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Vintage Recipe Cards

Free recipe card printable from Love Vs. Design. I have this small dream of collecting all of my favorite recipes and filing them away on nice recipe cards. Maybe one of those snowed in days we’re bound to have this winter?

Thanksgiving tablescapes from New England Fine Living. I’ve honestly never had the sort of Thanksgiving where the table was dressed up, but I like to gather up all of these photos and pretend I’ll host one at least once in my life. Consider yourself invited!

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Sweet potato and black bean empanadas by Cake Dutchess. Yum!

These DIY fabric coil bowls by The Red Thread Blog- I think a grouping of these in different sizes and colors would look really nice.

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I have no real need for this tutorial in my life, but I think it looks really cool. It makes me want to go get a bunch of bowling ones from the thrift store and spray paint them. Or I could dig out all of my “thanks for participating” dance trophies- I kid. This one comes from Jennifer Rizzo.

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This is a pastry braid filled with pumpkin cheesecake. That is all that really needs to be said. From the Sweet Dreaming blog.

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I like this sentiment and would change that to include both men and women. Link is here.

Chicken Chimichangas by Kuntal’s Kitchen.

These paper stars by Home by Linn. I haven’t made these in years!

And that’s it for today,  I hope you all have a safe, warm, and dry Halloween today!

 

 

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Life Lately

This was taken on our way back home a couple of weeks ago. Part of me knows that if I share this photo on Facebook, someone could explain it and tell me exactly who owns this bus, but I’d rather keep the mystery alive. I mean, look at it! It’s an old school bus turned gypsy caravan, right? We were placing bets as to what’s in the upper level. My guess? A tiny hookah bar.

This is how I celebrated the completion of the fall magazine. You’ve already read it, right? Go here if you haven’t. I told Josh that if I make it through the magazine and get it out on time that I wanted to celebrate with sushi.

This is a behind the scenes photo of our shoot at Urban Gypsy in Roanoke. I want to live in this store. They have textured walls!

This is so ridiculously cute. I can’t even look at it.

Occasionally a shoot won’t make it into the magazine and this is one of them. The photos just didn’t turn out (it was getting too dark outside) and I think the recipe needed more tweaking. If you’re curious, I used equal parts black coffee, unsweetened almond milk and pumpkin spice liquor blended with ice. I topped it with homemade whipped cream. I liked it o-kay, and Josh did too, but it was missing something.

My love for YA dystopian novels continues with Pandemonium from the Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver. I read this book so quickly and can barely stand that I have to wait until March for the next one. I don’t want to reveal anything about this book other than to say that Oliver’s writing is so detailed and juicy that it’s easy to get sucked into this world that she has created. I appreciate that she doesn’t leave a lot of stones unturned as far as how this world could or would actually exist.

Today I’m finishing up the outline for the holiday issue of Beautiful Layers magazine out on November 15th. I’m also bringing back my It’s Business Time posts by request, the next one is about social media. Facebook in particular.

 

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The Fall Issue of Beautiful Layers Magazine is Here!

By now I hope you all have had a chance to flip through and read the latest issue of Beautiful Layers Magazine. I never know how an issue will turn out while I’m designing it and figuring out what goes where, but I couldn’t be happier with the end result. I admit, I was a little nervous. The magazines take about ten hours total to lay out, a whole container of tea, and about twelve rotations of Teen Dream by Beach House. I can feel myself getting better each time; a process I genuinely enjoy.

The magazine has brought a lot of goodness in my life. I’ve developed friendships and relationships, and reached out to people who I admire. People who I’m grateful for the yeses they send my way. I couldn’t do this magazine without them.

 I do a ton of research about magazines and what I wanted to bring to the table. A lot of the mainstream magazines were lacking for me. I can’t quite put my finger on one exact thing, but a culmination of several factors that just weren’t doing it for me.

For starters, I’m so tired of airbrushing and the same looking models. Even a lot of my favorite indie or digital magazines seem to fall into this narrow view of attractive. I know, at this point we all get it, but my point has always been that there are so many stunning women in this world, who would never be considered for fashion week or Vogue, but have a great look and unique style, I want to see those women. This isn’t just about “real women have curves” because that’s not true either, it’s about stepping out this overly tall, overly young, and overly thin box.

