Monday, October 29, 2012

One to Remember

I don't blog nearly as regularly as I used to, but that's because I am SO busy lately guys!  I have now been a work at home business woman for 6 days and I am LOVING it.  Seriously it just about the best thing ever.  I usually wake up before the girls around 7:00 (and coincidentally am much less crabby since I'm sleeping in for an extra hour and fifteen minutes!).  I throw on some clothes or take a shower (depending on whether I plan on exercising that day) and then get the girls.  They're getting to school later (sometimes too late which is my fault b/c I'm still so excited that I get to spend so much time with them) and I usually do a big post office run after that.  I finally get back home around 10 am and just sit down at my desk and work my butt off.  I seriously don't stop.  I love fulfilling these orders for people and making some party, anniversary, or new baby arrival all the more exciting.

I usually break a couple hours in for a workout at the $10/ month gym that's a couple minutes down the road.  I come back, shower, and go back to work until Evan and I start texting about who's going to pick up the girls.  95% of the time it's me since he still has to work.  So off again I go.

Lately we've REALLY been in to soups, probably b/c it's gotten quite chilly here lately.  So either we cook or we've gone to whole foods and gotten a big thing of soup for $8 and all 3 of us eat for that ... cheaper than when I cook myself and their chicken and dumplings are GOOD!  I think tonight we'll go for Beef Stew.   Tomorrow I'll make Rachel Ray's White Lightning Chili.  DELICIOUS!

The beauty of it all though?  Once the kids are home, I do write people and convo with updates, but I don't spend the WHOLE evening fulfilling orders!!  It's divine.

Speaking of divine ... this weekend was a TRUE treat.  It is something that we REALLY needed as a family.  A FAMILY weekend.  Evan didn't work and didn't have presentations or papers to work on (a big time consumer lately).

On Friday, we went on a date while the girls stayed for a couple hours at Meme's house.  We went to Bravo and just enjoyed each others company.  Then on Saturday we went to Liliana's Halloween Carnival.  While the girls napped, Evan and I just watched football together for 2 hours.  SANS kids, SANS others.  Just us.  WONDERFUL!  Cuddling, screaming at TV, cursing at TV, perfection.  In the evening, we watched the Aggies STOMP all over Auburn which was a rare treat to see such a victory when you're an Aggie fan.  Sunday, the wonderfulness continued.  Evan made some chili (I'm telling you, we've been in to soups!) while I worked some and we went to the Pumpkin Patch just us four.  Liliana had a blast and I loved seeing how gorgeous Arkansas is!  I LOVE that there is SO much to do around the city and that so much of it is either free or very cheap.  After the pumpkin patch, the girls napped and we watched Quantum of Solace together.  Again, just us two!  Kissing, laughing, and mainly saying "holy crap I can't wait for the new bond movie to come out in November!"  After the girls woke up, we ran some errands and came home to eat a relaxed dinner and watch "Monster House" one of our Halloween movies.  Liliana actually watched a good portion of it!!  This is a MIRACLE since the girl doesn't watch more than 3 minutes of television EVER!  She's WAY too fast paced for that.

All in all, a hell of a weekend.  One we needed and cherished!

BUT that's it for now ... this business woman has to get back to work!!! I'm making Christmas cards and already have one designed.  I'm thinking a digital giveaway is in the making!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My First Show!

A couple weekends ago, I really ventured out of my comfort zone.  I think going full-steam ahead in to this etsy business is easy for me because I'm giving it my all behind closed doors.  If I fail, the only person that will know is me (well and Evan but he's so supportive that only I'd feel like a failure).  Taking this business to the public?  That's an entirely different ball park and I finally took the plunge on it.

I wouldn't say it was a failure in the slightest.  The circumstances simply weren't right.  I signed up to sell my prints at the Little Rock Food Truck Festival.  Last year Evan and I went to this glorious idea of a party and didn't get to eat ONE DAMN THING.  It was so freaking packed and annoyed and hungry, we left empty handed.  This year when I saw that I could sell my prints, I thought "this is it!  I have to take my prints to the public!"

