Monday, October 31, 2011


While looking around on Pinterest last week, I came across this:

It was like walking into a brick wall for me. I woke up. I looked around and realized that work doesn't have to be like it is for me. It doesn't have to be stressful. I don't have to dread getting out of bed. It doesn't have to be a chore...

The timing of this was incredible. Chances are, I won't have a job {at least not here} at the end of the year. This isn't a new feeling for me, unfortunately. Working in a non-profit, I get that cuts have to be made each year. The economy stinks, we lose money every year, blah blah blah. I won't go into my feelings, because they're mostly things I don't want to put into writing and then throw out for the world to read, but let's just say there's a lot of bitterness and anxiety in my world right now. I'm tired of being the one who will jump to help everyone, and the first one on the list of positions to be cut because I'm "non-essential." It's not a good feeling, and I'm done with it.

Nothing is set in stone, of course. I haven't charted my course yet. But there are so many things I'd rather be doing than this. Or another job like this. When I think about how I spend my time procrastinating, I see a distinct pattern:
  • DIY
  • Handmade anything
  • Blogs
  • Crafts
  • Home decor
  • Stationery
  • Weddings
  • Photography
I appreciate creativity. I appreciate people who take the time to make things themselves. I appreciate Etsy and people who buy locally. I appreciate handcrafted treasures that I know are one of a kind. These are all things I strive toward when creating stationery for my customers {or whatever else I'm making.}

So, I'm challenging myself to find a role where I can do what makes me happiest while still contributing to my family. I have a couple of ideas in the works {I'll share more when I have some details worked out} that I couldn't be more excited about.

In the meantime, I'll be looking to spend my time doing things I enjoy. What about you...what do you do when you procrastinate?

Happy Monday all!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Since agreeing to buy our new home last Saturday, we've had some well-meaning remarks that make me cringe a little. I don't typically associate with mean people, so I'm sure that everything that has hurt my feelings has been well-meaning.

I'm completely in love with our new home. I know I have some blinders on {as one does with new love}, but I see so many great things for our family in the house. I already feel like it will be a wonderful home for us and our pups and whatever other little creatures may come our way in the future.

However, in an attempt at documenting everything that's going on in the process, I wanted to write about {and address} some of the things people have said to me/us over the last couple of weeks.

Well-Meaner #1: Why would you give up your beautiful farm for a little house in town?

I've written about how hard it will be to leave our farm. It's not really something I expected to do when we bought it 3 years ago. But, the reality is that our new house is equally beautiful for a number of different reasons. We're not giving up on anything. We're making a decision to leave behind a wonderful piece of property and a house that has been our home for 3 years. I know the next owners, whoever they might be, will love it just as much as we have. It was such a difficult decision to come to, but it's one we thought carefully about for a long time. And, for the record...the houses are the same size as far as square feet goes...they're just laid out in different ways.

What we are giving up, however, is a lot of driving {both to see our families and to go to work}. We're giving up a distance that separates us from of the people we're closest to in the world. We're giving up a lot of unnecessary things that we've collected over the last few years. We're giving up spending a lot of extra money on a mortgage payment.

Well-Meaner #2: Oh, you must not need a large kitchen.

Let me start out by saying that while our new kitchen isn't as large as our current kitchen, I don't feel like it's a small kitchen by any means. I also feel like we have the same amount of counter space and storage {I think we actually have more cabinets and drawers}.

Does one actually need a large kitchen? Does the size of my kitchen affect how the food I cook there tastes? Does anyone actually care how much square footage is available when they're laughing together over a meal? I'm going to go with "no" on these items, and they're really all that matter to me. I love that our kitchen is open, I love that it overlooks both the dining room and the living room, and I love that no matter what common area Mike & I are in, we'll be able to spend time together. It's very rare that we're actually doing the same thing at the same time, so we find ourselves separated even when we're home together - this "small" but open kitchen will eliminate that issue.

Well-Meaner #3: You'll regret giving up your house. Think carefully.

No. I won't. I may miss it from time to time {probably often, especially in the fall}, but I won't regret the move. I have very few regrets in my life, and this won't be one of them. Every new adventure is a joy and a challenge all at once, but every single thing that's happened to me in my life has been a blessing. Sometimes it takes a little time to figure out why, but it's there if you look hard enough.

