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September 2008
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November 2008

October 2008




All part of being pregnant, I suppose. And yes, I've developed an irrational love of raw, grated beets.

Other indulgences I've had as of late ::

:: a pair of much-needed warm slippers for myself (yes, I have small feet)

:: signing up for a prenatal yoga class, hoping to meet some like-minded mamas

:: wishing for one of these incredible baby blankets from JCasa - in red, aqua, and white

:: participating in a holiday stocking swap (and mine, of course!)

:: eyeing these winter boots, hint, cough, ahem, Mom? Patrick? (Shoes are the only "clothing" item that I can wish for this year, as my future winter bump will size me right out of anything Anthropologie.) Boo. Not that I ever get anything from Anthropologie - it's just that I'll miss making that mental wish list.

Wishing you an indulgent Halloween. For most of you with young children, that will mean handfuls of candy. For me, that just means raiding the baking cupboard for chocolate chips.

holiday traditions exchange

Holiday Traditions Exchange 2008

Because such a wonderful time was had by all during last year's Holiday Traditions Exchange, I'm putting it on again! Read on to find out how to sign up.

from soulemama

As soon as Amelie realized that I had placed the blanket in the warm sunbeam, she arranged herself in the scene and fell asleep within three seconds. She didn't mind a bit that I was busily arranging things on top of her.

I've unpacked some handmade cheer from last year's holiday traditions exchange that I've been meaning to share with you for a while now. It was such a joy to put together my two packages (one went to Emily and the other "unofficial" swap made it to Amanda and family. Pictured above are the goods I received from the Soule family - a quilted hot pad, a bird ornament that came in a lovely fabric bag, a granola recipe and a description of how their family celebrates the Winter Solstice. Everything is ridiculously lovely, thoughtful, and cozy, in the pure Soulemama style we all love so much.

My official holiday traditions exchange partner, Emily, also put together a drool-worthy package. First and foremost, she included one of her signature aprons (which I wore all day yesterday, by the way ...)

joyful abode holiday apron

Also included - a holiday music CD, several festive recipes including one for Italian zeppole (fried doughnuts - yum!) and the adorable fabric ornaments below:

from joyful abode

I already have some ideas brewing for this year's exchange ... I can't wait until Mr. Bah Humbug goes off to class so I can put on some holiday music and get this season rolling!

What is the Holiday Traditions Exchange?

The Holiday Traditions Exchange is a swap that incorporates craft, cultural sharing, and thoughtful reflection about what the holidays mean to your family. It’s an opportunity to celebrate all that is non-commercial in this holiday season – and an opportunity to adopt a new, fun tradition for your family’s holiday repertoire.

How can I participate?

Send an email to [email protected]. I will pair you with one swap partner. You will send your package to your partner, and this same partner will send a package to you. Hopefully, you will make a new friend in the process!

To your partner, you will send:

1.) One handmade holiday decoration. Decorations made from any kind of medium are acceptable – from fabric to yarn, paper to paint.

2.) Your family's favorite holiday recipe.

3.) A “Tradition” Tutorial. This is description of one of your family’s special holiday traditions. If needed, you should provide step by step instructions. (For example, if your family makes graham cracker candy houses each year, you would provide more concrete instructions.) You might also consider sending along a couple of photos of the tradition in action, or perhaps the materials needed to re-create the tradition if it is craft-related.

In addition, you could send a mix CD of your favorite holiday tunes, or a special book that is a seasonal classic in your family. Feel free to go above and beyond the three requirements, but please don’t skimp! When putting together your package, think about the kind of package you would like to receive. The backbone of this whole exchange is that it should be meaningful and come from that tender place close to your heart.

Are you in?? Send me an email at [email protected]. No need to include your mailing address – once you receive your partner’s name, you can exchange your address with them directly.

The sign up deadline is Sunday, November 9th. Last year we had over 250 participants, so I will be trying to send out partner email notifications every day or so in order to avoid a major pile up come November 9th - the sooner you sign up, the sooner you will receive your partner. You will receive an email from me with your partner’s name and email. It is then your responsibility to contact your partner, introduce yourself, and exchange mailing addresses.

