Behind The Blog \\ Thoughts On Creating & Sharing Content

July 29, 2014

This is just one of those things that I sit on for a long time. I sit. Stewing. And thinking. And stewing. Then I forget about it and go on my merry way. And then something happens and I’m back stewing all over again.

Confetti Balloon Favor Envelopes

Whenever someone asks me about blogging, they assume that it’s all pretty photo shoots and getting free stuff in the mail and being your own boss and “oh so cute!”. Half the time, when someone finds out what I do, that’s the response.

“You blog? That’s so cute.”

Yes, it is cute. Er, it can be cute. I’m happy to photograph cute things and share them with all eleven of you. That’s part of the fun.

And yes, it can be awesome to be your own boss. But technically, I’m not. I’m only one of my bosses. I have about 8 bosses at the moment. And it can be a little tricky to manage if you don’t have enough Diet Coke stocked in the fridge.

One of the toughest parts about blogging is mastering the management of time. I’d like to master the art of reversing time, but whaddayado? You have to manage emails, deadlines, employees, invoices, incomes, props, ads, campaigns, sponsors, etc. It can be a little exhausting.

For me, I currently contribute to several larger sites while still (totally scraping by!!!) managing my own blog. I work around the clock. When Vita’s eyes are closed, my laptop is open or my camera is on and my brain is spinning with ideas for new projects. It’s tiring, and I sometimes wish that I could just unplug at night and decompress with my family. But then I remember that because I want to spend my days doing what I love and being with the little girl that I love, I have to keep plugging along and find a way to keep moving.
Confetti Balloon Favor Envelopes

But it’s tough to do. I’m guilty of doing the online comparing thing. And that can be dangerous. I have to remember that everyone moves at their own pace.

I want this place to be one of inspiration. Whatever I share here, I want it to do something for you. I want you to laugh. I want you to be happy. I want you to feel creative. I want you to feel inspired. And I want you to feel like you’ve got it all, folks.

Confetti Balloon Favor Envelopes

As someone who works hard to create internet awesomeness, it feels amazing to have your work shared by friends, new and old, who inspire you! I always love finding my work around the webs. It’s neat!

However, what isn’t neat? When I find my work being credited with a “via pinterest”. Pals, I’m sure you know this, but I feel like I need to shout it at the top of my lungs.

THAT’S NOT THE WAY, MY FRIENDS!

Turn back.

This occasionally happens to me, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I’ll usually send a quick little email asking if the author could change the info and link me as the source. And most of the time, it’s taken care of rather quickly. It’s always polite. It’s always courteous. And it never becomes a big deal.

I’m lucky that this doesn’t happen to me too often. But I have friends that it happens to all the time! Can you believe that?!? As bloggers/freelancers, we try to make a living off the content we create and share online. And if we aren’t recognized as the original creator, we miss out on other opportunities, amiright? I think it’s wonderful to have my work shared, and in turn, share the work of others. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Pals, I know I don’t need to elaborate on this topic. I’ll just say that it is easier than you think to find photo credits. If you find something that you want to share that wasn’t yours, just credit! Can’t find the credit because you found it through Pinterest and you just keep going ’round and ’round in “via Pinterest” circles? You can use BING’s reverse image search. It’s that easy. If you can’t find the credit no matter how hard you have tried, then I urge you not to use that photo. You might not think it, but you could be doing a disservice to the blogger in question.

Confetti Balloon Favor Envelopes

This is something that I feel very strongly about and I’m hoping that by mentioning it here, some will become a little more aware of the potential damage that can be done. The online community is supposed to be a supportive one, so let’s support each other, mmmmmkay?!?

And listen, if I have ever used one of your photos (and you don’t want it all up on Proper) or I have credited an image wrong, please feel free to shoot me an email and tell me that changes need to be made! I get it!
Confetti Balloon Favor Envelopes Confetti Balloon Favor Envelopes

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. It can be a heated topic for some, but I always love hearing other points of view.  Has this happened to you? What do you do about it?!

