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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hey, Erica!

"Just popping in to say..."


toooooo, yoooooooooooouuuu!"

"(Just ignore that name on the cake... the bakery was confused. Really.)"

Here's your in-the-works birthday present- please pardon the bad photography...

It's really more of an emerald green- all that sunlight we got today kind of washed out the color.

What it looks like sitting all alone.

And, here you can see what the "body" of the hat will look like (kinda).

I'm hoping it will fit your head- I used mine to gauge the size, being the only head I had close at hand, and you know how freakishly small my noggin, I'm hoping that the stretchy-ness of the yarn will cover all sins. :D

Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! A little late by this point, I know, but since you're my sister, you have no choice but to forgive me.......mwahahahahaha!


Love you, baby sis.

Happy Birthday.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Yay For Valentine's Day!

Well, folks, the Valentine's Day I wasn't looking forward to turned into the best one yet!

I was sad about Valentine's Day this year, because the hubby was supposed to be out of town for it.

We didn't have a lot planned, but it was going to be the perfect "day off".

We were originally going to g0 out to eat somewhere Friday night, then sleep in Saturday to our little hearts content (Ah...I love sleep so.), then have a movie marathon and Chinese take-out (my FAVORITE!!!). Add in a little chocolate and the Valentine's Day cards and, voila! The perfect day!

Until Pete's work decided to send him 12 hours away for a week. Bleck.

So, there I was wondering what to do with myself for Valentine's Day.

Well, at 3:00 in the morning I got a phone call- "Hi honey, it's me. I need you not to freak out about what I'm going to tell you."
I'm immediately thinking, "Oh no! He's dying! Something happened! Aaaacckk!"
But no, he says-"I'm home and I'm coming in the back door. So don't freak out, ok?"

Sigh of relief! But I was very happy to have my hubby back!

I woke up to a sweet card and a dozen red roses. :)

Then (at a much more reasonable hour) he took me to my knitting class, and while I was there he went and did all of our grocery shopping for the week for me!

What a sweet heart. :)

After my class we had a late lunch at Red Lobster (one of my other favorites- I love their Rainbow Trout), and when we came home he "found" a package addressed to me on our door step.

He had apparently arranged ahead of time to have one of those "Pajama Grams" mailed to me, since he was supposed to have been gone for Valentine's Day.

He picked some really comfy ones, and even got the right size! :)
And, it didn't hurt that he sent me chocolate with them too.

So, my day was great after all.

I hope yours was too. :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Testers Needed

Hi there!

Well, as I've mentioned before, my mom and I are creating our own little Etsy shop called, Mama & Nonni Handmades. We'll be creating and selling items mainly for mamas and their babies and young children. Most of these items will be made from cloth- some might eventually also be knitted. We're starting off with bibs in size small (young infants- 0-6months old), medium (older infants- 6-12months old), and large (toddlers 1-3years old). We'll also have cloth building blocks (very very cute, if I say so myself!), children's placemats, and children's napkins.

This is only the beginning! We have plans for lots more items to come over the year- such as handmade ring-style slings, a cloth diapering friendly diaper bag, cloth wipes, cloth "Robeez" style booties for babies and toddlers, and much more.

So, that brings me to my point (and I do have one) ;) -
We need some product testers!

We are looking for mamas and their babies or toddlers that would like to receive some of our products for free. All we ask in return is that you use them frequently so you can give us feedback on them. How can we make them better? What part of the product does or doesn't work for you or your children? What types of color combinations or fabrics would you like to see them in? Etc, etc. We've already got two mamas on board, but a few more would be great! We're working on creating a feedback form for you to fill out with your comments and recommendations. Once that's done, the mamas who've signed up to be our testers will have our products and some feedback forms mailed to them. Easy-peasy!

Email me, or leave me a comment if you'd be interested in being a tester.

And have a great day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sorry for the days-long absence.

Not a lot is happening for us these days, and it's hard to feel "inspired" to write anything.

Mom and I are still working on the "business plan" for the shop, and I'm working on cutting and putting together some of the blocks, bibs, napkins, and placemats we'll be starting off with.

We have tons of ideas of items to make and sell in our shop, but we're starting off slow so as not to bite off more than we can chew (so-to-speak).

