Apr 18, 2014

Friday friday

Thanks to everyone for entering this week's giveaway - the lucky winner of the autographed copy of Carry On, Warrior is Danielle! Email me to claim your prize lady! (Don't worry friends - another giveaway next week - with a twist!)

I am wiped from this week - I've got nothing in me except some tidbits, bullet style:

*Tomorrow I have a yoga workshop and I am looking forward to it so much! Two hours of peace and breathing is exactly what I need right now.

*Donations for Team Cece are rocking and rolling so far - we are almost halfway to our fundraising goal! This makes my heart so happy - thanks to all who are giving and sharing our story!

*I am grateful for this girl. Our years both started out shitty (in completely different ways), and we are holding each other up on especially bad days.

*National Infertility Awareness Week is next week and I am pumped for the posts I have planned. Yes, posts. As in multiple - one every day in fact. (What? Five days of posts? It's like I'm an actual blogger or something).

*Remember the Indie Go Go campaign for Ben's comic? Not only did they surpass their goal, but they have a table at Awesome Con this weekend with the second issue of Ethan Stone, P.I. (If you're going to be there be sure to stop by Table S7!)

*I am working today and seriously envying those who are not. If you celebrate this holiday, Happy Easter, if not happy weekend!

Tell me a few tidbits from your week!

Apr 14, 2014

The best first birthday party

I don't care if it's a cliche - Carry On, Warrior changed my life.

I am raw. I am out there. I am vulnerable in my writing and my blogging. When I read this book I met a kindred spirit in Glennon. Our stories are different, but we share them because it matters to us, and to others. We let people know they are not alone.

When I found out Glennon was going on a book tour for the paperback release of Carry On, Warrior, I got excited. When I saw she was coming to a bookstore 20 minutes away from me and I screamed. Loudly. More than once. I said to Ben, "I might scream, AND cry, AND throw up when I meet her!" (His response? "Well babe, you'd be...memorable).

I'm happy to report I did none of those things. But I did get to meet her and it was incredible. She talked for a bit before signing books and I loved how funny and sweet and real she was.
While standing in line for books to be signed they had us fill out these post-its.
"Love is not warm and fuzzy or sweet and sticky. Real love is tough as nails. It's having your heart ripped out, putting it back together, and the next day, offering it back to the same world that just tore it up." (Carry On, Warrior, pg 194)
This is while we were chatting about the glory that is left-handed people. Because HELLO, I am left-handed and so is Glennon which only makes me love her MORE!
I went by myself, but never felt alone. I chatted with people in line, and was amazed at the sense of community I felt with these strangers in a bookstore.
I bought two copies of the paperback - one for me, and one for you. YES. I am THAT awesome. I am giving away an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Carry On, Warrior.

To enter this giveaway leave a comment telling me why you a warrior - nothing is too big or small! One extra entry if you follow me on Facebook, and one extra entry if you follow me on Twitter - but be sure to let me know!

The winner will be chosen this Thursday, April 17th, at 10 PM (EST) and announced Friday morning. This means you have until 9:59 PM (EST) Thursday night to enter!

I can't wait to see your comments! Oh, and Glennon blogged about the book signing I went to - it was the first night of her tour - and I totally make a cameo in several of the pictures. (Bright green sweater FTW!)

Carry on warriors! Happy Monday!

I was not compensated for this giveaway - I bought this book with my own money and stood in line for an hour to get it signed. I am giving it away because I think everyone should have a little piece of Glennon in their lives.

Apr 11, 2014

A walk for hope

First thing's first! The winner of this week's giveaway and the fabulous print from Sweaty Wisdom is Kelly! Congratulations lady! (Send me an email to claim your prize!) Thanks to all who entered - have no fear, there's another giveaway on Monday and it's a doozy!

I know it's Friday and normally my posts are all hey this makes me happy, and so does this, and hey it's FRIDAY, but something is on my heart and I want to share it with you.

You guys.

This miscarriage. This loss.

It almost broke me.

I'm making manifestos, and being a group leader for Advocacy Day. I'm gearing up for National Infertility Awareness Week.

Being active helps. It doesn't make the loss of Cece any less hard, and it doesn't take away the "now what" feeling,  but it gives me a way to channel my energy. There are days I don't know what to do with myself and days that aren't so bad, but something I'm in short supply of?


