Sunday, January 29, 2006

spaghetti 101

it's been a long weekend, and i don't feel like i have much to say. so instead, i leave you with one of my all time favorite pictures of the little dude. (taken a few months back) it was one of his first times eating spaghetti.....and he had just flung the spoon out of my hand.....directly onto his face. the look on his face was priceless. luckily the camera was right on the counter next to me.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

goal #5

i have begun the process to getting a retail site up and running. i have purchased the domain name, contacted a lovely website craftswoman (more on her to come), designed the layout of the website, and begun the appropriate paperwork to make it an official business.

the website will be located at:

we currently have a "coming soon" page up as a placeholder until the official site is done. i will be sure to post as we get closer to the launch date. (i'm hoping for sometime in march)

Saturday, January 21, 2006


sometimes i feel as though the reason the little dude isn't more advanced is my fault. i know every mother probably has crazy delusions like this, but sometimes it's hard to remember that.

the little dude is 13 months old and can finally stand (when he chooses) on his own, but seems to have no intention of walking anytime soon. he still doesn't say anything except for "maa mah" and "daa dah". he's always been a little bit of a late bloomer....not rolling over until 9 months, but then practically crawling the next day. it seems he just really has to get these things down in his mind before he will attempt to do them physically. so needless to say, i've been having some "mommy anxiety" about these things lately. "maybe i'm not spending enough time with him....maybe i'm not spending the time teaching him things i should" yada, yada, yada. the list goes on and on.

but then....last night we were getting the little dude ready for bed. usually he stays in the living room with one of us, while the other one makes the bottle. if he comes with us he just whines until it's ready, so we try to avoid that. instead of going to the kitchen to get his bedtime bottle, i asked him, "where's your bottle?" "show mommy where your bottle is." not only did he lead me through the house from the living room to the kitchen, but when we got there he stopped, planted his butt on the ground and pointed directly to the cupboard above where we keep his bottles.

all those "mommy anxieties" instantly melted away. i know he "gets it", he's just taking his time to show us.

Friday, January 20, 2006

january progress

today completes week 2 of my new scheduling system. i must say that i am amazed at how much more i've accomplished by using my new schedule. here are just some of the goals and resolutions that i've worked on in the last two weeks.

- joined the gym. attended two different aerobics classes this week.
- wrote and submitted my first official press release.
- laid out a detailed list of what needs to be done for the national stationery show. inculding dates that they need to be accomplished.
- designed my promotional postcard for the national stationery show.
- began work on this year's catalog.
- designed the layout for the new retail site.
- worked on tax preparations including sending out all my 1099's.
- completed 6 new designs!!! (my goal was one per week, so i tripled my goal....super excited about that!)

i feel so much better about what i accomplish at the end of the day. instead of just completing random things here and there, i'm actually doing things that matter and that will get my business where it needs to be. i think if i keep one resolution this year it needs to be my new schedule. by sticking to that, it helps all the others fall into place.

Monday, January 16, 2006

in order to achieve my goal

tonight i bit the bullet and signed up for a gym membership. i don't know why it's so hard for me to part with the money, but it just is. i know in the grand scheme of things, it's not that much for what you get. maybe the price will help motivate me to go on a very, very regular basis....which is what i need anyway.

all we have in our small town is a ymca. i took a tour tonight and it's actually a pretty nice facility. i'm excited to start going. my goal is to try to hit-up one of the aerobics classes tomorrow. hopefully i don't die in the first 5 minutes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

day two

today is day two of my new scheduling system and i just have to say....i love it!

yesterday, being my first ever press release day, was a success! i not only did tons of research on how to write a great press release, but i actually wrote a rough draft for my first one! it's not final by any means, but it's at least a start. i also researched an online press release company that helps submit your releases to the appropriate people. all in all, it was a successful start to productive day!

today was full of planning for the national stationery show. i have begun a to-do list of all that needs to be done between now and may. i also designed and finished my promotional postcard that i use each year for the show! again, another productive day!

i love being able to focus on one thing per day instead of being pulled in 20 different directions when my brain starts thinking of all that needs to be done.

at this rate, i will have accomplished my yearly goals by february!

