Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Blog Fail

I guess I'm not going to do the whole Blog-every-day-in-May business. Just got too busy.  I'll try it another month...maybe.

It's been crazy around here with getting ready for the Junk Market this weekend. I have so many new items I'm going to be showcasing on Saturday. I'm excited for all of these new products. Hope everyone likes them!

Here's a sneak peek (unless you follow Poppy and Pippa on fb than you've already seen everything!)

Hair Ties |  Hair Clips | Retractable Name Badge Reels | Elastic Headbands | Headbands | Fun Clips

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sweet Sleepy Girls

(Sold here)

At 4:12 pm on May 15th, a beautiful baby girl came into this world. Her mom and dad (and A LOT of other people) have been anticipating her arrival.

Elodie Genevieve Marie is an adorable little string bean - 7 lbs. 1 oz. and 21"

I'm thrilled beyond words at the fact that I get to watch her grow into herself. As some of you know, Bill and I aren't having children. When I held Elodie for the first time I was incredibly happy. I am so lucky that I get to have all of these children in my life...even if they aren't my own.

Meet Elodie.

On May 15th Elodie wasn't the only one to meet her mom and dad for the first time. Bill and I adopted a tiny sweet kitten. Her name is Willa. Right now she's living in my office. Whidbey is very curious as to what's behind the door making all of that racket. We're hoping they'll be good buddies. If not, we hope they won't kill each other. It's really all you can hope for...right?

Meet Willa.

I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot more about both of these little gals.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Day 14, Tuesday: 10 Things that make you really happy.

Listed in no particular order.

2- growing beautiful flowers

3 - Poppy and Pippa
4 - being organized

5 - Great friends
6 - Whidbey

7 - painted toes (not so much the lovely carpet in my office)
8 - Sunshine at the beach

9 - Bill being goofy
10 - Bill.

Monday, May 13, 2013

i'm sorry.

Day 13, Monday: Issue a Public Apology


I apologize for always going to bed early. Even on the weekends. I know you like to stay up late but, I'm just so tired.

I apologize for not wanting to go out with you more often. You are so outgoing and social. I admire that about you. I wish I could be more like you but, this way we even each other out a bit.

I apologize for always wanting to feed Whidbey when he meows by his bowl.

I apologize for not getting better gas mileage in my new car. It's just so fun to go fast.


So, there you go. My public apology to my husband.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Missing Childhood

Day 12. What do you miss?

I miss being a kid.
Not a care in the world.
No stress.

I miss going school shopping with my mom.
I miss the Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley High Books.
I miss listening to my Madonna tape on my boom box.
I miss my mom cooking for me each night.
I miss playing make-believe.
I miss using my imagination.
I miss summer break.
I miss school dances.
I miss Birthday Parties and Christmas morning.
I miss all of the great TV of the eighties and nineties.
I miss playing hooky and hanging out with my Grandma.
I miss my Grandma.
I miss making up dances with my sister.
I miss playing in the woods.
I miss riding my bike from morning until night.
I miss building snow forts.
I miss looking great in everything I wore.
I miss being skinny.
I miss NEVER getting tired.
I miss waking up on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons. Good cartoons.
I miss playing M.A.S.H. with my friends
I miss We Are The World - USA for Africa. I had the record.
I miss Garbage Pail kids
I miss sticker books
I miss Ciao! bags
I miss going to the video store and renting videos
I miss recording songs off of the radio and music videos off of MTV
I miss the Facts of Life
I miss charm necklaces - with the plastic charms.


I miss the feeling of time standing still - it felt as though I would never be old enough to drive, go to college, to get married, to have a career...

and here I am - all growed up.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Are you buying?

Day 11. Sell yourself in 10 words or less.

Oh, the dreaded "tell me about yourself in so many words" question. I hate this question but, it's part of the challenge. So here goes...

Helpful :: at work and with friends
Lazy :: at home
Passionate :: about early childhood issues
Loving :: Bill, my family, my friends
Confident :: I know what I want
Independent :: I love my alone time
Funny :: I think I am - you may not
Klutzy :: I trip over everything and spill things
Quirky :: I have so many quirks - too many to list
Wife :: I am

Friday, May 10, 2013


Day 10.  embarrassing moment(s).

How do I choose?
I'd rather forget.

Here are two moments that are hard to forget.
Here we go - ready or not.

1.) In high school I was a cheerleader. I was in ninth grade cheering for the JV football team. I was dropped. On my tailbone. Ouch. Well, the team trainer insisted I be taken to the emergency room... in an ambulance...in a neck brace. Seriously. So embarrassing. Humiliating.

2.) A couple of years ago I walked into the conference room at work before a meeting. I was walking to my seat when I was warned that the projector was plugged in and to be sure not to trip over the cord. I tripped. Big time.  Flat on my face. Oh yeah, and I was wearing a skirt. Luckily there were only two other people in the room. So I get to my seat. Beat red and laughing hysterically.  I then got up to fill up my coffee cup and TRIPPED AGAIN. This time the room was filling up. Just as bad as the first time. I was so ready to curl up in a ball under the table.

