My Farmhouse Renovation – Part 1

MY FARMHOUSE RENO- Part 1 – PAINT

Hey! Hey!! I am so excited to share with you our Renovation of our brand new home – Farmhouse Style. We purchased a beautifully built – brand new home recently, but knew we wanted to put our our mark on it. This is a mulitple post project and I am highlighting a few of the spectacular things we have done!

We had been looking at moving to a larger home and wanted an open floor plan with an island. We saw several homes we liked and even made an offer – or two- and under contract once before we finally bought this one. It was perfect for us – minus the Master on Main that we were hoping for. It was not one we had looked at previously, but it came back on the market and we snatched it up quickly! When we had our first showing we knew it felt like us, this was going to be HOME!

From the Outside it looks like your typical Builder Home, but when we walked in we fell in love with the open floor plan.

HIGHER END BUILDER GRADE HOME

 

The only thing… THAT PAINT!! Honestly it was not as yellow as this image makes it look, but it was not the neutral we were going for.

Over the past several years of owning homes and our last cute cottage that we totally renovated, we KNEW we could paint this and make it ours. It has to be Gray! It is my favorite neutral color and the base of my Farmhouse style obsession. If you know me, I love me some Chip and Joanna, Fixer Upper, and use their style somewhat on my decor ideas. I always say, Joanna is my muse.

There are so many options with a gray paint. Some are Greige (beige effect), some have blue undertones, and some green undertones. We looked at several samples online and on Pinterest. Since this house has so much light coming in I didn’t want to go too dark. In our last home we chose a darker gray/greige color and loved it. (Filtered Shade by Valspar, and Dolphin Fin by BEHR)

 

Since I wanted a lighter gray, I did some research on Silver Drop. In the same color family as what we had before, but lighter. I found some great sample pics on Pinterest and blog posts and decided to go with it.

 

It looks amazing!! Hubs started on the dining room first, and then completed the whole downstairs before the kids and I moved in, they were still in school and we were living with family for a couple weeks. We used the Marquee – Paint and Primer in One, in a Flat/Matte finish. It is super easy to clean, covers in one coat and makes my heart happy!

Here is the after!!

 

OMG!! WE ARE IN LOVE with this home now. It feels like us. It is amazing how a paint color can change the whole feel of the room. We truly have the farmhouse we of our dreams.

We also added the shiplap to the bar island, and a tile backsplash.

FURNISHINGS:

Sectional–  deep seating sectional by Cindy Crawford from Rooms To Go.

Oversized Chair – Knoxville Wholesale Furniture.

Ottoman – BigLots,

Rug – Target (on clearance as a return!)

Breakfast Nook Chairs – Amazon  ( not an affiliate link, I just love these chairs. So affordable.)

 


HERE ARE SOME OTHER BLOG POSTS YOU MIGHT BE INTEREST IN:

» 5 Self Care Tips for Work at Home Moms

» What’s New – Pinterest Assistance!

» My Word for 2019 


 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Farmhouse Renovation. We will be tackling the island wall with Shiplap…of course!!

Come follow me on Instagram, FB and Pinterest, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT

 

IF YOU LOVE IT…PIN IT TO SHARE!

2 pictures of the same house before and after photos with text overlay before and after my farmhouse reno pt 1

My Word for 2019

Hey thanks for stopping in! As a fairly new online entrepreneur I never new the whole, What’s your word, thing existed till last November. When you spend years in the traditional 9-5 you just look forward to Christmas Bonuses and yearly 25 cent raises!! Being in the online space and creating a business you love can be amazingly eye opening to things you never knew were a thing.

 

WORD or RESOLUTION

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, which you know how those go, choosing one word to focus and refer back to daily can keep you on the path all year. Plus, it will save you money from that gym membership your not going to use after January 15th!

Let’s recap last years word first. FOCUS was my word for 2018. I choose that word because I knew It was going to take all I had to learn and create a business from scratch in a world so new to me. Knowing my personality, I can have serious squirrel moments and be distracted easily.

I had an amazing first year. I dove in head first with trying to learn all the things and stay organized. I found my systems and tools that I love. I took some courses, and stumbled upon some amazing influencers to keep me motivated and focused on building my business.

