Making a mini terrarium

I know you are coming here just to see this. Right?
Well, Pappa Starbucks' Mom and Sister came over yesterday.
So I made a terrarium for his sister who is still just a kid. I wanted it to be fun and cheerful and a bit fantastic- like a mini fairyland in a jar. I've been saving glass jars and reusing them a lot lately (because suddenly I'm realizing all the things I need glass jars for!- buttons, q-tips and band-aids, embroidery thread, miniature toys that I keep for things like terrariums,needles,dried herbs, spices, ginger syrup for making ginger ale, candied orange peels that I made so I wasn't wasting the peels...and because they're deeeeelicious- etc)
I'm looking at my photos of this terrarium and a little disappointed. I've been "copping out" a lot lately and using my iphone camera for things I should just use the regular camera for. And I didn't take any pictures showing the side of the jar either and how full it is.
So Little Berry and I went on a walk taking this little jam jar that I had with us. We found a patch of moss and proceeded to find a piece about the size of the base of the jar. We also had a spoon with us and scraped up enough dirt to fill the jar about three inches. We gathered a few tiny grasses and acorns and took this all home.
At home I mixed in some richer dirt from a flower pot that was also much looser. And then we tamped the dirt down for the moss because moss likes firm surfaces. We placed the grass, acorns, and tiny bird next. There's about an inch from the top of the jar left.

Next I placed the polymer clay mushrooms. I got three packages of polymer clay at the check out at AC Moore or Hobby Lobby and made these mushrooms. It baked under five minutes and I chose to leave them unpainted. I would have left holes in the stems for pins if I had thought about it but they're fine without them and haven't fallen over at all.

I will definitely be making more of these. I think they would be really nice for college students or as gifts for young people getting their first apartment. Low maintenance (needs lots of indirect sunlight and occasional watering) and lovely to look at. Also is rather dreamy and I know a certain young girl I want to make one for still.
*I'm looking at you Caitlyn!*
--> on another note, I am looking for a seamless way to round the corners on my photos. I've tried photoshop (I only have 5.0) and can't get it to do what I want, and I haven't found any good online generators. Any tips besides buying a new computer?


Chrunchy new year

We are a house of colds. Pappa Starbucks came home last week not feeling well and the cold has brewed since then. Now he's better and Little Berry and I have it. She sounds miserable and acts fine, so I suppose all is well. Just sneezes and sniffles, thankfully, no coughs.
Unfortunately I've been taking care of him and then I caught it, and then she caught it from me so now I'm taking care of her. No one lets Mamma recover. I'll get over it soon....I must!
I've got some things to share though that aren't germs, so you'll be grateful for that!
Okay, this is something I saw before Christmas and never made- homemade cough drops!
Hello!?! I want to make these so badly (even though we don't have coughs!) but alas: we don't own a kitchen thermometer. I know, there isn't an excuse for us.
Someday I will buy one. Seriously, if these as wonderful as they look, they might be worth getting sick for.

What is your new years resolution?
I don't traditionally make one. But this year there is something I have decided I want to accomplish: removing processed foods from our diet. I would love to aim for a raw foods diet but I think a good first step in a house of different dietary needs is to remove pre-packaged and over-processed foods. I know this makes me sound like a crunchy granola Mamma, but I have good reason- Pappa Starbucks is vegetarian, Little Berry is on whatever we eat+ breast milk, and I eat everyone's scraps
(Just kidding~ I only snack on them).
But I have a serious sweet tooth, and I feel like its at a point that I'm putting more bad stuff into my body because I'm not being "conscious" of what I eat.
So more conscious eating is my goal.
First up will be stopping buying cookies/ice cream/cookie dough/candy.. you get the idea. We buy a lot of sweets. And secondly, I want to stop buying refined white sugar. It's cheap, unhealthy, and easy to use a lot of because it's so inexpensive. Switching to organic cane sugar will make me watch what I use it for and use less when I use it because it's pricey.
Living a healthier lifestyle is all about making little decisions. We can all change one *small* thing in our lives. Last night I sat down and cut up an old towel we'd had for years into squares. half went to be cloth baby wipes (because I HATE those disposables with cloth diapers! It makes no sense to fish them out of a dirty diaper and then throw them away when I can just wash the whole thing).
The other half goes into our kitchen for cleaning counters and wiping up spills. Pappa Starbucks is addicted to Bounty paper towels and buys them by the huge packs. we go through about 12 rolls a month. I hate them, but when there is a roll of them on the counter, it's so easy to just grab them. so I made my own dish cloths because I never have enough and I want to change that.
Next up is hanging my clothesline because it's just sitting on top of the dryer with a pack of clothespins. I keep asking *someone* to hang it and getting: "sure, I can do that. later."
So I will do it myself. If I can dry my diapers and dishcloths on it twice a week, it's worth the $2 I spent on it and the clothespins.
Re-usable shopping bags: I love these. They hold so much. They're easier to carry. They're convenient. But I always seem to forget them. What do you guys do? Do you use these? Are you good at remembering to put them in your car before you go to the store? Pappa Starbucks doesn't like to keep them in his car (he's embarrassed) so I have to remember to grab them or else they get left behind. Maybe if I started writing a list and putting a note to myself on top of the list I could remember better. We used to keep a note on the door that said:
Keys, Wallet,Cell Phone, Diapers! So when we went out the door we remembered those things. Perhaps if I reinstated this with an additional *grocery bags!* that would work.


