Top 6 Social Media Tips For Creating Balance {For Home and Business}

1618526_10206154832733335_4737763329461157659_n_zpscmdwvo6o3

(These photos have nothing to do with the post but what fun is a post without photos? I thought you would understand.)

When you are a stay at home mom, homeschooler and entrepreneur with a home office… your worlds start to collide.

There are days that without everything right here at home I know I wouldn’t be able to do all that we get accomplished.

Then there are the days when everything coming at me can be a little too much.

The most frequently asked questions that I receive are about how I get so much done, how our family works with a business and how I stay organized.

Over the next months I thought it would be fun to share some of the ways that I have found to bring focus, balance (is that even real) and intention to the day.

I wanted to first talk about social media and the pull that we can feel all day from Facebook, blogs, Instagram, email and just having a phone with us.

Whether you run a business or not…the above pulls are a part of our lives (whether you like it or not) and we need to learn to manage it without letting it manage us!

Here are some of the top ways I TRY to keep social media from running my life.

I know this sounds silly but it is a major time saver.  Sometimes we just need to check one thing real quick BUT if you sit down you could lose more than a few minutes.  Facebook goes to Pinterest goes to email goes to….you get the picture. Unless you are working on an actual project or need to do some serious writing my recommendation is to do it standing and then get on to better things.

 

 

Imagine constantly checking your phone, Instagram and email over a two hour time. Now imagine setting a timer for two hours and at that time checking everything and then getting back to better things.  That is what I do ALL OF THE TIME!  I don’t want my children to remember me as the mom always texting, checking emails and instagram while we were hanging out. I want to be present and that means setting boundaries for myself.  I get lots done because I am very intentional with my time. Now don’t get me wrong…I can waste a day with the best of them but I don’t want that to be my norm.  It is about being distracted and I need when I am making art to really make art, cooking a meal to be engaged with what I am doing and when I am spending time with my family that they know they have my attention.  When the timer goes off I check work stuff, personal stuff and within 15 minutes everything has been taken care of and to think that I could have spent that two hours constantly checking. The sad thing is…I would have!

 

 

Lose your phone. Leave it in the car when you go to a restaurant, leave it upstairs while you are watching a movie and tuck it into a drawer while you are reading.  Give yourself a break to not worry who is calling, texting etc.  Losing your phone intentionally may be the best thing you do for yourself each day. The world will live. Promise. Unless you are a brain or heart surgeon…then you can keep your phone on you:-)

 

 

I will call you out on this if you are my friend (and they know it).  When you are eating dinner with your family, at a restaurant with clients or having coffee with girlfriends…for the love of all that is good…keep your phone in your bag!  You have someone right in front of you that wants to talk to you.  Let them know you love and appreciate that by actually listening to THEM!

I interviewed a man not too long ago for a small job for my business and the whole time we were talking he kept checking his phone.  I felt invisible and we never really made it past the interview process.  This is make and break stuff in business and definitely with relationships. Don’t just save your attention for clients and friends.  Keep it in the bag with your family the most!

 

 

Remember when people used to read a book in bed or get it on at bedtime?  I am serious…this stuff happened!  Nothing like the soft glow of your phone to lull you to sleep. In all seriousness, as a business woman I need to not have work being the last thing on my mind before bed.  I can’t see at 10:45pm that someone can’t get into their class and then feel like I need to get out of bed to see what is going on. Remember that whole brain and heart surgeon thing from before?  I promise you that most people will live until morning.  I have excellent customer service but we also can sleep too.  Do you remember working hours?  It is healthy to have a time of night when work stops and rest begins.  Don’t let your phone be your last contact at night and the first contact in the morning.  This has made a huge difference in how I sleep and the peace I feel as I am going to sleep.   Maybe we can all read more books and do some other things too:-).

 

 

You want to know the biggest game changer for our family?  We have chosen Sundays to be our family and no tech day. No joke.  That means no computer, phones, texting, work etc.  There have been a few huge deadlines when we had to do some work after the kids went to bed but for the most part we really honor this.  We go to church or hike or watch a movie together or play games…but together.  No one else is interrupting our day and no one is going off by themselves to work, text, face time etc.  I love what I do so much and I could work 24/7.  When you love what you do it can be hard to stop working sometimes.  This day was put in place for Kelly and me as much as it was for the kids. We are trying to teach our kids all of these things about social media and technology because they are the ones that are growing up in it.  One of the mottos in our home is “People before technology”.  How can we say this if as parents we don’t live it and they don’t believe they come before work or distractions.    Giving up technology for one day a week can be hard for everyone at first but after awhile you just may love the freedom you feel.