I am working with some awesome clients and I really enjoy watching them grow and thrive as well. I had no idea this business would boom like it has. I told someone just yesterday that God puts you where you need to be, you may not agree with how He gets you there, but He always has your back.

You can read my journey here.

 

MY WORD FOR 2019

 

 

I am writing this on my last working day or 2018. I am truly blessed to be able to take time away from my business to be completly present with my family this year. With the help of scheduling tools like Tailwind and Planoly, and Facebook, my clients are taken care of hands-free.

When I started praying about what I wanted to do in 2019 for Bloom Virtual Solutions, I just felt that God was pushing me to Grow this thing. I have this platform to help others in there businesses and to give all the glory to Him.  I dug a bit deeper to find exaclty what I needed to grow in. Grow in Faith, in Knowledge, and Love.

As you know, my faith is first and foremost and I do not spend enough time in the Word and giving my day to God and let him direct me like I should. Goal #1… Grow in faith.

As a business owner, there is so much information online to teach you how to do all the things and I will never be able to know them all. I love learning and have chosen courses and books to read and keep my brain, workflows, and business in growth mode. I will be growing my team to help Bloom scale into the business I see by the end of 2019. Goal #2… Grow in Knowledge.

Finally,  I know this world can be a harsh place and the comparison trap can suck you in. I want to lift others up and become a positive influence to those around me. I want my children to know that becuase God loves us, we must love others. He loves the broken, the lost, the wealthy and the poor. If I do not have love, then all I do is in vain. Goal #3…Grow in Love.

 

WHAT IS YOUR WORD?

Do you have a word for 2019? How did you decide on that word? Tell me in the comments, it is always interesting and inspiring to hear what you have chosen.

Do you want to know more about “My One Word”? There are books and resiurces online to help guide you through.  Check out this Google Play book... or also this link ... to learn more.

Thank you for your support this year and looking forward to an exciting 2019!!


IF YOU LOVE IT PIN IT!!

flatlay image with text overlay what is your word 2019


Feeling overwhelmed with having to do ALL the things in your business? Looking for help with Pinterest Management or Pin Design? I work with creative business owners to take away the overwhelm and grow your Pinterest Reach!!

Let Bloom Virtual Solutions help. Contact us or check out our services page.

 

 

The 1 Thing You Need To Do For Your Online Business – Today!!

The 1 Thing You Need To Do For Your Online Business – Today!!

Hey there digital business owner, virtual assistant or online entrepreneur. Technology is wonderful and as a business owner we use so many digital platforms everyday. I am here to tell you the 1 thing you need to do in your business today regarding those platforms and the tools to accomplish it!

 

BACK UP YOUR DATA!!

I have had the unfortunate pleasure of totally freaking out, when my computer took a complete crash recently. I am not sure if it was a virus or not (Facebook can give you pop up scams all the time-be careful, that always seems to be what I am logged into when weird things start happening). I have learned a hard lesson about making sure you always back up your files.

I started my morning as usual, but when I logged into my computer I noticed my sound driver was missing and I had no sound on my laptop at all. So, I did some Googling, which is my specialty, and realized that can happen after an update. I tried all the things they said to do, still nothing. My hubs is in IT, so I had him take a look, and we realized that we needed to do a complete restore!!!!!

WHAT!! OK, freak out #1, I’m going to lose all my docs and graphics if we do that. How am I going to work? My lifeline to my business is on this thing! OMG, this laptop isn’t even a year old!

 

Tool #1, GOOGLE DRIVE

First, I needed to take a walk…LOL. Once the fog cleared, I realized that my important items are all in Google Drive. This is THE best tool for online entrepreneurs, it’s free, and in the cloud for unlimited storage. I use Google Drive everyday. I have all my client documents saved to folders in my G-Drive that have been shared with me. I also keep spreadsheets, photos, and all my systems/processes in there. I proceeded to move any other important docs (downloads-word docs) to Google Drive so they wouldn’t be lost.

