Friday, December 31, 2010

Favorites Friday: Happy New Year!!

Its a big day... we have to bring the kids to the sitter... eat a delicious meal... get all fancied up... go to a party... drink cocktails... watch the ball drop... kiss... drive home (safely)... then make {and break} new years resolutions... *cheers* to hoping every new year is better than the last. While you are trying to decide what New Years Resolutions to make/break... take a peek at some awesome Etsy goodies to get you through the night :)
(click to zoome photo)

#1: Jaekplanet - Sequin Lace Sleeveless Mini Party Dress {omg SO cute... I want this dress!!}
#2: BagEnvie - Evening Clutch Black Sparkle Silver Slasp
#3: Taylorsays - Handpainted Ebony Glitter Pumps {are you kidding me? *dies*}
#4: HBColorCreations - Fireworks leather Bracelet
#5: TheUniqueBird - Here's to Us Champagne Glasses
#6: Momoma - Drunk Makeout Painting
#7: Sitarah - 5x7 Antiqued Card Champagne Bottle
#8: MoonandLion - Inspiration for the New Year
#9: CorruptCouture - Fireworks Explosion Dress

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mentoring Monday: A Wonderful Life

Another Mentoring Monday post by Aymee! 

A Wonderful Life
      As we come off the heels of Christmas approach New Years, it is time to reflect. Adam and I have had a pretty trying go at it leading up to Christmas. On my end: it all started with failing my class. Then had a Clark Griswold jelly-of-the-month-club moment at work. Then I forgot my phone in my car overnight, which wouldn't have been such a big deal if my husband wouldn't have been locked out of the apartment building all night in the Minnesota winter, and had to sleep in his car--a situation in which people have died. More drama at work; then, the day before Christmas Eve we developed a substantial leak in our apartment from the roof. A steady stream of apple-juice colored water was making its way down my window and wall, and soaking the carpet--the carpet where our Christmas tree and presents were.
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Figure 1: Making the best of it: love is all you need.
      In the Thurston household, we have a Christmas Eve tradition of watching It's a Wonderful Life over cocktails. This year, it couldn't have been more therapeutic. Before he left for work one night, Adam turned to me. His eyes looked beaten, his voice broken. “Could it get any worse?” Yes darling, yes it could. We have a healthy, smart, beautiful daughter. We're not making bank…hell, I wouldn't even say we're “comfortable,” but we're making it financially. Work is rough, but at least we have jobs. We may have had to live like ducks for a day, but we have a place to rest our heads at night. Sadly, and hardest to swallow during the holidays: we are away from our family. But we have “family” in our friends--and no man is a failure who has friends.
Wishing everyone the best this holiday season,
Love, The Thurstons

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Swinger Sunday - by Audrey Hussey from Kaboogie!

Meet Audrey!! An AMAZING work at home mama behind the best shoe store on earth, Kaboogie... be sure to check her out, after your done reading and commenting on her post of course!! 

