Attitude of Gratitude

I have a Thanksgiving freebie (pdf) for you!

Last year, I hand-drew little thankful scrolls for our Thanksgiving dinner. Guests pulled one out of a jar and discussed during the meal. I had separate scrolls for kids and grownups, but it turned out that the grownups wanted in on the kid prompts too! Obviously, they had books and movies and superheroes they were thankful for!

This year, I decided to make some prompts for you and your family too — and these are for EVERYBODY.

Thankful Fill Cards Waste-Free Tips:

  • These aren’t just for Thanksgiving — REUSE them at any family meal, pop them in a lunch box for a gratitude boost, or put the stack in your own grown-up bag and pull a card when you need a gratitude-attitude shift.
  • Want to make these reusable? Laminate them and use whiteboard marker to fill in, erase, and REPEAT.
  • If your printer is agreeable (mine is), print these on the back of a piece of paper that was heading to the RECYCLING bin and then recycle them when you’re all done.
  • Don’t print these out at all. Read the prompts from your screen and answer them out loud.
  • Print one sheet of prompts and take turns writing answers and passing it around so the prompt is full of different answers. Then share the answers or make a guessing game of it.

Happy (American) Thanksgiving! We use this holiday as an excuse to gather with family and sit in gratitude, which is a practice I’m trying to incorporate into my everyday life too. It really has improved my attitude. Even if I’m grateful for the same things over and over — my husband, our backyard view, crochet time, my silly and sweet girls, being able to do creative work from my home studio.

Hope you find these cards useful for Thanksgiving or any other day!

Twin Sides of a Handmade Business: Back-To-School (Im)Balance

Shoutout to all the parents doing their best, showing up late sometimes, and still smiling! (Originally posted to Instagram and Facebook Sept 26)

My kids’ school has been having Spirit Week all week and this is our first day participating (Thursday) because I just figured out it was happening.

Of course I finally find the dress up schedule this morning to read that it’s Twin Thursday and I haven’t coordinated a matching friend outfit because… so many negative words flood my head, “I’m terrible, disorganized, flighty, a bad mom.” But the truth is that I’m not in work-life balance right now.

This isn’t my season for the beautiful work-life balance I imagined when I started this business years ago. Back-to-School orders come in like a tidal wave July-September, and my focus turns toward work to keep up. And at this point in my business, I know to plan for the big spike in sales this time of the year, but each year sees expansion and growth I never imagined. So no matter how much planning and preparation I do, we’re still caught a bit off guard.

But back to Twin Thursday 👯‍♀️. So there I am looking at this e-flyer with panic because I haven’t coordinated with my girls’ friends as I’m just seeing this dress up theme an hour before school starts. Probably not an ideal time to make a call to friends for this. But hey! We’ve got a built-in friend duo right here. Yay!

The struggle of a handmade business with a booming back-to-school season during back-to-school season with small kids
Twins-ish?

Both girls are so excited to match pants, shoes, and hairstyle — even if we couldn’t make a matching top happen. And I’m glad we showed up to Spirit Week even if we’re a little late.

Running a growing business and a family looks like this sometimes. But/And I think we are pretty happy! We figure it out and show up when we can, even if we are a little late to the party.

October 1st Note: Special thanks to YOU — customers who kept me busy; followers who cheered me on; family and friends who gave me space and grace — for your patience while I kept up with the massive tidal wave that was back-to-school orders this year. It was exponentially bigger than expected which was equal parts exciting and exhausting. Par for the course in business ownership! Now, I’m taking a breath and celebrating a bit as well as planning for the holiday season and 2020. New prints are coming and more of that #wastefreecurious content you love!

#WasteFreeCurious Wins

We’re more than halfway into this #wastefreecurious movement. Dare I call it a movement? I dare! And I’ve been getting messages of your wins and waste free inspirations nearly every day. They remind me that small changes like ditching paper towels, refusing paper and plastic bags at the grocery store, and getting our composting back on track are actually a BIG deal!

Your messages keep me going when I feel overwhelmed by the scope of our waste problem. So why should I keep your inspirational wins to myself?! Well, I shouldn’t. Moving forward I’ll be sharing your wins and inspirational messages anonymously, so keep them coming! They make my day and inspire us all!

Most of the #wastefreecurious talk, fun, changes, and challenges are happening over on Instagram so follow me @penandthimble and follow the tag #wastefreecurious!