Ahh…1st Quarter In Review

The first quarter of 2017 is over and it’s time to review goals.Tweet: The first quarter of 2017 is over and it's time to review goals.

While creating an editorial calendar in January I set some goals for 2017.   Now that I’ve had some time to work on them I think it is important to sit down and review how I am progressing.  This helps me stay on track and continue positive momentum setting new goals going forward.

Goal #1: Post at least once a week.  In 13 weeks I have made 10 posts for the year 2017.  In quantity my posts are almost on track.  However, my posts have not been regular in timing.  Going forward I want to increase my frequency to solidly hit once a week and do so more regularly.   One way I can do this is to pay more attention to my weekly feature categories like Wrap it Up Wednesday.  Just doing one of those weekly would meet this goal so it is definitely attainable.

Goal #2: Add website pages leading to online store.  This goal isn’t very good because I didn’t make it measurable.  Going forward in the second quarter I will be more specific and plan to add plant picks, garden flags, mailwraps, and Pure of Heart to both website pages and our online store.

Goal #3 Begin placing videos on blog posts.  I did it!   This has been so much more fun than I expected.  To clarify this one:  I would like to post at least 3 new videos each month for the remainder of the year.

Goal #4: Increase number of followers to 500 by the end of 2017.   I didn’t specifically say where I want these followers to be – the blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn – What was I talking about here?

To define this a little further I’m going to say I would like to have 500 followers to Little Gift Shop OH and on at least one social media platform. This goal has so many components to it for implementation that I think I’d be better off to break this down with some sub-goals.  Such as … create interactive posts on Twitter at least twice a month or consider when the time is right and promote posts on social media once a month.

Goal #5:  Monetize website.  I have our Square shop in place and have set up some affiliate links.  My goal for 2017 is for Little Gift Shop OH to be in the black.  I expect this might not be attainable for the first few years, but one can dream right?

Over the next week I will be celebrating my accomplishments thus far and fine tuning my direction for the second quarter of 2017.

How often do you review your goals to help stay on track? Once a week? Once a month? Once a quarter?

What goal have you met or worked on this year that has you most excited?

Feature photo by Christopher Campbell


Have You Cackled with Delight Lately?


Perfectly Posh Night & Day Facial Moisturizer

The word cackle automatically brings to my mind witches gathered together around a cauldron of brew, faces of glee, all wrinkled and distorted in the firelight.

Maybe I have a little witch in my blood because I do indeed find myself cackling with delight when I use Perfectly Posh’s Cackle Spackle Detoxifying Face Mask.  A consultant, Rhonda, first introduced me to these products at Christmas in Peebles, Ohio.

Rhonda gave me a sample of Cackle Spackle which left my face feeling clean, fresh, and youthful.  I cackled with glee!

If you’ve never used charcoal on your skin before you might want to do a test area or apply sparingly at first.  Even though it is natural it can still cause a reaction.

The other product I am hooked on is their Night and Day You are the One Facial Moisturizer.  It moisturizes without a greasy feeling and doesn’t cause me to break out.  I appreciate not having to keep track of a day cream and a night cream – it’s all in one.

I’ve tried Don’t be Bitter Baby – a Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme- which has a grapefruit & sandalwood scent.  It smelled great leaving my hands feeling soft & moistened without a greasy feeling.

It’s hard not to get swept in by Perfectly Posh with all the fun product names, but I also like that the products are cruelty free and never tested on animals.  They are naturally based with no sulfates, parabens, or phthalates.  Products are free of gelatin, soy fillers, talc, and tallow (rendered animal fat).  Perfectly Posh is also proud to be lanolin free which I don’t quite get.  As kids we raised sheep and I remember the feel of lanolin from their wool after petting them.  When my fingertips crack in winter lanolin can save them.  Perfectly Posh products are loaded with essential oils and made in the good ol’ USA.

If you are interested in Perfectly Posh help me earn customer perk reward points by using my Perfectly Posh link.

Go ahead “Take some time for you” and try out some of these products. I hope they leave you cackling with delight too!

Have you tried Perfectly Posh before? What did you think?  Tell us about your favorites.

I Will Make 114 Mistakes

Imperfect Silverware Ring

For 2017 I have joined a book reading group and am currently reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.  So far this is my favorite quote from the book:

“I am a man because I err!  You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen.”

This is the ring I bought at a craft show toward the end of last year.  The woman making the jewelry was crafting bracelets, necklaces and rings from old silverware or flatware. When I was looking at the rings she explained to me that this one was the first ring she had made.  That was why it was not perfectly round like the rest.  I bought the ring because I immediately wanted it as a reminder not to get frustrated with myself when I make mistakes.

