A New Year, a new us!…sort of

inspiration

It’s been awhile since I’ve been active on our blog and as I look back through my handful of posts I can’t help but notice how much things have changed! I have to admit I feel a bit silly, because 3 years and another kiddo later and I hardly have the energy to apply make up in the morning let alone take on the world as my previous posts seem to imply! Shoot, I’d be ecstatic about getting a good night’s sleep!

Now my ambitions are much less about over achieving and more about finding balance…finding the place where family, work and of course sleep can coexist. 🙂

And I think with that change of heart, and with the beginnings of a change of hands (I must emphasize beginnings; don’t worry my dad continues to be overly obsessed with the business), I think it is appropriate to have a change of look. We’re in the works of developing a new logo, one that perhaps better represents the next generation of Takaos, while still giving a nod to the previous generations that have built the company into what it is today.

I look forward to sharing our journey in creating our new look and in traveling down the path towards the future together! Here’s to the New Year!

Kids Equals Play

On the occasional instance when my daugthers Gwen and Emma come to work with me, nothing seems to get done around here!

Grandpa Danny and Grandmama (this is the name Gwen has come up with for my mom) and Baby Emma (also Gwen’s nicknaming talent at work)

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A special lot of plants were going out to Fresno State for their plant sale and Gwen insisted she needed her own “stickers” to put on her plants – good thing we have extras!

gwenplants

…trying to work and send emails…

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…ya, I don’t think that’s going to happen!…

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Happy Valentine’s Day Y’all!

Aaaah February 14th, Valentine’s Day, and also my anniversary 😉

We’re celebrating the day of love with cupcakes from my favvvvvvorite bakery, The Frosted Cakery! So good – frosting a mile high and sweet as heck, just the way I like it! And more delicious frosting – with cookies that Monique made!

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And we’ve had a few fun deliveries as well!…

Flowers for Monique from her kids – is that not so sweet! And there’s little Emma to make it an even sweeter pic!

emma

And just after I texted Darren to “elbow” him that Monique got flowers – these came for me!

darrensflowers

Dad had better step it up! Maybe he’ll come back from the Norcal Show with something for mom haha 🙂

Kick Off Your New Year’s Resolutions!

It’s a new year and a great time to set all your lofty aspirations and resolutions for a better you in 2012! And to help you kick your butt into gear, why not a little motivation?!

Over the holiday break I stumbled upon some marketing insight from Jay Abraham and I’ve been absorbing it and making notes as to how I can apply this into our marketing plan – and I use the word “plan” very loosely here! 🙂 (Hey, I’m a creative – we create, not plan well!)

Take a peek at it for yourself! I know there’s got to be a few things you can take from it too! Let me know how it goes!

Merry Christmas!

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We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year!

We’ll be closing next week for the holidays. It’s the first time every (as far as I can remember). Every year I beg my dad to close for the week since practically everyone else is anyways and finally we’ll get to have the extra week off – a very Merry Christmas indeed! Late mornings here I come! 😉

Lisa’s Christmas Gift Guide

I’m in the holiday mood with my iPhone busting out my Christmas playlist and I thought I’d put together a little gift guide for you all:

  1. Dremel Tool – I know this seems totally random, but seriously, you can use a Dremel tool for soooo many things and this one is cordless, even better! I’ve used ours to help me in turning some jars into lamps, creating a shadow box for my mom’s trinkets, cutting out a sign…if you’re the crafty sort it’s a handy tool!
  2. Swiss Army USB Flash Drive – I don’t know how many times I’ve lost our dang USB only to go out and buy another one to replace it and then lose that one too. I could attach this to my keys and I’d be all set!
  3. the Mug Boss – This is so my dad! He likes to use coffee mugs to hold his pens and whatnot.
  4. Small Measuring Tape – Okay, maybe I’m strange but I have like 3 small measuring tapes and one full sized version. I always like to have one nearby because it always seems like I need to measure something – room dimensions, promotional print sizes, furniture, tradeshow booth layouts…although I don’t have a rhinestone one yet…
  5. Brewzkey Bottle Opener – It seems like such a good idea to always have a bottle opener on hand, because how many times have you heard “Does anyone have a bottle opener?” – at a BBQ or get together or picnic or party. And then someone will show you how to use some random object to open it, only it takes about 5 minutes to finally get the dang thing open.
  6. the One Trip Grocery Bag Holder – Are you one of those people that absolutely insists on carrying everything from your car to the house in one trip – no matter how many bags there may be…6,8,10? Well, I am one of those people too! I don’t know why, but it always just seems to make more sense that I max my arm muscles out to the brink of exhaustion and almost lose a finger tip or two from blood loss than make two trips.
  7. Aircurve speakers for iPhone – Now, these aren’t any old speakers…these speakers require no electricity, batteries or cables, and at under $20 they’re a great gift to give to anyone with an iPhone! I need one to amp up my Christmas playlist right now!
  8. Pens from Iomoi – Everyone uses pens. You use them, you lose them, you hand them out, let people borrow them. You can never have enough pens. And with all the action that they see, why not make it pretty to look at too! You’re desk will look so fancy 🙂

Check out my pinterest board for more neato gift ideas 🙂

 

*A little update! I received gifts 2, 4 and 7 for Christmas hahaha – you can imagine the hilariousness that ensued Christmas morning! Next year I’m listing that luscious Coach purse I’ve been eyeing on here!

