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February 2012

February 27, 2012

A Happily Ever After Story

A lot of people ask how to grow a business, you know, especially when you're starting from the ground up.

I know that story all too well, as almost everything I've learned in business, I've learned from me. Trial and error. Doing everything I could to make it work. And along the way, one thing I've learned is that the connections you make and relationships you build are some of the most valuable choices you can make.

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Image courtesy of The Attic.

And whenever I possibly can, I love more than anything to build others up, to praise, recognize, and embrace all of you who are doing what you love and trying to make your way in the world too. Recently, I held a business card contest which was so much fun, and learned about many small businesses out there. After receiving all of the submissions, I visited the websites of the finalists and discovered Alisa and her vintage rental company, The Attic, which it turns out, serves my area! And because of what she does, I was able to open the doors of The Farm Chicks Show to her, in a unique sort of way.

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AtticlogopicA perfect connection.

You never know what's in store for you today, but be open to what's out there and the connections you can make. Because this is how you'll live happily ever after.

To learn more about Alisa's business, click here. To follow her business on facebook, click here.

 

February 22, 2012

The Business Card Winners Announced!

Wow!!! What I've learned is that everyone who voted is very passionate about which cards they voted for! I know this because almost every vote had lots of !!!!  :)  And actually, that made me smile because I'm always super conscious of the fact that I use a lot of !!! when I write. Phew! Now I know I'm not alone.

Congratulations to the three business card winners: Melissa Davis Interior Design, Mustard Moon, and Red Dog Barkery!

Davis1-1024x1024Melissa Davis is a mom and wife and followed her childhood passion for decorating and creating and turned it into an interior design business. Having trouble with color choices in your home? Melissa offers an affordable e-design consultation to help you tackle those tough decisions. In her spare time, Melissa writes about design, inspiration, and more on her blog, Glittered Dreams.

Congratulations, Melissa!

DSC02794I first met Jane of Mustard Moon, many years ago, at the very first Country Living Fair in Chicago. I immediately fell in love with her bubbly personality and coveted her score - a huge stack of old diner wall cards, many for pies.

Jane operates Mustard Moon in Carver, Minnesota - a shop specializing in vintage, antique, and great finds - which is open 3 days each month. And from what I hear, it's pretty amazing. I will definitely visit some day and encourage you to as well!

Congratulations, Jane!

IMG_0394.JPG-Version-2Mindi is the founder of Red Dog Barkery, which began as a quest for healing after the loss of her beloved dog, Abu.  Mindi's first creations were homemade all natural dog treats. The success with that line grew into the addition of handmade collars, leashes and bedding.

I think Red Dog Barkery's motto sums it up best:  For the love of dog.

You can read Mindi's newsletter here.  Congratulations, Mindi!

All three winners will receive a surprise prize pack, from me! (Jenny Doh's Signature Styles book (featuring my craft space), 2 tickets to The Farm Chicks Antiques Show, and some fun Farm Chicks stickers!)

And, as promised, we've randomly selected one voter as the winner of a surprise prize pack as well.  The winner is: Rebecca who writes the Our Busy Little Bunch Blog. Congratulations, Rebecca!

Winners: please drop me a quick email with your addresses so we can get your prizes mailed out to you right away!

Thank you to all who participated - entrants and voters. You're all winners to me. xoxo

February 17, 2012

The Business Card Contest Finalists

We've narrowed down the Business Card Contest entries (thank you so much to everyone who entered! We were overwhelmed with the volume of cards received), and now it's your turn to vote for your favorites!  Voting is now closed.  We'll announce all of the winners soon!

Handmade: (on recycled cereal boxes)

1.) The Red Kitchen

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More handmade/embellished:

2.) Terri Click 3.) Paulette Miller 4.) Portage Trail Barn 5.) Alexa Lett

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Fun shapes:

6.) Red Dog Barkery 7.) Country Chiq

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A suite of cards:

8.) Melissa Davis Interior Design

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Classic, yet current:

9.) Wanderlux 10.) The Attic 11.) Mustard Moon 12.) Piping & Pleats 13.) Honeybeehumble

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Simple and happy:

14.) Wimzie Prints 15.) this Beautiful Frugal Life 16.) Pink Chalk Fabrics 17.) Whimsical Woodland

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Vintage inspired:

18.) Elaine Tolson 19.) Vintage etc. 20.) Sweet Kaity

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Bling-ey:

21.) Rhonda Addision

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To vote, please leave a comment telling me the name of which card is your favorite. If you have more than one favorite, please leave a separate comment for each one.

