Friday, July 13, 2018

Markets Of Sunshine New Logo

New Logo

We are so excited to show off our new logo created by Makalya of Impression Designs on Instagram.  We'd love to hear what you think about the design and color palette we chose.
Since, we live in Florida we wanted something that was bright and colorful and feels like a day spent at the beach.

When you visit our Etsy shop, MarketsofSunshine you'll quickly be able to identify us by our logo.  All of our packages will have this unique design on all of our labels and business cards too.  

We hope you'll share our post and help us spread the word about our handmade business.

"We help women find the "will power" to take control of their budget so that they can have financial independence and peace of mind". 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us.

Sending You Sunshine,

Marsha J.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Week 27: List of 10 Must Have Gift Ideas For July Gift Giving

Welcome to Week 27

You don't have to face the extreme heat or pouring rain when you need a gift.  Shop from the comfort of your home with artisans with established businesses online.

I have personally made purchases from most of these seller's shop on Etsy.  They are honest folks and aim to please.
I've put together a list of 10 must have gift ideas for your July gift giving needs.  All of these gifts are found on Etsy and are either handmade or vintage finds.  Enjoy!

1.  Mystery grab bag gift collection for baby shower gifts and get well gifts or other special occasion that require something soft to cuddle. 
 Pioneer Fundraiser Etsy Shop 
click the shop name above

2.  Mystery grab bag for pen pal or letter writing
Markets of Sunshine Etsy Shop 

3.  Mystery Fabric Sampler Bag

4.  Tea Sampler
Happie Coconut Etsy Shop
5.  Creamed Soap Sampler
Creamed Soap Etsy Shop

6.  Family Name Wood Coaster

7.  Maui Earrings

 8. Handmade Buttons

Bumble Beads Buttons Etsy Shop

9.  Hand Painted Keepsake Box
Essence of the South Etsy Shop

10.  Raw Honey
Hillside Bees Etsy Shop
 If you want to receive a discount from our shop we invite you to join our mailing list so you never miss one of our big sales events.
See you next time.  
Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Week 19 - Week 26: How To Stay Focused On Your Debt-Free Journey

How To Stay Focused On Your Debt-Free Journey

Week 19- Week 26

I know I have gotten a little behind in doing my week by week posts for my #52weeksnailmailchallenge. Even though I have not been posting weekly for a few weeks I have been sending out my weekly cards to family and friends.

June is a very special month for my husband and I.  We are celebrating 30 years of marriage and I wanted this to be an extra special and memorable occasion.  So, we are giving gifts to each other for 30 days.  At the same time, we are spending more time together working on our debt-free journey.

We held our first garage sale in May and had a few people show up and sold a few items.  Yay!  I also have been posting in Facebook groups on a weekly basis and have sold even more things to folks in several counties.  WooHoo!  It really feels good to be getting rid of things we don't use and having them go to families that will use them.

I am seeing the floor again in my garage storage area along with opening up space along the wall of the garage where bigger items were before.  
The fact that people are keeping their word and actually showing up at the time they say is truly refreshing and it is encouraging me to keep going on this debt-free journey. 

So, here's how we stay focused on our debt-free journey.

First, I use my Living Well Spending Less planner and write down the main 3 goals for the year, the month, the week and the day.  This year was pretty simple.  There are 3 main goals that I write down each month.  

1.  Selling off unused items around the house

2.  Working on my Etsy business and blog posts (MarketsofSunshine and PioneerFundraiser)

3.  Mailing my cards and letters each week

Second, we discuss our progress each night along with what we are grateful for that day.  This helps us stay focused and keeps us positive.  At the end of the day we can see our hard work paying off with good results. 

I have to admit it took some doing to get my husband on board with this whole new way of doing things.  He is not a goal setter or planner keeping kind of man.  But, he has slowly seen the light over time.  Now, when he hears the ka-ching on my phone from my Etsy shop getting another sale he gets just as happy as I do.
When I tell him someone is coming to pick up xyz item that sold on Facebook he does a happy dance right along with me.

The hardest thing has been to have him let go of his possessions like his bike of 30 plus years.  His tools and equipment that he might need for a future job etc...

