Thursday, September 29, 2011

InstaFriday



1. Family bowling night. I came in last place. Awesome.
2. Lunch.
3. New park = Happy kid.
4. Typo on a tee. Thanks, Target.
5. Rachelle and I on the way to Blog Sugar.
6. He's new. His name is Charlie.
7. Gangsta.
8. My husband shouldn't get his motorcycle license anytime soon.
9. Q: Why did the tortoise cross the road? A: To get to Kimmie's house on a random Tuesday.


It's been an interesting week.
:)
I hope your week was lovely!
xo



life rearranged

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What I Whipped Up Wednesday

Oh, hey there, rockstar.
Did you contribute to the biggest linky party to-date last week?
Yeah?
That's because you're rad.


Can you believe that October is almost here?
This month has flown by!
I'm getting ready to add new sponsors to my sidebar and will finally be switching things out.
Free ad space due to a crazy Summer was nice, but it's time to give myself some credit where credit is due.
The blog's stats continue to BOOM every.single.day.
I'm continuing to offer low rates, but now there are three sizes to choose from:



If interested send an email with "Ad Space" in the Subject line to SugarAndDots@gmail.com
Ads will start from the top of the sidebar according to size AND a first-come-first-served basis.
The sooner I get your email and payment, the closer you are to the top.
:)

Moving on...

Last week...


Tonia from The Gunny Sack made this happy little magnetic memo chalkboard:


Angela from Love Sweet Love turned an old window into a beautiful display:




Stephanie from Henry Happened created a lovely Anthro inspired necklace:




Kim from Too Much Time on My Hands transformed her amazing craft room:




There was a tie amongst a zillion links last week, so instead of most voted-for, I'm going with the most clicked-on link last week.
Jocelyn from Inside BruCrew Life whipped up these Salted Caramel Mocha Brownie Cups:






Thank you to everyone who linked up!
If you were featured, be sure to grab a FEATURED button off of my sidebar.
:)
Also, a few things...
If you are a "fan" on Facebook, you'll notice that sometimes I feature links from the party THERE. Be sure to click "like" so that you know when you're getting a shout-out!
Oh, and THE AWESOME BUTTON on my sidebar usually takes you to a link from one of the linky parties!
Now that I'm blogging a bit more these days, I know that the linky party disappears from the front page of my blog. The pageviews are massive every week, so I'm sure you are all just blog hopping via the link to my site at the bottom of posts, right?
To make things slightly easier, I have added a button at the top right of my sidebar called "linky party".
You can now always get to the most recent linky via that button.


Now that that's over...
Some guidelines:
1. Must be your post- any idea, recipe, project, craft, tutorial, or makeover you'd like to share.
2. You do NOT have to link-back, but I DO ask that you at least follow this blog.
3. Must be linked to the post's URL- not the URL to your blog's homepage.
4. Grabbing a button or linking to the party is appreciated and helps people find your links every week!
5. Commenting on the link before you and/or after you makes you radtastic.


Remember that every week, the first link and the most-voted for link are featured automatically!


Happy Wednesday!
xo








Pin It

Monday, September 26, 2011

I don't know how to... (Longest post ever.)

I have no problem facing change.
I welcome it.
I embrace it.
If it ever comes at a time when I am not ready for it, I usually stress a little, but never to the point where it overwhelms me.
Change takes place a lot here on my blog.
The name (Fancy Kimmie to Live Fancy to Sugar and Dots), the look, the font size, the font color, the entire layout...it has all changed.
There are two things that haven't; my writing style (single sentence line breaks/sentence fragments/sarcasm), and being transparent.
I have never ever kept this blog as a happy zone.
I wish I was that blog.
I wish so much that my blog name was the answer when people asked, "What blog do you LOVE reading?"
But I accept that it can't be that way.
Writing about my miscarriages, my daughter's time as a burn victim, my husband's life-threatening injury, and every struggle in-between has brought me an audience that I was in need of.
I needed people to relate.
To join me in my cry for help.
To pray over me and send me words of encouragement.
I need this blog for all that it brings me.
It's true.
Unfortunately, it is also so very selfish.

This is not my blog.

That's all I kept hearing during Blog Sugar yesterday.
The words were never said, but the message was clear.
Everyone walked away from their panels with their own interpretations.
My panels were all very different, yet the message was the same for me.

Your blog is not for yourself.

