Thursday, December 31, 2009

Refashioning in the New Year!

While visions of thrifty crafting danced in my head, I decided to take the pledge to Wardrobe Refashion. First up: this groovy little scarf from Ruffles N Stuff. I've got two potential fabric donors in mind already...

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I have been spending some time perusing blogs lately, and Man! I am so inspired by the creativity and resourcefulness of everyone! I am in awe of the way some of you gals are reusing what you have, transforming something old and forgotten into something redesigned and fabulous!

My new crush: Disney at Ruffles N Stuff. Wow. I can't wait to try some of her ideas!
My second new crush: Ashley at Lil Blue Boo. I have completely enjoyed browsing her great ideas, and I love her patterns for recycled knit dresses! There are so many adorable tees and dresses of my girls that I hate to pack away as well as tons of stuff in my closet that hasn't been off the hanger in quite a while, so maybe now I can figure out something cool to do with these clothes based on these girls' suggestions!

I did whip up a quick superhero cape for Big Sis on Sunday while Lil Sis napped... I still need to go back and add some type of embellishment to it for that extra special touch. Maybe this weekend while dh's home?! Anyhoo, I made it out of pink and green cotton twill that I scored on sale during Christmas, added a velcro closure and a little girly flower... and a superhero cape was born!

I've now got to make one for Lil Sis, so I'll add that on the to-do list for this weekend. I have to work tomorrow (BOO!) but hopefully only a partial day, so maybe I'll still have energy once the sun goes down to get some sewing projects completed.

Who knows? Maybe I'll add some superhero capes to the shop!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Blessed 2009...

Here's to a fabulous 2010!

2010... in T minus three!

Isn't it crazy how something so constant can be the catalyst of all kinds of change?
Thus it is every year with the beginning of the new year.
In three days, 2010 will begin, as will the chance to make this next year all that I dreamed this past year would have been... and wasn't. Here are a few of the things I'm putting on my list:
1. Take care of me. (By that, I mean all that you think I mean. Exercise, eat better, drink more water, get more sleep, allow myself time away to recharge, and spend more time each day with the Lord.)
2. Take care of my chickies. (Laugh more, play more, dress up more, and not stress so much about messing up more!)
3. Take care of my man. (Be a better wife, better cook, better housekeeper *ahem*, better friend, and make more time to date the man I married.)
4. Create, and find ways to create that reuse and recycle.
6. Give it away and Pay it forward. (Cause that's what it's all about, really.)

I've got a lot riding on ya, 2010, so don't let me down!

To come - Christmas pics and a superhero cape!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

You Can STILL Win This!!

Come on guys... I've still got one You Can Make This prize to award! So leave a comment for a chance to win!

This last bundle giveaway will end December 31st at midnight. Tick, tock...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho-Ho-Holy Crap!

Is it really December 24th?!

Man, this December has flown by. Here it is, Christmas Eve, and I am still waiting on Etsy packages to arrive (pllleeeease usps - don't let me down!). Gifts are hidden in my closet waiting to be wrapped. Ingredients are sitting on my counter with a wish to be made into coconut macaroons... and *gasp* I didn't even send out a Christmas card this year! Eek!

So today will be a busy day - I'll be whipping up some last-minute, top-secret tutus since my pettiskirt kits haven't arrived. I'll be wrapping gifts til the wee hours of the morning. And I'll be baking today in between chasing my two little chickies around.

But as for that Christmas card...

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

HOW many days 'til Christmas?!!

It is the Saturday before Christmas and I am soooooo far behind it's not even funny. Seriously. At this point, I don't have a single gift for my children in my possession - all those Etsy finds are lost in the US Postal system... AND - the only day I have to go shopping is today... and the truck needs to be taken in for service! Ack!
Oh well... I did ask off next Tuesday. Guess it'll be that day or nothin'!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bloom Where You're Planted

I am very excited about the upcoming selection for the Bloom Book Club. I'll be purchasing my book tomorrow morning as I'm waiting for that midnight sale!

