Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Shunky Monkey 1st Birthday Party!


Our little guy turned one last Saturday and we had a small family birthday party for him - "monkey" style.

It included paper decorations - paper monstera leaves, kraft paper vines, handmade party hats - thrifted monkeys (washed, of course) and banana desserts. A couple of cards/gifts, some songs and laughter, and our boy was ready for his afternoon nap. :-)

Birthday hat template, monkey face, monstera leaf silhouette, monkeys: thrifted, vine inspiration: this pin

summer simplicity


The first of our meager crop. A little tart, and some are less than beautiful. But all picked by these little, sweet hands in daily excitement of these hidden red jewels.

Love the simplicity of summer through our little girl's eyes.

Montessori kitchen help: peeling carrots


I love that Montessori activities are geared toward a lot of practical activities. First, because they teach kids to do every day things, and then, because it's not a long, drawn out, have-to-prepare-lots-in-advance-for thing. This Mama likes that.

Take peeling carrots for example. We needed more carrots to munch on - I buy the larger carrots because they are cheaper and dip sticks better to them than packaged baby carrots (or so my husband says). But, we do have to peel and cut those guys and my daughter can help! (Even in her "wedding" dress.)

One of the books I read suggested letting eighteen month olds do that. Um, no thanks (that blade is sharp, even if I'm standing right there!), but I'll let my three-year-old do it. (What?! Would you let a baby have a vegetable peeler??)

Other safe kitchen activities:

- peeling carrots, duh
- measuring ingredients (baked goods are great!)
- cutting up a banana with a blunt knife for a snack
- spreading peanut butter/jelly on a sandwich
- pouring a drink for themselves

Any other kitchen ideas (for preschoolers) I've not covered?

Why I'm Not Teaching My Child to Read {yet}.


I've not set out to make my child a genius.

I've known this from the time I was pregnant, I wasn't going to push her to be an overachiever. To be impressively smart, for me to brag about her genius. What's the point? She needs to be allowed play, a childhood. She has plenty of time to study - years of her life in education - years that I'm not beginning just yet.

(And, if you wanted me to brag on her, there are so many other things I could tell you!)

It's like there is this unspoken rule in today's North American culture - "you must be a really good mom if your child can count and read and write, so push them! the younger the better and more impressive!" At least that's how I've felt.

Well, frankly, I don't care.

I could care, except I pretty much gave up pushing her from day one. My daughter's personality helps me realize, when she is ready, she will be ready. And not one day sooner. (Trust me.)

And it's not like I just ignore every part of learning - she knows her colors and can count to 8! Ha. She can get dressed, pick up toys, feed the dog and herself. She won't go to kindergarten until she's almost 6, so I figure if I start with letter recognition and writing around the time she turns 4. If she's interested. And even then, I think the best way of learning is incorporated into play - which is exactly why I love Montessori activities. They feel like play with an educational tweak.

I don't WANT her to read at age 3-1/2. I want her to be little. To say words wrong. To learn sometimes just by default - truly, it is amazing how much she takes in without me pushing?

A friend recently told me that there is a marked difference between kindergarteners who attend school half days and whole days, but by the end of first grade, they are basically at the same level. Interesting.

I'm not worried and I am choosing to continue not to be.


I guess the biggest reason behind this stems from desiring a life of simplicity. I intend to write about simple living from several perspectives in the coming months, but it just seems like so much pressure for a mom to have super "smart" children. Pushing, pushing, overscheduling, a thousand activities, know your letters, know your numbers, go - go - go. It doesn't feel free or peaceful or simple to me.

Time for play, space, experiencing nature and un-pressured learning in a home environment (how to interact with each other, cooking with each other, independent play, etc.) sounds much less pressured. And that's the path I choose.

"The most important skills that children everywhere must learn in order to live happy, productive, moral lives are skills that cannot be taught in school. Such skills cannot be taught at all. They are learned and practised by children in play. These include the abilities to think creatively, to get along with other people and cooperate effectively, and to control their own impulses and emotions." source

a DIY montessori weather learning tool


I wanted to make my 3-year old something fun and inexpensive but educational for Christmas. Inspired by this Etsy shop item I forged ahead with making my own felt weather tool for the side of the refrigerator. (Speaking of fridges, have you seen the SMEGs? My dream home is just begging for one...)

