MKKM Designs

Wander Wednesday: London Bookshops

Wander WednesdayMelissa Kay1 Comment

Hey everyone! A quick note before I dive into this week, I’m so excited to introduce you to the start of our travel series, “Wander Wednesday”. As a Milspouse stationed overseas for the past 6 years, I’ve gotten to go on some fun adventures. I’ve always wanted to blog about them, but didn’t know where to start. Well this is it! Let’s travel together!

The goal of the series is to share fun travel tips and/or cool places to visit while stationed overseas, or just if you love to travel. The goal is to feature some of our favorite fellow Milspouse travel bloggers to get even more travel adventures out into the world.

I hope you enjoy!

Join Melissa and other military spouses, for Wander Wednesdays over on the blog. A spot where we share fun travel tips and/or cool places to visit while stationed overseas, or just if you love to travel.

Our #wanderwednesday travel series has begun! We’re starting off this blog series with a look at four don’t miss book shops in London.

I recently got to hop over to London to visit a friend that I was stationed with back in Okinawa. She played tour guide all weekend, and we hit up some off the beaten path places. You can check out some pictures and grab some fun quotes we designed below.

Up next week, Venice!

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Persephone Books in London. This cute bookshop and publishing house features mostly women writers who may otherwise have been forgotten. Read more at shopmkkm.com

This charming book shop and publishing house reprints neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century (mostly) women writers. What we loved most was that all the book jackets are the same on the outside, but inside each book has a different pattern with a bookmark to match.

My personal favorite book was How To Run Your Home Without Help “a 1949 manual for the newly-serventless housewife with advice that is historically interesting, useful nowadays and unintentionally funny” (Persephone Books). You can click the link to see the original cover and purchase!

Persephone Books in London. This cute bookshop and publishing house features mostly women writers who may otherwise have been forgotten. Read more at shopmkkm.com

Persephone Books

Website: persephonebooks.co.uk

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-5, Sun 12-4

59 Lamb's Conduit St, Holborn, London WC1N 3NB


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Word on the water is a charming little book barge located in the Kings Cross area of London. // mkkmdesigns

The only way to describe this book barge is quaint af. They have such a great assortment of books for both adults and kids. This shop is a hidden gem that is a must see for book lovers.

Word on the water is a charming little book barge located in the Kings Cross area of London. // mkkmdesigns

Word on the Water

Website: facebook.com/wordonthewater

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Regent's Canal Towpath, Kings Cross, London N1C 4BZ


The Riverside BookShop - Read about this London book store on the blog at shopmkkm.com
The Riverside Bookshop in Hays Galleria, London. Check out 4 can't miss bookshops over on the blog.

This was the first book shop we visited over our long weekend because it was close to our hotel in the Tower Bridge area. What I loved about this shop was the amount of book related gifts they had. They also had an amazing children’s book section. This one definitly made me wish I hadn’t flown Ryan Air with no checked bag.

This shop often throws book related events, so be sure to check the calender on their website to see what they have planned during your trip!

The Riverside Bookshop

Website

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 9-6, Sat 10-6, Sun 11-6

Unit 15, Hay’s Galleria, 57 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2QN


Notting Hill Book Exchange
This Photo from:  Capa World Blog

This Photo from: Capa World Blog

This book shop is a cute little hole in the wall right next to a comic book shop that they also run. It had tons of used books for great prices and a great variety. It’s kind of amazing how many books they can fit into this tiny little shop. There’s a room for fiction and a room for non fiction.

What I loved most about this shop is that it was used books. You can find great deals which leaves you more money for traveling. What I didn’t like is that it’s mostly older books, so don’t expect to find a lot of bestseller’s here.

Notting Hill Book Exchange

Website

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12:00 PM - 7:00 PM

30 Pembridge Rd, Bayswater, London W11 3HN, United Kingdom


Here’s what I was reading while in London! The Huntress by Kate Quinn. The Alice Network is one of my top 5 favorite books, so this was an easy pick up when I saw it at the book store. Let me know what you’re currently reading and give me some recommendations! I’ve been tagging all my reads with #mkbookclub on instagram.

Currently reading The Huntress by Kate Quinn. Alice Network is one of my favorite books, so this was next on the list #mkbookclub #currentlyreading

Just for fun, here are some quotes I loved this week!

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4 London Bookshops you won't want to miss on your next trip. Let's Wander London! #wanderwednesday #booklover #travelblog @mkkmdesigns
Let's wander London : Part of the Wander Wednesday Travel Blog Series with MKKM Designs // This week - Bookshops.

