Monday, September 20, 2010

Cookies Must Die

Stupid cookies, sitting so innocently on the counter. "Just have one!" they cry. That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard, cookie. No one can eat just one of you! I forget about them this morning, but then someone else eats one.

"That was not a good cookie. I am turned off by them now. Coffee-flavored, yuck."

I know this person will never be turned off by cookies for real, because i have seen him eat, like 10,000 of them. And you know he is eating them, because he eats them all over the office, leaving a trail of crumbs on the copier, counters, and floor. Has no problem snacking away, standing over your desk while you are trying not to show that you are totally grossed out.

The other thing I know is that no cookie flavored like coffee could be gross. Especially a cookie from The Very Best Cookies. They are so soft and chewy. You can tell they use the good stuff, not skimping on butter or sugar.

In conclusion, this is going to be a long day of trying to resist potentially coffee flavored cookies.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bad Blogger!

So, I have been a very bad blogger lately - well, all summer actually. I am kind of caught in a place where I don't want to get too personal, but at the same time, getting personal is what gets people to read your freakin blog! In an attempt to be a better blogger, I've resolved to be a little more honest in my posts, let people in a little, and not worry so much about using the blog as a way to market my small business(es).

Speaking of small businesses, the Ink Blot Cafe is going along swimmingly (on second read, I realize how stupid that phrase sounds) with 22 sales to date! All of my customers have come back at least once for more, which is a great feeling. On that note, I feel like I'm really starting to find a niche, a niche that does not have room for wool and felting and trips to the thrift store. I think I may keep my "Jessy Ray" Etsy shop open for destash, but am no longer interested in cutting off the arms of sweaters to make fingerless gloves. Fun while it lasted, by wool sweaters are currently choking my closet to death! Plus, I like making stuff for me, I like home improvement, I like giving gifts - all things I can do with my sweater time!

So to sum up this re-introductory post, I'm bringing the fun back to blogging. Look out - look out all 4 of you who might accidentally read my blog!

Friday, June 18, 2010


image from Skel Design

Wow - almost a whole month without posting!  So I have to warn you, this is going to be a super lame post.  Even lamer than May's Pac Man post.  I have a bad case of blogging block, and am not sure what the cure is.  Maybe a list?  Lists always help.  At least with a list, you know your intentions are good.  Like a cleaning list.  Or a work list.  You can feel good because, since you wrote it down, obviously you meant to do it.  Or, it can be self-satisfying to make a list of things you've already done and check them off...

made it to work only 10 min late (x)
made coffee (x)
checked email (x)

phew - so busy today!  accomplished so much already!

So here is my real list for today...

Things I've accomplished in 2010 (we're already half way through!)
-Opened up the Ink Blot Cafe on Etsy selling SEO writing services
-Made 13 writing sales! (special thanks to all of my customers Doctor Sweet Tooth, The Pink Pig, and Planet Earth Essential Oils)
-Learned html and css
-designed a wedding website for my friend, Liz

Friday, May 21, 2010

I ♥ Pac Man - Happy 30th!

Loving Google's banner today!  It reminds me of this old-school pac man board game my sisters and I had growing up.  You had to set all of these white marbles on the board, and there where plastic ghosts and pac men that you would roll over the marbles to pick them up.   

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

You Might Be Closer to Hiring Help Than You Think...

image from here.

Somedays, when the dishes are piled up all over my kitchen, and the bathroom is a little less than sparkly, and the dog hair starts to clump up in the corners, I think:  wouldn't it be nice to have a maid?

If you're like me, you associate hired help with luxury and wealth, a "someday" expense.  But if you run your own small business from home, hiring help could actually help you make money.

I came across this Freelance Writing Success Article, which is a great read for any small business proprietor, including all of you fabulous Etsy shop owners.  One of the author's tips for making more money is to hire people to do anything that can take valuable time away from your business. 

You are an expert at your craft, and that's why people pay you the big bucks you deserve.  But if you're spending time mowing the lawn, running to the post office, or vaccuming, you're taking away precious time from your expertise.  While you might have to fork over a little dough to eliminate these chores, you'll make up for it by spending that time honing your craft.

Say you design swim wear.  You've decided that you're worth $50 an hour.  If you spend one of your hours running to the post office, you've lost valuable time in which you could have been creating.  There is a multitude of people who have the ability to make a run to the post office, but no one has the knack for designing figure flattering swim wear like you do.  So call the kid down the street who's off for the summer.  He'll happily run your packages to the post for $10.00.  You've made $40.00 instead of losing the $50.00 you could have made designing. 

Awesome reason to hire help!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why You Should Get Paid to Write Online

image from here.

To my mom's happy disbelief, people actually pay me to write online content.  It actually turns out to be a valuable skill because:

1)  You can't pick up and item when you're shopping online.  You can't taste, touch, or smell it.  But you can be transported with some good descriptive writing.

