HOW TO ENJOY A DAY INSIDE


today we stayed in. i try to make an effort to get us out at least once a day. going out is good: it makes me get dressed and do my hair, it makes me do chloe's hair, it makes long days go by a little quicker. but today i woke up and announced to chloe that we were just going to hang out at home, and she was cool with that.... like a toddler is, right?

i fed her breakfast, paid bills and checked my e-mail while she ate. then i cleaned the kitchen while she played in the living room, taking frequent breaks to check out what she was up to. she is starting to play nicely on her own, and  you can catch her talking to her toys, which is one of the sweetest things i have ever seen or heard in my entire life. the sound of her little toddler voice, which will talk softly with definite speech patterns, but still incomprehensible words, topped with the occasional "oh-kay" or "uh-oh"... it melts me.

once i couldn't resist interrupting her anymore, i snuggled her and read her some books, and suddenly it was noon. she brought her play-area toys, usually reserved to our basement family room, up to the somewhat toy-free living room, and ran around while i made us some biscuits and heated some left-overs for lunch. she came into the kitchen to ask for "col-wor", which means some crayons and junk mail, which she prefers to her own drawing pads and coloring books. i set her up at the table and continued to make lunch. cutting biscuits with flower cookie cutters that i dug out of the high cabinets, especially for chloe.

 biscuit recipe:

1 3/4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 cup of butter/margerine/shortening... whatever fat you would like to use.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
3/4 cups of milk.

combine all your dry ingredients, add your butter with a fork until combined, then add the milk and mix just until it comes together. you don't want to process it much, and you can let it sit for a little bit if you want, or just continue and dump it out onto your floured counter-top. i just dumped it onto the counter-top and kneaded it, only a few times before rolling it out and cutting my biscuits. transfer the biscuits onto a cookie sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes at 425F, until golden on the top and puffy. 

while i was making biscuits, chloe decided to "cow-lor" on one of our favotie books "Press Here" by Herve Tullet... notice she is not in the photo, because she knew she shouldn't have colored in a book. she was hiding in shame... which i needed to pretend not to laugh at, because although it is cute, i know i should at least give the appearance of being disappointed.

when the biscuits were still warm we sat down to lunch together. i made a pot of coffee, and decided that her and i would have a little lunch date together. i took her tray off the high-chair, and pulled her right up to the table with me, and then i poured her sippy-cup of water into a mug like mine. 


you wouldn't believe how she beamed, sat so straight, behaved so well. she happily ate her lunch next to me, smiling and proudly using her cup by herself.

it just may have been the icing on the cake of our day staying inside. 

her and i love to go out, and as it gets warmer i am sure we will be spending more time out, than inside our home. but sometimes it is just so good to have a day inside, with bed-head hair, and comfy clothes, warm homemade biscuits, and time spent together. 

yes, it was perfect.





ABOUT BEING AFRAID

so, i have been quiet lately. at least i have on this little blog. i took a few days away, at first because i worked over the weekend, and then because i was tired, and then because i was busy - sewing, cleaning, chasing chlo. i have thought about posting. i feel as though i should post a recipe for something sweet-ish for easter, and something crafty... maybe even some type of activity.. and i still may post some of these things, but i just haven't really been very up for it the past few days. i haven't been down, per say, but i have just been thinking, and cleaning. i tend to do my best thinking while cleaning, and really while scrubbing... a dirty kitchen, or filthy bathroom can provide me with a good bit of time to clear my muddled head, and is less expensive, and more productive and effective than any therapist i have ever met. as i scrub i think and analyze and then let the thoughts slip right out of my noggin', washing away just like the dirt, soap scum, and grape jelly. 

so my kitchen is clean, as is my bathroom... all my laundry is done and put away. i have a good amount of my sewing done... and it is time to blog about life, food, raising the best toddler ever, or what i am doing with my shop.. and there is so much going on. but, how do i say it all without boring you to tears, because who am i kidding? i do the same stuff you do every day, and then write about it. i put in all in a post, and upload it onto a little website, and i hope people read it, enjoy it, take something from it, relate to it. i do it so you can say, "hey, me too!". i do it so that i can remember it. i do it to process the little things, these little hours, and days that make up the big chunks of life that seem to pass by so quickly, even as these hours and days seem so horribly long at times.

