Thursday, December 24, 2009
I've been able to fulfill all my handbag orders for Christmas delivery without much stress. I've been able to bake cookies with my kids, build a snowman, make gingerbread houses, and still have time to shop for extra special presents to give to my family. I've also gotten to just hang out with friends (long overdue) and laugh.
Now my son has a cold, but this hasn't put me over the edge because I've already carved the time out. I've already established my priorities. I've been able to enjoy what the season is truly about - spending time with loved ones and remembering the signifigance of a single baby's birth on Christmas morning.
I hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday season. My shop (& blog) will be back full force after the New Year. Thank you for helping make 2009 such a wonderful year for Camille Star. I can't wait to see what 2010 brings!
Have a blessed New Year~
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
So when I volunteered for the pumpkin trip I could only hope that it would be as special for Camille and create a fond memory.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I especially can't recommend this recipe for "Sweet and Sour Chicken" enough. My whole family gobbled it down which means a lot (even Camille who is going through an anti-chicken phase lately)!
So please give it a try and click "here". And if you live in a rinky dinky town like ours and can't get a decent Chinese takeout meal, you'll appreciate it that much more.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
I seriously recommend this method for anyone that loves grape tomatoes and doesn't like to weed. All you have to do is water them daily (a gallon jug works great) and feed them with Miracle Gro for tomatoes once a week. The banana peppers and basil that were planted on the top of the buckets have done great as well. But we got attacked by Japanese beetles this Summer (can I tell you how much I hate these bugs!) so a lot of leaves got eaten. I guess I'm just grateful they didn't eat my tomatoes too.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
We also camped out in our backyard. This is so much fun if you have younger kids and don't feel like messing around with an actual campsite and holiday crowds (added bonus is that you get to use your own bathroom!). We made smores, read books by camplight, and played bingo. It was a little chilly around 3am but we made it all night. Jonas woke us all up bright and early at 6am. There is one downside to camping, the sun is a natural alarm clock!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This Summer has breezed by and held more special "firsts", ones I want to hold on to tightly because I know they can't be relived. Your first lost tooth, your first baseball game, your first pair of rollerskates. I have to admit, I was dreading the rollerskating when Grammy gave these to you. All I could think about was the backache I'd have. You said, "I want to do it fast like the girl next door." We told you it would take practice and patience, and you persisted in asking me and Daddy every night this Summer if you could rollerskate. You've stuck with it and have gotten so good at it. We are very proud of you! And as with all "firsts", there's an "ending". You don't need us to hold your hand anymore or hold you up.
This is more evident to me as your next "first" is just around the corner. . .kindergarten. I realize this is an "end" to you being at home with me, to your infant and toddler years, and to me holding your hand. I know you'll have a great time and make lots of friends. But if you still want to hold my hand a little, it's always here.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
So while I'll be working a yard sale this week, I'll still be answering messages and shipping bags. I also have new goodies to add to my shop next week. I've made some minor changes with major impact to the Stacked bag and the Colorblocked bag. Changes I think you'll love! I've also started fabric shopping (one of the fun parts of my job!!). So stay tuned!
Thanks for being great customers and supporting Camille Star.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
We're looking forward to the beach and relaxing together. I also love to use this time to visit my favorite fabric shops in New Jersey, reflect on what's working or not with my business, and dream up new designs. So in the meantime, my Etsy shop will be closed July 10th-20th. Hopefully I'll have lots to add once we get back!
Hope you're having a wonderful Summer!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Combine pectin and sugar in a bowl. Crush berries in blender until desired consistency (some people like it chunky, I like it smooth). Blend berry mixture with pectin mixture and stir for three minutes. Then let it sit in the container for half-hour on counter. Put in freezer for later or store in refrigerator and use for up to three weeks.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
1. Children's elbow bones dislocate very easily (especially when a 5 yr. old is challenged to pull a 3 yr. old's arm as hard as she can). Fixed after a very expensive emergency room visit.
2. Best Buy is not the "best" place to purchase a computer, and their customer service is definitely not the "best". We are now on our third laptop after the first one had a hard drive crash, and the 2nd one had video hardware issues (not to mention it was dropped by a Best Buy employee). Very interesting experience!
