Sunday, February 28

Seuss Extravaganza: One Fish Two Fish Onesie

My daughter has recently developed an affinity for Dr. Seuss.  Now that she knows all the Eric Carle books by heart and "reads" (i.e. quotes from memory) them to us, we are moving on to the next series.  We have spent a number of evenings reading "Green Eggs" (Green Eggs and Ham), "Belly Stars" (The Sneetches), "Turtle" (Yeurtle the Turtle), and "Hatching Egg" (Horton Hatches the Egg).  When I found out that Dr. Seuss's birthday is coming up on Tuesday (March 2nd), it seemed like fun to do some special activities to celebrate.

So let's start with the clothes.  After all, we need special costumes to celebrate.  That and I have just started playing with Freezer Paper Stenciling and wanted to try it out.  Thus was born the One Fish Two Fish onesie for my son.

In fairness, this isn't truly Seuss.  I took the opening line "One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish" as my inspiration, but the final product is slightly more sophisticated.  The one thing I would change would be to have the "two fish" line higher.  The gap between the two lines is a little much.

My daughter helped cut out the letter stencils with my paper punches. It was a great activity to work on letters and spelling words. I found the fish silhouettes on-line.

I had planned on making a sneetch shirt for my daughter.  It was going to say "Stars on Thars" (don't you love that phrase) and have a green star on the belly.  However, I couldn't quite get the design to materialize in my head the way I wanted.  I'm going to do some other non-Seuss shirt designs for her.  However, I did make her these whimsical, primary-colored barrettes.  I can't decide how I feel about them, but I'll try them out for now.

I'll be posting more Seuss-inspired projects over the next couple of days.  Until then, we'll be reading Green Eggs and Ham over and over.  It was my favorite as a child, and I love watching my daughter laugh as we read it now.

I do not like green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.

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Saturday, February 27

Salted Chocolate Cookie Bar

A year or so ago, I was at Target and decided to get a treat from the Starbucks inside.  They had an intriguing drink called a Salted Hot Chocolate, and on the barrister's recommendation, I tried it.  And, I loved it!

Now a days I seem to be seeing salted chocolate everywhere.  And that's not surprising given that it is a fantastic combination.  So, here's my take on the chocolate and sea salt combination.  I was inspired by Pink of Perfection's Salted Chocolate Caramel Bars and Southern Living's Shortbread recipe.
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Tuesday, February 23

Hanger Labels [WFMW]

Mornings in our house have been rather hectic since I returned to work.  Between pumping, getting myself showered and ready, getting my daughter dressed and pig-tailed (I'm adding to the English language here), nursing my son, and getting him dressed, it sometimes seems like a miracle that I get to work on time.  And that is with their father handling feeding our daughter and dropping them off at day-care (unless it is a daddy-at-home day).  So when I saw these hanger labels on No Fuss Fabulous, I loved the idea.

The pink didn't exactly go with my beach-inspired room, so I decided to make up some custom designs for myself.  Using Microsoft Word and Clip Art, I came up with basic designs incorporating coral, sea horses, starfish, and sea shells.

These hangers have been such a help.  Since I am still losing the baby weight, my wardrobe is rather limited.  I do laundry on Saturday.  So, either Saturday or Sunday I run through and lay out my clothes for the week.  It means I always have something ready to go in the morning and don't ever have the dilemma of having nothing clean to wear.

These hanger labels worked so well that I created a custom set for my daughter as well.  Hers match her whimsical garden-inspired pink and green room... sun, flowers, owls, butterflies, etc.  The other great advantage is that my husband can help get my daughter dressed without having to ask what I want her to wear.  He just grabs the day's hanger and has everything he needs.  No thought dressing... particularly useful if he hasn't had his coffee yet.

Based on our lifestyle, I made the labels for Monday through Friday and then Sunday.  Saturdays tend to be lower key around here.

For now, my son has plenty of baby clothes and doesn't need these.  However, I do plan on making a set for him one day, probably with anchors and sailboats.

How do you make your morning routine easier?