Without you, my blog is nothing.
Without your kindness to subscribe to my words-
Without your sweet comments-
Without your encouragement, your suggestions, your ideas-
Without your participation during my little linky party-
Without all that you do, this blog would be nothing.

Nothing.

My words would mean nothing if you didn't choose to read them and connect with their meaning.
Think about it.
Blogging is such a scary thing.
It can make you so vulnerable.
I have always tackled my vulnerability.
In doing so, I have made friends that I would have never made otherwise.
My whole life has been affected by blogging.
My life.
My home is full of projects that are created from reading your ideas.
My family eats meals from the recipes that you share.
My children wear clothes that have been sewn from tutorials that you have posted.
I have been on date nights with my husband at places that you recommend.
I spend my evenings talking/texting/tweeting/emailing with women that bring me immense joy.
All of them being women I would have never met without my blog.
What an amazing thing that is.
My life is how it is because of you.

**

Arriving to Blog Sugar yesterday, I saw two women walking towards the conference who greeted me with a smile.
They introduced themselves as Brittany and Amy.
I said, "Hi. I'm Kimmie."
Amy said, "Kimmie from Sugar and Dots?"
At that moment, I felt like I had made it.
I clapped.
I smiled.
I felt so...so...alive.
I write.
I assume people read the words.
I never thought I would say my name and have someone automatically know where I write.
Or continue to tell someone else in line for a blog conference that I refer to my children as "The Boy" and "The Girl".
Amy knew my blog.
She told me she linked up to What I Whipped Up Wednesdays and loved the links.
She validated me without knowing.
It was the best feeling in the world.

I got to sit and chat with Erika, Alissa, Carrie, Jenelle, Jacqui, Julie, Amity, and Meagan.
I begged Alissa, Jacqui, and Meagan to let me sit at their table.
The other ladies were so very welcoming and so great to meet.




(My number was off by one-digit for an amazing giveaway. Amy won it. (Remember we walked in together.) I was thrilled for her. She was so kind and so deserving.)
It was a lovely evening with the socializing and the sugar.

And then I attended my panels.

Maggie was adorable.
She answered my question with such grace and courtesy.
To be able to ask her face to face, "How did you create a name for yourself?" and have her respond after pausing to answer with intent and honesty, it was lovely.

Then Julie spoke.
If you read her blog, you have to know that her words online are just as beautiful in-person.
I actually cried while listening to her.
And at the end, I got to tell her that I am here because of her.
She commented on a photographer's blog and said, "Start a blog cute family!"
And I did.
I didn't know what I was doing, but I thought, "If Julie said to start a blog, I will do it."
I think she was my 10th follower.
If I really sit and think about it, I am where I am because of Julie.
I got to tell her that.
In front of a large group of women.
With a shaky voice.
And tears in my eyes.
I got to thank her for her comment that changed my life.
It meant the world to me.

Jeannett's message was the one that connected with me the most.
I took notes like I was about to be given an exam on her speech.
I listened with my entire being.
I opened my heart and tried to feel the words that she was passionately expressing.
My favorite part of her time was her powerful message.
"You are not one-dimensional; neither is your blog."
"What does your heart break for?"
"It wasn't that long ago that women had no voice."
"There are over 153 million blogs in the world. Your readers choose to read YOURS. Don't waste the resource- you have a captive audience! Use your blog for good."
"If you can't read my blog because I mention a scripture, then find another blog."
What a powerful message that is.
Which brings me to my confession...

**

I don't know how to be religious.

