Thursday, May 17, 2012


To keep up with what is going on in my world and dodu baby...head over to Swanky Composure.

Pretty much all of the sewing is on hold due to the fact that my exploring toddler is just exploring toddler.  And her little sister likes to be held a LOT!

I will work on special orders, so give me a ring!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Well, this is what has been keeping this mama busy...

I have OBVIOUSLY been a bit MIA lately...okay, a LOT MIA, but I have a great excuse.  Since my last post from Nina's little birthday extravaganza...I have made it through the holidays, had a baby, and well...I have been trying to catch up with life ever since.

This is our little Greta girl...she looks so teeny weeny in this picture.  She is going on three months now and is so much fun!  So...I am slowly but surely adjusting to being a mom of two babies under 2, 1 1/2 actually.  My girls are 13 months apart, and while it has posed some challenges, we wouldn't have it any other way!

I think one of my favorite things is the reaction when people see me out and about trying to manage both babies , my ginormous double RV (a.k.a stroller) and my overstuffed diaper  bag.  I am actually getting pretty good at it.  I just have to tell myself, that sweating all day with all of this heavy lifting is for my waistlines own good.  No seriously...for example...after chasing Nina around her music class to make sure she puts the wallet back from the lady's purse she just took it from, and getting Greta to stop crying while feeding her a bottle lodged between her mouth and my chin...I am just as worn out as those people coming out of Zumba in the room next door. of the things I am working on for my own creative/sanity outlet, is to start blogging again.  I am working on merging my two blogs into one and it will just be a place for me to share.  I am not going to worry about how many post I have, or if I miss a day, or what I am posting about...I will just write, show pictures, and ramble as I do.

Dodu baby is alive and well, but it is not getting the attention that it originally did.  Hopefully someday, when I can actually sit down and craft, it will.  I am still happy to make and create if people ask, but at least for going a bit slower so I can enjoy my girls!

I will post the info about the new merged blog soon, so that if you follow one of them, you can choose to jump ship or come along for the ride!



Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nina's FIRST birthday...

Well, we did it!! We survived our first year of parenthood. Funny how I look back even after such a short time and just laugh at the things I was flipping out over...however, that being said, I am sure I will repeat that exact same thing next year....guess this mom and dad will always be learning.

We couldn't ask for a better little chica to call our own baby girl! She is so much fun and makes us laugh EVERY seriously...EVERY DAY!!

I knew that this first birthday needed to be super fun, just like this little munchkin...

Because she has had an obsession with her lovey Raffi from nearly day 1, it seemed only appropriate to make that the theme of her first birthday bash! I think I started planning the details of her party oh....maybe 6 months ago. I knew that as I became more and more pregnant, I didn't know how productive this mama would be. Well, it was a good plan. I am like molasses these days (like, needing a rest after getting a glass of water).

Most of my inspiration came from pinterest pics, blogs, you name it. I pretty much ate up all of the creative juices of friends and strangers....and this is what it turned out to be (sorry about some of the pics...things were still getting put together):

I went for a somewhat color themed menu, but with a real push for Fall-like comfort food! Yummy!!!

I am kinda obsessed with this recipe and make it ALL the time!

Meatballs and marinara sauce
I was going to make my g-ma's famous Swedish meatballs, but opted for Costco
ones...much easier.
Cheesy Potato Casserole
A big thanks to my mom-in-law for whipping these up.

Out of the color scheme, but giraffes eat leaves :). Thanks to my mom-in-law again!

Veggie Plate with Yummy dip
My sis-in-law brought this...her famous dip is to die for.

Ok, onto the sweets...cause there were A LOT!!!

Went for the store bought, but was able to customize them JUST how I wanted. It was a very "high maintenance" moment during this whole process.

Whoopie Pies
Shhhh...this is a secret recipe...I cannot divulge.

White/Chocolate chip cookies w/ a touch of Pumpkin
Yum. Yum. Yum.

