Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dear Ohio Friends

Listen to the first few lines of this song....the part about Cleveland & cry a few tears with me today. We are leaving Ohio, different than we were when we got here. Thank you for your examples & your awesome friendships. You have changed me. Helped me to be better. I pray that our paths cross again, because I wasn't ready to be finished here...not quite yet.

I'll catch up with you again in this space as soon as I can. For now it's a few days on the road for this family.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rody Giveaway

Let's change the mood around here a bit.

I have a super awesome giveaway for you from! One winner will receive a Rody! I love these Rody horses because not only are they excellent for helping toddlers with balance & coordination, but they have a really cool, modern design that appeals to both kids & parents.

A big thanks to for supplying our giveaway prize. They have a lot of wonderful products available brands like Roadmaster, KidKraft, little Tikes and more. I loved this Le Cafe Play Tent as well. I thought it was reasonably priced & was something that my two girls would play with for hours. Very clever that they include two aprons!

So here are the giveaway details:

1. This giveaway is open to U.S. & Canadian readers.
2. Leave a comment on this post. Be sure to include your e-mail address.
3. Post about & link back to this giveaway on your blog to gain another entry. You may want to say:
Sparkle Power is hosting a great giveaway! Check out All for your favorite brands like Roadmaster, KidKraft, little Tikes and more! Giveaway ends 10/7!”
4. Tweet about the giveaway to gain an additional entry.
5. Become a follower of my blog for an additional entry. See "followers" on my side bar.
6. The giveaway ends on October 7th.

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Moving On

Everything changed on Thursday when Dylan came walking in the door only a few hours after he'd left for work. He'd been laid off. We were shocked. Totally shocked. We quickly told each other that everything was going to be alright, but as the day went on, we just felt the weight of it all increasing. I think that I had a mini panic attack while out running a few errands on my own & all the crying I did that day made my head feel like it was going to explode.

We were left with a measly severance, and with no savings in the bank the pressure to figure out our plan quickly was on. We keep going through all our options over & over and we keep ending up at the same spot. We need to move to Las Vegas where we can be with our families until we get back on our feet.

Right now we are packing up everything (fabric included, as pictured above). In one week we will be loaded up & on the road headed west. There is so much that needs to get done. We are stressed & we are worried & we are sad. I told Dylan that one day we will be settled somewhere & we will be secure & life will be easy & peachy. Then we will look back & say "Remember that time......that time was really, really hard & really sucked." But it will seem like such a long time ago & everything will be fine.

** I will be closing up the shop for a week or so starting on Sept. 28th. If there is anything you need, please get your orders in before then.

** I'll also try to post updates here on the blog, but of course they will not be regular for a while.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Tote Bags In The Shop

You know you want one. Get them here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Everything Tote For Me

I just finished making a new bag as an early birthday present to myself. I used the Everything Tote pattern from Weekend Sewing. The description in the book reads, "This bag is perfect for weekends and weekdays, with an expanding shape that can hold an unexpectedly large cache of paperwork, groceries, workout gear, books, etc." And that is exactly what drew me to this pattern in particular. I tried it out today & ended up throwing in a good stack of library books in addition to my regular stuff (wallet, diaper/wipes, sippy cup & snacks). They fit in comfortably & I still had room for more!

The rosettes were made following this tutorial from Made by the Mama Monster. There will definitely be more frayed rosettes in my life. I'm sure of it. Very easy & super cute.

Hooray for something new that's just for me. I'm a happy girl.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Flashcards & Blackout Fabric

Check out my friend, Lauralee's new etsy shop, yellow mums. She has some really cute printable flashcards. If you are thinking about Christmas gifts already, like I am, keep in mind that you pay for the pdf file once & then can print as many flashcard sets as you'd like. Hello! Easy stocking stuffers & gifts for all the little people in your life.

Over the Labor Day weekend, I hit up the sale at Joann's and got 10 yards of blackout drapery lining fabric. I'm hoping that adding this to our window coverings will help insulate the house & lower our natural gas usage & therefore lower our heating bill this winter. Does anybody have any experience with this blackout fabric? Should I have my hopes set this high for a warmer house this winter? Please share.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Home For Christmas Fundraising

It has been 16 months since I've last been home to visit my family in Las Vegas. 16 months since my kids have last played with their cousins. And 16 months since Dylan & I have been able to visit with our sisters & brothers & my grandma.

The reason why we haven't been back is lack of funds. With Dylan's income from work & the funds that we are able to make from our etsy shops, we are just barely able to hold it together with our household expenses plus student loan debt & other debts that were accrued during school, like medical bills & car repairs. Now, I'm not telling all of this to you to make you feel sorry for us. We got ourselves here & we'll get ourselves out. I'm just telling you so that you can understand my need for fundraising.

