Friday, January 31, 2014

Thy Word in a Year Journal

I've made it to day 146 of my plan to read the Bible in one year.  I'm so excited to have made it this far and I can't wait until September of 2014 when I can officially say that I have read the Word of God in its entirety.  This has been a goal of mine FOREVER and it feels good to be accomplishing it.  I have FAILED at it year after year.  I still have a LONG way to go but I just know that I'm going to finish this time.
There are three reasons that have made this time different:
1.  God really put the desire in my heart to do this.  I read somewhere that you should pray for a hunger for His Word and I did and He answered.  In year's past when I tried doing this, it honestly seemed like a chore.  This time around, it has become my favorite part of my day.
2.  Accountability.  Back in September, I posted here and on IG and asked some girls to join me in a Thy Word in a Year challenge.  We have been sharing our updates on Instagram and whenever I am tempted to skip a day or two, I just think of my #thywordinayear friends.  Just knowing that they are out there reading too has helped me so much.  If  you would like to join us, please do!!
3.  My Thy Word Planner.  Give me any excuse to make up a planner and I'm all over it.  This time around, I decided to really get serious and keep track of my reading. 
I am using the YouVersion app but I really wanted to take notes as I read.  I made this journal/planner to help me out.  I bought the Arc notebook at Staples.  I love this system.  It makes it easy to add things to your journal but it's flat and not bulky like a binder. 
I titled the first section "Thy Word."  I filled it with lined paper and each day I write the date and the passages I am reading.  I take notes as I read and jot down anything that comes to mind.  Sometimes I write down verses that jump out at me...sometimes I just take notes...sometimes I write down areas I need to work on or questions I might need to find the answers to. 
The next section is "Confess."  It's my least favorite section, if you must know.

This is the first thing I see when I turn to the Confess section.  Powerful verse. 
The third section is the "Thankful" section.  It's my favorite.  I have so much to be thankful for and I love to go back and see my blessings on paper.  I've done gratitude journals for years and it's so fun to look back on them.  I write the date and then usually 3 things that I am thankful for that day.  Some days it's silly things like Diet Dr. Pepper and some days I get a little more serious.  Nathan has gotten the kids into gratitude journals lately and I LOVE that. 
The last section is my prayer list.  This section is also great to look back on.  It's awesome to look back and see where prayers were answered.
If you are struggling with getting into God's Word on a regular basis and you are a planner nerd like me, I strongly suggest that you make or buy a journal.  It has helped me so much!  AND find some friends to join you!

© 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Picture Post


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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

February Jars of Hope

*UPDATE: The list is now full for February.  I will be sending out more in March.
It's time to send out the February Jars of Hope.

I'd love to send out 5 Jars of Hope this month.  If you know a mom that is fighting cancer and you'd like for her to receive a jar, please email me with her info at  You can read about Jars of Hope here.  My only request is that if you are local AND the recipient is local, please come by and pick up so you can deliver the jar and it will save the shipping cost.  This way, I will be able to bless more people with jars.   If you or the recipient are NOT local, it is my pleasure to ship it.

 © 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tuesday Picture Post



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Monday, January 27, 2014

Acrylic Bookmarks

I know digital books are the norm these days but I still prefer to hold a real book in my hands.  I try to check out books as often as possible at the library for my kids so they don't forget that real books do exist!  My clip on acrylic bookmarks are my favorite to use when we are reading actual books. I just love them and love taking orders for them!  They make great little gifts!

You can order your PaperDoll Acrylic Bookmarks HERE.

© 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

What's for Dinner?

We stuck to the plan last week!  EVERY NIGHT!!
Here's the plan this week...
What are you having for dinner this week?

© 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!

Friday, January 24, 2014

My New Schedule & Potato Soup!

First of all, thank you so much for all the sweet messages after this blog post.  I heard from several of you that are in the same boat and it's comforting to know that I'm not alone.  I also have some great friends and family and I was so blessed by their encouraging words.
I have to tell you that I am SUPER EXCITED about some changes I have made already!  The Lysol King and I had talked the night before and realized that if just two days a week I could get help with the kids after school, it would make a huge difference for me.  God works in mysterious ways because right after my post my mom called and asked how she could help and she was glad to be able to spend some time 2 days a week picking up her grandkids from school.  It's going to be a game changer!  It will put about 4 hours back into my work week and that is huge! Nana to the rescue!!!
I also realized that if I am no longer staying up until 3 am working, it will be a lot easier to wake up early and get my workouts in at the beginning of the day.  That way, I'm home to start my work day earlier and it's amazing how much better I feel and how much more productive I am after just a few days of going to bed earlier! 
The other changes have been harder and will take some will power.  I've written out a detailed schedule and I must stick to it.  That means turning down a lot of invitations from friends and giving up some things.  I've already had to say "no" three times this week to things I really wanted to do but it's been AWESOME to spend evenings with my family!!!  I'm going to stick to the schedule like glue as much as possible for the next few weeks with the hopes that in the future, I will be able to sneak some fun back into my day every once in a while.  I'm really hopeful that this is going to work!

Now for the soup...

I came into marriage without a lot of culinary skills.  Here we are, 16 years later, and I still wouldn't call myself skilled in that area.  However, a lot of what I do know, I learned from this cookbook:
It was a Christmas gift from a woman I was working with during my first married Christmas.  I used this book A LOT for the first few years we were married and it's still my favorite cookbook.  I go back to it all the time.  Some of our favorite recipes are from this book.  We had the potato soup this week and I decided I needed to share it on the blog.  My family LOVES it.  I'm talking LOVE LOVE LOVES it!  I at least double the amount of potatoes every time I make it and we very rarely have left overs.  It's so easy it's almost ridiculous that it turns out so yummy.

