Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summa Summa Summa time. Summa time.

I feel like I have had a marathon of a couple of

Biz. E!

Oh hi, Marmalade.

Hubbs and I before going out to dinner.

Bubba in his car that we made.

Another shot of Bubba's car.

Homeschooling preschool takes quite a lot of work and planning.  I decided instead of being  "Super Mama" and doing it three days a week, I would settle for being "Almost Super Mama" and have it two days.  I work four jobs right now, two from home and two outside the home and it was just too much.  Fridays are just chill days with the kids.  We may go on one of our adventures or run just go wherever the winds take us.  We may just stay in our jammies all day,  or put on our bathing siuts and splash in the kiddie pool.  Yes, me too.
Pinterest has come in handy with lesson plans and activity ideas.  The kids really enjoy it so far.
Check out some pics from a home-school day.
This was jungle week.  Bubba was being an elephant.
I set up an obstacle course through the house with chairs, pillows, toys that they have to go around and pretend they were different jungle animals.

Youtube is a great source for finding short videos and songs to go along with out themed activities or lessons.

Bubba asks me to do this activity now just about everyday.  They loved it!!! Seeing them have so much fun with something so simple that brought out their imagination was priceless.
Otherwise, for those who may be curious, this is a typical home-school day schedule.

Rise and shine at 7. (ish.........everything is ISH here)
Dress, brush teeth, comb hair, meds and head downstairs by 7:30.
Mama cleans up and then checks emails while kids eat and watch some toons.
School starts around nine.
Pledge of Allegiance.
Lesson Board.  Change date, record weather, count how many ongoing days of school we have had and record it, swith our "today, tomorrow, and yesterday" chart. Introduce theme of the week.
Sing a song of the week. Learn a vocab word based on theme.
Learn a moral or family value.
Review our address and Mama's phone number and how and when to call 911.
Then onto their own notebooks where they practice writing, numbers, shapes, counting, etc.
Coloring a picture based on theme.
Make a craft or do an activity based on theme.
Snack time.
Outside time.
Read books based on theme.
Usually in a bed, but this day it was a chair.
This wraps up the school day by three or four.

Other than that, I have been buying fabric and supplies, designing dresses, and sewing, sewing, sewing!  I am glad to report that people are really supporting My Sweet Marmalade this summer.  Ya know, it is pinafore season.



Marmalade turns three this week and Chica turns one a week later so we are having a combo party this coming weekend.  An Alice and Wonderland Party, in fact.  I have been sewing special dresses, fashioing mini mad hatter hats for the girls, hand making decorations, signs, looking up recipes for pink popcorn and chechire cat cupcakes. You name it, I am trying to do it.  I can't wait to show you how it all comes together!

Fabric for the girls special Alice in Wonderland dresses!

And last but certainly not least, we just signed a contract on a home in Florida!  It is going to be a rental property for us,  and who knows.....maybe we will use it for a temp home as we search for the perfect home for our family in our paradise.  Either way, it is a great little house and until it closes, I think I will be a little anxious. I do feel happier already knowing I own a little slice of heaven.

I am trying to get as much yoga into our lives as I can. (note:  Marmalade made up that yoga pose on her own.)
My tribe!

Soul-searching lead to a vision.  A vision lead to a plan,  and step by step it is coming together.   To think back on how the last couple of years have brought me to this place, this is amazing.  Never give up no matter what is going on in your life.  You have know idea the joy that is in store for you if you just believe.
I hope you are enjoying your summa-time!  Keep your eye on my facebook page this week.  I will be giving a coupon code for a HUGE one day sale in honor of Marmalade's Birthday.

It is going to be a busy week again, so if I don't post again this week,  have a fabulous Fourth of July!

Peace, Love, and Sandy feet,
Mama Nic

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Moore From Katie - A Guest Blogger!

Hey there Mamas!  Today I am pleased to introduce to you Katie Moore, from  Moore From Katie!

