Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Vintage (Almost) Toddler and an Update

 Oh, hey, Amanda here.  It's been so long since I've blogged and that's because we're keeping busy with Etsy business and birthday planning!   I can hardly believe that Aurora is going to be one year old on February 11th.

Weight update (Week 11 on Weight Watchers):  I'm still down 12 pounds. I keep fluctuating--snowy weather is not conducive to exercise, but it's extremely conducive to comfort food.  The heat is on, since I turn 29 on February 15th.  I am hardcore On Plan (Weight Watchers) the next two weeks, and will keep you updated here on the blog.  You can also see some of my recent outfit posts on the Miskabelle blog, since it was one of my 2011 goals to get dressed and feel like a hot mama at least a few times a week. I'm feeling good, but I want to feel great.  It's time.  I deserve it.

I'm not sure I'll be able to think of Aurora as a toddler until she's really walking and talking up a storm (though she's saying a lot these days:  hey, hi, mama, dadda, UP!, nana (banana), uh oh, malyn and mmmMA (Madelyn and Emma, her big sisters), and THIS), but all of those baby books consider the second year of life the beginning of toddler-dom.  She's definitely toddling around, but not walking yet.  Just a cruiser. She also tried to sing sometimes, which is the cutest thing ever--unless you count her dancing, which is equally cute.

Yesterday was a vintage outfit day for my babe, so I wanted to share it with you all.  This is one of my favorite vintage dress finds in a while, a C.I. Castro layer dress.  Aurora was the height of cuteness (even if she wouldn't let me get a really clear shot). She pushed the sewing chair all the way along the wall.

 And I'll leave you with another favorite recent shot of Aurora and Daddy--she was stroking his hair while she had her evening bottle.  It was the sweetest thing ever.

I could not love these two more if I tried.  I feel like the luckiest gal in the world.

Thanks for reading--and I promise to write more soon!  (Have you entered our Six Little Hands giveaway?  Today is the last day to enter...a brand new giveaway coming your way on Tuesday!)


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adventures in Non-Thrifting

Our plan today was to go thrift store shopping: wake up, get dressed, travel to a cute little nearby town, get coffee at the local coffee shop, pop Lyla in her stroller and shop for some vintage goodies.  The reality of today:  we woke up to snow, didn’t get out the door till close to 3:00 and decided to forgo our thrifting in favor of a trip to the [nosogreat] mall down the street from our house (oh, and Andrew ventured out for Starbucks while I fed Lyla—as new parents we are CERTAINLY not skipping the coffee).  Lyla had a mini-meltdown while we shopped and I must admit, Andrew and I were pretty flustered.  We were literally sweating bullets.  Ack.
SO.  My planned blog post was “Baby’s First Thrift Store Trip”….and since that didn’t happen, I want to share some finds of a SUCCESSFUL thrift store shopping momma- my lovely sis. 
I love getting little packages from Amanda in the mail!  Usually they are for business purposes (if we sell multiple items to one customer and part of the order is at her house and part is at mine) but she always slips in a little surprise for me and/or Lyla and a sweet little note.  {I heart my sister.}

Amanda in her vintage Navajo print sweater

Amanda owns a vintage sweater similar to this one she sent me last week—a bell sleeved, Navajo print cardigan.  She gets a ton of wear out of hers (the perfect add-on to spruce up a boring outfit!) so she was excited to find one for me.

In these photos: vintage sweater, Silpada necklace, thrifted lace blouse, vintage belt, American Apparel skirt, Minnetonka boots

As I mentioned in my last outfit post, Lyla is still growing in to her ‘vintage collection’.  The little tshirt dress she’s wearing here is thrifted, but not vintage.  (Lyla’s little rose hair clip is from My Cakies!)

 Part of her ‘collection’ includes THE cutest vintage baby minnetonkas—also thrifted/gifted from her Auntie Amanda!  Can’t wait till we can wear our matching shoes (though I’m not totally down with mommy-daughter matching….I’ll steer clear of the hand-sewn floral dresses with doily collars).  Maybe by the time she fits into these shoes, we’ll be able to do some thrifting of our own—sans meltdowns (but still with coffee).

