what’s in your bag? {meet molly!}

hey friends!  its time for our next installment  of my series “what’s in your bag?“!
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today i’d like to introduce to you my sweet friend, molly!  our lives are intertwined with church and school, and our boys are super buds (and my big girls love her little girls!).  molly is one of those easy friends – the conversation flows and hanging out is always relaxing, even with six kids running around us!
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i asked molly and her girls out for a coffee date to a local coffee shop, linneas, while the boys played at home with sean.  i love linneas with kids because it has a great enclosed out door patio with lots of safe places to explore.
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so let’s get to know molly a little bit better!
 
tell me a little bit about your kids (names, ages, and what they’re really into right now)

Calvin turned six in June, Heidi is 4 1/2 and Bridget is 13 months old. Calvin, like most six year olds, is super into Legos, Star Wars, and Angry Birds. He got to watch Star Wars for the first time on his birthday – it was as if he was in Heaven. Heidi adores her brother but definitely has her own taste. Right now, she loves dolls and My Little Ponies. She’s a girly-girl but super brave and adventurous, often more so than I am. Bridget, when she is not eating or sleeping, loves to dance! She moves her hips back and forth and waves her hands in the air. It’s super cute.

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you work from home, too.  tell me about what you do.

I’m a Registered Dietitian but I only do a little part-time work from home every month in that area. I started a company called Cookie+Curly four years ago which is what takes up most of my work time these days. I wanted to make a bird mobile for my daughter, but then people kept wanting to buy them so I got my business license and started selling them at a local children’s boutique. That morphed in baby blankies, blankets, pacifier leashes, etc. Honestly, I’m not sure how I started making jewelry, but my company’s focus has sort of switched to that, although I love all things babies still too.
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i get this question a lot, and i’m sure you do to:  how do you do it all?  i’d love to hear another perspective on mothering and working from home (and surviving to tell about it!)

I hardly “do it all”. Three kids is a lot for me. Most of my friends know I take each day one at a time… My first priority {behind God} is my husband and kids. In the last year, adding a new child in the family and part-time home-schooling has definitely added some challenges. We knew that our school choice was a new way of life, and that’s super important to me. There have been times when I’ve had to cut back on Cookie+Curly work, but most of the time I just stay up late. The quiet of the night is a special time for me. Sometimes I watch a show on Hulu or listen to Pandora while I work. It’s very peaceful, but can be tiring. I’m blessed because my husband gets up at 5am to work out and then takes the kids until he has to leave for work. If I’m lucky, I get a run in, but often I choose to sleep in. I love to sleep.

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you didn’t go to school with a creative career in mind did you?  how did you transition from being a registered dietitian to being a handmade business entrepreneur?

I worked in a clinical setting in San Francisco for about 4 years but then left to start my own business counseling athletes on their nutrition plans. I burned out on this big time and, when we moved to San Luis Obispo after getting married, I took time off from work. It was the first time I never worked. I didn’t realize how high-strung I had gotten. When growing up, my mom sewed most of my clothes – she does English smocking and it’s gorgeous. In hopes of being a mom soon, I channeled my inner mama and bought a sewing machine in the hopes of finding a useful hobby to keep me busy but not stress me out. This started my love for sewing.
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tell me about your business and what you sell?

Like I mentioned before, I started off selling bird mobiles but soon added sea life, butterfly and sailboats. The baby blankets I received when my kids were born inspired me to make baby blankets, tag/ribbon blankies, and pacifier leashes. My sister-in-law lives in Canada and makes beautiful jewelry. I’ve never thought about it but she could have been my inspiration for making jewelry. I now make necklaces, earrings, and rings out of both gold and silver but also antique brass and silver. I’m constantly trying out new things for fun so in my shop there’s often new things. People have to check back often because I’m always adding stuff.
what is your favorite product in your shop right now?  best seller?
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what is your favorite product in your shop right now?  how about your best seller?