I need to always keep in mind that my mistakes are just part of learning. Tweet: I need to always keep in mind that my mistakes are just part of learning.https://ctt.ec/nptYs+

Prior to that I had started making sleep masks and was frustrated because in effort to produce more at a time I miscalculated and ended up making slightly smaller masks.  Not the end of the world, but I wanted them all to be the same.  (Another previous mistake has taught me that too much choice in size and color sometimes paralyzes customers and they end up not making a purchase.)

Not only do I make mistakes when crafting, I also make mistakes at work.  I make mistakes when I’m baking.  I make mistakes when helping my kids with their homework. Most frustrating of all, sometimes I make mistakes when I hear someone’s idea and think it is true and believe it for a while letting it influence my actions.

For instance, I once believed the idea I heard or read when I was younger not to write about your own life because people don’t want to read about your boring life.  Now I can see that obviously that is not true.  We have reality shows all over the place and blogs of ordinary lives sometimes go viral.  I can see some truth in the idea, but at the same time I can now allow myself to use ideas and scenes from my own life in my writing.

I purposely used a couple of harmless examples, but there are many more I could remember that had worse consequences.  However, I have also learned not to dwell on mistakes.

The best thing I can do when I realize I’ve made a mistake is to own it, fix it if possible, and keep moving forward. Hopefully I won’t have to make a different version of the same mistake 114 times, but if I do I’ll have to accept that the cookie crumbles that way sometimes.

Sometimes mistakes aren’t even noticeable to others.  People can’t tell my ring isn’t round when I wear it.


I don’t have to get everything right on the first try. Tweet: I don't have to get everything right on the first try. https://ctt.ec/KnEH9+

LuLaRoe Nicole & Hope

West Union Flower Shop, Ohio

A couple of weeks ago I didn’t even know who or what LuLaRoe was.  Now I do.  I was invited to a party on Facebook by a friend I haven’t seen since grade school and thought- why not?

From what I gather, LuLaRoe is a clothing line including some crazy printed leggings that must be totally comfy because everyone seemed to be buying them.  I am not a big wearer of leggings so breaking one of my own rules, I bought a dress named Nicole.  Apparently all the dress styles have names.

The rule is: Don’t buy clothing online.  If I can’t try it on inevitably it won’t fit.  With all the vanity sizing that goes on these days who knows what size I really am?  I decided to hope for the best and get a small which sounded like it wouldn’t fit because I’m not generally a small.  It was supposed to fit a size 6-8 so and the last dress I bought was a 6 so….

Naturally I get it and – surprise!- it doesn’t fit.  I don’t think I have gained any weight because all my other clothes seem to fit.  Never the less, it leads me to an evaluation of my current diet and activity and I see that I have been a bit of a sloth recently.  So I make the pledge to myself that I’ll exercise everyday.  Right?  That lasted about a day.  Then I decided okay, I’ll exercise every other day then.

I was texting the story to my daughter and I said, “So I think we know where this is heading.”  Her response, “Not necessarily!”

Awwww. That is one of the things that I love, love, love, best about my kids.  They are so hopeful and they always know how to bring me up when I am spiraling downward.

We all need people in our lives who do that for us.  Unfortunately not everyone has that luxury.  I know this may be what some people would call a petty example of hope.  The fact that it is small is the exact reason that it’s a good example.

Hope needs to be woven into our lives in everything we do – big and small. Tweet: Hope needs to be woven into our lives in everything we do-big & small.https://ctt.ec/8f42F+

When it is, it makes it easier to share the gift of hope with others.  I want hope to flow out of me the same way I see it flowing out of my kids.

We all get judged everyday for a variety of reasons: what we wear, how we move, ethnicity, the car we drive, our voice, our size, our hair color etcetera. Etcetera. The list goes on and on and on.  At the same time, we all pass judgment on the people we interact with daily without even thinking about it.  Our actions reflect those judgments.

Our judgments change when we take the time to get to know someone.  Maybe that man in Walmart who looks like someone you wouldn’t want to say hello to is really in need of a smile today.  Maybe the woman over there all decked out in her finery without a hair out-of-place is actually someone who goes deep and is not just all about the superficial.  Maybe  that business man isn’t just an empty suit.  Maybe that forklift driver has a degree in physics.  Maybe that lawn care technician is really a pro golfer.

The key to finding out is engaging with others.

I think part of the reason hope can be lost is due to everyone being tied up in their own lives.  When we move beyond our own little world into someone else’s it not only allows us to bring them hope, but they might surprise us and give some hope back to us too.

