Sunday, January 31, 2010

Big Sister, Little Sister

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of.  You know whatever you do, they'll still be there.  ~Amy Li
Sometimes having two little girls with such different personalities makes me want to pull my hair out... most days though it is an awesome privilege that reminds me why I love being a mommy. Today was a pretty good day, one that I am sure I will not forget. Today Miss AJ (or Miss AMELIA as she demands to be called) got her ears pierced so that she can be just like her big sister.

(she is eating a Gummi Bear... not growling!!)

My girls are as different as night and day, yet are able to coexist when they want to, really well. Gabby is way more of a tomboy, very sensitive, and is the victim of AJ's 2 yr old tendencies... a lot.  We are pretty sure that AJ looks for opportunities to make Gabby cry, just  cause she can. AJ, however, is very girly, stubborn, and definitely knows what she wants. She picks out all of her clothes and if you try to put something on her that isn't "approved"... well be prepared for a fight. Lucky for me she wants all her clothes to match so this isn't a big deal too often.

But, even with these huge differences, they haven't killed each other yet. And I am seeing that slowly they are balancing each other out. Gabby is starting to have an interest in more girly things like jewelry and picking out clothes from the girl's section when she used to gravitate toward the boys Tshirts right away. AJ will read a dinosaur book with Gabby and loves playing cars. It makes me smile....

I can't wait to see these two grow up and become the wonderfully awesome ladies that they are inside....and at the same time I want time to stop so that I can have them like this forever, does that make sense?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Etsy Seller Feature: Lollielicious Designs

Lately I have been hanging out in the chat rooms and forums at night, meeting other sellers and getting some great feedback. (As well as finding new shops to spend my money in!!) One of those awesome sellers is Lollielicious Designs!!

This is a perfect shop for me since I have my two girls, one of which loves tutus, the other loves hair things! But, although her shop is adorable, it is Thuy's attitude and such in the community that really drew me to her. Thuy is one of those Etsians who not only gives great advice, but is friendly and embraces what Etsy stands for. She makes great products that are cute and well made. Please be sure to stop by and say hi, buy a beanie, hair clip, or two!! She even has a cute blog here where you can get a sneak peek at what is going to be listed soon! Here are some of her fun items:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crafts Aplenty!

There are so many craft tutorials out there that I want to do... some sooner than others since I want to make something cute for Gabby's class for Valentine's day! The lovely pillow above is something that I want to get going on tonight as well since I have some scrap fabric that needs to be used. The tutorial looks easy as pie and is here, brought to you by Bright and Blithe.

I love the idea of making valentine's for Gabby that the kids can use, not just look at and then toss. These crayon hearts are perfect for these kindergartners!And while I am at it, I may try to make a few of these Valentine's day chair backers (as seen in Pottery Barn!!) for home... maybe not even specifically for Valentine's day, but just because! This tutorial is genius!

Or I could just do what I love and paint a whole bunch of peggie ninjas and dolls for the class... that is definitely an option!! Here is one of my newest dolls- Spoolie Little Red Riding Hood.... she comes as a blond or a brunette!

There is lots more to say and show, but those are the biggies for now!! Have a great day!

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Best Darn Banana Bread

Ok, so I admit it... I am usually a box mix kind of girl.
It is convenient, doesn't go bad, and super simple.
However, this recipe is just as easy... no weird ingredients and very very tasty!
The best part is that is uses that couple of bananas that got pushed to the side because they were browning!

Here it is, enjoy, and let me know what you think!


  • 4 or 5 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

How to:

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon sugar last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

This is extra yummy when served warm with butter on top! Soooo yummy!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fun Felt Food by SewLindsey

I met this Etsy seller in a chat room and I must admit that I am sooo impressed with her food.
You can tell that she took a lot of time and thought into something that her children will love to play with
and at the same time won't give her a headache.
I love playfood, but am hard pressed to find anything in a big box store that is not plastic,
not made in China, or that looks this nice!!

This is what her shop announcement says:
Welcome to SewLindsey. Felt food made for kids and adults alike! Each item is uniquely hand stitched from Eco Felt which is 100% Polyester made from RECYCLED post-consumer plastic bottles.

