Minecraft Melty Bead Ornaments

Earlier this week, I spent a glorious 3.5 hours on a project with my son. We made Minecraft themed ornaments for our Christmas tree.

We both really enjoyed this project, and this may be the longest I've ever seen him focus on one specific thing! :)

2018 Project Life

I had been thinking about starting Project Life again for 2018. As a lot is changing at the end of this year (done with LuLaRoe, my job ends December 28), I thought starting up a fresh Project Life album might be a good thing to kick off this new year where I am not sure what will happen.

I'd switched to digital Project Life back in 2014, and quit all together in 2015. Then 2016 hit and I had zero free time for anything craft related. I'd like to get back into physical Project Life, but keep it simple. I used to get so bogged down in competing with everyone else's gorgeous, creative spreads. I don't have the energy for that anymore. I just want to document each week (and eventually, go back and document 2015, 2016, and 2017) simply and quickly.

I spent some time browsing the Project Life website and eventually settled on the Project Life Currently Core Kit. I like that it's fairly neutral and I can mix in cards from the dozen plus older kits I still have.

I ordered it with Prime and it showed up on Friday. On Saturday, I took a Project Life binder I've had unopened for a couple of years and filled it up with empty Design A pages (which I've also had forever).

I used the suggested cards for the first and last pages, knowing I will likely swap a few out with some photos of us.

I decided to put a blank 4x6 card into every spread as a space for a title card for each week. I figure I can change them out as I go if another color or card would work better, but that it would be easier for me to have them placed into each week already.

Next I sorted the rest of the cards from the kit into one of the storage units I have for my Raskog cart from Ikea. I took out the cards that were only horizontal (as I'm using Design A I don't expect to use those too often). I also took each stack of duplicate cards and flipped half of them so I could see both options. I sorted them into blank journaling cards, journaling cards with a "theme" or text on them, and the "filler" style cards. I also put my blank grid cards into the same organizing tray.

The second shelf of the cart is holding some of the clear plastic overlays and some stickers. I'll likely add some embellishments for quick access as I get into actually putting the spreads together each week. But I don't want to have too many embellishments at easy access. My goal is to keep this simple.

Finally, I placed the open album on a table in my craft room. I'm hoping leaving it out will keep me accountable and remind me to do my documenting each week. We shall see how it goes!

Season's Greetings Card

This is another one of the cards I made last weekend. I really like how this one turned out. It's sort of a simple look, but it took a little time to create.

First I stamped the Season's Greetings sentiment from the Technique Tuesday Christmas Cheer stamp set, and heat embossed it with Ranger Liquid Platinum embossing powder. I love this embossing powder - it heats in such a smooth not-quite-gold and not-quite-silver finish.

Then I stamped the holly leaves with the Stamps of Life holly4Christmas stamp set and colored it in with my favorite Staedtler fineliner markers. On top of the coloring, I added red and green Wink of Stella brush pens.

To finish off the card I just put the front panel on top of a cut piece of red candy cane striped Christmas paper, and then on a plain white card base.

I have so many more cards to make...need to get cracking! But this past weekend we decorated for Christmas so I didn't get too much done in the way of making cards. Soon!

The card that took me 3 hours!

This card seriously took me three hours to complete. It shouldn't have, but I need to get back into the swing of things. I do love how it turned out though.

My first step was to die cut the snowflake background using the Spellbinders Shapeabilities Flurries die set out of glitter card stock. Then I attached it to a soft blue background paper. I used the Stampin' Up! Frosty Friends stamp and some subtle coloring and glitter for my main image, along with the 'Let it Snow' stamp from the Spellbinders Large Fancy Holiday Sentiments set.

Then came the part that took me so darn long. I couldn't figure out how I wanted to finish off the front. After many failed attempts, I ended up die cutting the snowflakes again and cutting out the border to layer on top of my original die cut (so a rectangle edging all the way around), and then I used one of the My Favorite Things Stitched Snowdrifts dies to cut a partial "snowy" border for the bottom, and added a single snowflake from the Spellbinders set to finish. I'm not sure I'm describing that right but I think the pictures show it pretty well ;)

I do love this card...just don't love spending 3 hours creating one!

