Thursday, May 21, 2020

Moving Forward


Shew.

I recently saw a post circulating on Facebook with the prompt to post the last photo on your phone's camera roll when things were still normal. That seems like such a wild statement. My last photo was a picture of my kids sitting at the kitchen counter with St. Patrick's Day cards they opened from their grandparents. The older two were wearing school uniforms.

I haven't been as great at posting here as I intended to back when I launched this blog in January. (Yikes! It's almost June!) But it has been a crazy run the past few months.

We successfully finished online learning to complete the school year and received report cards in the mail today. School wrapped up earlier than expected for us - the last day would have been just a few days ago if schools hadn't closed.

I quickly began receiving requests from family members for fabric masks and I took my time sorting out all the details and features before finally settling on a final product I was happy with and comfortable making for others. They have been keeping me busy the last month. I find myself having a set work schedule through the week and take the weekends off. It's something I always dreamed of for my Etsy shop, but it's weird that it's happening in this way.

If you're still needing a mask, I post spots daily Monday-Friday, typically between 2:00-4:00 PM central time.

*I've also published a page here with all the information regarding the masks I've been making, so it's available if you need that!


Monday, March 9, 2020

Opal Paper Co. Inventory Sale!


I'm doing a bit of spring cleaning at Opal Paper Co. and have discounted all of my planner clips* by 50%! I'd like to make room for new products and designs, and since all of my items are ready-to-ship, I have quite a stash built up!

Now is the time to snag all the planner clips you need to be prepared for a full year of planning! Some options are as low as 75¢!

See everything on sale in my Etsy shop here!

*Planner clips listed with April's subscription box are not included in this sale.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

April Subscription Box

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE

  

I can barely believe we are a week into March already! I recently announced April's subscription box on Instagram, and I am super excited about it!

We've had a few warm days here since March began, and April's tulip-themed subscription box is the perfect reminder that spring is on the way! 

This box is a little different than the past two boxes for a couple different reasons:
  • It's a mini subscription box: there are only three items included
  • It's mix & match: the pens and glitter planner clips are available in different colors (more on that below!)
 Each box contains: 
  • One color-changing tulip pen — The white tulip at the top of these pens changes color when exposed to sunlight! Color options are blue, pink, and purple. Colors are subject to availability. 
  • One glitter tulip planner clip — Choose between blue, pink, or purple. Colors are subject to availability.
  • One purple tulip shaped paper clip.

As always, there is no monthly commitment to the subscription boxes I am offering! If you want to purchase in March but not in June, but again in July, there is no need to sign up, unsubscribe, then resubscribe. Subscription boxes will be available as a regular listing in my Etsy shop for anyone to purchase. Although quantities may be limited, I may offer a wait list and restock them as necessary throughout the month, depending on demand. They will ship within 3-5 days of being ordered.
 
Lastly, one person each month who purchases a box will randomly be selected to receive a 10% off coupon toward the next month's subscription box. Yay!

April's subscription box is available for purchase here

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Bathroom Makeover: Framing a Builder's Grade Mirror

We've been in our house a little over a year now, and I have been working on some projects here and there as I've had time. One thing I've been dying to do is get rid of the builder's grade mirror in the kids' bathroom. Since it is glued to the wall, the next best thing to replacing it completely was to frame it ourselves. After researching (there are many blog posts and YouTube videos on this project!), we figured out what would be best for our situation and quickly got to work!

Tools & Supplies we used:
  • Wood (we used 1x3)
  • Stain (we used Minwax Polyshades in Espresso)
  • Staining cloths
  • 3M Between Coats Finishing Pads
  • Mirror Adhesive & Caulk Gun
  • Painters Tape
  • Miter Saw
  • Chisel
  • Rubber Mallet
  • Clamps
  • Measuring Tape
  • Level
My husband measured and cut the lumber to size using his miter saw. We decided to keep the plastic clips at the top of the mirror there and mount the wood directly to the mirror. He used a chisel and rubber mallet to notch where the clips would sit behind the wood & stained the pieces.

  

Once the stain was dry (we only used one coat), I used the 3M finishing pads to even out some spots before mounting the frame to the mirror.

  

I used so much tape because I was so paranoid about it falling before the adhesive had time to cure. Ha! I don't know if you need this much, just use what you're comfortable with! I mounted the bottom piece first and held it in place with some books stacked between it and the faucet. It sits directly on the top lip of the counter, which kept it level. I mounted the right side next, and used some leftover wood pieces between the frame and the wall to keep that corner from shifting. The left side of the frame was next, and that's the piece I was most worried about shifting or falling. That's why it has the most tape! The top piece was the final piece, and once everything was in place I let it cure with the tape for 2 days. I also didn't let the kids shower in there to keep the moisture out. That may be overkill, but I really didn't want to risk interfering with the adhesive at all.

Paint color is "Iced Lemonade" from Sherwin Williams.

I am so very pleased with how it turned out!

This mirror and the wall paint were the first steps in this redecoration. My husband also built me a shelf for over the toilet (sneak peek in this photo!) which I need to decorate. I have a few more things to finish in here before it's complete, and then I'll do a full bathroom makeover reveal!