 

Technology and social media are here to stay and I LOVE them!  I am so glad I can keep up with friends that live all over the world, see glimpses into the lives of the people I admire, work from home, take creative classes no matter where I go and instantly know where my kids are.  I just want to also read, take walks, create art, have a quitting time each day and to look at my children and husband when they are talking with me.

I am still working on these things but these are some of my most useful tech and social media tips that have made the biggest impact in my day to day. What about you?  Do you have some tips to share!  Please leave your thoughts below.

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

7 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Who and What Are You Pulled Towards?

mcmanusquote_zpslaq9qufm

 

I used to think that my interests, gifts and passions were random.

To be honest it has taken me many years to realize that my interests, gifts and passions are not an accident at all.

Sometimes I have let a day get away from me as I think back to growing up and I let my imagination take me back in time.  Sometimes it is with fond memories and other times I can lose myself in the thoughts of “Why didn’t I?”, “What if?” and “If I had only!”.  I find myself picturing the artsy girl in high school that I dreamed of really being and making the loft of our barn into my art studio.  I can picture myself going to art school in Chicago and can almost taste it.  I can mentally beat myself up over not being stronger or wiser or more confident to just be me.    I have cried over lost years and beat myself up over trying to fit into someone else’s mold.  What a waste of time, guys.

What I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that we get second chances. The path that I have traveled has brought me here to this life, with this man and these children. THEY are the path that I wouldn’t want to change. The other stuff? I have been given a second chance to live.  You have second and third and forth chances too to do the things in your heart. Those interests, gifts and passions…no one else can do them.  The world is anxiously waiting for what pulls you!

I have often wondered why my heart isn’t for some of the things my friends or family members have a heart for.  That is because the Lord has given me my own pulls of the heart.  The Lord has called me for conversations with women and the message that we have all been creatively made.  I have a love for the Pacific Northwest with an indescribable peace that comes over me while I am there because that area is my path. That pull? It is NOT random. The women that I love there?  It is NOT random. It doesn’t make sense but I know that my heart is there because the Lord wants my heart there. I have art to make, women to love and a message to share there.  I have a huge heart to help women see the joy and honor of loving their family and caring for their home. To remind them it is not a burden but a part of making your whole life your art.  I don’t have a pull to be a missionary in far off lands but a huge heart to reach out to those right here in my city.  That is NOT random.  There are so many things about who I am, the places I love, the people I am drawn to that I know have been placed in me for a purpose.  The same is true of you!

Can you image if we all had the same pulls of our heart?  Don’t compare your pulls to the pulls of others. Big or small they are all significant.  How can my pull to reach out to the people in my city not be as important as reaching out to a people on the other side of the world.  There are people traveling far because of their pull and there are others right now bringing a meal to a neighbor that is hurting because of the same pull.

Look at your gifts, your interests and your passions.  Have you asked lately, “Lord, what do you want me to do with them?”.

 

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

13 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Creativity Takes Courage {Alisa Burke}

creativitytakescourage_zpscfe334ac2_zpsb84701d4

For those of you that are new to the blog I want to tell you a little bit about the free series.

My creative network offers free videos, new online courses, live “chats” and now interviews with courageous lovelies from around the world.

Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to interview some of my favorite creative women and business owners.

You can see the talented list of interviewees over on my creative network under Creativity Takes Courage.

This month we are talking with Alisa Burke!

This girl!

I gushed about her to so many of my closest friends after this interview that my friends teased me that I was going to trade them in for Alisa.

For a girl with a crazy creative heart and the desire to make my whole life my art…this woman, her heart, her creative gifts, her love for family, her style (and it doesn’t hurt that she lives near the sea) just pulls me in and she leaves me inspired and wanting to see more.  Alisa is a beautiful example of taking your art and letting it spill all over your life.

Don’t even start to blame me if you can’t get anything done because you become obsessed with her blog.  Don’t. Even.

Come on over…

 

To watch the video you just need to be registered at jeanneoliver.ning.com (registering is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this series, free videos (business and art) and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

If you want to watch Alisa’s video:

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Click on Creativity Takes Courage {interviews with courageous friends}

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set.

Tell your friends!

We want to create an online community where you can create, connect and be inspired.

Come on over and check out the interview!

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

1 Comment

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Step by Step Kitchen Cabinet Painting With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

jeanneoliverkitchen_8713_zpsqlucbzss

One of the questions I get asked the most is regarding how I painted our kitchen cabinets and what do I think of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

I have waited until now to share my opinion because I thought we needed to really live with the cabinets to see how they wore with daily use and to give me time to give an honest opinion.

Before we start let me be honest that if I had contacted many people to come and give us quotes to paint the cabinets. I have the worst track record of getting contractors to either show up or get back to me with quotes. I did NOT want to do this job. Not even kidding.  I really tried to find someone else but I didn’t have any luck and that is when I decided that the only way I could do this was by using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP).

