Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daycare Love!

I am interested in helping out the local day cares in New Ulm with some Story Time.  My kids went to daycare from the time they were 6-7 weeks old until they went to school and I know how crazy the day can be at day care.  I have had an amazing time reading at St. Paul's School and Madelia Elementary.  It finally dawned on me... Why stop there!?! 

I enjoy myself as much as the kids do. Watching them get excited about the story.  Totally worth it!!

Yesterday I went and visited a day care in New Ulm.  Maggie was one of the first in-home day cares I thought of when I started thinking about this project.  She has been doing day care a long time and has an amazing set up in her house just for her day care kids.  I know she loves Usborne books and has two great kids who love them too!!  I ran into Maggie at an event for the Just For Kix Dance Program that her daughter and Amanda are both in. I mentioned my interest in coming to read at her day care and she immediately said yes.

 Yesterday I read 3 books to the kids:
Gobble, Gobble Moo Tractor book by Jaz Alborough
Gobble, Gobble Moo Tractor Book by Jez Alborough
Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt

Whatif Monster Plush came along too!!
A Little Vikes Football Story

 The kids had a great time and were great listeners!!  Oh the fun we had!!

When I was done I left Maggie with a copy of our New January Catalog so she can browse all the new titles.  I also left her with mini-catalogs for the parents and our Home and School Flyers.  Maggie will be earning free books based on all the parents orders.  Everybody loves FREE Books!!

Are you interested in having me read at your daycare?!  I'd love to come over and visit.  I am working hard to keep my visit limited to 30 minutes and am flexible when I can come.  I will work around your schedule.  Give me a shout and let me know!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mega Regionals Training Recap

I went to Mega Regionals Training this weekend in the Twin Cities.  Here is a brief recap.  More details soon!!


Check back tonight for more pictures and details from the weekend. :)  I have great pictures from our team event!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's Wednesday and I would like to start a new weekly topic.  WIP Wednesday.  (Work In Progress)

I want to use this section to keep you up to date on the projects I'm working on and to keep myself in check.  I can use this from week to week to see where I am progressing and what has sat without any forward momentum.

(I didn't get any pictures taken this week so bare with me.  Pictures next week I promise!!)


I have lots of WIP's there.  Some of them I only take to work on while Amanda is at Dance class and I'm sitting waiting for her to get done.  My favorite current project for that is a Shawl.  It's got a great lace pattern with an easy repeat. I took it with me tonight and got 6 or 7 rows completed.  It is getting longer and longer so the rows take a little longer also.  I think it will be stunning when it is done.  It has an easy 10 row repeat and is easy to memorize. 

The mittens I am making for my Mom are so close to done.  So close it's painful.  I need to sit down and finish these.  I only have 1 thumb to do.  I picked up and cast on for it but didn't get any farther.  I knit a good portion of these while watching Grey's Anatomy on Hulu Plus.  I just finished the 5th Season and look forward to starting the 6th season tonight.  I watch on my iPad while knitting on our bed.  I also watch on the Wii in the living room while sewing.


I have 2 doll clothes for Amanda's doll Charlotte that need Velcro sewed on.  I've been putting this off but need to bite the bullet and do it.  I've never done it before.  I picked up Velcro when I was at the fabric store on Monday night so no more excuses.  Get it done!

I have several projects worth of material that I purchased the last two weeks.  I have a pattern picked out for PJ's for Amanda.  I have prewashed the material but haven't even cut the pattern out yet.  I'm really looking forward to getting these done.


John and I hung some new curtains in the living room and I love them!!  I have material purchased to make curtains for the other 3 windows.  I am looking forward to getting them finished also.

The kitchen and main floor bath needs new curtains badly.  The current ones are badly faded from the sun and too short.

I also want to clean out my upstairs hallway closet and the entry way closet.  These are big projects that I might attempt to tackle this next Sunday.


I am finishing up the bookfair for Madelia.  I just received their list of books they want and need to submit the order replenishing my inventory and the books of Tracey's that were sold.  That should go in tonight and will be put to bed.

On Friday night and Saturday I will be attending Mega Regionals in the Twin Cities.  I am really looking forward to it.  I promise to take lots of pictures.  It promises to be a good time!!  I will get to see all my Uzzie Buddies and will get excited about the new titles and Usborne all over again.  This recharge is so good for me.  Get's me going and excited again!!  Convention isn't until June and this is a great way to get the boost I need.  Additional Training is vital to your business.  Be sure to take advantage to local and Home Office supplied training.

I also am getting things together for Ladies Night Out.  This is the 3rd Annual Ladies Night Out.  We hold it at Kegel Klub in the party room.  Last year we had about 60 women through.  I'd love to see that number closer to 90 this year. I am currently at have 5 vendors involved and anticipate another 5-7 to join in the fun.


