Finding Your Passion

Finding Your Passion

It’s 2019

It’s your year.

What are you waiting for?

With the new year upon us I really wanted to provide you all with some amazing content to get this year started right and make it your best yet! I am doing a sneak peek at my book “The Sweetest Little Life” with revealing chapter one in how we break down and set goals for actual success!

Don’t wait any more, get out of the rut and start living your passion today. If you are unhappy only you can change it! START WITH 2019!!!!!!! Start while you are excited, while you are motivated, and most of all while there is TODAY!

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Without further a do let’s get to work!

First things first, finding our path and direction.

How do we set goals, take-action, leap into our journey if we don’t even know our destination? This needs to be crystal clear!

We need to know roughly where we are going so we can create the steps to get there.

When starting my makers journey, I knew I wanted to create an income crafting, and that was about all I knew. The goal was to create a job doing something I loved which would help supplement my family and allow me to stay home with my children.

Now let’s review that concept: I knew what I wanted to do, (setting a goal) and why I wanted to do it (motivation). These are the building blocks of your foundation.

If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, that’s okay! We do however need a general direction to get your running shoes on. I said in the beginning this was going to be very direct and to the point as I want you to get the absolute most out of this book.

First, you need to first create a list – I highly encourage a pen to paper. There is just something about connecting and writing it down, like a commitment to yourself.        Your subconscious picks up more on hand to paper vs. typing or texting. On your list you are going to write down your passions, your hobbies, what makes you feel like you could go for hours and not be tired?

Fill your paper with every idea that comes to mind.

Is it running, walking your dog, painting, talking to people, helping people, filing documents, creating, inventing, writing, acting, filming? Remember, it can be anything.

Try and write down as many things as you can think of in 20 minutes. – Set your phone timer and do it!

When you’re finished writing your list, close your eyes and imagine what you see yourself doing. What do you think these passions lead to? If you don’t get the answer right away that’s alright. Maybe a light bulb just went off, maybe you already know what your goals are and you’re ready to dive straight in. Whichever category you fall in, writing down hobbies and passions is never a bad thing! It helps to make a promise to yourself, to have it on paper as a reminder that YES YOU CAN DO THIS. It’s time to throw excuses out the window, get clear and concise, and make some commitments.

The following pages are for you to journal and brainstorm about what sets your soul on fire. Be honest with yourself and let no barrier stand in the way.

Goals + Passions + Hobbies

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Way to go goal seeker! Now you have your goal list and a general idea of where your heart is at.

Work time.

If writing is your passion, what speaks to you about taking writing to the next level? Is it a blog or a book you want to write?

If its dog walking, do you want to be a walker, a trainer, own your very own high-end dog hotel?

If it’s running and exercise, do you want to be a professional racer, host a marathon, open your own gym?

If it’s being creative, do you want to open an Etsy shop, launch an online market, host a craft fair, or participate in craft fairs?

If it’s photography, do you want to be behind the camera or in front of it, do you want to motivate, do you want to connect? Whatever your passion or idea, do you want to do it for financial stability, personal fulfillment, or material reasons?

Once you find the general idea of what you want to do we can get specific in creating our goal and ultimate finish line. Once you reach your finish line you will of course have bigger mountains to climb, and more goals to set. Life is this amazingly beautiful, endless climb that is growing and changing right before our very eyes. The wonderful thing about goals is they sometimes evolve into what we need right where we are in our lives. Our personal seasons of life.

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It’s going to be hard but hard is not impossible. If your goals are important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find excuse after excuse of reason not to accomplish it.

Now we’re getting down and dirty! We’re doing the goal list again but with a little twist. These questions should help you to see on paper if you are an owner, merchant, independent worker, or homemaker. I am sure you are catching my drift at this point. This page will help you get an idea of where you should run with your passion.

Do you prefer working alone or in a group? __________________________________________________________________________________________

Would you rather drive to work every day or work from home?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Are you able to stay on task with no one to answer to?

__________________________________________________________________________________________

Do you thrive on team work?

