Enjoying the things I don't actually do.

28 March 2014

Ever.

{Happy 2nd birthday to a very special little man.}

To kick off Bluebird Party Supply and to help celebrate our little buddy's 2nd birthday, I created a Party Pack called Red! Gold! Pow! that will be perfect for his party at the fire station.

Party Pack includes cake topper, party picks, tassel garland, and paper garland.

4' tassel garland

cake topper

party picks


9' paper garland

This cute and bright party pack would work well for other parties, too.. superheros came to mind.

I also added in a name banner with images of fire engines



Happy 2nd Birthday, to our little friend Everton!

23 March 2014

Party.

{Figured out the hobby. Now what?}

I realized recently, whilst planning my mom's 60th birthday party and a baby shower, that I LOVE to make party decorations.

So, the question plaguing my mind, I feel has been answered, at least partially. I love to make stuff. Any stuff. Fabric stuff, paper stuff, cleaning stuff, household stuff. All stuff. I especially love to make stuff out of other stuff.

I had a few people suggest selling these things. So, I am going to try. I'm not a great business woman. I have a lot to learn about business, but I'm keeping it a hobby now.

Yesterday I had a baby shower and had so much fun decorating - some of these things I will feature in my etsy shop, Bluebird Supply, and some was just for fun.



Some gifts & hand-me-downs for Baby on hand-lettered hangers.



Sweet Potato Tarts

Strawberry Shortcakes

I made so many party banners I had to move some outside!

"Wishes For Baby" writing station.


Baby Shower

Shimmer Fringe & Sparkle "Baby" Banner

I made A LOT of decorating supplies! 

The Shower was a great success, with a very happy Mama!

I will post more about the shop here - I had so much fun and hope to add fun to parties for family, friends & beyond.

05 September 2013

Anew.

{A fresh breath has blown in. So let's clean it out!}

I take the new school year as an opportunity to re-tune. We took a long vacation over the summer, driving from California to Tennessee. Traveling slowly, experiencing people and places, gave me time to really pay attention to life.

I was able to see the beauty in what is sometimes mundane. To me, anyway. I love to eat, and don't mind cooking but the chore of figuring it all out every day, every week... going to the grocery store... it wears me down.

But, you see these people, these towns. And you know ~ we're all in it. We're all doing it. Wide expanses of land, tended to, worked, cared for, played on. I realized the blessing of our home and the small little piece of our own land, and was inspired to care for it in the same way.

So the decision was made: Enjoy Everyday. Even the chores, even the errands. And to do that, I concluded, I had to create a really good schedule for myself. Because that's how I work. I like to have little projects, to accomplish stuff. (On a side note, I'm going to try and start to document all of this accomplishing more. Sometimes it's pretty good!)

So I broke up the day into a schedule for myself, including time for walking, yoga, meal planning, chores, and even relaxing. (It's called Free Time so it's no obvious that many days I nap on the couch while the kids play all around me.)



I want to make my life a little easier, so I have the kids helping a lot. It is a bit of time to get going, because I have to actually show them how I want them to wipe down the cabinets! They didn't just know. We are two weeks into the new chore situation, and so far, they're doing great. I made magnets with the chores, and each kid has 1 chore per day.


Once they get the chore done they get a House Point. (Inspired by Harry Potter.) They get to spend points as they wish.

I broke up my own daily chores into manageable tid bits, so it really only takes 15-30 minutes a day, therefore, I feel very accomplished while also keeping my wits about me.


This feels good. I'm happy, I'm relaxed, the house in clean, dinners are not the horrible chore they were. One day I even got BORED. Luckily, I just renewed my subscription to Bazaar, because I'm actually getting interested in Fashion again.

08 June 2013

Place.

{I'm in my 30's and wondering where the hell I belong.}

I suppose we all go through moments of uncerainty about some things. Maybe this haircut was a bad idea. And even more serious things. Am I really having a baby? Really?

I look back on my life, well, the past 15 years or so, and I see so many changes. I know it's not that long. But just remembering some of the outfits I left the house in leads me to shudder. The recent past has seen so many changes it's kind of bewildering. It is a familiar path, for most women, I am sure. Graduate college...get a job...get married...have a baby...


