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Ah, vacation. A time to relax and unwind – or, in our case, do lots of yard work and learn about electrical wiring. When you live on a tropical island, your vacations don’t always look “normal!” I’ve taken at least a month mostly away from blogging each summer for the past four years, but if you look through my blog archives you won’t find any major gaps. Depending on your personal reasons for blogging, you may be perfectly okay with taking 4-6 weeks completely off each summer, but it’s not my style. Over the past few years, I’ve developed strategies for keeping my blog at least somewhat active while I’m gone without taking myself away from vacation to post. Today I’m sharing my top 5 tips for preparing your blog for vacation to help you keep your blog on track while you’re away without giving up precious vacation minutes!

5 top tips for preparing your blog for vacation [click to continue…]

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Paper flower pomanders, or kissing balls, have had a special place in my heart ever since I made a bunch of them for our DIY wedding! With our three year (!) anniversary coming up next month, I decided to create another style of pomander that doesn’t require a paper cutter and, to be quite honest, is overall much quicker to make than the paper flower pomanders I made for our wedding! You can see that original tutorial right here. This new paper flower kissing ball tutorial uses pre-made mulberry paper flowers. They are inexpensive and easy to find in a variety of colors! I hope you enjoy this paper flower kissing ball tutorial and that it helps you plan your own DIY wedding!

DIY paper flower kissing ball tutorial

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Since we’re headed to the airport this afternoon, travel is on my mind today! Although the trend seems to be to plug in your headphones and travel in electronic solitude, trips can be a great time to connect with your traveling companions. Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, DIY travel games can be a lot of fun! You can play your pocket-sized games on the plane or during a layover, plus it’s always nice to have something non-digital to share while you’re actually on vacation (especially if you’re weird like us and headed off for a vacation sans electricity!). While many of the games in this roundup are family-friendly, they are not specifically kid-oriented. Adults need time to play, too! I hope you enjoy this roundup of DIY travel games tutorials. 🙂

DIY Travel Games - travel games for adults

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Maybe it’s because I live near the beach, but summer seems to demand some breezy, boho DIYs! The funky, casual vibe feels perfect for lazy summer days. Dreamcatchers and wall hangings seem to be all the rage right now (or maybe that’s just my Pinterest feed?), so for this boho summer crafts roundup I tried to find some less common boho-style crafts to share. I really hope you enjoy this combination of colorful, breezy, and whimsical boho summer crafts!

Boho crafts for summer - Boho Crafts to DIY for Summer

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Tips for Preparing your Etsy Shop for Vacation

I’ve taken at least two weeks of time away from home every year since starting my Etsy shop. I handle each trip a little bit differently – sometimes I leave my shop open, but others I close up shop days ahead of time. Today’s tips for preparing your Etsy shop for vacation are based on various things I’ve tried over the past five years. As we prepare for our summer trip, I’m in the middle of following my own advice right now! I hope you enjoy these tips for preparing your Etsy shop for vacation and find them useful. 🙂

preparing your Etsy shop for vacation

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While walking the beach a while back I found an absolutely lovely piece of driftwood. It was perfect for a mobile or wall hanging! I brought it home, even though I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make with it at the time. A couple months later, I came up with this idea for a polymer clay phases of the moon wall hanging and I knew my carefully saved piece of driftwood would be perfect! This phases of the moon mobile tutorial requires no prior polymer clay knowledge and is surprisingly simple to make – I hope you enjoy!

polymer clay phases of the moon mobile tutorial

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How to Stay in Touch Off the Grid

So many of us look forward to vacations as a time to relax and cut the proverbial cord. We want to take a break, recharge, and just generally avoid dealing with spam emails and social media drama for a few days! However, sometimes our vacations take us far off the beaten path and we want at least some way to keep in touch with the outside world, particularly in the event of an emergency. Because where we stay in West Virginia is currently decidedly off the grid – no land line or internet and not a cell signal in sight (also no currently no reliable electricity or running water) – I put a lot of time last year into thinking about how to stay in touch off the grid. Going into our second year of a month of off-grid living, I thought it was high time I shared some tips! These techniques can be used whether you’re backpacking, camping, staying at a summer ‘camp,’ or even day hiking.

How to stay in touch off the grid [click to continue…]

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As regular readers know, I’m all about nautical style no matter the time of year! I realize that for most people nautical decorations are more associated with warmer weather, though. Since many people regard Memorial Day Weekend as the start of summer, I thought this week would be the perfect time to share this DIY anchor wreath! The anchor is made entirely from ribbon, so you don’t need to worry about finding any wood cut outs or securing heavy objects to your wreath. It’s super easy to make and customize – I hope you enjoy!

DIY anchor wreath with ribbon

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I’ve always felt very awkward with the saying “Happy Memorial Day” and I’m a bit uncomfortable with the commercialization of the day. Memorial Day is, after all, supposed to be a day to remember those who died in armed conflicts. A thought-provoking war memorial I saw in Sydney, Australia seemed a much more appropriate way to commemorate loss of life than bogo deals and parties.

lest we forget

I’m not trying to be a downer, but my inner history nerd feels compelled to point out what Memorial Day is “really” about! I sincerely hope that you don’t have a personal reason to mark the day.

Alright, now that I’ve shared my thoughts on Memorial Day, let’s get to the point of this post – June 2017 blog planner printables!

Free blog planner printables for June 2017

Just like last month, June’s stats tracker printable is available in the “printables for members” area of the blog. If you’re not a member and would like to become one while gaining instant access to the printable, you can download it for free from my Selz “store” here.

June 1017 free blog planner printable

I’m really looking forward to finishing up my May blog stats tracker page in just a few more days! May is always my “best” month for views, and I’m eager to see how the month ends up. I suspect this May will be my best month ever (in terms of views, though not by some other measures). I wish I had other seasonal posts that performed as well as my lei making tutorials do during graduation season, but I haven’t found quite the right thing yet.

If you’re just starting your blog stats tracking journey, you may also be interested in my 2017 printable blog planner calendar. It has a page for each month as well as pages for you to jot down post ideas.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; tracking and planning are key to success in virtually any venture. It seems boring and cumbersome, but once you get into the groove of planning and tracking it can be really rewarding! I absolutely love looking back over the past two years to see how things have grown!

Planning is also very important me right now in other ways – getting ready to be away from home for a month takes a bit of preparation! In the next couple weeks I’ll be sharing tips on preparing your Etsy store for vacation and preparing for vacation as a blogger. I hope you enjoy them and have insights of your own to add!

How was your May?

 

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I haven’t shared a reading list in a while, so today I wanted to post about books to spark your desire to live more naturally. These books are really speaking to me right now as we prepare for our summer trip to West Virginia!

5 books to spark your desire to live more naturallyI love the smell of fresh dirt, gardening, and getting my hands down in the soil. I love hearing the wind rustling in the summer foliage and the sound of dry leaves crinkling underfoot in the fall. I enjoy sitting on the porch in the morning to watch for chipmunks and bunnies. I find it adorable that a nest of flying squirrels moved into an outbuilding for the winter. I love taking a break to stare into the creek looking for crawdads. Weirdly, I even enjoy keeping an eye out for poison ivy and copperheads while walking through the woods. (Though, I have to admit, I don’t like the post-walk obligatory tick checks!) I can’t wait to be truly surrounded by nature again – not just enjoying a park or botanical garden. Until then, reading will have to help tide me over!

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