Friday, January 31, 2014

365 project: January

1. Our shoes with Knox's lease at the beach.
2. On our way beach from the beach. The outer banks to be specific.
3. Our toothbrushes and toothpaste. I like Cologate and he likes Crest.
4. I am throwing up the peace sign while Clark is sleeping.
5. Muddy shoes at the dog park.
6. Carver's Creek State Park trip.
7. On the coach.
8. Hot Chocolate.
9. Our slippers. Nothing better than a good pair of slippers.
10. Breakfast he likes waffles with peach compote and I like french toast.
11. We pulled our mattress out to the living room over the weekend and had a cozy movie night and slept on the living room floor.
12. We visited Lanier Falls.
13. Played Cribbage.
14. Just a plain jane photo of us.
15. We made cookies.
16. Clark got promoted to specialist.
17. Perfect morning shot of the family.
18. We visited Cliffs of the Neuse
19. Lounging in big sweatshirts/
20. We took outfit photos this day.
21. Our plants. Mine is the succulent and Clark's is the cactus.
22. The Seahawks won. You can see up repping our Washington State pride.
23. I get BBQ and he gets Salt and Vingar.
24. We visited Gilchrist Bridge.
25. Dog park.
26. Last minute photo pf 'us.'
27. We actually had a rough day and I had forgotten to take a photo and so Clark pulled out his phone and sad we forgot to take a photo. It made my day.
28. Jersey Mike's.
29. Cuddling with our pup.
30. Snow day.
31. Milk and cookies.

Well there you have it. I don't know if you took the time to read all 31 taglines but I am sure glad I did this and remembered to take one everyday this month. If you don't remember I decided to do a 365 project this year of Clark and I. Even if the photos are simple or just of our food or feet it is still nice to have photos with your loved ones. I am looking forward to February. It is honestly so crazy that it is the end of the month all ready. Time really does fly by. One of my favorite things about the 365 photo project is putting together all the photos to display like my collage above. It looks so good and I have a photo of Clark and I from everyday in January 2014. It will be crazy to have one from everyday in 2014, you know if I can keep this up. Heres hoping.
love, Carlee

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow day

Aww snow. All these photos are from yesterday as now we are back to a somewhat normal schedule. Well actually Clark doesn't have to go into work until the afternoon so that is pretty cool. I am enjoying the nice midweek break and having my husband home to hang out with and of course Knox loves it. Knox also loves the snow. He is a little snow dog so I am glad that he got to experience it. 
Being from Eastern Washington we got snow a lot in the winter so snow is nothing new but what is new is having everything shut down because of it. I like it though haha. Nowhere to go and nowhere to be. I think that is the definition of the perfect snow day. We tried to go outside and make a snowman but the snow was to dry. So instead we just ran around and had a snow ball fight and also made snow angles. Then came in and warmed our souls with hot cocoa. Yum
I think everyone loved having a little bit of snow. There was tons of families outside and kids playing in the snow. It was a good day and I wanted to make sure I got a chance to share these photos. Also this last photo is my absolute favorite. Knox is the sweetest man, I mean look at him! I can't believe it is almost the weekend!
love, Carlee

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow in North Carolina

It snowed here in North Carolina well at least where I live and I am so excited. It started last night around 8pm with sleet (frozen rain.) Then turned into snow about 11pm. And when I woke up this morning there was snow covering the ground and I was so happy. This is the first snow I have seen all year since not being in Washington State. Anyways so Clark and I went out to take photos this morning because I needed some photos with snow on the ground like I said I have been jealous of all the other bloggers with pretty snow photos and it finally looks like winter. But the snow will probably be gone by tomorrow.
 Clark also got the day off of work which was awesome. People aren't used to the snow here in NC so when it does snow a lot of things shut down. I am not complaining. It is like Seattle, my freshman year of college when I was attending the University of Washington we got snow and 4 days off of school. It was awesome. And I think it was the first canceled school "snow day" I had ever had. So this feels like that. We are headed out to play more in the snow now. Maybe make a snowman. Knox is loving the snow! I will probably share more snapshot photos tomorrow.

