Thursday, May 31, 2012


This month for my Thrift-Tiquing challenge, I took a visit to two of my favorite (so far) antique stores. The Antique Mall in Lawrenceville and Kudzu. I love both of these shops, because they are HUGE, have a great variety of antiques, and I could spent half a day in each, easy.

I've noticed that I lean heavily towards purchasing kitchen goods. I sometimes forget to stop and look at what's hanging, the little jewelry treasures, and dig a little deeper into the goodness. Usually when I go antiquing, I'm thinking about the things I like collecting: kitchen goods, records, mid-century decor. It's extremely helpful for picking out those items while I'm shopping and so much STUFF is passing through my brain. Sensory overload! However, I tend to miss out on some great pieces. I think before I go in next time, I'll step back and think about adding 1-2 new things on my mental list to look for.

My friend Kate spotted this adorable carry crate in Kudzu. I immediately fell in love with the industrial touches and she suggested using it for dressings or condiments. So cute. I could even use them as vases...or for honey and ice cream sauces?? 

I found this little treasure at the Antique Mall in Lawrenceville. I decided to take a little stroll by myself one day and spent a little extra time in the jewelry section. This beauty caught my eye and I had to try it on. I love the opalescent stones and antique gold tones in the metal. Beautiful. 

This tin tray was a quick find as soon as I walked into Kudzu last week. It was hiding in a corner and it took a matter of 2 minutes of being in Kudzu for it to find permanent residence at my side for the rest of the trip. I've realized I don't have much in the way of serving ware, so this beautiful floral tin tray is perfect! 

Do you have a strategy to antiquing?? What are the items you're constantly on the hunt for?? 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


One of the questions I often get asked by my friends and family is, "How do you balance work, home, Maiedae, friends, family, life...etc., etc.?" To be honest, once I graduated from college, I had to learn from scratch how to do all of the things I wanted to in a productive and balanced matter. One thing that helped me get started was to picture myself learning how to juggle. I'd start off with 1 or 2 balls (priority items), get really good at tossing those, perfect that art and then add in another. This idea helped me to get used to working a 40 hour per week job, keep a home, and spending time with my husband.

After I became better at those three things and balancing them into my weekly schedule, I would add on another item, like friend//family time, hobbies, Maiedae, etc. The trick for me became practicing. And if something wasn't working for my schedule and things were getting off kilter, I would sit back, reassess and come up with a better solution. 

This Balance post is dedicated to scheduling a productive week and getting in all those things that are important to accomplish. First things first, what are your weekly responsibilities and desired accomplishments??

Here is a list of mine:
* Work 35-40 hours at my 9-5 job. 
* Blog 5-7 times each week.
* Work on Maiedae via meetings, projects, emails, and business organization.
* Keep a tidy home. 
* Spend time with Jon.
* Spend time with my family.
* Spend time with friends. 
* Have downtime and relax. 
* Accomplish errands and various other to-do's.
* Workout. 

The next step is figuring out a weekly system that works for you. This part is all about being strategic and figuring out the best times to accomplish things that also fit into the schedules of others involved. Here is a breakdown of how I fit in the items from my list above into each week:

* My 9-5 Job. ---> I work Monday-Friday. One thing that really helps me to maintain a full-time job and everything else is getting on a good sleep schedule. My job also allows me the flexibility to work from home a couple times each week, which allows me to accomplish errands, chores, and to-do's around the home during my lunch breaks. 

* Blogging. ---> The biggest help in my blog schedule is planning out each month as detailed as I can. This helps me to be aware of the photos I need to take and the content I need to develop ahead of time. This also allows me to know when I need to make pre-scheduled posts if I'm going out of town. I usually do most of my blog work on weekday evenings and on the weekends. I also like to plan ahead, so I can prep a post to be ready to go during a lunch break. 