So when I found out about the D.C. Walk of Hope, I signed up that day. I knew I wanted to walk (registration is free and it's only one mile!), but I found myself creating a team. I want to help raise funds that will go to local programs to build awareness about infertility. I want to have friends and family walk with me. I think this is an amazing way to honor Cece's memory, and to keep telling our story.

I'd love for you to join me.

If you're local come on out (you can register here!), but if you felt so inclined and wanted to make a donation to our team, I would appreciate it so much - it's like you're there in spirit! Our name is Team Cece, and we'd love to have you.

I don't know what to expect come June 21st - it might be a great day, it might be a hard day, there will definitely be sweat, and there might be a few tears.

And if I find a little hope that day?

Well, that would be okay too.

Apr 10, 2014

The best kind of wisdom is sweaty

I found the Etsy shop Sweaty Wisdom when someone posted a photo on Instagram and I was hooked! The name of the shop, the cleverness of the sayings, the variety of products - I was all in! When I contacted the shop owner and asked if she'd be up for answering some questions, her response was similar to something I would send - cheery and full of exclamation marks!!! So today I am happy to introduce you to Chris of Sweaty Wisdom!
I LOVE the name of your Etsy shop - it's so clever! How did you get started? Is this a hobby, your full-time job, or something in between? This whole thing started in February of last year, when I began really deepening my yoga practice and starting to assistant teach. When I would be really sweating my arse off in the middle of a practice, these thoughts would bubble up that really resonated with me that I would repeat in my head - they'd come from the theme of the practice, or wherever my mind wandered to that day. Anyhow, these thoughts meant a lot to me, so after the practice, I would run to my car and jot them down in a notebook that I kept in my glove box.

One day I thought, "Hey dummy, if these thoughts mean something to you, maybe they'll mean something to other people too!" So I started a blog as a dumping ground for these thoughts, where I would post phrases in simple typographic layouts. It started to really gain traction, so I set some goals (making social media pages, creating products, having an art show, etc). But yes, that's where the name came from. Little moments of AHA! that occurred whilst coated in sweat.
Joy is the New Black mug
What inspires you? (Besides yoga of course!) I'm inspired by weirdos. By people. By everyone. I think there's nothing more amazing than being surrounded by people who own the hell out of their total unique awesome selves. You are automatically liberating just by being around them.
Fuck It print
How do you come up with the items in your shop? Have you ever been inspired for something while doing yoga? First, I come up with the phrase. Or rather, it comes to me. Then I whip it up into a design and post it to my social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr. I let them linger for a while and if one seems particularly popular or really resonates with me, I try it out on a note card first. Then I branch out into other print goods.
How hilarious is this water bottle!
Do you create every day or is it more of a "as it comes" mentality? I used to stress about creating something everyday. Lately I've been letting it happen more organically, like when I first started. It just seems more authentic. For example, last week I moved apartments and didn't come up with anything new all week! I was just not inspired, so I let it be.
Love love love!
What's your favorite item in your shop right now? Does this ever change? My favorite item in the shop right now is the Salute the Sun and FUCK IT notecards. It always changes. The products are like my children, I love 'em all the same.
Salute the Sun
And just for fun - if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? STEAK. I'm a big time carnivore.

Don't you just love her?! I have a problem limiting myself when I start perusing her shop, which is kind of a fun problem to have! You can find connect with Sweaty Wisdom through the blog, Etsy Shop, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook - so many ways to love on her creativity! Thanks for letting us get to know you Chris!

Psst - Want to win something from Sweaty Wisdom? You're in luck friend, because her happiness print is what I'm giving away this week! And you only have until tonight to enter - go go go!

*All photos courtesy of Sweaty Wisdom

Apr 7, 2014

A happy heart

Happy Monday! (Hmm...kind of an oxymoron, I think).

However, it should be a happy day for you because it's the second of my giveaways for Awesome April!

Sometimes you need to have a crappy day. However, you all know I am a lover of life's little moments, and finding joy where you can. So today's giveaway is this print from Sweaty Wisdom that spoke to me.

Elegant in it's simplicity, right?

Okay, okay, let's get to the part you really want to know.  How to enter!

To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment telling me something that makes your heart happy. Extra points if you share this on Facebook or Twitter (you know I love to share handmade), but no extra entries.

The winner will be chosen this Thursday, April 10th, at 10 PM (EST) and announced Friday morning. This means you have until 9:59 PM (EST) Thursday night to enter!

