Monday, September 29, 2014

Our Weekend and a Fall Printable for You!

We had a relaxing weekend and I really enjoyed it.  Friday, my mother in law took B for a few hours so I could have a break and run some errands.  It started with Starbucks and my planner!

Maddox and I stopped by to have lunch with Ryan!  It’s nice to have lunch with just a newborn sometimes.  Haha Maddox doesn’t look very happy, but he was.

Once Beckham came back home we did naps and afterwards we hung out in his room and worked a little on making it a big boy room!  We’re moving at a snail’s pace, but it will get done some day.

Then Saturday morning our day started off like this!  Perfection!  Ryan has been home on Saturdays lately and it’s great.  I’m savoring this time as he’ll soon be gone most Saturdays for college reffing.

Did a lot of holding this guy.  He’s been super clingy lately.  Go figure.  I posted this picture to IG saying the second kid gets a dish rag for spit up…it was nearby.  #secondchildproblems

Then my my brother and my sister in law came over for dinner and to hang.  Our kiddos LOVE playing with each other.  Look at them walking down the sidewalk right before they left.  Of course, Logan captured this.  Leave it to the photographer.

Check out this happy fella before bed!  Did I mention he’s sleeping through the night?!

Sunday we went to church as usual and stopped by the donut store on our way.  Needless to say, Beckham is happy he’s getting donuts!

 The rest of the day was relaxing.  I made a quick run to the grocery store, but then did some cleaning and picking up around the house.  And after naps, we sat outside and watched Ryan cut the shrubs.  Maddox is so calm outside.  B stayed in the chair approximately 3 minutes before running around like a crazy boy!

Leftovers for dinner, baths, and football!  How bout them COWBOYS!

I also have a cute printable for you.  Enjoy this 8x10 AND 11x14 printable you can frame and use in your house this Fall.  I currently have THIS sign on my entry table, but this one would work great too.  I’m so grateful for my blog friends and everyone supporting my business so please enjoy!  I plan on doing more FREE printables for different holidays.  You don’t have to, but feel free to share this post and/or follow me on Facebook, Instagram (@joyfulartdesigns), and my Etsy shop!  If you do use it to decorate, I would love to see it.  You can tag me on Instagram, post it to my FB page, or shoot me an email.  Thanks so much guys.
Printing Tip: You can print on regular paper as it enhances the chalkboard look.  I will either print at home (for 8x10 chalkboard prints) or take the file to Office Max (or another office supply store) to have them print.  

Just click on the link and it should take you to Dropbox to download the file.
8x10 Fall is Wonderful

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Friday Favorites

I'm linking up with Erika, Andrea and Narci for Friday Favorites.  My favorites are really random today!

{ONE}  My most favorite thing this week is that MADDOX SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT 3 NIGHTS IN A ROW.  Now, I’m totally aware I probably just cursed myself and he’ll never do it again!  But hallelujah praise the Lord!  He slept from 10ish to 7/8am!  He is definitely not napping as well during the day, but I’ll take what I can get.

{TWO}  If you’ve ever read the 28 or 29 facts about myself, you’d know I played soccer in college at SMU.  Sports in college is basically like a job.  It’s fun, but very demanding.  My friend posted and tagged me in THIS article of “15 Things That Only Happen When You’re an Athlete.”   It’s absolutely hilarious.  If you are or were an athlete, you must read it.  I don’t have a picture for it since they’re all gifs, so here’s an “athletic” pic…

{THREE}  You really should just try THESE!  They’re great and take seconds for your sink to smell good again!

{FOUR}  My best friend and I met at a coffee shop in our downtown called Snug after we dropped our toddlers off at pre-school.  It was one of my most favorite mornings!  Maddox slept the entire time which was a bonus.  The weather was cool and their coffee is GREAT!

{FIVE}  These two are my favorite!  Beckham’s smile gets cuter everyday.  Maddox turned 3 months yesterday.  I cannot believe 3 months ago, I was in the hospital trying to get that little stinker out!  Seems like forever ago!

