Tag Archives: small business

Tax Season: How I Plan to Keep Myself Organized for 2015

First, Happy Birthday to my Dad! I hope you have a fantastic day! XO.


Let’s talk about taxes. Because I’m in the middle of getting everything organized for mine, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so stressed out doing them! Ah… tax season.

I used to have it easy. A couple of W2s, some student loan interest and bank account interest, and viola, taxes were done easy peasy with TurboTax or HR Block.

But now, with a business, it’s a whole different ball game.

Tax SeasonUnsplash // Aleksi Tappura

If you didn’t know, I run a photography business. I started in 2011, and each year it’s grown (which I’m very thankful for.)  It’s my fun side business. I have a full-time job which I love, and I teach riding lessons on the weekend (which I also love.) But I love watching what started as a side hobby turn into a successful business.

Every year, I panic. I do it to myself. At the beginning of every year, I promise myself that I’m going to keep all of my receipts, track my mileage, and print out all of my monthly expenses and invoices as they come in to keep my life easier at the end of the year. And at the end of every year, I struggle to remember what I need to print out to get my taxes done.

This year has been no exception. And having the photography business really pick up this year, it’s been even more of an adventure. Two years ago. I used HR Block. It was fine. It got the job done. Nothing special. In fact, I probably should have just done it myself instead of spending the amount of money I did. Last year, I used TurboTax Professional and it went nice and smooth. This year, I just don’t want to be bothered to do my own. Especially with everything going on with TurboTax.

The good news? I meet with an accountant next week to get my taxes done, and I have almost everything I need. I just need to print a few more things out and call a couple places to get a receipt and make sure I’m not expecting anything from another place.

The bad news? I might have killed a couple of trees in the process. SO MUCH PAPER.

In an effort to keep myself more organized for my 2015 taxes, I’m already beginning to keep myself organized.

Keeping everything organized

It’s great if you print everything out, but not so great if you lose everything right away. I’m planning on buying an accordion file folder that I can label and put everything right into.

Checklists

I have lists for my lists. It’s bad, but it does help me to keep organized. I plan on keeping a checklist in the accordion file folder with all of the monthly expenses listed, as well as each month, that way I can check the month off as I go. Same with other invoices.

Printing out monthly receipts

With my photography business, there are a lot of monthly expenses that I just forget about since they get automatically paid. In an effort to remember, I set reminders on my phone to print out all of those monthly receipts around the middle of the following month. I have monthly expenses from various places ranging from the questionnaire on my website to my monthly Etsy fees for posting new products.

Printing out client invoices monthly

Another area I’m horrible about is printing out my client invoices. I do everything electronically, but still need print outs for the end of the year. So, just like the monthly receipts, I’ll be doing a check once a month for a client invoices (sessions, Etsy and client galleries), and printing everything out.

Tracking my mileage

This probably seems like a minor one, but it’s one that I can write-off and always forget to do every year. My plan this year is to track any mileage relating to photo shoots. It’s usually pretty minimal, but that way I can keep track!

Don’t panic at the end of the year

Hopefully by the following the above steps, I won’t get completely overwhelmed by my taxes at the end of the year! Panicking only makes it worse for me, but I hope that by the end of 2015, I’ll be super organized and ready to get my taxes done.

How do you keep yourself organized for tax season?

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PS – Because you guys rock, use code ITSERYNE20 at checkout in my Etsy shop to receive 20% off your entire order!

Foto Friday #12 – Pink!

In case you didn’t know this, my favorite color is pink. I love pink. My iPhone case is pink, my MacBook case is pink, the neoprene case covering my MacBook and MacBook case is pink, my camera strap is pink. And half my wardrobe is pink. I’m definitely a girly-girl!

So it’s no surprise that when I’m taking photos, I’m drawn to anything pink. Pink flowers, pink sunsets, pink buildings…..

So, here a some of my favorite pink photos! I’m sure some are repeats, but now my favorite pink ones are all in one spot.

PINK!

Atkinson 32 WM

Cherry Blossoms WM

Spring Sunset Pink House WM Pink Lily WM

Pink Flower_

If you are interested in purchasing these photos, please visit the Etsy Shop. The pictures that have already been posted are directly linked. If you see an image above that you would like, but is not in the Etsy Shop, please select ‘Request a Custom Order’.

Please do not reproduce without permission. If are interested in using, please e-mail me at aglimpseintoerynsworld at gmail dot com.
Copyright © 2014 eryn e photography

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Setting Goals

Happy Monday my friends! ….. Just kidding. It’s Tuesday. And yes….I completely forgot it’s actually Tuesday. Long Weekend Problems.