* Maiedae. ---> Every Tuesday and Thursday night, Jenny and I meet for catch-up time and our weekly Maiedae meetings. We take this time to talk business, plan, and create action items for ourselves. Now and then, we will cancel a meeting in order to complete more design work. I usually work heavily on graphic design projects Monday, some Tuesdays and Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. But Mondays are my big dedicated day. When it comes to keeping up with emails, I try and be proactive with my inbox on a daily basis or it will become too overwhelming. I like to dedicate 30 minutes each day to answering emails and playing catch up. But some days I need to take off completely.

* Keep a Tidy Home. ---> Jon and I sat down recently to re-work our chore schedule, since our old one just wasn't working for us. We came up with a plan to do chores on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday. We each have specific tasks assigned to us on each of those days.

* Spend Time with Jon. ---> This is a big deal since Jon and I highly value quality time. We dedicate every Wednesday to date day. It's a sacred day that won't be messed with. ;) See my previous Balance post here about date days!

* Family. ---> Just as we have date day, we also have a family day. It's very important to us to spend time with our families. We are lucky enough to have both of our families within 30 minutes of our apartment, so it makes it easy to see them each week. Currently, we've dedicated Sunday to family day. We go to church, have lunch with my family and then visit Jon's family afterwards. This also allows us to still get home at a good time in order to get some things done around the house.

* Friends. ---> One of the goals Jon and I had when we first got married was to continue building community where we lived. We do this by hosting monthly 7-11s (get-togethers) on Friday nights, Pinterest Parties, and weekly friend time. While I have catch-up time with Jenny on Tuesdays and Thursdays before our Maiedae meeting, Jon will have the guys over for some guy time. I also try and call friends or family members on my commute home from work to have catch-up time with those I don't see as often. 

* Have Downtime & Relax. ---> Date days and family days are big days for me to really relax. I also try and listen to my body when it's telling me it's tired and I will make priority time for myself throughout the week as needed. Sometimes, Jon and I like to have no-plan-Saturdays and do NOTHING. :)

* Accomplish Errands & Various To-Do's. ---> In between everything else is the best time to get these types of things done. If I'm already out, I'll try and accomplish a few errands. if I have a little down time I'll work on 1-2 To-Do's. 

* Workout. ---> Since I began my journey to Wellness in mid-April, I've had to add in extra time for working out. I workout every Tuesday with my personal trainer, which helps keep me accountable throughout the rest of the week. I try and get 2-3 more workout sessions in after that. Jenny and I are going to try working out together on Thursdays before our meeting. I'll continue to have some workout time on my own Friday-Monday. 

Whew! Seems like a lot when it's all written out! -- But thinking of your roles and priorities each week is an extremely helpful way to see what you need to accomplish each week and how you might be able to strategically work with your schedule. Here are a couple quick tips on setting up your productive week:

1. Think About Your Week. ---> Keeping a calendar is a MUST. It's helpful to always be aware of what you have scheduled month to month. However, on a weekly basis it's great to pick one day each week (maybe Sunday?) and take some time to schedule out your week. Maybe start a to-do list for each day, set a couple of attainable goals to accomplish. I find it very helpful to create a to-do list each morning to keep me on track. BUT be sure to give yourself grace. Sometimes we need a break from our to-do's, so allow yourself time to do that too. 

2. Set Designated Days. ---> This has been one of the BEST things at helping me make time for the priorities in my life. Having a designated date day, family day and Maiedae day is very helpful for getting things done and knowing that no matter how crazy life gets, you always have those days to spend with your family, friends and on your passions. Take time to evaluate those important priorities in your life and see if you can designate 1-2 nights each week towards them. Once you set your dedicated time, be sure to let other friends and family know, so they don't request your time during that scheduled day. 

3. Sabbath. ---> Make time to do nothing and love on yourself. Whether that's an entire day, night, or a couple hours each week. You need it!! Make a list of things you love to-do to wind down and challenge yourself to do one of those each week. Don't risk getting burned out on life and the things you're passionate about by not having rest time. 

4. Sleep. ---> Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for yourself to give you energy and help you be productive. I talk more about sleep and feeling your best in this post. I've found it helpful to have a "bedtime" and a "wake-up" time each day. I think our bodies love it when it can depend on a good sleeping pattern and it begins to adjust naturally to that habit. SLEEP IS GOOD!

