Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Neutrals for Babies

Jordan Ferney turned me on to the idea of
wrapping babies in mounds of neutrals. I think she's really on to something! Babies are so beautiful on their own. Do they really need to be surrounded by bright colors and distracting patterns? No!
I don't have children of my own, so for now I can focus all my attention on my perfect, perfect nieces. Here are some recent finds I'd love to buy for them, and my own babies someday.

This dress would be adorable on my baby niece. It's so perfect for a baby girl. The bubble skirt and little dots are feminine without being overpowering on a tiny body. It will also show off her chubby arms, which I just love!

These poms have been a favorite of mine since I was researching wedding decorations. Wouldn't they be just perfect for a nursery? They're so soft and playful! And, at $5 a pop, you can add tons of personality to a room without blowing your sun dress shopping budget for the month! I'd pepper my entire house with them if my husband didn't think they were too girly.

I love little girls in tutus! My nieces already have plenty of their own, so I'll just look forward to dressing my own daughters this sweet white version someday.

Finally, I already can't wait to dress my babies in cloth diapers that are safer for them, better for the environment, and so much more cuddly. Technology has come a long way since I was in diapers and safety pins are no longer necessary. Still, I love the look of the old fashioned diaper in this picture, and I'm sure I'll be a little tempted to buy it for my babies.

Good evening, and for all of you who have babies of your own, I'm insanely jealous. Be sure to dress them in lots of neutrals for me.

The first photo is from Knit, Shear Bliss!, the second is from Etsy, the third is from Etsy, the fourth is from Etsy, and the fifth is from Etsy. Obviously I'm a big fan of Etsy.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Something I've been doing this spring that I just love is taking a weekly trip to the local farmers market. To make something that is already amazing even better, I've been wearing a sun dress and carrying my own bags. I've even chatted up a farmer about his flowers and gotten a free, beautiful pot of white tulips out of the transaction.

I love visiting farmers markets because I appreciate knowing that all the money I spend is going to farmers. These are good people, and I want them to receive all that they deserve. I also love buying food directly from the people who produced it. It warms my heart to see their pride in their product. I learn a great deal about the products I buy by talking with the people who chose to plant and nurture them. I also think that our human to human transaction encourages me to buy higher quality goods and encourages the farmers to produce safe, nutritious products. It's hard to sell someone a pesticide-laden vegetable when you have to look them in the eyes, and it's hard to buy inhumanely raised chickens when you know first hand the effect your purchasing power has on the farming families struggling to make kinder choices.

So, here's to farmers markets. Here's to farming families, and here's to community gatherings. May your cupboards be full and your grocery shopping experiences heart warming.

The picture is from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Plans for Pascha

My church is having a potluck Sunday afternoon to celebrate Pascha. Instead of bringing something practical, like food, I think I might make these adorable egg vases from Design*Sponge.

Tomorrow I'm planning to attend the local farmers market where I can get the eggs and flowers I need. Then we can bring them home, eat the eggs for breakfast, and turn the shells into vases. What a lovely afternoon!

Does anyone else have special plans for the holiday?

Have a refreshing weekend!

The egg vase idea and picture are from Design*Sponge.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A Good Gardener

I wish I was a good gardener.

I love the idea of gardening, and I love the satisfaction of eating something I've helped nurture myself. I appreciate the chance to do something physical and earthy for a change, instead of only creating things that are abstract and intellectual. I feel more secure knowing I have a skill that can help my family thrive through tough times, and I especially love the ethos behind gardening - the slow foodness of it, the delayed gratification, the connection to where your food came from and the heart that went into bringing it to your table.

That said, I'm not such a good gardener. I've so far only managed to grow herbs, and any vegetable I've attempted has died a horrible death.

I've been feeling pretty bad about that. It's tough not living up to your own expectations. It's tough not being good at something you desperately want to master.

That's why I loved Gayla Trail's new post on her blog You Grow Girl about what makes a good gardener. Her relaxed approach to gardening and her encouraging advice makes me want to keep at my gardening. Currently I have no yard and a tiny apartment that gets almost no sun. Still, Gayla inspires me to do what I can with what I have, and that's what I will do. I will grow a container garden on the strip of grass behind out apartment building, and I won't beat myself up if I kill a plant or two. As Gayla pointed out, even the best gardeners do that. I will focus on enjoying the parts of gardening I love, and I will do so looking forward to the day when I have my own large yard to fill with plants and a more impressive skill set to coax delicate vegetables into producing.

I think it's good to hear Gayla's reminder to give yourself a little grace and let yourself enjoy the things you love, even for the non gardeners out there. As Gayla says, "the act of gardening serves as an excellent life lesson in accepting one’s failures that extends beyond the garden... Our gardens should be a free space where each of us can find joy, make discoveries, and feel whole. Guilt, shame, and feelings of insecurity have no place there."

I wish that for everyone. Have a peaceful night and graceful gardening.