Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Sponsor Special

If you read that title out loud, I bet you totally spit on your screen.  BIG time!!! Sorry, but also kind of not sorry...because that just so happens to be the kind of thing I find hilarious.
Guess what!!!  I'm so excited!  (You'll never guess so I'll tell you.)  My darling friend Becky is joining Team Shabby!!!  She is THE coolest girl ever and I am crazy-excited for you to get to know her.  She's one of my very most bestest friends in the entire world.  You're not going to believe this, but we actually met through instagram- of all places!  How awesome is that?!!  I can't even tell you how blessed I feel to have that girl in my life.  Everyone needs a Becky.  And now everyone can have one because she'll be HERE!!!!!  She's going to be my social media ninja and sponsor coordinator.  So you'll get to say hello to her on Facebook and around le blog and you'll get to work with her if you become a Shabby Sponsor too.  Lucky little duckies!  Welcome, welcome, BIG GINORMOUS WELCOME to the Shabby Blogs family, Beck!!!!!

Just to kick things off AND because Shabby Blogs just so happened to turn FIVE this week, we're having a super spring sponsor special!!!  (See what I did there?  I used a bunch of mostly unnecessary S's again.  You're welcome.)  Just $15 for a full month of advertizing here on our blog!  See those giant-sized ads on the right side over there?  Yeah.  One of those!  It's a first come, first served kind of thing, so clickety clack out an email to my girl Becky and claim a spot while we've got them!

Email Becky now!  I mean, or later...I guess.  But I'd totally do it now.  No, actually I would do it later...but then all of the spots would be filled.  So yeah.  Do it now.

Giant hugs-

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ahoy There {Nautical Banner Freebie}

Maybe it's because this is Michigan's worst winter since 1978 or because this little family o' mine is jammin' out of here to the Caribbean the first chance we get, but my brain is all sorts of nautical right now.  I'm part mermaid anyway, but lately all I can think about is the sun on my face and the sound of waves high-fiving some glorious beach.  So, it's no surprise that my latest blog goodie for you is something along those lines...

Feel free to use the completed post pretty I created above and/or you can snag the customizable one below to use on your blog!


Speaking of nautical...and radical, have you guys seen the shirts Christine from Ahoy Tees makes?  Must.  Have.  As of this minute, she's got 14 hours to go on her kickstarter page.  You can get a super suh-weet t-shirt for your little one or one for your little self starting at $25.  Ooh, and an AHOY tattoo!  (I want an ahoy tattoo, guys.)  Besides helping to kickstart a seriously cool new company, you'd also be helping a seriously cool person.  Christine is our newest sponsor and I'm not kidding when I say that I totally adore her...because I do.  I totally adore her.  Trying to talk her into posting here because she is THAT cool.  Anyway, yes!  Snatch up a shirt like the one below while the clock is still ticking!  You will absolutely not regret it.

Shabby Blogs YOUniversity {& team call}

I am sooooo excited to announce something truly lovely...

Shabby Blogs has always been about helping people beautify and personalize their online homes.  Providing you with the most smashing blog couture around is something I will absolutely continue to do- because for whatever reason, you seem to like it.  And I like it too.  It makes me happy to design for you and to share with you whatever talent I have in that arena.  But there is so much more to blogging than just pretty backgrounds and elements!  While your blog design speaks volumes and is definitely important, the most important thing is the actual story YOU are telling.

Everyone has a different story to share.  Some people want to share their latest craft project while others would rather share pictures of their toddler covered in spaghetti sauce.  A lot of people are somewhere in the middle- telling a story that covers more than just one aspect of their lives.  However you choose to tell your story and whatever that story is about, there is one thing every blogger has in common.  It is the need to know who you are.  You can't share a talent you haven't developed.  You can't share a story if there is no story to tell.  Simply put: If you know who you are and what you are, your story will always be one worth telling.  Shabby Blogs would like to help you with that.

After my second daughter was born, I had a bit of an identity crisis.  I remember going to a store with really pretty home furnishings and seeing something that just screamed MEGAN!  (That's my name, you know.  This story would be weird if you didn't know that.)  So I bought it.  And I brought it home.  And I hung it on my wall.  And I cried.  Ha!  It's true though.  I cried because doing that one simple thing made me so happy!  If you're thinking I'm super shallow, that's not it at all.  (Also, geez!  Be nice!)  It didn't have anything to do with owning this particular item or spending money- though husband only knows how much I rather like both.  It was the experience that made me happy.  It was the discovery.  It was the investment, not in "things," but in knowing myself.  I had no idea what I liked in my home or didn't like before that because I never took the time to ask myself.  Isn't that crazy?  That one little choice about myself and my opinion on something I hadn't really thought about before, started me on the most awesome journey.

