Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sparkle & Spice

I started out my big girl career teaching kindergarten. I absolutely loved, loved, loved my job. I was blessed enough to work at a school where I was able to integrate my own creativity and unique ideas into my classroom and my lessons every day. I worked with fun and inspiring people who motivated me to create and innovate on a regular basis. The kids were so amazing too! It was incredibly fulfilling and I truly look back on those few years in my classroom as a colorful, creative, fun, wonderful time of my life. I definitely left a teeny bit of my heart in kindergarten.

So then my husband and I decided to have a baby! And I thought for sure the baby growing in my belly was a boy, so when SHE surprised us and came out a SHE, I swear I had visions of all things pink and sparkly dancing in a shimmery glitter cloud above my head in the delivery room. And thus, we began another blessed, amazing and fulfilling journey in life. And after the "I-can't-believe-I-have-a-girl-daughter" daze wore off, my husband began a different journey of going to the gym an additional four times a day, working in a secret laboratory trying to invent boy repellent, and researching the legality of implanting our daughter with a GPS. Is it possible for a man-turned-new-Daddy to simultaneously become the meanest guy ever AND a huge puddle of sweet Daddy teddy bear goo? (Different story, another day...)

In the very beginning, being a new Mommy made it hard for me to make time to tap into the creative part of my brain (which I later discovered was something that I needed). Doing the most important job in the whole wide world (IMHO), the job that I was put on this earth to do (AKA raise a human) sort of took up all of my time- which I, of course, loved. Okay, so I basically did not put my daughter down for at least the first three months of her life- oops, my bad. But as Stella got a little older and I got a little more experience under my belt, I was able to carve out a little time (usually during naps) to do some things that were fun and therapeutic for me. I made a New Years Resolution to take at least one art class that year. I started painting (okay it actually didn't start out as classy and fancy as it sounds- gallons of wine, champs and some owl paintings at a drink & paint class anyone?) which I still love to do. I started writing, which is also something I discovered that I enjoy. I devoted 100% of me to my daughter, but also was able to find myself again in things I really loved to do every now and then. Super important! Every Mommy (every person, for that matter) should find an outlet that nurtures their soul. Whether it's working out or running marathons (which I suppose is also working out) or reading or dancing or flying kites, you should find what you like to do and you should do it! You'll be a nicer, happier, smiley-er, better person because of it. 

So naturally, dreaming of little girly outfits and pretty accessories occupies a significant amount of my subconscious thoughts. Those thoughts eventually evolved into the idea that I could create unique, fun, stylish accessories for my daughter. So I started practicing. And I would like to think that I got better and that I continue to get better. And then my house overflowed with bows and flowers and glittery headbands. So then I needed to start selling them. That's when, about a month or so ago, I decided to open my own little Etsy shop. Because not only were my creations in literally every corner of the house, but in some sort of twisted irony, my daughter, in fact, despises having anything on her head. Unless, of course, it's a lampshade she just broke off of a lamp, or the avocado smeared trash can lid she's been hoarding for a week and a half- she likes putting those things on her head FOR SURE. In this stage of life, she clearly won't be modeling any of my awesome stuff.

Many people might think, 'so what? Etsy shop!? Big deal. How predictable and unoriginal!' But you guys, it was really scary! I think I might have had a mini anxiety attack or something on the day my shop opened. Throughout all of this self-discovery, guess what I also discovered? I am TERRIFIED of rejection! It is so intense putting yourself out there for the world to see! I give MAD PROPS to everyone out there that puts their work on display. Because a lot of people that decide to put their work on display probably really, really love and care about their work! And WHAT IF SOMEONE DOESN'T LIKE MY STUFF AND THEY THINK THIS IS ALL SO STUPID?!?! I might cry. Please don't make me cry! Because it's actually really fun and exciting! And I'm really enjoying working with other Etsy shop owners and customers and bloggers! Some nights I stay up so late making notes and lists and working on new things. I have lots of ideas that are exploding out of my head- ask my husband, he probably thinks it's super annoying. So if you have been thinking about doing what I did, you should just do it. You'll be happy about your decision.

In my shop, I feature accessories for all ages (ask my mom, she's a grandma now and I make her stuff and she likes it and wears it!). I love working with felt and tulle and of course, anything sparkly. I love creating fun color combinations. I am always on the hunt for different fabrics, materials, prints and embellishments that I can use to create something new. If I think it's cute, I'll probably try to make something out of it.

Being able to create new things makes me happy. It makes me even happier when others can enjoy and find a small bit of happiness in the things that I create. See? Happiness for everyone all around! So you should stop by my new shop. I hope that you find something you love!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Just Us Girls

Yay for getting out of the house (without setting foot in a doctor's office) with a 6-week-old! Today I felt brave and decided we would take our first shopping trip. I may or may not have gone out in public looking like a tired, dirty hobo with spit-up on my shoulder, but Stella was dressed to impress- and that's all that matters! The to-do list was probably a little ambitious, including stops at three different places, but I like to take the 'jump in with both feet' approach in life.

My main success of the day (besides the trip in itself) was scoring three nursing bras- may be TMI for some of you, but for those who have not only had to shop for nursing bras for your new giant additions, but have tried shopping for them with your constantly nursing 6-week-old baby and nine handfuls of the necessary crap you need to have at all times with a baby (is it all necessary or am I just new at this?)... You understand what a huge win this was for me. After today, I feel like Stella and I could run a marathon while simultaneously knitting a sweater.

Freedom from the house is in my very near future and it makes me feel like a whole new woman! I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of this 'being a Mommy' thing. Getting out of the house gets a little easier each time and I can't wait until I can leave without second-guessing the idea and subsequently feeling stressed the whole time we're out.

Being out shopping with my daughter was actually SO MUCH FUN. I already picture us on our infinite amount of shopping days together and I know it's only going to get better. Stella was really well-behaved and I know it's because she enjoyed our adventure and realized how awesome it was too!

We were gone a few hours, so by the time we got in the car to head home, she was getting hungry again and therefore a little loud and cranky. Okay she got a lot loud when I strapped her back in the car seat and clicked her in. Driving all the way home with a crying, screaming baby is NO BUENO. It stresses me out, makes me want to cry, and also makes me feel like I need to pull the car over and cuddle her... It's probably equally as crappy for her too. Luckily I was doing a little research and came across this. So when Stella started to tell me how hungry and angry she was, I immediately referenced tip #4 and started blasting Christmas music in hopes she inherited the family love for the holiday season. It was a Christmas miracle. She seemed to question it at first by busting out some random but less intense crying bursts, but within the first minute (no joke), she was quiet and happy!! Put that into your bag of tricks, fellow Mommies! BAM! We sang along to our favorite Christmas songs all the way home. The best part? N'Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" put this boy band loving baby to sleep. Why is it the best part, you ask? Stella's Daddy is a self-professed (not publicly of course) BSB loving man. There you have it, folks. The best boy band war wages on. What's your favorite? Are you a 98* fan? Maybe like you a little LFO or O Town? As for us, we continue to be a house divided.

Pooped form our girls day out and serenaded to sleep by her main squeeze, JT