Tag Archives: Personal


This week is going slooooow! We recently got back from my birthday weekend at the beach and I already feel like I need another vacation! Jax has been a handful, but at the same time, having another language explosion. It’s really crazy how much he talks now! I constantly have people asking how old he is because his speech and loads of hair make him seem older.

I am starting a big room switch-a-roo upstairs. We co-slept with Jax much of his life. A couple months ago I moved his converted crib/toddler bed into our bedroom to start transitioning him to sleeping alone. He sleeps the first half of the night in his bed before joining us. The next step will be creating a big boy room for him. I’m thinking of just going with a mattress on the floor because he constantly rolls out of his toddler bed. The coolest room besides our bedroom is our second guest room. So I cleared out the spare room full of old furniture and junk and moved the guest room to there. Next I’ll be painting a mural and designing some fabric for bedding. He wants a train theme, but I’ll expand it to “transportation”. His old nursery, a small room adjoining our master bedroom, will become my craft and laundry folding room.

I’ve already moved the contents of Jax’s closet to his future room since it was only winter clothes hanging up. I had the side piece of his crib in there too. What to do with that giant thing?? I ended up standing it on its side and making it into a blanket rack! Perfect!

Here are some links for you!

Happy Tuesday! I hope your week is going a little more smoothly than mine… But, at least it isn’t Monday anymore!

Life Via Instagram

Finally downloaded the last 177 photos I’ve taken recently with my iPhone, so now I’m caught up with my Instagram collages! One of them is the week before our trip, and the rest are from the beach.

This week I’m working, unpacking and preparing for a huge community yard sale this weekend. I really don’t like sorting and pricing everything, but it has to be done! Do you you price items for your yard sales ahead of time, or do you wait until people ask?

I recently asked a question on the Facebook page about how much people would be willing to spend on one of my completed quiet book pages. I get email inquiries, but they take SO much time to sew. My time makes me more money if I do graphic design work. But, I’d love to switch some of my work hours over to crafting, so perhaps I can sell some patterns. Others have suggested kits or pre-cut felt, mass-producing one or two pages per month to sell and small, themed books/patterns. What do you think?

Back From The Beach

Yesterday we made the 6 hour drive home from our week in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s good to be home, but I miss the ocean and pool already!

We go to the beach in the beginning of May every year. This year, I was expecting a whole lot of fun with my little 2 year old. Last year he enjoyed the pool, but we were just carrying him around int he water. He had enjoyed the beach, but fell asleep in our tent after very little sand play. I had big visions of all the fun beach and pool time we’d have this year… And I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Turns out, Jax is old enough now to be afraid. He was scared of the pool and wouldn’t go in. We eventually convinced him to play beside the pool with water squirters and a bucket. He thought that was great and started asking to go back to the “pool beach” constantly. I was a little sad he wouldn’t go in, though. We specifically chose a heated pool and it was heavenly.


As for the beach… If Jax could sum up his opinion of it in one word, it would be “dirty!” As soon as we arrived, we all headed down to the beach for a walk. He freaked out immediately and demanded to “Go home! Go inside!” I had to take him in to calm down while everyone else walked. It was quite windy that day, so I assumed that was the problem. On a warm, calm day, we took him out again. We had set up a beach tent and blanket. He spent the majority of his short time out there standing in the tent crying about going home and the dirty sand. We tried very hard to show him how fun building sand castles was. He did make one trip to pick out sticks to put on top of our castle, but then wanted to be held and cleaned off. I took him back in before he got too stressed out. I made sure to have beach time throughout the rest of the trip, but not nearly the amount I’m used to. I stuck to carrying him in our Beco.

Towards the end of the trip, Jax woke up around 10pm beside me with a horrible choking cough and made it hard to breathe. By the next day he had a cold, which is now full blown. It made the drive home pretty uncomfortable for him, but we made it through!

We didn’t bring many toys to the beach house. I brought him for soft blocks that were lightweight to pack and all of my recent quiet book pages. What were his favorite pages? The Cooking Breakfast page (with the food from the Starbucks page as well) and Ice Cream Parlor were his absolute favorites. He loved “cooking” and egg sandwich and bringing it to us saying, “Mama, it’s a nice sandwich!” He names all the ice cream flavors and told me the rainbow flavor was mango.


Also big hits were the Sandcastle and Beach Bag & Flip Flop pages. He really liked his little iPhone and the watermelon.


I’ve been working on my next page – a farmer’s market with vegetables! The background is 98% done and I’m working on the cute felt veggies. You can follow my progress on the Facebook page. When I’m done, I’ll be starting a cupcake oven.

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I’m still playing catch-up after my month of sickness. Two colds and a stomach virus! Good riddance, April! Now I just have to make it through a crazy insane week and we’ll have our beach vacation!

I’m currently working on a rainbow page for Jax’s quiet book. It’s taken some though and revisions, but last night in bed I finally got it figured out by sketching ideas on the iPad. I should get it done in the next few days. I also sketched out a cupcake page idea. My next page’s pattern is already drawn and printed – a vegetable farmer’s market! I’m excited to work on it during vacation. I’m also going to draw the pattern for the cupcake page before the trip, just in case I finish the veggies fast. Sneak peaks will be in the Facebook page, as usual.

Do you have any great quiet book pages you are proud of that you’d like to show off? I’d love to feature others’ pages here occasionally. If you’d like to be featured, email me your photos (or links to your photos), your name and any notes you’d like to add about them, and a link to your website (if applicable).

Since I haven’t posted my Instagram photos in a while, I have a ton of them! Do you use Instagram? You can follow me at username “iolstephanie”.

