How is it?

Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Have you ever noticed that days that you want to clean house end up being busy with other work?
How is this? How does this happen?

I woke up this morning and had the goal of catching up on some much needed house cleaning. Only to get 3 orders in and remember I have a feature I had to fill in on another sit. So I get busy with that, and by the time I am half way done with anything, it is time to cook diner. Now I am soo tired from standing in front of a hot stove and being 7 months pregnant, I do not want to do a thing. Forget work, forget cleaning, I just want a nap.

Of course that isn't possible with a very active four year old jumping from couch to couch. Maybe I should see if I can con him into cleaning some of this house for me. Make him do a few loads of laundry and sweep and mop the floor, ok that is just wishful thinking, it will never happen, or at least he will do it but it will not be to my standards so I still have to go back behind him and clean everything.

Ohh where is my house cleaning fairies, or my fairy god mother? Can't she do chores for me so I can take a nap?

Ohh well maybe I will get it done tomorrow! NOT!

Design Challenge for July...and the winner is

Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Congratulations to the winner of this month's challenge - Red Shoes Raglan Peasant Top by thetrendytot! The Trendy Tot is one of a kind, hip clothing store selling bright and fun play dresses, tops and more. You can visit them at thetrendytot or check out their website at

We had an amazing selection of entries this month. I'm sure it was very hard to choose just one. Cheers to all of you that participated and hope to see more of your wonderful designs next month!

Kids in the Kitchen

I'm always looking for fun snacks that I can serve my two little ones...just something that will hold them over in between meals. I'm sure it's something that all of us moms do from time to time!

When I was a preschool teacher, I had learned to turn food into many different things to fit the classroom theme of the week! Learning about the ocean this week? Well then whip some cream cheese with a few drops of blue food coloring and have the kids dip goldfish crackers in it! Yum. Easy!

Or how about making Aquarium Cups with blue jello?

Make the blue jello as directed, divide it up and pour the jello into clear plastic cups. Just as the jello starts to set (about 1 hour or so), put a Swedish fish in the middle of the jello cup...and poof! You have a instant ocean and all! Click here for Kraft's yummy version of that treat!

Jello...Pudding...Crackers...Veggies...they all make yummy treats for kids! But...the fun part is creating a spectacular treat out of the ordinary, everyday ingredients. And it doesn't have to be hard. Look around your kitchen...what do you have already sitting in your cabinets that will help you create a fun & tasty treat that your kids will love & even brag about?!

In celebration of the summer sun and blasting heat...this week we made Sandy Beach Cups in our house. Take a peek at just how easy they are to make!

All you need is:
Pudding Snack Cups (or make your own instant pudding & put it in clear plastic cups)
Graham Crackers (or if you have a box of crushed graham cracker crumbs on hand, it'll save you a step)
Lifesaver Gummy Rings
Teddy Grahams
Paper Umbrella Picks

All you have to do is crush graham crackers (or use the already crushed ones) and sprinkle them on top of the pudding cups. Allow your kids to 'decorate' their sandy beach cups with Teddy Grahams and Gummy Lifesaver rings (representing the Teddy's lifesaver floaties). Embellish with a paper umbrella pick and you've got yourself...I mean, your kids have a tasty summer themed treat!

And the best part about this snack is...I set up a little assembly line on the table and my children helped to create their own snacks! It was a fun activity that filled the tummy and enlightened their creativity all at the same time!


Recipes were inspired by Kraftfoods Sweet Treats for Kids.

Is It 5 Minutes Ago Yet?

Posted Monday, July 27, 2009

Re-posted with permission from Alyssa at The Mama Dramalogues. Originally posted 6/2/09.

Once upon a time, Alyssa was a wild haired 12 year really, it's happened...I swear...anyway, Alyssa the "tween" used to spend any available babysitting money plastering her walls with magazine pictures and posters of Duran Duran, much to her parent's dismay (seriously, who wants that much Scotch tape in one place?)...

