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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Playtime Learning Better Than the Tube

Growing up in my parents' house we didn't have a t.v. in our rooms or even upstairs, we had a family computer that was downstairs, we were only allowed a radio and we didn't even have a phone jack...I felt like I was getting left out, especially once I was in high school.

However, I did excellent in school, was always at or above my reading level and above most of the students in my classes. I enjoyed school actually and worked extremely hard to stay where I was grade was.

Once I had children I started looking into the Baby Einstein, Your Baby Can Read and so many others. Instead of buying the DVDs, we bought the books and music CDs. We bought children's movies and "educational" DVDs, but until my son was born, Aubrey didn't watch much of it. She would rather sit on mylap with a book (and still to this day), than sit and watch a movie. I started letting her watch PBS Kids and things of the sort because I was nursing my son and then our youngest daughter as well, so it was the easiest form of entertainment every few hours for about a half hour or so at best. Now there are shows we love on PBS and mostly for the music, but they are fun and informing as well.

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) came out with a study that says children under 2 shouldn't be exposed to the television, internet, mobile media, etc. It doesn't help their learning one bit. Now I agree with this ~ but I also see the benefits of a little television (like described above). But with that I fell parents shouldn't RELY on the television to teach their children letters, numbers, shapes, etc. Parents should be doing this. It helps create that parent-child bond and they learn BETTER with interaction than they ever will from repiticious TV shows.

We reinforce what they see on TV, taking them to the zoo, a petting zoo, showing them the vegetables in the grocery store and telling them what they are and their colors, counting the eggs in a carton, picking up leaves and telling them why they fall, showing them the things they see on TV are REAL and making a connection in their life with them. Letting the kids use my sthescope to listen to their heart beat and having them point on my face where my nose, ears and eyes are...this is parenting...this is learning.

I think TV shows can help a child's learning, but only when it is reinforced by the parents and is used cautiously. Just my personal opinion on this subject, but I can tell you Aubrey at 4 years old and in preschool already knew her colors, shapes, numbers, the entire alphabet and even some of the letter sounds without having to have them taught to her by the teacher. She even knows what her name looks like, but just can't write it yet. She didn't learn this from tv, flash cards or anything like that...just simply taking her places and turnign our daily activities into learning experiences.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Scent of the Month Surprise with Ruby Moon

For the month of October ~ we teamed up with Lyndsay from Ruby Moon Natural Laundry Detergent to offer all of her scent of the month ladies a pair of our reusable nursing pads!

Our reusable nursing pads have a comfortable organic cotton flannel backed nursing pads with a 100% organice bamboo core with a layer of PUL and then a cute and fashionable cotton print top. The bamboo core is naturally antibacterial. No sprays or chemicals are used, therefore reducing the chances of allergies and skin conditions. Inherent thermal characteristics offer great breathe ability; wicking moisture away from the body. They are machine wash and dry ~ though preferred air or line dry.

What is Ruby Moon's scent of the month you ask? What more perfect of a scent for the month of October than Pumpkin Pie!

There is only a short time left to get your scent of the month detergent and also get a set of our reusable nursing pads ~ we will be teaming up with Ruby Moon again here soon with another promotion and looking forward to some possible wholesale of their products as well!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful fall so far!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"...explore, reclaim, or recharge your creative potential"

Product Description

Craft, Inc. is the hipster business primer for entrepreneurial crafters to turn what they do for fun into what they do for money. Pro crafter Meg Mateo Ilasco offers a step-by-step guide to everything from developing products and namingthe company to writing a business plan, applying for licenses, and paying taxes. Chapters on sales, marketing, trade shows, and publicity round out the mix. Plus, in-depth interviews with such craft luminaries as Jonathan Adler, Lotta Jansdotter, Denyse Schmidt, and Jill Bliss provide inspiration and practical advice. Accessible, informative, and more than a little spunky, Craft, Inc. paves the way for today's creative minds to become tomorrow's trendsetters.

