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One Year On Etsy – Am I Crazy?

Exactly one year ago, on November 1st, I started my journey towards becoming an entrepreneur. After years of working at jobs that were unfulfilling, jobs where all I cared about was the paycheck, I wanted to find a way to make money by doing something that I loved.

If you had told me a few years ago that I had the potential to create fun accessories for cats that would also provide me an income (however small it may be!), I would have laughed in your face. But the past year has taught me that no matter how crazy you think your ideas are, there is possibility for greatness in each and every one of them.

When I started the Etsy journey by creating Crazy Cat Lady Corner, I only had a couple of listings to work with. The store would be an extension of my blog (which I started in 2015) and be geared towards cat lovers. I had no business plan or any set ideas on how my store would look. I just knew I wanted to create and share my ideas and products with the world. By not having a plan, I opened myself up to creating anything and everything that popped into my head. I wasn’t restricting myself to stay within any boundaries.

So I jumped in headfirst. Life works in strange ways sometimes. Once I took the plunge, I started having more ideas and I was able to bring those ideas to life. Yes, there were many failed attempts and also many great successes with products. I guess that’s part of being in business for yourself. You are responsible for your successes and failures and you end up learning from everything that you do.

Fast forward a year later, I am a stronger, more confident person. I may not have replaced my ‘traditional’ job income just yet but I am richer in many other ways. My skills in marketing, PR, product development and communications have greatly improved and I have had the chance to connect with amazing people online.

My goal is to my ‘Crazy Cat Lady Corner’ a household name. I want my stuff to be in the hands of famous felines like Nala and Grumpy Cat! I want it to be the go to place to find unique gifts for cats and cat lovers. I have no doubt that I will succeed with it. It is all just a matter of time and effort.

I need to mention that I could not do any of this without the support of the amazing Cats Of Instagram community!

So here’s to one year and many, many more amazingly successful years ahead!! Cheers!

 

If would like to check out the etsy store and grab a few goodies for yourself or your cat check out CrazyCatLadyCorner on Etsy.

 

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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I love Thanksgiving! It is the perfect kickoff to the upcoming holiday season!

However, unlike most people, I am the least stressed when it comes to thanksgiving dinner. Why you ask? It’s because I am a planner 🙂

I try to keep it super simple so it gives everyone more time to socialize!

Let me run you through a few things I do when I am prepping thanksgiving dinner for 2 or for 6!

  • The first thing I do is make a meal plan. This makes life so much easier when it comes to grocery shopping! Once I have my menu set out, I will make my grocery list. A simple tip to keep in mind is to stick to the basics. This is not the time to try out fancy recipes (unless you want to!)

My menu usually includes a protein (turkey, beef, chicken whatever!), some vegetable sides (salad, yams, potatoes, carrots, beans etc etc) and a nibbler. A nibbler could be something as simple as some fresh bread, buns or a fruit and cheese platter. See how easy that is?

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The photo above was from last year! We had gotten through most of the meal before I remembered to take a photo!

This year it was just me and my husband. So we did a beef roast and mini potatoes in the slow cooker and had it with some steamed vegetables. It was delicious

  •   Another thing that helps with keeping entertaining stress free is to pull out all your serving dishes, plates, cutlery, glasses etc the night before. Wash, dry and set it all out on your table. This way, you are not running around looking for a steak knife at the very last minute!

I find a buffet style is so much more easier than doing individual place settings and gives it a more casual and homey feel.

  • Drinks and dessert – No meal is complete without them! One of my favourite items is a large dispenser as shown below. I like to fill it up with juice, water and add fresh fruit to it. You can set your glasses next to it so your guests can help themselves. For those who prefer a boozy drink, set up some shooters next to the dispenser so that they can add it to their fruit cocktail! Same goes for dessert.

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If you are anything like my family, once the meal is all done and everyone has filled their bellies with all the deliciousness that was offered, it is time to relax! Have a board game or some sort of after dinner activity ready.  We usually play dice and it is a lot of fun! This is a great time to chat and just be thankful to be around people that you love.

So there it is.  You have just hosted a stress free thanksgiving dinner! Congrats!

For me, this is one of the few times in the year that I actually run my dishwasher lol. So once all the guests leave, I start cleaning and tiding up. I cannot rest until my home returns to it’s previous state! So once all the dishes are done and the place is tidied up, I make myself a cup of tea, put my feet up and chill!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

 

Here is Kitty with some of her Thanksgiving treats!

 

 

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The Joys Of Giving

If you have been following my blog since I started it in 2015, you may have noticed that I enjoying fundraising for various causes. If you follow me on Instagram (@kittymojito), you would see me holding raffles, toy drives, etc to raise money for sick cats, pledges to get cats out of kill shelters and various other causes.

A few days ago, someone asked me why I go through all this ‘trouble’ to raise money for people/cats/pets that I don’t know and if I am sure that the money I raise for them are actually used for the said cause. The question caught me off guard but I found myself responding without hesitation.

The reason is very simple. It is because ‘I WANT TO’.

I live by a very simple mantra and that is ‘Stop wishing and start doing’. If there is something that I want changed, I don’t wait for something or someone to make that happen, I try to do something about it myself.  If I see someone that needs help, I do what I can to help them. It may be with time, talent or maybe even money.  To me, the most important thing is the effort. The fact that I TRIED to do something nice for someone, that effort may even be life changing for that person.

I am not that good with words (I know right? A blogger that is bad with words??? LOL) and there is no flowery way to describe the feeling of making a difference in someone’s life but let me tell you, it is the best.

Here are some of my favourite quotes about giving!

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So the next time someone reaches out to you for help, don’t overthink it! Just say yes! If you cannot help financially, share their story with a friend, a colleague, on social media etc. It will not take up too much of your time to listen, show empathy and share!

My passion is cats. When I see a cat that needs help for surgery or to be saved from a horrifying kill shelter, I do not hesitate for a second. Those stories get shared on all my social media outlets and to date, we (the Cats of Instagram) community have saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of cats! That is something I am very proud to be a part of.

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Money, Responsibility, Common Sense!!

The past few weeks brought along a few trials that I wasn’t financially prepared for. Trying to provide for medical costs for my Dad and making sure their monthly rent is paid for along with other expenses that seem to pop up takes a toll on a person, especially someone who is not bringing in an income high enough to provide for two households.

This situation paints a grim picture of parents who spend their lives trying to fix their adult children’s problems by putting their own financial future at risk. No, this is not brave or generous. It is plain stupid!

Once your kids are old enough to have a life of their own, cut the purse strings. Focus on your own money and be wise with it. You can help out your children in other ways. I know life happens, you want to help your kids, your grand kids etc etc but at the end of the day, do you seriously think that any one of them would turn around and fund your medical costs, pay all your bills AND put food on your table for the rest of your life?  Sure, you may find a handful of golden children who would but unless you take care of yourself, you can’t depend on anyone else to do it for you (this goes for everyone!) I’m not saying this to be mean but to give you a glimpse of what life could be like if you do not plan!

I am not a parent (nor do I have any desire to be one) so I can’t speak for the whole bond between a parent and child and all that good stuff. But I do know that, as a person with SOME common sense, I would make sure that I prepare for my older years in some way and not expect someone else to do it for me.

There is a reason why they ask you to put your own oxygen mask on first before you help your child when you are on a flight! They know that you can’t really help anyone else unless you help yourself first!

 

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The Unpredictable Thing Called Life!

I have finally managed to steer Kitty away from ‘Katdid Konversations’ for a moment in order to write my own blog post!

I must say she is having so much fun hosting and interviewing so many wonderful cats all over the world!

For today, I wanted to share with you all a few things that has been on my mind lately. First is the loss of my job. Anytime you lose your way to financial stability, you instantly get nervous and anxious. And this is how I feel right now. To be honest, I never really liked my job but it was good money. Now there is NO money which is really scary. And not being able to contribute towards household expenses is not a good feeling.

Anyway, the positive side of being unemployed is that now I can spend more time on my creative activities like running my Etsy store! It also has given me a new found desire to build my little business! There is nothing more gratifying than working for yourself…

So in order to fulfill the dream of running my business as a full time occupation, I have upped my advertising and have begun experimenting with new product ideas…. I love the creativity aspect! I can come up with some wackadoodle ideas and sometimes they work! The scariest part of having a creative business is the uncertainty of where your next sale will come from. A sale = income = how I pay my bills………

For now, I am hoping for the best and working towards building my dream of being my own boss a reality. It is a slow and tedious journey but I believe that it can be done 🙂

If you are reading this, go check out my Etsy store Crazy Cat Lady Corner and get a few goodies for yourself and your kitty! 🙂 If you already have some of my products, please share about them with your friends! It will be of great help to me 🙂

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Change Is Good…… Maybe?

As you know, we had some water damage to our condo earlier this year… While the restoration was done, the renovations were yet to begin…

Well as of last week, it finally got started…. What does this mean? It means that we will have a renovated place to go back to but in the meantime we have to leave home in order for them to get to work.

So last Friday, we packed up the car with some necessities and moved into a temporary apartment for a month or so. That sounds good right? Yes, it does… but what you don’t know yet is that this apartment is on the 28th floor! For someone who is terrified of heights, it’s not exactly ideal! But it is a beautiful place and the views are amazing….

Kitty on the other hand took to the new place with ease. Although she is not too fond of change and new places, she relaxes as long as we are around. Her safety net is us.

So she spent the first day exploring, climbing up on to cupboards, sniffing in every nook and cranny…. We got her a small collapsible cat condo and set it up on a side table by the floor to ceiling windows and she spends lots of time looking out and napping.

I suppose the purpose of this post is to remind myself that change is good. Sometimes the circumstance from which this change manifests may not be ideal, but every experience that we go though teaches us something, no matter how small a lesson it may be. For me, this taught me that I can live on less. I have the basics with me right now and I don’t miss anything else we left at home. It has given me a resolve to live more simply and not put much value on to material things.

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Vendor At Meow Mania – May 27th 2017

I am excited to announce that I have registered to be a vendor at Meow Mania 2017.

This event is hosted by the Edmonton Cat Fanciers (www.edmontoncat.com) and will be a fun day with a  variety of vendors, silent auction and a cat show!

This will be my first official event so I am very excited to be featuring my book ‘Home is where my cat is’, art prints, bandannas, magnets and many other fun stuff!

If you are going to be in the Edmonton area, please come say hi! Mark the date!

May 27, 2017

At the Italian Cultural Center 

14230-133 Ave, Edmonton, Alberta T5L 4W4

12pm – 5pm

 

Click Here For More Details.

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It’s A New Dawn, It’s a New Day!

Today marks my 35th birthday!

I must admit, as excited and grateful as I am to celebrate another birthday, I am also having a sort of ‘midlife crisis’ moment!

Lately I have been questioning my lifestyle and career choices. In the past year, I have had some health issues which, although not too major, require that I monitor my food and activity levels. On the other hand, I have a job (for which I am grateful for) that seems to stress me out a bit too much for my liking. Stressing out about change and steps I would like to take toward change is something I have been struggling with. I guess, as you grow older, you are more aware of what you would like your life to be like and you don’t want to waste any time doing things that don’t bring you any joy.

I have been reading many ‘self help’ books, trying to work out all these foreign feelings that I am having and I must say the more I read, the more clearer it is becoming to me that I am craving a life that is more quality than quantity. I no longer have the dream of owning a big house with a big yard or a career that requires extra long work days. What I am craving for is a quieter life, somewhere by the water, to be a bit more in tune with nature, the ability to write more and work on my Etsy store and spend more time with my husband and Kitty.

I suppose my version of success has now changed. In a way, it’s a sign that I am growing up and moving forward. After all, what the point of wanting the same things your entire life and shutting yourself to all the new experiences that life brings your way?

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Water, Water, Water, Oh My!

What an eventful couple of weeks this has been!!

It all started a week ago when a dishwasher pipe burst up on one of the upper floors in our building resulting in water coming into our unit! Kitty and I spent most of that day mopping up water from various parts of the condo while the condo board, restoration crews and insurance people tried to get things under control….

All this resulted in us having to leave the condo for about a week until the restoration team ripped out all the affected walls and ceilings. We were lucky enough to have good home insurance so they put us up in a nice hotel for the time being.

What an adventure this was for Miss. Kitty! As you may or may not know, Kitty is not a huge fan of car rides and despises being put in her carrier. She tolerates it but tries her best to get out of it if she can. The day we had to leave home, she was already pretty stressed, with work crew mulling about and the place looking like a disaster. When it came time to leave, she put up a great fight as we got her into her carrier. About ten minutes into our ride to the hotel, the unmistakable stink of poo filled the car…. Poor Kitty, who was so stressed, has soiled herself in her carrier. She has never done this before…

Of course, we didn’t want her to be uncomfortable the whole way to the hotel so we doubled back home, cleaned out her carrier and gave her a quick wipe down to clean it all up. It turned out that, not only did she do #2, she had also thrown up! Poor baby!

So we tried this again! The second time around she was a bit more settled and I held her on my lap the whole way through. When she got to the hotel, she was a bit confused but soon started exploring!

She doesn’t want me to tell you about her hotel adventures just yet so watch for the next blog post to find out more!

 

 

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2017 – A New Year Of Possibility

The best thing about the dawn of a brand new year is that it fills you with a new sense of possibility, that feeling of ‘This is the going to be the best year ever’.

It’s the time of year where I usually make my daily schedule to get my fitness regime up and running and write down all the goals that I would like to achieve. It is also the time that I reflect on the year gone by and be proud of everything that I achieved. It helps that I have a digital journal because I can always go back to it if I need a reminder.

Regardless of whether I meet all these expectations that I set or if I fall short of achieving a few, the journey of planning to achieve my dreams always brings on a big smile.

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In the coming days and weeks, I will be sharing my plans for the CrazyCatLadyCorner etsy store. I have some exciting ideas and look forward to sharing them with all of you!

Kitty also has some resolutions that she would like to share with her readers so watch this space for that:)

So to kick start this amazing year, I want to say  thank you to everyone who takes time to read these posts and to everyone who has supported my business 🙂 I look forward to sharing all the amazing things that this year brings with you all!