Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Geocaching with Kids

We just got back from a week long holiday trip at my husband's parents house in San Jose. We struggled with things to do with the kids and I knew that I wanted to spend time with my niece and nephew that I rarely get to see. I also knew that despite the gloomy weather updates my boys HAD to get some energy expelled. 

have you ever heard of geocaching?

it is awesome for kids...and big kids...

its a treasure hunt and if you have a smart phone you can do it too for free! 

at least that is how i do it...with my droid... is the place to start if you want to get started. 

let me just say that if you are looking for a way to get your kids to hike with you, this is the way!! bryson would have never climbed the hill we climbed if there was not "treasure" at the top waiting for us.

just a few tips for us newbies:

the geo points can really only get you within 20-30 ft of the actual cache - then you need to start searching and thinking like the cache planter...

be prepared and bring a little something to replace some of the "treasure" (we like to stock up on $.25 machine goodies like rings and homies and bouncie balls and things like that) 

be sure to sign the log and to track your caches on the site - as a record for where you have been! 

make sure not to get spotted! they call people who don't share the love of geocaching "muggles"

make sure not to promise a find to the kiddos...sometimes it can be tricky! 

have fun! hope to help encourage a lifelong cacher!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Zoodies in Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine

So thanks to my beautiful and talented and tenacious friend Liz, Zoodies was featured in Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine this month. and LOOK! my little dino zoodie guy is golfing!!! they must have read my blog...ha!...too cool! Thank you Liz and Thank You Tampa Bay Parenting!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fremont Community Market

this last saturday was my first craft fair by myself...without my girls. of my girls still showed up to keep me company, of which i am so so grateful! without her there, i would have bummed out on the day! there were not a lot of customers to be had and thank the good Lord there was a playground directly across from my booth to keep my kids occupied!

i had planned on selling off some Zoodies and SweetB inventory...i ended up only selling 4 zoodies all day. the optimist in me is like, so many people were so excited about them and i got exposure! and the pessimist in me is like, no one liked them THAT much.

i go back on forth on craft fairs. i have done a handful of them and some of them are spot on and others seem to be a total flop and it seems like i can never tell which is which.

when i have my oldest, bryson, ask to come with me all day it makes me a little glee-full. he stressed about making stuff to sell. on a brilliant note bryan suggested he sell his paper airplanes for a quarter each.

you should have seen his face light up!

he set up a little booth and i made a little sign.

he ended up giving them away (kinda like his mama!)

plus he was too distracted by the playground.

but him in his shark zoodie and bodie in his skunk zoodie were my best advertisement of the day.

that night at dinner Bryan led grace and thanked the Lord that the boys have a mama that appreciates handmade and loves to share her gift with our community and my heart just opened up and spilled out and i couldn't have felt prouder...that my boys were all a part of it...from Bryan setting up and tearing down and helping me market my booth...and Bryson telling people his mama made his sweatshirt and wanting to sit with me...and Bodie wearing his hood all day...and Bobby being oh so patient...makes it all worth it...despite my actual sales :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sweet B at the Fremont Community Market

hello friends! we are all so busy right now - i know you probably still have shopping to do, so why not support a local school, support handmade and your local community...oh and eat YUMMMY sandwiches from Kut-N-Sow and see lil' ol me!

I will be at the Fremont Holiday Community Market - details here

Fremont Elementary School - Tomorrow - Saturday the 11th from 8-3 - 4000 E. 4th Street, Long Beach, CA 90814

Along with my zoodies, i will also have my vintage stuff and my handmade stuff too! so a little something for everyone!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Thoughtful Christmas

so this Christmas was a very new experience for me. i bought the majority of my presents online.

part of the fun for me is going to the stores and getting inspired, but with 3 young boys under 5 and 2 businesses to run, i knew that was not going to least not in a fun more of a "i would rather poke myself with dull toothpicks" type of way.

i had so much fun online shopping for people though after the kiddos went to bed! Etsy makes this oh so easy.

For example...(i know bryson can't read yet, so i am safe on this one)...Bryson recently turned 5...which means he can officially golf on a course. Bryan has only taken him to the local par 3 course for 9 holes, but pretty soon he will outgrow that and move on up. When he did go with his dad i realized he is sorely lacking in golf attire. I just typed in a few search words on etsy, like "boy golf" and i found these adorable pants.

pair it with a nice black polo and sweet golf hat and he is going to the the most stylish 5 year old on the course!

also - its no secret i love my TOM'S shoes. i own about 5 pairs and i probably shouldn't wear 4 of them, but i do. I totally believe in the company and the idea of self-perpetuating/sustaining non-profit and so my nieces (already, so again i am safe) received their own pairs.

