Friday, March 30, 2012

Savvy In San Francisco: The balancing act

Some Mom’s make it look easy. Their children are happy and healthy and they have a strong relationship with their significant other. They operate as a team and combined, make one heck of a family unit. That’s Melissa. She’s the mother of three young kiddos and she’s young, hip and honest!

Today Melissa is sharing her perspective on finding balance with family while maintain her individual identity.Hi everyone! Melissa from Savvy in San Francisco here! I was thrilled that Stacy asked me to guest post while she is away on her fabulous vacation in Dubai!

Stacy asked me to talk about finding balance in my relationship with my husband, Carlos, while still trying to be the best parent I can to my three bambinos. We were talking at an event the other night about Stacy’s vacation and I was encouraging Stacy to take as many vacations as she could with her husband prior to starting a family and to really enjoy this “couple” time. You will be able to vacation after the babies arrive, but the vacations will change as you try to find more kid friendly options.

We know that we want to take our children to Europe and show them all of the amazing things that we love about it, but we know that will be a ways out (at least till the youngest is old enough to appreciate it). But we still wanted to have those experiences too. One of the best/hardest things we did four years ago was to leave Landon (my now five year old) with my parents, while we went on vacation to Paris. I remember crying in the car as we drove to the airport and I wondered if we had made the wrong decision. But what that vacation did was give us time to reconnect as a couple and remember what made our relationship truly special. It gave us time to slow down and focus on each other. It gave us time to realize, “That’s right, I remember you, I remember us, I remember why I love you so much!” What helped me tremendously since I was missing Landon like crazy was that we were able to talk to him every night of our trip via Skype and then my Mom would write me an email from Landon every morning of what he had done that day (since we were in completely different time zones).

Another thing we do to make sure that we have time for us is to try to have at least two date nights a month. I think that it is easy to get bogged down by the day-to-day routine and not take the time to reconnect as a couple. We try to have our “grownup” date night twice a month to be able to have full conversations without being interrupted. Now don’t get me wrong, 90% of our conversation is about the children, but it’s still nice to have that time.

I think it’s important if you can take the time to have that date night, weekend away or even a vacation as a couple to make sure that your connection is strong as a couple. I think that if the two of you are happy and in love that the children can see that and feel it.

How do the other parents out there make sure you have “us” time?

Be sure to check out the Savvy in San Francisco Blog for great to-do's and happenings in the city. Also, don't miss out on Melissa's growing photography business.....she's incredibly talented!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mensch of The Month: Acting on Ideas

I got really tired of hearing all of Dana’s good ideas (there were too many to count) and finally I told her to pick one and see it through. Half the battle of being successful is having the gumption to act on your ideas. In October she decided to create a calendar called Mensch of the Month (Mensch is Yiddish for a good man) which featured single Jewish men of the Bay Area. All proceeds from the calendar went to support her favorite nonprofit SMART.  In about two months she managed to get the word out for applicants, shoot all the photos, complete the layout, print and sell all 100 calendars, raising nearly $2,000 for SMART. IMHO she should have thought even bigger and printed more calendars.  

Today, Dana is sharing her perspective on acting and not taking yourself too seriously.Go Tell it On the Mountain. My idea for the calendar initially was a joke, as in “listen to my scheme to get cute, single men to email me their photos and contact information”. But after I made a website for the calendar a reporter from the Jewish Daily Forward contacted me the very next day to interview me about my project. That was the biggest blessing of all, to have someone to force me to act on my idea and hold me accountable. Obviously, a reporter isn’t going to call everyone and ask to publicize your project. So, the next best thing is to announce your idea to the public yourself. TELL EVERYONE. It’s hard to get yourself to act on your ideas but if you start telling people your plans it’s a lot easier. It’s too easy to quietly quit your project if no one knew you had even begun.
 
They’re Right. Do What You Love. My main interests and talents have always been related to comedy, a keen appreciation of Jewish men, and match making. In retrospect it seems obvious that I should have created a hobby that encompassed the things that I love, as random as they seem, but these aren’t normal interests and I didn’t know I could make a hobby out of them. It’s always been said that “if you do what you love, you won’t work a day in your life” and while I don’t really know if that is true, loving what you do sure is nice. I bet a lot of people have ideas they are afraid to act on, or interests they don’t know how to funnel into a business or hobby. I’d say talk to people about it and figure out how to make it work. It feels so good once the ball starts rolling and you’ll be so proud of yourself for trying. Why wouldn’t you try hard to do something you’re interested in?
 