There you go.
Two moments I wish never happened.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Moment

Day 9. A moment in your day - a photo or words or both.

My desk.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Diary of a Former Skinny Girl: Advice

Day 8. A piece of advice for others.

Eat well.

Yes, those two words are my advice. What do those two words mean?
It means eat real food. Try to avoid processed foods and sugar.

buy it here.

So, that's my advice. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm afraid of...

Day 7. things you're most afraid of.

I thought aboutbthisvpost for along time. Do I go deep or just stay on the surface? I decided that I didn't feel like actually "discussing" my fears and instead I'd just make a general list of my fears. This is in no way a complete list.

Being alone :: Something happening to a loved one :: Severe storms (not of the snow variety) :: Making a mistake :: regret :: letting someone down :: scary movies (hate them) :: failure :: of not losing weight :: disappointing :: drowning :: heights :: losing my Bill, my parents, my sister, my niece and nephews, friends, my in-laws :: getting sick :: disease :: big dogs jumping up on me :: dying :: something happening to Whidbey :: random violence ...

Monday, May 6, 2013

'what do you do'

Day 6. If you couldn't answer with your job, how would you   answer the question, 'what do you do'?

Oh boy, are you ready for this? The list is very long - here's just an overview of that list. Here goes...

  • marketing / advertising
  • answer LOTS of questions
  • accounting
  • recruitment
  • social planner
  • shopping at least once a week
  • menu planner
  • cook breakfast (cereal, oatmeal, or toast - not so much a cook)
  • referee 
  • rule enforcer
  • go to meetings
  • soothe crying children
  • work with children who are struggling
  • encourage teachers
  • billing
  • collections
  • information collector and recorder
  • housekeeper (at times)
  • advocate for those that can't advocate for themselves
  • advocate for early childhood education
  • negotiator 
  • writer
  • team builder
  • put out hypothetical fires
  • informer
  • and so much more!!
My job doesn't have a simple job description because when you do what I do each day can be a surprise. There are the set things on my "to do" list each month but, there's always things that come up.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


Day 4. Favorite Quote.

I have many quotes that I like. Some are funny. Some are serious. 
I thought today would be easy. 
Apparently, I decided to make it harder than it should be. Like always I think too much. Like always I want to make sure this quote (decision, idea, etc.) pleases everyone. 

Today I'm going to share one of my favorite quotes. It's from Harry Potter. Yes, I'm 37 and I love Harry Potter. The books are amazing. They let you forget your world and enter another. They inspire. They are wonderfully written for children and adults. I could go on convincing you on why Harry Potter books are great but, then I would just be trying to make sure this decision (of what quote to share) would make sense to you.

{can be purchased here}
A little background.
This quote comes from a conversation between Dumbledore and Snape. Harry witnesses the conversation through the penseive. Harry is learning that Snape was only trying to help him from the beginning. His patronus (a spell) is a doe. The same as Harry's mother's patronus. Snape loved his mother even though he couldn't be with her and that love never stopped. Ever.

So beautiful.

I love this quote because it is a beautiful thought, memory, idea, dream. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ugh. So Uncomfortable.

Day 3. Things that make you uncomfortable.

What makes me uncomfortable?

Talking on the phone. I hate it. I am actually really bad at it. I know, how can someone be bad at talking on the phone? Well, I am. Example - yesterday I had to do a little talk on a phone conference. Ugh. Horrible. I hate not seeing reactions. I hate not seeing their faces. I really don't enjoy talking on the phone at all. If someone calls me - sometimes I'll let it go to voicemail just so I can text them back asking, "what's up?" My friend Jess knows this very well. We rarely talk on the phone. ever. I love her for it. We text. One negative of this "problem" I never talk to my parents because I'd have to talk on the phone. It's horrible. And when I am on the phone with them it's awkward and dumb because I never talk to them. It would be great if they'd enter this century and get a computer so we could at least email!!

Going out with my husband makes me uncomfortable. Weird. I know. The reason is that if we go somewhere that he knows a lot of people that means I have to meet people. In all reality, I don't really care for people. I guess that's what makes me uncomfortable - meeting people. Strangers. I always relate it to going out with Bill though because he knows a TON of people.

Being in a bathing suit.

You get the picture.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

So, You Want to Open an Etsy Shop?

Day 2. Educate.

Today, for day two of the challenge, I am supposed to educate you about something I know about or am good at - so, I decided to share what I learned about owning an Etsy shop.

Here are suggestions and tips from my experience.

What are you going to sell?
This might be super easy for you to decide. It was for my sister and I. We saw a need for reasonably priced hair accessories for itty bitty baby girls. Everything we found in the stores was either larger than my niece's head or extremely overpriced.