Today, I’m talking about goals. Life goals, fitness goals, pretty much any kind of goal. I’m the type of person who sets a goal, puts her mind too it for about 3 weeks, and then quickly loses motivation because pizza sounds so much better running.

But I know having goals in place can keep one accountable. So with Labor Day behind us, and for some reason summer back in full swing, I decided that it’s time to set some good, attainable goals for the next four months (until the end of 2014).

1. Exercise more. This has been a much-discussed topic in my house for probably…. well, forever. So, it’s time to nip it in the butt and get moving. I go through such spurts with fitness. Insanity for 6 weeks last year (granted, I had to stop because I injured myself… but I could have done other things), Running for about 4 weeks, gym for about 3 weeks, etc. I’m a start and stop kind of fitness person. I want to stop being that kind of person, and start becoming the person who incorporates some sort of activity into their life everyday. It’s not about vanity anymore; it’s about my health. Especially as I close in on the big 3-0.

What am I doing to kickstart this?

For one thing, I signed up for personal training sessions with a good friend of mine who is local. She knows how much I have struggled with my weight and fitness through the years (since high school!) and really wants to help. So next Tuesday, it’s off to a local park for some serious one on one personal training. I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m anxious. But I know she’s awesome at it, and will push me just far enough beyond my limits to make it count.

What else am I doing?

I plan on going to the gym every morning. Even with personal training twice a week in the evenings. Even if it’s for 20-30 minutes of cardio. Just to keep myself in that mindset. If I don’t go to the gym, then it’s a 2.5 mile walk at lunch. And during the beautiful fall weather, I’ll STILL go for a walk at lunch, even if I worked out in the AM. I need to keep myself moving.

2. Lose 15 pounds. Considering the amount of weight I have to lose (like nearly 60 pounds to my ultimate goal weight), this is minimal. But, it’s a smaller goal. And doesn’t seem so intimidating. I’m giving myself 4 months to lose 15 pounds. That’s 3.75 pounds per month. I can definitely do that. And I’m hoping in the next four months, it ends up being a bit more than that. But I’m focusing on 15. And whatever else happens, happens.

3. Try new things. I’ve always been the type to avoid trying new things because I was intimated. Or I was scared of what others would think of me. But now, I want to push that to the back of mind and start living. I’ve already signed up to learn to Paddleboard. Maybe I’ll consider trying Yoga. Or joining a running group.

4. Run a 5K. This one may not be attainable in the next 4 months. I’ll have to see how I’m doing fitness-wise by October/November. And how the weather is. But if I’m not ready, I’ll run one next year. This has always been on every goal list, bucket list, resolution list, etc. and I really want to focus on achieving it.

5. Blog more. I’ve really tried to be better about neglecting this blog. I have gotten better. But I want to aim to post more things of value. Not just ranting posts. Or posts where I’m trying to be funny. Legitimate posts that people want to read and are interested in what I have to say.

6. Meet my 100 books read goal. I’m SO far behind on this it’s not even funny. I’ve read 58 books this year. I have 42 more to go. That’s 10.5 books per month for the next 4 months to hit my goal. Le sigh…. it’s a good thing I have lots of good books ready and waiting on my nook! I’m currently reading The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer . LOVE.

7. Cook more. I love to cook. I’m just lazy. Which means we eat whatever is easy. Which usually ends up being take-out. Now that’s not 100 degrees out (except for this week), I plan on cooking more dinners. One, it’s healthier. And two, leftovers. Which are always the best for lunch. We also recently purchased a Ninja, and I’ve been dying to use it. And I haven’t yet. But the first thing I plan on making…. homemade hummus. YUM!

8. Frame some of my photography. And not for my own use. To have ready so that I can start proposing art shows to local places around town. I have SO.MUCH. personal work that I would love to be able to sell, but without really getting it out there, it’s not going to. Yes, I love my Etsy shop, but it’s also not doing what I had hoped. So, it’s time to frame my work and hope I can get it at some local coffee shops around town. Maybe even sell a few pieces during the holidays.

9. Stop worrying so much, and start living. Hence my goals. If you notice, they are pretty generic.

And if I don’t hit them all, oh well. I’m not fretting anymore.

I’m no longer trying to use the gym for my appearance, but rather my health (although the vanity benefits rock too!). I’m not letting my fear or intimidation get to me, and allowing myself to try the things I’ve always wanted to try. I’m not worried about what others thing about this blog, instead I’m writing for me. That’s what this has always been. I’m enjoying reading, as opposed to trying to fill a quota. Yes, I’m trying to reach 100 books, but if I don’t do it this year, I’ll try again in 2015.

