the written word

i’m a writer-downer.  always have been.  now research proves why it can be a good thing and i am sharing a little bit about it with my friends at focusing on life today.

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it works for me….try it for yourself and see.

love, kelly

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farewell summer

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for growth and for beauty.  for family and connection. for friendship.  for adventure and joy.  for rest.  for change.

yes…you read that right…for change.

and for the light.  always for the light.

thank you summer.

love, kelly

Posted in life | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

my favorite wordpress plugins

i’m just going to apologize in advance…

i know that behind the scenes blog stuff like plugins and widgets can be really boring to read about if you are not into blogging.  but for the past four years, i’ve learned alot about blogging and wordpress.  it’s taken me a while, but i’ve finally figured out how to make my blog look and perform the way i want it to. 

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well for the most part.

at any rate, i thought today i would share with you some of nuts and bolts about my blog.  and also, some of my favorite plugins for 1) functionality and 2) presentation.

so first things first.  i have a self-hosted blog using wordpress.org software (which is separate from the free wordpress.com blog service that i started out with).  i registered my domain name (mindingmynest.com) with godaddy and it costs approximately $15/year.  in addition, i use liquid web for my web-hosting (an online service that provides storage space) which costs about $75/year.

if this sounds like another language, well you’re in good company…this is the extent of my knowledge of having an internet presence.  thankfully, all of the above-referenced services have wonderful customer service and are extremely helpful for those of us who are techno-challenged.

so the next thing to know is that what you see at my blog is determined by my blog theme (or template).  i use the the free, wordpress twenty-ten theme, but there are literally hundreds of websites that offer premium ($) wordpress themes with all types of design aesthetics. 

are you bored yet?  just wait…it gets better.

now…all of those things i’ve just talked about affect the basic functionality and layout of my blog.  but the way to really customize a wordpress blog is by the use of plugins and/or widgets.

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the following is a list of my favorite wordpress.org plugins:

  • jetpack for wordpress (there are so many plugins that come in this bundle…i highly recommend it!)

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  • akismet (you would not believe how much spam comes through my comments and akismet filters it all out so i never have to see it.)

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  • custom page order (i like being able to arrange my about me, contact, blogroll, pages underneath my header image)

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  • exclude pages (often, i’ll use a ‘page’ as a central repository for pictures or other links and exclude pages let me hide it from the page list under the header image)

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  • link within (shows related material at the bottom of each post –a nice way to keep some of my older material in rotation)

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  • pin it button for pinterest  (admittedly, i don’t have a lot of ‘pinable’ content, but this plugin adds a small red pin button when you hover over an image)

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  • wp gallery custom links (a huge thanks to my friend barb for sharing this awesome plugin which lets you create a photo gallery with links to blog content)

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so i hope i haven’t completely bored you to death.  and i know that i really glossed over alot of the plugins, so if you have any specific questions, feel free leave them in the comments or contact me via email.  i’m happy to share the limited knowledge that i have learned over the past few years.

i would just like to close here by adding this – if you’ve ever thought about starting a blog…just do it.  you can start small by using the free blogspot or wordpress platforms.  they are both really easy and user friendly.  and just speaking from personal experience, having a blog has been an incredibly gratifying avenue for self-expression. 

go forth and blog.

love, kelly

Posted in blogging | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

catching up

good morning my friends.

whenever i write posts like this, i like to imagine that we’re sitting on my back porch drinking coffee…catching up like old friends would do.  we don’t worry that we don’t have on any makeup.  we don’t worry about our bedheads (right now i’m sporting a messy ponytail that appears to be sliding down one side of the back of my head).  this morning it’s just us and our favorite mugs.  and i’m so happy that you are here.

hello friday. i'm so happy to see you.

so in my neck of the woods, we are starting to see signs of things to come…summer is winding down…i can tell that fall is eager to make its appearance.