And all along the way there are things to do, hobbies, fun things. I used to go see music and art a lot. (not anymore.. too late.) I used to make clothes (don't want to start and stop every 10 minutes.) I used to like to cruise through a city's worth of thrift stores to find that one thing that made it worth it (I've totally lost the ability to keep my attention on one thing for more than 2 1/2 minutes)

And friendships. Friendships are different. I used to lounge around all day, maybe see a movie, maybe go shopping, with my best friend. Now we all have kids. Our kids are our individual universes, as it should be. But here I am... wondering why my friends aren't wanting to spend every moment with me anymore. Umm. Maybe because they're busy doing laundry and reading Cat In The Hat, also?!

I hope to adjust to it all soon. I hope to not feel sorry for myself.

Change is good, as long as I can keep up.

07 May 2013

View.

{My life to music. Volume something or other.}

This song isn't new.  Listen to it really loud, all alone. It's like a drug.





As life gets longer, awful feels softer. Well if feels pretty soft to me. And if it takes shit to make bliss, well I feel pretty blissfully. 

If life's not beautiful without the pain, well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again. Well as life gets longer, awful feels softer. And it feels pretty soft to me.

Lack.

{and i don't mean that cost-effective Ikea side table.}

I mean lack-ing.  Lacking... motivation. identity. creativity. wanderlust. These things I once had. Maybe had too much. Kept me moving on and on, moving from this to that, here to there. Now that I'm stopped, it might feel stagnant.

And it shouldn't, because life is moving very fast. These three kids keep me in motion, and they are in constant motion, a persistant state of change that is going at a pace with which I cannot. keep. up.

And somewhere, somewhere behind me along this path, little bits of myself have fallen off, rolled under the rose bush, or been forgotten. If I go back to look, will I get lost? Will I remember where I left off?

When a woman has a child, it is transforming. In a very beautiful, intense and passionate way. and I feel beyond grateful to have experienced this. three glorious times. And to get to know these three people who are a part of me, yet compelelty their own. I take great care in them, and tend to their hearts, pray for them, provide. And it's wonderful.

But not blissful. I'd be lying to pretend its blissful. I am tired. a lot. a lot tired.

I guess it's stupid to miss myself. I mean, do I really think myself is all that great? I guess I think myself used to be great. Because, yes, I do miss her. I miss the creative energy. I miss the willingness to put it all out there and ... make. do. go. see. I don't have that in me anymore.

Lacking. Lacking in much. Perhaps because all i have goes to these three little bunnies. All of my go is invested in making their days the best they can be.

I just hope what is Lacking now will be found later.


07 February 2013

Credible.

{To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; credible we must be truthful.  -Edward R. Murrow}

Part of my problem with the search for a hobby is sticking to it. No, that really is the problem. I'm just realizing this, so pardon me of my ramblings make you feel like my therapist.

It goes back so far! I could list soooo many things I was all "into" and then... Just.... Stopped. It's like I just start to get good at something and quit it all together. we could go all Psych 101 here but I'll spare us both.

This is certainly true in my career-life as well. I guess really the only thing I am completely committed to is my family. And a good thing, too!

No matter what I get bored with, get over, turn away from... There they are. My Mom always rooting me on, my husband always supporting me with a quiet and genuine desire to see me happy and using my creativity. My kids looking up to me.. Watching me and learning. That last bit kinda scares the bit outta me but I think any coherent momma would feel that way.

What I take from this is the desire to encourage the kids to really invest yourself. Give yourself over to a process and allow it into your heart.... That will commit you.



13 September 2012

Life.

{Life has gotten the best of me. Life is the best of me.}

Every day something happens, some little snippet of life that is so precious I pray I'll never forget. But I do. The best case scenario is that I'll be reminded at some point, but surely... I'll forget again. {i.e. while watching Project Runway tonight I was reminded that a year ago Emmett's big thing was to yell out "I'm dying! Dying!" in as flamboyant voice possible, as he learned from watching fashionable TV with me. } I want to hold onto these moments, the funny things the kids say, the sweet lunch date with my husband, the warm conversation with my mom. I've decided to just put it all here. So, rather than focusing so much on what I don't do... which comes oh so naturally... I think I'll focus on what I do. Or at least... what happens.