About the Author

Meg Mateo Ilasco is a designer, writer, and illustrator based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was in grad school when she started designing wedding invitations for extra money, but the demand for her distinctive designs was so great that she eventually made the business full-time. Her company then expanded into stationery and accessories, and was featured on NBC's Today and in publications such as The Knot and Islands: Weddings and Honeymoons. She has since sold that business and is launching an eponymous housewares and gift company, Mateo Ilasco ( Meg is the author of You Can Wear It Again and The Space Planner, both published by Chronicle Books.
The above text was copied from, in the product description and about the author of the book I am going to blog about today.
I found this book one day while working the "real" job I had ~ we were on our lunch break and went into Borders and it was like the book just jumped off the shelf into my hands. I opened the book to a random spot and read "...explore, reclaim or recharge you creative potential." I started to continue flipping through the pages and reading a sentence or two here and there and decided I had to buy it.
I am halfway through it as of right now, but it is amazing ~ very down-to-earth tons of real-life experiences and stories and practical advice. The section I am about to start reading concerns pricing and guideline in sales. This has been something I have always struggled with and I cannot wait to get some extra help with it. I have already received advice in several business related areas (business plans, deciding whether or not to actually pursue this as a business, etc), and the information while a little vague is extremely informational.
I wanted to take business management classes to help me better manage the business aspects and it just isn't affordable for us to do so right now, so this has been the next best thing for me. It is wrote so that anyone of any basic education can read and understand and it can be applied to any craft related business.
I highly recommend this book to anyone currently in a WAH business, thinking about starting a WAH business or just want to turn your hobby into a way to make a little money. There is even a section on patterns and fabrics and copyrights.
Craft, Inc. is a great resource and a book that I will keep handy in my studio's library. I can't wait to see what other information I will learn as I finish reading the book.
The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weekend Rewind ~ Highlights from Our Weekend

Since we missed last week ~ we are going to combine a little from both weekends here, as there was this cutie of a applique ribbon lovie I just had to share. I remember the day they posted The Hungry Caterpillar fabric on ~ I about DIED...I loved that book as a child, and even now as a adult. It is just a classic and I just had to make some of my remaining fabric from our tote bag lining into this ribbon lovie. My search was on to find a cute caterpillar applique that I could use and I found this one at Planet Applique.

We LOVE making the animal lovies ~ it is so much fun to take these beanie babies and make them into a cuddly blanket for any child to enjoy. We haven't made any in a while with everything else we are trying to accomplish before our fall craft shows, but it was nice to create this monkey pluffie animal lovie. Not only is the blanket super soft, but so is the little monkey!!

Another wonderful time in the world of applique ~ we are gearing up for the holidays and I just had to try out this snowflake applique with some cute snowflake fabric one of the ladies in my church gave me. I decided it needed some embroidery below the snowflake and wanted to make it as gender neutral as possibly so "Snow Baby" it was. My oldest LOVES the snow and asks for it all year long. This will be the first year my son will like it (or if he likes it that is), and the baby's first real winter she can go play in the snow.

FINALLY ~ we have completed our Tooth Fairy Pillow. I've been working on these for a while now trying to get them introduced and make some use with out embroidery machine ~ this was the first thing I had embroidered and then set aside to finish for later...well now later has come. We can now make custom tooth fairy pillows, as well as, offer them in our regular inventory. I was so excited to get these out so everyone can see them. We look forward to making many more and in a wide varitey of fabrics, even though I am still having trouble finding "tooth" fabric. Thining I may just need to buy some dentist scrub tops and cut them apart.

I hope everyone has an exciting week and stays safe. Enjoy the change in seasons and take every moment for what it is worth. You never know when your world may drastically change.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Just for Us Ladies ~ Making the Monthly Cycle A Little Better

About a month ago we opened a tester program ~ our first "large scale" product testing for a new item. The items is our mama cloths or cloth menstrual pads. It is something I learned about a year ago now and after much debate finally decided I would take a try at making some and developing a good pattern and product.

I have made and still make reusable nursing pads and cannot tell you the emense amount of money we saved with those (I had over active let down and leaked terribly sometimes), so why not continue the "green" process with reusable pads.

Our pads are a 100% organic bamboo flannel top and backing (which is OH SO SOFT), had a bamboo batting core and a layer of PUL. Fabrics were prewashed in Tide (the free and clear ~ no dyes or perfumes detergent). And then sewn together with 100% polyester thread. The core is sewn to the top layer of flannel around the outside edge of the core and then down the center of the core. This is to prevent bunching. They are finished with a snap to secure them around the underwear. The snaps are placed roughly the center of each wing.

