So my hands and fingers are infected. And when I say infected, I don’t mean just a few sores or rashes here and there - I mean straight up bubbling, bruising, bumps, bleeding, cracking, whatever disgusting thing you can imagine - infected.

I had a crazy allergic reaction to the chemical resin back when I was making earrings (2/3 months ago) and although I noticed my hands and fingers were getting sore, I just chalked it up to allergies. But the more and more they burned and itched, the more M was worried. I kind of hid the problem by bandaging my fingers as to not really bring light to it. After all, it wasn’t really affecting my work. Yet anyway.

On Monday, I woke up and my fingers were purple. Purple! I immediately went to urgent care, got steroid shots in all my fingers (wtf - talking 8 fingers) and then got some external steroid cream. Ever since I’ve been out of commission - can’t do anything with my hands, which includes work. My work. 😭

So much of my work involves or requires my hands. Whether I’m feeling a paper stock, finalizing a design, hand lettering, scoring/ cutting… It’s just extremely hard to sit back and watch as my hands bubble away, knowing it’s my fault I didn’t take care of this 2 months ago. Obviously I’m remaining positive but I don’t know what I would do if for some reason my fingers don’t get better. I mean, shit.

Anyway, it’s been a rough week. No work, no driving (makes my fingers bleed from the steering wheel pressure), no anything. Last night M fed me soup and this morning he tied my hair for me, lol. Le sigh. Crossing my toes things heal up quick.

Xo

Ps - I also cannot type on my laptop. I have bruises/ blisters on all my finger tips besides my thumbs and pinkies. Makes for easy texting though, 😂
Handmade earrings, by yours truly!

Things have been crazy lately - crazy good, crazy bad, crazy everything. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I was able to listen to my creative urges. Designing and printing and making is good and dandy, but sometimes repetition puts you in a seemingly slow drawn out creative rut. While my business has been amazing and grown beyond my belief, I still had an itch to make something different.. New. 

I tried my hand at making earrings probably 3/4 months ago. Since then I’m tried tons of variations - acrylic, plastic, melting plastics, sterling silver, welding.. You name it, I tried it. While I was doing all of this, I kept it extremely private. It was something that I created for no one but myself, which I loved about it the most. 

4 months later and I’m glad to say that I’ve about perfected my earring making. These are beautifully colored, hand poured resin, into copper plated frames, using only the absolute best titanium posts and backs. To say I am thrilled is an understatement!!

And while I intended to keep these to myself, I gave out a few pairs and needless to say, people want to buy them. That makes me happy - at least right now. We will see how I feel in a few months, haha. 

I’m just glad I’ve got my mojo back.. Or something like it 😍

Handmade earrings, by yours truly!

Things have been crazy lately - crazy good, crazy bad, crazy everything. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I was able to listen to my creative urges. Designing and printing and making is good and dandy, but sometimes repetition puts you in a seemingly slow drawn out creative rut. While my business has been amazing and grown beyond my belief, I still had an itch to make something different.. New.

I tried my hand at making earrings probably 3/4 months ago. Since then I’m tried tons of variations - acrylic, plastic, melting plastics, sterling silver, welding.. You name it, I tried it. While I was doing all of this, I kept it extremely private. It was something that I created for no one but myself, which I loved about it the most.

4 months later and I’m glad to say that I’ve about perfected my earring making. These are beautifully colored, hand poured resin, into copper plated frames, using only the absolute best titanium posts and backs. To say I am thrilled is an understatement!!

And while I intended to keep these to myself, I gave out a few pairs and needless to say, people want to buy them. That makes me happy - at least right now. We will see how I feel in a few months, haha.

I’m just glad I’ve got my mojo back.. Or something like it 😍

Have spent the last 2 days having lunch at the beach - walking the dogs, laying in the grass, reading & eating tons of fruit. For as much as I love the water, I seemingly always forget that it’s less than a mile from my home.

Days like today I am reminded just how truly blessed I am. THIS is the good life right here - not any of the material or financial things. It’s this. These are the things I’ll always remember.

2 weeks ago, i got my brakes replaced in my car ($600) and then just last thursday (exactly a week from today), i came home from a walk with the dogs to see green goo leaking from my car. it’s been in the shop ever since & is costing me $1400 to fix. SHOOT ME NOW. all the while, i’ve been stuck in my house - which generally isn’t a bad thing, but last friday (day after i took my car into the shop), my kitchen was inundated with ANTS. ants!!!! thankfully there were less than 50 and we got ant repellant set up immediately and now they’re completely gone, but i’ve literally been so grossed out that i haven’t 1) eaten  - i mean, how could i even think about cooking or food crumbs or anything kitchen-related?? 2) gone downstairs, lol!

so not only is my car costing me almost $2000 to fix for silly little cosmetic problems (anyone want to buy my 2004 bmw? i’ve put lots of work & love into it), but i’ve also been stuck in a home filled with ants… lol.

i’m sure it’s all a little less dramatic, but you get the point.

sure hope your week has been better than mine <3

generally speaking i enjoy reading - but for the last 3/4 years or so, all i’ve made time to read are business books. books on how to be a better manager, how to be great at what you do, books on how to excel in your field. all business books - while great, all very studious. to be honest, i didn’t even think about it much. i just always had a new book to read, more information to obtain, more things to learn. and i loved it, but i think it’s only because i forgot how AMAZING fictional books are.

anyway, i don’t know what happened but within the last 3 days i have finished 2 books cover to cover and have picked up 2 more. i don’t remember the last time i took an entire day off just to read a book in my bedroom, in my livingroom, in my backyard and then later at a park. it is SO liberating getting lost in storytelling, esp. stories that i’ve heard about over and over but failed to acknowledge.

on thursday, i picked up the book ‘me before you’ because i have tons of friends who read and this is all i’ve heard about. so i bought it on my nook and i literally spent the entire day reading it, absorbing it, allowing it to overwhelm my entire being. i picked up the book that afternoon and finished it that evening. i can’t even remember the last time i enjoyed a book that much - so sweet, so real, not overly romantic (cause i can’t deal with sap, lol), but at the core a true love story. wonderful - pick it up!

after i finished that book, i got the book “wonder”. based on the synopsis i wasn’t sure i’d be too interested because it’s storytelling from a 10yr old character, but with over 12k reviews on amazon giving it 4.5 stars, i purchased it. this took me a few days to finish because i do actually have work that needs to be done (lol), but i found myself smiling a lot when i read it. M would walk by and say “what’s that smirk on your face” - haha. even as i was reading it, i don’t think i realized how much i actually enjoyed it until the book was over. a really great inspiring book about life & how kindness is really all around us, no matter the obstacles.

now i have two books on queue - not sure which one i’ll read or if i’ll just go between the two. the first is “the fault in our stars” and the other is “the husband’s secret”. fun that i’m totally into this right now, esp. with the amazing weather we’ve been getting here in seattle. i foresee lots of picnics & reading in the sun.

<3

I love this blog. I may not write in here often, but I come back to it a lot. I love reading my older posts - reminding myself where I’ve come from, how hard I’ve worked up to this point, why I started. It’s refreshing because I’ve been nothing but honest here. My current blog for my decor collection is more business… Too business.. No personality. I want to change that, just not sure how or when.

Anyway.
Hi.

hi.

so, a TON has happened. so crazy that this is the only place where i feel like i can be completely, uninhibitedly honest. everywhere and everything else just feels like business. that’s how it’s supposed to feel, right?

anyway, if you’ve been following along then you know that i left my Marketing career at the beginning of this year.  21 days to be exact.  and how’s it been?  AMAZING.  literally - nothing short of amazing.

my new shop has launched: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoldTinsel?ref=shop_sugg

my new website has launched: http://goldtinsel.com/ (if you are on bloglovin, you can follow me!)

i’m currently offering a giveaway right now: http://www.theseamanmom.com/2014/01/100-etsy-for-valentines-day-giveaway.html#.Ut7a0fbTn-k

i will be hosting a flash sale here next week: http://www.stylelately.com/

my items are now available in a shop in santa ana: http://roadlesstraveledstore.com/

and basically, things are amazing.

oh, and did i mention i turn THIRTY in the next 2 weeks??  and that i’ll be celebrating the seahawks at the super bowl, while sipping a daiquiri in HAWAII (hello surprise bday gift from M!) on my bday??  life is amazing. and working from home in my pajamas rocks.  i should have done this years ago.

<3

Can hardly contain my gratitude. I literally need NOTHING in my life, but yet M spoils me rotten. He got me tons of Starbucks gc’s all over our tree (which I had to find!), the UE 360 boom box that I’ve wanted forever (I’ve never been more excited about a portable boom box - and a super crazy exp one at that!), a Kate Spade platter that cost wayyyyyyy more than it should that I mentioned I liked once, and tons of sunflower seeds in my stocking (for some reason I&#8217;m obsessed lately) + gorgeous custom mugs that I didn’t photograph. I am overwhelmed and so blessed and couldn’t ask for anything more… And then M tops it all off with an all expenses trip to Hawaii, flight + hotel, for 6 days. We leave in 4 weeks.&#160;!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For whatever the reason, I am crazy blessed. I could have never dreamed of a man so amazing.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Can hardly contain my gratitude. I literally need NOTHING in my life, but yet M spoils me rotten. He got me tons of Starbucks gc’s all over our tree (which I had to find!), the UE 360 boom box that I’ve wanted forever (I’ve never been more excited about a portable boom box - and a super crazy exp one at that!), a Kate Spade platter that cost wayyyyyyy more than it should that I mentioned I liked once, and tons of sunflower seeds in my stocking (for some reason I’m obsessed lately) + gorgeous custom mugs that I didn’t photograph. I am overwhelmed and so blessed and couldn’t ask for anything more… And then M tops it all off with an all expenses trip to Hawaii, flight + hotel, for 6 days. We leave in 4 weeks. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For whatever the reason, I am crazy blessed. I could have never dreamed of a man so amazing.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Last yr (this same day), we got cable for the first time in 5 yrs. This morning we cancelled it again. Mostly a distraction and an expensive one for something we never use. Not exactly sure how I feel just yet, since I’ll be working from home all of next yr. lol

I never broadcast my shop. In fact, I generally don’t talk about it amongst friends/ etc because I don’t want orders from people I know. For a long time I HAD to know that I could get orders from strangers - from real people, vs just my family and friends whom I know would support me til the end.

The funny thing about this is I’ve had my shop for roughly 1.5 yrs now. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve had less than 10 orders from friends, of over 2k+. So I can get over myself now and stop hiding what I do, and be proud of what I do.

Verbatim from M last night at around 4am — “You have a small shop. You should offer something, even if you don’t want to publicize your site. I don’t know why you’re not proud of it”. Umm.. Yikes. Haha. I AM proud. I’m also extremely private. Which seems backwards since I want to be successful in this, right??

Anyways, my shop isn’t for everyone. It’s barely for myself. But if you have any need for anything I offer, it’s all 30% off today. Go on, stalk away. Oh, and of course thank you for the support 😘.

Shop url: etsy.com/shop/nguyenpaperco

I never broadcast my shop. In fact, I generally don’t talk about it amongst friends/ etc because I don’t want orders from people I know. For a long time I HAD to know that I could get orders from strangers - from real people, vs just my family and friends whom I know would support me til the end.

The funny thing about this is I’ve had my shop for roughly 1.5 yrs now. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve had less than 10 orders from friends, of over 2k+. So I can get over myself now and stop hiding what I do, and be proud of what I do.

Verbatim from M last night at around 4am — “You have a small shop. You should offer something, even if you don’t want to publicize your site. I don’t know why you’re not proud of it”. Umm.. Yikes. Haha. I AM proud. I’m also extremely private. Which seems backwards since I want to be successful in this, right??

Anyways, my shop isn’t for everyone. It’s barely for myself. But if you have any need for anything I offer, it’s all 30% off today. Go on, stalk away. Oh, and of course thank you for the support 😘.

Shop url: etsy.com/shop/nguyenpaperco

i feel a lot of different things currently:

  • seeing so many of my online friends start businesses is inspiring. but it’s also daunting, esp. since i’m trying to find my own space to fill. i want to say it’s the more the merrier, but my reality is: the more the scarier.
  • the holidays are a perfect time to sell. sell everything. sell anything. but for some reason i never find myself pushing out material the same way others do. i work all year long, all year round, so i like enjoying the peace and quiet around the holidays. for years in my marketing job i never had time to breathe, time to celebrate, time to relax. and now that i do - i just want to spend my time perfecting my holiday cards. the perfect holiday tags. and wrapping paper. all that i will use just for myself - nothing that i will sell. i like it this way.
  • i just finished designing/ printing the last batch of holiday cards that i will give to my coworkers. 2014 will be a big year for me, and a scary one at that. i personalized each card with old memories and lots of gratitude. i think it’s finally (for the first time) really settling in that i am LEAVING. leaving my career to start a new one. which also means leaving all my favorite people.
  • i started a new website… again… and as much as i want to make that part of my new career, i have a hard time being honest anywhere other than tumblr. everything else feels so impersonal, like it’s just for face. i don’t want that. but i also don’t know how to get passed that, esp. when the blog setting is completely different. such is my life.
  • i’ve been thinking about KIDS a lot lately. like a lot a lot. and as much as i feel like i’m ready and that it’s the next big thing in my life, i cannot get over the idea that i am leaving so much behind to do my design work. the truth is i want to have kids - i would be happy if i was pregnant in the next yr. but i’ve worked so hard and so long and i’m giving up everything (including my health insurance) to see if i can make something of myself. i can’t risk having a baby while i’m risking the rest of my life. just not yet.. not quite yet.
  • i keep hoping, and praying, that i’m making the right decision.

Today is one of those “everything is good” type of days. I had my follow up meeting with my CEO about my job —- (I put in my 2 weeks about 4 months ago, but stayed on til now to help the transition go smoother. Since then, I’ve been offered an opportunity with the job staying on for only 2 days a week, with a 30% pay increase. Crazy.) As tempting and amazing as the offer, and as much as I struggled back and forth - today I didn’t take it. Quite a surprise to myself since I walked in thinking I would, but instead, I walked out virtually unemployed (by choice) and felt super proud of myself. This was always my choice and what I wanted from the beginning, but the new offer was too good not to consider. But it ultimately came down to what I NEED to do for myself, professionally. And that meant leaving my absolute dream job in Marketing. Quite frankly, I feel absolutely liberated and a huge sense of relief.

I feel like this is the start of something major. I am so excited and scared and freaked out, but so proud of myself for staying true to what I really want in life. Onward and upward.

Tags: life happy

It’s an “I worked all morning so now I get to relax, drink tons of coffee, make salsa, cook everything, read everything, and create everything” kind of day.

I don’t know if it’s in the air, or the water, or what —— but all I’ve been feeling lately is stress. An intense crazy amount of stress.

My life is great and I have so many blessings, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I work my ass off. All the time. At every moment. While my personal business continues to bloom, the decisions surrounding my career are cloudy. I honestly don’t know what’s best for me anymore.

The fact is that I quit over 5 months ago. Before that, I planned and saved for an entire yr. I’ve been ready to make the leap for 1.5 yrs - but I’m still here, at my (undeniably amazing) job - one that is extremely taxing and demanding. Though also extremely fulfilling and rewarding. But my life can’t tolerate both anymore. There’s just no way.

The hardest part about my ultimate decision is how hard my company is fighting for me to stay. They have given me everything. Taught me everything. Given me every opportunity. And now that my time is up, they’ve given me an even better offer to stay onboard - and id only have to work 2x a week. They are willing to do anything just so that I stay part of the time, and I am so grateful. I just don’t know how to accept without compromising everything else I’ve worked so hard for. Worked SO hard for.

It’s all been so rough lately. If it’s not one deadline, it’s another. This week is extremely hard since I’m away for work today-sun, which meant I had to finish all freelance by yesterday. I am exhausted and not sure I’m enjoying the rewards of all my work.

I’m not ever really sure of what I’m saying anymore. I just want to make the right decisions, but right now, with my hard days and splitting migraines - it’s without doubt that this, THIS, just isn’t working.

All I hear is rain drops falling against my window…