Tuesday, November 30, 2010


One of the many things I love about Christmas is that it gives me an excuse to get crafty!  Last year Dashiell and I made salt dough ornaments (that looked nothing like the ornaments on that web site, by the way...) and I made star and moon stuffed toys for Dash as his present from me.  This year I found a "recipe" on the PBS craft blog that showed how to repurpose crayons into new sculptural crayons!

I just tried it out last night and kind of love how they turned out!   I found silicone muffin trays in the Target dollar bin (they actually cost $2.50) that were shaped like snowflakes which I thought would be lovely for Christmas!  Maybe not quite "snowy", considering that they aren't white, but I'd have to buy a awful lot of white crayons to get snow.  And how often do you color with white crayons?  Only on construction paper, really.  

I'm thinking these would make fun gifts for Dashiell's friends!  I might try to find slightly smaller molds, though, since these ones are pretty big (about 2") and take a lot of crayons to make--while we do have many broken crayons, I would probably have to dip into the non-broken stash to make enough for everyone.

Other crafty ideas for this Christmas:  painted wooden ornaments, painted by the one and only Dashiell.  I should be buying the ornament blanks this week and hopefully we'll paint them this weekend. :)

I had hoped to sew some felt "food" for Dashiell this year but I've gotten awfully busy lately!  My new plan is to send the instructions and materials to my mom, who is always looking for projects to do.  Maybe I can convince her to sew a few cookies or raviolis for our guy...

I'd love to hear what crafts other people have done/are planning to do this Christmas!  I love Christmas crafting, and hope that by showing Dashiell how fun it is to make gifts for others, he'll learn to appreciate handmade gifts just as much as all of his store-bought toys.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Okay I just changed the header and side bar photos and they're HUGE!!   At some point when I have more time I'll try to adjust the size, but for now I'm merely acknowledging their tremendous size. :)

Photos are by Megpix Photography, from the photo shoot on the earlier post.

Update:  Tried to resize (and switched to a different header photo), but I guess this is just the size Blogger wants them to be!

Our Christmas Card Photo Shoot!

My good friend Meghan of Megpix Photography (www.megpix.com) did a photo shoot of us for our Christmas card, and since so many of the pictures turned out great she asked me to put together a photo book of it that she could display in her studio! I'm finally getting around to posting it here. :) She did this during one of her "Painless Portrait" sessions - it's a FREE photo sitting, all you pay for are the prints (the sittings are quick and casual-this photo book pretty much shows what to expect!). FYI, she will be doing more Painless Portraits the first 2 Saturdays in December in her Lowell studio!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


So, after much consideration and hemming and hawing, I decided to enter into a new business venture!  Meet the newest member of the Usborne Books and More sales consultant team!  I'm super excited about this, and I hope you all don't mind that I'm using my Dashiell blog to express this excitement.  

For a while now I've been trying to think of ways to bring in a little extra cash flow into my life, and many, many months ago I thought, "I could always try being a sales consultant for one of those companies that does home-based sales, like Pampered Chef or something".  But I couldn't think of anything I'd want to sell that badly.  Maybe jewelry, but that seemed like a big upfront cost commitment, plus I felt a little guilty thinking about asking my friends and family to host a party for things they might not really need (you know you always end up buying something you don't need at a Pampered Chef party, admit it!).  Then a few months ago I was invited to an Usborne Books party.  Usborne sells high-quality books for children of all ages - many parents are familiar with the "That's not my..." series (That's not my Monster, That's not my Monkey, and many more).  The majority of their books are non-fiction educational books, and I have to say they're really nice.  We bought Dashiell the "Flip Flap Airport" book before our last trip to Minnesota, and he seriously spent about an hour of the flight looking through it over and over again - there are tons of flaps to lift and things to pull and turn.  It's consistently been one of his favorite books, and he still busts it out at least twice a day to read. 
 Dashiell enjoying his Flip Flap Airports book

Anyway, once I realized that Usborne was an option, I started giving it some thought.  Then stopped thinking about it for a couple of months until I decided to host my own party.  Then I got more information about becoming a consultant, and thought about it some more, asked a bunch of questions, and finally decided to go for it!  The upfront costs are fairly minimal, and I'd be selling BOOKS.  Books!  Who doesn't want books for the kids in their life?  They won't sit unused in a drawer for years, and while it's likely they'll be gifted to someone, it's unlikely they'll be re-gifted!  Plus Usborne consultants can sell to libraries, schools, book fairs, wherever.  It's not just home sales.  In fact I have a web site!  The address is kind of obscure (http://www.myubam.com/L3173) which is why I've linked it a few times.  At some point I'll get a new domain name, but that's a future venture.  FYI, there are Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals happening, so definitely check out the site then!