5. Relax & Be Productive. ---> Oftentimes, I'll like to multi-task. One of my favorite things to-do to relax is watch a show and have a healthy snack. This is something I can do while I'm working on a blog post, graphic design project, answering emails, organizing, etc. Think of ways to make your productivity enjoyable and relaxing! 

Have any tips for being productive?? Please feel free to share any ideas and resources below! Also, if you have any future Balance topics that you would like me to cover, please share! I'm working on brainstorming my thoughts for future posts and would like to make sure I cover any important topics you are interested in! 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


On Friday, after some sleep-in time with Jon, I packed my bags and drove to North Atlanta to meet Jenny at her apartment. We hopped in her car and took a road trip to the beautiful Knoxville, TN, where Jenny grew up and where her parents live. We stayed in her childhood home, caught her parents up on wedding plans, Maiedae, and life, and then had a slumber party in her sister's old room. It brought me right back to our college days when we would make forts in my dorm room and sleep in them almost every night for a semester. :)

On Saturday morning, we dressed up and went to an adorable restaurant called the Applecake Tea Room, where Jenny had a bridal shower thrown by her mom and her mom's friends. :) She got lots of GREAT kitchen goodies! It has been such a joy seeing Jenny and Drew prepare for marriage, celebrate with friends and receive so many blessings to get them started in their new lives together. I can't believe it's less than a month away! Soon, our other bestest, Anica, will be flying in from Seattle and we'll be doing fun girl things to prepare for her big day. The days will be filled with plenty of laughs and reflections on our favorite memories. These have become the friends of a lifetime. I find so much joy celebrating life with them. 


What a wonderful long weekend! I spent Wednesday-Thursday at Chateau Élan with my department for a little retreat time. See post here. On Friday, I spent the morning with Jon, packed my bags, and took a road trip to Knoxville, TN, with Jenny to visit her family and attend her bridal shower. (More pics coming soon!) We got back Sunday afternoon and spent a couple hours getting ready for our Pinterest Party. Since it was a holiday weekend, we didn't have a lot of girls show up but Jenny, Kate, Jessie, and I put on "Easy A" and worked on our jewelry stand DIY. I'll be posting more about that later! Then, on Monday (Memorial Day), Jon and I decided to take an us day and just spend time together. We slept in, made breakfast, cuddled, talked, went antique shopping with Kate and Glenn, played with LEGOs, watched Hook, made was a fantastic day. We very much look forward to the times when we can just pause our busy schedules and be together.

This week, I'm working on getting back into the swing of things at my job and with Maiedae. We've got a handful of design projects in queue that need to get done before Jenny's wedding in June!

Snapshot(s) of the Week: 1// A shot of my TOMS before decorating them at the "Style Your Sole" party. See after shot here. 2// From the Western themed dinner at Chateau Élan. 3// Before heading out to Knoxville, TN. 4// Close up shot of my Pinterest Party project!

5 Favorite Posts:
* We Love the VSCO Cam iPhone App by A Beautiful Mess
* 5 Tips for Keeping Red Hair Bright by A Beautiful Mess
* What's in Our Bags by Oh So Lovely Vintage
* Tutorial - Long Hair Updo by Jordan Byers
* Take it with You: Travel Essentials by Design*Sponge

Favorite Blog of the Week:
* Young House Love -- You might already be aware of this blog, but it's amazing. And hilarious. I've been a reader for about 3 years and I love it. Great home DIY inspiration and fun peeks into the lives of this adorable family.

Inspiring Me this Week:
* Moleskine -- I've got a lot of to-do's this week and I'm hoping to be extremely productive!

