Back on the wagon- Couch to 5K running plan

So it has been about 8 weeks since I last ran. the October snowfall and cold spell stopped me early this year and then when i could go back, I was so caught up in getting ready for the Christmas season that I just didn't make the time.

But for the next few weeks I am visiting C's family in Puerto Rico so I promised myself to take advantage of the warm weather and get back to running.

Oh how much I lost in 8 weeks..

So last I ran I was on Day 1 of week 5...Now I am back on week 3 and struggling to run 3 minutes straight. I know some of it is that I lost stamina, I haven't been taking the best care of myself and i put weight back on and didn't sleep or eat right for two months. But i am ashamed at how much I had to backtrack.

Today was my third try at the workout and I still can't make it the 3 minutes. I will try again Sunday. I also know that the heat and humidity is making it harder for me. All I can do is keep trying. I hope that before I go back home I can be on week 4 and then if it is nice enough out I can keep going from there. I have 11 more days to try.. that is all I can do, try...

wish me luck.

Time to catch up

So i was so exhausted by the last week of Chriskindlmarkt that I just couldn't blog it. But now I can do some catchup on that at Christmas City Village.

So chriskindlmarkt...

1) turned out OK. It wasn't the stellar sales of last year, but it was better than 2009, so my trend of doing better each year (ignoring 2010) is still there.

2) five weeks is tough on me. I need to be better prepared next year both in inventory and in stamina

3) I am torn when it comes to having the bigger booth. I know that it helps sales because there is more room for people to look around in, but I am not sure it is worth my return on investment yet. i just dont see myself going back any time soon.

4) yes there are some kinks to work out, but i think the show will be better than ever next year.

Christmas City Village

1) it amazes me that two shows so close to each other can both do so well

2) the booths needs some work and some tweaks, but they will be better each year as time goes on

3) the nice weather was a big plus, this show is dependant on it

4) lots of news media picked up the story and that was a huge help too.

5) even the last weekend so close to Christmas 9on Christmas Eve) was sucessful

So comparing the two shows is like apples and oranges. One is quaint, the other showy and I think they draw a different demographic. I was lucky to be able to take part in both and I would like to keep doing that for as long as possible. the combination of the two really ended the year on a great note and set us up to survive the next few months without shows.


Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 15

Just a few things to say about today...

Much better than expected. Sales were brisk and I finally started seeing some of the "regulars" come out in larger numbers. Maybe the cold finally drove everyone inside to shop.

Odd sales... three shave mugs... in a row...hardy ever sell three a day and then to have them right after one another...just an odd start to the day.

To the person who stole a bar of soap from me...I saw you...I know what you look like...I only didn't run you down because my booth was too full for me to get out of it...probably the reason why you stole it in the first place..learn some patience, wait your turn in line...

To those artisans who are up in sales.. I am happy for you, it couldn't be happening to nicer people. To those of us who are down but accepting it with an "it is what it is" mentality, you are my heroes, I learn how to make the best out of a not great situation from you, thank you. And to those who are down and can't stop botching and wining over it, get over it and get over yourself, you will look back in a few months and be embarrassed by your words and actions. And if you are not you should be more ashamed of yourselves. You get what you put out into the world and spreading unhappiness and being cranky only gets you back people who are unhappy and cranky, and those are the ones browsing not shopping. You are getting what you are giving out.

And those are my thoughts for the day!


Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 14


Last year this day I was proclaiming Best Day Ever... this year it's only the best day so far and sales were down by half from last year.

I am not the only one. So many people have a sob story to tell and you can't know which ones are true and which ones are just so your friends aren't jealous of your success. But of the people I know, the people I trust, sales are down or even, there is no up.

I am tired, and ready for a few days off. These last few days have mentally and physically tired me out. I hope I can fit in time for a nap on Monday.


Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 13

Today I had to leave a very sick kitty home alone. It made me sad and I cried most of the morning. She wasn't with us when we all returned home, and the vet came to take her from us so she could be cremated. I am glad that I decided to stay home on Thursday rather than go out with friends, it gave me one last night with my fur baby.

This is the time of the year where it is hard to have a real life, to balance personal with professional. We leave the house at 9 am to go to the show and return home at 9 pm. That gives us 12 hours for sleep, packing inventory, sending out orders, eating breakfast, taking showers, and well...trying to be human to the rest of the family and our friends. I wish everyone understood what all people in retail give up so that they can enjoy their shopping experiences. There should be a national "be nice to your retail associate day".

