Monday, December 6, 2021

Holiday Decorations and Cookies

This year's Holiday decorations are similar to the last, including the cluster of "The Grinch" ornaments that my husband finds hilarious to  bunch together every year.


I tell people all the time that we chose not to have kiddos because I already had a big kid to keep me on my toes... I didn't need any more!  LOL  This is just proof of that theory.

What is different this year though is his sprinkles game for our Christmas cookies! What is usually an adventure with color turned into some pretty detailed designs this year. I'm seriously impressed.


As we wind down the year and get ready for another Holiday Season in California, we're excited to be spending the time with family and look forward to sending out letters and presents soon. 

Monday, November 29, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving 2021

Thanksgiving feast at our house turned out to be one of my best. The bird was juicy and tastier than usual. We used some "Ditmer's Dust" on the outside of the bird, stuck to the skin with lots of butter! It really added something great to the meat this year.

We of course also had mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy to go along with the bird, as always!





One of our experiments this year was cooking up Martha Stewart's "Perfect Mac and Cheese" recipe, and it didn't disappoint. Super creamy and delicious, we're not too sad about the leftovers we had of this dish this year!!



And the fan favorite (as always) is Lauren's famous Pretzel Knots:



All together, it was another favorite day of the year due to the amazing cooking, fantastic smells in the kitchen and opportunity to use our wedding dishes. xx



Monday, November 22, 2021

A Few Life Lessons

This last week presented us with a few learning lessons. As I'm just getting started with my first contract job, it immediately became apparent that I quoted the project pretty poorly. I expected the job to take me somewhere between 4-5 hours to complete, and it is going to take me at least double that, if not more. So I now know better about under-quoting myself for jobs like this! Oof...

On the bright side, I'm REALLY enjoying the work. Creating a pattern from scratch and sewing mock-ups for this client might as well be "play time" for me. So even though I did myself a bit of a disservice this first time around, I'm making up for it by having so much fun. 


The hubby also had a bit of humble pie thrown at him this weekend when he had a quick crash on his bike. We thought this one was no big deal, and he even chuckled to himself after he slid out on some dusty gravel to find himself all of a sudden on the ground! But after an afternoon of watching football, it started to become apparent that he was in for another round of injury.

A trip to Urgent Care yesterday proved that he didn't officially crack any of his ribs, but they are severely bruised. He landed on his arm, which caused his bony elbow to protect and yet hurt his rib cage all at the same time. So now he is working on some deep breathing exercises and we've called the race season to be over. 

I think the biggest thing for us to remember is that we were both not planning for anything significant in these last months of 2021. I didn't even expect to have contracts coming in yet, and he didn't have any high hopes for racing this season (other than remembering how much he loves it!) So we have already started to look forward to 2022... Training plans, better diets and regular work schedules are in our very near future. So now it's time to enjoy the Holidays and ring in the New Year with joy and patience. 

Monday, November 15, 2021

Just a Bit Off-Camber

The hubby's race last weekend was up in Sacramento again, and this course was a fun one! Switchbacks on pavement, dirt, grass and mud made for a technical race and the best part was an off-camber stretch just before a sharp turn. For the most part, the spectators chose to park themselves here, watching their loved ones battle the tree roots and the angle of the earth, trying not to fall off their bikes. 

We watched plenty of people succeed with smiles on their faces, and we saw a few go over their handlebars. Luckily, it was all in good fun and everyone finished the race with their bones and bike frames intact.




While my husband continues to relish in his unflappable love for his bicycle, I have been trying to foster a new love of my own: my company. Today marked my first day of work as a contractor. Granted, I only sat in an hour long meeting to get us started today, but it was a momentous step for Unmarked Street. This first contract is closely followed by a prototyping project starting tomorrow, and there are an additional four more companies I'm talking to about the help they need with their apparel lines. 

Along-side all of the networking I've been doing, there has been a deep dive into the world of Social Media that I'm taking on. I've been immersing myself in webinars and free classes wherever I can find them to help me understand the best ways to use Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn to grow my business. It is unbelievably complex, and yet wonderfully simple all at the same time. There is much still to learn and execute against, but the learning is keeping me excited every day.

Next on my list is to build out a brand guide for myself (and hopefully any employees I may hire) to follow as I do postings and marketing. I am extremely lucky to have the best branding and logo advice coming directly from my sister and brother-in-law. They've been amazing with the amount of advice and work they've put into my brand already. I can't wait to put all of their notes into a single place and let it start guiding my image and making my job that much easier each week. More to come soon!


Monday, November 1, 2021

Racing in the Mud

For years now, my husband and I have looked forward to watching the Spring Cycling Classics Races and any Cyclocross Race we can find on our various TV apps. Watching these super heroes ride their beautiful bicycles through mud, rain, dirt and anything else the weather will throw at them is awe-inspiring and downright amazing to see.

It was inevitable that those kinds of gross, muddy races would someday be in our own futures. Cheering others on through the worst conditions can only be fully appreciated when you genuinely know what they're putting themselves through. So these last couple of weekends, the hubs has lived up to that promise by getting out in the rain and fog on his bike.



In Sacramento, it poured down rain on us during California's "Atmospheric River" in October, kicking up mud and sand and grass into his gears and all over his kit. Then, in Santa Cruz two weeks later, we saw the fog come out for a Halloween race like nothing else. The crowd and the atmosphere were perfect for the occasion.



There is another race coming up this weekend, and we're hoping for less mud in Sacramento, and maybe a bit of sunshine. There is more rain in the forecast, so we'll have to see what the racing plan is as we get closer... But it has been so much fun to see a side of this sport that has only ever been on our TV screen before now. Huge kudos to the hubby for having so much fun with it, and always having a smile on his face at the end of these hard days!

Monday, October 18, 2021

Why did the Sea Otter Cross the Unmarked Street?

This post is a bit of a cross-over episode, as the biggest news in our life right now is about my new company and its exciting start! Monday, October 4th was my final day at SBC and on that very next day, Tuesday, October 5th, I announced the launch of my new company: Unmarked Street! Since then, I have experienced a whirlwind of support. Hundreds of colleagues and friends have reached out to me via LinkedIn, I have four potential contracts to discuss with some amazing companies, and I was invited to help out at the Sea Otter Classic right away.




   

Starting my own company has been an extremely scary decision. There has always been excitement and potential hidden behind that fear, but so many unknowns lurk around every corner. It has been a long journey for me. I came up with my company's name in December of 2019, but didn't register my LLC until July of this year. My head and my heart are full of so many ideas and projects to start! I hope if you've come across this blog without going to my website first, that you will visit me there:

Unmarked Street

And you can check out my very first "The Business of Apparel" blog post that I started, here:

Unmarked Street Goes LIVE

Beyond all of this excitement, I've been working with the most amazing team on a logo and branding package for my company. I can't wait to show it to you all soon!! I also plan to open up an Etsy shop, so that I have a new creative outlet for myself. I want to make sure I never fall back into a place where my creativity and love for art feel stunted again. I am climbing up out of that trench right now, and every day feels so much better than the last.

Stay tuned in, and I'm sure we'll have a lot more to post about soon!