Tuesday, April 26, 2011

::Tuesdays's Tip::

If there was just ONE piece of advice that I could give small business owners or someone who is considering starting a handmade business, it would be this:

...save your receipts!

Every lasting one of them.

The tax deadline passed us a bit ago and I am learning my lesson better each year.  I did just so-so saving my receipts from 2010 but it was better than 2009.  I found a few more receipts in an obscure place [naturally] that totaled about $125.  That would have saved me a few more pennies to send to our dear government.

This year, I've gotten so serious that I even bought a small, expandable file.  You know the kind?

As good as I've done, there are still more things that I need to print off the computer to include in my file.

Here's a list of expenses I have come up with that maybe you encounter in your small business, too.  Some are more obvious than others. :)

*[naturally] any receipt from any store when you purchase supplies for your inventory
*display items for craft shows
*monthly expenses for email marketing services
*blog or shop re-design
*shipping expenses
*gas expenses [might be a bit hard to keep track of depending on how often you fill up your tank]
*business course expenses [i.e. continuing education]
*paid advertising on blogs
*Etsy or Big Cartel bills
*any subscription fees related to your business [Flickr, Picnik, etc...]

You would be surprised to find how quickly business expenses add up!  I am surprised!

Obviously, I don't support needling your way out of tax paying.  I am a proud, tax-paying citizen!!

Hopefully, this is an encouragement to you to save receipts!  You'll be grateful on April 15, 2012!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 25, 2011

endless gifts {526-535}

526. Conference week at our church
527. a risen Savior
528. beautiful Easter day
529. off work early [cue Hallelujah chorus!]
530. awesome, incredible, wonderful people that I work for
531. flowers because I vented
532. my Granny's 89th birthday [!!!!!!!!!!]
533. friends, friends, friends
534. forgiveness
535. faithfulness of Jesus!!

Happy bright and shining new week, everyone!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

::Saturday snapshot::

I have been wanting to participate over at Kim's Saturday snapshot party.  This week, some organizing bug bit me and I spent several hours organizing photos on our computer.

This has always been one of my favorite pictures of me and my brothers.  Every summer, we spent two weeks at my Granny and PawPaw's house in Mobile, Alabama for a family vacation.  At least one day was spent at the Pensacola Beach.  Such fun, fun memories!!

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

::new product::Sweet 'n Simple::

My first tote bag is listed in the shop.  I love it!!

It has interfacing sewn in to give it a bit of sturdiness.  The weight and feel of it is perfect if you need a simple tote bag.

Also, it would make an excellent gift!!

::look at that lining!!::

::magnetic snap closure::

 ::sweet depth at the bottom of the bag::

Happy Thursday!

I hope to have my first DIY [simple] organization board done by tomorrow.  Hopefully, we'll see it in action by the weekend!

Take care!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

::nautical and nice::

Just added to the shop!

A nice punch of yellow and white stripes!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

::what I love Wednesday::

Last night, I was out with the fam and we were talking about Europe.  [a small obsession of mine!]

Last summer, my parents, my brother, my grandparents, and I went on a trip of a lifetime.  We took a cruise to the Baltic Sea region.  The countries were stopped in were....England, Germany, Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.  It just-so-happened that Europe was going through a heat wave so the weather was absolutely gorgeous while we were there.

On top of the fact that we took this amazing trip, we were able to spend lots of time with my grandparents.  Little did we know that my grandma would be diagnosed with breast cancer a mere three months later.  She has one more chemo treatment.  It was supposed to happen on Tuesday but because some of her blood counts are a little low, it was postponed for a week. [major let-down!]

I had to make a big decision to go on this trip.  Saying yes to the trip was saying no to something else.  Going on that trip was one of the best decisions I have ever made.  Trust me, I've made a lot of bad decisions in my short life.

I am still loving the memories we made on that trip and thought I would share some pictures with you all for ...


::my Dad and Opa::I love these two hard-working men::

 ::beyond blessed with the best parents a girl could ask for::

 ::stunningly beautiful buildings::

 ::a gorgeous farmers market in Finland::

 ::the loveliest ride on a tourist boat through Stockholm::

::lots of time spent learning from the wisdom of my grandparents with many, many laughs sprinkled in::

So today, I am loving memories with family!!!

I am so blessed.  I give you one word:  humbled.

Happy Wednesday...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I remember a story in my reading book from early grade school about a little girl who tried to carry sunshine.  From what I can remember of the story line, the little girl's bedroom received the morning sun but her grandma's room did not.

So, in an effort to cheer her grandma up, she tried to carry the sunshine in her skirt to her grandma.  Alas, when she arrived and opened up her skirt to spread the sunshine, it was gone!!  Isn't it funny how little stories stick in your mind from years ago?