Hope you're having a great weekend!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Vintage Baby

As I mentioned in my last post, I really love getting Lyla dressed each morning.  Perhaps because my own daily wardrobe consists merely of jeans and boring, comfy tops (I can't remember the last time I bought something for only purchase during pregnancy were some long sleeve, super long tees).  On the other hand, Lyla has tons of soft little onesies and cardigans in cute prints and colors that I love to mix and match (all of which were either gifts or hand-me-downs....I am a lucky momma!).  But she's still so tiny that a lot of her clothes are too big....including her assortment of vintage baby sweaters that I've collected for her.  Today I decided to go ahead and try a little vintage dress--one that belonged to either me or Amanda when we were little (ah yes, we are THAT old that our baby clothes can be classified as "vintage").  She was kind of swimming in it....but I couldn't resist leaving it on for her first vintage photo shoot!  **She is thisclose to cracking a full-on smile!!  I can't wait. : )

Hope you enjoyed the baby eye candy!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First "Night Out" Sans Baby

It has been a month since little Lyla has come into our lives and forever changed them.  A month of camping out on the couch with snacks, the TV remote, my blackberry, and of course--a baby in my lap.  
This past Saturday Andrew and I took the plunge and had our first trip into the real world withOUT baby in tow.  The night consisted of leaving Lyla with Andrew's mom for an hour or two to have dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants (Kelly's Steak and Seafood).

Sooooo...being this is a 'vintage fashion blog' I figured we needed to start sharing a little more about our personal style.  Cue the weekly outfit posts!  I'm still kind of slowly getting back to my pre-pregnancy style--I have missed wearing jeans SO much, so they are definitely my go-to piece, now that they fit again!  Boring, I know.

In these photos:  vintage 3/4 sleeve coat (for sale at Miskbelle), vintage dolman sleeve beaded sweater, jeans by Tyler Skye,  boots from Aldo, vintage geometric leather clutch  *I'm really workin' that signature 'head tilt' huh?

Lyla was NOT feeling the camera--but I wanted to get a few snaps of me and my girl.  I love getting her dressed everyday (though her wardrobe right now is limited since she's super tiny....she has SO many cute things that I'm dying for her to wear once she grows into them).

Stay tuned for more outfit posts--from both me AND Miss Lyla (and Manda and Aurora too!).... I promise my new-mama style will evolve beyond denim.


P.S.  The evening was a success!  Dinner was delicious and relaxing (I even had a glass of wine AND dessert!) and Lyla was a good little babe for her grandma.  Of course. : )

Monday, January 24, 2011

CLOSED: First GIVEAWAY of the New Year: Six Little Hands

We're excited to be back with some amazing handmade giveaways for our readers in 2011.  We're even more excited that our first giveaway is from Six Little Hands, an all natural body products shop.

Meet Melanie of Six Little Hands

--What does your life outside of Etsy/blogging look like?
I am a wife to an amazing husband and mommy to three beautiful girls.  My husband and I have been married for 13 years, and our girls are 7 years, 5 years, & 9 months old.  I had a life in molecular biology research for years before having children, but I enjoy being with them so much that I no longer work outside of the home.  I stay home with the girls and home school our two older girls.  We have so much fun getting to travel around and play in Southern California!

--Describe yourself (or ask someone else to do it!) in three words.
Intuitive, introverted, compassionate (my husband’s words)

--Winter piece you can’t live without:
My jeans (any of them)

--Most recent fashion-related purchase:
This cute, lace dress that I love to wear over my jeans

 --Do you craft/make anything else outside of what’s in your shop?
I love to bake.  Cookies are my favorite.
--Any pet peeves?
Mean people (it’s the first thing that comes to mind)

--Bad habits?
Staying up way too late and over-extending myself

--Desert-island food?
Any and all sweets, no question about it!

--Three bands/singers you can’t get enough of:
Ooooh, I love all kinds of music.  To narrow it down, I’ll go with Gatlin Elms, Sarah McLachlan, & Kenny Chesney (random, I know)

--Another blog you follow regularly (link us!):

(and my own blog which I’ve slacked on since trying to get the Etsy shop up and running: 

--What made you decide to start a shop?
I wanted to make all natural soap for our family, and at first, I thought I could just gift and sell the rest.  Then it turned into much more than soaps!

--Significance of your shop name?
I named the shop for my three little girls.  The two older ones love to help me bake, so I knew that they would love creating bath and body items (they love using them, too)!

--Favorite item in your shop right now:

That’s hard, but I’ll go with the Pure Luxury Milk Bath Salts.

