Friday, February 4, 2011

44 Buzzzzzing Like a Busy Bee!

Life can be so crazy sometimes!  You absolutely never know where it will take you, or how amazing it can become.  One day I am working too many hours at an Insurance company, the next I put in my notice to stay home with my babies. That is a blessing in itself, however, while home, I had an epiphany that I was slightly insanely OBSESSED with organizing.  Like crazy obsessed.  And it scares to me to think sometimes that if I would have stayed with my original career as a manager at a large company, I may never have realized or been given a chance to follow my real dreams.

Of course organizing and beautifying has always been a part of me.  Growing up, I would switch my bedroom around every other week trying out new ideas and I was always tapped into at the office to help with building spreadsheets.  And when peeps would pop by our house, I would get questioned for tips regarding organizing and decorating.  So this here blog was formed.  It was my fun way to share little things I was doing that were making my home more functional, simplified and beautified.  It was also to be my outlet to share my story along the way, in my desire to someday do this for a living.  I have never kept that a secret, I just also haven't been ready to fully take the plunge.  But anywho, I NEVER would I have thought that this blog would grow and expand to what it is today.  And seriously friends, I am SO incredibly grateful that it has.

I want to start out by saying THANK YOU!  For your daily emails with encouraging love and support.  It's always scary to follow your dreams, especially when you feel that your friends and family may not understand it to it's fullest potential {why would I leave a very successful career, to blog, open an Etsy shop and organize homes?}.  I say WHY NOT?  Why not be happy?  Why not do what you love?  Even though I know in my heart the "whys" to go for it, there are moments of feeling discouraged and nervous and unsure.  But you all give me that extra push every day, to keep going forward and not look back.  You give me a daily gift by leaving sweet comments, asking for ideas or advice and sending me lovely notes "just because".  Your gifts of encouragement are priceless to me.  You are my daily drive.  I will never be able to Thank YOU enough!

It's also because of you, that things have really taken off.  You see, I have always been a reader of Money Saving Mom, but somehow I missed the chance to guest post.  And had it not been for one of my blog readers, Heidi, I may never had known about the opportunity.  But because she took a second out of her busy day to send me the link and some encouragement to write up a Time Management post, I was published on their blog!!!

That post brought in a lot of traffic to this blog.  A lot of new love that I never would have found, or would have found me, had it not been for that post.

Since that post, I have been in my own personal haven.  I have realized that I AM NOT TURNING BACK!  I absolutely ADORE what I do!  I want to keep going!

What's different now you wonder?  Well, my support increased tremendously to a daily blushing amount.  This month alone, my Etsy shop boomed, my inbox flooded and I received my first three Style Tile orders!!

Yep, for the first time ever, my kitchen table looked a little like this:

I call this my "Dream Come True" picture.  My happy place. 

So, because when I started this blog, I vowed to keep you updated on my venture.  That is what I am doing today.

As I mentioned, I received my first three Style Tile orders in the month of January.  What is a Style Tile you ask?  Well, they started off as a way for me to throw together some inspiration for a space.  I did one for my bff when she asked me to help her with her bedroom update.

You can see how that turned out here.

Then, a reader wrote to me and asked for my design advice!  Yep, me.  I was so excited, I whipped up a style tile for her, as the easiest way for me to explain to her my vision.

She adored it and was excited to start taking the inspiration and ideas from the board, to implement them in her own space.  That's when I thought I would spread the word and give one away on the blog, here is what I came up with for the winner:

The style tiles had been for sale in my IHeart Services tab for awhile, however, nothing really happened with them until January, when I received a kind note from my reader, Gina.

Gina was in the middle of a large scale reno in her farm house, and wanted my help pulling together her kitchen and living room, using a mix of items she already had and adding in some new.  WOW!  I couldn't wait to get started working with her.

