Friday, November 30, 2007

What are you ready to dump?

I mentioned to my husband this morning that we really need to go through our clothing and donate whatever we are not using. Since my husband and I were married three and a half years ago, we have moved from a house in Cincinnati to an apartment in Dallas, to a house in Dallas, and now to a condo in Fort Lauderdale. With every move we have been forced to clean out closets and donate more "stuff" than we ever even knew we had. It is a great feeling to know that your belongings that sit around gathering dust, are going to someone who will actually put them to use! It is also leaves you with a wonderfully free feeling...a great way to start the new year.

After mentioning this new goal of mine to my husband this morning, I came across this post on a newly found international blog Go! Smell the Flowers. The post is about dumping things from your life...and I love this!! We all need to dump a few things from our lives and I am going to start with my unused "stuff". I think I'm also going to add a few extra pounds to the list (I keep promising myself that I will start my workout classes next week). I'm also vowing right now to dump my baggage. I have come to a realization this week that some things are just out of my control. I will do everything in my power to run this business properly and make my customers happy, but I have to let go of the things that are behind me or simply out of my hands.

What do you need to dump from your life? Is it time to let go?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Delivery dates

"If you fill your heart with regrets of yesterday and the worries of tomorrow, you have no today to be thankful for."

"Thank God for what you have, TRUST GOD for what you need."

These quotes were sent to me yesterday, author unknown. As most of you know, this last month has been a huge challenge for me. I knew that starting a business, I would be wearing many hats and dealing with many people, but this last month has been a real test for me personally. I trust others and base my decisions on promises and deadlines. I personally will do whatever is in my power to keep my word...I am learning that not everyone has that same principle. I have promised our products to our customers based on dates provided to me by our factory. I understand that things happen out of our control, such as the hurricane, but other missed deadlines are just one excuse after another. As a business, I am trying to make this right with our customers, because they are my top priority, but it is killing me that I can not meet our delivery dates for them. Today, I received some of our products with incorrect measurements, which now have to be fixed...which, yes, once again causes more delays.

My pattern maker sent me these quotes yesterday, which truly got me through my day. I have accepted the challenge and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make our customers happy and this business a success...sometimes I just need to have a little pep talk with myself. I am so blessed to have the opportunity to create my dream and all dreams come with a few challenges. Our Pastor at Fellowship Church Miami always says that anything worth achieving requires hard work and some struggle. Today, I took a deep breath, put my worries aside for a few minutes and was able to focus on my appreciation and trust. It really felt great!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

So, with all of my production headaches this month, I decided that I needed a little getaway to secure my sanity. I convinced my husband to whisk me away to Disney World for the Thanksgiving holiday. Having not visited this land of happiness since childhood, I figured it would be a great place to escape from my manufacturing nightmare of a reality!

What an incredible experience!! I would highly recommend this getaway for any family, with or without children. Although my husband and I hope to have children of our own someday soon, this was a fabulous bonding experience for us and our marriage. We were able to smile, laugh, eat and walk our little hearts out!

I've heard that Thanksgiving was a great time to venture to the big DW, and I would have to agree. We never waited more than 45 minutes in a line, and even that was rare. We enjoyed the sunshine and 75 degree weather and really didn't miss the big turkey too terribly much. They do offer the traditional Thanksgiving meal at a few of the park restaurants, but we opted for the fish and chips at the Epcot UK pub.

I would have appreciated a few tips when planning my trip, so I wanted to post these for anyone planning to visit in the near future...

- We stayed at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel right across from Downtown Disney and loved it. We booked the TZoo Special, which made for better rates and free buffet breakfast (which usually costs $20/person).
- Stay at a hotel that offers free transportation to and from the resorts. Parking on site is about $11/day.
- For those parties of two, I would highly recommend the UK pub in Epcot. Everyone was so friendly and the food at the pub is less expensive than the restaurant that is attached.
- We went to the House of Blues for dinner on Friday night and were surprised by the semi-reasonable prices. We expected to endure tourist pricing at most restaurants near-by, but were pleasantly surprised that this restaurant was not too bad.
- The new Soarin ride at Epcot was definitely worth the wait, but if you go at closing time, the wait is about 1/2 as long as it is throughout the day.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

All great achievements require time

I received this little bit of advice today and wanted to pass it along. It applies to life in so many ways - building a business, managing a family, developing a marriage, any "achievement". Someone once told me that any success worth achieving requires work and will be painful at times. When you think about it, life's greatest achievements are by far the most work, but worth every ounce of it!

To achieve maximum success accept that progress
is made one step at a time.

Every big accomplishment is a series
of little accomplishments.

A building is built one brick at a time.
Foot ball games are won one play at a time.

Success is always the sum of small efforts,
repeated day in and day out.

No great thing is created suddenly
any more then a bunch of grapes
or an orange miraculously appears.

If you want an orange, you must give it time.
There must be time for it to blossom, bear fruit,
then ripen.

That which grows fast, withers as rapidly.
That which grow slowly, endures.

You walk over the highest mountain
one step at a time.

Copyright 2007
Reproduce freely but maintain Copyright notice.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh so grateful

Being that this is the week of thanks, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to write about our many blessings. Hopefully these facts are a reminder of how fortunate we are to live such a wonderful life.

Envious of others with their newer cars or bigger homes?
- 1.2 billion people in this world live on less than $1/day.

Do you have a pity party when you have a cold?
- More than 38 million people around the world are infected by HIV/AIDS.

Does your child complain about going to school?
- Around the world, 77 million children do not go to school because their parents can not afford fees, books or uniforms.