Melanie is giving away a generous prize pack 
to one lucky reader!

 The Six Little Hands Giveaway Pack includes:
-Jenny's Organic Lavender sugar scrub
-Hana's Lavender Natural Castile Soap Bubble Bath
-Baby Cheeks Organic Body Butter
-Ella's Oatmeal Shea Butter Soap
-Morning Mimosa Organic Lip Balm

The items are safe for children, too.

Here's How To Enter (Multiple Chances to Win!)

Mandatory Entry 
1. Follow our blog! Once you become a follower, just leave a comment below, telling what your favorite item from Six Little Hands is.  If you’re already following the blog and our twitter—simply leave a comment, telling us what your favorite item from Six Little Hands is!

Additional Entries
2. Follow Miskabelly (@miskabelly) on twitter…and again, just a quick comment to let us know you did (with your twitter user name) and share what your favorite item from
Six Little Hands is.
3. Once we tweet about the giveaway, you can re-tweet to gain an extra entry!
4. HEART  Miskabelly on Etsy (leave us a comment to let us know!)
5.  HEART Six Little Hands on Etsy (leave us a comment again!)

 This contest will run until next Monday, January 31st.  The winner will be chosen through a random number generator. 

Good Luck!!
Manda &Jayme


Friday, January 21, 2011

Sweetest Angel

Andrew & favorite photo (so far) of my loves...

The first few nights after we brought home Lyla from the hospital I kept finding this Jonatha Brooke song, "Sweetest Angel" stuck in my head....probably because I kept calling her (and still do) "my little angel."  I finally decided to download it (while I LOVE Jonatha, I wasn't a huge fan of this album, 'The Works,' so I didn't own any songs from it) and the words really do sound like a lullaby to baby.  So sweet.  Kinda makes me teary-eyed every time I listen to it now.  [Ah, postpartum hormones!]

Every night about eight o'clock

I wind the stem of my little clock
And when I look in the crystal glass
I see a lot of faces pass
Of those I knew
And those I know
And you now coming
And you to go

Here's a word I'd like to whisper

And I'd like to have you listen

All this world is made of love

You are fresh from heaven above
You're the sweetest angel in this world
You're the sweetest angel 

When I hold you by your hand

I'm in my happy promised land
When I kiss you in the dark
I'm just happy as a lark
So let me come as close as I can
And lay me down beside you

Here's a word I'd like to whisper

And I'd like to have you listen

All this world is made of love

You are fresh from heaven above
You're the sweetest angel in this world
You're the sweetest angel 

So let me come as close as I can

Let me bring my scattered pages
Let me lay down here beside you
Tonight, and I will whisper

All this world is made of love

You are fresh from heaven above
You're the sweetest angel in this world
You're the sweetest angel 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!  I'll be spending mine with this little angel and couldn't be more happy about it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One month.

This morning I woke up to a bright eyed 4 week old baby girl.  Legs kicking, arms stretching above her head and even a little smile for daddy.

Not gonna lie….being a mom is HARD.  In the overall span of my pregnancy, labor and delivery and then the past month taking care of a baby, some things have been much harder than I thought.  Then again, some things have been much easier than I thought.

I got off to a rough start with awful morning sickness that I feared would last forever.  But once it went away, it was smooth sailing. 

Ok, so I did have some medical assistance (ie—an epidural) that helped with the “ease” of labor and delivery.  I was scared that this would help with the pain of contractions but that I would still feel the often talked about “ring of fire” when the baby exited….but nope.  Just some pressure.  And an intense ab workout.  It really was kind of a relaxing day for us.

Why is it that everybody talks about the pain of delivery but never speaks a word of the pain that comes afterwards??  I dreaded going pee.  And my muscles ached for days.  Ouch.

