Tuesday, March 13, 2012

24 hours and counting...

In less than 24 hours, I will officially be on Spring Break. PTL. I have to make it through one last class tomorrow night (Federal Criminal Procedure) and then I will be able to enjoy a few days off from school. My only (non academic) goal over the break is to get some much needed sunshine on my face. (And though the sun was shining, standing on a roof for days for work, getting burnt to a crisp, does not count).

My goal is geared toward a more relaxing type of sunshine :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Inspiration: Day 5 - Entrepreneurs!

Since I was introduced to the blogging world, bloggers have constantly amazed me. So many All of the blogs I follow are written by motivated, talented and hard working people. Blogging is all about connecting to the community, sharing new (and old) ideas and learning from other bloggers experiences. Bloggers range from stay at home mothers to teachers to lawyers to designers. And I truly believe that regardless of what a blogger's "day job" is, their blog is like a business. Think about it. Some bloggers advertise, host giveaways, run promotions of books/products/businesses, write books about blogging. Writing a blog is like running a business and it is a great way to grow a business. This is an amazing thing. Society recognizes that the blog world is an effective way to build and expand business networks. Bloggers are changing the world. :) And at the same time bloggers get to do what they love to do (write, teach, share), their blog grows, and hopefully they reap the benefits of ever-expanding world of social media networking. Awesome! The Pioneer Woman is a perfect example of this success. Does this mean that bloggers have to write books and have television cooking shows on the Food Network to be considered successful? No, of course not. But there a plenty of bloggers out there that do amazing things on a bit of a smaller scale everyday. Bloggers are Entrepreneurs taking the world by storm one blog post at a time!

Speaking of Entrepreneurs, I personally know a few :) The below links will take you to websites of a few business owners who work with small businesses to utilize this great social media network effectively to grow their businesses (and blogs!). Inspiration has definitely come from watching these business owners work toward their dreams and watching their businesses (recently) launch. For you, your business and your blog's sake - check these websites out people!!!

Appitechture LLC
Need an iPhone app? You (and your business, church, band, Etsy shop, blog, etc.) can have your very own! In the interest of fully disclosing my potential bias, my husband is one of the business owners in this venture. However, this in no way takes away from how amazing this idea is! :) Completely unbiased opinion, I swear. The 3 owners of Appitechture LLC have developed an app that is affordable to small business owners and organizations and that can be individually customized! If you have an iPhone or iPad, go to the iTunes store and search for the Silver Spool (which is a small quilting company) app. You can download it for free to see the available features of the apps that Appitechure offers. If you are interested in creating your own app, let me know!

Launch LLC
This company is run by a wonderful lady, Kelly, whom I have known since early childhood (again, I see the potential for bias here, but please keep reading I promise you will not be disappointed). Kelly is in the business of creative marketing and started her own business!! Launch specializes in branding, social media strategy, event and media coordination. She has some great ideas and her blog is definitely something you should follow!

Moral of today's story - get out and network with somebody! There is a bit of Entrepreneur in all of us!

Is there an Inspirational Entrepreneur in your life?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Inspiration: Day 4 - Weddings!

As I mentioned back in my very first post, 2011 was an absolute crazy year full of weddings! 5 in total (one of which was mine). 2011 flew by (and 2012 is on the same track - how is it already March?). So back to weddings. 2012 will also be full of weddings! Catherine, a friend and fellow blogger, is getting ready to tie the knot soon! One of G's best friends is gettin' hitched in September! Aaaand a bridesmaid from my wedding is getting married in about a month! (You can check out her engagement photo teasers here). All so exciting!!!

I had a TON of fun planning my wedding! I also had a TON of help planning. It took place last hot, hot, hot August. We were all sweating, but we still had a blast! More blogs, websites and people inspired me throughout my own planning process (and helping the other girls with theirs) than I could ever write about, so I thought I would leave you with a few links showing just a taste of my favorite, inspiring things.

