Author Archives: yinmomyangmom

Pink Poetry Tutu: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61666735/pink-poetry-tutu-nb-to-5t

And the Winner Is…

Pink Poetry Tutu: http://www.etsy.com/listing/61666735/pink-poetry-tutu-nb-to-5t

Congratulation Miriam, who’s favorite Little Dreamers creation was the Lil Bumblebee Tutu! Your name was picked at random to win our Girly Party Package Giveaway!

You can email Mere at mk@goodkoi.com w/ your shipping info to claim your prize!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated, and thank you to Whitney for the beautiful tutu!

Check back, we’ll be doing more giveaways soon!

Acting a Fool

Last night I had the interesting experience of attending a “Laughter Yoga Party”.  Have you ever heard of this?  It’s a bunch of people you’ve never met, standing around acting goofy and laughing at each other.  It’s so weird.  I seriously felt like I was on Romper Room.  Seeing a bunch of fully-grown adults act like children, and after each exercise, we had to clap twice and say, GOOD JOB, GOOD JOB, YAAAAY!

While it was pretty strange, I have to say it was a good time.  I went with one of my funniest friends, and we kept looking at each other and cracking up for real.

One thing that was really cool was at the end, we formed two lines, facing each other.  Each person had a turn walking through the lines, and as they went, each member of the group whispered something nice into their ear.  There was a lot of, you have a beautiful smile, you have a good energy, you have a great laugh, etc.  A few people even teared up as they were hearing their compliments.  It was really very sweet to see adults treating each other (complete strangers) with care and kindness.  I think that kind of thing should happen to everyone, regularly.

Enjoy this beautiful July day.

LTB (Let’s Talk Biz) – Step One

New head shot, thank you Instagram!

OK so I promised myself to take some time to work on my business in the ongoing effort to create a greater sense of fulfillment.

Step one?  Figure out exactly what I want.  I asked myself this, and initially I came up with a few things:
- Create more time to devote to illustration
- Take more pictures
- Set up my ecommerce store so I can have a little more control over where my clients are coming from, and have an easy system for payment

Then I read my horoscope (Pisces), which said

What if the thing you wanted most were given to you – would you know what to do with it? Think about what that would mean. What would you want? A new job? A new relationship? A new house? All these things are material and thus prone to change and disappointment. If you have your health you have something that is immaterial and thus more precious. Use the favorable aspect of the day to focus on what you really want. (Hint: focus on your health!)

And I was inspired to add:

- Take on less at once, have a waiting list because my work is worth the wait.
- Have more time to rest and relax, and concentrate on being creative

I often tend to focus on really tangible things, like more money, friendlier clients, etc.  But it’s true that all tangible things tend to wear around the edges over time.  So it’s good to have some detailed goals, but also keep in mind the ultimate, overall goal, which is a sense of pride, health and fulfillment.  I feel like I’m already much closer to achieving my goals.  Now, to think about my next step, but not before I finally check out that digital painting tutorial I’ve been meaning to read for so long!
(It’s http://www.imaginefx.com/02287754329710396959/liberate-your-colours.html)

Product Review! Allie’s Highlighter

I went and bought the L’Oreal Magic Lumi Highlighter that Allie recommended in her post; Backyard Barbeque Beauty, and here’s my review!

Normally I use MAC’s Studio Finish concealer, which is described on their website as being “discreetly opaque”.  I’d agree with that, so I’ve become accustomed to that type of thing.

This highlighter is much lighter in texture than MAC, and it is also much lighter in color.  They only have 3 colors, which I’m guessing is because they’re sheer enough to go on any skin tone?

It does cover surprisingly well, pretty close to that of MAC’s concealer, however it took a little longer to blend, and I had to use more of it.  It definitely does give your skin a luminous, smooth quality though, and I really like that.  Sometimes MAC gives more of a greasy look.

All in all, I like it, the price is good and I’d probably buy it again, but I’ll keep my MAC on hand for days when my skin is more dry.  Thanks for the recommendation Allie!

Celebrating a Beautiful Little Person’s Birth

We recently threw a birthday party for Brooke.  This is my second attempt at a kid birthday party since becoming a mother 5 years ago.  My first attempt was when Brooke was 1.

Every new mom is pretty much obligated to throw a first birthday party for their first child.  Some decide to continue to regularly throw birthday parties after that.  Others, like me, decide that it’s a ridiculous amount of effort to put forth for someone who doesn’t understand any of it and would just as soon chew on a stick as appreciate the the sentiment.

She really did have a nice time.

Don’t get me wrong, Brooke’s first party was adorable, the food was wonderful, and lots of beautiful friends and family turned out and brought tons of love and cheer to the day.  However, I spent at least $500, and it poured buckets of rain for hours, mid-way through.  Did I mention it was an outdoor party?  I was pretty over it when it was all said and done.