The tester pads are recommended (in my opinion) for light-regular flow days. I would not recommend the tester mama cloths for overnight use, but they may work just fine for heavy flow days. I would love it if there is one of our testers out there willing to try them on heavy flow days and overnight.

They should be machine wash cold and then air or line dry. They can be machine dried on a very low setting though. With each order is a sample of Ruby Moon's Moonlight Pomengrante Mama Cloth Detergent. We look forward to working with Lyndsay at Ruby Moon to provide our mama cloth orders with a sample of her detergent and maybe even one day wholesale her detergent with our mama cloths ~ should the testers be a success.

We will look at selling them in sets ~ should the testers be a success (keeping that in mind here). The sets would be a 3, 5 and 7 pad set with a wet bag and sample of Ruby Moon's mama cloth detergent.

To all our testers ~ please remember to leave us feedback here on our blog. We would love to know what you think (both good and bad) in a respectful manner ofcourse. We would also love your suggestions for improvement should you feel they need some in one area or another.

Thank you so much once again to all those who signed-up to test our mama cloths and for patiently waiting for their arrival.

For all those interested ~ keep your eyes posted for the reviews on our items. We will accept orders once we start receiving some feedback to know if and where we need to make changes/adjustments. As I did make this pattern myself.

Have a wonderful day,
The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Off to the Market ~ 2011 Season

 This year, I had the amazing opportunity to not only shop at, but being a vendor at the Mineral Farmer's Market. The market itself is open May through October every year. I was there about once a month (minus this October, as we are booked with craft shows already), and while there were always the regular vendors, there was always someone new each time I was there. Below is a picture of a mural painted on the building where the market is located (in the field). There is also a church next to it as well, that has a bell tower which plays some of the most beautiful music I have heard!

 I purchased some WONDERFUL homemade salsa and tortilla chips ~ I can't stand to even eat store bought ones now, except out of desperation. I also met some terrific people and made new friendships. I got to meet a lot of people from my community as well ~ that was the best part!

 One of my favorite and most unique vendors I met at the market was Mundy Spoon Works. They make (by hand, I may add) a variety of wooden cooking untensils. They also accept custom orders. The quality of work is spectacular and the prices are great as well! Here is one of their items ~ the cookie spatula!

Another wonderful food item I was able to experience this year (never heard of it until this summer either) is wine jelly! Okay I don't drink a lot, but if I had my choice to drink anything, I would drink wine over anything else. So when I saw these jellies, I said "Oh, I have to get me one of these!" All the alcohol is cooked out in the process, so you are left with nothing but the flavor of the wine and a little sugar. My pick was White Zifandel Wine Jelly ~ and I LOVE IT. It is my breakfast treat to help me start the morning right sometimes. Not too sweet, but all the flavor of a great White Zifandel!

It was a very exciting time for us at the market ~ not forgetting all the wonderful veggies and breads we've bought so far too!

I look forward to being a vendor again at the Mineral Famer's Market in the 2012 season ~ it is always great to shop local and met those in your own community. I hope everyone looks and shops from their local farmer's market ~ if there isn't one in your area, look for one in a town near you, you'd be amazed at what you will find there.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Few Loose Ends

Going to tie up a few loose ends on here, that were posted earlier today and a little while ago on FB and some people prefer their terms and conditions to be posted on a blog as well, so there is always a record (FB sometimes moves things around or they go missing too).

Here is our shipping policy and information:

Where will you ship to?
Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, United Kingdom and APO Addresses.

Do you offer local pick-up?
Yes, there is always the option of picking up from our home, a craft show we will be at, the Farmer's Market, or meeting in our surrounding area (within reason and scheduling ~ our oldest is in school).

What shipping services do you offer?
We normally use United States Postal Service since we use paypal to receive payment we can print our shipping labels through there as well and there is an e-mail sent automatically with the tracking number to the recipient. We can use UPS as well, just depends on the weight of the package.

What are your shipping costs?
Our shipping will vary based on item and location. However, we only charge actual shipping (within a dollar at most). Most of our items will ship for $5.00 or less by themselves. We do combine shipping for multiple items.

