Gratitude in the Face of Disaster

You know what sucks? Flooding. I live in central Iowa so my husband and I are fortunate enough to not have to deal with flooding too often. But on the night of June 30th of 2018, we, and many people in the area were faced with 7-10 inches of rain within a few hours and… water in our basement.

 

My house was built in the 1930s and does not have a sump pump. Though we are in the process of getting the basement waterproofed, we were left with a steady stream of water pouring through the wall. Thankfully, our basement is unfinished with a finished bedroom and bathroom. Because we are planning to waterproof the basement, there are plans in the future to tear up the carpet and drywall in the finished portion anyway. Our total amount of damaged added up to having to throw away a few empty cardboard boxes. We. Are. Lucky.

 

So let me paint this picture for you. Saturday evening, my husband and I were watching Game of Thrones on Hulu because we’ve never seen it before, DON’T SPOIL ANYTHING! I got up to walk in the kitchen and could hear a heavy trickling coming from the basement. We had expected to have water as we typically do when a lot of rain happens quickly. When we walked downstairs, I was almost speechless. Like I said, I had anticipated there to be water. We walked around to assess the flooding and found water in places we’ve never had it, visible streams coming in, squishy carpet, and a flooded bathroom. But we are lucky.

 

We stayed up until the weeee hours of the morning using our wet-dry vac and a floor squeegee to get the water to the drain faster and get the carpet dry, well, dryer, well, less squishy.

 

We called it quits at 3 a.m. to get some sleep and got back at it a few hours later. Eventually, it became apparent that whether we stayed down in the basement and worked on the water or if we let it continue for 3 hours or 6 hours, nothing was going to change. Because we are lucky.

 

When we finally took a break, I decided to peruse Facebook and Instagram and I saw the devastation that my friends in the area were experiencing. I had a wet basement. People had FEET of standing water in their basements. I’m telling you that drain in my basement had SAVED us. There was somewhere for the water to go therefore it couldn’t go up to our door knobs like it was in neighboring homes. Cars were stahled and totaled all around town. People lost so many belongings in this flood.

 

As I went back to the basement to keep pushing that water, I thought to myself, Man. I am thankful. And then I was struck with how strange it was to be so thankful in the face of what could easily be considered a national disaster. But here I was, moving water, feet from my husband, and we were in good spirits. We are very “it is what it is” people. There was nothing to do but keep moving the water out of our house. But we were fine. I texted my family to let them know that “We have a bit of water but nothing we can’t manage. People in town have it much worse.”

I am never one to belittle people’s problems and tell them “well, someone else has it worse.” Because frankly, that’s rude. You don’t know how people are dealing with troubles in their lives. But when you’re faced with an obstacle, and hopefully you have a rock in your life like my husband because let me tell you, BLESS UP! But when you face obstacles, remember to be thankful for what you do have. Be thankful that your flooding was only a little problematic. Be thankful that you only have the flu. Be thankful that you only find your spouse annoying when they don’t do the dishes. Find the grace in life and know that in times of trouble you are also offered a chance for solutions.

You Are Awesome

Everyone goes through times when they feel their confidence crumble. I am definitely no stranger to this. Though my personality be loud and boisterous, my inner monologue is on a constant repeat of anxiety and worry. "Was it ok that I said that?" "Do these people think I'm weird?" "How will the world go on if they think I'm weird?!" Ok, that last one was a bit dramatic. More often than not when my confidence is shaken, I slip into a silence. I become more of a fly on the wall of the overall conversation. I've always told people I'm great at being talked to, but less than awesome at starting conversations.

If you're anything like me, you know these thoughts and feelings all too well. But I'm here to tell you, you are awesome. Confidence is a slippery little minx. You think you've got it, nothing can shake you. Then suddenly you have toilet paper on your shoe and ONE WHOLE PERSON NOTICED! THE HORROR! Truth is, that shit happens to everyone and if someone is going to make fun of you for it, the problem is more with them than anything. That just makes them an ass.

You can't let it shake you. You are a bad ass and a strong person! When someone asks you a question, you answer that shit confidently! Even if you don't know the answer, fake it til you make it! There is power in delivery. So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and that your confidence is just a tiny dot in the back of your mind, remember, you are awesome! Don't let anyone tell you differently.

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
— Eleanor Roosevelt

5 Things to Do When Things Don’t Work Out

You will get through this
— Love, Vodka
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If it's meant to be, it'll be

When things don’t go our way and we are left with disappointment, it can be devastating. Sometimes we are so sure that we landed that job or that things would work out the way we planned and life just laughs in our faces. It sucks, it hurts, and here is five things to do to get through it.


