A Wonderful Family Holiday Tradition to Try!

Posted on November 24, 2016 by Clare Hansen | 0 comments

"The 12 Days of Christmas" - Our Family Tradition!

 

You might say our family is a little obsessed with Christmas. It's now continuing with our grandchildren too! We have quite a few traditions. Some of which are just non-negotiable. They happen every year without exception.  Like making puppy chow (muddy buddies to some), jammies on Christmas Eve and heading down Christmas Tree lane just to name a few. However, our most treasured tradition by far is doing this 12 days of Christmas experience as a family. I say 'experience', because it truly is an amazing experience for both our family and the family on the receiving end!

 

For some this might not be anything new or different, but in case you haven't heard of this or are looking to implement a family tradition with your kids that will give memories that last a lifetime - then this is for you!

 

The premise is simple - pick a family that you'd like to brighten their Christmas.  This could be simply a neighbor that is having a tough time, a family that a parent is serving in the military or just someone that you know would REALLY appreciate something like this. 

 

HERE IT IS!  You'll be purchasing a few items that correspond with each day of the traditional 12 days of Christmas song.  We all should know that, right?! I've posted pictures of what our family has used before.  Truthfully, it's changed up from year to year.  We've added somethings to each day or taken away from some days depending if we wanted to be bit more budget friendly one year or were able to go all out another.  

 

So basically this is a doorbell ditch thing.  You'll need a driver and a runner.  I have 5 children and they all would come just for the experience.  There were also years where we were able to do more then one family and having more children to run was helpful. You'll start on December 13th.  The evening time is best to do this.  I'd suggest you switch up the times a bit, because the family might start to realize you're coming at a certain time each day if you don't.  The driver will drive somewhere around the area of the house.  The runner will jump out and start heading to the home and then put the item/items on the doorstep.  I'd suggest you go through general ways of being sneaky with your family as to not get caught.  If your family has small children, it may take another parent to go with them and that way they get the experience of doing this. Older children and certainly teenagers start to really get into this and learn exactly how to handle each situation.  After dropping off the item, the runner will then quickly head back to the the designated spot that was determined ahead of time, where the car is.  You'll continue to do this each day until Christmas Eve, at which time you'll go to the front door and ring the doorbell and reveal yourself to the family.  You would then sing "We Wish you a Merry Christmas" to them.  Afterwards, more often then not, they would invite  us in for a bit.  A lot of them even had a gift for us for making their Christmas extra special.  I always wondered how they knew we would reveal ourselves at the end, but I think they have heard about it or just hoped that we would!!

 

Here's some things to consider:

Make sure the family is going to be home throughout all these days.  Nothings worse then finding out they've left to go out of town! Also make sure they are going to be there around the time you'll be going as you'll be dropping of some perishable items. For the 5th day, we always liked to go in the morning, in most cases fairly early as to catch them before school or work.  We liked to get fresh Kirspy Kreme donuts while they were hot!! We always found that THAT was the families highlight. 

 

I realize that this is a HUGE commitment to undertake.  Trust me, I know - and it is!!  However, never once did we ever regret it.  It has been and will always be the biggest, most talked about memory of Christmas in our family. If you come up with different ideas for the items of each day, then by all means switch it up!  The pictures below are fairly self explanatory, but just in case I've noted what specifically they are below each picture.  At the end of this post I've typed out the phrases for each day you can type out and print on some festive, Christmas paper. You leave this on the door step each night with the item/items.

 

Enjoy!!

 

xoxo, Clare

 

 

 

A can of pears (for a partridge in a pear tree)

Either of box of turtle candies or a bag of something similar (shown here) + a bar of Dove soap

(3) cornish hens, for 3 french hens (you can find these at Costco during the holidays or usually any major grocery store)

(4) bags of sunflower seeds & plastic whistles (found at a dollar store or Target); for 4 calling birds

(5) glazed donuts (for 5 golden rings, these aren't Krispy Kreme because we don't have one here anymore; I liked to have them put (5) in one box and another dozen in another)

1/2 dozen eggs - for 6 geese a laying

(7) goldfish - this one of those that you want to make sure they're home; for 7 swans a swimming

(8) plastic gloves, blown up like a balloon - for 8 maids-a-milking; not pictured but a quart of milk would also be nice! 