Next issue to discuss is our money order acceptance policy which is listed below:


Due to the number of money order scams out there we now have this policy in place for accepting your money order.

We will only accept WalMart and United States Postal Service money orders ~ we would also appreciate them being sent certified mail or something kind of confirmation of delivery. This is to protect your money and its arrival to us so we may complete your order.
We will not purchase any materials or complete any orders paid by money order until they have cleared successfully. This is to protect us.

I hope this doesn't create too many issues for our customers, but we want everyone's money protected and well we'd love to ship anywhere you'd like us too, but sometimes that shipping expense can cause a problem.

May everyone have a wonderful day!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weekend Rewind ~ Highlights from Our Weekend

Yesterday was a little hectic here, as we were dealing with a family crisis of a sort. And Monday was also my little girl's first day at "the new school." She had been out of school for 3 weeks due to the earthquakes and needless to say we were all a little nervous about her being back in school. She was 100% ready and excited, so I am guessing the anxiety was all on us.

Anyway, here is a little recap on some of the items we made with love over this past weekend. First I am going to start with the shopping cart cover we made. I think it is just the neatest and cutest idea out there and this is for a little one that we made a car seat cover (same top material) and a quilt (coordinating panel) for. I redesigned our car seat covers about a month or two ago so that they could not only be reversible, but receive more use. They are now able to fit over restaurant high chairs too!

Another item we completed, which has really opened our market up to the adult arena has been our tote bags. Now yes, some of them also make really cute and wonderful diaper bags, but the one in particular I am going to highlight is a tote bag designed for direct sales consultants. This tote bag was created to represent Wildtree products, which are healthy and natural cooking and meal related products. I haven't tried any yet, but as I was looking through the catalog, there are many things I am looking forward to experiencing and using to help create healthier meals for my family.

The last item I am going to show is one of my newer and favorite little "green" items. We had the blog posting about our trash bag testers and the name that product contest and we got such a wonderful review of the one, so we decided it would be a great thing to make more. So this is our first "boy" one, as it seems I always start with the girly patterns (I have two girls, what can I say?).

I hope you enjoy this little recap ~ and please feel free to share any comments (As always), we love hearing from our readers and fans! I am off to the shower and then adding some more photos in our LCPS Disaster Relief Auction on our FB Fan Page, if you'd like to help sponsor please let us know (

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

"As they had lived and died" ~ 10th Anniversary of 9-11 Attacks

I can hear you say now "Jessica, you are like 3 days late on this posting," but truth is I started this actually a week before the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks. I didn't want to rehash the events of that day, as I know nearly everyone old enough to remember, can remember the images and feelings of that day, just like it was 5 minutes ago.

I will say to this day, I still feel the same way concerning them as I did then. I still hold the same feeling of shock, saddness and the overwhelming power to do something. Now my doing something then was being a part of a Seach and Rescue team that assisted at the Pentagon, it was also enlisting in the US Army once I graduated high school and now it is supporting other firefighters and EMS providers that experienced the tragedy first hand and being there for them on each anniversary and any day that they need the emotional support.

So what I want to focus on is the 9-11 memorial that is in place, and opened to the public yesterday. I have been reading and watching and learning about this memorial and think that it is just an amazing way to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives on that day, but also celebrate their lives too.

Here is a quote from the 9-11 memorial webpage about how the names were arranged on the memorial.

"Memorial designer Michael Arad explains that the design concept “allows us to place the names of those who died that day next to each other in a meaningful way, marking the names of family and friends together, as they had lived and died." The names on the Memorial are arranged in a way that reflects the lives of the individuals they represent: their relationships with other victims, the companies they worked for, and where they were on 9/11."

How unqiue of a way to do such a memorial?! This next quote from the website had me in tears ~ families can find their loved ones so easily and meet other families who were impacted with the lost of a loved one who was directly associated with their family member. I think this will help create a tighter unity an support system for all the survivors and families across the country and world.

"Within those groupings are affiliations, many that correspond to companies. While affiliation names will not be inscribed on the Memorial, the names of victims from the same affiliations (for example, the names of employees and visitors to a company, or the members of each flight crew) will be together.