 

WALLOW

Whether it be for 10 minutes, 10 hours, or even 10 days. Girl, give yourself time to wallow. Feel the disappointment, let it sink in and when you’ve cried all your tears, move on. I always believe it is important to feel the pain given to us. Whether you didn’t get that job you were hoping for or the house you were dreaming of got bought by someone else, feel the disappointment and then get up and move forward.


 

MARATHON YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES

When I, personally, am in my wallowiest wallows, I turn on Harry Potter. I begin to marathon my favorite movies of all time, the Harry Potter films 1-8. Now that’s about 20 hours that I dedicate myself to but you know what? It makes me feel better. I can distinctly remember times in my life when I was sad or disappointed at an outcome and I would curl up on the couch and turn on good ole HP. My husband would walk in and the first thing out of his mouth is, “what’s wrong?” He gets me. So if you have a favorite movie that makes you feel good and will take your mind off of your particular circumstance, pop it in! Turn on Netflix and get comfy. An equally valuable alternative would be to binge watch a new series, or rewatch an old series for that matter. Get your mind off life and be transported to someone else’s world.


 

CONSUME SOMETHING

Am I specifically talking about multiple pints of ice cream? Maybe. But a significantly less fattening alternative would be to take in something new. Read a book! Learn a new skill or watch a documentary. Listen to a podcast. Take in something and give yourself a new perspective. But don’t get me wrong, ice cream is still a valid option.


 

CREATE SOMETHING

A great way to move forward and to continue to grow is to create! I am an artist at heart so I love to clear my head by creating. I love to paint, draw, design and even knit and crochet. There is a level of accomplishment when you create something that you’ll be hard-pressed to find by just sitting around. If you really wanted that job and you don’t get it, you can feel pretty defeated. You were so sure that there was going to be a new opportunity on your doorstep and instead you are left with rejection and self doubt. Now is the perfect time to create something you can be proud of. You need to remind yourself that even though things didn’t work out in your favor, that you are still an incredibly successful and skilled human being. Remind yourself of this every day. You are amazing.


 

SET A GOAL

Now that you’ve moved past the grief, or at least doused it in glitter paint and yarn, you need to set a goal. Get your head back in the game and move forward. Setting a goal, big or small, will keep you focused on what’s in front of you instead of wallowing over what’s behind you. Now, as I said in step one, wallowing is great, necessary even. But don’t let it control you. Put some jeans on (or whatever outfit makes you feel powerful) and get back to the grind. Things didn’t go the way you wanted. But you are going to get back out there and make it happen. This is your time. I believe in you! Now go!

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Looking to crush goals and live a more organized life?

May Pick of the Month

I am obsessed with television. I love watching television. From comedy sitcoms like The Office to emotional dramas like This Is Us. I am a tried and true dedicated fan of Grey’s Anatomy and love to dig a little deeper on the storylines and character relationships. But my all-time favorite television genre is… competition TV. Masterchef, Amazing Race, Survivor, BIG BROTHER, American Ninja Warrior and of course, American Idol.

 

The news of American Idol is all over the place as they have just crowned the latest winner, Maddie Poppe. Thus bringing us to my PICK OF THE MONTH! Maddie Poppe. Now, this girl is genuine and sweet and freaking adorable. She’s awkward and embraces it and I truly am like yes you are my spirit animal Maddie Poppe.

 

Maddie Poppe hails from Clarksville, Iowa so she holds a special place in my heart because I live in Iowa and love cheering for my fellow Iowans. I will admit though, I was not a die-hard fan at the beginning. My reactions were typically, she’s good, people like her, but I had other favorites. *Cough Caleb Lee Hutchinson Cough* It wasn’t until the final performances that I was completely won over by Maddie Poppe. The episode consisted of three performances from each finalist. Maddie Poppe performed two originals “Going Going Gone” and “Don’t Ever Let Your Children Grow Up” and ended the night with “Landslide” from Fleetwood Mack. It was after her first performance that I turned to my husband and said, “She’s clearly the winner.”

