WELCOME TO OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE! PEEK AT OUR ONLINE SHOP NOW!

Round Up: Q3 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

Alyssa Nguyen


Round Up: Q3 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

HAPPY JULY!

We voted on our Q3 book club reads and are so excited to dive into these three new books with you from July-September. Our book clubs are open to anyone who wants to attend, and we welcome everyone with open arms :)

IF YOU’RE NEW AROUND HERE, HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT WITH OUR BOOK CLUB:

  1. We are sharing our book picks by the quarter. So you’ll be able to get an idea of what books are coming up!

  2. Book club nights will take place on the last Wednesday of each month from 6pm-7:15pm.

  3. Book club members are invited to bring a snack to share at the meeting and we’ll provide a glass of wine- you guys voted for snacks + wine :)

  4. Book club members will vote on the next quarters books!

  5. We’re committed to making this year the best year yet for book club- and are asking you to join us. Make reading a part of your routine, carve out that one time a month to join us in our studio, better yet, invite a friend to join us. Book club is meant to keep us connected in this busy, busy world!

Q3 BOOKS + MEETING DATES

JULY’S BOOK:

Normal People by Sally Rooney

JULY MEETING:

Wednesday, July 31st 2019 | 6pm-7:15pm

AUGUST’S BOOK:

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

 

AUGUST MEETING:

Wednesday, August 28th 2019 | 6pm-7:15pm

SEPTEMBER’S BOOK:

The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt

 

SEPTEMBER MEETING:

Wednesday, September 25th | 6pm-7:15pm

The Monthly Edit: July 2019

Alyssa Nguyen


The Monthly Edit: July 2019

Happy July friends! I hope you are enjoying these little monthly posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them. In a way, it serves as a little monthly check-in with myself to pause and reflect back on the past month as well as a way to get excited for whats to come :)

There’s some fun juicy stuff in this month’s post so you’re definitely going to want to take a few minutes to read though!


A QUICK LOOK BACK AT JUNE:

1. Officially celebrated ONE FULL YEAR in our new home at Springdale General!

Here are a few quick snaps of move in day :)

2. Rearranged our entire shop inventory + grew our pen collection for you guys!

Seriously, it’s pretty magical you’re going to want to come by and see it for yourself.

3. Attended the book launch + signing for a sweet frien'd’s new book- at quite possible the CUTEST spot in Austin.

You know I’ll be taking this book with me as we travel later this week (more on that below!) If you’d like to snag a copy and read along, you can grab one here.


THINGS HAPPENING THIS MONTH:

(in)SIDEWALK SALE

Our first ever sidewalk sale- but inside because Texas haha!

Think of it as part studio + garage/yard sale with lots of things in our shop plus we invited in some other small biz friends to join us for an afternoon of fun and deals!


JULY WORKSHOPS

Y’all know how quickly our workshops tend to fill up, so don’t say we didn’t warn ya! We’ve been gently reminding you guys via our newsletter as well as through social media- so this is your third reminder ;) Several of these workshops are already down to the last few tickets!

Grab your ticket, and join us in our studio for some crafty + creative fun to beat the heat this summer!

From hand lettering to painting with gouache (pronounced as “squash!”) to drawing on your iPad to ceramics, we’ve got it all- but perhaps one we are most excited about is our first ever Candle Pouring Workshop. There’s no better way to try out a new craft and perhaps find your new hobby inventing incredible custom scents with your candles!


CLOSED FOR THE 4TH

Our shop + studio will be closed starting Thursday, July 4th and we will reopen and resume our regular weekly schedule on Tuesday, July 9th. We’ve been open before in the past and it’s just incredibly slow days for us that we’ve decided to opt instead, to let ourselves spend time with our loved ones.

We’re open almost every weekend of the year so you can imagine it’s rather nice to get a few full weekends off a year :)

p.s. if you’re interested in following along, I’ll be in Hawaii for the week so definitely peek on Instagram for some updates and travel fun!


LIFE LATELY:

Well…if you haven’t seen me in person you probably haven’t noticed anything different around here. I’ve (along with Evan) have chosen to keep it mostly to ourselves for the past 4.5 months for a variety of reasons- but a huge part was the fact I honestly had a lot of mixed emotions about all of this!

But we’re having a baby!

We seriously just told our parents last week so we’ve definitely been very low key about it.

