Monday, May 31, 2010

Instant Cookies- by Pillsbury, a review

If you saw our grocery chart brimming with 90% produce and fresh ingredients you would not expect to see a packet of instant cookies in the mix.  But on Sunday, after having to cut our Memorial Day weekend way to short in order to get back for the husband's 2am baking shift- I felt like we needed a little pick me up, a treat if you will. And when I saw this little packet of instant cookies by Pillsbury with its 0g trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup, or added artificial preservatives- I thought, alright let's try this!

We made a crazy dinner Sunday night- a pasta recipe from our Jamie at Home- cookbook with the most awesome stinky cheese sauce EVER and a cucumber salad from the Barefoot Contessa cookbook (will blog w/ pics & details soon) we were so full that the cookies had to wait just one day. So today, after returning from a little memorial day hike- the time had come for our taste test. The result- GOOD. Of course what beats the joy of an instant warm cookie!? So effortless and very tasty, plus the added benefit of these guys being void of trans fat etc....  I still cringe at the idea of buying things with loads of packaging and ultimately I will just not buy something if I feel it has too much packaging or essentially if I stop and realize the amount of packaging is not worth it...  But I splurged. Plus this packaging was relatively minimal- consisting of a cardboard tray= recycle, and its plastic packet. And although this isn't something I would do once a week, I recommend them if you are in a pinch for a little set of 12 cookies, or want to treat yourself!  It's the best 12-15 mins cookie experience!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Buggin out- some etsy favs

Coincidently enough I've been adding some bug and insects themed items to my etsy favorites lately, and so I thought I would share my findings!  Above is a very cool framed butterfly by realbutterflygifts- etsy shop. They have a HUGE selection of bugs and insects for you to choose from. You can also select the color frame you prefer and they are more than willing to work with their customers on picking out a great arrangement IE: 3 bugs in one frame, etc...

Bee Mug by deepfried is a cute little way to drink your hot beverage while dreaming of summer!

Moth to a Flame studio- offers cool vintage insects prints for your home!

This vintage print with its arched shape would look lovely in a grouping- adding a little unexpected variety with its shape. Available at savoybetty.

And if you want to show off your love of insects and bugs- why not with jewelry! This silver honey necklace by purple pigeon is subtle, fun and a little geometric! ALSO check out woodlandbelle and mamaslittlebabies for more insect loving jewelry!! have fun buzzing around on etsy!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Mother's day gift, belated

I found this vintage antique grain sack on Etsy- it had the letters N and J on it which are the initials of my maternal grandparent's first names. They passed away a couple of years ago... And so I thought this lovely letter coincidence would make a nice pillow for my mom.  I went to a Marshall's home store and found a large down pillow for my project for only $19!  I sewed a seam at the "top" in order to have the initials reside towards the bottom of the case. Then I hemmed the bottom and flipped the ends under to make an overlapping flap as the closure of the case, avoiding any zippers, or buttons and making it easy to get the pillow in and out for cleaning, etc.

I gave it to my mom as a belated Mother's day present- during our Memorial Day weekend- visit. Here it is on a chair in their library.

Above a picture of the grainsack in it's original state as seen in it's etsy listing. Check out grainsack's etsy shop for other fun vintage linen finds!  As you can see this grain sack was VERY long- so I have enough fabric to make a second pillow, or to use in my couch redo project! I'll let my blog audience know what I decide to do with the remaining fabric!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

CHECK IT I'm in this cool- MAINE themed treasury!

It's always so nice to be featured in an etsy treasury and it's especially nice to be included in a collection with some stellar folks from Maine!! See the complete treasury HERE. But hurry these guys expire quickly!! PSSSsssst Mine is the crab dish from my grayday shop!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cute Boston and Cat video

If only our Boston Millie and our Friends' Cat- Roma could get along like these two. Although it kinda looks like the Boston isn't too into this and is just being polite. Watch the video here.

Resources for Selling and Succeeding on ETSY

As the end of May is quickly approaching I am gathering all my "eggs" together to hit the ground running with my three etsy shops this summer.  So I thought I would offer some links that have helpful tips and advice on how to succeed on ETSY.

