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{us weekly} feature!

i should go ahead and apologize to my regular readers.  between now and december 15th (last day to ship for christmas delivery) i will be pretty absent from this space.

last week my etsy shop, kelsi creates, was featured in the us weekly holiday gift guide!  to see my shop in print has been one of the highlights of my life.  to see something that i created published is amazing.  since then, the orders have been flying in.  it is such an exciting time!  overwhelming.  but tremendously exciting.

so this has been my world for the last week …

the husband and i walked the greensboro gobbler 5k with my dad and stepmom on thanksgiving.

while i was showering, the husband snuck away to find an open store with the magazine on the shelf.  it is the one with will & kate, dated dec. 3rd.  he surprised us with several copies!  i am beyond thrilled.

since then, it has been emails and orders and emails.  lots and lots of emails.

the husband is my “logistics manager” i.e. he takes completed orders to the post office that is right down the road from his office.  needless to say, he has become quick friends with the postal employees at that branch.

with most orders having more than one pillow, it is hard to keep track of the number of orders versus the actual number of pillows needed to be made.  one order was for 11 pillows!  insanity.  another order was for a home that is getting ready to be photographed in the architecture digest magazine.  at some point, someone should pinch me.  it just feels so surreal.  it is truly amazing.

so this is my blessed life for the next couple of weeks.  the cut off date for orders to be delivered by christmas is december 3rd, so if you are interested, yes there is still time to get your holiday order in.  emails, pillows, gym, sleep.  thankful that i have these guys to keep me company.

weigh in monday {holiday edition}

i have been struggling with the balancing act of trying to get pregnant and losing weight.  i have been tremendously frustrated in both aspects.  we are not pregnant and i have not lost any weight.  in fact, i have gained 11 pounds since the last {weigh in monday}.  the doctors have me on drinking full fat milk.  eating full fat yogurt.  for the luteal (days post ovulation) phase, no exercise that i can’t hold a sentence when talking to someone.  for the past couple of months it has a been a yo-yo of frustrations. day 1, i am emotional because the last cycle didn’t work.  day 5, i have pulled myself together and somehow am optimistic.  i exercise.  i eat great.  ovulation day and the ones following, i don’t exercise.  i gain whatever few pounds i had lost. i take progesterone supplements that are not pleasant.  i will leave the details out, you are welcome.  then day 14 past ovulation, i test, it comes back negative.  i start the cycle all over again.

two cycles ago, we had another chemical miscarriage.  good news, things are connecting and we are able to get pregnant.  bad news, there is no medical reason why our fertilized egg won’t stick around for long.  we keep trying.  what this taught me, that i have got to reach my goal in weight loss.  i have no control over whether or not we have a successful pregnancy.  i do have complete control over my weight.  i am choosing to put my weight as a priority and fertility on the back burner for the next two months.  i desperately want and need (for my emotional sanity more than anything else) to get out of the 200′s.  that is my goal.  to go into 2013 in the 100′s.  then in january, if no pregnancy still is the case, we will head into some more aggressive fertility treatments as well as taking foster care/adoption class to work towards licensing to adopt.

it feels good to have a goal.  it feels good to have a plan.  the husband and i are both on board. so i signed up for a holiday fit camp at the gym.  2 hours, 3 times a week we meet.  i have a personalized workout plan.  it balances working my ass off {both weights and cardio} until i ovulate, then taking it down a notch.  my trainer gave me workouts that will strengthen my back and core muscles while taking into consideration my significant back injury.  yay! for personalized plans.  for 30 mins of the 2 hours, we have a class.  nutrition, wellness coaching, food tastings, etc.  i am one week in and love it.  the best part, {well there are many great parts} is that with my magazine feature coming out this week, i know i am going to be tremendously busy.  this commitment will force me to get out of my craft room and for two hours put me and my health first.

my first week weigh in, 8 pounds! 8 pounds lost since last monday.  the first week is always the best week.  my body loves to be pushed into new activity.  i went back to healthy eating habits that i used to lose weight all last year.  not eating past 8pm.  drinking lots of water.  green smoothies.  making breakfast my biggest meal, calorie wise, of the day.  {oatmeal or cereal, yogurt, fruit, and maybe a smoothie}

my biggest challenge this upcoming week, THANKSGIVING! not just one meal, but three!  my goal is to hold steady.  secretly, i would love to lose just one pound.  one pound during the most difficult week of the year would be amazing.  we will see.

tomorrow evening we are hosting 26 friends and family to our home for a thanksgiving feast.  i am beyond excited.  then thursday, we are headed to my dad’s.  we are all walking in a 5k in the morning then enjoying the gluten free feast they have prepared.  then friday, we are heading to the husband’s family to enjoy another thanksgiving lunch.  we have so much to be thankful for.

i found this and it made me laugh.  it made me think of the gluten-free and nut-free thanksgiving we are hosting.  oh those food allergies!

i will post a lot of our recipes later in the week.

and be sure to look for the us weekly magazine out tomorrow or wednesday {depending on where you live} to see my kelsi creates feature.