We wanted to tell them in a small but special way, and naturally I wanted to use stationery in some way. I found these really cute scratch off cards from one of the designers we carry in the shop and that’s how we decided to tell our parents. The card had an envelope inside that had the 12 week ultra sound that showed a pretty good profile view plus we also mailed a little Sugarfina box of piggie gummies since it’s the year of the pig.

Let me just say that I am excited- but just in a different, perhaps non-traditional way. I mostly have all the questions and have been googling and texting a few close friends “is this normal when…” Also, I’ve been sleeping a ton (which is not super unusual since I LOVE NAPS!) but more than usual. There were a few weeks where I swear I was asleep 16-18 hours a day lol

I experienced the typical queasiness/nausea (but with limited throwing up thank goodness!) and for the most part have just been swapping out random symptoms. Growing a human is super weird and a truly strange experience. I’ve never felt so unlike myself and so uncomfortable in my own skin- kinda takes me back to those teenage puberty days!

I’d be lying if I let y’all think I’m just happy and dandy with all of this- but I am honestly just terrified. I’m in my thirties and have always loved kids and have always wanted a family- I just have never been someone who was at all excited about pregnancy or new borns. We’ve talked about kids for a while now so it’s not like this was a surprise. I think I’m surprised by how this all feels and how it continues to ebb and flow. Don’t judge me but I want to be transparent about a few things that have been weighing on my mind: I’m scared of the pain and trauma that can happen with birth (I’m a huge weenie when it comes to pain). I’m self conscious AF of my changing body (I know this is so superficial and vain but ya’ll when thing don’t fit you and you can’t help the weight gain the struggle is real especially in the summer. In about 4.5 months, I’ve gained 10ish lbs so far), I feel a lot of guilt for not feeling “happier” about this when I know a lot of people and even close friends who would be happy to take on all of the horrible aches, pains and symptoms I have, I feel fear about what my life is going to look like and what business is going to look like (I love what I do with the business and I truly love being there and working!)…. the list could go on!

But again, inspite of all that it’s INSANE there’s a tiny human (and probably also a food baby in there lol) growing inside and I’m grateful. I remember freaking out when I saw a freakin’ hand basically wave at us at a pretty early ultrasound. In the meantime I’m soaking up the fact that both dogs have been extra obsessed with me lately- like they have to be near me and or touching me at all times and refuse to let me out of their sights.

I’ll share more here and there as the weeks/months progress via Instagram as well as give y’all updates in future editions of the Monthly Edit :)


A FEW QUESTIONS Y’ALL MIGHT HAVE:

Was this planned?

Yes to an extent. I shared a bit already up in the body of this section but here’s a little more detail. I’m in my thirties and we’ve been married for over 2.5 years now. We’ve both talked about having kids and a family some day but let me tell you, it doesn’t feel real until that some day is literally now.

How far along are you exactly? When are you due?

Officially 19 weeks this week- basically almost to the half way mark which is nuts. And our due date is in November- I’m not really sharing the exact date because due dates are basically a super vague guesstimate and apparently babies have a mind of their own and can come as early as weeks before to a couple of weeks after!

Do you know the gender?

Nope. Not going to find out- mostly because I think I would welcome a surprise. And also because I kind of dislike that baby things are so gender specific- why does all girl stuff have to be pink and why does all boy stuff have to have some sort of sports ball on it?!

Biggest struggle so far?

Listening to my body. Some days I feel 100% and like nothing is different, and other days I feel horrible! I’m learning to slow down and not make so many plans because I hate canceling and rescheduling on people. But some days I seriously feel so awful I’m in bed most of the day :( But those days seem to be happening less and less now!

Also, it’s true that EVERYONE has an opinion. From how much weight I should gain, have gained, haven’t gained- what I’m eating, or consuming, what I’m wearing, how I’m sleeping etc. And I’ve already had some unkind and somewhat hurtful things said to me. I don’t think it’s intentional in any of those instances but still. It does make you hyper aware of how even if you don’t have ill intentions, you should definitely go out of your way to be extra kind to everyone.

Biggest fear?

A big personal fear that may seem silly is that I’m afraid Harley will hate it/try to bite it. Harley (the little chihuahua who is 11 years old) has been my little “baby” and I’m just afraid of a potential dynamic shift.

Biggest excitement?

