Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

Happy Leap Year, Happy Leap Day, 

Happy Dating Anniversary to Me{and the hubs}

Do you have something unique that you do every Leap Year?

I do- You probably already know {if you've been following me} that it's my Dating Anniversary with my husband.  Yes, 16 years ago today we went on our first official date.  We look forward to celebrating every 4 years.  Tonight we are sneaking away during volleyball practice to go have sushi- Yay, for 2 hour practices!  {No babysitter fees, you mom's know what I'm talkin' about}

I'm sharin' the love by offering 16% off anything in my shop today only.


Have a great day!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Copious Amounts of Tomatoes

Last week I decided to add 20 pounds of tomatoes to my bountiful basket order. Really, How much is 20 pounds, right???  Well, its ALOT... 



Now I had to figure out what to do with them... Pinterest, here I come! I started with washing my big basket of goods.

Lettuce, Asparagus, Avocados, Bananas, Broccoli and More..

My boss said to make sauce {ofcourse she did, she's old school Italian} Okay, I'm playing an Italian wife so I thought, what the heck.....  


If you have never boiled and peeled tomatoes before {you must}  I cored the tomatoes and then dropped them in boiling water.  3 minutes later they were peeling on their own.  When you strain them to peel them, make sure to wear gloves.  I didn't and burnt the heck out of my fingers 
{I'm impatient and the gloves were too far away}
Put your peeled tomatoes in a blender and puree away... then jar and you now have crushed tomatoes ready for homemade sauce.... Yum.

Then I had to decide what to do with the rest of the tomatoes.....
Hmm, my dehydrator.  I sliced 10 of them, seasoned with Italian seasoning {yes, I'm staying in theme} and dehydrated them.  Once they were finished I packed them with oil and put them them in the fridge.  They are awaiting my next piece of "Italian Bread" and Brie cheese.... so good.

Pizza Time- Yes, everything is getting a sliced tomato at this point!


Dehydrated Tomatoes


What's your favorite tomato recipe????  



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Back!

I'm back from our little dirt vacation {all in one piece-minus my friend that did a header on her dirt bike, she's okay- 
kind of}. 


My aunt and her grandbaby takin' a ride

 It was so nice to spend a weekend with my little unit of 4.  We don't get to travel often with our older daughter now that she is away at college.  

Today I just wanted to share a great giveaway over at Life in the Thrifty Lane~

You can win Ad space on Truly Lovely and a scentsy smell. 

I'm a sponsor over there and am part of her 500+ fan giveaway this week, so stay tuned!~

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Great Weekend

We are off to the dunes this weekend!  No internet, No email, No shop stats, No comments, Nothing... :( 

 I truly love the cyber world but sometimes we all need a little break.  See ya on Monday!



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Shop Advice

I've had some requests for advice on what to do with marketing your Etsy Shop.  I am in no way an expert and I learn something new every single day from all the lovely blogs I follow (oh, and Pinterest). I thought I would share some things that work for me in my shop since I'm almost at my 2 year anniversary. 

Starting out with some stats:

From Feb. 2010-December 2010 (my first year of branding myself) I had 39 orders and 151 shop favorites.  I also was a vendor at 2 craft shows.  I felt good about those numbers at the time.  I was getting a few orders a week.  That's good, right?

Okay, My 2nd year- Jan. 2011-December 2011 I had 127 orders, 24,054 shop views, 19,716 listing views and 822 shop favorites.  I also took the entire month of December off and was a vendor at 3 craft shows.

This year- Jan. 2012 to Current I have 53 orders, 11,941 shop views and 402 favorites.  Im ecstatic! In 6 weeks?  What did I do different? 

First thing First- Everything takes time and work.  Your shop isn't going to be successful over night.  The shops that think they will make millions their first month don't stay around long. 

Believe in your product and be determined to make it happen!

Some Pointers: {remember I'm not an expert}

Get a Facebook Business Page-
 Its Free advertising.  You can share information about your shop, about other shops (that's what they call networking), your fans can post questions, comments, customer appreciation photos and you can post just random updates of what you are doing.  Let your fans know who YOU are. 

