New Year, New Blog Post, New Pricing

I’m sitting here in a dark room willing myself to NOT get sick. Again. For the third time in the past month. I’ve been sick more since my girls started preschool than I have in the almost 9 years since I met my husband. It was a germy end to last year and a germy beginning to the new one.

I had a to-do list a mile long today and it went up in flames by 9am. I can usually push through this kind of thing, but I spent the past few hours just trying to get warm so I finally accepted that I was going to get nothing done today. This blog post though … I’m mustering up the energy for that because I don’t want another day to go by with it still on my list. Lucky for you though, it might be shorter than it probably would’ve been if I were feeling better. ;)

This past six months brought on a lot of positive change. We went to Bend, Oregon for an extended stay and we weren’t sure where we would land when it was over. I closed my studio down before we left with the thought that even if we came back, the age that my girls are at made it pretty tricky on most days to stick to an away-from-home work schedule and I wanted to try out my home studio again. I will say that it’s actually been a great choice for me, even though I have less space now. This setup is temporary though, so I’m confident I’ll survive.

In addition to the closing of my studio, I also stepped away from Etsy. This was probably the biggest thing that happened last year. While Etsy was a great revenue generator, I didn’t feel a connection to it at all. My website is my story, my family, the reason I do what I do. It’s my heart and soul. Etsy wasn’t a place where (most) people care much about the “why” behind the business or the maker - they just have a lot of options in one spot and it’s easy to go there because of the Etsy name. Unfortunately, Etsy has become bogged down in the past few years with hundreds of re-sellers and thousands of mass produced goods that it makes it next to impossible to search and find genuine, handcrafted pieces anymore. Sad, but true. Not to mention the fees … oh the fees. I kept wondering how much it was actually costing me with the fees, time, and energy that it was taking away from pieces of my business that I would rather be focusing on.

I started closing my Etsy shop down here and there throughout last year so that I could focus solely on the website and my pop-ups. With my husband gone on wildland fires in the summer, trainings and overtime shifts fairly regularly, something had to give and of all the pots that I had my hands in, I was willing to cut Etsy without really blinking an eye. Yes, I had to consider the decrease in revenue - I do have a business to run, after all, and this income is how I contribute to my family’s finances - but I tried to look at it as paying for time that I could now focus on growth in other areas of my business. After my husband’s initial shock wore off lol, he agreed that I just needed to do what I felt was right and that it would all work out as it was supposed to. I planned to open up Etsy for the holidays, but didn’t and I’m so glad. I was slammed and could not have kept up with anything else!

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One of the things that we work really hard on is instilling a give-back attitude in our girls. The idea that we should always pay it forward and do things for others is a pretty big deal in our house. chip+chisel has afforded us the ability to give back in countless ways, most of which I don’t share with you because giving shouldn’t be about recognition. It’s something that we do because it feels good to help and we want our girls to see that. They know that daddy is a firefighter and helps people and they know that I love my job of creating special keepsake pieces of jewelry and connecting with my customers and the stories that they send me. They’re very different jobs, but both rewarding in their own ways.

I’ve had a couple conversations with my husband recently about the lessening of c+c expenses with eliminating my studio space and putting Etsy on the back burner to focus solely on my website. He knew that my goal was to take those things and pay it forward in some way. I’m sure it would make most business-minded people cringe, but it’s not all about money. Yes, you have your bottom line and all the numbers need to make sense in order to keep operating your business, but … I do love to give back and this is something that fills my cup. This is just another (different) way to pay it forward.

As I’ve done for quite some time, a coupon was sent with orders so that customers could enjoy future discounted purchases. I wanted both return AND new customers to be afforded the best pricing I could give, so I’ve taken into account the reduced expenses going into this year and kicked in an additional percentage of my personal profits to allow for an average price reduction on our listings of 15%. No coupon code necessary - the listings have been updated to reflect the new pricing structure.

