A Few Things on Friday.

1. This weekend coming brings changes to the ad site Passionfruit.  If you are a blogger, it's probably safe to say you've heard of them or used them.  If not, Passionfruit is a service to bloggers that helps them organize their ads so coding all the buttons doesn't make them go crazy.  And it's a great service, especially if your sidebar is busy with a new lineup every month.  However, starting September 1, Passionfruit is changing up the way you pay for the service, charging a monthly fee instead of charging per ad.  A lot of people are upset by this because they don't make enough from their ads to maintain use of the service.  This doesn't upset me- I understand capitalism and if I were working that hard I'd want to get paid more, too- but I am one of those people who doesn't make enough to support the service.  And really, I no longer want to.

At one point I thought that I would be able to monetize this blog, as so many others have.  But when it comes down to it, I'm just not able to put in the effort that would be needed for that to happen and a lot of the "sponsored posts" make me feel the ick a little bit.  So I'm giving up Passionfruit and going back to regular ad swaps.  If you want to swap a button with me, send me an e-mail at miloandmolly @ gmail.com.  I'll need one that's 200 x 200 in size because I'm a little OCD and I like my buttons to line up.  I can't help it.


2. I added new scarves and some leather-bottomed clutches to the shop yesterday, as well as started a complete photo overhaul of the whole shop.  In the process I discovered that my pincushions are about ready to expire.  If you want to grab one, go right now!  They are all on sale for $5.

3. What's up with catty comments on Instagram?  I knew that had been happening to some people but I got a taste of it last night when I posted a comment on a photo asking advice, as did several other people, and those who did basically got laughed at for all suggesting the same thing.  Sorry for breathing.

4. Ashley posted this on Instagram yesterday and I thought it was brilliant, so I'm sharing:

5. This completely interesting article on the culture of Etsy allowing/not allowing resellers has been making the rounds this week.  It's a really good read if you support handmade, and shows that you have to be careful who you purchase from.

6. Like chili?  Join Paige's next blogger food party.

Have a great weekend everyone!

What Could Be.


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Yesterday as I was doing my morning chores- put away last night's dishes, wash the breakfast dishes, iron and put away laundry- I let my mind wander.  This often happens, and I usually think about what I'd like to be making for my shop next, or what I need to try and get done that day- not usually too much beyond the next few days.  Yesterday, though, my thoughts unearthed something that I didn't really realize had been simmering there: a little idea forming in my head of what could be one day-  something that I could be very happy doing.

I am not one to make grand plans, and I hate the question "Where will you be in 5/10/25 years?" because that requires committing to something (and what if that doesn't come to be ???), but I found myself making plans in my head nonetheless.  I even considered grabbing a notebook to write down several ideas before I forgot.  The wild part was that instead of thinking, "oh, that would be nice," it was more like, "why not?"  Why not, at some point in the future, try to go forward?  Why not try and make it happen?  Why not work toward that goal?  Why not me?


I love this print.  It just makes me want to go and do things.  (Fun, creative things!)

Do you have a someday plan hanging around in your head?  Do you ever think, why not?

Links on Wednesday.


Everyone is so busy and on the go on Fridays that I thought I'd do a link rundown today instead, so you may have time to click around if you choose to.

This is an incredible article about using up our resources. Think about it the next time you go to Starbucks.

Another well-put article on being an introvert.  This one really explains the thinking behind an introvert's actions.

10 Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years.

Eating gluten free?  7 Foods You Never Knew Had Gluten.

It's a hoop art swap to raise funds for an adoption!

Emily from Em Dash Paper Co is shaving her head to help kids with cancer.  She's 18% on her way to her goal.

Love to read?  PopSugar's Editors have a book list for you.

I may very seriously need this print:

And really, who doesn't need a sandwich recipe for every day of the month?

Grammar v.4

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(I love the sentiment of this, but can we note that "seperate" is spelled wrong? Um....)

It hasn't been that long since I posted one of these, but I have a substantial list already so I thought I'd go ahead.  All of these have been found as I read things on the Internet and they just make me shake my head.

1. once and a while: This is not the correct phrase.  It's "once in awhile," meaning it doesn't happen too often.  Seriously, if you look at it, it doesn't even make sense.

2. quite vs. quiet: "Quite" means "absolutely; to the utmost extent".  "Quiet" means "shhhhhhh!"

3. exited vs. excited: "Exited" means "to leave".  Excited is when you are anxiously overjoyed about something.  That "c" is very important here.

4. shoot vs. chute: Shoot- to fire a gun.  Chute- a slide.  I just had to laugh (out loud) when I saw someone talking about going down the shoot.

