Saturday, December 31, 2011

embracing the moment

This is a quickie post, and the first of many big reveals for 2012. My family is
patiently waiting (some more than others) for me, so we can head out for our
New Year's adventure. Here is a little collection of moments from Christmas day,
when Ava, Jonah and I embraced the moment and got silly together. 

Embrace your moments.
It's a gift. An opportunity. It's for you. For your child/ren. For your family. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

all things merry, happy and bright

Truth is, Halloween and Thanksgiving are my two favorite holidays. BUT, this is my favorite time of the year to take stock, do some thinking, and give myself the opportunity to begin again with renewed energy. Things can feel awfully complicated sometimes, especially after 12 busy months. By simply choosing to take a moment, and refocus on your vision and your mission…a little course correction??… you give yourself the gift of being new. again. now. 

I'm so looking forward to this week. It's quiet. It's in between. It's building momentum. 

It's been a HUGE year for belle&beanzer, and for my family. It's THE year ahead.
I'm so excited to have been sharing this venture adventure all with you!! 

Merry, happy and all this bright to you and those you love!!

"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ask for what you want

My children are SO good at this. They always start negotiations with exactly what they want.

Me: Alright, time to make dinner!
Ava: oh! can we have chocolate??

Me: It's time for a tubby and jammies!
Jonah: (leading me by the hand) You come here. I sit lapa you on da couch.

They know what they want. Does that change? If so, when does that change?
When does your position become shades of gray?

There was a point in my belle&beanzer venture adventure where I knew I was just reacting. I was looking to see how I could work with what I got, versus asking for what I want from the start and going from there. I knew I was off. Quite frankly, it pissed me off.

That all shifted about a month ago. In my catch-up post, life is full, I mentioned being
moved forward, creatively. I was referring to time spent working with a friend of mine,
Rebecca Twitchell at Half-Full. I'm going to spend more time on this in a very near future post.
I want to give it the singular attention it deserves, and share the fullness of the changes that have taken place as a result of that work. Very valuable post for entrepreneurs! A huge take-away objective I've gained from this work with her is moving through this obstacle of not taking responsibility for the energy I was bringing to belle&beanzer.

Somewhere along the way in my life, I decided it was safer to come in under the radar.
I don't have any intentions of becoming a rockstar… although, I do looooove to
sing any time, any place! But, I do intend to have a rich, full, abundant business,
and I do intend belle&beanzer to create opportunities to embrace the moment,
and to strengthen the connection between parent and child through smart design.

So, it's a big moment for belle&beanzer right now. I'm meeting with a factory this week that I've been going back and forth with. It's not a perfect scenario, but it's a reeeaaaally good option. They've got an excellent reputation. Their fabrics are top quality. They do beautiful work. They're DOMESTIC!! Frosting on the cake? They recently added solar panels to their factory. Love that! We're discussing all the final details and seeing if it's going to work out. There are other factories I'm going to speak with as well. So, it's not a dead end, even if it's not a now option, it's definitely an option at some point. Ultimately, it's all coming down to now and asking for what I want. Production.

So, I'm going to go ahead and BE responsible for the energy I'm bringing to the factory negotiations,
to my business relationships, to belle&beanzer, and to all my future customers.
I'm going to ask for what I want…
- a strong relationship with a socially & environmentally credible factory
- top quality, eco friendly fabrics (recycled fabric options)
- recycling program
- low minimums
- loads of color options
- within my target price point

Maybe it'll be like with my children, and my answer will be part now and part later…

…nooo, not chocolate for dinner. But, after you eat something nutritious we can have some…

…or maybe I'll get what I want up front…

…okay, love, let's have a cuddle before bath…

I'm not sure what will happen. I'm open to the option that something will present itself that I hadn't thought of, and will work out perfectly. There are many ways to get from A to Z. I'm going to start off coming from a place of exactly what I want, and know I'll get what I need.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Today is a gift

Today I was inspired to share a story about a gift from my daughter, Ava.
Her school had a little fundraiser and we sent in money with her,
a list of who she wanted to shop for, how much, and then she made the selections.

