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Blog

Fertility Cards

Andi Ploehs

After our second loss I tried to to find one positive reason that could help me understand why we continued to have challenges. We just wanted to start a family for goodness sakes, not win the lottery...even though that would be nice. Initially we wanted a couple, but at this point we'll be over the moon with one. 

I realized there was this stigma attached to miscarriages and fertility. It annoys me, and I wanted to do something to encourage women and their families that they don't need to be embarrassed or ashamed. And then it came to me, I need to create a fertility card line. Not an overly sappy one, but one that was honest, cute of course, and one that came from my own personal experience. 

I'm so pleased with the new line, and hope it's able to encourage women across the globe. This month is also National Miscarriage and Infant Loss Month, please help spread the word to those families waiting for their rainbows. You are not alone. #infertilitywontsilenceme

Andi

Infertility...Let's Talk About It

Andi Ploehs

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February 8, I was forced into a club I had absolutely no interest in being a part of. Six months ago we anxiously waited in the doctors office to hear the heartbeat of a little being we created. My husband had his phone out to record the sounds and my stomach turned in knots. It took what seemed like a lifetime, and finally the doctor said I don't see it. 

I didn't say a word and couldn't look at my love. I didn't say a word in the car. He gave me a long hug in our bedroom and I started to slowly fall to the floor crying like someone did something very terrible to me. He caught me before I could hit the floor and I cried myself to sleep in our bed. I was six weeks along. Much to our surprise, and with the help of our second IUI we were pregnant again. We couldn't believe two months later we were pregnant again! Unfortunately that resulted in another loss. 

I took us 17 months to get pregnant the first time. We tried naturally for over a year and eventually decided to try hormones that made me cuckoo crazy, and that made me flash like I was living on the sun. My husband had to give me shots in my thighs (now that's love), and we had to time our lovin'. But we got pregnant! Test after test. Blue dye going in here and painfully coming out who knows where. Me wondering which one of us was the reason we couldn't naturally conceive was making me crazy. Thankfully all those test came back fine. For over a year I didn't think we could get pregnant. Now I know we can, not once but twice! But now I worry about why our babies don't make it after 6 1/2 weeks.

I decided to tell my story because there are tons and tons and tons of women like me living a similar story. Without the brave women who've shared their stories with me I would've been really lost. My mom is one of those ladies. And yes I have really bad days, but the good days far out way the bad. 

I'll continue to share my journey as long as I feel it's still helping me and others. I don't know much about infertility...hell, I'm still trying to understand what all my lady parts are supposed to do. But feel free to ask me questions about my journey, and thank you for reading my story.

Andi

Cincinnati Wedding Magazine

Andi Ploehs

It's been a pretty crazy summer...busy summer. I'm always grateful for all the opportunities that find alpd especially this most recent one. A few months ago Cincinnati Wedding Magazine asked if I had a Will You Be My Bridesmaid card for a feature in their Summer issue. I jumped on the opportunity and altered the card to match the colors in the spread. Now the one thing I didn't have was a grey envelope because I only use kraft envelopes. So what did I do? I made one of course. This was my first time making an envelope. I used my Martha Stewart Scoring Board, and voila! 

I was so honored to be in the magazine that helped planned my wedding and so other girls' weddings as well. It truly was a dream. Thank you Cincinnati Wedding Magazine!

#letters52

Andi Ploehs

I'm finally back to share the second card of the letters 52 series. Yes I know it's like eight weeks late,  but this girl is doing the best she can :) I have to admit I didn't send the second card until the third week in January, so I was playing catch up for a while and during a week or two I may have sent out 2-3 cards to play catch up. Now I'm all caught up and I'll be sharing three cards with you this week and probably three next week to get caught up to March. Don't even get me started on it already being March!! 

I thought it would get hard picking people to send cards to, but the hard part has been deciding who will have to wait. There's a lot going on in people's lives right now and I want to be able to send a card to everyone. So I've decided that some weeks I'll send two cards instead of one because that person(s) may really need a card to pick me them up that week. This card is a simple, "Just Sayin' Hello." It's available in my shop

Remember if you want to participate please use #letters52. Thanks!




