Friday, December 28, 2012

Beautiful Shop...

Aesop shop London
The Aesop shop in London, making me feel very inadequate, yet wickedly inspired all at the same time...

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Year's (business) Resolutions...

As this year winds down, and folks start the dreaded New Years Resolutions talks, I'll spare you the ones I've made for my personal life, and share just those that I've made for the business.  Yes, I've made New Years resolutions for House 54.  I think it sounds nicer and more hopeful than "yearly projections," or "expansion plans."  So without further ado, here's the list...

~Move out.  I know that a lot of people have dreams about being able to work from home, and parts of that are pretty wonderful, I can't lie.  But it also has a nasty habit of taking over my entire house (and time with my family) when it's right here mixed in with our living space.  For me personally, I need a space that I can lock the door and walk away from at the end of the day.  So I'm currently searching for a space to rent. 

~Gain weight (now do you see why this is different from the personal resolutions?).  My goal is to expand the business a little this next year by landing a (hopefully) whole boatload more wholesale accounts.  I'm also in the process of developing a few new products that I'd like to add to my line by this time next year.   

~Socialize more.  Would it not be the most fun EVER to be able to make your own, personally concocted, one-of-a-kind fragrance?!  Well, that's the plan.  I'm not saying any more about this one just yet, because I don't want to spoil too much of the surprise, but it's going to be wicked great!

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, December 24, 2012

Self esteem...

Happy Christmas to you.  My gift to you?  A self-esteem boost.  See all these super, smokin' hot models?  Well, personally, I think some of the "befores" are even prettier than the "afters," but that's just me and my feelings about the simplicity look.  BUT, please take note of the transformations they all make in order appear on the glossy pages you usually view them where you become so envious of their "perfection." So...  happy Everyone's-Human-So-Stop-Beating-Yourself-Up Day!
Whoa.Every girl needs to see this.
Photo found here.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thank you...

These last few weeks have been exciting and humbling all at the same time.  This time last year, I was still trying to to come to terms with just having quit my big-girl job, and my company was still about 5 months away from even being started.  I was still testing formulas, designing packaging, and wondering if it was even a good idea to do at all.  And this year I've gotten a good idea of what one of Santa's elves must feel like; busy as heck, but completely elated about it.  For the better part of the last few weeks I've making daily trips to the Post Office to mail out orders.  They're not giant orders, or even giant amounts of small orders, but they're steady orders.  I'm sure that'll slow down considerably now that the holiday rush is coming to an end.  But what a great time I've had!  People are responding really well to my products, and that's pretty wonderful.

It's terrifying to start a business, and even more so when it's with products that you've made with your own two hands.  It's a total leap of faith.  Just because I think my products are fantastic, doesn't mean anyone else will.  I started making them for me, and my family, because of my sensitive skin issues, and my frustration with commercial products.  So they were pretty specific to what I like, and what I wanted to see in my bath and body products.  It's been humbling to have worked so hard on making the products that I love, and have had the recent response from so many people letting me know that they love them too.

So I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped and supported me while I try to get this little company up and running.  Hopefully you all continue to love it just as much as I do, so that it can keep growing, and accomplish some majorly awesome new stuff in the New Year.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, December 17, 2012

Being thankful...

There was some debate in our household on Friday about whether it was the right thing to do to tell our 8-year-old son about the shootings in Connecticut.  We unanimously decided that he should know.  Even though he's only 8, and I don't want to scare him, I wanted to be the first one to tell him.  I didn't want him to go back to school today and find out about it from some kid who has cable tv (we don't), and then have questions that I wouldn't be there to answer for him.

His only burning question was, WHY?  He wanted to know why the man who shot those teachers and students did what he did.  If I was 8 years old, that would be my first question too.  It was still my question as a junior in high school when the Columbine shootings happened.  Even as a teenager, I still had no concept of why anyone would do something like that.  So I had to give my son the same answer that my Dad gave me back then... "Just be thankful that you don't understand.  Because not being able to understand why someone would have the ability to do something like that means that you don't have the ability to think like them, and you should be thankful for that."

So hear I am again, now a grown woman, married, with 2 children, still completely stunned, disbelieving that anyone could do such a thing, and being so thankful that I still don't understand "why?"

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, December 14, 2012

How to Holiday shop without going insane...