Riiiiiight.
I know that looks like the most absurd sentence in the world.
I know.
I do.
But here's the thing...
I wasn't raised with any kind of religious background.
I think we went to church on Christmas every year, but to be honest, I don't think that's true.
Nor do I know if that was the correct holiday.
I really don't remember it enough to know any details at all.
When I was 18, I decided to find a church and attend.
I went often.
Four days a week.
I tried to soak up as much information as I could.
I did this for about 6 months.
It was very fast-paced and confusing.
The "college group" I was in spent a lot of time saying memorized scriptures in unison.
I sat alone, flipping through my Bible trying desperately look like I knew what I was looking for.
I even got reading glasses in hopes that I could say I forgot them occassionally when I was really lost.
I would simply hold my closed Bible and mouth, "I forgot my glasses."
(Sorry for that $200.00 eye doctor bill, Mom. I still feel guilty about that. Every.Single.Day.)
I eventually gave up on trying to understand where I fit in.
I just assumed that I didn't have whatever it was that religious people had.
Knowledge?
Experience?
A special faith that I couldn't grasp?
I didn't know what it was.
I stopped going to church.
I eventually became a pregnant 19-year-old.
I was certain that I shouldn't even attempt to seek the God that I so desperately wanted to connect with.
I told people I was "spiritual but not religious".
And here I am 9 years after my first visit to a church on my own.
After my amazing time at a faith-based blog conference.
I always want to post about it.
Not necessarily all of the details I just gave you...
But there are times when I feel the need to type things that I don't know how to say.
I want to say, "Today I felt so blessed. God is amazing."
And then I think, "Oh, wait. These women are here for crafts and inspiration. Not to read about the day that Kimmie felt like God was hearing all of her prayers."
Or I'll think, "How great for this blogger who just quoted a scripture and had a zillion comments about how that scripture changed people's perspective- their day- their mood- their life."
But I don't know where to begin.
I pray all.the.time.
Constantly.
I believe.
My faith is imbedded deep into my soul and with every ounce of my being.
But mentioning any of that to you never seemed fitting.

And then I read Casey's post.
I've said it before.
I won't apologize for the words I've written.
This blog is me.
It is real.
It is honest.
I can't be sorry if I am not who you want me to be.
But I can stop hiding.
I don't need to turn this space into a Sunday service, but I had never mentioned it before and felt the timing to be perfect...

Hi. My name is Kimmie, and I believe in God.
I don't know anything about the Bible.
I have never memorized His word.
But I believe.
And I don't want to leave this Earth with a blog that never revealed that.

That is all.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What I Whipped Up Wednesday + Winner Announced!

If you didn't enter the giveaway, you missed out!
Thank you to the following lovelies for your donations:

and


And the winner of everything kindly donated is:



Are you the winner?
Is your blog linked above?!
I will be emailing you this week!
Thank you to everyone who entered!


Now on to the party!
Last week...


Natalie from Beach House in the City revealed her amazing basement:


Two photos for one shout-out? I know. I'm smitten:





Natalie from Johnny in a Dress transformed these adorable stacking cushions:






Life with the Ellwoods revealed their daughter's precious nursery:





Marge from Joyful Homemaking whipped up these scrumptious Mini Boston Creme Pies:





And the most voted-for link last week was from Made by Munchie's Mama for her Cupcake Liner Candy Corn decor:






Thank you to everyone who linked up!
If you were featured, be sure to grab a FEATURED button off of my sidebar.
:)
Also, a few things...
If you are a "fan" on Facebook, you'll notice that sometimes I feature links from the party THERE. Be sure to click "like" so that you know when you're getting a shout-out!
Oh, and THE AWESOME BUTTON on my sidebar usually takes you to a link from one of the linky parties!
Now that I'm blogging a bit more these days, I know that the linky party disappears from the front page of my blog. The pageviews are massive every week, so I'm sure you are all just blog hopping via the link to my site at the bottom of posts, right?
To make things slightly easier, I have added a button at the top right of my sidebar called "linky party".
You can now always get to the most recent linky via that button.


Now that that's over...
Some guidelines:
1. Must be your post- any idea, recipe, project, craft, tutorial, or makeover you'd like to share.
2. Must be linked to the specific post; not just your blog's URL.
3. Grabbing a button or linking to the party is appreciated and helps people find your links every week!
4. You do NOT have to link-back, but I DO ask that you at least follow this blog.
5. Commenting on the link before you and/or after you makes you radtastic.


Remember that every week, the first link and the most-voted for link are featured automatically!


Happy Wednesday!
xo

Friday, September 16, 2011

BIG HUGE MEGA GINORMOUS GIVEAWAY DAY!

You know how I give away all kinds of stuff when I get in a really good mood?
You would know if you "liked" Sugar and Dots on Facebook.
Just saying.
;)

So when my miserable Summer came to an end, you can only imagine the good mood I was in.
Enough to offer you a mini-giveaway on Facebook AND a big giveaway here.
Good mood giveaways = Karma's BFF.
"Do unto others" right?
I agree.

Let's get to it!



ONE person will win everything!
A very happy mail day for one of you!
:)
To enter, you MUST be a follower of Sugar and Dots via Google Friend Connect.
Simply leave me a comment telling me that you are, and you will be entered to win.

Additional entry options are listed below.
(You can do one entry, some entries, or all entries.)
HOLLA!