You are important and my goal is to always consider how the changes I make affect you as a consumer. I wanted to take this opportunity to give something back to you - my loyal customers - as a way to say thank you for all of your support over the past 7 years. Every time you think of chip+chisel for gifts, share us with a friend or family member, comment or like our social media posts, share our products on your pages, you help us to grow and to be able to give back. You’ve given me the priceless opportunity to be home with my girls while doing something that I absolutely love. They get to watch me do something that my heart is heavily invested in. They’re by my side as I work and are with me on this journey as part of something that was initially built to bring them into our life. Do you know how amazing it is for me to see this all unfold and for them to grow up to know that YOU are the reason that we were afforded the ability to work to build our family? These girls and the love they’ve brought us is because of you. I think that’s pretty incredible.

As we’re already half way through the first month of the new year, I have so many new designs and styles of handstamped pieces in the works and am so excited to roll them out to you! I would love to know what YOU would like to see - no idea is silly and every single suggestion is appreciated. You can comment below, email them to me, or send messages through our social media accounts on FB and Instagram @chipandchisel.

Thank you in advance for considering my little business when shopping for yourself or others - you are beyond appreciated.

xo
lindsy

Movers Makers Hustlers Shakers

Hi guys! I wanted to jump on here and spill my heart out before things get completely crazy next week and time becomes even more sparse than it already is.

Through social media, I see SO many friends, acquaintances, and people that I’ve never met prepping their small businesses for all the Christmas shopping that’s about to take place and I had to give a shout out and tell you how much I admire all of their hard work. The majority of these small business owners I follow are also mamas and I wonder every single day how they make it look so easy! I know better though - they are busting their booties and killing it because they’re passionate about what they do, and because, let’s face it - we kinda like the crazy and most of us have bills to pay. ;)

As a small business owner myself, I know there is SO much more to running a business than just making the actual product - the behind the scenes for artisans can be absolutely NUTS and more often than not, it’s a one person show. It.is.hard. When people find out that I work a lot in the local coffee shop (its become my home away from home), the response is always the same. “Oh?! How do you make your jewelry there??” I don’t. The jewelry making is only part of what I do. What I do involves soooo much more than that! Those that have a little business like mine are probably nodding their heads, right? There is so much that goes into it all year long, but especially during the holidays when demand is higher. You want to prep and plan as best as you can, but it’s really a guessing game and you’re often left scrambling to try to keep up. It’s nonstop trial and error. Committed small business owners get knocked down, then get back up. They feel defeated, yet they keep chugging along. They get stuck, but they somehow find a way to power through. It can seem like it would just be easier to throw in the towel sometimes, but the feeling is temporary and tomorrow is always a fresh start. I remind myself of this often.

small business

I ask that you look around you this holiday season and make a list of the small business owners you know that work tirelessly on their craft year round - how can you support them this year? Maybe it’s a purchase? Maybe it’s sharing their social media pages to your friends and family? Maybe it’s visiting them at a show/pop-up/craft fair? Maybe it’s just a like or comment on the products they post? As it becomes increasingly difficult to be seen on social media, every little bit helps and I guarantee we all appreciate it!

I am beyond grateful to all of you that support my small business as I go into my 8th holiday season! Not only do I help support my family by doing what I do, but this business is how my family is able to give back in the capacity that we do. You’re part of a bigger picture and I can’t express how much we appreciate all the things you do to support this! A special shout out to the other businesses in the community that collaborate with chip+chisel - StarCycle Felida, StarCycle Vancouver, Barre3 Camas, Sass Beauty - you guys have been so good to me and my gratitude runs deep.

A huge thank you in advance for considering shopping small with chip+chisel this holiday season - you allow me to be home with my babies yet still maintain (most of) my sanity with this creative outlet of mine. ;)

xo
lindsy

For more ideas on shopping small, here’s an article I read if you’re interested: https://www.tabithaemma.com/7-ways-to-support-small-business-this-year-and-why-you-should/

Beautiful Chaos

So yesterday was a bit of a whirlwind - who can relate??  If you could've seen me at the end of my chaotic day, you would've witnessed me walking in the door at almost 9pm, eating a heaping plate of doritos and avocado while standing alone in a dark kitchen ... i'm calling it a win because avocado is very healthy, my friends.  ;) 