I think one reason I remember this story is because my brothers' bedrooms on the front of the house get gorgeous morning light.  But my bedroom receives the cheerful afternoon sun.  And I love it!

In the winter, the angle of the sun falls directly on my bed.  Sunday afternoon naps....mmmmmmm!

It is sunshining here today so beautifully.  I bought some flowers at a florist I have been intending to visit for some time. The flowers I bought look extra cheerful with the afternoon sunshine streaming in.

Am I in a cheerful  mood because of the sunshine?  Or is it because I got off work early today?  Or maybe it's because my fabric order came in today.  Hmmm...maybe all of the above.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 11, 2011

::life made lovely Monday::


Ever since Heather did the lovely re-design work here, I've been paying extra attention to her blog.  It is so pretty!  And her Flickr is so pretty.  [You should go take a look!]

I've been thinking more about being creative and what that means for me, without comparing myself to anyone else.

Heather's Life Made Lovely party is just the ticket for me to embrace the lovely in my life!

I haven't bragged, yet, on the hoop art that Sallie sent me.

When I opened that package, I was absolutely blown away at how beautiful it is.  What a perfect thing to showcase for the party!

 ::This is not the place where I have my hoop art.  I keep it in my room displayed on my desk.  However, like the bomb-diggity blogger that I am, I waited until after the sun went down to take pictures.  There's not enough natural light for the photos to look great so I whipped it out onto our porch where there is an abundance of natural light.::
 :a pretty little reminder::
 ::lovely, lovely stitching::
::burlap buttons::

Isn't that just lovely?!!

Thank you again, Sally!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Friday, April 8, 2011


Right there you have it, people.  My number one Easter candy -- Robin's Eggs Malt Balls.

I'm almost sick of them this year and that is epic!

I could still go for a few more chocolate peanut butter eggs.

What about you.  What is your favorite Easter candy?

Happy Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiday!!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

::and the winner is::

MAGGIE! of Maggie's Moments


You have my email address, so send me your real address and I'll ship your goodies off to you.

Also, let me know what color of earrings you would like --orange, pink, or yellow!

Many, many thanks to everyone for updating your Google Readers and links on your sidebars.

I'm loving this new place!  What about you?!!

Happy Thursday...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

::t-shirt shopping::


Last night, I was shopping in Target for a few spring/summer shirts. If you remember, my day job title is babysitter/nanny. So, my typical day-to-day look is casual but definitely not run-down and sloppy. I love dressing up but I have to be willing to get down on the floor to play board games, etc. And pretty soon, I'll have to "play" outside with the kids. My favorite look to wear to work [and the most flexible] is a denim or khaki skirt with a cute tshirt. Appliqued and screen print tshirts seem to be the rage and there are so many cute ones out there! However, I have a hard time finding ones that are cute and modest.

I was a bit discouraged in my search last night and I finally thought, "Etsy!!" Check there!

So this is a perfect opportunity to link up to Krystina's What I Love Wednesday!
::I love this pretty color and lotus flower::shop here::

::definitely a fun graphic::shop here::

::I am half German and this would be fun to have::shop here::

::a little dressy for work but would be nice to have for dinner out with the family::shop here::

::and last but not least, this is from a shop in France, obviously; it is beautiful::shop here::
 [sigh, I cannot help but be stricken by beautiful things in Europe.]

Happy Wednesday, all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

::new tote bag::

I took my third sewing class at the end of March.  The teacher that taught this class is nothing short of amazing!  I had the opportunity to take my first class under her, as well.  She is patient, organized, and super-duper talented.

I know, I know, I know there are tons of small businesses in the handmade world that make tote bags.  I understand that.  However, as I work to target my local community, I want to add tote bags to my shop.

My absolute favorite type of fabric to work with is home decor fabric.  I love the weight and feel of it.  It's great to sew with and makes the product sturdy.

The outside fabric of this bag is home decor fabric and the inside is a cute patterned cotton fabric, probably a quilting weight.

And, the bag stands up on its own!! Making this tote bag in the sewing class blew me away.  It was of a much better quality and design than I had anticipated sewing. 

I hope to offer these bags soon.  Hopefully, the sales associate for this particular fabric company that I have been trying to get in touch with will either return my call or email me back. [cross my fingers!!!]

I love taking this bag to work.  Here are a few things I typically carry with me on a daily basis:  my Indie Biz notebook, lotion, wet wipes, a snack, and tissues.  Waaaaaay exciting!!  :)

Have a fabulous Tuesday, everyone!  I am checking things off my to-do list like nobody's business.  It feels so good to have a productive day + it is sunshining outside.  BONUS!!!