1.31.2011

GIVEAWAY {a skirt}.

I can't tell you enough how excited I am about these skirts I've been making. Like I get so giddy just looking at the little labels on them that say "Rosemary's Cuppa." Because, for one, I feel like it gives them that finishing professional touch. But also, more importantly, because it has my mom's name on it. I love that. A lot. If she was still here, she would probably be dancing around the room to Bob Marley and thinking that I was her favorite daughter for naming my store after her. [Okay, maybe not that last part, but I can pretend, right?]

Yesterday I posted ten skirts and I'm hoping this week to keep adding more. To celebrate this big accomplishment I thought I should do my first ever giveaway.


So, here's the deal. I'm going to be giving away one skirt of your choice from my shop. Anyone can enter. You don't have to have a daughter- think niece, birthday gift, baby shower, etc. All you have to do is go browse my shop and come back here telling me which is your favorite skirt in the comment section. Or just leave me any ol' comment. Just make sure you leave your name and email address. You do not have to have a blog to enter. Want an extra entry? Tweet about this giveaway and come back here telling me you did. Another entry you say? Facebook about this giveaway and come back here telling me you did. [Yes, I sure am trying to spread the word about my itty bitty shop.] The giveaway will close on Thursday at midnight. I will randomly choose a commenter and post about it on Friday. And heck I will open up this giveaway to U.S. residents AND anyone around the world. [I think it would be totally cool to have someone in say, Australia, wearing a skirt I made. I will just need to figure out shipping.]

Okay, ready. go. Browse. And thank you, thank you, thank you for your support!!

P.S. You might want to check the shop each day, I am hoping to add more skirts!

1.30.2011

colorful love.

Sometimes I drop everything that I'm doing and do an imprompt photo shoot with Naomi. Because, well, she is pretty much the cutest thing eva. [Also because my two-year-old hardly sits still anymore for a picture.]



(Right before she rolled over.)

She is so smiley and happy and oh my, my heart.
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Pssst. Little secret for you--I'm spending today getting my skirts posted on my Etsy shop. And there just may be a giveaway tomorrow for the big opening!

1.29.2011

legacy.

I've been some what emotional and out of whack this week (as you can see here and here). So, I'm going to try to spare you another woe is me post. I truly do like trying to look on the positive side of things.

But, in all honesty, life and death thoughts have been consuming me. [I'm not going all morbid on you, don't worry.] I just have been reminded about how short and temporary our lives are here, on Earth. [And wow, how grateful I am for eternal life in the end.]

I've been thinking about my legacy. What do I want my children to remember about me? What do I want others to remember about me?

It's not about a big house. It's about having your door always open for visitors.

It's not about gourmet cooking. It's about the mouths you offer to feed even if is just a bowl of spaghetti.

It's not about the car you drive. It's about using that car to help others.

It's not about the next big promotion. It's about living for now.

It's not about how many vacations you go on. It's about spending time with those you love, in which ever way you can.

It's not about always being happy. Sometimes when we put ourselves in uncomfortable and inconvenient places, we will find Him there.

It's not about looking our best. It's about making sure other needs are met before ourselves, that's when we will feel the most beautiful.

It's not about me, it's about you.
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Also? I wrote this post for me. I don't really expect many to read it. There aren't pictures. But these words are pulling on my heartstrings. And I need to release them.
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One more thing. I am feeling much better today. I have had so many sweet words of encouragement sent my way. So thank you. thank you so much.

1.28.2011

crushes.

I've been feeling down this week, so what better way to brighten the mood then to do some window shopping on Etsy.

Check out my latest crushes:

Gus and Lula (I need this reminder daily.)

Kaboogie (Swoon.)

Hey Yo Yo (I'm thinking I have two girly birthdays to plan for this year.)

A Little Sweetness (I  totally want to frame these.)

Hold The Wire (Love, love, love these for organizing!)


What have you been crushing on lately?

P.S. I am really hoping to get some skirts up in my shop this weekend, just waiting on my tags to arrive!

1.27.2011

child to mother.

