Etsy Shop is FINALLY Open!

Good Morning All!

I don’t know about all of you, but I get horrible insomnia around a full moon – the upside?  I FINALLY finished our Etsy shop!  I’m still working on building out the “shop” side to our blog for the cupcakes, but one shop at a time, right? 🙂  For now, our Etsy shop sells wish bracelets (we hope to add more).  We decided to do wish bracelets because OUR wish is to have a baby, so we thought we would try to make your wishes come true too!

The shop is bare bones right now, so excuse the “mess” lol. I got it up and running real quick after reading an article from salesforce on the important to these creative marketplaces. All proceeds go directly to our adoption fund and once we reach our goal, we will keep the shop open and donate a percentage of the proceeds to another family on their adoption journey!
If you are interested in purchasing the bracelets in bulk for your own fundraising purposes, please get in touch for bulk pricing.
xoxo – Michelle

Gimme S’more

Hey All!

I have three words for you – Oh. Em. Geee!!  Our Gimme S’more cupcake is currently our featured cupcake. This little beauty has a graham cracker crust, topped with a moist chocolate cake, topped with creamy marshmallow frosting and a little chocolate square.  Pretty much like heaven in a jar!  If s’mores aren’t you thing, don’t worry – we can do almost any cake/frosting combo for you, along with a custom label, ribbon and little bamboo spoon.  $3 each or $30 for a dozen (min purchase ½ dozen).  Did I mention that we deliver locally?  All proceeds go directly to our adoption fund.  After we meet our goal, we will continue to keep the shop open and donate 5% of our proceeds to a family going through their adoption journey!

Gimme S'more

We also have our Facebook page up and running (just barely!).  If you get a chance stop by and give us a like – www.facebook.com/HopeStrengthAndWine 

We are still working on the shop portion of our site – I PROMISE it will be up soon!

xoxo – Michelle

 

Cupcakes in a Jar

Hey all!

So I’m super jazzed up (yes, I went there) about our cupcakes in a jar!  We’ve been so blessed that we can use the proceeds from these cupcakes to go towards our adoption costs!  It’s really a win-win.  You get an adorable yet delicious portable cupcake and we are one step closer to our fundraising goal!  Check out the cute cakes we made today!  You’re hungry now, aren’t you?  That’s okay – just get in touch and you can have your very own yummy snacks!Cupcake in a Jar

The Universe Works in Mysterious Ways!

Hi All!

We had our second fundraising sale yesterday at the St Pete Beach Rec center. We want to thank EVERYONE that came out to stopped by to see us! It was also awesome to meet so many new people and hear their adoption journeys. The kindness of strangers makes our hearts so happy! I know we say this all the time, but we really can’t do this without you all, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Back to the sale…It was a community sale, so we REALLY had our hopes set high as far as traffic at the sale.  Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans…it rained pretty much the whole time!  Our sales weren’t quite where we wanted them to be and we didn’t hit our fundraising goal, but hey, we did make some money, so that’s a good day in our books 🙂  Here’s where the Universe(God)stepped in…although we didn’t have a lot of traffic, almost everyone that stopped in loved our baked goods, especially our cupcakes in a jar. We brought them as more of an add on item, not thinking that they would be such a huge hit!

 

cupcakesSeriously though, whats not to love about them, they’re so stinking adorable and delicious to boot! We ended up with multiple orders before the day was done and after posting them online, we ended up with more and more orders through the night! We went from feeling like the day had been a bust, to feeling so blessed and overjoyed. Someone is definitely watching out for us!

We’ve been making the cupcakes for years for friends and family and now we can make them for you too!  Our online shop will be open this week, but if you want to place an order before then, just reach out to me on Facebook or on our contact page here.

Thank you all for your love and support!

xoxo – Michelle & Bill

Surrender for the Magic

Good Morning all!  I hope that everyone has had a nice and relaxing Labor Day weekend!  We’ve taken the time to relax a little, work on some side projects, and met up with family last night for dinner – all in all a good weekend in my books!

I came across a photo on Facebook that I just HAD to share with you all!

Overplanningkillsmagic

“SURRENDER is not about letting go of action, it’s about letting go of outcome”

This struck such a chord with me because if you know me, you know that I LOVE a plan!  I make plans for my plans, no really…lol! In my head I think, “How am I going to get what I want if I don’t make a plan for it”. Bill on the other hand is a, “Don’t worry about it and it will all work out” type of guy (which can drive a girl like me crazy)!

I think a lot of us fall into this planning pattern, especially when going through fertility treatments and the adoption process. You have dates for appointments, dates to start/stop medicine, dates for intercourse (sorry dad).  You plan when you are going to test, how you are going to save money, what your next step will be if plan A (and B, C, and D) don’t work. When we were doing IVF, we would plan our whole life around our cycles – to a certain point you have to.

So for me, this was the perfect reminder to take a big deep breath in and try to let go of some of the control, because in reality this whole process is not in my control.  I am right where I need to be in my life right now.  There is a bigger plan out there for me that I have no control of and I need to surrender and let the magic happen!

xoxo – Michelle

Photographs for a Cause!

