Weekend project: Spring clean your blog

It’s been awhile since I’ve assigned you all a weekend project, but I have a GREAT one this week!

This is something that I’ve been thinking about on and off all year already. It totally goes with my One Little Word NURTURE … And I’ve been newly inspired to really make my blog work for me from some long lovely conversations Andrew and I have.*

weekend project

Here are some ideas:

Recycle older content:

We talked a little bit about this on my free Pillar Content webinar a couple weeks ago, but just think about how many amazing posts you’ve written in your years blogging that are just languishing in the archives. There are a bunch of ways you can refresh and reuse those posts to make sure they continue to get read by your newer readers.

Refresh your about page:

 When is the last time you updated your About page? Had any big life changes? Tweaked the topics you write about? Win an award recently or published something big? Your About page is the first page most new readers visit, so just double check and make sure it’s what you want.

Purge your sidebar:

The problem with blogging for a long time is you make a little change here and a little change there and then after a year your blog design is a mess! This weekend, clean it up! Pull out the extraneous affiliate buttons. Pull out the Goodreads or Spotify widgets. Make sure that your sidebar has just a few options for readers, so you know that they’ll go where you want them to go.

Check out this big group Pinterest board – Blogging Tips and Tools – for even more ideas!

I would *love* if you leave your blog URLs in the comments below! Public accountability – can’t beat it. I’ll be looking forward to checking out all your blogs come Monday morning!

*He’s the best and always so supportive.


Weekend project: Plan for 2014

weekend project

I know, I know, it’s Christmas Eve. But that means that you’re probably not working today and/or tomorrow (if not the rest of the week).

Over the next week your project is to…

Plan for 2014

This is basically what I did most of last week, including emailing all my friends to get their opinions :) You’ve got just about a week until the new year – make it great!

Plan for your blog and/or business

Do you know what products you are going to release or discontinue? Do you know what your editorial or marketing calendar looks like for the next few months? Do you have collaborations or contributor pitches in mind to line up?

Plan for your health

How will you make time to stay healthy? What one new easy-but-good-for-you recipe will you be building into your repertoire? How will you make time for friends and family to keep those relationships healthy?

Plan for your time of and adventures

Don’t forget time off! Will you have every weekend? Will you have one Sunday a month? Will you be going out of town for a weekend or a week or 3 weeks? Will you be going on a couple 5-9 microadventures? How will you keep things fresh and keep adventure in your life?

Dream big!


Weekend project: Escape plan

weekend project

(first, a disclaimer: I’m not one of those people who think everyone should quit their day job. BUT, if you WANT to, this post is for you)

I started planning my escape 2.5 years ago. Unless you happen to marry rich, your cubicle escape will probably take awhile too. Which is all the more reason for you to start planning this weekend. Write out your to do list and start crossing things out.

This weekend plan out your cubicle escape.

Know how much money you NEED to make:

Not want. What is your absolute minimum? What expenses can you cut out (cable, dining out, etc)? What expenses will you not need to worry about (gas money, work clothes)? Know what sacrifices you are willing to make to get free of your cubicle.

Know how you will make that money:

Will you work part-time? Will you raise your photography prices? Will you save 12 months’ of expenses to tide you over while you figure out what you want to do next? My income now comes from a variety of sources – a little here, a little there.

Get all your paperwork/grown-up stuff taken care of:

Do you need to change your health care? Do you want to take advantage of a work benefit before you leave there? Do you know all your retirement account log-in info?

 Know your worst-case-scenario plan B:

If everything goes terribly terribly wrong, do you know what you’re going to do? I don’t mean having ‘I’ll get my job back’ in the back of your head. I feel like that will just hold you back. But if you NEED money to keep your house, what options do you have? For example, if we have to, we can rent out one of the rooms in our house or sell our 2nd car and save $$ on insurance and upkeep.

There is A LOT to think about …. and you want to make sure you think about it WHILE you still have an income, not when you’re panicking about being able to buy food.

Read about how I made the escape and how Sarah made the escape to give you ideas



Weekend project: journal for the season

weekend project

Winter is coming.

