Your Website

What you need to know, in plain English, about taking your dream online and how to start your own website.

Learn More about Websites

Your Mindset

Start silencing that inner critic by banishing self-doubts and limiting beliefs. You’ve got this!

Learn more about your Mindset

Your Brand

Logos, Design, and figuring out who you are – for new entrepreneurs, creatives, and non-designers.

Learn more about branding.

Your Focus

Being productive isn’t just doing more, but doing the right things. Let’s get more done while enjoying the journey.

Learn more about finding focus


Recent Articles:

How Linking Evernote Ntoes will help you get more done

How Linking Evernote Notes Helps You Get More Done

I love that I can link my Evernote together. Did you know you could do that? By creating links within my Evernote notes, I enhance my productivity. I also can use Evernote in many more ways. I’ve written earlier about how I use my Evernote setup to organize my notes and notebooks by priority and […]

How evernote can help you manage the tedious details of life

Using Evernote to Keep Track of the Tedious but Necessary Details

I’ve written before how I order my Evernote notebooks and notebook stacks to enhance my productivity and stay on task. Well, another use for Evernote is to keep track of those tedious but necessary details of life. Case in Point: Dealing with the Hospital. In April 2015, many of you know that two of my kids […]

What is Google Keep and How will it help you get and stay organized?

What is Google Keep and Why Do I Love it?

Google Keep is Google’s note-taking app, introduced in March 2013. It’s similar to apps like Evernote and One Note. Each of these kinds of apps has their own strengths and weaknesses, of course. I like to use a mixture of them in ways that work best. In this post, I’ll be writing about how I […]

Acting vs reacting: what is the difference and how does it affect my life

Acting vs Reacting

One of the best skills you can ever develop as a human being is the fine art of acting vs reacting. This is one of those things you learn more and more as you mature. If you’re willing to listen to life’s lessons sent your way. A professor in college used to urge us to […]

Using Google Keep, Calendar, and Drive to Organize Recipes, Menus, and Shopping Lists

Using Google Keep & Drive to Organize Recipes, Menus, and Shopping Lists

I’ve found that using Google Keep, synced with Google Drive and Calendar, allows me to easily sort and organize my recipes, menu planning, and shopping lists. Let me tell you how. The Basics of Google Keep and Google Drive Recipe Archiving I already use Pinterest to pin recipes I want to try. I think most […]

Developing better habits for home business success

Developing Better Habits for Home Business Success

What is the key to home business and work from home success? While there is no one thing that will guarantee success, I believe forming better habits will tip the odds more in your favor. A few friends and I were talking about working from home. We all seemed to agree that our habits can […]

Living by faith and a plan

Living by Faith and a Plan

Is living by faith and setting goals at odds with one another? These are topics I’ve wrestled with in the past. Maybe you have too. The Two Sides of Living By Faith or By a Plan Is it too rigid for us to set goals and write out missions statements when we, as Christians, are to […]

How to get more done with less stress with Evernote

How to Get More Done with Less Stress Using Evernote

Evernote is one of my favorite cross-platform note-taking apps, but it is so much more than that. Truly, Evernote is the key to not only keeping my life organized but helping me get more done with less stress. Let me show you how you can get more done using Evernote too. Read on. The Evernote […]

Categories vs tags on your blog or website

Categories vs Tags: What are They and How Should You Use Them?

When planning out your website, you’ll need to think about organizing your content. You may even wonder about categories vs tags. WordPress and other platforms use categories and tags to help organize content. Categories and Tags can be confusing and be intimidating for many new website owners. I can help you understand what categories and tags actually are. And […]

If wordpress is free, why I am paying to you to make my website?

If WordPress is a Free Program, Why am I Paying You?

