Wednesday, August 30, 2006

one more for the road...

i really need to share this awesome photography my friend Melissa took. she is a wonderful photographer and someone i am blessed to be able to call a friend (even if i had to run around the barry manilow sign alone in vegas - LOL) - but she did a session for noah, david and i in chicago which i truly love - you can check out her work here:

ok, off we go!

i haven't forgotten about you all...

... oy, of all times that noah gets a little cold it is now. LOL. just as he and i are about to do some traveling but oh well! he is quite a trooper - even with a cold, he was smiling, laughing etc. i am just worried about his first plane ride.

but along with that, i finished packing my 200+ lbs of class kits for scrapfest in edmonton last month! i didn't know all my classes would weigh so much! oh yeah did i mention my like 100s of orders that are going out this week?

BUT i haven't forgotten about the RAK! i just need to get to my destination and then i will pick someone! so look out of it tomorrow.

i am also secretly hoping to SB - so i have issued myself a challenge, i brought MINIMAL supplies (couple of rubons sheets, some scrap pp i had laying on my table, a few pieces of ribbon, some cardstock, photos, 1 set of clear stamps, 3 mini ink pads and some adhesive and pens) -which all fit in an 8" x 11"x 4" box (yes, DH, i did sneak scrap supplies in my suitcase- i know you are reading this) - but i hope to make 5 pages this weekend. it will be a fun challenge for myself to show that i still have the mojo and that simplification of my scrap supplies might not be a bad thing.

Friday, August 25, 2006

what a day...

...well today didn't turn out like i expected to. i was coming back from a run this morning and my DH greets me with a "you need to pick our friend up from the hospital, she had her baby". this is one of my friends who had wanted to have her baby at home. well through a series of events, her baby decided she was not going to wait for the doula (midwife) and she was ready to come right on out. i am sure the ambulance ride was quite exciting for her and her mom eh. anyhow, her DH is really sick with the flu and so b/c of that they hadn't even put in a car seat in the car so luckily we had my car and noah's car seat ready! my friend also needed some clothes and a diaper bag too. so i spent the day getting her home, taking some pics of the baby and buying some food for her (and some soup for her DH)... i am sure this one will be for the scrapbooks.

but as days go, i am alway joyful to come back to this sweet baby.

he is turning into quite a character but most importantly he really chills and enjoys life - this pic represents how he is most of the time. we are so lucky and blessed to have noah here with us. when i was pregnant, i really honestly wanted a girl. i was used to being around girls. it was always deb and i. i didn't think i would be ready for a boy. but boy oh boy, there is not another baby in the world i could love more and i am so glad that God tested me and gave me noah. b/c i wouldn't have it any other way.

and as promised, here is a pic of my next *sweet* rak:

you need to post here if you want to win this - a sheet of rubons with some sheer flowers and some matching ribbons! my requirements are the following:

1. post here but non-anon between now and monday - tell me you need this stuff (LOL)

2. and if you win, you will send me a pic of the LO so i can post it on my blog. so there is a twist to this one, i want to see you use it. i know, i know, it is so pretty that you want to hoard it as do i but i want to see you extend your creativity and use our stuff and show me what you can do. and if you win, you have to allow me to post the LO on my blog. and if i find that you won and you don't, i will come and squeeze a LO out of you (totally kidding).

3. um that's it, everyone can play in this RAK - you will only be like the 4th person in the whole world to fondle our rub-ons.

have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

ahhh rubons...

when did the obsession begin... i can remember my very first set. we grew up in a thrifty family and in my stocking one year, i got a half sheet of SMURFS rubons from santa (which i knew all along was my mom). my sister got the other half a sheet. that was over like 22 years ago i think! i think in my pile of stuff at my parents house, i still have that sheet of rubons (along with my shirt tales cartoon ones)! ah, a hoarder even at a young age...

