Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine's Day Bling

I can't believe we are coming up on Valentine's Day! Where does time go? I'm trying to not be so last minute this year and have been looking for ideas on Pinterest but more on that later!

First, the shop is stocked with blingy Valentine's cuffs ready to customize and is also stocked with red and hot pink braided leather cuffs. Both are really fun to stack. Kids love the colorful braided leather bracelets. So check out my shop! I can customize the cuffs with an inspirational message of your choice.

Now, back to Pinterest ideas. Don't you think Valentines have become so much more elaborate since we were kids? I stepped up my game last year with these Minion Valentines. Never again! But they were cute!

The year before we made felt heart pins. I felt better about these because I imagined the kids will pin these cuties on their jacket or shirts even days after. Cute, right?

This year I think we'll make these cute bookmarks. Easy enough!

My son won't be down with those so I found these cute hoppy ones. Check out Lil' Luna's site for these. She has printables and said you can find these cute hoppers at Target.

What cute Valentine's Day ideas do you have?

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

SHS Book Club--More Books Read in 2014

I'm finding it hard to keep up with writing book reviews. So, I thought I'd create a collage of the books I've read. Titles and ratings below (out of five stars). I hope to write more detailed reviews in the future.

Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen--Two Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green--Five Stars

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg--Four Stars

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café by Mary Simses--Two Stars

The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons--Three Stars

Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson--Four Stars

The Friendship Doll by Kirby Larson--Five Stars

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter--One Star

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith--Four Stars

If you are on Goodreads, follow me here.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Kickstarter--Oh the adventure!

When someone suggested Kickstarter to me, my first thought was "no way, that sounds scary." I've posted links to my Kickstarter campaign on my Facebook page and Instagram feed and I figured it was about time I share about it on my blog. So click on link to view my video!

Kickstarter, if you didn't know (more on this later), is a crowd-funding web site where you post a video along with a dollar amount you'd like to raise and the reason you are trying to raise it. You offer rewards at different backer levels so as to entice people to give. If you don't meet your funding goal, you don't get any portion of the money people have backed. If you do, or even surpass it, you get that money for your specified purpose and you then have to reward your backers based on the dollar amounts they've given. Anyway, back to someone recommending it for me...I envisioned failing but not only failing but actually failing PUBLICLY. I'd much rather fail silently than in front of the world. But you know what? I really got to praying about it. Nothing worthwhile I've ever achieved just came easy and fell in my lap. So when I shifted my attitude I thought "ok, let's do this thing!"

Kickstarter encourages you to share about your campaign with every single person you come in contact with. Share, share, share. Every. Single. Person. Ugh. Not my personality. It's one thing if someone comments on the leather cuff that I'm wearing. Perfect opening. It's a whole other thing to just tell people you are trying to raise money. I was at the eye doctor today and was so close to sharing about it and giving him my card but I just couldn't do it. He's a super nice guy I enjoy chatting with him and is even a USC alumni and we talked about his kids trying to get into my kids' school and I invited he and his wife to a special night we are having at the school. So I really had an opening to just give him my card and be humble but I couldn't. I have to go back and get my lenses so maybe I'll get braver. I'm working on it....

I'm sure he wouldn't have minded and of course I would never let anyone feel pressure. It is just good experience to share about your company and product and general. I'm learning that people don't really understand what Kickstarter is and when you share it with them they are so congratulatory and excited for you without knowing that they can actually help you. I hate to say it is a generational thing but I think it is. Most people under 35 get it automatically. Anyone over that age (my MIL is an exception--yay Les!!!) doesn't understand that you are asking them to participate. But that's fine. I am just happy people are happy for me.

So I will share with you my blog followers what I'm doing because I am safe behind my computer giving you my spiel. I'm a crafty person at heart. I love to create. It makes me happy. I love thinking of new things to create and building upon current designs. I love hearing people tell me how much they love their sweet cuffs and what an encouragement they are to them. I feel like I've found my thing. This is a corny story but my dad would make leather goods as a kid. I remember his leather tools in his rolltop desk. His family would make fun of him--this little boy making leather accessories and selling them. Oh how I wish I had his tools today. When he tells me his leather stories I laugh because it makes sense why I love working with these leather cuffs and bracelets so much! It's just, well, fun. Each cuff is different and has a different sentiment. Also, I've met people who have very sentimental items of their loved ones--belts, straps--who want to turn those items into a cuff they can wear to keep with them close every day. That's beyond cool.

So, I've started a Kickstarter campaign to raise $2K to grow my business so that I'll be able to advertise, take part in a popular local craft fair and increase my inventory. I offer rewards starting at the $10 level. Every little bit helps me. I have 25 days left to raise money. I'm 10% there. It's an UPHILL climb no doubt and I've shared on IG, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, email and more. I have asked my husband and friends to share my FB post. Honestly I don't know that I will hit my mark. I'm going to do my very best. I have a PR/Marketing background so believe me that the wheels in my brain are always turning. If I don't hit my mark, well, actually I'm not even going to go there. I hope you can help me either by backing me or spreading the word. Thanks for listening. If When I do hit my mark, I'm so happy to share my tips with you if you want to launch a campaign. Either way I think I have ideas and am happy to share them.

I've moved my shop to Etsy from Big Cartel. So my shop link is now here.

