Friday, August 31, 2012

31 Days Series in October | Let Me Design for You

For the past three Octobers, Nester has committed her corner of the blog world to a themed series - taking each day to further expound on her given topic for that year while providing encouragement, practical tips, and passion to her readers!  With the passing of each year, she has also taken steps to grow this "31 day series" concept by including a larger circle of blogger-friends and last year's October saw over 700 women participate with their own dedicated series that included a wide range of topics and passions!  October 2012 is right around the corner and already the blog-world is buzzing with potential topic ideas, planning, and even a bit of trepidation at the thought of pushing the "publish" button for 31 days in a row!

This past week, Nester officially started the conversation about the upcoming series with a post on the importance of creating a "button" to help advertise and promote your series.  Along with several other "host" bloggers, Nester provides a giant link-up for the participants and those buttons are the number one way readers are attracted to a specific blogger's series!  If you are planning on joining in the fun this October, you should know that many people will make a decision to "click over" based on your title and how that is displayed on your button, so you definitely want just the right look!

This is where I come in...I'm currently in the pre-launch stages of opening my own web design business and I would love to partner with you to create the perfect button to get your series noticed!  After all, you're going to pour a lot of love and time into your topic and writing and you don't want your series to get overlooked simply because you don't have the right promotion piece!  Ready to get started?  Take a peek at the Packages below and few of the examples, look over the Design Process details, and read through the Design Terms, and get your project started today!

The Simple Button - $5 // each
  • One text/graphic/photo-based button
  • Typical sizes include: 125x125, 200x200, 250x250, etc.
Create Your Package - $10 // select 3 items
  • One text/graphic/photo-based button
  • One "skinny" banner (useful for tops of posts, in a sidebar, etc.)
  • Facebook Timeline Cover
  • Avatar - your image with "lower-third" promo for your series (useful for social media profiles)
  • Watermark - useful to protect your images and direct "pinners" to your original content
The Complete Package - $15 // All Items Listed Above (BEST DEAL)
Simple Blog Button Example
Skinny Banner Example
Avatar Example

Once you've selected a package from the listings above, click here to complete the design homework!  The homework is a fun and easy piece of the design process that allows me to capture the vision you have for your series and your blog's aesthetic so we can create a cohesive branding package for your series graphics!  After reviewing your design needs and vision, I will communicate with you via email to gather any additional information I may need and I'll also send you the invoice for your project.  Once full payment is received, you'll be given an estimated wait time for your initial design preview.  After gaining access to that preview, you are welcome to make 2-3 small revisions and I'll tidy up your design!  When the design is finalized, I will email you the final package files and you may integrate them into your blog posts, social media outlets, and other venues to maximize the effectiveness and outreach of your series!  Easy peasy!

Make sure to click through to view the Design Terms here - you'll find many of the answers to your questions, but if you still need clarification or want to chat before making a commitment, please email me at alle(at)findingedenmedia(dot)com and we'll get the conversation started!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"It's Storytime!" | Book Recommendations for Boys

For as long as I can remember, I've been a lover of words.

I like to roll them around in my mouth to savor the way they sound - especially ones like "cobblestone" and "babushka"...
I get giddy when they fit just perfectly into a song lyric I've been working on...
I studied how to use them most effectively as a Communications major in college...
I adopted the words of others as a ghostwriter for two years...
Image via austinevan

But, one of my absolute favorite places for words is in children's literature.  Growing up, I'm pretty sure my mom's library card was constantly maxed out because of me!  She introduced me to some of the best pieces of literature available and instilled in my heart a love for a well-crafted story and a beautifully illustrated page.  And she's still at a children's librarian she brings home new treasures in the form of pages almost every week for my little guy and he's already caught the reading bug!

Recently, I was asked to consider coordinating a monthly feature for TheMOBSociety website centered on books for boys!  It took me all of about 3 seconds to respond with "Yes, sign me up!"  I had so much fun compiling the list for this first month's edition and it's live today!  I have carefully selected two books per age category (baby/toddler, preschool/early elementary, elementary, tween, teen, and mama) and hope you'll click over to TheMOBSociety to read the details!

As I continue to gather resources and titles for future editions of Books for Boys, I'd love to hear your suggestions!  Leave a comment here or at TheMOBSociety post or shoot me an email at alle(at)chasing-eden(dot)com to send over your recommendations!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Combining Worship and Vacation + A Happy Dance

As Followers of Christ, we are called out to worship in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23-24)!  It's part of our very identity.

Not just in church on Sunday...
Not just during our individual time in The Word...
Not just when we tune into the Christian radio station on our commute to work...

all. the. time.  

A life that is truly saturated in His love and Word cannot help but leak out into a lifestyle of worshipping Him. 

We're all human though and sometimes that means we put our "worship" on the back-burner when life gets busy or we store it up on a shelf when we have other plans that need attention.  As we wrap up summer and blast forward into Labor Day Weekend, many families are squeezing in last minute vacation plans.  In the shuffle of suitcases and searching Google Maps for the best travel route, our worship of the Almighty can often take a back seat.  However, to take a break from worship is the equivalent of saying you're going to take a break from being "you."  When we pack up the car and roll out of the driveway with our family in tow, we haven't put our role as a parent, spouse, or friend on hold.  Our adoration of Jesus and the way that manifests itself in our hearts and lives shouldn't take a break either!

