Monday, January 27, 2014

New Year,New Me

I have never been a fan of New Years resolutions,but this year I've made a decision to not repeat the sins of the past...that "sin" being food. I'm not gonna lie,I LOVE FOOD ! I love it A LOT ! But I'm not a kid anymore and I don't race outside to play until the street lights came on,then plead with my mother for 1 more hour. I believe that's how I stayed so skinny for most of my life. But we have to go back to the beginning of my demise...My Dad. My Dad was a man's man, he was a radar operator and a Mess Hall Sgt. in the Army during WWII.He married my mom after the war and became the Mess Hall Sgt. of our home. He loved to cook and no one was allowed in the kitchen when he was in there,because that was his Man-Cave. When he made meals, they were hearty and he cooked plenty of it ! Even with 4 kids, there was plenty to eat, even for our friends who always seemed to be at our house,everyday . He would always encourage us to "have seconds, thirds and fourths". Well alrighty, you don't have to twist my arm ! My brother & I would even compete to see who could eat the most. Then there was Baking Day...oh my goodness ! I don't have to ask,but I will...Do you have any idea how Heavenly it is to smell fresh baked breads and cinnamon rolls all day long ?! Let me tell you,I had no problem stuffing those goodies in my face nom,nom,nom ! Life was GOOD in the Hilton House ! Now here I am,many years later...I am truly my Father's daughter,I am the Mess Hall Sgt. of my home and yes,just like dad, I have issues with anyone in my kitchen, but I am getting better about letting my daughters' enter my domain and learn the trade. Just like my dad, I cook from scratch,which I hear is rare these days. I don't know why or how anyone would want to pop some frozen over-processed crud in the oven and eat it, when they could easily prepare something wonderful for their family in under 30 minutes ?! Sorry, I'm not trying to judge anyone, I just don't know why people fall into that trap,it's just unhealthy . Ok, now to step down from my soapbox and finish my story... My weight has never been an issue, I ate whatever I wanted and lots of it ! When my hubby & I were dating, I used to eat 2 double Whoppers, large fries and wash it all down with a large Coke ! He was astounded by this and would try to keep up,he failed...sorry Hon, I'm a Pro . I made it through my 1st pregnancy unscathed by the extra pounds, my 2nd pregnancy,not so much. During baby #1, I was a junk food junkie ! Burgers, fries and black bean soup...loved it ! Baby #2 I decided to take the healthier approach, salads,fruit,decaf coffee...GASP ! I had also quit smoking a few months prior to this pregnancy,so all those cigs were replaced with, you guessed it, FOOD ! This girl went from a trim 160 to a whopping 215 by the end of my 9 month stint. I felt like crap !! I managed to get down to 193 after delivery,but I was stuck there for a really long time. That was almost 14 years ago and it's been a roller coaster ever since.Losing weight, gaining it back, exercising to the point of injury,starving myself and even picking up smoking again ...miserable. Once I kicked the habit ,again,I decided to get my act together.After losing both parents to a combo of smoking related illnesses and poor health choices,it really made me think about what I've been doing to myself, and my family. I had to ask myself "do I really enjoy smoking & over eating that much ? " and "do I really want to die because of it ?" Now if THAT doesn't snap you out of it, I don't know what will ! I don't want to leave my family before my time because of poor choices and I certainly don't want to continue hiding in XL clothing, most of which is Men's clothing...that is a whole other blog that I will address in the future. Ever since I got the keys to my shop last May, I have poured a lot of sweat into getting it up and running to make my vision come to life. In the meantime,it seems that all of that hard work has paid off, because not only am I not sitting around my house stuffing my face, I have managed to lose some of that baby fat that hung on for an extended stay. But I cannot depend on my work to get me back in shape, I also have to change my eating habits. Sorry Dad, but there will be no more 2nds,3rds or 4ths for this girl ! Blessings to all of you for a healthier & Happier 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cabin Fever