Why felt food? It's softer, lovable, more lifelike and way cooler than plastic play food!

****SHIPPING: I can usually ship the next business day! I ship first class which states is generally 3 days for United States orders. I now also ship Internationally! 

Thanks for checking out my shop :) All felt food that I sew I try to make as close as possible to the real food in size and appearance. Little hands love to cook food just like mom and dad!

Follow me on twitter:

Isn't that awesome?? Here are some pics of her food and I hope that you will check out her store here!

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Thoughts About Homeschooling

As I continue to struggle with the educational choices that I have before me I am reading more and more that is steering me toward homeschooling, at least for Gabby. That, along with happenings- like her getting 3 check marks, the worst punishment in the class, for not putting her chair up on the table and such- is really making me question what is really going on. The best part was, Gabby didn't even feel remorseful for getting those three checks... she knew that they were for something that was not awful or hurtful, therefore, she didn't care. And I was not mad at her in the least because to me they were pretty insignificant. More than likely she was off in "Gabby Dreamland" and not even meaning to be disobedient.

Well, sometimes I just surf around the web checking out random links and such and I thought that I would share this lovely post with you from Bloom regarding her own homeschooling experience. It really made me think about school in general and how kids learn. Hopefully it is interesting to you as well! 
I often get the question; how do you do it?
How do you home school?

So I thought maybe this is something I could write about and maybe spur you on to try it...or run the other way.

At least tell you why it works for us and how it is part of our life.

I guess I'll start with some background on me and what made me want to.

I grew up in Norway with your regular school system.
School bored the heck out me. I was there to socialize.
I didn't find much challenging or remotely interesting except art class and Norwegian Mythology.
Hated math...not to mention English...ever tried to listen to a Norwegian try to teach English...good grief.
Science, dissecting animals...NEVER!
I really liked P.E especially skiing, also home economics was really fun.
Other than that, school was a chore....dread.

When I was on my last years of high school I had enough....I name was "the tourist" I came to school when ever I felt like it.
That is when the black Mohawk showed up and I did many notsogood things...

Well wasn't I the proudest student on the last day of high school ?
-I failed. Surprised?

So that is when my ever absent dad said California was the solution!
Packed my bags and flew to Coronado and enrolled in high school....whoa!
Was that a life change or what?

Talk about a fish out of water.

However there was a kindness and sincerity about a few of the teachers that would reach out to me. I worked my rear end off....every single extra credit homework I could do, I did...I was hell bent on graduating.
I amerced my self in Ulysses and Shakespeare...even U.S. Government.

My stepmonster hired a french tutor that helped me so much.

Well this sad story has a great ending.
I 10% of my class.

All this to say...I am not sure if the system failed me or I failed to be the "norm".
I swore this was never going to happen to my children.
It is amazing what you can achieve when someone "gets you".

When I became a mother I wanted to stay home with my children. As they grew older and were getting ready for school I found out that you could hold them back a year and also that kindergarten was not mandatory...hmmm.
So I held Jules back one year and enrolled him in a private alternative school.

All I can say is when I walked in those doors I never wanted to leave (good sign)
The basis for the school was constructivism. Based on the books of Holt and Gardner.
They would let the kids think for them self and learn based on their own personality type and style. The idea of the school was teaching the "whole student".
What a concept...
They grew an organic garden that the children tended. Music i.e violin, flute etc. Math with chickens...(don't ask) and so on. The students would go grocerie shopping, prepare snack and lunch...just to name a few.
Julian had the year of his life...learning real life skills.

We moved to Montana and Jules started 1st grade....yep.

I knew there had to be something else out there..
Armed with books on homeschooling and Gardener and Reggio Amelia...I set forth to make a plan over the summer that I would home school Jules and Sophia.

That fall we dove in.

So the question I am trying to answer is why?

I love my children, spending time with them. I want them to have a wonderful and meaningful childhood free to be themselves who they are without all this peer pressure carp.