#letters52

Andi Ploehs

Let me start by saying Happy Holidays & Happy New Year! And now let me also apologize for my  lengthy absence from the blog. It was our busiest holiday yet, and to help keep me somewhat sane something had to go on the back burner. Unfortunately it was the blog. 

During the break I new I wanted to set a few goals for me for the year. Not really resolutions because I never keep them, but simply goals. I wanted a small project that would make me feel good and positively impact the people around me. I also wanted to make it easy for anyone else to join. So I came up with #letters52.

Yes, I'm a card designer, but I have a very hard time remembering to send cards to my own family and friends. I thought this would be the perfect way to hold me accountable, and hopefully a way to brighten up someone else's day. There really is nothing better then surprise snail mail from someone. Now I don't plan to give my cards each week, even though I will definitely be throwing my cards in here and there. But nothing makes me happier then paper shopping, and I have plenty of awesome cards that I buy and collect to send to others. 

I will know each person that I send a letter too, but one week it might be my brother and the next week it may be a friend of my grandma's that I haven't seen in a while but knows would appreciate a hello. I would love for you all to get involved! At the end of each week I'll post the card that I decided to send on the blog and on Instagram and Twitter. If you decide to get involved please use the hashtag #letters52

The first card this week is one of my own. I have a friend who is 7 months pregnant and very fabulous! So fabulous she and her husband invited us to a french themed meal that was "perfect." If interested, you can find the card here. Stay warm!


Handmade Holiday Gift Guide

Andi Ploehs

I know it's been a L O N G time since my last blog post. I was in a writing rut and was just over doing the "blog work." I wanted to focus on creating cards, and other items for my shop and that's it. But now all that hard work has paid off and I'm finally able to release my holiday goodies! And on top of that I'm one of the few shops featured on Oh Sweet Joy's Handmade Holiday Gift Guide today!! And there might be a awesome coupon code for folks who check out her blog today...just sayin'. 

If you're not ready to face the fact that the holidays are weeks away(say what?), I have cards for all other occasions in my Etsy shop. 



Our Garden

Andi Ploehs

I'm a bit embarrassed that this is really my first update on our garden this season. We're huge into gardening veggies, plants, etc. Last year in addition to our usual flower garden we planted a lot of veggies including cucumbers, peppers, herbs, and tomatoes just to name a few. I researched how to do it the right way...how to properly prune, watering schedule, the distance between plants. - but last year something went wrong. None of our tomatoes grew. Our herbs did well but we lost a lot of veggies not to the squirrels or deers, but to our dog Layla. And in typical Andi fashion I forgot about her feasting on our veggies last year and this year the same thing happened. That dog loves cucumbers!

This year instead of putting boxes on the deck we decided to build a garden box/bed. My husband found this awesome site on how to build a garden bed for $10! We decided to plant only tomatoes and herbs in the bed. We added Marigolds along the edge because they're supposed to scare off certain bugs and pesticides.

What we weren't anticipating was the overwhelming weight from the veggies. They've totally taken over our bed (pic below)!  

As you can see our tomato plants kind of got out of control. They along with our herbs are growing like weeds! There are so many growing that it's just too heavy. We've tied it to the trellice but it still falls onto the grass. And at that point its anyone's game...Layla vs. Squirrels.

I also made a decision not to over think this gardening thing this year. I wasn't going to be worried about pruning the tomato plants. I watered when I could, and we got plenty of rain so I didn't have to water too much. The box was built in the perfect place. We get plenty of sun there but not too much. I guess when you don't worry everything works out.

The good thing about our tomatoes growing fast is that we can eat them just about every week. My love made fried green tomatoes and we're planning on canning next month because we love pasta and the idea of canning our own tomato sauce gives me goose bumps! 

Are you gardening this summer? How are your plants and flowers doing?

Friday Links

Andi Ploehs

Friday's are the days when I share links that I've found interesting and helpful in small business, life, or just because I thought it was awesome.  I always try to include links from my blog friends many of whom have a small business. If you have any links that you think I would enjoy please share! 

