Tag Archives: organizing

Happy Thanksgiving!

22 Nov

This year for Thanksgiving – we are spending time in Front Royal with Brian’s side of the family. We do it potluck style where we each bring  something, we catch up, watch the game (I married into a Redskins family), and eat!! I can picture it now – the men in their jersey’s hanging out in front of the TV, the women talking about life, and Emma running around like she’s been eating sugar for weeks 😉

So while that image entertains you (hopefully as much as it entertains me) here’s a list of things I am thankful for this year:

My loving family.

The ability to do what I love each day.

That even though sometimes we are stressed out and trying to make things work around here – that we are able to do it and we make it through all the hard times together.

 

I know that there is WAY more to be thankful of but right now, those are the most important for me 🙂
What are you thankful for this year?

 

Love Always,

J

Our Little Family.

21 Nov

It’s not often that the three of us go out together. If we are all home then usually one person stays with Emma and the other will run errands or one of us will take Emma out while the other stays home. Since a majority of the time Brian and I are both working there isn’t much time that we have together that overlaps and when we do we like to spend it together being lazy and enjoying each other’s company.

My schedule this year has picked up and we’ve been working a majority of four days a week instead of three – which I am not complaining about all! I love providing child care and watching the girls play together. Brian’s schedule is a normal Monday – Friday schedule but he has most Tuesdays off.

Almost every Tuesday I dedicate to running errands, getting groceries, and getting ready for the next week. I like to do all those things during the week because it’s so crowded on the weekends so it’s much more relaxing to go while everyone else is busy. Saturday’s and Sunday’s are when I get to work in the studio or we have family events. It’s a rare occasion around here when we don’t have at least one thing to do on the weekend.

Thanks to thanksgiving break this week and last Tuesday doing 99% of my errands for two weeks – this Tuesday was going to be an easy day. I only had one errand to run and we were all going out as a family together 🙂 Since this doesn’t happen often I like to soak it up and enjoy it!

I spent the morning getting ready, doing my hair and make up (which hardly happens), getting Emma ready, and cleaning up the house so we’d come home to no chores. Once we were all in the car I snapped a picture of Emma:

I think she was pretty excited about going out with both of us. We went to Harris Teeter to pick up rolls for Thanksgiving and a few other things. Watching Brian push her in the cart and chat with her was adorable! I don’t know what it is about men and their children but it makes my heart melt!

After wiping one Harris Teeter out of rolls we realized we needed to make another stop at a different Harris Teeter. Emma found it amusing that we were going to another grocery store!

It wasn’t much but I loved it.

Look How Far I’ve Come!

20 Nov

So last night I was checking out some of my first posts here at The Underestimated Mom. I was reading about how I had no idea what I was going to write but that I really wanted this to become a way to tell my life to anyone who was interested.

 

Back then, Emma was 9 months old and napping so much during the day that I had all this extra time on my hands that I didn’t know what to do with. I had just quit my job that I loved/hated, and was on my way to discovering what it was I wanted to do with my life (besides the obvious: be there for my daughter 24/7).

At that same time, I started to crochet and of course the crazy person I am decided to START crocheting one of the most difficult patterns ever. Here’s a picture of a sweater jacket I was making for Emma. It turned out great (minus the fact that there was supposed to be a hood that never happened).

It was then I learned that I loved being home with Emma, I loved to crochet, I loved to blog, and I wanted to do whatever it took to keep those three loves in my life.

After facebooking and blogging about what Emma and I were up to, what I was crocheting, and my random thoughts along the way, a friend introduced me to Etsy. A place online where I could sell what I made. When I first searched the website I immediately daydreamed of having a shop and making an income so I’d never have to leave Emma to work again!

After months of not selling anything I went route two. I decided to provide child care from my home for a child. I can’t even explain how much I am so grateful for the moment I made that decision. Now I have two other children besides my own in my life that I’d never want to not care for! Of course, they will grow up and not need me anymore, but until then I’ll imagine they’ll never grow up!

It’s been over two years now that I’ve been blogging, selling the items I’m making (on my own site now!), and providing child care. It’s been a long two years!

 

 

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning I’m sure you are shocked at how much things have changed around here. For those of you who are new – now you know the back story! It’s amazing what a little time can do to someone. All I needed was a few weeks at home with my daughter to figure out the rest of my life. A few weeks is all it took and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I’m excited, nervous, anxious, and hopeful for what the next two years might bring!

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Love Always,

J

 

Spending Time, Not Money.

