My Light Bulb Moment from Cinderella

I have a confession. I saw Cinderella for the first time the other week with my sister-in-law and two little nieces and it was magical. Yes, you read that right, nearly two months after the movie came out in theaters. It was everything I hoped it would be and So. Much. More. But how the heck did it take me so long to get to the theater to see it?? Well, despite being surrounded by Disney fans, I am still relatively new to Southern California and it's hard to find a new crew when you work from home.

This is perhaps the greatest risk any of us will ever take— to be seen as we truly are Cinderella

A little light bulb went off in my brain when I watched this moment in the movie that has been slowly growing brighter ever since. I have been holding myself back here on the blog, in my business, and in my life for fear of being seen as I truly am. The socially-awkward, Disney-obsessed, constantly daydreaming, overly passionate fangirl that I am.

A Not So Magical Day

I went to Disneyland by myself last week, and for the first time, ever, I had a horrible time. I was afraid of looking like a total fangirl with my fancy camera, so I shied away from being seen with my camera out (which was really hard considering the park was PACKED for the Tinker Bell races, Tomorrowland World Premiere & the materialization of the Hatbox Ghost). I was also super self-conscious about being alone. Everyone was eagerly chatting among their squads and I couldn't help but think, will I ever find a Disneyland friend?

Are You Holding Back?

How often do you hold yourself back for fear of seeming too eager? Both in business and in friendships, we want to seem invested emotionally, but never want to be "that girl" who just can't contain her excitement. Those who know me very closely know I am "that girl" when it comes to Disney. I often equate my excitement to the early 90's Disneyland commercial featuring a little boy who can't sleep because he's "too excited!". I can't even begin to explain how excited I am for the Disneyland 24 hour party...

It wasn't until I moved to Southern California and started blogging about Disney did I accept that it was OK to be an adult who loves Disney. I really thought I was an outlier! And I was totally afraid to let my freak flag fly. But I hope you will realize as you are reading this that it's OK to be afraid, it's OK to love what you love and it's OK to be the outlier. There are other awesome bloggers out there like Epbot, Disney by Design, and The Happiest Blog on Earth who are proud to share their passions with the world, whether or not they are mainstream.

I hope you are never afraid of being too passionate about your job, your friendships or your hobbies. Putting myself out there is something I certainly struggle with. But if you don't let the world see who you truly are, you will never find the people who share your same passions.

On that note, if you are also SO EXCITED for the Disneyland 24 Hour Party, or Disneyland in general, let's meet up in the parks or talk about why Disney makes your life complete! I would love to create a community for other people who are passionate about Disney, so let's get some great discussions started.

Leave a comment below about why you fell in love with Disney or what keeps you coming back! And if you will be in the parks for the 24 Hour Disneyland Party, make sure to follow me on Instagram or Twitter so we can meet up!

You can find me now on Bloglovin!

All it takes is Faith and Trust

All it takes is faith and trust Peter Pan Disney movie In honor of National Small Business week, I wanted to share a motivational mantra that has kept me going the last few weeks. Despite wearing many hats as a small business owner, I think the most important hat is team motivator. Even if you are just a team of one, that is one awesome person that is going to make awesome things happen, you just have to believe in yourself!

... and a little bit of Pixie Dust

Around here, things have been a good crazy with lots of out-of-town guests, Etsy orders (yay!) and developing new designs. While I was working on the Princess Bridal Shower collection, I was getting hung up on my branding. I know, totally a scatterbrained thing, but I couldn't stop thinking about how my brand didn't evoke all the magic and joy that I felt.

So while I'm working on creating some new awesome products for you all, I'll also be adding a little "pixie dust" to the Elaina Lynn brand. Don't expect anything too drastic, but I hope you'll start to feel even more inspired and enchanted with the changes to come.

Keep reaching for the stars and believing in yourself Dreamers!

Go After What You Want + Q2 2015 Goals

One of my favorite parts about being a solopreneur is that when I see something that isn't working, I can change it. This drove me crazy when I was working for corporations because I have a knack for seeing the big picture and finding processes that are detrimental to their success. It's not so easy to see the big picture for your own business and admit that something isn't working, especially when the decisions were made by yourself. But the fear of never growing and not reaching my goals is far too great to risk hurting my feelings.

I want Elaina Lynn Design to be known for enchanting designs & inspiration. To get there, I need to make tough decisions about what to share on the blog, create cohesive collections for my Etsy shop, and help my target audience find my brand.

If you don't ask, the answer's always no

There's lots of moving parts behind-the-scenes right now that are affecting my perspective on goal setting for the quarter ahead. I'm finally getting a handle on what I want Elaina Lynn Design to look like, and I've started asking for what I want. With that said, it's time to evaluate my first quarter goals to see how they align with my current reality.

