ACRES & RICHMOND

A NOTE FROM MY DESK // VOL 3

Haley MurrayComment
LetterFolk Board

October blew me away. I'm just now getting back up on my feet. Like I'm not even sure it actually happened. It was so fast and painfully slow all at once! Between my husband gearing up (aka lots and lots of paperwork and stress galore) to take on his dream job and me achieving one of my October goals (which I'll go into in a minute) it was bananas. B-A-NA-NAS.
I was to the point of crazy when you're in the thick of it and all rationality goes out the window and you just keep going on robot mode trying to get what you have to get done, but all you really want to do is hide under the covers. I feel so much better and look forward to a smoother next couple of months! Which is basically crazy since the next couple of months include Thanksgiving and Christmas and I'll be gone for two out of the four weekends in December, but a trip with my love and another trip with my girls is just what this girl needs! 

Okay, back to my series, A NOTE FROM MY DESK Vol. 3... It's kind of comical that my last blog post was Vol. 2 and it's already mid/late November, but thats just how life goes sometimes! The quote on my Letterfolk letter board is one that I first heard from Emily Ley. It really struck a cord with me. I always say that you can tell I haven't been using my Simplified Planner on a daily basis when my life gets crazy. I'll be honest, sometimes I just don't want to see a to-do list on a daily basis. If I feel like I'm not tackling enough each day and the previous day's list starts spilling over on to the next day and the next day, I start to shut down. Another issue I run into is that I've been really bad about working on the weekends and it hasn't gone unnoticed by the Mr. We constantly argue over me always being glued to my phone and computer. So not staying in my Simplified Planner and on top of my to do lists plus not allowing myself to shut down on the weekends really sent me in to October in a bad way. This is where I feel like I failed October. I left things to the last minute. I missed deadlines. I tried to cram everything I possibly could into the smallest amounts of time. I was needed more so than ever by my husband to help him get ready for a huge training he's been at for the last two weeks to prep for his dream job. I spread myself too damn thin. Emotions were HIGH in October/ Early November y'all. 

In my business, I work on a monthly schedule. So each month I'm utilizing the work I did the previous month on a daily basis while working for the next month on a daily basis as well. The sweet spot lies in the time period each month after I've gotten my client's plans for the next month out for approval and their current post's scheduled. I'm currently in the sweet spot writing this post and I'm thinking this is gonna be the time I need to hunker down and write the 4-8 posts I want to put out here on the blog each month. (Also, I just want to say I'm really sorry because this is probably not the least bit interesting to all of you, but it really does help me in my thought process and maybe it will help you too? IDK haha) 

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Simplified Planner
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BUT ALAS, this is not what today's post is supposed to be about at all... 

Back to "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." In October, I failed at planning so hard. With all the stress I was under, I just couldn't look at a to-do list that I kept failing at over and over again too. So I shut my Simplified Planner and tried to do the best I could and just go off my memory. Big mistake. Huge. (Name that movie!) 

My memory sucks. I joked all October long that my phone, my computer, and my brain were all out of storage space. 

Well after you've all stuck with me and my rambling here is what I'm doing to make sure that I don't fail at November/December/LIFE. 

FIVE TIPS FOR PLANING TO WIN INSTEAD OF FAILING TO PLAN: 

1) Whatever you do... DON'T I repeat DON'T CLOSE YOUR SIMPLIFIED PLANNER or whatever planner you use. (But, really you need a Simplified Planner.)

2) Don't think you can finish whole projects in one day. Spread that ish out over a week and chomp into it BITE BY BITE. No one can eat an elephant in one bite. No one. 

3) TAKE TIME to breathe and check out of work mode. If you are a creative or someone whose business is email driven. You don't have to work every weekend. I'm going to be better about completely checking out at least 1-2 weekends a month. 

4) PLAN out your next month in advance. It's much easier to give yourself a time cushion to get big projects completed when they are still ahead of you rather that swarming all around you.

5) CELEBRATE your completed project and TAKE A BEAT before starting on the next one. No one feels good about finishing something big if you just immediately disregard how awesome you are for tackling it and just dive straight into the next one. This is where planning your month out in advance comes in handy. Plan your celebration time. That way instead of feeling like you are working towards a deadline you'll feel like you're working towards a celebration! 

I've listed what my October Goals were from the previous A NOTE FROM MY DESK Vol. 2 and my progress report at the bottom of this post! As well as my goals for November! 

Letterfolk Simplified Planner
Girl Boss Name Plate
Sugar Paper LA Eraser Ashley Brooke Design Phone Case

OCTOBER GOALS & PROGRESS REPORT:
- Book a new client // YAY! I made it happen! I've been wanting to take on this client since June or July when I first started and after an initial "not right now" I was consistent and asked again and I booked a wonderful new client that I am over the moon excited to work with! 
- Streamline my daily tasks // Ha! Ya'll I tried. I succeeded and failed at this. I'll keep trying for sure and let you know what I come up with!
- Get ahead on blog content // Double Ha! Total fail. But I'll try and try again because I love writing and creating pretty content! 