Use Pinterest- Make sure you read Pinterest's etiquette rules.  Don't pin things from your shop ALL the time.  It's not about self-promotion on that site.  What's nice is that their is a "pin it" button on all listings on Etsy.  How easy is that?  Your customers just have to click the button and "pin it" to their board for all of their followers to see.  FREE advertising. 

Lots of Products- Customers like to see that you have alot of product in your shop.  A) they have more choices; B) they can buy more items in one stop shopping and bundle shipping; C) it makes your shop look like a business that you are passionate about.  Bundle products, toddler packs, items in 3's etc.  {I need to do this} It's on my "to do list". It also increases your sale.  Instead of a $3 bow you can sell 3 bows for $10 on a pretty card all gift wrapped and ready to go.  Hmm, not a new concept. 

Etsy Search Ads- I use the search ads and put a max of $5 a week on them.  I choose the max keywords and put everything in my shop in the ad.  The tutorial is really simple on etsy and you can just commit to it on a weekly basis.  I really think this has boosted my views and my sales.  I've only reached the max $5 one time since doing this.  This year I have spent to date $35.93 and my return is 36,921 impressions.  Not bad, right? 

Renewing- I renew about 10 listings a week for $2.00.  Wow, $2.00.  When I renew my listings I always get a favorite, a convo, or an order.  I also renew my favorite and most popular listings too.  Its keeps them on the front page of my website.  { I like pretty things} Remember to renew your sold listings and to check your expired listings.  I just found about 5 expired listings I had no idea expired.  {they should email you or something}

Blog- I just did a blog re-design and my goal this year is to blog away.  It's a real time challenge but I have a journal with me and jot down ideas all the time.  On those sleepless nights you can just blog away- {kind of like I'm doing right now}  I would suggest to get your Etsy Shop up and running if you aren't ready to have a blog, but I also think you should get a Blogger account so you can start following blogs, commenting on blogs, entering giveaways on blogs, and networking on blogs to get your name out there.  I blog under Tutuland {some blog under their real name}. Make sure when posting a comment it's genuine and not for self - promotion only, BUT also include your shop name at the end.  Follow some great blogs {check out my where I party tab} and learn from them.  They know whats trending right now and what's hot in the market. 

Craft Shows- I love doing Craft Shows and I hate doing Craft Shows.  It's a ton of work to make 20 million tutus and bows, and felt roses, and headbands, and onesies and tophats and and and...... I'm not very nice a few weeks prior to craft show date {I'm also a one woman show like most of you}, plus a wife and mother {did I mention I have a full time job too?}  I love the actual Craft Show day- meeting the other vendors, setting up my booth {remember, I like pretty things and I love a party}, and meeting my loyal and new customers.  Love Love Love that part.  It's a great networking opportunity and I recommend you do it at least one a year.  Ya know, to stress out and get your name out there too. 

Pictures- This is the most important thing to master. {I'm not there yet} Last year I had a professional photo shoot and I use those pictures in everything.  I love how the photographer captured my little models in MY tutus and bows.  It was definitely worth the time and money and my models had fun too.  I am planning on doing another one this year to update my pictures {not in July in Las Vegas in the Redrocks, like last year}.  In the mean time, I have a light box where I take pictures of my onesies and tophats and I invested in a child mannequin for my other pictures.  I take them outside in the morning {best light} in my front yard in my jammies.  Glamourous, I know.  I love when my neighbors are walking their dogs and just laugh at me.  To edit my pictures I currently use Picnik.com and Irfanvew.  They are really easy.  I have Photoshop Elements but have not clue how to use it.  So until Picnik closes in April I will continue to use them. {let me know if you know of any good editing programs out there that are very very very easy to use}

Find out what works for you- If you don't enjoy making something and have lost your passion {don't sell it}.  I don't list that many bows because they aren't my favorite to make. I love bows. But I don't enjoy making them. I do enjoy buying the ribbon and fabric and the thought of making them.  I go in spurts.  My point is: if you're not having fun making it {stop making it}.