Happy Holidays Card

I made cards this weekend! First time since May of 2016 (the last card I think I made was a Mother's Day card). I'm taking pics with my iPhone, at least for now, so the quality isn't the best, but I haven't used my big girl camera in oh-so-long (I haven't even brought it on vacation in a few years), so it is what it is.

The first one I made is a Happy Holidays card featuring gold heat embossing. The stamp sets I used were Stampin' Up!'s Polar Party (I think this is retired), and Technique Tuesday's Christmas Cheer. I used Stampin' Up! gold embossing powder and my Martha Stewart heat gun for the gold embossing.

This wasn't my original plan for the card - I had a stamped larger tree with the 'happy holidays' going over it but after three attempts at that, I decided to change up my design to use the trees from the Polar Party set. I just colored them with my favorite markers for intricate coloring, the Staedtler Fineliner pens (I'm shocked they haven't dried out in almost two years of non use, haha). The metallic is from a pack of Gelly Roll Metallic pens.

And then I just added a shiny gold card stock behind the white card front and on top of the card base. I think that's from a DCWV paper pack.

I have two more cards that I'll share with you this week, and I hope I can make even more this week too! It felt SO good to get back in my craft room, but man, was I rusty. I even had to look up the dimensions of a standard card! And I had trouble finding things (I still can't find the AC adapter to my Brother P Touch labelmaker). But it'll come back, I have faith!

Anxiety is for the birds...

Pic has nothing to do with this post - this is us today before our Thanksgiving meal at a local restaurant called Gibbet Hill.

I have an anxiety disorder. I know I've talked about this in the past. I see a therapist, but I don't take medication. Most of the time, while my anxiety is always lurking, I can control it with distraction. Sometimes, it just gets very, very bad and causes health issues. Which is where I am right now.

I am working a day job that makes me physically sick at times. I've sat in my car in the morning crying, forcing myself to get out of the car and go into work. I pretty much just hate it. It's a long story and I don't think the details of it are necessary. The main information you need is that this job is causing my anxiety to skyrocket.

So much so, that I'm having physical ailments, body aches, panic attacks, feeling like my throat is closing in, flu like symptoms, numbness in my arms, hands, feet. It's also causing my usual mom paranoia to go to extreme levels. Right now, every time Austin walks down the stairs, I visualize him falling and cracking his head open. Every time he eats food, I visualize him choking to death. It's kind of like Final Destination - where I can see an accident happening in my head and therefor I panic because I truly think it's about to happen.

I won't use anxiety medication because of a few reasons. I used to be on Paxil and not only did it make me gain weight, withdrawing from it was a living hell. I have a prescription for Ativan for panic attacks - I've used it once for an attack I couldn't seem to stop, and once before a biopsy that was terrifying me last year (they found a lump in my breast - turned out to be nothing serious, but that was the worst two weeks of my life waiting for those results). But thinking about taking anxiety meds like Ativan make me even more anxious, because I worry about not being in complete control of my body. I worry I'll have an allergic reaction (even to things I have taken before - I've recently become terrified of Aleve though I've taken that off and on my entire life).

I recently injured my back and several people suggested muscle relaxers. But I am afraid my throat will relax too much and I won't be able to breathe. It just really sucks always being afraid.

I worry about ridiculous things. I felt cold and lightheaded a few days ago and someone mentioned that I could have the flu and I immediately asked Brad what if I get the flu and I die? What normal person jumps to the worse possible conclusion every single time? I get pains in my legs and fear I have a blood clot. And that happens on a normal day with my anxiety - every pain I think is something serious. Now add the day job I'm super anxious about and you can imagine what life is like for me right now.

My job is supposed to end at the end of 2017, in just about 22 working days. I recently got a note casually mentioning talking about me staying longer because they need me - and I wrote back informing them that I had no intention of staying. I need to be done. My physical and mental health cannot take being there any longer than I have agreed to already.