You can get more Sweaty Wisdom in this Etsy shop - or just stop back by on Wednesday. (Oooh, intrigue!)

I was not compensated for this giveaway - I bought this bag with my own money and am giving it away because I'm a grown-ass lady and I do what I want. 

Apr 4, 2014

My current happy

Okay first thing's first - the winner of the Grown-Ass Lady Tote is lucky Lisa from Lisa's Yarns! Shoot me an email about how to claim your prize! (Thanks to all who participated - there's another giveaway on Monday!)

I want April to be awesome. This week has been kind of rough, so I am thinking today I'm focusing on what makes me happy.

Making me happy right now:

*Happy by Pharrell Williams - I know this is being played all over the place right now but I just can't get enough of this song. It always makes me smile!

*The Book Riot Podcasts - they are fun and hilarious, and changing my commutes in the best way possible!

*Advocating for infertility. I cannot wait until Advocacy Day and I'm gearing up for National Infertility Awareness Week later this month. I also just signed up as a team captain for the D.C. Walk of Hope in June. (More on this later, but Team Cece will be rockin' it!)

*Knitting. Always knitting. I was in NYC last weekend and went to not one, but two yarn stores. (And yes I bought that magnet).
What's on your happy list today?

Happy Friday!

Apr 2, 2014

Make a Manifesto

I think I'm in the "active" stage of grief. It's not really a stage (although maybe it is because I'm a grown-ass lady and I say it is),  but I keep feeling called to do something more when it comes to infertility.

I cannot wait until Advocacy Day. I already have some posts in the works for National Infertility Awareness Week. I can't "fix" my infertility, and I can't change the fact that Cece (that's what we call her now) is gone, but I can speak, and bring awareness and for now, that's helping.

I've been thinking a lot about legacy and what we leave behind. Children are not the only way to leave a legacy - I know this. But on bad days, I have this worry that I'm just going to be the woman who couldn't have babies.

I know that's not true. I know it's not as simple as that, and I know that's not how others see me. But I'd be lying if I said that fear doesn't sneak into my heart every so often.

I want to make a manifesto - a collage of words and phrases that others associate with me. A couple weeks ago I emailed some people asking for their help. It was harder than I expected, but the response has been life-changing.

I'm overwhelmed by the words that come pouring from people - telling me I'm kind or fierce, brave and vivid, compassionate and honest, a good listener, and loved.

The emails have brought me to tears.

I am working with a talented friend to make this into the most awesome collage/word bubble ever. (I'm supplying her with the words and phrases, she will make it beautiful). I am going to have it printed - maybe on a canvas or maybe in something I can frame - and hang it in a place of honor.

I can't wait to share the final product with you!

Take a moment and think about yourself the way someone else does - it's a powerful thing.

What would your manifesto say?

If you want to contribute to my manifesto leave me some words or a phrase in the comments - I'll be sure to include it, and thanks in advance!

(Also, there's a fabulous giveaway happening this week and you can still enter!)

Mar 31, 2014

Awesome April

I know it's technically still March, but in the spirit of doing what makes me happy, I'm kicking off April a day early.

There may be hard moments this month, but I'm determined to counter them with lighter ones as well. I want April to be awesome.

I appreciate the love and support, and the incredible community that has been created here - I want April to be awesome for you too!

Every Monday in April (shhh, we're cheating a little today, it's okay), I'm giving away something handmade and fabulous from an Etsy shop I've recently found.

Today is this hilarious tote bag from Emily McDowell. (Please excuse the quality of this photo - I was really tired when I took it and did not have the patience to turn on different lighting...or center it...or...)
Isn't it fabulous?

It could be yours my friend!

To enter this giveaway simply leave a comment telling me something you love to do - after all, you're a grown-ass lady. Extra points if you share this on Facebook or Twitter (you know I love to share handmade), but no extra entries. (It saves me from having to do a lot of math when I pick the winner).

Speaking of winner, they will be chosen this Thursday, April 3rd, at 10 PM (EST) and announced Friday morning. This means you have until 9:59 PM (EST) Thursday night to enter!

Happy (almost) April!

You can see more of Emily's hilarious creations in her Etsy shop, or on her website

I was not compensated for this giveaway - I bought this bag with my own money and am giving it away because I'm a grown-ass lady and I do what I want.

Mar 25, 2014

Strangers on the Street

All days are not like this, but when there are hard days I appreciate the community here where I can share. Thanks for sticking around.

When I first got engaged, every time I met someone new I found myself looking at their left ring finger. I wasn't judging them based on their marital status, but rather looking for a shared experience.

I would see an engagement ring and think, hey I'm engaged too! I would see a wedding band and think, I'll be married soon too! Even if we never discussed marriage, to me, a small bond was formed.

Now I see the baby bumps.

Wherever I am (although especially at Target), my eyes slide of their own accord to the protruding bellies of expecting mothers. I try to guess how far along she is and think of how if I were still pregnant we might have shared a weary smile, both knowing the happiness and struggles of carrying a child.

I wish I could laugh along with her and her friend as they fill her shopping cart with stretchy waistband pants and flow-y dresses, the delight in their voices as they talk about her getting bigger. I envy her sore back and swollen ankles, her frequent trips to the bathroom, and even the comments from others who say, "savor this, because once the baby is born your life will be turned upside down."

I would savor it, I want to whisper as I push my cart past them.

I didn't care about morning sickness or gaining weight. My motto when I was first pregnant was never been so happy to feel so crappy. I didn't expect pregnancy to be glamorous, and I didn't care if it flew by because then we'd be meeting our baby.

I'd be 20 weeks now - halfway through. This would be the time for anatomy scans and gender reveals, and almost being viable.

These women I envy - they are strangers. I don't know their story and they don't know mine.

I don't begrudge her that pregnancy, but I wish for mine back.

Mar 20, 2014

Delightful design

Ohhh, how I love a clever Etsy shop. 

A few weeks ago on Instagram, someone posted an item from Brittany Garner Design and I was immediately intrigued; enough to where I was opening up the Etsy app on my phone (oh yeah, I'm that person), and scrolling through her goodies. I laughed out loud several times and really, I was hooked. I'm so excited to introduce you today to Brittany, of Brittany Garner Design - or as those in the know refer to it, BGD. I've ordered a couple things from her already, and I will most definitely be back for more!

How did you get started with your Etsy shop? Is this a hobby, your full-time job, or something in between? It all started in 2010. I had just graduated college, gotten engaged, and was planning our October wedding (I like to group big life events really close together, apparently). I wanted custom stationery that I just couldn't find on any mass produced design website so I created my own. It snowballed from there as friends asked me to design custom items for them and the Etsy shop came after that. As of right now I work as a secretary at a university 30 hours a week and design for BGD on nights and weekends. It's getting a bit crazy but I try to keep that end goal in mind: to make BGD my full-time job when the time is right.
Let go of the heavy foil print
What inspires you? Why is this question for hard to answer? :) I get inspired at such weird times - like in the shower or during hectic mornings when I can't find my son's other sock and we are already 10 minutes late getting out the door. I'm inspired by awesome designers that make me want to be an awesome designer. Alone time brings me the most inspiration - an introvert at heart, a few minutes inside my own head usually gets the inspiration flowing.
Haha, love this wine mug!
How do you come up with the items in your shop? Do you create every day or is it more of a "as it comes" mentality? I'm a firm believer in three things: laughing is the best medicine; good design tells a story; and it's important to be creative every day. I've learned to not burn myself out by limiting that creativity to BGD work through. Sometimes my creativity comes in the form of sidewalk chalk with my two-year old son as long as it's something that get my creative juices flowing.
One example of a bridal shower invite!
I love that you have such a variety of items in your shop! How do you decide what to put on a mug, make into a print, or use as a digital download? It is so random. I really try to listen to my client base. I keep up with trends. I read a lot. Social media has provided me with such a great "test market." Posting photos of items that are "coming soon" really helps me gauge how well an item will do. And honestly, I stopped listing things that I wouldn't hang or use in my own home because if I have to look at these things constantly, I want to love them, ya know?
This print made me laugh so much I snorted!
What's your favorite item in your shop right now? Does this ever change? I'm really loving the mugs these days. I use my Coffee Before Talkie mug every morning (I'm pregnant so using the Shhh...There's Wine In Here mug feels weird - ha!) and I haven't gotten sick of it yet!
Coffee before talkie mug
And just for fun - if you had to eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? Cheese. All of the cheese.

Isn't she wonderful? Don't you want to just buy up her whole shop? (No really, it's a problem). Thanks so much for letting us get to know you more Brittany - be sure to check out BGD on Etsy!

*All photos courtesy of Brittany Garner Design.