Our next big "project" to work on designing and making a pattern for is a cloth-diapering friendly diaper bag. Nikki has had some great ideas to get us started, and so the ideas are flowing. :)

I'm also still trying to get my Preschool Playgroup going. I've had some inquiries, but so far I only have one child enrolled. Hopefully it will work out- the income is definitely needed right now, and it seems that the only childcare calls I get are for families with 3 or more children in need of care (which don't seem to end up working out when they realize how much that would cost- yikes!), or for babies or little ones under 2 years old (my two families both had babies in December, and we could wind up with our baby any day, so my "under 2" spots are full!) So, we'll see what works out.

Pete left on Monday for a trip for work in Michigan. Twelve hour drive- yuck.

He's hoping to be home again by Monday of next week. Although he's said he might only get to be home for about a week before they send him back again.

But, don't complain, right? :)

Really, we're lucky- he has great job security right now, and we'll still manage to make the ends meet (though they won't be over lapping by any means!) even if my little business ventures don't pan out. :D

"Stay on the sunny side, the sunny side of life"...right? ;)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Your Input Needed!

I have exciting news!

My mom and I (both people who love to sew and create things by hand)
will be opening up our very own Etsy shop- Mama & Nonni Handmades- very soon!

We're mostly going to sell items for mamas and their little ones, but we'll also have other grown-up friendly items from time to time.

So, here's where you come in...

what kind of quality, handmade, and affordabley priced items
would you like to see us offer?

So far, our ideas range from cloth bibs, children's placemats & napkins, burbcloths, blankets, and cloth blocks, to nap-mats, diaper bags, cloth on-the-go changing pads, and so on.

Leave us some comments- we can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

100 Random Facts

I liked Laura's idea, so I'm going to be a copy-cat (due to lack of anything better to post).

1. I'm the oldest child, of two.

2. My sister is almost four years younger than me.

3. We have nearly opposite personalities. ;)

4. As a child I desperately wanted to be a ballerina. Or a vet.

5. I can't remember a time (even in childhood) that I didn't want to be a mommy.

6. I grew up (for the largest part of my young childhood) on an acreage in the country.

7. I was born in Des Moines, IA.

8. I have lived in eight different towns across the state of Iowa.

9. My favorite movie is Star Wars, the original.

10. When I'm feeling blue, watching Star Wars cheers me up- for reasons yet unknown.

11. My favorite food is Italian.

12. I have owned eight dogs so far throughout my life.

13. In ninth grade I decided to perm my very long hair. The results were not flattering.

14. I have a phobia of heights and spiders.

15. In high school I was a member of the girls' "chamber choir". Which involved a lot of dancing.

16. I'm rhythmically challenged, so the dancing was- at times- a bit interesting to watch.

17. My favorite color is red.

18. As a child I was torn between wishing I was Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Anne of Green Gables.

19. As a child I did my best to convince my sister that a tree in our yard, with a peculiar "lump" on it, was pregnant and would soon be having a baby tree.

20. I loved unicorns as a little girl and thought I was incredibly lucky to actually live on "Unicorn Avenue".

21. I'm terrible at math.

22. This used to cause me panic attacks in school.

23. I prefer bitter tasting things to sweet tasting things.

24. I've had the same best friend since junior high.

25. We met in fourth grade, but I was too shy to be friendly.

26. She taught me to do a flip on the hanging rings our daycare's playground had.

27. I was born without any upper sinuses.

28. This has caused me lots of sinus problems throughout my life.

29. I like to be tucked in to my ear lobes when in bed.

30. My favorite perfume is "Ralph" by Ralph Lauren.

31. I'm a sucker for a good romantic story.

32. I don't like to watch sad movies, because I don't like to cry. Even if they have a "good message."

33. My favorite pancake is blueberry.

34. I love strawberries.

35. As a little girl I taught my dog to eat strawberries.

36. And, I was very sorry that I taught him that- he decided he liked them and ate the entire bed.

37. I never liked dill pickles or tomatoes until I got married.

38. I used to be addicted to Mt. Dew.

39. Then it became Cappuccino.

40. Now it's Green Tea.

41. But, I'm down to one cup a day. In the morning.

42. I love to read.

43. But I don't have a lot of time for it, so I love audiobooks.

44. And, I'm a fan of "old-time" radio shows from the 40's and such.

45. I tried to change my name to "Kail" (my middle name) as a little girl because I thought "Jennifer" was ugly.

46. "Kail" (my middle name) is also my grandma's maiden name.