We are currently completing a Refresh and replacing 5 computers each month.  I have 3 from December to finish deploying and 5 from January!  I am so close to finished on one of the December ones.  Hope to finish tomorrow!!  Then on to the next one.  It's a never ending battle!

I am eager to see where I am with these projects next week Wednesday.  Watch for updates!!  What are your aspirations?  I tend to set enormous goals for myself and then am disappointed when they don't happen.

Monday, January 21, 2013

to sew... or not to sew

If you've spent time around me lately you might know that I really like to learn new things.  I love picking books out of the library and studying up on a topic.  Then I'm a big fan of becoming obsessed with it.  My new interest is sewing.  My mom has always sewn.  So did my Dad's Mom, my Grandma Rist. I wore lots of handmade shirts and dresses growing up.  I hope I loved them and showed my Mom appreciation for the time she spent on these.  (mental note: thank Mom!)

I don't know exactly what spurred this current obsession. I think it's been coming on for a while actually.  John and I got Amanda a 18" Our Generation Doll from Target for Christmas.  She loves it.  She enjoys getting it dressed every day and putting Pajamas on her every night.  Her name is Charlotte.  It is a very fitting name.  

Amanda, Charlotte and her trusty horse.

Charlotte having supper with us at Plaza Garibaldi in New Ulm.

Amanda and Charlotte in the Outfit I sewed her.
Before my Grandma Rist passed away she gave me her sewing machine and all the accessories for it.  It was moved from apartment to house and then to NU.  I never really even opened it up for 12 years.  Now I've gone through all the accessories and am getting familiar with it.  It has worked pretty well so far.  I have learned a lot.  Reading the instructions on patterns over and over again until I'm sure of what I'm doing.  Being brave and just trying.  Ripping seams out when they aren't quite right.  I'm thrilled with how it is going.  I have to admit before I made the first stitch I was very intimidated.  What if I sucked at this?  I was sitting at the table reading the directions over and I verbally admitted it to John.  I commented that I was nervous to try.  I didn't know anything about it and I was afraid to even get started.  I have to admit it's gone very well and I'm looking forward to learning even more.

Part of the problem I have is justifying the time spent.  There are always so many things that need to be done.  Laundry, dishes, running kids to and from events, homework, Usborne, etc.  Not to mention all the knitting projects I have started.  I have had to give myself permission to do this.  It feels great to learn something new though.  Makes me feel a little closer to my Grandma that I miss dearly and gives my Mom and I a whole new world of things to talk about.

What have you learned lately?  What resources do you use?  My favorite so far have been the library, youtube videos and blogs.  There are so many wonderful people that share their knowledge on blogs and message boards.  Keep reading and trying new things.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sewing for Sight

On Saturday I participated in a small vendor event in conjunction with Sewing for Sight.  This is an amazing group of 48 quilters that got together for an amazing cause. This group sends two doctors to Guatemala to provide eye/vision care.  This is such a worthy project.  They each paid $50.00 for a day of Quilting with meal, snacks, games, drawings and other fun.  They quilted from the early morning until 11:00 pm.  There was a Quilt Show in the afternoon from 1-4 with vendors included.  I put 10% of my sales towards their amazing cause.

A lot of these Quilters are Grandma's and they love to shop for their Grandbabies.  They picked out some great books!!  The wipe clean books were a hit as well as the farm/machinery books. :)  We know how little boys love farming and truck books!!

Sewers for Sight - Usborne_Books
Quilters working and visiting with Beautiful Quilts on display around the outside of the room!

Sewers for Sight - Usborne_Books
More Quilters busily working!  It was fun to watch them sew between helping customers.

Sewers for Sight - Usborne_Books
My display of wonderful books.  I had lot of the new titles in stock.  There are some great ones!!

Sewers for Sight - Geri
This lady holds a special place in my heart.  Geri my Daycare lady!!
 When we moved to New Ulm I was still working in Mankato and drove the 30 minutes back and forth.  I was thrilled that I could drive through Courtland and drop Jake and newly born Amanda off at Geri's house.  She is an Amazing daycare lady and friend.  It's always great to see you!!  She is an amazing quilter and was working on a beautiful project.

My new Cart!
Most of the time my BHH (Book Hauling Husband) carries my boxes and tubs out for me but this time I was on my own.  I love my new little cart.  It works so well.  I love my new tubs for sticker and activity books.  The middle long bin holds all my booth supplies.  Apron, cash box, receipts, pens, door prize slips, bags, hostess packets, literature, book easels, etc.  I can pull this behind me and have my racks in my other hand and make it in with 1 trip.  Can't ask for anything better!!  Got mine at Ace Hardware on sale for $20.00.  Best $20.00 I've spent in a long while!!