My favorite product in my shop is my vintage flower necklaces. Personally, I wear them almost every day or night. I just love all the different stones and fun flower colors. My best seller is my rings. They’re priced practically and there’s a ton of different styles and colors so they’re an easy favorite for gifts or to keep! They’re super durable – I wear them all the time with kids, dishes, life. For the babies, my best seller is the pacifier leashes. My first two kids didn’t use pacifiers so I didn’t really understand the value of the leash, but Bridget uses a paci and these leashes are a MUST. Much better than doing the “mom wash” – licking the paci – every time it drops. Yuck!
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let’s take a look inside your bag, molly!
1. Since i cloth diaper, this wet bag keeps things clean and tidy inside my bag.
2. The tissue case cover makes tissues easy to grab and cute when you pull it out to take care of a not-so-cute duty.
3. I love my sunnies case, but i also use it as a phone case in a pinch.

 
4. I had no idea the power of these tag blankies until I had a child. They are great stimulation for the baby’s fingers and mouth, and great entertainment so you can actually get some grocery shopping done! My son slept with his {and sucked on the tags… ssh!} until he was about four.
 
5. The bank gave me a puffy pleather-looking checkbook cover when I opened my account when I was 16. With my Pleated Poppy checkbook cover, I at least get to look cute when I’m writing checks. It’s a fun conversation piece, too.
 
6. Wipes. I think I will have them in my purse forever. Handy for so many circumstances.
 
7. If I have a big wallet, I will fill it with tons of stuff I don’t need. With my tiny pouch, I’m forced to keep it simple and clean. 
8. This pencil pouch fits all my makeup and keeps things from rolling around at the bottom of my diaper bag.
 
9. It kills me to think of what just my family alone is contributing to landfills. Reusable snack bag have helped me lessen my impact. Made of Ripstop Nylon, Cotton, and Velcro, they are super simple to make and safe around food. There are a ton of tutorials online for reusable bags, each with their own style and materials. Hmm.. Maybe I’ll post a tutorial of mine?
 
10. My zippered pouch has essentials for moments when patience isn’t quite working with the kids. Two notepads, two sets of colored pens/pencils, and two “action figures” for each child.
 
11. I’m always misplacing my keys when juggling getting three kids in/out of cars. I used to tuck my keys in my back pocket but too often they ended up in the toilet! {TMI?!} With my wristlet key fob there’s no way they are getting away from me. 
 
12. If I could, I’d bring a change of clothes for each of my kids. Did you know kids are messy?! :)
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do you have any crafty projects on your to-do list right now?

Oh do I! I’d love to freeze time for two days each week and just do projects. I’ve started making dresses like my mom, although I don’t have the patience for English smocking. I’ve made a couple of dresses for Heidi and it’s so much fun! {Tutorials will be up on my blog soon.} I’m realizing that my girls won’t want “Mommy Dresses” forever though so I have to take advantage of this time when they will! I also have a bunch of crafty project for the house, but those often get thrown on the backburner – Dresses are more fun!
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if you had an hour to yourself, what would you do?  how about a half day?!

Once I entered mommyhood, I realized the necessity of friendships – for sanity, but also for fellowship and growth. If I had an hour, I have a few friends I run with and that’s ideal for me – killing two birds with one stone and loving every step of it! What would I do with half a day? Oh my. Hmmm… Honestly, I’d probably work for a portion of it. But then I’d hopefully grab my hubby and go for a trail run and grab a bite to eat with him. We rarely get to do that but when we do, it’s so wonderful.
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i see a lot of pleated poppy products in your bag ;)  what are your favorites and why?  do you use anything in a creative way?  (sunnies case for a phone case)

My addiction to pleated poppy has been around for a long time. My most recent favorite is the wet bag! I use cloth diapers for Bridget and it just killed me to put her soiled cloth diaper in a plastic bag when we were out. It defeated the purpose of cloth diapers, to a degree. I’d reuse the bags, but man were they stinky! I use the wet bag every time we are out and it’s just so discrete and yet stylish and purposeful. I wish I had it for my other two kids! I also love the pencil pouch. It’s the perfect size to fit my make-up and the mama essentials – hand sanitizer, lotion, chapstick, band-aids, tweezers – and stylish enough that I can just grab it and swap it into a purse to go out. I have two sunnies cases – one for my sunglasses and one for my iPhone. The top flips over and totally protects my phone when I’m carrying it in something other than my diaper bag. I love it.