Most days I'm able to get by without her. I don't go a day without thinking about her, but I manage to get by. But today, I wanted her. I wanted to hear her voice, I wanted to ask for advice. I wanted her to make me laugh by mispronouncing something. I wanted her to tell me how cute her grandchildren were. I wanted her to come over and reminiscence about the white hutch we bought together years ago, that now sits with Green Depression inside it. I wanted to see how her beauty has grown with age. (But she will be forever 48 in my head.)

It's been a hard couple of days and I needed my mom. 

We don't ever stop needing our moms.



Me and my mama when I was around 18 months


And right when I thought I was going to lose it today because I didn't have my mom right there for me, Audrey came and comforted me with her treasured blankie. A hug. And she told me without me saying anything, you're a good mama.

[Children can just sense emotions, can't they? It's really amazing.]

There are no words when you can find comfort in your children.

From child to mother and mother to child.

1.26.2011

here.

I should be cleaning right now. Or starting supper. Or playing with Audrey. [Instead she is watching The Little Mermaid. Sometimes we do really awesome stuff all day long and sometimes I let her watch tv. So there.]

But I'm right here.

These last couple of days have been really strange for me. I haven't felt like writing. But I have so many mixed emotions in my head right now that I feel like a puzzle looking for it's last piece, but never able to find it. I can't seem to put all my thoughts together.

On Monday I read something that blew my mind. I saw pictures that made my heart ache like it hasn't in a long time. I read this. And now everything I look at in my home, I think how can I live like this when children are living without real food. My friend, Lovelyn is getting ready to travel there. She is going to see this stuff first hand. I wish I had a ton of money to send with her. But I don't. But I did manage to make a couple of skirts to send with her. I only got four made and I almost didn't send them. I thought, what is four skirts going to do. Then I realized that those four skirts are going to make four little girls have something of their very own. And I'm going to pray for those four little girls, even though I will never meet them. [If we all did something little it could make a big difference, yes?]

A day after reading Sixty Feet one of my good friend's lost her baby 12 weeks into her pregnancy. I can't stop thinking about it. My heart aches for her too. Life is so unpredictable and fragile.

And right now as I type, another good friend of mine is in labor.

And yesterday I went to the dentist and was told I need $3500 worth of work done. And we don't have dental insurance.

So, this is where I am.

With mixed emotions.

And a headache.

And a really bad tooth.

That's all.

1.24.2011

the little things.

It would be totally sweet if we went on a big vacation this year. Or moved to a bigger house. Or went on a shopping spree. [None of these are in the plan. Or even close to it.]

But it's not going to make my year the best year ever. Or be what I want to remember the most.

It's the little moments that I really want to remember.

Like burning a new candle after a clean kitchen. Wearing pink gloves to make scrubbing the toilet a tad bit more doable. Baking rice krispie treats to send to a friend in need. Making a delicious snack with honey and almond butter on a bagel and putting it on my favorite plate.


Or watching with amazement at Audrey's imagination as she plays with her Dora and Diego figures. Or seeing how Naomi gets so tickled when we talk to her that she closes her eyes.


These are the moments that are going down in my forever book.

1.21.2011

goop, gak, and what not.

You know that whole choose joy thing, that I am consciously trying to do each morning. I think it's working out quite well. Considering how much little sleep I have had lately, I am feeling pretty good about my days. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm exhausted when I wake up and wish I had just five more minutes to sleep. I am still grumpy and short on patience sometimes, but I'm trying. And that's what really matters.

Yesterday, we had the best stuck-inside-because-of-snow, messy day that we could. Including making goop, gak, and snowman sugar cookies with decorations and all.

To make Goop: Take 1/2 c. cornstarch, 1/2 c. baking soda, 1/4c. water, mix in bowl. Add food coloring for fun, but remember, it can stain the hands for bit. (We don't mind a little color.)




To make Gak:  Put 1 c. of glue in container, add food coloring and stir, then add 3/4 c. of warm water. In separate bowl mix 2 Tbsp. of Borax with 3/4 c. of warm water. Then mix both solutions together. Drain any extra water. (This took some trial and error for us. Moral of the story: Use Elmer's Glue, the cheap stuff won't work nearly as well.)