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

DIY \\ Popsicle Drinking Straws

July 17, 2014

DIY Popsicle Drinking Straws DIY Popsicle Drinking Straws

I know. I post so much food here lately that you’re prob like, “DOES THE GIRL EVEN DIY ANYMORE?!?!”

I can assure you that I do. They’re just food-related projects these days! Ha! If I can’t enjoy a real popsicle, you better believe that a paper one will be in my hands all day long. My latest project for Babiekins Magazine went live today so head on over there to see how to make these crazy simple popsicle drinking straws!

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Taste It \\ Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

July 16, 2014

Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

So many of my posts recently have been about food. And with darn good reason. I just can’t let go of the sweets. And I don’t plan to. If I want to snack, it has to be on something small. And that’s just what these fortune cookie ice cream sandwiches are. They’re small. But they pack a sweet punch. Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

You’ll need:

  • fortune cookie flats (found at World Market)
  • melon baller
  • frozen yogurt or ice cream

Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Scoop. Sandwich. Freeze. Devour.

Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Repeat.
Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches Fortune Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

These guys are perfect for a little afternoon pick-me-up. Or a morning pick-me-up. And, of course, a late-night pick-me-up. Go forth and freeze.

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Fresh \\ Found

July 11, 2014

#awesomewithbing

Boom. The weekend is here. It’s Friday. It’s my favorite. I always look forward to the weekends because we try to take Vita-girl swimming. That kid loves the water. It’s so fun. I actually snapped a photo of her in the pool for Instagram and won a summer contest with Better Homes & Gardens! See the cutie here.

The photo above is a lil’ snapshot from a party with BING & The Alison Show a few weeks ago. Sharing more on that soon! Before I head off into the Friday sunset, here are a few of my fave projects this week.

These woven hanging planters give a whole new meaning to the craft.

A gold sequin cake. That’s edible. WTF?!?

These pineapple ring dishes are on point.

Ice cream cone elbow patches. I’ll take two for every sweater.

The pom pom placemat of my dreams.

Holy moly mother of flamingo. Straws.

I’d drink anything with these mod drink stirrers!

Hanging paper lanterns for parties. They’re just too pretty!

**happy weekend**

 

 

DIY \\ Paper Clip Fruit Skewers

July 10, 2014

DIY Paper Clip Fruit Skewers

It’s summer. And I’m obsessed with fruit. Only a few types of fruit these days, but fortunately, they’re all small enough to fit on these cute lil’ DIY paper clip fruit skewers.  DIY Paper Clip Fruit Skewers Head on over to Babiekins to see the full how-to!

*Disclaimer* Guys. I’m not claiming these to be 100% food-safe! Make ‘em at your own discretion. Similar to other metal skewers, I boiled these in hot water to sterilize and let them cool before using them with the fruit! Mmmkay? 

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweet Tooth

July 9, 2014

Read It: The Sweetest Books For Sweets

I love to read, but my favorite books are actually picture books. Pictures of food. Get me a book like that, and we’re BFFs forevs. I was recently organizing our book stash and found a bit of a pattern. There were more dessert books than any other type of cookbook. I collect these things like Diet Coke cans. Here are a few of my faves: Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets

This one. It was the slice of red velvet that drew me in. I forget the rest. Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets

This was one of the first I purchased after being newly married. And then I tried to make tons of the recipes. And then I gained the “Freshman 15″.  Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets

While we were shooting these, Vita-girl was sucked right in, too. It’s the pictures of cake. She may as well be licking the page.  Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets

Cutest head, right? Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets

This cover did it for me. There are lots of sweet recipes in there, and the photography is amazing. And the picture of meat? Oh, you know. Imma Ward. We are carnivores.
Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets Read It: The Sweetest Books For Your Sweets

These are just a few that I wanted to share. We’ll probably break this into a new series so that you can drool over all the pages with me!

The List:

What are your favorite go-to books for the sweets? I’m on the hunt!

