Saturday, January 31, 2009

IndieSpotted, Crafty Neighbors, and CPSIA

I have been spotted! IndieSpotted that is. IndieSpotting is a website featuring, what else? Indie finds of all kinds. My Dragonfly Charms Optical Lens Necklace was on the first page, the second item! I am really honored that someone liked my necklace so much that they would submit it. Of course, there are so many other beautiful items on the site. I love persuing through sites like these; you can tell how much love and hard work went into all these creations.

Also, I have joined the EtsyNJ Street Team. They also have a really cool blog, as well as a Yahoo Group. I am really looking forward to meeting these crafty neighbors of mine! I am going to try and get involved in some of the craft fairs. It might be hard with these two little ones, but I am definately going to be as involved as I can.

More great news for the handmade community. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has granted a one year stay to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Read about it here! Though I might not have been affected, this would have shut down countless small businesses. Many people rely on the income generated from their handmade products, and this would have killed any chance they had of a decent living. I am SO glad that they have seen some of the light. Hopefully, this stupidity will just fizzle and die!

Stay tuned in the next couple of days for my first artist feature! I have been busy just playing around with my blog and making it nice and pretty. I think I finally have it now!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A New Name, A New Blog

In keeping with my new jewelry business, Treasure Box Jewelry, I have chosen to change the name of my blog. The nature of my blogs are going to stay the same. But I wanted to a name that would reflect my new interest in handmade items as well as stay true to my personal beliefs of hope and happiness in this world. The Treasured Life is what I have come up with. I really believe that life is a treasure and should be treated as such.
Also, I am going to start doing features on talented artists that I have found on Etsy. I have a few people lined up and I am looking forward to talking to them and seeing how they have gotten into their craft. There are people out there who are working so hard, but they get lost in the hustle and bustle of the world's chaos. If I can let even a handful of people know about their efforts, I will be happy that I have done a little something for them.
Life is full of possibilites and I love it!

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Cop Story

This past Friday, I was on my way to a friend's house for a committee lunch. This committee is not for planning something; it's more or less a way to get out of the house for a while and also a way to save some money. The idea is that all the people in this committee put up $100 every month and then whoever ends up getting that money (via a drawing or whatever), hold a luncheon at her house. So if there are 10 women in the committee, they get together once a month for 10 months until every woman had had a turn. At the end of that time, each woman will have essentially saved up $1000.

So anyways, that's where I was going on Friday. I had never been to this friend's house, but I trusted Mapquest would get me there. Well, not quite. I got to the end and I realized that my directions did not tell me which way to turn after taking my last exit. So I turned right and kept going. I soon realized that I was probably going the wrong way but I wanted to make sure. So I called her. I had turned right at a light onto a dead end street and I was turning around while I was on the phone, when lo and behold, I see that a policeman sitting in his car had seen me on the phone while behind the wheel. So he pulls up next to me and rolls down his window. By this time, I had hung up with my friend, (while she was still talking, I might add!), and waited for what this cop would say to me. So he's like, "That's $105." And I'm like, "Excuse me?" He repeated it, adding that that was the amount of the ticket for being on the phone while driving. My bewildered mind thought that he was asking for the money right now. I quickly apologized and told him the truth, that I was lost and I was getting directions. Looking back, I am so GLAD and LUCKY that I didn't pull out my wallet; he might have thought that I was trying to bribe him or something!

Anyways, before we got any further, he glanced in the backseat where the kids were and proceeded to tell me what was wrong with the way they were in their car seats! On Zahra's seat, I had left the car seat carrier bar up and Fazal's shoulder straps were not posititoned correctly. He made me get out and fix that and then he got out of his car and started looking at how the seats were installed. By this time, I was over an hour late for the lunch, but I didn't care. All I cared was cooperating with this cop so that I wouldn't get a ticket! Anyways, he ended up taking both seats out and reinstalling them correctly, telling me horror stories about children being in car accidents while sitting in car seats that were not properly installed. He ended up being really nice and gave me credit for having the child safety lock on the car doors.

Here are some guidelines that he gave me:

-In an infant car seat that doubles as a carrier, the bar should always be down (I think I knew that but I didn't follow through with it; I'll spare you the details of what MIGHT happen if left up)
-There should be a fist's width of space between the passenger seat and the car seat
-The shoulder straps for an infant should come from below the baby's shoulder
-If you use the LATCH system to secure the seat's, put all your weight on the seat while installing the seat and pulling the belt
-For a front-facing car seat, the shoulder straps should come from above the child's shoulders and the front clip should be at chest level
-The car seat should not move more than an inch around any which way

Whew!! I think that was all. He was nice enough to ask me if I had the time so that he could install them right. Well, of COURSE, for my children's safety, I have all the time in the WORLD!
These two are my everything!

