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Hi folks, I’ve got a great round-up of links for you today with a little twist.  Instead of sharing some of my favorite pins, this week I decided to share some easy and inspirational diy/craft projects for you to check out.  I loved all of these projects so much that they have made it onto my ever-growing craft to-do list.   Enjoy these links and most of all enjoy your weekend!

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FAVORITE POSTS

This is how to have fun and give back to others.

gallery-1468245136-landscape-1460406802-mattress-worldrecord

This home tour had me swooning…every inch of it.

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My girl KariAnne shows you how to create really stunning centerpieces with these 5 unique  centerpiece ideas.

dining-room-garden-centerpiece

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FAVORITE PROJECTS

This DIY Pom Pom Door Hanger is so fun and I can think of a million different ways to use it (ie:  gift wrap, wine bottle charm, curtain tie-backs….)

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I have a thing for mugs and this Alcohol Ink Project is a fun way to create your own designs.

watercolormugusingalcoholinkcbforbabble-copy

This DIY Tassel project will make you want to add tassels to all your summer sandals.

DIY Tassel Shoes

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FAVORITE PRODUCTS

I just ordered this Crossbody Clutch and can’t wait to get it.  And it’s on sale for $39!

Black Clutch

Love these Hexagonal Pillar Candleholders.  They are also available in a silver finish.

Kline Hexagonal Pillar Candleholder

This Multicolored Striped Knit Bag would make a great weekend bag when out shopping.  Don’t miss out on the $5.99 price.

Multi Colored Striped Knit Bag

The Chinoiserie Melamine Plates are selling quick so don’t hesitate to snag yours.

Chinoiserie Melamine Plate

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Today is a really special day in my life because the hubby and I are celebrating a major milestone.   It’s our 25th wedding anniversary!

25 years ago I walked down the aisle to my love and best friend and said I do.  As I look back on the last 25 years I am grateful that we’ve been blessed with a marriage that has grown in strength and love.  Marriage is not always easy but with dedication, respect and love it can be great.

25 marriage tipsI swear by

 

True love blossoms when you care about another person more than you care about yourself. 

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Communicating is far more about listening and understanding than it is about talking.

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Always give a hug or kiss before leaving the house.  This might seem like a little thing in a marriage but often times it’s the little gestures that can have the biggest impact over time.  Even today when my husband leaves for work at 6:15 in the morning, he comes and gives me a kiss on the forehead.  I may not always feel the kiss on my forehead but I feel it in my heart.

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Go out of your way to do things that make each other happy.

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Don’t say things you’ll regret! If I had to pick one thing about my marriage that I am most proud of, it would be that in our 25 years of marriage we have never used profanity towards each other, screamed at each other or called each other names.  We respect our marriage and each other enough not to use words that are demeaning, disrespectful or belittling.

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Respect each other with both your words and your actions.

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Marriage Quote6

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Don’t sweat the small stuff!  My parents were married for 27 years before my dad passed away and this is one of the pieces of wisdom she shared with me before I got married.

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Create a clear vision of your shared future together. Sit down, listen to each other and write out how you want your future as a couple to look.

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Marriage Quote

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Don’t go to bed angry!

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Don’t keep score! Trying to make your relationship fifty-fifty proposition will cause a lot of unnecessary tension and you don’t need that. So unless your spouse is a total slacker,  recognize that in a happy marriage both partners try to help their mate carry the load.

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Love is as much about saying I love you as it is about showing the other person you love them.

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Marriage Quote3

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Never lose the art of dating.  Select an activity where the two of you can interact, talk, and just be together enjoying each other’s company.

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To have a really happy marriage, you need to work at it. As the saying goes, the only place you find success before work is in the dictionary.

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Marriage Quote8

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Take time to have some fun together every day!

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The best way to strengthen a marriage is to support and assist each other in being the best you can be. A strong marriage is one in which both people understand that the other person needs to have outside interests and activities which help them to feel happy and fulfilled.

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A strong marriage is one where both people understand that it is more important to be happy than it is to be right.

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Marriage Quote7

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Never stop growing together. Atrophy is the natural process when you stop working a muscle, just as it is if you stop working on your relationship. Find common goals, dreams and visions to work towards.

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Marriage Quote5

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And above all, thank God everyday for your marriage and your mate.

Here’s to another 25 years of love and happiness!

