Summertime! Swimtime!

I'm so excited to visit my wonderful hubby for the 4th of July! The hotel is reserved, airline tickets bought, and activities planned. I made an appointment to get my hair done and am planning my outfits. One last thing to do: buy a swimsuit!

I typed "modest swimsuit" into my Google search engine. This was the first thing to come up:

Hmmmm ... not exactly what I was looking for, this website caters to Muslim women who want to swim. After a little searching, I found two great websites.

The Hapari swimsuit is actually the one I'm ordering and I'm sooooo excited. How cute! They are a little more than I usually spend on a swimsuit, but I'm justifying the purchase because this is a super cute modest swimsuit and I'm buying local!

Yahoo! Now I'll look super cute at the pool!


Beehive Bazaar

Ahhh! I am totally bummed that I missed this Spring's Beehive Bazaar. What in the heck is that? Well, it's only the coolest indie craft fair ever, held right here in Utah, twice yearly. I was finally here for it and i completely spaced it! Ugh.

I did, however, spend the last 3+ hours on the web site, checking out all the local artists. I highly recommend checking the website out!

One day I hope to perfect my skills enough to be accepted into the show. For now I can satisfy my crafty craving by drooling over other artists' work. Interestingly enough, my favorite contributors are often the illustrators. This is probably due to my complete lack of ability in anything resembling drawing and my tendency to put those even remotely capable of illustrating on a pedestal.

Forgive me if I am rambling, it is now 2:30 in the morning and I must get some sleep. This working noc shift a couple nights a week has my internal clock completely screwed up.

Without further ado, here were some of my favorites from the Spring 2010 Beehive Bazaar. All pictures are property of their creators. Please click on the pictures to be directed to the respective artist's website.

Dishtowel Bibs

I don't know about you other moms, but I have had a tough time finding bibs that will adequately cover Little E's clothes. Especially now that he is getting older, all the bibs in the stores seem too small. Enter my mom's fabulous creation: Dishtowel Bibs! Once you get the hang of it, these are super easy to make and only take 10 minutes to whip up. These bibs are great if you can find a good deal on the dish towels. I thought you might want to make some, so here's how.

This is my first ever tutorial, so please be patient with me!

1 dishtowel
coordinating ribbing (enough for a 3" x 13" strip)*
sewing machine

*You can adjust the size depending on your baby's head. Little E is 12 months old and through some trial and error we found this size to fit over his head and still be snug. The pictures are of our first try, which was 15" and I thought it was too big.


1 - Cut your ribbing into a 3" x 13" strip.

2 - Sew ends of ribbing together. (Right sides facing)

3 - Fold ribbing in half, wrong sides together. (seam inside)

4 - Cut a neck hole in the dish towel. The diameter should be 1 - 1 1/2 inch smaller than your ribbing.

5 - Using 4 straight pins, pin your ribbing to the dish towel, right sides together. The ribbing should be smaller than the hole, so you will need to stretch the ribbing as you sew. It works better if you pin the ribbing down in 4 places so you stretch it evenly as you sew.

6 - Sew using a finishing stitch.

7 - Turn the ribbing under and viola!

Little E seems happy with his new bib!


My First 5k

On Saturday I accomplished one of my summer goals: to participate in a 5k race. I finished right in the middle: #351 out of 711. My time was 33:19, which is not amazing, but is better than I ever did on my practice runs, so I'm pretty satisfied.

The morning of the race, I almost backed out because it was pouring rain. Then I thought I was going to miss the start because I didn't plan for the guy in front of me who thought he had to drive 15 mph down the canyon. But, I made it just in time. The rain stopped, the weather was perfect and it was actually pretty fun.



Flatter me, and I may not believe you.

Criticize me, and I may not like you.

Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.

Encourage me, and I will not forget you.

- William A. Ward

Today I had a 4 mile run scheduled and planned to run from my house, to the top of memorial hill and back. I determined that I would run without stopping to the top of the hill. I really like running this route because it's the perfect length for me, I get a great view of the valley and I rarely come upon others running the hill mid-morning.

Things went a little differently today. Apparently several of the local elementary school classes also decided it would be a good day to climb the hill. I found myself running in between what seemed to be 100+ third and fourth graders. They were coming down as I was going up. Near the top I started running out of steam. All I could think of was how good it would feel to stop. Just at that moment one of the little girls I was passing said, "You're almost there. The top is just around the corner." I kept going.

On my way down the hill, I again passed many of the same kids. When I reached the bottom I was greeted by cheers, high fives, and several rounds of 'good job.' It may seem like such a small thing, but to me it made a huge difference.

This simple experience has made me reflect on the power we have to influence others. One of the definitions of encourage is 'to contribute to the progress or growth of others.' What a beautiful definition. While everyone has the opportunity to choose happiness or misery regardless of circumstances, we each can do much to 'contribute' to the well-being of those around us.

Have you experienced a small act of kindness that made a significant impact? What experiences have you had showing small kindnesses?

Not Just Another Blonde ...

... In Beijing!

Click on the button above to visit my friend Hao Danni's blog. Basically one of the most amazing people I know, Hao Danni and her husband both studied Chinese in Monterey, CA. She was in the same class as my husband. They are now living, traveling, and studying (and blogging!) in China.

Don't let this cute little blonde fool you with her love of fashion; she is one of the smartest, funniest people I know. It's no mystery why her blog, only launched this March, already has nearly 350 followers. (Including yours truly!) Hao Danni has a little something of everything. Amazing Pictures: check. Fashion and Beauty: check. Travel and Culture: check. Ethnic Cuisine: check.

Stop by, check it out, and I'm sure you'll want to stay for a while.


Women of the World

Looking for something different, I picked up this CD at the library. What a pleasant surprise. From the first song, I was in love. The world music/folk feel of this gentle CD was the perfect background for cooking dinner.
This CD features 11 tracks, each by a different female artist. The songs are from around the world and are sung in Spanish, French, and English. The quality of voices and recording is excellent. There was only one song that I didn't love.

True Courage

Do you ever find it hard to wake up in the morning and just get through your day? Do you ever feel like you have more trials than you can cope with? I know my life is so easy compared with most people in the world, but I don't always feel that way. It's nice to be reminded of the power of faith, hope, and courage.

You can find her blog at: http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/


May Book Reviews (part 2 of 2)

Nurture Shock - Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

The purpose of this book is to explain why many of our most commonly used parenting strategies are backfiring. Using extensive research, the authors cover a wide variety of topics. The writing style is conversational and friendly. I listened to this book on CD, which I highly recommend. The chapters include: Praise, Sleep, Teaching kids about race, Lying, Gifted Testing, Sibling Rivalry, Self Control, Peer Relations, and Early language development.

Baby Giggles - Rachel Hale
We checked out this cute little board book from the library and it is now one of Ethan's favorites. Like most babies, he likes looking at picture of other babies. The pictures are adorable and cover babies with different emotions and situations.