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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Waves

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yellow + Grey Love

I'm in the market for a new bedding set. I've been looking all over online but can't seem to find something that will work. Our bedroom furniture is a dark brown. And we have a large painting that Jordan made hanging over the bed, and it's mainly red and yellow. (If anyone has any color suggestions for a comforter that would be great.) Anyways, in my search of bedding that would work with the colors in our room (and that we BOTH like), I was reminded of my love for the yellow and grey color combo.
Not just the color combo but how amazing is this headboard
Such a cool necklace. I love the touch of turquoise.
Set of fun ties for a wedding with yellow and grey colors.
I love the leave pattern on this clutch.
How awesome are these chairs?
Am I wrong or is this color combination adorable? What's your favorite color combo?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Water Weekend

It was such a good weekend. I put work aside (until Sunday evening) and we spent a lot of time playing in the water. Penny was not so happy with this, as she is not a fan of water. We got this (brilliant?) idea to buy a huge blow up float and float around the harbor.
(She wanted the ball so bad but she would not go in and get it.)
It ended up being a little more difficult than we'd imagined, seeing as it was a really windy and we had no paddles. But it was a spontaneous adventure and we had a ton of fun. What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sponsor Giveaway: HaleyWilke

The winner of last week's giveaway was #7, Lindsay. Congratulations! Look out for an e-mail from Katie!
This week's giveaway is from Haley, of HJWilke. She is offering one lucky reader a crocheted infinity scarf in a beautiful wild berry color. Perfect for those chilly autumn nights!

1. Visit her shop and comment here with your favorite item and e-mail address.
U.S. entries only please!

1. Share this giveaway on Twitter. Please use this tweet:
I entered to win a pretty handmade scarf on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/3g76gh2
2. Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
3. Follow this blog using Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin.
4. Become a fan of Haley's on Facebook.
5. Follow Haley on Twitter.

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of four chances to win!

I will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Guest Blogger: Ashley of AfterNineToFive

I asked my blogging friend Ashley, of After Nine To Five, to guest post and share her words of wisdom on being self-employed. I'm sure this is something that a lot of us (myself included) dream of. But while we have our heads in the clouds, Ashley is here to bring us back to reality and remind us that it's not always fun and games and it takes a LOT of work!

When I first transitioned into being a full-time small business owner, I only saw the positives. The ability to work when I wanted, not answer to anyone, not have someone screaming at me for something I never did, being able to work in my pajamas... the list goes on and on. Three months into quitting my corporate job, I was still very near to the bad side of working for corporate America so everything seemed great. But as time went on, I realized that while their are many pros to being self-employed, there are still many cons.

So today I wanted to share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of owning a small business:

The Hours

  • Good: You can work whenever you want which means morning, afternoon, or night hours can be split however you want them to be.
  • Bad: You will need to work extra hours if you do not have help as there is no one else that can do the work for you.
  • Ugly: You are more than likely going to work more than forty hours per week. Much more. On a regular basis.
Vacation Time
  • Good: You can take vacation whenever you want - whether it's a day here and there or a whole month. You decide.
  • Bad: You'll have to make sure you are caught up beforehand and will not be able to pass your work off to anyone else so you may be swamped when you return from you vacation.
  • Ugly: You could easily find yourself working through a "vacation" if you don't have assistance.
The Money
  • Good: Every day has the opportunity to be a pay day. You can earn even more based off of how much effort and time you wish to put into your business.
  • Bad: Most of the time, if you calculate out your hourly wage, it will not be pretty. Especially in the beginning. Sometimes you will feel like you did a massive amount of work for absolutely no gain.
  • Ugly: There may be some weeks where you may not get paid at all and if you're not prepared for it, it sucks.
  • Good: You have more freedom now than you have ever had before. Creative, personal, financial - the list goes on.
  • Bad: Freedom to creative and change up your business can sometimes be overwhelming by having too many choices.
  • Ugly: If you're not disciplined, you'll accomplish nothing. And you'll likely have no one to blame but yourself.

These are things I try to balance on a daily basis. The good comes with the bad and makes it bearable, but some days the ugly is just enough to make me question if I made the right decision. All I need to do is remind myself of what I hope to gain in the long-run and the strides I've made so far to know that I did in fact make the right choice.

Thanks so much for a behind-the-scenes look at being an independent business owner Ashley!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: HaleyWilke

I'm so glad I met Haley through Etsy. She is so sweet, and I love her neck cowls and scarves. They are perfect for the upcoming Fall season! Be sure to check out her shop!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, I am Haley. I am twenty-six years old, and I currently live in Iowa with my husband and our two pets, Murphy (a mini-aussie) and one crabby kitty, Oscar. I was born and raised in Nebraska, where I met my husband in high school. I work full-time at a hospital, so I am very thankful for any time I get to be creative!