Did you leave the water running this morning when you brushed your teeth?
- 1 out of 7 people in our world do not have access to clean water for drinking, cooking or washing.

Can you imagine watching your child suffer, without access to a doctor?
- Every year 10 million children die before their 5th birthday, nearly all of them from causes that could have been prevented.

Have you ever gone to bed hungry?
- Around the world, 1 person in 7 goes to bed hungry each night.

Do you complain about needing a bigger house or a better neighborhood?
- More than 14 million refugees and internationally displaced people reside in tents and temporary shelters.

This is not meant to bring you down or to make you sad, but more as a reminder of the many reasons you have to be happy.

These past few weeks have been tremendously stressful for me personally, as I have struggled to get our production back from the factory. It seems to be one thing after another - a hurricane, a delay in customs, sizing issues...I know this is business and I expect to solve problems, but I was a bit overwhelmed these past few weeks. Thanksgiving couldn't have come at a better time for me. It is such a nice reminder, and quite honestly, a kick in the butt for me to appreciate the many blessings in my life. So, I am a little stressed at the moment...There are people in this world, millions of them, that are stressed about feeding their children, finding water to bathe in, fighting a disease without modern medicine on their side. How bad could it possibly be if our product arrives a week or two late? Don't get me wrong, this is my business and I will do anything to keep promises and make our customers happy - I just have to remember that life is so much bigger than I.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Exciting news & great people!

When running your own business, there are great days, there are really tough days, and there is everything in between. While getting through this production process and anxiously awaiting our product, I have definitely had my share of tough days...but, I am so excited to share with you that today has been a great day, and we're only half-way through!

First, I must say that I just love nice people! You know...the kind of people that genuinely want good for others. The kind of people that do the right thing and help others without anything in it for them. Well, I was blessed to have one of these people come into my life. I've never even met her in person, but she is the sister of a friend. She decided to submit RuffleButts to as a recommended product, completely on her own. Well, I just went to the website this morning and was thrilled to find little RuffleButts staring back at me, with a ton of fantastic comments! That is just so rewarding! And, it's really great to be able to share my products with others!

I hope you all are having a great day too!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The RuffleMobile

These past few days have been a little scary for little London had to go to the vet late last night, crying nonstop and totally lethargic. London and Remy are my two little Yorkie/Bishon babies...well, they are 5 and 6, so not really babies, but my mini family members. London has been under the weather for the past 4 days, but last night I knew something was really wrong. Well, she is getting better by the hour and I now feel MUCH better!

So, on a more humerus note, I thought I'd share a picture of my family's poor husband!

I have found with owning my own business, that I think more outside of the box and am willing to go to great lengths to make it a success. I decided that I was wasting an advertising opportunity every time I drove my car, so I had this little decal made up. I felt a little silly when I put this on my back window, until I saw a SUV completely wrapped with a singer's myspace ad on my way home from the sign store!

I warned my husband that he now has to behave himself when he's driving the RuffleMobile around South Florida! I apologize now to anyone in advance =)

Friday, November 2, 2007


We are located in South Florida, about 3 miles from the beach. Since moving here in December, we have been fortunate enough to get through the year without a single hurricane. This week, we watched as Noel headed straight for South Florida, wrecking havoc in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on it's way. Noel took an erratic path a few days ago, making a sharp turn avoiding Florida completely. As we watched the hurricane move north, my husband and I sat outside in the beautiful sunshine eating dinner. When people are personally not affected by a natural disaster, sometimes we tend to put it out of our minds. I am a guilty party on this one, and I had my grounding reminder...

I received a phone call from my manufacturer (in the Dominican Republic) informing me that the deadly storm has greatly affected the country leaving more than 100 dead and many people trapped in the flooded areas. The factory was completely shut down, but I am happy to say that so far everyone and everything is okay. Our products are now going to be slightly delayed coming out of the factory as you can imagine, but if that is the worst of it, I am grateful.

I am definitely concerned that my first deliveries will now be going out at least a week after the promised delivery dates, but I am also aware that this is completely out of my control. I am hoping that our customers will be understanding to the situation and will not hold it against us long-term. It is a little disappointing, as you can imagine, but we can get through this.

My prayers are with the families there in the Dominican Republic as well as anyone else affected by this storm.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

One of those weeks

First, I must send such a big thank you to Becki (aka BlogMom) at I am so honored that she has chosen to feature RuffleButts as the Blog of the Month! As most of you know, this is a new world for me, but in these short few months, I have met so many incredibly talented and supportive blogging moms. I can't believe that I didn't do this sooner!

So, this, it has been one heck of a week! A bit of a roller coaster for me personally, but a big week for RuffleButts. I'm sure many of you can relate - you know those days where you know for sure that you are full of female hormones? Well, I was reminded with flashing neon lights this week! I called my husband on Wednesday, a complete mess - when he asked me what was wrong, I babbled on about all of the things that I need to do, and don't have time, and am overwhelmed with guilt when I take a break. Sound familiar?

My husband and I are so ready for children, we're simply waiting patiently for God to agree. But, I must say in weeks like these, I can't help but to question how in the world moms do it all!! All of my wonderful mommy friends tell me that you just find a way, just as with everything else in life. You know, that is so true and one of the most amazing things about being a woman - God just gives us the strength to do what we need to do. So, it is almost Friday, and I have made it through, remembering that I can do anything with faith and patience! I know I sound like a bit of an emotional mess, but really I am just like each and every one of you - we have up days, down days, and everything in between, but as women we sometimes tend to put on the happy face. I've decided that it's okay to struggle, as long as we don't ever give up!