{7 favorites from The Land of Nod // baby toy inspiration.}

maxwell-gussy-sews

Ten weeks ago my healthy blue-eyed baby stared into my blue eyes for the very first time. I snuggled my face in his neck and took a long, deep breath. For 27 years I waited for this very day — the day when I held my son for the very first time. This heartbeat of life, beautiful life, is held tight against my body. When I pull him back to speak into his eyes I can feel the warmth of my love diffusing off his skin.

Hello, Maxwell Zackary.

I start to think about all the moments of learning + adventure we’ll have together. I start to daydream about how special it will be to see a giraffe together — how a month before we learned of Maxwell I was standing before one in Africa, in it’s natural habitat, in true awe of its beauty. And now Maxwell is here, in my arms, snuggled near my face, in his natural habitat.

On Sunday we went to the zoo. Our little family of three stood before a family of giraffes, and again I thought about this moment of learning + adventure. All the weeks we’ve had with Max, all the weeks leading up to this day, made my heart swell. There is so much to teach him, and I’m confident I’m capable.

maxwell-maggie-zoo-gussy-sews

Life is so precious, isn’t it? And those blue eyes that mirror mine, this young life that is watching me, is learning new things with each fresh day.

+ + +

Each week new toys are pulled out from a basket under his changing table where I have a few things stored. We have the basics: rattles and squeakers and stuffed animals. But often I think about more challenging toys that will soon polka dot our home…

The Land of Nod is my go-to store for baby toy inspiration. You know me, I love color and timeless, practical pieces. So of course The Land of Nod’s timeless, fun toys have my attention.

Here are my 7 favorite items I’ve collected from their site:

the-land-of-nod-gussy-sews

1. down to the wire wall bin // 2. rainboat wood stacking boat // 3. landscape floor bins // 4. good read book caddy [gray] // 5. wildlife of the party puzzle // 6. big picture book [fruits and veggies] // 7. double decker bus in transportation

Simplicity has never looked so good! ;) By the way, have you seen their amazing shelving units? Oh my goodness, just stop it Land of Nod! Such a fun way to store all of those colorful, practical, timeless toys.

+ + +

The Land of Nod is celebrating the Grand Opening of their Costa Mesa store on May 31st at the South Coast Plaza [located at 3333 Bear St., Costa Mesa, CA 92626]. You should definitely be there as giveaways happening in-store throughout the opening day and of course there will be free goodies for those who arrive early to shop [ahem!].

Leading up to their Southern California Grand Opening party, follow along with The Land of Nod on Pinterest, Facebook + Instagram to gather even more inspiration prior to shopping on May 31st. I’ve already started a little list for Maxwell of items I plan on purchasing.

I’ll have him with me while I shop The Land of Nod, perhaps Max could point out a few things he’d like me to bring home? ;)

 

[This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Land of Nod, but all my opinions are my own. #PMedia #NODinCA http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO.]

{Hope Spoken.}

My beautiful friend Casey Wiegand has had something on her heart for a long time — it brings me a lot of joy to see that her prayers have been answered as she turns this heart calling into something tangible. And today I’ve invited Casey to share with the Gussy Sews community the details behind Hope Spoken, a Christian conference that encourages women to tell their stories.

Those dreams you have? Let’s chase ‘em!

+ + +

 photo 01-1.jpg

 photo 02-1.jpg

Hope Spoken.

We have to be brave with our stories so that others can be brave with theirs.

You have a story. I have a story.

In March 2014 we want to have women come together telling our stories, His story, through our own lives. We are all storytellers, each and every one of us.

I want you to know day by day, across the miles, we are praying. Praying for the 250 women who are supposed to be at this event.

H O P E S P O K E N — March 2 0 1 4

Hope Spoken is a women’s conference where we all can come to know Jesus more, and make Him known in our lives. Our conference will be filled with stories. Stories of Christ in each of our lives, and how we can use these stories for His glory. This is a weekend to rest and feel His love, to lay burdens and hurts down and feel His grace. We want to let women know that they are enough, to encourage women to use their passions, their words, and their creativity for the Lord. We, above all else, want to glorify Jesus’ name and share the hope we have in Him.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. // Romans 5:1-5

Who is Hope Spoken for?