Truthfully, I'm eager to be part of a book club that is so inspirational, as I'm in need of some inspiration right now. I'm at that place in my life where my job is just that. A job. It is a chore to get myself to go to work in the morning because I just don't enjoy what I do. I'm at a crossroads of "Do I get a different job?" and "Do I just stay where I am cause change is too painful?", and it's difficult. I keep praying that there will be an answer or opportunity but I'm just so unsure at this point.

I've put in resumes and applications, so pray that I'll recognize doors that the Lord opens for me and that I'll understand when He closes them.

You Can Win This!!

With the holidays just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to showcase some quick and easy gift ideas you can give to friends, neighbors, co-workers, and oh yes…even your family! You can enter to win eBooks from and learn some fun new techniques, tips, and ideas not only for the people on your list, but also creative ways to decorate your home!

You Can Make This has created a free download for some fun gift tags. Each of them coordinate with ideas found as part of the DIY Gift Giving Series videos that can be found at , as well as designs and patterns found at and

You can also enter to win hundreds of dollars in gift certificates just for watching the videos that are part of the DIY Gift Giving Series and answering a question on the You Can Make This blog!

And thanks to Courtney at You Can Make This, you have chance to win one of two giveaway bundles! The giveaway bundles include instructions for making the Kimberbell Kids 24” Doll and “Gift-Giver” Patterns. These are the perfect toys to make every little ones eyes light up on Christmas or any morning!!

To enter: leave a comment on this post - it's that easy! You can also earn extra entries by tweeting or blogging about this giveaway and coming back here to give the info in the comments.

Giveaway ends: December 21st, 2009. Two winners will be chosen at random.

So what are you waiting for??!! Comment and enter to win!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunrise, Sunset

Have you ever heard this song from Fiddler on the Roof? I know I've heard it sung at weddings, where the moms and dads are wiping their eyes as their babies fly the coop with their beloveds... and I felt my first sunrise, sunset moment yesterday, oddly enough, at Target. I was perusing the little girl Christmas skirts when I thought they seemed a little small for my almost-five year old, so I made my way to the big girl section. *sob*

It was such a surreal moment walking amongst the bigger sizes, the clothes that were no longer child-like, but rather more grown-up, realizing that my baby. is. growing. up.

"Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yikes... slow down December!

I can not believe we're already in the second week of December! Yes, my tree is up and decorated, but there is so much more to do...
1. Shopping (of which I've done nada, zero, zip, zilch)
2. Sewing (ditto on the aforementioned nothingness)
3. Socializing (which dessert did I say I'd bring?)
4. Stocking-making (one of these days we'll all have coordinating stockings!)

Yikes. I have so much to do and so very little time.
And just a quick survey of all you fabulous women... how much does your dh help you when it comes to Christmas? Does he help decorate? Does he remember to get stocking stuffers for St. Nick? Does he get gifts for the family? Does he prepare any food for the holidays get-togethers?
Just wondering. No reason.
Now where are those little elves?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

This Ain't no Judy Garland...

it's an Advent Garland! I finished this late last night and snapped some pics tonight with just the light from the Christmas tree, so bear with me! I used Jenny's pattern over at AllSorts, with just a few modifications... I wanted to get it finished and up before Advent was over, so I didn't embroider the numbers - instead, I just wrote them on flower paper punches and hung them with embroidery floss. I'm not in love with it like this, so I will add those embroidered numbers before next Christmas rolls around! I also took a not-so-smart shortcut with the buttons - I glued them. Yep, I admit it. I glued them, and thus had a difficult time wrapping the floss around them! Last time I'll make that mistake... dangit.

I strung the garland on some leftover handmitt yarn, and added some fabulous felt beads from Handbegh Felts on Etsy. I have some leftover beads that are destined to become little Christmas bracelets for some special little girls in my life... *sigh* a craft for another day!Shortcuts and all, it turned out pretty cute - I've filled the pockets with chocolate so far, but they're only one Etsy shopping expedition away from being filled with some cute little clay creations! Maybe something like this in honor of this fabulous gingerbread house?

Seriously... how could someone not like Christmas?!
Oh. And Elf on the Shelf is a big hit. Stories to come!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Merry Kiss-mas

I am loving all things Christmas, right now. Like my new favorite combo: a Christmas-sy mug full of hot joe and some Hershey kisses... yum.
Big Sis skipped out on the coffee, but snuck some kisses.

