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

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.

Get your Checklist on how to Optimize Images for Pinterest,  sign up for our emails and free download.

 

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

5 Self-Care Tips for Work-at-Home Moms

This post contains some external links, I do not get any compensation for them. They are just products I love.

Woman sitting and looking up with text overlay "5 self-care tips for Work at home moms"

 

As a virtual assistant and a mom, sometimes I just do not take care of ME like I should. I get up early, take them to school. Then I start working with client work. Before I know it, it is time to head off to car pick up! By the end of the week, I have completely exhausted myself, let alone had time to do housework and run errands. Here are 5 Self Care Tips I use as a work at home mom.

 

1. Morning Devotional Time

When I left my day job, I was worn out. I knew I needed to be home for my family, but I also needed to find myself again. My prayer life was lacking and I knew if I just made the time to stop, read and pray it would make my day seem purposeful. So, I take about 30 minutes in the morning before working and just read my Bible App. It sets my mind right and reminds me that He is in control and has a plan for this business and my life.

I am currently reading a devotional from Jennie Allen called Restless.

Jennie says, “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

That just hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it! We want purpose, be we are scared.

Maybe you pray, maybe you meditate, it may be music that helps you prepare for your day. I highly recommend a quiet time to reflect and focus on the day ahead.

2. Exercise/Just Move It

I will be honest, some days I just don’t. Over the last couple years, I have been on a weight loss journey. I have lost over 20 pounds, but due to a recent injury to a hip flexor ( darn Burpees!!), I have had some trouble even walking without pain. The weight has started to come back and I have made a commitment to start doing walking videos at home.

Walking is so good for you. It helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improves your mood, you could lose some weight,  and best of all it gets your brain flowing. Just 30 minutes a day could make a huge impact on your health. As a virtual assistant, I have to schedule my exercise time on my calendar. When you work from home you sit at a computer and the more you sit the more your body wants to sit. SO GET UP AND GET MOVING!!

I currently am doing Leslie Sansone’s 6 week New’s Years Walk Challenge. I am on week 4 (I am a week behind) and I am really feeling the results and this motivates me to keep doing it every working day. My hip pain has decreased and I am getting more flexibility as well.  I just love Leslie and her happy spirit and positivity. Such a blessing!Leslie Sansone Walk at Home

3. Schedule a Time for Lunch

We get so into our work sometimes and we forget to eat or we are eating at our desk. I do not recommend the latter. Take a break, schedule 30 minutes on your calendar and sit down to eat a healthy lunch. Food fuels the brain and you will need that to push through the afternoon.

I usually have some turkey and a salad. Part of my weight loss has been eating healthier, I do not count calories or get on the scaled anymore. It was too stressful. I am just mindful of what I eat and do not beat myself up for having a sweet treat. Have I told you how much I LOVE SWEETS!!

 

4. Disconnect/ Technology Free Nights

As a mom, I have to tell my kids, no devices after a certain time. So, why shouldn’t I as well? Sit down with your family, have a nice dinner, talk about their day, or play a board game. We get so caught up in social media and checking our email. Here’s a post on how to manage your email and turn off the notifications.

Working hard on your business and taking care of your clients is important. But, we have to set boundaries. When five o’clock rolls around in our house. My work is done. Now, I admit if I have something pressing I need to do with my own business, I will work at a bit past that. My kids are in sports, so I need to disconnect to get them to where they are going. This was one of the whole reasons I left my day job. They are only little once and I want them to know I was there.

5. Girlfriend Time/Date Nightmarriage

Working from home can be super lonely. It is just us, or we have connected with some online and do chats. There is nothing like getting out of the house and just connecting face to face, though. I just went to my first meeting of our local Rising Tide group. It was a blast!! Met some awesome creative business owners, had good sweets,(did I mention I love sweets), and saw some people I knew.  That personal connection, we all need community, it takes a village.

Date night, hmm what? I am guilty of not having enough personal time with my spouse. Our kids are busy, very rarely do both of them go to a friends house to spend the night. Little man is only 8 so that’s not really an option. Occasionally we will get to have lunch together while they are in school.  Date night is important and is something I will try to do more of this year. My hubs is my best friend and we have a great time without the kids.

Wrapping it up!

These are my main ways of practicing self-care tips for me. I really wish life was simpler sometimes and stress wasn’t a thing. But, for a growing business, it’s important to take time to take care of you.  Following these simple steps, can help you de-stress, feel better, and it will give your business and your family more time to grow.  They are only little for a moment, I do not want to say, man, I wish I worked more. Work hard, but LOVE harder!!

What are some things you do to take care of yourself? I would love to hear!! Leave me a comment and let me know.
Thanks all, and have a blessed day!!

 

Camping or Glamping

Hey y’all!

The best thing about being a VA … family time.

We are glamping in the Great Smokey Mountains. We live close by, so it’s a quick getaway.  I am ready to relax and read a good book.

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I loved her Big Little Lies. I saw the HBO series and seriously binge watched it. Aside from the language, I thought it was a gripping suspense story where you never saw that ending coming.  Did you watch it? Did you read the book?

I will let you know my thoughts on this one.

UPDATE: This is a good one, lots of twists and surprizes!!

It is so beautiful today. The sun is shinning and there is a soft breeze blowing. Fall is my favorite. Not sure how much color we will get this year though.

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Yes, I said glamping earlier. I am not a camper. This girl grew up near the Gulf of Mexico. I never have seen the inside of a tent or camper, for that matter, till I met my husband. His family has travel trailers. When I saw theirs, I thought, Heck Yeah, I’ll camp.

I am spoiled, air conditioning, microwave, fridge, and a memory foam mattress, the only way to go. The kids enjoy it. They can be outside and ride their bikes, or Ellis enjoys his Wii in the bunkhouse. The fur-babies enjoy glamping too.

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So tell me? Do you camp or glamp? Don’t get me wrong. I love that some enjoy tent camping. Its just not for me. I’m sure there are some awesome things for tent camping that I could find to make it enjoyable. I’m open to suggestions?

Thanks for stopping in today. I have actually gotten a bit of work in. Some networking, learning and research, this is why it’s great to do I do. Taking care of my client’s needs and enjoying the important things in life.

See y’all soon.

girl working on laptop in park with text overlay,"Camping or Glamping, Livin the laptop life"