Thursday, March 7, 2013

Project 2013: March

{a month-by-month shine-up}

I know, I know, it's already a month into March, but nonetheless, I'm so excited to introduce to you two new monthly projects today! 

As Captive the Heart turned a year old, I wanted to spend February refining it and learning as much as I could about design, photography, and branding.  It's just a pipe dream right now, but I think one day, God willing, I could really enjoy turning my blog into a business.  For now, here's how I fared:

Redesign my blog.  Captive the Heart got a little face lift a few weeks ago!  In the process, I learned a smidgen of HTML and CSS coding that I actually enjoyed, and that I hope serves me well for future design projects.  I still feel like the look of my blog is lacking a little something, but I'm really happy with the slate as it looks right now!

Schedule Facebook posts that aren't just my own writing.  
Though I've been a little negligent for the last two weeks or so, I loved getting on this train.  Like Captive the Heart on Facebook for quotes, articles, song suggestions and graphics that didn't make it onto the blog, and plenty of pretty wedding images!

Spend time each week resesarching photography, marketing, and branding tips.  I feel like I've learned so much lately about blogging and business, as well as just how to put the best content out there as possible.  I don't feel called to use my blog to make money right now, but it's nice to know that if I discern that later on, there are so many resources out there.  I've included a few of my favorite resources in the Blogroll tab at the top!

Look for writing opportunities outside the Catholic blogosphere.  I actually haven't gotten around to this yet!  I love design, style, literature, and cooking and would love to do a few guest posts here and there in the coming months, so here's to furthering this adventure.

Stay humble, thirsty, and grateful.  Even writing each of these bullet points about how I think I've improved my blog lately are making me self-conscious!  I'm proud of my work, but I never want it to be about me.  Thank you, from my whole heart, for every visit and comment--your support and affirmation mean the world to me.

After going on vacation last month and shelling out for some serious car repairs, I'm looking forward to the challenge of spending as little as possible in March.  Every once in a while, I like to do a periodic spending fast, buying only essentials, and it each time, it feels easier and more satisfying the longer I stick with it.  Three weeks without buying anything uneccessary?  Such a good feeling.  I'm also hoping to get our taxes in order, save up some pennies for a new camera, and, as Andrew applies for PhD programs, come up with a long-term plan for paying off student loans.  And, I'd like to read a book on basic money management for young people--any recommendations?

In addition to this resolution, I'm so excited to introduce you to the Encourage Beauty project this month, thanks to Anna of In Honor of Design and Hilary of Dean Street Society.  Essentially, this is a daily, monthlong opportunity to inspire, compliment, and affirm each other as women.  "The compliment may be about her exterior," says Anna, "but it always will encourage interior dignity, which runs far deeper than we can see."  Love it!  

Click here for a downloadable list to fill out with the women you'll encourage over the next 31 days, through your words or your actions, and join me in sharing Anna and Hilary's manifestos!

What do you think?  Ready to take on March with me?

Read more about my monthly projects here:
One  Two


  1. what a great idea to encourage beauty in each other...simple yet profound!

  2. Looks like a busy month ;), but those are some great goals! I love spending fasts, too. It feels so refreshing to do without what you don't need!

    1. It really does! It's funny; sometimes I've explained a spending fast to people and they misunderstand, thinking I'm not buying anything at all or that it's out of desperation, although neither of those are the case--I'm glad I have a kindred spirit in you!

  3. I love everything about this post, Stephanie! Love the idea of the Encourage Beauty project and am impressed at your spending fast. I read "Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey and it completely changed the way I view money and how we manage it. Definitely recommend! I completely understand the self-consciousness that comes with highlighting your own work, but you should be very proud of how you've taken the initiative to improve the blog. The changes are great and I'm especially smitten with your new profile pic :)

    1. Thank you so much, Deme, for your compliments and for the book recommendation! I put the book on hold at the library this morning!



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