not one, but two

I forgot to share this yesterday. Sunday when we went out to do our regular grocery shopping, I had just given Little Berry a bath. Around here, that's quite an undertaking because she has such dry skin and hair. It's a constant battle to keep her healthily moisturized. She LOVES washing herself in the tub but letting her use soap is problematic. I have yet to find a soap that truly moisturizes her skin, let's not even talk about her hair. If you know of one that is great for biracial skin, especially babies, preferably one that has lots of olive oil in it, please let me know!
Lately I've just been giving her the tub with water in it and a little bit of Mr.Bubbles to play in and then after she's played for a while I get her hair wet and then I rub olive oil on her scalp. About a tablespoon but she doesn't have much hair so it doesn't take much.
Anyway, Sunday right before we left she was getting out of the tub and I decided to try a new hairdo. So far she has only had enough hair for a single little pony tail.

See it there? That tiny little wisp on top of her head?

And Sunday, just when I had given up hope forever,

I was able to wrangle her into TWO piggytails.It was a proud moment for me.


A few little things

Just wanted to stop in and leave a little update over here while Little Berry is napping. The holidays were stressing me out this year, and Pappa Starbucks has had too much going on himself so we've declared it over. Pretty much. We bought little berry one toy (Which I would recommend to anyone, seriously, she has played with it SO much already- but more about it later) and we've gone ahead and given it to her. Pappa Starbucks bought gits for his employer and their children and I made this wonderful, fabulous, fun bows for them out of some felt that my MIL gave me.

I had so much fun making these bows! Instructions over here although I didn't follow these, I just cut and stitched and winged it. They worked out fabulously. The second one I made was a little different, I simply cut circles and then made cuts toward the center of the circle and stacked them on one another to make a poofy effect. He was surprisingly pleased with them- he usually doesn't like the results of my projects too much!
I also made some more babies lately and had my first sale in my etsy shop. This was pretty exciting for me.

We were at Trader Joe's yesterday and an employee came up to us and gave Little Berry a balloon (she calls them blublublub's, seriously, every time that's what she says)...here she is playing with it this morning. She loves it. And I need to sneak down and throw it out while she's napping because we are not exactly balloon friendly over here.
Alright, I'm off to make more things clean. Hope you are enjoying the holidaze.




We got snow flurries today. I guess they don't exactly count. Little berry loved them, staring out the window squealing about the "rain!" which is exactly what it turned to. We did Christmas cards last week with her in front of the tree:

Gave her a candy cane and a hat and she really loved it~

She loves the tree. After these pictures were taken she started trying to pull everything off the tree because she's now convinced it's candy.


Old pics

I'm raiding Pappa Starbuck's hard drive this morning for photos I took in Europe. Most of these are from Dublin, specifically from Trinity College and the Trinity College area and are from May and June this year.


Lovely finds

I was trawling through bins at the Goodwill last weekend when I came across a whole stack of sweet, great condition vintage children's books. They are so sweet! I've got quite a collection now and am finding a lot of great titles in the local thrift stores.

