{Free} Baby Gift Tags & Berries

You can't stop them.  Babies, that is. They just keep coming. 

And since I've embarked on my journey into the world of sewing making little baby things has been one of my favorite learning projects.  They are simple {well, relatively speaking} to make, and I find that babies don't mind the crooked stitches or funky seams my machine seems to produce.

Plus, the mom's like the "handmade" gifts...I think its the way they just mean a little bit more.   They have a little story behind them.

And I've been sewing a few baby "stories" of my own  lately!

A few months ago I made one of the those "Car Seat Canopies" {you know, the fabric gals put over their car seats to carry their little ones around...} and was excited to give it to my sister in law.  {Hope you don't mind if I tell this story "sister-in-law"... you know who you are...;)}  Since I live out of state I shipped it just in time for her baby shower. 

Time passed.  And soon I received a sweet thank-you card from her...stating how grateful she was for the changing pad I had made.


I called her to explain that it was actually a blanket you place over your carseat, and was sometimes called a "Car Seat Canopy or Tent".  They are a dime a dozen around this family oriented, Mormon baby infested town we live in and so it never crossed my mind that she may never have seen one.

Lesson learned.;)

And from now on, I'm sticking a cute little descriptive tag on every gift I make. ;)

Those of you who have made one of these Car Seat Blankets may have had the same experience since it may not be a familiar site at the baby showers you attend. 

{Sidebar: Yes, some of you may recognize this blanket.  Its the Car Seat Blanket Epattern  I have in my Etsy shop.}

And when you are as proud as I am about making something that actually turns out, its fun to sport a cute little tag anyway. 

Another Sidebar: I'm digging these little pom-poms!  This was the 1st time I used them and it was great.  I just sewed them around a rectangle piece of flannel before I sewed the blanket together.  Let me know if you want me to show you how I did it and I can post about it. 

So, here you go.  In true Toad style, here's a random assortment of cute little baby gift tags.  Tag away.

CLICK HERE for the free download.

{Berries Baby!}
And now for one of my favorite posts of the summer.  Oregon berries. 

The U-pick, stuff your face, and make yummy things with kind.

Within hours of driving to Oregon we were out in the fields on the very 1st day of blueberries could be U-picked at the Fordyce Farm just outside Salem. {Love that farm.}

It was the 1st of approximately 8 trips we made to the fields during our 5 week stay.

Ethan was my steading hand picking.  Aidan was a my "a car is coming" alarm system.   They both filled their faces with berries ate themselves blue.  I call it an inadvertant detox.

I'm powerless against the forces of these berries...

and I'm powerless over the need I have to create yummy things with them.  {Recipe for the best blue berry pie and best crust I have ever eaten via The Pioneer Woman, of course.}

{Red Raspberries}
Moving on to the red variety, let me present to you these tangy little gems from Smith Farms in Hillsboro {just outside Portland}.

Once again, U-picking is the way to go.  Its also great if the berry field supplies you a red wagon to ride in,

or to pull around.

And as with most things in life, these berries are even more fun with friends, or in this case cousins, who share your affinity.

Yep, I'd even say they love them as much as we do.

And once again, the end results provide a tasty treat.  The next morning crepes were on the menu.  {If you need a recipe you can check out this post from way back in 2009.  Its my fave.}

{Tai Berries}
You may remember last year when I talked about Marion Berries {in my Marion Berries 101 post} and we got to know them a little bit better.  This year, I'd like to introduce Tai Berries to you.  Another tart, tangy treat from the blackberry family that is actually an "English" berry from what I hear.  {Hey all of you Brit's out there, correct me if I'm wrong!}

Anyways, my mom planted some a few years back, and we enjoyed picking and eating them. 

{Shake It}
We could talk about berries all day, but I'd better not.  I will however share with you berries used in one of my favorite forms...the fatty shake.  And although these shots may not be of the crazy good creations we love to make ourselves, believe me when I say they were as good as if we had.

Okay, and I just can't leave this picture out.  No way.

Don't be too sad our season has past, my little blue friends.  Fortunately you are like babies and keep coming. We'll be back next year with the sweet Oregon summer...to pick and to love you.