 

Tool #2 – Canva

Canva is an app/website that I create my Pin graphics, social media graphics, and even pdf’s/documents. All you need is an account and all your designs are stored with Canva. You can share designs and templates, upload directly to Pinterest, or even download finished graphics to your computer. There is a free version, but I use the Canva for Work due to my needs for creating and resizing images. The images I use to create these graphics were stored on my computer, so I had to move all the ones I wanted to save I moved to another awesome tool.

 

Tool #3 – Dropbox

This here is a lifesaver. Again another storage solution in the cloud, and you can share files and accept files from clients up to a certain storage capacity before you have to pay. I have my Dropbox organized into Folders for each client and store their images in these shared folders, so they have access to them as well.

 

After making sure my data and images were safe, we went ahead and proceeded to restore…and THEN IT WOULDN’T RESTART!!

We received the spinning wheel of death! Now, I am one to kinda overreact to things and I really started to panic, I knew my important items could be restored because they were in the cloud, but I freaked out because I am thinking OMG, did I do this? Did I open something I shouldn’t have? I am in and out of websites all day long, who the heck knows what I have done?! Needless to say, I did not work that evening and my sweet husband stayed up till 2 am trying to bring it back to life. Thankfully he worked his IT magic and it did finally come back up, we still didn’t have a sound driver, but hey I don’t need sound.

PS – we did install a new driver, the original just disappeared who knows!!

Now the long road ahead of reinstalling all my apps, extensions, and tools, and all the passwords. Oh My, how many passwords you need as a virtual assistant. Thank goodness for …

 

Tool #4 – LASTPASS

My saving grace!! LastPass is an extension you can add-on to your browser that acts like a vault to store all your logins safely. It can generate safe passwords, store digital records, and can share sensitive information safely. Because you should never text or email a password.  First and foremost, I needed to have that reinstalled to even begin to start working again. Once I logged in, I was back in action.

I would say if you work in the online space, LastPass is a must, they offer a free plan, and I know you will never forget another login. Again cloud storage, sharing capabilities, and security!!

 

LESSON LEARNED

So, moving forward, God willing we do not have another crash, I am a Cloud girl. I will be honest in the 9-5 world I used Word, Excel, etc. and there is a place for those systems, but due to the hackers and scammers out there in the internet abyss, YOU NEED TO BACK IT UP TO THE CLOUD!!

Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Take your pick. If you are not using a cloud system, why not? GO NOW, MOVE ALL YOUR IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS AND IMAGES!!!

I don’t want anyone to have to experience what I went thru, back up your stuff peeps…..and marrying the IT guy helps too!


IF YOU LOVE IT PIN IT!!


Hi, I’m Amy and I manage Pinterest for Creative Business Owners. I would love to work with you or if you ever have any questions about Pinterest shoot me an email, or you can check out our Services.

Make sure to grab our GET STARTED ON PINTEREST checklist, to start your Pinterest Profile off on the right foot!!

Pinterest for Creatives – Photography, a Case Study

Pinterest for Creatives – Photography, a Case Study

Pinterest is my passion. I love the visual search engine so much that I have made this my niche as a Virtual Assistant. As a creative minded individual the platform is so pleasing to my eye. Excellent images and vital information to do or be anything you can dream up.

I work with creatives to grow their reach on Pinterest, and drive traffic to their websites, opt-ins, and landing pages. If you are a photographer and have been debating why you should market your self on Pinterest, I have a case study I would like to share with you. We will call it Client A.

 

Where we started

I started with my client in February. There were about 200 viewers daily, see screenshot below that was taken in Dec.

 

I edited their current boards to client A’s  branding and categories of photography they provide. We used keywords in the board descriptions and updated any pin descriptions that needed to be optimized. We also created new boards with ideas their clients are looking for on Pinterest already. For example, if they are a family/child photographer, their client would be looking for fun ideas for kids, crafts, or how to decorate the nursery.   I started Pinning about 10-20 Pins a day, consistently. and client writes 3 blog posts a week, which keeps the content fresh and plenty!  I use Tailwind to schedule the posts, which is the way to show Pinterest you are always there. After about 3 months of consistently pinning we had some amazing stats.

 

 

 

Just their profile alone, went from 200’s to over 3,500 views daily. Look at those impressions….up to 82,000 monthly viewers. Client A actually sent me these screenshots in May, and not too much longer after that we had them up over 200,000 monthly viewers by a Pin that went viral.

