Saturday, February 09, 2013

Valentine's Flash Giveaway!

In honor of Valentine's Day this week, and the launch of my new home decor line over at After Hours Design, I am giving away one of my new upcycled framed chalkboards in Romantic Rose. This whimsical frame is a deep, rich scarlet red. (I wish I could capture the color better in the photo. It appears a bit lighter than it truely is.)
Leave a love note for your Beloved on Valentine's Day, use it to tell your loved one a different thing you love about them everyday this year, or leave your girlfriend special instructions for a romantic mystery date, like this:
Except leave the note on the chalkboard. Much more classy ;-)
 Or, you could even use it to do this...
Make it official!
This giveaway ends Monday, to allow time for shipping for Valentine's Day.

There are several ways to enter! Each way you enter earns you an additional entry.

~Enter your email (may be done once a day for additional entries)
~"Like" After Hours Design on Facebook
~Follow me on Twitter
~Tweet about the giveaway (may be done once a day for additional entries)
Enter Here:" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 15th

Monday, October 15th, was Baby Loss Remembrance Day. My town held a candle lighting vigil in remembrance of all babies lost to miscarriage, SIDS, stillbirth, abortion, ectopic pregnancy, or any other reason. I decided to attend this year in honor of Flynn.

I walked in and my first thought was "What am I doing here? I don't belong!" There were tables set up full of mementos and pictures of sweet baby faces in the arms of loving parents, grandparents, siblings... There were photo albums full of pictures of these beautiful babies. There were blankets, and picture frames and special toys with names inscribed upon them. Because so many of those attending had lost their babies at birth, or a week before their due date, or to SIDS 8 months after they were born. I lost Flynn at 7 weeks 5 days. I have no mementos but a positive pregnancy test. I did not get to see Flynn's face, or kiss his cheek, or hold him in my arms like all of these other grieving parents. I brought a full box of kleenex and used about half of it.

One of my good friends also attended, and she made sure to stick by me through the whole event. At one point I voiced my thoughts to her about feeling out of place, and that I felt very guilty about feeling that way because that was like saying Flynn's life didn't matter as much. Why should I feel out of place?  I lost a baby too. How can I say my loss was less significant? Because he was smaller than other babies lost? Because he was less developed? No. He was alive. He was real. He lived inside of me. Tears of joy were shed for him by friends and family when we learned he was growing in me. His little life was celebrated.

The ceremony was beautiful. It was held in an outdoor pavilion in the evening. There were about 70 in attendance and we all gathered around and one by one went around the circle and said the name of the baby we lost and lit a candle in their honor. At the end of the ceremony, the darkness of the night was glowing with all of the candles everyone held. It was the most beautiful, most heart-wrenching sight watching the candlelight dance off the tears streaming down the faces of all those parents. And while it was heart-wrenching, it was also healing. It was healing to hear the names aloud and validate their lives. I highly recommend attending an event in your area if you have lost a baby at any stage. October 15th is National Baby Loss Remembrance Day, and every year across the nation, similar events are held. Check out to find a similar event in your area.

This is a poem my dear friend, Carla had out at the vigil that made me cry again (of course):

I never held you in my arms,
You didn't have a name,
I didn't get to know you,
but I loved you just the same.

I never knew your laughter,
I never heard you cry,
And yet, we shared my body;
Together, you and I.

And in those brief, but precious days,
My little girl, or boy,
You brought me so much happiness,
My cheeks felt tears of joy.

For I knew that in His wisdom,
Our Father up above,
Saw fit to bless our family with,
You, His gift of LOVE.
Sophia- sapphire
Jazlyn- rose quartz
Broderic- aquamarine
Flynn- ruby
Giovanni- diamond

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feeling Not Good

Jazlyn: Mom, I jis feel not good.

Me: Jaz, can you tell me what feels bad?

Jazlyn: There are little animals inside my body and they are biting my bones and that makes me feel not good.

Me: There are little animals inside your body?! What kind of animals??

Jazlyn: A lion. A zebra. A giraffe. A penguin. And a frog.

Me: A lion, a zebra, a giraffe, a penguin and a frog?? Wow! I am very sorry they are biting your bones!

Jazlyn: Mama!

Me: Yes, Jazlyn?

Jazlyn: Jesus makes me burp. And the burps makes me sick.

Me, smiling: I sure love you, Jazlyn.

Jazlyn, beaming: Mama! One guy jis burped in my tummy! It was the lion.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

And the Winner is...

My little number generator thingy says: #6, which is...

Congratulations Margaret! Your headband will be on it's way!

Monday, September 03, 2012


To celebrate the GRAND OPENING of After Hours Design, I am giving away one of my handmade headbands! To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment on this post. No hoops to jump through, no multiple steps. Just leave me a comment. I will use a random number generator to select the winner this SUNDAY, September 9th.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

After Hours Design

I just opened my own Etsy Shop! Let me introduce you to After Hours Design, specializing in handmade accessories.
(Click in image to go to my shop!)
I have worked really hard on this, and am very proud of it! Go check it out when you have time!

Monday, August 13, 2012


i have come to the realzation that textin has been makin me stupid. i cant tye like i used to at all. i keep missing letters becausre well, autocottect just fizes it for me, i also dont nbeed to worru about capitalIng anythingbecause well, autocorrect fixes that too, this is me tuping wwithout stippong every third letter to fix my errors. it has not alwaus been this bad...

One of THOSE Days

We tend to have a lot of them...

