has been really helpful in continuing to get posts out there when I'd rather be sleeping.  Or cleaning the house.  Or cooking dinner.  Or going to work.  Or going on dates with the hubs.  

So, thanks Pinterest and thanks to all of you who are pinning and re-pinning.  Below is a quick list of things I've learned so far: 


1. Take Great Photos
I think this one goes without explaining.  Your pins are more likely to be repinned if they look great and you want them to be repinned.  

2. Pin Directly From Your Blog
I've got a great little hover button for all the images that allows me and any of you readers to simply click on pin to have images pinned directly from the blog.  This is important so that your images don't just simply get uploaded without a link back to your post.  It also increases the likelihood that your images will be pinned since you've made it easier.  A simple websearch will allow you to find tutorials for adding these buttons.

3. Re-pin Other Great Pins
Because you'll want to save those for future ideas and will give more interesting things for your followers to look at.  My favorite pinners are those that are posting from a whole wide range of places with really great ideas and tips.  So be diverse.  Pin and Re-Pin.  

4. Re-pin photos from old posts
Or go back and create great images for posts without pictures.  All of your posts that you want to get out there should have some sort of image that is pinnable.  If not, even if it's a great post, it's not going on Pinterest.  I'm always surprised by how much more traffic old posts have gotten simply by a new pin.  

5.  Just be on Pinterest
Because how else can you know when people are pinning your posts?    

You can count this as preaching to the choir if you're already using Pinterest.  And if for any reason you're not or are not actively using it to connect with readers, that's my humble blog tip.  I say humble, because of course, I've still got a lot to learn. 

Do you have any pinning tips?  What has been most helpful in promoting your posts when you need to be away from the computer? 

Are we friends on Pinterest?  If you leave a comment letting me know you're a new follower, I'll be happy to stop by and follow back.  And maybe even to re-pin a thing or two.  :)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Blogger's Digest Blog Hop #10

The Blogger's Digest is a place for bloggers to share their latest {or greatest} posts and build connections with other bloggers. Thank you so much to everyone who has been linking up, I've been hearing a lot of great feedback! You are guys are linking up and visiting each others' blogs, exactly what a blog hop is supposed to be! We have new bloggers linking up every week, so be sure to keep coming back and making new connections.
  1. Ericka from This Crazy Thing Called Life - Bloglovin
  2. Poekitten from Many Waters - Bloglovin
  3. Mary Leigh from Thrift for Today - Bloglovin
  4. Amanda from Happily Ever After - Bloglovin
  5. Nancy from My Little Criatura - Bloglovin
  6. Keren from Fabulous Farm Living - Bloglovin
  7. Mackenzie from Bell Bliss - Bloglovin
  8. Shannon from Mamamusing - Bloglovin
If you are interested in being put on the list for co-hosting, contact me at piganddac@live.com
  1. DIY Rustic Cupcake Stand - Root & Blossom
  2. Spicy Chipotle Chicken with Sweet Potatoes in Gravy - Patience in the Jungle
  3. Cloth Diapers for Dummies - Joyful Life
  4. Pumpkin Buttermilk Waffles - In the Kitchen with Jenny
  5. Natural Homemade Jewelry Cleaner - New Mama Diaries
Let's get this party started! How to join along and gain some followers:
  • Follow your host and co-hosts on at least one social media platform - we all follow back!
  • Submit a post from your blog.
  • Share your social media links {Bloglovin, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, & Instagram}
  • Connect with other bloggers and follow those who follow you!
  • If you "like" someone's Facebook page, leave them a message with the link to your page if you'd like a follow back, otherwise they won't be able to find your blog's page.
  • Link back to the blog hop in whatever way you feel most comfortable - the more people who join along, the better for all of us!

Monday, October 14, 2013

The one where we made it through a corn maze

I don't know about you, but I've been seeing a lot of "Fall Bucket Lists" floating around on pinterest and in blog land these days.  And this may or may not come as a surprise, but I don't have an official bucket list for this season.  I love almost everything about fall, so I want to soak it in as much as I can.  

And what says fall more than a pumpkin patch and a corn maze?  (That's rhetorical...)

I've actually never been to a corn maze, other than ones specifically for kids before so I was very thankful to one of my friends who offered me a groupon for admission for two to a local corn maze.  It was soon to expiring so she let me use it.  (Thanks again!!)  I immediately called my sister since I knew she'd have the weekend off and within about 3 minutes, we had plans for Saturday.  

Rules for the maze were as follows:
Good, family friendly fun...just my style. :)

Everyone had a stamp card that was time stamped before entering and upon exit so you could see how long it took you to complete the maze.  To complete the maze though, you had to find a total of 16 punch stations and punch your card with the correct hole punches.

In total, if you were to go straight through, I think the maze was about 2.5 miles.  It took us about 1.5 hours to complete and I'm pretty sure we walked at least 3 miles, but more likely 3.5.  Honestly, I was shocked at how easy it was to get lost and was so thankful to have my sister there to help me figure it out.  We had a blast going through there together!

At the end of the maze, everyone got these adorable little stickers that say "I conquered the corn maze!"  and having completed it, I was particularly proud of that little sticker.  

And I think we might go back.  But with a big group of friends in teams to see who can complete the maze the quickest.  By figuring it out and not by running, of course, per the 2 mph speed limit.  ;)

What a fun fall day!  

What are some of the fun things you're doing to celebrate this season?

Be sure to stop by Wednesday for this week's Blogger's Digest!

Friday, October 11, 2013

High Five for Friday

Well, friends.  I missed last weeks' high five for Friday link up and totally underestimated how much I would miss it.  I like these weekly kind of catch-all posts that encapsulate some of the fun things that are making me happy.