So you're out finishing up (or starting) you holiday shopping, and you want to make it as pleasant an experience as possible...  No, it's not highly likely that the day will go down in the books as one of the best ever, but you can at least take a few steps to make sure it doesn't become one of the worst ever.
1.  Make a list and check it at least twice.  Don't go out and wander around aimlessly and expect to have a productive shopping trip.  Know what you want to get for who, and from which stores.  

This is so true......2.  Start with a full belly.  "Hangry" is the state in which you're so hungry that you lose the ability to make calm, rational decisions, and often end up being an unreasonably heinous bitch.  Yes the little old lady may have been sloth-like in getting her items through the checkout line, but was it really necessary to smash your cart into her ortho-ankle booties?  This is also the state in which you're more likely to make dumb purchases.

3.  In relation to #2, bring snacks.  Throw an apple and a granola bar in your purse so that you can stay fueled up without being tempted to chow down on 3 days worth of calories at the drive-through.

4.  Bring cash.  Set a spending limit, politely ask the ATM for that amount of money, and stop when it's gone.  The credit card companies LOVE this time of year, because people are just swiping the hell out of their plastic.  But you're not going to love it when you're still paying off Christmas in June.  And your family and friends know how much you can afford.  They're going to know (and feel kind of awful) if you go overboard on them.

Ash Destroyer Tall Boot at Free People Clothing Boutique5.  Wear the new boots you want to break in.  When your feet start to hurt, it's time to go home.  You'll look great, and force yourself to quit at a reasonable hour.  Yes, really.  Can you tell I'm not a fan of those marathon, all-day shopping trips?

Best of luck to you!

Thanks for stopping by,


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Basement make-over inspiration...

I'm about 1/3 of the way through my basement renovation.  By that I mean, simply cleaning it out.  I am NOT a pack-rat.  Let's just get that straight right from the get go.  My Mom is forever accusing me of being unsentimental, because I don't save anything.  If it doesn't serve a purpose in my life anymore, it's pretty much immediately carted off to Goodwill to start serving a purpose in someone else's life.  Or so I thought...

So far I've located 5 boxes of books, a giant box of dishes, glasses, and mugs, 4 area rugs, and no less than a half dozen light fixtures that had been hoarded and never used in various renovation projects.  This is so not my style.  So here are a few inspirational photos to keep me going on my journey to creating a cleaned-up, clutter-free, usable space in my basement...

A spiffy place to work out...
Swanky workout room? YES, please!
A organized workshop area...

Epic pantry/canned-goods area... Pantry idea: The 1"x2"s that help keep the canning jars from falling are painted with chalkboard paint. Then you can label each section with what is stored in the jars.
Tidy laundry area...
small laundry space
A place for everything, and everything in it's place...
Organized Ikea basement storage
Photo from:  Pinned (unknown original source), Wood MagazineShenandoah Valley Flowers, Quality Appliance Reviews, IKEA shelving at Interior Designing.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bucket List...

Do you have a bucket list?  Mine's constantly evolving, but here's what's on it today...

Go here:

Kalima Resort & Spa, Phuket, Thailand

Do this:
SurfSET Fitness | Extreme Surf-Style Training (I would love to take this class, if we have any close by)
I so wish that a SurfSET class would make its way to Vermont.  It's highly more likely that the class will make it here before any actual waves do...


If you want to be picky, I could technically check this off my list already, because I've done headstands in my yoga class before.  But the goal I have is to be able to do one on my own, without feeling like I'm going to break myself.

PS:  Sorry for the overly beach-themed post.  Seems like kind of a tease this time of year.  But t's cold and nasty outside today, and I needed to imagine some happy, warm, coconut-scented breezes.

PPS:  The very second that my in-transit shipment of fragrance oils arrives at my doorstep, I'll begin concocting the above mentioned scent.  Stay tuned...

Thanks for stopping by,

Headstand image from Yoga Pose Weekly

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sleep-training and pacifier woes...

