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October 2010


Yesterday I pretended to need to run errands in Lafayette.

Ending the trip with a stop at the airport.

"Why do you need to see the airport?" asked my biggest girl.

"Just because, I think it's smaller than New Orleans..... maybe it would be nicer to fly out of Lafayette instead." I fibbed.

"Or maybe we could give him a ride." I say, pointing to my dad.

At which point, my littlest yells, "mom, that's my papa over there!"

Imagine an entire car of screaming whoops and hollering.


{a big thanks to Grammy for helping us turn Papa's business trip into a side trip visit to Louisiana!}  



Tonight as I watched them walk down the sidewalk together, I was feeling very grateful for a surprise visit with papa. Of course, the littlest asked him "next time, can you please bring Grammy too."

So Grammy, next time Papa can stay home to work, and maybe we can pull off a Grammy surprise ;)


just busy.....

Is anyone else racing to finish last minute Halloween prep??

I've got just four bones left to sew (hand sew- yikes!) onto a little skeleton costume....

the hippie costume is complete....

the big kids have needed little help this year....

I'll be sharing costumes with you all soon!

For now.... I just had to share this sweet picture of my boy....

and I'd better get back to work...

I've got a surprise up my sleeve for the kiddos....

see you soon....




And the Winners are.....

For the Pay it forward Giveaway:

Fay Lynn of Marvels of Knitting


For a $50 gift certificate to the Gypsy Forest Shop:

Nicola of WhichName


For the Spindrift Quilt:

Kendra of By Hand at Home


I used one of those random number generators to "pick" winners. I must say when I looked at #36 on the list to see who one the quilt, my heart jumped a bit to see it was Kendra, who is expecting her second baby! How perfect is that!


Thanks for playing along everyone, it was great fun. And all you winners, please send me your addresses so I can get your goodies out to you!


the secret to napping

I have recently discovered the secret to getting a 4 year old boy to nap.

Tell him it is time to clean up his room.

Lately in the before dinner clean ups, I have often come to check on my boy (who is supposed to tidying his room) and find him sound asleep in his bed. Who can resist a pile of handmade quilts and the afternoon sun? I suppose he's growing, and all the outside time with cooler weather is just tuckering him out. 

Usually while he's asleep I tidy up his room..... he's sure a fairy or a helpful troll did it for him. I enjoy a very peaceful dinner making time and he's well rested to enjoy it. 

Sometimes, parenting is about inventing your own rules. Even if they seem crazy to anyone else.



Enjoy your weekend!

{giveaway winner will be announced tomorrow!!}


well, it's not broken

After a bad fall from the swing last night, I had one limping child.

Then a few minutes later a 4 year old emerged from the bathroom with eyelashes missing from one eye. Freshly trimmed. Remember those eyelashes? Let us not consider the possible injuries he could have inflicted upon his eyeball! I know, they'll grow back, but it is rather funny looking. This is actually fairly normal "the mama is making dinner" chaos at our house. Maybe a notch or two above with the daddy away.

The one legged child, one eyelashed child and cat all were happy to fill daddy's empty spot in bed. I think they may have slept well. By this morning we decided to have an x-ray done on the swollen foot.

Badly bruised and sprained never sounded so good. She should be back to her tree climbing high swinging self in a few days.

Thank goodness kids are so resilient to injuries.....

And for now, I am going to sit right next to her.... with a (second) cup of coffee and some knitting.....

I see a lot of coffee and chocolate in my life in the next few days. Oh yes, and wine too.




{ps - don't forget to enter the giveaway!)


and he's off

35,000 frequent flyer miles

$147 dollars

a man and his one piece of carry on luggage




10 days of guitar playing fun in Sitka with his buddy. Yeah, I'm jealous. But that had working man hasn't had a break in quite sometime.... so, I suppose he's earned it. And truthfully, the whole thing was my idea.

"Really honey, you need to go see your friend!"

And besides, that means I've got over a week of late night crafting ahead of me.... 

hope the kids don't mind oatmeal for dinner!


Monday Bites ~ Homemade Clean


I must admit, I find something extra fulfilling about making my own cleaners. The fact that most of what I put in them is found in the food aisle at the grocery store and that I get to skip the awful smelling cleaner aisle all together give me a little bit of domestic goddess bliss. Can a superhero(ess) wear a vintage apron and fight grime with her handmade anti-grime devices? I think so. 

I'm ever so happy to share my top secret grime fighting recipes with you!        (supplies list from last week)


Glass Cleaner:

1 spray bottle

Club Soda

2-3 drops of essential oil (optional)


~Pour the club soda in the spray bottle. Add essential oil. Clean with a cotton rag. That's it! And it cleans better than any glass cleaner I've ever used! It works good for stove tops too.


All Purpose Spray:

Spray Bottle



Dish Soap

Essential Oil


~For a 32 ounce spray bottle, fill your bottle half way with vinegar, add 1/2 tsp dish soap, top off with water, leaving a bit of room for essential oils. I like to add about 10 drops to this size spray bottle. For a bathroom spray I like to add tea tree oil for it's antibacterial properties. Eucalyptus & mint are also nice for the bathroom. For kitchen spray I like lavender, citrus and pine. For dish soap, I really like Dr Bronner's!


