Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Favorites #2

 I'm alive! Back from the dead.
What started out as a cold turned into a really terrible sick, sicker than I've been since I can remember. My poor husband has been spoiling me rotten, bringing me water, making dinner, changing the channel for me and even carrying me to bed. It's been a rough two weeks for the both of us, he's been a real trooper.

I'm finally up again and getting better.  Thank goodness too! I am so behind! 
I got out of the house the other day literally for the first time this year. How sad is that?

So now it's time to play catch up big time.  And there's a lot to do.

First of all, I had to finish this blog.
It's for one of my best friends in the whole wide world.
Here's a screen shot of it.
It doesn't show any of the buttons but you get the general idea.

She's adorable right?

And now to get started on the rest of this week's to do list:

▲ Mail out Etsy orders.
▽ Join this month's Creative Collective link up- I have been looking forward to this for a while. I know I'm a little late but I'm still gonna do it.
▲ Paint at least one piece of furniture that's on my make-over list.
▽ Catch up on bills (yuck).
▲ Participate in Weekly Wishes and start actually using Instagram.
▽ Do something super sweet for my super sweet husband who's been working his tush off.
▲ Hang up/ assemble all of the fun things we got at Ikea ages ago that are STILL sitting in the garage.
▽ Update Etsy shop with new products.

Well I think that's a big enough list for me.
I do after all have a very busy toddler to chase around :)

Anyhow, here's more of my Etsy favorites in celebration of the weekend.

1.// Push Pins // whenitrainsshop // $5
3.// Phone Case // acyc // $7.99+
4.// Elephant Clock // lelune // $52

PS, is anyone as excited as I am for the Olympics?
Hockey hockey hockey!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Favorites #1

 The weekend is here.
Time to get rid of this cold so I can go out and have some fun.

Here's a few of my most recent favorites on Etsy.

1.// Earrings // cutiecottage // $10
2. // Ceramic Dishes // rosslab // $28 per bowl
3. // Yarn Bowl // claylicious // $39
4. // Bracelet // corallinesea // $3
5. // Pillow // joliemarche // $35

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year!

2013 has come and gone, quicker than quick.

For the last several months my husband Kyle and I have been discussing our plans for the long term future.  We've made a lot of goals- places we want to go, what we want for our family, where we want to be financially and so forth.  This last year our lives have really gotten started- we got married and found a wonderful house to rent, and celebrated our daughter's first birthday.  So for 2014 we have made three main resolutions that will prepare us for the rest of our lives together.  They are each habits we want to form to help our family now and for our entire future, and each goal will help us accomplish our long-term goals as well.  (I mentioned two of these in one of my previous posts, Weekly Wishes)

Here's our plan of action for 2014:

1. Eat dinner as a family at the table at least 5 nights a week.
For a short time last year we went without a kitchen table, as I had turned ours into a wedding preparation craft desk (a big mess).  Somehow over those few weeks we developed a horrible habit of eating dinner on the couch- every night.   We'll sit criss-cross applesauce on the floor with our little sunshine and have a mini picnic with her, then once she takes a bath and gets to bed my husband and I dish up, turn on our show, and eat in front of the TV.  I don't think it's a bad thing to do that every now and then.  Not every night though. I was raised eating dinner around the table almost every night with my family.  Sure, I didn't always love it.  In fact through most of my teenage years I usually hated it (sorry mom and dad).  Looking back though I really appreciate the time my parents took out of their busy evenings to spend with us, and I also really value their patient effort to make sure we spent it with them no matter how unenthusiastic we were about it.  I want that for my daughter and any future children we have.  I want to make it a habit now so it's not a big chore to teach them later.

2.  Learn time management and plan ahead.
This one is mostly for me to work on, but it will affect my whole family.  I am horrible with time management.  I'm the type of person that has 100 projects going on at once, and 100 more ideas on my never ending to-do list, which is usually a mental note instead of written down.  When I forget to do something on my "to do list" I hate myself for it, I get grumpy and lose motivation.  This happens more than I'd like to admit.  Kyle's days off usually consist of taking care of our little sunshine while I run around town catching up on all my errands, or things I've forgotten to do over the past several days.  When I left my job at the hotel this month I thought that would help a lot, but I learned very quickly that the problem wasn't lack of time, it was lack of organization.  I recently purchased a very lovely planner for 2014, and I have already started filling it in.  I love it (why have I not done this before?!).  Kyle is very fortunate to have his work schedule for the entire year, so I can make big plans in advance too.  I will set a work schedule and stick to it, make realistic weekly and monthly goals, and give myself enough to do in a day to stay productive, motivated and happy without feeling overwhelmed.   

