8 Steps to Achieve Advanced Aging

They say 40 is the new 20, but I say 40 can be the new 60 if you believe in yourself and put minimal effort into your daily routine.  People have been asking me for years what my secret is to advanced aging, and I’m finally ready to share these coveted tips with you, so you can start living your best life cashing in early on seniors discounts and afternoon naps.

1. Be mindful of the 4 basic food groups:  chocolate, booze, diet pop and pizza. Aim for 75% of your daily calories to come from sugar and carbohydrates, the other 25% should be bacon grease and salt.

2. Sun Exposure: get enough daily rays to roast yourself like a turkey. Remember Tanning Mom? BE THAT.

3. Water: AVOID that shit at all costs, it tastes awful and it’s unnecessary. Water is for your plants, booze is for your body. Water plants, booze your body, are you taking notes?

4. Caffeine: consume it in various forms all day long: coffee, tea, pop, chocolate….get optimal results by having it injected directly into your veins via IV if possible.

5. Sleep: is for losers, limit it to under 5 hours a night, TOPS!  You’ll sleep when you’re dead! Which will be even sooner if we stick to these 8 laws regularly.

6. Stress levels- increase your daily stress levels to at least 80-90%, if you’re not under constant stress, you’re going to keep that youthful glow we are trying to avoid.  Need more stress in your life? Keep a bunch of Pillsbury cans on hand and shove a spoon in them whenever you want to scare the shit out of yourself waiting for that jack in the box to unexpectedly pop.

7. Exercise- don’t bother, it doesn’t work after 30 anyways, especially under all that stress we are aiming for. You’ll want to spend the majority of your day on your ass; it’s best if you can avoid walking, standing, or other strenuous activities.

8. Anger management- don’t manage it and get stabby and ragey over everything, you’re Eminem and the world is your estranged wife Kim! AHHHHHHHH!  Furrow your brows regularly to permanently engrave those beautiful lines in your face, particularly the coveted 11’s between your eyes.

You only live once,  make sure you’re preparing that corpse to be weathered and worn, so it shows you had a damn good time. Who the hell wants 10 extra years of life when you’re in diapers eating soft foods at a nursing home? Not this cat!
Peace, love and zero fucks. Get it Granny!

 

Advertisements

Birthdays, Hormones and Throwbacks

Tomorrow my first born Brady turns 9, and in typical mom form, I’m over here looking through his damn baby pictures like a blubbering fool and reminiscing on all the Birthdays that have gone by.  During my travels I also stumbled upon the old blog I started when I was pregnant with Brady and amidst all the sweet, sappy memories I uncovered, I also found this gem from week 36 of my pregnancy that made me giggle.  I’ll write something meaningful for his Birthday tomorrow, but in the meantime, let’s travel back to September 3rd, 2009.


I’m a Happy Camper

Week 36. I’m huge. I wear everything I eat; at any given time I have at least 3 food or drink stains on my belly. Everything just seems to land conveniently on my stomach or in my cleavage, and I’m a slob to begin with so this belly is merely accentuating my piggish ways.

Brady is cramped tightly inside my uterus but he still finds a way to constantly move around in there, causing my stomach to take on a life of its own. He practically wedges himself into my sternum when I’m slouching which I’m assuming is his way of telling me to improve my posture and also make some more goddamn room for him. He gets the hiccups constantly, which was cute at first but now it’s averaging about 3 times a day.

So I had my OB appointment this morning and there is nothing new to report except that my car is a piece of shit and there is nowhere to park at the hospital. lol. The 95 mercury “mistake” was puttering all the way to the hospital, revving, stalling and stinking like exhaust fumes as per usual. It never fails to put me in a bad mood just from the mere act or thought of driving it . At the hospital I attempted to park in the visitor lot but after circling it 3 times and finding not one empty space, I got pissy and drove right back out of the lot and straight to my mom’s house. Seriously, why the hell does the stupid machine give you a ticket and let you in the lot if the damn parking lot is full?

Anyways, I showed up at my mom’s house about ready to burst into tears of frustration. “I need you to drive me to the hospital!” I blurted out when she opened the door, which I’m sure is a comforting opening line for any mother to hear. She immediately disconnected the phone with whomever she was talking to, likely assuming I was going into labour or dying.

I quickly reassured her that I was just being hormonal and not bleeding from the eyes or in need of an ambulance. “I’m late for my appointment, my car is a piece of shit that’s dying and there’s nowhere to park at the hospital. Can you drop me off?”
She quickly obliged.

Other than having my va-jay-jay swabbed to be tested for Strep B, the appointment went fine and all is well in pregnancy land. I should be happy that thus far the baby is healthy and that I haven’t had any major complications like gestational diabetes or anything out of the ordinary. All I can ask for is a healthy baby and a delivery that doesn’t kill me. *crossing fingers*

I realize that my blogs are becoming angrier as the pregnancy progresses but that’s just because writing provides a convenient outlet for me to bitch and complain, plus it makes for a more interesting read. Happy stuff gets boring and redundant, but I’ll throw some positivity in here next time just to switch it up.

Until then, fuck everything! 🙂

 

10 Things I Didn’t Expect From FB Mom Groups

While mom groups can be beneficial to many new or seasoned mothers for information, advice, and to help lessen the feelings of isolation during the years of rearing small children, here are 10 things I didn’t expect to find in the ever-popular trend of mom groups.

1. Welcome to the mom group, here are the 994 rules you must abide by being in this mom group, and you must sign a waiver, take an oath, cut yourself and sign a paper in your blood, mail it to 25 other group members, say you AGREE, post a picture of your lady parts so we know you’re legit, and if you don’t obey the rules you get blocked and murdered in your sleep. Seriously, admins will cut you.

Me:

2. “I need to lose the baby weight fast. What should I do?”
Most popular comments in the thread of 600+: “Do Meth” and “Starve Yourself”

Brb, just looking for my local meth dealer so I can develop a potential life-threatening drug habit in order to shed a few pounds. WUT.

3.  “Look at my kids infected bunghole!! What is this??” *posts pic of child’s infected bunghole for all of the interweb to see*

*Fast forward 20 years to little Aiden seeking counselling for that time his mom put his infected orifices on the internet for everyone to see.*

4. That time Susan from Pennsylvania creeped Cheryl’s profile (a total stranger) found out who her husband was (also a total stranger), and sent him screenshots of all the shit Cheryl talked about him in the mom group.

FYI, before you tell everyone in a “private” Facebook mom group about your husband’s affinity for wearing women’s underwear, just remember, people like Susan exist. And screenshots last forever.