Tiny baby things are super cute! You know how much I love tiny things so I’ve had a little bit of fun getting baby clothes etc. My favorite thing so far are a pair of tiny overalls (ironic since I can no longer fit into my favorite overalls haha) But besides that, I am excited in general- perhaps buried under a lot of layers of feelings!

What are you going to do about the P+CP?

Keep calm and carry on. Kidding but also kinda accurate. I’m grateful for an amazing team of girls who support the shop day-to-day and have been making plans to physically step back for a few months later this year. The P+CP will operate as usual with our weekly retail hours as well as weekly workshops and classes.

Disclaimer: I always thought it was weird that people like to touch pregnant people. It hasn’t happen to me yet but I will straight up karate chop your hand if you try to touch my belly :)


WOW, THAT WAS A LONG POST.

HOPE YOU ALL HAVE AN AMAZING START OF THIS NEW MONTH AND I REALLY HOPE TO SEE Y’ALL IN THE SHOP + STUDIO SOON!

Around Austin: Summer Eats 2019

Alyssa Nguyen


Around Austin: Summer Eats 2019

We’ve noticed a huge increase in out of town visitors at the shop the past few weeks and it’ll likely continue as so many people like to visit Austin in the Summer time!

And I’ve personally had so many out of town visitors the past few weeks it’s actually been really fun showing them around. Let’s be real, it’s also been really fun playing tourist myself :)

There’s definitely no shortage of great local spots everywhere, and even new ones that keep popping up it can be hard to even keep up. But I do have a few places in my back pocket that (for better or worse- I know everyone has very strong opinions about food these days lol) are my go to places.

Here’s what made the top 10 list of place I take out of towners to eat:

La Barbecue- Everyone has their favorite joint in town and this is my personal favorite.

Hopdoddy- Two words, truffle fries.

Pinthouse Pizza- I love that they have a gf option using cauliflower pizza crusts- plus their pint house salad is one of my favorites! I sub out the poppyseed dressing with their peppercorn vinaigrette and it’s SO good.

Tiny Boxwoods- Hands down my favorite spot for breakfast or lunch, in by far the cutest little restaurant. I only order two things on their menu, their eggs + avocado or their burger (sub for a gluten free pita crust = a burger burrito), you can thank me later after you order the unofficial burger burrito ;)

Komé- My go-to sushi spot in town. Huge fan of of their nigiri!

Bento Picnic- Because in between all the “heavier” meals, you need something on the healthier side. I love the combination of pickled veggies and sticky rice with quinoa. This place was particularly delicious for one of my friends who was vegan!

Tumble 22- Not like I need friends visiting for an excuse to go get fried chicken, but my friend visiting from the NE wanted fried chicken and I was not going to object! I get the hot chicken and always get the kale slaw, potato salad plus extra pickles. I love that they have a wimpy option for those not into spice!

Veracruz Tacos- A visit to Austin isn’t complete without breakfast tacos is it? Also the one located more North has a coffee shop tucked in- and I had a horchata espresso that was delicious.

Milk & Cookies - Right next to Tiny Boxwoods, they have a grab and go counter serving up all the coffee + pastries of your dreams.

Nadamoo Scoop Shop- I’ve only had Nadamoo once, many moons ago and I was honestly just indifferent about it, but holy moly- the chocolate peanut butter scoop I got in a gf waffle cone was so good. It definitely didn’t taste dairy free and I’m so glad my vegan friend wanted to swing by!

WHERE ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS TO GO TO WHEN FRIENDS VISIT?

Tell us in the comments below :)

The Monthly Edit: June 2019

Alyssa Nguyen


The Monthly Edit: June 2019

Well yet again, it seemed like I blinked and it’s officially June. How crazy is it that it’s already the half way point of 2019?! I feel like everyone talks about how fast time flies but I swear 2019 has been a blur.

As we enter the summer months here in Austin, I’m excited for warmer days to swim, an excuse for sno-cones and of course, making our shop + studio the cutest little paper oasis in this heat!


A QUICK LOOK BACK AT MAY:

1. Taking an entire weekend off for Memorial Day weekend was just what we all needed! As much as we hate to miss out on visitors from out of town, we value our team’s work-life balance and wanted to honor us all having a true, full weekend off! Want to know what we did for the long weekend? You can read more here.

2. Y’all cleaned us out of Mother’s Day cards, again! Every year, we do our best to over estimate and usually purchase extra cards. And every year, we tend to run low the week leading up to Mother’s Day.

