Things I Love Thursdays

And here we are again.

It is February.  And that means it is cold, and dark (but getting lighter!) and I’m in the thick of the most challenging part of my year.  But all is well!  And the kids are (at least for today, and this minute) healthy!  Though there is a constant, unyielding stream of snot at my house.  SO MUCH SNOT.  Ugh.

So here is a mid-winter installment of TILT for you – fun, light and lovely things to offset the seasonal blahs…

 

Tulips! They start arriving at my local grocery store in mid-January.  Ten stems for $4.99!  I buy them every week because they make me happy every time I see them.  I fill a vase with ice and water, trim the stems and pop them in, and they last for 7-8 days without drooping.

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Milestone Baby Cards from Anthropologie.  I’m sure you’ve seen the stickers or blocks that are used as props in baby photos?  You know, the ones that say “One Month Old,” “Two Months Old,” and so on and so forth?  These are similar.  They are the modern, iPhone era version of a baby book entry.  And they are adorable.  They would have been perfect for Pistachio, my third, who is in a lot of photos, but whose baby book is pretty sad and empty.

Click on the photo to be brought to the Anthropologie page.

Click on the photo to be brought to the Anthropologie page.

The kate spade champagne bottle clutch is ridiculous and impractical, but maybe that’s why I like it? 

Bubble

Heather Ross fabrics designed for Windham Fabrics.  These make me want to sew things.  Or quilt things.  Or make cute smocks, and dresses for my children and friends’ children. Only I don’t actually know how to do any of those things.  Maybe someday!  I just adore the Tiger Lily and Briar Rose collections.   

Briar Rose Collection by Heather Ross

Briar Rose Collection by Heather Ross

 

My favorite from the Tiger Lily Collection.  Ms. Ross was inspired by her childhood summers in Vermont.

My favorite from the Tiger Lily Collection. Ms. Ross was inspired by her childhood summers in Vermont.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all – I hope you get lots of love and chocolate.  And maybe some tulips, too.

Of Long Labors and Crinkly Whales

Recently, I was asked to offer some words of encouragement and advice to a friend expecting her first child. My first piece of advice? Pay no attention to even the most well-intentioned pieces of advice. With that said, here are a few things I’ve learned on my 3 trips to baby town.

 

  1. Doctors don’t want to scare you, so they don’t tell you exactly how long labor will last. But I will. Labor will last a long time. A few days. Yes, days. I know only two women whose first labors lasted less than 24-hours. Two. (I’m not counting scheduled C-sections.) And when you’re 40 weeks pregnant, anxious to meet your little one, in pain, and don’t know what to expect the whole process will seem excruciatingly long, miserable, and sometimes a bit out-of-control, no matter how well you plan. But you will be okay. You will.

 

  1. Get one of these.
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Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper

 

  1. People with children who are teenagers or older will tell you to enjoy every minute, that it all goes by so fast. Those people are wrong. You won’t enjoy/savor/cherish every minute. In fact, I think it is far more likely that you’ll find a lot about caring for an infant to be tedious, repetitive, messy, exhausting and not-so-fun. BUT, it gets better, and there are lovely, quiet, rewarding, amazing moments.

 

  1. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re doing everything wrong. You aren’t.

 

  1. Forget what the books and registry guides say. Children don’t need much: love, warmth, a food source, and when they get a little older, a toy that makes a crinkly crunchy sound. You have enough and you are enough. Get this whale for the crinkly toy part.
Franky the Hanky Whale by Lamaze

Franky the Hanky Whale by Lamaze

  1. Don’t feel bad about asking for what you need. If someone asks what they can do to help, tell them to bring food and hold the baby for an hour while you shower and nap. Never underestimate the restorative power of a shower and a nap. (In the reverse, if someone is over-staying their welcome, don’t feel bad about asking them to leave.)

 

  1. Bring your own pillow to the hospital. The bed is uncomfortable enough. Don’t add to your misery by sleeping on a pillow encased in rubber.

 

You got this, Mama.

The REAL Holiday Card 2015 Edition

Welcome to the yearly edition of “The REAL Holiday Card”.

Forget the lovely professional photos where everyone is clean, looking at the camera, and wearing coordinated (but not matchy-matchy) outfits.  Real life looks more like this:

Card design is "Jovial Holidays" from Tiny Prints.