NOVEMBER GOALS:
- Work smarter. Not Harder. aka Work Ahead To SAVE my sanity during the crazy holiday rush
- Date my Husband (Definitely not business related, but definitely work/life balance related)
- Blog Twice A Week... from now on :) 


That's all she wrote! Whew! What are you goals for November? Anyone else still a work in progress? I'm super proud of what I've created in the last five months and even more excited to see where I am a year from now!

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*This post contains affiliate links. All content and opinions are my very own. I only share things that I love and that make my life a little easier! My hope is that they will bring ease and joy to your life as well! 

A NOTE FROM MY DESK // VOL 2

Haley MurrayComment
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I'm back with VOL 2 of my series, "A Note From My Desk" and having this little once a month check in excites me to no end. Instead of making these big proclamations for my life at the beginning of the year, I feel like these monthly check ins are crucial to my accountability and momentum and I hope they help you in your endeavors too! This month's feeling/topic is OVERWHELM. It's like Sesame Street for adults. Today's blog post is brought to you by the letter O for overwhelm, out of your mind, and oy veh! It's gonna be a fun time. :)

I wrestle a lot with overwhelm. I also juggle A LOT. When I worked a regular 9-5 (which why do they call it that? I always worked 8-5 or 6? haha) I used to feel overwhelmed, but in a way that I could shut it off once I got in my car to leave. Not now. It is extremely hard to shut off when your office is in your living room and your phone is constantly in hand. So today, I want to talk about ways that I deal with overwhelm and how I'm working towards a more positive look at being busy.

Overwhelm directly corresponds to personality type. I'm an introvert. I'm happiest when I am snuggling up on the couch with my husband and pup. Being an introvert gives me a lot of alone time that I use to cook up new ideas for my business and clients. I need that alone time. On weeks where my time at home is limited, my positive outlook takes a big turn towards crazy town. Read below on my main three tips at dealing with overwhelm and what I'm most looking forward to in October!

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THREE TIPS TO EASE OVERWHELM:

TALK IT OUT // Sit down with someone and just tell them everything you have to do. Sometimes you're just too blinded by your own feelings to look at things objectively. I'd bet that whomever you're telling your to do list can easily point out the first task you should tackle. As well as point out some tasks that can easily fall to the wayside for now. Just them giving you that permission to drop a few things feels amazing.

JUST START // Do the first task you see or think of. Don't sit down and write out some long drawn out to do list that will certainly send you straight back under the covers. Sometimes I get overwhelmed just analyzing what would be the most effective order of my to do list and that just makes me freeze up. So start with the first thing that pops in your head and then keep doing the next thing and the next thing that comes to mind! You'll be amazed by all you accomplish!

TURN OFF YOUR PHONE // I'm telling you that thing might kill me one day. From social media notifications, to group messages, to emails, to T's 12 hundred text messages a day (I love him, but yikes.) Tell your husband or your mom or whomever you need to tell that you are turning off your phone for a couple of hours and just put your head down and get to work! Don't let that tiny black square hold your day prisoner. This also helps ease overwhelm because you aren't receiving any incoming messages while you're trying to work and you literally can't respond to anything until you turn it back on.

Bottom line, overwhelm as an entrepreneur is the best thing that can happen to you! It means you're busy and you are hopefully thriving. So change you outlook on busy (something I have to remind myself on the daily) and get to work!

OCTOBER GOALS:
- Book a new client
- Streamline my daily tasks
- Get ahead on blog content

If you have any dealing with overwhelm tips for me, I'd love to hear them! Comment below or comment on my latest Instagram post!

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HOW TO MAKE A FALL PUMPKIN DOOR HANGER

Haley MurrayComment

Happy Fall loves! Today I'm sharing a little fun pumpkin I painted with y'all! This is by no means a professional pumpkin door hanger, but if you're like me and love to crack out the paint every once in a while then you'll love this! I bought this pumpkin shape at Hobby Lobby for $10 (but really like $6 because it was on sale) and got to painting.

So a very inexpensive way to add a little Fall charm to your front door!

THINGS YOU'LL NEED:

  • Pumpkin Shape- It's not online, but I found this one in the Fall section where the kids crafts are located.  (This is also really cute, but I didn't see it in store. You could even paint it and put it on top of the pumpkin if you're not into using your own handwriting.)
  • Foam brushes
  • 3-4 shades of pink, 2-3 shades of green, light beige, white, & gold paint
  • Q-tips... (You'll love my explanation for this...)
  • Ribbon of choice
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STEP ONE: PAINT PUMPKIN WHITE
For the first step, I practically dry brushed it. I wanted it to have dimension and not be so perfect so don't freak out if your pumpkin isn't perfectly solid. Unless you want it perfectly solid, then by all means please do freak out and get it how you want it! : )

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STEP TWO: PAINT PUMPKIN DETAILS
Turn the one inch foam brush sideways with barely any beige paint on it and curve lines from the top of the pumpkin to the bottom to add some dimension. To soften the edges of the beige go back over the curved lines you just made with the white paint brush, but don't reload the white paint on there. This is just a dry brush to soften the beige up if that makes sense.

