Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Works In Progress
What I've Been Working on This Week

Of course, I'm still working on the Chevron Afghan.

This week I made a quick baby blanked with some fluffy purple yarn I had on hand.  This yarn is awesome, it is almost like a minky fabric turned into yarn!  It is super soft; however, it's surprisingly difficult to work with!  It's almost like crocheting blind, because you can't see where you're supposed to put the hook!  I think that I am going to add a flower applique or two in one of the corners.

I wanted a super quick project and had just a small ball of this variegated purple yarn, so I made this cute headband.  

I also decided to make a couple of hats with some Jiffy yarn I had on hand.  

I'm having a Flash Sale right now over on my Facebook page.  New items will be added periodically this week.  Perhaps even the above headband and hats . . .   I'd love if you'd stop by! (Currently there some bracelets and a  pair of Yellow Earrings up!

I will be linking up at the following:
Yarn Along with Ginny
Frontier Dreams with Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami
Hookin On Hump Day with Sara

Wordless Wednesday

A Girl and Her Doodler

Her pig-tails make me smile every time!

Come join in the (almost) wordless fun!  Share your (family-friendly) link below!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaching Time for Toddlers -- Geography

This post contains affiliate links. 

I'll be the first to admit that Geography is one of my weak points.  I do not want this to be the same for my child(ren).

One of the gifts that Catherine received for Christmas is the V-Tech Spin and Learn Adventure Globe. I really like this "toy" because it is already starting to give her a basic understanding of the world.  We focus mainly on the continents and the oceans.  Not only can we play with it together, but she can play with it on her own.  There are quite a few buttons on the globe that she can push and the globe then "talks to her".

The globe works really well as a starting point for talking about different animals!  Giraffes are found in Africa.  Kangaroos are found in Australia.  Panda Bears are found in China.  You get the idea . . .

2023 Update -- Ten years and two more kids later this globe is still going strong and has been well loved by all three of my kids! I highly recommend it! Sadly, this globe is no longer available; however, here's the link to the newer V-Tech Globe.) 

I have found flashcards to be great learning tools, and I'd love to pick up these GeoCards.  

While browsing Amazon, I came across this Around the World Coloring Book by Dover.  This would be perfect in a year or two, when Catherine's coloring skills have improved a little.  For now I will stick to free printables!  Here are a couple of the coloring pages that we've used:

(And yes, Catherine is two and a half.   She does not stay in the lines, or anything close to it, but I believe that just seeing the outlines and becoming familiar with the look of the countries is important.)

Do you have any great Geography teaching tools or methods that you've used?  Or just saw and thought, "Hey, that's a good idea!"  Please share!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Making Earrings out of "Thrifted" Necklaces (A Tutorial)

I recently had a very successful trip to the thrift store.  While I was there I picked up a few necklaces that I didn't really like, but I thought that the beads had potential to be something awesome.

I had some fishhook earring finding on hand from a recent craft store trip, so when I got home from "thrifting" I was able to take apart the necklaces and start working.  (I love being able to work on a project while my inspiration is still fresh!)

I'm sure everyone has their own method for putting together jewelry, but here's what I do:

1. Try to find an activity that will hold Catherine's attention for a least a few minutes.  (She's two-and-a-half and very much at the "Whatcha doing, Mama?" stage.)

2. Get my materials out.  I find it very helpful to make sure that I have everything that I will need before I begin.  Once the beading box is open on the table I really can't leave it unattended.

3. Remind Catherine that she can't play with Mommy's toys right now, but maybe when she's older.

4. Lay out all of the beads and findings that I will need.  This eliminates last second scrambling, and also ensures that you do, indeed, have all of the pieces that you thought you did.

5. Respond to toddler's adamant statement of "I older now." 

6. Put earring #1 together.  This is the easy part of the whole process!  Simply take your head pin and put your beads on.  Use rounded pliers to make a loop at the top of the pin for the actual earring.  Add the earring and then tighten the loop using regular pliers.  Easy peasy.

7. Get snack for toddler.  Again.  

8. Put earring #2 together.  Same as the first.

9. Pick up container of  1,000 seed beads Catherine was using as a Montessori type work.  Hey, it kept her entertained, what can I say?

10. Sit back contentedly  because I just made a cute pair of earrings and Catherine finally got bored and is playing with her toys.

All of the earrings featured on this page featured a "thrifted" element.

If you like these earrings keep on eye on my Facebook page because I'm going to be having some "flash sales" on these!  (UPDATE: This one is over, but there will be more in the future!)