Maybe she's more like me than I thought!

Dh let me sneak away today for a good ole' pedicure, and I made some progress on my advent calendar. Good thing, as I need it finished by tomorrow to get started on time! I'm loving the tiny little pockets and can't wait to string it up with some felt beads. My mantle is going to love it, and so will the girls...

Next up... a gingerbread house a la my little chickies!

Friday, November 27, 2009

*Swoon* for those three little words...

Pre. Lit. Tree.

Isn't it the most gratifying thing to put the pieces of the tree together, fluff the branches, plug it in and... tada! The entire tree is covered with twinkle lights that you didn't have to untangle or carefully place on aforementioned branches. Love it.

The holiday season is kicking off here at MNATO... I better get working on that Advent Calendar! And we missed our first reading of Elf on the Shelf as I was laid up last night, feeling like a poster child for Nyquil. Today, I have to work until 1:00 (healthcare never closes...) and I hope to come home to finish decking the halls later.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No, Thanks

Today, the day before Thanksgiving, I'm typing this at 5:30 in the morning... knowing I should be in the shower since I am one of the lucky people who are working today... knowing I'll have to make a trip to the grocery store later cause I waited until the last minute... knowing I won't have time to make the apple pie that I wanted to bring to the in-laws tonight... and thankful for one little word: no.

This holiday season, I'm not committing myself to bring delicious homemade goodies to all the family events and I'm not racing to find the perfect gift. I am embracing the power of saying no, graciously, so I don't feel overextended and exhausted. I am embracing the fact that a store-bought pie looks homemade when put in a pretty dish.

So, thanks no, for making my life a little easier...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

It Happens

Do you ever wonder how your life became so chaotic?

Oh yeah...

Some days I feel like I'm always twenty minutes late, ten dollars short, and five seconds away from having a meltdown. Who is this frazzled woman I have become? Trust me, it's not intentional. I don't like feeling like I don't have it together and I hate always showing up to family events late. I wish I could better manage working 40-plus hours a week, taking care of two rambunctious girls, being a good wife, taking care of my home, and being active in my church and community so that I was always on time, gifts wrapped, not a hair out of place, with a freshly-baked pie in my hands.

But life happens.

Shit happens. (usually right when it's time to walk out the door)

And I happen to think that not being perfect is perfectly okay.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Welcome to the latest member of our family...

She arrived last week, straight from the North Pole...
She's our very own Elf on the Shelf!
If you haven't heard of the story, click on the link to find out the little trick parents have been using to encourage better behavior during the holiday season. One of my girlfriends began her elf on the shelf tradition last year and had quite a bit of success with it, so I thought I'd try it too. I even ordered a little skirt for her, cause, you know, only a twirly skirt elf would do. She's not named yet, but that's a task I'll give to the girls once we read the story on Thanksgiving night. Then, the little deception, er, tradition can begin!
Of course... with cutie-pies like this, our little elf shouldn't need to report to Santa, right?! (This is the girls' latest superhero costume - captain pants-on-your-head!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Time's a Comin'...

And check out all of the great ideas for Christmas crafts!

I am SO making one of these:

a felt advent calendar garland!

And how about these?

a rosette Christmas tree!

string of light advent garland... and

gorgeous felt ornaments.

I find the more felt cookies I make, the more felt projects I want to start - what should I make first??

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Handmade Christmas

I am in full-on crafting mode since I got my groove back! I'm still baking up some play cookies for the Etsy shop, and my brain is filled with ideas of other fun Christmas goodies to try. I've also been perusing all the wonderful tutorials that other bloggers have been kind enough to share, and I'm so inspired and ready to craft for my own Christmas at home! I've got to get in the shower already, so I'll be back later to post links. You won't be disappointed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grocery Bag Dispenser!

This project turned out great - and it didn't take a lot of time or materials to make since save for the batting, everything from fabric to elastic was from my stash! I got to try my hand at quilting and have decided that I need a stippling foot before trying that mess again (unless I'm quilting in straight lines). But the best part? Now, I've got this great little way to store my plastic grocery bags. (So much better than the previous overflowing basket at the bottom of the pantry...)

What's that? You need a plastic bag? Why, I just happen to have one right here...

