MommyBusiness's Blog


Lost Love
January 27, 2013, 12:03 pm
Filed under: "Mommypreneur", About "Mommy", MommyTalk | Tags: , ,

Before I became a mom I was really into photography, particular black and white photography using film. I loved it! I took classes, joined photography groups, went around town just to shoot city scenes. My husband even built a darkroom at our old place for me. I would spend hours in there learning new processing techniques and developing pictures. It was such a joy for me.

When I got pregnant with my first, I didn’t spend as much time developing pictures for fear that the darkroom chemicals would affect the unborn baby. Then when my son was born, I simply didn’t have time to dedicate to the craft like I used to. Shortly after his birth, I also got a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera which allowed me to get some of the dark room results in a shorter amount of time (although it still wasn’t the same)…and more and more I started to use automatic mode (instead if manual mode)…and then after awhile, my DSLR started to become a bulky burden to travel with (along with the diaper bag and other kids). Next thing I knew, my iPhone became my go-to camera since I always had it with me wherever I went. So slowly and eventually, I gave up the art of photography. I hadn’t even realized that it happened.

At the end of last year, I was invited to join a 365 Photography Project with other professional and amateur photographers. It’s a project where you take a picture a day and share it with the group. We started the project on Jan 1st of this year. I thought it would be fun to not only participate (and shoot again!), but to also see tons of other photographs as well…from both professionals and amateurs alike.

Can I tell you how much I enjoy it?! I love shooting, I love talking photography with other people with similar interests, I love sharing my shots and seeing other people’s shots. I love that it’s a low pressure situation and that I’m starting to view things with a photographer’s eye again. In the beginning most of my shots were taken with my iPhone, but I did dust off my DSLR and started playing with manual mode again. I’m so rusty, but I welcome the challenge.

This whole experience helped me realize the importance of doing something that I love for myself (something other than resting and/or relaxing). Why hadn’t I thought of that before? My pre-mom self still exists, even though parts of it have been dormant for 7+ years. My love for photography is still alive — of course now it’s in a different form, and that’s okay, because in a lot of ways I’m different too. I’m a busy mom and entrepreneur — but I somehow have found the time to also shoot. Is so fulfilling, and I think it helps spark my creativity — which benefits other areas of my life as well.

The 365 Project I’m a part of is on Google+, but I share quite a few of my shots on Instagram as well. You’re welcome to check them out…my alias is kool_ing.

Is there something that you loved, but let fall to the wayside (maybe without even knowing)? Try revisiting it…it’s so nice to fall in love again.

Advertisements


The 40th year
January 6, 2013, 11:10 am
Filed under: "Mommypreneur", About "Mommy", MommyTalk | Tags: , ,

Happy New year!

I’m so excited about this year…not only because of all the fun projects that I know are in store for me, but also because I and many of my friends will be celebrating our 40th birthday this year. Because its a milestone birthday, lots of friends are having get togethers and parties or celebrating in some way — and it gives me an opportunity to see and catch up with old friends whom I probably wouldn’t have seen it this weren’t a milestone year for us.

Although for many logical reasons it shouldn’t, but it does surprises me to think that I, along with a ton of my classmates from all walks of life, will be 40 this year. I don’t dread it or anything, I’m actually looking forward to embracing it. It’s just that 40 seems so major when you say it, but it really feels the same as any other birthday to me — well, kind of the same.

It does make me think back on my life though, my accomplishments, my legacy, and I can honestly say that I’m quite happy. Of course, I’m always striving to improve, and there are some things I would have probably done differently if given a second chance, but overall, I’m happy with what I’ve done with my life and I have so much to be thankful for.

So this year I’m celebrating life — all of it — family, friends, work, love — I plan to take it all in, and enjoy myself.

Party over here!!!



my legacy?
June 18, 2012, 1:49 pm
Filed under: About "Mommy", Cornbread and Cremasse, ID Stationery, Macaya, MommyTalk

Do you ever think about what legacy you’d like to leave behind after you’re long gone? I mean really think about it. For several reasons these past couple weeks, that’s been on my mind, and so I’ve given it some serious thought.

Here’s what I came up with:

After I’m gone, I’d love for people to be able to pull out their scrapbooks and/or their box of mementoes and point out an ID Stationery invite that was perfectly and specially crafted just for their special occasion, and not only love the actual stationery, but also appreciate the process in which we worked together to come up with it. I’d love for that piece of stationery to conjure up happy moments well after the event is over.