I am looking forward to 2018. A new year. A completely fresh start. I'm even considering starting a 2018 Project Life album as a way to get back into the hobby I used to love - scrapbooking. Life these past two years has been completely insane in good ways and in bad ways, and I can't wait to begin a brand new year, calm my anxiety, and figure out where to go next.

Meal planning

It's an excuse, I know, but my time as an LLR consultant was so busy that I simply didn't have time for exercise. And when I did have some time, I was exhausted. I mean, if I couldn't craft, which is something that brings me intense joy, then why on earth would I try to exercise. I also ate like crap - so I'm up a good 15 or so pounds, I think. (I don't know for sure because I haven't dared to step on a scale).

It's time to be healthier and start working on losing weight now that I have some more time in my schedule. So this past weekend I started meal planning. I have two small notebooks for now (that I'd originally bought to try out bullet journaling - a huge fail on my part). 

One notebook is for meal and snack ideas and recipes, and the other is for the week's actual meal plan. I found a channel I like on YouTube called Weight Watchers Journey to Healthy, and I am enjoying watching her meal prep videos and I've picked up a couple of simple recipes already that I made on Sunday. One being English Muffin cups - basically an egg mixture you bake up and put on an English Muffin - and some different mason jar salad recipes. I even made up mason jar fruit salad cups which have been SO GOOD for breakfast.

Brad is doing this with me, so that is helpful. This week is Thanksgiving but we're going out to a restaurant instead of having a Thanksgiving dinner at home for the first time ever. This means no leftovers to pig out on for several days after the holiday. 

Next week I hope to hop back on the treadmill. I've been a bit scared of it because a few years ago I was diagnosed with exercise induced anaphylaxis and I'm still afraid I'm going to break out in hives while exercising. The condition is supposedly temporary but it lasted at least two years before I stopped exercising regularly, so I'm not sure if I still have it. I take Zyrtec almost daily now so I'm hoping that wards off a reaction. But anyway, I'm still afraid I might actually stop breathing and so I generally don't hit the treadmill unless Brad is home. And since he works long hours now, I'm not usually in the mood for a workout at 8pm at night. But I'm going to have to suck it up and make that work! At least until I know whether I still have this condition.

I'm excited to get my body back into shape soon! 

Why I left LuLaRoe

Ok - this will be long because I just want to do one post encompassing my whole time as a consultant and the reasons why I left. It's also probably a bit jumbled and I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out. I want to be candid about my experience (both positive and negative) and I want to be careful to note that some of the reasons I left are based on speculation that has yet to be proven true or false.

Back in the fall of 2015, I was introduced to LuLaRoe by my boss at the time and good friend. I was skeptical of buying clothes on Facebook at first, but I started with a pair of leggings and then a Randy and before I knew it, I had fallen completely in love with the clothing. I never cared what I wore before - usually just a jeans and sweater or t shirt kind of girl. Not much pattern. I didn't like to stand out. But these clothes were comfortable (they seriously feel like you're wearing jammies) and cute (at least back when I fell in love - the patterns were not as crazy as they are today) and I actually started caring about what I wore each day. I'd plan my outfits so I could wear my LLR every day. I was promoting it all the time, even though I didn't sell it. In fact I told my friend repeatedly I didn't want to sell it because "I don't have time for that."

Three months after I started buying it, I realized I was up to about 50 pieces and said, alright, I should just sign up. This was in February 2016. I had about an 8 week wait in the queue. I was so excited - I did a practice party using photos of my own personal LuLaRoe. I bought racks and revamped one of the smaller rooms in the house to do my LuLa in. Bought storage units and prepared as much as I could. I onboarded on April 1, 2016 during a lunch with my two bosses. Immediately after placing my initial order package (this was back when we could do custom packages), I bought more leggings, so my initial investment before I started selling was about $9,000. I paid for this by using a new credit card that offered 0% interest for 21 months. Throughout my time as a consultant, I never kept more on my credit card than we as a family could pay off if something bad were to happen. Unfortunately many other ladies got into a situation where their debt was more than they could pay down. I can't speak for anyone else's financials. I just knew that I wasn't going to make the investments if it would be an impact to my family. 