I do not airbrush our models or anyone featured in the magazine. I use Photoshop to sharpen or adjust colors and lighting, but that’s it, the women you’re seeing are real and beautiful as is, no one could argue that.

The other part of the magazine that is dear to me is the celebration of women doing interesting stuff. From Francine’s insightful article filled with advice for a successful and happy career, to Nicole who blogs about her passion for tea (and shares with us her favorites for fall), to Erin who shares her tips for dressing her size 22 body in stylish and daring ways, to Kelly who writes about her journey without sugar in exchange for a much sweeter life and glorious recipes for us, and to Ashley who taps into the old tradition of making and canning jam in her bustling, modern life in DC.

The future of Beautiful Layers holds much more. My goal is to bring on more contributors, tutorials for things like art journals or jewelry, more recipes, studio tours, home tours and home decorating ideas, from the reader columns, and more style guides.

The Holiday issue will be out on November 15th. If you’d like to be involved please feel free to send us an email with your suggestions to magazine(at)beautifullayers.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Beautiful Layers Magazine Fall Cover + Blog Thoughts

Here’s the cover of the new issue of Beautiful Layers Magazine coming out next Monday, the 15th. I love it so much I could roll around on it! I knew I wanted the cover to be colorful, warm, cozy, fun and featuring hands, rather than a person or face. The cover was inspired by two of my favorites: Molly Makes Magazine, they always feature hands holding something on their cover,  and this photo by MAIDAE:

I’ve been looking at this photo for weeks and wanted to bring a similar idea to the fall issue. The cover photo was  one of many. We had the model holding vibrant orange leaves and a granny-chic tea cup, but in the end I went for the owl glass from Paper Source. I think I need to find a spot for the other photos in the magazine. Everything the model is wearing is from Urban Gypsy in Roanoke. The orange scarf made its way home with me. The photograph was taken by Jessica Taylor here in Floyd, who really gets the aesthetic of the magazine- that’s so helpful!

I also changed the type on the cover of the magazine. I felt that having Beautiful Layers in script wasn’t bold enough, and I like the old style serif type a lot. This issue includes the word “magazine” which is implied, but it feels more professional to me. I know I’ll continue tweaking the cover, it’s getting there!

So that brings me to this blog. I spend a lot of my work time researching, reading, and thinking about my business and it’s direction. It’s really important for me to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. I really thought going in that it would be helpful for me to have a blog schedule and days for writing on certain topics, ie: Workout Wednesday, It’s Business Time, and Friday Favorites. But, I wasn’t enthusiastic about it. I think a blog schedule is great on some level with other blogs, but the blogs I truly love reading are those that have a strong personal story and are also running a creative business.

For example, my all time favorite blog is Posie Gets Cozy. I’ve been reading for years and years and years and will read everything she ever writes for many more years. I’m dedicated to Alicia- her writing, photography, life, and her vision. She has influenced me so much over the years with sharing life stories, getting better at writing and photography, learning to cook and creating an inspiring home. Alicia engages her reader, she really brings you into her world in Portland and all the while I 100% support her business. I’ve purchased her books, patterns, and ornament kits. If she sells it, I’m going to buy it. She is, to me, the perfect example of someone who is able to marry her personal life and her business, which for a lot of us, is a very fine line.

I’m pushing myself to be more me around here.

 

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It’s Business Time: Project Management, Part Two

Today we continue our discussion on project management you can read part one here, otherwise known as time management, or life management, or getting my shit together.

This is advice is from someone who is a solid Type-B, or C, or D, but definitely not A. I personally can’t take advice from a Type-A person seriously, it just doesn’t apply. I want advice from someone who lived in their parents basement for ten years after college. They spent their days playing video games and eating cheetos. Until one day they decided to dust off the crumbs and run a business. This person probably doesn’t exist, but my point is, I want advice from people who aren’t naturally on top of goals or tasks.

My latest system seems to be working, a whole three days in. And this system, for me, feels alien. It feels indulgent and luxurious. It uses a lot of paper. Which in my green-guilt driven town is basically like saying I torture frogs and store them in jars in the basement. I’ve tried many times to bring my tasks to the digital age, but I’m a pen and paper gal. Hand written notes and ledgers are satisfying and real.