#oliviaeveryday2014 Week 38 – A Rough Week

This was a rough week for me.  Maddox refused his naps starting on Saturday.  He’ll sleep for 20-30 minutes and then wake up.  This had been my saving grace since he's usually a great napper, so I officially broke down and cried yesterday for the first time since having him.  Ryan was gone till 9pm and I just didn't know what to do with M.  But I guess that beats last time with Beckham when I’d cry every time Ryan would leave for work…lol!  On the plus side, he is FINALLY sleeping through the night.  Beckham was quite the little two year old this week also.  Since I’ve spent so much time with Maddox, trying to get him to sleep, Beckham has been on his own!  You can see what he does when he’s got some free time below!

Day 260
Day 260: Play date with some of my favorite girls and their kiddos!

Day 261
Day 261: After I dropped Beckham off at school, Maddox and I hit up Panera and I QUIETLY enjoyed a bagel and coffee!  It was a great start to the morning!

Day 262
Day 262: Bonding!  I love looking into his eyes when he feeds.  He stares at me the whole time and I love it!

Day 263
Day 263: We went to the Farmers Market for the first time on Saturday.  The first thing we saw was pony rides and Beckham loved it.  He got a little scared when the man started walking away, so Ryan walked with him.  Let’s just say the fun filled Saturday lasted about as long as this pony ride!  Strollers are a bad idea at a small farmers market.  Every restaurant was busy that day.  And this was the day Maddox started refusing to sleep!  But again, on the plus side, I cleaned the heck out of my freezer and fridge AND got my grocery shopping done!

Day 264
Day 264: On our way to church and we stopped at the donut shop like we always do.  B and Ryan go in to grab the donuts and guess who starts crying, because remember he doesn’t nap anymore????  Maddox!  So, I turn around and give him a bottle.  Which then means we can’t go out to eat afterwards because his bottle is being used now instead of at his regular time…oh joy!

Day 265
Day 265: On Monday, I was putting Maddox to sleep (or trying to) and I come back out to find Beckham covered in marker.  Luckily, it was an Expo marker.  Only damage was done to himself!  Don’t worry, it gets worse.  Keep reading further into this post!

Day 266
Day 266: Tuesday morning, Beckham found Maddox’s leftover milk from breakfast and decided he needed to eat more.  I was pumping and snapped this pic.  Maddox was entertained. 

More from this week…

Ugh I could just eat that face up!

I love baking with him.  This is what I remember from childhood.  Licking the spoon and bowl clean!

This kid has blown up this month!  #chubs #over15pounds

Hanging out on Friday!

Yep, I really have no words for this!

Expo marker on Monday!

SHARPIE on Tuesday!  Y’all he really was proud of drawing on the wall.  We’ve already had to deal with this before and REPAINT.  I don’t even care anymore.  It was on that white board, the walls, his play kitchen, and the carpet.  He got in big trouble when daddy got home. 

Don’t worry though, he must have forgotten, because he did it AGAIN yesterday!  It was Expo, but didn’t come off on his legs in the bath.  I’ll have to explain this one to his teachers at school.  I didn’t even take a picture of this incident. 

Here’s to a new week thank the Lord!  I’ll end on a high note…Maddox is 3 months old today!  Yay!  This was him yesterday.  Hopefully I can write his 3 month post soon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Recipe: Chicken Salad

Recipe Club
I’m linking up today with Momfessionals to share a quick and easy lunch recipe.  I’m always looking for lunch ideas, especially something FAST!  I made this chicken salad and kept it in the fridge for lunches this week.  FYI, it’s still tasty after 3 days in the fridge.  This is my mom’s recipe and it’s very forgiving.  You can add what you like and measuring is not very important.