 Katie Moore has written and submitted this article. Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, Moore From Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26

How Natural Living Helped Me Have a Healthy Pregnancy

Before I got pregnant for the first time, I had always heard about the benefits of natural living on the news and in magazines. However, I always believed that a natural lifestyle would be too expensive and way too much work. I pictured people spending hours in their garden and washing their laundry by hand. As I sped through my busy life, consumed by my career and social life, I just brushed off natural living as one more thing that I did not have time to worry about. However, once I found out that I was pregnant, I realized I needed to reexamine my lifestyle. No longer did it seem right to gulp down a fast food burger on the way home or skip breakfast before heading off to work. I knew that my baby depended upon me to keep my body in optimum health. Once I started investigating natural living, I discovered that it was far easier than I had ever believed, and it saved me money. Here, are a few of the things I did to make the switch to natural products without sacrificing any time or money!

Pack Healthy Meals
One of the first areas that I changed when I was pregnant was my eating habits. I have to admit that I had made it a habit to eat out on almost a daily basis. Additionally, I soon discovered that many of the foods that I ate were coated in harmful chemicals such as pesticides. This meant that even when I thought I was eating healthy, I really wasn’t. So, I began my journey toward natural living by purchasing organic fruits and vegetables. I found that these tasted delicious and began to prepare healthy snacks that I could carry with me everywhere I went. When hunger struck, all I had to do was reach in my bag and pull out an organic apple or pear. Not only was this convenient, but I also managed to save money by not eating out. Additionally, my switch to organic produce made the transition to preparing my baby’s food at home much easier.

Choose Natural Cleaners
As many women do, I love the smell of a freshly cleaned house (especially if someone else cleaned!). For the majority of my life before pregnancy, I had spent tons of money on air fresheners, scented candles and household cleaners that made my home smell like the beachside. Unfortunately, I had never given a thought to how many harmful chemicals are used to make many of the most common cleaners. If I had, I never would have used them in my home. Once I began to research how to raise a healthy child, I knew that I would need to begin eliminating these types of chemicals to safeguard by growing baby’s development.

Once again, I was surprised at how simple making my own cleaners from natural ingredients could be at home. For example, a half and half mixture of vinegar and water can be used to clean a multitude of surfaces. Add a little baking soda to some vinegar and you also have a powerful drain cleaner. For my baby, I also used homemade laundry soap and began using wool dryer balls instead of fabric softener. I also discovered that these natural cleaners still made my home smell fresh and clean without heavy perfumes. If you prefer a scent, adding a few natural oils to your cleaner such as lavender will still provide you with a lovely scented home.

Select Cloth Diapers
As I began to realize the positive impact that natural living had on my diet and home, I decided to explore using cloth diapers when my baby was born. While I had once viewed cloth diapers as an ancient practice used back before disposables, I was shocked to discover how far cloth diapering has come since the days of pins and stacks of cloth. Instead, cloth diapers came in bright and fun patterns as well as a variety of styles. Additionally, since I used natural laundry soap, all I had to do was toss them in the washer as I would any normal load of clothes. Once my friends noticed how easy it was and my baby’s lack of diaper rashes, they even made the switch.

Looking back, I have my pregnancy to thank for leading me to a more natural lifestyle. Although I had always wanted to try organic cooking and homemade cleaners, it took having my daughter to shift my priorities. Now that she is a toddler, and I get to watch her grow in a safe home free of harmful chemicals, I know that I will never go back to the unhealthy lifestyle I had before. Instead, I will continue to reap the benefits of an affordable and easy way to improve my child’s life through natural living. If you have any questions or concerns throughout your pregnancy, feel free to ask your doctor. My doctor was able to advise me about everything pregnancy related- from prenatal vitamins to cord blood banking options. Being informed throughout your pregnancy leads to a happier pregnancy!

I hope you enjoyed these great tips from our new friend, Katie.  

And with that I leave you with a message from Chica...................


Love, Peace, and Sandy Feet,
Mama Nic

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mint Smores Jumble

You are SO going to make, right now!

One bag of Kraft Chocolate Mint Mini Marshmallows

Two Hershey's Chocolate Bars (broken up)
16 squares of Honey Graham Crackers (broken up into tinier squares)

Small Salted Pretzels(about 3 cups)

Jumble up in a bowl.


Sweets for my Sweets!

Love, Peace, and Sandy Feet,
Mama Nic


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Look at MY Sweet Marmalade

Did you all know that my oldest girl was the inspiration for my sewing business called  My Sweet Marmalade?