For those of you who may not be familiar with how LuLaRoe works - we buy the clothing at wholesale cost from LuLaRoe and then sell to our customers at retail. Which means that unlike some other direct sales companies where you are paid on a commission basis, you own this inventory. You have to store it, take photos of it, and ship it all from your own home.

So I launched, and sales were amazing. It was SO much work doing LuLaRoe in addition to a full time job outside the house, but I loved it. I wasn't sleeping much, but it was fun. I enjoyed photographing the clothes, helping ladies find pieces they loved, and running my own business. I met so many amazing ladies in my consultant groups and as people became repeat customers of mine. I spent the entire first year of selling LuLaRoe re-investing my profit, so I built up my inventory to around 1600-2000 pieces (including leggings). I finally started taking a small salary in April of 2017 when I had paid off my 2016 taxes and lowered my credit card balance to a few thousand. I did finally pay that balance off completely in the summer of 2017.

Let me sidetrack for a moment and talk about some of the good and bad about being a consultant, for me:

The positives: I learned how to run my own business. I learned how to market via social media. I learned that I loved being my own boss and doing something that was more creative than my day job. I met some wonderful women! I had some customers that just made my day by letting me know how much they loved their items and how good they felt about themselves. I built a community in my VIP Facebook group and I truly enjoyed interacting with people there. When I left the business, I left with a profit (more on that later).

The negatives: This is specifically speaking about my time as a consultant: Taking so much time away from my son/my family. I was glued to my phone because I'd constantly be getting customer questions, or I needed to load my inventory for this event, or this event, or I needed to do admin tasks for the multi consultant group I ran. Customers that didn't pay invoices despite repeated reminders. (The ones who claim items and then ignore you completely are the worst - sorry folks, don't claim items if you aren't going to pay for them, it's a waste of everyone's time). Looking back, while I know that putting customers first allowed me to be successful and have repeat business, I wish I'd maybe put off answering a question about material for 5 minutes to tuck my son into bed or read him a story. Another negative? Put a bunch of women together in any group and there is bound to be some cattiness. Most specifically - everyone worried about how everyone else did business. So much reporting to compliance when people sold below retail (hell, I'm guilty of reporting people because that's what my mentors told me to do!). To expand on that, another negative of being a LLR consultant is you can't run sales openly. Normal businesses, when styles go out of season or have been sitting awhile, you can run a sale and advertise it. Not if you're following LLR policies though. You have to say "PM me for details" and most customers don't want to bother having to send a private message to find out the price on something. Launches of capsules were always (and continue to be) a shitshow. I usually managed to get items but their site to order inventory would crash, people would be double charged, they'd send out the wrong items to people). When I launched they put my entire order of 75 Azure skirts on backorder for almost 3 months! That's money I paid that they had and I didn't get my product to sell until months later. And this happened a lot during my time as a consultant - I had backorder slips in almost every box the first several months. And when I'd finally get a box of backorders, they were almost always wrong. I'd either get less stuff, the wrong stuff, or a few extra items. It was impossible to keep track of. One time I got an entire duplicate box of an order and when I tried to return to LuLaRoe, they yelled at ME because of their screw up. I should have just kept it.

Ok, back to the story.

I had the biggest sales months of my time in January, February, and March of 2017. I was ordering twice a week, I was selling a ton, it was awesome. And then in April, it was like everything came crashing down. I went part time at my day job because I just couldn't handle both anymore. And then LLR sales TANKED. And when I say tanked - every single consultant I spoke with noted April as the month their sales just went to shit. I don't know specifically what happened, but around that time there were a ton of going out of business sales being advertised by unhappy consultants who were leaving the company. And I want to admit a huge mistake I made here - I assumed those consultants just couldn't cut it. I was wrong! And I'm sorry for assuming. I thought that people leaving just didn't realize how much work this was going to be, or made mistakes with their money - and while that may be the case for some...it's not the case for all and I admit fault for assuming.