47. I love steak.

48. But I can't eat it anymore, which makes me sad.

49. I also love creamy mac & cheese!

50. And, I can eat that- if all the stars align and I can find non-wheat pasta, goat milk, and enough goat cheese.

51. I'm still working on my wedding album scrapbook.

52. I've been married for around 5 1/2 years.

53. I knew my husband for 10 months before I married him.

54. Knowing each other for such a short time before hand worked out for us, but it's not something I would encourage anyone else to do.

55. I have a tendency to be an impulse buyer.

56. One of my favorite childhood memories is, on Friday nights, getting Casey's pizza (pepperoni & mushroom!), renting a video, also renting a VCR, hooking it up to our computer monitor, and enjoying pizza and a movie with my mom, dad, and little sister.

57. I roll my bath towels instead of folding them, so they'll fit better in a basket.

58. My house is extremely limited on storage space, and I'm not a very organized person.

59. I love looking at the stars at night.

60. The first book I ever read on my own was "Dr. Suess' ABC"- and I was thrilled to discover that I could read an entire book all by myself!

61. The first chapter book I remember my mom reading to me was "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret".

62. For my eighth birthday I had a choice between getting rollerskates, or going to a Red Skelton show.

63. I chose Red Skelton, and loved it.

64. I loved listening to my grandpa's stories as a little girl.

65. I still miss him every day.

66. I like swinging on the swingset- even now as a grown up.

67. And, I still color too- it's great stress relief.

68. I have a fear of gathering eggs.

69. This stems from childhood- when I was too short to fend off the attacking chickens.

70. I can not figure out how to put my long hair into a "french roll"- even after all these years.

71. My favorite season is fall- when it's not too hot, not too cold, the grass is still green, but the trees are turning colors.

72. I have always dreamed of being able to visit every state in the U.S.

73. The only large cities I've been to are Washington D.C., the Twin Cities, Chicago, & San Francisco.

74. I would love to visit New York City one day, and spend a while there, but only if I have a "native" guide.

75. Countries I'd love to visit (not necessarily in this order): Japan, Ireland, France, Italy, England, Canada, China, & maybe Finland or Sweden.

76. I love red Kitchen Aid appliances.

77. My favorite snack from the garden is sugar snap/ snow peas.
78. I hate to "window shop".

79. But I do like to spend money. When I have it.

80. I've never been good at saving money.

81. I've often daydreamed of the world doing away with money completely and reverting to a barter system. I wonder how it would work.

82. I like to plan.

83. But, I'm not good at following a plan that lasts very long.

84. I painted a room in my house royal purple and blue.

85. I've since painted it a buttery golden yellow. Which I like a lot more.

86. I have a hard time visualizing things- I'm a "hands on" type of person.

87. I am terrible at directions.

88. I even get turned around in the mall. Literally.

89. I love giving gifts.

90. I love basil- especially when it's mixed with tomatoes.

91. I love sunshine.

92. I have problems with SAD in the winter.

93. I don't like winter.

94. I love the mixture of chocolate and peanuts or peanutbutter.

95. I like to sing.

96. In college I had an old black Chevy Cavalier.

97. I loved driving it, and I miss it a lot.

98. I despise my minivan.

99. My favorite holiday is Christmas, with Valentine's Day as a distant second.

100. I hate wearing anything that exposes any of my skin above the wrists or ankles in the winter- I'm a "pants girl" when it's even slightly chilly out.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm Bummed

Hubby just called and said he's going to be leaving town for work on Monday- for nearly two weeks.

He'll miss Valentine's Day.

We weren't going to do anything fancy- just get some cheap take-out, and watch movies in cozy p.j.s, but I was really excited about it.

Man, this stinks.

Happy Groundhog's Day!

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the Groundhog.

He NEVER gives me good news on when winter's going to end.

So, we're not on the best of terms- and this year doesn't look like it's going to be the year to restore my faith in him.


On Saturday I stopped in to our local yarn store and caught a part of the spinning demonstration going on there.

I had intended to take my camera and take pictures but, of course, I rushed out of the house without it.

So, instead, here's a video that (very briefly) sums it up.

And, here's one that was kind of like what she was doing on Saturday.

However, the wheel that was used on Saturday is smaller than this one, and is a double-footed one, not a single.

Kind of like this one:
All in all, it was a neat demonstration.

You'll probably think I'm nuts, but it would be so neat (one of these days)
to learn to spin my own yarn!

Pete wants goats, after all, on our future country acreage, so why not? :D

And, when I do, I think this looks like the most time-effective method.