Thanks Moda Bake Shop for a great tutorial!

Feeling Domestic

It's a dreary, gloomy day today that is forcing the fam inside and me to get in touch with my inner domestic goddess. Big sis and I have two chocolate cakes cooling, just waiting to be slathered in chocolate icing and Heath bar bits. The grocery bag dispenser is about to head to the dryer and then to my pantry for pics and grocery bag dispensing action. And... I'm whipping up a batch of cookies for the lollipop kids Etsy shop.

Life is good.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I've got my groove back

I've been having a rough time lately, feeling very disconnected from myself as my job slowly took over my life. Tonight I sat at my kitchen table, my hands becoming reacquainted with some old friends...

It was so calming and empowering making those tiny little felt cookies that all of a sudden, I felt it. I had my groove back. For the first night in many, I wasn't ready to fall asleep at 8:30 pm. I was excited with every blanket stitch...
Who knew this was what I needed all along?
And I didn't stop there - I started working on a cute little project that I spotted in the Moda Bake Shop some time ago - the grocery bag dispenser. How cute is that thing?! It's way better than the overflowing pile of plastic bags at the bottom of my pantry. One charm pack later, I had this:

I still have to sew the lining and batting and *gasp* do my first quilting ever. (Can I even stipple with a normal old Singer? Ack!) I think it'll turn out pretty cute... we'll see!
Oh - and if you're in the mood for some felt play cookies, check out my Etsy shop! I'll be cranking out the sweets for the holidays...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trick or Treat!

What a fun Halloween. It's much more fun now that both of the girls are old enough to enjoy dressing up and raking in the candy! G was an adorable little kitty cat and I dressed up as Lucille Ball - mainly because it was the only costume in the Halloween store that didn't look like it should be worn behind closed bedroom doors. Seriously.
I actually saw young teenage girls shopping the "Dreamgirl" costumes with their mothers. Not that they aren't cute little get-ups... but when you have to decide if your costume is "too slutty" versus simply being slutty at all, that should be a universal sign for all mothers everywhere to get out of that section!
I digress. Dh was his trusty standby, the rodeo clown - a last minute costume shopped at Goodwill, none the less. And K was a bobby sox dancer, but ditched her cateye glasses and added a cowgirl hat once she saw her daddy. *sigh* Whatever makes her happy, right?
Here's to many more Happy Halloweens with my little "ghouls"!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

So sorry for the photobucket interruption! I had no idea my images would be yanked from my blog if I hadn't logged in to photobucket in 90 days!

So, MNATO is back in its usual state, sans pictures that I need to take today of my girlies in their costumes. Oh, and me too. Yup. I'm wearing a costume for the first time in a long while after making a last minute run to the costume store last night.

Now... I've just got to figure out this wig.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Man, this blog is in some serious need of pictures! I've been a bad mama and keep forgetting the camera at home every time there is a potential for a Kodak moment. I know... pathetic, right?!
I've got nothing to show as far as craftiness either - everything's been on hold for a while. No sewing, no knitting... yikes. I've been waiting for another International Scarf Exchange and it looks like that might be unleashed soon, so maybe that'll give me the mojo I need to get my knit on again.
I'll do better - promise!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


= Mission: Organized Mom!

With all the chaos that was going on with my job, I sort of lost track of my life and all the daily planning that goes along with it. Now that things are slowing down (somewhat) with work, I'm ready to focus on getting my life and home back in order. I've been perusing some organization blogs this morning, and I'm amazed by the organizing skills of these women! Seriously, I am not worthy - but with their help, I plan to be on my way!

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie. She has great tips for the everyday and great links for almost every organizing need, and I love her weekly menu plans. What inspiration for this mom who thinks of what to cook on the way home from picking up the girls from daycare...

Speaking of meal planning, I found this link for Dine Without Whine from the orgjunkie site for a service that plans you meals and shopping lists for you, for only $6.95/month! I think I'll try to do it myself, with this as a plan B should those efforts fail!

Next, there is Organizing Your Way. I particularly love the home management notebook idea and all of the site's printables. I'm ready to head to the office supply store and get started - today!