So anyway, that's what's new around here!  This will be my "on the side" job - I still work part time in an architecture firm and most likely will stay there for a while.  My life is going to get busier, but I like busy!  Plus, I finally finished painting both of the bathrooms and need something new to do! :)

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Santa and Dash x3

We went for our annual early visit to Santa at the mall this week.  We always try to get there before Thanksgiving to avoid the crowds (going after work instead of on the weekends helps, too).  Dashiell walked right up to Santa with no hesitation in the least!  Unfortunately there was a family who needed to retake their photos coming back up the wrong side of the line who got there at the same time, and for some reason they got to go ahead of us!  And despite the fact that they took at least 3 great photos (yes I peeked at them), they weren't happy and took about 15 minutes getting their perfect shot.  Sigh.  So anyway, once it was our turn Dash did just great!  He didn't put on his best smile, but I think he was too busy saying "Christmas!" (instead of "cheese", which he's still opposed to saying).  Before we got there I asked him what he was going to ask Santa for, and he said "presents!"  I think Santa can handle that.

I pulled out the past 2 Santa photos when we got home, and got to feeling super nostalgic.  Above is last year's photo.  Dash didn't really know what to expect.  He did great, until about 1 second after this picture was taken when he teared up and turned into the saddest boy ever to visit Santa.

The first year's photo didn't garner any smile at all. This photo was taken as Santa was playing "pat-a-cake" with Dashiell.  Look how little he was!!  It's amazing how much he's changed in just 2 years, but I suppose he couldn't look like a little baby forever!  And I guess I favor brown as Dashiell's clothing color of choice when it comes to Santa!  Frugal Suzi, always thinking "will he be able to wear this after Christmas" when buying holiday-appropriate dress clothes... :)

We've already been playing lots of Christmas music at our house, and Dashiell is enjoying it just as much as his dad!  He asked me to sing "Santa Baby" when I was making dinner the other night, which I think is too funny.  Of all the songs for a 2 year old to like!  I reread a post from last year about his musical preferences, and back then it was "Jingle Bells" ("jingabell") and "Wonderful Christmastime".  His first Christmas he preferred "Sleigh Ride" (the instrumental version) because of the "horse" at the end.  I was reminding him of this on the way to his grandpa's this morning when that song came on the radio, so he kept neighing after the song was over and cracking himself up.  We've got one funny kid, that's for sure!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bad Blogger

Holy Hannah it's been 3 weeks since I last blogged!  Sorry about that!  We've been busy and sick and not very photo-happy the last month or so.  But I thought I should finally post a few pictures from Halloween! We didn't get many pictures of his costume, which as you can clearly see is Linus from "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".  He's still mostly in a non-picture-taking mood these days, and this is the best we could get.  His costume was well-received in the neighborhood--lots of "Ah--Linus!  How cute!" comments.  Which is good since this was the best we could do as far as dressing up--Mr. D didn't want anything to do with costumes, especially if they meant wearing something on his head.  But we had a great time trick-or-treating, and Dashiell was super excited to have his lollipops.  He didn't quite understand the concept of limiting candy intake and was a bit upset that I stopped him from having a second Kit Kat (after he had 2 lollipops and the first Kit Kat).  But he got over it, and thankfully seemed to forget all about candy the next day.  After eating my share, I brought the rest to work (where I ate even more of it...sigh).

We carved pumpkins the week before, and the best part seemed to be post-carving, when Dash could take the top off the jack-o-lantern over and over and over (and over!) again.  Note that the pumpkin was not lit--he was just a little too interested in it.  We were able to light it during trick-or-treats, but that was it.  Then I proceeded to leave it in our entryway a bit too long, and threw out a very gross pumpkin earlier this week.  Yuck.

Dashiell has been loving the leaves this fall, and I tried showing him how to jump into a pile of freshly raked leaves.  He mostly just waded in.  I, however, found out why you don't see many adults jumping into piles of leaves--they don't offer much padding when you land, and you land much harder when you're big than when you're small! 

I should have some new professional photos to put up on the blog soon - Meghan of Megpix Photography was able to get some really great pictures of Dash (he didn't protest for once!), I just need to pick out which ones we want!

Happy Fall, everyone!