Marking off goals for 2015! Step one: A trip to NOLA

Okay, so remember my last post where I mentioned that 2015 was going to be my year? Well this week I will get to cross quite a few things off my 29 before 30 goal list. Why you ask? Well because I’m going to New Orleans! I couldn’t be more excited but at the same time I’m nervous as well.

Excited because well, it’s New Orleans. There isn’t anywhere else in the world like it! (At least that’s what they say.) I’ve got a ridiculous amount of things planned for while I’m there. Three different tours, I’m getting a tattoo, I’ve got tickets for Preservation Hall, my friends are getting married, and I’m going to eat all of the foods. You get the picture. Jam packed 6 days.

What do I have to be nervous about then? With so much fun planned who has time to be nervous?! That would be me. It’s my first big trip somewhere by myself, exploring a city I’ve never been to before. It feels BIG. I know I’ll be fine. I have quite a few friends who will also be there for the wedding plus one of my besties is coming down to hang out and spend most of the week with me. But still. I can’t remember the last time I went somewhere for more then the day without one of the kids or Steve with me. I just have that rumbling in my stomach like you do before giving a big speech.

In the end, my excitement totally wins though. I can’t wait to go explore a new city and mark some things off my list and just feel, smell, breathe, and taste what New Orleans has to offer. I’m just afraid I won’t ever want to leave!

What adventures do you have in store for the rest of the month? You’re almost half way through January, better start planning! Also, if you have any suggestions for things to do in New Orleans I would love to hear them. I’ve already got all the big ones on my list but I’d be interested in hearing about things off the beaten path.

Welcome to the New Year! Plan to make 2015 the year for you.

Hello 2015!

For me there’s nothing more exciting then the new year. Yes, yes, I know this is totally one of these things.

new-years-memeBut whatever. Haters gonna hate. I still feel like birthdays and New Years are a fresh start. Sure it might only last a few weeks but whatever gets that motivation jumpstarted is all that really matters. Of course the key is how to keep that motivation flowing. I’m not the best person to ask about that one. I’ve had my struggles as any person who checks into this blog can tell. So what makes this year different? I don’t really know to be honest. But I’ve been doing my research and soaking up everything I can to learn how to be better motivated this year. First things first? A calendar! It’s so easy to forget to do things and loose track of where I want to be. Between printing out my 29 things to do before 30, utilizing the Timeful app, and my trusty editorial calendar, I hoping these will help me start my 2015 off on the right foot.

What else do I have in mind? Well, I’m still working on my action plan but here’s a few other resources I’ve been looking at. Maybe one (or more!) will help you start rocking your 2015!

A Beautiful Mess – How to Stay Motivated to Achieve Your Goals (part 1, part 2, part 3)
If you’re trying to work on your blog or small business ideas then there’s no better place for ideas then XOSarah. So helpful. Here’s some of her tips for the motivation black hole.
How about this book, The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People?
Of course Pinterest always has more then enough motivational quotes to remind you to keep at it.
7 Ways to Stay Motivated and Accomplish Anything via
And then there’s always these Ted Talks about motivation.

Have any other plans of actions? I’d love to hear what your plan is for making 2015 the year for you!

29 Before 30.

It’s my very last year of being in my twenties and when it comes down to it, I don’t really mind. For awhile there I had these grand ideas of all these things I needed to have done by the time I got to my thirties. Because you know, thirty is old. Except now that I am so close to being thirty, it doesn’t feel so old anymore. In fact I still feel young. I still feel like there’s so much left for me to do, which is actually a wonderful feeling to have. It makes me feel like I am still living. That I still have so much more living to do.

There is one random dream that I had for my twenties. One that I had put out of my head a long time ago because there just was no way it was going to happen. That was to live in NYC, and now look! Moved here with a year and a half left to go. Though really that was no thanks to anything I did.

Now let’s see what’s in store for my 29th year:

1. I still want to learn to play my ukulele.
2. Sell my crafts at the BUST craft show (or any larger craft show. ie renegade, artist and fleas, etc).
3. Take a class for fun.
4. Go Back to School. 
5. Ride a Bike.
6. Travel to two new cities.
7. Read More.
8. Get another tattoo.
9. Plant a garden.
10. Scrapbook.
11. Continue working on painting/illustration/lettering skills.
12. Keep up with my CSA and find 12 new recipes we enjoy.
13. Make my Brooklyn/NYC Bucket List and start working on it.
14. Host a dinner party.
15. Do a 30 day project.
16. Update the blog more often.
17. Work on improving strength in back, core, arms and knees.
18. Singing Lessons.
19. Get better at budgeting and financing.
20. Improve my photography.
21. Continue growing record collection.
22. Make new product line every season.
23. Make more friends in the crafting/blogging world.
24. Start a skin care regiment I can get behind.
25. Perfect a go to look.
26. Get a Massage.
27. Get new glasses and an eye exam.
28. Do something fun for our 5 year anniversary. 
29. Go big for my 30th birthday.

And now I’m off to go print this baby out and hang it up because if last year taught me anything its that my memory of my list totally sucks.

Shesingswedance’s first craft show!

