Thank you for visiting my blog; it is an exciting venture for me and I hope this will become a forum for moms and homemakers of all types to share stories, frustrations, and triumphs. There will be recipes, pictures of my latest and greatest soap creations, and anything I think will be interesting to Enthusiastic Homemakers.....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cowboy, Take Me Away......

<Sigh> Whenever I'm tired and stressed I start to think about how nice it would be to ride off into the sunset....where there would be no worries of course! I think it's normal to need an escape when things are tough, for whatever reason.

It's no secret to anyone, I'm sure; that I've been overworking myself lately; I feel like I have no choice at the moment; it's just something I have to power through...but it's been tough! A few nights I have been so exhausted I didn't know where I would find the energy to package orders or work on my sewing; but I did!

I hesitate to post pictures; because I always find dresses on hangers aren't nearly as lovely as the dress on a body or a dress form.....and I still have "loose ends" so to speak, yes the bodice facing in flapping in the breeze (undone because I still have alterations to do); and I can see 14,000 loose threads in that picture; but all that will be taken care of in due course. Oh, and working with the silk makes it terribly wrinkly; when finished I will steam the wrinkles out....so keep an open mind......<eeek>

When worn, the neckline on this slinky bias-cut dress drapes loosely

This is the material which will become the detachable train, it has a heather pattern and tiny beads and rhinestones
The daring low back plunges to the waistband....and yes, there's that bodice facing!

My mother came over to try on the dress for fit today; I'm happy to say that it just needs a little nip in the side seams; and she looks like Jean Harlow in it! The cut fits her petite frame perfectly, and reminds me of an old-time movie star! Next I have to do multitudes of hand sewing, which I have trouble with and dislike immensely! And the hem; which shouldn't be too hard; the only challenge is getting the shape right, since the back flares outward to form a small train. Another fitting on Thursday...hopefully, the last!

Gracious, I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open; but I have to make 3 batches of soap tonight, and hopefully at least press the hem for the dress....I may have to take a tiny nap!

I'm hoping to get back into the groove of regular posting as my schedule slows down; so many things falling through the cracks at the moment; I'm really hoping to change that!

Thank you to all my loyal followers, and I'm stunned to learn that I've gained new followers in light of my recent neglect! Thank you!

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Should be Kissed Often and by Someone Who Knows How

Ahh, Gone with the Wind! I absolutely believe in that sentiment! It's important in a marriage to not forget the "little things". I've seen the saying "Always kiss me Goodnight", which is a nice thought, but honestly; half the time James and I don't even go to bed at the same time, or else we both collapse on the couch; so there's not a lot of Good night's going on in our house! I say; kiss when you can! Somebody should put that on a coffee mug!

I've got marriage and weddings on the brain right now because my anniversary is coming up, and yesterday I realized that my mother's wedding is in nine days, so I really need to finish her dress this weekend. I'm coming right along with it, the skirt is bias cut and has five pieces, so getting those contoured seams perfect is crucial to the flow of the dress. The skirt is put together, and the bodice and facing are done, I just have to put the lining together and do the zipper and the hem. And the train...and the waistband....And the straps....EEK! I must work faster! I don't have any pics yet, because...well, it doesn't look like a whole lot yet, so I'll wait until it's at least recognizable!

There's no point in saying I'm busy; or tired; so I won't! I'll just say that I'm feeling very hopeful about the way things are going business-wise; and I'm trying to not sweat the small stuff. I heard that song on the radio today, the one by Tim McGraw called "Live like you were dying"; which basically is about living your life to the fullest, as if each day were your last. Certainly if everyone followed that to the "T"; there would not be a lot of bills being paid or laundry done; but I appreciate the message. Truly, getting my darn laundry put away doesn't help anyone (much); but having a (relatively) calm mother helps my boys tremendously. My final hang-up about the "letting it go" method is because of ingrained habits and attitudes, and the (unfounded) fear that if I don't keep up appearances; so to speak; James will not see the value in what I do. He's told me a million times that he would rather have a happy wife than a clean house, so I suppose it's really all just me. I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself, and others; and it's hard not to have the cleanest house and the best cooking and be the happiest, busiest Mama in the whole world! I guess it's just admitting I'm human, and fallible, and recognizing that I don't have to be perfect to be a pretty good person.