For more of the shops we didn’t have time to explore, look here.

Tropical Dinosaur Party

Freebie Fridays, PartiesMKKM DesignsComment

My guy turned SEVEN this month and he has officially spent half of his life obsessing over dinosaurs. Scroll through to see pictures from his latest dinosaur party. We’ve got party food ideas, decor ideas (and links to shop!) and a few freebies :).

Dinosaur food cards - Check out the printables and get inspired for your own dinosaur party at mkkmdesigns.com

By now, you know I love a good punny food name. Here’s our menu list from the party. You can get the printable food cards in the shop.

  • Stegosaurus Scales (Potato Chips)

  • Brontosaurus Bites (Carrots)

  • Dinosaur Droppings (M&M’s, or use any chocolate candy)

  • Triceratops Treats (Gummies, or use any sweet food)

  • Dinosaur Eggs (Grapes)

  • T-rex Teeth (Bugles)

  • Raptor Rolls (Pizza Rolls)

  • Dinosaur Bones (Yogurt or chocolate pretzels)

Dinosaur Party Decor from shopmkkm.com

These favor bag tops were a hit with my son’s first grade class. More importantly, they were super easy for me to make and I was able to put them in his backpack. You can grab the editable PDF at the bottom of the post!

Stomp and roar at a bright tropical dinosaur party. Check out all of the party photos and get free printable goodie bag toppers. // mkkmdesigns

One of my favorite things about this party, is that all of the plants are fake! Easy to care for, and they can all be used again. I got all of the plants at Ikea and the leaves from amazon. They came in a huge bundle with 3 different sizes and will be perfect for more summer parties next year. I have them linked under the “Get the look” below.

Get The Look- Tropical Dinosaur Party from MKKM Designs
  1. Dinosaur Balloon | 2. Wood Platter | 3. Frames | 4. Target Party Supplies

    5. Tablecloth | 6. Monstera Leaves | 7. Printables | 8. Ikea Plants


    Some of these party supplies are Amazon Affiliate Links, you can read about our participation in their program here.

These Target party supplies matched perfectly with our Tropical dinosaur party. Get some inspiration for planning your own dinosaur party from our blog.

I was so excited to find dinosaur party supplies that matched with our theme this year. This target collection was perfect! Also I hadn’t been to Target in 4 years, so at that point everything was perfect LOL!

Watering Hole Station party setup at a dinosaur birthday party. Grab the free printable sign and bottle wrappers at shopmkkm.com
Grab a free printable.

Bottle Wrappers | 4x6” Watering Hole Sign | Editable Bag Toppers

Please make sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram if you use our printables! We LOVE to see how you style your events and often share our favorites


**As these are free files, to be used for personal use only, we do not individually email files out as it is time consuming and takes away from our business work. If you're having trouble downloading the pdf’s, try right clicking and opening in a new window, that will usually help.

Shop our dinosaur party theme.
Pin this party for later!
Freebies, decor ideas and dinosaur party planning over on shopmkkm.com

Reflecting on Seven Years of Being in Business!

Military Life, Freebie FridaysMelissa KayComment
Cheers to Seven Years // Reflecting on 7 years of being a small business owner. Grab the signs freebie on the blog // mkkmdesigns

It’s our birthday and we’ll blog if we want to. If you follow us on social media, then you know we just celebrated our SEVENTH year in business this week. In those past 7 years, I’ve moved to 3 continents, birthed 2 babies, and tried to keep my sanity intact, while navigating this crazy military lifestyle (spoiler alert, I didn’t).

What I have learned over the years, is that being a small business owner is tough, but amazing. The people I’ve connected with, the reviews from happy party planners, the friends who get excited finding out what I do, make all of the bad parts worth it.

This week I threw myself a party to celebrate, because in the words of one of my favorite milspouse biz owners, Kelly from Third Space Yoga, sometimes you just have to be your own hype person. Read on for my 4 biggest lessons learned from running a small biz, and grab the printables from the #bizbirthday party.

Cheers - Free printable sign from MKKM Designs. Grab the freebie for your birthday party or anniversary. Edit the number to match your year!
Melissa from MKKM Designs, reflects on 7 years of being a small business owner while also being a military spouse
Building my empire one cuss word at a time // Quote from MKKM Designs
Building My Empire, One Cuss Word At A Time
— Melissa from MKKM Designs

If you know me in real life, you probably realized I have a bad sailor’s mouth. I keep it low key around my kids, and then as soon as I’m around adults it just rolls out. This sign and quote sums me up to a T!

You can grab the free printable for it here!

