I wouldn't consider myself an avid reader considering this was the first book I picked up and completed since high school. Seven years ago. I completed high school with all my fine arts, psychology, English, government and history classes required for the University of Texas College of Engineering because I received credit for those classes either through AP classes or during night classes/summer classes during my high school years. I used to be an academic overachiever. After high school, notsomuch.
I used to be quite the book worm.
In high school, we were on that accelerated block schedule where we took four classes per semester (like college). Our required reading was assigned to us the summer before English class started and I would read the books during the summer on my lunch break while working at Banana Republic and go home and read. If I had English in the spring semester, I would re-read those books over Christmas break as a refresher. Looking back, I think I was a little nuts.
When I entered college, I didn't do a lot of reading. I considered myself an efficient skimmer, in that I would skim the pages of my engineering books for answers to homework. Or use the handy interwebs. Before finals, I would limit myself to two hours of studying per class the day before the final. I ended up making exactly average, maybe a few points below. At that point, I had given up on engineering and I knew I wanted to do something else with my life. I got my degree and I moved on.
I did however take other fun, easy classes in Advertising and Psychology as a GPA buffer to make up for my lack of studies in Biomedical Engineering. Those classes were way more fun, but I didn't have time to read any of the books because I was struggling to get through my core classes.
Now that I do only what I love to do and on my own time, there's no excuse to abandon all those things I used to love like reading, shopping and doing laundry each week.
I started reading again.
I am starting slow and reading only books written by funny people. They tend to be easy to read and do not require any higher brain function than following the lines.
Bonus: They make me laugh out loud and annoy The Boy when he's reading his psychological thrillers and super-cerebral philosophy books.
Oh, so here's my review:
Tina Fey is amazingly hilarious. This book made me laugh, cry and left me with the strong desire for more. I want to find a friend like Ms. Fey. I think I love her.
5 Thumbs Up.
Remember that trip to Austin I was preparing to make?
Everything was rough, but it ended just the way I would want any
We started our trip early Friday morning (4am butt-crack of dawn kind of early) for a 6am flight to Detroit and then to Austin to arrive at 11am. There was a lot of fog in Pittsburgh and even more in Detroit. Most flights were delayed that day, but our plane was able to get through it to arrive in Detroit. That was the start of the rough trip.
Oh wait, let me back track.
Thursday. I was loading Hubert's stuff in the car and for some reason, he was extra sad to go to camp for the weekend. Just look at that face. He looks so sad. Not like his normal "I look sad but I'm really happy" face. He actually looks sad to go to camp and see all of his friends. Maybe because I was sad to leave him for 4 days. And he could tell.
After dropping off Hubert at camp, I went home (sad) and continued to prepare for our departure the next morning.
Back on track.
We arrive in Detroit and waited at the gate for our last leg to Austin. Our flight to Austin was delayed for half a hour. Half an hour later, our gate was changed and when we arrived at the new gate, we discovered that our flight to Austin was canceled.
We had three options for re-booking:
1. Detroit to Austin, 11pm arrival (12 hours after our scheduled arrival).
2. Detroit to Pittsburgh (yes, back home), to Atlanta, then to Austin for 6pm arrival.
3. Detroit to Philadelphia, to Atlanta, then to Austin for 6pm arrival.
By the time we agreed for #2, the flight was completely booked and we were left with #3 so we could still spend time with my family.
Four take-offs and landings and 12 hours of travel later, we were in Austin. Dog tired. We picked up our car rental and drove to my brother's place. My parents fed us, then we headed to our hotel to crash.
Renegade did not go so well for me this year. I won't go into all the details, but it was exactly as successful as Pecan Street Festival was for me. (Not successful)
By the end of the 2 show days, I was over $1.2K in the red (travel + lodging + car + what I didn't make up for the booth cost + Hubert's boarding cost). Our 200 lbs of merchandise and displays only shed 2 lbs, so we were in for another physically taxing trip through the airport.