And here's the fun part! The top three cards that receive your votes will receive a special surprise prize pack from me, and a spotlight on their businesses, here on my blog.  AND those of you who vote will be entered into a drawing to win a surprize prize pack from me as well!

Can you say that really fast three times?! Surprise Prize Pack! Surprise Prize Pack! Surprise Prize Pack! hee hee

You have until Monday night, February 20th to vote/enter. Voting is now closed. We'll announce the winners soon! Hooray!

February 15, 2012

February 14th

February 14, 2012 was a pretty good day. Colin just returned from a long back country ski trip. He came back looking like a mountain man - tan and scruffly.

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For a Valentine's day date, we grabbed Vietnamese tofu sandwiches for lunch.

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I wore a cute summer outfit because it was beautifully sunny when I left the house. But then the snow came pounding in like an unwelcome guest. Booooo!

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I had to stop at Costco because we really needed groceries. Do we see a theme here? Yes, I'm the girl who dresses for summer, secretly hoping that it will change the weather somehow.

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The checker told me she was coming to the show. I love it when people tell me that. Especially strangers. Then Heather called me and told me it was 81 degrees in California. I told her to zip it.

I tell you, the older I get, the harder winter's gray gets for me. I think that's another reason exercise is so important. It makes these gray days so much better.

Oh! Look what arrived! A cute little package from Katelyn. She sent me some of her images from the show last year. I love the spirit and joy that comes through in her images. And hey, how did she know that I'm going through a heart phase? I'm a sucker for a cute package!

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On my way home, I decided to spring the boys from school a little early. That always earns me big mom points.

For dinner we had a big pot of spaghetti and cupcakes for dessert. More mom points! Yippee!

February 14th, 2012. It was a great day.

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Between posts on my website, I document my life on Instagram. You can follow along with me there.

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February 13, 2012

Heather Bullard's Souvenir Magazine

Hello and happy Monday! I spent the weekend working on my contributions to Heather Bullard's new lifestyle magazine, Souvenir.

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Heather's new magazine will be available digitally online, in an ipad friendly version, and in printed form and will include beautiful home features, lifestyle and travel stories as well as simple crafts and entertaining ideas.

And in true Heather fashion, she has compiled a team of contributors to make it all possible and I'm really happy to announce that I'm one of them!

You can read more about it on Heather's Blog, on the Souvenir Website, and Souvenir's Facebook page.

And if you want to sign up for Souvenir's Mailing List, and be notified when new issues are available, you can do so here.

Congratulations, Heather! We can't wait!

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February 10, 2012

On Being Healthy in Business and Life

Although I grew up with no television, I remember my mom talking about Candid Camera. She'd watched the show as a teenager and always loved it. She believed that laughter was the best medicine. And I remember her describing episodes and laughing until she cried when doing so. Whenever I feel down, I like to think up imaginary episodes and that makes me giggle.

I think she was on to something.

Today I wanted to talk about business as a creative person and being happy in what you do. There's so much out there in the way of magazines, blogs, websites, etc. And you know, it's easy to sort of feel like what you're doing just doesn't measure up.

I'm here to tell you that's not a good way to think. And it's not healthy for you.

I'd like to tell you my opinion: Visit sites that inspire you, make you laugh, or leave you feeling good.

Stop visiting sites that make you feel bad. Maybe they have a lofty tone or an air of superiority. Or maybe they're negative. And here's why I say stop. Would you be friends with someone who makes you feel that way? I wouldn't. Because we all just want to be happy, right?

Surround yourself with good. Do good. Be good to yourself, so that you can be even better to those you love. And then, they'll be better, and better to their friends too.

And the same holds true in business. Do business with people you respect. That treat you well. That appreciate your business, however small it may be. I love that I know my printer and his family, that my postman knows my name, and that my internet team is full of positive, good people.