Today, I'm over at Must Love God, sharing five keys ways to "pack up" your family's worship time and incorporate it into the details of your vacation!  Click on over to read more and come interact with this great community in the comment section!


Happy Dance Time!  
Last week, I posted about some of the changes coming to Chasing-Eden 
and the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for Jo Klima's design workshop, Your Darling Blog!

Last night, I hopped on Twitter before dinner and...this is what I saw...

SQUEE!  Thank you to all my sweet friends who emailed, texted, and prayed for me to have this opportunity!  
I'm ridiculously excited and can't wait to get started!  God is SO good!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Behind The Scenes Peek + Your Darling Blog Design Workshop

Chasing-Eden is preparing to undergo an intense and exciting renovation and facelift in the near future!

After months of quiet soul-searching, prayerful seeking of God's will, and blue-sky dreaming and planning - we're finally ready to move forward in the next season of blogging with our small corner of the internet!  We'll be diving into more of what those changes actual entail in future posts, but as a "sneak peek" be on the look out for:

  • A move away from a straight "lifestyle" blog and into a "niche" that showcases our heart and passions
  • A new design to reflect our direction and fuel our re-branding
  • Vlogs to share some of the new music we're writing and get your feedback
  • An expansion to include new writers and sponsors that truly connect with our readers

Along with these changes to our online home, I'm settling into a new role as an official "Stay-At-Home-Mama!"  I'm over-the-moon happy that God has opened up the doors for me to spend time with my boys - I feel so blessed!  But, knowing my personality and my need to constantly "create" and being all too aware our financial situation, I've been secretly working on something behind the scenes that has been a long-time dream of mine!

I'm in the pre-launch stages of opening my online design business and friends, I haven't been this uber-excited about something in such a long time!  In fact, my mama and I were brainstorming last week and she was telling me about the emotion she gets when she's dreaming/doing something that tickles that special part in her creative heart...she said, "I have these moments where I just want to jump up and run around the block!"  And I think I shouted, "YES!  I COMPLETELY get that, too!"  That is exactly how I feel every time I meet/email with a pre-launch client, further hone my business plan, study the design work of others, or take a coding class on HTML or CSS (gosh, I'm such a nerd)!

All of that being said, I'm also having to stretch my creative brain when it comes to resourcing and learning this new business with some pretty tight financial constraints!  I would love to enroll in design, branding, and marketing classes at our local university, purchase a brand spankin' new MacBook Pro, and grab Adobe Cloud, but I'm trusting that those things will come if I'm faithful with the little that God has given me thus far!

One opportunity that I would love to take part in is Jo Klima's Your Darling Blog Design Workshop!  I've quietly stalked this woman's graphic and web design work because I really resonate with her style - it's clean, fresh, showcases her client's voice/work beautifully, and reflects a passionate designer who never settles for second best for her clients!  Seriously, go check her out - this woman is packed full of resources, inspiration, and ninja-like design skills and she shares it with others!

Jo's Your Darling Blog Design Workshop has been on my radar for quite a long time now, but finances have dictated that I hold off (unless someone wants to sponsor me) since it costs $295 AUD!  Then, my heart did a little "skip-jump" dance because Jo recently opened up a scholarship opportunity for one individual to take part in the next session of the course!  Combining tutorials, assignments, inspiration, the input of other professional designers, and a small community of fellow students, Jo has crafted the perfect opportunity for bloggers and up-and-coming designers to truly "own" their design and infuse it with their passion while sharpening their skills and technique for design!  Oh, and the scholarship also includes 3 weeks of personalized feedback on your work from Jo!  Oh, be still my heart!

If I were to receive this scholarship, I see the benefits being two-fold...Not only would I have the perfect opportunity to walk through the design process of rebranding and reworking Chasing-Eden with another professional (something my heart desperately seeks right now), but I would be able to learn new skills, hone my design eye, and get some much-needed feedback that I'm missing from being in a traditional classroom setting for design work!  Ultimately, I see this scholarship as a way to benefit and bless my future clients as I work hard to develop my skill-set to bring the same quality and passion to their design needs as Jo brings to her clients! I sit with all my fingers and toes crossed.
Will you shoot up a prayer for me, too?


Monday, July 16, 2012

New Happenings | Sponsors & HelloMornings

There are so many "behind the scenes" details going on at Chasing-Eden - I cannot wait to share all that God is doing in our family and with this online space.  But in the meantime, as those details continue to be fleshed out and implemented, I've desperately wanted to get back in touch and share some exciting things!

1. Swap Sponsors - As Chasing-Eden grows and does a little bit of reorganization, we investigating the possibility of adding in sponsorship advertisements.  As a "test run," we're utilizing Passionfruit Ads and offering a limited number of "free" swap sponsors!  If you're interested, click over to the Sponsor page and don't forget to use the promo code: CESwap to get in on this freebie!

2. HelloMornings Challenge - For the better part of a year, I've participated in the HelloMornings Challenge as a participant and as an Accountability Captain!  As I work and rework the discipline of building routine into my morning that includes: worship, time in the Word, exercise (as I can), and planning I have seen the blessings pile up for my heart and for my family!  Registration for the Fall Challenge begins today (7/16/12) and spots are limited to 15 members per group!  If you'd like more information, click over to the HelloMornings website, or connect with me in the comments/via email and I'll get back with you directly!  You are more than welcome to hop on board with our group and can register here!