i have been struggling with being happy with the hours and days that i live. i am in love with my life as a whole. i love the man i have married, i love the dreams we dream together... and i love that he is good at making these dreams come together, much better than i could alone. i love our little toddler - the happiness, laughter, silliness, and energy that fills her. and i love the home that we have made. i love my career, even though i may say otherwise some days, and i love that i am sewing and creating. i love that spring is coming and that i am no longer cold all the time, and that i am outside again. the big picture is not the problem. i am happy with that. i am happy with the future, the problem is today.

today, where i am frustrated with where i am working, and i want to have the life my husband and i are working towards, right now. i want to be able to sew more, and be outside all year, and i want more babies, gosh darnit! and i am scared that these things are never going to change. that i am always going to want. that these dreams won't be attainable, that i am stuck in my job forever, that there won't be more babies, that our happiness will run out. during the day to day, i get scared and anxious in a way that isn't really apparent to those around me. i don't hide away in my room, i don't cry... but i  stay up way too late worrying about things that make no sense even to me. i can't sleep, i can't be productive, and i can't talk about it... and i get upset as i feel that my days are going nowhere and everything is being wasted... and when i think about it more i realize it is silly to worry about such things, but then i get anxious that i am a silly person... and all of this makes no sense, right? 

this anxiety which keeps me up at night, and makes me miserable to be around, my lack of contentedness... my crazy urge to attain it all in a day, or a week at the most, it happens when i stop writing, when i stop talking, when i don't allow my mind to clear, when i stop reflecting. when i stop my silly blogging. when i stop taking time to scrub the floors instead of swiffer-ing them.

when i blog about my day to day, when i write about experiences, when i scrub the floor and allow my mind to clear, this all makes sense. the pieces come together and i focus. i know where i am going, i am happy about what happened that day, or even if i am not, i have said it, and it is over - my thoughts are expressed, and not hostage in my head for me to guard. maybe it is just that i am tricking myself into believing that i have it together when i write, but it feels good to feel "together"... that i just don't care who is tricking me. it works.

so which happens first, me being quiet and then not writing? or me not writing and becoming quiet?

like i said before.. i hope that maybe even one person reads this and thinks "hey, me too!"

and for those of you who have read this and left scratching your head, here are some instagram photos:






because, really now, even when life makes no sense, and you find yourself anxious and your mind spinning about with nonsense... 

smiles from a chubby cheeked blue eyed girl who calls you "ma-ma", bring you right back where you belong, give you courage, and force you to enjoy that moment, no matter how scared you might be inside.



PORTRAIT v. 12

"a portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013"
barely caught her in the moment before she took them off... i was laughing too hard to get a photo of her walking around in them. there are some moments that are just meant to be engrained into your heart and mind, rather than captured through the lens of a camera.


oh chloe, i love you.




ROCKWELL HANDMADE: something new

so, i have been spending my nights working on making up some new dolls and making some special orders. i am excited about these new dolls. i imagine them becoming part of a little girl's (or boy's, yes - i make dolls for boys too!) collection and being passed down generation after generation, becoming more and more loved, floppy, and even threadbare over time. 

i had been thinking about making a topsy-turvy doll for quite some time. i love the idea of two dolls in one! i began to think, what about a doll and a cat, rather than two dolls? a cat lady! i also decided to make the doll in different skin tones. i listed two of the dolls in my shop (one already has been sold), but plan to make these dolls custom to order. so, you choose skin tone, hair color, the color of the cat, and clothing colors - i make the doll for you.


 i really do love making these dolls. i spend my days sketching and dreaming them up, and buying up vintage fabrics and scraps, while chloe plays. then while she is asleep i sit in front of a sewing machine, or cuddle with christian on the sofa and watch a movie while embroidering the details. as a lover of hand-made things, i hope to create high-quality, hand-made items, built to be loved and to last.

i started rockwell handmade just a short time ago, and it really is a small little shop, but with every new item i become more and more happy with where it is going... and with every night spent awake sewing up dolls, or ties, or whatever i am making, with every request i get to make something extra special for someone, i become more inspired and excited.  


click the banner above to check out my shop

love xo,

leah.


