New year’s goals and mottos

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Happy New Year friends!  We hope that everyone is feeling happy and healthy and ready for 2017.  Each year Michelle and I have tried to come up with a motto for the year, something to keep us on track and moving forward. Last year we couldn’t make up our mind although the Mary Oliver quote, ‘Tell me, what it is you plan to do with your one precious and wild life?’ was something that resonated with us and was our unofficial motto.  It helped us create a more solid focus for our business and was really instrumental in getting us to focus in general (something we have improved on but still struggle with, baby steps).  This year we both individually presented basically the same motto, although worded differently it felt very much the same.

I was thinking about what I wanted more of and how it was going to come about, really how in the flip, flappin’ jackin’ world was it going to happen??!!? and I knew that I was going have to make it happen, none of this wishy washy if it’s meant to be, it’ll be, blah, blah, I  had a resounding inner dialogue of ‘make your own magic’, it has played on loop since the eve of the new year. If this is what I want more of in my life then I was going to have to make it happen. Of course ‘magic’ for me would be different for you, it is what I feel gives life a little more of that ‘anything can happen feeling’ and reveling in it when it does, both little moments and big. I know I am going to have to make some bold and brave moves this year if I want to make magic, but I feel I am up for the challenge. Michelle had wrote down, ‘You can find magic, or you can make it’. I think it’s auspicious that we both had magic on our mind. We are dreamers indeed, but we are also doers. We aren’t talking literal magic, although if Michelle started levitating that would be something to write about, but being wonder-filled, curious, creative and doors of opportunities waiting for us to walk through. Before I left to go to the studio, Michelle sent a text ‘It’s on’, and yes, it is. Now that we have narrowed our focus and cut out a lot of excess, it is time for us to just go after what we want. We have already started the year right and made HUGE progress on a project we have spent years talking about, something that I personally lacked confidence in my skill set to do, but I bit the bullet and went for it and to my surprise it turned out so much better than I could have imagined (even Michelle who is just as picky as me agreed). We are making headway in the first week of January to do things we only talked about and that my friends is giving me a very optimistic outlook on things to come. The magic is happening…

And you?  Are you as excited about the new year? Do you have a motto/mantra for the new year?  We always love hearing your thoughts!

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

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DIY WATERCOLOR GIFT TAGS

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The year is coming to a close (some would say thankfully) at breakneck speed! We hope you are finding a few minutes of peace and quiet in the midst of all the season’s hustle and bustle. For some reason, even when my to do list is daunting, I always want to infuse a handmade element into my gift giving.

These watercolor gift tags are probably the fastest DIY I’ve ever done (and been happy with). The dipping and painting is a breeze (two swipes on each side with a brush and you are done). Then it’s just a matter of waiting for the tags to dry – 15 to 30 minutes in a warm house. Pop it on a white or kraft bag with a bit of ribbon and you are good to go!

  1. Quickly dip the very bottom of the tag into a bowl of water.
  2. Lightly load your brush with paint, and apply pigment to the wet portion of the tag (both sides).
  3. Place the tag on a plate (I used another paint palette) so the wet portion of the tag can hang over the edge and dry without touching anything that will mess it up.

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RESOURCES

Shipping Tags  -I picked mine up at Staples, but these are similar.

Watercolor Set

Watercolor Palettes

White Gift Bags

Kraft Gift Bags

Author / Miss Michelle P.

Miss Michelle P. is a photographer, and the co-creator of Foto Rx Premium Photoshop Actions. She lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her muse is light.

VICINITY STUDIO | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

Blogs of mention…

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I stopped reading blogs ages ago, because I was afraid I would be too easily influenced by them, in retrospect I did myself an incredible disservice, not only did I miss out on community but I also missed out on new discoveries! I know, it’s so hard when there’s limited time and giving a ‘heart’ on Instagram or stalking your ex on Facebook is so much easier (I jest, my FB account is suspended for non-use, true), but you get my drift.

I recently read Erin Boyle’s book Simple Matters, I did not know she had a blog, her book had come up as recommended reading based on past reads. It’s a lovely little book, which is in line with her ‘less is more’ philosophy. I am a minimalist but she has taken it to whole new heights living in 240 square feet with obviously the best husband on earth (because if I lived in a 240 square foot apartment with my husband…), they now live in an under 500 square foot apartment with a toddler and soon to add a newborn. This is truly sticking to your ideals. Erin lives in New York city and I love her philosophy as using her city as an extension of her living space, think picnics in the park, etc. Erin has a good eye and exquisite taste, after I stopped by her blog I wished I knew about it sooner. Since we have already discussed blogs going the way of the dodo, I figured I’d give some mentions to blogs that are still out there and thriving, because it’s possible, anything is possible, right? If you are interested in a crash course in simple living than her book is for you, if you could have written the book on minimalist living then it is not, but your minimalist loving heart will embrace it–it is pared down, organized and well written. My only gripe would be I would have loved more of the gorgeous photographs that are in the book, but there’s the blog to visit to get your eye candy fix!

//RESOURCES//

Reading my tea leaves

Simple Matters- For anyone looking to de-clutter and organize their life

Erin Boyle Instagram

If you want more reading for a simple life here are a few that I enjoyed:

Plain Simple Useful by Terence Conran

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson (be prepared to feel incredibly guilty)

Life Changing Magic of Tidying-up by Marie Kondo

Miss Tristan B. is the co-creator of the world’s best + easiest product photography editing tool-Foto Rx | Shopkeeper’s Helper and one of the writer’s of this delightful blog. Her lofty goal here is to make this a creative resource repository and to inspire you to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with your life.

Thredup Review

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When we were preparing for baby (almost 3 years ago now!), my husband had read an article on a family that saved a ton of money by buying second hand clothes and lots of baby clothes from Craigslist. I was of the mind that it was not sanitary enough for a baby and kept her (in reader suggested) onesies for most of her infant life. She wasn’t crawling or walking and I wore her most of the time so I really didn’t need any cute frilly dresses or outfits at that stage. I am glad I didn’t give into temptation and just kept her wardrobe to the very, very basics.  As she got older, more active and started growing out of clothes at an alarming rate, I needed to think of a more budget friendly solution without sacrificing style. Read More

My 100K+ side hustle

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I want to preface this by saying this isn’t for everyone and even though it was a side hustle for me, it is not exactly passive income, but you could make it more passive with a couple things in place! The income noted is from last year, since obviously this year isn’t fully realized yet. So without further ado let me share my little income maker…

I mentioned in a blog post a little while back that one of my goals was to have a hotel, of course that has not happened and to be honest it is no longer on my goal list, because I have had a taste of the hospitality industry now, albeit in a less daunting form than I originally imagined. When I was pregnant I decided that I was going to start an Airbnb. I had stayed at some pretty awful ones cross country and a really great one in Seattle. The last one, I picked the hosts brain about their experience and how it worked and they gave me feedback from their experience. They were renting out rooms in a wing of their house that was not currently used by them and it became a way for them to help pay their mortgage. I also knew of a couple friends that were doing VRBO and having a good experience with it. Three years ago, there wasn’t a huge amount of competition in Seattle for Airbnbs and the ones they did have were constantly booked (I knew this from us trying to book one when we moved here).  I decided I wanted to have an Airbnb that I would feel comfortable staying at and I wanted it to be a single unit not something we were living in. I looked around found a property in a happening neighborhood and set up shop.Read More