Shop Talk – Upping My Photo Game, New Necklaces, and More Goodies to Come!

Super excited about all the new goodies coming to Burrow & Bloom! Thanks for the positive response on Instagram & Facebook! I’m feeling inspired and ready to play! Tried out a new indoor photo spot, figuring I’ll need one soon with winter coming. Very happy with the results! Thank you for all your support on this journey!

This weekend I photographed, edited, and listed 16 new necklaces in the shop while Fox and Dadu did “guy stuff.” They did a painting estimate for a good friend, raked leaves, set up the new garden hose, and of course there was lots of playing outside. Gotta love father-son bonding with a side of mama getting stuff done!

I found an indoor spot for photographing items for my shop with great lighting and our wood floor as a new background option. Hurray for our sunny little bungalow! There was less editing needed before the photos were ready to be uploaded, yay!

After listing the new necklaces I rearranged my shop to incorporate the new wooden background among all the items with white backgrounds. Experimenting with the way it moves the eye through the page took me back to art school a bit.

I have stretchy jersey knit fabric on hand, ready to start making headbands I’ll be adding to the shop soon. Playing with different style options, in solid colors and patterns. They’ll take less time and materials to make, so in turn they’ll be more affordable gifts for yourself or someone special too!

I can hardly wait for all the supplies I have coming for making new silicone teething necklaces! Super excited about all the gorgous colors and shapes of the beads and how they’ll work with the colorful silk cord.

I also love getting to be part of the Etsy community, making real connections with other crafters like me! Planning to feature a new friend, a fellow mama Etsian, and her fantastic items for mom and baby on an upcoming blog post! Hint: one of her items was featured in one of my Treasury Tuesdays! Can you guess who it might be?

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Toddler Weekend Road-trip Adventures

This weekend our little family took an impromptu trip to visit my husband’s family in Evansville. Fox was super excited to see Grandma and Grandpa!

It always takes longer than you think to get out of the house with a toddler and husband so I packed for Fox and I while Russ was at work so we’d be ready to go when he got home.

We always make sure to bring teething necklaces, books, toys, crayons, a coloring book, and snacks for the car ride. A travel bag partially packed with diapers, wipes, diaper cream, portable dvd player & charger is always packed and ready to go. I also downloaded shows on my phone for the car, using my Amazon video app. (A couple Tumble Leaf Episodes, some Peep and the Big Wide World, and the Little Bear movie).

We always aim to travel when Fox’ tank is full; fed, well rested, clean diaper, after some time to run around. I hear some kiddos like to nap in the car, but Fox has never been one of them. Do what works for you and yours.

Long car rides with our little guy have always been tricky, but they’re getting easier as there are more things he can do in his carseat. We listen to music while the fox puppet dances. We watch shows I’ve downloaded onto my phone, read books (especially interactive books like flap-books), and when we’ve done all that and there’s still about a half hour to go we go through daddy’s wallet and get silly.

There were few squirmy moments, wanting out of his car seat to sit in my lap, but it didn’t last long before we found something else to entertain us.

We were super happy to see Grandma and Grandpa! Once we got settled Foxer played pool with them in the pole barn, telling jokes about Grandpa not having any balls down there, (at his end of the table).

While they played Russ and I got to sit and have a conversation, just the two of us, for the first time in a LONG time. It was very nice. People who live close to your family, be grateful!

Toy tractor Grandma found at a yard sale!

Toy tractor Grandma found at a yard sale!

Grandma found a wonderful toy tractor at a yard sale and it was a big hit with Fox, who’s been pretty into construction vehicles lately! He also loves throwing the ball for Abby Girl, their big sweet golden retriever.

On Saturday we went to the Fall Festival! (The 2nd largest outdoor festival in the country, behind Mardi Gras). We ate lots of yummy food and drank apple cider. I rode the merry-go-round with Fox and we played a few games. He especially liked the rubber duckies that went around on the water in a loop. He won a stuffed cheetah and a colorful little soccer ball! But it was super crowded and with all the sights and sounds it was a bit of sensory overload for a toddler. We didn’t stay too long, but it was certainly a memorable experience!

Believe it or not Fox enjoyed his first merry-go-round!

