Monday, November 26, 2012

Dreamin' Big

One of the reasons I started this blog was to document my journey to achieving some of my big dreams.  Although I don't always voice them out loud, I have big, crazy dreams for the future.  Dreams like having a big family, adopting, taking my big family on a missions trip to another country, homeschooling, owning my own shop, traveling the country, learning Spanish, and taking my parents back to Disney World like I promised them when I was 13.

Well, most of those dreams require a decent chunk of money and time so I am learning to have patience while I dream.  :)  But I am able to work on a couple of them right now.  For instance, Doad bought me the Pimsleur Spanish CD's* for my birthday one year and we are verrrrry slowly working our way through them.  I think we average a lesson a month haha.  But we're doing it together and hopefully one day we can travel back to our honeymoon spot (beautiful Dominican Republic)and put our Spanish to good use! [There I go dreaming again... ;)]

Another dream that I am taking a step to achieving is opening up a shop online!   As you know, I have been sewing quite a bit lately.  Several people have encouraged me to sell some of my products and I've decided to take their advice.  :)  I'm really excited and a little bit nervous.  There is a lot of planning that goes into opening up an online store. And a lot of questions that need to be answered.  Which storefront should I use?  How do I price my products?  What type of branding material do I need to get right away and what can wait?  

I've been working my little tushy off to research and prepare and sew, sew, sew!  I am planning to launch the weekend after Thanksgiving, but wanted to post about it now so that you all can share in the journey.... and maybe also give me some advice?  :) The planner in me is freaking out a little bit at all the unknown's of starting something so new to me.  However, the dreamer in me is so sooooo excited to be doing this.  I know I just need to start small and work really hard and learn as I go.  But I really would appreciate any support, advice, and words of wisdom from those of you who have been there and done that.  Some of my big questions are:

What storefront do you recommend and why?

What are your best organizational tips for running a handmade business?

Do you have any favorite resource sites you'd like to share?

I really can't wait to open up shop and show you all my latest sewing projects.  In fact, I think I might just have to give you a sneak peak now!  Tell me what you think:

Looking forward to posting more about this soon!  And to hearing all your wonderful advice *nudge nudge* ;)  Have a lovely weekend, everybody!

*Affiliate ad

Helloooo, Etsy!

It's here! I finally did it!  After being sick all week, a trip to Massachusetts and back, and dreams about my mile long to-do list every night this week I am proud to announce the grand opening of my shop, Sew So Lovely!

I'm so happy to be reaching for this dream and can't wait to see where it leads.  I have dozens of ideas for new products and am super looking forward to doing some sewing this week so I can bulk up my listings.   I hope you will check out my little shop and tell me what you think.  And just in case you need some convincing...

Click the picture to go take a look!  Happy shopping.  ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mani Monday: November Julep Bombshell Box

I sort of got this box by accident this month.  I hadn't decided if I wanted it or not but forgot to skip the month so it ended up on my doorstep.  I couldn't be happier about it.  I LOVE these two shades.  The colors are deep and rich and so, so beautiful.  

These packages always come so adorably wrapped and always have a cute little extra added in.  The extra this month was three of their One Step Polish Remover Pads.  I haven't tried these yet, but they are in my purse, ready to go for the next time I need polish remover on the run.  

The other non-nail polish item in the box was Pink Grapefruit Body Frosting.  Super soft and creamy, this frosting felt wonderful.  My husband hates grapefruit, so I was worried that he wouldn't like the way I smell if I used it.  But I just made him smell it (without telling him the flavor haha!) and he said it smells good!  :)  So I will most definitely be using this as the days get colder to keep myself nice and moisturized.  

And lastly, here are the beautiful nail colors.  

Trina is a beautiful deep purple with just a touch of a pinkish shimmer in it.  
Donna is described as a smokey peacock blue creme.  

I can't even put my finger on why I love these colors so much, I just think they're super pretty.  Maybe it's because blue and purple are some of my favorite colors. Or maybe it's just because the deep, dark tones are so perfect for this season.  Either way, I'm a fan and I'm glad I didn't skip this month.  

If you want to become a Julep maven and gain access to magnificent polishes like these, I would highly recommend it.  You can even get two free nail colors with your first maven box by using the code FREEGIFT.  Happy Monday, friends!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Buying Your Dream Car in 3 Easy Steps

About a month ago, Doad's car finally bit the dust and we suddenly switched gears from house-hunting to car-hunting.  We've both been driving rather old, cheap cars (thank you, Craigslist) but, for a couple of reasons, decided that this time around maybe we should invest in something a little newer and more reliable.  Mainly, we're tired of taking our cars to the mechanic.... #Craigslistfail

Baby fever has also been sniffing around these parts lately, so we thought maybe we would try and find one last "cool" car before we have to trade it in for a so-not-cool minivan.  Enter: Doad's dream car.

