Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Resolutions

OK, so the experts say to set realistic goals for a New Years Resolution. They also say don't forget you have the whole year to accomplish said goal... that was a little too much leeway for me. So my New Years Resolutions are immediately attainable, fun and not one of them is about what I'm NOT going to do!

1) Pray More
2) Play More
3) Get a Massage weekly (oh yes, that is a goal of mine)

I hope everyone has a blessed, safe, happy, healthy, prosperous 2009!

What's yours?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Where is "Maddie & ME" going now?

Pack up the kids, the pets and the clothes Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture is expanding on to some new venues!

Maddie & ME is setting up on 1000Markets and Artfire! Both are slated to open January 1, 2009 in conjunction with the revamping of the Maddie & ME on Etsy and Hyena Cart. Please keep your eyes peeled for all the great and wonderful changes that we are undergoing.

Oh, and a side note... Mommy's Little Helper was just featured on the Front Page of etsy! Love that Cleopatra's Milk Bath!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Maddie & ME to under go some changes

Regardless of the impending government regulations that could restrict my ability to make and sell children's clothing I am going to go ahead with the planned changes for Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture.

I started Maddie & ME locally and off line in August of 2007. Sales were good and people seemed to like my one of a kind way of doing things here in the area. I originally started with the idea of making items for child and mother in coordinating styles and fabrics, hence the name Maddie & ME. Then I realized that was NOT feesable since it would be near impossible to guess what size the mother and what size the daughter might possibly be so although I will still make the sets on custom order request its not something I list and sell regularly. So then I opened the etsy site trying to keep with the idea of one of a kind. Maddie & ME just celebrated our first year on etsy Dec. 10, 2008. Its been a wild and wonderful year and through the process I've learned a lot.

I've decided to clean out my shop and revamp it. The reason for this is because what I seem to come across is almost every item I make I hear "Love it, but can you make it in ___ size?" This means that my one of a kind items, though useful in our small town where shopping is limited is NOT the way to go on etsy. What I plan to do is to offer several (I'm thinking 7) different styles and with those styles fabric selections. Instead of getting small quantities of fabric and making one of a kind items I plan to order larger quantities of fabric and make items to order. The quality and attention to detail will remain the same. The availability for custom sizing will also remain a constant in my shop as will custom orders for the hard to fit child.

I also feel that by making these changes I will be able to devote more time to my family and duties as a mother and wife (in addition to being an employee to my own mother and business owner of two businesses myself). I just feel like I've been spinning my wheels making all these items that everyone seems to want in a different size so I am emptying out my shop of ALL stock items and am selling at 25% off and also willing to take trade from other sellers.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Uh OH! Is the Government Going to Regulate Me Right Out of Business?

I am now more afraid than ever. First I heard of this FDA Globalization Act of 2008 and possibly implementing a large yearly registration fee and mounds of paperwork for all bath and beauty manufacturers. Now the "Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act" looks to regulate me right out of the Children's Clothing business. The following quote is take from the Handmade Toy Alliance

"For small American, Canadian, and European toy makers, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

  • A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
  • A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes dolls to sell at craft fairs must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
  • A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
  • And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys made in the US, Canada, and Europe. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered."

Does the government really need to regulate what we are making right here in America when the problem products were mostly imports from Asia (mostly China)? Is the American government really that interested in putting me and thousands like me out of business only then have to pay welfare or some other government support program in order to supplement the income I am bringing into my household?

So what now? Medical expenses are almost 100% unreasonable, Health Insurance is almost completely unattainable, Prescription Medication is out of reach for many American's, food prices went up as a result of fuel cost increase - except fuel is now less than $1.50 a gal. here so when will they lower the food prices? NOW they are going to impose such expensive testing procedures and regulate all children's toys and clothing! How much will that increase the cost from the manufacturer (even if its not me) so that our children won't have clothes or toys?

And on that subject... are they going to send some sort of government official to confiscate all the toys and clothes that are in my child's possession? You know, the ones that were produced before this law? How will they deal with the resale shops, free-cycle, the toy swaps that so many parents are involved in, what about garage sales - lots of people sell toys, clothes and children's items right out of their own home... HOW DARE THEY BREAK THE LAW? (said with much sarcasm).

All we can do is spread the word, contact our government officials and express our outrage at this absolutely ridiculous waste of government time and money. There just HAS to be a better way to protect our children without implementing such a blanket law that makes absolutely no sense for the small businesses making Handmade, American Made products. Please, all my readers PLEASE take a few minutes and help us out!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Can't Help But to Brag a Bit

I received this message earlier today through Etsy's messaging system and I was so pleased with the thoughtfulness of this lady that I wanted to share. Not every customer takes the time to tell you what they think, especially so long after the purchase. So here is the lovely compliment I received on my We Three Kings Soap and Kaldi's Dance Coffee Soap.