5. Similarly, Karen hated Becky’s opinion on circumcision and wanted her dead, so she tried to screw up her life by sending screenshots from the group to Becky’s employer.

I can see the News Headline now: Woman gets fired from job for threatening to “cut a judgy bitch” in a Facebook mom group.

6. SMASH OR PASS.

I’m not entirely sure why moms would rate other moms on their smashability, unless they were legitimately into other women in which case, I’m pretty sure there are apps for that.  Yo Brenda, you have nice tits and everything but I’mma go smash a D.

7. The car seat police team *cue sirens*

A Mom posts a seemingly innocent picture of her adorable kid eating ice cream in the car seat, and out come the barrage of car seat experts flashing their official car seat police badges to serve and protect by telling moms their children will DIE if they’re not in an 18 point harness until age 64.

8. Exit speeches.

“You bitches are all judgmental bitches! I though this is supposed to be a judgment-free group. I’m OUT! Leaving this group right now.” *Middle finger emojis to infinity.*

Okay bye Tina, thanks for the zero memories because no one even knows who you are. BTW I wouldn’t smash.

9. “Not trying to be controversial or start an argument here but…” actually I am trying to start an argument here because this is going to become the longest thread on this page, where 45 people will cry for admin help, 30 will post Wikipedia links, 6 people will threaten to call CPS/CAS, and a partridge in a pear tree.

10.  “Is my man cheating? I caught him having intercourse with another woman but I can’t be sure if his penis was actually inside of her vagina. This is the 18th time this has happened this month.

No, no he’s not. Poor guy must be possessed by some sex-addicted demon! Have you tried finding an exorcism specialist in your area?

 

The Desperate Mom’s Guide to Self-Care

When you have kids, especially small children who depend on you for survival, making time for self-care may seem like an impossible feat.

You probably feel like you put yourself, your social life and even your hygiene on the back burner to tend to the needs of everyone else.  At the end of the day, you might be too exhausted to accomplish much more than staring at wall in the fetal position or indulging in some mindless social media scrolling until you pass out in a pile of Cheeto crumbs.

So I’ve compiled a handy list of 10 foolproof ways to sneak in some YOU time throughout the course of your chaotic day, but first we are going to start with a quick exercise that involves making a list of all of the things you used to do for fun and relaxation before you had small children. Got it? Good.

Next, you’ll want to ball that list up in your fist and launch it aggressively into the garbage. This isn’t college anymore, the only version of a wet T-shirt contest that you will be participating in is the kind where your boobs are unknowingly lactating through your shirt, mmmkay?  It’s time to put those carefree drinking and frolicking days behind you, and embrace this glorious shitshow that is #momlife.

WARNING: This list applies to desperate mamas who have children hanging from their limbs at least 75% of the time and/or who are on the verge of losing their shit. Proceed with caution.

1. Master the ancient Chinese art of sleeping with your eyes open.  Look, we know you love little Bobby, but if you have to see him do that thing he does on the trampoline for the 487th time, you might stab out your own eyeballs. Sleeping with your eyes open  allows you to discreetly catch some much needed Zzzz’s whenever you need to mentally check out. Maybe you’ll practice this fine art in the car when you’re waiting for your child in the school drop off line, or during a long winded church sermon, at a Birthday Party, play place, or even during sex! Who cares, you’re too tired to actually be conscious for most of this stuff.

2. Find a hobby. Some people like collecting coupons, some like doing crack, it’s all about balance. Disclaimer: I don’t recommend crack. I also don’t think coupon cutting is an ideal hobby either, but whatever keeps you off drugs, man!

3. Drive, drive, and drive some more until they are asleep. Then park and scroll, scroll, scroll through memes on your phone. The free WiFi at Walmart reaches the parking lot, just sayin. Also see #1: sleep

4. Find a Babysitter, as in leave your children with old people at the grocery store because good babysitters are impossible to find in 2018! You know the type, the sweet little old ladies who tell you how cute your kids are and reach out to pinch their cheeks. Aahhh, they just seem so sad and desperate for an opportunity to entertain some kids, so you’ll actually be doing them a favour by giving them a child to babysit. Simply hand your kids over to these polite strangers and slay that grocery list solo, Mama. Can you smell that freedom? It might also be the smell of a restraining order, but it’s totally worth it.

5.  Take a bath. Light some candles, draw a bath, get out your favourite essential oils and break out your Best of Rod Stewart playlist. Then burn all of that, and burn the house down with it. Self-care, bitch! Disclaimer: Not entirely sure where I was going with that, but if you’re considering setting things on fire to control stress, you might want to start thinking about anger management therapy. But yeah, good luck finding time for a candlelit bath.

6. Don’t make any time for self-care. Instead, let all of your stress and responsibilities bubble over until you have a mental breakdown that requires a brief but necessary hospitalization. Imagine laying in a bed all day while people take care of YOU for once?! Forced drugs and electric shock therapy? Pfffttt, that sounds like a vacation compared to making lunches and incessantly yelling at everyone to put the mother effing toilet seat down, amirite!? Let that bat shit crazy beast within you fly high and embrace the strait jacket. You won’t regret it.

7. Start a book club. And by books I mean wine. And by club I mean it’s just you. Alone. Drinking wine. For bonus self-care points, keep a flask in the diaper bag and chug back a few shots of the holy water whenever Susan from the PTA starts drilling into you about the upcoming mother effing bake sale, or Brenda at the park tries to sell you on her 4th MLM business of the month.

8. Take up running. As in, whenever the kids are acting up and pushing you to the very limits of your limitations, just f*cking run away. BYE.

9. Meditate. Except instead of finding a calm place to draw in the positive energies from the earth, find a place literally anywhere to scream a string of obscenities at the top of your lungs. You’ll feel 100 times better once you’ve exhausted every swear word in the dictionary and created at least 50 new ones.

10. Fake your own death (temporarily). Look, we’re not trying to leave our families and move to an island, although I’m not here to judge. But if it’s been a ridiculously long time since you’ve had a sanity break and you’re hovering between Britney 2007 and everyday Kanye, it’s time to fake your own death or kidnapping.

Unfortunately I haven’t worked out the logistics of executing this plan effectively, but if you watch enough episodes of Criminal Minds you can probably formulate a plot that allows you to reemerge from a hostage situation after a few weeks or months, unscathed but inexplicably well-rested and tanned. Keep me posted, I’ll be here to take notes.