Have a great weekend! 

Helpful tips that will help you when building your biz

I love behind-the-scene post of people I admire. Anna Bond is one of my favorites! 

I come across many craft show to do lists. I usually compare them and then create my own master list! 

One day I'll get my studio designed to truly be a creative space

It's become more and more clear to me that I need to set up my own e-commerce site, and this article was the tipping point. 

Love Amy Poehler

DIY - Spice Up Your Business Card

Andi Ploehs

Who doesn't love a little pop of color? I'm way overdue for a little DIY project and wanted a quick and easy project using materials I already had at home. I had a box of business cards on hand (overnight prints.com), paint that matched my brand, binder clips, and a paint brush. I came across this DIY a while back and new that one day I had to try it. 

I took about a third of the cards and held them together using fresh binder clips. I say fresh because the newer clips are a bit harder to open which means they will definitely keep the cards in place making it harder for paint to seep through. And I used a foam brush instead of the bristle brush for the same reason. 

You're definitely going to get paint on the top and back cards. You could even cut out a piece of paper the same size to avoid ruining the good card on top and in the back. I didn't do this and just thought about it while typing out my instructions, oh well... Let the cards sit for 15-20 minutes to ensure that the cards are completely dry. I removed the clips from the unpainted sides and moved them to the painted sides so I could paint the remaining two sides. 

After the cards have dried be careful separating each card. There will be cards that are stuck together but as long as you give them time to dry it shouldn't' be to difficult to separate them. Now your simple cards have a pop of color and a hint of spice! 

Have you tried this simple trick with your business cards? 

Lately...

Andi Ploehs

Lately is a weekly post where I share my week with you in photos. I love taking pictures and sharing them with you here on my blog and on Instagram.

My love has been doing tons of cooking using delicious veggies and herbs from our garden. We wanted bread the other day but were too lazy to go to the store, so he decided to make focaccia bread instead. IT WAS AMAZING! 

Last week I was on my way to work and decided to stop in Happy Belly in OTR. I had their breakfast sandwich with avocado, cheese, and egg. And their shop is super cute. 

Streetpops is a shop near our house and I walk by it weekly. I finally had the chance to stop in and I'll definitely be back! 

We had a dinner date in the park last week and watched Cincinnati Shakespeare Company perform Macbeth. The weather was perfect and we packed a picnic too. It was a pretty awesome evening, and it was free. WIN WIN! 

Friday Links

Andi Ploehs

Friday's are going to be the days when I share links that I've found interesting and helpful in small business, life, or just plan interesting just because.  I especially love links that other bloggers post because it kind of opens a new world of new sites for me to explore...like I need to be spending more time on the computer :) 

What isn't perfect about this wedding

If networking isn't your strong suit, then you'll want to read this article

Every single one of these drinks I could and will consume before the summer is over.

A cute DIY project for mini envelopes and cards. 

 These gems will make you smile!

Just starting out wholesale, or if you've been doing it for a while here's the wholesale pricing rundown.

Becoming more and more a fan of this chick

It's so hard to stay focused working from home!! Psst...here are a few secrets

Lately...

Andi Ploehs

Lately is a weekly post where I share my week with you in photos. I love taking pictures and sharing them with you here on my blog and on Instagram.

Since summer is almost over I've been trying to enjoy time with my love as much as possible. Back to school means the fun is over :( 

We spent a lot of our mornings in our enjoying our awesome neighborhood and having breakfast in Washington Park

I had a show recently in Columbus, and even though it stormed most the day, the location was super sweet!

While on vacation I was set on closing down my shop, but at the last minute changed my mind. Thank God I didn't because I got another account! Here I come Connecticut! 

Later this week I'll be updating you on our garden. Our tomatoes are Out Of Control, and my love made fried green tomatoes from it. #delish

Isn't that wine packaging awesome!

We have a winner from our giveaway last week! Congratulations Melissa! 

What have you been up to lately?