 

a frosted cake with 9 plastic dancing ladies; for 9 ladies dancing

a childs pair of tights stuffed with 4 oranges and 1 grapefruit on top, in each leg; suggesting "lords of leaping"; tie with a Christmas colored ribbon

11 party blowouts for 11 pipers piping 

12 ding dongs with either pretzel sticks (for drumsticks, or mini candy candy shaped into a heart (2 on each ding dong)

 

 

 

 

 

On the first day of Christmas… a partridge in a pear tree.

 

On the second day of Christmas… We could find no turtle doves, so instead we’ve brought you something that everybody loves.

 

On the third day of Christmas… No French Hens we could find, so please don’t think we’re “corney”, we just brought another kind.

 

On the fourth day of Christmas… No birds could be found. Throw out a little bird seed and see if they come around.

 

On the fifth day of Christmas… We’re bringing just for you…. FIIIIVEEE GOOOLDEN RIIINGS!!!

 

On the sixth day of Christmas… Six Geese laid eggs.

 

On the seventh day of Christmas… 7 swans would fill your yard, So we “scaled” down a bit and brought them in a jar.

 

On the eighth day of Christmas… Eight maids a milking.

 

On the ninth day of Christmas… Nine ladies dancing.

 

On the tenth day of Christmas… The 10 leaping lords went on a strike… said they’re leotards were just too tight… they’re very sorry… they can’t perform for you tonight.

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas… Eleven Pipers piping.

 

ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS… We leave 12 drummer’s drums and a big, heartfelt thank you for allowing us to come. You are very special people and we wish you Christmas cheer – not only for this season, but also for all the coming year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

 

 

 

Holiday Twist on Lemon Meringue Pie

Posted on November 01, 2016 by Clare Hansen | 0 comments

 

11.1.16

Lemon Schaum Torte

 

When I was introduced to this recipe 30 years ago, I thought I was in heaven.  It was like no other lemon pie I had ever tasted. If lemon is your thing and your looking for that one recipe that will WOW your crowd this holiday season, this may be just the thing! It literally melts in you mouth. No kidding!  It takes a bit of patience to wisk up the lemon filling, but other then that it's super easy. Give it a try. I'm sure it'll become your new favorite!!

 

Recipe:

4 egg whites

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar

 

Mix egg whites, cream of tartar, salt & vanilla in deep mixing bowl using rotary beater. Add sugar gradually, beating all the time. When very stiff, heap in a well buttered 8-9" glass pie dish. Bake very, very slowly at 275• for 1 hour or so. The meringue should not brown at all, but should be a delicate cream color, dry and firm to the touch. Let cool throroughly before spreading with this lemon filling:

 

4 egg yolks

2 tsp. lemon zest

4 tbls. lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

Dash of salt

 

Combine ingredients and cook over double broiler, until thick and smooth. Be patient, it takes about 15 mins. or so.  You're looking for a pretty think consistency.  It will thicken after it cools too, so stop just shy of pretty thick. Cool. Spread over center of cold meringue. Then cover with a topping made by combining 3/4 cup whipping cream, 2 tbls. sugar, & 1/2 tsp. vanilla.

 

Put in refrigerator for 12-24 hrs. (A must in my opinion)

 

Serves 6 generously, 8 adequate 

 

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Let's Get Organized in The Kitchen

Posted on August 30, 2016 by Clare Hansen | 0 comments

With school upon us and the holidays just around the corner, making some little tweaks to our organization in the kitchen can make a huge difference! As a mother of 5 I had to learn very quickly how to organize and more importantly keep things organized as time went on. With school starting up again and the holidays creeping up on us, it can make our lives a lot easier when things are kept organized. I have put together a simple and beautiful way to organize your kitchen, pantry, and even fridge. A lot of these ideas were inspired by AtHomeWithNikki, but I decided to put a few twists of my own.

