Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, I’m so glad you’re here! I often get asked the same questions, so I decided to try and answer the most frequent ones here. If you’re looking to learn more about me and my family, please visit our About Us page. If not, read on dear friend.

What inspires you? How do you come up with your ideas?

Wow, this one is pretty hard to answer specifically, because everything inspires me. Isn’t that a horrible answer?!

I use anything and everything to inspire me, and never miss a chance to document an idea. The idea may never come to be but it will be there if and when I’m ready to tackle it.

How do you stay so organized?

Okay, so perhaps it’s my sales or project management background but this gal is definitely interested in organization. I need to have a plan in order to balance my blog with my life.

As you might have heard, I have blog posts planned three months out, most of them written well in advance of publication. This allows me to pick and choose based on flow, promote a consistent theme on social media, or even just to take a breather. I can go weeks without working on the blog to enjoy vacations, get out when there’s sunshine here in Seattle, and even to just take a breather to stay sane.

I use Evernote to keep track of my ideas and I even use it to compose all of my blog posts (I don’t like drafts in WordPress – they needlessly add to storage and can lead to a bunch of drafts that never go anywhere). Whenever I have an idea, I can easily add it to Evernote or email it into Evernote. I can even clip things from the web and store them within a note in Evernote – love this feature! I am using the free version and I love it.

For an editorial calendar, I use CoSchedule. Hands down, it is one of the best tools in my blogging arsenal. You can get a free trial by using my affiliate link.

I recommend CoSchedule to everyone who blogs because it the reason I am able to plan so far ahead. And because I plan so far ahead, blogging is enjoyable, doesn’t feel like a chore, and won’t lead to blogger burnout. I highly recommend CoScheduleget your free trial here.

Do you take your own photos? What camera do you use?

Unfortunately, yes but if you’re a photographer and will work for cookies, give me a call. I’m working on developing my photography skills (or lack thereof), so feel free to pipe up with suggestions! I am currently (April 2015) using a Nikon D3300, a starter dSLR camera and I’m still using the kit lens.

What program do you use to edit your photos?

Okay, so as I mentioned above I am really NOT a professional photographer. Although I have an editing program to alter the RAW files, I never use it. I use PicMonkey. There is a free version but I pay the tiny amount for the yearly membership because access to the advanced features and tools really help to edit my pictures.

What backgrounds do you use for your photos?

Wow, I actually get asked this question A LOT and am sort of embarrassed at the answer… It’s mostly a piece of white foam board from the craft store, you know: the $2 piece of white board. I like a stark white background for most of my tutorials to make them easy to follow without distractions, and this gives it easily.

As for the finished photos, I use a mixture of items: the white foam board, handmade props and garlands, flowers, fabric, kitchen towels, scrapbook / card stock paper, and a piece of bead board left over from household projects. I use anything I can get my hands on, ya’ll. Seriously – I’ve even raided the kidddo’s toybox once or twice.

Who designed Ruffles and Rain Boots? What theme do you use?

I get this question a lot, so I’m going to get technical (don’t worry, it’ll be painless – and short)!

I am using WordPress (self-hosted) and the Genesis framework. I highly recommend the Genesis framework – it works, isn’t buggy, and is easy to use for a both technologically savvy and non-technologically savvy bloggers. Invest in it and you won’t be disappointed.

Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you don’t have to keep buying child themes for the Genesis framework when you want to change the look of your site. I’m using a child theme called, “Dynamik Website Builder” and I can alter the look of my site easily and with an extremely limited amount of coding. How? Do a quick search on Dynamik (by Cobalt Apps) and you will see why – it’s like a cheat for those of us who don’t know how to code a website.

Some resources I use for Dynamik Website Builder are CoBalt Apps video tutorials on YouTube and Jordan Emory’s video tutorials on YouTube. They are all valuable and I make design and functional changes every month to provide readers the best experience they can have.