And for all of you blog reading friends, may you leave this post and find happiness in "tagging" your baby gifts, relish one last berry, and cherish this last week of August. ;)

Love, Toad;)
Tip Junkie handmade projects +Emily Ashby

Long Days & Dust

{Day 2}
Me: "How was your day at school?"
Ethan: " I loved it!!"
(Talk about a HUGE sigh of relief as I wiped the sweat from my brow!)

Big steps for all of us.  Although the days at school are longer {he said he couldn't remember which day was which because it took so long...and when we went to the pool after school he said there weren't very many people there because it was morning...time has really taken its toll already!} adjustments are underway...for all of us.

Added onto the longer school days is a new twist for our little 1st grader.  He has begun a dual-immersion program.  1/2 the day will be spent in a classroom with an "English" speaking teacher and the other 1/2 he will be with the cutest little teacher recruited from Taiwan {pictures coming for sure!} and he'll be learning Mandarin {Chiense}.  Yes, that's what most of the world speaks and believe me when I say it will be quite the adventure for all of us.

{Brotherly Love}
As Ethan left for school on Day 1 Aidan was still sleeping.  On the way out the door he said Aidan would wonder where he was when he woke up.  I assured him I'd let Aidan know what was going on, and then a few tears filled his eyes and he said how much he would miss Aidan.

And then about 10 minutes later tears swelled in my eyes as I dropped Ethan off to school and he marched off like a champ. 

Cold lunch complete with Phinneas and Ferb fruitsnacks...check.  
A big blue oversized backpack with hand santizer in the side pocket...check.
A super brave heart...check.

After school we headed to the pool and I cherished every minute of it.

{Summer Swimmin'}
Water and toads just get along.  I guess tadpoles like it too. 

We all seem to be a bit happier around the water.  This summer has had water as one of our best friends.

When swimming lessons started they called Ethan's name 1st...Aidan immediately threw a huge fit and started running and crying as far away as he could from the pool and then threw himself helplessly on the grass to let the world hear is agony.  Little did he know that he was also going to get in the water...they just hadn't called his name yet.

Once he realized this, and saw the cute swim instructor beckoning him to come join her in the water he was a different little man. 

After that each lesson would start with him babbling on and on to his teacher and then actually trying to do what the teacher asked...most of the time.;)

{Going Again}
My lego sewing machine.  Ethan was kind enough to make it and told me we could share it.

Some of you may be glad to know that I've dusted off my real machine and have been working on a few projects I think you might find fun. 

My closet is full of fabric and ideas I can't wait to share with you. 

And yes, its helping keep my mind off of wondering what is happening down the road in classroom 103.:)

The 2011-2012 school year is here to stay.   Darn it.


And Then He Was 3

I'm not a child expert, but I do need thank Aidan for helping me be a better mom and person.  Without his help this past year I never would have understood what the term "terrible two's" meant, had that "lost child" feeling at least once a day, or been on my knees pleading for more patience and guidance.

He also helped me learn how better live in the moment.   I didn't want to miss a second of that belly laugh or little arm around my neck.  Taking a deep breathe and trying to figure out what was going on in his little world has help me live a fuller life. 

Don't get me wrong, many nights I've gone to bed mad at myself for not being a more patient, loving, or kind.   I hate that.  But knowing I'll get another chance in the morning to love and kiss on Aidan {and Ethan too} helps...

Although his speech is not quite up to where most kids his age should be, he makes up for it with his ability to be as physical as any kid can be and flashes the sweetest smile ever.   At least I think so.

{Trains & Cake}
Last year it was Buzz and Woody {which are both still high in Aidan's book}, but for this year's party we decided to focus on something that is constantly on this little guy's mind...trains.

It was a VERY low key family party.  Simple and fun. 

Once Aidan finally decided to come open presents the kids were thrilled.  Look at little Lucy's face in the next few pictures...

Opening paper? 

The funny thing is that he probably wouldn't have cared if that was all he got.

I had grand ideas of making a cool marshmellow fondant train cake, which totally bombed.  The train cars were actually not too bad so that's what we ate...

and it was great.

{A Year in Pictures}
Using the potty, starting preschool, better speech, and being a "bigger" helper.  This next year will be great.

But before we move on, I have to flash back to Aidan's life the past year.  Isn't it great how pictures can bring back such great feelings and memories?  I'm posting these in random order, and mostly so I never forget them, but you may enjoy them too.

My heart swell's with love when I look at these pictures.

Love you Baby.

Happy Birthday "A".

Love, Mom

Recent Posts