The Turquoise Tornado Hits The Road: Two New Dates!

The Blogcademy World Tour

I’ve got that nervously excited feeling in the pit of my stomach this morning because we’re announcing two new workshop dates for The Blogcademy!

New Additions

First off, you crazy cats in Melbourne completely blew us away — our workshop there isn’t until November, yet you snapped up tickets in a record amount of time. Countless emails later, we realized a second date needed to happen and have booked the same event space, Lightdrop Studios over November 14th and 15th.

Next up, many of you requested a southern date and we didn’t want to leave you out! I am so beyond excited that we’ll be visiting Austin over August 17th and 18th and hosting our workshop at the stunning Vuka. The last time I was in Austin was all the way back in 2007 and I have such fond memories of that trip. There’s such a warm, inviting sense of community and a sense of hospitality in a way that only the south can offer up.

Both cities have an earlybird special if you book before midnight Wednesday, May 15th.

Tour Dates

Hosting workshops is a huge dream come true for me and I want to say thank you to everyone that’s made it possible. If you’d like to join us for either date, please head on over to the registration page. And if you’re thinking about joining us at another stop on our tour, here’s an update of the cities we’re visiting in 2013:

New York (limited spaces remaining)
Pantina, June 22nd & 23rd

Minneapolis (limited spaces remaining)
Public Functionary, June 29th & 30th

Austin (just launched!)
Vuka, August 17th & 18th

Curtain Road Studios, September 7th & 8th

Proudly presented by Tourism & Events Queensland
Bleeding Heart Gallery, November 2nd & 3rd

Melbourne (sold out!)
Lightdrop Studios, November 6th & 7th

Generator, November 9th & 10th

Melbourne (just launched!)
Lightdrop Studios, November 14th & 15th

The Blogcademy World Tour

As always, one scholarship spot is offered per class. Please make sure to submit your entries at least once month before the workshop date. I’m looking forward to seeing ya on the road! It’s gonna be a blast. And we promise to keep you entertained!

Photos: Made U Look

What I Wore: 5.12.13 | Spring

What I Wore: Spring

For Mother’s Day, I took some time away with Joey and Rocky and we headed up high into the West Hills for a long Sunday walk. Everything is so beautiful right now, in bloom with the most intense colors.

What I Wore: Spring

What I Wore: Spring

I wished my mom a long distance Happy Mother’s Day (she lives in Phoenix) and then instagrammed one of my all-time favorite photos of us. She’s put up with a lot from me over the last three decades and I wasn’t the easiest kid to deal with, that’s for sure. I was very stubborn and particular and I demanded that all my outfits had to be color coordinated! Haha. So I’m glad (and thankful) we’ve always shared a tight bond.

What I Wore: Spring

I Wore:
Asos Floral Skater Dress
Dries Van Noten Boots
Gold Door Woven Plastic Bracelets

I love wearing dresses like this in the warmer weather where you don’t have to think too hard — throw ‘em on, grab some shoes and you’re dressed and ready to go!

What I Wore: Spring

When I get outside, the stress just dissipates. Once again, I didn’t want to head home. I don’t think Rocky did, either. ;) I hope your week is off to a great start!

The Week in Pictures: 5.10.13

The Week In Pictures

The big news this week is that our backyard bar is getting a lot closer to being finished. I’ve been pretty antsy to get it together and that can mostly be attributed to the fact that once we get it done (and the rest of the backyard landscaped), we’re finally going to have a legit party. The housewarming party we never had.

In the summer of 2009 when my brother and I bought our house, we were faced with barren rooms (we had no money to quickly furnish the place) and more repairs than we knew what to do with. When Joey moved in during the Spring of 2010, it quickly became apparent that he not only knew how to do construction but also electrical and plumbing. Joey’s handiwork around the house including transforming a poorly framed gazebo into a soon-to-be bar has blown us away. I really wish I had proper “before” photos. There was literally a cement slab, 4 posts and the roof. More details shots soon — he’s made a lot more progress since this photo!

The Week In Pictures

I always like to pick up a nice bunch of flowers for the dining room since it’s one of the first rooms you see when you walk in our house. I’ve become completely enamored with gladiolus over the last few weeks because they’re massive and live for quite long. I like this bunch even better than our last.

The Week In Pictures

After a mini break, we’ve been hitting The Blogcademy to-do list hard again just in time for a big announcement next week. I also spent some time adding in a spread to our media kit featuring our Portland class by Made U Look.

The Week In Pictures

I’ve been on a huge kick of drinking coffee at home. Joey is a pro with our new espresso maker and it’s true, I like his coffee better than most places in town now. More on this topic next week — working on a full post!

The Week In Pictures

I wish I had a chance to visit Washington Park more often. I was just there on Sunday and it takes a little work to get there, driving down tiny, windy roads that feel like they’ll never end but then, you park and this is the view as you enter the park. It’s the best way to start your day!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone! It’s beautiful out today and the Dalai Lama is visiting S.E. Portland. I’m looking forward to balancing business and pleasure a little better this weekend — hitting the freelance but also taking lots of long walks and enjoying our improved back yard.

