JULY IN REVIEW

This was a busy and fun month.  

Summer came raging in with the hot weather and humidity.   
Did I mention that our house doesn't have central air



The highlights include 

finding new books for Silas

going shopping Silas-sized sleeveless tanks because he starts sweating as soon as it's 72 degrees

eating fresh blueberries right off the bush

long walks in the morning

rolling out the fun summer designs for my shop

catching up on my scrapbook and reminiscing years past

staying in touch by writing letters

netflix with the hubs after the baby goes to bed

starting a fun summer curriculum for Silas


KEEPING THE END-GOAL IN MIND


Being a small business owner, goals and to-do lists are my life.  In other words, it would be hard for me to have accomplished the things I have without making specific achievable goals.   Sometimes though, I'm so short sighted that goals suck the energy and motivation out of me.   I want to taste and reap the benefits tomorrow.

I can't tell you how many ideas and projects have come up in my mind but never make it to paper because I know that the project doesn't bring enough passion.

These are three things that I remind myself of when considering a new venture or product.

1.)   Will I still be just as excited and obsessed with this idea 6 months from now?

It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of making a new product that you forget the nitty gritty details of the research required, the investment of time needed to produce something completely new, the learning curve, the period of waiting for success to happen.  Soon enough, you realize that maybe you were just caught up in the idea of being successful and you didn't actually have a passion for what you started.

2.) Making mini-goals within the BIG goal is smart

There's nothing more boring than spending months working towards the ultimate goal, only to look up and see how far away that end goal is and wonder WHEN you will EVER reach that point.  That's why it's so important for you to make milestone markers along the way.  It's a reminder that you are making progress.  The goal will be achieved.

3.) The project and goal can evolve into something slightly different from the original idea

Flexibility makes things so much easier in every single realm of life.  It removes the pressure of the expectations you may have put on yourself when you originally started on your venture.  Without flexibility, you force yourself to spend time on something that you may feel isn't worth it anymore.  Before you know it, you'll be months into your venture wondering why you didn't tweak things when the thought to do some originally popped into your mind.  (and who cares if you already told people what your original plan was - this is your goal - you get to make the rules)



5 MINUTE TOY: PIPE CLEANERS


I made a trip to our local Dollar Tree a couple of weeks ago and purchased several random things that I thought Silas would enjoy playing with in various ways.  One of the things I purchased was a set of pipe cleaners.

I read somewhere that pipe cleaners and a kitchen strainer equal a lot of fun for a toddler, so I decided to try that out on Silas.


Sure enough - it kept him occupied for at least 30 minutes.  The trick was to hand him the strainer with the pipe cleaners already in it - some of which I twisted together.  The goal for him was to remove the pipe cleaners.


It was a great lesson in concentration, fine motor skills and patience.


All-in-all, this "toy" cost me $.99 and 2 minutes of assembly time.


The Working Farm



Despite the threat of rain, we visited a nearby working farm this past weekend.  Did it rain?  Yes.  Was it still worth it?  Yes.  

Silas loved seeing the animals in person and up close.  (But not too close)  We learned the names of the horses and donkeys.  We're pretty sure Silas was trying to say the horse's name "Dollar".

Another favorite moment was when we were getting ready to leave and the cows slowly walked their way in front of us from the barn to the pasture.  Lots of shock and awe from Silas in that moment.

Farm animals.  Pretty basic.  But in the eyes of a toddler - amazing.

WORKING FROM HOME WITH A TODDLER

The transition from being a self-employed woman to a self-employed mom was less of a gradual process and more of a drastic change.  I remember leading up to my due date debating in my mind whether or not I should bring my laptop with me to the hospital so I could fulfill orders while waiting for Silas to be born.

Right. 



Although the passion for running my own little business hasn't dwindled, thankfully my idea of work-life/family balance has changed.  

The first 6 months or so of running my business after Silas was born is a complete blur and it felt very rocky.  Partly because Silas had no idea what a normal sleep schedule was and partly because I had no idea what I wanted my schedule to look like for work.  

These are the times I typically get work done with a 19 month old.

Naps and End of the Day
These days Silas takes one nap every day in the afternoon and sleeps 11-12 hours every night.  9 times out of 10 I use nap time to get the bulk of my work done.  If I'm lucky, Silas naps for 2 hours, but usually it's closer to and hour and a half.  There's no surfing the internet, reading blogs or catching up on Instagram.  I work until everything is done or Silas is awake.  If there's any work left over or I have an idea I want to come to fruition, I save that work for when he goes to bed at the end of the day.  And even then, I do my best to stick to no more than 2 hours of work at the end of the day.  Getting in bed at a decent hour is my goal every night.


When he's at Daycare
When Silas was about 4 months old, I realized a regular and reliable babysitter would be helpful for my business.  I casually mentioned this to a friend one day when we were hanging out and to my surprise she offered to watch Silas two days a week.  I couldn't have asked for a better deal.  Typically Monday and Wednesday mornings are when Silas goes to her place and I devote all of my time to work.  This is very helpful & keeps me sane - I'm not sure I could run my business without this extra time.




Quick edits on my phone or laptop
A good part of my business is responding to inquiries.  Thankfully this can be done on my phone, anywhere and anytime.  Occasionally I have clients who need a quick edit done on their files in Photoshop and e-mailed back within a certain timeframe.  The laptop comes in handy when these times pop up.  Silas isn't at the age yet where I can work on my computer while he plays in the room - if I'm lucky, I get 10 minutes in, but those 10 minutes are all I need for the quick edits.

Adjusting for being able to work 8 hours a day at my leisure to waiting around for the toddler to nap or go to daycare has been a great lesson in time management and prioritization. 

Project Life: End of June '16 - Beginning of July '16







Summer's flying by - I'm glad I'm documenting it and storing the memories away in my scrapbook!  

These spreads include our adventures at Kennywood, trips to the local zoo, walks in nearby neighborhoods, visits to the city and regular day-to-day happenings.

No wonder time is flying by - we've been busy!

SOME OF MY FAVORITE THINGS RIGHT NOW...

Large diet cokes with extra ice in styrofoam cups (I'm picky)


A toddler that goes down for his afternoon nap in his crib without a peep




Christmas Eve yankee candles (Every store should have this scent as an air freshener)

This song by For King and Country

4:00 pm....because that's when the Ellen show is on and we know that Daddy will be home soon.



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