As a lifelong crafter, I've always been a very discriminating shopper of handmade goods.  Since I won't sell anything I don't think is "perfect" to the best of my abilities, I tend to be a little hard on my fellow artists.  Blame my pop, everything he made was brutally well done.
Since I started selling on Etsy over 3 years ago, I've worked like mad to hone my skills, and create the best brand I can.  I've also bought a lot of goods on Etsy, and it got me thinking.  How does one discern between okay crafts you may regret buying, and perhaps forego handmade websites, and the kind of items you treasure always?  How did my first buyers make the decision to spend their money on KaBoogie shoes?
I mean, the obvious answer would be the picture.  There's enough threads, Storque articles and Google articles available so that most sellers shouldn't have an issue with photography.  Yet, some still do.  I know I did when I started.  That doesn't necessarily mean my product was poor quality, but again, it didn't help.  So you can't always rely on the picture.  You could take a chance there, and give a new seller a nice start.  Someone with a 2 year old shop, however, should have been able to put some effort into better pictures, even with limited resources.  Also, did the seller give multiple photos so you can see the product from all angles?   With that in mind, I do think picture quality gives some clue as to how serious a seller takes their business.
That doesn't mean they don't make a great product, but it does make a potential buyer have to work harder to decide to take a chance. 
Feedback is, in my opinion, one of the more dependable resources a buyer has.  I always check feedback.  I can forgive a negative or two from a higher volume seller, let's say, a misunderstanding about the product, shipping gone wrong, item broke, unreasonable buyer, etc.  Someone with no feedback, though, can seem like a risk.  You have to rely on photos, and a well written description.  Look for comments like "Quick shipment!  Great products!" and especially "Item was defective and seller was SO fast in replacing it!"  Anything to give a clue as to not only quality, but customer service. 
That brings me to another well documented, yet little used way to make a well informed decision on whether to purchase a handmade item.  The description should tell you everything you need to know about the item.  I say little used, because as a seller, I get so many questions about products, that is clearly laid out in my descriptions, I conclude that very few buyers tend to read about them.  This works against the buyer, since vital information can be missed, and a potential bad feedback to buyer or seller may be left.  So it's important to read the descriptions! 
Once you read everything, especially shipping cost, whether the item is made to order or available to ship, materials, care instruction, etc., ask questions.  Don't take anything for granted.  Are you completely vegan, and want to buy non leather baby shoes?  Ask, don't assume, the soles may still be leather.  Is a soap made with ingredients that give you a migraine?  I bought a DVD on Ebay UK 3 weeks ago.  I did not read all of the voluminous verbage down at the bottom of the page, and never got my video.  Once Christmas came and I didn't get my item, I investigated, and finally read the policy that PayPal payments MUST be made in British pounds.  I ASSUMED Paypal would convert it.  I also didn't read his notice that he was closed for 3 weeks over Christmas.  Ugh.  Buyers, read everything, and ask questions.
Asking the seller should take care of two concerns.  One, you (hopefully) get your answer.  Two, you find out whether the seller is a serious business person, the kind who you can fairly well depend on if something goes wrong.  The kind who is available, and communicates with you because they WANT your business.  A seller recently sent only 3 of 4 items I purchased.  I convo'd her, and she had the 4th in the mail, priority, that afternoon.  She lost money in the process, and I know this.  I also know that her product is superb, and she will do whatever it takes to make me happy.  I will recommend her, and buy her products for years to come.  If a seller is new, they may be still ironing out their policies and not know all of the options they have available to settle an issue.  Sometimes you have to keep that in mind, and be patient.  The product may well be worth the efforts.
The last, and probably most obvious way to tell if a seller has a good product is their volume.  The top sellers are top sellers because they have several things down.  A quality product, a "brand", meaning a cohesive mix of identity, consistent look, serious approach, great customer service, good feedback, and excellent product photography.  They also have great word of mouth, for all of these reasons.  You can see that they work hard for your business. 
When buying handmade products, as with buying any product, you want to think the person put extra care and attention into their work.  Sometimes this won't be the case, but we have multiple ways to get a good idea of whether they did or not.  As a seller, I can tell you that bad feedback is the worst nightmare an artist or crafter has.  I can also tell you, that with all of the junk being mass produced by slave or near slave labor, with no enforced regulations, shipped to us from third world countries, we can no longer ignore the handmade market as a superior option for our consumer needs.  Personally, I would rather spend $10 more on a handmade sock monkey and know there's a similar mom on the other end of the sewing machine, than take a chance that the sweat shop produced monkey from Walmart will fall apart when my boy decides to have a giant stuffed animal battle!
Audrey - Amazing, well-written post... and a great guideline for all new (and old) etsy buyers out there... there are a lot of amazing products out there, and a lot of not so great ones... so buyers - be aware... shop a great "brand" likey RockerByeBaby & Kaboogie!! haha

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Story

I was outside this morning sipping my coffee as ZaQ shoveled the drive... scraped the windows of the car and brushed off the 3 inches of powdery fluff... and i thought wow, what a pain in the butt... Then in an instant felt so selfish... Can you imagine what it was like to not have cars? I bet THAT was a pain... bitter cold... either walking or riding a horse in foot after foot of piled up snow... below freezing temperatures... etc.

Once upon a time my Great Grandma Burton told me a Christmas story... she had lived through the Great Depression & two major wars... THEY had it tough... She told me the story of how they literally had next to nothing... One very special Christmas for the was the year they traded food with the neighbors... They pulled out potatoes that they had buried in their cellar... and the neighbors walked two miles in the snow to bring them carrots... together they were able to have a real meal... yep, of carrots & potatoes... and it was a feast... the two families were so happy to be together and eat... and that was it. No presents... no giant feast of Prime Rib with all the fixins, no pies, cookies, or candies... no toys, no new clothes, or fancy electronics... just potatoes and carrots. Sometimes I feel like we have become so far removed from how tough things can get, that we forget to appreciate the things that we have. We complain about the smallest of things... Can you imagine if our generation were the ones living through the Great Depression? It makes me wonder if the human race would even survive... So I ask you on this Christmas Eve... be thankful for what you have... and even more thankful for what your about to receive tonight/tomorrow... be thankful for your friends, family, and good food.... because we really do have it so great... Even in the worst of circumstances... its still so much better than what it was.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Favorites Friday: Best Bands

A favorites Friday post revolving around all my favorite band goodies on etsy? Yeah... THAT. JUST. HAPPENED. Now I need to go shopping, lol
#1:Supapun - Misfits Top
#2: dwitt75 - Triple Rock 10th Anniversary Poster
#3: Smarmyclothes - Custom Handmade Hoodie Top
#4: RockerByeBaby - Super special blanket I made for Josh, of Motion City Soundtrack
#5: JPFlexner - Alkaline Trio Poster
#6: Boobercakes - Less Than Jake tube dress
#7: Nitrostore - Dropkick Murphies Tshirt
#8: dwitt75 - Silversun Pickups & Against me gigposter
#9: AzureeAlice - My Chemical Romance Bracelet

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursdays Tunes: THIS IS FOR REAL!

