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so excited i might burst (mark your calendars – fireworks ahead!)

disney fireworks red

I’m so excited for Friday, I could burst! At 10am ET, I launch my first-ever Flash Sale! Will you come??

First, quick (MAGIC!) story: a couple of days before our spring break trip to Disney World, I was already worrying about summer. A neighbor asked what I had planned for the boys after school’s out, and there it was: the paralyzing realization I hadn’t any clue what my summer would look like. Suddenly, I was drifting into a worry-storm of calendars and projects and summer camps and mommy guilt. Luckily, I caught myself spinning. 

I sat down. I lit a candle. I asked the universe for guidance. It gave me fireworks. 

Spirit came through in that near-meltdown meditation, loud and clear, insisting that I focus my energy on my one-hour Firecracker Calls. No new projects, no jumping through hoops. Use what you already have, they said, to do the most good. Made sense; these intuitive sessions are a total joy for me to do and have become a direct route to clarity for so many women on the other end of the line. Spirit was right; booking my summer sessions in advance would clear my head of scheduling worries.

Two days later, just to make sure I got the message, the universe gave me a personal fireworks show. At the end of a long day at the jam-packed Magic Kingdom, we (hubby Brad, me and our boys) wandered into an area designed to look like a big top circus; despite the rides being open, it was eerily empty of people. The four of us were standing together, breathing in the rare moment of quiet, when a huge firecracker exploded overhead. And then another. And another. Turned out the fireworks that thousands of people were gathered around Cinderella’s Castle to watch were actually being set off right over our heads! Hello, magic. Hello, joy. Our family just stood there alone and in awe as the night sky lit up above us. And I said a little prayer of thanks and “message received!” to the powers that be.

Now that I’m home, I’m ready to dive into what happens next: my first-ever flash sale (and a giveaway too!!!)

Firecracker Flash Sale - grab you intuitive reading with Liv Lane April 18

The last time I put my Firecracker Calls on sale, three months of sessions sold out in 36 hours. WHAT? Yes! I was totally unprepared for the loving response. This time, I’m ready. And so excited to make this a summer to remember for me and you.

How to participate

BOOK A DISCOUNTED SESSION: On Friday April 18th at 10am ET at livlane.com/flash, I’ll post the full list of Firecracker Call time slots available from mid-May to early-August. Grab the one you want and you’ll automatically get $20 off the usual price of $199. The Flash Sale will continue until midnight, unless all sessions sell out before then.

WIN A SESSION: If you help me spread the word (pretty please?), you could win a FREE Firecracker Call! If you book a call on April 18th for mid-May through early-August and win the giveaway, you’ll get your money fully refunded. Enter below by sharing via Pinterest, Twitter, or other fave ways to reach out to friends and family. SO appreciated!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
See you all on Friday!

Weekend Swoon: Beautiful Beaded Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings

weekend swoon: beaded jewelry

Fun news, peeps! A while back, I started something called The Weekend Swoon – a chance to show you products and projects that had me swooning. It was a little to broad and I let it slide. But I’ve decided to reinstate The Weekend Swoon with a specific mission: to celebrate & showcase incredible artisans and creative crafters.

The timing is no coincidence; this week, I’m celebrating three years since opening my own Etsy shop. I know the courage it takes to put your art into the world and I love the idea of cheering some of those bravehearts on. So, if you see something you like, leave a comment or click “like” or pin it on Pinterest or…best of all…buy it from them!

This week’s theme is beaded beauties – happy swooning!

Rainbow Necklace Glass Pearl Beaded Necklace Multicoloured by The Candy TreeRainbow Necklace // TheCandyTree125 // $31

Red bead necklace, Multi strand necklace, chunky bead necklace, seed bead necklace,  acai necklace, beadwork jewelryRed Bead Necklace // JustineJustine // $38

Beaded Native American Earrings, Brick Stitch

Beaded Native American Earrings // SoulLovin // $60

Wrap Bracelet, Wide Bracelet, Beaded Bracelet, Triple Bracelet, Leather Bracelet, Chain Bracelet, Bohemian Bracelet, Fashion Bracelet, Nappa

Wrapped Bead Bracelet // Stella’s Little Shop // $26

kelly barton necklace - star bead, turquoise beads, striped beadsSoul Juice Star Necklace // Kelly Barton Art // $27

German Glass Bead Bracelet

German Glass Bead Bracelet // Ronni Kappos for Uncommon Good // $120

Nature's Splendor Beaded Necklace via Sundance Catalog

Nature’s Splendor Necklace // Sundance Catalog // $98 on sale!

