hello 2016 + my fave things from 2015

hello 2016.

The past year has in many ways gone by so incredibly fast.  

My kids are taller, we’re all a year older.

I closed a painful chapter in my life and walked into a healthy, new life that I love.

I met a wonderful man & a best friend that would change my life forever.

I had zero time to blog, but I have a job I love, and I am trying to eek out time to begin blogging again because I feel like part of me is missing when I don’t write.

I think the part of the year that I love the most, is looking back and seeing God work things out.

In the quiet times when we have no idea how an impossible situation will be resolved.

In noisy times where we just need five minutes to ourselves so we don’t feel crazy.

In the painful moments where it doesn’t feel like hurt could ever be healed.

He has shown up and handled it.  Handled it when I could not, and gone before me not to pave a perfect straight road, but to remind me that He’s got this and I am His daughter.

And I have learned that I can survive those tough times that are no fun, and really appreciate the seasons of quiet.  That is new for me because I fee like I’ve always been in a hurry to get to the next thing.

 

I used to make a New Year’s Resolution each year, or choose a word.  

I have decided to put zero pressure on myself and just enjoy having another year, more time and living a peaceful (yet crazy/loud/busy) life with my family.

Here are a few things I loved working on this year, and I hope this finds you blessed, at peace, and seeing the good.  Because it is everywhere and wants us to find it.

No matter what.

So here we go, a new year, and some of my favorite stuff from last year….

 

All You Need Is Love Free Printable twelveOeightblog.com #loveprintable #allyouneedislove #freeprintable #valentine #twelveOeightblog

love is all you need free printable 

[Read more…]

CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong | Interview + Giveaway!!

 

 

 We’ve probably all seen the “Nailed It!” meme online with a gorgeous cupcake on the left,
and a sad, dismembered baked item, the “after” on the right.  

We all have them, like adult acne or spinach in our teeth, a failure in the creative world is bound to happen.
In her new book “CraftFail: When Handmade Goes Horribly Wrong”  Heather Mann gives us a peek into what
has kept her crafting, writing and making her way to a successful, enjoyable career.

heathermann1-1346983154_140

“Throughout the years, I have posted craftfails of my own and those shared by other crafters, and I have
become a full-on failure enthusiast.  If finally learned what never got through to me as a failure-phobic kid:
We learn a heck of a lot more by failing than we ever will by succeeding on the first try.”

Heather’s words really ring true with me.  I started creating and making probably 35+ years ago (holy crap
that’s makes me sound old.) And as many successes as I have had, there have been a multitude of failures
and setbacks.  Frustrations, and discouragement are part of the process of learning.   [Read more…]

Inspiration Monday Party!! | Tasty Tomato Features

 Welcome back to Inspiration Monday Party!
 
This is the place were you get tons of exposure…
and INSPIRATION!
 
 

 
 
 
 
When you link up here, your project is seen on 6 blogs.
We also love to feature folks on our Facebook page, so be sure to follow us so you don’t miss it.
 
This week it’s all about TOMATOES.

Inspiration Monday Party | Awesome Red , White + Blue features!!

It’s an end of the month #InspirationMonday party…you know what that means!
We have a guest hostess AND a BIG giveaway!
We’re so happy you are joining us today.
This week, your links are seen simultaneously on all SEVEN blogs at the same time, 
all you need to do is link up to ONE of our sites.


And if you’re linking up via our guest hostess, What Meegan Makes, WELCOME!

And of course a big HELLO to all of our regular party friends, too!
We just love you to pieces.

Z
We feature lots of your projects during the duration of the party via social media.
To search for features, use #InspirationMonday. 
Feel free to follow along via our blogs below:

I Should Be Mopping the Floor | Refresh Restyle

How to have an epic summer + commit to way less

Let’s face it, we all find ourselves in a rut sometimes.
There seem to be many ways to arrive in burn out land.

Especially as we transition into the summer months and may
be trying to figure out how we are going to enjoy time with family,
friends, lots of activities, travel, visitors, planning a fab BBQ or two,
and perhaps some time to relax.

 

 

Here are a few that you may be able to identify with:

  • not enough sleep
  • too many commitments
  • not staying true to yourself
  • having grace with others, demanding perfection from ourselves
  • wanting it all now

I am guilty of all of these, usually three or more at the same time
just to keep myself stressed out and distracted from what really matters.
Since different stuff matters to all of us, but most of us have some common
things that throw us off track I can think of three things that are rut-busters
we can implement as we move into summer.

[Read more…]

Inspiration Monday Party | DIY ideas for every room!!