Once it became apparent that asking myself real questions led to learning new things about who I am and the world around me, things just snowballed right on into excitement and all sorts of empowerment.  Seriously!  The more questions I asked myself, the more homework I had.  And the more homework I had, the more answers I found.  And the more answers I found, the more ME I found.  And you know what?  The more ME I found, the more me I liked.  (I know!!!  It surprised me too!)  And the more me I liked, the more happy I was.  And the best part of aaaaaaall of this is that the more happy I was, the more happy I am, the more happiness I am able to give to the people I love...and even the people I don't love...although I pretty much rather adore just about pretty much everyone.  Kind of rad, right?

So that's what I'm passionate about.  Finding new things I love, everywhere, and in everything, and in everyone.  That is MY story.

I'd like to help you further your own story and also give more people a place to share their loveliness.  That's what I'm going to be doing with Shabby Blogs.  I'm going to keep dishing out free blog designs and awesomeness, but I'm also going to open it up to others to share here.  So many people are so incredibly talented!  Not only will giving them a place to share that help them in the telling of their stories, but it will help us all in the telling of our own too.  Because maybe someone can do a MacGyver thing with pipe cleaner and staples and turn them into a baby sweater.  Or maybe someone else can scrapbook digitally like there's no tomorrow.  They share that and then BAMMM!  You can do it too.  And then you're like, "Whaaat?!!  Why didn't anyone tell me I was so awesome?!!"  And before you know it...POOF.  You've got a brand spankin' new chapter in the story of YOU.  That's how it works, friends.  And I am so so so sooooo excited about it.



Whatever your skill is, we want to know!  Share your talents with the rest of us!  Share your story.  Inspire us.  Teach us about what the heck shoes to wear with what outfit because seriously, for the life of me, I can never figure it out.  Teach us how to mess with the code on our blogs.  (I know I'm supposed to do that, but it isn't any fun for me guys...being totally candid.  If it is fun for YOU, for Pete's sake, get over here!)  Teach us how to make a digital scrapbooking page.  Teach us what to look for in thrift stores and how to make the old and shabby new and...shabby.  Teach us how to take rad pictures so we can brag about our children properly, and yes, even share a selfie now and then.  Be a part of our team.  Teach us how to do what YOU do best so that we can be who we are best.

I can't wait to hear from you!

Mucho love-

shabby blogs at g mail dot com

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Change {Believing In Your Story}

I turned 35 this week.  Nope, I'm not afraid to admit it.  I've put my whole heart and soul into my 35 years on this earth.  I've made massive mistakes and fallen down both literally and figuratively more than a 35-year-old probably should in her lifetime.  But I've also gotten up.  Not gracefully or anything- heaven only knows!  Still, I am alive and I am happy and I am healthy and best of all, I am surrounded by people I love who somehow manage to love me back.  This year, this birthday, has seemed like a big one for me.  I'm not sure it really is, but it has seemed like one.  I've asked myself a LOT of questions.

What have I accomplished in my life?
What should I focus on accomplishing?
What have I given my children?  My husband?  The world?
What am I withholding?
Am I happy?
Am I helping others find happiness?
Am I taking care of myself?
Am I taking care of others?
Do I give enough?
Do I give too much?
What can I learn?
What can I teach?
What path am I on?
What path do I want to be on?

As I have considered Shabby Blogs, I've felt a lot of guilt.  I've felt so bad because I haven't been able to keep up with everything and I let my passion for helping and giving to others through SB die a little.  I felt like it was time to let it go and to let someone else, someone better, take over for me.  What I didn't realize was that maybe there is a better option.  Maybe there is a better way.  Maybe the reason I let myself get burned out was because I was doing it wrong.  Maybe I was just doing it wrong.

I'm going to share with you in another post exactly what I've learned about what I call Blogger Burn-out.  For now, let me just say that I have been on a really cool and much-needed journey that has taken me full circle.  As a result, I will be changing a lot of things at Shabby Blogs.  I don't want to throw anyone off or to confuse anyone, but these changes are a necessary part of my journey- my own story.  I'm going to share those changes with you because it is important to me to keep you in the know, but also because my hope is that these changes/insights may be helpful to others as well.