If you were hoping for a more insightful and practical list of self-care ideas, I apologize, but I’m in the same sinking boat with you when it comes to lack of free time, and my self- care routine currently involves heavy sarcasm, making memes and eating cake. You’re not alone; some days I’m just trying not to drown in mom duties whilst reminiscing about the days that I could fit into my size 6 jeans and had names like “hot guy who buys shots” programmed into my phone.

But here’s the good news; if you made it through this entire article, and maybe even had a chuckle or two, you have just completed 9 whole minutes of doing something entirely for yourself, which equals 9 minutes of what? You got it: self-care!! See what I did there?👏👏👏👏 You’re welcome.

These Days Are Shorter Than They Seem

Mama, I see you. You’re tired. You feel defeated. Maybe you’re unsure how you’ll carry on.

You haven’t had a full night’s rest in days, or maybe even months, and you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair. You’ve lost yourself somewhere between diaper changes, school runs, chasing toddlers and running errands, and it might feel like there is no end.

I promise there will be time again for a clean house and Pinterest meals, and there will be time again for you.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Let the children be little, let them be adventurous, let them simply be. Ignore the dishes a little longer to enjoy the sounds of a house filled with the beautiful crescendo of laughter and squeals, and the pitter patter of their adventurous feet.

Let them love their cherished stuffed toy or blankie, let them love it where ever they need to, until it’s been loved to the brink of falling apart and you painstakingly put it together again.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Relish in their simple joys, their innocent view of the world, and acknowledge every tear. Dance, jump, and get in on the fun, fill their hearts with all the joys you would have wanted as a child. Make the memories count.

Say yes. Yes to forts, and make believe, and tickle fights and snuggles. Say yes to fun and games and stories and magic, and yes to hours spent together cuddled up on the couch.

Admire their faces, study their smiles, enjoy their giggles and glee. Listen intently when they speak because even with so few words they are telling you the most important tales of their hearts.

Let the hugs last a little longer, and hold them a little tighter, look up from your phone a little more; you don’t want to miss the moments that matter.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Those chubby arms that reach for snuggles and those soft cheeks that beg for kisses will grow and change; they won’t reach for you the same, Mama. You might not miss the messes, but you will miss those adorable mischievous smiles that greet you when you catch them climbing the furniture or playing in your makeup.

One day they will say farewell to their beloved stuffed animal or blankie that was their constant companion since birth, and tell you they are a big kid now.

And seemingly one day after that, they’ll no longer need you quite as much. Their giggles will change, their faces will change, they will start to live life their own way. And though you’ll be sleeping more and doing a little less, some part of you will long for them to be little again. You’ll look back at their pictures and wonder where the time went, how they grew so fast, and ask yourself if you could have enjoyed it more.

I know it’s hard, but laugh through the hard times, cry if you need to, and forgive yourself often. Remind yourself that this is one short chapter in a book of many, and it’s the only one you get to write for your children.

These days are shorter than they seem.

Vomit on my Sweater, Mom’s Spaghetti; a Tale of Stage Fright

What’s your dream job? Mine has always been an SNL skit writer/actor, or comedy entertainer.

One of my (many) goals with my blog was to ultimately make parody videos and skits to really let you all in on my occasionally overly animated and weird personality that doesn’t always translate well in writing or pictures. (Or even in real life unless you really know me and have lived through and understand my level of awkwardness.)

You aren’t able to grasp my tone of voice, sarcastic undertones, facial expressions, impersonations and occasional jerk-off motions in writing, so I’ve been wanting to share more of that with you.  Some of my influences include Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, the late and great OG Chris Farley, as well as Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, and pretty much every funny person who ever lived.

Five years ago when I quit my office job, I had decided it was time to stop trying to fit this round peg into a square hole and to start living out my creative passions and entertainer urges. So I brainstormed, researched and did a bit of Googling, and I ultimately decided to sign up for a Second City stand-up comedy class in Toronto. Yup, I signed up for a once a week class, in a city 4 hours away from my home.

Some of my favorite comedic legends trained at the Second City, so I figured it would be a great place to start. Having recently completed a Live Your Best Life workshop that posed the question about my passions, comedy was the first thing that came to mind. The workshop focused on self improvement and overall well being, and it helped empower me to break down my fears and visualize what my ideal life and career would look like.

It also helped me to accept myself as a round peg in a square hole, and understand that my mind is completely wired in “R mode” as my 11th grade art teacher referred to it. Right brainers, where you at? Who needs logic when we have all this creativity to use!

So I took the leap! I drove out to Toronto once a week for the entire duration of the program, to try my luck at comedy because I knew I was passionate about laughing and making people laugh. The last “class” was an actual performance in front of an audience at a comedy club in Toronto. GULP.

AND I SUCKED. BAD. Like vomit on my sweater, mom’s spaghetti. I kept on forgetting what I wrote down, the whole crowd got so loud, I opened my mouth but the words wouldn’t come out, I was choking now.

Eminem lyrics aside, my anxiety got the best of me. I wanted to literally DIE as the bright lights shone on my red cheeks and I choked on my own saliva while desperately trying to recall any part of my act.

I even resorted to calling out to my husband in the crowd, “Hey hunny, what the hell is my act about?” which people responded to with laughter (yay!) but only because they assumed it was all part of the schtick. But in my sad reality I was actually desperately hoping he’d throw me any line from the act that I had rehearsed in front of him 800 times and had now forgotten.

It was a huge blow to the dreams I had of becoming an entertainer, much like the former singing career I had attempted in my 20’s. I was capable of singing, writing and recording songs behind the curtains, doing my best Britney stage twirls and hair flips in the comfort of my home, but put me on stage and actually open those curtains and I would forget how to person, much less sing or perform.

One time a bandmate even placed a keyboard on stage with me so I could pretend to play along to the music; my hope was that it would distract people from my awkwardness on stage. Naturally, I then started worrying more about the audience suspecting that I wasn’t actually playing the keyboard than my quivering voice and trembling knees. Anxiety is a real treat, friends.

76d3d34937ec5f9cef780917ba01faaf651b76ea8705a6d49accf9e3e804c6b2

Ultimately, my journey into discovering my passions and looking for a related career led me to home décor and decorating. (Cough, safe, cough.) After the on-stage embarrassment, I quickly talked myself out of comedy and signed up for an online Interior Decorating course. I ended up starting my wood sign décor business for some extra cash, and that kept me busier than I imagined I ever would be.

The home décor business allowed me to be creative and passionate from the comfort of my home, but without the fear of being vulnerable or judged. But this isn’t where I want my story to end. The “problem” with the creative mind is that it is completely full of ideas all the time; add an entrepreneur spirit to the mix and it’s a recipe for a brain bubbling over with Shark Tank visions.

