Simplicity.

We as humans always want “more”. If I only had this I would be happy. If I only got this promotion I would be satisfied. If only I made this income I would be excited.

Stop.

Just Stop.

Be Happy Right Now. Right Where Your Life Has Brought You. Keep it Simple.

Do you want something different? Do Something Different. 

I made it a life, mom, and wife goal this year to straight up simplify. To be blunt. We had too much shit. 20 pots & pans (4 of which we used), clothing of littles I was saving as memories, clothing my booty has not fit into in 4 years, sippy cups with no lids, towels which did not match, I hated it….Literally the little things were driving me to a breaking point. After we remodeled I knew it was the perfect moment to get rid of every thing but what we needed. (I still had hand me downs from my first apartment okayyyy?!) So I said these simple words. 

I AM TAKING CHARGE OF MY LIFE.

I found hacks for organizing every single aspect of every single room and square foot of our home.

It’s important to ask yourself these simple questions before you begin this giant purge…..

  • Have I touched it in 6 months.
  • Is it useful?
  • Does this need to be replaced?
  • Does this match the end result I’m dreaming of?

If no to any of these questions! Toss it! Start fresh.  Get minimal. Become Thankful.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

pst……(Organizing hacks for EACH ROOM OF YOUR HOME is our next series) eeeeeekkkkk!!! ok get excited hit that little share button, because good stuff is coming your way~

The Moment it Happened.

December to August in my house was Chaotic, Hectic, Busy, Non Stop, and Confusing. We all hit these times in our Mommy or Career Lives where we have to sit back and pull the reigns. In my case I needed to completely halt them! I have always had goals and ways to reach them, but when you are on the move non stop with no time to be in the moment because you are consistently planning or running it makes life fly by and messy.  While running late which had become a new usual for me, on my way to football practice (which my son was begging after day 4 to not do), with the baby crying in the back from being over tired, listening to “Little Sprigs” podcast on conscious parenting and being in the moment it hit me like a TON OF BRICKS…. Not like a pillow case blow, but literally made my head hurt to the point I turned the car around. I have been running so fast for so long I am missing what is important in my life. Lets rewind a little….About 3 weeks ago, I started to get some serious anxiety just around life in general. I was like the 2-year-old that still hears back round noise and feels the ‘missing out” so can’t sleep. I had my hands in way to many jars with absolutely no direction or focus. I needed to get clarity and focus. I knew a few things so I began to write…..

  1. My children needed me to be present and not always stressed out about what was to come next. Children feed off our feelings and absolutely need us to be present and in the moment with them.
  2. I was so stressed out over work and never getting any thing done I had become in a habit of being in ‘catch up’ mode.
  3. My health and taking care of myself had become non existent and on the back burner. (I even went to the doctor thinking I was sick and got informed that stress can be hidden and sneak up on you with out you realizing it, thus showing signs your “sick.”)
  4. I was trying to be supermom, super woman, super wife, super career with no strategy or organization.

Now lets fast forward…..I started this blog over 30 days ago and have since made some serious dedication to organize and re strategize my entire existence. I failed a few times but here is a list of things that so far, have been serious game changers in balance, freedom, simplicity and over all happiness.