Chicken Salad

-About 1 cup Chopped chicken
-About 1 cup cooked rice, cooled or leftover
-Grapes (I used about 15 and quartered them)
-Mandarin Oranges (I used 2 big spoonfuls)
-Celery (1-2 stalks, chopped)
-1/4-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-About 1/4 cup Ranch dressing
-Sprinkles of Paprika (optional)
-Salt and Pepper to taste (I didn’t add salt this time)

You simply throw all those ingredients together and mix them well. I mix the two dressings together and then add it to the chicken mix.  You could add more mayo and/or Ranch, depending on how much dressing you like.  And the measurements are just a guideline.  You can eat this by itself of on a croissant.  I actually prefer it by itself because of the rice, but anything on a croissant is good so…

Really easy, especially if you have leftover chicken.  It’s been a rough week with the baby, so this has been great come lunch time as I’m standing up with one arm holding a baby and the other feeding my face.


Friday, September 19, 2014

A Blessing! 1 Year Anniversary of…

2 years ago I had just quit my teaching job to stay home and raise our family!  I knew this would be my role way back when I was in high school.  When I married Ryan, we were two teachers who were vigorously getting our finances in order in preparation for a future child.  We didn’t know when we would have kids, but we knew two things.  One, I would stay home!  Two, it was nearly impossible on ONE teacher income.  Ryan does officiate basketball, but that is not our security, nor is it consistent. 

By the grace of God and extremely hard work, we paid off our house after a little over 2 years of marriage, eliminating a mortgage.  Why our house?  Our cars were paid for, so the only thing left on our budget that was a big chunk of money was our mortgage.  So we HAD to get rid of it if I wanted to stay home.  So we did.  Plus, the thought of paying THOUSANDS of dollars MORE than the house was worth (in interest) made both of us throw up a little in our mouths!  A couple years after that, we had our first baby.

Once I started staying home, I was really nervous about how we would make budget.  Plus, we started saving for retirement which added a HUGE dent in our budget.  Teacher retirement is great, but definitely not how we want to live when we’re 60!  Our budget was pretty tight, so the only thing we could do to save more money was make more money!   

I started making birth stats signs for gifts when people had babies.  They were a huge hit and I started getting requests for them.  I was creating them in Power Point (I laugh when I think about that), but it was working.  One day my friend Jennie (her shop is HERE) and I were talking about “needing money” and she told me I needed to open up an Etsy shop and sell something.  She swore people would buy.  The only thing I knew how to make were these signs.
ETSY Listing with welcomed by signs

So, I started working harder than I ever have before, researching everything about how to start this business.  I eventually figured out I needed an editing program if I were going to do this (Power point is not efficient, nor does it have near the capabilities as others).  So, I purchased Photoshop Elements, and studied a lot…like A LOT!  Hours upon hours in the middle of the night, watching Youtube video after video.  Reading tons of Help articles, books, and more.  I’m a perfectionist, so I wanted to know everything about it.  2:00 AM was my new bed time!  FYI, I’m STILL learning…learning never stops in any business!

I spent about 6 months “prepping” and finally on June 5, 2013, I opened up my shop!  I purposefully opened in time for Father’s Day.  I sold 30 orders that month in June!  That was well beyond my initial goal.  I was going to be happy if I sold 5 signs that month and was prepared for zero sales.
Blessings ETSY listing

I started studying my shop’s stats and advertising on social media.  Added more signs and continued to study Photoshop Elements and Etsy.  I have probably learned more about business in this last year than I did my 4 years of college.  My studies at SMU in Business Marketing did help, but once you get your hands dirty, is when you really learn a lot.  I tend to play things safe so this was one of the biggest risks I’ve taken.  I was so afraid of failing.

