Friday, December 29, 2017

New Years Resolutions for 2018: More Minimalism, More Living, Grow Creatively

What. A. Year 2017 has been! I am so grateful our shop venture not only worked out but is thriving more than anything either of us has created on our own. We have huge business plans going forward into 2018, there's more than I can even catch-up with here! That part of life turned out well, mission accomplished on the career front.

My view right now, our refreshed store office with a huge vision/design board

Yes, career life is optimistic, but we took short-cuts to get here at the expense of our personal lives. I have made my mantra for 2018 and it's all about making myself delegate and be more streamlined and organized than EVER so I can give AJ and myself the gift of free time! My resolutions for 2018 include:

MORE Minimalism

This isn't just about having less things (though I intend to continue to slash the amount of possessions owned) but about eliminating extra tasks, "ingredients", and steps from our business and life to make it run more efficiently.

MORE Living

Hopefully with our lives more streamlined we can leave more work to employees (eek!) while still profiting and go on breaks and trips more often. I need to start visualizing it (I can't imagine my life not overloaded with too much work right now) and making it happen!

FINISH essential tasks first-thing and FAST

I want to finish essential tasks IMMEDIATELY so we can just get to living! I sometimes mull over something too long or torture myself over stuff, no more, I just need to finish things fast so we can live more.

KEEP Growing Creatively and Otherwise with Classes and Groups

This is in regard to business but also importantly, keep growing creatively, work my hardest with my blog, my business, my creativity and connection with others. Take creative classes, develop photography, stay in that growth zone! I want to do this by taking as many creative classes and joining as many craft and creative groups as possible this year. I already bought one for our local Gem and Mineral society.

Bonus, Project 365

Project 465 requires you to take a photo a day, every day for 365 days straight. I stopped using my SLR entirely after being burned out on it when taking hundreds of photos a day became my day-job. But now I *NEED* to take beautiful photos again, I'm excited for the challenge of a fresh new year to practice.

Happy New Year! /Comments Off   - While I catch-up on stuff. I'll be updating on my store and personal Instagrams
See you with new content and things in 2018 :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Our Dog Adoption Story, Meet Zorro the Greyhound. The Chill Lazy Cat-Dog.

Remember Yack our adopted stray cat? Six months into owning him he suffered cognitive heart failure and passed away. We were all devastated, even AJ, the former cat hater! We'll never regret knowing our sweet pirate cat and we hope we gave him the best final six months of his life. Although we still miss Yack, it opened our heart to bringing another animal in need into our lives. With a couple of developments helping business go more smoothly we took the leap and adopted an animal I've always wanted, a greyhound!

Note how hilariously stiff he is in the first picture. Yep, retired Greyhounds do prefer to be carried like sheep because of how they're handled during racing years.

Why a greyhound? First of all they're just sweet. I can't think of a more mild-tempered animal in the canine family, they're just lovers. Second, they are the perfect apartment-friendly dog because they are lazy couch potatoes that literally sleep for 18 hours per day! They're the most cat-like dog and as a Crazy Cat Lady that makes them the perfect dog for me. Last but not least, they are gorgeous elegant animals that are always in need of homes because they're always being bred for racing.

Our greyhound is a black two year old retired racer, we adopted him from Greyhounds as Pets of Northeast Florida. His racing name was KB's Excell, we named him Zorro after trying to figure out a name for a tall, dark, dashing animal. If it was up to me he could have been Christian Greyhound but AJ put his foot down on that one, haha. We also considered Don, as in Don Draper from Mad Men.

Zorro turned out to be just like the greyhounds I've been reading about for years. He's very mellow, sleeps if we're not walking with him or actively trying to get him to play, and has pretty much no "doggie" smell because of the lack of oil glands and fur. They have a "nesting" instinct, if there's a fluffy quilt on the floor or anything soft they will go right to it and just sleep for hours! If you're looking for a low-maintenance dog to adopt I can't imagine it getting easier than a greyhound. This is so far though, I've read that he may get a little bolder and maybe mischievous and they adjust to their new life!

One thing I like about owning a dog is how it forces you to slow down and just live. 

I've always said as a creator or business owner it's a huge problem I have, I want to be productive nearly every second of the day. With a dog you have to walk outside several times a day, I have no excuse, it's now an (enjoyable) necessity. The past few days having Zorro my heart soared witnessing the beauty of the neon-bright red-orange leaves on the trees contrasting with the blue sky. Creativity can't continue with non-stop work, your brain needs moments of rest. Go hard, then take a break, sometimes the best ideas spontaneously generate from your mind matter when let your brain completely rest.

Dat face! Awww. About to take him on his walk at the store. He usually wears a different vintage scarf every day :D

Right now we're working on socializing Zorro, he'll be coming with us to our markets and to our store, too. He's already spoiled.

Are you a dog owner?  Please let me know any tips you have on dog ownership in the comments! We're happy share life with our sweet creature hopefully for years to come.
NEW >>> See the behind-the-scenes of me running my shop and making stuff here & here on Instagram.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Quirky Zen House Airbnb Experience in Gainesville, Florida + Our 60s Mod Room

This weekend I employed my niece and took her an hour south to Gainesville, Florida for a Body&Soul sales event. The venue was the gorgeous new-ish Depot Park. We, along with all the other vendors, discovered they'd lied about many details of the event. It wasn't the blockbuster turn-out we were expecting but with hard work we made it profitable and made some fun memories, too.

This event happened to be during the same weekend of the biggest football game in Florida. So I'm told, I'm not going to fact-check that, I hate sports! And now I hate the related sports partying because the night we arrived we maybe slept 3 hours if we were lucky! The whole block was pulsating, it felt like trying to sleep in an actual dance club. It made our Zen House NOT so Zen.

Despite the location and grumpiness of a guy we're assuming lives in or helps run the Airbnb, I adored the home itself. Sunny yellow, multiple gongs, spatial harmony, zen garden, ladder to the roof, history?! My kind of kitschy place. Different details gave it the appearance of an old fashioned church, juxtaposing that with zen trappings was delightful and spiritually uplifting to look at.

(1) the 60s mod "art room" we stayed in. (2) The entrway and our colorful room door (3) Beautiful bedazzled flower of life on the sidewalk outside the house

We stayed in the Art Room, I loved what they did with the tall ceilings and the bookshelf full of new-age books. I was clearly in the midst of fellow Japanophiles with the house name. The "learning Japanese" workbooks in the shelves were completely filled-out, too.

The gate on the side of the property

The gardens and exterior looked perfect but you could tell different spaces on the inside were under construction. I like staying at places that are a little unfinished, picturing the potential is invigorating.

And the communal kitchen bought back memories of all my favorite types of hippie shared-living places. The bathroom had a huge tub and I loved the old painted wood walls.

A picture of the courtyard I snuck through the fence, it was locked. I seemed like this was an airbnb and communal living space?

Multiple drunk asses rung the gongs loudly at night while we were trying to rest for long outdoor market days, the guests next to us were too loud and the location of this place near the busy Main St. means every weekend probably gets too loud, but it was still wonderful to get away from my normal environment even for a couple of days and just for work. I'm definitely planning to do more trips to Gainesville for more chakra healing (we did a trade for one and it was awesome!) and artistic and spiritual inspiration.

BTW: I extended my online sale until Sunday if you're looking for Gift-giving, I ship things same-day so they arrive in time for Christmas. You don't have to type in a code, just click here.
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