Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2011 is coming!

I'm so excited for 2011! Changes are in store for both me and Forget Me Not. In fact, Forget Me Not has already started getting its makeover. The changes are small, but I'm incredibly excited about polishing up the shop.

A couple days ago I received new minicards from Moo. If you haven't been to moocards.com, they have much more to offer than just business cards, and you should definitely check it out. I also ordered custom Moo stickers to go out with all of my orders. So fun and too cute! If you order from me, stick these stickers anywhere (no vandalism please)! Stick them to your planner, notebook, pencil cup, memo board and gifts; send them on letters and packages; or simply pass them on. Spread the word about Forget Me Not, Etsy and buying handmade. =)

As for me, I'm happy to dedicate 2011 to focusing on PoSiTiVe energy. I want to be more aware of what I say and do, avoiding saying or doing anything negative. This awareness also ties into finding inner peace, and I am very optimistic. Read more about finding inner peace here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Down with Plastic...forever

My CD sleeves have gotten a lot of attention from photographers, and I am thrilled about the custom orders that have been coming in. It makes me smile seeing people avoid the traditional plastic CD cases.

I also enjoy supporting other Etsy shops by getting my supplies through them. For example, most photographers want a certain color scheme or style of print on the fabric, and I am proud to send them to shops like FabricArtShop. Yuko has many, many great prints to choose from, and orders arrive in just a few days, allowing me to get my orders out quickly. I'm so proud to be part of the Etsy community. I appreciate all of the sellers that I work with and highly recommend Etsy to everyone I meet.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's that time of year again!

While holiday shopping, please keep in mind your local, independent businesses, and buy handmade whenever possible. If you're doing your shopping online, Etsy is the easiest and best place to go for anything and everything handmade. I can't post the gifts I've found, for obvious reasons, but I can proudly breakdown my purchases for you...

2010 Holiday Gifts

43% Handmade from Etsy
31% Local/Independent Businesses
25% Other (Amazon, Chains, etc.)

Avoiding chains and other big corporations will always be difficult as long as I'm working off of wish lists, but, who knows, maybe next year I can proudly announce that ALL of my purchases were handmade and/or from local independent businesses. : )

Supporting local businesses is VERY important, but I tend to look for handmade items first. I just love how every item has a background story, and I know exactly who made it and where they're from. Earlier this year I ordered a shirt from The Velvet Vixen, and I am ecstatic every time someone complements it. I am delighted to say, "Thank you; it was handmade by Sarah in Canada!"

The Velvet Vixen

Of course, Forget Me Not supports buying handmade, too! Most of my fabric and supplies come from fellow Etsy sellers. The customer service is always outstanding - friendly people, personal attention, custom orders, and super fast shipping. I've developed some wonderful friendships through the "buy handmade" community, and I couldn't be happier. xo

Friday, November 12, 2010

For the techie in your life...

Thank you, KathysDesignsLLC, for featuring Forget Me Not in your awesome Treasury!

These finds are so great - some had me drooling and some had me cracking up. I love the Mac vs. PC poster! I think it would be great for Matt's man cave...but I guess that's one room I'm not allowed to decorate, huh?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Love More

Laugh Louder
Play Longer
Love More

...One of my favorite stamps, and I used it on these adorable drawstring bags. (approximately 3 in. x 5 in.)

These handstamped bags are perfect for wedding favors, wedding party gifts, the classroom, workplace, customers/clients, or even just for your circle of friends. Use for candy, jewelry, hair accessories, trinkets, you name it! Also great to use as packaging for your shop if you sell your own tiny handmades.

See them here.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Down With Plastic

Looking for an alternative to plastic CD cases? I've got it and, even better, they are totally customizable!

Interested? Convo me! : )

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The envelope please...

Thank you, buddysbracelets, for featuring Forget Me Not in your Treasury!

All of these envelopes are so cute and crafty! Check them out here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Exciting new things...

Oh how I've missed my blog...
This summer picked up speed pretty quickly, and I have been running around ever since. I've been busy, but this has been a fun year! I've spent lots of time in my beloved Chicago, I've taken up kickboxing, and Forget Me Not has gotten several custom orders.

Matt, Mom, and the friends I've made through Forget Me Not are all huge motivators for me, and the shop will be getting a fun makeover for 2011. Keep an eye out for a new look, gift-worthy packaging, and more!

Oh! So exciting! See my products in the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of MichianaBrides magazine! Out on Oct. 31.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mudroom Makeover

It's time to do some work and make the house feel more like a home. Yay for cosmetic work!! Up first - the mudroom. Everyone uses our back door, so the mudroom is the first thing people see when they come in. With a little help from Etsy and Ikea, the room went through a beautiful transformation. Here are the before and afters:

Give Peace a Chance and All You Need is Love / Twin Set from TheLoveShop

I can't believe how quickly these prints arrived from around the world! I will definitely be a repeat customer.

