The Blog
My favorite dress I ever wore…

It was 1987, and I was in 5th grade. I was given the solo in the Christmas Concert (we called it that back then) and I was BEYOND nervous. I truly loved to sing, but was incredibly shy in a group of strangers. Some things never change 😉

For the occasion my mom sewed me a very special dress. The top was ivory satin with lace trim, and the bottom was made with the most beautiful, rich red velvet. Mom nailed it.

The song I sang was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and I just adored this song. Between the dress, the song choice and my big sister styling my hair… I was ready to go.

 


That cutie in the pink dress and the hair clip next to me became one of my best friends in the world.

Ever since then, when I hear this song, I go back to the memories of my 10 year old self (don’t you love how songs do that?) My favorite versions are by The Carpenters and James Taylor. I play them tirelessly on our Alexa in the kitchen as I cook dinner and wash dishes, just as my mom would do.

Of course I had to make this Christmas memory into a print, and now holiday cards. They are timeless, and some of my favorite holiday decor. When I see it not only do I feel festive, but I also feel so nostalgic. I am that terrified little girl, that put her nerves aside, made it happen and made herself really proud.

Do you have a holiday memory that you would like to have made into a print or cards?  I ADORE doing that for clients. Let me know! I recently designed one for a friend that accidentally would misspell “Ho, ho, ho” to “Oh, oh, oh” as a child.  We made her prints to give out as gifts this year and I can’t wait to hear about how they react. How adorable is that?!?

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas, friends.  From me to you.


Don’t forget about my holiday open house, this Saturday 12/8!

 

Tired of feeling so frazzled?

Friend: How are you?
Me: Ugh, I’m just so busy! You?
Friend: Me too! I can’t seem to catch up or get out of my own way.
Me: OMG, same! When will our lives feel less chaotic?
Friend: I don’t know, when our kids are out of the house?
Me: (Laughs) Sad but true.

Is this you, and your friends? It certainly seems to be the convo I have had over and over (and over!) with my girlfriends for the last several years.
And, well, it sucks. I don’t want to feel so frazzled all the time. I don’t want to wish this time away while my kids are young. I truly want to enjoy them, be present, and not feel so… busy

So how do we do that?  I am still learning every single day, I will tell you that. But I am definitely taking notes and trying to notice what works for me and what doesn’t. One thing FOR CERTAIN that helps me stay clearer about my intentions each day, is the morning ritual of writing down some notes about the day as I drink that first cup of coffee (actually it’s the second cup. The first one is consumed as I am wrangling the boys to school.) My friend Jess, taught me the importance of setting intentions for the day. It can truly set the tone for the day just by putting it out there in the universe.

Next, I break up my day into work and personal priorities, school commitments, self care, and of course the ever dreaded dinner plan. For whatever psychological reasons there are behind this, the day seems so much more manageable when it’s broken down into segments. Just by taking it one thing at a time, I get a sense of accomplishment along the way. And that motivates me to get more of the things done.

Of course my go-to tool for all this organizing is none other than the Seize the Day Notepad It makes perfect sense to me why it’s the best seller in the online shop, and why most of our wholesalers can’t keep it in stock!

One last thing to share… Our Modern Arrow Organization Collection was chosen for the Old Port Magazine Holiday Gift Guide this year. I am so excited to have ATD selected, and to represent in our other home-state, Maine. Thank you Old Port Magazine!!! Once I get a copy, I will share it right here.

Ok busy friends, carpe diem! And share with me how you use your #seizethedaynotepad!

One of the best compliments of my life…

When I had my third son, I will never forget what a dear friend said to me, “I always knew you were meant to be a boy mom.” It was a huge compliment. But how did he know that? I grew up with three sisters, and girls were what I knew, and expected!

So when I was blessed with three bouncing, bruising, dirty, antsy, and loud little boys… I was kind of stunned. Where are the barrettes, the tap shoes, the frilly dresses I envisioned? Instead of arts and crafts, my life was filled with dump trucks, dinosaurs, and lots of dirty laundry. What?!?

Once the first little guy was born, it didn’t take long to figure out that constant movement was the requirement to thrive (him) and survive (me.) We did what I dubbed the “playground circuit”, visiting every and any playground in driving distance. HOURS were spent watching train after train puff down any tracks we could find. Biking, strolling, jogging and skipping happened every single day.  It was non stop action, all the time. 

Then we had two more boys… and cripes, was I tired.

