Book of the Month, Story, Updates

Goals vs. Resolutions

Resolution: a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Goal: the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result involving intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking realistic action.

New Year, new goals, and, of course, new resolutions. Have any of you already given up? Usually, by this point, my resolutions have been cast to the wind. This year, I’m trying something new… no resolutions. I’m not going to try and eat better or lose weight or save money, basically, tell myself I’m going to all these things and then be upset six months later that I haven’t done it. So, I will tell you the changes I’ve already made in what I’m doing and plans my goals by the end of the month. 

Change 1

I sit at a desk for the majority of my week, whether it’s for my own business or someone else’s. I’ve already begun making a more concerted effort to hit 10K steps a day. I know it’s what you’re supposed to be doing, but I haven’t. In the first five days of 2020, I lost three pounds without trying. 

Change 2

This one I didn’t even mean to happen, but it has.  I’ve started reading more. That’s right, halfway through January and I’ve already completed two books. I feel engaged, my brain is working, and more importantly, I feel inspired. 

Change 3

Reinvesting in my dreams. Sounds strange, right? As someone that sells jams, embroidered towels and refinished furniture, you’d think I’d be pretty invested with these time-intensive labors of love. Well, I am certainly invested. But, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and with 2019, I did exactly that. 

Since the start of 2020, I have been actively, and I mean very actively, taking the time to make sure that everything that I do outside of my work for other people is specifically geared towards made by laura lee and its, and my, future. From consciously asking myself, “Does this get me closer to my goal?” Or “Is this worth the time and energy of investing in?”  Let me tell you, the last couple of weeks have been very different. 

Now, while I’m not rolling in the dough just yet, I believe the small monthly goals I have set for my business over the next 12-months will get me there. My goals are quantitative and insanely, type-A specific. I’ve learned that this type of specificity is crucial in accomplishing goals. With that, I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you this next year. 

Let’s go get ‘em!

Brand, Canning, DIY, Mixed Media, Recipes, Updates

Pickles & Press

What a whirlwind of a week it’s been… Well, I guess almost two since my last post! I’ve since been an embroidery machine as made by laura lee was featured in the Austin 360 (by the Austin American Statesman) Holiday Foodie Gift Guide! This is the biggest bit of press that my little handmade business and blog has received yet.

In between embroidering Texas Towels, I took breaks by baking banana bread and pecan pie as well as whipping a quick batch of refrigerator pickles. I love having pickles around as a cool, crips snack or a great addition to a cheese plate or sandwich.  Here’s a quick and easy recipe for you!  Oh yea, these are a little zingy!

Quick Zingy Fridge Pickles

  • 2 32-ounce mason jars
  • 3 cups of cider vinegar
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 cucumbers, washed & sliced
  • 6-10 small sweet peppers, washes, quartered, and seeds removed (you can use bell peppers instead)
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Version 2

  1. Clean and prep cucumbers, peppers, onions, and garlic
  2. Stuff clean mason jars with cucumbers, peppers, and onions
  3. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, garlic, salt, sugar, and spices then bring to a boil
  4. When vinegar mixture has come to a rolling boil, place mason jars in the sink and pour the mixture into mason jars
  5. Place lids on the jars and wipe down outside of any spills
  6. While cooling, place jars on a towel on the counter (towel acts as a buffer so the hot glass does not cool too quickly and shatter). Leave jars out until room temperature
  7. Place jars in the fridge.  Pickles will be ready in a day or two
  8. Enjoy!

 

Brand, custom, Embroidery, Food, Updates

I’m Full & Ready for Tomorrow

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll tell you what… Mine was one for the books. My jeans currently don’t fit, my cheeks hurt from laughing, and I couldn’t be more proud of the feast that I prepared. If you didn’t see what was on the menu, you can check out the list from a week ago, here.  I even tried my hand at my first cherry pie ever.  It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was definitely delicious.

Of course, I’ve already begun nibbling on leftovers with a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce taco. There have already been mumblings of requests for more pecan pie to be made, which I will gladly oblige after writing this post.

Now that the food coma is starting to wear off, I’m getting excited about my online shop being live.  Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and I’m feeling pretty official now that I have a humble little online store.  So, if you have been wanting to support local shops, artists, makers, and businesses, now is the time! Take a peek and get your orders in.  There is a page for embroidery, gift sets, and the cookbook.

Story, Updates

The Shop Is Open

IMG_2745Good morning, beautiful people! Despite being kept up later than expected, I was awake before the 5:15 am alarm came ringing.  I’m one cup of coffee in and I am just waiting for the sun to come up so I can get my day going!  I’m eagerly awaiting to load up my truck with bags of food to drive to a quaint little house in the woods in Canyon Lake, Texas. A little house where you cannot see any signs of a neighbor and the only thing that will give us away is the cloud of smoke billowing from the smoker that is about to make our beautifully smoked turkey tomorrow.

Embroidery-4That being said, there is still some work to be done in between baking pies and buttermilk rolls today.  In fact, last night I feverishly updated my online shop with embroidered goods and gift sets!  The furniture shopping page is still in the works as I figure out shipping, which may take some time! But I’m delighted with the first steps.  It hasn’t been easy getting all these things aligned and it’s taken much longer than anticipated.  I’ve been holding off getting the online shop up and going because I wanted to wait until it was absolutely perfect, but a year has passed and I’m still waiting.  Therefore, it was time to bite the bullet and get the shop launched.

So please, if you have a moment, take a look, perhaps get some ideas for your holiday shopping.  Also, remember to get any custom orders in by December 1 and you will receive 10% off!  You can get your ideas to me by contacting me here.

I’m so thankful for your continued support. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Gift of Giving Guide-4

 

 

 

Food, Updates

Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is almost here.  I admit it completely snuck up on me this year and on top of that I have signed myself up to cook a feast in someone else’s kitchen.  I love the holidays.  I love cooking for people.  So cue up the holiday music and let’s get ready.

The Menu

After careful consideration of everyone’s requests and dietary needs, I have curated a menu that I, myself, am looking forward to eating.

Turkey Day Menu

While I won’t be smoking the turkey, I will be feverishly prepping everything else in the days to come, like whipping up this coconut milk brown sugar ice cream this week.  I’ll even be dusting off my Grandmothers pecan pie recipe that she fine tuned and has been using since 1966. You can bet that everything will be made from fresh ingredients, homemade from scratch.  No canned yams or cream of mushroom here.

That being said, I’m so thankful to be spending the holiday with people I love and that love and have welcomed me into their family.  May you all have a wonderful time prepping for the Turkey Day Festivities!

 

Story, Updates

Cold, Coffee & Comfort

First off, let me say, is it cold enough for you? A chilly morning it is here in Texas indeed.  Flurries in the forecast? I vaguely remember leaving the brisk winters of Boston behind over a decade ago, yet here I am… Cuddled up under the covers with a cup of coffee that I can’t keep warm.

I have my morning ritual: my alarm goes off and I sleepily slide on my slippers, shuffle to the kitchen, press brew on the coffee maker, and crawl back into bed until the smell of freshly brewed coffee permeates the house.  I then shuffle back to the coffee pot to blindly concoct my morning cup, take my first sip, and then the life of the day begins.  Admittedly, I shuffle back to bed and hold my cup close to my heart and think about the day before, the day at hand, and what I want for the next.  Every. Morning.

This has been my routine for years.  I could sleep an extra hour, but I have always taken great comfort in this routine.  I’ve tried to read or to write morning pages.  It just doesn’t work.   As I sit and write this, yes, I’ve been up for three hours already, none of the other morning rituals have ever worked for me.  In fact, the agitation I feel when I try and switch it up is so immense, it’s not worth it.  This is what makes us creatures of habit.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure why I am sharing this with you today.  I didn’t have it on my agenda to post a blog.  I suppose part of me needed to write, to open up, as my last few weeks have been rather tumultuous and I feel great guilt as I enjoy my cup of coffee, an addiction in and of itself, while another loved one struggles with their own; perhaps I am curious to know of others morning rituals to find peace before the chaos of the day ensues, either way, it feels good to be writing.

There is something about the gusts of wind howling from the window behind me, it reminds me of the back and forth of the ocean. It will be time to suit up to head outside soon enough, but until then, I sit with the pup, down comforter, and my cup.  However, your day begins, whatever it brings you, and what you bring to the table, I hope it is everything that you dream it to be.  Thanks for your continued readership.

xoxo, 

Laura Lee

 

Brand, Embroidery, Recipes, Story, Updates

Good Things Are Happening

IMG_1552
Blueberry Basil Jam & Vanilla Ice Cream (recipe & photo from laura lee’s kitchen)

It’s been a pretty exciting week around here.  Last week the laura lee’s kitchen – digital cookbook went live on the website and is now available for download.  Not only that, but I was also featured in a write up by Voyage Houston this past week as well. This was the first little bit of press that made by laura lee has ever received.  It’s pretty exciting!

Two big firsts for me!  I’ve got plenty more firsts coming later this fall as well.  I’ve feverishly been working on a new “Fall” line of embroidery that will be featured in the rolling out of the new online store! Doesn’t that sound très trendy?  Not to mention, I may or may not already be in panic mode for the holiday gift ordering season.  It’s coming, whether I’m ready or not! In fact, make sure to get your orders in.

While I sip my spiced chai, I’ll be sitting here embroidering away.  If you haven’t purchased laura lee’s kitchen – digital cookbook, you can order it here.  And if you’re unsure about the cookbook, feel free to catch up on some more Laura Lee reading here in the Voyage Houston Article.

 

 

 

Embroidery, Updates

Like A Boss

Back when I managed Opa Coffee & Wine Bar, I had my bad ass team, who no matter how tired, how hungover, how whatever they could be, showed up through thick and thin and owned it like a boss.  I’ve always seemed to surround myself with badasses.  In the music scene, the craft community, and, now, in my very own home, badasses.  I’m lucky to know such amazing people.

Every now and then though, in the midst of working two part time jobs, renovating rooms, building gardens, vacuuming up after three dogs, doing dishes, and building a business, feeling like I can’t keep up is definitely a cloud that follows me around.  Sometimes, we can’t do it all.  Sometimes, we can.

I always opt for the later of the two previous statements.  I can do it all. Sometimes it’s a matter of putting everything on hold, taking a nap, and regrouping.  Other times, it’s just powering through.  This week, I took a little time to embroider.  There is nothing like stopping to stitch “#girlboss” for a couple of hours…. talk about meditating on your intention. IMG_0972.jpg

We all need to take time to tell ourselves that we are a boss.  We can keep persisting.  We can follow and live our dreams.  With that, I hope you take time today remind yourself of the same.  The girl boss in me bows to the girl boss in you.  Have a great day!

 

Before & After, Uncategorized, Updates

I’m Back. Really.

img_1369Really.  To say that I’ve been a little quiet may in fact be the biggest understatement since my last blog post and should cover the understatement bases for the remainder of 2019.   I have come back to life.  In fact, Life is kind of what got in the way.  So much has changed since my last post, I don’t even know where to begin. Rather than recapping and rehashing the last year or so, what I will focus on are the things that have recently taken place to get me back on track.

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

I have found my tribe.  I have teamed up with some amazing people to help push me forward, grow, learn… and learn things that I really needed to know to help grow laura lee… like that online store, a better website, etc.  It’ll be a slow process to build, but I’ll get there.  Despite sometimes what I think, I can’t do everything by myself.  This team is the A-Team.

New Home… New Homestead

To wrap up 2018… I moved.  I left my adorable little apartment that I’ve called home for five years and completely uprooted myself to a little home in the country.  I’m surrounded by hundreds of acres of rolling hills, cows, pastures, some trees, and John Deere tractors.  I’m greeted by the wagging tales of dogs every morning and coffee already brewed.  (*note: we have not trained the dogs to make coffee yet) I will start prepping my garden beds this week so that I can start growing my own produce for my canned goods!

More Updates:

  • I have not forgotten about Kickstarter Incentives. I have learned that I signed myself up for too complicated of incentives, which is taking me much longer to fill. My sincerest apologies… thank you for your patience.
  • I’m still working on the cookbook.  I will post a teaser soon.
  • I now live on the same property as my furniture shop, you can expect to see more updates about that once I finish unpacking boxes.
  • I’ve fallen in love, despite my greatest attempt not to.
  • I am working on a new line of embroidery goods.
  • There are workshops/classes being planned.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for a made by laura lee Youtube channel coming soon.

If any of ya’ll are still reading my humble little blog… thank you.  It’s good to be back.  I appreciate you.