I don't want them to be motivated by treats, bribes and check marks. I don't want them to react because a bell rings,wanting them to think for themselves learn life skills understand how the world really works. Learn thru experience, exploration and travel.
I am also an advocate for children having a childhood...playing. Perserving it a little longer. Climbing trees, making forts, shooting hoops, biking, playing with dolls, coloring and so forth all good things...I think.

You ask can I home school?
- I don't know, can you?
Do you like your kids?
-Do you have patience to stay home with your child/children can you forgo your own schedule of having coffee with friends, workouts etc....
100s of questions pummeling at you all day long, screaming shouting, laughter & tears.
- Oh yeah...NOISE.
Add a few babies in the mix...there were times when I was nursing and reading history at the same time.

Sometimes a messy house, laundry piles that are the size of mount Everest.
Can you put things you would rather do at the moment aside and focus on your kids...can you live your life in organized chaos?

How do you feel about teaching your kid to read.. how about algebra?
(How 'bout not getting paid for it...bitter pill in some cases)

You home school everyday when you teach your child to do laundry when you read to your child...go skiing..baking, help them with their math homework, gardening, playing chess, building something in the woodshop...sewing, knitting..talking about your childhood or family history.

Every day is different...good,bad or in between....
We are human beings and our moods and needs change on a daily basis the sooner you accept that, the easier it will be for you to ease into a just have to relax into it.

It took me a good 3 years until I got the swing of it. The first year it was way more structured.

Now we have a plan for the week and try to stick with it...but if the kids find something along the way that they want to investigative...then that is what we do, it leads to some interesting places.
There are also times when we just need a break and we'll watch DVDs on the, play games and go for walks. Do art, listen to music.
Unit studies are also really great to mix things up.

There are days when you just want rip your hair out (being honest here) and nothing works...take a break, take a personal day...a sick day. It's important to give yourself credit for all the good you do and remember that tomorrow a new day is a fresh new day.
It's also important to take care of yourself here...make sure YOU get break from kids and house. I used to run, now I do yoga every day for an hour...keeps my head clear and it relieves stress.

Homeschooling is also about other things as respect, goals and patience.
Just because your book smart does not mean you can negotiate or conduct yourself well in a business meeting. It's the every day experiences and interactions that are important too....and the burning questions being answered...Questions...huge! Finding the answers.

Also home school is so much fun!
Think about get to rediscover your childhood..brush up on math, do science experiments (and understand it this time around) learn a foreign language,there are fringe benefits here people.
Throw paint on a canvas....
Sew, cook and dive into history and maybe even focus on countries that you would like to explore more, plan a vacation visiting these foreign places.
Learn about cultures and people from far away.
Read folklore and fairy tales.

You have strengths and weaknesses focus on your strengths...the rest will come.
I have an easier time with languages and the arts.

I hate science and Math...guess what, I am teaching 8 th grader algebra...and I am loving it...I am actually good at much so that I get hugs after lessons thanking me for making it clear and easy to understand, maybe because I have had such difficulty I can feel the pain(go me!)
Science...bring it on...we found a fantastic curriculum and as a bonus planning a 10 day trip where we are studying the ocean more in depth...somewhere warm and beautiful surrounded by ocean.

Okay, so now you have read some of my reasons and your either intrigued or not so much...

Here is some things to think about.
Be aware of your kids socialization...note did you see I said "be aware" make sure they get plenty of playtime with other kids...maybe soccer, dance and other fun things away from house and home with other children.
Field trips are good...excellent way of learning; post office, fisheries, theater, hospitals etc. real life learning.

I have also heard some pretty hurtful things such as; "you're home must be stupid".
I feel sorry for people that are unable to think out of the box and teach their children to be just as ignorant.
(For the record...I had to put my kids in public school for a year...they were on the honor roll...nuff said)

The first year is the hardest. The second year a little easier and so it goes...
Try to find like minded people and other families who home school. Getting support is very important. Maybe there is a home school group in your area.

Get used to your kids not doing things that are the "norm" daughter is learning quilting from a lady in her 70's with her posse of older women...she is not only learning quilting but listening to stories of "the old days" (history) and socializing & interacting with some of our finest citizens...yes, the elderly.
My kids pick apart old telephones and computers to see "whats inside and how they work".