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molly makes the prettiest jewelry!

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and also adorable pacifier leashes!
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heidi is pretty stinkin’ cute!  she’s a pretty good model for my posy hair clips!
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thank you so much for the coffee date, molly (and girls)!
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and thanks also to cameron for your help with the photo shoot!

what’s in my bag?

i’m excited to introduce a new series called “what’s in your bag?“, where i’ll introduce you to one of my friends, and get a peak into their lives and their purses!  i don’t know about you, but i love getting to see how other people live!  i’ll kick off this series with my own bag.

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one of the perks of working at home is not working at home sometimes.  my desk is flexible – either at my actual desk, at my dining table, in my bed, or at a local coffee shop.  thankfully, our little town is filled with great, inspiring coffee shops, like sally loo’s.

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while i am a total homebody, getting out and about is good for me.  when i’m at home trying to work, i often get distracted by the dishes or laundry, or other non-work-related tasks.

when i’m taking my work out of the house, i always take my messenger bag with and it fits all my needs perfectly!

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i try to give myself a few tasks to work on out of the house, usually computer related (like blogging or photo editing) or design related (like coming up with new products and sketching designs).

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my messenger bag is super durable, strong enough to hold my laptop and extra padded for it, too.  i  also always carry my covered notebook for jotting down ideas.  as much as i love using my phone for reminders and productivity, there’s something so fulfilling about just getting it down on paper!  my sketches are always so sloppy to start, and then slowly get refined, with lots of notes all around them as i get ideas of new things to try, or measurements for products, and adding in all the little details.

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my purse, is filled with my own products (shocking, i know).  but i really have found them to be so useful, not only in organizing my bag, but each one serving a different, necessary purpose.  actually, most of my products have been designed out of necessity.

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when i realized my sunglasses were always getting scratched inside my purse, i made sunnies cases.  when our town put a ban on plastic bags, i made reusable bags, with a tiny pouch that it rolls up into, taking up hardly any room in my purse.

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what’s your drink of choice?  mine is almost always a hazelnut latte.  so yummy!

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seeing it all spread out on a table makes me realize just how much my bag really holds!

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and for the inquiring minds, here’s the sources:

1 – check book cover

2 – reusable bag (in its pouch)

3 – pencil pouch – holds my burt’s bees, lip liner, mascara, eye drops, kids’ sunscreen stick, hair elastics, and a few bobbies.

4 – covered notebook

5 – keys with a caribeaner – i always have my keys on a caribeaner!  its one of my “mom” tools that is so helpful!  i hate having to rummage through my purse with a child on my hip as i head to the car.  my messenger bags and mini messenger bags all have a key loop inside that i hook my caribeaner onto and then no more searching!  if i’m not carrying a bag i just hook the caribeaner onto my belt loop for easy, hands-free access.

6 – iphone with custom case – nothing like easy advertising!  this case is not only pretty and practical, but offers great protection for my phone.

7 – sunnies case – i never step outside without my sunnies on!

8 – tiny pouch – this keeps my business cards nice and clean inside my purse.  somedays i just add a little cash and my id, put my tiny pouch in my pocket and head for a walk downtown with the kids.

9 – travel tissue case – a total necessity as a mom, although my kids still all think their clothes are made out of tissues ;)

10 – zippered pouch – my favorite of them all!  my pouch holds all my receipts so they aren’t floating around crumpled at the bottom of my bag.

11 – best wallet ever!  i got this a few years ago from target and it has held up so well.  fits all that i need it to without much room for more, so it can’t get too stuffed.

12 – tiny measuring tape – i find myself always needing to measure things, like baskets for a shelf, or the height of a table.  weird i know, but its come in handy.

13 – coffee cuff – this was a gift from jeannett and made by another friend, andrea.  i love how the handmade community supports each other!

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yes, i am old fashioned and still write checks.  my checkbook holder holds 2 checkbooks – one for personal and one for business.

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thanks for following along, and i can’t wait to introduce my next guest on “what’s in your bag?”!

also a HUGE thanks to my friend, cameron ingalls, for shooting all the photos and teaching me a thing or 2.  or 10 ;)