 

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Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

When it comes to finding unexpected items to wrap gifts with, nothing is off-limits in my book, not even coloring books.

After receiving The Inspired Room Coloring Book a few weeks ago, I knew immediately that I wanted to use some of the images as gift wrap.

The Inspired Room Coloring Book

via The Inspired Room

The pages I choose had designs which reminded me of beautiful wrapping paper.  Here’s one of the pages before I colored it.

The Inspired Room Coloring Book Page

When selecting colors for the pages, I decided to use two of  my favorite color combos–red & hot pink and royal blue & green.  After the pages were colored I used them to wrap small cardboard gift mailers.  Gift mailers are a great alternative to a traditional box for wrapping small items.

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

And because I’m all about the details, I added small grommets to the egde where the paper overlapped. And then I added some cute tassels.  Aren’t these tassels the cutest things ever?  I followed Amber’s hula tassel tutorial which you can find here.

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

COLORING BOOK PAGE GIFT WRAP

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

Hand coloring your gift wrap is definitely more time-consuming than using store bought paper but for  special gifts it’s  worth the time and effort.

Coloring Book Page Gift Wrap

You can pick up your copy of The Inspired Room Coloring Book on Amazon.

p.s. I used these art markers to color my pages.

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I hope everyone had an ok weekend.  I know that with all the turmoil going in these days, it’s hard to find a sense of peace and calm.  One way I did that was not watching the news and spending time doing things I enjoy.  Sometimes it the simple things in life that can brighten our day.  Anyhow, todays post is all about color and decorating, two things that definitely impact your world.

Design Rules_ Color

 

Last week as part of my Design Guide series, I talked about picking the right paint finish.  Several of you asked for tips on starting at ground zero and picking the right paint colors for your home.  Last year I shared 4 tips to picking paint colors with you and today I’m going a little deeper and talking about Color Rules. I think giving you a better understanding of colors will help you have more confidence in selecting colors for your home.

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♦  Start with a color you love.  Are there colors you consistently wear in your wardrobe?  Or maybe every time you see emerald green pillows you heart flutters.  Take note of what colors you have a positive response to and those that make you feel good.  These are the colors (or color families) that you will fee most comfortable with in your décor.

Color Rules

my domaine

♦  Once you hone in on the colors you like, keep in mind the feeling that specific colors will convey.  Warm colors like red, yellow and orange have an energizing effect and will feel more vibrant.  Blue, green and gray are calming colors and will add provide a soothing feel to the rooms you decorate.

Color Rules

via bhg

Color Rules

via ralph lauren

♦  When it comes to pairing colors use a color wheel to guide you in picking color families that work best together.  Colors close together on the color wheel are analogous and will make a room feel calm.  Colors that are farther apart are complementary and are more dramatic when paired together.

Color Rules

Here’s an example of an analogous color scheme…

Color Rules--Analogous

via apartment therapy

And here’s an example of a complementary color scheme…

Color Rules: Complementary Color Scheme

via Laurel Bern Interiors

♦  In open floor plans where rooms open on to each other and avoid choosing radically different colors and color families or the space will look choppy and disconnected.

Color Rules

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♦  If you find a color that you love but you feel it is too dark, ask the paint counter to do a 50 percent tint of the color.

♦  One of the best color rules to follow is layer bold colors with mid-tones and neutrals to create balance within the room.

Color Rules
via hgtv–Photo By: Allison Corona Photography, Let It Shine Photography, Doug Petersen Photography 

♦  If you love bold colors but don’t want to overwhelm a room by painting all the walls in that colors, pull those colors in through decorative trims on chairs, curtains or pillows.  Small doses of vibrant colors can be easier on the eye and you won’t tire of the color as easily.

Color Rules

via Society Social

♦  Always sample the paint colors you are considering and try them on your walls.  Look at the color in the morning and at night and put test swatches near your furniture.  I just started using these ingenious paint sample boards with clients and boy oh boy are they great way to try colors on the wall without damaging your current wall color.

Color Rules

via Elle Decor

♦  As you consider the color for your walls, make sure to also consider the trim and ceiling color to make sure it all works together.  White trim color can reflect or absorb the tones of your wall color and in some cases make it look brighter or duller.

Color Rules

 via bhg

Selecting the right colors for your home is just as important as selecting your accessories so spend the time it takes to find the right the colors that brighten your world and your home.

