I am not the kind of person who glorifies being busy. I always strive for balance. I enjoy working on things that I love, and then relaxing with the ones that I love: "work hard, play hard", if you will.
So, when I tell you that the past month has been crazy busy, you know that I am not saying that as a humblebrag.
On top of doing a partnership with zulily, taking a weeklong trip to visit family, working on reorganizing my shop with a new company, and having my website redesigned, Wes and I moved to a new place.
That's a lot of stuff for one little month!
Yes, we did move out of our house after having it for less than a year. And yes, we are crazy people (more on that later).
Now that we are all moved into our new place and my workload is calming down a little bit, I thought I would reflect on this crazy month, and let you know what I learned about keeping your head above water when you're totally stressed.
1. Work in "chunks"
When my to-do list is running off of the page, emails are awaiting responses, the dog is barking, and I have errands to run, I have this "fight or flight" response that makes me just want to throw in the towel and lie down! I get paralyzed by being overwhelmed with stress, so it really helps me to break my workload into chunks of time. I will set the timer on my phone for an hour and work non-stop at something for that amount of time, and then I'll take a ten minute break. This helps keep me from going from one thing to the next, checking Facebook, wasting time, etc.
2. Cut back where you can
I hated to do it, but for about a week and a half, I shut down my main shop as well as my Etsy shop. I just couldn't keep up with orders on top of everything else that I had going on. Sometimes, you just have to cut something out and come back to it later. I don't regret it one bit, and I would recommend doing the same if you can!
This is obvious, but you have identify the crucial tasks on your list, and tackle the most important things first. When we were selling the house, there were things that had to be done to prepare, and everything else had to be put on hold.
4. Identify what you're in control of
I am an anxious person anyway, so when I'm stressed, it just goes to another level. When my eyes started twitching from the anxiety, I realized I needed to take a stress inventory. It really helps me a lot to look my fears right in the eye, make a mental list about them, and identify which of them are in my control. Sometimes I worry about things that are completely out of my control, which is such a waste of time! Identifying these fruitless worries helps me to make my peace with them, and then that's one less stressor on the list.
I hope that was helpful for any of you who are stressed out at the moment - I have learned a lot from this crazy month! Oh and if that doesn't work for you, I recommend wine. ;)
Let me know how you deal with stress and being busy in the comments below! xo
If you're busy trying to get a business or shop up and running, it can be really easy to let healthy eating go to the bottom of your priority list.
When I am really busy, I tend to reach for the quick-grab foods, which are also usually the unhealthiest foods. That's why I like to drink a green juice, at least once every other day, if not every day.
Green juice is a yummy, easy way to get lots of nutrients without having to prepare a time consuming salad for every meal, and it makes up for the less-than-perfect diet that so many of us who own a business have.
These days, everyone knows about the health benefits of green juice, but you might not know where to start or what to put in your juice. I thought I would share my favorite recipe that I have found after experimenting with lots of different ingredients. These are things that I try to keep in my fridge at all times:
Why I Choose These Ingredients...
Green Apples - mainly added to sweeten up the drink and mask the flavor of the kale and spinach, also contains lots of antioxidants and vitamins
Kale - a "superfood", high in iron and calcium, tons of cancer preventing vitamins, lots of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular support, detoxifies your body
Cucumber - adds a fresh flavor and is 95% water, so adds a lot of juice to the mix, lots vitamins, good for your skin
Spinach - another "superfood", tons of vitamins, one of the most nutritious foods you can eat (ps make sure to get the spinach on the stalk not in the bags, as it juices much better this way!)
Lemons - detoxifies the body, flushes out toxins, lots of vitamin C, potassium, aids digestion, and more
Ginger - good for your stomach / gastrointestinal system, helps nausea, anti-inflammatory, prevents cancer
Check out the video below to see how I put the ingredients through my juicer, if you are unfamiliar with juicing.
Also, if you have a favorite juice recipe that you love, please let me know in the comments below! I would love to test out some new recipes. :)
Whew! It's been crazy around here lately, you guys.
About a month ago, the online daily discount site, Zulily, reached out to me about featuring me in three different collections, including an entire Charm & Gumption collection (which will be happening next week)! I mean...whhaaaaa???
This is one of the biggest things to ever happen for me with Charm & Gumption and I have been just so honored and thrilled to be a part of this big name site.
So, my days have been spent literally just keeping up with orders. Lately, I have been feeling like I really need to figure out some way to get my time freed up a little bit. I need to have enough time to grow the business not just keep my head above water. I'm still working on that.
In the evenings, I have been on a serious cleaning and organizing rampage. I don't know what's up with that, but I do get in those moods from time to time. A couple of nights ago I got up out of bed at 11 pm and started cleaning out my closet until 3am. Seriously...who does that?
from my personal instagram
(ps. cut up a pool noodle and put it in your boots to keep them standing up! thanks Pinterest!)
Anyway, I thought I would check in and give you a little update! I should have a new video and post up on Friday. xo!
I hope you guys had a great holiday weekend!
