Friday, February 24, 2017

Drowning in a sea of cookies

Its that time of year that all Girl Scout leaders and parents look forward to - Cookie Season. We all love having our lives commandeered by boxes of fatty/sugary deliciousness and fanatical customers. WINK WINK
For two solid months our schedules are dictated by cute little girls; in vests festooned with patches of every shape and size; imploring you to help them sell, sell, sell and sell some more.
I must admit that when we started out in this organization, I was less than thrilled. The margins are small and the labor is great. However I have seen the gains and experience M has gotten four years later. And not just her, but when you get a group of girls together selling cookies at a booth, even the most shy will start to come out of their shell and get just a smidge more comfortable with public speaking. Plus the business principles they get hands-on is impressive: marketing, management and financial all rolled into a 3-hour cookie booth. So when you see that group of Girl Scouts out selling cookies, even if you have to pass on purchasing, give them a high five - they are learning important life lessons at that table with their friends.
Not all Girl Scouts are naturally inclined to selling and managing they cookies. I know that I and my husband lend a helping hand in all the different aspects of the business. But as our oldest daughter, M,  learns more and more each year, we try to pass off to her the responsibilities that are age appropriate. And she is a natural. This year marks the first time we borrowed a wagon, packed it with cookies and ventured the neighborhood. She insisted on pulling the wagon herself, although we live on the side of a hill.We were able to unload on our neighbors the majority of the cookies we had left in our inventory. I am sure they didn't mind being coerced into breaking their diets for a pint-sized selling dynamo.
In two more weeks we will be past this phase of the Girl Scout season, then comes the best part - planning the summer fun with the sales proceeds!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wear it Wednesday

I have worked for a professional office for three years now, and one of my challenges coming from being a stay-at-home mom was to re-imagine my personal style.  My go-to at the time was jeans and t-shirts and flip flops. At the time I only had a couple outfits I would wear to church and I wasn't very comfortable wearing professional clothing. Fast forward all that time and I have a much broader sense of office style.

I did not start out with much of a budget so I had to pick up pieces here and there. This outfit is a great example of buying pieces at separate times and it all coming together fairly well. I bought the top about 6 months ago from Stitchfix. If you are not familiar, it is a clothing subscription where online stylists will send you five items in a box and you decide whether to keep all the pieces or only one or none. You have a $20 fee per delivery that can be put toward your purchase, I tried out the service for a couple months and found that while I liked some of the clothing they sent me, I was often uncomfortable with the cost. The average price per item is $55. This blouse falls into that range. Its one of the only pieces I still wear regularly, it washes and wears nicely.
It features silver grommets along the neckline, tulip shaped puff sleeves  and a flattering v-cut neckline.

The slacks are a recent purchase form the local Salvation Army. I was on the look out for a nice pair of navy pants, they are hard to come by in the used market. I was really lucky, these still had the tags - never worn. I paid around $5-6. A steal!

The shoes are also a new purchase. I recently joined Poshmark, an online market for clothing and accessories. I have sold a few items and maintain a closet with items. Its really easy to get started buying and selling. I have purchased more than I have sold, and it helps if you like other closets and join parties with items from your own closet. As with anything, it takes time to develop a following and build sales. The app is easy to use. I found these along with a couple other items from the same closet to get a better deal on shipping and a sales discount. In total I believe I paid about $10. That is a little more than I like to spend on second hand shoes, but they were like new in a color that is hard to find. Its my new obsession, really. I have found some really cute stuff at a great deal, so rounding out my home closet has become much easier. 
Its hard to see in the picture, they are a shimmery dark blue wedge with grommet detailing made by Tommy Hilfiger. 