I was so hell bent on documenting the kids lives. When Elliette was born I became borderline obsessive about noting events in her baby book, updating blogs, archiving photo files. Along came Emmett and I tried to do everything I did for Elliette. Along came Esme and I wanted to do the same.

Alas, they are different people. I have hundreds of photographs of four year old Elliette, and probably about a dozen of four year old Emmett. Emmett was moving too fast, I couldn't capture him. At four years old, Elliette was my doe-eyed shadow. Watching, observing, marinating in our daily life. And I hear it come out now. "Children!" She'll call to her brother and sister. "How is your breakfast?"
Emmett age 4


Elliette age 4

We are trying to instill an anti-sassy button on our girls. Esmé needs a bit of a tune up as of late, and we realized.... she has no idea what the hell she's saying. I heard her reciting to herself in the back seat of the car "Me not say Okay! Okay! Okay! That is sassy. Me say Okay Mom."

I want to remember, forever!, the sweet simle on my son's face when he exits his kindergarten classroom and sees me waiting for him. A huge smile, so sincere, so full of joy. He waves and jaunts over to me, with a hug and kiss. I remember last year, Elliette, exiting that same room... every day I'd hear a "Mama!" and she'd hurry to me. Now in first grade she just kind of wanders over to me. Has that magic already expired? Will it really be so soon that I will have no more kisses goodbye? I know it will come soon. I'm just not ready yet.


23 May 2012

Literati.

 {Not just to sound smart}


My recent obsession has been books. I have always enjoyed reading from a youngster, and recently my thirst for bound paper has been unquenchable.

You see, I used to use books as another obscure way to define myself. So I kept my reading material on the up & up. It was an attempt at relating a high brow sensibility. People might see my selection of e. e. cummings and think "wow, this girl must be very intelligent and interesting to read this wacky poetry".
the tortured beauty inside....
I do still read this collection yearly.

My short attention span led to me dive into the work of short stories and essay. Again, I felt this made me somehow supreme - my capability as grasping information or a story line in a quarter of the time compared to a novel must keep me wry!
I do still love story fiction and non-fiction both, but I have recently rediscovered my love for the novel. Even novels off the best seller list! Gasp! It required a level of commitment, and to become immersed in a story, in these characters, their pains, joys,  triumphs, is so captivating I cannot seem to stop reading any one book once the front cover cracks open.
I consider it my duty as a lover of writing, reading, and America to read this every year.

I feel it's also a sign of maturity that I am able to say "Yes I actually like The Hunger Games quite a lot!" and not feel I'm somehow above that. I have finally humbled myself and it feels like I have been released from my own leash of intellect - or really to be truthful my fool-hearted cloak of appearing intellectual. I don't think I ever fully got that other stuff.

Last night I finished The Sisters Brothers by Patrick de Witt. It is a western which I would have shied away from had a trusted friend not recommended it. The protagonist is a melancholy type, and I am a sucker.



It's only onward from here, friends. 

04 March 2012

Capture.

{weekly check-in}

Well, I went ahead and scrapped one of those daily photo lists. It was all about fitness. You may have noticed that there are no fitness related goings-ons around here. Not by me anyway. But that's for another day.

All of my hobbies are project driven, I've noticed. I like having the idea, making it happen, and seeing completion. Things like throwing a party, making a wreath, baking a pie... They give me that satisfaction of something being finished. Maybe it's my short attention span. So these photo challenges are really right up my alley. It's short-sighted, I can spend a few minutes on it and see a result. I also really enjoy communicating through pictures. More a feeling than a story. I must say, I'm a hard sell on photography. I don't really fall for much. A dear old friend of mine takes pictures I always seem to fall for, however. You should pay him a visit: Chris Bowden

Anyway back to me. Here are some of the Instagram images from the past few days:

They are pretty good, although I have a hard time keeping the images really straight. And if I import an image into Instagram from my photo album it ends up being off center, such as the "Doce." shot. I'll figure it all out. It's a big change holding an iPhone to take a photo, coming from a 35 year old Canon.

