Knoxville

Start 'em young

Taryn with Kate, Will, and Eli Ruth // 2008

Taryn with Kate, Will, and Eli Ruth // 2008

I became a mom with very few plans in place for how I’d spend time with my child or children, how I envisioned my home being set up for little ones, or how many kids I wanted to have. I’d always hoped to be a mom. I just didn’t really have specific ideas of exactly how that might go down. Almost 17 years into motherhood, and 3 amazing kids later, I am both thankful for that somewhat clueless beginning and at the same time, a bit regretful that I wasn’t more intentional.

Image:  Texture Photo  // 2018

Image: Texture Photo // 2018

I’ve found that not having concrete expectations of how motherhood would go was a gift in that it allowed for a whole lotta grace. Not so much pressure on them or on me to be someone I had dreamed up in my head. I think I have been able to pay closer attention to each one of my kids and their unique personalities, ways of relating, and specific needs better since I didn’t have rigid expectations of what I wanted parenting and my kids to look like.

Being somewhat clueless also paved the way for new relationships and a sweet reliance on family. I am fortunate to have started motherhood off with some incredible new mamas who I’ve shared this crazy adventure with and who are still some of my dearest friends. We learned so much from one another. I am also a very blessed gal to have a mom and mother-in-law who have shown me what great love and sacrifice for your kids looks like. All good gifts in the midst of my cluelessness.

However, there is one area that I do wish I had been more thoughtful about at an earlier stage — how to create spaces in my home, and spaces in our days, for my kids. I had to make a lot of mistakes in this area before realizing there’s a better way. Of course hindsight is 20/20, but if I had taken a bit more time to think through what items &/or areas in my home that would encourage my kids to learn, explore, and love well, I would’ve saved myself lots of hours of singing (and doing) the “clean-up, clean-up, everybody everywhere” song and dance, procrastination, guilt, and frustration.

On May 2 at The Back Porch Mercantile, this is the exact topic we will be teaching on.

  • How do we get a baby’s room ready with all the needs but not the excess?

  • What’s the best way to create a play area for toddler’s that allows them to explore but doesn’t turn my house into a plastic toy jungle?

  • Do I keep all my preschooler’s handprint art and the other 724 pieces of art they’ve created?

  • Toys through the years and how to store them in a way that your kids can actually clean them up.

  • How do we do birthdays and holidays well without filling up on too many gifts?

  • What to do with all my elementary-age child’s school work?

  • How do teach my kids to organize?

I have learned lots raising this boy and my two girls. I’m still learning. And whether you’re a new mom or a few years in, my hope for you is that through some intentional, thoughtful planning, you can create the best space for your kids and for you to be the best mom you can be.

Image: Paige Severance (and her cutie twins!)

Image: Paige Severance (and her cutie twins!)

"Be kind to your future self" by Sarah Pattison

We’re excited to share a guest post from our friend, Sarah of The Happy Envelope. She & her husband, Ty, have been creating beautiful paper products here in Knoxville for over a decade. Read & enjoy her words…


“The only difference between a mob and a trained army is organization.” –Calvin Coolidge

A friend once said told me about her mantra to make choices that would be “kind to her future self.” When taking off your jacket, for example, you can hang the jacket on the hanger in the closet, or on the hook by the door. You can also just throw that jacket over the arm of the chair as you walk into your home, or set it down across the kitchen table. You can wear it up to your bedroom and crumple it onto the chair there, or hang it up in your bedroom closet. Which decision is kind to your future self? Placing your jacket where you know to look for it when you need it next: that’s kind to your future self. It may take five seconds more energy now—from your present self—but it will potentially save many minutes of wandering around the house asking aloud, “Has anyone seen my jacket?” as everyone in your family is becomes more and more annoyed with how late we’ll all be because Mom can’t find her daggum jacket. (Perhaps this scenario has happened before… with jacket, keys, sunglasses, regular glasses, a purse, diaper bag? Maybe it’s just an example: you decide.)