Confused about the expenses associated with having a WordPress website? You’re not alone. One question I received twice now is something along these lines: If WordPress (or Zen Cart, OS Commerce, Joomla, Squarespace, Drupal…) is a free program, why am I paying you? Let’s talk about it. What’s Included in the FREE Part? The part […]

Reducing the Expense of working

Thoughts on Minimizing the Expense of Working

There is an expense of working outside of the home. When you work away from home (or even if you work from home and are super busy), sometimes expenses can creep in that eat up whatever cash you’re earning, pulling that money away from what you need to spend it on. I’m talking food, commuting, […]

In any design project, content comes first

Why Content Comes First

One of the big changes I’ve made in how I do websites and other design projects for clients is to request all of the content for the project up front. Let’s talk about why. Designers Design Content The most obvious one is the very definition of web design. When designing for the web, or designing […]

Struggling with focus? Here's help!

Struggling with Focus? Here’s Help

We all probably realize we need better focus in our lives to take care of what we feel we need to do or should be doing. The actual issue for most of us is how to maintain that focus. Here are a few tips I’ve learned in my life. Some Mental Downtime is Good for […]

Creating achievable long term goals

Creating Achievable Long Term Goals

You may have heard it said that if you are aiming at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. Having long-term goals helps us see further down the road. Our long-term goals give us something to aim for. Although life isn’t as perfect and linear as we’d prefer it to be, having long-term goals in mind […]

Spring cleaning your digital workspace

Spring Cleaning Your Digital Workspace

Do you struggle with finding your files on your computer? Let’s talk a bit today about how to set up some folders to improve your workflow and help you find items easier. Think of it as a little spring cleaning in your digital world. The Default Folders No matter what operating system you’re using, most have a […]

What is mind mapping and how does it help the creative process?

What is Mind Mapping and How Does it Help Me Write?

Do you struggle to organize your thoughts and ideas while writing? I use a technique called Mind Mapping to pull my idea together. Mind mapping helps me organize my thoughts before writing or while brainstorming. Mind Mapping for Better Brainstorming When I first started writing, I just wrote and wrote and wrote. Yet, I’ve boiled […]

6 Tips for selecting a domain name

6 Tips for Selecting a Domain Name

One of the first things you’ll need to purchase before setting up your own website is a domain name. What is a domain name? A domain name is the address of your website. For example, mine for this website is ThoughtsandDesigns.com. The most common domains, or TLDs (Top Level Domains) end with .com, .org, or […]

Here are some of my favorite resources for improving and expanding my learning, many of them free!

Online Resources for Continuing Education

Oh, the 21st century is a great time to be alive. Continuing Education has never been easier, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Modern technology offers us some really amazing tools and resources for continuing education or just brushing up on some skills with online courses. In this post, I’d like to share a […]

How and why to write your own personal mission statement

How and Why to Write Your Own Personal Mission Statement

Crafting my personal mission statement has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. My personal mission statement has saved me much time, money, and frustration in my life. I think many of us when we hear the phrase “mission statement” don’t think of ourselves. You think of a large organization or business. Yet, it can […]

How to Keep your Goals and Dreams in Mind. Setting goals is one thing; achieving them is quite another.

How to Keep Your Goals and Dreams in Mind

Setting goals is one thing; achieving them is quite another. How many of us write out our New Year’s resolutions at the start of each new year, only to not even remember what most of those are by the end of the new year? Keeping those plans and New Year’s resolutions before our eyes matters […]

Thoughts on Setting Annual Goals and New Year resolutions

Thoughts on Setting Annual Goals and New Years’ Resolutions

I am a goal-orientated person. Annual Goals and New Year’s Resolutions have been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember, which I know makes me a dork. Now, this is not because I consider myself very organized or particularly productive. In fact, I think it’s more of the opposite. […]

My Process for Building Your Website

So, you want a website? I’ve already written in other parts of my blog about how to find the purpose of your website improve your existing website and market your website. (you can read those posts by clicking on the links above). But what steps do I take to build your website after you hire […]

