Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Inspiration via erica on Pinterest

Crack. Instead of just blindly looking at things on this genius site, I am going to post some of the gems I find.

For example... via Loodyhoo on Pinterest
If I had this, I would bike everywhere. For about a week, until I got bored and saw something else I wanted to obsess about.
My Make Me is totally out of control. The good thing about it is it makes me want to spend hours and hours in my sewing room. Bad thing, I do not have hours to spend in my sewing room.
Here are a few I want to try... via Adrian Burton on Pinterest via Keenan Rankin onPinterest

One Girl Design Wrks via Lindsey Fulton Frey on Pinterest

Alisa Burke via The Red Bananas on Pinterest 

Ok, go make shit.


From "1.1.11"
Happy New Year!
I have always made resolutions and I, like most, dismissed them after a few days. This year, I am taking a different approach. Instead of trying to find all the things in my life I want to be different, I am going to attempt to focus on the things I do well and continue to do them.  I would like a more self loving year.
Let's see how I feel on 1.11.11!
Besides the obvious (to me) typo, I like this approach. While I spent an exorbitant amount of time kicking the shit out of myself emotionally, I am not looking back on this year as a failure, which is my m.o.
The dishes are rarely done, laundry is at a constant state of overflow, my business has a ebb and flow of nothing to everything in my life, the family finances are slightly out of control and I currently have a massive case of end-of-winter-vacation exaustion. That being said, I truly believe this year has been an enormous success.
Case in point, the reason I am so exhausted today is because my kids and my husband have been home for a couple of weeks. The house is filled with bodies, mess and a constant hum of laughter. I like my alone time. The hour of quiet I get in the afternoon before dinner is necessary for me to feel prepared. I have been thrown off my game this week. My normal hyper-control-freak state of being has been replaced with a home filled with laughter, screams of joy, play mess and massive amounts of candy/snack wrappers. This is not a failure. This is a success.
At the end of the day, I love my family, my ever evolving sense of success, the chaos of play and the space my life allows me to reflect.
I will not be listing the things I want to change again this year. I, again, will be focusing my energy on appreciating what I have and following my heart toward my joys.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Oatmeal Breakfast (aka why I love saturday morning breakfast)

We love oatmeal. It may be a problem.
In of itself, loving oatmeal is not a bad thing. However, as a mother of three who reluctantly does whatever they want from time to time despite my bad ass nature, making and serving said oatmeal is an ordeal.
Here are the instructions so someone can give me when I lose my mind and can no longer function as a member of my family...

  • Start a medium pot of water boiling
  • Add a random amount of oatmeal. If you are a stick-up-you-ass type, go ahead and measure it out according to directions. You are now a Follower.
  • Cook for about a minute. This results in a nice, thick, sticky oatmeal. Just the way I like it. 
  • Spread about half of it on a large plate, put in freezer to cool. 
  • While cooling, toss 4 slices of bread into toaster. 
  • While toast, start a pot of coffee for yourself. Make it a whole pot, because it typically needs to last about 3 days
  • Once toast is done, butter two for yourself, cut one in 4ths and spread now cooled oatmeal on them for one kid and butter and cut in half for the other. The third kid may yell at you if you give her toast, don't bother
  • Divide remaining cooled oatmeal into 2 bowls. The other third man out may yell at you if you give her just a bowl of oatmeal, don't bother.
  • Pour an ungodly amount of brown sugar over all the exposed sticky, tan oatmeal in an effort to hide the fact you are attempting to give your children something good (despite the fact that you are making it decidedly un-good by adding sugar)
  • Place all 456 plates, bowls and cups on the table, return to kitchen, pour a cup of coffee, eat scraps off the counter, return to family eating area, pretend you are at a hipster breakfast place with background noise instead of your own children yelling, eat a entire bowl of oatmeal, two overly buttered pieces of toast in about 3 minutes.
  • If Weekday: run to bedrooms, but out clothes for kids...start the getting ready for school war.
  • If Saturday: Remove youngest from highchair, dust off the sugar from her face and clothes, grab cup of coffee, find couch and stay there for about an hour. 
  • In both scenarios, be sure not to clean up the table. If you do, you will be depriving yourself of the ability for massive amounts of blood to rush to your face every time you step on sticky oatmeal and it gets stuck to your foot, or every time you attempt to scrape dried, hardened brown sugar encrusted oats off the table.
Feel free to use this method, just give me credit. It has taken a lot of sweat and tears to perfect.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Ride