In the first responders section, names are arranged according to agency (for example, the New York City Fire Department) and unit (for example, Engine 10), as confirmed by the agencies. Both agencies and units have raised letter headings on the Memorial.

As part of the 9/11 Memorial’s official names verification process completed in 2009, victims’ next-of-kin made specific requests for names to appear adjacent to their loved one’s name (“adjacency requests”). Some of these requests were for relatives, friends, and colleagues; others were for loved ones to be listed with people they may have barely known or just met, but with whom intense bonds were quickly formed as a result of shared response. Over 1,200 of these requests were made and all are reflected on the Memorial. In fact, these requests drive the ordering the groupings on around the Memorial pools, the affiliations within them, and in many places, the placement of the names themselves."

Isn't that amazing?! I was very fortunate that I did not lose anyone directly related or very close to me in these events. My father was actually suppose to be at the WTCs that day and because of other family issues those plans were cancelled. All I can say is God works in such a way we will never fully understand (and sometimes, I don't think I want to either).

Every time I think about the terrorist attacks or the events their after I always hear the song "God Bless America" in my head and sometimes even sing it out loud. I cope through music ~ always have and probably always will. It is my life (yes, there is more to it than sewing believe it or not) and helps me get through the darkest of days out there.

I hope that this posting brings a new aspect on the events of September 11th, 2001 than just the images and phone recordings and the trauma that the media promotes each year.

If your family did something special to commemorate the anniversary, I would love to hear about it. We were at church, and our church was actually celebrating their 198th anniversary on Sunday, so we were doing that, but Saturday at my local Farmer's Market we had a special prayer from a speaker that belongs to the church across the street from the market and a moment of silence.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend Rewind ~ Highlights from Our Weekend

We are going to be starting something new ~ on Mondays we will do a littler overcap of some projects and orders completed over the weekend. Just in case you missed it, but also to highlight some of the new things we work on.

This weekend, we completed a few car seat covers ~ this safari animals one being my absolute favorite! It is a baby gift and I can't wait to see how much she loves it!

Also we worked on some new applique shirts and onesies ~ this one is also my favorite applique onesie to date! I LOVE frogs (ever since I was little) and it is just too cute not to share with all of you. This is for a little baby on the way (due anyday).

Another wonderful and going green item we made is our popular reusable snack bags. These are my daughter's favorite item we make and well one of the best creations I think we have towards saving our conserving our planet.

Ofcourse, we worked on several more things besides these ~ but it is just a littler highlight of some of the orders we completed and new items available for purchase. Hoep everyone has enjoyed their labor day weekend (that had it off) and we appreciate all of those who have to work 365 days out of the year. Having worked in healthcare for many years, I understand how it feels to never have a day off.

Wishing everyone a terrific day!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's the Shake ~ Earthquake in Mineral, Va 08/23/2011

Well ~ knock that off the bucket I have officially lived through my first Earthquake! I was a Navy brat growing up and we lived an hour north of Seattle, Washington for 2 years and did earthquake drills every month (and Volcano drills too), but never once did we experience either of those activities.

But behold today while in Central Virginia we get a 5.8 earthquake with the epicenter only 4 miles from our home! Talk about frightening! I didn't know what was going on at first. The beginning of it sounded and felt like a low flying jet (they fly around the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant less than 3 miles away from us), but as I went upstairs to check the kids the whole house started to shake and knocked my off balance and thus me faling down the last 6 steps of the stairs. The kitchen cabinets were flyiing open and cups were falling, items were falling off the bookshelf and the computer desk. The walls sounded like they were going to crack apart around me. After about 25 seconds or so it stopped.

I finally got upstairs and Madeline was still asleep (and snoring at that), my precious moments and items from our wedding had fallen off the shelves upstairs and David was awake. He didn't seemed to be bothered by it and was playing with our marriage certificate holder that my parents gave us the day we got married. He started helping me pick-up the items that fell and then the after shock came through and more stuff started to fall. So I grabbed the kids and ran outside. A second aftershock came through while outside and the ground moved under our feet. My oldest was at school (which has been cancelled for tomorrow as her school was deemed "unsafe") and it seemed like forever for her to get home.

