Keeping Happy Children

As I take a break from packing unloved toys, I realize that a change is well needed here.  I feel like I’m somewhat fueling a rotten apple, and I feel this because I have a three year old who requests to go to Target, and when we do, he demands that he gets a new toy.  I fold and feel like ten bucks is a reasonable amount of money to keep him occupied for a few hours.  But, after having two garbage bags full of toys to donate to charity, I realized this pattern of buying toys every week has got to subside.  I honestly think buying my children toys (anything really) releases the happiness chemical in my brain.  When I see their faces light up and the oooo-ing and aww-ing, it really puts me in such a good mood.  It’s a quick feeling of satisfaction, easy, and obviously addicting.  I’m sounding more and more like a druggie.  But the bad resulting from all this toy buying is relentless.  Firstly, I have created what I call the rash: a collection of toys that just won’t go away.  They hide in every corner ready for your feet to find.  Also, this month has been full of bills, some that have sprung up like a punch in the face, like car repairs and a school tax on our second plot of land (that makes up our side garden), which is not included in our escrow, apparently.  Expensive stuff, which has left me with the rest of the month running on $30 and a credit card.  Not clever.  I’m doing the total of how much I would have saved if I didn’t buy all those new toys and would have passed up on the Starbucks visits this month.  It would have been around $320!!!  Turns out that Starbucks is actually a bigger pocket burner than the toys.  Well, thank you Starbucks, it’s been fun, but you’ve been officially cut off.  As for the toys, I’ve decided to only buy toys that are constructive and fuel creativity.  I really should be spending that money on doing more cool things on day outs.  Ugh!

Speaking of which, we recently visited Ocean City, New Jersey.  A very interesting place to people watch, and it’s really good for small children as there are loads of rides and games that cater to the smaller crowd.  There is tons of junk food, and the portion sizes are out of control, but overall the boardwalk is very entertaining.  The beach itself is not terribly crowded and the salt water felt great on my poison ivied up legs.

Does anyone else find this image disturbing?  These are hermit crabs with ‘pimped’ up shells.  You would NEVER see this in another country.  Next you will see advertisements on them.  I mean isn’t this the picture perfect version that screams awesome quality of life??  My overall experience of Ocean City however was a positive one.  Certainly for making happy children, and there are just so many interesting things you’ll only see if you go to the Jersey Shore.

We also had an overnight in NYC that was good fun.  The weather was super last weekend, and was a pleasant warm, not a back and upper lip sweating hot.  So we hit Central Park because we wanted to stay outside and absorb as much vitamin D as possible.  We first hit the Central Park Zoo, which was our first time there.  I’m not a zoo person, and being vegan, it’s beyone hypocritical of me to give such an organization money.  Overall I think based on the general principles of ecology, animals should remain in their natural environments.  However, when you read to your children with exotic animals in the stories, there is a certain drive that when the opportunity arises, you want to show them these animals they read about.  It’s true for me, in making happy children, my morals and principles can be pushed to the side so they can experience interesting things.  Or else I wouldn’t be going to zoos, Starbucks or Target altogether because in the biggest picture, these places are a bit evil and destructive to the world.

Now, for making a happy mom, I get to draw and turn those drawings into design tiles, and then take those tiles and make fabrics with them.  Here are my lastest designs, although I have no fabric samples this blog because I’m too skint to buy any.

These designs can be seen in greater detail and with more information at  Just look in the Gallery section for designs that are not for sale.  I don’t put up many for sale unless they are requested, and then I take them off again.  I don’t know why, I am just one of those odd ball types.

As for my shout outs, this month’s blog is quite eclectic.

Firstly, there is a super lovely blog entry by the a woman named Eros-Alegra Clarke, and her blog is great, but the blog entry that specifically resonates for me as a mother, and probably all the other moms out there, is called ‘Mother Muse: Puddle Jumping.’  Click this link to read it  It’s written so well and describes the trials of motherhood so eloquently.  Everyone should read it.

Secondly, I am helping my sister with her company called Mimi&Luca, which creates great pieces of clothing for children.  Right now she is focusing mainly on t shirts, longsleeves, and hoodies.  She will introduce more to the product line soon.  Her tops are appliqued with a cool images or initial letters in almost any fabric imaginable.  She’s using some of my designs for her appliques, so if you like my cupcakes, campers, racer cars, and roller skates, than check it out because you could customize a top for your son, daughter, or any young person who needs a unique gift.  Check out  The site is not fully finished and more options will be added soon.  Add it as your favorite so you can keep up with the changes.

And lastly, if you liked the Kill Bill movies, then you would surely adore the movie Kick-Ass.  If you do not have the luxury of going to the cinema, then rent it because it’s brilliant.

And that’s what I’ll leave you with.

Take care.