I may have been on the verge of a mental break down at that point, but The Boy came to the rescue with the plan to end our trip on a positive note.
He invited my brother and our friends to Trudy's and I filled my face with Tex Mex and a Mex Mart. Then, all my troubles diffused away into my blood stream and I was happy. Really happy.
I recouped my losses in Austin with my online sales that weekend.
Funny how life finds a way to equilibrate.
I thanked the Etsy gods, and we were on our flight back to Pittsburgh on Monday morning. On the plane, I consumed over 500 calories in mini pretzels and Biscoff cookies (courtesy of our super-nice flight attendant). We arrived on time to Pittsburgh, picked up a very excited-to-see-us Hubert, and we all took a 5-hour nap. Then continued to sleep for an additional 10 hours.
I lost a lot of money, may have started graying early, almost broke out in hives and consumed 3X more calories than a typical weekend. But I learned many valuable lessons along the way. Those are the lessons that make for better business decisions in the future.
Just booked our tickets to San Francisco in July, so we're excited to visit a new city! Any suggestions as to where/what to eat and visit?
I've received many requests for this leather to come back. Maybe because it's on my banner and not in my shop. Maybe because it's a beautiful distressed shiny brown leather.
Trust me, when I find a leather that sells out in a couple weeks, I am frantically looking to find it again. :)
And that I did.
This Mini Ruche in Coffee Bean is back! It is available in limited quantities until the leather gods help me find it again. Which may or may not happen.
Don't gamble; grab yours now if you've been wanting this.
Two have already been claimed and a handful remain!
He came into the car super excited and panting - telling me (with his eyes) about all the new friends he made and how much fun he had. I took a picture with my phone to show you his excitement.
His report card shows he was a great camper and that his new best friend is Ripley, a white Frenchie who can be seen in the pictures from yesterday.
In the car on the way home, he passes out. Snoring everso loudly.
We arrived home and he wobbled his way out of the car and plopped onto the ground in front of the elevator (we usually take the stairs, but I spared him this time around) as we wait for it to arrive. The elevator opens and he wobbles in and plops down again to cool off.
We arrive on our floor (2nd floor, it's a short ride) and he stumbles his way to his bed and attempts to play with his toy, but passes out again. This is way too cute of a moment to not capture with the nice camera.
While working, I hear water sloshing behind me, which tells me he woke up to get a drink and then I hear a plop on the ground. I turn around and see that he is on the floor, asleep. It's much cooler on the floor. I didn't feel like taking out the camera, so I snapped a photo with my phone.
He slumps back into his bed and I take out my camera. He gives me the "Mom. Please. Leave me alone." face and proceeds to sleep. That was my last picture, and I left him alone. ALL the way through today!
I am so productive now that he's here at home and in very deep twitchy dreamy sleep.
I have not been productive today, guys. I dropped Hubert off at this dog camp for his "interview" this morning, which is a 3-hour process where he plays with the day camp dogs to see if he's a "good fit" for the camp in the future (i.e. he's not aggressive or territorial). Hubert. Aggressive? Pssssh.
Oh, back story.
We can't take Hubert with us to fly to Austin for Renegade, so I've been on the look out for the best care for Hubert while we're away. I looked into having a sitter come in to take care of him, so I decided to ask around my building for references. It didn't take me long to find a good solution because I live in an apartment building where there are more dogs than human residents (probably), and it was clear by the number of residents who take their dogs to this camp that this was going to be my first experience at camp. Hubert, I mean. Hubert at camp. Letting Hubert go to dog camp.
Back to the point.
Well, I dropped Hubert off this morning and I got two things done:
1. Got my oil changed
2. Filled up gas
Since then I've been staring at my computer screen looking at the "camper cams" that are set up around the facility. I can see Hubert playing with other dogs! I feel like a total stalker, but I cannot help but check out how my little pug baby is coping without me.
He's totally doing fine.
One of the employees said he was welcome to stay for the full day (6 hours) if I wanted to let him stay. "IssOKnoneed! I'll pick him up in 3 hours!" and then set my phone alarm for 3 hours from that very moment.