Must sew tonight! As soon as the dress looks like a dress, I will be sure to post pictures of it, and I really hope my mom's not reading this; because she'll think I won't have her dress ready in time! (It's ok, Mom; I'll get it done, no matter what!).

Tomorrow's Friday; have a great one!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Am a Material Girl.....

Of course, the "material" I'm talking about is the fabric kind! I've been working with glorious silk charmeuse fabric for my mother's wedding dress; it's a great pale, pale, yellow color (her favorite); and as delicate as tissue paper! At first I was wary of even cutting into it, but after working with it for a while, I realized that since it's 100% silk, it is much sturdier than it looks and it behaves quite well; clinging to the other layer when sewing, unlike cheap synthetics that are a nightmare to hold together! I've been staying up quite late sewing (or early, rather), and the other night watched another of my favorite classics; "How to Marry a Millionaire". It's very much in the same vein as "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes"; with good comedy, and the straight woman Lauren Bacall to act as a foil for Marilyn Monroe's signature ditzy blond character. My favorite line is when the girls were discussing how to "catch" a rich man; one asks "Do you marry him?" and Lauren's character answers, "Honey, if you don't marry him; you haven't caught him, he's caught you!". 

Whew! I feel like I've been neglecting my blog lately (because I have). I feel like I'm always talking about how busy I am; and really; busy doesn't begin to cover it!

Ooh! Ooh! I'm really excited because yesterday I got a lovely message from a woman who has a shop Flossie Fern's Vulgar Medicinals  where she makes lovely things with adorable names; she's a trained herbalist and makes all manner of balms and salves, and something called "Tea and Strumpets" dry shampoo! Her whole shop makes me happy!

So, after justifying the expense six ways to Sunday; I purchased these lovely items from her; for myself I got a tin of this sweet Knee Rouge  which is a really great multi-purpose rosy cream balm (but I must use it to rouge my knees; because I can't resist); and a product that James actually needs *don't click the link, my dear husby; it's a surprise*. The rest of you can feel free to click away and see what I got for a Gift for James. 

I love being able to buy little lovely trinkets like these; I find more joy in the little inexpensive items than I ever do in the big things. I remember when our refrigerator was on it's last legs last summer; I would have kept on dealing with the issues it had, but James was determined to get a new refrigerator at last and took me appliance shopping. It was horrible! I was very glad and felt lucky to get a new appliance, but the whole process was stressful and I would have preferred buying something like these little things; instead of breaking out in a cold sweat over the expense of a big ticket item! The saleslady even remarked that I didn't seem excited about getting a new refrigerator, and James and I were switching up the usual roles of husband and wife; he excited about shopping, and me wanting to run away and never come back! I guess I'm not really a material girl, and I certainly didn't go about trying to marry a millionaire!

The wedding dress is coming together; and I'm trying to ease my workload by not being as much of a perfectionist and delisting some of the items that are running low, instead of working through the night to restock my store. I have a Farmer's Market to prepare for, and that has to take priority right now. It does sting to feel like I "should" be doing more things and recognizing that I simply can't. I've heard the saying so many times, "you can only do what you can do", which seems so cliche, but is really meaningful. I always feel the need to push myself further and further, and I know I need to back off some so that I can still enjoy family time and perhaps eventually, sleep! I keep telling myself this refrain, "Just make it to May"; since all my most pressing issues will be done or under control by then, just so long as April doesn't speed by even more quickly, I should make it!

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

...It Was a Teenage Wedding.......

".......beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat' ~ Joanne Woodward, wife of Paul Newman 

".......beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat" ~ Joanne Woodward, wife of Paul Newman 

I'm a huge fan of Hollywood celebrities who manage to have long marriages, and Paul Newman is one of my favorites! Let's face it, he was a drop-dead gorgeous man who believed in marriage and fidelity; how rare! He was known to say that he had "steak at home, why would I go out for hamburger?". I also found another quote from him that is brilliant, "People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked".

All this reflection on marriage is because my wedding anniversary is fast approaching, May 1st will be our twelfth anniversary!

 I can hardly believe it, 12 years is a long time, isn't it? When I look at our wedding pictures and see how painfully young we were; honestly; I can't believe we were allowed to get married! How far we've come! Whenever I start to delude myself that I haven't changed, I have only to look at our wedding pictures, and the truth is evident; we've grown up together, as well as growing together as a couple.