Additionally, Mike & I are generally thoughtful people. We don't tend to rush into big decisions {especially Mike, he's very cautious}, we like to look at every angle, and I like to analyze things to death. I'm a little offended, Well-Meaner #3, that you think we wouldn't have thought this through before making a step.

I'm not addressing any of these comments on my blog to "call anyone out." I did that when the comment was made to the person who made it. I don't enjoy defending my actions & decisions {and I don't do it very often}, but I'm extremely proud of this new house and our decision to make the move. And to give proper credit to my friends and family, everyone has said how beautiful the new house is and how they can't wait to see it and appreciate all the little details.

Home is truly where the heart is. It will be in this new house, it's in our current house, and it was in our tiny apartment before this. As much as I've loved and will love the buildings we reside in together {well, maybe not the apartment so much!}, they're just buildings. It's love & family & friends that makes those buildings special...seeing my puppies run around the yard or having friends over to watch a movie or having the floor covered in wrapping paper after Christmas dinner.

So, Well-Meaners, I appreciate your opinions. If we weren't so close, I know you wouldn't have shared them with me. I know you're looking out for our best interests. I know you want to help us see clearly when making this decision. Rest assured, we are thrilled with our new house and can't wait to make it our new home.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Remember Your Manners and Some Cute Kids

Good morning!

I found out this morning that some photos I've taken and posted publicly are being used by others as their own. Not cool. I really don't post a ton of original pictures, so I didn't think this would be an issue for me, but apparently it has been. I try very hard to give credit where it is due when I post other's pictures {Pinterest is extremely helpful in that regard.} I was pretty livid this morning when I found out and my husband {who isn't what I would call creative} asked why it was such a big deal. Which calmed me down, because I want to give people the benefit of the doubt - maybe if you don't create things and post them on the Internet, then you don't get the "etiquette." Good rule of thumb though - give credit where it's due. We all learned at a pretty young age not to cheat. We know it's not right to steal someone's research and pass it off as our own. I can't take a copy of Huck Finn, cross out Twain's name, and write my own. Using that same logic, it's probably not okay to take a picture someone else took and post it on your blog or Facebook as your own. It's not okay to take credit for a project that was made by someone other than yourself. Remember your manners, kids. {I hope the stealers actually read what I write and not just steal my pictures.}

This happy little development means I'll be adding watermarks to my original pictures. As I said on Facebook this morning, yay for more work.

Alrighty, teaching moment over. Moving on to some pictures of really cute kids I took this weekend :) If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you've seen my nieces and nephew make appearances before. We had a lot of fun with a quick picture session yesterday since it was time for a new family picture. Here are just a couple of what we ended up with:

That's all I've got for today. This last week was extremely busy, so I'm still trying to get back on some sort of a regular sleeping/working/not working schedule {though there isn't a lot of time for things other than work and sleep right now}...hoping get started on packing and cleaning this week. Oh, we had our home inspection last Thursday, everything was good, and it looks like we're on track to move at the beginning of December! So glad to have that hurdle done...now on to packing up a LOT of stuff :)

Happy Monday all!

Monday, October 17, 2011


We got the house!! Yay :) I'm so excited, this weekend was extremely emotional and so good in so many ways. The best things in our life happen in the fall and this new development is no exception.

*Photo disclaimer...most of these were taken in the evening with some not so great lighting...I will get better ones once we're moved in and have a bright day!
{View of the stairway from the front door}

Of course, I'll be adding all this to my Project Life album, should I ever actually include some content beyond the page protectors and title cards, so I wanted to blog a little about what I can remember {and to be honest, I'll probably just print this and put it in the album}. {Be prepared for a long post, with lots of pictures!}

{View of the entry from the living room}

I was extremely nervous all day and unfocused. We had scheduled an appointment with the current home owners to have another viewing and take everything in one more time. We also invited Mike's parents and his brother and sister-in-law to come with us for a "fresh" view - I was really nervous that my vision was clouded by how much I wanted to live in this house. I was so certain that this house was perfect for us, I was nervous that we might be disappointed seeing it for the second time. I also had thoughts of the house being sold by the time we got there - this happened to us a couple of times the last time we bought a house, so it wasn't completely unrealistic.