I figure I spend about 15 hours a week in my vehicle.
While it may not seem like a lot, envision everyday piling 3 children into the van, getting one buckled, and waiting a few minutes for the other two to pull their head out of their ass and buckle themselves, drive the 20 minute commute to school, unload said children, return to car and buckle the lone child into her seat.
Then the day varies, but typically includes a few more in and outs with 1 or more kids, the acquiring of some product or 100, the distribution of the please-stop-whining snack, subsequent explosion of said snack all over the back of the van, the daily art project which includes; but it not limited to; glitter, wet paint, glue, streamers and scraps of paper, and the reallocation of articles of clothing left at various locations.
Then we make it home. Most of the procurements of the day get left in the car due to the shortage of hands and willing carriers, with the solemn swear that I will rush back our to get them and the harsh reality that I don't.
The result: 30-40 random pieces of clothing, 3-5 half drunken cups of coffee, a substantial floor covering of crumbs, art masterpieces stuck to the carpet, wrappers from the weekly chip obsession I have and a smell that may or may not be a rotting animal under a seat.
But, let's be clear, I love my van. I wish I were better to it. I have named all my cars (Betty, Tina from Chaska...etc) and I am scared to name this one. If I name it, than I would feel guilty for treating it as I do.
So for now I will have to accept it for what it is and vow that someday, god willing, I will be better to it (once I am, it will become Her, says the feminist). Or, I'll just trade it in for something else and start from scratch.
True Dat.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween (yesterday)

 I love Halloween. And by love, I mean  I have a general obsession with fall but loathe hyped up children who spend 37 days post Halloween detoxing. I will settle for love.

We moved into our home four years ago on October 1st and planed a party for that Halloween to encourage a quick unpacking and organizing. We had a blast at it, so it has become an annual thing. We were some of the first of our friends to have kids, so the parties until this point were more adult (nothing kinky, unfortunately). This year, that was not the case.

We have two four year-olds, throwing them in the other room does not work anymore. It was official, small children far out numbered adults. Turns out, it was the best party we have had.

But my camera died. So, just trust me when I say, I am damn lucky to have the people in my life that I do.

And there was a turtle, but she was not having it, so I got no pictures during the 23 seconds she wore it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I dream in Red.

I have an unnatural obsession with this bird. I am really digging the hand embroidery process. Just getting started, and this is the first one I am super proud of. Don't tell the other projects, I love them too, but I think this one is just so damn cute.

This bute is for sale in my store...But I still have the pattern, so let me know if you want something with it on it.

I got the pattern from Urban Threads. I love that they not only let, but encourage you to use the images in handmade goods to sell!  And they use skulls and shit. Which I think is rad. Mainly because my daughters are scared crapless of skulls. I was going to say shitless, but twice in one paragraph seemed a bit vulgar. oops.

On that note (that note = I am always trying to find ways to torture my kids), we are trying to remove naps in preparation for kindergarten. So, needless to say, I have three kids for sale.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The time is soon

I am so close I can smell it.

I have been sewing, embroidering and designing.
My logo is up and awesome.
I am pretty sure I can "launch" by Friday.
I may have just peed a little,.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Fun

God I love this season. My In-laws found an awesome apple orchard slash working farm (I will post a link to the site when I get off my ass and get the name from the piece of paper in my car). This place was wicked. Tons of animals, a corn pit for the girls to play in and nummy apples. This place is the reason Fall exists. Wouldn't it be awesome if I had the name of the place for you all?!

Current Projects

I am working on getting some better pictures to post in  my Store. Just thought I'd put these out there :)

Let me know what you think!

I am Famous.

I had another I-should-not-be-doing-this kinda day. But then two super cool things happened.
First, I had lunch with an old friend. She is actually my cousin (of sorts, granddaughter of my grandmother's sister. I don't know why I am explaining it. I also do not know why I keep explaining...). We had a great talk and, even though we did not talk specifically about my business, I left feeling more encouraged. Something about talking with another Mom who is honest about the struggles and joys of motherhood, marriage and working makes me feel I have people. You know, like, these are my people kind of people. It is a good feeling.

Then, as I got back to my makeshift work space at my Father's office, I got an email from a woman I did consulting work for. She is an uber public relations rock star who, among other things, blogs really smart shit (I know that makes me sound super smart. Thanks). Her email said she "badmouthed" me in her blog, but linked to my page.
Awesome. Just as I was starting to feel better. So I, with hesitation, went to her post.
Allow me to just show you...go here.
You can go now. Or later. But then the next stuff might be confusing. But feel free to skip this vital step, it may become clear as you read. Sort of. Just warning you.

