Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Finds: Wearing Out

Ashamedly I admit that my free time in college was spent mostly by sipping coffee and pouring over magazines at B&N or adding to my wardrobe.
Needless to say once I joined the married world I brought with me a love for lattes and a lot of clothes (unfortunately not a lot of savings to my frugal husband's chagrin).
Since those glorious days I have not had much of a chance to go shopping. Pre-children, I convinced myself that I wouldn't be one of those moms that couldn't keep up with the styles. The moms that seem to wear pretty much the same thing all the time. Unfortunately, all those naive aspirations have been overtaken by practicality. In desperation I have in the past toted my two small boys and infant into a dressing room only to remain there for a diaper change and nursing session. I think the sales clerks were eager and relieved to see me leave!
Most of my shopping these days is done with mouse in hand. Thus, this weeks "Friday Finds" is dedicated to the world of online fashion.

NOTE: Most of my picks will revolve around dresses/skirts. Because I have a slight obsession with Donna Reed (meets bohemian), because I pride myself in being somewhat counter-cultural, but mostly because my husband prefers me in skirts/dresses (not for any moral reason, but mostly because pants seriously do not flatter my figure). All that said it takes a bit more work to be stylish, trendy, and just plain me in skirts and dresses (but since I'm part hippie it works out just fine).


This company has amazing dresses. Read their story about how they came to develop their company.



My figure probably requires something a bit more fitted than this but I find myself constantly drawn to the clothes that have several flowing layers.


Another one from Idea 2 Lifestyle



This one is way out of my price range and I'm not sure where I would ever wear this but I still love it non-the-less.


I've been wanting this dress since my sister-in-law sent me the link oh-so-long ago! They have some wonderful designs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Up until this moment I have never heard of an online scavenger hunt. The ones I have been familiar with in the past require a van (usually a vanload of over hyper teenagers), a list of things to find, and laws being broken as vehicles race to each location infiltrating the scenery with their furious scavenging.

I can guarentee you it is much less stressful and a lot more peaceful to conduct one of these online. You can even do it while listening to music or sipping a hot cup of tea.

The Soapers at Etsy (of whom I am a part) have been working to create this amazing basket of spa treasures. Many of us participated in the donation process and now there is a huge basket which is valued over $125 and it can be yours for free. Yes, I know, you're thinking, "So what's the catch?" Well, read about it for yourself on our team blog. Etsy Safe Team

So why would we do this and give it away for free? It comes down to marketing. It gets our names out there and you or your dear mother (if you choose to give this basket away) will be able to try out all these soaps, body butters, perfumes, etc. and see if there might be a chance you would actually want to buy from our shops in the future.

So start scavenging!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Finds

I meant to start this last week but alas, time ran out on me and I was stranded without a hope of completing my desire in time. So here I am trying again with the hope that I will be able to remain consistent.

April is a time of birthdays for my family. My birthday, my dad's, my father-in-law, my niece and my sister-in-law all enjoy and share the sunny/rainy month of April. When I was growing up I thought of April 30th as my day. I knew of no one else who enjoyed balloons, cake and presents on that day and kind of considered myself to be unique. The day was special to me and no one else. When I met Ben I soon discovered that his sister was also born on April 30th. As much as I thought the odds of that were slim, I consented that at least one more person in the world would have probably been born on that day. Why not have it be my sister-in-law? However, that was not quite enough. Apparently there was more for me to discover because almost 3 years ago a little girl joined our family and decided to make an appearance on MY day. Shock!

So not only is April a busy month but the very last day of April, the day when April says goodbye and gives way to May flowers, boasts 3 birthdays in my family alone.

Thus begins the succession of my "Friday Finds" posts. I will try very hard to discover all things wonderful for you to see and find for yourself. Most of it will come from Etsy because Etsy is a world of undiscovered and talented artists but hopefully there will be treasures from other places as well.

Today I am focusing on Art. Mostly because I just indulged in a drawing book of my own. I am eager to fine-tune my drawing skills and much more able to appreciate the skill in others. Also, because I LONG for a wonderful SLR camera to capture my small world in and therefore stand in awe of those who capture it so well.

My first pick comes from the studio of Erin Tyner. This one is entitled "Rose".