Caroline & Evan, our wedding photographers, were incredibly inspiring throughout the planning and the big day itself, and continue to inspire other couples. They are so wonderful and have some many great ideas for engagement/wedding photos & planning! They have even started their own wedding magazine called click! to help the bride-to-be with her planning! The first issue launches tomorrow! Check it out!

G's wedding. LOVE. Here is the feature in Florida Bride Magazine (which has some great inspiration for Florida Brides). I think I still have tan lines from the beautiful sunshine that day, almost 2 years ago!

Joe & Lauren's Wedding. My baby brother got married last year! He married his high school sweetheart and they are now expecting their first baby! I will be an aunt yet again! Hooray! Ahem, back to their wedding...they had a traditional ceremony in the church we attended throughout our childhood. It was beautiful. I love, love, love the purple details. Overall, we had a blast!

Re's wedding. Winter wedding in downtown Boston. Wedding + Skyscrapers = Heaven. Absolutely beautiful. Here is the feature in Emmaline Bride. Her details (most of which, including the bouquets, were DIY) were stunning.

So much inspiration, so few weddings for me to plan. I could go on and on, but I will try to contain myself!

I had a lot of items handmade through Etsy. One of my all time favorite websites! :) I learned that if you can't find it, they will make it for you. I promise to do a post about more specifics of my wedding SOMETIME. Promise. And I will give you a list of my Etsy vendors and other vendors because they were all wonderful. In the meantime, here is our quick feature on Fresh Squeezed Weddings. This website will give you all sorts of unique ideas and inspiration!

Ahh I love weddings.

Have you attended an inspirational wedding lately?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Inspiration: Day 3 - Bloggers Around the World!

I would be perfectly content traveling the world (and probably even settling down and living in Italy) for the rest of my life. But something tells me this dream of mine will never come true :) Oh well. A girl can dream, can't she?

These are two of my favorite blogs for different reasons, but both are written by women who live overseas.

Life of an Expat Parent
Written by one of my older sister's college roommates, we will call her The Foreigner, this blog is a must read (for parents and the childless alike). She moved to England after college graduation and fell in love (and stayed). It is such a sweet story and now she is a parent to beautiful 9 month old baby girl! She is quite witty and I love reading her posts (though I cannot relate to the "parent" bit). Her story inspires me because, though I do not know what it is like to permanently live across the pond, I do know what it is like to live 1000 miles away from my family. Not that I would trade my life here for anything, there are times being so far away from loved ones is terribly difficult and causes a little heartache. But, I know, I know, it comes with the territory. Amazing friends help make being so far away from family tolerable. Anywho...I cannot even imagine living across the pond from them! The Foreigner is truly an inspiration! You should stop by and read about a day in the life of an Expat Brit.

Simply Semplicita
I love this blog for a completely different reason than I love The Foreigner's. I truly believe I was Italian in another life :) I had to be. Anywho, back to why this blog inspires me (please refer back to the very first line of this post). Lauren travels, cooks and lives every bit of the Italian life in Rome. Her blog has a little bit of everything. Her typical day trip is a dream for an Architecture lovah. She provides city guides for places she goes (even if you never plan on going to these places, you should check them out because they are fascinating!) And she balances friends and family on multiple continents. Amazing. I hope to be at least half as well traveled as she is one day! A girl can dream, can't she? :)

Where have you been lately?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Inspiration: Day 2 - Good Eats!

I love food. Almost as much as I love coffee (and wine). But food does come in a close 3rd. :) Over the past year or so, a few ladies in particular have rocked my kitchen's world. Some with healthy recipes, some with comfort food. It is all delicious! These ladies have truly inspired me to make my way into my kitchen and become more comfortable doing so.

Here is some Good Eats Inspiration:

Healthy Eats~

Gina @ Skinnytaste has been a true inspiration this year. It is safe to safe that I try more of her recipes than any other foodie's blog. Her food is healthy AND delicious! Who knew? And she gives you the nutrition info for each recipe. If you haven't tried one of her recipes you are really missing out!

Aggie @ Aggie's Kitchen, a fellow Floridian, has some delicious eats that you have got to try! She will not disappoint!

