Health, Love & Fire: October 2016

My New Journey with LuLaRoe

Friday, October 28, 2016

You may remember me sharing a post a few weeks ago about some of my new favorite clothes. I came across LuLaRoe back in June when my good friend hosted an in home party. I was definitely a little skeptical at first of another in home party to attend, but was up for some girl time so another good friend and I went to check it out. As soon as I was there, I loved it. It was my first time seeing and feeling the LuLaRoe clothing and I loved being able to try everything on, figuring out my size and getting advice from all my girlfriends on their favorite prints and styles.
Since attending that party and purchasing my first couple pieces of LuLaRoe, my personal inventory has increased, the number of consultants I follow and shop from has skyrocketed and I have definitely fallen in love with the company and business. After several purchases and talking with my husband, it was him who kept suggesting I think about becoming a consultant. He's always my best supporter and the first person to push me to do things I'll enjoy. So after a few weeks of thinking about it and talking it over with friends, I made the decision and signed up!

The process to become a LuLaRoe consultant can be a long one. From the time you sign your paperwork to the time you get your phone call and order your inventory is between 6-10 weeks. Ijust got my official call this week after 7 weeks of waiting and I am so excited! I've got most of my supplies ready, have lots of ideas to share and can't wait to start opening boxes and seeing all the gorgeous prints and patterns. To begin with I will be carrying 3 styles of shirts (the Irma, Classic T and Perfect T), leggings, 2 styles of skirts (Maxi and Cassie), 2 dresses (Julia & Carly), and the Lindsey Kimono. LuLaRoe offers sizes for everyone which I love, and I'll be carrying from size XXS to 3X, so I hope that every person who wants to try LuLaRoe will be able to find something they love and feel amazing in!

One of the things I love most about LuLaRoe is that I have several friends who are also consultants, and this business is absolutely something you can share with friends. LuLaRoe only makes around 5,000 pieces in each print, so the prints each consultant gets are unique. Friends could all carry the same styles, but everyone will have different prints and patterns to sell. I've gotten to help a friend go through all her initial inventory, have shopped several friends' launch parties and am excited to do sales together in the future. This business and company is less about competition and more about sharing the love for this brand and helping shoppers find their favorite looks!

If you'd like to help me get started and follow along on my journey, make sure to visit and join my VIP Facebook page and also enter the giveaway to earn some free LuLaRoe leggings!

I'm looking forward to seeing where this business takes me and the connections I'll make along the way. In the next few weeks as I get started with my initial inventory, I'll also share the things I did while I was waiting and how I prepared to become a consultant. It's been so helpful to me to learn from others along the way, and I'd love to do the same! If you're new to LuLaRoe or a Lula Lover like myself, I'd love to have you join my VIP Facebook group where I'll share sales, giveaways and lots of outfit ideas.

To kick off my business and introduce all of you to LuLaRoe, I'm offering a giveaway to help you win some free LuLaRoe!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you tried LuLaRoe before? What's your favorite LuLaRoe Style?

Pumpkin Patch Trip 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

It pretty much goes without saying that this holiday loving girl will make at least one trip to the pumpkin patch each fall season. Unfortunately Oregon weather hasn't been too cooperative lately, so we had to try to beat the crowds this Saturday when there was finally a dry day! It was so fun to see Harper get to actually enjoy the trip this year, instead of sleeping through the entire outing like she did last year.

We went to one of our favorite local patches, Baggensto's. They have lots of activities for the kids, including games, corn mazes, and some animals to visit with. You can take a free hay/tractor ride down to a field where they have lots of pumpkins for you to choose from. We let Harper walk around and check everything out to pick her favorite. 
We've been coming to this farm for several years, and it's so neat to look back at our visits when Dan and I first started dating to now being able to bring our daughter with us. We even got to bring my parents along for a fun morning outing. Thankfully we got there early and beat some of the crowds! 
Now that we've got our pumpkins, I'm hoping to carve a couple this week and maybe let Harper paint hers before Halloween next weekend. It's safe to say I'm absolutely in love with Harper's Halloween costume that my mom handmade and can't wait for her to get to show it off! I'm sure it will make at least one or several appearances around this blog and of course all social media accounts! 

What's your favorite fall or Halloween tradition? 

