my condition worsens. :)

If you have been here a while you will recall that I have a dish issue...
I LOVE dishes...what can I say.
Since admitting to my problem I have gotten better
and actually let go of some of the sets I just didn't LOVE.

But then I added a new set.
And now another new one...
When I found the ones above, I think I stopped breathing...
my favorite things...in plate form!
I bought a set of six.
eek.
It took me days to post this...because I can hear a certain friend in L.A. giggling at me.
But I had to have them, right?
They fit right in with the other fun and color in my kitchen.
My kitchen is all white...
And slowly being dipped in color...
...in the form of bowls, and tea kettles, and dishes, and mugs...
...and pots and pans...
Basically any kitchen good I can find in a fun color. :)

In fact, I told Doug, for my birthday...I want all sorts of fun kitchen supplies in bright fun colors...spoons, measuring cups, spatulas, etc.

These dorky things make me happy.

What dorky things make you happy?

You still have time to enter the giveaway...I'll choose a winner later on today.

xo
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five months...

I can't believe it!
How is he FIVE MONTHS already!
So crazy!

We are in the midst of a crazy busy weekend...painting bathrooms and potty training Moses...so far so good.
We are thankful that he is cooperating so well and showing all sorts of good signs of improvement!

Hope your weekend is awesome!
xo
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laugh so hard you cry.


be sure to turn off my music below...and don't forget about the challenge below!
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i triple dog dare you.

something that strikes me as very sad...
a woman who refuses to be seen without makeup.
to me...someone who thinks that they are so unattractive "as is" that they simply must "fix" themselves before being presentable to the world.
so sad.

the Lord made you perfect, no?

what got me thinking on all of this was THIS post by a blogger I read.
i was so struck by how stunning she was...first thing in the morning...i couldn't help but wonder if she thought the same.
if women everywhere could or would think the same about themselves.

i am not saying you should never wear make-up...i get that it is fun and all that.
i am just saying...love yourself without it first.

LOVE God's design for your face.
He made you to look JUST LIKE THAT.
He makes no mistakes.
He made your eyelashes not so full.
He puts His own blush on your cheeks.
He gave you those freckles.
He did not make your eyelids blue.

HE thinks you are beautiful first thing in the morning.
without makeup.
do you know better than the Lord?

even a little more sad...what does that message tell your children?
specifically your daughters?
if you can't love yourself the way God made you...how do you expect them to?
if you are so embarrassed about yourself without makeup...how do you teach them that it is OK to be just who God made you?
you have to believe it AND live it.
let them see you without it.
let them see you showing yourself without it.
to family.
to friends.

just a thought.

so i have a dare for you.
take your camera.
put it by your bed.
first think in the morning...
take a self-portrait.

no face washing.
no hair brushing.
no de-mussing.
just you.
the way God sees you all the time.
fresh from sleep.
before you are self-conscience.

just take a photo of you, beautiful you.
and post it on your blog.
yep.
for all the world to see.
to declare to all:
i am beautiful...just how God made me.
He doesn't make mistakes.
the second part of the dare:
believe it.

come here and link to your post in the comments.
i can't wait to see how stunning you are.

xo


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pretty maiah.

Couldn't help but share this photo I got of my good friends baby girl.
She is a doll!

xo
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so dangerous.

Lots of things can be dangerous.
Chocolate cake in less than five minutes can be very dangerous.
You can probably do this right now.
Ready?
In a LARGE coffee mug, mix together:
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
To that add:
1 egg (add this first and mix thoroughly)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional-as if you would opt out)
A small splash of vanilla extract
Microwave on 1000 watts for 3-4 minutes.
I had to do 4 minutes.
Top with a good size dollop of pre-made chocolate frosting
(one of the ONLY times you will hear me recommend that)

Enjoy!
I recommend eating it right out of the mug ...less clean up.
And eat it when it is warm...much better than when it is cold.
Would also be great with ice cream.
Very, VERY tasty when warm. Unexpectedly so.

Thanks to my mother in law who sent me this recipe.
Totally makes nap time all the better, right?

Go make it...and tell me how much you unexpectedly enjoyed it. :)
xo
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too legit.

So...after being in business for over two years I finally decided on a logo. And believe me...I had to think about it A LOT. I have toyed with ideas since opening but never came up with something I knew I wouldn't get sick of really fast. Then one day it hit me...the little guy above popped into my head and sweet Renee over at Thompson Designs was somehow able to put together EXACTLY what I had in my head!! :) I just love it. It is simple and classic but still very me at the same time. I highly recommend her for any kind of design service you need...she is super to work with and I got my design really quickly. I couldn't be more pleased. :)
Now I just have to decide where to implement my new logo...business cards and tags for sure...but I would love to work it into some sort of goody to go into orders too...
And in case you haven't noticed...there is a new gift set for babies in the shop...this one is obviously for the boys...I'll be giving away a girl one soon...
This skirt is new too...I call it "Christmas in L.A."...cause, well, you'll have to live somewhere warm to wear this at Christmas time. :)
And finally, an initials only alternative to the name pillow. :) I hope to giveaway a girl version of this item, too. :)

Speaking of giveaways...the winner of the wire monogram from l'alfabeto
is Angie Mae. :)
Congrats to you! Let me know you saw this, then contact l'alfabeto to claim your prize!