Things started going sour a few days before when they said "it might rain."  Two days before the festival, we got an email from those organizing and they said "we're moving you inside in case it rains.  Hope people can find you." (might not have been the exact words, but you get the idea)

The day of?  DOWNPOUR.  Not the entire time ... just 5.5 out of 6 hours.  I kid you not.  NOBODY was outside buying food (well except for Evan who bought me some delicious (yet soggy) nachos).  All the thousands of people that had come last year?  They were snuggled up in their beds at HOME. 

That being said, like I said, wasn't a total failure!  I still sold 8 prints and heard that about 40% of the vendors didn't sell a thing so I can't complain.  But I'm not too sure when I'll do another show again.  They're a ton of work, I have to find babysitters, and I have to count on the weather to not mess me up, haha!  It was definitely an experience and a fun one at that.  Evan was SUCH a great sport waking up at 6:30 on his only weekend off. 

I worked really hard at making my set up adorable and googled and pinterested the heck out of "craft show booth."  Here's what I came up with:

It takes a lot more work/ time / preparation than you'd think to prepare for a show.  What should you bring?  How should you price things?  What kind of look are you going for?

The first thing I had to decide was how I was going to display my prints.  A craft show, in my opinion, is 50% what you've got and 50% how you display it.  While I'm fully aware that my set up wasn't outstanding, I also think it wasn't bad for a first time attendee!

Evan built me the stand in all his free time (note: HUGE amount of sarcasm shooting out of my fingers as I type that).  We bought all the pieces at hobby lobby.  Next I went and bought some cheap, but not too cheap (b/c the whole point is for your prints to look cute) frames at Michael's.  Did you know you get 15% off ALWAYS with a Teacher ID there?  So I got them 50% off PLUS another 15%.  LOVE.

Then I made a trip to Hobby Lobby and bought two contrasting Fabrics on sale plus those baskets were on clearance for $1.50 a piece.

I think, as silly as it sounds, that my two favorite things were the flowers and glass bottles on the side (those flowers are STILL ALIVE two weeks later at home) and the little welcome banner I made.  I plan on putting something like this in my etsy shop with kiddos names.  How cute would that look in a maternity picture or hanging above a crib? 

That being said, I have some HUGE places in which to improve.  I thought that bringing about 10 pieces was a better idea than inundating people with tons of different things.  Turns out that is totally wrong.  I got asked about two prints that I DO make but hadn't brought with me.  Sure you can give them their business card, but if you have it in person they are much more likely to buy it. 

I also wish I had put quite a few more prints/ frames on the actual stand.  It looks too bare.  I hadn't had the time to set it all up to see how it would look until I arrived the morning of.  I had planned on doing all of that the night before and did work until about 11:00 pm but by then I was exhausted.

All in all, I think the booth was a "welcoming" haha ... wow ... one and I definitely didn't look TOO out of place!  The creative in me is slowly coming out and it's a BLAST in the process! : )

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gloria's 3 month letter

 My dearest Gloria:

Yes this letter is 12 days late ... PLEASE forgive me!  I truly don't have any excuses!  We just took forever to take your 3 month pictures and should never have let it drag on that much.

This month you spent time becoming even MORE wonderful:  you laugh now, mainly with your Daddy when he tickles you, and you smile ... ALL THE TIME.  It doesn't take anything to make you smile.  If we just say "HI!" you smile.  It's so contagious and I love it.

Your hair didn't fall out quite like your sisters did at this stage in her life.  It's not particularly long either, but we're hoping that this will help the hair situation ... only time will tell.  You grab on to your toys SO well now!  You like grabbing on to blankets, hold your pacifier in your mouth, and hold your head up oh so well.  You're not routinely rolling over yet, but I know that will happen in this next month.  Part of the problem we have is that you LOVE tummy time.  As in, it soothes you to sleep ... your sister used to roll over because she was so annoyed with being on her belly that she wanted ANYTHING but.  You?  You just turn your head from side to side and eventually those eyes close in to a sweet sleep.

Speaking about sleep ... DEAR LORD child, you're amazing.  You always do 11 hours a night (about 8:30 - 7:30) and have done 12 hours before a few times.  It is SO glorious that we actually get to sleep as parents.  That is one area that, as parents, we are so blessed.