Chocolate dipped Marshmellows on a stick
This was the first time I tried this and not only was it easy and fun...
they turned out looking FAB!!!

Candy, candy, and more candy
I filled three big glass containers with Whoppers, Caramel Candy Corns, and leftover animal cookies & animal crackers (from the goodie bags).

Goodie Bags
The goodie bags were filled with both animal crackers & cookies and had a tag that read "Thanks for being such a party animal." I was running out of space, so those were displayed in my fruit basket with two tiers.

Activities for tots - big kids
We were expecting a bunch of kids of all ages...another point of stress for this mama. SO...I set up a station for face painting, created giraffe coloring books and got crayons, then of course had the Wii set up downstairs. Well, and of course our chalkboard wall in the kitchen was a priceless piece of art by the end of the party!!

All in was a great party and Nina had a wonderful time...I hope everyone else did too!! We were so happy to see friends and family and enjoy the day together!!

Happy Birthday to my baby girl!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Time is FLYING...

Between my little sidekick Nina, my growing baby on board, and traveling...this mama is pooped. I have a HUGE list of fall projects to get done and I am slowly working away at them, but at this point, I think all of the snails and turtles are in the lead!! I think it is safe to say that many of them will be deleted off of my list...without completion.

Nina will be turning ONE next month! I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by. I still feel like I am waddling around the neighborhood with a big belly...oh, wait a second.

I knew that I would be getting into the waddle stage at this point, so I started working on her party oh, say about 4 months ago. I have her birthday theme in place, her banner nearly complete, menu plans done (although they keep evolving), and somewhat of an idea of decor...NOW, I just need to pull it all together. I did read a great lil' article in one of the many spam emails I get from a MILLION kid and baby websites about how the first birthday is really to celebrate the mom & dad making it through the first year. I do really like this idea...might have to work it in.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's on the Menu...

So this whole domestic goddess goal is actually going quite well. NO ONE is more surprised than ME, well...or maybe Jeff. I am thinking I will need to turn our already painted chalkboard wall in the kitchen into this lovely number I found on Pinterest. PROJECT!! (I was singing that in a very high and opera-like tone by the way)

So this is the weeks menu so far, in a glance...I am just using the pictures from either pinterest (links included) or from the websites I got the recipes since to actually make the food is challenging enough with a mobile 9 month old. Plus, not sure I have the proper camera to display all the goods - that is a hint Jeff. A BIG hint!!

Homemade Pizzas

Okay, so this is Jeff's specialty, so he pulled together the homemade wheat dough and then we topped with fresh basil from the garden, garlic, tomatoes, and cheese. YUMMY!
I will give Jeff the domestic goddess points on this one.

(image found here)

White Chocolate Chip, Cherry, & Almond Cookies

I was all set to make white chocolate & cranberry cookies this week, but then paid a nice visit to a friend in the city who just had a baby. She is, by far, one of the better domestic goddesses I know, and she makes these gems - white chocolate, cherry, and almond cookies. SO...I changed up the recipe and in honor of her and the new babe, whipped these babies (HA) up!
They are currently in the freezer and are even tastier frozen!!

(image found here)


Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Pesto Butter w/
a little Eggplant & Squash

I found this recipe while looking at a blog, then a blog, then a blog...we all know how it goes when you get sucked in, right? It was de'lish and really simple. Again, we pretty much had all of the items for the recipe and it was done in 45 min tops!! Oh, and the eggplant and squash were garden picks, so we decided to use them for our side dish.

Find the recipe here on tried & trues site
(image also from site)


Dressed up the LEFTOVERS
Turned Tuesday nights dinner into Chicken & Eggplant Parm

We are not good leftover people...sad, but true. But we decided we would take the plunge and do a leftover makeover. I used the chicken and veggies from Tuesday night, fit them all snug as a bug in a baking dish. Poured tomato sauce over the top and covered with a variety of cheese...whatever we had in the drawer. We of course couldn't use ALL of the cheese, since sir Karl (the dog) requires it to eat his dog food. I know it is ridiculous.
So, it went into the oven to just warm up and melt the cheese, and voila...dinner is served.
I might vote that the leftovers in makeover format were even better than the original.

