Friday, December 31, 2010

2010, you were a weird (but pretty awesome) year.

am i the only one that gets totally teary thinking about a year in review? i just can't believe all that has happened this year. to be honest, 2010 was hard. it was amazing, but there were days i just wished it was over. looking back, i don't know if i would take one bit of it back. i learned so much about myself this year and i am so grateful for that.

they look so little!!

in january i hosted my first ever benefit sale for my nephew's birthday. It was by far my favorite way to celebrate a birthday/start a new year. We raised over $1300 for autism in just 3 days!

in february I was invited to have my products in shade stores all over utah for a 3 month local accessory designer sale and worked round the clock to keep my items in stock. shade has since gone out of business, but i felt like a rockstar having my items in the local malls. the popular modern pearl statement necklace was first introduced at shade. i also got to pull off another surprise and made it to my niece's baptism in california.


march marked my baby's 1st birthday- i reposted the letter i wrote to him the day before he was born wrote him a new one as well.  we celebrated with friends and family at an "oh henry!" bday party.

april and may were a complete blur thanks to the first ever queen bee market. i think i talked to my sister more on the phone in those 2 months than i ever have in my life. the queen bee market was so much fun and it was so great to meet and connect with such amazing women from all over california. to think, i'd never even heard of lindsey! (i know, i was living in a cave!)

in june i participated in my first bijou market and loved it. i was really tempted to quit after a busy 6 months. but then i didn't. i hopped on twitter and quickly realized it's positive impact on my business. i sent a pair of mustard earrings to miss gussy and made a fast friend.

july 5th was allora handmade's one year anniversary! i celebrated that month with 500 sales on etsy and sent goodies to blogher with sara sophia in hopes they would land in martha's hands. july was also the begining of my soon to be re-released baby line, and really marks my switch over to this blog as my main blog. my sister surprised me with her secret plans to help me get to the creative connection. i started (and never finished! note to self!) my mary, mary quite contrary series.

i spent most of august in san diego wishing i still lived there and relaxing, went to disneyland with my kids for the first time, and celebrated clint's 31st birthday and last year of school.

september was full of prep for and recovery from my first conference, the creative connection. i was on cloud nine rubbing shoulders with some amazing women and was later featured on the pioneer woman's blog and sent pics of her wearing my necklace!

we also celebrated owen's 3rd birthday and my heart couldn't believe it had only been three years since i had become a mother. i reposted my most favorite post ever in honor of his birthday.

in october my monthly sales tripled as a direct result from the connections i made in minnesota. I introduced a new fall line, started wishlist wednesdays, and hired an official allora handmade assistant. i started thinking about christmas in october for the first time in my life. much of the month was also spent prepping for the holiday queen bee market. and then there was halloween. no comment.


i turned 31 on november 1st and finally joined the rest of the world in getting a smart phone. we pulled off another queen bee market - bigger and better- and had a blast doing it. i also participated in another bijou market, and got serious about filling christmas orders.

in december my mom came to the rescue to watch the boys for a few days while i finished up all of my orders a week early with blistered fingers! i participated in project 320 and christmas for cliff and celebrated the true spirit of christmas. we spent the rest of the month in san diego and ended the year with family and friends.

in 2010, i had a lot of breakdowns. and a lot of breakthroughs. i almost quit. and then decided to go for it. i made new friends. i grew as a person. i reached some goals and made some new ones. i am so grateful for the struggles and accomplishments that 2010 brought.
here's to another crazy good year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

my favorite picture.... EVER. (taken on a phone, of course.)

my favorite gift this year was these pj's we gave to the boys.
oh my word, they kill me.
i laughed forever when they put them on on christmas eve.
i die. 
and can you keep a secret? they never even got dressed christmas day. why would you when you could run around dressed as woody & buzz? and it kept me smiling all day long.
man, i love these kids.

a few random things:

  • i got to guest post for one of my favorite friends this week! love me some gus!
  • sooo many exciting things coming for allora handmade in the new year. can't wait to share!
  • i caved and bought jeggings. from anthro. and i'm in love. (i have NEVER spent more than $40 on a pair of jeans, so this was big for me. tell me it's going to be ok.)
  • no seriously. tell me it's going to be ok. {hold me.}
  •  i'm working on changing the shop to be ready-to-ship only. this means when something sells out, it will be gone until i have a second to make more. i hope it makes things a little less stressful for you and me!
  • the shop WILL be stocked up on the 1st! (thanks for your patience!) maybe even some new products!
  • blissdom is 28 days away!!! are you going?
  • check out what cute sandy wore on christmas day! love it!
  • have you seen those cute shops over there on my sidebar? i want this and this and this and these. and i could go on and on. seriously. check them out. (want to join them over there? email me for more info!)
  • if i were you, i'd start rounding up your allora handmade photos to be added to our customer love page so you can get a 15% off discount code in time for the shop update on the first. but i'm not you, so you can do whatever you want!
  • look what my rockstar sis surprised me with. oh ruthanne... you genius, you. (miq also got me these in mustard. she knows me pretty well, huh?)
  • enjoy the rest of 2010! i will be spending the next 3 days soaking in san diego, friends, family, and real mexican food before heading back to the ccccoooooolllllllddddd.
  • y'all are the best! xoxo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

wish list wednesdays: my grown up christmas list

Rescue of the Lost Lamb by Minerva Teichert
lately i've been thinking about my "grown-up" christmas list (thank you amy grant.)
so often i find myself wishing away all the hard things in life. wishing things were different, wishing life was easier. wishing we could be done with school, wishing we lived closer to family, wishing i could spend all day everyday with my kids.
wishing, wishing, wishing.
but when it comes down to it, i do not want to wish my life away.
what if the hard things were all gone? would i be who i am today? would i be courageous enough to start my own business? would i be strong enough to fight through doubts and doubters? would i be confident enough to set goals and actually achieve them? 
i believe in Christmas. 
and i believe in Christmas because i believe in Christ. and if i believe in Christ, i believe that He heals all wounds. all heartaches. all sorrows. all pain. i believe that He knows me and all that i feel and long for. i believe that He has great things in store for me.
instead of wishing away the things that make our lives hard, this year, i wish for more faith. faith that He knows what He is doing with me. faith that His plan is better for me than mine. faith that in the end, everything will be ok. not just ok, in fact. everything will be PERFECT.
i wish for faith enough to trust. faith enough to be bold. faith enough to stand. faith enough to not be afraid. faith enough to LIVE and not just pass the time. faith enough to make a difference.
i hope this season we can take the time to step away from the gifts and glitter to celebrate the Greatest Gift: the birth of Him who gives us hope in all things.

wish list wednesdays: introducing Danielle from Take Heart

hi! i'm danielle from take heart and i am so excited to share my little wish list with you all today. i have been so inspired by all the ladies' wish lists before me that i had trouble narrowing my own down. this has been such a delightful way to spread the handmade love and discover new shops to admire. thanks so much for letting us all share, jess!
{it is just days from christmas now but i will happily accept any and all items from my wish list as a new years present. hubby, girlfriends, sisters, mom…ya heard?!}
how fun are these?! you can choose from all different stache shapes and hair colors.
i can't think of an outfit i wouldn't wear this with. i love all the colors but, since i am smitten with mustard yellow, that is my number one choice.
my camera strap looks naked without this.
i promise it would be used every single day.
i already have one print from tank and tink and this one is next on my list.
l o v e.
i am a girl of many lists.
lizzi marie's bunting notebook is the perfect place for me to store them.
for me to carry my guys close to my heart.
{ c, b, f }
i love the color, texture, and chunkiness.
upstate new york winter is here and roaring and this is calling my name.
yellow, doily, being on time…
how could a girl go wrong?
happy wishing, happy wednesday, happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

our week(ish) in phone pics

well, we made it. we are here in (not so sunny) san diego and are thrilled to be home.
we've had a fun, relaxing, full week. it seems i'm better at taking pictures (blurry as they may be) on my phone than in any other way, so we'll go with it. and since i'm technically on vacation, they are in no particular order. call me lazy. if you follow me on twitter these will look familiar (again, lazy.)