3 Things About Yours Truly:
* I'm moving in 9 weeks! Counting down the days...
* Feeling: Slow and tired today. I have a workout session with my trainer later this afternoon, so hopefully that will pep me up.
* Craving: A coffee date with friends.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi, everyone! I'm Natasha, and I blog over at Paper Crowns. I'm a Canadian, married to an American, whom I met while living in South Korea. We spent much of the past four years traveling and living abroad, and after returning back to North America and getting married last May, we now call Charlottesville, Virginia, home. I'm a lover of design in all forms and an admirer of anyone who lives to create. I've been blogging since early this year, and it's been such a great experience for me so far. The blogging community has been so welcoming, and I've so enjoyed having the chance to share snippets of my daily life, as well as my love of design in all its forms. In addition to blogging, I'm pursuing my dream of being a graphic designer. My husband, Kyle, is a writer and journalist. We love music, faraway places, long drives on rainy days, and each other.

2. What made you decide to start blogging?
I started reading home and lifestyle blogs while still in Korea, dreaming about what I could do with a living space that didn't consist of one room bound by concrete walls with weirdly textured wallpaper slapped up over them. For a couple years, I read blogs and busied myself with projects (planning my wedding being a big one!), but it wasn't until this past winter that it suddenly clicked that I could start my own blog. I love trying to approach every post like it can be its own little work of art. We, as bloggers, have an amazing opportunity to use images and words together to evoke feelings in our readers, and nothing makes me happier than when I feel like what's on the screen matches what was in my head.

I also love the community aspect of blogging. It's been such a treat getting to know the bloggers and readers I've connected with since beginning this blogging adventure. Even before I started blogging, I saw how strong the sense of community was in the blogging world. I thought it was so inspiring, and eventually I realized that I really wanted to be a part of it, rather than just a reader. Once I got started, I really started to appreciate just how blogging provides anyone with a passion with the opportunity to share their craft with others without having to jump through the traditional hoops of academic credentials and work experience. You can just put yourself out there and let the world decide if it's interested in what you have to offer. It's a little scary, but it's exciting, too!

3. What are your favorite things to blog about? Favorite posts? 
I love blogging about all the little moments that would otherwise pass unobserved and eventually forgotten: rainy walks through misty gardens, hunting for that one record or perfect piece of art, visiting that lively fair or market. The ability of a good blog to turn a stranger's everyday life into something worth exploring is something I've always marveled at; making my own experiences into posts that other people actually enjoy, and take something away from, has been such a great experience.

Some of my favorite posts include when I shared my rainy-day engagement photos, a post on beautiful concert poster art, a recent post in which I shared a few of my DIY projects from my wedding, and a little snapshot-of-life post, about a little adventure we had exploring in the rain.

4. You are a fellow graphic designer! What made you start doing design, how are you involved in design now?
I've always loved design. But it never occurred to me that it was something I might actually be able to do professionally until I was doing DIY stuff for my wedding. As the months went on and my wedding got closer and closer, I started to think I bit off more than I could chew. I felt so overwhelmed by everything I had to do for my wedding. The graphic design elements—invitations, programs, place cards, signs—became an oasis, something that I actually enjoyed amid a whole lot of things that were just daunting, time-consuming, and stressful.

Still, I didn't really get serious about starting my own design business until after I started blogging. One of the things that has made blogging so special and such an amazing experience for me is that it took something that I just had dreams of doing—being self-employed as a graphic designer—and made it actually possible as a reality. As I worked on my own blog and some little design side projects for others, I started to think, "Maybe I can make a business out of this." I haven't looked back since. I'm so grateful to the blogging experience for helping me to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life. Graphic design is what I want to do forever, if I'm lucky enough!

5. Favorite pastime?
I'd have to say music—listening to it, singing it, playing it. As much as I love the visual arts and powerful words, nothing hits me on a profound emotional level quite like music. When someone has composed beautiful words and set them to the right melody, it just grabs me like nothing else. I love teaching myself songs that I love on guitar. Hanging out and playing guitar and singing with friends is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

6. What is on your current wish-list? 
A few nights in this amazing Norwegian glass igloo hotel in the dead of winter. Can you imagine?

This adorable mint and gold watch from Anthropologie. I've had my eye on this for a few months. Pretty much my dream watch, and it's affordable, too!

This bedding from Anthropologie. Another Anthro choice, but I couldn't resist! It's probably the most perfect bedding I've ever seen.

