Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Goal for Mondays

In case you haven't heard (impossible to imagine, as most of the nation suffered along with us), we were bombarded by a blizzard last night/early today. We were, literally, snowed in! I had my first snow day in many, many years. Something, quite honestly, I could get used to!! I spent the day in comfy clothes, snuggling with my baby girl in front of the fire, spending quality time with my husband (and brother-in-law, who was crazy enough to drive over after some roads were plowed). We even ventured out for a leisurely walk through our beautiful, wintry subdivision when the sun made an appearance later in the afternoon!

I also spent a little time in my "craft/sewing" room this morning. I didn't have anything in particular I needed to work on, but I knew I had a couple of projects that are in different states of completion. So, after surveying the disastrous condition of the room (fabric EVERYWHERE, pattern pieces scattered about, listed etsy items stacked on top of each other, and, of course, Chloe's toys piled in a corner-she needs to be entertained while I sew!) I became quite concerned. As I started to inventory my projects, I realized I have many, MANY projects going on right now. Some are near completion (so close, I wonder why they aren't done and listed in the store???) while others are only half way there. A few are partially done, but need one bitty piece of elastic or velco or some other always-forgotten-about item from JoAnn's. There are a few projects that are not even started. All necessary pieces are there, but they haven't been given a thought for weeks. Looking around this room, I make the stark realization that I am not a finisher. I abandon projects when something <fill in the blank-easier, better, more interesting, etc> appears. This really bothers me! I love it when I complete a project; the pride that comes from seeing all your hard work put together into one tidy little package is a great feeling! I think I have been so caught up in trying to create "etsy" items, I have forgotten about the other things that I want to do just for fun. Or for Chloe. Or, crazy idea, for ME!

So, starting next week, my goal is to complete one project each Monday. Why Monday, you ask? Well, my husband has joined a Monday night league with his friends (which sounds like fun, but someone has to stay home with Chloe!) so I will take that time to work on my projects. I'll finish that blanket. I'll start the pair of ruffle bloomers. I may even get around to sewing the skirt for myself! And I will try to post my success (and failures, as well) right here on my blog. I look forward to sharing with you. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grandma's banana bread

Just like some songs remind me of specific memories or time-periods of my life (for example, "basement music," ie anything Tom Petty, CSNY, Boston, the Eagles, etc.-- reminds me of my childhood when my Dad did woodworking in the basement and my sister and I spent hours playing with our Barbies nearby, enjoying the tunes Dad chose), certain scents remind me of specific times in my life. Lilac, for example, brings to mind playing in the backyard near the swingset where a hugely overgrown lilac bush bloomed for a good portion of the ever-too-short Michigan summer. The smell of fresh cut grass brings back nostalgic memories of summers past, some in which I myself pushed the lawnmower around the yard.

Then there are the the food smells. These are tied most strongly to memory, in my opinion. When slicing tomatoes, I am brought back to the time in middle school, when my best friend, Jenni, and I were tossing tomatoes around in her front yard (I am a bit fuzzy on the details as to why we were doing this). As we tossed and smashed several tomatoes, her mom came out of the house to tell us that Princess Diana had died tragically in a car accident. So it is now normal for me to think of Princess Di when I smell freshly sliced (or smashed) tomatoes.

Today, I am enjoying the scent of baking banana bread. I am channeling my Grandma Betty, as I followed her recipe and am remembering how often this same smell would fill her house. It is different than the Betty Crocker boxed banana bread I have baked occasionally in the past. (Okay, fine. I bake the boxed stuff more often than I'd like to admit. But after today's successful banana bread baking, I will follow Grandma's recipe more often!) My grandma's recipe smells exactly like hers did. If I close my eyes, I can see myself sitting at her kitchen table, watching her move so swiftly through the kitchen, cleaning the counters, washing the dishes. I have my eyes on the timer, just waiting for her to pull the bread out of the oven so I can see how perfect it looks. When I see the perfectly shaped loaves, I know they will taste just as amazing as they smell.

So, back in the here and now, as I pull the loaves out of the oven, I will continue to have flashes from my past. It is so nice to know that all it takes to imagine Grandma in the next room is a few ingredients and 15 minutes. Whip them together, and it feels as if she is right there. Maybe next weekend I'll try my luck at her cinnamon rolls...

Friday, January 28, 2011

The kindness of strangers...

In my adventures as a cloth diapering mama, I have had the privilege to meet many like-minded women from all over the world. We have reached out to each other, usually via Facebook or a blog, to exchange stories, questions and answers, and friendship. We will probably never meet in real life, but have been a source of information and a sounding board for plans and ideas.

In the last few weeks, I have witnessed how these friendships can truly help a person who has reached the lowest point of their life. A mommy blogger, who has a facebook page called Coupon Mommy of 3, recently received the news that no parent ever wants to hear: her three year old daughter, Emily, has stage IV cancer, ganglionueroblastoma. (You can visit her webpage in which Emily's story is journaled through her mother. I must warn you, though, to have your tissues ready. I cannot imagine the strength necessary to watch your child go though what Emily is going through.) Although I have never met this woman or her family, I have seen her hard work to promote small businesses and work at home mom products on her facebook page. She does this without asking anything in return from her followers. If you visit her facebook page, you can find numerous auctions and benefits that will help this family in their time of need.  Although many of the items up for auction are cloth diaper related, there are many other super cute items donated by talented work-at-home-moms (adorable baby clothes, hats, jewelry, etc). Please take a minute to check out a couple of these auctions and see if you can help this family out!

Here is a list of some of the auctions/benefits that are still active that I have found:
I am sure there are more out there that I haven't discovered yet. If you are in any position to help this family, please participate in one of these auctions or raffles. And tonight, when you tuck your babies into bed, say a prayer for sweet little Emily. I know I will.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Current favorites...

Here are a couple of my current favorites! These fabulous creations have been sitting on my "Etsy" shelf waiting for a home with an adorable baby ready to wear them...

Who knows of a cute patootie out there ready to adorn this bib with his drool and leftover lunch?

Who is the little diva ready to rock this huge and gorgeous flower? These are perfect items to make a cute baby even cuter ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Post? Lets make it a Cuter Baby GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to my blog. And my first post, at that. To celebrate its kick-off, I am happy to be giving away an item from my Etsy store: The Cuter Baby!

Entering is simple! Just head over to my etsy store: and check out my Valentine's Day bibs (they are the bibs found in the "Be Mine" tab). Come back here and leave a comment on the blog telling me which Valentine's bib you'd like to win and which little kiddo in your life would sport it!

Extra entries:
After completing the above, you may receive extra entries by doing the following:
- Post this giveaway on your facebook page and leave me a comment on the blog letting me know you did so.
- Publically follow my blog and leave me a comment letting me know you did so.

I will choose a winner using Monday, January 24 at 8pm est.

If you are having trouble leaving a comment on the blog, hit the comment button and type in your comment. You must log in using some account from the drop down menu (so I can contact you if you win!!). The easiest to use is the Google account--this is simply using any hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc email address and password you have, so I am able to contact you at that email if you win :)

The winner of the giveaway is comment number 5: Maddie! Congrats Maddie!

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