I tried to make as many presents too as time allowed, but these days that doesn't amount to i relied on other talented people to spread handmade love for me! For example - the very talented, beautiful friend of mine, Whitney of Bel Kai Designs - she is accepting orders until the 11th, so hurry up folks!

more examples AFTER the holidays - i don't want any spoilers!

i encourage you all to do the same - there is still time for a lot of stores! - spread the handmade love!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Geocaching - 3rd Attempt and First Find!

we had tried for the first time when we were in Colorado. 

Robin - if you are reading this...i read your FB post about how you went with your girls and then someone told me there is an app for geochaching and now you can do it with your *smart* phone, so i downloaded one while we were in CO and we went to test it out. So you totally inspired us! 

Unfortunately, the one we tried to find was excavated due to construction...bryson was super bummed too because he wanted to find "treasure". The second one i think my phone and my free app is not the greatest at the coordinates, and my kids' blood sugar levels must have been low because they were all kinds of crazy and i didnt have the time to look around for it. this third time i came prepared with snacks and a stroller...

So - this is so fun! what a perfect activity to do with the get exercise, teach them to use a compass and the different directions (N,S,E,W) and it gives your hikes a focus and goal...which, let me tell you is HUGE - kids dont always understand hiking for the fun of it!!! i am still super new at this and need to figure out what all the terms are and the different types of caches, but i can see it being a past-time of ours for sure!

we found this one near our stomping grounds at the El Dorado Nature Walk...Bryson found it - he was soooo excited. and, being new to this, i am not 100% sure that this was it...pretty sure...our coordinates matched up and everything, but i thought there is usually a log sheet in them? i dunno...still new to it all.

Here is the geocache website in case you are interested too!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Butterfly Zoodie - Part Three first started like this...and then there was here is the third version of the butterfly.

oh dear...that first butterfly was only done in May...why does Bryson now look 2 years older? i feel like every birthday his face transforms a little. his motivation changes too. i had to give him a quarter to pose for me this time.

anyway - this was a custom order for a friend. if people seem to like it I will eventually post it, so let me know which butterfly you like best!

(i do have to add that this version is more washing machine friendly since the wings are made of fleece and not felt...)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Garden

WARNING: this blog is going to get a lotta Christmassed beware...we are borderline Christmas-aholics around here...

so bryan had the boys for a day the week before we left for Colorado and he came home and Bryson spilled the beans that daddy bought a Christmas tree.

at first i was upset because i love to pick out our tree, but then i saw this in our backyard.

my own little Christmas garden!

what a sweet, sweet man i married. what a lovely and touching present.

he knows i am a little bit excited about Christmas...okay obsessed really...but this little garden makes me so so happy.

i want to put some light on that little tree - perhaps when we put lights up on the house. I know we will have leftover lights because we have moved since last Christmas and our old house had a lot more front to decorate, so why not decorate the back too?

i am fortunate to have married a man that loves to garden, because i enjoy it so much, but dont have the patience (or the desire for physical labor) that he does. but thankfully he does enjoy it and he thinks this space should be a seasonal little garden. which i think is just lovely, because one thing California is lacking in, is in case i forget i can look in our backyard and say...oh yeah...its supposed to be winter :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Stocking Love

i posted last year about our family stockings...dubbed my labor the story here.

so...i started putting up the Christmas decorations before we left for our Colorado trip to visit my mom for Thanksgiving. it was bothering me that Bobby did not have a stocking, so i whipped one up before we left. that is better! i had a little stocking making party of my own....listening to christmas music and sipping some coffee and a quiet house while the kiddos were sleeping.

i must say...i got super teary eyed looking at our mantle and seeing all of our stockings hanging.


our little family.

all represented by silly little handmade stockings.

but complete.

i think this won't be the last time i get weepy at this...

in fact, i have cried no less than 10 times in the past month just realizing that my baby-making days are behind me. a good type of crying...a nostalgic cry...or rather a complete-ness type of crying.

silly how stockings can make a mama cry! silly...but so representative of our family to come in the next Christmases...our building of tradition...our togetherness at holidays...

okay make that 11 times :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love It! Present Edition - Bryson (Age 5)

1. if i hadn't just banned toy "sets" in my house (because i still catch bodie trying to swallow legos, dimes, batteries, gum name it) i would totally get this for him - ingenious idea!!!