 5. and 6.  Now, don't you think that companies who most likely have these things called "editors" would have their act together.  Not so much.  (Thanks to Betsy for tweeting both of these!)



Really just wants to make you smack yourself in the forehead, right?

It's the weekend, friends, and I hope you have a fabulous one!  If you weren't around for the Instagram sale last night, feel free to hop on over and check it out.  Even if you aren't and IG user you can take a peek at the photos here.  Happy Friday!

Getting On With It.

February 2:  I posted a work-in-progress shot of this bag:


I had big plans for a new style of bag that I wanted to put in my shop.  The problem was, there was an issue with the zipper being about 1/4-inch too long.  Typical.  With every intention of finishing it quickly, the bag was put aside to work on later because ripping out a zipper is just no fun, but mostly because that photo led to this custom order:


February 16: The custom foldover clutch, with this awesome gray-brown fabric on the outside and a fun kelly green print on the inside, was sewn up pretty quickly and made its way to its new home.


That poor little yellow and blue one up there?  Not so much.  It's been sitting in the closet waiting to see the light of day again.  Then yesterday I pulled it out of its hibernation spot and instead of ripping out the zipper, I just cut about an inch and a half off the top of the bag.  Much easier. 

August 13: After installing the shorter zipper I ended up with this (finally) completed bag:


Aaaaaannnnd....the zipper doesn't close correctly.  Seriously, it won't close up on the last two teeth over on the right side there.  It's like a comedy of errors with this bag.  So I polled Instagram and decided it best to offer it up at Thursday's seconds sale, lest I have to rip out and install a third zipper.  Nope.  So look for this little gem with its buttery yellow (in color and texture) leather bottom Thursday night.  (More details here.)

In the meantime, I'm happy to report that I'm getting away from this period of not wanting to make anything new and I'm doing something crazy: I'm using the materials I ordered.  I pulled out leather and fabric and zippers and I've matched things up and I'm sewing, which feels so good.  I am finally getting some of the ideas out of my head that have been piled up in there for months- 6 months, apparently.  Last night's finish:


The softest brown leather along with this fun emerald print, with a carry strap on the outside.  I'm proud of it.  I love it.  I really want to keep it, but it will be in the shop soon.  I just want to get a few more completed first.

Introvert.

*Note: If you are offending by the b-word then please don't read today's post, although I'm only using it in reference to myself and not in a serious way.*

I don't know exactly how we ever got started on the subject, but Heidi, Paige, Ayla, and I have determined that we are all members of the introverted / shy group.  We joke about how, if we were ever in a room together, we wouldn't know what to say to each other even though we're chatting each other up online all the time. 


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Introverts love time alone, need time to process their thoughts, like to listen, and hate to be put on the spot.  We are all bad at making conversation with people we've never met.  (Heidi wrote a great post about it, comparing herself to her extrovert fiance.)  Shy people hate crowds, public speaking, meeting people they don't know, and attention directed toward them in general.  I definitely have a combination of both of these characteristics.  (They are not one in the same.  See here- thanks to Amanda for posting this link today!)

Of course, Buzzfeed comes up with the best lists, so Things Only Shy People Will Understand is right on, and so is 27 Problems Only Introverts Will Understand.  (#2, #4, #10, #11, #15, #24)  .  I have been the perceived bitch/snob in school just because I listen and wasn't necessarily outgoing, and class presentations were indeed terrifying.  Introductions are always awkward and embarrassing for me, and I can never find the right words.  Finding good friends is really hard.  Even my husband thought I was a huge snob when we met because I didn't talk to him much.  Thankfully chatting on Instant Messenger (way back in 2000) helped us out.


I like to think that once you get to know me, I am a pretty nice and fun person, but it can take awhile for that ice to chip away because I have the worst time making small talk.  I can sit there and think, "I should be asking them something," and then cannot for the life of me come up with a simple question.  So we then sit in awkward silence until someone else starts talking.  Please think about this before you judge someone for being a little reserved when you meet them- they may just be taking it all in to process later, and they may actually make a great friend.  For this I am grateful for my online friends.  Not only are they people who share the same interests, based on where we met online, but the filter of the computer screen allows me to think and respond appropriately without anyone seeing my bitchy resting face.

Even Hermione Granger can't escape it. (#9)


Cleaning House: Good Read.

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I just finished reading the most incredible book.  It wasn't a magical story or a brilliant biography, it was a book on kids and work.
 

Julie first posted about this book and I knew that I had to read it.  The book chronicles the author's attempt to get her five kids to help out around the house, master skills they will need for when they leave her house, and understand the value of work.  It started as a plan to lessen the feeling of entitlement she was feeling from her kids, which I think is a huge problem today.  I saw so much of this while teaching- so many kids feel as if things should be done for them just because, and there is no sense of earning things.