 
When it comes to the kitchen, the main tip or trick I have learned over the years is to try and declutter your counter tops and leave it as empty as possible. If we keep our countertops clear of clutter, it will always look more appealing to the eye, and inviting. Now don’t get me wrong, there have been many times where my kitchen was piled high with dishes, bread crumbs on the counter, and a billion appliances left out. But I have noticed if I keep a very minimal amount of décor, appliances, or even fruit/food on the countertops, it keeps the room looking more like a kitchen and less like a storage room. I was able to find a super cute utensil holder where I keep my silverware in, so I was able to free up a drawer in my kitchen for other needs. I used to have a bowl for all of my bread, but now keep it in my old spice cabinet, and was able to find these spice holders at Ikea that fit perfectly in my drawer. It is all about rearranging to find the perfect way to declutter your counters. The more we keep up with our dishes, clean as we cook, and keep things in their places we will have a place in our house where we actually feel like walking into.

Spice Jars | Utensil Holder 

The first area in my kitchen I wanted to tackle was under my sink. Under your sink is where it can start to get really unorganized, really fast. I was able to get different containers to put my sponges, dishwasher pods, steel wool scrubbers, and disposable gloves all in one place. It is nice to keep everything off my counter and tucked away. I just grabbed any old caddy to be able to remove and carry around the kitchen for all my cleaning supplies. I have learned that everyone has different tastes and preferences for organization in their home, so whatever works best for you will work just fine.

 

Pop-Up Containers

 

 

The next thing I was able to work on is my fridge. I used to have 5 kids living with me at one point, well I guess 6 if you count my husband! So food was in and out of the fridge with in just a few hours, so these tips and tricks can help your fridge stay organized whether you have the whole Brady Bunch or just you and your cats. We all know we have a billion different dressings, mayo, mustard, etc. piling up in the fridge, right? So these plastic squeeze bottles, that Nikki suggests, are to put the everyday basic dressings and sauces we use often. It is nice to have them all the same size and have an easy pour spout, plus it looks neater. I keep these in the door of the frog. Obviously I don't put all jars of condiments, etc. in bottles.  Just the ones that are used most often.  The squeeze bottles are all the same size so it takes up less space. I put chalkboard stickers on these for the name and expiration of the item.  They are wipeable and can change as needed! On the very top shelf, I was able to put all my family’s go to drinks that we have at least once a day, or for some of us 5 times a day, in these plastic bins. They are a lot easier to grab from and make it more organized. That way you are not trying to grab that last apple juice in the back and knock everything over in the mean time. The next shelf I put a small acrylic tray for all of my vegetables I will be using for different meals that I want to use right away. I learned a while back that vegetables stay fresh longer when they are not in those plastic bags from the grocery store. This way my vegetables stay fresh longer, I remember they are there because they are in plain sight, and they are easy to grab and put back. That same shelf I bought these super cute pitchers from target to put my milk, chocolate milk, juice, and almond milk in. Who else drinks chocolate milk by the gallon? So good! I put the erasable chalk stickers on these as well.  The next row I was able to put another one of the acrylic trays from target where I put all of my prep food for that nights dinner. When I wake up and have my breakfast I try my best to get all the ingredients I need for dinner that night and put them in that tray. Key word “try”. As busy as we all are, it doesn’t always happen, but it is very convenient when it does happen. I was able to buy 2 of these egg holders to have one carry just regular raw eggs and the other one to have a batch of hard boiled eggs on hand to grab for a quick snack to go or in my lunches. I can’t tell you how many times I have craved a hard boiled egg and never had one! This way I will almost always have one on hand. Love them! The small little drawer in the middle of my fridge I use for my sandwich tray. I use this tray to keep all of my sandwich ingredients on hand. This way you can quickly grab this tray and make your sandwiches for lunches or whenever the mood strikes! The bottom shelf is by far my favorite. The right side of the shelf is all of my random junk. Random things that I didn’t really have a spot for and didn’t really fit anywhere else. I try to keep that side really small so I have more room on the rest of the shelf. For the rest of the shelf I use it for leftovers. Whatever leftovers I have from that night I stick it in there. If I have not eaten the leftovers within 48 hours, I throw it away to keep that space open. It is especially nice for you moms out there who need space for lunches that are made the night before. That way they can quickly grab them in the morning and always know right where they are. I especially love this shelf for those big items you never seem to have room for, like that huge turkey for thanksgiving, that watermelon, or that tray of no-bake cookies you NEED to have ;). The last and final spot are those big drawers I use for my cut up fruits and vegetables. It is so much nicer to have them cut up in containers and ready to go when you want a quick snack on the run. I have noticed when I have them all prepared for the week, I tend to want to eat them more often, which is a plus. I actually have left the bottom two drawers empty because it is always nice to have a drawer or two empty for those items you get randomly, especially around the holidays, that you seem to just never have room for. I have learned that when I have my fridge organized and clean, it seems to free up way more space then I thought I had. Now remember, these are all suggestions and tips that have helped me and my family, you'll need to alter or tweak what you want to make it fit just right for your family’s needs.