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Monday, February 22

Wrapping Up Old Projects and Beginning New

I spent this past weekend wrapping up old projects, starting new projects, and looking for inspiration.  I have really been enjoying the Celebrate the Boy month and can't wait to start some new things for my son in addition to my daughter.  And with St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and Spring, it seems like there is inspiration everywhere.  So, expect new projects in the next few weeks.

Until then, I wanted to share one of the projects I was wrapping up this weekend.  This is a variation on the tea set, but I customized it for a co-worker of mine.  She and her husband are big Hokie fans, so in honor of their daughter's 2nd birthday, I made a custom Virginia Tech set.  As much as I love the sweetness of the pink goodies, I've enjoyed the variation.

Oh, and here's the other thing that I enjoyed this weekend. He is so ready to crawl.  Not bad considering he isn't even five months old.
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Sunday, February 21

1st Sunday of Lent

Slums outside of Nairobi, Kenya (May 2003)
Photo taken during my husband's Mission Immersion Experience

You lived among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy for me to turn away.
All my needs you have supplied.
When I was dead you gave me life.
How could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken
Follow you into the world
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
Follow you into the World

Use my hands, use my feet
To make your kingdom come
Through the corners of the earth
Until your work is done
'Cause Faith without works is dead
And on the cross your blood was shed
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I'll follow you into the homes that are broken
Follow you into the world
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
Follow you into the World

Lyrics from "Follow You" by Leeland
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Saturday, February 20

Felt Brownie Tutorial

Here it is.  I finally put together the Brownie tutorial.  Thank you to Julie and Maria for encouraging me to get this up.  (Yes, I have been reading your comments.)

For those of you new to my blog, this is the tutorial for the brownies featured in the Tea Party gift set.
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Thursday, February 18

Felt House Along

In case you haven't heard, Fireflies and Jellybeans is hosting a Felt house along party.  I love this idea.  The party is broken into 5 weeks... one week of planning and four weeks of sewing.  If you haven't already checked it out, I highly recommend it.  The house she made is adorable.

I spent some time thinking about this and finally came to the conclusion that now isn't the right time for me to try to tackle this project.  Plus, I need to improve my sewing skills first.  However, I couldn't resist day-dreaming about what I would do and drawing up a plan.

We're on a Robin Hood kick in our house these days (Disney's animated version for my daughter and the BBC series for my husband and me).  So, my thoughts went to a castle.  Let me know what you think.

This was my thought for the outside... flap for the door, mail pouch, removable vegetables and a basket pouch (even castles need gardens), two window openings, etc.  I'm still thinking of something fun for the back.

If I can get skilled enough, I'd love to do something with the inside as well... a fireplace that is actually an exit flap, pouches with fleur-de-lis on them, a shield design with our family initial, and maybe some banners.

I'll be saving these designs for whenever is a better time for this project.  And I'll absolutely be following the party to see all the creative ideas people come up with.  I hope you do the same.

Let me know if you think of ways to enhance the castle.

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Wednesday, February 17

In honor of Lent...

Christ has no body now, but yours.
No hands, no feet on earth, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which
Christ looks compassion into the world.
Yours are the feet
with which Christ walks to do good.
Yours are the hands
with which Christ blesses the world.

~ St Teresa of Avila
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Tuesday, February 16

Happy Pancake Day

I learned in researching Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) that many countries refer to it as "Pancake Day."  A day where you eat pancakes. That is my kind of holiday. I love the idea. So, our family celebrated tonight by eating Macadamia Nut Pancakes with Ginger Syrup for dinner. (I'm pretending I am somewhere warmer.  Our snow is melting so now it is just cold and gray and dreary.)

Pancake Day also seemed like another great excuse to add to my daughter's felt food collection (see more on this felt food addiction here and here and here and... well, you get the picture).

Pancakes with syrup and bananas... Yummy.  To make your own, check out the tutorial below.
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Sunday, February 14

Mardi Gras Onesie and Pin

Given that Tuesday is Shrove Tuesday, I decided to put together some fun Mardi Gras-inspired outfits for the kids.  And given my current obsession, that means felt.  Laissez les bons temps rouler.

I love the fleur-de-lis.  There is just something about it that I find beautiful and appealing.  It might have to do with watching Musketeer movies as a kid and the whole romanticism of the debonair swash-buckler.  Then again, I have a thing for Robin Hood, King Arthur, Ivanhoe, Mr. Darcy, Zorro... need I go on.