Now that busy season is behind me,this is when I must figure out what I'm going to do with all of this "Free Time" I suddenly have ? Tackle the stack of decorating magazines that have been covered in dust since June ? Nah.. Get myself into some elaborate home project ? Uhmm, nope ! Find that list of ideas I made during busy season I said I would work on when I had the time ? Where did I put that list ? Catch up on my blog that I've neglected for oh so many months ? YES !!! This is probably the lowest time of the year for those of us in the trade. We either spend this time planning well for the new year or we start reeling in fear of how we are going to stay afloat financially until people are able to get out to the shops and spend their money again...it's a vicious circle friends. In a perfect world I would live on a farm with many acres and a huge barn, no, make that 2 huge barns ! One for my candle making and the other for a shop. Oh that shop would be filled with all sorts of gorgeous vintage pieces and lots of great primitives, handmade beauties and great smelling candles galore ! I would awake from a great night's sleep and pour myself a delicious cup of fresh brewed coffee *note that this coffee magically made itself* I would then begin my day as shop keep/candle maker ,welcoming all into the shop and selling out every single day ! The reality is, this NEVER happens, not even for the pros ,like Junk Gypsies and American Pickers. We have only had our doors open for 6 months and it's frustrating, sometimes depressing,waiting for people to find you and come back again and again. I know these things take time, but UGH !! I've been lying awake so many nights with my thoughts racing from one thing to the next,trying to come up with a Master Plan to get me through the next few months until things pick up.I wish that I could say I've come up with a brilliant idea, but I haven't . I suppose that I will pour myself into the promotion of my business any way that I can. Mostly by networking with other businesses and taking advantage of "Freebies". Because when you're a small business, there's not much of a budget for advertising , especially when that money could be put into supplies. I still love my job, even with all of it's bumps and bruises. I will keep on keeping on until the season picks up !

Monday, August 26, 2013

This Little Shop of Mine

It is now the end of August and needless to say, I have been very busy ! The shop has officially been open for almost a month now, and I am in the early stages of my candle busy season. Although it was quiet at first,things are really picking up and we are seeing so many new faces come through our doors. I feel so very blessed, because I have been given an opportunity to do what I truly love and a new way to do it year round. Honestly, the thought of ever having my own store never really crossed my mind. I was very content doing things the way I've done them since 1996. Doing craft shows,wholesale and selling from other shops seemed to work out just fine, I made my product,sold it and everyone was happy. I even ventured into the big-bad wholesale market for a bit, it truly was a great experience and I met some wonderful folks along the way that have become great customers ,as well as business mentors. But I felt the need for a change...my girls are now busy teenagers and my mother-in-law had a need for an outlet to sell her antiques. She was a dealer in Texas and was part of a huge market down there. You could say that she was a Junk Gypsy before it became trendy. When they moved back to Ohio 12 years ago , she had LOTS of inventory with nowhere to go. She had tried a couple shops, but soon found that her Texas flair was a bit too eclectic for the primitive crowd. She also found out that certain folks in the auction circle were,shall we say, crooks ! We decided that with her need to sell and my need to accommodate my growing business, we needed to find a place, and FAST ! Enter The Arts District... It is a blessing to live in a community that sees the diamond in the rough, and for years our downtown was pretty rough! Sometime in the 1970's everyone decided to leave the downtown shops,restaurants,businesses and head to the suburbs in sprawling malls and shopping plazas. Our downtown became a very undesirable place that no one in their right (or wrong) mind would ever visit. Many years later, our local artists and entrepreneurs decided " Hey we needed work space and look at all these empty buildings, let's do something fabulous with them!" It is bustling with activity now, shops, studios, galleries,theaters, restaurants and live bands, something for everyone ! We made arrangements with the Chamber of Commerce to check out a building that was scheduled for rehab. We liked what we saw and soon we were added to their tenant list for the building when completed. That year seemed to take forever to get here, but it was totally worth the wait ! I now have ample room to work in without constant distractions ie. cats, kids, hubby that can never find anything in the house, and my MIL is selling her treasures to those folks with a good eye for junk !