Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a small update

happy summer, folks! check out oliver.handmade in the recent issue of small magazine...i am featured here, in the 'superheroes for a day' article. it's such a fun magazine, enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

i'm still here...somewhere...

greetings everyone! yes, i have come out of hiding, though i'm not sure for how long...

there are many big changes going on behind the scenes here, which have forced my time and attention away from this little blog space. if you'll allow me to be mysterious for a bit, i promise that i'll share what all the excitement is about soon. but as a result of said mysterious changes, i feel myself being pulled away from regular blogging these days (just in case you haven't already noticed). this blog has been a wonderful outlet for me over these months of early mothering, and i am so grateful for all the other blogging mamas that i have met and discovered in this blogging world. i expect to return here periodically, and maybe will come to a point of regular posting again...we shall see!

until then, i wanted to share something fun with you. my friend jorg and i recently did a little swap - he is a fantastic photographer and offered to take photos for my business use that he could also use for his business. he does a lot of photography for children's businesses and needed some baby shots. so guess who the model was! my little one held up fairly well, being that it was her first photo shoot. the most challenging part was keeping her looking at jorg, who was mostly sitting right at her level, yet at the same time keeping her away from diving onto him, or more specifically, the camera - a most intriguing item. that, and after the third costume change, keeping her happy with lots of graham crackers.

here are a few of the results...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

just a good idea

good day, all.

i got hit with the stomach flu and am still in recovery...but just wanted to share...how cute is this?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

toys for the first year

as my baby girl's first birthday approaches, i have found myself sucked into hours of perusing the internet for toy ideas for her. as i've mentioned before, i put a lot of thought into toys, thanks in part to my montessori background. but like most moms, i simply have a desire to provide quality, safe, developmentally-appropriate toys for my child. the challenge is finding such toys! the toys that can be found in the typical chain store tend to be much too plastic-y, electronic-y, and made in china-y for my taste (though i admit, you can sometimes find some hidden gems). smaller, independent shops, which i would rather support anyway, offer some more unique options, though usually only a small selection. thankfully the internet offers many wonderful online shops, such as nova naturals, willow tree, rosie hippo, and many indpendent toy makers on etsy. but even with these wonderful resources, we still face one challenge: becoming overwhelmed. what does my child really need?

this is one reason why i love reading blogs...they can be a fantastic way to get some non-biased, seasoned advice. i have gleaned some great tips and ideas from other blogging mamas, and in return, i'd like to offer a list of some toys that my little one has gotten lots of fun, meaningful, good use out of during her first year of life...
{haba pipapo}


{manhattan toy put & peek doghouse}

{under the nile veggies}

{plan toys shape & sort it out box}

{lamaze mortimer the moose}

{baby einstein baby's photo book}

{sensory balls}

{madame alexander huggums baby doll}

{cookie dough pull toy}

{wee baby art cards}

my list of book recommendations really needs to be saved for a separate post...but i have included these two here:
{old macdonald finger puppet book}

{dotty dog stroller book}

and finally...yes, it's fisher price, yes it's plastic and electronic, yes it's probably made in china...but what can i say, my little girl loves it...
{fisher price fun-2-learn cell phone}

of course, a cabinet chock full of dishware and cookware; a cardboard box; any book (including mom and dad's magazines and novels); a door; and our dog trumps all these toys put together!

i'd love to hear what toys you would recommend, either for the first or second year...or beyond!

Monday, March 9, 2009

a day in the life...

...of a toddler does not have to be full of power struggles and mom constantly picking up piles of toys and other messes. really! take a look at this video, "edison's day," that meg posted today. this is a half-hour long glimpse into the day of a 20-month-old being raised in a montessori-inspired environment. it gives some great ideas on how to set up your home and gently guide your child along the road to independence. and sweet little edison just melts my heart...
Edisons Day -

Sunday, March 8, 2009

i'm back!

well, hello hello and so sorry about the unannounced hiatus! i did not intend to go a week and a half with not so much as a link to a fun place to have a look around. we had family in town, and the weather has been incredible. so we have been focusing on some very important things, such as checking out another new, local restaurant and introducing a certain little one to her very first earthworm...
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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

this could be very dangerous

how am i only just now learning of this?

celebrity baby blog.

that's right: celebrities and babies. two mild obsessions of mine. see you all later...

Monday, February 23, 2009

a blessing and a curse

the internet is a curse. and a blessing. for everyone. especially parents.

i have discovered this throughout this past year - or actually longer than that, as it really started during my pregnancy.

there is so much information on this here internet, and this is in itself both wonderful and overwhelming. it takes time and dedication to sift through all the information out there to find what is factual, helpful, and in line with your own set of values and beliefs.

i am, of course, grateful for the internet in many ways - not only as a source of information, but also as the main reason that i have been able to stay at home with my little one while still managing to make a few bucks. and as a stay-at-home mom, the world of blogs - which i knew nothing about before becoming a mom - can be a way to identify with other like-minded mamas, or it can a source of inspiration, or on some long days, a connection to the outside world. this blog world does have its dark side, though...hours can be easily sucked away if you are not careful...

in any case, i wanted to share with you some parenting websites and blogs that i have found to be helpful in my journey so far. on the right, you will see a link list titled "mama resources." i've started with a list of some places that i currently find helpful, and will add and rotate as i discover new ones. i'd love to hear about any that you would suggest!

and by the way, many thanks to born on earth moms for such a nice post today!