Her gift giving list: 
the little boy who doesn't have toys (Guillermo, our sponsor child)
Maddie (our dog)

This morning, as we got her backpack ready, she remembered her purchases, and even though
the gifts were meant to be for Christmas, and I encouraged her to wait, she just couldn't. 

I closed my eyes....and, surprise!!

I mean it's a butterfly broach…genuine 18K gold plated…
COME ON! That alone wins an adorable award.

Later on, after all the morning rush settled down,
I opened the bag and looked through her purchases. 

I was so touched, and tickled at the same time. Laugh or cry?
Daddy clearly got the Jets hologram-thingy. She doesn't know the Jets are not his team, but she knows he likes football. Jonah got the wigglies book. He likes books, things that are wiggly, and…well, he himself IS wiggly. Maddie got the wind-up mouse. Our dog chases anything that scurries. Mops, brooms, vacuums, feet, mopeds, rakes, skateboarders, squirrels. Anything.
Guillermo got the bobbly headband, bug jumper, and dino. A few things for the boy who has none.

I took a moment and really acknowledged the thought she put into her selections for everyone. I so love that it was accomplished with her 5 year old sensibilities: fun, humor and beauty.

My broach will take home amongst all my most beloved jewelry treasures,
and I will wear it and feel the gratitude in my heart for my little girl. 

As I sat down prepared to share this fun little friday post, I read a blog I follow, Vintage is for Lovers, and had to share this with you also. It seems pretty appropriate to include in today's planned post. Samantha, the author, is so inspiring to me. I love her easy way of writing and I am usually smiling at the end of her posts. I don't know her, but I have a feeling she will approve my efforts to pay it forward. 

Her post was about gratitude, and she shared a video that I am going to share with you now.
Take 10 minutes now. That's all. Put your headphones on at work, take a seat at home, watch while you ride the train, grab your family or friends, just take the 10 minutes and enjoy.

I wont reveal too much about it, other than that this is a gift. Today IS a gift. Share the gift with someone if you are so inspired, as I was. I hope it sends you sailing into your weekend. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Life is full

Ok, it's been a ridiculously long time since I wrote last. What? 5 weeks you say?
What could possibly keep me from sitting down and writing for that long? Soooo much!

Here's a quick catch up, since my friday of laughter. More details in coming posts...

My email was hacked, and friendships were rekindled...
...we had a surprise snow storm...

...we played and built forts...

...great, big trees fell but missed us and our home...

 ...we lost power...

 ...we canceled a birthday party, and truly celebrated...

...we went trick-or-treating with our friends...

...bffs squirrel and cleopatra spent quality time...

 ...we rescheduled, and prepared for a birthday party...

... we celebrated with great joy...

...trees were raised once again...

...we played pretend...

...we created something out of nothing...

...we were silly...

...we drew ourselves in chalk...

 ...we painted murals...

...we watched the sunset...

 ...we opened a new chapter...

...we trusted the process...

...we were inspired...

 ...we were moved forward, creatively...

...we got our samples...

...we got sick...

...our fit model got sleepy...

...we ate pie and were SO thankful...

 ...and, even when it seemed unlikely, we went for the peanut butter and got it...

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday and I'm laughing!

I was sooo trying to be efficient and leave the house with a dish for the potluck dinner party, and my two kids. 

All we had to do was assemble and leave. Yup. That's all we had to do.

A girl can dream...

Me: Ava, Jonah! Let's go!!
Jonah: no response
Ava: but, um... one minute, mama
Me: Sweetie, we don't have one minute. We have to go now.
Ava: But, MOM!, I'm turning myself into a butterfly!!

It took her five minutes to strip to nothing, put on wings, dig out the Halloween face paint and almost finish painting her face. We could all learn a lesson from her on efficiency.