 Hey, hey party people! I hope you have had an AMAZING  week,
it was gorgeous for a few days here in WA state, now a bit rainy.
But that’s ok, it just gives me time to get stuff done while I wait for the sun 🙂

Thank you for being here and for sharing all of your creative projects with us.

You guys are so talented, I am so inspired by what YOU do every week!!

When you link your project here, it is displayed simultaneously on all FIVE blogs at the same time,
all you need to do is link up to ONE of our sites.

Be sure and follow all of us on Social Media as we love to share and promote your posts there too.
A few reminders…
Don’t forget to check to see if you are you are following our Inspiration Monday Pinterest board.
If you are, you may get a sneak peak of our weekly favorites and features.
Also…please update your button or party link so we can feature you!
(it’s located on the sidebar)

[Read more…]

Inspiration Monday Party | Features & a GIVEAWAY!!

It’s an end of the month #InspirationMonday party
…you know what that means!
We have a guest hostess AND a giveaway!
We’re so happy you are joining us today.
This week, your links are seen simultaneously on all SIX blogs at the same time, 
all you need to do is link up to ONE of our sites.


And if you’re linking up via our guest hostess, Mayen Designs, WELCOME!

And of course a big HELLO to all of our regular party friends, too-

We just love you to pieces!



We feature lots of your projects during the duration of the party via social media.

To search for features, use #InspirationMonday. 
Feel free to follow along via our blogs below:

I Should Be Mopping the Floor | Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Redhead Can DecoratetwelveOeight | Your Homebased Mom

and special guest hostess Mayen Designs

Let’s get started with our giveaway!

Our sponsor for today’s party is 
Deborah’s Collection Skin Care & Health Care products.

Check them out here.

Enter to win this entire collection of skin care products, valued at $260. It includes>>>

Gentle Cleansing Wash /// Oxygen Clarifying Treatment

Total ORAC Facial Spritz ///  Lift Powder Lift Activator /// FacialTox Advanced

Enzymatic Facial Peel /// Ultra Firm Eye Crème (1 oz) Lift Brush

Enter through the Rafflecopter>>>

{giveaway open to legal residents of the continental US only}
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our awesome guest hostess, Mayen Designs, has curated a wonderful collection of sewing projects
linked up at last week’s party for today’s features. Check them out below>>>

 

 

Spring Burlap Wreath #DIY #Silhouette #printandcut

I absolutely love this beautiful Burlap Spring Wreath Laura from The Turquoise Home shared!!
[Read more…]

Inspiration Monday Party | Thanksgiving Project and Recipe Features!

Hey y’all & Happy November!!
~Welcome back to Inspiration Monday Party~
big inspiration monday
This is the place where your links are seen simultaneously
on all four blogs at the same time…
all you need to do is link up on ONE of our sites.
It’s finally November, and Thanksgiving comes up fast.
Our features this week can help us get an early start.
We love to pin your projects through out the week to our
“Monday Features & Favorite Board” found here,
so be sure to follow us there.
Feel free to grab a button if you were featured.
(on the sidebar)
Thanksgiving
1. Thanksgiving Table Favors by Echoes of Laughter
3. Fall Family Room by Georgie Emerson Vintage
4. Maple Roasted Brussel Sprouts by Growing Up Gabel
5.Pilgrim Picture Napkin Rings by Grandparents Plus
6. DIY Mason Jar Chandelier by Upcycled Treasures
7. How to Build a Farmhouse Table by Art is Beauty
8.Turkey Soup by Jenn’s Random Scraps
hostess_pick
thankful sign
Thankful Sign by Craft Dictator

Please keep in mind:

– Be sure to mingle with other party guests {that’s what it’s all about, right?}. – It’s always fun to click on a few other links to see what fellow bloggers are up to.

– Link up all of your creative fun, including recipes, crafts, printables, DIY projects and other fabulous things you’ve been up to on YOUR blog.
– Please do not link Etsy stores, giveaways, or other link parties {Bummer, huh? But there are lots of specific parties out there just for these fun things!}
– By linking up to Inspiration Monday you are giving the five blogs, listed above, permission to feature your project and/or photos on our social media outlets and blogs.
-While certainly not required, we would love for you to follow along on social media with the hostesses {links on each of our blogs here}:

{This week at twelveOeight}

 

5 Awesome Tips To Grow Your Blog | with Amy from The Blissful Bee

Over the past year and a half, I have been working super hard to grow my blog as much as I possibly can. I have a full time job and also own my own business on the side, so finding time to grow is very hard. Throughout my experience, I have discovered some efficient ways to market your blog without having to be a full time blogger. Below are my top 5 ways to grow your blog (and some of the things I’ve learned along the way)!  