Card design is “Jovial Greetings” from Tiny Prints.

 

Key to photos:

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Cards from past years are here:

The REAL Holiday Card 2014

The REAL Holiday Card 2013

Here’s hoping your holiday preparations are proceeding as planned!

With love from, The Tartlets

Things I Love Thursdays

A few of my recent favorites…

1. This post from Like Real Life, one of my favorite mommy blogs (though dangitall, there has to be a less condescending term for a blog that is mostly about parenting and written by a mother).

“It is not all a pleasure, although there are many moments of pleasure. It is not all fun even though there are plenty of fun moments. It’s that all those moments, whether a pleasure or a pain add up to something. It’s an exhausted, messy kind of happiness, like finally crawling up the stairs to bed at night and seeing them sleeping, breathing slowly, their soft little fingers twitching in a dream.”

This speaks to me as a parent, and just as a person.  All our moments add up to something.  They add up to a life.

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2. This Side Table. I have no idea why I love this, but I do.  It won’t go with anything in my house, but I don’t think I care.  (There is a good chance I just used my husband’s credit card to order it. It was on sale!  Merry Christmas to me!)

Sterling Lighting Hexagon Frame Side Table image from Houzz (click on photo to go there).

Sterling Lighting Hexagon Frame Side Table image from Houzz (click on photo to go there).

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3. These customized library totes for kids by SixpencePress.  Because I am a big dork.  I’m contemplating getting these for my 3 dumplings for Christmas.  We love books.  And we love our library.  They’ll be psyched about getting a personalized tote bag instead of a My Little Pony, or 2.5 foot tall Imaginext Ultra T-Rex, right? Who needs toys when you’ve got totes?!

Little Boy Explorer Library Tote by SixpencePress. Click on image for link.

Little Boy Explorer Library Tote by SixpencePress. (You can choose the hair color you want!)

 

Little Reader Bookworm Library Tote by SixpencePress.

Little Reader Bookworm Library Tote by SixpencePress.

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4. My final favorite is this quote by Charlie Chaplin:

You need power only when you want to do something harmful. Otherwise, love is enough to get everything done.

You tell ’em, Charlie.

Image from Charlie Chaplin Official Website

Image from Charlie Chaplin Official Website

 

(As always, links are for your convenience.  None of them are affiliate links.)

Things I Love Thursdays

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens!  Schnitzel with noodles!

Okay, I’ve actually never eaten Schnitzel.

Some things I’m digging right now…

Gelli Baff by Zimpli Kids

GOO!

This stuff is AWESOME.  You mix a packet of sand-like stuff with water and it turns into a bathtub full of jelly!  It comes in a variety of colors and when you’ve had enough of squishing around in the goo, you add the included packet of dissolver and rinse it down the drain.  My kids (I saved it for the big kids, since I wasn’t quite sure how it was all going to work the first time around) LOVED this.  I used 2 packages for our standard-sized bathtub, and it was plenty.  I was a bit concerned about exactly what chemicals I was exposing them to, but it is non-toxic, manufactured in the UK and approved in Europe, so I figured it was at least as safe as them ingesting Kraft Mac & Cheese.  The company also has a SLIME BAFF – we’re trying that next!

Slime Baff

Caveats: 1. It doesn’t dissolve and rinse away quite as easily as they make it sound. 2. Though it is put in a bath tub, no one gets clean, and you might actually find little pieces of jelly on walls and in  kids’ ears. 3. It costs about $7.50 per box. 4. I have no idea if this would be a problem for people’s septic systems. 5. Probably not appropriate for kids under 3.

Maileg Mice

I know, I know… again with the small woodland creatures and anthropomorphizing.  I can’t help it.  Maileg is a Danish company.  They make a lovely collection of whimsical toys. These adorable little creatures come individually, in a variety of outfits and combinations.  I love the ones that come with matchbox-like beds.  There is a cute (expensive) little mouse house you can buy.  And, for some reason, they also sell a mouse-sized toy vacuum. I want all of them. (Click on the photos for links to the pages on the Maileg site.)

Little Sister in a BoxBrother Mouse

As always, these aren’t affiliate links.  I just provide them for your convenience.  Happy Thursday!

Things I Love Thursdays

Just a quick post to let you know about a few things I’m digging right now.