#justhereforthecake // MKKM Designs on 7 years of business on the blog.
Cheers to Seven Years // Reflecting on 7 years of being a small business owner. Grab the signs freebie on the blog // mkkmdesigns
DIY washi tape straw flags, an easy way to dress up a drink. // mkkmdesigns #partytips

Get the Party Prints!


4 Small Business Lessons from Seven Years in Business

4 Small Business Lessons for Mompreneurs // Head over to the blog to read all about them! // mkkmdesigns

Lesson 1: Say No to Stress

The whole just say no is ridiculously cliche, but true. I feel it takes most biz owners awhile to finally take it to heart. In the beginning of our business, I said yes to EVERYTHING. Things I didn’t like, didn’t have an interest in, custom orders I thought were downright ugly. After a few years and especially this last year, I learned that you don’t have to take on everything. If you say no, they’ll find someone else. You’ll be happy and a client won’t have someone working on a project they don’t have their heart in

Lesson 2: Stand Up For Yourself

A.K.A Don't let those copycats get away with that shiz. This has been one of the roughest parts of being a designer. Walking that very thin line between honored that your designs are good enough for copycats, and shaking in rage that someone would have the balls to do that. I still get mad, but now I don’t hesitate for a second when I send that knock it off letter. Seriously, don’t let people walk all over you. You don’t have to be hateful, but you do need to protect your business. Why let other people profit off our your hard work, right?!?

Lesson 3: Know Your Worth, Then Add Tax

What usually happens in the beginning of every small business, is you figure you would rather be inexpensive and raise prices later, than not sell anything at all. DON’T DO IT. Read this blog from The Merriweather Council. Or just read all of her posts. I bought her Etsy course a long time ago and it was a life changer. You’re worth more than less than minimum wage.

Lesson 4: Understand That There Is A Season For Everything

This one has been the hardest one to accept. This past year when we moved from Japan to Germany, I thought a month off from my business wouldn’t be a big deal. It was. Once I finally got my computer back, I was so unmotivated to do anything and so excited to explore our new home. Then we couldn’t get my 4 year old into a preschool. He’s been going to school since he was 10 months old, so this was a massive shock to him, and me! For a while, I had to let my business suffer, because I couldn’t just sit him in front of a tv all day. (Full disclosure, I totally did some days, still do actually. Netflix is the greatest thing ever invented). The first 6 months of the year was my mothering season. Now with fall pre-school quickly approaching, I get the next 6 months for my business.

What are your best small business lessons? Leave a comment here or message us on Instagram! I’d love to share them!

Melissa from MKKM Designs, reflects on 7 years of being a small business owner while also being a military spouse

Bow Wow Luau, a Tropical Puppy Birthday Party

Freebie Fridays, PartiesMKKM DesignsComment
Bow Wow Luau, A Puppy party designed by MKKM Designs. Grab the free printable Adopt A Puppy signs and adoption certificate.

Warmer weather is on it’s way and so are our spring and summer party blogs! First up, this tropical Bow Wow Luau. This puppy party is perfect for a summer pool party. Read through and grab some free printables and party ideas.

We made all of the food outdoor entertaining friendly. Everything was finger foods and most of it was punny, because I love a good food pun LOL. We had pupcakes, frisbees, pupcorn, pawtato chips, and more. You can get these cards or have us customize them to your wording here.

The green popcorn boxes were the perfect “dog house” to house our puppies. Grab the free printables for the Adopt a Pup station at the end of the post.

Puppy party decor. This Bow Wow Luau party is perfect for summer! Designed by MKKM Designs
Tropical Puppy Party Signs from shopmkkm.com

Free Printables from Melissa & Kara

  • Let’s Pawty Banner PDF

  • Bottle Wrappers* JPEG zip | PDF

  • Adoption Certificate JPEG | PDF

  • Favor Sign 4x6” JPEG | PDF

  • Favor Tags JPEG | PDF

  • “Let’s Pawty” Cupcake Topper PDF (Get the customized version here)

*Please see zip folder notice at bottom of post

Get the Look from our Tropical Puppy Party. Shop our affiliate links.

Some of these party supplies are Amazon Affiliate Links, you can read about our participation in their program here.

Check out our other party themes here! Grab the custom printables shown in the party here!


*We included the JPEG files in zip folder format for you to use. Zip folders can only be opened from a computer. You must download, copy/paste the files into a new folder on your computer to print*

As these are free files, to be used for personal use only, we do not individually email the JPEG's out as it is time consuming and takes away from our business work. If you're having trouble downloading the zip folders, a quick google tutorial will usually help you out. Thanks for your understanding!

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