I bought this soap months ago as a gift for my friend. I never even opened the package when it came because I didn't want to be tempted to use it for myself. The other day I finally opened the envelope and I noticed you added some samples. I tried the three kings soap. I've never used handmade soap before. Even though I'm not crazy about the scent, I did like the way the soap made my hands feel. They felt clean and soft at the same time. I just want to let you know that I think you make a great product and I'm sure my friend is going to love the coffee soap!

Lazy Bone Creations"

Monday, December 1, 2008

For the next 4 hours I am offering a super special sale in Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture! Free Shipping on all Stock items and I've just decided if you purchase any dress, set or vest between 11:00am and 3:00 pm est you'll get an additional 10% off (AND FREE SHIPPING).

Check out all the adorable girls holiday outfits at Maddie & ME!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Friday Sale

I am having a sale in both my shops on both Etsy and Hyena Cart starting "Black Friday" and lasting through midnight "Cyber Monday." In both locations Mommy's Little Helper will have BUY 2 GET THE 3RD HALF OFF and Maddie & ME will have FREE SHIPPING FOR STOCK ITEMS.

Please note that Maddie & ME is no longer taking custom orders until after the holidays.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I am now offering Gift Wrapping and Drop Ship Service in both Maddie & ME and Mommy's Little Helper on both etsy and Hyena Cart. Here is a description of what I will do for you, my wonderful customer, to make your holiday's easier even if just by a bit!

I will gift wrap any purchase and ship it to the desired recipient for a small packaging fee. This is a standard service that I offer that I am upgrading for the Holiday Season.

Although I prefer kraft paper with beautiful ribbon I will also offer a small selection of gift wrap (photos of selection to be added). I will be using hand tied wire ribbon bows tied by me (as taught by my mother, and her by her mother) in either red, green, white or light blue as you select. Additionally I will even hand write a gift tag with any small (10 words or less) note for no extra charge.

I will be sure that all prices are removed off of all tags and corresponding paperwork. Attached I've shown pictures of the packaging styles I will use to gift wrap your very special Mommy's Little Helper gift or Maddie & ME dress / set for your very special Princess.

This package will be enclosed in a box or shipping envelope as required for shipping and I can and will even write "Do Not Open Until Christmas (or ____ day of Hanukkah)" on the outside if requested. This is a new offering for me and I'd love to accommodate my customers as much as possible. Please feel free to contact me with any requests and I'll do my best to fulfill them.

** Please note that for each gift wrap / drop ship even if going to the same location a separate listing must be purchased.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I've Been Featured!

Maddie & ME has been featured on the America's Handmade Homefront site. Please take a moment and read the lovely interview that was put together by our wonderful and fearless leader, Emily of EllaBearBowtique. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Feature Seller - dawnberries

This is my first real featured seller. I came across dawnberries on Cafe Mom and am absolutely fascinated with her allergy jewelry. My child does not have food allergies, but 2 of her cousins do and so we are very sensitive to the issue. I decided to do my first interview with Dawn because I really wanted to feature what she makes and help promote the allergy jewelry. So, without further ado here is our interview:

-How did you come up with your shop name?
My name is Dawn Berry, and I thought dawnberries was funny because it sounds like my little fruits.

-What inspires you to create?
I've always made things. Since having my son, it has just changed to things like diapers and allergy jewelry. It's just something I have to do!

-How do you juggle time between family, friends, and running your shop?
I find this pretty tough, actually. My son sits on my lap sometimes while I'm on the computer. He loves to try to figure out how the sewing machine works. And his favorite thing of all is "sorting" my beads.

-Tell us what one of your products we shouldn't be without and why.
Here is my son in the first allergy necklace. We had got some of those stainless steel bracelets for him to wear when we were going to visit family in Africa. We wanted a reminder to them of what they mustn't feed him. Although they were somewhat interested in the bracelet he was wearing (& so made the effort to read it), I wanted something more obvious, nearer his face, and something cuter. Now, he always wears an allergy necklace when we go to a party or play date. He also has a couple of charms attached to his diaper bag with the names and phone numbers of his pediatrician and allergist, as well as all his allergies.

-What is unique/sets you apart from the rest about your products, materials, process?
Most of the other allergy alert items on the market are the old, metal, medical alert id bracelets. And they are geared toward medical personnel. Mine are more for people the child sees everyday. They are reminders for family, friends, and caregivers. And they are cute and stylish and use engraved wooden beads, along with things like natural amber beads (double duty for teething) and sterling silver findings.