So LLR tried to combat all the GOOB sales by changing their policy on returning inventory when you decide to leave the company. Our contracts I believe all had a note about that we could return our inventory for a restocking fee when we left. They changed this to say they'd refund inventory 100% and cover shipping. I think they thought that it would get more people to onboard because there would be zero risk in signing up, and also stop everyone selling at a discount because they could get their money back. But it blew up in their face. So many consultants were unhappy they just all decided to leave at once, and LLR couldn't afford to pay their refunds. (Allegedly).

Also happening during this time was a massive backlash on LLR for holes in leggings. Now, I want to be clear that I have about 50 pairs of leggings myself and I've only ever had holes in two pairs. I've washed and worn them many, many times. And I was always very careful to inspect every item of clothing I sent out during my time as a consultant and only ever had maybe a dozen items returned for damage during that whole year and a half (more items were damaged, I just caught them before even listing them for sale). But many consultants don't have time to inspect every item and sent stuff out and then refused to replace for their customers, which led to lots of customers leaving bad reviews about the company's clothing and eventually I think a lawsuit was filed about the damages. And there was/is also a lawsuit about charging sales tax to customers improperly, but I don't really get too involved in that because coming from MA, we don't have sales tax on clothing, so none of my customers were charged tax during that time.

Anyway, it's summer of 2017 and I'm happily working towards making LuLaRoe my full time job after my day job ends at the end of this year. I'm drinking the Koolaid and assuming that the damage issues and sales tax problems are being taken care of. I don't know at this point how many thousands of retailers are going out of business. I'm not in any groups that allow negativity - it's all unicorn farts and rainbow glitter in my team pages. Those that left, left because they couldn't cut it, right? At least, that's the bullshit I'm fed every day. At this point, I'm increasing my LLR space in my house by converting my dining room to an office/extension of my LuLaRoe room. I'm ready to work hard after the new year. At this time, I had one "LuLaBaby" (a friend from school) and she'd decided to leave the company because sales had dropped so much. She resigned and was waiting for her free shipping labels to send back her inventory.

And then LLR did something that I cannot understand. They decided one day that they weren't going to honor the 100% buyback anymore. Now, this would have gone over ok if they'd just said "from today forward, we're going back to our original policy." Instead, everyone that had resigned already under the 100% assumption but didn't have their labels yet got SCREWED. They said "oh well, too bad, you're only getting 90% and oh by the way you can't return any capsules or seasonal items and if you earned bonuses during your time as a consultant we're taking that out of your refund." I don't even know what part of that is legal! Maybe it is...but what the fuck? So basically if you were a higher level consultant there was no point in returning inventory because your bonuses would probably be too much for you to get a refund. They also said they wouldn't accept any returns while they processed all the refunds for everyone who had already sent their stuff in - they were running about 2.5 months behind on those (meaning people who returned inventory in July didn't get a refund until like, October). And so the GOOB sales skyrocketed. Because people wanted out, and they couldn't return their inventory, so why not sell everywhere at a discount?

And with this announcement I had decided I was going to lay low for awhile. Continue selling and just try to reduce the level of inventory I had, and prepare myself if something were to go wrong with the company in the future.

And then the very next day, I saw something that really concerned me. I'm going to link to a post on this by Mommygyver because I don't think I can explain it that well.

I, and many other people, have interpreted this information as LLR wants to swap from their consultant format to a retail, direct to consumer format. This may or may not be true - though in the past few months they've expanded their direct to consumer site already by adding shoes, and supposedly jeans are coming, along with many other items of clothing and accessories. So...they're already doing it.

This scared the shit out of me. I was concerned that if the company suddenly closed their consultant business, everyone would be trying to sell product off at once and the market would be flooded even more so than it is already, and I would not be able to sell off even for wholesale.

I spoke at length with my husband and friends and former LLR trainer who had left several months prior (her reasons were mostly for time with her family - she has a full time job she loves that she won't give up and she couldn't continue to do both. Plus, it was becoming not fun for her anymore). They all advised me to GTFO. So I decided that night I was done. Between the way they screwed thousands of women with their return policy change and this potential direct to consumer change, I couldn't trust this company anymore. So I announced it to my group a few days later and over the course of about 6 weeks I sold off 1400 pieces of inventory and then closed up my Facebook group. I am still working through about 250 pieces by selling on eBay and Mercari. And then I have to figure out how to sell off my Z racks and other equipment/tools I invested in. I've taken back my dining room and 3/4 of my LuLaRoom is now an office.

