weekend reading | 11.21.14

weekend reading | grab a cup of tea and check out these posts!

Whew! It’s FriYAY, y’all! I don’t remember where I saw that term first, but I love it, and I’m going to start using it everywhere! I’m so stoked for this weekend because I finally great another break from work. Last weekend I worked straight through with so many things to get done, so I’m really looking forward to a few days vegging out with Netflix!

Since it’s Friday, here are some posts I’m loving from this week:

These mini cookies that Chelsea made are adorable! Why is everything in mini form like a million times cuter?

I’ve been following Diana on Instagram for several months now and I love her work, so I definitely enjoyed this interview that Jessica did with her!

Paige shared some tips on taking great iPhone photos this week. Want to hear a secret? It’s been a long time since I’ve used my DSLR for photos for my blog. I pretty much always use my iPhone!

Vanessa wrote a great post about learning to say “no”. I’ve had that problem in the past, too, and probably wouldn’t be so busy with work right now if I had said no. It’s a tough thing to do as a freelancer, but it’s important to say no when you know you need to.

I’m not doing any gift guides on the blog this year, but thank goodness for Ann-Marie’s gift guide for guys! Men can be so hard to shop for! (Bonus: she’s got a fun shopping list printable in this post, too!)

That’s it for this week, y’all! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

branding is more than a logo

branding is more than just a logo

When you first get into blogging or decide to start your own business, you immediately know that you’ve got to pull together a brand along with, well, a million other things. Many blog posts and websites around the web will tell you that to fulfill your brand “requirements” you must have:

+ a logo
+ a color scheme
+ a set of fonts
+ consistent social media usernames
+ consistent logos / graphics on all social media / other social sharing sites

And on, and on, and on. I’ll be honest, if you came to me and asked what you’d need, I’d recommend the same thing all these other sites do, but I’d tell you to go one step further: consider the person behind the brand.

You see, branding isn’t just about the logo or the look you present online, it’s about the person behind the brand, your story, your WHY, the message your share to your readers or clients (or both!), and more.

When you really get to the roots of your brand, when you discover your story and start sharing it, that’s when you start seeing the success that you’re dreaming will come after you start that blog or business.

It’s not enough to write on a blog consistently. It’s not enough to post pretty pictures on Instagram. You have to craft your story, your brand’s message, your WHY, and then you have to share it. Spread it like wildfire.

Because when we get clear on our brand, the story we’re telling, and the people we’re reaching, we become contagious. And that’s what you deserve. You deserve to be contagious.

Ready to start crafting your branding from the inside and out? Registration for Brand Catalyst opens December 4th, and it’s all you need to craft your best brand while learning simple and fun design steps to translate your message into a look that can take you to the next step. Sign up here to be the first to know when registration is open.

make it happen

In the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of getting closer to miss Ashley Beaudin. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably seen me sharing about how great she is as well as how amazing the #fireworkpeople group can be. So, of course I had to reach out to Ashley and invite her to post here on the blog. If you’ve been looking for a sign, desperately needing a pep talk, or just looking for someone who gets it: this post is for you.

you're going to make it happen | a guest post by ashley beaudin

I know you’re a dreamer. I know you have ideas of what you want to be doing even when you feel stuck in what you’re really doing. I know that you have passions that are burning in your heart. I know that you feel many things; sometimes fear, sometimes doubt, sometimes inadequacy. I know that secretly inside you’re wondering if you actually have what it takes.

But you know what else I know?

I know that you’re more capable, more powerful, more brilliant than you give yourself credit for. I know that its time for you to stop being your own enemy and join your own team. I know that your passions are fire and a weapon. I know that everything you need, you have. I know that the answers you’re so desperately long for already live inside of you.

And that stuck feeling you get sometimes? There’s a way out of that. Has anyone reminded you of that lately?

It is easy and it is this: just keep moving.

Every day, get up and do something that pushes you towards the life you want. Pick up that pen and write. Launch that blog. Say those words. Call that business. Reach out to that person. Record that video.

Just keep going.

Because you see the thing is that energy creates energy. So as you keep moving, you’ll be pulled into a momentum that is so contagious, it will affect the rest of your life. Guaranteed. And the beautiful thing about momentum is that once you’re in it, you’re in it.

Let go of the fear, the shame, the self-criticism. And today, just jump, step out, move.

You’re on your way. You’re going to make it happen. You’re going to be incredible.

Ashley Beaudin

About Ashley Beaudin

Ashley Beaudin is the gorgeous face behind the brand and self titled blog. She’s passionate about helping people see the good in their souls and encouraging them to let their fire shine to the world. She’s the leader of Firework People, a community for women who want to change the world.

annual reader survey | 2014

the annual reader survey | kory woodard

I can not believe the end of the year is literally on our heels. Thanks to my girl Bri I’ve got posts planned for the rest of the year, with my usual week off at Christmas, and I couldn’t be happier about it. However, I started to take a look at next year, and I realized, I hadn’t done my annual reader survey yet! I usually run this in December, but I know everyone is running around trying to get things done even more then than they are now, so I figured I’d go on ahead and throw this bad baby out to y’all!

This year’s survey is a brief 9 questions, so it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete. Regardless if you’re just a blogger (there is not “just a blogger”, by the way) or a business owner, or maybe you’re a new reader or perhaps you’ve been with me for a while now, I’d really appreciate if you took a few moments to answer these questions. I’d love to hear your input as I begin to take a look at where I want the blog to go in the new year. I’ll only have this survey open through next Wednesday, just a heads up!

Click here to take my annual reader survey!

P. s. I’ve been loving having my wonderful guest posters on the blog these past few months, and I’m thrilled to have the last of the year tomorrow! You guys are going to be so fired up with her post.. (That was your hint, by the way!) However, I did want to mention that I’ve decided to open up two spots a month to guest posters for the entirety of 2015 (or until I run out of guest posters).

With that being said, if you’d be interested in sharing here on the blog, I’d love to have you! Each month prior I’ll be doing a call for writers on Twitter, so even if you don’t have an idea now, you’ll still get your chance throughout the year! However, if you’ve got something in mind right at the moment, shoot me an email and let’s chat!

moodboard / pink + gold

moodboard : pink + gold | by kory woodard

Happy Monday, y’all! I hope y’all had a great weekend! After spending the last couple of mine not working, I actually had to spend this one on a few important projects that I’m aiming to wrap up this week. With the holidays literally right around the corner, I’m hustling to make sure I get all the time I’ll be home with my family.

Now, I know I shared a new moodboard last week, but I honestly couldn’t not share this one today! There’s something about some of the projects that have been coming my way lately. I’ve really started to feel like I’m actually starting to narrow in on my dream client and my best styles of design. When I saw the first set of images this client had pulled together, I was immediately smiling with a resounding, “YES!” going off in my head.

love, love this board. It’s a perfect mixture of hand drawn type elements, clean design, and come on, who can resist those colors?! It’s been awhile since I’ve worked with hot pink, but I’m super excited about the paring of the pink with the gold for this branding project. Can’t wait to share more with y’all!

P.s. Are you looking for a refreshed look for the new year? I’m currently booking blog + web design and branding projects for January and February! I’m already starting to book up, so let’s talk in you’re ready for something new!