Back to my little man and his new threads.  I went with the fleur-de-lis design and used the traditional purple, green, and gold.  (As a side note, I looked this up.  According to wikipedia, Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovitch Romanoff of Russia chose the colors during a visit to New Orleans in 1872.  Then in 1892 the colors were given official meanings... Justice (purple), Power (gold), and Faith (green).  Yes, I am the nerd that looks up the history of holidays and symbols.)

I made the fleur-de-lis as a stand-alone emblem and lightly stitched it to the onesie.  After Tuesday, I'll cut it off and save it to be sewn on a new shirt next year.  My daughter liked looking at her brother's onesie so much that I made her a pin to wear on a cardigan.  She has a cute purple plaid shirt that she can wear with it, and of course we'll add some bead necklaces to complete her ensemble.  (Sorry... couldn't resist)

I also made her a set of purple and green barrettes (same way as the valentine barrettes).  I considered making them fleur-de-lis as well but ended up opting for flowers.

If you are interested in making your own onesie, here's how:
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Happy Valentine's Day

My Valentine's Day didn't quite come together as planned.  It is amazing how illness and a broken oven can impact things.  But in the end, it doesn't matter.  Afterall, I am still with the people I love.

May your Valentine's Day be filled with love!

And here are the links for some of the crafts from above:
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Friday, February 12

Nostalgic Love

First, let me say thank you to all of you who have encouraged me and been so positive during these first two weeks of blogging. I really wasn't sure if anyone would read it. I was so excited when I saw my first comment. And I almost fell out of my chair when I realized I had a follower (by the way, my husband gets the biggest kick out of that term). So to all of you... THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. If I could, I would give every one of you a hug... err, maybe not. I doubt you want my germs right now.

I'm still recuperating, so today was a work-from-home day.  (I love that that is a possibility for my job.) While enjoying the peace and quiet of the house, I started to think about Valentine's Day.  Most of my preparations have been for my daughter.  At 2 1/2 she is just getting old enough to "get it."  But today, I was thinking about my husband... an amazing man.  Did I mention that the house was quiet because Daddy took the kids out so that Mommy could have peace and quiet?  Fridays are one of his stay-at-home-Dad days, but he decided they had errands to run and I could use the rest.  Isn't he great!
Anyways, this post isn't about how great my husband is.  But in thinking about how much I love him, I started to think about how I have shown him I loved him in the past.  So, I decided to go and get "the box" out of the closet.

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Thursday, February 11

Being Reminded that I am Loved

I was reminded today how much I am loved.  You see, while nursing my son at 1am, I didn't feel quite right.  So once he was back in his crib, I went to take my temperature.  It was confirmed... I had a fever.  In fact, I still have a fever.  Having tested positive for strep throat, I am now on antibiotics.  And I am on a mad cleaning spree (between laying down to rest) to disinfect all surfaces.  While it is inconvenient for Mommy to get sick, I certainly don't want my children sick as well.

Anyways... back to being reminded that I am loved.  So at 1:30am in the morning I discovered that I was sick.  As I woke up my husband to let him know (particularly since my son was starting to cry at that point), he took control.  He got up and handled all of my son's cries so that I could sleep.  He brought me medicine and water.  He got everyone up and dressed this morning.  He entertained my daughter so that she wouldn't disturb Mommy.  For one morning, Mommy got to rest.

Then my father picked up the kids from daycare, fed them dinner, entertained my daughter, and put her to bed.  He brought me soup and good bread.  He encouraged me to rest.

It is amazing how a sick day can remind me that I am loved.  It isn't often that Mommy gets a break.  But today, when I needed rest, people that I loved took care of everything and reminded me how much they love me.  Now... it is back to bed for more rest. Pin It

Wednesday, February 10

It's All About the Tea

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.
~Catherine Douze

Here it is... the tea bag tutorial.  This is such a fun project to make and give.  My daughter loves the tea bags I made her, so much so that it inspired me to make a tea party set for her friend's birthday.  Now it is my pleasure to share these with you as well.  (And a special thank you to Julie of St. Louis for encouraging me to get this tutorial posted.)