It's fun to share these things during the week and a great way to start off the weekend.  So, Friday, I'm glad you're back.  I'm really glad you're back.  And friends, I'm happy to share some Five Friday Favorites with you today!  Happy Friday!!

1: Smartphones.  Yes, just smartphones in general.  Until last week, the hubs and I had been using very basic, talk & text only phones.  And I'm happy to report that we have finally made the switch to a smartphone.  Of course, I'm not entirely sure how to use all the features just yet, but I am happy to be able to connect on the go.  We ended up switching carriers to T-Mobile and have been thus far happy with that decision.  I'm working on a review post for the upcoming week, so be sure to check back for that.  And below is the phone that we got - the LG Optimus L9.  So far so good.

2:  Friday, Friday, Friday.  This has been a rainy week around here and I realize that this one is kind of cheating since of course it's Friday.  But I'm really happy for the weekend...so I'm counting it. 

3.  These cookies.  I've made them twice now and they've been a hit each time.  If you don't have plans tonight, I suggest making them for the weekend.  And if you do have plans, I suggest bookmarking or pinning them for later.  You won't regret it.  Original post here.

4. This rug.  Picked it up on a spontaneous trip to Home Goods last weekend and it's been happily resting in front of our front door entryway ever since.
Testing it out in the store...I had to.
5.  Cleaning and organizing our home.  I went on a cleaning spree last weekend.  I mean a real clean everything spree.  This was partly inspired by having family visit on Sunday and partly inspired by recently getting rid of lots of things we don't need.  (And by getting rid of, I mean donating.  As much as I enjoy shopping at our local thrift stores, I feel okay about it, because we are constantly on the lookout for clutter in our home.  And when we find it, it goes in a nice little pile to be donated.  (I define clutter as anything that's taking up space that I don't really like, or have a purpose for, or anything that I haven't used in 1+ years.)  

What are your top 5 this week?  

And, to get back to the routine, I'm linking up at the regular Friday parties today.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Blogger's Digest Blog Hop #9

Happy Wednesday, friends!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  I don't know about the weather where you are, but we went from mid-80's to pretty chilly in a matter of 2 days it seems like, so this girl is trying to stay in a hoodie as often as possible.  Welcome back, fall, I suppose.  :)

Weather small talk aside though, I'm excited to be co-hosting the Blogger's Digest again this week!  Be sure to link up your social media sites below and visit some of the other fun blogs, too!  I've got some pretty lovely ladies that I'm co-hosting with this week, so it would be awesome if you followed them, too.  And of course, we'd all love it if you shared the hop with your own followers and encourage them to link up.  The old saying is true in this case - "the more the merrier!"  

The Blogger's Digest is a place for bloggers to share their latest {or greatest} posts and build connections with other bloggers. You can also share your blog's social media links so we can all follow along! To get the most out of a blog hop, it's encouraged to stop by and visit others' blogs and let them know you were there.

Monday, October 7, 2013

My favorite chocolate chip cookies

Apparently, I'm becoming quite the little cookie monster around here.  I'm not sure what has spurred this little cookie making spree around our house, but I've been baking them like crazy.  See most recent cookie post here.

I've tried chocolate chip cookies before and have been looking for a recipe that I can dub as my favorite - easy, delicious, and still a little bit soft and chewy the next day.  If you look at my pinterest boards, you'll find several links that claim to be the "best chocolate chip cookies".  And well, I'm working through them.

I'm happy to report though that this recipe might just take the cake, or cookie, for the best recipe.  It's my favorite so far anyway.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thrift Tip: Birthday Freebies

It's been a while since I've shared a fun Thrift Tip with you all and this is one that I am really excited to share. Mostly because it deals with celebrating my birthday and because it involves lots of little things spread throughout the week that were free and delicious all thanks to birthday e-clubs for some of my favorite places.  

Do you see all the "happy birthdays" on the Caribou cup?!  Made my day. 

Burgers, hibachi chicken, cafe sandwich lattes, and a burrito all for free simply for signing up for e-clubs at some of my favorite restaurants.  

Now, that's a recipe for a very yummy birthday week!  

For more birthday freebies, see Crystal's post here at Money Saving Mom!

What are your favorite birthday freebies?  Please share; I love to find new places to add to my list.  :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

As promised: The Blogger's Digest Blog Hop!

In case you missed the memo, I'm happy to be co-hosting this month's Blogger's Digest!  This is a social media link up and a great way to meet new blogger's.  Be sure to let others know!  Now, to the party!

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Hi and welcome to The Blogger's Digest!
The Blogger's Digest is a place for bloggers to share their latest {or greatest} posts and build connections with other bloggers. You can also share your blog's social media links so we can all follow along! To get the most out of a blog hop, it's encouraged to stop by and visit others' blogs and let them know you were there.

  Our Co-Hosts This Month  photo 4201309292303369_CoHoststhisone2_zpsb41dd53b.jpg  
If you are interested in being put on the list as a co-host, email me: piganddac {at} live {dot} com

Last Week's Highlights  photo highlights_zps88bdd154.jpg
1. Play-doh Excitement - Delineate Your Dwelling
2. Stop Solider Suicide - Happily Ever After
3. 6 Words to Say to Your Child - Baby for Scale
Let's get this party started! How to join along:
  • Submit a post from your blog. It can be about anything!
  • Share your social media links so we can follow along with your blog
  • Connect with other bloggers and follow those who follow you!
  • If you "like" someone's Facebook page, leave them a message with the link to your page if you'd like a follow back, otherwise they won't be able to find your fan page.
  • Link back to the blog hop in whatever way you feel most comfortable - the more people who join along, the better for all of us!