Working Girl | Somewhere in Middle America

I will be taking a break from SIMA as I adjust to the demands of my new full-time job. I haven’t had 40+ hour work weeks in almost three years, so I have to relearn how to balance business with pleasure.

For all the working men and women out there…

How do you find time to explore your passions and hobbies while managing your professional and family life?

{image via Pinterest}

Lately I’ve been spending hours at a time in front of the computer, and my eyes have been paying the price.  Eyestrain, headaches…

It literally just dawned on me that I have prescription glasses to wear when I’m working at the screen… if only I could find them. I honestly don’t think I’ve worn them since the start of 2009, and I have absolutely no idea where they could be. In fact, I only remembered I had them about 3 days ago.

Have you seen my glasses?

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Friends and family, have you been reading my posts on Elizabeth Anne Designs Living? I think you will find my most recent contribution enjoyable.

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J worked on Sunday, so he had today off, which allowed us to get some work done for the business. We signed some important papers at the bank and had a long conversation over the phone with one of our vendors. We even had time to check out the new Blackberry Tour for Verizon, which I desperately want even though it wouldn’t be used solely for business. J also took a liking to the Tour and may FINALLY leave AT&T for Verizon–thank goodness! AT&T’s reception is so poor that he can barely use his cell phone in the house. How ridiculous is that?!

Of course I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m stressing a little bit over the business. What if I have no customers? I’m in the midst of planning to do some advertising and playing around with some marketing ideas, but what if I build it and they don’t come?

I’m also finding it hard to manage two blogs. The Social Life of Paper needs daily watering in order for it to blossom, which means that at times I feel like I’m neglecting Somewhere in Middle America. Call it writer’s block, call it laziness, call it exhaustion. Maybe it’s all three of those things.

If anybody has any words of wisdom to share on starting a small business or on keeping more than one blog alive and well, I’m all ears!

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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, so I thought I’d break the silence with an exciting piece of news: I am officially a contributor to Elizabeth Anne Designs Living. EAD Living is a spin-off of the wildly popular wedding blog, Elizabeth Anne Designs, and focuses on the newlywed life, including travel, food, crafts and culture. I’ll be writing along side 18 other talented and creative ladies who are full of wonderful stories, tips and ideas. I hope that you’ll pop by EAD Living every so often to catch up with me–and don’t forget to leave your comments there, too!

(image via EAD)

Hi, friends! I’m back from an unexplained hiatus. Did you miss me? I was in New York City to attend the National Stationery Show for work. At the show I had the opportunity to meet the designers behind some of my favorite paper lines and some of my Twitter friends in person, including @perideaudesigns, @amiatEAD, @beautifulpaper, @TrishaHay, @cydconverse and @perfect_bound! While in the city I had dinner with old friends from college and high school and spent time with my younger sister, at whose UWS apartment I stayed. All in all, it was an overwhelmingly exhausting experience that I’m truly glad to have been able to have.

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HELP! Lately I’ve become obsessed with checking my email, especially to see if anybody has left a comment on my blog. I don’t receive all that much email generally, so most of the time I’m disappointed when I open up Gmail.

Is there a recovery program for email addicts?

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A couple of days a week I work at Trocadero, a lifestyle and accessories boutique in Omaha’s Old Market. Before moving to Omaha in 2007, the owner, Alice Kim, was an editor at In Style magazine in New York City and thus has fantastic taste in shoes, handbags, jewelry and home goods. While I was an admirer of many of the brands and products she carries in her shop when I started, every day I’m there I discover a new favorite. Yesterday’s discovery was Alexis Bittar–specifically, this oxidized silver double link necklace with aquamarine, green tiger’s eye and iolite stones. I tried it on while I was wearing a white tank top and navy Banana Republic cardigan and it totally enhanced my outfit, so much so, that Alice let me wear it to a fundraising dinner that evening. Of course I had to photograph when I got home… before I reluctantly returned it to the store.

I’m in the process of rebuilding my blogroll. Keep an eye out to the right-hand side of the homepage for a list of my favorite blogs!

This New York Times article by Caitlin Kelly really hit home with me. In fact, I could have written the first two paragraphs.

SOMETHING had to change. Working alone at home as a freelance writer, which many people dream of, wasn’t working for me. The relentless isolation of connecting primarily with others online and by telephone was killing me.

I needed a steady, secure, part-time job, something I could leave behind at day’s end, with lots of people contact. I craved a new challenge, a chance to learn and perfect some fresh, useful skills.

I had similar reasons for wanting to work at the boutique in the Old Market. First, I needed to get out of my house a couple of hours a week, to socialize with other people. Second, I was looking forward to making a couple of extra bucks each month (freelance blogging on a semi-regular basis doesn’t equal a steady income). Finally, I was hoping to learn the nuts and bolts of running a small business.

So far, so good. I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent in the store. However, the worrier in me sometimes fears that my friends and family who work for high-profile communication agencies or fancy law firms or as medical professionals will judge me for working in retail. Then I remember that a) it shouldn’t matter what other people think and b) I’m doing what’s best for me right now. As a freelance writer, I love being able to flex my creative muscles. Working at the boutique, I get to be part of the fashion world even though I live in Omaha, and, in time, I know I’ll improve my customer relation skills and gain practical business experience.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good plan.

(image source: Design*Sponge’s Omaha guide)