I am also happy to report that this boots head up really well in the snow. My feet didn't get cold or wet at all, I did have wool socks on. Also I wish this shirt was more red red rather then orange red. I need more red red or deep red in my closet. I don't have any really. Happy Snow Day!
love, Carlee
Boots: Cathy Jean
Jeans: Old Navy
Shirt: Eddie Bauer
Coat: Target
Hat: Clark's old
Socks: old

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Gilchrist Bridge

This place is actually one of the first places Clark and I ever visited in North Carolina. The first time I came to Fayetteville to visit Clark I wanted to get out of the city and see some of the country side. And we came across this little area along the Lumber River. Last week I was thinking about this place because I knew it wasn't far from Fayetteville. So I had to do some major Google Maps search because I didn't know where it was. I knew the general area but not the location. Anyways I found the place on Google Maps and told Clark I wanted to check it out over the weekend. So we did just that.
There is a full boat launch and a new dock. We did go on the dock and play around the water with Knox. But my favorite part of the area is the old bridge. Which is the Glichrist Bridge and was build in 1922. It is located along Old US 401, in Hoke County, over the Lumber River. I guess this is also a great fishing spot. I thought it looked exactly like the scene from the Notebook were they are canoeing and the swans are all around. Except without the swans, you know.
Over the last couple of days I have been designing a website and let me tell you, it is no joke. The only prior experience I have is this designing this blog so working on a website in a whole different plat form is a new and challenging experience. Don't worry it is my own website. So no one is paying me to take forever to design there website. ha. I guess I am not hiring someone to design it because I know eventually I can have it look the way I want. With time and patience and maybe some YouTube tutorials and also website designs can be really expensive. Anyways, on to something else, it is suppose to snow here today. And I really hope it does just an inch or two because I have been so jealous of all the pretty white wintery blog photos I have been seeing so it would be nice to at least have one set for myself. But I do live in North Carolina now so I know snow isn't usually a thing. I hope everyone has a great Tuesday, maybe I will be back with some snowy photos or maybe not.
love, Carlee
Boots: Sierra Trading Post
Socks: old
Pants: Old Navy
Shirt: Target
Sweater: Forever 21

Monday, January 27, 2014

One Year on Etsy: unusual success tips.

Today I am celebrating one year on Etsy and one year of opening my business Little Sloth. As you may or may not know, I design, produce, and sell handmade greeting cards. Now hopefully I can bypass all the usually tips that most people on Etsy give like photography, SEO, changing tags and titles, filling out policies, international shipping (if do-able), direct checkout. I think all these things are super important. The last two espically. The more people that can buy from you (international or through direct checkout) the sales you will make. Now why I do think all of these tips are an absolute most! Photography especially. I am gonna give a few other/non conventional tips that I have found useful over my first year.
Think of yourself as a real business
One thing I have been trying to do a lot more of over the past few months is thinking of my business as 'Little Sloth Co." and not just "my Etsy business." I have a feeling this is a key mindset. If you want to be successful you have to think of yourself as a real business. Which you are and I am. Most people that are on Etsy aren't just on Etsy. They probably have there own website, facebook page, twitter, instagram.. epscially for there business. Now this doesn't meant that everyone does. I don't have all of the things I mentioned above. But what I am saying is you have to think of your self as a business owner of "Your Shop Name" instead of just a person who "runs an Etsy shop." I have noticed the really successful Etsy shop aren't just Etsy shops they are businesses. Google one of your favorite successful shops and you'll probably see then same thing. Now I am not saying that you need to go out and have your own .com website right away. The mindset is the first and most important step.

Give yourself credit
By this I mean, when people ask "what do you do?" tell them you run your own business. Because it is true. My business isn't a top seller on Etsy or anything but I realize that if I want other people to take me and my business seriously I first had to take myself serious and treat Little Sloth like a real business. So when friends, family or former aquanince ask "what do you do?" Instead of my answer being, "oh you know the usual. A little here and there. Whatever I feel like." My answer needs to be the truth. "I spend hours designing and producing greeting cards. Also researching ways to expand my business. Working SEO, changing titles and tags. Working on product photography constistently. Packing and Shipping Orders" This goes with the bullet from above. Give yourself credit and treat your business like a really business/company and other people will to. (Maybe not right away, but if you don't then no one will.)
follow on instagram @carleewengel for sneak peaks

Have a cohesive product line
Now this doesn't mean to only sell one thing. I just so happen to only sell greeting cards (for now). What I mean by this is to have a product line that goes together and looks like it all belongs in one shop. For example I see a ton of card shops on Etsy that also sell pencils, stickers, art prints, and stamps. These things all seem to go together because they are paper goods and the business owner has branded the products in a cohesive away. That is just one example. When I look at a shop I want to know what you are selling and have it look nice.

