Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Life Updates (aka: I'm Still Alive)!

So, I bet you think I died. But I didn't. I just essentially forgot I even had a blog for the last 9 months. ;) Life has been the craziest whirlwind over the last year, I don't even know where to begin! I guess I'll just give you some fun little highlights to keep you up to speed with all that's happening in my crazy little world.

Etsy... Where do I begin?! Not even 11 months ago, I decided to embark on a little adventure by opening up an Etsy shop to sell all sorts of fun, handmade paper goods. Honestly, when I began, I didn't think I would sell anything. I put so much time and energy into researching what makes a shop successful, but I thought, "Who is going to buy from 'lil 'ol me?' It was a shot in the dark, but seriously, the rest is history. From week 1, I've never not had at least one sale per week (minus the 3 weeks I just closed so I could move into a new house - that's the next update;). Mind.blown. I knew I loved my stuff, but I didn't know if anyone else would. And I feel so honored that people find value in what I love to make! Some fun facts and stats as of today in case you're curious:
  • Total Etsy Orders: 324 (with 420 items being sold)
  • Total Views: 34,744 (this is the total # of times people have clicked on my shop or one of my item listings)
  • Total Favorites: 2,038 (this is the # of likes I have on my items and/or my shop)
  • Highest revenue month: $1,359.77 (March 2015)
I did my very first big craft show back in April and learned a lot. I am going to do two more so far this fall, and because of that, I've already got Christmas items on the brain. Craziness! One thing I've learned with having an Etsy shop is that you must always be thinking ahead. I no longer bitch about retail stores putting Christmas stuff out early (well, that's a lie, because Hobby Lobby put Christmas stuff out at least a month ago already, ewww) because I understand the need to always be thinking about the next season.

On a somewhat related note, I have a new craft room! And how is that possible? Because L and I got a house. Say what?!?! Literally just a few months ago, we spent a bunch of time researching bigger apartments to figure out where we would move next. We thought a house would come much later; I mean, years later. However, L met this really awesome guy through his job, and we've become really good friends with him and his wife - L even officiated their wedding! They just bought a house in the town where we moved, and we came out to see it. We'd never been to the town and weren't in the  market for a house, but once we were there, we fell in love with the area and scanned the neighborhood for houses that were for sale. While we were sort of joking at the time, we just kept looking at houses and made appointments to see a few. There was one house we weren't going to look at because it was a bit out of our price range. Guess what? That's the house we bought. ;) It was the first one we looked at, and we fell in love. You should have seen my eyes when we walked in! The added bonus is that it's brand new, never been lived in, so we had really no repairs to worry about. We talked appliances into the offer, and we got everything we wanted for the perfect price. How one goes from looking at 2-bedroom apartments to buying a 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath house in the matter of weeks is beyond me, but needless to say, I'm beyond thrilled! We moved into the house in the middle of May and have been slowly but surely getting settled. Because I know you're probably curious, I've included a number of photos that were taken before we moved it. Isn't it AMAZING?!

 Aside from this being the world's most unattractive photo of me, it marks a pretty exciting day!:)

 This front room is what you see when you walk in the front door. We weren't sure what to do with it at first because it's too small for the living room, but it's now L's "brandy room." Yes, you read that right. ;) We got some leather chairs and an ottoman to go in here (hopefully some pictures soon), and it really looks amazing! The ottoman is a storage ottoman and holds lots of goodies, including L's liquor;).

This is the view you see when looking at the front door from the start of the livingroom. The door on the left is a half bathroom, the stairs lead up to all the bedrooms, and the door on the right leads to the basement.

 Partial view of the living room and the dining area.
 Another view of the living room.
 Kitchen!!!! I can't even tell you how much I LOVE this kitchen! These photos were taken before the appliances were put in, so imagine a stainless steel stove, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher:).
 A walk-in pantry that is to die for!!
 View of the dining area and kitchen from the living room.
 Master bedroom.
 Master bathroom and walk-in closet.
 Walk-in Closet.
 Master bathroom. Love the double sinks! (The shower curtains in these photos were staged, so ours looks a lot different now.)
 One of the guest bedrooms.
 Guest Bathroom. Again, it looks different now that we are living there.
 Another guest bedroom. (The website that hosted these photos didn't include a picture of the last bedroom, so the bedroom you don't see is actually my craft room. It's a bit atrocious right now, so hoping to post some pics once I have it organized a little more effectively;).
 Back on the first floor, this is our laundry room. We have a washer and dryer in there now.
Partial view of the basement. We hope to finish it in a few years!

