Category: Life & Home

Nautical Inspired Room Makeover

Redecorating with Nautica at Home Paint from Menards + $100 Giveaway

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to try gray interior walls, So when Menards approached me to sponsor a room makeover with Nautica at Home paint, I figured it was time to take a chance on my dream hue. Would the gray tone make the other colors in the room pop? Would it add an air of heightened sophistication to my space? Well…read on to find out. And make sure to enter the giveaway for $100 to Menards as well! That’s enough to tackle a nautical inspired room makeover of your own.

Picking the Right Color

For me this was the hardest part! These tips from my interior designer friends helped:

  1. Compare the color to your trim. The way a color works will be largely determined by the color of your baseboard, doors, windowsills and crown moldings.
  2. If you can, buy a sample size of the color to try first. It can really be different than you think it will be. I bought seven (yes, seven!) sample sizes.
  3. You can always, always repaint if you don’t like it!

In the beginning, I was super set on finding a perfect neutral gray, and I learned just how many types of gray there are! This is why it’s so important to test the shade in your space to see how it “plays” with the lighting and other existing colors. Here are some of my favorites.

Choosing the right grayI love all these colors from the Nautica at Home line! Shown above: Blush gray: Rich Almond. White gray: Seafoam White. Blue gray: Ballard Blue. Lavender gray: Ice Water.

Using Nautica at Home Paint from Menards

My well-worn color chip booklet (seriously, I looked through that thing a lot) has hundreds of gorgeous colors. After those seven sample colors, I realized that I didn’t want gray walls at all! What I really wanted was to bring life and light to some basement walls with a dreamy turquoise hue called Flipper Jade. I used a white-gray accent color called Arctic Tern to repaint a side table and I love the way it turned out.

I went to Menards to pick up the paint, and was thrilled that Nautica at Home is low VOC (low odor). That is an absolute must for interior painting jobs! There is virtually no paint smell while painting and none after it dries. The color went on nicely and evenly, and it really transformed the space.

BeforeNew After The open door gives a glimpse of how the Flipper Jade looks like against the existing bathroom color. The nautical inspired room makeover made a drab space leading to a bathroom and linen closet colorful and cozy.

The End Result: Nautical Inspired Room Makeover

105_1397 (2)Nautica Home paint is inspired by water and the sea. I love the names of the paint, which are all beach-inspired. As part of the makeover, a photo taken along the Oregon Coast became a canvas print to tie the space together. Now I can be reminded of the powerful wind, magical fog and expansive feeling that anything is possible.

The little side table got a full makeover including Flipper Jade accents, and I decided it deserved its own post, so stay tuned!

What color are your dream walls? Have you taken on any room makeover projects lately? I’d love to hear about them. Don’t forget to snag your entries to the giveaway, too.

Thank you Menards and Nautica Home paint for providing products to help me repaint and the gift card giveaway for my readers.

Giveaway: $100 to Menards for your own Nautical Inspired Room Makeover!

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Minnesota Blogger Conference Recap

Minnesota Blogger ConferenceAfter two years of blogging, I attended my first blogging convention last weekend: The Minnesota Blogger Conference. The College of St. Catherine campus where the event was held is so pretty, I took myself on a little walking tour after and grabbed some photos, including the one above.

Snippets of Wisdom from Minnesota Blogger Conference

Here are some my most valuable takeaways from the presenters who shared their knowledge of blogging so expertly with us. All lessons are paraphrased from the presentations.

Write about your unique perspective. What is your unique take? That’s what people want to read. That’s what is going to set you apart. –Arik Hanson

There are so many blogs out there, you really need to work on creating something of quality. Creating an editorial calendar can help you keep on task with your content. –Amanda Nagy

For SEO purposes, every photo should be named what your post is titled. Also, when shooting food photos, use small dishes to better display the food. It will get lost if the dish is too big. – Alice from Dining with Alice

Don’t worry about your competition. People are there to read your blog. The only thing you should fear is not coming off as genuine. – Erica Hanna

Minnesota Blogger Conference at St. Kate'We now interrupt this recap for a quick outfit post break, brought to you by the beautiful St. Kate’s campus.

Love this little crossbody? It’s on sale now for only 39.99. More outfit details below.

In addition to the wisdom gleaned from the presentations, the chance to make connections with other local content creators was especially valuable to me. If you’ve attended a blogging conference, what did you take away from it?

College of St. Catherine Outfit Details

Purse – Calvin Klein on sale 50% off!   /   Dress – Similar   /   Tights – Available at Dry Goods stores   /    Jacket – Previously seen here. Available at Target stores.

Be a Birthday Rememberer!