Here’s What You Need:

  1. Three-ring binder
  2. Dividers x2
  3. Printables : monthly calendars and daily planner templates (just google “free calendar printables” or “free daily planner printables”
  4. Paper
  5. Printer

That’s it! Each major project or goal in my life gets it’s own tab divider.

1) Daily/Monthy Tab: this is where I store my daily planner sheets and my monthly events calendar

2) Beautiful Layers: this section is for blog and magazine planning and calendars. I have an editorial, blog, and task calendar for the current month.

3) Freelance Tab: This is where all of my current freelance projects and planning go. This section includes a deadline calendar.

4) Client Tab: similar to freelance tab, but more for reoccurring work.

5) Home Tab: includes a calendar of household chores, home maintenance, menu planning, recipes, and reminders.

6) Fitness Tab: includes a calendar with scheduled workouts.

7) Crafty Chics Traveling Trunk Show Tab: this is a group project with a calendar for my production and creative tasks, ex: print and package art, sew fabric napkins etc. This is also where I keep a calendar of booked shows for the next three months.

8) Personal Tab: eventually this hold a calendar with reminders to go to the doctor, dentist, salon etc.

9) Financial Tab: This is a calendar of income and bills due.

10) Goals and Life Tab: This is where my business plans, and big dreams go. It will also be a place for inspiration, motivation and manifestation.

Because flipping to each calendar to see what I need to do on a certain day won’t ever happen- it would just overwhelm me, I decided that for a week in advance each day needs it’s own sheet with a planned list of tasks. I’m using a printable I found online until I design one of my own.

I then go through all of my calendars and write down all the tasks I have written for the day. As I go along, I cross items on my list. Anything that doesn’t get done will move to the next day. The reason why this system feels good to me is because I feel like I’m covering all of my bases. I also feel like my tasks are moving me forward and closer to my goals instead of just doing busy work each day. Which brings me to next week’s topic: Bringing Big Goals to Life.

I’d love to here about your system for juggling lots of projects at once in the comments!

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Workout Wednesday: 5k Training Gear

The  TaTa Tamer II | Asics Capri | Cowl Neck Top | Running Rank | Brook’s Running Shoes | Nike GPS | Halo Headband | Asics Socks

I like having themes for Workout Wednesday, so what better theme than training for a 5k?  It isn’t a very long distance and it feels so good once it’s complete!  Some of the things that I have found when running a 5k is that certain clothes and accessories can make or break you. This is my list of a few things that will make training and running your first (or second or third) 5k a little easier.

First, having a sports bra that really provides support is important. The Ta Ta Tamer II does just this and is made from moisture wicking material to keep you dry. I like the capri pants because they are made of a little thicker material to keep you warm enough on cool mornings or evenings, but allow for breathability once you get going.

As far as shirts and socks go, I look for moisture-wicking properties. Synthetic materials such as polyester and spandex work best. Smartwool socks are great for the winter. A GPS watch/heart rate monitor is nice to have to help learn your pace and track runs, however, not necessary.  What is necessary, or at least highly recommended, is a nice pair of running shoes.  When I started running races, I had no idea that having lightweight, breathable shoes could make such a difference.  I used the Brooks Trance that our trainer suggested, but there are a ton of great running shoes out there.  One of my favorite places to buy shoes is  Running Warehouse .  I also love using Halhigdon for my 5k training schedule.

Good luck and happy running!

 

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It’s Business Time: Project Management, Part One

Welcome to our new It’s Business Time series on this here blog! This will be a series of posts that come out every Thursday where we talk about starting and running a business by someone who has no business (or idea!) how to run a business.

I’m kind of obsessed with reading about starting, running, and maintaining a business, but I feel like there is a gaping hole in the information I’m seeking. The hole being my own perspective, quirks, and hindrances when it comes to figuring this all out and getting stuff done. I’m looking for realistic work/life solutions for those of us who are prone to hunkering down, putting things off, spending five hours researching a random topic (instead of tackling that looming deadline), who have felt that pinching-gut fear and self-doubt, never knowing where to start so not starting, the overwhelmed, the anxious, and the worried.

I’m confident that there are solutions for the rest of us. The population who needs a to-do list for their to-do list.  I’m not looking for the ever elusive work/life balance. I’m look for effective strategies for organizing information and projects, and a whole lot less wasted time biting my nails. It’s time to grow and move forward with those big ideas! Are you ready?