Now size wise: I'm not too sure how much you weigh and to be honest, it's because I haven't weighed you. You aren't quite as big as your sister was I don't think, but you're longer.  You have been in 3 month clothing for nearly a month.  Now you're wearing them really perfectly and we have all our 3-6 month clothing in the drawers too.  You LOVE the water and find so much peace when getting a bath. 

If I had to use one word to describe you, it would be EASY GOING.  You just go with the flow to anything we're doing.  It's crazy how well you fit in to our lives.  I really thought that having a second baby was going to rock our world, and truth be told, it hasn't!  It's just worked brilliantly!  Maybe it's because we were more prepared for the work that kiddos are, but the truth of the matter is that we are SO blessed and happy you're here!!

Your sister continues to be obsessed with you and asks for you first thing every single morning.  She has never had a bit of jealousy (surprising really) and is actually quite helpful ... she puts the paci in your mouth when you're getting hungry and want your bottle, she puts away your dirty clothes, she brings me burp clothes, etc.  She's a handy girl to have around and I can't wait to see you guys become the best of friends.

We love you baby Gloria!  MWAH!

Love, Mommy

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Big, Huge, Colossal Changes

I'm sure you've noticed by now that blogging has taken a HUGE backseat in my life recently.  Yes this is technically when I really SHOULD be blogging more because this is when my two gorgeous girls are growing before our eyes!  But I've just been SO dang busy.  And quite frankly, it's been draining.

Here's a run down of a typical day:
- wake up at 5:48 (I get every last minute of sleep I can).  Get ready and head to Liliana's room around 6:45.  Wake her up and hold her for a couple minutes while she looks at me like "WHY you mean woman?  Why would anybody be up at this ungodly hour?"
- head to Gloria's room around 7:00 am and wake her up (don't hate ... our babies are FABULOUS sleepers ... Gloria would sleep 11 to 12 hours if we let her and she's only a tiny bit over 3 months)
- go downstairs, get Liliana milk for the car ride to school - head out around 7:15
- be the FIRST person to Gloria's daycare RIGHT at 7:30 and drop her off
- drive over to Liliana's daycare and drop her off
- get to work about 9 minutes late at 7:54 (it seems to be a habit to arrive at that time)
- work during the day and leave around 4:20
- repeat process of both pick ups and arrive home around 5:30
- basically play with children praying for Evan to get home because I have so many orders to fulfill on the etsy business
- Evan gets home sometime (ranges ... sometimes 6 pm, sometimes 7:30, sometimes he leaves b/c he's on call) and I go immediately to my office to do the etsy business
- Evan's an angel and handles the kiddos until bed time and puts them down EVERY night he's home while I work
- I head to post office around 8:30 to send off as many packages as I had time to print
- I get home and keep working until about 10 pm
- Evan and I relax from 10 - 10:30 and head upstairs for bed (or actually, usually for... winky winky ... HEY, I'm busy, but I have my priorities people!! haha!)

YES this sounds exhausting.  YES it is.

SO ... this routine wasn't working.  And quite frankly I haven't been very content/ challenged/ fulfilled with my job lately.

SOOOOOO ... here's the big, huge, colossal news:

I put in my two weeks at work on Monday!  My last day of work at the school is 8 days away!  I will now be a full-time business woman and these etsy shops are MY JOB!  I am SO elated, feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, and feel QUITE ecstatic about the whole thing.  Work?  I think they're quite perturbed, but life is about choices and this job challenges me, makes me happy, and makes me enough money to support our family along with Evan's salary.  No we're not living in luxury, but we weren't before either!

The girls will stay at school still (or at least until January since I'm hoping Christmas brings even more business). These businesses will be my JOB.  I will treat it like a job.  Well, except for the fact that I can jam out to music while working, and can be in my jeans, flip flops, or butt naked if I wanted to be.

Here are the links again to the businesses (Pretty Prints Shop AND C'mon Let's Celebrate)!  Please do keep me in mind for anything you want done!  Now that it's full-time, it's only like donkey kong and I just want to expand expand expand!  Christmas is coming up so get started early!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

We've Got A Winner!

So we had 30 entries for the mint giveaway and we have a winner!!!! ....


Lauren Nygard is our winner! : )

CONGRATS Lauren!  Send me an email at and I'll send you the info soon!