Start Here

Start Here

This website, Thoughts & Designs, was created with the goal of providing you with my own thoughts and tips for life, and designs and tools for living it based on my own work from home experiences as well as helping other entrepreneurs with their websites and graphic design needs. From tips to starting a home business and thoughts on setting and achieving goals, to free resources including menu planning pages and the Knowing my God devotional, I have been creating web content to bless and encourage since 2004, when this site was originally called Joyful Momma.

Because I have just over ten years of content that I’ve curated on this website, I’ve created this page to help you get your bearings a bit easier.

How I’ve Learned to Get More Done with Less Effort

I used to enjoy the rush that came from always rushing around with something to do, even if I never left my house to do it. I had a dizzying list of things I liked to accomplish each day, including cooking, baking, reading, and so forth. Being busy is not the same thing as being productive and working towards your goals and purpose in life.

The lesson was a hard one to learn, but eventually, I figured out that being busy is not the same thing as being productive and working towards your goals and purpose in life.  

One of the most frustrating parts of life, for me, is the fact that there doesn’t seem to be enough time in each day to do what I want to do or feel like I need to do. The simple fact is, no one has the time to do everything they would like to do. We don’t need more hours in our day. We need to focus more on what is really important to us and to walk away from what isn’t. Here are 8 Steps to focusing on what is really important to you.

Part of my method for time management and greater productivity is figuring out a planner system that works best for me. After trying every planner under the sun, I finally realized that simple works better. I use a combination of Evernote, Google Keep, and Google Calendar to keep my life organized. The best part? The paper clutter has been cut back on too. No more little notes everywhere.

Although I love paper menus and calendars and have even created some great free calendars and free menu planners for you to use, I’ve even taken to organizing my recipes and menus with a combination of Google Keep and Google Calendar. Life is so much easier with all of that stored for easy reference. I am even able to more easily share recipes with friends when asked.

How I've Learned to Get More Done with Less Effort #productivity #timemanagement Click To Tweet

How to Create Residual Income as a Designer on Zazzle

I’m also pretty passionate about design and entrepreneurship. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur since I first found out that such a thing was even possible. As a result, I’ve written many posts geared specifically towards home business.

I have been selling my own custom designs on Zazzle for a few years now, and have been excited as a stream of residual income has grown. At first, when I originally started selling on Zazzle during a year long Side-Hustle experiment, I didn’t make very much money. However, nearly a year after I set up my Zazzle store (and gave up), Zazzle one day clicked for me. Suddenly, one of my products went viral without me doing anything. Before I knew it, I had achieved Pro Seller status.

What is Zazzle? Zazzle is a Print on Demand company, which means they print up products with designs on them only when they are ordered. This enables designers like myself to sell custom designed products without having to pay to create a huge inventory of products. Using print on demand like Zazzle also enables me to test out product designs to see what works and what doesn’t.

What kind of products do I sell on Zazzle?

Although it’s important to find your own niche when starting on Zazzle or creating your own home business, there are some kinds of products that sell better than others on Zazzle based on the customers they attract over at Zazzle.

The products that seem to sell the best fall into three categories for me:

  1. Any product that can be personalized by the customer ordering it. My most popular product is a set of Kitchen Labels, and in second would be my Bookplate designs.
  2. Clever Tshirts are also very popular. This is understandable. As you can tell from my Pinterest board of the same title, I have a T-shirt addiction. I’d have gotten married in a Hoodie or T-shirt if my mom hadn’t disapproved.
  3. I’ve also been making some great shopping bags and tote bags which seem to do well. This is also something that I enjoy buying myself (I have a crazy big collection of them), so I know the market so to speak.

My Zazzle Designs

I try to post my different Zazzle Designs on this website over here, My Zazzle Designs. You can also look at the Thoughts and Designs Zazzle storefront over here to see all of the different designs I have available. I’m always adding new content to my Zazzle store, so bookmark it and check back frequently.

By the way, there is ALWAYS something on sale over at Zazzle. Check out the current sales and coupon codes at the Zazzle store by looking at the top of the website. I also try to share the current Zazzle Coupon codes and sales on my Twitter feed. 

Things to Consider When Having a Logo Designed

As a designer, my favorite kind of project is logo design.

You may be wondering, “What is a Logo?” The most basic definition is a mark that identifies a brand at a glance. The best examples of this include Nike and Starbucks. You instantly know what company is represented by their logos without any words.

I used to work at a print shop where we called it a logo if we typed the name in one of seven fonts and added a clip art next to it. Ugh. THAT is NOT a logo. 

Sometimes, people confuse the words “Logo”, “Branding”, and “Identity”. I‘ve written more about the difference between Logos, Identity, and Branding in another post.

Say No to Sweat Shop Logo Design

When you’re hiring someone to develop a logo for your business, you’re not just paying for the picture of the logo you get at the end of the process. 

A logo is not a thing that you simply purchase, as you would a bag of chips or a bottle of soda. This is the business model of those logo design sweatshops that clog up the front page of Google, but it’s not a good idea. Design, including Logo Design, is a service, and it takes time. Good design is so much more than the end product you receive when the project is over.

As much as I love a good bargain, a great price shouldn’t be your primary consideration when hiring a logo designer. I’ve written more about what makes a Logo great over here.

I’d Love to Work with You to Bring Your Project to Life

I love creating logos for small businesses and organizations and have worked with many work from home moms and other entrepreneurs. I have my own process that I follow when I create your logo, which I have written more about here.

One of the things that continue to stick with me about logo design, however, is the need for any logo I develop to work both in Black and White as well as in whatever brand colors we choose. As my professor from college used to say, “If a Logo doesn’t work in black and what, it doesn’t work.” 

If you’d like more information on how I can help bring your project to life, visit my hire me page.