How to Balance Holiday Orders with Other Committments

How to Balance Holiday Orders with Other Committments

It’s 11:47 PM, and there’s yarn everywhere. The couch is covered in different colored skeins, a few strands hang off the cushions and lead to balls on the other side of the room, and there’s scraps all over the coffee table. I’m so lucky to have a boyfriend that deals with the craziness. I’ve pretty much taken over our living room with my crochet projects. Thankfully he has his own space in our second bedroom, but I still feel bad for the takeover! But that’s how my holiday season looks! Chaotic and messy.

I’m sure makers everywhere understand the chaos. Especially those who make orders as they come through. This year the majority of my orders have come through as custom made to order items. I’ve created everything from cozy crocheted socks to embroidered Baby Groot dolls, and in the midst of holiday gift orders coming in, I was preparing for a craft fair.  And on top of all of that, I work full time, and October was the busiest work month I’ve ever had.

velvet scrunchies in a box

Everything going on is really good and very exciting, but I learned a lot about being organized. I was always used to working on orders in my free time as I could. I always had time for them. But then all of a sudden I didn’t, and I had to learn how to organize and fit my side hustle into the rest of my life.

The first thing I figured out was when I would fit everything in. After a handful of custom orders came through, I sat down and figured out how much time each would take me and when my deadline was (if there was one). After that, I looked at what I needed for the craft fair I was preparing for. Thankfully I had a lot of inventory from previous craft fairs, but I wanted to switch things up this year (of course I did, right? :)). I figured out how much of each new product I wanted to make, and I layered that into my list.

One of the most valuable things I learned from my first job out of college was to budget my time. I can be really good at blocking off time for certain tasks. After I figured out how much time I needed to finish everything, I looked at my work and personal schedules. My new job has given me opportunities to go to events and volunteer after work, and I really value my time at the gym, so I looked at each week and filled in work time wherever I could. Think of it like scheduling a shift at work. “From 7:00 PM until 12:00 AM, I have to crochet. Otherwise, I won’t finish this order, and I’ll let down my customer.” That thought process really helped push me through nights where I was pooped and didn’t want to crochet. That didn’t always happen, but we all have those days when we don’t even want to do the things we love to do.

I knew with such a crazy work schedule that I would run into days and nights where I would have something come up (I did), a friend want to grab a drink (I did), or where I would just come home and flop right into bed (I suuuuure did). Because I know myself, I built in wiggle room days. That helped a lot too.

green bay packers scarves

Another important thing I made sure I did was communicate and be transparent with my customers. I had one order that came in September, and right away I let her know that I was preparing for a craft fair that would take up a lot of my time. I asked her when she needed her order by, and she told me she didn’t need them until just before Christmas! She told me to take my time and that there was no rush. I was so happy that I asked! If I wouldn’t have asked, I would have put extra stress on myself to crank them out ASAP. Of course I would have loved to, but I knew that I realistically couldn’t do that. I have always been afraid to ask for deadlines or to say that I’m too busy with other orders – or just life – but that one small conversation taught me that I should have those conversations.

In addition to setting expectations right from the beginning, I made sure to check in with my custom order customers throughout the process. I did this by sending them a note about where I’m at in their order (usually with a photo!) and letting them know I was getting close to finishing. In some cases, to get my own butt going, I would give them an exact date of when I would be shipping them out. That helped me stay on track and finish up orders while keeping my customers happy.

In addition to all of my custom orders, I’ve had a busy season in my Etsy shop! My velvet scrunchies have been very popular, so I have been busy filling orders too. This is pretty basic advice, but to make this go as smooth as velvet (hehe), I always made sure I had envelopes and materials to easily put together shipments. There’s one major thing I have failed to set up to help things along. I haven’t printed any shipping labels at home, which would save me so much time! I know, I know. But unfortunately we have a horrible printer, and it hasn’t been high on our list to replace. I pass the post office on my way to work, so it’s not a huge deal for me to stop by.

