Minnow + Co. and Ellen: 12 Blogger Christmas

Childbirth. Or, wait, no - it was actually everything that came after childbirth. I ended up unexpectedly taking a year off of work after my daughter was born (oh, babies sometimes refuse a bottle altogether? Greeeaaaat.) and desperately needed a creative, non-infant-related outlet. The first blog I had was more of a space for my sleep-deprived ramblings, but what came after that was actually a HUGE step for me. When I was ready to go back to work, I realized that it was time for me to finally give myself a chance to breathe life into the dreams I'd been holding hostage for years. It was finally time to snatch the opportunity to be the person I had always been behind the scenes, only this time to make it public, to own it, and to finally give myself credit for the work I produce. In short, it was the best decision I've ever made and I can't believe I waited as long as I did. It's been two years of hustling HARD, but I'm happier than I've ever been in any other job. 
Minnow + Co. is an evolution in process and to be honest, it's been seriously neglected lately. I imagined in the beginning that I'd do some event planning and see where it went from there. But I realized very quickly that the events weren't the right focus for Minnow + Co. I've found that design and styling - for homes, offices, photo shoots, and corporate displays - is what has kept me on that happy high for the past two years. I contribute weekly to DIY Network's Made + Remade, which was this crazy, out-of-left-field, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that keeps me busy. And given that I still have a 3/4 time office job with significant demands, I haven't been able to prioritize Minnow + Co. like I wish I could. 
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - this one is so special because it was the first real post on Minnow + Co. and because it was MY little minnow's second birthday party.

ALT Summit NYC - The Biggest Thank You - Going to AltNYC was HUGE for me. Life changing. I felt like I'd finally found my tribe and where I belonged. It was the best whirlwind working weekend of my life. 

photo by Justin Hackworth

Drink, Drank, Drunk...Sober - This was one of the scariest things I've ever done. Getting sober is intensely personal, and I'm fairly private about why I don't drink. Think about it - in this age where everyone knows everything and potential employers check your social media to assess your viability as a candidate, did I really want to put it out there that I've been sober for 11 years? Yeah, it's great that I'm on the wagon, but "alcoholic" is kind of a scarlet letter kind of word. But I am so, so, so very glad I wrote this. And hit publish. I feel like I'm at my best when I'm most honest and vulnerable, and I think that people respond most strongly to authenticity. As long as no one wants to see my underwear drawer, I'm pretty much an open book these days. 
My big wish is that I could devote more, if not all, of my time to determining the path and future of Minnow + Co. It's a more challenging jigsaw puzzle than I've been able to figure out in the past year, but I'm really hoping that at some point soon, I can put all of my eggs in one basket and just go for it. I read something recently that there's actually no such thing as multitasking, only distracted action. I'm still scratching my head about that, because I multi-task a LOT, but I would like to put more single-minded attention on the best job I've ever had.
In 2014, I want to get back to one of the top priorities of my business plan: highlighting good people doing good things. I have put my pals up on DIY Network as many times as possible under the Made + Remade "Creative Genius" profile, but I want to shine the spotlight on as many people as I can. It is INCREDIBLE to me how many people I know who are doing SPECTACULAR things. If I have any sort of platform to highlight artists, makers, designers, and artisans, I'm going to use it.
Ellen is a woman full of spunk, pizzazz, and personality. And did I mention dynamo style and creativity? She's newer to the scene of blogging, but you'd never know it. She has been hitting her stride over on the DIY Network. Her fresh perspective and cutting edge have rocketed her to the top. If you're looking for someone to watch in 2014, keep your eye on Ellen!

On the sixth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Minnow + Co.

On the fifth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Donuts, Dresses, and Dirt.

On the fourth day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design + Life + Kids.

On the third day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Design Stitch Go.

On the second day of Christmas, Pars Caeli gave to me Trouvé Magazine.

And Lulu the Baker !

Happy New Year, friends! Thank you for making 2013 such a smashing success for Pars Caeli. There is so much goodness awaiting us in 2014 - new learning, new collaborations and projects, and new opportunities!!

Join us tomorrow with a fabulous food blogger who knows how to stay on budget and do it all in style!

xoxo, MJ