The outcome of the experiment- the kids realized that they were actually capable of cooking dinner, doing laundry, weeding the yard, and cleaning the bathroom, as well as helping others and hosting a party.  And with each task the author finds that her children become more self-confident and self-reliant, as well as more helpful around the house.  The big message of this book- work makes kids feel good about themselves- it makes them feel worthy- and by doing every little thing for them we are robbing them of not only the skills but their self-esteem as well.  I honestly think that anyone who has any interaction with kids should read this book- parents, non-parents, teachers, baby-sitters, day care providers, you name it.  This is especially true for those whose kids have everything and never work for it; those are the kids who will be most damaged by this.

Problems developing in the long term: parents are filling out college applications for their kids and helping them write the essays; parents swooping in to help solve problems and conflicts; parents running to the teacher or principal about grades; parents going to job interviews with their children (this one floors me); young adults who flit from job to job because it's not fun, who think it's ok to continue living in their parents' house.  She even cited how kids are now allowed to stay on their parents' health insurance until the are 26.  26!!!!  Shouldn't they be paying for their own by then?

(Note: if you aren't fond of Bible passages or mentions of God then you might want to skip this book, but they are pretty benign and easy to skip over without losing the fantastic message of the book.)

To that end, I have always planned on my kids working and knowing the value of accomplishing something and earning something.  Gus is at the age where he wants to help a lot, and even though there are things he wants to do that he's not proficient in, we let him try because he needs to learn somehow.  An example- Gus has always loved to help in the kitchen even around a year-and-a-half old.  He was fascinated by eggs especially, so one day when he was around two and a half, I gave him one.  I showed him how to bang it on the bowl and pull it apart.  When he tried it, he squeezed the egg, which exploded and he started to cry.  Was it a mess?  You bet.  Would it have gone easier if I had just done it myself?  Yep.  But what would he learn?  He'd learn that he couldn't do it.  So we tried again, and again, and again over the course of many meals.  He's now just turned four and I can hand him an egg, turn around to do something else and when I come back it will be in the bowl, perfectly cracked with barely any mess on his hands.

I found this on Pinterest awhile ago and I think it's such a well-put-together chart:


Kids are way more capable than we give them credit for.  If you start young while they are eager to learn and help, getting them into the groove of working will be easier.  Both kids love to help in the kitchen and unload the dishwasher.  Gus can feed Casey, set the table, and fold small pieces of laundry, and he's learning how to make his bed.  We suggest things we think he's capable of, and things he's interested in.  Greta will follow along as she gets older.  There's no reason that they can't both be helpful and learn important life skills.

We owe it to our kids and ourselves to teach them the value of work and of contributing- no job too small.  There's nothing worse than a kid who thinks you owe them.

UPDATE: This article shared with me by Ayla is also really interesting: Can There Be Such A Thing As Too Much Parenting? via Huffpost

Grammar v.3

It doesn't take long for me to pile up a good list of grammar rules for linguistic annoyances I find while I'm reading online, and also other fun language things, so I thought I'd end the week with a few.

1. apart vs. a part: One means to set aside, the other means "a component of".  Mixing them up, as in, "apart of your life" totally throws off the meaning of what you say.

2. Betsy retweeted this, and I think it's brilliant:


3. The unnecessary use of quotation marks.  I "forgot" this one in the last round.  See how annoying that is?  I actually forgot, not hypothetically forgot, so using quotation marks there doesn't make any sense.  When in doubt, leave them out.  Other cases here via Buzzfeed.

4. "Irregardless" is not a word.  According to Wikipedia, "Irregardless is a word commonly used in place of regardless or irrespective, which has caused controversy since the early twentieth century, though the word appeared in print as early as 1795.  Most dictionaries list it as 'nonstandard' or 'incorrect'."  The prefix "ir-" means "not" so it's almost like a double negative, and if you know anything about high school English, it's that double negatives are bad.

5. Tricia tweeted this from Pinterest, and I love it:

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Balderdash!  Breathtaking!  Scrumptious!  Sounds a lot better than "awesome".  (See previous post for thoughts on the word awesome here.)  How about we try using some of these in our everyday life?  Don't know the meaning of some?  Consult the dictionary!  That's my plan, anyway- I almost feel like making flash cards.  "Mayhap" and "winsome", while I've heard them before, are two I need to get to know better.  Think about how much more elegant we'd all sound.

Have a fantastic weekend and if you have anything to add, feel free to comment below!