 clint  relaxing and playing with henry after a whopping 6 1/2 hour math final. ask my sister, i seriously thought he was dead in the streets and started driving around looking for him in the gutters. 6 1/2 hours!!! who does that? no more math for him(yay!) and only one more semester to go. well, for now.
 driving around to look at the christmas lights. the boys LOVE christmas lights. unfortunately we never made it to temple square this year, but here is my post from last year. love that place at christmas time.
 gotta teach 'em while they're young. i rarely go to restaurants with the boys - i'm not very adventurous with them on my own, but they are finally getting to an age that is so much easier. and since the hubs isn't in love with cafe rio like i am, i found another date. or two. and they were HAAAAAPPPY. so was i. win win!
 deciding whether or not to buy the ridiculously cheap forever 21 cowboy boots. i didn't buy them that day, but they haunted me and i went back the next day to get them. and i'm in love. i think i've worn them every day since.
 owen & i decided to try our hand at gingerbread houses. oh boy. whoever invented gingerbread houses a) did not know anything about gravity or the laws of  physics in general b) did not know much about children and their patience levels. let's just say it's a good thing i don't plan on being an architect. but owey sure was happy. can you tell?
my amazing (and totally unoriginal) invention. i had used this mug to dip pretzels into caramel (for before mentioned holiday treats) and when it was time to clean up the mess i decided that rather than cleaning up this caramel, i would make apple cider in it. oh. my. yum. soooo goooood.
 the latest addition to my tights collection. tights are my favorite way to make winter not so .... winter - y. these babies were just $5 at target!
 henry eats breakfast in style. someone tell me why my boys insist on eating yogurt with their hands?
 sorry if you are offended by this one. i think it's hilarious. henry likes yanking on his diaper until it is barely hanging on. i sent this pic to my sister to make her laugh. it did.
sad, sad day in provo. the tabernacle burnt down and the city is still mourning this beautiful building. we live about 8 blocks from here, so we could see smoke for 2 days. so sad, but the boys sure loved the fire truck action.
 good mail waiting for me in my mailbox! heather from angel face designs sent me a package full of goodies. aren't they pretty?!
 from our front yard yesterday. let me tell you how sad i was to leave all the snow. (not even a smidgen.)
 henry at the airport. we got there nice and early and it made for a much easier trip. the boys watched planes and trucks out the windows and were thrilled.
owen and henry ate breakfast on these treasures this morning. cabbage patch plates from when mique and i were kids that my mom still has for the grandkids to use. don't be jealous.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


i finally got all my holiday neighbor goodies out the door... i must say, i am no baker, that's for sure! i always manage to screw up even the simplest treats. oh well. ya win some, ya lose some. 
i did however manage to come up with some pretty cute tags i would love to share with you!

 i am tickled with how they turned out! my husband is usually in charge of the graphics around here ... even he was impressed! feel free to print and use them till your heart's content! i used a 2 inch circle punch to make it super easy. or you could cut it out by hand if you don't have a punch. maybe even use them with some baker's twine and newspaper
merry christmas, and happy gift giving!

Friday, December 17, 2010

blue steel and a winner.

i just about died when i saw sweet ilene's links on twitter yesterday and hopped over to her cute blog to find these:

well hello there modern pearl in mustard yellow...

 ilene has great taste... the mustard is my favorite too. i'm always planning my wardrobe around that necklace!

 isn't she gorgeous? don't you love her pairing of mustard and navy? ME TOO.
anyhow, got me thinking.

do you have pictures of yourself modeling (or just wearing) your favorite allora handmade items? I want to start up an "i heart my customers" page and would love your pretty faces all over it.
would it be worth 15% off your next order (shop will be full in january! promise!)? send me what you have and I'll send you a discount code! and if you are hoping to have some new goodies under the tree, don't worry, i can wait!
so put on your best blue steel (zoolander anyone?) and send me your pics! (
can't wait to see!
**if for some reason you  are dying to send me your pictures but do not want them included on my site in any way, please let me know**

in other news... the winner of the project 320 and team cliff giveaway (according to is lucky #9:

congrats Meggan! email me to claim your prize!
thanks to all of you who donated!