CHLOE'S FIRST PETS


ever since we moved into our home i have been itching to get a pet. i grew up always having a dog, and then had two cats of my own when i moved out, and for a small amount of time when i was out on my own i had a very naughty little kitten. i kid you not, her name was "naughty". christian grew up with dogs, and numerous other pets through the years, and has been adamant that he did not want any fuzzy pets that needed to be trained, or cleaned... dogs, ducks, bunnies... all out of the question if i want to keep my marriage happy.

but last night i was browsing the selby (oh, how i love the selby!), and saw this photo. i immediately pinned it, of course, and then proceeded to text christian at three in the morning: "i have decided that chloe will have pet fish".

and then this morning, chloe and i went out to buy some fish, fish supplies, and a home for them.


so we stopped into one of our favorite thrift stores and found a large glass pitcher - perfect! (i also scored a brand new pair of high-top black chucks for three dollars! they are a little big, but she'll grow into them, right?).

then we made our way to the pet store, and browsed the assortment of fish. chloe picked out the very colorful, day-glow rocks, all by herself. we got a little water plant, some fish food, two tiny black fan-tail goldfish, and headed home.


 i had left water out earlier that morning so it would be ready for our new pets. i washed the pitcher, and rinsed the gravel, and then let chloe set up her new fish home, which pretty much meant letting her transfer gravel from a colander to the pitcher - a small and simple task, but she loved doing it.




it was quite messy, but very pretty. two pounds of gravel was way more than enough, i probably had more gravel on the floor, table, and eventually in my sink when all was said and done... oh, and just so you know,  garbage disposals DO NOT like gravel...

when the bottom of the pitcher was pretty full i gave her another container to continue transferring gravel to while i poured in the water, and then let our fish get acclimated by sitting their travel bag in the pitcher. after about fifteen minutes or so i drained most of the water from the bag and then introduced our new pets to their home.

chloe fed them... very well, and has named them both "fishy".


both fishy, and fishy, seem to be adjusting quite well to their new, colorful, and cozy home. they are not a dog, duck, or bunny, but they are loved already.

do you remember your first pet?

AROUND HERE

i woke up early and started cutting out projects to work on while chloe was still asleep this morning. christian and i snuck downstairs to the sofa and watched an episode of "vikings". if you haven't checked out this new series from the history channel, and you love a good, and slightly gore-y, historical drama, i would strongly recommend this one. the cinematography alone is enough to keep me watching - very stunning.



we finally got bored of watching television. i finished cutting and planning my projects to be done. we were bored, and it was almost ten, and chloe was still sleeping. we have a rule about letting sleeping babies sleep around here, but decided we would go upstairs and crack her door, and see what would happen. we were happy to hear her up within a few minutes. we fed her breakfast together, and then spent the rest of the morning around the house, just the three of us. it was nice and quiet.


we all enjoyed a family nap in the afternoon, before christian got ready for work. i woke up before chloe and started working in my studio. it wasn't long before she was up. i spent the rest of the afternoon with her, alternating between reading a book and cleaning a mess, and then back to a book, or coloring, and doing some dishes, and so on. 

when christian works chloe and i tend to eat simple, and meatless meals. tonight i made the sprouted kitchen's multigrain waffles. i had been seeing them all over pinterest, and they sounded like they would be something chloe and i would both enjoy (chloe loves waffles, and i love breakfast foods all day long). they were delicious and satisfying - and moist, which is something i always worry about with multigrain recipes.


then a good friend stopped by to pick up this topsy-turvy doll that i made for her daughter, and of course we needed to sit, chat, and catch up while chloe ran around and played. i am working on two more of these dolls tonight and hope to post them in my shop this week. these dolls are going to be a made-to-order customizable doll. i am super excited about them, they are a lot of fun, and literally like having two dolls in one.

speaking of which, it is now time to be productive and get some dollies and goodies made!