What's the point of this trip down memory lane? Work with me point is, having done it myself, I'm pretty sure it's a cardinal law...maybe a forgotten Newtonian theory or lost 11th Commandment...that kids will find an obsession that will drive their parents nuts. Since SweetPea and Lil Buddy are both pretty young, there's no telling what fads they'll be tempted to buy into in the not so distant future...but I can say this...I am SO glad that fads come and go like wildfire, because there are a few out there right now that are bugging the hell out of me...and I can only hope are "so 5 minutes ago" long before my kids find them interesting...

The "Jonas Brothers" Shag Do: While we're at it...throw the stupid Jonas Brothers out with their annoying hair. Dude...the Hardy Boys and The Partridge Family want you to stop ripping off their look. Not that I have anything against long hair...hey, I used to have a huge crush on Mark Slaughter for God sake...but come on...he had GREAT hair. I can't tell you how many times I've seen some teenage boy running around with this do and wanted seriously to hold him down and buzz it off. Seriously...pick a side...grow it long or cut it short. The fact that kids pay someone to make it look like they still need a haircut drives me nutty.

Hannah Montana: Pllllleeeeeehhheeeeesssseee make it stop!!! If I have to see Miley Cirus one more time, I think I might have to claw my eyes out (so what do I do...I post a pic...go figure!). I'm anxiously waiting for her to turn 18...not for the same reason I'm sure half of the men in the universe might be, but so she can either do a Britney and spiral out of control and end up on the cover of Playboy, forever sending her Disney "I'm cute enough to be safe for your 5 year old daughter" card up in flames or just having the general "Lizzie McGuire/Sabrina the Teenage Witch" effect kick in where she's officially too old to be relevant to anyone under the age of 16. I have a dream...that someday within the next two years, I can walk into a WalMart or Target and not have to see shelves full of Hannah Montana merchandise staring back at me.

Bratz Dolls: Sadly...these things just don't seem to be going away. I'm sure at this point I have no social commentary to share that hasn't been beaten to death in the media, but, honestly, I DO NOT want my daughter playing with skanky dolls. Yeah, maybe I'm a be it. For all of the moms who I hear don't want their kids playing with Bratz either, someone has to be buying them, because there are whole aisles dedicated to them in toy stores and retail shops everywhere. Maybe someone will leak some nudie pics of THEM on the Internet and their careers will be over too.

At the end of the day, the kicker is...even when these things do disappear into the land of retro nostalgia...something all new and more annoying will surely take their place. My solution...I'm ripping off the movie Bubble Boy...I'm putting the kids in big plastic bubbles and letting them stay home all day watching Land of the Lost reruns.

Rain, Rain, please come our way!

Posted Sunday, July 26, 2009

In honor of the drought we are experiencing here in Texas, here are some fantastic rain related EtsyKids items that are pretty darn cute while we wait for the real showers!

A fantastic tee from charlieandsarah! adorable tank from planetpudge!

...wonderful clippies from CuckooBoo

...and equally welcome to our Texas' homes as a good solid shower itself is this beautiful print from chichiboulie!

Pricing Strategies

Posted Saturday, July 25, 2009

In the forums, both Etsy and EtsyKids there are always questions about wholesale pricing. As a rule shop owners expect to pay half of your retail. Now - if your retail price is very low then half of that sounds ludicrous... I hope that this post will encourage everyone to take a look at how much their work is really worth. And also let consumers understand the value of hand made goods!

The wholesale price is figured from adding the cost of materials, cost of labor and hourly cost of doing business.. (Many sellers use a wholesale price for the retail price - which makes it impossible for them to maneuver in the wholesale market).

For example lets say you weave rag rugs and want to know what your wholesale price should be. Materials for rags and thread are $5.25. Next add cost of labor - we'll say you pay yourself $15/hr and it takes you 2 hours per rug for a total of $30. Now you add your hourly cost of doing business (also known as overhead) - include etsy fees, PayPal fees, electricity, etc..(if you don't include all of your indirect costs in figuring your prices, any financial projection you make about your business will be unrealistic.) For this example will say our hourly overhead is $8.81. This gives us a wholesale cost of $44.06 per rug. To get your retail price, in most cases you double your wholesale price. Most shop and gallery owners mark up 50%-60% - so if you double yours then you will be close to the shop price. (the reason for this is a shop owner cant sell what she bought from you for $80 if your selling it in your shop for $40.)

