13 April Fool’s Days

My dearest husband,

13 years ago, our journey as a couple officially began. I can’t believe it’s been that long, I still feel like we’re 20 and hopelessly in love. We’ve been April Fools for 13 years and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Our first official picture as a couple – June 2004

Who knew our paths would cross at the right time? Who knew that out of a genuine friendship we could fall in love? Who knew that it actually wasn’t a rebound? You did. You knew even before I did. 

Despite everything we risked to be together we stand here today – together and united as 1 and I consider myself extremely lucky. I remember when you asked me to be your girlfriend. You asked me twice already and I said no because I was scared. I didn’t want to get hurt, I was scared of what everyone was going to think and say. You didn’t give up on me. You asked me again on April 1st and I finally said yes! I’m so glad that I took a chance and stopped worrying about everyone else. It was the best decision I ever made. I found a man that was ready to be as committed as I was and wanted the same things out of life. 

Throughout our years together we’ve always been there for each other with honesty, love, and selflessness behind everything we do for other. Thank you for not keeping score, not holding grudges, forgiving me every time I make a mistake, and for showing me grace and love every day.

We’ve been through so much together and as I said when we got married, I’m so glad that you’re the man I get to experience life with. I would choose you over and over again, Babe. 

CO Wedding – 10/8/11

Happy anniversary, my love. Thank you for taking a chance on me! Every day I wake up next to you I’m excited for what life has in store for us because we get to do it together. I love you!

With all my love,

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Lately

Things have been crazy these past few weeks.

I feel like every time I write one of these “Lately” posts that’s the first sentence that I always lead with. SMH.

But they have been busy lol

Charlie and I have been busy with a home project and working on yard maintenance. It rarely ever rains in LA so our “grass” never really grows. And yeah, I put “grass” cuz it’s not really grass. Since we’ve had to conserve water we just decided to stop watering our “grass” all together. But since it’s been raining a lot this winter our “grass” decided to grow. If you saw my instagram story a couple weeks back the height of the grass was so tall you couldn’t even see my dogs when they’d run through it. Since then we’ve been trying to do our best to do yard work every week so it’s easier to maintain. #adulting am I right?

Aside from a little house maintenance I’ve been chipping away at my business projects.

CO Creative Cartel has the Jackalope Fair coming up and we’re using this as an  opportunity to work on our product line. We’ve got a few new products we’re currently sourcing and hopefully we’ll be able to debut those soon! We’ve also applied to a few other Spring 2017 craft shows to gain local brand awareness and to get direct customer feedback on our products. All of this is to prepare ourselves for our biggest event of the year, Las Vegas Market coming up in August. I’m scheming up some fun things and am really excited to make my wholesale trade show debut. It’s been a long time coming, over 5 years – I can’t believe it! But the time has finally arrived, we’re making it happen this year and I’m glad I didn’t rush into it. My patience was tested over and over but I’m more prepared than I ever would have been in the past.

A sneak peek into some fun things coming soon 🙂

Ninong’s is undergoing a big transition this year, in a million different ways. I always tell people that this business has been my testimony of faith as well as entrepreneurship. I firmly believe that Ninong’s has been the reason I have learned and grown so much as an entrepreneur and as a Christian. We’ve recently changed our FOH (front of house) operations to sit down service and it’s been quite the challenge to change the way we’ve been doing things for 8 years. But this was just another decision we made to help us grow, do what is best for our customers, and try to create a better experience. We’re finally beginning to adjust and our operation is becoming a bit smoother. We’re still a long way and we will never be perfect but I can see how this decision was a good choice for our business.

I guess that’s the way things are when you’re an entrepreneur. You try to collect data, observe your customer base, take in constrictive critique, and make decisions hoping for the best. What sucks is you’ll never know for sure if that was the right decision until you try it, implement it, and give it time. But you have to jump in fully and trust that you made the decision for a reason, the right reason.

Because of this, my blog got put on the back burner. 

 

But I decided that it was okay. 

Normally, I’d be stricken with guilt over not posting. I’d rack my brain about how I can make it up to the few readers I have. I’d tell myself my blog will never grow if I don’t take it seriously. But honestly, I do! lol. I take my blog very seriously and so this time I said NO. No to feeling guilty and no to making myself think that I don’t work hard enough. Because I do work hard, it’s just…priorities. 😉

xoxo,

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Everybody Has Something

In every industry I’ve worked in, customer service has played a big role in my daily responsibilities. Let’s face it, no matter where you work or what field you are in you’re going to have to interact with people to some degree. You’re going to encounter customers, clients, coworkers, vendors, service providers…You can’t avoid human interaction (as much as we want to some times).

I’ve worked a bunch of different jobs. I’ve been a cashier, a temp, a receptionist, an assistant, an office manager, a retail manager, a server, a wedding planner, graphic designer, etc. In every industry, I’ve been treated like a second rate citizen in some way.

Age has been an issue. I started my first business when I was 19. At the rip age (kidding) of 19, no one really treated me with respect. They thought I was too young to hire. As a service provider people thought that just because I’m providing them with a service I’m their slave. Even though my services are clearly spelled out in our agreement. I am very firm about going above and beyond for my clients, but sometimes that translates to people that me not responding at 2 am means I don’t care about their needs. People have stigmatized me because of my job title. People think that because I’m serving food means I’m not going anywhere in life or I can’t be treated with respect. They think I’m not allowed to make mistakes because they should “always be right.” Even if I have family issues or health issues I have to be smiling, pleasant, and cater to their every need no matter what. They think it’s their way and don’t think I deserve to be heard. Several industries I work in have also been a factor. I’ve worked in male dominated industries. When they hear my voice or see me in person they assume I’m someone’s secretary. Even if I was, shouldn’t you treat me with respect?

My point here isn’t to complain, it’s to just say that everyone has something going on in their lives. Lots of people have treated me rudely. I’ve been yelled at, cussed out, treated unfairly, and pressured to do something I didn’t want to do. Customers have done it, superiors have done it, colleagues have done it. A long, long time ago I told myself hat if I ever became someone’s boss I would never treat my team the way I was treated. Why? Because there is always a reason for someone’s attitude and actions. If someone is angry or rude toward me I choose to still show them kindness and grace. I choose not to retaliate to their anger.

Why?

I’ll use one situation as an example. When my mom was really sick and getting cancer treatments it really hit me hard. But owning a business meant I had to keep working which limited my time to spend with her. Being a server at our restaurant I have to be smiling, pleasant, and focused on customers even if I was having family issues. Even if I was dying inside, I had to pretend to be happy and like nothing was wrong on the outside.

But I choose to be that way. I don’t want my hardships in life to have an effect on people’s days. I don’t want to push my stress and negativity onto anyone. If I were to reverse the roll and be a customer but going through my family issues, I would want someone or something to help brighten my day. I always try to see the other side of the story.

Everyone has something they struggle with. We all do. Financial problems, family issues, marital, health, personal, work…everyone has something. So be kind to others even if they’re rude to you. And really mean it. Your constant kindness might change someone’s day for the better.

Xoxo,

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