Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The News, Krysta Edition

So some interesting new things to report, both good and bad. I’m always a good news first kind of girl, so here it is: I’ve been contacted by a business in Portland, Oregon that is interested in carrying my cigar boxes in their shop. Yay! So I’ve got my butt in gear and working on new boxes since my shop is so low on inventory. And now I’ve got the more difficult task of figuring out where and when to take the best pictures in my new space since the lighting is completely different. Oh well. Once that’s figured out, taking the pictures will be… a snap! haha couldn’t help it!

The less exciting news is that I’ve got my third round of tonsillitis in the last five/six weeks. After two rounds of different antibiotics and a break from all exercise (except for dog walking clients, bien sur), it looks pretty clear that I need to have surgery to remove them. Besides the suckiness of having your tonsils removed at 26 (yuck!), I’ve got the wonderful situation of no health insurance. I’ve found out about Access to Healthcare which is an insurance-like program for the working poor like me. I’m in the process of getting approved, so fingers crossed!

And on a fun note: I went up to Tahoe this Saturday to get a little sunburnt and hang out with my pal Jocelyn. Here’s a great shot of the beauty that’s just 45ish minutes from my door. Big smiles of happiness!

Lake Tahoe

Oh goodness finally an update!

Well, well, where does the time go? And how to start up again after standing still for so long? Here we go!

In December I moved back into my mom’s house and my divorce became official on Valentine’s Day. It was a bitter holiday for sure! Flash, my wonderful (and now only) dog, did bring me two dead birds as his Valentine’s gifts. They were precious to him, so I guess I should be thankful! 🙂 Dogs are great!

What else? Let’s see… I thought signing up for Match.com was a great idea, but it was instead way too much way too fast! So I’m on invisible and waiting the paid six months out. If you are thinking about it though, I have nothing but good things to say about the site and most of the people I met; it was just way too soon for me. Maybe some other time!

So between tax season, dating, and my growing dog walking and pet sitting company (Lucky Mutts), I’ve never been busier. I haven’t even had time to make more than two cigar boxes in the last six months! But life is returning to a new normal and I’m enjoying it. I’m much more active than before (imagine a dog walker being more active!), I’ve lost 25 pounds because my eating habits are so much better and I’m reconnecting with friends and making new ones too. I’ve discovered that I absolutely love dancing and have been trying to get in as much as possible, even if I’m a tad terrible! I’m also much more social than I remember ever being, which has been a fun growth for me. And I’m pretty much trying anything new anyone throws at me. It’s a good time for growth all around!

Anyway, as things settle more, I will be posting regularly again and getting my butt in gear with the cigar boxes too. I look forward to reconnecting with everyone! Have a sunny and barktastic day!

Sunny view from my new space

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today’s my mom’s birthday! We’re going to meet up in a little bit, but I wanted to share one of the crafts I made for her this year: an upcycled cigar box with her birth year on the top! I wasn’t planning on giving my mom a cigar box jewelry box, but when I saw 1961 on the top, I had to get it for her. Here it is:

Anywho, I’m off soon to have an early lunch with her and give her the presents. I made this upcycled cigar box, a plant hanger thing she’s been on my case for a while about and also a DSW gift card because a woman can’t have too many shoes!

And even though it’s not her birthday, call your mom up and say hello! She’s wonderful and deserves some love, I’m sure of it! 🙂

Goodness Gracious!

Bean, the chihuahua, cuddling up for a nap

Bean asking, “Are we done?” after a long walk and just a short nap.

Goodness gracious I’ve been busy lately! I’ve just started with a new software for Lucky Mutts that is completely online. Cloud software if you will. It keeps track of almost everything and lets both me and the employees check schedules anytime. Also, customers will be able to book online, receive automatic confirmations and pay online too! I’m so excited about the convenience that this is going to bring to me and my clients!

Yes, that may sound dorky, but I’m a young business woman! Most of my interests are inherently dorky!