 

 

 

That viral pin was from a related board in their niche, but that is OK because Pinners are still seeing the pins that are pinned by Client A because they pinned it originally.  As a photographer, Pinterest can be used in a few ways. in this case we use it as a Look Book style for their clients to come to get ideas and inspiration for what to wear and to showcase the beautiful images they create, with a side of helpful ideas for their ideal client. But there are other uses for Pinterest to highlight and grow your business.

 

Why you should be on Pinterest too.

Pinterest can also be used to grow email lists, or gain followers and drive more traffic to your website. Pinning amazing images is just the start. When someone clicks on your image and goes to your website, you have to pull them in, show them your brand and start a relationship with you. You want to make them want to schedule a session with you or use your business as their engagement/wedding/family photographer. If you are a professional photographer and have been delaying marketing on Pinterest, now is the time!! What better way to get your images and business seen and grow your following. You want to create boards that highlight your services, and offer Ideas to your Ideal clients. You have to think like your client, what would they be searching for. Create a profile to attract your ideal client, keyword your boards and use hashtags that are relevant to your business and what your client wants to see.

Now, is a great time to start, fall is just around the corner. Fall outdoor sessions, and even Christmas photos are being pinned now, in September!!

You want to pin your ideas about 45 days before a seasonal event. As a Photographer though, you can pin year round. Your client may be looking for a maternity, or family photographer, or an engagement or wedding photographer and pinning now, but not schedule a session until months later.

CALL TO ACTION

Want some helpful tips on how to get your business up and going on Pinterest. I have curated a checklist to get you going!

Sign up to get my

“How to Get Started on Pinterest Checklist”here.  

 

Included is a Bonus “How to Optimize Your Images for Pinterest” resource as well.

 

Do you worry you won’t have time to Pin, I recommend using Tailwind is a Pinterest Approved Scheduler to save time. The first 100 pins are free, so that will get you started with just a few pins a day and increase steadily so your pinning 10-20 pins daily.

Need help? You can go here to see what Pinterest Services I offer to help grow your business.

If you like it, PIN IT!!

 

 

Why Templates are Important to a Virtual Assistant

Why Templates are Important to a Virtual Assistant

Hey there!!

When I started my journey into this online business world, I did a lot of research about how to get started, what tools do I need, and how to keep it moving forward. I knew Organization and Systems were important in any business, but this was a whole new world to me after being in the private sector for many years.

 

Disclaimer: Post may contain affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you chose to sign up for a course or make a purchase using my link. I only recommend tools that I personally use and love, and I am sure you will too!

 

When I started with my first client, I knew I needed a contract and a professional invoice, but where was I going to find one that covered me and my business without costing a fortune. I wasn’t rolling in the $$$ yet. So I went to Pinterest, and I guess everyone else did too. How did I know if this one document is enough, was the person creating it reliable?

The contract I use is legally correct, after much searching and strife. But as my business progressed, I knew I needed to have more systems in place. Things like checklists for onboarding clients, swipe files, pricing lists, things I would use to keep growing my business but keep me organized.

I will be honest, I use Google Docs for most of my lists and systems and they work for what I need, but let me tell you, if I had known I could have a packet with all these documens already created by a mentor in the Virtual Assistant world, for an affordable price. I would have jumped on it from the start.

Let me introduce you to Janine at The VA Finishing School. She is one smart cookie. She has many years of experience in marketing and business and began her virtual assistant career 2 years ago, with VA Celebrity. She too, like me had to come up with all the things needed to stay on track with documents. Janine has taken her passion as a Virtual Assistant and her loving of teaching others and being so helpful too, into her new business, The VA Finishing School.

She is inspiring new and aspiring virtual assisants to have the business of their dreams. She does weekly live Q & A’s in her FB Group. Which is growing by leaps and bounds. You can join her group here. She is a true inspiration to virtual assistants all over the globe.

Her website has a plethera of resources. She is consistent in content that she shares with her followers of her newsletter. But best of all she will be opening her course, VA Kickstart Course – Zero to Launch in 30 Days, in November of 2018.

