April 29, 2016

April Favorites

Last month I started this new thing and it did pretty well. Plus it makes me hold myself accountable for saving things I really like to share with you all. I enjoy spreading the love and hopefully introducing new people and things into your life. 

Things I Accomplished

+ So, I decided to take on a Monthly newsletter. The first one goes out tomorrow, so if you wanna get in on that sign up HERE. We'll see how it goes and if I like doing them and if you guys like getting them.

+ I made it though Mid-Terms. That in and of itself is a huge task this session.

+ We celebrated our second wedding elopement anniversary and attended my cousin's wedding just two days later. How awesome is that?

+ I also got to check off visiting the Biltmore Estate from my list of places I want to visit. It's beautiful, so if you ever get a chance to go there, go!

+ I have a pretty emotional blog post planned for the next week or two, so stay tuned for that.

Blog Posts

5 Ways to Encourage Fellow Bloggers - Love the Here and Now
We all need encouragement from time to time and this post points you in the right direction to support your fellow blogger.

Not all dogs are friendly, to people or to other dogs. This friendly PSA from Taylor is perfect for dog owners everywhere.

Cassie shares how you can turn your unused spare bedroom room into some extra cash in your pocket.

So much this. I think we can all relate to this post from Emily.

+ Dropping the Idea of a "Soul Career" - Taylor Duvall
All the yes! I mean, I just figured out what I want to do right now and I'll be 30 this year. But who's to say how long this career choice will work for me?

Blog Related Things

+ Anne shared THIS POST about how to turn one blog post into 84 pieces of social media content. Game changer right there folks.

+ Another video for you. This one shows you how to make a light box to use for photography. SO USEFUL for bloggers. I'm totally going to be making one after the bathroom is finished and I have a place to store it away from the WoodFurKids and Hubs' dirty work hands. WATCH IT HERE.

+ Have you signed up to join Creative Market yet? If not, you definitely should. Every week they email you links to download freebies like fonts, Wordpress Themes, stock photo packages, and graphics to use when creating images for blog posts. This week's freebies can be found HERE. You can join HERE.

+ Helene, from Helene in Between, released another set of free stock photos, so go check those out HERE!

Things Found on Facebook

+ The trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is HERE!! Are you as excited as I am?

+ I also saw this video on Facebook. It's got a powerful message for troubled kids from a local Atlanta judge, who didn't even know this speech was being filmed. WATCH IT HERE.

+ Anne was also featured on Huffington Post this week! She's shared about her daughter's struggle with Anxiety before, and this article gives light to both perspectives of the disease: the person with anxiety and the loved one of that person. Read the article HERE.

+ I confessed last week that I don't have a fancy camera and that all my photos are taken with my iPhone, so I'm always on the lookout for tips and tricks to make my images better. Well, here is a list of tips where the majority of them haven't been on any other list I've seen. Read it HERE.

In Case You Missed It

10 FREE Apps Your Macbook Needs [guest post on Love the Here and Now]
I like to eat when I travel + a Giveaway! (you have until the end of the day on May 2nd to enter)

What were some of your favorite things this month?

April 26, 2016

I Like to Eat When I Travel + A Giveaway!

Hubs and I took some extra days off and had a long weekend. Thursday (4-21-16) was our second anniversary, and we decided to stop in Asheville, NC and take a little time for ourselves on the way to Winston Salem, NC for my cousin's wedding. Neither of us had been there before, so this was truly an adventure, plus it was full of firsts for Philip.

Finding fun places to eat is one of my favorite things to do when we travel. Pro Tip: Ask the locals where to get the best breakfast. Then you won't be stuck with a mediocre McDonalds or Waffle House breakfast that you can get just about anywhere. For lunch, Philip got to have his first trip to Mellow Mushroom to stuff his face with an amazing pizza (oh how I miss this place, my mouth is watering just thinking about it).

Friday, we visited the Biltmore Estate, and despite the rainy weather, we had a great time. The house is huge and so beautiful, I just wish we had more time to explore (I highly recommend getting the audio guide, you just get way more out of your visit with all the little insights and historic information for just $10 more). But we made it to Winston Salem just in time for the rehearsal dinner: roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and steamed green beans. Are you jealous yet?

