Spring

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Ohmygoodness, I LOVE spring!  Is there a better season?  I realize this can be easily debated and is entirely an opinion but c’mon!  It is SO welcomed and beautiful.

New growth, new beginnings

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The best part of spring is opening up the house and getting the babies outside.

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Sure, there is a little too much baseball being played over here.  I’m about to start hiding the balls and telling Tommy that they all went down the gutter.  So mean, but I need to take a day off.

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However, seeing Juliet pick up a bat and tap it on the ground before picking it up to swing is such a heart warming sight.

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Someone recently asked us what Juliet’s favorite toy was.  Our answer is always going to be, “What’s Tommy playing with?”  Or, “Tommy.”  Love their love.  (Or at least her love.  Haha!)

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We hope you are able to at least open a window if you can’t get outside and soak up some of this fresh air.  Our house was definitely in need of the change.

Happy (late) Love Day!

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We celebrated Valentine’s Day together.  How lucky we are when it falls on a Saturday!  We weren’t able to get a babysitter so we opted for the earliest possible dinner time in order to avoid annoying romantic couples that were able to get a babysitter.

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And we found that we weren’t alone in trudging our kids along with us.  Many others had our same idea and kept their little ones with them for 4:00pm dinner.  By the grace of God, they were both very well behaved and received several compliments from nearby diners and waiters.

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Honestly, we almost didn’t go out to dinner since we couldn’t get a babysitter.  We didn’t want to be “that couple” that ruined someone else’s date with our munchkins.  We aren’t so blinded by love to think that our kids will make everyone as googly eyed as us over them.

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On the way home we reflected on how silly it would have been to have stayed home.  Aren’t they as deserving as we are to celebrate a day of love with us?  Our own little perfections of how amazing love is?  Tommy was so excited for Valentine’s Day.  He loves holidays so much right now.  What kid doesn’t?

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And thank goodness they were behaved.  Happy (late) Valentine’s Day!  May (mostly) every day be a reason to celebrate the love that surrounds us.  (I’d be loving these pictures more if they hadn’t dimmed the lights in the restaurant so early.  Seriously, it was 4:00; normally those lights don’t dim until at least 6:00!)

Eterra Couture

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We have such exciting news!  A couple weeks ago we were contacted by a store in Overland Park, Kansas called Eterra Boutique.  They were looking to bring more local Etsy vendors into their store so we jumped at the chance.  They already sell baby items but were looking for a different variety of handmade items.  Their new store makeover will feature (aside from us) baby bedding, women’s clothing and accessories, and some TBD items.  The girls that own the store already specialize in eclectically unique tutus, beaded necklaces, and headbands.  Everything is so cute.  When you come to the store, give yourself ample time to look around!

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Since we have no experience with retail store fronts, we look forward to learning a lot and selling even more.  Already we have learned how to use a tagging gun (so fun!) and how to make signage and tags for our brand.  The photo challenge that we did last summer was really insightful.  We are going to plan another one soon to help push me even more into the photo editing world.  Ideally I would take a class for this, but there just isn’t time at the moment.

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We worked really hard to get everything ready for a February 1 debut.  We are so excited to allow our customers a place to shop for Little Bug items.  Even more exciting is the prospect of new customers that haven’t heard of us but have babies just waiting to be decked out in our items.

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Come shop!

Showing Off

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Here is the post that I have been crafting in my mind for months now.  Our notable and exciting show season!

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Now that it’s over I can’t believe how crazy it all was.  With this month of down time (aside from personal, custom, and Etsy orders) I actually miss being so busy I couldn’t think straight.  I like busy.  Surprised?  You shouldn’t be.  I have 2 kids under 3-at least for another couple weeks.  (Not pregnant-Tommy will be 3!)

Show season pretty much starts in August, but then it get a Super Mario fast forward starting in September that doesn’t end until the middle of December.  Like 3-4 day weekends back to back.  Poor Neil.

Our weekday schedule consisted of Neil getting home from work and taking the kids so I could sew.  Sometimes they went adventurous places like McDonald’s Playplace.  Those that know me may be a little shocked to read that I sent my kids to McDonald’s Playplace for two reasons.  #1 I am not a fan of McDonald’s for obvious health reasons.  #2 I have a phobia of public play places (and restrooms) that may or may not be unreasonable.  Reason #2 actually contradicts other feelings I have about kids needing to be exposed to germs so that they can build up immunities to illnesses.  But we will save that debate for another day.