 

SPOILER ALERT - lol it’s not a spoiler because it’s been over for a few weeks now, but MADDIE POPPE WINS. It was also revealed that her and my former fave, Caleb Lee Hutchinson are IN LOVE! This alone melts my heart and makes me love them so much more than I already did. I recommend following them both on Instagram @maddiepoppe and @calbeleemusic to watch their adorable stories together. #socute

 

“Going, Going, Gone” is topping charts as we speak and it’s a full blown theme song to anyone looking to move on to something bigger and better in life! I highly recommend it!

Here is a video from her Jimmy Kimmel performance check it out here!

April Pick of the Month

Here we go to the introductory series of Pick of the Month! So I love trying things and I particularly love telling people about what I’ve tried and my experiences with it. Though I strongly fear the unknown, I want to push myself to try some different stuff. Coincidently, some of the latest and greatest things I’ve taken for a spin have turned out to be my favorite.

My latest favorite that has inspired my Pick of the Month series is the.... drumroll please...

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The “Iced Blonde Cold Foam Cappuccino” from Starbucks. I was apprehensive of this at first as, being a former barista, the thought of foam on an iced drink totally grossed me out. I am still scarred from the time a customer had me put steamed foam on top of his iced latte. But this bad dad is incredible! It’s sweet and not bitter from the blonde espresso and the foam, well call me a fan.

I will preface this with a fun fact, I. Love. Foam. I am a HUGE cappuccino drinker and I love me a good merengue foam. Not every barista can make you a good foam so when you find that one you tip em good. The cold foam is the perfect merengue foam without the difficulty. Because it is done in a blender, you’re gonna get consistent, merengue foam every time.

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My second favorite thing about the Cold Foam Cappuccino is the lid to that cup. It is a cold drink from Starbucks that does not require a straw. This is good especially for the environmentally conscious as plastic straws have been on the most hated list of garbage these days. It’s also nice because, frankly, it feels nice to drink out of. My bestie compared it to a sippy cup and you know, I’m not mad about it.

Blonde espresso is a game changer If you’re looking to cut some calories. This smooth and sweet espresso roast doesn’t necessarily require the addition of syrups. I still add a couple of hazelnut and it is MORE than enough.

Now be on the look out for more picks and more new things to try! Got something you think I’d love? Leave a comment or message me to try it out!!

Disclaimer: this post was not funded or sponsored by Starbucks. I just drink there a lot.

CoffeeLover

Coffee Printable Anyone?

No Fail Spinach Dip

Bring a Side Dish to Share

We've all experienced this. You're invited to a party and you are told to bring a side dish to share! Nothing like a good ole potluck am I right? Everyone brings only slightly questionable food to a gathering where everyone eats far too much with no shame and a glass of wine in hand.

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I don't know about you, but there is a certain level of stress that comes with the potluck concept. However, I found a solution! This dip is a hit every time. Every. Single. Time. I play fast and loose with the ingredients and never once has it failed.

The Recipe

  • 3 blocks of cream cheese
  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (or if you're anything like me, 4-5 Tbsp because I love garlic.. too much)
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 cups Parmesan cheese (This all depends on how cheesy and how caloric you want it to be)
  • Crushed Red Pepper - a few shakes is good, if you like the spice add some more!
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • *chopped artichokes are optional but delicious to only some

 

Directions:

Put half the package of frozen chopped spinach in a sauce pan with the artichokes and minced garlic. Heat on medium until tender.

In a microwave safe bowl add the blocks of cream cheese and microwave in 20-30 second intervals until you can stir it to a smooth consistency. Add mayo, sour cream, crushed red pepper, garlic salt, half the Parmesan and half the mozzarella. Stir well.

Drain the water from the spinach/artichoke mixture. This can be done by placing a lid on the pan and slowly pouring the excess water in the sink. A little water is fine but too much is gross.

Combine cream cheesey goodness and spinach/artichoke/garlic deliciousness together.

Pour mixture into pie pan or appropriate oven safe dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until cheese has lightly browned.

Serve with veggies, tortilla chips, or whatever floats your fancy.

Optional combine ingredients in crockpot and set to low for approximately an hour stirring occasionally.

 

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Love these Recipe Cards? Printables available HERE

Serve and Enjoy! Relish in the awesomeness that is the dip that EVERYONE will be asking about! Share the recipe with your friends and revel in cream cheese and happiness! Cheers!

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The Importance of Bliss

Love What You Do

It is important to love the work that you do. Period. Working the side hustle just to make an extra buck is the guaranteed way to burn out and burn out quickly. I know from experience.

Far too many times, I have chased the strategy or plan that will get me the fastest dollar, and to tell you the truth, I hated it. Everything about focusing on the bottom line was terrible. I never wanted to work. Nothing kills your side hustle faster than the lack of desire.