After a rough first half of the day that included my phone dying, having to drag two little girls around while trying to get a new phone while being totally unprepared to be out and about for hours and hours (never good with kids!), then deal with all the hooplah that inevitably surrounds driving across the city to actually pick up the new phone ... well, I wasn't feeling super great by the time I got home. I missed out on hours of prep time and was totally frantic once I actually got into the studio. Life, right?  I was overwhelmed, super tired, and felt totally unprepared.  Don't you hate that feeling when what you really need is to be "on"? Seems like the two go hand in hand more often than not.  Well regardless of how I felt, the shoot (luckily) went off without a hitch!  The models (baby too!) were amazing, the photographer, Whitney Summers, was incredible as always, and to top it all off, we got super lucky with the lighting and a beautiful sunset!

These ladies made the jewelry look gorgeous and they did it all so effortlessly!  I headed home last night with a full heart, feeling so lucky to be surrounded by such strong and big-hearted women.  

I can't wait to share more pics with you guys along with some details about how I was lucky enough to have these ladies come into my life, so stay tuned!  

xo, lindsy

At This Time Last Year ...

... the girls were still just babies and life was still just as busy!  It never really slows down much though, does it? 

People always tell me that it gets easier, but I've yet to enter that "stage".  For now though, I'm just trying to enjoy the days (even the difficult ones) because it's all flying by and most days feel like a whirlwind.  I blink and it seems like a week has gone by!  If I could have one birthday wish, it would be that time would slow down and the girls would stay little forever.  I think I said the same thing when I saw these pictures taken around my birthday last year for the girls' FIRST!!

Who else takes a hundred pictures a day? I probably took about a thousand pictures during my birthday week last year, but I'll share just a handful of my favorites with you.  :)

I can't believe how much the girls have grown!  I see them everyday and know that they're getting bigger, but when you see the pictures and take a peek at life in rewind, it really hits you.  Going to bed with a full heart tonight ... a full, 35 year old heart.

xo
lindsy

 

Never Miss A ...

Life is busy.  I have two toddlers, a business, a home to maintain, a marriage to nurture, friends & family that I love to spend time with ... this doesn't even include all the other things that I enjoy like shopping, manis & pedis, happy hour, etc.  Those last few don't make an appearance on my schedule very often but I daydream about them regularly.

If you've followed me on Instagram and Facebook for awhile, I'm sure you've seen me mention barre3.  I am a die hard, totally committed, can't live without it, member and I've been one for five and a half years - yep, because it's THAT GOOD!!  But it's not just the physical results that I love, it's the mental clarity and all the feel good emotions that come from my hour spent in the studio (and they have a full library of online workouts if you don't have studio access!). 

Anyway, here's a mantra of theirs that has really been resonating with me ... "It's not about prioritizing your schedule.  It's about scheduling your priorities."  There's truth in that, right?  Well, I think so.  I've started scheduling my priorities to ensure that I'm really making it happen because when I do this, I consistently feel my absolute best and find that I'm much better for my family because of it - and yes, I schedule caffeine.

NEVER MISS A . . . W O R K O U T.  I schedule my workouts in advance and do anything and everything I can to stick to my schedule.  Like anything.  I go to barre3 4-5 times a week.  It's a must for me, a total priority.  We live in the pacific NW and it's grey and rainy a LOT.  The weather makes me feel totally blah and I need a regular pick-me-up!  I schedule my classes out 2-3 weeks in advance because, well I'm a planner.  And not only that, but I have ZERO excuse to not go if I already have it all planned out.  Sick kids?  I call a grandma.  Snowed in?  Bust out the snowshoes.  Okay, not really ... but I would if I lived closer! 

NEVER MISS A . . . S T O P F O R C O F F E E.  Everyday after barre, the girls and I make a stop for my caffeine fix.  If I'm not working out that day, I'll make a special trip out for it!  It's my guilty pleasure and I can't (and won't!) give it up.  My workout and those venti iced lattes and caramel macchiatos literally power me through my (sometimes very long) day so that I can wrangle kiddos, do my work-at-home mama thing, and maintain my sanity at the same time.  I fake being well rested with caffeine and I'm 100% ok with that.