I keep telling Pappa Starbucks that I will sell them on etsy but once I get them home I always find excuses not to.

Excuses like how sweet is this!!? and oops, this one is a little scuffed up! and well..I don't know how to price them...

This last one, the Shopping Book? It is SO stinkin' cute! It has the best illustrations I've seen in a while, I love it!

Oh, I love vintage story books so! It's a bit of a thrill still to find ones in good condition for inexpensive prices simply because I know how much love they will get around here.
What's your favorite children's book?


Sewing Table

Since we moved into this apartment we have lived in a seeming hodge podge of disorganization or non functional spaces. Finally I have created my own corner where I can actually point out as my own sewing space, (with my own sewing table!) or to write or just doodle. When we were students, I simply made my school desk work, even though it didn't. But when we moved here, and I became a full-time at home mamma, well, I begged for my own crafting space.
And I got it! I haven't included photos here of my fabric stash...or of my bookshelf loaded up with sweet vintage children's books, but I wanted to share my sewing table space and my sweet little wall behind it.

Strung up you see my vintage-style French children's "manners cards" we picked up in Paris. I wish I could remember the name of the shop...I can tell you we were accosted by a gentleman outside of the shop who was angry that A0 we didn't speak French and B) that Little Berry wasn't wearing socks and C) that the sun was shining. The sun! Shining on our daughter. How dare we let that happen!
You know, because we should have stayed in if the sun was shining, it makes perfect sense.
Anyway, back to my space.

I also put up some handmade mustache's. Because I can't seem to get enough of them lately and I can't decide what to do with these at the same time.
I have so many ideas though.

I have a little bit of room on the wall for things I don't want Little Berry to get her grimy paws sweet little baby hands all over- that's to say it isn't big enough to hold EVERYTHING I'd like to keep her from of course, but that would just be called a SEPARATE HOUSE.

The wrong way

Have you ever noticed that going through things together with your significant other either strengthens you as a couple or shows you a side you didn't know existed, or maybe ignored? Pappa Starbucks and I have been through a lot over the past year, good things and unforgettable experiences (like our trip to Europe for two months) and bad things (like graduating from college with no job prospects and coming back from Europe to not have a "home" anymore). Little Berry is a dream, but sometimes I get worn out being with her all day and let's face it, baby's don't measure out what they want from you in little request throughout the day. They want everything, they want it all the time, and they want it right away.
Sometimes I feel like I am failing to teach her patience, and just focusing on teaching her love, how to be happy, that I love her being sweet.
I know there is a balance. And from any outside view, we're doing a great job. But we disagree so intensely on the small issues that the big issues become pushed to the back of our minds. I know this is a recipe for disaster. I know that parenting is hard. Loving her is just the reward, the special reason that being a parent is worth it and the reason we all keep going daily. I have so much that I want for my life, and so much that I want for her life, and so much that I want for Pappa Starbucks' life that I don't know what to do first, where to put my passion. I want to do it all, and all well, but I'm not capable of that.
I take responsibility for other people's dreams and projects and desires, people not in my immediate three- and I do the best I can for them, but at the same time I am afraid I might be letting down the people who DO count on me. I can't be in charge of everyone's happiness and yet I want for us to all be happy. There is perhaps an easier way to say this, but it feels like I am being an underachiever because the only other option is to do everything, for everyone, so I please the people I know I can please, and I let the rest fall by.
I want to please, I have always been eager to make people happy. There are reasons for this, reasons I am just now beginning to understand but not willing to admit. There are consequences to treating myself and my partner and my daughter like we are last on our on list, but I don't know how to begin stripping away all of the problems and commitments that don't make me a better person, who I want to be, who I am, and focus on the ones that do. I am going the wrong way to get to my dreams but I am going to fast to notice it.


