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why i am stopping custom designs

"the time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things:"

like how i have decided to stop doing custom blog designs indefinitely.

I have been DREADING everything about this post: writing it, publishing it, what you awesome readers will think about my decision...for those close friends and family that read my personal family blog, you've basically heard this spill when i mentioned it a little while ago. i apologize for the repeat, but it's only fair that all you lovely readers over here aren't kept in the dark!

I LOVE doing custom designs. love love love it. I love the new friendships i have formed, all the insane coding techniques i've been able to master, and of course I love the money, but the time and energy that it sucks out of me is not worth it.

At least not right now.

Right now my main priority should be mommy NOT blog-designer....sigh...if only I could be Wonder Woman and somehow balance it all...but i can't. I decided to make it final after talking to Kevin about it, and of course I knew he wanted me too (we've talked about it before). I guess I just needed him to tell me again.
The other evening he randomly said:

"Babe, I think you should stop doing custom blogs."

And that was that.
I knew it...he knew it...I wasn't being the mom that I wanted to be to Bronx, and I just wasn't doing the other things that I love doing. Like reading or crafting or just plain getting off of the freaking computer. Reading emails, answering emails, designing, redesigning, installing...I seriously don't know how these business/blogging mommy's do it.

Howeeeeever, that being said, I will continue to keep up my Etsy shop (yaaaay!).
And that's because:
1. I can design premade Blogger templates on my own time (aka when Kevin plays Xbox with his buddies/after the babies are in bed!)
2. this way i am not rushed to fill a custom design order during the day/using up precious time with Bronx and now Tinley
3. i still love designing blogs and playing around with HTML coding!

To all you awesome peeps that have let me design for you: THANK YOU!! I have truly loved getting to know you and help freshen up your online space!!

*you can view my premade templates HERE in my Etsy shop, or HERE on my design site

nail art: flirty ombre

sometimes simple is best, and today's nails are just that: simple. however, that does NOT mean that they are ugly or plain or even boring!

having just had a newborn, and trying to keep up with a crazy little toddler (i swear he gets cheekier by the day...yikes!), i don't have a ton of time to myself anymore. and if i'm being honest? all i want to do is sleep when i do get a few precious moments alone. haha! but the other evening after Bronx had gone to bed, i wanted to do my nails, and knew i didn't have a whole bunch of time before Tinley woke up, so i grabbed a handful of my pink/peach polishes and a nail plate.

i wanted a more flirty spring look, which is why i went for pink hues (who doesn't love pink?!), creating a fun ombre look. then i threw in the cute flowers on my ring fingers as an accent, and to help bring out a more "spring" feel!

here's the roundup of what i used:

• sinful colors: soul mate (#945)
• new york color: french white tip (#134)
• sally hansen: coral reef (#405)
• china glaze: flip flop fantasy (#873)
• love, charlotte (via charlotte russe): i can't find the name, but i think the number is #11375LPK
• nail color (via forever21): peachy cheeks
• new york color: extra shiny top coat (#271)
• nail plate: konad m20

i always forget how fast and easy the nail plates are. i definitely love that they dry instantly after i stamp the design on, making it easy for me to add the top coat after. <<a HUGE plus for a busy mom on the go!

*what nail color do you tend to use or gravitate towards this spring? me=pink/coral/peach! i'm a girly girl through and through. haha

*want more nail art ideas? see my ideas HERE!

*HERE are 3 more fun ideas that i love from Julep, and HERE are some fun new polishes to try! let me know if you own any of this brand, and what you think of this polish! i'm always on the lookout for new kinds!

>>this post was not sponsored, but i did create it for Julep's spring nail art contest. hope you enjoyed it, and were able to draw some inspiration from it somewhere! :)

blog design: Cee Me Be

it always makes my day/gives me a boost of confidence when i have clients return to me for a fresh design. that means they love what i do enough, and trust me, to give them something even better than what i designed before. so when Chelsey contacted me for a revamp, i was up for the challenge and did not want to disappoint. i'm happy and positive that you'll love her new streamlined and modern design (see a little of her old one here or here). head on over and take a closer look at her new design here! Chelsey's been throwing out some awesome informative and helpful posts, and lately my favorites have been: Technology Time-Out, Married Single Moms - the New Norm and Disney Princesses - Role Models or Good Girls Gone Bad?.

*if you're looking for a design that won't break the bank, head on over to my Etsy shop HERE!

* you can see my custom blog portfolio HERE, and my premade blog portfolio HERE!

blog design: House of Sprinkles

colorful, fun, and topped with a little bit of sprinkles :) ...working with these girls was definitely that! head over to their new site HERE and take a look at their design (and that delicious carrot cake Rebekah shared today)! and while you're at it, you can see what they're all about HERE, and find out how they came to be, HERE!

*if you're looking for a design that won't break the bank, head on over to my Etsy shop HERE!

* you can see my custom blog portfolio HERE, and my premade blog portfolio HERE!

nail art: leopard + coral

i pulled today's look from here and here. i haven't used my nail plates in a while, so i decided to grab 'em out with my polish last night, as i was looking through ideas on my nail art Pinterest board.

the colors:

• sally hansen: coral reef (#405)
• new york color: french white tip (#134)
• pure ice: beware
• orly: goth
• nail plate: konad m57 (this one!)

*are you a fan of leopard?

*when did you last take a time out to paint your nails? :)

Good Timber Printable

something i don't tell a lot of people, is that i was homeschooled. not completely, but off and on over the years. i absolutely loved it, and it's something i admire about my mom. i have 5 younger siblings, and while she didn't do it with every one of us, i'm glad she did it with me (i think i needed the extra kick in the rear from her at home!haha). every few weeks she'd bring out a few giant books filled with poetry, and make us pick out a new poem to memorize. one of my favorites was this:

and here's the poem in it's entirety:

Good Timber
by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight

For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,

Never became a forest king

But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,

Who never had to win his share

Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:

The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.

By sun and cold, by rain and snow,

In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.

And they hold counsel with the stars

Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

this poem always reminds me that the trials i have right now are but a moment, and that i am given them for a reason. they come and go to help me grow stronger, learn something i didn't understand before, and help those around me...even if i don't know they are. when Ashley (the Sullengers) told me this was the quote she wanted a design for, i was so happy to help! here's what i came up with:

you can head over to Ashley's blog HERE to grab this printable (i made lots of sizes and one other variation of it)! And speaking of touching other people's lives through trials - every time i read Ashley's blog i come away feeling inspired and filled with a desire to be a better mother, live in the present, and hold my babies a little tighter.

*did your mom make you memorize poems growing up?

*do you have a favorite poem? what is it?

Blogger Template Giveaway!

that's right friends. i am giving away one of my Blogger templates for FREE! if any of you are wanting to give your blogging space a fresh new look, you best be heading over to Chelsey's site to enter the giveaway HERE! (and yes, Chelsey's blog, CeeMeBe, is one of my latest designs that i am excited for you to see!) Besides a fun new blog look, you could win a pair of my favorite earrings (like i told you about here) from Kilee (via One Little Momma)!

here are just a few of my premade templates, and you can browse through all of them over HERE! (just don't forget to enter the giveaway here!)

and sorry for my absence the past week, but this little miss joined our family 3/26/14 and she is consuming all my time. totally not complaining :) we are thrilled she's here and out of the NICU, home and healthy!

born: 3/26/14