Third, I say a prayer for what I am grateful for at the end of each day.  Having faith that you are not doing things on your own power but on that of God's, is why I know we will be successful and reach each and every goal that we write down.

As you can see it does not have to be complicated to start a debt-free journey.  You just have to be committed and communicate with your partner every day.

I am starting fresh with my newsletter starting in July 2018.  It will have four main themes each month as follows:
  • Gluten free recipes
  • How To's
  • Customer Reviews, Sales and Product Launches
  • PDF Worksheet for budgeting and organizing
 Thanks for taking the time to read this week's post at Markets of Sunshine website.  If you have something you need help with that I focus on just leave me a comment below.  Or, open your newsletter and leave a comment there.  I will get back to you as soon as possible.

                                    Sending You Sunshine,
                                    Marsha J.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Week 18: How To Use The Cash Envelope System - Customer Review of Markets of Sunshine Products

Week 18: Customer Review of Markets of Sunshine Products

I received this wonderful hand written review from a local customer who uses my cash envelope wallets for her budgeting system.  I just had to share it with you.

Here is what she had to say in her own words.

"Cash envelopes system has worked for me.  Being organized for me is a no brainer.  However, keeping track of where the money goes on eating out and extras was a challenge.  Until my good friend introduced me to the C.E.S. (cash envelope system)
I love the portability and personalization it gives its user.  I have four wallets I use for these catagories:
car maintanance
savings (don't touch)
fun money

How it works for me is every paycheck I take out the alloted portion my husband and I decided to set aside. Then everything else goes in the bank to pay our rent and other automated bills...
Now in just two months we've saved money in the bank and our envelopes are adding up funds too.  It's amazing and I couldn't be happier to use this way of saving.
I ordered mine from Markets of Sunshine.  She offers a wide variety of patterns.  So it's extra cute and offers personalization.  Plus free shipping!  and she always throws in a free goodie" 💜💜💜 K.R. Florida

 How To Start Your Own Cash Envelope System Budget

1.  Start by writing down the categories you want to save money for as our reviewer did above.
2.  Use a budget app to tell your money where to go  (I use EveryDollar)  
3.   Now head over to Markets of Sunshine Etsy shop and purchase the set you love the most, (click here)
4.  Once your receive your wallets label them for the categories you made in step 1.
5.  Each paycheck you receive put the money in each wallet that you designated in step 2.
6. Stick to your budget and don't cheat.  This is the only way you will succeed and reach your goal of telling your money where to go. 

I have $400 saved in my emergency wallet that I keep on hand for hurricane season.  I have my $1200 in the bank for emergencies on things like a new appliance etc...  I have one wallet for fun money (going to garage sales and thrift stores and state parks)  One wallet I use for receipts of local purchases in case I need to return something and for my Ibotta cash back app that I redeem the day of the purchase. (click here to sign up with Ibotta)
  Later, I move them to a zip lock bag for tax time. We keep a savings account in another bank.  My husband is in charge of that account and I take care of the household budget bank account.  So, get started today with your own cash envelope system with one of our stylish wallets and envelope sets.

Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Week 17: Chosen Farm Girl Of Month May 2018 On MaryJane's Farm Forum

Week 17: Farm Girl of Month May 2018

Howdy! my lovely reader's.  It is so nice to have you stop by today and take a peek into my life.  I know some of you are celebrating this special occasion with me.  Yet others are wondering what in the world is a farm girl of month.  What is MaryJane's Farm forum?

 This was a big event for me because I have been active on this forum for over 10 years.  It was a total surprise for sure.  I have taken part in so many fun swaps with other farm girl's at heart, as we are affectionately known, for all kinds of craft items and tea party themed swaps.
Here are a few of the sweet gifts I received from my dear farm girl's at heart aka sisterhood friends.
In her own words: "Congratulations Marsha, you are so sweet, special and deserving. Think of you often when I have tea, remembering the Farm Girl Tea get to gather we had. Enjoy your special month. Hugs and Love Karla"

In her own words: "Congratulations Marsha as our FGOTM for May!! I hope you enjoy this special month and have some extra Farmgirl fun!! Farmgirl Hugs to you from Sunny Florida!!"