I may be the one with separation anxiety.
p.s. I took some screen shots of Hubert at camp. I wonder if he's looking for me. Or thinking of me. Or even remembers me...
A lot of work is to be done in the next two weeks preparing for Renegade Austin. I may be absent for a while...
I'm not sure it was the best idea to buy my fiance chopsticks that can also be used as drum sticks.
All for now, kids. All for now.
Oh! Also! I only have 2 of these Baby Ruche bags in Aztec left. Soooo, if you want this, get it now! They're ready to ship within 24 hours of your purchase.
Labels: behind the scenes
Me [to The Boy]: What do you think of Bubblegum for this color?
The Boy: It doesn't sound professional.
Me: It's not supposed to sound professional. It's supposed to be fun, bright, and summery!
The Boy: How about Pepto-Bismol. Or Pepto-Pink.Or just Pepto.
The Boy: It's better than Bubblegum. [smiling]
Me: [Eye roll followed by heavy sigh; pulls out Pantone Color Guide]
So much for trying to be more creative in the naming of the colors of my bags. I stole this color name from my Pantone Color Guide. As I always (mostly) do.
On another note, I've been without a computer this week. The power supply on my 5-year-old iMac is having issues, so I haven't been blogging much. I still don't have my computer, I'm using The Boy's laptop to blog and print shipping labels and correspond with the world. Though it's not the same, I appreciate him letting me use it. He's very particular about his electronics. As in, he doesn't allow anyone to touch his things, especially me because electronics seem to fail when I touch them. It may be the static charge in my fingertips because I'm a wizard. Or wizardress.
I also sprained my ankle last week in Zumba. I usually have lower back pains after Zumba because of all those hip thrusts, but this time, no lower back pain. Just a sprained ankle from landing incorrectly trying to show off my high kicks.
This week may have not been the best week for me as far as life goes, but I was super productive at work without a computer and having limited movement in my right ankle (fortunately only in the lateral direction, so sewing was not a problem).
I finished a lot of orders early and added some new bags to the shop (including this Wild Rose pink Mini) and a Mini in Port and a Traveler in Warm Gray Margot Bianca Batik.
See, I turned all the negative stuff into positive energy to work! Go me!
How was your week?
Labels: mini ruche
I do not come with good news of my new Clutch design, my friends. Sadly.
This weekend, I was reminded by both my future sister-in-law (a.k.a wedding planner boss lady, Aparna) and my future husband (The Boy) that I needed to make invitations so that family in India can make travel plans to attend our wedding in October.
This is my little timeline for the rest of the year:
May: Renegade Austin, TX
July: Renegade San Francisco, CA
Sept: Renegade Chicago, IL (hopefully)
Nov: Thanksgiving in TX with parents + brother
Dec: Holidays in PA with in-laws
I'm also still keeping up with orders from the shop and finding time to feed myself...and my future husband...and my dog. And get to the gym to get in wedding shape.
Oh my god, I can't believe I'm going to be married this year. EEEEEeee!!
So, I'm spread a bit thin, but I really love operating this way because I have lots of fun and different things to prepare and dream about during the day and in my sleep.
Okay, what was my point, here?
Right. Wedding. Invitations. India relatives.
I really wanted to hand make my wedding invitations and more specifically, I wanted to stamp a cool design of mine on the cover and print the rest of the text. I really love the look of stamped art and thought I would carve out a wicked detailed mehndi-inspired design, yet keep it simple and modern in keeping with my general aesthetic.
In the drawing, it looked pretty cool, but carving out all that detail from a piece of rubber was a bit harder than I thought. It looked more like those surfer Hawaiian designs. Not exactly what I anticipated. This is not the final design for the wedding invites, but I wanted to show you how much hard work I put into it so you know I'm not a slacker.
I'll show you the final wedding invitation design when I get 'em done. Oh, and I WILL launch the new Clutch soon. But not today. But soon. I promise.