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I am very behind here. Heck, I’m very behind in life! The weekend before this past one, I came down with a bad cold. It hit hard with a terrible sore throat and fevers. It turned into a regular bad cold as the week went on. Just as I started feeling better, I woke up early on Friday with a high fever again! I spent all day with fevers and no appetite, then Saturday it turned into a stomach virus. Ugh!! I was pretty much in bed all weekend and didn’t eat anything but some toast for Easter brunch. Finally Sunday night I was able to eat a baked potato, and it was heaven!

I did at least hide eggs for Jax on Sunday morning. The egg hunt was a big success. And Jax LOVED having me nap in bed with him both days this weekend. He took 4 – 5 hour naps!

Today I am incredibly weak and only able to eat a few bites at a time, but thankful to be on the mend. I am practically doubled over from this bad cough that is trying to kick the mucus out of my lungs, but it makes me optimistic the cold is ending too.

I have to give a huge, special thank you to Barbara C. Halfway through my terrible (horrible, no-good, very bad) week, a little package arrived. Inside was a gorgeous handmade card (with moving parts!), a Joann’s fabric store gift card, a big bag of amazing stickers for Jax and a thank you note about my blog. Jaw, meet floor. Barbara, are you physic? Your little package of kindness couldn’t have been better timed. That gift card will be used to buy supplies so I can sew a bunch of quiet book pages while on vacation in May. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Jax went nuts over the stickers – I normally get him dollar store ones. These are quality stickers! His current favorites are the strawberries, “space ships” (space shuttle) and fire engine.

Barbara, you’ve inspired me to pass on your random act of kindness to a fellow blogger who inspires me in the future!

You can follow me on Instagram (now out for Android phones too!) at username iolstephanie. I post a lot!

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The weekend was way too short – mostly because Jax seems to be teething and spent most of it miserable. We all are in need of a good night’s sleep at this point.

I am in the planning stage of our next quiet book page. It is a reader request – an airport! I am thinking of having a helicopter, and airplane that lifts off, an airplane you can load with luggage and more. What do you think?

I’m also sewing a mini felt project that will be a part of the blog. I got it half sewn this afternoon after finishing up some of my freelance.

You can find me on Instagram as username iolstephanie. These are my photos from the past week.

Life Via Instagram

We had a rough start to our weekend. Jax is getting his 2 year molars and barely slept Friday night. This turned into not napping Saturday. He was miserable. It was our 11 year wedding anniversary and I spent a good chunk of it soothing Jax. He eventually fell asleep after 5pm, only to wake up 45 minutes later. A trip to our neighbor’s house for s’mores cheered him up, though he wasn’t interested in the food. He loved the attention once he decided he didn’t have to be grumpy.

I haven’t started my next quiet book page, building a sandcastle, because I was working on another project (along with all the toddler drama. I was sewing myself a summer top! I’ll take photos and post all about it. Tomorrow morning I’ll get the quiet book pattern started before work. I’ll be posting sneek peek photos on the Facebook page.

You can find me on Instagram as user iolstephanie. Click here to get my photos via email – no Instagram account needed!

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The weekend was way too short! I got my next quiet book page – an ice cream parlor – drawn and half sewn. I redid a dozen of my braids. I had brunch with my boys then walked to the playground. I didn’t get enough sleep. Time for another Monday…

YOu can find me on Instagram at username iolstephanie.

Life Via Instagram

Another week has flown by… Have you ever noticed how if you start doing something only once a week at the same time, life seems to speed up?

I am working on sewing and embellishing the Itsy Bitsy Spider quiet book page. I want to add some cute details and really focus on making it so Jax can “control” the weather and follow along with the rhyme.

Since I am at the sewing stage, I am already thinking ahead to the next page so I can start planning it in my head. I have a poll up on the Facebook page so you guys can help me pick what to do next: an ice cream parlor, bonfire with s’mores or sea life finger puppets!

Here is my week in Instagram photos. You can find me there at username iolstephanie.

Life Via Instagram

The week flew by and the weekend went even faster! I’m doing my best to try to balance work, freelance, blog and sewing. Oh, and a toddler! And, now it’s time to redo my hair, which I keep in braids. I need more hours in each day…

I’m currently working on my version of a purse quiet book page – a beach bag! The other side of the page is a flip flop matching game. After that, I’m moving on to the Itsy Bitsy Spider. I just have to figure out what exactly a “water spout” is and when the rain comes down “and washed the spider out,” was he *inside* said water spout, or is “washed him out” just an expression. Most likey, I’m being too literal, as usual!

I’m trying to decide what tasty treats to bake this week. Last week we made oatmeal cookies. Any ideas?

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This week really flew by! I’ve been working as much as possible while wishing it was time for our May beach vacation.

I’m starting to think about possible projects to make for it… A beach-themed mini quiet book? Yes please!! Maybe a roll-up city map for playing with cars? Jax doesn’t play with cars too much yet, but I wonder if he would enjoy that. Let me know if you have ideas for either project!

I’m not sure what my next regular quiet book page will be. I’d started drawing a purse, but I’m not excited about sewing a million little things to go into it after all the breakfast foods. I do need to do some simple letter and number pages. Jax loves anything with either of those!

Here is our week in Instagrams…

You can find me on Instagram as username iolstephanie.

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I didn’t get a chance to sew this past week, so that is my goal for this coming week. We were having trouble with teething interrupting bed and nap times. It was a long week! But today we were rewarded by Jax climbing into his bed on his own, singing himself the ABC’s and curling up to nap. Sweet boy!