GOING TO SEE MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK SATURDAY NIGHT at First Ave!! Its only been my 52,000th time.... but it never gets old ;)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Working Hard

We have a Dixie again!! Dixie came up from California to move into our guest bedroom... she needed a change... Its been an amazing help already and its only been a few days! Dunno how I made it without her...Already getting caught up since she has been here!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Result: 10 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Tiffany said...

items faved:
December 7, 2010 9:13 PM


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Swinger Sunday: Self- Destructive - the thick and thin of it

Getting back to Swinger Sundays!! Meet the mama behind "My D Cup Vs. Gravity". Leave her some love and stop by and follow her blog!

So, one of my biggest problems with being a bigger girl now is that one upon a time I was extremely thin. I have to remind myself that I was thin because I was not being good to my body. I had "outside" forces that were eating me alive, and my diet consisted of lucky charms, taco bell, and those two for a dollar cookies from the gas station. This went on for nearly ten years. Then, I got pregnant. I stopped using and picked up a fork. Or a fork-lift rather! I gained eighty pounds in nine months and didn't attempt to shed any after the baby was born.

With second baby, I did lose weight. I was on the cusp of having diabetes and that scared the hell out of me. I walked an hour every night in the winter storms, determined to have a healthy baby and an easier delivery. I was measuring out 1/4 cups of pasta for dinner, and writing down all of my carbohydrates. It worked. After delivery, I was fifteen pounds lighter than when I got pregnant.

But here we are now. Baby is six months and I have stopped losing weight. I am not walking so much and constantly feel hungry. I eat a spinach and hard-boiled egg for lunch so that I can eat gobs of peanut butter out of the jar.

I am still self-destructive, only now these are legal activities. What is the drive behind all of this? I have an addictive personality, whether it be drugs or chocolate. I think I need to work on this before I start hopping on the scale.

Amber here: Great post!! I think we all have these bad habits... I defintely have an addictive personality, and im sure there are lots of you out there that battle similar issues. We would love to hear your feedback on the issue!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Note to Self Saturday: Snow

Snow, ugh. I dont think anyone actually "prefers" snow over sandy beaches... sunsets over the mountains... 65 degree temps all year round... etc. But that's what we gave up to come back home. So far its been pretty easy to stay positive... somehow spinning the need to spend an hour shoveling the drive as "a good workout"... and the below zero temps as an excuse to stay in and snuggle and drink whiskey ciders... and well, you know what they say around here... "the cold keeps the @$$holes away"... LOL
But wow... this last round of blizzardy conditions has been trying for sure. By the end of tonight we are looking at -30 degrees F with the windchill... and 18-20 inches of snow... ZaQ shoveled once last night... once this morning... and just a few hours later it needs to be done again... I'm locked into the house with the kids... can't get to the post office to pick up my tags or drop off packages... and I keep having to shovel the backyard a bit just so the puppies can go out to go potty... *note: California bred puppies do NOT like Minnesota winters* And to top it all off, the boys have some sort of crazed caged animal instinct that has taken over... and they are off the wall bonkers. LITERALLY running laps in my house screaming like a pack of wild wolves... asking me every 30 seconds if they can go play in the snow... how do you explain to a 3 & 4 year old that if they go out there, their little faces could LITERALLY freeze right off... "IzzaQ, do you like your nose? or your ears?... Ok, well if you would like to keep them, we should probably wait to go play outside for another day... when its a little warmer like it was last week. You know... like 15 degrees..." *head/desk* But really, who doesn't love a good blizzard? You get to drink whiskey, eat lots of warm comfort food. (ie. the pot roast in my crock pot right now...) and you get to think of creative ways to stay warm and burn energy... hence, the reason so many babies are born in August, September & October around here, lol Izzaq = October Baby... Zavery = September..... WHAT!? IT WAS A COLD COUPLE OF YEARS! Anyways, Minneapolis, I love you... i really do... but couldn't you have been a little more gentle on us after our first winter back from CA? We really would have appreciated it... But i know, i know... it'll all be worth it that first spring day... having breakfast & mimosas out on the patio at the CC Club. Everyone coming out of hibernation... saying hello to strangers with big smiles on their faces... taking Maddie & The Boys to the playground... Riding bikes around the city... and opening day at Target Field with my 3 favorite boys... I guess 4 (Tom, your alright, too... ill keep you around.) With that in mind, California... Angst for the memories... you've got nuttin' on Minneapolis. Midwest girl for life.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favorites Friday:Christmas for Mommy?

My christmas wishlist... all the amazing etsy goodness that i would just LOVE to find christmas morning...

(click to enlarge)
#1: Glamasaurus - Rainbow Candy 4g Plugs
#2: SimbiosisbyJulie - Kawaii laptop sleeve... "I want this SOOOO bad. I think its at the top of my list this year."
#3: Small Threads - Bony Mama Hoodie... "my most favorite purchase... it was my Christmas gift to MYSELF! And i love it."
#4: Morikaty - Vintage Silver Sewing Machine & Scissors necklace
#5: ShabbyChicFairytale - Antique Damask chair... "i NEED this for my bedroom..."
#6: JCSkyline - Makeup Brush Roll
#7: MoLoveRox - I need a wholeeeeee bunch of MoLove sparkley pigments...
#8: FA2u - Skull Frame Clutch
#9: MichelleChangJewelry - Baby Skull Ring w/ Diamonds "I have wanted this ring for years... someday I will have it."

