The Esme is a wardrobe staple with a becoming yoke accentuated by a buttoned placket. The gathered sleeves are complemented by a darling elbow cuff, making the Esme an all-weather top. This top is so comfortable, modest, and versatile, you will find yourself wearing it time and again! This would make a wonderful top for Easter!
Oh my goodness. Ya’ll. I am in love with this top. I made myself one as a sample piece, and let me tell you- it is soooo comfortable! It can be worn with a denim skirt or jeans to be casual, or you can wear it with a black skirt to be dressy. Esme flatters any body size or shape- it even works as a maternity top! Since I used only 100% cotton to make it, you will be able to keep it as part of your summer wardrobe. Here are the fabrics available:
Are you or someone you know a “kid person”? That person who all the kids naturally gravitate to? The one who comes up with all the neat crafts and science projects for them? The one who joins the kids in their loud songs and games? Yeah… I’m not one of those people. I’m the person who would rather do all the cleaning up post-family reunion solo than watch someone else’s kids.
That’s a strange statement coming from a woman who wants to have at least a half dozen offspring. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been an “old soul”- I always felt way older than I really was. When I was a little girl, I liked doing grown-up things. In social situations, I preferred hanging out with moms over kids my age. I hated babysitting- it didn’t matter how much I liked the kids, I couldn’t help but look forward to the parents coming back (even though the longer they were gone, the more money I made).
I should clarify that I don’t feel that way about my kids- I love them. But because I’m not a “kid person”, I have to be more intentional about spending time with my children. (I use that term loosely because hey, I am a stay-at-home homeschooling mom- it’s rare that I’m not spending time with my kids.) Being intentional means that I have to make conscious decisions to come up with activities for my kids- the ideas don’t naturally come to me. I feel like I failure because I have to schedule playtime for it to happen. I feel like I don’t measure up because I would rather sit and read while my kids play on the playground than to actually play with them.
But… I realize that there are areas I am gifted in: I’m more about teaching my kids real-life skills, like how to cook and do their laundry; I like to take them to museums, the library, and any other field trip I can come up with; and I have an extremely high tolerance for reading books to my kids until I’m hoarse. God made me the mother that I am, and I need to rejoice and work with what I have, instead of wishing I had the personality of a bubbly elementary school teacher. So if you’re not a “kid person”, thank God for the gifts He has given you, and thank Him for Pinterest- it will provide all the activities for your kids you can stand.
“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” (Romans 12:6-7)
Today I’d like to tell you about one of my favorite fellow Etsy sellers, Mrs. Jones.
The idea of making my own cleaners really appeals to me- they’re less expensive than their toxin-laden counterparts you can buy. I’ve pinned several recipes for disinfecting sprays, floor cleaners, laundry soap, etc… But my goodness. I can’t make everything. I was tickled to stumble across Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox. She makes Eco-friendly household cleaning products that not only work, they smell great and look fabulous too.
I bought her EcoFriendly Household Cleaning Kit- it contains one of every product she sells except for the laundry soap. Let me tell you: Mrs. Jones’ cleaners perform. My favorite is probably Scrub- it transformed my stainless steel pots and pans. The Laundry Soap/ Fabric Softener is a new favorite- it’s amazing how such a small amount is equal to the cleaning power of the most expensive laundry detergent out there (not to mention the little jar it comes in is adorable!).
Time for a giveaway! One lucky reader will win a Laundry Soap/ Fabric Softener from Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox! It will wash 36-54 washes, with only one teaspoon of this product per wash- a-mazing.
To enter, leave a comment on this post (if you’re reading via email or other means make sure you click over to the blog!) and tell me which of Mrs. Jones’ products look awesome, then click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter! (You can earn extra entries by “liking” the Facebook page, following Madeleine & Co. on Twitter, and tweeting about the giveaway.)
For Alice’s 3rd birthday, she insisted on having a ballerina theme (the child is obsessed with ballet!). I poured over Pinterest trying to find the perfect look, got some great ideas, and then found a way to do them inexpensively.
I decorated the cake table the same, except I used a mint green sheet under a vintage tablecloth to cover the table. I arranged the cupcakes on a tiered server and a white cake stand (both leftover from my catering/ bakery days).
I made pink tutus for all the little girls to wear at the party and take home as favors. (I bought the tulle at Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off- so I ended up spending less than $10 to make tutus for five girls!!)
My little Alice’s special day took a lot of planning, but all the hard work paid off to see her so happy with her “Ballerina birfday”!
I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed- hating my life, tired of the constant requests from the little people, tired of their messes, tired of breaking up their fights, tired of the constant correction. I just want a break. I want to finish a cup of coffee without having to fix a cup of chocolate milk.
I came across this video in my Facebook feed this morning. It took a few minutes to watch, but it completely altered my day.
I see the mountain of laundry, the dirty floors, the organizing and decluttering waiting to be done in a different light. Someday, I’ll have a clean and tidy house. I’ll have peace and quiet. I won’t have to worry about someone dumping cereal on the floor, changing outfits 4 times a day, or cutting my $50 curtains with scissors. I will finally have alone time with my husband.
I have started this blog to share tidbits about my adventures as a stay-at-home mom of three very rambunctious, very adorable children (oh! and I homeschool…. oh! and I have a home-based business, Madeleine & Co.).
I should have been born in another time period- my favorite movies are It’s a Wonderful Life,Anne of Green Gables, Pollyanna, and Pride & Prejudice (the BBC version with Colin Firth-swoon!). I love everything vintage, especially vintage linens and antique furniture (the more “distressed” a piece is, the more I love it)! If I was skinny enough, I would probably wear only vintage clothing (nope, nope- I’m built like a Hobbit). Oh! and if anything involves burlap, wood slices, lace, baker’s twine, or handspun wool, the answer is always yes.
At our house, we drink out of mason jars (long story behind that- but all you need to know is that I do love mason jars), none of my dishes match (they’re all solid white, but I have about 4 or 5 different patterns), and I only have white towels. There is usually a mountain of laundry waiting to be folded and put away (I have issues, okay?).
I hope I am able to offer encouragement to my fellow mothers (although I feel there are other bloggers who do a much better job that I ever can!) and maybe share some neat ideas to make life more exciting.