I get a lot of comments about how I "do it all" - and each time I read one of those, I feel a little guilty.  I never want this blog to make anyone feel like I'm some wonder woman that sleeps 2 hours a night and still has time to make fresh pancakes every morning and decorates cookies in the afternoon.  The truth is that the store has been a great new inspiration for me professionally - and a lot more work than I expected.

I started the store last summer - after blogging for 5 years, I needed a little something different to concentrate on and motivate me on a daily basis.  It was way, way, way more work than I thought it would be.  In a good way - and in an overwhelming way.  I've forged new relationships with my readers, opened new avenues of creativity for me and turned my brain on in a major way.  However, it took a major toll on my time.

The new note that goes out with each package - printed on my favorite really heavy textured cardstock.  It is the same paper and colors we used for our wedding invitations.
I've always been the type to do everything myself and reject help at all corners (I'm sure this sounds familiar to most of you!).  This has served me well, but also has been limiting.  After all, I am only one person... or so I've been reminded : )

After the holidays, I was exhausted... but already thinking about fun Valentine's products.  I knew I couldn't keep up at the rate I was going - burnout was just around the corner. 

So, after a little encouragement from Mike, I set out looking for help in the form of a crew.

For the past two months, I've been transitioning and training the new crew.  It feels like a huge step - the first time I've taken one of my ideas to the real next level.   Typically, the week after a new product launch, I spend days/weeks knee deep in krinkle wrap and packing tape. 

This new found freedom allows me to be able to respond to your questions more quickly, keep tabs on fleeting inventory, fix dinner for my family, and write blog posts, without feeling like I'm underwater for two weeks straight.

On their first big packing day I made a big basket of Egg Cookies (made from my Copper Cookie Cutters) and Lemon Butter Cakes (baked in Kraft Loaf Pans) for the crew.  I wanted to treat them to something special - and, I wanted them to feel and experience my brand on a first hand level.  I told them that these are the sort of things that these fabulous customers are planning to make.  I want them to understand how important presentation is - and that every package that goes out should feel like a gift.

Of course, Mike thought I was insane when I got up early to package them and tie the ribbons... isn't this why you've hired help?  As I explained to him, this is the fun stuff.  The reason I started everything in the first place.  And I'm so glad I have the time and energy to do the fun stuff and to do all of those little things that make life special.  

Last night, we had our first Spring storm that brought in drizzling rain and a 55 degree morning today.  The sun might not be shining, but the birds are chirping, my doors are wide open and I can smell that lovely damp scent of Spring.  I'm so glad I have the time and energy to enjoy it!   Oh - and thanks for all of the compliments on my new photo!   However, I assure you that I look nothing like this today in my comfy clothes while I work with my feet up and latte in my hand - of course. 

Product Updates :

Last week when I debuted the new Spring Collection, some items sold out so quickly, so I've restocked them this week, including My Everyday Candles (in the classic cream, this time) and Tablets + Le Pens in fresh colors.

Next week is all about Sugar Cookies.  I'll be posting unique packaging ideas, decorating tips and trying a couple new icing and cookie recipes. 

Thanks so much for all of your support!  Happy Spring : )