A much needed escape from reality

White beaches, blue water, and 85 degree weather for 7 days with absolutely zero work!  I made my way down to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for my first real ‘no work’ vacation in two years with my mother. It’s been 10 years since I’ve first been to the Dominican and I must say it is definitely a favorite!

The first couple days we spent in the mountains & jungle learning about the Dominican culture. Sugar Cane, Rum, Cigars, Coffee, Coco… oh and let’s not forget Mama Juana, the local cocktail concocted of red wine, honey, rum and herbs. Dangerously delicious!

Zip lining through the jungle included 12 lines over 2 miles and over 2,500 feet high. One of the lines went over a river and then there was a double line where you can race a partner. I lost the race. The guys working the lines were great and so friendly!

The best part by far…. relaxing whether it be on the beach or poolside. Our last excursion was a basically a spa day in the middle of the ocean. We had massages, floated on a mat in the middle of the water and even had a detox (apparently I’m extremely stressed- shocking).

This trip was a wonderful mix of adventure and relaxation! The one thing I have learned is that throughout the year, I need to regularly make time for myself without any work so that I don’t burn out. Now it’s back to the snow and a great line up of spring projects!

Rediscovering forgotten passions

While I had some time at the beach a few months ago, I made it a point to work on some art projects. If I think back to the last time I had done any type of project, it was two years ago when I painted my coffee table. Since the beach, I have worked on various projects small to large and for personal & professional purposes.

Painted Canvas Project

This was the first project I started while at the beach. It’s not complete yet but when I find the time I hope to add one of my favorite quotes to put on the large canvas. ‘If it is both terrifying & amazing, you should definitely pursue it.’ – Erada

Tone on Tone Accent Wall

My newest home improvement project is Operation Home Office. Both my roommate & I never use our dining room as a dining room. I think I can count on one hand how many times in two years we’ve sat down to eat in there. So my brilliant idea was to turn it into a home office. The first step was adding an accent wall. Let’s just say I’m thankful it’s complete.

 

Entry Way Table

At the non-profit, I’ve been assisting with updating the office decor & look. Instead of going out and purchasing all new furniture, it made sense to just take some items we already had & update them. This table was tucked away in an office but was perfect for an entry way table. With a couple coats of paint & some new hardware, it looks completely different.

  

Glitter Champagne Glasses

For my sister’s wedding I thought it would nice to add a few small details such as these glitter champagne glasses. These will be for the girls while everyone is getting ready on the wedding day. Someone asked if it was for the reception and no, I’m not that crazy to make over a 100 of these.

Cocktail Recipe Table Tents

Details matter to me in case you couldn’t tell. These cocktail recipe cards will be perfect for an upcoming party’s champagne bar. Behind each recipe will be all the ingredients to make your own champagne cocktail!

  

I know what you may be thinking, “She’s crazy!” OR “A bit much, eh?” And yes, I know that. My roommate & sister both think I’m crazy and always go a bit overboard. My roommate even thought I purchased the canvases I painted. But at the end of the day, I enjoy all these projects because they allow me to be creative.

 

Sand crabs & Old Bay…. Family Beach Week!

For as long as I can remember, my family has vacationed at the beach every summer. Over the years, as my sister & I have gotten older, some things have changed but it’s great to see what traditions have stuck through the years.

Watching my cousin & his son dig for sand crabs exactly like we all had done years ago with our fathers…

Grabbing a slice at Lombardi’s or relaxing on the bay for a quiet evening…

   

One evening the ‘adults’ always have a night out on the town. It’s like the beach version of Thanksgiving dinner when you graduate from the ‘kids’ table to the adult table (I’m still waiting on that one).

The best part of the beach is hands down the time spent with family whether it’s on the beach, at the bar, or sitting in a living room for game night. Now it’s back to the grind & preparing for a crazy fall season!

Summer time and the living is easy, right?

A few months ago, I could have sworn the summer meant I had a brief window to recover, recharge, and relax…. that window is getting smaller and smaller. Even though I wrapped up my last spring event in late June,  my summer is filled with business related traveling and an endless to-do list leaving little room to relax. Last week I was in Raleigh with a client for various appointments preparing for her fall wedding. Even with uncomfortable temperatures reaching over 100 degrees, I was more frustrated that I couldn’t get “a quick cup of coffee.” I lived in North Carolina for four years, how could I forget that getting anything ‘quick’ is practically nonexistent? For someone always on the go, it was definitely a challenge to slow down.