 

 

Plastic Bins | Squeeze Bottles | Egg Containers | Chalk Labels | Juice Pitchers  

Lastly, we have the pantry. Another great suggestion from Nikki was to get some cute baskets to put all of my big appliances in, like my crock pot, rice cooker, George foreman, etc. I got mine at Target. This way I was able to keep it organized in a stylish way and it allowed me to clear out some cupboard space that I needed for other things. Next, I have some pop-up containers for cereal, pasta, crackers, and things like that. I don’t know about you, but I always hated having my cereal boxes sitting on my shelves. So these super cute blue containers from Target did the trick. Since there is only 3 of us left, we were able to pick about 4 different cereals that we can switch out as we want with those erasable chalk stickers. This helps with clutter as you don’t have a bunch of boxes being stuffed in these shelves. For my cans, I simply just went to Home Depot and got some pieces of wood sized for my shelf. Super simple and easy to create a stacked effect that fits your particular needs. It is the cheapest way to create a large area to fit all your cans in. Lazy Susans are also a great idea for all of those bottles of syrup, oil, peanut butter, and other little bottles lying around everywhere in your pantry. This way it keeps all of these bottles in one area and lets you organize them into different groups. For my different drawers in the pantry, I found these great open containers to put all of my to go snacks, chips, drinks, or teas in. I know it sounds silly to put drawers in drawers, but this way it keeps it more organized and separate. I also keep a few bag clips attached to my chip drawer to have on hand when I need them. I found these Keurig containers a while back that were PERFECT! I love them. They make it so much easier to grab and keep it way more organized for me. In one corner on the very bottom I put my go to drinks we have often in these wire baskets so I don’t have the ugly cases anymore and I can quickly grab them and put them in the fridge as I need them. Plus, those baskets are my favorite! Gotta love Target! I love having my trash bags from the grocery store on hand, so I found the perfect container that nails to the wall to keep them all contained. It makes it super easy to put away the bags and also grab bags as you need them later.  I had the same kitty food basket for about 15 years, so I guess it was about to time to get a new one. I had to find one that held a good amount of kitty food but was skinny enough to fit in this small space of mine, so this trash can was perfect, especially since it had a step to pop-up the lid!

Cereal Containers | Pop-Up Containers | Wire Baskets | Grocery Bag Dispenser | Pet Food Container | Organizational Bins | Chalk Labels | Lazy Susan (similar)

I hope this gave you some ideas that you might be able to implement in your household. I know that when my kitchen is clean, organized and declutter it makes me feel so much better.  
Happy organizing!!

 

BEST + EASIEST SALSA RECIPE, EVER!

Posted on July 05, 2016 by Clare Hansen | 0 comments

Best + Easiest Salsa Recipe, EVER!