Design Rules_ ColorDesign Rules_ Color

I’ll be back tomorrow with a fun gift wrap inspiration post using two of my favorite color combinations.

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top paint image via bhg

 

 

 

 

Today I’ve got another edition of my Behind The Blog series.  This time around I talking with my friend and fellow-designer, Erika Ward of Erika Ward Interiors and BluLabelBungalow blog.

Erika Ward

I’ve been a big fan of Erika and her design work for years and have been honored to contribute articles to her successful blog, on several occasions.

Erika’s career as a designer started after years of working for a design-build firm and she eventually made the leap and started building her independent design business, Erika Ward Interiors.

In addition to her blossoming design career which includes features in national publications and brand partnerships, Erika is a wife and mother to 5 adorable kids. I’m continually in awe of how she does it all.

I posed few questions to Erika to learn more about her design philosophy, where here inspiration comes from and how she does it all.

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How did you get into the interior design profession and when did you start Erika Ward Interiors?

I began my career as an accountant managing multi-million dollar construction budgets for an internationally known design-build firm. In 2006, while still working in a corporate setting, I bravely started Erika Ward Interiors to satisfy my creative side and brought my business acumen and professionalism to the residential market. After three years of performing this balancing act I decided to fully commit to building Erika Ward Interiors and never looked back.

Erika Ward Interiors3

  What do you love most about being an interior designer?

I love the newness of each project and working closely with individuals. Getting to know them and their family intimately helps me feel like we have a more authentic relationship.

Erika Ward Interiors2

 We’d love to learn more about your design philosophy so tell us what design elements you think every home needs?

Every home needs a combination of something old and something new otherwise each room feels like a furniture showroom. That’s not exactly the look I want to bring. While I certainly want the room to feel polished, it also has to feel livable and approachable.

Erika Ward Interiors6

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration in client’s stories (career, travel, family history etc) and how they live in their home. I’m also fascinated with learning about different cultures. It’s important to me that we open our minds and even “try on” a few of their customs. I bring more depth and richness into our own lives.

Erika Ward Interiors7

 How would you describe your personal design style?

The foundation of my personal style is very traditional. I love classic silhouettes paired with bright color or pattern on upholstery. Mix this with clean lines and a few organic elements like teak, woven textures, or weathered wood and I’m sold.

Erika Ward Interiors5

 What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received?

My late grandparents were incredibly business savvy. I admire them both for establishing themselves during a time where it was much more difficult for African-Americans. They always stressed the economic importance of time and money, I’ve written about this on my own blog, and they always encouraged me to work as I’m working for Christ himself and not men.

Erika Ward Interiors4

In addition to Erika Ward Interiors, you also have a popular design blog, BluLabelBungalow.  Tell us how you came up with that name and what readers can expect from your blog post.

I came up with the name after purchasing our first house, a Cape Cod style bungalow in 2005. In the beginning I wrote about the intersection of fashion and interior design and was obsessed with Ralph Lauren’s Blue Label collection. I pretty much dropped the e, combined the two words and added bungalow.

The blog has evolved since then to show before and after makeovers from my client projects, trend reports, decorating advice, travel features, and most recently started a series called “Devotions for the Decorator.”

Erika Ward Interiors

You’re a mom of 5, a wife and a business owner—can you share 3 pieces of advice for other working moms out there?

Yes!!

Create a village of people who love your family and support your journey. We have caregivers who love our children so much which gives my husband and I a piece of mind. We can work without the worry.

Make time for self-care. I’ve recently lost 55lbs in an effort to preserve my health and no longer take it for granted. The physical transformation also came with great, unexpected mental and emotional benefits too. I’m not only healthier but I’m certain it has made me an even better wife and mother.

Pray everyday, several times a day. This helps you stay connected to your purpose, stay grateful, remain humble, and provides you with the strength you need to handle life’s toughest issues.

Erika Ward Interiors11

 If you could lunch with any famous woman, who would it be and what burning question would you want to ask them?

I’d love to have lunch with Ivanka Trump. I admire the balance she strikes between career and motherhood as well as her presence as a wife. On a superficial level, she’s always very poised, polished, and modestly dressed.

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 What 5 thing you can’t you live without?