The Congrats! keep coming in on the thread daily from farm girls from all over the USA.  The head Sister, MaryJane even surprised me with a gift in the mail.  Here it is:

I have not heard from MaryJane yet on the forum.  She took a month off for some R&R.  Just the fact that she took the time out of her very busy schedule to acknowledge me was very much appreciated.

If you'd like to read what the other farm girls Congrats! to me you can head on over to the MJF website discussion thread Farm Girl of Month, here.  Go to page 92.

The reason I am sharing this part of my life with you is to encourage you to start your own local sisterhood chapter with your friends and family members.

Have your own craft days and swap events.  Getting together with friends and family to just do fun things is a big stress reliever for us all.

If, you say you don't have stress you are not telling the truth.  Just to keep up with the daily routine is stressful.  Why not take the time to get together with a few of your friends.  

Invite ones you don't know very well and get to know them better.  Step out of your normal circle of friends and invite a totally new group of acquaintances over and get to know each other better.  You might just strike up a few new friendships in the process. 

I made a challenge this year to send out one card and letter every week to my circle of friends and acquaintances.  I didn't know how much this would impact me until now.  Every card and every letter I have sent out was just what that person needed at that moment in their life.

I called it: #52weeksnailmailchallenge you can read week 1, here.

It has evolved into a whole new craft from for me.  The old fashioned pen pal movement is back in full swing.  You don't just send a plain card and stick it in an envelope.  Oh! no.  That is old school for sure.
Here is the new way.  Pocket Letter's.

 I plan on adding them to my Etsy shop, MarketsofSunshine in the very near future.
In the meantime, I invite you to join my StampinUP! click here >>>>> Paper Pumpkin subscription box.
click here to receive your first card making box of goodies in the mail for next month.  You'll be so glad you did.
You can thank me later.

Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.
P. S. I'd love to have you follow my blog.  Just click the follow button on the right side bar. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Easy Chicken and Dumpling Recipe

Easy Chicken and Dumpling Recipe

Do you love comfort food?  The kind that your Mom or Grandma made when you were a kid.

I love to cook with wholesome organic ingredients.  The food just tastes so much better when you use organic.  Don't believe me?  Try it!

Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
  • small mixing bowl
  • medium stock pot
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon gluten free baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  •  1 cup purified water
Step 1: In the mixing bowl beat the eggs.  Add the other ingredients one at a time.
You want a sticky batter, not runny.
Cooked organic chicken
Step 2:  I prefer to cook mine in the crock pot to bring out that extra yummy flavor.  Add a little garlic powder and salt and a little extra virgin olive oil on top.  Fill the crock pot half way with purified water.  Set on high for 4 hours.
Add your favorite vegetables the last hour.
Step 3:  To cook the dumplings you will need the chicken broth from the cooked chicken in the crock pot.
Take out the chicken and vegetables.  Skim off any extra fat floating on top of the broth.
Step 4:  Transfer the broth to a medium stock pot and bring to a boil.
Step 5:  Drop your batter into the boiling broth and put the lid on. 
Cook for 12 minutes.  Move the pot around to make the dumplings turn over in the hot broth.
 Remove from broth and serve with your cooked chicken and vegetables in a deep bowl.  Add the gravy from the pot over the top.  Enjoy!
My family says this is the best chicken and dumpling recipe they have ever tasted.   Getting my husband to eat his vegetables is worse than trying to get a kid to.  Now, the problem is solved.  He asks me to make this for him now.
Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Week 16: How To Start An Indoor Miniature Garden On A Budget

Have you caught the miniature garden bug yet?
I have!  I had it long before it became popular.  I have always been fasinated with miniature figurines.
Here is what I started with. I searched through my house and collected all of my miniature figurines that I had purchased over the years.
 It is a collection of all the things I enjoy doing in my life.
Birdhouse, butterfly, camping, flowers, nature, gardening, needlework, tea and a little tractor to keep the grass mowed.

