Thursday, May 31, 2012

traveling with small children: tip #3

One of the first things Ella asked when we returned from Southern California was, "When is our next trip?" She loves to travel. But we've had our share of not so great days, melt downs and tantrums too. This isn't really a single tip, but a compilation of ideas that have worked for us to help alleviate (or at least lessen) the drama.

A Home Away From Home
The first thing Ella does when she arrives at a new location is "set up" her room. For small children, familiarity makes them feel more safe and secure. Home is a safe place. So we allow her to choose a few "treasures" from home to bring along. When we arrive at our destination, she arranges them in a special place or just keeps them close by. The point is, find something that will make your little one feel safe and secure in an unfamiliar environment.

It's a Plan
Let your child know the plan each day, and then follow thru as best you can. Children will feel safer with structure and knowing what's coming. It's as simple as: first we'll eat breakfast, then we'll go the Disneyland and ride the Dumbo ride, then you can choose what we do next. At lunch time we'll leave the park...and so on.

*The first ride Ella and Lynn ride each time we've gone to Disneyland is Dumbo. Won't it be fun when she's 16 years old and they still ride Dumbo first? ;)

 Just Chill
As amazing and wonderful as Disneyland is, for a little it can also be very overwhelming. With the crowds, noise, sights and excitement constantly surrounding them, children can easily become overstimulated. Many times we think little ones are tired, when in reality, they're just overwhelmed with trying to take in everything at once.

A simple solution is to first recognize what's going on, then take some chill time throughout the day and share a snack or just sit in the shade for a bit. It's good for the bigs too! :)

Yep, this is the moment.

I had a major Aha! moment on one of our first trips to Disneyland, when after two days of running from ride to show to ride, we decided to just stop and have some ice cream together. For the first time on the trip, Ella said, "This is fun!" Really? Okay, point taken. From that moment on, we've taken our days a lot slower and focused on just enjoying ourselves, not fitting everything in.

Create Traditions
We started a new tradition at Disneyland this year. At home, Ella is allowed one treat per day. (She's gotten very good at choosing to pass up a soda at lunch, knowing she'd rather have a sucker when she gets home. And yes, soda is considered a treat in our home. :)) But at Disneyland, Ella gets two treats per day! This is cause for great celebration for a six year old with an insatiable sweet tooth.

Why? Because traditions are grounding and it's a vacation. And I knew it would make her really, really happy.

Happy Traveling,

retrosketches - a flower tag

I was playing at a friend's house yesterday (the only person I know that has MORE stamps than I do!).  Every time that I am there I pull out her Stampin' Up Creative Elements flower - I'm thinking I should get my own (but I always know where to find hers!)

The idea of the flower on this tag is not original to me.  I first saw it done on a beautiful pink birthday card by LeAnne at Wee Inklings - I just went through all 81 birthday cards she had on her blog (and oohed and aahed all the way) - but couldn't find this one so you could see how pretty it is.  (LeAnne, I know you sometimes pop into my blog - if you see this, leave us a link!!)

Here's my take on this tag...

retrosketches blog sketch

I knew that I wanted to finally use this tag when I saw this week's sketch at retrosketches.

  • Stamps: Stampin' Up Creative Elements, Very Versatile
  • Paper: Stampin' Up Timeless Portrait dsp, Indigo, Red and Vanilla CS
  • Ink: Stampin' Up Red and Indigo
  • Accessories: All Stampin' Up: Butterfly embosslit, Indigo ribbon, embossing folder, border punch, two tags die

Purse Palooza

Just in case you have missed it and need to know more for MONDAY!!!!!

Announcing Purse Palooza 2012!!

I have put together a fun event to get you sewing a purse for the summer! Here's how it works:

1. Every weekday in June, I have 2 amazing guest bloggers scheduled to share with you a purse sewing pattern review. The review will contain detailed information about what they thought about the sewing pattern, modifications they made, what kind of interfacing they used, and more! Get inspired!

2. Even more exciting...THERE WILL BE A GIVEAWAY EVERY WEEKDAY IN JUNE! That's right, 20 GIVEAWAYS! Your Giveaway Fairy Godmother is Kim from My Go-Go Life - she has some unbelievable giveaways planned!

