Archive of ‘Having Fun’ category

2015 2nd Quarter Goal Review

We are officially half way (plus a week) through 2015! How did that happen?! I found my 1st Quarter Goal Review post to be helpful as I was reflecting on my 2015 goals several months ago, so I wanted to share my progress through the 2nd quarter of this year as well.

My overarching goals for 2015 are listed first and if you click them, you can read my original posts that outlined the mini goals I would be pursuing over the course of the year. The “successes” and “areas of improvement” listed below focus specifically on my progress in April, May and June. 

Sunflower Paperie blog 2nd Quarter Goals

2015 Goals:

1. Growing my business

2nd Quarter Successes: I collaborated with one of my favorite bloggers, Tina from Carrots ‘n’ Cake for her sons 1st birthday party. This collaboration helped drive some traffic to my shop, plus Tina was super fun to partner with! I also launched a new “Party in a Box” line of products.

Areas of improvement: I am at a point with my business that I get enough orders to stay busy (which is awesome!), but it also means that it is tricky to carve out time to develop new products. Starting a digital product line has been at the top of my “to do” list all year. I have several items started, but I need to focus on finishing and launching them. I also need to start consistently sending out and promoting my “weekly” newsletter. Sadly, these last two items are identical to what I wrote in my 1st quarter review. My first digital product is slated to launch this week (!!!) and then I am going to focus on finishing and launching several other digital products that are almost complete by the end of July. Hold me to this, o.k.?! 😉

2. Getting healthy / taking care of myself

2nd Quarter Successes: Weighing in here weekly. Although now that I am looking back, I realize, with the exception of June, I only weighed in monthly this quarter (eek!). Let’s call this a half success.

Areas of improvement: Making sure I weigh-in here weekly, the accountability and reflection does help me (even if I am not always posting losses). I also need to stick with my low carb eating. The summer heat makes it difficult to get outside for exercise, so I need to come up with a new indoor plan to get more activity into my days. My current “mini-goal” is to lose 20 pounds by mid-August (I set this goal in June and am currently on track to do this.).

Click to Continue!

Friday Favorites // 06.26.15

Sunflower Paperie blog - Wyoming trip

Hello! So sorry for the radio silence over here! We visited Wyoming last week (see photo above!) and although I had great intentions of posting while I was gone, I completely unplugged instead! I will be sharing more about our trip soon, but in the meantime, I have another edition of Friday Favorites!

Some of you may know that my Dad is a woodworker and I actually worked for him a bit during high school and college. Needless to say, I have a great deal of respect for woodworkers and the amazing things they can create. One of my (now former) co-workers recently launched her own woodworking and design business! I am SUPER excited to share her website with you – don j design! The icing on the cake? Her shop kitty Don Julio is running the company Twitter account! 

Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform. The National Geographic Instagram account is AMAZING! I love the photos and have learned a lot from the captions.

I LOVE dogs! This 60 MInutes piece on “Chaser,” who has been nicknamed the “world’s smartest dog,” is fascinating! It also makes me feel like a bit of a slacker pet parent. 😉

Another thing I love? Sleeping. In the past couple of years, I have become somewhat obsessed with having the perfect sleep environment. I regularly use a sleep mask similar to the one found hereMy boyfriend actually got it for me at Target and while I initially thought it was a strange gift, I now swear by it (and even it take it with me when traveling). I like the contoured version because it blocks the light, but doesn’t rest on my eyes. 

Now it’s your turn, what have you been loving lately?! 

Friday Favorites // 06.12.2015

Happy Friday friends! Thanks for joining me for another edition of my “Friday Favorites”!

Sunflower Paperie blog - Friday Favorites

I shared this on Facebook as well, but how amazing is this story?! I would actually love to hear how diphtheria research has changed since she was a student in 1938!

One last shameless plug… I love Tina’s recap of Quinn’s 1st birthday party! She was so fun to collaborate with and I loved seeing all of the photos of the items I had provided!

After reading about tongue scraping (you read that correctly, tongue scraping!) on several sites, I decided to purchase one for myself. Honestly, I love this thing. Apparently our bodies detox through our tongues at night and brushing only moves the toxins around (and then we swallow them). Tongue scraping gets those toxins right off! I have noticed fresher breath and cleaner teeth (I guess because there isn’t junk on my tongue to latch on to my teeth?!) since I started using it regularly two weeks ago.