It certainly hasn't been easy; though nothing worth doing ever is. We agreed (as we do almost every year) that presents were unnecessary (especially since our vacation was a great present), but I couldn't resist, and used my etsy money to buy a little trinket for both James and I! It wasn't expensive, just funny and meaningful; and I'm bursting to say what it is, but won't, because James sometimes reads my blog and I don't want to let the cat out of the bag!

We do generally go to a movie and out to dinner, which I'm sure doesn't sound exciting to most people, but we rarely get the opportunity to see movies anymore, or go out to dinner, so it's a special treat that reminds us of when we were dating. I think we may just go to our favorite winery for wine tasting and for lunch this year; we've recently enjoyed sampling different types of wine, and the drive and visit to the winery itself is very beautiful this time of year. Thank goodness I have a few sisters that are great with my boys and so generous as to come over to babysit when I ask; otherwise, it would be virtually impossible for us to have "dates", since none of my children have ever been watched over by a babysitter who wasn't family; and I don't want to go down that road. Although I do have a few wonderful friends I would trust, but I consider them family, anyway.

Last weekend I went with one of my best friends to a craft store, to buy supplies for my Farmer's Market booth, and found one of those inspirational saying signs that I loved; it says "All because two people fell in love". I love it! I'm planning on putting in on the wall that has all the framed photos of our boys; I think I love the sentiment because it's something I often think about. When I'm driving my boys to school, I look in the rear-view mirror and see five little heads in shades of blonde and auburn, and think to myself; "all this because a 19 year old boy asked a 17 year old girl for her phone number?!". It seems so strange that such a little thing, that happens every day has changed the world so much. Having five boys seems so profound to me, that means that because of me, five men will go out into the world and change it, for good (I hope), or for bad; and their children's children will as well. I never wonder when people have difficulty in deciding whether to have children or not; I'm thankful I never had to decide, it's a wonder to me anyone has children when given the choice, such a serious undertaking!

Anyway; I'm not sure where the serious bent to my blog posts lately has come from; I find myself reluctant to blog about the mundane lately, because as always, I feel like I'm getting buried by everyday tasks, and have found myself worrying quite a bit about the next few weeks, since I have so much to do! I began work on my mom's reception dress, I always wish, wish, wish that I had a dedicated space for it, since before I sew I have to make sure my kitchen table is sparkling clean, especially with the fine fabrics I will be working with on this project; it would be horrible for my mother to get married in a silk dress decorated with jelly from her grandsons' breakfast! Someday, I'm sure I will have a sewing and craft space, but for now, I just have to make the best of it! I may find myself pulling all-nighters soon, but I have no doubt if I push through it, I can get everything done.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

How Lucky Can One Girl Be?

Elvis encountering grass for the first time!

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Spring is here! I woke up this morning and felt that surely nothing bad can happen when spring is new and the sun is shining. I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately; I think because lately I've felt so fortunate; especially when we were able to spend 10 uninterrupted days of family time while on vacation. It is so rare that we are really able to enjoy each other's company, without worrying about schedules and work and school. 

It is so easy (and I'm often guilty of this) to focus on the little problems and annoyances in life; where the mere fact that we are alive and able to have annoyances should be enough! A year ago in January, while I was 4 months pregnant with Elvis; James had a life threatening reaction to penicillin, and went into anaphylactic shock. He went to the doctor with hives and body aches, and before we knew what was happening, was hospitalized; with an abnormally elevated heart rate and blood pressure, and chest pain. I sat by his side all night, while he was barely conscious, and the doctors were trying to figure out what was going on, since it was a very bad reaction, worse than they had ever seen. His poor heart was going at almost 200 beats per minute, even while he was sleeping, and his kidneys were not happy. I finally left the hospital at 4 am; after being given the not terribly reassuring "he's stable right now; go home and rest" from the doctor. I had to consider the possibility of losing my husband while pregnant with our fifth child. It was so odd; James has always been my rock during times where I was weak; beginning with my bout with a terrible flu and tonsillitis while we were dating, up to the miscarriage I had eight years ago, and even the happier times when I was more vulnerable than usual, like during my pregnancies and births. He is one of those people that is rarely sick; and I had never seen him in that role, being vulnerable physically, and needing my help. It's funny because I never brought our boys to visit him in the hospital, and he never asked to see them. It was only afterwards that we discussed it and found that we both had the same thought; we didn't want our boys to see their big strong daddy in such a state. We both expressed feeling that we wanted our boys to see him as strong and capable; and thought that seeing him sick would scare them and stick with them. For the day and half when his health was up in the air; I've never felt so alone. I also was trying to stay upbeat and take care of myself and the baby. I brought some crocheting with me to keep me occupied and cheerful at his bedside; in fact; it was the blanket you see in the picture above. I crocheted, dreamed of baby, and tried to stay positive. That blanket has special meaning for me now; it is Elvis' BLANKET; the one he sleeps with and goes with us in the car, and every time I see it; it's bittersweet and special. After Elvis was born at the birth center, I couldn't wait to have that moment I dreamed of while crocheting it, joyfully wrapping my baby in it; saying "We made it!". The midwives were very sensitive to my wishes, and wrapped Elvis in it right away as I asked, even though it was July!