so what am i going to do when the almost 1000 lbs of rubons arrives in the warehouse. LOL. but my parents along with teaching us to be thrifty taught us the goodness of sharing so be ready for a small win-it-before- you-can-buy-it RAK tomorrow (might only be a sheet of rubons and matching ribbons but hopefully, all you MR fans will love it nonetheless).

we have been working our BUTTS off in the last 2 weeks. getting images on our site, getting hundreds of orders shipped, getting ready for the next trade show and other details we can't reveal yet! and we want to express our gratitude for those retailers / customers that try to be patient with us. thank you. it means so much to us. we are also trying to streamline processes so we can spend more time with our babies.

sometimes deb and i think "wow, our company has outgrown us!" but that is a better place to be than "wow, we have outgrown our company". and with every road block we hit, we come up with a solution to make things better. that is the cool thing about owning your own company, there isn't the red tape to get approval to get things done from management. WE ARE THE MANAGEMENT. if we want to change it up, all we have to do is agree (deb and i) and we are done! and if we say no to something, we are fluid enough to have an answer once we agree on it. how totally cool is that?

so thank you for all of you who have been patient with us! we think our products are worth the wait and we hope you do too! i am hoping one of these days to actually get to scrap again and use my new rubons (which seems sort of ironic since we own our own SBing company).

check back tomorrow for a RAK of some of our new rubons!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

family...(and RAK winner)

i love this picture of us. so does noah look like me or david? LOL. our neighbors were visiting with us and took this pic for us. noah has become quite the charmer with his easy going personality and no fear attitude of anyone. and these two boys are the reason i do what i do. i know they both support MR a lot and they are my blessings.

and for the RAK winner, - Kimmie you won! email me at

Monday, August 21, 2006

i love the smell of popcorn in the mornings ;)

ahhh what a day, a monday but my office was filled with the scent of new rubons! our samples are here! YAY! i know some of you all rak-participants from the last post were asking about rub-ons. um, didn't we tell you we made some? and i have them in my hot little hands!

here is one set of them. and i know that some people might think "whoa $14.50 MSRP is a lot to pay for some rub-ons" but let me make sure you know what you are getting. you are getting 9 (count them NINE) sheets of rub-ons that match our full new ribbon line in styles (plus some alphabets and numbers too) in FULL color. this is nine sheets. and this is all in a signature flat maya road tin! think about it, these are the rub-on sheets that you might see for $2.99 - $3.99 a sheet. take that and multiply by 9 sheets - then you will see the $14.50 is a great deal! there are over 1000 images in each set with 6 collectible sets in all!

now, i know some of you are rub-on shy (as i would be) b/c to speak honestly, there are good rub-ons out there and then there are bad rub-ons out there. i can say that these will be among the best out there (and for those who read my title to this post, you will know what i mean). they rub-on like BUTTA!

hope you all are doing well, i will pick a RAK winner tomorrow for the prior post.

Friday, August 18, 2006

a RAK and noah's typical day with the MR family...

so i posted a couple of days ago about what i have to do for MR daily. here is what baby noah's schedule looks like:

get up, eat, get air in the tummy, cry, burp, poop, diaper change, play, laugh, look cute, nap. repeat 7x a day. charm everyone with your giggles and laughter. add in a bath and a bit of grumpiness before bedtime. you are done. LOL.

now for the RAK, see below:

i decided to kick it old skool this time with some things that i LOVE from our original lines and lines up til the MT show from last year. these are classics that i use a lot of - including this most coveted coffee break album - that ali edwards used in the sept CK. i saw that article while enjoying a date with my DH over my starbucks. i screamed a bit when i saw the article. LOL. but ali did something amazing with our coffee break book and now, here is a blank one for you to create with...

all you need to do to enter is post here between now and sunday and just tell me what you want to see MR come up with next - what would be your dream MR product? different ribbons? more chippies? would you ever want to see us venture into papers? deb and i want to know. we do listen to our customers! just don't post anon so i can find ya!

have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the art of importing...