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Here’s the deal: I’ve got my hands in a lot of pots and I love it! I enjoy being involved in several projects, and while it may seem on the surface that I’ve spread myself too thin when I can’t meet a deadline, the fact is this: I waste a lot of time. I’m coming clean.

I waste time thinking about doing something, making lists, and over-analyzing. I waste time fearing a project and my abilities to do it. I waste time doing a million other things that aren’t high priority. Would you like an example?

I have this blog that I’m trying to build, and a magazine that is coming out in three weeks, and freelance projects to work on, clients to connect with, interviews to email, articles to write, products to make and so on. So what do I do? I go and get obsessed with learning how to crochet. I can’t do anything else until I learn a new stitch. I will stay up all night reading patterns and taking online classes and buying books and playing with yarn. And while I think that wanting to learn crochet is valid, you know, when I’ve crossed all those tasks of my list for the day, I know it’s a diversion. It’s a refuge from my fear of starting and making a mistake. My escape from taking twenty scary steps at once. Crochet-land is peaceful and comfortable.

There will be people who read this and say “well Lorrie, if you aren’t doing what you need to do naturally then you need to do something else”, or “sister friend- let’s get you into crochet! it’s your calling!” or “if it’s a struggle it’s not meant to be.” and this is where I disagree. I’ve never been in the camp of people who believed that if something makes you uncomfortable or if it’s hard you shouldn’t do it.

If I followed the easy and comfortable route, I would do nothing more than lay on the couch, with three cats, and watch everything available on Hulu. And I’m pretty sure that’s not my calling in life…

Stay tuned for the It’s Business Time Series: Project Management Part Two coming on September 4th!

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Workout Wednesday: Zumba

Tank | Shoes | Pants | Headbands | Jacket | Sports Bra |

I attended a Zumba class for the first time yesterday (it takes me a while to warm-up to trends) so I decided to base the outfit on the style of the class. I never knew that “poppin it” was part of a work out – I was wrong. Zumba is a fun way to work off those calories from the drinks you have at the club when you’re showing off your new booty poppin skills.

-Brandi

Trainer Tip: Be conscious of your plate size – as we tend to eat with our eyes. Next time that you reach for a plate or bowl, grab the smaller one; you will be surprised at just how full you will feel with a smaller portion. When eating out, ask your waiter to put half of your meal in a to-go box and half on your plate – you won’t be tempted to overeat. (Personal Trainer and Massage Therapist, Rowan Chantal, holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Berea College in Physical Education, with a concentration in Health and Wellness Promotion and is certified by the American College of Sports and Medicine. )

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Fall Photography Challenge

Have you ever had a project in your head for so long you just didn’t know where or how to start? This photography challenge has been on my “must do” creative lists for well over a year now. I love challenges that get the creative ideas flowing and I hope you’ll join me!

The Beautiful Layers Fall Photography Challenge will run from September 21st – October 19th. The challenge is open to everyone regardless of your camera, skill level, and time commitment. I will post my daily photos on the Beautiful Layers Facebook page and hope you will too! Simply upload your photo to our facebook page and with a link back to our facebook page. Each week we will choose our favorite photos from and post them on the blog with links to your blog or blog/business facebook pages (if you have one.)

We encourage you to translate each assignment in your own personal way. It can be a literal or abstract interpretation- have fun with it!

September 21st: something orange

September 22nd: fur

September 23rd: insects

September 24th: the floor

September 25th: up above

September 26th: up close

September 27th: veins

September 28th: something purple

September 29th: has an engine

September 30th: fast moving

October 1st: a collection

October 2nd: a smooth surface

October 3rd: a self-portait

October 4th: feet

October 5th: growing

October 6th: something yellow

October 7th: something high

October 8th: ground level 

October 9th: water

October 10th: wood

October 11th: fire

October 12th: something brown

October 13th: your love

October 14th: colorful

October 15th: friendship

October 16th: comfort food

October 17th: bright lights

October 18th: wind

October 19th: from the ground

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Weekly Planner Free Printable

 

I created this weekly planner to get our week started.  Download here, print, and enjoy!

What are your three big goals for the week?

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