7. Favorite blog reads?
Fieldguided. Anabela's posts are so breathtakingly beautiful, that they really are mini works of art. Her photography is stunning and unique and among my favorite I've ever come across, period. Her blog is just a breath of fresh air and I can't rave enough about it. She's also from Toronto, where I was born and raised, so that little connection instantly drew me in!

Another favorite is The Flowerchild Dwelling. Kelly Ann is super inspiring, both in her design work and in her aesthetic approach to blogging. Her blog posts feature simple, beautiful imagery that has a dreamlike quality.

8. If you had three wishes what would they be?
To have the absolute freedom to travel, just pick up and follow my heart anywhere, at any time. To master the guitar (and the banjo!). To live in an apartment that allows pets (you have no idea how much I want a bunny and a puppy).

9. What's your favorite meal?
I literally think I could eat sushi every single day. The best meal I've ever eaten was in a little sushi restaurant right near the fish market in Tokyo that provides seafood to a huge portion of the entire Japanese population. I went with my husband, Kyle, and my brother, Nick. We ordered hot sake and plate after plate of the freshest sushi I've ever tasted. I'm pretty sure nothing else will ever compare, but luckily I've been able to find a few great sushi restaurants every placed I've lived, to satisfy my endless cravings!

10. What inspires you the most?
Anything beautiful. That can be anything from music to design. Above all, I'm inspired by people's ability to make something beautiful out of absolutely nothing, whether it's lyrics, or music, or great design. Simple graphic design that actually says something; a haunting piece of music; beautiful fashion, or painting, or writing. I'm inspired by anything that someone starts from scratch and then builds up until it actually makes you feel something. All I ever want in blogging and in design is to achieve that.

Find Natasha Here:  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Bloglovin  |  Instagram -- @hipapercrowns

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thank you, Natasha, for introducing yourself to my readers and for sharing pieces of your life! Natasha has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. She is extremely talented and each of her posts are filled to the brim with beautiful inspiration. I'm so honored to feature her this month on my blog! If you are looking for a new summer blog read, I would highly recommend adding Paper Crowns to your list! 

Interested in sponsoring Maiedae for the month of June? Check out my sponsor info here!

PS ---> Time to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple $50 gift card giveaway!! #27 Angie Bailey!! Congratulations! Please email me at


On Wednesday morning, I drove to Chateau Élan for a department retreat courtesy of my 9-5. I felt really spoiled immediately when I saw "Chateau Élan" spelled out with bushes at the entrance. I've always lived close, but I've never taken the time to visit.

I met up with my buddy, Amanda, who was also my roommate for the retreat. We started the morning off with breakfast and then had an opportunity to do a TOMS "style your sole" party where we learned more about TOMS shoes and got our own pair of white ones to decorate! I'm not much of a painter at all, but I really wanted to make them into something I would actually wear. I did some research and felt really inspired by the rug below. However, I wanted my shoes to be pretty minimalistic and not too busy-bee, so I stuck with a tribal inspired stripe. I think this took me...3 hours. No joke. I was trying my best to be super precise and careful. I just used acrylic paints and mixed the colors to get the hues I wanted. I think this was my favorite part about the retreat. I forget how much I love just crafting with others. It's so therapeutic and peaceful.

1. The Inspiration. 2. The Results. 3. Chateau Elan
Speaking of peaceful, I was able to get a body massage at the spa the next morning. I spent the morning relaxing, taking a bath, shaving my legs, washing my face, and really pampering myself before. By the time I got to the spa, I was so relaxed and pumped for my massage. It was the best 50 minutes of my life. I'm scheming ways to go back...

Sometimes it's so good to get away, spoil yourself, and relax. :) This weekend I'm in Knoxville, TN, with my bestest for a wedding shower and fun wedding DIYs to get ready for her big day in June! I'm so thrilled for her! I'll be sure to share some snapshots from the weekend soon. AND tomorrow night, Jenny and I are throwing another Pinterest Party!! I'll also be posting the DIY we do and photos! What are you up to for Memorial Day weekend??