And so that's that. We have been very busy with house stuff and adjusting to L's new work schedule, so just taking it day by day. Hoping to take some photos that give you a glimpse into the house as we get more settled, but this is what you get for now! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Celebrating Becca and Benny!:)

Man. I almost forgot I had a blog. Seriously. Ha! Work has been crazy. Life has been crazy. I'm pretty much pooped out all the time. That being said, life continues to move and I've been up to so many things in the last few months. One of those things was celebrating the marriage of the friend I've known the longest - Becca! We've known each other since we were two. Unreal! <3 I can't believe it's been over a month since she and her hubby got married. Feels like it was just yesterday! I was lucky enough to be part of their special day, and I had such a great time! About a month before the wedding, we had her shower and bachelorette party as well. Such a great opportunity to spend time with old friends and make new friends. Without boring you with words, I'll share some pictures from all the fun festivities. I love my friends. :) (Hopefully I'll be back here more often that once a month, so stay tuned!)
Me and Becca at her bridal shower!
Me, Erin, and baby Witucki!:)
Me and Subs!
Blurry one of me and Bean!

Colby girls. <3
Girls in the wedding party!
Time to party!:)
 On the bus for the bachelorette party!:)
 Tex, our bus driver. What a character!
 We had missions that night. One of them involved getting a man to give up his underwear. That literally happened within five minutes of being at our first bar. Ha!
 One of my missions was to get a guy to let me write my name in lipstick on his chest. It was surprisingly easier than my first mission, which was to get a guy to donate $10 to the cost of our bachelorette party. Too funny!

 Rehearsal dinner!
Getting ready on wedding day! :)
Such a beautiful bride!
Me and Bean!
Colby girls!
 Begin the love fest!;)
 A great time was had by all!:)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Etsy Progress:)

Hi all! Just wanted to pop in and share what's been going on with my Etsy store since I went "live" a little over two weeks ago (August 8). When I first launched it, I did lots of promoting on Facebook and Instagram just to get people aware of what I was up to. Fortunately I have some awesome people in my life who have looked and shared and all that good stuff, so I've been able to get some traffic to the site! At this point, I have 871 views, which is actually really good! Since Etsy is filled with hundreds of thousands of items, it's actually not the easiest to be randomly found through the site itself. They really emphasize the importance of using keywords so that people can find you when they search for certain items. Needless to say, I've done LOTS of research on it and have worked very hard to ensure this isn't all for nothing. Anyway, in just a couple short weeks, I've made three sales. Woohoo!!! A big, HUGE thank you to my sister-in-law Casey for being my very first sale! She bought these lovely little envelopes:

Shortly after Casey bought those, I received a message on Etsy from a girl in Pennsylvania who really liked one of my banners and was wondering if I could make it in a different color scheme. After running to the store to buy some stuff that fit her needs, I came up with a few options, sent her some photos, and the rest is history. She absolutely loved what I came up with, and so I was able to successfully complete my first custom order! Here are a few pictures, and I've also decided to sell it in my store to others as well!

Find it here!

She even sent me a thank you email and a picture with the banner up in her room. How fun!

Oddly enough, the same day she officially bought her banner, another totally random person simply bought two packages of my blue confetti (1,200 pieces in each pack). Because I was leaving for a long weekend, I spent my Wednesday night last week punching 2,400 circles out of cardstock. Whew, that was a long night and a sore hand! ;) I was able to pack up and ship out the confetti before the weekend though, so hopefully she will be happy to have received it sooner than expected! Below is a picture of what she bought and how I packaged it!

Last but not least, as I mentioned in a previous post, I was planning to take some items to the store called The Regal Find to see if they would be interested in selling some of my stuff. I did that last Wednesday, and she took 17 of my items to start with! I only have one item of everything made up at this point, so she cleared my 'ready to ship' stock. Totally fine by me! :) So that's craziness, folks. I have sold stuff on Etsy, and I've also got some stuff in a store in hopes that it will sell! I may go in there at some point this week to see my stuff out in the store; it's still pretty trippy for me to think about, so I'd love to see it actually happening! Below is what I packaged up the night before.

Here is a picture of all the stuff she took from me at the store. I'm still so excited! I'll find out in the next week or two if I sold anything. In the meantime, I'm just happy my stuff is out there for people to see. I'll let you know if I end up stopping in or selling anything.

Hope to keep the momentum going - may be a little more challenging because the school year will be really crazy for me in the beginning. That being said, I'm going to try reallllllllly hard to not lose site of this because it makes me super happy. Wish me luck, friends! And don't forget to PartyHappier:).