Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Craftin' New Year's Resolution

My first resolution for 2011 is to start my holiday gift crafting early... like NOW. I wait every year until... oh... December 1 to start crafting all of the gifts I want to give for Christmas. Which, of course, leads to a stress filled December for me.

This year I thought I would resolve to craft at least one thing a month. But I thought better of it and cut back to 10 for the year. As I figured out this year, crafting in December while keeping up with my Etsy shop orders is nearly impossible. Therefore, I am not dedicating any crafting time in December and I am also leaving a little leeway in case I am having a super-exciting summer and can not possible fit in any crafting that month.

So, 1 year- 10 projects. I could totally use a little help from my crafty friends for this. You know, to get together with me for crafting nights every month. Come on, Kell with your new sewing machine. Liz, Kam, Carolyn??? You must want to get out of your house and hang with a cool Momma like me (Or invite me to yours!)

I have a few things in mind already. I will be concentrating mostly on sewing and woodcrafts. I simply cannot take up another hobby like knitting or crocheting at this point. Here are a few ideas:

This frame from Shanty2Chic looks like a great idea to add to my Etsy shop. And it seems so simple... I am thinking I would do away with the flowers and use a magnet instead of a clothespin for an even simpler project.

I'd like to make a nice tote: Although that is not really a gift... more for me.

And headbands... who can ever have enough headbands? Especially in house of 4 girls?Homemade by Jill has a great roundup of all kinds of headbands. There are some gorgeous and simple tutorials on there.

I love this idea from Trey and Lucy: Again, these are mostly for me. I need a towel that will stay put so that the kids (husband) can't just grab my dish towels to wipe spills up off the floor. These may force them to step two feet down and get a rag from under the sink!

And I downloaded a cool book on my Nook Color called One Yard Wonders, which has some great, simple tutorials like the pennant banner I want to make for Ariana's room, once she gets her own.

(Look, I took a picture of my Nook on my Android cell to email to my computer... it is some sort of technological black hole... and it all blows my mind.) But, more to come on my wonderful Nook at a later date...

Anyhow... Kell, Carolyn, Kam, Liz, Amanda... are you in? Who else wants to invite me over to craft?

Do you have any other great handmade gift/ craft ideas for me?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday Citar: Christmas

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas." ~ Peg Bracken.

Again this year, we strived for a simple Christmas. After purging 581 items from my home this summer, it simply does not make sense to bring a bunch of unnecessary items back in.

And we did pretty well. The Christmas tree above holds all of the gifts for all 5 members of the family. We set a goal ahead of time to only buy 15 items for each of the girls (we may or may not have overshot that by a couple) but that did help us to have a stopping point and to not just continue to keep purchasing as Christmas neared.

Thankfully, the girls gave us (er... Santa) very simple lists with only 5 or 6 items, so we were able to get them things that they wanted (sweatshirt, glass doll, slippers, etc.) and then we were able to add some gifts of time (experience gifts such as season passes to Children Museum of NH, snowshoes, ski pass, chess game, etc) gifts of love (new blankies for all 3 girls, fingerless glove/arm warmers for me!) and a couple of frivolous, fun gifts (Wii game, a Nook Color)

In the end, the girls did not bat an eyelash at not having a hundred presents, we all had a fantastic Christmas which included lots of family, friends and the anticipation of the gifts we will be enjoying together for the next year.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A 'Favorite Things' Giveaway fom Wildhearts Photography

Sorry for the lame posting recently, but I was so blessed with block orders over the past few weeks that I can not possibly type with my fingers immersed in Mod Podge and varnish.

In the meantime, to help fill the hole in your heart that I have left, please go see Stacey at Wild Hearts Photography for a fun giveaway centered on my blocks.

Um, ok, it's not really centered on my blocks since there are 23 other fantastic things you can win as well... but you'd really want to win my blocks the most... right???

Seriously, there are some things that she is giving away that are really cool and will be a great treat to win after all the stress of the holidays.

There are these cool frames that I simply MUST have:

Desirae Todd Photography is offering her WHOLE shop of Photoshop actions!

Sassy Straps is offering a camera strap cover. I made one for my camera and now I must tell you that I can't believe I went without one for so long. They are an absolute must for your DSLR, for comfort... and just to plain old look cute.
There are these and 20 other really unique, fun things that you can win on Christmas day.

If you like what you see and want the contact info, you are going to have to go visit Wild Hearts and you might as well enter the giveaway while you are there.

Good luck since I can't win anyway.

Monday, December 20, 2010

and then I snapped: path

Yet another in my quest to showcase some interesting photos. Although from last year... I love this photo and it is making me want for snow even more. Christmas is just 5 days away and we do not have a snowflake to show for it. I got snowshoes as a gift from my Mom over the weekend and I just want a bit of snow to try them out.