3.  Make a realistic budget and stick to it.
We have attempted budgeting multiple times. We always give in and spend the money on whatever we think we "need" it for, and end up back on paycheck-to-paycheck.  We've agreed that we need to make a realistic budget.  Every time we try to budget, we get over excited about saving money and paying off our debts, and don't leave any emergency money (for car parts or vet trips) or spending money (hello date nights).  This time we are keeping in mind that we're human beings, and making sure to keep it real when we make our budget.  Saving money and paying off loans is really important, but so is treating ourselves to a night out once in a while after lots of hard work.  We've decided to use the cash envelope system for our spending money and have created a savings plan for this year to give us a solid start for the next several years.

I love the optimism and motivation a new year brings.  I'm looking forward to spending 2014 with my family and accomplishing our goals together.

We had a wonderful celebration in Seattle with our close friends last night.  It was great to see everyone and catch up, a perfect way to ring in 2014.

Happy New Year everyone!
2014 brings us a new beginning, an exciting new beginning. Let's give it all we've got and see what it has in store for us!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Weekly Wishes # 2 // Recap of 2013

Okay, I'm a little embarrassed I have been really slacking on regular posts.  Okay, pretty darn embarrassed. Break's over now so you'll be hearing a lot more from me :)  Truth is, I have been really enjoying all of the holiday season with my family.  And it has been wonderful.  For the past several years I have been working retail or fast food over the season, Thanksgiving through New Years working extra hours to help through the busy months.  This year I was able to be home with my family for most of the time and I loved it, I soaked in every minute of it. I enjoyed my time with them so much and I am beyond thankful for that much-needed break, but I'm also glad things will be slowing down now and I can really get focused and be productive.

I know my most recent post was also my first "Weekly Wish."  This week is a special edition one though, so hopefully it won't seem too repetitive. 

This week is all about achievements of 2013.

  ♥ p h o t o l o v e ------------------
It was a struggle for me to find a good photo of something orange.  Finally came across this photo taken at my wedding, the popcorn bar on the way out the door.  Photo credit Jodi Erion Photography.

 ♥ 2 0 1 3 s u c c e s s ----------------------

 Got married.
(to the most amazing man EVER)
Moved into a house that we love.
Went out of the country for the first time. 
(fell in love with beautiful Mexico) 
Spent my honeymoon without any of my luggage
and still had the time of my life.
Celebrated our little sunshine's first birthday.
Narrowed down what I wanted to do with my life.
Quit my job.
Began this blog.
Started working on starting a business.
Took over my husband's mancave with craft mess.
Made a plan to organize craft mess into beautiful office area.
(will get to the DO part soon)
Got a very cute black kitty. Named him Bagira.
Learned to load and shoot a shotgun.
Started a savings plan.
Drove a pick up truck for the first time ever.


I just can't believe tomorrow is the last day of 2013. It has been a phenomenal year and I am so excited to see what 2014 has in store.  It will be another year of hard work and lots of new memories.  I'm anxious to get started.

Visit the link-up party for Weekly Wishes by The Nectar Collective here.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Weekly Wishes #1 // Merry Christmas!

Tonight as I was sitting on my couch scrolling through Bloglovin on my phone, having a well-deserved quiet moment after days of all kinds of crazy, I came across something fabulous.

The Nectar Collective

It's called Weekly Wishes, by The Nectar Collective.
You can see the post I found here.

This is such a great concept and it's just what I need to stay motivated. Basically, you make your "wishes" big or small of what you want to accomplish for the week.  You reflect on your wishes from the last week too, and you leave pretty photo art pertaining to the week's theme.

I got so excited about this that I had to jump up off the couch, head to the computer and get started.
So here's my very first Weekly Wish.