3. My birthday is no longer fun for me. I always look forward to it with much anticipation and then feel let down when the actual day comes. That childhood excitement and surprise is gone. I now have more fun being the "surpriser" and making my family's birthdays special. I wonder if this is how my Mom felt when we were growing up???
4. Baby teeth can fall out before you are even in kindergarten. Camille lost two baby teeth, and she's still four years old. We were getting concerned because the teeth were loose for over a month and the new ones were rapidly growing behind them (almost the same height!). One finally came out with the help of an apple, and the other required a visit to the dentist. She got a novocaine shot and didn't even cry. What a trooper!
4. I've been reminded of how much I love Summer through my children. We've been enjoying spending time together, hanging with friends, playing at parks, running through the sprinkler, picking strawberries and making jam, eating picnic lunches. Jonas and Camille are so much fun. I'm so blessed to be able to stay at home with them and do life with them everyday. I get to watch them learn new things, try different experiences and become their own individuals. It's really awesome.
Now I've finished with my last two home trunk shows and will be adding more bags to my Etsy shop this week. Thanks for being so patient and hope you're enjoying your Summer!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
I've decided to just carry pouches right now vs. wristlets for a couple of reasons. 1. . .the hardware became an extra overhead expense that isn't a wise business choice at this time, and 2. . . I wanted to offer my customers a pouch that expresses their individuality, keeps them organized, and helps them stay within their budgets, and 3. . . they're just so darn cute!!!
I'm finishing up orders as we speak from a home party and have another one scheduled in the upcoming week. So please bear with me as I add items to my Etsy shop at a slower pace. As much as I'd like to have a full inventory, I have to remind myself that it's all about priorities and managing my time wisely (especially since Camille has just finished preschool and is now home everyday with me and Jonas). I have to start planning lots of crafts, pool trips and day outings. :)
Hope your Summer is off to a great start!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
So, we are enjoying the Easter holiday weekend and looking forward to spending relaxing time with family. Camille and Jonas are ecstatic about the Easter Bunny's visit to our house tonight, and I can't wait to see their faces in the morning. They had so much fun coloring and decorating the eggs today. I love looking at things through my children's eyes sometimes. I'm reminded of the innocence, fun, and excitement of childhood.
Wishing you and your families a wonderful Easter!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
These bars are slightly crumbly and offer a great mix of salty and sweetness.
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups All Bran Complete Wheat Flakes
Handful of raisins
Approximately 3/4 cup of chocolate melted (you can use almond bark, semi-sweet or dark)
In a large saucepan over medium heat, stir honey and peanut butter until it's of smooth consistency (almost to a boil). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, raisins and cereal. Press into an ungreased 9x9 pan. Spread melted chocolate over top of bars and refrigerate until firm.
Friday, March 27, 2009
You can imagine how thrilled I was then to receive a kind "thank you" message from one of my customers along with a picture of her using her new bag at Disney.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend with NO snow (unlike us). We're expecting 1-3 inches on Saturday night. Yuck!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
One of the areas we've addressed is our food shopping and eating out. Before kids, we use to love to go out to eat maybe even 3-4 times a week. After both working all day, we'd use the time to catch up and enjoy each other's company. Plus being newlyweds, neither of us were good cooks. Now, eating out at a "sit-down" restaurant is a luxury that's saved for special treats. I've learned to shop based on sales, clip coupons, and plan meals. It's actually a lot of fun when you're challenging yourself to stick to a specific budget and have to be creative. As a result, we've lowered our food budget by approximately $160/month. This is really exciting for us and yes, we're still eating healthy.
Another area we've addressed is saving for fun things. We always complain that we don't get to go on any exciting vacations or purchase something that involves our passion. We're tired of the pity party and have decided to tell our money where to go. This gives us something to look forward to. We're planning on a vacation to Florida in November and cannot wait. We're not going to try and scrounge for the money at the last minute or charge it, instead we've been allocating a specific amount each payperiod toward our vacation fund. And when it comes time to book everything, we'll make our decisions based on our saved amount. This concept is working really well for Doug too as he's been wanting a new motorcycle for the past six years (and I'm really tired of hearing about it!). So he's starting a Harley fund. If he had done this six years ago, he could be riding it right now instead of still dreaming about it.
