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Jan 14, 2019

Doing Good By Giving Back - A Recap of 2018 donations

Doing Good By Giving Back - A Recap of 2018 donations - unionshoreblog.com

I did a horrible job of updating you on the different charities we donated to last year. And I'm sorry for that! (If you're new around here or didn't know we donate, read more here.)  Just because I wasn't updating frequently, does NOT mean I stopped giving. Donations were still made almost every month and and I'm happy to share that we donated just over $550 to such great causes! To some that might not seem like a lot for the whole year and I wish I could give more, but my shop is small and the income fluctuates greatly, so please keep that in mind! ;)

So I just wanted to shine a little spotlight on the amazing organization's we helped last year. I urge you to check some of these great causes out... and maybe add one or two to your giving list! ;)


House With A Heart
A senior pet sanctuary for dogs and cats who have lost their families and homes through no fault of their own. Because of their advanced age and various medical conditions, they have little chance of being adopted. Once a dog became a resident, it would have a loving home for life. Current residents are provided with a comfortable home environment, healthcare and wellness screenings, grassy fields (fenced yard) on a two-acre property to roam and play on and LOTS of love!
website // facebook // instagram


Saint Francis Service Dogs
Assisting children and adults with disabilities become more independent and self-sufficient through a partnership with a professionally trained service dog. It takes two years and costs up to $25,000 to train one service dog and Saint Francis absorbs this cost and does not charge for service dogs. Saint Francis Service Dogs is the largest service dog organization in Virginia and is accredited by Assistance Dogs International.
website // facebook // instagram


Oldies But Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue
An all-volunteer, non-profit rescue (VA/D.C. area) dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homeing cocker spaniels and spaniel mixes of all ages and health conditions. (donated twice)
website // facebook // instagram


Abandoned Angels Cocker Spaniel Rescue
Another awesome non-profit organization (NYC area) dedicated to the rescue and re-homing of cocker spaniels and other dogs in need of loving forever homes.
website // facebook // instagram


Blue Line Bears
Started by the daughter of a police officer with the goal is to help the children of fallen officers. Uniform shirts are cut, sewn and stuffed into a teddy bear keepsake, providing a tangible reminder of their loved one. Each bear is given a St. Michael medal and blessed by a priest before being mailed to the family - all of this is done at no expense to the family.
website // facebook // instagram


Mercy Chefs
Feeding body and soul by providing professionally prepared, restaurant quality meals for victims, volunteers and first responders in national emergencies and natural disasters. (donated twice)
website // facebooK // instagram


Surfrider Foundation - OBX Chapter
81 chapters in 10 regions with 1 mission: to help keep our water clean and beaches healthy. The OBX chapter is focused on issues like banning plastic bags and trying to stop offshore drilling.
website // facebook


Mount Kilauea Volcano Eruption
I picked a 3 different (verified) GoFundMe campaigns to help support those affected by Hawaii’s volcano eruption.  We donated to an animal rescue and two personal recovery campaigns.



And the giving will continue in 2019! Causes near and dear to my heart like cancer research and a fallen officer foundation will be on the list! And of course dog rescues! ;)

It really feels good when I make these donations! And I will try and be better at updating you when donations are made! It doesn't matter how big or small the amount, every little bit helps and I'm sure these organizations appreciate every penny they get!



Together we're helping such great causes!



image by rawpixel on unsplash

Jan 3, 2019

Looking Forward



2018 was a weird year for me and on one hand, I'm kind of glad it's over. Last year I just felt like I was in a constant funk. It was a roller coast of emotions all year and I found myself being anxious, sad/depressed and uninspired... a lot. My friend, Huong, reminded me that even though last year might not have been the greatest, it was just one chapter of my life and not the whole book.

So I'm not gonna dwell on it. The New Year marks a clean slate, a fresh start and I can't wait to see where 2019 takes me because I don't really want a repeat of 2018. I have a few things on my to-do list (both big and small) and these are just a few goals I'm hoping to accomplish this year:


TAKE BETTER CARE OF MYSELF
I completely let myself go last year. Physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.... basically in all ways, so I'm making myself a priority. I didn't like the physical or mental state I was in last year, so I'm determined to have a happier and healthier 2019. I'm not gonna dwell on things or people that are unimportant and toxic and I'm going to appreciate the life and blessings I do have.  I'm going to make better eating choices and workout more. I'm finally going to go to the doctors to try and figure some things out. I'm going to put the phone down and meditate/read more. And lastly, I'm going to get better at going to church. I may have lost my way for a little bit, but I'm finding my way back.