Join teams and make treasuries
Now this might be a pretty basic tip. I didn't really know what I was doing at first with teams and treasuries. I pretty much just applied to a bunch of teams that I fit into and posted my stuff on the boards saying "post new listings here." And to be honest that is still what I do. I go into my teams and post new items when I have them. I don't over post as I would find that annoying. But this helps a new item to get views and favorites and be found higher in the search. Make sure to follow the team rules and not troll the pages. (Not a good look.) Now about treasuries, make pretty treasuries that are cohesive in some way. Like the ones you see on the front page. Now your treasuries will probably never be featured on the front page (mine definitely never have) but by making them you can gain connections with the people you feature. And hopefully be featured in future treasuries of theirs. (But don't expect that.)

So yeah, that was some of my unusual tips for being successful on Etsy. Now that doesn't mean following these tips will make you successful it just means that they aren't gonna hurt and maybe like me you should give them a try. I definitely think my first year on Etsy was a success (by my definition.) I had over 700 sales which is actually well over 1,000 cards (for those of you know how Etsy works, you'll get this. Multiple sales on one item.) Anyways I hope for bigger and better things in 2014 and continuely growing and expanding my business.

Also to celebrate my one year anniversary of Little Sloth. There is FREE SHIPPING on all USA orders, today only. (January 27 2014) Enter code FREESHIP1YEAR at checkout to get free shipping. This is a really good deal. Saving almost $1.50!! Remember today only. So pick on your favorite greeting card for Valentine's Day! Have a wonderful Monday.
love, Carlee 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Cliffs of the Neuse

Over the weekend we headed out to the country for a drive and ended up at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. Well we actually knew we were headed there but the drive was fun to. It was about an hour away from our house and the country side was beautiful on the drive there. We saw swamps, ponds, horses, cows, fields, barns, and farms. Another thing I have noticed about the south is there are cemeteries along the country roads and sometimes even in fields. I think I counted 5-7 along the road that was only 50 miles. In the west you don't see that much. Of course all the cemeteries are fenced and gated so they aren't damaged by tractors and trucks. I still think it would be so odd to buy or own property with a few tombstones on it.
So back to the state park. Cliffs of the Neuse is a state park in North Carolina along the Neuse River. There is camping, swimming, hiking, and fishing allowed in the park. During the spring I really want to go camping. We already have a air mattress and sleeping bags. But we do need a tent. I remember really great memories with my family camping in the summer. I think Knox would love it. And I love sitting around a campfire eating hot dogs and smores'. The cliffs weren't actually visible when we went because the river was to high. Even one of the trails was flooding and completely underwater so we couldn't walk the whole thing which was a little disappointing. Knox enjoyed jumping in the water which is why he is wet in some of these photos. Also we were surprised that Knox even got in the water. We thought he wasn't a water dog but maybe he is. 
One the way back from the park we went right through the town Mt. Olive which you southern folk know is a well known pickle brand and company. So we stopped by the factory and got to see where the magic is made. Unfortunately they don't do tours anymore because of food safety and what not. But it was still a fun stop. There were quite a few people at this park enjoying the sites and some people just seemed to be exercising. I hope everyone had a great Friday and I am excited for more adventures this weekend! Like I always say Sunday is adventure day. 
love, Carlee
Leggings: Nike
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack
Shirt: Old Navy
Vest: gift from Clark (North Face)
Scarf: old
Sunglasses: Target

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Homemade Krispy Kreme Donuts

The only night I had the craving for the perfect Krispy Kreme donut. It was probably because there was a newspaper insert for Valentine's Day Krispy Kreme donuts. And oh they look so good. So I did a quick Google search and found this recipe. So I altered and doctored it and scaled it down a bit and came up with my own perfect homemade Krispy Kreme donut recipe. Okay maybe it isn't perfect but I really enjoyed making them and they taste great. 
-2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
-1/2 cup warm water
-1/2 cup milk
-1/4 cup sugar
-1 egg
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 1/2 tablespoons butter
-2 3/4 cup flour

Vanilla Glaze
-2 Cups Powered Sugar
-3 tablespoons hot water
-1/3 cup melted butter
-1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Glaze
-2 tablespoons Unsweeted Cocoa
-1 1/2 Cup Powered Sugar
-3 tablespoons hot water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Add yeast and water. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Combine yeast, sugar, salt, eggs, butter and 1cup flour.
3. Beat on low/medium until mixed.
4. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. (Dough will be elasticy)
5. Cover and let rise until double (or more) about 1 hour and 30 minutes. 
6. After the dough has risen. Roll out onto a floured surface with a floured rolling pin about 1/2 in thick.
7. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Separate donuts and holes and put on cookie sheet.
8. Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes. 