  • I laid out my children and I’s clothing in outfits on hangers for the entire month. No more out fit arguments in the morning, no more sweats and a tank top for me everyday. The best part…. all we do is grab a hanger and the entire outfit is ready for the day.
  • DO THE DISHES….No matter how tired you are. Do the dishes and a quick clean on your kitchen the night before. There is nothing more stressful than waking up and the first thing you think is “oh shit I have cleaning to do from yesterday.”
  • Stay on top of laundry. I have one basket in our entire house that holds exactly 1 load of laundry. When that basket is full, I take it to the washing machine, wash it, dry it, and put it on “out fit hangers” immediately.
  • Write everything down immediately. I have major mom brain and commit to a hundred different things and then forget deadlines. I have two things I write in, my planner for events and scheduling, and then a little notebook of daily to do’s in accomplishing my small and big goals. Every day I work towards something.
  • Handle it. Once. If something needs to be done, do not procrastinate just get up and handle it. Pick up the phone and handle it. Than its done and not lingering on to your next day. Something that once would take you 2 minutes turns into an hour of finding things, sorting things out, making it right. Handle it.
  • Meditate. Pray. Breathe. Repeat. – several times throughout the day.
  • Throw it away. If you havent used it in over 6 months, get rid of it. Having too much stuff makes it impossible to feel de cluttered and free.
  • Plan. Far far far in advance. I’m a dive head first type of girl so this is my biggest struggle. I had on my to do list to plan my September Palette & Paint class. Instead….I planned the dates and booked the location through January. This creates more room and freedom with 1 phone call and a contract.
  • Check List. I Framed cute little Morning and Evening to do’s for my littles so they know whats happening and when it’s happening. Children thrive on STRUCTURE.

These few little things have helped me in a big way over the past month and I hope you can take just one thing that helps you too live more balanced and happy!

#momminainteasy

 

Under The Sink

Unless your Martha Stewart, most likely your under the sink looks like a bomb went off! Am I right??? At least mine did! When we remodeled our kitchen I was in full organization mode to de clutter and make space where I could! Here are some simple and effective hacks I found at doing just that!

My little one likes to climb on EVERY THING and broke the towel hanger in my bathroom, and so I decided to move it to under my sink and place garbage bags around it! (I literally used double sided velcro to secure it, which worked like a gem.)

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Next I took the screw in hooks (Sold at any hardware store and created a space for bulky hanging items that took up a bunch of space.) I found an extra Spice holder to place all of my dish washing tabs so the box was not taking up a ton of space underneath the cabinet.

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Find any additional baskets, etc. (Any thing can be velcroed) I learned the greatness of this while experiment hanging! Lastly I took a basket and placed all my tiny cleaning supplies, magic erasers, sos pads, etc. in this!

 

IMG_5808Lastly I used the piping already under the sink as a cleaning holder! The bottles fit perfectly hanging right over the pipe! Everything else I just organized in rows. For example (dish washing – one row) (Dog Cleaning – Second row.)

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Happy Organizing My Friends!

 

Spice Cabinet Makeover DIY

This year the motivation for me is to switch it from “chaos coordinator” to a more peaceful pace. The first step for my family was decluttering and organizing. Since we are in the middle of a remodel, what more perfect timing! This idea, I just fell in love with. The best part….It took me less than an hour to complete! I can never find measuring cups in my drawers. Even when I neatly stack the spoons and cups some how my children seem to hide them, play with them, use them for science projects and than they vanish! This hack is a life saver and KID REACH FREE! YASSSSSS! Mom – 1.

  • Take your cabinet OFF THE HINGES. (Wood glue will slide and glide and you will say naughty words if you skip this step.)
  • Lay it on a flat surface! (I used my cricut and cut out a 8”, 6”, and 4” cut out of a mason jar than lined it with sharpie to create the perfect lid and top I wanted! (Best part sharpie comes off with a magic eraser if you oops it!)
    • Next I Cut out the measuring cups using a 10” and 8” cut. – If you do not have a Cricut the custom cuts can be found at www.sealedwithakissgift.com for $50.00 with the entire kit to make this!
  • Make sure you measure your pallette planks before you begin the gluing to make sure everything will close properly!IMG_5628.JPG
  • Next step CREATE! I laid everything out and measured to make sure my vinyl was in equal measuring distance to look right on the cabinet! Then I placed my vinyl. I used Gorilla Wood Glue for the Planks and let them set for 1 hour before messing with the next step! PATIENCE IS CRUCIAL HERE! If you start hanging and nailing things on the pallette before the wood glue is dry you are at great risk to crack your cabinet.
  • Next I took a hammer and placed nails (you can use hangers too) I chose nails because the holes in my disney spoons were just too teeny tiny to fit! MAKE SURE YOU BEND NAILS UP if you choose to do nails! (Other wise every time you open your cabinet things will fly at you!)
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  • After the wood glue has set you can re hang your cabinet and set all your measuring cups and spoons up! So easy, simple, and cheap! Looks like a million doallars! (If you have kids, they cant hack your silverware drawer any longer!)
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Happy Crafting Friends!!!!!

