Respect the Children – via allaboutmanners

I haven’t really spoken about the amazing children in my life or how they entered my life in the first place, but this quote right here – well, this is what our house is all about. They humble me daily with their uncanny combination of innocence and wisdom. This is for them.

Update: I tried to reblog this from allaboutmanners and failed. User error I’m sure. Here’s another shot. ~CC


A Big Announcement and a Coupon Code!

Guess what you guys??  I have opened an Etsy shop!

OK, so it’s not the biggest news – that would be “I have finished my dissertation and am finally, after eight years and six or seven different topics, going to be Dr. CharmingChris!”

But in lieu of that, it’s pretty big news, and I’m very excited.  How did this happen?  Well, I am terrible at being idle. Really, really terrible at it.  And I’ve been holding off on promoting my full-time business any more than I already do until I graduate, because I don’t want client deadlines to interfere with grad school deadlines. But meanwhile, I’ve been having to wait two or three weeks at a time for my advisor to send me his rounds of edits and feedback.

~thumb twiddling~

That’s part of how this blog was born, in fact.  And it’s part of what drew me into Origami Owl. In my heart, I’m a businesswoman. Yes, I take a lot of pictures of flowers and gush about my dog, but the core of CharmingChris… well, if I see a niche and I know I have a talent to fill it, I am off and running. And as time kept ticking away, I realized I have another hobby (a lifelong hobby in fact, thanks to my folks and our holiday traditions) that could become a bit more than a hobby if I just gave it a shot. See, I stamp stuff. I make all of my own cards (and I send them too – it’s a big deal to me). I make our gift tags at Christmas. I have an obscene collection of stamps and paper. And I recently got it all out to play with the kids, and something clicked. I didn’t want to put it away. I was tired of twiddling my thumbs and I had a creative itch to boot.

So charmingchris creations has officially been born. And as a thank-you to you, my dear sweet blog readers, I’m offering you 20% off your entire order, no minimum.  Just enter coupon code CCGRANDOPENING at the checkout. I’m making more as we speak. I accept custom orders too, so send me your idea and we can be off and running. Ahhh. That itchy idle feeling is subsiding!


Neighbor’s Tree – One Pic a Day Spring 2013

Today’s spring-pic-a-day needs no further comment. This is my neighbors tree.

Birthdays and self-reflection

Slumber Party Fort

The fort I helped the kids build last night. How old am I turning again?

As if to remind me how far I’ve come, and how far I have to go, the seminal things-you-should-know-by-whatever-age lists have been making the rounds again. These lists describe where you should be and what you should know by 30 and 50. I turn 36 today, so I guess one should capture my goals and the other my failures? Am I behind or ahead of the game?

A glance through the comments on each captures a good deal of my initial reactions as well, but they are food for thought all the same. Are these sexist? Yeah, some of them kinda are. But I’m not so easily offended as to discard decent advice in a wholesale fashion, just because a speck or two of it doesn’t really fit my world view or life experiences.  Grain of salt and all that.

I’ll spare you my own line-item checklist of where I stand on these arbitrary measuring sticks. Suffice to say they’ve made me think. Made me ponder why I’ve come so much farther professionally than personally.  I’d hazard a guess that many women of my generation would say the same.  As I approach 40 though, I think one standard helps me qualify my life so far as an unqualified, ultimate win.  I just typed “women” and still feel uncomfortable describing myself with that word, simply because I don’t feel old enough to use it on myself. I still feel like a kid. I think like a kid. I look from the outside in at my professional persona in awe, because I don’t feel old enough to have come this far, command the respect I do, or harbor all of the knowledge that makes me the legitimate expert in my field that I am. It’s not self-doubt; it’s that giddy feeling of actually accomplishing something impressive in your own right. Maybe in the next 14 years, I’ll get to the personal side.  Or I’ll just write my own list.

At any rate, here are both lists (below the jump), courtesy of HuffPo. Tell me what you think in the comments, especially if you think they’ve skipped something important.

Continue reading

Happy Birthday to Me!

It’s my birthday today. However, we celebrated in style at home last night, because my Love is at work today. He and the kids sent me upstairs while they wrapped and decorated, and I came back down to a birthday wonderland. It was a great party and overall, a great day, and we’ve got even more planned for tomorrow and Monday.

His mom didn’t feel right about me making my own cake (non-cake), so she made me a real one.  It was delicious and I’ve got to get her frosting recipe.  You can see mine in the background there too, and the version with graham crackers subbed in for the coconut turned out great – much better than I expected from my pre-freezer taste testing.

I am a very lucky girl to be surrounded by so much love. ♥

Bday Collage

I’ll be posting pics of my kick-butt presents separately. Suffice to say, he and the kids knocked themselves out!

Yarn Easter Eggs – better late than never?

I just remembered that when I posted my one-a-day picture of our DIY yarn easter eggs, I said I would post instructions. And then I didn’t.  So… yeah, it’s a little late for this year, but pin this baby and you’ll be a full year ahead of the game for Easter 2014!

This project requires yarn, small balloons, and starch.  And patience for overnight drying.  And then, finally, kids who like to pop balloons. This link is to the instructions we started with, and we stuck pretty close to this method. We used plain liquid starch though, and regular old dollar-bin yarn in several shapes and textures. It all worked beautifully, except for very thin, whispy yarns, which were inclined to stick to the balloons and collapse once they were popped.

We displayed these in a basket for awhile, and then I had the idea to slip them over a string of lights for an indoor Easter tree. This picture does not to any justice to how cool it looked. LED lights recommended though, because I don’t know what happens when starchy yarn gets hot.

Yarn Easter Egg Tree

Yarn Easter Egg Tree