Back to the magnetic felt weather tool. I sewed a heavy duty magnet from the craft store into the backing piece before I sewed on the fronts and stuffed them. 

 My favorite piece was the snowflake.

After printing off a snowflake pattern, I placed the paper on the felt and sewed back and forth with a contrasting thread (as you can see, the lines aren't perfect) until all the lines were "drawn". Then, I carefully ripped the paper off - it is easy as the lines are all perforated and just peel off. Sweet!

"Raindrops keep fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'..."

 I ran out of magnets for the lightning, so instead of running out to buy another whole package, I just snipped a piece of velcro (the rough side) and sewed it to the top. It sticks to the back of a cloud or another piece to wait for the rare thunderstorm. (It does leave a bit of a mess pulling away from the felt, but since it's so infrequently used, I'm not too worried about it.)

There you have it! Teach your child about weather observation and have fun while you go!

Cost: approx. $4-5 including tax (or less if you use a coupon!)
felt sheets (7 @ $0.25)
stuffing (already had)
magnets ($2.49 - set of 8)

a couple new shop items (*gasp!*)


It's been awhile, hasn't it? The summer has been slow going for the shop, so I've tried not to go thrifting too much. That always gets me in trouble.

But, the other day I had the itch and the girl and I drove out to one of my favorite thrift spots.

I found these adorable crop tops - although I don't think I'd ever put my child in one,  they are so cute and summery!

another sweet pink dress ... (I think I need to sell these as a lot for someone and get some other colors in my line!)

A sweet little yellow toddler nightgown...

And a summer sweatersuit from West Germany - I include that tidbit because from the tag (that says: "Made in West Germany"), I can tell it was manufactured at least from 1990 or before which makes it vintage for sure! (Because West Germany was no more at the end of 1990.) It's in really great condition although like the crop tops, I'm not sure I'd put a baby in a sweater for 100 degree temps, but it's still cute.

Feel free to stop by the shop or click the button on the right side of my blog to visit! I'm slowly clearing out my sale items and hope to have my new all-baby/children's schätzli shop up by Sept. 1. I'm still not sure if I'm going to open another shop - like schätzlipatterns or something like that, but I'm deciding. Too much great vintage for one person!! 

Wish me luck and I'll be back with another shop update at the beginning of the fall. 


Some neat nursery additions.


I'm horribly late to the draw on this one. But last year, we added some fun little additions to Ladybug's room and I wanted to show them off.

For Christmas, Uncle Ryan and Erin got her the cutest little canvas growth chart. Very needed to chart this girl's growth! I think I'll measure her on birthdays and half-birthdays for now.  There are two little marks down at the bottom at 28" (12 months) and 31" (18 months). Yay for sweet, sweet growth charts. As long as she doesn't rip it off the wall, we're good.

A verse I can't stop relating to our sweet little girl after all of the troubles we had getting her here.
So I made some subway art for her room. I still have yet to hang it up, but I kind of like it on her side table. So, there it stays for now. Love these IKEA frames that hold 8-1/2" x 11" paper. So convenient not to edit to 8x10!

Aunt Jenn and Uncle Shawn made this amazing letter art for her first birthday last year and it sits on her big shelf. So pretty and creative! I love it - something that isn't too babyish that will grow with her.

Remember my post about nursery curtains? No, of course you don't. It's been over a year!! Well, friends, I've finally taken your advice and this weekend I finished her curtains. Hip hip hooray!

(Excuse the photos - it's really difficult to photograph a sunny window!!) I prefer curtains to the floor or short, but these aren't too bad for in between. I'm so happy I finished these - I hate unfinished projects.

Yay! Love these additions. Thanks to the aunties and uncles who contributed.