Because Gina was basically working from a blank slate, there weren't any "Before" photos, we just had to grab inspiration from current furniture pieces.  Gina sent me a description of the space layout along with her ideas and dilemmas and cabinets/fixtures that had already been decided upon.  I came up with a color plan and she found the perfect curtains.  We worked together until we got everything exactly as she wanted it, and here was the outcome of the project:

Along with her Style Tiles, Gina received a detailed source list and walk through of the space.  Here is what Gina had to say when we wrapped up the project:

"I love it! I love it! I love it!  {As do a bunch of my friends so hopefully you’ll be getting more business}  I’ll definitely send you pictures when it’s done!  The kitchen’s coming together now as we are putting down the tile floor right now and I’ll paint this week and have cabinets in by the weekend!   I’m VERY excited!

Thanks so much!  I’ll have more work for you when it comes to do the bathroom and living room on the main floor!"

My heart melted into a big happy gooey puddle.  I seriously wondered how I got so lucky.  And before I knew it, another order popped in!  I was on cloud nine and I refused to come back to earth!

Danielle contacted me to give her room some added storage, color and texture.  Here is a picture of her space:

She mentioned she liked greens and blues {my personal fav color combo!} and that she was going to tackle painting her mantle white, so here is what I had come up with for Danielle: 

A style tile is a great way of placing room decor and storage pieces together to snag a feel of how they would look in a given space.  They offer inspiration and guidance for making choices in your updates.  If you are interested in a Style Tile, you can purchase them here!

Oh, but that's not all I have been up to!  I am telling you, January was a fantastically fun, whirlwind month!

I received the following email from a Leanna:

"I run a small personal training business and part of my service offering is Weight Loss Coaching, called Breakthrough Weightloss.

I need a few things.  My program begins this Saturday and I understand if the time line is too tight, but here is what I need and a quote on these.

Meal Planning Organization tools.  I want them big, with magnets to post on the fridge and enough for 31 days in a month.

I need my logo, and colors and need somehow to include all these elements.

1.  Grocery list

2.  Daily menu
4.  Monthly overview?
5.  Exercise accountability?  somewhere
6.  Maybe somewhere to write their "skillset" small step, and their "mindset" small step for the week as well.

I am a life coach, and lots of your home organization resources could really support my clients to take control of their lives and see the results they want. 

Let me know!

Looking forward to your response.  I love your site!"

I can't tell you how quick I jumped on this incredible opportunity.  Again, we worked together until we got things just right, integrating all of her elements and colors into the designs, and here is what I ended up with:

When all was said and done, here is what Leanna had to say about the process and outcome:

"I am a small business owner who runs a personal training and lifestyle coaching company.  I was surfing the net looking for organizational resources one evening and came across IHeart Organizing! 

What a gem!  What I found was this super sweat, authentic and very practical website.  What I loved about it was it kept my attention with the great pictures and graphics. 

In one of my coaching programs “Breakthrough Weight Loss”, I support women to organize and plan their nutrition for themselves and their families.  This is the KEY foundation to success.  What I needed was some additional tools to support their organization and most important INTEGRATION of new skills and behaviors, and that’s exactly what Jen’s meal planning calendar did.

Jen’s prices are incredible, and I emailed her just to see if she could get something done not expecting it to be done in three days, the kick off of my next program.

She had it to me 2 days in advance which allowed to print, laminate and deliver an added bonus to my participants to ensure their success!

Thanks IHeart Organizing!!  I would recommend Jen and IHeart Organizing to any other small business, friend of family member.  Excellent prices, unbelievable service and time turnaround!

Hire her you won’t be disappointed!"
Leanna Martens {}

Totally cool right?  But the fun didn't stop there either!  

One item I had been getting some requests on, were children's chore charts.  I myself, absolutely NEEDED to get something like this put together for our own munchkins, and Angie gave me that last little push I needed to get it done!

Angie wrote, asking if I could help her get some chore charts created for her two angels.  She gave me the details like their ages, gender and responsibilities, also mentioning that she wanted some blank spots to add in additial items if necessary.  Here is what I came up with for Angie and her little ones:

Angie already has them printed and hanging above their backpacks hooks!!  