... well i hope that you all find my blog interesting b/c i like to mix things up with MR and also talking about my family. today it is all about business and i want people to understand what extreme amounts of coordination it takes to get stuff here to the US.

deb works on all the fine details of scheduling containers to arrive here - and we are moving on up as some of our containers are now 40 ' LONG (rather than 20 ' LONG). that is a lot of stuff. and here is the trick about containers, if you book a whole one, it doesn't matter if you have 1 roll of ribbon in it or 10,000 rolls of ribbon in it - so it is in our best interest (and our customers) to try to coordinate getting our container filled to the limit ( and there is a US weight limit so that is another story). and the reason we do this is so that we can keep our prices fair and low. it doesn't make sense for us to ship 4 containers only 25% full of stuff each time when we can get it all in one bang shot.

but then along with this comes the coordination of getting all of our factories to deliver all the products at the same time to the container loading date. if one misses, then you have to reschedule the container or that stuff gets left off.

and now that it is on the boat, the sailing time is about 3 weeks but if there is bad weather or traffic, that can take even MORE time.

so now the MR container is at port. cross your fingers that it doesn't get held up at customs. also these are huge container ships. if we were the first containers loaded, it could mean we are the last unloaded - luck of the draw again. also all of the paper work has to be right or the container won't be released and then we end up paying for storage the port.

after the MR container is released, then it is railed over to the hub and then it is trucked to the warehouse. and the warehouse is spending the day inventorying and sorting everything before it is ready to go.

so we are looking at from the time it is made, packed, put into a container, shipped, arrived, inventoried and shipped a period of anywhere from 6-12 weeks.

so when customers and retailers ask me things like "why can't you tell me when your container will get here?" or " if you can't give me a more reliable supply, we will go elsewhere", i just want them to understand the logistics behind it all. although MR is small, we are not the only company that has to tackle this issue. i know other companies (big and small) have to tackle the same issue. that is also why we try our darnest to adhere to the first come first serve order policy. it is only fair. but when you arrive late, i am truly sorry that something is out of stock. we are working on improving what we can...

... and deb and i were talking about how complicated the scheduling is b/c she does most of it now, and she asked me "didn't you do all of this before in your old life as a supply chain planner" - yeah i did - but i had an "easy button" -like staples - and i just planned and directed and people got it done for me (LOL)!

have a great THURSDAY!

oh yeah, check back tomorrow as i will be giving away a RAK of stuff (including that cute MR book Ali Edwards used in the Sept CK article!)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

here is a typical day in my life at MR...

so you want to start your own scrapbooking biz? are you ready for the hours?

let me just quickly run through my day with you...

8:00 - 9:00 am get up, spend some quality time with noah, check the 40 emails i got overnight

9:00 - 10:00 am get ready and do some quick laundry, get noah ready to go to my friend's house (diapers? check. milk? check. change of clothes? check. pacifier? check. blanket? check), start responding to emails, check in with J about things to follow up on today.

10:00 am - 12 noon emails, invoices, work on items for next show, talk to the w/h, check voicemail messages, pay bills, fulfill some donation requests, IM with deb

12 noon - 12:15 pm wolf down lunch while checking on order status, answer the phones or out checking on arrivals at the warehouse

12:15 - 3 pm continue to work on orders, pay bills (electricity, storage, w/h, phone, printer ink, etc), check on arrival of merchandise and return calls.

3 pm - 4 pm get orders ready for the next day, respond to the other 50 emails we have. work on newsletter, drop off pkgs /letters at the post office (oh yeah wait in line for that too).

