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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!

Pin for later!
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.

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

Monday Motivation for Milspouse's, Quotes for PCS-ing

Mantra Monday, Military LifeMelissa KayComment

I'm back with another round of Monday motivation for my military mom's, and wives because we are in the midst of another overseas PCS and I'm about to pull my hair out. If you've been through any PCS, you know what I'm talking about. If you've had to try to get 2 dogs and 4 people and a household of stuff from Japan to Europe in the middle of a school year, then girl, have a drink, and know I'm right there with you. Here's a little bit of love to get you through the week.

I've got 99 Problems & this PCS has caused all of them. Milspouse Quotes // PCS Quotes✦MKKMdesigns✦

Ok, I've got 99 Problems & this PCS has caused all of them. This is in fact a true story, TMO I'm looking at you. You have caused about 90 of the 99.

It doesn't matter where you're going, it matters who you have beside you. Milspouse Quotes // PCS Quotes✦MKKMdesigns✦

Now that my kiddos are back in school for a few weeks before we head around the world, I've been working on a ton of parties to blog! Keep an eye out in the coming weeks!

And then I realized Adventures are the best way to learn. Milspouse Quotes // PCS Quotes✦MKKMdesigns✦

If any of you other military mama's have any advice on surviving running a business and moving around the world, let me hear it! Heading to Japan wasn't this hard.

I am SUPER excited to show my enthusiasm for PCSing with the shirt I just ordered from one of my favorite Milspouse businesses, The Rosie Project Apparel. They have a bunch of really cute military themed shirts for the whole family. Click the pictures below, to check them out.

You can keep up with my survival personally on instagram @melissakay_15 and keep an eye out for new posts on our Facebook page.

Monday Motivation for my Military Mama's

Mantra MondayMelissa KayComment

Oh man you guys, this past month was a doozy. You may have noticed, we've been practically non existent on Social Media since January. I spent most of January preparing for my husband's deployment and then all of February trying to survive said deployment. He'll be gone for a few more months, but I think my tiny humans and I, finally have some sort of a routine down.

This weeks Monday mantra's are mainly for myself. A little reminder that even though life is a little rough right now, sometimes you just have to suck it up and keep going.

Don't Count The Days, Make the Days Count | Monday Mantra, Motivational Quotes

I'll be trying to get back into a Social Media routine this month and have a bunch of goodies, I've been working on in my very limited spare time. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks!

It never get's easier, you just get better | Monday Mantra, Motivational Quotes

If any of you other military mama's have any advice on surviving running a business and keeping little one's occupied while daddy's away, let me know! I'd love to hear it!

You can keep up with my survival personally on instagram @melissakay_15 and keep an eye out for new posts on our official insta page @mkkmdesigns