As many of you may already know, Bill and I have a photography business that we do on the side (www.mybphotos.com). For those of you that don’t know, ahem, we do photography, give us a call! 🙂 We photograph everything from babies to engagements to weddings and beyond!

Throughout the year we offer our very popular mini sessions. This fall we will be doing an exclusive series of mini sessions as an adoption fundraiser!

These sessions are great for family, maternity, children, couples, pets or even just yourself!

Just pick a date, and e-mail us for availability. These sessions fill up fast; so don’t hesitate to grab your date! We can’t wait to see you!

If you’re social, will you please help us? Spread the word by “sharing” this post across your social media and within your sphere of influence. Thank you so much!

Thank you for your love and support!

xoxo – Bill & Michelle

mini session adoption

Top Tips for An AWESOME Adoption Fundraiser Yard Sale

The first of our TWO fundraising yard sales was held on Saturday and it was a HUGE success! We had people donate stuff for a few months leading up to the sale. We finally got to the point where we felt like we were living in a hoarder’s house (minus the cats and garbage), so we decided it was time for our sale!

We blasted through our first fundraising goal! Here’s how we did it and how you can do it too:

  • Get as much stuff as you possibly can. Have people donate like crazy. Ask for donations on your blog, on Facebook, Twitter, at work, at church, etc. We had so much stuff.
  • Organize your donations as they come in!  It will make it SOO much easier the day of when you are setting everything out!
  • Make an eye-catching Craigslist ad. We even linked from our Craigslist ad to our blog so people could learn more about us and why we were raising money.
  • Place items strategically near the curb for maximum visibility. We had a bedroom set, some retro chairs, and some other furniture we put near the curb. It all sold.
  • Make bright and bold signs and put them on every street corner and in your neighborhood. You can’t have too many. We went the silly route on a few of our signs and we actually had people stop just because of our signs, AND they ended up buying!

  • We had a big poster board sign out explaining that it was a fundraiser to help us adopt a child. Because of this, we had multiple people give donations and even come back with items from their own homes that we could use in our next sale…total strangers. We were blown away!
  • We wore matching t-shirts, so it helped the shoppers identify us and know who to pay!

tshirt

  • We didn’t price ANYTHING.  We accepted donations only – telling people to pay what they felt was fair and that no reasonable offer would be refused.  For the most part this worked wonderfully!  We had a few people offer some really lowball offers, but the people that paid more than double what we expected made of for this and far exceed the lowballers.
  • This may sound silly, but don’t forget to eat and keep hydrated!
  • We boxed the leftovers back up and will be holding another sale September 12th, at the city wide garage sale at the St Pete Beach Rec Center.

There are a few things we would have done differently that we will definitely be doing on September 12th!

  • Set up a lemonade, soda, water, or coffee stand and possibly sell baked items. It was HOT, like heat stroke hot, on the day of our sale.  It wouldn’t have made a TON of money, but it would have made some and would be a nice touch for all of our thirsty shoppers!
  • Have help setting up and taking down! Bill and I seem to think we can do it all…lol..and after all we DID set up and take down by ourselves, but we were rushed and exhausted. It would also be smart to have a few extra “staff” (don’t forget the matching t-shirts) to help out at your sale.

Our yard sale was absolutely exhausting, but, thanks to our family and friends, it was absolutely worth it!  We will be ready to go again on September 12th, so if you have some items you’d like to donate, just let us know 🙂

Xoxo  Michelle

 

 

 

We are AMAZED! Thank you!

If I had to choose one word to describe our yard sale yesterday it would be AMAZING!  I honestly don’t know where to start. Between the generosity of our friends and family that donated items to sell to the generosity of everyone that came out and purchased items we are truly humbled and so, so grateful!  Thanks to YOU, we made our first fundraising goal! We had an AMAZING turnout, even though it was scorching hot out, from the time we “opened” to the time we “closed”. We were also AMAZED at the complete strangers (at least 5 different groups) that made a SECOND trip back to our yard sale with items from their own home to donate towards our next sale. Seeing selfless giving like that was awesome and being on the receiving end of that giving really, really touched our hearts! So we would like to give a huge THANK YOU to those that donated items, THANK YOU to those the purchased items, and THANK YOU to those that support us daily in your prayers and thoughts!  We really couldn’t do any of this without each and every one of you!

Our Etsy store is ALMOST ready (our wish bracelets debuted at our yard sale!) and I can’t wait to share with your our top tips for having an AMAZING yard sale! So stayed tuned….. 🙂

Thank you again for your love and support!

xoxo – Michelle & Bill

 

Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale – Saturday, August 22 | St Pete Beach

We are sooooo excited for our upcoming fundraiser garage sale this weekend! Thanks to our family and friends we have a TON of amazing items for you….and guess what?!?  NO PRICES. Yep, you read correctly, no prices – we will be accepting donations only, so you pay what you think is fair and we promise that no reasonable offer will be refused!!  We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday!!

Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale

Thank you!!

We are getting closer and closer to our garage sale next month and we are starting to get really excited!  We want to give a huge THANK  YOU to everyone that has already donated and for those that have scheduled their pick up!  We will be accepting donations for a few more weeks, so if you’d like to contribute, just get in touch and we’ll arrange a pick up!

garage sale donation

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