4 pm - 6 pm pick noah up from friend's house, play with him, feed him, burp him, change him. have him sit with me at my home office (and in the fall, we will sneak out for walks when it isn't HOT) - think about what is for dinner. start dinner or beg to go out to eat... might also get a nap if we stayed up late like this:

6 pm - 7 pm - eat and chill time

7 pm - 9 pm - family time with david and noah along with IMing deb on issues or get a quick run in

9 pm - 11 pm - hang out with noah and david. convince noah he needs an earlier bedtime

11 pm - 1 am - work on invoices, orders, issues, etc. try to blog before going to bed. chat with customers / distributors in different time zones. think if i forgot to shower or not (lol).

then there is sleep!

and that is the glamourous life of MR! LOL! but you know what, i wouldn't trade it for anything! i enjoy it. and on those rare occasions i can sneak away, i love to use what we make to create something. like this:

Monday, August 14, 2006

and the winner of my latest rak is...

Abby the "supermom" of 5 (6 if you count DH) ! congrats! email me at

be sure to check back as there will be more goodies to share in the coming weeks!

thank you...

thank you everyone for the kind posts on my last entry. it means a lot to us... but like i said before, it is back to the good stuff and here is some of my good stuff:

my boyz chillin' below our big tree. noah has his hat on sideways not to be cool but b/c it is too big for his head but he knows that in the TX sun, we stay in the shade and wear covering and only hang out for a bit! it is hard to believe he is 11 weeks old today... wow, time is flying.

hope ya'll had a great weekend, will post the RAK winner tomorrow.


Friday, August 11, 2006

a RAK...

...well since i got this RAK together, a couple of things has happened that makes me want to say something. so let's start with the good stuff! here is a RAK of our 4" chipboard binder album with a pen i made, some MR ribbons and my piece of CHA "flair" which i am giving away! post here between now and sunday for your chance to win! the sheer blossom is one i decorated at the show. if you want this RAK, feel free to post here (again no anons b/c we can't reach you!)

which brings me to talk about the quirks of people. one of our DT members gave away a bunch of RAKs on one of the boards one day and some people had the audacity to email her and say "well i was expecting more" - and they didn't even have the audacity to post it under their own names. i don't know if you read my blog but if you do, then email me - tell me personally that you want more stuff and that you are disappointed that you didn't get enough - i can be reached at just don't be tacky and rag on our DT members. our DT member spent her own money sending those RAKs out - much like i do when i send these RAKs out. when and how anyone chooses to RAK and for how much is our choice. even when we do giveaways with MR it is my choice (and deb's).

i am not sure where people's sense of entitlement comes from - but just so you know this is our company (deb and mine). we pay for everything for the company ourselves - we don't have a big old venture capitalist back there handing us money - we have always loved giving away our products because we want to see folks use them and enjoy them - please don't take that joy away from us. we are a small company and we want to be as generous as possible, but we find some of these hurtful comments distressing and frankly makes me a bit fiery.

if you are going to comment on my financial situation (much like what was said about my DT member who gave away her OWN MR products for a RAK) please refrain. we do this becase we love the industry and our customers. deb and i work 60+ hours a week each on Maya Road. we are there in the trenches with the container unloading. we pack orders sometimes in a pinch. we try our darnest to locate a needed product for a retailer that is out of stock. sometimes we have to work the midnight to 3 am shift. we also are raising our babies and trying to continue to build Maya Road.

but back to the positive, thank you for all the wonderful supporters. all you chicas make it worth it and we will continue to do RAKs - big and small.

sorry for the long post but some things needed to be said and then we move on to better things. have a great weekend and hope to see some lucky gal enjoy these goodies!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

what i love about this business...

this is a fave pic of mine - noah fast asleep in the baby bjorn after i took him out for a walk a couple of days ago..he is growing up SO FAST! it is amazing!

but looking at this picture, i am so glad that i chose the route in my life that allows me to see noah and be with him more often than at my other job. i would have missed out on a lot if i went back to my engineering profession. i always knew that i would be a working mom b/c that is my nature. but i am blessed to be able to be in an industry where people understand when you tell them "i just had a baby" and they ask about your child rather than the you-have-been-gone-for-6-weeks-you-should-be-back-to-work. what a difference that is. and i love that. i love that when we brought noah with us to chicago, people were wanting to see him at the show rather than another industry where the people would have frowned upon me taking my 7 week old to a trade show with me. that is what i LOVE about this business. it is refreshing...