I am walking away from my year and a half as a LLR consultant with a profit of around $30,000. About 2/3 of this is going to pay off the Disney Vacation Club membership we purchased in August of this year. I feel pretty good about that - I've paid for the next 48 years of vacations for my family with my time as a consultant. That's something! It isn't nearly the right pay for the amount of hours I put into this business (you can't begin to understand how much work is involved unless you've been a consultant - its almost 24/7), but knowing that I paid that off by myself is huge to me. That is a substantial thing that we now own because of LuLaRoe.

Once I announced I was leaving, I was able to join a bunch of groups for consultants going out of business, or ones disenchanted with the company and considering leaving and the things I have read - the responses the company has given to consultants, the decisions they've made - every day I read something new making me so glad I left.

Now, allegedly...there are concerns about cash flow. This is boosted by the way the company has been pumping out capsule launches like crazy since the refund policy change. It appears (again...not proven one way or another) that they don't have enough money to refund consultants unless they sell a capsule. Seems that every time they launch one, suddenly a whole bunch of consultants are sent their checks. Also when they'd initially announced the 100% buyback they said they wouldn't send the returns back out in the new order boxes to current consultants and instead donate the items. This was proven to be a lie, as some sneaky consultants would leave their business cards in Carly pockets or folded up in leggings, or the tags would have punches on them and these items were received in new boxes. When they changed the return policy, they said they would no longer be donating but would be "sanitizing" them and sending them back out in new inventory boxes (this was why I had originally said I would stay on selling but probably not order inventory for awhile). Not donating these returns indicates that they have to send them back out because they can't afford not to. Again. Allegedly.

And I feel sorry for any current consultant who has to get someone's ugly returns in their new boxes. Good prints sell. The ugly shit is what's going back and believe me, there is some UGLY SHIT out there. LLR likes to put triangles on everything. The triangles often look like Doritos. So you may see things about "Dorito prints" out there and now you know where that comes from.

So there are consultants waiting for months for their refund checks. There are consultants going out of business being attacked by other current consultants and being told to just wait until they can send stuff back (at the consultant's cost) to get a partial refund. There are top sellers bragging about how they have the best prints. There are more and more people going out of business every day.

And then this week? The Noir collection. If you don't know about this - it's an all black (or shades of black or something stupid like that) collection. LLR pumped this up so much. They had all their retailers promoting it and getting customers excited for it. And like every other launch in LLR history, it failed big time. And for many consultants that were on the fence, this was the end. I read something like 2% of consultants were able to get black. All those other consultants had to turn around and disappoint their customers and point them to the big time sellers who ordered 2,000 to 5,000 pieces of black. Those top sellers do not need more customers. This launch really showed how much LuLaRoe doesn't give a fuck about the little guys. They claim to care about every retailer - it's bullshit. If you cared, you'd limit the collection so everyone could order some if they wanted to, and then open leftovers up later. But no...they released this purposely like this so the big sellers could buy it all up and the little guys got nothing and it's going to push those little guys out of business.

Why would LLR do this?

I suspect (again...totally a suspicion and speculation and not proven to be true) that LLR wants to push out the little people. Why? Well, think about it. If your low level consultants leave...you don't have to pay bonuses to the top sellers. It's cheaper for LLR that way. They push good product to top sellers who will just keep working their asses off to sell and make money that way, and they don't get bonuses because they don't have enough people in their downline to have them qualify.

About LLR being a pyramid scheme...I don't know the definition or legal stuff or anything like that. All I know is fact. Up until I think July of 2017, bonuses were paid based on how much was ordered each month (purchased from LuLaRoe). NOT based on sales volume. I was continually told by my uplines a bigger inventory got bigger sales. My group actually ran contests based on how much you ordered each month. In July they changed to a sales based bonus structure. That's all I know, and all I can say on this because I really don't know what makes a pyramid scheme and I don't want to say things that aren't true here.