One Room Challenge Week Three - All the Ordering

Friday, October 21, 2016

So week three has been a productive one, but unfortunately one that I don't have too many photos of. If you missed the first two weeks, you can catch up here

 Here's a recap of what we've gotten done this week!
We've decided on new fabric for our headboard, but unfortunately I had to order it because Joann's didn't have a large enough amount of fabric. I was looking for three yards and they only had pieces up to two yards long. It should get delivered tonight and hopefully I'll re do it this weekend so I can get an idea of how the color looks in the room and I can start looking for more decor to use throughout.
This is the fabric we ended up going with, and I can't wait to use it and see how it looks in our room! Now I just have to decide if I want to add curtains as well and if I do, what would look good with this fabric. Any suggestions? 

Ordered and put together new dressers to use as bed side tables. After looking for a long time at different side tables, I decided I wanted something larger and with more storage so we came to the decision to use dressers instead of bed side tables to eliminate extra furniture and make the room feel larger. I already LOVE the look of the new dressers and really feel like it makes the room look more grand. We went with these dressers from Target. Don't you just love them?
I ordered a larger dresser to put under the TV. I'm hoping it doesn't take too long to ship and that I'll have it in the room within the next week or so. It took us a really long time to find something we loved and that would fit the space correctly. We are going to have to move around the TV wall mount and do a little redecorating but I'm crossing my fingers that once it's all in place we will love it! We ordered it from Joss & Main and it's going to take a couple weeks to get here, so I'm just hoping it arrives in time and looks good with everything else. I may change out the nobs to match the other dressers a little better, but I'll decide once I have it all in the space. We also purchased new bedding - After ordering the head board fabric and deciding on dressers, I knew I wanted something simple and light when it came to ordering a new comforter. I ended up finding something perfect during our shopping trip to Target this week!

And finally, we purchased new lamps for our bed side tables - I wasn't originally going to do this, but I unfortunately broke one of our current lamps earlier in the week so I ended up adding this to the to do list.
Things I have left to do: 
- Find more decor to use throughout the room
- Decide which photos to use and how to display them
- Re-do the headboard once the fabric arrives
- Put together the third dresser once it arrives
- Decorate the entire room and photograph it to share on the blog

I'm really glad I joined in on this challenge because it's definitely pushing me to make decisions and complete this space. I have been thinking about redoing this room since we moved in so I am excited to see it all come together!

So time for your input, should I add curtains to the room or no curtains?
Make sure you check out all the other awesome room makeovers happening all across the country as a part of the One Room Challenge.

One Room Challenge - Week 2 Design Board

Friday, October 14, 2016

Hello everyone and welcome to week 2 of the One Room Challenge. If you missed my announcement last week make sure to check that out. I am excited to participate in this installment of the One Room Challenge and make over our master bedroom in the next few weeks. You can hop back over to my week 1 post to see the before pictures to give you an idea of the space we are working with. 

So this week I wanted to share with you some of the inspiration and ideas I have for this makeover. 

I'm really loving the idea of a clean look and I love the accents of dark blue. I love the current color in our room but I want to make it a more sophisticated and clean looking room where it all flows and matches. I feel like for so long our master bedroom has been a mix of decor and elements that we've collected over the years and I want to really make it all feel like it fits in this space.

Our plan is to get all new dressers and side tables, redo the headboard and update the decor in the room. I'm still trying to decide if I also want to add curtains or not. I am leaning more towards yes, but I am definitely open to suggestions.

What are your favorite elements of a master bedroom? Have any suggestions for things I should add to the room?

A Great Wolf Lodge Escape

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This past weekend we went on a short overnight trip with our best friends and all of our kids to Great Wolf Lodge in Washington. We'd been planning the trip for a while, and decided to book it when we found a Groupon! We've actually visited the lodge and water park in the past when it first opened, before we had kids. And while this trip was a lot different than the last and included much more time in the kiddie pool and less time on the big slides, and a bed time of 9pm we still had a fun time!
Last Trip: 
This Trip 
Before we left, I had several friends question whether or not there would be much for our kids to do and I was excited that there was a bunch to keep all of us busy. The lodge does a great job of making sure there are activities for the entire family. They have story time several times a day and a show in the lobby of the lodge each morning and evening. Since it's the month of October, there were Halloween activities happening that even included some trick or treating. We could have kept the kids busy for days!

