Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Christmas Gift Ideas 2019 for her or him: a few of my favorite things

Holiday gift ideas 2019 they will love  © ShannonSews
Holiday Gifts for her or him. Favorite Things © ShannonSews
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas where all the best gift ideas come to me in my sleep as I lay dreaming of sugar plums dancing in my head and when I awake refreshed, all those lovely gifts will be on my doorstep, wrapped and ready to go under the tree. Ahhhh. Wouldn't that be nice? Give me a couple more minutes to live in this Hallmark Movie reality...

But here's the thing, I know Christmas gift giving can be very stressful (at least it is for me). It's hard to dream up new ideas year after year, especially because the people we are giving gifts to mean so much to us and we want to find them the perfect gifts.

I couldn't pass up the chance to make your Christmas gift-giving a little easier this year, by sharing with you a few of my favorite things that make great holiday gifts for the people in your life.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Her and Him
aka A few of my Favorite Things



The majority of these products are ones I have tried myself and love enough to recommend (if I haven't tried something I'll mention that). Please feel free to let me know what your favorite Christmas gift ideas are! It just might be the perfect gift for someone else!

*some affiliate links are included for your convenience. see full disclosure below

1. Silk Hair Scrunchies

Ok, here's the deal on silk scrunchies. They are so pretty and I have heard they help prevent hair breakage if you put your hair up and you can even put your hair up and sleep with a silk scrunchie in and you don't have to worry about having a crazy hair crease when you wake up (which makes for easier hair revival on non-hair-wash days).

WHERE TO FIND THEM:

***I have not tried these yet, but if my husband is reading my blog, this is on my Christmas list!

  • I also found this Etsy shop selling pure silk scrunchies ($15.00 for a set of 3)


2. Luxury Skincare Washcloths

You know how I feel about Fairface Washcloths (insert heart eyes emoji). There are no other washcloths I trust to use on my sensitive skin. These are the best washcloths for your face. The soft flannel glides across your skin, calming skin as it cleanses, gentle to your skin, the way it is supposed to be. Once you've tried Fairface Washcloths and see how much better your skin can look and feel, you'll never go back to scratchy old washcloths again.

WHERE TO FIND THEM:

FairfaceWashcloths.com or on Etsy - washcloths sets start at just $16.99



3. Dreamy Soft Silk Pillow Cases

I dedicated a whole blog post to this because I really love them! Fishers Finery silk pillow cases are so gentle to my skin and hair. They feel so good against my skin and I highly recommend them. Silk pillow cases come in varying weights that you can liken to thread count. I personally purchase the 19 momme silk pillow cases because they don't cost as much as the heavier thread counts and still give me the same benefits.

I personally use them (I bought the cream color) and have given them as gifts to my mom, mother-in-law and sisters. They are a pampering gift she'll love. Or he'll love! I won't let my husband use mine. ha!

WHERE TO FIND THEM:

  • Direct through Fishers Finery  ($24.99-46.00; currently offering free shipping on $25) 
  • or through Amazon  ($24.99-46.00) 


4. Hallmark Channel Gifts and Accessories


Are you a sucker for Hallmark Channel Movies like I am? I swear the minute the clock strikes 12 after Halloween I'm ready for a Hallmark Christmas movie marathon. These look like fun gifts for someone you know who loves Hallmark movies. I'd literally buy these socks for my sister if she didn't live in a tropical climate that averages 89 degrees year round. I know, right?! But for those of us in the colder climates? They look pretty darn good.


WHERE TO FIND THEM:
***I have not tried their merchandise myself but the socks look fun Hallmark.com ($14.99)


5. Houseplants Gifts

I LOVE houseplants. Sometime I'll show you how many I have in my house. I'm actually babysitting someone's plants at the moment while they're out of town, so my front room has started to look a bit like a nursery, but bring it on! Plants make people happy. Plants bring fresh air into the house. Plants bring texture, color and warmth to any space.

A few of my favorite plants:

  • Fiddle Leaf Fig
  • Myrtle tree
  • Bonsai trees
  • Succulents

WHERE TO FIND THEM:

  • You can go to Lowe's, Home Depot or a local nursery (prices vary). 
  • Buy online and ship - my husband and I sent my mother-in-law this pretty Bonsai from Costa Farms and it was delivered with no problems ($29.99).