And with others in your field, surround yourself with the ones who have ethics. Who build others up. When you're good, you attract good, and the negative weeds itself out. You'll find that it is possible to love what you do. And you know what? Pretty soon, your field will be free of all the bad seeds and will do nothing but flourish.

Happy = Healthy. I'm living proof.

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Me, Jennifer, and Penny, visiting at The Farm Chicks Show, years ago.

February 09, 2012

The Lesser-Known Facts About The Farm Chicks Show

2012FCshowbutton2I'm knee-deep in planning out this year's Farm Chicks Show eXtRaVaGaNzA, which makes me giddy. I'm lucky because I get to see it all unfold. And if you want to know the truth, it really is so much fun to plan.

Did you know that the show has its own special theme each year? Can you guess what this year's theme is?

Did you know the show always falls on the first weekend of June?

Juli.grace.fayeDid you know that The Sisters On The Fly Cowgirl Caravan come and set up a huge campsite at Riverside State Park, all traveling in for the show? I love these girls and their amazing campers and am so happy they gather each year to come and celebrate the show with me, and you!

Did you know the parking lot becomes a party, with everyone waiting for the show to open up? Tailgating, visiting, sidewalk chalking, and best of all... kinship.

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Hey look! It's me! I snuck into the picture. Can you see me? :) hee hee

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Did you know that the show is my family's second favorite time of the year? (right after Christmas!) And you know how they say that everything that's baked with love tastes so much better? This show is baked with love. From my family to you. (And all my friends/vendors too!) I really mean it.

This year's Farm Chicks Show will be held June 2nd & 3rd in Spokane, Washington.

Click here to read what visitors had to say about last years show.

Click here for more information on the show (including lodging and ticketing).

Click here to RSVP for the show on facebook.

Think Spring! Think Farm Chicks!

Special thanks to Katelyn for images 2-5 seen here. (You can visit her blog by clicking here).

Special thanks to Grace for her little image of the Sisters On The Fly Group. (First image) (You can visit her blog by clicking here).

February 07, 2012

Chocolate Raspberry Creamcakes

You're probably beginning to notice my love affair with all things mini. I admit it. I'm Serena and I love all mini treats.

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I made these creamcakes because I wanted to make something delicious with what I had on hand. These cakes are chocolately, creamy, and perfectly sweetened with raspberry. But best of all, they're really simple and a modern adaptation of the cakes my sister would make for me as a child, all covered in jam.

Ingredients

  • 1 package thin chocolate wafer cookies (such as Nabisco)
  • 8 ounces mascarpone*
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam (I recommend Smuckers Simply Fruit)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • raspberry jam (for drizzling and frosting)

Directions

 
  Whip mascarpone, jam, milk, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy and completely combined. Pipe or spread the whipped mixture onto the top of 5 cookie wafers. Stack wafers atop each other to form the little cakes. (Drizzle extra jam between layers, if desired). Frost the top of the little cake with the mascarpone mixture or jam, or both. Continue assembling the cakes, one at a time. Place the cakes onto a tray, wrap each one with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least five hours or overnight. Serve cold.

*You can substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone. If you do, make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, as it won't blend well when cold).

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February 06, 2012

Collecting and Other News

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I'm pretty into old cake tins. I think they're so interesting and can add so much to a simple cake. Here are a few I've picked up recently.

I always remember where these finds come from too, which makes each cake special because I'm baking and thinking about that good memory.

The top one came from Junebug, at their Mad Hatter Show.

Second one down was from a rummage sale in Sandpoint, Idaho this summer. $1!

And the last two I picked up this weekend at the Junk Salvation show in Oregon.

Oh yeah, that reminds me. This weekend I met up with my friend, Heather, in Portland and did some antiquing and collaborating. It's really nice to get out and see the shops and shows that exist outside of my everyday life.

And the the sun has been shining for several days and that makes me happy. In honor of that, I wore sandals today when I met Colin for lunch. It was 45 degrees, but I didn't care. Spring is in my heart.  :)

February 02, 2012

What Can You Do With...

... candy hearts???

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Skewer them:

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Top them:

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Hang them:

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Give them:

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