The water park had a lot of activities, even for toddlers. There was an entire pool and section just for little kids with slides, fake jet skis and all sorts of water sprayers. I was pleasantly surprised at how much Harper could participate in, even at her age. We also took them in some of the larger pools with their life jackets and just held on to them. They all enjoyed the wave pool and all the different water activities. One of my favorite parts of Great Wolf is that there really are activities for all ages. We had a great time when we visited a few years ago with just adults, and loved our trip with the kids too.
 While we spent most of our time in the pool, we all had a lot of fun roaming around the lodge. We ate dinner at the buffet, listened to a little story time, and of course played in the halls. We lucked out and got rooms right across the hall from each other, so we could visit back and forth whenever the kids wanted to.
And of course the adults had some fun too, a took turns on the big slides. First the girls and then the guys. On our last trip all together, we went down these slides several times. This trip, one ride was enough for each of us and we were back to the kiddie pool!
Tips For Visiting Great Wolf Lodge with Kids: 
1. Bring extra swim suits and a bag for the water park. We were able to check in early and use the water park before our room was ready, so it was helpful to have a bag to keep all of our change of clothes and extra pool stuff in. 
2. Check in starts at 4pm, but they will let you check in starting at 1pm to use the water park. 
3. If you kids sleep in a crib, I would recommend packing a pack and play for them to sleep in. The hotel states that they have some, but the day we went it was completely booked so I was glad I brought ours and didn't have to worry about finding one. 
4. Bring your own beach towels. The hotel has towels to use in the water park, but you aren't allow to take those back to your room. We liked having extra towels that we could wrap Harper in to take her back to the room or save seats at the water park. 
5. Check on Groupon before booking your stay. I see these deals pop up pretty frequently and it's always nice to save a little. 

It has been so fun to get to go on adventures with our kids along with some of our best friends. It's a really fun season of life that we are in, especially since so many of our friends are in the same season. While our vacations and adventures have definitely changed, our friendship and our fun has only increased! I would definitely suggest a trip to a Great Wolf Lodge or similar hotel to anyone with kids, or who have husbands like ours who are kids at heart!

What's your favorite place to take your kids?

Friday Five

Friday, October 7, 2016

Yay it's Friday! It's been such a crazy last week, I'm so glad it's finally Friday. My parents have been on vacation and my mom typically watches Harper a day a week, so our schedules have been a little off trying to adjust so that we can be home with Harper on the days my mom would typically have her. I'm glad they were able to go on their trip, but I am also glad that they will be home and our schedule will be back to normal (as normal as our schedule ever is). So since it is Friday and I'm loving having this day to check in and give a life and favorites update this week, lets jump right in!

We are taking Harper on an overnight trip on Sunday with our best friends and their two kids. We are probably crazy taking 3 kids all under the age of 3 to Great Wolf Lodge on an overnight trip, but we're going to try it! We're already planning the post bedtime waterpark trips for the guys and girls and which drinks we should bring along! We're excited for some time away together, and you will definitely be seeing an update of how it goes soon! Here's a photo from the last time we all went to the lodge together (all before kids!).

In case you missed my post yesterday, I announced I will be participating in the One Room Challenge, hosted by Calling It Home throughout the month of October. I decided to redo our master bedroom for the challenge and can't wait to see how it all comes together!

We are excited for Mimi & Poppy to come home from their trip! We've spent this week sending lots of photos and face timing! We see them multiple times a week normally, so both Harper and I are ready for them to be home! They went to Hawaii with my aunt and uncle, who happen to be huge New York Giants fans, so of course we had to get in our Giant's gear to watch the game on Monday, and we of course had to send a photo too!
My favorite post for the week was my post on how different photography tips helped me grow my blog and Instagram. I have nearly doubled my instagram followers and more than double my likes and comments on each photo. The tips I shared are the things that have worked for me and what I use to edit and share my photos and grow my followers!

Each week, I've decided to share my favorite shop for the week and this week is definitely Eloise and I. I ordered some bandana bibs for Harper and went with the surprise 3 bib set and I couldn't be happier. When I opened the package, not only were the patterns three of my favorites to begin with but they sent them with a hand written thank you note in pretty packaging! I will absolutely be buying more!
If you'd like me to highlight your small shop in a future Friday post, please contact me!

I hope everyone has a wonderful end to their week and a fabulous weekend! Do you have any fun plans?

