Living with an Autoimmune Disease (Hashimoto’s)


This past January, I went in for a routine yearly exam and walked out with an autoimmune disease.

Not really, but that’s what it felt like. I didn’t really think there was anything wrong with me when I went in. I’ve always been a really healthy person — I rarely get sick. But as I chatted with my midwife during the visit, I mentioned how I was still tired all the time despite making an effort to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. I didn’t feel back to my old self even though my baby was almost two years old. It was also a lot harder to lose the baby weight this time around, even though I was trying twice as hard. I was forgetful, and more… But I figured these could all be attributed to the fact that I’m getting older, I have two young children and two businesses. “I’d like to run a little blood work just to see…” she told me.

Now, I’d heard people say that auto-immune diseases are “the new ADD”. So many more people are getting diagnosed with them, and it’s a bit controversial. Is there really a huge epidemic of these kinds of illnesses? Or is it just a new fad? People who believe that the epidemic is real blame a lot of it to the way food started changing in the 1950’s. Pesticides, GMO’s, fast food, processed food, etc… It’s true that our diets changed drastically at this point in history, and personally, it does make sense to me that it would start affecting our health in unforeseen ways. But I don’t claim to be a scientist, a dietician, or any kind of expert. I can only share what my experience is…
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Stay Cool

For me, summer fashion is all about staying cool while still looking stylish. Here are some pieces to help get you started…





1) Edith A. Miller 2) Ilana Kohn 3) New Balance 4) Aritzia 5) Clare V.

You might also like Minimal Bohemian Style, Stockholm Street Style, & 60’s Euro Beach Style.

Summer Birthday Guide


  1. This minimalist wallet is anything but basic.
  2. Loving all of the tribal-inspired jewelry recently.
  3. A ceramic planter is always a winner in my book.
  4. You can’t go wrong with ramen.
  5. It seems like everyone I know has a summer birthday, so I’m always on the lookout for birthday cards.
  6. Intrigued by this seaweed and sea lavender lip balm.


By SSP contributor, Annie Steward. Also find her at Postcards From College.

10 Steps to Working Smarter (not Harder) at Your Small Creative Business


During the first few years of running Sycamore Street Press, I usually worked 6 days a week and anywhere from 12 – 16 hours a day. I loved it, but it was crazy, and I knew it couldn’t last.

Then I had a baby. When she was tiny, I didn’t work very many hours at all, but by the time she was a year old, I was back on a regular schedule. As you can imagine, this new schedule entailed a lot fewer hours at work than the old one, though. Instead of 80 hour work weeks, I was usually working about 50 hours a week, with a good portion of those hours being at night after she was in bed.

The great part about working for yourself is that you have the flexibility to set your own schedule. You can just decide to cut 30 hours out of your weekly schedule, like I did, without having to ask permission. The not so great part about working for yourself is that if you drastically reduce the amount of hours you put into your business, your business could really suffer. And mine did.

As I said, the first few years we were in business, Sycamore Street Press was steadily growing. Then in 2012, the growth stopped. In fact, our revenue actually declined by 11%. With a young family to feed, that scared me.

To be fair, some of that was due to some big changes in our industry (the stationery industry). The overall market had shrunk, but the amount of independent stationery manufacturers (like ourselves) had skyrocketed. However, I also realized that I hadn’t been smart about the way I had transitioned into balancing a baby with my business. I had just cut my hours without being strategic about how I would make up for it. That needed to change.

And it did change. In the first quarter of 2015, we grew 33% from Q1 of 2014. Here’s my story about how we turned it around, with the 10 key steps that have helped us… Read More…