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Thursdays Tunes: Katy Perry & Elmo

 So - there was a ton of controversy about this & her outfit... what do you think? Too scandalous??

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

GIVEAWAY! Hoot-n-Andy

If your a follower of the blog, then you saw that last week for Favorites Friday, we featured an AWESOME shop called Hoot-n-Andy... I dont even know where to begin... because the handpainted awesome-ness pouring out of this shop is totally overwhelming. So lets start small and work our way up... with my personal favorites :)
#1: The tattoo mommy/daddy yo-yo... This bad boy will be gracing Izzaq's stocking with its presence this year. How could I pass it up!? And crazy enough, Izzaq asked santa for a yo-yo... so, we will be yo-yo-ing in style at the Zrust house ;) Just $9

#2: Memory Games! We loveeeeeee memory games... but never have I ever come across one as amazing as this...  We will have 2 of these under the tree this year... one for each kiddo... a guitar themed one, and a tattoo one (like the above mommy/daddy yo-yo)... Why keep buying those cheap-o cardboard games when you can have something quality that will last you generations and generations...

#3: Nesting BlocksEach set comes with 4 blocks, complete with letters, numbers, bright patterns, and of course- cute, skeleton animals! Im in love... I need another baby so I can get these... cuz they are ADORABLE!

#4: And last but DEFINITELY not least... if anything, THE BEST.... the "Rockin' Horses" or... "Rocking Horses of a Different Color" if you Jenny :) Either way, I think we can all agree to call them amazing. HAve you ever seen such a classic toy with a twist?! Im in love... and would be willing to sell a kidney to get that tattoo one...

Im really truly just in love... Her things are amazing... the detail that she puts into them is flawless... and she went above and beyond to be sure she was using baby/toddler safe materials... and guess what... you get to see for yourself... One lucky winner will get their hands on a CUSTOM memory game... shoot any theme her way, and she will make it happen... guitars? sure! Punk? No problem! Flowers? Rainbows? Cars? Butterflies? Owls? Trains? You betcha! Ok... well, you get the picture... any custom memory set you can dream up.

How to win:
(For each finished task below, leave a separate comment letting me know you did it. Ill check :)
#1: Mandatory entry: Comment below and let us know what YOUR "dream theme memory game" would be...
#2: Heart the Hoot-n-Andy shop...
#3: Heart two of her items...
#4: Heart the RockerByeBaby shop...
#5: Fan Hoot-n-Andy on Facebook!
#6: Fan RockerByeBaby on Facebook!
#7: Visit the Hoot-n-Andy Blog and leave a comment on one of her posts.
#8: Comment on one of OUR past blog posts (this post doenst count :)

Annnnd.... im a jerk :(

Nothing better to finish off a crappy day than making a 4 year old cry... :( Today the boys were horrible. Screaming, yelling, fighting, hitting, pushing, running... just being terrible to each other... for 10 hours i put up with chaos today while trying to cook, clean, & work... and throw any idea at them to keep them entertained... nothing worked... finally around 6 tonight I made some dinner... which was quickly followed with toddler tantrums. Apparently I didn't make the right food choices. *mommy fail, again...* I had finally bribed them into eating all their dinner in order to get a cookie... *mommy win!* Sugar buzz... {head/desk} *mommy fail, AGAIN* Just as I was starting to lose all hope in salvaging any of this day, Nightmare Before Christmas came on... they plopped their little butts on the couch and sat like statues... YAY!! When the movie was over, it was time for bed... this part was going surprisingly better than I had expected... until I opened my mouth of course...  now let me give you a little back story... When I was a kid I had a bad habit of licking my lips.. and i got a horrible red ring around my mouth... it was so bad, and beyond looks, it always hurt! But... it was a habit i couldn't break until my mom put some gross lotion stuff on them the doctor gave her... Now, of all my crappy habits, of course this is the one IzzaQ picks up...

day after day his perfect little lips get a little more red... I try to stop him when I see it, and I always am lubin' him up with Aveeno chapstick... Well tonight I did the usual... tucked him in, kissed him goodnight.... and said "oooh baby, your lips look sore & red! Lets put on some chapstick, you don't want to look like a Clown do you?" And all Hell broke loose... histerical IzzaQ: MOM! You hurt my feelings!! I dont want to be a clown!! Then I will scare you away forever!! Me: Oh no honey, I dont want you to be a clown either, im sorry... I just dont want you to have owie lips. {holding back tears} this went back and forth for a good 10 minutes... he kept hugging me and hugging me... I really hurt is feelings and I didnt mean to... I felt SO SO bad. My poor baby :(

Its crazy though... hes growing up so fast... 6 months ago I could have said something like that and he probably would have giggled and made a silly clown face... but now - he takes things like that personally... when did this happen!? When did my little baby boy turn into such a mini man? I dunno... but Im sure not ready for it...

Monday, December 06, 2010

Mentoring Monday: Children are Water, We are the Glass

As usual, Monday welcomes another post by new mama to Maddie, Aymee. Leave her some love!