But in comes the self doubt. It is inhibiting my confidence for making comedy videos and REALLY putting myself out there, back on stage but without the stage. It’s a lot easier “performing”  in your own home without all of those eyeballs staring at you in real time

I just haven’t grown the balls or found the time. And I think, what’s the point? I’m 36, it’s not like I’m going to land my dream job on Saturday Night Live now, at nearly effing 40, from a blog or Youtube post, nonetheless. What if I’m not even funny and I suck, and it’s like the stand-up act all over again?

But then I have to tell myself that none of that is the point, the point is that I love and live for humor and I want to bring humor to the world, even if it means completely making an ass out of myself for the sake of making someone laugh and relate. Correction:  ESPECIALLY if it means making an ass out of myself for the sake of making someone laugh and relate.

So why am I telling you about all of this? Well, I’m mostly just warning you about what is probably not destined to happen in the near future, so people don’t think it’s coming way out of left field, because it’s something I’ve wanted to do since the first time I made someone laugh.

I’m also trying to give myself a pep talk in the process. If a couple people are like “yeah girl I laugh at your shit all the time, your Instagram has me in stitches, let’s see what else you’ve got!” then I might build up a bit more confidence to get some of these ideas out of my noggin and onto video. Help me, I’m scared.

And right on cue, in chimes that bitch self doubt again saying, girlllllll, they’d only tell you to record videos because they want to laugh at you, not with you. STAY SAFE, give the people something to pin on Pinterest, people lovvvve that shit!  Talk about your crafts and your home décor hacks, and your stupid diet that isn’t working. Show people all the shit you’ve done from Pinterest, don’t do the weird stuff!

I will say this, we have already made serious progress, friends. I actually started a blog numerous times over the past 10 years and always kept it private before ultimately deleting it. This is my first public blog, hazzaah! Maybe in another 10 years I’ll post my first video, and by that time I’ll be in my late 40’s so it will likely be about menopause and how to make a mean casserole.

Narrator: Stay tuned to the next episode (aka blog post) to find out if Stacey decides to post that funny video, or talk about something truly exciting like home décor. Bom bom bommmmm. Spoiler alert the next episode is about watching paint dry.

One day, maybe we’ll rip that Band-aid off and do the weird stuff.

Do’s and Don’ts of Surviving the First 3 Years with Twins

So you’re pregnant with twins? Congratulations, what a blessing times two! This is a very exciting and magical time where your body will grow to accommodate not one, but 2 tiny miraculous humans.

And while it is a life changing experience that you will undoubtedly cherish every moment of, it also comes with its share of challenges. Which is why I have comprised this handy list of  a few of my personal recommendations for surviving the first 3 years with twins.

Do: have a baby shower and start preparing a list of necessities including bouncy chairs, swings, a double stroller, a baby carrier (or two) and all the latest trendy baby gadgets. Then throw that list away and ask everyone to bring you diapers, booze, and babysitting vouchers because you aren’t going to need all that other crap as much as you’ll need vodka and a nap.

Do: start stocking up on yoga pants and a shit ton of dry shampoo ASAP.  Say goodbye to your real clothes and hello to crotch showers. Baby powder isn’t recommended for babies anymore but you can douse yourself in it and no one will even know how long it’s been since you’ve seen a loofah and hot water.

Do: learn how to nap with your eyes open. You’ll desperately need sleep but you must never take your eyes off these children. I repeat, NEVER.  I blinked one time and one of my twins was swinging from the chandelier while the other was throwing knives at him.

Don’t:  stress yourself out and spend a ton of money creating the nursery of your Pinterest dreams. By the time they are 18 months old, they will find a way to make a shank out of a decorative pillow and you’ll need to strip the entire room down to mattresses and padded walls. As a bonus you can keep the extra money you saved on an expensive nursery to invest in booze. I mean, diapers.

Do: invest in a dual video monitor. And 3 back up video monitors. As well as motion detectors, a security team, and interactive baby gates that can be controlled with your mind to accommodate all dimensions and areas of your home on command. Hopefully they will have invented baby gates with these capabilities by the time you give birth.

Don’t: RSVP to any important functions until they are 4 or 18ish.  You won’t have the energy, the time or the will to attend, and the process of getting out of the house will take you longer than the time you’re actually going to spend at the event.

Don’t:  attempt to take them anywhere in public by yourself between the ages of 2 and 3.5.  I repeat, do not attempt this, unless you enjoy frantically chasing and attempting to capture two writhing naked suicidal toddlers in a public place for 45 minutes while bystanders film it on their cellphones.

Do: ask for help anywhere you can find it. If you don’t have family support there’s always Craigslist or sweet old people strangers at the grocery store. Trust me, they love kids, it’s cool.

Do: be prepared to shut down the annoying and repetitive cliché phrase “YOU HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL” with this response: “Yes, I would love for you to lend a hand. This one has a shitty diaper you can change.”

Do: join a helpful mom Facebook support group or those specifically for moms of multiples. And by do, I mean don’t. Unless you enjoy voluntarily subjecting yourself to pictures of weird rashes and the insides of kid’s mouths and buttholes.  When in doubt, consult with the Google Doctor, or you could try one of those real doctor thingies. I hear they know stuff about things, and are qualified to look at your kid’s butthole.

Don’t: forget to set aside some time for self care. And by ‘set aside some time’ I mean lololololol. And by self care I mean parking the minivan in the driveway with the kids strapped in (read: not able to escape) and happily watching cartoons on the DVD player while you scroll through your phone laughing at memes.

Don’t: let me scare you. Every child is different, every situation is different and my best advice is to learn to laugh at life and any of the challenges that come your way whenever possible. I hope you got a chuckle from this piece, because it was highly exaggerated and completely unrealistic  accurate.  Besides, I know you’ll be awesome at this parenting thing and you’ll have 2 absolutely beautiful little munchkins to shower with love and affection.

But seriously, register for booze.

 

10 things I’ve Learned from My Facebook Detox

It’s been nearly two months since I gave up Facebook, and I don’t have any plans for a return as of yet, but here are a few things I’ve observed so far.

1. I don’t know anyone’s Birthdays. Without Facebook I don’t generally keep track of 500 random people’s Birthdays and I’m not about to start now. Sorry not sorry.

2. I no longer have the play-by-play on what Susan is going to cook for dinner every night. (And I no longer have to care!) Yay.