I hope to make giveaways a weekly occurrence...if you are interested in sponsoring one...you just let me know!

Happy Monday!
xo
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almost free.

We made sidewalk paint. It was free for me because I had the stuff.
If you don't have it already it will be a cheap activity. :)
You need:
1/4 cornstarch
1/4 water
food coloring
Mix them all together. Adding as much color as you are brave.
They look especially fun in my favorite bowls.
A tip for you...don't use those foam brushes. Next time we will use bristle brushes.
These photos make me smile.
So colorful and happy.
Moses enjoyed it.
He was thrilled to paint...and on the sidewalk at that. :)
It was almost quiet for a bit.
If not quiet...at least pretty.
I'm running out of captions for these photos.
You should try it...and be brave...it ALL washed away with the hose.
:)

Today I am thankful for...my husband, my toddler(or is he a pre-schooler?), my baby, my business, my husbands great job, my lovely home and so much more. :)
What are you thankful for?

xo
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food for thought.


Thirty days from tomorrow I will be thirty.
I LOVE birthdays.
But I am dreading this one.
Thirty doesn't sound so nice.

However...thirty will be much better to me than twenty was.
I am older, wiser and much more gung-ho about my convictions.

For instance.
I refuse to shop at Wal-mart. Solely on principal.
And, no, it is NOT because my husband is a Target executive.
Our boycott of Wal-mart did not begin until well into his career.

Wal-mart is like a plague.
It swoops in and kills off all sorts of American businesses in its manhunt for the lowest price.

Not only do they move into a town and make it impossible for small business to survive...but they take out large businesses as well...several large name businesses have gone bankrupt or nearly so trying to bend to Wal-mart buyer requests (ie. selling them an item at a price so low that profit is nearly impossible)...either they meet the request or Wal-mart will often refuse to do ANY business with them. Take a look at this article HERE.

You know how Wal-mart claims to buy American? Not so much...the sweat shop rumors are true. They treat their overseas workers like dirt...making them live in dirty dorms...and taking rent out of their pay whether they live in them or not. They are paid pennies on the dollar for the junk they make for Wal-mart. And they aren't all adults. Many are children. Most can't do any better.

HERE's a great resource on learning more about the dirty side of saving a buck at Wal-mart.

And I don't base my beliefs about Wal-mart on ONE article...or ONE blog or ONE documentary. There are tons out there...hundreds maybe.
Even if only 10% were true (and I believe much more than that is) I would still feel the way I do.

Yes I used to shop there. Guilt free. I'm not judging you if you do. But the more I learned the less I felt comfortable in supporting them on any level.
Ignorance WAS bliss. Now I know better.

After doing some research on your own...can you really say that it is WORTH saving a few bucks to support not only the death of small business and large corporations but to also support a thriving sweatshop industry?

And before someone else says it...No, Target does not allow bell ringers from the Salvation Army to stand in front of it's stores, HOWEVER, Target is one of the largest contributors to the Salvation Army and several other charities.
(This is usually the biggest anti-Target argument that people can come up with).

As usual I would love to hear your thoughts.

xo

EDITED TO ADD: I failed to mention...since I was finishing up that post with a baby bouncing on my knee...that once upon a time, I worked at Wal-mart...and experienced first hand how "great" they treat their employee's. Getting over part time hours was met with big trouble...no way they were going to have to give you benefits. There are many testimonies of former employees and how badly they were treated in the name of keeping the price down.

I am not anti big business. I am anti dirty business. Wal-mart USED to stand for the American dream but since Sam Walton passed away, the line was crossed. Now it is get the lowest price...no matter the cost.

I also was not talking about Wal-mart stores in other countries necessarily...but the production warehouses in other countries owned by Wal-mart...where people and children are poorly paid and treated.

Just wanted to clarify a bit.

No company is perfect...but Wal-mart is the e
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more free fun.

We found some more free fun in my Family Fun magazine this week...
I think April did this one too. :)
You need an old water bottle with the bottom cut off...a round of terry cloth, and some rubber bands...attach like so...
And a bowl with about an half inch of bubbles or diluted dish soap.
Get the terry wet then dip into the bowl...
This was reeaaaaaalllly easy and Moses loved making "monster bubbles". :)

Have fun!
xo
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no babies were harmed.