I was more than happy to get out of the car and take time to listen to him and have hims install the seats right. I really think that
having a car seat installed correctly is very

complicated. Not all parents, even the very
careful ones, take the time to make sure that the seats are installed correctly. No parents wants to think about the "what-ifs"

But as parents, we must be prepared to take every step possible to safeguard our kids. I know that hospitals will not release you and your new baby unless you have a car seat. But I am not sure how many make sure that the seat is installed right. Just like car inspections are required by law, perhaps child seats should have the same kind of law. You should be required by law to have your car seat checked, because I am sure that in a lot of car accidents, the extent of injuries and even fatalities could have been prevented by proper installation.

In the end, the officer was extremely nice (he introduced himself but I forgot his name!) He didn't give me a ticket and helped me with the directions. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He made sure that those seats were really secure and tight. He may have saved their lives. At least, now I have learned my lesson to be even more diligent in these types of things and be more careful. My little munchkins deserve that...and so do yours!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Potty Training, Treasure Box Jewelry, Etsy, and Winter

Yipeee!! OK first off, Fazal is doing really well with his potty training! This is actually a second attempt; we started this adventure back in August, just before he turned 3. It was NOT working at all, so back in diapers he went. A lot of people that I talked to told me to wait until he is 3, or even 3 and half. Waiting until then allows them to get better at control and all that. I was a little skeptical and very sick of changing diapers. But wait I did and now we started 4 days ago and he is really getting it. I am so happy and relieved...and yet again, amazed at this journey we call parenthood!

On to my beloved Treasure Box Jewelry. The story of how it started begins with Twlight. Just before the movie released, I got pulled into reading the books and seeing what all the hype was about. Well, at first I was like, why do people think this is amazing literature. Then I reminded myself of the demographic that it was aimed at. Even then, it's not great writing. But the plot and basis for the saga pulled me in and it worked its magic on me. So I was online one day and I was just wasting time and I came upon a link for Twilight-inspired jewelry. It led me here. Amazing jewelry and then on to amazing Etsy. I totally fell head over heels and I imagined that I could do the same. So I did and that is where Treasure Box Jewelry was born. Lisa , the author of the Little Lovables blog, has been amazing throughout the entire process, giving me tips and sending me goodies in the mail. I am forever grateful! So I am now a jewelry designer and I absolutely adore it. I am in the process of ordering busniess cards and seeing if I can get either wholesale or consignment orders, aside from my Etsy shop. I am always adding more pieces. Here is one of my latest:

I have lots more in my shop, and I try to list new items every few days. So be sure to check it out!

Thank goodness I have this jewelry venture to keep me busy this winter. I have come to the realization that I truly detest winter. The cold and the wind and the having to bundle up like the yeti to go out and get the mail. Also, the hassle is multiplied when you have young kids. TRying to wrestle them into fat puffy coats and then strap them into car seats...exhausting and frustrating! But most of all, it's the cold that seeps into my makes me feel feel like 92 instead of 29. Oklahoma had winters too, but New Jersey winters are different. I am just waiting for it to be over. Can't wait for t-shirts and flip-flops! I may make some cute anklets to celebrate!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration 2009

What an amazing day! The first African-American president is sworn in to office and I am lucky enough to be alive to witness it. Not only is Barack Obama a minority, he comes from a Muslim background! Now we all know that President Obama himself is not a Muslim, and that's cool. But his father was from Kenya and he came from a Muslim family, so I think that is pretty awesome. I think it just goes to show you that skin color and religion and politics can bring together people, not just divide them. I have always had friends of different faiths and colors. They were mostly Christian, since I grew up in Oklahoma, but never was I once discriminated against. I think a lot of people woulf be surprised at how many people were actually interested and intrigued by our different backgrounds and cultures. And I never felt like I had to hide that part of myself to fit in. Watching the news, you see the entire world celebrating this momentous occasion with the United States. I think that is what is so amazing about this man, how he has given hope and inspiration to millions all over the world. I know that he is not perfect; after all, he's human. But there are some people in this world who have the ability to change people from the inside, and that kind of change can be powerful when multiplied. I pray that God gives him the strength to make good on all his promises and to make this world a better, more hopeful, and less fearful place....not just for us, but for future generations as well.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Paci War Won!

So Fazal has finally stopped taking his pacifier. It only took a trip back home to my parents' house in Tulsa for him to stop. My mom, somehow, magically, convinced him that he is now a big boy and that he doesn't need it. It took a few days, but he finally went the whole night without it. I was afraid that once we got back to NJ, he would want it but though he mentioned it a few times, he never actually came out and asked for it. Here he is, a big boy on his aunt's laptop!

Now, on to potty training!