The triple toonie birthday party

The triple toonie birthday party: How a party for three birthday girls -- with NO presents -- was the best party ever. {Heather's Handmade Life}

Our daughter has become close friends with two little girls who share, almost, the same birthday. Every year, there’s a whirlwind of parties spread over one or two weekends as we celebrate Gabby (April 23), Vera (April 24) and Charlotte (April 25).

This year, Vera’s mom asked me in early March which date I was planning for Charlotte’s party. She also wondered, out loud, when Gabby’s party might be, so we didn’t all wind up scheduling them for the same day — many of the girls’ friends overlap. 

I hadn’t even thought ahead that far, and joked we should just join forces and throw one party for all three of them. I’d been halfway kidding, but the more we discussed it, the more it seemed like a great idea. One afternoon, one party and three moms to plan it? Hmmm.

The triple toonie birthday party: How a party for three birthday girls -- with NO presents -- was the best party ever. {Heather's Handmade Life}

How did we pull it off? Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

Hooked on rug-hooking

I guess you could say I’d always been interested in hooking (tee hee).

Rug-hooking, that is! It’s the art of making a rug by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a stiff base, like burlap.

My aunt once hooked a truly amazing life-sized bookshelf rug for my mom, complete with plants, knick-knacks, and book spines with the names of her family members, friends and hobbies. It seemed incredibly complicated, especially when she told us she got most of her materials by cutting thrifted wool coats into tiny strips. Woah.

Over the last year or so, rug-hooking photos started popping up in my Facebook newsfeed because one of my friends is a “hooker.” It looked like so much fun! Although there is a drop-in group that runs near my house every week, I felt shy about just waltzing in, so I asked her to let me know if she heard of any beginner classes.

Not long afterwards, I was all signed up for a six-week class taught by a local rug-hooking expert. (Beverly Levine, for locals!) We would meet once a week for two hours at her home, and all I had to bring was a large embroidery hoop.

Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather's Handmade Life}
A quick snap from my first evening in class!

During our first class, I was surprised by how much I struggled.

I’m not used to struggling with creative things. I felt a little like pouting. Despite having quite a lot of experience with hand-sewing, rug-hooking didn’t come easily for me.

Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather's Handmade Life}
Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather's Handmade Life}
Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather's Handmade Life}
Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather's Handmade Life}
The label I stitched on the back to remember my first piece.

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

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Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather's Handmade Life}
Hooked on Rug Hooking: Why I Needed a Beginner Rug Hooking Class {Heather’s Handmade Life}

The healthy hack that’s helping me eat more salad

The healthy hack that's helping me eat more salad {Heather's Handmade Life}

Eating well is always something I’ve struggled with.

I guess I hoped my tastes would evolve as I got older and I’d start to want to eat salads and salmon and all the “grown-up food” that grown-ups seemed to love. That didn’t happen. (Salmon makes me want to upchuck.)

I love “kid food.” I would rather eat a cheeseburger and fries than just about anything else. Well, that or chicken fingers and fries. Or nuggets? You get the picture. NOT IDEAL when you’re 35 and pear-shaped, you know?

Just because healthy eating doesn’t come naturally to me doesn’t mean I don’t TRY, TRY, TRY all the damn time to be better at it. After all, I want to be healthy, I want my kids to see me being healthy, and most importantly I want THEM to be healthy.

My wise little sis once told me no one *likes* salad, but they eat it because it’s healthy, good for them, etc. I have since heard from several people who really do LOVE salad (I’m looking at you, Sylvia!) which baffles me.

I do not love salad.

But dammit, I’m trying.

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