Faith in me...restored.

In addition to the blog and sewing, I also do media research contracting. It is interesting work that I not only understand, but I am pretty good at it. But, after my third child, I have not done much, just a few hours here and there.
I am so honored that Bonnie not only views me and my peers this way, but actually took the time to write about it. There are no words to explain how nice it is to have someone believe in you, especially when you do not believe in yourself. It has lit another fire.

Please, God, let me continue to do something with that fire!

Thank you Bonnie!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Food, Workspaces and snot.

Today is a new day. I can not keep my eyes open for more then 5 seconds at a time due to allergies, my nose (and the noses of my kin) will not stop running, I am having panic attacks about money and I am sure I will not be losing the 50lbs I was hoping to. But, today is a new day.
I went grocery shopping. Yes, I do want a medal.
I pre-shopped online, went to the 'cheaper' store and had, wait for it...1 coupon. Yep, my big dive into couponing started with 1. Baby Steps.
During my planning, I came across the site Once a Month Mom. You have got to be kidding me. Go. To. This. Site. Now.
I will wait.
Yep, bulk buying and cooking one day for a whole month. This site has menus, instructions, grocery lists, and printable labels. Pretty sure I just found my new obsession.
Not totally ready to delve into the whole thing, but it is a goal. How awesome would that be?!
For now, I am going to follow these recipes, freeze most of it and go from there!

Slow Cooker Sticky Drumsticks   by Creatively Domestic

Enchilada Sauce (for some of the shredded beef) by Creatively Domestic

Shredded Beef Filling by Good Cheap Eats

Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs by Once a Month Mom

And for dinner tomorrow night, Roast Beef with Gravy. I will post a picture tomorrow, if it works :)

In addition to Once a Month Mom, another site I found is Soopermom, tons of recipes and (from what the titles say but I am not going to read) good tips.

And, on a side note, I am redonkulously excited to start doing some of my work out of my Dad's office! I looked at my space today and can not wait! Almost there!!

Keep Ya Posted!


Friday, September 23, 2011

Bathing in Pajamas

Some days are just like that. You get one dressed all warm, hair combed, new diaper, and she sneaks by you to jump back in with her sister.

After the day (week? month?) I have had, my first thought would be to scream. Not in a good way. Thankfully, that lasted about .00001 seconds. The next thought was to laugh. Then get my phone to snap a picture, of course. In retrospect, this little act by a clueless child (clueless because she really had no idea that getting into a tub while fully dry may not be the best idea), reminded me to chill out.

I have been feeling like a fish swimming upstream for a few days, never quite being able to catch up. This reminds me that it is not my time or my agenda. Yes, I make the plans and create the agenda for the day, but, really, it is just a guideline. So what if we want to deviate and draw on our hands for an hour, or jump back into the bathtub. I am pretty sure my children, and me, will remember the laughs, hugs and cuddles, not the clean floor or the organized bookshelf. Don't get me wrong (I feel like I say that a lot), I will continue to obsess about the 'stuff', and it truly does feel good to be immersed in a clean organized space, but it feels better when my daughter looks at me and says she loves me and this was the best day ever.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


I can not believe this is happening to me. I sit here, with my head in my hands, thinking "Why, God??! WHY?!"

I am going to try couponing. I think the fact that spell check does not recognize that as a word is a sign. Don't do it. In fact, when I attempt to correct the spelling, the only word offered to replace it is 'coupling'. I am sure the powers that be are telling me something. And I am sure it is good.

But, for the love of God, I can not seem to get this budget stuff under control! I know I am good at controlling pretty much everything else in my life, why not this (she says with her head hung low because we all know that is fiction)!

My daughters are picky eaters. I try to feed them good, whole food as often as possible, but they want little of that. Smoothies, fruit and cheese. That is about it. Yet I spend an ungodly amount on food every month. It is the quick snacks, things that look good at that moment and the inability to plan past the hour that gets me. So I am going to try something new.

I have a menu plan. I have websites bookmarked to clip coupons. I am going to be bringing a binder shopping with me next time. Shit. I am that girl.

Anyone want to watch a train wreak? Keep following this process with me, you are bound to see it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Practicing and Preaching

This whole starting a business thing is slooowwww. I feel like I have been doing it forever, but have little to show for it. I need a change of perspective. So, the following is what I would tell someone who is where I am right now and thinking of bailing. I am writing this because it is what I need to hear and I know that I have these answers. If I am not listening to others, maybe I will listen to myself.