I don't think I can ever look at things the same after that experience; I find myself most often very joyful; although my life is far from perfect and have daily worries and struggles like everyone. Sometimes I even feel guilty for being so joyful; how can it be that I am so lucky as to wake up in the morning, under a quilt that I adore, and although getting five children ready and out the door is not easy, and at times makes me grumpy; I know how fortunate I am. I don't have to look ahead to a day at a job I don't want to do; I get to make my own schedule and be with my children. If I decide (as I did last week) to take them all out for Cherry Cokes after school, get home later and throw a simple dinner together before Daddy gets home; I can! Right now in fact, I'm trying to decide whether to work on my mom's reception dress or make more soap; not a bad choice, is it?

I'm grateful that as I get older, I have the maturity and experiences under my belt that make me able to focus on the "good stuff". I'm not always perfect at this, but for the days when I feel "cheerful for no reason"; I am grateful!

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I'm (not) ready for my close-up, Mr. Deville......

The Lily Belle at Disneyland

This was one of the highlights of our Disney trip; after all the times (probably over 20) that I've been to Disneyland, I'd never ridden the Lily Belle, nor really knew anyone could. I had seen the trains of course; it was Dorian's favorite pastime to ride past the "dinosaurs" over and over again. Before we boarded the train one morning, James pointed to the Lily Belle; which was attached to that particular train, and said; "I want to ride in that car! He asked the conductor how to go about getting a ride, and was told that we needed a reservation; and that the resevations fill up fast! So the first thing the next morning, we went to Main Street Station to make a resevation, and found that allthough it was only 9:30 all but three spots were taken!

I just did some research and learned more about the Lily Belle; as well as reading This article

Shortly after Disneyland opened, Walt told his wife Lillian that he would like to build a parlor car. It would be great to ride outside on the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad studying landscape, buildings, etc. Maybe have lunch on the train, discuss plans for future ideas of Disneyland. All of this came as a result of Walt's great enthusiasm for trains. Now the open car from the first passenger train has been converted into an elegant parlor car, or the President car, so named in honor of the first president of the Disneyland Railroad, who was Walt Disney.

A picture of the Lily Belle interior; taken some years ago and not by me!

Waiting in Main Street Station for the train

The last day we were at Disneyland was dreadfully hot; at least for our standards; and we were tired, but we still had a memorable day. We started the day with beignets and mocha's (thank goodness!) at the Mint Julep Bar; and then after we baked in the sun a bit and were really getting quite cranky; found our way to the Dole Pineapple bar; which I had somehow managed to avoid ever going to! Mmmmm; fresh pineapple juice in the heat was glorious! I fulfilled my life-long dream to have a drink with an umbrella by ordering a pineapple float, which was fresh pineapple juice and pineapple soft-serve ice cream! Just what the doctor ordered! And Elvis shared with me and cooled down his poor flushed cheeks! Since it was our fourth day and we were out of gas; we had a laid-back day involving riding the train around the park several times for a break for our poor feet; and shopping, which I learned was my favorite ride! We had bought each boy (except Elvis) a gift card to use at Disneyland; and James sister was soooo generous and did the same! So each boy had plenty of money to buy what they liked. Andrew was determined to buy a genuine leather fedora, like Indiana Jones; and found one at a store in Frontierland. At over $50; it is not something that he would have ever had the opportunity to buy otherwise; but after talking to him a bit and urging him to sleep on it to make sure it was what he really, really wanted; it was nice to see his excitement after he was able to wear it out of the store. Later the same night; a family we met from Australia complimented the hat; and it turned out the dad of the family purchased that very same hat! To Andrew; this convinced him of the value of it; because everyone (apparently) knows that Aussies are the authority on leather fedoras! I got a sparkly pink Minnie Mouse travel coffee mug, and two tops; I had to convince James to spend money on himself; but he got a Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride, not the movie) beer mug, an apron that makes him look like Mickey Mouse, and a wire whisk for his famous breakfasts. I also saw a darling Alice in Wonderland tea set; and bought a teacup and saucer for my best friend, who adores all things Alice; and has never been to Disneyland!