Fast forward 10 minutes to me chasing my naked girl, as my son tries to join forces in a show nudity strength, while she is singing/shouting, "My butt is on fire!!" No clue what was about.

Truly, this is some of the best stuff as a parent. I can't tell you what she was thinking, but I'm so glad I was there to witness it!!

We have a choice during these moments to turn away from the wild imaginations and amazing humor of our children. We also have a choice to be right there, in the moment with them, and just soak up the wellspring of FUN. 

So here is to good humor and hilarity, a beautiful weekend ahead, and stuff that makes me laugh. Enjoy!

I have so many pics of my kids, like this one. My favorites of newborn Ava are with
her pants hiked up super high. Is it wrong to laugh at with our kids? I say NO!
Who doesn't love a good funny face??

I love this! Doesn't it totally convey the emotional message?
The font selection was perfect, movie reference (drama)...
Simple + smart + funny = My fav combo!
Some people might call me dramatic... WTF? :) jk...sorta

One of the greatest beauties of children. Blind Faith. Ava decided the other evening that we could just whip out building a new house in the back yard for her and Jonah to play in.  THAT NIGHT. With big, blue eyes blinking at me, she explained to me that we just needed to get some wood, hammer, nails, glue and paint. Voila! It reminded me how much faith our children put into us. I remember looking at them when they were newborns and thinking, look at this person just literally putting themselves into my hands. wow


Has anyone NOT been on sh*t my kids ruined?? It's a good laugh when your children are demolishing your home. This pic, below, Reminds me of when our toilet that overflowed last week. 
Ava was chucking wads of TP into the bowl bc it was making Jonah laugh.
How they discovered this laughter venue?? No clue. But, it was good times with TP nevertheless
aw, buddy. a good thing went a little too far?

This one is sooo

aaand clearly every endeavor can't be perfect.
But, perfect isn't always perfect, you know?
It can be awesome, and funny, and one of your best memories.
This KILLED me. Like head down on my desk laughing.

Sometimes you look back and just wonder what you were thinking. 
Don't you love this kid, though?! She's just chilling out, happy as can be.

What's the funniest thing you've seen or heard in a while?
What are your funny stories about your children?
Share some!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fab Fam Weekend

That's right. As in, Fabulous Family. Me, my brother, mom and pop have been calling ourselves that for as long as I can remember. Pretty much any event or activity that includes us all is labeled Fab Fam and/or World Famous. We just had our yearly Fab Fam weekend, and hung out at my Pop's lake house and ate World Famous spaghetti.

It was a beautiful fall weekend. I can't even express it fully. Everyone was in a great mood, lots of laughter and fun. 50-ish degrees, sunny, leaves had changed. Absolutely perfect. 

This year my little Fab Fam decided to stay at a B&B, The Columns, near the lake house. It was SO inspiring! The home was filled with interesting and thoughtful vignettes. I had been itching to go to the Vintage Crawl in Brooklyn last weekend, but my son got sick and he flat out needed mama. So, when we arrived at The Columns, and it was my own private vintage show... well, you can imagine the high pitched, "oooh!" that escaped my lips.

I could not help myself from exploring and snapping pics. Enjoy!!!

kids slept for the first time in a bed together. it was too cute!

DELIGHTED to have a fancy glass and pumpkin plates

the blue window

vintage doll house = BIG HIT

view. yes, there were horses frolicking!! 

blue lamp base. how happy is that?

loved the stain glass colors against the window

little secret room. maybe not so secret, but a girl can pretend!

big questions

little hidden bunny

little hidden bunny buddy

fierce shadow

communications control center

hello?  yes, mr, president...

view of the front from above


"i ride dat!"

this old house

"...and, I was run-ning!"

a good combo? I'm not so sure...

baby grand

me and d, those two specks are our kids

beautiful fall sky, noisy geese

Fab Fam Caravan

picking flowers

The Lake

Jonah and Pop Pop

Golden Leaf
 Do you have any favorite places that inspire you? Share them with us!