3. My anxiety is 200000000% better. I’m not sure how many “scare tactic articles” I’ve avoided, but I’m definitely not worried that I have cancer or a rare terminal illness quite as often as I used to, which is a bonus. I haven’t been click baited into reading any stories about children or animals being harmed or killed, and that has legitimately improved my mental health.

Side note, who wants to read these heartbreaking stories anyways? Ugh. Apparently me, because I always get drawn into clicking on them, like a kid who’s been warned not to touch the stove and does it anyways. And then does it again because they didn’t learn the first time. And then they are burnt and crying and scarred for life, and that’s how I feel after reading that stuff. 😞😞

4. NO MORE GAME INVITES.  EFF YOU CANDY CRUSH!!

5. Sales spam, be gone! Look, I respect the hustle, times are tough and it’s expensive to live. I GET IT. I am a small business owner myself with 3 kids at home, and we barely scrape by most months. I really do my best to support and encourage those who run small businesses.

But I feel a bit disappointed when I think I’ve made a new Facebook friend, only to receive an invite be added against my own will to their sales group within 3 seconds of accepting their friend request. Then I get a message another 3 seconds after that and they’re soliciting me to buy or sell something. And here I truly thought Brenda and were going to be new Facebook friends, I feel so betrayed rn. *cue ugly cry*

6. People are throwing shade at me for leaving Facebook. I probably made this one up in my head but I seriously feel like some people are judging me for it. I’m sorry if you feel like I’ve committed a social sin by leaving Facebook, but it’s not you, it’s me. I’m breaking up with Facebook for my own sanity, and I still love you boo. I just don’t really need to know how much laundry you did today because it makes me feel super shitty about the growing pile of dirty laundry that I haven’t touched in a week. Text me pics of your cute kids tho, k? (Just not every 5 seconds, save some for the family scrapbook. Muah, love you!)

7. My anxiety is 200000000% better. Did I mention that already? Well I’m mentioning it again, and this time I’m crediting it to avoiding 5 million notifications a day. Kudos to anyone who can keep on top of all these Facebook groups, and run several business pages, and keep their kids alive, and shower every day, and respond quickly to every message from every human in their business and their life, and cook Pinterest worthy dinners, and kill their workouts, and get to places on time and not want to smash their phone with a sledge hammer. I am not one of those people. (Clearly.) 😳

8. I get into way less imaginary arguments with people in the comments sections. Listen Susan, just go back to posting about your meatloaf, because at least it’s slightly less offensive than your rants about breastfeeding in public. (Looks kinda gross though, tbh)

9. I don’t receive any more chain letters. Woo hoo, I am no longer at a risk of death if I don’t share your post in 6 minutes, stand on my head, tag 14 friends and do the chicken dance.🙃

10. I don’t have 500 “friends.” I have maybe 20, and half of them are family. Yup, I haven’t had any interaction with majority of my Facebook friends and I’m pretty sure most of them haven’t noticed my absence. Which I’m not mad about, I’m just making a point about the loose term “friends” on Facebook. Facebook is the new Days Of Our Lives, and a lot of people are there for the show.

I realize that most of these issues are my own issues, which brings me back to #6 -it’s not you, it’s me. And I swear I’m not bitter, I’m just kind of in a disagreement with Facebook right now and the two of us aren’t tight at the moment but I still got mad love for social media. *First bump to the chest*

I love that we are connected more than ever to the world through technology and I realize that there are SO many amazing benefits to social media, but at the same time, it can be completely overwhelming and have negative side effects too.

We can feel alienated by subconsciously comparing our lives to other people, comparing our followers, our bodies, our hair, our dinners, and our relationships. And most of the time we are only seeing the highlight reel, or the staged version of people’s lives, not the bigger picture.

We fire passive aggressive missiles at each other through inspirational quotes and vague status updates instead of actually communicating. And we lose sight of what is real.

Nobody’s life looks like a perfectly color-coordinated Instagram feed. People don’t live in a black and white reality with occasional pops of the colors blush and champagne. Because that would be weird.

I crave a simpler time, like the 80’s and 90’s, where you could eat poptarts with reckless abandon and no one judged you. Your parents sent you outside to play with the neighbourhood kids until it got dark and you always came home (mostly) in one piece.

You would occasionally talk to people on a phone that was attached to your wall, but you didn’t live inside your phone, you lived in reality. You didn’t do everything for a perfectly staged picture for social media, you did it just to live it.

So no, I’m not missing Facebook yet, and disconnecting has enabled me to simplify my life and manage my own anxieties.

If you need me I’ll be over here with my Walkman and fanny pack on, sending handwritten letters to my penpals, like the good ol’ days, not ever knowing what Susan cooked for dinner and somehow still surviving.

YQG Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

IMG_20180130_141307_156000_resized

It’s officially February, and Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Are you feeling stuck for gift ideas? Well look no further, because we have rounded up some of our favourite places to shop locally, so you can find a unique gift and feel good about supporting your community at the same time. (Click photos to enlarge.)

❤Gifts that pamper
Lashes, brows, and tans, oh my! Give the gift that keeps on giving with one of these pampering services they’re sure to appreciate.

LUX BROWS

Tanya Macri is the professional brow artist behind Windsor’s most beautiful microbladed brows, and Lux Brows is the first salon in the area to offer the hottest new non-surgical skin tightening procedure known as Plasma Skin Tightening. Give your lady the gift of perfect skin, a lash lift, or brows that are on point! Check out her website for more information on pricing and services and to book a service or purchase gift cards.
Photo of Tanya by: Eryn Shea Photography

facebook.com/luxbrowsonpoint
luxbrows.mysalononline.com
Instagram.com/luxbrows_on_point

BEACH BUM SPRAY TANNING

 

Get your glow on and banish those winter blues! Vegan, organic and safe, UV-free spray tanning is the best way to get bronzed any time of year. Book online, @mindbodyonline.com or stop by 13126 Tecumseh Rd East to pick up a Gift Certificate for that special someone.

www.beachbumorganicspraytanning.com
www.facebook.com/beachbumspraytanning
www.instagram.com/beachbumspraytanningwindsor

RESTORE MASSAGE THERAPY

Give the gift of relaxation this Valentine’s Day with Restore Massage Therapy, which is
conveniently located at 1614 Ottawa Street. Call 519 -256-6464 to book an appointment, or pop in to pick up a Gift Certificate.

www.facebook.com/restoremassagetherapyandwellness
www.instagram.com/restoremassagetherapy
519-256-6464

BROOKE ELIZABETH MAKEUP ARTIST AND XTREME EYELASH EXTENSION STLYIST

She’ll be batting her lashes at you for days when you purchase her a set of beautiful eyelash extensions from Brooke Elizabeth Make Up Artist / Xtreme Eyelash Extension Stylist, a home-based business in Amherstburg. Text for an appointment or to arrange to purchase a gift certificate, or get in touch on social media.