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If you have an assignment, are you more likely to be motivated on your own timeline or do you need direction and deadlines? __________________________________________________________________________________________

 

What is your work style? Fast Paced? Pressured? Relaxed? What makes you thrive? __________________________________________________________________________________________

Now let’s get real. We all want to start a business, make millions, and live happily ever after! Right? If this was the case everyone on the planet would be making millions and highly driven. However, the reality is that it takes blood, sweat and tears that make a business successful. You will have overhead (in most cases), you will have things you have to budget for, scenarios to plan for, a target market to think of and the list goes on. A good rule of thumb is to expect it to be an expensive hobby for the first year and THEN plan on strategizing for the money to start flowing in. I didn’t promise this would be easy, but I did promise it would be straight forward, honest, and nitty gritty in creating your happy place that is right for just that, YOU!

To check out more of my work book designed in finding your direction and all my tips for being successful in blogging, IG, I phone photography, & Etsy head on over and get yours today for $10.50 – Purchase Yours Here

Happy New Years

How To Help Your Child Go To Sleep: Bedtime Tips

How To Help Your Child Go To Sleep: Bedtime Tips

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thank you for your support!

Now that school has been in full swing for about a month, there is one common thread I hear while chatting with other mommas. The dreaded BEDTIME.  Yep, it can be a bitch.  And let’s face it, if your child isn’t sleeping, you aren’t sleeping.  This not only interferes with your sleep, but can also seriously interfere with your work.  This may be especially true if you work from the house, have a side hustle, or are building a new business and need to work when your child goes to bed. It can also impact your time to wind down, have “me” time, or spend quality time with your partner. For your kiddos, lack of enough sleep may result in behavioral issues and difficulty learning. In short, it’s tough stuff when your kids won’t go to bed. Everyone feels cranky, emotions run wild, and over-reactions to little problems happen frequently (oh, yeah, the kids overact as well).  😉

Do one or more of the following scenarios sound familiar? Your sweet boy has been in a good mood throughout dinner and is now starting to get sleepy. That’s perfect because bedtime is 15 minutes away.  You’ve given sweet, sleepy boy the 15-minute warning.  Sweet boy then suddenly looks like a live wire zapped him as his eyes open wider and he begins running through the house and jumping on furniture, yelling at the top of his lungs that he’s not tired at all!  Little Jane suddenly announces she’s thirsty and hungry and remembers homework she has to do TONIGHT or her teacher will “literally kill her”. The toddler?  He cooperates with getting into jammies and bed but then proceeds to crawl out of bed laughing the whole time for the next 2 flippin’ hours.  Oh yeah, this could drive you to drink.  It can certainly cause us mommas to dread bedtime, that time of the day when our children “turn”.

Don’t worry, I have some tips on how to support your kiddos in going to sleep before the roosters start crowing. First of all, please know it’s not uncommon for children to test boundaries at bedtime. You are not alone in this tough struggle, and while there aren’t always “easy” fixes, the following strategies are important to have in your “toolbox”.

In this post we will explore strategies from 2 main areas: cognitive/behavioral strategies and sensory strategies. You will benefit from consistently using several strategies from each category to form the nighttime routine. These strategies are for use with toddlers and children of all ages.  They are not for use with infants.

Cognitive/Behavioral Strategies:

  • Post a visual schedule of the bedtime routine, perhaps in the bathroom your child uses.  You can make your own, or look for a free one online.  (Heads up, I’ll be posting a variety of visual bedtime schedules in a few days.  Check back soon).
  • Consistent routine.  Seriously, consistency is KEY.
  • Go over expectations with your kiddo before implementing. Nothing lengthy or emotional; just go over the new rules.
  • You may need to gradually back up the bedtime to get to the ideal time.  This is called bedtime fading.
  • Stop tv and tech at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Give a 10 or 15 minute “heads-up”.  Time Timers are great to use with young kids.
  • Positive behavior chart.  This is a reward chart for your child following the bedtime routine.  The reward might be a sticker, or you could choose to have the child work toward a larger reward.  For example, “After you earn 3 stickers, you can choose a toy from the special toy basket”. (You have purchased toys from the Dollar Tree or Target Dollar spot ahead of time and placed them in a basket).