Great tips for easy ways to remember birthdays and send creative, inexpensive cards.Easy ways to remember birthdays

Facebook really eliminated the need to remember birthdays and send personal snail mail cards. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still something fun to do! I was thinking the other day about the amount of cards I send (few) and the number of birthday calls I make (fewer still). Some people are really good at remembering birthdays and doing something about it. I’m not one of those people, but I think it’s a skill that can be learned and it’s one of my goals for this year. Here are some easy ways to remember birthdays and send original, heartfelt cards.

Record Birthdays in a Calendar

When I find out someone’s birthday, I make a note in my phone’s calendar and set it to repeat every year. That way, I have a record stored for the future. If you use a paper calendar like I do, I find it’s helpful to record it there too.

Keep Cards on Hand

Ideally, of course, you picture yourself standing in the card aisle and browsing until you can pick out the perfect card with the message that really sums up your relationship with the recipient, but busy lives don’t always allow that luxury. I’m starting a collection of beautiful multipurpose cards and birthday cards that I can turn to when time is tight. My favorite place for cards is actually Trader Joe’s. All the cards are .99 cents, and the selection is refreshed every couple weeks so you can always find something new. The designs are creative too. I’ve gotten several gems here, including the birthday card I sent to my brother and sister-in-law (their birthdays are super close together so I get away with sending one card). The only thing missing from the picture was my niece, so I printed out a photo of her in the pool and pasted her in. For more ideas on how to make creative collage cards, check out my DIY post.

Creative, humorous collage cards you can make cheaply and easilyRecord Addresses

Whether it’s an old fashioned paper address book or on your phone, keep a record of people’s addresses so when a birthday comes up, you’ll be prepared to address that note and send it off!

Keep Stationary Accessories on Hand

You don’t need address labels, but they’re fun (and sometimes free, if you’re on a lot of mailing lists). I like to keep these by my desk for quick letter writing. And stamps are a must–you don’t want to be searching for a stamp at the last minute, then have someone’s birthday card bumping around in your purse for days getting bent until you get a chance to buy stamps (known from experience).

No excuses!

A former co-worker once had a sign on his computer that said “Do stuff. Then it’s done.” That mantra totally applies to birthday card writing. Don’t let excuses stand in your way of honoring the special people in your life!

Are these tips helpful to you? If you have any more card writing advice, be sure to let me know in the comments.

How to Find Images for Blog Posts

How to find Images for Blog Posts

It’s no secret that images make blog posts better. It’s a significant factor in SEO ranking, makes posts more appealing on social shares, and breaks up the type nicely on your web page.

Sometimes I create blog posts around the images–a common example of this is an outfit of the day posts. Other times I write the post first and need to find images to accompany it. So where do you find images? One thing you cannot do is search online and take any photos you see, as you could quickly find yourself in a copyright infringement situation. There are several safe options for how to find images for blog posts.

How to Find Images for Blog Posts

1. Take the photos yourself. Most bloggers do this, as it allows you to craft a custom image, you own the rights to it, and it’s part of the creative outlet of blogging. I’ve loved some of the photos I’ve taken with posts in mind, like this one.

2. Find a creative commons licensed photo online. Photo sharing sites like Flickr allow searching by license. Photos marked as creative commons are available for your own use. I did this when I needed a dance photo for a post. I commented to the photographer on Flickr that I would be using his photo and I gave the photographer credit on my blog post.

3. Ask a photographer for permission to publish. Just because a photo isn’t labeled creative commons doesn’t mean you don’t have a shot at using it. Contact the photographer to explain how you would use the photo if given permission.

4. Partner with a photographer. Many bloggers have partnerships with photographers to help them get high quality, custom images. Here’s a collaboration I did with a photographer.

5. Find stock images online. This option doesn’t have to be expensive! There are some free sites out there, but I haven’t had much luck finding images I like. I’ve been enjoying my free week trial to GraphicStock. I’m running a giveaway to a year’s subscription that ends Monday, July 6th so be sure to check it out!

Do you have any questions about where to find photos for your blog or website? Comment below and I’ll answer them!

Free Kotex Samples: #UnderWarrior

Free samples

Last year I wrote about Kotex, and the company is once again offering free samples of the Capture the Core line of feminine products by mail! It’s such a great offer that I wanted to share it again with Pink Paperdoll readers.

Free Kotex Samples

Who loves free samples? Get your free Kotex samples by mail here.

The generous samples come in a really adorable packaging that doesn’t scream “CONTAINS PANTY LINERS.” Who doesn’t love getting fun (and free!) stuff in the mail, right?

Free kotex samples

Outfit Details:

Top: The Southern Crowd  /  U by Kotex capture the core  /  Lavender gemstone necklace  /  Beachy hair courtesy of Mother Nature!