19 Nov

If you don’t know me at all – I’ll ago ahead and let you know that I’m 4’11, around 95 pounds, and 24 years old. Finding clothes that fit me but don’t make me look 15 like this picture below does – is DIFFICULT! A few weeks ago I went through all of my clothes and decided to get rid of all the things I haven’t worn in a while.

This jacket was one of them. The reason I wanted to get rid of? The sleeves were ridiculously too long, which doesn’t help my height factor at all. Other than that, I love this jacket! Would I ever find one that fit me perfectly? Probably not. So instead of getting rid of it, I decided to fix it myself:

First things first, I turned it inside out, flipped the sleeve over to the length I like (A little longer than my wrist but not past my nuckles) and left a quarter of an inch of length for stitching. Pinning this by yourself is not an easy task so it’s nice to have someone handy around to help you with. I didn’t, so I just looked like a goof doing it myself 😉

Then it was time to sew! I used my favorite X stitch to make it as durable as possible. It took me all of 2 minutes per sleeve.

My one suggestion to you is NEVER to cut it until you try it on and are happy with the length. Since I like things on the longer side this seemed perfect for me.

Then I took my scissors and started cutting right at the seam of my  new stitch. Be careful not to cut the stitching or cut through the second layer of fabric. I took my time with this part since I am super clumsy (if I don’t teach you anything, please just remember – impatience is not your friend with scissors!!!).

Once it’s cut all the way around it will look like this (inside out). Then you are done! Fixing clothes is not hard and now I can keep this jacket instead of buying another one that still wouldn’t fit me right 😉

Saving money but spending a little time. Since I have a pile high of clothes I decided to edit instead of trash – this will be come a weekly post. Looking forward to showing you what I’ve got planned for next Monday! It involves an old knitted shirt:

I’m pretty sure this isn’t in style anymore – but I wore it all through high school, and sadly up until now 😛

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

Oh Hello Studio <3

17 Nov

Most of you know that I’ve been doing a lot of crocheting lately instead of sewing. Well this weekend is the first weekend in the past few months that I’ll actually have time to be in my studio!! It’s going to be so refreshing to be back in that room with loads of time and a list of things I want to make! Plus Brian will be distracted playing COD with the guys so he won’t even miss me 😉

Here’s a little sneak peak at what I hope to get done this weekend:

I’m going to be sewing buttons on the new cozies. I’m always hand sewn them so I’m going to give my sewing machine a run for it’s money! When these are finished they’ll be up in my shop for purchase.

After my sister’s wedding, we packed up the burlap squares and they’ve been sitting in this pretty box waiting for me. Well, I’ve finally found a project for them! I’ll be making placemats out of these!

I also have a pile of clothes that need some TLC. Since I’m under 5′ it’s really hard to find clothes that fit appropriately without looking like a teenager, so I have collected a pile of clothes that don’t really fit right. There are some jeans I want to turn into skinny jeans, some pants that need hemming, some t-shirts that need to be taken in, and some sweaters that weren’t getting any attention that will be turned into decorative pillows!

I’m going to have some serious fun this weekend. What are you doing this weekend?

 

Love Always,

J

Late Night Chats With Myself ;)

15 Nov

Even though you are reading this at some point and it’s probably Thursday for you – technically I am writing this at 11:15 pm Wednesday. So I’ll go ahead and apologize for the lack of pictures and random long sentences.

I’m sitting up after realizing that I have absolutely no clean clothes to wear to my appointment tomorrow. Little Mrs. Has It All Together from my list post yesterday, doesn’t quite have it all together 😉 Well at least not for tomorrow!

If you are a mom, you probably understand when I say that I tend to put everyone before myself. In this case, the rest of my families clothes managed to get done before mine. Silly me thinking I’d be fine with raggity t-shirts and leggings. Whoops!!

So tonight I will be sitting up listening for the dryer to stop so I can move loads in order to have an outfit that is allowed to step out in the public clean for tomorrow!

It’s been a long time since I’ve stayed up late and been the only person awake. If you have been a long time follower of my blog then you’d know that I used to do this all the time. It was the only way to get peace and quiet to myself. Emma was hardly napping for a while there and when she was, I was too!

I had gotten used to staying up later just to get some me time and I spent it sewing, crocheting, blogging, catching up on music and tv shows. It’s amazing that an hour or two of dead silence for your brain to think can really change a person! I felt so free, got so much crafting accomplished, and almost felt like a teenager all over again 🙂

My blogging might have even been better because of it! When I have time to think, writing comes so naturally. Like now. I could probably ramble on for hours because it’s like my mind has space to stretch out and breathe! That is if you like it when I ramble 😉

Staying up like this tonight is a reminder of all that. It’s also a reminder of why I quit doing it!! Sure an hour or two of freedom sounds so refreshing and exciting, but I was also dead tired the next day. I hardly woke up on time, counting down the hours to Emma’s nap time so I could nap too, and feeling like a zombie. I really don’t miss living like that. I missed out on so many fun things with Emma!! I’m not so much looking forward to that tomorrow – but at least I’ll be clothed properly.