On another front, I also am taking classes in order to be a tax professional again with H&R Block for this upcoming season. You can come and see me at the H&R Block on 4th and Keystone once tax season starts up! That is if I get hired back. Every season we have to take and pass classes in order to even be considered for rehire. I’ve taken 15 hours, but need at least 24 hours total. I’d also like to test up in certification from the basic Tax Professional to Tax Specialist 1 or 2. We’ll see! I only have a few more days to take and pass all the required exams.

Plus I’m trying to keep up with Etsy and my cigar boxes! It seems that when I don’t have time, I want to work on them. And when I have plenty of time, I’d rather not! Darn me!!

Oh, before I go! I forgot to mention that I’ll be planning a Poop-Scoop-A-Thon to help clean up Horseman’s Park and the Steamboat Ditch Trail as a part of Lucky Mutts‘s continuing community outreach commitment. At the event I’ll be collecting donations for The Humane Society of Northern Nevada as a part of my Presents for Pets campaign (which is part of the larger campaign put on by NAPPS).

More details about all of this should be coming out in the next few days – especially all the stuff relating to Lucky Mutts! I’ve been able to get a lot done for LM and plan on doing more.

Ok, well. It’s 12:16 and now Wednesday morning. I should get to sleep in order to be rested for my dog walking clients! Have a bark-tastic night/day! 🙂

(Addendum: That was a lot of links to add!)

Oh so excited!

So today, one of the Etsy sellers lucky enough to be featured on the front page was mooshygooshies. And I was immediately drawn to the item that was shown:

Mooshygooshies's custom metal key chains with dog silhouettes

Aren’t those just up my alley? Dogs AND crafts! I couldn’t be happier. Ok, maybe if she somehow worked Fat Tire beer into the listing… 🙂

Anyway, I immediately contacted her as the rest of her stuff is just gorgeous. Clean lines, graphic prints and more dog themed items. I’ve asked her to come up with either a pit bull silhouette (I’ll forgive her for overlooking the second most common “breed” in America!) or if she could base a silhouette from Muttley’s adorable mug. I gave her the link to the picture that my business logo is based on, and quite possibly the best picture of Muttley ever. Take a look at it on the front page of my business site here. Wait, you didn’t know that I also run a successful pet sitting and dog walking business, besides my slowly (hint: quite slowly) emerging craft business? Where’ve you been?! I even have an employee! Check it out!

Anyway, enough self promotion. The cute little cards that mooshygooshies offers is what I’m ordering for my annual Thank You cards and gifts for clients of Lucky Mutts this past year. Last year I included little treats for the pets and a Belgian chocolate treat for the humans. This year I’d like to top that by a little. Nothing crazy, but everything totally adorable! And yummy too. I’ll probably be making the pup treats again this year, but maybe a little gift too? Who knows, it’s still early. Though I would like to get these out around Thanksgiving.

Why Thanksgiving and not the holidays? Am I being that politically correct? Heck no! Well, actually in a way… But the main reason is that Thanksgiving is a time to remember those you need to be thanking and for thanking the abundance in life. What a perfect time to thank my customers for keeping me fed the last year and to wish them a happy holiday season. And marketing wise, it’s pretty good timing!

Why even blow money on clients? Because they are the best! They pay me to play with their dogs! They trust me to love and attend to their most cherished ones. It’s a responsibility and a task that I enjoy doing and I’ve been able to craft a wonderful business out of my clients. My small business has allowed me to grow as a person and stretch my creative (and sometimes ADHD) mind in new ways. Lucky Mutts has allowed me to be the wife I want to be, the dog owner others dream about and quite possibly one of the happiest women on earth.

See! I’m getting on all emotional-grateful and I haven’t even ordered the thank you cards yet! Off to play one last game of mah jongg before retiring to bed with my latest marketing required reading. I hope all is wonderful in your world and that you cuddle with your fur-kid with extra love tonight. They deserve it!

I’m officially an Etsy Seller!