Boho Southwest Bracelet, Cowgirl Bracelet, Turquoise Jewelry, Stacked Bracelets, RodeoBoho Southwest Bracelet // BohoStyleMe // $89

Lapis and Green Onyx Drop Bracelet from Wendy Mink

Lapis and Green Onyx Bracelet // Wendy Mink // $173

Colorful Long Dangle Earrings, Teal Yellow Red Lampwork Glass Earrings, Beadwork Earrings, Funky Earrings, Unique Earrings - Jabberwocky

Colorful Dangle Earrings with Lampwork Beads // Glass River Jewelry // $77

Orange and Turquoise Necklace - Asymmetrical Orange and Turquoise Statement Necklace - Color Block Necklace Fashion Trend 2013

Orange and Turquoise Beaded Necklace // Wildflowers and Grace // $49

Note: The links for Ronni Kapos, Wendy Mink and Sundance Catalog are affiliate links…if you click and purchase, I make enough money to buy, oh, one bead. :) Have a beautiful weekend, everyone! 

growing your blog: what the gurus won’t tell you (+ a BIG giveaway!)

Growing your #blog w/o going crazy - plus a #giveaway: access to the How To Build a Blog You Truly Love + coaching with Liv Lane.

Watch out, friends: I’m about to go against the grain. I haven’t posted here in a week, which may seem ironic given that I’m currently promoting the re-launch of my blogging ecourse. (Uhhh, shouldn’t the girl teaching blogging actually be…blogging?)

my kids holding handsWell, no. See, it’s spring break here. My kids are home (aren’t they the cutest?) and they’re taking priority. We’ve played lots of basketball and baseball, raced cars 8 million times, watched new DVDs, played video games, had some fun little outings. I’ve done a little work – some calls, a couple of coaching sessions – but I decided my blog could wait. 

Hold up. What? Put my blog on hold?

Yep. And I know that’s the absolute opposite of what most blogging “gurus” would advise. Lord knows there’s enough of them out there now, proclaiming to know the right ways to become a superstar of blogging and social media and content marketing. It’s one reason why so many people are too intimidated to start or feel like failures once they do.

There was a time when it would have killed me to skip a day, let alone a whole week of posting here. When I started blogging in 2006, I committed to blogging every single day for a full year. I was a little obsessed. The site grew quickly, but by the end of the year I was burnt out on my own blog. I began to blog less…with less passion…with less interest…with less focus and, soon, with less readers.

It took a while to nurse it back to health, to pave a path to more purposeful blogging – but it was worth the uphill climb. Every year, my blog grows – in readers, in profits, in intrinsic rewards. I adore it. I read (errrr…skim) advice from a slew of “gurus” for new breakthroughs or resources. But I’ve got my own set of anti-rules that work for me and have worked for loads of dear hearts who have taken my course. Here are a few…

4 Crazy-Free Ways To Grow Your Blog

Pace Your Posts: Think you have to post every day? Or at least every other day? I actually think that’s the quickest path to burnout and crappy content. Yes, it’s important for search engines to see that you’re regularly updating your content – but it’s MORE important that when people find you, they’re not turned off by fluff and filler. Take your time to craft thoughtful, compelling posts – even if it means that some weeks, you only publish one.

Rock Your Own Style: Have you noticed lots of blogs are looking the same lately? Lots of white space, lots of muted colors, lots of the same ads? Many are lovely to look at, but before you follow suit, ask yourself if that look and feel actually looks and feels like the real you. The other day, I read an article from a popular source that said you should never have a header with a bold logo or bright colors because it distracts people from the actual content. Um, really? People just land at a blog and totally forget why they’re there because the header’s too bright? I’m gonna give my readers a little more credit and stick with my colorful palette, thank you very much. (But I’m sure tons of other bloggers are now scrambling to change the headers – ugh).

