Babymoon on the West Coast

Over Labor Day weekend Abe and I boarded Virgin America for a flight from JFK to LAX.  Our week long trip to SoCal included visiting some of Abe's family, attending the wedding of close friends (Congratulations, Chelsea and Sam!!), and visiting with one of my best friends and her hubby, who I only get to see maybe once a year (if I'm lucky).

I was not looking forward to flying being that I'm 7 months pregnant, but the flight from JFK > LAX was remarkably comfortable. I had an aisle seat - easy access to the bathroom and to walk around, our seat neighbors were really nice - one couple from Brazil and another couple travelling with a 5 month old baby, and I had the entire season 1 of Game of Thrones on my laptop.

The flight back was not as sweet, but I blame it more on being a red eye than anything else. Even if I wasn't pregnant I wouldn't have done well on that flight.  Lesson learned, no more red eyes.

Trip Highlights (aside from seeing family, old friends, and the marriage of two wonderful people):


  • Survived an 3.2 earthquake
  • Amazing home-cooked meals by Elise & Alex, Cheryl and Leah
  • Lots of beach and pool time
  • Meeting new dog friends


First thing off the plane? Hit up In-N-Out Burger.

faux trees at The Getty

cousin Elise, Abe and me at The Getty

Chelsea and Sam's wedding was at a vineyard so they incorporated wine into the ceremony.

I spent a lot of time here.

Chelsea the bride - straight out of an Anthro catalog

Third Trimester!

Beachin' it in Marina del Rey with Leah and Jon.


The 411 on Etsy Direct Checkout

Etsy rolled out a new payment feature called direct checkout this summer.  Lots of Etsy sellers are already using direct checkout, but I thought I would share some information about the feature for anyone still on the fence or unclear about the benefits.

What is direct checkout?

With direct checkout, a buyer will be able to purchase an item without being redirected from Etsy or without the use of PayPal. Funds from sales through direct checkout will be deposited into your bank account.

Are there any fees for direct checkout?

When using direct checkout as a payment method, Etsy will charge a payment processing fee of 3% + $0.25 USD per order. (I believe PayPal charges 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction so the pricing is comparable)

When do funds become available for direct checkout payments?

The amount from your sale, minus payment processing fees, is available for deposit to your bank account once the order is marked as "shipped" and any applicable deposit delay passes since the sale. The majority of shops have a standard deposit delay of three days. The funds are automatically deposited into your bank account.

How do you set up direct checkout?

Just go to Shop Settings > Shipping & Payment > Payment Method and select that you want to activate Etsy direct checkout. You'll have to enter your bank account information and Etsy will make two small deposits (a couple cents) into your account within a couple days, which you'll have to confirm to begin receiving deposits. However, at this point you are ready to start accepting Etsy direct checkout. You just can't get your money until you confirm the small deposits from Etsy.

What are the benefits of using Etsy direct checkout?

- Ability to accept Etsy Gift Cards! You can not accept gift cards in your shop if you only have PayPal activated. Think about all the people receiving Etsy gift cards for the holidays this year - you'll want to show up in their searches come January :)

- Easier shipping options. Right now Etsy has the option to print USPS shipping labels to USA buyers, but there are big plans for lots of other shipping features, which will probably be only available to direct checkout purchases because of all the controls that need to be in place.

- Offer your customers more options.  To be honest, it took me a few weeks to get direct checkout set up in my shop because I was just being lazy and Paypal was working fine for me.  However, once I sat down to do it I realized a.) it took less than 5 minutes and b.) I immediately started getting sales from customers using direct checkout.  Would they have passed if I only offered Paypal? Who knows, but why take the chance?!

You can read more FAQ here: www.etsy.com/help/topics/#Direct_Checkout


Workshop Annoucement - Etsy 101: Get Started on Etsy

On September 8, 2012 I will be teaching my first Etsy 101 workshop.  If you are in Beacon, NY please join me at the Howland Public Library from 2pm-3pm as we discuss how to set up a successful Etsy shop, the best ways to get start making sales, where to go when help is needed, and the four keys to Etsy success.

Bring your ideas and dreams on what craft, art, handmade or vintage items you'd like to sell on a social commerce website. Or just come to learn what Etsy is all about!

About the teacher:  Ryan Green is a graduate of of Etsy's June 2012 Educator training and a certified Etsy Educator.  She has been a designer and maker since 2003 and selling on Etsy since 2006. She is also a member of the Hudson Valley Etsy Team. You can visit her shop Wicked Mint to view her line of graphic home decor products. For more information on one-on-one consulting or to inquire about hosting a workshop at your venue, please contact Ryan.

Peeking at the Etsy site before you come can be helpful if you aren't familiar with the site. www.etsy.com

Link to the Howland Public Library calendar:  http://evanced.info/howland/evanced/eventsignup.asp?ID=6057&rts=&disptype=...


DIY: Cards and Photos Memory Book

It's impossible for me to throw announcements, postcards, and holiday and birthday cards away.  Unfortunately we're running out of room on the kitchen walls and I needed to do something about storing whatever I wanted to keep.  I saw a couple ideas on Pinterest and yesterday decided to hit Michael's for supplies. The finished product is a clean and simple way to keep cards organized and also make it easy to flip through the collection - kind of like a memory book.


  • chip board or matte board for front and back, cut so they're slightly larger than your biggest card
  • (2) hinged binding rings - Michael's only had 2" rings, smaller would be better
  • grommet kit (sold at Home Depot or other hardware stores)
  • hole punch
  • large rubber band (sold with scrapbooking supplies)


  • Follow instructions on grommet kit and punch holes in chip/matte board and insert grommets (best if you do this on cement, you need to hammer it hard.)
  • Line up your cards on the boards and punch holes in your cards so they line up with the grommets.  
  • Connect everything together with the hinged rings
  • Wrapping with the jumbo elastic will stop the cards from flopping around and slipping out of the sides of the board


    Babymoon at the Beach

    Last week we went on our much anticipated beach vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina.  We booked the vacation with friends last winter before I was pregnant, but luckily swimming in the ocean 12 hours a day is something pregnant women can do very well.  Having to pee constantly has never been so convenient. The only hard part was not being able to enjoy cold beers on the beach and frosty pina coladas on the deck.  Even though my baby is due in November, I think my first drink post-delivery will be a fruity, frozen and tropical.

    The Outer Banks, or OBX, is an awesome place for a beach location.  The drive is long (12 hrs from our house in New York), but the ocean is warm, the sand is soft, and the beaches aren't crowded.  Plus you can rent a huge house with a hot tub and sometimes a pool right on the beach!

    We rented a place with four of my hometown friends, Esme, the 8 year old daughter of one couple, and three dogs.  I don't think the vacation would have been nearly as entertaining if we didn't have Esme and the dogs. We watched Neverending Story on the second night and for the rest of the week Esme performed monologues from the movie.

    Our house was on the ocean side of the island in a huge surfing spot with huge waves.  When we needed a break or wanted to take Lily swimming we would go over to the bay side of the island.  The bay side was full of kite boarders, which looked soooo fun.  I really want to try kite boarding one day when I'm not pregnant and have upper body strength.

    We went to the bay to watch the sunset a couple times and once there was a kite boarder surfing in front of the melting sun.  It was the ultimate 80's scene (I think I had a pair of OP jams with a similar theme).  We were really hoping the kite boarder would "jump the sun".