One Room Challenge - Week 1

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I am so excited for this post! Since the last installment of the One Room Challenge I have been considering participating. Each year when I see all the decor bloggers start posting about this challenge I get so excited and totally sucked into each project and space. This year, I decided it was about time I jump on in myself!

Over the next five weeks, every Thursday I will post a project update and share different DIY projects I've completed, decor I've purchased and what we are doing to transform the space. Our master bedroom is one of the rooms we spend the most time in (most of it sleeping), yet one that we haven't done a whole lot to since moving in almost two years ago. Lately one of our favorite things to do in the evenings after putting Harper to bed is to hang out in our room watching TV or a movie, talking or playing cards. Each night when we spend time there, I find myself wanting to finally redo and finish this space that we should love.

Our bedroom is currently a mixture of a whole lot of stuff. There are dressers we purchased at ikea, some from the discount section and not all even match. They've been through two moves and about 8 years of wear. Our night stands don't match out dressers. One was Dan's before we started dating and the other is from ikea. I thought when I purchased it that it was the same color as the other dressers from ikea when I bought it, but turns out it was a shade darker. Needless to say, I'm ready to upgrade and have furniture that matches or at least looks like it belongs together.

As far as decor, most of the decorations in the room are things of sentimental value like wedding photos or other important photos. Many of the photos were the ones we had from our former house and it seemed easier to just put everything back up that was in our old master bedroom, instead of taking the time to figure out what we wanted in this new space. I'm excited to take everything off the walls and hand pick the elements we want in this new space to make it feel complete!

So finally, here are the before pictures of the space, all disorganized and random as it sits currently.
When I look at these photos I just see blah. I want something more relaxing. A space I want to just curl up in and spend time in without feeling annoyed at how unhappy I am with the space and mismatched everything!

So here are our goals for the next 5 weeks:
- New side tables
- New dresser
- Redo headboard
- New photos and decor
- New bedding
- Hang drapes

Since our house is fairly new, most of the things I want to complete are cosmetic. I'm excited to see how this space transforms and comes together and hope you'll follow along too!

Any suggestions for your favorite elements to add to a master bedroom?

Photo Tools That Improved My Instagram and Blog

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

One of the things I've found most important to growing and building my blog is photography. Now you don't have to be a professional photographer by any means, but having clear consistent photos has really helped me grow my following. A few months ago I really started trying to focus on different aspects of how to better and grow my blog, so I want to begin sharing and compiling the resources I've found helpful along the way.

Since photos are so important to your blog and your social media following, that's the area I decided to focus on first. Instagram is my favorite social media channel, so it only made sense to start really paying attention and trying to build that avenue first. About six months ago, I started to pay more attention to the quality of images I was posting, the hashtags I was using, and the overall look and feel of the posts and photos I was sharing and it has completely changed my Instagram and blog. I went from averaging around 35 likes per image, to getting an average of 90-100 likes per post. I have nearly doubled my followers, and continue to watch it grow every day. So what do I use or do to see that growth? Here's the four factors that have contributed to my photo growth.

1. Photos
I take most of my photos on my iPhone 6s or my Cannon 60D camera. Both produce a great quality photo. I love that I already carry my iPhone with me everywhere so it's right at my fingertips when I have a photo worthy moment, but definitely can't replace the quality of the images I'm able to get with my DSLR camera. Many of my followers find me either through Instagram or Pinterest, both of which rely heavily on images, so having good quality photos has been key to gaining more followers and page views.

One of the things I find most helpful when it comes to photos is to have some ready to post, especially on my Instagram. I work full-time so getting out to take photos during the week can be tough. That's why, I try to take lots of photos on the weekend to have ready to post throughout the week so I can still remain consistent. You used to find me posting just any and every photo I took, but I've started being really selective of the images I share on my Instagram. I want my feed to be the best photos I have and for them to share a story throughout my feed. Since changing what I share, I not only have seen an increase in my following, but an increase in likes and in comments too!

  • Sarah at Venus Trapped In Mars has done some awesome research on Hashtags that will increase your likes.

2. Editing 

Instagram is the app I use the most when it comes to posting and uploading my photos to different social media accounts, but I usually edit the photos before I post them there using different apps and programs. I have used both Lightroom and Photoshop in the past, but my go-to for photo editing on my iPhone is  VSCO. There are some great tutorials on Youtube to get ideas to better your photo editing. One of my favorites is from Katherine Elizabeth.