but also there are things which i wish would change in this business. as with the positives, there are always negatives. at times, when deb and i have asked people what they have thought about our product line, all we hear is "we love everything" - unfortunately those are some of the times when we want to hear the brutally honest truth b/c love doesn't pay the bills (LOL). this industry is so full of praise that sometimes it is hard to gauge what direction we should be heading or what we should/shouldn't release. !

but you know what? i wouldn't trade where i am today and what we are doing with the company for anything else in the world. i am a happier person. i don't get sick as much. i do work like a dog still but i enjoy it. and all of that, along with the time noah and i get to spend together is priceless. so for that, i thank you all for your support!!

and looking ahead, deb and i are starting up some MT ideas and we promise they will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!!

OH yeah, be sure to check out my blog on friday, after some mega-power- unpacking, i have some more CHA Chicago goodies to share - some of our samples of chipboard tins were dented on their way home but the chippies are still good so i will be RAKing those away this coming friday!

Monday, August 07, 2006


this is my friend CC and her DH marty - they came to visit baby noah on their way to a wedding in houston. CC and i have a special friendship. we have been friends forever - ever since we were both nerds in high school... i met CC the year after my junior year in high school. i was accepted to the governor's school of south carolina for science and math and it was this awesome summer program in charleston, sc. we got to live at a college dorm and it was for me an amazing time. i met some friends there that were brilliant and so very cool.
i didn't meet CC when i got to the dorm that at the start of the program when we moved in. CC had arrived before i did. i was nervous as i was socially challenged, but when i saw her side of the room and i saw she had a hello kitty pencil box, i KNEW that we would get along just fine. and it is amazing that we haven't really seen each other but like maybe 5 times in all since that summer program in 1991. but we have one of those easy friendships - nothing is strained or ackward even after not seeing each other for a couple of years and living 1000s of miles apart.
david and i even got engaged at their place in boston in 1999!
CC is one of them. she is a true jack of all trades! she is a doctor from Harvard, travels to tibet to volunteer at a clinic, is a stain glass artist and takes amazing pictures. heck, she even crocheted noah a blanket!
and i am glad we got a chance to catch up and reconnect. she and marty loved noah - CC said noah is one of the most "chill babies" she has ever met (and she is a pediatrican)! and we have chatted about hopefully in the future possibly living only a day's drive away from each other but even if we don't, i know we will be good friends for a long time to come.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


ok, i will admit it, i am a bargain shopper so TONIGHT, when my DH and I were out with noah at target, i am like a shark to its prey when i see the 75% off discount sign. my eyes roll to the back of my head and i attack (can you tell i have been watching "SHARK WEEK" on the discovery channel???) - anyhow, what did i find there tonight? a FINDING NEMO SLIP AND SLIDE for $2.48!!!!

yeah, i know noah is a wee bit young for a slip and slide but for two dollars and forty eight cents, i am willing to make that investment and hang onto it for a couple of years. heck, i might take it out and use it myself!!!

which also brings back some childhood memories of growing up - deb and caroline style. we had SO BADLY wanted a slip and slide. really badly. but my parents wouldn't get us one. i think we were in like 3rd grade and 5th grade at this time. so one summer to earn the $20 that it cost for the slip and slide, deb, betty (our next door neighbor) and i put together a "slip and slide" club. we would do chores around each others' houses for money and sock the money away for a slip and slide. we were CHEAP labor. we vaccumed the whole house (2 story) for $1. we mowed the yard (1/2 acre) for a dollar... but the slip and slide was STILL a long time away!

