Thursday, November 26, 2015

Free Printable Gift Planning Worksheet: Intentional & Stress Free Shopping

Happy Thanksgiving!!! 
But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)

I put together a printable shopping/gift guide for the holidays to hopefully help keep things more intentional as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday sales flood our social media accounts and mailboxes.

The first page serves as a simple list to write out each recipient and the obtained or planned gift. I highlighted mine to show who I have completed and who is still missing. **Family members if you zoom into this....I'll respect you.**

The second page is a table to fill in shops and sales you want to check out over the weekend (or whenever) it gives you space to write down a promo code or sale time and then items you're looking at.

Here is mine filled out but with a somewhat obstructed view to make it slightly more difficult for my gift recipients to zoom in. You can save and print the two images below if you'd like to use it for yourself this holiday season!

What would you add to make this work better for you? Happy Thanksgiving and happy intentional and stress-free shopping! 

PS digital floral clip art from SmallHouseBigPony check out their beautiful and affordable collection!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Mompreneur Life: Launching a Holiday Line at InsieMama

After my daughter entered the world I never knew my heart could love so much - but I also did not expect continuing to manage my small business to be as difficult as it was (is). I have a particularly bad sleeper (No thanks, don't need any sleeping advice. Still love ya'll but don't need it!) which has made the naptimes and early evening time that I thought I'd have to myself everyday practically non existent. Or, let's be real when I do get a moment... Naptime = personal time? Nope. Naptime = cleaning the house like a madwoman, preparing food, picking up cheerios that have been practically fully digested then spit up and smushed into the carpet (sorry landlords if you're reading this..............)

Image from InsieMama.
Anyway, I was connected by Heather of Heather Booysen Photography  to Danielle of InsieMama. As soon as Heather mentioned that her friend was starting up a business to specifically help mompreneurs (loving this word) think strategically about their business I emailed her. I don't normally talk about my business with anyone else or seek advice, so the fact that I emailed her right away actually caught myself off guard. Well, fast forward and this partnership has been amazing! It was just the right amount of support and encouragement I needed that I could be both a mom and small business owner.  

Danielle also runs an online boutique showcasing her clients which I highly suggest taking a look at, and particularly now because I've just launched a holiday line on InsieMama and wanted to give you all the full details! 

The items available are pictured below and will only be available through her InsieMama boutique, not through my Etsy shop! They are also limited and will only be around for this Christmas season. 



What do you think?!

Small Business Saturday Shopping Guide - A Highlight of My Favorite Shops

I'm pretty conflicted on how I feel about Black Friday. You know the common statement that it seems so wrong to spend time thinking about how thankful we are for what we have and then rush out to buy what we want only a few hours later. Well, just because everyone says it and you're probably tired of your Facebook friends "taking a virtual stand about it" doesn't mean I'm not partially agreeing. However, I've also scored some amazing Black Friday deals so I can't hate on it too much...

But, I have come to really love Small Business Saturday. As a small business owner myself, I try to shop almost exclusively at other small businesses and especially for holidays and gifts. Throughout the past year I've stopped by quite a few shops and have gotten to know many of the owners behind the scenes. I've rounded up some of my favorites in a full list below and also featured a few specific gift ideas here: 

Featured Items: 

And below you'll find the full list of favorite shops I shopped at this past year. Take time and look through these - so many categories and fun things to find! 

Chesapeake Tides Nautical Items Inspired by the Chesapeake Bay
Clever Betty Keepsake Calendars, Plushes, & Wall Signs
Culture Flock Clothing Retro and Funky Clothing (think sloths and E.T.)
DoBee Designs Metal Stamped Jewelry
Fancy Free Finery Felt Flower Hair Accessories
Fox and Owl Designs Custom Order Dolls
Gulush Threads Hand Embroidered Jewelry 
Galarples Miniature Hand Crafted Creatures
Kristin Schmucker Shop Candles, Bible Studies, Study Accessories & More
Life Lived Beautifully  Bible Studies, Journals, Mugs, & More
Mini Backdrops Small Backdrops for Photography & More
Oh Deer Creative Art Prints, Printables, Wedding Accessories, Totes & More
The Olive Tree Designs Jewelry, Art Prints & Journals
Pancakes & Glue Guns Paper Flower Party Decor & Gifts
Vine & Branch Design Hand Painted Wooden Signs & Digital Prints

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hot Topic: Virtual Wedding Invitations? And a blue & peach wedding inspiration board.

Seeing as I work with colorful paper everyday and am constantly looking for wedding color trends, building this wedding mood/imspiration board was an excellent business exercise for me. First of all, can I just say, I am so in love with this color combo. Peach was an accent color at our wedding and is the main color in my business branding - but wow peach + these shades of blue is really just gorgeous - artsy and eclectic, but timeless. I haven't used peach and blue together in any of my paper flower creations in the shop  but you can bet you'll see some soon. 

Check it out. The details are listed below the image.

And now, what if I told you this was a virtual wedding invitation? Paperless Post provides the option to order paper invites as well - but in more interesting news, provides a virtual option. Ask me three years ago as I was planning my wedding and I would have unequivocally told you no, that was not an option for me. However now, I'm 90% sure I would go with a virtual option. Listen, I love stationery (recently pointed out to me that you spell it with an "e" whoops, did you know this?!) but it seems like wedding invitations are stuck on the fridge and then remain there for an awkwardly long time.
(For instance: oh my goodness did you hear so and so had a baby?! Wow, it seems like just yesterday we were at their wedding. Oh, wait - look, here it is, the invite from four years ago still on our fridge! It was September 8, 2011, how sweet. Wait, why do we still have that? We should trash that....) 

Anyway, I think I'd opt for a small magnet save the date that matches the invitation and then have the formal invitation be delivered electronically. I'm not giving up on a hard invite entirely, that save the date magnet is still there - or maybe a postcard.

But listen friends, you can either save money utilizing this option (about 125 for $90 on this particular card pictured above) or save it and spend instead on your photographers or fresh flowers (my two main priorities). And not just an afterthought, but a serious consideration - you save yourself the headache of collecting and arranging RSVPs. The electronic system Paperless Post has is easy to use and professional. It doesn't make it seem any less like a wedding, in fact, the layout of their system is very formal and aesthetically pleasing and utilizing the system to send and coordinate invites seems like a wedding related task, not like managing a random evite asking your guests to bring their favorite side and a lawn chair.

Oh and let me repeat again about the easy part. Having all of the invitations and guest count listed out right there for you? That's a game changer. Figuring out RSVPs is a last minute task, and listen - last minute bride you is a lot different than the bride who picked out her formal stationery six months prior. You have a lot less patience for the little details, and coordinating the guest list and seating chart is not little details!

Also, consider this - you can still order a printed invitation from them or another printer, maybe just a handful to send to grandparents who aren't real thrilled about this internet craze and give as a momento to parents and for yourself of course.

Like I said before, I'm 90% sure I'd do it this way if I could do it again. What do you think?! And what do you think about this color combo? What other combos would you like to see inspiration boards for?