Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blog Party Giveaway Winners!

First of all, I would like to say a genuine thank you to all of you who were here this month...maybe you'd read my blog before, or you clicked over from another blog, or you were linked here by one of my guest posters.  But you got here, you read, you commented and shared and it brought me so much joy this month.  

You are all worth celebrating!  But this post is to announce to 4 special people who are the winners of my blog party giveaways.  You'll be hearing from me! 
And the winners are: 

1. The handwriting font goes to: Danielle of Framed Frosting.

4. The blog header design goes to Zelina of Honey in the Sun.

I had so much fun reading everyone's entry comments and loved connecting with you all.  I hope you'll be back again for more real life ways to celebrate the everyday

Thank you all! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Kara Haupt

My darling friend Miss Kara is my guest blogger today and I'm so excited for you to meet her. :)  I've been reading her blog since she was 16 and lived vicariously through her as she moved to New York and now to Portland to go to art school.  She takes pictures, she teaches classes and she scrapbooks.  She's like the cool creative little sister you want to spend your weekends with.  So please, read on, and enjoy her perspective on Celebrating the Everyday.  Thanks Kara! 
A strenuous and busy semester of college just ended for me and I'm currently making that transition out of the crazy school busy-ness into a quiet summer. One of the things I've been thinking about a lot is how I want to spend these days. I'm living in my first apartment and my "independence" is the most it's ever been. I have a whole city to explore and the freedom to do whatever I want. 

Celebrating the beauty of that, the "everydayness" seems daunting. There is so much I can do. But more often than not, I find myself dreading the mundane tasks that make up my days. I have adventures I will go on, but transforming my attitude about the simple things is a block I don't want to stumble across. There is the apartment to clean or the retail job to go to or the grocery shopping to do. I've been working on changing my attitude toward these things. To enjoy the Saturday morning walk to get groceries or the sounds of the open window for late-night dishes washing. 

Celebrating the everyday, to me, is putting on some beautiful music and pretending the dishes are more magical than they are. Taking the moments to watch the headlights of the cars on the street play across my darkened wall. To have deep conversations with myself as I walk to work. I have a lot of exploring to do this summer, but I'm hoping the "normal" is just as lovely as the exploration. Or maybe the exploration is the normal?

Find Kara on the web:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Celebrating Today

I am celebrating today with some fun news and a couple giveaways to share with you.  To begin with, yesterday I decided to talk to a couple friends and get their thoughts on having a Facebook page for my blog.  After reading their suggestions and advice I went ahead and started one.  I think it will be a great way for me to connect more with my readers and include everyone in future giveaways.  

So please, hop on over and LIKE Shadylane Blog on Facebook. :) 

This month I have had the pleasure of sponsoring over at Confessions of a Graphic Design Student.  Kirsten has been so much fun getting to know better and I'm glad she agreed to be part of my blog party this month with a guest post.  Yesterday she announced her "Blogger's Dream" group giveaway with all her sponsors.  Its another chance for you to win my handwriting font, along with free exposure and some design.  

Come check out the giveaway and enter as many times as you can.  There are some pretty great prizes. :) 

A couple weeks ago I joined this great new site by blogger and for bloggers called the Better Blogger Network.  I have made some great new blogging friends, shared and gained knowledge about blogging and have been having fun in the forums.  

Visit Better Blogger Network

From the BBN I was able to make a connection with Kate of A Creative Cookie.  She reached out in the forums looking for some more people for her giveaway.  So I sent her an email and got to be included in her May Group Giveaway.  She is so sweet, and it was an honor to be included.  Head on over and enter her giveaway too.  Lots of chances to win my handwriting font!!

This has been such a fun month of growth for my blog.  Thank you all for being a part of it, for your comments and encouragement and for being readers.  I hope that together we can remember to and encourage each other celebrate the everyday.  

How are you celebrating today?
Have you ever won a fun giveaway?  I'd love to hear your stories!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Guest Blogger: Kyla Roma

I'm so excited to introduce you to Kyla Roma today.  I started reading her story on her blog a few years ago and its been so cool to watch her grow and really live her dreams.  We connected through her blog (I sponsored in 2010, which is a great way to get to know other bloggers better) and have kept in contact through the years.  Kyla is inspiring and authentic and a joy to know.  I am so happy she was able to share her thoughts on Celebrating the Everyday.  She's compiled a list of 5 things that help her, and maybe they'll be just what you needed to hear.  Thanks Kyla! 
Celebrating the everyday is a big part of how I live my life. To me it means finding joy in small things, being aware of my surroundings, not being too "in my head", and appreciating the moments in-between the big life events instead of taking them for granted and always moving on to the next thing.