Double Rainbow intense throw pillow from SewTara

How awesome is this pillow?! I love it! SewTara was SewWonderful - she was so quick to get this done and even made special arragements to get it to me quickly. This pillow is now one of the first things people see when they come in my house. Guaranteed to make people smile : ) 

For those of you who haven't seen the double rainbow video, here's a special treat:

What does it mean? Well, as Joe Rogan so finely put it, "It means mushrooms work."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Custom CD Envelopes

I absolutely LOVE making these custom CD envelopes! Here is what I've been working on for the lovely Kim:

We are using 3 different fabrics for this order, all from the Etsy community.

Where did I get the adorable rustic buttons? I made them!! Matt and I went stick hunting last time we were up at the lake. I took our treasures home to be sliced, drilled and sanded, and came out with 65 of my very own buttons. These buttons go perfectly with Kim's earthy/outdoorsy style.

The CD envelopes are a great alternative to plastic CD cases and are a joy to make because they are totally customizable. I can do any color paper, any color thread, any fabric, and any logo. It's all up to you! I love working with the buyer to come up with the perfect set-up.

Now that I've gotten the hang of making my own buttons, my next goal is to make the envelopes out of my own handmade paper. I think the handmade paper envelopes would be great for weddings. For now, though, I'm enjoying working on Kim's order. : )

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The importance of enjoying the habit

I love Zen Habits! Here's a great one from Leo that made me think of all of my projects and goals.
Posted: 11 Aug 2010 08:55 AM PDT

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter.

I’ve written a lot about habits - it’s in the title, after all - and after all these years, and after all the questions that people have asked about forming habits, there’s one thing that seems more important than anything else.

It’s simply this: enjoy the habit.
That might seem obvious to some of you, but you’d be surprised how many people try to force themselves to do things they don’t enjoy. They try to instill “discipline” because they think it’ll make them a better person or give them a better life, but what kind of life is it if you force yourself to do things you hate all the time?

And here’s the thing: if you try to make a habit of something you don’t like doing, you’re almost sure to fail. I know, because I’ve tried it many times. If I find myself saying, “I hate this, but I can do it!” then it’s an uphill battle, and one I almost always lose. Because after a week or two of doing this, you’ll lose enthusiasm. You’ll run out of the incredible energy required to form a new habit, and then miss the habit one day, and another day, and soon it’s over.

But look at the opposite scenario — you do something you love doing. Well, how hard is it to motivate yourself to do this? You look forward to it. You are excited about it. When you actually do the habit, you’re happy, and your overall experience is positive. That’s a habit that is much more likely to stick.

I’ve done dozens of experiments in creating habits in my own life, and I’ve helped hundreds if not thousands of others form habits, and it’s a common theme — when the person doesn’t enjoy the new habit, it fails, and when they do, it has a high degree of success.

Sure, there are other factors — how consistent you are, whether you have a trigger that’s already anchored into your regular routine, whether you have social accountability, etc. But the most important factor, by far, is loving the habit.

The things we don’t like

I’ll acknowledge there are times we have to do things we don’t like. That’s a necessary part of life. But why choose such a thing to become a daily habit? If that’s what you’re doing, you should take a long hard look at whether it’s really necessary, and if so, whether you can possibly make changes to your life so that you don’t need to do this activity on such a regular basis. I’ve done this many times, and though the change in my life is sometimes time-consuming, the result is always worth it.

But what about kicking bad habits? Isn’t that hard and unenjoyable? Sure, of course. I kicked the smoking habit (almost 5 years ago), and it was difficult. Agonizing. Fortunately, I figured out that I had to put enjoyable habits in place of the smoking, and I actually looked forward to them — things like running to relieve stress, eating healthy foods, writing, stuff like that. I love those activities, and it made the whole process much easier.

How to love the habit

This how-to section will seem too obvious to some, but it seems necessary to me. How do you go about enjoying the habit? Two ways:

1. Choose a habit you already love. This is the easy way. If you love reading, or drinking tea, or journaling, or taking walks in the park, choose something like that. Want to get active? Choose a sport you love playing, or an outdoor activity that gives you joy. Want to be more productive? Choose a work activity you love doing as your first task each day.


2. Focus on the enjoyable aspects. If you don’t already love the habit, learn to love it. Not by reprogramming your mind to love something you hate, but by finding things about the habit you do enjoy. For example, when I started running, it was hard. I was a recent smoker, so my lungs were crap, and my legs were weak, and I’d get tired fast. But there were things I enjoyed too — getting outside, the fresh air, moving and feeling my heart beating, the beauty of nature, the good feeling after I was done. So I focused on these things, and it worked. And then eventually the running got easier and I loved everything about the activity. This kind of thing can be done with almost anything — look hard for the good aspects, the things you enjoy. If you can’t find anything, you’ve chosen the wrong habit.