6. Instant Pot for Christmas

I don't know who does the cooking in your house, but as the woman of the home, it defaults to me 99.9999% of the time. I'll admit I was late to the party getting an Instant Pot because A) I already have a crock pot that I use a lot throughout the year, and B) I'm not a kitchen gadgets person and figured I didn't need something else to take up more space in my kitchen.

HOWEVER, during an Amazon sale several months ago, I decided it was time to try an Instant Pot to save time in the kitchen. And I've got to say, the space it takes up is worth it because it cooks food in no time! So far I've made delicious pulled pork, hawaiian pork, pot roast and gravy and even your basic white rice. I even started an Instant Pot Pinterest Board to gather up some good recipes to try.

WHERE TO FIND IT:
We got this one on Amazon ($55-$99)


*Affiliate Disclosure: we are happy to offer you convenient links to our recommended products. Links that go thru Amazon.com allow us to receive a small commission, as an amazon affiliate, for purchases made through our links. We are also proud to be a Fishers Finery affiliate and we do earn a small commission for purchases made through our link. Thank you for your support so we can continue to offer you suggestions on products we love or want to try!


Do you have any favorite gift ideas you want to share? 
Leave us a comment and let us know! 
We'd love to get as many gift ideas as we can! xo

Share this post with someone who can benefit from these great gift ideas and Pin it so you don't forget!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

My Favorite Silk Pillow Cases - great for my hair and sensitive skin

The best silk pillow cases for healthy skin and hair: find out why we love them
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I can't remember how long ago it was that I first tried a silk pillow case.

I do know that with my skin sensitivities I was 1) Hesitant & 2) Hopeful. Is it possible to feel both those things at the same time?

I'm always a little apprehensive trying new things that will affect my face since my skin seems to react to anything and everything. And spending money on something that may or may not work is always a risk.

However, I am here to tell you that I LOVE these silk pillow cases and confidently give you 2 thumbs up! This is not a sponsored post, but I chose to be an affiliate so I could be connected to this brand that I love and trust. *See the full disclaimer below.

I decided to do a post because right now they are
45% off the regular price - just $24.99 regularly $46.00

I don't know how long this deal will last so CLICK HERE or on the shop button below to purchase. Also for a limited time, get free US shipping with any $25.00 order using code SUMMER19
***If you click through and the price has changed, check back later as I've found their sales and prices rotate.

Why you should sleep on a silk pillow case
Shop our Favorite Silk Pillow Cases


These silk pillow cases make lovely personal gifts for your mom, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, in-laws and friends


When I find something I love, I enjoy giving it as a gift to people I think will also love and benefit from it. To date, I have given these silk pillow cases to my sisters, mother and mother-in-law and I've been thinking about creating special gift sets to bundle with our Fairface Washcloths brand.

My mom, in particular, has always been a cotton pillow case sleeper so I wasn't sure she'd be excited to try it. It turns out, it became her favorite pillow case to sleep on and she's purchased more since then.

My mother-in-law, who has sensitive skin and who is also a big fan of our sensitive skin washcloths (and not just because we're related), loves her silk pillow case. I felt confident giving it as a gift because I had tried it myself and it passed my sensitive skin test.

Benefits of Sleeping on a Silk Pillow Case


In addition to being a hesitant consumer, I'm almost always a little skeptical when someone promises something miraculous from a product. It's not like you look 10 years younger with full flowing locks when you wake up from sleeping on a silk pillow case, but I can say, "I look better than normal when I sleep on one". ha! For real. Like my hair doesn't look all disheveled, my skin looks less red and there are no lines on my face from cotton pillow case crinkles! Grrr! Have you ever woken up with those? I've slapped, pinched and massaged to get those darn pillow case indentations out of my skin and am left with fainter lines + big red marks. Not the best look - especially for sensitive skin that doesn't like to be slapped or pinched (not that most skin does).