Saturday morning turned out to be gorgeous for the wedding festivities. The ceremony was beautiful and the omelet bar at the reception was perfection. I can't forget to mention that the wedding cake was donuts. DONUTS, people. How delicious and beautiful is that? I even got to take home part of our table centerpieces. With another recommendation from a local for dinner for more excellent pizza and pasta, we got to hang out with some of my extended family, which is always a good time.

When we drove in to Winston Salem, I spotted a Bojangles, so Sunday Breakfast was already planned. Another first for Philip. I mean, you just CANNOT pass up Boberry Biscuits, amiright? Then I made sure that I mapped out where all the Zaxby's were located on our route home so we could stop there for lunch. You guessed it, Philip's first Zaxby's. What a lucky man. All this great food in one weekend, makes my efforts to southernize my husband just a bit easier.

Now for the real reason you clicked on this post. The Giveaway! While it's not for food (whomp whomp) it's for something just as great, beauty products. That's right ladies (and gentlemen, if you're reading this) I've teamed up with some fabulous women so YOU could have a chance to win a $170 gift card to ULTA! Just use the rafflecopter widget below to enter.

Giveaway Info:

Just enter "Knock on Wood" for your free entry to get started!
+ This giveaway is open to anyone over the age of 18.
+ The giveaway is open from now until the end of the day on Monday, May 2, 2016.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

April 19, 2016

The Truth Behind My Instagram Photos

Instagram. I don't know about you, but it's my favorite social media outlet. When I first started using the photo sharing platform, people mostly just uploaded random photos of themselves or pets or food with captions describing what was happening maybe (please don't go back and look at those posts). Hashtags weren't a thing and I had like ten followers. Two were ex boyfriends, two were best friends, one was an old roommate, and the rest were all those "friends" from high school that you never really hung out with but added them anyway cause you're nosy like that.

These days though Instagram is a whole different world, especially for bloggers. When did it become all staged fashion photos, flat lays,  #handsinframe, and coffee cups next to sprinkle donuts. We all strive to get those likes and we work hard to keep our followers engaged. But does your Instagram feed portray you accurately? I know mine doesn't. What social media profile these days, amiright?

Social media is a lie.

If that statement is true, and we all know it, why do we let what we see from other people make us feel envious,  have petty resentment, and make catty comments to ourselves or other friends? Lord knows that is not what I want to happen as a result of my Instagram pictures. And if that has happened, I'm going to shatter that perception right here, right now. Or you could totally disobey my previous request and scroll all the way back to the beginning of my page and shatter that perception yourself.

Firstly, it takes me HOURS to get one or two good photos when attempting to do the ever evasive flat lay.

Secondly, nearly every photo has some kind of editing done. Most of the time it's very simple, like brightening and sharpening.

Thirdly, I take at least 20 photos (usually more) of everything else I post. Because the angle matters, good lighting matters, and backgrounds matter.

Fourthly (I feel like I'm just making these words up now), Sometimes I crop the one photo in different ways and to make two or three different photos. #lazyphotographer

Fifthly, I do NOT have a fancy camera. ALL my photos are taken with my iPhone and sometimes my iPad. Yep. #cheap

Sixthly... ok I thought I had a sixth thing. I can't think of it now, but I'm sure there is one. And I'm pretty sure that you could totally fill this place in, if not add a few more.

So there. The truth behind my Instagram. All out in the open. So don't you dare let my feed give you negative feelings cause it's only half real. ok? ok.

April 15, 2016

Design Reveal: The [NEW] Rambling Llama

I'm so excited to present to you the brand new design I created and installed for Melissa last week! Designing for her is so fun, mainly because I know her so well, but I love when I'm able to transfer a blogger's vision onto the computer screen. She's also been a guinea pig for when I learn new things. So huge props to her for putting up with me always wanting to tweak things. 

Melissa has had some huge life changes lately and she's making her way back into the blogging world slowly but surely. And it occurred to me that she might want a fresh look for her blog that matches the fresh start she's making for herself in her personal life. I pitched the idea to her and she was totally on board. 