The reason I had the guts to undertake such a huge project was because with ASCP I wouldn’t have to sand all of the cabinets.  Maybe a silly reason but it was the one thing that really helped me to feel like I could do this.

I am a hugely externally motivated person and the main reason I had the motivation to FINALLY get this project started was because Fifi O’Neill and her crew were coming to photograph our home for different magazine.  They were arriving just days before I was leaving last summer to teach in Italy and I had some huge time constraints to get this job done.

Before we started the project we first met up with the owners of Shades of Amber and they gave us private lessons to put both Kelly and I at ease.  They gave us such confidence and shared exactly what we needed to start. I am so grateful for their kindness and patience with us!

So, first I will share all of the step by step instructions and then at the end give you my honest opinion about our cabinets and if I would do it again.

Trying to figure out what colors to go with.

(Sorry for the dark photos but most photos were just on my phone. Without these I wouldn’t have taken many progress photos.)

Step One:

Wipe down all of the cabinets using Krud Kutter. This is to make sure you don’t have grease and oils on the cabinets before you paint. Don’t skip this step. I did this while they were still on the hinges and hanging to make it easier.

Step Two:

Take all of the doors and hardware off the cabinets.  Make sure you are careful in how you organize and save the hardware to make it easier when it is time to put it all back together.

Step Three:

I bought the two sizes of ASCP paint brushes and I am glad I did. I ended up mostly using the smaller one though.  Before you start I would recommend flipping through the brush a few times to get rid of loose bristles.  Make sure you shake the can well (in our case we mixed one part Old White with one part Pure White).  You may not believe me until you do this but the best thing to do at this point is to just dive in.  The paint is forgiving and even thought the first coat may have you freaking out…the second coat will make you start seeing where this project is going.  We started with the cabinets (Who am I kidding? I started with the cabinets) and did the doors last.

I waited until each coat was dry before I added another coat.  I ended up doing three coats to everything and I think I should have done four.  Without our deadline I know I would have done that. I was so sick and tired of painting and I just wanted it to be done. Don’t do this. Don’t skimp during the process because you will regret it later.

Step Four:

Once your surface is painted you can choose to age the wood a bit with 120 grit sandpaper. I wasn’t sure if I would do this or not but because of the shape of our cabinets it actually looked good.  Keep in mind that we have three kids and they were going to do it anyways with daily use and it makes the new marks just look like part of the charm.

I used the 120 grit sandpaper on the edges only and never on a flat surface.

Step Five:

At this point we put the whole kitchen back together before I waxed all of the cabinets and doors.  I think it made the process easier but that is a personal preference.  We used the ASCP clear wax and I LOVED it!  I have used it on so many other things since (including my art).  To apply the wax I recommend working in small sections (2 ft x 2 ft sections). I also recommend purchasing the wax brush because it is just soooo nice and makes the process easier.  You dip the tip of the brush into the clear wax (dark wax too if that is your thing) and in circular motions you get into all of the nooks and crannies of your piece.  You then take rymplecloth (cheesecloth) and wipe the excess wax off.  Your cabinets and doors should not be gooped with wax. This is a sealer and you want to treat it as such.  Using the wax is gorgeous!  It not only seals your cabinets but also gives is an awesome matte appearance.  After 24 hours you can add a second coat.  I have to be honest that we still have to add our second coat (more about that later).

Step Six:

Buff the wax if you want a sheen.

Those are the nuts and bolts and now to the raw truth about the whole process, what we think as a family and would I do it again.

The process is a biggest pain in the butt! Serious! So much work and it is easy to start to rush things because you just WANT TO BE DONE. I have heard people say that just broke it down over months to make it not as bad. No way!  I wanted this done and I wanted my kitchen back together. That is so not my style. That being said…I should have done that forth coat. Dang it!  It is not something that anyone else has commented on and my husband doesn’t know what I am talking about but I see it.  After 10 months I have to tell you that except for the cabinets where the garbage and recycle cans are…they have held up AWESOME.  I have some touching up to do on a few cabinets but not anything that will take me too long.  To do a touch up after you waxed just use the ASCP mineral spirits to take up the wax, touch up, let dry, re-wax.  Not too tough.  I am planning on doing the touch up within the next few months and also finally get that second coat of wax on whole thing;-).

Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!  It transformed our kitchen!  Our home is so much brighter and now our whole house flows better.  It was hard to convince my husband to paint over our expensive cherry. Keep in mind that we built this home and we both still remember how much of an upgrade the cherry cabinets were.  If we ever get sick of the paint then you can strip them and do something different. It is just paint. Serious. Live a little!

