Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Not Enough Time In The Day

Tonight was my first night back to Grad school for the semester. I love my professional 9-5 job, I love learning more and continuing my education, but I don't love the feeling of needing just a few additional hours in my day.

It seems my job is getting busier, my classes more intense, and my business is growing - these are all good things, but I think I need to find that perfect balance to make sure they all happen successfully. I am blessed to have such an amazing husband (who would stay up all night with me working on stationer orders), but I definitely need to keep better track of my business transactions and costs. Moving forward I need to make sure that all of the work I do is appropriate both in time and money.

Eeek, and somewhere in the equation I need to add a little "me" time. I haven't had a vacation in a while - my honeymoon didn't count since it rained the whole time.

Although I had been planning on launching a new wedding line soon, I thought I would hold off until I got a handle on this semester at school. In the meantime, I am LOVING all of the custom projects I have been working on, so keep 'em coming!

Oh, and if you have a magic way to add three hours to my day, pretty please email me!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Please vote for the Minted Great Ideas Notebook Challenge!

Minted just finished up yet another challenge! I know, they've been keeping us designers super busy with back-to-back-to-back challenges!

I submitted several designs for the Great Ideas Notebook Challenge, and would love if you could head over and vote. Don't just vote for me though, vote for as many designs as you'd like!

"French Trifle"
"I Forgot"
"Worth Writing"
Head over to Minted and rate all the designs! I appreciate it greatly (as go all of the designers!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Did Somebody Say Free??

Yup, I'm pretty sure Minted said it!

Minted is currently having a promotion for 25 FREE "Mommy Cards"! How could you possibly beat that!

Want to know how to get your free cards? Check out the Mommy Card page on Minted.

Ummmm, want to know what's even better??!!! You can get my "Beaded" design :)

OK everybody, go run to Minted and get your free cards!

Exciting Things!

Daily Squee
Design has been keeping me super busy lately. Today alone I somehow sold the same item four times! I've also had the pleasure of creating quite a few different custom designs. The more business picks up, the more I learn, which is great because I'm in need of some streamlining.

Next week I start graduate school again - which means that two days a week I'm out of the house from 6:45am until 10:30pm. Definitely long days, but I keep telling myself it's worth it - and it is! However, I'll need to make sure all of my ducks are in a row so that I can keep on top of my growing stationery biz while I'm also juggling school and corporate life.

There are some big things on the way from Believe Notes....the website, while still a work in progress, is almost ready to at least be viewed. I'm also setting up a bunch of wholesale accounts so that I can continue to provide fair prices for high quality designs.

I'm struggling creating a policy around my work, but after having a few rough experiences, I do realize that I need to protect myself and my designs. My time is valuable and I need to make sure that I'm paid fairly for the work & services I provide. It goes against my nature to be too "rigid" or "demanding" but I'm starting to realize that this is a business, and I can't give away things for free, including my time. If anybody has an suggestions for policies, please let me know!

Here's a little glimpse of one of the projects I was recently working on...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Help Me Pick A Logo!

Why is it so darn hard to design for yourself??? It's a total case of designer analysis paralysis. Today I come to you asking, no - begging, for your help! I've been working on my website nonstop and I think I've lost my mind. Right now I am stuck on choosing my logo. It's a big deal, this will be the "face" of Believe Notes. Eeeek, the pressure has gotten to me!

So, I ask you, please help me pick one!

Banner Option #1
Banner Option #2
Banner Option #3
Banner Option #4

Alright, please let me know which to choose!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy Friday!

While for many of you Friday means a weekend to hang out, relax and do nothing (blissfully), weekends for me mean catching up on design projects and house chores.

This poster always keeps things real for me; and this weekend I sure hope to enjoy myself!

"Inspire Your Work Poster" from Departika

So, cut yourself some slack this weekend and enjoy life! You can always vacuum later!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Website Sneak Peek

I am SO super excited to be getting close to revealing my new website!!!! I've been working on it for hours and hours every day, and am getting so close I can taste it!!!

Want a little peek into what it might look like? I thought so!

Love it? I sure do! It's a little hand drawn, a little beachy feeling, and a whole lot of me (which means orange everywhere)!


Monday, August 15, 2011

Vendor Review - The Flowers

my balcony in the rain

It's a rainy day here in NY, and so I figure that if I can't go out and smell the flowers here, instead I can review the beautiful flowers from my wedding....