I'm dreamingggg of a Whiiiiite Christmas....

Here's my list:
10 minutes away




Childhood memory





the end
Far Away
At Night
Out of Reach
Going places
Looking back at me

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things... you never thought you'd hear...

Having children is astounding at every single turn... beginning when you spit a human out between your legs. And then, daily, things will begin to happen that you just can't anticipate. Things will come out of those little people's mouths that you would have never expected to hear from another person... ever...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One Proud Yummy Mommy

I just have to brag for a minute. My daughters are the most brilliant, fantastic, talented, wonderful girls... EVER!

Ariana simply amazes me sometimes. She has been taking piano lessons for 4 years and I am still in awe over her ability. Mostly because I do not have a musical bone in my body. And to see her little fingers flow over those keys with such grace and to hear the music she can create with those fingers... I can not put into words how proud she makes me.

Here is a quick snippet from here holiday recital... (excuse the poor audio and video quality.)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Gift guide for the hair accessory obsessed.

Remember my hair catastrophy? Yeah, well, since then my hair accessory obsession has gone into overdrive so I can hide hideous bangs for the next few months. I have made my own frayed rosettes and added them to headbands, which I wear frequently. But, if I had oddles of expendable income, I would purchase a LOT of the cute accesories you can acquire from lots of other talented women.

Some of my faves:

#1 Check out these adorable hair pins from Bits and Barley. What a unique way to pin my stray bangs back!

#2 This vintage charcoal floral headband from Uff da Designs is a steal for only $13! And you know darn well that nobody else will be wearing it since it is a limited edition made from vintage fabrics.

#3 bdk Boutique offers some cute wool felt flower headbands that are a great price for $5 each. These are tiny headbands, so you can double them up for an added flair.

#4 I absolutely love these colors to dress up my drab winter wardrobe. Another great choice for those too-short bangs.

#5 Georgia Blue offers my most favorite shabby rosettes. She offers a gorgeous palette of colors that works well for adults.

Go. Shop Etsy. Buy lots of cool hair accessories!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Adventures of Buddy, the Magic Elf

Last year I was intrigued by the whole Elf on a Shelf trend. But, by the time I came around to wanting to get one, he was sold out everywhere around here. This year, I planned ahead. In November, I decided to grab an elf from Michaels and to just create our own magic with him rather than buy the kit. This is Buddy: (Appropriately named after the character in the movie, Elf.)

If you are not familiar with the whole Elf on a Shelf or Magic Elf trend, it is a simple theory: Santa sends an elf to your house to keep an eye out on the children to make sure they are being nice and staying on the good side of the list. However, while at your house, he may cause a little trouble of his own. I printed a letter from Organized Home which comes from Santa and lets the children know just who this little guest in the house is. Our elf started his first night by unrolling the toilet paper roll. Annika was quite amused to find him in the bathroom wrapped in the toilet paper.

He has also written on the bathroom mirror with window markers, taken a pile of Annika's underwear and hidden them under the Christmas tree, turned the tv on and cuddled under the blanket to watch with a bowl of popcorn and the remote...

He has had quite a few adventures already and it's only the 9th!

It has actually been fun for me to come up with adventures for him. I have had some help from Complicated Mama and Elf-Magic as they both have some great ideas for your elf.

If you do not already have an elf, I highly suggest it... it has been great fun with my girls so far. Just another lit bit of magic added to their Christmas.

Monday, December 6, 2010

5 more eclectic gift ideas.

Ok, yesterday I did a gift list for bloggers. So today I have one for... cool chicks in their 30's who are sorta geeky and wicked fun! Basically, it's all random things that I have found while Christmas shopping that I would love... but since I only shop for children, grandparents, and middle-aged men, these items really do me no good except for wanton lust.

#1 This is pretty much the coolest gift idea I have ever come across... Not only do they offer the greatest old school t-shirts ever (which is a very green idea!) they offer a SUBSCRIPTION! You can get 13 t-shirts over the year for $80. That's only around $6 a shirt and how fun would it be to go to the mailbox every month to get a surprise, unique gift??? I am in love with this idea... truly... in all ways.

#2 A not-tacky team shirt for the Patriots lover in me... Leave it to Urban Outfitters to carry a Pats shirt that I would actually wear around the house on a Sunday. It just looks cozy and comfy, right?

#3 There is absolutely nothing I need on this site... but there is a whole lot that would look so dang cute in my house! Little kitschy things like this soap dish that just make a house a little homier.

#4 A ring with hope. This ring is simple... and sweet. And it has a purpose. My friend, Kelly suggested it because half of the proceeds go to lung cancer awareness and research. You know me, I love simple, and I love to support people that are supporting a good cause.