Saturday, February 1, 2020

March Subscription Box

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.

 

I had so much fun putting together March's subscription box! March is my birthday month, so I pulled that into March’s subscription box theme. This is the perfect box to grab & have on hand for your own birthday month or to gift to someone else! Available February 1st through February 29th, the March subscription box is just $10! 

Included in this subscription box is:
•Fabric tape (3 strips of each print)
•Gold pen holder (elastic band for attaching to your planner or book)
•Cupcake planner clip
•1 sheet of gold birthday stickers
•Gold raindrop paper clip with ice cream charm
•Starburst candy 

I hope you love this box as much as I do! February's box sold out before the end of January and I didn't do a restock, but remember, there is no monthly commitment to the subscription boxes I am offering! If you want to purchase in March but not in June, but again in July, there is no need to sign up, unsubscribe, then resubscribe. Subscription boxes will be available as a regular listing in my Etsy shop for anyone to purchase. Although quantities may be limited, I may offer a wait list and restock them as necessary throughout the month, depending on demand. They will ship within 3-5 days of being ordered.
Lastly, one person each month who purchases a box will randomly be selected to receive a 10% off coupon toward the next month's subscription box. Yay!
 
You can purchase the March subscription box in my Etsy shop here.
 
 

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Signs of Self Utopia

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.

 

My husband has written poetry for as long as I have known him [longer, actually, since he was writing long before we met]. I remember sitting in my dorm room in college, chatting with him on AIM  (I promise I'm not as old as that makes me sound!) and reading poems that he'd send me. He had numerous small black Moleskin notebooks with writings, and it's been a dream of his to be a published author.

For the past six to eight months, he's been working incredibly hard on his first book. Even while working full time and finishing up his master's degree, he managed to compile and complete work, design cover art, and publish the book. We finally received the author's copy a few days ago, and it is beautiful.

It is amazing to hold it and appreciate the diligence and determination that went behind it, but also to know it's a tangible dream realized that has come to fruition.

I am so incredibly proud of my husband, and I hope you feel compelled to pick up a copy of your own! It's available on Amazon here. If you aren't in the market for a book, check out some of his work on Instagram and leave him some love if you have a moment!

//Raindrop shaped paper clips are available in my shop here!\\


Sunday, January 12, 2020

Tornado Warnings, Painting, and Mistakes

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.

 
"Faint Coral" by Sherwin Williams

Saturday morning I awoke to an emergency alert on my phone: tornado warning. Thankfully, we were not hit badly and were able to get to work straight away on a task I had planned for the weekend: painting my eldest daughter's room.

Originally I had this paint color picked out for my youngest daughter's room, but the morning I was to begin painting her room she decided she wanted purple instead. We found her a nice purple color and saved this paint we already had on hand for another bedroom.

I am so thrilled with how it turned out! We always choose bright and airy colors for our home, and this color [Faint Coral by Sherwin Williams] did not disappoint. Sherwin Williams is our go-to paint brand. We use them all the time because their quality is great and their color options are phenomenal.

Before moving into our current (new) home, we had painted nearly our entire former home, save three bedrooms. Here, in our new home, we have only managed to paint three rooms. We have a lot more wall space in our new home, and some extremely tall ceilings that we'll have to figure out how to get to when it's time. 

We aren't big fans of painting, so my husband and I have vowed to make sure the next home we purchase (hopefully build!) will be painted the colors we want before we move in. This home is all one single color. Even the ceilings are the same color as the walls! The flat, builder-grade paint is awful, to boot. It's impossible to clean and every smudge and mark shows.

So, even though we hate the process, we love the end result. Paint has the ability to transform the entire look of a room.

 

Some painting tips we've learned over the years:
  • Use the wider painter's tape, especially on the ceiling!
  • Stick all your covers and screws in a Ziploc bag to keep them all together.
  • Roll first, then cut in! It saves so much time.
  • Cut in with the smaller, thinner rollers instead of a brush. It's more uniform and saves time!
  • Peel the tape before the paint dries to ensure you don't peel off the new paint.
 

Do you have any tips to share? My husband and I have a system down and with all these tips we can knock out a room from start (prep/taping) to finish in under four hours! I don't know if that's quick in the grand scheme of things, but it's much quicker than we used to be when we first started painting rooms.

 

Once the room was all painted and I was preparing to put the bed frame back together, one of the long sides of the bed fell from where I had propped it up against the dresser. Thankfully it missed my head, the window, and my daughter, but it did not miss the wall where it put a huge triangular gauge in the drywall and skid downward from there. Nothing like a little humility to round up the day!

Once the wall is fixed and I have her room fully set up and better lighting I will post some more photos.


Friday, January 10, 2020

Year In View - 2020

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.


My new planners arrived yesterday (finally!) and I immediately dove into starting my daily planner with 2020's year in view. I found this layout on Pinterest and thought it would be a perfect start to the year.

I'm thinking about coloring each day to watch the progress through the year. I think that would be fun to track!