{Living room}

Turns out, I had nothing to be nervous about. The house was as beautiful as ever and I could really see us living there. Keri & Mark, the current owners, are awesome people and we loved chatting with them {in fact, we stayed to visit with them for 4 hours that evening!} My in-laws seemed to like the house as well, which is awesome...I know they would have been honest with me if we were missing something major.

When we left for the evening, it was 10:15, but I was on the phone to our realtor, telling her we wanted to make an offer. We set up some time to meet with Mark & Keri the next day and hash out the details of our offer. When we finally got home at 10:45 {for the first time since leaving for work at 6am that morning} we were exhausted, but really excited about this new possibility.

{Main floor bath}

We met with Mark & Keri and our realtor to discuss the offer. Our realtor told us it could be a lengthy process and could take a few hours. I was nervous again, though not as much this time, that something wouldn't work out. We really wanted this house! We worked together on some paperwork, Mark & Keri stepped out of the house {how awkward, we kicked them out of their own house!} so we could discuss the offer, and then we kicked ourselves out so they could think it over. The whole process didn't take more than an hour before our realtor sat us all down and said:

Congratulations, you just bought a house!

It didn't seem real! It still doesn't, to be honest. We were all so excited because I think that everyone got exactly what they were hoping for.

{Fire place}

We're planning to close and take possession on December 5th, which gives us just under 2 months. I love that we'll have so much time to pack and get our house in order because we were thinking this is something we wouldn't be worried about until next year! We can take our time, throw out and donate A LOT of things we don't need to move with us, and make sure that we're only moving the things that we really will use and value in our new home.

{Beautiful bay windows in what will become my craft studio/office}

The scary news is that because we close on a Monday, we won't be able to move in until December 10 {we can move some little things, of course, but the major stuff won't happen until we can have a lot of help}. That gives me exactly 2 weeks to get an entire house unpacked and decorated for Christmas, because I'm hosting Christmas eve dinner at my house!

{What will become the guest room}

Man, is that petrifying. It's hard enough for me to get everything done in the month of December, between buying and wrapping gifts, decorating, cleaning, working, getting Christmas cards out, etc. Now I've got to throw packing, moving, and unpacking in as well! But, if there was ever motivation to get it all done, this is it.

{Master bath vanity}

As thrilled as I am to be moving into this new home, I'm also a little sad. I love our current home so much. It's the first home Mike & I bought together, it was where we planned our wedding, and where we spend the first two years of our marriage. It's where I first fed a cow his bottle, where I had my first garden, and the only home our Abby Gator has ever known. It makes me so sad to think that in just a few months, we'll probably never see it again. I fell in love with this house from the minute I saw it, and it has been an amazing place to live.

{Master bedroom}

So, it's been a whirlwind of a weekend and these next couple of months are going to be pretty insane too! It's such an exciting time though, I'm just trying to focus on things and really live in the moment - enjoy the process, enjoy the last few weeks in our current home, and enjoy the process of thinking about how to turn this new house into our home.  

Have a great week all!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Today my mind is focused in one place. Can't think of anything else...but I need to try...

At least for a few seconds, instead of thinking, "House, house, house," I'm thinking, "Awww...squishy!

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Looks like I'm having a little technical difficulties with the blog and with posting...hopefully I'll have it fixed soon. Sorry for any half finished posts that made their way into your Google Reader {at least, one random one showed up in mine!}

Happy Thursday, all!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fingers Crossed

Happy Monday all!

I'm terrible at getting my hopes up and then getting disappointed by things. I set really high expectations and, often, life falls short. That's okay...disappointment really just means that I cared enough to want something. However...I thought it might be a fun post to write about what I'm hoping for today.

Fingers crossed, we will have many more happy years of marriage beyond these first 2 {Happy Anniversary, Husband!}

Fingers crossed, the beautiful house we visited yesterday will be our home one day.

Fingers crossed, dinner tonight will be an awesome, stress-free time for us to talk about some big decisions in our life.

Fingers crossed, the apple spice cake I ordered from our lovely cake baker and friend at Drizzles {check Mary Pat out here on Facebook} will taste as amazing as it did on our wedding day 2 years ago {who knew she'd come up with a creation that we love even more than red velvet?}

Fingers crossed, it won't snow today like it did on our wedding day :)

Fingers crossed, I'll get my last Halloween-themed printable collection listed on Etsy this week before it's too late.