You can find me on Instagram @sillyhappysweet.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Premade Cuffs for Sale

I have a few premade cuffs left for purchase. See images below. Shop link here. If I get it in the mail by Wednesday (12/17), it will likely arrive to its destination by Christmas. Get yours today!



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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shop Small This Season!

One of my all time favorite movies is You've Got Mail. As the years go by and I watch it again and again, the sound of dialing in via a modem and the "You've got mail" sound always make me laugh. My daughter asks me what that is and I have to explain to her that is how we once got online.

But one aspect of the movie that stands the test of time is the age-old quest for a small business owner to keep alive as the big box stores take over. I know as I write this and recall all the small stores that I love to visit that you yourself can name quite a few. There is just something about Kathleen Kelly's The Shop Around the Corner in the movie that makes you feel safe, cozy and happy. I imagine walking through New York at this time of year, chai latte in hand, strolling through that sweet shop. Ah....so much better than entering a huge brand-name bookstore with its florescent lighting and hustle and bustle of mass amounts of people that makes me want to hurry up, get my books, and get the heck out of there.

My whole point is to stress that if you can, shop small this holiday season. Support your favorite small businesses--they need our support. If you can, support mom-run businesses too. There are so many crafty, wonderful moms out there doing what they can to devote some time to using their talents to create some products that will make some extra money for their family. We do it mostly because we love it. We won't retire on the money by any means but it allows us a way to keep our creativity flowing. Take some time to visit Etsy.com and find gifts there this season. You won't regret it because the gifts you find will be unique, special, handmade and likely one-of-a-kind.

Some of my favorite shops are The Honaker Home, Hello MayPole, Barberry and Lace, and Cinderberry Stitches to name a few. If you feel so inclined, please visit my shop too!

I love this sign:

Happy shopping!

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

SHS Bookclub

I'm so behind in my book reviews that I'm going to try to pile on a few each time I do a SHS Bookclub post.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer was soooo not interesting. Definitely don't judge a book by its cover. Isnt' this a cool cover? Well the book is not. It is dull and drags on and on and on. It's quite a long book. It's about 6 people who met at camp when they were young. It follows their lives through their middle ages. It's unhopeful, sad, depressing, boring, dull, blah blah blah. I won't drone on. I didn't like it. Sorry Meg. I see she has a new book out. I just can't.

I read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld and have since read another Sittenfeld book I'll tell you about another time. Great book. The book centers on the lives of Alice and Charlie Blackwell. Charlie Blackwell is a wealthy politician aiming for the highest office. The book is said to be somewhat in line with the history of George and Laura Bush. Many of Alice's life events mirror those of Laura Bush's, including the tragic accident that took place when Laura was seventeen. I love politics. If you don't, this probably isn't the book for you. Curtis Sittenfeld is a really good writer. I highly recommend!

Morning Glory by Sarah Jio is a great book! I gave it three stars on Goodreads. I would have given it more but it is fairly predicable. Despite that, it is a fast read and keeps your interest the entire time. The setting is a house boat community in Seattle. Now I don't know about you but I think that houseboats themselves are pretty interesting. Ada takes residence on the houseboat and discovers an old trunk belonging to a woman who lived on the boat 50 years earlier. Their stories intertwine and that's all I can really say without giving too much away. I love Jio and have liked every single book she's ever written. I will always grab a book of hers without hesitation.

I read Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness by Candace Cameron Bure. I gave this book five stars on Goodreads. I think this is a book that every woman over 30 should read. Bure offers amazing biblical perspective into self-control and the ability to have a different perspective about food. If you are like me and have tried different diets and different exercise programs and continue to feel discouraged, you should really read this book. I was able to get so much more out of this book than I ever expected. I have highlighted quite a bit of it and refer back to it when I am discouraged or needing to reset my mind to what God wants me to believe. I'd like my daughter to read this one day in the distant future. It really is a good one!

The Bungalow by Sarah Jio is another great book. I just said above that I like Jio and think she is a consistently solid author. This book is no different. The book partially takes place in 1942 on an island near Bora Bora where Anne Calloway serves as a nurse during the war. The story is very touching and emotional. I don't want to write too much but just know that in typical Jio fashion there is love, loss, redemption, etc.

Ok, those are my reviews for now! I have plenty more. Yes, I'm a reading fiend. Where I find the time, I don't know but if my kids are getting hair cuts, I'm usually buried in a book. I find time when I can. I stick a heavy soap dispenser on my book and read while I blowdry my hair. That is a good 10 minutes I get in. I'm weird like that. If you are on Goodreads, follow me at https://www.goodreads.com/sillyhappysweet. Photobucket

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Friday, November 28, 2014

Casual Friday

Are you out shopping today? Is it crazy out there? I completely avoid shopping on Black Friday. I'd rather shop online while wearing my PJs any day of the week.

I've been working on quite a few cuffs for customers. Visit my shop to see the restocked items. There are some cute ones!

Linking up with Two Thirty Five Designs for Casual Friday.

I couldn't resist snagging this argyle cuff from my shop for myself. I love it with chambray. It is both casual but dressy. Perfection.

Shirt from Ann Taylor Loft

Scarf from Old Navy

Leather Cuff from My Shop

Boyfriend Jeans from Gap

Dingo boots from Macy's

Remember you can save 20% at my shop by using the code SHS20.

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