Honestly, breastfeeding is the most challenging thing I have ever done.  It’s painful and time consuming.  There’s a certain amount of anxiety, knowing that no matter how tired or sore you are, if your baby needs to eat, it’s your responsibility to feed her.  There’s also a sense of pride, knowing you’re the only one that can give her what she needs. My one word of advice to new moms is—use your own judgment.  Hold the baby how YOU feel comfortable, nurse her when she seems hungry, and let her eat till she’s done. (no photo available...haha)

I always pictured laying the baby down in her bassinet (next to our bed) once she fell asleep at night.  Problem is—Lyla will immediately wake herself once she’s out of our arms.  And the few times we managed to lay her down without waking her, I couldn’t stop checking on her every other minute to make sure she was still breathing.  So we’ve resorted to what I never thought I’d do—co-sleeping.  The fear I thought I’d have of accidently rolling over onto her if she were in bed with us seems so silly now.  I love having her next to me (and admittedly I sleep close enough that I can hear her breathing…which makes things a ton more relaxing for me).   Our goal is to eventually transition her into the bassinet….we will see.

I still have so much to learn and get used to  but I am pretty proud of how our new little family has settled into a somewhat routine in the past month. 
Yes it is hard.  But I can’t wait to see what this little lady has in store for us in the months to come.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Cute Kids in Miskabelly!

Just noticed we received two adorable Appreciation Photos, which I couldn't not share. 

This cardigan was a "santa outfit" (but too bad it didn't help with the fear of the old bearded man):

And this dress was able to make an AMAZING Halloween costume!

Have a picture of your cutie in some Miskabelly duds?  We'd love to see them!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mama Goals for 2011

I do make resolutions for each new year, but I prefer to call them goals.  "Goals" sounds more attainable.  Smaller.  "Resolutions" are things like "stop smoking" and "lose 50 pounds." Way daunting, right?

This is my first brand new year as a mom (to an almost 1 year old!).  I took some time to look back at the past year, at myself as a wife, a mom, a business owner, a teacher, a woman, and set some goals to make this year better than the last. Here are ten little goals I have for myself.

I've been on Weight Watchers for 10 weeks now and so far, I've lost 10.6 pounds (holidays were a beast, but otherwise, it's been really great).  This pregnancy weight wasn't losing itself.  My biggest issue is mindless eating, especially working from home, so since WW values journaling, it's really the perfect plan for me. (I look forward to sharing progress and some healthy, family-friendly recipes on the blog this year!)

1.  Keep track of what I eat.  (WW Online Journal)
2. Drink more water. (I got a new water bottle for Christmas, with a straw!)
3. Move more.  (We got a Playstation Move AND Dance Dance Revolution for PS3 this Christmas, to keep me busy when it's too cold to walk/jog with Aurora and in the spring, Q and I are really started to start biking again with Aurora in tow!)

My Writing Life
I have an MFA in Creative Writing, which can get me occasional composition-teaching jobs, but hasn't gotten me published yet. (Not that I've tried to publish in over a year.) I am excited to be going to a conference in DC in February to be inspired by some HUGE writers. I am making my writing life a priority this year.

4.  Find a writing group or partner. (I need accountability! And inspiration.)
5.  Write. Whenever possible. (I'm trying to write a little in the morning during Aurora's first nap, before doing "real" work.)
6.  Submit to literary magazines or contests quarterly.  (I have a list going and some stories on hand that need revision).

Miskabelle and Miskabelly
Business is great, but I get a little overwhelmed sometimes.  It's a lot of work, but not enough to live off, and Jayme and I communicate and ship and blog and post in two different cities on the East coast.  We have some goals to improve the blogs this year, as well as to have more regular and repeat business in our Etsy shops.

6.  Keep a weekly schedule of blogging, posting, shipping. (I have a big white board in my office now.)
7.  Outfit posts on the blog. (I'd like to lose a little more weight, but I had a realization that my closet is really pretty awesome, and I need more excuses to get out of my pj's.)

I love my daughter and husband more than anything, and even though they're last on this list, I really put them first.  We're all so busy that quality time is hard to come by--my main goal this year is to make that time for them (and some time with myself too!)

8.  Read to Aurora daily.  (She's really starting to enjoy books, and I love having special one on one time with her.)
9.  Connect with some moms in real life.  (Working from home can get lonely, and while virtual mom friends are great, I need some face to face time--and play dates!)
10.  Once a month date nights with Q.  (We're looking forward to a show at the end of this month--we both love live music--and time together, just us!)

Phew, that seemed like a long list!  What are your goals for this year?  We'd love to hear them!

Thanks so much for reading...


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: The First Years Happy Hippos Jet Stroller

We are thrilled to be able to partner with for some reviews and giveaways this year.  I was in the market for a comfortable, lightweight stroller (the secondhand one we'd purchased only had a three point harness and Aurora did not seem to like it at all).  I perused the site and there were a lot of options for a lot of different mama lifestyles.