Well, kind of. I imagine it is coming for the rest of the country. Here in SoCal we’ve only *barely* had a week of 60-ish degree weather.

(I’m not complaining)

But in the rest of the world, the weather is slowly-but-surely shifting to the new season.

Now is the time to take out your winter clothing and jot down the story about how you’ve worn the same sweater for 12 years.

Now is the time to start thinking about holiday decorations, and record the story about how you get a new ornament every Christmas Eve.

Now is the time to change over to flannel sheets, and journal about your yearly tradition.

Journal for the season, this weekend. Add it to your Project Life or December Daily, or a blog post or anything else. Just be sure to write it down.

Sidenote: For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere getting ready for summer – check out my journaling resource Summer Lovin’. Only $4 – I’ve intentionally kept it SUPER affordable so if you need the inspiration, you can get it. I’ve basically just brainstormed from my own summers past, from some of my previous-summer blog posts, and from various other online resources (like Sunset Magazine’s twitter feed of all places).


Weekend Project: using Facebook for your business

weekend project

I am NOT an expert on using Facebook for your business.

In fact, I only JUST figured out how to add an RSS feed to Lemon and Raspberry’s Facebook page.

But I have been collecting quite a few Facebook-business resources.

Take a look, pick a project, and start using Facebook for your small creative business this weekend


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Weekend Project: Write

weekend project

I started working through Storyology recently (more tomorrow) …. this class material has been especially pertinent to me for a couple reasons…..

… I have recently spent a bit of time looking at old high school photos. First one of my friends’ moms put several on Facebook (hello 1996!), and then I needed to scan a bunch myself for a project.

I’ve been a scrapbooker since I was 12 or 13, so I have all these photos in albums already. But as I thumb through the pages, I realize I don’t have the STORIES.

Stories about auditions for the school play, or the story of the one and only time I was thrown out of a class.

I tweeted this flippantly, but I am really considering doing some in-depth journaling of my high school stories and putting them all together with photos in a Blurb book.

…. and then I have also found myself drawn more and more to text-story-based blogs. I’ve read dooce for years, but now also Filing Jointly Finally, Writing to Reach You and Suburban Sweetheart are all in my reader.

I want to do that. I want to be those ladies. I want Those Crazy Schuberts to be a place you come for hilarious or poignant STORIES.

But writing like that takes time ….

I need to set aside the time to figure out what story I want to tell, to identify the rising action and the climax (or punchline) of the story, to choose the words, to edit and rearrange if necessary.

I need to remind myself to make the time.

So this weekend, your project is to WRITE

Write the story of your child’s birth. Write the story of your relationship with your husband. Write the story of how you can’t get out of the grocery store without buying ice cream (maybe that’s just me).

Just pick one story. And WRITE it.

You can decide later if it needs to be edited.

You can decide later if you want to do anything with it – blog post, scrapbook page or something else.

For now, just WRITE it ….


Weekend project: READ an ebook

weekend project

I have a folder on my desktop labeled ‘ebooks’

As in ‘ebooks-I-have-paid-for-and-downloaded-and-still-not-read’. There are currently 56 files in there.

Which doesn’t even include all of the self-paced ecourses whose material is housed online and not yet downloaded/backed up to my computer. Or any of the ebooks that may be hiding in other folders elsewhere on my computer.


All of these are marketing resources or blogging resources or lifestyle resources or productivity resources or creativity resources or or or ….

All perfectly solid resources that I’m sure I will learn something from. All far more valuable to my daily life than the American History I’ve been reading instead.


My Weekend Project is to READ one of those ebooks

I have quite a few to choose from….

I would recommend these if you haven’t read them:

I haven’t totally decided which ebook I’ll be reading this weekend, but I’m leaning toward:

  • Your Big Beautiful Book Plan – I’ve skimmed through this once, and even paid $$ to have it physically printed for me, but this is the kind of resource that deserves close attention, a notepad close by and focused reading*
  • Storyology – technically an ecourse online, but still. It’s not like me to leave something from Ali Edwards unread
  • Blogwise – blogging productivity. Hoping there are some tricks in there for me since I’m planning on expanding my blogging efforts*

 What will you be doing this weekend?