Women. You, your sister, your mother, your best friend, women seeking Hope in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. This conference is for women of all ages. We want to strongly emphasize that, although many of us involved in this conference are bloggers, this conference is not just for bloggers.

I would love it if you would join me.

I would love it if you would help me spread the word.

Dreams coming true here.

Hope Spoken 2014

\\ Tickets are on sale now //

We have an absolutely INCREDIBLE speaker line up — check it out.

We also have a group of unbelievable small group leaders and will have devotionals for each attendee led by the speakers + small group leaders throughout the weekend.

If you are a company or business that would like to get involved email info@hopespoken.org

Can’t wait to see you!

Also make sure to follow along:
Hope Spoken // Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

+ + +

If you could be brave, even more brave than you already are, even for just 5 minutes, what story would you want to tell?

{A mashup of the past four days // cue quirky music.}

I am so glad it’s Monday, because these last few days have been chaos.

Chaos like, “I’m not sure what day it is…?” and “When did I shower last?” and even — “…Zack, can you hear me?”

Let me explain ;)

Amidst all of the product designing, sewing + shop updating that’s been happening, life has been swirling around me. Thursday greeted me with a trip to The Americana at Brand to see Santa. The lovely Laura of Hollywood Housewife hosted a fun “Santa & Me” blog event, and while there I met up with old + new blog friends. And if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of her events, do it! The goody bags we received were ahhhh-mazing!!!

photo via Hollywood Housewife

Santa was a cutie, but the kids that were swarmed around him throughout story-time were even cuter. I think baby was a little jealous s/he couldn’t sit on Santa’s lap this year ;) And would you look at Santa’s beard? I’m pretty positive it was real…

After Santa a couple of us wandered off to window shop + grab a late lunch. It was so great to have an afternoon of friend time :) We stopped at Anthropologie and H&M and J.Crew — and I fell in love with these paintings from Anthro {below}.

And then, the flu bug attacked our home. Later that night, Zack came home from meeting up with a college pal and it wasn’t too far after that the chaos started. At first we thought Zack had food poisoning, but you guys — oh my word, it was terrible. Zack woke up Friday at 1:30am soooo sick, and when we left for the ER 6 hours later he couldn’t stand on his own + was as pale as a ghost. Finding Zack unconscious in the bathroom — twice!, pushed me over the edge, and off to the hospital we went. We were only there through Noon, but we had already experienced so much. We were both exhausted.

The rest of Friday + Saturday were spent watching movies, checking on Zack while he snoozed on the couch, and seriously — anytime he was too quiet, running over to him to make sure he hadn’t passed out again. Then Saturday night the windows were opened up, through Sunday morning, as we needed to fumigate our apartment of the flu.

And poor Bauer. He totally knew something was wrong with Zack. He wanted nothing more than to stare at him on the couch. Except that usually ended with Bauer in Zack’s face, which was annoying, ha! I lost count of how many times I had to go to the living room + bring Bauer back with me.

And so, once Sunday came, I forced myself to shower + get dressed. Time to start knowing what day it is.

Time to find some energy. Time to start preparing for Monday because MY GOODNESS, I need Monday to come. Yesterday was spent catching up on Friday’s work {uhhh, I am a teensy bit behind}.

Monday, I am really glad you’re here because these last few days have been chaos.

Monday means we have fun, quirky music playing in the background while laundry is washing, blankets and thermometers and Lysol wipes are put away. Monday means the last few mashup of days are fading, while a baby bump stares at me in the mirror.

Monday means we are back to work, editing photos or planning schedules.

Monday means we have a bit more energy {with the help of a cup of coffee}.

So that’s what the last four days have been like at our house.