NEVER MISS A . . . B R E A K F O R M I N D L E S S A C T I V I T Y.  Every night after the girls are tucked in, I get ready for bed (yes, at 7pm) and curl up for some time with a book, a magazine, my favorite show, Pinterest, Instagram ... you get the picture.  Something that I enjoy that doesn't take any effort or cause me to think too much.  I prefer an hour but even when I can't swing that big of a chunk of time, I take SOMETHING for myself.  This is my time to unwind after going nonstop all day.  I will ignore whatever I didn't get to during the day ... the dishes, the laundry, the toys scattered all over the house.  It will all be there the next day.

If there's one thing I've learned in the almost two years since having kids, it's that it can't be all about everyone else ALL the time.  I tried that for waaay too long and it left me feeling depleted and unfulfilled.  Not to mention, I want my girls to grow up seeing me do things that make me a better mom, wife, and woman in general not just running myself ragged everyday and not giving ME the time and attention that I deserve.  My family is my number one priority and at the forefront ALWAYS, but what I've figured out is that this doesn't take away from them at all!  Quite the opposite actually.  So, it's a win-win for everyone.

What is at least one "Never Miss Moment" in your day?  Or if you don't have one, what would you love to have time for? 

xo
lindsy

New Year, New Focus

"Don't live the same year 75 times and call it a life." - Unknown

Anyone using this new year to make a fresh start?  Well I am ... sort of. 
As I've mentioned before, I'm not big on resolutions.  What I'm learning to be big on is being intentional - intentional about where I spend my time and energy, intentional about the things I commit to, intentional about my role as a mom, wife, and business owner.  Not just going through the motions and trying to do what has to be done, but recognizing the purpose behind the things that I'm doing which allows me to connect more.  A perfect example of this would be when I do a craft project with my girls.  The first few times were hectic and gave me some anxiety - such a big mess, paint everywhere, colorful hands trying to use my kitchen as one huge art easel.  By the time I got them both into the bath, I was sweating and wondering why anyone would attempt this stuff with toddlers?!  Well, obviously I needed to look beyond the mess (the kitchen, the table, the babies) and focus on why I was doing this with them - because it's supposed to be fun, entertaining, a learning experience, and most of all, a memory.  I took a bunch of pictures and when I first looked at them, I thought "what an ordeal!  I need a different, no muss no fuss project for next time."  But now when I look at those same pictures, I think about the smiles, the way the girls really tried to stay on the little canvas with the paint, and how ridiculous I must've looked trying to get them up the stairs and into the bath without them touching the walls or ME, haha. 

Motherhood is a lot of work.  Scratch that - a TON of work.  The snuggles, cuddles, kisses, and hugs make it all worth it and then some, but in general, it all takes time, patience, and a big dose of humility.  I don't really know what I expected parenthood to be like, but I don't know if this is what I had in mind.  The worrying about every little thing, thinking and stressing about scenarios that I will most likely never be faced with (because what if the only parking spot left IS the one right next to a storm drain, it has no cover, and you have to balance very carefully as you get your child out of the car??  Yes folks, this is where my mind goes far too often!), always feeling torn between being with my kids every second of every day or stepping away to work, do something for myself or spend time with my husband, the guilt (omg, the GUILT!) over every.little.thing.  Did they both get enough hugs today?  Did I tell them enough how much I love them?  Did they have fun?  Did they laugh and smile enough today?  Are they miserable?  Am I horrible mother?  So not only are you just physically worn out when you chase/carry/wrangle two toddlers all day, but the mental exhaustion is something I never saw coming!  This is for sure a part of motherhood that I did not anticipate and it has proven to be much harder than getting through those days after multiple sleepless nights (weeks?  months?) or tackling the daily physical demands that come with mothering toddlers.  I pictured us having BABIES ... forever.  I didn't picture this part, the actual "parenting" part.  And I never pictured us going through our first run with TWO, haha! 