 

10 k

When I first started Etsy & Instagram Marketing in 2014, I was an owner of a failing business, in the negative, drowning in debt, and completely miserable with no passion, confidence or direction! Today my Etsy business made $40,000 last year and my Instagram just hit 10,000 followers! I’m not saying this to brag by any way, shape, or form. Being humble and thankful is everything to me.

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I do, however, want to offer some inspiration and motivation to the person who is down on themselves thinking they can never follow their passion. You can!!!!! Once you find your nitch, follow it! From the beginning I knew I loved art. I attempted being a make up artist because this is what every women in my family does, so naturally I followed steps…. However I knew traveling and working with high maintenance clients was not my cup of tea. I still do makeup and love certain events and styles, however my two passions in life are being a mother and HomeDesign – Art.

I knew somehow in this lifetime I needed to follow this path. For me, it was Etsy that was my starting point. I began to meet these amazing clients who I grew relationships with and they came back! I started truly connecting with each and every one of my instagram followers and not treating them like strangers but truly trying to connect with them as a wife, as a mom, as an artist. I want to help people succeed from the bottom of my heart.

Enough of my sappy story…. Lets get in to what you really want to hear….How did I do it? Etsy is for another post but tonight I want to focus on what I wish I knew about Instagram Marketing years ago….

Instagram-strategies

  • Connect : Do not just post what you do… Post who you are.. We are human. We need human connection. Give people sneak peeks into your life. What are your hobbies? Who are you? Who is your family? Whats your office look like? Include people in the day-to-day.
  • Timing….Is everything yo! I used to post at these random times, than I learned that there are prime posting times! WHHHAATTTTTTT…Ok ready for the crazy part…There all at night.(Normally past my bedtime!) Prime time for posting is between 7-10 p.m. when people are winding down scrolling on IG.
  • Hash Tags: ######hashtags for days….. On a serious note. If you hit for example #mom and look in the top right hand corner the most popular used hash tags will pop up under mom. (Click on the first 5 than move to the next word.)
  • Don’t be Snooty: ALWAYS REPLY….. If someone gives you a compliment or ask a question, REPLY! If there is no connection, no one will want to follow you. People need that “online connection” to feel like your noticing them.
  • Follow people to get follows: This one confused me at first, but REALLY is a genuine way to get organic followers. Type in people who interest you in the search button on instagram. The most followers….FOLLOW. People will than start to follow you back. I try to follow at least 10 new people a day who inspire me. (Not to mention when scrolling instagram you than have a feed full of motivation and inspirational people.)
  • Be Authentic: This goes back to Dr. Suess…*yes that happened* “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er then you!” Just be yourself, and the right followers and collabs just all fall into place.

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I hope these tid bits help you a tad on your journey to success! A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who is along this dream chasing ride with me! Life is too short to do anything but what your heart calls. Never let fear stand in your way!

21 Day Mom Challenge

Mom funk. You hear about it. Have you ever experienced it? Since I was a little girl my dream was to be a stay at home with my babies. I had it all planned out on my goal list at 10. By 21 I would be married, 22 have first baby, 23 own first home. (At the time I thought 21 was 40.) My goal list wasnt quit to par….

How ever, when I got the opportunity of being a work at home mom when my daughter was born I never realized the mom funk you can slip in. We have no baby sitters, as both my husband and I’s family live out-of-state. With that being said I have little relations with adults unless it’s through an Etsy email, a pickup/drop off at school, or a sporting event.

