Thursday, January 19, 2012

The taxman cometh, and I'm ready for him

A good chunk of this month has been taken up by getting all of the accounting that I’ve been procrastinating finished so that I can submit my state sales tax return by the January 20th deadline (no newly instituted $50 late fee for me…I even got a $.01 discount for early filing) and to hand over in a nice tidy package to my wonderful hubby so that he can complete our federal tax return.  The goal was to finish before Sophie arrived.  Usually I’d still be tying up loose ends for the federal return into mid March, but I can happily say I’m about a day away from being finished this year!

You would think after all of these years of running a small business—before Hayden made his appearance, I was a professional genealogist—I would learn my lesson and not put off a whole years worth of accounting to the very last minute, but that just goes to show you how much I detest all of the minutia that goes into maintaining the books.  In college I didn’t anticipate the turns my professional life would take and thus took not a single business course (let that be a lesson to all of my artistic nieces and nephews!) 

Over the last 9 years, I’ve had to teach myself everything I now know about running a small business including accounting.  And every year, I end up having to re-learn accounting principles as well as the ins and outs of my accounting software.  This year I vow to turn over a new leaf.  I’ll let you know how that turned out next January when I’m going through the whole process yet again…

So now that I’m so close to finishing, I’ve decided to take a little break and do something a little more fun…tease a project that’s almost complete as well as what I’ll be starting on next.

Here’s a quick peak at a new baby blanket that’s almost complete—Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend:

I can’t wait to show you the fully finished blanket!

Here are a few pics of new fabric arrivals that I’ll be working with soon.  There will be some wash cloth sets, loveys, and burp cloths to watch out for from both of these collections.

Spa by Rosemary Lavin:

Don’t you think Spa is the perfect name for this collection?  I find the colors and patterns very soothing.

Flutter by Allison Jane Smith:

Whimsical and light, love it!

And one more project that I’m about to start for my sewing room is to refurbish the top of my antique ironing board. 

It’s a family heirloom that I love…my maternal grandfather made it in the early 1900s.  As far as I know, it has all of its original parts including the fabric on the top--which has definitely seen better days.  First, I’m going to try to clean up and salvage the material, but if that’s not possible, I’ll be re-covering it in something that complements the colors I’ve chosen for the workspace. 

So that’s what’s on my agenda.  When I start working with the new fabrics, there will be a small giveaway or two.  So be sure to stop by often and/or follow me so you don’t miss out.  I hope you’re all having a great week!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My top 5 favorite purchases as a new mom

1. Upholstered Rocker – The first few days home from the hospital with my son, this was the only piece of furniture in the house where I could easily and comfortably sit. It was a terrific spot to get the hang of nursing—relaxing for mom and soothing motion for baby. After we moved him out of our room and into the nursery, we used it to rock Hayden to sleep before naps, bedtime and those middle-of-the-night feedings. If you decide to buy a rocker/glider of any kind, be sure to test-drive it first. They can be costly, but in my humble opinion, worth every penny. We happened to luck into a great deal on Craigslist--$100 for like-new condition. It was meant to be!

2. Video Monitor – I can’t tell you how many times we were chided by this person or that person for wanting a video monitor. After all, back in the day they didn’t even have audio monitors, and we all survived…right? Well, it seemed like everywhere we turned, we were hearing horror stories about SIDS. You’re cautioned over and over that “back to sleep is best”. We were so paranoid about this for the first couple of months, that Hayden slept in the pack n’ play right beside the bed, with the video monitor zoomed in on him close enough that I could look over at the monitor in the middle of the night to make sure his chest was still rising and falling. Plus, even though he was within arms reach, we had the volume turned up as high as it would go. It sounds funny to us now, but at the time, as new parents, this one item gave us great peace of mind and as restful of a night’s sleep as one can have when you have to get up every few hours for a feeding. We still use it today for our son and have ordered a second for the new baby.

3. Aquarium Crib Soother
– Hayden was not a good sleeper for most of his first year of life. Despite my best efforts, I could not put him down drowsy yet awake like the pediatrician and all of the books tell you to do. I could nurse or rock him to sleep no problem, but the second I tried to lay him down he would wake up and start crying. Naps were ridiculously hard. I would spend 1 to 2 hours on average for every nap getting him to fall and stay asleep, and then he might sleep for 30 minutes…1 hour if I was exceptionally lucky. This all became much easier thankfully once he was weaned. I was able to get him into a bedtime/naptime routine that included turning on his crib soother and letting him fall asleep to the music. Now, if he wakes up in the middle of the night (unless he’s not feeling well) he’ll just turn on the soother and fall back to sleep on his own. Also…in the morning, he likes to listen to the music and watch the fish swim for 15 – 20 minutes after waking up, giving mom and dad a little extra time to rest.

4. Bouncer – This little contraption is the only reason I was able to take a shower the first 3 or 4 months after Hayden was born. I could set it up on the floor in the bathroom, and if he didn’t fall asleep, the music and the toy bar would mesmerize him. Its portability was the best feature. Hayden still likes to play with the toy bar and the music to this day. He will even occasionally crawl in it and chill out for a while.

5. Portable Car DVD Player – Awesome invention! Before purchasing and installing the DVD player, a 4 hour car ride to my parents house was about 75% crying despite making multiple stops, taking his favorite toys, and having plenty of snacks. After installation it was smooth sailing, and he’s not even a kid that’s particularly interested in the TV. I would have bought it sooner had I but known.

I'd like to hear what your favorite baby gear purchases are.  Leave a comment or email me at

I’ll be reviewing our new monitor as soon as it arrives. If you would like a review of any of the specific brands for the items above, post a comment and I’ll make it so.

Have a great week!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new year, a new baby, a new business...well, almost new

I had good intentions in 2011 to really hit the ground running with Posh Patooties. My son was getting older and more independent every day. I had more and more time on my hands to spend creating and working on the “back office” tasks of running a business. All of the pieces were starting to fall into place…so what happened?

Shortly after Hayden (my beautiful little boy) turned one, my wonderful hubby and I found out that we would be expecting another bundle of joy in about 9 months. What a blessing! This terrific news wouldn’t stop the Posh Patooties train in its tracks right? Sophie (my darling daughter-to-be) wasn’t quite so sure about that.

Morning sickness, HAH. Try all-day sickness well into the second trimester. Chasing around a newly walking, errr…running and very active toddler left me with zero energy each and every day. My daily goals were to create during his naps and work on computer stuff after he went to bed for the night. To my credit, I did complete several items. With the help of my niece and budding graphic designer, Lauren, a basic website was put together. I even opened an Etsy store and made my first sale despite my inadequacy as a photographer.

This is all great, but I didn’t come anywhere near reaching the goals that I had set out for myself at the beginning of the year. Well, it’s a brand new year, and a fresh start. I know there will be a lull shortly after Sophie makes her grand entrance and probably a few other setbacks…it’s inevitable.

I have faith though that 2012 is going to be a great year both personally and professionally. How can it not be? Hayden brings us joy, laughter, and inspiration every day. We can’t wait for Sophie to finally arrive and complete our little family. My husband and I will be celebrating 10 years of wedded bliss this year…love you hon!

I plan to blog regularly about shop news and new projects/products. As a mom, I know all too well how difficult it can be to make buying decisions for baby products, so I’ll also be reviewing the products and services I buy for my own kiddos. I will also pass along information about recalls as I hear about them. If there’s a product you would like another mom’s perspective on, contact me and I’ll look into it.

There will also be a few giveaways, so be sure to follow us, lest you miss the boat!

I hope you will all be there to share in this journey with me. May you all have a very safe, happy, and prosperous New Year.