The great thing is you can customize these for the recipient.  For the first bags I created for my daughter, I made pink bags with bright pink stitching (middle image above).  Having learned my lesson that the contrasting stitching shows off the "homemade" nature of my stitching (in this case being code for sloppiness), I used a thread that matched the felt for the tea set tea bags.  They still have that sweet girliness (left image above).  Now I am working on a set for a friend's daughter.  In this case I chose to do white bags with maroon stitching (right image above).  What I love about this latest version is that it is a bit more gender-neutral.
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Simple Valentine Votives

I have a confession.  I'm not really all that into Valentine's Day.  That may seem odd given the number of Valentine posts that I have written and that I dedicated this week to Valentine's Day crafts.  But I have really never celebrated it much.  It always seemed like a commercialized holiday meant to guilt men into buying jewelry and flowers.  Personally, I prefer my husband to bring home flowers on a random Tuesday than on the day that the media tells him he should.  So, we have always had under-stated Valentine's celebrations... a special meal, time together, etc.

But with a 2-1/2 year-old, I suddenly have a desire to make the holiday special.  I remember my mother fixing special valentine's treats and surprises.  One year it was a cute little clothes-pin doll with a red and white pattern dress that she had made to look like me.  It's funny how those things stick in your memory.  My mother is an amazingly talented woman and I find myself wanting to create those same types of memories for my daughter.

Most of these posts have been about crafts for my daughter.  However, with this renewed interest in Valentine's Day, I have also found myself wanting to do a little decorating.  These votives were a simple and cheap (i.e. free since everything was in the house) option to add an extra touch.  I used these two love quotes that I found, both related to food since I planned on putting the votives on our kitchen table.

"Life is the flower
for which love is the honey."
~ Victor Hugo

"Love is a fruit in season at all times,
and in reach of every hand."
~ Mother Teresa

Here are the instructions, though I admit that this is so easy you don't even need them.
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Tuesday, February 9

More Valentine Cookies

“Ecstasy is a glassful of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.”
~ Alexander Pushkin

Remember these cookies from yesterday? 

My daughter and I made these as gifts for the teachers at day care.  Well, those cookies inspired this surprise for my daughter... sugar free and fun for play.

The pink sprinkle cookies are the same ones that I included in my felt sugar cookie tutorial.  However, as a special valentine treat, I also made her these jam-filled felt cookies.  Almost like the original.

We are going to have some great tea parties on Valentine's Day! Pin It

Monday, February 8

Valentine Treats for Teachers

I know it is a little early, but as a working mom it is much easier to bake on the weekend, particularly when we are snowed in anyways.  Therefore, my children's daycare teachers will be getting an early Valentine treat.

I was originally inspired by Martha Stewart's Valentine Cookies.  However, I decided to use Bake at 350's Brown Sugar and Spice recipe.  I fell in love with this recipe at Christmas when I was baking cookies for a toddler cookie decorating party.  These are so much better than traditional sugar cookies.  I will admit that I am a little more generous with the nutmeg and allspice just because I love the flavors.  I used Strawberry Jam for the filling.

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Sunday, February 7

Super Bowl and Hair Bows

While the Super Bowl may be between the Saints and the Colts, our family will be wearing Redskin colors.  Now in truth, I am not a football fan... at least not American football.  However, my husband is.  And so from pre-season through the Super Bowl I dress my kids up in Redskin jerseys so they can watch the game with Daddy.  And being the mommy that I am, that means matching hair bows for my daughter.

My search for hair bows this past Fall turned up nothing, so my next step was to search the internet for instructions.  I came across a number of tutorials for korker bows and decided to try my hand.  They looked great at first, but after 2 to 3 wearings, here was the result:

Pitiful, huh.  They couldn't hold up to my toddler.  The curls kept falling out.  But now, in honor of the Super Bowl, I decided to try my hand at it again.  This time, though, I made some modifications to the process and developed my own style.  Here is the result:

If they can withstand my daughter, I'll post a tutorial.  Here's hoping.  Until then...