Everything Etsy- has a great section called Running your Etsy Business complete with articles that address made to order vs in stock inventory, how to survive the pause button, and focusing on your fans, etc. offers a great article on how to MAKE Money on ETSY.

From the Etsy - Quit your Day job-blog dlkdesigns offers advice on setting up shop and what she would do differently if she knew then what she knows now! PS: check out all of the QYDJ articles! There are some consistent tips that each seller has found success with- mainly twitter, listing items almost everyday, or even a couple times a day... etc etc

Etsy Success Reading Tips.

AND sign up for Etsy Success weekly emails here.

I hope this little list is both helpful and inspiring.  One thing I have learned and seen with my own shops-  I sell more when I am the most active. This might seem like a no brainer, but it's true. I have had the most success when I have been the most invested- making new pieces and listing items frequently, and having a consistent twitter presence including interacting with fellow twitter folk- both customers and fellow etsy sellers.

It's helpful to keep this all in mind as I turn my full attention to my shops this summer as my primary income. It feels a little daunting sometimes, BUT I've seen it work in the past and I've learned that it takes a consistent commitment- and if you LOVE what you do and have a market for it than it should sustain your interest and ultimately your income.  GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Babies: the Movie

We went and saw the movie Babies last night at our local theatre.

The movie is a documentary that follows four babies from birth to their first birthday. It's an interesting look into four different cultures and environments and how each baby is raised. The babies come from Namibia, Japan, Mongolia, and San Francisco. There is very little dialogue, no omniscient narrator, just the sounds of the babies and their day to day activities. For the most part the movie can feel like a well shot and beautifully lit youtube/home video where funny little moments are captured of the Babies often by themselves reacting to their experiences and struggling with common baby limitations, with the occasional livestock interaction!

As an expectant parent- I found the movie sweet and also a nice example of how babies and children can get dirty, chew on a random bone or rock and end up being okay.  An excellent contrast to the more sterile approach of recent western child rearing. Another fun take home message- was how few possessions babies really require. My husband and I- with our small-esque apartment and desire to be "environmentally conscious" we want to limit the amount of toys etc that our child/children acquire- so this aspect specifically with the Namibian and Mongolian babies- was nice to see.  View the trailer below.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Making my own dresses for summer- maternity style

As I've mentioned before- maternity shopping can be a bit of a downer with an often limited or boring selection or over priced merch. So far I have remedied this with buying solely maternity pants and buying more tops at H&M or forever 21 where they offer long tank tops and flowy blouses. Anywho I always knew that I wanted to take this "growing" opportunity to make my own dresses for the summer. So I've been gathering inspirational images and wanted to share at the for front of this creative endeavor.

These three dresses are from Modcloth a website which offers fun and unique clothing and accessories at a variety of prices.  So- why not just buy these dresses and call it a day? Well I'm not really sure how big I am going to be during the heat of the summer and frankly I want to give this whole dress making thing a shot! PLUS I have a lot of fabric lying around so this is a cheaper option and a good learning experience!

This coral dress is cute and flowy and to make it- I would start with a skirt shape and simply make a collar for it with a button or tie to fasten at the neck in the back.

And a classic sundress shape- make a full skirt and make an elastic high waist! Of course there's more to it than that... but it's a start.  I might also "upcycle" a few older dresses and skirts for this project. OR I might take some simple linen and silkscreen flowers around it to make it more interesting... anywho I'll keep yah posted!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I chopped my hair off for the Oil spill!

I have been wanting a change with my hair for some time and was debating if I should chop it off... After seeing the terrible pictures of the oil spill and learning that hair is being made into mats to combat the spreading oil- I had my answer.
The final result- back to my college days hair do. You can donate your own hair by checking out the Matter of Trust website, or call your local salon and ask them to participate and collect all the hair they accumulate during just one week! PS- they accept hair of all lengths. Matter of Trust also accepts nylons and wool. No matter where you live it's nice to know there is something you can do to help!

The Market Tote by BUILT- a product review

LOVE my new lunch bag, yeah that's right I use this large Market Tote to haul all of my lunch!