Homemade cupcakes FROM SCRATCH!!!
While watching the oh so fabulous show Cupcake Wars, both Jeff and I got a craving for just that...a Cupcake. We didn't have a mix, but Jeff put me up to the challenge of making them from scratch. Say Wha?!? I don't do "from scratch!" However, I decided since we DID have all of the ingredients, I would take him up on his challenge and give it a whirl. Um, they were not so good. I post the picture to show just about the opposite of what MY cupcake looked like. This one will have to remain an inspiration photo until I master the "from scratch" cupcake baking.

(image found here)

So we are on to

and we have nothing planned yet....nor for tomorrow. Oh, and remember we cleaned out the fridge, so it has only some pineapple juice, some baby food, and I think there might be a few things of yogurt. Not looking promising.

Any suggestions?

How does she do it? Featuring: Kate, owner of Children's consignment shop tell's all...

So, it is Tuesday, and I'm excited. Not so much because today is trash day and we cleaned out the fridge last night (which, yes, excites me)...BUT more for the fact that today I am picking the brain of a successful working mom to see how she gets it all done!

Kate is the owner of a children's consignment shop, Wear & Share (if you are local here in are already ALL over this shop) specializing in quality children's clothing at the not-so-quality prices. A match made in heaven, right? I have been fortunate enough to get to know Kate and have always wanted to have a Q&A session to get some tips on successful mommyhood (is that a word? guess it is now)...A BIG thank you to her for her time...

Wear and Share Children's Clothing and Toys - Resale consignment <span class=

Q.) What inspired you to create the Wear & Share shop?

A.) My mom brought me up on second-hand clothing, her mom brought her up on second-hand clothing. Let's just say it runs in the family. I've always believed in buying used. It just makes sense to save money! I was working (mundanely, I should say) at a large corporation. I was entirely bored and underwhelmed. I decided to transition my career path into teaching (school librarian). So, I went back in school just before the teaching profession was hit with budget cuts left and right. I managed to sub and thought I would be offered a full-time position a year ago at a charter school in the city. Sadly it fell through. I scrambled and decided to dive head first in a brand new adventure. I shouldn't say it is brand new. I managed to nicely blend my business degree and teaching degree into a great little business that celebrates reading, recycling and building community. What can I say? I am a hippie chick!

Q.) How do you do it all...How do you balance being a "one-WOman-band" shop owner and home/family life?

A.) I'm not sure "do it all" entirely can describe it. Thanks for the assumption, though. I would sum it up as...

I am a woman who knows how to multi-task the heck out of priorities, family and fun (of course fun usually comes in last place).

I am fortunate to have a beautiful and generally non-demanding four-year old boy. A fiance who is there if I need him. This greatly helps. When I am at the shop, I can entirely focus on business. I don't have to worry about my son, he is in a great school. When I pick him up my priority is him. Whether we go to the library, grocery store or any other goal is to enjoy each other and bond. Now there are some days that I just want to come home and just lay down, but at the age of four, my son is pretty forgiving and is happy with a snack and watching Scooby Doo. One thing I will never exclude from our day is reading books before bed. It is our moment. We stick to a routine and that is a saving grace when building a business can be overwhelming and stressful.

Q.) Who/What do you look to for support/motivation?

A.) I have four people in my life that I constantly look to for support and motivation. My fiance, Dave. My mother, Margo. My Aunt Linda and Uncle Bud. All four will and have always been my greatest cheerleaders. I am so blessed to have that unconditional support that anybody needs and deserves. I look to them for guidance, love and the kind of support that you just can't put into words. It's a feeling that they'll always be there no matter what. It's priceless.