May next season bring
strength to avoid injury,
steadiness on your feet,
touchdowns in your favor,
and more wins than losses...
that is my hope for you, O' Skins.
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Saturday, February 6

Valentine's Barrettes

"Tea pot is on, the cups are waiting, Favorite chairs anticipating,
No matter what I have to do, My friend there's always time for you"

One of the great things about daughters is getting to play with their hair.  I have received many comments from friends that are amazed that I still put my daughter's hair in pigtails every day, even though I have gone back to work.  I admit that my motivation is purely because she just looks so cute with them in.  It's a Mommy-ego thing.

As you can imagine, accompanying that love for styling her hair is a love for barrettes.  I particularly love the Korker Bows at Gymborree.  I have been trying my hand at those.  More to come on that.  However, for Valentine's Day, I thought I would give my daughter some felt barrettes.  Given all the felt food I have been making, it seemed like a natural extension.

My first attempt didn't go quite as I wanted.  The heart was upside down and the tutorial I tried didn't give me the result I wanted.  So, I made up my own.  I hope you enjoy!
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Friday, February 5

Celebrating the Boy

Despite all the pink on this blog, I actually have a son as well as a daughter.  He just celebrated his 4 month birthday and is an absolute charmer.  But I have to admit that I have had a hard time coming up with crafts suited for a boy.  Even beginning with the nursery, I made all these cute things for my daughter... an origami bird mobile, a pink and brown paper cutting, butterfly cut-outs, etc.  But for my son I have been a blank.  I've ended up buying more.

So, it was with great excitement that I just came across Celebrate the Boy Month!  This is an awesome idea.  In case you are interested, Dana from MADE and Rae from Made by Rae are teaming up on this.  I for one can't wait to see what they come up with.

Here's to the Boys... particularly a little 4-month-old who is on my lap as I type.

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Thursday, February 4

Tutorial: Felt Sugar Cookies

'Take some more tea,' the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
'I've had nothing yet,' Alice replied in an offended tone, 'so I can't take more.'
'You mean you can't take LESS,' said the Hatter: 'it's very easy to take MORE than nothing.'
~ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Evenings around here have fallen into a certain routine. At 7:00 it is time for my son's last feeding. At 7:30 he goes to bed. Then we start the evening routine for my daughter (more info here). Around 8pm she is in bed. Once I pick-up the house, clean the kitchen, prep and package the bottles for the next day (and thawing milk if needed), make lunches, and lay out our bags for the next morning, I flop into a chair in the living room and start making felt food. Ah... relaxation.

I discovered felt food in December while looking for stocking stuffers, and my daughter loved them. And I loved making them. So, I made her food on our post-Christmas trip to the beach. And I made her food when we got home. And I made food for her friend's birthday present. It became an addiction. Now I have plans to make her a special food for every holiday this year.

The great thing about this project is that it is so easy. I say that as someone who cannot sew. Seriously, I can't even thread the machine. It is on my list of skills to learn. However, even I, with my completely inept sewing skills, can do the basic stitches needed to make this food.

To kick-off the series of Felt Food Tutorials, let's begin with the simple Sugar Cookie.
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Wednesday, February 3

The Bedtime Routine [WFMW]

“All well-regulated families set apart an hour every morning for tea and bread and butter”
~ Joseph Addison

I have a confession... sometimes I can be a forgetful mother.  For whatever reason, bed time has always been a struggle.  We kept forgetting things.  In other words, our evenings sounded like this after we got our daughter down...

     "Uh oh... we forgot to brush her teeth."
     "Oops... we didn't get her to pick up her toys."

Things had to change.

I decided to print up an evening schedule for my daughter to follow.  Notice the header?  Can you tell I am on owl kick these days?  (as seen here as well) 

It's easy to make.  All I used was Microsoft Word and a little clip art.  But it has helped so much.  And it is cute enough that I don't mind having it up in her room.  Now our evenings sound like this...

Daughter:  "I need to read my list.  I look for my pink owl to go to sleep.  I put on my pajamas..."

Everything is running much smoother these days.  It has made the bedtime routine longer, largely because we can't skip steps and because she insists on reading the list after we complete every item.  But she loves it and it makes evenings rather easy.

What tips do you have to make things easier with infants and toddlers?

This project is linked up with...