Fingers crossed, the stressful part of this year is almost done and we can take time to enjoy the very best {in my opinion} time of the year...autumn, football season, Thanksgiving & Christmas.

Fingers crossed, Mike's new job {that he started today} will be an awesome opportunity for him and he will love it just as much as he loved his old job.

It's so nice to be hopeful about things, to look forward to changes that are coming our way, and to know that no matter what happens, I have the best husband to share all of it with! I'm feeling extremely blessed right now!

I hope you all have something to be hopeful about!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Roller Coaster

Good morning all!

I think I've talked before about how we found our house 3 years ago {probably almost to the day...} The husband {then fiance} and I had been house-hunting for almost 6 months. We'd put in offers on 4 other farms to have them all rejected for one reason or another. We'd even looked in town thinking that farm living might not be right for us. Nothing happened. One day I was in my office and got a text from Mike telling me to check out a listing he'd emailed to me. It was love at first sight. There were about 10 pictures in the listing and every single one of them made me feel like we were going to make this place our home. We called our realtor right away and asked if we could see it. We went that night, fell in love, jumped around a little bit, and asked her to put in an offer the following morning. Within 48 hours of seeing the listing, the house was ours. After months of emotional highs and lows, we finally had a place to call ours.

Now that we're talking about moving, I feel like we're at the bottom of a big hill on a roller coaster, once again. We had so many ups and downs during the first hunt, I swore we'd never go through it again. It was painful and exciting and frustrating and joyful and 6 months of anxiety for me {and to a lesser degree, my husband...he's much more laid back than I am}. Yet here we are, ready to make the leap once again.

We saw a house last night in passing that's almost exactly what we're looking for. Again, we've only seen the listing, but something about that tells me it's special. Now let me be clear here - we're not even technically looking yet. We decided not to put our house on the market until at least spring for a number of reasons, and we promised each other not to look until the house was at least on the market {but preferably sold}. The reason for that is exactly what happened last night - dealing with the disappointment of knowing we can't have this house. Wondering if we'll regret that we couldn't buy it, or comparing future houses we look at to a house we can't possibly buy.

Am I ready for this roller coaster again? There's so much going on in our lives right now and in the foreseeable future. Can we add all these emotions as well? I don't know. Add to the mix the sadness of leaving a house a love. A farm I wanted to see our future children running around. Is this something we really want to do? {Yet another reason to wait until spring to list the house...we need to be sure this is right for us.} When we moved before, we weren't leaving anything behind. This time, we'd be leaving a lot...memories, our first home together, lots of time and hard work. However, we'd be gaining a lot as well.

We have a lot to think about over the next few weeks and months. A lot of work to do. A lot of decisions to make. Either way, it looks like we've both signed up for a ride on this roller coaster.

I hope whatever roller coasters you're riding in your lives are worth the ups and downs! Have a great Wednesday :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Spooky Soiree Printable Collection by Vogt Design Co.

The Spooky Soiree Printable Collection features elegant black and white party decoration designs that are perfect for upcoming Halloween parties. I personally see these designs as great for an adult party (I'll be featuring another collection, Fright Night, shortly that is geared more toward family parties)...but that doesn't mean you couldn't dress up these classic designs with some bright orange pumpkins and jars of candy corn to make it a traditional Halloween event. You can check out the Etsy listing here: Spooky Soiree Printable Party Collection

I created this collection to give you a variety of paper goodies for your party decor.

Here's the screenshots of the entire collection. You'll receive these as PDF files within 48 hours of your payment.

Digital files allow you to make the party your own! Prefer vanilla cardstock to white for a vintage look? Go for it! Want to add some bling to your favors with a glittery black ribbon...great idea! The sky is the limit when it comes to using the elements in this digital file. The only thing I would ask is that you keep them for your personal use and please don't share them with friends or family {at only $5 for the collection, share the link to my Etsy store so they can purchase their own copies!}

When I stage a party, it's a snapshot of how the party would look if I hosted it myself. Of course, those are just suggestions and there are so many different ways you could host a Milk & Cookies party using this collection. I started a pinboard on Pinterest for Halloween themed parties, so make sure you check it out here: Halloween Parties Pinboard on Pinterest

As always, everything I create is able to be customized. I had a vision for this party that you can see the pictures above, but maybe you'd like something different - a different color scheme or a different saying on the banner.  I'd be happy to do  customization to the basic design for a small fee, or create a completely custom collection for your upcoming party. Just send me an email or convo me on Etsy and we'll iron out the details.