3. We firmed up a bunch of fun things for the rest of the Summer as well as Fall. It’s going to be a fun rest of 2019 you guys!


THINGS HAPPENING THIS MONTH:

Shop Mini Makeover

We heard a lot of you are having a hard time finding us! And as sad as we are that we don’t have our amazing wall mural like we did out our old space, we tried to bring a little bit of it with the vinyls on our windows! But we realized that once cars are parked out front, it’s a little tricky to see our signage!

We have plans to mirror the vinyls on the bottom of our window to the top! And another thing we’ve been working on is getting quotes for window coverings for our two large windows. We LOVE all the light we get in here but as the summer months approach, the sun streams in rather intensely on our precious paper products as well as into your eyeballs (also precious lol) if you take an evening workshop with us.

We appreciate you guys bearing with us as we continue to learn all the quirks about our new space (can you believe it’s almost a month away from ONE full year of us moving into this new space?


June Book Club

We’re finishing our 6th book club read of 2019 this month and will be voting on our next three books at our meeting. If you’ve been looking for a community and some accountability to read more this year, it’s not too late to pick up this month’s book and pencil in our meeting date!


June Workshops

We’ve got several out of town (and even out of state) guest instructors headed to our studio this month for some incredible workshops. It’s always such a treat to welcome someone new into our studio- just a little FYI: we are not able to guarantee that we will be able to get these instructors into our studio again and they often swing by just once a year or even every other year. So you don’t want to miss out on your chance to learn from these incredible ladies!


A LETTER TO YOU:

A new segment I’ve been wanting to introduce, a short + sweet story (anonymous of course) of a sweet guest interaction we’ve had in the shop. These small interactions and stories make small business ownership worth it.

This man pops into our shop every now and then to pick up a card/gift for his girlfriend. She loves our shop and it’s incredibly thoughtful he chooses to come by to find something for her for every occasion.

The last time he was in, he had mentioned how they were going on a ski trip together. He picked out a few belated gifts for her and was on his way.

A couple of months later, he comes back in- only he’s on crutches and has a cast on his leg. Turns out he broke his leg the first day on this ski trip :( He’s well on his way to healing and recovery but the mere fact he went through the trouble of coming all the way out to see us to pick up another card for her was just the sweetest!


HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A WONDERFUL REST OF THE MONTH AND I REALLY HOPE TO SEE Y’ALL IN THE SHOP + STUDIO SOON!

Small Business School: Balance

Alyssa Nguyen


Small Business School: Balance

The B word. The one we are all striving for and in search for. Balance.

The dictionary defines balance as an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady or a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Anything stand out with those definitions? Even distribution, elements are equal or in the correct portions… In my opinion, that sure seems pretty confining if everything is supposed to be even and equal 100% of the time to achieve balance.

Not only does it seem confining, it also seems insanely unattainable and a goal that is so out of reach it’s not even realistic. We’re all told our lives would be amazing and almost better if we figure out how the heck to balance out our life in every way. We’d be happier, wealthier, healthier etc. But most of the time I find that it just leaves us (me, anyway) extremely frustrated and defeated.

And when you throw small business into the mix of it all, things can just feel downright impossible especially if you’re yearning for that perfect balance.

SMALL BUSINESS BALANCE

Wearing many hats, for me it’s retail buyer, wholesale account manager, fulfillment, workshop and event planner + coordinator, merchandiser, studio manager, CEO, CFO, marketing director, art director, creative director, and even janitor (seriously!)...the list goes on. There’s simply too much that needs to be done for one person. Many businesses operate lean with just a one woman or one man show. Running a business lean has always been something I’ve strived for, the less frivolous expenses you have in business, the more profitable you are. It’s really that simple.

Trust me, I know everyone’s to-do list can literally be a mile long, but once you really look at that list, what on there is really important? It takes a lot to tell your pride and ego to let go, to only do what is essential. Only doing the things that are the utmost important and forgetting the rest. Being okay with things being undone. It takes a lot of courage to ask for grace from colleagues and fellow business owners when you turn down additional work or partnerships to honor only doing what’s essential to your life and business.

P.s. If you want to read more about essentialism, I really encourage you to read this book. It’s one of my all time favorites and I read it once a year.