519-816-1222
https://www.facebook.com/brookeelizabethmua/
Instagram.com/brookeelizabeth_mua

YOUNIQUE MAKEUP BY ERIKA

The ultimate girl boss, Erika does nails, raises babies, makes cheesecakes, sells Younique and still finds time to be a promoter and encourager of other lady bosses! Check out these gorgeous new lip shades for the perfect Valentine’s date night pucker. Contact Erika for all of your makeup needs, and keep in touch on social media to see what promotions and customer kudos she has going on each month.

www.mzdivanailznlashes.com
www.instagram.com/mzdiva_nailz

❤Handmade gifts, made with love ❤
Support your local artists and crafters this Valentine’s Day and purchase a unique gift that your loved one is sure to admire.

EVB JEWELRY

 

Every Event Boutique is a local handmade business that distributes a stunning line of jewelry and fashion accessories that can be purchased online, in person, or through home parties. You will find a fabulous and fashionable selection of jewelry for every taste and any budget on their website. Check out their beautiful line of “Be Mine” Valentine’s Day jewelry available in their Etsy shop, we totally heart it!

www.facebook.com/EVBJewelry
www.etsy.com/ca/shop/evbjewelry
www.instagram.com/evbjewelry

A CUP OF PRETTY

An Amherstburg based home business, A Cup of Pretty creates unique and affordable customized glitter dipped wine glasses, coffee mugs & mason jar tumblers. Treat yo’ self or someone you love this Valentine’s Day, by purchasing through their website or contacting them via social to arrange a custom order.

www.facebook.com/acupofpretty
www.acupofpretty.com
www.instagram.com/cupofpretty

PICKET FENCE HANDMADE

Our home décor company that is affiliated with this blog specializes in unique, whimsical and humorous wood signs. You can shop directly through our Etsy shop and keep up to date with us on social media. Check out our line of free-standing decorative mini wood blocks made for all seasons and styles; there’s a few Valentine’s Day themed blocks left in our Etsy shop!

facebook.com/picketfencehandmade
Instagram.com/picketfencehandmade
etsy.com/shop/picketfencehandmade

BORDER CITY PRINTS

Border City Prints is a home-based, Health Canada approved provider of bath products that are fun and skin safe. They are offering adorable gift boxes for Valentine’s Day featuring themed bath bombs that look good enough to eat- contact them through Facebook to order.

www.facebook.com/bordercityprints
www.instagram.com/bordercityprints

URBAN ART MARKET


Your one stop shop for EVERYTHING handmade, with Valentine gifts to suit a variety of tastes made by over 30 local artisans. Pottery, jewelry, knitwear, wood signs and stationary are just a few of the amazing items they have to offer. Located at 548 Chilver Rd in the heart of Walkerville.

www.instagram.com/urbanartmarket
www.facebook.com/urbanartmarket

CHAR ELLE DESIGNS

Char Elle designs is a line of fashion forward women’s handmade and custom clothing designed and produced in Windsor, Ontario. Shop online or at their boutique located at 4651 Tecumseh Rd East. Check out these chic and sophisticated red pieces for Valentine’s Day, that jumpsuit and pencil skirt is giving us allll the heart eyes!

www.facebook.com/CharelleDesigns
www.charelle-designs.com
www.instagram.com/charelledesigns

❤Indulge
Whether it’s a gift card to a local restaurant, a Valentine’s Day dinner or something decadent to tempt the sweet tooth, it’s all here!

DENALI CHOCOLATES

Denali Chocolates is a local home-based business that is committed to providing you with the most stunning gourmet chocolate dipped strawberry platters, towers and customizable gift boxes for your special events. We have never seen strawberries look quite like this before; their beautiful tower of roses and chocolate covered strawberries is almost too pretty to eat! Contact them to order in time for Valentine’s Day.

www.facebook.com/Denali-Chocolates
www.instagram.com/denali_chocolates
Denalichocolates@gmail.com

KRISTY’S CUSTOM CAKES

Check out these adorable (and affordable!) Valentine’s gift boxes and baskets made by Kristy’s Custom Cakes, a home-based cake decorating business based out of McGregor.
Kristy’s provides custom cakes for all occasions; birthdays, Weddings, Showers, or Just Because. Contact via Facebook to order!

www.facebook.com/kristycakes15/
www.instagram.com/kristyscustomcakes
www.kristyscustomcakes.com

CARROTS N’ DATES

Are you even living in the #yqg if you haven’t been to Carrots N’ Dates yet? This raw, vegan café now has 2 locations to serve you-one in Walkerville and one in Tecumseh! Square Gift Cards can be purchased online from the comfort of your home, and Valentine’s themed gift cards are available if you want to send a loved one something special this upcoming holiday.

Ordering Square Gift Cards Link
www.facebook.com/carrotsndateswalkerville
www.carrotsndates.com
1090 Wyandotte St E in Windsor Phone: 519-962-5115
1125 Lesperance Rd. in Tecumseh Phone: 519-735-0447

HEALTHY MAMA

Why not treat him or her to a delicious 5-course plant-based Valentine’s Day dinner at Healthy Mama restaurant? This is a special set dinner menu that is 100% plant-based and gluten-free with limited spots, so call or email to reserve now. Healthy Mama also offers gift cards and has a retail shoppe filled with delicious products for the health conscious person in your life.

www.healthy-mama.com
info@healthy-mama.com
www.instagram.com/healthymama_food
www.facebook.com/healthymamafood
152 Lesperance rd.
Tecumseh, Ontario
519-956-9467

SUGAR SPOON BAKE SHOP

Specializing in classic and European baked goods and sweets, Sugar Spoon Bake shop is offering a special Valentine’s Day Menu as well as in-store grab and go Valentine themed treats through February 7th-14th. Order now via phone or online, or stop in and admire their gorgeous storefront.

3131 Forest Glade Drive
www.sugarspoonbakeshop.com
https://www.facebook.com/Sugar-Spoon-Bake-Shop-1782793818654491/
www.instagram.com/sugarspoonbakeshop
(519) 956-8484

❤Gifts for him
Treat him to something he will appreciate this Valentine’s Day, with dude-approved ideas for every budget.