Thursday, August 09, 2012


 I got this recipe from a friend's blog.* They have become quite popular around here, and I have made them many times! These bars got their name for a reason-- they are packed with protein, omega-3s, antioxidants and fiber, PLUS they are gluten-free and dairy-free!  And now I must share it with you, because it's so easy, so healthy and sooooo delicious!

2 cups almond meal (or almonds ground up in a food processor)
1/4 cup flax meal/ground flax seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries or apricots
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (unrefined)
1-2 T honey
2-3 t vanilla
a few squares of dark chocolate or 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
Blend all dry ingredients plus almond butter together in a bowl.

Melt coconut oil and stir in honey and vanilla.

Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix until consistently moistened. It should be a thick gooey paste consistency. Press into a 8x8 square glass pan. Chill in fridge for an hour.

  Melt chocolate and drizzle or spread over chilled bars. Return to the fridge for another 30 minutes.

Cut into bars and ENJOY!!! Keep in fridge or freeze for later.

 You can also make substitutions if you want! Try natural peanut butter or different dried fruit. I even added chocolate protein powder once and made chocolate superbars! It's a really flexible recipe so have fun and enjoy! These bars pair really well with a cup of warm tea for a mid-afternoon snack.
*All photos and recipe taken from

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Amusements: Handmade Jewelry & Accessories

Check out my Amusements page. I added my current projects!

Drab to Fab

Allow me to show you one of the reasons I cringe at having dinner guests:
because we make them sit on THESE hideous beasts.
(The ONLY reason there is a BEFORE photograph of these gross chairs, is because there is an AFTER.)
 We received these chairs used, but in pristine condition. Our kids have managed to destroy them in less than a year. Gross. I would have taken a close up, but did not want to make my dear readers gag. We considered buying a new set of wooden chairs, but holy money trees! (As in, we would have to plant many, many money trees in order to afford that. Or just chop the trees to make wooden chairs...) So, we decided on reupholstering. We actually made this decision last year when we bought the chairs (you know, back when they were unadulterated), but then decided to wait until they were gross and then take the plunge. We have arrived. They are gross. We took the plunge. I went to JoAnn Fabrics last week and chose a few (okay, maybe fifty) fabrics I liked, took pictures of them all, and came home to view each fabric with the room. We chose one, got it cut, grabbed four cans of Scotch Guard, brought it home, and remade our chairs from drab to fab in 2 hours flat and $50 down! I call that a success.


We even tested out the "water repellent, stain resistant" claims by pouring water on the chairs ON PURPOSE. Folks, the water beaded up and rolled right off. GO SCOTCH GUARD! I am in love.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Power of Cheese

Papa: Soph, how did you get such strong muscles?

Sophia (without skipping a beat): Because I ate a lot of cheese!

The Mom Diet

Let me make something very clear. I love to eat.

My children are my diet plan. My kids were born with a sixth sense... the food sense. Every time (EV.ER.Y.TIME) I fix myself a snack, a meal, a morsel, my children's sixth sense kicks in and they appear out of nowhere to devour my food and after every crumb is obliterated, they vanish just as quickly as they appeared.

I figure that I actually only consume about 1/4 of whatever I take. So when I get overly excited and take too much, I still only eat a small portion. This works pretty well for all of us. I imagine someday this will not happen, and then I will actually have to control my own portions. But for now, I suppose am glad to share.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

July 25th

This is not a post I particularly want to write, but I am forcing myself to.

Today is July 25th. A date that will be permenantly engraved in my mind.

I have been grimacing at my calendar for the past month, watching this day approach. I have cringed every time I see the date, slowly bringing me one day closer to this one.

One year ago today was one of the most difficult days of my life. I lost my precious baby to a miscarriage. We named that baby Flynn Vidal (Full of life!), and we buried him in our front garden. I am grateful for the brief life he had growing inside of me, and rejoice knowing that our sweet baby is in his forever-home in heaven now. That he is in Jesus' presence. That he is not experiencing the pain of this world, but instead marveling in God's love and mercy.

But I also mourn the life we missed out on. Flynn would have been 4 months old now. It is a difficult thing to bury your child, no matter how small.

Here is a video we made last year, when we had a "Celebration of Life" in honor of Flynn.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Celtic Knot Headband

I found a tutorial on Pinterest for this Celtic Knot Headband, and decided to give it a shot! I made my own tutorial, so that you all can give it a try too. It took less than 10 minutes, and there is no sewing. My kind of project!

Find some jersey stretch material. Old t-shirts work really well. I used an old jersey sheet.

Cut 1-inch strips as long as you need to fit around your head with plenty extra to tie it.  If you want to make an infant headband, only use two strips. If you want a thicker headband, cut four to six strips.

Stretch the strips tightly.

The jagged edges will curl up.

Ok, ready to start knotting. I doubled up two strips for added bulk. This becomes Strip #1. Lay strip #1 as shown below, making sure the RIGHT side of the strip is on top.

Lay Strip #2 on top of Strip #1 as shown.

Pull the RIGHT tail of Strip #1 OVER Strip #2

Pull the LEFT tail of Strip #2 UNDER the loop of Strip #1

Ok, this is the trickiest part. Pull the RIGHT tail of Strip #2 OVER the loop of Strip #1, and UNDER the tail of Strip #2.
This is how it will look.

Now grab all the tails, and slowly pull to tighten the knot.


Now, you can stop there, but if you want a bigger knot, just throw in a regular knot on each end to enlarge the knotted area.

Like so.

Then, find an adorable kid like this one, and tie it on!

Or, for a little boho flare, tie it on yourself!