Sunday, August 2, 2015

Are Vlogs the New Family Home Videos?

We're getting so close to finishing the new website over on  I'm excited for you to see it :)

You would think that I'd be using all this down time to stockpile a bunch of posts.  But no.  We've been hosting family, visiting friends, going to the pool and trying to get more stuff done around the house so that we're nice and organized when school starts.

But, I did take some time to edit my first "vlog"!  It took longer than I expected, but it was incredibly rewarding to get it done.  I chose a weekend when we had some fun things planned (a polo match!  Kate's birthday!).

Take a look if you have about ten minutes to kill :)  I usually watch youtube videos while I sort laundry or when I'm eating lunch.  I watch more youtube than regular tv shows these days!

I plan to add more videos in the future so make sure you subscribe to my channel or sign up for email updates on the blog (in the sidebar)!

I hope you are all well--I can't wait to unveil the new website!  Have a great Sunday :)
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Moving to Wordpress and a Summer Break!

blogger to wordpress, is wordpress better for building an audience, blogger vs wordpress for building an audience, small batch woodshop, reclaimed wood makeup storage boxes,

I'm working with a designer who is building a new website for alittleofalot over on  I'm going self-hosted, baby!  By all accounts, this is the way to gain some legitimacy with search engines--one of the keys to building an audience.  The site will only be down for a few hours, but I thought I would use this as an excuse to take a break from the blogging schedule and regroup.

I need to spend some more time brainstorming and just generally thinking about the best content to provide to you.  I need this time to think about big picture stuff and to write.  I'll come back with a clearer focus and targeted posts.

I also need to spend a little more time on Small Batch Woodshop--adding new products and editing our descriptions.  I would like to come up with some processes so that when we get an order, I'm more efficient with getting it out the door.

Our summer schedule has been a chaotic and lazy at the same time.  It's been so nice to let the kids sleep late and to come up with things to do with them.  But having all of this unstructured time makes it hard to keep a blogging schedule and time to build our Etsy store.

We recently added some reclaimed walnut wood makeup storage boxes and we'll be adding some padauk and maple wood makeup storage boxes later this week.  It's fun to add in some variety to the store.

I will probably be back on the attack in about two weeks--I'll keep you posted!  Sign up for my newsletter (right sidebar!) if you'd like to be alerted as to when a little of a lot will be up and running!

As always, thanks for reading :)

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Review: Jo Totes Camera Bag/Purse

Looking for a cute and functional camera bag?  Check out Jo Totes before you do anything else!

Over the past year, I have really enjoyed getting to know my dSLR and realize that the only way to truly learn is to take more pictures.  The camera bag I was using last year did a great job of protecting my camera, but it was a little on the small side and I could barely fit in my keys and phone if I didn't want to be bogged down with my purse and my camera bag.  Enter: Jo Totes.

I heard about Jo Totes (official name is Johansen Camera Bags) through other bloggers, but I hadn't ever investigated the bags (I figured they would be out of my price range!).  But last fall I noticed on Instagram that they were having a Black Friday sale and I started looking through their website.

A few hours later I hit "purchase" on one of their bags, the Allison.  Usually, I would spend a healthy amount of time researching, not only the Jo Totes selection, but competitors.  I did enough to satisfy my curiosity: I looked at Amazon and Etsy, but didn't find anything that compared aesthetically or even in price.  (Maybe because this one is not made of leather, the cost is a bit lower?)

The functionality of this bag is insane!  There main compartment contains adjustable, padded compartments that should be a requirement of any purse!

The velcro makes switching things up a breeze and the padded compartments keep my camera protected, yet easy to access.

You want pockets?  This baby has pockets.  There are even secret pockets within pockets.  The only problem is remembering which pockets you used for what!  But the secret pockets made me feel extra secure while traveling in the big Apple.

The adjustable strap makes it easy to go hands-free.  It's the perfect bag to take out when you want to have your essentials and take pictures at a moment's notice.

The customer service was outstanding.  I had my fingers crossed that the bag would arrive in time for my annual trip to NYC with my sister-in-law.  Luckily, it arrived the night before I left (wow--less than a week after I made the purchase)!  I was thrilled.

I definitely didn't want to have to bring my purse and a camera bag.  It was a great trip to test the functionality and durability of the bag.  It worked beautifully for my needs.  I was able to walk around, shop, and eat all while having the camera at the tips of my fingers.  And as I said, the secret pockets were ideal for stashing cash and credit cards.

The thought and care that went into designing this Allison bag (and I'm assuming all of their bags) is obvious.  Considering I've already gone through two lens caps, this easy access side pocket has come in handy.  (I guess stashing the cap in my back pocket hasn't quite worked out for me!)

I've ended up using this as my regular purse for months!  It's just so functional (and is less of a bottomless pit than my usual bucket/hobo style purse).

Here are some of my current favorite offerings from Jo Totes:

jo totes wishlist

Johansen Camera Bags, AKA: Jo Totes was started in 2009 when the owner moved overseas with her family and couldn't find a stylish and functional bag to carry her camera, so she decided to create her own!  Now they offer backpacks, cross-body bags and more so that you can always look hip when you're carrying your camera.

What do you use when you are out and about with your camera?

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