If you are interested in one for your little sweet pea, you can find them both in my Services tab and in my Etsy shop.  Spreadsheets are completely customizable, including a variety font choices and colors:

Aside from all of the special orders I mentioned above, the Cleaning Checklists, Meal Planning Calendars and Shopping lists have been flying off the shelves Etsy rack.  If they are ever out of stock, just shoot me a quick note and I will relist {which many have done, so THANK YOU!}

If you ever are looking for a type of spreadsheet or template that you don't see listed, make sure to email me at, and inquire.  Most likely I will be able to work with you to get something created special for your needs, and will send you an estimate on time/cost. 

At the end of the day, none of this would be happening without you!  You are making my dreams come true!  How do you thank someone for that?  It's the ultimate gift.  It's like winning the life lottery.  I will virtually hug you til the end of time....

So now I must ask, other suggestions on expanding my Etsy shop?  What would you like to see added?  Are there other tools that could be created to help streamline and simplify your day or your life?  I would heart to know what you think!


  1. Thanks for all the templates :o) I'm use my blogging ideas check list every day!

  2. How wonderful for you! I came over from MoneySavingMom, and I'm completely hooked to your blog. Absolutely love everything about it!

    Props to Heidi for recommending that you submit a guest post! I have a similar story actually.... I recommended to a friend of mine who just started her blog to submit her write-up for the same time management series. Her post was chosen also!! I was so happy for her that I started crying at work when I saw the post, LOL!

  3. Hello! New follower here. I am loving all of your organizing tips. I too love to have things organized so it is great to come across new ideas. Have a great weekend! :)

  4. Jen - Congrats on all these wonderful things that are happening for you! I only know you through blogging, but from what I do see in you, I can't imagine a more perfect "career" for you! And I think this is only the beginning. . .

    Way to go!!!

  5. Congratulations to you for your expanding business! I know how you feel, being able to do what you're passionate about. I'm kind of at the same place (to a smaller scale) with my freelance editing. It's so exciting to be able to make money doing what I love to do.

  6. Love it! I am glad you have been able to turn your dream into your life!

    PS. Love the meal planner list and chore chart!

  7. Love your blog! I wait patiently everyday for an update! Thanks for sharing your ideas with us! You are truly an inspiration!

  8. Put your dreams and goals out there to the universe and they will start to come back to you in big ways. This is how I see it with you. It's grown, you've met the challenge and now you can enjoy it and keep it growing. Over on my art education blog, The Art of Education(which you featured awhile back)- I have some similar business dreams, but I have not yet announced it to my readers. I like that you keep us updated and keep it real. I hope to do the same and that will be my goal. Professional and Transparent at the same time. Thanks for the inspiration. I am sure everyone's kids out there have art teachers! Pass on this site, arts education is so important to kids. Look how much art and design you incorporate in your everyday life just on this blog. Design is art.Thanks for everything, Jen. You are amazing!

  9. Great job Jen!!!! It's fantastic that you're able to help others get organized and decorate their lives <3

    Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

  10. I'm so happy for you! There is nothing better than to follow your dreams. You have such great taste and so many great ideas for organizing its no wonder you are a success! I read your blog every day.

  11. I found your blog thru Money Saving Mom and immediantly put it on my google reader! January's paper challenge really helped me get our bills and financial paperwork in order. I'm looking forward to the February challenge! Our family photo's are a project I was planning to work on 3 years ago and never got done. Thanks for giving me inspiration!

  12. I just <3 you! I would love for you to tell me what the heck to do with our basement/family room. It's a thorn in my side.. it hurts my eyeballs. Truly. Glad you're loving life! It's funny the twists and turns it can take. :)

  13. i've been reading your blog for about a month. i came over with the centsational girl post and have come here every day since! i think you're blog is a great and i look forward to reading it everyday. i just about peed my pants when i saw you were tackling photo storage/organization - something i've been battling with and wanting to tackle. ANYWAYS - a big fat CONGRATS! it was fun reading today's post to see how everything is coming together! you go girl!