We've had some seriously rough nights in our house lately with The Baby.  Basically, he naps beautifully during the day, goes to sleep at night perfectly with no protest, and then every night around 2am the shit ever-lovingly obliterates the fan.  Oh thank you, Tessa, for introducing me to Alphamom.  In this post, one of her readers wrote in with a question that is, verbatim  my exact dilemma.   It was nice to know that I'm not alone in my struggles.     
We started "sleep-training" back in September, and it actually went swimmingly (sort-of).  As far as getting The Baby to sleep it was a slam dunk, but I think it was also the beginning of a serious pacifier issue we're now stuck with.  Here's what's happening... I put him in bed awake, as all the "experts" say I should do, and he's 5 months old now, so also according to those "experts," no longer requires a middle-of-the-night feeding.  The hang-up we're having right now is that when he wakes up at 2am there are 2 scenarios.  I either go in as soon as he starts crying, put his pacifier back in, he immediately falls back to sleep (also proving the fact that he doesn't need to eat then), and he may stay that way until 6:30am, or continue every hour or two with the same deal.  The 2nd scenario, which we've been trying to power though for the last two nights is that when he starts to cry at 2am, we do nothing.  I lay there, bug-eyed awake, refraining from clawing my eyeballs out with guilt, listening to him cry, and cry, and cry, and... I'm becoming more and more jealous of my husband by the second, because he can sleep through anything, so he's unable to lay awake with me and share my gut-wrenching misery of listening to our baby wail while I consciously do nothing to help him.

Last night The Baby woke up while we were getting ready for bed also.  So we continued with the trend of the night before, and let him cry.  He only cried for a few minutes, and got himself right back to sleep.  We were feeling pretty smug about it at that point, thinking we were going to be those parents that only have to endure one night of screaming, and come out on the other sun-shiny end of things with a baby who miraculously taught himself not to freak out in the middle of the night anymore.  Not so much.  2am rolled around, and he was right back at it.  Worse than the night before.

So... do I continue going in and putting the pacifier back so he (and I) can drift happily back to sleep, but also have no idea when that charade will end?  Will I still be getting up in the middle of the night when he's 2?  For the love of God!  Or do I suck it up and listen to him scream until he figures out that he has assholes for parents that aren't going to come in and make him feel better when he cries in the middle of the night?  Should I just let him come to that reality as early as possible?

Everyone says that if letting him cry doesn't feel right, then it's probably not the right method for us.  And it doesn't feel right.  It feels fucking awful.  But so does waking up a billion times a night to go put a pacifier back in.  Sleeping in tiny little 1-2 hour bursts every night for the last 5 months feels awful also.  Anyone able to share some thoughts on this?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 30, 2012

Here is the list you asked for...

Dear Husband.  Please start reading my blog so that you can stop asking what I want for Christmas... Then immediately stop again, so that I can continue posting embarrassing stories and photos of you without your knowledge.

Yes, some of these are duplicate entries from this post, but that's OK.  In translation for husbands... If she talks/posts/nags about it over and over again, she wicked wants it...

Also, this would probably be a whole lot easier for both of us if we'd just go back to what we had been doing for gifts in years past...Nothing.

1.  Earbuds.  I don't care if they're the Diane Von Fursenberg ones.  They just need to be able to blast the Beastie Boys into my ears at unsafe decibel levels while I pretend I'm running much faster than I really am.

2.  MCMC Fragrance samples.  I'd like to try Maine, Maui, and/or Love.     

3.  This clutch (if it comes back in stock in time).  Otherwise it'll be my next sewing project.

4.  Yoga pants.  Size Medium.  Bonus:  These could double as comfy-pants for couch time.  So those ones you don't like so much would come out less often...

5.  In-home spa time with mud maskface cream (not pictured), and pumpkin-oatmeal scrub (also not pictured). Pumpkin!

6.  Out-of-the-house spa time.

PS:  These are not in order of wicked-want to kind-of-want.  If you need them in order, they are as follows, starting with most-wicked-wanted: 4, 5, 2, 1, 3, 6.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why you're a good Mom...

My fellow blogger friend, Tessa, just posted a link to another fantastic post that I feel I have to keep going.  It warrants sharing over and over until every mother on the planet has it sunk into her brain... So check out this post entitled, "Why You're Never Failing as a Mother."

My favorite quote from the whole thing... "Feeling like you also need to keep on top of scrapbooking, weight loss, up-cycled onesies, handprints, crock pot meals, car seat recalls, sleeping patterns, poo consistency, pro-biotic supplements, swimming lessons, electromagnetic fields in your home and television exposure, is like trying to knit on a rollercoaster – it’s fucking hard."

