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Blog — "a few things"

List of Happiness

Heidi Shenk "a few things" "happiness"

Today's Blog Every Day in May topic was to think of things that make you happy. Clearly, I have failed at keeping up with this challenge, but after yesterday's announcement, it only seemed fitting that I write about things that make me happy.

1. Eating and drinking really good food and drink outside on a beautiful day.


2. Cuddling with Finn and Lilah (even if it's more like cuddling with Finn and getting squashed by Lilah).

3. Laughing so hard that I start to cry.

4. Afternoon coffee shop dates with myself.

5. Spending a perfectly good evening at a baseball game. I could never get tired of this.


6. Live music and record shops.

7. Road trips and traveling adventures.


8. The ocean.


9. Freshly baked French bread. The smell always takes me back to my childhood.

10. Getting a letter or card in the mail.

What things make you happy?


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Announcements! (And Squats. Because I Got Side-Tracked.)

Heidi Shenk "a few things" "sponsors"

I don't have a lot to say today. Well, I do, but I'm going to shorten it. My brain is still on overload. Last night I thought the best way to motivate myself to do work was to work my ass off until a predetermined time and then go gorge myself on a Butterfinger Blizzard. Thankfully, Andrew also thought this was a good idea. The motivation worked, my friends, and I got about five million things finished. I am pretty sure the 100 squats I did afterward as part of joining Ashley in the squat challenge didn't burn it all off either. Oh well.

In other news, I told one of my 8th grade classes that I was doing this squat challenge. I think it was because one of my students pulled a leg muscle. I was trying to make him feel better by telling him that my leg muscles hurt too. As a result another student is now doing the squat challenge, and he is incredibly determined to do 250 squats. It's a daily discussion. Like, a serious daily discussion. Serious, serious business here. Man, oh, man, are these kids pretty much hilariously awesome.

Ok, and onward to announcements after filling you in on my awkward conversations

1. I am working my ass off because I will be at the Johns Hopkins Spring Fair this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The hours are 10am-8pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. If you're in the Baltimore area, feel free to stop by and say hi! I'll have lots of cards for sale with a few special deals going on as well.

2. I have had one large sponsor spot open up and still have some small sponsor spots available. If you'd like to save 20% of sponsonship, you can use the code SPRING when you check out. I'd love to have you!

3. By now most of you definitely know that Google is getting rid of their Reader. In order to keep up with my blog, I suggest migrating over to Bloglovin'. You can also subscribe via email by entering your email address in the subscription box on my left sidebar. I'd love to have you continue reading!

4. I have a winner from last week's group giveaway! It's Kristin of Skinny Jeans & a Chai Latte. Congrats Kristin! I'll soon be in touch!

That's it from me for now. And onward to bigger and better things! Time for you to meet someone I think you'll really love.
Ayla has quickly become one of my favorite fellow Esty artists and bloggers. I always feel as though I can connect with what she writes about and her energy seems contagious! In addition to blogging, she owns the shop Eyelah in which she makes the cutest clutches and pouches. I'm actually lucky enough to own one of her pouches that I received in a handmade swap. It's perfect for makeup, jewelry, and other odds and ends that I don't want floating around in my giant purse.
Pleated Paisley Pouch
Right now, I'm loving this pleated pouch, this small pouch perfect for tossing in a purse, and this beautiful clutch.

When Ayla isn't sewing, she's also blogging. She has written fantastic posts on customer service which are right down my alley as I'm dealing with customers on a daily basis. These posts on how to respond to customer requests and how to deal with negative feedback from customers are fabulous and on point. I really have enjoyed her customer service posts because they are reminders to me as well in terms of how I deal with my customers. Ayla doesn't just blog about business though. She also blogs about her life and beliefs, and most recently, one of my favorite posts, thinking back at what she wanted to grow up to be when she was a kid.

Shop // Blog // Twitter

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Tired

Heidi Shenk "a few things" "keeping it real"

It's only Tuesday and I'm tired. Some days I feel guilty for saying I'm tired. I know that there are people out there that literally only get a few hours of sleep each night before doing their day all over again. I usually get about seven hours of sleep, but I'm still tired. Today I came home from school, got a snack, and sat down to my to do list.

Just looking at the list made me feel exhausted. There is a lot going on in my life these days and most of the time I'm not even sure how I get everything done. Actually, let's face it, I don't get everything done.

The worst part is that some days I just want to stop. I want to pretend that I don't have to do any of what is on the list. This I struggle with most because a lot of the things on the list are things I absolutely love doing since they revolve around my business. Realistically, it's not that I don't want to do them, it's just that I need a break. Where is the break though? You probably remember my superwoman post a while ago, and truly there is never a break. I work when I get home, eat dinner, and then work some more until I go to bed. On weekends, I often work eight hour days with the rest of the time being spent on running errands and attempting to do some fun things in there as well.

I think the last time I legitimately wasn't busy and could do whatever I damn well pleased was Christmas break.

That's over three months ago.

I'm tired.

This week, I'm finishing final preparations for my first big craft fair. I'm not sure how I'll finish. Probably some late nights coming up, but it will get finished.

But it doesn't stop there. It keeps going. And going. And going.

