Thursday, January 20, 2011


Still not 100% better, pretty much everyone else has been sick or is sick. What can you do? Trudge on. I'm feeling very determined though, lots to do, like always, but this time I know I will get it all done. Ironically, it was being let down by someone (yet again) that's given me this burst of energy and determination. At first I just wanted to cry, then I wanted to yell, now, I am just ready to move on, and get things accomplished in spite of it all.

I will always be the thing that you can put off doing, I'll never be your priority, I get that now, and its okay. The check's in the mail, right? No, it isn't and it never was and it never will be. But its okay- I'm okay.

Update on Sunday with all the things I accomplished this weekend :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Off to rough start...

Well, it hasn't been pretty, folks. We caught some sort of bug/germ/flu thing-y and have been passing it back and forth for a solid week now. It started last Saturday with JD, and by Monday I was ready to take all three kiddos in to the doctor, but when I called to make them an appointment, the receptionist told me the office was closed until Wednesday. Wanna guess why? All the doctors went to watch Auburn play in the National Championship game- duh! That's important right? To close your practice and leave your patients with nothing more than a 1800 nurse line. Since no one was gravely ill, a trip to Urgent Care or the ER wasn't really warranted, so we just sucked it up. By Wednesday, everyone seemed to be doing better, but here it is Friday, and we all still have an ugly little cough, and Sophie has started running a fever again. Ugh! I just want my kiddos all better!!!

The highlight of the week was probably the 4 of us trudging through Walgreens (which was plastered with CDC signs warning of flu pandemic breaking out in Alabama), buying cold medicine, a new thermometer, ice cream and Valentine's peeps, sniffling and coughing, to the sounds of Don't Cry For Me Argentina playing on the sound system. I was so out of it, I wasn't even singing along- now that says
a lot about how sick I was!

I haven't really accomplished much on my list yet, but I still have high hopes for the month, so I haven't given up yet on that. I guess we'll see where I'm at this time next week.

I did find a great article of new year's resolutions for your small business:

1. Dare to be different.

Be daring and take steps to ensure your company and your products stand out from the crowd. Look at what you did well in 2010 and what you could have been different. Take bold steps to help your brand stand out in 2011.

2. Have a clear purpose.

Make sure you go into the New Year with a clear and compelling mission and ask if you were living it in 2010. Make sure everyone on your team knows what it is, what business you’re in and what is expected of them. Look for creative ways to bring it to life with your team.

3. Listen and have something compelling to say.

Make a commitment to be a better listener in 2011. Commit to listen and then formulate your response. Actively seek your team’s input and feedback for new ideas. Listen to your consumers and understand what makes them tick. Listen to what they have to say and build a relevant and compelling conversation with them. Remember, if you’re not interesting or relevant, people will ignore you.

4. Pick a fight.

When you’ve got an opponent to beat, it increases your motivation to win, so choose an enemy to fight and rally your team around this battle. Make the enemy a competitor, a trend or an element of your internal culture, and put it up on the wall so your team can find motivation and focus in it.

5. Set a big goal.

Set at least one wild and audacious goal for 2011 -- something you’ve never tried before. Outline the goal, share it with your team and challenge them to play their part in achieving it. Make sure you celebrate the small victories and successes along the journey.

6. Inspire your team.

There’s nothing more important than your people, and there’s nothing more engaging than a team who feels acknowledged. Inspire them with your own attention and regular updates on the business. Also bring in relevant speakers and articles to keep them challenged.

7. Laugh a lot.

One of the best motivators for your team is a great work environment, and one of the best elements of a vibrant team environment is laughter. Next year do small things that make your employees smile. Along with laughter and a light-hearted environment, small gestures or events can make a big difference. And the benefits won’t just stop with your team -- they will show through everything that your brand does.

8. Plan the plan.

Commit to setting time aside to plan your year next year ahead. Set two days aside at the end of November every year to plan for the following year. Then take a day out every quarter to review how you’re doing against the plan and revise it where necessary. Every brand needs a plan. Make a commitment to write one.