Our Children are Water, and we are the Glass
      H₂O: the single most important tangible substance for life on Earth. It is what allows all organisms to flourish. This naturally renewable source is a cure-all for when we are sick, tired, and run-down. Water is the most pliable element, taking the shape of whatever container it resides in. Take the simple image of a cool glass of water. What comes to mind? Rejuvenation, refreshment, mmm…a good feeling.
      If our children are water, then we are the glass that holds them. Some glasses are simple cylinders; some are artfully colorful or eye-catchingly shaped. But they all serve the same purpose: to provide a receptacle for water to do its job and reach its full potential. When one thinks of a glass of water, one focuses on the water. The glass is often taken for granted. But if the glass is structurally unstable (i.e. a crack in the side), precious liquid will helplessly leak out making a mess. Parenting is a lot like being a glass. We have a responsibility to stay structurally sound so our children can reach their full potential and fuel a better future.
      Originally, I did not plan to have children until I was finished with college. College-then-kids is the stereotypically expected plan in our culture because college-with-kids is damn hard. But late last year, a burning stillness rose within me to have a baby. Adam had been prodding for children for years. Six months into dating we went to see Jersey Girl in the theater. As the credits began to roll, he looked lovingly at me and said, “Let's have a baby.” --!!!-- “Get away from me!” I humorously thought. Working on my Associates degree, we weren't even married yet (not that you have to be married to have kids). I made him wait five and half years, and I'm lucky he's so patient. When I enrolled in school last fall, I still had every intention of finishing my Bachelors before getting pregnant. But in November, something changed within me. The time came, and I had a peace in my heart and my gut so strong: I knew I had to listen. My mom, who lovingly pressed me to finish college, softly questioned my judgment. “What about school?” she asked. In her head, it probably sounded more like, “ARE YOU CRAZY?! Do you have any idea what you're in for?” But I'm an extremely lucky individual. My mom is amazing, supportive, and keen enough to have always known her strong-willed daughter has to follow her heart, even if she sees otherwise.
      Following my heart paid off. As Adam puts it, “We hit the jackpot.” Our little girl is more wonderful in every way than I ever imagined. I like to think the stars aligned last November, my soul sensed it, and thank goodness I listened. Still, in the back of my mind I wonder if having my plate so full will have a negative impact on my parenting abilities? The conclusion I always come back to is this: the answer is up to me. The answer will lie in how I prioritize my obligations. It is a given that my child and husband come first. Then my job and school come next. And my sanity? Well…
      It would be easy to decline into a slippery slope of sacrificing my sanity for the sake of my responsibilities. But will that eventually make me a cracked glass? Certainly. In the circular method of doing what's best for my child, I have to take care of myself. The battle is figuring out how to deliver on all three planes without becoming overwhelmed and losing hope--but it's not impossible. At my college, forty percent of the student body are working parents. And like them, I am (somehow) still passing my classes and my child is thriving. Or take a lot of the working Moms on Etsy & Artfire: Brooke, Steph, and even our beloved Amber; multiple kids and successful stores they run by themselves. If they can do it and stay sane, so can I. With a positive mindset, it is amazing what we are capable of.
      I find taking pride in my struggle for Maddie yields further motivation. Taking comfort in doing the right thing for my family, regardless of how hard it may be, gives me the energy to press on. To get up before dawn, to stay calm when she's not, to attend class instead of go home and have a beer: all for my family. Yes, water fuels the future. But who knew it fueled the glass holding it?

Amber edit: Thanks Mee-Mee, this could have been more perfect today... today my friend, has been a total whirlwind.. cooking, cleaning, working, parenting, wifing, and i still have about 6 hours to go... its 7:30 (head/desk) doing it with my sanity? I dunno... some days (like today) I swear my heads gunna explode... other days? Piece of cake.. I just keep focusing on the next day... get as much done today because "the next day" will be easier... it seems to help me get buy and stay focused on the tasks at hand... if not, i get completely overwhelmed... i love you!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Note to Self Saturday: Just breathe.

A to do list... or a to dont list... or maybe an already did list... i dunno...