Fine Point Studio is a bit above my price range but the art is exquisite:

"Sea Level"

The House of Six Cats brings art to another level. It is not just something to hang on the wall but beauty that can be worn and used every day.



"London Square"

Because I only have boys I have a new appreciation for cowboys.
This is a pencil drawing from M. Nelson


There are so many more amazing and talented artists and I am so incapable of representing all the amazing things I find on etsy alone but this is a beginning.

Thus, "Friday Finds" is officially launched.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


In the past I have had several orders for my soap that were intended for gifts. Some send soap to their sister, just to say I love you. Some to an Aunt for a special birthday surprise. Handmade Soap and lotion makes the perfect gift for pretty much anybody. We all have to wash at some point and why not use something that is chemical free and wonderful for your skin?

However, up until now, whenever I have gotten one of these gift orders I have wanted to include something special. So I would find myself rifling through my notecard drawer trying to find some of the wonderful handmade cards my sister-in-law has made for me. Once I found the perfect card I would ask the buyer if they wanted to send any particular message and write that inside of the lovely card and send it with their gift.

Finally I had a breakthrough. Why not commission my sister-in-law to make cards specifically for this purpose (I'm not sure why it took me this long but I'm chalking it up to being distracted). So now whenever any one of you out there orders a gift of soap for your loved one or co-worker I will be including one of these lovely handmade cards (with your message) from All Things Brite.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I know this is a few weeks late but I am finally getting a chance to reflect on the various Easter events we participated in.

On my visit to PA, the small town my friend lives in was having their annual Easter Egg Hunt. This experience was my and my children's first. In this town they literally hard-boiled and colored what seemed like an endless supply of eggs. They then scattered these eggs in a square section of the grass and roped it off. Anxious hunters, with buckets in hand, attacked these eggs and each other once the siren sounded. Needless to say me and my littlest guy made out with all of two eggs. I suppose I don't have the fierce competitive edge one needs in this type of situation. I did keep trying to move past the realization that they actually used real eggs.

My sister-in-law also holds an annual egg hunt of her own in her own yard. These eggs are far from real. Their plastic bodies filled with all kinds of wonderful easter delicacies. We were all very excited about this hunt. Unfortunately I had no real buckets when the time came and had to improvise. I'm wondering if I should send this to Oxy-Clean.

Warren came up with this one on his own.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


A week ago today we returned from our trip to PA and my Melinda's farm. Her husband inherited the farm from generations before him and works extremely hard to maintain all that has been given to him.

It was a wonderful time to catch up. We picked up right where we left off 5 years ago as if I had just gone away for the day and was now back in her kitchen sipping coffee. It was a bit noisier with 6 total kids between us riding tractors, crashing cars, and running from room to room. The boys loved the farm. Warren even fed the pigs. At first he was a bit intimidated by their grunts and spastic reactions but finally he said, "Mommy, if I smile at them while I'm feeding them maybe they won't get mad at me." So away he went with a large scoop of grain and a smile plastered on his face trying to hide the slight fear he was still feeling.

You would think living in VA would have given them more exposure to farming and animals but unfortunately this was one of their first tastes of farm life. Most of the farmers we know around here have mostly vegetables, not pigs. I for one still have a problem with the overpowering smell that greets you when you open the pig barn door. I don't consider myself to be very delicate but I still struggle to grow accustomed to that smell.

One other benefit of my trip away was the relative seclusion for the cyber world. Melinda does not have internet...not even dial-up. As I said goodbye to my computer I resisted the urge to give it a hug and I was regretting that I was not one of the millions carrying an iphone around so that I could conveniently check my e-mail even in a cyber dead zone. However, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. In fact once I returned I didn't even want to check my e-mail. I had over 200 messages (that was one reason for my reluctance). It has taken me more than a week to get back into this computer world and I'm still somewhat tentative. I really enjoyed not checking my e-mail or feeling compelled to look something up. I actually took moments to read or write in my journal again. There is definitely something to the simpler life even if I am growing back into my computer filled world.

I'm not sure I have a photo of Brooke without out posing something like this. While there we had a crazy dancing session with Miley Cyrus and I played Barbies for the first time since I was little. It was definitely different having a girl around (I also found myself somewhat appalled at the new barbies but that's for a different time).