#5 A cute hat. I am constantly on the hunt for a cute hat as soon as autumn hits. This hat definitely fits the bill... would it look cute on me though... who knows? Hats are hard, I don't feel as though I ever pull them off. Maybe I'd have a chance with this one???

Pretty eclectic list here, huh?

Seven fantastical gift ideas for your favotite blogger.

I thought I would try a few different themed gift lists this year... mostly pertaining to me, of course. And since I blog, and some might even call me a blogger, I shall provide a gift list that Michele, the blogger, would love.

#1 First off would have to be the iPad, of course. Not for any good reason other than it is sooo cool. I have learned to love downloading apps with my Droid, and for this reason I know I would love the functionality of the iPad. Absolutely frivolous, but the ultimate tech gift for the geek in your life.

#2 Next might be more specifically for the New England blogger. I have a new obsession with fingerless gloves. Even better, fingerless gloves long enough to be arm warmers. These pictured are my most favorite (especially since I am driving to buy Handmade this year.) These are actually more appropriate for me in my day job, which has me in an unheated office at 5 am with a space heater at my feet while my poor fingers freeze at the keyboard. Although I do know a New Englander or two residing in houses that are hundreds of years old with very poor insulation- so these would totally work for moms blogging at home in their drafty abodes. (*I prefer the the charcoal heather gray sized as small as possible to fit my bony arms, if you are wondering.)

#3 A magazine subscription relevant to their blog. We need to keep in the know, you know. (My mom has me covered with this one every year as she gets my Real Simple and Martha Stewart to help me keep abreast of the world of craftiness and living simply.)


A bottle opener that I can have handy. I know many bloggers blog about their wine, have twitter wine parties, blah, blah, blah... but I am just a beer girl. And, as many of my friends complain about, I drink the type that does not have a twist-off cap, therefore I always need a bottle opener, and what better way than to mix it with my other favorite hobby, photography? This is pretty much the cats meow as far as stocking stuffers for a Momma who likes to crack open a cold beer while she writes about being naked when the paramedics arrive.

SkinIts :
Any good blogger will have a lot of gadgets. I personally have my Nikon DSLR, a Canon point and shoot, my Flip HD, MacBook, a Droid, portable hard drives, etc., etc... and another ultra-cool but completely useless gift are skins that can make your gadgets prettier and personalized. You can add cool artwork or photos of your children. If you are not sure of your bloggers taste, they do offer gift cards, which is most likely your best bet if you are a man shopping for your lady. They start at $14.99 for the smaller skins, so it is a pretty reasonable gift.

#6 Blurb

Blurb is a cool site that will 'slurp' your blog into an actual book. It is a pretty cool idea since some of us that are tech geeks still like the look and feel of an actual printed, flippable, old school book. You can get gift cards here as well, which is a good bet since most bloggers are pretty territorial about their blog and how it looks and is laid out.

#7 Dunkin' Donuts Gift Cards
(or your local fave coffee shop) As any good blogger knows, we are constantly mainlining coffee. And since we don't make any money, we can not afford the luxury of coffee being made for us, so we might just have to stick with the Folgers in the 20 pound can from Sam's club. It is nice to get the occassional treat of driving through and having your hot cup of joe handed to you in a yummy seasonal flavor like gingerbread or pumpkin. I would suggest something as decadent as Starbucks, but even as a gift, it breaks my heart to hand over $4 for a coffee that costs 8¢ to make. But they make a damn good coffee.

Have I covered it all? Do you have any better ideas for me???

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things: And so it begins (redux).

Colby saw yesterdays post from my Kid's Say series and thought it would make a great comic... and so he set out on designing a new comic strip starring our family and their whacky verbal exchanges:

I know what you're thinking... "Why the hell are you wearing suspenders?" THAT's what I said! I mean, if I am going to be a cartoon character, let's make it a bit more accurate, right? Like this:
(Courtesy ToonPool.)

You know, perky boobs, 10 inch waist. Let's have a little truth in cartooning here. Work on that, ok Colb?

What do you think? Should I hire him to add flair to my Kid's Say?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Kids Say the Darndest Things: And so it begins.

*Please envision this conversation with Acadia's adorable 2-year-old dialect and enunciation.*

Acadia: "Mommy I want a snack."
Me: " You can't have a snack, sweetie, because you didn't eat your dinner."
Acadia: "But I didn't like it."
Me: "What??? You are 2. Your tastes buds don't even work yet. You don't know what you like."
Acadia: "Well, I know I didn't like THAT dinner."
Me: "Yeah, well you poop in your pants, so I don't necessarily trust your judgement."
Acadia: "I don't poop in my pants, Mommy. I poop in my diaper."
Me: "I really wish whoever took my adorable 2-year-old and replaced her with a snide pre-teenager wouldgive me my baby back."
Acadia: "Mommy! I am right here. It's me... Cady!