A rant about my day(s):
  • Zaq's Christmas present showed up in the mail yesterday... This makes me happy, i hope he loves it. 
  • IzzaQ is so incredibly intelligent... its a blessing and a curse already - I can only imagine what this will be like when he is older. 
  • Once Aymee and I talked about how we hope our children grow up to be strong and independent adults... if your doing your job right, the also comes with a strong and independent toddler... he gets "stonger" every day...
  • I am SO crazy busy in the store... that Heather has had a suitcase of my stuff for over 2 months now... because i havn't had time to go downtown. *fail*
  • Bullet points make me feel organized. Im not...
  • Yesterday my puppies pooped on the carpet twice... then Zavery pooped in his pants, and before i realized it - i stepped in it... it was a "shitty" day.
  • I wish leaving California didn't mean leaving my "Dixie"... My world was much less chaotic with her around... moving here was supposed to mean we had more help... so far, we have lots less, and when i do get it, im still paying for it. I shoulda just made Dixie come with me.  I miss her.
  • Zavery needs a haircut... he has been called a girl in every store we go into, about 239842308570938450984504398503985034985029384029 times... no matter what he is wearing... full on boy clothes, they still say "she".
  • Today has been a stressful day... crazy kids, too much work... and a super rude customer. 
  • Daddy texted to say he went to the store on his lunch break and got me a couple bottles of wine... this makes me happy.
  • Majority of my friends are pregnant... and today I found out about one more... *shhhh* i cant tell!
  • Im still fighting with myself about #3 or not... daily. Probably more like 5-10 times a day. 3 times a charm right? Because I don't think i can continue on the miscarriage emotional/physical roller coaster.
  • I woke up this morning singing the "outdoors" sesame street song by Jason Mraz (youtube it.)
  • Tonight i think i spent over $300 just on fabric... and tomorrow i have to go to the fabric store... and still have loads more to buy!
  • I miss my hubby... im lonely when he closes. I dont know how military wives do it. Stronger ladies than I am thats for sure!
  • Last night i made the most DELICIOUS turkey chili & corn bread... can't wait to have leftovers tomorrow :)
  • Zaq keeps asking what I want for christmas.... what more COULD i want? Im pretty fortunate.
  • I get more excited getting presents for other people than thinking about what i might get myself... 
  • Umizoomi is over :( That means bed time... and back to the sewing machine for me... see you guys next time!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Favorites Friday: Toddler Toys for Christmas!

All I want for Christmas is.... A WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF FROM ETSY!!! Im nuts about handmade goodies... duh, and i LOVE keeping Christmas as handmade as possible... so here is a list of goodies we want to get for the boys for Christmas! (or have already gotten and recommend)

#1: HandmadePretties - Rock and Roll Giant Fleece Ball $50.00
#2: JugieBeeCrayons - Guitar Crayons set of 10 for $6.99
#3: BabiesLoveBlankies - Royal Skull I Spy Bag $15.00
#4: HootNAndy - Tattoo Memory Game $30.00
#5: ThePolkaDotTotSpot - Groovy Guitar Large Cloth Jingle Ball $14.00
#6: DeniseJacobsohn - Soft Guitar $28.00
#7: EnchantedDandelions - Silly Sprout Bean Bags $4.25
#8: LittleMetalMisster - GuiTag Blue $20.50
#9: BabyBooFelt - Rainbow Skulls Squeaker Block $9.00

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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thursdays Tunes: Airplanes

i LOVE Haley Williams from Paramore... I've always loved Eminem... B.O.B? No idea who that is... but well, I could always use a wish. Great tune...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Making Ornaments

Some of you heard last week, but the other day we learned that one of the boxes that got left behind, was the ornaments box :( Now, this breaks my heart... and I was super upset about it, but I am moving forward... so Im not going to mention that it had zaq's 30 year old first baby ornament, the boys' first ornaments, all 4 of my collectors edition Nightmare before Christmas stockings, etc. etc etc. Im not going to mention any of that stuff... it'll make me bitter. *head/desk* Anyways... in an attempt to pull out of the funk I was in, I loaded up the boys and we headed to the craft store for supplies... paper, glue, paints, "blue balls" as Izzaq said... and clips. Rushed back to the house... and made our own ornaments. It was lots of fun, and here is a sneak peak into what we did. I have more to make but when I finish, ill take a picture of all of them together :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I'm a lot of people around this house... Im #1, the mom.... #2, the wife.... the chef, the maid, butler, the chauffeur, the teacher, the friend, the teammate, the seamstress, the designer, the shipper, the customer service representative, the marketing manager, the web designer, the promoter,  the babysitter, the blogger and the list goes on and on.... Im a Stay At Home Mom.... but a Work at Home Mom...... and in my book, that makes me a Never Off the Clock Mom.... sometimes it is so hard for me to shut off... I find myself sitting down to send an email, thinking about what pictures should be edited and listed. I sit down at the machine and think about what packages I should be packing... and I spend hours packing packages, all while thinking about how much I should be getting done on the sewing machine. Finding a balance between work life & home life has been impossible... Why? Because they are the same.  Zaq and I bicker about this often... Its impossible for me to just sit down with my husband and relax, Im always sneaking peeks at the iPhone to check emails, or thinking about what i "should" be doing, even though spending time with him is at the top of my list, it never seems to get the full attention it deserves... there is always something to be done, stuck in the back of my mind... Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change my career path for anything... I absolutely love what I have created and couldn't be more happy. Any job you can do in your PJ's, and love.... is a job worth keeping... I just wish that sometimes I could shut off my brain.  For example, last night, it was 4:30 am and I was laying in bed sending work emails... I think most normal people were sleeping. Now, that being said, I'm not exactly normal when it comes to the store. I bend over backwards for customers, and try to keep my customer service very high... (trust me) there are a lot of etsy shops that don't keep up the same standards. And my guess would be that they sleep a little easier at night... Somehow my "days off" have changed meaning... instead of sewing, it just means running errands like shipping packages, and picking up fabric... Maybe even cleaning the office... Or it means the weekly "deep clean" of the house... My dinner plans have changed from elaborate chicken parmesan and steak & potatoes... to crock pot turkey chili, crock pot beef and noodles, tater tot hot dish and baked rotini... these are all things that can be made in the AM while my Keurig spits out its first cup of coffee (out of 3 for the day) and my kids eat breakfast... they either cook on low all day, or get thrown in the oven when Zaq's on his way home... (the dinners, not the kids... i don't recommend baking children.) You dont want to know what I live off when he is NOT here.... but Ill tell you anyways. Lean Pockets - Spinach & Artichoke... & Mr. Changs Microwavable shrimp or vegetable egg rolls. Gross right? Totally... don't worry. I always feed the kids proper, and usually organic meals... I just don't as usual take care of myself in the same manner.