 

07.05.16

I've been asked forever what's in my salsa.  First, let me say that this was never my original recipe.  It was handed down to me by a friend a long time ago.  Isn't that where the best ones come from? At first people would ask me for the recipe and I would put them off or delay responding with the answer only because this really isn't a made-from-scratch recipe.  It's more like a 'doctored up' concoction. I didn't mind giving the recipe, I just felt silly giving it as it was so simple. That said, it truly is the best concoction.  I've had people standing around the salsa bowl, digging into it with endless chips, and saying they must have the recipe. Whether at a party or just at a home bbq, this is a crowd pleaser! 
So here it is! Yup, as you can see it's simply 2 jars of Herdez Salsa jars.  One red in your choice of mild, medium or hot and one in a Verde.  You simply mix the jars together in a bowl and add there 3 ingredients:
(1) avocado
(1) bunch cilantro
(1) cucumber 
If you don't have the Herdez brand in you area just find a comparable type jarred salsa. I like the avocado cubed, the cilantro de-stemmed and chopped roughly and the cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped roughly as well. Go ahead and make it you own.  Add or remove what works for you.
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THERE YOU HAVE IT! I know - so simple and easy. Try it at your next event. It's always nice to have a change up to the regular old recipes we have. 
ENJOY!!!
Xo, Clare

My 'Ride or Die' Quilting + Sewing Tools!

Posted on June 14, 2016 by Clare Hansen | 0 comments

Bobkin  ||  Binding Glue  ||  Needle Threader  ||  Basting Glue  ||  Rotary Cutter  ||  Rotary Blades  ||  Binding Ruler

 

My Favorite Sewing + Quilting Essentials

 

 06.14.16

 

I've been asked on more then one occasion what are my favorite products and tools I use.  I've even been asked if I would make a YouTube video series. Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves here (haha!)  Let me start by giving my suggestions and tips on my favorites. There are many, but I'm going to show you what I feel are my 'can't live without' products, tools and THEE best tip for binding that rocked my quilting world!!

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SEWING

Bodkin:  Gone are the days of using a safety pin to thread you elastic through casings. There are many different types of Bodkins that due different things depending on the task. It makes quick work of threading elastic through your fabric. The most common Bodkin is about 4" long, usually made of metal, and used for things like sheet threading.  It's used much like a safety pin.  You might be wondering how is it any different then a safety pin? The differences are huge. You can't get poked like you can with a safety pin because the Bodkin doesn't pop open.  It also slides quicker and easier through the fabric making quick work for your project. 
Needle Threader:  If you've ever had a hard time trying to find the eye of a sewing machine needle, then you can't live without this. A needle threader is a very thin, long, bendable tool to help guide your thread through the eye.  On one end you put your thread through a big loop (eye), and then push the other, pointy end through your needles eye.  Then just pull through and Voilà!
Rotary Cutter:  Back in the old days all fabric was cut with scissors only, which includes ME! Using a rotary cutter is a life saver, especially if you're cutting large amounts of fabric.  Even with smaller projects, it's a necessity in my opinion.  I recommend a 45mm blade for most all projects.  A 60mm is best when cutter large amount of fabric into sections. Rotary cutters revolutionized the sewing/quilting world. I can't even remember what it was like before they were invented. This is my favorite cutter.  I can't explain why, other then it just feels the best in my hand.  You might find another best for you.
Rotary Blades:  Using a dull blade is a big no-no! If there's one thing to change in your sewing technique right now, it's CHANGE YOUR BLADES! A dull blade will hack up your fabric. When you find yourself having to go over areas more then once because its not not cutting the fabric, or your "sawing" the fabric by rolling back and forth, stop and change that blade.  This will cause your fabric to fray. Frayed fabric leaves messy seam allowance areas among other things.  
Seam Ripper:  I never use to think there was a difference between seam rippers.  Anyone who sews will need a seam ripper eventually. A friend told me about this seam ripper and upon first use I was blown away!  I'm here to say there is a difference. If finances permit, I would highly recommend this one.  It feels nice and weighty in your hand, and the blade is super sharp.  That blade makes all the difference. Watch this video and learn where to buy one, and about how you're probably using a seam ripper all wrong.
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 QUILTING