I hope you're inspired to throw you own Spooky Soiree, with the help of the Spooky Soiree Printable Party Collection.

Thanks for visiting Vogt Design Co.!

Monday, October 03, 2011

Milk & Cookies Party Printable Collection by Vogt Design Co.

The Milk & Cookies Printable Collection is something I think would be extremely cute for a 1st or 2nd birthday party or a baby shower. But hey, I love cookies, and my 30th is next year, so if anyone wants to throw me a grown-up Milk & Cookies party, I wouldn't complain! You can check out the Etsy listing here: Milk & Cookies Printable Party Collection

I created this collection to give you all the signs and labels you'll need for your Milk & Cookies buffet.

And here's some screen shots of the PDF files you will receive within 48 hours of your payment clearing: 

The great thing about digital files is that it saves you time and money in the end! For $5, you'll be getting the original files, which includes the option to customize your Designer Labels if you don't want the standard version {which include the milk varieties}. Customizing these labels is completely free, so I would highly encourage you to take advantage of that option!

Digital files allow you to make the party your own! Prefer vanilla cardstock to white for a vintage look? Go for it! Want to add some paper rosettes behind the letters on the Milk & Cookies banner...great idea! The sky is the limit when it comes to using the elements in this digital file. The only thing I would ask is that you keep them for your personal use and please don't share them with friends or family {at only $5 for the collection, share the link to my Etsy store so they can purchase their own copies!}

When I stage a party, it's a snapshot of how the party would look if I hosted it myself. Of course, those are just suggestions and there are so many different ways you could host a Milk & Cookies party using this collection. I started a pinboard on Pinterest for this theme of a party, so make sure you check it out here: Milk & Cookies Pinboard on Pinterest

As always, everything I create is able to be customized. I had a vision for this party that you can see the pictures above, but maybe you'd like something different - a different color scheme or a different saying on the banner. The Collection includes free customization for the Designer Labels only, but I'd be happy to do additional customization for a small fee, or create a completely custom collection for your upcoming party. Just send me an email or convo me on Etsy and we'll iron out the details.

I hope you're inspired to throw you own Milk & Cookies party, with the help of the Milk & Cookies Printable Party Collection.

Thanks for visiting Vogt Design Co.!

Introducing...Printable Collections by Vogt Design Co.

Happy Monday all!

This is a post I meant to write last Monday, but Sunday a cold/flu/something punched me in the face and I've been knocked out ever since. I thought I was getting better toward the end of last week, but I may have done too much this weekend after an entire week of nothing. I don't sit still very well, so I was dying to get out of the house. Apparently, one trip out and I was done. I spent all day yesterday on the couch, wishing for another day of naps and praying for an end to what seems to be the longest cold/flu/something ever. {I'm a bit over-dramatic. I'm not dying, and I'll be fine. I just haven't really been sick since the swine flu incident prior to my wedding. Not a fun memory.}

Anyway, I decided to start creating some printable collections to list in my Etsy store. I haven't been feeling much in my craft room lately, but I have been spending a lot of time behind the computer, and this is a happy medium, I think. I've been making labels, favor tags, birthday decor, etc. for quite awhile now, but didn't ever think of making pretty printable versions to sell. You can check out a couple of my printed goodies that I've shared before by clicking here {Last Minute Valentines, Michael's Birthday Preview, Happy Birthday Michael!}

You can check out my Etsy store here: Vogt Design Co. for a sneak preview {okay, not really, these have been listed for a week}, or you can look for posts to come. I'll be introducing at least a couple of the sets individually, and I have 3 or 4 more to list this week as soon I'm feeling well enough to take appropriate photos of them. It's a giant pain in the rear to not be able to do something you want to do right away! I'll hopefully also be including some Pinterest inspirations to help you in creating an entire party in the theme of the printable collection. {You may even see more than one post from me today.}

Have a great week everyone!