November blues

I dread November. It’s not that there aren’t wonderful things in November. There are. My nephew will turn four, my husband will turn 45 (!) and we have a fun Thanksgiving to look forward to with family. We’ll get to re-elect my President (!)… Despite all these experiences ahead, November is always a tough month for me. There is a house full of candy and it’s gray and cold but not really snowy: a bad combination! My favorite parts of fall–the colors–are gone. It’s hard to get out and enjoy it with lots of cold, rainy days ahead. Sigh. Anyway, enough whining. I’m here to ask you, lovelies. Help me come up with several ways to make this the BEST NOVEMBER EVER! Ready… set… go! Please leave your ideas in the comment area. Please and thank you!

Magic Seeds

We planted Magic Seeds with Wren last Easter and she talked about the suckers growing from the ground all year. We borrowed this tradition from my sister-in-law’s family and it’s a huge hit. Simple and as it turns out, effective for boosting a spring lawn too! Give the kiddo a small bag of grass seed, aka Magic Seeds, and let her go at it. She flung Magic Seeds all over the lawn, but I mostly directed her to the bare areas. Last year our lawn really saw a difference and she loved the process; talk about instant gratification gardening… Needless to say, she was thrilled to do it again this year. It was a gorgeous Easter morning with a fresh blanket of dew, amidst bunches of sprouted suckers. Spring has sprung indeed!

A thrilled little birdie also used the suckers for clown make-up. Lovely…

How was your Easter, lovelies?

Hand-print bunnies

This is a super simple Easter craft idea, but perfect for toddlers. Simply paint on their hand and two of their fingers and stamp their hand on the paper. Let bunny dry and attach some googly eyes. Just another reason to break out the googly eyes I say. Right?! We had a lot of fun with this one. Great for a last minute Easter card or decoration. The brown one below Wren said today was our esteemed Country Bunny. She painted my hand and stamped it on the paper. I have to admit, usually hand-print based “art” is just too cheesy for me, so either I’ve become extra cheesy or these are just really cute. Or I’m just way too sleep-deprived. Probably all of the above…


Lovelies. I just changed the title of this post from “right now” to “lately” because I started it a few days ago and it didn’t seem “right now” anymore… this is pretty much my life in a nutshell these days (months?) when the two little birdies are busy growing and needing. The computer can wait… But I wanted to share a little snapshot of our Valentine week with you. Cookies baked (and eaten!), hearts painted, glittered and hung. Hope yours was extra snuggly and delicious! XO

p.s. I have so much to share with you soon, lovelies. First dentist appointment, first ski, books read, resolutions progressed, a birthday celebrated… more soon, but for now the birdies are calling!


I really cherish this time of year, the week of relative quiet and calm between the busy holiday bookends. Well, as much quiet and calm as can be achieved with two small children in our midst. We get to have Chris home for most of the week, play with new puzzles and games, eat lots of Christmas cookies and drink from our newly-replenished tea and coffee supply, and share some lazy time with friends and family.

This time of year is also obviously filled with reflection on the past year’s highlights/failures and a renewed sense of hope that a new, blank calendar brings. 2012 already? How did THAT happen?! So I’ve been thinking about resolutions for the coming year. I do love to make a list of goals and it helps to share them; a sort of accountability that only comes when you reveal your wishes with others. Not that I really want people to say, “so Ash, how’s that weight loss coming along for ya now that it’s been a few months since you had Phoebe and you’re still lounging around in those maternity jeans?!” Yeah…

So onward to 2012 and my personal wishes:

  • create my own art (again)
  • consume more whole, clean foods (bye bye, Christmas cookies)
  • get rid of my credit card debt (inspired by And Then She Saved)
  • create a regular yoga practice (why hello there, yoga mat, it’s been a while)
  • take on a few more small-business clients
  • read more, surf less (like a real book with pages)
  • walk more, drive less
  • laugh more often
  • be a better friend (like pick up the phone and actually speak to a live person)
  • savor this fleeting caterpillar-time with my little birdies
  • plan more date nights with Chris
  • sweat (inspired by the Lululemon manifesto. I love this!)
  • unclutter

How ’bout you, lovelies? What’s in store for you in the coming year? Do you like to create resolutions every year? Feel free to leave a link here to yours…

Happy New Year! XO

made by little hands

We had a lot of fun last weekend making these pretty little tissue paper candle holders that we spotted over at The Artful Parent. It was a good project for chubby little hands and a fairly short attention span. And a very limited gift budget! Unlike a lot of toddler-made gifts, these are actually useful and beautiful. And not just beautiful in that awww, Wren made this so it’s beautiful kind of way. But really, truly lovely as the light flows through them during the day and filled with candlelight at night too.

Bonus: you’ve probably got (almost) everything you need to make these. I bought candle holders at the dollar store, but baby food jars or jelly jars would be great too. Tissue paper? Check. Mod Podge? Check. Supposedly watered-down Elmer’s glue would work too, but I love Mod Podge. It dries clear and is water-proof. Glitter? Check. Foam brushes? Check. Go!

Are you enjoying a hand-made Christmas? I had grand plans for a hand-made Christmas, but we’ve just dipped our toes in that proverbial water this season with a few small projects and lots of edibles. But with a long winter stretching out ahead of us, we’ve got ambitions for lots of creative pursuits. I would like to make some art of my own too. Someone asked Wren recently if she watches me paint and she said, “no, Mama doesn’t paint.” Boo hoo! It reminded me that I haven’t painted in way too long and it saddened me that she didn’t see me in my own creative work. Just washing the dishes, which she is proud to declare. Sigh. So there’s a good resolution for the coming year: make time for my own creative work. And a helluva lot more fun than the standard “lose thirty pounds! Work out every day! Stop eating sugar!”

What about you, parents. How do you find time for your own creative work? Is it important to you that your children see you creating as well?