Some famous home schoolers...
Alexander Graham Bell
George Patton
Thomas Edison
Claude Monet
Leonardo Da Vinci
Albert Einstein
Pierre Curie
Charles Dickens
Mark Twain
Abraham Lincoln
John Muir
Ansel Adams
Louis Armstrong
LeAnne Rimes
Venus and Serena Williams
the list goes're in good company.

So if you have read this far....and you are still interested...tune in next week I'll tackle books, curriculum and whatever else I can think of.
Email, comment.

...and last but not do what you do, what works for your family.
Public school, private school, home school...what ever, I am not here to judge or persuade...I am just telling you like it is in our little world...

Art and chilli in the's a good thing.

Isn't that such an interesting post? I love how candid and real Camilla is about the whole thing- the good, the bad, and the "oh my God, why the heck am I doing this" moments. All I know is that it really hit home with me, and I feel like something just clicked.... =)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Sunny Birthday!

Ok, I am addicted to creating treasuries on Etsy!
This one made my day...
I loved all the "breakfasty" things that I found and the bright colors!
It is so much fun to choose the best photos to fit the theme
and quite challenging to sit and wait for a slot to open.
Sooooo much fun though!
Come check it out here
What a great end to my birthday!

The Birthday List 1.21.10

Yes, today is my birthday! Yay for making it through another year and for celebrating the start of my last year as a 20-something. =) Although a lot of people dread birthdays I love them. I love that I am getting older and hopefully wiser, that I am able to handle a lot of what life throws at me, and even the thought of those little lines and such. It just means that I smiled a lot, enjoyed the sun, and am no longer going to be mistaken for my girl's babysitter, lol! So in celebration here is a list of things that I found that are very "me". Projects I love, colors and photos I adore, and best of all- things I would love to buy! Enjoy and smile today!!

I love sewing, especially sweet little notes like these, for my Hubby and girls! (@ Sew Mama Sew)

One of the best parts of growing older is being able to make important decisions, especially when it comes to your kids and their education and upbringing. Thanks to Underground Moms I am questioning a lot of what normal society does, including helicopter parenting, preschool that stresses academics, and even homework for elementary schoolers. I have a feeling that this year is going to be very interesting for my little ones!!

I am obsessed with earrings right now since I don't take off my necklace. Teeny tiny ones are my favorite and here are some that are on my "To Buy" list:
Teeny House Earrings
Tiny Heart Studs
Light Pink Rose Earrings
Bitty Strawberry studs
Teeny Tiny Horse Studs

Another craft thing I am doing these days is learning how to needle felt thanks to my great friend Melissa. She has beautiful wool spheres (balls, lol) so be sure to check out her shop. I think that I am going to use some Etsy funds to buy some pretty wool from this shop.

Once I get said wool I would love to buy this kit and learn how to make a cute lil wool hedgehog!

Lastly, one of my favorite things about this past year was all the photographs that we took of the girls and the world. I love seeing them change and I know that this is another year that I have to watch them grow and discover. Here are a few of my favorites- enjoy!!

There are sooo many more, but these are the faves I found in the Import folder- lol!!

Have a great day everyone!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lil Pocket Pillows

I am in love with making these little pocket pillows...
perfect for a little note or trinket...
especially if a fairy lives in your house.
And there is no risk of waking up the recepient
by having to root under pillows.
The one with a fairy would be perfect
for a lil one with a wiggly tooth
or someone who just loves fairies!! =)

And if you are going to be sewing, you just might want to take a few minutes to make this lovely little quilted pincushion for yourself... too cute and very easy! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Made My First Treasury!

Come check it out here...
leave a comment and send me some love along with these lovely featured artists!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Tooth Fairy We Are Ready

Miss Gabby picked out her Tooth Fairy's hair style and colors,
not exactly my most symetrical work...=)
But we are officially ready for the Tooth Fairy!!
Inspired by this tutorial, but drawn freehand and altered to fit the fairy.

Oh, and I finally got all my ribbon organized!! Yay!

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