For some time now I've wanted a better way to take my lunch to work.... and after seeing the line of BUILT bags in my neighborhood Whole Foods, I knew this would do the trick.  But the price tag of $40 kept me at bay since we were saving up for a new digital camera and more maternity clothes, every penny made a difference. Then Finally (a few months later) after wrestling with my flimsy canvas bag I bit the bullet and bought this large market tote. Now I look back and laugh at myself for not buying this awesome bag sooner!  

SO here's why I love it!  Now that I am pregnant and need more water and food through out my day- this bag allows me to bring all that I need! I can fit two large water bottles, my 3 pieces of fruit, a glass container full of soup etc, more snacks like pretzels, nuts, etc and still have room to spare. Yet everything fits so nicely the contents don't move around during transit! And even though I will be working from home in the future, I figure this bag will be great for little picnics and to carry any baby stuff, bottles, snacks, etc.  I love how sturdy yet flexible it is- making sure that nothing tips over, unlike my last bag.  Yes it's one of those purchases that makes you feel slightly more put together and a bit more like an adult! Check out their website for other awesome products!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cute Morning Affirmation- video

Check out this video of this girl's daily affirmation- pump up session! Hmmm maybe we should all start our day this way- a little gratitude, a little dance and an affirmation or two! (ps: she reminds me of orphan annie)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the 4th month bump, aka 16 weeks

Here's some photographic proof of the state that I am in. Hopefully moving beyond the "freshmen 15" look and on to "expectant mother". Right now the baby has finger prints, eye lashes, can swallow and suck it's thumb, even yawn- so I've read!
 (I apologize for the poor photo quality, we used mac photobooth and took the picture at dusk. I ordered my new fancy canon camera this weekend, so expect better pictures in the future of all that I love to blog about!)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A baby sweater NEW to my knitting to do list....

As some of my readers may know by now- my husband and I are expecting our first baby in November!  I've been reading some baby books in preparation and one of the things that keeps coming up- is how during your last trimester, and specifically the last month and a half some serious nesting instincts kick in. Thankfully I have a lot of projects on the back burner and hopefully this spark of energy will finally inspire me to tackle some of them. In the mean time I've begun to search through ravelry's website to find a cute baby sweater pattern.  Since we are not finding out the gender of the baby, and it will be born in the fall --in MAINE, I figured I would work with the tried and true gray eco wool that I LOVE.  
The above picture is my inspiration, except my sweater will be a solid gray and I plan on using bigger and fewer red buttons- making it easier for knitting purposes (less button holes) and dressing purposes!

Here is the lovely eco wool! You get 478 yards for $15!!! plenty for left over projects! On a side note- I had this little revelation the other day... while reading some paper work from our midwives, I got to the prep list for the birth handout- ie supplies etc. And of course included on the list was clothing for the baby. Now I know the baby will need clothes, I'm a "girl" I get clothes, that's the fun part, but some how when it was included on a list like that I had this little mental montage of all the baby home birth videos I've watched and all the stories I have heard and read.... the amazed expressions on the mother's face as she holds her baby for the first time... it's crazy that transition between womb to the outside world. I remember a few years ago staring at my niece the day after she was born and saying to my brother- she was in your wife's stomach (uterus) yesterday! wild.

anyway.... tangent. SO Baby sweater, yup here 's the inspiration and I'll share the progress and the final result whenever I get cracking. I think I'll make it for size 6 months...?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Etsy treasury- an opportunity to curate!

I managed to snag an etsy treasury this week and here is the screen shot of my collection. Note the images that are fuzzy are "alternatives" and the good people at etsy encourage all to fill in the alternates to allow them to choose from the entire bunch for the front page... anywho, my treasury "primary summer" has since expired. But if you are new to the world of Etsy treasuries check out this link and peruse through. It's a fun way to see all that's out there and to learn about new shops that are new to you!