And last, but not least, is Simple Mom, who has a brilliant 12 Weeks to a Peaceful Christmas plan for all of us! I admit it, I am not one of those moms who is ready for Christmas for weeks before the date. I am the one who is shopping on Christmas Eve for last minute items... yes, it's true. While I'm two weeks late for the start of this, I think I have time to hop on board to get ahead on the holiday season this year as it is fast-approaching.

I'm ready for a more organized me!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crafting Instincts

Finally, we've got some cooler weather in Texas - my outdoor thermometer reads 57 degrees right now! The change in climate is pulling on my apron strings and giving me the urge to bake and craft... I suppose since we tend to stay inside as the weather becomes cool and wet and as the days become shorter.

I know I've been blogging about wanting to quilt for some time now, but I just haven't summoned the courage to begin a quilting task. The new line at Fig Tree, however, may put a little fire under my foot pedal! I just can't get enough of her retro children's line Whimsy, and the patterns for Whimsy Fresh look perfect for a beginner like me! Just look:

photo credit: Fig Tree Quilts

I feel some crafting comin' on!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Fun

I love fall, especially for the fun activities that come along with the season. My sis and I took the girls to a "Witch Tea" yesterday... it was really more of a ploy to get us to shop, but the girls had fun none the less. They painted pumpkins and consumed enough candy to make their teeth fall out, but what a start to the fall season!

Next on the agenda... find a pumpkin patch!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


I'm amazed every day by my children, as I'm sure any parent will say. You just never know what they're going to say or do or think, and it's incredible. Lately, my girls have been bonding on a level that's very special and I'm enjoying watching it unfold - they are truly enjoying being sisters. Obviously, they've been sisters by birthright, but to see them start to appreciate that and develop that type of relationship is very cool.

Very cool indeed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Free Fallin'

I love fall. Every year when September arrives, the weather gets cooler (hey, 90 degrees is cooler!), and the leaves begin to fall... I get the urge to raid the fall decor aisle at the local Hobby Lobby and cover every inch of my home with shades of orange, pumpkins, and gourds.

Today I was cleaning up my craft room and came across some scrap orange fabric and decided to put it to use...

I used flour sack towels for the body of the pillow and appliqued the pumpkin and felt stem. You can't see it, but I stitched some grooves into the pumpkin to add texture. It turned out cute, for a quick afternoon project - little G liked it so much, she took it to bed with her!

Next up... I'm feeling a candy corn pillow coming on.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

No Work Tomorrow!

My dh and I have this little thing we do with our girls as part of their bedtime routine. When one of us is off the next day, we end our little snuggle with a "no work tomorrow!" to let them know that when they wake up, it's their day.
Since daddy gets to say that more often than me, it's so great when I can tell them that too... and luckily, I have tomorrow off so "no work tomorrow" for me!
I'm looking forward to a full day at the fair with my gorgeous man and my chickies.

Yay me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


It's such a shame how quickly blogging is tossed aside for this crazy thing called life. I'm working on that, trust me.

So, things are settling down a little at work. The final phase of transition is next week (moving things today - yes, on a Saturday), so at least everything and everyone will finally be under one roof. Emotions are settling as well, so a little less of the hair on my neck stands up when I walk in the door.

The weather is cooling off in Texas and we finally got some rain so things outside are greener and less muggy and more pleasant. Hallelujah.

I received my Rowan CashSoft (ebay score!) a couple of days ago and hope to cast on tonight for my Kim Hargreaves sweater. I tell ya, a little knitting will do my soul some good.

So hang around, there should be some picture-laden posts soon and some craftiness going on around here...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

M.I.S.S. You Much

Man, I've missed you guys.

I've missed blogging.

I've missed quiet evenings having time for blogging.

And sewing.

And knitting.

And drinking wine.

Okay - still drinking the wine, but you know where I'm coming from...

I can't wait for things to slow down and return to somewhat normalcy so I may resume my normal scheduled routines! I did venture out to the Yarn Barn in SA, only to find out it wasn't there anymore! A few google searches later and I've found the new location, but think I will just order my yarn online for the Kim Hargreaves sweater. A little yarn and needles would do this girl some good. At least maybe it'd keep me going past 8:30 in the evening...

I hope to be back soon~

Friday, September 4, 2009


Man, it's been a rough couple of weeks.

