oh hello, 2014! SO glad you’re here!
i’m excited about the year ahead and beyond ready for a fresh start. a clean slate. a new beginning. and here you are! yay!
i have to admit, i get a bit giddy this time of year. maybe it’s because i need something to keep my mind off of the frigid, gloomy weather and something about starting a new year feels all warm and cozy and hopeful. whatever the reason, i’m excited for that spark of hope, feeling of newness and refreshed outlook that i have leading into each new year.
i don’t know about you, but i feel compelled to make lists of all sorts when the new year comes. (ok, all year long too) i definitely don’t consider my self to be type-A (not. at. all.) but i do love me some list-making. and love crossing items off of said list even more!
so, i’m ready to start my year with a list of all my hopes and dreams, random stuff i want to do and goals for 2014. nothing earth-shattering and not really resolutions, but just little things that are important to me.
i’ll also be starting a shiny new big ta-do pad (shown above!) to keep me on track with everyday tasks. i think these list-pads are so super fun (so much so, they just might make you want to pay attention to your to-dos!) and are one of my fave mtbs products. there’s a sheet for every week of the year, so now’s a great time to grab one! they’re not dated though, so you can start any time!
even though i’m not really making any resolutions, some of the goals on my list are your typical new-year resolutions…like loose weight, exercise, get organized, save money, etc.
seems like these never quite stick though. so i’m thinking that maybe it’s time to get a little more detailed about my goals and make them more of a lifestyle change. and, be held accountable by getting other people involved. a team effort!
at the top of the list…in 2014 i definitely want to loose weight and exercise more. eating better is of course a part of it, but instead of just saying “let’s eat better” we’re going to make an effort to shop smarter and plan better for each week. definitely not in a super rigid way, but a general plan will go far with us.
we’re also going to try and loosely follow what we already know about weight watchers. lemme tell ya it’s amazing what a difference it makes knowing how many points you get per day vs. how many points are in say, one margarita. (9 points, yo.) YIKES. makes you stop and think.
i’ve already cut waaaayy back on my delicious starbucks drink, so that’s a start!
^ luvo meal (formerly lyfe kitchen)
something that’s tough for us is how much we like to eat out. i mean, it’s fun, easy, and yummy. it’s a habit we’ve fallen into mostly because of how busy we are (which i don’t see changing any time soon). so for the days we can’t quite find time to cook and don’t want to go out, i’m planning on stocking up on these new gems that i found in the frozen food section at target. they’re SO good. like really good. and healthy!! for real. and i am the pickiest when it comes to any kind of chicken in frozen dinners. seriously. it’s usually some kind of rubbery “something” that just ends up grossing me out. blach. but not these…the chicken is like, real grilled chicken…texture ‘n all. result? i ate every. bite. they’re definitely a great option…though a bit pricer than your typical frozen dinner.
speaking of cost, eating out so much definitely gets expensive, so *bonus* this new plan will help save some cash too! though, i do have to say, for two people, depending on the place / food i’ve found that it’s NOT ALWAYS cheaper to eat at home. just sayin’ :)
another thing we’ve already been doing is sharing when we go out and aren’t starving. the way portions are at most restaurants we’re still full after splitting. less cash and less calories.
next, exercise. i’m going to start walking and doing yoga. and maybe some zumba classes (gosh do i miss hittin’ the dance floor!) but again, i’m going to come up with a loose schedule…like, mondays and wednesdays = walking, and tuesdays and thursdays = yoga. you get the idea!
i live on a lake so hoping to walk outside around the lake as much as possible. (despite the SUPER cold weather here. um, it’s summer in this pic. dreamy isn’t it?) it’s gonna be rough and will really take some motivation to start this adventure in january of all times, but i know me and know that i will get bored with walking on a treadmill inside. trust me. i’ve owned and sold one. and an elliptical. yea.
so i’ve been looking for routes of varying distances around parts of the lake on map my run. i might even get a fit bit to help track it all and keep things interesting. you can even pick a fun color band. win win!
then there’s finances…SO not fun. but i’m hoping to make it all just a bit easier by streamlining things. one thing i’m thinking of doing is setting up our bills so all are paid on just two days each month (two PAYdays, that is). autopay is my friend for sure, but it will still be a relief to just know everything is taken care of at once (errr twice), instead of on random days throughout the month. i’m also a big fan of things like mint to help track stuff.
another thing is i’m thinking of switching banks…to one that’s a bit friendlier with fewer fees and more mobile / online stuff to help with the ol’ streamlining.
i also stumbled on this money-saving idea reposted on facebook. what a great, super easy way to stash some extra cash. if you’re really feeling ambitious, increase the amount by 2x, 3x etc. per week and save a ton!
business-wise, i’ve got a lot of little streamlining and organizational type goals. for finances, i’ll be making better use of outright — it’s a great little tool for tracking your expenses and integrates with lots of other tools, too!
and with the new shop finally open, i’m going to be really looking at inventory organization to make filling orders a snap. i started getting all the paper goodies inventory organized in late 2013 but that was just a little dent in the madness.
i have a fun plan that i need to finish implementing but really i need a separate studio space to really get streamlined. ahhh someday. (this is what i dream of). but for now, i’m carving out little spaces throughout the house.
one thing that’ll help immensely is streamlining the shipping process. i’ve already got my shop set up to automatically calculate shipping from various carriers, which is awesome, but need a tool to help actually process orders and labels seamlessly. i’m considering shipstation or something similar.
best of all, i’m excited to start working on some shiny new products, too!!! 2013 brought over 100 new products with the launch of the paper goodies line which was cA-raZy to tackle, but exciting….i won’t be doing that big of a launch again soon but it really has been neat to see which products have been popular and where might be a good spot to add some new designs and some completely new products.
i’m also going to be getting my little branding + design side of the biz ramped up again to help other small businesses rebrand or launch a shiny new business. i super love this side of the business, so it will be fun for me to get back at it.
otherwise, i have a few new projects in the works that i hope to launch in the spring that will bring new products and a new part of the business, possibly with it’s own brand! stay tuned!
i’m super hopeful for the year ahead and ready for a really great 2014. so wish me luck (especially with the exercising plan!) i wish the best in the new year to all of you, too! happy happy new year! :)
oh, hello! just another quick post to introduce one of my fave new products that launched at nss last month…
leading up to nss i was virtually swimming around in endless to-do lists. i’m not the most structured person on the planet, but i still think it can be super overwhelming if there’s no structure and just epic lists everywhere.
that’s where this shiny new product comes in…
enter: the big ta-do™! it’s an oversized list pad with 52 sheets, one for each (work) week of the year, sectioned into manageable mini-lists. the end result might still be a long list, but filling out action items for each day makes it all seem a bit more doable. and, each day is perforated so you can tear off that mini list to keep handy on the go, or keep it all together for an overview of your work-week! (better pics coming soon… above: an iphone snap at nss)
and, there’s nothing better than a superluxe notepad sitting on your desk to inspire you to get ‘er done. so we made big ta-do™ kind of a big deal :) with 52, 7 x 14″ perforated cover weight pages wrapped in one of four fun colors (aqua, raspberry, papaya or lime juice) and finished with shiny gold edges. *swoooooooon*
these lovelies will be available in tons of new stores around the country in just a couple weeks and in the shiny new mtbs shop when that’s done, too!
let me know if you are interested in pre-ordering to get your hands on one hot off the press or if you have a retail store and are interested in carrying these in your shop!