Spray Basting:  There are severals methods to baste your quilt.  1) You can baste using the oldest method, which is to simply use a needle and thread making very large stitches throughout the quilt. The stitches would be removed as you quilt. 2) You can use safety pins placed apart be about a fist width.  There are safety pins designed specifically for this purpose. They are curved, making it easier to insert into the quilt and remove as you quilt. 3) My personal favorite is Spray Basting. You use a temporary spray adhesive, here's my favorite, to adhere the back, batting and front of quilt together. Watching this video will help you understand the application better.

Binding Template:  Binding can be a daunting part of quilter for some.  Anything that makes binding easier is awesome in my book.  This template makes cutting your binding strips very quick and simple. The marks on the template are easy to read, making it simple to cut the strips at a quick pace.  Here's another video that explains this great template better then I can.  I just LOVE it!

Iron:  I'm asked what one step of quilting is the most important.  That's hard to answer because I believe each step is equally important.  However, if I had to pick just one it would be ironing.  If you don't press nicely and correctly throughout each step of quilting, it can really throw off the entire quilt.  In most cases, if an iron has adequate steam it should be just fine. Just make sure it doesn't leak or 'spit' so you don't effect you fabric. On the other hand, if you sew or quilt often I'd look for an iron that can keep up with your steaming needs.  I've finally found the one the seems to work perfect for me.  The steam if constant and I've never had a problem. You can find it here if you're in the market for a new iron.

Sewing Machine:  I have quite a few machines because I'm in a business that requires it.  So I have a pretty good idea of what's a good machine and what isn't.  I won't go into sergers or your typical, everyday sewing machine is this blog; but I will at a later date.  I'm going to suggest the best quilting sewing machine that I just can't live without.  I have a Juki tl2010q. This machine is a workhorse. It doesn't have a zigzag. It's a straight stitch only, which is all you need for quilting.  It isn't computerized, which is perfect.  I find that the computerized ones just have way more then you need and can break down more then I think is ok.  If you have a machine that does exactly what you need for quilting, and does it well, stick with it! All the bells and whistles aren't always needed. 

Snippers:  Here is a great pair of scissors that have a curved edge, perfect for snipping away those threads on your quilt that are stuck in the binding, or along a seam line.  No need to spend a fortune on a pair of snippers. These are perfect, I've had them for years and never need to sharpen! 

Binding Glue:  I saved the best for last.  I've probably changed the way I bind at least a dozen times.  I've gone from a 2 1/2" width binding, to 3" & back to 2 1/2".  Sewing on the front and wrapping to back to sewing on the back and wrapping to the front.  You name it and I've tried it.  In the end, having used just about every product to help my binding, I've landed on what is MY perfect binding method.  I'll make a proper, full binding tutorial in a separate post someday because it would require that to go through the process entirely.  Today I'm going to introduce you to THEE product that changed the outcome of my binding overnight.  I was told about using glue to hold down your binding before you sew it down as the last step. I dismissed it because I thought it was lame.  I've used wonder clips, those bendy hair clips, and of course hand binding.  Hand binding is my ultimate, in a perfect world, method of sewing down your binding.  I don't have that luxury in the business of selling quilts.  It's just not cost effective because it takes a fair amount of time.  So back to the glue! I was convinced that I should try this one glue (that I won't mention) to hold down my binding. I was loving the fact that your binding could be temporarily placed in just the perfect spot (1/8" over the sew line).   You then can turn to other side of you quilt (weather you start on the front or back of you quilt), and sew in the ditch along your binding edge.  This will catch the other side of your binding perfectly, tacking the binding down 1/8" away from the edge. If done right, this makes a sweet binding look.  You don't have to use clips and remove them as you go, and you're pretty much guaranteed a uniform sewing line. Unfortunately this glue required you to iron down the binding as well. Not just the glue alone. This was just one too many steps that I didn't want.  I then found THIS glue. No ironing. Just hold down with fingers for a couple seconds and you're off.  MIND BLOWN. My binding as been pretty much perfect every since using this glue.  Don't worry, it washes away in this first washing.  

