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!

July Instagram Challenge – #sunflowerpaperiefun

Instagram is my favorite social media platform, so I am excited to announce that I am hosting a “photo-a-day” Instagram challenge for the month of July! I decided to host this challenge for a couple of reasons… First, I love Instagram and while I am great at checking it everyday, I post photos inconsistently. Hopefully this activity will help me post more regularly. Second, I want a new way to keep in touch with blog readers and friends. Who knows, I might even meet some new people this way!

Sunflower Paperie blog Instagram Challenge

What is a photo-a-day challenge, you ask? Anyone who decides to participate will post a daily photo inspired by the word or phrase prompt for the day (see image above). Make sure to use the hashtag #sunflowerpaperiefun in your caption. It’s that simple!

Other ways to participate… 

– Check the #sunflowerpaperiefun hashtag on Instagram to see who else is posting. You might find a new favorite account to follow!

– Comment on photos with the #sunflowerpaperiefun hashtag. Everyone loves meeting new people on Instagram!

Save the above image to your phone or print it out and keep it handy, so that you have a reminder to post everyday.

If you plan to participate, please leave your Instagram user name in the comments, so I can follow you! You can follow me @sunflowerpaperie. You can also re-post the image easily from my Instagram account (using the Repost app.), so that you have easy access to the prompts. I can’t wait to see everyone’s photos! 

P.S. If you miss a day (or three!) no worries, just post when you can! 🙂

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?! 

Weekly weigh-in: Week 23

Sunflower Paperie blog - weekly weigh in

Having this weekly post has made me realize how fast 7 days fly by! It feels like just yesterday, I was posting my last weigh-in. This week was a bit crazy in the weight loss area. I have stuck with eating within an 8 hour window. Additionally, if I am not hungry around a traditional meal time, I haven’t eaten. This may sound like common sense, but my schedule is such that I eat at pretty regular intervals (3 meals a day). This change has been good for my mindset, because now I am noticing when I am truly hungry (and then I will eat something). If I am not hungry at dinner time, I don’t eat. I continued to focus on low carb selections, but also allowed myself a treat or two.

This strategy is seemingly working, because I am down 4 pounds since last week! A bigger milestone for me is that I am in a new “decade.” What’s a decade you ask? Well it’s how I think of 10 pound increments. My weight hasn’t been this low in 2015, so I am pretty pumped! In fact, I just realized that I am down 10.5 pounds since January 1! I definitely started the year out slower than I would have liked, but I am very happy with my recent progress.

Week 23 weigh-in (June 16, 2015): 

Pounds lost (since last week): 4.0

Total pounds lost (since April 28 re-start date): 7.5

Total number of workouts: 0

Total number of weekend hikes: 0

I am headed to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks this week, so I know I will have some beautiful hikes to report about next week!

How are your goals for 2015 going?! Are there any you wish you could re-start?!

Previous weekly weigh-in’s can be viewed here! 

Father’s Day Fun!

Father’s Day is right around the corner (Sunday, June 21) and what better way to celebrate the Dad in your life than with a Sunflower Paperie banner!

Sunflower Paperie fathers day heart banner

I have a couple of items in the shop that range from outdoor, rugged, cowboy dad (see above!), to hipster or business professional dad (see below!).

Sunflower Paperie blog fathers day neck tie

The western themed banner has denim, bandana and kraft brown papers, while the neck tie banner can be customized to whatever colors and patterns you would like!

Sunflower Paperie fathers day western banner

Additionally, either banner can read, “We {heart} Dad” or “#1 Dad”! Please order prior to June 17 to ensure delivery before Father’s Day!

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! 

Creative Spotlight – Jennifer Kennedy

You might remember that last November I traveled to San Francisco to participate in the studio audience for a Creative Live class (new readers can read my recaps here, here and here!). In addition to learning a ton, I also gained a generous friend and business accountability partner that I want to introduce you to today – Jennifer Kennedy from Teach Good StuffJen recently started working her business full-time (!!!) so I was super excited to interview her for my latest Creative Spotlight.

Sunflower Paperie - Jennifer Kennedy interview

1. What do you do?!

As of two weeks ago, I am working full-time on my own business (Teach Good Stuff). Woohoo! I help coaches and authors package their expertise into online courses and ebooks so that they can make an impact in the world all while making money.

2. How did you get into this line of work?

I’ve been in education for over 13 years. I can’t believe time is flying so fast. I started out as an elementary school teacher, teaching 1st and 4th grades. I was fortunate enough to teach in 3 different types of schools – public, international, and charter. So, I have a diverse perspective about education.

I then decided to get out of teaching and pursue a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I wanted to become a curriculum coordinator for a school district and design their learning programs. Well, my journey didn’t go quite as planned, and I landed a job as a trainer in a software company. I learned loads of skills there – training, video design, writing instructional manuals, etc. After working there for a few years, I realized that I had a lot to offer people. I saw that online entrepreneurs were building courses and workbooks. I just knew I could offer support along their journey! And from there, the dream was born.

Sunflower Paperie - Jennifer Kennedy interview

Click HERE to continue!

Weekly weigh-in: Week 22

Another week, another weigh-in! This week I am pleased to document a loss! I have continued to focus on low carb choices for lunch and dinner (within an 8 hour window). I am also consistently going to the third floor for each bathroom break (those stairs really add up!), even though I didn’t get any formal workouts in last week.

Sunflower Paperie blog - Weekly weigh-in

As I mentioned last week, I want to lose 20 lbs by mid-August, and my loss this week keeps me on track to accomplish that. This week I am keeping up the momentum and focusing on portion size too. I have also considered having one meal (most likely on the weekend) that is a “treat.”

Week 22 weigh-in (June 9, 2015): 

Pounds lost (since last week): 2.5

Total pounds lost (since April 28 re-start date): 3.5

Total number of workouts: 0

Total number of weekend hikes: 0

Previous weekly weigh-in’s can be viewed here! 

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?! 

Carrots N Cake Collaboration!

If we have ever chatted in person, chances are I have started a sentence (or ten) with “one of the bloggers” I follow… And then told some random story about a topic I am interested in that a particular blogger had written about. I have been reading personal blogs for over ten years (!!!) and in many cases feel like I know the person. Tina, who blogs over at Carrots ‘N’ Cake, is one of the my favorite bloggers, so you can imagine my excitement when she recently agreed to work with me for the second time!

In the spring of 2014, she was expecting her first baby. I offered to make her baby shower decorations and was so excited when she said yes. I worked with Tina’s sister, who was hostessing the alphabet-themed party, to make a banner, cupcake toppers and buffet cards that coordinated with the adorable theme. They were both so fun to work with and I love how she used all of the decor!

Sunflower Paperie blog - Welcome Baby banner

Tina’s baby shower banner.

A couple of months ago, I reached out to her again, because I knew her son’s first birthday was around the corner. I offered to make the decorations for his party and was pumped when she agreed to work with me! The theme for Quinn’s first birthday party is “Barnyard Animals,”! Tina shared a little sneak peek of the decor I sent her last week. I can’t wait to see how everything comes together!

IamOne

Quinn’s highchair banner!

Repeat clients are so much fun to work with! I love seeing children grow up and celebrate milestones or helping a family celebrate multiple events over the course of a year. If you have a baby shower, first birthday party or another celebration coming up, I would love to work with you to create items for your party! You can check out all of my items in the Sunflower Paperie shop

Updated to add: You can now view Tina’s full recap (and view all of the decorations I provided) HERE! What a fun party! 

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