I hope you liked this tutorial on how to make earrings out of thrifted necklaces.  
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Rachel: The Philosopher's Wife

 I love sharing my projects!  Check me, and many other fabulous bloggers, out  at the following (and don't forget to check my Crafty Links page):
Cowgirl Up

7 Quick Takes

Thrift Store Edition!

On Monday one of the local thrift store chains near us, Value Village, had a half-off sale.  My husband and I are known to have a love of "thrifting" so we packed up Catherine and had a great morning (and early afternoon because we couldn't go to just one) sifting through racks, shelves, and piles of goodies.

Here are some of the treasures we found:

1. Old Navy Skirt ($1.50)

Isn't it cute?  Just ignore the fact that it needs to be ironed.

2. Loft Jeans ($4.50)

These have a great cut with a nice dark wash.  I think these will be my new "dressy jeans".

3. Levi Signature Jeans ($3.50)

Check out What I Wore on Wednesday to see these jeans.  I think that these will become my new everyday pair!

4. Various Necklaces ($5 for all)

I purchased these for the beads to make my own jewelry. (Read about it here.)  As you can see, I've already taken a few of them apart!

Make sure to "Like" me on Facebook because I will be having flash sales on some of my earrings (and other stuff!) soon!

5. Bread Maker ($8.50)

There's a funny story about this bread maker . . .

6. The Complete Boxed Set of Kit, the American Girl  ($2.22)

Just finding this really made my day.  Seriously, you'd think I was an eight year old girl again!  I would have happily shelled out the $4.44, but it was HALF-PRICE!  I think that I am going to start reading these aloud to Catherine next week.  I might like it more than she will, but oh well.

7. My hubby got some great deals as well!  He found some very nice dress pants, a dress shirt, and an immersion blender.  We also found Catherine some super cute pajamas, a pretty "Church Coat", and an awesome pop-up book.  I feel like there were more goodies, but I can't recall them right now . . .

These pj's, which don't show any signs of wear, were $1.25. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The $50 ThredUp Gift Card Giveaway

ThredUp $50 Gift Card Giveaway

Have you heard of this awesome online store?
Let me tell you a little bit about it:

ThredUp is an online consignment store that sells and buys name brand gently used clothes and shoes.  Using ThredUp could save you a lot of money!  (By the way, I found this story about how the owners settled upon their name hilarious.)

ThredUp fully inspects the clothes that they sell before they are listed for sale. Each item is pictured and displayed for you to see very clearly. This means that there won't be any nasty surprises when you receive your items! You can even hover over an item and it will magnify the picture so you can examine the item closely.

Free shipping is available when you order more than $40, or it's a flat rate of $6.95. When you place an order you will automatically receive a bag to fill with clothes to sell to ThredUp. They have included prepaid postage for USPS and UPS. If you just want to sell to them you can order a bag to be shipped to you.

If you have never used ThredUp before you will want to find a friend's referral link.  If you use a referral link, you will automatically see a $10 coupon when you arrive at checkout for the first time. If you want to use mine, and I'd love if you would, here it is: CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP AND GET YOUR FREE $10 TO SPEND AT ThredUp.

Now for the good stuff:

The $50 ThredUp Gift Card Giveaway

Brought to you today by The Philosopher's Wife.

Hosted by Mom Powered Media
Event Organizer: Baby Costcutters
With a special thank you to co-hosts: Iowa Mom, and Giveaway Bandit.

Giveaway ends February 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm. Open to US only. Must be 18+ to enter.
To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck.

 Disclosure: I not did received compensation for this publication. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of your own. The Philosopher's Wife is not responsible for sponsor prize shipment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What I Wore Wednesday

I decided to share with you what I'm wearing today. 

Why? Because I know that all of my bloggy friends are just dying to know what I'm wearing, right?  

Here are the stereotypical self-portrait-in-a-mirror-shots.  I can't wait until Catherine can take a picture!  (Although, I don't think that she will get to touch the nice camera!  Just my point and shoot--which is nice, just not as nice!)  

Outfit breakdown:
Sweater: Lands's End (Christmas gift!)
T-Shirt: Old Navy (Clearance section $2.80)
Jeans: Levi's (Thrifted from Value Village $3.50)

The sweater is awesome.  The jeans are great.  (I had an awesome thrift store day on Monday, I'll share more of my finds on Friday so be sure to check back!)  The shirt is just ok.  I love the color, but the quality is lacking.  

Earrings: One Artsy Mama
Glasses: My free pair from

I really love this sweater!  I love the color and the versatility.  It works great with jeans or a skirt.  I've worn it tied in front and tied in back.   

 Well, there you have it!  That's what I am wearing today.  

Just in case you're wondering, no I am not wearing shoes.  We're a "No Shoes in the House" family and I'm staying home all day today.  