One of my goals this year is practicing my handwriting and hand lettering. Let me know in the comments if you have any good tutorials or practice sheets that have helped you! The last time I worked on making my handwriting look better was in high school, and I still can't get it to look "right" when I'm using brush pens, ha!

Speaking of brush pens, I ordered these Sharpie brush pens along with my planners. What brush pens are your favorite? 

Also, I had lots of smudging/smearing issues on this spread. If you have a favorite fast-drying ink pen, please let me know! I am in need of all the suggestions!

//Do you create a year in review spread? I'd love to see it!\\

[Find the 2020 planner clip in my shop here & the Scentsy Fragrance Flower here!]

Monday, January 6, 2020

Weekly Spread: January 6-12

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.


I was a bit behind in ordering my new journals for 2020, so while I wait for them to arrive (c'mon Wednesday!) I was able to use the very last bit of this gal to do my first full weekly spread for January. I saw this super clean and simple design on Pinterest and absolutely loved it. 

I used my twin-tip Sharpie to vary the stroke widths and my trusty fine-tipped crayola marker for a subtle pop of color. My rose gold cat face silhouette shaped paper clip is the perfect addition to this spread, since not only does the color match the marker, but Opal also has her grooming appointment this week. 

[Side note: Opal is, in fact, our actual real life pet cat. She just turned three this past November, and is the mascot and face of Opal Paper Co. She is an all-white Exotic Shorthair (the shorter haired version of the Persian) and has two different colored eyes. If only she knew what greatness lay upon her shoulders!]

 
One day, if I'm lucky, I'll get a decent photo of her to share. 
She's graced my Instagram account a few times. 

I think I'll continue with this layout for the remainder of January and switch it up come February.

Leave a comment below linking to your current weekly spread! I'd love to see it!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

February Subscription Box

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.


If you've been following me on Instagram for some time, you'll know that every month during 2019 I had a different customer special in my shop. I know I wouldn't be where I am without the support of my customers, so I vowed to give back in 2019 in a special way. The customer specials were a hit, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to provide deals and incentives throughout the year as a thank you.

For 2020, I am introducing monthly subscription boxes and I am so excited about them! I put a lot of thought into each box (I am planning them months in advance) and I am hopeful that you will love them as much as I do!

Each month a brand new themed subscription box (for the following month) will be available to purchase through the last day of the current month. The current theme is hearts so you can be prepared for planning in the month of February.

Each subscription box this month includes:
•Puffy gold glitter heart planner clip
•Set of 3 heart shaped paper clips
•Pink & white check ribbon paper clip
•Pink glitter heart planner charm
•Random color Gelly Roll pen
•Confetti heart stickers (6 stickers)
•Chocolates

You can purchase this month's box here.

There is no monthly commitment to the subscription boxes I am offering. If you want to purchase in March but not in June, but again in July, there is no need to sign up, unsubscribe, then resubscribe. Subscription boxes will be available as a regular listing in my Etsy shop for anyone to purchase. Although quantities may be limited, I will offer a wait list and restock them as necessary throughout the month. They will ship within 3-5 days of being ordered.

Lastly, one person each month who purchases a box will randomly be selected to receive a 10% off coupon toward the next month's subscription box. Yay!

 




Friday, January 3, 2020

2020 Book List

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST TO YOU. READ MY FULL AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE HERE.


I have a confession: I don't read.

Well, that's not entirely true. I don't read as much as I should. I don't really know why, because I loved reading as a child. I can't pinpoint where the habit died off, but as my children get older, I realize I don't want that happening to them. 

Recently, my son read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone as a class in school. I'm an avid Harry Potter fan, so I read it along with him - which he loved! We both thoroughly enjoyed discussing the story as we read, and we've gone on to finish book two and begin book three together. (We have the illustrated editions, which I highly recommend! Find them on Amazon here. They are phenomenal.)

This year, I have decided to make a list of all the books I intend to read and be proactive about. 

(Click the title to go to the book page if you'd like to find out more about it!)
If you have any ideas for the remaining six spots on my "bookshelf" please share them below!

[If you are reading this blog post within 24 hours of it posting, check out my stories on Instagram to watch me draw my bookshelf in my bullet journal!]

//The "2020" planner clip can be found in my shop here, and the rose gold cat face silhouette shaped paper clip can be found in my shop here.\\


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year, New You

 
 
For many years, especially within the rein of social media, I have been privy to others' declaration of a single word chosen to focus on in the new year. Although I have always admired the proposition, I have not personally taken the plunge to participate.

Until now.

Perhaps my lack of participation in the past has been due to indecisiveness: how do you choose just one word to define your entire year? Or maybe it was due to skepticism in my own living: how can I focus on just one word to define my entire year?

I suppose I never had the internal direction needed in order to understand the premise.

2020 is my year, though.


I have always lingered in the back of the classroom, and in doing so within the maker community, I feel as if I have hindered my growth. Growth in my business, sure, but also growth as an individual, growth with other individuals, and growth creatively. 

This year, for the first time ever, I am choosing to participate; I am choosing to engage.

[Do you have a word chosen for 2020? Is this your first year participating or your tenth? I'd love to hear your words and reasons!]