Are your kids getting fed?  Do they have clothes?  Do they smile occasionally?  Yes?  Then you're doing fine.

There are definitely ups and downs to motherhood.  Trying to keep up with the Jones' is definitely one of the downs.  There's enormous pressure out there from (unfortunately) other Mothers.  It's hard not to see those around us with what looks like the ideal situation, and not try to measure up.  Please, PLEASE resist the urge to do so.  We (I) sometimes feel inadequate because I don't always meet the "standards" as far as breastfeeding, finances, the coolest toys, the nicest car, brand-name clothes, bilingual toddlers, and so on and so forth...  Well, for all that I say this:  My first son got teeth at 4 months of age (and used them), so I quit breastfeeding shortly thereafter.  We adopted our second son, and therefore I (obviously) didn't have any milk come in at all for that one, and he's been formula fed from day one.  I have no guilt about either one (Gasp!).  I quit my big-girl job a year ago to be home with my kids.  No I didn't get fired or laid off, so yes, it was a voluntary decision to have a way smaller balance in our bank account.  Also something I'm not sorry about, or harbor any guilt over.  My kids have fun with the toys they have, they get around fine in the car I drive, they do have brand-name clothes, but they're almost 100% 2nd hand, I'm thrilled if they learn English properly, and if they want to learn a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th language they're welcome to do so, and teach me too.  By someone's standards my kids are far from perfect.  But I like them just fine, and since they're mine, mine is the opinion that matters.

Besides, my Dad always says, "When you're perfect, there's nowhere to go but down."  I like the fact that my kids have the opportunity to feel what it's like to climb up instead of down...

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting something (anything) done...

Free to do list printable
As someone who is a stay-at-home Mom, and also a small business owner (I guess that makes me a work-at-home Mom), I usually feel like there aren't enough hours in the day.  I know I'm not alone with this feeling.  It's something every mother on the face of the planet struggles with.  I believe the level of busy is usually described as "busier than a one-legged-man in an ass-kicking contest."  But truth be told, sometimes it's not that I'm SO busy.  It's that I'm SO busy thinking about all the stuff that needs to get done that I get overwhelmed at the size of the list, freeze, and set about doing all kind of other things instead of what has to be done.  So, yes, I'm constantly busy, and then, inevitably, in a downward spiral of feeling even more unsuccessful when the list keeps piling up, and I still haven't checked anything off.  Ugh...

Solution?  This List.  You could make your own, but let's face it, you don't have time...

Seriously, Folks, this is the key to success.  Breaking your giant list into smaller, more manageable parts makes is far less daunting, and far more likely to end up with items checked off.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Santa Baby: Gift Guide for her (me)...

I'm always blown away by the gift guides in magazines this time of year.  Don't get me wrong, I think it's a wildly fantastic gaggle of gifts ideas they come up with, but I always find them just a tad unrealistic for me.  Maybe you'd buy your Mom a $275 candle, but, not me.  Sorry Mom.  Yes, you're worth it.  But the penny-pincher in me would silently scream every time you lit it, like you were slowly melting away a bar of gold or something.  So I came up with my own gift guide this year.  This is the type of stuff I feel you can't go wrong with (at least for me, anyway)...

1.  A timeless, yet unique clutch (and this one in particular is surprisingly inexpensive, and completely handmade).
2.  A cozy flannel.  This one has some cool detail that makes it a bit more nifty than your standard button-down option.
3.  Any pair of low-heeled, rugged-tread boots is a friend of mine.
4.  I can't have enough scarves, and this one supports a great cause also.
5.  Yes, I make my own perfume, but that doesn't mean I'm not still intrigued by the ones others make also.  This one and this one, both by MCMC Fragrances, are on my short list of ones to try.
6.  A little pampering, like from this handmade mud mask, is always a welcome gift.
7.  A new Yoga mat.
8.  A super sweet skull to sit on my mantel. 
9.  A new set of dishes, because we can't seem to stop chipping pieces off the ones we have.
10.  Seriously, Folks, you have no idea how difficult it is to find a not-creepy Gnome.  This little guy passes the test and would look awesome in my garden next to Alice, my lavender plant.  Yes, the lavender plant is named Alice.  She came to me already named from the farmer I purchased her from last Summer.  One part very odd, and 2 parts completely awesome.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The renegades of Renegade...