My job has pretty much taken over my life with all of the changes going on, and I am desperate for things to be back to (somewhat) normal. It is quite stressful being the person in charge of everything but in control of nothing. Does that make sense? Decisions are being made by people I never see and the communication of those decisions is nearly nonexistent. That, and I'm accountable to make sure that everything is done seamlessly.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the personalities involved.

I keep praying for patience and for the grace to give it up to the only one truly in control...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bring the Rain

I have been having a rough go lately with work - much more than I want to disclose on a public blog - but it's been getting to me, little by little, until today I just lost it. I was a crumpled, crying mess full of self-doubt and frustration and fear. It's so hard sometimes, knowing you are accountable for decisions that are made of which you have no control. It makes me wonder: am I capable of cleaning up the mess that's left behind? Am I strong enough to take the mental and emotional beating that I'm about to receive? Was I made for a time such as this? Lord, send me a sign!

And then... the rain came.

I am listening to the sound of the rain hitting my chimney vent - that glorious sound. We've had only 8 inches of rain this year, and it decides to rain now...

Sweet providence.

Okay, Lord. I'm listening. I can do all things through You.

"Bring me joy, bring me peace,
bring the chance to be free,
bring me anything that brings You glory.
Cause I know there'll be days
when this life brings me pain
but if that's what it takes to praise You,
Jesus, bring the rain." ~ MercyMe

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Precious...

I received my Kim Hargreaves Precious pattern book in the mail yesterday and I am seriously drooling. I love almost every pattern in this book, and can't wait to make a run to the yarn store today to load up! While Lauren is my favorite, I'm not sure if I'm ready to jump back into something that tedious, so I'm going to start with Jen, a cropped cardigan - and then go from there. One of my fave KH patterns, Fay, is also included in this book, so yay!!

Time to load up the girls for a trip to the Yarn Barn!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stay At Home Envy

Do any of you working moms out there ever wish you could be a stay at home mom?

I do.

I know my perception is probably far from reality, but sometimes it seems like such a better situation. There's no hurry up and rush in the morning to get the kids to daycare so you can get to work - work all day then hurry to daycare to get the kids before they close - then head home to figure out something quick to cook for dinner and feed the kids - then clean up the kitchen before it's time for baths and bed - then try to pick up the house your children destroyed in the fifteen minutes you weren't looking - then sit down and discuss your day (work) with the hubby since you don't have any friends that are interested in listening - then finally plop down in bed so completely exhausted from the day when (oh you can't be serious) dh starts rubbing up against you.

All to get up at 5am - okay, 520am after I hit snooze twice - to do it over again the next day.

I'm envious of the girls I know that stay at home, who get to meet up at 10am to do Bible Studies or get the kids together for playdates at the morning library story time. I'm jealous of Mother's Day Out. I'm envious of naptime, when I notice they get time to post comments on blogs or on Facebook or have time to clean the house since the kids are sleeping. I wish I too could go to the gym every morning after breakfast rather than once every couple of weeks. I'm jealous that they get to drive the SUVs my dh won't let me have. I'm jealous that I'm not part of their close-knit circle of SAHM friends, since us working moms don't fit in that group sometimes. I wish, at the end of day, I'd still have enough energy to play with my kids rather than falling asleep while they watch Dora, and I wouldn't have the guilt I feel when they ask me why I can't stay home with them.

From the outside looking in, the view looks so much better some days...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - 8.19.09

No matter how old you are... this is always funny.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I've been watching my children this week and their response to recent changes in their childcare environment, and I am so amazed. Here are these little people whose lives and routines are being turned upside-down; new classrooms, new teachers, new friends... and they are adapting so easily.

Their mama, on the other hand, is facing a new employer, new boss (mine resigned last week), new co-workers... and I'm a wreck. My mind races from the second I get up in the morning until it finally poops out at the end of the day. My anxiety level is cuh-razy. I only wish I could mirror my daughters' way of taking things in stride and learn to embrace the excitement of new people, new opportunities, and new challenges as only a child can.

Thank goodness for moments like this to remind me how much fun learning new things can be:(from a girl who said "I don't wanna do ballet!! I wanna be a chee-leader!")