When my oldest son started playing organized sports, I began to understand what my friend meant about me being a destined “boy mom.” I could really get into this; watching him learn and grow with each new sport he tried. From T-ball to swimming, I was there, and I was FOR SURE the loudest cheerleader.

Now with the three boys, we have an endless schedule of sports obligations. And yes of course it’s daunting at times. But honestly, watching my kids play sports brings me so much joy. The life lessons they learn, the friends they make (whose parents have become some of my best friends in the world!), and the ups and downs of winning and losing… I love it all.

This mama has thoroughly embraced the baseball/basketball/skiing/swimming/golf mom lifestyle. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


“All you need is love & baseball”, 8×10 print.

My two oldest sons play in their Fall Baseball League championship games this Saturday. I am so excited and nervous already. We are currently prepping them for the possible outcome, no matter what happens. Wish us luck, friends!


These brand new prints are in the shop, in 3 colors!  The perfect coach’s gift 😉

 

 

September is the new January…

September always feels like the new year to me. Kids go back to school… and I get back on track.  But sometimes it feels overwhelming, and I feel like I can’t catch up. Sometimes it takes me until October to catch my breath. My coach Jen Liddy gave me a few tips to help, and she wrote about it here. It might help you– so I’m passing it along… check out her workshop this fall to help YOU get back on track and stop the overwhelm.

Get your tickets here– and save yourself from the crazy Fall feeling that I’ve struggled with for so long.

I am applying this #backontrack advice to all facets of my life. I got back on my yoga mat today after a couple months away from it, and it felt soooo good! Over this past weekend, and even this morning before my class, I was almost in tears over the pain my body is constantly in. What the heck, I’m 40, not 90! I just can’t seem to get my body back to where it feels good, and strong, and healthy again.

Fast forward, 75 minutes (the length of the amazing Yin Yang class at Syracuse Yoga), and I feel hopeful again. I know my body CAN heal. I just need to believe it, get to yoga, and get back on track. September is the new January, baby!

Keep track of your progress and motivate yourself to keep going with my Back on Track notepad. I keep mine on the kitchen counter, so I can’t help but see it several times throughout the day.

“How you TREAT your body this week, is how your body will FEEL next week.”

So, who’s  with me? Share with me how you are getting yourself back on track this month with the hashtag #backontrack and tag @annietaylordesign on Instagram! Good luck, friends. I am right here with you.

The BEST part of our summer, 2018

This summer I got intentional. I made the conscious choice to try and slow down; for my kids, for my husband, for my dogs, and especially for myself. The time had come to give myself a  little break from the frazzled entrepreneur life and to just be more available. Did it work?  Yes, mostly

I absolutely flubbed up regularly; I lost my cool on the kids with their endless fighting (especially towards the end of summer), I didn’t disconnect from my phone as much as I hoped, I overdid the eating and drinking, and probably a lot of others things I am forgetting on purpose 😉

We took a few more day trips this summer, we also took full advantage of the beaches and the cove. I am pretty sure Sully broke his record for amount of sea glass found. Link became quite the surfer. Nolan really REALLY enjoyed the new privilege and responsibility of riding his bike to town. Kevin reeled in an almost 300 pound blue fin tuna on his good friend’s fishing boat! And I walked all over town with my dogs while taking photos with my iphone. All the things that bring us each, individually, happiness. 

Always top on the summer must-do list is reconnecting with our good friends and family while in Maine. Coffee on the porch, cookouts at the point, long days at the beach and long walks to catch up on life. I miss that focused time to connect with everyone already.

We had lots of fun visitors, all of which helped with projects on the cottage. Moving furniture, cleaning, painting, building and hanging things. Thank you all, we could not have done all that alone!!!!!

I also rediscovered how much I adore DIY projects, while updating our new (old!) rental property, Sea Road Cottage. Kevin and I worked so hard all of July and August, putting our stamp on the place, turning it over for renters every few days, and managing all the details that come along with owning a property. Link to cottage: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/25918671?s=51

It was overall, a very lovely summer. But there was a surprise that came from the summer of 2018 that all five of us agree was THE best… our new rescue pup, Barley. He came from Georgia, was trucked up to the Animal Welfare Society of Maine, and now lives happily in his forever home with us in Syracuse, New York. So now we have three dogs to go with our three kids, and the Taylor household is at max capacity… just the way we like it 😉


So how do Zuzu and Olive feel about the new addition?…

Ok mamas, good luck with back to school prep, and getting a routine back in place! I hope to be back on here more regularly, too. Drop me a line to let me know how YOU are doing!

Talk soon,