  • Ashley @ The Grits Blog just released some great fall themed stock photos.
3. Creating Images For Your Blog
Having photos such as the one below is the best way to attract traffic to my blog from Pinterest or explain to my readers in their blogger or bloglovin feed what my post is about that day. I make all of those images like the ones on this post on Canva. That website has tons of options for free designs and even more if you're willing to pay a bit. A monthly subscription to Canva costs $12.95, or if you purchase an entire year it goes down to $9.95 a month. If you're someone who uses Canva for all of your blog post images this is a pretty good deal, although I've been able to create all of my images without purchasing a subscription, so I would try it out before purchasing.
  • Helene is one of my go-to's for all things blogging, and photography is no different! I love the  free stock photos she shared and find everything she shares blogging gold! 

4. Backdrops & Staging
If you've spent much time on Instagram or looking around other blogs, you may have noticed some themes and backgrounds that show up more often than not. Whether it's the infamous white run or white Carrara marble countertops, not all of us have those things permanently in our homes. A few months ago I started picking up fun backdrops or photo add ons to include in my staged images for Instagram when I came across them. I picked up a small white rug for around $12 at Marshall's and I have a few small white tiles that I got at Home Depot. I love both of these options because they are easy to store, convenient to move around to the best lighting and they were inexpensive. If you don't want to go out and buy a bunch of photo props, just do some looking around your home. I've used coffee mugs, wooden crates or candles that I already had around the house to create a perfect final look. 

  • You can find suggestions for photo ideas and backdrops to use for blog photos from IvoryMix and Charita at PinkPot has some awesome suggestions to help you style your photos. 
One of the best ways to track your growth and what you continue to learn and change is to write down some statistics to continually check in on. I started keeping track of my followers on several different platforms and have loved watching the different techniques I implement change the number of followers and amount of interaction I get on my different social media channels. I started by just writing down the number of followers I currently had on each platform along with the date. Then each month I would do the same thing and compare how my numbers had changed. There is so much to learn about blogging and so many different aspects to social media that it can feel completely overwhelming, but making small changes can really make a difference.

What have you done to improve your blog or Instagram photos and how have you seen growth from those changes? 

Cool Fall Weekends

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy Monday! It's been a while since I've shown up to this space on a Monday, partially because I haven't been taking enough photos on the weekends to really recap our days off, and partially because I don't typically work Mondays so I'm less motivated on Sundays to sit down and post here. But today I'm at work, and yesterday I had some time to sit down and write this while I was waiting for Harper to wake up from her nap and for my pumpkin snicker doodle dough to cool! So here I am to share a little bit about our weekend!

I truly can't believe it's already October. I love this time of year, but I feel like Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas are all going to be here and gone before I realize it!

Saturday we started off the day attending a antique show in town. I'd been looking forward to it all week, and unfortunately it did disappoint a little. Because the weather wasn't great they weren't able to put any vendors outside and the indoor portion was super crowded, like unable to walk at all through each booth crowded. Needless to say I felt a little overwhelmed by it all and didn't really find much.
We spent the rest of the day running a few errands to try to find some decor to finish up our living room project, got some lunch together and ran by the Columbia Employee Store since we had a pass to get in and wanted to get some Christmas shopping done. I may sound crazy, but I've been trying to do a little Christmas shopping as I find things so I can hopefully have more time to enjoy the holidays. 
The rest of our Saturday was super relaxed, we took a nap, ordered pizza and hung out with our good friend. We were in bed by 8:45 to catch up on our DVR (which you would have seen if you follow me on snapchat @libbyboyes). It was a great day off all together.

Sunday Dan had to work, so Harper and I spent the morning relaxing. We ran to the store around lunch time and brought lunch to the station to visit Dan. Unfortuantely Harper is still afraid of all the big fire trucks, so we didn't do much exploring of all the trucks but got to see Dan for a bit which is always nice.
The rest of our rainy Sunday was relaxed as we spent it in jammies doing some baking, playing and hanging out.
I had such a crazy week last week, I was really happy to have a low key weekend with lots of snuggles with Harper! And now it's Monday and I'm working so that I can have Wednesday off to spend with Harps since my parents are out of town for the week. Other than that, we have a pretty uneventful week ahead, but have a fun get away with some friends next weekend that we are looking forward to!

What are you looking forward to this week? I hope everyone has a wonderful Monday and a great week ahead!