Any fun plans you’re looking forward to this weekend?

Link Love: 5.9.13

link love

link love

Source: Arseniy Semyonov

• Could you quit the internet for an entire year? Paul Miller did just that and the results weren’t what he expected.

• Travel writers encounter some pretty gnarly cuisine. One opens up to share their worst of the worst food encounters. Don’t read if you have a weak stomach!

• 7 tips to help busy folks carve out time to blog.

• Design Sponge has a great recap of the history of Crayola Crayons!

• When a tragedy happens, there’s an uncomfortable navigation of what’s appropriate online. When is it okay to go back to “normal” when so many others are suffering?

• Using Instagram to present your life story? Such a cool idea!

• Legends Never Die is a beautifully written piece about what happened to the cast of Kids after the movie unexpectedly made them celebrities.

• As a small business owner, focusing on your strengths can help you find balance and happiness.

• I’ve been begging Kat and Gala to visit Tulum with me and seeing Kathleen’s photo diary makes me want to go even more.

• Emma carved her own rubber stamp and it is oh so cool.

• I love these DIY tree stump side tables! They’d be perfect for my (in-progress) backyard bar…

• If you’re wondering how historical figures would have looked today, here’s a whole gallery!

• How David Olgilvy wrote and designed advertising.

• If my kitchen suddenly looked like this, I might actually take up cooking!

The Blogcademy LA: We Came, We Taught & We Soaked Up The Sun!

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Every time I visit LA, the city grows on me even more. It’s definitely a combination of the weather, access to fresh food and laid-back west coast vibe that makes me love it so much. I’ve been to LA half a dozen times for vacation but this time was a little different: there was a whole lot of business mixed with a dash of pleasure.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

The Blogcademy #5 was held at McCadden Space Studio in Hollywood and we couldn’t have asked for a more unique space (or a nicer studio manager). The owner, Ron went above and beyond helping us not only set up but filming our event — we were blown away by his generosity.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

It was quite a shift from just a month earlier. In early March, I felt like I’d been sucker punched when I received an email that the space we’d secured much, much earlier in the year had been double-booked and we were flat out of luck. Full-on panic ensued over the next day and I had anxiety-filled visions of us hosting our workshop in someone’s garage deep in the valley. Kat and Gala were much more zen about the whole debacle, that’s for sure!

Blogcademy Los Angeles

In hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened to us; McCadden was a MUCH better fit, with its quirky retro-modern decor and a gaggle of vintage neon signs.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Kat felt right at home in the studio and honestly, I don’t think she minded working on her birthday, especially after we surprised her with a cake AND an oversized bottle of gin!

Blogcademy Los Angeles

If you couldn’t tell from the photos, the B balloons we have at every event are at least 3 times the size of normal balloons. Gigantor. The morning of the event, we knew there was no way we were squeezing those babies into our cab. Luckily, Joey and Rocky were willing to walk the mile from our loft to the studio, delivering them just in time. Nobody walks in LA so imagine how many honks Joey got, strolling along with three oversized balloons and a little white dog!

Blogcademy Los Angeles

The interesting part about The Blogcademy is that each class is so different. Part of that can be attributed to the unique venues and photographers but beyond that, the personalities are different, too. Some classes are spontaneous, others are loud and outspoken, and still others are super laid back.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

LA was immediately ready to get down to business. This group wasted no time asking about income, business structure and the best social strategies. These women hailed from not just LA but Mexico City, San Francisco and Minnesota and they shared a collective razor-sharp focus that was so inspiring.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

With everyone from a tarot card reader to a doctor to a life coach to a published author in the audience, I knew this was going to be a fascinating class. As I got to know each woman on an individual basis over the next two days, I realized that although we were in different fields and walked varying paths to get to where we were, we all shared a common connection through wanting our blogs and businesses to be the best they could be.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

This group gave it all they had and we were so inspired and fed off that energy, wanting to give everything we had in return. This is the first class where I literally could not walk afterwards. When we arrived back at the loft after that second day of class, I sat on the bed, socks still on and couldn’t move after that. We sat there, replaying all the best moments, talking about what we could improve and focusing on what was next.

That’s what I love about The Blogcademy — it inspires our students to take their blogs and businesses to the next level and watching them get inspired in return energizes us to keep improving.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Student Recaps

I adored our LA class so much. Here’s what they had to say about the experience in their own words:

1. Packed with fashion, fun, intelligence, humor, design and honesty…. 2. I am super pumped up and inspired 3. You’re in a garden 4. A blogging conference that blew my mind 5. Learnin’ biz from girl power turquoise sparks! 6. I walked away inspired, completely blown away and so happy to learn from such fabulous women 7. What happens when three very individual, self-actualized women stand in front of the room… 8. I started a list of changes I wanted to make and things I wanted to try…

Class Photo

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Big smiles! We’d just eaten cupcakes…


Thanks to the following fantastic companies for making our event possible:

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• The LA students scored with a custom crochet Twinkie Chan coffee cozie. Even better, they doubled as armbands in class!