I also do see less breakage on my hair, it is smoother and honestly looks much less slept on when I wake up; and my face, without all those wrinkle creases? Does look better.

I wouldn't recommend these silk pillow cases if I didn't really love them. I hope they are on sale for a while so you can grab one. *As I mentioned above, if the price has changed when you click through, be sure to check back later because their sales tend to rotate.

Let me know what you think! Have you tried a silk pillow case before? Do you love them too?





*Disclaimer: As I mentioned above, Fisher's Finery is not paying me to write about their silk pillow cases, but because I chose to be an affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases. I love this particular product, and because I have tried it personally, I wanted to share it with you. I don't write about or promote any products I haven't tried myself and feel confident referring you to. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

Monday, February 18, 2019

5 Cold Weather Indoor Craft Ideas to Keep your Kids Occupied

5 simple kid crafts for winter indoor rainy days
Hello everyone! We survived #SeattleSnowmageddon2019 and eventually were able to dig ourselves out of our garage and driveway. It was a doozy of a snow storm, but we had everything we needed to stay warm and keep our tummies way more full than usual for a week (stress eating during an emergency is a real thing).

What I keep hearing from my friends, is while many had enough food to eat, and were lucky enough to have power, they didn't have enough to keep their kids occupied. The stress on parents this past week multiplied as fast as the snowflakes fell and it got me thinking, it might be nice to create a post with activities for kids to do during the cold, and sometimes unexpectedly stormy, winter weather.

I pulled a few of my favorites from the archives that I thought you might like. While being housebound wasn't very fun and cabin fever set in rather quickly, I'm hoping these crafty ideas for cold weather will come in handy for you or your kiddos so no one goes too stark raving mad.

Indoor Craft Ideas for Kids during Cold, Winter Weather


(*affiliate links included in this post. See disclosure below)

Make an Ink Blot T-shirt

kids projects for rainy or wintery days - decorate tshirts with ink blot design
Ink blot t-shirts -an easy, cool, indoor kids activity © ShannonSews
All you need is a blank t-shirt, a piece of cardboard (old cereal box works perfectly), and some fabric paint. This link is to an ink blot t-shirt making party I had at school and the kids LOVED it! They wore their t-shirts for years after.

Keep some fabric paint on hand and, in a pinch, you can use an old shirt that has a stain on it that you can cover up with a paint design.





SUPPLY LIST:
FolkArt Brush on Fabric Paint Beginner Set
Gildan Kids' Ultra Cotton Youth T-Shirt, 2-Pack
Youth Cardboard Shirt Form (or just use the cardboard from a cereal box)



Faux water color painting

kids paint watercolors without paint use crayola washable markers
Faux water color projects for kids © ShannonSews
This craft is SO easy if you have some washable markers and small paint brushes on hand (I used Crayola Washable Markers). If you have access to the internet and a printer, you can print out free coloring pages, clip art or even draw something yourself in a pinch. And it's more fun than just using the regular old kid set of water colors.

This link will take you to my step-by-step instructions (+ a video!) on how to keep anyone occupied for hours (I know, you'll count yourself lucky if your kids focus on this for 20 minutes) but I swear they and you will love it. Even if they knock the water glass over.

SUPPLY LIST:
Crayola Washable Markers
Kids Paint Brushes
White Cardstock
Clip Art (google to find free-bees)
Computer & Printer (or just let them paint their own designs)




Sew easy bean bags or rice bags

Winter sewing projects for kids - sew rice bags or bean bags
Kid friendly sewing- beanbags / rice bags © ShannonSews
I know, the point is not to give your kids ammunition while you're stuck inside the house, but think of all the fun they could have throwing bean bags at targets, downstairs - away from you.

Create a target by cutting out a hole in a box or draw a target and tape it to a box. It can't get more easy than that on a cold, indoor, winter day.

However, for this project you really do need a sewing machine, although, you could use strips of stitch witchery and a hot iron to bind the fabric together, but a sewing machine is the best route. Follow the link to the full tutorial. They are just squares, so even a new little sewer may not have too much trouble with this. I made these as sewing weights, but you follow the same instructions for bean bags the kids can toss and toss and toss - just hopefully not at you or each other.