Believe it or not Fox enjoyed his first merry-go-round!

That night, while we were playing in the pole barn again a little black kitten came up to the door! She was super sweet and let us all pet her. The following morning she was on the front porch. We asked around and found that she didn’t have a home. So Russ and I agreed to bring her back home with us! Her name is Jiji, (from Kiki’s Delivery Service), and she is possibly the snuggliest and most playful kitty I’ve ever met! Perfect for Fox!

Bringing Jiji home!

Bringing Jiji home! Can you spot the kitty?

After getting Jiji settled back home we went to Musgrave Orchard for our friend’s 30th birthday party. It was the perfect Fall day for it and the orchard was gorgeous! They even had live music, with fiddle, playing on the patio for the party. Love that we have a place like that so close to home! Fox loved exploring their walking trail and checking out all the apples, pumpkins, and flowers.

Musgrave Orchard & Cider Mill

Musgrave Orchard & Cider Mill

We all had such a wonderful time and are looking forward to our next trip to visit family and to the orchard! What special Fall activities do you like to do?

Ch ch ch changes!

Big changes have been happening around here, including where “here” is!

At the beginning of the month we finally moved from our apartment to a charming 1920’s bungalow! My little guy wakes up in the mornings and exclaims, “the sun’s back up! We can go outside now!”

IMG_1048We love playing on our front porch and in our fenced-in back yard! It’s so amazing what difference having an outdoor space makes. On move-in day we had a little picnic lunch in our backyard and marveled how it really is a little slice of heaven.

Fox in the GardenWe even have four raised garden beds! Our new neighbor’s mom stopped by and taught me all about the herbs growing there and how to harvest and dry them; lavender, sage, thyme, mint, and oregano! There are also a couple tomato plants and a little strawberry bush! In the spring we plan to grow lots more veggies as well.

It’s been years since I gardened as a child with my parents and I’m thrilled to have the space to pick it back up again and share it with my son. He loves to play in the yard or water the flowers while I weed, prune, and harvest herbs. Quite therapeutic getting my hands dirty with earth.

We’ve sighted so many wonderful creatures and plants around our new space too. Hummingbirds, butterflies, chipmunks, squirrels, goldfinches, a hawk, and a big green mantis! There are several Rose of Sharon bushes around the house and a lovely vine of purple Morning Glory along the back fence.

It’s also wonderful to have storage space in our basement, along with a washer and dryer of our own. Toting our laundry up a floor to the shared coin laundry room in our apartment building was tiresome. Especially for an introverted perfectionist like me. Who wants to put on make-up just to do laundry?

When our little guy came into our lives, my painting studio/sewing room became his nursery. Now that our house has three bedrooms, I have my studio back! It’s in the back of the house with windows to the side the backyard. So very inspiring to have my own space to create in.

New StudioSince going all out for the Baby Fair in March, I’ve been scaling it back and focusing on my family. Rejuvenating. Now I feel a fresh surge of creative energy and the motivation to keep it going.

IMG_1166Last week it became clear that I had no choice but to leave my job. I was treated very poorly and undoubtedly undervalued, but it has set me free to do what I’ve yearned for for years. I’m now pouring myself into our home, family, and my Etsy business full time. It feels like coming back to life. There have been so many positive signs that this is right path for my life and my family. So much serendipity. I should have some exciting news to share in a few days actually. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

So as I’ve decided to throw perfectionism to the wind you’ll be hearing from me much more in the coming weeks and months. Lots of amazing things to come!

The Hummingbird symbolizes great courage, determination, flexibility and adaptability. This little beauty is only a few ounces in weight, yet has the courage of a lion. Indeed size is of no consequence…The Hummingbird symbolizes the respect of territories, protecting and enforcing your boundaries, the need to be feisty if needed to protect your boundaries and what is yours. [They] remind us that there are times when we have to make a difficult journey to get to the destination of our goal, there will be obstacles, symbolizing the need for endurance and perseverance. Hummingbird challenges you to say “yes I can”, and believe it will be done.

Flying with a Toddler | Story and Tips

I woke up before the alarm at 4:30am. Fox kept right on sleeping as I rolled him off me, onto his back and quietly slipped out of bed.

