Category Archives: Notes About Things I Like

Handmade Heaven: A Mini Holiday Shopping Guide

Yesterday I got to spend a couple hours at the Autumn Festival held at Canterbury Park in Shakopee this weekend. It’s basically a GIGANTIC arts & crafts fair…we’re talking hundreds of booths and thousands of attendees (which I find kind of funny since I’d never heard of the fair before!). Anyway, I just love going and walking around, by myself, for a couple hours, perusing the goods and taking a look at what others have created (not to mention doing some Christmas shopping!). I think I have found a new little tradition. πŸ™‚ Last year I didn’t find a ton of booths that I loved, but yesterday I was happy to find a couple of really cute booths that I was pretty excited about!

My favorite was JennaLou Designs. Seriously, check out her website. Isn’t it cute?! Lots of cute handbags and accessories. I fell in love with this:

And this:

But there was lots of other cute stuff, too. I think I spent like a half hour at her booth! Be sure to check out her etsy shop.

Another booth I liked was Everything Unique Boutique, which had lots of fun kids clothing and accessories. The booth actually had WAY more than the website shows (and their best merchandise was at the booth, in my opinion :)), but the site gives you an idea. I scored these cute little monogrammed purses for Christmas presents for my girls πŸ™‚ :

(um, yeah. The photo is backwards. Just picture it flipped the right way :)).

My third favorite booth was called Harmony Hill Signs. They had the most beautiful wooden picture frames/shelves/signs β€” but unfortunately their website is not currently working! Still, if you happen to visit an art fair in the near future, keep an eye out for them. They had some beautiful stuff!

…and thus concludes my 2010 Mini Holiday Shopping Guide from my travels at the craft fair. πŸ™‚ Hope you find it helpful!

What are some good places you’ve found to shop for handmade stuff? Share your finds in the comments!



Trash or Treasure?

A few weekends ago we spotted this trunk as we were driving by a garage sale a few blocks from our house. It fit a “vague vision” we had for a piece of decor for our house. And they were willing to give us a bargain. So we bought it.

It’s old. Very old. Here’s what it looks like on the inside:

You can’t see it, but stuck to the bottom is a newspaper clipping dated 1927 β€” which, I think, the trunk is even older than.

Our living room is currently an open play area, but eventually β€” once we touch the trunk up and (literally) soften the sharp edgesΒ  β€” it will serve as a coffee table.

I like to think that if I were ever to take it on that “Antique Roadshow” show, their jaws would drop and they would tell me it is worth thousands upon thousands of dollars. But I think I’ll humor myself and just let that idea hover in my imagination.

Because for now it has a plant and magazines on top (not pictured) and sits proudly along our wall, somehow completing the room.

And I don’t want to sell it, anyway.

A Happy Ending

Remember my sob-story of our quest to obtain a certain vintage movie projector for M’s office? Well, it just occurred to me that I forgot to provide an update to the tale.

Observe M’s office shelf as it currently appears:

Yes, we found one!! One thing I love about my husband is that in the face of defeat he is filled with determination. The very night of our ill-fated trip to Bachman’s, M hit the internet hard in search of another projector β€” and within a couple days, he located one β€” for the exact same price as the one that slipped out of our hands at Bachman’s!

The best part is that it came in the original case with some original accessories:

Father’s Day Gift = WIN!

(can I still count it as his Father’s Day gift even though he did all the work to find it? Hmmm…)

Seriously, I am so glad he was able to find one. Now his office area is all decked out, ready to inspire him in his video work! He’s got lots of great video ideas and projects up his sleeve, I am excited to help add just a teeny bit of inspiration to his work area. πŸ™‚

The Birthday Party Post

(Please Note: All the good photos in this blog post were taken by my sister. Yes, that’s right, all the good photos. The rest were taken by me. Once you see them I think it will be fairly clear which is which. :))

Baby S turned 1 a couple of weeks ago, so it was time to par-tay! We invited the grandparents, aunts & uncles over and had a fun evening.

I decided on a “flower/garden” theme for the party. I’d originally envisioned a room decorated with tons of homemade tissue paper flowers like these ones from Badgers On the Loose, and a cupcake stand full of beautifully decorated pastel cupcakes much like the ones on the front of my Magnolia Bakery cookbook:

(except with some cute little candy flowers kind of like the ones on the cupcakes pictured here. )

Alas, reality hit. The party ended up coming at the tail end of a crazy week, and, long story short, I ended up with only 4 hours free before the party to prepare dinner, bake the cupcakes, decorate the cupcakes, and decorate. And clean. So…with all of the craziness, the paper flowers ended up becoming an activity for the guests (which they did a better job with than I would have, anyway :)) :

…and the cupcakes ended up looking a little gloppy since I decorated them all in, like, 5 minutes…

…but we still had a lovely time celebrating the most important part of the event: sweet baby S!

(OH! And I should tell you about the cake. Did you know that Lunds offers free first birthday cakes? We got one and used it as S’s own personal cake to destroy (though, I admit, I snuck a piece or two from the untouched side of it…once the party was over, of course :)). Anyway, they are beautifully decorated, custom ordered, and absolutely delicious! All you need to do is bring your baby’s birth certificate in to the bakery to prove your babies birthdate, and you are all set to order! Quite a deal that I would highly recommend.)

Anyway, all in all a great time…though I’m still working on accepting the fact that my baby is 1!!!

