Vol 6: The Real Life of a Mompreneur – Your Schedule Is Not Your Own

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Image: Maggie with Pop Wed Co

Let me tell you a little story. Two weeks ago I set out to go meet two DC business owners that own some really cool venue spaces in DC. Evie had been keeping to a pretty standard nap schedule as of late, and I figured I could drive out with her to meet these people right after lunch, much before her 2nd nap.

Boy was I wrong. On the drive over she passed out … and when I pulled up to the venue, I figured she would only snooze another 20 minutes as she hadn’t been sleeping longer than 45 minutes on her second nap in over a week. Another 30 minutes later and she was still fast asleep, as I sheepishly emailed the people I was supposed to meet with that I wasn’t sure the meeting was going to happen – even though I was LITERALLY sitting outside of their venue … in my car. So I decided to drive home because at this point when Evie woke she was going to be hangry, and I had not packed food.

An hour and 45 minutes she slept that afternoon, almost an hour and a half earlier than she had napped in weeks.

The point of this story? The realization and confirmation that when you are a Mompreneur, your schedule is no longer yours to call your own.

Now I had hints of this earlier – I would jokingly tell clients that I needed to give them ranges of when I could potentially arrive for a meeting, because babies just do what they want, and almost never stick to YOUR intended schedule and sometimes Evie would fit right into the timing I gave, and other times she would destroy it completely. Obviously, she’s a baby, this isn’t her fault, but my advice to new mompreneurs or any new work from home parents is this: learn to accept early on that your schedule is no longer yours. Your child will MOST LIKELY do whatever they want and it may make it really difficult to stick to plans you previously made.

This was a HUGE change for me. As a wedding coordinator and generally Type A person, planning and scheduling is my life. I feel anxious when I don’t have my day planner on me and typically refuse to commit to appointments unless I can confirm in my planner that the date/time is indeed free. And while I adapted pretty quickly, personally, to accept this change and the fact that my schedule was now dependent on a completely non-predictable or consistent being, I am still left worrying that others won’t understand.

Clients, vendors, even my friends without kids – I worry that they think I am flakey, late, or not a great planner due to this new, ever-changing presence in my life. Being on time, and sticking to your word are cores to my business, and it’s challenging to not always be able to stick to them while juggling a business and being a parent. But this is my reality and the reality of so many others and just another challenge in the journey of being a mompreneur.

So I’ll continue to face the challenge, head on, the best I can, and hope that others recognize that I am still giving it my best and my all. After all, that is really all I can control.

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District Bliss DIY Workshop: Makeup Tricks, Tips & Secrets with Ariel Lewis

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The next District Bliss DIY Workshop is coming up! The ladies have snagged top make-up artist, Ariel Lewis, to teach attendees ALL the things about make-up. Ariel will be teaching guests all about what colors look best with their skin tone, how to apply a day-to-day look and transform it into evening makeup, and eyebrows!

Buy Tickets

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You’ll learn how to enhance your look by learning about what works best for YOU! Ariel states, “—empowering women to feel confident, fabulous, and gorgeous in their own skin is the passion that drives my art.” Check out some more action shots of Ariel, and get ALL the details on the workshop below!

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WHEN: Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

WHERE: Logan Hardware – 1734 14th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009

MORE INFO: Makeup DIY Workshop Facebook Event

Happy Pi Day! From Pop Wed Co and &Pizza!

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Images: Rachel Couch

GUYS!!! It’s Pi Day. I am hoping to skip work early to snag a slice or two from Dangerously Delicious after work, but some people are GETTING MARRIED today! Thanks to our favs, Pop Wed Co!, couples are having to coolest, most Pi Day appropriate pop-up weddings at &Pizza.

I love everything about this. What is more fun than weddings, pizza, rad DC businesses, and LOVE?!

Check out some of the fun! Thanks to Rachel Couch & Pop Wed Co for the images.