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I would imagine some of this will be helpful to those that sew, some of it you may already know, while some might not make any sense what so ever.  Whatever the case, I hope there was at least one thing that was informative and helpful!

HAPPY SEWING!

 

Xo,  Clare

 



 

 

 

My Passion + My Mission

Posted on May 16, 2016 by Clare Hansen | 2 comments

 

My Passion + My Mission 

05.16.16

 I’d like to start the beginning of this journey of blogging by introducing myself and giving you an insight as to the content you’ll be reading here. Let’s get the formalities out of the way – my name is Clare Hansen, a wife, mother of 5 and grandmother of 2 (they are my favorite little humans EVER!!) I own my business ~ Second Stitch to the Right. I started this business when I had raised all my children and wanted to dip my toes back into the working world as I was a stay-at-home mom for 25 years. I knew I wanted to do something that I was passionate about and I knew I could do well. I was given the gift of craft ~ more specifically quilting and sewing by my beloved grandmother (this women had the patience of Job, I swear) When I made a quilt for my granddaughter, it ignited the passion of this art once again and I knew what I wanted to do. 

Armed with this desire, I opened my shop June 1, 2015 and hit the ground running.  I believe passionately in the value of handmade. I’ve dedicated myself to making nothing but quality product that is attractive as well as functional. Since then, there has been no looking back and I look forward to what the future has to bring.  I’ve opened this space with my own shop, a blog and newsletters to come.  I’ve been in the world of raising children for a long time and have gained a love & passion for them. I also know the trials & tribulations that go along with that. I’ve felt the exhilaration of giving birth, the exciting times of watching them grow and the exhaustion of long days & sleepless nights. Lets just say ~ I’ve been there!!  So while my shop gives me an outlet for my creative hand work, my hope is that this blog will give voice to what I have learned along the path of motherhood. I will also share lessons learned from others.
 
Why is my blog titled ‘Rainy Days & Mondays’ you might ask? It’s simple, unlike the Carpenters’ song from the 70’s, I actually love Rainy Days and feel inspired by Mondays.  I’m not a hot weather person. So living in California isn’t exactly where I thought I’d establish my roots, but that’s where I am and that’s where I’ve bloomed. Make lemonade out of lemons, right?? As far as Mondays go, I’ve always felt that they have received a bad rap. Mondays bring the possibilities of new beginnings, a better week, and a chance to redeem ourselves. And lets not forget that the kids go back to school - we’ve all felt that relief, right?
 
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of what you’ll be reading here on this little blog of mine. Whether read by friends and family or people far and wide, at least I will have written down somewhere what I love to do:  motherhood tips and advice (and lessons I’ve learned from my mistakes); information about my business; helpful tips on the craft of quilting and sewing; sharing my favorite recipes. Last, but not least, I hope to travel to the homes of some amazing moms and share with you how they have navigated the path of  motherhood in the hope that one mothers experience will help another.  I'm planning to dish on cooking tips, laundry tips & mishaps, home organization, best cleaning schedules, how to survive a long family trip, handling the holidays with kids, how to do everything (Spoiler alert: you can’t!), plus weightier topics like infertility, miscarriage & depression. No topics off limit here!
 
So come along for the ride, the tears, the laughter, the knowledge & empowerment and maybe just some fun stories. I can’t wait to take you along on this journey and maybe make some great friends on the way. I’d love for you to leave a comment on my blog entries, I know I’ll read every one. By all means, share the post if you’ve read something you like or has touched you! I’d also love to hear any suggestions you might have for future posts and even share your stories with me!
 
 
xo, Clare
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