Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time flies when you're having fun

So, I guess I broke my resolution to blog every day... In the last 7 days I've driven to and from Seattle twice, started 3 or 4 new quilt orders, painted my new store and now I'm in Long Beach, WA for a short mini vacation with my mom (what I'm actually calling a corporate retreat).

So I guess that's my long excuse.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Things You Forgot Are Awesome

Snow Days

Like, legit snow days where you're actually stuck at home. Not adult snow days where you still have to go to work.

Dairy Queen Blizzards

Granted, eating these doesn't make me feel good afterward but they are so delicious.

Stretch Pants

I don't care that people are always saying "leggings are not pants"... they are comfy. At least I'm not wearing flowery ones like I did when I was 10.

Living Room Dance Parties

What else am I supposed to do on snow days??

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Unproven Money Tip #1

Today, I wrote a post for the blog Go Go Grays Harbor about the economics of buying local. Living in a small town has made it more difficult to buy local, strangely enough, but I seem to make it work. I've also been developing some not so common financial rules to live by in my head. Might as well start writing them down.

1. Stop using coupons.

Have you seen that crazy show about coupon hoarders? I can't stand it. They might be getting awesome deals, but who in the world needs 200 bottles of gatorade?! Even if it cost you only $5 for those... that's $5 you could have just kept in your bank account because you have no real need for gatorade. There, I've said it.

I realize that I am somewhat unique in this world of mass-consumption because I favor simplicity and minimalism, but I'm just saying it might be something that more people could embrace which might lead to more savings and more intentional spending.

So, my theory is that you should never buy something with a coupon. Not that you shouldn't buy things that are on sale, but you shouldn't buy them BECAUSE they are on sale. Do you eat bananas every day? Yes? Oh and they're on sale this week? Great! Do you eat Hostess Cupcakes everyday? No? They're on sale this week? Step away from the packaged sugar bomb.

I think that if you're willing to pay full-price for something, it's probably something you actually really really want and/or need.

People around my town always complain that there's nowhere to shop local, but I think that what they actually mean is that they can't find massive amounts of things they don't really need or want but are on sale.

I used to always shop in the sale section of clothing stores and I'd come home with a ton of clothes, many of which either fell apart after being washed. Or I realized I didn't even like it in the first place but can't return it because it was on sale... oi. It makes me cringe to think about the money lost in those moments. With all that money back, I could probably buy myself a new floppy hat and a boat and live the rest of my life on some beach in Mexico.

So, tip #1: No coupons. If you don't want to pay full price, don't buy it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Music Monday: Doe Bay Sessions

Is it crazy that even on beautiful snowy days I can't help but think of how much I wish I was at Doe Bay?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Photo Friday: Photo Bombs and T-Shirt Quilts

I can't believe it's Friday already! What the heck did I do this week? Who knows.

Tonight I'm heading out to the Quinalt Beach Casino to check out the Grays Harbor Idol competition. I can't wait to see what these people got! Then I'm hoping for no snow this weekend so I can make it up to Seattle for the Gift Show. *Fingers Crossed*

I went to a lovely wedding last weekend and got to see some great friends, though they are total hams for the camera. It was hard to get a photo without them posing.

Photo Bomb - Do you see it?

And I was super excited this week to see one of my t-shirt quilts on Geek Crafts! This one is pretty cool, since it's made of all beer t-shirts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spam, You Complete Me...

I recently went through my email and actually unsubscribed from a number of junk email lists that I've somehow become a part of over the years.

Here's the funny thing. Emails make me feel important and I worried that I wouldn't get any emails anymore after I unsubscribed! It's ridiculous, I know, but I finally did it.

Due to the fact that I'm also a little OCD and MUST keep my unread emails at a constant level of zero, unsubscribing actually gave me so much extra time! I no longer get distracted by unwanted emails and it turns out I still get real emails too.

Boo-ya email. I win.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Adventures in Retail: Getting Organized

The work on the new business continues!

Turns out opening a business is a daunting task and because of my impatient nature, I always try to do everything at once. So, I'm constantly making short movements toward designing the interiors, buying products, setting up a POS system, networking, getting all of the licensing taken care of... and trying to get some sleep!

I'm sure my stress level will decrease once the space build out is complete, but until then I feel like I'm on pause. It can be difficult to imagine how all of the products will fit in the store without being able to work with the items in the space.

What have I done to get organized? I started an excel spreadsheet and listed EVERY item I'm looking at buying and included the minimum order number and associated prices. Seeing this all layed out where I can easily manipulate numbers has been incredibly helpful.

I also grabbed a Word doc and started dropping in pictures of the things I'm looking to buy. I'm a very visual person and this helps me to visualize the store and how much space each of these items might take up or if they all make sense together.

We are also trying to figure out a way to purchase enough but not too much. We don't want to overdue it and spend all of our money right at the gate.

We are still on track for a March opening! I will keep you up to date as things move along.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Going Paleo

Today, I officially started the Paleo Diet. I've been experiencing a variety of weird symptoms lately. It might just be heartburn, but I've also been wondering if maybe I have a food intolerance. So, as much as I love Macaroni and cheese, beer and ice cream, I'm officially going Paleo.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Friday, January 6, 2012

Photo Friday

I'd like to share some photos from the week each Friday. This was a pretty short week since Ive been in Oregon for a wedding. Nevertheless, here they are!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Kind of a crazy day, but I'm sticking to my commitment! Even if it means blogging from my phone at 11:20 pm at a bachelorette party somewhere outside of Corvallis, Oregon.