Via email over the course of a week, I think, we narrowed down fonts and colors. I created. I coded. I designed. Then I re-created, re-coded, and re-arranged things until she was happy with the design (and until I was satisfied with the functionality). A happy client makes a happy designer. She later told me she liked that it was a lot more "grown up" feeling than her past designs which had a young and fun feel to them.

So, without further adieux, I give you The [NEW] Rambling Llama!

What do you think? Does it suit her?

To see the full design visit The Rambling Llama. To find out how to get your own custom blog design, visit Knock on Wood Designs.

April 12, 2016

How to Transfer Your Gmail Email Signatures to the iPhone Mail App

Email. We all have at least one account. Most of us have multiple accounts to juggle (I have four). It has become a necessary part of our everyday lives. One of the ways we can personalize them, and make sure our contacts have the important information is through our email signatures. I have a different one for each account, and they range from super fun with lots of detail, to very simple and straightforward. Gmail allows you so many options to create the perfect signature. I'm not sure about Android and Windows phones, but unless you use the Gmail app, those signatures don't carry over into the built in email app on the iPhone.

Personally, I prefer the Mail app on my iPhone over the Gmail app, because it's a lot easier to switch between accounts since my school email is not Gmail. So I'm going to show you how easy it is to carry over your awesome custom signatures from Gmail to the Mail app on the iPhone.

1. Create your custom signature.

On your laptop or desktop computer, sign in to your gmail account. In the settings, there is a section where you can make a signature that will automatically be added to the end of every email. Here you can add as much information as needed per the account. Include images and links where needed. This is what mine looks like:

2. Test and Copy

Once you've created your customized signature, send yourself a test email and open it up on your phone to see how it looks. On your iPhone, select and copy the signature.

3. Set up Signatures in Mail

In the Settings on your phone, choose the "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" section.
Scroll down and find the "Signature" option, then select "Per Account" option.

4. Paste

In the box labeled for the account you made your signature for, paste the previously copies signature. Don't worry, the links and images will transfer just fine. And you can still add/keep the "Sent from my iPhone" line at the very bottom.

Bada Bing! Bada Boom! You've got a custom signature that will be automatically added to all emails sent through the Mail app on your iPhone. Just repeat the steps for as many accounts as you have, if you need a fancier signature than just some plain text.

Do you have a fancy schmancy email signature? Which email app do you use?

April 7, 2016

10 FREE Apps for Your Macbook

10 Free Apps for Mac

Today, Anne has graciously decided to let me take over her blog to tell you about my 10 favorite completely free Apps for your Macbook. I have been a devoted Apple user since I purchased my very first iPhone in 2008. Ah, the memories of those first clunky models. Shortly after that, I forked out the money for Mabel (my Macbook White). That computer has been the best computer and she carried me through 2015 when I got Magnus. That's SEVEN years. I never had any issues with Mabel and she still runs great to this day, ask Melissa! Having owned a Mac for eight years, I've gone through a lot of trial and error when it comes to apps. So head on over to Love the Here and Now today to check out my list of some of my favorite and most useful apps that have stood the test of time.

April 5, 2016

An Awesome April

Aristotle Nature Quote

Everything in life isn't always awesome, amiright? But, in order to stay positive, and not let the not so awesome stuff get you down, we have to focus on all the great things that are happening in our lives and in the world around us. Anne's Awesome linkup is perfect for doing just this, so today I'm sharing with you some of the Awesome things going on for me.

1. Bathroom Remodel

I could be all irritated about not having a working sink and falling through the floor while the demo is happening, but I have to keep the end goal in mind. Once we are done, it's going to be beautiful and relaxing. If you follow me on Instagram, I posted a little sneak peek of the design elements we've chosen yesterday.

2. Blog Designing

I'm getting my head back in the game here guys! I did a complete overhaul on the design website a few weeks ago, I had a consultation yesterday, and I'm finishing up a new design for Melissa at The Rambling Llama today, so go check that out tomorrow!

3. School

I'm not thrilled with my choice of classes this session, but I need the credits for my degree. I'm still learning though, and that's always a positive thing.

4. Alpha Sigma Lambda

I found out last fall that I made it into the Omega Zeta chapter of this national honors society, and later this month there will be a recognition ceremony. I'm kind of excited about it!