Melting Chocolate, Facebook Defriending & Other Insecurity Issues

Tonight I went to LeeAnn Chin’s to pick up a little take-out goodness for the fam. As I was checking out, the cashier kindly handed me the plastic bag of food along with a small, covered clear plastic cup containing my son’s chocolate-covered fortune cookie. As I started to place the cookie-cup into the bag with the rest of the food, the cashier stopped me, saying “Ma’am, you might want to put that into your purse β€” the chocolate melts“.

Well, that makes no sense, I thought, then smiled and explained gently “Well, if the chocolate is going to melt, I think I’d rather have it in the bag with my food than have it melt in my purse! Hahahaha….”. I laughed kindly. Poor girl must be nervous and just not thinking clearly, I thought. The girl muttered some kind of affirmative comment and gave me a faint smile. I smiled back, wished her a good day, took my food and left.

As my husband and I later split our son’s chocolate covered cookie* (* don’t judge; he didn’t know it came with his meal! And he’s not into chocolate covered fortune cookies, anyway. Plus he got some Oreos.), I relayed the story to him.

“Isn’t it weird that the girl told me I should put the cookie in my purse because the chocolate melts?”, I wondered aloud,Β  “I mean, if the chocolate was going to melt, wouldn’t it be better for it to be in the bag with the food than in my purse?!”

My husband looked at me oddly. Lovingly, but oddly. “Well I’m sure she was thinking that the heat of the food would melt the chocolate…”.

I stopped and thought. Oh. Right.

“Hmm. That probably explains the odd smile she gave me when I said that to her.” I said quietly.

“You said that to her?!”

“Yep…here I was thinking that she said something stupid, when all along she surely knew that *I* was the one….ahhhh!”. I could barely bring myself to finish the sentence.

Normally, this wouldn’t bother me. Not that this bothers me that much, but…well, it’s just kind of irking me, because…you see, I tend to say silly little things like this a lot. A. LOT. I’m not always what you would call the sharpest tool in the shed. I don’t talk a whole lot, but when I do talk I find that silly/awkward/ignorant things tend to come out of my mouth, and I get alot of those “faint smile” kinds of looks like the girl at LeeAnn Chin’s gave me……….

Hi, my name is N, and I’ve got some insecurity issues. πŸ™‚

Just a few. OK, a lot. If insecurities were plants, I could open up a greenhouse full of them. Lots of different kinds, in all kinds of varieties, with all kinds of roots (the largest of which is pride). I’ve had them as long as I can remember…but guess what. I’m discovering I’m not the only one! Case in point:

A few days ago I discovered that I had been (gasp) defriended by a couple of people on Facebook. They didn’t delete their accounts β€” they defriended me. People I KNOW. In REAL LIFE! Truly, it didn’t bother me that much. OK, a little. OK, probably a tiny bit more than it should…but not THAT much. Really. People have reasons they defriend people…totally their right to…whatever. Still β€” it piqued my curiosity, and in one of those “posting status updates without thinking” moments, I posted a little status, wondering if this kind of thing makes anyone else self-conscious. Oh my goodness β€” I got quite a little response! Replies to the status and a message or two. Turns out other women have noticed this kind of thing β€” felt a little burned by it β€” some have been more than a little hurt by it.

Insecurity runs rampant, doesn’t it? It comes in many forms and can be debilitating in so many ways.

How timely that this book just came out. I first saw the title alone a few weeks ago, and immediately decided I would read it! πŸ™‚ I’m in the middle of it now, and so far, it is wonderful. It is hitting the nail right on the head for me right now β€” even in some unexpected ways. It’s not about falling victim to insecurity β€” it’s about turning to the Lord for help in kicking it squarely in the tail. Adios. Anyway, if you are a woman feeling ruled by your insecurities, I’d check it out. You can read more about it here.

Anyone else battling this stuff? What has helped you wave bye-bye to your insecurities?

Things I Love: Frozen Diced Grilled Chicken

Maybe someday I’ll post about something deep and meaningful.

I could post about what God’s been teaching me lately about leaving my fear in His hands.

I could post about the trials and triumphs I’ve found in parenting.

I could post about my trip to the ER yesterday after I bumped my head.

But I don’t feel like it (I’m OK, by the way).

Today I’m going to post about Frozen Diced Grilled Chicken.

Because to this busy mommy, who is openly open to finding shortcuts to cooking, this IS meaningful to me.

Seriously, so many meals that I like to make call for diced, cooked chicken breasts β€” which, up until now, meant that I had to add the extra steps of cooking and dicing the chicken β€” BEFORE I made the meal. Not to mention the thawing of the chicken that had to take place before the cooking of the chicken did.

I know, I know…cooking chicken breasts isn’t super HARD. But it’s an extra step in the cooking process, and…I’m going to be honest. I don’t always like cooking. Sometimes, for fun? Yes. Every single day out of sheer necessity when there are a million other things to do? Not so much.

So you can imagine what a (moderately) big deal it was to me to discover this at Target a couple weeks ago.

Photo on 2009-09-29 at 12.50 #3

(My apologies for the backwards picture. Do you like the cute little spokesmodel, though? :))

I am in love with this product.

Suddenly chicken pot pie is SO much easier. So is Chicken pasta and…well, anything else that involves cooked, diced chicken! Someone’s already cut & cooked the chicken for me β€” yay!

And…I don’t know what else to say. I just really like this invention and I thought you might too.

And it’s a good thing.


Things I Like: The Lil’ Rinser

A few weeks ago I noticed a product in the baby department at Target, and instantly knew I needed it. It was 9.99, but I didn’t care. I knew that it would be worth every penny.

It was.

What product, you might ask? Why, the Lil’ Rinser (or, as W affectionately calls it, “Bath Hat”).

Suddenly bath time isn’t quite so stressful for any of us.

Yay! πŸ™‚