  14. Hi Jen,

    I, too, found you via Money Saving Mom, and am totally hooked on your blog!!! I have already found so many wonderful, useful ideas and tips to use in my own home. You are inspiring! Thank you for your hard work and time and congratulations on following your dream!

    Best wishes! :-)

  15. It's such a great feeling when you finally feel like things are happening for you, isn't it?! My sister and I have an Etsy shop and we've had a great 2011 so far.

    I received my laminated cleaning checklist yesterday and am already using it! I checked 7 things off this morning. :) Thanks so much!

  16. Congrats on the awesome month! I am soooo glad that I found your blog (found it via Jenny FreeStyle). Your posts have helped me so much! Your January project is allowing me to FINALLY get a handle on the paper/filing in our office! I ordered the planner you recommend this week too!

  17. Awwww... your Dream Come True picture! That's awesome Jen, you deserve it, best wishes!

  18. I'm so happy all of these wonderful things are happening for you! I love following your blog and your adventures!

  19. This is so great for you! I admire anyone who does what they love. I have never been happier since I quit the 9 to 5 to raise my little girls. I hope that as they grow and give me more time of my own that I can "get paid" for my passion.

    I really love your blog! It is so inspiring!

  20. That is so awesome! I found your blog via Young House Love and I come to your blog every day to see what is going on. You have inspired me to be more organized and now after this post, you have inspired me to blog more and really go after my dreams as well, because when you are in a boring job your life just doesn't feel the same. I can hear your happiness in this post and I think I can see your big smile on your face. Lots of luck to you Jen!!!

  21. Good for you Jen! It is truly heartwarming to see people living their dreams. I also made the decision to follow mine, and couldn't be happier now... Kudos for making your dream a reality!

    P.S. I started using this new site called DailyFeats... it's super fun and helps keep me motivated to get things done through the day. Thought you might like to check it out too!

  22. I'm glad you had a wonderful month - you deserve it. I find myself picking up my laptop just to read your blog. I have been inspired by all the projects and great photos. Because of you, I now have a laminator, labels going up everywhere and enthusiasm to tackle those projects I've been dreading. I love organizing, but your ideas have helped me organize in a beautiful way. I look forward to more style tiles and the "behind the scenes" organizing (like digital photos).

  23. I am so, SO happy for you! I've had a long time love of organizing and your blog always makes me inspired, excited and happy.

    I don't know if you have anything like already, but a laminated freezer inventory that items could be listed then checked off would be very handy!

  24. I found you from Money Saving Mom, too, and have been reading your blog every day since! I LOVE it and am glad you're having so much success so that we all can continue to benefit from your talent!

  25. Jen, you are my hero. I love your templates and honestly, even though my son is 2 months old, I love the chore chart and want to order one for when the day comes, lol.

    Quick question: How did you create the holes in your clipboard for the ribbon? I have the same one and I hate that it doesn't have something at the top to hang it from!!

  26. I, too, found you from MSM. You have an awesome blog! Congrats on your successes!

  27. I just found your site! Really, really enjoying it. And you're from WI???

  28. I also am a MSM reader. Both your blog and A Bowl Full of Lemons (which I found through your site) are my new faves. My friends think I am organized but you are helping streamline my initial ideas into reality. I love what you are about.

    BTW I am looking for a new rug for one room and wondered if you could share where that rug came from in design two (the one marked #10)


  29. See! What did I tell you! You are all so sweet, you give me happy tears!!

    Gia, I just drilled the holes into the clipboard and attached ribbon {knotted the back so it couldn't pop back through} and added a scrapbook brad to secure it more and to make it look a little prettier!

    Jenn - yeppers, born and raised in Wisco! Brrrr!

    Erin, here is a link to that rug:|57095|64823|65532&Fltr=&Srt=&QL=F&IND=51&cmVirtualCat=&CmCatId=57088|57095|64823|65533&CmCatId=57088|57095|64823|65533

    Thanks again everyone! Much love!