Where To Start?
1.  Search your own collection room by room
2.  Ask friends and family if they have any miniatures they want to give away and do a swap
3.  Go to garage sales or thrift stores
4.  Ask in online forums and groups and do a swap
5.  Save up a $1 a week for your miniature collection

Most of these cute miniatures were under $5 each.  Some were gifted to me and some I bought at garage sales and thrift stores.
Others, I made myself from a kit.

#52WeekSnailMailChallenge - Week 16

 Sending out my pocket letters to friends was so much fun.  They are filled with so many goodies and surprises. 
What did you send out this past week?  I'd love to see.
Just in case you missed Week 1 you can catch it here:
Mail Art Week 1

Have you seen my newest product line?
Wallets and Coin Purse Sets
 You'll find them in my Etsy shop, MarketsofSunshine
Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 15: Monday Motivation - Weekend Tips: How To Be Productive While Relaxing

Week 15: Monday Motivation - Weekend Tips: How To Be Productive While Relaxing

My weekend was packed full of family activities that were productive and relaxing.  How do I do it?  Here are some tips that I use to keep myself moving even on low energy levels.

#1 - Make a plan and a list
        a) write down all the things you need to get done over the weekend.  
        b) next make a plan of action.  Prioritize your list into what must be done, what needs to be done and what should be done

#2 - Take action steps
        a) start with your "Must be done" item on your list
        b) get to work right away and complete this plan of action
        c) once it is completed mark it off your list

#3 - Relax
        a) now take an hour and relax i.e. eat lunch, listen to music, take a nap but only for one hour
#4 - Move on to your "Needs to be done" item on your list
        a) follow the steps above in #2 to complete this action
        b) move on to your last item under "what should be done"

#5 - Sunday evening plans
        a) invite a few friends or family members over and discuss what you accomplished over the weekend by following these steps above 1-4
        b) prepare a light meal or just snacks
        c) no movie or TV this is just conversation no noise pollution allowed 
        d) end the evening by sharing your favorite spiritual gem from your weekly bible reading program, sing a favorite song, read a passage of the bible together
         e) end the evening by having each guest write down 1 thing they are grateful for from the weeks activities
         f) finally say a prayer with your guests and mention all the things you are grateful for that you experienced over your productive and relaxing weekend

I hope you have been motivated to incorporate these 5 steps into your next family weekend projects.  Don't leave your days to chance.  Make a plan of action and follow through.  Make yourself accountable to your partner.  You will strengthen your relationship and get more done each week.

When Monday rolls around you won't have regrets of what you didn't get done.  You'll be grateful for what you accomplished by working together as a team.

Need some help getting started?  No problem!  I've got that covered.  You'll find a worksheet in my Etsy shop called: 

5 Tips On How to be Productive While Relaxing Over the Weekend

If you liked this post, please take the time to leave me a comment below.  Share it with your friends on your social media too.  I'll see you next week.  Same place.  Same time.

Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J. 

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Week 14: Teach Cursive Writing At Home #52WeekSnailMailChallenge

What You Can Do
  • Send your child or grandchildren letters by mail
  • Make a day to teach them cursive writing
  • Start with signing their legal name
  • Start a pen pal challenge
You'll find many new styles for sending letters by mail like stuffed envelopes, pocket letters and more in my Etsy shop, 
 Check out my pen pal letters I've started sending this year in past blog posts like this one, Mail Art. 
Don't miss any of my posts.  Sign-up for my mailing list here:
 Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.
P.S. If you can read my cursive writing above leave me a comment below and tell me your age.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Week 13: Hontoon Island State Park Review and Hearts and Flowers Collection

Week 13: Hontoon Island State Park Review

Being out in nature is the best therapy for getting rid of stress and relaxing the mind and body from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  
Our trip to the Hontoon Island State Park was so enjoyable.  It is accessible by pontoon boat from the parking lot.  Our Ranger was so nice and informative so we were more than happy to give a donation for his hard work.
There is a picnic area for families as well as a playground for the kiddies.  There is a nice nature trail that goes around the island.  You reach a tower where you can climb the 100 plus steps to the top and see out over the woods below.
We enjoyed a picnic lunch inside the museum in the cool a/c as we sat and watched the history of the island recorded on video.
They also have a little store selling food and souvenirs and next to that is the park Ranger's office.  It is a nice day trip for the whole family.  
The park is located in Volusia county, Florida on the Saint Johns River basin.
 Why not plan a trip the next time you are in Florida.  If, you already live in Florida make it a place to see on your next weekend vacation.  You'll be happy you did.