Happy Birthday Bluebird.
Goodnight Moon.
Ping Pong.
Doce.

29 February 2012

Hobby.

{Just lookin for a way to express myself.}


I have been gone awhile. I've been putzing about, hanging around. I have a home to clean and have fun with.

I have recently found a fun hobby though. Instagram.

Back in the day (you know.... The Day...) I loved photography. I had my dad's 35mm Canon and would hit the town and take a lot of pictures.

Well fast forward 15 years and now my phone takes a better photo than I can with a camera. This is largely because my children dart about so quickly I could never focus quickly enough. (how did my Dad get any pictures of me?)

Here are some favorite photos.

If you are on Instagram please join me... @BlueSaylorRose

31 July 2011

Footloose.

{My quest to covet.}

I am leaving on a jet plane tomorrow for my sis-in-law's wedding (yay!) and I still have to complete packing myself. I did such a great job packing the three youngsters. And I approached my bag with gusto, imagining one of thse magazine spreads "make 12 outfits with these 3 pieces" type of thing. Let me just tell you: shopping clearance racks has it's drawbacks. My wardrobe is a mish mash of random colors, off prints, and once-hit-wonders that can be worked in with some basic jeans and T's... but all together makes a butt ugly assortment.

So instead I just wasted a full hour trying to find a pair of shoes I want. Dying to want a pair. Any pair. I found none. I went to my go-to brands. Of which I am not even gonna mention now, because apparently all the shoes that were cool 8 years ago when I was cool... aren't cool anymore. They're all old lady shoes. And not the cool old lady shoes.
I find these old lady shoes to be quite charming.
I am AGAHST.  Seriously, the best I can hope for are some shimmery Toms?!

Okay, let me show you what I think is just not cool, and you can tell me why I'm wrong.

1.
 Okay, the chunky clunky heel. The grosgrain bow. I just don't get it.

2.
Janet Wood made these look good with her coolots and some nylons. But it's not happening for me.

3.
 1995 called and she wants her shoes back. And that sweater with the thumb holes.


4.
If Arsenio Hall were a shoe. This would be it. 


Maybe it's me. I mean, I know I've really had some doozies. So I know current trends may be a lady I know not.


Friends. Foes. Anyone. Please help me. I need to want some shoes. And I need it real bad.

24 April 2011

Pox.

{It was normal for you and me. But my kids are freaks.}

Now we've gone and done it. Gotten Chicken Pox. Elliette and  Emmett are covered in magenta spots that range from Pixie Dots to Transformer Spots to being terribly painful and no longer getting cute names.

Let it be known we were hoping that they'd contract chicken pox naturally. We were not hoping to expose approximately 50 children and babies to it the day before the first pox showed up. gulp. Worst. Feeling. Ever.

But the actual duration of the chicken pox was not nearly as frightening as some may think. The worst was that there was 1 night of fever and pretty bad discomfort - both kids complained that their spots felt like they were popping - but some advil helped them sleep.

Elliette tried to hide her pox with a beard crocheted of yarn.


We feigned a Red Wings tailgate party for Emmett. (Is it even hockey season?)


The bad news is... Mark has them, too. No 33 year old wants Chicken Pox. It's painful for me to see how painful it is for him. Just so awful.


(photo unavailable)


And then... the baby. Baby Blue kind of looks like her feathers got plucked.


You know.. in a way, it was kind of fun. Now it's over, so looking back it's easy to see the silver lining. I had my babies with me, it was quiet, calm. We watched movies, did crafts, made books, read a lot, baked. There were very hard moments, but it was mostly just due to being quarantined. I never realized the shade of red chicken pox rates the terror scale.

There were times I felt like a leper. I am immensely thankful for the Jesus-style love some friends showed by being there for me.

05 March 2011

1.

{My bluebird flew into our nest one year ago.  Happy Birthday!}

Wow. A year already.