  • Shabby Blogs has never been a business to me.  That has kept it true to who I am, but also taken from me and my family in both a personal and financial way.  As much as I hate "money stuff," I'm going to have to at least be a tiny bit businessy so that my family can benefit in some way from what I do here.  SB will always be free.  I'm just going to be more open to having sponsors.  Thank you in advance for supporting me in this decision and for supporting Shabby Blogs by visiting and loving on the advertisers/sponsors we currently have and the new ones we will be welcoming in the future.
  • I'm outing myself.  As much as I have always promoted Shabby Blogs in "we" and "us" and "our" terms, the truth is that Shabby Blogs is...just me.  It is one person.  Mrs. Megan Hastings.  (Hello there!)  My sweet older brother coded the original SB site for me and I have hired several people to help me with it over the years.  In the past, I brought in an awesome photographer, Jessica Downey, to write some posts for me and the magnificent Keren from Free Pretty Things has been an absolute angel.  But Shabby Blogs, itself, is just me...myself.  Sorry if that's a disappointment.  Sigh.
  • Being true to myself in all of my various roles, and as a human being in general, is something I am passionate about.  (It sounds strange, but I feel really excited and liberated now that I've given myself permission to be an actual person over here.  Ha!)   I intend to follow my heart and my own interests and passions.  I'm afraid that is going to totally spill out through this blog like water through a cracked dam...and I'm going to not only let that happen, but snatch a swim noodle and ride the wave!  That's different for Shabby Blogs, but I'm hoping you'll like the cool things that wave washes up.
  • While I am passionate about helping you beautify your blogs, I'm most passionate about my belief behind that.  My belief is that every person deserves a place to tell their own unique story.  I love helping people make their own special homes on the web a better reflection of who they are.  That has made me so happy!  But I want to do more than that.  I want to take that further.  Please hang in there with me as I unfold what that means.  :)
  • I'm willing to ask for help.  That's super hard for me, friends.  I'm kind of a control, I hate asking for things.  (Ha!  It's true though!)  In order to make Shabby Blogs all it can be, I need to let people help me.  I'm so excited to be forming my own little team of Shabby Ninjas.  I don't want to get too ahead of myself, but I can already promise you they are going to be some seriously talented people who I know you will love!  Heck- it might even be YOU!
So there you go.  That's what I have learned and what I have in mind for the future of Shabby Blogs.  I'm excited for a fresh start and hope you'll come along with me on this journey.  I would whole-heartedly LOVE your company...because, if you don't mind me saying so...this thing is about to get a lot more awesome!!!!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Vintage Freebie with Keren: Pretty Floral Tags

Hi everyone! I have some prettiness for you today :) Some sweet multicolored gingham floral tags that bring the perfect amount of vintage flair and inspiration for your next pretty packaging project! I could even see some of you turning them into stickers! To download click the following: Part 1 and 2 , 3, 4
P.S. If you like these tags, then I'm sure you would love these matching printable banners!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Free Antique Winter Blog Frame

Hi there.  If you noticed I'm a smidge behind on my blog, you should check out Real Life Megan.  She's a cold mess!  This holiday season completely crept up on me this year.  I've hardly decorated our snow-covered yellow farmhouse and haven't baked a single cookie.  Not one.  While my waistline is appreciative, my kids aren't quite as grateful.  And as long as I'm confessing things, I might as well just throw it out there that I may or may not have possibly led my children to believe that their Elf on the Shelf got injured while they were playing with him- which is why he is slow to move around or do fancy Pinterest-worthy stunts.  It's just that kind of year.  I've accepted it.  Actually, I take that back.  I have full-on embraced it.  Because, you know what?  Sometimes we just need to let go of those high expectations, hold onto our dear ones, eat store-bought cookies, and just feel grateful for the things we have done right and the magic that is already around us.

In case you get ambitious though, here's a lovely little blog frame for you to customize and post.  (That sweet little wreath bit I used to decorate this antique frame was drawn by Laura of My Sweet Rose.)  Enjoy this little freebie, but most of all, enjoy this holiday season!

X's & O's-

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Blog Post Pretty

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.  But sometimes it helps to write it down...

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Make Your Own Free Printable

Here's what's awesome about fall.  Everything!  I love it!  ALL of it!  Not so much a fan of the blizzard that follows, but autumn itself is a treasure from heaven.  No joke.  LOVE it!  My little family has hit the pumpkin patch three times now and it just never gets old.  Hot cocoa, bonfires, family visiting from out of town, blustery visits to Lake Michigan, dancing in the painted leaves with no jackets on, dancing in the painted leaves with several jackets on, snuggling, enjoying, just being.  Heaven on earth, I tell you.  I love my little family and I love this time of year.  So much so that I wanted to frame a little quote about it...which is why I designed this free printable for you!  (Did you see how I shifted right into that?  Smooth, right?)

This design was created as an 8.5 x 11 paper, but it can be cropped to 8 x 10 if you'd like.  The cool thing about this pretty little printable is that you can totally customize it to say whatever you want!  Choose your favorite quote, your monogram, your secret hopes and dreams, whatever floats your boat!  (I only ask that you utilize this for your personal use only and don't redistribute it por favor.)

Click on the preview image below to download the file.  Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Free Fall Blog Frames

I don't know about you, but I don't believe in school pictures.  My poor kids would probably be so much happier if I did, but I don't.  Instead, I believe in marching my three young daughters into the apple orchard up the road and making them pose for about a thousand pictures none of us are really in the mood for taking.  And then we drink hot chocolate and mess up our hair and dance around the house in our undies to celebrate our impeccable behavior.  :)  I would never claim we are an ordinary family, but I kind of love us anyway.

I wanted to create some frames that you could use on your blogs or facebook or wherever to display those fall photos I know you're making people pose for too.  Have fun with them!!!