There's really so much more I could say but much of it is speculation and I'd rather you form your own opinions on that stuff. If you want to read more, I encourage you to check out Mommygyver's blog. She has the best public information about the company and the sketchy practices. There are also groups on Facebook you can join for more if you're so inclined. Buzzfeed has done some articles. Most of the local news stations have done stories on the pyramid scheme lawsuit. Take some time to Google and form your own opinion.

That's my story. That's why I left. And that's SOME of why I'm super glad I'm gettin' outta Dodge. I don't regret being a consultant. Again, it allowed me to pay off a DVC membership and taught me a lot about running my own business and what I'd like to do in the future. But I'm glad I left when I did.

Where do I go from here?

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party this past August

Anyone still out there? If you're reading this...drop me a comment below. Even an emoji! I wouldn't blame you for not sticking with me as there has been an obvious lack of content here in well over a year.

I decided in September to part ways with LuLaRoe. I'm not quite ready to share the full story yet, but in short: I no longer trust the company. I have so much more to say on this, but that is for another day (soon, I promise - maybe even in the next few days). 

So I've left LuLaRoe - though I'm still selling off a few hundred items through other channels outside of Facebook. I've joined another company, Color Street (joined prior to quitting LLR) that I love and is FAR different from LLR. I plan to share more about that soon too. My day job is supposed to end in about 6 weeks, however, we still haven't converted our accounting system over and time is running out. I'm kind of in limbo right now. But assuming the job ends...in 2018, I won't have a job. 

My current plan is to take several months off and get my life back in order since LLR took it over. I want to organize the house. I want to start crafting again. I want to be home with my son. I want to spend some solid time with my family. After that...we'll see. Ideally, I'm looking for something that I can do from home and is flexible. 

Which brings me to...I reopened my Etsy shop today. No new products at the moment, but all of my past digital designs are now back up and available. I hope to add to that soon. I'm going to start getting back into making cards with holiday cards this year. I might work hard on my mom's eBay business and make that my new "job." Color Street provides a small amount of income a month. I'd like to find other creative ways to add to that so that maybe I can continue staying home with Austin throughout his school years. 

I can't wait to update you guys more, and I'm going to get back into blogging several times a week starting right now so I can get myself back into the swing of things! I miss blogging and I miss the community I'd built here. 

Talk to you soon! Very soon! For real this time!

Long Time, No Blog

Hi there! I'd like to apologize for the lack of posts over the past....11 months? Wow. Life has just taken this crazy turn for me. After signing on to be a LuLaRoe retailer, I found that I have so little time to myself.

This business is crazy busy, and requires a LOT of social media presence. And I still work an office job (though I recently went part-time), so between the two, the little time I have winds up being at 11pm at night. And the last thing I feel like doing is sitting online and typing out a blog when I've spent most of the day interacting on various social media platforms. And there hasn't been any energy to create anything crafty. Since last Mother's Day, I've made two cards. It's a little sad, because creating handmade cards and scrapbooking was a passion, and still is, but right now LuLaRoe has taken priority.

Eventually, I am hoping to not have to work an office job. And I know that the pains I'm having right now will be rewarding in the end, when I can finally leave. For now though, I'm straight out, day in, and day out. I have little time to meet up with friends, as I schedule events a month or two ahead. I don't have time or energy to craft. And free time I do have...I'm spending with my family.

We did just come back from an amazing Disney cruise, and I had a solid two weeks with my guys to reconnect. That was important to me. I even requested a private table at dinner, so we didn't have to be "on" with anyone else and could just be with each other.

In St. Kitts

I hope to check in again soon. Perhaps I'll find some time to create something wonderful to share with you guys now that I've cut back my hours at my office job. For now I'm just loving what I'm doing. If you want to come join me and see what I've been doing with my days and nights though, I would love for you to join my group - you can get there through my business page.

I hope you all are well and your families are doing well and you're doing things you love. I miss interacting with you guys through this blog. Someday I'll be back to it! I haven't stopped loving creating...it's just on hold. And I'm (sort of) ok with that.