We had a lot of help from Neil’s dad and stepmom as well as my mom during the week.  They would take the kids for the day or come over to play while I hid away in the sewing room.  (It’s actually impossible to hide in there because there is no door and it is the first room you see when you walk into our house.  I need a door.)  And Neil’s mom helped a lot on the weekends when we were so desperate for a date that we would have business dinners that still felt romantic since I was away from the machine.

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In a previous post I talked about doing the Strawberry Swing, a KC indie craft fair.  I raved about how amazing it was to be amongst other handmade vendors.  What I failed to mention was that a new door opened for us at this event.  The door is called Chick Events.  These spunky ladies came up to our booth and strongly encouraged us to become vendors at their event in a little over a month.  They promised us a similar event and feel as this one would also be handmade/vintage goods.  Local artisans.  They were speaking our language.  After a little thought (and a couple phone calls/emails from the Chicks) we were ready to commit.  This would be our biggest show yet.

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The event was held outside in the streets of a lovely shopping area called Park Place that my mom and I frequent often in Leawood, Kansas.  It just happened to be the most beautiful weekend of the year, in my recollection.  That perfect weekend you get between summer and fall that makes you want to be outside no matter what you are doing.  Bring the office outside, bring the classroom outside, bring the kids outside.  You know what I mean.  Anyway, we got it.  And we met some really great people that we will blog about in a future post.

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The Chicks put on a great event.  We knew we wanted to be linked up with them whenever we could be.  It was a match made in Kansas City.  (haha)

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Soon after Chick Events, we were contacted by Holiday Boutique to be a vendor at their show.  This was a big deal.  For two reasons.  #1 My mom and I went to this event every year.  It had become a tradition.  There are two big holiday shows in KC.  Holiday Mart and Holiday Boutique.  There were talks about trying this event out in 2015.  But here they were, contacting us, telling us that they would love to have us at their show.  We didn’t even have to apply.  After about two weeks of debate, we bit.  The debate falls into reason #2, it is expensive to enter these large events.  Before participating in shows I had no idea how expensive.  Message me and I will tell you.  😉

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For this event, I had to call on my good friend Amy Scheuerman to help me decorate my booth.  These booths are serious business.  I was so happy with what she put together and feel fairly certain that I could recreate a similar booth in the future.  But I will probably just call her to come back and help me so I can hang out with her during set up.  Sometimes she brings her cute baby so that always makes things more fun too.  If I could hire Amy to coordinate my entire life and business, I would.  But obviously I can’t afford her.  However, you can hire her to organize your house or decorate.  Her company is called Creative Solutions KC.

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The event is something that we are proud of doing.  We didn’t think we were “there” yet, but we were.  It only made us more sure that we wanted Little Bug to be our creation.  We wanted to make it something that could keep growing and be a product of our vision.  Next year we will apply for Holiday Mart (the bigger of the two) and hope to be accepted.

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We went from Holiday Boutique to another Chick Event.  This was an event of the same idea as the September one.  It was a little longer and inside, but it was a “pop-up marketplace”.  We met even more amazing people and bought some great gifts for ourselves and our friends.

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We sold a lot and chatted a lot.  It is truly wonderful to have someone come up and tell us they bought something from us for a friend or (best of all) for their baby that was coming-and LOOK-here he is!  We love getting to know new families and people that we will see again.  What a dream!

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Our last big event of the Christmas season was the Holiday Swing.  Put on by the same wonderful girl, Katie, that puts on the Strawberry Swing.  This one was held in the West Bottoms in KC.  Such a fun area the first weekend of every month if you like vintage and eclectic finds.  Food Truck City and many stores open to shoppers that love supporting local vendors.

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In the middle of all this craziness Neil’s sister, Lea, and her husband, Will, welcomed our cutest and first niece/nephew.  And my sister, Lora, married her husband, Chris.  And Juliet turned 1.  Phew.  Like I said, I love busy.  (Notice I said “I” and not “we”.)

And that pretty much catches you up on our 4th quarter.  What a ride!  Can’t wait to do it again!  If you missed us, no worries, we will be back in the water again soon.

KANSAS CITY!!

Royals

Something crazy and amazing has been happening around here.  The Royals are in the World Series.  In case you have been living in a bubble (or just not in KC since many people I talked to down in Branson last weekend had no clue) you may not know that the Kansas City Royals have been unstoppable as of late.  They are one of the two wild card teams to be playing in the World Series.

