Monday, March 24, 2014

Life Lately- Good, Bad, Awkward, Awesome

First of all, thank you for all of the kind words, excitement, and encouragement about our decision to go to Texas for optometry school for the Mr.! In case you missed it we're moving to Houston! To answer a couple questions, Taylor will be starting in the fall and joining the class of 2018 (that sound so crazy and far away!). I'm pulling to have us stay in Utah as long as possible, so we'll probably move at the end of July! Taylor was also admitted to Pacific University College of Optometry (in Hillsboro, OR) and Southern College of Optometry (in Memphis, TN), but we felt best about Texas!

As for life lately:

Good: The customers who call in at my work have calmed down a little. The first two weeks of my job I thought I was going to lose my mind listening to people complain literally all 8 hours of my shift. I'm grateful for kind people!

We got our graduation announcements in the mail! Things are getting real!

We finally got a carbon monoxide detector, so now my extreme fear/paranoia of dying from a CO leak in my sleep can be put to rest.

Bad: Our apartment management. That's the only thing we're excited about leaving when we move!

Awkward: Waking up at 7:02am this morning when I need to leave at 7:20...going to work realizing I look somewhat homeless but hoping no one will notice. And then starting the work day off by being told "oh yeah, you look really tired". THANKS. jk jk peace and love but really. No need to rub it in people.

AWESOME: This GIVEAWAY!!! My cute friend Katie from dance helped throw an adorable "Ahoy it's a Boy" baby shower using one of my invites. I'm giving away a free customized (or listed) invitation or printable to one lucky reader on her blog! The contest is super easy to enter (remember my tips on entering contests and giveaways??), so go ahead and enter! May the odds be ever in your favor :).

And because I hate blog posts without pictures, here's a pic of my favorite little guy: 

I'm working on a bunch of designs for this little one's first birthday party. I can't wait to show you guys!! 
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Our Second Anniversary...& We're Moving!!

Happy Tuesday!

As you may have read, we just celebrated our second wedding anniversary! It's crazy how fast time has gone by since we got married. Life has been extremely busy lately so we sort of made last minute plans, including small gifts to each other not wrapped at all, and no cards (we both love giving/receiving nice cards for special occasions). We joked that this year was just going to be our "ghetto anniversary", though it was nowhere near that, just not as planned or prepared for as our first.

I got Tay a little sheet of coupons for date nights, getting the car cleaned out by his lovely wife (it's a mess), and a couple's massage (he's been wanting to get a professional massage forever so he got a coupon for us to go get one after we walk at graduation because we're poor right now haha)

Tay got me a cute earring set and some combat boots. I've been wanting boots like this forever but could never bring myself to spend the money, but he was able to find some of a different brand that were a really good price. Totally surprised me!

Taylor won the husband of the year award by taking us to get PEDICURES together as one of our activities. He knew I would appreciate one but didn't want to send me alone, and his feet were in need of some TLC (to no one's surprise he's never had a pedicure before). I'm not sure this will ever happen again, but it was surprisingly really fun to go together! He was a good sport :).

A little skeptical..

We went to dinner at PF Chang's (and ate way too much), and then spent the evening at home watching a movie an eating yummy Samoa's (the girl scout cookie) ice cream. We've been trying to hunt down the girl scouts so that was as good as we could get for the moment.

Oh, and most importantly we have some news!! We are TEXAS!!!! Yes that's right, we finally decided! It has been a long few months of stress, paperwork, waiting, paying for flights/hotels/rental cars, etc. and we are so excited to know where we're going!! Texas was never number 1 on our list (in fact Tay was going to cancel his interview there because he really liked a Tennessee school, but his hotel reservation was non-refundable--what a blessing!)...but we both feel really good about it and are excited and nervous for our new adventure! Right now we're BYU Cougars and next we'll be University of Houston Cougars, but wearing red! Thank you for all of the love, support, and advice as we've been on this journey!

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Saturday, March 15, 2014


2 years ago today I married the most handsome guy with the best smile. It was a bright and sunny day just like today! I'm so grateful to have found someone who is so patient with me and who loves me for who I am. He is always encouraging me to do my best, even if I feel like giving up. He is such a hard worker and has been going to school for over a year straight (including spring and summer semesters) to help make our dreams come true. Even though we usually go in public with him wearing "slippers" (sandals) and me in my girly dressed up clothes, we're a perfect match on the inside. Year 2 was so fun for us. I'm excited for what the future has in store! I love you Taylor!

Here is a video from our wedding day. I am SO happy I had it documented. 

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Let's Take a Break

Sometimes I feel like life is just flying by and I can't keep up! Today was a little nuts. We got off to a rough morning running late (as usual), something I am trying to work on! I keep having thoughts like I want to wake up at 5am and go running BEFORE being to work at 7:45am and then the morning comes and I'm like yeah, maybe tomorrow . Nowadays I just feel like saying to Tay "let's take a break" and then we run and go buy donuts from Provo Bakery and hide from real life for just a bit. Because donuts make everything better, right?

We are down to choosing between two schools and we have to decide by Friday. I'd be lying if I told you that we have an idea of where we might go. Every day I think I know what my vote is, but then evening comes and I'm exactly in the middle of the fence. It's crazy knowing our lives will have a more clear direction in just three days, yet three days seems so long!