Sales were ok, not terrific, but OK. But more importantly was my customers. I met a mom who is a fizzy fan and looks for them every year under her tree, my friends the young newly wed couple who just came by to say hello, and about a dozen other repeat customers who consistently plastered a smile onto my face. I wasn't sad all day, I couldn't be surrounded by the love I felt. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

Well, today is the big day, bet Saturday for the show (usually) lets see what happens!


Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 12

Well today sucked, but because of personal reasons, not because of sales.

My kitty is sick, and I don't think GinSue will make it until Monday (when we have the vet visiting to euthanize her). I was a wreck all morning and on the verge of tears all day. I don't pray often, but I stood in my booth praying to "not loose my shit" today". It worked. I was blessed with friends who gave me things to do (planning a 2012 vacation) and lots of customers, and sales to boot. so my mind was kept busy and my hands were kept busy and I made it through the day.

I forgot my money at the show, so I hope it is still there when I get in today, so I have no idea what my sales were. I forgot my inventory list, so I have to try and remember what I need to bring in today too.

Ginny is more sick today. I don't want C to come home from his trip and find her gone, but I hope that she passes over soon so she is a kitten again in whatever heaven cats go to.


Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 11

Sunday December 4

Whoo Hoo, a good day all around. Both dad and I had two very strong, solid sales days. He called me around three to tell me he was doing good despite his cold. I am hoping having a few days off will let him recuperate and help him feel better.

Some of my neighbors who have been complaining about slow sales now say they are up, others are up from last year as well, and still others who can't stop complaining are "up but it should be better than this"... really??? Be serious now people!!!!

I even made a few sales of some knitted things at Indiemade since my knitting friends had a booth there.

Gonna be a busy week, have to get inventory ready for a new store opening in Easton, and we vend Tuesday at Mulhenberg College. I have a few Christmas gifts I need to get knitting, and sachets to make.....

No rest for the weary this week :)

Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 10

Saturday December 3

Now this is more like it! It was a very good day. Now it was not as great as 2010, but that was one of the highest attended days ever, but it was good enough that I am now running neck and neck with my 2009 numbers.

Last year was terrific, you couldn't wipe the happy off my face, but when I went back and looked, it was way up from 2009, so far up that I certainly couldn't expect 2011 to keep pace or exceed it. So now I am right on target as if 2010 never existed and I base my sales expectations and growth expectations on 2009 numbers.

Perfect. Right where I want to be.

Then add on all of dad's hard work at Christmas City Village and sales for the year will hit target projections and we can pay off some debt and start next year with enough money in the bank to pay bills, pay show fees, and start making soap. As long as the next three weeks go as planned. I big storm will mess these hopes all up but I think the weather looks good.

But I am finally happy, smiling, and not scared as hell.


Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 9

Friday December 2: Day 9

The day started out great, dad was on the morning news at Christmas City Village. Somehow he still managed to get a plug in for Chistkindlmarkt, bravo!

I had about a half dozen customers comment on his morning spot. He did me so proud!

The day for me was mediocre. I expected better from this Friday based on previous years but it wasn't bad at all. It was a very solid day, with a decent amount of people.

Many of my counterparts are still cranky. I wish some of them had the common sense to stop complaining about customers (or the lack thereof) when there s actually a customer in the booth. Some of them are costing me and other crafters sales and if it happens again today I am going to go ballistic. The lack of professionalism appalls me. I am doing my best to hide in my booth and stay out of it except for checking in with a few of my closet friends. I know I have to do a better job at it too and that is my goal for the next two days.

Christkindlmarkt 2011: Day 8

Thursday December 1 Day 8

There isn't much to say about today. Sales were slow, I was cold, and I a tired of my fellow artisans being cranky. It is what it is... We are scheduled for the time we are here, nothing we can do will change things, other than putting on put festive clothes, our biggest smiles, and start oozing holiday cheer.

I remember why I dislike working in a corporate situation...too much drama, too much whining. I like fast paced shows where I come in, work hard, and go home to my family and friends. And this just hasn't been as fast paced as previous years.

Fast paced isn't all about sales, it's about people and having interest and about having people present and engaged. There are days all I do is answer questions, explain my process, and encourage sniffing, yet make minimal sales, but those days are fun and go by fast.

I wish I could see real demographic information about this show, especially comparing the last few years. This year seems to be skewing older and less local. But maybe that is just my gut feeling about it based on who does come in my booth and buys.

But I got lots of work done and things accomplished, and that is never a bad day.