Luckily tomorrow is a day off for me as well. Emma will be playing with Nana all day and I’ll be with my Mom in Alexandria for my appointment, her appointment, and then running a few errands. I’ll be able to not be completely all there tomorrow 😉 and if anyone understands that – it’s my Mom!!

As much as I’ll hate this tomorrow – I may just end up doing this again every once in a while. My brain needed it!

Well it’s time to change loads and catch up on shows 😉 See you all bright and early tomorrow and probably napping as soon as I get home haha!

Love Always,

J

 

 

 

Keeping It Old School

14 Nov

If there’s one thing I love the most – it’s a fresh pad of paper 🙂 I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s the only thing that keeps me organised!

One Steno pad lasts me about 2 months. So every 2 months I get a fresh new one to re-organize my goals and lists. On the first page I put my Money Goals for the two weeks and the year. It keeps me on track for how much I hope to make in order to make this my sole income. It also gives me a perspective on what my goal was for the past 2 months and what I made during that time.

I also make a list of things I want to finish in that two months. As soon as it’s finished I get the joy of crossing it out!! It also is a way to remind myself to put it in my inventory list, know what yarn I need to purchase to replace the materials, and when it’s sold I mark it out on my inventory list to put it in outright for my taxes.

How can you be organized without a shopping list?! This girl can’t! I write things down in two sections: Home & Work. In order to keep this sheet available for two months I tend to white out what I’ve purchased so I can use it again 🙂 This page gets some serious love by the end of two months!

Then on the rest of the 75 sheets I write my daily lists of what I want to accomplish. It includes: housework, Emma’s needs, my goals, and sometimes even reminders for Brian. Since I’m limited on time I can get projects done, I schedule those during nap time and night time. You’ll see it says crochet during nap time, which today means I’ll be finishing up a boot cuff and making a matching one to create a pair. It then says crochet after bath time, which means I’ll be finishing up cup cozies and starting on a scarf.

It may seems silly to not organize my things on the computer but I can’t always take my computer with me when I’m shopping, I need time away from my computer (especially when I’m trying to get things accomplished), and I like the satisfaction of writing things down and crossing them off my list! It’s a joy I just can’t even explain!

How do you organize your life? Do you make sure to re-evaluate your list after a period of time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Love Always,

J

A Fun Filled Weekend!

12 Nov

This weekend was full of surprises and accomplishments! Saturday I spent the day in Front Royal celebrating my cousin-in-law’s baby shower. She looked gorgeous, the party was a blast, and she got so many awesome goodies!!

When I got home I had a little present waiting for me from my sister from Kritter’s Ramblings:

 

She ordered us the Young House Love book for the book signing we are going to! I AM SO EXCITED 🙂 This is one of my favorite blogs and I’m so impressed with how far they’ve come. (A little jealous too 😉 haha!)

Sunday we spent celebrating Brian’s birthday. The boys went to see Skyfall and the girls went to see Pitch Perfect (which was HILARIOUS!), then we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. That place seems to be a family choice when the eight of us go out. After that we came back to our place for brownies and cookies for desert.

As soon as everyone left Brian was so excited to play with his big birthday present:

 

We rigged up a system of tables and chairs for him to play with it, which made him want the chair to go with the driving set even more. I’m not looking forward to storing that sucker but I know he’ll get his use out of it so I’m biting my tongue 😛

Surprisingly with all the things we had going on this weekend I got a lot accomplished too! I made a bunch of new cozies to list in my shop:

 

Loving all the color options that would be great for Thanksgiving dinner tables 🙂

I also started on making some boot cuffs:

It’s almost done and then I have to make a matching partner 🙂 I’m excited to pass these around to my friends and family to try them out and let me know what they like and don’t like about them.

On top of all that I’ll be starting to sell some of my cousins newborn hats in my shop! She’ll be sending me her creations soon – check out some of her goodies:

 

 

How cute are they!?

What a weekend! I hope you all had an eventful weekend as well.

 

Love Always,

J

 

The Next Big Step!

6 Nov

Most of you know I own an etsy shop online where I sell all the crafts I make! What most of you don’t know is that I’ve been working on opening my own online shop!