Friday Links

Andi Ploehs

Friday's are going to be the days when I share links that I've found interesting and helpful in small business, life, or just plan interesting just because.  I especially love links that other bloggers post because it kind of opens a new world of new sites for me to explore...like I need to be spending more time on the computer :) 

I'm all about an inspiration quote!

Most of the women I know use make-up removers, so this diy recipe might be worth trying.

You've got to check out these new apps. I've already downloaded a few.

If you're interested in hand lettering, this post is an awesome start. 

All the products from The Little Market are on my wish list! And all for an amazing cause

I'll be trying this brainstorming technique this weekend. 

I need this bag in my life! 

Btw, have you checked out the new cards in the shop?

Today is the last day to enter the print giveaway

Have a great weekend! 


Giveaway!

Andi Ploehs

In the greeting card biz it's that time of year when I should probably be spitting out holiday card ideas. Now while I am coming up with a lot of new ideas, none of them are holiday related. I still have quite a bit of time to complete cards for the upcoming season, but it's hard to put yourself in the Christmas spirit when we are no where near December.

In the last week creativity has been oozing out of me, and three new cards and one print are the product of that. This was the first time I used lyrics in one of my pieces and I am especially loving' the "Let Your Soul Shine" print. This song was on our playlist during our vacation and has been in my head ever since. It puts me in a good mood, and I hope you win the print so it can put you in a good mood too! Oh, did I mention I'm giving one print away? Good luck!

If you're interested one of the new cards featured visit my shop!


2 year anniversary

Andi Ploehs

Two years ago I married a man that makes life that much sweeter. I've never really believed in soul mates, but if I did, then I've found mine. I know I might sound a bit cynical and just plain annoying, but marrying my love is hands down one of the best decisions I've ever made. 

When planning our wedding I knew I wasted a wedding that people would never forget. I didn't want fire throwing monkeys, but I did want to stay away for the traditional aspects of most weddings. I found the poem "The Key To Love" and immediately fell in love with it. So after we walked down the aisle we had different friends and family stand up one at a time and recite stanzas of the poem. Aside from "sealing the deal with my love", this was my favorite part of the ceremony. 

The Key To Love...

The key to love is understanding...the ability to comprehend not only the spoken word, but those unspoken gestures, the little things that say so much by themselves.

The key to love is forgiveness. ...to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes, without forgetting, but with remembering what you learn from them.

The key to love is sharing...facing your good fortunes as well as the bad together; both with the hope of just a simple smile, and by giving in but never giving up.

The key to love is respect...realizing that you are two separate people, with different ideas; that you don't belong to each other, that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.

The key to love is inside us all...it takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold; it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work. But the rewards are more than worth the effort, and that is the key to love.

- author unknown

What moment of your wedding stands out the most in your mind? 

Lately... Summer Vacation

Andi Ploehs

Lately is a weekly post where I share my week with you in photos. I love taking pictures and sharing them with you here on my blog and on Instagram.

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We were on much needed vacation in The Outer Banks and enjoyed every single minute! We rented bikes for the week and spent the first couple days riding around the town. I loved it because there were very few hills, so I was able to keep up without needing a break. But it was so humid that after each morning ride we were totally soaked! But we had the ocean to cool us off :)

We spent most of our time on the beach where I was able to read one of the three books I brought with me. I also listened to all of my favorite podcasts a lot of the time. 

My love is quite the sand castle/turtle builder, so much so that people would stop and take pictures of his creation. I'm such a proud wife, lol!

I also tried to each as much fresh fruit as I possibly could. I eat a lot now, but fruit in Ohio just ain't like the ones on the coast....just sayin'. 

The daily sunrise and sunset off the back of our deck. What else is there to say?

Have to visited the Outer Banks? This was my first time, and I'll definitely be back.

Different Ways To Eat Ice Cream

Andi Ploehs

In honor of National Ice Cream Day (it was actually yesterday), I thought it would be fun to share with you several different ways to eat ice cream. Now I'm a huge, huge fan of ice cream, and could eat it five days a week if I would let myself, and sometimes I do :) But I never take the time to make it at home.  I like to think of new ways to eat ice cream, like as an ice cream sandwich, milkshakes, ice cream pops, the ideas are endless.