This balancing act in life is hard, friends ... and it's hard for everyone whether you have one, two, or ten.  I've decided that some moms are just more vocal about it and I'm one of them.  There's no shame in showing that it's not puppy dogs & ice cream all the time - I love my kids more than life itself and being a mama has been, and continues to be, the most amazing role I will ever take on. But it's also the most challenging and not always the easiest pill for me to swallow when I really want to dive into my work and can't, take a weekend away with my husband and can't, or enjoy a last minute mani/pedi and can't.  Yep, this is what I signed up for and this is what I so desperately wanted - and trust me, I wouldn't trade my life for ANYTHING.  But contrary to what I thought would happen, you don't just forget all about your own wants and needs the minute you have a baby.  While I put the needs of my kids first, I'm still ME and there are things that I love outside of them ... I just don't get to act on them or fulfill them as often or in the same ways that I used to.  This is a part of parenthood that I had kind of prepared myself for (or at least tried to), but let's be real - nothing can REALLY prepare you for such a drastic life changing event.  That's why, when I listen to friends or read about another mom that's struggling or stressing, it makes me feel better to know that I'm not the only one that doesn't wake up singing with all the forest animals and dancing around with my children like all of our waking hours are something out of a storybook.  So for all of you out there keepin it real, there are plenty of readers so grateful for your stripped down, non-sugar coated words - I'm one of them, so thank you!!

It has been a struggle to find the balance between personal & professional, family time, friend time, spouse time, ANY time outside of kids.  While we loved our life before our babes came along, they have completed our family and filled our hearts in a way that neither my husband nor I could've ever imagined.  And if you've read our story, you know that Addi & Livi were *very* wanted babies and loved immensely even as little embryos sitting in a freezer.  But life has sure changed - and with that change has come a point where I've had to do a lot of soul searching over these past few months.

As the girls get older, they sleep less, they're much busier, and their little brains thrive on being stimulated.  They're intrigued by everything and I love to watch things "click" as they learn.  Aside from a couple hours (give or take) in the middle of the day, from the time they wake up to the time they close their eyes at night, these girls are on the move.  And while it's amazing to watch them grow and thrive, it's extremely hard for me to see them growing up so fast.  I feel like they just turned one and now they're going to be TWO in less than a few months.  I blink and a week goes by, we celebrate a special occasion and suddenly I'm reflecting on it months later but it feels like just yesterday.  It scares me to think of how quickly these next sixteen years will fly by - soon enough, we'll be getting our girls all settled at college and we'll be left with an empty house wondering where the time went.  (and here come the tears)

I don't ask for much advice when it comes to mothering - every kid is different anyway and what works for one may not work for another.  I just like to wing it. :)  What I *have* asked a lot of moms though is to answer this question - What is your biggest regret when it comes to raising your kids?  And the number one answer: "I wish I would've had more time with them when they were little" followed by "It just goes by SO fast" ... and it truly does.  Now, I typically like to learn things the hard way - I'm not usually interested in learning from anyone else's "mistakes" and really prefer to make all my own.  But this is different. There's no do-over here, no second chance for me.  We're all done having babies so THIS. IS. IT. 

I've struggled with the balance of being a mom and a wife while simultaneously trying to run a business and let it continue on the same upward path that it's been on - unfortunately, the amount of work that goes into traveling that road is just not something I can sustain in the same capacity as I was in the years before my kiddos came along.  Yes, people do it all the time and I give major props to those that can juggle it all like a pro - I'm not one of them.  My biggest fear in life is the regret I know I will face if I miss out on any opportunity for more family time and being here for everything when it comes to my littles - that *is* who I am.  I personally don't feel that I can give 100% to my family when I'm also trying to give 100% to my business.  The struggle, for me, in this season of our life, is REAL.  When I bury myself in work, I'm sad that I'm not with my family ... when I cut back on work (or as I like to call it, "slack off"), I feel guilty that I'm not giving it my all like I used to.  This has made me realize that something has to give somewhere, which has brought me to this life "edit".