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it seems like we have TONS more acorns than usual.  i thought it was just me at first, but tripp said something about it the other day too.  and so i googled it….get this, according to the farmers’ almanac, an ‘unusual abundance of acorns’ is one (of many) indicators of a rough winter.

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#helpme

but it’s not just in the leaves and acorns…i can see that the seasons are changing by the way light falls in my kitchen.

I can tell that the seasons are changing by the way the light falls in my kitchen.

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i love chasing the light around my house.

anyway, even though i’ve been busy with alot of fun creative stuff, i am missing my girl something terrible.

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i know she’s been really stressed out – between classes, and interning, and working she has a very full plate. i wish there was something i could do to help.  so i just listen… i have given her a lifetime ‘vent to mom’ permit.  and i am so thankful for technology that helps me feel connected to her.

in other news, the monarchs are making their appearance in my neighbors yard….the one with all the overgrown, orange cosmos.

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oh be still my heart.

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i spent a good 20 minutes the other day chasing them around.  and it never ceases to amaze me the amount of joy these beauties bring.

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also, i am still obsessed with sunsets.

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so this week the thenester.com announced that she’ll be hosting the 31 day writing challenge again this year.  i’ve been pondering my topic for this year….i don’t have it all fleshed out quite yet, but i think it will be along the lines of this post that i wrote for last year’s series.  because i love finding magic and wonder in my ordinary life.

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as always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me share it with you.

happy friday my friends.  love, kelly

Posted in life | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

diy framed picture hanger

pinterest strikes again.

you guys probably already know this…but in case you’re new around here, i am passionate about printing photos. passionate about having real, life photos around the house.  in frames. on the fridge.

well anyway, several months ago i pinned this adorable framed picture hanger.

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i love the funky,vintage feel to it.   and that chicken wire?  please…adorable.

sidenote:  whenever i stumble across pins that don’t link back directly to the source, i always try to find the original post to share the link.  for this pin i couldn’t find exactly this photo,but i did find a similar post on the photographer’s blog…it can be found here:  http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2013/04/03/diy-origrami-chicken-wire-frame/

it’s been a project on my short list for a while now…ever since i took over the upstairs office. and this past friday i decided to blow off my house work and instead, enlist my mom to help me scavenge some of the antique stores nearby for some old, vintage, CHEAP (!!), picture frames to do something like this to hang on the wall in my office.

i am happy to report that it was a successful mission…altogether, these four frames cost me twenty bucks!  wooohoo!  can you say score?!

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and i thought today, i would show you all how i ended up making this ridiculously easy, DIY picture hanger.  all you need is pair of needle-nose pliers, some crackle medium and/or craft paint, some twine, and a staple gun.

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the first thing i did was remove all the hardware (eye hooks, staples, etc.) from the back of the frame.

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then i brushed on a coat of this crackle medium over the whole surface and let it dry.

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mine only took about 30 minutes outside, but depending on your brand and conditions it could take longer.  anyway once it was dry, i brushed on a coat of black craft paint.

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sidenote:  while we were out shopping, i saw several displays for that new style of chalk paint that all my friends have been raving about.  i bet it would be adorable on a project like this. i might try that next time.

but i love the crackled look!

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next i stapled the twine across the back of the frame kind of in a loose zigzag.  and look how cute!

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i went to do this same technique with the big frame i got, but i ended up leaving it painted cream.  sort of a shaggy chic vibe (emphasis on the shaggy). then i strung the twine the same way and voila!

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i have to tell you…this might be my favorite project EVER.  i am totally in love with it.  so cute hanging (and fitting i might add) above the little table where i have my project life album set up.

and i cannot even deal with how cute these mini-clothes pins are.

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i probably got mine from either hobby lobby or michaels, but can also order them from amazon if you’d prefer.

in addition to pictures, i’ve also added some little snippets here and there.  quotes that have spoken to me or current calligraphy projects.

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it’s a little sparse now – i’m giving it some room grow – but i think it will be really awesome when i gets a little more filled out.

which is the real fun of this project anyway.

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love, kelly

Posted in crafts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments