Thursday 31 August 2017

Things I've learnt

There’s nothing quite like learning from our elders. I spend a considerable amount of time with people twice my age, and as I’ve pointed out before, I highly enjoy the experience.
Over the last few weeks I picked up a few new nuggets of wisdom, and they are too good not to share.


Monday 28 August 2017

Boss Women: Janice

I'm delighted to start a new series today: Boss Women
Over the last several months, I have started to pay more attention to strong women: Be it celebs, women on social media or in real life, I feel drawn to women who kick ass. Having finally outgrown the last vestiges of envy when it comes to other women's success, I'm now eager to learn more about their dreams, goals and secrets. 

I'm kicking this series off with a real powerhouse: Janice.

Janice is a wife, mom, x-ray- and mammography tech, and she also runs her own business, Lucky Bum Clothing, creating fun tees for the whole family.
We met at work several years ago, and liked each other immediately. She is genuine, warm, and funny, and about the nicest person you will ever meet. Back then, neither of us had big ambitions beyond our day-jobs - that has certainly changed!

Janice started her t-shirt biz in November of 2016. I've followed her on Instagram from the beginning, and her growth in this short amount of time is incredible!
It was her iconic "Wife. Mom. Boss." tee that gave me the idea to start this series, because it sums up in just 3 words the awesomeness of so many successful women out there. It's perfection! 

She was kind enough to answer some of my most burning questions - here we go!

Q: What gave you the idea for your business?
A: Shortly after finding out I was pregnant, I started shopping at local markets and at local small shops. After having my son Jackson, I found I was wanting some more fun and affordable tees for moms and kids, so I decided to start designing and making my own tees. Just like that, Lucky Bum Clothing was born!

Q: How did you come up with the name? It's awesome!
A: My hubby Chris came up with the name. We wanted something simple, fun and catchy! 

Q: Did you always want to run your own business?
A: I honestly never thought of owning my own business. I have no experience in business whatsoever, so it has been a challenge for sure! I'm self-taught, and learn new things every day!

Q: What does a typical day look like?
A: Since I work part-time as an x-ray- and mammography-tech, most of my work for Lucky Bum is done in the evenings and on my days off, during my son's naps. I spend countless hours working on designs, and making each and every shirt. I do everything from start to finish!

Q: What is the best part about being a small business owner?
A: The best part is meeting other small shop boss mamas and my amazing customers. And seeing other people wear my designs!

Q: What is the worst part?
A: The worst part is staying up until 4 am, getting orders done, and still waking up bright and early.

Q: How do you come up with your designs?
A: The design process is by far the toughest but most fun! I will spend hours, days, weeks working on a design, going back and modifying it, before making it final. My hubby has a big part in this process and it comes quite natural for him! We make tees that we would wear, or something that our son can wear.

Q: Did you take any business classes?
A: None, and I have no background in business. I'm planning on taking some classes in the future!

Q: Do you have help, or do you do it alone?
A: I do 99% of everything on my own. I make each and every single shirt.

Q: How do you make it all work?
A: To be honest, it has been a tough adjustment, balancing being a working mom, wife, and running a business. I always put my family first, and always will. They are my world. I have learnt better time management, and recognize when to slow down, take a step back and focus on quality time with my family. 

Q: Do you have any tips for others who want to start a biz? 
A: My advice is to just go for it. Make a plan, do some research, and give it your all. And don't be afraid to ask for help! You will go through moments of struggle, and there will be times where you don't think you can make it. Always keep your head up and move forward!

Thank you so much, Janice! To see more of her awesome stuff, go to her Instagram and Facebook pages. Her website is taking a little break and will re-open on Sept 1!

xoxo Miriam


Thursday 24 August 2017

You wrote a book - now what?

The world of book publishing is a confusing one. Also, quite intimidating. As someone who is new to it all, with no real-life author friends, I was wondering if I would ever manage to get my baby (= my memoir) published. 
As long as I was in the writing process, I mostly ignored that pressing question and told myself I would worry about it when I finished writing the first draft.

At that point, I only knew of two publishing options: Traditional and self-publishing. 
I did quite a bit of research, and compiled a list of the pros and cons of each option:


Friday 18 August 2017

Sunshine and whiskey

Guys, this summer is one for the books. Despite the fires and smoke, it's one of the best summers I've ever experienced. Sunshine every day! Dry desert heat every day! Dirty feet and messy hair every day! It's beautiful. 

So is this tee. It's soft, beautiful, and it speaks to me. While I'm too wimpy to actually drink whiskey (it burns!), I like to portray the image of the tough, cool chick that can fling hay bales all day and drink the guys under the table all night. With this outfit, you can almost believe it, right?