 ♥ p h o t o l o v e ------------------

My favorite place in nature on the West Coast.  Up in the mountains.  Every time I go I am amazed again at how breathtaking it is.  Heavenly Father is an artist, truly, I am mesmerized by the beauty.

l a s t w e e k ----------------------

Since this is my very first weekly wish, I didn't technically have one last week.  However I did mention in a post last week that I wanted to finally get both of my Etsy shops running, the website, and Facebook page too.  I had originally planned on getting everything together and up by the first of December... Things are tough when you also work full-time, have a toddler running around, and are preparing for the holiday season, so I got a little behind schedule.  Okay a lot.  BUT I did manage to finally get things running this week- the pages don't have everything I want on them, they're not perfect yet, and they still need a lot of work, but the important part is the progress, right? I'll just keep telling myself that anyways :)

t h i s w e e k ----------------------

Build a realistic schedule and budget so I can start stickin' to it.  This New Year we as a family have three main resolutions (which I will discuss more about soon).  But these are two of the three; a budget and a schedule.  Budgeting is something I have tried and failed at more times than I care to admit. Basically what it comes down to is I set completely unrealistic expectations, so we always cave in and use the money how we "need" to.  I'm really excited about using the envelope system, and this week I want to get going on that to be ready for the New Year.   As far as scheduling, this is mostly a personal thing, but it will absolutely affect my family.  I get so caught up with my giant messy to-do list that grows faster than I can keep up with- and since it's all in my head I often forget things, and then hate myself for it.   I quit my job this month thinking that would fix the problem, but I learned quickly that the problem is time management and I suck at it.  I need to sit down and make a legitimate work schedule for this month, make sure I have a sitter lined up, actually use my pretty planner so I know what's going on, and start organizing my thoughts, ideas, and plans.

Oh, and also to have an awesome Christmas.  My grandpa is flying in from my hometown- International Falls, Minnesota.  I haven't seen him in years, and let me tell you he is one outstanding person.  Aside from that, he gave me some of my favorite Christmas memories, I'll never forget my Christmas Eve personal visit from Santa Clause (he was very convincing, I grew up really believing he was Santa), and going to his house the next morning for Christmas pancakes. My daughter and husband will be meeting him for the first time tomorrow and I am going to soak up every minute we have with him this week, it will be a wonderful Christmas.

A Little Holiday Chit Chat
Growing up, my family's Christmas tradition was to open a pair of pajamas Christmas Eve, and the rest of the presents Christmas Day.

Since my parents and my husbands' parents had that tradition in common, we're pretty covered on the jammies.

Our tradition is a new Christmas book every Christmas Eve.  Starting last year and going on forever, we wrap a Christmas book for our little one and on Christmas Eve she (they someday?) open it up and read it before bed time.  I'm excited to keep adding to our collection so we have lots of fun holiday books to read in the days leading up to Christmas.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chalkboard Font Love

 I was working on some last minute Christmas decorations,
and of course had to incorporate some chalkboard.
I know it's everywhere but I love it.

I made a set of three.
"There'll be much mistletoeing"
"And hearts wil be glowing when loved ones are near"
"It's the most wonderful time of the year"

Unfortunately, in my excitement to finally get a Christmas tree today
and my rush to get these printables made before I left,
I missed my little type-o.
It wasn't until I got to the print shop and was handed my prints that I caught 
that it said "hearts wil be glowing."
Oops. Oh well, one more thing for tomorrow's to-do list I guess.

 In case anyone else out there has last-minute Christmas projects,
or if you want to post a count-down to your blog:

here's a download for you.

It prints up to 8x8, but it would be perfect for gift tags or Christmas cards too.

And here's some font lovin' to go inside.
 With reindeer names in Christmas spirit.

Prancer// schalk
Cupid// tall drink

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Smile More, Worry Less

 Well, I'm a little behind schedule.
I had hoped to get everything going by the beginning of December...
At this rate I'll just be glad if it's up by Christmas :)
So for now my website is still "Under Construction"
and my Etsy Boutique isn't open quite yet,
but wonderful things are coming. I pinky swear.

Here's a little peek at a few of my projects.

In the struggle to prepare for Christmas, get to work on time,
and prepare to launch my business, all while keeping up with our
adorable popsicle-grin monster, I sometimes go a tiny bit crazy.
Luckily I have a super amazing husband who makes me delicious hot cocoa
and reminds me to smile and not worry so much.

It's such an incredibly simple concept,
but one that I forget a little too often sometimes.
Smile more, worry less.
It's so easy to get caught up in the stress of the holidays
instead of taking time to be thankful for what we have.

 You can view the high-res JPG and download this 8x10 printable for free here.
Once you click the link just save the image to your computer,
and then print at home or at the print shop of your choice.

 Oh, yeah, and there's less than two weeks until Christmas.

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