Our beloved dog, Hank, is an Australian Shepherd / Australian Cattle dog mix who has an insanely thick coat of LONG fur! When he was smaller I purchased a FURminator and it has remained one of our best pet care investments! We purchased the medium sized de-shedding tool for long haired dogs. My only regret is that I didn’t buy the large sized brush! So. Much. Fur.

How did I miss this cover of Jolene by the White Stripes?! This live version is excellent as well.

Of Monsters and Men released a new album! Love this group!

Once upon a time, I was in a musical entitled “Susan B. Anthony,” so outside of obvious reasons (I am a woman and I am a lover of history!), I am SO excited for the movie Suffragette documenting the women’s suffrage movement in the United Kingdom.

You can read my previous Friday Favorites here! What products, stories and music are you currently loving?! I would love to hear about your favorites in the comments! 

Friday Favorites

Several of my favorites bloggers post weekly roundups that highlight products and other things (places, music, articles) that they are currently enjoying. I always like reading these posts, so I thought it would be fun to add my own take on a weekly roundup – behold the first installment of “Friday Favorites”!

Friday Favorites Sunset Cliffs

We recently visited San Diego with my folks (see Sunset Cliffs photo above). My boyfriend and I decided to go back for the 4th of July (AZ will be SO hot by that point!). I am so excited to celebrate our Nation’s birthday here!

I have flat feet and after years of buying cheap (but cute) shoes, I have decided to invest a bit more money into quality shoes that actually support my feet. I decided to see what the Chaco craze was all about, with this pair of flip flops. So far, I am loving them!

This t-shirt (in navy) from the Charm & Gumption shop. Leslie Knope is the best!

The new Mumford & Sons album, Wilder Mind, is amazing. I know some people were disappointed, but I feel like they really stepped up their lyrical game!

This post, by another one of my favorite bloggers, Roo over at Semiproper, addressing the Josh Duggar sexual abuse case.

Sheryl Sandberg’s essay on grief and loss following the sudden death of her husband.

Shopping through Amazon Smile. I confess my love for Amazon on a daily basis (same day delivery is now available in Phoenix!), and Amazon Smile is one of the reasons I like the company so much. You can pick which charity you want to support (our house loves the Arizona Cattle Dog Rescue) and as long as you make a qualifying purchase through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase price to the charity.

How’s that for a random mash up of awesome?! What are you currently loving?! 

State Capitol Series – Phoenix, AZ

It’s hard to believe that almost two years ago we moved from Kansas to Arizona. Having lived in Topeka (the state capitol of Kansas) for almost 10 years, I was excited to move to another state capitol! We technically live in Tempe, but Phoenix (and the state capitol building) are only about 20 minutes from our house. Of course it took us almost a year to visit and tour the capitol.

Arizona capitol exterior 3

The capitol only does guided tours for groups of 10 or more, so we opted for the self-guided tour. I should clarify that the part we visited is technically the “Arizona Capitol Museum.”

Click HERE for the complete tour!

Live music and a free burrito

Happy Wednesday friend! I hinted at another concert post last week, but it has taken me some time to get this past weekend documented (my apologies!). On Friday, my boyfriend and I saw the country group Reckless Kelly at Harold’s Cave Creek Coral.

Sunflower Paperie blog - Reckless Kelly

We had missed Reckless Kelly when they came through AZ in August, so when we saw they were coming back through the area we grabbed tickets. Harold’s is a restaurant, bar and live music venue that is about an hour north of where we live. Harold’s had three ticket options: VIP reserved seating (3 rows), reserved general admission seating (3 rows) and general admission (standing). We “splurged” and got the reserved general admission seating and ended up being 4 rows from the stage!

Sunflower Paperie blog - Reckless Kelly 2

The crowd was a little more subdued than I expected (not much standing or dancing), so we had a great view of the stage all night long! Reckless Kelly just released their 8th album, so they have tons of materials to choose from. The show was very high energy and entertaining! I especially enjoyed the lead guitarist – he was GREAT!

The stage was set up outside of the bar and it really wasn’t crowded at all. Plus, the AZ spring time weather was perfect. I would highly recommend catching a show at Harold’s just make sure to wear your jeans and cowboys boots! 😉

The fun continues HERE!