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Meghan & Richard’s Intimate, Laid-Back DC Wedding at the Arts Club of Washington

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Images: Love Life Images via Two Bright Lights

Our submissions these days have been pretty light, so I apologize that posting has been reflecting that. I’ve been busy behind the scenes working on some external blog events (like tonight’s Make It Happen workshop – tickets still available!) and getting designs finalized for the CapRo Shop (omg they are so so good, I cannot wait to share!). We’ll also have some exciting news (hopefully soon) about another option for the CapRo Planner. Eep, so much happening. But in the meantime, here’s a pretty and simple DC wedding at the Arts Club of Washington.

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From the photographer:

The setting for the wedding was appropriately intimate, at the Arts Club of Washington, DC. Inside was some excellent light, especially as it wrapped around Meghan’s veil, which was a family gift. First Look was outside in the back, where the Arts Club has a very private and cozy garden. The small gathering of friends and family met downstairs in the theatre space for the ceremony. I could feel the warmth of affection among the guests and the couple, and I think it came through in the photographs.

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CLICK READ MORE FOR THE REST OF THIS INTIMATE, DC WEDDING

DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Confetti Cannons & Poppers

View More: http://mathyshootspeople.pass.us/justara

Maggie & I had so much fun at our SOLD OUT wedding hacks workshop this weekend we totally forgot to take pictures. No joke. Not a single one! I didn’t even know where my phone was, we were having too much fun! But attendees got to make super simple (& fun!) DIY Confetti Cannons that they took home as a party gift. So we thought it might be fun to share the DIY tutorial (thanks to Kara, who made these for her own wedding!).

Take it away Kara.

How To Make DIY Confetti Cannons | By Kara Britanik

View More: http://mathyshootspeople.pass.us/justara

Shortly after getting engaged, I stumbled across a video online of DIY confetti cannons that were made for a New Year ’s Eve party. I loved the idea, and immediately wanted to incorporate them into my wedding day somehow, and decided to have our guests shoot them off at the end of the ceremony, as we walked down the aisle as husband and wife. They couldn’t be easier to make…just ask your friends and family to collect their toilet paper and paper towel rolls for you so you have enough.

Supplies:

  • Paper towel and/or toilet paper rolls
  • Balloons (9inch balloons work best – like these)
  • Duct tape (they make duct tape in a variety of colors and patterns now, so you should be able to find some that matches your color scheme – Amazon has a bunch available!)
  • Exacto knife
  • Washi tape – totally optional, but I used some to spruce up my confetti cannons and add some pizzazz, all the colors available here too

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Step 1. Start by cutting your paper towel/toilet paper rolls down to size. If you’re using toilet paper rolls, I suggest cutting them in half, and if you’re using paper towel rolls you can cut them in quarters. You’ll want your roll to be about as tall as your duct tape is wide, so you can use that as a guide.

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Step 2. Tie a knot in the bottom of your balloon, and then snip off the top.

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Step 3. Stretch the top of the balloon over one end of your roll. Put the balloon over the cut end of your roll. This way, if you accidentally don’t cut it straight, no one will know ;)

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Step 4. Cover your roll with duct tape to secure the balloon in place. The easiest way to do this is to line up the top of your roll along one edge of the duct tape, and just wrap it around your roll. At this point, you can also spruce up your cannons with some washi tape if you like.

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Step 5. Now just fill your cannon with confetti and you’re set to go! To use the cannon, just pull down on the knotted end of your balloon, aim, and let go!

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Note: For confetti, I had a lot of random scrapbooking paper laying around, so I just cut those up into small pieces, and made my own confetti. But you can certainly just buy bags of confetti to fill your cannons.

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Let’s Get Personal: Women Who Inspire Me (It’s #IWD2016!)

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Image: Brandilynn Aines

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged since Thursday – I am sorry guys! Submissions have been a bit light (photogs, vendors, and recently married peeps, where you at?!) and life has gotten in the way (doesn’t it always?), but I wanted to share a post today in support of the fact that it’s International Women’s Day. Now while a part of me wants to sit here and rant about all the travesties that women still face in this world (unequal pay, rampant sexism, the lack of access to healthcare, paid maternity leave … and oh the list goes on), the better half of my brain took over and thought it’d make a much better and inspiring post to blog about women who inspire me today.