Don’t Blog For Money: My blog is the foundation for a huge fraction of my annual income, but that’s not why I started blogging. My blog originated as a personal exercise – photographing and writing about beauty in my midst each day as I was healing from depression and PTSD. It changed my life. It gave me a sense of purpose. Blog because you have stories to tell, insights to share, ways to inspire, ideas to explore, people to connect with. That’s the stuff that really matters and makes this adventure meaningful. Once you’ve cultivated that, you’ll begin to find and create profitable opportunities that extend your mission, build your brand and allow you to be authentically you. The best kind of money there is.

Be a Social Media Snob: You can run yourself ragged trying to keep up with all the new platforms and apps available to spread the word about your blog. Rather than spread yourself thin, be picky. Choose one to four social media outlets and do them really well. The other day, I was chatting with a popular home decor blogger who attracts tens of thousands of new readers each month via Pinterest. She (smartly) caters to that audience, creating easily “pinnable” images with text to go with her blog posts; she and her readers can then pin those images and start spreading the word about her latest post. She spends lots of time on this, but not much on less visual platforms like Twitter – and it’s driving tons of traffic to her site.

win a spot in the course + coaching with me!

I’m giving away ONE spot in the upcoming ecourse PLUS a 30-minute personal blog coaching session with me. If you’re already signed up for the ecourse and happen to win, you’ll get all your money back. I’m using Raftercopter for this giveaway, which allows you to earn extra entries by sharing this post with others – super slick!

Just sign in using your Facebook account or email address and you’ll see all the options for entering. Entries must be received by Monday, April 8th at midnight central. Good luck, all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Sunday Swoon: Cutest Cell Phone Cases. Ever.

As soon as I saw that artist Jessica Swift has a new line of cell phone cases via Case-Mate {the one on the left is called “Lush”}, I rolled my eyes and kicked myself under the table: why hadn’t I thought to get a fun, beautiful case like hers for my new phone!? I had ordered a gorgeous case from Valentina Ramos for my iPhone a while back, but when I got my Samsung Galaxy S3 in July, I went to the Verizon store and bought a basic black-and-white case. Booooorrrrrrring. I mean, it protects the phone well – but I’d be happier if my phone added a little color and creativity to my day.

So, for this edition of the Weekend Swoon, I’m sharing a few new faves I found online. Not sure I’ll have the willpower not to buy one!

P.S. Got a case you love? Where’s it from? If you love one here, pin it – I’d love to get a feel for which ones you’re swooning over!

You’ll never mistake your phone for another with these adorable, personalized cases from Dabney Lee – right with your name written across it! Lots of designs to choose from for iPhones and Blackberry devices via Layla Grace.

So cute! Love the vintage chic feel of this woodgrain case for the Samsung Galaxy SIII! Check out case maker ATwood design on etsy – so many darling designs!

I love how Petunia Picklebottom has used their pretty fabrics to grace iPhone covers {the one above is called Santiago Sunset}. Even better, you can get the same fabrics in accessories ranging from aprons to luggage tags {wouldn’t it all make a darling gift!?}.

Totally tubular! Put on some leg warmers and carry this cassette tape cell phone case around, available for the Samsung Galaxy SIII via Cases Will.

 

Beep beep! Saw this iPhone case on Pinterest – handmade by vergacraft on etsy to look like a VW bus!

Isn’t this cool? Loving this 3D “Chateau” cell phone case for the iPhone 4/4S from SwitchEasy. Comes in other colors, too.

So fun to see all those colored pencils on this Samsung Galaxy S3! Brilliant idea for artsy peeps!

 

I am totally head over heels for this cell phone case! Love this little heart-buttoned robot, featured by duitang.  Maybe not very functional – but super cute!

P.S. I’m part of the Verizon Wireless Midwest Savvy Moms program, which means they gave me a fancy pants phone, six months of service, and the freedom to honestly share my thoughts with you – including my phone case envy! :)

The Weekend Swoon: Playful Playrooms

I love that my kids have a play space to call their own – but it was crying for some TLC. Our playroom {above} had grown crowded with crap lining the walls – mostly stuff the kids never even played with. I’ve been slowly but surely throwing things out {under the cover of night, so they wouldn’t see!} and it feels so good to have a simplified, organized space again. The boys still love their train table, with drawers full of costumes beneath; the corner book shelves gives them easy access to stories. I’m always looking online for new inspiration; here are a few of the rooms and ideas I’m swooning over…

I love the rounded window seats in this playroom via Cavern Homes‘ blog, but am especially fond of the curtains on each shelf, hiding the mess of toys behind!