Sensory Strategies:

  • Turn off tv and tech at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
  • Start to turn down dimmer switch 15-30 min prior to bedtime.
  • If you don’t have a dimmer switch, turn off overhead light & turn on lamps.
  • Warm bath
  • Use essential oils or fragrances that are calming, such as lavender and chamomile (bath wash, body lotion, diffuser).
  • Comfortable pajamas and bedding. Remove tags if they bother the child.
  • Cool room
  • Bedtime yoga
  • Breathing: 2 deep breaths
  • Deep pressure/heavy work activities (proprioceptive input) have a calming and organizing effect on the nervous system. Incorporate such activity 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.  Examples include bear hugs or pushing a box of stuffed animals (with books in the bottom of the box for weight) down the hall to their bedroom.
  • Calming music, such as nature sounds or classical music.
  • White noise (repetitive low frequency).
  • Tent bed
  • Stuffed animal or pillow cocoon (Do not use with a baby or very young child who cannot move in the bed easily due to risk of SIDs).
  • Bedtime story
  • Soft stuffy or favorite cuddly blanket to hold during the bedtime story.
  • Weighted blanket or heavy quilt (but do not cover the face or overheat).
  • Use your own voice to demonstrate slowing down, becoming calmer, more monotone.

Additional Tips:

  • Stay calm (at least your outer demeanor), keep a calm voice, don’t argue.
  • Broken record: Once it’s time for your child to be in bed, when he /she tries to talk with you about something else say, “We’ll talk about that tomorrow”.  Just keep saying that same thing.
  • Remember that kiddos will try to bend, stretch, and break every rule in a variety of ways…stay consistent and determined.  This is KEY.
  • A child’s protests often increase at the beginning of a new routine implementation.  This is normal and will likely pass.
  • Even if you have tried several of these strategies in the past, please hear me…it’s using a combination of them and finding the right combination for your child that makes all the difference.  That, and your consistency with the routine.  Hang in there; don’t give up.

Sample Routine To Get You Started:

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I’ll get you started with a sample routine…Let’s say you have a 6 year old whose bedtime is 7:30pm but he has been staying up regularly until 9:00pm.  Rather than initially setting the new bedtime for 7:30pm, start with 8:30pm.  After 2-3 weeks, back it up to 8:00pm, then eventually to 7:30pm.  Implement the following:

  • Make a visual schedule (just draw pics on paper or print out a freebie).
  • Make a reward chart (this can be as simple as drawing circles for stickers on a sheet of paper).
  • Go over the schedule and reward chart with your kiddo.
  • 30 minutes before bedtime turn tv and tech off. Redirect to quiet activities.
  • Turn off overhead light and turn on lamp.
  • Turn on calming music.
  • Get in some proprioceptive (deep pressure/heavy work) activity: Play a game where you give each other bear hugs for 5-10 seconds each. Then you each give yourselves bear hugs. You could even make up a sweet bear story to go along with this).
  • Give a 15 minute “heads up”.  You could use a time timer so there is a visual.
  • Walk with your kiddo to bed and turn on a diffuser with lavender or chamomile.
  • While your child holds or rubs a soft stuffed animal or blanket, you read a bedtime story in a calm, somewhat monotone voice.

Remember that a combination of strategies is frequently needed and that often involves some trial and error.  And then of course, as your child grows the strategies might need to be tweaked as well.  But you know what?  That’s okay because we are strong mommas and you have some kick-ass strategies in your tool belt! (And then there’s wine…).

If you continue to struggle with bedtime or feel your family needs extra help, reach out to your pediatrician, local pediatric occupational therapist, a counselor, or your county’s public health department for assistance.

-Kristen M. Rodgers

Five Tips to a Productive Week

Five Tips to a Productive Week

We all love Sundays right? It has to be my favorite day of the week by far.

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For my family it’s a day to spend together baking, adventuring, exploring, or finishing projects. The freedom of this day leads to endless possibilities. Sometimes we cuddle up watching movies and some days we re arrange the entire house, either way, we are doing it as a family.

The most common question I get asked is “how do you do it all?” (Which is funny because as entrepreneurs we are so hard on ourselves.) I often think goodness I am so behind, I should have done this, I need to do that. Some times you just need a little grace and peace. This is where proper planning for your business is so crucial.