My wedding decor was mostly candle light, but I wanted some gorgeous and simple flowers to help make the tables more elegant. Everything needed to be done perfectly, and Dana (pronounced more like "Donna"), from Events by Stylish in Queens NY, was the only person I trusted!

Dana is one of the warmest people I've ever met, and I would recommend her ten thousand times over. She is breathe of fresh air during the stressful time of wedding planning. She is a real person that loves what she does and it shows in her work... she's warm, friendly, creative and oooober talented!  I told her what my budget was, and she was able to work with me to produce stunning florals within that number, which is a big deal when it comes to flowers and weddings.

Dana and I seemed to work perfectly together - I knew exactly the look I wanted, and she knew exactly what flowers to use to turn my vision into reality! I told her I wanted all the centerpieces to be white and to all be different, but flow together perfectly. The dinner tent was envisioned as ethereal, while the cocktail hour a little more modern. Dana nailed it!

Check out some pictures:

simple, round white flowers for cocktail hour

blooming tulips on the dinner tables

white roses on the dinner tables

Orchids on the dinner tables

Hydrangea on the dinners tables

Oh! And how could I possibly forget about my AMAZING bouquet? I fell in love with a bouquet on the Events by Stylish Website, and threw all creativity out the window. I wanted that one, and that one only! My favorite part is the beautiful vintage style beading on the stems. Amazing. I remember holding onto it for dear life walking down the aisle, and I'm pretty sure I slept with it on my nightstand that night.

Thank you, Dana, for being so amazing to work with! You made me smile so many times when I desperately needed it :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vendor Review - The Cake & Sweets

Even before we were engaged, Mike and I knew we wanted cupcakes at our wedding. At first we thought about going with one of those big famous chain type cupcake places, and then I decided I wanted something better. Way better. Enter Baked. Baked is the Mecca of comfort style, homemade desserts. I had known about Baked for a while, but didn't think they would be in my budget, so I never called. And then Oprah did a few features on them (yes, I said a few, as in, more than one), and I though "damn, these guys are huge! There's no way they could do my wedding!" So, one day, feeling a little silly, I decided to call, figuring I'd be put on hold until my ears bled. Somebody answered the phone. I was not put on hold. They are nice. They are very nice! This must be where they nicely say they can't accept any new orders.....THEY CAN DO THE WEDDING! YIPPIE!!!

Ok, so maybe I got a little too excited over the desserts, but the best part about working with Baked is that owners Renato and Matt might be like, kinda a big deal, but they are totally the nicest, most down to earth people ever. I dealt with Renato for the wedding, and felt horrible when my email account got hacked (and then got a virus) and so we played a long line of "tag, you're it". When I realized (several months after it was sent) that my deposit check never made it to their shop, I thought maybe Renato would say he couldn't hold my date anymore. Nope, he said not to worry, mail gets lost sometimes; I could pay when I pay, as long as it's before the wedding. How often does anybody say that?

Oh, and we had our last meeting the day before the "end of the world" back in May. I'm pretty sure I offered to take in any abandoned pets of the bakeshop workers, should they happen to disappear. The only things I like more than cupcakes are puppies.

So, for the wedding we ended up doing an entire table of comfort style desserts, including vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, lemon drop and pistachio cupcakes; along with a variety of other sweets, like chocolate chip cookies, brownies and whoopie pies. Our cake was a small, two tiered cake in the lemon drop flavor, and it was to die for. I ate my whole piece.

Here are a few pictures:

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Renato & Baked for tastiest part of the wedding :) I can't wait to come into the shop soon, and dive into a lemon drop or pistachio cupcake!!!! If anybody else ever finds themselves in Red Hook, Brooklyn, be sure to stop in and grab some coffee and sweets.

Sunday Updates

It's a rainy day in New York. Rainy as in streets flooded, basements ruined, stores closed, and Juliet hiding in the bathroom. She hates thunder.

Luckily, we still have power, and I plan on spending this rainy day bring you a few more vendor reviews, a sneak peek at the new website, and some pictures of recent custom orders. All good things!

