Friday, January 25, 2013

For the LOVE of CHEVRON: a feature and giveaway!


Oh, chevron.

It's one of my favorite patterns, ranking among argyle, houndstooth, and damask.

It's taking over our house, slowly, at least.

To me, chevron is a great balance print. It's not as plain as stripes, but it's not girly like flowers. For that reason, it seems, my husband hasn't complained too much about me sprinkling it throughout our home. Makes fun of me occasionally, but whatever.

Fortunately, one if my dearest friends is also a bit chevron obsessed and has been very helpful and enables the infiltration.

Jenn, owner and creator if Butterfly Designs, is one if the biggest sources of chevron in my home. Photos will be toward the end of this post as I am writing from my phone. (For the record, she has many non-chevron things as well...)

When Collin was born, she created him a one-of-a-kind chevron rag quilt. I love it! Collin loves it too, he's very tactile.

Collin has a chevron bib from Butterfly Designs.

He has two pairs of chevron shoes from Butterfly Designs (one was a custom pair from fabric I supplied that was leftover from my Christmas stockings).

I have a chevron Andi apron from Butterfly Designs, and I gave one to my friend Desi for her birthday. (We have five aprons from her total in this house.)

I've also added a bit of chevron on my own! The aforementioned Christmas stockings that I made are a gray chevron and aqua design.

I made myself a cute chevron pin cushion for my sewing projects!

And, recently with the undertaking if Spenk & Ollie Creations, Collin has gained a pair of chevron leggings!

Oh! And I ordered special fabric so the boys have a gray chevron and a chartreuse chevron Mud Butt Cloth Diaper.

And to be giveaway festive, I just did my nails in chevron!


You should be jealous. But only slightly.

To celebrate chevron, Jenn and I have teamed up for a chevron inspired giveaway.

There will be two winners! One will choose a pair of Butterfly Designs chevron baby shoes (in either gray/white, black/white, navy/white, or pink/white). If you don't have a baby, they make FANTASTIC baby gifts! Or, if you have an older girl or know one who plays with dolls, the 0-3 size might just fit doll feet! They're so seriously fantastic. They stay on SO WELL. Collin hasn't been able to get them off his feet once, yet they don't bother him at all! There is a picture of him below in his black and white chevron shoes with solid black legging from Spenk & Ollie Creations, taken by Something Clicked Photography.

The second prize will be a pair if black and white Spenk & Ollie leggings! They're so cute! And they fit a huge range of leg sizes. They're a bit Bunche on Collin, who is nearly 5 months old. They go up to Spencer's thigh. He is two now, and over three feet tall! And, if you're into leg warmers as an adult, they nearly reach my knee!

- you must enter via the rafflecopter widget
- must be 18 or older or have parental permission
- open to residence of the United Stares only, due to increased shipping prices
- winners will have 48 hours to respond before substitutes are chosen

Giveaway lasts one week. Winners will be notified by email and upon claiming the prizes, will be announced on this blog an possibly Facebook.

Good luck!

Again, I apologize for the picture situation! Silly smart phone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Business Adventure

Being a small business owner wasn't in my plan for this year. It wasn't in my plan really... ever. I used to run a photography business with Jake. We did pretty well with it, but the act of competing and soliciting prospective clients was mentally exhausting. Then, I got pregnant with Spencer. We shot one wedding after that, and my focus was on our growing family.

It still is, really.

And that's kind of how this new adventure started.

It started when one of my best friends sent a pair of baby leggings in the mail for Collin, and I just thought they were excellent. He had been cutting his calves with his toenails, regardless of the fact that they were as short as could safely be clipped. With the leggings, it wasn't a problem. I wanted more, stat.

After some initial browsing, I thought to myself "I bet I could just make him some."

That was all I really intended. I wanted more leggings for Collin.

Okay, and a couple for a friend who is due with a baby girl very soon.

I made them. I was proud. I shared the photo of the gift leggings on Instagram and Facebook.

And, hours later, "Spenk & Ollie Creations" was born. Wednesday night, by the urging and excitement of some friends and family, I decided on a whim, really, to be a small business owner.

In less than 24 hours, I had 50 fans. I have sold over 10 pairs of leggings at my "Grand Opening."

I'm already learning. Fortunately, I have a few friends who are work at home moms/small business owners who are helping me tackle this project with advice, insight, and mentoring. I would be totally overwhelmed thinking about it if Jenn of Butterfly Designs, Carrie of Mud Butt Cloth Diapers, and Staci of Something Clicked Photography weren't already supporting, encouraging, and guiding me.

