Today we went hiking and got sun-kissed. Being outside in the warmth made me excited all over again about the impending summer and all of the fun that we have in the outdoors. Texas is blissfully hot, and most days we try to get away with as light and little clothing as possible and appropriate (this Texas Summer Dress is one of my go-tos!) I imagine Plum will spend most of her days this summer in something like this darling cross back baby romper. It’s minimal and well-fitting, with just enough fun design detail to make it look intentional and baby-chic. I picked this little swatch of the new Cotton+Steel fabric up when I was at QuiltCon a few weeks ago. It’s part of their new line (which is all gorgeous) and I had less than half a yard, but it was just the perfect size to use for a cross back romper. This is the third of my one pattern four ways project. Unlike the others, which only require the download and printing of the diaper cover pattern (here) then following of my modification instructions, this pattern fusion requires the download the add-on pattern I created that you can download and print for free RIGHT HERE. Once you have them both printed, read on to get the full instructions for creating this delightful summer look.
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and PEOPLE®, or Real Simple® but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SpringintoMeTime http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
Once in a while I get a moment that feels like real “Me Time.” The kids are outside playing, or asleep for naps or bedtime, and rather than turning on my household maintenance overdrive, I take the chance to sit down and actually relax. It’s not a natural decision for me. My to-do-list-checking insides want to take advantage of every single moment with free hands to DO something, ACCOMPLISH something, CHECK-OFF something. But I’m learning that using some me time to recharge my battery, be inspired, and feel some leisure in my life is a truly necessary and beautiful thing.
I find it takes deliberate acts for me to chose to relax and unwind. Last week when I was at Target, I picked up a couple favorite magazines, People and Real Simple. The act of simply buying magazines made me feel committed to giving myself time to sit down and read them. People is always my go-to for celeb updates and style watches. It keeps me feeling a little tiny bit inside the worldy loop that changing diapers and wiping noses puts me so outside of. Real Simple has been a long-time favorite for organization ideas and especially right now for spring cleaning home solutions and simple warm-weather recipes. It is nice to gather ideas, inspiration, and even celeb gossip away from a screen in these days of constant technology. Reading a magazine is not quite as committal and requires less mental energy than diving into a novel, but is much more inspiring and useful than just turning on a show. I love getting tucked up cozy on my couch, with a magazine and my favorite homemade spicy ginger lime soda nearby. In these “me time” moments I remember what it’s like to chose to spend some of my time doing things that I really love.
If you’re needing a little mama recharge too, from 3/15-3/28 you can save $2.00 when you buy any TWO (2) participating magazines titles (All You®, Real Simple®, PEOPLE®) while supplies last. (Also, save 15% on select special issue magazines which include PEOPLE® Crimes of Passion, National Geographic® 100 Journeys of a Lifetime, TIME® Mark Twain, LIFE® Lincoln while using the Target Cartwheel app. Available until 4/17/15, while supplies last.)
While you’re shopping, pick up some fresh ginger root, crushed red pepper, sugar and soda water and let me introduce you to the BEST refreshing homemade soda to pair with your reading while you unwind.
This spicy ginger lime soda has become a sort of ritual for me. I seriously drink it every night, and sometimes in the afternoon when I need to have a break! There is something very adult about unwinding with a drink, but that can be hard to satisfy as a person who doesn’t drink alcohol. I have loved having this “mocktail” soda that is the perfect combination of spicy, sweet, and really refreshing.
Read on to get the full recipe so you can turn the page this Spring and enjoy some truly leisure “me time”, too. Read More
Plum is officially a walking baby as of two days ago! I made her all of these fun summer things banking on the idea that she’d be off her knees and able to comfortably wear them standing upright, and hooray, she’s done it.
These little drawstring baby shorties are a really fun and simple to make, and will be a definite summer staple. I can see them as everyday wear for little girls and boys, and even made in some fun swimsuit fabrics for little swim bottoms!
I am a blogger.
It’s been part of my life as a past-time, hobby, journal, portfolio, and creative outlet since 2007 (when Dave created a blogspot.com for me to record our adventure living in Puerto Rico as newlyweds). For years I blogged about my growing family, my personal projects, and shared thoughts and ideas with a growing group of online friends. The landscape in blogging changed over that time and two years ago I stopped blogging regularly because I was feeling a little burned out with the constant content creation, and the time involved with making beautiful and meaningful posts. I had begun to raise the bar on my own posts, creating huge projects like Stretch Yourself, as well as smaller but still involved ones like Reindeer Week and Birthday Week. I attended Alt Summit, where I learned so much about the business of blogging, and I came away from it feeling like my life was a little out of balance, and that I needed to give blogging a backseat as I focused on my family (had my third baby, moved across the country, built a house, settled into a whole new life.) These last couple years I’ve enjoyed the break from regular blogging (although I was excited with the invitations to participate in some really fun projects during that time, as well as speak at Alt Summit, keeping my toes in the door.) I was able to pursue other interests, survive pregnancy, the first year of adjusting to having a baby, and settle into our new life a bit. That said, I hadn’t been taking a break from working. From my first job in my early teens until this time last year, I have always had a job of some sort. Even when I was blogging five days a week (what?! I know that’s crazy!) I was also working part-time as a Registered Nurse, or taking custom sewing orders. I’ve worked both out of financial necessity and personal, emotional necessity. I feel good when I am working! It can be a nice break from full-time motherhood, and I love the feeling of contributing financially to my family, even if it’s a small amount of money. Every little bit helps, especially in these years when we’ve been getting through graduate school and now face years of paying off our student loans while trying to also maintain a balanced and comfortable lifestyle.
