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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about branding. This week I wanted you to see the branding and design process on a real site. Sometimes its hard to understand something unless you see it in action. And I’m very happy to share with you the details of my own brand and website. I’m still working on adding some things here and there but as far as the branding and design its a done deal. As with every brand and design project, I start by meeting with the client. We go over their wants and needs but…

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Welcome back! I’m mixing things up a bit today. I had planned to post on what’s in my graphic design tool kit . But since I still need to work on that post [I’ll post that later this week], I want to continue our talk about setting goals for building your dream life. I’ll be completely honest with you, it takes a lot of hard work, time and energy. But its so worth it! Last week I talked about living your dream life. So by now you should have a detailed description of what your dream life looks like. And hopefully…

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When I was just a young girl, my aunt taught me how to knit. And somewhere in my young life I also learned how to crochet. But that was as crafty as I ever got. And I don’t do either one of these anymore. My mom was the the crafty one in our family. All her life she was into sewing, crocheting, etc. I just never caught the bug until much later in life. Although I did take a liking to cross stitch as a young adult. I still love cross  stitch to this day. As time went by my love of crafts blossomed. Maybe I was always crafty but just hadn’t discovered my hidden talents yet. Don’t judge, some of us bloom late! LOL If you’ve read my bio, you already know how I fell in love with scrapbooking. My first one was a labor of love. But once I got a taste, there was no turning back. To be honest, I’m not sure if it was the love of scrapbooking or all the pretties I got to use. Or maybe it was the love of craft stores. Unfortunately, I could spend hours and tons of money in one of those places. Who’s with me?! LOL Which ever one it was [my guess is all three] I was hooked. I even went as far as to be certified in scrapbooking and paper crafting. Meaning I could work for a Micheal’s or Hobby Lobby as a craft instructor. And one of my dreams is to someday hold classes in my custom designed home office/craft room. Read the post about my dream office by clicking here Another craft I love maybe even more than scrapbooking is card making. And you guessed it, my mom was the queen of card making [mom was the queen of everything.] LOL She sat around and made them all the time. She was even in charge of the card ministry at our church. They had a card making class that met once a week. Once they were done, they would send the cards to shut in’s and others who might need encouragement. They made the ones where you stamp the card with a picture and color it in with colored pencils, But mom would go one step further and embellish hers with decorative paper and ribbon [from my scrap stash of course.] Her’s were always the prettiest ones. I didn’t get into card making until after she passed away in 2015. I think she must have passed on that desire to continue her legacy. Now I’m hooked on it and miss being able to create cards [I don’t have the place to work at the moment.] I still have most of her stamps [she had a ton] and other card making supplies. But my way of making them is a little different. I’ve actually designed several collections of cards and hope to start making them again next year. Unlike mom or her fellow card makers, I rarely use stamps. At least not the way they used them. Most of my cards are made from card stock, patterned scrap paper and embellishments. Like the ones you see below. As of this moment, I have a ton of supplies just sitting in my storage space waiting for me. And as soon as I’m able, I will start creating my cards again. I also have a couple of scrapbooks to finish and some half done cross stitch projects to finish. Oh how I miss the crafty life! Any fellow crafters out there? What is your favorite craft? I would love to know and even see what you make. Leave me a comment and pictures if you got em. Have a blessed day! ♥ Marti

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Today I wanted to share some of my favorite cool weather drinks with you. They’re very delicious and easy to make. The first one is a basic white hot chocolate. The second is a peppermint white hot chocolate. And the third is a cinnamon hot chocolate. They each have only a few ingredients and are so easy to make. All three of these recipes start out the same way. Measure half and half into your favorite mug. Then pour it into a sauce pan. Heat on low until it starts to warm [don’t heat too quickly or the milk will start to curdle.] Basic white hot chocolate 1. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla [you can use more if you life] per each cup of half and half. 2. Add white chocolate chips [how much depends on how chocolaty you want it.] 3. Once the chips have melted and milk has reached the desired temperature, pour it back into your cup and top with colorful mini marshmallows. Peppermint hot chocolate 1. Add crushed peppermint and white chocolate chips [you can use peppermint flavoring if you like and how much is up to you.] 2. Once peppermint and chips have melted pour back into cup. And top it with whipped cream and pieces of  crushed peppermint. You can even get fancy and add a peppermint stick. Cinnamon hot chocolate 1. Add cinnamon [how much depends on how strong you want it.] 2. Add milk chocolate chips to desired taste. 3. Once everything has completely dissolved, pour into cup and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Add a cinnamon stick for a fancier presentation. The chips, whipped cream or marshmallows in each of these should add enough sweetness. But if you require more, add a little powdered sugar, it dissolves then granulated.  Hope you enjoy it! Be sure to let me know what you think if you try it. Maybe you can come up with some other flavors. Leave a comment, love to hear from my readers. Have a blessed day! ♥ Marti

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Fall is my MOST favorite time of year for many reasons. But one of the biggest, is the way the world just seems to burst into flames. Well not literally, but those beautiful colors that seem to pop up out of nowhere. Nature can give us some of the best color inspiration no matter what time of year. But I think fall is the most gorgeous. Unfortunately where I live, its been too dry. We aren’t getting to experience that beautiful pop of color this year. I’ll just have to live vicariously! So please share your picture if you take any this season. Now since I’m a winter girl, I can’t wear fall colors. But that doesn’t stop me from using them in other ways. Like creating beautiful layouts for scrap pages, brands, websites or decor. If there’s a way to use fall colors, I’ll find it. Even if its decorating the house once a year. Come to think of it, fall decor can be left up longer then any other. Its at least a two month gig and all others are only one month max. Unless you’re one of those people who leave their Christmas decorations up all year long [I’m not judging.] I like to put my fall decor up the day the calendar says its officially fall. And leave them until the day after Thanksgiving. Enough about my decorating habits and on to today’s focus. COLOR! Since fall always inspires me, I’ve put together a fall color palette for you. You are free to use these colors anyway you like. I would love to see anything you create from it. And I would love to hear what you love about fall. Leave a comment! Have a blessed day!  ♥ Marti Just right click on the image and save to your computer. 

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marti smith

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