Thank you to the beautiful Gina for asking me to share about my life! There’s nothing I love more then guest blogging for my amazing (and talented) friends. Gina is truly a rare gem and I’m so thankful we stumbled across each other via Twitter several months ago.
My name is Elise Ostermann and I am currently the Art Director at “Hey, Sweet Pea.” I specialize in branding + design and my boyfriend, Scott, specializes in video + animation. Needless to say, we are quite the creative duo!
But we didn’t always own a small business. Up until one month ago I was a designer for SONY’s digital media marketing department in Los Angeles. I was commuting 2 hours a day and away from home 11-12 hours a day. Although I loved being a part of the Hollywood and LA scene I craved the flexibility of my own schedule, I yearned for more creative projects, and I wanted one-on-one relationships with clients. So after 5 months of planning, dreaming, researching, and networking, I made the leap! I quit my day job, left my LA apartment, and took my first big road trip. Landing in Texas wide eyed, nervous, and excited, I officially launched HEY, SWEET PEA.
Oftentimes, people ask what my new life looks like. First of all, my day consists of lots and lots of…sitting. I stare at my large computer monitor all day, sometimes for 10-12 hours straight. I respond to emails, send invoices, design, run our social marketing platforms, have client meetings, and play my music really loudly!
One lesson I learned right away was how important it is to stick to a schedule. When you work from home, it’s easy to lose track of time, spend too many hours on a minuscule task, or work way too hard. That’s why Scott (the man who always looks out for me,) made me a little schedule to which I stick.
MORNING: My mornings start off with some bed making, cleaning, and a hearty breakfast. Scott and I are P90X fanatics, so we love to eat big healthy breakfasts. I pick out a dress for the day (my favorite outfit). Then I walk six steps, plop down at my desk, and spend the rest of the morning responding to emails, sending out our price sheet, corresponding with potential/current clients, and chatting online with my favorite inspirational colleagues. I also look for some daily inspiration on: http://www.thefwa.com/ OR http://dribbble.com/
LUNCH: It’s always important you take a lunch break! I’ve always struggled with taking a break in the middle of the day, but I’m working hard at taking some time off to let my brain/body rest. I usually heat up some healthy leftovers (from the night before) or make a fresh salad. Oftentimes, I’ll lay out by the pool or watch a TV show (yes, I love http://abcfamily.go.com/).
AFTERNOON: I spend the afternoon focusing on design. I have a weekly/monthly schedule to which I try to stick. I love focusing on one project at a time, but oftentimes I am juggling so many clients I have to touch multiple projects in a day. Sometimes I’m designing for a huge corporation, sometimes I’m designing a logo for a small business, sometimes I’m designing a website for a photographer, other times I’m creating artwork for TV shows, computer software, or nonprofits. It all depends on the day and the current clients I have. Some of my work can be found here: http://eliseostermann.tumblr.com/
LATE AFTERNOON: This is when I take a break from the business/design side and focus on HEY, SWEET PEA’s online presence. I’m a huge Twitter/Facebook fan and love interacting with my followers or posting sneak peaks of our current work. Most of my clients come from Twitter and Facebook, so it’s important I set aside time specifically for those platforms. If you ever want to write my company during this time I’m on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/HeySweetPea & Twitter here: @EliseOstermann
EVENING: I always try and take the evening off. It’s hard to leave your work behind when the work is sitting in the next room. The concept “don’t take your work home with you,” isn’t the same for a small business owner. So, I like to make sure and stop working at a decent hour, cook up something delicious (we’re currently loving the recipes over at: http://www.skinnytaste.com/), watch some TV, go on a date with Scott, or work out. If I have to work, I always try to work after I’ve taken a good long break. I also try and go to bed at a decent hour. As a small business owner, and a creative, it’s easy to get burnt out. So I always try to let myself rest, take a break, and recuperate before the next day.
Although the life of a small business owner or a graphic designer may sound o-so-glamorous, it has its mundane and normal tendencies, just like any other profession or schedule. But, the most amazing part is, I get to work from home and I get to design my heart out. As any new business owner would tell you, it’s a work in progress. I’m learning new things every day. I’m making mistakes, but I’m also making huge leaps forward. I’m thankful for this time in my life. I’m thankful for this opportunity. And I’m thankful to Gina for asking me to share my life with you.