Things have started to settle down for me as far as custom orders go. I have a few things to wrap up this week, but other than that I am focusing on my Etsy sales. Because of how busy I’ve been, I haven’t set myself up for success like I would have wanted to with building up awareness and traffic to my Etsy shop, but I’m okay with that. I don’t rely on my crochet sales for a living – this is all for fun! And to help pay off my student loans a little faster… But I have some free time in the coming weeks, so lets hope that the effort results in a few extra holiday sales!

Good luck to all the makers out there this holiday season! Whether you do this full time or as a little side hustle – it takes a lot of work, and you are doing amazing.

More Comfortable and Affordable Periods – The Diva Cup Review

More Comfortable and Affordable Periods – The Diva Cup Review

A few years ago my best friend, Shannon, told me about a tampon alternative called a Diva Cup. She explained that it was a reusable cup that you empty, clean, and use throughout your period. To be completely honest I was like, ‘Uh no thank you byyyyeee.‘ The thought of getting all up into my cooter and then dealing with the contents of the cup grossed me out. But the thought of having a reusable, cheap option kind of hung out in the back of my mind.

And then I feel like I didn’t hear a whole lot about them until the last couple of months or so. Back in March one of my favorite Instagram ladies shared a post about her Lunette Cup – another menstrual cup option on the market. I trust Jera, and I can get behind anything she trusts too. Not that I don’t trust Shannon! Oh I trust Shannon with my life, but Jera served more as a reminder that these cups were out there.

So I started to do some research – mostly on Instagram – to figure out some more information. Diva Cup and Lunette Cup’s websites have a ton of information, but I love hearing from real women using these products. I decided I was going to give it a try, and I texted Shannon full of excitement when I bought my Diva Cup! Continue reading “More Comfortable and Affordable Periods – The Diva Cup Review”

Quick Corner to Corner Baby Blanket

Quick Corner to Corner Baby Blanket

I’ve been crocheting for at least eight years, and for most of that time I stuck with standard stitches and techniques. Not really for any reason, but just because it was what I knew. I would venture into fun patterns that were a little more complicated, and then in the last year I hopped into egg collecting aprons, which were a whole other level (to me).

Last summer, Repeat Crafter Me, posted the photo below, and I thought, “HOW SQUISHY DOES THAT LOOK?!” (the answer is very squishy)

I had to know what ‘C2C’ was, so I did a little research. It seemed like this magical crochet technique. How had I never heard of it!? Maybe I didn’t pay close attention to what I was looking at I guess. But anyways. Last summer and through the holidays I was slammed with egg apron orders and craft fair preparation, so I never played around with a pattern.

Once the new year rolled around I had a ton of free time (at least in the Just Peachy world!), so I learned the corner to corner crochet technique, and I AM OBSESSED. So obsessed. Continue reading “Quick Corner to Corner Baby Blanket”

How to Conduct a Digital Detox

How to Conduct a Digital Detox

Cleaning out your closets, emptying your cupboards, and tossin’ out half of your stash of whatever you collect is super detoxifying and freeing. Hell, maybe you made a few bucks off of it too. Guess what – there’s so much more you can do to de-clutter your life. We spend so much of our time on our phones, in front of computer screens, and watching Netflix. There’s gotta be some digital clutter to get rid of – I promise you there is. I started cleaning out the extra digital pieces of my life, and honestly just instantly felt better. There are things that I didn’t even know made me feel anxious until I started getting rid of them. Continue reading “How to Conduct a Digital Detox”

5 Work from Home Tips When You Are First Starting Your New Schedule

5 Work from Home Tips When You Are First Starting Your New Schedule

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wish that you could just skip the shower, forgo the makeup, and go to work in your PJ’s? I sure do. The good news is that I get to do that twice a week! 😉