Enjoy these recipes, and if you decide to make one I would love to see how it turned out!

Summer Vacation Reading List

Andi Ploehs

This summer we'll be going on a much needed vacation. Yippee! It's been a while since we've gone on a real vacation, and even though this is truly a "family" vacay this girl is R-E-A-D-Y to go!

When we go out of town i like to take at least one book with me. Now do I ever finish the one book I bring…no! If it's a car ride I start reading it a few hours into the trip. I've been known to close the book and whip out the magazines after 30 min or so. This trip will be perfect for book reading so I decided to put several books on hold at the library and download an extra one on the mini iPad just in case. There are so many good books out there right now, especially for creatives and women! Check out my list, and if there's a couple you think I might be interested in please share!

The War of Art (Steven Pressfield) - I have checked out this book a record three times this year alone! I start reading it, but get so busy with other things that I haven't finished it. It's my goal to finish if any thing this book on vacay. 

#GIRLBOSS (Sophia Amoruso) - I've heard so many great things about this book it would be silly for me not to read it.

Lean In (Sheryl Sandberg) - I've heard Sheryl's story and it sounds awesome. I love that she's a woman in one of the most powerful positions in the world, and yeah, I want to know how she got there. 

Before Happiness (Shawn Achor) - I first learned of Achor while watching him on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday. I love positive people and try to be that way as much as I can, but sometimes it's just hard. You know how some people are creepy happy. Where it makes you think their in denial happy? This guy wasn't that way, so I need to know that secret. Can't wait to read this!

I can't wait to give you all a review of my summer vacation books! 

I WANT - Vacay Edition

Andi Ploehs

When I started blogging almost a year ago once a month I would post a I Want series. The idea was that I would post items…usually clothes that I would love to have but would probably never be able to afford. But after a while it seemed pretty silly because my audience is like me. We like nice things but we're not going to spend our life savings for a pair of shoes. Sorry, I'm just not. So I decided to change I Want to an affordable version of it. That's not to say that I can afford everything on the list, or that everything will be cheap, but lets just say the items will be reasonable this time around.

And since we're going on a little vacay this summer I thought it would be fun to bring the I Want posts back starting with the summer vacay version. 

1. Sleeveless Blouse / 2. Breezy Woven Fedora / 3. Seychelles Sandles / 4. Fida Fanny Pack / 5. Seychelles Strapless One Piece

What's on your I Want list for the summer? 

Lately...

Andi Ploehs

Lately is a weekly post where I share my week with you in photos. I love taking pictures and sharing them with you here on my blog and on Instagram

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I've been fulfilling store orders and luckily one of the stores where ap loves design is sold is literally a 10 minute walk from my house! 

I can't believe we're in five stores now, including two Simply Vague locations. I visited The Greene location in Beavercreek, OH to see how the stock was set up and to check out the scenery. It was pretty awesome watching people purchase my prints while I was in the store. 

We celebrated the 4th with a little "urban camping." Now I haven't camped since girl scouts some twenty years ago so I wasn't too excited, but ended up loving the whole experience! Granted it was in a friends backyard and there was indoor plumbing, but I did sleep in a tent that my love graciously set up for us.

Most of our friends have kids, and after the fireworks it was time to make smores on the fire. My love surprised me by purchasing dark chocolate (love), but by that time I had too much to eat and waaay too much to drink so I didn't try them, but they looked and smelled yummy.

I slept pretty good in the tent. No bugs, the air mattress was still up. But my hair was a mess and I forgot my toothbrush. Eww.. And I couldn't believe how cold it got that night. The day was perfect, but I think the temperature got down to the low 50's. At one point I could see my breath in the air.

Our view from the front of our tent was sweet. Even though we were still on friends property it felt like we were really in the woods!

We brought Layla with us so she could play with her doggy friends. Sometimes she forgets that she's the senior of the group. Clearly at this point she was exhausted and was ready for bed. 

How did you celebrate the 4th?