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• Our goodie bags are always overflowing with major sparkle! MARGAVINE x Sewmaryann sent these multi-purpose bows for each of our students to enjoy.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Head Full of Feathers made sure our shoes were decorated with these fancy clips.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Classic Hardware provided an assortment of super cute prizes. Made in the U.S. by Karyn Cantor, we loved the quirky designs.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• How cute are these custom Saturday Sequins earrings?

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• Gotta love Basik 855 pouches — so practical and just the right size for business cards!

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• Crown and Glory made sure we were decked out in glittery ears.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• The IF Ladies provided nail wraps, purses and tons of other fun goodies.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• I loved the simplicity of these great LOVE cards by Mr. Yen.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• We went crazy for all the wonderful Moorea Seal goodies. I was especially a fan of these simple gold earrings.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

• LA photo booth rental Snapden went above and beyond, with piles of hilarious props (including a Batman mask!) that we used and abused over lunch. Their staff was incredibly gracious as we kept a constant rotation, often changing out props for every. single. frame. Haha!

• Also, special thanks to Zevia for quenching our thirst with their zero calorie soda.

Blogcademy Los Angeles

Five workshops in, we’re still flooded with new ideas as each class wraps. It’s true that we’re always cramming late into the night before class, trying to make the curriculum even better. As I say in the branding section of our lecture, “good enough isn’t good enough.” We believe in holding ourselves to those standards and our amazing students inspire us to keep reaching higher. The excited emails I’ve gotten post-workshop have made my day many times over. Thank you.

Upcoming Workshops

This Summer, we’re off to New York and Minneapolis. Limited spaces are available in both classes — we’d love to see you there! And as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach us at headmistresses @

Photographer: Caroline of Milou & Olin
Event Space: McCadden Space Studio
Additional Write-Ups: Spending My Birthday at the Los Angeles Blogcademy

Tools of the Trade #3: Subtle Patterns

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

I’m keeping this short and sweet today: Subtle Patterns is an amazing resource. When I’m designing a website and a solid colored background just won’t do, I head over to their site for something special. I love the sheer variety of simple, tasteful patterns.

The best part is that you can scroll to the footer and in the right corner, there’s a download for a Photoshop .pat file, which is a collection of all the patterns featured on the site, completely free!

If you’re new to using .pat files in Photoshop, here’s how to load and access them (keep in mind that this is one of many ways and there are TONS of tutorials out there):

a. In your Layers palette, click the effects button on the very bottom (second from right) and scroll down to Pattern Overlay.

b. When that dialogue pops up, you’ll see a large square swatch of the default pattern. Click the arrow to the right of that and your full palette of swatches will pop up.

c. Click the arrow on that palette and scroll down to Load Swatches.

That’s it! Have fun with all the awesome patterns!

Check out more Tools of the Trade posts here.

Blog Log #9: Activity Breeds Activity

Blog Log: Activity Breeds Activity

Photo: Made U Look

If you’ve ever hit a roadblock and wondered why you should keep blogging, if you’ve ever been overwhelmed with life and pushed your blog off to the side, if you’ve ever wondered why you should continue blogging when there are so many other great blogs out there, the answer is simple:

Activity breeds activity.

In a way, I’d been trying to explain this for years every time I got asked by someone why they should keep blogging when they weren’t getting the results they sought. But, as hard as I tried, the words never tumbled out as eloquently. Then, I was sitting in an entrepreneurship class two weeks ago when Stephanie Lynn said those three words: when it comes to reaching your goals, activity breeds activity. It was as simple as that.

Following that class, it quickly became my new mantra. I’ll be honest, there are plenty of days that I feel overextended, plenty of times I am tapped out of energy, unable to even scratch the surface of my to-do list and the last thing I feel like doing is blogging. But I know that the more time I take off from anything (eating right, working on personal projects and yes, blogging), the harder it is to get back into the swing of things.

So even when I have those feelings, I now remind myself that activity does in fact breed activity and the more of myself I put out into the world (via blogging, social media and responding to emails), the more I’ll get back. We should always give without expectations but it is a nice feeling when we receive something of value in return.

The more you dedicate yourself to your blog and the more regularly you put thoughtful, high quality content out into the world, the faster you’ll see results. If you want to get more out of your blog, give more.

There is no secret to getting to where you want to go. It takes a whole lot of work, perseverance by the boatload and a willingness to give it everything you’ve got. And, practice. I’ve said that it took me 500 posts before I hit my stride and really found my voice. Blogging takes time but that activity you put in now will pay off later.

Blog because you love it but also blog about topics that resonate with you (and in return, your readers). Blog because you can’t imagine not having it in your life. And blog with consistency. Because when it comes to blogging, activity breeds activity.

View more of the Blog Log series here.