I’m super lucky in that I work for a company that lets us work from home twice a week after two years. I am coming up on my third year at E-Power Marketing, and I’ve been working from home for a year. It’s definitely been a great change of pace that’s made so many days less stressful and more relaxed. Of course there’s been some challenges, but that’s to be expected, ya? When I first started my work from home schedule, I reached out to my coworkers that work from home part time and the ones who work from home full time for some advice. They were super helpful and it made my little transition even easier! I love working from home, and when I first started I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t be as productive or my relationships with my coworkers would suffer, but they didn’t and I was still productive – if not more productive compared to when I’m in the office. Continue reading “5 Work from Home Tips When You Are First Starting Your New Schedule”

An Updated Polar A360 Fitness Watch Review

An Updated Polar A360 Fitness Watch Review

Nearly two years ago I decided to buy a new fitness watch. When I started going to the gym regularly I had a Polar FT4, which required a heart strap to measure your heart rate, but I wanted more. I wanted easier. I wanted cuter.

So, after some research I decided on the Polar A360. I wrote a first impression review in 2016, but I wrote it only after having the watch for two months. Now that it’s been almost two years, and I still love my watch, I wanted to give an update.

Continue reading “An Updated Polar A360 Fitness Watch Review”

4 Healthy and Easy Make Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

4 Healthy and Easy Make Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

I am so not a morning person. I sometimes get out of bed, and I’m out the door 10 minutes later because I get every second of warm comfyness in my bed as possible. That means I never make myself breakfast before I leave for work which leaves me with two options: run through a drive-thru or don’t eat (ha – I will eat).

I would much rather grab something healthy out of my fridge than spend money on something that might not be as healthy – that adds up! Calories and money. 😉

Over the last three years or so I’ve really stuck to a small handful of grab-n-go breakfasts. I wouldn’t recommend eating these while driving, but they’re perfect for at your desk or on the subway/bus/train! Continue reading “4 Healthy and Easy Make Ahead Breakfasts for Busy Mornings”

My Plan to Make 2018 Just Peachy

My Plan to Make 2018 Just Peachy

The holidays are winding down. We are all recovering from a month-long sugar high. Now it’s time to get back to a regular work and life schedule, right? But I was so enjoying not doing a whole lot these last two weeks! 😉

As I get my butt into gear for the new year and new month, I sat down and thought of some of my bigger goals for the year. If you remember from the past, I’ve talked about how I love to set goals for the New Year, but I also love setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals to keep me working towards those bigger year-long goals.

Continue reading “My Plan to Make 2018 Just Peachy”

My Mood Board for the New Year

My Mood Board for the New Year

The new year is always exciting. It’s time to start fresh, try new things, fix the things that need fixing, set new goals, etc. Sometimes, though, January 1 hits and you’re just like, “Uh, okay. Where’s this motivation and inspiration to make things happen!?” It doesn’t just snap into place for some of us.

Some years I am all about setting goals for the new year, but some years – like this one – I need a little extra dose of inspiration to help me get motivated to set goals. I heard about mood/inspiration boards before. Usually I see them being used to inspiration for a room in a house or a wedding, but I suppose they can be created for anything! I decided to put together a mood board for the new year, and it was so fun! Ready to see it? Continue reading “My Mood Board for the New Year”

8 Inspiring and Entertaining Podcasts to Add to Your List for 2018

8 Inspiring and Entertaining Podcasts to Add to Your List for 2018

Books, music, audio books, Netflix, the radio. There are so many ways we consume things and get entertainment. Every day we’re finding new ways to be entertained and to learn things – we get bored easily. I get bored easily. Podcasts are a new one for me. I’ve been pretty into podcasts this year, and I’m not the only one. 42 million Americans listen to podcasts weekly.

I forgot what got me started on podcasts, but I’m so glad I started. It’s been entertaining, enlightening, educational, and inspiring. I listen to everything from reality TV and minimalism to entrepreneurship and marketing. It all depends on where I am, what I’m doing, and the mood I’m in. I love listening to new podcasts – even if it’s just one or two episodes. There are a few that I listen to all the time. Some I’ve finished. Some I’m almost finished with (there are so many episodes!!). Here are some of my favorites – in no particular order because honesty it changes by the day. I’d love to hear yours too. 🙂 Continue reading “8 Inspiring and Entertaining Podcasts to Add to Your List for 2018”