The last two years that I wasn’t blogging, I was working a PRN nursing job that I loved, but that took me away from my home and didn’t fulfill me creatively. Several months ago I quit that job, and thought I’d just relish all of the freedom of not having to work for the first time in my life. I was going to be able to care for my family, home, and self without the extra burden of deadlines or appointments.
And then a funny thing happened. I missed working! I missed having a project to work on that would bring home a paycheck. I missed contributing to our budget, however small that contribution may be. I missed developing and maintaining relationships with people and companies. So I was brought to a crossroads: should I look for another job as a nurse (which be away from home, and structured as far as hours), should I try to take on more sewing orders (which keeps me home and creative but from past experience I know it gets tiresome quickly) or should I take on blogging as a business (which allows me to work from home and be creative, and can also be somewhat more diverse and self-driven).
When I weighed all of the options, along with the pull I had been feeling to blog a little more again, I came to the decision that blogging more regularly and pursuing sponsored content would enable me to satisfy several of my personal needs. It would fulfill my need to create and share, sponsored content would bring in a small paycheck, and I would be able to continue developing new relationships with readers and brands. In my experiences with working with brands, I have absolutely loved the creative challenge of creating content that is worthwhile to the readers as well as relevant to the brand. Posts like this and this have been so fulfilling as I’ve had a focused job to do and can do it with personal creative freedom and authenticity. Of course I’ll never tell you I love something I hate, and I will chose to work on campaigns that genuinely interest me, because, I mean, I’ll be the one doing the work! The landscape for blogging as business is much different than it was a few years ago even, and all of the support for blogger-entrepreneurs these days actually makes me feel really comfortable trying this out. I found a lot of great resources here in Jansen’s post about where to start with actually making money with blogging, and I don’t feel the least bit like I’m selling out or being insincere, because this, too is my life. There is no question that my family and home are my number on priority, and my reality is that I am better at loving my family and home when I give myself time to sleep, time to create, and yes, time to work.
Is it scary to make another shift in my lifestyle and take on something new again? Absolutely. But I believe in my ability to make choices that are best for myself and my family. I believe in trusting my experience and learning from the past to create a better future. There is so much that I want to share.
So, I guess this post is a little bit of a disclaimer, public service announcement, or simply an explanation as to the sponsored posts that (have been and) will be coming your way on One Little Minute. I will also be sharing other posts about projects, food, family, and hopefully some about our new house and new city as well. I feel engaged in this endeavor, giddy about new possibilities, and a little bit curious about how this change will affect my life. It feels like a good time, so I’m going to go ahead with it, and I hope you’ll continue to support me and the sponsored posts that will give blogging more regularly a place in my life.
The other day Eliot hopped into his car seat and I closed the door, pulled on my seatbelt, and started on the way to one of our regular drop-off, pick-up, grab-real-quick, errands. “Put on your straps!” I reminded him, and within seconds he was crying and yelling, completely stressed out by the task at hand. “I can’t do it!” he complained. I assured him that he could, in fact, do it, but that he needed to “slow down and try again.” He was still learning, but I was certain he was capable. He slowed down, stopped crying, and after a few minutes of deliberate concentration he had his buckles buckled.
This scenario isn’t uncommon. My kids are regularly rushing to put their shoes on and burst into tears for untied laces. Or picking up the playroom at night and, looking around the room, they become totally overwhelmed by the task at hand and feel like “I can’t do it!” Somehow along the way I developed the mantra that I use to encourage them in their hard times, “Slow down, try again. You can do it.”
I wonder how often I need to remember to offer that same encouragement to myself. My days have similar-feeling emergencies. With three young kids I can walk away for one second and come back the kitchen covered in flour and mini marshmallows, bathrooms with all the toilet paper unrolled, legos flushed down the toilet, wrestling matches in the hallway, crazy ninja-superhero-cowboys bouncing on the couch and eating on the rug. I look around at these insane times (that happen regularly), and I can feel overwhelmed by the task of motherhood at hand. It can all be too much to do/clean/carry/teach/learn/feed/heal/understand/organize/nurture/love/protect/say/feel. It can help to have something to rely on in these boiling-point moments to feel a sense of calm in the chaos. When I was pregnant with Plum I was recommended to drink some caffeine to help with my headaches. Later, after she was born and the headaches were gone, I found myself using a daily dose from the drive-thru to get me to the end of the day. At some point in the last few months I decided I wanted to try to separate myself from my dependency on caffeine to relieve my stress, and I was thrilled to discover RESCUE pastilles. Not only are they portable and more simple to have around when I need a boost of calm, but they are natural, non habit forming, and have been trusted for generations. Life is stressful. Each bring new experiences, unknown adventures, lots of messes and just as many memories. When I am feeling overwhelmed by the weight of it all, I’m going to remember to be kind to myself. To tell myself, “Slow down and try again. You’re just learning, you can do it.”
What types of products or methods do you use to relieve your own stress? I’d love to hear.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.