Friday, February 20, 2009


so i am back and forth with my opinion of rachael ray, at least as a television personality. her high energy and quirky little "isms" (you know, EVOO, delish, yum-o...) sort of grate on my nerves. but i have to admit, i do like the girl's food style. i am an impatient cook, so i like to be in and out of the kitchen as fast, and with as little frustration, as possible. rachael is, of course, famous for her 30-minute meals, so she caters right to someone like me. but what's more is that i think her recipes are actually pretty darn good as well. she has italian heritage so a lot of her recipes have a mediterranean influence, which is probably my favorite style of food. and her recipes that incorporate other ethnic flavors are delicious as well, while still remaining simple enough for me.

so anyway. why all the praise for rachael ray if i'm not even the hugest fan of the television host herself? i wanted to share this lil' recipe with you, a scrumptious meal for a cozy winter evening.
enjoy and have a marvelous weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

music for your - and your little one's - ears

in the world of music, there are endless fantastic options to offer to a child...from the classic children's musicians like raffi and pete seeger to typically 'adult' music like the beatles and james brown (a personal favorite of my babe).

although basically any music is enjoyable for children to hear...as well as it is beneficial for them to hear lots of different genres...here are a few albums that are current staples in our home...

{elizabeth mitchell's you are my little bird is full of sweet songs, easy to learn and pleasant to listen to during playtime or wind-down time}

{taj mahal always makes me feel warm and safe, like i'm kicking back on the bayou with some old friends. his songs for the young at heart offers the same comfortable feel, with some great selections that kids will enjoy as well}

{classical music is a wonderful way to instill a sense of calm and relaxation. the mozart effect offers a fantastic series of cd's that are catered to different times of day or needs - from playtime to nighttime to inspiring creativity to easing a sick body}

{i love world music, mostly because it makes me feel like i am off exploring a different culture somewhere. putumayo makes the most fantastic compilations of world music for kids, categorized by region or presented as a mix of songs from all over the globe. this fun music is excellent for introducing rhythm, new instruments, and foreign languages}

{who can resist reggae music? not only do the tropical beats give a sense of a carefree, worry-free attitude, it is also very appealing to a child's ears. we listen to a lot of reggae in our house, but for every - and i mean every sleeptime, our baby listens to rockabye baby bob marley. we take it with us when we are traveling, and whether we are in the car or in a strange hotel room, olivia's eyes widen and her body relaxes when we start this cd}

i'd love to know, what are the musical essentials in your home?

Monday, February 16, 2009

what a day for a giveaway


happy monday, happy president's day, happy giveaway day!

today i am honored to be featured in one of the loveliest little places in this here blogosphere. hop on over to m.writes and you will find details on how to win one of my onesies or tshirts - your choice!

hope you all had a wonderful valentine's weekend. my hubby and i got to go on a rare date, complete with chauffeur service and free babysitting thanks to my visiting in-laws! if you are local, check out this new restaurant, which was perfectly quaint and perfectly yummy.

now go on and check out that giveaway!

Friday, February 13, 2009

all you need is love...and red velvet

well, i finally got my act together and did a wee bit of valentine crafting...here's a look at what i came up with, all using materials that i had lying around the house:

{paper ornaments}

{inspiration: design sponge}

{handsewn valentines}

{inspiration: the purl bee}

{red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting}

{inspiration: our wedding cake, my red velvet obsession, and duncan hines}

Thursday, February 12, 2009

in my kitchen

my hubby, alan, and i spent much of last year renovating our little house. you know, since alan was in graduate school, i was raking in a stellar salary as a montessori teacher, and we were (surprise!) expecting a baby, we figured it was a good time to rip out some walls...heck, why not the whole kitchen...

well, it was without a doubt a bit insane, but well worth it. do you like our new kitchen?

just kidding, i wish. however, this kitchen could be yours, southeasterners....did you hear that in just a few days ikea charlotte will open its doors?? i am already plotting my first purchases...

but i guess i shouldn't sell myself short. we were actually very happy with our kitchen renovation. here is a peek at what we did...



{i know the lighting in these pictures is way off. i am too impatient to wait until the warmer light of mid-day, and i also blame it on my crapola little camera. yes, i am still shopping around for my upgrade...}

we gutted the whole thing, so ev-er-y-thing was replaced: floor, cabinets, appliances, windows, the whole shebang. but our favorite part of the kitchen is our countertops. we designed them and had them custom made out of recycled glass. they are a mixture of blue, brown, and clear glass, as well as oyster shells.

we collected the blue glass ourselves, which mostly came from wine bottles from the vineyard where we got married. i know, aw.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

seems so simple...

i hope my friends around the bloggo universe don't mind if i borrow from their talents tonight...

{sidenote: this is what i do at night after the baby goes to bed and my dear hubby cooks dinner (and i'm not just painting a pretty picture here; he actually does cook the dinner on most nights. and he's really good at it. i am a lucky girl. there is a downside though. the man can cook, but he cannot clean. oh well. it's not so bad scrubbing dishes when you have a nice, satisfied tummy.) anyway...so each night i peruse a myriad of design-y, crafty blogs and websites, getting inspired by all the creativity out there. dreaming of how awesome this idea or that is, and how cute it would look in my home. then i get off the computer and feel drained from staring at the screen, wondering how all these people simply find the time. and yes, i am aware that there is an obvious culprit - and solution - to my time management problem, and it's staring right at me as i type this...}

in any case, i thought i'd share with you some valentine projects that are so, so simple that i really don't have any excuse that i'm just sitting here posting the pics instead of getting off my arse and actually creating them myself...

{heart garland from mayamade}

{heart tea bags from martha}

{homemade marshmallows from nienie}

Monday, February 9, 2009

so organized

welcome, friends, to the transformation of my embroidery floss stash...

thanks, mom, for the nifty little binder thingie!

it makes me happy, and surprisingly relaxed. it's the little things.