It took a lot of time and budgeting and designing – but it’s finally here!! You may notice that not all of my things are up on that store yet as I’m still adding listings and pictures. Slowly this store will be packed full of everything I’ve made 🙂

If you click on the shop page you can see everything or sort by sections. There will more sections as soon as I get more items listed 😉

Clicking on the listing gives you all the details you need and extra pictures (which most only have one but soon will have a bunch for each!)

Checking out is super easy too – just like Etsy, all you need is a paypal account which is safer to use rather than your credit card. You add your items to the cart. Click checkout, then it will take you to paypal.

My favorite thing about Etsy was it was so personal and I could do custom orders really easily. Thanks to my contact page I still can! It’s just as easy to get in touch with me and under the Shop tab I’ll be adding a Custom Order section. So if you are looking for a custom order you wanted from me you can easily find it there!

I’m so excited to finally have my own shop! Soon you’ll see a button over on my the side there —-> with my new site on it so it’s easy to find! Even though I’m doing this – I’m not closing my Etsy shop. I won’t be adding any new listings over there but I’ll still be there!

Hooray for the next big step – I’m excited to see where it takes me next!

If you are interested in checking it out it’s www.daydreaminggifts.com

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,
J

What A Show!

26 Oct

I’m Back!!! I missed you all so much! After a super long weekend at the craft show and a long week getting everything back to normal around here – I am excited to say I’m back 🙂

Thank goodness for my trial set up or this would have taken ages to figure out. The PVC pipe held everything extremely well! My favorite part was the bar to hang my scarves on. This was my first attempt at having things up off my table and although I’m so happy with the outcome I do want to do things a little differently.

I want to find different hangers to put the scarves on – it wasn’t easy to get the scarves off and on the hangers which I don’t think is helpful for customers who want to try things on. I also would change up the shelves a little differently. People don’t like pulling things in and out of shelves if they have to figure out how to fold them and put them back! I’ve decided to put one blanket in each shelf instead of two and to hang up the other scarves instead of folding them in the shelf.

Other than that I was super happy with the set up!

My most picked up items were my cork keychains, cup cozies, scarves, and burp cloths. It seems like everyone that came through was touching and feeling everything and amazed at how soft everything was. Since comfort is one of my number one priorities when it comes to my items – that made me very happy!

Another thing that was picked up a lot was my business cards. So much so that I’ll be ordering another pack of them as soon as possible! I didn’t expect my cards to go as fast as they did but I am definitely okay with that 😉

For those of you who are considering doing an outdoor show there are a few things I wasn’t quite prepared for! Wind was one of them. Everything was secured tightly with zip ties and didn’t move much in the wind but my frames that were hanging from the lattice weren’t on tight. I’m still trying to come up for a solution for that one.

Another was dust!! We were in a wooded area with lots of dirt and when people walk through it – dust kicks up and gets on EVERYTHING! I wasn’t expecting to have to wipe down my items on a regular basis or have to wash & dry them when I came home. I wish I had a swiffer or duster with me so that I could have continually wiped off my items – that might have made my aftermath of cleaning a little easier.

Prepare to spend a day after the show sorting/cleaning/re-organizing everything!

One thing that REALLY helped during this show was sharing it with a friend. This was Ashley’s side from Leapinlilypads. Because we split the space we both saved on money, as well as having someone to be there when we went to go get a meal or use the restrooms.

It also made it easier on my traveling to share some of what we were bringing. We each brought two tables, our chairs, and our supplies so one person wasn’t overwhelmed with too much packing or unpacking. One thing I didn’t expect going into this was all the last minute spending I’d need to use. I planned for gas money, food money, and extra for spending (of course I’d find something I’d want to buy from other vendors).

What I didn’t count on was all the small last minute things for the show like: cash for change, stickers for my bags with my business logo, chalkboard markers (because they work so much better than chalk), 3m hooks to hang my frames, and a bunch of other little things that add up so fast! Next time I’m going to also plan for an extra $100 bucks on miscellaneous things before the show actually happens.

Some things that Ashley did that I love – used wrapped boxes to create height on her table, used cardboard and ribbon to hang her bows, and found things like baskets and vases to use to hold her items. Any way that you can save money by using things around the house as part of your table design is a great way to be budget friendly!

Some perks from our tent that I didn’t see around other ones – bright colors, hanging things from the tent walls, a dedicated table space to use for working on, clear banners so people will remember who you are, and free goodies just for stopping in (I had dum dums for the little ones).

Finding ways to be remembered is key to future purchases. Just having a business card isn’t always enough – so I like to make as many memorable pieces as possible!

We had a fantastic time at the show and are proud to say we’ll be doing it again next year! Hooray for a successful weekend – and hooray for being back home 😉 because this girl is ready to get back to being crafty!

Thanks for stopping by!

Love Always,

J

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