About a month ago (ugh has is it really been a month??) I set up for my very first craft show. They had one in the community I live in so I decided to join. I wouldn’t say it was the best match for me or my crafts but it was free and at the very least it gave me the confidence to be able to work the next one. IMG_5259 IMG_5261

I feel like the show went better then I expected it. I went in with the mind set that I wouldn’t sell anything so when I did sell something I was pleasantly surprised! I think I’d have a better time selling at Renegade or BUST Craftacular. All in all it was fun and I got my name out so it was worth it. Also I’m less intimated for my next show. I’m hoping to start the NYC circuit come next year. We shall see! At the very least I’ve got a ton of ideas to work on and I hope to release a whole new line of items for Valentines Day and Spring. IMG_5265 IMG_5268Luckily for you since I didn’t sell out of everything, I’ve started uploading them to my Etsy, which you can find here. And because it’s Christmas time here’s what I’ll do. Use the code HOLLYJOLLY to get 30% off your order (code expires January 2nd, 2015) and if you order before December 20th, I’ll upgrade your shipping to Priority at no extra cost**, so you’ll get it in time for Christmas! Questions? You can email me or message me through Etsy.

**Free upgraded shipping is for US customers only. Sorry!

A Love Letter. #1

IMG_4934Dear New York,

This past weekend I was on my way to the Bust Craftacular Market in Greenpoint, Brooklyn while on the subway and I couldn’t help but smile. I’m sure I look silly sitting there with a big grin on my face while every one of the train is avoiding eye contact. It’s just that every time I ride the subway I fall a little more in love with you. Just looking around the train watching all these different kinds of people getting on and off. It just makes me giddy. I want to know their stories! I guess that’s why I am so into Humans of New York. It’s this photographer who has this amazing ability to get people to tell them their stories. I’m sure you’ve heard of it before and if not, well get on it!

I’m sitting on the train thinking about Humans of New York and the fact that everyone has a different story and I just want to know it all. For example, there’s this women sitting across from me with deep red hair and the longest finger nails I’ve seen in person. I want to ask her so much. “How long does it take to get your nails done? What made you decide to grow them out? How long have you been growing them? What sort of techniques have you developed to make certain task easier for you?” Really I could just go on and on. Who is this person and what is her story. I think of these things often when ever I see an interesting person.

Then a man got on who caught my eye. He was probably in his late 40’s/early 50’s and was wearing a Bronx hat with a Budweiser Nascar racing jacket. He stuck out like a sore thumb riding a train through Brooklyn. Immediately I wondered who he was. You’d think he was a tourist but then he was wearing a Bronx hat, which isn’t such a tourist thing to do. I was intrigued. But just like most stories, I figured I’d never learn his true story. I’d just be stuck with the one I made up in my head.

I got off at 9th Street and 4th Ave to switch to the G train. It’s usually the fastest way to get to the hipster epicenter of Brooklyn. Head up the stairs and then I see a Manhattan bound sign, which threw me off because the G doesn’t go to Manhattan so I turn around and head down the stairs pass Budweiser dude. Check out some signs and realized I was going the right way so back up those stairs I go.

At this point the Budweiser racing dude ask me “Hey didn’t you just go down these stairs?”

“Yeahhhh. I’m just a little turned around.”

And then the most unbelievable thing happens. He tells me his story. We head up the stairs together towards the same platform. He’s waiting on the F train (which does go to Manhattan) and I, the G. His story bounces around a lot and the entire time I’m just nodding my head. Him asking me quick yes or no questions here and there before continuing on.

He’s down in Bay Ridge picking up his money from a painting job. He hates that part of the job because he use to work for a guy who was a millionaire who lived in Montauk. He loved that job because he always got his check on Friday. He could depend on it. But a lot of people didn’t like that job. Eventually his boss, the millionaire died and a part of him died too because he just really liked this guy and hid job. Recently he went back and visited and all the same people still work there and look the same but it’s not the same because it’s a new company now.

And then he’s asking me if I’ve ever been to the Art museum on 86th street in Manhattan. He goes into telling me about this beautiful painting with mountains and trees.

“You could just picture living in a tent there and being happy.”

He goes on to tell me that he brought his girlfriend there but she had a schedule for them. “She kept saying 2 seconds per painting, come on let’s go! And I kept telling her she has to enjoy the painting and take it all in not rush it. You got to appreciate it.” I try to get a word in edge wise but it’s just not happening. But that doesn’t bother me. I’m generally interested in hearing more.

He continues his story by telling me about he’s a great painter and the guy he works for really appreciates the work he does because it’s always perfect. “Everyone paints walls in a ‘W’ but you don’t do that,” he tells me while pretending to paint the walls the correct way. “You do small W’s, not big W’s and you go back over a few times if you have to because it’s better to take those few extra seconds to even things out then it is to have lines on the wall. I never have lines on the wall. You also don’t start at the end. You start near the end and then go to the corner and then go back.”

“Have you ever heard of Bob Ross? Guy on tv with a big Afro. I love Bob Ross. I’ve seen every episode. One day I was going to buy one of his kits for $40 that teaches you how to paint a picture. I think it’s worth it because then you could paint something as big as you wanted and then you’ve got yourself a big painting that you did and you can feel good about it. Ya know?” It’s then that the F train pulls up and I tell him he should totally get that kit as he gets on the train.

And then I stand there with my mind completely blown away. Here I was wanting to know someones story and not only do I find it out but also his story was fascinating. He was this guy whose done odd jobs all his life and all he really wanted to do was paint. Plus his fascination with art? Who would have guessed? I really hope that guy gets an art kit for Christmas this year. I think he deserves it.

Thanks New York for making me giddy again and for sharing one of your stories with me. Can’t wait to see what my next subway trip has in store.