We wanted to do a little retrospective on 2014 since it was a pretty big year for us. If you know us, you know we’re all about ways to be happy in our daily life and making the most of the little moments. That’s why, instead of talking about The National Stationery Show, Georgia’s 3rd Birthday Party, or Conroy’s 1st Birthday Party, we wanted to focus on the top 3 things that have made our daily life better both professionally and personally.
Our holiday card is a combination of photos & story update!
#1: Elise Joy’s Podcast and Blog
I’ve been following Elise on Instagram for a while now, but it wasn’t until I discovered her podcast that I decided we’d be best friends if she lived in Brooklyn. I say that in the least creepy way possible. As she describes herself, “She makes stuff like it’s her job!” She runs her own business and puts it all out there. This past year she documented her business story, which was very inspiring. She is also a mom to Ellerie who is just a couple months older than Conroy. Her podcast is a nice 30-minute interview with another small business owners. It’s obvious she does her research and plans out her questions ahead of time. She is genuinely excited about the person she’s interviewing and that makes listening to her so enjoyable! Hands down my favorite episode was EPISODE 028: Pricing Your Products featuring Tara Gentile. I literally stopped making cards and started taking notes! If you are interested in the small business creative world, Elise’s podcast is for you!
We love love love Freshbooks! It’s a cloud based accounting program. Before we started doing our books this way, we were using Excel. What were we thinking?!? Freshbooks is perfect because it makes filling out new invoices lightning fast, records all our expenses, and has allowed us to see what is working the best for our company. They have amazing customer support. We’ve called a couple times and every time our experience has made us love them even more.
Being self-employed definitely has its perks, but it can also be a little lonely. This year we’ve made many friends through craft markets, the National Stationery Show, and even Instagram. I am so grateful for our coffee meet-ups, supper clubs, and play dates!!
#1: Home Organization
Looking back, we’re a little shocked we did so much home organizing this past year – or we guess we should say – we can’t believe it’s only been a year of living this organized. Last year we did one big project – our living room shelves and a couple smaller projects – my art closet and Chad’s “garage”.
Living Room Shelves:
If you’ve been following along since the beginning, you may remember when we built Love Jac Headquarters. We were so happy with the shelving that we decided to build something similar in our living room. I joked before we built them that they would be life changing but, seriously – they changed our life! We subscribe to the philosophy, “A place for everything and everything in its place”, but when you literally don’t have a place for anything it’s pretty difficult to follow. We chose to paint the shelves the same color as the walls and bought these beautiful bins from Target. Now we have a ball bin, Play Doh bin, train bin, Lego bin, and doll bin. We also built a mini fridge and oven into the shelving. The kids love it and we love how it looks. Our life won’t be pretend kitchen playing forever and we are really enjoying it now!
My favorite way to reorganize things is to take EVERYTHING out, sort, purge, and put back. This is a messy way of organizing but that’s pretty fitting for me. Over the last twelve months, I was able to do this twice.
My art closet was completely nonfunctional before and now it’s one of my favorite things to think about. Just knowing exactly where my pipe cleaners and glue gun are makes me so happy.
The same goes for Chad’s garage – which is essentially the other closet in Love Jac Headquarters. Over our anniversary weekend I took everything out and sorted it into piles. Chad helped purge and determine what was essential. We then added pegboard and I organized it all. Being able to open the door and grab the measuring tape right away is so satisfying!
A Place For My Favorite Necklace:
The smallest addition to our home organization was a simple nail. Chad bought me the most beautiful necklace that he gave to me the day before our wedding. It’s shaped like a wagon wheel and matches my wedding band. (Our song from when we fell in love is “Wagon Wheel” by The Old Crow Medicine Show. We actually heard it live covered by a talent woman at a music festival in Beaufort, NC! ) I wear it almost every day. I also take it off in random places. A couple times I thought I lost it for good. After one long period of it missing – I finally found it on the floor of Chad’s closet – I decided to take action! I went to the garage and dug around for a hammer and nail – this was before I reorganized. I hammered that simple nail into the wall right next to my vanity. Now – no matter where I take it off – I make myself get up and return it to it’s proper place. “A place for everything and everything in its place!”
#2: Our Village
They aren’t joking when they say “It Takes a Village.” This became so apparent to me this year that I made a card to thank the people in “our village”. We also expanded our village! When someone helps take care of your children, the love you have for them is on a new level. We need to thank the grandparents, teachers, occasional babysitters, friends, and of course our evening helper Mira for everything they have brought to our life - and Georgia and Conroy’s lives this year!
#3: Family Time
This is on the agenda for 2015 for sure, but I’d like to point out how much we loved our “Family Time” this year. From Sesame Place to Fancy Nancy The Musical and all the Sunday morning brunches in between, hanging out with our immediate family is so precious and hands down some of my favorite memories of 2014!!
Dress up day at Georgia's School.
Coney Island Beach Day
Governor's Island Bike Day
We can’t believe January is almost over!! Here’s to all the wonderful ways we can improve our daily lives!! One of my ways to “push” myself this year is to be more active on blog comments, so please leave a comment and let me know about your blog! We love being inspired and thanks to this incredible blogosphere, it couldn’t be easier!!