My faith in Jesus Christ

My husband

My five children

Quiet Time

Travel / Exploration

Erika Ward Interiors10

What’s your favorite way to unwind?  

Sitting in a quiet room with a hot cup of something.

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 I always like to throw a quirky question into the mix so tell us about your favorite things…

Favorite Book: Currently reading (again) the Five Love Languages

  Favorite Movie: Steel Magnolias

    Favorite Food: Mexican Cuisine

    Favorite Store:  Amazon Prime

Favorite Color: Blue

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Thank you Erika for sharing a little bit about your life and style with all of us!

View more of Erika’s design work here , follow her blog here and join her on Instagram here.

And join Erika and I at the Atlanta Tastemaker Summit next month for a day of design inspiration and  learning.

Shelly Signature

 

Sweet & Southern Calzone2 (2)

One of the best things about summer is all the sweet fruit that is in season.  I love it all but peaches, nectarines and blackberries are three of my favorite summer fruits.

After signing up for the Blog Life University Conference, I learned about the Sweet & Southern Dessert Recipe Contest sponsored by Dixie Crystals (more details on how you can enter below). I decided to try my hand at creating a unique dessert recipe using my favorite summer fruits and entering it into the contest.  Now folks, I don’t cook a lot and definitely don’t bake much so any  recipe I created had to be super easy and not require a lot of ingredients.

Dixie Crystals Sweet and Southern Dessert Contest

After some pondering, I decided to go totally southern and combine biscuits and my favorite summer fruits and created a Sweet & Summer Fruit Calzone recipe.

Fruit Calzone

Yum!  If I must say so myself, my little dessert recipe turned out great and is a perfect treat during summer.

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Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe

SWEET & SOUTHERN FRUIT CALZONE

Ingredients:

1  16 oz. can of large  Pillsbury Grands Flaky Biscuits  (I told you this was an easy recipe)

2  Fresh Peaches (anyone else smell their peaches to find the best ones?)

2  Fresh Nectarines  (firm but not hard is best)

1 cup fresh blackberries, sliced

1/2 c Dixie Crystals brown sugar

1 egg white

2 to 3 tbsp. of Dixie Crystals granulated sugar

Sweet & Southern Calzone

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine peaches, nectarines, blackberries and brown sugar
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll each biscuit to a 6-7 inch circle. Scoop fruit and brown sugar mixture on one side of a flattened biscuit.   *cute rolling pin from Anthropologie not required but helpful
  3. Fold each biscuit over and using a fork seal the edges (like the pros do on The Chew)
  4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place fruit calzones approx. 1/2″ apart
  5. Lightly wisk egg white and coat the top of each calzone
  6. Generously sprinkle on granulated sugar to coat the surface
  7. Bake approx. 20 minutes or until golden brown
  8. Enjoy (alone or with a scoop of your favorite ice cream)!

Sweet & Southern Calzone2

So do you want to know how you can get in on the contest fun and win a ticket to Blog Life University?

All you have to do is create a unique recipe around this year’s theme of Sweet and Southern Dessert. The only rule is to create a unique recipe that uses at least 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Don’t delay because the contest ends at midnight 7/10/16.  All winners will be secretly notified by 7/19/16 so don’t wait to get your conference ticket.  The official Grand Prize winner will be announced during the Dixie Crystal’s Sweet Spa Reception Friday night. Full contest rules can be found here.

The-ULTIMATEConference-Package-Giveaway

#sweetandsouthern

Shelly Signature

 

DESIGN GUIDE (1)

I hope everyone had a great 4th.  Today I’m sharing my latest design guide focusing on paint finishes.

When it comes to painting any room in your home, picking a paint color is just half the battle.  The bigger challenge for many people is what paint finish to use.

The first consideration when contemplating finishes is how the room will be used by you and your family.  And then deciding what type of look you want the room to have.

Just like design trends, paint finishes are also susceptible to trends. High gloss finishes are a popular look right now but classic finishes like satin and eggshell remain the most widely used paint finish in home décor.

Here’s what you need to know to pick the right finishes for your home.

Design Guide To Selecting The Right Paint Finish

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Flat & Matte Finish

Flat paint finishes are available only in latex paint have a low-sheen, non-reflective surface which is great for low traffic areas, ceiling and some interior walls.  This finish will provide the lowest level of sheen and is ideal for rooms that don’t require frequent washing or cleaning.  Use flat finishes on older wall surfaces that may have minor flaws because the finish will not bring attention to those areas.  If you ever have to wash or scrub a flat paint finish, you’ll probably remove some of the paint requiring a paint touch-up.