Full disclosure: A good chunk of those ebooks were free-if-you-give-your-email-address.
Which is still payment, if not monetary.

*affiliate link


Weekend Project: The rest of the year

weekend project

I spent Sunday afternoon planning how to spend my time through the end of December.

Jumping the gun? Maybe.

What can I say? I’m a planner.

I decided that I will NOT be launching any new ebooks, workshops or projects through the rest of the year. Instead I will FINISH the projects I have already started, end commitments that have run their course, and do all the backing up, reorganizing and reviewing that I have been meaning to do for months.

This is, of course, about 2 days after I put out little tiny feelers about assistance on a big ecourse I’m thinking about. Now, I’m reversing course. This also means that my to-do-after-Jan-1 list is gargantuan.

But, really, I need to start 2013 FRESH. With nothing halfway done. With my 2012 goals all tied up nicely. My 2012 One Little Word is home, and I want to really work on our new home over the next few months. Finally making that run to Goodwill, finally hanging the artwork that has been sitting out, finally cleaning the downstairs shower even though it doesn’t work.

I have things that need to be finished.

So, right now I have planned ….

  • September 1 30 Days of Lists starts
  • September 4 Onward and Upward starts
  • finally getting around to the Lemon and Raspberry re-design that has been percolating for a year
  • retiring some ebooks and raising the prices on others. Refocusing L&R a bit.
  • finish designing my Scotland Blurb book
  • finish the big-picture #30Lists stuff we’ve been meaning to do (like move the email list, for example)
  • finishing a big personal project that I’ve committed to a Dec 31 deadline
  • downloading the material for 2 different ecourses I’ve purchased and never finished. Finally implement the little tips and tweaks I’ve had on my to-do list for over a year. (There might actually be more than 2 ecourses I need to finish now that I think about it. Hmm….)
  • And all the real life stuff like Christmas shopping, making plans to attend a wedding, keeping our house work up to date, hanging out with my nephew and maintaining my Project Life book.


Your project for the weekend:

Think about how you will build your blog/site/business over the rest of 2012.

What is on your to do list that you need to finally finish?

What big project or product will you be launching over the next few months?

What is your holiday marketing strategy for your etsy shop?

Think about a basic structure for the remainder of the year…. just to have it in your mind.


Weekend Project: Think about your GREAT WORK

weekend project

So, uh … I don’t want to be a buzzkill or anything, but what were you planning on doing when you get off the internet?

What project are you working on? What big audacious piece of work are you in the middle of?

Your weekend project this week is to think about your GREAT WORK – your reason for being and the mark you will make on someone’s world before you die.

For an introduction to my idea of GREAT WORK, read this first link ‘I want to do work that matters‘ …. and if you’re still hungry, all the rest of these are from the L&R archives for the last year or so.

I’ve been thinking about my GREAT WORK recently, and it totally invigorates me!


Weekend Project: Make a tribute miniscrapbook

weekend project

Going through all these boxes in my office the other day I found one of my favorite favorite scrapbooking projects I’ve ever done.

I grew up a Phoenix Suns fan – and I have some stories about being a Suns fan in Los Angeles – and then I moved to Phoenix for 6 years and could be unabashed in my love for this basketball team.

During the spring that ended up being my last full basketball season living in Phoenix, I made a tribute minibook for the love of my team!

Here’s your project for this weekend:
Think about something unconventional you love love love love and make a minibook!

Maybe it’s a sports team. Maybe it’s a musical artist. Maybe it’s a TV show. Maybe it’s salad.

If you LOVE it, it’s the perfect subject for a minibook…..


For those that are interested, here is a closer look at my Phoenix Suns minibook….

My initial blog post about it was in April 2007, which would have been at the very end of the regular season, just before the playoffs started.

This is just a sample of the pages …. I created sections about the team roster, the coach, the awards they won, and each of the playoff series they played. Coincidentally, this *happened* to be a big year in Suns history, as there were so many crazy circumstances that really hurt our chances in the 2nd round.

I’m so glad I made this album when I did – so glad I have this little tribute to something I love so much!