This is just a spring board for pricing. You have to know your market and know if the market will bear your prices AND LET ME SAY THIS- Your market IS NOT Walmart . Hand made things should never be in competition with Walmart or large chain stores like that. When people are shopping for hand made items they expect to pay boutique prices, not discount store prices. If your prices are cheap they expect that the quality is as well. Your market should be consistent with what you see in high end boutiques. Educate yourself about your market, research, never stop learning!

The BIGGEST mistake new Etsy vendors make is setting prices too low. And I did the same thing in the beginning. I sold dresses for $10 for 3 years. And I wish 100 times over that I could get all those dresses back - I actually had one honest customer email me later that she had sold 2 of my $10 dresses for $75 each at a swap meet! That email changed my life - as you can imagine! LOL! I unlisted everything in my shop - re-priced and re-listed and felt much better about selling. Granted stuff didn't sell as fast as it was at $10 (of course) but when I sold something I didn't fell like I was giving my time away.

Just thoughts from my head to yours! I hope everyone enjoys this fab weekend! XO

Featured Shop - Trendy Tatters

Posted Thursday, July 23, 2009

Trendy Tatters creates divine custom jewelry for your your princess.
Concentrating on using the highest quality materials, no plastic beading or cheap findings are ever incorporated into the designs. Trendy Tatters aims to create and provide boutique quality jewels worthy of your little one.

Within the pages of the store you will find baby and child bracelets, girls necklaces, child anklets and girls earrings among other items such as bling converse shoes.
Shipping is available worldwide with all jewelry presented in an organza bag.
This beautiful shop is worth a look if you want to spoil your little one.


Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We started our homeschool curriculum early this year. One cause of all the doctor appointments that will get in the way from now on and the three days I will be in the hospital when baby comes.

That and when the curriculum got here Davin couldnt wait to get in there and start learning. So he thought he was ready so lets go go go.
In honor of that I thought I would mark this wonderful occasion for us with a few alphabet items. Something fun and cute and well whimsical if we can find it.
First we found.....
This cute adorable blanket by Kunklebaby. I love the animals and well it has the alphabet on it so had to put it here.

And a fun alphabet soft book by Childrenswoodland

A great and cute chalk mat for on the go fun by LilBDesigns

And there are sooo many more but these were the ones that just stood out for me.

Kids in the Kitchen

Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Last week's Kids in the Kitchen post was all about making your own homemade play dough and now this week I'll show you how to cook up another goody inspired by our favorite childhood activity - although this'll be edible & scrumptious!

Play Dough Cookies
These cookies - with their vibrant swirls of color - look just like play dough! But you can eat them...they are delicious! Children will go crazy for these cookies...and they'd love to help you make them!

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar & extra for 'dipping' the cookies into
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • assorted colors of paste food coloring
  • 24 lollipop sticks (optional)

  1. In a bowl - cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir till soft dough forms. Divide dough into thirds or fourths (depending on how many colors you'd like). Tint each with a different food color (you should have 3 or 4 different colors). Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Working with half of each color, shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and for each cookie place 1 ball of each color together to make 1 large ball. Shape into a 12 inch long roll (like a snake), starting at one end, coil roll to make a 2 3/4 inch round cookie, dip the tops of the cookies into sugar for a "glistening" affect. Place cookies 3 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Carefully insert lollipop sticks into bottoms of cookies, if you'd like them to be lollipop cookies (See picture below).
  4. Bake cookies for 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and store in an airtight container.

These are great cookies to make for your child's classroom or preschool too...children LOVE them!

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.


It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open through midnight EST on Monday, July 27th.