so being the innovators we were - we decided to make our own. we took 3 big black garbage bags from my dad. we cut them open to make them longer and we laid them in the grass between betty's yard and ours (no fences in our neighborhood). i found some tent stakes to hold the garbage bags to the grass and dirt. then we took the garden hose and hosed the bags - and we had our slip and slide! well the first couple of slides hurt b/c the garbage bag plastic was really thin and we had seams to contend with so we came up with this brillant idea - just add some DAWN. a couple of squirts and we were off! that slide worked like a charm. i remember someone driving up to our driveway in horror seeing 3 girls up to their eyeballs in soap bubbles but our slide worked really well. so well in fact we never bought the slip and slide and we just made the slide a couple more times - each time with new garbage bags...

so yeah we did kill some grass between our yards but ah those were the days.that is where the craziness for deb and i began...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

good things...

i don't think i have told ya'll that i am going to be in Edmonton, Canada to teach classes at Scrapfest ( i am so excited to be doing this. i will be teaching 3 classes in all and here is a sneak at one of my classes for an art inspiration journal. i have spent some time tweaking my classes but thankfully i have some generous and kind companies who are helping make our class kits fun. my classes are being sponsored by the duck adhesive people (henkel), therm-o-web and for paper we have the following each sponsoring one of my classes - urban lily, fontwerks and paper heart studio. i can't thank these kind companies enough for their generous nature.

the classes aren't til the end of september but with my planning nature, i am starting to get things ready. it is funny b/c i just started a NERDY spreadsheet to make sure that i pack my class kits correctly (for example - how many of what goes in each kit) - just so i don't forget! then my spreadsheet also has "tools" i might need to get, and templates i want to get together. i still need to do my powerpoint presentation (haven't used those skillz since i was an engineer) and i always like to have surprises in my classes to keep it fun. i think MR will have a small goodie for each kit and some other surprises that i don't want to tell yet (smile).

but most of all i hope that the ppl attending my class feel free to ask me questions about MR - we like to keep it real and i hope by doing these classes it shows. i am no different than the millions of other working moms out there who scrapbook and even the stay at home moms too.

so it is back to spreadsheeting i go!

this is what my boys are doing now...

...well not in the baby bjorn but they are asleep!
the winner of the MR rak from yesterday is: Robyn W! - congrats - email me at with your address.
stay tuned as i clean out more of our tradeshow boxes for more goodies!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

a mini RAK...

ok. so i hate to part with some things. i found these in my MR apron pocket as i was getting stuff put away from the show. would you like them? these are some of our MR mini giveaway coaster keychains and also a couple of MR sheer flowers. i decorated one at the show to display how easy it is to write on it. the other one is blank. don't worry, we didn't get ketchup or chicago pizza stains on these! i just want them to go to a good home!
if you would like these, post here (but don't do anon!) and i will pick someone tomorrow!
if no one posts then i can say the saying "one woman's junk is another woman's treasure" would totally not be true. LOL.

my other hobby...

so online, you will find me as TXrunner b/c i run and i live in TX - not very creative i know. and that running thing is something i have neglected for the last 10 weeks. yeah i know part of it is having noah and letting my body heal but my body needs running to feel complete. i know that sounds totally crazy but runners know what i am talking about!

i ran tonight - only had about 15 mins after dinner and before i needed to take care of noah so i went outside and did sprints. my house sits on a fairly hilly part of the neighborhood which is perfect for sprinting up and down. i haven't sprinted since i found out i was pregnant with noah and let me just say that the sprints i did HURT. but HURT in a good way. i only did a set of 6 of them in the 100 degree heat but i felt good. i felt alive and i felt fast. after having noah i could TOTALLY see how having a baby sometimes makes people put fitness on the back burner - there aren't enough hours in the day! but at the same time, getting back into it makes me a better person to care for noah. it gives me a chance to air my stresses and frustrations in a positive way.

so i am eyeing a local 5k again, i hope soon. wish me luck!