HAVE MORE DATE NIGHTS
When you've been married for almost 10 years (together for 15! eeeek!) pretty normal to settle into a routine. And while we don’t have kids, we are a basically a one income family with an expensive dog (health issues), so finances can be tight sometimes. My plan is to try and have one date night a week. Most will be at home, probably cooking dinner together & a movie WITHOUT looking at our cell phones! And than maybe once a month try a new restaurant or something a little more fun. I’d also like to plan a weekend trip or two because it’s just nice to explore different places! I also want to work on being a little more affectionate and a little less critical.


EXPAND THE SHOP & BLOG MORE
This year I am committing to growing my shop and blog. When I rebranded in late 2017, I thought 2018 was gonna be my year! Well, it's safe to say that it wasn't. I didn't reach the goal I set for myself (for many different reasons) but the biggest was that I just lost the motivation. I want to help support our family and also give back to charities I believe in.  After I pay my monthly expenses (web hosting, Adobe creative suite, Etsy fees, donate, etc. etc.) my "profit" is still low and inconsistent month to month. So I've been working on a clearer vision and direction I want to go in with the products and designs I'm selling. So that means getting back into a routine, working from my "office" (or a coffee shop), putting in the hard work and actually treating Union Shore like the legitimate business it is! (I do pay taxes for it after all! lol)  


SPEND LESS / SAVE MORE
This is a tough one since we basically live paycheck to paycheck. Like I mentioned above, Brandon brings home the bacon in our house. ;) Sometimes things can get tight if I spend to much at Target, or we eat out a few too many times, not to mention Sonny's medications alone can cost a pretty penny! My goal is to really cut back on unnecessary purchases (I'm looking at you Target/TJMaxx). I don't need another sweater or vase, especially if it's full-price. I plan of being more frugal and intentional with purchases and putting any extra money towards date nights... and more importantly our savings account!


Even with the best of intentions, you can't be successful if you aren't motivated. That was one of my biggest problems in 2018 so sharing these "goals" with you will hopefully hold me accountable,  keep me productive and on track!


Hoping 2019 brings us all a successful & fulfilling year!
What are some of your goals for the new year?



photo via she sweats diamonds

Dec 31, 2018

Christmas 2018 - A Little Recap

Christmas 2018 Recap

I can't even believe it's already New Years Eve and another year is almost behind us! What happened to December? Or the whole year for that matter?? Even though I've been listening to Christmas music since Halloween, I feel like the whole Holiday season flew by WAY too fast. Faster than usual even. And for me, it was probably because I wasn't in the most festive mood until just a few days before Christmas....

Dec 13, 2018

Merry & Sweet: A Christmas Cookie Recipe Roundup

holiday cookie recipe roundup

Anyone else feel like the Holidays are sneaking up WAY to fast?! I haven't been in the most festive mood and have been slow to get my shopping done! (Someone tell me I'm not the only one!) Hoping to squeeze in some baking this weekend though -- usually sugar cookies & peanut butter blossoms -- but thinking I'll try one of the recipes below too...

Dec 3, 2018

FREE Printable Holiday Gift Tags

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

The new 2018 Holiday gift tag collection is here! This little freebie became such a tradition on my old blog that I actually felt sad not sharing any last year. (I wasn't blogging or designing much.) Even though this year has also been slow on the blog/design front, I knew I wanted to design and share a new set!

And once I started designing, I couldn't stop! So there are THREE new sets! (haha) My "normal" set with a little twist (a pretty scalloped edge!) and there are also two "fun" sets. I wanted to design a set of Santa/North Pole "mail" tags that you can even check off if they were naughty or nice. I also wanted something for my pet people! I designed those dog/cat faces years ago and wanted to incorporate them somehow. Both of these new designs are simple, sweet and great from kids, dog/cat people or anyone that's a kid-at-heart.

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog


Download them using the links below and get to wrapping! I would suggest a cardstock paper, trim to size using scissors (or if you're like me, an xacto) and attach with some pretty string or washi tape!

The black & gold are always a fan favorite, but I'm kind of loving the colorful ones this year! I'd love to know your favorite! If you need even more options or feel like mixing & matching, check out my previous collections right here!



PRINTING TIP:
Save ink and print them off at your favorite office supply store, like Staples or Office Max. If you do want to print at home, you can usually buy a few single pages of cardstock (for cheap!) from them too!
Just go to the print center and ask!



Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog

Free Printable Holiday Gift Tags | Union Shore Blog


Happy wrapping and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you! I really hope you enjoy using them as much as I loved designing them!

If you do use them, snap and share a picture on Instagram!
Tag me (@unionshore) and use #unionshoreholiday so I can see your pretty wrapping!!





LUMP OF COAL (black) // NAUGHTY & NICE (black & gold)
SUGARPLUM (whimsical) // SPECIAL DELIVERY // SANTA PAWS


Want even more? Check out my past collections, here.


TERMS & CONDITIONS: Free for PERSONAL USE ONLY. Printables can NOT be used for commercial use, edited or redistributed. You can't claim as your own or sell for a profit either. You CAN share this printable on your blog or social media, but please give credit and link directly to this post and NOT the downloadable file. Print results may vary depending on your printer and type of paper being used. If you have any issues/questions, please contact me. Thanks! :)

Nov 20, 2018

Support Small Business: 20+ Makers You Should Check Out

shop small, support small business


I know turkey day is two days away, but I wanted to share some awesome small shops that I think you'll like too! Many of them will probably have some great discounts this weekend since it's BlackFriday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday (lol), so I wanted to share now, so you can keep a lookout!

This is just a small list of the amazing makers out there! So grab some coffee (or hot cocoa) and start browsing! And maybe send some support their way! ;)

Nov 17, 2018

12 Recipes You Might Want To Add To Your Thanksgiving Menu



It’s so hard to believe that Thanksgiving will be here in a few days! I'm not exactly sure what I'm making yet because it's just the 2 of us. Plus Brandon has to work in the afternoon, so we'll be keeping it very low key and simple over here!

Since our "feast" will be very low key and simple, I’ve rounded up a few drool-worthy recipes that I wish I was enjoying. The only thing missing from the roundup is the turkey, because I figured you've already got that under control. And because Thanksgiving isn't JUST about the turkey! The sides and desserts are just as important! ;)


Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup
Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

I'm drooling over here! I seriously want to try them all!
Also, just an FYI, I haven't actually tried making any of these. But they sure look delicious, don't they?


What's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
And if you have a favorite recipe or food blog, leave a link in the comments!




GET THE RECIPES:
pumpkin cinnamon rolls // apple french toast bake // cranberry brie bites
roasted veggies with maple balsamic // sausage stuffing // cauliflower bacon gratin
shredded brussels sprouts // butternut squash mac and cheese // honey maple carrots
no bake mini cheesecakes // salted caramel pumpkin pie // pecan slab

Nov 15, 2018

It's Not Nice To Steal



Not really a post I wanted to write today (or ever), but after finding my work stolen for the third time, it was time to address it. And I know the saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" but it doesn't really feel good when your EXACT design is ripped off.

It’s nothing new to be inspired by another artists work. I’m inspired by amazing designers all the time, but there’s a huge difference between being influenced and completely ripping off someone's work. I’m not even talking about copying or when a design looks eerily similar. Yeah, that's not very cool either, but I think most designers have been there, on both sides. I’m mainly talking about knowingly lifting someone's design and claiming credit as your own. It's even worse when you profit from it. It's just wrong on so many levels!





For me personally, I don’t mind if you create something similar (not exact) to mine and use it for your own personal use. Of course, I’d love for you to purchase my products, because my little shop helps support my family. If you’re creative and crafty and I can inspire you, that’s great! Giving me proper credit or a link to my site is always appreciated too. But when someone crosses the line, and sells it commercially, I am not cool with that! I will report you (on Etsy, Zazzle, etc.) and take legal action, if necessary. As kids we're taught that stealing is wrong. It's not any different when your an adult or artist... you just don't do it! It’s wrong to claim and sell work that you didn’t spend time working on.

I have found my work stolen on 3 different occasions (that I know of) and it really sucks. In these instances they weren't even a copycat issue, they were blatant theft of my exact designs. The thief's literally used my free printable tag files (twice) and then I also found a few of my floral patterns (from Society6) being sold on larger site. I design things with heart and passion and so much time and effort goes into my work! Especially when I offer something for FREE, don't go around trying to sell and profit for your gain! It's just wrong and  when karma comes around, I hope it's not nice to you!


Please, don’t be "that" person.
You can be inspired, but please don't steal.



photo by dillon shook on unsplash

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