This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme 'School Days!' We received a great amount of fantastic entries and it will certainly be difficult to choose just one. So, please check out the entries below and VOTE!

1. 2. 3.
4. 5. 6.
7. 8. 9.

1. Classic Denim Ruffle Capri or Pants by: LittleBitShabby
3. Smocked Bishop Dress Perfect For Back To School by AmberlyJoy
4. Pink and Purple Flowers Girl's Dress by: bellassweetboutique
5. Fully Insulated Lunch Tote - Machine Washable - Hoot Hoot Owls by naturallyfelt
6. Luau Twirly Skirt BLUE and PINK Hula Girl Made on Maui by: tikitales
7. ItsAWrap Back to school sandwich and snack fabric bag set Eco Friendly by: Torrilynn123
8. Back To School Skirt by: bowbakery
9. Back To School Red and Blue Crayon Korker Barrette by: ringsaroundrosie
10. Butterfly Silhouette Tote and Lunch bag by: modernfrills
11. Fuzz Monster Key Chain by: befriendmantic
12. School Dayz - ABC 123 - Black and Red with an Apple on Top - Bow Hair Clip by CuzItClipz
13. Handmade (I love 2 read) dress especially made for back to school by: thePaisleyPearl
14. Children's Educational Wooden 3D Puzzle - Alphabet Apple by: PuzzledOne
15. Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag SET for kids - Eco Friendly by: CountingBunnies
16. SESAME STREET FRIENDS by jjkgirlythings
17. CUTE AS A CUPCAKE CRAYON CASE by: NinisHandmades
18. School time fun crayon roll set by: ChildishThoughts
19. girls size 2/3 raggy chic jacket by: perennialpiecer
20. Fold Over Flap Sack Book Bag by: Bellesmademoiselles
21. Peace Sign 70s Hip Cool Personalized Monogrammed Embroidered Insulated Cooler Lunch Bag Snack Box by: MommaOh
22. Custom Boutique Back to School Ribbon Shirt - ABC and 123 by: KPCreations
23. Head of the Class Apple Barrette by: GirlettesMV
24. Primary Colors -Back to School Party Hair Bow by cuddlebuddies4kids

I Forgot to Build My Nest

Posted Monday, July 20, 2009

I was in the middle of watching the movie "Juno" tonight (LOVE that movie), anyway, Jennifer Garner's character was in the middle of painting the nursery and couldn't decide between two different shades of yellow. Her husband wondered why she was even worried about it at this point, when the baby was still a few months away, and she said that it was an important part of preparing for a baby, that the books referred to it as nesting.

Aah, the nesting phase. I've read about it, heard about it, and somehow missed it. Twice. Dang it. I'm pretty sure it would have come in handy. I could have had an immaculately clean house for once. When we first moved in doesn't count. Our dining room table was an overturned box and our couch was an air mattress. We didn't own enough stuff to have a messy house.

In addition to stuff, we also acquired kids, and the two of them together are a combination that would get us turned away by the Producers for TLC's Clean Sweep. "I'm sorry, we're only an hour long show." Why, oh why couldn't I have been a nester?

Instead of nesting, I was busy throwing up and getting 24/7 heartburn. Wasn't the nesting phase supposed to be one of the perks to pregnancy? I think the pregnancy glow was the other one, but I missed that too. I feel a little ripped off. Here, Mother Nature has given us the drive and motitivation to channel our inner Merry Maid so we get one last chance to see a clean house before the baby arrives. Because we all know it won't happen again, ever. See, it's as nature intended. Crap, I think I just proved how completely unnatural I am while admitting I live in a sty. Damn.

As I survey the damage (the smears across the tv screen, Cheerios ground into the carpet, ew, did the cat throw up again?!!), I'm thinking that although I missed nesting, I must still be a pretty good mom. After all, if I'm too busy caring for my kids to clean up every mess, logic would conclude that the messier the house, the better the mom, right? Right?! Well, that's the angle I'm using. And by the looks of my house, I'm half-way to Mother of the Year. :oP

Originally Posted on The Mama Dramalogues
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