Shop Finds {somebody stop me!!!}


Help! I might need an intervention ... I keep finding wonderful vintage stuff for the shop, but unless it's boy or a quarter garage sale find, I really need to temper my vintage finding/buying. I have tons to list, but I just get so excited to find something!!

My friend, Sarah, is a huge garage-saler and has found some great stuff (garage sale season has started early with 70s and 80s in March this year) already. I rarely find vintage baby clothing at garage sales, but she's scored.

Here's the cutest little "cheerleader" baby shirt dress she found. 10 cents. Seriously.

Oh, so, cute!

And a Sal Army find: my German "dirndl" style baby shirt:

And, I stopped at a kids sale on the half price days and found several dresses:


... and a lovely peach smocked, size 3 Orient Express toddler dress.

Gorg. *sigh*

Replacing Worn-out Elastic in Vintage Clothing


So I decided to brave an attempt at fixing some sleeves on my little vintage dresses. Two had the exact same problem: worn out elastic in the sleeves. Otherwise they are in excellent shape!

So I whipped out my trusty elastic thread and went to work.

(Excuse the bad lighting in the photos...)

After I took out the old elastic, I was left with this:

I sewed around the sleeve following the old sewing marks with some elastic thread and tada! Re-ruffled sleeves.

What a difference, right!?

Here's the other: before...

... and after! Much better.

I also took it around the waist of these pink corduroy overalls, but the effect wasn't quite as great because of how heavy the corduroy is. It worked okay, though. I'm good with how they look now.

I love elastic thread! What's your secret sewing weapon??

A few new shop finds for Easter.


I had some glorious hours last Friday all to myself. I got an orange pedicure... (complete with iced Passion tea from the 'bucks)...

... and went thrifting! (Totally my new favorite pastime.)

Here are some fun things I found.

a Polly Flinders size 7 smocked dress. I'm in love!

the sweetest Easter dress - complete with bunnies and daffodils

Two more 1970s jumpers!! Not nearly as sweet as the strawberry jumpsuit, but very, very cute.

I adore this polyester nautical jacket. Not very summery, but I'm listing it anyway. People are crazy for the nautical stuff.

And remember the little cowboy button-up?  I went back and found the pants that matched!! hahaha! (And sold it this week -yay!)

Thrifting. *sigh* it's so much fun.

Fun {shop} Patterns


A friend alerted me to some 60s and 70s patterns at a local thrift store and I was on it! Normally local thrift shops have only super ugly 80s and 90s patterns that no one wants ... but I was so surprised to find their huge selection of earlier vintage patterns!

They were all very cheap, plus 25% off, so I bought 16 to add to the shop. I think I figure if I can sell two of them the rest will be profit. That's pretty darn good!

Here are a few fun ones.

no date - 1960s - my favorite!





*Sigh. Hoping to find more 50s patterns sometime. They are probably my favorite ...

Favorite New Shop Items :-)


In the last two weeks I've had some luck thrifting. After I wrote that things had been flying off the shelves, inevitably, they stopped flying. :-) But, it's okay, the slower pace just kicked me into gear in beefing up the baby sections of my shop.

I will finish out my first year (October 2012) with the miscellaneous vintage things I have and after evaluating what has sold the best, I'll probably try to pare down to the main sellers. This, of course, has been baby clothing so far. I have the best luck finding it, buying it and selling it of all the other things in the shop. Random other things have sold, but these babies have been the pick. We'll see how the rest of the year turns out and go from there.

So, I've found the Salvation Army is my best place to find vintage. Some thrift stores you could look all day and not find a piece or two. Others (the S.A.!), if you're lucky, are vintage heaven. Where are your favorite places to thrift?

Two Salvation Army stores and around 15-20 pieces later, here's my favs of the bunch. Even little baby boy stuff is showing up! Check everything out at the shop, click here.

baby bowties

Yellow Easter dress, anyone?

teeny, tiny little blouse

awesome retro smock top

elephant short overalls

cowboy button-up.

Mmm! Love love love thrifting and finding sweet little things!! Looking forward to garage sale season coming up soon! :-)