Chaos, go away. Quirky music, I welcome you.

photo via Sandy a la Mode

Oh, and would you look at the adorable Sandy of Sandy a la Mode, wearing one of our infinity cowls? She’s also hosting a $50 Gussy giveaway, be sure you click over + enter the giveaway!

 

What have the last few days been like for you? Hopefully they’ve been a bit more calm. xo

PS. weekly Gussy shop update —> coming soon!

 

{CELEBRATING two years of Gussy Sews-ness, yeow!}

This giveaway is now closed. The winner is comment #120, Denise — YAY Denise! Please check your email :)

Seems like just yesterday we were celebrating one year of indie biz, and now two years have gone by? Amazing.

Really, this is a celebration of YOU! Because YOU support Gussy Sews we have something to celebrate today. Because YOU share, tweet, email, purchase, share some more, comment, and share once again, we have something to celebrate.

 THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

 

Oh, it means so much :)

HOW DID GUSSY SEWS START? Zack and I were married almost four years ago, and just a couple months later I found myself on Etsy’s website. It didn’t take long for me to find myself wishing I knew how to sew like all the other Etsy sellers I had found, and honestly that was sole my motivation for learning how to sew. I had never taken a sewing class prior so I relied heavily on the Public Library and YouTube videos for instruction. It only took a few months, but many fat quarters and late-nights. I started with zipped pouches because those seemed the simplest to learn, but also something I was interested in. When starting something new, I’ve always found it’s easier to learn it when you are genuinely intrigued. While learning how to sew I was also learning how to blog…  And now that almost four years have passed I STILL feel like I’m learning something about blogging + sewing. I love learning and so it’s been a wonderful adventure :)

When I started sewing I was accepting custom orders ~ because of this I learned how to make a variety of items I wouldn’t have normally learned how to make. Since I’m self-taught at all of it — sewing, pattern-making, pairing fabrics, perfecting our signature ruffle, I had a lot to learn. But accepting custom orders did more than just broaden my inventory, it gave me a foundation of how I wanted to run my business long-term, in terms of product and behind-the-scenes. These unique orders also gave me fresh content to share on my blog, and they helped me to form an online community early-on ~ which includes friendships I still have today :) A constant mix of learning something new and then practicing applying it long-term is what helped my business to grow. It is almost like a snow-ball effect, the longer I did it the easier it was for Zack + I to see it was growing into something tangible + trustworthy.

After about 18 months passed {since first learning how to sew} and I had attended my first blog conference {Blissdom}, Zack + I started working towards the possibility of me leaving my day job to pursue Gussy Sews full-time. About three months later we had succeeded in saving three months of my salary as an emergency fund, and May 17, 2010 was my first say working full-time on my business exclusively.

And ever since we first celebrated this huge milestone we have both learned so much about working from home + indie biz life. I think having a constant need to learn has been really key to the growth of Gussy Sews. It’s not just that I want to learn, it’s that I need to learn.

And another thing — we don’t measure growth purely by the number of sales we’ve had or the number of states/countries we’ve shipped to, but more so what type of progress are we making in terms of encouraging others to follow their dreams, too.

It’s been a truly lovely adventure…

 * * *

To celebrate these last two years of Gussy Sews-ness I’ve put together a super fun + inspiring gift package that ONE READER will win, including some of my favorite things —

 1. Gussy Sews tote/diaper bag // 2. Gussy Sews camera strap slipcover  // 3. Sarah Jane Studios $50 shop credit // 4. Red Letter Words custom 12″x12″ canvas // 5. Riley Blake Designs fat quarter bundle // 6. Gussy Sews 60-minute mentorship session // {over $450 in prizes!}


HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

Required: leave one (1) comment below sharing something encouraging! It can something you saw, heard, read…

Optional: share this giveaway with your friends. Leave one (1) comment below letting us know how you did this, through social media, email, a link on your blog, etc.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. The winner will be selected at random on Monday, May 21, 2012 and will be announced at the top of this post.

GOOD LUCK + thank you for all of your support! xo