I asked a stranger at the grocery store a few months ago if he needed a band-aid for his boo boo when he cut his finger opening a box. I wouldn’t change my life for the world. I’m blessed and thankful every day, I go to have a mommy pedicure once a year and find myself rushing back home to be with my children. With that all being said….I got tired….I got frumpy….Being a stay at home mom is the HARDEST JOB IVE EVER HAD. There are no lunch breaks, drive homes, days off, or mommy dates. I am on from the minute I wake up til the minute I lay my head down. I thought I had this amazing system down…..than I started to realized I was off-balance…

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.I wake up around 6:30 when my kids wake up, make breakfast, run my son to any sporting, or event he has/ or school during the year, come play and chase my toddler, practice potty training, take her to dance, music, and gymnastics, nap time, than nap time hustle and bust out Etsy Orders, my volunteer obligations, phone calls, etc. in the down time, when she wakes up we pick my son up from school, do after school snacks and home work, play out side, make dinner, than do bath time, stories, bedtime. I’m assuming the other millions of stay at home moms have a schedule similar to this. Than BOOM I started to get this panicky feeling like I was drowning on a hamster wheel and failing just everywhere. (This was all in my head of course) but felt REAL none the less.

Than I realized I have no time for my self…That was no ones fault but my owns… I started really pondering where I could create more time to gain some sanity, and a few key things came to mind.

  • I was sleeping in to the last bitter second when my kids woke up.
  • I hadn’t put make up or an out fit that didn’t have at least 90% spandex 10% cotton on in over 6 months. i.e. yoga pants.
  • I had stopped working out or doing any thing for myself, besides mommin, wifing, and working.

It was time for a change. An internal mommy makeover. 

It dawned on me a few weeks ago. What type of example am I setting to my children by not taking care of myself? By running my self into the ground? By constantly having someone ask me for something, and always saying yes?

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I challenged myself and I want to challenge you! Maybe you will laugh at me, or maybe you will say YES THATS ME!!!! (I am hoping obviously we go with option B.)

  • Shower every day. (Dont be shy moms… we all know you don’t) That 20 minute break can be pure bliss. 
  • Put makeup on every. single. morning. even if your rushed! 5 minutes to look in the mirror and say I look presentable and not like I just rolled out of bed. 
  • Make at least 4 hours a week dedicated to working out. Going for a bike ride with my kids, a walk with the dog, an early morning of home work outs. SOMETHING TO MOVE YOUR BODY.
  • Wake up at least 1 hour before my children to have some mommy self time in the mornings. 

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These few simple things in just a few weeks have been changing my life. It takes 21 days to break a cycle or habit of schedule. Here is my 21 day challenge! LOVE YOURSELF MOMMIES! You work hard and are not underappreciated! Mom funks are NORMAL and all of us struggle at one point or another! Parenting is a journey that is rewarding, challenging, and builds us into a stronger character than we ever thought we could be. Your cup must be full to make sure your families gets filled daily! 

 

 

Made With Love Market 8-30

Turn Around Time and Customer Service

The average turn around time with an Etsy seller is 7-14 business days. My average turn around time is 2-7 days. The most pressure I put on my shop is in this department. In today’s time it seems customer service is something so far gone that when people find it they cherish it and want to return for more.

The amazing thing with a hand crafted business is building relationships with your customers and so they want to continue to go to your shop because at this point and all the hard work you have put in, they know you, they know your story. The biggest selling point of a hand crafted business is details. Little Details.

I let customers know immediately after a purchase how much I appreciate their hard earn dollars being spent in my shop and thank them for supporting my dream. As I am making their items I keep in constant contact with them so they know where there order is in the process of creating. Before I ship their item I send them a final thank you again and ask for their approval before shipping to make sure I didn’t miss any thing. (Common times you will miss something small to add or customize and your time is valuable, so these steps help in not only saving you a second shipping fee but also the hard hours that go into creating each piece.)