SUPPLY LIST:
Cotton fabric squares - cut them yourself or buy pre-cut 5" cotton squares
Sewing Machine and thread OR stitch witchery and a hot iron (optional, this method not shown on tutorial)
Dry beans or rice
Old Cardboard box for target practice
Scissors to cut out target hole



Make Paper Roses

Make paper roses - easy for kids - indoor cold weather activities
Easy paper roses - kid projects for rainy days © ShannonSews
This is a really fun activity for kids that know their way around a pair of scissors and can roll up a strip of paper. And if you don't want to get involved in the making, just let one of your older kids help, that you trust with a hot glue gun. I didn't mean that as a joke.

I made this red rose out of 2 pieces of scrapbook paper, and if I can make it, trust me, you can - or even your elementary school aged child can. This link takes you to another blog's tutorial, who showed it much better than I could. They even embellish their flowers with glitter, but this post is about lowering your stress, not heightening it.

SUPPLY LIST:
Colored Cardstock
Scissors
Hot glue gun


Make Your Own Soothing Lavender Water

DIY lavender water for easy indoor kids activity
Lavender water recipe even for kids © ShannonSews
Did you know they make something called Lavender pillow spray to calm and soothe before bed? Maybe if your kids make this lavender water it will make them really relaxed and they will want to go to bed. What a marvelous idea for a housebound snowy, cold or wintry day, don't you think?

You will need a few ingredients on hand like distilled water, though I'm guessing regular tap water would work in a pinch, Essential Lavender Oil, Witch Hazel (or a pinch of rubbing alcohol instead), a measuring cup & spoon, funnel and empty spray bottle.

Since many people have these items in their house already, it could be an easy go-to project...OR for us crafty types who keep a rainy day activities bin, you're set.



SUPPLY LIST:
Distilled water
Essential Lavender Oil
Witch Hazel (ethyl alcohol, isopropyl or vodka) *acts as an emulsifier & helps spray dry faster
Measuring cup & spoon
Funnel
Spray Bottles




I'd love to hear your cold weather stuck-indoors activity ideas for kids! Share in the comments below! And good luck through the rest of the winter. The groundhog may have been wrong?


*This post contains product links, added for your convenience. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases through Amazon.com. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Reconnecting with what you love

find your passion when you've lost it
Fall back in love with what you do
Photo by Chuck Hildebrant on Unsplash
Ever fall out of love with what you're doing every day?
I think a lot of people do.
Am I speaking for myself?
Yes, some days.

When I started this blog back in 2010 I was DIY fresh-faced and fancy-free. I loved trying new things. I painted, sewed, refashioned, wrote funny posts, designed my own t-shirts, dyed fabric, glued, glittered, decorated, and shared everything I was doing and couldn't wait for the next DIY project.

I created endless lists of things I wanted to try and some nights I couldn't sleep because the ideas where whirling around inside my head. I was blogging for myself and for the fun of sharing. It wasn't a job. I didn't try to make any money from it. I just loved creating and sharing.

And then I started my first etsy shop where I was selling some of the beautiful creations I was making. And I still blogged about what I was doing and how much fun I was having, but now I had to pay attention to SEO, word placement, alt tags, and images. And blogging wasn't quite as fun.

And my first etsy shop morphed into a 2nd etsy shop, and my focus shifted. As I went further and deeper into my new venture, the farther away I went from what I had once gained so much energy from. And it was harder to come up with blog posts and the energy just wasn't the same. So I stopped.

I no longer had time to create, design and imagine. Or at least I didn't give myself time to do it anymore. With so many other to-do's on my plate, the pulls I felt "off the clock" were to vegetate instead of create.


A new kind of wanderlust

The other day, as I pawed through the muted and mundane winter clothing I have in my closet, I had a spark of wanderlust return. Not for far off places, but for the crafty girl who had been hibernating for what seemed to have been a terribly long 5 year winter. I had a spark of wanting to decorate my own t-shirts again. It caught me off guard. Was it really ok for me to do that again? Oh, how I had loved making those ink blot t-shirts. It was the magic of the moment as I pulled the layers apart to see what un-planned design was suddenly created on purpose. And what if I actually blogged about it and shared it because I was excited to? I almost had to look around to see if anyone had also heard the voice in my head.

