Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interview from Freya's Studio

One of the other giveaways I won recently was a dog collar from Freya's Studio.  You all know how much I love Louie and so I was so excited to give him a fancy new collar.  Breanna even custom sized one for me since the pattern I loved didn't come in a small for my tiny pup...great customer service!

Meet Breanna and her pup Freya:

What Inspires You?I would have to say my dogs.  If I can show the patience, kindness, and honesty that my dogs show me everyday I think I'll be the person I think I should be. 
I also get inspired by going into fabric shops!  It is so much fun to look at all of the fabrics and see the potential collars that could be made.  It's even more fun to see the finished product in use and a smile on our customers faces (whether they're fury or human!)

What motivated you to start your own business?
Freya Dog and I are both very accident prone.  Unfortunately, both of us have had injuries that prevented us from playing at agility, freestyle, or other dog sports.  Luckily, I picked up sewing again and found a passion for creating collars.  Freya is very hard on things so she's the perfect test subject.  I wanted to make collars that were beautiful and fun but wouldn't fall apart.  I'm happy to report that I think we've succeeded!  I only make Freya a new collar when we feel like it rather than out of necessity.  This was a welcome change for my pocket book and it's great to know that others can enjoy the same benefit too! 

What advice would you give to someone starting their own creative business?
Find something you love to work on in your spare time and then look at the other folks out there offering it.  See if you can find a special niche that will help you stand out.  For us that niche is durability and the fabrics we use.  I try to use fabrics that I haven't seen used before (while also keeping in mind current styles and color coordination).  We're still very small fish in a very big pond so we're always learning more!
My other advice is to not try and do everything at once.  Focus on one thing and then branch out as you find what folks like/dislike.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would love to have the opportunity to go to Europe, I've never been out of the USA (not even Canada and I live in Montana)!  It would be fun to put my French Language classes to work!  I'd especially love to get to learn some traditional Irish Music, as a flutist this would be a dream come true.

Anything else you'd like to share?
One thing I always tell folks is to look into activities to do with their dog.  Whether it be dog freestyle (dancing with your dog), Agility (obstacle course performance), Rally (jazzed up obedience), or just getting out on more walks there is a ton to do!  Just because they're older or a hard to train breed doesn't mean you can't do more!  Look at Freya Dog, a lab/coonhound/heeler, she's as wild as they come but she's a joy to work with.  Every success we have is even better because of the journey to get there.  Even five minutes of positive training a day can change you and your dogs life.

I love Breanna's philosophy and passion for dogs.  So far the collar has held up really well and looks super snazzy on the Lou Man. 

Don't forget to also visit Breanna's blog

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interview from Beautiful Blendings

I recently won a few giveaways which is amazing since I never win ANYTHING...I'm thinking of playing the lottery.

Anyway, the women who sponsored these giveaways were so sweet, and I was so pleased with their products that I just had to share them with all of you!  First up is Tara from Beautiful Blendings.  She sent me the cutest headbands and a pretty flower clip

What Inspires You?

 I am inspired mostly by all the beautifully talented people that are around me and I feel as though seeing what others can create only motivates me to work harder at what I do to make it better or more exciting. I have also been working with children my entire life and creating pretty items for them that are also functional for the adults in their lives is a huge goal for me!
What motivated you to start your own business?
I decided to start my own business only four months after joining the blog world because I knew I had found my sense of community. This was the place where I could express myself creatively and receive the feedback I needed in order to grow myself artistically. And honestly when I turned 25 this year I got the bug to stop waiting for the world to hand me out a better life. If I wanted change I had to make it happen for myself. I would say the same to anyone wanting to start a business.  Just start with what you know and find people (in your day to day life or virtual friends) that will give you support and feedback. It's fun and rewarding and a lot of work but TOTALLY worth it!
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
This list grows everyday!!! My fella and I talk about it all the time because we really LOVE to travel but don't have the budget to support it all quite yet! I need to see New Zealand most definitely though. It's where I  already know I want to be married. ;)
Anything else you'd like to share?

I just want to tell everyone that the most important thing you can ever do in life is to be true to yourself. My days don't always run smoothly and sometimes (all times) I wish I were working on more items for my shop instead of grocery shopping; but it's a balancing act. I could never imagine my life now without my blog and business and the sense of happiness it gives me. And no one can take that from you. And I promise this: nothing beats the feeling if seeing something sold that you created and knowing someone out there WANTED that. Makes my heart happy every, single, time.

Tara is also offering a discount code in her shop: 10% off using the code sunshine10.  Happy Shopping!f
And don't forget to also check out Tara's Blog!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back in Action!

First of all, thank you to everyone who reached out and kept Sean and I in your thoughts over the past 2 weeks.  It's certainly been hectic and all your kind words really do mean so much so THANK YOU!

