Monthly Archives: March 2013

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babies & cardboard boxes. it’s a thing.

So, let’s talk baby marketing. Not really, but just a tinsy bit.

Guys, anything that you buy for your child ends up becoming a big, huge research project if you let it. I love online reviews, but seriously, sometimes way.too.much.information. And I’m just talking about toys here. For Mateo, we wanted to keep things simple. I didn’t want all the things, just essentials. You know, the good looking, eco toys that will turn your child into a genius. It’s just hard to pick because there are a bazillion choices, and the good looking ones that bring out genius are never cheap.

baby-in-cardboard-box

That was phase one. Then I entered the tired phase, and just started looking for things that would keep that boy busy and entertained. I’d scan reviews for something along the lines of, “kept little baby Z busy for half an hour.” ADD TO CART. You just hope that it’s not too ugly, it’s non-toxic, and maybe doesn’t dull your child’s intellect.

We’re now in phase three. I’m not as tired. Phase three is good. I couldn’t care less about any marketing. We still (try to) keep it simple. And yeah, yeah, I still like pretty things that are “developmental.” But we don’t shop often, hand me downs are great, and  a n y t h i n g  with a little imagination can be a toy. OH, and phase three also means that when we DO buy toys, they better last a few years and really, do I want to play with it too? Let’s just say that Mateo has the most rocking little play kitchen you’ve ever seen.

Whew, that was a lot of intro. I kinda just wanted to show you photos of Mateo in a cardboard box. Babies love cardboard boxes. They are the best.

babies-in-cardboard-boxes-2013

I hear that when I was a child, that’s all I wanted to play with. Baby trends be damned. Decades later and still a hit in 2013. Pretty sure those boxes made me the woman I am today. Good luck, Mateo.

babies-and-boxes-1983

it’s the weekend, friends

happy-weekend-post

Well, it’s sunny and the snow is melting around here. (sorry, Mateo). We have out-of-town guests which is always a fun reason to see your own city through fresh eyes. New eyes are good. Let’s all be tourists for a day.

Hope you all have a super weekend. I probably wouldn’t say “super” in real  life but I mean it nonetheless.

Alsooooo, Happy International Women’s Day!

 

i need to tell you about my awesome sock snowman

sock-snowman-craft

Okay, so don’t roll your eyes too hard…but I’m kinda proud. Like, really proud. Like, I’m having one of those, “oh man, I’m so amazing” moments. There’s just something satisfying about making stuff  with your hands. I need to protect more time for crafts and being creative in general. You should too.

henna's-craft-snowman

Last night, my friend, Catherine brought her two (super cute) toddlers over for dinner and had this sweet idea that she found on the internet. I won’t claim to be up to date on crafting trends, but I’m guessing that March is typically a little late for winter themed activity. BUUUUT, we’re still buried in snow so we decided run with it! Sock snowmen and away we go!

I should mention that this was supposed to be a project “for the kids.” But let’s be real, my kid is 18 months old. He would have just gotten in the way. ;)

We let the kids scoop rice into the socks and that completed their portion of the project. Thanks kids! From there, we let them go to town with the rest of the rice, some bowls and a few spoons. That bought us about 20 minutes to whip these guys up. I WILL say, if I was to do this all over again, I’d probably leave the toddlers with play dough or something less…small and prone to S C A T T E R. We’ll probably be finding rice in small corners until Mateo leaves for college.

sock-snowmen-crafts

But seriously, how CUTE are these guys?! If you want to make your own snowman, it’s super easy. This crafty lady will tell you how.

For the wardrobe run down, my guy is a white sock wearing a mustard sweater scrap hat with a poof ball on top made from an old fuzzy pillow cover. His plaid jacket is a scrap from an old table cloth, and it’s all tied together with some twine and mini rubber bands. I especially love his hat. I’d wear that hat.

Catherine’s “little” lady is head to toe rainbow sock. She’s bright and colorful just like Catherine. Sometimes we have a good laugh that we’re friends. Case and point — Just ask us our favorite color. Henna: grey. Catherine: is rainbow a color?

toddler-wants-the-sock-snowmen

And now to name them…


PS  I DO realize that you’d probably  rather be looking at photos of the three cute toddlers who were in the background, but I was way too focused on my CRAFT to think of that. They were cute and messy. You’ll just have to take my word this time.

PPS  If you missed the link above and wanted to try your own hand at making an awesome sock snowman, just click over to –> Then She Made for instructions

let it snow

Holy Moly it’s snowing in March! And it doesn’t look like it’s going to let up anytime soon in Chicago. That’s okay, let it snow!

snow-toddler

 

It’s also my aunt’s birthday today. (xoxo). Apparently my grandmother always told her that it’s good luck if it snows on your birthday. My grandmother knows stuff. Well, it’s been snowing LUCK all day. The most snow we’ve seen in a loooong time. Looks like there’s enough extra luck to share with the rest of us.

kids these days

man to man

In other news, Mateo, at the ripe old age of 18 months has decided that he’d like a more “man to man” relationship with his father. Out of the blue this morning, he dropped “Tata” (“Dad” in Croatian) and started addressing his father as “Aki” (the nickname we all call Andrija).

Not a fluke. He’s kept it up ALL DAY.

I know we should probably nip it in the bud soon, but quite honestly, it’s hilarious, and I may or may not be encouraging it just a tinsy bit. What can I say? The boy is a showman and he’s been getting good audience response.

So far, my formal title doesn’t seem to be in any danger — Mama, mama, mama, mama.

I’ll keep you updated.


*photos taken October 20, 2012 

let’s March on. your taste is killer.

Is it really March already? Darn, I missed the first. You’ll come to learn that I love a new chapter and that the first of anything is a hopeful thing in my book.

                                                                       .    .    .

I really love this quote by Ira Glass. One of my favorite people sent this in an email last year; the type of friend who knows my frustrations (so many), and always believes I’ll be great no matter how many times I fall (a lot). Also the type of friend who passes along inspiration. At the time, I was knee deep in all-baby-all-the-time, seeking creative outlet but stuck in insecurity. I printed that email and have had it taped to my wall ever since. I thought I’d “tape” it to the blog.

You may know this quote already, but if you don’t, I encourage you to read. This is a thought on being a beginner, about believing in your instincts, about working your talent, about fighting to develop it, about putting that process into perspective before comparing yourself to death, and about being a creative. If your struggle isn’t creative, just substitute. We all have something.

Yeah, yeah, I have more photo posts coming soon. Today, let’s read words.

 

TAPE_NO.04

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” —Ira Glass

TAPE NO.03

 

I don’t know, Ira. You think that you have taken longer to figure it out than anyone you know? Well, I might just give you a little run for your money. I am definitely still figuring things out. Sometimes I catch myself thinking “when I grow up” a little too often.  Still, I have learned from my very round-about and non-linear past that there’s no such thing as “being behind” when it comes to life. You jump around, and when you open yourself up, take chances and really pursue something, you tend to end up in interesting places.

And for those of you who have made it all the way down to here, I just want to say THANK YOU. I am sharing a very raw version of myself. I am still finding my voice. I am still learning my camera, and my photo editing has a lot to be desired. I don’t know how to show you things the way I envision it all. I don’t know exactly where I’m headed, but I’m working on it, and I’m really flattered that I have company. I’m glad you’re here.

I’m also a little embarrassed. That’s just how it is.

 


*the nifty masking tape images via Besotted, an absolutely beautiful blog that I recently discovered and a lovely place for inspiration.

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