gift Archive

The Value of Being Organized | Giveaway Day #2

Hi Friends!

Thank you all for being SO awesome and supportive yesterday with this new blog release! I’m so blessed to have such a sweet community of readers. Annnddd did you SEE? The REAL Miss Wyolene left a comment. Made my YEAR. And the celebration continues! As I mentioned yesterday, I am taking some time this week to not only surround this blog with some fanfare (insert confetti cannon here), but also to reflect on a few disciplines that have helped me reach this point. Now, you might have taken one look at that title and laughed out loud. I know, I know. Artists are not usually known for being the most organized people. However, you might be surprised to learn that I kinda get a kick out of organizing the junk drawer. (Of course that statement alone suggests the fact that yes, we do have a junk drawer or two.) Or streamlining the shelving system in my office. Or labeling client file folders. (That last one includes using office supplies so, yeah, I’m all in!) But in all honesty, it takes major effort to do it and to maintain it.

Since the little guy was born, and since we’ve moved into a new house, I’ve seen even more clearly how beneficial it is to be organized not just in business, but in all areas of life. And as women, it’s super important to get this down as best we can, just because of all of the hats we wear! I’ll be honest, I straight up struggle with keeping everything organized. My artsy fartsy side wants to make messes and throw order to the wind re aforementioned junk draw. But the responsible side of me knows that there are doctor’s appointments, church functions, vacations, meals to plan and I know NOTHING will happen if I am a frazzled disorganized mess. I know y’all hear me on this. Because this challenge isn’t unique to me. We ALL struggle with busyness and responsibilities and the need to keep it all together. Ultimately, we all want the same things: to be successful without sacrificing time with the most important people in our lives. Getting ourselves organized and buttoned up is a crucial step to getting there. And I need all the help I can get.

Enter Emily Ley.

The woman is my hero. For so many reasons. First, she is a mama and creative small business owner. I kinda feel like we’re in the same camp walking towards the same prizes, ya know? She understands the struggles I mentioned above. In fact, she combines her gifts of organization and creativity (did y’all know they can successfully coexist?) to create products that stand out as tools for a richer, more organized life. I got her Simplified Planner™ for Christmas and I LOVE IT. Let me tell ya, it has become a foolproof way to stay on top of things here at the Young house. I’m convinced that Emily’s products save my family from at least half of would-be meltdowns. Here’s how Emily describes her planner:

The Simplified Planner™ is designed as a “home base” for all the STUFF we manage daily – all those things that pull at our hearts. Bob Goff (author of one of my favorite books, Love Does) put it best, “The battle for our happiness is fought on the pages of our calendars.” 

The Simplified Planner™ even has sister recipe version. I might become a collector, to be honest. And I’ll be the first to point my brides towards her Simplified Wedding Planner. Oh to have had a consolidated system during my wedding! I would encourage you to spend some time on Emily’s blog. Her products, her attention to detail, her bright colors, the very real voice she communicates in…it’s the kind of site you leave a happier person just for having hung out there. Check out just a small sampling of her products:


Emily has played a huge role in helping me develop a focused vision for my business. If you are thinking about striking out on your own and are worried about to make everything balance, I can’t think of a better person to send you to. Check out the coaching segment of her business, as well. I found it to be a great investment in the future of Miss Wyolene.

SO! For today’s giveaway, cute Emily has generously offered one of her Simplified Datebooks to a lucky Miss Wyolene reader! Yay!!


I’m mixing up the entry rules today just a bit! Here’s what ya gotta do:

1. Take an Instagram shot of an area of life that either you desperately need to organize (admitting is the first step to recovery, am I right?) OR an area that you have conquered and that you’d like to document as proof.
2. Tag @misswyolene and @emilyley
3. 3 New hashtags today! (cause you all know I love a good hashtag) Please use #misswyolenehasanewblog #shesgivingawayfuntreats and #simplifiedplanner

Contest is open through midnight EST tonight and I’ll tag/announce the winner tomorrow morning!
Congratulations to Instagram friend @eshasta for winning yesterday’s awesome Laura Cooke mug!

Have a wonderful day!



The Wisdom of Routine | Giveaway | Stationery Designer

I haven’t even started this post yet and already I feel like a giant hypocrite. Here I am about to impart a little knowledge to you and I realize…it’s 3 freaking 30 in the morning. Ain’t NOTHING routine about that. So, here is my disclaimer right up front: sometimes your routine goes to crap. Like mine is right now and like it CERTAINLY will be tomorrow. (Or rather, today.)

When I left my day job in advertising, I thought it would be easy peasy to get up at the same time, get showered and dressed, exercise, eat healthy, and be oh, so productive. I thought, “I’ll be in the best shape of my life and so blissfully creative all the time and I’m actually going to get bored because I will have all of this extra time on my hands.”

Uh, no.

First of all, things ALWAYS take longer than you think they will and there will always be interruptions to your day. (See aforementioned post citing my child’s diaper drama.) However, in spite of these things, I’ve found that if at all possible, it’s best to find a routine and stick with it as closely as possible. Notice I did not say schedule. A schedule involves very specific times…we start this at 9:30 and then whether or not we are finished, we start something else at 11. No way, Jose. It’s much harder to get things done that way. In my experience, a routine is, instead, saying “First, I will load the dishwasher. Then, I will answer my emails. Then I will take a shower, etc.” There is an order, but that order is not tied to any specific times. It gives you a little more wiggle room to actually check things off of your list.

So, while a routine can sound like something only your mom and her friends are into, I’m here to tell you that it’s cool to have a routine. And hey, it’s YOUR ROUTINE. Throw some things in there that you love. They will become little daily rituals that you look forward to. I know from experience that staying at home and working can get kinda mundane at times. Bottle, cereal, nap, email, work, diaper, lunch, repeat. Having those sunny moments in my routine make me really happy. And that’s usually when I break out my iPhone and do the Instagram thing. (Not going to lie, I take a ton of pictures of my baby. Because, let’s face it, babies are oh, so sunny.)

Aside from my baby, what is my favorite part of my routine? That’s easy. COFFEE. No, seriously. When I grind those beans and make my mini french press, it’s like a little vacation every day. And my absolute favorite part? Picking out my coffee mug. And it’s to the point where if my favorite mug is dirty, I will go hunt it down, wash it, and use it. Just to make sure that little moment is being enjoyed to it’s max. So what is my favorite mug OF ALL TIME??

I’m glad you asked.

Meet Laura Cooke.

I first met Laura when she was living in Portland, OR. Some friends and I stayed at her super cute bungalow while we were in town for a wedding. (My friends knew her. It wasn’t like I was said “Hey, I love your pottery, can I crash on your sofa?” So before you email her, I had an in.) She was getting ready to leave for a show in Jackson Hole and no lie, her house was LOADED with glorious pottery. I’m talking the most BEAUTIFUL glazes I have ever laid eyeballs on. I bought some from her then and there and carried it all on with me on the flight home. The best part is? She’s in Asheville now making her wonderful vessels and you can go to her studio and see for yourself. AAANDDDD, for all of you brides out there, she has a wedding registry for her work. HAND TO FOREHEAD, Y’ALL. If I renew my vows will someone PLEASE buy me everything she makes??

I mean, just look at this stuff!

plates and bowl soup bowl track mug slider whale2

I need that little whale cup in my life, yes I do. Check out the other items in her Etsy Shop.

And, because Laura is amazing, she is giving away the beautiful cup below to help me celebrate the launch this week! It’s very similar to my favorite mug. I love how it fits perfectly in your hand. You will too if you’re the lucky winner!


So how do you win this adorable cup? Okay. It’s easy. You’re not going to have to go through a million steps to enter this contest. All you have to do is:

1. Take a picture of your favorite part of your routine and post it to Instagram
2. Use the hashtags #misswyoleneisgivingawaytreats and #lookatmyhappyroutinemisswyolene

Seriously, that’s it! (I mean, it’s not required, but you could always leave a comment about how you love and adore the new site etc….And you could go show Laura Cooke some love, too…)
Today’s contest will close at midnight tonight, EST. I will randomly draw a winner based on your hashtags and will announce a winner by tagging you on Instagram tomorrow morning.

And it’s only Monday. There are FOUR WHOLE DAYS left of goodness coming your way. Happy Instagraming! And thank you for helping me celebrate, lovelies!



Happy Small Business Saturday…and coupon!

Hello dear readers! I hope that you are all recovering from your tryptophan-induced comas and getting out today to support small businesses!

I consider Miss Wyolene a small business. So much so, that I’m calling today Teeny Tiny Business Saturday. To say thank you for reading and hitting up the Twitter feed, please use the code MERRY2011 at my Etsy shop to get free domestic shipping from now until Dec. 24! While you’re there, take a look around at the other great sellers and see how much of your shopping you can knock out with handmade goodies! Happy Shopping!

I’m that girl

…Yep. I’m the girl who made a Christmas card before Thanksgiving. But don’t think of me as anti-Turkey Day.

Instead, think of it as us getting a jump on the holiday season– and knocking things out ahead of schedule!

Take these guys…(Seriously. Take them. Go to my Etsy shop and see for yourself.) I wanted to try a new technique in hand-lettering. I wrote everything out and had it made into a fancy stamp. Then I saw this bright paper and it was all over…ta da! Say goodbye to boring old cards…And hello to the brightness.