Kangaroo Care babywearing necklace.

A few years ago, I discovered Kangaroo Care on Etsy ~ the artist in Estonia makes beautiful, colorful babywearing necklaces from crochet beads and wood.  The textures and colors are interesting for babies and safe for them to play with and chew on while nursing or just being rocked and held.  Bonus: you get to directly support the work of an artist. 

This is my first Kangaroo Care necklace I got a few years ago when Luci Belle was a toddler.

I wore it when Norah was born, too.

That necklace made me happy, and I wore it for my babies until it was literally threadbare, faded, and the string finally snapped.   It was hard to let go of a piece of jewelry that was between me and my children during so many important moments.

It was time for a new one, but I just couldn't decide.  I don't do well with too many options, and all the colors were glorious!   These are the ones I was drawn to...

I finally decided on the bottom left.  It just jumped out to me.  For me, when in doubt, the answer is always bright color.  It goes with pretty much everything I own, and I - and the girls - couldn't be happier with it!

now for the exciting part...a giveaway!

I also ordered the bottom right necklace in the above photo - the white and grey beads with white ruffle!  I'd love to give this necklace away to one of you!

To enter, just post a comment and let me know who the necklace would be for and why - if you'll be giving it to a friend or keeping it for yourself, which is totally great too!   I'll randomly choose a winner from the comments on Tuesday, November 25th.

Inspiration today: all things handmade.

I had the incredible opportunity to hear Jen Hatmaker speak a few weeks ago at First Baptist Euless.  Her latest book, 7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, is everywhere right now - blogs, community groups, Instagram.  I have so many thoughts I'm still processing from Jen's talk about spending, simplifying, serving the poor, and generosity, and now I'm deep into reading the actual book.  Can't wait to share some thoughts soon!

Image: KangarooCare on EtsyAnyway, all this pondering about how I can further simplify my life inspired me to share some recent finds in the world of "handmade." Hope you enjoy...

  • Absolutely in love with every necklace on this Etsy shop, Kangaroo Care.  Perfect for mamas with babes, or any female if you ask me!  Tara Stepp, I can really see you loving these.  Thanks to my dear friend Bre for the recommendation!
  • This Etsy shop, Pen & Paint.  Beautiful illustrations.
  • Gorgeous skirts on this site, Open Arms Shop, made from recycled materials and made by refugees who are trying to get out of poverty.  They had them in stock at Whole Earth Provision Co. the other day and I tried one on.  Super comfy, but if you're thinking of getting one, note that are on the fitted side. 
  • I want to create a "sacred space" like this in our home, out of items I already have on hand - a cozy, inviting, colorful space just for mama to do her reading and studying and thinking and relaxing. 
  • I really want to embellish some old tshirts - like this and this.
  • My sister-in-law Trish and I recently had a craft night, and we each made this burlap fall banner.  All we needed were apples for the stamp, burlap, some craft paint, glue gun, and yarn.  It looks perfect hanging in the doorway between our living room and dining room...

Hope some of these things inspire you too.  Happy fall!

Studio Mela on Etsy.

I have to introduce you to one of my favorite shops of delightful handmade items on Etsy, Studio Mela.  This woman speaks my language in a major way.  You might remember her "It Is Going to Be OK" print that I have hanging above the changing table in Luci Belle's nursery.  It's right across the room from the nursing chair, and I must look at it ten times a day and smile at the reminder. 

Studio Mela is having a spring sale right now, and you'd best take advantage of it!  I'm pretty sure I need this print...

"The Sweet Life" by Studio Mela 

Or how about this one?

"Live Simply" by Studio Mela

And who doesn't need these words of encouragement?

"Sing Your Song" by Studio Mela"What A Day" by Studio Mela

"In The Garden" by Studio MelaSee more of my Favorites on Etsy.  What are some of your favorite Etsy shops?