Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pen and Paper

Last week I finally had some time to sit down and just draw. I felt as though I hadn't been able to do that for years. I know that's an exaggeration, but I really hadn't had much time to do anything related to design. I sort of felt as though I was finally getting back to my roots. It was like I was that four year old girl again with a brand new set of markers she got for Christmas, getting busted by her mom at 4am after she was so excited to use them she decided to climb out of bed, turn the bedroom light on, and start drawing.

Never underestimate the exhilaration a stack of blank paper and a drawing pen can generate.

On the other hand, drawing is also relaxing. That pen and paper gave me a chance to forget about my school day and do something that had no rules. After being in an institutional environment for a long week, something about playing outside those bounds is freeing.

I took all of my doodles and used them for several new card designs. Here are the end results.

I love how the baby bump cards turned out-- super simple and fun! Which is your favorite?

In other news, I'm going to try blogging more regularly again. Jenni came up with these fantastic blog post ideas for the month of May that are quite inspiring. I may not be able to follow along for the whole month, but I'm going to try!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blogging Break and a Woot Woot!

If blogger was my first job description, I would suck at life. I took some advice Gina gave me to heart recently when I realized how tired I was. I cut out blogging. The reality of the situation is that I haven't stopped in the past several weeks. Last weekend was chaotic with little sleep as I took part in my first large craft show. This past weekend my best friend from college was in town not to mention about five million other things that were going on all in one weekend. Needless to say, something had to go. Blogging was the easiest thing to take out of the equation. I still will probably not be back here on my blog as regularly as I had been until the school year comes to a close.

This weekend I got to really see how all of my hard work paid off! Urban Outfitters finally listed my card on their website.

In addition, after taking in an Orioles game with friends on Sunday afternoon, we stopped in at the Urban Outfitters in the Inner Harbor and got to see the card in their store in person!
Definitely exciting! Also exciting? The taco print is now in the shop. Booya!
Also, for those of you that love this Mother's Day card,
but wished that it was a Father's Day card, your wish has come true.
You're welcome. Now, how have you all been? I feel as though I am out of the loop!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Announcements! (And Squats. Because I Got Side-Tracked.)

I don't have a lot to say today. Well, I do, but I'm going to shorten it. My brain is still on overload. Last night I thought the best way to motivate myself to do work was to work my ass off until a predetermined time and then go gorge myself on a Butterfinger Blizzard. Thankfully, Andrew also thought this was a good idea. The motivation worked, my friends, and I got about five million things finished. I am pretty sure the 100 squats I did afterward as part of joining Ashley in the squat challenge didn't burn it all off either. Oh well.

In other news, I told one of my 8th grade classes that I was doing this squat challenge. I think it was because one of my students pulled a leg muscle. I was trying to make him feel better by telling him that my leg muscles hurt too. As a result another student is now doing the squat challenge, and he is incredibly determined to do 250 squats. It's a daily discussion. Like, a serious daily discussion. Serious, serious business here. Man, oh, man, are these kids pretty much hilariously awesome.

Ok, and onward to announcements after filling you in on my awkward conversations

1. I am working my ass off because I will be at the Johns Hopkins Spring Fair this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The hours are 10am-8pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. If you're in the Baltimore area, feel free to stop by and say hi! I'll have lots of cards for sale with a few special deals going on as well.

2. I have had one large sponsor spot open up and still have some small sponsor spots available. If you'd like to save 20% of sponsonship, you can use the code SPRING when you check out. I'd love to have you!

3. By now most of you definitely know that Google is getting rid of their Reader. In order to keep up with my blog, I suggest migrating over to Bloglovin'. You can also subscribe via email by entering your email address in the subscription box on my left sidebar. I'd love to have you continue reading!

4. I have a winner from last week's group giveaway! It's Kristin of Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte. Congrats Kristin! I'll soon be in touch!