She said "elephants ran through my school," and that they had them go into the bathroom and then once it stopped they evacuated outside. This was her second week in school and they are already out. They kept the kids outside until school was dismissed and the placed them on the buses and sent them home. She didn't seem too shook up about it, but was devastated that her "pack-pack" and lunch box were still at school.

I am just so thankful right now that no one was seriously hurt here and we didn't lose anything "valuable." Our house appears to be safe as well, which is even more of a blessing! God was definitely looking out for us today as neighbors of ours (well people a couple miles away) had major damage and one their home collapsed. So we will be helping them clean-up where and when we can. Keep our local families in your prayers that have suffered injuries and damage today. Pray that God will heal them and help them recover from this tragedy.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique 

Boxes of Fun and Love ~ what box did your Baby-Bug Boutique items come in?

Let's all have a little fun ~ back on Earth Day we wrote a note on our FB page talking about how we recycle in our home and business and what we do to help our environment (included below) and we asked what our fans did to help the environment as well.

" Here in our home (and with Baby-Bug Boutique) we recycle all of our plastic, glass and aluminum cans. I also take all of our boxes from food items and use them to ship our products in. I recycle shipping boxes we receive either as paper or to ship with or storage even. We have reusable bags we use when buying items in stores, and I use the plastic bags we do have at yardsales to give people their items in or turn them into Walmart's recycling box. I also print on both sides of the computer paper when printing shipping labels from home and well all of our paper we recycle goes to my stepmom's work where they take paper and turn it into roofing material (we especially do this at birthdays and christmas time too). I reuse all of our giftbags at my craft shows that I can and we donate our gently used item to Salvation Army or our local trailer home mission project that our church is doing with the resource council, that we no longer have room for or don't need anymore. This year we plan on purchasing from our local farmer's market for fruits and vegetables. We get our eggs right now from a family at our church and take the egg cartons for them to have and reuse as well.
     Product wise we make reusbale snack bags, baby wipes and nursing pads (which I personally used when nursing our youngest child) and can also make cloth diapers. I use pesticide free batting in our quilts and nursing pads and use just about every scrap of material I can to make something out of so it doesn't go to waste."

Now the fun part ~ what box did your items from Baby-Bug Boutique arrive in?

Who knows maybe one lucky person will receive a $5.00 gift certificate just for posting!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pre-K or Bust

This past Monday was a very busy day in our house ~ our oldest (Aubrey) started her first day of Pre-K at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. She is officially a "Proud Patriot."

She was such a "Big" girl despite her size, she got on the bus all on her own and rode it to school and back without any worries. However, you can bet I had the phone on me at all times. She has a little over an hour bus ride each way, but even after the first week, she is still doing great.

Aubrey is loving her school, teachers and all the new things she is able to do and learn. However, she has had to "slip her card" once already because she didn't want to sit on the carpet when she was suppose to. So this is something for us to work with her at home, as well as, letting her feel rewarded for doing a good job at school and at home.

She is more than excited every morning to go to school, which makes this mommy very happy to send her, despite the early mornings.This is a new adventure for all of us. David and Madeline still haven't quite figured out "sissy leaving for school," but luckily all but 1 day this week they were still asleep when I walked her down the driveway to catch the bus.

We are so proud of Aubrey and just had to share the picture above of her on her first day of school. I asked her if she was happy to go to school and she said yes. I said, show me smile that says you are happy to go to school and this was the smile I got ~ she was beyond nervous. She has done amazing though! Now if only the other two will follow suit when it is there turn.

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique  

The Marriage You've Always Wanted

Friday night and yesterday morning was probably the longest Brian and I have spent together (about 3 hours each day) in the past month, if not more. He started working 7 days a week earlier in the month and was working 6 days a week for about 4 months before that. But even when we wanted to be "alone" we never could because of the three little ones always being around.

Anyway, this marriage seminar we went to titled "The Marriage You've Always Wanted" was hosted by the West End Assembly of God in Richmond, VA (onyl an hour from our house) and the speaker was none other than Dr. Gary Chapman himself. This seminar sold out within the first couple of weeks, if not sooner. And 1,300 people came together with one person ~ to save their marriage and strengthen the bond between husband and wife, parents and children.

