Allow me to re-introduce myself… HI! I’m Cassandra! The creative, crazy, and wears way too many hats lady behind Tootsie & Marie (T&M.) I’m a wife, mom, friend, neighbor, artist, graphic designer and full time working woman trying to be on top of it all. I love to hug people, glitter is my favorite color, I smile way too much, but there are days where all I want to do is cry, I  wear my heart on my sleeve and most days have my hair up in a bun. That’s me in a nutshell.

I began T&M three years ago this month! I had purchased my website in January 2014, filled out all of my business forms and mailed them into the state and found out a few weeks later that I was pregnant with Everleigh – my rambunctious, sweet, ornery and sassy little two-year old (pictured here.) She by far my best and most important accomplishment I have ever created! But, Tootsie & Marie Creative Design Studio has always been my dream, my side-hustle. It’s been a crazy three years and some days I don’t know what to do next or why I even walked into a room (wait?! why did I come in here again? What was I looking for?) I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I started designing cards and small gifts when I was just a wee Cas (when most of my friends knew as Cassie – which my mom really didn’t like – haha) in middle school. I would hand make almost everyone in my class a card for the holidays and when scrunchies were super popular and cool to wear I would be at home at night sewing one for each girl in my entire grade and handed them out as gifts at various times of the year. I never wanted to leave anyone out so I would try my best to make enough scrunchies and cards for everyone. That was and IS who I am, I love to give, create and make things that will bring a smile to someone’s face. It’s probably what makes me happiest in my business. I live for smiles.

I began doing freelance while attending college here in Philadelphia. From there I worked in medical publishing in both the Philly suburbs and then in the Cayman Islands. I lived in Cayman Islands (on Grand Cayman) for almost two years. I worked for both a marketing and publishing group and then for the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands. People still ask “why the hell did you move back to the northeast from paradise?” My answer is that once you live on an island that is all of 75 square miles, you can pretty much do everything there is in the first month of being there. I got island fever, and quiet frankly I love Philadelphia. It doesn’t mean I will be here forever, but I really love it. The city, the fact I’m an hour (although I wish I was closer) to my family and friends I really do love it here. I enjoy the various museums, the amazing restaurants and I love that I can pretty much bike any where. It’s a great place to be with a little one as well. There are days I wish we were in the country so we could be outside int he grass all the time, but then I also wonder what it would be like not to walk or jog to daycare, the playground and to the grocery store. We can get all of our errands done in a day by just walking everywhere. (It’s a great thing if you think about it… especially right after Everleigh was born. I dropped the baby weigh much faster that way.)

Once moving back from Grand Cayman (which is a story in itself, but here’s the short version) I met my now husband, three years later I got married and two years after that we welcomed our daughter into this crazy world. I work as a full time graphic designer at at medical communication agency here in center city and run Tootsie & Marie on the side. It’s my dream and goal too have T&M to be my full-time business; and I know one day it will be! But for now, I’m enjoying what I do during my days, and making time on night and weekends (after Ev is fast asleep or while she is napping) to really enjoy designing small gifts and stationery. Which you will see here and on my Etsy page.

It’s been a while since I last posted on my blog, but my mission is going to be to start out slowly with a post once a week. So check back often and if you are on Instagram or Facebook follow me @tootsieandmarie for updates on posts like this one. 🙂 I plan to post how-to’s, photos of my crazy yet cute two-year old – who, although seems like it, does NOT always smile…. she has her moments like we all do, and I’m going to share that with you all too. Perhaps it’s a lot to be so open on the internet and with social media, but if by sharing some things about my life help someone else out with theirs, them I’m all for it. Feel free to email me with question too. I’m happy to help when I can. I know that on Instagram and Facebook it might seem like we (I) live this picture perfect life. But, reality is, I don’t. I have stress, worries (a lot of them) and a crazy family behind me that has molded me to the person I am today. Side note: (and I will go off on side notes a lot… I call it hyperlinking thoughts) I once had a kid in my health class in high school say to me (while the entire class was taking a stress test) “what do you have to be stressed about, don’t you live the perfect life?” Well I pretty much flipped out; and mind you, that is totally NOT my personality to do that, it was rare to see me breakdown when I was in high school, but I did. I told him “you have NO idea what my family life is like, so don’t judge a book by it’s cover.”

So here goes… this is me. It’s my crazy life and at the end of the day I love the craziness of it all. Until next time friends, thanks for visiting.

xo, Cas

ps. A HUGE thank you to Isabel March Photography (www.isabelmarchphotography.com) for the amazing Valentine’s day photos of my mom, Everleigh and myself. You’re the best! ((HUGS!))