Jack and the Flumflum Tree by Julia Donaldson

This great kids’ book by the author of The Gruffalo is a new favorite in our house.  The rhyme scheme is lovely, the photos are colorful and goofy and the story is fun.  In order to cure his Grandmother’s case of the moozles, Jack and his friends go on an adventure to the Isle of Blowyernose to find the rare flumflum fruit. They run into obstacles during the voyage, but are saved by the items Granny has packed for them.  I love the line that repeats throughout,

“Don’t get your knickers in a twist,” said Jack. “Let’s have a look in the patchwork sack!”  

Of course, my children get a great kick out of the “knickers in a twist” part, too.

flum

(Aside: if you have a chance to check out The Gruffalo short film, do!  It is on Netflix and it is beautifully done.  The cast is stellar – Helena Bonham Carter and Tom Wilkinson to name a few – the animation is lovely, and of course, the story is great. Be warned: it is a bit scary.)

*****

Chatbooks

I am loving my Chatbooks app.  You download the app, link your account to your Instagram account (or use photos directly from your phone), and the app creates lovely 6×6 inch, color, soft-cover books from your photos.  Cost per book?  $6.  You can customize, take photos out, add more pages, etc., but I’m taking the easy route.  When 60 new photos are added to my Instagram account, it automatically creates my book, and ships it to me. Done.  Captions and dates included.  I don’t have to think about it, and I don’t have to DO anything.   My kids love looking through the books, which become like little journals.  And the price is right.

If you use my code to subscribe I get a $1 credit, and you get a free book.  No pressure!

 If you use my code to subscribe I get a $1 credit, and you get a free book. Everyone wins! Please note that Chatbooks 2.0 will be released in July.  At that point their services will increase, but so will their prices.  Books will be $8 each.  Sign up before the new version is released to be grandfathered in to the new pricing for 2 years! 

The negatives?  The cheap shipping takes forever and I’m not sure I’d think it was worth doing if I didn’t have an Instagram account.

*****

Rimmel London’s Scandaleyes Shadow Stick

I should wear make-up more often, as evidenced by the WORST SELFIE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE that I took two weeks ago.  Yikes.  And no way am I sharing it. Heck no.  So when I saw these recommended in one of my feedly blogs, I figured I’d give them a try.  I’m not usually a fan of eye shadow pencils – I feel like I don’t have enough control over the amount of shadow applied, and sort of feel like I’m drawing on my eyelids.  But at $4.50 a shadow stick (or even less!) I figured I wouldn’t be too mad about wasting my money if I hated them.

But I love them.  They work almost like a creamy, colored, primer. The shadow doesn’t crease or creep.  They go on smoothly and easily, and can be blended by fingers.  The colors I’ve tried are lovely. My only complaint?  You will eventually need a special sharpener, since they are large pencils. (I bought one at Target for $5.)

Photo by Rimmel London.  Click on it to be taken there.

Photo by Rimmel London. Click on it to be taken there.

I have three colors so far: Trespassing Taupe (matte), Bulletproof Beige, and Bluffing. I think I’ll go back for a few more colors (though probably not the turquoise).

Happy summer!  And remember, don’t get your knickers in a twist!

A Thousand Words

My children love to play with my iPhone.  This is a normal kid thing, I’m sure.  They mostly like to play games. Pickle likes the build-a-robot game and Plum prefers a game with a loud annoying monkey.  (Which reminds me that I should delete the annoying loud monkey game.) Pistachio likes pushing the button until Siri asks him what he wants.

The other morning Plum was using the camera mode in a Toca Boca game.  She was having so much fun demanding that we “SAY CHEESE!” that I switched the phone over to camera mode and let her have at it.

I adore the results.

The is something so lovely and refreshing seeing the world, her world, through her eyes, and at her level.  Coming soon to a gallery near you…

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Brother Little

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Oatmeal

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Breakfast

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Brother Ghost

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Bowl

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Tablecloth

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Cat Door/Eyes

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Legs

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Gate

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Cat

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Where Toys Go to Die

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Brother II

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Finger Brother

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Dad

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Dad II

 

When Pickle was 3.5 we got him a camera for Christmas, but it was a silly, unwieldy, children’s camera.  I should have sprung for the real thing.  I think this Christmas Plum will get her own.