  30. I love the printables and the kids chore charts too. I was wondering if a chore chart could be done with pictures too. My three yr can't read yet and I know she would love this, since she is so independent and helpful.

  31. I'm so happy to see your business taking off! I found you through YHL and have been reading ever since. I love getting inspiration from your projects every day.

    I LOVE your style tiles! When we move in a couple of years I am hoping to purchase one of your style tiles, but it would be even nicer if you were so busy and successful that you just don't have time to offer them any more! :)

  32. Hi Brenda!

    We could try to use pictures instead of words! Just specify when ordering the chores/pictures you would like to see and I can get something created for you!


  33. I absolutely love your organizing blog to death!!! You rock Jen and you have a lovely family too! Look how talented you are to have switched from one path in life only to have brought you where you are now! God has placed a passion inside of you for organizing and I think your skills will be well used in Heaven, keep up the good work!

  34. Jen,
    I was looking back at your Step 2 in the Paper challenge from last month. Could you list what your 12 file names are? Thanks a bunch!
    Jennifer B.

  35. congrats on building your business. you are so multi talented and i only wish you the best. i'm looking to take some computer classes to refresh my skills. what type of course would you recommend to help me with spreadsheets and such? i though to taking a microsoft certification course with excel, word, etc. not sure if it'd be worthwhile. also they have a certification for microsoft 2003 and for 2007. kind of confusing. but just thought i'd ask you since you are so good with spreadsheets and all computer related tasks. also what do you use to create those style tiles? they look so professional. my best to you!

  36. Hi Jen,

    Love your site, love all your ideas, and I love that you are living your dream doing it.

    My favourite aspect is that you don't just put things in ugly plastic storage crates, you make organising stylish. Like one of the earlier commenters, I have also succumbed to the laminator. My husband laughed this weekend when I stuck a laminated label on the 'recycling' box under the sink, but he also told me to use another piece of double sided tape on it for security, so I know he loved it really.

    When I put another basket under the utility sink for rags though, he said, 'what's that for?'. I was like, 'READ THE LABEL'! It clearly said rags, but maybe next time I should take your kids tip and use a picture?

  37. What a wonderful start to the year! It is so nice to do something you love everyday. It doesn't even feel like work then. I am so happy I found your blog. Best of luck with all your new adventures!

  38. Well, I haven't been following your blog for long, but in this short amount of time, it is very obvious to me how much effort, dedication, and <3 you have put into it. You deserve EVERY bit of success that is coming your way! Thank you for what YOU do!

    The farmhouse style tiles are fabulous by the way! That is soooo my style!

  39. Thank you so much for all these templates! It's only been a month since I discovered your blog (guess what was on my New Year resolution list????) but your blog inspired me in so many ways!
    Thank you!
    Greetings from Luxembourg

  40. Jen, once your home binder project finishes, you can offer that in your shop. A one-stop-for-all checklists.

    I have run out of glorious adjectives to shower you with, but I will say this much - above all your talents, your biggest is I believe your selflessness. You have a golden heart girl:)

  41. I just found your site about 2 weeks ago and I love it! I would love to know where you get your amazing fonts!!!! Btw, I loved your kitchen chalkboard project, it's the perfect Idea for an empty wall space in my kitchen. Thanks for so many great ideas!

  42. @Darlene, I google around a lot for fonts. I find a lot here: and here:

    Thanks! xoxo!

  43. Hello there! I want to thank you for creating sunch an inspirational visual heaven for me. I found your blog via Pinterest and I can not stay away from it :) I was diagnosed with depression a few months ago and is kind of hard to get going some days however, when I'm feeling overwhelmed I come to your space and tell my self that "...I can do it too". Qustion: Do you use a paper planner/day timer type of thing? Again THANK YOU! The best for you and your family!!

    1. Love that you are finding some happiness here. That's what it's all about! :)

      I use a daily planner by Erin Condren:

      Thanks again!


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