Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Favorite Woman

You became my safe space thirty-one years ago
In your arms you nurtured my soul
And laid the foundation for me to soar away
But over the years
I have found I return to my safe space in you
Whether it's a phone call in the middle of the day
To hear your voice
Or crying out to you concerning the frustrations of life
I can always depend on my safe space
To be there to not only offer a warm embrace
But to provide the truth that can sometimes hurt

When people meet me for the first time
They usually say I have your smile
In which I graciously tell my thanks
But I hope one day, I'll have your wisdom,
Selflessness, and your strength in the midst
Of a harsh world
For it can take me far

Thank you mom for your dedication
In our lives
And for providing us with an example
Of a virtuous woman
Who rose early to sew Easter dresses
Who took on various jobs to provide for her family
Who created a warm loving home
Who found creative ways to spend time
With us even if it was a trip alone with you to Pantry Pride or Xtra
Who gave me the love for praise and worship music
And above all covered her family in prayer
Thank you for being my safe space

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Tropical Girl To The Heart

There comes a time when one has to be honest with themselves. I realized this past winter break that snow is overrated and so are the four seasons. As much as I love autumn in New York and daffodils in spring...I'm a tropical girl. Give me a glass of cool lemonade in December and Christmas lights on palm trees. I know these images sound crazy for most of the country, but sometimes familiarity is quite comforting.

The pictures above were taken by yours truly. South Florida in December.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Recommended Books

I recently checked out The Hat That Wore Clara B by Melanie Turner-Denstaedt and illustrated by Frank Morrison from the library. I included the summary below. Although it can be a lengthy book for a toddler, it kept Sweet Pea's attention.

When all the ladies wear their hats to church, Clara B. wants her grandmother's. Even though it is too big for her, she is determined to find a way to wear it. They all go to the grandmother's house for lunch and she is able to find a way to put it on her head. All does not go well and it gets messed up. In the end, grandma buys Clara B a hat that matches her own. This is a picture book story that offers lessons in creative problem solving, accepting consequences, and love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

For Nostalgia's Sake

If you ever wondered what you were going to do with your baby's coming home outfit or christening gown, Darcy Miller has a great idea that was featured in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine this month. Shadowboxes!

I love this idea because it is perfectly doable and grouped together will be an ideal piece of art in your home as you cherish the very fabric of your growing family.

She simply mounted the dress with straight pins and double-sided foam tape and voila...the ooh's and ah's will surely begin.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Give to Haiti

Yele is a nonprofit Wyclef Jean started to aid in the development of Haiti. It's a great foundation to donate considering the devastating affect of the earthquake which has killed thousands of individuals in the country.

Would you donate? Even $5, or the equivalent of a cup of Starbucks coffee, can go a long way during this time.

For more information on Yele visit the website at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Embroidery That Stands Out In The Crowd

I wouldn't mind adding this design on a handbag or T-Shirt. Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching provides unique embroidery pictures like the one above at around $5.

Monday, January 11, 2010

It's Really the Little Things

Children laughing hysterically...
My sister's pink Coach bag...
The first ice-cream cone of the summer...
And of course Revlon's Kiss Me Coral nail polish has me smiling throughout the day.

Now I understand why some women never skip on the manis and pedis. It just creates a polished look that shows you took that extra step.

And if you can't make it to your neighborhood spa, try creating your own retreat at home. Brown sugar, olive oil, and your favorite scented oil (try lavender or coconut) serves as a scrub good enough to package.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sewing Crush

I longingly read sewing blogs, wondering oh how long will it take for me to make my very own clothes. Although, I really shouldn't beat myself up too much, I have after all sewed an apron, three Christmas stockings, and oh yeah a stuffed giraffe with missing eyes. Then there was that top for Sweet Pea that was too shabby to be worn beyond the front door. Oh yeah, I also masterfully sewed three cute bags for my nieces. But one day, I will be one of those that can say, "Oh I whipped this up a couple hours I ago. I just love how the duponi silk feels against my skin!" Until then, I will continue to figure it out, bribe other seamsters to show me the secret to craft, and practice, practice, practice.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Transitioning From Nursery to Pre-School...

...In the home of course.

I remember before Sweet Pea arrived, I made certain she had the best crib, bedding, toys that my resources could afford. But the preparation I made couldn't keep pace with this bouncing bundle of joy that kept me on my toes. Her interests went from buttons to pots and pans. Then from crawling around on the floor to running around the house. As our children evolve, their space needs to evolve as well. Below I offered some tips for your own pre-school at home.

1. Find a comfortable toddler table and chair. I like the Montessori ones like the one above because it really helps toddlers learn how to sit upright.

2. Create a writing center. A nook in the room can serve as writing center. You can have a basket full of paper, crayons, pencils to allow your sweetie to let their thoughts and imagination flow. I'm reading Growing Up Writing by Linda Leonard Lamme, PhD (my new BFF) and she recommends having a place for kids to sit and write as well as vertically write. If you don't want your children to mess up that nice coat of Sherwin Williams, try tacking up a big sheet of butcher paper on the wall.

3. Bring in some green. Plants are a great way to add life to any room and help children learn how to nurture something outside of themselves. Just be certain that they are not poisonous.

4. Alphabets, shapes, numbers, colors, and your child's name. Have all of these in constant view. If you don't want to buy the same posters your teachers put on the wall in the 80's, make your own. Use buttons to make a number chart and then frame it. Or try cutting different shapes out of varying colors to teach colors and shapes.

5. A reading corner. Nothing makes me more proud than when I see Sweet Pea pull out a book and read. Buy plenty of books and keep them in a bin so that your children can easily locate them.

If you have any other tips, I'll love to hear them.

A Touch of the Wild Side

I'm not sure if its the cold weather or me wanting a bit more exotic decor in my home, but I'm digging a cowhide rug. It's an unexpected touch visually and on the soles of your feet. Wouldn't you say?

The pictures above stem from the West Elm website.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slow and Steady Get Me Ready

I've heard rave reviews about Slow and Steady Get Me Ready by June R. Oberlander. It includes a great deal of activities for Pre-K youngsters. I'll let you know how it works for moi.