Trick or Treat!!!

Our little  Oompa Loompa in full effect!

Road Trip!

I’m back from my road trip to speak at the San Diego Flower & Plant Association’s Annual Growers Meeting. It was a great trip that ended up being a bit longer than I had planned on…

The meeting itself was great – buffet, drinks, raffle prizes, a brief tour of Thompson Rose where the meeting was being held – met new people, got to see some familiar faces…

Check out how they triple stack their plants! Talk about utilizing space! Wouldn’t it be great if we could grow liners that way too 🙂

Chris Hopkins of Orchard Supply also spoke – in a nutshell he basically told the audience that they needed to reinvent themselves and their products to entice stores like OSH to want to carry their product line. It seemed like a ‘no duh’, but later when I was filling in Darren on the night’s events he said something that made sense – that maybe some people don’t know that they need to change. He even listed his family’s nursery as an example, of how they didn’t think they needed to do anything differently, but now they’ve realized that times are changing and ‘the way things were’ may be just that – the way things were, but aren’t anymore. That doesn’t mean that the economy and sales won’t eventually pick up – it just means that things are evolving and shifting and transitioning and everyone has to realize that and adapt to it the best they can. I hope my presentation offered some insight and gave attendees something they could take away and apply to their businesses in terms of marketing and utilizing all the technology that is out there to promote their companies.

The following day we were lucky enough to be given the grand tour of Olive Hill Greenhouses – I know Denise through Ag Leadership (which I was never actually a part of, but she introduced me to the program years ago). Denise, the main man Tony and Denise’s husband Will, gave Darren and I a thorough walk through of their facilities – it was really interesting to see! Growing indoor plants was quite different from what we do as perennial propagators and even from what Darren’s family does as a grower. And I think we both left more educated than we arrived – complete with what elements are in newspaper ink! The 2.5 hour tour was the perfect way to top off our work trip! And all the beautiful plants we got to take with us (as many as the Mini could fit) didn’t hurt either!

 

So much loveliness!!!

Their awesome living wall in their office. I think I want one too now!

One last stop before the trek back to Fresno…a quick pop-in at McCall’s Meat and Fish in Los Feliz to visit Darren’s brother at his meat shop to take a little something back home for dinner. And funny enough, we ran into Tom Hawkins from Florasource there! With spicy lamb sausages and their house burger blend in our ice chest, we were finally off!

…then halfway through the grapevine, my tire began to shred…

Long story short…we had to stay the night in Gorman, because it was too late to get anything done. All of the local shops were not set up to change tires on a Mini and also did not carry any tires that would have fit anyways (Mini’s don’t come with a spare – they ride on run-flats, but run-flats only work if your tire isn’t on the verge of disintegrating).

We hauled all our stuff into our hotel room, plants included, and had pizza delivered to the room – which I found through the clever advertising they placed next to the tv channels sign (menu on back with Holiday Inn Express discount too, clever indeed!)

Unloading our goodies…I think our hotel room was the nicest one that night!

 

We woke up bright and early to be towed to the nearest BMW dealership in Bakersfield so that they could change out the tire – then walked to a chorizo breakfast – then 4 hours later we were finally on our way back home.

It was a great trip – minus the tire scare/hassle – but it’s good to be home and in a car that’s driveable 🙂

I Have a Confession to Make…

Okay, so I have a confession to make. Here I am the marketing gal, but I’m reluctant to say that I’ve been slacking a bit on my end of things – for our nursery, for my invitation company.

I’m not saying that I haven’t been doing anything. But I haven’t been giving it all I’ve got that’s for sure.

…My daughter is turning 2 years old next month and being a mother is the hardest thing I have ever done. Right now I’m doing good – I don’t consider it the hardest thing in my life right now. But, especially in the beginning, it was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do.

During my pregnancy I had envisioned how I would get so much work done on my maternity leave with my brand new baby sleeping nearby – that was totally delusional of me. Try sleeping in intervals of 2-3 hours at a time day after day after day – there are no days off in being a mom…I was a total zombie. A living version of the walking dead. 

After 3 months of leave I returned to work. All that did was add another scheduled element to my existing sleeping (or lack of sleep) schedule. I stopped wearing make-up or even attempting to be fashionable (my previous indulgence). If I managed a shower in the morning that was a feat in itself. Eventually, 2-3 hour sleep intervals turned into only having to wake up twice a night at 2 am and 4 am,…I became a pseudo-zombie.

Then around when Gwen was one and half she began to sleep through the night. Hurray!…but wait, now the problem was that she wasn’t going to sleep until midnight and 2 am and a couple of times at 4 am…and I have to be at work at 8 am – you do the math.

Things are getting better now – we’re at 11:30pm right now and I can do that. We’re still working on moving her sleep time up. Although I easily get confused as to what day it actually is – frantically waking up on a Saturday because I think I’m late to work or sleeping in too much on a Thursday because I think it’s Sunday – and I also have no concept of time…2 days feels like 2 weeks ago so don’t ask me I can’t remember – that’s why I write down anything pertinent.

Currently, since I can get at least 7 hours of much needed zzz’s most nights, I am again wearing make-up and getting dressed…the hair is still to come (I just had it cut and styled…I haven’t had a haircut since Gwen was 3 months old!). And now that I’m finally feeling like my old self, I’m ready to take the bull by the horns! It’s going to be a year of change for us in 2012 and I hope a year of change for you too!

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