It wasn't until I started really focusing on the projects and jobs that make me happiest that I was able to truly thrive. I wanted to work. It truly is a blessing to wake up and want to work. I can't begin to tell you how many times I would sit down at my computer and then the next thing I knew, hours had passed by. That is an amazing feeling.

It's Okay to Say No

When we side hustle, we feel like we have to say yes to everything, anything for the dollar bills. This is why we get tired and burn out. I've learned this, the hard way I admit, that saying yes is not always the best option. It wasn't until I started saying no that I felt like I was thriving in my side hustle.

By saying no, I'm able to only focus on the bliss. I have control over the projects I take on and I am free to welcome the projects that I want. This really feels like the definition of "Self Employed."

On the Bad Days

First of all, everyone is going to have bad days. It's happened to me and I can guarantee it's happened to you. When the side-hustle is strong, it is easy to work 80 hours a week. Along with that, it is tiring as hell. Exciting! But tiring. All over Pinterest and motivational speakers will tell you the importance of self care. If you fail to take care of yourself, you will certainly feel the consequences.

Some days, when the hustle is tough, when the sales aren't coming through and a client is being particularly difficult, you're going to want to quit. You will wonder if it's worth it to try marketing one more time. You will wonder if you can really do this. I'll tell you a secret. You can!

Sometimes, I have days that I don't want to do anything. I don't want to design new things, I don't want to process existing orders, and I don't want to write any of these super helpful posts you're reading. On those days, I don't do anything. The hardest thing for millennials is to stop working. We are in constant overdrive all the time. It is important to stop, breathe and to take a break. The next day, you will feel refreshed and ready to take on another hard-hustling day!

Breathe. Rest. Love. Hustle.

Hopefully this has proven to be helpful to all my fellow hustlers out there. Keep working. It's hard as hell but it's always worth it.

 

Love this Print? You can order it  here!

Love this Print? You can order it here!

10 Things To Do That Aren't Work

Loving your job is hard. I hope for your sake you love your job, and if you do, that is something to hold near and dear. Liking your job is the land where most of us reside. Some days, I can't even get out of the car. Some days, it takes all my strength and will to get through the day. There are people who can relate. People with depression or anxiety, people who have no friends or comrades at their workplace. That is not the case for me. But it is hard. Some days.

I've devised a list of things to focus on in life that have literally NOTHING to do with working. We spend 8+ hours a day working and in this day and age, people are expected to work longer hours, be available 24/7 and grind so hard they burn out before they are 30.

Now for me, it is important to focus on those other 16 hours. Those precious 16 hours. Like many healthy people, I get approximately 7-8 hours of sleep every night. I love being in bed before 10pm and I wake up at about a quarter to six every day. That leaves us with about 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS! That's SO MUCH TIME! When you break it down, it is incredible the amount of "free time" we all have in a day. Now my days have routines of their own. Monday through Friday between 6am and 8am I am getting ready for work, eating breakfast and drinking coffee with my husband. The biggest space for open time is the evening.

I typically cook dinner in our household. I plan it out on my drive home from my job and cook almost immediately after I get home, because you know, I'm hungry. Here are about 4 hours per evening that I can use to focus on literally anything but my job.

Another sweet spot of time is my hour long lunch break! I use this lunchbreak to get OUT of the office. I sit at Starbucks and drink Black Tea Lemonades and I get in touch with some of my more creative outlets. I read, paint, write, journal. You name it. This is a great refresher in my day and helps make the afternoon hours fly by.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we?

1) Journal
I said that I journal on lunch breaks and journaling has proven to be restorative. All the frustrations of morning hours are easily banged out in my journal. I do a literal brain dump. I put everything in my head, down on paper. This is a biggie in self-development and I find it super calming.

2) Read a Freakin' Book!
One of the most sought after New Years resolutions this year was to read more books. I have made it a major part of my life to start reading more books. I try to read at least 12 books a year. One a month. That's nothing! And you know what reading books has given to me? Man! I am good at talking to people about books. Talking to people about books, makes you sound smart! I love that impressive feeling. Look at the fancy lady who reads books! So old school! (kidding!)

3) Hand Letting / Calligraphy
Hand Lettering is quite cathartic. It has been a relaxing distraction when I'm most frustrated. There are a bunch of tutorials on Pinterest and all sorts of fun practice sheets and books you can buy. Once mastered, and by mastered I mean once you can sort of do it, you will super impress your friends and family! And that always feels good doesn't it?