That's it from me for now. And onward to bigger and better things! Time for you to meet someone I think you'll really love.
Ayla has quickly become one of my favorite fellow Esty artists and bloggers. I always feel as though I can connect with what she writes about and her energy seems contagious! In addition to blogging, she owns the shop Eyelah in which she makes the cutest clutches and pouches. I'm actually lucky enough to own one of her pouches that I received in a handmade swap. It's perfect for makeup, jewelry, and other odds and ends that I don't want floating around in my giant purse.
Pleated Paisley Pouch
Right now, I'm loving this pleated pouch, this small pouch perfect for tossing in a purse, and this beautiful clutch.

When Ayla isn't sewing, she's also blogging. She has written fantastic posts on customer service which are right down my alley as I'm dealing with customers on a daily basis. These posts on how to respond to customer requests and how to deal with negative feedback from customers are fabulous and on point. I really have enjoyed her customer service posts because they are reminders to me as well in terms of how I deal with my customers. Ayla doesn't just blog about business though. She also blogs about her life and beliefs, and most recently, one of my favorite posts, thinking back at what she wanted to grow up to be when she was a kid.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


It's only Tuesday and I'm tired. Some days I feel guilty for saying I'm tired. I know that there are people out there that literally only get a few hours of sleep each night before doing their day all over again. I usually get about seven hours of sleep, but I'm still tired. Today I came home from school, got a snack, and sat down to my to do list.

Just looking at the list made me feel exhausted. There is a lot going on in my life these days and most of the time I'm not even sure how I get everything done. Actually, let's face it, I don't get everything done.

The worst part is that some days I just want to stop. I want to pretend that I don't have to do any of what is on the list. This I struggle with most because a lot of the things on the list are things I absolutely love doing since they revolve around my business. Realistically, it's not that I don't want to do them, it's just that I need a break. Where is the break though? You probably remember my superwoman post a while ago, and truly there is never a break. I work when I get home, eat dinner, and then work some more until I go to bed. On weekends, I often work eight hour days with the rest of the time being spent on running errands and attempting to do some fun things in there as well.

I think the last time I legitimately wasn't busy and could do whatever I damn well pleased was Christmas break.

That's over three months ago.

I'm tired.

This week, I'm finishing final preparations for my first big craft fair. I'm not sure how I'll finish. Probably some late nights coming up, but it will get finished.

But it doesn't stop there. It keeps going. And going. And going.

I know that there will be a time when this will all end. Eventually, I'll be able to work an eight hour day and I can stop what I'm doing and say that I'm done working for the day. I can't shut off my computer, put down a drawing pen, put the envelopes back onto their shelves, package the last card, say hi to Andrew as he walks in the door after getting home from work, and enjoy the rest of the evening just as I please.

Eventually. But for now, I'm tired.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Anti-Bride

Remember this post from forever ago? No? Figures. It took me a while to dig back into the archives and dust it off. And if you do remember the post, which part was most memorable? For me, it was the wood-fired oven and the Frank Lloyd Wright house. But if you read the little side note at the end, you'd probably find out that I also told you we got engaged. In Chicago. In the rain. In Millennium Park. It was one of those little side notes that wasn't super important, but I figured you all would love to know. And I wrote that post, oh you know, almost two years ago. No biggie. Post engagement photo? This is as exciting as it gets.

At this point, some of you are probably suddenly remembering that Oh yeah, she did get engaged. So when is the wedding? Truth? I hate weddings. I suppose I am the epitome of the anti-bride. While others have been planning their weddings since they were a little girl, I have thought absolutely nothing of it. And quite frankly, I get sick of the question, "So have you set a date yet?" followed by the maniacal laughing as if it is the funniest joke that has ever been told.

Here's my thing. I'm not a lovey dovey, gushy mushy type of person. I hate ceremonies of all kinds. I am not religious. I am a complete introvert. Getting married is about me and Andrew, not our family and friends. Yup. I just said that last bit. And I'm not afraid to say it again. It's all about us! So why should I have to have this ginormous wedding just for the sake of friends and family? Why would I want a church wedding? Why would I want to partake in a huge ceremony? And why would I want to be in front of dozens upon dozens of people proclaiming my love from now until forever?