I know so many work at home moms (and dads) that deal with these same daily trials... some just as busy, some busier... but i gotta know. How do you do it? Can you shut off? Even if just for a little while... or Am I crazy? I would love some input on the matter, as Im sure there is plenty to be heard :) Love you guys... and i miss blogging... i just (duh, me) have been so busy I havn't had any time... but today i made time just to share this little rant with you.... look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Mentoring Monday: Daddy & Maddie Journal

Another amazing post by daddy, Adam.  Its been awhile... but well worth the wait!!

Mentoring Mondays 
Teaching you to be a Lady while you teach me to be a Dad. 
By-the-minute journal entry of Maddie and I earlier this week.

12:17 AM:  I’m on whiskey-number 4 and whiskey-number 5 is looking pretty good right about now.  Sure it’s late and I need to be up around 6:30 AM but what the hell?!  Taking care of a baby isn’t too hard.  She sleeps mostly anyway.  Might as well enjoy the night.
12:42 AM:  Whiskey-number 5 was just great.  Here’s to whiskey-number 6 and getting all nostalgic over old music videos on Youtube.
01:29 AM:  Bryan Adams is the most underrated songwriter of all time.  I’m sure of it.  Hang on, I’m going to call my ex-girlfriend, scream “bitch,” and then hang up.
01:31 AM:  Alcohol made me forget about cell phones and their built-in caller id.  This will be embarrassing tomorrow.
02:17 AM:  ….must…sleep….room…spinning….thank…god….I…don’t….have…to…work…until…five..tomorrow…kid?.. what…kid?
06:57 AM:  Baby crying.  Head splitting.  Momentarily try to think of child abuse statutes in my home state but my head hurts too much.  Baby still crying.  Must do something…
06:58 AM:  Pacifiers RULE!
06:59 AM:  Pacifiers SUCK!  They only work for a minute when she’s hungry.
07:04 AM:  Holding Maddie while feeding her.  She’s so damn cute, I momentarily forget about my mental-threat of child abuse.  Being a Dad ROCKS!
07:14 AM:  Maddie just threw up all over me.  Being a Dad BLOWS!
07:15 AM:  After cleaning up myself and Maddie, she smiles at me and coos.  Decide that Maddie can live a bit longer.
09:23 AM:  Maddie falls asleep in my arms while we are chilling on the couch.  She’s so beautiful and precious.  I feel lucky to be alive and am grateful for her and all that I have.
11:35 AM:  Maddie cuts a fart that would put the Blazing Saddles campfire scene to shame.  I momentarily marvel at the awesomeness of my daughter.
11:36 AM:  I check her diaper after the above mentioned fart.  Oh. My. God.  Screw that, there IS no god.  Nothing that foul can come out of something so small and cute.
11:38 AM:  Diaper changed and I am forever changed.  I now understand battle-hardened Marines and their thousand-yard-stares.  They saw it all and came back from the brinks.  So did I.
12:04 PM:  I get hungry and decide to make a sandwich.
12:05 PM:  Every time I walk away Maddie starts crying.  As soon as I walk in to where she can see me, she stops crying and smiles.  Too cute.  But I am hungry.  Back to sandwich.
12:08 PM:  After four minutes of back and forth from the kitchen to the living room and still unable to construct a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I slowly come to the realization that I’m being schooled by a three-month old.  I am shamed.  Maddie keeps smiling.
01:17 PM:  Maddie goes down for her nap and I hop on the internet to check my chances of spontaneous combustion.
01:18 PM:  Outlook not good for spontaneous combustion.
02:19 PM:  The wife calls and says we need more diapers.  I tell her that she’d better go and get them.  She asks me “what?!”  I say “nothing, dear.  What size?”  The wife then reminds me that this is Minnesota and that it’s cold out and that I need to put Maddie in her bunting.  I tell her that that is not an appropriate verb to use about our daughter.  She says “I said ‘bunting’ you idiot!  With a ‘b’ and not a ‘c!’”  A quick check from Google confirms this.  Again, I am shamed.  And apparently a pervert.
02:24 PM:  I finally get Maddie into her bunting.  Spend a moment marveling at how ridiculous she looks.  She looks like Ralphie from A Christmas Story.  She looks like something Lewis Carroll would’ve dreamt of while on copious amounts of acid.
03:30 PM:  In the past half-hour I’ve managed to feed Maddie, change her, take a shower and get dressed for work.  Spend the next seven minutes making sure Maddie doesn’t throw up on my pants or shirt.
03:34 PM:  Epic FAIL.  Must find clean shirt.  Hmm.  The one on floor next to the laundry basket doesn’t smell too bad…
03:37 PM:  The wife comes home and I leave thirty seconds later.
03:44 PM:  Creeping onto the highway at twenty miles per hour, I try to remember what my wife looks like.  But in my mind all I can see is Maddie.
04:46 PM:  Pull into the parking lot of Best Buy to start my shift.  I am beyond tired.
06:32 PM:  A customer seems upset that we don’t carry the type of guitar strings he wants.  I resist the urge to grab him by the shirt and scream “Hey man!  It’s no big deal!  They’re just guitar strings!  You wanna know what happened to me today?!  I got shit on, pissed on and puked on and I’m here smiling.  You, you’re all bent out of shape over guitar strings!”  But I say none of this.
07:11 PM:  Even after all the above-mentioned events of the day, I find that I miss Maddie.  I sneak out to call the wife to inquire about the baby.  All is fine.
10:36 PM:  Done with work.  My whole body hurts.  I’m so tired that even my hair hurts.  I stagger to my Mazda and drive home.
11:11 PM:  Home.  The wife is asleep on the couch with Maddie resting belly-down on her chest.  It is easily the most beautiful scene I will witness all year.
11:22 PM:  I make a light dinner, careful to not make too much noise and sit down to eat.  As I sit down the wife stirs and opens her eyes, sees me and smiles.  Now I remember what my wife looks like.  She looks like love and joy.  I remind myself that I am very lucky.
12:17 AM:  We put Maddie into her crib gently as to not disturb her slumber.  She’s a sleeping angel with light red hair, big blue eyes and  a mouth that can’t help but smile.  The wife gives me a hug and a kiss and thanks me for taking such good care of our baby.  Shucks Ma’am.  T’was nothing.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Quilts!