Hello, beautiful, white, Scion TC.  Come live with us please and make my husband so, so happy.  :)

The story of how we bought this car is a little bit ridiculous in my eyes, so of course it makes perfect blog post material.  I thought I'd share with you our valuable tips and tricks for getting your very own dream car at a price you can afford.  Love me?  I thought so ;)

Buying Your Dream Car in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1.  Google. 'Nough said.

- Skip the fancy, credible dealerships you already know about.  Go for the dealerships you've never heard of with names like "Cars For Less" or "Good Credit? Get Lost".
- Ignore the ones near your house.  You want it to be at least 50 miles away, preferably in another state.
- Also, make sure you look for these after work hours so that no one is there when you call.  That way you can leave a nice voicemail and wait a couple days to hear back from them.

What We Did:
When the dealer finally called us back, we went to see the car.  It wasn't ready to be purchased for a couple days, but we loved it and told him to give us a call when it was ready and send us the Carfax and it would pretty much be a done deal.  After a week of phone tag and them refusing to send us the Carfax, we found out the car had a salvage title.  Womp, womp!  On to Step 2....


Step 2.  Ok, now go to a "credible" dealership.

- Make sure the guy you're emailing and calling is not the same guy you will see in person.  This helps to ensure that you will be able to tell the same thing to different people multiple times.
- Also, if this sort of stuff overwhelms you, don't bring your significant other with you to help calm you down and talk things out with you.  The dealers like it when you get flustered and confused.
- The best salesmen are the mean, rude ones who imply that you are ignorant and dumb.  They will also probably admit to you that they couldn't make their marriage work even though they have children and they will be dressed in wrinkly clothes with cat hair all over them.

What We Did:
I knew as soon as he walked in that I wasn't going to like this guy.  Just had that feeling, you know?  The cat hair everywhere didn't really help either.  After implying several times that we were dumb, he asked my husband outright if he even worked (are you kidding me?).  This car was about $4,000 over what we wanted to pay anyway.  It wasn't worth that much and we were willing to meet halfway, but he wasn't.  We left and told him to call us back if he decided he wanted to make a deal.  He was not a nice man.  And a horrible salesman.

Step 3. Head home from the "credible" dealership and get a text from your father-in-law about the perfect car at the perfect price.

- When you marry, make sure he has a father who is both a car genius and has a gift for generating the perfect deals out of thin air.
- If you are really into discounts and deals it's important that this is the third step so that you are good and worn out from haggling and you don't really care about getting the "best" deal as long as its a fair deal.
- When you test drive this car and your gut tells you that this is your husband's new car... BUY IT.

What We Did:
At this point, we really knew what we were looking for in a test drive and everything.  It didn't take us long to know that this was a good car at a fair price.  We got the guy to knock off a couple hundred dollars, but really weren't trying to mess around too much.  Also, we went right before Sandy was scheduled to hit our state - I think that helped.  Car dealers and hurricanes don't mix and they were trying to get as many cars off their lot as possible.  Hubby drove the new car home that day and as I followed in our other car, I swear he was practically floating he was so happy.  He also floated a little when the "credible" dealership called him back a few days later to offer him another deal - he took great joy in telling them that he got the exact same car at an even lower price from another dealership.  Booyah!

And that, my friends, is the not-so-perfect way that we landed ourselves a pretty awesome car for an equally nice price.  Obviously, I was feeling quite snarky and sarcastic when I wrote this, and I do not really recommend all these steps when searching for a new car.  But hopefully our adventures will help someone find a car with a little more ease than we did.  And at the very least, I hope it entertained some of you.

We prayed a lot about this the whole time we were looking, and while I do feel like it could have been easier, I also really feel like the Lord led us to the perfect car and that he was with us the whole time.  Stuff never makes sense when you're in the middle of it, but we just kept trusting and God was so faithful.

This reminder came at a perfect time since I have been getting a little stressed about looking for a house.  Buying a house seems so huge and intimidating to me.  "What if we pick the wrong one?"  "What if we hate it, but have to live there forever?"  "What if we love the house, but the location is too far and we miss out on seeing friends and family?"  There are soooo many "what if's".  But after seeing how God provided a car for us, I feel so much more confident in Him and His faithfulness toward us.  I know that even if the process takes longer than we want, that He will eventually lead us to the perfect house.  I just need to keep praying and trusting.

So all in all, buying a car has been a very educational experience for me, both spiritually and street  Haha.  Who knew?

PS.  When I say that baby fever is sniffing around, I DO NOT mean that I have caught the fever yet.  Please do not expect any big announcements until after we find that awesome house that we are praying and trusting for.  :) 

That's all for now!  Later 'gators!