And all at once I was excited about pulling out my paints and finding a plain t-shirt to unleash my creativity on. I felt a fire and excitement that I hadn't felt in a long time. What if I really did things again for no other purpose than old-fashioned enjoyment?


5 Tips for reigniting your passion

Sometimes you don't even know what you love anymore. We get so stuck in our mind-body routines that we feel numb to the world outside of ourselves.

We often keep ourselves in a box of our own doing, telling ourselves we're, "not that kind of person", we "probably wouldn't like that", we "really wouldn't be good at it", we've "already done that, or we "just don't have time for that".

Well, if you haven't tried it, you actually may like it. And I'm not talking about your mom telling you to try peas because you'll like them. I mean, you actually might really like it. And you may surprise yourself and find that your water color painting is actually a lot better than the one your kindergartner brought home! Snaps for you!

Here are 5 tips for "finding your passion" if you've lost it or never knew what it was in the first place.

1. Give yourself permission to explore 

Learn about and try new things you've never dared and give yourself the time to do it. Think of the advice you'd give another person if they were in the same position - you'd never put a cap on the things they could try, learn or become. Give yourself that same grace.

There are SO many different things to try - do something with wood, furniture, paper, hot glue, pottery, fabric, dirt, glass, metal, paint, photography, dance, you get the picture. It might spark a passion you never even knew existed or one that has been dormant for far too long.

2. Break old routines

When we are used to doing the same old things every day we miss out on the ones we've never tried and the spark of energy that new activities can bring. Do 1 thing every day that is different than you normally would. It could be something as simple as taking a walk through your neighborhood, drinking something different for breakfast, going to the library, buying a food you've never tried before, exercising an hour later, or wearing something you haven't worn for a while. Try something new that breaks stale habits.

3. Find energy from outside yourself

Get out of your own head and into someone else's. We are limited by our own beliefs about ourselves so spend time with someone who knows you and ask them what they think you might be good at or something they think you would like. Even finding out what someone else's goals and aspirations are might spark one in you. It can be fun and eye-opening to get an outside perspective.

Other places to try for new ideas, perspectives & inspiration:

Podcasts

I used to focus my podcast listening to work and business-related sources but when I add podcasts about things other than work, I get a boost of energy and perspective that also helps my work.
3 Podcasts I listen to right now:



Instagram

It's not just about finding like-minded business people to follow or those who share your same situation, follow people who inspire and do good in the world.
3 Inspiring people I'm following right now:


Library 

No need to spend a bunch of money as you learn about new things, I love checking books out at the library about everything under the sun. You may also find postings for free workshops, book readings, or community events that sounds interesting.

Pinterest

Give yourself a certain time limit to explore and then GO AND DO. Unfortunately, watching other people cook meals for 3 hours won't actually make you dinner. Dang it!

TV Shows

People give tv watching a bad rap. Just like other things that can suck us into a time warp, give yourself a certain amount of time to get inspired by what you watch. And no, watching 10 hours of other people renovating houses doesn't count as doing it yourself (yes, that was for me). I literally think, "I could do that" and then Alison Victoria, from Windy City Rehab, reminds me that I can't. ha! But it's still fun watching and imagining and sparking ideas and creativity while being thankful I don't have over a million dollars on the line, if I even had a million dollars.

4. Spend time outside

Nothing gets me out of my head and into a better, more creative, thoughtful, positive frame of mind than getting outside. Into the woods or by the beach is better, but a quick neighborhood walk can spark thought and ideas. If you don't have time for a walk, sometimes even getting out to the mailbox can give you a boost with the fresh air and sunshine (or splash of rain if you live in Seattle).


5. Stop chasing your passion

I hear so often about people trying to "find their passion", like there is only one thing that can ever truly fulfill them. They are often left empty as they pursue the unattainable. I have found there are things I try, like, and check off my list forever; other things I love and revisit many times; and a few things that really fill me up. Trying different pursuits brings out different likes, talents and passions. By widening your view you may actually find your passion without really looking for it.