Found on Project Nursery, this playroom has chalk walls all around – so cool!

Super cute colors – a red and green playroom via Perfect Playrooms. I’m especially jealous of all the storage!

Oh my! I’m swooning over these bright, bold colors and wooden toys everywhere! via Cute Home Design

This is such a cool way to display kids’ art in a small space; tutorial from MerryPad.

Aaaaaand…I’ll leave you with the mother of all playrooms. Can you even believe this room!? A little overwhelming for me, but there are lots of great ideas in there – from the circle window and window seat to the puppet theater to the wall of desks. Wowza.

Hope you found a little bit of inspiration, whether to beautify your playroom or to just go play! Enjoy the day, all!

http://blog.livlane.com/how-to-shine-online/

Your Facebook business page is an awesome place to engage your readers {and potential readers} with content that reinforces the look and feel of your blog or brand. The tabs on your Facebook page can help do this, from featuring photos that mirror your mission and attitude to showcasing your Pinterest boards. You can incorporate those boards onto your Facebook page in less than a minute!

As an example, here’s a recent screenshot of my Facebook page:

So, want to add a Pinterest tab to your Facebook business page? Simply go to Woobox and follow the steps to add the tab.  When fans click on the tab, it’ll bring up all your Pinterest boards and they can click through to your Pinterest page. Easy peasy, right!?

 

 

http://blog.livlane.com/fb-add-pinterest-to-your-facebook-page/

Pinned With Love {4 Ways To Play Fair on Pinterest}

a popular pin, via vol25

 

Let me first say that I love the premise of Pinterest. The way it allows us to so easily share beautiful images with each other – art, quotes, ideas, DIY projects – is pure genius. But as the site grows like crazy, I find people are pinning recklessly, without any consideration for the person who made or photographed the original image they love. I’d hate to see this site, which was developed to celebrate and share creativity, actually become more hurtful than helpful for the creative community.

 

The image above has been pinned many times, rarely with proper credit. I saw it yesterday in a friend’s Pinterest feed and loved it. But before I re-pinned it, I wanted to make sure it linked to the artist behind it. No such luck. It took me through several blogs – none of which credited the artist – which finally led me to an error page on an abandoned blog. Not cool. It took me a while searching the web to finally discover Jessica from vol25 – an Etsy artist I already loved – had created it. Like so many artists, me included, she’s not sure how to handle situations like this. Do we complain and risk sounding like whiners? Do we report it to Pinterest as a terms violation? Or do we play nice and bite our tongues – again and again?

 

Pinterest can’t possibly monitor the legality of every pin and re-pin, so it’s up to each artist or creative organization to decide how to handle these situations. But it’s also up to those of us within the Pinterest community to treat the images we pin with love and show some respect to the artists and photographers that created them. Agree? Here are four ways to pin with love:

 

Be Original

See an image on a blog or site you want to pin? Make sure it credits and links to its original creator. If it doesn’t, do a little research to find out where it came from {search Google images using a description of the picture or the quote within in} and then link from the real source. I know this sounds like a pain, but you’re not only helping the artist – you’re helping yourself. Upon joining Pinterest, you agreed to follow copyright rules, so make sure your pins give credit where credit is due.

 

Follow That Link!

Do the same thing with any image you love that’s already on Pinterest. Your Pinterest home page is full of pins from the people you follow. If you see one you want to share with your followers, click on the image…and then keep clicking until you arrive at its source page {the place from where it was originally pinned}. If you find it easily, great – go ahead and re-pin. If not, don’t continue to share that pin. You might even want to inform the person who pinned it that it’s not properly credited {I would totally want to know if you find anything like that on my Pinterest page; I know I wasn’t as diligent about this early on}.

 

Pin the Permalink

If you’re pinning an image from a blog, make sure it links to the post it was part of – not just to the blog’s home page. Let’s say you want to pin this sunrise image. If you’re reading this post on the main/home page of my blog and pin it, the link will take people right back to the home page. That’s a problem weeks or months down the road, because people looking for the source of this image won’t find it on my home page. It will be filled with other blog posts by then. SO – click on the headline of this post to be taken to a page where just this post appears. Now, when you pin the image, it will capture the permalink – the unique URL for that blog post, where the sunrise image resides.