Today, I wanted to share some of my best tips for staying productive when you work from home. The more comfortable you get with working at home, the more tempting it can be to procrastinate and become really unstructured with your days. These are some tips that keep me organized and efficient.
As always, these are just some things that have worked for me, and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. xo!
1. Play music at a low volume.
It is really tempting to keep the tv on "in the background", but tv and videos are super distracting. Stick to music or podcasts, which you can listen to quietly in the background while still keeping focused. Listening to quiet music has actually been found to increase productivity. I like to listen to instrumental music (acoustic guitar type stuff) on Pandora, and I find that it keeps me working hard without getting bored.
2. Step away from the sweat pants.
Chillin' in your sweatpants is part of the "working from home" fantasy for most people, but in my experience, when I have tried to work in sweats or pj pants, I just felt unproductive. Maybe it's a subconscious thing, but I think when you look like a slob, you feel like a slob. It just makes me feel like I want to go to bed! I'm not saying you have to wear a ball gown and full hair and makeup, but even just wearing workout clothes rather than sleep clothes will make a big difference. In other words, wear something that you wouldn't be embarrassed to leave the house in.
3. Create a separate space for working.
I am very lucky that in our current house, I have my own office space, which is ideal. If you don't have the space in your home for your own office, just find some space somewhere that is only for you and your work. In our old apartment, I had a space in the corner of our living room. It's just important to have an area that is just for your supplies, computer, etc. so that you can stay organized.
4. Make a daily schedule.
One of the best things about working from home is that your schedule is so flexible, but I still think that having at least an outline of a schedule is a must. I am always trying to improve and adapt my schedule to my current situation, and right now I seem to have something that really works for me. My schedule is flexible but still has blocks of time for certain activities. For example, every day, I do my exercising first thing in the morning. That is something about my schedule that never changes. I also leave Tuesday afternoons open for appointments and meetings. I will do a full post about my schedule at a different time, but thinking in terms of blocks of time has really helped me to stay productive.
5. Do things ahead of time.
You will find, as you start working from home, that you can actually get more done during one day than you could at a regular job or an office job. This is because you free up so much time from not having to actually drive to a different location or attending meetings and such all the time. Use this free time to take care of things that are coming up. I am not always the best at this, I'll admit, but I'm working on it. It's really tempting to use your free time for fun, especially since you're already at home and in a comfortable environment, but scheduling a blog post ahead of time or getting a jump start on the next day's orders will just make you feel like a boss. :)
Sorry to double up on the decorating posts this week, but I have been putting off showing you guys our dining room for so long now, and I finally decided that there's no time like the present!
The reason I kept putting it off is because I have been wanting to do a photo grid on the back wall above the buffet (for literally months now), but I cannot, for the life of me, find white square frames that are affordable. If anyone has a good resource for that, please let me know in the comments! I'm picturing a photo grid on that wall with black and white photos. I think it looks a little bare without it, but I just wanted to show you what I have so far anyway.
All of the links / sources can be found at the bottom of the post.
I'll start by showing you the buffet area.
Hi, Chester. Yes, I see you.
The buffet is a really cool mid-century modern design, in a pretty wood tone. It came with black doorknobs but I spray painted them gold. We actually have the night stands from this furniture suite in our master bedroom as well. It has a ton of storage inside, and it is great for keeping all of our serve ware and wine glasses organized (with room to spare!). I really like white kitchen stuff, can you tell? :)
On top of the buffet, I just have a few little displays, including a bar tray (next best thing to having an actual bar cart).
|fresh tomatoes from our tiny little flower bed garden! :)|
We already had the black table.We leave one of the leaves out, which fits best in the room, but you can also make it into just a square table or expand it even more. I would really like to eventually have a bigger, farmhouse-style table, but you know...budgets. :)
I was really happy to find these chairs because I really wanted upholstered chairs, but finding something that matched our table was tricky. These have black legs which works perfectly!
The two main things that we did in this room (excluding buying furniture) were painting the stencil on the accent wall and replacing the light fixture, both of which, Wes and I had no experience.
This wall stencil, you guys...
I wish I could recommend it to you completely because it turned out pretty cute overall, but I think it's something that I need to give positives and negatives for.
+ It's easier to replace than wallpaper if you are afraid of commitment, and it looks nice overall. The middle part is really easy and I did it myself.
- The edges are really, really hard to do. If you're by yourself, I'd say it's nearly impossible. The edges of our wall look pretty rough (you can see what I mean in the video).
I have never wallpapered so I can't compare it to that and say that it's easier or more difficult, but the edges were such a pain that I think I will just spring for the wallpaper next time. I think these stencils would probably be much easier on something like furniture. Just my opinion though!
The mini-chandelier that we bought really made a big impact on the room. I could not stand the old brown one with the dirty looking glass (see below), so this was something that we changed out pretty quickly. Wes installed it by himself and did a great job!
Here is our dining room before (from the listing photos), if you'd like to compare!
Behr White Truffle on all walls
stencil was done with Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter in half strength overtop of the white color
chairs: Joss & Main
on the buffet:
bar tray: Target
bar accessories: Target
recipe book: Anthropologie
ceramic berry container: Anthropologie
orange bowl and tray below: thrifted