{wordless wednesday}

craft room {organization} and the us weekly feature.

kelsi creates has a new space.  when i first created my business, i really had no idea what i was doing.  i have never taken a sewing class.  i taught myself the ways of my sewing machine.  i know nothing about fabrics.  i just have my gut.  my instincts.  and a passion for creating something with my hands.  i started in 2010 with more items than i can even remember.  just throwing any and everything i could make in my little shop.  my first christmas, i had eight orders.  i thought i was the shit.  seriously.  i proudly wrote my orders on my chalkboard wall.  i don’t think i erased them until march.  (which also tells you the orders were not rolling in at that time.)

i quickly realized i needed to focus my products.  what did i love to make.  what did i dread.  if i didn’t enjoy making it, then i didn’t.  i also thought about what was one thing that every single home most likely has.  my answer, pillows.  pillows are relatively quick to make.  required little sewing expertise.  and i could utilize my obsession with fabrics.  i love personalization and thought, i need to create something that you can’t buy at target.  the idea that someone can customize their order from start to finish appealed to me and i quickly learned, to others.

my first applique pillow was the initial pillow.  pretty simple, two initials.  i traced the initials and hand cut the letters.  i did this for all of 2011.  slowly the orders started consistently coming in.  then for christmas, the husband convinced me to upgrade to a silhouette cameo fabric cutter.  by removing all hand cutting i could now use any fonts and design my own appliques.  the possibilities became infinite.  my shop has grown 374% this year and the holiday orders are just starting to roll in.

the week of thanksgiving my little etsy shop is going to be featured in us weekly.  {us weekly}  my mind is blown.  the idea that my little idea to do something to pass the time until i got pregnant.  the idea that i never really thought would go anywhere.  the idea no one (aside from my amazingly, ridiculously supportive husband) really took seriously.  is going to print.  in a national magazine that has 3 million subscribers.  3 million hands will be flipping through the pages and come across the holiday gift guide and find my pillow.  my shop.

needless to say, we have been working diligently to try to prepare.  the editor told me to prepare for anything from 500 to 10,000 orders.  {mind is officially now blown!}  ordering shipping supplies.  ordering fabrics in bulk.  business cards updated.  clearing my social life calendar.  and moving into a larger work space.  because at the end of the day, even if i just get 100 orders.  or 20.  the ball is rolling.  i am not going back to the days of eight orders during peak season written on a chalkboard.  honestly, those days have been over for a while now.  but the point, my business is just that.  a business that is growing.  and i couldn’t be more proud.

so back to my space.  we didn’t want to spend any money and wanted to utilize the existing furniture to the best of our ability.  the husbands office is one of the largest rooms in the house.  we separated it into half a guest bedroom with bookshelves, an armoir, and a queen bed.  the other side was his office furniture.  office furniture that is really nice {craigslist find} but he never really loved due to his height and its, lack thereof.  my craft room is one of the smallest rooms.  it didn’t have doors and is right at the base of the stairs.  late night sewing was not an option because the noise carried right to the bedroom.  so switch we did.

we now have a new guest room upstairs. hopefully, pet sitter bonnie approved.


a reminder of my old craft room.

and now my new space.  plenty of room to have the husband to offer help.  or others depending on what kind of orders come in at thanksgiving.  plenty of space to grow.

a cozy corner for late nights.  or like last night, the husband working away on his computer while i am sewing away at my desk.  i am also pretty sure, sam has already found his way on this bed as well.

fabric and shipping supplies wall.

my home for the next couple of months.

i am looking forward to sharing my new ironing table.  it is currently in construction {yay! for handy husbands!} and i am beyond excited.  yes.  excited about an ironing board.

off to my new kelsi creates space.  i am a lucky lady.

{wordless wednesday}

“I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.” President Barack Obama

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