2. bryson loves dressing up and i think he would totally dig this beard

3. Bryson loves to listen to stories before bed...when i don't feel like reading "Bats at the Library" or "Put Me in the Zoo" for the millionth time...he listens to a CD of stories - we are loving Jim Weiss right now

4. Cause its awesome and cause i want this myself too...The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag

5. He watched Karate Kid 3 with his dad and is obsessed with Karate...he and bodie steal my headbands (they call them hi-ya's) and kick each other...he would love this shirt

6. We decided that 5 was the age we would start the whole "chores" and teaching fiscal responsibility - we always did the coffee can thing, but this is a great idea!

7. Bryson loves helping me in the kitchen - i know he would dig these because a) they are knives and b) he loves all weapons

8. We all know how obsessed Bryson is with paper airplanes. Paige found these knowing that and tipped me off and I already bought him some because he is gunna go bananas for them!

9. Bryson also loves helping in the garden - he has a "real" rake and shovel (they are just smaller versions of the real thing made for kids) but he would love getting a "real" wheelbarrow to help dad in the garden

10. rashelle turned me on to olive juice - their unionsuit is so cute and would make the best christmas PJs!

so fun!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I Love it! Stocking Edition - My Dream Stocking

1. My favorite chocolates

2. When I was in college I would go to church sometimes at the monestary - they roasted their own coffee and it was amazing! I just realized you can order it now!

3. maybe a pretty print like this one

4. i feel naked without a headband

5. we always get practical things like socks and underwear...i need some of these for a cute navy skirt of mine!
6. I went to the Crow Bar Restaurant in Corona del Mar for my bday dinner...everything was delicious and when i asked them why (among other reasons) the waitress said they use rock salt in everything they cook...yummmo

7. the sweetest butter dish i have ever seen
8. oh, and this apron too please!

9. and i must have another tomte for my collection!

oh my...maybe i should add a bigger stocking to that list!

this was fun...therapeutic even! i think i should do the kids next :)

The Super Hoodie

this idea was inspired in the fabric remnant section at Jo-anns...which, now that i recall, happens fairly often...maybe because i hate waiting in the cutting that means my impatience spawns inspiration, right?hmmm...i'll have to flush that out some more...anyway...there were these two remnants of satin and i thought it would be fun to make bryson a cape out of it....then i thought i could just attach it to a sweatshirt...then i thought i could make a built in mask somehow...

this was for his birthday (there is a number "5" on the back under the cape). Last year i made him a little cardigan with a "4" on it. i think its a good little tradition and if he doesnt destroy all the things i make him, maybe he can save them...doubting that right now as i think about the state of his clothes...namely ALL his jeans with holes in them...i was the same way, so i can't be too surprised...

i didnt know what to put on the cape until for my birthday bryson made me a card and on the back was the letter "B" but with an extra bump...he said, "its a super B mama" - awesome! perfect!

anyway - he was pretty stoked on it and helped me to design the mask part even, but then he kept complaining that it was too big. and then he started asking for additional things on it... aaaah! i've created a little monster...

i purposefully didn't tell bryan what i was making...he saw it and loved it and at dinner that night he tells me, "i did a domain search and super isn't taken" not start this again! i told him that this could be his thing if he wanted to do just might be seeing a line of super hoodies by never know with that guy!                            

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dance Class Update

JJ trying to explain the Shirley....for the millionth time
Remember when I mentioned I would be taking that dance class? well...i have been going pretty steady - only missed twice since then (and so sad to miss this last week...i came down with some 24 hour bug...yuk!) and it has been so so fun!

my cousin is in the class too - its an hour of jazz and an hour of tap. the thing is...i am HORRIBLE at tap! and jenny is amazing...(i called her a show pony last time because she is so graceful and elegant with her taps) not me so much...truth is, if she wasnt in the class i probably would have stopped after the first week because its HARD! mentally...but i am glad i didnt give feels good to be challenged - mentally and physically (in an arena apart from babies) and its so rewarding when i finally get down a step...that is, when i get down a step...i haven't really nailed too many of them truth be told...but i AM hope is not lost!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bumblee Zoodie and Holiday Ordering Promo Code!!!