Maybe the best change in store for me is that of my perspective.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Knitting Fever

Although it's still well over 100 degrees every stinkin day, I can tell there is a change in the air that symbolizes the approaching fall. Just the thought of turning leaves and cooler weather has me itching to get my fingers wrapped around some yarn on a new project. I've been perusing patterns and struggling with which one I want to try - I'm going all out and making myself a nice cardigan this year, so I want to make it one that's worth the fiber and time investment!

I'm loving the new Kim Hargreaves pattern book, Precious - it's wonderful! I adore Lauren, a blouson-type cardigan...

photo credit: Kim Hargreaves

I'm also contemplating making the Debbie Bliss cabled jacket from the cashmere collection.

photo credit: Debbie Bliss
Now... off to decision-making!

Quotable Sunday - 8.16.09

Time to join Toni again for another Quotable Sunday!

Today, I'm reflecting on Sunday, one of my favorite days of the week, a day where you can forget all the "stuff" hanging around from last week and be ready to start anew...

"There's somethin' bout a Sunday mornin' breeze
Church bells ringin', "bringin' in the sheaves"
And the smell of supper, simmerin' on the stove
A little bit of both's sure good for the soul
Sittin' on the swing with her head on my chest
Givin' any worries one day's rest
Suddenly everything's gonna be okay
There's somethin' 'bout a Sunday" - Michael Peterson

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Etsy Halloween Eye Candy - 8.15.09

With the fall fast approaching, I can't help but start looking for great ways to decorate for Halloween, and as always, Etsy doesn't disappoint! Check these out--

from WillowCreekSparrow

from aprilfoss

Let the spooking begin!

Breast Milk. Every Ounce Counts!

This past week was World Breastfeeding Week, and from my own experiences breastfeeding I can attest that it is not something that comes naturally nor is it easy. I know I wore out my copy of La Leche Leagues's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and spent lots of time in forums, asking questions of other women experiencing my same struggles.

A great new resource for Texas moms and moms of all states is the website Breast Milk Counts, from the Texas Department of State Health Services. It has great tips for new moms and those experienced with breastfeeding, as well as tips to help working moms continue to nurse after returning to their 9-to-5 schedules. I only wish this had been around when I was nursing my little ones.
Check it out - every ounce counts!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. It's funny how strange the thirties decade is to me. I guess because so many milestones typically happen while you're in your twenties that you don't have time to let it sink in that you're getting older. Then all of a sudden, you're 30, and it's like whoa. Hold up here. When did that happen? When did I fall into that category that is addressed in magazines as the beginning of fighting the aging process and the time to start dressing like a grown up? When did I become so old?


Guess I should enjoy while I can. Otherwise, I'll be up and over the next hill - 40. At least I'm still on the 30 end of this decade!

Monday, August 10, 2009

M-I-S-S You Much

So after my weekend time by myself, I had high expectations of the events surrounding the time when I picked up my children from my sister. In my mind, there was symphonic music playing in the background and everything was in slow-motion as my children ran toward me, arms opened, smiles of sheer joy on their faces as if they hadn't seen their mama in months...

Instead I got this:
"I don't want to go home! I want my TTeeeeeee!!!!"
"Turn back - turn back! No, No, No, Noooooo! I want to go to TT's house!"
"I don't like my house! I don't like my toys! TTEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
"Turn ba-a-a- (yawn) - ack...."
Isn't it good to be loved?

Sunday, August 9, 2009


My sister has a great vintage collection of Fiesta dinnerware, and after living with my Target rooster plates for nearly six years, I've finally decided what I want to replace them with in my cabinets... yup, Fiesta!

I want to have multiple colors, and they're not cheap, so I figure I'll save up for a color at a time and eventually have a full set. The colors I want? Sunflower, Scarlet, Peacock, and Shamrock. Ack! I'm excited just blogging about it. And since I've successfully completed my Target fast - I'm ready to shop!!

Woman First, Mother Always

I read a book by a similar title a few years back, after I had my first child and was beginning to feel the not-so-joyful side of motherhood. I couldn't understand how I could not want to be with my child every second of the day when I loved her so incredibly much, and I felt terrible guilt because of it. Then I read this book and it was all very clear.

