Friday, February 10, 2012

Grand Opening: Paradise Sweets!

My Etsy Shop is finally open as of now!!!

For any of you that are unfamiliar with, it is an online marketplace for people who want to buy and sell handmade or vintage items. It's not done by auction and there are a billion things to choose from. It's pretty much amazing! And it's great because it allows people like me to share my talents with others EVERYWHERE!

Name: Paradise Sweets
Selling: Decorated sugar cookies (and hopefully Liquid Gold Lilikoi Butter and candies in the future)
Link: Paradise Sweets
Like me on Facebook!

I am SO SO SO excited about this. One of my lifelong goals is to one day, open my own business. I never dreamed then that I could a business on the Internet. While it may seem like an easy, small step, it's still that - a small step. And at this point, a step is a step is a step!

You know how people have ten year plans on things they want to accomplish? I could easily see myself pushing my ten year plan off to maybe 30 or 40 years from now. Why? Because of the fear of FAILURE. Being an entrepreneur is all about taking a risk. And, to quote one of my favorite movies Blue Crush, "Take the risk, Feel the rush". You won't ever feel the rush (of success) if you don't take the risk.

I've always liked this quote as well:

  • "The only people who never fail are those who never try."
That being said, I opened this shop to prove to that small voice inside me that says "You can't do it!" that Yes, I can!

The two fears I have are:
  • I won't get any business
  • I will get absolutely overloaded with orders
Are any of those two fears bad?! No. It only costs 20 cents to post a listing on Etsy. So if I absolutely fail, it's not like I lost a huge chunk of cash. And I will know in my heart that I tried my best. The timing may not be right, or I might not be offering a product that people want right now, but at least I will have given it a shot. That's better than wondering.

If I get overloaded? GREAT! Then I can quit my day job!

I know that God has equipped me with all the things I need to be successful. And He will never lead me wrong. I don't have these skills to keep to myself. I love to share and bless and make other people happy. I wish that I could bake for everyone for free. Maybe when I'm a millionaire that will happen :)

So, dear friends. We come to the part where I must give my official THANK YOUs, because I could not have done this on my own.

Thank you to my family for always being so encouraging. For being the FIRST official taste testers! You guys are all so wonderful and the best family a girl could ever have!

Thank you to all the other taste testers: The guys at The House, ALL of my past roommates, classmates, dorm neighbors, friends, and co-workers. A big shout-out to our couples group - they let me experiment on them pretty much every week without complaining that I'm making them fat :)

Thank you to ALL of you who ever said, "You should open your own place!" It's affirmation like that that pushes me over the edge to do what I love. If no one said that, I'd think I was junk. So this is for you - I'm doing it!!!

Thank you to GOD of course. Without His constant love, support and blessings in my life, I would be nowhere. I'm blessed to have a home with an OVEN where I can do this. Blessed to have the money to start this hobby up last year and blessed to have the free time and spirit to want to do all of this!

I saved the best for last. And I will make him read this!

Thank you to my husband, K. He is my biggest supporter and encourager. He comes up with the best ideas.. "You know what you should do... You should make _____". Sometimes they are off the wall but he really comes up with great, different ideas. He makes it through all my meltdowns when I think I can't do it (haha, wedding cakes!) or I mess up and don't know how to fix things. He calms me and makes everything right. He puts it all into perspective. He puts up with my cookies and cookie decorating materials taking over the kitchen (I keep it neat, I swear!) and encourages me to KEEP GOING! Without his support, I would not be doing this. Marriage is a team effort and his support means everything to me! So thanks, honey!!!

Wow, so glad I am not standing up in front of you all saying this outloud. Even just typing it I am getting a lump in my throat and tears are welling up! I feel so loved and encouraged.

So, here we go. Here I GO! Whatever happens, happens, and I have high hopes!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February 2012: Goal Check

I'd like to start checking in every month to make sure I'm keeping up with my goals.