Here's another thing. I did a little research and found this awesome site. Click the link and you'll see that on average, a wedding in Baltimore costs between $18,000 and $31,000. Ummm, excuse me? Say that again? You mean a wedding in this city would most likely cost me more than I paid for my car? I don't think so!

With that same money, I could travel around the world for several months. Or I could purchase ten round trip tickets to Sydney, Australia. And I've been dying of homesickness (even though it's not my original home) since I left Australia after living there in 2005. I think that sort of experience is much more warranted when it comes to celebrating spending the rest of your life with another person.

Speaking of spending the rest of your life with another person, why is it that it is only socially accepted that marriage is what must happen? I think I got more congratulations from our engagement than when we moved in together five years prior. We like to do things backwards-- we moved in together, we got a dog together, we bought a house together, then we got engaged a while later. However, just because getting engaged was the last of these things to happen did not mean that we had already planned on being together for the rest of our lives.

Actually, we got engaged several years prior at one of our favorite bars as we discussed that we would eventually get married. I think Andrew asked me if I'd marry him, and I'm pretty sure I said yes and told him that I should wear a twisty tie on my ring finger from here on out. All joking aside, we are partners in crime for life and always knew that. So why the formality? Well, health insurance benefits would be pretty nice I suppose if I go self-employed. And it is probably a good idea to have all of that legal stuff worked out. However, it all seems a bit of, well, a formality.

So how are we going to get married? We plan on going to the courthouse. I don't really know when-- probably sooner than later. Then, we're going to have a giant cookout with cornhole and beer and grilling and invite our closest family and friends. There. I've planned my wedding! Now for those of you that keep asking about if we've set the date-- you'll know as soon as I do! ;)

P.S. Don't forget to enter the group giveaway going on right now! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Group Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday! I have a super fun post for you guys today as a mid-week refresher! I've been super lucky and have had some amazing sponsors this past month. They're teaming up today to give away some shop credit, a gift card, and some ad space to their fabulous blogs. Be sure to enter to win the prizes and say hi to each of these awesome ladies!

 $15 Shop Credit

$10 Amazon Gift Card

2 Months of Regular Ad Space

 Large Ad Space
Use coupon code ROWHOUSE for $5 of a $20 purchase.

And if you'd like to be a part of this coming month's group giveaway, head over to my sponsor page! Giveaways usually bring the most traffic in terms of promotions on my blog and I'd love to promote you! You can use the coupon code SPRING to save 20% on all ads this month.

For now, go enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter below and give these ladies lots of link love!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

What I've Been Up To

Happy end of Spring Break, guys! Or should I say, sad end of Spring Break? Today is my last day of break. And by last day, I mean that today was supposed to be a professional development day, but I needed a sick day to recoup from a very intense weekend that included the end of a visit with my sister and nephew and taking care of Andrew all Sunday while he was blowing chunks. Seriously, it was a draining last few days. Either way, the rest of the week was absolutely fabulous!

As a rundown, I finished my huge wholesale order for Urban Outfitters. My sister and nephew came to visit. We spent Thursday at the Science Center, which Jasper loved! He liked the dinosaur section the most where he spent a good half hour (at least!) brushing off the dinosaur bones and pretending to play paleontologist.

Friday afternoon, we headed to the aquarium and spent the later portion of the afternoon hanging out at my favorite coffee shop. When Andrew got home from work we spent the rest of the beautiful evening at the park.

Saturday morning, we headed down to DC. We had hoped to see the cherry blossoms blooming since my sister had never seen them before. We thought we would be lucky since many of the cherry blossoms in Baltimore are already in bloom, but alas they were not out yet. However, the weather was absolutely gorgeous-- the perfect day to be out and about on the National Mall where people were flying kites, enjoying, picnics, and Jasper got a chance to run around and play with Andrew.
After spending the day in DC, we headed to my aunt and uncle's house in nearby Hyattsville, Maryland for dinner. Sunday was a low key day hanging out in the house. Jasper loved playing with Lilah.
All around, it was a good week!

What have you been up to this past week? I feel as though I am out of the loop right now!

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