Boss babes need days off too!! Don’t get me wrong, rest is so important!

For me personally, I use Sunday evenings to plan my week ahead and I’m sharing all the secret tricks I use to navigate through and tackle it all with very little stress.

I am still not convinced “balance” of mommyhood and entrepreneurship is a real thing, but I think I have gotten pretty darn close to the secret recipe it takes to make it all go round with very few hiccups. Ready Mama Bears? Lets get to it…

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Plan your social media ahead of time. Yes this is totally doable. I use PLANN – an app that allows me to pre post for the week everything I want to talk about and deliver to my audience. The app also allows me to review my color schemes and appearance of all my content before my actual IG and Facebook post go live. Make sure you are delivering quality content that you would be wanting if you were a reader. Nine times out of ten your target audience is someone just like yourself (This means they most likely have the same interests, goals, and want to spend their time reading something valuable.)

Get a planner and write it down. I am all about hand to paper. I just feel connected and it helps me remember vs. typing it in my phone and forgetting about it til an alarm goes off. Call me old school but I am convinced pen to paper is the best way. I write down all of my kids practices, games, and schooling events first. Then I orchestrate around their schedules my work. When will I blog each week? What are my topics for the week? When will I complete my Etsy orders? How much time do I need this week to connect and reach out to companies for work collaborations? Respond to emails? Make appointments? What ever it is that is lingering on your plate – write it down.

Make a weekly goal list. Mine this week went a little something like this –

  • Finish painting kitchen and updating cabinets to all white. 
  • Create content for IG for the week.
  • Schedule September’s Home look photo shoot for blog.
  • Reach out to 10 new people about my book. 
  • Touch base with 5 companies about possible collabs for projects. 
  • Start building nerf obstacles for Liam’s birthday party.
  • Finish up volunteer project for Liam’s Library.
  • Learn something new on Pinterest Marketing – ( Okay totally squirreling over here….eeeeek I love learning new things and am totally including all of you as I learn to navigate traffic through pinterest this month!)
  • Finish all Etsy Orders.

Now that I have my goal sheet I have big things I can cross off and feel super accomplished through out the week as I put a check next to each one of those bad boys. I chizzle out time to multi task the best I can while my husband works. (I have the kids do crafts when I do Etsy, I’ll have them play out side while I do stuff in the garage.) It is SUPER IMPORTANT to have just time with your children and shut it all down, but running a business from home you also need to get creative with how to be present and in the moment while also tackling milestones on your business and not falling behind.

Finish your laundry. There is just something with mammas and laundry. DAMNIT. I am telling you what girlfriend, if you get the laundry done and put away during a great show Sunday night when the kids are in bed, the week goes smoother. You start out fresh and clean with no lingering giant “chores” at home deterring you from your work and mom goals. (I also try to squeeze in a quick clean up of the house to just start Monday off right.) It’s like Monday has a magic new beginning of whats in store for our stories. I love it!

Get some zzzz’s. Nothing has healing powers like water and sleep. For children, for adults, for animals, for any living thing. A good nights rest and h20 can fix pretty much anything. Make sure to get a solid eight hours and wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Grab your favorite book and get those eyes feeling heavy.

Take an hour and just plan, each week it gets easier and you will know how to navigate your time better and better. 

Heres to a Productive Second Week of September –

Who has their fall decor out?

Thats on my agenda as well!!!

 

 

7 Easy Last Minute Easter Activities

 

YOU GUYS, I totally let Easter sneak up on me and didn’t prep amazing crafts and activities for my kiddo to do this weekend!! But hey, this happens to most of us at some point.  Honestly, it happens to me quite often and I’m okay with that.  Because, ladies, we are creative, flexible thinkers. Whether we like it or not 😉  Here are some simple, on-the-fly-but -super-fun Easter activities to do with your kids when you didn’t plan in advance…

Make “bunny rabbit tails” by blowing bubbles.  Try to catch 2 bubbles on the bubble wand…those are bunny ears!