Ok, I guess if you want to be technical about it, I’ve been an Etsy seller since November of last year (10 months now). But that’s not why I signed up for Etsy. I signed up so I would have at least a little reason to have all the craft supplies that I owned. I signed up so I could hopefully cover some of the costs to buy new supplies. I signed up so I could create my list of favorites for later shopping…

But now that I’m quickly approaching 20 sold orders, I’m a seller! And no, that’s not two sales a month, but rather 15 sales since July, or about four or five sales a month. Yes, I know, that’s still not that much. But there are about five people a month willing to pay for my stuff. And out of all the things available to buy on Etsy, somehow they find my little corner and buy something! It’s like magic!

And now, the purchases people make aren’t just covering costs of my supplies, but are starting to fund my creative juice. Yes, I have a nickname for alcohol and it is my creative juice. I don’t always drink when crafting, but it certainly puts me in the mood. 🙂 It’s exciting because I’m planning on opening up a business bank account and setting up the necessary legal paperwork too. It should all be very official starting January 1st! And then I’ll probably won’t be drinking as much since I’ll most likely have to do some work during daylight hours.

I’m also getting custom order requests, which I’m more than happy to do! It pushes me outside the little box (ha!) that I’ve made for myself and gets me looking at what I could do in the future. So keep those requests coming!

Another way to know that I’ve “made it” is to see copy cat sellers. And that’s not fair, they tend to offer something with a different aesthetic than I do, so it’s not really copying at all. But when I first did an Etsy search for cigar boxes way back in January, pretty much just cigar box purses and cigar box guitars showed up. And now there are at least two sellers who are offering a product very similar to mine. It’s almost like I’m the cool kid at school setting all the trends.

Ok, I’m not that cool. But it’s a start. And it’s a start that I’m ever-so-pleased by! Have a great weekend all and I’ll see you Sunday with my Etsy Store of the Week. And no, it’s not me! 😉

Update: I added some pictures below for you all to see what I’m doing in Etsy, or click on the link on the upper right hand side to see the whole shop.

Chicago Trip Part Two – Food!

Ok, I know, I know, I promised this a lot sooner but life has been hectic the last few weeks! And now, with a beer in hand and Family Guy playing on the other tab, I finally have time to finish my vacation blog. I’ve been so busy lately with dog walking/pet sitting that I’m thinking about hiring a second employee so I can continue to grow the business instead of just working in it. (Yes, I’ve read the E-Myth and totally recommend it!)

So on with the pictures and the details! Ok, so on the first day in Chicago we passed a bar that advertised Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap. I was shocked! I thought it was still a local coast type brew. Then, the next day, after hopping off the 56 line bus there was a Sierra Nevada truck! I’m sure this isn’t that strange to others, but I think it’s so cool that some business that started a few hours drive from here (Chico, CA) is all the way in Chicago. Way to go small business! Hope I’m building my empire as well!

Sierra Nevada Beer Truck in Chicago

So in Chicago, you almost have to deep dish pizza, and I was not immune to the need. Roger’s been and eaten a few different Chicago pizza joints before, but not Gino’s East which is supposed to be famous. So off we went (and then strolled off the stuffed-ness at the Contemporary Art Museum) and we enjoyed it enough. It definitely wasn’t that great, a little bland, but enjoyable. It reminded me of exactly what I picture mid-west pizza to be: a little too much meat, a little bland and great comfort-style food. We got the traditional Chicago-style pizza with sausage and I think I would have rather had the pepperoni. But, still edible!

Gino's East Pizzeria 

Oh, but what both Roger and I got quickly addicted to was the Italian Beefs thar Chicago offers. If you like spicy and you like French dips, you’ll love Italian Beefs. We tried it at two places and loved them both, though Luke’s which is in the loop (downtown for all you non-hipsters to Chicago!) is the best!

We’ve done the Chicago-style hot dog before at the infamous Wiener’s Circle, so we didn’t do that this time (thank goodness!). A few other things we ate: falafel sandwiches, Metro pizza and a great breakfast. We ate lots of other stuff (I mean c’mon, it’s me) but here are some of the pictures.

Yum, right? And aren’t I getting freakin’ awesome at picture-taking? I love this camera! Ok, one last photo to end the post: an awesome panorama photo I took at the Chicago Fire soccer game. A fun game even if it ended 0-0. Ok, you have to enjoy soccer to enjoy that game, but it was a lot of fun!