© 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

If I'm going to be honest...

If I'm going to be honest, which I like to be, I'd have to say that 2013 was one of the hardest PaperDoll years to date.  It was a great business year:  lots of sales, lots of new customers and lots of new products.  But it was tough.  I by far worked more hours than ever.  I let the stress of helping my family financially and being a one woman show get to me more than ever this year and it led me into a PaperDoll burnout of sorts.  When I stopped at the end of the Christmas season and pretty much collapsed into a heap on the floor, I began to wonder why this year had been so hard and hadn't seemed as rewarding (financially or otherwise) as years past and I realized a few things.  It's caused me to revamp some of my ways and make some changes to ensure that 2014 will be a great year.

  • I have been trying to be everything to everyone.  Every time a customer would ask me if I could make a product that I wasn't currently selling, I would spend hours, days, weeks even trying to figure out a way to add it to my list of products.  If someone asked me for an invitation with princesses and alligators, I would spend quite a bit of time trying to come up with something even if in the end I ended up telling them I couldn't do it.  There were several items on my website that I just didn't enjoy making and there were many that just weren't selling well.  I need to stick to what I know and love.  Now this absolutely doesn't mean that I shouldn't add new products and designs but I need to remember that I can't do it all.  Sometimes I have to say no.

  • I spent far too much time this year tracking customers down for payment.  Many without success.  This is stressful.  I know it may not sound like a big deal but if I have spent hours working on an order and then I don't get paid, it's a waste of my time and resources.  If I have 10+ customers not paying for or picking up their order, it adds up fast and stresses me out.  I have solved this by discontinuing the "pay at pick up" perk but I feel terribly guilty about it because I have some fabulous customers that ALWAYS paid.  In the end, I know this is my best solution.  So far, I feel a weight lifted off my shoulders.

  • I sometimes forget that I actually have a full time job.  Yes, I am blessed to be able to work at home and have a flexible schedule, but's a full time job.  I try to make myself out to be a stay at home mom instead of a work at home mom.  I try to fit it all in...working out,  hanging with friends, shuttling kids here and there, helping with homework,  keeping up with the house, paying bills, running errands, meal planning, Bible studies, school parties, and more...and then work tends to be what happens in the wee hours.  I end up not sleeping like normal people and that just can't be good.   I also find myself feeling guilty 24/7.  Guilty that I am not on a field trip, guilty that my house isn't spotless, guilty that I told a friend I couldn't go to lunch, guilty that I am working while my family is watching a movie together and the list goes on.  I envy those moms that work all day and still seem to get it all done but I've learned this year that I need to figure out a new system.  No sleep is not a good system.  Feeling guilty all the time is not a good system.  I think 4 straight weeks of being sick at the end of the year proved that.  I also felt myself starting to really envy my friends who are stay at home moms.  Envy is a green eyed monster.  I am blessed beyond measure and really do love the creativity that my business allows.  I need to practice gratitude and be at peace with the fact that I need to work BUT I need to find a schedule that works for me and my family.  This is a work in progress but my attitude and my schedule are two things I intend to focus on changing this year.

  • I take things personally.  I am probably the last person that should have their own business because there is nothing "tough as nails" about me.  I've been known to cry like a baby when I open a package and find that my printers have made a mistake and I will have to tell my customer that there is a delay.  I have spent hours self-loathing because I spelled a name wrong on an order and have to redo it.  I have been known to have "the worst day ever" because I've received a nasty email from someone who's not happy with a 2 week turnaround time.  This year I need to pray more and leave it all in my office.  I am going to work on not taking things personally and not taking PaperDoll downstairs with me to my family.

  • I got lonely.  One of my least favorite parts of running a biz solo is that there is no one to bounce ideas around with.  My friends and family don't want to talk clipboard designs and the latest color trends everyday.  If my computer or printers break, there's not an IT guy down the hall.  I'm not an accountant so the task of month ends and taxes is definitely one I'd love to share.  I do love alone time but I often wish someone else could make some of the decisions.  This year I am hoping to connect more with other small biz owners just so I don't feel like I'm the only one in this boat.

  • One of the highlights of my year was going to Whatever Craft Weekend and several Crafter's Bash events.  I also got great joy out of sitting for hours making yarn poms with my little girl.  It made me realize that I miss doing creative stuff JUST FOR ME.  I spend so much time filling orders that I have little energy for making my own items.  This year I need to change that.  I love making cute PaperDoll items and sending them on their way but sometimes its fun to use my creativity in other ways.
I've thought of so many things that should and will be changing this year.  I've got a great vision for 2014 and I'm starting to feel refreshed and ready to go.  It's been almost 11 years that I've been doing this PaperDoll gig and I think I just hit a bump in the road last year.  I'm over the bump and ready to make some changes and move on.  I'm excited about what 2014 has to bring!

I am so blessed by my customers!  Some of you have been around the entire time!  I met some of my dearest friends through PaperDoll and my heart STILL skips a beat every time I get an order!  I am honored by your business!  I hope you will stay with me through some of these changes and continue to shop PaperDoll in years to come!

 © 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Picture Post!

teacher sign...these will be back a smaller version but just as cute!
dry erase menu board
car tag

bag tag


phone case

mouse pad

© 2013 paperdoll designs Please don't be shy!! I'd love to hear your comments!
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