So while we may not love what we do every single day, we can definitely make more room for joy, reconnect with those things that once brought us happiness, and find new things to love.

What are some things that light you up that you want to try or reconnect with?




Shannon Sorensen, author of Shannon Sews, is also the founder and CEO of Fairface Washcloths, the best washcloths for sensitive skin.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Get the life you want in the New Year in 4 easy steps

how to figure out what you want in life in the new year
© Shannon Sorensen
I don't know about you, but this time of year gets me feeling weird inside. Just like birthdays. Like clockwork, as the approach of a new year begins, my mind subconsciously starts reflecting on what I have accomplished thus far, and where I want my life to go. And that can be a good thing. But there's also the "what I didn't do's" and "is this really what I want's", and why hasn't my life gone this way" thoughts that get stuck in a whirling vortex, where reflection-meets-mid-life-crisis.

I realized in a calm moment, post-whirl, that this year I'll call it Re-New Year, to embrace the renewals, reflections and changes that are inevitable as the year turns another page, and make it count.

4 Steps to Getting the Life You Want in the New Year


1. Re-evaluate

This is really the biggest starting point to discovering the path for your life in the new year, to re-evaluate what you are currently doing. Ask yourself, "Is what I'm doing making me happy?", "Are the things I'm doing bringing me where I want to go?", "What isn't working and how can I change or get rid of it?",  "What do I really want out of life?"

One of my favorite quotes about finding joy and success is from Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, who said, "You don't want to get to the top of the ladder and find out it's been leaning against the wrong wall."

Re-evaluate what you want and how you currently feel versus how you want to feel. If something isn't bringing you some sort of joy and fulfillment along the way, you may be setting your sights in the wrong direction. Look at the areas of your life that are important to you, like family, marriage, home and work. Take the time to think about what you really want out of each area of your life, whether you're getting the fulfillment and happiness you are seeking, and if your ladder is up against the right wall.

2. Re-organize

This is actually a fun one for me. I don't know whether my intense desire to re-decorate, de-clutter and re-organize is driven by the covers of every published magazine from A-Z, or my extreme lack of sunshine at this time of year (thank you Seattle) that makes me want to throw everything out and redecorate in beachy tones.

Re-organizing is the lead-in to re-newal in so many ways. A fresh start. A clean slate (literally and figuratively). An organized home allows for an organized mind. Change spaces to allow for more efficiency, move things around to give you a fresh view.

But re-organizing isn't just the tangibles. De-cluttering your mind and how you spend your time is a huge part of re-organizing your life. Clean up, clear out and open your inspirational portal.

3. Re-commit

This is #3 for a reason. It's hard to find that place inside your head, heart and soul, to re-commit to things you haven't re-evaluated and gotten straight and "organized" in your mind.  After you've been able to think through what you want for yourself and your family, you can decide what really counts and what you really want to commit to. And mean it.

This step is where many new year's resolutions fall flat. Are we really committing ourselves to something or are we just hoping we'll commit? When you take the time to really commit to the things you care about, you're only one step away from making them happen. (see #4)

4. Re-start

The beauty of a new year, a new age, an anniversary, or other landmark, is that it brings you to the place where change can begin. This is the most empowering step after re-committing to what you want, because it's the time to take action. You can think of change all you want, but actually moving forward on those desires and starting, is an active choice. It can be scary, exciting, risky, empowering or all of the above. It's your chance to re-new your life. To make it what you want it to be. To embrace new challenges or let go of old ones.

This chance to re-start your life, right where you are, is the magic of the New Year. Now go get it.




Shannon Sorensen is the founder and CEO of Fairface Washcloths, the best washcloths for sensitive skin, and writer of several blogs, including ShannonSews.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

I can see why she wrote on the walls: they key to unlocking your creativity & productivity

get out of a creative slump, how to improve creativity and productivity
Photo by KROMKRATHOG- freedigitalphotos.net
Several years ago, I had a manic boss. Definition: showing wild and apparently deranged excitement and energy (reference: Google).