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Take construction paper and draw egg shapes or crosses.  Next, cut out strips of different colored construction paper.  If you have a hole punch, use it to make tiny dots from colored paper.  If you have decorative paper punches or craft scissors with wavy lines, score!  If the kids are old enough, let them draw, cut, and use the punches. They are having fun with an Easter craft while you are sneaking in hand strengthening and visual motor coordination.

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Use sidewalk chalk in the driveway or yard to draw Easter eggs, crosses, an angel, or the tomb with a stone rolled away.  You can work on simple patterns as well (example: 1 pink zig zag, 1 green zig zag, 2 polka dots, repeat).

If you have plastic eggs, use them to make an awesome Easter activity. Write a variety of directions (mostly movement activities) on strips of paper and place 1 into each egg.  For example, you could write, “Hop like a bunny rabbit”, “walk and cheep like a baby chick”, “roll like an Easter egg”.  You could also include things like, “Draw a carrot in the dirt.  Draw it with your eyes closed” (did you know you just worked on awareness of the body in space?).  You are rockin’ it momma!

Use sidewalk chalk to draw a picture of a bunny head with ears but leave out a few body parts (maybe 1 ear and half the whiskers).  Have your kids fill in the missing parts (this addresses visual perceptual skills).

If you forgot to buy the egg coloring kits at the store, no worries.  If you have food coloring, eggs, vinegar, and a spoon & cup at home, you’re good to go.  (Just like when we were kids, am I right?) You can also draw or write on the eggs with a white crayon before dying.  The dye won’t cling to the white crayon…it’s like magic to little kids!  You can use this as a way to work on writing their name or words.

If you have plastic eggs (or the ones you dyed are dry), you are all set to hide Easter eggs.  This will entertain the kids for a long time!  And no, you do not have to put candy in those eggs.  There is a joy in finding the eggs just as they are.

And that’s all there is to it.  It doesn’t matter that you didn’t plan ahead. You are creating wonderful memories with your kiddos while having a blast!

Happy Easter!

— Kristen Rodgers

You Can Do Hard Things

This was it.  One of those parenting moments you read about in waiting room magazines. If I said the wrong thing, there could be scarring for life.  Okay, so not really scarring, but this was most definitely an important moment.

Let me back up…

The night before, I realized my kindergartner had brought home a magnet from school that did not belong to him.  It belonged to his teacher. This was new territory for me, but we did the tough talk about taking things that don’t belong to you and made a plan to return the magnet to his teacher the next morning. He was scared to tell his teacher (who is a very kind person by the way). He cried but was able to calm down before bedtime.

The next morning, my kiddo nervously mentioned the plan we’d made together a few times but made it to school with only a few tears.

But then…

As we walked the path to his kindergarten class, I could feel the tension building inside him, and in myself. Suddenly, the damn burst and he broke into sobs, begging me to take him home.  He pulled away, turning toward the direction of the car. “I’m scared” he wailed, over-sized tears rolling down his reddened cheeks. The look of fear in his eyes tore at my heart.

That was it.  That was the big moment when the world stopped turning for a breath and I knew I had to reach down deep for an answer.  An answer that would support him in becoming a secure, resilient person who could face fears without falling apart.  A better person, perhaps, that I have been in much of my life. I took a deep breath.

This is what I said…

“I know you’re scared.  It’s okay to be scared.  And I know that this is hard.  But here’s the thing…you can do hard things.  And I will be there with you the whole time.  Together we can do hard things.”

Did it stop his tears and make it all better?  No.  But I believe it helped him calm himself a little, and I like to think it gave him another piece of solid foundation toward a lifetime of doing things even when they are scary, and knowing that he has the resiliency to get through them.

Since that day, I have thought back on those words and realized…

That advice applies to my life.

And to yours.

Perhaps it’s when we have to dig deep for someone we love more than ourselves that an authentic truth is more easily revealed.  Or maybe it’s revealed in a way that feels more REAL, more personal.  Since then I’ve been reminding myself more often of that authentic truth. That it’s okay to be afraid.  That I can do hard things, and that my God, family, and tribe of friends are always with me.

So to all you amazing women: That thing that you’re afraid of?  I know you’re scared.  It’s okay to be scared.  And I know that this is hard.  But here’s the thing…you can do hard things. Together, we women can do hard things.