The Last Laugh. Throughout the entire project I took the details very seriously: the scheduling, the marketing, the negotiations with printers, and our designer etc. but I took the overall project with a grain brick of salt. Since I tend to stress out, I enlisted the help of my friend Liz. She let me make most of the decisions but was always happy to listen to what I was worried about and give her stamp of approval and pat on the head. Not taking things seriously does not mean not working hard, it just means keeping perspective. Going out and doing something on your own is really scary so I obviously you want to take it seriously, but you also have to cut yourself a break and laugh a little. Like if you schlep all the way to Berkeley’s campus for a photoshoot of a very busy graduate student and the battery on your camera dies.

Sometimes you just have to laugh your way through things.  So what's the big idea that you've been holding in?

Be sure to visit the Mensh of The Month blog here to see the scheming for  the 2013 calendar!
 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Not Merely Living: Having your Wedding Cake and Working Too

I first met Meredith from Not Merely Living in 2009 and it wasn’t long before we realized that we were in a similar situation: We were dating guys that we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with, but gosh darn it, what’s taking them so long to propose!?! We both shared this same struggle as well as one other.

How do you balance planning a wedding while maintain a full time job? Today, Meredith who is getting married in June is sharing her thoughts on this struggle!Well hello there! I'm so excited to be a guest here on HelloCupcake LLC! When Stacy asked me to write about balancing a full-time career with wedding planning, I knew I was going to have to Keep it Real with you guys. My very intense (and rewarding) job often bleeds over into my personal life, so I haven't had a lot of extra time to dedicate to wedding planning. My wedding planning has mostly been tucked into evenings and weekends. I hardly ever have time to sneak a wedding related task into my work day.

That said it has also been really important to me to make sure that our wedding didn't suddenly become the focus point of our lives and fill up all of our free time. Our date nights, friends, sunny park days haven’t dropped on our priority list to accommodate our wedding. Here are the six practical approaches that have helped me to keep a healthy balanced life:

1. We have “State of the Union” meetings monthly. I set an agenda. :)
2. We set a very detailed budget, and we've stuck to it (with very few exceptions).
3. We agreed together on our key wedding priorities (food, keeping it large, fun). We’ve kept those in mind when we had to make smaller, trickier decisions.
4. We tackled the biggest stuff first. We booked our venues, and then we chilled for several months. Then I got the dress, and we chilled for a few more months. Meanwhile, I slowly checked out different vendors and let all of that info percolate. Then we booked all of our key vendors (florist, photographer, caterer, cake) in a span of about six weeks at our five-four month mark.
5. We've had fun. There's no way around wedding stress, but we've tried to enjoy each other throughout this process as much as we could. Laughter and making up silly songs makes everything better. Also, leaving each other sweet drawings with dry erase markers on our bathroom mirror=magic.
6. And lastly, and most importantly, I have kept in mind that our wedding will. not. be. perfect. and that's ok.

I have been able to stay relatively calm while I balanced my job, my personal life, and planning a 300 person multi-cultural wedding because I strongly believe that this wedding won't change my relationship. We’re throwing a big party. and that's SO fun! But the reason we're throwing a big party is because we are taking the step to say in front of our family and friends and the universe that this is it. We're in. The party means nothing without the reason. And if we just had the reason (without the party), it would be enough.

Now that we’ve booked all of our main vendors, one of my wise married bridesmaids told me, “Now, if you did nothing else but show up, the wedding would still happen!” I love it. Everything else I do from here on out is a Bonus!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Whirlwind

What a whirlwind the past few days have been! I’ve officially transitioned out of my full time job at the nonprofit, completed and shipped some HUGE orders for Hello Cupcake, finished up an awesome freelance project for a photographer (more on that later) and finished all blogging projects for A Savvy Event for the next few weeks. Phew!

Why is it that an abundance of opportunities seem to pile up when you’re short on time?

Christoph and I are headed out for the trip of a lifetime – We’re going to the UAE to Dubai and Abu Dhabi! We have some good friends that have been living there for a few years and figured it was time to pay them a little visit. Excited doesn’t even begin to sum it up!

Be sure to check out the blog next week. I’ve lined up several guest posts that I’m really excited to share. The posts are all about keeping it real, taking risks and maintaining balance. I thought that was timely considering the life transitions I’ve been making lately. Hope you like them and be sure to show the writers some love!