1. Link Parties linky
Link parties are the biggest way to grow your blog in my opinion. I have been linking up almost every day ever since I started blogging. Although linking up to multiple link parties might be time consuming, IT’S WORTH IT!

The only way my blog grew when I was first starting out was from link parties. Not only are you linking up to other blogs, but if your post is impressive enough, you might get featured the next week. This is HUGE. You will most likely gain many many followers if you’ve been featured on a big bloggers link party. Another way to use link parties to grow your blog is to actually host one. By using Linky Tools or InLinkz, you can pay about $20 a year to use their link tool. I host a link party called Work It Wednesday and use Linky Tools. I have also collaborated with 3 other bloggers to make a “mega” link party. More bloggers = more coverage for you = good:)  

2. Social Media socialmedia
Social media has also been HUGE for my blog. I started off without using any social media and that was my first mistake. I started my blog just for family and friends and didn’t think anything would come of it, so I didn’t think I needed to use any forms of social media. Well, I was wrong. I really wish I would have created a blog FB page, Twitter, Google + and Instagram account when I first started blogging. I know I would have had double to followers, but what can ya do? I didn’t start utilizing social media until this year; my second year of blogging… BIG mistake. When using social media, make sure to post every time you have a new post up on your blog. It’s also fun to support your bloggy friends and post about some of your favorite projects of theirs. Just make sure to tag them in the post and provide the link to their blog page. The blog world is SO supportive and we all want to see each other succeed.

3. Content Content Content!!! Content is obviously very important when it comes to blogging. As much as I want to tell you to post every day, if you don’t post quality content, your readers will no longer be interested. I would suggest 3-5 posts per week as long as they contain quality content.

4. Photography camera
 Ok, you might be thinking… wait. I’m not a professional photographer!! And I’m about to tell you thats totally ok! I understand not everyone is a professional, but quality photography is a big one. Although it’s tempting, try to avoid those easy iphone pictures. They are totally fine for “before” pictures or maybe even a few “process” pictures, but not for the end result. No one wants to look at low quality images. There are so many great blogs out there that produce high quality images, so we have to keep up!

5. Buy A Domain Name One big regret I have is that I didn’t buy a domain name when I first started blogging. I used a .blogspot name for over a year and finally made the decision to switch over to a .com address. At the time I didn’t realize how painful the transition would be. I also moved to WordPress (which is fabulous!) and that was also a very difficult transition. If you are just starting out and want a .com address, I would suggest buying a domain name immediately. When I switched over to my new name and look, I lost about HALF of my followers… It was rough. It took me about 6 months just to get back to where I started. Like I said… very painful experience. Totally worth it, but painful. Alrighty friends, I hope you have learned a few new things today!
I know these tips have really helped me in my experience and I hope they help you all as well!!
Thanks again Tanya for having me:)

Thank you SO much for the wonderful tips and sharing your ideas with us Amy, no matter 
how long we have been blogging, there is always something new to learn!!


Have a wonderful, safe & Happy Halloween this week friends!

Inspiration Monday Party | Pumpkin Recipes AND a $100 Scentsy GIVEAWAY!!

It’s a special GUEST HOSTESS and GIVEAWAY edition of
Inspiration Monday! 

{Your links are seen simultaneously on all FIVE blogs at the same time…
all you need to do is link up on ONE of our sites!}

Today, you could win a $100 credit to spend at Wickless Habit 
{a Scentsy Independent Consultant site}
Details below!

Feel free to grab a button if you were featured below:


 
party
 

Our special guest hostess, Remona, from The Stitching Scientist, has selected all of today’s fabulous features: Sweet Pumpkin Inspirations.
Features are also pinned to our
Inspiration Monday Features & Favorites board. 

 

Now for the AWESOME Giveaway! 
You can win a $100 credit to spend any way you choose at Wickless Habit, an awesome Scentsy site from independent consultant, Diedra Blankenship.




Enter through the Rafflecopter:

Now…let’s party!


Please keep in mind:
– Be sure to mingle with other party guests {that’s what it’s all about, right?}. 
– It’s always fun to click on a few other links to see what fellow bloggers are up to.
– Link up all of your creative fun, including recipes, crafts, printables, DIY projects and other fabulous things you’ve been up to on YOUR blog. 
– Please do not link Etsy stores, giveaways, or other link parties {Bummer, huh? But there are lots of specific parties out there just for these fun things!}
– By linking up to Inspiration Monday you are giving the five blogs, listed above, permission to feature your project and/or photos on our social media outlets and blogs.
 
While certainly not required, we’d love for you to follow along on social media with the hostesses 
{links on each of our blogs} we love to feature your projects there:
 
Not required, but feel free to include us in your link party list or grab the button below:

 

 
party