This year I added embroidered onesies to my line and a boys line.  I found I have a boy following and wanted to touch on it.  I found adding a "whole outfit" "one stop shopping" to my shop really works.  I don't make diaper covers anymore {because I'm not good at it and they stress me out},but I get a ton of requests. 

What's popular right now?  Colors, Designs, Themes? Put those ideas in your shop.  Check Etsy's Trending page.  Trust me- they know what their talking about.

Join a group-  I joined the Handmade in Vegas Team when I started and have met a group of ladies {and men} that have given me more advice than any book or blog.  We do craft shows together, have a facebook page all about our business, attend monthly meetings and really just have fun.  Find a group in your handmade community to join. 

Lastly- BE ORIGINAL- DONT COPY.  There are only so many ways to make a tutu and a bow but I tweek them just enough that they are my original designs. My color palette, my enhancements, my ideas. 

I hope this helps you grow your business and please leave me comments on what works for your shop.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I'm a Sponsor- Giveaway

I'm a sponsor over at Domestic Fashionista and am giving away a Tutu and Bow to one lucky winner!

  yes, I know {lots of giveaways this month}

But hey, It's my anniversary month and I want to celebrate!


So head on over and read the giveaway rules and get yourself a tutu!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

Craft Room Update

I was browsing Pinterest for some craft room ideas and found a wood teacup shelf that would be perfect in my craft room.  I happened to have one that was handed down to me from my mother and ended up in the garage last year with no plans of ever entering the house again.   I'm so excited that I found a way to give it new life and save a piece of my families treasures.

Heres what you need:
Sanding paper
Spray Paint Primer
Spray Paint in your favorite color (I used Matte)
Spray Paint Laquer

My original teacup shelf


Lay your project down on a sheet and sand
{don't skip this part- trust me, the paint WILL bubble}



After Sanding, you will spray Primer and let it dry
{I chose quick dry Primer because I'm impatient}



Pretty Paint Time
{Make sure to get all the crevices and underneath the shelf since you will be looking up at it when you hang it}



Time to hang
{Notice all the "Stuff" on my table}




Now I'm all organized
{I put the ribbon on the shelf that I am currently using for orders and projects so it's close by}



I now have more working room for my projects
{and I love the color- it makes me happy to work in this space}




Did you notice there was no sewing machine in the above picture?

This is why?

Ashley was feeling a little unorganized so she made herself a bed organizer to hold her Ipad, remote control and other secret items
{It's fun that we can share our craft love}




So I know you think I look sooooo organized, right?

NOT!

Everything is somewhat organized and labeled in the cabinet but needs more help
It's my next project



So, look around and see what you can find to save, refresh and make new again~



What are you planning to refresh in your house?




Linking up to:


Sunday, February 12, 2012

And the Winner is~~~~~~

A huge Thank you to everyone for participating in this weeks Boys Giveaway~  

The winner {according to random.org}
 because you're all winners to me ;)




Congratulations to 

Michelle L.

Please contact me to redeem your prize within 3 days

Happy Sunday everyone!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Boys Boys Boys February Giveaway

Week 2 of the February Giveaway

Tutuland is not just for girls; I have a boys line too~
To celebrate boys I'm giving away a Onesie or Shirt up to size 5

with your choice of fabric and design (cuz I'm nice like that)


I have recently uploaded most of my fabric choices~ 
Take a look


Good Luck!

To enter:
Its Mandatory that you publicly follow my blog.

You must leave a comment for each entry that you qualify for.  Random.org picks a comment number

For additional entries:
-Subscribe to Tutuland by email
-Like me on Facebook
-Follow me on 
Twitter
-Heart my shop
-Pin your favorite item in my shop
Share other boy items you are looking for


-Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook linking back to this post {up to 2 entries}

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!!! 