The Content Strategy Conversation and Intervention

The Content Strategy Conversation and Intervention

Content strategy is a favorite topic of mine when talking with web design clients with grandiose ideas. This is very ironic for reasons that will become clear soon in this post. I like to talk about not using websites as glorified classified ads, yellow pages, or flyers. Websites aren’t marketing tools. Content strategy can either […]

8 tips to get started marketing your website

8 Tips on Getting Started Marketing Your Website

The topic of marketing your website is, in and of itself, a broad topic. I almost hesitate to talk about marketing your website, except that I get asked about it so often. Usually the topic comes up around the time I give someone the bad news that a website isn’t marketing, but rather a website needs […]

Saying no and the stop doing list

Saying No and the Stop Doing List

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we all have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s up to us to say yes to the things that matter most and say no to the rest. In trying to achieve our goals, it’s not enough for us to do certain things. I’m talking […]

12 Tips to improve your website

12 Tips to Improve Your Website

A website is not something you just build, then leave sitting there, unattended, for the rest of its existence. In fact, in order to improve your website, and build our business, it’s important to continually strive to make improvements to your user’s experience at your website. My website has gone through many changes, improvements, and […]

Where do you draw the line?

Reader Q: Where to Draw the Line

A reader asked me, Your post on “saying no” hit home for me. I don’t handle saying no well. I say yes and then regret it. I feel like a jerk if I say no too many times to people or events. Then I burn out quickly if I have too much going on. I’ve […]

What are keywords and why are they important

What are Keywords and Why are they Important?

In creating content for your website, or research website marketing techniques, you may have come across the term “keywords”. In terms of websites, what exactly are keywords? The best way to describe it is this: if you were looking for the information you have on your website, but you didn’t know about your company, you […]

Busy is not the same as productive

Busy is not the same as Productive

I post quite a few articles on getting things done. I’m always making goals, to-do lists, and trying to press forwards. However, when it comes to goals, schedules, to-do lists, and productivity in general, there are a few common misconceptions and complaints I’ve heard. Misconception #1: Productivity Means Less Time for People and Relationships This […]

In Praise of Down Time

In Praise of Down Time: Don’t Feel Guilty for Resting

In recent years, I’ve been learning more than I ever thought possible about exercise: the proper way to do it, the value of it, and so forth. I’ve been amazed at how some of what I’ve learned specifically about exercise also applies generally in all of life. Take for example the concept of rest and […]

Filtering Opportunities and Using Time Wisely

Filtering Out Opportunities, and Using Time Wisely

Frequently, I get asked to do things, help with activities, given offers for employment or volunteering, and otherwise opportunities to invest my time and money in a good cause. That’s when it’s most difficult to make decisions: when you know the cause is a good one. If you had an unlimited amount of time and […]

4 Tips for Parenting with the End in Mind

4 Tips for Parenting with the End in Mind

What do I mean by parenting with the end in mind? By Parenting with the End in Mind, I mean to decide where you want to end up, at the end if this parenting journey, and come up with a plan, step by step for how to get there. This is basically the same as […]

How to focus on what is really important to you

8 Steps to Focusing on What is Really Important to You

As the saying goes, the good really is the enemy of the best. One of the most frustrating parts of life, for me, is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be enough time in each day to do what I want to do or feel like I need to do. No one has the […]

Tips for making new years resolutions you'll actually keep

Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions that You’ll Actually Keep

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions, you may have found, is that they often result in failure a short time after you created them. I don’t know about you, but I’m great at writing out a list of ambitious goals and New Year’s resolutions, only to have them end in disappointment and failure. As I […]

Prayer and SEtting Goals

Prayer and Setting Goals

When it comes to setting any kind of goals, I always take the time to pray about those first, seeking out God’s wisdom in setting my goals. God promises to give us all wisdom if we ask Him for it, so ask away! (see James 1:5). When it comes to praying about your goals, there […]