I’m continuing to study and add signs, but lately I’m trying to just keep up with orders.  By the time December rolled around, I sold 141 orders that month (an order can be more than one sign).  And now sell even more.  It’s been a roller coaster, but mostly ups.  I’ve even learned all about taxes…that’s a business within itself…my least favorite part. 
Ryan and I after our tax meeting…

I am beyond blessed and grateful God brought this opportunity to me.  It’s allowed me to be home with my kiddos, while almost replacing my teacher income if my kids were in day care.  I was a little caught up in June (when it was officially a year) with having a baby, but I wanted to sit down and write this so I can remember the first year I started Joyful Art Designs.  I’m usually very hard on myself, but I am proud of what I’ve done this last year.  I will continue to learn (there is still so much more to learn), add signs to my shop, hopefully open up a website for it as well, and figure out how to balance work and family.  Family comes first, but I have I do continuously tell myself that sometimes.  I love what I do creatively, but first things first I’m a realist mom (sorry I had to…that was the first thing that popped into my  head…if you have no idea why that was funny, than just ignore me…Iggy) :)

People I want to thank: 
Jennie, for encouraging me to JUST DO IT and answering all my annoying questions about Photoshop and Etsy. 
Ryan, my hubby, for supporting me and helping me take care of Beckham so I could work.  For encouraging me when I was stressed or down on myself.  It took a lot of time and money to start it up and you didn’t even bat an eye!
My parents, for sincerely caring every time I told them how much money I made that week or month.  And for being proud of my small little business!
My customers!  Whether you found my shop from this blog, on Pinterest, or through Etsy, I’m sincerely grateful for your business!  Without customers, I would not be where I am today!  I’ve had such a positive experience with customers.  And I love knowing that something I created is hanging in your house or being used to make memories.  I often ask for real life pictures of my signs being used and it’s the best surprise when I open an email to see them hanging in a house or being held by a little kiddo (back to school signs were a huge hit).
And Etsy!  THE most amazing website for selling homemade products!  They are super seller-friendly and easy to work with.  Their help team is quick to respond and they have countless articles, videos, and more to help their sellers grow their business and customers find what they’re looking for.

Anyway, I just wanted to document this incredible journey that I’m really proud of and has now become a huge passion of mine!  I hope to get some more time to CREATE and add signs!  I get giddy when I add a new sign!  God is good all the time and all the time God is good!  God has taught me a lot about trust through this endeavor!  He does provide!
Cross Phil 4-13 ETSY listing

Christmas is coming up…click HERE to browse for any gift ideas!  And if you have a kiddo with an upcoming birthday, I just added this custom birthday board (perfect as photo prop and/or party decoration).
Etsy Listing Birthday Board
Etsy Listing Birthday Board boy

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#oliviaeveryday2014 Week 37

Day 253: Enjoyed pizza with this little man on the Square (our downtown).  You can read about our day HERE.

Day 254: Working on neck support in the Bumbo since he HATES tummy time on the floor or on the Boppy. 

Day 255: My mother-in-law, Glenna, had Beckham on Friday (thank you Jesus) and Maddox and I went to eat lunch with daddy!  Maddox was so easy and smiley!

Day 256: Y’all I’m not even kidding when I tell you the best banana bread is my mom’s!  Try it HERE.  They also have the best coffee.  I can’t figure out why theirs tastes so good, but I always enjoy drinking a cup when I’m there!  We went over there on Saturday while Ryan had a game to ref and hung out afterwards as well!

Day 257: Ryan and Beckham started this Sunday tradition a couple of months ago when they two were going to church by themselves (when I was home with the baby).  Now, every Sunday, we get donuts before church!  Not the healthiest tradition, but oh well!  And this donut shop is crazy good.  There is ALWAYS a line to the door.

Day 258: This was a rough day with only getting 1.5 hours of sleep the night prior, but I was still happy because it was Fall in my house!  I don’t go crazy with seasonal decorations (mainly because I don’t want to put them up), but there is definitely pumpkins, leaves, and pumpkin spice candles in my house!

Day 259: Had so much fun hanging out with just Maddox while B was at school.  Maddox naps really well in his car seat when we get home, so I’m able to get some things done still during that small window that Beckham’s at school. 

A few more…

How cute is that frown?

Holding my hand was the only way he fell asleep!

Hanging out on Tuesday!

Taking a nap with Poppy!  So cute.