New York Home T
The Home T
To be completely honest, my journey to the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair in Brooklyn last weekend was kind of a bust financially.  Hurricane Sandy really did a number on the wallets of the crafting community when she swept through and tied up people's funds right before a major show came to town.  But what an amazing group of folks to show up anyway, put on a happy face, and try like hell to sell all the stuff they'd just spend months making for this event.   AND, even though it pretty much sucked financially, it was totally awesome in every other way.  The people I met there were so fun and creative, and great company to spend the weekend with.  We were all comrades in our freezing cold tents.  We all got each other coffee, shared stories, and  traded products so we could still get cool stuff even though we hadn't made the funds for extravagant purchases.   And in the wake of dismal sales, to still be able to come home and say, "that was fun," says something seriously awesome about the company I kept while I was there.

So I'd like to share with you some of the most truly amazing people I've ever met, and the truly amazing stuff they make...
Loren Caledonia
~Loren Caledonia.  This woman was my booth mate, and made seriously cool pieces of jewelry that were all totally my style.  If I'd made enough money to have some spending cash while I was there, I'd have had one of her necklaces in a heartbeat.  Not to mention the fact that she was a seriously cool chick to hang out with.  Admittedly, I was very nervous about who the show staff would pair me up with and if I'd be able to tolerate being 4 feet away from them all weekend.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun she was.   
10ml Eau de Parfums
Sweet Anthem
~Meredith Smith of Sweet Anthem.  I'm going to go out on a limb here and admit that I've been cyber-stalking Meredith for a while now, and was so excited when I found out that she was going to be at Renegade.  One, it gave me a major confidence boost to be chosen as a vendor along with someone of her talents, but two, it was going to give me a chance for this groupie to meet the star.  She did not disappoint.  She was super sweet, and every one of her perfumes was fantastic.  I went to bed Saturday night still smelling my wrist where I'd tested one of her fragrances.  Ew, that all sounded a little too "Cable guy" creepy...  In short, she rocks, so does her stuff, you should buy it.
~Ryan, and his lovely fiance of The Home T.  This guy had our great sense of humor for the weekend.  I'm on the waiting list for when they start making a Vermont T.
Bohem A Pure Botanical Parfum Oil 5ml Roll-On Mini Bottle
Rebel & Mercury
~Nikki Sherritt of Rebel & Mercury.  This girl was stuck right next to one of the openings in the tent, and was freezing her tush off the entire time, and had a huge smile on her face anyway.  That's true grit, folks.  Oh, and she makes amazing perfume, and also a line of candles that are giant and smell so amazing.
HAVEN Kitchen and Bath Soap Set / Sweet Orange & Spice Castile
Haven Clean
~Kayce White of Haven Clean & Simple.  She made a point of making the rounds in the morning and chatting with other vendors, and her positive attitude was infectious.
~Jessica of Side Show Soaps.  I traded lotions with her, and am currently wearing the one called "Sword Swallower," which has a really great Coconut and ginger tea fragrance.  I so needed the warmth of this scent over the weekend to remind me of more tropical places, and take my mind off the bitter cold in our tents.  A jar of her scrub in the same scent is on my Christmas list for myself.
Sword Swallower Ginger Coconut Milk Sensational Jojoba Body Scrub
Side Show Soaps
So if you're going to be crowd bowling on Black Friday, Supporting a Small Business on Small Business Saturday, or giving your credit card a workout on Cyber Monday, keep these folks in mind.  They're great people with great products, and they all managed to smile and make everyone's life a little more fun through a weekend of dismal sales.  They rock.  Support them.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, November 15, 2012

How to pack a suitcase...

So I'm off to NYC tomorrow for the Renegade Holiday Craft Fair.  This means another wildly fun OCD challenge for me.  Packing a suitcase in the Wintertime, even if it is just for a few days can be a real bitch.  Packing for a weekend getaway in the Summer is a piece of cake...mostly because all the pieces are small.  Flip-flops, bikinis, tank-tops, and shorts take up WAY less room in a suitcase than sweaters, jeans, boots and jackets.  And I pretty much refuse to use anything other than a small carry-on suitcase to pack in, no matter where I'm going, for how long, and whether I'm driving or flying.  So, just in case you're planning a Winter Wonderland journey in the near future, I'll share with you how I got 4 days worth of bulky items to fit in an itty-bitty bag...