(There aren't any pictures of Audrey besides her hands, because she was practically naked while playing.)

Who says sugar cookies are only for Christmas time? My mouth certainly says they aren't.



And as usual, Naomi was a doll-baby all day while we made a fun mess.

(My little sister took this photo. She has been staying with us all week,
while my dad is on vacation with my brother.)

Our weekend is pretty free of plans. [Which I love.] Do you have anything exciting going on?
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By the way, the goop and gak recipes are not my own, I found them on a website, but I forget which one. Why reinvent the wheel, right?


1.20.2011

skirt-a-loo.

I think I found something I really like doing. Making toddler skirts. Usually, I'm one to not like doing the same thing over and over again. But these skirts? It's like the same, but not. Same idea, but I love coming up with a cute design to finish it off. And picking out the pattern material is fun too.

After making my first one the other day, Yesterday I made FIVE skirts. Most of it was accomplished during naps and after the kiddos went to bed. It was like I couldn't get enough of making these suckers.

Check it.



I ran out of fabric, so unless I attempt to leave my little snow globe, then I won't get any skirts done today. My goal is to get ten made before I post them on Etsy. Plus, I want to buy some pretty tags to make them, well, official.

So, what do you say, which one do you like? Have any other fun ideas for me to put on the skirts?

1.19.2011

get your cook on.

Yesterday I woke up for the day and one of the first things I did was pray for grace. [Along with starting coffee, opening the curtains, and making my bed. All part of the morning routine, yo.] I knew I wouldn't be able to function without it. I was going on day three of very, very little sleep. Also known as, Naomi going through a growth spurt and eating like her life depended on it. [Oh, wait it does.]

He answered my prayers, because, somehow I managed to have a good day, despite the {major} lack of sleep.

I mean, you know, it's a good day when your kitchen looks like this.


I was getting my cook on and bake on. What's that, you ask? Well, I don't share too many recipes here. But this is a good one, I tell you. It meets all my requirements. [Easy. Inexpensive. Good for you. Recognize all the ingredients.]

I made some delish Winter Squash and White Bean Stew.


You'll want to write this one down. And probably make it tonight too. Just sayin'.

[This is not an original recipe of mine, I took it from the crock-pot cookbook Fix-It and Forget-It.]

Ingredients: 1 c. chopped onion, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 garlic clove, minced, 3 cups peeled, butternut squash, cut into cubes, 1 1/2 c. chicken broth, 19oz. can cannellini beans, drained (I used Great Northern beans because that is what I had in stock), 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained, 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: Combine all those lovely ingredients into your slow cooker. Cover. Cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 2-3 hours.

We enjoyed it with a dollop of sour cream on top. (You didn't think I was that healthy, did you?) And my two-year old LOVED the squash.

EASY-PEASY I tell you. (Also, do you know the trick with the onion? Put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes before you cut it and you won't shed a tear. I do this every time and it works.)

Then for dessert. I went with the classic Nestle Toll House cookie recipe on the back of the chocolate chips. You can't go wrong with that recipe. The trick is, take the cookies out of the oven when they don't look quite done. They will finish baking on the cooling rack and then be oh, so soft.

Now go get your cook on. I would also love for you to share a recipe you tried recently and loved.

1.18.2011

toddler skirt.

Yesterday I got a Misha Lulu skirt in the mail that I ordered for Audrey off of The Mini Social. [I was able to buy it because it was marked down pretty low and they had an extra $10 off promotion.] It is so dag'on cute, I kind of want one in my size. And I love the fact that Audrey AND Naomi will both be wearing it.

The cute skirt inspired me to make one like it. I originally made it for Audrey, but I think it is going to fit Naomi when she is around 12 months. Other than the size, it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I plan on making another one tonight. And maybe more for my Etsy shop.

Check it.





Sorry, folks, I don't have a tutorial for it. Because I usually just wing my crafts. But it's pretty basic, none of my sewing skills are advanced. Ha.

It felt good to get my craft on last night. It's like therapy for me.

1.15.2011

these hands.

These hands have never shot the winning basket. Or wrote a best-selling novel. Or made an award winning recipe. Or created a life-changing invention.