So - new house means new decor... and its beyond time for the boys' room to get a face lift... So naturally, mommy got down and dirty and made not one, but two twin size quilts... two of the prints are Japanese fabric... two are designer cottons... all top of the line materials of course... lined with a 80% cotton/20% poly batting... and super snuggle minky dot on the back... Its so warm and cozy (i slept with it last night, lol) It will be great to keep them warm this winter....  Izzaqs is backed with red minky dot... Zavery's will be backed with either a baby blue, or a tiffany blue... depending on which one matches best when it comes in. What do ya think!?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Mentoring MOnday: Cant live with em, cant live without em.

Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.
      Oy. All I have to say is “in-laws,” and you know exactly what I'm talking about. The strange and often delicate relationship we have with our significant others' parents. Even if you get along swimmingly with your in-laws, there will always be (at least) one thing about them that drives you crazy to the point of…well, insanity. That thing that makes you want to launch across the kitchen table and strangle them. Maybe it's the way they seem to live in their own parallel universe. Maybe it's the way they always seem to mockingly placate you, ever so subtly, when you assert yourself as a spouse or parent. Maybe it's the need you feel to prove to them you're good enough to partner their child, and parent their grandbaby. Maybe it's all of those, and more.
      According to Time Magazine (,8599,1863282,00.html), this is more of a wife-MIL issue than it is with men and their MILs, or women and their FILs. Adam and I both became stressed out when the other's mother came to visit Maddie. For Adam, I think it was more being overwhelmed with his new life and role as a father coupled with our crowded little apartment for a week (two guests = crowded--yes, it's that small of an apartment). Nothing that my Mom did or said was the issue; just that Adam's agoraphobia was turning on.
      Adam's Mom and I have always gotten along famously--even better than they get along themselves. Near the end of the pregnancy, she and I talked every day, and I think we both enjoyed the companionship. But something seemed to change once Maddie was born. A list of events on both our plates made for a stressful concoction, and in the end resulted in Adam and I feeling overwhelmed, asking (politely) for some space, and her feelings being hurt. Since then, there has been a disconnect between she and I, and sometimes I feel as if Adam is keeping two cats separated in opposite corners so they don't hiss at each other. Or maybe my imagination is getting the best of me.
      In [Cambridge University psychologist Terri Apter's] study [of in-law tension], two-thirds of women said they felt their mothers-in-law were jealous of their relationships with the sons, while two-thirds of mothers-in-law said they felt excluded by their sons' wives.” (I hope that's not the case with my MIL.) I think whatever rifts we experience with our MILs stem from the intense bond each of us feel for our children. That fire that churns within us when we feel someone challenges our comfort zone, within which our parenting skills, relationship adroitness, and love for it all lie.
      You can't pick your family. But even when we're at odds, we love those crazy goons. What I do find comfort in is this: even at our worst odds, there is one link--one truth--that forever bonds us: the love, and willingness to do anything, for our children. In that, if nothing else, we can look at each other and share a genuine smile.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursdays Tunes: Fairytale of New York - The Pogues

Christmas is just around the corner... time to bust out The Pogues.... Fairytale of New York... mmmmm yummy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Silly faces

Some of my favorite shots from the other day of the boys making silly faces :)