First, prep.  Lay out all the pieces.  For this trip I need enough pieces to make 4 days worth of layered outfits for cold weather.  This needed to include the outfits I'll be wearing while hanging out all day long at my booth at the craft show, as well as an option for going out in the evening with friends, and also something fun to wear for our girls-day in Manhattan before coming home on Monday.  Tip:  Choose pieces in the same color family, and use your accessories as pops of color.  that way everything goes with everything else, and can be switched around to make more outfits out of fewer pieces. 
 I actually have more here than I probably need, and could do this in way fewer pieces, but It turned out that I had extra room, and therefore, why not pack a few extra options?  Just in case you're wondering, the final tally is 3 pairs of casual pants/jeans, 2 casual button-down shirts, 4 long-sleeved t-shirts (2 black, 2 white, in varying styles/necklines), one t-shirt, 2 cardigans, 2 heavy-weight pull-over sweaters, 5 pairs of socks, 5 pairs of underwear, 2 bras, 2 pairs of tights, 2 camis, 1 hoodie, and my yoga pants to sleep in, 2 pairs of boots, 1 pair of dressy shoes, 1 dress, 3 scarves, 1 belt, 1 pair of gloves, 1 handbag, 1 clutch, 1 pair of earrings, 1 bracelet, 2 necklaces, 1 leather jacket, and one big puffy coat.  Whew!     
 Set aside what you'll wear on the way there.  Tip:  This should be the stuff that's comfy for the trip, and also a pain to pack.  I chose jeans, a t-shirt, a flannel button-down, tall brown boots, pink scarf, and my big puffy coat.  Basically it means that I don't have to pack the big boots or the big coat.  If I get hot in the car, I can throw the coat in the back seat.  If I were travelling by plane, it would make a super comfy pillow or blanket, and the boots zip on and off easily to pass through security.
Stop, drop, and roll.  My sweaters, long-sleeved t-shirts, jeans, sleepwear, and scarves all got rolled.  The button-down shirt, dress, hoodie, and leather jacket got neatly folded.  
 And the puzzle begins...
 Step 1)  Shoes and boots.  The bulky (and in the case of the shoes, spiky) parts are placed near the edges of the suitcase.
 Step 2)  Protect your stuff from your other stuff.  If you're lucky enough to not be packing spikes, you can skip this step.  But I kept the foam pads that these shoes came packed with, and reused them here in my bag.
 Step 3)  Stuff undies and socks in shoes.  This not only helps your shoes keep their shape while being squished under your stuff, but also saves space, and keeps tiny items together and easy to locate.
 Step 4)  Put the bulkiest rolled items around, and on top of the shoes/boots.
  Step 5)  Place lighter weight rolled items on top and around the bulkier stuff.  The plastic freezer baggie has my tights in it to help keep them from getting snagged on anything.  
 Step 6)  Put in folded items, layered on top.
  Step 7)  I put my jewelry in the compartments of my clutch to help protect it, and to keep it from snagging any of my clothes.
 Step 8)  My hoodie, leather jacket, and gloves are added to the top.  The hoodie's there because I want to have something cozy to put on when I get there, and the gloves are on the top in case I want them for the drive down (or to slap someone with).  My clutch is in my handbag which is squished flat in the compartment on the lid of the bag.  
 Step 9)  My toiletries will get added to the outside compartment.  I didn't pack them yet because I need to use them today and tomorrow before I go.  I pack them on the outside because, if I were flying instead of driving, it would be easy to pull them out for airport security without having to disturb the rest of my bag.  So I tend to do the same thing on road trips, because I don't want to open my whole bag up just to get eye drops or a lip balm.
 One last tip:  Make sure that your bag closes easily without having to unzip the extension that makes your bag bigger.  This way if you do any shopping on your trip, you have room to bring home your souvenirs.  Done.      

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Mastering real-life Tetris and finding a battle buddy...