I am brave enough to say that we did it. Or we are, at the very least, nearly there.
We are just this close to having two GREAT sleepers in this household.
And no babies were harmed in the making of this great sleeper.
You want to know how we did it?
I'll tell you, but if you don't like to hear about babies crying...then you might want to move on.

Here is the before:
Aaron to bed at 5ish...waking up 2-3 times through the night. 30 minute naps through the day...only able to happily be awake for about an hour at a time. Never going to sleep quietly. Kinda grumpy. Waking up crying. Always awake for the morning by 5:30-6ish. He was on the right road pre-vacation but since then his sleeping was a disaster.

How we fixed it:

Up for the day between 6 and 7am.
Keep up for about 1 hour 45minutes...watching for signs of tiredness.
Put him down after NO MORE than two hours awake.
When we put him down, go through the same routine every time.
Put him down wide awake and happy.
Walk away. Even if he cries.
Usually he would fall asleep after a few minutes of fussing/crying but then wake up after a 30 minute nap.
Our pediatrician confirmed that this is not enough for any baby.
So, after he awoke from the 3o minute nap...I left him alone for up to an hour.
Yep.
A whole hour.
And you know what.
Sometimes he cried for the WHOLE hour.
But 95% of the time he fell back to sleep...for another 45minutes to TWO HOURS!

We repeat this process for EVERY nap time...which, now, is only three naps a day...the age appropriate amount.

At night, we put him down for the night...and only go to him once...at a general predetermined time.
I won't go to him before midnight.
He will cry for a few minutes but then settles back down.

And I won't go get him in the AM before 6am. He tried sometimes to wake up before then...but after a few minutes of crying...usually went back to sleep for an hour or more.

Now:

He goes to bed for the night around 6pm...give or take 30 minutes.

He only gets up once...usually around 2 or 3am.

He wakes for the day around 6:30...and I still won't go to him before 6am...no matter what. If you don't do this...babies will tend to want to get up earlier and earlier. Aaron did this pre-reform! :)

He NOW goes down for naps without a peep for the most part. I put him down happy and he puts himself to sleep. No rocking, or paci, or anything.
He wakes up talking and cooing...not crying like before.
He will sleep for 1 1/2hours to 2 hours OR MORE per nap!
He is more content, happy and can "play" on his own more.

I know some are very anti cry it out.
But it works. I has worked for us twice.
It was harder this time with Aaron than it was with Moses...Moses got it in about 24 hours...where Aaron has taken days.

Some people say that I am missing out on the special time that you have when you rock your baby to sleep...well, what is special to me is that my babies can put themselves to sleep. I have plenty of special moments with my boys throughout the day.

Some say that letting a baby cry is mean and cruel.
It is more cruel to me to NOT teach my child good sleeping skills...that will serve him for YEARS. I know he needs that sleep to learn and grow. And I will do what it takes to teach him.

FYI-this plan was fully supported and encouraged by our pediatrician and is based on the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child.

In other news...here's a new skirt colorway in the shop.
And lots of pillows that got finished this weekend...
Along with a new door we made for our little shed...the last project for the backyard. :)
It was a nice...looong, relaxing weekend. :)

Hope yours was just as lovely!

xo
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reality check.

Just so you don't think my house is always clean...though we do take care of this before we go to bed. :) Let's play I spy...shall we?
Can you find?
A wii remote?
a TV remote?
three Rubik's cubes?
nemo?
two wooden spoons?
a spatula handle?
two pineapples?
a toy wrench?
How about here?
an ipod?
a nemo?
packing tape?
green polka dots?
red polka dots?
the number two?
a firefighter?


Doug says that overall his interview went very well...now we have to wait and see when his next set of them will be...could be anywhere from 1-6 months. So we wait...

Thanks for the prayers!

Happy Friday to you! :)

xo
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hot fun!

Wanna keep your toddler/preschool/self busy for at least an hour?
Then I have the activiity for you! :) I first saw this in one of my parent magazines...then April at Janesays did it last year with her daughter...I knew Moses would love it!
Basically, you round up some little water-proof toys...
Fill a shallow bowl with water...the one I used was about three inches deep...if you have older or younger kids you could adjust the depth to increase/decrease the challenge level...
Then arrange the toys in the water filled bowl...
And freeze overnight.
I gave Moses a squirt bottle and a small screwdriver...he LOVES any reason to use a screwdriver!
He went to town...
I helped him when he needed it...
Making it a fun activity for the both of us...
And he loved the power of having his OWN squirt bottle...
Nothing like FREE, cold fun on a hot summer day!
And like I said...it kept him busy for at least an hour. :)

If you think about it...say a prayer for my husband...he goes tomorrow for the interview of his life! :) Pray for confidence and wisdom! :)

xo
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