3. At the end of the event, you will get a chance to show me your purse in order to win some amazing prizes!

My free tutorial: Caliti Convertible Clutch

Pattern Review Schedule

June 4 - Sara @ Sewsweetness (Pat Bravo Capri Bag)
              Kim @ My Go-Go Life (Urban Jungle Bag)
June 5 - Meg @ Fashioned by Meg (Anna Maria Horner Art Student Tote)
              Lindsay @ Lindsay Sews (Posie Rosie Little Things Jane Market Bag)
June 6 - Kaelin @ The Plaid Scottie (Oliver + S Day in the Park Backpack)
              Colleen @ The Busy Bean (something from Amy Butler's Style Stitches book)
June 7 - Bree @ My Crafty Crap (Jenna Lou Designs Mabel Bag)
              Ayumi @ Pink Penguin (Signature Bag from Kumiko Fujita)
June 8 - Tamiko @ Patchwork Notes (Hexagon Patchwork Bag from Playful Patchwork)
              Jessica @ A Little Gray (Pat Bravo Verona Bag)
June 11 - Jessica @ Sew Crafty Jess (Amy Butler Spice Market Tote)
                Amy @ amylouwho? (V. and Co. Favorite Bag)
June 12 - Sara @ The Pretty Pickle (Charlie's Aunt Casablanca Clutch)
               Lindsey @ LRStitched (Noodlehead Envelope Clutch)
June 13 - Erin @ 2 More Seconds (Keyka Lou Bucket Bag)
               Caroline @ Carolina Fair (V. and Co. Carry All Tote)
June 14 - Ali @ a squared w (bag from I Like Orange Too)
               Rachael @ Imagine Gnats (Jen Giddens Pocket Tote)
June 15 - Holly @ Bijou Lovely (Noodlehead Go Anywhere Bag)
               Katie @ There and Back (Sweet Pea Pocket Purse)
June 18 - Monique @ Sew Fun by Monique (Millie's Market Tote from Happy Home by Jennifer Paganelli)
               Katie @ Swim, Bike, Quilt! (Green Bee Scoop Tote)
June 19 - Jennie @ Clover and Violet (Lunch Bag from Pink Penguin)
               Joanna @ Shape Moth (Emmaline Bag)
June 20 - Jen @ Bettycrockerass (While Baby Naps Metal Clutch)
               Krista @ The Spotted Stone (The Sometimes Crafter Amanda's Knitting Bag)
June 21 - Katy @ The Littlest Thistle (Noodlehead 2-4-1 Tote)
               Terri @ Sew-Fantastic (In Color Order Lined Drawstring Bag)
June 22 - Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy (Amy Butler Weekender Bag)
               Sarah @ Fairy Face Designs (bag from the Bag Making Bible)
June 25 - Amy @ Sukie Don't You Know Who I Am? (Amy Butler Sophia Bag)
                Heather @ {House} of a la Mode (Retro Mama Granny Bag)
June 26 - Julianna @ Jednoiglec (Charlie's Aunt Kitchen Garden Bag)
               Jeni @ In Color Order (Bari J. State Street Tote)
June 27 - Kerry @ Very Kerry Berry (bag from Suzuko Koseki)
               Michelle @ I Like Orange Too (Left Bank Granny Bag)
               Laurie @ On the QT - Quilting Tangents (Betz White Hexie Hipster)
June 28 - Kay Whitt @ Sew Serendipity Studio (tutorial: adjustable strap with metal slider)
               Amy Barickman @ Indygo Junction (tutorial: installing grommets/magnetic snaps)
June 29 - Melissa @ Bittersweet Designs (Bella Nonna Boutique Shoulder Bag)
                Kelly @ Kelby Sews (Pat Bravo Paris Bag)
                Bianca @ Sweet Diesel Designs (Lisa Lam For Pleat's Sake)

My free tutorial: The Underwater Stripes Bag
Contest Rules

1. Check out all the purse pattern reviews throughout the month and get inspired to sew up a purse of your own!

2. Join the Purse Palooza 2012 Flickr Group.

3. Link up your completed purse to the Flickr Group BETWEEN JUNE 4th and JULY 11th. Your purse must be created and photographed between those dates; purses made prior to June 4, 2012 will be disqualified. The purse may be of your own design, or made from a sewing pattern.

4. You may link up to 2 views of the same purse. More than 2 photos of the same purse will be removed from the group.

5. There is no limit to how many purses you may enter, as long as they were made between June 4th and July 11th, 2012.

My free tutorial: The Urban Jungle Bag

The Prizes

First off, there will be a team of lovely judges that will choose 1st through 6th place. ALSO, 3 randomly chosen winners will be picked out of EVERYONE who completes a bag! Some great chances to win!!

1st Prize

* $50 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop         
* 3-pack of books from Martingale Publishing
* $50 gift certificate to Zipit
* $70 Pellon gift pack
* fat quarter bundle and sewing pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics

2nd Prize
* fat quarter bundle and sewing pattern from Art Gallery Fabrics 
* 3-pack of books from Martingale Publishing
* $50 gift certificate from Sew Fresh Fabrics
* $30 gift certificate to Spoonflower

3rd Prize
* fat quarter bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics 
* 2-pack of books from Lark Crafts Publishing
* $20 gift certificate to The Quilted Castle

4th Prize
* fat quarter bundle from Art Gallery Fabrics 

3 Randomly Chosen Winners
Pink Chalk Fabrics
$20 gift certificate to Pink Chalk Fabrics

The Sponsors

Thank you to all of the lovely and extremely generous sponsors!
Art Gallery Fabrics // Amy Butler Design //  Artsy Crafty Babe // Noodlehead // Izzy and Ivy // Serendipity Studio // Martingale & Co. Publishing // Betz White // Sis Boom // Atkinson Designs // Mommy's Thimble // Lila Tueller // Sew Fresh Fabrics // Bari J. // C&T Publishing // Michelle Patterns // Clover and Violet // Indygo Junction // Marie-Madeline Studio // Pellon // Pink Chalk Fabrics // Lark Crafts Publishing // The Quilted Castle // Fat Quarter Shop // Craft Apple // iThinkSew // Emmaline Bags // Bag Purse Frames // Zipit // Oliver + S // Ellen Medlock Studio // Charlie's Aunt Patterns // Spoonflower

Grab a button, and let's get this party started!!