Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I used to love volunteering in my community. It always made me feel more aware of how others lived and was fulfilling to give back.  Since I previously worked for Non-Profit organizations in my former life, I had plenty of time to get involved with a variety of organizations.  That hasn't happened so much in the last decade due to work demands.  In fact, it has been at least 10 years since I have done any volunteer work!  Today my husband and I were able to go volunteer at our local food bank and pack weekend backpacks of food for children who otherwise wouldn't eat on the weekends.  It felt so good to get back to back volunteering and to actually feel like I was a part of something again.  Even better was sharing it with my husband.  He and I have never done something like this together and had a good time doing so.  I plan to start doing this once a month but am on the lookout for other volunteer opportunities in our community as well.  Just one more step in the right direction of getting my priorities aligned ....

Hobby + Hound

My first attempt at a side business will be an Etsy store that I'm opening called Hobby + Hound.  The name sums up two things which are very important to me and my family and ties in quite well with this blog as well.  The focus of the store will initially be patterns and kits that people can buy and then make their own dolls, pins, etc.  I plan to have a lot of felt and crochet works as well as some paper crafts as well.  Of course, I will also be selling things I've made including jewelry, dolls, bouquets, and whatever else strikes my fancy.  I've been working on my brand logo and above is what I'm starting with.  I'm a sucker for minimalist, classic southern looks.  This is a great logo for me to get started with. 

Additionally, I'll be using my hounds for mascots.  Below is Ms. Mable Jean.  I'm experimenting a bit to get her and Molly put into cameos or silhouettes.  I think they will make a great addition to the shop and of course, who doesn't love a M&M story... ornery girls.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New Chapter

Today was my first day at my new job.  As you may have noticed my attention to this blog started to lapse about mid-year in 2014 and had a lot to do with the miserable situation I was in for my job.  I was working as an IT Security & Controls Leader as well as leading a multi-system implementation as part of a severely aggressive 3 year implementation, leading a group of direct reports as well as contractors with two different IT providers and running all of the systems audits for the organization.  I hit burn out like I never have.  I worked 80-100 hours a week consistently for over a year and I was done.  I would have done just about anything to get out of that situation.  Luckily, I didn't have to.  Around Thanksgiving time I got an interview with another company that was offering decent pay and less responsibility = less work, more life.  I got an offer and started today.  I had to do a lot of soul searching and facing facts to make this kind of move.  I was on the up and up after all at my former job and headed for bigger titles and more responsibility.  The bottom line was -- I was taken for granted and I had absolutely no life.  I couldn't tell you much of what I did in 2014 because I was at work all the time.  I know we took a trip to Disney and I was deaf in one ear the entire time because my body had been so ran down I couldn't get well.  That's about it.  So fast forward to the present.

I am present.  I am committed to keep things balanced and putting my priorities ahead of a job.  To be honest, I'm not overly concerned about the demands of the new job, I just need to pace myself before I am pulling off daily miracles again and sleeping a few hours a night.

Starting a new job at the beginning of a new year is a great, fresh start.  I am looking forward to finding out what my new normal is.  I'm also excited to have more time to work on the things that I am passionate about.

  • I mentioned last year that I wanted to start my own Kawaii business.  That desire hasn't waivered, in fact, it was a consideration to making the job move.  I was never going to have time to focus on starting up a store in my old job. Now, in my free time, I can continue to work on chasing that dream.  
  • Another thing that is priority to me are my family and marriage.  My girls have gone without much attention from me over the last year and that has been hard.  My husband has gone without much attention from me since we got married in 2010.  I am really going to try to get a better family focus back in my life.  It sounds ridiculous to say that I need to put my family first because that should be so natural but it wasn't and hasn't been for me for some time.
  • My health hasn't been a priority at all.  In fact, I take better care of my animals than I do myself.  As I get older, I realize this is the body I was given, I need to treat it better.
  • My creativity.  I am a creative.  I love to write, draw, sew, remodel, bake, plant, refinish but I haven't done this in so so long.  I have done some drawing in the last year but that's about it.  I am happiest when I am creating things so I plan to get back to it. 
I do hope to keep this blog more current and keep you updated on my return to normalcy.  I have taken a giant step towards slowing down and hope I keep myself accountable to my priorities. I hope you enjoy reading my journey here.