Here's what I set for 2012:

  • -get into a healthier lifestyle
  • -continue with last year's goal of being more generous with my time, talents and money
  • -open up my Etsy store by the end of January (look out!)
  • -be a more thoughtful gift giver
  • -keep in better touch with my family and friends on the mainland
  • -do devotions with my husband once a week
  • -pay off my car early as planned. only a few more months to go!
  • -grow some edibles in our mini garden. last year I was still figuring things out back there.

Well, reading through those again makes me feel like I have so far to go! Good thing it's only February :)

Healthy Lifestyle
This is not a diet; it's a lifestyle change. I'd say that we are doing pretty well at this. Since Thanksgiving, I unintentionally lost 6 pounds. I think the culprit was working too hard in December :P I won't complain too much though, hehe! I am perfectly fine with my weight and lately I've just been wanting to feel more athletic and comfortable in my body.

I bought some swim goggles a few weeks ago and since then I've gone swimming three times, hopefully going again tomorrow!
Sunscreen and googles, that's all I need. Oh, and a suit.
I was on the swim team my senior year of high school and it was SO much fun. I really enjoyed it. So being back in the water like this makes me feel good. Swimming in the ocean is a very different from swimming a pool. Yesterday we had to deal with a pretty strong current. One way it was such a breeze. The other direction, it was like fighting a losing battle and I felt like I was going nowhere. What a workout! Also, there are more things to look at than just a blue line on the bottom. Where I swim, I try to stick to the "inside" where there's a sandy bottom. I've seen a few different types of fish and of course all the coral. There's also a channel which goes out, and I've swam there before, but it's super spooky. There's a pipeline to follow that goes out to a windsock and then you swim back. But I heard a rumor that someone saw a shark in the channel, so it creeps me out. I also once encountered a VERY large sea turtle when I was by myself and it freaked me out! I know they don't eat people but it was still very unsettling.

So my goal with the swimming is to get more comfortable going by myself, and go at least twice a week. I will only swim the channel if there is perfect visibility. Murky water gives me the creeps!

I also incorporated some strength training and I do walks and runs. Last week I rode my bike to work. I try to do this whenever it's not raining and I have the morning shift. It's safer and cooler then. It's only a 4-mile roundtrip ride, but it's a good way to sneak in some exercise when I don't have time.

Being More Generous
Yup, still good on this. Whether it's tithing monthly, supporting a missionary friend, or donating cookies, I feel good being more generous. I am trying to live life with more of an open hand than a closed fist.

Etsy Store
Stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow! I may not have made my goal of opening by the end of January, but that's okay, because it's still going to happen! LOVE IT when I reach my goals!

Be a More Thoughtful Gift Giver
I think I'm still working on this. I'll admit that I copped out on Christmas presents last year and bought a bunch of giftcards. They were easier to ship and just easier in general. However it's better when I can join the recipient in enjoying the giftcard. Sometimes you can't be present to do that, though.

Keep In Better Touch
I've been failing on this one. What is it that makes me too lazy to just pick up the phone and call? Or Skype?

Husband-Wife Devotions
We set the goal to do these once a week together, and so far it has been GREAT! I can't report any huge breakthroughs or anything, but it has been really fun and is a wonderful way to grow our relationship with each other and God. I love praying with my husband and learning together with him. Plus it's nice to hear someone else's perspective.

Pay Off the Car Early
We are on track. Estimated pay off date: July!

Grow Some Edibles
This is probably third on my list of things I need to take care of. However the lilikoi vine is absolutely growing out of control! I was training it to stay on top of the fence, but the top of the fence is flat so it doesn't have anything to hold onto. It was also pretty windy so it blew down a little bit. That thing grows so fast, I have to check every day to make sure it's not grabbing onto the clothesline! I got some nails to pound into the fence so hopefully it will be able to anchor itself on that way. I want to get it to grow across the whole length of the fence AND stay on our side so no one else can get the fruit (which will hopefully come out this summer!).

The garden is small but I want to try to make something of it! Besides the lilikoi vine, we've got a jasmine pikake plant, aloe, and three ti leaf plants. I killed the Amy Yoshioka Gardenia :( Oops!

I have a bunch of blog post ideas running through my head but just not enough time to do postings lately. Hopefully I can get on that soon.


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