I could go on and on about this and maybe I will another day.  Right now I don’t have time because I have to go get my exercise in.  I am happy to say I’m still on my every other day program and the medium LuLaRoe I exchanged the small for fits just fine.

via Discover Challenge: Hope Gone Viral

Twelve Sprays of Christmas

Twelve Sprays of Christmas “Merry and Bright”

This week’s Wrap It Up Wednesday 2016 gift idea is room/linen spray.  Aromatherapy is a great gift to give someone on your list.  These sprays can pump up their energy, help with stress relief, give feelings of soothing or relaxation, and much more.

This is a great idea to pair with our embroidered pillowcases or sleep mask.

Whew! November was a very busy month for me.  I took the plunge and bought a new office space. At the same time I was moving boxes, I was orienting to a new position and participating for the first time in NaNoWriMo.  So when I had an invitation to attend a “12 Sprays of Christmas” make-and-take party earlier this month I was more than ready.

As a registered nurse I am a believer in the power of alternative therapies such as aromatherapy.  I had never been to an essential oils party before so I was excited to learn about the different oils and their potential uses for well-being.  Two of my favorite sprays were “Merry and Bright” and “Warm Winter Chai.”  After we made the bottles of spray we added the finishing touches by decorating with string, tags, and ribbon and placed them in a gift bag.  I already gave my mother-in-law “Gifts of the Magi” for her December birthday (she loved it).  The others I plan to give to teachers, friends, and family.

I recommend giving the gift of essential oils to yourself as well.  I  have a diffuser which I love to use with energizing or relaxing essential oils during AM or PM yoga. Consider diffusing your favorite oil or blend to add to your holiday cheer this season while you are playing holiday music, wrapping presents, or decorating for the season.

If you have some oils here is a Wrap it Up Wednesday 2016 DIY recipe:

Gifts of the Magi

A warm, clean, woodsy blend

1/4 cup distilled water

5 drops Frankincense

5 drops Myrrh

Do you have any favorite essential oil combinations that you like to use?  Feel free to leave a comment and share them with us.

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event.



How to Sleep Happy



It has been said that a well-spent day brings happy sleep.

Spend your day doing activities you enjoy or work that you love with people you care about and you will be on you way to happy sleep.

This week’s gift idea for Wrap it Up Wednesday 2016 is our embroidered pillowcases.  The soothing sentiments are sure to bring happy thoughts as you wind down for the night. All of our pillowcases are standard queen size unless otherwise noted and are 100% cotton.

The sentiments are perfect for gift giving to the happy couple, your favorite pet lover, anniversaries, or anyone naughty or nice on your list to shop for.

Whoever receives these pillowcases as a gift won’t be able to help but remember you when they turn out their light and keep you in their thoughts and dreams.

Make happy sleep a priority for yourself as well.  According to the Cleveland Clinic’s 6 Ways to Maintain Your Brain Health  getting a good night’s sleep helps to energize, improve mood, and helps the immune system. They recommend sleeping well, getting moving, brain exercise, eating antioxidant rich food, staying connected, & managing chronic health conditions.

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event to wrap up this gift for someone on your list.



Who Else Wants a Good Night’s Sleep?

Sleep Masks.jpg
Beauty Sleep in Progress

We want a good night’s sleep especially with busier schedules that go hand in hand with the approaching holidays.  If you want to sock in a good night’s sleep too (or know someone that does) consider a sleep mask.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) encourages us to get a good night’s sleep to better impact our health.  More and more people are heeding their recommendations and taking a closer look at their sleep habits.  People are measuring how long they sleep and the quality of their sleep with activity trackers such as a Fitbit.

For our most recent craft and gift show we made these comfy little sleep masks.  Some of them we made from scratch and other designs we purchased online.  Not only does low lighting in the evening help prepare your mind and body for rest, but blocking unwanted light while you sleep helps your body produce the hormone melatonin naturally to help you sleep.  We made our masks lightweight with elastic and filling to ensure a good, comfortable fit. We also made the back side of our masks with dark purple fabric to help maximize light blockage.

No more counting sheep when you hit the hay to log Z’s when wearing one of these masks. Rest well and get up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.

These masks are a simple little gift to give someone on their own or you might consider making them part of a bigger gift basket.  You could put them with a pair of pajamas, gift certificate, lotion, pillow/linen spray, or even some linen like our inspiration pillowcases. 

Use your imagination and leave comments about what ideas you have that could be added to a sleep gift basket.

The holidays approacheth and we are kicking off our holiday gift guide with #wrapitupWednesday.  Each week from here through the new year (2017!) we will post one of our gifts along with giving suggestions to go with it.

Shop online or check us out at an upcoming event.

For more information on sleep go to:

NIH Age Page: A Good Night’s Sleep