I have given a lot of thought to chip&chisel and the huge place that it holds in my heart.  I know for a fact that an enormous piece of me would be missing if I ever walked away from it, however I do need to take on a smaller amount of business in order to continue to connect the way that I like to and really put the love into my work that I'm used to.  Yes, the finished pieces that I send out may look the exact same with or without that love, but I don't feel the same way about them and that's a very important part of my business (and something that I would appreciate as a customer as well, so I hope you do too!).  While being a mom and a wife is my main focus, chip&chisel also makes up a huge piece of who I am and I have a love for it that's so deep and meaningful and you don't just abandon that.  Managing two selling platforms, social media, orders, listings, etc is not a small task.  I purpose to connect with my customers and the pieces that I create for them.  When I feel rushed and bogged down, I tend to get in a cycle of just doing what needs to be done and not being intentional - and that, my friends, is not going to be part of 2017 for me. 

What IS going to happen in this new year is that I will be scaling back on the Etsy side of the business and giving that time to my family, the chip&chisel website, and other projects in the works, friends, family, and all the other aspects of my life that could use a little more attention.  If you still shop chip&chisel via Etsy, you will probably notice the shop in vacation mode from time to time.  Have no fear though, chipandchisel.com is where you can still go for all of our newest designs AND our classics!  So, as a whole, chip&chisel is not changing - but how I run things on Etsy is.  This is just meant to give me a way to control the volume of orders a bit - this is my way of still being able to give chip&chisel what it deserves in all areas and not constantly feel like I'm stretched too thin without a way to pause for a bit when necessary.  The best part of my job is doing something that I love, and part of what makes me love it so much is that it doesn't feel like "work".  That's the direction I'm heading back towards.

Etsy has been very good to me over the past five years (and nearly 10k sales!!) and I'm so grateful for that.  But Etsy has changed, my life has changed, and it's time to embrace that!  I've added a bunch of items to the 'sale' section on Etsy in order to pare down inventory and have a smaller, more manageable selection over there.  All of our new designs will continue to pretty much only be listed on the website and the most up-to-date info will be available there as well. 

I am so excited for this year and the collaborations that we have lined up, the new designs coming your way, and this fresh new start in this new year that will allow me to take a deep breath and focus my attention where it needs to be and give myself the ability to PAUSE when necessary.  Our time and energy is limited - where we put it should be meaningful and serve us in some way.  If I'm not doing something with intention, I'm learning to recognize that I should be putting that energy towards something else that makes me feel good and fills my cup!  Fill your cup with me this year - let go of anything that isn't serving a purpose in your life or is taking away from something that you would really love to give more to.  Consider it a present to yourself.

xo,
Lindsy

'Tis The Season To #considerkindness With Us!!

"No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted” -Aesop


It is the simplest of actions that truly have the most profound impact. All too often, we think it requires a tremendous amount of effort in order to make a difference in someone’s life. How often do we suppress our best intention to show a small act of kindness due to self-consciousness or (sadly enough) inconvenience? Conversely, how wonderful is an out of the blue phone call from a friend or a random act of kindness from a complete stranger? In a cultural climate where we’re too quick to build up boundaries, thoughtfulness can be a dynamic tool to soften hearts when we need it the most. 

With all the negativity surrounding our country’s current events, here at chip&chisel we want to inspire something we don’t see as often as we should- KINDNESS; an undervalued quality that can have a lasting and powerful effect.  

Thanksgiving just happens to coincide with our 5th anniversary, so we've decided to host a challenge that involves paying it forward and we want you to join in! We truly believe that kindness is life giving! Our hope is that we would see an altruistic shift through our intentional actions and that our communities would be a little bit warmer because of YOU! 

For 3 weeks, we will be hosting a kindness campaign encouraging individuals to consciously choose to #considerkindness! It will include opportunities for you to get involved with us as well as simply recognizing those people you know already killing it in the kindness department! Each week we will have a different theme and each week we’ll choose someone that we find most inspiring. YEAH- that means prizes. (sidenote: We believe that kindness is it’s own reward, but hey, we like prizes and especially giving them away!) Any time you’re part of something involving a thoughtful gesture or donation of your time either:

●     Post a comment on any of our #considerkindness campaign Facebook and/or Instagram related posts sharing your act of kindness

AND/OR

●     Post a picture to Instagram showing your act of kindness with #considerkindness and tag us (@chipandchiseljewelry

At the end of the week- we’ll choose a winner! And HOPEFULLY, what started out as a “challenge” will become part of a greater movement or more frequented habit in our lives!

