Quit Yer Bitchin'

I'm guilty of it.
We all are.

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch.
As of late I've noticed almost nothing around me except all the complaining everyone seems to be doing.
Scrolling over my facebook wall reads like a bunch of babies with wet diapers. Sure everyone's in a huff about the recently passed health care bill (which p.s. I am excited about) but even aside from that so many are full of dissatisfaction. Relationships, personal health challenges, the weather, their kids, their mom, their dogs, their whole freaking life. I can't help but sometimes let it creep into my own mind and knock my good mood right on it's butt. And that right there, is something I'm trying harder now than ever not to let happen.

I had a draft post written last night and ready to go this morning but when I re-read it, I sounded just like everyone else...

So it's gone.

Instead I will ignore the stresses around me for just a minute and list some of the awesome that has made me smile in the past few days and is lined up to do the same in the near future.

  1. I sold 4 necklaces and a pair of earrings this weekend through my facebook page and simply by having friends over for our St. Patrick's day party and the Ladies Clothes Swap.
  2. My friends are lovely and we had fun trying on each others clothes, picking out new things and stuffing our faces with delicious girly noms.
  3. The spring weather is glorious and I am getting inspired to take a long walk this afternoon just for photo taking of all the flowers and blooms.
  4. After a busy busy weekend this next set of days off having nothing scheduled except enameling. Just what I want - naps and art.
  5. ... and maybe a little gardening thrown in with the naps and the art.

Spring makes me happy and I wish it would last forever this year. Thanks to some complications with our landlord, let's just say I'm not really looking forward to Summer (and having her as our new neighbor). Until then, I want to try as hard as I can to push out the negativity and enjoy this season in peace until our lives get a lot more dramatic.



Doggy Date

Just look at these sweet pups hanging out together on Early Girl's dog bed.

We watched over this little gray and white fellow over the past weekend while our friend (and hopefully future neighbor) was out of town. His name is Eli. He is awesome. This pair gets along really well with mostly lazy couch slumbering or bone eating on their daily to-do lists. Throw in some yard running and a few hours of roughhousing and you have happy dogs.

Now that the weather is gorgeous and the time has changed back to where I like it to be (dark mornings, longer evening light) we're going to be making our way to the dog park more often with our girl. Eli and his mom live just a few blocks away so these friends will get to play in a big group.
At least until they both get tired and decide to stop and do nothing except lay in the dirt.



An Etsy St. Paddy's

"May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go."

In honor of my favorite holiday I set out to find the sweetest gifts inspired by St. Patrick's day. After gifting and selling all the clover jewelry I made this year I had none left to list in my own shop! I did manage to keep one for myself but if I hadn't made my own I would have loved to wear this perfect lucky charm.

clover necklace by saralagrace

Here are more of my favorite etsy finds for the day:

lucky clover hair pins from HarmonyLaneHandmade

"if you're lucky enough..." notecard from kategreiner

a lucky key chain (8 is also my lucky number!) from alfrescouniquegroup

"In the Clover No.4" watercolor painting by GollyBard

Slainte to you and yours this St. Patrick's day!


Springtime Clothes Swap

This spring, before you hit the mall or the web for new warm-weather clothes, why not try having a clothes swap party!?

Last year a small group of girls and I got together at my house to unload all our never-worn items and rifle through each others loot. At the end of the day I kept two dresses, five shirts, a long cardigan and a cute sparkly shrug - all of which I have worn several times in the last year. Some of them have even become favorites that I wear weekly (or more than that thank you).

If you're interested in holding a clothes swap of your own, here are some tips I have after learning from last year.

1. Sort sort sort. Before friends arrive, sort your own items into groups. As the others start to file in, they can go through their own bags and add stuff to the designated area. This saves time and allows people enough space to sort through and really look at the clothes without getting overwhelmed by choices. I even set up a rack with some hangers for particularly pretty shirts and dresses almost as a showcase.

2. Let people try things on. I kicked out Collin and Gabe that day and plan on keeping it a girls-only party again this year. With that many ladies wanting to try on clothes, giving everyone private (or at least semi-private) space is very thoughtful. Lines can form if everyone starts using the bathroom as a dressing room so think of other places you can transform. Hang a sheet to divide off your dining room and use the bedroom for changing too. Every space helps; some of you may already be friends who have no problems trying on clothes with each other but others may be less familiar or have other reasons to want privacy.

3. No even-trades required. The whole point of a clothes swap (if you ask me) is to be generous towards your friends with clothes that you already intend to donate. If you're already going to give it away, there's no need to keep track of how much each person brings or with how much they walk away.

4. Provide snacks. Sure, it's not always your favorite thing to try on clothes after you've eaten but having something to nosh on while you're hanging out and swapping keeps up the blood sugar and the morale. A light drink and something simple are all you need. As the host you can elect to do some of this yourself or you can enlist your friends or suggest a potluck style. Maybe a friend who has no clothes to contribute wants to make muffins instead? Perfect!

5. Donate it all at the end like you said. I have my own personal thrift store to which I like to donate and as the host I volunteer to transport all the leftover clothes there myself after the party. If any of my guests have another organization they would prefer to help, they can certainly take home a big bag of clothes to do so. It's a little extra motivation for people to come out if they only have to transport all their crap once.

Have you ever hosted or attended a clothes swap before? What other tips and suggestions do you have for someone looking to do the same this spring?