Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review: 5 Tips to Analyze Your Work

2011 marks the end of my first full year of blogging. I decided to sit down and review Little Luck Tree as I would a business, and I thought I'd write down some tips so you can do the same.
I sat down with a notebook and my annual statistics, either from Google Analytics or Blogger. Then, I started to make lists:

1. Identify your most popular posts. This will show you what your readers enjoyed. Then you can begin to look at what made them popular: Was it the topic? The photography? Was it featured somewhere that allowed it to draw new readers? Did it have popular search terms attached to it? 

2. List what worked for you this year. Did you advertise on other sites--and if so, how did your investment pay off? Did you connect with other bloggers in the community, via social networking, commenting on their blogs, exchanging guest posts, or reaching out to them personally? I realized that the best thing for me to do to draw readers is to provide good quality posts consistently--and reach out to other sites to promote my work.

3. Identify areas to improve. This is a very helpful practice. For me, I was able to recognize that I tend to be undisciplined with my blogging and my communication. I realized that it would be helpful for me to have a set time to blog and catch up on e-mail. I also need to accept how much time I can give to blogging so I don't fret when I don't finish a post. Finally, I realized that I should start to develop a style for my brand, something "that's so Luck Tree". Where do you need to improve? Photo quality? Communication? Consistent content?

4. List what you enjoyed. I believe fully that everyone should absolutely love what they do. How you spend your day is how you spend your life, and this includes blogging and business. You probably started because something inspired you, so knowing what you enjoy about what you do will help you focus on that inspiration and help reduce the less-than-ideal parts of the job. For me, I enjoy experimenting with crafts, fashion, recipes, graphic design...but I do not enjoy feeling pressured to make a blog post at the end of a project, so I'm going to work on my mind-set in the future. List what you enjoyed--then make a plan!

5. Create attainable goals for 2012. You should have a series of short-term (monthly) and long-term (annual) goals that you have listed, that you can refer to, and that you can focus your energy on. I tend to want to accomplish a lot or try so many different things that I get lost in my projects, so I am going to be more focused this year. I have very specific goals I want to attain and I am going to keep them handy so I won't get lost. Post your goals somewhere prominent--maybe in your workspace--and then refer to them often.
How do you like to review your work?

♥ Shannon

Friday, December 30, 2011

Sponsor Love & A Giveaway!

I'd like to introduce a really cute artisan shop: Sunshine Bliss Studio!
Sunshine Bliss Studio features Ocean & Zen inspired designs--each piece is created with love, intent and bliss.
Shanti is giving away this festive holiday bliss bracelet--perfect for your winter wardrobe. It is made with silver plated peace, snowflake, and owl charms that dangle perfectly from a silver-plated curb chain framed by a sweet birdie clasp! It is accentuated with a burgundy wine tinsel ribbon weaved through.

To win, visit Shanti's shop and leave a comment below about your favorite item! Winners will be selected January 4th!

♥ Shannon

Shopping for Glasses Online

Hello! I love great deals after the holidays--after spending so much time and energy buying gifts and readying for merriment, it’s kind of nice to treat myself (on a budget). I’d like to introduce a great site:

They offer high quality frames and lenses for really affordable rates--and they have a generous refer-a-friend program. If you are interested in buying eyeglasses online, you should definitely check this out:
Probably my favorite part of the website is that you can try on the glasses with a virtual mirror! It makes it really easy to buy glasses online (and it’s really fun). All these images were taken with the virtual mirror--cute, right? (It has garnered a lot of attention in the coffeeshop I’m posing in, by the way!).
They offer a great selection of plastic, metal, rimless,  and semi-rimless frames, which is very convenient for finding the eyeglasses you want!
Right now, is offering a great sale to Little Luck Tree readers. You can take 55% off any pair of glasses with the code Best2011. Or you can take 10% off any order of prescription glasses with the code Blog10.

♥ Shannon

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What I Wore: Skinny Jeans!!

Guess what I did? I bought a pair of skinny jeans!
Outfit Details: Jeans, Shirt: GAP; Blazer: Express; Pumps: Madden Girl; Messenger Bag: Fossil
This is a huge development. I've got some curves on me, so finding jeans has always been a challenge--I've never dared to even attempt skinny jeans.
But this year has been a transformation for me. I've developed a deep love affair with yoga, I went completely vegan, I began to meditate...and somewhere along the way, my body image has transformed too.

A few other things:
--Matt and I found a place in Hollywood!
--Our furniture isn't here yet.
--We sleep--with our cat--on a twin air mattress. Talk about cozy!

♥ Shannon

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String...

