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 well as it is beneficial for them to hear lots of different 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'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.) 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.

Friday, February 6, 2009

thank you

in the spirit of acknowledging milestones, i have just realized that it has now been 6 months since i started my lil' business. quite a bit has transpired during that time, including~

...changing the name of my business from oliver. to oliver.handmade, mainly due to the latter being slightly more descriptive (and more successful in a google search!)

...participating in my first 2 craft shows and introducing my line at a local boutique

...changing my onesie source several times, and will likely continue to do so until i find the right affordable, quality, and ethically sound wholesale vendor - not an easy task. any suggestions?

...fulfilling almost 60 etsy orders and perhaps as many private orders (i should know a number...perhaps tackling my bookeeping skills will be on the 1 year list of accomplishments...)

...and most recently, making the dive into the world of designer fabrics:

most of the fabric that i use comes from discount bins and thrift shops...and these remain my preferred source, as i love the thrill of finding a great deal or repurposing an awesome shirt or bedsheet. but i just couldn't resist these fabrics - and i got the whole batch for just 13 bucks at this lovely little shop.

starting my own business has been an unexpected adventure and i'm excited to see what the future holds for oliver.handmade. this could not have been possible without the support of all of you, so as a valentine's day treat, i am offering free shipping on all orders, now through feb. 13. to take advantage, don't place your order through etsy but rather take a look at my shop and then convo (through etsy), email me, or leave a comment here with your order.

thanks sooooo much, y'all! and have a marvelous weekend!
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

10 months

my baby girl olivia irene

on this day when you are turning 10 months old

(which your mama can't believe)

here are 10 things you are loving right now...

{1} cheese. given a selection of delectable food items on your tray, you always gobble down all the cheese first. you are your mama's baby.

{2} pointing at and attempting to say (some verson of) dada, mama, dog, woof, ball, and baby.

{3} pointing at everything else and pronouncing, "ah-da!"

{4} giving kisses. with mouth wide open.

{5} your doggie, who now may finally love you too, even if it is solely based on the fact that you are now a (messy) finger food eater.

{6} going for walks. except when the sun is in your eyes. you hate that.

{7} music - any and all. and dancing. you already have much better rhythm than either of your parents!

{8} exploring the corners of your home, moving at warp speed on all fours from room to room, pulling up to stand on ev-er-y-thing...all accompanied with squeals of excitement.

{9} waving hi and bye, miss america-style. you love new people, and new places too. your travel-addicted parents say...phew!

{10} every speck of dirt found, every book opened, every game of peekaboo love life itself and you continually reintroduce your mama and papa to all its small thrills and wonders.

i love you, my baby girl!

Monday, February 2, 2009


valentine's day is right around the corner and to start the countdown, i have the sweetest card shop for you to check out!

whether you want to slip a little love note under your honey's pillow or you want to tell your mom how awesome she is, what better way than with a one-of-a-kind, earth friendly card. re: by leah couch features handmade paper goods made with recycled and reclaimed materials.

aren't these just the cutest?

not to mention, the artist is pretty much totally rad.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

beach day


i have been missing the beach.

we live only 15 minutes from three glorious beaches, yet it had been months since we had been there.

it is winter. life is busy, days are filled with routine, motivation tends to be slack.

but every once in a while a beautiful sunday slides on in, reminding you of what lies ahead, and you have to take advantage.

i hope a little bit of your sunday stays with you all throughout this week.

{i know the pittsburgh fans will! and the springsteen groupies! oh, how i love the boss...}
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