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Jon and I always budget an "allowance" for ourselves every month. We do our best to be financially on top of things and we've been working hard for 19-ish months to pay off my students loans. We started with ten and we are down to 4. Whooo!! But we've got big plans for the future and we're trying to stay smart when it comes to money. Having an allowance has been an awesome way for us to treat ourselves and save for the things we really want. Right now, I'm saving my pennies for a new dining room in August//September, so I've been extra good lately. However, this collection of fancy items I put together isn't helping much! I'm about 3 minutes away from giving in and buying those beautiful Jessica Simpson platforms...

Photo Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

1. I'm in love with this bedding from Anthro. I've been dreaming up ideas for our bedroom when we move to the townhouse and I'm picturing this bedding with a steal canopy bed and lots of wood and industrial elements. 
2. Can this dress be in my closet?? 
3. My iPhone might need a little update. I'm loving this beautiful mint case. 
4. Perfect little deer hook for keys! What a great entryway piece. 
5. Colorful sheets!
6. My dream Jessica Simpson platforms.
7. These geometric sandals would be perfect in the summer with a maxi!
8. The fanciest camera straps I've ever seen from Bloom Theory.
9. Fantasizing about my future garden. I have zero experience in gardening, but I'm planning an herb and succulent garden for the town home. :) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This month, I asked my sponsors the following question: If you had unlimited time and money, what recipe would you master, what book would you spend the evenings reading, what dress would you wear, and what place would you go? This turned out to be a very dreamy collaboration of answers. Each could be in its own summer film. Personally, I think I would choose to master the art of baking the perfect homemade cheesecake, I'd read all of the business books I could get my hands on, I'd wear a beautiful chiffon flowy dress that goes to the floor, and I'd go on an Alaskan cruise. These things definitely put me in a happy place. ;)
FIND THE WONDER LIST HERE: Blog | A's Twitter | E's Twitter
FIND SCUTTLE HERE: Blog | Twitter | Pinterest
FIND JILL HERE: Etsy | Florence | Mae
FIND POINTSIES HERE: Blog | Shop | Twitter
FIND THE MAGPIE HERE: Blog | Pinterest | Instagram
FIND PAPER CROWNS HERE: Blog | Twitter | Facebook 

Get to know you time! What would your answers be?? Feel free to share in the comments below! A huge thanks to these lovely ladies for sharing such wonderful inspiration. Suddenly, I have a huge urge to pack my bags go on a peaceful getaway...who's bringing the sweets??

Monday, May 21, 2012


Now accepting sponsors for the month of June!! I currently have my large solo feature spot open for June! The solo feature goes to one sponsor each month and is featured on the top right hand of the sponsor bar. It also includes a solo interview and optional giveaway. :) I also have plenty of medium and small spots available! Check out my sponsor page more more details on the sponsorship program.

Ready to purchase a spot?! Fill out the below questions and send them over you my lovely ad manager, Leah, at, and she'll get you all set up!

1. What ad size would you like?
2. What link would you like your ad directed to?
3. Do you need an ad designed (see information below) or will you be providing your own ad?
4. What email address can I send your Paypal invoice to?

Sunday, May 20, 2012


On Monday, Jon and I celebrated 2 wonderful years of being married! Unfortunately, Jon got sick Sunday night and spent Monday and Tuesday in bed. :( He ended up surprising me on Wednesday (date day) with dinner, flowers, and a gift when I got home from work. It was such a sweet surprise. :)

Jon is seriously a little kid sometimes and he LOVES Legos! He has a huge collection from when he was little and our recent trip to Orlando, and visit to the Lego store, gave him a renewed interest in his collection. When I walked in from work on Wednesday, along with his other sweet surprises, he built a "Happy 2 Yr" Lego statue. I love it!!

On Friday, I drove to my parents after work to take pictures of my sister and Jacob for prom. They were adorable! On Saturday, Jon and I left to go to Rome, GA, to visit with friends. We got back this afternoon and spent some time cleaning, grocery shopping, and spent about an hour snuggling up to our latest show with some frozen yogurt. Mmmmm!