2)  Search Engines love content.  I admire good web design.  I'm jealous actually, as my artistic talents are limited.  Luckily for me, search engines don't care about design.  They crunch on html tags, keywords and links.

3)  It's difficult to think of new ways to say the same old thing.  Most of the content that's online is simply regurgitated knowledge.  If you want people to read your content instead of someone else's, it has to be clear, interesting, and compelling.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Thursday Night Exploits

So, J has work and class on Thursdays and is gone from almost 8 in the morning to almost 10 at night.  This leaves me with some alone time on Thursday nights.  The last three weeks, between class cancelations and Spring Break, he has been home early.  So last night was my first Thursday night alone in a while.  I MISSED YOU, THURSDAY NIGHT ALONE TIME! 

So many magical things happened last night that can only happen sans J.  I love him, but Thursday night alone time is THE BEST.  Last night included crazy phone lady, breakfast for dinner, and reeses-induced coma.

You could stop reading right here, but if you want the full effect of my awesome Thursday night alone, please, read on.

I hate going to the mall, especially by myself, but especially with other people.  I like to get in and out.  The mall is a life sucker.  Artificial light and air - it's no good.  It's like you could be trapped in there for days not knowing what time or day it was or even what planet you were on.  But I needed to go to the makeup counter, so I forced myself to go. 

As I'm walking in, some lady stops me - "Excuse me, but do you have a phone?"  I was like, yeah, me and every other person in the parking lot has a phone.  Apparently she had been waiting for her friend to meet her for an hour and wanted to try and call her.  She was a little rough looking, but I couldn't really tell her no.

I myself had been in a similar situation back in 2003, before I had a cell phone.  It involved a stranger, my future husband, and a bar - always an excellent situation.  (And yes, I was a 20 year old college sophomore without a cell phone.)  Anyway, if this lady wanted to steal my phone, she would be really disappointed.  It's a piece of shit.

So I let her use it.  It was very awkward because I felt like when you're in school and you get paired up with the nerdy kid and you want to try to be nice, but don't want the other kids to see you're being nice to the nerdy kid.  So I just stood next to her, but not facing her for about three minutes (felt like an eternity) while she tried to call her friend.  I was also  trying to stay very alert, because I was pretty sure that at any moment a brown rapist/murder van would pull up and try to kidnap me.

Her friend did not answer.  I got my phone back.  Finally got into the mall.  Trip to the mall was followed by trip to Walgreens where I probably spent an equal amount of time because they have everything you didn't know you needed.  J hates going there because he was a manager there for three years, and doesn't appreciate the browsing possibilities quite as much as I do.

When I got home I was super hungry.  J has lost 20 lbs. since the beginning of the year.  He can attribute some of it to working out and not eating fast food for lunch every day, but mostly he has been counting calories and eating super healthy.  So I have been forced through lots of meals with ground turkey and egg whites lately.  That's why it was so thrilling to put a giant piece of ham and scramble two real eggs on the skillet.  To round it all out and cover all of the Jessie food pyramid bases, I also ate about 6 reeses peanut butter cups.  Surprisingly, I passed out on the couch for two hours.

Thursday Night Alone Time - I love u.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Handmade T-Shirt Yarn Coasters Tutorial

This is a super easy tutorial.  If you've used most of a t-shirt to make t-shirt yarn, and are wondering what to do with the leftover fabric at the arms, this is the perfect project.  No special skills required!

Cut arms off at seam
(Wondering what to do with the rest of your tee?  Check out these posts:

Cut hem off arm

Slice into equal widths

Stretch out resulting strands

I used a cork board to keep ends in place for weaving

Pull the end loops through eachother to finish the edges. 
A crochet hook makes this part really easy if you have one on hand.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Why Blog for Your Business

image from Gnipmac

A great blog post on SEO and how it can help your business:
A Startup SEO Lesson by Mike Sweeney. 

I loved Mike's post because it stresses the importance of content to increase your presence online.  As a freelance writer, this is great news for me because I can help people and businesses integrate their targeted keywords into well written content without sounding spammy.  It's great for business owners, because they already have access to tons of content - it just might not be online yet.  A super easy way to get your content online is by blogging.  So if you aren't blogging already, you should start!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Lunch Break Finds - Mustard, No Mayo

Had a wonderful Easter weekend - it just wasn't long enough!  It was incredibly hard to get back in the grind today, so I thought I'd share some lunch break Etsy finds.  Lately I've been drawn to mustard - both as a color and a condiment.  Here are some of my favorites:

Mustard Scarf by SR Design

I would love to pair either the scarf or necklace with this turquoise skirt from My Lola Fashion

love this dress from THIMBLE and ACORN

This listing is for the belt, but I love the mustard scarf with the dusty blue belt from Pretty Birdie