-What is your favorite handmade possession?
It's got to be something from my grandma but I'm not sure which thing. I have beaded Xmas ornaments, crocheted-top tea towels, several knitted sweaters and an afghan. I cherish them all!

-Besides on etsy, where can we find your products?
I also have a store on hyenacart at

-What new items should we be on the look out for from your shop?
I have some anodized aluminum dog tags that will be listed very soon. They say "I have food allergies" on one side and can be personalized with the specific allergies on the other side. They come in a variety of colors and can be attached to almost anything. I have also been making leather wrist bands, both engraved and hand tooled, which are about to be listed and feature colorful plastic snaps.

If you want to add anything what so ever that you think would benefit this feature please feel free to do so.
I love to buy hand-made also, and have started some collaborations too. I have used some beautiful one of a kind, hand-made, glass lampwork beads made by The Purple Triangle to make some allergy charms. I am also currently working on a collaboration with another etsian, The Eli Monster, to make some silk-screened fabric badges that say FOOD ALLERGIES.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hand & Body Cream Release

The newest product to be unveiled by Mommy's Little Helper will be released for purchase on Hyena Cart at NOON today, November 10th, 2008! Mommy's Little Helper will also release the same product for purchase on etsy later the same day. Please come to Hyena Cart to get the first available as it is first come first served. Once the first batch is sold out it will be about 5 days before the second release.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My friend, Smokey Mountain Scents is having a featured seller and give away on her blog! Since I'm not currently
giving anything away I thought I'd promote hers.

Go check it out at Smokey Mountain Scents and enter to win!
And since you're on my site looking I thought I'd show you a few
of my favorite items that "Smokey" makes.
Links provided, just click on the pictures!

Hope you've enjoyed this little interlude. Since I haven't anything else worked up to blog about at this time it seemed reasonable to promote her work. After all she IS a friend.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Intensive Therapy, Hardcore Moisture"


I don't need to say too much about how fabulous this new product is; I'll let my product testers tell you in their own words.

ArmyWifeWYO says: The hand cream was great it soaked right into my hands which is great for me, as it is so dry here in Wyoming. After about a hour I didn't have to reapply like I do other lotions which is great! I also like the fact that you didn't have to use very much to rub all over onto my hands! As for anything I don't like? ... nothing, this lotion is great!! And the best lotion I have had in a long time to help my rough dry hands!

TannerCustomCraft says: The healing hand and body lotion felt so good and creamy putting it on and smelled so refreshingly minty. It even reminded me of Doublemint gum!

TulipTreeBaby says: This has a very nice scent and is very moisturizing. My only complaint is that it has a slight greasy feel on my ultra dry finger tips. I am not sure how to accurately describe why this is, I think I would just like it a bit smoother. But it goes on much better after a shower or washing hands. It definitely makes a great night cream. I think I am going to try using the rest of it up by using it more frequently. I think part of my problem is washing my hands too many times during the day and not always putting lotion back on, because I haven't found a lotion yet that ever really heals the deep cracks. Based on that I would say that my review of your lotion is not as accurate as it could be. Other than that, I am really liking the lotion more and more as I use it. The smell is so refreshing and feels good on my upper hands and arms.

SMOX says: The lotion- LOVE it! You may want to let people know that it takes a little while for your skin to soak it all in... took about 5 minutes for me... but once it did... i was amazed. I have extremely dry skin, especially my hands. I often suffer from cracked knuckles and cuticles which is extremely painful, and even more difficult to combat! Within 5 minutes of using Mommy's Little Helper's Healing Hand and Body Cream my hands were supple and soft. I used it a couple times each day for the next couple days and saw marked improvement in my skin, even after washing a whole sink full of dishes! I may never go back to store brand lotion ever again!

GingerlyDressed says: Lovely hand cream! I love the scent, it's not too overpowering, yet lingers in a subtle way. A little greasy when first applied, but you'll notice you don't need to re-apply lots of times throughout the day. The oils settle in to give you a nice soft, moisturized feeling all day. And, even better, when we purchase we are supporting a military family, and a hard-working mother! That is worth the purchase in itself!

EllaBearBowtique says: A little bit of this goes such a long way! I truly love the smell and it keeps my hands super soft and moisturized for so long. Not only is it great on hands that are dried out but feet and heels as well. I started using it on my feet as soon as the weather turned colder and it has worked wonders for me.

Ali of Designs Etcetera says: I have used this for some time now. Sometimes once a day, sometimes twice a day. I like the way it makes my hands feel, smooth and silky. It is a little greasy at first but if you rub it in a bit more it will not be greasy for long. It also leaves a nice shine on my hands. I will definitely continue to use this through the winter.

