A well designed website does not have to be fancy or expensive. But it does have to make a great first impression. There is always room for improvement when it comes to making first impressions. You only have a few seconds to grab that new visitor’s attention before they click on that back button. How are you going to do it?

5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Website

1. Test Out Your Website’s Purpose

A new visitor will be asking, “what is this website’s purpose, and what’s in it for me?”. Your logo, tagline, branding and graphic elements all help to instantly convey to your visitor what your site’s purpose is.

Invite a friend or or family member over. Ask them to look at your website. After 5 seconds close your browser. Ask your friend or family member, “What is the purpose of my website?” and “How will my website benefit you?”. If they can’t answer you, then you need to come up with a plan to improve your website’s message. Sometimes this can easily be done by changing some wording or graphic elements.

It’s a great idea to repeat this exercise often. Test new things out to see what works.

2. Clean Up Your Design and Navigation
As a designer, I cannot stress the importance of a clean design with easy navigation. There is nothing worse than landing on a website that’s hard to navigate. Less is more, really. Keep it simple and clean. Your visitors will stick around longer because they can find what they need.

This is another great exercise for a friend or family member. Ask them to navigate around your website (don’t give them any instruction). After about 3 minutes ask, “Were you able to quickly and easily find the information/products you were looking for?”. If they answer, “no” then you need to come up with a plan to clean your website up.

Cleaning up your website can be as simple as reorganizing your navigation, categories, or sidebar. Come up with a plan, implement it, and test it out. Keep working on doing simple and small things to clean up your website.

3. Add a Call To Action
What do you want your visitors to do? Tell them. Include a clear call to action. If the goal is to get them to sign up for your email mailing list, tell them. If the goal is to buy a product, tell them.

This is something that you can do quickly and easily throughout your website.

4. Add an Email Opt-In
I cannot stress enough how important it is to start an email mailing list. I see many people that wait to do this. DON’T. Do it now. When you launch a new product or service, you will have people to market it to. They will be your customer/client base. They will be your biggest fans.

Research different email marketing services. Find one that fits your needs. I use Mail Chimp, and I love them.

5. Shareable Content
Make your content shareable across all social media platforms. People like to share information. They like to tell their friends about new products they love. Let your visitors do some of your marketing for you.

You can see an example of this by hovering over the image above. Do you see how a Pin It button appears? If you find this post helpful, I’d really appreciate it if you’d pin it (*pssst.. this is a “Call To Action”)! See how easy that was?

See if your website has a plug-in that you can install. If not, you may want to try the Share This service.

What is ONE thing you can do today to improve your website or blog?
…. let’s discuss it in the comments below. (*pssst.. this is another “Call To Action”)


Free Easter Printable


Supplies Needed

  • Color Printer
  • Heavy Card Stock Paper
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter
  • Stapler
  • Ziplock Bag
  • Marshmallows and/or Candy to fill bags


  1. Print the file on white card stock.
  2. Cut the bag topper out using scissors or a paper cutter.
  3. Fill ziplock bags with marshmallows and/or candy.
  4. Fold bag toppers in half horizontally.
  5. Staple the bag topper onto each bag.


Supplies Needed

  • Color Printer
  • Heavy Card Stock Paper
  • Scissors or Paper Cutter
  • Hole Puncher
  • Ribbon/Tulle


  1. Print the file on white card stock.
  2. Cut each bunting piece out using scissors or a paper cutter.
  3. Hole punch the top corners on each bunting piece.
  4. String ribbon or tulle through each hole.
  5. Hang your bunting.


Free Valentine's Day Printable


Can you believe it’s almost Valentine’s Day? Here are some really cute little Valentine’s that I created just for you. They’re FREE, please enjoy!

Each valentine measures 3″ wide x 4″ tall. Also includes a backside with a “TO:” and “FROM:” section.


Do you like these free printables? Please sign up for my newsletter and leave me a comment below. I love hearing from my readers!


It’s Here! The 2014 Nifty Planner… and you can win one!