Setting goals is simply to help me organize what’s next for me in the coming months. To help keep me focused and know that I’m always doing something to better myself.

What are you doing in the next four months to better yourself?

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Foto Friday #11 – Black and White, Round 2

I clearly love black and white photography. I love it so much that in the same month of the first post with black and white photos, I’m doing a second! Except this time, it’s not just a mish-mash of black and white; it’s all flowers.

Enjoy!

Atkinson 5

Atkinson 12

WhiteFlower3 WM

WhiteFlower6

Yellow Tulip 5

If you are interested in purchasing these photos, please visit the Etsy Shop. The pictures that have already been posted are directly linked. If you see an image above that you would like, but is not in the Etsy Shop, please select ‘Request a Custom Order’.

Please do not reproduce without permission. If are interested in using, please e-mail me at aglimpseintoerynsworld at gmail dot com.
Copyright © 2014 eryn e photography

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What’s On My Bucket List?

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself wanting and hoping to accomplish more and more things in my life. And it seems like my newsfeeds are constantly filled up with people accomplishing their own items on their bucket lists. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’ve never put these items to paper (or blog in this case) and thought it might very well be time to do just that. Especially since I want to make sure that in the next few years, these items get accomplished! Make sure to scroll down after since I asked several friends and fellow bloggers for their own Bucket List items too!


Run a 5K: This has been a goal for several years now. I’ve been sidelined with injuries a couple of times and other times my training has just stopped for lack of motivation. So instead of it being a 3 month goal, it’s a bucket list goal.

Learn to Paddleboard: This has/was a goal for the summer, but with summer quickly winding down, and my schedule getting busier, I’m not sure if this will actually happen this year. It will happen though!

Learn to Surf: This has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember. And I plan on doing it before I’m 30. Two more years to go!

Surf in Hawaii, or someplace super tropical and known for their surfing: Obviously this would be after I learn to surf of course!

Travel to new places: Greece (Greek Isles specifically), Italy, Ireland, England, Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, and multiple islands in the Caribbean: I LOVE to travel and explore new places. It’s one of my favorite things to do. If only I didn’t hate flying so much, and if only I had way more money. If I could, I would constantly be exploring new places.

santorini-greece-2Source

Write a novel: I’ve written on the blog before about my goal to write a novel, and publish, before I’m 30. I’ve been working on one since I was 19 (nearly 10 years!) and finished my first draft last year. I’ve been since picking away at editing and hope, and plan, to self-publish it in the next couple of years. Maybe I’ll finish it up during National Novel Writing Month this year.

Have a post or photo go viral: In a world where everyone is linked into social media, and constantly sharing things, my goal is to have something I’ve created get an insane amount of views, and get coverage on Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Distractify, the homepage of Yahoo!, etc. It would be such a huge feeling of accomplishment to see something I’ve worked so hard for succeed in that way!

See my Etsy shop succeed: This one is a bit tough because everyone’s definition of success is so different. But I would love to see consistent sales from it. I know it can take a while for this to happen, but it would be a dream come true to have my artwork and photography consistently selling.

Win the lottery (I’m pretty sure this is on everyone’s bucket list!): And I’m not saying a $400 million PowerBall jackpot. I would be thrilled with a $100,000 Megabucks win! I know it’s an insane longshot, but it’s still on the list!

See a Great White Shark in the wild: Okay, so this is a strange one because I’m actually scared to death of sharks; however, I find them so interesting. And incredible creatures. I don’t want to go cage-diving with them, but I would love to be on a boat and see one. That would be close enough for me.

Own my own horse: This has been my goal since I was a little girl. I’d be happy with a rescue that I can just play with it. But either way, horses cost money and right now, money does not allow for a horse. Hopefully someday!

1923902_514811382155_8773_nCompeting with my first horse when I was about 15 – we leased her for 3 years at High Tail Acres, LLC, where I still ride today.

Those are just a few, okay 11, items on my bucket list! I asked many friends and fellow bloggers what there top item on their bucket list is and here are their answers!


Cara at The Marblehead Marathoner – “My number one bucket list item is to complete all 6 world Marathon Majors ( London, Tokyo, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, New York). I only have Tokyo left!”

Heather at Run Eat Play – “The #1 thing on my bucket list is to run a half marathon. I was training for a half marathon over a year ago and got injured and was unable to run. I did physical therapy, had MRIs and Xrays. I was finally able to run again so a year later I signed up for the Disney World Half Marathon. And then my pain and injury came back. I had to drop out of the race again! Three weeks ago I had arthroscopic hip surgery to shave my hip bone and repair laberal tears and I am still in bed recovering. But I’m not going to let all that stop me! Although it might seem like an easy goal to most people, running a half marathon is #1 on my bucket list and I will accomplish it one day!!”