The view from the Cardinal Club in downtown Raleigh, NC.

From North Carolina, I headed straight to Delaware to celebrate the 4th of July with my family. The following day I woke up to dark clouds and the threat of rain- it was not your typical July 4th weather. Even with the rain, my family was able to make the best of the holiday by hitting up a local bar for some celebratory dinner & drinks at Harpoon Hanna’s. Since this establishment is only a few miles from our place, Jamie, Treven & I found ourselves there again the next evening.

Right before we were to call it a night, Jamie says to me, “Wait, I think I just saw Colleen and Natalie walk by.” Two minutes later, we found ourselves sitting with the 4 Kochesfahani sisters & friends. Colleen is laughing, “I told them we would run into the Englert’s here.” The Kochesfahani family is like an extension of ours but we are all so busy it’s hard to get all of us together. It was great to spontaneously run into each other and catch up while sipping on our summer drink of choice, crushes.

Summer concerts, drinks by the bay, tanning on the beach, local baseball games are all things I have to pass on more times than not because of the crazy lifestyle I’ve created. Even when I got a chance to go to the pool, I’ve had to leave because I couldn’t relax knowing I have a lot of work I should be doing. Maybe next beach trip I’ll work on this whole ‘relaxing’ concept.

A weekend filled with gold glitter & a winery

This past Mother’s Day weekend was spent at the beach. Since I knew I wouldn’t be able to work all weekend, I tried to get as much done Friday evening so I could focus on family time the rest of the time. There never seems to be enough time to get everything done.

After a quick breakfast with my parents Saturday morning, my mom and I were on a mission for gold glitter. In a few weeks, we’re hosting my sister’s bridal shower and wanted to find statement décor items sticking with my gold & white theme. Since I didn’t feel like I was racing against the clock, I did not want to settle for something ‘ok’ or ‘that’ll do’.  Luckily, after making a few stops, we were able to find some great display items for the dessert table, candle pillar holders, and frames for accents through the party.

Gold mercury pillars & gold glitter platters for Jamie’s bridal shower.

My sister wasn’t able to join us until Sunday since Treven, her fiancé was graduating this weekend. Jamie arrived in time for brunch, a Mother’s Day tradition we’ve come to enjoy every year. When we had asked our mother what she wanted to do, she mentioned checking out a local winery. So, after brunch we headed to Nassau Valley Vineyard, a small vineyard in Lewes, DE. The four of us took our own tour followed by a tasting. We made our purchases and popped open a bottle to enjoy on the picnic bench for some relaxing quality time.

Jamie & I thought it’d be cute to give our mom the same card for Mother’s Day.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to enjoy the beach for at least another two months due to my crazy schedule. I’m already dreaming of days filled with sun and grapefruit crushes…

Entrepreneur or Walking Circus Act?

“HOLY MOLY” on repeat for two days… that was my weekend while I was doing my taxes. I headed to the beach because if I have no choice but to work on my taxes, it might as well be at the beach. Later, I realized this was a pointless relocation of work space since I did not see the beach, let alone be able to enjoy the nice weather.

And over these two days was when it hit- my reality check…

 

Like Selby, all I wanted to do was go outside and enjoy the weather.

It was not the fact that I had to do my taxes, but just the amount of administrative work I have overall as a business owner. It’s one thing to know, “Hey, this is going to be a lot of work” and to actually having to do the work. One can read as many articles on entrepreneurship and talk to all the small business owners they know, and still, the full impact won’t hit until you have to do it yourself.

While chatting with a friend and fellow business owner, we got on the topic of how small business owners have to wear so many hats to run a company. By no means was this topic new to me, however, after this past weekend it has definitely been on my mind. I started to think about all the roles I have to play in order for my business to operate and grow… I counted up to seven and I’m sure I’ve overlooked a few.

Accountant                           Marketing

CEO/President                     Human Resources

Admin/Secretary               IT

Oh right… let’s not forget– all that it takes to be an event planner.

 

I’m still trying to see how I can juggle it all and not drop any of the balls. Basically, I’m a walking circus act.