When I became a mother, my identity became wrapped up in the arms of mom as well. I was no longer this confident, spontaneous, funny girl - I was a worn-out, washed-up version of myself and I allowed every plan in my life to be led by a baby girl who wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, and who sometimes wouldn't stop crying. I flaked out on opportunities to be with others, secondary to the fact that I didn't want to "throw her off her schedule". But in reality, I threw my life off schedule. I completely took myself out of my life, and I began to suffer for it.

Just when I was adjusting to building up myself and my life again, I decided I wanted another baby. (Go figure). Again, the same pattern took ahold and I pretty much became a hermit in my own home, surrounded by a screaming two-year old and a newborn who spent her entire day upchucking her stomach contents.

The Joy of Motherhood, my ass.

It is only recently that I've decided to try again to break out of this cycle and nurture the part of me that was there long before the diapers and formula and potty-training. I've learned to ask for time "off", time away, to regain the much-needed time to remember that while being a mother is wonderful and one of the best things I've ever done, it's not everything I am nor the only role I'll every play.

I was a woman first and will be a mother always.

This weekend, my sister and brother-in-law took my girls away for the weekend, and it was such a change to not have my little offspring running around the house. I slept in until *gasp* 8:00 yesterday morning, was able to finish my coffee while it was still hot, enjoyed privacy in the bathroom for a change, had a leisurely lunch with a girlfriend, saw a matinee... it was wonderful. It was quiet. It was lonely.

I took time to put myself as a woman first and in the process, learned to appreciate myself more as a mother.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Holy Sheet!!

If you remember, I was selected as one of Purex's Insiders earlier this year and was able to try their new 3-in-1 product firsthand. I can honestly say that I loved it the first time I tried it and that I now have the one sheet that does it all in my laundry cabinet. Have you tried it yet??
You'll be sure to say "This Sheet Really Does Work!"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Don't Know Just What to Do with Myself

This evening, my sister will be whisking away my children for a fun-filled weekend with Aunt TT and Uncle Duwa. So I wouldn't have to hear all week "when's TT coming?", I hadn't even mentioned it to the girls until yesterday. At this point, I'm not sure what I will do with the free time. Dh will be working so I'll be flying solo... what to do?!

The opportunities are mind-boggling!

One thing I will be doing for certain... is missing my girls and freaking out a little while they're not under my watchful eye (or roof). It's a mom thing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This Ain't Yo Momma's Playhouse...

Welcome to my girls' new playhouse - won't you come on in?!

Sorry for the lighting - I finished it this evening and couldn't wait to take pictures!! Maybe tomorrow I can get some with better lighting and with the girls.
Okay, details. I used this tutorial from Sew Much Ado on how to measure for the sides and "roof". After that, I sketched my ideas for each panel and went to work! The green body fabric is chino curtain material from Walmart (it saved time not having to sew a hem). The rest of the fabric and felt was from my stash, except for the vinyl - oh, the vinyl. We'll talk more about that in a bit.
For the front panel, I cut out a door and sewed pink binding for the doorframe. Then I added a felt mailbox and light and a fabric applique bush.
The back panel is a fabric applique tree with fabric/felt birdies that can be velcroed to the tree when the girls are playing.
One side window panel has a round cut-out window with pink binding and is flanked by fabric applique and felt topiaries.
The other side panel has a vinyl window with a fabric applique windowbox and hand-sewn felt flowers. Now, the vinyl. Hmmm, where do I begin? First of all, I have never sewn with vinyl, so that should have been my first clue. Secondly, I didn't research sewing with vinyl (as I normally would have any other day...)! Let's just say that many ripped seams and curse words later, the window is done, with ribbon on the outside covering the awful sewing job hiding underneath. Thank goodness for fabric glue.
I absolutely love how it turned out, and I think the girls will enjoy it. I may still modify it some by adding some more details on the outside (maybe some bird nests for the tree?), a name plate above the door, and maybe add a fabric door that can be rolled to open and close. We'll see.
I used my new serger on the interior seams, and I think I'm in love. Is there much better than an overlocking seam? I think not!
Curtains: $16.00
Vinyl: $7.00
Stash fabric: Free (essentially)
Making an adorable playhouse (and learning how not to sew vinyl): Priceless!