Do you have something that makes your life easier?  What is it?  Love to hear any suggestions you might have!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oyiiii What a mess!

If you've been around me lately you probably know I'm on a cleaning kick.  It's time to get rid of stuff we don't use and need.  It's time to organize.  I have donated about 15 boxes to our local thrift shop and sent 5 bags of garbage out to the dumpster.  We had a few boxes that suffered water damage last spring and I finally went through them.  Boxes of broken down cardboard went out to recycling.  I have made some great progress.  It feels amazing.  I have been ignoring my office.

It just felt so overwhelming.  I started by pulling out the random toys that had somehow made it into the pile,  I shelved a couple boxes of books and pulled out unnecessary empty Usborne Boxes.  I went through 2 boxes of misc stuff that had been piled from the table. I also re-arranged the furniture slightly.  I really want to paint and sew new curtains.

I love the printed literature that Usborne has available for us.  It's professional and fairly cheap to purchase.  They update it from time-to-time so I had outdated material that I went through and recycled.  What an amazing feeling.  I'm not done yet but I have definitely made some progress. Watch for more updates on that.

Where is your trouble area?  Do you have a spot that collects junk?  Which is your favorite thrift shop to donate to?  Love to hear your comments!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Make my heart swell!

The new January Titles that Usborne Books & More is offering make me so happy.  I am twitter-patted!  My heart swell!

I just received a new box of these great titles.  BHH (Book Hauling Husband) and I created this great little video for you.  Don't look at the Vacuum in the back ground or all the extra mess around the house. :)  I'm still using the holidays as my excuse.

For your viewing pleasure:

Have a fabulous Tuesday!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Wow.  Back to reality.  Re-entry is a great way to describe it all.  I had a little big of Holiday Hangover last week.  I worked so hard to get the perfect Christmas gifts for my kids and did the necessary baking and decorating.  I felt like... "Now what?!"  I've had a little time to come back to normal and I'm ok with that. 

I saw some posts on Facebook about the kids going back to school.  Reality is that my  little two don't go back until Monday, January 7th.  Nick goes back today and isn't thrilled about going while his brother and sister play around the house and sleep in.  I know deep inside he knows this is best though.  Back to his routine, friends and basketball.

I really need routine too.  It's time to open the book store again.  I have a brand new calendar that is begging to be written in.  I just need to find it first.  I love having events that I do every year and that I can count on to fill the empty calendar.  It is definitely time to start to fill it with new events though.  I have a book fair in Madelia to wrap up and a lot of other great projects to get going.  I want to contact area Youth Groups about Cards for a Cause.  I want to begin reading at Preschools and Daycares.  I want to approach additional schools about book fairs and Reach for the Stars.  I want to talk to other area Libraries about Literacy for Lifetime and introduce them to our wonderful books. 

I am expecting a box of new titles to arrive in the next few days.  I believe they shipped from Tulsa last Friday, the 28th.  I think they'll arrive tomorrow.  it's always so exciting to see the new titles.  I always think of my favorite customer when I see a topic that I know they will enjoy.  I know Grant and Camden will love the new Dino Sticker books.  My friend Nolan will love the new Sticker Dressing books.  He has almost all of them.  Most Sticker Dolly Dressing books for the little girls in my life.  New Doodle Tins will be exciting!!  Pictures to follow I promise!!

Right now I feel a little like this:

It is time to sit down with paper and pen and make some goals and write out a plan.  First thing to do is text my dear hubby and ask if he'll take down the Christmas Tree.  Tonight we will put the living room back in order.  He is such a great help.  We spent a chunk of time Saturday and Sunday cleaning in our basement.  We moved when I was pregnant and then had Amanda shortly after.  A lot of boxes were shoved hap-hazardly in the basement and we never took the time to go through them.  We are working diligently to get it cleaned up now.  We have made some enormous progress.  I will now have a functioning Craft Storage/work area and the kids will have a play area.  I plan to get a carpet remnant and some bean bag chairs for them to hang out in.  Amanda's play kitchen and some of their toys will come down there.  The storage room will now be organized and we'll be able to find things.  Here is the beginning of my craft area.  You couldn't get within 3 feet of this cabinet when we started.  the stuff was piled pretty high.  We have made great progress!!  Love eating frogs.

John has hauled 10 boxes of stuff to the thrift shop and 5 bags of garbage to the dumpster.  Not to mention the ton of boxes he hauled to recycling with magazines and broken down boxes.  I had a shoebox hoarding issue.  I think we broke down about 20 shoe boxes.  We will keep working on this project until it is done. The kids are quite excited about having a new play area so they keep me motivated to work on it.  I will update you as our progress continues.

What are you working on?  Leave me a note in the comments.  I'd love to hear from you!!