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A Few of My Favorite Things

When I find something I like, I want others to like it, too --- in part, because I find it worthwhile (both mine and theirs) and in part because I'd like to support its continued existence.

So I was horrified to realize that I hadn't posted about Terra Tots yet, as much as I'm in there. When I went in to take pictures, I was greeted by Alan, the new manager (or "shop dad," which sounds better - and it's accurate. His baby daughter is adorable!) who gave me a friendly and informative tour of their recently rearranged space

I've browsed the apothecary collection of baths and drops and tinctures near the register, but never been further back in the store. Apparently, I've been missing out on a lovely seating area (for bored dads or nursing mums), as well as an awesome classroom space!

TerraFit is their exercise program, which includes classes for mums and non-mobile babies (who either enjoy the ride in an Ergo or other carrier, or act as a weight). They're currently nailing down a time for a yoga class - I'm tempted to take Brooklyn. It would be a fun, healthy adventure, I think. :)

Also, (referring back to the lounge area), they have some spectacular nursing covers. Besides being lovely, this particular one has terrycloth interior corners for cleaning up dribbles, which I found to be a brilliant idea. The cover I have was free, which is great and all, but it's kind of light and rather thin - I may have to upgrade! ;)

They recently started a collaboration with The Mustache's Bentonville location, stocking their kids' corner with cloth diapers and Ergos, as well as other goodies. It's so exciting to see local businesses working together - especially when it's two local businesses that I love! If someone has a specialty that's different than your own, working together is the perfect way to build them up while making sure you're not distracted from what you do best. That way, everyone thrives!

Another collaboration, via the Janey Baby line (designed from Jane Goodall's new book Hope for Animals and their World with delicious Patrick McDonnell illustrations), is with Nightbird Books (they're next on my list to feature!) Both locations are going to carry the books and the clothing line, stocked by each other, and Terra Tots is planning to host a story time during the Little Craft Show (Fayetteville Town Centre, December 7th - be there!) All of the other wonderfulness aside, the outfits are supersoft and made from soy, and how can you not love anything drawn by the creator of the "Mutts" comic strip?

More cute clothes, just in from market: the Zebi baby line. I could go on about high quality sustainable meterials, but you cannot grasp how soft they are without touching them for yourself! Their style is a blend of vintage and modern - I especially loved the femininity of the little girl tops. And the onesies are awesome, as well (but I may have a weakness for onesies...)

Also just in, new Ju Ju Be, including the rainbow-and-unicorn Tokidoki "Unikiki" print. They're only selling them in store, but the limited edition print is irresistibly adorable - a lady in North Carolina had a friend in the Northwest Arkansas area drive in to pick some up for her! They've got Paci Pods (awesome things! I have one, but in a different print) and different kinds of bags - and as of this writing, there were only a few items left.

Their toy collection is spectacular, and one that I visit all-too regularly. Everything is well-made and well-thought-out, a lot of it is "educational" and all of it can be! There are kits for crafting and growing and building, that I can't wait to introduce Brooklyn to later...

...and toys like this one, from Haba, that she can enjoy now. The wooden balls are the perfect size for her little hands, and the bright, food-safe dyes really catch her eye - she'll turn it around and around, trying to find a particular color.

We've found so many amazing baby-related things there: onesies, slippers, hats, an amber teething necklace, toys, books, a soft hairbrush, baby-safe jewelry for me... I'm probably forgetting some things, too! But my favorite part about Terra Tots isn't even the things they sell - it's the sense of community. I feel comfortable taking my sometimes-silly questions to their friendly and knowledgeable staff, knowing that along with whatever answer they provide, there will also be solidarity and encouragement.

[Follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and visit their shop, located on Block Street on the Fayetteville Square!]


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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…