After being at Disneyland from 9 to 6; I was completely exhausted, and while I love Disney; I was ready to leave while I was still on two legs! The boys were fired up about getting their last kicks in, so after walking Elvis and I to the hotel to collapse in bed, my poor tired husby brought the other four boys back to Disneyland for a last hurrah. They went on more rides, and stayed to watch the fireworks; which was an excellent ending to the vacation of our dreams!

The title refers to the fact that I am only a few weeks away from my market debut; and feeling very much like a scared starlet! What if they don't like me? What if I flop? This is my first time selling my products face to face; and I really don't know what to expect. I met a lot of the vendors today, and they are a friendly, home-spun bunch!  I just hope I can fit in! One dear older lady who sells knit wares, came up to our table and introduced herself and gave us great advice for having a shared booth, and we met the face painter, a young woman just out of college; who does the market with her father.  Everyone was very welcoming, I just hope I don't disappoint! After the vendor meeting my best friend and I took a shopping spree to a craft store to buy displays and booth decor. We had lots of fun, and I think the booth will be great!

I found fabric for the sheer train on my mom's wedding dress, just waiting on the silk charmuese, and I will be sewing away!

I hope to have a relatively productive evening, since last night I put my hair in curlers, laid down "for a minute" and was dead to the world until morning!

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.....

Dorian in his mouse ears, meeting Donald Duck! 

The words from the title are from a classic Disney song, that I actually learned when taking voice lessons as a teenager, and at the Disneyland hotel they had throw pillows on the beds that spelled out that phrase; I love that song and it's the perfect theme for our vacation.

As a couple who had a "teenage wedding" way back in 1999; and have been busy raising a family ever since; James and I have often felt a little guilt that we were not able to provide certain niceties for our children; like vacation and loads of toys. I should say, James has mostly felt guilty, because he was raised by parents who were...poor, there's no other way to say it, and he never had a nice bedroom, or toys, or clothes that were considered acceptable by his classmates. I think growing up the way he did, he always saw children who's parents had those things, and felt that his life would be better if there were more money in the picture. I, on the other hand, was very lucky in that I had not only my own room, but my own bathroom, and went on vacation every year; often to Disneyland, and had clothes that were the envy of all the girls I knew. I know, unequivocally, that money does not buy happiness, and I don't fret about buying surpluses of toys, and feel that our children are lucky, in far more important ways. But still, I would often feel wistful when seeing all the commercials on TV about the happy family with the wondrous children seeing Mickey for the first time.

When we decided to take this vacation; and knew that we would be able to manage it financially, it was a dream come true; we almost couldn't believe it! We talked for weeks about how the boys would react when seeing Disneyland, and the ocean for the first time; the anticipation was almost the best part! Almost.....

My sweet Dorian loves Mickey Mouse; he was so looking forward to seeing Mickey, and when he did; Mickey had an appointment to keep and walked right by! Poor Dorian; it was so sweet and sad and cute how heartbroken he was! He had on his mouse ears and everything! (don't worry, Mickey and Dorian made up; he actually "met" him later in the trip). We had such a great time; you would never think we could have had such a great time with the two of us and five boys, but it was! James and I joked that we were actually in a fitness camp, because we walked miles every day, pushing two strollers, and eating was few and far between because we were so busy; I'm telling you, vacation was actually good to my waistline!

We went on several rides as a family, Pirates of the Caribbean is one of my favorites; I brought both Andrew and Bentley on it when they were babies, they both fell asleep; and lo and behold; Elvis fell asleep both times we took him on it! I even got talked into going on the Hollywood Tower of Terror; which was probably the least pleasant part of the whole trip; for the uninitiated; that ride involves sitting in a metal chair in a metal cage, buckling up and then being dropped like a hot potato for several stories....then shot up like a rocket and dropped again. And again! My poor Bentley cried, and I wanted to! At least I can say I did it!

I have enough memories from our vacation to last a while; I think I will be sharing some more stories on many blog posts to come.

On the sewing front; I found gorgeous 100% silk charmeuse in a lovely pale, pale yellow color for my mom's wedding dress; can't wait to receive it! It will be so wonderful to get the chance to work with such gorgeous material! I also received my final approval to sell at a Farmers' Market, and am going to my first Vendor's meeting on Saturday. I ordered spiffy new business cards just for the occasion, it will be fun!

Wow, Friday already in most places; in a half hour for me; still need to unmold some soap and cut out material for my mom's reception dress; Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Can't Believe I Forgot About This!

Just popping in to let you all know about a giveaway I agreed to do shortly before my vacation; which I promptly forgot to promote! I feel like such a jerk! I don't usually post about my business on my blog, but this is an Awesome Giveaway; you can win a Crunchy Mama Vegan Vanilla Gift Set!

I'd love for one of my blog followers to win, so please go and comment! Nothing to lose, soap (for someone) to gain!

I hope to have a vastly more interesting post later tonight, have a great evening!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Guest post for my Idaho Team!

Just popping in to let you all know that I was honored to do a guest post for my Idaho team on etsy; I decided to write what I know, so it's all about being a mom who happens to have an etsy shop. Check it out! 
Keep Calm and Etsy On! by ME! I love my Idaho team, it's great to have so many local people that are so supportive, and I've had the opportunity to meet many of them and even purchase some things from a few.

Buy Idaho!

Blogging is a Girl's Best Friend

Thank you all so much for all your well-wishes during my vacation! I'm so happy to be back, we had quite a harrowing experience on the drive in, we ran into both a torrential downpour near Provo, Utah; which when combined with some road work delayed us a bit, and an actual blizzard, which threatened to derail the whole trip! I was driving from outside Salt Lake City, when the rain began to pour. Strangely, there was tons of traffic; couldn't figure out why, because it was 8 pm on a Saturday night! Finally, after white-knuckling the steering wheel for a few hours, the rain became so heavy I couldn't see which lane I was in! I pulled over and switched with James; thank goodness! Shortly thereafter, the rain turned into snow! Semi trucks were creeping along, and we saw lots of cars pulled over and even a huge accident. It was terrifying! We made it safe and sound; albeit with snow covering the bins of clothes on our luggage rack! I didn't get to sleep until 5 am, but James let me sleep late, so I'm reciprocating by letting him snooze for a bit right now.

I feel like I've gained a lot of perspective while I was gone. Although I love my etsy shop and plan to be successful, it's not the be-all and end-all of my life, nor even of my soap career. I think I spent too much time obsessing over it, and feeling like a failure when I didn't perform to my own expectations. I was surprised to find that when I was separated from my computer; what I missed the most was blogging, which I do strictly for my own pleasure; and I hope the enjoyment of others! I was able to do some soul-searching as well, and some of you wonderful followers may have sensed there's more to me than the proud mother and wife I am now. After a lot of considering and thinking, taking into account possible ethical and legal ramifications, I've decided to start another blog; anonymously; which tackles some tough subjects. It will be both darker and more inspirational that this blog, which I love and will continue to do. I felt the need to have it anonymous, in order to avoid either embarrassing or libeling people involved; I still have to consider how best to promote it without connecting it to this blog, or to me personally. Any ideas would be welcome!

I'm now on to working through my huge bins of dirty laundry, and grocery shopping, and I hope; making a nice dinner for my boys and men after so many days of restaurant food! I also lost a crucial part to my sewing machine in the days leading up to our trip, so I have to go about replacing it before I can begin on my new projects, of which I have many! Including, by the way, a wedding dress for my mother, who announced her upcoming marriage in May; and asked me to make her a wedding dress that is not too formal for the beach, and both stylish and age-appropriate. I found a wonderful champagne-colored silk/satin; which will look great with her complexion; and honestly; her figure is more youthful than mine! We even joked that I should pass on my size 4 wedding dress to her; since I have no doubt it would fit her!

Happy Sunday, I hope you all have had a great weekend!