Weekly Goals and Daily To Do Lists

The Art of Setting Weekly Goals and Daily To-Do Lists

Over the years, learning what works for me and what doesn’t, I’ve drastically pared down my system to consist mostly of a sheet or two of goals to achieve annually, and then smaller goals and to-do lists that I craft from week to week. This works well in conjunction with my calendar for appointments and […]

The Work from Home Time Money Tradeoff

The Home Business Time-Money Tradeoff

Most women decide to become a WAHM because they want to spend time with their children while they’re growing up, but yet they still need some income to make ends meet. The problem is, as anyone who has ever started a business knows, newborn businesses tend to need as much attention as newborn babies, depending […]

How to figure out the purpose of your website

Figuring Out the Purpose of Your Website

In ten years of designing websites for different clients, I’ve come to realize that the biggest decider in the success or failure of a website is found in it’s purpose. I like to ask my potential client this simple question, “What do you expect this website to do for you?” That question  is one I […]

Revising Goals and Mission Statements

Revising Your Goals & Personal Mission Statement

Life changes, and so do our priorities. Although at our core, I think we tend to value the same thing overall, I know that how I enacted that has changed over the years. For example, as I’ve grown and matured in the Lord, and as I’ve grown and matured in other areas (being a wife, […]

figuring out your passion and calling

Figuring Out Your Passion and Calling

When it comes to WAHM ideas, that is, ideas for moms to make money at home, most of them seem to involve selling some multi level marketing product that is far overpriced, endless home parties, or maybe making crafts and hoping to sell them either online or at craft fairs. Very few people talk about […]

Overcoming the Challenges of Entrepreneurial ADHD

ADHD and Working From Home

In my home, we often joke around about ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or as my kids call it, “attention deficit oh look, there’s a squirrel…”). My kids and I tend to be easily distracted but highly creative individuals. The Highly Creative part lends itself well to being a WAHM (Work at Home Mom) but […]

What is a CMS and why should you use one for your website?

What is a CMS, and Why Should You Use One for Your Website?

You might hear people talking about how important it is to have a content management system, or CMS if you have a website. Content Management Systems can go by different names. Sometimes we call these kinds of websites dynamic websites, or by the exact name of a content management system in use (such as WordPress, […]

A Website isn't a marketing tool

I’m Sorry To Tell You This, But Websites Aren’t Marketing Tools

What do you envision a website doing for you and your business? Many see websites as marketing tools, but this is not correct. If you see a website as a marketing tool, I’m about to disappoint you. As a print and web designer for years, I feel the need to warn potential clients about this. […]

Creating an Extra Side Income with your Side Hustle

Creating an Extra Side Income

Stagnate wages and inflation means that we as middle class, working class families are slowly sliding into poverty by reason of the cost of living expense increases we are facing. For many families, adding something towards the family income may help shore up the budget if you’ve already cut as much as can be cut. […]

How to Make Money on a Blog or Website

How to Make Money on a Blog or Website

Just recently again I found myself in a discussion with a friend about how a WAHM can make money on a website. There are two basic approaches to making money on a website which I’ll refer to as directly and indirectly. How to Make Money on a Website Directly When I’m talking about how to […]

How to improve SEO on a budget

So, How Do I Improve My Search Engine Ranking SEO on a Budget?

Driving traffic to your website is essential. But how do you do that? How do you improve SEO on a budget for your website? Can you improve SEO on a budget at all? Although SEO is a complicated topic, here are some basics you should know about improving SEO, no matter your budget. SEO Services […]

My Work from Home Story

I recently received this question from a Twitter follower, that I thought would be good to answer here: I know you’ve talked about making money from home, and that you do. I have been trying to figure out how to make money from home right now because everything has gotten so expensive. I am not […]

How to make your goals work for you

How to make your goals work for you

On Monday, I talked a little bit about why goals fail. Today, my post is going to zero in a little bit on one of those points: how to make your goals part of your every day life. In our family, we created some long term goals for different things. One of those areas was […]