In the end, discipline doesn’t work. You can’t use discipline to form a habit you hate, because what exactly do you do when you don’t feel motivated to do the habit? You find something about it to get you going, and that’s thinking about something enjoyable — the enjoyable end result, for example, or an enjoyable reward, or how good you’ll feel telling others you did it. There are many ways to motivate yourself with something enjoyable, but no ways to use the nebulous concept of “discipline” to do something you hate.

Love the habit, and it will stick around longer.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Camping Checklist

Going camping? I couldn’t survive without my lists.

{Basic Shelter}

Extra stakes
Small carpet (something to have outside your tent door to wipe off your feet)
Sleeping Bags
Extra blanket


Bath Towels (I need 2 - 1 for my hair)
Shampoo & Conditioner (My hair would be impossible to brush out without conditioner. If you’re camping with your partner, I recommend leaving your big bottles at home. Instead, get a few travel sized shampoos, that way you can hit the showers at the same time.)
Toothbrush (To keep our toothbrushes clean, we keep the heads of them in empty film containers. All we did was cut a “+” into the cap so we can push the handle part through. Then, just snap the container on over the brush.)
Toothpaste (Again, if you’re going with your partner, I recommend picking up travel toothpastes so you each have one to take to the bathrooms.)
Toilet Paper (Most of my friends are guys – trust me, bring toilet paper. Even if you have bathrooms at your campsite, you never know where you might wander off to; bathrooms aren’t always available. Be prepared.)
Light makeup (Keep it simple while camping. I usually just stick with tinted moisturizer and waterproof mascara.)
Sunscreen (I bring SPF 45 for my face and shoulders – no matter how dark I am.)
Bug Spray (LOTS!)
Lip Balm
Beach Towel (If you’re going to be swimming)
Dirty Laundry Bag (You won’t want these clothes near your clean ones!)
Shower Basket/Caddy (We always have a hard time hauling everything to the camp bathrooms – a basket is a must next time.)
Extra Hair Ties (I ALWAYS keep an extra one on my wrist when I’m camping. What would I do if I was pulling my hair back and my only hair tie snapped on me?!)
Bobby Pins (You won’t want sweaty hair in your face.)


Sneakers (I usually wear flip flops, but I turn to sneakers when I’m sick of my feet getting dirty. You’ll need them anyways if you do any hiking or go on any long walks.)
Extra socks (Just do it.)
Hat (A hat comes in handy when you don’t want to do your hair or for the end of the day when the elements have had their way with your hair.)
Bandana (Ditto. Matt’s mom and brother found some really cool ones at REI that have bug repellent in the material. It seemed to work for me, and the repellent lasts through 70 washings!)
Sweatshirt (Something you can throw over your clothes at night)
Swim Suit
Clothes for x number of days
Clothes for x number of nights (Things will happen – you’ll get wet, you’ll get dirty, you’ll get cold, and you’ll want to change.)
Pajamas (You can re-wear these, so don’t overdo it.)


Some people like to go nuts with cooking while camping. Not us; Matt and I like to keep it simple. We stick to cereal in the morning, sandwiches for lunch, and burgers/dogs for dinner. Bagels and cream cheese are also good for a quick and easy breakfast.

Lunch meat
Sliced Cheese
Hot Dogs
Hamburger Buns
Hot Dog Buns
Clif Bars (These are magical and oh so delicious! My favorite is the cool mint chocolate.)
Drinks (Freeze bottled water before you go. You can use them to keep your food cold, then, of course, for drinks.)
Paper Towels
Trash Bags (Reuse those awful plastic grocery sacks that cashiers put your goods in even when you say you don't need a bag.)
Sandwich Bags
Grill (unless you’re cooking over a fire)

Matt likes to bring beer, and I bring stuff for mixed drinks.


Extra Batteries
First Aid Kit
Pocket Knife
Rope/Clothes Line

Clothes Pins (You'll find these handy for clothes as well as for food - chip bags, cereal bags, etc.)
Playing Cards
Duct Tape
Hand Wipes

Also, if your campsite has picnic tables, a vinyl table cloth would be helpful. It would allow for an easily washable surface for crafts : ) I made my niece's fabric banner while in the passenger seat of the car. Working on something like that outside at a big table would be wonderful!

Phew! So it looks like a lot, but I like to be comfortable. Do you bring anything else? Any cool camping tips/suggestions?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pine River {Day 5}

Time to go home. We all agreed that it was a blast, but we were excited to get out of there and get into our own beds. 5 days was perfect for this kind of trip – any longer and we’d spoil it.