I guess that's all I have to say. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I'd like to keep you updated on the process of opening a new store, and at this point my feelings and thought process look something like this:

From the top: my modern met, Pinterest, uranophane, etsy, trendy traveler, reason to breathe

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thoughts on Social Media Marketing

I recently downloaded two new apps on my iPhone and they have quickly become addictions: Instagram and Words with Friends.

While browsing through my twitter feed, I saw someone mention that thanks to instagram, twitter and a few other networking sites - they were done with Facebook.

Individuals and businesses often start using social media outlets without realizing it's differentiating factors, or what separates each of these sites. Understanding the potential for each site can be quite helpful in deciding where to spend your time.

This is by far the biggest and most popular social networking site. Everyone, including probably your grandmother, has a profile on here. It's incredibly easy to join, easy to navigate and incredibly addicting. I find that it's difficult to remember what life was like before I joined 7 years ago. However, over time they have made so many changes that it has made it drastically more difficult for businesses to gain new fans. Ads are expensive and, in my experience, have very little return. Many people who are your fans may never even see your posts, because they don't interact enough with your page for facebook to put your updates on their newsfeed. Facebook pages are most useful when you can get your fans talking about your company and sharing links. So as far as Facebook goes, you've got to make it interesting or your updates will go under the radar.

This is my personal favorite. Twitter is an ongoing conversation between you and your followers. In the "twitterverse" it is the norm to "follow" people you don't actually know, but people whom you might like to know. It is most effective to have a personal twitter account where you update your followers on everything from a new product line to your thoughts on the tv show you're currently watching. People on twitter like to share and the more you share, the more people will start to notice you and respond to what you're saying. On twitter, frequency is key.

The world of Foursquare is a strange one. Checking into various locations in order to gain points. Points which don't actually get you anything, I might add. The strangest part is that it's kind of addicting. I love trying to beat more of my friends each week and it can be really useful if you have a business with a physical location. You can offer discounts or prizes for checking in, which will hopefully spread the word that you exist. The bad news? I think there are some feelings of dissaproval on twitter and facebook for those who constantly check in on Foursquare. Also, it's pretty easy to forget to check in and therefore forget about Foursquare altogether.

Ok. Not only is this site fun and addicting, but it can be very useful. You can create a network of followers and then link to the items you sell so that people can share and reshare and share some more. This is great for businesses who sell lovely looking products because it's very visual.

This is another great site for those visual people, like myself. On twitter, I hate clicking on links to see photos. It takes too long to download and throws me off my social networking game. Instagram is so perfect because it is just like twitter, except you upload a photo. Not only that, but people can comment on the photos right there and the comments stick with your photo - rather than just being out there floating in space like they do on twitter. Instagram is also fun because of all the ways you can make your photos look more interesting.

Words with Friends
Dare I say this is a social networking device? I think this game is so successful because you get to stretch your brain by playing a game, that is basically Scrabble, and you can chat with your friends while you play. Almost like real life...

Finally, I'd like to mention that it's a good idea to connect all of your social media outlets together. Makes life a lot easier. And there are many many other sites out there which I haven't mentioned and you might find very useful. The important thing with each of them is to know their purpose and how they can be a help (or a hindrance) to you and your business.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012: Bring It On!

I'm here to announce that 2012 is the year I get my s*&% together. I've made some big changes as of late (the chaos of which has caused me to neglect this blog) and now that I'm at the ripe old age of 27 (for the record I first entered 28... I don't even know my own age) I feel as though I can actually commit to committing to real live commitments.

First of all, after my travels around the country and seeing all that this lovely nation has to offer, I decided to move back to my hometown of Aberdeen, Washington. What sane, single, 20-something would do such a thing? Actually, not sure if I'm totally sane. Anyway, after living in Seattle and Portland, I realized that having a tight community is very important to me and I actually found it back in my hometown.

Which brings me to my projects for the new year:

A few friends and I have launched a blog called Go Go Grays Harbor! We got a little bit tired of hearing people complain about the area and say that there isn't anything to do so we're bound and determined to prove them wrong. We are still forming and will soon be posting daily about interesting local people, restaurants, activities and sharing some of our random thoughts and interests with people near and far. We also threw an awesome Ugly Sweater Roller Skating party just before Christmas. Since I love event planning and promotions, I'm quite excited by all of the opportunities that may stem from this project.

The bigger project coming up is my new business, a retail shop in Hoquiam, Washington. I will release more details as we move along, but I am so very excited to finally have the opportunity to create a real live space where people can visit and find awesomely awesome things to make them happy! Oh, I really can't wait! Plus, part of the space will be dedicated space to Queen B Quilts, so now people can come by any time to get started on their t-shirt quilt.

With so much happening in my life, I decided that I might as well throw daily blogging on the pile. I hope to give you all some insight into small town life as well as the process of opening a new business. I plan to share as much as possible with you to hopefully help and inspire you to take on the big projects in your life.