Now, I figured a quick update was in order before getting back to our regularly scheduled blogging program.  A lot has happened in the past 2 weeks:

Sean was hospitalized...TWICE! For an infection in his leg.  Apparently it was strep.  Who the heck gets Strep Leg?! 

Being back and forth to the hospital, combined with trying to take care of the pup and actually do work made it pretty crazy around here.  I may or may not have given up on cooking and cleaning entirely. 

We also got another farm share...yum!  Planning on making some Elote with that corn.
We also celebrated Sean's 28th birthday!  We got a Mint Chocolate Chip Cake from Termini Brothers.  This bakery is pretty much a Philadelphia institution, and it totally lived up to its reputation.  Delicious!

Louie graduated from the Advanced Obedience Class which means I can cross off yet another item from my 11 in '11 list!  Those are his pals Dolly and Daisy.  So cute!  Up next he'll be testing for the Canine Good Citizen Award

And we celebrated my Badass Friend Juliette's Birthday by toasting with some Philly Cheesesteaks on our Flavors of Philly Food Tour.  That's her bf Dave--he's a ninja.  Seriously. 

So although things have been busy they haven't been all bad, and we've actually had some fun.  Sean's leg is looking better by the day, and mostly he's just glad to be home.  I'm just glad to be back on the blog and catching up with some of you wonderful ladies.  I have some fun interviews coming up this week so stay tuned!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dead air

Sorry for the silence recently! We've had a doozy of a week over here. My great uncle passed away which stirred up a lot of emotions for me as the passing of any loved one will do.  More on that in a future post.

Sean was hospitalized in the middle of the night on Thursday for a bad infection in his leg. Although they released him on Saturday, I am blogging this from my phone on my way to the hospital since he was readmitted this morning. Don't worry I'm on the bus-not driving!

I will try and update soon since I do have some funny hospital stories for your entertainment...but in the mean time please send happy thoughts our way! How have you all been? I'd love to read some updates while hanging around the waiting room!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Farm Share: Week 3

After a GREAT winter season with our Greensgrow Farms Farm Share we decided to go with Landisdale Farm for the summer and fall.  It's closer, a little cheaper, and allows for pick-up every week for a small share.  So far we're pleased with the hauls we've been getting, although I'm looking forward to some more variety in the coming weeks.  The first 3 boxes were nearly identical, so here's the scoop:

  • Green Cabbage
  • Lettuce
  • Swiss Chard
  • Garlic Scapes (those green curly things)
  • Onions
  • Summer Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Blueberries

Pretty yummy stuff--the berries are great in my yogurt in the morning and I've been using the garlic scapes in almost any sauteed meal we've made.  They have a very light, warm garlic flavor that is also slightly sweet.  Perfect for adding just a bit of garlic.  (Although I could probably eat a whole clove like an apple I love garlic so much...)

I'll be sure to let you know what we get tomorrow!

This weekend we have a trip to the Farmer's Market at Clark Park to pick up our Farm Share
Happy Hour at Biba--omg the shirred egg is something I dream about!  Looking forward to the sangria!
A friend's birthday party Saturday night at R2L--first time there so I will be sure to post a review
Sean's mom visiting Sunday night which means a great dinner out, hopefully somewhere new!

What do you all have planned?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Belated Recap

Although the holiday weekend seems like ages ago, We had such an amazing time I just have to share! 
This was my first 4th of July that wasn't spent home in Chicago, and although I missed it terribly, there was something so powerful about being in Philadelphia for this holiday.  This is where it all started! 

And we did go to the all-you-can-eat ice cream fest...which was so yummy!
We also spent some time in Chinatown, at a Philly Pops concert, and of course at the parade and fireworks!
We spent time with good friends and ate lots of good food, so it was clearly a fabulous weekend.

Festive pedicure & picnic while waiting for the Philly Pops in front of Independence Hall

A red white and blue breakfast made by the hubs

Celebrating in Chinatown with my friend Grace and her +1

Not quite sure how they got this giant truck through the city for the parade

A bit of history

A rootbeer float from Capo Giro

Fireworks as seen from University City

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Ramblings

JULY?! ALREADY?! This is just craziness, people.

July is going to be an exciting month!!
  • The 4th! duh! Who doesn't love fireworks?
  • Sean's birthday...although I've arranged for him to get the greatest gift ever (no spoilers yet), I have no clue what I am actually getting him.  Any ideas for a man's man turning 28?
  • My badass friend Juliette's birthday.  We are thinking of doing a Philly food tour to celebrate!
  • My 1 year anniversary at my job that I love.
  • Our Louieversary--we've had him for 2 years!
  • We'll also be seriously looking at our finances in preparation for a major purchase in the next 6 months
Sean is working on the Fourth, and so far I've had no luck inviting myself to other people's BBQ's.  Everyone is out of town--what is up with that, Philly?!

I think we're going to try to go to The Super Scooper Ice Cream Fest- 1 spoon, all the ice cream you can handle?  Yes, please!

 I'm linking up for Happy Hour!
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