Eyjafjallajökull- time lapse video of Icelandic Volcano

Watch this time lapse video of the Icelandic Volcano.
Such beautiful countryside, now I really want to go to there!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Art from the Arctic- a movie I recommend

On Thursday night I watched Art from the Arctic on hulu. It's a great film where a group of scientists, artists and writers sailed to the Arctic to study and interact with the environment in order to bring awareness to the melting glaciers and global warming.  I enjoyed watching the artists respond to nature. They had some very interesting and thoughtful ideas. For example a pair of artists poured plaster into a balloon in order to cast a ball shape. Once it dried they wrapped it in netting, screwed a hook into the top, secured it with a rope and threw it over board from the ship in order to capture the marks of its journey through the water much like how the water sculpts the glaciers.

There are many other interesting experiments and art that comes out of this experience.  So go watch it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

a pregnancy post to update those who read my blog...

 I thought I would write a little pregnancy update blog post for family and friends, etc who are not on facebook! Well I'm closing in on my fourth month of being pregnant (I'm almost 15 weeks now)! And about 2 weeks ago we heard the heart beat for the first time, which was very exciting. Talk about it really sinking in... although we still have time to mentally prepare, it was a fun little moment that will make a nice memory. One of the perks of going the midwife route is that every appointment takes place at our apartment so our little Boston- Millie was there- the original "monkey baby" of our household. And as the doppler thing made contact with my belly and began its underwater decent into the abyss, (literally it sounded like we were in a submarine!) Millie's eyes widen, her ears perked up and she just stared- from the confines of the husband's arms to keep her from interfering -ie trying to lick the aloe off my stomach.

Then Swoosh we heard my deep and "slow" heartbeat and then shortly after a faster heartbeat! I looked up at Cameron and we shared a shocked little in awe moment as it was more evidence and proof that I'm pregnant.  But the moment was fleeting as it "swam away" according to the midwife. A week after this appointment I felt the first "flutter" of the baby moving around and continue to feel this fluttering at certain times during the day and when sitting in certain positions...

As far as some adjustments- I am in full maternity gear. And I have found the shopping process depressing and sometimes insulting! lol. Its a real shock to the system when the maternity section of a store is wedged between the baby sections. Nothing like a real wake up call!  In addition the selection is limited and can be boring or too girly. SO my word of advice- buy maternity bottoms and then shop in any "normal" store for your tops- you will have to go a size up for sure and of course avoid anything with buttons!  But thankfully today's style and fashions are accommodating- as many tops are already blousy and loose or extra long! So far my wallet and I have had success at FOREVER 21- where I got one tank top and a cardigan. It's inexpensive and they fit! thank god.  Ultimately you have to train your eye to spot the shirts you can actually wear and those that will carry you through the next 5 months. Because I think it's important to still feel like yourself as much as you can while other areas in your life begin to change...

anywho!  With my newly trained eye I have also kept a look out for fun etsy shops! Pictured above is a wooden rabbit by womanwoodworker's shop. I also love this wooden toy shop called littlealouette.  Another thing we have been pondering is making our own baby food- Cameron is ALL about it- of course! And we stumbled upon this cool baby food kit- the freezer tray and the cooker while strolling through William Sonoma the other day! It's fun to think ahead little by little... anyway that's it for now!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Nesting: researching baby gear

We are apartment dwellers with dreams of one day having enough land to grow our own food and room for our children to explore the outdoors.... in the meantime- circa now!- we are just embarking on this family journey- with a bun in the oven and a lovely apartment to call home. With our limited space we have been thinking outside the box. We got a tip from our friend and landlord who owns Stokke's highchairs- which convert into bigger chairs as your child grows... and thus the husband began to look into this cool company. Luckily there is a retailer in town and one day after work he stopped by and learned even more about the products!    Above is the Stokke crib that converts into a bed. Here is the picture of it at the 0-6 month stage.

And here is a picture of the crib as it converts into a bed (it's 5th stage out of a possible 6!) for ages 3-7yrs.

We really like this company because it fits within our space constrictions while offering a unique design that grows with your child also making it eco friendly- by forcing you to consume less and ultimately good for the old bank account! They also have a stroller and a changing table- that naturally both convert to fit your growing child's needs. Check out the Stokke website to learn more about them!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...