I’d also love to have helped foster pride, knowledge and awareness in Haiti to members and supporters of the Haitian diaspora — especially first generation Haitian-Americans like myself, and their children. I hope that the Cornbread and Cremasse blog and Macaya will have aided in serving that purpose…or at least sparked the start of that for some people.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a mom and have a family. I feel so lucky to have experienced love, marriage and partnership in my lifetime, as well as the gift of motherhood. I hope that the three children that God has sent to this earth through me will Find their passions in life and work hard at it so that they will not only be fulfilled in life, but so that they may also be assets to society and the world and people around them.

And finally, I would like people to remember me as a person who worked hard, played hard, loved hard and was kind to people.

So there…now you try it. I found this exercise to be rather useful and quite motivating. If this is to be my legacy, I need to continue doing all these things everyday. You should try it out for yourself, and see how it makes you feel.



Summer dreaming
June 3, 2012, 1:28 pm
Filed under: About "Mommy", ID Stationery, Macaya, MommyTalk

Hi everybody,

This was sort of a light week for me in terms of deliverables to clients, so I spent a good amount of my work time doing some designing and marketing. I launched a new Macaya fan page on Facebook (facebook.com/theMacayaStore –> please “like” us if you haven’t already), worked on some personal business cards for myself and got some new FB business cards for ID Stationery (as that is where my current digital portfolio resides at the moment — facebook.com/idstationery). I also got some rest and caught up on a bunch of On Demand tv shows. Just what the doctor ordered.

I spent much of the week longing for summer recess. I’m so over the school grind (especially the daily pick-up/drop-off routine). The weather’s turning and I’m having summer fever. In my heart of hearts I know I should appreciate the current moment because summer vacation is sure to be more of a challenge in terms of getting work done since I will have all three kids at home with me (although I’m hoping that they will have themselves to entertain too), but still I will be needed for our frequent summer adventures among other things. Nevertheless, I still long for a change of pace.

I love the changing of the weather. I get to go out more and experience the elements more fully, and the general mood (and clothing) is lighter and brighter. I’ve been outside more — cooking out, riding my bike, jogging in the park. Neighbors come out of hibernation and we become a community again. Such a great time of year!

I have one more month before both boys are on break, but until then I will romanticize the summer! Hope you are enjoying June so far!



I am because we are
April 29, 2012, 11:13 pm
Filed under: About "Mommy", ID Stationery, MommyTalk

Hello again!

It seems like forever since we chatted. I was so busy last Sunday recovering from a busy work week, a 4 year old birthday celebration and tending to a sick 6 year old, that I didn’t get a chance to check in. Happily, things are back on track this week: my 6 year old’s allergies have subsided, and we have thoroughly and successfully celebrated my brand new 4 year old, and I’m back on my regular work grind again.

My stationery business has been really going really well. My plate was full again this week, and I’m so pleased to be able to play such a fun role in people’s celebration planning. I’m working on all sorts of different kinds of projects that allow me to be creative and really think out the box…and nothing makes me happier than a happy customer.

This week my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. We actually have been together for 20 years now…and I am still shocked that all these years have passed so quickly. 20 years together means that we’ve been together for more than half my life, and I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change a thing.

In retrospect, I believe I am who I am today in large part because he and I are a team. He encourages me and supports me in my dreams…and I in his. In fact, our dreams are the same – we share our dreams and we help each other advance our collective dreams.

It’s hard to believe that I could be as focused as I am without him in my life, and for that reason, I’ve been in a very grateful space this week.

What everyday things are you thankful for? What/who is your main source of support?



Doing good
February 26, 2012, 12:00 pm
Filed under: "Mommypreneur", About "Mommy", Cornbread and Cremasse, ID Stationery

This week seemed to zip by. In addition to the regular workload, I really went the extra mile and provided excellent customer service to several of my stationery clients. Although I always aim to do this, I felt like this there was particularly a lot of opportunities to provide exceptional customer service this week…and coincidentally, it falls in line with my desire to do more for others this lenten season. I’m so glad I was able to accommodate my clients in this way. I love that I can show them that I share in the belief that their project is important. The cherry on top of the cake is that I received a thank you note from the child of one of my clients thanking me for the work I did on their behalf about a month ago. I thought that was so sweet.