Before I tell you about all the details, I need to admit something to you. I am not a list making, planning, write things down kinda girl. I’m very right brained.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many store bought planners I’ve failed at. I have a stack of them on my desk right now. Many of them I only used for a week (please tell me I’m not the only one). They were too complicated and contained way too many junk pages.

So, I decided to create my own planner. I wanted something colorful, fun, adaptable, and easy to use. The 2014 Nifty Planner is all of that and more!

Let’s take a look….

Giveaway - 2014 Nifty Planner

It starts with a bright and fun cover page. This page included space for you to personalize with your name. Isn’t that nifty?

Printable Planner 2014 Overview

When you turn the page, you’ll find an overview of 2014. If you’re anything like me, you’ll use this reference page a lot.

On the next page, you can keep track of all your important dates through the year. This is perfect for keeping track of birthdays, anniversaries, craft show dates.. etc. Once glance at this page and you know everything important you have planned for the year.

Printable Monthly Calendar Turn to the next page and you have a monthly calendar that features a two page spread. This layout is amazing! There is so much room for you to write in appointments, special dates, and events. Also included is a section for you to write down monthly goals to help you stay on track.


Next, you have a two page weekly calendar. Use this page to write down appointment details, to-do lists, work schedules.. whatever you want. Check out the section to write down weekly goals and to-dos. Jot down quick notes in the notes section.

See the three monthly calendars? I included the previous month, current month, and next month calendars for quick reference.

Printable List Notes and Ideas

On the very last page you have a fun page to keep track of your lists, notes and ideas. Print as many of these as you need.

Nifty Features:

  • It’s Printable
  • Download Instantly
  • The Dates are Pre-Filled on all Pages
  • Includes December 2013 … Get Started Now!
  • Add on to your planner with different packs to fit your needs –> Shop Now

Don’t you just love how fun and simple it is? This is something that you will use. You will be so organized in 2014.

Where can I get it?

It’s only available in my Etsy shop, so head on over there to grab yourself a copy.

Tips & Tricks

I personally use the Arc Discbound Notebook from Staples. I love it! I did have to buy a special (cough..expensive) hole punch, but it was well worth the investment. You do NOT have to use this type of notebook with the 2014 Nifty Planner. You can use any type of binder or notebook.

Print your pages double sided to get the results like you see in my photos.

I printed my pages on 22lb. paper. You can use any weight paper that you prefer.


I’m going to give 1 lucky readers the 2014 Nifty Planner for FREE!
Enter below for your chance to win….
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Think Big - Inspiration for Entrepreneurs

Think big and don’t listen to people who tell you it can’t be done. Life is too short to think small  -Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is that author a book that changed my whole mind-set:  The 4-Hour Workweek

This quote hits home with me.

There have been times when I shared idea with people that just didn’t “get” it. Everything can be done with enough willpower.Isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about?

When I first started out online in 2005, people told me I was crazy. They said there was no way to make a decent living doing what I love. I can proudly say, 8 years later, that I proved them wrong. What if I had listened to them? I wouldn’t have the freedom that I have now. I would be working for someone else.. maybe making more money, but definitely not as happy.

You can do anything that you put your mind to! Don’t let excuses get in the way.

Surround yourself with people that challenge you to think bigger. A support system of like minded people will help you grow even faster. Reach out, and connect with others in your niche.

Life really is too short to think small.

One question I ask myself constantly is, “Will I look back 1 year, 3 years, 5 years from now and regret doing or not doing this?”.

The next time you’re in a situation where you’re not sure if you should move forward with an idea, try asking yourself this question.

How do you challenge yourself to think bigger?

Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

25 Blog Post Ideas with a {Freebie}

25 ideas for blog posts

Have you ever sat down to write a blog post and all you hear are crickets? I most certainly have! Truth be told, more than once. How frustrating is that?

Writers block sucks. How would you like to have a go-to list of ideas that you can draw inspiration from?