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Photo taken by D&J Smith Photography

Our Little Bug cup has runneth over.  29 years of waiting have paid off in a huge way.  My parents were at the legendary Game 6 in 1985; my mom pregnant with my baby sister, Teresa.  They have talked about it ever since.  We have tickets to Game 6 in this series-if there is a Game 6, of course.  To quote my dad, “It is the game you HAVE to go to.”

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It goes without saying that our Royals shirts have been flying off the sewing machine.  I honestly can’t make enough.  It feels like I am constantly adding and subtracting to the pile, selling out at every show, and cutting out KC letters in my sleep.  It isn’t a bad problem to have.  We are lucky fans and lucky business owners because of the Royals’ success.

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We are so proud of our Royals and can’t wait to share in this World Series experience with our bugs.  Tommy is enamored with baseball and the Royals and Alex Gordon right now.  They are all he talks about.  He chose to wear his Royals shirt to his first day of school.

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Photo taken by D&J Smith Photography

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Little Bug model: Maddie

If you come to one of our shows, come early to guarantee you get the size of shirt you want.  However, if your size is gone, you can always place an order with us.

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Go Royals!

Photo Challenge

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It isn’t a secret that my photography skills are lacking.  I have always loved pictures.  Love looking through them, taking them, smiling and laughing over them, etc.  Growing up my mom didn’t take many.  She still doesn’t, but she always wants me to “send {her} that one”.  Taking pictures, however….not my strong suit.  I want to get better!

20 week challenge

So I made a decision to do a 20 day photo challenge that I found on Pinterest.  (This will not be my first Pinterest inspired challenge.)  I loved the idea to work on getting better.  The challenge would of course be a time suck (turns out I had no idea how much) and require me to post something every day.

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11 days in, I’m loving it.  Obviously, some days needed an extra picture.  I have been going back and forth between two different photography apps in order to teach myself how to edit pics and add text.  It’s a whole new world.

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The first one I used is called Over.  I was lucky enough to snag it awhile ago at Starbucks for their weekly free download.  (LOVE Starbucks)  It is super easy to use and allows you to do a lot of editing that a normal person would want to do.  Now I can edit a pictures pretty quickly.

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However, then I got trailed down a road into “Obaby”.  This is another app from the creators of over that pretty much lets you do a lot more creative things that are baby oriented.  Perfect things for Little Bug.  I think it cost $4.99, but I would recommend it for anyone who has a baby or is pregnant.  I actually think it would be a great gift if you know the person would use it.  A great way to add monthly text onto your growing baby bump or monthly text to document your newborn’s growth.  I just love it.

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The other app I used is called PicLab HD.  This was another freebie from Starbucks (see the theme) that I was lucky enough to snag.  I have no problem paying for an app that I will use, but it’s hard to know before I start playing around in them.  The benefit of this app is that I am able to rotate my text.  I haven’t figured out how to do this on Over.  I assume I can, but I’m not sure.  It seems like a small benefit, but I have had some creations where my text HAD to be rotated in order to look good.

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It’s been a really fun 11 days so far.  I have learned a lot of necessary editing that Little Bug needs.  And I’ve gotten more familiar with Instagram and hashtags as well.

We would love for you to share some of your pictures with us.  Pick a day or two and join in!  If you share you photo, you have a chance to win $15 in Little Bug credit.  (And if you can’t make it this round, there will be more.)  Here’s to always working on making yourself better!

Summer

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Our family LOVES summer. (I know, who doesn’t?)  We are teacher schedule people, so it seriously feels like the same feeling you had when you were a kid.  All of a sudden school is out, and summer is here.

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Since I’ve been staying home for the last year, I didn’t have quite the rush I would normally get at Memorial Day.  Neil has an extended contract since he is a counselor.  Our “family summer” started in the middle of June.  He gets 6 weeks off so I have nothing to complain about there.

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Now that my parents have a lake house at Table Rock, we try to get down there as much as possible.  It isn’t easy with the kids.  Sometimes it feels like too much work just to pack.  As much as we try to have a 2nd set of everything down at the lake, it is hard to leave the house without feeling like we could just as well live out of our car.

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I was so excited to get some new 4th of July designs.  I love getting my kids dressed up.  It’s nice that there are many more patriotic holidays out there for you to double dip your outfits.

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We hope everyone has a relaxing (ha), rejuvenating summer.  Most of all, we hope you get time to snuggle your bugs close and laugh until your face hurts.

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