What I've Learned, Thoughts, Life, Small Business

Life has a funny way of changing things…

April 21, 2016

Teddy Roosevelt Quote

It has been a few weeks since I’ve posted and even longer since I posted consistently. And I want to share with you why. Life changes so quickly and while you can see some of the obstacles in your path you may not see others.

When we moved to a small apartment in Indy I knew I would need some posts that didn’t require supplies or home changes because I wouldn’t have the space for that. I planned about 6 months of that type of content.

And then winter came and it was dark, I always seem to struggle a little with winter. I am less motivated and less creative which didn’t help when I ran out of posts. Also, during this winter season we were gone a lot from the apartment. Both of our families are struggling with illness currently and we are doing our best to visit/support as often as we can. Which means that all blogging content, images and creation have to be done during the week, but it got dark so early that images were blah and I felt even less inspired.

Another thing changed around the first of the year and this was a positive change! I decided to take Web Design & Development business idea seriously. I changed my mindset from looking for a full time or part time job to building my own business.

It takes a lot of work but it is so rewarding. I feel like even when we struggle with our finances or scheduling our time that it is the right path for us. Since taking it seriously, working on it a little each week I’ve blown myself away with how much income I’ve brought in during these first couple of months. I didn’t know what to expect. If you want to check out what I’ve been working on visit me at hire.michaelahoffman.com

Despite all the things that prevented me from writing consistently I am really committed to writing for Happy Apple and am currently brainstorming things I can write about inside my little apartment. I won’t be posting 5 days a week like I did a year ago but I’m going to do what I can and really focus on the quality of posts rather than quantity… plus summer is just around the corner and my absolute favorite type of posts are the cocktail recipe ones so keep an eye out for them!


Stitch Fix #2

March 30, 2016

Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us

My second Stitch Fix arrived!! I loved it just as much as the first time. Although for different reasons.

Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us

This time a lot of pieces were chosen by my stylist that were colorful and patterned. They were pieces I NEVER would have picked up in the store to try out. I like that because I’m open to trying new things this service is really helping me stretch myself. When it shows up even if I’m not sure about a certain piece I try it on because why not it is here and I should do it.

This stitch fix was so hard for me. I really loved all the pieces it was hard to choose what to keep and what to return.

Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us

  1. Lorette Dress – Returned
    I loved the colors of this dress and the pattern. It was so soft and perfect for spring. I spent a lot of time on the fence with this one. However the top was supposed to be really drapey and with my larger chest that was lost, there was also a gap that was open so unless I was careful you could see straight through.

Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us

2. Panorama Henley Blouse – Kept!
I loved this top when I opened the box. The color is bright and I’m a sucker for plaid. When I first looked at it I was worried that I would have the same problem I do with other button down shirts where it gets the gap between the buttons. I was so excited that this one didn’t do that it was an instant keeper!!

Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us

3. Moni Geo Print & Camisole Blouse – Kept
This one was also a keeper. I absolutely loved the pattern, and the details. Those buttons had me at first sight! I like how versatile it is. I can wear it with a skirt and heels for a business meeting, or with jeans and sandals for a night out on the town. Stitch Fix #2 | happyapple.us

4. Christina Textured Pencil Skirt. – Returned
I’m wearing it in the picture with the Moni Geo Print. I liked the texture of the skirt, it was subtle but different. However, I just wasn’t as comfortable as I wanted to be in it so after a long debate I decided to return it till I felt more comfortable with my body. 

The last item I received in my stitch fix box I didn’t take a photo of in fact I didn’t even take it out of the box because I was afraid I’d loose it.

5. Lena Beaded Bracelet from 31 Bits. – Returned
It was really pretty and dainty but I didn’t have enough room in my budget this month for it and I wasn’t going to get the bracelet unless I bought the whole box and received the 25% off.

Around My Town, Indianapolis

Planning for Summer In Indianapolis

March 24, 2016

Planning for Summer in Indianapolis | happyapple.us

Spring is finally here! Which means sunny days, more outdoor activities, and longer days. Already, with the few nice days we have had, I’ve been killing it on my step count. Working for yourself has some wonderful perks like, taking walks in the middle of the day and working at a coffee shop or having a working lunch out! 
I’m really looking forward to spending the summer in Indianapolis, when we moved it was late summer and the wedding season was in full swing. So we weren’t around to enjoy much of the warm weather. I’ve been working on a list of things to enjoy this summer in Indianapolis (besides just eating, lol)

Planning for Summer in Indianapolis | happyapple.us

Visit The Indiana Museum of Art
Visit The Indianapolis Zoo
Take in MANY Indians Games
Walk the Canal
Visit the Indianapolis Children’s Museum
Take Sunset Photos on Evening Walks
Ride our Bikes on the Cultural Trail
Visit Eagle Creek
Do An Art Walk of the Murals
Check out Garfield Park Conservatory

Some of these activities we have already done but during a different time of the year. I’m looking forward to spending our free time this summer exploring more of our new city! I think that Indianapolis has some real hidden gems and I’m looking forward to finding them!

Do you have any favorite summer activities or any anything new you are planning for summer in Indianapolis?


10 Self-Care Tips I’ve Started

March 9, 2016

10 Self-Care Tips | happyapple.us
Unintentionally this year I started on a self-care path. It wasn’t what I had intended to focus on in 2016 but it seems to be put in front of me again and again. I used to think self-care involved a lot of manicures, which I wouldn’t be mad about. But over the course of the last 3 years, I’ve found out that it means a whole lot more than that. And I should take it seriously. I don’t have kids right now but when I do I want to be with them for as long as possible and one of the ways I can do that is making sure to practice good self-care principles.

Here are some of the ways I’ve started caring for myself on a daily basis

  1. Drink more water. I’ve upped my water intake quite a bit over the last couple of months I’m still not getting the daily recommended amount but I just keep working on it. One of the ways I get the most out of my water is by keeping a water bottle with me when we go places where before I wouldn’t have anything unless we went to specifically get a drink. I also use the Fitbit app to help me keep track of how many bottles I’ve had, you would think it would be easy to remember how many times you’ve filled up your bottle but your mind starts thinking about other things and you forget.
  2. Yoga & meditation. I started yoga to be more flexible and to help reduce anxiety but with regular practice it has turned into something more. I wish I could explain it but there is some sort of mind shift I’ve experienced now that I don’t have words for. I take the time to check in with how my body is really feeling and really listen.
  3. Activity. I’ve only got one body and I really want it to be the best it can. And I’m getting there slowly, being stronger and having more endurance each week is my main goal for my activity.
  4. Mindset. This one is the most surprising to me. I never thought that my mindset could really help me in the long run while taking care of myself.
  5. Taking a Break. Taking a break mentally or physically from some of the day to day activities that drain me has been huge. I’m very fortunate to work for myself so that when I need a break I can go out and take a walk around the city, grab a cup of coffee or just explore in a different direction.
  6. Trying something for creativity’s sake. Sometimes I’ll just want to work on a for fun personal project by stretching myself creatively. This helps me mentally get in the zone for working on creative projects of coming up with blog topics to share with you!
  7. Letting go. This has probably been the hardest for me. I’m a type A personality I want, no need things to be perfect. I make plans and lists and am not very spontaneous. But I’m working on it. I try not to let myself worry over every word in an email that I send out to clients. I try to let go when we are out on a walk and get hungry before we make it to our original destination. I try to step back from my concerns and say is this something that I really want to spend my energy and brain power on? Does it really matter if we leave the house by the arbitrary time I set in my head? Usually, these answers are no and it feels really good and life feels more simple when I’ve let some of these things go.
  8. Close my Inbox & turn off email notifications. Going along with being a type A personality I am also a people pleaser. I would check my inbox for emails all day long which is exhausting in and of itself. Then I would jump on any email that needed my attention trying to solve the problem immediately. While quick communication is important for me when working with clients there hasn’t been an emergency that needed addressed that quickly. I’ve decided to start looking at my email only three times a day. Once in the morning, once at the end of my work day and once in the evening. Not only does this help me stay focused on what I’m working on it helps with my efficiency as well since I’m not using up precious minutes a day checking my email over and over.
  9. Setting boundaries. As a freelancer, it sometimes is hard to turn off the work part of my mind or my day and it is even worse sometimes because I really love what I do. Sometimes, I start working at 7 am and will still be working before I go to sleep at night. I’ve made a conscious decision to set some work boundaries for myself.  When I’m done working for the day I spend a few minutes planning out my tasks for the next day then I clean off my desk. It helps me mentally realize I’m off work. If I do plan on working in the evenings, which sometimes I do when Gunnar has meetings or we are planning on working on a project together, I shift my hours instead of working the whole time. I’ll sometimes get my house chores done during this time or read a book go for a walk. I’m still working my “hours” they are just split up.
  10. Nurturing relationships. One thing that I didn’t even originally think of as self-care was my relationships. My friends are important to me and if I get busy and don’t nurture them they then become old friends and acquaintances. I don’t want that to happen so I take a little time each week to send out some snail mail, text, call or email my friends to let them know I’m thinking about them even if we can’t get together to hang out in person.

In general, I feel much better physically and mentally after working on these areas of my life. The biggest change overall was changing my mindset on what Self-Care was all about. It isn’t something selfish or something that has to cost money, although who is going to argue about the value of a massage or facial when it comes to self-care… not me! I hope that you find these 10 Self-care tips helpful when planning your own self-care strategy.

10 Self Care Tips | happyapple.us

Do you have any favorite self-care tips to share? Comment below I’d love to hear how you take care of yourself!


Idaho & Montana Snaps

March 4, 2016

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

After an unintentional blogging hiatus, I’m ready to get back into the swing of things. It surprised me how much time was required to prepare for a wedding that was on the other side of the country. I spent the beginning of last week getting ready then we spent 4 wonderful days running around Northern Idaho and Western Montana making new friends and enjoying the landscape.

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

I hope to get back into the grove and am looking forward to getting back to crafting soon especially since we have some downtime now. Anyway here are some of my pictures from the trip. The landscape was gorgeous and it was really rejuvenating to spend some time next to a lake and mountains. It was our first trip to Idaho and I’m ready to go back out west. Although I hope the next time we go the sun comes out for more then sunset only one day of our trip.

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

PNW-9 PNW-10 PNW-11 Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

Idaho & Montana Snaps | happyapple.us

P.S. Congratulations John & Zoe! I’m so lucky to have you both as part of my life! I’m looking forward to our next adventure!