 

Show and Tell

If you share images elsewhere {via your own blog, a company web site or even on Facebook}, you have the power to give artists and other content creators the credit they deserve. Whenever you share someone else’s image in a blog post, be sure to link with love: include a caption and link the image to the web page where you found it, ensuring that page also gives proper credit to the artist or photographer. I’m especially appalled by so many blogs on Tumblr where it seems nearly impossible to find the source of photos. What is going on over there?? Meanwhile, if you’re going to share an image on Facebook, find out who created it and include their name in your comment section {better yet, a link to his or her site or Facebook page}.

 

It’s only fair. If you love an image, pin it with love.

 

The Little Bliss List ~ Link Party!

Woo-hooo! Time to kick off the first linky party for The Little Bliss List – a chance for all of us to celebrate the little things that brought us hope and happiness this week. I do believe when we focus on the sweet stuff of life, the sweet stuff multiplies. And by sharing those small gifts in our lives, we help others notice the gifts in theirs. So, share your own lists in the comment section or post one on your blog {and link up below}. As Ralph Emerson said, let’s scatter joy…

 

My Little Bliss List

1) American Idol is back, baby – and I’m still such a fan. So far, I’m rooting for Phillip Phillips and Shelby Tweten. Loved their inspiring stories and unique voices.

2) This Minnesota girl is LOVING the mild winter weather. Walking outside in January with my coat unzipped?? Bliss, indeed.

3) The heartfelt response to my Monday post – “Mom, What’s My Purpose?” – filled me up and sparked new ideas. Thank you.

4) Listening to Truman’s belly laughs as Ryder read him bedtime stories on Wednesday night. I can never get enough of that sound or the sight of those two snuggled together.

5) Breakfast with a friend whose handmade biz is flourishing. Fantastic to see her renewed energy and focus!

<—— 6) Oh, that face! Yesterday, I saw Tru tell Daisy to sit…and then he put his face up to hers and barked at her! Ha! She’s no saint, but she’s such a good sport with those crazy kids.

7) Stopping by Pinterest for quick shots of inspiration and color. So many awesome ideas, beautiful art and stunning photos. Swoon.

 

Okay, it’s your turn! Share your sweetest moments from the past week , either by linking your blog below or sharing your list in the comments. Can’t wait to see what’s bringing you joy!

{Note: you can link up your blog here through Sunday at 11:59pm central – a fun way to  attract new readers + scatter joy!}

Happy HeART Giveaway ~ Win A Free Spot in the Crafty & Connected Social Media Bootcamp! {04.15.11}

Time for a Happy HeART Giveaway, my lovelies! And this one is sooo great! Australian artist, blogger, Scoutie Girl contributor and social media expert Jess Van Den is launching a cool new Crafty & Connected e-course designed to help creative entrepreneurs learn the ins and outs of social media. During the six week course, which starts May 2nd, she’ll teach you how to navigate the waters of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr, StumbleUpon, online forums and more.

Jess herself turned her creative hobbies into a thriving business and she credits much of her growth to the power of social media. She’s offering an early bird discount on the course through April 20th. But she also is generously giving one of YOU access to the Crafty & Connected e-course for FREE! Thank you, Jess!

ENTER NOW! You have until midnight central on Tuesday, April 19th to enter this Happy HeART Giveaway. This way, if you don’t win, you’ll still have time to nab the early-bird discount! {Prize value of up to $118 AUD / $124 U.S.} To enter, leave a comment answering this question:

What’s your creative hobby or existing creative biz
{feel free to share a link to your blog or site}

{the rules}
Be sure to enter by midnight central on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. 
Include your email address or a link to it with your entry. 
One winner will be randomly chosen by random.org and contacted via email.
If a winner does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen. 

{bonus opportunities}
Once you’ve answered the question above, 
feel free to boost your chances with the bonus opportunities below!

{leave an additional comment for each bonus opportunity}

do you follow @choosingbeauty on twitter? = 1 entry
do you “like” choosing beauty on facebook? = 1 entry
did you link to this contest on twitter or facebook? = 1 entry each
do you subscribe to the monthly choosing beauty newsletter? = 1 entry
do you follow the choosing beauty blog (see followers in side bar)? = 1 entry
are you kind to others? = well, that’s just good karma!

This contest is closed.
Congrats to our winner, 
Amy Friend of Cyprus Sun Jewelry!