Comfort Food~

Laurie @ Simply Scratch post recipes of some delicious meal (and dessert) ideas. From smoothies to doughnuts, this lady will knock your kitchen's socks off.

The Pioneer Woman. She needs no introduction...

What have you created in the kitchen lately?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Inspiration: Day 1 - Get moving!

Hey there!

Over the past year I have worked to make more of a consistent effort to get my rear off the couch/out of bed and get moving! For me, exercise is as much for my mental health as it is for my physical well-being. And since starting law school, I hid behind the "I'm too ______ (tired, busy, etc.)" excuses for way too long. Last January I decided that it had to change. I started making small changes to my daily routine and gradually exercising more and more. Now believe me when I tell you I still do not exercise nearly as much as I should or wish I could, but getting even the smallest work out in does wonders for my sanity. And not making any drastic changes in my daily routine made it easier to stay consistent and maintain a schedule.

My stress relief exercise of choice is usually running. And motivation is so key. Whenever I am lacking in the motivation department (and I do not have time to watch Rocky IV, which we all know to be the best Rocky movie that has ever been made) I check out these blogs:

fANNEtastic food
This blog is written by Anne who is attending grad school to become a Registered Dietitian. She posts healthy recipes and writes about her travels, upcoming wedding, and her everyday life, but she spends a good bit of time talking about running (and other types of exercise)! Yay! She is training for a couple road races and brings her readers along with her on her journey. She is very motivational in that she gives you the unedited version of how her training is going and real life runners can relate to her ups/downs/experiences. You should definitely stop by! And do it soon because in the above link she is giving away a New Balance GPS running watch! You can leave a comment and be entered to win! Check it out!

Tone It Up!
I love this website too! The authors of this blog/website, Katrina & Karena, have amazing ideas for workouts, eating healthy and an overall balanced life (I have met Katrina and she is super sweet!). They have great tips for fitting quick, effective workouts into your day, even when you do not think you will have time. I have not tried their diet plan (though I have heard good things), but this is my go to spot for awesome workout moves!

So the next time you are lacking in the motivation department, check these ladies out! They will not disappoint :)

Stay tuned for my blogiversary inspiration!

Belated Blogiversary!

Hello readers! I hope this post finds you all well!

I know, I know, it has been a while. It seems lately that all of my posts have begun this way. And of course, I intend to blame my long absence on law school. It has been a crazy, busy semester! I am so looking forward to my spring break in a few weeks!

Though I have not posted recently I still keep up with my full-to-the-brim Reader! Love it. This past weekend, as I was catching up on posts in my Reader, I got to thinking....

I read posts from bloggers all over the world covering quite a diverse range of topics. I find the blogs I follow inspirational for a variety of reasons. Who knew that other people out there actually cook, love, struggle, suffer heartache, are exhausted, run, strive for a balanced life, study, work hard and travel too??? I sure did not before I was introduced to blog-world. It might just be me (though doubtful) but I find that the ability to relate to other bloggers, makes the life a bit more manageable. Perhaps I am not the only person in the world who deals with varying daily struggles? Entering the world of blogging has truly been an eye-opening experience....And as I was pondering all of this, it hit me! I have been an official blogger for over a year now!!!  A Spot of Jo's 1st Birthday was February 22nd! And I missed it!!!! Curses. I cannot even believe that it has been a year since I started blogging. Where did the time go?

So here I am now, a bit belated (per usual), to celebrate my 1st Blogiversary! *Disclaimer* - I am well aware that Blogiversary is a word that is not actually in any dictionary, except maybe Urban Dictionary, but I intend to use it anyway. You have been warned.

I know there are many ways to celebrate a Blogiversary, but for my 1st Blogiversary, I thought I would share with you some of the aforementioned inspiration. Over the next week or so, I am going to share some things, places and people that have inspired me over the past year (though I should note that some of these things, places and people have been inspiring me for more than a year and continue to do so everyday).

So go grab a warm mug of your favorite jo', settle in for some coming good reads, and celebrate my 1st Blogiversary with me!

What inspires you?