So there they are – the top 3 ladies in that picture above, are the most inspiring women in my life. And if you are thinking they look familiar, it’s because they’re actually my mother and two sisters. So let’s start with my mom.

When you become a parent, your view on your own parents changes DRASTICALLY (in a good way!). I always knew my mom was the best, and I thought I had recognized the sacrifices she had taken in life to be a mother of four, but I really didn’t understand until becoming a mother myself, recently. This woman is strong. She raised four kids (FOUR!). She stayed home and did the rockstar stay-at-home mom game for half of us, then went back to work (and still works) to help put us all through college. She has been an amazing writer for as long as I can imagine, and I’d like to think I get my rad blogging skills from her. She wrote a children’s book (you can buy it on Amazon – it’s awesome!) and travels to schools to use her book to teach children about kindness and inclusion. Talk about a rockstar, right? My mom has taught us so much and as a speech pathologist, she teaches children at a public school in NJ. Teachers have to be some of the most undervalued people in our society and I will never understand why. To me, they are some of the most important, and that is why my mom is one of the most inspiring women in my life.

So let’s move along the picture to the next fabulous #ladyboss in my life. That would be my older sister Jill. Along with all the life lessons you get from having an older sister, my sister has always been an inspiration to me because she is probably one of the MOST determined people I’ve ever met. I’ve never watched someone other than my sister work SO HARD to accomplish what they wanted. Whether it was striving to get straight As growing up, or her determination to obtain a MFA in Directing, or her daily work to advance the craft of theatre directing through a service organization she founded (and currently is the Exectuive Director of), Directors Gathering. Oh yeah, she does this all while being a kickass wife & mother to that adorable Stella up in that picture too. Yup, inspiring.

And finally, my younger sister Kristen. Kristen’s ability to persevere has always inspired me. She has faced many challenges in her life, but has always pushed through, including the ardous journey she took (and completed!) to become a RN. Next to Teachers, Nurses have to be one of the most selfless professions in the world. Unless you know a Nurse, you can’t possibly begin to understand what they go through at their jobs (12 hour shifts, where she is often unable to sit, eat, or even take a bathroom break!). I listen to her stories with my jaw on the floor – of the patients that take her for granted, of the thankless hours spent cleaning up after people, of the Drs who aren’t always the kindest, of the family members who cry on her shoulder, thanking her for helping their loved one. I just cannot believe she does this every day! She is a TRUE rockstar.

So those are my lady inspirations for #IWD2016. Who are yours?!

Attention Bloggers & Small Biz Owners – Let’s Make It Happen

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Image: Maggie Winters Photography

There have been a few sneak peaks on social media, but I am SUPER PUMPED to be officially announcing today, that I will be helping Cherry Blossom Creative kick off their inaugural “Make It Happen” workshop series for makers, creatives, dreamers, and all small business owners. For those that know me, you know I love to share the things I’ve learned since starting this blog & business in 2011. I never dreamed Capitol Romance would grow to what it is today, and I certainly didn’t do it alone, so any chance I get to talk with and meet other creatives/bloggers/small biz owners in DC (and the surrounding area), I take it!

So let’s get into the workshop details, shall we? It’s going to be laid-back, intimate, and AWESOME. Think less lecture and more discussion, led by yours truly. I’ll have 5 key takeaways for attendees on how to make their blog stand out and will be available to answer ANY of the questions you might have.

So who is this workshop for? Really anyone that has a blog (either as a standalone business or is maybe trying to start one as part of their already established, non-blog business) or is looking to start a blog. I’d love to have bloggers that are brand new (maybe you haven’t even started your blog yet!) or ones that might having been blogging for as long as me (or maybe even longer!). The whole point is the gain insight, share experiences, and help each other make shit happen.

When & where is it all going down? Next Thursday evening, March 10th, from 6pm to 8pm at Cherry Blossom Creative’s HQ in Atlantic Plumbing. Tickets are super limited and just $10 so get yours now! \/

Buy Tickets

More from Cherry Blossom Creative’s workshop:

In this collection of workshops, we bring you key insights from the makers themselves. They’ll guide you on how you can take ideas, thoughts, and projects, and not only push past obstacles, but move things towards successful fruition. The district is just brimming with startups, creatives, and entrepreneurs and we simply want to connect you with the most inspiring, accessible leaders! Seats are limited, and our workshops are intentionally small. See you then, and let’s make s%$# happen!