So has the flurry of the holidays hit you yet? Just remember, a few months ago you looked forward to this season--lights, parties, loved ones, warm drinks by the fire. Let go of anything that might be stressing you out and enjoy this special time of year.
And if you're like me and you've waited until the last minute to find/wrap your gifts, don't worry--here's a cute idea for last-minute gift wrapping: DIY Baker's Twine + brown paper bags (or magazines, craft paper, newspaper, anything lying around!).
What you'll need:
--White twine ($2 at a craft store)
--Sharpies in whatever color strikes your fancy
--Brown paper bags (anthro magazines, newspapers, leftover fabric or paper, doesn't matter!)
--Free printable gift tags
--Scissors, tape, junk mail
To make your Baker's Twine, just wrap the twine around an old junk mail envelope and color stripes on both sides. When you unravel it, it looks just like the real thing (but for a fraction of the cost!).

I love using upcycled materials for gift wrapping--it's great for the environment!

♥ Shannon

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make Your Pictures the Same Size in Blogger

Okay. I didn't feel like you guys enjoyed my first attempt at this tutorial. I mean, I want you to weep with joy at having finally found a way to make your pictures the same width in your (blogger) blog. So, in a much more concise fashion, here's how you do it:
Step 1. Insert your picture.
Step 2. Click on the picture, select "Original Size"
Step 3. Select "Edit HTML". Find the phrase <img and add the following code: width="465"

(Use whatever pixel width you want all your images to be, this might take some trial and error).

You're all done! Is that more helpful?

♥ Shannon

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Did I mention I'm on Pinterest? Come say hi!

Also, this is fun--want to see if you've been pinned (for example, mine would be

Are you on Pinterest? Let me know your handle in the comments below so I can check out your pins!

♥ Shannon

Free Holiday Gift Tags

Why buy gift tags when you can download ones that are free? And precious!
These tags from Design*Sponge are probably the cutest tags I've ever seen!
I love these little birds from Creature Comforts!!
The Tasteful Life offers these bright tags--so cheerful!
West Elm. So clean and modern. As always. They have four different sets, but of course I love the animal ones!

How far along are you with gifts? Because I probably should start soon....

♥ Shannon

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Small Apartment Inspiration

Matt and I have been looking at apartments in Los Angeles. We've found one that we like, but it is pretty tiny! So I've been gathering great small apartment inspiration, especially for offices and living rooms, or offices/living rooms!
This little closet office is just so cute!!
Isn't this a pretty craft space?
This couch set-up is so pretty! Wouldn't it look nice facing a lovely desk?
I love this pretty set-up.

I'm so excited to start creating pretty spaces!

♥ Shannon

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cutest Cocoa Bar Ever

I am in love with this hot cocoa bar from Shindig Parties to Go. Hot cocoa, a few fun toppings, and a simple color scheme are all you need--just add good friends!
Check out all the details here!

I love pretty dessert tables, don't you?

♥ Shannon

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What I Wore: Festive Scarf

Soooo it's super windy in Southern California! Jeans and a cute top are a must, and since I'm missing the snowy woods of Maryland, I'm wearing this fun scarf with my outfit!
Isn't Walden cute? He's a rescue pup from an animal experimentation lab in Spain. Labs experiment on beagles because they are too sweet to fight back. He spent his first five years of his life alone in a cage. Beagle Freedom Project saved his life, and that's how we found him and adopted him. Now he cuddles with other pups (he LOVES them), a bunny, a bird, two cats, and of course his humans who love him!

♥ Shannon

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A New Kind of Engagement Photo

In my home, I like sentimental photographs that could also pass as fine art. I love my engagement ring not just because it happens to be exactly what I always dreamed of, but because of how special it is that Matthew devoted so much of his time picking out the perfect one. It also reminds me of the night he proposed, and it makes me feel so much love.

I took these photos of my ring in Italy after he proposed. I love the contrasting texture of the diamond and metal against nature: plants, wood, rocks. I think that these photos are beautiful by themselves, but blown up in my home, would make meaningful art.
How do you display meaningful photographs?

♥ Shannon

Friday, December 2, 2011

Previous Projects

Here are some of my craft projects from last year--oh memories!

1. DIY Fireplace
 2. Flower Wreath
3. Flower Hairpiece
By the way, isn't it crazy to look back at past blog posts? I've been resizing images and tweaking color like crazy! Oh how we grow...

♥ Shannon

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December 1st!

I had so much fun making this crafty advent calendar with my sister. So cute and easy! I just used this origami box tutorial and voila!
Wouldn't it be cute as a garland or on a wreath? Inside each box is a fun activity for us to do as a family. The activity for today? Make stockings for our furry friends!

This is going to be a fun month--get ready for crafts, party fashion, gift ideas, and more!

PS: Distracted by the Subway Art in the background? It's from eighteen25--those girls are fantastic!

♥ Shannon
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