{Giveaway ends at 6pm on February 11th}
US entries only

Good Luck

Valentines Day Pinterest Finds

I heart Pinterest!  Yes, it's no secret.  I could spend hours pinning away.  I  sound like Dory from the Nemo Movie, "pinning, pinning, pinning".
 { I hope that song is now in your head and out of mine}

Here are some things I'm going to attempt to make this weekend for Valentines Day.  I hope you get some Pinspiration from these great recipes and blog links to make it a beautiful day with your loved ones.

Super Easy Welcome Sign


These are made from Oreo Cakesters {Yay, no baking, shhhhhh}


These shouldn't be too difficult {If you don't sew, you can make them with paper}


I received one of these pie molds for Christmas {Thanks Chantel}


Happy Friday and Happy Pinning!

You can follow my boards by clicking the button at the top of this blog and if you're not pinning and have no clue what I'm talking about, please send me an email and I'll send you an invite (yep, you need an invite- sounds VIP, right?)


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Project Life- January

I didn't think we did very much in January, but after printing my pictures at Walgreens; I guess we did.

Ashley was really excited to get started {She's a crafty girl}


I was really excited and forgot that it was all about easy {I pulled down the cutter, stickers, pens}


Completed Project





I have a few more pictures I need to get printed from my phone but 5 scrapbook pages later in 45 minutes isn't bad.  I love how I will have a keepsake of Ashley's handwriting forever.

My hairdresser; JamieLynn told me that you can print pictures right off of your Facebook account at Target.  Have you done that?  I'm soooo trying this for next month.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chicken Isreali Couscous

Last week I was on a pinning spree, okay -I'm always on a pinning spree but I must have been really hungry because my food board is full.

We were avoiding the big Superbowl Parties this year; A) because my husband had to work and B) Ashley had a sleepover last night and is in melt down mode.  

What to make?  I thought we would have a little nosh while watching the game so the Isreali Couscous, some hot wings, homemade copycat Chili's salsa and some Chicken Nachos were on the menu.  

I found most of these recipes on Pinterest so if you are following me you can find them on my "yummy drink and food" board.  If not, follow me- hehe.

Okay, so I like to follow recipes but I always like to add more than it calls for or change it up a bit.  You can find the inspiration recipe here:

Here is my version:



Cook 1 cup Isreali Couscous according to package instructions.


Chop your kalamata olives { I dont usually measure but I love this little Pampered Chef measuring cup}


I added chopped artichoke hearts since I always have them in the fridge and some blue cheese crumbles.


Now mix 



Add your shredded chicken { I boiled 4 chicken breasts and shredded one and froze the other 3 for 
future recipes}

And here ya go- Delish and lots of leftovers for lunch this week.

Recipe:


  • 1 cup cooked Israeli Couscous
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives- chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 shredded chicken breast

What did you make for the big game?

  • Linking up to:
Weekend Bloggy Reading

Sunday, February 5, 2012

And the Winner Is........................

Thank you to everyone that entered the fluffband giveaway!  I truly appreciate the time you took to comment, share my link and follow me.  

Congratulations to.........................


Angie Alford





I'll send you an email to choose your fluffband colors.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

Go Giants!

PS: { Ill be having another giveaway for the boys next week so stay stuned}

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Giveaway

Fabulous February Giveaway!

This month I’m celebrating a few anniversaries~ It’s my 2 year anniversary for my etsy shop; Tutuland and my 16 year date anniversary with my hubby.  Our first date was February 29th a long long time ago.  If you’re really really good I’ll share where our date was  in a later post J 


So let’s get this party started…………  We are going to start out small and go out with a bang at the end of the month!

****Up for Grabs****

A fluffband in your choice of colors

To enter:
-Comment below sharing either what you sell or what you blog about.
For additional entries:
-Subscribe to Tutuland by email
-Publicly Follow my blog
-Like me on Facebook
-Follow me on 
Twitter
-Heart my shop
-Pin your favorite item in my shop


-Share this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook linking back to this post {up to 2 entries}

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!!! 


{Giveaway ends at 6pm on February 4th}

Winners will be picked on Superbowl Sunday!  For you "not so sports fans" thats this Sunday, February 5th!

Good Luck!