Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ponies, Chicks & Princesses - Oh My!

A couple of weekends ago we took Lemon (and Jonah and Miranda joined us) to Charming Pony Parties' Fall Festival (because I saw it on Groupon and it looked fun!).  The minute I clicked on their website and saw ponies with unicorn horns and little girls dressed as fairies I was sold, Lemon would love this!

The place didn't open until 1pm on Sundays so we went after Lemon's nap and got there about 3:30pm (they close at 6pm).  It was definitely enough time and we had so much fun!  I've been to a few pumpkin patches here in Arizona, and despite it being so hot, this one was my favorite so far!  A lot to do, princesses at every turn and Lemon LOVED holding the baby chicks (even though it was crazy to us that they were just available to hold - even for toddlers).

Jonah loved the hay maze and although Lemon talked about riding a pony all weekend, before we went, the minute I tried to put her on one she freaked.  Oh well, maybe next year!  We did bounce in the bouncy house (her fav!) and Lemon went on the big, blow up slide (with me of course) 3 times.  We were all beat (and dirty!) when we left but the kids had a blast!

This is what being a mama is all about.  :)

Jonah loved this little house so much he wouldn't let anyone else in!

My face!  Hahhahaa tears here.

She could not believe that the chickens were just walking around her!

I feel like these princesses could have tried a little harder, but Lemon loved them.

Best. Picture. Ever.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Moms on Mondays - Ashley from Last Night Ago

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This week I am so excited to feature Ashley from Last Night Ago!  This family is just the cutest and works together to create super cute shirts and then donate a portion of their proceeds to a nonprofit (read Giving on their blog).  They are so lucky to be taking their show on the road soon, and I can't wait to follow along!  Plus their shirts are so fairly priced, you could buy a few for the price of one from another shop!  Go and support this awesome family-run business!

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Ashley also sent Ian this 7 Long Sleeve but I actually wear it because it is oh so soft, probably one of the softest shirts we've ever owned!

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Our shop’s name is Last NightAgo and you can also find us on Instagram and that account may or may not be overused for our personal lives! :)

Currently we are selling our hand stamped shirts in our store.  We have fallen in love with the whole process of carving out the design in lino and block printing shirts with our family.  Our kids are a big part of our shop.  They help us come up with designs and they help us print them, as well as package and ship them out.

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We started this business last year as a way for our family to work together on something that would eventually help others.  We are all creative and thought that if we could all work together and make something by hand we would not only have fun, but be able to teach our kids about art, business, and how to work for what you want.

We have had our online store open for a year.  I had previously had been making wooden signs and items to sell using our Last Night Ago name for a couple years before we decided to make shirts.

I went to Johnson Bible College (now Johnson University) in Knoxville, TN hoping to find something I was interested in as a major, but ended up finding the love of my life instead.  We were married 1 year and 1 day after we met, and have stayed in Knoxville now for 11 years.  My husband, Jonathan, has a background in graphic design and web design and has his own company for web design (FortySeven Media), so he’s the one who can help the kids with a lot of the art that they want on shirts.

Our family, oh man . . . I’m in love.  I met my husband, Jonathan, in 2002 and we were married in March 2003.  We have 4 beautiful and amazing kids - Adali (8), Jett (7), Jax (4) and Ada (2).  We are also currently trying to adopt two kids from Jamaica, but were just informed that it may be up to 7 years before we can, so we are in limbo trying to figure out our next step with that. I get to be a stay-at-home-mom, which I absolutely love, and I am homeschooling as well.  My husband works from home so we are all here together all day long, and we love it.  We have recently decided to sell our belongings and set out on an RVing adventure, as a family, and you can read more about our travels on our blog, please follow along!

This gives us a great creative outlet right now, but we are hoping this will provide us some additional income to fuel our dreams of selling everything we have and traveling the US in an RV.  Also, its so fun to do with our kids so we can teach them about every part of the business.  They love drawing and trying to come up with new ideas.

I never imagined us doing shirts, but we have really come to love the process.  I love to be in the garage making wood things with my saws and my hands, but i can’t take my saws in our RV. :)

Our kids are a huge part of our shop.  They help us on everything.  This is very much a family business and we love that part about it.

How do we find the time?  Time . . . that's a funny thing.  You have time to do what you love and this is what we love.  I try to get our kids schooling done in the morning so we have time to draw or print shirts. Then, Jon and I usually stay up late coming up with ideas of our own, or fine tuning the kids’ ideas into something we can use on a shirt.  We have many late nights and we say no to TV so we have time to do what we love.  Our shop's name actually came about because when I was doing my sign orders people would always ask me when I have the time to do them. The answer was “after my kids are in bed." Our oldest boy, Jett, would usually get up first and see the signs laying on our kitchen table and ask if I made them "last night ago."  And I would respond, “Yes, Jett, I made them Last Night Ago.”

What we love most about our business is that we can do it with our kids.  We love spending time with them and teaching them new things, and this allows us to do just that.

The most challenging part of our business is getting our name and product out there.  We have sold a lot locally, but would love to branch out and have more people see our designs and know our story.

We are bringing our shop on the road next year, traveling to meet other families who are starting their own business and helping them in whatever way we can.  We love to meet new people and help others as well as create so I cannot wait to see how this will all tie together. :)

My most favorite product is probably our Cowabunga Dude shirt, or the You’re Worth It jacket.  We love the idea of the mirror image shirts for adults to wear and be reminded how important they really are.

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It's a lot of work and its a long haul.  No one is an overnight success and that's hard to remember.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Oh man, I have so many shops I love but I've had my eye on Tumbleweed Inc's confetti sunglasses for so long.  Beca and Doug create some amazing stuff and I would love to meet them one day - I think we’d be best friends! Also, Fox and the Fawn is amazing - she creates the most beautiful rings and necklaces I’ve ever seen. She is so talented and is also a mom who creates from home.  

Thanks Ashley and good luck on your adventures!

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