WALKERVILLE BREWERY

It’s no secret that we just LOVE the Walkerville Brewery, and this Valentine’s Day you can purchase the perfect gift from their retail shoppe, or fridge. Fill up your Growlers (64 Oz.) and Stubbies (32 Oz.) with your favorite Walkerville beer, or pick up a Valentine’s Day themed gift pack featuring local craft beer. Their featured Gift Package is only $15 and includes: 1 x 750ml Bottle of RIS, 2 x pint glasses and comes gift wrapped w/ Be(er) Mine Valentine tag.

525 Argyle Rd, Windsor
www.walkervillebrewery.com
https://www.facebook.com/walkervillebrewery/

BENT ART & ACCESSORIES

Bent Art and Accessories offers beautiful eco-friendly wood accessories, bbq scrapers, dinnerware, cheeseboards and more, at affordable prices. Are you still searching for that unique gift for him? Their barn wood belt buckles are hand crafted with 115+ year old barn wood and reclaimed hardware and are available in their Etsy Shop and at the Urban Art Market store. Wood BBQ scrapers are another great choice for the grillin’ guy or gal in your life.

https://www.facebook.com/bentartaccessories
bentartaccessories.etsy.com
www.instagram.com/bentartaccessories

❤Gifts for the kids ❤

HOLLY POP KIDS

Dress your little ones in ahhh-dor-able fashion forward Valentine’s Day threads from Holly Pop Kids, an online and home-based boutique. Free local pickup is available, just shop online at the link below, but hurry, clothes this cute and affordable don’t last long.

www.hollypopkids.com
www.facebook.com/hollypopkids
Instagram.com/hollypopkids

 

❤And don’t forget the pets! ❤
Because fur babes need love too

FLUFF PETCARE

Fluff’s entire line of pet products is inspired by a love of animals, and most products are dual-purpose or interactive, meaning they are safe for both you and your fluffy friend. A portion of proceeds from some of their Valentine’s Day products goes to the Windsor Humane Society, so you can feel good about purchasing local and giving back at the same time. Check out their Valentine themed gifts in their Etsy shop, including downloadable pet Valentine’s and Cat Nip pom poms. Locals use code WINDSORSHIP to omit shipping charges.

www.instagram.com/fluff_petcare
www.facebook.com/fluffpetcare/
www.fluffpetcare.com/
www.etsy.com/shop/fluffpetcare

BONZAI GIFTS BY PET NANNY

Treat your pets to a gift pack by Bonzai Gifts by Pet Nanny, a local home-based business catering to your fur babies. Valentine’s Kitty Packs include a collar of your choice, 2 toys of your choice, and an XS cat bandana for only $20. The Doggy Bag contains a plush squeaky toy, medium bandana, 3/4″ collar of your choice and paw wax for only $45. You can shop directly from their Etsy shop or contact them for more information.

www.facebook.com/BonzaiGiftsbyPetNanny/
www.instagram.com/www.facebook.com/BonzaiGiftsbyPetNanny/
www.etsy.com/shop/bonzaigiftsbypetnanny

❤Share the love!❤
Brb, currently ordering everything on this list right now. If you are a local business and you are offering a Valentine’s Day themed gift or service that you want to share, we would love to hear about it! Feel free to post a link to your business or product in the blog comments or on this post on Instagram and help share the love for local. Thank you for supporting our YQG community, and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog and follow our Instagram pages.

Xo,
Stacey

Pizza, Pinterest, Wood Signs, and Truth

There are a few subjects that I have been faced with over and over again in my handmade wood sign business, ones that can’t be explained in a brief conversation at a craft show or in a short Instagram post, so I’m going to try my best to unravel the complicated reasons why I have chosen to steer away from copying Pinterest and taking most custom orders, as well as discuss how we try to stand out in a flooded market and tell you how this all relates to pizza.

I think it’s been confusing to some, because for the first year or 2 when we were establishing our business, we were commissioned for a variety of different Pinterest projects and we took on everything from chalkboards to wood chests to wood signs and even furniture.

It was fun to experiment, to fulfill our customer’s wishes and flex our creative muscles so to speak, but we realized we didn’t have the knowledge, materials, time or tools to take on every random project that people found on Pinterest, so we eventually honed in on one main project- wood signs.

I don’t pin nearly as much as I used to but when I first found Pinterest, like most people I completely fell in love and I spent months pinning alllll the things. I think I have 4 million pins and 250 boards at this point, and that’s only a slight exaggeration. That website just set my soul and creativity on fire! Let’s make all these recipes and chore charts and do crafts and plan Pinterest parties, and follow makeup blogs and omg look at that bedroom, we need to remodel our house!

I credit Pinterest with reigniting my creative urges that had been mostly lying dormant in my 20’s when I was preoccupied with socializing, dating, going to concerts, and eventually having a baby and getting married. It was in 2010/2011 that I first discovered Etsy via Pinterest when I was planning my wedding, and I was instantly hooked!

I remember sitting procrastinating at my desk job at the time poring over the beautiful handmade wedding décor and accessories for hours (shout out to Bryon, my very cool boss at the time who probably knew I was avoiding work but didn’t fire me). I was in awe of these talented people who owned these little shops and whom I thought were incredibly lucky to sell things they created themselves, sometimes as a full time career.

There was a subconscious bell going off in my head that I didn’t quite recognize at the time, a foreshadowing if you will, but it would be a few more years until I acknowledged the bell and made the equation.

There were so many variables that went into my decision to inevitably quit my job and embark into the scary world of entrepreneurship and self-employment, and it was a lonnnng, bumpy road filled with trial, errors and doubt that ultimately led to that decision. We were faced with illness and almost lost our first born son when he was 15 months old, and that was also a HUGE influence in me wanting to be home.

I will discuss my journey into entrepreneurship in a future blog post, but overall it took a lot of guts, I faced a lot of judgment, I went back and forth a million times, and I have zero regrets.

So let’s just cut to 2013 when we launched our little business that we initially called Uniquely Chic Creations (now Picket Fence Handmade). I started out doing random crafts from Pinterest including decorated Mason jars, chalkboards, painted furniture, and pallet wine racks. I launched a Facebook page, then immediately took it down after a couple of comments sent my self doubt pummeling.

Our first sale in November of 2013 was a massive pallet wine rack, and then two, three, four, five more. We made a pallet sign with the word LOVE across it, and the interest in our work took off from there. I launched the Facebook page again, with more confidence this time, and we were commissioned for piece after piece and project after project.