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Lets hit some key points of EXCELLENT customer service.

  • Answer promptly to all emails.
  • Answer with a smile. Friendly, happy to help, and eager to learn about what your customer needs.
  • Most people do not read the descriptions, so if they ask a question, like how many ounces a mug is, answer them instead of referring them to your description.
  • Send a package swoon worthy. You want people to brag about you to their friends, to smile when they first open up the package! Make it pretty, get creative and have fun with this step! 
  • Create positive reviews – Your shop depends on the 5 star reviews. Doing the above will help to ensure you receive these. A lot of people do not leave any reviews, do not take this personally, they are just busy and don’t read the “after review” email Etsy sends out! The simple and sweet emails they send saying Thank you I love it I will occasionally throw on my instagram stories showing people snippets of my work life! (Social Media Marketing.)

Now to the dreary and dreaded….The people you can never please. There out there. You will not make every encounter happy. There will come a time and a place someone will be unsatisfied you chose pink instead of yellow tissue paper. *sarcasm here* They Sting.

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Don’t stress about it too much. Don’t curl up in a ball with ice cream and empty your tissue box for it, although being real I may have done this once. JUST ONCE. Even the most successful people receive bad reviews. It all boils down to human nature that we can not please everyone and certain souls just do not jive. DO NOT ANSWER UNTIL THE NEXT DAY….Promptness goes bye bye in a negative situation. Let your self find a solution that you know is your best. Offer to make something new and free to them, Offer a Refund. If these things do not defuse the situation, there is a reply section on the Etsy Reviews for anything under 3 stars you can publicly respond with how you tried to come to a solution and offer excellent customer service. A buyer wants to be ensured if a hiccup happens you are the type of character to stand by your word and fix the problem. With a hand crafted business the customer is always right. By then, you will already think more clearly and your writing will be less affected by your emotions.

Learn. A negative review often reveals imperfections in your shop which you can grow to adapt your products, process, shipping,  accordingly for a more efficiently ran shop. Trial and Error my friends! For example, when I first started doing vinyl and hand painted I would make sure to label my description which it was. I made a deer coffee mug for $14.00 out of vinyl and sealed it and shipped it all pretty. I have had several 5 star ratings on this EXACT item, personally I think its cute as a button. Then came….we will call her Jane…..Jane was not happy and short from the beginning. She was buying this as a mediocre fathers day gift because she was mad at her dad and did not want to spend over $15 on him. (This is the story she tells me.) I had a feeling she might not be my picture perfect client. None the less I did my deal and tried to remain positive and light along the way. When review time came 1 star with horrible things to say about the mug. (Al though she sent me an email shortly after thanking me for such an affordable cute gift.) Once I replied attaching our emails she immediately deleted her review. This was my ice cream in a ball night.

You can’t expect everyone to know the heart, blood, sweat, and tears that go into a hand crafted, or at that, any entrepreneur type business. You answer to you. There is no 9 – 5, clock out clock in. It is up to you the amount of your success.

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The solution to an imperfect situation is very personal. You have to decide what is right for your business. Do not always feel pressured to cancel and refund the customer though. We can become so scared about the bad review that “teach” the customers it is OK to simply complain and get their money back, even sometimes without returning the product. FREEBIE!!! Who wouldn’t complain just to get the goods free of cost? This does not guarantee a change in the review anyway. First, try to resolve the problem with the customer if possible through the conversations app. Take responsibility where needed.

 

We will use my son’s school motto to close this out, because really, keep it simple.

Be Kind, Work Hard, Do Your Best.

– Treat people the way you would want to be treated in a business setting. Go above and beyond to make sure each client feels like the King or Queen that she or he is! Know that they work just as hard for their dollar as you do for yours and they are choosing to spend that money with your business!