Flat and matte finishes are an ideal choice for the dining room, living room, powder room, guest bedroom and closets.

Flat Paint Finish--Postcards From Paris

Flat Paint Finish--Houseupdated

Flat--Home Bunch

the image above uses a flat fnish on the walls and satin trim

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Satin and Eggshell Finish

The velvety, pearl-like appearance of  satin and eggshell finishes are easier to maintain than a flat finish and perfect for high-traffic are like hallways, living rooms and bathrooms. A satin and eggshell finish is your best choice fo kitchen and bathrooms where there is some exposure to moisture. It is easy to clean a painted surface with a satin finish without fear of removing paint and destroying the wall surface.

 Paint Finish-- Satin--John K. Anderson Design

Paint Finish--Eggshell-Simply Grove

Paint FInish Eggshell--Benjamin Moore

Paint FInish--Eggshell2--Benjamin Moore

Semi-Gloss Finish

A semi-gloss paint finish is sleek and radiant along with being highly durable, easy to wash and scrubbable.  Semi-gloss finishes are ideal for high-moisture areas, trim, windows, woodwork and cabinetry.  This is the paint finish I recommend for built-in bookcase wall units as well.

Paint Finish--Semi-gloss2

Paint Finish--Semi Gloss--Color World Housepainting

Gloss Finish

Paint Finish--High Gloss--Remodelaholic

Paint FInish--High Gloss--Huffington Post

Paint Finish--High Gloss--Carla Aston

Paint Finish--High Gloss--My Domaine

 

A few other things to keep in mind when selecting paint for your home:

  • always get a mildew-resistant paint formula to use in bathrooms and laundry rooms
  • the higher the sheen, the darker and more intense the color will be
  • high-gloss finishes reflect light and make imperfections more noticeable
  • if you desire a lacquered look, go with a high-gloss finish or buy paint specifically formulated with a lacquered finish
  • tone-on-tone striped wall designs are achieved by alternating between gloss and flat finishes
  • most finishes are available in latex and oil-based paints but latex is easier to apply than oil-based
  • buy supplies that are made to work with the finish you select.  Oil-based and gloss finishes typically require specific brushes, rollers and tools

Shelly Signature

 image source:
flat and matte–Postcards from Paris
satin–John K. Anderson Design, Simply Grove, Benjamin Moore, Benjamin Moore
semi-gloss–Benjamin Moore, World House Painting
gloss–Remodelholic, Huffington Post, Carla Aston, Domaine Home

 

Have you ever been to a blog conference? 

One of the things I set out to do when I started blogging 5 years ago was to learn as much as I could about the blogging.  Since starting my blog, I’ve attended two conferences where I’ve learned a lot about the business of blogging and had the opportunity to connect with brands.  I’ve also made some great connections and friendships with other bloggers.–a bonus to attending a blog conference.

Later this month, I’ll be attending my third blog conference, Blog Life University here in Atlanta.  Unlike the other conferences I’ve attended, this one aims to bring together bloggers from all niches for 2 days of networking, connecting and learning.

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For someone who wants to continue to build and develop their blog this conference offers a great line-up of classes led by some of the country’s top bloggers.

Sessions Include:

Building a Passive Income With Ebooks

Monetizing Your Blog Today

Anatomy of a Viral Post

Pitching Sponsored Post & Getting Them

Behind the Scenes of Sponsored Posts–A Brand Perspective

Growing a Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing

To view the full conference agenda, visit Blog Life University.

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In addition to the conference sessions, there will be time to network with brands during the Brand Expo and an extended Q & A session with the speakers.

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Tickets for Blog Life University are on sale now and I’m happy to announce that I was selected to be a conference ambassador. As an ambassador, I can offer a discount of $100 off your conference registration.  To take advantage of this offer, follow this link and use the code BLU16.  Speaker-button

I’m looking forward to attending and learning even more about the business of blogging.  If you’re a blogger or have been thinking about starting a blog, this conference is definitely one you don’t want to miss. #bloglifeuniversity

Blog Life University–Where Blogging Leads to Success

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