16 months of joy

Today my Little Berry is 16 months old. She's so big, and such a baby all at once.
She is still not much of a morning person (see above photo for proof) but I'm in love with this age, this stage of development, with all of its words and even its frustrations. This morning she got angry ANGRY because she wanted so desperately to dress herself and isn't capable of doing it all at once, she just doesn't have nthe motor skills for it, but you should have seen her try. She was intense, desperate, breathing heavily, picking up her foot with both hands and trying to poke them into her pants. In the end she settled on letting me put the pants on her that she picked out because any other pair? Elicited shrieks.
And she tries to read, pointing at the words on the page, making up garble about them. Everything has a name whether she gets it right or not, but boy oh boy does she try! A few weeks ago she started saying "airplane!" and now everything in the sky- from the moon, sun, birds, clouds, to airplanes themselves are pointed and called out as such.
If we're in the kitchen, she drags over her high chair and waits to be fed, grinning, and making messes with it whenever it's placed in front of her. She's very sensory oriented and specifically, loves feeling, touching things to see what they do.
She rolls her eyes when she doesn't like what we're telling her. She's been doing this for about three weeks and it's simultaneously hysterical and absurd.
I bought a vintage quilt recently at the Goodwill and she has spent so much time while we nurse stroking it, pointing at different images, licking it and right this very moment she has her whole face plastered against my computer screen watching the letters be typed and saying NnnnnOSE!
My girl, she is a joy.


Another day older...

Whew. Another year gone in just a day it seems. I'm always relieved when birthdays pass and my day returns to being just another box on a calendar, marked by slow, forgettable minutes, hours, days of the same routine that is life. In some ways it is sad to know that I will not pinpoint this day in time, remembering the lively sparkle of sunshine on Little Berry's hair as we take our afternoon walk, the smile my daughter flashed at a stranger in a wheel chair, or the kisses she planted on my mouth after I gave her a sip of my cocoa this morning. It is not a memorable day, not a spectacular day, it is only another moment in time lasting as briefly as the last.
But as I watch Pappa Starbucks taking out the trash and little berry fuss over a toy wedged between the cushions, needing a nap for her and a hair-tie to tidy up myself, I do wish that I could steal these moments away and never lose them, never have to wish I could remember that faint dimple on her face or that I could reach out and take her teeny hands inside my own because I would be there, breathing them, living them, smelling over and over again the crest of her perfect tiny head and sweet baby ears, holding her in my lap trying or grabbing me and trying to nurse in the store will be faint memories, but I also know my love for her will stay just as all encompassing as it is today, just as intense, just as perfect, tangible, and frighteningly bright.
That much, I know for sure.


24 things

24 things because It's my 24th birthday!
Sweet things I love:
1) My Little Berry
2) My wonderful Pappa Starbucks
3) "Crazy" by Seal
4) Handmade toys
5) Phish Food ice cream from Ben and Jerry's
6) Co-sleeping
7) Vintage children's books
8) Sewing
9) Dogs
10) The color yellow
11) Bicycle rides
12) City life (and the bookstores that come with that)
13) Chap stick
14) Mint, paprika, rosemary, lavender....
15) Trader Joe's (and their mangoes!)
16) Sunshine
17) Rain
18) Pride and Prejudice
19) Chocolate
20) Cloth diapers-I'm especially loving the Bum Genius right now
21) These printable bookplates
22) These sweet fabrics
23) Vintage paper dolls like these
24) My new etsy shop! More dolls coming soon!



Right now little berry is hard asleep on my lap
in a way she hasn't done since we were in Europe.
I am watching barefoot contessa thanksgiving episodes
and salivating at all the yummy food. The truth is,
I love food. It has given me lots of pleasure over
time but my tastes have changed quite
A bit through time too. When I was littler, I could eat
ham sandwiches with banana slices on them all
day long. Or tomato sandwiches with American
cheese slices. Pappa Starbucks is vegetarian
though, and since we began living together we
both began eating healthier. We go through the vegetables
in this house although they're rarely eaten raw. I used
to eat lots of easy foods and he ate lots of "vegetarian junkfood"
so it's nice to come to enjoy eating healthier
together. On our thanksgiving menu this year is:
roasted carrots
Stuffed mushrooms with vegetarian sausage 
Quorn vegetarian turkey
mashed potatoes of course....
cranberry sauce by pappa starbucks
mmmmmmm! Happy thanksgiving!! 


From the "archives"

Here are some pictures from this time last year. The first is of Inauguration night at the Governors party. We had just heard that Obama won.

It was so, so loud in that room. Perdue won as well and everyone was laughing, whooping, some crying. It was exciting for us as a family.
This second photo was taken at UNC as Pappa Starbucks picked me up on a friday afternoon. Have you been there in the fall before? It is so beautiful. Springtime, too.