Dear B;

I got your information about where you are at in the new small business process. I completely understand your frustration along with your fears. The best thing you can do with those feelings is walk through them, talk them out, yell at the wall and throw your hands up from time to time. Ignoring them or letting them fester without working them out will result in the loss of your progress. Feeling them, acting through them and moving past them is the only way to truly get over them.

Acting through your fears and acting on your fears are two different things. Based on what you have shared, one of your fears is financial ruin. If you acted on that fear, you would likely walk away from this new adventure and find an unsatisfying job that offered money, but little personal reward. Or, you may just dig your head in the sand and pretend this whole business never happened, continue to live in fear and never enjoy the rewards, both financially and emotionally, of creating your own products. Acting through your fears means that you feel the fear, take the appropriate steps to face them head-on and relieve some of the weight the fear places on your shoulders. Acting through it involves creating financial goals, discussing and making a financial plan and holding yourself accountable for the results. Just as an example.

At this point in the process, you likely feel that you have wasted time "educating" yourself on the market, the products and the various techniques available to you. Please remember that you have three small children, it is one week into a new school year and this is a completely different way of showing up financially then you ever have before. Considering your idea to start this business was born out of looking online for different project to do and reading different blogs about moms' experiences, it is only natural that a lot of your time is currently being used to continue that "research." From that process, your brain has taken in a lot of information and it is storing it in there. It may be hard to see, but when you sit down to create something, or when you are laying in bed thinking about a new design, your brain is going through the things that you have read and is using it to your creative advantage. So, chill out. Your time has not been wasted.

Here are some suggestions I have for you going forward:

  1. Take some time everyday to focus a few moments (or more) on tangible business plans, ideas or paperwork. This takes time, and because you do not have a lot of it, break it up and do a little here and there. It will happen.
  2. After your kids are in bed, before you sit on the couch, go to your sewing room and breathe. It may just be a minute, you may stay there for hours, but take just a moment to determine what your body and emotions need for the night. It could mean that you go to the couch, or bed, or it could mean that you spend hours finishing a project or starting new ones. But take a moment to stop and listen.
  3. When you are doing your, in your mind, "useless web surfing", start bookmarking, linking and writing about the things you see. It will become apparent that you are learning things and you are able to use those to your advantage. If, while online, you have not done one of those things, it may be time to turn off your computer and be done for the day.
  4. Write a gratitude list. Duh.
Most importantly, smile. This is fun! You are a creative woman and you have all the talent and smarts to do this. Keep moving forward.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pool and Shade

 First beautiful, not humid day. Headed to the park with water and play. H loved it.

R and A, hid in the shade and awkwardly ventured out to watch other kids play.

Cause that is how we roll.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

First Crochet 'n Stuff

So. I am a nerd. Big time. And I am pretty sure once I find something to crack out on, I do it until my eyes bleed. 
On that note, I finished my first crochet project! Yep, learned how to last week, got back from vacation, bought yarn on Sunday, finished project while waiting to get my tooth fixed (broke it on a Sugar Daddy...go ahead, I have about 5 comebacks). Here it is. I kinda love it. 


I followed this tutorial by the super rad Julie at Gleeful Things. Might be in love.
I also want you to see my new tooth. This picture makes them look fake. And that smile is just not at all how I smile...

And I love my neighborhood. Enjoyed everything about it. Even the bag of candy we brought home. How many points is a box (not bag) of Sour Patch Kids? I am going to say one. We, in an effort to block the consumption of sugar in our home, we baked a cake. A double chocolate cake with butter-cream frosting. Girls wanted it pink with blue letters. Done. 

Enjoy your neighborhood! If you don't love it, the house across the street for me is for sale. Just saying.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I need a new craft like I need another hole in my head...

But, hell, I learned a new one anyway. Every year we spend a week at a Resort in Northern Minnesota. It is the best week of the year. We, meaning my Mother's Family, rent out all seven cabins and then add about 4 tents (have I told you I come from a big family?). Food, lake, food, crafts, campfire, food and more laughs then should be allowed. Oh, and trashy magazines. A lot of trashy magazines. I really did not want to spend my time knitting, embroidering or sewing, rather with my kids and my hands full of food and magazines. Well. that lasted about a day.   

New addiction. Oops. Maybe next year.
Here are some more pics. Can not wait until next year.