Q.) What are the best/worst (or most surprising) things about starting up your own business?

A.) By far the best thing about starting my own business is the feeling of "I'm doing it." I said I would and I am. I also LOVE meeting and bonding with my customers. I've even gained some great friends. I genuinely care about each of my customers. I love when they share their children with me. They share firsts, boo-boo's, and funny stories with me. I also know most of my customers by first name. Personal connections in a shop like mine are vital to my success and fortunately comes rather easy to me. It's the human in me.

The worst is there are no sick days. No I-just-don't-feel-like-coming-in days. I am coming up to my first year in business. If I'm not there, what would I miss? Would I miss an important connection to a customer? An observation of a process not going well? I have to be there all the time, because that is what it takes to make it. This means I have no "me-time". I actually have to pencil free that time in and let's just say, it usually gets erased. I would love to go wander through Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods on a Tuesday like I used to. That is a just a distant memory of my former self. Sleeping in? What's that?!

The one thing that surprised me when I opened was how someone can really do this by themselves. Is it a lot of work? Yes! But, I incorporated myself. I wrote my business plan. I planned the layout in the shop. I did have some helping hands along the way. But for the most part...I did it.

Q.) What advice/tips would you give to other mamas that are looking to be successful in starting something on their own like you did?

A.) Go for it! Stop talking about it. Stop saying, "one day." Just stop all of that right now. Create an action plan. It can be on paper or in your head. The key is you must have action. All it takes is that one dream. If you only do one small thing each day to build upon that dream, that is one thing you've accomplished. Be proud of it and plan what you will do the next day!

Q.) In your free time, what floats your boat?

A.) Reading, coffee, sushi. Brainstorming ideas for the shop (I actually enjoy that). If I had more time, knitting and crafting. Spending time with my two favorite boys...Dave and James. I'm pretty simple.

If you haven't stopped by to visit Kate and pick up some really great things for the kiddos, you really should. Thanks again Kate!!

Wear & Share - Children's Resale Shop, 1026 College Ave., Wheaton, IL 60187, 630-456-4140

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I am a Fall Junkie...

I don't have kids going back-to-school, let alone TO SCHOOL, but I can't help but feel some excitement around what is my FAVorite time of year!

Although the temps are still a bit steep, I am pulling out the Fall scents, Fall recipes, and getting all things COZY ready for the upcoming season. This might be a case of listening to holiday music prior to Thanksgiving, but oh well. (I do confess, that on the way home yesterday, I was listening to Michael Buble and some of his Christmas songs came on. A sane person would have switched it, buuuuuut, I decided to just let them play.)

So, in honor of the back-to-school season with Fall itching to come any day now...I purchased my favorite candle from Anthropologie. I love this candle...I'm IN LOVE with this candle. It burns for 100 hours which is great since I have it burning all the time!

In addition to the candle, I have kicked off the season by whipping up some White Bean Turkey, what a mouth-full, literally!

I have been eating it for days and it is STILL d'lish!!

I got the recipe from and would highly recommend it...
if you like that sort of thing.

Last, but not least, I am setting some new resolutions to get this season started off right...I'm talking simple day-to-day things...being a new mama, some things have gone out the window as far as priorities, so I am getting myself BACK IN GEAR!! Better late than never, right?

For example:

Not gonna lie...sometimes I literally fall into bed wearing my workout pants, or whatever I was wearing that day...for someone who loves pajamas as much as THIS GIRL.
This is bad, really bad.
So, I have recommitted myself to a bedtime routine. I realize this may sound horrible to some (the lack of the routine), or just simply silly to others, but this is the tired mama I am these days, and happens. However, I am proud to report that so far,
I am on track with this one.

I have a ton more, but also want to keep it simple.
Baby steps, Josi, baby steps. More for next time...

So for now, happy back-to-school!!