Works In Progress:
A Sampling of What I've Been Working On This Week

I've finally started to make some real progress on my Chevron Afghan!  I'm really happy how it's turning out.  This picture doesn't really do justice to the size--it's folded over on itself a bit here.

I've picked up a few pieces of fabric recently, some from the magical craft store and some from Wal-Mart.  I am thinking of using some of it with this pattern, Simplicity 2396, that I recently snagged for a buck!

Other than working on the Chevron Afghan and gathering sewing materials, I also have been making earrings this week!  I have one pair up for sale on Etsy and will be adding more later.  Here is a sampling of my work from my photo shoot:

I will be linking up at the following:
Yarn Along by Ginny
Frontier Dreams by Nicole
Work In Progress with Tami

Wordless Wendsday

Thank goodness for these since I live in Maryland!

Do you know what city these hail from?

Join the fun!  Link up your own (almost) Wordless Wednesday post!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Teaching Time for Toddlers Tuesday

With yesterday's holiday and a very busy day today, I am going to share a few of my favorite toddler themed e-cards.  Do you have a favorite?




This is a linky for anything toddler related.  I can't wait to see what you will share this week!  Feel free to link up multiple posts.

A Craft Store is a Magical Place

 Image courtesy of vitasamb2001 /
Craft stores make me happy.

Row upon row of possibilities greet me as a walk in the door.

Skeins of yarn just waiting to be crocheted into scarves, sweaters, hats, and blankets.

Reams of paper eager to be turned into archival quality memory books.

Pounds of colored chocolate yearning to be molded into candies and cake decorations.

Buckets of beads itching to be strung into necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.

And so much more . . .

So much to craft and so little time.

On Saturday I took a "Mommy Break" and left Catherine with the hubby so that I could take my sweet time at the store.  It was lovely.  I walked up and down each and every aisle, thinking about potential projects. Whenever I am in a craft or fabric store, as I meander through the aisles I am mentally creating projects with all of the items that I see.  The unpainted wooden letters become part of a grouped photo ensemble on a wall--obviously cutely decorated.  I see a set of stickers in the scrapbook aisle and I think about what pictures that they would best compliment.  I consider the pros and cons of each piece of fabric.

I had great timing for this adventure, just about everything that I wanted was on sale!  I purchased a couple of sewing patters, a couple yards of fabric, earring findings, and a size M crochet hook.

I just love this calico fabric!  So much so that I got a yard of it in three different colors!  As you can see below, I have it in red, brown, and navy blue.  I almost got it in black too, but I decided that the black wasn't deep enough.  I'm thinking that these will make awesome purses, what do you think?

Here's a sneak peek at some of the earrings that I made with the findings:

You can purchase this pair at my Etsy shop

I love to share my posts at various linky parties.
Check below for some text links, or visit my button page.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

ABC Friday (er, Sunday) Photo Share

I'm joining (a little belatedly)  Mom vs. the Boys for another week!

B is for . . . Bear!

This Classic Pooh Bear was one of her first gifts.  She's been quite attached to it recently.

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes

Visit Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!

1. Catherine and I joined a pool on Wednesday.  (Yes, it's an indoor pool!)  It really is a very nice indoor facility.  There are slides, fountains, all kinds of splashing and spraying thing-a-ma-bobs, an adults only hot tub, and a place to swim laps.  Catherine went down one slide and didn't appreciate the giant splash at the end, so I'm not sure how long it will take her to do it again.  I'm hoping to be able to swim laps at some point--but that will mean going without Catherine.  They do have some adult lap swim times in the morning at gosh-it's-winter-and-the-sun-isn't-out-yet.  

2. Yes, I swam laps five days a week at 6:30 am just about everyday this summer, and LOVED it, but there is something about leaving the house while it's dark!

3. It is always exciting when one of my posts is featured by another blogger!  This week I was featured at Miss Information!  My "How Long Does it Take You to Unload Six Bags of Groceries?" made her laugh.

4. I got my hair cut!
Just ignore the large magnet in the background, thank you! 

5.What makes toddlers stop what they were doing (no matter how engrossed they were) the moment mommy sits down at the computer, starts dinner, or tries to pay bills?  Catherine was calmly playing with her Cookie Monster set, but the moment I sat down she hurried over here to see what I was doing and now refuses to even look at her toys.

6. My latest T.V. obsession is Warehouse 13.  I know, I know, it's very corny, etc, etc, but it's so much fun!

7. Speaking of T.V., that was the topic of this week's Teaching Time for Toddlers.  Quite a few people have weighed in, most say that they allow their toddlers to watch a little bit of T.V..  Do you have an opinion on this?

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