State Capitol Series – Helena, MT

Now that I have finally started documenting our state capitol travels (see my Madison, WI post here), I can’t stop re-living all of our trips in my mind! Today I am excited to write about our trip to Helena, Montana.

SP blog - Montana capitol exterior

Last October (2014), we traveled to Montana because my boyfriend presented at a conference at the University of Montana in Missoula. Let me start by saying that Missoula was an absolutely adorable town! We used airbnb to find a charming place to stay, enjoyed their First Friday Art walk and had the best pizza of our lives at Biga Pizza. Although this post is NOT sponsored by the Montana Visitors Bureau, I wish it was, because we would totally go back and visit!

Click here to read my full recap!

Alabama Shakes // 04.08.2015

Ever the supporter of my goals, my boyfriend got us tickets to an Alabama Shakes concert for Valentine’s Day. The group came through Arizona on their way to Coachella and played at The Marquee concert venue in Tempe. The show was last week and we had a blast!

Sunflower Paperie blog - Alabama Shakes

We had never been to The Marquee, so it was fun to see a new venue. The Allah-Las opened for them and while I generally enjoy opening acts, these guys didn’t stand out to me (I had to do quite a bit of searching to even know what group they were, because they never mentioned it when they were on stage!).

Click here for MORE!

2015 1st Quarter Goal Review

Hello friend! Can you believe that the first 3 months of 2015 have already passed? I want to take this chance to look back and see what progress I have made towards my 2015 Goals so far (and to look at what I need to focus on over the next 3 months).

A quick note before I dive in… My overarching goals for 2015 are listed first and if you click them, you can read my original posts that outlined the mini goals I would be pursuing. The “successes” and “areas of improvements” sections are my recaps of the progress made towards my mini goals.

Sunflower Paperie blog 2015 goal review

2015 Goals:

1. Growing my business

Successes: Product feature on Sage Grayson Coaching and participating in the Bonnie Christine Ribbon Tour. I feel like both of these items helped me reach new audiences and I loved getting to work with other creative entrepreneurs. I have also been posting regularly here, so I am happy with the community that is developing in this space.

Areas of improvement: Starting a digital product line has been at the top of my “to do” list all year. I have several items started, but I need to focus on finishing and launching them. I also need to start consistently sending out and promoting my “weekly” newsletter.

2. Getting healthy / taking care of myself

Successes: Weighing in here weekly.

Areas of improvement: Well, basically everything. I have been weighing in here each week, but I haven’t made my health / wellness a priority (thus I haven’t seen any results!). I have a whole list of excuses that I could share, but the bottom line is that I need to get focused (and stop making excuses, haha). I have been thinking of some additional tracking tools that will help me focus and plan to share those with you next week.

Click to read more!

3 Easy Bridal Shower Crafts

In February I co-hosted a bridal shower for a very good friend and co-worker (hi Liz!). Yesterday was her wedding day (!!!), so I thought it would be fun to share 3 of the easy projects I created as part of her shower decor. Her wedding colors were blush pink with gold accents and since I love those colors together so much, we stuck with the same theme for the shower.

As I have mentioned before, I am the lucky owner of a Silhouette Cameo paper cutting machine, so I used it for all of these crafts, but they are also easy enough that you could create them without a machine.

1. Monogrammed vase embellishments

Sunflower Paperie vase embellishment

I purchased a bunch of the floral paper at Michael’s that the circles are cut from. I loved the paper because it was a mix of pinks and had a really pretty teal green leaf color that popped, so it was the inspiration for all of the crafts.

I started by cutting a bunch of 3.5 inch circles. The “S” is the first inital of Liz’s new last name and was cut from gold metallic paper. I used rubber cement to glue the “S” to the floral circle and then a couple of strips of double sided table to adhere the monogram to the vase (vases are cheapies from Ikea). I actually placed the monograms on the vases the morning after we did all of the flower arranging and they stayed on great.

Had I not had a Silhouette Cameo, I would have made all of the shapes I wanted in a Word document, printed them, traced them on my desired papers and then cut them out. We had a total of 6 vases and I placed a monogram on each “face” of the vases, for a total of 12 monograms. For future parties I plan to use this same idea on party favor bags!

Click here for crafts #2 and #3!

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