I find it a bit silly to say that, honestly, I have no expectations for this adventure. Maybe I will cute-ify ten pairs of baby legs and that will be the end. Maybe it will last years and I will send out hundreds of pairs.

The unknown is a bit scary, but exhilarating. I have already said to multiple people that I can't believe this happened.

If it ends tomorrow, I will be sad, sure. But, at least I got to try.

Assuming it doesn't end tomorrow, then in the next few weeks, I have some fun things planned.

It will be a learning adventure. But, I am excited to see what, if anything, develops.

Because I am typing this on a phone, I can't link to the text above. But, please head on over and show my mentoring friends some love by liking their pages.

Jenn - Butterfly Designs -
Carrie - Mud Butt Cloth Diapers -
Staci - Something Clicked Photography -

And... Spenk & Ollie Creations

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Love Conquered

Today... Was rough. It was a rough parenting day for me. Probably the toughest one since Collin came along. I don't know what it was, but from the moment Spencer woke crying at 8:17 this morning (about two hours earlier than normal), to about half an hour before Jake got home (so about 11:10 tonight), the whole day has been, well, rough.

Spencer woke before Collin, which is odd, and he was crying when he woke, which is very unusual. So, I walked into his room and scooped him out of bed and brought him into mine. We cuddled awake for about 45 minutes until I heard Collin talking downstairs.

We went downstairs and I gave Spencer some pop tarts for breakfast and while I nursed Collin we sat on the couch, all three of us, watching Elmo. SJ didn't stay long and started to crumble pop tart into the couch. I told him to stop, and he did, but then got up and started throwing books off the book shelf, for no real reason, as he didn't read one.

I tried to redirect him as asking (or demanding) him to stop wasn't working.

The rest of the day followed a similar pattern on his part. I went to the bathroom and left him with his afternoon snack, which was an apple that, while I was using the bathroom, he chewed into chunks and tossed them all over the main floor. He threw toys all over, and I put him to nap early. He played quite a while before sleeping.

After nap, my cousin was here and he was seemingly in a less mischievous mood, but it didn't last long. The night and evening followed a similar pattern again, at one point landing him confined to his high chair with play dough and random other items. He screamed a while and eventually played while I fed Collin.

Collin was off today, too. He woke happy as can be which is pretty typical, but then was feisty much of the day. Inconsolable crying fits, refusing to nap except while feeding until I finally was able to get him to nap without eating at about ten tonight. He wasn't mad all day, but nice big chunks.

By nine tonight, I was at wit's end, and alone. I had been stressed all day besides, with matters unrelated to the boys being out of sorts, which truly did not help matters. At ten, Collin was sleeping after being snuggled tightly in my arms and patted to sleep for about 30 minutes. I dared lay him down and Spencer was happily playing cars, so I stole a few minutes to see before Spencer came over to slap me. I told him I did not like that and proceeded to fake a cry. I gave him a suggestion to color, but he started whipping colored pencils round the room.

At this point, I gave up on sanity saving time for myself and offered to read books with him which he usually loves. He screamed the most high pitched scream ever and threw a fit, tossing books around and trying to hit me again.

I lost it. I stood up, crying myself, and ran up the stairs to my room. He followed still screaming at me. I left the downstairs a disaster, my tea on the counter getting cold, the tv playing "Dinosaur Train" and ran away from it all. He did, too. At first, I was not happy, I will admit it.

So, I picked him up, wrapped my arms tightly around him, and pulled him onto the bed next to me.

We cried together a few minutes, and at nearly the same time, ceased the tears. We fell silent. He pulled my arms tightly to his chest and the blanket over our arms. And we laid there quietly and calmly, finally in a good, peaceful place together. Cuddling together.

Love won. Loving arms won. We told each other "love you!" a few times. We stayed that way 41 minutes, until Jake finally came home from work and took Spencer to his own room so they could snuggle a bit, too.

It was such a hard day. I have an impressive headache. Countless redirections, pleading and commanding the behaviors to stop, frustrated grunts and sighs with both of my boys screaming and crying and inconsolable...

But in the end, no redirection. Or reprimand solved the day's issues.

In the end, love conquered our war.


It always should. It not always does, but it always should.

Here's to hoping tomorrow is a better day.