Friday, June 29, 2012

What's Up at HappyLittleMonkey?

It's been a great summer at HappyLittleMonkey!  Besides that I love being on my own schedule (ie. no school drop off), the kids and I have been having lots of fun together.  So far, the big things we have done are taken trips to Disney World, celebrated my daughter's 5th birthday, and completed swim lessons. We've also started bowling as a family and have had fun playing with our friends.  (More posts on these activities are planned too!)

As HappyLittleMonkey, I launched my new site, added some new products, and have had lots of repeat customers (which really warms my heart!).  

If you are looking for gift ideas, or maybe a fun sewing project, here are some pictures of what I have been up to.

Happy Friday!

Monogrammed Newborn Gown
Diamond monogram in light blue
Monogrammed bloomers in white with added scroll
(Love these as a great basic to go with everything!)
Bloomers in Classic Scroll in Medium Pink, as well as the white.
These were gift sets someone ordered!  Functional and fun!
NEW! Custom 4 Piece Newborn Gift Set
(Classic Scroll and Script Monograms in light pink)

Monogrammed Diaper Style Burp Cloth
Classic Scroll in red thread

Sewing Class Dress Sample
Classic A-Line Dress Class: Part 2
Adding ruffles, pockets and reversible!
Follow me on Facebook for class schedule
Perfect Twirl Skirt Tutorial- Easy and Lovely!

Tea and Cookies as Party Favors

Custom Newborn Gift Set featuring a Bee!  

Newborn Gown with Classic Scroll Monogram in light pink

Linen Sleeveless Dress and matching Bloomers
Classic Scroll in light pink

Newborn Gift Set in light blue
Engraved Jewelry Added to the Shop!
On SALE through Sunday
Custom First Birthday Set
#1 Birthday Bib, Bloomers, and Reversible
A-Line Dress

Monogram on the Dress

For help creating your own custom gifts, please email me and we can get to work creating your items!

Happy Friday!  Thanks for checking out my pics and for your support.  It means lots!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The "Brave Pill" My Son Needed

Ok, Moms, I'm sharing this little story from our world so you can tuck this solution away in case you need to pull it out when all else fails.

It was another one of those times when the idea popped into my head and I didn't really think about it before I was doing it. Here is what happened:

This morning I gave my kid a "brave pill." It was my brain's answer to the problem of a bad swimming lesson yesterday, meets pending swimming lesson today, meets candy jar sitting near the coffee machine.

"What?!?!" you say. Sorry, I'll back up.

Yesterday, my three-year old started swim class.  Within about 7.5 minutes from the start of class, he went from big boy excited to be in his own class, to wrapping his soaking wet little body around me screaming.  We sat by the pool, and waited out the remainder of the class with him barely daring to put his toes in the water.

This morning, I was somewhat dreading going back to lessons and having a repeat of yesterday's class. All the while hating that I know he will just love swimming if he would try.  As well as fearful that my three-year old was going to send the five other three-year olds in the class into the same crying tailspin.

My favorite thing about my brain is its ability to work on several things at one time. The swimming lessons issue was in desperate need of a solution because I had tried every rational thing I could. Then, in a moment of creative genius (genius because this idea came to me before 10 am and before I had consumed my coffee) this morning, I was plucking a "brave pill" from a jar.

Brave pills, you ask?  This brave pill was an orange jelly bean that I waved my magic (wooden spoon) wand over and said "Abracadabra, Allacazam. Turn this into a brave pill for Jack. Viola!" Then, I let him eat said "brave pill."  He instantly said he felt braver and stronger.  He decreed that he would be getting his hair wet in the pool.

Of course, his sister then needed one too. I performed the transformation on her pink jelly bean.

The whole way to swim class I was so skeptical.  I didn't want to get my hopes up.  Really, could this simple infusion of bravery work?  I was ready to be sitting by the pool again in wet shorts and a tank top while my son sent a class a three-year olds into a tizzy.  He continued to insist that he was braver and was going to get his hair wet and be so proud of himself.