goodness...miss ella jayne should get paid for this...i think for now she will settle for getting a free bumblee zoodie and a cupcake :)

i am going to wait to post this one to the shop until i can get a few better shots - horrible lighting+sugar rush+tired girl+super amateur photo skills=no good photos - but if you are interested just email me and it can be done.

i am also undecided about adding wings to the back. bryan thinks it could be simple since they just lay on the back...not convinced...what do you think?

on a separate note - if you were thinking of ordering a zoodie for Christmas - do it now!! i just realized that we are leaving a week before Christmas out of town...that means i need to receive holiday orders by December 1st to ensure holiday delivery.

And to sweeten the deal - i have added a promo code: HOLIDAY - for 25% off your zoodie order, but it will only be available until November 15th. So spread the word! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

I Love It! I Love It! I Love it!

remember when Molly Shannon did the joyologist on SNL? thats the title of this post...i wish you could have sound sometimes...

but i am loving posts lately that show pretty/cool/unique things on the i wanted to start my own - both for (hopefully) your enjoyment, but also selfishly as a way to keep things more organized - like, where did i see that cool chair again? i can't keep track of all the here she goes...

i got these for my birthday and i love them! they make me feel a little punk-ish....they are my 5th pair of TOMS...i heart them...a lot...

This Snail Ukelele from Celentano Woodworks is amazing! all of their instruments are incredible...the avocado one is sweet! too bad i can't play an instrument to save my life...

i think my husband is glad that we didnt have a girl because he knows i would have made us grow broke buying little dress like this (found on

this red coat is also precious! From Little Dipper Vintage on Etsy:

a little halloween love - bryson would totally LOVE this zombie rabbit print!

and because today is my cousin Jenny's birthday (if you know her, go to her blog and wish her happy birthday!) and because she is a fellow dancer...and because i know she wants to look her best at dance class, i picked out this number for her to wear for her church dances

isnt it amazing? so literal...

Happy Birthday JJ!! and Happy Weekend All!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Tiger Zoodie

this one was a custom order for a family its not up in the shop...because A) they take me a really long time and B) American Apparel does not make orange sweatshirts...but if it is something you would like, email me (carlee (at) zoodies (dot) com) and i would do it...for a reader/friend! it is a bit easier now after already doing it before, but it is quite a bit of cutting and sewing compared to say...the horse! 
this sweatshirt is velour and from gymboree and i found it on ebay....

i can not believe how much Bodie loved it...he kept going "grrrr" and chasing bryson and myself around the yard...he is not yet 2 and already his imagination is coming out! love it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Swamp Baby

if i would have thought of it sooner, i would have made us all gone as "Swamp People" for Halloween. our whole family is LOVEing this show...

Bryson constantly quotes (our favorite) Troy, "dassa big alligator. gunna haveta catch dat sucka!"

here is bodie dressed as "T Mike" yes...thats his name...T Mike...why? i dunno...but i love it! we had a bandana on him, but he took it off...PS look how buff he is!

but we are already thinking of having a Swamp People party...if you ever watch the show...and see their dinners they eat - its all completely beige...EVERYTHING is that would of course be the menu...fried gator, french fries, fried catfish...anyone know where we could find some gator?

The Texting Zoodie

when people ask me if i think ___ age is too old for a zoodie...i never know what to niece katlyn is 16 and she requested nephew is 10 and he loves his and asked for another one for christmas and so did my niece Hope who is 13...

so i gave katlyn her zoodie and she was all like whatever...i just wanna text all day long...she is probably texting her friend that her uncle bryan is taking pictures of her in a panda sweatshirt...but she, like, loved sizes are available in the shop!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Lady Dino

i told you i had some girly dinos in the is my first pink dino made for a friend.

these pics are fu-hun-ney...we have already established that i have probably scarred my son with all the girl dresses i put on fact just today when i exclaimed, "bryson i need you to try this on" he said, "what is it, a tutu? hahahahahahaha" he is such a good sport though and tried it on and asked me to make him one also.

and his poses are amazing...i like the hand in the air pose - yes - waiter - check please...and the shielding the eyes like my mom makes me wear girl stuff all the time and takes pictures of it...and the side kiss...and he was still wearing his ninja leggings on his skinny little cute! he is going to hate me when he goes through puberty isn't he?