Since then, I vowed only to throw birthday parties for people who specifically asked for them.  Here we are 4 years later, and Brooke took her cute little blonde head out of the sand and requested a Care Bears party.  Ironically, the new Care Bears series premiered on the day BEFORE the party. Thus, there was not a single Care Bear licensed product to be found in all the land.  In two weeks, there will be a Care Bears extravaganza for all to enjoy at every iParty in the world.

But, we made do with what we had, and some very special ladies in my life came through with Care Bears support.

Allie made absolutely gorgeous and delicious cookies, which happened to be gluten, dairy, nut and soy free, which our allergic friends really appreciated.  Brooke was overjoyed.

My mom brought my old Care Bears toys from back in the day to decorate.  It was neat to see my 5 year old playing with toys that I received on my own 5th birthday.  Crazy!

And our friend, Miss Dawne, who owns this amazing place called The Bright Spot, created a Care Bears craft for the kids.  They made their own Care Bear bellies!  Such cuteness!

And yes, this time around I had the party at a facility rather than open my home to a bajillion (lovely and well-mannered, but young) children.  This was a lifesaver.  It was so nice to show up at this place, have another person handle the ins and outs of the day, plan activities for the kids, make sure everyone is fed and happy, while I mingled with my parent-friends and took pictures of the kids.  I actually got to enjoy my own (I mean my daughter’s) party. I wish Dawne could clone herself because she’s so amazing with kids.  Literally, there were many moments where parents were tearing up because she was creating such a magical time for them, and their little faces were completely lit up with joy.  What a beautiful thing.

Lit. Up.

So all in all, this party made up for all the crap that went wrong in my first kid birthday party experience.  A good time was had by all, and I left feeling extremely grateful for my family and all of our beautiful, intelligent and most importantly, good looking friends. ;)

Here’s some hippie crap to think about.

I’ve been reading a lot about our egos lately and it’s got me on this path to DESTROY my ego.  Just kidding, I think egos are there for some purpose, but what I’m becoming more aware of is the emphasis society has put on the importance of stroking our egos.

Clearly, I am somewhat of an egomaniac simply for the fact that I’m part of this blog.  You have to be at least a little amused by your own awesomeness to think that it’s important to put yourself in front of people, with expectations that they’re going to like you. So I frequently try to put my ego aside and remind myself of the ultimate reason why I blog, which is to just connect with like-minded people, to build our strength, and help create a sense of belonging in this crazy world.

I think the purpose of the ego in part is to help people survive and make it in this world.  It can help give us a boost of confidence to dress up and go out and get a job.  Or find love, or create art.

But some of the stuff that the ego can do is bad.  It can make us lose our sense of humor about ourselves.  If the ego is bruised, we can start to hate ourselves and act in a self destructive way.  If it’s inflated, we act like a bunch of self-important jerks.  I’ve also read that the ego is located in the same part of our brains as fear, so when you’re focused too deeply on your ego, you’re probably creating a bunch of purposeless fears and anxiety, which can do that much more damage to your well being.  So it’s important to keep it in check.

One way to start the process is to be conscious of it.  Just try to be on the alert for ego maniacal thoughts to creep up.  When one comes up, which could be that you’re not attractive enough, or that “damn, I’m so good looking” feeling, just honor that thought, remind yourself that it’s simply a thought and nothing tangible, remind yourself that life isn’t about looks (or money, or status, or anything else ego-y for that matter), and let that thought go on it’s merry way.  If you try to make an effort to notice these kinds of thoughts, you’ll find yourself getting better at just letting them float in and out of your mind without dwelling on them.  You’ll start to feel much lighter and less attached to the bulls*** of life.

So, those our my deep thoughts of the day I guess. Now I’m going to drink some wine on my porch and be grateful for my home, friends and family, and that my clients have the day off today. ;)  Happy 4th!

Let’s Talk Business – Because That’s All I Can Think To Talk About.

I’ve been majorly MIA, mentally for weeks now.  I love this little blog and it’s hard when I’m so busy that I can’t give it tons of attention.  It’s not that I’m too busy, really, it’s that when I’m really busy at work, I’m not doing lots of cool DIY and cooking projects, so I feel like there isn’t enough to write about.  So, because of that, I’m going to write about work, and you’re going to like it. ;)

Right now I’m going through a long phase of recovering from having 2 acute cases of “the babies”.  When a lady has a baby, she generally doesn’t want to work, she wishes she had enough money to stay home with her new baby(s).  If she has to work, she’s probably not doing it all that whole-heartedly.  What might happen then, is that she starts to develop a crazy complex that her work might not be worth much money, and she falls into a self destructive spiral of accepting work that doesn’t pay much.