Our third wonderful baby... beautiful, perfect, lovely and divine.

Happy first birthday, Esmé Blue!

20 January 2011

Sister.

{You can choose your friends, but not your family. And, in some cases, you can't even choose your friends, but fate does it for you.}

There is a period of time from my childhood that I remember more vividly than I can remember last month. From about age 5 to maybe 8 or so - perhaps I've glorified these years, entombed them in my memory as my salad days. I look at Elliette, who's now 5, and think back to 5-year-old me, and can so clearly remember my big ideas, my plans, my home, and my friends.

At that age, I met Jami. She lived across the street with her two sisters and brother. She was shuffled over to my house at the tender age of 3 to knock on my door and ask if I wanted to play. Being an only child, I relished a chance to play with someone other than Maggie, the devoted Beagle.

We played that day, and many more days, many more years, and now, here we are. 28 years later.
Today is Jami's 31st birthday. We are very different, in lifestyle, appearance, geographic location, and probably a whole lot more than I even know. But, she is my sister. The woman nearer to my heart than any other, at least of those with whom I do not share DNA. Her family is my family. I treasure her mother, I adore her sister, and I think back so very often to her extended family, and those with whom I don't even keep in touch.

She was my constant. Through divorces, break-ups, moves, marriages and the turbulence of high school and the there-after, Jami was always there. She was always laughing and making me laugh.

Happy Birthday, Kitten Eyes.

17 January 2011

Home.

We did it.

We bought our first house! So, I think that has become my de facto hobby... making this house our home.

19 November 2010

Skyline.

{Sweet & Spicy Sorta' Soupy Heaven}

I am proud to say I was born in and grew up in the grand Queen City: Cincinnati Ohio. It's a wonderful place.

I grew up with a lot of wonderies in Cincinnati. Indian Mounds, the Cincinnati Zoo, the field of Daffodils at the Krohn Conservatory, Kings Island... well those are the major players in my memory. There's actually a lot of really wonderful history in Cincinnati. But kids don't pay much attention to that stuff.

One thing the kid me did pay attention to was food. Enter: Skyline Chili. Skyline is the name of the restaurant which made Cincinnati-style Chili famous. (There's also Gold Star, but this cousin of the chili world doesn't get as much love. I don't know who came first, do you?) Named for the beautiful Skyline that befalls the city, it's a staple of Cincinnati culture. One of my first dates with Mark was eating ice cream across the Ohio River in Kentucky, admiring the lights, bridges, and architecture.


We love and miss Skyline.


Being across the country and being vegetarian poses two obstacles for us.  I've concurred them.

Originally our family would bring or send packets of "Cincinnati-Style Chili Mix". It tasted good but the corn syrup solids and BHT ended up leaving a salty coating in our mouths.

I decided to tackle it. Make it From Scratch. I'm not a big From Scratch cook. I mean, I cook a lot, and love to, but the term From Scratch conjures up images of long-simmered beefy stews, or croissants, or other things that require a lot of time, measuring, and planning. But this seemed do-able to me. I found a recipe and dove in.

Look at all the spice jars I had open! Allspice! Cinnamon! Paprika! Chili Powder!




It was so good. We used veggie-dogs to make a Coney.



It wasn't quite the same - at Skyline the hot dogs are miniature, as are the buns. But still great. Something about that finely shredded mild cheddar cheese + spicy sweet chili soaked into white spongy bread. Oh yum! My favorite is still the classic 3-Way. Spaghetti with chili and lots of cheese. And a side of oyster crackers.

And then... there's the Dip. This is how we usually introduce newbies to Skyline. It's portable, sits in your tummy like a flat tire, and is addictive.

Cream Cheese + Chili + Cheese




I'm not going to post the recipe I used, because It's not quite right. I need to experiment. There are lots out there, though. Here is one that looks reputable.

For the meat-eaters who want to try it in it's original glory, you can get it on Amazon.














Also, it should be noted, the last meat I did ever eat was a Chili Sandwich with my friend Brittany sometime in 1991. It was my last cheat. And totally worth it.