Do you see this precious purple face?
We were struggling so hard with thrush and a cranky baby those days. Today she's well and instead of purple gentian violet stain...



We all know what it's like to be busy, to be overwhelmed, to have more on our plate than we'd like. And sometimes it's not that we're busy, or too busy to do what needs to be done, it's just that we don't want to do what we need to. Oh, procrastination. The truth is, if I applied myself, I could accomplish a lot. A whole lot. I'm not what I would call a lazy person, but I am creatively motivated. By that, I mean I am highly motivated when it comes to things creative. Organizing the bookshelf thoroughly? Oh, I can do that. Baking bread? Absolutely! Folding the towels and patching Little Berry's pants where she wiped out too many times wore them out? Yes, yes! Sign me up. But when it comes to seeing that the bedroom isn't exactly in tip top shape or that the scum in our tub has began turning pink, well. I'm not the best at this. I look at it like this:
How long ago did I get on my hands and knees and scrub the bathroom/kitchen floor/ etc? And if the answer is more than a week ago I think
"well...I will clean it tomorrow."
And then the next day I actually DO follow through on those tasks and usually also end up doing way more than I *realized* needed doing. Of course. And then I get all huffy when Pappa Starbucks doesn't comment on how great everything looks, but that's another post.

What about you? How do you maintain a clean home?
(I'm talking to you, Nichole, Sharla, and Lynette!)
***And anyone else who might be following along here :)


Captain Jacques the pirate man...

My niece used to come up to people and, covering up one eye, curl her other hand into a hook and say "Captain Jacques and his pirate ship! GRrrrr!"
I never really knew where she got it, probably a book or TV show. But when I started sewing this fellow yesterday that was all I could think of. So I will call him
"Captain Jacques the peg-legged pirate" (Grrrr!!)
I promise in real life his mustache looks much better. I need to stop taking so many pictures on my Iphone and start using my camera...I just loathe the uploading!


Hump day

I am very unmotivated today. Well, unmotivated towards the mundane. I got up early, got a good start on the morning, and then Pappa Starbucks found out he didn't have to go volunteer at the Kipp School. So he was home and I spent more time chasing after Little Berry than starting the laundry or dishes, because when Pappa is home, she wants his attention. Naturally.
I DID make two dolls today already and then hauled myself away from the sewing table to do "chores."
At which point I didn't get anything else done except tell myself if I did get the laundry done and the bread into the oven and the floor vacuumed...that I could justify returning to the sewing.
This is one of those days I don't want to clean at all I suppose.
Here are some pictures of sweet things to look at...
Here are the two cuties I made today. This is Juniper. She has her head in the clouds just like I do today...

which she said was a bit chilly so we put together this little sweater for her

much better I'm told.
This is Gretta, who's feeling a bit lonesome and wants someone to snuggle and enjoy cocoa with. Per her suggestions I drew up a fellow and she's picking out his buttons, but a bit overwhelmed by the choices...

her choice is clear and her stitches certain.

and hump day is nearly over.


Sunny day

Today it is a quiet day, Little Berry wanting much more attention from me than I have energy to give. We walked a while earlier and are both so tired that soon she will crawl up on my lap and pat me, wanting milk. I love the smell of her hair and her the way she grins at me while nursing like she knows how great she is. And she is, all the time. I know these tiny sweet moments will be sparce as she gets bigger, but seeing her become independent already has its rewards. She knows that when we are going to the car she needs to get into her seat, or that when I get my shoes she needs to get hers. When she needs a diaper change she will often bring me a diaper and when she's hungry she sees me cooking. She is already pretty able to content herself while other things are being done.
We had a lot of fun with my nieces and made a lot of noise, it was exciting, energetic. They took off this morning loaded down with new things and stories to tell at home about their stay in the city. We took them up and down the city hitting all their favorite types of places. I don't know or sure if they loved it but they kept forgetting they had parents, so I think that means yes.
I can see now how having multiple kids could make things both harder to manage and sweeter to enjoy. We've pretty much decided around here that we will be the house of three for a long time though, just because we enjoy one quite a bit and don't exactly want to have to juggle our attention around. This doesn't mean never though, and I have so many boxes of girl clothes stored away that she's already outgrown that I don't know what I will do if I don't end up with another girl someday.
The holidays are encroaching again and it seems like they are always sneaking up, perhaps not even sneaking but running in eagerly and announcing themselves "HI!! HELLO! IT'S ME! CHRISTMAS!" so I've decided that this year I'm not going to let them get the best of me. I will not get the holiday blues, greens, or reds this year. I will take it easy and be direct about my very minimum interest, and they will come...and they will go.
Today, however, I am going to continue kissing this sweet baby's head,
washing, drying and folding the mundane that is laundry,
baking bread,
and enjoying my new sewing space.