I have been busy as a bee making cards for my friends and family.  I love using my Paper Pumkin card kit that comes in the mail each month from Stampin Up

I use my card stock stash and make a pocket letter style envelope and fill it up with lots of my handmade envelopes and confetti.  I love making the embellished paperclips out of the charms I have picked up over the years at craft stores and garage sales.  I attach a lobster claw to the top of the charm so they can use it on anything they like or just keep it on the paperclip and use it in a book or planner.

Introducing the new "Hearts and Flowers Collection" product line in my Etsy shop, MarketsofSunshine!

 Which one of the new wallets do you like? 
Leave me a comment below letting me know.

Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Week 12: Tips For Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Week 12: Tips for Flu Season
Firstly, How are you doing with your snail mail challenge?  I hope you are on schedule with me.  Secondly, I hope you have been well and if not I hope you get well soon.  Sending you a big hug and well wishes to all who are not feeling well.
Our family had a visit from a dreaded flu bug a few weeks ago.  It was a fast and furious virus that started with my daughter and then my husband and lastly me.  My son-n-law somehow didn't get it.  He must be a carrier or has a very strong immune system that helps him stay healthy.

So, here are a few tips that we all need to remember during cold and flu season to keep the bugs at bay.
  1. Quarantine the victim
  2.  Wear gloves and a mask when around the ill person
  3. Wash hands frequently
  4. Bath daily
  5. Keep the ill person clean too
  6. Spray the room with a mixture of 50/50 vodka and purified water several times a day
  7. Use a disinfectant spray on all knobs and bathroom surfaces daily 
  8. Drink lots of extra fluids like water or herbal tea (not soda or juices or anything with caffeine)
  9.  Homemade chicken broth and soup with a little salt and organic vegetables during the illness
  10. Avoid sugar, dairy and alcohol 
  11. Get plenty of sleep and naps during the day
  12. Get in the sunshine for at least 30 minutes a day
  13.  Walk daily for at least 15 to 20 minutes
 If, you still get the flu or cold apply the above list and it will help you recover faster.  I also took natural anti-biotics and vitamin C.  I was over it in about 4 days.  By day 5 I was feeling more like myself again.  

I managed to still make cards for my #52weeksnailmailchallenge
I used my Stampin Up! Paper Pumpkin kit that comes in the mail each month to make the cards you see above.
The purple cards are from a card making kit in the product line (Medallion) found in the catalog and on my website, here
Now, I have to get my mailing list out and see where I left off sending cards to my friends.
I think I am only one week behind so that is not so bad considering being hit with the flu bug.

Stay tuned for the next blog post where I will reveal to you my newest product line: Organizer's Must Have Collection!
Here is a sneak peek...
Wishing you a healthy and happy Spring.  I'd love to hear what's going on in your life.  Talk to me in the comments box below.

Sending You Sunshine,
Marsha J.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Week 11: Celebrating A Friends 19th Wedding Anniversary

Week 11: Celebrating a friend's 19th wedding anniversary was a blast!  I met their great Dane named Adagio.  He is such a cuddle bug. There grey cat, Cecil is so sweet too. I am allergic to dogs and cats so my allergies were going crazy.  I have been coughing up hair balls ever since. Giggle!

Snail Mail Challenge
I am making my 11th card for my #52weeksnailmailchallenge this week for a friend out of state.  I don't want to say which state or that will give it away.  hehe!

I'm still deciding which style I will send to her.  The pocket letter folder style above.  Or, the crazy pocket letter style below.
Which, one do you think I should make for her?  Leave me a comment below using the G+ google plus option.  

Did you know we take custom orders for our cash envelopes and travel wallet sets?  Check them out in my Etsy shop, MarketsofSunshine

 P.S. If you are looking for something vintage to give a friend on their special occasion check out our Etsy shop, PioneerFundraiser today!