'Tis the Season

To be stressed out!

This time of year is always stressful. I don't care who you are. It's true. But these past few weeks have been nothing short of an emotional roller coaster.

I've talked about my Etsy shop before (Cuppa Stitches, in case you didn't know ;-) ). I was hoping for some sales in my shop this holiday season. I've come a long way since I first opened but I know that my shop is small potatoes compared to so many others out there. Etsy has forums for sellers and buyers. I keep reading about this so called "Christmas rush". No way my little shop will get hit with a rush, but a few sales would be nice.

At least that's what I thought.

The summer was a bit dry as far as sales, but things were starting to pick back up. And then Black Friday came, followed by Cyber Monday (Week? I really don't know what to think of or call these shopping days anymore!). I've lost track of how many bearded beanie hats I've made in the past two weeks. I know that number is in the double digits. If you want me to go in and count, it might send me into panic mode. I have more than one open order which has never happened since these past two weeks and I'm freaking out a bit. I'm right on track for making and shipping things out on time but knowing what I need to make and how many things is another story. If I don't make my list of what to make and by when, I start panicking, just like some do on that first drop of the roller coaster.

I ended last year with 7 total sales in my shop and as of yesterday, I hit the ever impressive 100. At least to me. I'm so proud of how far I've come and all I've done, but I can't celebrate until the last open order I have is complete. Or at least down to one.

A few other things have happened lately that have only added to that emotional roller coaster, but you'll have to wait until another day for me to share. I promise I'll share before week's end. I flew off the handle and only just calmed back down. If I bring those emotions back to the surface, I'll never get these orders done correctly.





Until next time...

Learn. Develop. Succeed! with Jump Start Sports Youth Programs

It's the end of August and summer is winding down! NOW is the time to get those kids registered for their favorite Fall sport!. Over the summer my son participated in the Jump Start Sports Deck hockey program. He loved it so much that we are signing him up to play again this Fall. Not only did he love it, but he learned so much. During practices he took what he learned and put those skills to the test. He has also used some of those skills when playing sports at home with his friends.





From Jump Start Sports:

Jump Start Sports provides children with a foundation for growth and nurture their love of sports.  Through sports we teach character and life skills that lead to happiness and success.

Our recreational based camps, leagues, and programs teach fundamentals and values to children of all ages. Our programs are fun and well organized.

You can read more about their awesome programs HERE!


Unique sports camps for children ages 4 – 12. Jump Start Sports Camps are fun-oriented and highly instructional for the novice while more advanced players will learn more advanced concepts and will be coached at their ability and level of understanding. The relaxed and nurturing atmosphere enables children to learn, grow, make friends, and have a meaningful summer experience. Sports offered include baseball, basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, volleyball and more! These sports vary by area. Learn. Develop. Succeed! 


Preschool Sports Programs


Children ages 3 – 6 have a blast learning the fundamentals of sports from trained staff coaches (NOT coached by parents of participants). Players are put on teams and play games so that the children learn teamwork, game concepts, and sportsmanship. The first half of the classes focus on skill development using terminology and fun drills designed to teach these concepts to such young children. Programs offered include Hummingbirds Soccer, T-Birds T-Ball, Rookie League Coach Pitch Baseball, Little Hoop Stars Basketball, Mini-Mites Flag Football, and Deck Hockey. These programs provide a special experience for the whole family while children gain an appreciation of sports, specific knowledge and skill, an appreciation of team, and a boost in confidence. 

Youth Sports Programs

Children of all experience and skill levels improve fundamentals and learn about new sports in these fun oriented programs led by trained staff coaches (NOT coached by parents of participants). Players meet one day a week and are taught skills and fundamentals they will need to succeed in more competitive programs. Then they practice what they have learned in games that teach game concepts, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Sports offered include Introductory Lacrosse, Flag Football, Fall Baseball, Hoop Stars Basketball, Deck Hockey, Beginner/Intermediate Tennis, and Introductory Volleyball.   

Pittsburgh Area Locations:
Brentwood
Greensburg
Hempfield
Monroeville
Moon
Ohio Township
Penn Hills


Find out more at www.jumpstartsports.com or email us at info@jumpstartsports.com 
Follow them on Twitter @JSSPittsburgh and Facebook - Jump Start Sports Pittsburgh

Jump Start Sports offers currently offers programs in PA, OH, MI and NC.

If you decide to sign your child(ren) up for one of their programs, let them know you heard about the program right here on my blog.

Until next time...

The Countdown is On!

Dear mom at the playground,

It was nice speaking to you while our sons were at practice. We haven't spoken since the end of last school year and I'm not sure I would consider us friends as we don't know much about one another, but adult conversations are always welcome. What wasn't nice was your judging of my emotions. You didn't have to say anything, and you didn't, but your look was enough.

You see, I've known for quite some time when the first day of school is. And I'm excited. Your judge-y look made it seem like I don't care about my kids. Just so you know, it's quite the opposite. I love spending summer break with my kids. We had so much fun going to parks and zoos. Playing a round of mini-golf at a newly opened center was fantastic and finding a new place for smoothies and coffee was the piece de resistance.

But it's time for a change.

As much as we all love sleeping in until the crack of noon, especially my almost-teenage daughter (wtf?!?), the morning routines of the school year need to make a return. Our fun, care-free schedule is getting a tad old. And the kids are really starting to miss some of their friends. Even though they would never admit it, I think my kids might also like school as well.