Snapshot(s) of the Week: 1// A shot of our wedding May 14, 2010. 2// New shirt I got from a clothing swap and one of my favorite necklaces from Chicago. 3// Black and white. 4// Jon and I grabbing dessert in Rome, GA, over the weekend with our friends Zach and Leah. 5// The Honeymoon Bakery. 6// New vintage opalescent ring I bought at an antique mall!
5 Favorite Posts of the Week:
* Split Cam Part 1 by The Dainty Squid
* Bloom Theory by Daydream Lily
* My DIY Wedding Projects by Paper Crowns
* Introducing - The Bohemian Collective by Violet Bella
* A Little Secret by Oh Renee

Favorite Blog of the Week:
* Oh She Glows - I was introduced to this blog by my friend Leah yesterday. This is a great resource and inspiration for healthy living! It also has some great recipes.

Inspiring Me this Week:
* This - And only because it's hilarious and makes me waste time.

3 Things About Yours Truly:
* For dinner, I had half of a ham sandwich on whole wheat bread, half of an apple, spinach leaves, spicy hummus, and a handful of sea salt wheat crackers.
* I'm seriously thinking about buying these shoes. I tried them on Saturday and fell in love.
* I listen to The Bert Show (Q100) during my morning commute.

Friday, May 18, 2012


Today's giveaway is courtesy of Shabby Apple! Shabby Apple is a darling online clothing boutique with pages of beautiful dresses and clothing perfect for summertime! I've been especially loving their "Twin Palms" lookbook and all of the vintage inspired dresses and beehive hair-dos. :) Besides entering the giveaway below, Shabby Apple is also offering all Maiedae readers a 10% discount! Use coupon code: maiedae10off at checkout. :)

Giveaway Time!
Shabby Apple is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a $50.00 gift card to pick out some beautiful clothes of your choice. :) Giveaway is open to US residents only. 

Here's all you have to do
Main Entry: Like Shabby Apple on Facebook! Also be sure to take a look at Shabby Apple's site and let me know what your favorite item is! Please remember to leave a contact email address, so I can let you know if you win. :)

Bonus Entries: (please leave one comment per bonus entry)
1. Follow Maiedae via GFC (on the left)
2. Like Maiedae on Facebook
3. Tweet about it!! @Maiedae is giving away a $50 Shabby Apple gift card on her blog!

P.S. -- Time to announce the winner of last week's giveaway! The winner of the RADLAB giveaway is #68, Hilary Sawyer!! Congrats!! You will LOVE it! Email me at

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I'm Kate and I blog at Scathingly Brilliant and sell my illustrated goodies in my Etsy shop, Flapper Doodle. If I had to be honest, the thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is food. My food (I'm a huge fan of breakfast) and my cat's food (she starts meowing at me incessantly from the moment she sees me open my eyes.) Other than that, each morning I really look forward to getting dressed (oh, I would add this to my list of 5 important things -- if you work from home, get dressed! It makes work feel more like work, and makes the transition into pj's at night really fun), reading my favorite blogs, and watching movies! 

Scathingly Brilliant is my personal life & style blog. I do outfit photos, post about music, astronomy, fashion, and movies... and cats, of course! When I'm not blogging, I'm usually drawing or tending to my Etsy shop. I started Flapper Doodle in 2009 on a whim, after someone on Flickr liked one of the doodles I had uploaded to my account. I had spent the last 4 years trying to sell my art at outdoor street fairs, but nothing really took off until I opened my Etsy shop. Since then, I've been really lucky to work from home and hang out with my cats all day long! Anytime I regret working from home, I look over at one of them and I'm reminded of how much I love it! :)

1. Don't let low sales hurt your self esteem. ---> I struggle with this a lot... I tend to feel really bad about myself when my sales are slow, and it affects me way too much. So I try hard not to let my Etsy shop dictate my mood & my self confidence. Running a handmade shop is a lot more personal than running any online business -- you're putting your own creations 'out there' and it can be really rough on the ego. During these slow times, I try to come up with new products and re-energize my shop! Creating something new helps bounce the ego back a bit (assuming you created something you like, lol) and take your mind off the slow sales!