I was asked by a friend HomemadeZen about it spoiling. Here is our discussion:
"Mommy, nice new item! Just wondering, does the cream spoil easily since it is all natural? Creams in an open jar usually goes bad pretty quickly in my experience (starting to smell funky)."
My response:
"Zen, I've kept my personal stash in an open ramekin for the past month and had no issues as of yet. I don't know how long it might take to spoil, but being left in the bathroom for a month with the steam, etc and it's still just as good as day one."

The container pictured is a 2 oz. and will be sold for $5 plus shipping. Each container will be labeled with the Mommy's Little Helper label as well as the basic product description. All of the hand creams are sealed with an inner seal for your protection as well as shrink wrapped.

Basic Ingredients: Soybean Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Bees Wax, Almond Oil, Spearmint and Lavender Essential Oils.

This product is set for release in my shops on both etsy and Hyena Cart on November 10th. I will take pre-orders (which is helpful to know how much product to make and have ready to ship on the release date). Please contact me at Mommy's Little Helper to place a pre-order.

Please note that these responses have only been edited for grammar and spelling, not content!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Tonight is the night, don't forget to
set your clocks back one hour tonight!

Scrumptious Saturday, revisited!

OK, so I know its been a while since I've done a Scrumptious Saturday Recipe post. Its not that I've stopped cooking, I have even been taking pictures once in a while as I make a meal. I just haven't taken the time to post any in a while. Here is one that is super easy and can be mixed up in so many different ways. Without further ado:

Tortilla Soup with Home Made Tortilla Chips.

Fist you'll need this Bear Creek brand Tortilla Soup mix. They have so many wonderful different soups, I recommend trying a few different ones. This is definitely one of our favorites. I added a can of diced tomatoes with chili's, some plain corn and I made up a batch of taco seasoning meant for ground beef. I added 2 large cans of chicken to that and let it simmer for a bit to soak up the seasoning. So, simply follow the directions on the soup bag which is to boil 8 cups of water and add the soup mix. I add the tomatoes and corn as soon as I add the mix, but let the chicken simmer a bit while the soup thickens up.

To make the handmade tortilla chips the directions are on the soup package (I never said this was an original recipe). Just cut the tortillas into strips and drop them into a pan where you've heated about 1/2" deep of oil. Cook them ( I like to flip them personally) and then drain. I normally use a paper towel but found that we were out of them so I simply put a pie cooling rack on a plate and the oils just dripped down to the plate. I think this was better since it wasn't sitting in its own oil AND I didn't have to waste paper towels.

So once the soup has thickened add the chicken / taco seasoning and stir it well. Serve it with you choice of additions. We used sour cream and lots of shredded cheese, but guacamole is a good choice too. Enjoy!

Friday, October 31, 2008


OK, I'm officially signed up with Twitter. I'm still figuring this out so if anyone has any advice please leave it in the comments. You can find me on Twitter at 1MaddieAndMommy (same as here). And a couple pictures for good measure...

In the sunflowers before the Pumpkin Patch and Halloween Costumes. She was a cowgirl and her best friend was a horse. Totally unplanned too!

And Yet Again!

This time though its Maddie & ME, children's handcrafted couture! It is a lovely interview on Izzy-IT which is a site dedicated to introducing etsy shops. If you leave a comment you will then be in the drawing for a feature of your own! Please check it out and enjoy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

WOW! I've Been Featured Again!

Can you believe it? I have been featured again. This time on Lucky Girl Trading Company - Make Every Day Your Lucky Day!
She has done a fabulous feature on my 2 in 1 loofah and my Cinnamon - Irish Oatmeal Soap.

She has also put my We 3 Kings Plus on her wish list so if any of you are wondering what to get her for a gift, it seems that would be a good choice. Also if you read her feature and the comments you'll find a promo code in there to get a discount in Mommy's Little Helper.

Thanks to all my loyal readers and customers,
"Mommy" of Mommy's Little Helper

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've Been Featured!

I've been featured on
America's Handmade Homefront!

Please take a minute to read the wonderful interview that the host has put together, it looks really nice!
As for the product release, it will be around noon today in both etsy and Hyena Cart. Thanks to all my faithful customers! Today only use Promo Code RD1010 to get 10% off your purchase of Mommy's Little Helper After Shave Tonic.

Duck Tales Inflation Lesson


Please note that all designs sold by Maddie & ME, Children's Handcrafted Couture AND Mommy's Little Helper, Bath & Body for the Soul are the intellectual property of the owner and are subject to all Copyright protections as provided by law.