I'm a "getting down to brass tacks" kind of girl at heart though, so this is how I take those ideas and put them into action:

1. Remember to stay present
I'm a planner, a scheduler, and a worrier but if I let my mind wander to the past or the future all the time, I end up missing what's happening in the moment. When I'm working I try to remind myself to come back to the present every time I glance at the rings on my fingers, and at home I remind myself to stay with the moment when I see my little dogs. Having visual queues has been a great help, and I find that as I've been practicing this my days seem longer, I'm more relaxed and I'm less stressed.

2. Allow for silliness, sleepiness, sadness and wonder
Working for myself means that I always have multiple timelines on multiple projects up in the air, and sometimes I get carried away with scheduling my time. Remembering that I need down time in the evenings and on the weekends allows room for my life, and for me to be spontaneous, give myself the time I need to process difficult things that happen, take naps, and daydream. Giving myself that space makes me a better designer, business owner, friend and wife!

3. Keep a camera close by
For a long time I was great at this, but over the past year I've been out of this habit and only recently realized how much I miss it! When I have my camera nearby I look at things a little differently because I'm on the look out for beauty. It helps me to approach my life with gratitude and to recognize the power of simple things, like seeing wild rabbits in my neighbourhood while walking the dogs in the morning, to make me happy! If everyday life can make me happy, I feel like I must be setting myself up for a meaningful, beautiful life.

4. Make meal time sacred
While I love to bake, I've never been a big cook but this year I've been trying to change that. By making mealtimes something that I look forward to, from the planning & prep to the dishes, I've been able to add more times into the day that I'm focused on taking care of myself in a really tangible (delicious!!) way. I eat a number of small meals every day, and each one holds possibility for creative flavours to mingle, and healthy habits to become more a part of my life. It also means there's something to look forward to every few hours! You can't beat that.

5. Stop apologizing & start celebrating
For a long time in my life, I wasted a lot of time agonizing about things I didn't like about myself and worrying about what was going to happen next. While my worrying and anxiety was eventually diagnosed as an anxiety disorder, so many women struggle with similar feelings. Being trapped in a negative thought cycle, or by your worries, is terrible, but being aware of the negative thoughts you have and beliefs that you hold is a powerful step toward letting them go! In the past few years I've stopped apologizing for myself & fixating on changing things about me and have started celebrating myself and adopting positive habits instead. I'm loving the quirky parts of myself better than I have in a long time, and it makes every day so much more fun.

Thank you for having me, Shaina! I hope that these ideas are helpful and that they bring a little every day happiness into your readers lives :)
Find Kyla on the web:

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In our Home: One Year Anniversary

This month is our one year anniversary of being in our new house.  It really feels like home for us and we are so  happy that this was the decision we made after our whole "In Search of a Home" journey.  The builders of the development have been so kind and helpful with anything that we needed (i.e. turning on sprinklers again this spring and when the dishwasher wasn't working). Its been so nice having a new build and knowing we didn't have to worry about replacing the roof or the water heater going out.  We've been able to spend the time turning the house into a home.  

In honor of our first year anniversary (and you know how much I love a good anniversary!) I thought I'd share some pictures of my favorite little bits within our home.  Its not done being decorated, but I love what we have done.  Its been a fun project for both of us.  

And so...Happy Anniversary House!!  So glad we're home...


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Giveaway: Blog Header

1. One Day at a Time 2. A Full Life with an Empty Nest  3. Adventures of a Disney Nut

Through the process of designing my own blog over the years, design has become something that I really love... and something that I want to share my passion for.  This month I have started taking on new blog design clients with some super fun results.  Here is my most recent finished design for my new friend Heather over at Chronicles of an Independent Spinster.  I had fun working with her colors and creating an online home that is just right for her.

For more information on what I offer please check out my Blog Design Page.  I think that good design along with great content will maximize your success as a blogger. If you're searching for someone to help you create an online home and personal brand, I would love to work with you! 

And so as part of that, today I am offering a free blog header design to one special reader.  And if the winner wants a full blog makeover, they can get the header price discounted from their design package. :)  I am so excited about this giveaway!! 

Leave a comment on today's post sharing your favorite thing about blogging. 

Be a blog follower.
Follow me on twitter (@shadylane14)
Tweet about the blog header giveaway or my blog design services.
Like Shadylane Blog on Facebook
Spread the word via social networking.
Please leave a comment for each additional entry. 

The winners of all 4 giveaways will be posted on the last day of this month-long blog party.  Don't forget to enter for the other giveaways too!  Links in the right sidebar.  