When the moment of truth presented itself, he did in fact willingly go with the class to the pool.  He got in the pool.  He did all the things his coach asked.  He even got his hair wet.

Kicking with the kickboard 
Even jumping in
After class, he charged at me.  This time soaking me in his hug of pride.  He was beaming that he was brave enough to go in the pool and that he had even had fun.

I'm not sure why my words of reassurance, my husband's words of reassurance, and even seeing his sister have fun in swimming class weren't enough to ignite his confidence that swim class could be fun. However, telling him that a jelly bean would make him brave is something he can believe in.

Maybe, just sometimes, all one needs is one little magic bean to set the day on the right track.

So, that was my story about a little creativity before my cup of coffee and it worked.

When rational fails, sometimes the magical is what we need.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Awesome Spinning and Twirling Skirt! Pinned it and Did it

Who doesn't need super-cute summer skirts for their little girl?  A few months ago I collected a few DIY skirt tutes on Pinterest and I finally made one.  It was called the "Circle Skirt" but my daughter calls it her "Spinning Skirt." (Actually, it usually comes out "Sfinny Skirt"but I thought you may not be able to translate that last remaining vestige of her toddler lisp.)

This Pin by Made is quoted in multiple tutorials and after digging around on her blog, I can totally see why.  She has some really fun tutorials all over the place.  (insert the"Danger, Batman!" warning to anyone who loves good DIY tutorials that don't require purchasing anything)

Here is the link to her tutorial.

Armed with that Pin, some awesome knit fabric, 1.5" wide elastic, and an unplanned Saturday evening, I was able to tackle the mathematics, make a pattern and....drumroll.....a skirt!

Ta da!

Can you tell how much she loves the twirl power of this skirt?

For the most part, I followed her tutorial.  The math involved is easy and worked great. My fabric was a directional print (meaning all the little rainbows went the same way, so I had to cut two pieces and sew them together to make the circle.)  For fabric, I chose a knit, and although knit wasn't on her suggested fabric list. It worked great though.  The only other thing I did that she didn't do on her skirt, was to zig zag stitch over the elastic seam to provide a little extra durability and to make the elastic lay flatter.  Just be careful when you sew fabric to the band as it is a little thick in that spot and you don't want to break a needle.

I have now made five of these skirts and have a few more cut out.  They easily take less than an hour.   On the last one I made, I zig zag stitched the elastic to the fabric and was happier with the result than the straight stitch because I find it hard to sew perfectly straight lines and tug on the elastic.

5th Birthday at Walt Disney World Outfit!

Cinderella-inspired Cotton Costume with Twirl Skirt
I covered the waist-band on this one so I didn't have to dye the elastic to match. 
A side note on knits: Lots of people are afraid of knits since they can take a little more patience to cut and require a little finesse when you sew them.  However, I challenge you to conquer your fear of knits and try them.  Just pull on the fabric a little bit as you sew it to another piece and they will come out wonderfully.  It is actually a very forgiving fabric to sew with.

Happy sewing!

(And if you end up being inspired to make one, or ten, please let me know!)

On Pinterest:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mommy Genius or a Low Moment? Santa Claus in June

Every now and then I have these moments with my kids that make me wonder what someone else would think if they were paying attention.

At the grocery store today, my son was crying because he wanted me to lug his stroller out of the back of the van just so I could run into the store to order cupcakes.  (Really?  Where does he come up with this stuff?) He had pulled this stunt at the last two stores we had run into, and even though it didn't work there, for some reason his three-year old brain told him to try again.

After trying all the normal things to get him to stop, I spotted a man with a long white beard who I happened to hear mention something about Santa Claus.  Before I knew it, I was whispering to my son that Santa Claus watches kids all year and nodded to that man.

He stopped crying.
He stopped talking.
He just hugged me and was on his best behavior while I finished the errand.

I know that none of us think twice about employing the threat of Santa Claus in December, another reason it is the most glorious month of the year.  However, how wrong is it to use him as a pawn in June?