1st Quarter Goals:

  • Add 10 new products to my Etsy shop every month March was a bit weak due to lots of family visits. Time to dig in and keep creating quality content!
  • Watch one CreativeLive course or other webinar a month I've learned so much about organizing my business, branding, accounting and beyond. I'm always super fired up after participating in a live class. Definitely a great use of my time!
  • Visit one new place a month (restaurant, beach, city) For some people, exploring new restaurants and cities makes them come alive. Apparently I'm not one of those people. I love my routines, and finding my favorite places to visit over and over again (ahem Disneyland).
  • Practice painting & hand lettering once a week (check out Pen & Peplum’s page for this awesome weekly project!) Again, I would love to be a hand letterer, but I've realized I like to admire other people's work more than create my own. For now, I have other interests and passions that I'd rather devote my time to.
  • Go to Disneyland once a week There are so many special events and changes happening for the 60th Anniversary that every trip has felt so different! Special thanks to my family for wanting to go to Disneyland whenever they are in town/have time. Those trips are my favorites.
  • Blog at least every Thursday I plan to keep blogging once a week, but it's time to stop creating repetitive content every Thursday, just because I vowed to blog every Thursday.

2nd Quarter Goals:

  • Add 10 new products to my Etsy shop every month
  • Be intentional with social media & promotions Don't worry, you can still find daily pug pictures on my alternate Instagram account @cmpuglife
  • Watch one CreativeLive course or other webinar a month
  • Visit Disneyland every week
  • Create engaging content for my blog every week

While evaluating my business metrics for the last quarter, I realized the content I was spending the most time on wasn't the most popular. I thought having an ongoing blog series was important, but I wasn't creating content that was important.

To break it down simply, Thursday Thoughts will no longer be an "every week" thing. I will share some awesome quotes as they seem relevant, but I will no longer create them when I have other more relevant content to share with you.

Awesome content you can expect in the next few months includes:

I'm very excited for the months ahead on Elaina Lynn Design, and I hope you'll join me along the way.

P.S. I found this article on Huffington Post while researching for this post and found it super relatable (especially the part about learning from your dogs...)

Ohana Means Family

The past few weeks have been filled with family visits, from my mom and brother coming down for some very full Disneyland days, to meeting my husband's uncles from Germany. To me, family means everything, so I pull back the reins on my business whenever family is in town. When I first heard this quote, I realized Lilo & Stitch was a must watch (those were dark days of Disney in my eyes... you never knew what you were gonna get *ahem Chicken Little*). My mom lived with her family in Hawaii for many years, so the Hawaiian culture is close to my heart.

Quote Lilo & Stitch Ohana means Family

For those of you who haven't been to Hawaii, the culture embodies everything I thought family should be.

Warm. Welcoming. Respectful of their history. Proud of their heritage.

My personal heritage is very blended, but no part of my history gets left behind when I share my family roots. From my Portuguese great grandfather who played ukelele, to my Native American great grandmother who resided in the Pacific Northwest, I am proud of each and every part.

I am proud to now include German heritage in my history after marrying my husband. The German culture shares many of the Hawaiian characteristics that I love. My husband's uncle welcomed us with open arms, eagerly inviting us to stay with him in Germany. I certainly hope we make it soon!

For now, I have some incredible stories to share about my new family history. Some things will always be more important than business, and family is one of them.

Website Updates

During my travel to meet the German uncles, I dove head first into the New York Times bestseller #GIRLBOSS (long long overdue). It is everything I hoped it would be and more, and I'm only halfway through. I came back from our quick trip on fire, ready to blaze trails and take action.

You may notice some (awesome) updates to the website, including new navigation at the bottom of the page and exciting new ways to explore the Etsy and Redbubble shops. Let me know what you all think!

Even Cinderella's Miracle Took a Little Time

Looking for your Cinderella moment, for your fairy godmother to make your dreams come true?

I've talked before about how overnight success isn't realistic. How hard work (and a lot of patience) is key to making your dreams a reality. But what happens after you've put in the hard work and your patience is running thin?

Remember why you started.

Was it for the fame and fortune? Hopefully not. To stick with something long enough to see it become a reality, you better have enough passion to get through those dry spells. While Cinderella's miracle happened overnight, there was a lot of hard work and dreaming that led up to her happily ever after.

Quote Cinderella Even miracles take a little time

When you are pursuing your dreams, it's so important to celebrate the little "miracles" to see the progress you are making. I am coming up on my one year anniversary of being a full-time business owner, which had been a dream of mine for so long! Yet I still feel like I have so far to go.

While I'm still working out the kinks and building my portfolio of products (although I hope to never stop growing my portfolio), I am so proud to say I run my own business. I have helped dozens of people make their events a success and made a mark on their wedding or event planning experience. I have also started to share my love for Disney through my products and blog posts with you lovely people.

First Product Features!

This week, I did a little happy dance when I discovered my first feature on the Project Junior blog! My Cinderella art print has been featured as a way to decorate your child's room, along with several other adorable items. Check it out!

Update: My fellow Disney blogger Julie Bigboy featured my Cinderella print last week on her blog Saving Up for Disney! She created a great roundup of Cinderella-inspired products in honor of the movie release. Check out her post here!

New Way to Get Elaina Lynn Designs!!

I am also excited to announce that I have set up shop on RedBubble! After seeing some of my favorite Disney photographers share their items on Instagram and testing the site out for myself, I liked the ease of use from a shopper's point of view way better than Zazzle. My designs are now available to purchase on pillows, tote bags, phone cases, art prints and more!

So this is love pillow

I hope this helps make my designs more accessible to Disney fans everywhere. If you buy anything with my designs, I would love to see them in action! Send me a picture of your snazzy new item and I promise to feature it on my social media accounts.

P.S. Pug designs are coming soon!