2. Know what your best-sellers are. ---> My dad owns a small mail-order business, and he told me that 20% of your items account for 80% of your sales, and he's right! You'll have a lot of great products that just never sell, and one or two that fly off the (virtual) shelves! For me, it's my best friend art prints. They're far and away my best seller, so I try to capitalize on that by offering a bunch of products with that design. Right now I have prints in 2 sizes, customizable prints, an embroidery pattern, and pendant sets! Even if your best seller isn't your personal favorite, remember that its success is what makes your handmade lifestyle possible.
3. Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. ---> Only list items in your shop that are either pre-made or can be made in a reasonable amount of time. Make sure that you have your supplies in stock before listing an item for sale. Even if you have a reliable supplier, it's easy to accidentally oversell, and then find out that your supplier is sold-out too. (Can you tell I'm speaking from experience? lol) If you sell 20 of something that has to be made to order, consider deactivating the item for a little bit while you play catch up. There's nothing worse than an angry, impatient customer, and making sure you're not overwhelmed is the best way to avoid meeting any!

4. Celebrate little victories. ---> When you're running a handmade business, chances are you're doing it alone. A lot of people have amazingly supportive spouses (or in my case, parents & a brother) who help them when they're crunched for time, but the bulk of the work is all on you. You're a manager, customer service representative, shipper, *and* you have to make the product from scratch. It can get overwhelming and sometimes seem very daunting. I find that one of the perks of being your own boss is treating your whole staff (aka: you) to a treat. It can be reaching a milestone sales number, or just packing up an especially challenging order. Buy yourself a little something, or order take-out! (P.S.-- Ordering take-out can also serve as a great bribe incentive for getting family and friends to help you out!)

5. Support other handmade artists. ---> You don't have to purchase (although that is always awesome!), but at least leave feedback on their blog posts, favorite items on Etsy, re-tweet their sales and new products on Twitter, or like their posts on Facebook. Good feedback and encouragement is SO important and if we all support each other, everybody is happy! :)

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Thanks so much, Kate, for sharing!! I loved all of your tips! I especially love your idea about capitalizing on your best selling products and supporting other handmade artists!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

THREADS 5.16.12

My darling sister took these pictures for me on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Thank you, sister! This is such a "me" outfit. I love mixing patterns, textures and layers, feeling comfortable, and throwing in a dash of my favorite accessories.

I finally broke out my ombre sparkle dress. It was a little much to have the full sparkle dress so I slipped my favorite pleated skirt over it to give my outfit just a touch of shine. :) Roots and Feathers is quickly becoming my favorite jewelry shop. I am in love with Laura's beautiful, bohemian inspired pieces. I'm wearing a custom single feather earring and arrow necklace by her. Her pieces fit into my wardrobe perfectly...and there's just something about her handmade stuff; it has so much spirit! I love reading Laura's blog, too. I think that's why I feel such a connection to her jewelry. They are very special pieces to me. :)

I'm so anxious for the weather to shape up here in Atlanta. I've got some summer dresses waiting to make their outdoor debut! --- On a total side note, my best friend is getting married next month!! She is having a gorgeous wedding outdoors at a barn in north Georgia. I'm so in love with her venue. I can't wait to wear my minty chiffon bridesmaid dress and coral pumps on the big day!


* Single Feather Earring - c/o Roots & Feathers
* Arrow Necklace - c/o Roots & Feathers
* Ombre Sparkle Dress (worn as a top) - Nasty Gal
* Chunky Cream Top - Forever 21
* Braided Belt - Thrifted
* Pleated Skirt - Thrifted 
* Oxford Heels - UO
* Shoulder Bag - Target
* Sterling Silver Rings - Foundling
* Brass Hing Ring - Forever 21
* Fox Ring - H&M
* Lapiz of Luxury Nail Color - Essie