Beth – “My number one item was to visit the Great Barrier Reef and see it from every aspect. Swim with sharks, snorkeling, diving and sailing. And I got to, while living on a boat for a few day with a bunch of awesome Australian folk. While every night sitting around with drinks, discussing all of the different cultures aboard the boat, with no cell phones or computers… just people.”

Robin – “Cage dive with Great White Sharks”

Lesley at Greater Fitness – “My bucket list goal is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in D.C. It was the Princess Half in Disney but I crossed that off this year!”

Sierra at Mind Over Matter in This Crazy World – “Bungee Jump”

Kristen at Run Away with Kristen KMy #1 thing on my bucket list is to run a race in all 50 states. I love to travel and think it would be an amazing way to see the rest of the country! Each time I run in another state I get to spend a few days getting to know the area and it’s been such a fun experience. I started last year and I’m currently at 5 and will be adding #6 in September.

Courtney at The TriGirl Chronicles -“My number one bucket list item is to run an Ironman triathlon, 140.6 miles!

Shannon: “To be, work for and represent something bigger than myself.”

Michelle at Trials and Tribulations – “#1 on my bucket list is to achieve my goal weight of 135Ibs. I’ve been working on it for years and still not there! There are so many exciting things to do in life though, I really DO need to actually make a “proper” bucket list!!”

There you have it!

Now I want to know – what is the number one thing on your bucket list?

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A weekend of relaxation and productivity

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I certainly did. It was relaxing and productive.

Friday: After work, I headed to the gym and ran. I upped my running time to 15 minutes today and I felt great. My muscles were pretty sore though, so one I got home I indulged in a good stretch before hopping in the shower. It was amazing how much better my body felt after a good stretch. Note to self: Stretch more often. The other half and I got salads for dinner from our favorite pizza shop in town and enjoyed a few beverages.

One of my photos in the Etsy shop
One of my photos in the Etsy shop

Saturday: Typical morning for me. Off to the barn I went to clean stalls and enjoy the company of the horses. Once I got him – we headed up to the Kittery Outlets. I wanted to head to the Under Armour Outlet to pick up some more of their HeatGear Running Shirts. I’m obsessed. And thankfully they were on sale for 2 for $30. Added 4 more to my workout arsenal! Now I just need to get some more running pants! After we did our weekly groceries and stocked up on things I needed for my planned cooking frenzy for Sunday.

My only goal for Saturday night was to finish my taxes. In fact, I made it clear to N to not let me do anything else until my taxes were done. He even made dinner during that time (Mexican Taco Bake!).  Once I completed my taxes we watched Frozen (I’m obsessed!) and I got my eryn e photography Etsy shop up and running. The Etsy shop will have all photos from my personal collection (think flowers, landscapes, the beach, etc.)

And now for Sunday.

Sunday was…. a kitchen adventure. I got up early and got a few more things loaded into the Etsy store and then went to get a mani/pedi before the frenzy began. Now, this was a pre-planned frenzy. Knowing N was going to be working all day, I decided to cook dinner and try out a few new recipes.

First up – Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers. I found this recipe on Pinterest and it has easily become a new favorite. To keep it a bit healthier, we made sure to get lean chicken breasts, and low fat ranch dressing and cheese. Obviously not the healthiest meal, but it sure hit the spot!

The finished product
The finished product

While those were baking, I started working on Creamy Greek Yogurt Mac and Cheese. Also not super healthy, but definitely a good comfort food. And the Greek Yogurt gave it such a different flavor. Yum! (I brought a little for lunch today….)

photo 1

After that was done, I went to work on some No Bake Energy Bites. I have to say – these were probably the hardest to make out of everything! However, they are delicious!

My parents decided to stop by during the cooking frenzy, so I took a quick break and threw together a Sugar-Free Banana Cream Pie for my dad. I had the crust and pudding in my cabinet already so it took no time at all. He was pretty excited.

The final meal of the day – Healthy Turkey Chili. I cook this A LOT. We both love it, and it’s super hearty. My decision to make this was super last minute so I was missing the chipotle chilis it calls for, so I improvised. I added jalapenos (1 1/2 cups), sriracha sauce, red cayenne pepper and chili powder (to taste). It gave it an entirely different flavor, but was still yummy. I’m excited to dig into it for dinner tonight!

photo 3

Enjoy the recipes! I wish I was created enough to come up with these on my own, but thank god for Pinterest.