Dr. Gary Chapman is a world famous author for his book titled "The Five Love Languages," which both my husband and I have read in addition to his book "Desperate Marriages." I will be very honest in saying, our marriage is not perfect, we've had a lot of issues to deal with and circumstance to attend to in the 5 years we have been married, but after this weekend...there is hope, we both have a renewed sense of courage and strength and the will to make sure we give our children the BEST example of what a marriage can and should be.

I was more than impressed not only with the content of the seminar, but how it was presented. There was a down-to-earth approach to explaining these topics so that even the most basic of person could understand how they can benefit from practicing the principles of loving your spouse the way God intended us to. Dr. Chapman was just an awesome speaker and even made it fun for us to be there too. We've listened to dozens of his podcasts and I read his articles online and, to meet him in person, and listen to him speak was just amazing in itself.

Everyone could benefit from a marriage seminar ~ even a basic one such as this where it is 7 hours total between the two days, the topics that concern and create conflict in most marriages and the best ways to handle those issues. All backed by years and years of research, case studies, just plain common sense and the words in the Bible. I gained new insight on so many areas and we can't wait to start reading and working through "The Marriage You've Always Wanted."

If you can't attend a seminar or conference I HIGHLY suggest picking up this book and sharing it with your spouse. Even if you think your marriage is "perfect/secure" it will definitely help develop a deeper closeness and oneness between you both. The seminar we went too, was the highlights of this book. So I really can't wait to get more in depth with it. I desire to be close to my husband and make the rest of our lives wonderful together! You can find this book almost anywhere, but here is a great place to start ~ 5 Love Languages.

May God Bless Each of You and Your Families!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oh my Cupcakes ~ A Quilting Adventure

I met Jennifer at Small Country Campground for Que and Cruz ~ she was set-up there with her it Works display and I ofcourse with our craft display. She was looking for a unique baby quilt for a little girl. I had brought a bunch of fabric with me to cut and pin together (making use of the time without children) and showed her the cupcakes fabric I had. Jennifer was looking for something pink and brown and this was what I had.
She wanted it to be designed similar to another panel quilt I had put together (purchased the panel, but I quilted it and backed it) so I sketched up a little something and we decided to put big cupcakes on the front of it with cherries and sprinkles. Here is the sketch.

Now I had never piece quilted like this, nor appliqued on this level either. The appliques were going to be made of felt and by hand for that matter. Thus, they would have to be satin stitched, with the machine, but with my guidance. The piece quilting part was fairly easy and everything lined up so nicely! We did two borders, two layers of batting and then quilted it all together to make a nice thick blanket. I was confident once the panel was together that this was going to be an easy project and fairly simple.

I was was more complicated that I had bargained for ~ but I was loving the challenge. A lot of hours went into shaping the cupcakes and placing them in the right place, securing them to the panel and then finally sating stitching them for a permanent hold. That was the tricky part because my thread kept breaking do to the adhesive used to secure the appliques to the quilt, but it was something new and I caught on quickly how to fix that issue.

So the cupcakes and their red cherries were complete ~ thank God! Now the detailing was next. The sprinkles and the cherry stems were stitched on and it was a little trickier than I was thinking because I had to shape them the right way and ran into the same problem with the stickiness of the adhesive so it altered the sprinkles some, but the finished project is lovely!

Then I was left with an open space at the bottom and just didn't like looking at it, so we talked about embroidering the little girl's name on the quilt and well, thanks to my mmachine that was easy enough once I got the placing where I like it and we added her name to make this truly a keepsake quilt.

Lastly was to finish the backing and then top-stitch the two layers together...probably the easiest part of the whole thing. But it was great watching to piece together step-by-step and then seeing the project completed!

Little Miss. Leeanne ~ I hope you love your new blankie. I did love making it!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wanted ~ Car Trash Bag Product Testers x2 (Name that Product Contest Too)

In honor of our new item (and as I have a bias sometimes to my own creations ~ which by the way I am in LOVE with this one) we are looking for TWO product testers for our car trash bag holders. Will also be running a  Name That Product Contest at the same time.