9. Make friends.

Chart a “circle of love” and identify brands with similar values that you’d like to partner with in 2011. Assign someone to explore potential relationships and collaborations. You’ll be surprised by the results, even just the initial conversations you’ll have about your own brand.

10. Show your appreciation.

Do what your mother told you! Thanking people goes a long way to create valued and appreciated fans -- internally and externally. This year, find new ways to show you appreciate your team, your customers and your partners, in ways that truly make a difference in their lives. You’ll be surprised and delighted by the results.

I like all of these except #4. I think that deserves a post all its own, so I'll have to do that next week, I have some thoughts rattling around in my head about competitors and competition in general, oh, and depending on the seller's reply, maybe even a funny post about scrabble tiles... we'll see, lol.

Good night world, send get well vibes my way please!!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello 2011 :)

I gave up on this blog when JD was born, it just seemed like there wasn't enough time. He is 8 months old now (crazy how time flies), and while I'm certainly not twiddling my thumbs here, bored to death or anything, I feel like its important to make time to blog again. This isn't meant to be an overly personal blog (i.e. not sharing my deepest, darkest secrets here), but instead, an insight into what its like, trying to run a business and a household, with the Army thrown in, ya know, to keep things interesting. I'd also like to use it to hold myself accountable, as far as my "to do" list goes. And if people are actually reading, lol, use it for feedback as the business continues to grow.
So starting off 2011, my to do list is already packed, but I'm very excited. My new planner is already full of what I intend to accomplish this year, all the way up through July. So here's January:

Start Couch to 5K (again) on the 10th I tried this once before, and I think I made it two days, but I'm going to try again. Really, I am.

Sunday Clean Up (9th- laundry and guest bath, 16th-kitchen, 23rd-living room, 30-dining room)
Since it looks like we will be staying in Alabama awhile longer (knock on wood) I've decided I will go through the house, room by room. Not so much cleaning, cause I hate cleaning, and I'm not really good at it anyway, but re-organizing/de-cluttering/redecorating.

Order 200 yards interfacing Not as easy as it sounds, trust me, its rather an ordeal, but I need to do it :(

Left over pre-made inventory
I think I have this figured out what to do with most of the pre-made inventory left over from the holiday craft show season, I just need to do it, lol.

Catch up on sales rep stuff
Seriously, if my sales reps don't mutiny on me. Its a lot of tedious little things, missing key chains, some of them moved, etc. But instead of doing it one by one, I've let it pile up into this mass of to do's labeled "reps". Ugh, not looking forward to this one, but very much looking forward to crossing it off my list and having happy reps for 2011 :)

Scraps Not a huge bunch of them this time, but enough to work with. I'd like to go through them and test out some new designs, make a few things.

New purses
I have 3 new things that I want to get into the pipeline this month- a clutch, a child's purse, and a version of the scoop bag we had pre-mades of this holiday.

Must. Do. Taxes. Business taxes, get everyone's 1099s out to them, file business taxes and our personal taxes.

Skin Cancer Screening Cause I'm paranoid.

Gonna work on the bells and whistles- changing fonts, sidebars, widgets, the whole shebang. Then actually "promote" this little bloggy of mine, see if anybody's interested in reading it.

Labels Need to revisit the purse labels, see if its time to change them up, or keep them the same, and just order more.

Signature tag for emails
Totally embarrassed to say, I don't have one. How sad is that? I just need to make one, will probably take 10 minutes. Been on the to do list for-ev-uh.

Form Emails
Gonna revisit these to, just see if they need any spiffing up.

Website Updates
Nothing major this time, just a few things I've noticed, like the lining fabric jpgs are out of order, wanna add the shipping discount codes to the description of each item, instead just in the headers, etc.

Geesh, that's a lot, Wish me luck!

PS- anybody reading? leave me a comment and introduce yourself, please :)