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STEP THREE: PAINT FLOWER BACKGROUNDS
This is where you will start to panic and say SH*% am I painting pink cow spots on my white pumpkin door hanger? Don't panic. Just keep creating cloud shaped pink blobs. It will all work out in the end. I used the second darkest shade first to create the base of the flowers.

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STEP FOUR: PAINT SECOND LAYER OF FLOWERS
Next up use a similar shade and add some different sections of pink on top of the pink clouds you already made. This step is really just about creating layers. Also it will still look like a pink cow pumpkin at this point. Still no reason to be alarmed : )

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STEP FIVE: PAINT THIRD LAYER OF FLOWERS
This is where the magic starts to happen, but its not 100% yet. I know this is like the best tutorial you have ever read right now, but the best thing about painting to me is that anything goes! You got to bust out your own vision for this and make it yours. So add the third layer of these flowers by really blending the lighter shade of pink in to the two previous layers. This is where I used... Q-Tips. I can never find my paint brushes, but I always have q-tips. It sounds crazy, but I like the whispiness they add. Definitely use a paint brush if 1) you're more comfortable using one or 2) can actually find where you've stuck them.

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STEP SIX: PAINT LEAVES & STEM & ADJUST FLOWERS
BOOM. I may have skipped a few photos here, but this is where you've got to put your own creative mark on your pumpkin. I decided my flowers were too "Spring" pink so I added a darker shade of cranberry pink to the outsides of my flowers and used that same shade to create my flower "center dots." For the leaves start with the lighter shade of green and then go over it with the slightly darker shade to add some dimension. For the stems I needed a touch of gold. I painted the stem solid gold and then went back in with a different gold paint pen to add some you guessed it... DIMENSION. haha (Drinking Game Alert. I feel like every time I've said dimension people should take a sip of their wine.)

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STEP EIGHT: WRITE YOUR WORDS OR NOT UP TO YOU!
Surprise. Surprise. I wrote the word FALL. I considered writing our last name, but there's something about that that seems weird to me for the front door. I think a monogram would be darling though! Options are endless. You do you!

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TIPS:

  • A paint pen for the words would probably work best, but a paint brush works too.
  • If you don't have a glass storm door, you may want to add a clear coat of lacquer once it's all dry to protect it from the elements.
  • If you have the space in between your door and glass door (or don't have a glass door) and painting flowers isn't really your thing, then glue gunning some pretty faux flowers would be darling!

So there you have it guys! I hope you take this and make it your own. Pour yourself a little glass of wine and get to painting! Sometimes you just need to create! Especially at the beginning of a new season.

Have so much fun!

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EARLY FALL WITH EVEREVE

Haley MurrayComment

Early Fall in Oklahoma can be quite tricky. The weather will give you a little taste of a crisp morning and cool evening and then sky rocket right back to 90+ degrees the very next day. Planning your outfit around the weather can be even more tricky when the morning is a tad cool and then it is blazing hot by the afternoon. My early Fall outfit go- to is a long sleeve dress + booties!

I've partnered up with Evereve, a boutique who caters towards moms and busy ladies to show you one fall trend that I am loving... buttons!  They are opening their second Oklahoma store in the Classen Curve shopping center on September 27th! For you Tulsa ladies, head on over to their Utica Square store or everyone can conveniently shop online too!

Long sleeve dresses have always had my heart. They are always so flattering and flowy and make me feel very boho which is a nice change up from my normal more preppy attire. But back to buttons! I'm obsessed with pieces that have buttons all the way down. There is something just so sweet and vintage inspired about buttons that I'm really drawn to and I used to love looking through my great grandmas button collection.

Another trend I'm touting here is the bell sleeve. I have to admit when I saw bell sleeves popping up everywhere in the Spring, I was resistant. I just feel like they are so Fall!! What do you guys think?! Am I the only one? :)

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Ever Eve Fall Dress
Ever Eve Fall Dress
Ever Eve Fall Dress
Ever Eve Fall Dress
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Big thank you to Evereve for partnering with me for this blog post and thank you guys for supporting the brands that choose to partner with me! They are having a grand opening party on September 27th at their new Classen Curve store hosted by a fellow Oklahoma blogger, The Dandy Liar from 5-7pm! They’ll be giving away $500 in gift cards (Must be present to win.) Sips + Snacks provided and 15% off all in store purchases at the new Classen Curve store 9/27 - 10/1!

If you're needing more Fall wardrobe inspiration check out the Evereve website or you can check out my Wants & Wishes blog post and shop tab as well! I'm working on a post all about my recent purchases and these joggers that I'm still obsessed with. I'm sure you've seen them all over my Instagram and Instastories lately! What trends are you guys obsessed with? What is your go to outfit for early Fall? Any other magic combos for cool mornings and hot afternoons?

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*This post was sponsored by Evereve. All content and thoughts are my own! Thank you for supporting my little slice of the internet!