These hands will never be famous. Or well-known.

[Except to those that matter.]

But these hands have rocked a baby to sleep. Wiped a boogey from a nose. Put a band-aid on a boo-boo. Wiped spaghetti sauce from a small face. Put pigtails in hair. Played Ring-Around-the-Rosy. Painted tiny toes. Held a baby for hours.

I look at these hands and I see the {beautiful} wear of motherhood. It's not noticable to others, but to me, the markings are so clearly there.


Photos taken by the lovely, Liz Russel back in October, when Naomi was just three weeks old.

1.14.2011

what's that thing called again.

Oh yes. Now I remember sleep. I think it's safe to say it's what every parent dreads losing when it comes to kids. I definitely have had (and still having) my fair share of lack of sleep. In fact this week, it hit me. I think even more than when Naomi was a newborn. At five weeks, Naomi became my favorite person in the world when she started sleeping 8-9 hours in a row. Full nights sleep at five weeks old? That's right folks, I have a rockstar baby. I was that mom you wanted to slap when I told you my newborn slept through the night. But don't worry, this week, I'm that mom you want to give a high-five to, because I'm right there with you, losing sleep. Misery loves company, right? This time around I know what the culprit is-- being sick. Naomi has been coughing, sneezing, and  having a [not] so lovely runny nose.

I remember with Audrey analyzing everything about her sleep. Being stressed about getting her on a schedule. Questioning over and over why she wasn't sleeping through the night. Sick? Teething? Learning a new skill? Over-stimulated? Too hot? Too cold? Swaddle, don't swaddle? These are the questions that go through every [first-time] parents mind. Fortunately, I'm over the over-analyzing thing. I'm learning not to dwell on this no sleep thing. Because too soon it will pass and Naomi will be toddling around and then going to kindergarten. [Ahhhhhhh.]

So, all you parents out there that are losing sleep with me, let's raise our glasses [of apple juice] and make a toast to they are only this young once.

(I was going to post a picture of Naomi sleeping, but you know, that's not happening much in this household. So here we are just hanging out, when we were suppose to be napping.)

Now you will have to excuse me, I'm going to go put on some eye cream to hide the bags under my eyes.

1.13.2011

let's share.

I'm frugal. I shop at thrift stores. I like a good sale. I'm not afraid to admit it. BUT I also want good quality. So every now and then I will splurge on a classic, solid piece. [And by splurge, I mean, shop the sales rack of a high-end store. Or score a deal on a designer website. I do a lot of online shopping nowadays.]

I get asked every so often, how do I find such awesome deals. So, I thought I would share some of my secrets that I steal from other people.

Usually each day or two my inbox is filled with emails from the following websites: (I don't get a chance to check them all the time.)
Gilt Group
HauteLook (this link is a personal invitation, i get credit for those who shop here)
Mini Social (personal invitation, they sell designer brand children's items)
Zulily (personal invite again, for baby, mom and kids)

These sites sell designer name items. So sometimes the prices are higher, but an amazing deal compared to retail.

Periodically I will check Baby Steals for the daily item. I have even seen the coveted Ergo carrier on there before.

One of the blogs I check fairly regularly is One Frugal Chick. She posts some pretty awesome deals throughout the day, including grocery steals. I just bought some BabyLeg brand items for 75% off from a post of hers, saving those for future shower gifts.

A good place to go for mom and baby deals is Baby Cheapskate. She will post deals that she finds. I used this a lot more when I was looking for specific baby items like a car seat or stroller, etc.

Occasionally I will browse Craigslist (there may be one in your city or nearby) for furniture and baby items. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box. Think paint and new knobs and you have a beautiful dresser.

If I need to get away for a bit by myself, I like to hit up Goodwill and Salvation Army in my area. Yes, it's therapeutic for me to shop at thrift stores.

Of course, despite all these places for good deals. I'm a regular of Etsy, as you know. There is usually never a sale, but I'm a lover of handmade and vintage, so for that I'm willing to spend more. Every item I have bought from Etsy, I have never regretted.

So, I want to know, some of your places you like to shop for deals. Do share, please!

And here's a picture, just to make you smile.