5. It's April

It's a special month for Hubs and I (well the end of March thru to April really). We met in person for the first time Easter weekend of 2013 (March 29-31), We got engaged on April 9, 2014 and Eloped April 21, 2014. I guess we just really like this time of year.

6.Natural Herbal Tea and Supplements

Boy am I grateful that God gave us the plants to make these things. I like knowing that I can first try an natural remedy for any minor ailment I may have before having to go to the doctor for other medicines.

7. My Brand New Target Red Card

Did you know they have a debit card option rather than a normal credit card? I didn't up until a couple of weeks ago when a nice cashier explained it to me rather than giving me a nasty look when I said I didn't have a Red Card. So then I explained it to Hubs, he liked the idea of saving 5% on my Target excursions, and I got the nifty new card.

8. Best Friends

I have two really amazing besties. You all know my lovely Llama. We've been friends for, golly, nearly.... hang on let me count.... 10 years now. OMG TEN YEARS. Wow. Ok, well, anyways. She moved into her new apartment this past weekend and, once again, I am not able to help because I live in another state now. It kills me that I haven't been able to be there for her in person during this really tough period of her life, so I send her a giant new apartment care package.
My other bestie, Kaity, lives here in Missouri. I met her about two summers ago at school. She's ALSO moving, but later this summer. So I've been helping her pick out all the cute things she wants to get for her new apartment. Shopping is fun, guys.

9. Waffles with Peanut Butter

YUM. This has become one of my go-to breakfasts lately. I get two multi-grain waffles and toast them up. Once they pop up out of the toaster, I spread some peanut butter on each one. Lots of fiber and protein.

10. Bullet Journaling

I started one in January and used it along with my Day Designer. By the end of that first month I was leaving my Day Designer at home and using my Bullet Journal for everything. *GASP* I know! I think what I like about bullet journals is that they are 100% customizable for YOUR needs. And you can change things up whenever you want, you're not stuck with things you tried and didn't like, and you can add new things as you go along. Seriously, best (organizational) decision I ever made.

What's Awesome in your life right now? Are you linking up with Anne today?

April 1, 2016

March Favorites

I've decided something. It's not that big of a deal, but after reflecting on the things I was feeling two Fridays ago, I have a solution. I will still do a "favorites" post, but instead of weekly, I'll do it monthly. Compromise!

As March ended yesterday, so today is the very first Monthly Favorites post. Yay! Are you ready? Ok let's get to it.

Blog Posts

+ Is Kim Kardashian Liberated or Does She Just Believe the Lie We Have All Fallen For Before? - Flowers in My Hair

+ 5 Ways Pregnancy After Infertility is Different - Becca Dorr

+ How to Know You've Had Enough - Love the Here and Now

+ The Robber - Love the Here and Now

+ The Unwritten Rules of Snapchat - Helene in Between

+ Reasons to be a Cat Lover - Modern Yet Nostalgic

Things I Accomplished 

+ I did a complete overhaul on my Design website. New name and everything! Check it out!

+ We finally put some finishing touches on our kitchen. It feels so grown up and much more like us.

+ Our Bathroom Re-model has commenced! I'm so excited!

+ I think I've got all the pretties purchased for our bathroom once it's done too. Be on the lookout for a sneak peek on Instagram.

+ School is back in session, and this one will be rough. However, I think that it will make for some great blog posts.

Articles Found on Facebook

F*ck You, I'm Not A Millennial - Great read for those of us born in the '80s that can't relate to the kids born in the 90's

To The Person Rolling Their Eyes Because I'm On My Phone - It's a blog post, but I found it through Facebook, so that's why it's under this category.

People With Anxiety Perceive the World in a Fundamentally Different Way - There is scientific evidence!

+ Tattoos Can Make You Healthier - It's a video, but it's got some pretty cool info.

+ Unicorns Are Real, According to Science - let me repeat. UNICORNS ARE REAL!

In Case You Missed It

Find What's Right For You
Currently - March
It's My Blog I'll Do What I Want
DIY Twine Wreath
30 before 30 Update
What You NEED to Know Before Adopting a Great Pyrenees
Blogger Men Tell All

What were some of your favorite things from March?
What did you accomplish?