Scrubbing paste & Toilet Scrub:

Jar or repurposed Dish Soap Bottle

Baking Soda

Dish Soap

Essential Oils (6-10 drops)


I put this in a repurposed dish soap bottle. This way I can squirt it right into the toilet for cleaning, or onto the shower wall. The only downfall is that the baking soda settles, so it's a good idea to shake it up every couple of days. You can also keep it in a wide mouth glass jar if you want to be able to dip your rag into the paste to clean. This works awesome for toilet cleaning and any jobs that need a little grit to scrub them up. Rinse well with clean water after scrubbing to avoid any cloudiness from the baking soda. Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a mixing bowl. Slowly add dish soap and stir until you have a frosting consistency paste. Add essential oils. I love peppermint for this one! To get this into a dish bottle, you may have to thin it a bit more so it will go through a funnel.


Floor Cleaner:

A repurposed Dish Soap Bottle

2 parts water

1 part vinegar

1/2 tsp dish soap

6-10 drops of essential oil


Pour all ingredients into a repurposed dish soap bottle. Shake before use. I use a hot bucket (or sink) full of water to rinse my mop and squirt this cleaner right onto the floor for mopping. It leaves no film and makes the floor so clean! I love it. I've read you can use a little baking soda sprinkled onto the floor for extra dirty spots. 


Mildew Spray:

Small spray Bottle



Tea Tree Oil


This stuff is potent! It's great for bathroom walls and we've also sprayed it on camping gear. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with 1 cup of water. Add 1 tsp Tea Tree Oil. Shake to mix. Spray and wipe with a rag. For extra stubborn spots, spray and let soak a bit (15 minutes or so), then spray a second time and wipe clean.


Drain Cleaner:

Baking Soda


Boiling Water


This has been a life saver at this house! Living in a warm climate means the pipes are the perfect temperature to grow gunk nearly year round. A weekly application of this combo keeps the water draining properly. Pour 1/4 cup baking soda directly in the drain. Add 1/4 cup of vinegar. Let sit for ten minutes and rinse with a tea kettle full of boiling water. 

*One thing I rarely use is borax. Some folks like borax, some don't. You'll see it on some natural cleaning lists. In our home, if the flu bug hits and I really need to disinfect, I make up a small amount of all purpose spray specifically for mama cleaning, keeping it out of reach for my littles. I can scrub the bathroom and dilute it to do the floors. If you choose to add it, 1-2 tsp per 32 ounce bottle should be good. Dissolving it in some hot water helps to mix it in better.*


So there you have it! The basics to clean your whole house. All safe enough for the kids to help with the house cleaning. Though my own far prefer the making of the cleaners than the cleaning with them! Ahem. Now we can fight grime together, there's power in numbers after all. And if your loving this domestic talk you should really pop over to Rachel's place and read about saving the world with carrots.... really!

Enjoy friends!

~~p.s. for future reference, this will be added to the tutorial section, right here.~~


The {EPIC} Giveaway

I know, I said I'd be back on Saturday to tell you all about this crazy giveaway.... but you see, Saturday morning had us unexpectedly chick sitting (fluffy wee babies, so cute!) and then hosting a spur of the moment dinner with friends..... good food and good company and some first tastes of our homebrewed wine..... delicious! So much fun had by the whole lot of us!

So, in the midst of all that I sort of forgot about visiting you all here, I know you understand ;)

On to the giveaway(s)!!








Last month I won a pay it forward giveaway on the Knitty Gritty Homestead. I received a fabulously decorated par avion package from Canada filled with some lovely, lovely goodies. My favorite was the adorable little hand embroidered mushroom cottage. Such talent! (Thank you again Stephanie!) The pay it forward giveaway works like this, you can only enter if you are willing to host a giveaway of sorts on your own blog. 

Up for grabs is a Terra bag filled with some of my favorite bits of fabric. I'll customize it a bit depending on who wins :) And who knows what else might be in that bag.... some yarn? Some vintage goodness? One never knows..... you will get to choose the bag from my shop, which will have the updated Terra bags with pockets and key loops added. {they'll be in the shop later this week}




But that's not all...... 

I am also offering a $50 gift certificate to my shop.


A spindrift quilt! You can choose one of these two lovelies. (vintage cowboy or prairie horses)

There are several ways to enter.....

1. Leave a comment below.

2. Join the facebook fan page. 

3. Subscribe to Gypsy Forest in Feedburner.

4. Follow Gypsy Forest on Typepad.

You get one entry for each of the above..... so leave a comment and let me know which things you did to enter. Extra good vibes for sharing the giveaway with your pals ;)

I'm leaving this giveaway open until Saturday, October 23rd. Comments will close at 8 am and I will announce a winner sometime Saturday afternoon! If you have a prize preference, leave that in your comments and please, only enter for the Terra bag of goodies if you will host a pay it forward giveaway, after all that's what makes it so fun! {The last two prizes are just for fun and not part of the pay it forward giveaway.}

Good Luck everyone!


10/23/2010 ~~ comments are closed! I'll be back Saturday afternoon/evening to announce a winner!


{this moment} the record collecting begins

inspired by Amanda




It's been a busy week here and days just got away from me! I hope you can all swing in tomorrow for the announcement of a crazy big giveaway from my shop! And some other goodies too.

See you then!