I wish I had volume like that with my hair. She totally rocks the poof.

1.12.2011

when scissors become a blanket.

Children amaze me.

I've decided, when I grow up I want to be a kid.

They have the most creative imagination and live a pretty care-free life. They don't worry about tomorrow nor sweat the small stuff.

I have a lot to learn from my two little ones, that's for sure.

Take a look at this picture. Do you see what I see?

 It looks like a blob of play-doh and some scissors, right? Well, according to Audrey it's a baby (the little piece of play-doh in between), laying on a bed (the blob of play-doh), covered up with a blanket (the scissors). Then Audrey was holding the scissors and play-doh piece baby, I asked if she wanted to jump on the bed, because you know, that's what we do around here. She said yes, but I told her she had to put down the scissors first. She corrected me, Mama, it's a blankie for the baby.

Duh. Sorry. Audrey. I forgot. It is a blankie.


And this little one? She turned 14 weeks yesterday. My heart just explodes looking at this picture.


1.11.2011

blanket of white.

We awoke to a beautiful layer of white outside. Since I'm trying to embrace this cold, we got our craft on this morning by making snowflakes from none other than noodles. Yes, you can turn anything into a snowflake when you are dealing with a two-year old. All it took was some glue, uncooked noodles, and farklies, also known as sparkles to any one older than a preschooler.




And as much as I dislike being outside in the cold, I managed to get my completely non-matching ghetto snow gear on and go outside with Audrey. [Sorry, there is no picture of me in my ghetto get-up.] I actually enjoyed myself outside. It was like Audrey and I were in our own little snowglobe. [By the way, Andrew was working from home, so he was inside with Naomi while she slept.]




Being snowed-in isn't so bad after all. A good excuse to stay in our pjs all day, drink hot chocolate, and bake cookies.

It's a good Tuesday. A hope yours is too.

1.10.2011

and so. i'm trying.

I started the New Year with a positive outlook. Like, watch out winter I'm going to kick your butt and actually enjoy it. Low and behold, it's only January 10th, and I'm already over this cold. I have 50 projects on our house that I want to complete, but most of them involve being outside for some reason or another. Or at least the windows open. [I still want to paint my entire house a light storm grey. Oh, and you like how I added the word storm, I thought it made it me sound more like a cool interior designer or something.]

So after faking it for about a week, this dumb winter got the best of me and I started to get all woe is me. I even told my husband that I sometimes I wish I had a full-term job so I could clock in and out. And that I wished I could get away by myself for a day. And right when the words rolled off my tongue, I knew it wasn't true.

Because, oh my, am I ever grateful for my life. But, I'm also human and sometimes think the grass is always greener on the otherside. See, I'm sort of struggling with this whole stay-at-home-mom gig. I know it's the right job for me right now, but there is no monetary rewards for this type of business. [Because the rewards are much, much greater.]  And sometimes I feel like I should be contributing with dollar and cents, you know. Also, who ever coined the term stay-at-home-mom? I think we need to kick that to the curb, and just be work-at-home-moms, whether it's with your kids or on a computer or what not. We all are working, aren't we? Doing the best we can.

And so, after a woe is me weekend, today I'm choosing joy. This morning, while eating breakfast with Audrey, we read from the Bible (Psalms and Proverbs). Audrey kept asking me to read more. I pray that her heart thirsts for His Word as she gets older. Also? When I opened the egg carton there was scripture on the inside. Have you ever noticed that?! [You know you want to check your egg carton now.] It was an awesome way to start my day. I needed that reminder. This is the day which the Lord has made.

Switching gears.

[Apparently I'm horrible with transitions.] I am still consciously working on my goals. I managed to get my cover for my sewing machine finished. Which took a week to complete, even though it should have took like an hour. [It's sort of embarrassing if you knew how I made it.] At least my sewing machine looks pretty sitting on my desk.

I made it from an old pillowcase I had on hand, a vintage doily and a vintage lace collar--stained those with coffee. [My unfinished cup of coffee was sitting out, I had the doily and collar and thought hey I will see what happens if I let it soak in my coffee. And it worked. True story.] And some buttons sewn on to add a little bit of color. 