I would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

If you are interested in more posts about our kitchen remodel (and we still aren’t finished)…

Ikea Hack: How We Built our Kitchen Island

Kitchen Remodel Before and After

My Thoughts on Our Marble Counter Tops

Adding Open Shelving

Ripping out the built in desk

Living Room Makeover

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

23 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Is The World Your Studio? {a glimpse into Savannah}

IMG_6982a_zpsex6aaugi1

A few years ago when I came up with the concept behind The Living Studio I had hopes of traveling with women, connecting with different cities and creating outside the studio.

My heart’s desire was to encourage women to get out of their comfort zone and to implement daily practicing.

I wanted us to become those we had maybe admired for years in the parks, museums, cafes.  To become those that were creating whenever the opportunity arose.

As of this date I now have had two Living Studio retreats.  The first one was in Bellagio, Italy and the second one just finished in Savannah, Georgia.

I learn each time more about myself, my creativity and where I want to take The Living Studio.

I also am reminded that we need this. We need this creating wherever we go and to not limit ourselves to our studios.

I see the difference it is making when we know…really know…that our creativity needs to be honored and nurtured.

Here is a peek into our week in Savannah, Georgia…

I came in early and was able to get away for the morning and enjoy the beach on Tybee Island.  When there was a snowstorm going on in Colorado this was a beautiful change of scenery!

Before I share our week I have to share our hotel!  When Kathie (my partner in crime that helped make the retreat come to life) and I saw this hotel we KNEW this had to be the location for The Living Studio Savannah!  Welcome to The Brice!  Seriously, the staff was outstanding and the whole place was an artist’s dream!

Our first full day together started with a rainy walking tour of Savannah. I think next time we will take the trolley:-)

At least I had a cute umbrella and some goofballs to hang out with.

After a wet morning we decided to create in our pajamas. Maybe I was the only one that did that but let’s just act like everyone did!

Our days were full of gorgeous shops, sites, architecture, food (oh, the food), creating and a lot of laughter.

This was an incredible group of women!

One of the highlights for me during a Living Studio retreat is to spend time separate from one another creating in the city.

This day we spent time creating in Forsyth Park and I know this time was just as meaningful and heart changing to the girls.

I am not a journaler like many of the artists I love and admire. My journal is where I play, make mistakes and practice. Usually it is only for me to see. I think everyone should have a safe place to explore and make mistakes where you don’t have to worry about anyone looking over your shoulder.  That is what daily practicing should be about…no matter what your creativity is.

We had so many good days but one of my favorite days of exploring was when we had a tour of Bonaventure Cemetary.

It has been many years since I have been in this cemetery but it was just as inspiring as ever.

Have I mentioned the food? Oh, I have?

I love being a collector of patterns wherever I travel!  It is just such good stuff for creating later.

One of my favorite days was when we went to the SCAD museum and we were even able to sneak into an illustration class and do some quick sketches along with all of the art students.

That was a day when my heart was so full and I felt like we all went home with an extra special treasure!

It didn’t hurt that we also found an antique store on our way to lunch.

Pretty much the best cappuccino I have ever had!  Doesn’t hurt that I also have paint all over my hands.

The week went so fast and our days were so full of good stuff. When it comes down to it this photo makes me so happy because it was all about women connecting with themselves and others.

I am still processing all the goodness of our time in Savannah and already my brain is busy with ideas for how to make the next one even better!

I have a Living Studio Normandy coming up in October that is sold out but you can email me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com to get on the wait list.

The next state side Living Studio retreat will be in Seattle, WA next year.  If you would like to be notified when registration opens for that retreat please email me at contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com.

If you are looking for other retreats this year I encourage you to check out retreats that are being hosted by my good friend Kathie Vezzani!  She has some beauties coming up!

She helped me bring The Living Studio Savannah to life and you will love all of her gatherings!

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

6 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Is It You?

I bet you thought I forgot?

I almost did:-)

The winner of the Studying Under the Masters III giveaway is…

I am inspired by all the artists and makers who are balancing motherhood with their creative practice. I’m already registered for this and really looking forward to it!

 

Congratulations!

Please email us at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com and we will get your goodies out to you.

**The winnings must be claimed by March 13, 2015**

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

2 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Guess Who Is Teaching a One Day Denver Workshop?

creativegirl-colorado1_zpsbjh0d5rs

You girls close to Denver are just about to make your summer WAY more fun!

This August I am hosting one of my closest friends and artist extraordinaire for a one day workshop in Denver!

Join Danielle Donaldson in one of the most inspiring spaces and learn how to make the cover image of her new book Creative Girl: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life.

This class has not been taught any place else and you will not only get a full day of Danielle awesomeness but lunch, drinks, snacks and artsy surprises!

This class size is limited so don’t wait too long to sign up!

This workshop will be held at the Old Glory Monthly Markets Studios at 1930 South Broadway
Denver, Colorado 80210.

To register please pay below. 





Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

4 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes