Saturday, April 25, 2015

#1,952 CC Cream + Getting Stuff Done.

Why didn't one of you tell me about CC Cream? Namely, Clinique's Moisture Surge CC Cream?! A couple days ago my friend Lindsey told me how wonderful it was so I dropped by the mall and picked some up and lo and behold... This is what it did for my face 30 minutes after I woke up.
I know, my eyes are nonexistent without mascara, but I felt good about my skin after trying it. And I never feel very good about my skin. Anyway, I recommend it.

We got some stuff done around the house today, thankfully. We've been making such slow progress in the backyard this feels pretty big to be nearly finished with the picket fence:

And my mama sewed replacement panels for the antique deck chairs that Ben bought for me last Valentine's Day. The old dry-rotted fabric just wasn't made for heavy dudes flopping down to sit and they both shredded in recent months. Today, Ben attached them to the wooden frames and I love them so much!

And Hunter came by yesterday to add the last few plants to the front beds and now they really look so full and green. So thankful for pros who know what they're doing!

And lastly, we picked up some prototype t-shirts for our new online stores opening this fall. Exciting!

And now, a pretty picture of the flowers growing on our neighbor's alley fence:

Friday, April 24, 2015

#1,951 Thimblepress.

I've been really excited about today for a couple of weeks since we were finally able to find a day we could get up to Jackson for a visit with Kristen Ley of Thimblepress. You've probably seen her beautiful work before all around the world (on Good Morning America just last week!) and if you did, it probably made you smile because it's all such sunny, happy stationery she's making. As we're preparing to launch our own retail line this fall, I thought it might be wise to visit Thimblepress to see how she's managing her 600 wholesale accounts right there in the backrooms of her storefront (not that I have ANY intention of wholesaling OR expectations of that much success quickly!) and it was fascinating. I learned so much that I never would have without seeing it in person.

Most of all, I'm thankful Kristen was so gracious with her time today. She spent all morning and early afternoon showing us her processes and introducing us to her talented and lovely team, having a long lunch. I'm learning, the longer I'm a business owner, how important it is to reach out and talk to other folks who are in your industry, to learn their struggles, to talk about how they're coming up with solutions, to learn things you never considered. Her Christian faith is such an important part of her business and her life, and she shines that love on everyone around her—which is inspiring to be around. It's no wonder her company has taken the paper world over.

Maybe my favorite thing we talked about today is how much better entrepreneurship is when you stop thinking of the other people in your industry as competition, and start thinking of yourselves as brothers and sisters all figuring this thing out. It reminded me of that quote I've seen before:

I'm not interested in competing with anyone.
I hope we all make it.
If we all learn from one another and pass along the things we learn along the way, the rising tide lifts all our ships, right?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#1,950 Jimmy Don Surprise.

So we pulled up to the Laurel Machine and Foundry annual crawfish boil and anvil shoot after work today, and as we're walking through the fields of cars, we pass by a Tahoe with a 'Stars Over Texas Metal Art' decal on the back glass... And a Texas tag. And we thought... SURELY not. It couldn't be Jimmy Don. We're 10 hours from Waco! He's become friends with SO many Laurel people on instagram (@jimmydon522), he might as well be one of us, so on a level it did make some sense... But surely not. So we go inside into the thousands of people, everyone we've ever known, bellying up to the crawfish line getting their fill.

And then I'll be dadgum if Jimmy Don didn't come just to surprise us.

We were shocked for two seconds, then really excited to hang out with our ole buddy ole pal. He brought along his son, Jake, and his nephew, Jake, since Lori wasn't able to get away. We couldn't wait to introduce him to all his Laurel friends who've only been friends via the magic of the internet until today. Trent, the owner of LMF/the host of the party:

And Whitney, our sweet neighbor friend/the state auditor's wife:

Ross (and Laura):

And afterward, because I am a baby and have no tolerance for spicy food, we all went for steaks at Dean's Smokehouse. Because when your Texas friend comes to town, you have to, right?

Such a crazy and fun night!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#1,949 Go Outside.

First things first, HUGE shoutout to PJ and Thomas in Tennessee who were so thoughtful and sent us a note and a jar of apple butter from Dollywood in the mail. Y'all know how much I love to get a package in the mail! (And also, Dollywood!) Thank you so much, guys!

And then, after a pretty stressful work day with a lot of dead ends on everything we tried to scratch off our to-do list today, we rolled down the windows and drove out to my parents in the cool, breezy sunshine.

Where daddy grilled chicken and sausage and my mama made a pot of macaroni and cheese just for me. There's a whole lot of comfort in cheese, butter and noodles, y'all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#1,948 New Orleans with the Blackledges.

Our dear old friend Daniel and his darling wife Katie flew in to New Orleans bound for Laurel after over a year in Hawaii with no trips home. Since we last saw them they had a baby girl... Whom they named Laurel! Tonight it was so great to give them all big hugs and spend a night together eating and hanging out in the French Quarter. At this writing it's 1:15 am and I'm blogging from my phone in the back of Mal and Jim's car barely awake, so a few photos will have to suffice for today.

Well of course we went to Lafitte's then got beignets.

Monday, April 20, 2015

#1,950 Construction Zone.

Well, I mean. Not really.

But there are a lot of projects happening in the backyard simultaneously that are making it look like a disaster. But if you want to make an omelet, you've got to break some eggs. There's fence building and painting and concrete pouring and crushed granite spreading...

And Ben fell through our old concrete stairs last week and the new ones arrived today. On a palette. On a forklift. That couldn't fit between our house and AC unit........... So......

I'm sure he'll figure it out. Right?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

#1,949 Pro Wedding Pics + Pro Landscaping.

First of all, our incredibly talented friend Brooke was the wedding photographer yesterday, and tonight she texted us a few snapshots she got. Doesn't she make everything look like magic?
We aren't sisters, but it's pretty dang close.

This photo of Lucy and Mallorie is so good it makes me want to cry about it.

In other news, I finally took a photo of the front yard post professional landscaping!
Now I just need all those baby plants to grow.

And then we spent the day after church dog walking and picture painting and backyard picket fence building:

For $100 bucks, we'll have a pretty white picket fence to keep the pups away from the (we later discovered) toxic potocarpus plants we put out a couple weeks ago. So far they haven't bothered them, but we don't want to take any chances.

Can't wait to show you the finished product!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

#1,948 Oldfield + Wedding Date.

I spent the morning babysitting Walker and 3 things happened. We petted the dogs, we played with toy cars:

But then. Then he went toddling off into the office and tripped over the rug and fell so hard, flat on his belly and it knocked the wind out of him and he was so so HURT about it, y'all. Not like, physically hurt, but he immediately began to cry face down on that rug and I could not get my arms around him to pick him up and hug his precious little body fast enough. He buried his face in my chest and cried and whimpered and it broke my heart so bad I might never get over it. 10 seconds later, it was like nothing every happened, but by then I was an emotional wreck. How do you parents do it? Babies are too little and innocent and vulnerable to just go walking around like this. IT'S TOO MUCH!

A few weeks ago, our friend Chad gave us some of his beautiful handcrafted leather goods as a gift, and to pay him our thanks I helped him come up with a logo. The maker's marks came in this week so today he stamped our wallet, clutch and key fobs so we can show off Oldfield wherever we go. Before, they were really beautiful, but the added texture of a stamped logo gives them each a whole new personality, doesn't it?

He's 100% word of mouth still without an online store, so if you'd like some of his beautiful work too, let me know your email address and I'll put you in touch!

Later, we got fancy and made the 2 hour drive to Tylertown for Mallorie's little brother's wedding. I can't believe that the boy who used to crash on our couch in college when he was on his summer vacation is now a married man!

My pal Mallorie is a good woman, y'all. She was so exhausted from 2 days of wedding-ing I know it's gonna take at least 2 days to recover. That's a phenomenon I talk about often—being, not "bone tired", but "wedding tired" which is at least 200% more tired than any other possible tired.

Please say you know what I'm talking about?!

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