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Mom Brain, Business and Organization

04.18.19

It is hard be a mom and a wife and own a business. Heck, it’s hard to be a mom and wife, period. Every day I feel torn in a million different directions and I try my best to manage it all without looking like a crazy person (I try to keep crazy lady at home, but then again I don’t know…people have seen me in the trenches, I am sure of it). My mom asked me today if I was getting dementia and I told her “it’s mom brain!”. It IS a thing and to deal with THAT while keeping my business organized I have developed some great tips and tricks.

First, use your calendar! As soon as an event comes up and it has a date and a time assigned to it, it should go on a calendar somewhere (I prefer my calendar on my phone). I don’t care what it is. A class, a trip to the dentist, a field trip, a birthday dinner or a time to go renew my business license. No matter how big or how small the event, it has a place in my calendar (and a side tip, if you are using a phone calendar, check it frequently for stuff that SHOULD BE THERE because my three year old is really good at deleting things). I have to say this too, if I just want to remember to do something (like take clothing to Good Will) I will schedule it and set a reminder so I see it and make the time to go. In addition, not only does each task/event have a place in my calendar but it is color coded too! This is key to staying organized.

Example: Everything is color coded. Next week, on April 22 it’s earth day/holiday (purple), a have a dog sitting client here (green), my husband is on travel (brown), and I have a miscellaneous family note (yellow).

Second, make lists! Make lists with sub lists that have lists. I used to make lists on notepads and post-it notes and on the backs of envelopes and it wasn’t cutting it anymore. It made life more complicated. So, I started to make a running to do list on my phone in Evernote. Once something is complete I check it off and let it sit there for a day or so (to give myself a pat on the back, as silly as that seems). Even if something needs to be done in 6 months, have it on there as a reminder. I have an item on my list to “call Eastlake Plumbing – pressure valve”. This item will stay there until I do it, but it’s a reminder that it DOES need to be done eventually. Not today, but sometime.

A to do list should be a living document. To be current in life, your tasks need to be current. My list changes daily with new things that come to mind, old things that are no longer necessary or stuff that is done. It should never be stagnant nor so overwhelming that nothing gets done. That brings me to my next point below.

Break large tasks into even smaller sub tasks and complete one task before moving onto the next. You can see this above in the picture. If a task seems too large to complete all at once, break it up into parts that make sense, and order them in a way that makes sense. Then, get to work while keeping in mind it is best to complete a task before going to the next. You are done DONE when all the littler thing are done! I feel like all of this is very elementary but sometimes it helps to see how other people accomplish day to day tasks.

Did you make a list?

My Dad

Third, Cut yourself some slack. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t do everything. There are some people who have limitless energy and time (you know who you are) and to them I say “stop making us look bad!”. We have to be kind to ourselves. This is something I am terrible at! I am super hard on myself when the sun sets on the pile of laundry on my dining room table, or when the emails from the tax guy are unanswered, or when the bags of clothes have yet to make their way to the dry cleaner. Things will get done and the world won’t end if it takes an extra day or two. Tomorrow is a new day, that list is still waiting for you.

Birthday Invites

Birthday Party DIY

04.17.19

You name it, every kind of party has become a DIY affair. From weddings, to birthdays and everything in between, everyone wants to feel like they had a hand in making the special day, even more special! Let’s face it though, sometimes we are in a rush or don’t want to send out a formal invite for every party (no matter what size).

I was thinking about this last week while I was wandering the card isle at Target and I saw a whole section of “fill in the blank” invites. I don’t think I have ever designed something like this so I went home and started on these that evening.

I love these because sometimes we just want the party to be super relaxed and don’t have a lot of time to plan it. I hope you like them as much as me. Please drop a comment below and download the free PDFs! Enjoy!

Baby Shower Invites

Organic Baby!

03.29.19

I am writing today, but the words are not flowing to me as easily as they have in the past. They are not as organic as I would like. I use that word, and most people think organic produce or organic food. In design however, organic is a balance between manmade and natural elements. Lately, I feel like a lot of my designs embody this organic feeling, and thats what people want!

The invitations, books for baby and diaper raffle cards I recently did for a baby shower were the perfect combination of manmade and nature. The organic elements of flowers and greenery flowed so well together with the structural elements of the text. They turned out so darling. When a project flows so well and feels just right, not only is it organic but it feels so cohesive.

My client didn’t want the back printed, but I could’t help myself for my “example invites”, it was just so cute with the green polka dot background.

Check out the rest of the pictures below and tell me what you think! I adore them and hope you do too!

Vow Renewal

I do. I always will. We Still Do.

03.28.19

I think back to my wedding day and there is so much I would do different, but also so much I loved and would do the same. My husband and I are coming up on 10 years (in August of 2020) and I often think about a vow renewal. Would we even have one? What would we do? Where would we do it? Who would we invite? Ultimately, I think we would jus want to do a giant party again, with a DJ and an open bar (after saying I Do again, lol).

I was really thinking about this after I got contacted by a client on facebook about her own vow renewal. They are going to be celebrating 25 years marriage this summer. What an accomplishment! She was going to order something online, but came across Direction Designs on a facebook page and liked that we both lived in Chula Vista. She proceeded to ask me if I could create an invite like she had in mind. “Of course I can!”, is what I responded. I am not one to pass up work, nor am I one to pass up having a hand in helping make someone vow renewal the best it could be!

She asked if I could do something with water color flowers. That was it…..I love a project where the client says “impress me”. So I shall!

This is the design she chose but scroll to see the runner ups below!

Design runner up number one.

Design runner up number two.

Design runner up number three

I thank Griselda and her husband of 25 years for the opportunity to be a part of their big day and I wish many congratulations to them! How can I help make a special occasion more special? Contact me today!

Digital Prints

Lake Memories

02.20.19

When I was growing up, my grandparent had a cabin in Wisconsin on a small lake called Paulson Lake.  It was a short and adventurous car ride form our hometown of Lakeville, in MN.  We would spend our spring and summer hunting for frogs, catching fish with stale saltine crackers, swimming off the back of the pontoon and enjoying the evenings by a campfire (complete with scary stories).  

Fall and winter would bring their own magic.  Fall bought changing colors, falling leaves, nature walks by Hidden Lake and sneaking peaks in the cabins of neighbors who has left for the season (or favorite was Barry’s because they left all sorts of lures and what we thought were treasures).  Winter would bring silence and serenity (and skiing, which I hated as a kid but now love!).  Not many people went up to that lake in the winter but we had fun just the same.  We would go sledding and snowmobiling and then make the trek out to the ice house with our left over Christmas candy to watch dad ice fish (and catch small Bass which we fried up for dinner).

I started this project for a client who wanted something special for her friend who owns a lake cabin on a lake in Wisconsin as well.  As I got working, I got thinking about all the magic that happens at special places like this.  Time seems to slow and the world seems like it is perfect.  These are the gifts we hope to give our children.

This project was a special one and you can bet I am going to make a print like this for our cabin that is in Big Bear Lake, CA.  Let me know if I can help you make something special for your family and for generations to enjoy.