Looking forward to hearing from some of you and getting to work with you on a blog makeover that matches your spirit and personality.  Please feel free to email me: shadylane_14(at)hotmail(dot)com with any questions. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Embrace Today

Today I am struggling...yesterday was one of those days that leaves you breathless in its wake.  My heart racing, palms sweating, feeling actually ill from the stress.  After finally falling asleep last night I found myself waking in a panic with the same anxiety washing over me anew.  But it is out of my hands... I did all I can do.  And dwelling on it and worrying about it and bringing yesterday's turmoil with me into today is not how I want to live. How can I let the problems of yesterday keep me from celebrating today for the beautiful gift that it is?  I need to be proactive in fighting against the tendency I have to borrow from yesterday's worries.  So how will I do this? First I let myself sleep an extra hour - I woke up and reset my alarm.  Then when I did wake up I called and talked to Chris.  He knows how I am...and he kindly tries to remind me to let it go.  There is nothing I can do to change what happened, but I don't need to let it negatively effect me moving forward.  He's right - celebrating the everyday is a mindset and a way of life.  It is a choice each day.  So today I choose to write about my struggle...and then I'll turn the page and wholly embrace today.  

I am reminded of my favorite scripture: 
"Forgetting the things behind and stretching forward to the things ahead." -Phil 3:13


Guest Blogger: Jennifer Evans

I met today's guest blogger a couple years ago through an online class we both took.  We became online blogging friends over our shared love of scrapbooking and redesigning our blogs.  Jennifer has been an artist for the last 15 plus years and brings her artistic eye to her scrapbooking, photography and her life. Please enjoy her post today all about what Celebrating the Everyday means to her.  Read on for her 4 ways to stop and enjoy the everyday.  Thank you Jen! 
It wasn't until I was laying on a picnic blanket in the backyard with my five year old son last week that I could really comprehend what "celebrating the everyday" meant to me. It was peaceful. Beautifully peaceful.

I looked up at the trees swaying in the wind against the blue sky and then I looked over next to me. It was a lovely time and we weren't "doing" anything besides spending time together. I realized that no matter what the day brings, sitting down to soak in the everyday is important. Time goes too fast. Pretty soon my little man will be all grown up and I don't want our day to go by without capturing some of those moments.

Ways that I stop to enjoy the everyday are:

1. I start every day in God's Word. Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know I am God." I have realized that if I don't wake up before my family to take time to "be still" I feel like I am trying to play catch up the rest of the day.

2. My son and I often have picnics together inside or out. We read books together or play games during the day. It is during these quiet times that we bond.

3. We are often capturing our everyday with our cameras. My son has his own camera so that he can capture the everyday through his own eyes.

4. Our family spends weekends at home or away together. A day at the beach or a walk to the park keeps us focused on what is most important. Each other.

Find Jen on the web

Thursday, May 24, 2012

TILT: Elephants

This week's edition of {things i love} Thursday is brought to you by elephants.  My favorite animal.  I've been collecting them since I was 13. And I have been stumbling across elephants all over the internet recently and just had to share some of what I've found.  

>>>> I was watching HULU the other day and when the Residence Inn's Elephant commercial came on I just fell in love.  I went searching on Youtube for it and found this behind-the-scenes video about the commercial shoot and the sweet elephant who stars in it.  Make sure you click through to watch the actual commercial too.  Its pretty cute. 

>>>> Emily from Hope Squared has been sharing lots from her trip to Thailand including this amazing post from her visit to the  The Chiang Dao Elephant Training Centre.  She got to ride an elephant!!  And take some super cute pictures of them.  Here are just a couple of my favorites from her post. 

>>>> And then I discovered artist and filmmaker Gregory Colbert's work Ashes and Snow through someone's comment.   The interactive website took my breath away and then I saw an image that caught my was familiar.  

I have had this image cut from a magazine with me for years.  I glued it to a piece of cardstock and every time I'm moved its come with me and kept its home with all my treasures.  So you can imagine how excited I was to discover that this was not a lone piece but part of a moving, living, breathing masterpiece by this artist.  I ordered the film from the library and Chris and I watched it last night.  So touching.  This is my favorite quote from the letters featured in the film: 
"In the beginning of time, the skies were filled with flying elephants. Too heavy for their wings, they sometimes crashed through the trees and frightened other animals.
All the flying grey elephants migrated to the source of the Ganges. They agreed to renounce their wings and settle on the earth. When they molted, millions of wings fell to the earth, the snow covered them, and the Himalayas were born.
The blue elephants landed in the sea and their wings became fins. They are whales, the trunkless elephants of the oceans. Their cousins are the manatees, the trunkless elephants of the rivers.
The chameleon elephants kept their wings but agreed never again to land on the earth. They change the colors of their feathers every day. Today they are azure, and when it rains they are the color of pearls.
When they go to sleep, the chameleon elephants always lie down in the same place in the sky and dream with one eye open. The stars you see at night are the unblinking eyes of sleeping elephants, who sleep with one eye open to best keep watch over us.
You can see more of his images HERE on his tumbler page or follow him on Facebook.  Take the time to experience his website.  You won't regret it.

>>>> And when sharing things with elephants I have to post this little video too.  Its an old GE commercial that I had recorded on our DVR and would watch when I needed a smile. 

What is your favorite animal? 
Have you seen Gregory Colbert's work before?  
What do you think of it?