Image via

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Tiffany Moore: Chasing Dreams and Taking Risks

Tiffany inspires me. That’s the easiest way to put it. She’s a dream chaser who’s not afraid to take risks. She’s a certified life and business coach as well as an artist and one of the founders of Tea House Studio. In January she announced a goal that really resonated with me. She set out to receive 100 rejection letters in 2012. Yes, rejection letters. She was going to start asking, to put herself out there, to think big, to be ok with being told no and to celebrate the times when she was told yes. This sounded like quite a journey to me. After all, you’ll never go anywhere if you don’t even try.

Today, Tiffany is sharing her perspective on taking risks and being ok with failing!Risk is scary. It's big. There's always a chance in life that things will go quite poorly.

Risk definitely brings out my worst-case scenario thinking (mine is that I'll be homeless).

But what if you were able to turn these feelings on their head and change your perspective?

This is what I've done for myself with my 100 rejection letters project. I've made the rejection letter the goal. 100 is A LOT of rejections, so many that I can't help but celebrate each and every one I get. So far this year, I've only gotten 2. Right, I need to get to work…..

But while I've gotten the 2 rejections, I've also been hearing a lot more of the word YES. And because I have such a lofty goal, I have been applying for opportunities I would normally only think dreamily about.

My promise to myself was that if I saw anything even remotely interesting, I would say yes. Raise my hand, say yes, and figure out the details later.

We don't have any idea about what we're capable of until we are put to the test. (Life lesson alert!). Last week, one of my biggest yes’s came to fruition with a guest post over on Design for Mankind. Imagining how to write a guest column (as a life coach!) on a design blog was scary. I couldn't think of anything that would work. But, I raised my hand and pitched an idea and I was told YES! I took a deep breath and figured it out. As we always do when put to the test.

People always ask me how to get around fear, and the hard truth is that you don't. There's no way to work around fear. They key is to do what needs to get done despite the fear. Doing the work is the only way. Doing it all the time, every day, will help you get to amazing places in your life. I promise.

Get to sparkling, you crazy diamonds!

Tiffany

Be sure to learn more about Tiffany, her coaching and art HERE!

Monday, March 19, 2012

United Words Project: Washington

I’ve only been to Washington once. It was in 2008 and I was there for a business trip. Luckily, Christoph had a few days off so he was able to join me.We spent our time exploring Pike’s place, drinking coffee and ferry boating to Bainbridge Island. The air was crisp and clean and most days we were lucky to have gorgeous weather. I hope to make it back there soon. This year I’ve set out to map all 50 US States with text! This is state 9 of 50.

State 1: California
State 2: Texas
State 3: New York
State 4: Utah
State 5: New Mexico
State 6: Florida
State 7: Nevada
State 8: Kansas

Washington card available for purchase HERE

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Riding Out the Wave

Last week I was down in Southern California celebrating my Mom’s HUGE achievement and also spending some quality time with some awesome friends on a surf trip to Carlsbad.The three of them: Christoph, Sarah and Ray surf quite a bit…..me on the other hand, not so much. I had planned to give it a go until I heard the water temp was in the 50’s. No. Way.I just couldn’t resist sharing this picture montage. I had the camera set on sports mode and caught every step of Christoph’s wave. From the paddle to catch it to the leg splits in the air with his body under water. This cracks me up! (click image to enlarge)Instead of sand, the beach provided an abundance of perfect skipping rocks. I thought it was quite beautiful. And lastly, how cute is my hubs! I love his smile here. He truly looks happy because he’s about to do something that he loves! I adore him. Such a fun getaway!

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm So Proud of Her

Today my gorgeous mom is defending her dissertation for her PhD. She’s well into her 50’s but attaining a PhD has always been a dream of hers. There’s something to be said for chasing your dreams, no matter how large. Hard work and dedication pays off.

I’m so very proud of her and I’m lucky to have such an amazing role model in my life. I’ll be down in San Diego this week to support her. My mom never missed a special occasion in my life and there is no way that I would miss this.

Congrats Doctor Mom!!!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

United Words Project: Kansas

I had just moved from Texas to Laguna Beach in 2005 and I had just one girlfriend. We were out at a bar one night when we met Michelle. Michelle and I chatted and before leaving, she asked for my number and called me that next week. No hesitation. She wanted to be friends and was going to make it happen. She had just moved in to town from Kansas.Because Michelle put herself out there not only did I make an amazing friend but I also met my husband. It’s a long story for another day, but I met Christoph through Michelle. Michelle changed my life when she extended that olive branch and lucky, I grabbed on.This year I’ve set out to map all 50 US States with text! This is state 8 of 50.