So I did quite a bit of stationery work, and did quite a bit of marketing. I made another YouTube video (this time demonstrating how to properly include enclosures with an invite or other correspondence) — you can check it out at http://www.youtube.com/idstationery. Also, I continued to gain “likes” on the facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/idstationery) by simply asking people to “like” it — we’ve got over 200 likes to date. I’ve launched a facebook ad that should run for about a month…it’s only been live for 3 days, but i’m interested in seeing how well it does. I also created a Pinterest account (www.Pinterest.com/ingriddaniels). I’m still populating my boards and trying to decide the best way to use it for business, but I do think it will prove to be useful. The cornbread and cremasse community continues to grow, and people still appear to be very engaged.

On a personal level, I cut off all my hair. I did it on Ash Wednesday as a way to kick off my Lenten season of “doing”. Not only does it represent for me a “starting over” of sorts, but I also donated my hair to Locks of Love, a non-profit charity that makes wigs for needy children who have lost their hair due to a medical condition. Although I am cutting back on sweets this Lenten season, I want my lenten focus not to be so much on “giving up” something, but primarily on doing good, and living my very best life. I will make an effort to do more for others and live a little more spiritually (increasing prayer time and meditation time).

How has your week been? What are your personal and professional plans for the next week/month/40 days?

Have a fabulous week!
Peace and love…



organizing the fan page
February 19, 2012, 3:27 pm
Filed under: About "Mommy", Cornbread and Cremasse, Etiquette, ID Stationery, Macaya

this week was business as usual, sprinkled with a little valentine’s day love.

as usual, i’ve been  busy working on stationery projects, and have been continuing with the marketing of ID Stationery, and so far it’s been going well.  i am continuing to gain “likes” on the Facebook fan page (www.facebook.com/idstationery) which, at times, translates to new projects or even additional “likes”.  i’m hoping that my “likers” will continue to find the information on the page interesting and useful — and keep me in the forefront of their minds if/when they have stationery needs or know someone who does.  the Facebook fan page now focuses on three areas:  1) showcases some of my products, 2) shares social etiquette tips and 3) shares some of the inspiration behind a few of my designs.

i’ve been blogging again on the ID Stationery Inspiration blog (www.idstationery.wordpress.com), and feeding that on the fan page as well to fulfill the “inspiration” category.

so i tried something new this week for the “etiquette” category:  an informational You Tube video!!  boy, was that an experience!  it was both exciting and nerve-racking.  one of the etiquette tips i wanted to discuss was how to properly stuff an envelope, because i think not only should one use lovely stationery, but that stationery should also be well presented to the recipient.  properly stuffing an envelope is not rocket science, but it’s one of those things that are easier shown than explained. so i set off to do a quick instructional video.  i thought it was a brilliant idea that would add a new dimension to the fan page and my stationery business as a whole.

i did quite a few takes, and was never totally satisfied with any of them.  in the end, i realized i was being way too hard on myself, and just blindly loaded the last video i recorded (luckily i set a deadline for myself, because otherwise i would probably still be redoing the video).  the information is good, but i found that it’s hard watching myself on video — i noticed every twitch, gesture, etc….and immediately thought i should do it over and fix that.  (why are we such harsh critics of ourselves?)  i’m already thinking of things i will do differently next time (smile more, look at the camera more directly, speak slower, etc.).  anyway — check it out for yourself and go forward stuffing envelopes properly!  the video can be found at http://www.youtube.com/idstationery   although i’m sort of lukewarm on the video — my kids LOVE it!  i’ve walked in on them a few times this week either with the ipad or on the computer just watching me explain how to properly stuff envelopes.  they will be excellent envelope stuffers (if they aren’t already).

the cornbread and cremasse blog family is growing rather nicely, and i couldn’t be more thrilled.  our february giveaway is a free macaya t-shirt  (www.themacayastore.com) that will be awarded to the person who can refer the most friends to the Facebook arm of the blog.  Our membership has almost doubled so far — and there’s still a week left in february.  it’s really becoming the community i envisioned it would be, and people seem to be taking to it rather well.  members have been having dialogue on the topic of the week (last week’s topic was haitian cuisine) on our wall or on their respective walls, and i was even invited to an evening of haitian cooking by some people who had been discussing sharing haitian cuisine with their kids!!

on the mommy side of life, things are good.  the kids and i baked fun valentine cookies for their respective classes (and i made some cute heart shaped tags that read “baked with love by <my kid’s name> to <classmate’s name>”).  the perks of having a stationery designer mom!  they were fun to make and quite yummy to eat.  my 6 year old made valentine’s cards for everyone in the family — and i think we might have two card designers in the family. :o)