For both glazes
Just stir in the ingredients in a bowl and let sit until your ready to dip donuts. 

9. Heat oil on stove top and use a thermometer until 300 degrees. 
10. Fry donuts for 30 seconds each side until golden brown/brown.
11. Place back on cookie sheet and cool for a bit. 
12. Dip in glaze while still warm. 
13. I diped my donuts in the glaze 3 or 4 times after I set them each set. (I like lots of glaze!) haha
14. Sprinkle the sprinkles on while glaze is still wet. 
So there it is my homemade Krispy Kreme donut recipe. If you have any questions let me know. Also read through the comments in the post I linked above and there are some great tips and tricks in there people have tried already tired. Enjoy.
love, Carlee

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The golden hour

I love the golden hour sun, right before sunset. I had to get some sun glare in my photo because well it was just the perfect time of day and I couldn't resist. So even though these photos aren't the best to portray the outfit I love the feeling of them and the look of the sun during this time of day. 
So this weekend was a good one. We went on an adventure with Knox and took Knox to the dog park twice this weekend. We also had a great Sunday. I made nachos and guacamole. Then Clark and I cuddled up on the couch and watched the Seahawks play the 49ers. The Seahawks won, if you haven't heard, and are headed to the super bowl which is on February 2nd. Now it's time to plan a Super Bowl party and figure out all the junk food I am gonna eat! So yeah it was a pretty good weekend.
Now Clark is back at work but lucky for him and me it is a short work week. Only 4 days. RIght now Knox is sitting and looking out the window. I have myself a pretty good watch dog. And I am getting ready to package up Etsy orders from the weekend, while I catch up on some of my favorite shows from the past week. Like Nashville, Castle and Modern Family! Have a great Tuesday. 
love, Carlee
Boots: Cathy Jean
Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Target 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Morning puppy kisses

Is there anything better then morning puppy kisses with your sweet pup. I don't think so. Since Clark has a long weekend meaning he gets today, Monday, off we are enjoying sleeping in and relaxing. I love making a nice big breakfast on the weekends. Clark LOVES waffles and peach compote and french toast is my favorite. I love our little pup Knox. He is honestly so sweet and I couldn't ask for anything better than to wake up with Knox and Clark.
Have a great day. I will be relaxing with my men.
love, Carlee

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Carver's Creek State Park

Over the weekend Clark and I headed out to Carver's Creek State Park with our pup Knox. This one is actually only 13 miles from our apartment and just north of Fayetteville, NC so we knew we needed to check it out. Besides it is really nice for Knox to get some extra exercise on the weekends. So this state park was actually just recently completed, finished this past summer. It is not very big but does have a nice walking trail loop, some historic buildings, a creek, lake and swamp.
When we first got to the state park, there was only one other couple walking their dogs. So we pretty much had the place to ourselves. We let Knox off his leash and he got to play in the water for a bit. On the way back to the car there was a ton of people coming up the trail. I guess it was a nice day for a walk or just a really happen state park all the time. Who knows. 
This week has been relaxing. I have been hanging with Knox and watching my Sex in the City box set I got for Christmas from my mom while packaging Etsy orders and drawing new designs. Clark has a long weekend. Meaning he gets Friday and Monday off so we have time to relax and have a couple of adventures too. We will probably end up taking Knox to the dog park which we do almost every weekend. I like getting him out of the house and letting him play. Last time we were there he kind of got ganged up on by the other dogs and I was really mad about it. Some dogs can be really mean. So hopefully that doesn't happened again or my mama bear claws might will come out. Anyways, hope everyone is having a wonderful week. 
love, Carlee

*Don't forget to enter my Little Sloth greeting card giveaway
Sweater: American Eagle
Shirt & Leggings: Target
Shoes: Nordstrom Rack