THRIFTED

can you believe it has been over a month since i have hit up the thrift store? it is hard for me to believe it, but it is true! i needed to make a run for some doll-making supplies this morning and decided to make a quick stop into one of my favorites since it's right down the road. first i found the most amazing cloud and rainbow sheet to use for a quilt backing, or maybe cut up and use as fabric for dolls...

some good quality muslin and a nice linen remnant to use for crafts, or maybe make into napkins or a tablecloth. a rad high-waist, vintage, teal, anne klein skirt that is both light-weight, and in perfect condition! it needs to be altered a tiny bit, but i am going to make it a spring wardrobe staple. i'm thinking of wearing it with a soft tee or tank and a pair of sandals or wedges.

and last, but not least, some sweet pom-pom trim. i am a sucker for pom-pom trim when it comes to decorating kid's stuff and making crafts... and i am loving the cream and black pom-poms together in the different sizes!

i am hoping to be making some more trips soon to try nab some summer clothes for chloe. i love to grab old short-alls, and go crazy for vintage osh-kosh!


PORTRAIT v. 11

"a portrait of my children, once a week. every week, in 2013"


this week we took a detour off our path to grab a couple canolli's at termini brothers. the husband is a big fan of canolli's, and i have a little spot in my heart for authentic itailian bakeries. the nice girl at the counter gifted chloe the hugest purple sprinkled cupcake i have ever seen. chloe wanted to eat it as soon as we got into the car, and did not forget about it once we got home!

she sat in her chair looking like such a big girl, eating a cupcake with a fork... but she was too excited to be eating cake, and got it all over her face. once she had cleared her plate she then picked up and ate every crumb she could find on her tray. delicious!


thank you termini brothers!

LEAH LIKES: THE PERIOD STORE

so, i have decided that because there are many times that really want to blog about stuff that i like, like alot, that i would start this new little ongoing series of "such-and-such likes" to share stuff that i like, or that chloe likes, or that someone else (perhaps you?) likes, so that maybe you or other folks can like it too. i have said it before - this blog is not a sponsored blog, and i do not get any compensation for telling you about any of these lovely ideas or things - this is just me, sharing with you, stuff that i like. because, well, why not? now, without further adieu...

LEAH LIKES: the period store

have you ever come accross something, a website, or business, or idea, that made you think "whoa, i wish i had thought of that!"??... well as soon as i heard about "the period store" that was my exact throught. what a great idea! i hate buying feminie products, feel guilty for buying chocolate, and i am often unprepared and running out last minute to grab what i need from the corner store. i know how silly that may sound to some... i mean it comes every 28 days or so, it has been happening every month now, for years, gosh-darnit! but when crap gets busy, and i am in target with chloe who is running, or screaming, or even better - running while screaming, i tend to forget about the stuff i need and just try to remember milk and diapers.

well, lady-friends, here is a way to make sure you are prepared, and even pampered every month. the period store sends you a monthly package, wrapped up like a polite little gift (rather than the rude one that mother-nature bestows!), the week before your period. inside the package is your choice of feminine product, chocolate, tea, some medicine, and an art print... wrapped up in tissue paper that made me giggle with delight (really! check it out. soooo cute!). i was super impressed with just how thoughtfully it was put together - it was as though a friend had sent me a care package! customer service was awesome! it was worth every stinkin' penny! and i almost hate to admit it, but it gives me something to look forward to during *that time of the month*. 

oh! but, make sure you keep all your lovely, much-needed, and well-deserved treats stashed away. i left mine on a dining room chair while i was cooking dinner... and minutes later heard a little voice saying "mmmMMMMmmm"!!! it turns out that chloe loves salted dark chocolate just as much as i do!


also the period store has a great blog, all about lady-stuff.... including dogs that can smell your period! kind of ewww, and still kind of funny and cool.

yeah, i really like this, and hope you do too!