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

DIY \\ 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flags

July 1, 2014

DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag

The 4th of July is one of my all-time fave holidays. Summer: check. Watermelon: check. Fireworks: check. Pie: check.  I don’t have a yard, but if I did, you had better believe it would be dressed to the nines in all sorts of flaggy goodness. (That’s a thing.) So let’s deck out your lawn and garden with these DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flags. Perfect for the garden. And perfect for the lawn. They just win at life.

flag 1

You’ll need:

  • wooden paint sticks (found at your local hardware store in the paint section)
  • red & white acrylic paint
  • foam paint brushes
  • staple gun & staples
  • Diet Coke (not optional)

DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag

DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag

Paint the sticks like a flag. You get it. Instead of painting the white stripes and stars, I just left things natural. DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag

Once all the pieces of wood have been painted and dried, staple them together with your staple gun. Staple the ends to the longer paint stick and then staple the ends of the stripes together so that they stay together.

DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag DIY 4th of July Paint Stick Garden Flag

Stick those suckers in your garden or hammer them into your lawn and then kick back with some pop-its.

And with that, I’m out for the rest of the week. We are currently in Idaho spending time with our family camping and churning butter. Kidding about the butter part. I wish you the happiest of Independence Days!

To see more projects for the 4th of July, click here!

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

DIY \\ 4th of July Sparkler Drinking Straws

June 26, 2014

4th of July Sparkler Drinking Straws

Hey pals. With the 4th around the corner, I’m gettin’ my ducks in a row. It’s a very important holiday for us over here. I think it’s the fireworks. And maybe the pie and patriotism. I’m so enthused every year for the fourth, that I go a little crazy with the decor. You can spice things up really easy with these 4th of July Sparkler Drinking Straws that I made over at Babiekins Magazine. I’m a new contributor over there! Hashtag dream come true. See my last post, a paper fruit garland with a printable template, here!

4th of July Sparkler Drinking Straws

4th of July Sparkler Drinking Straws

We’re talkin’ 3-step easy.  So you best head on over to Babiekins for the how-to and to drool over the pics. I mean, can’t you see the condensation on the bottle? Hashtag drinkable.

Click here to see the tutorial!

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel

Spotlight: In Love With Nectar & Stone

June 24, 2014

Nectar & Stone

Now, more than ever, I’m obsessed with sweets. Since I can’t really devour them to my heart’s content, I’ve become a professional looker. I could look at sweet treats all day. So when I happened upon new obsession Nectar & Stone from Melbourne, naturally, my eyes rolled into the back of my head from a sugar seizure. Her treats look so deliciously pretty that I don’t care if they tasted like a dog biscuit. I’m sure that’s not the case. I mean, edible gold leaf? C’mon. It’s all gotta be heavenly.  Nectar & Stone

I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it before. These morsels are carefully color coordinated. Every cookie is perfect, Every cupcake is colorful. Every chocolate is perfectly shaped and gilded.
Nectar & Stone

And then she goes and whips out some flamingo & pineapple cookies? The girl knows what’s on trend. And the way to my diabetic heart. Nectar & Stone Nectar & Stone Nectar & Stone

And, of course, the loveliest macarons in all the land! We know I can’t get enough of those these days. I can only dream of making macs as gorgeous and soft as Caroline’s. She’s currently my daily stop and I just sit and daydream about eating up 90 or so geometric chocolates. Give her a follow on Instagram, would ya? You won’t regret it. And if you happen to live in Melbourne, can I come stay with you?

Now go and and drool, my friends.

photography: all photos via Nectar & Stone on Instagram

Behind The Blog \\ Dealing With Diabetes

June 19, 2014

Here we go. It’s text-heavy. We’ve got sugary photos because I need to look at them while I type these words.

donut

Hey. Could that post title be any more dramatic? I don’t think that it could. I’ve been struggling to write this post for a while now. It’s not an excuse as to why things have been so quiet here. Actually. Who am I kidding? It’s totally my excuse. ;)

People have been wondering if my instagram account has been hijacked. And I can’t blame them. Who the flip is posting all this healthy stuff?!? It’s totally not like me. My account is usually plastered with sugar & sweets & Diet Coke, so I totally get it. Things have been crazy and I’ve had to drastically change my diet over the last two weeks. Hence the healthy snacks.