Thursday 17 August 2017

It's never boring in Retire-Ville

The phone rings at 1am. I quickly pick up, expecting it to be the hospital, since I'm on call.
It's not. 

It's one of our neighbours.

"Hey, your dogs are barking so much, is everything alright? Are they in distress? Maybe there is a bear in the yard?!" I admire the approach of acting concerned. It's so much nicer than yelling at me, which must be the natural inclination at 1 in the morning.
The downside is that it makes me feel horrible.

Truth be told, I didn't hear them. When I sleep, I sleep, and a little disturbance like dogs barking won't distract me.
But now that I'm awake, I hear them. And they really are barking up a storm. There must be coyotes in the neighbourhood again. I apologize profusely, promise to make them stop, and then wake up Richard.
"Hey Rich, the neighbours called, the dogs are barking too much. Do something!"
He's uncooperative at first, but thanks to my superior skills of persuasion (i.e. incessantly poking him and telling him to get up), he eventually wakes up sufficiently to go outside and lock a couple of the dogs up. Once they're separated, they are a lot less mouthy.


Friday 11 August 2017

Adapting to my surroundings

Humans are amazingly adaptable creatures. Put us into any environment long enough, and we will get used to it, no matter how impossible it may have seemed in the beginning. 

I've had a fascination with cowboys since I was little. One of the main reasons for coming to Canada was to live in cowboy country; and 14 years after moving to BC, we finally realized this dream of ours last December


Wednesday 9 August 2017

This is 37

Hi friends! I wrote the following a few months ago in the hopes of having it published.
Nobody wanted it, so I'm publishing it here 😁
That's the beauty of having your own blog lol!

It all started when I opened my camera phone. I wanted to take a picture of my dog, who was rolled up by my feet, looking so #cute! Instead of seeing corgi goodness, I stared at my own face. Duh! The curse of the selfie-camera strikes again! Before I had time to change the setting, I saw something shocking: My chins. Yes, plural. Seemingly overnight, my formerly single chin had invited a couple of friends over. I stared at my reflection in dismay, when I noticed something else: One of the chins had a pet. An impressively long, black, wiry hair snaked its way merrily along my jawline. I shrieked, threw the phone down, and rushed to the bathroom to get rid of the sucker. 


Sunday 6 August 2017

Dating is hard

What you see above is the tragic, but all-too-common story of a love triangle. Two girls, one guy - that's just asking for trouble, isn't it?!

But let me start at the beginning.
Two weeks ago, Rich went to the local pub for a pint. There, he met Will, an old, shrewd cowboy from around here. They talked for a bit, and when Rich mentioned our mini cows, Will said he would like to come over and take a look at them.


Saturday 5 August 2017

Intruder in the night

It’s the middle of the night. You are sound asleep, when suddenly, something wakes you up. You sit up in bed, trying to figure out what woke you. Then you hear it again – a noise. Is there someone in your house? Your heart starts pounding furiously, and you try to remember if you have anything close by that you could use as a weapon. You strain your ears to figure out where the noise is coming from, when you hear it – a loud meow. Relief floods your entire body, making you laugh out loud. It’s just your cat! But then you listen closer, frowning slightly. Why does she meow so loudly? She sounds distressed.
You jump out of bed and pad across the room, to the open door. The meowing is happening upstairs, and you turn on the light before carefully climbing up the stairs.
Something isn’t right.
Your heart is starting to pound again.
When you reach the top of the stairs, you see your cat: Her back is arched, her hair standing on end, and she is hissing at something in the shadows. Oh my god, is it a ghost? They say that cats are in touch with the spirit world, able to sense ghosts and otherworldly creatures. Your own hair in the back of your neck is standing on end, as you slowly creep closer ...



Wednesday 2 August 2017

Finding your gift

It has been said that every person is born with a unique gift. Finding that gift and using it is what will make you successful.
I have spent a long time searching for my gift. Is it just me, or is it really hard figuring your own strengths? For me it is. I'm a very average person, okay at some things, but not outstanding at anything. 

But then, I figured it out. Not by myself, but with the help of others. Asking for help is another thing that's difficult for me, and I blame my parents for that. They never ask anyone for help, and it must be in my genes or something. 

Fortunately, help has come my way without me having to ask for it. People are awesome like that. 
Ever since I started opening up about my life online, kind people have responded to that. 
The emails, comments and messages I receive tell me that we all have similar fears and anxieties. But since so many of us are hiding them so well, it can feel like we are the only ones. I for sure know what it's like to think you're alone. 
I know what it's like to feel like you're a freak, because you think you're so different from everybody else around you.   
I know what it's like to want to be normal - but never quite managing it. 
I know what it's like to be met with uncomprehending faces when you tell other people about your choices. 

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