– Kristen Rodgers

Can I get a HELLO?

You have a dream. You write it down. You have a goal. You make a plan. You put it to action and before you know it’s a reality. 

I realized this year that it takes team work to make the dream work. My entire life I have tried to carry mountains on my shoulders alone….I’ve gotten far but not to the top. I met these two amazing women through my son’s school and knew I had to have them involved some way some how with my ultimate goal of helping other women. (These ladies are the show stopping special ones that make you laugh, are real and raw.) You know, the mom friends you painfully “mom date” to find? Personally…This attracts me to people…. REALNESS. Moms, Entrepreneurs, corporate Women, Stay at home wives, workaholics, influencers….Anyone. I wanted to REACH YOU! to help YOU! Everyone has a goal, a common purpose….

Bottom line…That purpose is to be the best possible YOU that you can be….To be better than you were yesterday. To learn from your mistakes, make smarter action moves, and to love harder! Am I right???? Ok ok! So last week I met with these phenomenal women at the park. We connected, we brain stormed, we PLANNED….and you know what happened REALITY…..

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Meet my two guest writers! We will be brain storming, planning, sharing projects, having our 5 kids go crazy at parks while we attempt to make something special for YOU! Big things for 2018… I won’t reveal it all at once, because what fun is that….I will however introduce these amazing women….

Meet Kristen…..

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“Hi, I’m Kristen, a blessed and grace-filled mom trying to rekindle my creative spark and also put positivity and encouragement into this world.  I believe women empowering and supporting each other in a REAL way is how we make positive changes for us all. I also love laughing with friends, sci-fi movies and shows (hello Anaconda and X-Files), all things nature, reading, gardening, and being a wife and mom. I am so thankful for my tribe of friends and hope to connect to even more of you out there! I love being a bit sassy as I explore this wonderful, crazy roller-coaster life, so if you want to laugh while we explore our creative and entrepreneurial side, come on along with me.”

Let me also add she loves crocaconda (sci fi reference), bacon, and wine… Can I get a HELLO!

Ok Lets meet Heather (She’s amazing) works full time and is PTA president…. (I don’t even go to PTA so no clue how this mama balances, but she will sure tell you.)

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“Hi, I’m Heather, a grateful, (and juggling) mom on a mission to discover my authentic self, to choose joy every day and to find the true meaning of balance. I am filled with a passion for spreading kindness, choosing joy and finding new adventures in this wild life we live. Women supporting and uplifting each other while pushing ourselves to explore our limits and new experiences is a new but deeply meaningful focus for me. I suppose you could say I’m mostly sweet with a bit of spice! I cherish laughter and enjoy lighthearted sarcasm but my heart beats with sentiment and emotion. I love listening to music and find lyrics to be one of my most therapeutic experiences in life. I enjoy all things centered around relationship building – coffee, wine and food. What else could you need? Sentimental movies, sweet memories with my children and family and precious time with my beloved tribe of friends are the things that feed my soul. I’m excited you’re here and I look forward to walking this path of discovery, joy and laughter with you!”

Let me also add that she is PTA president, loves wine, baking and sappy chick flicks.

OK I’M EXCITED….GET EXCITED.

Get ready for some mind blowing, hilarious, real, diy, mommin ain’t easy ish coming up in here! 2018 will be amazing….

promise. 

xoxo

 

 

Heat Transfer Vinyl – HTV

When I first bought my Cricut, I was beyond excited to create anything and everything. I had been wanting to start a clothing line for years, and this was the perfect addition to make my little dream come true! Sometimes direction reading is not high on my priority list, the dive head first and deal with consequences after is a little more my style. I want to share with you my mistakes and learning lessons I have made over the past several years!

  • Make sure when using HTV (heat transfer vinyl) you get a vinyl that is more on the matte side and the shiny vinyl looks very….well vinyl and fake on light colored shirts.
  • Always set your heat press or iron temp between 300-350 degrees. (On glitter vinyl you can use a little higher level of heat.) Press for 6-7 seconds lift, repeat, remove vinyl, and then press about 2 seconds all around with no cover sheet on the vinyl.
  • Make sure when printing heat transfer vinyl you have the machine set on MIRROR IMAGE. My Gosh I have wasted an elephant size load of vinyl forgetting this little miracle step.