AROUND HERE: spending the morning at the zoo

we bought a philadelphia zoo pass late last summer, and have only used it a few times. i bought it with the intention of it being a easy go-to activity for us to do with chloe. the zoo isn't too far away from us, and usually an hour or two at the zoo is enough for us and chloe. christian was working yesterday, but it was bight and sunny out, so chloe and i decided to go, and i have the feeling we will be taking full advantage of our zoo privileges this spring.

as soon as we arrived two mating monkeys were waiting for us.. and i knew this would be an interesting day.

because it is spring and it was a weekday, there were a whole lot of school kids at the zoo, so some of the inside exhibits were a little too crowded for us. the great thing about traveling with a toddler is that they don't really mind. chloe was happy to walk and look at the penguins... who didn't have a very large audience.

and the zebras are always interesting to look at. they share an area with the rhinos. it is separated by metal pillars which are placed wide enough to allow the zebras through, but also keeps the rhinos on one side.... the rhinos also have little caves to hide in and they always look like they are creepin' on those pesky zebras.

you see what i mean?

the otters might have been chloe's favorite animal, and we had them all to ourselves for a good five minutes before the exhibit filled up with middle-schoolers. then we went to the aviary, which chloe did not like at all - she grabbed my hand and rushed me through. she wanted no business with those birds! 

i know i said chloe is laid back earlier, but she is also has a little mind of her own, and is not shy about showing how she feels. she DID NOT want to be around those birds. however, while we were in the aviary, we took advantage what i think is the cleanest and newest bathrooms in the zoo (tip for all you philly mamas!). you know you are potty training a toddler when you get applauded in a public restroom... she yelled "yaaaay!" and clapped her little hands loud enough for everyone to hear. chloe is very supportive.

but i think the most amusing part of our trip, for chloe, was running on the porch and ramp of the closed ice cream shop. she ran back and forth for a solid 30 minutes (an eternity in toddler time), and was bummed when i finally made her leave. i can't wait to bring her back when it opens up and see how excited she is then!

philadelphia zoo, you are always a good time and you keep us coming back for more.... till next time!




MOVED


well, sort of. this little blog is now called "she rhymes with crazy", and i have decided to give it it's own .com. i have really been enjoying this little blog, and while i am still figuring out how to direct it, and where to take it, i do appreciate everyone who takes the time to read it, to comment, to share it, and to give me feedback. you are the best!

yeah you!



AROUND HERE: over the weekend




this weekend it started to feel like spring. the weather warmed up into the 50's, we turned the clocks forward, when you walked outside that fresh and crisp spring smell was there. chloe and i got up and threw on our rain boots and went to grab bagels. i have been hearing all good things about spread bagelry, and decided we should try it out for brunch. it was hands down, the most magical bagel i have ever had in my entire life. crisp, fresh, the faintest bit of a chew to it, and so tasty. i got an everything bagel with roasted veggie cream cheese (because chris was working - so i wasn't kissin' anyone!), and chloe had a cinnamon raisin with butter. we sat in rittenhouse square and ate our breakfast, then walked around... or chloe ran, and i walked after her. there were other people out with their toddlers and dogs, and chloe chased both. it made me wish i lived further into town. i really want to make it into town more often as it is getting warmer.


afterwards we thought about going to the zoo, but when we saw the line of cars wrapped around the street i remembered why i never usually go on the weekends. we drove closer to home and visited a park on the way. chloe played, we found some ducks to feed the rest of her bagel to, chloe collected little seed pods, and then threw them into the creek. 


what is a day at the park without a tantrum, right?

tantrum over. onto collecting.
the whole day filled me with happiness, and i realized just how i never really got used to winter, how i never adjusted to the cold, and how much i crave the warm sunshine... welcome back spring, you are my favorite, you should have never left.



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