I just wanted to share this with you because I've gotten a lot of help and information from friends and family. One website I've found extremely helpful is www.moneysavingmom.com. There's information about sales, coupons, freebies, advice on living frugally and within your means, and inspiration. Check it out if you get a minute. I could kick myself for not taking action years ago.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
So today I was even more excited to give it another try, but the issue of pooping on the toilet was an area we hadn't yet covered. So needless to say, we took a couple steps back today. I really hope we're on track though. I have to remind myself that this whole concept could be very intimidating and scary through a toddler's eyes.
Awhile back I saw this listing in Etsy at http://www.justmyluckdesigns.etsy.com/ and knew it was genius. I had no idea how soon it would be beneficial to us. What a great idea!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Who new zippers could be so exciting????
Friday, February 27, 2009
No sooner had we decided this, and a friend of mine introduced me to Dave Ramsey. If you've never heard of this guy before, he's a financial expert that's honest (sometimes brutally) and has remarkable ideas to help anyone in any financial situation. Whenever I hear of a good thing or a "golden" find, I just have to pass it along. I love when people share what works for them. So, his website is http://www.daveramsey.com/. Check it out if you get a minute, you won't be disappointed. He explains things in such simple and easy to understand lingo that even the most ignorant and financially challenged people (like us!) can understand. He also has a television show and a radio talk show. I've been listening to the radio show this past two weeks and have gathered so many nuggets of financial wisdom.
With the economy in such turmoil, people freaking out, and businesses folding, I'm not curling up into a ball or dreading what tomorrow might bring. Instead I'm taking ownership and gaining more knowledge. I now understand certain principles, how I can change little things in our daily lives to add up, and that investing is still critical for so many reasons. It really does reduce your stress and provide you with a sense of hope and freedom.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Hope you find a meal that suits your taste!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Modern, fresh and vibrant.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Anyway, I was pretty much back to my normal self on Saturday and just in time for our wonderful weather. We actually hit 50 degrees here in the "windy city" which is VERY unusual for us in mid-February. The kids rode their bikes in the driveway, and I actually got to go for a 2-mile walk. But see, I know Chicagoland weather and I've come to expect it's unpredicatability. I had to keep reminding myself that it was only a tease. How sad is that? But now I'm reminded how fantastic it's going to be when that warm weather does come to stay, and the grass gets a little more greener, the buds on the trees get a little bit bigger, and the sun stays out just a little longer. I'm counting the days. I think my daughter Camille is too. When getting ready for bed tonight, she said "Look Mommy, I'm wearing short-sleeves. I want to get a little fresh air tonight."
Saturday, January 31, 2009
It's got a front, zippered pocket and two slip pockets inside. The pouch also closes with a zipper so all your items stay secure. The strap is 44" long so you can wear it messenger style and keep your arms and hands free to do other things. It's a wonderful thing!
P.S. Have a great Superbowl Sunday!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Well, I finally bit the bullet and my good friend, Kristen, showed me how it worked and signed me up. The teenager inside of me is evident even more now! I've made contact with girlfriends from grade school and high school. It's amazing to see so many people that you just plain forget about as time passes. People that at one point had an amazing impact or influence in your life. I'm limiting myself because, as most of have already warned me, it can be addicting and a little consuming.
But it really does make my heart happy to see so many familiar faces, faces that made me a part of who I am today. You should really check it out if you haven't already.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Yes, honey! I know it sounds weird, but I swear it works. I've done it many, many, many times. For some reason, the honey cools off the skin (faster than cold water), minimizes the burn, and reduces the pain significantly. It was a pretty bad burn and now I only have a small red mark as a reminder.
Just thought I'd share this in case you're just as klutzy as me around hot stuff.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
See, I'm wonderful at time management. It's one of my few gifts that is a blessing and a curse at the same time. I can get twice as much done in a day than the typical person. However, during my crossing-off-the-to-do-list, I lose sight of small, precious moments. Moments with my family, just hanging out, watching a movie, reading a book and not being able to put it down because it's so good, getting sucked into a challenging puzzle. The holidays helped me take stock, refresh, and look foward to some "new beginnings".
I have several "new beginnings" that I'm making a priority for 2009. Beginnings that don't include making more money, earning more success, or getting the most done in a day. Mine are much more special and will hopefully make me a better person, wife, and mother.
Happy New Year!!