I officially rock at real-life Tetris.  Behold...
Nestled neatly within these boxes is an alarming amount of product...
It took me all darned day on Sunday to inventory and pack all my stuff for Brooklyn.  BUT I managed to do it ALL in these 4 boxes.  Yes, folks.  That's right.  That's 62 jars and 72 bottles (the equivalent of about 4.5 gallons) of lotion, about 100 bars of soap, more bottles of perfume than grace the shelves of Sephora, and a wicked lot of other products also.  And because I like to really to challenge myself to some upper-level OCD games, I also fit in there every shred of booth display items, shopping bags, gift boxes, business cards, and all that jazz.

Now I have all morning tomorrow free to plan outfits for NYC.  The organizational compartments of my brain are squealing with joy right now.  Oh, and while I was in my basement fishing out boxes to pack in (by the way, thank you Seventh Generation for packing your diapers in some seriously rugged boxes), I found this guy hiding out in some of my old stuff.

I figured since I won the war on packing, this little military man could hang out in my studio, and possibly even come along for the ride to Brooklyn as my battle buddy...

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 9, 2012

Allowing myself some indulgences...

Newness.  I like it.  I like my routine, and I like what I like to stay the way I like it... But I like it when some new, fresh, happy stuff gets woven in there from time to time.  So I treated myself to a couple things recently.  I've been working like a dog to get ready for Renegade (which I leave for one week from today.  Yikes!), and I decided that instead of waiting until I got back home with a few extra bucks in my pocket, I'd treat myself a little early.  I'm optimistic that I'll earn enough back to cover my splurges, and now I have treats to bring with me to NYC.  Plus, I just landed my first wholesale account(!!!), so indulgence #2 is already paid for from that.  So here's what I got for myself:
1) This jacket...

It arrived on my doorstop yesterday.  It's hanging in my closet right this second with my homemade dresses completely humbled by it's awesomeness, and I'm still drooling over the digital image of it here in front of me.  It's in the top 4 of my most big-girl purchases ever.  My only other ones I can think of that can top this are my house, my car, and our couch (which was the first piece of furniture that my husband and I didn't have handed down to us, or buy at a 2nd hand shop.  So at the time  it seemed even more monumental than when we bought our house).  It was a huge deal for me to buy this jacket.  Partly, because I am obnoxiously tight with my wallet, and don't usually indulge, period.  But mostly, because it was a mildly (maybe wildly) impractical purchase for someone who has a baby with a spit-up problem.  Don't worry, I bought the spray that, supposedly helps protect it from such things if I should feel stupid daring enough to wear it around my children.  And now do you see why I bought it BEFORE New York?  That might be the only place I have a chance to wear it for a while.  So that, Folks, is the definition of indulgence...something acquired for yourself, simply because you wicked wanted it, and felt you wicked earned it, even if it doesn't make a wicked lot of sense.  Done.

2)  A visit to my favorite hairstylist, which if any of you read my post about shaving my head a while back, you know I've vowed to go see more often.  So, anyway, my hair has finally grown out to a length where I don't have to put product in it to keep the rooster tail from sticking up at the back anymore, and therefore had the potential to be styled into a pixie that looked like it happened on purpose.  It looks pretty much like the photo below (except the chick below didn't go to bed with salon product still in her hair, and her makeup still on, and wake up looking a tad more trampy than a stay-at-home Mom should look in the morning).  So her photo is posted this morning to spare you from mine...
Cropped blond hair
And I had it lightened to about the shade that Olivia's is here on the top part of hers.  Something fresh, and a bang-up job on covering the greys...
long bob with bangs

3)  A basket-filling trip through the makeup aisle at Bed Bath & Beyond...
OK, so this didn't fill my basket, but this handful of items will, literally replace everything in my makeup bin, and at a later date, I'll show you why/how.

Do you allow yourself to do this every now and then?  If not, you should.  I'm not saying go completely nuts and blow through your life savings.  I'm just saying that with proper budgeting  it's possible to allow yourself some nice stuff every now and then (even if it will just hang in the closet until your kids go off to college).  Don't think for a second that I haven't already paraded around my house in that jacket while The Baby was napping, like the biggest bad-ass ever to set foot in my living room...

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Balmain Dress...

Wherever I'd wear this, I have no idea, but it's stunning...

✜ Balmain  ✜
Balmain.  Pre-Fall 2012 2013 - Paris

Thanks for stopping by,