GIVEAWAY #1


Nicole is offering you $15.00 to shop at her Etsy shop OR at her Big Cartel shop!
Want to see some options?





Yay for shopping!

For additional entries:

1. Become a follower of Nicole's blog via GFC and leave a comment letting me know that you follow.
2. "Like" Olive Blue on Facebook and leave a comment below letting me know that you follow.
3. Follow Olive Blue on Twitter and leave a comment below telling me that you follow.


GIVEAWAY #2:


Jacqui is giving away one dozen cake pops!
Hello, delicious.


For additional entries:

1. Follow the Baby Boy Bakery blog via GFC and let me know that you follow.
2. "Like" Baby Boy Bakery on Facebook and let me know that you do.
3. Follow Baby Boy Bakery on Twitter and let me know that you follow.



GIVEAWAY #3:


Kristen is offering you $25.00 shop credit to her Big Cartel shop!
Want to see some options?





Happy shopping!
For additional entries:

1. Follow the Rock A Bow blog via GFC and let me know that you do.
2. "Like" Rock A Bow on Facebook and tell me that you do.
3. Follow Rock A Bow on Twitter and tell me that you follow.



GIVEAWAY #4:


My BFF Rachelle is giving away a free month of advertising on her blog!
Can I just say that being mentioned on her blog back in the day was what put my blog on the map?
Her blog made my blog.
All you need is a blog or shop button and she'll take care of the rest!
And with projects like these, it's no wonder she gets so much traffic:



For additional entries:

1. Follow Fingerprints on the Fridge via GFC and let me know that you know do.
3. Follow Fingerprints on the Fridge on Twitter and tell me that you follow.



GIVEAWAY #5:


Alissa is offering you $20.00 to use in her shop!
Want to see some shopping options?





For additional entries:

3. Follow Rags to Stitches Boutique on Twitter and tell me that you follow.



GIVEAWAY #6:


Desiree is offering you one piece of vinyl or a vinyl stencil of your choice (up to 22" wide!)!



For a close-up of your vinyl options, click here.
Love them!

For additional entries:

1. Follow The 36th Avenue via GFC and let me know that you do.
2. "Like" The 36th Avenue on Facebook and tell me that you do.
3. Follow The 36th Avenue on Twitter and let me know that you follow.



GIVEAWAY #7:


Jenni is offering you $15.00 shop credit to use in her Etsy shop!
Want to see some options?





For additional entries:

1. Follow Ragamuffin Beauties via GFC and let me know that you do.
2. "Like" Ragamuffin Beauties on Facebook and let me know that you do.
3. Follow Jenni on Twitter and let me know that you follow.



GIVEAWAY #8:


Courtney is giving away this lovely pin that can be used on a bag, scarf, hat, sweater, etc!




The perfect pop of color for Fall!

Courtney is also offering a 10% discount to all of you!
Simply use the code "SandDGiveaway" between now and September 30th on anything in her shop!
HOLLA!

For additional entries:

1. Follow Lil Noodle Bug Boutique via GFC and let me know that you do.
2. "Like" Lil Noodle Bug Boutique on Facebook and let me know that you do.


GIVEAWAY #9:

Sugar and Dots

I am offering you a custom family tree PDF!
Choose your border color and your size (8x10 or 11x14) and either print from home or send to your favorite printer.
You can add up to 26 names (one per leaf)- makes a great gift!
*This modern tree does not follow the typical genealogical guidelines- family members are scattered throughout the branches. If you have specific family members that you would like to see next to one another, I will do my best to keep them together, but leaves will not be moved to accomodate.*



For additional entries:

1. "Like" Sugar and Dots on Facebook and tell me that you do.
2. Follow Sugar and Dots on Twitter and tell me that you follow.
3. Tweet about this giveaway (ex: "I just entered a HUGE #giveaway from @Sugar_Dots! You should too!")
4. Mention this giveaway on Facebook (ex: "I just entered a HUGE giveaway by @Sugar and Dots and you should, too!")



That gives you a whopping TWENTY-EIGHT ways to enter!
GOOD LUCK!

Giveaway winner will be announced Tuesday evening during What I Whipped Up Wednesday and will be chosen via Random.org.

Happy Friday, lovelies!
xo

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BIG HUGE MEGA GINORMOUS GIVEAWAY!

...starting tomorrow.