Creative people are often stereotyped as disorganized, harried, and discombobulated. I wish that I could defy the stereotype, but unfortunately, I elevate it. I don’t like to be surrounded by chaos, and I actually love when everything is clean and peaceful and beautiful. I’m visual and I care about aesthetics. I’m just not kind to my future self, and things can get out of control quickly. And within just a day or so, even putting the clothes away is no longer a one-basket job, but now a three-basket job and I begin to feel overwhelmed. 

At home, I can get away with this. It’s not like we live in a pigsty; it’s just not as organized and tidy as I’d like, and it’s my own fault. But translate this character flaw to work and it’s an entirely different matter. Clients depend on me. Organization of proofs, time-frames, delivery dates, checklists… these things are crucial to timely deliveries and happy customers. Organization is actually critical for business success.

This past year at the studio, we’ve implemented a few wonderful tools that help us all stay more organized and on-track together as a team. We’re working on a Training Manual. We’ve started using Adobe Sign for all proof approval contracts. We’re trying to clean up our Dropbox. But my favorite is Basecamp, a project management online software. While each project used to feel like herding cats, now the entire project scope from start to finished is filled with checklists, due dates, people held accountable, job tracking, and even file organization. It really has been a game-changer for our entire staff. So, I’m growing. Baby steps. 

We’re getting ready to move our studio again, sort of quickly.  As I look around my desk area and bookshelves, I’m already starting to feel the dread. The temptation for me is always going to take the easy, kind-to-present-self way: literally throw everything into one big box, label it, “Sarah’s desk” and tape it up. Out of sight, out of mind! But how will my future self feel later this summer when she’s trying to get her new studio set up and she’s opening up disorganized piles of junk thrown into boxes any old way? I’ll tell you: Future Sarah is gonna be overwhelmed and stressed and she’s gonna cry a lot. I don’t want that for her. 

Instead, I’m planning to actually make decisions as I go: do I really need this book of paper samples from 2004?  No? Then it doesn’t come with me.  Hopefully, when all of our construction and build-out is finished later this summer, Future Sarah will open up a few clearly labeled, simply organized boxes and get her desk set up with a smile on her face. 

 

Xoxo,

Sarah

PS- We’re moving to 5605 Kingston Pike right around the corner in Bearden. We’ll be nestled in between Grow Salon and Firestone Tires. Please come pop in to our much bigger space once it’s finished later this summer… you can watch the presses in action through windows, just like the taffy-makers in Gatlinburg! In the meantime, find us online and at the Market Square Saturday Farmer’s marketsTalahi Plant Sale (this Saturday at Lakeshore!), and Retropolitan Craft Fair.

2 Week Countdown to Pineapple Consignment!

Knoxville, get ready for a fun event coming up… Pineapple Consignment is one of our favorite local events to attend. Shop gently used and up-cycled home decor and furniture at a great price.

What is Pineapple Consignment?

Pineapple Consignment 2018.

Pineapple Consignment 2018.

A shopping experience catered to you. You can shop Pineapple Consignment for free. What you’ll find is high-quality new and gently used furniture and home decor—priced up to 90% off retail value! We’re fairly picky and only accept items in good condition!

Can I sell some of my own stuff?

Consigning is fun, you can earn up to 75% commission, and consignors get to shop early. You set your own prices, and Pineapple’s online system makes tagging and managing your inventory super easy.  At the end of each sale day, you can check earnings, and we’ll pay you via PayPal within 10 days. Deadline to sign up to consign is April 7.

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How did this get started?

Insert the lovely, Megan Church…
This Pineapple dream started in early 2018. I was selling an ottoman on Facebook, and six or seven people said they wanted it. “Awesome!” I thought. I scheduled a time to meet the lady who had responded first. Later, I packed up all three kids and drove to the rendezvous point. The lady stood me up. In fact, I got stood up FOUR TIMES IN A ROW, and I vowed, “NEVER AGAIN.” So here we are!

I happen to be one of those crazy people who loves consignment sales, and over the years I’ve saved a ton of money by up-cycling my clothes, as well as my kids’. Ever since I had my first baby and quit my day job, I have been needing a creative outlet. Hospitality is really important to me, and I’m passionate about bringing women together.

Stay in the loop & shop the event!