4) Binge a Netflix Series
TV / Movie Binging is everyone's favorite pass-time AM I RIGHT?! Though this may not be always considered the healthiest habit to have, it is definitely a perfect activity when you just need to veg out and not think about anything. There have been plenty of days where the world is too much and people suck too much and you don't want to think about anything. BRING ON THE NETFLIX BINGE! Someday soon I will post my list of favorite Netflix binge items! Stay tuned!

5) BATH BOMBS!
Obviously bath bombs are not going to help you develop professionally or anything like that. But they are super fun, they smell good, and they make your skin nice! Wins all around! My favorite bath bombs are the Butter Bombs from Lush®! They are affordable, yummy, and they are SO MOISTURIZING!

6) Work out.... ya I know.
So who likes to work out. Like no one. I sure don't. But even though I am definitely not a fan of the thing known as physical fitness, I cannot deny the beneficial effects. Obviously there is the whole weight loss, look good feel good mantras. But there is also a stress relieving aspect to that fitness! It is guaranteed "me-time" and it is splendid. I have Beachbody OnDemand and love me a good yoga or Country Heat workout.

7) Arts and Crafts fo lyfe!
I am an artist at heart always have been always will be. Now I know this doesn't work for everyone. There are plenty of people out there that have not a creative bone in their bodies so if that is you, just skip this one haha! I love to paint most of all. I paint whenever I can and it is relaxing. It is important to find a skill that is unrelated to your work life so that you can fully detach and work on something selfishly for me. If you aren't artistic and you're still reading this, I challenge you to find SOMETHING that makes you feel good. And you do that!

8) Write a Blog
THE OBVIOUS ONE! If you're reading this blog you've probably read a million blogs that talk about self care and development. In all those blogs there has probably been a section about starting a blog. Now I have this blog, but I don't call myself a professional blogger by any means. I started this because I wanted to be a better person and writing about it makes it real.

9) Planting of the Things (Otherwise known as gardening)
My husband is all about the plants and yard work and gardening. He is the reason I am interested in all things outdoors and dirty. He's also the reason I LOVE to fish. But that is another matter. This summer we are planting a vegetable garden and I am so excited to grow my own produce! Also flowers are pretty.

10) Bullet Journaling
Now this one touches base on almost all the things that I've talked about today. In my bullet journal, I schedule my life, I make lists, I write what I want to put in my garden, I track my workouts, I track how I'm feeling, ANYTHING. I practice my handlettering in my bullet journal as well. Though this is a popular trend, it is also amazing. There are so many benefits to bullet journaling and I can honestly say it will probably change your life. Start! I also recommend some super sweet colorful pens just because, you know, it's fun!

So there you have it! Ten things you can do to better yourself and that have absolutely NOTHING to do with your day job.

Here Comes Hygge

Hygge - or the Danish concept that focuses on coziness - is the up and coming new trend for weddings and parties. Especially as we approach the fall and winter wedding season, Hygge is ALL THE RAGE.

First of all, it's adorable. But it's also memorable which is always my goal for wedding stationary. This Hygge stationary set is inspired by the traditional Hygge style and other Scandinavian design.

Hygge is airy and colorful but most importantly it's COZY. The coziness associated with the Hygge design usually also include furs (faux or otherwise), rustic decor like branches or logs, copper and candles. Hygge is all about indulgence. Extra blankets, extra food, extra company. Indulging in the greatest of the great things that make you feel good.

When I think of Hygge, I'm thinking reading a book by a fire, knitting or crocheting while under a big chunky blanket, drinking red wine and indulging in chocolate.

Anyone else imagining themselves reading Harry Potter in a big cozy chair while buried in blankets? Just me? Ok. #harrypotterforlife

Cabins in the woods, snow falling, all things warm and cozy and just filled with goodness. Give me all the things. All the things now please! If this doesn't sound like the best way to spend your time, I don't know what would! This trend fits my lifestyle perfectly.

The color scheme associated with Hygge ranges. For home decor, Hygge is grays, neutrals, whites. For stationary, however, the color scheme branches out into more bold colors that flow well together. Note that I said BOLD not BRIGHT. The difference is vast.

If Hygge is a wedding style you're interested in, there is a great wedding stationary set in our invitations tab here.

Here is some sneak peaks of what's available. As always, custom designs are always available. Chat me up!