PHOTO CREDIT [First Image]:
Margaret Jacobsen Photography
You might also enjoy: A Day in the Life of Cedar Taylor of TheVintageWife.com
Hello! My name is Cedar. I am a mama, a wife, a painter, a cook, a vintage fanatic, and a blogger ( TheVintageWife.com ). May 4th of this year I became a mom for the first time to my darling girl, Lucille Darlene. Since then my life has changed infinitely. I work harder, sleep less, and somehow have yet to completely lose my mind. Every day brings a new adventure, and after two months I finally feel like I have a grasp on keeping our household in somewhat running order.
Most of our day is spent like this. Lucy loves being carried around in the sling. Sometimes she will watch quietly as I go about doing things around the house, other times she will take short baby naps, and sometimes she will talk to me in coos. I absolutely love wearing her. Not only am I able to have my hands free, but it is wonderful having her so close to my body. Wearing her enables me to see all the things that she sees and watch and hear her reaction to things in our day to day life.
Lucy sleeps in the bed with us. It wasn’t planned that way, but after our first restless night home from the hospital she moved in with mom and dad. It is really convenient for nursing. During the night she will give me a couple kicks, I will roll over to feed her and fall back asleep. Dad never even wakes up (well until she needs a change, he does nighttime diaper duty). Most mornings I wake up to her cooing and squirming beside me in the bed. We snuggle for a bit before we get up. This is my favorite time of day, she is definitely a morning person like her mama. I put her in the sling and go help dad get ready for work; making him breakfast and packing his lunch. I also get Lucy cleaned up and fed, and try to get food for myself (though breakfast sometimes comes quite late).
During the week Lucy goes down for two naps. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. While she naps I race around like a mad woman, trying to get as much done in that time as I possibly can. I pick up clutter and fold laundry from the previous day. I plan dinner and start prepping it. I do a load of laundry, usually diapers. I try to work on writing a post for my blog. Certain tasks I will put off until she is awake, and I know I can get them done with Lucy in the sling. Things like sweeping, vacuuming, and putting clutter away are perfect while wearing her, as I don’t have to do much bending or straining.
Some days I am just too tired and need a break from the housework. As soon as baby is down for a nap I kick my feet up on the couch and watch some instant Netflix, read a book, or work on a painting. Unfortunately these days are few and far between, but I know as she gets older I will regain a bit more “me time”.
Every day in the afternoon when Lucy wakes up from her second nap we play. Some days we will take a bunch of silly pictures on the bed, other days I will sing to her and make silly faces, and some days I will turn on a record and we will dance around the living room. She absolutely loves music, and even more loves the constant movement.
In the afternoon before dad comes home I put Lucy down on her play mat while I get dinner ready. She is usually very happy to have some time to sit and play on her own. She lays and chatters away to the dangling toys as I finish up. Often she will watch our hyperactive cats race by with a big grin on her face.
Unless we are leaving the house Lucy spends the day in just her diaper, summers in Southern California can be a bit brutal. Quite honestly though, who doesn’t love seeing a cute little squishy baby body?
Dad usually comes home while Lucy is playing on her mat, though some days she lets me know she would rather be in the sling. We take turns holding her as we eat dinner. It has been ages since we had a meal together. After dinner we put Lucy in her swaddle and walk her around the house for a little bit to calm her down. I usually nurse her to sleep, and then go out to the living room and have some wine to relax.
It has been such a crazy journey thus far. I never in a million years could have imagined the ways my life would change in just two short months. I know the road ahead is ever changing, but there are some important things I have learned along the way:
- Everything takes time. No longer can I do a quick run to the store for an item I forgot to put on the list. I have learned to be much more thorough when writing my shopping lists.
- Babies don’t go to sleep on their own. This shocked me, I had no idea that I would have to nurse/rock/walk around with Lucy until she fell asleep. I naively thought babies would just fall asleep when bed time rolled around.
- Ask lots of questions and ask for help. I can not stress this enough. I am the kind of person that likes to figure things out on my own, and am definitely not one to ask for help. When you are responsible for a little life and really don’t know what you are doing, asking for help is the only thing you can do if you want what is best for your baby.
- Chores are not that important. Yes, we need clean dishes, clothes and home, but if they don’t get done they don’t get done. Life moves on.
- Above all else baby is the most important thing. I would rather spend an hour staring into her eyes than an hour doing anything else.