I swiftly changed into the clothes I’d laid out the day before, applied minimal make-up, popped some waffles in the toaster, and added a few last-minute things to my bag.

As I was thinking of what to do next, I heard Fox waking up and dashed back into the bedroom. I found him sleepily sitting up in bed rubbing his bleary eyes. We snuggled and nursed before getting ready the rest of the way.

I’d been concerned about how the early morning wake up would go for such a little guy, but it worked out even better than I’d hoped.

Most of the drive to the airport went happily, with just a touch of fuss as we were nearing our exit ramp.

He was intrigued by the sights and sounds of the airport.  Luckily, there wasn’t a line at the check in counter and we had no luggage to check. We breezed through security, picked up coffee and a cookie on our way to our gate, and had just enough time to visit the restroom before they started boarding.

 

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Fox nursed during take-off and after a little reading and singing he was asleep. Russ leaned his head on my shoulder and fell asleep as well.

There were a few tears upon descent when Fox didn’t want to nurse anymore, but some Cheerios got his ears popping again and all was well.

 

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Glad to get to skip baggage claim, we went straight for our rental car, giving Fox some time to dance to the car radio before putting him in his car seat and heading to my parents’ house.

My family came out to meet us as we pulled into the driveway.  It was the first time my brothers and sister got to meet Fox and I was super excited to see them all after being away for three years.  A very happy reunion for all!

 

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It was wonderful to visit with friends and family while showing Fox my hometown and my childhood home. My parents were charmed and impressed by Fox. So sweet to get to share him with them.

Such a big trip for my little guy. Lots of firsts. First time getting up and going so early. First bus, plane, escalator, moving walkway, and flight. First time out of Indiana. First time meeting uncles, aunt, and great grand mother. Truly special.

For our return trip I checked us in and printed our boarding passes from my parents’ house. That way we were able head straight to security.  But while focusing on getting us where we needed to go, I forgot to empty my water bottle beforehand.  My loving husband had to be escorted back to empty it and go through security all over again.

Fox explored the terminal by our gate, walking and crawling around and making friends with a 10 month old little girl.  I enjoyed chatting with her mom about traveling with a little one.

Below are some tips based on our flight experience.  Hope they help make flying easier and more fun for you and your little one as well!

 

Tips for Flying with a Toddler

1.  Snacks

Not only to keep them occupied and full, but to get them swallowing so their ears pop on the plane.

2.  Travel Light

Carry-on only if possible, even if it means doing some laundry at your destination.

3.  Books

To keep up as much of your nap and bedtime routines as possible as well as entertain.

4.  Toys

I found them most useful in the car.

5.  Diapers and Wipes

More than you think you’ll need, to be prepared for flight delays.

6.  Sleep

Try to swing it so that your little one is sleepy in the plane or car.  Depending on how long your flight is and how they do in the car.  (My little guy has a hard time falling asleep in the car, so I was aiming for him to sleep on the plane).

7.  Water Bottle

Remember to empty it before heading to security.  If not you’ll have to go back, empty it, and go through security again.

8.  Check in and Boarding Passes

You can usually check in online at the airline’s website and print your boarding passes.

9.  Babywearing

Having a sling or other type of baby carrier made it easy to move through the airport and helped our little one feel safe and comfortable in a new environment.

10.  Have Fun
Remember it’s an adventure.

We’re going on an adventure!

We leave for my hometown this week. The first time back since my husband and I moved away three years ago. I hadn’t imagined it would be for so long when we left. That’s just life I guess.

I’m nervous about how the traveling part will go down. About my husband who’s afraid to fly. How I’m going to get us all out of the house and on our way at 5am. And how our son will do in the car. (He hates the car seat and usually refuses to sleep in it). Praying all goes smoothly at the airport.

It will be my toddler’s first big trip. First time out of state and first plane ride. He’ll finally get to meet my brothers and sister, some of my best friends and hopefully some more family.

I’m excited to go back to the place that I’ll always think of as home with my little family. Looking forward to sharing the place where I grew up with my little guy.

All our reservations are made. I have a list of things to pack, places to go, and people to see. Just have to remember to relax and have a good time.

Here’s to a wonderful adventure!