TEN SHOPS.
ONE WINNER.


See you there.






Happy Thursday.
xo

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What I Whipped Up Wednesday

Hello, lovelies!
I've been busy whipping up a fun giveaway for you...tune in on Friday to see what you can win!
Until then, let's check out what you've all been up to...



Gabby from The Late, Young Family transformed this piece into something I would lovity love to own:




Kristy from Hyphen Interiors is at it again; look at another one of her amazing transformations:




Erin from The Two Story Cottage created this happy little reading nook:




Sarah from Alderberry Hill has made a few fabtastic wreaths- this was my favorite:




Kassi from Truly Lovely whipped up these Reeses Pieces Cupcakes:




Heritage Home Creations re-vamped this extraordinary farmhouse hutch & it's FOR SALE!:



And the most voted-for link was from Lindsey at Mediocre Mothering with her adorable preschool collage:




Thank you to everyone who linked up!
If you were featured, be sure to grab a FEATURED button off of my sidebar.
:)
Also, a few things...
If you are a "fan" on Facebook, you'll notice that sometimes I feature links from the party THERE. Be sure to click "like" so that you know when you're getting a shout-out!
Oh, and THE AWESOME BUTTON on my sidebar usually takes you to a link from one of the linky parties!
Now that I'm blogging a bit more these days, I know that the linky party disappears from the front page of my blog. The pageviews are massive every week, so I'm sure you are all just blog hopping via the link to my site at the bottom of posts, right?
To make things slightly easier, I have added a button at the top right of my sidebar called "linky party".
You can now always get to the most recent linky via that button.


Now that that's over...
Some guidelines:
1. Must be your post- any idea, recipe, project, craft, tutorial, or makeover you'd like to share.
2. Must be linked to the specific post; not just your blog's URL.
3. Grabbing a button or linking to the party is appreciated and helps people find your links every week!
4. You do NOT have to link-back, but I DO ask that you at least follow this blog.
5. Commenting on the link before you and/or after you makes you radtastic.


Remember that every week, the first link and the most-voted for link are featured automatically!


Happy Wednesday!
xo

Friday, September 9, 2011

Instafriday (Back to School Edition)

 This week was insane.
I had tons of homework (I'm a full-time student again! HOLLA!), tons of PTA prep as the new PTA President, got my son enrolled into preschool, got my daughter situated with her new second-grade GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) class, and said goodbye to our Summer vacation.


The Girl and I went to Pier 1 Imports. Not even 2 minutes after being there, she dropped a HUGE MEGA GIANT glass vase onto her leg. Glass and blood everywhere. Incident report. Employees. Managers. News helicopters. The works. I felt the need to buy something before we left, so I snagged this adorbs owl. Her Gucci fabric makes her a recalled item and makes me uber happy.




I couldn't use a photo app on this photo because the sky was just too pretty by itself.
It rained like crazy while the sun was out, and this sunset was the result of Mother Nature on crack.
I took it from my front porch.




New pajamas for the last night of his Summer vacation.
Fact: footed pajamas keep them little longer.




The Boy the morning that he started preschool.
Bittersweet.



While he was at school, The Girl and I got some Starbucks, did some shopping, and got spa pedicures.
The last mother/daughter day of Summer.
It was lovely.




Hubby combined an old fence post, my favorite paper, and some canvas, and came up with this.
I am smitten.




Here I am before my PTA speech in front of the kindergarten parents.
I planned on rockin' a part-stand-up-comedy-part-information-overload speech.
I don't think I even pronounced my name correctly.
Public speaking FAIL.




I hit my "escape" button during my speech.
It didn't work.




Routine check-up and TB test for preschool.
Completed the day after his first day of school.
If there was a procrastination contest, I would win.




The last lemonade of our vacation.
One of my favey faves about Summertime.
Goodbye lemon happiness.




I spent hours and hours cutting 1,400 squares of fabric to create 200 pins as "swag" for Blog Sugar.
Unfortunately, I didn't complete the task by their deadline and now have 1,400 squares, 200 covered buttons, and 200 pin-backs just sitting here.
Not awesome.


This morning: The Girl at 7:15 AM getting ready to leave for school.
Definitely awesome.




Next week should be less crazy.
Unless I actually do everything I'm supposed to.
Plus, I can now do homework with my kids at the kitchen table.
:)


I hope you all had a great week and have a great weekend!
*As always, I am linking up this post with Jeannett.*

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