To be eligible for the product tester you will be responsible for shipping expenses ($3.00) paid through paypal. If selected and after payment is received item will be mailed to you (address provided through paypal) and then you will have the product to test (yours to keep forever). Once you've tried it out and had fun with our item then you will need to write a review on our reviews tab on Facebook and post a picture of the item in your vehicle (with or without trash...just nothing gross...LOL).

If there are more than two people wanting to be product testers ~ we will choose using based on the number of entries and the number post you are will be how we select our product testers.

For the Name That Product Contest you will submit below the name(s) that you think would be neat to name our car trash bags. We will choose the name we like best and the winner will receive the car trash bag of their choice for only the shipping expenses ($3.00) paid through paypal.

Multiple ideas will be credited to the first person who suggests it, unless they have suggested more than one name and then those with the same suggestion will be chosen through based on the number of submissions for the same name.

All postings should be submitted here to our blog ~ those chosen for the product tester will be announced here and on Facebook, but they will be contacted by e-mail so please include e-mail address here on our blog or through our Contact Tab.

Thank you in advance to all participating in one or both of these activities!

Product tester requests will be received until Saturday evening and Name The Product Contest Submissions will be accepted until Next Wednesday evening.

Product Tester Winners: Candace and Kristi!!!!

Name that Product Winner: Kayla with Trash Stash Bag!!!

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

The Worker Bees of Baby-Bug Boutique

Plenty of times we have been asked sewing what machine do you have? So I thought this next blog would be a a little about what machines I have and my thoughts about them.
I started out with a Shark and while it was great and it got me started and I did and can do a lot with it, after it broke down on me once and cost me half the price I bought it for to fix, I knew we were going to need to get something better. I still have my Shark and probably always will and pass it down to one of my girls when they are older. It is a great little machine, noisy, but worth every penny I paid for it (even the repair) and help me start this business from the very working of only make ribbon lovies and cushy tushy cases.

We bought a Singer Futura ce150 this past April ~ many of times we were asked if we could personalize or embroider and I hated saying "No," but we simply couldn't because I didn't have a way to do so except by hand. So a mutual decision was made to start looking into sewing/embroidery machines in case the Shark did die on me again I would have something to use until we could get it repaired, but also so I could embroider as well. I absolutely LOVE this machine and right now it is strictly used for embroidery so I can preserve the sewing part for when I actually need it. We hooked up an old laptop to it so the software can run on that (it isn't one with a computer in it ~ I was worried about losing the whole machine should the hard drive go in one like that). I love it, love it, love it! We couldn't have made a better choice in purchasing this machine. All I need to do now is purchase the AutoPunch Software and the Font Software and then we can embroider almost any picture and use any font in Microsoft Word ~ looks like Christmas time that will be my present!

Then in May the Shark started acting funky here and there and I was starting into piecec quilting and more delicate and specialty items that the Shark just couldn't keep up with or was really making life difficult for me to do. SO we started looking into sewing machines again and checking sale prices and things like that to "get the best deal" and the wonderful ladies at my local JoAnn's helped us pick out the Singer Confidence Quilter and it has made the world of difference in my quilts ~ it has a long quilting arm, so I don't have to fight with the fabric anymore to keep it in line. There are many decorative stitched I can use for edging and I can even applique with it, which is a joy in itself too because I have had to make my own appliques and then try to zig-zag stitch them, but this machine actually has a satin stitch foot, so makes my life incredibly easy to do those now.

I was also recently (2 weeks ago) given my mother's sewing machine which is well over 20 years old...actually trying to figure out how old it really is and find a manual for it. But it is a MOntgomery Ward UHT J 1934. It is being serviced right now to makes sure nothing is "wrong" with it and if there is to have it fixed. This will be the machine I teach my girls how to sew on and right now each of "the grandkids" will have a quilt made on this machine and then in a corner embroidered "In loving memory of Grandma Diana." My mother made all kinds of things for my sister and I and I am sure if she was still here today that she would be making things for her grandkids. However, since she is not I am going to make something on her machine for them in her honor and memory. But this machine will not be used for anything "business related."

I am very honored to have such quality equipment and in turn have been able to produce some great quality items! Thank you to my hubby who was the one to get me in gear for looking into better machines instead of "just making do."

The Kidds
Baby-Bug Boutique

P.S. my "dream" machine for later on ~ Singer Futura XL-400