Her best resource yet is the 30 + Template Pack, jam packed with everything you need to get organized and have your business ready to go even before you get your first client. I would grab this pack TODAY, cause the price will be going up very soon. Right now it is only,

$27 

picture of templates and swipe files

Oh my goodness, Right?! That is less than what I paid for my domain name and hosting when I was starting out.

The VA Finishing School Website has so many tip and tools to help you on your online business journey. You can check out some of her helpful videos here.

So, If you are a virtual assistant or have really considered wanting to pursue this online journey too, come follow Janine and The VA Finishing School, Grab your Packet, and hop in on a FB Live. I promise you, you will be impressed. Welcome to the VA World!!

Facebook Group: Join US!!

The Va Finishing School Blog

IF you Enjoyed this Post, PIN IT!!!

Office window with text overlay.

 

 

The First Five- Best time to pin on Pinterest

The First Five- Best time to pin on Pinterest

Have you heard the phrase ” The First Five”? If you are not a pinner, blogger, or Pinterest manager, then you may not have. No, it’s not a reference to the US Olympic Gymnast Team, it is part of Pinterest Best Practices that were released recently.

You can read about those HERE.

The First Five

Basically, Pinterest says the first five pins of the day are prioritized to the new follower feed. So if you are pinning 20 pins per day,  your followers will see your first five pins in the follower feed. It does not mean they will ONLY see those 5 pins, your others will show up once they have gone through the feed.

Pinterest starts the day at UTC time if you don’t know what that is google it. I wouldn’t stress too much about what time that is because analytics and Tailwind’s smart scheduler will let you know the times that your pins are the most engaged. If you use Tailwind to schedule I suggest you put your first five pins of the day as fresh content, with keywording and good images, and pin those to relevant boards.

If you have a pin about Making Slime, then pin it to your Slime board, etc. Pinterest likes fresh content and that content will be seen in all the feeds, the following feed, the Smart Feed, and in the hashtag feed. You want to use good descriptions with 1 to 2 keyword rich sentences and 2 to 4 hashtags, branded hashtags are great!!

When is the Best Time to Pin

Consistency in pinning is what you want for your Pinterest account. You want to pin the same amount of pins daily, not just 50 one day and then nothing for the next 5 days. Be consistent!!

Spread out those times too, use the Smart Schedule in Tailwind, it gives suggestions as to when the best times are, ideally people are on Pinterest in the evenings during the week and on weekends in the U.S.

How do I know my Pins will be seen

They will all be seen, eventually. Pinterest is a slow as you go platform and a Pin may not take off for months. You really want to focus on the 3 important things in the algorithm, Keywords, Eye-Catching Images, and Descriptions. If these 3 things are at the optimum level then they will be distributed.

A few other things to note, make sure your pins have a link to more info about the content stated in the description. Pinners will click on a pin to read more about it. So, that blog post about a brownie recipe should have a link to the recipe on your site.

If someone is on your site and reading your blog you want them to be able to Pin your content. Make sure you have a Pinnable image, hidden or in the post. and a good pin description attached. You can read how to do that on this blog post about Optimizing Images.  You also need to have the Save button on your website so they can pin directly. Check out how to do that HERE.

 

Wrapping Up

I encourage you not to stress about the “First Five” just pin your best content, to the most relevant board first, then keep pinning. If you want to try to schedule at the UTC time and test things out, go ahead and see if you can tell a difference. In a few months, we will see how this all pans out. Follow the best practices Pinterest has put in place and you will see growth. Get those clicks and saves, share your content with your readers and gain new followers.

I will see you on Pinterest, HAPPY PINNING!!

 

UPDATE: Basically Pinterest has removed the First Five from their best practices. There has been a lot of confused pinners in regards to it. So, with that being said, remember to pin optimized images with keywords, conversational pin descriptions(about 2 sentences), and use hashtags. Images with Text overlay are ideal and keep them to a 2:3 ratio, 600x900px, or 735x1102px. Anything over 1260px long will be cut off and may not be shown in the feed. Thanks again for following. Get Your Pin ON!!

 

CALL TO ACTION- If you like this blog post share it, pin it or leave a comment.

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PIN THIS IMAGE!!Image of a man watching a clock with Text Overlay "The first five when to pin to Pinterest"