Today I took at 56 minute phone call with a lady whom I have no idea how to describe. I don't even know where to begin with why she was unhappy/confused/irritated/demanding, etc. She had me so stirred up but I was able to keep my cool and be professional (though on the inside I was probably not as kind). Later I got a little treat as a "good job" on the longest phone call ever from our recognition team.

Taylor is still working his bum off at school. I SO do not envy his still being in school. College was great, but I'm so happy that I finished. We just ordered our caps and gowns and my in-laws and sister (and little Leo!) have their tickets to visit for graduation. Things are getting pretty real here! It is really exciting.

On another note, here are things I would buy if I had the money! I'm loving all of these spring items. Let's be honest, I don't wear heels often but I thought these pink shoes were fun and almost bought them to wear for graduation! Also, I think Ben & Jerry's fits in here perfectly. This stuff is my have.

wish list

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Monday, March 3, 2014

5 Tips for Opening an Etsy Store

Happy Monday!!

Today I'm talking about Etsy. Now, I'm not here to say that my shops are the most successful or awesome Etsy shops ever, but I have had quite a few people asking me for advice or tips as they start up an Etsy store, so I figured I'd condense my advice into 5 tips and share it here! These are tips that have helped me find success in my stores. I've even been able to sell outside of Etsy because of things I've learned on Etsy. I hope you find some of these helpful!

1. Be Creative. Of course there are going to be hundreds of shops on Etsy that sell similar items as you will. However, there are plenty ways to make your shop stand out whether it be price, style, customization options, item names, etc. Think outside the box! There is no point of having a shop if it's exactly the same as others, so avoid the possible urge to just create a duplicate of someone else's shop because it's easy. That takes the fun out of everything! Think about an ideal shop that you'd love to shop from, and create it!

2. Do Your Homework: Research!! Opening an Etsy shop shouldn't be a quick, last minute decision. I mean, it can be, but you're not going to have as high quality of a shop as if you had done some research. What I mean by research is search on Etsy! See what's out there. What are people selling that's like yours? What are their prices? Can you sell the same item for a lower cost? What do they charge for shipping? What do you need to charge for shipping based on shipping products (packing envelopes, tape, labels), your time and travel to ship? Most importantly: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO MAKE OR CREATE YOUR ITEM (keep in mind your time/labor. time=money) and HOW MUCH DO YOU NEED TO SELL AN ITEM FOR TO MAKE PROFIT. Those last two are obnoxiously in bold because really if you have an Etsy shop to have a business (which is the point), you need to make sure it's worth your time to be selling through Etsy and that you are not putting forth more than you're getting back (this is usually the case in the beginning, but hopefully this equals out after a little bit of time). When I started my first shop, I wanted to make sure that I kept myself level-headed so I gave myself a very small budget to start out with. I calculated how much I had to sell in order to at least break even. Once I got the hang of how much shop was going to work, I continued investing more money into my shop and eventually saw some revenue. Now I know exactly how and when my shop is successful and what I have to put forth to be successful. Every shop is different!

3. Be Patient. This is important. It can be, if you're like me, really intimidating and a little daunting to put yourself out there and open a shop where you're essentially selling yourself in front of thousands of online shoppers. Keep in mind that people will find your shop. It's just a matter of how long that takes. That being said, be patient, but be proactive (see next tip!).

4. Make Social Media Your Best Friend. Say 'hello' to free advertising! If you know anything about marketing and advertising, or even if you don't, you know that social media is the world's greatest free contribution to networking and advertising. Don't be afraid to use your Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest (especially Pinterest!) to 'sell' your products. With all the ridiculous junk there is online, people enjoy seeing uplifting posts about awesome things you're selling. Also, PEOPLE LOVE PRETTY THINGS. I interned for Shabby Apple last year working with their social media. Hands down, no questions, our followers shared, re-tweeted, repinned, etc. "pretty images" the most. People like things that catch their eye. So take time to take good pictures of your products. Use photoshop to make a little 'ad' here and there. Even if people don't know what your shop is, if they like what they see on social media and it catches their attention (again, especially Pinterest!), they will share it with others.

5. Have Fun!! Ok, this sounds so super cheesy. But it is so super true. I had thought about selling jewelry for years because I used to make it for fun. However, when I thought about how much I was going to have to sell it for to make profit, worrying about if people liked my jewelry designs, etc. I realized that for me, selling jewelry would be a chore and not fun. I love being a small business owner because I share what I love with people. And I found talents that I have to share with people and I'm able to make a little extra cash (it's so fun when you forget people pay via paypal and you randomly find money hidden there). So this is fun for me. Find something you love doing and it will come naturally to you!

 This was very basic, minimal information coming from my experience selling on Etsy. So if you have more questions, please ask! One of my main goals in life is to be a stay-at-home mom. However, I love having little hobbies and Etsy has been a perfect place for me to channel my inner-self when life is getting crazy, and I know I'll keep up with it when I'm at home with kids one day and need an outlet for myself. I think Etsy is a great place to start if you're just getting your feet wet with your business. I hope to one day move my shops to an independent site, but for now, Etsy is perfect for my stores. It gives you stats to look at, and you can see where your traffic is coming from.

Anyway, let me know if you have questions! And if you've been thinking about opening a shop, I recommend it!

Have a fabulous Monday!
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