For each comment on our social media posts, chip&chisel will donate one canned food item to the Clark County Food Bank.  For each photo that you post and tag @chipandchiseljewelry with #considerkindness, two canned food items will be donated.  If we repost your photo highlighting your act of kindness, you will also be given a $10 chip&chisel shop credit! Not only are you directly touching lives, but your simple act of kindness will also benefit those in need during this holiday season!

There are HUNDREDS of ways you could show simple acts of kindness, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

-Open the door for the person behind you
-Pay for someone’s coffee behind you in line
-Call your grandparents!
-Leave an encouraging note on someone’s car
-Put a few quarters in someone’s expired meter
-Babysit for free
-Host a festive holiday party to get in the spirit
-Bake a yummy treat for your neighbors
-Purge your closet and take a bag to the women’s shelter
-Leave an extra large tip for your server
-Send someone anonymous flowers
-Start a “things I am grateful for” discussion at Thanksgiving dinner!

So- let’s start now! Inspire one another! Sometimes all it takes is the action of one person to start a huge initiative. Wouldn’t it be so great if, despite all the negativity that threatens to take root, as a community, we would turn our focus and encourage one another to spread the love?? We know it’s possible and we can’t wait to see all the ways that, together, we can so easily #considerkindness.

xo,
Lindsy

Current To-Do List: Juggling & The Naptime Hustle

I have a newfound admiration for all the women out there doing it all.  Juggling work and family life is no easy task (as I'm learning firsthand), but I had no idea just how opposite of easy it would be.  With coffee in my hand and a dog snuggled up at my feet, it "feels" easy right now - but as soon as my little two-legged critters wake up, that feeling will be a distant memory!

Every day I think of writing this post - I mean, I can't be the ONLY one going through this?!  Reaching out to women that currently have to-do lists a mile long and stealing your ideas as to how to cross each item off sounds pretty great to me.  And while chip&chisel is a business and this post is obviously personal, the two for me go hand in hand.  If you've read our story, you know that chip&chisel started because of our struggles with infertility and has all come full circle with the birth of our girls.  That, for me, ties a very personal element into chip&chisel - this isn't just a business to me, it's my passion and a huge reason why my girls are even here so I will always treat it as a priority.  There is a huge personal component to everything I do with c&c - sharing my girls, my life, personal & professional milestones, the good, the bad, and maybe the not quite so pretty (care for me to snap a just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-haven't-had-my-coffee-yet selfie?) - and there always will be.

Most of us know that there's a real life struggle in trying to wear multiple hats and giving our all to every aspect of our lives.  I face this day in and day out and let me tell you - I now know the realness behind the term "mom guilt".  Every day I try to balance work life, mom life, wife life, clean-up-the-house life, run-the-errands life, and everything else life ... trying to do it all and feel good at the end of the day.  Except I don't usually feel "good" when it's all said and done.  I feel like on most days, I just run around like a chicken with my head cut off, doing the naptime hustle and making sure that I'm not forgetting 90% of what I needed to do for the day!  If I'm focused on work, I'm not giving my girls enough time ... if I'm focusing on my girls, there are chip&chisel emails and orders calling my name.  Date night what?!  I cannot for the life of me find a solid daily or weekly routine that allows me to feel accomplished, rested, caught up, on track, and with a full heart at the end of it. 