Before I dive in, I thought I'd share this picture:

La Mancha at S'MAC in NYC
Yup, if you remember from this previous post, I was afraid I wouldn't get to go to S'MAC for lunch. Luckily my migraine lessened enough for Mr. Law and I to head into the city and grab a quick lunch. I had the La Mancha mac n' cheese, which has fennel, onions and manchego cheese - and since I'm supposed to be gluten free, and they offer gluten free, well indeed, I got mine as gluten free. It was yum! I got the smallest one they offered, the "Nosh" size, and even though it looks really small, this stuff is pretty filling. I couldn't even finish! My husband got the medium, or "Major Munch" size, and couldn't even eat half of his! He enjoyed himself some Cheeseburger mac n' cheese, and man, I've gotta say, his was darn good too!

If you're ever in the area, I'd suggested stopping into S'MAC and having some of their famous mac n' cheese. If you can, go during the day while it's slow. At night the lines wrap around the block!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Mind Hurts....

I'm sorry everybody for the lack of posts over the past few days. I took five days off from my 9-5 job with high hopes for relaxation, enjoying the summer and catching up on all of my stationery projects. Unfortunately, my body had other plans for me, as I've so far spent 4 out of the 5 days on the sofa with a migraine.

I've suffered from migraines for as long as I can remember, although they were recently diagnosed as "cluster" style migraines. Clusters are the most debilitating type of headache, as they last for days/weeks and progressively get worse as the time goes on. Imagine a migraine that wakes up with you in the morning, and goes to bed with you at night, day in, day out - until, all of a sudden, it's gone.

Ick, I just hope this thing goes away by the time I have to return to work tomorrow....

On a lighters note, I've spent a whole bunch of time this weekend on our new, leather sofa! Yes, the saga from this post, and this post, has finally come to an end. We were finally able to get the sofa inside, and I have to admit that I love it. Our living room is starting to come together, although now I need a new (I'm thinking round) coffee table, and a new sofa table (maybe a white parsons?), oh, and a few pillows would be good too!!

I've been secretly wishing for this pillow, from Martha & Ash on Etsy. I'm just smitten with the ikat pattern, and we alllll know I'm a sucker for all things orange. The only thing holding me back right now is that I can't seem to find a perfect, luxurious down alternative for the insert. If anybody has a good source for super lush pillow inserts, let me know!!!

Orange Ikat Pillow Cover from Martha & Ash
I'm also digging this pillow, from Giardino, another Etsy seller! Again, sucker for orange. Again, need a good insert.

Faux Bois Stripe Pillow Case from Giardino

Alright - I'm now off to spend my last day of vacation sipping coffee and taking Advil. If the weather holds out, and if I feel up to it, Mr. Law and I are planning on trying to get into the city to try out S'MAC, which has been on our "must dine" list forever. Unfortuantely (or fortunately, depends on how you look at it) S'MAC has recently been on every foodie show on the Food Network channel. I'm anticipating HUGE lines, but hopefully the mac and cheese is as good as they say it is!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Adorable-ness for this Saturday Morning

So I've taken a few vacation days this week to help me catch up on, well, life. I still need to post the best of the best wedding reviews for my photographers, DJ, and florist - cause I love them all!! I also have had a few different custom orders to keep me super busy. I'm hoping to have them finished up this morning so I can make just one trip to the post office (as opposed to my usual three to four trips a week). I can't wait to take some snaps of the projects I've been working on to share with you!!

We also finally got our sofa delivered. There is a story. I will share. Just not right this moment.

So while I need to run off and get some things finished up, I thought I would share some adorable pictures. I just love animals, and I just love mushy squishy little baby animals.


Cute Overload
Scotch & Scones
Cute Baby Animals
Unknown, via Pinterest
Brown Dress With White Dots

My Second Minted Award!!

The winners were just recently announced over at Minted for the Summer is Born Birth Announcements and I snagged myself another Editor's Pick Award!!! Yippie!!!

My "Sweet Hearts" design was the winner, which I am actually a little surprised about because it scored much lower than one of my other designs. I suppose that's the beauty of an Editor Pick, doesn't matter what the score is, so long as the judges love it - so thanks judges!!!

Congrats to all of the winners, the designs/designers at Minted are AMAZING! I am so proud to be a part of the Minted community! Yay!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Typography Business Card Challenge - Vote for ME!!!

Taking a break here from the wedding reviews to ask you (beg you) to go vote for my designs in the latest Minted Challenge: The Typography Business Card Challenge.

Here are my three entries, please go vote!

Raspberry Lemonade
Strip(ed) Down

Go vote!! Thanks!!
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