I also wanted a stroller that was reasonably priced (under $50) and lightweight.  So when I happened upon The First Years Happy Hippos Jet Stroller, I knew this was "the one."  It hits all of my needs AND it's adorable!

The stroller is only 11 pounds, even with the double sets of wheels. The brakes are extremely sturdy and easy to use. The seat is extra wide and even tilts back for long rides when your little one falls asleep.  The five point harness is safe and comfortable. The handles are extra long and softly cushioned.  Did I mention how cute the print is?! (It also comes in 5 other color schemes/patterns!)

As far as additional conveniences, I love the organizer on the handles--it has a zipper pocket and plenty of room for snacks and drinks.  My only disappointment with the stroller is the storage under the base.  There is not much room if your baby is sitting upright--only if they're tilted.

Otherwise, we have been using this stroller regularly (even out in the cold with our JJ Cole Bundle Me) and Aurora and I both love it:
 in the parking lot, on her way to do some thrifting with mama

 look at that smile--she loves it!

 the shade really comes in handy with the bright winter sun...

..and the harness is much cozier.

As far as my experience with CSN, I couldn't recommend the site enough.  The shipping was reasonable (and fast), they had a ton of options, a lot of information and comparisons about various strollers, and a TON of great prices on baby stuff.
Want to get your hands on this stroller (or other baby stuff from CSN)?  Stay tuned to the blog...

Amanda (&Aurora)

P.S.  We are open to reviewing any and all baby products for our readers on the blog if we think they would be beneficial--just drop us an email:  miskabelle  (at)  gmail  (dot) com.

  This review is completely my opinion in terms of the product and The First Years has not paid/sponsored me to review the stroller. This stroller was purchased through a CSN promo--the review of the company/site has been compensated.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meet Lyla

Yesterday marked the 3 week birthday for my little Lyla Georgette.  The past 3 weeks have been incredible, joy-filled, surreal, and exhausting.  Andrew and I are truly overflowing with love for this girl.  I'm still working on getting on a "schedule" with her (right now it seems all she wants to do is eat and be held...which means I spend most of the day with a baby on my chest), but I wanted to take a quick minute to share some photos with you of our first 3 weeks with Lyla...

Here she is on her birthy-day!  Bright-eyed baby girl.

Bath time... (check out that curly hair!  It dries kind of spiky so she definitely has some "bad hair days"--but it's so cute!).  

This girl better get used to the camera.... Momma is a bit obsessed with taking photos of her everyday!  I just don't want to miss anything--she changes so much each day.

Momma and Daddy can't get enough of this girl!  I think we've gone cross-eyed from staring at her so much.  She is quite the accomplishment!

Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek at my past 3 weeks!  Aunt Amanda has been holding down fort at the shop (thanks sis!!) and we both hope to get back to regular blogging in the next couple of weeks and continue to bring you adorable vintage baby clothes.... hope you'll continue to follow us!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New (Baby) Year!

It's Amanda here, and it's been waaaaaaaaaaaay too long since we updated the blog or the shops, but we're BACK!

You know, we were kind of busy with all this:

 Lyla and her wild-haired mama

 the first time I got to hold my niece!

 Aurora meeting her new cousin/best friend--too cute.

 me (new haircut!), Q, and Aurora on Christmas Eve at my parents'

 home from the hospital, celebrating Christmas!

 her onesie says:  "good things come in small packages"

Just wanted to share a few pics of the newest Miskabelly babe and her beautiful mama, as well as share what's happening in the next few days--here and in the shop.

-Stroller Review and GIVEAWAY courtesy of CSN
-A little confession and new blog post:  I'm on week 8 of Weight Watchers (was keeping it a little secret until it started working. hehe.  But excited to share how it's going, my goals, and some yummy recipes I've been concocting. 10 pounds down, 20 to go.  Yikes!)
--HUGE shop update:  lots of 60s and 70s boy stuff.  Velour tops, flared pants and corduroys, vintage superhero tees, western shirts.  It's gonna be awesome!
--Upcoming SALE....stay tuned (follow our Twitter to find out the code!)

We've missed you!  Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, productive, beautiful 2011!  We can't wait to share it with all of you.

Amanda  (&Jayme, if she had time to blog with a newborn)