I (like most people, I'm sure) despise when life feels like a rat race.  Of course there will always be seasons in life that aren't ideal or feel stagnant - it would be weird if there weren't.  But I don't like jumping on a hamster wheel (rodents on the brain?), just trying to make it from wakeup to bedtime every day. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being content (in fact, having the ability to be content and happy with life in general is a positive in my book), I also want to thoroughly ENJOY this ride and make the balancing act something that's manageable and sustainable, not something that leaves me feeling like I'm about to crash and burn.  I thought that after the extremely difficult path to getting pregnant, everything else would be a cakewalk (ahhh, wishful thinking) ... if I ever discounted what it took to raise kids, I am totally backtracking right now.  Even though not always easy, my husband and I do both really know that we are beyond blessed to have our girls after such a struggle to conceive and we don't want to squander away a single second of it. I mean, look at these faces - how could we?! 

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So, we're making edits to our life.  

We moved chip&chisel to a much larger space, cleaned, organized, and set everything up in a way that's much more functional. I'm working to get a on a more "regular schedule" (is that even possible when you run your own business?) rather than squeezing in hours wherever I can.  While that is necessary on some days, I am a creature of habit and I crave routine, so I need more structure.  I also need that time where I'm not "on" so that I can give my focus to my family and put everything else out of my mind.  It leaves me feeling much more refreshed when I can step away for a day here and there - nothing like trying to gain creative inspiration when you're running on empty.

We hired a nanny - and it lasted one day.  I'm not ashamed to say that we needed (need) help.  My husband took a lateral position at a new fire department and is currently on a temporary schedule that has me doing the single parent thing (now that, my friends, is HARD).  While this is short lived, it is a far cry from the schedule that we're used to and left me practically unable to get anything done - totally not realistic.  My mother-in-law (Ian's stepmom) comes to our home a couple days a week so that I can get some uninterrupted work time in.  Ian and I quickly established that we didn't want to spend anymore time away from our girls than that every week, so a nanny just didn't suit us.

I did a ton of cooking on Sunday (if you know me, your eyes are probably bugging out of your head) - I prepped a bunch of food for the girls for the week (cut up all their fruit, made frozen yogurt and veggie drops, cooked up breakfast and lunch options) all in hopes that it would give me that much more time with them throughout the week.  So far (and yes, it's only Tuesday), I love it and it's been a huge time saver, especially in those moments where my girls aren't interested in waiting for water to boil.

We dialed in the playroom - it's cozy and comfy, perfect for downtime and an iPhone free zone.  No work goes on while playing, cuddling, and snuggling!

I've started a list of all sorts of things to do with the girls.  A list may seem silly to veteran mamas, but some days, my brain is fried and I can't come up with anything at all creative for infants under the age of one - having a go-to list helps me plan our day (although a "plan" on most days is laughable, it still makes me feel better).

We're planning some time away from the girls.  A few hours here and there for happy hour, an evening out with friends, a relaxed Sunday morning brunch that doesn't involve sticky hands and faces - it will be good for us to take some "couple" time every now and then to recharge and talk without interruption.  We were spoiled with a lot of together time before the girls came along and we definitely wouldn't mind getting a little taste of that occasionally.

I'm committed (again) to working out.  It's the biggest thing I can do for myself that has a positive impact on my family.  When mama's happy, everybody's happy.  ;)  While I definitely don't have the time to marathon train or hit up Barre3 as much as I'd like, a couple short runs and studio sessions are totally doable each week and must be made a priority.  You can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself!

I'm already feeling ten times better knowing that change is in the works - it was desperately needed.  Once Ian is back to his normal shift schedule in a few weeks, life will calm down (this makes me chuckle, too) a bit more and we can continue to mix things up and see what works best for us.

Off to tackle the day with my little mice!!  

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xo

Say Hello To Our Newest Collection - Mommy & Me

I am so excited to finally share our newest collection, a true labor of love inspired by my two sweet girls, Addi and Livi! There is nothing sweeter than a gift set and one shared between a Mommy and her mini (or minis!) makes me squeee!!

Our Mommy & Me collection offers several options to celebrate the mother daughter bond with one piece for mommy and one piece for her mini(s)! As always, each piece is handcrafted with love and the utmost attention paid to every detail! Below are just two of the fabulous new pieces available...you can shop the entire Mommy and Me Collection HERE! Watch the blog for updates as we're inspired to create new pieces to add to this collection.