I know that there will be a time when this will all end. Eventually, I'll be able to work an eight hour day and I can stop what I'm doing and say that I'm done working for the day. I can't shut off my computer, put down a drawing pen, put the envelopes back onto their shelves, package the last card, say hi to Andrew as he walks in the door after getting home from work, and enjoy the rest of the evening just as I please.

Eventually. But for now, I'm tired.

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Authenticity

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

Prompted by so many different blog posts I've read this week, I started to think about authenticity. It is becoming more and more difficult to identify who is truly authentic in what they do. Is someone writing a self-help blog post because they truly believe what they are writing will help others, or is it all for show just because others have written similar posts and it seems to be popular? Bloggers that are also shop owners offer up some of the strangest and silliest products and I wonder if people really love the products THAT much or if their oohing and aahing in the comments are simply because everyone else is oohing and aahing.



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We have a tendency in this society to build people up. Constructive criticism cannot be given without seeming offensive. I see this on a daily basis with my students. Parents tell their children that they are so smart and such awesome students even if the reality is that they really aren't. The student continues to get built up and when the teacher interjects and tries to explain that a student is struggling, the response is that it must be the teacher and not the student.

In the blogging world, I see the same thing. Readers build up the bloggers that they follow. Sometimes I read articles that are just plain common sense, yet readers respond as if whatever the blogger wrote about is ground-breaking information. It seems as though we, as individuals in this society, have been trained to want to feel important. Or it seems we do everything for gratification. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have someone tell you that you've done well at something, but my question about authenticity comes from these thoughts-- How much of what we do is real? Is the oohing and aahing and the building people up real, or is it because everyone else is doing it? How much of it is truly sincere or is done with calculated intent? And is any of the insincere junk healthy?


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When we give up our authenticity, I think we give up a lot more. We let others mold who we are instead of being ourselves, and we falsify hope within others by being inauthentic with our words and actions. Our authenticity shows who we are and if we give that up, then who are we really? Something completely fake with absolutely no substance?

We are a society that is propelled by adulation. When is someone going to tell the poor blogger with the funky headband that no one wears those in real life and they look ridiculous? Or that we already know how to have a fulfilling relationship without the self-help guide?

For me, blogging is about sharing my experiences-- how much I truly ADORE eating tacos, how annoyed it makes me that the Baltimore City Police helicopter was spying on me while suntanning, how ridiculously excited I am to share something new from my business. It is an outlet that I have needed for a long time to escaped feeling stifled from a rather uncreative daily job. The nature of blogging is that we get up on our soapboxes (hell, I'm doing it right now!), but how long do we keep up the charade of the every-single-thing-you-do-is-amazing-because-it-is-you-who-did-it commendation?

We are not always awesome, in fact rarely awesome at best. So why with the inauthentic gestures? Life is crappy a lot of times. Life is also fantastic a lot of times and if everything is played out to be happy 100% of the time, it makes me feel as though I'm in The Truman Show itself. (I hope someone got that reference because it is Jim Carey at his best. And by best, I mean, great acting, not laughing his head off like a hyena.)

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Nothing is meant to be perfect and nothing ever will be. And it creeps me out when people pretend weird things and play weird parts in their big play that is their life instead of just living it and writing about it. So go give someone some constructive criticism! Tell them that they really shouldn't have worn those purple tights with a cobalt dress or that their card isn't that funny after all (yes, truly people, I hope you haven't been faking me out here the whole time or I would be crushed to know you can't be honest!). I. Can. Take. It. And we all need to learn to get a little thicker skin. It's the healthier solution in the end.

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Lately

Heidi Shenk "a few things"

Warning: This post will 1) possibly be boring, 2) have no photos, and 3) be completely awesome just because I'm completely awesome. Ok, just kidding about that last part.

It's been a while since I posted, but I'm ok with that. Lately I've felt a bit disconnected from the blogging world and I think that's an ok thing. I spent my time away these past few days doing a lot of stuff that I wasn't able to do for about a month and a half due to my shop being so busy.

On Valentine's Day, Andrew and I cooked dinner and then passed out on the couch while watching tv. That's how we do things. We followed that up by going out for tacos and margaritas at one of our favorite local places on Friday night (Woohoo! Getting a little crazy and not passing out on the couch! Oh yeaaaaah!) Saturday was spent running errands that included a giant dinnerware debacle that will have to saved for a later date, followed by Syracuse basketball watching with a friend at the Baltimore Syracuse bar. Sunday was a relaxing morning followed by preparations for a fondue dinner party. We had six of our amazing friends over to enjoy cheese and chocolate fondue. Monday was a lazy morning and afternoon with a lot of designing thrown in there (more to come at the end of this post).

And finally, Tuesday. Oh Tuesday, you were ridiculously long. You started nice and early with a faculty meeting an hour before school starts, continued with some crazy student stories (which I will one day write about when I am no longer a teacher), stuck around even longer with an after school event that lasted until 7:30, and ended with Andrew and I stuffing our faces with leftover pizza from such said event and passing out on the couch while watching Storage Wars. Oh Tuesday, you were not kind at all.

And now here we are at Wednesday. And I am almost positive you may have stopped reading because I am also fairly positive that I may have bored you in those first few paragraphs. Let's just say that it was kind of nice to live a little.

P.S. The winner of the Oh, Nostalgia giveaway is Beth! Beth, I'll be in touch with you shortly about your prize! :)


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