Once she even stood behind me as I was typing a memo she was reciting and went so far as to tell me where every comma should go and when to backspace when I made the occasional and unfortunate typ-o.

In a word, she was crazy. One donut short of a dozen. She got a lot done, but wildly. It's the kind of person that makes you tired after 5 seconds of being around them.

One morning as we were planning an upcoming large event, she began a group brainstorming session. Since we didn't have any white boards up in our new office building yet, we all had notepads at the ready to compile our lists.

As the ideas began to flow, I could see her wild eyes looking frantically for a place to write. IT HAD TO BE UP! IT HAD TO BE BIG! IT HAD TO BE VISIBLE! And with the lack of white boards, all at once she threw the chairs back and began writing on the walls. ON THE BRAND NEW OFFICE BUILDING WHITE PAINTED WALLS. With a pencil, but still. You could hear a quiet, but audible gasp in the room, and then all at once, we resumed working because it was, after all, our manic boss. We should expect nothing less.

Since that day, I can't deny, that I've had an unrelenting itch to write on the walls. I'll admit, as a creative type, I have my own kind of mania. Ideas that pop into my head at all hours. Notebooks filled with ideas of what I want to do, what I should do, and what I could do. To-do lists, priority lists, and one-day-I-will-do lists.

If I don't see these ideas, I forget them, and then they clutter my mind and I have to start a new list in a new notebook, so I can forget about those too.  If I don't see it, I forget it. If I don't read it every day, I sometimes forget what's motivating me. So I have this strange urge to write it BIG and BOLD and make it VISIBLE so I don't forget it.

I scaled down my crazy and bought a medium sized white board. And although I've written a few things on it, it still hasn't totally tamed the urge to write BIGGER so I can SEE IT ALL.

So what's the key to unlocking your creativity & productivity? 

Maybe C.S. (a.k.a. my manic boss) was on to something. Unclutter your mind by writing it all down and keep it in sight. Instead of blocking creativity and thought process, let it flow... All of it. The house to-do lists, the business to-do lists, the creative to-do lists, the children to-do lists, the husband honey-do lists, trips-you-want-to-take lists. Every last little thing until all your dirty laundry's out there like a bad reality show.

And while actually writing on the walls does qualify you for the definition of manic, you can at least write it all down on paper. Keep separate lists and tape them up around your house (in closets, behind cupboard doors, so people don't think you're too cray cray) so you can take a glance and remember what you're working toward. And for the love of Pete, cross off items as you do them! That's a whole other level of satisfaction.

Too much in your head stops productivity and keeps you in a vicious cycle of feeling unfocused and overwhelmed. As you write everything down that is bogging you down & leave it out where you can see it, the ideas will begin to flow and you won't have only saved your sanity, you won't have to repaint your walls.



shannon sorensen maker of fairface washcloths, best beauty cloths for faces
Shannon Sorensen is a blogger and creative type who occasionally fights the urge to write on the walls. Besides her creative outlets, she is also the Founder and CEO Shannon Sorensen Designs, maker of Fairface™ Washcloths, the best skin care washcloths for soothing and calming even the most sensitive skin.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top 5 Best Entrepreneur + Small Business TV Shows you can actually learn from

best, top television shows for entrepreneurs and small businesses

Living the small biz dream © Shannon Sorensen Designs
I think I always knew some day I'd be running my own business. It's in my genes.

I watched my dad work tirelessly operating his own thriving dental practice. He carried both the burden and blessing of being in charge. From a young age, he instilled in me the desire to make something of my own, like he did.

I wanted to be like him. Working for a PURPOSE instead of just a person. 

This is the decade of Entrepreneurship. The empowering age of Small Business. If you can dream it up, you can build it up.

I love to learn from strong people who have gone before me, or who are standing right beside me as we blaze our trails.

I thrive on learning all I can about running a small business and have found a few tv shows that focus on Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses. If you share my passion for running your own business, you've got to check these out!