Oh, and I'd like to clean my house and have it stay clean for more than 15 minutes.

So mom at the playground, while you might be dreading that first day, I am counting down. Don't worry, I won't post any pictures of me celebrating on Facebook. Not only do I not like being in pictures, but no one needs to see my bed head and pajamas. Instead I'll enjoy another cup of coffee with my radio turned up because I won't have to worry about disturbing any one's slumber.

Until next time...

He Shoots, He Scores!

Well, maybe not, but he sure tried.


For the past two months, Mike has been playing hockey through Jump Start Sports. He had been nugging us to play a sport, but we missed soccer sign-ups and he has never really had an interest in baseball. When a paper for Jump Start Sports came home with him at the end of the school year, I knew we had to sign him up for dek hockey. He was so excited to not only play a sport, but to play hockey. After last season watching the Pittsburgh Penguins play, he has turned into my hockey buddy.

The purpose of this specific dek hockey program through Jump Start Sports is to teach kids the ins and outs of the game. Each session is one hour, once a week. The first half of each session was spent learning how to hold the stick, the difference between offense and defense, and various drills. Mike's favorite was the Triangle. Three kids stand in a triangle, with a fourth in the center. The child in the center needs to get the ball from one of the three others. If the child in the middle is successful, he switches places with the child he took the ball from.

At first I didn't think much of this drill other than the kids were learning how to pass the ball, but after watching the World Cup finals with Mike, I realized how valuable this drill is. Many times through the soccer game, Mike pointed out certain players that were standing in a triangle formation. Not only was he having fun learning hockey, but he was really learning stuff!



The second half of each session, the group of kids was split into two teams and they would play a game. Just sticking to the basics, they had offense, defense and a goalie.


I was very impressed that the kids stayed where they were supposed to on the dek and put into practice some of the techniques they had been learning. I believe this says a lot about the coaches. Mike's coaches were not only knowledgeable, but they were fun. They kept the kids on task and at times, they even joined in on the games.


After a few sessions, Mike started asking about joining a league. He would come home after each practice a sweaty, tired mess. I knew he loved participating in this program, but like most parents, I wasn't ready for that yet. The last thing we want to do is drop a bunch of money on a sport only for him to lose interest after one season. He may not, but we're not ready top take that chance. Through Jump Start Sports, not only can he learn and master the basic skills, but as parents, it's a an affordable way for us to gauge his true interest.

Jump Start Sports currently offers various sports programs and camps in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina and they are continuing to grow. If you have a child interested in trying out a sport and Jump Start Sports is in your area, I highly recommend checking them out.

Until next time...

Rallying the Ducks

We've been talking about it for quite some time, but our ducks just wouldn't stay in a row. Just like life, things happened, forcing us to rally those ducks and force them into place. Once the ducks were in place, we finally did it.

WE MOVED!!!

We absolutely LOVE our new house! Everything in the house has been renovated or replaced within the past two years but the house itself was built in 1935. I would love to try and find out if there's any interesting history behind the place.

Unfortunately we don't have a garage or driveway. It looks like it's now or never as far as me perfecting parallel parking. I know we won't complain about the lack of a driveway in the Winter when it's one less thing to shovel snow from, but there are so many more pros than cons to this house.

I have a kitchen I can move around in. 


A double sink. Go ahead... be jealous :-)




A place for a proper kitchen table. 

  



Everyone has their own rooms. Our basement is beyond huge. The husband has not one, but TWO workrooms. There's a place to store our seasonal and yard stuff. And there's a room that will eventually become a game room. Between both kids having their own rooms and the game room, it means that the living room is toy free.

TOY FREE!!!!!

It's quite liberating. At least for me.

I feel so grown up.

There's also an extra room next to our bedroom which is slowly becoming my office. Hopefully this is what I need to help my Cuppa Stitches Etsy shop go to the next level.



A huge perk to the house is it being on a dead end street with plenty of kids to play with. Everyone can ride bikes without having to worry about traffic, except for a neighbor here and there who is coming or going. We also have an insanely big back yard.

All the way up to the trees is ours!
There's also room to play on the side and front of the house. 


Our boy is quite excited about that. I love that both kids, but especially the boy, now have the room kids need to run around and properly play. The downfall to all of this room outside to play? The ridiculous amount of band-aids I'm realizing I will need for the summer.

In the past week alone, the boy has smacked his face off the porch railing, nearly breaking his nose, fallen off his bike and has gotten so many bumps and bruises on his legs I fear people will start to think we abuse him.

Awesome porch that almost broke my son's face.
I could sit out there for hours on end listening to the peace and quite.
Total opposite of where we used to live.


Every summer I say it will be a miracle if we don't need to go to the emergency room for stitches or a broken bone. The way things are going so far, it will definitely be a miracle if we make it through the summer alive. But finally being in a place where our kids can play outside more than inside is worth the risk.


I really have nowhere in this post to add this picture but I can't not share it. This little shelf sits in the hallway by the kids' rooms. It almost makes me want to get a landline, but the fountain works just as well.




Because this was a sudden and unexpected move, the entire process was so very stressful. Packing was a nightmare and quite frankly, after being here a month, there are still things we can't find! But now that we're all settled I think this house was fate or whatever you want to call it. Having more room and being in a neighborhood where kids can play is something I have wanted for years.

And we're finally on a street where the ice cream truck comes to. The kids are happy. Our wallets? Not so much. Again, it's worth it!

Until next time...