Charliemadison Behind the Scenes

A Look Back at January 2024

Well, January seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye. Between trying to put a bow on last year - closing out the books, end-of-year inventory, tax paperwork (all the boring business stuff) - and looking ahead to all the ambitious things we have planned for this year, January slipped through our fingers much quicker than we expected. But that doesn’t mean we missed out on some fun memories and hard-to-pass-up opportunities. And we got our first big snowstorm in years and it was glorious! Here’s what January looked like in the Charliemadison studio and home:

January Behind the Scenes Highights: Business

- Excited to officially share our 2023 non-profit charitable donation recipient

- We went old-school and got extra creative (and productive) with our 2024 brainstorming session - never underestimate the power of big sheets of paper and colorful markers to get the idea machine flowing!

- Shared the story of Army spouse, Christina Etchberger in our "Meet a Milspouse" blog series

- Reached out to over 15 incredible ladies and organizations we met at the Military Influencer Conference in November to strategize collaborations for this year

- Hired an amazing veteran-owned web design team to help us make the Charliemadison website even easier to navigate - we love what they've done with the place!

- This month's Community Favorite Bracelet is the January Mini of the Month

Our Favorite Customer Review of the Month:

"I have been a customer for three months and just love Charliemadison Originals! It is an honor to support a business founded by a military spouse and whose mission is to give back to organizations supporting our military and their families! The handmade bracelets are beautiful, well made, and also make meaningful gifts! They are packaged nicely in their own cloth bag with a description card, and a handwritten thank you note is always included! Their website is user friendly, and they ship quickly. I highly recommend them!" ~ Judy B.

January Behind the Scenes: Our Personal Faves

Wendy’s January Favorites:

- Drinking this delicious hot cocoa almost daily - I have never liked Nutella, but I discovered this delicious healthy Nutella alternative from Caroline Potter of Flourish and am absolutely hooked. I use oatmilk for a non-dairy treat.

- A beautiful article by Anne Lamott about getting older and what we choose to prioritize in our lives. This article led me to my phrase of the year for 2024: "It’s not about trying harder; it’s about resisting less."

- This comfy Athleta Pranayama Wrap - rarely do I buy clothing full price, but when I tried on this wrap at our local Athleta outlet, I couldn't pass it up. I wore it on the plane when I went to Dallas this month and it was so comfortable - extra bonus that it has deep pockets!

- Netflix series: The Watcher - totally creepy and completely bingeable. This limited series had just 7 episodes and it was hard not to watch them all in one sitting. Loved Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale!

- Grateful for: My trip to Dallas, Texas, where I got to meet up with one of my original jewelry business mentors and sweet friends, Robin Kramer of Red Boot Consulting. We had never met in person but it felt like we've been friends forever. Our dinner in the Dallas Restoration Hardware Restaurant was absolutely spectacular!

Madison’s January Favorites:

- A huge thanks to Tik Tok for introducing me to my new favoritie brain-teaser game called Kanoodle - I am 100% obsessed. Think of this as a mix between a puzzle and Tetris, and if you're like me and love puzzles, brain teasers, and games you will love this!

- My daily at-home coffee got a bit more exciting with my new Anthropologie glass - the red hearts are simply adorable. The website calls them juice glasses...but this has strictly been my new iced-coffee glass. And if you enjoy cold brew try adding peppermint syrup and vanilla cold foam (get yourself a milk frother), I swear by this coffee combination!

- Apple TV Series: Silo - I wasn't sure about this series at first, but after the first episode I was hooked. It's a post-apocalyptic setting where humanity lives underground in "the Silo" and can't go outside. Every episode had me on the edge of my seat asking so many questions, there were many jaw dropping moments. The only downside is you'll immediately want to watch season 2 which sadly won't be released until likely 2025.

- Went on a couple fun date nights with my boyfriend. One night we had dinner at Vagabond (in Washington D.C.), a California style restaurant with food and drinks from surf destinations around the world. We had these tinned Portuguese sardines, which inspired me to do another at-home tinned fish night in the future!

- Cooked many fun recipes this month! 1) This Chinese Chicken Eggdrop Soup Recipe from Half Baked Harvest has quickly become a regular staple dinner in the Hively household. 2) My boyfriend and I found this Hawaiian style Beef Stew on Tik Tok, which was slightly different then some other classic beef stew recipes but really tasty. Would recommend making the stew without potatoes and instead making mashed potatoes on the side to eat with it!

- Grateful for: Quality time I spent with my boyfriend, his sister, and Charlotte (my sister) exploring around Washington D.C. one weekend. We visited the top of the old Post Office tower when it had snowed, went to the National Portrait Gallery, walked around the National Mall to see some monuments, and went to a few restaurants with the best food!

What We're Currently Loving:

- Currently Watching (Wendy): True Detective: Night Country

- Currently reading (Wendy): She's Up to No Good by Sara Goodman Confino

- At-home pilates workouts (Madison): Melissa Wood Health App

- Making video content on Instagram and Tik Tok for our socials (Madison): follow us on Tik Tok if you're on the platform!