State 1: California
State 2: Texas
State 3: New York
State 4: Utah
State 5: New Mexico
State 6: Florida
State 7: Nevada

Kansas card available for purchase HERE

PS- So fun to see all of my United Words Cards coming together!!!!

The Next Chapter

Guilty. Lately, I’ve felt guilty. Guilty if I’m not working hard enough when I’m alone. Guilty if I’m working when my husband is home. Guilty that I’m tired at work because I was up late working or talking with my husband after he arrived home from a late shift. Guilty that I haven’t been able to be the wife, sister or friend that I want to be. I’ve felt stretched thin, paper thin.

I know this is a common feeling for a lot of people, particularly people with their own business. But for me this was new. I’ve always been such a rock star at doing it all.

I knew something has to give. But what? My job working for a nonprofit I believe in? The business that I’ve been building for the past three years? The dream opportunity in the wedding industry that I’ve been working on since October?

This is my life; these are the things that I love doing. It’s a strange realization to know that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t do it all and do your best. I know how good my best can be, and this isn’t it. Deciding what to change is scary. But I’ve decided.

I’m leaving my job at the nonprofit to focus my efforts on growing Hello Cupcake and expanding my role at A Savvy Event as the Blog Editor and Creative Director to now take on wedding planning for other couples.

I’m excited to start this new chapter and unleash the creative fire that has been building up inside of me. My life is about to change.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

United Words Project: Nevada

In life, there are friends you call when you have certain needs. Robin and Olivia are two of my very best friends who I’ve known for 10+ years now and they’ve been there through the thick and the thin. But, if I’m looking to plan a trip or a weekend getaway, these are my go to girls. We’ve traveled the world together, the three of us. I believe we are up to nine countries that the three of us have hit up together. This year, we are planning another little rendezvous…..in Vegas! I can’t wait to spend a few days pool side with my girls catching up. The three of us span three states, so it’s not often that we can get together these days. Because I’ve got Vegas on the brain, I decided to take on Nevada for this weeks United Words Project!This year I’ve set out to map all 50 US States with text! This is state 7 of 50.

State 1: California
State 2: Texas
State 3: New York
State 4: Utah
State 5: New Mexico
State 6: Florida

Nevada card available for purchase HERE

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You & Me Both

A bit of an unusual week over here so posts have been light. I have great news to share very soon but in the meantime, I’m hunkering down, getting work done and ugh, preparing my taxes. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

I can’t wait to fill you in on all of the awesome things that have been happening in my life lately! Hope all is well with you!

PS- Don’t forget to VOTE. Me meeting & interviewing Jonathan Adler = Bananas Right?

Image via

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Map Wall Art DIY

A while back, Christoph and I were perusing one of our favorite home décor stores H.D. Buttercup when we saw a gallery wall made from a map of Rome. It was GORGEOUS and came with a hefty price tag ($2,000+). So we decided to try our hand at making our very own map gallery wall of San Francisco!Map DIY projectWe purchased our map of San Francisco from Axis Maps LLC then cut off the white border around the edging. Material: Map, Frames, Glue/tape, scissors/rotary cutter, level and pencil.We figured out the dimensions for our gallery wall and how to cut the map: Frame: 8x12, Print Cut: 11x7 Draw out the cut lines on the back of the map.Cut out all of your pieces than tape them to a white sheet of paper and place it in the frame.Hang them up evenly and you’ve got a custom map gallery wall! The total price for the project including the frames and print came in around $150. Not a bad price to cover an entire wall with a one of a kind project!

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Biggest Nut of Them All

I am 1 of 19 people in the running to win a trip to NYC to meet and interview designer Jonathan Adler. This is a HUGE opportunity for me and it’s totally within reach…..but I need your help!

Please vote (daily if you can!): HERE

Voting is incredibly simple! Just click HERE and click the “thumbs up” next to my name (Stacy W.) and you’re done! No signing up for anything or entering your info….just a simple mouse click!

If you would like, you can help spread the news:

Facebook (copy and paste):
Stacy W. is just 1 of 19 people in the running to meet and interview designer Jonathan Adler in NYC! Please take a second and vote for her: http://www.facebook.com/cottonelle?v=app_133397090112511

Twitter (copy and paste)
Stacy W. is 1 of 19 people in the running to meet/interview @JonathanAdler in NYC! Vote by giving her a “thumbs up”! http://www.facebook.com/cottonelle?v=app_133397090112511

Voting will take place between now and April 2……so you can be certain that you’ll be seeing shameless plugs about this from time to time all the time!

And of course, thank you, thank you for your support!!!!
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