Yup.  There she is right there.  My Sweet Marmalade herself!

My passion for sewing teeny tiny dresses, ignited when she was about six months old. 

There she is in the first ever pinafore that I designed and sewed.  Aaaaaaaaaaw!
 That little girl sparked something within my soul and I reconnected with my fashion design and retail roots.

Yes, being a busy Mom limits my time spent on just about anything, but if something is important to you, you find a way to weave in onto your life.

Because of her, a business, a passion, a label was born!
Marmalade is turning three next month!  Oh how time flies.

With the pinafores I design I try to make them as functional, high quality, economical, eco-friendly as I can.   Of course, being high on the sweetness scale is also top priority.  All My Sweet Marmalade pinafores have these goals in mind as I design each one.  As I design, sew, wrap, label, and mail them goes into each and every step. 

Let me walk you through what this really means.


  • Easy on and off. The pinafore fits a modern Mom’s and Babies lifestyle. No fussy buttons to deal with. Just slip it right over her head and get going. 
  • She burps or spills milk……flip it over!
  • Two looks, one dress! 
High Quality!

  • The label is handmade 
  • Choice of thread
  • Designer fabrics
  • You get two looks in one!
  •  Criss-cross design in back makes this garment very accommodating to an ever growing child. Therefore, it can be worn season after season.  This pinafore will start out about mid-thigh (depending on the height of the child) and end up as a tunic or shirt. 
This was a blanket in it's past life. 
  • Label is 100% organic cotton
  • I try and use up-cycled material where appropriate  
 Take a look at this custom pinafore I designed for Marmalade's first birthday.


 Two years later!

Mind blown?

I know that Mar is a peanut, but I do believe that most girls can use these pinafores season after season, or maybe year after year!

The pinafore is a timeless staple in any girls closet.  In the warmer months it can be worn alone with a pair of bloomers, shorts or even over a bathing suit.  Just layer it over short or long sleeve onesies or shirts for when it’s cooler.  Leggings, pants, and leg warmers also look adorable when paired with your pinafore.

If you have a little girl that could use some threads from My Sweet Marmalade, head on over to Etsy! (sizes run from newborn up to a 5T!)

Love, Peace, and Sandy Feet,
Mama Nic

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Being Idle and I don't Mix.

This is from Thursday..................

I am sitting in my van at a dead stop since 8:42.  It is now 9:02.
Stock image of 'Cars in a traffic jam on a country road'

So much for being in the office at 9.
Good morning Tracy (Taken with Instagram at Blue Q)

I have been patient with this so far, drinking coffee, listening to tunes.  I call into work and let them know I will be there as soon as this traffic clears.

Now I start to get antsy.  The reason is that I have a very difficult time being idle. 

Not just in my car, but in life.  My heart starts to pump faster, teeth start clenching.  I feel like an annoyed bull in a pen.  Let me free!

Ok.  Ok.  "Roll  with it."


Deep breathes.

Some more deep breathes.

I have a pen.  I have a notebook!
little notebook :  BIG ideas little book

little notebook : BIG ideas little book

Just write.

I don't recomend writing and driving,  but I am NOT moving at all.

Not sure why I have such a problem being stuck here.  It is quiet expet for the music I am choosing to play.  It is warm, so windows are down.  You know me, I am a fresh-air addict.

I start thinking about the whole creative process and what I physically and emotionally feel when creating something,  and when I want to but cannot.  

Being creative is a  must for me.

If I am not able to express myself somehow creativly, things start to turn ugly.

Creating is an energy and if it is not manifested into something positive, the energy just gets stuck.  It ends up coming up anyway but in ways that are negative.  Yelling at the kids, being short with Hubby, being moody. 

This is so true.  As I sit her I realize this.

I heard Brene Brown on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday speak about this.  She said that

Unused creativity is not benign.  It metastasizes and turns into grief, rage, and shame.  We are Divine beings and we are by nature creative! 

I think that is brilliant and perfectly said.  
This is on the "to read"list for me.


Traffic is moving.  

Again, so am I. 

Love, Peace and Sandy Feet,
Mama Nic