We went for a little shopping trip to Hobby Lobby to purchase some clips. We also purchased some bits and pieces for the clips, ribbon, and fabrics.

It's ok if your items change over time. You have to find what works, what sells, and what you enjoy making.

Choose a name that no one else has and isn't a rip off of an already existing shop.
I remember sitting in the parking lot at Hobby Lobby with my sister and telling her I wanted to start an Etsy shop. She wanted to join in too.  I told her my name idea and it stuck. { Poppy and Pippa } 

Get a Shop Header/ Design
There are so many great sellers on Etsy that make custom headers for your shop. Luckily, I have a willing (sort of) husband that works with graphic design. I begged him to make something for me. I gave him a few guidelines (ok, a ton of guidelines). In the year and a half my shop has been open I've had three different designs.




Read, Read, Read
Before opening the shop I read for hours on the Etsy site. I read the Etsy Handbook (here) several times. I also visited the blog, discussions, and teams. I made sure to join a couple of teams. The forums are fantastic because more often than not someone has had the same question as you have. Lots of great advice.

Browse Etsy / Write Policies
Check out other shops that sell similar items to yours. Look for shops that have had lots of sales. Read the comments that customers made when they left feedback. Checkout policies and wording. Don't copy and paste someone else's policies onto your shop. They spent a lot of time developing them. You should too. Same with descriptions of items. Write about the items in your own words.

Create an About Me page
Write a clever and catchy About Me page. Make sure to include some great pictures of your items.

Create Product and Take Photos
Consider what you like about other shops on Etsy. Do you like the backgrounds of their pictures? What about including your brand on each photo? Make sure you take your time to take quality photos. This is the only introduction customers have to your product and brand. You don't have to hire someone. Read tutorials. Create your own light box. Go for it!

List your Products
Thoughtful descriptions are very important when describing your item. What I have found to work the best is entering a keyword into the search feature and seeing how many different items come up with that keyword. If it's not many - you need to choose a different key word. It's important to read about SEO as well. Etsy does a fantastic job of including all of this information in the seller handbook.

Customer Service!!
Customer service is key to success. You want to make sure you answer emails and communication in a timely fashion. Take pride in the way you package your items for shipping. Include a business card with every purchase as well as a hand written note. It doesn't have to be long. Just a thank you is all you need to write. 

Don't get disappointed if you don't sell tons of items right away. It takes time. You also have to keep up on forums and discussions. Change your key words if necessary. It's ok to keep tweaking your shop. I've had mine almost two years and it's constantly a work in progress. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at lalempe(at)mac(dot)com.

Joining the link up with Jenni!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Story...From the Beginning.

Today I start my "Blogging Everyday in May" streak with Jenni from Story of My Life.

Jenni has come up with a "topic" for each day in May to help with writer's block. I thought it would be fun to participate because I have never ever blogged every day in an entire month.

Day one: Life story in less than 250 words, or in my case a "little" over 250 words.

I was born in November in 1976. Baby photos back then were not fancy. Apparently, they didn't let my mom fix my hair - unless she liked the mohawk look.
It was just me for about 2 1/2 years. Then my sister came along.
We were very close growing up...and still are! That's us with our matching hair cuts and our cat Fluffy.
I thought of myself as quite a fashionista. Not sure what I was thinking with this outfit. Yes, I'm wearing driving moccasins and biker shorts. And, yes, that's a real seagull.
I've never been super coordinated so, it's a wonder how I participated in cheerleading, figure skating, and synchronized swimming.
This was my first car. When I was 16. I called it the Blue Goose. I had a couple of other cars before going to college. The blue goose just didn't last.
I graduated in 1995. On a 100 degree June day on a football field with no shade. It was lovely.
This is my senior photo. Kinda wondering why no one mentioned that I had ginormous eyebrows!!
I had a blast in college. I made some awesome friends and we made some great memories! Here's a photo of Jess and I in our second apartment together. Some fabulous times were had in that place!
I graduated from college in 1999 - couldn't find any pics of it. 
I met Bill a couple of months after I graduated. This pic is from one of the first times we hung out.

I started at my current job in 2000. I've made some fabulous friends there as well. A couple of them no longer work with me but, when we get together it's like no time has passed.

Bill and I got married in 2002. I did not care for any of the professional photos. So, here's one of us after the wedding dance. I had a beautiful long veil but, decided to chop it off at the dance!
We have some awesome little people in our lives! Our nephews and one niece.
Bill and I aren't having any children. We love our life especially since we adopted Whidbey! There is never a dull moment when he is around. Whether it's waking me up at 4 am like clockwork everyday or playing fetch like a dog. He's our special little dude.

So, that's the story of my life. 
Abbreviated. Very abbreviated. It's missing many many life moments. But, that's ok. It's just a short story of my life... so far.

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