Friday, January 06, 2006

running start

i'm bound and determined to meet all my goals for this year. i know that the only way they're going to be met is by scheduling each of them to their own specific time slots to be accomplished. today i did just that. thanks to ical, i now have recurring timeslots in which i'm assigned to accomplish specific tasks. here are just a few of them:

every other monday: accounting
second monday of the month: press releases
every tuesday from now until may: plan stationery show details
the first monday of the month: update website with new retail sites. update address book with new stores.
every friday: one new design.
etc. etc. etc.

i'm really hoping this new schedule helps me focus more and not get sidetracked from the day to day happenings of running a business. these tasks are of course in addition to the daily tasks such as invoicing, shipping, etc. but at least when the daily tasks are done, i won't have to ask myself what i'm going accomplish that day. it will already be pre-determined for me. i'm very excited to start on monday morning! it's my first ever "press release" day!

Monday, January 02, 2006

2006 goals and resolutions

my goals and resolutions for 2006

business related: key goals
1. increase annual sales by 40%. i will achieve this goal by hiring additional reps in key areas not already covered and also increasing my national stationery show sales. (see goal #2)
2. increase sales at the national stationery show by 50%. i will achieve this goal by doing more marketing and advertising before the show, which will drive more business into my booth.
3. design on a more regular basis so that my scheduled releases are not last minute. i will accomplish this goal by keeping a list on hand of new design ideas. whenever i have a free hour or two, i can quickly look at the list and begin designing instead of sitting and wondering to design. if possible, i would like to try and schedule regular design sessions each week.
4. do a better job of updating my website with current news and new releases. i will achieve this goal by scheduling updates on a regular basis. i find i do much better at these things if they’re actually written on the calendar.
5. get a separate retail site up and running by july 2006. this is a lofty goal, but it really needs to happen. this also includes many other things such as registering a new business, opening a new banking account, etc. basically start an entirely separate and new business. yes, i am crazy. this goal will be achieved with help from my husband who will be in charge of building and updating the site with new products. i will be in charge of all design and marketing of new site.
6. send out press releases and new samples to media on a more regular basis. i will also accomplish this goal by scheduling specific time in which to do it.
7. get published in a “real” magazine. (we were published in about 5 separate issues of trade magazines in 2005.) being published in actual newsstand magazines would add much more name recognition to my company. i will accomplish this goal by fulfilling goal #6.

business related: stretch goals
1. increase annual sales by 60%.
2. increase sales at the national stationery show by 65%
3. increase number of new product releases from 5 to 6 per year.

personal: key goals
1. lose at least 10 pounds. i will achieve this goal by exercising on a regular basis. i will begin by doing an exercise video at home (while the office assistant can watch the little dude.) and look into the cost of the local gym. in the warmer months i will begin to add walks outside where i can also include the little dude. this exercise will be scheduled and added to the calendar so that it becomes a priority.
2. eat healthier and in better portions. i will achieve this goal by trying to minimize the number of times we eat outside of the house. also planning meals at home so that we don’t make bad last minute decisions. eating smaller portions at each meal will also help attain goal #1.
3. spend more one on one time with the little dude. i will accomplish this goal by taking small chunks of time out of my workday to be with him on a more interactive level.
4. try to have another baby without infertility assistance. i think we all know how to achieve this goal! if after one year of trying on our own we are unsuccessful, we can re-address another round of ivf, (invitro fertilization) which is how the little dude was conceived.
5. pay off at least one of two student loans. also, pay off our credit card which was used to pay for much of our infertility costs. this will be achieved by continuing to make additional payments.
6. stop swearing! our goal was to do this by the time the little dude was born, but that didn’t happen. now that he’s 1 and can mimic what we say, there’s no more time for procrastination.
7. spend less time watching t.v. and more time making our house beautiful. our house is in need of many, many new curtains and other things that i am more than capable of making myself. i always swear i don’t have the time to work on such stuff, but if i just cut down my t.v. time, i’m sure i could get a ton of these projects done.

i think that’s about it for 2006. quite a list, but i think they’re all achieveable.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


happy new year!

last year's recap and this year's goals to follow!
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