Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

traditions old and new

I love the holidays. Especially now that I have children. Children bring back the magic of Christmas for me. I can now relive those magical moments through the excitement of my kids. Being far away from our families is hard on us though. We hold onto family traditions that JB and I had in our families and we are starting to create new ones. Here are a few I would like to share.

1. Both JB and I were given some of our childhood tree ornaments when we got married. We love pulling out our box of tree decorations each year. We open each one and hang it on the tree with stories to tell each other. It is nice to have little bits of our childhood to add to the magic of our tree. My mother always got us an new decoration with our names and the year on it. At the time it didn't mean much. Now it means the world to have these and I have started the same tradition with my kids.

2. Christmas morning we let the kids open their stockings and then we stop to make a big breakfast of eggs or pancakes before we sit down to open all the gifts. This tradition came from JB's family. With his family being so far away it is nice to do things that help him feel a bit closer to them.

3. Each year the company we work for (ok I know I don't work there anymore but I can't stop saying it) has a kids holiday party. It starts at the end of the work day and they have pizza, snacks, a craft room and of course santa comes for a visit. It is such a big event now. The company has grown so much so there are a ton of families who come to this. We don't take Enzo to the mall or anywhere else to see Santa so he now looks forward to this party each year as his time to give Santa his Christmas list. The one he made that I posted below made it into the hands of this Santa.

3. A tradition from my family is letting the kids open up one small gift on Christmas Eve.

4. For the second year in a row now we have gone to a holiday gathering at our neigbors house. They are wonderful neighbors and we feel lucky they have chosen to include us in their yearly tradition of getting together with friends to share a meal. They have been doing this since their children were small since so many of them have family out of town. Since we do too it is nice to be surrounded by others in our situation. Their children are grown now but they still get together each year.

5. This brings me to #5. This year will be the first that I do the above with some of my close friends. Two of our close sets of friends live just a few streets away from us. One has a 6 month old and the other couple is about to give birth to their first child in the next few weeks. We will be getting together this week for our first holiday potluck. Our hope is to make this a new tradition for all of us.

6. Baking. My children and I love baking together. I love nothing more than to bake bread and cookies to give to friends during the holiday season.

I hope you enjoy what ever traditions you have for your holiday season.


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Must have children's music

Music is big in our house. I play the guitar. My kids both have guitars plus a large basket filled with various musical instruments. JB and I are both huge music fans and have a large collection of all kinds of artists. Although we play all kinds of music in our house there are times the kiddies require kid specific music. We have had few in our collection that we break out from time to time. Unfortunately they tend to be quite annoying. The ones we have at least.

Until now . . .
Justin Roberts writes songs that kids love and adults love to listen to. He has a soothing voice, lyrics that kids relate to but are not dumb and melodies that hook even a music fan like me. Justin knows how to write a catchy song and he has caught our family. We are fans for life now.

Start out with Great Big Sun. This was our first CD that we purchased about a year ago. This CD is highly addictive.

I am pushing this guy because I think he is a wonderful musician and a great alternative to the normal children's music. If you have any opportunity to see him play live in your area - go. I am trying like mad to get him to come to my town now.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Working Mama

I attended my first craft market this weekend. The Burlington Handmade Holiday Craft Market. The turn out was great. We had a steady flow of people from 10am-5pm. Lucky for us the article I posted below came out the morning of our market. It drew a lot of traffic our way.

It was wonderful to finally get out into the craft market scene. I loved it. I think after coming from working in sales and doing very large scale trade shows in Vegas and California while working for the big "B" I felt very much a home. It has been a year now since I left my job. Since deciding to stay home full time I have not for one second really become a SAHM (stay at home mom). Instead I really should call myself a WAHM (work at home mom) because that is what I have been doing. Leaving my other job has allowed me to focus more on my jewelry biz. I have a lot to be proud of. I got my jewelry into my first boutique this year, registered my biz name, signed up for tax license and helped organize the newly formed Burlington Craft Mafia (featured in the article below). I sometimes feel like my head spins more now than when I was working outside of the home full time.

It is different though. For me it was time to venture out on my own. Take all I have learned working in customer service, sales and project management over the past 9 years for the same company and apply it to my own business. I could not be doing what I am doing now if it wasn't for that experience. I loved what I did but my passions changed. Now I can still use the side of my brain that loves to create by designing jewelry and also use the side that lives and breaths sales and marketing.

It has been wonderful to see Enzo embrace my business as well. He actually helped me practice setting up my table for my craft market. He came up with what I used as my earring display. When I called midday to check in while I was working the market he made a point to shout out to JB and ask how many necklaces and bracelets I had sold.

I am tired and mentally beat after all the prep work involved in doing the market. Well worth it though. I look forward to taking some downtime now and enjoying the holidays.

In the News

From the Burlington Free Press
Published Dec. 1, 2006
“As the founding members of the newly formed Burlington Craft Mafia, the women are focused on supporting each other as crafters and promoting the do-it-yourself, handmade movement in the region.” Read full article