Oh, to those who are curious, I bought the cross-stitch embroidery pattern, Filled with Love. [See how much I know, I thought it was cross-stitch and it wasn't.] You all encouraged me to try it. So I am. Now it's just the matter of time of me getting the actual supplies I need to complete it.

So, here's to a week of goaling reaching and choosing joy. Happy Monday, friends.

1.08.2011

{happy birthday} little sister.

When I blog, I usually keep it to just my little family. Only every once and a while an immediate family member will pop up.

Well, today, I think it's appropriate to have my little sister "pop" up on my blog. It's her birthday.

She's 15 today. [Yes, I have a little sister that young and I have an older sister that just turned 34. You do the math. My parents had six kids. That far apart. And we are all very close. Also, she was born when I was 13, and I was questioned multiple times if I was her mom back then.]

I want her to know how proud I am of her. She's not perfect. And oh my, can she ever get on my nerves. She has even made me anxious about having two teenage girls in the house at the same time. But. But, I love her, dearly.

Her eyes have experienced a lot in her short life. I was just thinking this morning that she hasn't had our mom for the past five birthdays. One-third of her life. Since she was 10. And before that, from the time she was six my mom was (very) sick. Lost her hair twice. Continuously went through chemo and radiation for four years. Much of her childhood memories are of our mom battling Breast Cancer.

And even though we lost our mom almost five years ago, it hasn't defeated my little sister or family. In fact, I'm pretty sure God knew what he was doing when he gave Lydia three older sisters. She may have too many moms now, if you know what I mean.

My not-so-little sister, Lydia, is a strong woman of God. And I'm so thankful she isn't afraid to call herself a daughter to the King.

Happy 15th birthday, Lydia.


1.07.2011

cross-stitch love.

If I could cross-stitch I would have a wall full of these beauties.


[If anyone knows how to cross-stitch I would totally commission you to make one. I heart the thermos one the best. Just sayin'. ]

1.06.2011

since last.

Wow. Since the last time I posted, which was really only a couple of days ago. I feel like so much has happened. Remember my goals? Well, I have been hitting them hard. Or at least trying to. Sunday evening I spent two precious hours trying to make an inspiring place for me to create. Andrew and Audrey were gone, so I was trying to be productive. It started with me just wanting to bring out my sewing machine and make it look pretty. And ended in me rearranging our living room and Naomi's closest, then putting everything back the way I started. Which almost resulted in tears from me. [No kidding.] I felt defeated. But, don't worry I got back on the wagon and tried again. [The next day, after I recuperated, of course.] I didn't get anywhere on the created space, but I did manage to still create. And it feels so good. I added a couple of things to my shop. [Side note: My blog friend, Lenae, bought some earrings from me. How sweet is that?!] To keep the creative juices flowing I picked up about 8 books from the library on sewing and making. [I had no idea our library carried so many fantastic creative books. You should try yours out too.]

 I also have been going to a Zumba dance class on Monday nights. Which is good because Andrew and I looked through our honeymoon pictures and I was like Whhhhhaattt. Hello body before two kids. And then I ate a cupcake. Just kidding. I didn't eat a cupcake, but I'm sure I would have if we had one.

On a more personal note, Andrew and I celebrated forgot about our 10 year dating anniversary on Tuesday. [Yes, I still count that as an anniversary date, although Andrew would argue otherwise.]

How about a picture from way back in the day.
Circa 2002. (Year after we started dating.)
Hello skinnies.

Naomi turned 3 months yesterday. She is becoming a little baby now. Chewing on her hands. Grasping toys. Making the cutest little noises. Still sleeping pretty good too. Smiley, happy baby most of the time. I was just telling Andrew that I can't believe it has been 3 months, it feels so right to have her with us, like she has always been a part of our family.

And she is a growin'. (Her hair too.) Check her.


In other news, Audrey is fighting off a cough and a cold. Which I think she secretly is trying to keep as long as possible since I give her a spoon full of honey to help it. [Hey, I'm just taking advice from Mary Poppins. That is what she would do right?] In the meantime, we are still having fun, runny nose and all.

Potato stamping at it's finest.


So what has your week been like?