Friday, February 3, 2017


The weather was so mild for February, that me and my daughters spent some time outside. I took a few minutes to look over my garden boxes, the weeds were happily sprouting in all of them. I steadily worked my way around pulling them out. Imagine my surprise when I look over and see a lone lettuce plant reaching for the sun! I imagine the seed had been waiting for just such weather as we have had the past week.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Cute Printables for Valentine's Day

With Valentines around the corner, I have been looking for different cards for my two girls to exchange. Back when I had a little more time on my hands, I would design my own. Now there are so many available for free from very talented designers, I just find them online and print them out. It’s a real time saver.
I try to avoid candy around holidays because I know there are food allergies, plus my kids always have way too much candy at the house anyways. This year I have found a cute valentine for my little, A, and it is fitting because she is very into stickers. What I really mean is obsessed. I had some stickers I bought at Target at an after-Valentines sale so all I needed was some artwork and little bags I bought at Hobby Lobby.

My older girl, M,  is a little trickier; she definitely wants to attach candy. I let her browse an Oriental Trading Co. catalogue and she chose an owl theme. I found some really cute artwork online for her Valentines as well, and will probably attach skittles.

I appreciate the parents that go that extra mile for the activities at school, but to be honest one of M’s (my older child) favorite Valentines a few years back was of a lenticular (3D) dinosaur that she carried around for weeks. Kids are so much simpler than adults. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Vintage sheets

My mom, sister and I have a tradition of going out to yard sales together the Saturday before Mothers Day in order to spend some quality time together doing something we all love to do. I usually make out a map and I or my sister will drive. We like different things and its is fun to see what we all think is interesting enough to buy. Afterwards my mom will pick a  restaurant and we will visit over lunch. It is one of my favorite things to do all year.
Last year we stopped at an estate sale and my sister chose a sheet and commented that if it did not fit her bed she would sell it. I asked her about it and found out there are several groups online that are for collectors of vintage linens. Initially I was surprised. Old sheets, who knew? Fast forward a couple months and I was looking for some sheets for my own bed. I was having a hard time finding anything I liked that wasn't out of my price range. I remembered that conversation and decided to look for myself what kind of sheets would be available. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a range of colors and patterns. The prices range about as much as the choices. I found a Facebook page to follow and studied what was on trend and popular before venturing out on my own to find some of these pieces "in the wild." 
Although my local area boasts a variety of thrift stores, the best selection for vintage sheets is at the Goodwill. I try to stop by once a week to see what they have to offer. It has refueled my passion for resale, finding new and interesting items to share. If you are interested in learning more on vintage sheets, this is the Facebook page I follow:
If you are interested in seeing the sheets I have available in my etsy store, you can click the gallery to your right. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Lost Lake - a novel

I just recently finished this novel and it was like an after-dinner treat. Not entirely unexpected but still refreshing in that it takes your mind off of the world for a short while. Isn't that what hobbies should be about?

The first time she saw Lost Lake, it was just a picture on a postcard, but she knew she was seeing her future. That was half a lifetime ago. Now all that's left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own secret dreams and desires. It's not quite enough to keep Eby Pim from selling up and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door. Kate spent her best summer at Lost Lake, at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Perhaps, if she returns, her young daughter can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer...and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago. One by one, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something: a second chance, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it's too late? In this atmospheric and enchanting novel, Sarah Addison Allen illuminates the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places. - Amazon

There are a few mystical elements that I felt were unnecessary and unsubstantiated and one in particular that was used to pull the heart strings. While the ending was mostly predictable, it was a sweet read for a couple afternoons.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Happy Package

My package of hope came in the mail - as in my seeds, because isn't that what you are planting along with them? Hope for a lovely garden, healthy plants and a decent harvest. I am trying some new things this year.
Last season we tried corn, peas, beans, zucchini, tomatoes radishes, beets, cucumbers, cantaloupe, cilantro and basil. Our larger tomatoes didn't do very well but the cherry tomatoes... Oh my!
This year I decided the corn wasn't worth the space. The zucchini is a keeper, and the beans as well. I am going to try a new cucumber hybrid, peppers and Brussels sprouts.
Now to wait until late February to start the indoor seeds.