Christmas Treat, Holiday Recipe, Toffee, Chocolate, The Proper Pinwheel, Delicious toffee, easy toffee

To give y’all the basic rundown, I’ve been diagnosed with LADA. It’s a form of Type 1 Diabetes where I am now insulin dependent. The difference is that Type 1 usually manifests in children and teens, and not so much in peeps in their late twenties like myself. About a month ago, I noticed that my vision power (that’s a thing) was decreasing severely. It was gradual and, by the end, I couldn’t make out Vita-roo’s face if she was more than ten feet away. And you know how cute her face is, so this was tough to take. I visited my eye doc who suggested I visit my regular doc who suggested we test my blood sugar. So it was tested. And it was through the roof. More tests. And then we realized that I had almost every other diabetic symptom.

Lemon 5

“I did this to myself! I know it!”

“All the donuts and carbs and treats have caught up with me in the worst way.”

“I didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye to some of my favorite cookies and donuts!” (Lookin’ at you, Keebler.)

(I really did say that. And I really did cry about it. Hi, I’m five years old.)

Those and about a million others were the thoughts racing through my mind. I cried and I cried and, quite honestly, my ego power (also a thing) took a huge plunge. As someone who was secretly thrilled by the fact that she ate junk food regularly, this was my worst nightmare. The life of Shelby from Steel Magnolias immediately played in my mind. Be glad you weren’t there for that. This all happened around National Donut Day, mind you. I mean, talk about a kick in the pants.

Cupcakes 1

Fast-forward to today. After lots of blood work and other tests, I’m on the mend. It’s treatable. It’s a life-changer, yes, but I’m dealing. I begin and end the day with needles. I used to do it with Diet Coke & a candy bar, so I’m honestly surprised it’s not Type 2. I’m not grateful to have it at all, but I’m grateful to know that my poor habits aren’t what caused it. When the official Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis came, I made sure to emphasize to everyone we told that it wasn’t Type 2. That I didn’t cause it. That it started near the end of my pregnancy. I felt like I needed people to know that because, hello, I’ve been known for my sugary habits. Irony. It’s there, alright.

For about 48 hours, I wrestled with what to do with this here blog. I was afraid I should just shut it down. I’ve been so tired (worse than pregnancy, you guys!) and just kept thinking about all the treats I could no longer post! And then I realized that I need this blog. I need to write my thoughts here. And if you guys are there to support me, that’s super. If not, that’s totally fine. But I feel like we’ve got a good relationship, you and I. And I feel like I can share this with you. It’s not always bright, colorful, styled photos around here. It’s sometimes messy. Like right now. This is a HUGE change for me. HUGE. I’m still wrapping my brain around it. And I could sure use your help.

Typography Macarons

Going forward, things might be a little different. I’ve obviously had to tweak my personal habits, but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop posting about all the sugary goodness that I like to make for you guys. Most of the time in the past, I’d just give away what I made. I’d like to say that I could eat donut after cake after donut, but I’m maxxing out at around 4 post-Vita. You’ll still get a healthy dose of DIY and delish, delectable treats, but you’ll also be seeing/reading a little more about the healthy lifestyle change I’m making. Mmmkay?

I don’t think I can do this alone.

I know I can’t do this alone.

I’m not sharing this information here to get you to feel sorry for me. I’m sharing it because I share a lot of my life here. And my life is changing.

Color-blocked Old Fashioned Donuts

To the folks that already know this, I thank you for your sweet, sweet, emails and messages. It really is amazing to be on the receiving end of such love.

To end this on a happier note, I feel like I should shout this next part at the top of my lungs. I CAN STILL HAVE DIET COKE! You don’t know what that means to me. I know that soda isn’t the best thing for a person, but if I had to give that up cold turkey, well, then, you’d have to have me committed.

Okay. Phew. That was a lot. Hope your eyes aren’t burning from all these words! Thanks for reading this. And thanks for being there.

Virtually hugging the crap out of you,

Lexy

photography: all photos by The Proper Pinwheel (dive into the archives, baby!)