Shipping

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Over the years I have read several how to articles learning the ins and outs of what works for different businesses and hand-made companies. I kept seeing a shipping station repeatedly in blogs and articles and thought it was something worth investigating a little deeper. When the Holiday Season hits for most makers it’s as if you are struggling to stay above water, especially for a one man show.

An ultimate goal of every maker is to stay organized, have fun, and love what you do. I created a shipping station OUTSIDE of my office in the garage so it was out of sight and out of mind when I was creating. When I finish an item I simply place it on the table and at the end of the day I go out and package everything up. Packaging is a job within it self (if you’re doing it properly.) It’s crucial to have something visually stimulating and exciting for your customer to open up. Often times I will go with seasons and add little trinkets, ribbons, shred, etc. This is also a branding trick and customers are more likely to remember all the extra effort you put into their order. You took the time to make it special. That is why the shipping station is so crucial it gives you time to focus on one thing….SHIPPING….

It’s a known fact most creative people are “squirrelly” type personalities, so having focus, direction, and guidance is crucial. I wish I would have started this years ago, so here I am screaming it from the ROOF TOPS – create a damn shipping station! Have all your bubble wrap, ribbons, boxes, tape, and goodies to add in all in ONE SPOT! (Also toddlers can’t steal your trinkets this way! hehe)

Now let’s get to shipping!!!!

No really…

Go Now….5.4.3.2.1.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Store run: 

  • Stalk of Celery
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/3 cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 onion thinly chopped
  • 1 pound of wide egg noodles
  • 5  cups milk
  • 1 can of drained artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

Lets get cooking ladies and gents……

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Start boiling water in a large pot and add noodles for about 2 minutes or until al dente, drain the noodles and return to the same pot.

In a separate pan heat oil in a heavy pan on medium heat. Add onions and 3 stalks of chopped celery with salt and pepper. Cook for 4-6 minutes than add in flour stirring for about a minute. Add milk until a smooth texture and let simmer for one minute.

Add mixture and noodles together. Add in tuna, artichoke hearts, and salt and pepper. Mix it up well. Place in baking dish and sprinkle over the top with parmesan! (I also added mozzarella for some extra zing!)

Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on top!

Enjoy~

It’s not how much. It’s what.

When I was a little girl I remember my grandma always telling me “It’s not how much you have, it’s what you have.” When it comes to home, decorating, life, material things, I am finding this simple statement more and more true.

We can have a million shitty things, and guess what, we are still going to feel shitty. You can have one thing of something so special and meaningful that it makes every thing else not matter. When starting in this room to room organizing series were doing, I want to challenge you to throw away anything you have not touched, brings a not so fawn memory, or you have no worn in 6 months. You don’t need it and for some reason are holding on to some materialistic “thing” which is holding you down.

When I first did this step in the purge I decided to sell on FB and donate the rest to Goodwill…..You’ll be amazed how something you have never touched is another’s treasure.

With decor for Holidays I try to remember this same moto as a little goes a long way. Have a few special pieces or additions you add to the mantle not clutter of a million bats you will have globs of dust on come Halloween.

I am super excited because come this week we are starting at the kitchen and working our way through living room, bedrooms, and bathrooms! First though…..First we must de clutter and simplify to the important things.

Lets Get Started….

  • Throw away anything you have not used in 6 months. (pots, pans, clothing, decor, silverware, bathroom supplies, etc.) Go piece by piece through your house. If it is not useful, or make you smile….TOSS IT.
  • If you can’t sell it in 7 days off it goes…… To the Goodwill or Dump. You can pick!
  • Clean. Like deep ass clean. The walls should have a twinkle. After you are completely purged and we are diving into the next step! It makes it far more simple!!!!

Ok. Ok. Ok….. Get your booty off the computer. Grab a garbage bag. Get to working!

“Nothing in your life will ever change, if you don’t change something in your daily routine. To get the end destination of your goal, you must do something differently.”