I was having so much fun tapping into my creative urges and I was amazed by the interest we were receiving. At the time I only knew of a handful of people in the area who made wood signs, maybe 2 or 3, so we were taking on a lot of work. I was officially working from home and loving every minute of it!

Over the years we evolved and my style changed, I actually cringe at the sight of some of my earlier work, BUT I realize it all helped me grow, and growth is key. Plus, some of those early signs truly made people incredibly happy! We eventually stopped working with pallets and started buying our wood, I started creating more of my own designs, and I fell in love with felt flowers and whimsical things and a more modern look.

When I was able to create more from my own imagination, only then did my business start receiving attention from a larger scale of customers and Instagram accounts. Only then did our following start to expand from local to other cities and countries.

Something else changed; a million wood sign makers popped up in the area seemingly overnight, and although the demand for signs didn’t change, my goals did.

Once you become part of the Instagram community of makers, you get to know a ton of amazing people who create beautiful things, and you form friendships with crafty people from around the world. These days when I go through Pinterest and see wood signs come up in my feed, 8 out of 10 times I actually know the business name and the face behind the person who created those signs on Pinterest.

And I don’t want to copy my friends and fellow makers. I don’t want to copy anyone who put their heart and creativity into something and had that idea taken from them, because I know how that feels, and it sucks. Customers may not completely understand that, but makers/creators and artists do, and it’s a whole other world between them.

Like many of my creative friends, I’ve taken it very personally and gotten upset over copying, I’ve fed off of other people’s opinions and I’ve allowed it to get to my heart. I never intentionally sought it out, it was brought to my attention by others who had good intentions and were trying to support me, which I appreciate. But I was eventually affected by it in spite of trying to focus on my own work and put my blinders on. But I’ve also learned from it.

Realistically we can’t claim to own the rights to a specific color, or a mass produced craft supply that Michael’s sells, or heart shapes, or premade silhouette designs, famous quotes or lyrics or glitter, or wood rounds and felt flowers. There is a ton of overlap and not everything is 100% original when you really analyze the elements that were gone into it. I’ve had ideas that pop up in my brain that I thought were original, but before I’ve had a chance to make them, I’ve seen something similar pop up in my Instagram feed.

In this way, I can’t claim that everything I do is completely original, I’m not saying I’m friggin Picasso over here, and I’m not claiming to be the only person to come up with a new idea. I’ve done the signs that everyone has done, I’ve done the quotes that everyone has done. I’ve done the pieces that I just know my customers will love and buy. But there’s a difference between being creative and just creating.

There’s a difference between mimicking an end result and being a person who came up with the creative idea that led to that end result. I’m not saying one person is better than another, I’m just saying these 2 types of people have different values, and different goals.

I realized over the years that for the most part, custom orders are not my forte. I want my customers to have my best work, so I’m always striving to improve from my last creation. I can honestly say that I’ve only been satisfied with about 50% of the custom orders I completed in the past, and I can admit that I really struggle with them and I doubt myself through the entire process.

In the past I would receive the customer’s idea and start creating it only to find that I mis-read their idea and totally made my own idea in my head without realizing it. The creative mind does what it wants and fights against being put in a box.

I got tremendous anxiety. I re-did the sign 10 times. I cried. I felt defeated. I felt bad about myself and I felt bad giving it to the customer. Even if they were happy with it, I didn’t feel proud or fulfilled. I didn’t feel like the customer could possibly be happy with it, and then I’d beat myself up.

Of course I want you to have something special that is meaningful to you, and I appreciate my customers SO very much, but I found that I have to work with my own strengths and time restraints in order to produce my best work FOR you. It wouldn’t be fair to choose only the custom orders that I know I would excel at, and abandon the others.

My hope is that you find value in having a unique piece of wall art that doesn’t come from a store or from Pinterest, but from my heart, from my imagination and from years of devotion to my craft and my values as a maker.

In the last year or two, we focused on doing craft/art shows because it allowed me to create anything and everything and not have deadlines to adhere to, because life happens, kids get sick, and it’s sometimes challenging to meet deadlines.

BUT it wasn’t business savvy to post something online that I had made for a show and when people would express interest in buying it, I’d have to tell them they could only get it by coming to a show. “Uhh, yeah so there’s only one of these and you have to come to the show to get it. And I can’t sell all these pieces I made for the show or I’ll have nothing to bring to the show. Sorry” Forehead slap.

I know, that sucks. But I was afraid that I wouldn’t make sales on Etsy, and I’d always had success making sales at a show. After adding twins to our family, and realizing time and balance was becoming harder to achieve with 3 kids, two of whom stay at home with me, and my husband working 6 days a week at his day job, shows were a way to have a bit more control and a more guaranteed income. The lack of time and balance (and energy) have also been a contributing factor in our discussions about shutting down the business.

But I love creating for people so much, and with my busy family life, it’s the only “me” time I get these days, so it is also a great way to incorporate some semblance of self care into my life.

So, to make this long story longer,  this year I have loaded up my Etsy shop with designs and I’m open for business with many of the signs people have asked for! Depending on how Etsy sales go, I don’t have plans to do all that many shows this year other than a few big ones, due to lack of time and resources as well as health issues with arthritis and bulging discs in my neck. Wood signs aren’t light, and all the lifting involved for shows causes me a lot of pain. My husband helps when he can but he is usually home with the kids in order to allow me to do shows.

I will do my best to keep the Etsy shop open and will only close temporarily if I’m overly flooded with orders or prepping for any shows I do commit to. Turnover times are currently 1-3 weeks, and locals can use code PICKUP at checkout to omit shipping charges.

I am absolutely honored that people buy my signs on Etsy, and I have made most of my signs customizable by color, size, shape, etc so you can get a custom feel without completely changing the style or design.

I am working on adding new designs regularly, as well as ready-made seasonal pieces. I have so many more categories to add to, including weddings, mother’s day, father’s day etc. I plan to add more personalized items as well, but you can always request to add a name or date to a piece. Suggestions are always welcome also!

We are headed into our 5th year of business and I’m still learning every.single.day. I’m not perfect, I screw up, I haven’t always done everything for everyone and I’ve said no to a lot of projects or collaborations that I knew wouldn’t vibe with my goals, values, time restraints, resources, tools or abilities.

You can’t make everyone happy, you’re not pizza. And even if you are a delicious slice of pizza, some people have allergies or they’re vegan or gluten-free, or they don’t want to pay for pizza or they don’t value the ingredients, or would rather go somewhere else for pizza or make their own pizza. And that’s ok.

Here’s a link to my Etsy shop and our Instagram page related to the handmade business.