Packages must be sent out by Saturday, December 13th. If you are sending internationally, you might want to aim for an earlier mailing date. But wait!!! Before sending your package, be sure to take pics and post them to the Holiday Traditions Exchange Flickr Group!

I look forward to your emails, and I sincerely hope that this exchange will, in some way, make your holiday season a little merrier!

Much warmth,


Holiday Traditions Exchange 2008

P.S. You can add the Holiday Traditions Exchange button to your sidebar by copying the following HTML code:


first granny square

My my. Pardon my absence ... I've been feeling quiet lately. Good, but quiet - with perhaps a bit of just plain old lazy thrown in for good measure.

Some thanks are in order - first and foremost, to Bean - who was so kind to send me some duplicate crochet hooks that she had in her stash, along with a vintage "learn to crochet" book. (Check out Bean's fab quilted hot pad tutorial when you have a chance.) Thanks to her generosity and a quick class at my local yarn store, I think I have this granny square thing down. But the likelihood of completing a granny square afghan for my sofa before this baby inside of me turns five? Slim to none. I have other, more urgent projects to attend to, such as making a huge stash of cloth diapers. The materials have arrived, so now I just have to start making a diaper whenever I have a free moment and they should all be done by April! Easy as pie.

Also, thanks to Terri who gave the Lola Apron pattern a nice review over at Sew, Mama, Sew. It's always so nice to hear when people have positive experiences sewing from my patterns. It makes all of the frustrating hours spent with Patrick proof reading and editing oh so worth it. Did you know that, in order for a pattern to be ready to send off to testers, Patrick has to believe that he, a person with zippo sewing experience, could successfully make the pattern just by following the instructions? You should have heard him at first: "What to you mean, wrong sides together? What do you mean, clip and turn? What do you mean by seam allowance?" SO MANY TIMES I wanted to yell, "Would you just shush with your constant questioning, Socrates, and trust me that this stuff is okay to say in a sewing pattern?" Thankfully, we are still happily married. (I'm sure he felt the same way a few years back when he tried to teach me theoretical calculus.)

Anyway, I have a lot more fun stuff planned for this week, so stay tuned!

just strolling

my favorite neighborhood door

indications of autumn

Autumn is coming, branch by branch, to North Carolina. I've come to truly appreciate my solo evening walks through the neighborhood. I'm an avid fan of "other people's landscaping". Not that there's anything grandiose or showy in my neighborhood - I just love it every time I pass by an old, rusty wheelbarrow, filled with potted flowers, parked in lawn. Or the bicycle with wire baskets that has been upcycled into a planter. Such good ideas.

Other news - we heard the baby's heartbeat yesterday at my prenatal appointment! It's nice to know there's a little human in there, swimming away without a care in the world.

And OH MY GOODNESS. Some of your comments on my last post just cracked me up. I never knew that it was so common to become queasy at the mere smell of one's husband! Ah, such great stories in retrospect!

the non-sense of smell

Hi there! It's been a while, and I've missed you.

First of all, I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for all of your well-wishes, congratulations, and ever-so-helpful morning sickness tips! I feel truly enveloped by all of this woman-power. I can't wait to continue to share my journey to motherhood with you all.

You might have guessed that, given my inability to sit down and compose a happy, craft-related blog in the past two weeks, I must still be in the throes of morning sickness. What a joy it has been! The good news is that it seems to be mellowing a bit. I'm anticipating my big return to taking photos, preparing food other than smoothies, and getting back to biking and exercising by next week. I can feel it - the baby even allowed me to eat small helpings of Indian food a few days back. A victory, indeed! I'm sure blogging will pick back up again, too. I just figured that you wouldn't be that interested in a litany of queasy reviews. No one wants to read about the world from queas-colored glasses.

To leave you on a funny note, here's last night's conversation while laying in bed:

Me: "Ugh. What smells like burnt popcorn?"
Patrick: "What are you talking about? I don't smell anything."
M: "You don't smell that really gross burnt popcorn smell?"
P: "Nope - maybe a stove top burner was left on?"
M: (Getting up to check but stopping, instead, next to the window) "Oh, nasty. It's the bamboo shade."
P: "What did you just say?"
M: "It's the window shade. It smells really bad. Can we take it off?"
P: "I think I've heard it all."

May you all have a wonderful weekend. But watch out for bamboo window shades.