When did you start crocheting?
I learned to crochet at a very young age from my grandmother. Momo (as we call her) often babysat my siblings and I, and she was always creating something. Whether it be painting ceramics, sewing, crocheting, cooking or baking, she was always busy with something. I would sit and watch her crochet for hours. She taught me how to do chains at the age of 6 or 7. It wasn't until I was about fifteen years old, on vacation with her in Colorado that crocheting became a big part of my life. She was making scarves for Christmas, and I learned some new stitches from her, and ever since then, I have been a bit obsessed. :)
What is your favorite item to create?
I really love to crochet scarves, hats and neck cowls. I love to see the progression of a project even if it means putting countless hours of work into one piece. I often try to incorporate different types of yarn into my projects to see how I can change the texture, or look of the finished piece. I also love sewing, and making burp cloths for babies is always so rewarding. Seeing someone use a burp cloth I made until it is practically falling apart is a good feeling.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
When I am not crocheting, or sewing I love to be outdoors with my husband and our dog Murphy. We love to take him for walks, or play outside. We have been renting an apartment for awhile now, so we try to get outside to give Murphy some exercise as often as we can. He has a lot of energy!
Show Haley some love! :]

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pinterest Pretties.

Man, I love Pinterest! I could seriously be on that site all day. Pages and pages of inspiration and brilliant ideas and pretty things. Feeling crafty and want to try a DIY project? Clueless on what the trends are for fall? Can't decide what to cook for dinner?? Pinterest, I'm telling you. I have fashion boards, hair boards, home decor boards, wedding boards (a girl can dream)....it is the perfect site to organize your internet favorites. I had to share some of the best finds I've discovered through Pinterest.
 Prettiest hair from my Hairdo board. Oh how I wish!
 My favorite from my Fashion board. LOVE this dress!
 The dreamiest kitchen I've ever seen, from my Home Decor board.
 Really want to try this Soy Candle tutorial from my DIY Project board!
My Foodies board is full of yummies like this!
And of course, random pretty things from my Pretty Things board!

If you are not a member of Pinterest and want to be, let me know and I will send you an invite! It is a really really great way to organize all the things you come across online and want to save for later. And it immediately gets you feeling inspired, whether it's to craft, to cook, to shop....the possibilities are endless!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sponsor Giveaway: KatieBabyy

The winner of last week's giveaway was #32, Cabootique. Congratulations! Look out for e-mails soon!

This week's giveaway is from Katie, of KatieBabyy.  She is offering one lucky reader a pair of these awesome tie-dye feather earrings! I am loving feathers right now and would totally wear these!

1. Visit her shop and comment here with your favorite item and e-mail address.
U.S. entries only please!

1. Share this giveaway on TwitterPlease use this tweet:
I entered to win cool feather earrings on @julieannart blog! http://tinyurl.com/3nz7uzq
2. Like this giveaway on Facebook using the share button below.
3. Follow this blog using Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin.

Be sure to leave an additional comment for each extra credit option! That gives you a total of four chances to win!

I will announce the winner, chosen by random.org, here in one week! Good luck!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Personal Weekend Goal

This weekend my goal is to take more pictures of my daily life! This was actually my New Year's Resolution this year, and I started off good but have fallen off the wagon. My camera is just so big and heavy, I always end up talking myself out of carrying it around everywhere. But I want that to change, which in part, is why I am writing it down here. Posting my goals online seems to help me achieve them. :]
We have some definite beach time planned this weekend. It has been too long since we had a beach day (too busy!) so I'm really excited for some sun and surf. (Or more like sun and skimboard. Or more like sun and watching Jordan skimboard...) And although I normally wouldn't bring my camera, I'm attacking my personal goal and going for it! Hope you have a lovely weekend!

September Sponsor Call

Interested in advertising your shop or blog in September? I currently have medium and small spots available, or plan ahead and book a large spot for October! For readership stats and pricing information, click here. If you have any questions, e-mail me at julie.astra AT yahoo DOT com. Looking forward to hearing from you! xo JA

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sponsor Spotlight: Katiebabyy

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Kate. I am a 24 year old full time college student (almost done:) ). I use my creative energy to make affordable jewelry and accessories. I try many different styles and materials, often anything I can get my hands on. Creativity has always made its appearance in my life, from cooking to decorating and now creating items for my shop

What made you start making accessories?
I have always thought agreed that accessories can make a statement. I’ve held a couple of jobs where I had to wear a boring, plain uniform and had to find a way to spruce it up.
What is your favorite material to work with?
Probably my favorite material to work with is beads. So many colors, textures and designs! When I was a little girl I would buy thousands of beads, make little rings and bracelets, and go door to door with my best friends and try to sell them. It’s actually one of my favorite childhood memories which is why they are so dear to me. I can really get lost in the bead aisle.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
In my free time I really enjoy all forms of creativity! Cooking and baking is a passion of mine, and although recipes don’t always go as planned in my head, I like that I am responsible for the finished product. I am also pretty obsessed with DIY blogs and am always trying to spruce up my space with a little (or big) project. Besides those two, I am a big fan of running. It allows for some me time, and I never really am able to think as clearly as I do while mid run. My boyfriend also plays a huge role in my life. He is very supportive of my creativity and always gives me his opinions and helpful advice :).

Be sure to stop by Katie's Etsy shop where you can find all sort of lovely accessories!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

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