I have you’re back!Here is my personal list that I refer to when I just can’t think of anythingto write:

25 Blog Post Ideas

  1. Five things you don’t know about me
  2. Share a fail
  3. A day in the life
  4. Share a picture of your work area
  5. Recommend a book
  6. List of 5 things you love about the city you live in
  7. Product love post
  8. Share one thing that you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t.
  9. Do a round-up of recent tutorials
  10. Tell about a product you can’t live without
  11. Create a list of inspiring people you follow on Pinterest
  12. Share a picture of a project in progress
  13. Tell us about your recent Instagram photos
  14. Recommend some of your favorite bloggers
  15. Create a list of YouTube videos that make you laugh
  16. What is one thing you’d love to make but don’t know how (yet)?
  17. Share some of your recent tweets
  18. What if?
  19. Video blog (vlog)
  20. Create a tutorial for your niche
  21. Run a contest
  22. Share an ‘insider’ secret
  23. Write a post on what NOT to do
  24. Debunk a myth in your niche
  25. Answer reader questions

The best way to avoid writer’s block is to keep a long list of ideas. I use Evernote to keep all of my ideas and notes in one place. It’s an amazingly useful tool that I can use on my iMac, Macbook and iPhone. I highly recommend it!

There are times when I like to use pen and paper to write out my ideas. The act of putting pen to paper is therapeutic for me. I can focus on letting the ideas flow…. and doodle.

Today, I’m sharing my Blog Post Idea printable with you. It’s super simple, and clean. It wont use up all of your ink when you print it. It’s totally FREE too!

blog-post-ideas-preview copy

Download {FREEBIE} Blog Ideas Printable

How to create Clipping Masks in Photoshop {Tutorial}

how to create clipping masks in Photoshop

Are you intimidated by the thought of using clipping masks in Photoshop? Please don’t be. They are quite easy to use.

Clipping masks are a way of  ”clipping” two layers together. The top layer takes on the shape of the bottom layer in just a few clicks.

Once you see how easy they are to use, you will be using them in a variety of different projects.

Here are a few examples:

  • Rounding the edges on your photos
  • Designing your own party printables
  • Filling text with a pattern

The best way to understand how clipping masks work is to try them out for yourself. Follow along with me and I’ll show you how I use them to design my own party flag banner using a template.

Photoshop Clipping Masks

Step 1
Open the template in Photoshop

Step 2
Select the layer that you want to fill with a design in the layers palette

Step 3
Open a digital paper in Photoshop

Clipping Masks in Photoshop

Step 4
Drag the digital paper over to the template.

Step 5
Make sure that the digital paper is on TOP of the template layer that you want to clip it to.

Step 6
Make sure that you’ve selected the layer that the digital paper is on.

Step 7
On the top toolbar, click “Layer”.

Step 8
Select “Create Clipping Mask” from the drop down menu.

Clipping Masks in Photoshop

BAM! Seriously, how easy was that? This is such a useful Photoshop tool. I use it all the time. I’m sure you’ll think of many more uses for this versatile tool.

I’d love for you to share in the comments below how you use clipping masks.

Candy Dots Digital Papers {Freebie}

{FREEBIE} Candy Dots Digital Papers

I spend most of my days working on projects for my wonderful clients. I love the work that I do, but sometimes I just need a break from working within the confines of what a client wants/needs. My creativity needs to run wild every now and then.

I use digital papers a LOT in my work. They’re very versatile. I mainly use them for website and/or blog backgrounds, frames for photos, Etsy banners. They’re a great base to start designs with.

You can use them for a number of different projects.

Maybe you scrapbook.. print them, cut them… get creative.

Are your walls bare? Print these papers, put them in a photo frame… glue a photo on top. Instant wall art!

Do you have a birthday party coming up? Use these digital papers along with my templates for party printables to create a completely unique party theme.

Download {FREEBIE} Candy Dots Digital Papers

What did you do with these free digital papers?

I’d love for you to share with me in the comments below.