Three Girls

Yesterday my two nieces arrived, bringing with them suitcases of clothes and bags and books, smiles and giggles and silly jokes abound and there hasn't been a five minute stretch yet that wasn't punctuated by some sort of chuckle. We started out this morning with a breakfast of choices, wherein my older niece turned down everything yummy in the favor of toaster waffles. This in my house is the breakfast of "there's nothing else left in the house to eat" and yet it was her first choice. We're knee-high in schoolwork this morning as I spend two days being a homeschooling aunt, and I must say it is pretty great.
To my benefit, they are wonderful children and aim to please. Last night, we sat down and made some sweet felt trees for their mother, a project we didn't get very far on for the dropping of needles and the tangling of thread. I've promised them I would help them make things for all their littlest friends, and I also thought I would share them here.
Here are the trees in minutiae

Here is Mollie Mouse, made my myself. She is seen here in her natural habitat with a wagon of acorns:
And who we call bitty baby and bitty mamma going for a stroll:

and I will leave you with this poem the sweet oldest wrote this morning about Little Berry and Myself:
by CBP

[Little Berry]
little, funny
baby,cousin, woman, aunt
fun, smart

I changed our names here in her poem for my own anonymity.


Plowing ahead

Yesterday was a day of pins and needles. I was nervous all day and kept waiting to hear from Pappa Starbucks. We've been weighed down, dragged down, we've felt insufficient and inadequate. We've felt like failures. True, we have eachother and a beautiful sweet daughter. But graduating from college left us in a limbo, a place where we knew not what was ahead. We fought for job after job just to see it crumble away until we were thrilled to find out he had been offered a position. A position nannying for someone elses kids, something he is so overqualified for but grateful to have nonetheless. Our biggest disappointment came last year when he was accepted into Teach For America but placed on a wait-list. This was a job he wanted so badly and was really ideal for, a job that meant more opportunities to learn and opportunities to go to grad-school afterwords, things that are virtually unattainable to us without such an opportunity because of financial reasons.
Last night at 7:00 we found out he has been accepted into Teach For America this year. We are thrilled, excited, nervous, but mostly happy. It will of course be lots of hard work and long hours, but I know he is intelligent and will do swimmingly.
Congratulations to us!


Friday Faves

I've been saving some links lately and I want to share them with you.
I've been making, making, making!!
I was inspired by these bookmarks
and these tee shirts
I've been making these cloth diapers for Little Berry's babies.
I've been admiring these sweet mousies and making something like these soft baby shoes except felted, and folding these sweet cards to get back in touch with friends...and last but not least, making these perfect box bags
check them out! Get inspired!


You've got to check this out ...

Wow you have to check out this giveaway Noah and Lilah GUEST GIVEAWAY!!!!. Those skirts are SO precious and I can't imagine the thrill I would have of winning...but here's hoping I do. Little berry spends more days dressed as a boy than I like to admit, so we could sure use it.



We made it to the pumpkin patch with the little one. We're in a neighborhood that's not all that festive but we've made an effort, and have a front door that looks ready to greet the hordes. Little Berry loved the pumpkins and kept trying to make off with them all. We haven't carved them yet but it will be done! It will!
It was a bit of an impromptu trip and as such we layered on almost anything we could find and don't look quite the part. I think they would look well in black and white but will enjoy these for now.

It's finally justifiable to say things like "we had roasted squash for dinner last night" and "I am so ready for a cup of tea"

In fact, as I sit here typing this, children scatter back and forth in front of our steps nearly dying from excitement and anticipation, the fireplace is going with a sleeping Little Berry in front of it, and my toes are a teensy bit nippy.