I highly recommend this trip to anyone in the Illinois/Indiana/Michigan/Ohio area. Our campground was fantastic. Our campsite comfortably fit 2 big tents, a trailer, the Jeep, a fire pit, a grill, and two picnic tables, and we still had room for another tent. All of the sites were well maintained, showers were always hot, and the bathrooms were always clean (even after the Friday night party). The camp office had a friendly staff and little things like snacks, drinks, toilet paper, dry bags, ice, etc, and they had a huge barn full of firewood for sale. Two thumbs up for Coolwater Campground!

We rented our boats from Horina Canoe & Kayak Rental. This crew was great! A tandem kayak for three days was only about $100. So, two people - $50 each. Not bad! The owners/staff was incredibly friendly. The owner greeted Matt by name everyday! Horina’s took care of our transportation, too. So, for example, Horina’s would follow us to Point B, where we drop off the Jeep. Then we’d get in their vehicle, with the boats, and they drive us to Point A. So, we were able to end our runs right at our vehicle. All included in the $100! Two thumbs up for Horina Canoe & Kayak Rental!

The first day was rough because we were all inexperienced, but we caught on quickly and had a blast! We want to make this an annual trip with all of our friends. Maybe next year we can get more people to go. I can’t wait!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pine River {Day 4}

Saturday was our last day on the river. Again, we were excited and even more prepared. The river was packed! It seemed like everyone in Michigan was on the Pine at the same time. Good thing we had two days of practice! Add people to the list of obstacles! It was fun though. The people who go every year and know the river know the good spots to stop. Sometimes we would stop at a beach were another group was, and it was obvious why they stopped where they did. There's usually a huge rock, sharp turn, or tree in the water where they stop...where most newbies dump or run straight into the trees (or where they dumped themselves). People just hang out on these beaches and holler at the boats going by, trying to get them to mess up. (This is all in good fun though - most people aren't mean.)

With so many people on the river all going to the same place, we got to know certain groups. Matt and I became known for how in sync, in tune, and happy together we were. (This made me SO happy!) Our friends in the canoe, well, they became known as the hat boat. Three grown men in a canoe, two wearing safari hats and one wearing a black fedora, what did they expect?

At one of our stops we were told that everyone stops a particular dune down the river. Wow! They weren't kidding! We came around a bend, saw a huge dune, and then had to maneuver through piles and piles and piles of canoes and kayaks. EVERYONE stopped there. The dune was HUGE and all the first-timers had to climb it. The crowd went wild every time someone did back flips all the way down and cheered to motivate people on the long way up. It was a ROUGH climb! My legs hurt so bad, and it wasn't easy to keep sand out of my drink. There are trees and shade at the top, so a lot of the people just sit and hang out up there for a bit. It was a good time, but I’m SO glad that’s the last time I have to climb that thing! {more to come}

P.S. Sorry for not having pictures – this was a water trip – no camera on board ; )

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pine River {Day 3}

Friday morning we were up and excited to give it another shot. Friday's run was the shortest, with an estimated time of 3 hours. Perfect! Now that we knew what to expect, we packed food, more drinks, and we all made sure to soak ourselves in bug spray and sunscreen. We were prepared and man did it pay off. It was such a great day! After Thursday's kayaking boot camp, I was much better in the boat, so I was able to relax, and I had a fantastic time chatting away with Matt while we floated down the scenic river. (attitude flip, huh?) The boys in the canoe were working better together, too, and didn't dump. Because we were prepared with plenty of sandwiches and drinks, and because we knew it wasn't going to be a long day, we took our time and stopped at several little beaches along the way. We ate, drank, skipped rocks, and all was good. To top it all off, Friday is the big night at the campground. Everyone comes out and hangs out till they drop. After such a long, wonderful day in the hot sun, I didn't last very long. Matt walked me to the tent and I was out. {more to come}

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pine River {Day 2}

Thursday morning we took hot showers and headed to Horina's where our boats were waiting for us. Matt and I got a tandem kayak, and the other 3 shared a canoe. Into the river we went.

My only prior kayaking experience was the weekend before when Matt took me out on the St. Joseph River to get a feel for what it's like...I was in for an hour...maybe. So, needless to say, I was a little nervous about the Pine. Turns out the Pine is, aside from being a river of water, NOTHING like St. Joe. It's really narrow, with lots of twists and turns, and there were SO MANY obstacles in the water - trees, rocks, rapids...The first day was really rough. Our friends in the canoe tipped over! I spent most of this run screaming, yelling "uh oh!" and hollering at Matt – “Are you paying attention?! Do you see that?! What do I do?!” It was suddenly clear to me why they’re called “divorce boats.” After 5 or 6 hours of this, we were hungry, tired, and on edge. We made it back to camp, ate, and well, I don't remember much else from that night. Note to self: bring a journal next time! {More to come}