SMALL BUSINESS + LIFE

If I’m going to be really honest here, I’ve put my business first in my life. Yup, it’s embarrassing to admit but I’ve put my business before my relationships, marriage, myself, and even my dogs on many occasions. I’m grateful that the people (and dogs) in my life understand my passion, but a big focus of mine in 2019 was to let the business work for me for a change.

Allowing myself to have days not physically at the shop and truly not working. Having actual weekends off for the first time in 6 years. Prioritizing to eat 3 actual meals a day. Seems ridiculous but I would opt to finish out an email or take a meeting instead of eat. I felt like if I wasn’t working hard all the time, I would be lazy and not deserving of success.

Small business is so personal, it intertwines with your life even outside of work. There’s no calling it a day after 5pm when you are literally your business. It’s a practice I have to remind myself of daily, to do less but with more intention. I really want to encourage you to do the same, let’s turn away from the glorification of busyness and lean into only doing what is essential to our daily happiness.


HOW TO FIND YOUR BALANCE:

Carve out time to sit down and evaluate what’s important for YOUR life. And then do the same for YOUR business. Make a list.

Now take that list, and only pick 3-5 things that are essential.

Things to consider: Ditch all the things you feel like you should do, simplify. There are so many things we feel like we should be doing- we should be exercising 5 days a week. We should be on all social media platforms for our business. I challenge you to pause, and only do what serves you and your business. Get down to the basics.  At the very core of your life and business, what is actually important to you?

It’s better to do a handful of things well vs. doing a bunch of things mediocre. Trust in the ebb and flow, of life and of business. If you allow things to flow, you’ll find a rhythm that resembles balance. But in a way that truly serves you in all areas of your life.


HOW DO YOU FIND BALANCE IN YOUR DAY? WITH YOUR PERSONAL LIFE? WITH YOUR BUSINESS? TELL US IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

D.I.Y. Wildflower Seed Paper

Alyssa Nguyen


It’s officially SPRING! And we’re so excited about what a new season brings. There’s a sense of renewal, a feeling of a clean slate, and a fresh start!

We’ve been getting into the rhythm of this season (which is a first for us in our new space) and really enjoying this particular season (both literal and figurative). As a business that’s been around for technically almost 6 years with 3 as a physical space, it kind of seems like we’re found our grove and footing here in Austin. There are still a lot of unknowns, and areas of growth, but it really does feel a lot less like panic and fear! hah!

In taking a moment to truly just be grateful for everything we’ve built, the thing we are most grateful for is community. And that means YOU. Thank you guys for weathering all the seasons with us, for your loyal support and unwavering love of this little business.

Okay, that got a little more sentimental than intended ;) This blog post idea was something we had thought of several months ago, perhaps in retaliation of how cold it has been this winter. We wanted to share a sweet and fun way to bloom and grow this Spring. This D.I.Y. is a great excuse to get your girl friends together and is even a family friendly crafty activity for everyone!

It’s a great excuse to take a little trip to walk around your local nursery to pick out some flower seeds together, a reason to get outside, and you’ll have the reward of having something you made bloom and grow!

WILD FLOWER SEED PAPER

D.I.Y. PROJECT TIME: 15-30 MINS (NOT INCLUDING DRY TIME)

MATERIALS

  • Blender
  • Flower seeds
  • Cookie cutters
  • Newspaper + cardstock

WILD FLOWER SEED PAPER INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start with choosing 2 pieces of newspaper and 2 pieces of color construction paper and tearing each sheet into small strips and pieces.

2. Put all those strips intro a blender, cover with water., and then blend together until it all becomes a mushy.

3. Now you need to grab a screen/pasta strainer and put that on top of any tall pan. Select your cookie cutter shapes and put that on top of the screen.

4. Start scooping some of your paper mush and put that into your cookie cutter and start mixing in the seeds while pressing into your cookie cutter.

5. After that, carefully take off your cookie cutter and press down firmly to squeeze out any water. This is the reason for the pan underneath, it’s to collect that water! *this is a very important step!

Pro-tip: You could also leave the paper to dry under a ceiling fan to expedite the drying process.

6. Once your seed paper is completely dry, it’ll be ready to plant in a flower pot or right into your flower bed! Blooms will appear anywhere between 30-90 days depending on the type of seeds you chose!

 

What are some of your favorite Spring time D.I.Y.s? We want to know :) Tell us below in the comments!