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DIY Tutorial: How to Make a Woodland Flower Crown

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We’ve got a guest blogger on the blog today! Part bride to be, part CapRo client, and 100% a damn good friend of mine, Amy! She’s making some things for her DC wedding this Fall (omg I can’t wait!) and wrote up this DIY tutorial from the DIY Flower Crowns she’s making for her flower girls! Take it away Amy.

DIY Woodland Flower Crown Tutorial | By Amy

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I decided that I wanted to make flower crowns for my flower girls (my muse here), and in keeping with my desire to get things done before wedding crunch time, made them out of fake flowers (so they would last). I also added some gold accents as it goes with the wedding colors.

Materials Needed:

  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Thick Floral Wire
  • Thin Floral Wire
  • Implements (leaves, flowers, other!)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pliers/Wire Cutter

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Step 1. Measure: Measure the head of the individual who will be wearing the crown. My niece had a 20 inch head circumference, and I added a few inches just to be safe. The crown is adjustable, so it doesn’t need to be exact, but don’t have less than what you need.

Step 2. Cut: Cut the thick floral wire with wire cutters to that measurement and arrange in a circle.

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Step 3. Assemble: Fold the end of the wire into itself to create a loop, and create a hook with the opposite side. If desired, wrap greenery around the thick wire and secure with thin wire. I did this so that you wouldn’t be able to see the thick black wire when it was assembled.

Step 4. Pick a focal point: I centered the crown on the little gold ornament and started assembling it there, securing it with the thin floral wire where necessary.

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Step 5. Add floral elements: I began adding greenery so that it would flare out at various points, using a hot glue gun. You could also do this with the thin floral wire, depending on how thick your floral elements are. For my version, the greenery was very thin so I didn’t want the wire to be as evident. Wrap your flowers/greenery of choice around the thick wire crown and secure it with either a glue gun or thin floral wire. Add as much or as little as desired and troubleshoot! I added all green leaves to get a base, then stuck in fake baby’s breath for an ethereal touch.

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Step 6. Take a step back and find any areas that need more attention, fill in as necessary, and then you’re done! Use the hook and closure at the back to size to what you need, and watch everyone fawn over the crown! And you can fawn over how inexpensive it was! My version cost about $15 total. When I get closer to the wedding day, I may add some real flowers in to give it an extra touch.

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So simple and so affordable! Thanks for sharing Amy.

Katie & Soleil’s Intimate, Gorgeous Elopement at the Westin in Georgetown

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Images: Harmony Lynn Photography submitted via Two Bright Lights

I love elopements that don’t skimp on gorgeous decor & details. Just because you don’t have a massive guest list … or heck, in this case, any guest list at all, doesn’t mean you can’t have gorgeous florals, your dream attire, gold plated flatware, and the most romantic candles adorning your ceremony space. Katie & Soleil did just that with today’s intimate DC elopement at the Westin in Georgetown. Stunning images commence!

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From Soleil:

Almost everything about our love story, and eventually our elopement, happened serendipitously. From our spontaneous decision to wed, we made absolute sure we had three things: gorgeous details, a stunning backdrop, and a dream ceremony!

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The color selection for the entire elopement was based on one thing and one thing only: Mrs. Box! At the time, almost every color of the boxes was sold out! Luckily, we found a beautiful and rich purple that would match our rose gold bands perfectly! Not to mention, I dreamed of a large leafy eucalyptus bouquet. Purple would compliment the sage and ivy greens. It was like finding gold! To bring our Kate Spade inspiration to life, we added a bold pattern of a chunky striped fabric as a table cloth which allowed us to modernize the elegance of the venue in a fun way!

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Bringing in the romance of the surprise sunrise elopement, I walked to my love along a path of ivy and candles. It was a dream. I’m still reeling!

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CLICK READ MORE FOR THE REST OF THIS ROMANTIC & INTIMATE DC ELOPEMENT!

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