This Christmas, I want to go home to be with our families! Airfare for a family of 4 is pretty steep. So, Dylan & I decided that we'd like to make the drive home & drive through the south, a part of the country that we've never been through. The thought of being home with my family has me really worked up, but really we just don't have the extra money to do it.

So, I decided to do some fundraising right here on my blog. I plan to offer handmade items for sale. Items that are not available in my etsy shop. And I'm adding a widget to my sidebar to calculate our progress.

So, without further ado, let's get this party started!

I am offering to make two raglan dresses in a vintage print exactly like the dress in the photo above that I made for my daughter, Sadie. The dresses will be $48 a piece & can be made for girls age 2-6. They will go to the first two people to email me at

Feel free to spread the word & thank you for your support! I do have so much love for all my cute blog readers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

She Just Attacks Life

My very favorite part of our busy, full, extended Labor Day Weekend was seeing Sadie with this look on her face:

An hour or two spent at the beach one evening before sundown...loud waves rolling in. Sadie rolled her pants up in the car on the drive over. She said she was getting ready for the water. Once we got there it didn't take very long for her to end up falling face first into an incoming wave. She was happy to be soaking wet.

Then up the rocks to jump down into the sand & water over & over & over.

All to be followed up by a yummy ice cream cone on a bench at sunset. Yep, my very favorite part of the whole weekend.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sadie's Star Wars Birthday Party

Sadie's Star Wars birthday party was a success! Dylan was a good sport to wear the funny jedi robe that I made him & train the kids. They each got a jedi robe to wear, made their light sabers out of pool noddles, practiced using their sabers by hitting a wiffle ball hanging from a string while blindfolded & then defeated the death star, pin the tail on the donkey style. Then we all celebrated by eating cake & drinking yoda sodas (lime sherbet & sprite).

It was really fun & Sadie had a blast. Thanks to all who came & made her party so special. Today is her actual birthday. It's hard to believe that she is 5 years old. We love that kid so much.

More star wars party ideas:
Make and Takes
Tip Junkie

Friday, September 04, 2009

Life Is Good

So. Sorry if I came off a bit like a whiny brat in my last post. I know we've all been there before & actually aren't we there like every other week? Things are good. I've accomplished a lot & have crossed lots off my to-do lists.

We are gearing up for a really busy holiday weekend. Dylan's parents arrive this evening & tomorrow morning is Sadie's birthday party. We are super excited about both.

Here's the deal. My husband is adorable. He's in charge of training all the little jedi warriors that will show up at our door tomorrow morning. It has been wonderful working on this together. One of the best things for strengthening our relationship is working on projects together. Seriously, I feel most like his best friend when we are planning a birthday party or developing a product for the shop or washing the dishes together. Anyway, he's on my mind & I miss him while he's at work. I'm excited about us & I love our family & I just had to share.

So with all these thoughts in my head, I felt the song above was fitting. Not sure what's happening in that video, but the song is excellent. I hope you enjoy it & I hope you enjoy your weekend!

Anybody else out there as big a Ryan Adams fan as I am?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Not Pregnant. Just Stressed.

Left: Heather. Right: Candace

My body is under attack by stress. I've been so stressed lately that I was convinced that the reason why I was feeling constantly upset to my stomach was because I was pregnant. Nope. Not so. Not pregnant. But still feeling queasy.

I've got a lot of things going on. A lot keeping me busy. But why is it all making me sick? Here's the list of things that are filling up my head right now:

* Star Wars birthday party for Sadie this weekend. Jedi attire needs to be made for the guests. Must shop for other supplies & treats & make that Princess Leia cake.
* My in laws are coming to visit this weekend as well. The house needs to be cleaned.
* I have two church callings that I'm trying to manage. Teaching activity days tonight. Coordinating enrichment activities.
* Taking a break from a really big custom order for flag garlands. Need to get back to that as soon as possible.
* I should be doing more for the etsy shop. So many ideas & plans. Feeling like work for the holiday boom needs to be done right now.
* It's getting cooler outside. Time to start sewing flannel jammies for my girls.
* Need to pay bills. Do we have enough money for the bills?
* Taking dinner to a friend who is having a new baby tomorrow.
* Remember to take snacks for nursery on Sunday.
* Dog needs to be groomed.
* Are we up on the shop orders? Print, package, mail, repeat.
* Where are the supplies I ordered for my big custom order? Maybe I should call on that.

And with all that swirling around, I'm feeling like my children are not getting my full attention. I just need to calm myself somehow. Writing it all down even feels a bit better. I'm going to take every moment available & make it productive & in the end I'll feel proud of myself & all that I've accomplished. I'd just rather be on the accomplished side instead of stuck here on the buried side.
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