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Tuesday, February 2

Pottery Barn-inspired Butterfly Chandelier

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards."
~ A A Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Back in November I was corresponding with Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam about budget ideas for decorating girls' rooms, and she kindly featured one of my ideas.  As I read all the kind words that people posted in the comments, I gained confidence that perhaps I could one day write a blog.  Perhaps people would like my ideas.  Perhaps they weren't as corny as I feared.  (As a "professional" woman, I have often been teased - good naturedly, of course - by my friends for my "Martha Stewart" side.  I think it has made me a little shy about admitting my love for crafts.)  Now, two months later, I have started Pink Tea.  I'm excited and nervous, but worst thing that happens is that no one reads this.  So, let me say thank you, Jen, for giving me a chance on her blog.  And thank you to everyone who commented on that post.  It was the encouragement I needed.

Now on to the Chandelier.  I LOVE Pottery Barn Kids.  I'm sure if anyone saw me getting the mail, they would wonder why I get so giddy the day the PBK catalogue arrives.  I eagerly read it two or three times, marking all the pages and ideas that inspire me.  I knew I had a problem when I walked into a friend's bathroom and could name all the items that were from PBK (and yes, the bathroom was adorable).  If there is ever a support network, I may need to join.  So, when it was time to re-do my daughter's room this past summer, it was finally my opportunity to re-create one of my favorite pieces... the Butterfly Chandelier.

Isn't it gorgeous!  I love the whimsy of it.  However, the $79 price tag wasn't in my budget.  Refusing to give up on my dream of having this in my room, I kept mulling over how to make it myself.  Thus, this version was born.

PBK Chandelier:  $79
Supplies from Craft Store:  Less than $10
Satisfaction for making it myself:  Priceless

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Monday, February 1

Days like Today

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.
~Japanese Proverb

Today is one of those days. It is one of those days where nothing has gone as planned and when every role in my life seems to be intersecting.

You see, I thrive on schedule and routine. My husband knows that whenever a major change occurs in our lives, lists and labels will be popping up all over the house. I like structure. I am the person who gets excited over the plethora of organization articles that come out each January. I love opening a new planner with its clean pages. I get a twinge of joy when I color in a checkbox on my to-do list. Perhaps that is why Project Management is such a great fit for me.

Now don't get me wrong... I don't let schedules rule my life. I will decide at times to throw them out the window. But I need them as a starting framework, even if I consciously choose to ignore them.

But here comes a day like today.  Due to the weekend snow, schools are closed and businesses are delayed.  The road outside my house is a sheet of thick ice.  My employer is encouraging people to work from home if they can.  So, I am working from home.  That sounds glorious... calling into meetings all while wearing a pair of yoga pants, curling up in a comfy chair with my laptop, having access to my own tea stash all day.  However, there is a complication.  I am also home with a 2-year-old and her bad cold, a 4-month-old infant, and a husband with a fever.  I found myself desperately working on a presentation for a 4pm meeting while a little girl begged to be read a story.  I ran around like a maniac trying to get everyone fed before hiding in the bedroom for a 30 minute teleconference.  I muttered under my breath when the company network kept kicking me out.  I tried to entertain my son with a rattle while typing an email.  I popped in Tinker Bell in a desperate attempt to distract my daughter and felt guilty the whole time.  All in all, I felt like I was going a thousand directions at once and didn't know what to do next.
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Tea Treats Gift Box

Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment”
~ Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

We have finally hit that phase... friends' birthday parties.  Having just experienced my first play date this past Fall during my three months as a SAHM (following my son's birth), I am still very new to this world of parties and play dates.  So, while I got a kick out of my daughter's excitement over a recent invitation (particularly since I adore the birthday girl's mother and think they are a blast to be around), I was also unsure as to what would be an appropriate present.

The birthday girl is the sweetest child.  I knew that she loves baby dolls and that she has a tea set.  I knew that her mother loves Pottery Barn Kids, Melissa and Doug, and other classic toys as much as I.  And I have a bit of an obsession with felt food these days.  So, the gift of choice was... a Tea Party treats set, complete with tea bags, cookies, and brownies.

The tea bags were made out of pink felt with the Birthday Girl's initials on the tags.

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