This might be all fine and good for some, but it happened to me, and it’s not OK.  So, I’m realizing I need to restructure how I think about myself and my business.  There was once a time when I charged a high hourly rate, and had clients who didn’t bat an eyelash when I told them what it was.  Somehow I’ve slipped into a realm where I have some folks telling me what they’ll pay, and it ain’t what I used to charge, and instead of telling them to take a flying leap, I get scared to turn away work because, hey, we need money.  Then I end up giving them the same high quality service, and feeling down on myself and them for not paying me enough.

The other part of this tricky situation is that I spend so much time working hard for not enough pay, that I end up failing to design the stuff I need in order to go out into the world and getting higher-paying work.  I am a web designer, and my website hasn’t been updated since 2006!  What kind of crap is that?  Would you hire a roofer whose own roof was caving in?!  Look at this, check out the About page, I was blonde!  http://meredithkstudios.net/.

Because telling the whole world that you have a goal is a great way to shame myself into achieving it, I’m doing that.  For the next few weeks, I’m going to work on my business.  I think I’ll need to do some of it in the evenings, and that’s OK.  I’m going to keep you updated on the progress.  Please feel free to offer constructive criticism along with way!

Enjoy your Monday and don’t forget to make an effort to love your job, even if your boss is being a huge piece of poop!

 

Let’s Talk Business – Hell Week

I feel like it’s such a cliche to say, but this week was so freaking busy!!!!  I’m reeling from it, and it’s not even over yet.  Working as a freelancer is wonderful, but one of the things a person needs to be prepared for is the inconsistency of it.

I have about 5 steady clients.  Normally things run smoothly, and they’re patient about when things get done.  But about 5 or 6 times a year, 3-4 of them need me to finish stuff up IMMEDIATELY!!!!

I put a lot of pressure on myself to please everyone (which is futile) and a lot of pressure on myself to go easy on myself (do-able!), so it’s a very tricky, stressful paradox.

When I first started out in this career, and really up until just this month, I’ve allowed this phenomenon to eat me up inside, make me hate my job, and make me question my own capabilities and beat myself up about why I ever thought I’d be any good and/or make any money.  In short, I have acted like a psychotic, self-destructive lunatic.

Now, my goal is to achieve inner peace, love my job, love my work, and maintain the trust of my clients.  It’s so freaking complex!

Basically, I have to take things slow, be honest with my clients about the time things take to get finished, and find time to work late.  The working late part is really the hardest.  It makes me really scared about the affects of over-doing, over-working, etc.  But something that helps is to think about how my hard work is going to benefit the kids (giving them a comfortable, safe home, hopefully a good education, etc), and as long as I take some time to myself in the midst of it, (I have to have at least a half-hour of time to meditate or stare at a tree or something peaceful like that, little breaks in between each project, and decent food, and good music) I survive, the work gets done, the client is pleased, and money comes home.

So, that’s where I’m at this week, and probably next week as well.  I’d better get to grocery shopping so I’ll have my decent food.

Meal Planning – Sigh.

It took a lot of discipline for me to plan the next week’s dinners today.  It’s so gorgeous outside.  Fridays I’m off and the kids don’t go to daycare, and it’s all I can do to stop myself from lounging around all day in my sweats while the kids destroy our home.  But, this is the only day I’m able to go to the store, and if I don’t do it relatively early in the day, it haunts me and I can’t enjoy myself.

I’d like to thank the good friends who came to Brooke’s birthday party over the weekend and gave us beautiful presents.  Those presents came in handy while I was writing this post!

He’s not afraid to draw dresses with pink crayon!

Making a pretty bead necklace.

Also, a very big thank you to the makers of Pirate’s Booty for giving me a laugh.

I am very mature.

‘So here’s what we’re eating!  You may notice there’s some cheese in the plans.  That’s right, I’m eating dairy again.  I have my reasons, which aren’t that I couldn’t live without it.  It’s that I just started having a gut feeling that dairy was not the problem.  I plan on going into more detail about that later.  For now, I need to get to the store.

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Meal Planning – Kid Food!

Today is my Brookie’s 5th birthday!  Most people would say 5 years flew by, but I think it felt like 5 years.  Brooke is a beautiful fairy sprite, and I am completely head over heels in love with her.  She came into this world and completely turned mine upside down.  Being her mom has taught me so much about patience, and for that I am truly grateful.  I look at Brooke, and I see pure joy, love and wonder in her eyes.  If everyone took a page out of her book, the world would be a truly magical place.

On that note, in honor of my sweet girl, I dub this week Kid Food Week.  Every dinner will be easy, and kid friendly, hurray!!!
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