Top 5 Picks for Small Business & Entrepreneur TV Shows in 2016

 

The Profit

This has to be one of my all time favorite tv shows for start-ups and small businesses. Marcus Lemonis is a savvy businesses guy who partners with struggling businesses to help give them direction and funding. He can be hard core, but speaks the truth. I actually learn something from this show, which is what I love most about it. I take notes. You're able to see how real businesses talk about profit margins, percentages, distribution, manufacturing, packaging, co-packing, etc. It's seriously awesome. You can watch the last season on demand or purchase previous seasons on Amazon. I can't wait for the new season in August!!! Word has it, Lemonis is also going to be in a new show called The Partner, which I'm dying to see when it's released.


Quit your Day Job

If you're crazy about entrepreneurship, you'll love this show. It's a little quirky, but I love what I can learn from it. It features a team of 3 investors (Randi Zuckerberg - yes, it's his sister, Sarah Prevette and Ido Leffler) who choose which of 3 entrepreneurs to invest in and help them grown their business. This show is about people like you and me who are trying to get your product out there. It feels very relate-able on many levels.


Follow the Leader

CNBC is rocking it with all their small business/entrepreneur tv shows! I really like this show because you get a day-in-the-life experience with some of the most influential and successful people out there who grew their businesses from small to boom. I take notes when I watch this too (nerd alert). A few of my favorite people they've followed are: Katia Beauchamp (co-founder of Birch Box), John Paul DeJoria (the name behind the Paul Mitchell brand), and Gary Vaynerchuck (social media guru).


Beyond the Tank 

Is it just me or do you want to get to the real meat of what goes on behind closed doors after a deal with Shark Tank?! I still like watching Shark Tank, but I really like what happens next. I want to know how these businesses grew, what they did to manage this new growth, and how they got or will get to that next level after they walk away with a deal. Sorry, Shark Tank, but this nudges you out of my top 5.


Billion Dollar Buyer

Enter Tilman Fertitta. He's a rich man who wants to help small businesses by giving them a chance at selling or offering their products in his many hotels and casinos. What's interesting to me about this, is watching how these small businesses are launched into a world of BIG quantities. If they're going to make a deal with Tilman, they'll have to figure out how to scale production while keeping a cost that works for them both. If a deal is made, it could be just the break these small businesses have been looking for...if after all that work he even makes the deal. P.S. The board room makes me uncomfortable.
 

Other Small Business and Entrepreneur TV Shows to check out

Although these shows didn't make it to my top 5, I still like them (unless noted, ha!) and they still have something to offer the entrepreneur / small business / start-up minded.

Shark Tank   

Although After the Tank pushed this out of my top 5, I still like watching every day people like you and me, pitch their good ideas to investors. I learn from them. I share their anxiety as I imagine myself up there in front of the sharks and hope never to hear Kevin's words, "You're dead to me."

Blue Collar Millionaires

This was very close to being in my top 5 because who doesn't love a good success story? It's inspiring to see how these hard working people created very successful businesses for themselves with their passion, blood, sweat and tears.


Make Me A Millionaire Inventor

Not as compelling as some, but I still love seeing what people have come up with, how they try to perfect their product, and what happens when they pitch to an investor.

West Texas Investors Club

I dare say, this should have been called the West Texas Hillbilly Club. This is another product-pitch-investor-show and if you can stand country bumpkin talk, you might like this. While I love me some hunky southern twang, I had to turn it off because they sound too much like hillbillies and it drove me nuts.

Undercover Boss

I have a love-hate for this show. Not only does it make me cringe, because I don't like people trying to trick other people into thinking they're someone they're not (that hurts my feelings), but the wigs and disguises are so ridiculous that it physically hurts a little. It usually ends with a feel-good story and money gifts at the end, which are heart felt, and it is interesting to see what goes on behind the scenes at some well-known companies like Yankee Candle, 7-Eleven, Cinnabon and my recent favorite Stella and Dot.

How It’s Made

Interesting show if you like to take a look behind the scenes at how every day products are manufactured.

All-American Makers

I haven't watched this show yet, but I plan to. I think it's based more on higher end and tech ideas than the every day maker, but it's still on my list.

What NOT to do in business...

American Greed

Sometimes a juicy story about how someone did it oh-so-wrong can be a good watch. I like this one.



Have I missed something? Let me know because I'm all about binge-watching good tv.

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